Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A Revisit to "RESET"

 A Revisit to “RESET”

 

Every year I choose a word for the year. I know many people who do this and it is always interesting to see how it plays out in our lives. Generally, in June or July I try to revisit the word and assess how it is working out for me at that point in time. Here it is August and I am only now getting to that place of self-evaluation.

 

My word for 2022 is RESET. (You can read the original post HERE.

 

The word had implications of changing, adapting, adjusting, revising, or redesigning my life. I wasn’t sure how I felt about doing that. I was happy. I wasn’t accomplishing all I want to do, but I wasn’t living with regrets, either. 

 

One thing I wasn’t doing was getting the books in my head down on paper. Or a disk. Or whatever. Oh, I finished a manuscript and sent it off. The publisher was interested but the book needed work. REVISING. Hmmm… I started the task, but started down a rabbit hole that took me through February and into March. And COVID.

 

The bottom line? For choosing to “Reset,” I wasn’t doing much in that direction. I certainly wasn’t doing the writing I expected of myself. I figured it would come in time. 

 

Then that word stared me down one day as I sat at my desk. 

 

RESET

 


“How can I press the reset button on my writing?”

 

I pulled out the ad for the Write-to-Publish Conference in Wheaton, Illinois I had tucked in my calendar. I registered.

 

I researched the classes and teachers. I read their books. I read their blogs.

 

And… I re-engaged in writing daily. I set a word count goal for each day.

 

I finished a sweet romance novel. 

I edited a book I wrote earlier.

I spent hours on the revision of my romantic suspense novel. (More to come.)

I’ve started a split-time short story for an anthology.

 

The RESET button for my writing has definitely engaged.

 

But “RESET” has come to mean more to me. 

 

It has been the opportunity to reevaluate other areas of my life:

 

RESET means setting aside my agenda to help a friend move.

RESET means overlooking an offense.

RESET means trying something new.

RESET means getting the rest I need.

And…

RESET means taking stock of the many blessings God has poured over me. 

 

How are you doing with your word for the year?

A New Day...
A New Beginning


 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Call Me Dory

 Just Call Me Dory

When I was a little girl, my mother would send me off to clean my room. After a while of “cleaning,” my mother would open the door and say “Becky, stop reading and clean your room.”

 

I would agree to do so saying, “As soon as I finish this chapter.”

 

I haven’t changed. If you’ve ever seen the movie Finding Nemo…I’m the real life Dory. I am easily distracted and I seem to have the memory of gnat.

 

Most people don’t believe me when I say that. I think it’s because I tend to get things done. I’ve always been active at church and work and in our community. I take on projects, write books, and when I was young, I managed to keep up with three busy daughters. 

 

Yet here I am typing a blog post late at night…okay it’s past midnight and my readers expect a post in their newsfeed in a few hours. I post on my blog every Wednesday. I maintain lists of ideas I want to write about. 

 

For example, I considered writing about my recent outing to the Fernald Reserve. It is one of Ohio’s best-kept secrets. Literally. Fernald was once home to a top-secret uranium processing facility during the Cold War. It is now home to protected wildlife and has a state of the art museum that is so interesting, I spent several hours there with a friend.

 

I digress. 

 

This post is about techniques I’ve used to compensate for being distracted. While I was still a young mother, I discovered the use of a day planner. Only by writing everything down and not relying on my memory am I able to stay focused. 

 

Here’s a picture of my July planner.

 


 

Church on Sunday.

Bible study on Tuesday mornings. 

Euchre on Tuesday evenings.

Pinochle every other Monday and every Friday.

 

Some activities happen every week so I’m pretty good about keeping up with them. If I remember what day it is…

 

In July, I had several activities that don’t happen on a regular basis:


I attended a baby shower, took my car in to the dealership for a new battery, took care of some household business and managed to squeeze in a week at the beach with my daughters.

 

There were a few unexpected elements, the biggest being that my air conditioner crashed on the hottest day of the year so I had to get that repaired. I was on a wait list so I was without cool air for four days. It was stinking hot out there so I moved to the basement to sleep!


I digress. Back to the day planner.

 

I use my planner to record everything I schedule or do. If you can’t read my scribbles, don’t worry. Sometimes I can’t even read what I wrote. 

 

I plan everything. I block times to write and include goals for my writing in my planner or I’d never write a word. In July, I also blocked time to research Harriet Beecher Stowe since my writing group was getting together for a tour of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House here in Cincinnati. 

 

That research was helpful, but now I’m digging even deeper. Our group is crafting stories linked to writers featured on the Ohio Literary Trail. I chose to write a short split-time story featuring Harriet Beecher Stowe. I’ve never written anything like it, but it is shaping up to be a fun project. 

 

A split time story is one where two characters living in different time periods follow a similar path and there is a connection between the two. They need not be related or do some kind of strange time travel. The connection could be an object or something. In this case, one element could be the house. My contemporary character visits Harriet’s house with her writing group. Sound familiar?

 

Oops, I promise not to digress again. 

 

As a matter of fact, it is time I post this and head off to bed. Or maybe…I'll read just one more chapter…