Hello Treasure Seekers. I am cutting this one close, but I have a good reason. I have been writing the book, again. I have just written 20,063 of the 50,000 word count goal for November. I only have a few days left, and I am going to do the best I can. I don’t think I am going to win, but as my own superpower is surprises, I might surprise myself and pull it off. (The theme for NaNoWriMo this year is “Superpowered Noveling” hence the reference to my own superpower).
I am dividing my projects this week. I am also working on #Momentum18 Week 1 of 4; another Jennifer Kem challenge. It is already pushing me outside of my comfort zone. The week had us start to develop a freebie offer. I have done this before, in the Scavenger Hunt for Tish’s Treasures earlier this year.
I am going to run a contest in December for a beaded snowflake, made by yours truly. It will be run with facebook live videos, on the Tish’s Treasures Facebook Page. It will also be in The Tish’s Treasure Seekers Group on Facebook. I don’t know if I will do more to promote it. Yet. I will be running more contests for the Bling, no worries there. I am going to have a Bling section on my website so there will be more to promote there, in time. If the website was ready, that would have been a great project, to launch it. I am going to have the website ready for 2018, sooner if I can get it ready. I needed time to process what I want to do with it.
Which brings me back to my challenge this week. I decided that I will make a checklist. I am not sure how to do that, but I want it to be, “downloadable and totally printable.” I may need to ask some friends for help. Want to know the hilarious part? I decided to create a checklist for how to start conquering the feeling of being overwhelmed. On day 4, I was lost in the details of the launch for this idea. Do I need to make the checklist before launching the page to announce it? It is meant to be a common sense checklist of things anybody can refer to when they get overwhelmed. I am going to test drive it before writing it, I guess. Only me, right?
I know there are a lot of topics that I could choose, and I know that I want to help people. I am not going to claim to have all the answers or to be an expert on anything but thinking, writing, and living. One thing I have learned from this year long blogging adventure is that I am capable of inspiring people. I was told this when I started Zumba, by the instructor, who is now a friend as well. I didn’t believe her. I am just me, nothing special, just geeky me. Who happens to love dancing and music.
I am starting to believe in myself, and when complete strangers read my words and comment that I am inspiring them to do things in their lives, I believe it. When people I know tell me they want to start a blog and ask for advice, I believe it. It is a part of what makes this writing adventure meaningful. I am writing from my heart, and people are getting something out of it.
Someone once told me that I should do something very simple to help me believe in myself more, a long time ago. Admittedly, I never followed that advice, but stick with me here, I have a point. They said to start every day, writing your name down on a piece of paper, and underlining it. That’s it. Do you know why it was supposed to work? Because people underline important words when they write them down. This simple habit helps you believe that YOU are IMPORTANT.
So when I think about my reactions to all of the comments, both from people telling me and people writing them down, it stands to reason that the written comments seem more real to me, even if they are coming from strangers. If you are one of the people that took the time to write a comment to me about this blog, thank you. I may not know you outside of the internet, but I consider you a friend. If you have contacted me asking for help to start your blog, that is a very high compliment. It means I am doing exactly what I am trying to do. I want to make people think about what I write. I want them to get something out of it. Ultimately, I want them to buy my books so I can write full time. And much to my own surprise, I want to inspire them to do what they are passionate about.
I don’t have my launch page ready. I may have to bow out gracefully this week when it comes to winning the prize for the challenge. That does not mean I am giving up. Not by a longshot. It doesn’t mean I need it to be perfect to put it out into the world. What it does mean is that I care about the quality of what I am putting out there, and I won’t do anything halfway just to beat a deadline. I need to work more on the concept. That is what I can live with. It doesn’t mean I can’t or that I won’t, it means I need to figure out how to do it because I can and I will. When I am ready. I have a lot going on in the next few days.
It is similar to the NaNoWriMo for me. I was inspired, but I had to figure out how to write a book based on that concept. I have written more at this current moment on the NaNoWriMo novel than I have for any previous attempt to write a book in my whole life. I can do this too. When I have an idea that grows over the length of time that I am working on the project. I have been writing down ideas for the fantasy novel. I am getting that off my shoulders by working on it when I think of things. When I get back to that after I finish the NaNoWriMo novel, I will have building blocks to work with. I needed to find out what my process is for writing books. NaNoWriMo helped me start to learn how I need to write to make the concept develop into an actual book. I may not cross the 50,000 word count before Thursday at midnight, but in my mind, I am calling this an unofficial win, regardless. I have a solid foundation for this practice book, and people want to read it. So I will have to finish it, just based on the bits I have shared with a few people as they are very supportive of my writing this book. There you have it. My superpower strikes again. A book about cats, really? Yes, really. Because I am writing it, in the way only I can. Surprise!
Treasure Seeker Tuesday: Photo by Tish MacWebber; Photo Edited by Noa Price
Happy Halloween Treasure Seekers! I am writing at the end of my day. I got up and put on my costume and makeup. I came home and handed out treats. It is so much fun to open the door in costume and see the reactions of the kids, and even some parents. I got a few compliments and was swarmed by a mob of little, costumed people as they didn’t want to miss out on their treats. It was not scary, most of that crowd was under 5 years old. Their parents had a small bit of panic that they were being rude, but I am from a small rural community (this is a hint about my trilogy-the location-not a real place, but a familiar one) and we used to go into people’s homes for our treats when we were kids. It was how things used to be, in a small, rural community.
Halloween is full of fun, adventure and maybe a scare or two. Some costumes are scary. Some are fun! I like the creative ones, and one boy liked my costume. He was wearing all black, and used glow-sticks to decorate himself, had them as glasses and different parts of his outfit. I returned the sentiment. Being dressed as a leopard, I was more tired tonight than I have been in other years. I know this because when the kid in the Scream mask asked, “Whassup?” My reply was a cranky sounding “Me-yow.” I listened to music, asked preferences of chips or cheesies, and ate the bag of microwave popcorn I got at work today so I didn’t get too hungry before supper.
Before I washed my face, I made a short facebook live video to say hello to people and show that my makeup lasted for the whole day. I was glad to be able to wash my face. I never noticed how many times a day I wanted to scratch my nose before. LOL. Then I made some sandwiches, and I am preparing to go to bed. On the Eve of NaNoWriMo.
I am going to be writing a book in November, with a lot of other people. I am going to need to edit after because I don’t think slamming 50,000 words in 30 days will be the kind of writing that is ready for publishing. I do want to write 1,667 or more words every day in November to win and get to the 50,000 word goal for the month. I have tried before, but I have not won. This year, I have the inspiration generated from thinking about the loss of a friend, who regularly participated in NaNoWriMo. She will be featured. I was originally going to write the whole book about her, but it is less pressure and research if I write about what I know. So the concept has its origins but has evolved. That is how I roll.
This week I am writing about writing. I am preparing to embark on a journey to test my skills in a new format with goals and ideas. As I wrote this I had to stop and make a note. The thoughts are percolating. The ideas are coming out in bits and pieces. This year I am going to win!
I have also made an arbitrary decision that November is MY month. It is the month when I get things together, make changes, try new things, and move forward in my life. It happened last year, and although I am not launching my new website yet, I am getting ready to do it. A year ago I started blogging. This year I am writing books, and building a website. ME! By myself, with coaching and guidance from friends I know or have met on this journey.
What are you going to try this November? Let’s make it a winning month together. I told you what I am doing. How can I help you? Let me know below. Have a great week!
Treasure Seeker Tuesday: Photo by Tish MacWebber; Photo Edited by Noa Price
I spent a bit of time cat sitting this weekend. That happens sometimes. I like cats, and there may be a time when we need help from our friends, so I make sure I am available. I watched some movies on Netflix with the cats. Movies my husband has not expressed an interest to see. I watched the Gaga movie Five Foot Two. I enjoyed it. It gave the fan a look from the outside into her creative process, showing her as a person that has issues like everyone else. It also gave insight into the thought process behind her last album, Joanne. Wow. I didn’t know what that song was written about. I had an idea, but the documentary really explained a lot about the title song. There is so much more to her heart than I knew. I also watched Hidden Figures. That was a really good movie. It made me mad sometimes, about the way things used to be. I am glad that things are different, now, but I don’t think that they are better. People are people, and we need to work on being nicer to each other. Me too.
I watched the documentary Long Time Running too. As a Tragically Hip fan, I was sad to hear the news last week that their frontman, Gord Downie, died after fighting his battle with cancer. It followed the band and a bit of his solo project in the last year. They had a concert that was aired commercial-free last year, and any show they were in since, whether it was on CBC or CTV has been aired the same way. The last concert of their last tour was broadcast across the country in its entirety pretty much everywhere. I watched it on a big screen with several hundred strangers and a few friends. It didn’t matter, we all sang, watched and cried together. I am glad I made a point of doing that, as I never got to see them play live. This was as close as I was ever going to get, and it was such a memorable evening.
I have reflected about the musicians that have died in the last few years. I don’t know of any that took a fatal illness and fought it head on to raise awareness for both the illness and a cause close to their heart. Gord has made Canadians stop and think about many things this past year. He had the support of his medical team, his band, his family, and his fans through it all. What a legacy to leave behind. Last night another Gord Downie hour took up my attention. It was the concert of his mission, The Secret Path. It is not my story to tell, but it made me sad to watch it last night. It wasn’t that it was being aired after he passed away, but the raw artistry displayed in telling the story along with the animation and song moved me to tears. It was not a story with a happy ending, and it has me wondering what I can do to make things better. I cannot fix the past mistakes made in Canada, but I can try to help and heal. Someone said to just reach out and be a friend. I think it is an excellent place to start.
Around all of this, I had a really busy Saturday. I had 2 separate events.The first one was the annual Boston Terrier Rescue Canada Recycling for Rescue Event. I showed up and helped separate some cigarette packages for recycling. I helped hang a poster and went on a coffee run. I donated to get a BBQ lunch. My husband also enjoyed lunch and had cashed in some bottles a neighbour donated for the rescue. I got someone to tell him about a dog that needs a home through the rescue, but he said no. We have to be in agreeance when we get a dog, it has to work for both of us, and for the dog. So no dog for me yet.
I then jumped in my car after bringing him home and getting my laptop. I went to the first NaNoWriMo Meet & Greet of the season. I had a little too much caffeine in me, and I chatted everyone’s ears off. I hope I didn’t scare anyone off. 😉 I was a little bubbly, and if I am saying I was talking a lot, I was. I think it went well. We all answered questions when asked, and I think it was a success.
I was so busy I am feeling like I am forgetting something. I had to scrub my BTRC t-shirt in between events as it decided to be a magnet for coffee and mustard. Then I found out there were puppy paw prints on it too. LOL. There were dogs a the event, and they were friendly. I really don’t know how I got all that done in a weekend, but I fit it all in. I am feeling rather tired still, so I am hoping to have a chance to rest up around the other project I am working on.
I KNEW I WAS FORGETTING SOMETHING! I am hard at work on the website. I want to launch it on November 1st. The blog has moved, and I will be adding this to the other location and the other stories up until November 1st will be in both locations. Then I will be working on the website for the blogging and other new adventures from then on. Don’t worry, it won’t be hard to find, and I am going to share the links when it is ready for the launch. I am finally pushing forward with this project, and I am getting excited about it. It was a super busy weekend, with ups and downs, full of challenges and progress. Next weekend is busy with Halloween parties, and if we are lucky I will have some pictures for the story next weekend. Until then, sorry it was a little late, but I was definitely a winner this past weekend! How was your weekend?
Happy Thanksgiving from Canada! I am indeed going to stuff myself full to the brim of turkey dinner at a friend’s house today. I am thankful that I don’t have to cook a turkey this weekend, as it is still warmer than seasonal temperatures here and I would absolutely melt. I did see a turkey roasting pot at Walmart yesterday that looks like a crock pot for turkeys and claims to be self-basting while the turkey cooks. If that works it might be something that goes on my wish list. If you have tried this out, let me know if you like it.
I am cleaning this week. I realized that I need to get into the cleaning again, before November. I have been inspired to participate in NaNoWriMo after I decided not to do it this year. I am going to write about cats and Susan, and the theme is superpowers, not superheroes like I thought, but I will make it work. I have asked friends to send me cat stories for research. I have an idea of what I want to write, and how, but was worried that I may not have enough information to write it all from the original idea. I will use my own superpowers to win this year, I know it!
I have yet to complete the website setup. I am working on it this month, but I now have more going on than I did before. Since I started this blog in November last year, it seems fitting to make my move a year later. I wanted to test my writing abilities before making this leap. I think I can safely assume that it is not a passing fancy and that I am totally committed to keeping it going. I am about to add my new third category this week, and I am really excited about it. It is also going to have a few surprises, in terms of nerdy author geeky things.
Along with working on concepts and ideas for my NaNoWriMo novel, I have taken up the fantasy trilogy project. I do not want to fall too far behind on it and am working on it every few days. I am happy to say that a challenge I am in (are you surprised that I started another one? No? I am in two right now, with one to catch up on when I finish these two) has fired up my writing for the book one of the trilogy. I started a little bit of free writing and got some plot and character ideas going. That was all I needed to pick it up again. Who knew? I didn’t. I told you that I even surprise myself sometimes.
Weekends are supposed to be fun filled. It was. I also went to the Northside Market on Saturday, and am now as I write re-organizing furniture in my mind in the Master Bedroom/Craft Room. I have made some progress, and want to finish it tomorrow so that I can move more craft supplies back out of the living room and into the neatly organized space in my Master Bedroom. I hope to get this done because I am on a deadline. I have to push through this week and work at work and clean at home so that I can really focus on the writing. What do I need to finish before then? After the cleaning is done, then I move on to website building, including an online store (exciting and terrifying at the same time) and moving the Blog to the website. If I am going to get this all done before November, I need to be focused on progress and getting things finished.
By the end of the week, on Friday, I want to kick back and relax after a week of doing double duty. Then I can implement the maintenance cleaning schedule and have a monthly and weekly chore list that keeps things from reversing into chaos again. I know that chaos is a true sign of a creative mind and that it is not always a bad thing, but I am trying to change my ways for the better, and fight my way to be able to feel like I can spend more time creating and be happy about it. Not feeling guilty and not doing anything because what I want to do can’t be done until I do what I need to do, which I don’t want to do, and then I fall into the nasty non-productive loop of living in chaos and getting nothing done at all. I have a plan for tomorrow, and I have to set myself up to succeed before I give up on it all. I know what I have to do, and it is up to me to do it.
My friend Susan died last week. She was very brave and fought against cancer for as long as she could. I decided to write out what I would like to say at her Celebration of Life Event today. I am going to share that here, for those who could not attend to read about my friendship with Susan, and her husband, Andrew. She was 47 years old. Here is what I had written to say, from several little pieces of notepaper, scribbled at 3 am one morning earlier in the week.
I remember feeling sad when Susan told me that she had cancer. We weren’t the closest of friends at that time, but that changed. I had met Susan’s husband before I met her. I joined a gaming group as I was new to Fredericton, and needed to meet people and make friends.
Susan and I met later on, and we had a lot of things in common, including creativity and cats. Oh, how Susan loved all of the kitties! She would save as many as she could, and picked the ones that nobody else would choose. She had a cat with one eye, and a cat that has medical issues that require frequent vet trips. That didn’t matter because Susan loved her cats, and they loved her right back.
I attended a dance lesson in their backyard, once. It was a gathering of friends, and we all participated in learning a medieval dance. It was fun, although I would not be able to do it again without lessons. I returned the favour by bringing Susan to a Zumba class with me. It was after she had been diagnosed, and she did what she could. There were chairs for her to rest in when she was tired. I remember that she had fun, and wanted to go again. That didn’t happen, but it was nice to share the love of dancing with Susan.
You might be wondering why I chose to wear this brightly coloured poncho today. ( I was wearing the same one that is in my profile pic here.) When I started to knit it, I was lost, and rather confused. Knowing that Susan was an avid knitter, I approached her for help with it. She took the time to go over the pattern, and we decided that I needed a chart. She helped me to make the chart, and because she helped me, I have a completed poncho that she helped me to knit. Simple, yet effective. The perfect solution for me and that is why I am wearing it today.
She liked to knit socks for people. I remember being out to buy sock yarn with her, and she was asking if the colours went together well or not. She confided that other people didn’t always like the colour choices she made for knitting socks. She wasn’t so fussy when it was for her own socks, they were just socks. She had been getting feedback on other socks that she had knit for people that the yarn didn’t always match well, so she wanted to check on the colours before buying yarn if she was making socks for gifts.
When she found out I wanted to work on knitting, she lent me her Stitch and Bitch knitting book. I think I kept it a little too long. When she asked for it back, I actually went out and bought my own copy. I never told her that.
I have attempted to join in on the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) events. For those that do not know what it is, it is a worldwide movement for authors to write a whole book in November, and it is an annual event. I tried a few times, but have decided that it is not the format for me, and I am now a Nano Cheerleader. Susan loved to host the events for Nano, and was very proud to show me her Nacho Hat platter that was used for the Nano events. She was a great leader in the Nano world, and people looked forward to her launch and closing parties. Unlike myself, she was a Nano winner. She recently gave me a book she wrote, called “Freaks in Fredericton.” I plan to read it when I feel ready, and I guess I will have to wait to discuss it with her in another place and time.
(I added a bit here about FredNoWriMo, the local branch, and that the theme is Superhero this year.)
When Susan was needing to be more cheerful, she would often turn to Youtube. Sometimes we would sit and watch cat videos. Other times it would be music. She introduced me to the guy that takes tweets from Twitter and turns them into songs. Her favourite was the one with the ukulele and he is singing, “Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows.” That is the whole song.
She also introduced me to Post Modern Jukebox. They take current songs and cover them in different styles from different eras.
(This was the end of page one, and the start of page two. I had a harder time with page two.)
One thing I learned from both Susan and Andrew, her husband, was that it was OK to talk to them about things that were happening in my life. I didn’t want to bother them with my issues, they seemed to be insignificant when they were dealing with her diagnosis. We came to an understanding that it was OK to talk about things and that we would all be real when we were visiting. In a way, it might have helped them to have something less impactful to talk about, and as friends that talked about problems together, I think it helped them, just as much as it helped me to have a place that was safe to talk about anything. It made me realize that because they realized that what mattered to me was important, that made me, their friend, important. What a beautiful gift of friendship to share.
She often expressed a hate for cancer. I agree with her on that. One day, when she was having a particularly difficult time finding the right words to express her thought, she accurately said that she hated her brain. I knew exactly what she meant, but I still don’t know how to correctly respond to that comment.
I wanted to be a good friend to Susan, even if I knew that it would tear me up inside after she was gone. The last thing I said to her was, “See you later.” I hate goodbyes.I hope to be a better friend because of my friendship with you.
It surprised me when people told me after that I did very well, and that I should be a public speaker, not a writer. In the last few months, I have also been told I should be a comedian. I try to be funny, but it doesn’t always work. I blank out after speaking in public, so I don’t always know if it went well or not unless I ask someone after I am done. I did read in Church when I was old enough, and they taught me the few basic skills I used today. Pacing yourself, pausing to look at the people, and just making sure that you speak clearly into the microphone. I did need a minute near the end, but I expected that. I managed to do my best, and that is all I wanted to do.
It was not easy to do that today, even if it seemed like it may have been before page two. I had to just focus on the task of reading what I had written. Knowing another friend had given it a read before today helped, she said it was perfect. What do you say when there are no words to express how you feel? You think about the good times and write from the heart. Sometimes there are no words. I was blessed to have known her and to be able to tell her family just how important she was to me, as my friend.