Ahh… July is my vacation month. 4th of July, Camping, BlogHer… How will I get anything done? Some months are meant to kick back and relax.
June got me going, though. I did watch a lot of soccer. I love soccer. Maybe I deserve some rest.
My Progress on Game Plan 2014:
- Get my novel published: I will get editors, a cover designer, and a publisher. I will.
Progress: My content editor,Lisa Romeo and I sat down and discussed her take on A Land of Milk and Honey. She filled me with such confidence and encouragement. She also filled me with fear and trepidation. Yet, I managed to put fingers to keyboard and start the editing process. Aww… It’s not as hard as I anticipated. I can do it, I can.
Lisa gave me some good advice about finding an agent and what demographics/genre my book falls into. She encouraged me in that direction rather than the artisanal route. She has confidence in me and my writing. Yeah!
I joined a Chicago Writers Association and have two writers conference on my radar.
I’m going to BlogHer this year afterall. Let the networking begin! Can’t wait to meet old friends and make some new.
- Knit or crochet yarn stash into hats for charity: I have a lot of yarn stash.
Progress: Acht! No knitting during May or June. None, zilch, nada. I thought about those half-knitted sleeves, and looked at the yarn stash. Can I call that progress. No!
Gardening is still taking a front seat alongside balancing the ecosystem of my water garden. Wrestler #1 is getting married at my house in September. I have many weeds to pull before the canopy goes up.
- Make enough money writing to pay property taxes: Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in 2013.
Progress: Only 1 more newspaper articles for a local paper, but I got paid double this time. Plus the Sweet gentleman I interviewed sent me a dozen rozes. (That makes a total of 12 for the year.) The place where I volunteer asked me to re-design their website and (!) asked for a proposal.
- Expand my platform: a key to successful selling of a published book, I’m told.
Progress: Still growing at a rate of 10 or more followers each week on BlogHer, SheWrites, Instagram, Twitter, FB page; Google+, Pinterest. My Klout score is up. Miss E did help me with Snap-Chat. So far just three snappy chatters. I don’t quite get it, but it is fun.
- Experience Night at the Museum with Two More Grandkids.
Progress: Complete! Yay! Miss K and Mr. L. Mr. L plans to be a paleontologist when he grows up. Miss K has her heart set on fashion design. The two kids were congenial enough, but they never really talked to each other. Really interesting dynamics.
- Travel Route 66 with Loved-One: I plan to get some sponsors and write about out trip.
Progress: This goal is post-poned until spring or fall of 2015. Drat! But on the happy side, Wrestler One and his Loved-One will be married in September in my back-yard. What a wonderful goal replacement.
- Volunteer: Last year I tried a women’s shelter. Maybe this year, the food pantry.
Progress: Success with “1st Way Pregnancy.” Volunteering is going so-so. (This shelter mission is “To provide loving assistance, emotional and financial support for women and girls who find themselves in a crisis.” The values of “1st Way Pregnancy” match mine, that is: empower women to make life-affirming choices by offering financial and emotional support. Rather than shaming and coercing with rules and regulations.)
I’m learning a lot about myself. I really like to be in charge; or at least self-directed. It’s humbling to relinquish control, especially when I believe I have improvements to offer.
- Read two book a month: This goal doubles my 2013 rate.
In June I read two very different books:
Life After Live: A Novel by Kate Atkinson. Woooo-Weee. For me this was an amazing and depressing book. The construct and imagination of the author is phenomenal. But, poor Ursala keeps starting her life over again. Or does she? My sister-book-lover, Christa insists that something else entirely is going on. She has yet to sell my on her version. Still, it is intriguing. (As an aside, this month I also watched a BBC mini-series based another Atkinson novel. She has a way of weaving memory and current events together that is very like the way I remember real-life stories: a bit here, a bit there, in no particular order. I like that technique.
Bristol boys Stomp: The Night That Divided a Town by Doreen M. McGettigan. This book is a memoir of the brutal murder of McGettigan’s younger brother. Her short jig-jagged sentences convey the emotions of the events with razor precision. The story high-lights the the variegation of victims, from McGettigan’s brother, his survivors, and the neighborhood. Because I read her book, I have a new perspective on what it means to reclaim a neighborhood as “home” after brutality strikes. I got a chance to sit down and talk to McGettigan about her life, the events surrounding the murder of her brother, and her writing process. I plan to share some of that experience with you later this month.
From past months:
Adela Crandell: A Land of Milk and Honey
Eric Larson: In the Garden of the Beast
Beth Nonte Russell: Forever Lily.
Graham Greene: Our Man in Havana.
Michael Allan Scott: Flight of the Tarantula Hawk – A Lance Underphal Mystery.
Linda Lawrence Hunt: Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America.
Rachel Thompson: Broken Pieces (interviewed)
Guy Kawasaki: APE
Hilary Grossman: Dangled Caret (interviewed)
Candice Millard: Destiny of the Republic.
- Get new carpeting for the lower level: Ugh! I don’t even want to go down there, it looks so bad.
Progress: Not yet. Last month, I vowed come hell or high water. No Hell, No high water. No carpet.
- Send St. Patrick’s Day photo cards to friends and family: Progress: Complete. I got great feedback from my Welcome Spring card. Several people thought they just received an invitation to something; they weren’t sure what. They loved the pictures and the surprise out-of-the-blue greeting. I think I’ll do this again next year.
Well, there you have it at the halfway point of the year. I find that putting my progress out here for the world to see is a way of keeping me on track. I loathe the idea of sharing my failures. My hope is that a little self-pressure will keep me motivated. Plus, putting my successes in writing, keeps my spirits up.
What about you? How do you hold yourself accountable? What motivates you?