My Town Monday: The Oregonia Hill Climbs

Motorcycles as far as the eye can see! The blue one on the left is mine.

Oregonia is a normally-quiet little hamlet just outside of Lebanon, Ohio. But every year on the second Sunday in October, it’s overrun with bikers, biker wannabes, race spectators, and people who just want to party.

The Motorcycle Hill Climbs have been held annually at Powell’s Farm (no relation to me) since 1948. The Dayton Motorcycle Club has hosted the event since 1973. Local lore says that when the original owner passed away a few years ago, the will stipulated to his heirs that the property would be made available to host the Hill Climbs for the next 50 years. As far as I know, the event has been cancelled only once in its history, due to rain. It was rescheduled for the following Sunday, (which has happened more than once), but this one also had rain.

A view from the bottom of the Devil's Staircase

The big draw, of course, is the motorcycles. Not just the dirt bikes in the race, but those in the parking area. Thousands of motorcycles, of every shape, color, size, make and model, from the most plush touring bikes and trikes, to battered, historical fixer-uppers that are barely roadworthy. My husband and I rode up with the guy my husband does funeral work for – who rode one of the special edition Harley Davidson police bikes, with the purple flashing light for funeral use. He got some long looks, LOL.

Beer is sold at the Hill Climbs by the cup – and by the gallon. Years ago, the gallon jugs were numbered. I’m not sure what the purpose of this was, but by the time we arrived, typically between 11AM and noon, people with single- and lower two-digit numbers were usually passed out, jugs in hands or nearby. I had my own, ubiquitous jug – of water.

The races can be pretty exciting. The Oregonia Hill Climbs is the last race of the year for the AMA Pro Hill Climb Racing circuit. Called The Devil’s Staircase, the dirt track goes up something like a 40 degree incline, which doesn’t sound like much, until you try to walk up it. Then imagine riding a motorcycle! The hill is stepped, which presents the greater challenge: the rider must get up enough speed to crest the first step, fifty feet up, then slow enough to not wipe out. If the first step doesn’t cause a rider to wipe out, the ones near the top of the 330-foot hill sometimes do. The winning bikes in the Unlimited and Extreme classes make the climb in seven seconds or less.

Sometimes dirt clods go flying into the audience. One time several years ago, a rider lost it and his bike went over toward the audience. Usually about one in ten participants either drops his bike, or breaks a chain (with the same result). One motorcycle caught fire yesterday as it crested the top of the hill. But not to worry – fire fighters and medical crews were standing by at both the top and the bottom. (The fire was extinguished immediately, and neither rider nor bike were hurt.)

A lot of bikers come to Oregonia on the day of the Hill Climbs and don’t even attend the races – instead, they party on private property, or go to the Little River Cafe down the road – a historic bar/restaurant with lots of outdoor seating. My husband and I usually leave after the first couple of racing classes, in the interest of getting out before the drunks do. It’s not unusual for someone to get hurt leaving the Hill Climbs – unsurprising, considering the amount of beer served. Law enforcement is always present, too.

If you live in the area, have you ever been to the Hill Climbs? If not, is there an event like this in your hometown?

More at the My Town Monday blog

I won an award! Just for fun, the Versatile Blogger Award

Okay, not a real award, like the Rita, or even the Wrters Digest 100 most useful blogs, but what the heck, it’s fun. You can play too, as long as you play by the rules (at least somewhat):

1. Thank and link to the person who nominates you.

Thanks to my writer friend, Stacy McKitrick! Stacy keeps a fun blog called Stacy’s Rantings and Whatnot, where she rants writes about TV, writing, sports, travel and whatever else strikes her fancy. Check her out!

2. Share seven random facts about you.

Hmm, this one was kinda tricky. I mean, I’m not that interesting. That’s why I make stuff up! So anyway…

  • Some stuff I like - and some I don't

    I hate, I mean loathe, green peppers and celery. I can deal with the latter if it’s cooked, as that takes out the stringy texture and mostly kills the taste, or I pick them out if they’re not tiny, but peppers tend to leech into the surrounding food upon cooking, which pretty much ruins whatever it is for me.

  • I bought a car. Turned out to be an alien robot, who knew? I ordered it a month before it even went into production. It came with new friends, who knew?
  • I can curl my tongue, and make the Vulcan “live long and prosper” gesture. It always surprises me that there are people who can’t do this, including my husband and daughter!
  • Despite my artistic background, I never was able to get into scrapbooking, quilting, knitting, crocheting, or anything like that. I do like sewing clothing, though – I wish I had more time to do it. I’ve made numerous sweatshirts, dresses, hats, slacks, bridesmaid dresses, and even a wedding dress for one of my college roommates. The dress outlasted the marriage, but she’s been happily married to husband #2 for over 10 years now.
  • I am a Dale Carnegie graduate, which came in really helpful when…
  • I met my husband at a bar. If not for DCC, I wouldn’t have kept talking when the mutual friend who introduced us be-bopped off to talk to someone else and left me at a table with him. I started dating him after I paid him $400 to fix my car. I figure I’ve gotten my money’s worth – quite a few times over, as we’ve now been married 17 years!

    My Earliest Memory

  • The earliest thing I can remember is going to get my dad’s new car – a ’69 Camaro – when I was 2-1/2. I mostly remember the weird look on my mom’s face when we went to the dealership, which I later found out was because she’d had no idea my dad bought a car! It’s still in the family, too – my brother spent two years restoring it, and it’s beautiful!

3. Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!

Well, I’m only going to list a few, as most blogs I follow are mostly about writing. Some of these aren’t so new to me, either. If you’ve already received this award (or don’t do memes like this), you can repeat it, or ignore, no problem. Everyone else – these are some fun blogs I follow that aren’t all about writing, so check them out!

The Evil Jim Winter – Edged in Blue

Athena Grayson

Michele Stegman – Thoughts from a Writer’s Block

Catie Rhodes – Full Tilt Backwoods Boogie

Julie Glover

My Town Monday – a group of writers who collect links from the comments – fun facts about places all over! Anyone can participate, so if you’re looking for blog topics, MTM is a good way to get them – and share!

Woman carrying a basket of bread and vegetables photo via Microsoft Office Clipart

My Town Monday: The Waynesville Sauerkraut Festival

Continuing last week’s homage to our area’s German heritage, let’s take a look at one of the biggest food festivals in southwest Ohio: the Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville. And yes, it’s huge: according to the Sauerkraut Festival website, the event drew around 350,000 visitors last year, who ate seven tons of sauerkraut!

Last year's Sauerkraut Festival

Situated in the very northeast corner of Warren County, about 15 miles or so southeast of Dayton, Waynesville is known for its small town charm, and is considered the “Antiques Capital of the Midwest(sm).”  The festival started in 1970 as a feature dinner for a sidewalk sale, which quickly became the main event. Subsequent years brought more and more vendors as well as a steadily-growing attendance, and included unusual items like sauerkraut pizza, sauerkraut donuts, and even sauerkraut ice cream! I can’t help wondering if the ham and sauerkraut pizza is as good as Marion’s. For those who don’t like sauerkraut, there are plenty of other offerings, including perennial festival favorites like funnel cakes, deep fried candy bars, pulled pork, burgers and hot dogs.

image of sauerkraut ballsOne of my favorite foods, which we typically only have during the holidays, is sauerkraut balls. My grandparents went to the Sauerkraut Festival once in the mid-seventies, just to get the annual festival cookbook. With no Internet and limited bookstore offerings, it was the only place she knew she could get the recipe for sauerkraut balls. Even though I was a kid at the time, and like most kids, didn’t like kraut, those kraut balls were awesome! Grandma’s no longer with us, so if we get them now, it’s up to me. They are a lot of work, but some years I still make them, they’re so good. One of my coworkers makes the festival a must-go every year – his wife goes to shop for crafts, he goes to eat. The kraut balls are one of his favorites. He was disappointed in last year’s; said they must’ve used a different recipe. If this years’ kraut balls aren’t the good ones, I might have to make some to take in to work and share.

The Sauerkraut Festival is held every year on the second weekend in October, which would be the 8th and 9th this year – next week! I will admit I’ve only been to the Sauerkraut Festival a couple of times, and a long time ago at that. I do sometimes pass through on the way to and from another event that’s always held on the second Sunday of October, which we’ll visit next week: the Motorcycle Hill Climbs in nearby Oregonia.

What are some of the fun food festivals in your area? Are there any foods you specifically look for there – and maybe learned to make because of it?

More at the My Town Monday blog

Festival photo via official Sauerkraut Festival website, sauerkraut balls via 

Time Management: Not Enough of it in the Day!

As I dig deeper into revisions for Time’s Fugitive, it seems lately that I never get done what I’d planned. Seeing as the release is set for December (thankfully, I haven’t committed to when in December), this is a problem. I really need to be done with these revisions by the first of November at the latest, in order to give my beta readers and editor adequate time to do their thing. So it’s time to reevaluate the schedule again.

If nothing else, it should be clear that the routines (or schedules) we set up for ourselves need to be flexible, and we need to reevaluate periodically to make sure they’re still working for us (and not the other way around). So what was going on with mine?

Cozi Planner screenshot

My Cozi to-do list: It's frightening

I was spending no more than an hour each night dealing with email, checking friends’ blogs, and checking in on my social media presences. I was doing my workout, eating dinner with my family, and spending time with my pets. I was getting my paperwork and chore stuff done. Best of all, I was getting my writing. But not necessarily done. And by the time I got done with that and was ready to do a little business stuff – finding review blogs, designing business cards, stuff like that – it was time to get ready for bed.

Of course, it would be really easy to cut back on sleep. I’m a night person, and it’s almost always a challenge to get to bed on time because, hey, I was a zombie for half the day, but by evening, I’m good to go! That might not matter if I didn’t have a kid to take to school, and a job to go to. But I do, so I need to get up no later than 7 AM. Which is even harder than going to bed on time, even when I do.  But going on less sleep has more ramifications than simply a lack of energy the following day. Sleep is our bodies restore themselves, both mentally and physically. Too little of it can make your ability to focus on a task take a real hit. That, too, might not be a problem if you do a mindless job, but I am a computer programmer. My day job deserves better, as does my writing! There are other health disadvantages in inadequate sleep, including more difficulty losing weight. I need all the help I can get there!

So cutting out sleep is not the answer. Better to figure out where the schedule went wrong – and what to do about it. Once I gave it a little thought, it was obvious where my failure was: my writing tasks for the day were taking more than the allotted hour – more like an hour and a half, or even two hours.

NaNoWriMo Winner 2009 The lesson here is that we need to figure out how long does a task really take, and choose a realistic time frame for completion. Maybe you were able to crank out a 50,000-word novel in one month for NaNoWriMo last year, but is working at that rate sustainable long-term? For many of us with day jobs, family and other responsibilities, NaNoWriMo involves putting other tasks to the side for that month, or cramming lots of writing into the weekend. I did NaNoWriMo in 2009 and won, and that’s how I did it. Instead of trying for the 1,667 words/day, every day, I instead shot for 1,000 words on four weekdays out of five, and 3,000 on Saturday and Sunday.

And therein is my other tip for today: Allow yourself some time off. By divvying up our tasks in such a way that allow for an evening/day off, we reduce the pressure on ourselves, and in doing so, increase our chances for success. Miss a day? No worries! It’s built in. No need to stress about having to do x much more tomorrow.

And going back to the issue of tasks that take longer than we expect, the answer there is easy, too: we need to realistically estimate how much time a given task will really take, and allot for it.

The problem is, sometimes it’s hard to know how much time something will actually take, especially when it’s something that’s not always the same, like writing – or computer programming! Yes, I deal with this in my day job on a regular basis, and that’s where I learned the secret of scheduling:  However much time you realistically think something will take, double it. And if there are a lot of variables or unknowns, double it again. I can’t tell you how many times these have saved face for me at work, where in programming, Murphy’s Law rules. With this kind of scheduling (and a great project manager who will fight for it with the client), I almost never fail to deliver what my clients expect, when they expect it. The times I have run up against this, have always been cases where the client refused to give us the amount of time we asked for. Conversely, clients are never upset when we deliver a project ahead of time, or are able to include wish-list features now that they were hoping to add later.

Do you find yourself not having enough hours in the day to do all you’d planned? If so, can you figure out why? Is it because things took longer than you thought, you didn’t allow yourself any extra time, or something else? Got any tips to share? If so, please do!

My Town Monday: Oktoberfest in Dayton

Dayton OktoberfestThis past weekend was Oktoberfest in Dayton. Like Cincinnati, Dayton has a large population of people with German ancestry and an even larger population of people who like to drink beer. 🙂 My friend Jim Winter blogged about Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest last week. Ours isn’t as big, but it’s still a significant event, worthy of the name.

I will admit I have never attended. My husband went last night with some friends, and I was invited, but declined as I have nowhere near the drinking stamina any of them have – especially for a binge of five hours!

Dayton Oktoberfest

Wall to wall people, here for the beer!

Our event is held on the grounds of the Dayton Art Institute. Like the original in Munich, beer is served in tents, but here in Dayton, they really are tents, whereas the ones in Munich are actually huge, multi-story buildings. (My husband and several of our friends went there a couple years ago.) A stein of beer (approx. 1 liter) cost $9.00, and the servers weren’t allowed to take tips. My husband got around this by telling the girl to turn around, then stuffing a couple bucks down her top. Then one of our (very drunk) friends tried doing the same thing, and ended up breaking her necklace! My husband sent him a text the following morning: “Wanna buy a necklace?” (Me: facepalm!)

There is also plenty of food. Even Schmidt’s Sausage Haus from Columbus attended. My husband enjoyed the Bahama Mama sausages, but paid for it later. 🙂 Luckily, the group went in on a limo – not a bad deal when split between ten people, especially when there were probably several DUI checkpoints in the area. As for me, not only can I not handle much alcohol, at 5’0″, my time in crowds is mostly spent looking into people’s chests and backs, which is not much fun. So, staying at home to write was probably best for me. But my husband and our friends had a good time – seven of them passed out in the limo on the way home!

Does your hometown have an Oktoberfest, and if so, did you go? Got any funny stories to share?

More My Town Monday at the My Town Monday blog

Thanks to my bigsexyhoney for the photos – you’re the best!

Where do Print Books Come From?

Books and e-readerIt seems ebooks are getting all the press (virtual and otherwise!) lately. Ebooks and e-readers are all the rage – instant gratification! Large type, if you want! More choices! Tons of cheap and even free books! No restrictions on length, whether you’re reading a four-page flash fiction piece, or a tome to rival War and Peace. No e-reader? Read ’em on your phone or even your computer! What’s not to like?

Yet despite all the advantages ebooks offer, plenty of people still prefer to read a good old fashioned paper book. The smell and feel of the paper! Pretty book covers that look cool on your bookshelf or coffee table! Read ’em in the bathtub – and if you drop it, no expensive electronics to replace! Heck, no expensive electronics to buy in the first place! Browse in the bookstore or the library! Used books! No worries about dead batteries! Despite all the gloom-and-doom reports of ever-decreasing sales, paper books are still with us, and aren’t going away any time soon IMO.

Quite a few independent publishers are forgoing print altogether and publishing only in e. After all, print typically involves a setup fee, and print also requires some knowledge of print graphic arts, which is a whole different animal than on-screen graphics. It’s definitely a lot more work to produce a print book, even though the setup fees have gone way down in recent years, and there’s no longer a need to warehouse and ship – Amazon, Barnes &, and the like are still happy to fulfill that role for a piece of the action.

Time's Enemy print book

Time's Enemy in print - available soon!

Out of all the people I’ve talked to who’ve expressed interest in reading Time’s Enemy, about half of them next ask, “Is it available in print?” So as someone with graphic arts experience, I really have no reason not to offer this, and to that end, I uploaded my book to a printer last Saturday. My proof arrived on Wednesday, I approved it on Thursday, and it should be available on the e-retailers in the next week or so. When that time comes, I’ll announce it here!

So where do print books come from? If you’re an independent publisher, they most likely come from one of two printers: CreateSpace (which is owned by Amazon), or Lightning Source (which is owned by Ingram, the largest print book distributor in the U.S.). CreateSpace (henceforth referred to as CS) is definitely the easier of the two as far as setting up the files for printing, and they have a lower setup fee as well. But Lightning Source (LSI) has some major advantages in other areas, and after some major deliberation, I went with LSI.

Most of these differences won’t be apparent to the reader. One of them is how authors are paid – basically, CS requires a larger portion of the book’s price go to the retailer, meaning the author and publisher make less money, while the reader’s cost doesn’t go down (usually – sometimes the retailers will discount). Books produced by LSI are automatically included in Ingram’s catalog, which may make it easier for them to be ordered by bookstores and libraries.

The most apparent difference – at least with my book – is that LSI offers a matte cover, whereas other print-on-demand providers offer only glossy covers. Until LSI offered it earlier this year, only big publishers’ books had matte covers. A lot of readers probably don’t care, but it gives a book a “richer,” higher quality look and feel IMO.

So what about you – do you notice things like glossy or matte covers? Does the “feel” of a book matter to you? Print-on-demand books are typically printed on heavier paper, which obviously makes the book heavier, but also adds to that “richer” feel. Is this something you notice or care about? Inquiring independent authors and publishers want to know!

My Town Monday: UAVs have a History in Dayton

A couple weeks ago, the Dayton Daily News ran an article about the possibility of research, development, and the manufacture of UAVs – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – coming to Dayton:

Dayton, home to sensors research, engineering and propulsion expertise and production of small-sized UAVs, wants to become a go-to center for unmanned aircraft technology development and pilot training, creating an environment for new jobs.

Kettering Bug

Kettering Bugs ready for takeoff

The primary hurdle is FAA regulations that currently block off airspace used by passenger aircraft from being used by UAVs, even though the latter fly at different altitudes. Industry and government people are currently applying for an exception. Hopefully this will happen – not only does the Dayton area desperately need the jobs this effort will bring, but it’s also fitting, for the Dayton area has a long history with UAVs: one of the first (if not the first) was developed here.

Called the Flying Bomb, the Aerial Torpedo, or simply the Kettering Bug, this unmanned aircraft was developed in 1918 by Charles Kettering and Orville Wright. Around fifty were eventually manufactured by the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company, which was contracted by the Army Signal Corps. The craft were launched pointing in the direction of the target, which would have been approx. 50 miles away. An elaborate system of internal pneumatic and electrical controls were designed to cut to the engine after a pre-determined number of propeller revolutions, and the Bug would fall apart, dropping its payload of 180 lbs. of explosives on impact. After many failed tests, a successful run took the Bug to a planned drop (without payload, one would assume!) in nearby Xenia.

Kettering Bug replica

This replica of the Kettering Bug is on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force

The Bug was never put into actual use, as armistice was declared before it saw combat, and development halted in the mid-1920’s as the U.S. moved back into peacetime and funding was cut. However, the Kettering Bug was an important development, as the precursor to modern cruise missiles.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force hosts a replica that was built in the early 60s, as part of their Early Years Gallery.

Is your hometown home to technological developments most people don’t know about? Please share!

My Town Monday: AMVETS Never Forget

AMVETS September 11 memorial

The AMVETS color guard - the guy on the left is my husband

Last night, my family attended a ceremony to honor and remember those who risked or lost their lives during or after the September 11, 2011 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. Several area dignitaries were present, and we heard some moving speeches where the speakers not only remembered the fallen, but pointed out how the attacks changed the U.S. (and the world), and how our responses to them and to those who served are part of what makes us human.

This rescue unit was one of those deployed to NYC on September 12, 2001, to assist in search and rescue efforts

Requirements to join AMVETS are more open than those of other veterans’ organizations, such as the VFW or Foreign Legion. Any active-duty member of the U. S. armed forces may join, as well as those who have been honorably discharged. Overseas service or specific medal achievements are not required. Additionally, family members may join through the AMVETS sister organizations, the Sons of AMVETS and the AMVETS Ladies’ Auxiliary. These organizations are open to the children, grandchildren, parents, and siblings of current AMVETS members, or deceased veterans who would have been eligible to join AMVETS. My husband is a member of the Sons of AMVETS based on his late grandpa’s honorable military service in both WWII and Korea.

AMVETS is focused on service, both to veterans and to their posts’ local communities. The national organization has services to help veterans, particularly those with disabilities, navigate the maze of paperwork and documentation often required to receive veterans’ benefits. My husband’s AMVETS post serves a special luncheon at a nursing and rehab facility in the Dayton VA once a month, and also holds events to raise money for Disabled American Veterans and Hair for Kids, a charity that provides wigs for children with hair loss due to cancer treatment or other medical conditions.

Did you do anything special in remembrance of the September 11th attacks? Were there any special events in your hometown, and if so, did you attend any?

More at the My Town Monday blog

My Town Monday: The Holiday at Home Parade and Festival

Ever since I can remember, Labor Day has always included the Holiday at Home parade and festival. I grew up in Kettering, the south Dayton suburb where it’s hosted, and remember setting out lawn chairs to watch the parade a few times when I was little. Other times, especially when it was really hot or rainy, we watched it on TV.

Dayton History had a nice showing in this year's parade

So I knew the event had  been around since at least the early 70’s. Curious, I looked up the official website to find out when it all really began. Initially called Kettering Day, the first event was held in 1959 and hosted by the Kettering YMCA for a membership drive. Community leaders got involved and encouraged the Y to add a parade and program of events, and it was so well-attended it was a foregone conclusion it would become an annual event. Eventually, a contest was held to find a new name, and community leadership chose Holiday at Home because it encourages residents to stay home and have fun around here, rather than travel. Although it’s centered in Kettering, all are welcome, and many other south-side communities are involved.

The Millennium Falcon was the coolest float in this year's Holiday at Home Parade

Public events begin the day before Labor Day, when the festival begins. It includes an arts and crafts show with vendors all around, food, and live entertainment.

The parade is the capstone event, and begins around 10 AM on Labor Day. The Holiday at Home parade is the largest in the Miami Valley. Area residents stake out parade-watching spots as early as the day before by setting out lawn chairs (which amazingly, as far as I know, don’t get stolen). The parade attracts an audience of over 10,000 people, and that’s not counting those who watch on TV. School and community marching bands, veterans’ organizations, civic groups, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses participate, with floats, performances, or vehicles in the parade. My husband’s AMVETS chapter’s riders’ group rides their motorcycles in the parade.

What's Star Wars without the Cantina? Jabba the Hut's in residence, enjoying a live jazz band from Fairmont H.S.

After the parade, which ends around noon, the festival goes on, with more food, arts and crafts, and entertainment. There’s also a fantastic classic car show, which is by invitation only and includes some sweet rides you don’t always see at the cruise-ins throughout the summer.

All in all, it’s a good time, and sure beats driving through Labor Day traffic.

If you live in the Dayton area, do you go to the Holiday at Home festival? Or watch the parade on TV? If you’re from elsewhere, what do you do on Labor Day weekend – does your community give you a reason to stay home?


More at the My Town Monday blog

Time Management: Do It First, DUH

My time management plans have been a bit challenging lately. The main reason for this is that I have several ongoing tasks on my plate that each need more time than the allotted hour each evening. Some have fallen off the schedule, except sporadically – email and social media, for example. In some cases, this was unexpected. An upgrade to my accounting software that should have been easy, ended up taking up a whole evening, ending with a lengthy tech support phone call (normally, a last resort for me). All ended up well, as the technician was actually able to help and we finally determined that the download sites I’d tried getting the software from, were both dishing up bad files. Still, that’s three hours I can’t get back.

Treadmill and netbook

Treadmill + good stuff to read on my netbook + DUH = Success!

One thing that amazingly hasn’t fallen off the schedule is my physical activity, which for the most part amounts to a thirty-minute interval workout on the treadmill. I’ll be honest here: I hate exercising. I like walking in and of itself, but I don’t like to sweat (which the interval workouts certainly do), I get easily bored, and I get stressed thinking of all the other stuff that needs to be done, that I’d much rather be doing.

So how have I kept it up?

Two things, actually. The first is something I learned several years ago in psychologist/author Margie Lawson‘s wonderful Defeat Self-defeating Behaviors online workshop: The DUH principle.

The DUH principle is pretty simple, and therin lies its beauty. Its three facets are:

  1. Do it first. Or at least, as close to first as possible. I’m sooooo not a morning person, so there’s no getting up early to exercise. Not gonna happen. So my “first” is first thing after I get home from work.
  2. Understand it might not be easy. This part I put out of my mind and Just Do It, even if I don’t feel like it (and I often don’t).
  3. Hurray! Celebrate your progress and success! I mark down my treadmill time in my food and exercise diary on my Android phone, and also on my workout site. I also have a Yahoo goals group, to whom I report my success each week.

The other thing that’s helped me is Make it Fun if at all possible. With a little help from my netbook, the Kindle for PC app, and tons of great books, my exercise time doubles as reading time – something all writers should do anyway. So knowing I’ve got a good book to read just waiting on my netbook is a great incentive, and helps me get past the I-don’t-feel-like-its. It really makes that half hour zip by. Years ago, I tried reading print books on the treadmill. Didn’t work. My treadmill has a book slot on its control panel, but the panel is way too high for me, and it’s too low a slant. It was also a pain to turn pages. The netbook holds the book at the perfect angle, and turning the page is just a tap on the page-down button.

Got any good tips on getting an un-fun task done? Please share! And if you’re having trouble, try the DUH principle – and see if you can make that drudgery fun!