Let it Snow…in the Comm Room

Sometimes we are unfortunately enough to have to work or otherwise be away from home during the holidays. As you read this post I’ll be on the last day of my 14-day shift on the Alberta oil sands. With the full day it takes me to fly out here and the full day it takes to fly back, that means that I will have spent the first 16 days of December over 3000 miles away from my family instead of enjoying my decorated house, reading Christmas stories to my daughter, baking goodies, and wrapping presents.

But I count myself lucky, because I will be home for the actual holiday. When I was young my mother used to have to work Christmas Day every year. And while I’ve been working on the oil sands I have known several of my coworkers to be stuck working their regular shifts during the holidays; some of those coworkers have multiple kids under 10 and didn’t get to see them open any of their presents. So I count my blessings that I get to be home during the most important part of the holidays, and so do my current coworkers because our site is shutting down for Christmas. (Yay!)

With that thought in mind we’ve been unusually cheery and giddy at work the past few days. One of the boys brought an iPod filled with Christmas music and a Bluetooth speaker to play it on. We’ve been sharing ideas with each other about what to buy for kids/spouses/parents, and teasing the hell out of the ones who haven’t done any shopping yet. And look! I decorated our comm console!

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The point that I guess I’m trying to make in my roundabout way is that knowing you’re going to be with family and friends soon can make even 12-hour shifts in the dead of winter feel a hell of a lot easier to deal with. So I really, truly hope that all of you are able to spend your holiday with someone special. I know I can’t wait to get home to my special someones tomorrow. Maybe we’ll even make some more snowflakes together when I get home. What do you think?

Excuses Excuses

One of the more ridiculous aspects of human nature is the ability to make excuses. It’s a strange thing, but no matter how much we want to do something, no matter how fiercely we desire to achieve our goals, we will find every reason under the sun to not actually do anything about it. It’s why so many people resolve to lose weight but never do. It’s why people stay in dead-end jobs despite having big dreams about what they want to do with their lives. It’s why most of us can never get our houses clean, and how we end up with late payment charges on our bills. Whenever something needs doing, we just come up with an excuse for why we can’t do it right now. Whenever we find ourselves being held accountable for something we didn’t do, we just come up with an excuse for why we couldn’t get it done. Some of us are better at coming up with excuses than we are at pretty much anything else.

The most common excuse in the world is “I don’t have the time”, despite the fact that most people have hours a day of disposable time that they waste by checking their Facebook account three hundred times or obsessing over the 300th level of Candy Crush. That is far from the only excuse that people come up with on a regular basis, however. For your perusal, here are a few of the most common excuses I hear on a daily basis (many of them from the inside of my own head), and why they’re an enormous pile of BS.

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Common Excuse #1: “I just don’t have the time!”

Even though I already mentioned it I’ve gotta go with this one first, since it’s the one people spew on a daily basis. It’s all about time, or rather, the lack thereof. No one has the time to do anything, if this excuse is to be believed. We don’t exercise because we don’t have the time to go to the gym. We don’t feed ourselves properly because we don’t have the time for cooking. We don’t work towards our goals (writing a book, running a marathon, renovating a part of the house, etc) because dammit, we just don’t have the time!

It’s the first excuse that almost everyone will come up with, and as much as we feel like it’s true, it’s complete nonsense most of the time. For one thing, the overwhelming majority of us have time, but we spend it doing stupid things like playing pointless smartphone games or investigating every nook and cranny of Facebook like we’re trying to build a court case against our friends and family. For another thing, a lot of us have no sense of how to multitask. For example, say there’s a TV show that you watch every night. It’s a half hour of time that you can’t use for anything else because dammit, you worked hard all day and you deserve to sit down for 30 minutes and watch your show! That’s fine! No one is saying you can’t watch your show! But why not do some sit-ups, or push-ups, or walk on the treadmill, or practice some yoga posesΒ while you’re watching your show? BAM! You’ve had your guilty pleasure and worked in a half-hour of exercise at the same time!

In our rush rush rush world filled with day jobs and chores and kids and all the stuff that you have to keep up on if you want to be a part of the world, it can feel like you have no time. But in reality, you just have to find those little pockets and opportunities to multitask. If you’re spending an hour a day playing Candy Crush you cannot turn around and complain that you have no time to cook yourself a decent meal. If you spend your evenings watching TV you have no right to say that you can’t find the time to exercise.

Common Excuse #2: “I’m just too tired.”

This one is closely related to “I just don’t have the time” because, again, our world today is very much about the rushing around, so we do tend to feel exhausted a lot of the time, at least emotionally. And I will allow that some people genuinely have medical issues that have them feeling tired day after day (GO SEE A DOCTOR!). Regardless, for most people this is an excuse of the highest order because it’s not fatigue…it’s laziness.

The worst offenders are people who decide to skip their workouts because they just feel too tired. I can speak for this one personally because I’ve done it a number of times. The truth is that most of the time you’re just convincing yourself that you’re tired because you don’t feel like doing anything. The great majority of the time if you just get up off your butt and force yourself to go exercise you’ll find that you actually feel great afterward.

The human mind is an incredible thing, but it lies. It will convince you that you’re too exhausted to do something that you don’t feel like doing, and yet somehow, magically, you’ll be awake half the night watching shows on Netflix or playing video games in the dark. Don’t believe your mind. Unless your body is literally collapsing beneath itself and your eyes are burning with the intensity of a thousand suns, chances are that you’re just being lazy and your brain is eager to give you a good reason to be so.

Common Excuse #3: “It’s just so boring!

This excuse is most commonly used for people trying to avoid exercise: as in, “but exercising is so boring!” It can also be used in other situations, however. For instance, someone who would rather eat fast food every night than cook something healthy for themselves might complain that cooking is too boring, or someone who requires practice to achieve a goal (learning to play an instrument, perhaps) might complain of the same.

This is just another form of being lazy because for the most part the “boring” factor can be overcome with a little bit of effort. Exercise, for instance, does not have to be boring if you’re willing to do a bit of research to find a method of exercise that you find enjoyable. Cooking doesn’t have to be boring if you’re willing to get a little creative, maybe involve a loved one or make a game out of it. If you really want to achieve something, you’ll find a way to make it a worthwhile event that keeps you interested.

Common Excuse #4: “I can’t afford it.”

Sometimes this is a valid excuse, but only in specific situations, like if want you’re trying to eat better but have been recently unemployed (healthy food is damn expensive and that’s a rant for another day). In most cases, however, this is another situation in which the excuse-maker simply refuses to put in a bit of thought. Someone who is trying to lose weight and get in shape, for instance, may whine that gym memberships are too expensive and there’s no way they can afford it. But who said they had to go to the gym? There are tons of excellent exercises that you can do right from home with little or no equipment. This is more a case of people assuming that the only way to accomplish something is to spend a ton of money. Paying for things makes us feel accountable and as though we’ve already accomplished something just because money has changed hands, but it’s a hollow victory. Save your money and look instead for ways that you can accomplish your goals without spending anything.

Common Excuse #5: “I just have no motivation at all.”

Of all the excuses out there, this one may be the worst because it is effectively saying, “I have these goals, and I really want to achieve them, but I just plain don’t want to do anything and don’t want to have to take any responsibility for not doing anything.” No matter what kind of goal we’re talking about, stating out loud that you have no motivation is the same as stating that you don’t actually care about your goal at all, because if you did that would be motivation enough. I’ve heard this excuse a hundred times, even coming out of my own mouth, and even hearing myself say it is frustrating to say the least. Don’t say that you “have no motivation.” Skip right to the honest truth: “I feel like I should probably [lose some weight/get my book published/do some work around the house/etc] because that’s what other people expect of me, but I don’t actually care enough to actually do it, so I’m just going to sit around and whine like there’s a secret ‘motivation switch’ in the back of my brain that someone flicked off while I wasn’t looking.”

What it all comes down to in the end is that excuses are only just that…excuses. If you really cared about your goals, about getting things done or making changes in your life, you would do it instead of just telling the world around you about all the reasons why you can’t manage. Because, trust me, no one really cares about your excuses. They’re too busy complaining about their own.

Step Back – Deep Breath – Shop Responsibly

Friends, family members, countrymen… I have a request of you. It is a simple request that will do us both a world of good, I assure you. My request is thus:

Do not absolutely lose your mind tomorrow over Black Friday sales.

Image borrowed from blog.visitminot.org

This request comes a tad too late, which is the first part of the problem. My American friends have assured me that the insanity I’ve been reading about on the internet is true…this year many retailers are starting their Black Friday sales on Thursday, more importantly known as American Thanksgiving.

There is so much wrong with this move, least of all not the fact that, hey, retailers, it’s called Black FRIDAY for a reason. But the real issue, of course, is the demeaning of a national holiday. This move shows a complete and utter lack of respect for both the holiday and the retailers’ employees. Instead of spending a bit of time with their families and sitting down to a nice meal, countless sales associates are going to be trapped at the center of the insanity, being screamed at by crazy shoppers who didn’t get the precise sale they came there for.

And don’t even talk to me about getting paid overtime for the holiday. I’ve worked in sales on Black Friday. Time and a half is not nearly enough for that kind of abuse.

American friends, please stay home today. Believe me, I understand the lure of great sales when it comes time to open your wallet for Christmas presents, but no sale is worth this. If you keep encouraging the retailers they will continue to think that this kind of thing is perfectly alright, and mark my words, next year they’ll start their sales at midnight as Thanksgiving day rolls in.

Black Friday in Canada has never been as big a deal as in America, but I would like to take this moment to speak to my fellow Canucks as well. Do not lose your mind tomorrow. Sales are great, sales are awesome, and I myself will be out there hoping to find some things on the cheap. But sales are not worth spiking your blood pressure so high that everyone around you worries your head might explode. Sales are not worth driving from store to store like Mario Andretti and winding up in a pointless, avoidable accident. Sales are not worth verbally abusing sales associates who have absolutely no power over how many of a particular item a store gets in stock. Sales are not worth making yourself and everyone else around you miserable.

Trust me, everyone. You’ll feel a lot better at the end of the day if you go into Black Friday with a calm breath and an attitude of it not being a big deal if you don’t get the sales you’re hoping for.

Plus, hey…there’s always Cyber Monday.

Thoughts On Disagreeing with Other People’s Hobbies

Yesterday on FaceBook an old classmate of mine struck up a conversation about a trend she’s been noticing, wherein girlfriends/wives are banning their men from playing video games, in many cases either because they see video games as being childish kid stuff, or as being a stupid waste of time (despite the fact that most games published these days are aimed at adults, and that tons of studies show that video games are excellent for cognitive function, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and yes, even social interaction).

I thought I’d take this opportunity to say a few things about hobbies.

One of my hobbies is writing, re-writing, revising, changing, starting over from scratch, and writing some more.
One of my hobbies is writing, re-writing, revising, changing, starting over from scratch, and writing some more. >.<

Playing video games is a hobby, just like watching TV, reading books, playing a musical instrument, writing, painting, bike-riding, or playing sports. And here’s the thing about hobbies: they’re things that we do in our spare time, things that we enjoy doing that allow us to escape from the things that stress us out in our daily lives, and the things that we choose to have as hobbies are 0% the business of anyone else as long as they’re not hurting anyone.

Here’s something you may not know about me: I think that reality TV is the scum of the Earth. I believe that it’s complete nonsense and in my personal opinion watching that drivel is the epitome of a waste of time. But you know what? I don’t go wandering into my friends’ and family’s houses and ripping their TV’s plug out of the wall when I see them watching Big Brother or American Idol. Because as much as I might not like it, what they choose to watch in their spare time is their own damn business, and all I have to do is (big revelation here) not watch.

To any women who are trying to ban their men from playing video games (or, for that matter, men who are trying to enforce similar banning on their women) I ask this of you: take a look in the mirror. Think about the things that you do in your spare time and ask yourself, honestly, if these things are the greatest use of your time. If you spend multiple hours a day on your smartphone, texting with friends about meaningless nonsense, you can’t say anything about anyone who plays video games. If you sit at your computer and browse FaceBook and Twitter all evening, you can’t say anything about anyone who plays video games. If you have any hobby at all, from reading to playing tackle football, that is something that you spend a lot of time on and makes you happy, you can’t say a damn thing about anyone who plays video games.

Ladies (and men), unless your significant others’ video game playing is chronic, to the point that he never leaves the house, is one inch away from being fired from his job, or he hasn’t so much as glanced at his kids in weeks, you have no right to try and stop him from doing what he enjoys. How would you like it if he told you that you were no longer allowed to do something you love?

That’s not how relationships work, people. Just because you don’t personally enjoy one of your significant others’ hobbies doesn’t mean you can try to take it away from them. And if you honestly believe that your attempts are logical and justified, you have a lot of growing up to do. Video games aren’t childish. People who think that they can take other peoples’ hobbies away from them are childish.

The Success in the Failure

My Facebook friends and Twitter followers already know about this, but I thought that, considering the subject matter, it bore repeating as a blog post.

Yesterday morning, a little less than one month since I sent out my first real manuscript submission to a publisher, I received an email back from said publisher.

It was a big, fat rejection letter.

And it wasn’t even an overly impressive rejection. It basically read, “Ms Tobin, sorry, but your story isn’t for us, good luck in the future.”

Now, here’s the thing. I’ve been expecting this since the second I hit the “send” button on my submission. While I wanted to have a glimmer of hope, I had a dozen voices shouting pessimism (reason?) at me. I thought, “It’s my first submission, and who the hell ever gets published on their first submission?” and, “You don’t even read romance novels, so what makes you think you would be able to write a decent one?” I wasn’t terribly hard on myself, I was just trying to be reasonable. I didn’t want to get my hopes up when the chances are so terribly low of getting a deal with a publisher these days, particularly on your first try.

But, here’s the other thing: I’d be a dirty, dirty liar if I said the rejection didn’t sting. Despite my 99.99% certainty that nothing good would come of my submission, there was still that tiny little glimmer in the back of my mind, holding out hope. And that glimmer imploded in upon itself when I read the words “your project isn’t right for us”. I had a wave of disappointment, followed by a wave of anger, followed by a wave of almost physical pain – all this within a 30 second span.

But then something wonderful happened. It was over. After weeks of checking my email fifty times a day, wondering if I would get a response today or not for months, telling myself that it was going to be a rejection but also praying for it to be an acceptance, it was over. My story was rejected. Submission saga complete. Nothing left to worry about.

I learned several things about myself and about the system by submitting that manuscript…

For one thing, I learned that I hate the traditional publishing process, not because it rejected me, but because of the time and waiting required. I only had to wait a month to get that rejection letter, and the waiting drove me right up the wall. Most big publishers quote up to 6 months or more, and many of them make it very clear that they expect to be the only one looking at your manuscript at any given time (if they find out you’ve submitted to multiple publishers at once it’s an automatic rejection). So say for a moment that I start submitting my zombie apocalypse novel and that it takes 5 publishers before one says yes (which is generous, as some people submit to dozens of publishers before hitting pay dirt). Now say that each of those publishers requires that you can’t submit to anyone else until they’re done with you, and say that each one of them quotes a 6 month waiting period, which they dutifully use every second of. That means that it would be two and a half years before that fifth publisher decided to take a chance, and that’s before the long process of contracts, cover design, copyediting, etc that can also take years. In other words, by the time my zombie apocalypse novel was actually in print people might not give a flying rat’s tail about zombies anymore, and my sales might be abysmal. Alternately, I could self-publish the book by the end of this year if I put my heart in it…I’d have to do all the cover/editing/marketing work myself, but it would be out years earlier, during a time when there are tons of zombie movies and games around because zombies are in right now.

Another thing I learned is that I’m not nearly as delicate as I thought I was. Sure I had my moment of depression that sparked anger and frustration as well, but it was all over in less than a minute. I didn’t mope or tell myself that I got rejected because my story was crap. I didn’t turn into a miserable ball of self-loathing. I had a burst of emotion, and then it was over. I’ve moved on. Back on the road and heading into the great beyond. No turning back now.

And another thing that I learned is that I’ve gathered a great community of family, friends, and fellow writers around me over the past months. When I took to Facebook and Twitter to announce my first official rejection letter, the response I got was just wonderful. Amongst the messages I got were:

“Some day your writing will pay off for you. You love it too much for it not to!” – my father

“Just save it for when you do sell your book. You can frame it next to a glowing review.” – @writerreese

“Celebrate! It means you’re a dedicated, professional writer!” @SaraMThorn

There were many others, and it really gave me a burst of confidence, an invaluable thing to me. So I want to say thank you. Thank you to the people who rallied around me to make sure that I knew this wasn’t the end of the world (or, at least, my writing career), thank you to all the writers and references that have let me know what I can expect from both traditional publishing methods and self-publishing methods, and thank you to the editor who gave my manuscript a chance and was relatively quick in letting me know that it wasn’t what they were looking for. Now I can move forward, which is the direction that one definitely wants to be headed in.

The Hardest Part is the Waiting

Look at that title, and tell me that it’s not the truth in many things. Think about things you do on a daily basis, things you deal with regularly, big events in your life…what was the hardest part of them?

WAITING. Dammit.

My Facebook friends and family already know this, but a few days ago on August 28th, I submitted my supernatural romance to a publisher. This is my first ever manuscript submission, and there were lots of things about it that were terribly difficult. The editing process was horrible. Trying to figure out how to get Scrivener to properly format the results was a right awful pain in the ass. Researching all the info necessary to make sure that I was doing everything exactly the way the publisher requests was an enormous headache. Writing a query letter that sounded confident but not cocky was painful. And trying to write a synopsis that explained my story without making it sound idiotic was possibly one of the hardest things I’ve ever written.

But none of those things is the hardest part. You know what the hardest part is.

My manuscript is out there now, and I can honestly say with great confidence that I’m expecting a rejection letter sometime in the future. I’m not worried about that part because I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this is almost definitely what is going to happen – not very many writers get a contract on their first ever submission, after all. But it’s not the looming threat of a rejection letter that is difficult; I’m actually kind of looking forward to it, because a rejection letter is just one step closer to an acceptance letter.

But it’s the waiting. God dammit, the waiting.

frazzledThis, I think, is the main reason that a lot of writers are going indie or self-publishing. The waiting. It’s awful. The particular publisher that I submitted this manuscript to aims to respond to all submissions within three months. And that’s short compared to other publishers. Some publishers quote 6 months, others up to a year.

I’ve been waiting for 6 days and I’m going insane; imagine if I had to wait for up to a year.

The hardest part, I’m telling you. Bar none.

This experience, thus far, has taught me that I’m not a fan of dealing with traditional publishers. So, I guess, if anything, I’m learning. So, go me?

Fellow writers, what is your experience with waiting on traditional publishers? Did it drive you completely up the wall? Was it worth the wait? Did long waits affect your decision to either remain with traditional publishing or move on to other options? Please share!

Disconnect to Re-Connect

Recently I read a post on Girls Heart Books in which the author spoke about taking her teenagers on a vacation in a location where they could not (easily) access any Wi-Fi. The post got me thinking about the joys and failings of constantly being connected.

We live in a world where we can be connected to the entire rest of the planet all the time. We have smartphones small enough to keep in our back pocket, with enough power in them to handle almost anything we can do on a larger computer, and for the most part we can constantly have them connected to the internet and everything that entails.

In a lot of ways, having constant access makes life a lot easier. We can check on our work from home (or anywhere else we happen to be). We can contact friends and family members from wherever we are. If we’re lost, our phone’s can show us exactly where we are and how to get where we’re going. If we have a question we can access Google anytime, anywhere. We can talk to people on the other side of the planet. We have constant access to multiple forms of entertainment.

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Image via Flikr WANA Commons, courtesy of Dani Jace.

But as great as all of this can be, it’s also dangerous, because so many of us these days have what’s (creatively) known as “smartphone addiction”. We use our smartphones to check our email dozens of times a day, even though we know there probably isn’t anything new there. We spend more time Tweeting and updating our Facebook statuses than actually paying attention to the world and the things we’re updating about. Our brains have a hard time remember things because we subconsciously know that we can find anything out with the few clicks of the keyboard. We share fewer actual face-to-face social reactions because we can’t get our heads off of online social media. People have even been known to walk out into traffic because they refused to look up from their smartphone screens.

I’m not high-and-mighty; I know that I’m as bad as anyone. I’ve checked my email more times in one day than the number of emails I got in that day, and I’ve been known to not notice people talking to me because I had my head buried in 9GAG. But I know enough to know that all these things are bad things. Many of the habits we’ve adopted because of “smartphone addiction” are huge time vampires, actually take us away from our friends and families rather than bringing us closer to them, and regularly put us in danger (see the aforementioned walking into traffic).

So all I’m saying is to take a break every now and then. Put the Android down and look your loved one’s in the face. Watch the fireworks instead of trying to film them with your iPhone. And for the love of puppies, your text can wait until you have a chance to stand still for a moment.

Have you ever noticed how much time you waste on your smartphone? Have you ever gotten frustrated because of someone else who can’t get their eyes off the screen? Have you, or someone you love, ever gotten into an accident because of smartphone addiction? Please share!

Live Your (Imaginary) Life

The first week of The Artist’s Way is all about recovering a sense of “safety”. Miss Cameron fully admits that this week will probably feel silly, even stupid, but that you should push through it anyway because it’s important. The exercises involve writing affirmations (basically sentences that you say to yourself to tell yourself how great you really are), acknowledging your “blurts” (negative thoughts that spring to mind, such as “I’m such a terrible writer”), and facing the demons in your past that have caused you to think negatively. The whole idea, overall, is to face the fact that we all have an internal voice (a “Censor”, she calls it) that shouts negative comments at us all the time, even (and especially) when we don’t deserve it. And generally this Censor is a culmination of all the negativity we’ve had to endure from our peers and elders throughout our lives.

But the exercises aren’t all about facing negativity. One in particular was actually quite amusing, I thought. Basically, imagine that you have five alternative lives to live; who would you be and what would you do? The point isn’t to be serious, it’s to give life to the you that your inner child imagined you might become.

For myself, the answers were immediately clear, because there are five things I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. Hey, I know, why don’t I share them here? πŸ˜€

Imaginary Life #1
I’d be a (successful) writer, as if that weren’t entirely obvious. I would write fiction novels and occasionally publish a book of short stories. I would have a room in my house specifically for writing, with shelves of books on every wall, and a beautiful desk in front of a large, bright window. The desk would house my laptop, and a stack of notebooks and pens, and I would write there all day while sipping hot tea and cafe mochas.

Imaginary Life #2
I’d be a singer/songwriter who specialized in the guitar. I’d write and compose all my own songs and travel the world playing shows and festivals. I’d be on the road most of the time, but when I wanted to rest I’d come back to Cape Breton and play around a campfire with my friends and family.

guitarkittyImaginary Life #3
I’d be a famous artist. I’d delve into all the different mediums; drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. I would have a room in my house dedicated to art where I would store all kinds of different supplies from around the world, and I’d draw and paint on the walls to chart my inspiration.

Imaginary Life #4
This one might surprise even my closest friends and family, but I would be an actress. I’d do all kinds of things, from movies and TV shows, to cheesy horror movies and voice acting. In particular I would regularly audition for parts in action-adventure movies as the damsel-in-distress who is actually pretty kick-ass all on her own.

Imaginary Life #5
I’d design video games. I would do a little bit of everything, from concept art and character design, to programming and beta-testing. I would want to be a part of every aspect of the process, and I would help to create characters and storylines that draw in the gamer, as well as controls and gameplay that keep the gamer hooked.

#1 is pretty obvious if you’ve read at least one of my other blog posts or have known me for more than five minutes, but the others may be a bit surprising, especially to those who don’t know me personally, so let me explain a little.

#2 comes about because I’ve always been a bit musical, like much of my family, and in fact much of Cape Breton in general. We’re a musical region. I took several years of piano lessons when I was young, and then moved on to guitar, which I mostly taught myself. Though I haven’t had time for it in recent years, I’ve always loved playing and singing, and it’s one of the few things I feel like I can do in front of a crowd.

#3 dates back to much younger years, stemming back as far as grade school. I loved to draw, and I’d paper my walls with drawings of my favorite TV show and video-game characters. I was never really any good at the other mediums like painting, but I always used to think that if I just kept practicing and practicing, someday I’d be a great artist. Sadly, art in general is something that went by the wayside for me, as I focused more and more on writing instead. The only thing I’ve drawn in years are tiny sketches of the Ninja Turtles at my daughter’s bequest.

#4 is my little inner guilty pleasure secret. I don’t think I’ve ever, at any time, voiced a desire to be an actress, but I seriously started thinking about it in high school as a result of a Drama course. For one assignment we had to do a monologue, and I picked this really dramatic piece where a girl talks about a death in her family. After I performed it the whole class applauded and told me how awesome I was, so for a while after that I convinced myself that I had real talent and would somehow get discovered someday (despite a lack of any kind of effort on my part to actually pursue acting).

#5 is the most childish of the bunch, in my opinion, because it’s based on a childhood assumption that video games were really easy to make. I figured I just had to learn a bit of programming and off I would go. Obviously I’ve learned a lot since then and know that it takes huge crews to make (most) video games, but I still think it would be an awesome profession to be a part of, if only to see the end result of all your hard work enjoyed by millions.

So there you have it! The five imaginary lives of Tracey Lynn Tobin.

If you had five imaginary lives, what would you be? I’d love to hear about your choices!

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! πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚

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!