Jan 092017
 

 

Every year, I re-evaluate my life’s goals. I take into account, where I am, what I’ve done, and where I want to be in the future. I think about my health, my family, my career, and my friendships. This type of evaluation becomes more essential the older I get. If I know where I’ve been and I have goals, then I know where I’m going.

This year, there have been some losses and health scares in my family. These situations have made me realize that I must make better health choices to get my body and mind to its optimum state.

I also believe that being healthy goes beyond the physical and that I need to be as mentally healthy as possible. This is why I am learning how to take things as they come, surround myself with supportive and positive people, and think before I speak. I will also put out supportive and positive energy. I will be more appreciative of the happiness that surrounds me.

I love being able to witness the good that surrounds my family and friends. I love it when they not only what they want, but what they deserve. This year, my husband received his master’s degree, my son received an excellent report card, my sister went back to college, and my brother helped my parents move to North Carolina to be closer to him. They are all pretty happy, which makes me happy.

Watching my family succeed is motivating because if they can do it, then so can I. They make me feel invincible. I am determined to sharpen my writing, editing, marketing, and design skills. I will utilize these skills to be as successful as possible this year.

The older I get, the more I realize that time is one of the most important currencies in my life. I will not squander it away as I have done in the past. It is important to be selective about who I spend my time with and what I spend my time on. This year, I will spend more time with my family, on my work, and on myself.

I know how easy it is to lose your way. This is why it’s important to set goals with time limits and take action.

Here are some questions you may want to answer to help you with your own life evaluation:

  1. What did you want to accomplish last year?
  2. Did you accomplish what you set out to do? If not, re-evaluate if you would still like to do it this year and create a list.
  3. Think about what you wish to do this year. Where would you like to be? Create a specific to-do list with a plan of action complete with deadlines.
  4. Then take action. Like they say, there’s no time like the present.

This is your year and nothing will stop you. You can do it. Good luck with all of your goals!

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” -Thoreau

Happy New Year!

 

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Nov 272012
 

I constantly bite off more than I can chew. I know I’m not the only one. What I want to know is, why do we do this?

Every year, from October thru February, my life is insane. I have no business taking on a new project, but like many people out there, I have a superhero complex, so I do. This past month I decided I was going to give Nanowrimo another go. After all, the last time I completed Nanowrimo was in 2005.

This year, I actually had a good idea and spent time creating a chapter by chapter outline. I even wrote a character analysis. I was ready to construct my amazingly, awesome, completely thought-out novel, but after writing 1,000 words I realized that I couldn’t devote the amount of time necessary. This of course, was in addition to the fact that I needed to finish up the other projects I have in the works.

I have no business starting anything new.

This is why I’ve decided to take this new novel bit by bit. I will finish it when it’s right for me to do so and it will be right when I have finished all of my looming projects. I desperately want to give this new project the respect it deserves.

On that note, there isn’t very much time left for Nanowrimo, so I’d like to wish all of the Nanowrimer’s out there much luck. Keep going! You can do it!

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Nov 192012
 

Why does living life seem to take up so much time? There are twenty-four hours in a day to spend however we’d like, which seems like a lot, but it’s not. Not when you have to spend eight of those hours recharging. Not when you’re getting ready for work, commuting, actually working, commuting again, eating dinner, spending time with family, cleaning up, decompressing, and getting ready for bed. In that case, twenty-four hours may as well be one.

I think the lack of time is getting to people. Well, it’s getting to me. There are way too many distractions. I’ve noticed that I’m happier when I spend time doing the things I love. Don’t people seem to be happier when they’re spending time doing the things they love? It’s like a personal road map to happy.

What would happen if we took a few moments during the day for ourselves? How awesome would you feel if you did something you truly enjoyed? Now how often do you do that for yourself?

I vow to spend a few moments of each day on myself and you should too.

I made a short video about this very thing. Take a look.

Thanks for watching!

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Nov 072011
 

Are you one of those people that can’t create unless your mind is clear and relaxed? What a coincidence – me too! This is why I spend a lot of time organizing my work space and my home. I want to be as productive as possible. Here are some organizational tips that have worked for me and may work for you.

1. You know that pile of paper you have sitting on your desk? Go through it and dump what you don’t need right now. Do it! If you don’t, you’ll have a bigger pile waiting for you next week. Think paperless.

2. Check off all of the unread messages in your e-mail account at once and delete them all. Each morning, read and respond to the messages that matter and delete the ones that don’t. Unsubscribe from e-mail lists you care nothing about. This will keep your e-mail inbox under control. At one point I had over 1600 unread e-mail messages. I tried this and now I get about 50 messages a day, which I look through and delete first thing in the morning, which makes me feel as though I’ve accomplished something huge!

3. Do you know what you spend your time on? For a single day log how you’re spending your time hour by hour. Create a pie chart to identify your time wasters. Now eliminate them.

4. Every week spend time filing all of your bills and important papers in your file cabinet.

5. Go through your magazines. What you can’t or don’t have time to read, toss. Pull out clippings of the stuff you think is important. Scan them, create pdf’s and organize them by subject in folders on your computer. Throw out all clippings once scanned.

6. Back up your computer every week. Trust me, if you work on your computer, you should back up your ish every week. This is especially important for writers. Backing up is a way of life for us. If you don’t have an external HD, look for an online place to back up your files or e-mail your files to yourself just in case. You never know. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

7. If you’re anything like me, then you keep a lot of stuff, even product guides. They are the bane of my existence, but I refer to them often so I can’t toss them. I thought about scanning, but it was too much, so mine lived in a drawer for a very long time. Big mistake! Here’s what I did to organize that mess:

Step 1: Tossed all guides in other languages.
Step 2: Organized the guides I kept by subject.
Step 3: Utilized large plastic zip-locking bags.
Step 4: Slapped a label on each bag and stuffed them with the appropriate product guides.
Step 5: Got a bin and put the zip-locking bags inside.
Step 6: Labeled the bin “Product Guides” for easy reference.
Step 7: Stashed them in my closet and out of my way.

8. Designate blocks of time in the day to get things done. Try not to spend more than a few hours at a time on anything. You could burn yourself out and not want to do anything else and that would suck.

9. Everything has a place. If you take something out, put it back in the same place by the end of the day.

10. Take time to take care of yourself and your family: exercise, laugh, sleep. Do things that are good for you and you’ll be your best and most productive self.

I recently finished reading, The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen. It’s excellent and tackles a lot of the issues us writer’s face while trying to organize our “writing life.” There are several detailed and clear-cut examples to follow. Cohen’s advice is practical and makes sense. I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to other writers.

If you’re drowning in clutter, then check this video out and follow the one-minute rule:

I am so going to read The Happiness Project soon.

Have a happy and productive writing week y’all. 🙂

 

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Oct 262011
 

This is the true tale of one Wii’s survival against all odds.

Call me Wii. I was developed by Nintendo back in 2006. Wii’s come in many colors; I am white, classic, original. Over my lifetime, I have been touched, poked, and pushed by many hands, but most dangerously, a few weeks ago by a three-year-old. He found a jar of pennies and decided that I was a piggybank. He stuffed the coins inside and his parents did not notice. So there it sat; the copper coin destroying my insides like a cancer. For some reason my agonizing pain wasn’t apparent. A few days later, they caught their son red-handed, stuffing pennies inside of me again! They picked me up and shook. The newly inserted coins fell out. Woo-hoo! It felt good until they stuck it in – a disk! I felt it grind against my bones. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! You should’ve seen the looks on their faces when I made that sound. They were frightened, scared of the repair fees. They ejected the disk and contemplated what it could be: a scratched eye, a twisted piece of metal? And then it hit them, what if there were more coins stuck inside?! Bingo. They shook me again. I rattled and they knew.

Let’s fast forward to two weeks later when a package of tri-screw drivers arrived in the mail.

Yes, I was saved! With the mom’s laptop on hand showing her how to open and repair a Wii, she went to work on me like a surgeon removing a tumor. To view the youtube video she used, please click here.


For two hours, I watched her every move: a screw here, a screw there, a pad lifted, my insides opened.

Under the metal, in the drive was a lone penny trapped inside. She maneuvered it out and I was saved. She put me back together again and turned me on. I worked!

It was worth the painful two-hour surgery just to be able to work again.

Parents: protect us Wii’s. We are a fragile bunch. Put us somewhere high where three-year-olds can’t reach. Thank you.

This cautionary tale was brought to you by electronics everywhere. Please protect them, even from your own children, especially from your children.

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