Where Did My Day Go?

Otherwise known as, A Day in the Life of a Writer Mom:

coffee6 AM: Wake up and stumble out to the kitchen for that important first cup of coffee. No matter how quietly I slip down the hall, little ears are tuned to my whereabouts. There is no school today. But who cares? Let’s do this!

Could start my writing day now, if it weren’t for the fact that Kid #2 is playing laser tag with the dog…at my feet. Nope, not distracting at all.

paperwork9 AM: Sent Kid #1 in to clean and organize her room. Looks like a bomb went off in there. She’s 11, so she doesn’t need my help.

Could start my writing day at this point, but now I’m feeling guilty that the kiddo is cleaning/organizing when I have just as many of those type of projects to tackle. So I start on Mt. Paperwork in the dining room. Two trips to the recycle bin later and the kids are whining for lunch. Where did my morning go?

chuckecheeseOne PM: I promised the kids I’d take them to Chuck E Cheese after lunch. I am either a hell of a great mom, or a certified lunatic. Kinda leaning toward the second option.

Driving down the freeway, my brain starts editing my current WIP. With no possible way to write down these new ideas, I am chanting them out loud to keep from forgetting them. Kids are looking at me weird. What?

6 PM: We got home with enough time to throw a quick dinner together and rush off to basketball practice for Kid #2. Where did my afternoon go?

I’m trying to read a book on writing craft while keeping one eye on Kid #2, reminding him to guard his guy, listen to his coach, take his hands out of his shorts and quit goofing off. I think I read a paragraph.

7:30 PM: We’ve moved on to piano lessons for Kid #1, with a quick stop at the nearest Starbucks for a skinny latte for me and pastries for the kids. Because I can’t *not* get them something when we’re stopping there solely to keep ME awake. Besides, sugar before bed couldn’t possibly be a bad idea, right? Ha.

Moving back to the book I’m trying to absorb. Only now I’m reading while simultaneously being serenaded by piano from room 1, guitar from room 2 (Smoke on the Water, anyone?) and clarinet from room 3. I think my brain is going to explode.

falling asleep8:30 PM: Kids are in bed and I have moved on to a glass of wine to celebrate getting through a no-school day.

Could I get started on my writing day now? Heck no! I am not a night owl. Nights are for winding down, and usually for falling asleep by 9:30 or ten o’clock. I’ve moved on to reading for pleasure. And I’ll probably fall asleep after a chapter or so. Where did my day go? zzz…

Mini Goals…or Don’t Quit Now

scaleHow are you all doing on your New Years’ resolutions? I’ve lost 4 1/2 pounds in three weeks. While I wish it was more, I’m doing everything right. Writing everything down that I eat. Sticking to 1200 calories per day. And I’ve started exercising at least five days per week.

disneyworldCould I maintain this the entire trip to that magic number on the scale that says I am officially where I want to be, weight-wise? Heck no! I can’t think of the long haul or I’ll get so discouraged I’ll completely bail. But can I do this for a few months? Say… until our trip to Disney World in April? Absolutely.

walkingdvdOne of the things I’m doing is a walking DVD that I ordered. Leslie Sansone’s Walking Off The Pounds. I enjoy my drags through the neighborhood with the dog (she sure keeps my heartrate up!) but the weather in Seattle rarely cooperates. So I figured I’d get this easy peasy workout DVD and feel like I’m getting my exercise in, while taking it easy. Wrong! This DVD kicks my butt! And it’s LONG. 45 minutes to do the entire three miles. The first time I did it, I was swearing at the screen, telling Leslie how mean she was. But I did it. Longest workout I’ve ever done. And it didn’t kill me. So I did it again. And again. It’s kind of addictive.

Some days I don’t feel like working out. It’s rainy outside and that just gives me a terrible case of the blahs. But I’ve found that if I get into my workout gear and lace up my sneakers, I WANT to keep going. I’m motivated. And thinking about those calories I’ll burn is pretty great too.

I’m also tracking steps and workouts with my Microsoft Band. This uploads automatically to My Fitness Pal, where I log all my food. Have I mentioned how much I love technology and how my gadgets talk to each other? Awesome!

So I’m plugging along. Losing slowly, but knowing that’s the smart way to do it. Picturing my end goal: the new shorts I’ll have to buy for Disney World, because my old ones will be too big. 😉 And knowing that I’ve gotten in shape for a vacation that is 99% walking around the theme parks.

Did you know walking just the perimeter of the Magic Kingdom is two miles?

Did you know walking just the perimeter of the Magic Kingdom is two miles?

Next up: The Can Do 5k at the end of April. I think I have both kids on board to run this one with me. Motivation=success 😀

What mini goals are you working on? Got any tips on keeping it successful?

Powerball Madness

powerballpost

I don’t play Powerball. Not even when the numbers start to get insanely big – like 1.4 billion dollars. To me it just seems like another Publishers Clearing House, “You may have already won…”. I know people who have quit their jobs just because they received that hokey junk mail in their mailbox. Seriously.

Could I use the money? Sure. Is it worth the hassle, the taxes, the “new friends” coming out of the woodwork to help me spend it? Nope.

Who wants to come visit?

Who wants to come visit?

Sure, I can play the “what if” game too. What would I do with hundreds of millions of dollars? I’d pay off the debt of probably everyone I am close to (that *I* decide I’m close to). I’m not big on cars or fancy houses, but a new house – with a dedicated office to hole up in and write (that has a door I can close and LOCK!). If I’m honest with myself, I think that home should be on the water, a lake, perhaps. A huge yard for the kids to play in. Room for another dog or two?

I’d love to travel. We want to take the kids to Washington DC, Philadelphia and Paris. You might remember that New Zealand is on my bucket list, as is Santorini. Big Sis wants to go to Australia and Greece. Little Guy wants to see Mt. Rushmore. (The kid’s got simpler dreams.) Hubby has been bugging me for a cruise to Alaska. Bring it on – I’ll do it all!

lotteryofficeAh, money to hire an assistant – someone to do all my social media posts, runs to the post office (just remembered I owe someone a book!), the list goes on and on. And to know I have a limitless supply of funds to pay for advertising. Woot – I could actually reach readers that aren’t in my immediate family. LOL Of course I’d have to update my new office. State-of-the-art EVERYTHING. Oooooh! A treadmill desk. I’ve always wanted one of those.

A personal trainer to force me to do the exercising I don’t want to. A chef to keep me on track by only cooking nutritious (and delicious) meals. A live-in housekeeper to do the laundry and pick up after the messy hooligans I live with (What? I keep my own things tidy…mostly.). A car and driver to take me wherever I want to go.winner

Yeah, it escalates pretty quickly, this Powerball madness. I’m good with the life I have. We’ve got a little extra money this year so hubby has approved a trip to San Diego to RWA Nationals this year. Yay! Can’t wait to show the kids our old stomping grounds. Big Sis was born there – she just doesn’t remember any of it.

So give me more of the same old/same old. I’m happy with that.

New Year, New Me

2016-newyears-resolutionsLast year I only made one resolution – to review every book that I read (as long as I could give it at least three stars). That was, by far, the easiest (and most enjoyable) resolution to keep. But I went too easy on myself. I let diet and exercise fall by the wayside and I gained back ten pounds that I swore I would never see again. I went right back into my old patterns of eating – junk food, stress-eating, eating when I wasn’t even hungry just because it was there.

I set writing goals last year that I did not meet. I told myself I would write a Scallop Shores Christmas anthology. Every couple I’d previously introduced would have their own holiday story. I had it all planned out and even wrote the synopsis and submitted it to my publisher. They turned it down: Readers don’t want to hear about the couples that already got their happily-ever-after, they told me. I disagreed. 2015 was going to be the year I broke into self-publishing. Um… or not.

completedI signed up for the Goodreads reading challenge for 2015 and kicked ass! – I committed to reading 50 books last year and I read 66. (All that time I was supposed to be writing/self-publishing? Hmm) I refuse to regret a minute of that reading time. I can always find writing time if I’m truly honest with myself. But reading time… that’s just for me.

Ah, 2016… I’ve got big plans for you. And blog posts are permanent, right? So if I commit to it here, I have to take ownership. Okay, here goes (for the personal goals):new_year_s_resolutions

  1. Get down to (adjusted) goal weight. (Sorry, folks – even my husband doesn’t know what that magic number is.)
  2. Exercise often – every day if possible. We’re in the market for an elliptical machine. Yay! My goal is to get up in the morning, earn my coffee by doing thirty minutes on the elliptical (or running once the weather gets better) and not have to think about it the rest of the day.
  3. Organize! I have big plans for the holiday clutter in the hall closet. I also have whole bookshelves and other shelving units that are stuffed with books, toys and puzzles that the kids haven’t used in YEARS. Time to purge!
  4. Stress less, mellow more. I have triggers (the family knows what they are) that send my blood pressure through the roof. Manage the triggers, the stress disappears. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
  5. Try out some of the recipes I’ve pinned to my Pinterest board. A lot of those are really healthy and we could be missing out on some yummy dinners.
  6. Finish the downstairs! We need a spot for that new elliptical and I want my office space back.
  7. Continue to explore the Pacific Northwest with the family. Last year we discovered Mt. Rainier, Ocean Shores and Suncadia in Cle Elum. This year we would love to finally tackle Mt. St. Helens and get up to Vancouver and Victoria.
And now for the writing goals:goals11111
1.  Write at least one blog post per week. If I keep it to something I enjoy talking about, it won’t seem like such a chore, right? Come on, guys… hold me to this one.
2.  Update my website. And by this I mean, find help from someone more knowledgeable than me. My blog posts should NOT be the front page.
3.  Finish the first of my fairy trilogy before shopping the series idea around.
4.  Try like hell to finish the other two books before Dec. 31st. Even if they aren’t 100% polished, get those words out!
5.  Seek representation. I’ve got enough of a backlist that I think an agent will see I’m serious about this writing gig.
6.  Market the Scallop Shores series in Maine, through as many avenues as possible. I have some leads in York and Bar Harbor. (Cross your fingers for me.)
7.  Get out in front of the readers more, and out of my writing cave. Search out reader events and book signings to join.
How about you? Any really unusual resolutions to tackle in 2016? Something that you’ve really, really been meaning to do and are finally ready to see through to completion? I would love to know. Hey, we’re all in this together, right?