Tag Archives: writing

Understand? Comprenez? Capice? Entiendo?

Communication is vital for life.  An obvious statement, I know.  But when you think about it, communication, more importantly effective communication, is something we often take for granted. The majority of us learn to talk and communicate at an early age.  We know how to say what we want, identify things we like, show disdain for things we don’t like.  It seems so simple when you think about it but really, it’s so much more than that.  It allows us to be who we are.  It gives us an identity. It is how we want people to perceive us – by the thoughts and ideas we communicate with each other.


In college, when I went back for round two, I majored in English (big surprise there) with a concentration in Writing, Communication, and Rhetoric.  I loved words, I loved writing.  It made sense that I would gravitate toward that concentration.  However, while there were some classes that really just were going through the motions (sorry – but Business Communications and Technical Writing were almost the same class – at least Tech Writing started off that way and it was probably because of the professor who taught it…), there were other classes that really examined language and how it’s used and how to effectively communicate with the masses.

In those classes, finding a voice was imperative. Without a voice, how could you communicate?  My Advanced Writing class, which was really my one true Rhetoric class, was where we learned to write effective persuasive essays, straw man essays, and Aristotelian arguments using Logos and Pathos.  It was by far one of my most favorite classes ever.  Combine that with a professor who was one to say “I never give anyone an A,” and I was set to take that class and make it my life’s mission to get that ‘A’ he never gave.


That class was so interesting in the sense that in order to have an effective argument, it was important that you were very clear in what you were saying so there could be no misunderstanding.  It taught me to get to the point and support the point clearly.  It taught me to use one word rather than ten to get there.  I could dig it up, but probably my most favorite argument was the one where I argued that Seinfeld was the greatest sitcom ever created.  I don’t remember the exact reasons I gave, but I remember getting an A on that paper and in the end I got an A for the semester (which also gave me a sense of pride because it was awarded by a self-proclaimed “I never give As” professor).

Had I not learned how to effectively communicate and make sure that I was understood, I doubt my arguments would have been as strong as they were.  I took a lot from that class because many of the lessons applied to every aspect of life. In order to have any relationship in life, you must effectively and clearly communicate and be understood.  If you can clearly communicate, then you can be understood.  Being able to be understood means that people are able to know me. They can understand my opinions and if they are able to communicate back, I can understand theirs.


Today, I have heard a lot of people say things like “Our country is pregnant with change,” or “We are living in a very historical time” and at the same time, we hear the candidates gearing up for Presidential campaigns. Everything is so politically charged and at times, it’s overwhelming.  I can’t help but think that if people knew how to effectively communicate and have a discussion – not digging your heels in and shouting at each other trying to drown the other opinion out but a genuine conversation – we might better understand our friends and neighbors who hold a different opinion.  We would understand what was being said.  That’s the beauty of humanity.  We have the ability to communicate and through that communication we are able to be understood.  It really is an amazing thing to be understood.

This blog is part of my month long attempt (number fiftefoursixthteenth or something around that) at participating in NaBloPoMo.  Check out other great bloggers who are working on hitting this 31 days of blogging goal and join in yourself if you want!  The more the merrier!  This month’s theme: Connect.  Today’s Prompt: Do people generally understand what you’re trying to say?


Filed under Blogging, NaBloPoMo

Seconds of Summer

It is surreal.  For someone who doesn’t usually like to focus on herself or draw much attention to herself, I find myself in the strange position of putting myself out there and pushing something I created.  Then again, I wrote the story so people would read it.  I find myself following authors on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogs – looking for hints about how they market their books.  It’s fascinating to me and sometimes feels a bit egotistical but I suppose we all have that little streak of ego that helps us move forward.  It is probably a good thing. Listening to that ego only takes a second and sometimes it pays off.

Today is the last day of June. They say we get a whole extra second today.  That extra second could make a world of difference to someone today and I find myself thinking about that second.  So many possibilities in one second.  I know in one second, the second I pushed that button to publish, I made a dream come true.  It takes just one second and a person ready to take that second and make the most of it.

Cape Cod Canal and The Sagamore Bridge

Cape Cod Canal and The Sagamore Bridge

It feels like summer today. So many seconds make up a summer day, roughly 86,400 seconds.  Seconds of laughter. Seconds of hazy heat.  Seconds of cookouts.  Seconds of music playing into the night.  Seconds of splashing in the ocean.  Seconds that make life wonderful.  Take those seconds and try to enjoy them.

As the Daughter and I were getting ready this morning, she was regaling me with stories of her first day at 4-H camp (which was a huge success thankfully and put this worried mother at ease), I took a second to just look at that little 6-year-old face. In that second, I saw her happy and innocent, enjoying life in its simplest form.  Out in the woods, out in the lake, out with people having fun singing camp songs.  No electronics.  No real worries.  Just sunshine and laughter.  Seconds of life that hopefully she will some day remember and smile about.

Go make the most of your extra second today.

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Filed under Blogging, Books, Family, Random Thoughts

Self-Publishing or Desperate Attempt to Feel Accomplished?

I signed up for a KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) account last night. It was a grown up step for me.  Made me feel like I was one step closer to getting that NaNo 2012 book out to the masses for someone to read.  I did have two kind and generous people read it.  They both said they enjoyed it and liked it so that’s a good sign.  I have spent hours upon hours re-writing, editing, making sure the dots connect and I think I’m finally done.

This is the next step. The next step in getting a “book” out to the masses.  On one hand, I feel like it’s not necessarily a “real” book because anyone can self-publish.  Then I realized that I really just want people to read my stories.  And if Kindle helps people read it, cool.  If not, well hey – I didn’t lose anything now did I?

My other reason for going the self-publishing route is that I’m honestly a bit nervous about writing a query letter.  I mean I don’t know that it won’t get read and picked up, but still I can’t help but wonder if it’s easier to go the self-pub route and see if the number of sales catches the attention of a publisher.  Hey, it’s happened before…a girl can dream.

I think I’m just curious as to what will happen with this if I put it out there.  That nagging voice is shouting at me.  You know the one that is overly critical and condescending.


Yeah, she’s being quite the bitch right now, but you know what? I don’t know that I care anymore what she says when it comes to my writing.  I just have to put it out there and let it go.  Who knows – I could make a killing on this first one…don’t laugh too hard at that.  There was an article on CBS Sunday Morning that talked about self-publishing and it was very interesting.

Either way, once I’m done formatting to the specifications that KDP requires, I’m going to unleash my story upon the masses.  Eeek!

I suppose that also means I should start working on self-promotion.  I’m terrible at building myself up.  But I do want to get people to read it…soooo dear readers…I’ll be letting you know when I finally get it out there and you’ll probably get sick of hearing about it, but hey – I have to be my own cheerleader right??


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October – The Best Month of the Year!

October 1st is pretty much done.  I have decided that I am going to give NaBloPoMo another go.  Next month is NaNoWriMo (which by the way, every time I write either of those I feel like I’m taunting you with the age old “na na na boo boo” and I promise I’m not) which means I’m going to be submitting myself to the annual masochistic ritual of trying to write a 50,000+ word novel in 30 days.  It’s something I actually look forward to every year since I discovered it.  This year will be my third year and hopefully my second win.

It’s probably my most favorite thing about Fall.  October is prep month – outlines, character sketches, tons of post it notes and journals filled with questions and ideas.  I love it.  Until I start writing that is.  Then I hate it and totally start from scratch.

Le sigh.

At least I know that my Caramel Vanilla Creme coffee will keep me adequately caffeinated as I attempt to work my way through both this month of “warm up” and next month’s actual writing blitz.

My fuel.

For those  who don’t know about either of these two writing events, I know I have written about them in the past but I will gladly re-cap because if you want to join, you should.  The more the merrier!  I also know that I enjoy the personal challenge of trying to accomplish something that I truly enjoy doing.  Yes, it really is all about me.

Let’s start with NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month.  It started out as just one month of posting a blog post every day for an entire month but us bloggers, we liked it so much that the creators of the great idea decided it do it every month.  You can read more about it here and sign up for it today!  If not this month, come back another month and give it a go.  It’s not monitored.  It’s kind of a personal goal and I can say that the first month I actually did it, I felt pretty awesome.  At first you think, 30 days (or 31 in this month’s case) is nothing.  You start out strong and the first week goes by no problem.  You move into the second week and you’re like ok, this is still working out.  Then the third week, you find that the prompts are pretty vital to creating new content because you start to feel a little narcissistic. By the fourth week, the end of the month can’t come soon enough.  I was amazed that those were the emotions I went through.  I hope that this month is going to be a little different.  I know some people plan out their content.  I usually don’t do that because every day, I feel something different and that affects what I feel like writing about.  We’ll see how I feel about this plan as the month goes by.

In November, NaNoWriMo begins.  National Novel Writing Month is simply 50,000 words in 30 days.  It averages to about 1700 words a day.  It’s not that bad if you have a good plan and stick with it.  There is no editing.  There is no revising. It is just getting words on paper, or on virtual paper if you will.  I love it.  I don’t love the months after where you have go through and reconcile things that you wrote down on page 38 with something you wrote on page 155.  That is not fun.  That is when you wish you had a real editor to help make sure that you have good continuity and didn’t miss one small word that you changed on one page but forgot to change on another and it ends up changing the whole meaning of everything.  I’m still working on last year’s NaNo novel’s revisions.  It’s taking some time because as I was revising one chapter, I realized that I needed an important piece of the puzzle changed.  That then led to three new chapters being added.  Nothing wrong with that, just a part of the process.  Did I mention that I love it.  I’m almost to the point where I’m going to need some friendly “proofreaders” to go through and just read it for me and point out any issues.  Just something to keep in mind.

That's how November will feel...

That’s how November will feel…

So yes, Fall is wonderful for apple picking, pumpkin picking, Halloween (the greatest holiday ever), cool days, crisp blue skies, sweaters, frosty mornings, warm cups of coffee…it’s really the perfect time to sit down and start writing.  But in my case, it’s time to start seriously writing.  I cannot wait!

This post is part of the October NaBloPoMo.  The theme this month is Fall (how apropos).  Check out the other great blogs participating in this month’s blogging blitz.  


Filed under NaBloPoMo, Writing

Why Did One Month of Writing a Blog Every Day Make Me Feel Burnt Out?

Last month I came the closest I have ever come to completing a NaBloPoMo.  For those who don’t know what that is, let me enlighten you.  There is a wonderful website called BlogHer.  It’s a support network, in essence, for women who blog.  They may be professional bloggers, they may be novice bloggers.  It doesn’t matter the level of blogging, they just blog.  They cover a range of topics from parenting to politics and everything in between.  Every month, the moderator of NaBloPoMo offers a topic and writing prompts and encourage writers to join in on the blogging goodness known as National Blog Posting Month, typically designated as the month of November.  Well…they liked it so much they do it every month!

July was the month I was finally going to get all the posts written.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to follow the prompts or just write and post, since writers are given the choice.  The main goal is to have one post every day for that entire month.


I started out July by following along with the prompts.  Then, I felt like I was losing my personal voice with the sometimes personal prompts. The prompts were not really things I was prone to talk about.  For example, the prompt for August 12 (today) is “Do you enjoy summer? Do you like it when it’s hot outside?”  While I could ramble on and answer the question in a very round about way, for me, that question is a simple “Yes, I enjoy summer.  No, I do not like it to be too hot.”  I suppose I still believe that “Brevity is the soul of wit”…  Not to mention that my answers were sounding like a journal, a high school journal…well ok, maybe more like a middle school journal.  I just felt awkward writing and following the prompts.  I felt like a machine.  It didn’t feel like writing that was true to me.

Why did I keep doing it?  Why didn’t I stop?  Well, the short answer is that I wanted to prove I could post a blog post every day for a month.

Halfway through the month, I felt like you were all getting sick of me.  I know there were times when I was getting sick of me.  I felt like there was nothing of value being said.  I know I was trying to write just to keep the gears greased so to speak but this was not feeling right.  Something was off.  I took the last couple of weeks, despite feeling like I was abandoning a child, and did not blog.  I just didn’t do it.  I read my favorite blogs, and even commented on a few of them.  I started a quilt project.  I moved on to the next chapter of re-writes on my book I have from last November’s National Novel Writing Month.  I did write a little here and there.  I just didn’t post it here.  Again…it wasn’t anything worth talking about.

I just am surprised at how easily I lost that urge to get words strung together after forcing myself to post every day.  Sadly, I couldn’t even come up with anything inspired to write for the last two days of July.  I still have not completed a NaBloPoMo…maybe September will be the month.


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Origins: Why I Write My Blog

I love when people ask why did you start your blog?  I don’t always love when they ask me because I fear my answer will sound narcissistic but, I really do enjoy hearing other people’s answers. So Daily Prompt

I suppose I should answer the question though, in case any of you were wondering.  It’s truly a selfish reason.  I blog so I can write.

On my 13th birthday, my Nana gave me a journal.  It was called my Secret Garden Journal.  It had a lock and it was set up by month and each day had its own page.  Each month had beautiful illustrations of the flower of the month held within a beautiful yellow hardcover binding. The pages of the book were high gloss, though not my favorite for writing on, they were nice when used with a simple blue Papermate pen.  However, when the pen was on the verge of dying, it would blot very badly and end up making my hand look like I had crushed a Smurf with my fist.

I had never kept a journal before.  I didn’t quite know what to write in it.  I knew I wanted to write more than just who I was currently infatuated with (which now looking back, I see that I had developed an early pattern of falling for the gay guys) and what I wore that day.  But being only 13, there wasn’t anything really pressing to write about.  I knew that it was a place to let my words out; empty my brain.  The short little pages were not enough sometimes, but I wrote.  Every night I wrote, lying in my bed, after all homework was done.  I wrote about the day and I wrote about what I thought.  It was liberating.  Something about emptying those words on to those glossy pages and locking it up felt good.

I filled the book and then went out and bought another.  This one, a more generic book with blank pages.  It had a hard cover that had paperclips all over the front of it.  I thought I would be like Anne Frank and name my diary.  I loved that she had named hers.  It was like she had a friend and confidant.  It only made sense because my journal was like a dialogue and if I had a name, I didn’t feel like I was talking to myself as much as I was having a conversation that would help me work out all of the garbled thoughts a teenager can have.  When my parents got divorced, that journal was my savior.  I can’t even tell you how many pages were used during that time, but I can tell you that it was probably more effective than Dr. Mike making us play Don’t Wake Daddy, failing to see the irony in the selection of that specific game and the reason we were currently sitting in his office playing it.

Once that journal was filled, I continued on.  I started stock piling journals so that if I filled one before the year was over, I had a new one at the ready.  I kept a list of names, too.  Each journal was different.  Different cover, different paper weight, different lines, different color paper. Of course that meant each one deserved to have its own name.  I also felt that it made each one a friend who saw me through something different.  High school years, college freshman years, that weird period when I wasn’t in college…each journal was a lifeline.

Somewhere along the line, I stopped.  I had journals but I had stopped writing religiously in them.  I didn’t spend every night writing before turning out the light.  I forgot about my friend who would wait up to hear about the day, every day.

All these years later, I realized that I needed to write every day.  I needed that journal.  I needed a space where I could keep bringing my thoughts out into a solid space and make them last in some way.  I started blogging.

I don’t blog like I would write my journal.  If I did, I fear you all would think I was a lunatic.  Wait, you might already…


I really just blog to keep writing.  If something specific gets stuck in my head, I try to write about that.  If something particularly eventful occurs, I hope that I am able to capture it in a way that is true to myself and someday, if the internet is still around, my daughter might be able to read and realize that Mom wasn’t really as crazy as she seemed all the time.

After writing this post though, I think I might try to keep a more personal journal too. One where I can really, truly empty the brain. Who knows, there might be a story or two in there that might be worth exploring a little more…a dream that might need to be taken down off the shelf…

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Is Less More?

I am determined to complete 31 days of blogging this month.  No matter what it takes.  I have signed up for NaBloPoMo for a few months now and have yet to complete an entire month. So far, this month, I have done every day.  I did not follow the prompts but that’s ok.  I don’t have to.  I just have to have a post for every day of the month.


Today, I’m not feeling inspired to write anything in particular.  I mean, it’s not because there is a lack of news stories I can throw my two cents in on but I’m not a pundit so my opinion is probably just better kept to myself. I could talk about the Royal Baby Watch but, that feels wrong.  I could talk about tv but right now, I don’t know what show to talk about.  I could talk about books but we all know where that will end up…

That brings me to the [clichéd] thought, is less more?   Can the post for the sake of a post hold any intrinsic value?  Or, is it better to not even attempt a post every day and wait for the truly meaningful posts?  In my quest to write these 31 posts, am I writing too much? I know that the initial answer is no, you can never write too much.  NEVER.  But on days like today, is this more just a way for me to continue to exercise my writing muscles?  And the initial answer to that is yes.

writing muscle

I think that even though there is no real point to this post (or is there?), the mere fact that I’m taking fifteen minutes to write something, anything is a very good thing.  Do I think that my overall blog will suffer?  No.  I think that everyone has days where they are just trying to come up with something and that’s ok.  We don’t have to always be “on.”  Today is one of those days.

I hope you were able to stay cool today and I hope tomorrow you have a way to stay cool, dear reader.

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Characters That Want a Different Ending

Lately, I’ve been really focusing on my writing.  You can see that in my blog.  I’ve been posting more regularly and writing with more freedom, playing with prompts, and really just writing to write.  It’s been exciting for me.

I’ve been suffering though from a long bout of writer’s block.   I had outlined the end of my NaNo book and was happily working toward that end and then one of the characters said, “You can’t write this ending.  It’s rubbish and it’s not what’s supposed to happen to me.”  I looked at it and realized this character was right.  So I outlined again.  And again, that character said, “Tsk, tsk.  Still not the right ending for me.”  And I had to look at it and agree again.  It wasn’t the right end.  Back to the outline again.

This has now happened five times.  I just don’t know what I’m doing.  All of a sudden, this idea that was flowing along so nicely during the month of November is now at a stand-still, being held hostage by a finicky young woman who seems to want something but won’t say just what.


Writer’s Block is one of those things that people either believe in or believe to be a myth.  I am one of the ones who think myth.  I may not have had much progress in getting toward the ending of my book, which makes it hard for me to want to be part of a writing/revision group when I don’t have a completed piece, but that doesn’t mean I have stopped writing altogether.

While I’m waiting for this character to figure out exactly what it is she wants, I am going back and expanding on spots that needed a little more.  I’m editing other sections and removing the non-essential parts.  I’m adding more scenery and other information that helps me get a little closer to getting that ending that is supposed to be matched up with the rest of the story.

Doing this simple act is really a huge help.  I find myself going back and reviewing everything, revisiting characters, conversations, even clothing choices.  All those things help make the ending a little more clear.  I had a pretty good breakthrough last night but it actually made the ending a little less clear because one of those magical things happened.  As I was writing, the character in question said, let’s see what happens if the professor does provide the key ingredient.  Even though it was never in my original outline, it works.  Now, I have a whole new direction to go in and that is exciting!

Writer’s block is more of a mental hurdle we place in front of ourselves.  We can either let it stop us or we can choose to work around it.  Simply writing a journal entry a day is one way to keep the writing going.  Even though it’s not directly related to whatever it is you’re working on at the time, it’s still writing and you may find something in your writing that can help you go back to that story and finish it.  Just keep writing, even if you feel stuck, write something different, like a small essay on the weather that day, a review of a book you recently read, a letter to a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Write anything.  Then go back to your story and see what magical things happen!


Filed under Writing

Ocean Blue – Blackout

Every third day, our block of apartments go dark. It is one more of the conservation efforts that were put into place to teach us to learn to live more thoughtfully, preparing us for our next home. The first night we went dark was the hardest. No one had gone without the light, computers, or some form of entertainment for less than a few hours before the arks. When the Senate announced that there would be regular blackouts, we were outraged. The Red source was supposed to provide endless amounts of energy yet here we were needing to have blackouts.  It just did not seem fair that we should suffer.  However as the discussions were held and the information made public, we realized that no one knew how long we would be floating looking for our new home.  When the thought of endlessly floating in the void entered our minds, we realized that one night every week was something we could learn to live with.


We had spent so many years attached to our technology.  While it helped us advance science and medicine, we found out that first night without power that we had lost some of our basic communication skills.  We sat in silence that first night.  No one really talked too much and many went to sleep, hoping it would help make everything go by more quickly, sparing them the inconvenience of no entertainment.  It was amazing to see how many of us did not know what to do with ourselves.

It was on the third week that finally one of the elders spoke up.  They reminded us that we weren’t always plugged in.  We didn’t always have the constant stream of communication downloaded to an ear piece, uploaded to a monitor in our pocket, streamed in the bathroom.  We used to play instruments, we used to read, we used to see live theater.  We had instruments and we had books.  It was time to rediscover them.

The first month, we organized a play.  We pulled out Shakespeare since everyone had heard of at least one of his plays.  A small group of us got together and presented the block with a poorly acted version of Twelfth Night.  It was amazing.  People didn’t quite get all of the jokes but they did enjoy it.  We talked about it after too, to make sure everyone understood what the story was about because the language was so old and used words that people hadn’t heard in centuries.

the fold

We did Ibsen, Miller, Williams, Simon, and Checkov.  It was amazing to see how every other month, the whole block would be excited for the latest production. Even the auditions had gained reputation throughout the ark.  People in other blocks would come down to audition and see the plays.  It was an amazing feeling to know that we could find such wonderful entertainment in these old stories.

Soon, people were attempting to write their own plays.  The imaginations were coming back to life.  It was amazing to see because for so long we relied on other people to make our entertainment and with the arks, all of that changed.  Yes there was still programming that was pumped throughout the ship, but it wasn’t like there were video games released every month or musicians on tour.  People had forgotten how much enjoyment came from it.

Sitting around a room with a guitar and a room full of voices was something that not only entertained but made people feel connected.  One of the girls who lived four apartments down had found a book in the library that had the songs of America and inside it were songs that were perfect for these Blackout sing-a-longs.  The songs were about trials, about struggles, but they were really about hope.  Singing them together made us feel hope.

We found, over time, that we were using the electronic less and seeking out people to talk to.  Books to read.  Music to play.  Poetry to write.   The arks made us find our voices and find our talents.  We had all just been so numb to these kinds of things but people were doing so much more together and not walking around like zombies plugged in.

This post was written as part of January 2013 NaBloPoMo.  The theme this month is energy.  Today’s prompt was “What is your favourite thing to do when you lose energy in your home and can’t use electronics?”  Keeping with my posts from earlier this week, we’re back on the ark, learning more about what to do during the energy conservation efforts. Please feel free to go back and read the start of this little mini-story.  It’s a little different than what I normally post but I’ve been having a lot of fun doing it.


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Sunday Goals

This weekend has not been the best for someone who is supposed to be on Weight Watchers.  Today alone, I had a 70 point day.  I know that I get a lot of points every day, but I dipped heavily (no pun intended) into my weekly allowance points.  For those not in the know, on Weight Watchers, everyone gets a daily points value based on their height, weight, age, and sex.  For me, I get 45 points a day.  On top of those daily points, everyone, no matter what their daily points value is, gets 49 weekly allowance points.  Think of them as your fun money, you know that little bit of your paycheck you set aside each week for something fun.  You don’t have to use them but if you have a busy weekend ahead, you can use them.   So today, I ate 70 points.  In one day.  Bleh.


Tomorrow is Monday.  It’s the middle of my Weight Watchers week so that means it makes total sense to set my goals for the week tonight.

1) Keep tracking everything.  Even those dumb 70 point days.  Track it all.  Every bite, lick and taste.

2) Start stepping again.  When I was doing really well and the weight was just melting off, I was doing steps at night in front of the tv.  The Wii Fit has a section for “free step”  and you can switch back to the tv feed, watch your shows, and it will track your steps.  It was so easy to do the steps in front of a 30 minute sitcom.  My goal this week is to start off doing 1 sitcom a night.

3) More water.  I have cut back again on the Diet Coke but it’s still too much.  I need to get rid of it altogether.

4) Less sugar.  MyFitnessPal allows you to break out your food by nutrients and lately, my sugar amount has been so high.  Need to change that.


I think those goals are pretty doable and won’t make me go too crazy this week.

In non-weight loss and health related goals:

1) Get back to trying one new recipe a week.  It was fun to pick out that one recipe a week and make the family into my guinea pigs.  I’ve been going through Pinterest today to figure out what that one recipe is.  I’m not sure that was a wise decision though because now I have a million new options to narrow it down to.

2) Write two blog posts a day.  One dedicated to NaBloPoMo and one dedicated to my new schedule that I’m setting up for myself.  Fun times.

3) Write my story for at least fifteen minutes a day.  No editing, no worrying about much other than just writing.

I’m going to keep these three for now until they are back to being second nature.

What are your goals for this week?


Filed under Food, Healthy Me - Yay!, My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss