Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Weekly news round-up, the slightly late edition

So yeah, it’s been a few weeks. First I had an eye infection, complete with an ulcerated cornea, which meant absolutely no screen time. Then I went away to GNEW and was busy taking down my pavilion and driving home, so there was no posting. I meant to do it Monday, but I woke up with a migraine and, well. Yeah. So it’s been a while.

 

Today, I am the only one at Creatives. It’s a rainy day, and I’m enjoying the Acoustic Covers playlist on Sp0tify, and reveling in the fact that I don’t have a migraine. I have a chai latte with almond milk, an iced raspberry green tea, and, for the first time in a LONG time, a workable plot for Advent this year! YAY!

 

You guys, you have no idea how happy I am to have a plot. Carter’s Cove is easily my most popular story, but it’s HARD to write. Plot-wise, anyways. Because see, bodies and violence and save the world are easy to plot. It’s the fluffy, feel-good but not be total sugar because that’s boring stuff that is hard.

 

I’m also going back on a mini-reset this week – doing a Whole10 with my Facebook group. I need to get back on the wagon, and this seems the best way to do it. Also, I’m adding in a fitness goal, because I want to get my stamina up. Also, I need to get more Pokemon. Because, well, Pokemon won’t walk themselves.

 

Since I haven’t been posting, I’m going to just start my goals over.

 

Oh, and I finished Hope Never Dies and I have to write a review. Mini review: I loved it. I also saw Ant Man and the Wasp yesterday. Go see it – it’s fun.

 

Morning Pages: Going for all 7 days, per normal.

Non-writing goals: 1 more coif made for Her Highness for Pennsic. I want to do 2 more if I can, but the goal is 1. Also, 2+ hours on Conri’s trim. I’ve got 1 cuff for that done, and need 1 more cuff, the neckline, 2 sides, and the hem.

Writing goals: Plot out Advent this week. I can do this long-hand.

Fitness goals: Make my step goal (currently 3500 steps per day) all 7 days.

(personal/writing/updates) The Weekly World Review, 2 weeks version

Sorry that this is late, but I’m getting over an eye infection AND an eye ulcer (in the same eye), so last week my computer use was limited. I even had to take 2 days off of work, which sucked. Oh well. The eye is healing nicely, and it doesn’t hurt to look at anything with a lit screen anymore, which is the important part. Apparently Crohns’ patients are prone to eye infections, which I am just learning about. Yay, compromised immune system! When you get this kind of thing, you get not one, but TWO medications to drip into your eye. I’m a fun person at the moment. At least I don’t look like I’m detoxing from a 4-day meth bender anymore.

 

But it put a cramp in my writing, my work, and pretty much everything other than listening to audiobooks. So I start this week over again, with new goals.

 

This week is also Great Northeastern War, which I will be going to. This is my final vacation of the year (and my only camping event, sadly), so I’m making the most of it. K-J and I are going up mid-week, and taking our time. Bear and Tayla are unimpressed, especially since we’ve actually reminded the landlords that no, they really don’t get handfuls of treats at a time anymore. If you hear howls, it’s from them.

This Week’s Goals:

Morning Pages: Going for all 7 days again. Sunday to Saturday, and not let the vacation derail me. I’m almost done with my first notebook! I’ll have to dig a new one out of my stash.

Writing Goals: Taking a bit of a break to let some noodling about Advent go on in my head. I think this week, I’m going to work on Lily and Spike, and a new Sapph short story. Both can be done long hand, and I don’t need the computer.

Non-Writing Goals: Finish Rachel’s bag, and then bring the cross-stitching for Brewcie’s coat, and washcloths to knit for Kris. I also want to make myself a lunch bag, but I don’t know if that will happen this weekend. It might.

 

I hope you guys had a great 4th of July, and I’ll see you in a bit!

 

Weekly news roundup – The Remicade week in review

This week was a bit of this and that, but this seems to be a good headline for this post for the nonce.

 

My week got thrown for a bit of a loop because I needed to do some hard things this week, but I did them, and I’m very proud of myself for it. Let’s look at last week’s goals.

 

Last Week’s Goals:

 

Morning pages: Going for all seven days (Sunday to Saturday). I made it 5 days again – missed Friday with a migraine and Saturday to just bleahs. Grey days seem to be hard.

Writing goals: Writing will happen on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. I need to re-juggle a bit of the Advent calendar, but that shouldn’t take long. I want 2 days written, and some work on a Sapph or Spike short. Writing did not happen on either Wednesday or Saturday. It will happen today, so yay? Although this goes on this week’s goals technically. And I did the book review for Perils of Prague, which you should check out.

Non-writing Goals:  I need to write up Brian’s page for the EK 50 memorial wall. No more delays. Also, now that the caftan’s design has been agreed upon, I need to get the waste canvas on it and decide how I’m going to do this. I might try doing embroidery on the waste canvas and see how that works. Not sure yet. More progress here! I got Brian’s page done on Saturday, which really hit me harder than I thought it would. But it’s done, and he’ll be in the Memorial Garden at EK 50 if you are going. I also figured out how to do the embroidery for the caftan, and started most of a crochet bag. And I finished the embroidery for the first favor. I also figured out taxes for my father’s companion, and finally called about my car accident.

 

So yeah, in retrospect, I think this was a successful week, even without the writing I wanted to do. So, on to this week’s goals!

 

This Week’s Goals

Morning pages: Sunday to Saturday again. I’m building a good habit, even if I don’t hit the full week yet.

 

Writing goals: I need to restructure Molly for this year, since I’m not trying to do 2 Advents this year. That’s the goal for this week. Today (Sunday), I’m going to do some writing on Sapph, I think. Also, Wednesday, I am putting the two first Molly books into Archivos, so I can start working forward. Before I do any more writing on the Carter’s Cove series, I need to get the bible going.

 

Non-Writing goals: This week, I need to finish my market bag that I am crocheting for myself, and do the test pattern for Brewcie’s caftan. Then I need to measure the pattern, and measure out how much I need to make the actual trim.

 

These are all good goals, and doable. Keeping this weekly post going has really helped keep me on track, and I’m finding that I’m getting stuff done. So thank you, all, for putting up with me while I do this!

Don’t forget, Winter Storms is currently out! Catch up with the second adventure of Molly and Schrodinger!

As always, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi!

 

 

Life reboot: 2.0.

Life has been weird lately, and I’m not sure why.

Of course, I just got home from Balticon, and I’m sick (again – I swear Maryland is trying to kill me), so that might be part of it. I’m still glad I went -I spent a lot of time going to panels on the business of being an author, which is very different from the art of being an author, and one I’m learning about. I’d love to make a living out of being a writer, if only for the fact that I could share my writing with lots of other folks. I’ll always need a day job, sadly, because of my medical condition. And really, I like having a day job. It means I can pay my bills and not have to stress as much if I go to a con and don’t sell any books.

 

But being an author is expensive, guys. And it’s not just bandwidth for the website, or money for notebooks, or supporting my tea habit (which is not cheap, let me tell you). It’s buying swag to hand out at cons or signings. It’s gas money for conventions. It’s paying my editor, my cover artist and my book designer. It’s paying my artist friend to design the calendar. It all costs, and while I’m lucky that so far, I’ve managed to sort of break even, I really need to start doing things like marketing, which I will admit scares and intimidates me. For all that I’m not a shy person, going out and saying, “I wrote this awesome thing and you should buy it!” scares the snot out of me. Seriously. So I’m going to be very awkward as I figure this out. Consider yourselves warned.

 

I’m starting by getting my email list set up today, and I’ve got a Ko-Fi page, if you want to throw some money my way. I’m going to start blogging once a week (on Sundays, when I know I will be sitting down and have a steady internet connection, if nothing else), and those Sunday posts will include my plans for the upcoming week, and how I did on last’s week’s plans. So let’s get that started now.

 

This week, I’m working the day job on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, because Thursday, I have a colonoscopy scheduled. Yay! (not really) Because of my Crohn’s disease, I get to enjoy one of these every other year. Doesn’t that sound like a blast? Okay, that was an unfortunate turn of phrase. I blame Deadpool.

 

However, because of that, my goals for the week are modest. I’m working on the 2017 Advent story (which will start June 30, just so you know). My goal is to have 2 days written by the time next Sunday rolls around, and to set up my email newsletter. Also, I need to finish the Perils of Prague so I can give you all a review. So that’s in the list.

 

Non-writing goals: well, I’m working on a cardigan for myself, so I’d like to have that finished. For at-work projects, I just got some queen’s favors, so we’ll work on that as well. Time to work on my embroidery stitches! Goal is to have 1 favor embroidered by next Sunday.

 

We’ll see how I do. I’m setting modest goals for the most part, because I’m a great one for making unreasonable goals and then watching them fly by.

 

Also! The next Carter’s Cove book, Winter Storms, is out! I’d love some reviews, if you’ve read it! Let me know!

(writing/organization) Getting my thoughts in line

I’m in a mood right now. There is so much swirling in my head that all I want to do is take a vacation from everything and just write. Sadly, I’m not independently wealthy, so that’s not happening. However, Balticon is coming up in two weeks, so I’ll get a bit of a break then! A working break, but that’s a good thing.

 

I’m setting up some KanbanFlow boards for myself for projects that I want to get done this year. I’m working on an anthology for Paradise City, as well as the finishing up of last year’s Advent and publishing this year’s Advent. Also, I’m working on writing Resonant Frequencies, so I’ve got a board set up for that. And I’ve got some short stories and poems (I know, weird, right?) that are kicking around in my head too, so I’m going to be working on those.

 

I want to do so many things, and I’m realizing that if I don’t make myself a schedule, I’m going to miss all the deadlines. I’ve already decided that I’m not going to try for Viable Paradise this year, as the book I want to use is not up to my standard. So I’ll keep working on it and try for next year. I’m hoping Kanban will work. If not, I’ll try something else.

 

Advent 2017 is going to be re-released and finished in July of this year (yay, Christmas in July!), so thank you all for being patient. And you don’t need to go back and re-read – I’m going to release all of it each day, just like in December. And I’ll have both Secrets AND Storms, as well as calendars, at Balticon! So cool! Let me know if you want one (I won’t be at a table, but I’ll have stuff). Also, I’ll have copies of the Complete Guide 1 and 2 – I’m out of 3!

 

Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms on my blog! And yes, this is from Tayla and Bear, who wish to inform you that I am the meanest mommy ever, because I would not give them treats before I left this morning.

(personal/writing/food/health) Yes, I can eat salads – in short, a month on Whole30 with Crohns

On January 4, 2018, I started my second attempt at a Whole30. I had made it 9 days in September before my guts rebelled, but I was determined this time (and better prepared, to be honest), and I completed the 30 day reset on February 2, 2018. I’m in the re-introduction phase now, to see what foods I’ll be adding back into my regular eating rotation, and what foods will be saved for when it’s really worth it.

 

I have Crohn’s disease, which is typically a disease that restricts your eating to very bland, very easy to digest foods. I personally have lived on the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) when I’m having a flare. The Whole30 involves cutting out all grains, all legumes, all dairy, all alcohol, all added sugar for 30 days. Doesn’t really sound like they’d go together, do they? I was skeptical too. Trust me.

 

It’s an honest worry. For the Whole30, your meals consist of protein, vegetables, fruits, and a plated fat. I could still have potatoes, and cauliflower makes yummy rice. I couldn’t put honey in my tea when my throat was sore. I couldn’t use my beloved gingerbread syrup. It wasn’t easy.

 

No, that’s an understatement. It was damn hard, and I almost gave up a couple of times. I was lucky to have K-J, Shannon, Amber, and the rest of my friends in my Food Freedom Group talk me off the ledge a few times, mostly when I was frustrated with life and wanted nothing more than to crawl into a bottle of rum and not come out. They pointed out how far I’d come, how good I was feeling otherwise, and how I would sabotage everything I’d done in one moment of frustration. And they were right.

 

You can’t do Whole30 without a strong support system, in my personal opinion. And not just for the frustrating moments. Your support system is there to suggest new recipes when you would rather spork your eyes out than eat another damn egg, or to help you with ideas for what to eat when you go out. They cheer you on with all the non-scale victories that you see along the way. And they help you soldier on when you feel like you should just give up.

 

The other thing about Whole30 is that it’s NOT a weight loss program. It’s about changing your relationship with food – learning what affects your body in a good way and what doesn’t, and learning not to reward or comfort yourself with food. The weight loss happens, but it’s not the point of the program. You actually are not supposed to weigh yourself at all during the 30 days.

 

So, back to the Crohn’s. I was a little apprehensive, but I decided I was going to do it. All of it. No hedging. At the beginning of my first one, I hadn’t been able to eat many raw veggies or fruits at all in years. Most of my meals were carb-heavy, and I hated the way I felt. As I sit here now, after the reset, I’m eating salads almost every day, with no issues. I have vegetables at every meal. I have discovered my love of coconut butter and I don’t even miss chocolate. And I have kicked my caffeine demon and my sugar dragon into a deep cave, where they are sleeping peacefully.

 

I’m also down 18 pounds, but that’s kind of beside the point. I have energy again. My guts don’t hurt. I sleep better. My mind is clearer. I feel more connected to people, and more compassionate. I have the ability now to stop and think before I say or do something. I don’t use food as a reward.

 

This isn’t over, though. I know this is a journey, and the only “end” is when I take my last breath. I’m not on a diet. I’m changing my relationship with food, and relationships continue to evolve. While I had a very positive experience with it this time, I still take my Crohn’s medication daily. I checked with my GI and my PCP before I started this. I would recommend you do the same.

 

But I would recommend, if you think it would help, and your doctors agree, to give it a try. I’ll be there to cheer you on. I’m already looking forward to this summer, when hopefully my dad will be doing this with me. If you decide to try it, please let me know!

 

In other news, I’ve decided that I need to start writing again. My friend Robert has called this year the Year of Teaching for his embroidery. I think this year for me is the Year of Writing. I have books and stories to tell. And honestly. I just feel better when I write. I did delete my Patreon account (I might set it up again later, but I don’t feel that I can do it now) but I did start a Ko-Fi account. You can donate there if you’d like. The link to buy me a cup of tea or whatever is here. I’ve set it up on the website as well.

 

I’ll be at RavenCon in April, and Balticon in May. I’m not sure what else I’m doing for cons this year, but we’ll see. Want me at your con? Drop me a line and let me know.

(personal/writing/advent) 2018 – my first full year alone

I swear this year is going to be better. I won’t let it be the same way it was last year. I won’t.

 

But things are going to have to change. I’m realizing how hard it is to do things on my own – not just in terms of emotionally (because it IS hard, even if you are okay with being alone, which I am), but in financial terms. My hat is off to all you folks who have been doing this all along. I thought it was hard with two incomes. It’s so much worse with one. And it doesn’t seem like the bills get any less.

 

There are a few silver linings for the year coming up: I can work from home when I need to, which means no more real days missed due to weather or illness. My Crohns’ disease is under control, and I’m getting healthier every day.

 

I start my Whole30 food program today, so there will be random posts about that. I’m still trying to figure out how to post automatically to Facebook from here, but I’ll just have to do it manually until I can get into the guts of my website. Which I will have to do anyways, because I’m going to redesign the entire site.

 

In writerly news, I did cancel my Patreon. I’m contemplating several things, including maybe putting a tip jar out here on the site for right now. I don’t feel that I give enough right now to make a Patreon practical for me or fair to my readers. I might also get a Ko-Fe page, but I don’t know right now.

 

I’m working on the new Advent story – I will finish it by the end of January for you all. I promise. Then there are the proofs of Winter’s Storms to go through, the cover to finalize, and that will be out by April 20, which is RavenCon! And I’ll be there that weekend, with calendars and copies of both books, and Schrodinger, of course. He might even get a new hat or vest for the occasion.

 

I’m also now accepting new clients for proofreading only. My rates are:

-Up to 10k is $25

-Every additional 5K is $10

I do fiction, non-fiction, whatever. Poetry might be weird, but I’ll give it a shot. Here’s what I do for proof-reading:
I go through and pick out any misspelled words, missing words and/or phrases, and make sure your heroine’s hair hasn’t gone from blonde to brunette without a dye job in the middle of the story. I also tend to correct punctuation, mostly commas and things like that.

 

If you’re interested in that, please drop me a line at vgford@gmail.com and we’ll talk. Turnaround is based on how big your project is.

 

I guess that’s it. Happy New Year folks.

Thinking about changes

Most people think about changes this time of year. It’s the turning of the seasons, I guess: as the world settles down to renew itself during the cold winter months of the Northern Hemisphere, thoughts turn to what we could do better. I’m helping Dad adjust to the new hip (he’s a terrible patient, but he’s trying), and thinking about my own life.

 

I recently interviewed for a new position at my day job, and one of the questions that the interviewer asked me that struck a nerve was “Where do you see yourself in 6 months?”

 

My honest answer was “I don’t know.” A year ago, I could have told you guys exactly where I was going. I was going to continue writing, working at my day job, and saving for retirement. Brian and I were going to spend a year following the Red Sox after we both retired, and then we were going to buy a used bookstore and open a combination bookstore/gaming store to run in our twilight years.

 

And then Brian died. Now I have no idea what my plans are. I’m kind of adrift in a sea of possibilities, and not all of them are pleasant. While I’m lucky that I have an amazing roommate who is perfectly willing to fulfill the Red Sox/bookstore plan (and let’s be honest, I probably will run a bookstore, and I’ll probably call it CrossWinds Books), I’m not sure I’ll be wanting to do it the same way. A lot of those plans were tied up with doing it with Brian, and it hurts to think about them now.

 

I am working on the Advent story for this year, which will start going up on December 1. This year is a special treat as well, since my lovely friend Kiaya is working on something for you guys to enjoy. I’m not going to say more (yeah, I know, tease, tease), but I promise you, it’s going to be awesome.

 

And Winter’s Storm is in process, so yes, the second book should be out in time for Christmas! I’m working on the final stuff with that, and to celebrate, I’ll be doing a giveaway. A very special one.

 

More later. I’m still processing things.

Learning to live in a new normal

It’s been a difficult year. I feel like every time I sit down to write something on this blog, it’s a variation on that theme. I used to not understand how people who had lost someone could keep living in the past. Now, I’m finding it hard not to stop myself from saying things like “Oh, Brian would have…” or “I wonder what Brian would have thought of…” It’s like it’s not even consciously done. He’s a part of me, more than he’s ever been.

 

At the same time, I’m finding it hard to deal with my father doing the same thing. I’m not sure why, except that some of the things he’s sharing are things I don’t need to hear. My father’s filters are pretty much zero, and he doesn’t seem to understand that I really don’t want to discuss his and my mother’s sexual escapades. And before you guys say anything, I’ve told him this. He forgets on a regular basis.

 

So I found a caregivers support website this week, and I’m going to be exploring that over the next few weeks. I’ve also decided to go out on a limb and try for a new position at work. I’ve had the interview, and now we’ll see where it goes. It’s a change for me. I realized that I’ve been trying to figure out my new path for a while when the interviewer asked me what I thought I’d be doing in six months, and I said, “I don’t know anymore.” I’m not sure what I want to do. I know what I thought I would be doing this year. I know what I had planned on doing in the future. Now it’s all kind of up in the air.

 

Two things I do know I’ll be doing: I’m going to be a guest at both RavenCon and BaltiCon next year. I have at least one book coming out soon. And there’s a new Carter’s Cove story coming in December.

 

But after that? Your guess is as good as mine.

(writing) More Advent, of course

It’s getting to be that time of year again, after all. Yes, there WILL be a Carter’s Cove story this year. But I’m doing other things as well. I’ve just sent out a short story to a magazine for consideration, and I will be doing more short stories in the future. It’s an interesting exercise, and I think I need to hone those skills. First drafts will be posted to my Patreon, and then revised and sent out. And yes. I’ll be sure to announce if any of them get sold. 🙂

 

It’s my way of coping with depression. I’m realizing how unhealthy I’ve been lately, despite all my efforts. I need to concentrate on me. It needs to get better.

 

Christmas will be hard. I’m totally going to hide in Carter’s Cove for a lot of it. Besides, Molly has tea.