Category Archives: writing

September Adventures

September is filled with goals. I felt if I shared them, readers can hold me to them. More importantly, join or support me in my endeavors. So here goes;

160 simLose weight. Being an old woman, this proves more difficult than before, and it wasn’t easy in my younger days. This means a contending a lower metabolism with exercise (walking) and watching what I eat. This goals also means to get myself in shape, get more muscle.

I want to fit in my old clothes but also have a higher metabolism so I can feel warmer in the winter months. Being a slug lends to being very cold all the time.

sugar freeNo sugar. Yep, you read that correctly- NO SUGAR for the month of September. I’m even avoiding sugar substitutes and processed foods. Veggies, fruit, lean protein, and mostly water and tea rather than soda. I drink Sugar Free Hazelnut creamer with my coffee in the mornings, but that’s pretty much it.

My hope is that cutting out sugar will get me more energy, I’ll be healthier, and my brain will work with more clarity…hopefully.

Purple Crocus Pen Rubber Grip Pen Write and publish regularly. I want to focus on fiction, but I have a few non-fiction projects ‘in the works’. Between short stories, a novel, and non-fiction eBooks,  I hope to earn more income.

I have a number of books published on Amazon.

amazon

duolingoLearn conversational Spanish as well as some German. I focus more on Spanish, but German is fun to speak with all the visceral pronunciation. I would like to have a basic conversation in Spanish, perhaps even understanding reading or watching Spanish TV. I’m using Duolingo.com which provides free language lessons via their site and smart phone apps.

Offer new services on my web sites. My writer’s site will have Book Cover Design and editing services, while my pagan site will have ecourses, workshops, and ebooks. I hope to have this all done and up by the end of the month.

Minor goals include:

  • Drink more water (no or only a little soda)
  • Practice Morning Pages (I’ll blog about this soon)

I’ll post regularly on my goals. So with perseverance, the end of this month, I’ll be slimmer, fitter, published, working more, speaking Spanish, and finding more things to achieve.

 

 
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Focusing on Focusing

RoseofSharon

It’s been ages since I blogged, which I believe is the same thing I mentioned before.

The single most trait of a blog, and to keep blogging, is knowing if anyone reads it. This blog, I don’t feel gets read. It’s more blithering I suppose, so that leads me to thinking on what to focus on.

Focus. That’s not one of my characteristics.

My brain doesn’t work like that at all. If anything, ideas sort of bubble up to the surface. I have to jot down the idea quickly before it fades, and to figure out what to do with it later.

This year I’ve been trying to narrow down my main areas of focus, which is no easy task. Tons of ideas come, and I have to ignore them while trying to focus on the few on my list. Then I’m left wondering if those few on the list are even worth trying.

So here are some of my top things to focus on for the next month or so;

  • Finish my short story for publication.
  • Finish editing my dad’s book to help him publish. This includes the book cover design
  • Apply to REV for a closed caption work. (this is done)
  • Complete the ‘writer journal’ project. I’m working on a blank journal for writers which includes tips, prompts, and quotes, as well as a space for daily word counts. This should be done soon.
  • Finish the Playful Pagan web site, which will include an online ecourse, eworkbooks, and resources for earth centered spirituality.

I have more stuff, but these are the main things I’m focusing on.

And to update friends and family- here are some things I’ve been up to;

Blood donation

Donating Blood– I decided to start donating blood, so I gave my first pint. I found out I’m O+, and they would like me to donate platelets too. I hope to do that eventually.

No homeschool. In past years, we continued to do some homeschool through the summer. This year, we’re enjoying not doing homeschool. Dan passed last year, so he’ll be in 11th grade in September.

Working Learnthepc.net. I was referred to a new client and helped her with her computer issues, while another needed help with transferring VHS to DVD. Worked on a web site for a client but he backed out. That’s never fun for me. It means work without pay, so I’m not keen on doing web design. I’m considering no longer offering this service. Instead, having pre-developed sites for sale, or client tutorials.

Writing! I’ve been working one short story fiction, but also working on a blank journal for writers. It includes a spot to add word counts, but also includes tips, prompts, and author quotes. I’m also editing my dad’s book which will be published soon, and organizing my Writer’s Group for an upcoming anthology coming this Christmas.

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Children’s books, Zazzle, and up to date

635639323133548058My poor little blog has been sorely neglected since January.  To be fair, I’ve dealt with some major depression and stress the past few months. This makes it hard to rally motivation. I’m hoping to keep up, however, and just do things anyway, regardless of how I am. Life can’t come to a stop.

So what have I been up to?

Considering  writing and publishing children’s books. While looking at video tutorials I found my brain sparking some ideas. I’m researching the how and why of this genre, and figuring out how to illustrate what I want.

I’m very intrigued with checking out Amazon Kindle Children’s Book creator, and not necessarily using it for children’s books. I could also work on picture books for various genres. Pop, pop, pop…more ideas.

I’ll post a review of the program once I get used to it.

candlewrapI created a new design for Zazzle but found I can’t add this to my store, only share the link. I really like Zazzle and all the choices you can add your own graphics/photos to items and sell for a small amount with each purchase.

But Zazzle has some crazy things you can personalize, from mugs, t-shirts, and jewelry, and weird things like chocolate boxes and even bikes.

Custom Big Shot Fixie Big Shot Bicycle
Custom Big Shot Fixie Big Shot Bicycle by big_shot_bikes
Look at Single speed Bicycles online at Zazzle.com

 

I’ve created a number of products in my Zazzle store, but like many things, I let it go and haven’t worked much on it.

authropageUpdated my Amazon Author Page, but feel the biography is pretty thin. Perhaps I should consider something ‘fiction’ to make it more exciting- ‘By day, she is a mild-mannered housewife, homeschool mom, and tech consultant, but by night (dramatic pause) she is the master of writing and creativity”

I will try to keep up more with the blog, sharing what I’m doing on my other blogs and what projects I’m working on, as well as sharing more on thoughts and adventures.

The Power of Creativity is My Super Power

002Sometimes when I watch videos online, I play around with crafts and follow through with ideas I find on the Internet. It is when I actually complete the idea and it looks good where I feel awesome in the power of creating something.

This photo illustrates the wonder that is a DIY (Do It Yourself) pen holder. Its made from a paper clip and duct tape. This means I can make own pen holder for any 3 ring binder or notebook I want, which is removable, but can be made to match the binder/notebook itself. Since I make it myself, I also make the clip whatever size to whatever sized pen I want to use. It is AWESOME.

Here is the video I found the tutorial:

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I also wanted to make my own post it note/pencil holder. Here I used an old cassette tape covered in Washi tape for color, and used to make the pencil holder. It is not as tight as I’d like, but it works, and I can also put my iPhone in it.

I decided to bow out of the Assistant Secretary position with Score. It took too much of my time doing something I don’t enjoy. I hope to still mentor, perhaps aid in the other Board member committees, but not with any position. I just don’t have that sort of time available for volunteer work between homeschool, my meetup groups, my business, and Life. I still dedicate over the minimum hours volunteers are expected in Score.

scoreScore, by the way, is a non-profit organization that helps small business owners with every aspect of the business. You can get mentoring, workshops, and resources for free. Check out their site at Hagerstown.score.org.

I’ve been writing in my blogs as well. I figured I might as well start posting them in this blog while I’m at it:

Productivity Tip in A Writer’s Journey I share my two tips I’ve been using this past week that seems to work remarkably well in increasing my productivity.

Signs of Spring in the Moon and Shadow blog. I share some ideas to celebrate the First Day of Spring (Equinox).

Video: 9 New iPhone Tricks That’ll Change Your Life Here is a link to a video of some very cook tips with the iPhone.

Halloween 2014 and blog posts

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I ended up not dressing up this year. I tried to work on a costume but got so frustrated with the number of mistakes and mishaps, I figured I’d just be me (which is scary enough).

Daniel, meanwhile, selected to make a candy dispenser. He did this before, but this version is updated to be larger. Kids loved it- parents were impressed, and Daniel seemed to enjoy the attention.

Next year, we’ll add lights, glow-in-the-dark paint, and glow sticks or something.

David dressed up as a zombie. I didn’t see him most of the evening, as he walked through town (to scare kids).

Halloween was cold. At least this year, it didn’t rain.

For a scout Halloween party, Daniel made another costume where he wore a sign that was labeled WEATHER. When asked what he was, he’d reply “I’m under the weather”.

009David picked a costume easy to make and easy to wear. I made it with the Silhouette Portrait die cut machine and the material you iron onto clothes.

I bought two 3 lb bags of candy, which was gone half an hour before Trick-or-treating ended. I guess next year, we’ll need to get more.

In this town, Halloween is a big celebration. We live close to ‘downtown’, and they seal off a block to have a party there. Meanwhile, folks from all over the county visit and enjoy the festivities. Its so much fun.

I invited folks to attend a party but pretty much only family joined. That was fine. It was fun to get together for a holiday. I suspect many people may not be able to make it on such short notice.

The writer’s group Horror Anthology: 2014 took most of my attention, but it got published. We picked ‘horror’ for the genre, so not as many authors joined in this year. I was okay with that- it was still enough to have a printed book so we went with Createspace to publish.

Createspace.com lets you self-publish with print-on-demand and kindle, at no cost.

The cover design is mine- its my cat, Max, who enjoys joining the writer’s meetings. So far, he was the popular choice.

I seriously need to add more stuff to this blog. I keep forgetting to post, to update general things.

I should also post the posts from my other blogs-

Samhain: Honoring the dead

NaNoWriMo and Published Anthology

My Zazzle Design Store

Poor Blog…I keep forgetting to update

IMG_3617I intended  to blog regularly here, but for one reason or another, I didn’t. I’m not sure why- perhaps my real life is boring? Hm, maybe.
I’m currently working on getting the writers’ meetup anthology completed via Createspace.com. Its affiliated with Amazon so not only do you get a printed book, a page via Amazon, and an eBook version, there’s a part of the process that’s let you sell your book via book stores!
This surprised me because most authors mention they’d want to see their book on a bookshelf in the book stores, rather than go the self-publishing route. So now they can.
Many would-be authors assume the publishing company will also market their book. Times have changed, and you’ll be surprised to know this is no longer the case; you are expected to do much of your own marketing.
There are reasons why I prefer the self-publishing route;

  • Speedy publishing. You can have your printed or electronic (or both) book ready to sell within a day. That is, if you have your book design, formatting, and correction all completed. If you go with a publishing company, getting printed could take years.
  • Choices in earnings. You can choose how much to charge, and earn a percentage of that sum.  If you go with a publishing company, they decided what to pay and when.
  • Copyright is all yours. I keep my copyright through the process of publishing, unlike a publishing house which expects at least ‘first print rights’.
  • I get to design my cover. Some might argue the pros and cons of designing your own cover, but I don’t like the idea of a business designing the cover.

A self published author needs to learn how to be marketing savvy, however.  I figure there’s tons of books on the subject, and plenty of web sites that help in that regard.
I find the printed version of the anthology is taking way more time. I should’ve started the publishing process with that, because once you have it set to print-on-demand, there’s an automatic eBook version available you can sell. I’m not sure if this printed version will even link to the e-version.
I hope to have it ready by next week.

2014- Here I come!

2014So here we are, on the cusp of the New Year, and we also have a New Moon tonight. This phase of the moon represents new beginnings, so I take it as a good sign.This year I have high hopes to achieve my goals, to put myself out there, to live life, and have a great year.

I have the usual resolutions of wanting to lose weight. More importantly, I want to get fit. I suffer from cold hands and feet, sometimes even painfully cold, so I hope to get fit enough to improve metabolism so I feel warmer.

I also want to write and publish regularly. After the anthology, I think I got a pretty good idea on doing that without pulling my hair out.  I just need to hone those online marketing skills. I have fiction ideas already outlined, but I also have some non-fiction work I want to produce.

I want to get my business out of the ‘hobby’ level into being more of the small to mid-sized business. Even part-time work offers me an income I can be happy with, but I first need to find the work (customers).

I want to get my son into flight lessons. Since buying him the flight simulator program for his laptop, he’s been non-stop into learning to fly. I want to get him into formal classes in 2014.

I have other goals but they’re tired into the previously mentioned goals, so I won’t bore you with details. Suffice to say, I want to get out there and Carpe the heck out of DIem.