Category Archives: Books/Classes

July Goals

A lot of things happen this month:  I turn 31 and will have officially have completed a year of my third decade.

Completed/Updates from June:

  • Drive home.
  • Start a new job.
  • Sign back up for school. Classes start on August 20.
  • Miles reached for Walk to Mordor: 1,619.96.  159.04 miles to Mt. Doom!
  • Weight: 244.4 (down 1.4 lbs)
  • Books read: 25 books.
  • Blog Posts: 3
  • Vlog Posts: 7

June goals:

  • Reach 600+ miles. Going to the beach and King’s Dominion, then starting the half-marathon training again.
  • Get under 240.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 20 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Finish edits my NaNoWriMo book and submit to Page Habit
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Ride most of the roller coasters at King’s Dominion
  • Visit Rehoboth Beach for the 4th.

Here’s to a really good month.

Listening to:  After You by JoJo Moyes.

Reading:  After You by JoJo Moyes and The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Quote of the Day: ““Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.” ― Voltaire

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April’s Goals

Happy April…2nd.

March flew by.  Every time I wanted to write on here, I didn’t, mostly because I don’t know how much more talking about travel when it really stresses me out can keep this going.  I went a lot of places last month and read a lot of books.  I spent maybe a day in all working on “Journeymen” (working title, not the actual one I’m going with).  So other than work, reading, traveling, and procrastinating in general, there wasn’t much to talk about.

Completed:

  • Read 10 books:  I smashed this one.  I actually think I got through 24.
  • Take First Aid training:  Thank you work.
  • No Fast Food for a month (Day Zero Goal):  Really easy to do when there aren’t any McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts around.
  • Shopped at Powell’s.
  • Got a new phone!

Book related goodness can be found with my April TBR and my March Wrap-up videos.  I hit up two different bookstores last month:  Powell’s in Portland and Grassroots Books in Reno.  All in all, I ended up with 40+ new books, both in two different book hauls.

One awesome thing this month is getting to go home to see our second Marine graduate boot camp next week.  I can’t wait!

But moving on to the check in stuff.

  • Miles reached for Walk to Mordor: 1,368.53.  Made it past Rauros and onto Mt. Doom!
  • Weight: 247.8 (up 0.4 lbs)
  • Books read: 24 books.
  • Blog Posts: 4
  • Vlog Posts: 9

Some of these are carried over from March since I still really want to get them done.  April goals:

  • Reach 325+ miles.
  • Get under 245.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 15 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Start 1000 piece puzzle.
  • Edit my NaNoWriMo book.
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Visit California’s North Coast (Eureka, CA).
  • Complete a 24 in 48 hour readathon.
  • 30 Day Unsent Letter Challenge
  • Defensive Driving Class
  • New tattoo

Here’s to another great, busy month!

Listening to:  Amazon’s Spring Mix (Ed Sheeran, Demi Levato, Portugal the Man, etc.)

Reading: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  “Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.” ― Jim Rohn

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Traveling Solo

So I did end up going up to Portland this weekend.  One thing I hadn’t considered was that this weekend started Spring Break.  Everywhere I went, there were college age young people, and lines to get into some of the more popular spot.

One thing I hadn’t counted on that was very new to me is that my social anxiety has gotten much worst.  I knew I was socially awkward but being surround by people in that sort of environment made me happy to get back to where I’m on detail too.

From that statement along, there are a couple things I want to say:

  1. Social anxiety: Freaking sucks.  So here I am in a city I love and have wanted to move to for a very long time and I feel like I’m drowning, floundering even, because of the sheer volume of people.  I’m already socially awkward as it is, especially lately (several months of people looking at you like what you say and do isn’t valuable doesn’t help).  I’m in a bookstore where I’m saying excuse me every few seconds because I’m looking for a book they don’t have and I’m terrified someone is going to not hear me, then get pissed off when I walk in front of them.  I didn’t used to be this way, or maybe at least I didn’t notice it as much.
  2. Touristy things: Are not for the faint of heart.  Sure, there are great things that everyone has discovered and is doing.  Don’t do them unless you don’t have any other options.  There is almost always another location that is just as cool as the one where people are standing in line.  Or has better food, like Georgetown Cupcakes vs Curbside (R.I.P).
  3. Weightloss surgery: This is where I’m drawing in a big breathe and remembering to breathe out slowly.  I’m not the same person I was when I went to Portland years ago.  I can’t eat how I used to, I certainly can’t drink like I used to, and the walking around was a lot easier now vs then.  So what’s the problem with this picture?  The problem is my mentality.  I still see myself as this big person who is taking up more space than she should, but when I was that big, I never thought I was that big.  I knew I could lose some weight, and I still could, but it wasn’t that big of a deal to me back then.  Now, and this a complaint, I have to think about food differently.  I have to think about my alcoholic nature differently.  I even have to sit at the bar differently than I used people.  I could start a conversation with people and not feel like I was being judged.  I don’t now because I’ve had several months of people’s eyes glazing over that’s trained me to not bother.  And that makes me feel like I’m not good enough anymore except to the people who I know love me, even though sometimes even then I wonder.  This is where the social anxiety aspect kicks in too, although there are a few other underlying things that I’m not going to voice until I have a long, hard conversation with a therapist when I get back.
  4. Travel with a partner!: I would probably have had more fun walking around, doing the scavenger hunt, enough the warm day, had I been with someone.  Not just any someone, but someone I wanted to share the city with, who knows that I’m crazy, and would have shared the food with me along with the experience.  Traveling by myself is great, but there is nothing like seeing the city with someone who actually wants to be there with you.

So my trip to Downtown Portland…

Lackluster?  Yes.  I still love the city.

Worth it?  Meh.  Eugene was slightly better and I only stopped there for food.

Short?  Most definitively!  I spent more time driving to and from than I actually did in the city itself, mostly because I couldn’t enjoy it the way I had before, which really freaking sucked.

Got sixteen new books out of that trip though.

Happy Monday.

Listening to:  White noise.

Reading:  The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor

Quote of the Day:  “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” ― Napoleon Hill

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Filed under Books/Classes, Driving, Vacations/Travel, Weightloss

Just because you can…

…Doesn’t mean you should.

I’ve referring to borrowing books, not something tragic, like opening my mouth to someone who doesn’t need to know what’s really going on and just dropping all my emotional baggage onto them.

No, I’m talking about borrowing audiobooks and books fitting the reader’s state of mind.

A couple weeks ago, I borrowed Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert from Overdrive.  I put it on my TBR and everything, hoping to get to it.  I haven’t.  In 11 days, I haven’t picked it and up and now that I can, I don’t want to.  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, same thing.  I also have a few physical books that I want to read but I’m just not in the mood to read them.

Eat Pray Love I have read a few times over the years.  I’m not in a truly dark place in my life now, but I think I want to make notes in my copy of the book so I’m holding off on that one until next year.  The Girl on the Train may also wait, since I own a copy of that book too.

Physical book wise, last night, I had a book picked out and was going to start it after reading a few graphic novels.  Something happened between me reading them and the other book.  When I went to go pick it up, I couldn’t crack the cover, metaphorically speaking.  I just wasn’t interested in it at that point.

I wanted dark.  I didn’t want light and fluffy.  I wanted dark reading.  I had quite a few books that fit that bill.  Thankfully, the one I picked up, I haven’t really wanted to put down but had to so I could get work done.

Whether my book choices are trying to help me gear up for the last quarter of my NaNoWriMo novel or not, I’m starting to be very particular about the books I start and those I don’t.

All books are meant to be read from a place of love because all books carry something for the reader.  The string of Meh books I’ve had lately, I’ve come to understand I don’t have to finish the books I don’t connect with because there are books, like You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day or History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, that deserve more of my attention.  I took things from those books (go get it because you’ve got this!  And being said after someone dies is okay; the destructive behavior afterwards, no so much) where the Meh books just sort of where a “What not to write” warning.

Longer post than I meant it to be, but I have to do this with real life, too.  Being stuck where I am not happy isn’t good for me or those around me.  Writing for NaNoWriMo helped me pull out some tools and I’m ready to get back on the saddle and finish other books outside of just the book this month, starting with Shadow.

Happy Friday folks.

Listening to:  Little Ones by Highly Suspect.  It’s not been on repeat all day today so that’s a plus.

Reading:  The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.  Holy *&^%.  I’m not far into it, but it makes me want to grab a warm beverage and a blanket and curl up somewhere so I can just devour the rest of it.

Quote of the Day:  “Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people… but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.” ― Steve Maraboli

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Keep Going!

I was thinking about how I’m doing my NaNoWriMo novel—how I’m keeping myself motivated, how I’m working through all my word sprints, and how I will actually finish this novel this time.  Also, how I’m liking it so far too.

My novel is a bit history, but a lot more romance and what coming to America could mean for dreamers.  I’m writing it without much research except what I can pull from random breaks in the word sprints.  The main characters are people that I like and the ones who are side characters are just as interesting as the main characters.  Are they interesting enough to make it beyond 50,000 words?  Well, considering it’s day 11 and I’m am at 18,334 words so far, yeah, I gotta say they are.

A mantra I have to keep telling myself is that what I’m doing is just a first draft.  This is just the first go around with this story.  This is just the first time I’m meeting these characters and they will evolve throughout the story, and more throughout the editing process.

The problem I have always had is that I am a perfectionist.  Everything has to be perfect the first time, every time.  That’s not a good way to live life.

So, what I’m attempting with this year’s novel is to just make good art.  Not great art, not this time and not yet, but so simply just make something good that can become great.  Because being great takes practice and even the greatest writers start their books with a first draft before their story is ready for their readers.

Happy Friday!

Listening to:  Little Ones by Highly Suspect on repeat

Reading:  History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera and Forever by Maggie Steifvater

Quote of the Day:  “I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman, Commencement Speech 2012

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Bookish Nonsense

It’s NaNoWriMo!

Didn’t I say that already at some point?

Well, it is.  And since I’m writing my hot little hands off (I’m really not since I’m truly only spending 90 minutes focused on writing my next great novel), I haven’t been thinking about what to write as far as blog posts go.

Then it hit me:  Books!  I write and you read, or you write and I read?  Lately, when reading, I seem to find myself in a run of books that leave me feeling like I don’t want to really finish them other than to say that I have.

This week, I have run into three of them, one that I had tried before to finish and then two that I’m not quite sold on.  I’m saying this even though it’s the 8th of the month and I’ve already finished five books.  I’m not sure if it’s the writing style of the books or that I’m listening to them or what, but I seem to find myself with a run of mediocre stories.

Part of me wants to tell you what those stories are, but I won’t.  You may have enjoyed them or you may share my same opinion.  Won’t know until Sunday’s Wrap-up video, will we?

While I’m trying to decide if I want to finish books that aren’t grabbing ahold of me and making me sit at my desk and read them, I did find a new series, a great short story, and a new web comic to read.  Also things that I will mention in my weekly wrap-up video.

What about you?  Do you keeping reading books that you aren’t liking or do you move on to something else?

Listening to:  Little One by Highly Suspect.  When I make my playlist for the book I’m working on, that will be one of the few songs there since I’ve steadily had it on repeat since about 6 a.m. this morning, and has been the first song I play almost every morning when I’m sitting down to write.

Reading:  Antigoddess by Kendare Blake and See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Quote of the Day:  “There’s a certain grace in accepting what your life is and embracing all the good things that have been – but there’s still an expectation of good things to come. Not necessarily what you expected.” ― Emmylou Harris

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November’s Goals

Happy All Soul’s Day!

Today, for some of us, is the start of a new year.  For others, it’s just another day closer to the holiday season.  For some of us still, today starts National Novel Writer’s Month, of which I am participating in.  I’m also in the camp that uses today as the start to a new year, a new beginning and the opportunity to let go of everything negative that has happened in the last 10 months and start over.

Last month, yesterday especially, I have been very negative.  I didn’t even do October goals last month because I was just not with it.  Today, I am with it because, like I said, I am choosing to let go of everything negative and focus my energies on something else.  Negative things will happen, but today is mine.

Enough rambling.

The Day Zero Goals I completed last month were:

  • Disney’s Food and Wine Festival. Ray and I went at the beginning of October.  We made it all the way around and I was mostly sober.  I was walking back to where she was sitting one time with plates from two countries.  If you have ever been able to go on vacation with the person you are spending the rest of your life with, you’ll understand the feeling you get when you turn the corner and they are looking at you with love in their eyes, even when what you are doing isn’t something they would have done themselves.  Best feeling in the world.  Also, FB showed pictures from three years ago this week, from the last time I went.  I look so different from those pictures.
  • Read 100 books. I actually started this up again since I’m at 110 books right now with two more I’m currently reading.

Non-Day Zero things from last month:

  • Miles reached: 924.97.  384.03 miles to Rauros!
  • Weight lost:  6.6
  • Books read:  13
  • Blog Posts: 3
  • Vlog Posts:  10
  • Complete King Crab Challenge on 10/21/17

November’s goals are fairly straight forward:  lots of writing, vlog, reading, and working (mostly in that order).

That seems like a lot, and honestly, it is.  But there isn’t anything on here that I would take off.  It’s all important to me so I’m going to do it.

Wish me luck!

Listening to:  Staind via Amazon Music

Reading:  Winter by Marissa Meyer and Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

Quote of the Day:  “People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit.  Most men succeed because they are determined to.” – George Allen, Sr.

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