Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mar 31: 2015 Big Dreams, Big Goals Update

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know I seriously fell down on keeping up with my 2014 goals. I love participating in the goal tracking though, so thought I should set up a few new ones for 2015 (or at least modify the existing ones). So here goes....
  1. Write books 3 & 4 in my Klondike Mystery series.
    March seemed to be my vacation month. First was a 5 day trip to the Galapagos (and 2 travel days) and then there was a day long tour to some local spots. Also started a local writing group, built their website, had two meetings and started a Facebook page. Toss in TAXES and there goes the month!
    Progress: none

  2. Write at least one novella in the new A Set of Rules Mystery Series
    This new character has been talking to me for almost six months. My thought is to have shorter stories rather than full length novels. These should be a fun, quirky read!
    Progress: initial cover design DONE
  3. Continue with the monthly newsletter
    Now that I'm slowly building up my subscriber list, I need to keep this on time and interesting.
    Progress: March done!
  4. Continue my Monday Motivation posts
    Folks seem to enjoy these and I enjoy writing them, so I will continue!
    Progress: haven't missed posting one yet and I am trying to use more of my own photos for this
It's been a rough month but April WILL be better! How about you?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Motivation Monday: Karma

I am a believer in Karma and also a believer in the fact that you get back what you give out. I've seen in come true over and over. While the "whiner" or the "squeaky wheel" may get what they THINK they need/want, it will eventually come back to them.

Here in Ecuador we all too often hear about the "Ugly Gringo". Once again, they are getting back what they give out. Complaining and making a scene that an ice cream costs $1.00 at a tourist attraction when it's only 50 cents at home; screaming at the bank attendant that they should learn English; being nasty to a wait person when the cook caused the problem. We see it everywhere and one can only hope that karma will get them in the end.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things - Mar 27, 2015

Well, it's Friday and time to write my post for Lexa Cain's Celebrate the Small Things.

As in the past, I may post something about writing, something personal, something random or even all the above.

Or if I have a REALLY off week, I might just post a photo or two. ;)

I had a great week, even after needing to recover from our vacation in the Galapagos. I managed to get in a mani-pedi, had lunch twice with new friends here in Ecuador, helped another new friend search for an apartment AND did a day tour here locally.

We started out with about a 90 minute ride through some gorgeous countryside, then stopped at a local maker of Ecuadorian tequila. I didn't try it but many of the 30+ folks on our tour did, including my hubby. He liked it so well he bought some as well as some agave syrup.

Then we took another two hour ride through more gorgeous countryside before stopping for a delicious lunch. Each meal was fresh cooked to order - we left stuffed.

Our final stop was in the town of Giron, about 40 minutes from Cuenca where we got to see a gorgeous waterfall. About half the group opted to walk up closer, I stayed behind. Hubby went and took some great video with his GoPro.

Writing? Not so much...but that's okay. I did get over 2k words written on my children's short story and hope to finish it at the next meeting of Writing Our World.

Ah, life is good!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Motivation: Drama

photo copyright DB McNicol
I have been on Facebook since Dec 2012 and for a while, I was truly addicted to it. Reading every post, joining interest groups, trying to help others. In the last year I have noticed a distinct decline in the quality of what I see there. I see so many signs of cyber-bullying and not by kids, by adults! If you don't think the way "they" think, you are wrong.

Well, I've taken a big step backwards and no longer post 95% of the time to public, now only to friends. I avoid toxic people and conversations.

I'm taking to heart the above proverb and putting it into action. Not my circus? Then they're not my monkeys. ;)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things - Mar 20, 2015

Well, it's Friday and time to write my post for Lexa Cain's Celebrate the Small Things.

As in the past, I may post something about writing, something personal, something random or even all the above.

Or if I have a REALLY off week, I might just post a photo or two. ;)

I had the most AMAZING time in the Galapagos. I still have over 300 photos to cull through and will post a personal blog soon. In the meantime, here are some photos to enjoy....

I also held the second meeting of my writer group, Writing Our World. About the same number of attendees but a few new folks this time.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Starting a local writing group

Here it is, almost three months of 2015 gone and I haven't done much blogging here other than my regularly scheduled posts. Wow! So sorry, not sure what happened but time sure got away from me.

My biggest accomplishment has been starting a local support group for writers. There has been one or two active groups but they were strictly critique groups. I attended a couple of meetings before deciding that wasn't what I was looking for.

I chose a meeting place, picked a regular schedule (1st and 3rd Wed of every month) and posted a notice in two of the local email newsletters as well as several local Facebook groups. I got a surprising number of responses. We currently have over 30 newsletter subscribers and close to 2/3 of that number have been to one of the first two meetings.

We have quite a diverse group of members, several from scientific backgrounds, PhD's, memoir writers, mystery, science fiction and children's books are all represented as well as other more spiritual areas.

We now have a website and a Facebook group and so far everyone seems positive. We open with brief introductions, move to either a speaker on a specific topic or open Q&A. Then we move to a writing hour (or more if no speaker or short Q&A).

I have heard from one member who was thrilled that her writer's block was gone, she hadn't written since the untimely death of her grandson last July. Another almost finished up a column he needed to get written. I managed almost 2000 words on my middle school short story that has been languishing.

All in all, the experience has been quite positive.

Oh, and I will try to post more often...honest!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Motivation Monday: Smile [challenge]

There are many quotes about smiles, the most famous might be "If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours."

Author: Dolly Parton - Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

So my challenge for you today is to do just that. Make eye contact, smile, engage and report back here in the comments. Did you notice anything different about how you felt at the end of the day? Did anything unusual happen?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Motivation Monday: Weather or Whether?

I love this quote, I'd seen it before but had forgotten about it. No matter the weather, it's up to YOU whether you are going to go with it. We can't change the weather, we can change our attitude!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things - Mar 6, 2015

Well, it's Friday and time to write my post for Lexa Cain's Celebrate the Small Things.

As in the past, I may post something about writing, something personal, something random or even all the above.

Or if I have a REALLY off week, I might just post a photo. ;)

#1 My first meeting for my new writing group went quite well! I think it's going to be good mix of folks.

#2 Booked a 4 night, 5 day vacation to the Galapagos!!! It was a deal we couldn't refuse and we're going with good friends. EXCITED!!

But I won't be taking my computer with me so NO POST next Friday. I will return on March 20th.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#IWSG for March: Simplification

Once again, it's time for my monthly IWSG post. February was a short month so March truly arrived early.

The theme for this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group is SIMPLIFICATION. This is something I have been working on for a couple of years and finally realize if I want to better manage my time (last month's theme), then I need to get better at simplifying my life

So, the theme is simplification but the issue is I JUST CAN'T SEEM TO ACCOMPLISH THIS!

I have multiple domains for websites, I have multiple email addresses for different purposes, I have multiple blogs AND I have so many books I want to write.

File here, notebooks there and sticky notes EVERYWHERE!

How to best simplify, any suggestions?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Motivation Monday: Time Out

Taking a short time out due to over-committing myself. Just enjoy the smiling face in the photo below, taken in Ecuador by me. See you next Monday!