Friday, February 26, 2010


I got another one of those “thanks, but no thanks” e-mails the other day. The publisher had previously told me my story was “in the final round” and that “the vast majority of those” with that distinction would end up in their latest anthology. The final insult is that the publisher actually put out a call for additional stories after asking me for my payment info and other details. It’s a legitimate company, so I’m not worried about that, but if they had to ask for more stories and then rejected mine, perhaps they were looking for something to replace mine with!

But I guess I can’t dwell on that. I’ve got more stories to tell. I’m disappointed not to have this particular story told, because it’s one that’s near and dear to my heart. I loved my dad and miss him very much, so I wanted to tell everyone about him. My writers’ group has been very supportive, urging me on. So I went back to the publisher’s website and found two other anthologies I can write stories for. One of them might even be a better fit for the story they rejected.

So I’m back at my keyboard, putting my thoughts down. Just like I’m doing now. And maybe this time one of my stories will be one that is deemed worthy of sharing with everyone!

Goals update:

Writing – I’m working with a marvelous critique group. We meet once a month to read each others’ chapters and discuss them, looking for ways to hone our craft into something we can offer a publisher/agent. This weekend we’re working on our 6th chapters!

Creativity – I spent five hours with my sewing group on Tuesday, making hats. Last Saturday I spent the day with another group of friends, working on my family scrapbook. Still trying to get my individual projects started so I can clear out some of the fabric in the house!

Health – started on another diet on Monday. Keeping a food journal. Exercising three times a week. So far, so good - another two pounds gone, hopefully for good!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What's Wrong With Me?

Last month I set a seemingly unattainable goal of writing 40,000 words in five weeks. I met and exceeded that goal.

Last month I also set a goal of losing weight. I’ve failed miserably.

Last fall I set out to organize my life (stuff). That’s also in the dumpster. Unfinished (and unstarted) projects are all over the house.

What’s the deal? It seems anything involving sitting in front of a computer is possible. My bills are paid (online), my classwork is caught up (PowerPoint presentations are done, and papers turned in online are graded), and electronic correspondence is caught up. But everything else is in shambles.

So – do I cut the cord? Go Cold Turkey? Or maybe I should take a page from the parenting book – limit time on this machine. Yeah. I can do that. Set a timer when I sit down and turn it off after two hours (the computer, not just the timer). And then I’ll have to get UP to do something – not watch TV, and definitely NOT eat!

Here goes Plan C!

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Dirty Little Secret

My daughter says I’m a hoarder.

Maybe I am. I hate to throw things out. I wonder why. It’s not like we’re hurting and having to pinch pennies. But I’m always afraid that if I throw something out, I’ll be sorry later.

Last week I watched a show on the Discovery Health Channel about Hoarders. There were two shows back to back, and I watched them both hoping I’d get some insight. There was a woman admitted that when she was seven her father burned all her belongings and it really hurt her (apparently she was an army brat and every time she moved she lost her friends, but was able to keep her stuff – until her dad burned it). That sounded like something that would be emotionally scarring. There was another woman who was a hoarder because her dad was one. Both women got professional help to overcome their difficulties.

I’m not afraid of someone taking my “stuff” and burning it. I think my parents like to keep things – their basement and two and a half stall garage are full of things they haven’t used in years and probably won’t use. But I don’t think they’re hoarders. They just have lots of stuff. I have lots of stuff too, but I can’t seem to organize it.

A lot of it is craft stuff. I like to make things, and it always seems like I get a lot more supplies than I need. And I have a lot more stuff than I have time for. But I’m afraid to get rid of it, because SOMEDAY I’m going have time for all these projects.

I just hope I can remember where it all is.

Writing: I finished my 40,000-word challenge – a day early! Tomorrow I find out if I win one of three gift certificates to Barnes and Noble.

Eating: I started a food journal. Things went well for about three days. Tomorrow I’m going to go for five good days in a row. Gotta keep starting over! Still going to the gym regularly.

Creativity: things were pretty much on hold while pursuing the writing challenge. I did manage to make it to my sewing group – I made 25 fleece hats for some of the ministries in West Michigan. Next week should be better! I have some ideas I want to try.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


For the first time in over seven months, I nearly missed a week of blogging! I guess I could blame it on several things – my writing challenge, my classes, and taking care of mom’s emergencies. But I guess that’s really not necessary. Nothing dire is going to happen because I’m almost 24 hours late on my self-imposed deadline for blogging every Friday. The punishment is merely my disappointment in myself.

So here I am hastily attempting to put together a coherent post in the 30 minutes left of this week. Why? I guess there are a couple of reasons. The first is my disappointment in not meeting my weight loss goals. I have lost two pounds in six weeks. Yuk. I’m eating right (most of the time), and exercising (three days a week). What’s the deal? My daughter gave me a stern “talking to” tonight. She’s disappointed in me too. I hate that even more than being disappointed in myself.

I am meeting my writing goals. If I get this online before midnight, I’m meeting my goal of blogging every week. Also, I’m still plugging away at my story, despite the interruptions in my life. But for some reason, the health goal is eluding me. I guess I need to apply the same strategies toward this as I am toward writing. What’s different? I think it’s probably my accountability. On my computer, I keep track of how many words I need to have completed each day, and I don’t go to bed until that many words are in my manuscript. Some of it’s not very well-written, but the words and ideas are there. I’ve also been sharing my word count totals to my facebook and writers’ group friends. They know exactly how I’m doing.

So I guess what I need to do is what every diet (God, I hate that word!) tells me to do: record my intake. Look at evidence of the food I eat. And then cut it down to a reasonable amount.

Tomorrow starts another week. Let the accountability begin.