Thanks to my uncle who shares the images, I've followed this group on Facebook called "Nebraska Through the Lens" and it's awesome. As the name implies, it's just members posting photos of life in Nebraska. While I grew up in California and live in Texas, Nebraska will always be the state of my heart. I don't know that I'll ever get back there for anything other than visits because my hubster and my life is in Texas. And also I hate the cold...
I wish I could share some of the pictures, but I can't...but you could go find it and see for yourself, if you're so inclined.
This was the view from the dining room of the rental house we stayed in for the retreat. It rained Thursday afternoon and drizzled or rained most of Friday. We don't complain much about that in Texas in January because we always need rain in Texas no matter the time of year. But Saturday and Sunday were bright and sunny though chilly. But--January.
My goal for the weekend was to plot out the next anthology entry, write its synopsis, and come up with a title. While plotting is still a skill I feel insufficient at and need to work on, I still need to do it. So...I used one of my favorite tools after utilizing various other ones prior to the weekend and came away with decent story arc. I also wrote a new synopsis based on the plot points I came up with. As for the title...well, those are trickier. And sometimes (most times for me) the book needs to be written before the title becomes clear. And it's not written, so titling fell by the wayside.
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In other news, I hadn't realized how anxious I was about my writers group meeting until I was staring down the barrel at it. As president, I run the meeting, so I was worried about the conversation in terms of what's going on with our parent organization getting heated and out of hand.
I mean--no one had sent angry emails asking us (the board on behalf of the chapter) to protest or make demands or anything of that nature, and I tried to send out periodic reports so they knew the board was aware and following the goings on. But you never know. The one person who I was unknowingly worried about the most didn't attend the meeting, so there was that whoosh of relief at not seeing her.
On the other hand, several other members expressed their appreciation for the board's lack of a knee-jerk reaction and that our first priority was our members and our group. So a very big WHEW for me.
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Today I'm back to work and business as usual, both from a writing perspective--up early to exercise and write--and from a day job perspective.
Super Nintendo and Mario and the gang were a part of our lives for many years, especially when Sonshine was much younger. I have fond memories of the one video game I learned to play and the time spent with the kids making my way through the worlds of Super Mario collecting coins and stars.
The other day I read that a Super Mario theme park will be opening up in Japan this summer and that eventually we'll have them in Hollywood and Orlando as well. I'd love to go there with my boy some day.
In other news, I heard this little tidbit, which I thought was quite interesting as a person who grew up in California but now lives in Texas:
But it's actually Friday for me, because I'm leaving the fam behind and going on a little writers retreat for the next several days. I get to hang out with five other really cool women for the weekend, writing and talking about writing, and maybe brainstorming, and just generally chatting and de-stressing.
Last but not least--STARS WON last night in yet another comeback. And as an added bonus the win was against a team we're jockeying for position with. Not only that but we've won all four games we played against them this season. Next time we play them it'll be in the playoffs.
A hours-long weather event passed through the North Texas corridor and across the Metroplex Friday night.
And while that isn't unusual in and of itself--the fact that our house was smack dab in the middle of one the tornado warning areas definitely was. We fall into plenty of watches, of course, but usually, the warning areas are just to the north or just to the south of us--not surrounding us. That was a little disconcerting, I must say. Luckily the storm was pretty fast moving and we were out of the "danger zone" fairly quickly. Or should I say, the danger zone moved away from us. :0)
And then early-ish Saturday morning, we had about 10-15 minutes of snow. Nothing stuck, of course, because we're still too warm in general, but it was cool to watch while it lasted.
And then the weekend got up to sixty-ish degrees both days. Go figure.
Anyway...got lots to do this week to be gone Thursday and Friday...
And it's not that the week has been especially horrific (only one day was particularly stressful), but I'm meeting my dear friend N for lunch as long as the weather cooperates at least one the days. Visiting with N is always a cause for celebration and I can't wait to see her.
And also, my family will sleep in and I don't have to get ready for work, which means I'll have an extra couple of hours of peace and quiet to dig into the two projects I'm working on. I'm working on a synopsis for one and character building for the other...
So I've been back to routines and schedules for 4.5 days now and things are going pretty well. For the most part, no carbs other than my carb-light tortillas--although I must confess to a bowl of cereal on that super stressful day. I just needed something easy and comforting. I've gotten up on time every day, although not as early as once upon a time, and exercised daily in the mornings, and did yoga every evening--again accept for that one day where I just went to bed as soon as I could after dinner.
So I've made a good start at getting back on the wagons. Challenges lie ahead however. I'll be headed to a writers retreat on Thursday and everyone will be providing meals...I'll just to make sure I'm extra diligent about getting more than the usual number of steps in and making the healthiest choices I can.
On December 27th, I wrote a bit about the reckoning going on in RWA. The reckoning has turned into a tsunami of accusations, mud slinging, finger pointing and probably a lot of misinformation.
As a local chapter president I can't just ignore it, can't let someone else steer the ship.
The name of this blog is A Time for Everything. It's one of my mottoes/beliefs. Another of my mantra is everything happens for a reason. Even if we don't always know or understand what that reason at the time...
I asked a friend last week--"Why is that happening while I'm president?"
I'm not a crusader of any sort. My presidencies of my writers group notwithstanding, I'm not a leader. I'm a follower, or more accurately, I'm a watcher and a waiter.
But for some reason, I'm the one that the members in my group are going to look to for guidance and I don't have much to give other than: it's up to each member to follow the course of events and make up their own mind. I'll be at the helm for any who want to remain in the boat.
I must need some sort of personal growth or a lesson, which, you know, is fine. It's good. I don't feel super blindsided. I just need to be on the lookout. it could be one of a couple of things...or all of the above.
Time will tell.
Here's to a good week, RWA crap-storm notwithstanding...
I love routines. I'm definitely a creature of habit. Now that the holidays have passed and almost everyone is back to work and possibly school, life and society can return its usual ebbs and flows.
That means it's also time for me to get back on the handful of wagons I fell off starting back in, oh, October. (yikes)
The wagons would include the exercise wagon, the writing/publishing/working on books wagon, the no-carb wagon, and the getting up early wagon.
All of those things listed above work in concert. If I'm not getting up early, I don't have time to exercise or to work on various aspects of my writing/publishing. And if I'm eating way too many carbs, exercise will not be as effective as it could be.
That's not to say I haven't been exercising...I have mostly been riding the exercise bike, but all that does is burn calories so that I don't gain too much weight in the wake of all the carbs I've consumed.
So here are, in no particular order, my goals for 2020:
Reduce body fat/lose inches--this weekend I got on the scale for an official weigh-in, took a tape measure to my waist and drew some lines on my belly and took pictures. I know what my starting point is for the year, and my targets are a loss of 8 pounds and 4 inches at the waist; the hip measurement should follow.
Write and publish two books in addition to the book that's already written and on schedule to be published in an anthology in February as well as coming out on its own in May. The other two books will also be anthology length (10K to 15K) and be part of other anthologies. That seems to be my speed for now, although I would like to get back to writing longer books. To that end, I need to do two other things:
Really learn to plot--I know the basics. I've read enough books over the last decade, but there's a disconnect somewhere in my brain between knowing, understanding, and actual application of concepts. So I'm gonna take some classes and maybe try to find some writer friends who might be willing to tutor me through the process of plotting a book or two. I know this should be more specific, like 3 classes or 5 classes, so that it's measurable, but I may not really grasp things after only three classes. This one will have to be considered achieved when I feel satisfied and confident in my skills moving forward.
Brainstorm the characters and book plots of a series I've been percolating for at least three years now. I've got most of the characters, their names and jobs/careers, as well as their relationships to one another figured out. But I need to really define their roles in the grand scheme of the series as well as figure out the arcs for each book (which goes back to the plotting issue).
Decide on and complete one household project--I'm leaning toward getting the garage turned more into a function home gym, but I'll need to confer with DH on this, although I don't think he's gonna have an issue with it. I'll get back to you with the details.
Cook and eat better--more fish again, at least once a week; more chicken again, at least once a week; green veggies, and salads; drink at least 60 ounces of water a day; more protein in general; smaller, more frequent meals.
Exercise twice a day--this would be a regular workout in the morning, every morning, and a yoga routine in the evening before bed, except for game days.
Send my grandmother in Denmark a postcard every month--this is one of those things that's been on the list consistently for years and I just can't seem to get my act together. BUT. With the new bullet journal and planner I should be able to do a better job remembering. I'm going to find 12 postcards and address them and stamp them. That way, all I have to do is pull one out, write a little note and drop it in the mail.
Not the ten I usually strive for, but if I think of something, I can amend the list.
The list is posted to the left, so I have an place to easily find it. It's also in the bullet journal and planner.
May 2020 be filled with good memories and prosperity for all of us. Whatever that means to you, best wishes on achieving it.
I do not yet have my list of goals ready for you. I took a break from thinking about it for a couple of days because, well, I had no choice. On New Years Eve, as you know, I help hubster sell fireworks. And on New Years Day this year, as you also know, I attended the NHL's Winter Classic. And it was...in a word:
That's not to say there weren't issues for people, I was just lucky enough to have not encountered them, except once, and it was bound to happen with 10s of thousands of people in once place.
First of all, there were officially 85,630 in attendance, the second best Winter Class attendance on record. Venue plays a part, of course, but considering the initial number of tickets they made available was only 60K, the packed house was fantastic. No one expected the response we got in a non-traditional hockey market--but whomever makes the decision, smartly decided to open up the rest of the seats and we had a sold-out Cotton Bowl Stadium.
And the weather which is always a crap shoot in Texas this time of year--and one of the biggest concerns--cooperated. Cloudy skies, 54* at puck drop shortly after 1pm, and no rain.
But enough of the blather. Here are, as promised, pictures:
Have a great weekend and all the best in the coming year!!