Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world my beautiful, vulnerable self!

Archive for the ‘NaNoWriMo’ Category

Finding Inspiration Wherever it may Lurk

The Writer’s Dilemma

Time and again I see writers asking the same question: “Where do I find inspiration?” Sometimes, they put it a little differently, like: “How do I get my Muse to talk to me?” Either way, I don’t think the answers are as hard to find as we might sometimes make it sound.

For myself, I’m learning a couple of things. First, inspiration or your muse or whatever you choose to call it isn’t going to talk to you unless you are ready to listen. This means one of two things to me. Either you have to be sitting at the computer with your fingers on the keyboard ready to type what your Muse dictates, or you have to let your mind go quiet so the Muse or inspiration can strike. Maybe that’s why people say they get their best ideas while in the shower or answering the call of nature or anything else which allows them to just relax and be.

Aside from just planting myself in front of the computer and letting my mind go limp, I’ve had success with finding ideas, figuring out a direction for an article I need to write or even getting inspiration, full-blown, for my NaNo novel. Here are some of the things I use when my brain becomes muddled with everyday concerns or I’m just stuck in analytical, internal editor, everything is crap mode.

  • Meditation: Though not 100% successful, I try to meditate for an hour every day. Sometimes it’s 40 minutes, sometimes only 20, but my goal is an hour and I’ve learned to set a timer as there are days I could just float for the entire afternoon. In fact, a meditation the day before NaNo began this year yielded not only the concept for my latest endeavor but the title as well. It was also where I got the inspiration I needed to write an article about an event I attended a week or so ago.
  • Cooking: I love the way my mind can just drift away into its own world when I’m doing something menial like chopping vegetables for a soup or stir-fry. Generally, I just keep pulling things out of the refrigerator, chopping, measuring and putting them into bowls according to the order they’ll be added to the dish. It doesn’t take a lot of concentration so my Muse is free to cavort and dream. Of course, it means I have to stop mid-chop to either run to the computer or grab pad and paper to jot the idea down before it flits away again. Such was the case tonight while I chopped what ended up being 5 mixing bowls full of assorted veggies for my latest stir-fry concoction. Twice, I had to run to the computer and start blog posts; one here and one on my website, e’er I forget them entirely.
  • Dancing: One of my personal favorites. I draw my energy around me and seal that egg-shaped field which envelops my physical self. Dancing in this self-imposed bubble, there is no stress. There are no worries. I’m oblivious to the world and people around me and just for a few moments, release any concerns I might have about the outside world. Here is where the magic truly happens, and I’ve finally learned to carry a pad and pen with me at all times. Sometimes, it’s simply a characterization which comes to me because of someone I see. Other times, it’s a dialogue I’ve been needing for my current Work in Progress. Either way, it’s another inspiration I may or may not have known I needed.
  • Walking: Like dancing, this allows me to close myself off into my own personal bubble while remaining semi-aware of the world around me. (after all, I don’t want to walk into the path of a car, and even when fully aware, I have trouble avoiding tripping over my own feet, a crack in the sidewalk or even a pea-sized pebble.)To be honest, I go into a kind of fugue just grocery shopping sometimes!
Living in a World of our own Creation, as Writers We Have to Find our own Way

As writers, and frankly, anyone with a creative bent, we have to figure out what works to unlock our own inspiration. What works for me might simply frustrate someone else. I know people who relax best when their hands are in the dirt or when they’re sewing: both activities which frustrate the stuffing out of me. I tend to refer to it as shutting my mind down and allowing thoughts to meander through the empty space I leave, but that’s not really it either. Nevertheless, like matter which moves to fill an empty space, thoughts, too will swirl and coalesce when they find a welcoming vessel. Thus, all I’m really trying to accomplish is to make myself the welcoming vessel; the place where thoughts, ideas…inspiration can come to play.

Will You Share Your Thoughts?

I’d love to hear what works for you. What helps you let inspiration in? What do you do to declutter your mind? What activities do you find most relaxing? Most cathartic? Leave me a comment and share your thought processes.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful I’ve learned to allow.
2. I am grateful for discipline and lack thereof. A time for each.
3. I am grateful for community. Freelancers and writers seem to realize what so many do not: The Universe is abundant and there is enough for everyone. We don’t need to compete with each other at all. Instead, we support and encourage. Would that the world would come to this realization.
4. I am grateful for the network I’m building. I am meeting people from all walks of life because we share a common interest; a common goal. We all want to get out of the corporate rat race and be our own person, our own boss, our own motivator and the recipient of the bounty from our efforts.
5. I am grateful for abundance: community, friendship, camaraderie, love, joy, inspiration, motivation, progress, productivity, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

August 31, 2015 Life Between Universal Head Slaps

I believe the Universe is warming up to deliver a humdinger of a head slap. Why do I say that? In the last month or so, it has seen fit to reintroduce people into my life who were last seeing during a very difficult time period when I was making a lot of poor choices and behaving in a very negative and self-defeating fashion. And it isn’t the same time period. As of tonight, I’ve seen three of them.

The first instance was very positive and friendly, showing me that despite my poor behavior, there were some good times, and good memories.

The second was more like a leech seeking to re-attach itself if I wasn’t able to make it clear I was no longer that person. Fortunately, after a month of intermittent encounters and behavior on my part for which I’m not proud, I seem to have sent that particular less-than-stellar portion of my life back into the past where it belongs.

My latest encounter was only from a distance, and given certain circumstances, wasn’t entirely unexpected. The parting of the ways I experienced with this particular individual was instigated by his recently-deceased wife. In this case, I saw no real reason to make contact. I couldn’t say with sincerity that I was sorry for his loss, and maybe that’s the point. His appearance was a reminder that it’s high time I just forgave the woman. We’d both moved on and hadn’t had any contact in at least a dozen years. We moved in different circles and even the smallest of ripples didn’t intersect. Before that head slap comes, I guess I need to work on that forgiveness; both towards her and for myself. I certainly contributed to the situation by being stupid and unnecessarily vulnerable. It also occurred at the end of what I think of now as ‘the years of negativity’. Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to “The Secret” and began eliminating negative behavior from myself and negative people from my life.

You Win a Little and you Lose a Little

Looking back on those years, since the Universe insists, I carried around a lot of unnecessary baggage. Through a series of events and some much-needed guidance, I finally realized I had the ability to put things down. I didn’t need to schlep every single bad decision and every single tragic life occurrence around with me forever. I simply needed to take the lesson from each experience and let the rest go. I also found during those years that the Universe didn’t bother giving me head slaps; perhaps because I was beating myself up more than enough without any outside assistance. Instead, I was given a lot of opportunities to learn to love and appreciate myself. Believe me, back then I was a very slow learner, but even the tortoise gets to the finish line eventually.

What I’m trying to say in my usual meandering fashion is that we need to look around at what is coming into our life now and then because oftentimes, it is something we need or a lesson we need to learn. If we’re already indulging in self-flagellation, the Universe won’t give us more of the same, even if it feels like that’s what we’re getting. The Universe knows that we’re going to attract what we put out there so it isn’t even necessary to pile more manure on someone who is attracting manure. It takes little effort to become an expert shit-attractor.

It’s only when we’ve learned from those wrong turns and detours that we start to receive some challenges; not to drive us backward but to make us stronger and more certain of our path, perhaps even to get us to open up to options we’ve discarded because they seemed to be too difficult. Forcing us into a detour means we have to figure out how to make the sub-optimal work instead of just taking the easy road. Step out of that comfort zone and try something that makes us think quickly, maneuver better and even get out of our own way.

So in spite of the frustration at having to field some old manure, I know it is in my best interests and is preparing me for a new and interesting detour which will take me someplace I’d never have gone had the road I was on remained smooth and easy.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for life’s challenges as they give me the opportunity to explore new places.
2. I am grateful for my imperfections as they give me reason to strive to be better.
3. I am grateful to be getting back into the edits of “Sasha’s Journey” and to have set myself a goal to finish before NaNoWriMo. So I have another 292 pages to edit before November 1. I didn’t think I could write 50,000 words in a month either, and now I’ve done it twice!
4. I am grateful for my friends and family who, whether they realize it or not encourage me to go farther, do better and be a kinder, more compassionate person.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, encouragement, inspiration, motivation, freedom, happiness, charity, peace, harmony, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

May 4, 2015 A Well-Deserved Break

Basking in the Afterglow

I’m giving myself a well-deserved blog post free night while I enjoy the immense though brief satisfaction of having finally completed the first draft of A Dubious Gift which I began during the 2014 NaNoWriMo last November.

This brief but well-deserved respite will be followed by a frantic and lengthy embarkation into what I think of fondly as “rewrite hell”. Two books await my gentle ministrations and the less gentle ones of my critique groups. A Dubious Gift will go hide in the closet for a while, fearful of losing its very soul on the cutting room floor.

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and my website, http://www.shericonaway.com. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

I will leave you with tonight’s gratitudes:
1. I am grateful that I finally finished the first draft of my second novel. (does that sound amazing or what???) Typing the words “The End” has never felt so good!
2. I am grateful for the family and friends who have supported my endeavors to this point and tolerated the associated lunacy.
3. I am grateful that after almost a year and a half of being a full-time writer, I actually have something tangible to show for it (between the two novels alone, there are close to 200,000 words!). I’m not even going to try to count the words I’ve blogged. What I do know is that almost exactly 2 years ago, there were already close to 400,000 words, and I’ve been far more prolific since then.
4. I am grateful that my muse seems to show up whenever I kick the procrastination fairy out and actually sit down at my computer with a Word document open and the cursor blinking at me with malicious intent.
5. I am grateful for abundance; words, ideas, stories, friends, family, love, joy, opportunities, blessings, health, peace, harmony, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

November 18, 2014 I trust my feelings, but sometimes I just don’t get their message! #shericonaway

Sometimes, I wish my feelings came with an instruction manual.

When I went to bed last night (way too late again as I simply had to watch the latest episode of Castle before I started writing) I had what I’ve come to know as “Anxiety Tummy”. You know that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that you get when you’re worried about something very intensely? Like when you’ve interviewed for a job you really want and are waiting to hear if you got it. Or you’re waiting for the results of tests at the doctor. That sort of thing.

The only problem is, I don’t have anything like that happening in my life right now! The worst part is, I woke up this morning and my stomach was still doing somersaults.

What do you do when your body gives you messages you just can’t decode?

Our bodies are wondrous things and, if we pay attention, can really point us in the right direction (or send us running really fast the other way if we’re heading for disaster, also known as “a learning experience”.) Sometimes, we ignore those messages, to our own detriment, but at other times, like today, I just don’t know what I’m being alerted to.

When I went to sleep last night, I asked my guides for clarification, but if they gave me any, I don’t remember. I’ve sat quietly, trying to allow thoughts to just float into my brain which might explain this weird feeling. The only thing I’ve come up with is my upcoming income verification with Covered California. I wouldn’t think that would be enough to upset my stomach, especially after all I’ve been through with them over the last year.

One thing I have learned is that if I spend a lot of time worrying about what I’m worrying about, it only makes things worse and I get nowhere.

It really is true! Exercise helps put things into perspective!Harvest box 11-18-14 view 2

I opted to refrain from fretting and went about my daily business which, on Tuesday includes a workout at the gym and a trip to Underwood to pick up my veggie box. Call me weird, but I get very excited over things like artichokes and kale, both of which appeared in this week’s box. This week’s new veggie to try is a butternut squash. I’ve had it in ravioli, but little else so I’ll enlist my daughter’s assistance in determining what to make with it. We are both looking forward with gusto to another kale, potato and chicken sausage stir fry this week. I’ve also grown rather fond of the purple carrots which once again were part of the week’s yummy bounty.

Getting back to the point I was trying to make before I waxed eloquent over my veggies, is that going to work out was the best thing I could have done with regard to understanding my body’s signals. Not only did my chest and tricep workout loosen up my shoulder, not completely, but range of motion is much better, but I realized what was bothering me.

I was on track when I thought it might have to do with my Covered California renewal, but as it turns out, the real issue was only indirectly related, and goes something like this: I haven’t made as much money this year as I’d hoped, but to be honest, I haven’t put as much effort into the writing as I could have. BUT when I started looking at what I had accomplished rather than what I hadn’t (sound familiar?), I was pretty pleased. Conservatively speaking, if I say I averaged 30,000 words a month blogging, that’s 300,000 words just in this blog! Add to that the 30,000+ words I added to the novel I started last November plus the 29,000 I’ve already written this year…Do you see where I’m going here?

Now, add to the list the fact that I’ve gotten through two and a half chapters of the copywriting class (chapter 3 alone is over 300 pages) plus the first 10 or 11 exercises, and I’ve worked on two new clients’ books as well as spending some time for my former employer in the early part of the year.

On top of all that, I’ve done a lot of decluttering in my house this year, managed to keep up with most of my chores and improve my environment. All this, and I got away to visit my daughter at least a half dozen times this year.

Whew! Needless to say, anxiety tummy is a thing of the past, though my shoulder is telling me that a massage and energy session should still be part of this week’s agenda.

The moral of my story is, listen to the emotional signals your body sends, but don’t stress out if you don’t, at first, understand the message.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for a system which reminds me to focus on what matters.
2. I am grateful for my workouts which do my body a world of good and take me away from things which used to tie me in knots.
3. I am grateful for my weekly box of fresh veggies.
4. I am grateful for the opportunity to focus on what I have done rather than what I haven’t.
5. I am grateful for caring friends who share life’s ups and downs, both theirs and mine. It is heartwarming to know that we travel life’s roller coaster in good company.
6. I am grateful for abundance: faith, love, joy, friendship, inspiration, accomplishments, health and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

November 9, 2014 Is it time for the holidays already?? #shericonaway

Is it just me, or did the last two weeks go by in a blur?

Between traveling back and forth to my daughter’s, having her here for a few days along with my grandpuppy and starting the 50,000 word writing challenge, I feel like the last couple of weeks passed in a matter of hours. Is it just me, or is the world speeding up yet again?

Although tasks are getting done, I’m not always clear on how it’s happening. I seem to move through the days, going from one thing to another without any real thought or plan, yet things are getting done.

Chores and gym visits are happening on a regular basis. My kitchen has recovered from my daughter’s latest baking frenzy. Dylan still spends a good part of the day on my desk, joined by Toby or Munchkin and sometimes one of the boys. There’s coffee in my pot, groceries in my fridge and cabinets and a box waiting for the last couple of things to send off to my son-in-law.

I could go on and on about what hasn’t happened, but frankly, it’s not only boring but doesn’t really matter in the overall scheme of things. The holidays will be different this year, for a lot of reasons, but this has been a year of change, so it is inevitable that the holidays would be affected as well.

For now, I continue to meet my writing challenge goals, keep my household going and keep myself open to income opportunities. Having faith and feeling grateful are the building blocks which make everything fall into place. So my faith in myself and the Universe is strong, and I am grateful for every little thing!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the changes which have made this year very interesting.
2. I am grateful that I am still ahead of the curve as far as my latest writing challenge.
3. I am grateful for the faith that keeps me moving forward, firm in my belief that the wheels are continuing their forward motion.
4. I am grateful for a quiet day at home, absorbing, relaxing, accepting, and acknowledging…in complete joy.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, inspiration, motivation, laughter, joy, friendship, family, paying forward, great kids (both blood and adopted), harmony, peace, health and harmony.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

November 7, 2014 Day 7, and I’ve finally caught up! #shericonaway #nanowrimo

It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a little concerted effort and a clear goal.

Yesterday, I took myself to task for being behind on the minimum word count for my latest novel in the NaNoWriMo challenge. I set myself a nightly goal of 2,000 words, and exceeded it by 300 words last night, bringing me closer to the minimum needed to complete the challenge on time. Tonight, I improved upon last night’s effort by adding 2,687 words!

What does this mean in the general scheme of things? It means that I’ve just blown past the minimum word count needed by today in order to finish on time. But even more, it means that, at the rate I’m going, I’ll be ahead of schedule so when Thanksgiving weekend comes around, I won’t be forced to do another marathon writing session to complete the challenge!

I learned a lot from last year’s challenge. First, I came in more prepared with my plot and initial characters. I had a couple of weeks to just let the story bounce around in my brain. Although it bears little resemblance to those initial bounces, it is definitely off to an interesting start, and has headed in a direction I hadn’t even considered.

In reviewing last year’s stats, I had several times when I wouldn’t write for two or three days in a row. Granted, I was still working and putting in some long and stressful days in an effort to leave my successor with as much information as possible. This year, the only thing I have to combat is my own laziness.

I am finding that, hard as I try, the best time for me to write and just stay focused is still after 9PM. I’ve tried sitting down to write in the middle of the day, and have yet to achieve success. The way I see it, there’s no reason to mess with a system that works.

Don’t you hate it when anal accountant brain kicks in on a project that’s supposed to be creative?

Although I am firmly set in my life as a writer now, I find that taking the girl out of the accounting department does not turn off the accounting mind completely. As such, I had to calculate how many days it would take for me to finish if I continued writing 2600 or so words a day. At this rate, I could finish the 50,000 words in about 15 days. But then, the rules don’t say I have to write a maximum of 50,000 words, but that I have to write at least 50,000 words by November 30 in order to meet the challenge. I, for one, do not have a problem with writing more and actually finishing the story, in rough form of course, by November 30.

There are some opportunities to use December to fine tune the first draft of my novel, and I would love to accept one of those offers so I don’t spend another 8 months or so refining my novel’s first pass! As I said, I have learned a lot from last year’s effort, and am endeavoring to avoid at least some of the mistakes I made last time.

I hope you’ll stick with me through this challenge, offering encouragement, energetically, if nothing else. I don’t know how many people are participating this year, but we can certainly use all of the good energy you might want to offer up. Writing an actual novel is a great deal different than writing a bunch of random thoughts or the occasional well thought out and researched blog post.

It occurs to me that I live to learn.

I stagnate when I’m not learning anything. I know that about myself and it is probably why I never stayed with one company for longer than seven years. Either I rot away from boredom or I dig into things management didn’t want me to uncover. Either way, I’m screwed.

With writing, finding a place where learning stops is just not possible. It is an avocation with ever expanding horizons where there is always plenty more to learn and infinite new directions to take. This is why I’m here.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I’ve gotten into the flow of writing every night, and am back on track to complete the challenge on time.
2. I am grateful for the lessons and challenges of being a writer.
3. I am grateful for completing my fourth week of regular gym visits, and have, in fact, increased my average number of weekly visits from 2 to 4.
4. I am grateful that inspiration is flowing my freely now.
5. I am grateful that I have recognized and accepted that my optimal writing time is after 9PM.
6. I am grateful for abundance: inspiration, words, encouragement, love, friendship, health and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

November 6, 2014 Getting serious #shericonaway

Setting goals and not quitting until they’re reached.

Five days in and I was already 1300 words behind. Something had to be done! After dancing tonight and a little unwinding, I told myself that I would continue writing, no matter how long it took, until I reached at least another 2,000 words.

I’m happy to say that a little bit of self-flagellation was wondrously effective. I wrote 2303 words tonight and the same number of words tomorrow will put me back on schedule! The stupid thing is, I know I can knock out 2,000 words a night if I just focus! I have to allow my subconscious to drive the story instead of agonizing over each word with my logical and much less creative brain.

It was tough going for awhile, but once I got past the first 1,000 words, the rest started to come more easily. Yes, I can DO this!!!

Of course, the crazy writing sprees mean shorter blog posts (or in the case of last night, so short they’re non-existent). But I promised to keep you updated on my progress, and even, time permitting write something for the CSA blog about my culinary escapades. But this week, with me arriving home from my daughter’s on Monday and her arriving here last night, about the only program I’m sticking to religiously is going to the gym.

OK, now that you’ve picked yourself up off the floor, let me assure you that I’m neither joking or on drugs. I really have been to the gym every day this week except Monday (after driving for 2 1/2 hours I gave myself a pass) but I also plan to go tomorrow. For some reason, I’m starting to enjoy the sweating and am further encouraged by my friend, Stacy, who has now joined my gym, is getting me to at least one if not two pilates classes a week, and has designs on getting my ample tushie into a spin class in the near future. Yikes!!! But it’s all good.

Combining regular exercise with healthier eating is making my body very happy and kicking my energy level into overdrive. Not to mention, making my FitBit sing several days a week with glee as I reach the 10,000 step mark (for today, it hit over 11,000 by the time I sat down to write!).

I could easily go off on another tangent here, but if I want to keep my promise to myself, I must get some sleep though 6 hours or so seems to be doing it these days.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the healthy habits which I really seem to be enjoying this time.
2. I am grateful for time spent with my daughter.
3. I am grateful for friends who both encourage and push me.
4. I am grateful for my kitties who keep me company while I reach for the stars.
5. I am grateful for the setting of goals as it gives me something to reach for on my way to the stars.
6. I am grateful for abundance: loving, living, energy, writing, imagination, inspiration, friendship, harmony, peace, acceptance, forgiveness, health and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

November 4, 2014 Weekly yummies and writing like a demon

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get!

A 1667 daily word average can be rather daunting under the best of conditions, especially when you miss a day at the beginning. But who am I kidding? Last year I started late, finished early and was still working full time while trying to tie everything up for my imminent departure. This year should be easy, right?

Well, not necessarily. Add in trips to San Diego, visits from my daughter, my personal insistence on getting to the gym at least three times a week, chores, cooking and the weekly box of yummies to find recipes for. The truth is, right now, I’m busier than I ever was while I was working full time! And I haven’t even hit my stride yet.

Thank goodness for those healthy yummies or I know I’d never manage to keep up the pace. Here’s this week’s offering: harvest box 11-4-14
It consists of: 1 Romanesco
1 bunch Easter Radish
1 Romaine Lettuce
1 bunch Arugula
1 pound Broccoli
1 bunch Purple Carrots
1 Fennel Bulb
1 Leek
1 Fuyu Persimmon
1 Kabocha Squash

It’s funny because, on my way to pick it up, sweaty from my gym workout, I found myself craving a nice salad. I had some ingredients in the house, but the radishes and Arugula filled it out nicely. I enjoyed the persimmon while waiting for my dinner to cook (orange cauliflower and kohlrabi from last week) and I have to say that it was rather pleasant. Not what I was expecting, and I’m not sure I’d actually buy them, but it was interesting. Getting to try all of these new veggies is a lot of fun for me. Last time I got a leek, I believe I put it in soup, but I could see it in a stir fry too.

I’m not sure about the fennel, though. I gave it a good sniff today and it really does smell like black licorice. As I can’t even sneak up on the stuff, I don’t know if the fennel will go over well. But my daughter is bringing the textbook from her cooking class with her so maybe we can find a way to prepare the fennel so we will both enjoy it. (she detests black licorice too).

I’ve been writing and writing and writing…

The story temporarily titled “A Dubious Gift” is coming along fairly well despite the fact that I skipped a day of writing. I’m only about 996 words shy of the goal for today, and although it doesn’t feel like it’s flowing, I managed over 2,000 words tonight. As I suspected, it won’t be long before I’m right where I need to be…and then some.

I’m finding, this time, that I’m being even less concerned about flow and continuity, not even putting in chapters. I’m just writing as the words see fit, not even knowing where I’m going until I get there. The story is truly going to be as big a surprise to me as it will be to my readers! But 18 pages compared to the well over 300 which is what became of my first NaNoWriMo novel still seems daunting right now, despite the fact that about half of that came from my revisions. The good part is that when I put in my word count, it tells me how many I have left. Watching that number come down truly is exciting!

Stay tuned for recipes from this week’s Harvest Box. I’ll be consulting with my culinary expert when she arrives tomorrow night.

Until then, my gratitudes are:
1. I am grateful for all of the things I accomplished today.
2. I am grateful to again have a deadline.
3. I am grateful that, no matter what, I manage to sit down at my computer each night to write.
4. I am grateful for motivation.
5. I am grateful for the encouragement I’m getting to keep plugging away without concern for remuneration. It’s doing what I love and loving what I do that matters right now.
6. I am grateful for abundance: inspiration, friendship, love, harmony, peace, imagination, dedication, health and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

November 3, 2014 Getting a little behind #shericonaway

Life is all about trade-offs

This weekend was like every other weekend, in fact, like every other day. I had to choose between one thing and another. Now that my daughter lives 2 1/2 hours away, visits with her are very precious. Visiting her at her house also results in the expenditure of a great deal of energy, which I don’t ever regret, even for a minute. This weekend, I had already accumulated over 13,000 steps on my own recognizance between chores, errands and dancing on Friday. Though we only hit about 7,000 with our Saturday activities, we more than made up for it with over 14,000 steps on Sunday. Add in little sleep and a late morning on Saturday plus an early morning and going non-stop on Sunday, and the result is that I got no writing done at all last night; not even a blog post.

Because of my slacking off,  I’ll play a bit of catch up on my novel over the next couple of days, but because I exceeded the daily minimum both today and Saturday, I don’t really think it will be a problem (all I need to do is remember the 8,000 word night last year!). I would probably have made it up tonight had it not been for an election tomorrow and the need to slog through the propositions tonight! If I don’t manage to get the entire 3100 words I need by tomorrow done, I suspect I’ll be darned close. Even with a reduced amount of time to write tonight, I managed over 1800 words.

Granted, the story is kind of slogging along right now, but will gather momentum more and more as I continue. As usual, I find myself jotting down notes to be used later in the story. I’m also trying to incorporate some of what I’ve been learning, though more of that will occur once I do the first revision.

In some ways, I have to admit, writing is hard work.

I’ve learned that getting myself to sit down and write if I don’t have a plan can be really tough. I find it very easy to procrastinate. That’s one of the reasons I decided to do the challenge again. Now I have a plan and a word count requirement to meet. I also put more time into work because I know that I have to get accounting work done in a given time period, personal paperwork and chores plus my writing and studying. It’s really a good mix for me.

In fact, the deadlines and word count requirements are so effective that I got home today and immediately got laundry done, unpacked and put away my suitcase and took care of a couple of other chores before sitting down to write. Even so, I got a good couple of hours of writing in, slow and go though it might have been. I guess I’ll be looking for more deadlines to keep myself in line! (I know, I know. Be careful what you ask for!) but I really want to be majorly productive again. I’ve slacked off enough for the past year! It’s time to get back to doing what I enjoy, and believe it or not, it involves being productive. At least now, my productivity is in the field of my choice most of the time!

Once again, I leave you with a short post as my brain is rather tired from a long drive, a lot of writing and a lot more brain dashing, monkey mindedness.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for goals, deadlines and requirements.
2. I am grateful for an increase in productivity over the last few days.
3. I am grateful that I’ve put several chores behind me.
4. I am grateful for a couple of days to myself before my daughter arrives for HER visit with ME.
5. I am grateful for the increased energy I’ve been enjoying as I hit the gym at least three times a week.
6. I am grateful for abundance: things to be grateful for, love, passion, determination, deadlines, imagination, motivation, dedication, inspiration, happiness, health and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

November1, 2012 And she’s off! #shericonaway

And so, it begins

The first 1700 words of “A Dubious Gift” are now penned! My first day’s requirement has been met and exceeded, if only by a little. It’s slow going for now, but I’m working from a remote locations, so I get extra points for actually starting tonight.

I had a truly delightful day with my daughter, running errands, seeing Jeff Dunham who was absolutely hysterical, enjoying a sushi dinner and sitting in the jacuzzi, chillin’ and chattin’. What could be better?

Between my remote requirements and my writing jag tonight, I’m not left with a lot to say, so this post will be very short, but stay tuned for updates on the NaNoWriMo 2014 progress!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I started my next novel.
2. I am grateful that I managed to get the “remotes” to work, at least marginally. (My daughter teased me with the thought that I could set up a persnal hotspot, but further research revealed that good ol’ A T & T would require another $50 a month in order to give me the correct amount of data to access this feature. No thanks, you greedy gooses!)
3. I am grateful for the rain we got last night. Heaven knows we needed it!
4. I am grateful for loves and cuddles from my grand furries.
5. I am grateful that I will get a good night’s sleep tonght after ending the day on such a relaxing note.
6. I am grateful for abundance: inspiration, imagination, happiness, friendship, love, attention, health, harmony, peace, word count and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

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