Getting through NaNoWriMo

It’s day three of National Novel Writer’s Month-NaNoWriMo for short.

On the website, I’ve participated two years.  Off the website, I think this makes the fourth year I’ve attempted it.  This year, I have a game plan.  Sort of.

Game plan:  Six, fifteen-minute blocks where I focus just on the story for 15 minutes and nothing else.  If I write something in the story that I need to look up, I’m waiting until after the 15 minutes are up before I can.  [Name] means I need to find someone’s name to put in the spot because I couldn’t think of one in the 15 minutes I had.  [City, country/state] means I couldn’t think of where I wanted the scene to be happening right then and there.

So far, this has worked.  This morning I got in my writing before people got to work.  I got here and I was excited to sit down and type out Toby, Kate, Ben “Penny”, Maria, and the other characters I have set up in my current story, title unknown.

It all starts with a journey and ends with one too.  Although where the characters end up has yet to be seen.  Right now though, I’m happy with where I am with it.

Another part of the game plan:  Reminding myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect.  It just needs to be good enough that I finish writing the story and reaching the goal of 50,000 words.  After that, I can fluff up certain parts and erase others.  This is just a first draft.

Carry on!

Listening to:  Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Reading:  The Passage by Justin Cronin and Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

Quote of the Day:  “Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit.” ― Bear Bryant

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1001 Days, Books/Classes, Bucket List, Goals, HRC, Writing

Uber and Lyft…

Monday was the two-year anniversary of my first ever drive with Uber.  Two years…

Monday I also got an e-mail from Amazon Flex telling me I could now drive for the Rockville location delivering packages.  I have never been happier to see that e-mail and starting a different part-time job.

Why am I more excited about working for Amazon over Uber?  Oh, let me count the ways:

  • There isn’t going to be any slightly tipsy, older men asking me where all the easy women hang out on Friday nights.
  • There won’t be any college students jokingly asking me to turn up the radio because they love white girl music.
  • There won’t be any arguing about people cheating the system by putting more people in the car than the car/ride should have.
  • There won’t be anyone calling me, asking me where I am because my dot hasn’t moved in the last 30 seconds and they’ve been waiting a long time for a ride.
  • I won’t be shuttling people to the airport when they choose UberPool ninety minutes before their flight leaves, hoping they don’t end up with another passenger.
  • I won’t have to feel like the passenger’s emergency is my emergency anymore unless I choose to.

Those are just the most recent things that I’ve encountered within the last few months with Uber and Lyft.  These are true stories and while there are a lot of good passengers, I’ve been encountering more and more passengers that make me question my decision to keep driving for both companies.

The biggest bonus:  Guaranteed amount of money within a three hour time block.  The rideshare services are great, but the market is saturated with drivers so making money these days working the same hours I used to is harder, meaning longer hours, more wasted gas, and a lot of frustration.  I’m not fully about that life anymore.

I don’t do drunk D.C. either because I have gotten too many prank Uber Ride requests, especially in Georgetown.  Baltimore is slightly better because there is no carpool services there yet, and depending on how Saturday goes, I may work there Saturday night.  Hopefully I won’t have to though, thanks to Amazon.

We will see how it goes tonight and tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

Listening to:  The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Reading:  The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente

Quote of the Day:  “Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” ― Harry S. Truman

Leave a comment

Filed under Driving

Running

Saturday, I finished the Baltimore Running Festival with a half-marathon, which means that my race season is done for the year… almost.  Saturday was just finishing up all my non-virtual running/walking. Five medals, 36.2 miles, over 11 hours on race courses…  Holy crap is all I can say.

When I got in this morning and had started updating the Run the Year log and my Walk to Mordor Challenge, I am close to 900 miles.  So within the last 296 days, I have walked almost 900 miles.  As someone who was at 352 at the beginning of the year, as someone who had never done more than a 5k and who maybe averaged 500 miles walked in a year, to me, that is amazing.

Again, to me, this is awesome.

So what’s next?

October is the Time-Turner event with Hogwarts Running Club (HRC).  These are virtual races with each race being attached to different partners.  For example, one of the biggest races this year was an Unmasked 10 Miler and the partner was To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), which helps open the doors to talk about suicide.  Because I didn’t get the medals throughout the year, I have until December 31st to get the 71.8 intentional miles.  Thank goodness for a GPS watch.

Add these miles to the Idle Ironman Triathlon going on at the Y next month and another Racery event with HRC.

I think a friend used the word “masochist” when it comes to me trying to outdo myself.  Of course that was after my race when I was driving home, sore and barely able to walk much further than from the car to the house.  Although I guess I have to say he isn’t much off.  The more I do this year means the less (or more) I know I CAN do and that’s the reason for doing so much.

Two more months to go til 2018!

Listening to:  The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Reading:  The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite.  I’ve seen The Pillars of the Earth miniseries, but A Beautiful, Terrible Thing reads like something I could have easily written since I have been in similar situations.  It’s a great read though.

Quote of the Day:  “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

Leave a comment

Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, HRC

Quotes Part 3

Today is going to be a quote day.  Enjoy!

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” – C. S. Lewis

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”― Martin Luther King, Jr.

“People will forget what you said. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou

“The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.” ― Pope John Paul II

“We are so accustomed to the comforts of “I cannot”, “I do not want to” and “it is too difficult” that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak.” ― Pandora Poikilos, Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.” ― Shannon L. Alder

“The best things occur when you challenge yourself and face your fears. If you think of your greatest achievements and take an inventory of the times you have demonstrated to yourself (and others) just how strong you are, you will notice it has never been while remaining within your comfort zone doing things that are easy and familiar to you.” ― Miya Yamanouchi

“Winning and losing is not an external game. It is an internal battle over telling yourself the truth vs. lies regarding why you haven’t stepped into the life you dreamed of.” ― Shannon L. Alder

“We cannot expect to grow if we are too afraid or unwilling to change and face challenges. When we exit our everyday, mundane lifestyles to do something different we can experience growth, undiscovered strength, and new abilities within ourselves.” ― Ashley Ormon

“As I go off into the big black abyss of my future, I have to admit that I am terrified and also a bit insecure in my decisions. But, I also realize that anyone who has ever gone off into uncharted waters must have felt similar to the way I feel now, which gives me a small ounce of comfort. I don’t know how to do what I am doing, I have no way of knowing if this is the right way or not. But I guess I’ll never know until I get there. So, this is me, being a pioneer.” ― Leigh Hershkovich

Happy Monday!

Listening to: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Reading:  Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness and Cress by Marissa Meyer

Quote of the Day:  Pick any of the ones above.

Leave a comment

Filed under Quotes

Managing Expectations

I had a few things happen to me personally over the weekend.  They weren’t bad things just annoyances that are still hitting me today.  When I came in this morning for work, I was talking to a friend about them, and about something else too.  I forget the exact words, but we ended up talking about managing expectations.

See, I have expectations for things in my life.  When things don’t meet those expectations, I get upset.  Normal human reaction, especially for someone with control issues.  Here’s how all this came up though.

My expectations for this weekend:

  • Make between $300 and $500 this weekend ridesharing.
  • Finish at least one book that I was reading/listening too.
  • Walk seven/eight miles.
  • Pick up the remaining things needed for vacation.
  • Post two videos: One wrap-up video and one book tag video

One… One thing out of those actually happened.  The others were partly done or not done at all.

My expectations for life:  That people are open enough that my lifestyle shouldn’t bother them.

I’m gay.  I get that there are people out there that don’t like gay people, aren’t okay with, etc.  I hadn’t really met any of those people.  I’ve met people that don’t agree with my choice to not have children (at one point I did, but now I have three.  I’m good.).  I’ve met people who make comments about my day job and how I couldn’t make it in the private sector.  I’ve met people who wouldn’t even say “Hi” to me because of my size.  I’ve met people that I didn’t feel comfortable telling I was gay to while they are stuck in a car with me.  So my expectation I guess had become that more people than not are okay with my lifestyle.

Yeah, no.

I was talking about my son going to Marines this past week to a couple from NC.  When I got asked if I was a nervous wreck, I said, “No, but his mom is.”  *Confused looks*  “But you said ‘your son?’” “Yes, my wife has three boys, so that makes them mine too.”  *Subject change*

Needless to say it was awkward after that confession.  I did it to myself by being proud of my relationship and our son.  I stopped talking so much after that trip and just drove.

I’m waiting to hear back from my application for Amazon Flex so I can give up rideshare driving.  Between that instance and people abusing the system (UberPool and Lyft line are for two people per trip.  Please stop trying to get away with 3 or more people.  Please order the right vehicle for your party, too.  OMG, the horror stories people…horror stories–See this upcoming Wednesday’s post).  I liked the money but I’m over the people.

Sigh.  Come on Sunday!

Listening to:  Human by Raggin Bone Man

Reading:  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Advice Column, Driving

Life Update

It’s been a while since I posted something… I think close to 17 days so two weeks.  I haven’t had much to say and there’s been several shuffling pieces that needed to find a home before I could get back to writing.

Have things been sorted out?  Hardly.  Do I really have much to say today?  No, not really.

Why?

Because there seems to be a grieving process happening; a couple of them actually.  I don’t deal with change very well and after stressing so much to make the money for the house, suddenly, there isn’t much to stress about.  To me, that leaves a bit of void, even though I should be able to relax and calm down from there.  A major change happened though.  No longer are we in a small apartment, now we have about double the space and we aren’t tripping over people, except when it comes to the bathroom.  One bathroom for five, soon to only be three, people can be rough.  So there’s one part.

The other part is the soon-to-be lack of people in the house.  Life changes.  People grow up and change with it.  I think I already said I don’t handle change well.  I’d gotten used to things and now, things are flipped upside down and I’m not very resilient.  I never really have been.  But the lack of people because the kids are moving on and heading off on great adventures… I’m scared but excited for them.  This if why I can’t have biological kids.  I would be the parent that never wants to let go.

So two grieving processes:  One for the void of stressing about moving and one for life changes when it comes to kids.

Simple things in the grand scheme of things, but things that are important to me.

Twelve days… Hopefully sunshine and beaches help shake this feeling.

Then off to planning the next great escape, both personally and professionally.

Listening to:  My off-line Amazon Playlist

Reading:  Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Quote of the day:  “Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ― Rumi

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized