I am Officially…

BD PartyOLD. Yep, that’s why I skipped posting last week. Well, not really because of that, but because my husband threw me a big party last Saturday, and I was wiped out! Not from drinking, just tired.

My husband says I don’t look old, but sometimes I feel it!

The party was a lot of fun. I said “No gifts, please” unless they were gag gifts. He also did up our garage (party area) up right, with 50 black balloons, an “old lady” cane for me. And appropriately, a tiara. 🙂

Most people respected my request, though a few brought bottles of wine. I don’t mind those, 🙂 though I don’t drink much, so they will last me a good while. But probably the best (and most creative) gift was a copy of “my” college yearbook, from one of my best friends from high school…

yearbook

My friend thinks I am really old LOL

yearbook inside

…but there is my photo

I apparently knew some interesting people! – click to enlarge –

VampireWeddingWhat I’ve been reading: I was pretty tired for several days after that, so I had time to read. I read the short stories from a Smith’s Monthly, then a book I’ve been looking forward to came out in the middle of the week: A Vampire Wedding, by Stacy McKitrick. This was a fun addition for those who’ve read any of her other vampire books, especially the one where the main characters in this book met. In this book, human Sarah does not want a big wedding, but agrees to go to Vegas with a few friends because it’s important to her vampire partner. There are a lot of humorous moments with secondary characters, and some real tension with her family, with a great come-uppance in the end (plus of course, a happily-ever-after–more than one!). I highly recommend this series if you like vampire romance, but read Bite Me, I’m Yours before this one.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I finished my latest edits of the novella, and it’s now off to the copy editor! This week, I need to do a print book layout for Mythical Press, and I have a lot going on later this week, so I don’t expect to get much writing done. I’ll be happy if I get the print book done, and manage to keep up with the Business in Writing workshop I’m currently taking. Most likely, I won’t be posting here next week, but be sure to stop by the week after!

What about you–do you have any advice or tips for me, now that I’m “old”? Or perhaps any funny stories to share? Have you read any good books lately? And how are you doing on whatever goals you may have, whether writing related or not? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Life Rolls

This has been a “life happens” week, one where I knew I would not get much writing done. Author Kristine Kathryn Rusch calls times like this “life rolls,” and all we can do is just roll with it.

I had some family stuff going on, most of which was expected. When this stuff wasn’t actively going on, it was stuff that still occupied thoughts and sapped my energy. This was also expected.

It wasn’t all bad stuff–in fact, most of it wasn’t. For one, it was my daughter’s 20th birthday. We kept the celebration simple, and everyone seemed fine with that.

On a different note, I updated my computer to Windows 10. So far I’m happy with it. It’s everything the reviews have promised–all the best features of Windows 7, plus the best features of Windows 8 (and none of those people hate). I especially like the new Microsoft Edge web browser. I’ve been a Google Chrome user for years because it’s much faster than Internet Explorer or Firefox, but Edge blows Chrome away. I have noticed a few weird things on websites that don’t work exactly like in the other browsers, but they are minor (for example, the drag and drop photo upload to WordPress. Just use the old-style browse to photos). Definitely worthwhile! If you do the upgrade though, be sure to allow it at least a couple hours–it took a good while on my Internet computer to move all the files and update everything. And yes, all my programs work so far, including Photoshop, of which my version is over 1o years old!

We got the living room set up pretty nice!

We got the living room set up pretty nice!

We spent all day today moving DD into the off-campus house near her university, where she’ll live the next two years. I spent most of the afternoon taking her shopping, and helping her do things like put up curtains and hang pictures, plus fix a couple small things in the house while DH took care of bigger things. Isis went along and supervised, but we were all so busy, no one got any photos of her.

What I read this week: I have not had time to read much more than a chapter or so each night, and am less than halfway through, so I’ll discuss this week’s book when I finish it.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: My goal this week was to make the last few changes to my WIP and get it to my editor. That is DONE. However, I still need to get all the front matter and back matter, so that’s what’s on deck for writing this week.

What about you–have you had any “life rolls” recently? Or at least a “life happens” week? How long did it take you to get back in the swing afterward? If you’re a Windows user, have you upgraded to Windows 10 yet? How are you doing on whatever goals you might be working toward, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Do Blog Posts Need to be Witty and Insightful?

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but I’ve skipped a few weeks here on the blog. Mainly, I didn’t have anything much to report on the writing front, and just didn’t feel like it. I’ve read many times and in many places that to draw readers to our blogs, we need to have a catchy title, and content that either makes them laugh or ponder or at least is highly entertaining, and lately, I just don’t have that in me.

Actually, I just don’t have that in me most of the time when it comes to the blog. Not that I don’t like blogging–hey, I’ve been at it for three years this time–but I believe we have a limited capacity for coming up with witty, clever and insightful, and mine is pretty low. What little there is, I try to put into my fiction.

I gave it some thought, and came to a realization: as much as I like the blogs that make some keen observation on life, or point out something that could become a problem (a recent topic has been the over-proliferation of political correctness), I also enjoy blogs like Kait Nolan’s and Stacy McKitrick’s, where they write about what’s been going on in their life the past week, what they’ve been reading, and what they’ve struggled with to get to the writing–or the great bursts of productivity they’ve had. It gives readers a glimpse of who they are, and shows us that writers are just ordinary people like everyone else who have to deal with broken pipes and sick pets and take fun vacations and read. So, lacking anything witty or insightful at the moment, I’ll go with the ordinary for my past three weeks.

1. The week of May 11 was Birthday Week here in the Powell household. Not only was that Mother’s Day (which we actually celebrated a week later), my birthday and my husband’s birthday, which are two days apart, both fall in that week. It was also the daughter’s last week of school, which meant moving her out of her dorm and back home for the summer. We topped off the week with a family cookout to celebrate all of the above.

Isis 12 weeks2. Isis has been growing like crazy, and like puppies should be, continues to be very active and playful and ornery! She was less than 10 pounds when we got her at the end of April, and now weighs well over 20. She loves to steal shoes, socks, bathroom rugs, and anything else she finds on the floor, so requires constant supervision, much like a toddler. In addition to housebreaking, we’ve been informally working on things like “sit” and “shake,” but my husband begins more intensive training this week.

3. We sold my Harley on my birthday. It was a tough decision to come to, but made the most sense, as I rode it all of three times last summer. Between my headaches, job, writing, and other responsibilities, I just don’t have time, and never could get into riding just for the hell of it (i.e., without having a destination and purpose). The Harley was also too big for me–I had to have the shocks adjusted all the way down, and wear heeled boots just to be able to flat-foot stand on it, and I was never 100% comfortable on it. It was fun for the few years I had it, but sometimes you just have to realize when something isn’t working for you and move on. We sold it to a young woman who was much taller than I, and who will hopefully enjoy it for many years.

4. I had some testing done for my fatigue to see if it’s due to hormonal imbalances, which according to a lot of stuff I’ve read, is quite common at my age. The results will take up to three weeks to get back. In the meantime, the vitamins and supplements I started a couple months ago are helping. I’m still tired most of the time, but seldom at the debilitating level I was for a while there.

Alienated5. I have made some slow progress on my novel–and yes, it’s now nudging firmly toward novel territory. More changes have occurred to me as I wind toward the end that will make it a better story–but will also make it longer. My progress mostly stalled out over these past few weeks–I’ve gotten maybe a couple thousand words down in that whole time–but today I figured out a few things that should help. Wish me luck!

What I read this week: Alienated, by Melissa Landers, who is one of my OVRWA chapter buddies. Fantastic YA sci-fi about a student exchange program that goes horribly wrong–and about young people from Earth and the other planet who have a lot of  their ideas about each other challenged as friendship–and more–develops. Highly recommend!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: As noted above, the writing is going slowly, but I did manage to format two ebooks for one of my copyeditors, and they came out great! So for this week, I want to get my writing back on track, get the ending planned out, and get 1,000 words down on that.

What about you–do you like “ordinary” blogs, or do you gravitate more to the witty, insightful ones? Do you find it hard to write the latter, week after week? How was your May? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Two More Stress Reduction Tips

It has been a challenging week, as far as getting anything done goes. My husband pretty much runs errands or works when I don’t, so I have puppy duty. It’s fun, of course, but makes it tough to get anything done. So right now, I’m taking advantage of naptime to get this update written.

puppy sleeping

In light of the challenges, I’ve come up with a couple of things that help when times are stressful:

  1. Be flexible, and
  2. Have routines.

They seem contradictory but they”re actually not.

We had our family’s Easter dinner this past Sunday, rather than on Easter, a week earlier. My daughter had to work on Easter and had already planned to come home the following weekend, so we just switched it. It also meant I got a few goodies for her basket at half price. 🙂  Being flexible meant everyone was there, we were more relaxed, and we had fun.

Routines help, too. I do certain tasks on certain days, at certain times. For example, I do paperwork–personal bill paying, as well as bookkeeping for my family’s two businesses, on Monday. I set the bills aside in a letter sorter as they come in (email bills go into a specified folder), then deal with them all at once. Much more efficient than doing a little bit at a time, yet is often and regular enough the filing doesn’t pile up.

I haven’t been working out lately, but when I did, I did it right after I got home from work. Keeping to that routine helped ensure that it didn’t get lost in the shuffle of other things to do and forgotten.

ROW80Logo175Now for this week’s ROW80 update.

The good news: I did manage to open the book file and do some writing five times this week to meet my goal. The bad news: I only wrote about a paragraph each time. I started formatting the ebook but did not finish.

I signed up for an online writing workshop to try and kick back into gear there. Spending money on something like that tends to motivate me, so we’ll see how that works. In addition, I’m going to shoot for writing 300 words in the WIP, three times this week. I also want to get the ebook formatted.

What about you–do you have routines for certain tasks that help keep the stress away? Has flexibility helped you lately? Got any more stress reduction tips? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

One Step Backward, Two Forward

That’s better than two steps backward and one forward, right? Although until yesterday, that was what my week was shaping up to be. Nothing bad, it was just one of those weeks where I had a steady case of the blahs. I was tired, grumpy, and didn’t feel like doing anything after I got home from work except watching mindless television or playing mindless computer games. Writing? Hah! I got a couple of sessions in, to the tune of 1500 words, but not what I’d wanted. Exercise? I did well to get on the treadmill at all, though I did manage to get my workouts in–short ones. It was like I used up all my energy and creativity at work (what little there was, that is). Yes, programming is creative, although in a different way than writing, so it usually doesn’t sap me. Yes, I have some minor health issues, and yes, I’ve seen a doctor, so no worries there. It’s just frustrating that anything that might help takes a while, and sometimes, we just have to deal with this stuff.

Yesterday was a bit better because I had the whole day. The fiction project I’ve been working on lately is a novella where I tried not outlining beforehand, just sitting down to write. But after being pretty much stuck for over a week (the 1500 words were on the other project), I’m reminded once again that I need a plan. So yesterday I sat down and wrote almost 2,500 words of story notes. With that on top of the 1500, I’ll consider my writing goal made for this week.

ROW80Logo175After that, I did my formatting project, and got that into a nice epub form. Which leaves my ROW80 results as follows:

  • Format anthology as ePub – Done
  • 2500 words on TT or SS#3 – Done
  • Fitness 3-4x – Done

Not bad for a week where I didn’t feel like doing anything for most of it, huh? 🙂

So I’ll stick with that for this week. I do want to ramp up on the wordcount eventually, but not just yet.

  • Format anthology for print and proofread
  • 2500 words
  • Fitness 3-4x

What about you–do you have weeks where you just don’t feel like doing much of anything? How do you kick yourself out of that? (I’m really not sure what I did.) If you’re doing ROW80 or working toward other goals, how are you doing? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Coming Soon: Another Way to Warm Up!

Love's a Beach coverThe weather here in Ohio has been crazy the past couple of weeks! Around zero a week ago, up in the fifties yesterday morning, and almost that today, only to drop back to a more typical twenty-something later this week. Luckily, the folks at Mythical Press have been busy getting something ready that should warm up even the coolest soul, if only figuratively: Love’s a Beach, an anthology of stories of summer love by members of the Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America.

Yes, the anthology is finally going to happen, and yes, there’s something in it for everyone who likes a little romance, including those who’ve been waiting for something new from the Saturn Society! This is the long-time-coming first installment of Time’s Tempest, my serialized novel that takes place in a parallel timeframe to my WIP Saturn Society Book Three.  In my story “The Storm,” a headstrong handyman on his first trip to the past winds up in the storm of the century, on the run from a madman from the future, with a woman he doesn’t remember meeting—or falling in love with.

I’m doing the formatting for Mythical Press on this one, and that means I’m getting a sneak preview of the other stories in the book, too. And wow! Are they fantastic! There are a couple of humor-laced romantic suspense tales, some sweet contemporary stories, office romances, and a historic story (which interestingly enough, takes place in the early twentieth century – the same time period as “Time’s Tempest: The Storm”). There are also a couple of lovely poems by Ann Gregory. The release is slated for the first of February, and I’m especially excited to see this anthology finally come out after seeing what else is in it! Here’s the official blurb:

Warm up your winter with this anthology of stories of springtime and summer love by members of the Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America. From heartwarming to mysterious, comical to suspenseful, these romantic tales show that there really is someone for everyone. Whether it happens today or a hundred years ago, from the Atlantic shore to the American West coast, there’s something magical about the finding love when the warm breezes blow.

More info on the publisher’s site.

ROW80Logo175Doing the work on that has kept me busy this week, but getting the formatting ready for Smashwords was one of my goals, and I met that. I also got my fitness in. I did not get as much new writing done as I’d hoped, adding only 1500 new words, rather than the 2,500 I wanted. So here’s the plan for this week:

  • Format anthology as ePub
  • 2500 words on TT or SS#3
  • Fitness 3-4x

What about you–what’s the weather like where you are, and have you had enough of it? What do you think of releasing a “beach reads” anthology in the winter? And whether or not you’re participating in ROW80, what have you been up to this week, and how did you do? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

When the Going Gets Tough, Walk Away, And ROW80

Sometimes, you get stuck on a project. You’ve tried powering through, you’ve tried researching possible solutions, you’ve tried banging your head on the keyboard (or whatever), and you get to a point where the only thing left to do is walk away.

And this can be the best thing to do. I don’t mean permanently, but just take a break and go do something else. Later, I’ll usually come back to the first project with an a-ha solution to whatever was blocking me!

This is something I’ve internalized years ago at the day job (I am a web developer), and it works for other things, too–graphic design projects, sewing, even restoring a car (my husband’s current hobby project). This week, I was reminded that it’s great for the writing, too.

The “something else” we walk away to doesn’t even need to be something entirely different–it can be a different project of the same type. A different web development project, a different part of the garment I’m constructing, a different part of the car in restoration–or a different story.

I didn’t think I could work on two stories at once, but I tried it yesterday, and my wordcount added up fabulously fast!

It might be because the project I switched to is related to the primary project–a short story in the same world, and almost functions as a subplot, so while it was different, it wasn’t too different.

So I met the writing portion of my ROW80 goals by doing something seemingly counterproductive–by walking away.

ROW80Logo175Here’s how the rest went:

  • 12,000 words on WIP: split between 2 WIPs, but I’m calling this one Done!
  • Review video lessons for Promotions workshop first three weeks and take notes: partial–got through 2-1/2 weeks.
  • Refine layout of Shopping Cart page for family member’s web site: Partial–worked on it, but it’s not quite finished.
  • Fitness 4 times, no matter how short: Done!

Here’s what’s up for this week:

  • Finish out NaNoWriMo by writing 11,000 words on either story or both
  • Review remaining lessons for Promotions workshop
  • Finish Shopping Cart and Checkout pages for website
  • Fitness 4 times, even if short
  • Survive Thanksgiving–yes, it’s that time! And yes, I’m hosting, but this won’t be difficult, as my family is small and others contribute.

What about you–have you had to “walk away” from a project lately? Did you come back to it with renewed vigor and ideas? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, are you on track to hit 50,000 words by Saturday? If you’re in the U.S., what are your plans for Thanksgiving? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

 

The Best Way to Manage the To-do List, Fun Fact, and ROW80

This week served as a reminder of something I’ve blogged about before, but tend to forget on occasion: the best way to manage my to-do list is to not put too much on it in the first place!

This was one of those “took on too much” weeks. Not horrendously so, but there were things I simply did not get to. There are only so many hours in a day, and when a fixed amount of them must be spent on the paycheck job, and a necessary amount spent doing things like sleeping, and eating, that’s an even more limited time for the “other stuff,” which in my case includes writing, book cover designs, promotion of my writing (which I do next to none of anyway), projects and gifts for family and friends, spending time with those family and friends…

I read a business/productivity book not too long ago that suggested dividing the to-do list into an A-list, B-list, and C-list. The A-list are things that must be done that day, and should contain no more than three or four things. The B and C lists are nice-to-haves, with the B being the higher priority of the two, and both of these should ideally only contain one thing.

I have my three lists, but they’d grown longer than they should have. So this week, it’s back to basics.

One of those basics for me, of course, is writing, and my writing often necessitates research. I ran across an interesting tidbit a while back that I considered using, but decided wouldn’t fit. Still, it’s interesting enough to share here:

My Town Monday Fun Fact: Dayton’s First Murder and First Unsolved Death

Dayton was settled in 1796, but the frontier town managed to avoid the most heinous of crimes for its first ten  years. That changed on November 20, 1806, settler/farmer John Aiken beat his wife to death. No one had seen it coming–the Aikens had been good, upstanding citizens who paid their bills and got along with everyone, including, at least to all outward appearances, each other.

Aiken went to trial only five days later, speedy even for those days. He was a blubbering mess and couldn’t even speak for himself, so an associate (who’d also been charged with helping to cover up the crime) helped him hire an attorney. The men posted bail, and the trial was rescheduled.

John Aiken never made it out of the courthouse–he literally collapsed and died on the spot. There are no records to indicate why or how. The case against his associate was later dropped due to lack of evidence.

For more on this and other tales of historical bad-assery in Dayton, check out Spilt Blood by Curt Dalton, who operates Dayton History Books Online, one of my Best. Research. Sources. Ever. Mr. Dalton has published Spilt Blood, and several of his other wonderful books in their entirety on the site.

ROW80 Update:

ROW80Logo175Here’s how last week shook out. Not bad considering how much I’d loaded on:

  • 12,000 words on WIP – I actually only got 10,700, but I’m still on track for NaNoWriMo since I banked some words early in the month, so I’m going to count this as Done!
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop – Done!
  • Refine layout of Shopping Cart page for family member’s web site – This was the one I just. Didn’t. Get to.
  • Fitness 4 times, no matter how short – Done!
  • Book cover design – still have to make a few tweaks, but I’ll consider this one Done!

This week’s goals are a little different, since the workshop wrapped up. Also, I’m spending the day Saturday with some out of town friends, so I really need to bank the words for that, as I don’t have any more banked for NaNoWriMo. We’ll see how it goes!

  • 12,000 words on WIP
  • Review video lessons for Promotions workshop first three weeks and take notes
  • Refine layout of Shopping Cart page for family member’s web site
  • Fitness 4 times, no matter how short

What about you–have you found yourself taking on too much lately? Are you afraid you will next month, with the holidays on the way? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and/or ROW80, how are you doing? Or if you’re not, how are you doing on whatever goals you might have? Do you know anything about the first murder to have happened where you live? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Scale Back for a Win! and Down in a Hole in Dayton, plus ROW80

Scaling down my fitness goals this week totally worked for me! I’m still dealing with some lingering health issues–again, nothing major, just enough that I don’t feel up to much of a workout. But telling myself “just five or ten minutes” did the trick, and I was able to do just that! It’s true, you really can do anything for five or ten minutes.

I also did well in getting the middle of my book mapped out, and feel good about the direction it’s going. I did a lot of research reading, which leads me to this week’s My Town Monday Fun Fact:

My Town Monday Fun Fact: Dayton’s First Jail

Newcom Tavern

Newcom’s Tavern today, in Carillon Historical Park

The first substantial building constructed in early Dayton was Newcom’s Tavern, built in 1798-99. The two-story log cabin was unique at the time, the first in the budding town to use mortar as log chinking. In addition to being the general gathering place for the small community, Newcom’s was also the sheriffs’s office, courthouse, church, school, and general store. Its proprietor, George Newcom, served as the county Sheriff until 1809.

But the town didn’t have a real jail until December of 1804, when a sturdy log structure featuring iron-barred windows was completed. And while there were only a couple dozen families living in Dayton (if that), there were enough people there that disagreements happened, and someone occasionally decided to solve a dispute with his fists, or by taking it upon himself to collect payment in the form of livestock, etc. Natives also lived in the area, and while they adhered to the 1795 Treaty of Greenville and no longer attacked settlers, they occasionally helped themselves to someone’s chickens.

Native American offenders were locked up in the corncrib behind Newcom’s until they were brought to trial (which was a much speedier process back then than today). But white offenders were lowered into Newcom’s well! (It was dry; Newcom must’ve dug another one). Today, “the hole” refers to being in solitary confinement, a practice decried by some prisoners’ rights advocates. Imagine what they would have thought of Dayton’s first jail!

ROW80Logo175So now back to my ROW80 Goals. Last week’s were:

  • Finish sketching out/outlining middle of WIP – Done!
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop – Done!
  • Refine layout of Shopping Cart page and individual product page for family member’s web site – No
  • Fitness 4 times, no matter how short – Done!

I didn’t get to the web site, so that stays on the list for this week. Things are going to change a little bit too, because I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, and that starts November 1! Yes, I’m planning to get that 50,000 words written this month. I’ve done it twice before, so I know I can, even though it’s ambitious. I’m not even shoving other stuff off to do it–it really doesn’t take that long to get the words written, once you sit down and do it. I am, however, going to stick to the shorter workouts, though I’ll spend longer times on the treadmill if/when I feel up to it. So here are this week’s goals:

  • 4500 words on WIP
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop
  • Refine layout of Shopping Cart page and individual product page for family member’s web site
  • Fitness 4 times, no matter how short

What about you–if you’re a writer, are you, or have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? (If you are, I’d love to be your buddy – I’m jennettemariepowell over there.) If you’re not a writer, or not doing NaNo, have you taken on any super-ambitious goals lately with something else?  Can you imagine being jailed by being tossed into a well? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

 

When is it Time to Push Back on our Goals? and the Man who Saved Dayton, plus ROW80

The best thing about ROW80, the writing challenge that knows you have a life, is the fact that we’re encouraged to be flexible. That’s good, because a couple of my goals are already presenting challenges for me.

One of those is fitness. I try to do a good half-hour interval workout on my treadmill three times a week, plus a shorter workout of weight-bearing exercises a couple times between them. It doesn’t sound like much, but it works for me and I can tell a difference when I keep up with it. But lately, I’ve had some health issues – nothing major, just enough that I don’t feel up to doing that half-hour on the treadmill, or doing push-ups, etc. So it’s time to cut back. Lately, I’ve read that three ten-minute sessions is just as good or better than one half-hour long one anyway. Even five minutes is better than nothing, so I’m going to try doing something–anything–for those four workout sessions this week.

I’ve also had some challenges  with the writing, as in I’ve been doing more procrastinating than writing (or even outlining). I know that procrastination is usually a symptom of something else. Sometimes it can happen because we don’t physically feel well, but it often happens when we don’t have the proper tools, information, or preparation to do a job. In my case, I need to do some more research. So I’m going to leave my goal the same there, but focus more on the research, which I already started on last week. Which leads me to something interesting I learned:

Daniel C. Cooper (1773-1818)

Daniel C. Cooper (1773-1818) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My Town Monday Fun Fact: The Man Who Saved Dayton

In 1787, John Cleves Symmes claimed the land between the Great and Little Miami rivers without waiting for approval from Congress. The first settlers moved into the area in 1796, only to learn two years later they might have no legal right to the land they’d paid for and worked to clear and build on. In 1799, congress set a price of $2.00 an acre–$1.17 more than they’d paid. Many didn’t have the cash, and left. Most of the rest would have, until Daniel C. Cooper, one of the original surveyors, bought the land that included the town–around 3,000 acres–for the government’s asking price, then sold it to the settlers for whatever they could afford, offering payment plans to many. He also gave the town land for churches, the courthouse, jail and other civic buildings, a park, marketplaces, and a graveyard. The park is still called Cooper Park today, and is includes the main branch of the Dayton Metro Library.

ROW80Logo175So now back to my ROW80 Goals. Last week’s were:

  • Finish sketching out/outlining first quarter of WIP – No
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop – Done!
  • Refine layout of product listing page and individual product page for web site – Done!
  • Fitness 4 times – No

This week, I’m going to keep the same list, but with “fitness” referring to smaller workouts if necessary and the outlining focusing on research. For the website, it’s time to develop the Shopping Cart page.

What about you–whether or not you’re doing ROW80, have you needed to adjust your goals or expectations lately? Do you have trouble with procrastination–and if so, do you know why? Have you learned anything interesting about your hometown lately? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

 

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