Accountability Wednesdays: Week 8

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As I type this I am just over one week in to my shift, and you can’t even fathom how much I long for this particular one to be over. I don’t know if it’s the cold (Alberta, seriously, get some normal weather) or the air (my nose has been bleeding every single morning), or if I’m just straight up exhausted, but whatever the reason I am definitely ready to head back to Nova Scotia.

And with that cranky-arse attitude out of the way, let’s deal with this whole accountability deal.

Goal #1: Lose at least ten pounds and become healthier overall.

I’m going to go ahead and really invoke the spirit of accountability here, and just admit that it has been a truly horrible week for this particular goal. I started off my shift pretty good, snacking on vegetables, avoiding any beverages aside from water and my David’s Teas, but then something snapped inside of me and I just started gnashing on sweets and cream soda like a ravenous, sweet-toothed wolf. I would like to blame a certain monthly phenomenom for this lack of willpower, but for the most part, yeah…it was just a complete and utter lack of willpower.

I have been taking my multi-vitamins every day. Does that give me any points?

The exercise side of things was just as sad. Last Wednesday my work partner and I got a job that required us to climb a crap ton of ladders and stairs. All total I estimated that we climbed approximately 300 vertical feet. And it nearly killed me. I had to grab my inhaler halfway through, and there were at least three or four instances when I had to stop because I was certain that I was as close to a heart attack as I had ever been before. That day I realized how truly out of shape I really am, and resolved to start really working to change that. The following night I did a workout video in my camp room and promptly spent the next three days hobbling around like a ninty-year-old woman.

I think I’m going to have to take some baby steps. Anyone know a good exercise program for toddlers? ๐Ÿ˜›

Goal #2: Be more active on social media and work hard on my “author platform”.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve ascended to the title of social media master just yet, but this was actually quite an excellent week for me. I spent some time chatting up fellow writers on Twitter, participated similarly in the blogging community, and even spent a bit of extra time on Facebook, promoting blog posts. Between the post promotion and mentioning my video game novelizations on Twitter, my blog saw a nice little influx of views and comments over the past few days. My numbers are still nothing to really write home about, but they’re definitely growing, and any kind of growth is good in my books.

Goal #3: COMPLETE my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.

As mentioned last week, there’s not a lot I’ve been able to do at the moment while I’m on shift, but rest assured that I’ve got plans made. I’ve got the key points made by my beta-reader scrutinized thoroughly, and I have a list of ideas to fix up the manuscript based on her input. I really do think that these changes are going to make my novel a heck of a lot better in the long run. ๐Ÿ™‚

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

I can’t say that it was a great week, but I’m pleasantly amused with what I did manage to get done, considering that pretty much all of my writing while out on shift is done freehand in a notebook. By working on planning out some blog posts (including one that will be a guest post for another blog, which is quite exciting), I managed to put 4485 words to paper this week, which is nothing to sneeze at. I’m hoping to do a little better this following week because I’ve got a bit of a side project that I’m working on. Recently I discovered the website for something called the A to Z Blog Challenge and immediately signed up. Expect to hear more about it in the future, but for now it’s time to get back to work! Ciao!

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 5

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Okay, let’s start up the day by apologizing for there being no blog posts the past two days with no explanation. Don’t worry, it wasn’t another family emergency or anything. Apparently I’d just forgotten how difficult it is to find time to bang these things out during the last few days of my shift when I’m trying to get my laundry done and pack and deal with a bunch of different buses to take me to the right places to eventually get on my plane and fly home in the middle of the night. So…yeah. Sorry about that. I’ll try to plan ahead next time. ._.

Goal #1: Lose at least ten pounds and become healthier overall.

Okay, confession time. Since returning out West and landing myself at a camp that has a huge fridge filled with cans of every flavor of pop out there, things have not been good. I like pop. I like it a lot. I also hate plain water, and mostly avoid the milk out West (because, sorry, it doesn’t taste right, I don’t know why) and the juice out West (because it’s fountain crap that is watered down and tastes awful). So, yeah…I’ve been drinking a lot of pop. Like…a lot of pop. Also, the dinners there are delicious, so I’ve been gorging at night, and alternatively the lunches are kinda pathetic, so I’ve been compensating with cookies and other treats.

Long story short, the eating habits have jackknifed into a bad place. I also didn’t really get any exercise for the two weeks out West because I forgot to take a pair of “indoor shoes” and therefore couldn’t use the gym, and also it turns out that my crew actually has trucks now that we can use to drive to the job instead of walking all over hell’s creation. That last bit is actually a good thing, overall, but it does dramatically cut back on the amount of exercise I get on a daily basis.

All in all, it’s been a poor couple of weeks. Remember last week when I said that I probably actually gained weight? Yeah, I was right. Luckily I had a buffer zone from the few pounds I lost that week I mysteriously couldn’t eat anything, so I’m not in the red or anything…but yeah. Pretty much starting from scratch.

Goal #2: Be more active on social media and work hard on my โ€œauthor platformโ€.

This is always so difficult to report, but I think I did pretty good this week, considering the missed blog posts. I spent quite a bit of time on Twitter, and made spent more time than usual reading, liking, and commenting on blog posts. There’s not much to say other than that. But look! I’m participating! ๐Ÿ˜€

Goal #3: COMPLETE my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.

Okay, I just got home yesterday, so you can’t hold this one against me yet. Remember I said I was thinking about it? Really thinking about it? Well now I’m home, so I have two weeks to use those thoughts. I hope to start tonight, but I’m not making any promises, because my daughter has a fort in the living room and she keeps wanting me to come in with her and watch Teen Titans Go! through the doorway. I have to have priorities, man, geez.

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

And to top off a week of pretty poor accountability reporting, I have to say that I can’t tell you what my word count was for last week. The reason is not because I’m embarrassed about the skimpy word count (although, now that you mention it…); it’s because I’m having difficulty getting my word count spreadsheet to play nice between my tablet and my computer. I created it on my computer and had to move heaven and Earth to get it to both open and allow me to make changes on my tablet, and now apparently I’ve screwed up the file so that it will no longer open on my computer. So, when I get a chance, I guess I’m going to have to open it on my computer and physically re-input all the numbers into the version on my computer. Why not just use the tablet all the time? Just take my word on this…the program that I’ve had to use in order to get the spreadsheet to work on my tablet is outrageously frustrating to deal with. I may have to just track my words on paper while I’m out West from now on…that’s how terrible the tablet program is.

All that said, though I can’t give you the exact number right now, I can tell you that my word count for last week sucked tremendously. I fully plan on making up for that this week by pre-planning blog posts, finishing up the editing mentioned earlier, and hopefully banging out another chapter or two for Returning Hope, but again, I must bring your attention to the fort in my living room.

Ciao!

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 4

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Another week has come and gone, it seems. It’s been a particularly cold one up here in Northern Alberta and as construction companies shut down for entire days at a time and my coworkers and I huddle in running trucks for heat, I have to ask myself, seriously, who the hell in the past thought it would be a good idea to venture up here? No offense, Northern Albertans, but you have really awful taste in places to settle down.

I kid, I kid. I love yas, and your seemingly endless supply of jobs. ๐Ÿ˜›

Moving on!

Goal #1: Lose at least ten pounds and become healthier overall.

Again, I can’t report on the weight situation because I am not currently in possession of a scale, but if I had to venture a guess I would not say that I’ve lost any weight recently. In fact, I’m fairly certain I may have gained back what I’d lost previously. Some of it is pure laziness, for certain – I just can’t seem to find the willpower to exercise when I’m out West – but at least part of the problem is the camp that I’m staying in this time around. It’s a gorgeous camp and I love it, but the food here leaves something to be desired for sure. The supper-time meals are great, but everything else is fat, carbs, and sugar in increasingly alarming amounts. There are a few fruit and veggie options to pick from, but they’re so few that you get sick of them within a couple of days, and the food that they prepare us to take to work for lunch are just enormous carb-bombs…things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hamburgers. I’m not putting all of the blame for my poor eating habits of late on the people who make the food here, but you have to stand with me on this one: the fewer options that are available, the more likely you are to choose bad ones.

I may have to take a few snacks out with me next shift…some freakin’ trail mix bars or something. ๐Ÿ˜›

That said, someone needs to give me a huge kick in the ass because I took my yoga mat out here with me specifically so I could do some stretching and things like push-ups and crunches, and the damn thing hasn’t even been unrolled yet since I got her. MOTIVATE ME, people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Goal #2: Be more active on social media and work hard on my “author platform”.

The week didn’t start particularly well, but I managed to get a bit of a jump on things over the past few days. I’ve been trying to be more active on Twitter, and have seen a few new followers pop up as a result, not to mention a few new names popping up in my WordPress notifications. Hi everyone! Please stay a while!

Aside from that there isn’t much to report except for the fact that I’ve discovered a bit of a disconnect between my blog posts and Facebook. It turns out that although my posts have been showing up on my Facebook timeline every day like clockwork, they haven’t been showing up on many peoples’ news feeds. The issue doesn’t seem to have anything to do with interaction (Facebook algorithms make sure that you see more posts by people whose posts you’ve liked or commented on in the past) because a few people who always view, like, and comment on my posts have informed me that they’re seeing only one or two posts a week, if that. I’m currently working on ideas to fix this, and if anyone has any ideas I’d be happy to hear them.

Goal #3: COMPLETE my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.

As explained last week, I haven’t been working on this because my tablet setup is not conducive to editing processes. However, I can honestly say that I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I only have two more chapters (although one is as long as two chapters) and a short epilogue to finish editing, so I’ve been doing a lot of “mental” editing lately, working through the final scenes in my head and trying to make sure that I’ll be able to whip through those last bits as quickly as possible on my off days. Hopefully my manuscript will be off to my beta-reader by the time I come back out for my next shift.

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

As promised, I went back through my blog posts and the other bits and pieces that I’ve been scribbling out and backtracked to get my word count for not only this week past but the infamous week before as well. The results are thus: week number 3 saw a word count total of 3820 (respectable), and this past week saw a word count total of 3630 (pretty much as respectable). I honestly thought that I wrote more than that this week, though. Mostly what I wrote was just the past few blog posts, but still. I’m genuinely surprised. These days I have a very delicate system of work, sleep, food, shower, and blog-writing time hanging in the balance, but I guess I’m going to have to try and carve out another tiny section of the day with which to write something with a bit more girth.

And with that said, it’s time for me to go get the aforementioned shower and maybe see about squeezing in an episode of one of my shows as I drift off into some much-needed sleep.

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 31

Have you ever experienced a thunder storm without the rain? Maybe that’s common in other parts of the world, but up here in Cape Breton it’s not the norm. We usually have torrents of rain coming down for hours before the thunder and lightning starts, but yesterday we had hours of thunder (and possibly lightning, but it was too light out to tell) for hours before the rain started. It seemed odd and unique to me, which is why I bring it up.

Alrighty, let’s get on with it, shall we?

Health and Body Image Goal

Still thinking about striking this goal from the list, but at the same time I’ve been thinking about how to resuscitate it. I do want to be healthier and lose some body fat while I’m at it, but I’ve been expelling some much of my energy on everything else that I can’t figure out how to work this back into my lifestyle. I’m amazed that I somehow haveย lessย time and energy while unemployed at home than when I was working 12-hour shifts out West. How does that even work? It doesn’t matter. The point is that what Iย want to do (once I tie up a few loose ends) is start a three-times-a-week exercise program that I will interweave with three days a week of doing my Zombies! Run! program (which I will have to start over since I’ve negated everything I did before). Currently I’m trying to decide what the exercise program will be. I’m considering taking Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution and just replacing the cardio days with my running days, but if anyone else has any suggestions for a good three-day-a-week program for women, please share!

Editing Goal

I’m happy to report my best editing week yet since I made these goals. My supernatural romance (tentatively called Moonlight) is complete! I just have to do one more read-through to make sure I didn’t make any glaring errors and then it should be ready for submission. I don’t have high hopes for it, but being able to say that I finally submitted a manuscript to a publisher will be a big deal for me. Plus, now that I’ll finally have that story out of my hair, I can move back on to my zombie apocalypse novel, which is the one I really care about. This one is much longer, so it’s obviously going to take longer to edit, but I’m setting myself a mini-goal to have it done by November, because I fully intend on participating in NaNoWriMo this year and I don’t want to have the last chapters of a zombie apocalypse on my mind while I’m doing it.

1,000,000 Word Goal

Good news! My mini-goal was a success! I wrote my ass off last week, and between blog posts, writing exercises, morning pages, and new-or-changed scenes in Moonlight, I wrote a total of 20194 words! That brings me up to a year-long total of 201938! When I originally made this goal I had hoped to be a lot further along by now, but this is still so many more words that I likely would have written had I not made the goal in the first place. That’s like four NaNoWriMo‘s! In one year! I really hope to be able to keep up this pace. It’s become very unlikely that I’ll hit the 1,000,000 words by the end of the year, but if I’m able to hit 500,000 I will still be very impressed with myself and will mark the goal a success.

As a closing note, I want to mention that I’ve begun The Artist’s Way this week, and over the next couple of days I will be trying to complete as many of the Chapter 1 tasks as I can. I’ve accidentally timed my start such that I’ll finish one week before NaNoWriMo starts, so aside from sharing updates as I go, once I complete the program I’ll do a quick review and let you all know whether it helped me in any way toward writing a new book. Look forward to it!

It’s a Bug’s Life

I have a confession to make. I can hide it no longer. I am a Clutter-Bug.

What the hell is a Clutter-Bug, you ask? Well, what does it sound like? My life and my mind are filled with clutter. Mountains of it.

Don’t mistake me for a hoarder, although material possessions are a little bit of the problem. Physically I do have a lot of hoarder-type clutter around my house. I have an entire shelf on my bookcase that is nothing but blank notebooks I’ve never used, and there’s a whole stack of drawers in the dining room that are filled with good old fashioned junk, like rubber-band balls and dead pens. I have a bit of a hard time throwing stuff away, even when I know there’s no point in keeping them.

But the type of clutter that I’m talking about is the kind that distracts, the kind that disguises itself as disorganization and generally messiness. There are almost always clothes on my bedroom floor, for instance, even though we have a hamper in there. I leave my phone, my tablet, and my Playstation Vita wherever I happen to be when I’m finished using them. There are books on top of my headboard that I haven’t touched in weeks. There are boxes of baby clothes sitting in my hall that I simply haven’t bothered to put away, even though it would take five minutes to cart them down into the basement.

I seem to have a mental block that consistently keeps me from ever putting anything away, thus cluttering up my house. It’s an illness. A terrible, debilitating illness.

But it goes further than that, because clutter can be mental as well.

For instance, in my closet there is a huge stack of jeans taking up a good three square feet of space. None of them fit. They vary between being a size or two off to being so tiny that I would have to get liposuction and a stomach staple to ever have a chance of fitting in them again. And not only are these jeans clutter in the literal sense of taking up space and never being used, they’re clutter in the mental sense because I have to think of them every time I look at them. Every time I open my closet I see this stack of jeans and they make me miserable just for the sheer fact that I know I can’t fit into them. I know I could fit into them if I worked really hard and restricted my calories and stuck to a daily exercise regimen and completely stopped drinking anything other than water and so on and so on and so on…you see? Mental clutter.

Most people do this kind of thing to themselves to some extent, but I, my friends, am an expert. I am the Queen Clutter-Bug. May all lesser Clutter-Bugs bow before me.

Original pic via photoalbum.davison.ca
Original pic via photoalbum.davison.ca

For another example, I have this habit I call “self-fulfilling failure to fulfill”. Basically, I have a mental list in my head of all the things I want to do, or need to do, and no matter how many things I am able to cross off the list I manage to add twice as many more. In this way my list is never complete, and my internal list-maker starts twitching like a drugged-up jackrabbit. It doesn’t matter if I’m working my ass off or sitting back and trying to relax, I have this never-ceasing mental clutter of half-finished to-do lists gumming up my brain.

It’s a horrifying condition for a writer because while I should be writing and working on my platform, I’m instead obsessing about a million other things. I can’t get any writing done around my husband or daughter because I’m so easily distracted by everything they say or do. I can’t get any writing done in my own bedroom because I can’t stop thinking about that basket of clothes on the floor or those damn jeans in my closet. When I do get around to writing I’m plagued by a thousand non-work-in-progress-related thoughts like whether I should be planning some blog posts in advance to give myself more time, or whether I should scrap this fan fiction stuff and just concentrate on my original work, or should I log onto Twitter and see what the other writers are doing? It’s a constant barrage of voices in my head yelling at me about everything except what I’m supposed to be writing about.

“Why aren’t you more active on Twitter? How do you expect to gain followers when you never say anything interesting?”

“Why are you focusing so much on this stupid supernatural romance stuff…it will probably just ruin your image for when the zombie horror novel is done.”

“Oh crap, did I write a blog post for tomorrow? Crap, I didn’t… Crap crap crap!”

It spirals on and on, until I have so many thoughts in my head that I can’t pick out any one particular one. And then I get very, very tired. Queen Clutter-Bug begins to slow down. She crawls into a dark spot and the other Clutter-Bugs swarm around and begin to eat her.

Image via science.kqed.org
Original image via science.kqed.org

But there is hope! Or so I’m told. There are cures for rampant Clutter-Bug-ism, such as meditation, relaxation techniques, and – if you’re a particular kind of person – alcohol. Scour the internet and you will find a million different suggestions for calming the shouting voices in your brain, the ones that keep you from ever being calm or satisfied. There are methods, if only one chooses to seek them out.

Or if you’re like me you can find your own release; little joys that keep you from going utterly insane. How do I dispel Queen Clutter-Bug? I do things that are completely against her nature. I purposely pick something that I know is material clutter and I toss it in the trash, sighing pleasurably all the while. I snuggle up with my daughter and watch cartoons – great brain-blanking animations that somehow keep your mind from thinking about anything else. I watch B-movies with my husband – films so absurdly terrible that you can’t help but just sit and laugh the world away.

My methods may not be ideal, nor might they work at all for someone else with similar Clutter-Buginess issues. But we all must deal with our issues in our own way, and for me these things are Clutter-Bug Raid.

Which reminds me, my mile-long mental list includes spraying some Clutter-Bug Raid. Excuse me, I really must get to that ASAP.

A Blogger by Any Other Name

There is no doubt that social media is a powerful tool. Complain all you like about the kind of people who upload their every passing thought to Facebook, or those who insist on documenting every bite they eat to Instagram, but when you break past the nonsense social media is an amazing way of connecting to people from all over the world, which is a huge deal for an entrepreneur (writer).

But it doesn’t help the entrepreneur in the slightest if their only followers are family members and people they already knew from school or work. The entrepreneur needs to spread their social network, create a spiderweb of connections and interconnections.

Image via thecricketcontrast.com

In Kristen Lamb‘s Rise of the Machines she talks about the three different types of social media friends you want to know – the three different types of people who will help your platform grow.

The Connector brings more people into the fold. The Connector seems to know everyone, and through them the entrepreneur meets many new people as well.

The Maven is a treasure trove of useful information. They always seem to know where you should go or what you should do. They help the entrepreneur become a better entrepreneur.

The Salesman is the person that everyone listens to. If the Salesmen hypes up the entrepreneur’s work (book), you can be damn sure that people will buy it.

As I was reading about these three types of people, I began thinking about whether I knew any of them yet. It took a bit of thinking but I realized that, yes, I do know a few of each, though I’m not sure I know any Salesmen that know me well enough to do what they do best for me.

Then I got to thinking…do I fall into any of these categories?

I’m definitely not a Connector. At this juncture in my life I can definitely say that I know a lot of people, but that’s not exactly the same thing. I have a large family, so I know them, and some of their friends by extension. I know the people I went through school with, though I barely connect with them anymore. I met a ton of people out West while I was working there, and I even have a ton of them added to Facebook and LinkedIN, but again, I connect with very few of them. The fact is that I am actually quite shy, even after all I’ve done and at the ripe old age of 29. I’m not a Connector because I don’t like to connect. Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite fond of most of the people I’ve come to meet over the years, but I’m also the kind of person who sits in a corner at a party until she’s drunk enough to force herself to speak to someone.

I really wouldn’t call myself a Maven either. I do retain information from time to time and have been known to help people out with some well-timed advice, but this is not the norm. I neither retain every bit of information I come across, nor do I make it my mission to share this information with others. In fact, if I come across a good piece of info that I think will help me in the future, I have to record it some manner (blog, notes on my iPhone, etc) or else I will totally forget about it. No, I’m definitely not a Maven.

Salesman? No, this one is even worse than the first two. I can’t be a Salesman. For one thing, even though I blog and Tweet and update my status on Facebook, I am actually still quite shy and have trouble with this concept of trying to convince others to buy something (this is going to become a huge issue later on when I do get a book published and need to market it). For another thing, I’m not the kind of person of whom people automatically trust the opinion. I like such a wide variety of things, that it makes people wary. Someone might not take my suggestion to watch a particular horror movie, for example, because I also recommended this god-awful b-horror-movie that I happened to love. You see what I’m getting at here?

So if I’m not a Connector, not a Maven, and not a Salesman…what am I? Am I just some weirdo hanging out on all the social media outlets, not contributing anything at all to the spiderweb?

No. I contribute, just not in the ways discussed.

I’m a writer. I write about life as a writer, life as a mother, life as a wife. I write zombie horrors and supernatural romances, fantasies and fan-fictions. I write novels and short-stories. I write blog posts.

And because I am a writer I also read. I read blogs, Twitter updates, and Facebook statuses. I read fiction novels and craft books and bits of writing that fellow writers share on the internet.

Through this identity of writer-and-reader I contribute a little bit in every way. I may not be a Connector, but I will occasionally send a writer friend along to a writing group or introduce a blogger to another blog I think they’ll like. I may not be a Maven but I’ll sometimes critique a writer’s work by using the tips and tricks I managed to glean from the last craft book I read. I may not be a Salesman, but I will absolutely promote what I feel requires promoting, especially if it’s something I absolutely loved myself.

So I guess you could say that I’m a protege. I have tiny bits of all three types of people in me, fighting to be something helpful, and that’s okay. We can’t all be precisely labeled by the exact function we serve in society, but we can still contribute in a real and meaningful way.

Hi, my name is Tracey. I’m a Social Media Writer-Reader.

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 28

My blog is not what you would call a “big deal”. My readers mostly consist of close friends and family members who click on the links that I post to Facebook. I get approximately 30 views a day on average, and it’s quite rare that any of those viewers bother to comment on any of my posts. And that’s okay…I’m still just budding, after all.

But since my blog is not exactly the “next big thing” in Internet entertainment, I can’t help but get a little giddy when people actually do drop by. This week, to my surprise, I got three new blog followers, as well as a handful of Twitter followers. It was a very pleasant surprise, so I thought I’d mention it and wave, “HI!” to the newbies who are dropping in here. Love you guys! Please keep coming! I’m so lonely! ๐Ÿ˜€

Health and Body Image Goal

Hahahahaha… Over the past 28 weeks I have not dedicated myself enough to see any really decent results. If you’ve been reading, you know this. I lost maybe 1 or 2 pounds, and a (small) area or two may have toned up a bit. And over the past week I believe I have somehow managed to undo even those tiny victories. I don’t know how it happened, but without gaining any actual weight (according to the scale) I’ve somehow managed to get bigger. Half of my clothes are tight and the other half I can’t get into without breaking the seams. Even my bathing suit refused to let me into it. I feel really rotten about it, if you want to know, but you probably don’t want to know, so let’s move on, shall we?

Editing Goal

I’m still plugging away at my supernatural romance, hoping to get it finished by the end of the month. I didn’t get to look at it much this week, since I spent a good chunk of the weekend away from home for a wedding, but I’m getting there, really. I swear.

In addition, because of what I’ve been reading in craft books and some tips I’ve been stumbling across online, I’ve got lots of ideas for the revision and editing of my zombie apocalypse novel when I get to it. I feel really good about making it a better novel over all. Very exciting.

1,000,000 Word Goal

I definitely didn’t get as much writing in this week as I had originally planned (*cough*hoped), but a few words are a few words, I suppose. I managed to squeak in 4490 words, which isn’t the worst I’ve done, anyway. I’ve been finding it hard to get myself in front of a computer these days. Also, I’ve been trying to read all the craft books that I got, which is slowing me down because I’m taking my time and trying to really understand what I’m reading. On the upside, what I’ve been reading so far is giving me ideas for blog posts, so there’s a small victory. ๐Ÿ™‚

I completely botched the 750 Words challenge as soon as I got home from out West, but things are calming down now, so I think I’m going to return to it, if only to get some ramblings out of my head each morning. What I write there probably won’t be anything worth sharing, but it will keep me writing and get my brain flowing, or so I hope. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Until next week!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 26

Two things to mention before I get to the heart of the matter today. First of all, it’s week number 26! That means I’m halfway through the year! And while I’m nowhere near where I would need to be to be on track with my million word goal, I’ve written more in the past six months than in the previous 2 years combined! But more on that later.

The other thing I want to mention is that as you are reading this I am packing up my last couple of bits and bobbles from the control room at work, chucking it all in a backpack, and awaiting the bus that will return me to camp where I’ll giddily await my plane home. My last plane home. That’s not to say that I won’t end up back out in Alberta for work in a few months or so, but for now I’m heading home with nothing on the horizon except spending quality time with my family and maybe enjoying a number of alcoholic beverages from the comfort of my back deck. Look upon me and be in awe, for I am officially ON VACATION!

Okay, that’s enough of that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Health and Body Image Goal

I’ve been a bit on the ins and outs with this goal, unfortunately, but I’m still not doing too badly. As I mentioned last week I did, in fact, drag myself to the gym and try running on the treadmill. It wasn’t ideal, but acceptable. I figured that’s what I’d do until my stomach felt better. But then my stomach felt worse. I don’t know if it’s the actual physical exertion that’s bothering me, or if it’s the camp food (which, thank god, I won’t be enjoying any more of any time soon), or if I’ve been suffering from some as-yet-diagnosed condition inherited from my sickly parents (love you guys, really :P), but I’ve hardly been able to stand leaving my room in the morning and suffering through the bus ride to work, never mind exercising on top of that. Luckily, about two days ago, my symptoms seemed to subside and I’ve felt halfway decent since then, so here’s hoping all will be well when I get home and try to run around my neighborhood again.

All that said, I’ve still been managing to eat pretty well. I’ve had a cookie here, some pop there, but for the most part I’ve been eating decent food (or as decent as it gets on camp) and not too much of it. I haven’t weighed or measured myself recently because I doubt I’ve lost anything during my refusal-to-exercise days, but I’ve recently had an unusual number of coworkers tell me that I look like I’ve lost weight, so I’m just going to go ahead and say, “Woohoo! I look like I’ve lost weight!”

Editing Goal

I have a stupid, STUPID confession to make. I did try to get some editing done this week, I swear, I really did. But when I finally took out my tablet and opened up the files I transferred there for editing purposes, I discovered something idiotic. Of the four different word-processor-ish apps I have on my tablet, none of them open rtf files. Guess what format all my files are in? After two days of searching for an Android program that DOES open rtf files (for free, because screw that, I’m not paying for an app that I only need for a week) I gave up and admitted defeat. Apparently the world of tablets and smartphones does not believe in the existence of rtf files. So the editing will have to wait for this coming week. Grr.

1,000,000 Word Goal

I have been writing like a maniac this week, mostly due to my rediscovery of 750Words.com. I don’t know what it is, but I love just typing and typing and typing and watching the word counter go up. It’s addictive. Over the course of the week I’ve written blog posts, typed out a few scenes for Returning Hope, did a couple of writing exercises, and did a little bit of free-writing (i.e. writing whatever came to my head as it came to my head). Through all of this combined I managed to once again beat my best week score with a total word count of 16556. In addition to that, I’m happy to announce that I’ve reached a yearly total so far of over 165,000. Again, it’s nowhere near where I need to be for my goal, but it’s a heck of a lot more than I normally would have written, so I’m proud. Revel in my pride! Only six months to go to try and boost that total up as high as I can!

And with that said, I plan to spend the next several hours in the lounge at camp, with my feet up, reading A Dance With Dragons, and waiting for my final flight home. See you soon, Cape Breton!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 24

Do I look super sweet and trustworthy? I only ask because today marked just about the hundredth time that an elderly lady picked me – out of an entire airport full of people – to ask where she had to go/what she had to do or to just sit down and start having a conversation with me like we were old pals. I’m not complaining, I just find it humorous. I’m a young adult wandering around an airport with a Batman t-shirt and “I didn’t get a wink of sleep last night” bags under my eyes, and somehow this translates to “ideal travel companion” to little old ladies. *shrug*

Oh wait, I’m traveling again… That must mean its time for more accountability. Huzzah! ๐Ÿ˜›

Health and Body Image
I’m sad to say that I tapered off on this one last week, mostly because it rained and rained and rained, and I just can’t deal with running in the rain. On that note, after my husband asked me what the hell I was going to do in the winter, I started working on cleaning up our basement so I can use the treadmill again. Not ideal (I find running on a treadmill really hard on my knees) but it’ll be better than not doing anything. In the meantime I’m on my way back out to Fort Mac, where it’s dry as a bone 90% of the time, so yay for getting back to running! The audial zombies have been waiting for me, I’m sure.

Editing Goal
As previously mentioned, I’ve been trying to get rid of my short supernatural romance before moving back to my zombie novel. It’s much quicker going – I’m already halfway through chapter 3 of 10 – so I don’t expect it to take too long. Though I much, much prefer to work within Scrivener, I’ve exported my files and taken them out West with me on my tablet so I can continue to pluck away. Hopefully I won’t screw up my formatting…that stuff drives me looney.

1,000,000 Word Goal
I did a silly thing this week. Namely, I forgot to keep track of my writing. Mostly I only did blog posts, and I can tell you that those accounted for 4329 words, but there’s some more in there somewhere from reworded romance scenes that I neglected to record. I can figure it out…but not without my laptop. So for now we’ll go with the 4329. I’ll add the rest at a later date and report my grand total instead.

And now, my friends, it’s time for another plane ride. Thank puppies I have a good book to read.

The Most Vicious of Vicious Cycles

I have a confession to make.

I decided to take a day off from blogging today so that I could try and get some cleaning done. Our house is in a bit of a shambles, you see, and I hadn’t vacuumed since Niece was here on the weekend, and the cat’s puked in the basement again, so I thought since I had no blog posts planned in advance that I would take the day off and focus on the homestead instead.

And now I’m here telling you about it because I needed to get this out:

Cleaning sucks. It’s the most futile task known to adulthood, especially to an adult who has a toddler and two particularly idiotic cats. The second I clean up the cat puke, one of them decides to “go” outside their litter box. I vacuum my daughter’s bedroom and two minutes later she crumbles a cookie all over her floor. I throw in a load of laundry, and god help me, the stuff still waiting to go in the wash seems to multiply exponentially. For the love of puppies, I can literally see a new coat of dust appearing before I’m even finished wiping away the old dust.

And here’s the thing…even if I’m diligent, even if I forsake spare time, writing time, and playing with my daughter, and I work my ass off to get the house sparkling…by the time I get from one end of the house to the other, the first end has gotten dirty again. Between baby messes, evil cats, and no end of hair and fur on everything, there is just no way to get ahead. And that’s not even taking into account all the organizing and purging that needs to be done.

So with that said, I implore my fellow bloggers, writers, and the random other people reading this post:
How the hell do you do it? Help! HELP! I’m losing my freakin’ mind!!!!