Accountability Wednesdays: Week 22

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You know what’s incredibly adorable? A three-year-old helping out in the garden. I have the kind of plants around my house that require you to pull away the dead stuff each Spring, and the second I put my gardening gloves on the little missy demanded that she have a pair too. Fifteen minutes and one trip to Canadian Tire later and I had this helping me out with my landscaping:

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That is how you make gardening fun right there. Best little cedar-chip spreader I ever met. Also, gardening…hard freakin’ work. Really brings home how terribly out of shape I am. And speaking of being out of shape…

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

I’m proud to say that I’ve managed to keep on track since my post last week. I am now in the middle of week 2 of my exercise plan, which involves three days a week of the Zombies! Run! app, three days a week of a strength-training program, and one rest/stretch day. For myself, the trick to exercise has always been keeping my brain amused. I used to read magazines while walking on the treadmill. That worked once, but at the moment I’m at a point where just walking isn’t going to do me any good. That’s why the Zombies! Run! app is great, because it’s like living a little story while learning how to run. I’m doing the 5k training version of the app, and it starts out really slow, which is good for me because I’m so out of shape that 20 seconds of running has me panting like a heat-stressed dog.

For the strength-training I’ve been following the program in a book I’ve had for a while called Buff Brides. My husband laughed at me when he saw me looking at it and pointed out that I haven’t been a bride for a while. I punched him and told him that I was pretty sure my body didn’t care whether it was going to be ultimately wearing a wedding dress or not. I chose that program because I did it before (guess when?) and it’s strenuous enough for me to get something out of it while being low-key enough for me to not want to throw up while doing it (an important factor for me). Mind you strength training is incredibly boring to me, which is why I’ve been watching TV shows while doing it. Win-win.

Anyway, long story short, I’ve been getting all my exercise in this week. The eating aspect of trying to lose weight and get healthier is a little bit more difficult and I can’t honestly say that I’m doing well there. Baby steps, right? Right.

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

I’m seriously considering removing this from the list simply because it’s hard to write about every week. 😛

Everything is pretty much the same as it has been during previous weeks. The big thing that I did this week was to participate in Jay Dee’s What Will You Write? challenge…which I won. ^_^ It was fun, and I’m expecting it to get big as time goes on, so I’ll keep participating.

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

I can’t really report anything this week because there was no physical accomplishments. In my defense, it’s been a really busy week. That said, I’ve got it mentally worked out how I’m going to proceed with the next few chapters (which will have some minor revisions), so I’m all prepared. The next two days are going to be a bit of a write-off because I’ve got company coming today and a 3-hour drive on my hands tomorrow, but I am confident that this weekend I will get a chance to sit down and really get some work done.

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

It was a good week. Even though a few of the things that I wrote are things that I don’t think are ever going to be published in any manner, I did wind up with a total of 9172 words this week, which is nothing to sneeze at. I’ve been trying to get as much out as I can before I return to work because I don’t know what my output is going to be like once that happens. I’m also trying to schedule lots of blog posts in advance, which really helps with the word count. But, that said, I’m starting to run out of ideas, so if anyone wants to make any suggestions I’d be happy to hear them. lol

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 21

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First, a bit of randomness on this particular Wednesday. Have you ever had to take a drug test for any reason? I’m up to my third test because it’s a requirement for most companies on the Alberta oil sands before you’re allowed to go out on their sites. For the majority, the work camps that employees live on during their shift are “dry and drug-free”, meaning that if you’re caught drinking or taking recreational drugs, you’re booted out. In a lot of cases you’re blacklisted by the company who owns the site and you can never work on one of their sites again. So, yeah…ensuring that you’re not a drunk or a druggie is a bit of a big deal.

So anyway, I went for one of these drug tests recently because I’ve been offered a new position starting in June. This particular test was at a different location than the ones I’d been to previously, and one of the first things the lady in charge asked me was to lift up my pant legs so that she could see I didn’t have anything hidden there. After showing her that I didn’t have any smuggled samples and having a bit of a chuckle, I asked her if she got a lot of people trying to cheat the system. She told me that I’d be depressed if I knew just how often that happens. She said that sometimes people actually show up to the test loaded drunk. Other times she’s had people come in with big bottles (filled with other peoples’ urine, remember) bulging through their pant leg and have argued her down to the ground that there was nothing there. More than once she’s had to call the cops on someone who assaulted her because she wouldn’t let them take the test with their – very obviously right there under your pants – illegal sample on them.

I had to share because of the sheer absurdity of it. I can’t fathom, for the life of me, walking into a drug testing facility and signing a bunch of legal documents swearing, upon legal retribution, that the sample you’re providing is your own, and then being surprised when the tester asks you to prove that you don’t have anything on you before you take the test. It just…flummoxes me. o.O

And with that said, shall we move on to the accountability portion of the post?

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

Finally – finally – I have something to report for this one. I’m so proud.

Early Sunday morning, despite the fact that we were experiencing that gross misty rain (you know the stuff that is hardly even rain, but more like a thin mist, and you get totally soaked from standing in it for ten seconds?), I dragged myself out of bed, took a hit of my inhaler, and went for a run. I say run…it was mostly walking, but still. I started from scratch with the Zombies! Run program, and I’m glad I went right back to the beginning…I’m so out of shape that even the 15 second running intervals had me panting. But the point is that I did it! I got up, went outside, and went for a “run”!

Even better, the following day I did about forty minutes of strength training, and the day after that I did another Zombies! run. Today, sometime after you’ve already read this post, I’ll be doing another round of strength training. Rinse, repeat!

I will say that I feel really good. Exercise does genuinely make me feel good about myself, it’s just hard to convince myself of that fact when I’m feeling lazy or have a thousand other things that need doing.

The food-related side of the story is a little less impressive. I’ve been trying to drink more water than anything else, but it’s difficult because I hate water. Exercise always makes me crave things like fruit and protein, so that helps, but often a few hours later I find myself dying for sugar. One step at a time, though, right? 🙂

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

Things have been a little slow here, to be honest. I can’t say that I’ve been particularly bad on the social media front, just not necessarily as good as I could be. I still find it hard to think of anything worth saying on Twitter, though I have been spending a fair bit of time conversing with my fellow bloggers, so that’s good.

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

I said I’d get something done on this last week, and for once I actually told the truth. It’s difficult to find the necessary quiet time in order to concentrate on what I’m doing, but this week I managed to go through and sign off on two chapters. Those chapters are 100% done and will not be changed any more in any way. So now I’ve got to do the same thing for fourteen more chapters. Hopefully I can pick it up a little more this week.

On a related note, has anyone here ever used Scrivener to compile a manuscript into a Kindle file? I’ve been playing with it and I’m having the worst time. I got it to actually do the compile, but the file I wound up with had enormous text so that there was maybe one sentence on each page. I have no idea why it’s doing it because everything compiles properly when I use other formats, such as PDF. Anyone? Help a fellow indie writer out?

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

I’ve fallen off the wagon a little here, but all in all it was still a half-decent week. I’ve been trying to schedule a bunch of blog posts in advance because of the aforementioned job offer, and between that and a little bit of random journaling I managed to end up with 6809 words for the week. One thing that I noticed when examining the little spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my words is that I have written no original fiction yet this year. I did a little bit of work on my Final Fantasy novelization, but I don’t consider that to be original fiction, for obvious reasons. This distresses me a bit. I do have the defense of trying to get one manuscript in publishable form, but it bothers me that I’m almost five months into the year and haven’t written a single new thing. I’m really dying to get to work on the fantasy series, and I think that once I get on that it will really boost my word count. So, fingers crossed, I guess. 🙂

Fun times!

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 20

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Whenever I can think of something quick and interesting, I try to share a little something at the beginning of all my accountability posts, as a little bonus to the people who bother to read them (and as an incentive to the people who really couldn’t care less about my goal progression). This week I just had to share this article, which I stumbled across on Business Insider. It explains, quite simply, that the same researchers who initially provided evidence of gluten-sensitivity have now published follow-up papers that show that they were totally wrong and there is no such thing as gluten-sensitivity. (This is not to be confused with Celiac disease, which is an auto-immune condition that is triggered by gluten and is, in fact, a very real disease.) I have to be honest, this amuses me a great deal because I know a few people who actually have Celiac disease and have to deal with all that that entails, and then I also know quite a few people who have used the term “gluten sensitivity” to give them an excuse for everything from why they’re overweight, to why they need to have a ton of special instructions for every meal, to why they just refuse to stop farting every five seconds (yes, that’s an actual conversation that I’ve had to endure with a coworker).

One less thing to blame all your troubles on, people. Sorry, try again. XP

And now to talk about my troubles, which I’ll readily admit are entirely my own fault.

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

Not a great deal to report here. As usual exercise hasn’t been on the top of my priority list. I will say that I’ve been eating a little better, although that’s objective. I’ve been forcing myself to have breakfast in the morning, usually in the form of a bran-dense cereal of some kind, and at the advice of a couple of readers I’ve been trying to force more liquids down my throat to keep the hunger at bay. I have a really hard time drinking plain water, but I’ve been drinking a lot of caffeine-free tea and juices. There’s also the occasional glass of pop, but I’ve been trying really hard to restrict that to one glass a day. I will admit that it’s helping. I’m still snacky (I’m working on that, I swear), but not nearly as bad as I was a week ago. I’ve been managing to keep the constant random grabbing of easily-shoved-in-my-mouth foods to a minimum.

On a related note, can being a little dehydrated actually make you a little bloated? I’m just wondering because since I’ve been forcing more fluids into me I’ve noticed that my pants don’t feel as tight. I haven’t lost any weight or inches; my pants just feel a little more comfortable. Does that make any sense at all? :\

Oh, also, I’ve now been on my trail medication for my stomach problems for a week now. I kinda thought they might be helping, but then this morning I had some major gut rot for no reason that I could discern…I didn’t even eat anything out of the ordinary. So, I dunno. I have an appointment to see the gastroenterologist again in two weeks, so maybe he’ll have something else to say, or want to put me on different meds, or maybe he’ll just tell me that I’m psychotic. We’ll see, I suppose.

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

Things are going as well as always on this front. I’m still trying hard to keep up with the blogging community, and I’ve been making an effort to drop a tweet every now and then that isn’t a link to the blog. I’ve noticed a couple of new followers to the blog, as well as a couple of new likes on my Facebook Author page, so that’s awesome. Hi everyone! *waves*

Another silly thing that I’ll mention because it’s technically kinda “social”…last week the hubby and I re-watched Tropic Thunder (a ridiculous comedy about a bunch of actors making a war movie, if you didn’t know). There’s this one scene that involves Robert Downey Jr in an inception-like levels-deep role, and I thought it was so silly that I made this image about it:

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I then posted the pic on 9gag.com, because what the hell, right? Well, apparently over 23,000 people thought it was amusing as well, because BAM. Hot page. It’s not exactly the crowning achievement of my internet career, but I have to admit that it pleases me that 23,000 people “liked/upvoted” something that I came up with.

Now if the image would just find it’s way onto Robert Downey Jr’s Facebook page, I could die a happy fangirl. lol

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

I’m gonna go right ahead and put this out there: I’m going to get something done on this during this following week, or I am going to find some way to severely punish myself. The floor is open for suggestions, people. Give me some motivation by telling me how I can torture myself if I don’t get some work done.

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

All other things aside, it was a pretty good week for this goal. It wasn’t quite as good a week as week 19, but still an excellent one at a total of 8240 words. I expect to get at least that number in again this following week because I’ve got a lot of blog-post planning to do. You see, I’ve gotten word that I shall be returning to work in just under a month, and I want to get as much work completed and out of the way as possible before that happens. So look forward to another excellent word count next Wednesday. ^_^

And don’t forget: if you haven’t been officially diagnosed with Celiac disease, all that super-expensive gluten-free stuff is a complete waste of money. XD

Great Expectations: A Published Novel

I’ve been meaning to participate in one of The Daily Post‘s daily prompts for a while now, and this one seemed like an excellent one to start on. The prompt is as follows:

Tell us about one thing (or more) that you promised yourself you’d accomplish by the end of the year. How would you feel once you do? What if you don’t?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, or if you’ve ever seen any of my “Accountability Wednesday” posts, you probably already know the answer. I have four goals for the year 2014, and of those four the most important one is to completely finish and publish my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.

Look! I've already got the cover made up!
Look! I’ve already got the cover made up!

My other goals are are important to me as well, but this is the one that I feel I must accomplish, even when I don’t feel at all like working on it. A little while back I officially decided (if only in my own mind) that I am going to self-publish this, my first ever novel. I did a lot of research and weighed a lot of pros and cons, and what really brought me to a decision was the timing. For the past few years zombies have been kind of a big thing – there are tons of movies, books, TV shows, and video games that have taken advantage of that trend. But that zombie love is on the downward trend. If you want to jump on the zombie bandwagon, the time to do so is fading, and fast. And that’s why traditional publishing isn’t really an option. Even if I did manage to snag a contract with one of the big publishers, it could take months or years to do so (since many publishers insist that they be given exclusive chance to check out your manuscript before ultimately rejecting it), and even after all of that the traditional publishing market is extremely slow. If even half of the sources that I’ve read are telling a quarter of the truth, even after scoring a contract you can expect to wait years for an actual physical copy of your book to be printed. In all that time, zombies could easily become the last thing in the world that people care to read about.

Thus, it’s self-publishing for me, at least this time. But even with that decision made, I still have to, you know…finish the manuscript. I’ll give myself a few props: the story is written, edited, and beta-read. What I’m currently struggling with is the last set of edits, which includes a couple of small revisions that I’ve been struggling to get myself to work on. The problem, I think, is that while I believe these changes will make the story better overall, I also dread actually having to make them because I’ve never done such a thing before. In the past, when I’ve decided that something in one of my stories required changing, I would – though it’s outrageously counter-productive – re-write the entire thing. I’m not sure why, but I find it extremely difficult to change something in the middle of the story. I can change it as I approach it, via a complete rewrite, but actually going into a chapter in the middle of a story and taking stuff out in order to put other stuff in…somehow the process eludes me. It’s like novel surgery, and I haven’t been properly trained.

And yet, I’ve sworn to myself that it is going to be done, and while I’ve given myself the year, I would really like to see it done by October so that I can promote sales for Halloween.

How will I feel once I’ve done it? Outrageously good. Productive. Like an entrepreneur. Accomplished. I’ll feel like a real author.

If I don’t get it done? Well, let’s just go ahead and not find out, okay? Okay.

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 19

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I’m just gonna put this out there, on the off-chance that someone actually responds. If there is anyone out there who has the secrets on either, a. turning off your stomach so that it stops feeling hungry all the time for no reason, b. learning how to happily exist on less sleep, or c. getting stuff (work/exercise) done in your sleep, I would greatly, greatly appreciate a heads up.

Moving on.

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

As you may have already discerned from my little passive-aggressive rant up there, this goal is still not going so hot. I had really, truly hoped to have a good doctor’s appointment on Friday…a revealing one. Unfortunately, it was more along the lines of, “Well, we know there’s something wrong because you’re telling us that something is wrong, and also your blood work is telling us that something is wrong, but…we don’t know what is wrong.” Basically, none of the tests show anything. I have a ton of symptoms, but they can find no signs of any kind of condition. My family physician is convinced that my problem is the same as one that my mother has, but again, no proof. I left my doctor’s office on Friday with a vague sense of doom and a prescription for a trial run of some meds that may help, but may also make my problems worse. Oh, and it may take up for a month for me to even notice if they’re making a difference, and they cost $80 for a month’s supply. So yeah. I’m not in the best of moods concerning that particular aspect of my life.

Several times in the past week I’ve tried to convince myself to get up and go for a run in the morning, but it hasn’t happened yet. A combination of straight-up laziness and fear that my stomach will fall clean out of me the second I try to move has kept me from taking the leap. To make matters even more fun, I’ve crossed back over into the “ravenous hunger” part of the strange hungry/not-hungry cycle I go through for no discernible reason (see request a.).

All in all, just feeling horrible about myself. There’s always next week, I guess.

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

I suppose I can give myself some kudos on this one. My Facebook time has slowed down a bit, but I notice I’ve been doing a lot more consistent interaction with other bloggers, plus I’ve actually been dropping in on Twitter every now and then. I’m also proud to say that I’m THIS CLOSE (*imagine me holding my fingers a really short distance from each other*) to hitting the 200 followers mark on this blog. Since I entered April of this year with somewhere around 150 followers I’m pretty excited about that. Go me!

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

As mentioned last week, I took a break on this one in order to beta-read a manuscript for a friend because I didn’t want to be trying to divide my attention between the two different stories. Well I’m happy to be able to announce that I managed to get the beta-read out of the way this past week. It was the first one I’ve ever done, and I believe I did a pretty good job, so yeah…pride. The story was also a good one, so that helps of course. XD

Point: I didn’t get anything done on this goal this week, but now I have no excuses. Nose to the grindstone time, baby.

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

Finally something I can feel really proud about. Mostly all the words that I wrote this week were for the purpose of scheduling blog posts ahead of time, but it was a lot of words written for the purpose of scheduling blog posts ahead of time. All together I would up with 9785 words for the week, which is almost as much as the last three weeks combined, and also the most I’ve written in one week since March. Now if only I could keep that up for a few weeks, am I right?

You know I’m right.

Fiction Fragment Fridays: Nowhere to Hide

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Although I finally have a bit more of my Final Fantasy novelization written, I’ve decided to hold on to it for a little while longer so that I can build up a little bit of a back log. Instead, today I thought I would share a scene from my (hopefully) upcoming zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide. I’m hoping that sharing a piece of my manuscript with the world will help motivate me to finish up that last round of edits that need to be finished before publication.

This short excerpt is from the end of the first chapter of the story. By this point there has already been one well-publicized attack, but no one yet knows that the doctors involved in the postmortem investigation found some pretty disturbing details. Our main character, Nancy, and her best friend Terri-Lynn, just want an ice cream from the local Dairy Queen when they happen to stumble across attack number two…enjoy!


 

Nancy thought she heard something – a whimper, perhaps – from back behind the kitchen. After considering for a moment she lifted a leg and began to slide herself across the counter.

“What are you doing?” Terri-Lynn hissed.

“Shh!” Nancy shot back with a finger to her mouth. “I’ll be right back.”

Walking through the abandoned kitchen was strange and surreal. The fryers were still running, the fries in the bottom of the baskets burned black as coal. A burger was in the heating tray, waiting for the rest of the meal that would accompany it. A mop was propped up against the wall, having been slid across the floor between late-night orders.

The whimpering sound was coming from a broom closet. Nancy turned the handle slowly, paused for a second to take a breath, and then pulled the door open. A young girl, maybe sixteen or seventeen, was sitting on the floor. She had her back pressed up against the far wall of the closet, as far back as she could make herself go, and she was sobbing into her hands. When the door opened she looked up at Nancy with huge, glistening eyes. “Don’t hurt me!” she squeaked.

Nancy tried her best to smile a warm smile. “I’m not going to hurt you, hon,” she assured the girl. “It’s okay, I’ll help you.” She offered a hand and after a few long moments the girl removed one shaking arm and reached for it.

Nancy had enough time to process that the girl’s shoulder was bleeding through her crisp, white and blue work shirt when a shriek echoed through the store. Terri-Lynn came running toward them. Nancy stared at her with her heart in her throat and the young Dairy Queen employee shrank back into the closet. Terri-Lynn had tears brimming in her eyes and appeared to be holding back a violent gag. She tried to speak as Nancy raised her eyebrows at her, but she could only gesture frantically toward the industrial freezer in the back.

The young employee grabbed at Nancy’s hand as she began to walk toward the freezer. “I-I had to!” she sobbed miserably. “H-he attacked me! H-he bit my arm!”

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 18

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Before I get started today, I have a quick question for my fellow WordPress bloggers. Are any of you having problems with lost comments/notifications? Since April was such a busy month with the A to Z Challenge and all, I think I may have missed this problem until just recently. Basically what is happening is that I’m getting notifications through my iPhone app (for instance, “So-and-So has left a comment on your post, Such-and-Such”) and I’ll glance at them just to see what they are and then forget about them for the time being because I find it too cumbersome to do a lot of comment replies and the like on my phone. So later, when I’m on my computer, I’ll go to WordPress to reply to the comments, but it won’t be in my notifications. It’ll be on the post, if I go to my blog manually, and it’ll be in the “Comments” tab of my account dashboard, but it won’t be in the list of most recent notifications. Since that notification list is what I normally use to interact with comments and the like, I now find myself in the frustrating position of having no idea how many comments I may have completely neglected to reply to. And since I’m the kind of blogger who likes to respond to everyone who interacts with my blog, this is really really bugging me, but the only way I can know now is to go to that “Comments” tab and scroll through every single one to see what I’ve missed, which I totally do not have time for.

So, in conclusion, I’m asking if anyone else has experienced anything like this, and also issuing an apology to anyone who may have visited me during the A to Z Challenge and not gotten a reply. I swear I made every effort to interact with everyone, so if I didn’t reply to you, this is why. Sorry!!

Moving on…

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

Okay, so two weeks ago I said that I had a plan and that it was going to be put into motion within the following two weeks. I’m going to go right ahead and say that that did not happen. However, hear me out. Last week I got a C.T. scan done on my abdomen. This Friday I have a doctor’s appointment to talk about that scan. I’m really, really, really hoping to get an answer, or at least a better guess, about what might be wrong with my guts. And since, for the past year or so, exercise has tended to make my stomach problems worse, I figured that it couldn’t hurt to wait until I get to that appointment first. I’m not sure what I’m going to find out (if anything), but it would be nice to get an idea about what’s going on before I put my guts through that extra strain. Hopefully we’ll finally have some real idea about why I get the way I do, and I’ll leave the appointment with meds or a diet plan or something that will help avoid the issues, thus making exercise less of an anxious ordeal.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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

Things have slowed down a lot this week now that the A to Z Challenge is over. I’ve been keeping up with Facebook, but that’s about it. Trying to keep in touch with all the awesome bloggers I met in the last month, but I also kinda wanted a week of silence after all the business during the challenge. I’ll do better next week, promise. ^_~

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

This seems completely illogical, considering that I just got myself moving on this goal, but I’ve put it on hold for a short amount of time. The reason is that a friend of mine has given me her manuscript to beta-read and I want to give it my full attention. To be reading someone’s manuscript while also editing my own, I just don’t think that would be kosher. She’s relying on me to give her honest notes about the state of her manuscript, and I want to make sure that I’m able to focus on that without my mind wandering over into the problems that I have with my own. I’m hoping to get the reading done and the notes off to her as quickly as possible, so check back with me next week for this goal.

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

Beyond everything else, I was really hoping to get a good, high word count this week, but it didn’t really happen that way. There were a few distractions, such as a birthday party that took a giant chunk of my day away (hour and a half drive down, two hour party, hour and a half drive back), a few crappy days (miserable, rainy grossness makes it impossible for me to concentrate), and a variety of other things I had to do (take the daughter to playgroup, house stuff, major grocery runs, etc), and when you add in the fact that I’m just sometimes lazy as all hell, I only ended up with a grand total of 4297 words this week. The good news is that when I happened to glance up at my grand total for 2014 thus far, I found that I’ve surpassed a hundred thousand! My official number at the moment is 103,552 words since January 1st. It definitely would be nice if it were higher, but still..that’s over 25,000 words per month so far, so go me. ^_^

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 17

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A few things before I move on to the accountability portion of this post:

A big congratulations to all of my fellow “A to Z Challenge” participants who managed to make it through the entire month! Some of those letters were damn difficult, but we made it! I had a blast with this challenge, met a ton of new blogging friends, and gained a respectable number of new followers, so I guess it served it’s purpose. 🙂 Since I did a theme, and a lot of people enjoyed it, I’m going to post a link list of all my challenge posts tomorrow, as well as a couple of links to some of my favorite new bloggers. Don’t forget to check it out!

The other thing I want to mention is that by the time you are all reading this, I will be just finishing up my first (and last, hopefully) CT scan. The previous procedure that I had last month evidently didn’t show anything outstanding, so I’ve been scheduled to have my innards x-rayed. A new experience, and hopefully a helpful one. Wish me luck, everyone!

Now, on to the main event…

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

I won’t say it was an overwhelmingly good week, by any standards. As previously mentioned I put my exercise plan on hold in favor of getting through some other stuff first (see: aforementioned CT scan, amongst other things). So no, I didn’t exactly overwhelm myself with physical activity this week. I have been doing a bit better when it comes to things like portion size, but that’s mostly because I’ve been strangely lacking in appetite this week. On three separate days this week the only meal I ate was supper, plus a snack at nighttime. It was odd. Maybe my mind is too busy to bother with hunger signals.

Anyway, all in all it was neither a good week nor a bad one, and we’ll worry about this particular goal more next week, okay?

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

If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I slowed down a lot this week, but it was still a pretty good one. Coming on the end of the A to Z Challenge got me a little worn out, but I still managed to keep up a presence most days. What amused me the most this week is that I found myself being mentioned in several tweets linking to “daily report”-type websites who mentioned me. The sites don’t seem to be the type that are going to send me waves of new followers or anything, but it’s still pretty damn cool to be mentioned. 🙂

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

I promised that I was going to do something toward this goal this week, and I kept that promise, dammit! 🙂 It wasn’t an enormous amount of work, but I took some important steps by crossing off every item in the “invisible typos” list from my beta-reader, and skimming through for “weakening” words, which I have a very bad tendency of using on a regular basis. On top of that, I took the time to transfer my manuscript to a separate “final draft” Scrivener file to make for easier editing and the ability to look back at previous drafts. It sounds like I just copied and pasted, but trust me when I say that it was somewhat more complicated than that. Point being, everything is all neat and organized now, so I really have no excuse not to go through and start making my final changes.

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

The other promise that I made last week was to write something every single day. I did not keep that promise. Boo. I almost did though! I don’t even know what happened, honestly, but somehow I just completely forgot to write anything yesterday. But that was my only screw-up, I swear! I didn’t write too much useful, to be honest, but with a couple of blog posts and a few pages of notebook nonsense, I managed to come up with 4769 words this week, which is significantly more than the last two weeks combined. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to keep it up this coming week.

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 14

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Oh, look at that! Another week has passed! My, how the time flies. Did you know that Easter is only a week and a half away? I need to make some more of my edible birdy nests!

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

Are you all getting sick of hearing me talk about this particular goal yet? I’m kinda getting sick of talking about it, because the truth is that it’s been the absolute last thing on my mind. Okay, I shouldn’t say that…it’s been on my mind, but that’s about it.

It’s a combination of things, really, but if I’m truly being honest, I’m waiting to hear back from my doctor. I still haven’t gotten the info on the procedure I’ve been mentioning for a few weeks now, and in addition to that my usual doctor sent me for blood work last week as well. He wanted to check out my thyroid and a few levels (B12, iron, etc), and he’s also looking in several places for signs of arthritic problems, which are apparently common with the issue that we all believe I might have.

It’s sounds really weird, but I’m actually rooting for a couple of these possible issues to be confirmed. No one wants to be sick, and I can’t say that it won’t suck to possibly have to take pills every day for the rest of my life, but at this point I have so many complaints about so many different things that I am just dying for a doctor to say, “Yes, there IS something wrong with you, and if you take this medicine it will be better.” Does that make sense? I hope so.

Long story short, so much of my brainpower has been focused on waiting for my various reports to come back so that my doctor and I can discuss the results, I’ve been completely unwilling to care about anything else. Terrible excuse, I know, and you would think that having health problems would encourage me to eat better and exercise, but I guess you’d be wrong. :\

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

I’ve got to say, I’ve been really up on this one this past week. I’ve spent a ton of time on a ton of blogs, plus engaging in tons of conversations with fellow bloggers, plus having great success with my Facebook Author page. It’s been pretty top-notch. My week point is definitely Twitter, but I’ve even been gaining some followers over there, and having a couple of pleasant interactions, so it’s still all good!

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

I should be totally ashamed of the fact that I still haven’t actually opened my Scrivener file and gotten to work on the last round of edits, but I’m not. You know why? Because I spent that time this week instead making this:

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And I’m so happy with it, I can’t even tell you. I know it’s not the most super-professional-looking cover you’ve likely seen, but it’s mine. It was created using a photo taken by my father, and I made all the adjustments and additions myself. I even modified it using Create Space’s Cover Creator, so I know that when it comes time to set everything up it will fit perfectly. And to top it all off, I made a rear cover as well, which only needs to have the novel summary added to it.

In other words, while I’ve failed to spend any time on the actual manuscript, I am, at least, this one step closer to publication. Yay!

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a weird week. Wednesday through Saturday I wrote absolutely nothing. Unless you count blog comments, which I don’t. So nothing then. I was having so much fun bouncing around from blog to blog, taking part in the A to Z Challenge, that I wrote nothing.

When I realized this on Sunday, I thought that I’d better do some kind of writing. I didn’t want to blog (I spent so much time setting up the A to Z posts in advance that I’m enjoying the little break, thank you), and I didn’t want to edit (should have, but didn’t want to). And so I found myself opening up the file for my Final Fantasy novelization, and seriously? It was just what I needed. I’ve been typing away like a maniac for the past three days, and with just that one project I managed to squeak 7681 words out of those three days. It’s not exactly the most important thing I have to work on, but writing a little bit of goofy nonsense that I don’t have to think too hard about has been absolutely great. I think I might just have to do it for a little while longer. What do you think?

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 13

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The A to Z Challenge is well on it’s way! I enjoyed the company of several new visitors to the blog yesterday (*waves* Hi everyone!) as well as a spike in stats, and I also visited some truly wonderful posts by my fellow bloggers. Keep it up everyone! We can make it through April together!

And as promised, an accountability post, because I can’t just quit being accountable for a whole month. 🙂

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

Believe me when I tell you that it does make me cringe and hang my head to come here and hold myself accountable for this particular goal, but that accountability is not exactly helping at the moment. I seem to be going through another one of my trademark “binge” modes. I’m telling you, I don’t know why this happens every so often, but once again I find myself eating everything in sight. I’m constantly hungry. Even when I eat things full of fiber and good stuff I still find myself hungry a very short time later. The best thing I can tell you about this past week is that I’ve been able to mostly avoid pop.

On the “healthier” side of things, I have a doctor’s appointment first thing tomorrow to discuss the results of the procedure I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. I’m expecting that it was all clear, as the doc who preformed it suggested immediately afterwards, but we’ll see. I’d love to have some answers for a change, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

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

You can’t see, but right now I’m holding up my hand and waving it back and forth in a “so-so” motion to indicate how the past week was for social media. I’m finding myself on Facebook a lot more than usual, but Twitter is a little harder. I dropped in a few times this week, but I rarely find myself with anything interesting to say that can be reduced to 140 characters or less, so I mostly just read other people’s Tweets and “favorite” them. 😛

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

On the bad side of things, I once again went through an entire week without even touching this. On the upside of things, I worked my arse off the past week so that I could get my A to Z posts planned and out of the way, so now there is literally nothing stopping me from working on my manuscript, aside from the obvious desire not to do so. Really, truly, I do want to get this finished, but I’m just so sick of editing, you have no idea. I desperately just want to lock myself in a room with my laptop and a blank Scrivener file and start something new. But I mustn’t. Editing. Dammit.

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

As mentioned, I put a real push on last week to ensure that I had April pretty much covered for blog posts. It was literally the only thing I did as far as writing, but it worked out in my favor, all things considered. I wound up with a very respectable 9054 words this week, and I am very close to hitting the 100,000 mark for the year so far. Now if I could just get that editing out of the way so that I can do some fiction writing again…*mumble, grumble*…

And that’s it for this week! Later peeps!