Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday - Replica, Symptoms of Being Human, How to Steal A Dog

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Just finished this one last night. It has a lot of similarities to the novel I'm currently querying, but it also has some cool differences. 

How to Steal A Dog by Barbara O' Conner

I'm reading this one with my 4th grade class right now. 

I'm also still listening to Symptoms of Being Human.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday - The One, The Heir, Symptoms of Being Human, The More of Less

I cannot stop devouring the Selection series.

The One by Kiera Cass

Finished this one in two days. Loved it.

The Heir by Kiera Cass

I'm kind of sad that we didn't get to see more of America and Maxon's story, but I'm very interested in reading about the Selection with reversed genders.

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin (audio)

Still listening to and enjoying this one. 

The More of Less by Joshua Becker

Haven't read much of this one lately as I've been so sucked into the Selection series. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday - The Elite, Symptoms of Being Human, and The More of Less

My first What I'm Reading Wednesday of 2017 and I'm posting...on a Thursday. *Shrugs* At least I'm posting at all. I'm on Benadryl right now because the cedar in Austin was making me want to claw my eyes out, so I'll make this short and sweet.

The Elite by Kiera Cass

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin (audio)

The More of Less by Joshua Becker

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My 2017 Resolutions

If you don't know me well, you may not know that 17 is my lucky number. And seeing how I just moved into an apartment with 17 in the number, I think this is going to be my year.


Resolution #1. Finish the first draft of Deep Sea Fishing.

This was a resolution last year that I didn't get to.

Resolution #2. Train for and finish the Spartan Race in May.

I'm running with my boyfriend, sister, and some friends. It's my first time doing any kind of race like this since I rowed crew in high school. It'll take lots of training and some clean eating to achieve.

Resolution #3. Read 52 books.

This year I'm going back to tracking the books I'm reading to encourage me to get more done. In 2015 I read 70 books but in 2016 I read only 25.

Resolution #4. Write one sentence in my journal a day.

I think it will be cool to look back on my year with one sentence from each day. Plus I feel like this is something small that I can commit to doing each night. I'll be writing these in my bullet journal, where I've already reserved enough pages.

5. Work on one habit from The Traveler's Gift a month.

The Traveler's Gift is a story about David Ponder traveling through time to discover the Seven Decisions for Success. Each month I'll study and review one decision and try to emulate it in my life. After 7 months I'll either be finished or go back and review the decisions I feel I didn't practice enough. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Revisiting My 2016 Resolutions

Well, 2016 hit me hard. To start, this is my first post since January 1st. Here's a look at what I did -- and didn't -- accomplish in 2016.


Resolution #1: Finish the first draft of DSF.

HAHAHA. Nope. Didn't even start.

Resolution #2: Query TGITP

This is actually the only goal I DID meet. I sent my draft to beta readers at the beginning of July, and edited from October-December.

I sent my first round of queries TODAY.

Last year I said, "This is by far going to be the hardest goal to meet", and I'm glad it's the one I chose to focus on.

Resolution #3: Read 70 Books

HAH! Maybe it's because I didn't track the books I was reading each week like I did last year, but I fell way behind this year. To date I've read 23 books, and will probably finish two more before the year ends, leaving me 45 books short.


Resolution #4: Write Once A Day
Resolution #5: Clean Up for 2 Minutes Every Evening
Resolution #6: Do 3 Pull Ups a Day
Resolution #7: Do One Good Deed A Day

At this point, I just got too ambitious. I barely tracked these for an entire month. Lesson learned for next year, I suppose.

The most important thing from this year? I QUERIED FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY.

Sayonara 2016. You will not be missed.

Friday, January 1, 2016

My 2016 Resolutions

Last year I tracked my resolutions for the first time and made a really good attempt to accomplish them. I met my weekly goals between 60% and 70% of the time, and met both of my large goals as well.

This year, I'm stepping it up a notch.


Resolution #1: Finish the first draft of DSF.

I'm almost done outlining and plan on starting in January.

Resolution #2: Query TGITP

In order to do this, I need to meet some mini goals.

  • May 31st: Send edited draft to beta readers
  • Aug 31st: Make changes based on comments, send to new round of beta readers
  • Nov 30th: Make changes based on comments
  • Dec 31st: Send query
This is by far going to be the hardest goal to meet. 

Resolution #3: Read 70 Books

This seemed to be a good number for me last year. Challenging, but not too crazy. If it's easier this year then next year I'll bump it up.


Resolution #4: Write Once A Day

This includes editing and outlining/research as well, and there's no specified time limit. So as long as I sit down to work, even if just for 5 minutes, then that counts.

What does not count is reading articles or blogs about writing, or rewriting books and studying their structure. It must be something directly related to TGITP or DSF.

Resolution #5: Clean Up for 2 Minutes Every Evening

This is a resolution I've been thinking about for awhile. I know the difference that even a small amount of time can make, but I'm always so tired at night that I don't get it done. I'm going to anchor this resolution and the next one together to make sure they get done each evening. More about that below.

Resolution #6: Do 3 Pull Ups a Day

I felt like last year I didn't really accomplish what I wanted to with this resolution (to be stronger) and part of that was because 5 pull ups a week wasn't enough to really affect my muscles. I tried to bump it up to 25 a week, but that was an overwhelming number. So I'm going to start this year off with 3 a day.

As I was saying above, I plan on anchoring this habit to make sure it gets completed. The time this year that I was most successful at this habit was when I anchored it to getting ready in the morning, arriving home from work, and getting ready for bed. This year I'm going to anchor it to brushing my teeth.

How this will look: After I finish brushing my teeth at night (and washing my face, etc), I will immediately pull out my phone and set a timer for two minutes. During that two minutes I'll do anything that cleans up the apartment, from picking up and hanging clothes to sweeping the floor.

When the timer goes off, I'll immediately do 3 pull ups. And that's it! Hopefully anchoring these habits to an already established one will ensure they get done.

Resolution #7: Do One Good Deed A Day

I toyed with the wording on this resolution for awhile, because I want it to be very broad. I want it to cover everything from letting someone in front of me in traffic, to doing the dishes for my boyfriend even if it's his night, to asking someone about how things are going in their personal lives.

I think this will be a hard resolution to achieve, because it's not the same thing every day and it's not a habit I can anchor to something else. It's more of a mindset. I also think it will be one of my most interesting resolutions this year. I plan on tracking whether or not I complete this resolution on the same paper as the others, but I'm thinking that I'll also need to record what good deed I do every day. I might record this in a journal or maybe on the computer, I haven't decided yet.

And that's it! Here's a screenshot of the spreadsheet I plan on using to keep track of my daily goals.

I have each week of the year on the sheet, and for every week I have each day listed, as well as a space next to it for a check mark. At the end of each week I'll write in the bottom corner how many out of 7 days I met my goal.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Revisiting my 2015 Resolutions

At the end of 2014 I made some resolutions for 2015.

Let's look at how successful I was. 

Resolution #1: Finish the first draft of TGITP

I did it!!! Now I'm rewriting and editing. 

Resolution #2: Read 70 books

Finished, just barely in time! I think I'll keep this resolution for next year, 70 was a challenging number. 

Resolution #3: Write at least 1,000 words a week

This one kind of morphed once I finished the draft of TGITP and wasn't writing regularly. The 1,000 words sometimes represented the amount of time spent editing or outlining my new novel, DSF. Out of 53 weeks, I met this goal 32 weeks (school starting in September really killed my streak). 

That means I met this goal 60% of the time. Not bad, but not awesome either. It gives me something to beat with this year's writing goal, which will be in a post tomorrow. 

Resolution #4: Play an instrument once a week

About a month ago I decided I wasn't getting as much out of this resolution as I wanted, so I decided to start taking piano and guitar lessons again. It's so much more motivating to practice when you have someone experienced guiding you! Therefore this won't be a resolution for me next year, mostly because as long as I'm taking the lessons I'll automatically be held to practicing (especially since it costs so much $$$). 

But how did I do this year? Out of 53 weeks I met this goal 37 of them. That means I met this goal 70% of the time. Still not awesome, but much better!

Resolution #5: Do 5 pull-ups a week  

Yikes. This one did not do so well. Out of 53 weeks I met this goal 34 of them. Huh. Better than I thought. That means I met this goal 64% of the time. I wasn't planning on making this one of my goals for next year, but now I'm thinking maybe I should...

So there it is! I think that having a printed out, paper and pencil chart really helped me keep track of my resolutions. I'm planning on doing the same thing next year, but a little more detailed since I have some daily goals. More about that tomorrow, January 1st, 2016!