Sunday, January 31, 2016

Checked off the list

Yesterday, I worked on taxes for my daughter and for us.  I had a business meeting.  My late afternoon appointment didn't show up.  In the meanwhile I got three of my crochet patterns posted on Ravelry, started a new pattern, which I'm pleased with the result, and spent time with Ken.  I posted a contest on my Facebook page for my readers and friends to enter a drawing to win one of my books.  If you want to know more go to my site: 

This morning I woke up at 5 am with a migraine.  I went back to sleep in the hopes of it going away but it didn't.  So now on top of the migraine, I feel like I'm behind schedule.  I have crochet patterns to deal with.  I have to do a bit of research to figure out whether I should post the Half Dozen Headbands and Warm Winter Set as a set on Ravelry or if I should do each pattern individually.  It means research.

In addition to what I've gotten done, I need to go through the stacks of coupons I have so I'm prepped and ready for the shopping trip next weekend.  I've already gone through the apps to look for deals.

I was hoping to get more done today but my head is killing me so I will take it easy today I think.  It is Ken's birthday today.  He gets to pick what we do.  We've finally caught up on Scorpion but we are behind now on a number of other shows.  It's up to him.

I've checked off some of the things on my weekend to do list.  I think the rest of the weekend will have to be about Ken and getting rid of a migraine.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cram It All In

The weekend is here and it is supposed to be about rest and relaxation, right?  Not this weekend.  I'm up early and helped one daughter with her taxes.  Next I have a business call in a little over an hour.  In between, I'm hoping to upload some of my patterns I just published to Ravelry and get a few other things done.

I've got this business meeting call and then I have a bunch of other things I want to get done.  I want to finish off typing up the patterns (four of them) which I want to publish.  I have to put all of them on Ravelry.  I should get the edits for Wayfarer 10 entered on the computer and work on the cover.  Some of my test readers liked and some didn't.  I should work on prepping stuff for doing my own taxes.

I have so much bouncing around in my head right now it is crazy.  I need to take a breath, make a list, and prioritize.  Because in addition to all these things, I also need down time.  This last week was stressful for work and next week will be as well.  I just need to take a breath and do what I'm able.  The rest will get done in time.

I'm back to several crochet projects I want to try in my head on top of all the other things going on.  I need to figure out what I can get done and just let the rest go.  In my head right now, I'm laughing at myself because this is definitely not something I'm good at.  In my head, I'm hearing - publish 4 more crochet patterns, work on poncho and fleece / crochet mitten pattern, marketing, organize tax stuff, edits and cover for 10, write 11, write Defenders 3 - get moving and get stuff done!!

The other part of me is saying one at a time.  I can only do one of these at a time and I need to make sure I get enough rest and calm so I am ready for work next week.  I need to have that balance or I throw my health into a bad place.  So I'll cram in what I can but try to remember to breathe and keep moving forward one thing at a time - hopefully.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Where does the time go?

I’ve been working on getting excerpts from all my novels to use for marketing the books.  I’ve gotten through all my poetry books, meditation book, Wayfarer series and a few others.  I have to go back through and get links on this page so everything is in one place and makes it easy to copy / paste. 

Last night I finished editing Wayfarer 10 and reread 11 making edits as I went.  I couldn’t believe how fast paced 11 was.  I like that as I think it makes for a quick read.  I also was concluding several storylines with the opening scenes.  The next step is to start more storylines and see how the characters move forward. 

That took up a good chunk of my night last night but I was still done by ten which is too early for me to go to bed.  I decided I’d take a half hour to wander around on Pinterest.  Big mistake!  I spent an hour and half on Pinterest and Facebook.  I read some interesting articles on batch cooking for freezer meals, looked at some crochet patterns, read up on some of my friends activities and pretty soon it was 11:30.  It was crazy – where did the time go?  It got eaten up with surfing Pinterest and Facebook. 

Tonight I’ll be entering edits from the hard copy to the computer for Wayfarer 10.  I’m not sure how long that will take but I’m going to try to stay off Pinterest / Facebook so there will be no time suck again.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Motivation Needed

I meant to get up early today and get to work on publishing.  That didn't happen.  Instead I slept late and only got up when one of my daughters called.  I chatted with her, worked on sales, coupons, rebates, and so on.

Ken is off now to go do stuff with his family.  I'm going to work on publishing - I swear.  It is pay weekend so I need to do coupons today so he can take them with him tomorrow when he does the grocery shopping.  We are going to have Panera for breakfast.  I had a rebate of $1 if I spent $7 and got a drink.  We are getting three pastries and a coffee (for Ken not me).  The bill came to roughly $12.  Ordering online, I had a $2 coupon from Panera and then through Find & Save, I have a $1 rebate.  This takes my 12 down to 9 which is nice.

I've been reading my Wayfarer series for multiple reasons.  The first is to get excerpts so I can post them on social media and the second is to get back in the story and characters as I edit 10 and finish writing 11.  I started Wayfarer Freedom last night which is book 8.  This means I'm almost caught up to do the editing on 10.  I'm hoping to finish it and publish it next month.

The first week back for classes was a bit rough.  It was insanely busy but I got through it.  Hopefully it gets a bit better this next week.

I'm trying to decide if I want to take my birthday off.  It's a Monday which is sort of a bad day to take off.  I need to decide soon.  I may just save the day so I can have a writing weekend later.  

While it's quiet I should get something accomplished.  I shouldn't just be a bum and do nothing or play computer games - right?  I need to focus and get to work.  The motivation is a bit lacking today.  This is not a good sign.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Family Weekend

Friday Ken and I escaped from Wisconsin to go visit our middle daughter in Indiana.  Chicago traffic was slow (as expected) but we got there in fairly good time.  Saturday morning, I got a text message from my Georgia daughters saying they were 30 minutes out.  We knew they were coming but Vicki did not.  They wanted to surprise her for her birthday.

Vicki and I were supposed to be going grocery shopping for her.  However, since her sisters were so almost to her, I stalled.  Vicki looked puzzled when a knock sounded on her door.  She was thrilled to see her sisters.  It was Vicki's birthday yesterday and we all converged on her for the weekend.

We spent Saturday running around together.  Vicki and I did errands while Virginia and Stephanie showered and slept.  We brought home lunch for all.  After sharing lunch, we went shopping and Ken came with us.  Virginia got to see my new car for the first time.  We wandered and enjoyed shoe and bag shopping.  Ken looked for tennis shoes.

Stephanie took some family pictures.  I can't wait to see them.  We were insane and had them taken outside.  It was cold but fortunately no snow on the ground so easier walking.  She took all sorts of combinations.  It will be interesting to see how they turn out and the silliness of them.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent talking, spending time together.  It was wonderful to all be in the same room.  Virginia talked about her homework assignment.  Stephanie, Vicki, and I crafted.  Vicki and Stephanie made supper.  We watched football.

I worked on a shawl for Vicki.  I had it started six times before I got an actual pattern which would work.  I ripped out more than I crocheted.  Sometimes that's just how it goes.

Sunday we got up to wish Vicki "Happy Birthday".  Stephanie made waffles, eggs, and bacon.  It was delicious!  Ken and I left around 10 central time and got home about 4.  It took a little longer than normal because of bad roads and weather.

It was a fun and exhausting weekend.  The Georgia girls stayed till lunch time with Vicki.  The three of them had a good lunch before Virginia and Stephanie headed for home.  They also made it safely home around 11 eastern last night.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Teeter Totter

Seeking a balance in my tasks, I've been trying to find the right combination among writing, crocheting, and family tasks.  I've been working on editing a manuscript which is now down to a final read through as I've finished the searches I normally do.  At the same time, I've been working on projects for my daughters.  I just finished two cat beds which I didn't have patterns for the two different styles.

Striking a balance (of sorts) is good in that I don't feel I'm so focused on one task that I get burned out on it.  I'm also able to embrace the different sides of my creative nature - making beautiful things and telling good stories.

I have a long list of crochet patterns I want to publish and at the same time I need to work on marketing.  Monday I will be home alone so I am going to attempt to get the end of year reports done for my writing and editing business and then work on preparation for publishing for the patterns I have complete.

I'm back and forth on what I'm working on but I feel like I'm at least making progress on all my interests.

Next week classes start up again.  This means my work will go from slow and quiet to insane.  Almost all of the faculty will be back in the building regularly and the students will be back.  Next week will be exhausting and fast paced which means when I get home I'll be looking for mellow things to do.  Things I won't have to think about too much.  This means either crocheting or maybe editing / marketing.  I have a number of books to go through to pull out quotes for posting on twitter.  Either task will be low key for the most part.

My goal this year - hopefully - is to not buy any new yarn unless I have a specific project in mind and to work on whittling down my stash and my current load of projects.  This means I want to clear out some of the bins of yarn I have for Vicki and other people.  It also means I have to find that balance so I have time for crocheting and writing.

I have to go with the flow when I'm writing - when the story is flowing I have to write.  However, I'm going to attempt to make time for both of my main interests.  I'll see how this plays out.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Good Schedule

In Wisconsin we've turned cold.  Temps have dipped from the thirties to the teens.  Stepping outside I catch my breath and feel a hitch from the icy temps.  This means I'm starting the hibernating part of the year.

I've finished the dish towels for the girls in Georgia.  Now I'm moving on to other projects.  Since it's so cold outside, it's a good time to work on the bigger projects.  I've a number of projects I want to work through while I'm finishing up a show of which I have about five more episodes.  If I'm responsible, I can watch three or four a night.

I believe I will be working on a new pattern tonight.  I'll have to see how it goes but Vicki has asked for cat beds from some of the left over fleece she's left for another blanket.  I'm going to pair it with the jute rope I have and see how the project turns out.

Winter is on us with the colder temps but it's supposed to warm up a bit today and tomorrow.  It will be interesting to see if it is warm enough to melt the snow again.  I think we may go back to green / brown grass but then colder temps.

The erratic weather makes me want to hunker down and work on inside projects.  It's time to clear out my work basket and finish off a couple of those projects and then turn to another of Vicki's baskets so I can keep progressing through her piles of yarn.

At the same time, I would like to go back to writing more.  I may have to schedule a long weekend and devote my time to writing, editing, and working on my marketing plan.  I have a number of crochet patterns to publish.  This is the time people are looking for new ideas and new patterns to try so it would be good to complete the patterns and publish them.

My schedule for the next several weeks is busy enough where getting work like that done is difficult.  I'll have to see what I can manage for creating a schedule for myself.  It really does come down to good organization and scheduling.

Monday, January 4, 2016


I've been deliberately offline for nearly two weeks.  In this time I've only looked at email for urgent stuff and to dump the junk mail.  I focused on time with my family and crocheting.

I lost track of the number of items (see the pictures) I finished while Vicki was home.  I did finish off one complete bag of yarn for her, as well as a few projects which weren't in any bags.  I know I finished at least nine things on her list but I also added in a few more things as she bought more yarn for me to work with.

It was quiet and calming to not be online or at work.  For the most part, she and I hung out at home though there were a few days we ran errands.  I loved making the items.  It's wonderful to pick up yarn and with a few strokes create something useful and beautiful.  I'm pleased with most of what came out.

Since she returned home, I've been working on projects for my girls in Georgia.  I should finish them tonight - I hope.  Once those are done, I'm going to clear out my project basket and work on the other projects I set aside to work on stuff for all my girls.  I think there are three or four projects in there I would like to finish.

However, at the same time, I'd like to get back to writing.  I have a novel to edit and two to finish writing.  I'll be switching off between the two I guess.  I'm currently watching a tv show while I crochet so I may have to finish the last ten episodes before I go back to writing.  This will mean crocheting while I watch.

Yesterday I watched two craftsy classes while I did prep for dishtowels.  It was nice to switch things up and listen to other things than television shows.  When I get back to editing, I'll probably put music on again.  I've not listened to much for music lately as I've been busy crocheting.  I've either been watching tv shows or movies.  I'm back to working out a balance of tasks - writing, crocheting, and family time.

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...