Tag Archives: other hobbies

Maybe I Should…

I think I should just give up on ever being fully organized.

The other day while digging through a drawer of craft stuff I found a small bunch of index cards.

Hm, I thought. What’s this?  So I glanced through them and wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. They were ideas for novels. Some I already had on index cards and some were ones I’d forgotten. Some are probably better left forgotten, but all have been merged into the index card project.

(I never did find the blank white cards and envelopes for making your own cards that I was originally looking for. I know I have some. Somewhere.)

I really need to get everything into a central location. Or locations. Writing stuff in one, paper crafts in another, counted cross stitch in another, crochet in another, miscellaneous other crafts in another…. As it is now it seems that every time I think I have everything rounded up I find more stuff that I had forgotten about lurking somewhere else.

Maybe next month… I should have more time and less stress next month.

Of courses, next month is also Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m coming up with a plan…

I still don’t know what I’m working on for sure (probably Onyx Sun and the Elven Bard novel) but I’m thinking that I’ll write 500 words, then go do some decluttering or organizing or cleaning or something for 15 to 30 minutes, then write another 500 words.  My goal is currently set to only 31k but if that method pans out well for me I might up it to my traditional 50k.

So maybe July will be the month I finally start getting back on track with writing and clearing clutter and even doing other crafts.

Because I’m just too stubborn to give up.




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Still Trying

Anyone and everyone who knows me knows a few things about me:

I love lists.
I love “things to put things in.” (My tote bag collection is not up for discussion.)
I am totally addicted to office supply things. (I can’t wait for “Back to School” sales to start.)
I am an expert avoider of housework.
I will, someday, find the perfect way to organize everything.
(And by “everything” I mean craft stuff. And that includes writing stuff, especially plot bunnies.)

Followers of this blog have been subjected to bouts of enthusiasm about a variety of organizational methods:

A photo album that is just about perfect for holding index cards
3×5 index cards divided by genre and by status (how far along they are)
a bullet journal devoted just to writing
a traveler’s notebook devoted just to writing

And probably a few others.

The latest brilliant idea involves page protectors.

The idea is to put labels on them with the project name, put them in a three ring binder in alphabetical order, and drop notes into the sheet protector as I get ideas. I think that might work for the stuff that’s not well developed yet, and for stuff that’s sort of on the back burner.

(Like Hedge House, for instance, because I got a great idea for a scene to put in it and since it’s not being actively worked on at the moment I would love to have a place to put it for safe keeping.)

The sheet protector idea actually started as a way to organize stuff for paper crafts. I thought that they might be a good way to organize stickers. Or at least store them and keep them all in one place.

Now if I can just find my sheet protectors.

And white sticky labels.


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The Flesh is Weak

I think I’m starting to feel better.  I still have almost no energy and even less stamina, but I want to do stuff.

I want to do creative stuff and I even want to do housework stuff. (Some of which I really need to do so I can do creative stuff.)

For instance, somehow I have once again managed to create a roadblock between the chest of drawers that currently holds paper crafting stuff and the rest of my room. I need to get to said chest of drawers so I have to bulldoze through the blockade.

Why do I want to get there? Because I’m pretty sure that I have some 8.5 x 11” cardstock in there that I want to use to make inserts for my A5 traveler’s notebook so I can use it to keep track of writing projects.

See? It all comes back to writing, but that was never a question, was it?

No, the question is, why do I only get the urge to clean when I start recuperating after I’ve been sick?  (Or really late at night.)

But I really do need to get to that chest of drawers.  I’d at least like to organize the stuff there a little as it was pretty much just shoved in there in a hurry with no real method to the madness.  (Well, most of the paper is in the bottom drawer – maybe two – because of weight.)

I also need more room to work.  Writing doesn’t take up much space, but other crafts do, and I don’t have the room to spread out in my bedroom.  I do have a craft room in the basement but it’s become more of a craft storage room so I also need to attack it and get it cleared out.  (It used to be more organized but that fell by the wayside when I rushed to get stuff moved down there out of the way.)

*sigh* I’m a pack rat.

Anyhow, the craft room project isn’t going to happen this week.  I’ll be lucky to get to my chest of drawers, actually.

But I want to do it.

All of it.

Right now.

The spirit is willing…


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New Projects

Guess what I did!

I started putting together a new blog, because, you know, I’m kinda crazy.  It’s on Word Press (of course!) and it’s going to be about our Boxers, Jazzy and Riley.  (And any future wiggle butts that wiggle into our hearts and home.)

I say “going to be” because there’s no content there yet.  I need to get some written, for one thing (it’s started) and I need to get a good image for the banner. Hopefully by Friday I’ll have something up and running on it.  My roommate is going to be helping with content on it so it won’t be all on me.

While deciding on a template for it I found another that I really liked (but that isn’t appropriate for it) and I want to play around with it when I get some time (maybe this week) and see what I can do with it.  I won’t be changing this blog’s template – I like the format and think it’s easy to navigate (would love feedback on that, by the way – do you all think it’s an easy blog to find your way around on?) – but I will be maybe doing yet another side project because that template just looks like way too much fun not to use. It will (I think) be writing related – or maybe crafts.  I’ll keep you posted.

(See what happens when I don’t set myself any writing goals for the month?)

In other odd news, I wanted one of my traveler’s notebooks the other day and it wasn’t in the case I keep them in. Most of the rest were missing from it as well.  For some reason that I don’t remember I had taken them out of there and put them into one of my messenger bags. Apparently I was planning to take them somewhere for some reason? Maybe to work so I could set them up in my downtime? I have no idea but I think they’re going to go back to their case while I search for my mind that I seem to have lost.

(I also found the debit Visa that I use for online purchases. I thought I lost it while cleaning papers out of my computer hutch but apparently I put it in the back of my checkbook so I wouldn’t lose it.)


I’m hopeless, I’ll admit it.


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September Summary, October Goals

September is over already?  Things have been so busy here that doesn’t seem like that long ago that I set up my goals for the month and now here it is, time to look back at how I did (“abysmal” comes to mind) and look forward to the goals for next month.

I finally finished entering the changes to Book 4 of The Academy of the Accord.


That was about it.  I’ve almost but not quite finished this round of revisions and paper edits to Onyx Sun, but… yeah, it still needs a few days of work.  (I normally work on paper edits during down time at work, but we courtesy of a new resident there hasn’t been any down time for a couple weeks.)

I’ve also done pretty good at the thousand words a week, despite the fact that the stress of dealing with the above-mentioned resident for forty hours a week has been totally draining me. Something needs to change by November or I’ll never make 50K for the month.

I haven’t done the “hour a week on some other craft” but, oddly, I haven’t felt the need to do something different.  Maybe I’m just too stressed out from work, or maybe the goal gave me permission to do that and now I don’t need to want to do it.  (That sentence makes sense in my head.)

So, on to October.

I do want to finish the paper edits to Onyx Sun and get the changes entered in Word, and maybe enter the changes to Book Five of The Academy of the Accord, but neither of those is going to be my major focus.

No, my major focus in October is going to be November.

Or, more specifically, putting together detailed outlines of the three potential books for NaNoWriMo.  By mid-month I need to have at least a basic outline for all three so I can decide which one shows the most promise and develop it more completely.  (As a general rule, the more detailed the outline I’m working with the better the writing goes and the more closely I manage to stick to said outline the more smoothly the editing goes.  And right now smooth editing would be a welcome change.)

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Time and Tea

One interesting thing about having a blog with regular updates is that it makes you realize how fast time is moving. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing Monday’s post.

And can you believe that September is half over already? Before you know it it’s going to be November and NaNoWriMo will be happening. (A month and a half. And I am so not ready!)

Time is just moving far too fast for me right now and I wish I had a way to slow it down. (Except, of course, for work days where eight hours feels more like eighty some nights.)

(Why does time do that?)

Anyhow, so far I’ve managed to write a thousand words a week this month, so I’m handling that goal pretty well.

I’m not doing so well with spending an hour a week on some other craft, but that’s mostly because everything is still stashed from the “hurry up and make my room not look cluttered” rush of last month. I need to start getting stuff back out and organized because I made a list of stuff I want to do last night and yowza!… so many ideas, so little time.

(Kind of like plot bunnies…)

Actually, I’ve been feeling kinda lazy this past week.  I did pretty much nothing on my days off.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I reread the last three books of The Academy of the Accord.  I’m not quite sure how it happened.  I started out with plans to just look through Book 10 with an eye toward deciding what to post from it for Snippet Sunday next month.  And somehow that led to rereading Book 11 too.  And then Book 12.

And with the re-readings came the realization that I have a lot of revision to do. I think that books 10 and 11 might need switched. Or parts of them might need switched.  A timeline would help but for some reason I just can’t seem to get myself organized enough to make one.  And Book 12.  Geeze!  I have at least three different versions of one part of it, and two of another.

But on a brighter note, I actually did some paper edits work on Onyx Sun.  Mostly I’ve identified areas where I can expand things a bit (based on beta reader suggestions).

And the weather is cooling off so I’m slowly getting some energy and focus back. I love fall and am hoping my usual energy burst hits soon.

And along with cooler weather comes something else I love.  Tea!  I have a cup of it right now and is there anything better than a cup of tea to soothe the spirit and make the day easier to manage?




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Redefining Time

“Time is an illusion.  Lunchtime doubly so.” (Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

I’ve been thinking about time lately. (No, I’m not plotting a time travel novel, although I am hooked on excerpts from one in the Sunday Snippet group.)

Time in my life is… different.

I work evening shift (3:00 to 11:00).  It’s “morning” until I go to work, and it’s “today” until I go to bed, even if I’m up until four or five o’clock in the morning.  I frequently eat my first meal of the day around noon, which means that my breakfast is at lunchtime, my “lunch” comes at suppertime, and “supper” is a midnight snack turned into a meal.

And I work every normal weekend, so my “weekends” are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and my workweek is Thursday through Monday, so Thursday is my Monday and today (Monday) is my Friday.

(And people wonder why I don’t know what day of the week it is!)

All of this time rambling has come about because one of my goals for this month is to write a thousand words a week.  But what’s a week?

The accountability group I’m in posts the weekly share thread on Friday, but this month’s new goals just started on Thursday, which is my Monday, so…

So I have decided that my “week” for the weekly goals (write a thousand words a week and spend at least an hour a week working on some other craft) will be Thursday through Wednesday.

Because, you know, I need another definition of “week” in my life.

Meanwhile, it’s lunchtime, so I should go get some breakfast, but I don’t want to disturb my rat.

Peter Helping 05
Peter, in happier, healthier days, helping me write.)

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September Goals 2016

Since this is the last post for August (other than Wednesday Words) I thought I’d set up my goals for September, since, you know, I did so well with the August ones.

Since I didn’t meet my August goals, the logical thing to do would be to simply carry them over to September, right?


Well, maybe not wrong exactly, but definitely not what I’m doing. Some goals I’m keeping, some I’m tweaking, and some I’m letting ride to October. (Or beyond.)

Of the August goals, I’ve done pretty well at writing a hundred words a day.  Maybe not writing every day, but averaging that, I think. For September I’m changing the writing goal to a thousand words a week.  That’s more than August’s goal, but if I do the thousand words on a day off (or even on a work day) that frees me from that obligation for another week, which takes off a lot of pressure.

I’m relatively certain I can still get the last bit of the changes to Book 4 of The Academy of the Accord done before Thursday rolls around, even if I am still struggling to figure out what I meant with my note about the note.  I need to get it finished so I can get it printed for another round of editing before it goes to a beta reader because I’m still not sure I’ve patched all of its plot holes to my satisfaction, and since I’m really not happy with the ending and think that it needs to move to an earlier part of the book, because the scene that happens shortly before it is a much better ending. (Unfortunately, that scene leads up to the current ending so I’m not sure how I’m going to flip flop them.)

So, anyhow, since I’m almost done with that project for this round, my Academy of the Accord goal for September is to enter the changes for Book 5 and do first round paper edits of Book 6.  Maybe.  I’m really trying not to set myself up for failure by taking on more than I can possibly expect to accomplish next month.  (It would really be a nice change to meet all or at least most of my goals.)

I think I might have to set up primary and secondary goals.

The main change is going to be in regards to Onyx Sun.  I’m chugging through the paper edits with the comments of beta readers in mind, and I’m finding a lot of things that could be expanded on.  Not doing so is going to seriously short-change the book so I’m going to ease off on its goals and push back its release date to ??? Maybe October but more likely December or even January.  We’ll see how September goes but I’m not going to rush it.

(I’m not going to rush The Academy of the Accord either.  If it doesn’t see the light of an e-reader until 2020, so be it.)

I’m still going to be hammering out outlines for other books in the Song and Sword universe.  One is almost done. It’s missing… something that I can’t quite put my finger on, and it needs me to figure out what order some events happen in. (I think some index cards might be involved in that project.)  I still have two months to figure it out, though, so I’m not worried. (Much.)

The other main change I’m making for September is going to sound counter productive and counter intuitive to finishing all (or even any) of the above.

And maybe it is.


I’m going to spend at least one hour a week on (gasp!) some other hobby or craft. It won’t matter if it’s crochet or counted cross stitch or a junk journal or some other paper craft or working on a doll house or other miniature project, but at least one hour a week is going to be devoted to some other creative outlet.


Because I get so frustrated because there is so much else I want to do but all my time seems to be devoted to writing, and then I end up resenting it, even though it’s my main obsession and first (and truest) love.

How is all this going to work out?

I’ll let you know as soon as the Magic 8 Ball is done laughing at me.



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Home From Camp

Another Camp NaNoWriMo has come and gone and now it’s time to unpack and put the camping stuff away until next April, and get back to the real world (or to whatever passes for the real world) for the next three months.

Three months?  November is three months away?

(Three months? Only three months?  Aaaaach! I need outlines!)


Never mind. I’m all right. Pay no attention to the panicked person sobbing quietly and rocking while curled up in the fetal position in the corner over there.

So, as I was saying before I interrupted myself, Camp is over and it’s three months until November, so now what am I going to do with myself, now that my focus isn’t on word count?

Lots of things.

I have a list.

(I have several lists, actually…)

Anyhow, for the next three months I’m going to try to reassemble my life.

Oh, I’ll still be writing.  I want to keep poking at that last story I started for Camp, the one where no one has a name and where I haven’t described one single bit of setting. (Ugh. I’m really not good with “where” things happen.)

Not to mention several other older WiPs that need poked at.

And I need a plan for November.

I intend to have a very detailed outline to follow.  (Yes, I’m already working on them.  Yes, “them.”  I’m not quite sure which novel I’ll be writing for NaNoWriMo so I’m going to outline all three and then decide.)

(Don’t worry, Debbie!  They’re all part of the Song and Sword universe.)

I’ll be off the first two days of November so I should be able to build up a good cushion right at the start. (I spent pretty much all of July playing catch up and that’s really not fun, especially since I finally validated on the 31st at some ridiculous time of the morning. (Like 4:30am ridiculous when I had to be at work at 3:00pm.)

And I’ve taken October 31st off so I should be well-rested, and set up and ready to start writing at midnight.

So, what am I going to be doing for the next three months?  Well, besides getting those outlines finished before November I’ll mostly be tearing my hair out editing and revising.

Outside of writing-related stuff I’m also going to be getting back to work on decluttering the house.

And doing some other creative things – pocket letters and other paper craft stuff (scrapbooking and junk journals and the like). And some counted cross stitch and crochet and maybe… Who knows? I might even take up sewing – I want to make some traveler’s notebooks and some rat hammocks.

And getting some other stuff done that I’ve been neglecting.

Like getting new glasses.



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So it’s time for another blog post and I can’t seem to pick a topic.

I’m still stunned, in shock, horrified, angry, and sickened by the massacre at The Pulse in Orlando.  Part of me wanted to write about it but I feel so helpless about it all… Plus, that’s all I’ve been seeing and hearing since I got online yesterday morning and I need a break from it to focus on something else.

Anything else.

So I thought it might be a good time to catch a bunch of random thoughts and ramble for a bit.  Distraction is good – it gives the mind time to come to terms with things.


I want to make a fabric traveler’s notebook.  I got everything I need, except grommets.  (I think I might be the only person in Western Pennsylvania who knows what they are.)

There is one other thing I need besides grommets, though…

See, the first tutorial I watched just involved fusible interfacing and a hot iron.

But then I looked at some others and decided that I liked the finished edges better, so…

I need a sewing machine.  (Words I never thought I’d ever hear myself say or see myself type.)  Nothing fancy, just a basic machine that can go forward and backward.

So, I called my mother to get her involved in the hunt, and then I did some looking online.  I found a few and sent her links to them, with this message:

“Wanted to run a few options past you for feedback since you know a lot more about these demon-spawned devices than I do. (Nope. I still haven’t achieved more than a tentative truce with sewing machines.)”

(Note: “tentative truce” is a bit of an exaggeration.  Sewing machines and I have a truce only if we ignore one another, coming no closer than to glower at one another from opposite corners of the room.)

Anyhow, her reply was: “I like the last one best, because of the bobbin.  It will be easier for you.  And maybe not grownup demon-spawned.  Just a tadpole.  I would buy it if I needed one.”

(Needless to say, if I do get a sewing machine it will be named “Tadpole.”  Along with a few other names not fit to be repeated in polite society or mixed company.)

Then she sent another email that she had some pants that needed hemmed.  What?  She has a sewing machine.  Maybe two.  Maybe three. (I inherited her pack rat gene, but apparently not the gene that makes sewing machines want to congregate in my vicinity.)

Anyhow, we’re going to go look at some in a week or so.  Maybe.  I might just order that last one and be done with it.

So anyhow, I told my roommate I was looking for a sewing machine and her first response was, “So you can make hammocks for the rats?”  Somehow I had never even thought of that, but, yeah!  So I can make hammocks for the rats.

And traveler’s notebooks for me.

And maybe some other crafty things.  (I have a completed counted cross stitch piece that I want to turn into a wall hanging but that involves sewing…)

So, yeah, I need another hobby like the beach needs another grain of sand, but at least now I can say that it would be useful for another hobby and save me some money on it.

In addition to getting myself in over my head in a world I know nothing about, I also managed to stay caught up on the weekend blog hops.

And I managed to knock two things off my list of things to do on my “weekend.” (Tomorrow and Wednesday.)

Oh, and something good happened yesterday.  As in “Happy Dance” Good.

What could that be, you ask?

Well, I thought you’d never ask!

I got a message on Face Book from a friend who is reading my first published novel. She messaged me that I had ripped her heart out in Song and Sword, so I asked “What did I do?”

Not that the answer really mattered.  I was doing an author’s happy dance at her reaction.

(It doesn’t take much to make an author do a happy dance.  We especially like it if we can smash your heart while we’re doing it.)

Then she realized she had to go to work and was going to be spending the day thinking about the book.

Happy happy dance.

Even if there is a sewing machine in my future.


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