Nope, No Stress Here!

Believing in Wishes came out last week. After a bit of a snafu at Amazon, it’s finally available. So what’s next? Edit the next book in the series? Plot out Book #3? Research marketing opportunities for this book? Am I doing enough to get it in front of readers? Toggle back and forth between my reports on KDP and my reports on Draft 2 Digital? Have I sold anything yet? What’s my Amazon ranking? Any reviews yet? Nope? Hit refresh.

But then I’m also trying to get a freelance writing business off the ground. Because, you know, steady income. A paycheck that means I get to keep self publishing. And this requires its own research, networking and lots of writing. The kids are only gone for a finite amount of time, and then chaos descends on Casa DeCuir. So work time starts…NOW! Are we stressed yet? What should I work on first? What is most important? If I spend time on X, I’m taking time away from working on Y. How do I prioritize?

My walking buddy, Luna. Carries her own poop bags – which we didn’t need this time!

Take a breath. In Believing in Wishes, Olivia gets in touch with her creative side as she spends time outdoors, in her new town. She finds inspiration in the grove behind her house. So I took a page from her book (literally), asked the dog if she’d care to join me (she wouldn’t have missed it for the world), and got out to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

Here’s me pretending I’m all artsy.

It’s almost November, and living in the Seattle area, a sunny day is a blessing not to be missed. When we drive from place to place, we miss a lot of what zips past our car windows. Stretching my legs (okay, at times I was being dragged), feeling the sun on my face and taking in the beauty around me was just what I needed. I left the earbuds at home. No distractions. I wanted to be open to inspiration.

Japanese Maples look AMAZING this time of year!

And I’m glad I did. I reminded myself that I have a job that allows me to be flexible. If I need to, I can write in the car. I can do edits and proofing (and have!) from a folding chair at the back of gymnastics. I can read books on craft and learning the business of freelance writing in the waiting area at piano lessons or under a cozy blanket at the end of the day. I don’t need to feel as though a giant clock is ticking down until my work day is done. And I can make one task fill two functions. Like this blog post. I’m letting the world know about my new release…AND…I’ve got new material to use in my portfolio. Bam!

It’s a…wait for it… Late Blooming Rose. Ha! Ya see what I did there? No? Then you haven’t caught up on my back list. Get reading.

Will I still get stressed? Yeah, ‘cuz that’s just me. Apparently I like taking on more than I can handle. Or maybe I’m learning just what I am capable of. I wrote a book that traditional publishing wouldn’t touch, because it has matchmaking fairies. I could have shoved it under my bed and concentrated my efforts on writing something they DID want. But I wanted it. I wanted it enough to give it life. And if I want something badly enough, I make it happen.

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?