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2016 Goals

  • write to my grandmother every six weeks or so
  • call my moms every month or so
  • cook/eat better
  • clean out and organize my writng/craft room
  • re-institute the cleaning plan
  • publish six books by September 2017
  • reach 120 to 125 pounds
  • walk the dog three times a week

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Monday, October 31, 2016

(Movie) TV Monday







DH and I started watching Arrow...a show about a youngish guy who returns to the world after having been lost at sea/on a not-so-deserted island for five years and immediately sets to writing the wrongs of his father and other ultra-rich men who've wronged the citizens and city of Starling City.

It's based on the DC Comic character, which I guess I have a theme (or two) going--still watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with DH too, but we're all caught up with what's now airing on regular TV so that's a once a week endeavor.

Anyway, the premise is interesting and Stephen Amell who plays Oliver Queen/Arrow isn't horrible to look at so.

Most of my gripes center around the fact that friends and family think this guy has returned unchanged from being mostly on his own for five years. He hides most of what he went through from them, but really? You gotta think even even hadn't been captured or tortured, he's still probably got some sort of PTSD going on or something. Why hasn't he been sent to a therapist??

On the other hand, it's a DC Comic character so some suspension of disbelieve is in order.

The other show I've discovered is Designated Survivor.


This show is revolves around the Designated Survivor--the government official not allowed attend the State of the Union in case the unthinkable happens. Which does. The Capitol Building is bombed and the HUD Secretary becomes POTUS.

The writers have done a great job so far. The victories are small and short-lived. But the hits, as Tom Cruise's character in A Few Good Men says, just keep on coming. One after the other after the other.

Anyone watching either one of these?? What do you think?



Friday, October 28, 2016

Gotta get back into the groove...


I've taken a mini-hiatus from writing, but it's time to get back into the groove.

As far as I know, all writers struggle with aspects of writing. Those who have publisher imposed deadlines don't have the luxury of just not working on their books. Successful indie publishers have a little more leeway, but not much.

I am a hobby writer. I'm embracing the term. I'm not looking to make a living. I have tales of good-looking heroes to tell and so I shall. But as I said a couple of months ago, this is supposed to be a no-stress endeavor, so I've tried not to worry too much about being stuck. Of course, I need to figure out why I'm stuck or how I got stuck in order to figure out how to get un-stuck, which, I admit was stressing me out.

But then I remembered: no-stress endeavor, and I took a step back. The book and the characters were set aside for a few days. And I read. A LOT. And watched some TV. Not a lot/a lot, but enough. Found a new show (or two), which I'll talk about Monday.

Yesterday I had a reminder-epiphany--I'm supposed to be writing whatever it is I want to read. So no reason to follow all the RWA/Harlequin rules of writing romance. I much prefer the fan fiction rules of romance writing. So, yeah. Time to remember the fun of telling a tale.

So looking forward to getting back to my fictional friends this weekend.

Hope you have a great weekend!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"It's Alive...!"


The Creature discovering its world.

If I'm not mistaken, that's a line from the original movie Frankenstein. Last night, I saw the fourth encore screening of National Theater Live's 2011 production of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller, alternating performances as the Doctor and the Creature. I found myself amazed by Cumberbatch's performance as the Creature. I wasn't sure whose I was going to get, but now that I've seen the performance, I'm glad this is the version chosen for filming.

The story of Frankenstein is a story that is apparently always relevant and can be applied to many hot topics vexing society since it was written. I won't get into the philosophy of it all, mostly because I don't have the mind for that, but YES. Towards the end, the Creature tells Frankenstein's wife (I'm paraphrasing): "Just because I'm different, doesn't meant I don't want to be accepted, want to be loved."

Frankenstein's wife is the first person since the blind man to show the creature compassion.

 
Even though this was performed in London in 2011, I found it rather sobering that the Creature says that once he joined society, he learned to hate and to lie. Huh.


Okay, enough of that. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. It all started in early spring of 2014 when my daughter happened to be watching an episode of the BBC's Sherlock. And that was all she wrote. Everything I've seen him do has blown me away. I think he's already being looked upon as the Richard Burton or Laurence Olivier of our time. One of the all time greats.

If you get a chance to see him in a stage performance, DO IT.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall is definitely here to stay now...


And it's lovely temperatures. It's time to get out the winter blanket for the bed, too.

How an update on me? I mean, it is my blog right...

Okay, so binge-watched the last half of season two of Madam Secretary. Some interesting twists and turns and now I can catch up on season three, which is airing this TV season. Discovered that there's very little fan fiction for the show as a whole and none for my favorite character, Blake Moran, the Secretary's personal assistant. Not that I need to be reading or writing fan fiction for another fandom, but I might dabble a little bit when I need a break from writing my books. :)

(Erich Bergen as Blake Moran)

I am also following Stars hockey closely this season. The boys aren't doing so hot at the moment. They had a couple of back to back losses as well as some unfortunate injuries. And in support of my new sporting fandom, I bought this...

...also because my trusty duty travel mug is on its last legs with a crack on the inside and hole on the outside from two separate drops. Oops.

My work PC was updated to Windows 10 this past weekend, so I will slowly have to re-download all my usual pieces of software and applications. I have to get all my background and options and tabs re-set too. That's the part I hate the most...getting my little environment all set back up the way I like it.

Workouts are going well, too. I'm still not losing the weight like I want, but I know I'm building muscle and (hopefully) eliminating fat. Which might account for some of my struggle. I also binged carbs yesterday, so that may be why the scale is being ornery. I did good last week in general though and cut way back. I also resisted the urge to buy cereal and milk when I went grocery shopping the last two weeks because I cannot resist a bowl of cereal to save my life. But overall, for 48 years old, I think I'm doing rather well.

Hope you had a lovely weekend, and here's to a decent work week. See you Wednesday. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Love, Mom...


I've been a mom since 1988 ('87 if you want to count gestation :))...

Of course, I've answered to some form of the word since then, but writing "Love, Mom" in emails just feels strange to me.

For as long as I've had email, which has been well over ten years, I've rarely emailed my own children and certainly not until they became adults, and not even then much because they were at home and I just talked to them.

Even now, I text more than I email because that's what kids their age do. And I like texting too. It's generally more immediate.

But Seaman Sonshine is now ensconced on his ship and there's no cell service. So email it is.

Anyway, I'm so used to signing off with my actual name that sometimes I have to stop and think--this is my kid, sign it MOM.

Anyway, happy hump day and congrats to the Dallas Stars on their win over the Nashville Predators last night. :)

Jason Spezza scored the game winning goal.



Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Motivation





Friday, October 14, 2016

TGIF


Yep, celebrating Friday today...tomorrow is writers group, so I'm excited about that as well. Let's just celebrate with pictures...










Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Time to Take a Step Back


I've been going great guns on getting book three written-- Only I'm churning out a lot of words with no clear direction as to where I'm trying to end up. I'm two-thirds of the way to my targeted word count, but I know I still have a lot of work to do. There will be a lot of revising in my very near future.

But I've gotten so into this writing thing that I've forgotten that I'm a hobby writer and that I don't have to be so intense about it. I need to do other things-- read, watch TV, listen to music, go outside, go places, do things, do nothing. I don't want to be "that" writer I've mentioned before. I need to feed the muse as well as let him rest.

There are also more aspects to completing a book than just the writing. I forget that too.

There's plotting. A weakness of mine and part of why I'm struggling with the direction of the book. There's revisions. Which I can do, which I don't mind doing, but I do need to know what the end goal is in order to make the proper revisions. Ugh.

And I didn't forget about Monday's blog post, but I had so many things to do, I just couldn't get to it. I hate that.... So as penance, I'll share this picture of book three's hero, Noah Drinkwater. He's a cutie, isn't he?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Opponents Are People Too


Miracle is a great sports movie--the greatest in my opinion. You know, the story of the 1980 Men's Olympic Hockey Team that beat the great Russian machine that had won Olympic gold in the previous three Olympics?


So I watched a documentary about the 1980 Russian team, and, you know, you really have to feel for those guys. You do.

We Americans generally tend to think of "the Russians" as the bad guys, but the people are pretty much at the mercy of a very controlling system of government. I won't pretend to understand how it all works, but they don't have the freedoms we do. Not now and certainly not back then. Also, Russia had just invaded Afghanistan and political tensions were running very high.

Anyway, these men, these hockey players, were all in the Russian Army--25 or 30 year conscriptions. Their original coach, dubbed the father of Russian hockey, Anatoli Tarasov, was forced to retire after the Russian team took home silver in the 1972 Olympics. Despite his very harsh training regimen, the players loved him and skated their hearts out for him. The new coach, Viktor Tikhonov, was equally strict in training, but was apparently ruled by the time clock and by numbers. The coach was no longer their father/uncle/counselor. He was the boss. The men lived in barracks eleven months out of the year. Losing was not an option, and the team continued to be very successful.


The film had interviews with several of the Russian players and their stories were very compelling. At that time, there were no Russians in the NHL, but one of those Russian players, Slava Fetisov, was destined to pave the way and become the first, playing for the New Jersey Devils.


That 1980's Olympic loss? Other than maybe being so overconfident--but that was definitely a result of the system they were in--they did nothing wrong. They played their game and they played it well in an effort to bring pride and honor to their country. They returned to Russia and were greeted by silence and shame for bringing home silver.

The film I watched was ESPN's 30 for 30: Miracles of Ice and Men and there's apparently another called Red Army that could be interesting too. Here's a link to the NPR article.

I don't know that I'll ever watch Miracle with the same mindset ever again.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Feeling a little blue...


The youngest FitzGerald begins his grandest adventure to date. No, he didn't die. He left for boot camp almost two years ago, and that was the absolute worst day I ever lived through. Even now, I still get teary eyed when I think of saying goodbye to him.


ANYWAY...

He didn't choose a job going in so he was assigned to a ship in dry dock and had been doing grunt work for the better part of a year. He finally got into a job he wanted and has been in training for the last several months.

Apparently now the ship is ready to test its readiness and is going to sea. They're not leaving for their official deployment--I think that involves more pomp and circumstance and family visits on the ship but I can't be sure about that yet.

So the ship is getting ready to get underway as I finish this up. There's no cell service on the ship, so no more texting and talking for a while, just emails... And while we don't communicate as much as we once did, the ability to do so on a whim is gone for awhile.

Sonshine, DH, and me last year when we visited Seattle.


I'm super excited for him to finally experience this aspect of Navy life, but it's still kinda sad for me.

I do have plenty of things to keep me busy, so that's good. Anyway, hug your kid/s and tell them you love them as often as you can.





Monday, October 3, 2016

Third Quarter Updates


Technically, I didn't do so well overall based on my Goals list, but considering all the writing I've gotten done, as well as everything else pertaining to my plan for publishing next year, I feel really great about myself and life in general.


The last one on the list was accomplished in the first quarter. I've written one complete book in the second quarter. And two halves of books in the third. So yeah, I'm feeling pretty good about this writing thing.

I'm feeling really healthy and well despite not reaching the 120lb mark, although I am actively working towards that again by reducing my carb intake and upping the protein. I have faithfully gone to the gym three times a week (mostly) since mid-July. I do skip if my body needs the rest.

Still not walking the dog, although I did finally break down and buy a no-pull harness. I have yet to try it out. But the weather is turning, so maybe it's time to get us both out into it.

As for my writing group jobs, I'm getting stuff done, but mostly because my tenure as treasurer is coming to an end and I'm trying to get everything caught up to hand off to the new treasurer. The website will still be mine to maintain, so I do have to come up with a schedule to stay on top of that better.

I'm still reading like a fiend, because I'm a reader, so that's never not going to happen.

Cleaner house? It stays at a certain level. Would I like it cleaner? Yes. Am I going to be the one to make that happen? Probably only with a cash payment and not my own elbow grease. But that's okay.

Creating any further pod fic may happen in the deep recesses of winter, but it's unlikely for the rest of this year. And that's okay...I created one. So technically the goal was reached.

Well, friends, how are you doing with your own goals at this point in the year??

I'd love to hear from you!




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Jen FitzGerald
Thanks for stopping by one of my little corners of the world wide web. So, a little about me...My husband and I have been married for twenty years and we have three adult children although our youngest is still in high school. We've lived in Texas for fifteen years and for the rest of the story, click here.
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Jen's Glossary of Terms

  • DH = my husband
  • my Brown Eyed Girl = my oldest daughter
  • DD = my Darling Daughter (the younger one)
  • Sonshine or Marching Band Boy = my son
  • NT = the North Texas chapter of RWA
  • RWA = Romance Writers of America