Okay, this is my first ROW80 post! And so far, I am on track with my goals for the New Year. Yay! I’ll keep it short and sweet.
Novel: I’ve been working steadily on editing the next chapter in my novel, and I’m on target to finish today. I’ll let you know on Sunday how it goes.
Short Stories: Thursday and Friday will be short story writing days so that update is to follow.
Painting: I didn’t paint on Monday as planned, but it was New Years Day, and I spent the day taking down Christmas decorations. By the time I made a reasonable dent in packing everything back up, I was too tired to do anything else. Wednesday afternoon will be another day to paint. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures for you on Sunday!
Yoga! I joined the Y, and went to my first yoga class on Tuesday evening. I’m a bit sore, feeling that Warrior II and the Chair pose, but that’s a good thing.
Here I am, talking about New Years Resolutions again! In my last post, I talked about making realistic goals and having a plan. Well, I have a plan!
It’s called ROW80–Round Of Words in 80 days. It’s a writing challenge that happens 4 times a year and lasts for 80 days. And your goal can be anything you like as long as it’s measurable.
There are check-ins twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesday…keeps you accountable.
So, I made a list of my goals. Some are writing goals and some aren’t.
Writing goals for 2018:
Novel: I want to finish editing 1 chapter per week. I’ll do this on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
Short Stories: I plan to write three short stories this year. I’ll do one for each of the first three quarters of the year and I’ll work on them on Thursday and Friday mornings.
Non-Writing Goals for 2018:
Painting: I’ll work on my painting three times a week in the afternoons, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Yoga: I walk everyday but I think I really need to do more physically active stuff. Yoga is amazing for the body and the mind. I used to do yoga regularly years ago and I felt amazing, more centred and relaxed. My plan is to join the YMCA and go to yoga classes in the evenings.
Blog: I know I’ve been away from my blog for a while–
I miss posting regularly and visiting my favourite blogging friends. Well, I’m baaaaaack! I’ll do my ROW80 posts on Sundays and Wednesdays and keep you posted on how the resolutions are going and how the novel is coming along. I enjoy posting the Friday 57, too. It’s a great way to get some insight on a novel and what the writing style is like. And I can’t forget my Daily Walk. I’ll be posting pics of my walks throughout the week as well as some book reviews.
So there! That’s my plan. I hope I can stick with it. I find I get tired easily and have a hard time concentrating, so we’ll see how it goes. Having some structure and a plan in my life is a good thing.
New Years is a time of retrospection. Not only is it a time to reflect on our accomplishments and achievements of the past year, but also to look at what we would like to improve about ourselves. I’m the Queen of Resolutions, and I have big plans for 2018. Well, big plans for me, at least.
I want to be healthier, physically and mentally. I want to take a more disciplined approach to writing and creating art.
Years ago, I cracked open a fortune cookie, hoping it was going to tell me that I was going to be rich, travel the world…something exciting. What did I get?
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Ugh. Didn’t like that one. But let’s face it, we all have good intentions and sometimes it seems almost impossible to follow through.
It’s important to choose achievable goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure. I’d love to be super mom, with an amazing, fit body, write that best-seller. The reality? I might follow my diet until January 15th, and I’ll fight the Resolution crowd at the gym until mid February, but then, life gets in the way. It gets too hard.
Unless you adapt your goals to be realistic, and fit into your life, it can be a real challenge to keep your wonderfully good intentions for more than a few weeks. In fact, only about 8% of people actually keep their resolutions.
Set achievable goals. Is this something that is achievable in your life right now? Can you comfortably fit it in?
Have a plan. What steps will you take to make it easier to keep your plans? Plan meals and make them in advance? Book a babysitter? Gym buddy? Set a reminder on your phone?
Stick to it.
Create a habit.
Don’t beat yourself up. If you mess up and just have to have fast food or have that cigarette, don’t beat yourself up! Just dust yourself off and try again. Don’t give up!
Talk about it. Don’t be afraid to tell family and friends your goals and ask them to help you stick to them.
Find a buddy. The sofa might be comfy but when your walking buddy calls, you feel a sense of obligation to get up and go.
This year, I plan to finish editing that novel. Yes, it’s been years that I’ve been working on it, but I will finally finish it. I will! I plan to return to a ketogenic diet. I plan to paint three times a week. And last but not least, I will sign up for yoga classes! I will blog more. And I will write three short stories.
Next post I will talk about how I plan to fit all this into my day. I want to be successful, and I plan on starting off on the right foot. Are you with me?
What about you? Have you made any plans for 2018? Have you made any resolutions or set any goals?
Watching a Glass Shatter has to be one of my favourite books I’ve had the pleasure to read this year. James Cudney took a multitude of complex characters, each having a story in their own right, and assembled them together into a multiplex, page-turning family drama.
The story begins with a nervous Ben Glass, patriarch of the wealthy Glass family. He left envelopes and very specific instructions with his lawyer in the event of his death. A caring, loving and well loved father and husband, drawing the reader in to wonder what kind of secret could he possibly be hiding that he is so terrified of sharing when he is alive?
Olivia, his wife, is one of those meddling, critical, difficult to like characters. She is devastated by Ben’s death, and even further distressed after reading the contents of her envelope. The shocking secret is regarding one of her five grown sons, and worse, she does not know which one.
Olivia decides to spend some one on one time with each son, only to learn there are even more shocking secrets in the family than she ever could have imagined.
Watching a Glass Shatter is an emotional journey for Olivia and the reader. It made me laugh and cry, and once the story got rolling, I found it hard to put the book down.
Along with Olivia, the matriarch of the story, each of the sons were well written, believable and well rounded out characters. The reader was able to know each of them on a personal level along with their individual struggles and problems.
As difficult as she was to like, I enjoyed watching Olivia come into her own, becoming a much more likeable and happier. She learns to overcome devastating loss and heartbreak and move to acceptance.
Beautifully written, Watching a Glass Shatter is an intricate story of struggle and personal growth that I highly recommend reading.
Check out Jay’s blogThis is My Truth Now.Jay writes daily posts and always has something interesting and fun to say.
To learn more about Watching Glass Shatter, Jay has a website dedicated to the Glass family, including updates and sample chapters. You can find that here.
Jay is currently working on his second novel, Father Figure, due out March 2018.
I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Didi Oviatt and Kim Knight! I feel honoured to be one of the lucky winners of their first short story collection!
The book consists of eight short stories, each written by both authors. Author One writes Scene one, Author Two finishes the story in Scene Two. Only the authors know who wrote which scene, but the stories are seamless and well written.
This is a great collection of short stories, all of which I enjoyed, and like all anthologies, some I enjoyed more than others.
The stories are for mature readers only, something to keep in mind if you are bothered by books with sexual content or offensive language, this might not be for you. For those with an open mind, enjoy!
It was The First Time I Killed A Man.
It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession… at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.
I can’t say I loved this story, but that might have something to with Lisa being so hard to like. She’s just nasty! She’s crude, demanding and narcissistic. Contains sexual content and profanity.
Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement.
George appears to be harmless. The local neighbourhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality, he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.
Ooooh…Creepy guy! He seems so innocent but one to definitely stay away from! What a great read! Didi and Kim did a great job building up the main character. I loved the scene with Jolene when she was getting cleaned up but I wonder if something more should have happened there?
Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.
Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.
Loved this! I totally did not expect this ending! Well done!
Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…
Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah now in her fifties is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.
Loved this heart touching story of long lost love. Beautifully told.
Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times:
In 1963 Russian Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale, with a strong femme fatale.
Mila Petrov is a great character, strong and powerful. What will she do and how will she handle the situation? Really enjoyed this one!
Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.
A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.
I was surprised at the turn this story took, and I really enjoyed it! It was fresh and unexpected and made me want more. It would be interesting for the authors to continue another segment of this story.
Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence
California’s sassy, tough, and likeable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast -paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.
A female character finds her own strength to stand up not only for herself but for others as well. The twist comes at the end when she finds that things aren’t always as they seem.
Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World:
A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said, “it’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”
A beautiful story about a man watching his mother pass and the cherished gift she gave him.
I scoured the internet looking for articles on procrastination and why we do it and these were some of the top reasons that I found:
Fear of Failure
Small Tasks are Easier(tend to do these instead of a bigger task)
Lack of Motivation
Don’t know how to get started
Low Energy Level
I think in the last 3 weeks I’ve struggled with every single one of these!
I was doing okay until a series of stressful events left me mentally and physically stymied, I felt unable to move and go forward with life. Fatigue and pain…Yes! physical aches and pains, took over my body.
It was frustrating and hard to understand. How could this happen. I’m not that old!
I spent my days reading, and resting. I worked on writing my novel at least every day, even if it was only a few paragraphs that got written.
My husband took over making meals and grocery shopping. My son helped with vacuuming.
I was able to do small tasks, like laundry and tidying up.
I read my emails and the blogs I follow. I even tried to comment on them all but at times it was just too much. I would find myself unable to focus and overwhelmed with fatigue.
Blogging? That just didn’t happen.
Lack of energy and focus, perfectionism (because it has to be interesting and worthwhile reading!), blogging a post just seemed to be too colossal a task.
Despite all my best intentions, could not bring myself to write a single post.
My Daily Walks, where I post photos that I take on my walk have been put on hold, I didn’t have the motivation, the energy to do it. And, I thought, nobody is really interested in it anyway. That’s depression talking. I know this. I really do.
I enjoy doing the Friday Posts where I share an excerpt from a book. But I couldn’t seem to decide which book to do. Indecision. For three weeks in a row. The days snuck up on me, too! By the time I realized what day it was, it was, I felt, too late to even bother. I’ll just do it next week, I’d think. Friday Post fail.
Tips for when procrastination takes over:
Make a list of what needs to be done. It is very satisfying scratching things off when you complete them
Break the task into smaller chunks. Set small goals and do little bits at a time. You might even want to keep going and do more!
Understand that failure is okay. Most mistakes can be fixed and it’s better to try than not do it at all.
Just do your best. Nothing is ever perfect.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy, unprocessed foods, get enough sleep and at least 30 minutes of light exercise daily.
Set goals that are attainable.
Here are some great articles that I found that might help if you are dealing with procrastination of suffering from depression and anxiety:
Nominate 15 bloggers and inform them of the nomination
I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by two lovely bloggers—Yellow Fuzzy Duck at Turtledesk and The Ink Owl! Thank you both so much! Ink Owl has a wonderful variety of posts including fiction and guest posts, Turtledesk is is full of creative, fun and inspirational posts. Please click on over and have a look at their blogs if you haven’t already.
I’ve done a few of these tags recently, so I feel like I’m repeating the same things over and over again. So to make it interesting, for all those who already know that I’m working on a novel and that I love to paint, here are some obscure, kind of off the wall facts about me:
I had my gallbladder removed over a year ago
My Myers-Briggs personality type is INFJ
I love plants but I always forget to water them
I always drink coffee in the morning, tea after that
I have been trained to Reiki Level 3
I am half Polish, 1/4 Ukranian and 1/4 Scottish
I finished off 3 weeks of the Atkins diet with 2 pieces of birthday cake.
A character appearance that you misread or imagined differently.
Jamie from Outlander, I’m not really sure how I pictured him. I think I just had a hard time actually picturing him. But I love Sam Heughan’s portrayal. He’s amazing as Jamie. I wish I got to watch the show more, I’m way behind!
A character name that you have been pronouncing wrong.
I think everybody might have stuttered over Hermione from Harry Potter, at least until the movies came out! Even Viktor Krum had a hard time with it!
And then there’s Laoghaire from Outlander. I always thought it was La-heerie but it’s actually LEE-ree. Oops!
An overused trope that is your guilty pleasure.
The one who appears as the good guy is the murderer. I love a good plot twist!
A cliche character type that you like better on screen than reading about.
It’s the funny ones, like the Weasley brothers! They are so funny in the movies, it’s really difficult to capture that humour with the written word.
Have you ever not read or completed a required-reading book for school?
Have you ever skipped (or wanted to) a chapter from the point of view of a character you weren’t interested in?
Of course, but I never do. It might be important to the story later on! I have read the last page of a book before, though!
Have you ever canceled social plans to read a book?
Noriko at Diary of a Bookfiend has kindly adopted me as her aunt. She is a sweet soul, always friendly and easy to chat with. She has awesome book reviews and she’s an all around great person.
Jay at This Is My Truth Now is one of my very first blogging friends. He is an author (soon to be published!) with an amazing blog filled with tons and tons of reviews as well as his 365 Day Challenge.
Didi Oviatt is another amazing author to check out, she has a wonderful blog filled with writing advice, inspiration, poetry, reviews and her own books!
SunSunny has wonderful, dog-loving inspirational posts that just make you feel good inside.
Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
Answer the questions.
In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
Ask them three questions.
Questions from Jennanicolee at Bookmark Your Thoughts:
What is your favourite Disney film and character (they don’t have to be from the same thing)? Why? I’m going to go with Maleficent here, for film and character. She was just a great, strong character who was treated so unfairly, so cruelly that it was heartbreaking. Yes, she put a curse on Aurora, but in the end she did the right thing for everyone, including herself.
How do you handle with your TBR list when it gets out of control? I just keep reading, one book at a time.
What is your favourite type of post to blog about? I love doing my Friday post! Linking up with Book Beginnings(Rose City Reader) and Friday 56 (Freda’s Voice). You share the book beginning and an excerpt from page 56, it gives a great taste of what the book is like without actually giving too much away. It’s a quick and fun post, and I love reading what everyone else on the linky shares as well.
Questions from Noriko at Diary of a Bookfiend:
Out of five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch), what is the most important to you and why? Sight, I think. I love colour, and art and reading and I think it would be awful if I couldn’t do that anymore!
If you could recreate one food from your favorite books/films/TV shows etc., what would it be and why? Uma Thurman’s $5 milkshake. I hear it’s a pretty freaking good milkshake!
What was your favorite and least favorite subject in school and why?
My favourite subjects were biology and chemistry, my worst, was English!
QUESTIONS from Jay at This Is My Truth Now:
What talent do you have that people would be surprised to know? I think most people know that I write and paint. Other than that, I’m not really sure!
What do you want to change about your blog? Oh, it needs to be more organized, and I need to get my art up there, too! Hopefully that will happen this weekend, right Noriko?
Where else would you want to live if somewhere other than your current country? I’d love to live in England. Or France. Either/or!
QUESTIONS from Didi Oviatt:
Are you an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert? I’m a fullout introvert, no question!
What is your favorite weekend activity? Having breakfast in my pajamas!
Could you survive without the internet? Oh yes, at least for an hour or two!
Questions from Sun Sunny:
What is the last thing you ate? A cheeseburger from Wendy’s with no bun and a side salad.
Who was your first crush? Shaun Cassidy! Da Doo Ron Ron
What kind of music do you like to dance to? (Remember, everyone likes to dance! Even if it is just swaying or nodding to the music!) Abba!
Here are Stephanie’s questions:
What’s the funniest book you’ve ever read or movie/tv show you’ve ever watched? Or both? I’ve always thought Seinfeld was hilarious, I love their sense of humour! The Office is a close second.
What is something that you’ve always dreamed of doing but never have? Become a best selling author.
What author, living or dead, would you like to spend an entire day with? Why?Whenever this question comes up, I’ve always said JK Rowling. But, just for a change, I’m going to say Harlen Coben. I love his mysteries! And he seems to be a pretty easy going kind of guy.
Okay, now I have to come up with three questions for my nominees!
What is one thing you would like to change about your blog?
What is your dream job? Are you doing it now?
Are you an introvert, extrovert or ambivert?
I’m nominating some of my newest followers, I apologize in advance if you’ve received this award already! There is no obligation to participate, just know that I was thinking of you and wanted to share some blogging love!