Category Archives: Series of Sorts

Those “Repeat Features” that show up from time to time

#WeekendCoffeeShare: The Library was Loud, and this weekend will be quiet!

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngWeekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from January 5th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday January 8th at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

Welcome to the New Year!

I kicked off 2018 standing in the library – it’s the second year in a row that I’ve attended Loud In The Library, and I quite enjoyed it. Though, next year I may try something different — it looks like our local game museum did a thing for New Years Eve this year and if they repeat it next year I might try that.

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I took Mom with me this year to Loud at the Library!

Other than the Library-based start, it’s been a pretty quiet year so far. I didn’t intend to start the year out with so much sleep, but it seems to be what my body wanted – I actually slept pretty much all day on the 1st. I woke up to eat, and went back to sleep. I wasn’t feeling sick, just tired.

Since I also spent a decent portion of the Christmas Holiday weekend sleeping I think it’s time to break that trend. I need sleep, sure, but I should be recharged by now. So this weekend I have other plans. And I’m going to make myself stick to them.

Saturday is nice and empty. But I’m going to force myself to get out of bed in the morning (I’ll sleep in a little, of course!) make breakfast and coffee, get dressed, and then sit down to do some writing/editing. I haven’t figured exactly how long I’ll make myself work – at least an hour, but if it starts to flow well then I’ll obviously give myself some more time to work on it. Then my afternoon is open to do whatever I want – working on one of my crochet projects, or reading being the two most likely candidates.

Sunday is busy-busy. Planning to Skype with a friend in the morning, and then going to a Russian Christmas celebration in the afternoon (hosted by a friend every year, it’s a nice open-house gathering with some good food and nice conversation), followed by my weekly game group (which has been on hiatus for the past two weeks) in the evening.
After three weeks in a row with three-day weekends, it’s kind of strange to realize that my weekend this time around is only two days long. I’m hoping that I can manage to be productive with them…. Especially since the following weekend is going to be my BIRTHDAY WEEKEND – which I really have no major plans for, but who knows what will come.

How was your week?  What does your coming weekend look like?

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Hello 2018!

img_20170917_091348_6841544375496.jpgThis is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.

There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection!  More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG.

Hello 2018!

Wow. 2018.

Even though I’m a little shocked that we’ve somehow reached 2018 already, I’m excited for it. This year my goals are similar to previous years: more writing, more reading, working on my health. Unlike previous years, though, I am approaching my goals with set-out plans and strategies to help make them achievable.

Since this is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day – I’ll start with looking at my writing goals (reading and health goals I’ll write about later this month).  That, right there, is one of my strategies to help attain my goals.  I am going to commit to writing about them. Each month I’ll make myself do a goals check in (aiming for the the third Wednesday of the month) on how I’m doing on these goals. For me that low level of accountability can be the extra little nudge I need to keep moving, without feeling like it’s an overwhelming obligation.

For writing my goal is very specific: I want to revise at least one chapter of my WIP each month. Ideally I’d do more, but I know that some of these chapters are going to require complete rewrites, and I need to create an attainable goal. Since I have a tendency to overbook myself and set impossible goals I’m trying to be more realistic.

I also have a few friends who are willing to read what I’m writing, one chapter at a time, and give me some feedback. I’m hopeful that this will give me that little extra push when I just am not feeling like writing, and it will give me an as-I-go sounding board to keep me in check on things.  If there’s a glaring issue that shows up in Chapter 2, I’d rather know about it before I get to the place it matters in Chapter 10 than after I’ve completed this entire revision!

Additionally, I got a calendar specifically for keeping track of where I should be in edits – with a lot of space to notes that I need to remember later on or things I need to figure out. Each week I’ll sit down and assign myself minimum times for writing, as well as creating benchmarks to aim for.

The final piece of my plan is to keep reminding myself how awesome it felt when I did NaNo this year. After over a year of not writing I suddenly was writing again. Every day I got a few words – but the days I really set aside dedicated writing time I got a lot done. It wasn’t easy, certainly not, but I stayed well ahead of my goals and really felt overall better because I was dedicating that time to writing.  So when I find myself being dragged down in revisions, feeling tired of sitting down at my computer at night instead of just curling up in bed with a book or movie, I will remind myself of November.

This story has been in the works for over a decade. It spent the last year completely ignored, sitting – literally – on a shelf gathering dust. This is the year to finally get it into a form where other people can start looking at it. I don’t want to sit around with no one else reading it for much longer — it’s time for me to start getting ready to really put the story out in the world.

And it’s time to make the space to start working on other stories as well! I did some free-writing the other day during my lunch-break, and the idea held onto me so strongly that I found myself dealing with the challenge of typing on my phone to continue working on it during my evening commute.  So I’m going to make an effort to spend some time during a few of my lunch-breaks each week doing free-writes just to keep those creative juices flowing and to keep working those writing muscles.

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Holiday Weekends

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngWeekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from December 29th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday January 1st at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

If we were having coffee I’d invite you to join me by the cozy fire again – it’s a good time of year for that. We had some cool weather over Christmas weekend, what they were expecting to be just a little bit of ice turned into a bit of an event, including some snow! Not a lot but enough to mess with some people’s plans for Christmas Day (and to give me a little bit of a delayed start the day after Christmas). Only the 6th time since 1884 that there’s been measurable snowfall in downtown Portland on Christmas. And, while I’m not in downtown Portland, I’m close enough that I use their statistics happily!

Because of the weather it turned out to be just Mom and I all day for Christmas. Very laid back and relaxed, just the kind of holiday I needed at this point.

It also means I get a mini-Christmas part-two Friday night with those who couldn’t make it on Christmas itself. I’m very excited to see what my brother thinks of the present I got him!

This weekend brings another holiday, of course – New Years Eve. For a long time I really didn’t do much for this one, half the time I was asleep by the time we hit midnight. But last year I decided to check out “Loud at the Library,” an event that seemed like fun — and it was a lot of fun, so I got tickets to go again. There’s dancing, food, drinks, activities, a raffle… all sorts of great stuff! I’m taking my mom along this year (since none of my friends are generally up to that sort of thing at this point in their lives), and it’ll be cool to have someone along with me.

And then it’s a new year. I can’t believe we’re already stepping into 2018! I have been thinking about my plans and goals for the year. There are some things surrounding my health which are a bit up in the air still, but I’m talking to doctors this month to hopefully take some steps towards figuring out a bit of that all. I’ve been setting to work filling in calendars, and trying to figure out the best way to keep myself accountable for the goals I’m setting. Hopefully I can make some real progress on my writing, do more reading, and work on these health issues more (those are my big three goals).

How was your Christmas? Do you have New Years Eve plans? Are you a New Year’s Resolution or goals kind of person? If so, what are you trying to do in the coming year?

Happy New Year everyone!

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Christmas Time!

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngWeekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from December 22nd at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday December 25th at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!



Happy Holidays!
If we were having coffee this week I’d invite you to join me for a homemade latte (or drip coffee if you’d like, or tea). I have been playing around with making eggnog lattes, and would be happy to make you one. If you’re an eggnog fan. It does seem like people either LOVE it or HATE it. I fall into the LOVE it category.
Most of my family celebrates Christmas in one form or another, so if you’re joining me today you’ll get to take in some of the festive decorations. One of the perks of living with my mom is that I get to benefit from her holiday decorating — and Christmas is one of those holidays that she does a pretty good job with.

Over the years things have accumulated and evolved — this year we have the Santa Room (it started out as a little Santa Tree, but eventually there were too many to keep contained to a small tree), a window of snowmen and snowflakes, and the regular Christmas tree. Not to mention lights outside. It’s overall pretty festive, which I appreciate!

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The Santa Hearth!

This year, since my large family is no longer centrally located, the celebrations are somewhat subdued. I’m going to my Dad’s one day for a meal with him and my step-mom. Christmas even I’m actually doing some childcare in the morning, and then might go to a late service that night with my mom — it will depend on how my energy is and if I feel like dragging myself out of the house at that hour. I do love church services during the holidays though, the music and magic of the season really appeals to me.

Christmas day is pretty low key. Mom and I will do some present exchanging, and then my brother and his boyfriend will join us for more present exchanges and dinner. I have to go back to work on Tuesday, so I’m planning on spending Monday evening doing not-much and just relaxing.

Do you celebrate a holiday in the winter? If so, which? And how do you celebrate?

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Fancy Tea Party!

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from December 15th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday December 18th at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

Oh man, this week… this week was Loooong. Just because there really wasn’t a whole lot going on at work – and that made it hard for me to sustain energy throughout the day.

Last weekend I did find the yarn I’ll be using for my Mystery Crochet! Check it out!!

Next step, I’m going to attempt a gauge swatch. But, that’s going to wait until after the Christmas Presents are all completed. I’ll try to keep you all updated as I go along – and I’ll also be posting the update pics on Instagram.

Friday brings with it our staff holiday party – just a few hours at the end of the day for some gift-exchanges. It’s been fun to see people bringing in presents for their Secret Santa’s – this year we put them all under the little tree I brought in. Nicely festive little set-up.

And I’m excited about this weekend! Saturday brings with it a fancy-hat tea party! I’m super-excited because I got myself a nice dress and a fascinator to wear. It will all be very fancy. We’ll drink tea and…probably other stuff. I don’t know – while fancy hats are a must, I can’t imagine the crowd being super refined. It’ll be a lot of fun!

I’ve been working on Christmas Presents – nearly done with everything that needs to be done… good thing, too, since Christmas is coming up FAST. It’s kind of strange, because I’m not taking any extra time off around it this year it’ll just be a three day weekend. With one of those days taken up with some family stuff. I’m actually taking this Monday off as well for an appointment and such, and it seems like it may be more holiday-like a weekend for me. We’ll see.

It’s been a strange Christmas season this year. The weather has finally started turning cold, and the lights are nice, but I haven’t really felt much in the spirit. I got out my Christmas Cards (for once) and have been listening to Christmas music on the radio but… it just feels different this year, for some reason. Can’t quite put my finger on it. *Shrug*
What have you been up to this week? Any great holiday plans coming up? Happy Hanukkah for those who celebrate it!

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Busy Week, Sleepy Weekend

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngWeekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from December 8th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday December 11th at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

If we were having coffee I’d invite you to join me at a little coffee shop downtown. I’m meeting up with a friend soon, so why not start with an appetizer-round with you? Appetizer coffee is totally a thing, right?

Anyhow, I’m out here because today I am going to go yarn shopping! This spring I’m going to be participating in the Rose City Yarn Crawl with some friends, and have gotten the Mystery Crochet-Along for the event. So today we go in search of the yarn to make this project with. I’m hoping my friends will help me because, while I’ve been crocheting blankets and scarves for a while now, I’ve never paid a whole lot of attention to things like yarn weight, or color contrast.

We’re also going to be getting sushi – because… sushi. It’ll be a new place I’ve never been (being all the way on the other side of town from me and all) so I’m hoping that it’s got some good selection!

Other than that my weekend is, thankfully, pretty open. I am SO behind in wrapping presents, making presents, and getting my space in order. Need to put some real time and energy into my room — because I am not a fan of living in the whirlwind mess I’ve been ignoring lately. I’m also thinking of doing some rearranging — not sure what exactly I’ll do but, playing with thoughts.

Really, though, I’ll probably end up spending my free time this weekend sleeping. It was a busy week at work, and I’ve been dealing with a cold for most of it, so my energy is completely depleted. Which usually means that I just end up sleeping for most of the weekend to try and recharge a bit.

What are you up to this weekend?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Reflecting on 2017

wp-1462383471325.jpgThis is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.

There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection!  More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG.

 

IWSG Day Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Well, now… what a question.

2017 was a rough one for me in the writing world. I struggled to write — my fiction took a serious hit, and even my blog suffered a bit. Heck, there were even three months where I didn’t even manage to get my IWSG post written! Thankfully I didn’t get vetted in those months, because I would have been dropped (that happens when you don’t post for a few months – you can always sign up again – but I quite like my mid-100’s location on the current list).

And most of the ones I did write tended to be about how to get my writing started again….

Campfire Stories Cover

At the same time, I worked with some awesome ladies to put together a short story collection and we published it!

It’s pretty exciting to have something out there, but it is certainly bringing anxiety up in me. At the same time as I’m working on promotion, I’m having to glare-down the part of me that keeps wondering if the story is any good. Does it deserve to be in this collection?  

It’s kind of strange.  

On the one hand I’m doing the internet-equivalent of shouting from the rooftops. I’m so excited about it, I’ve promoting it where I can, asking people to read it and review it for me.

On the other hand I’m scared to read what I wrote. I’m constantly silencing that voice which tells me that I am an imposter.  That this story really doesn’t deserve to be out there.  That it will be mocked and torn to shreds.

I keep trying to silence that voice.  I try as much as I can. And I’ll keep working on silencing it until it learns to shut itself up.

 

Honestly, if I could backtrack I’m not sure I would do anything differently in the writing world. While I wasn’t very productive, I feel like it was a break I needed — there were other things that claimed my time and attention, and those are just as important.