Friday, December 31, 2010
I know many people make resolutions and by February or March have totally forgotten about them. I've been guilty of that numerous times. All of these things are realistic and doable. These are things that I have been doing but not consistently, which has been a major problem for me. Sometimes I allow work and the act of trying to relieve stress keep me from doing what I need to do for myself and my son. Balance is the key, and I am determined to get balance in my life.
1. Actively seek higher position at work.
2. Spend at least one hour a day on house work.
3. Start and stick to an exercise routine.
4. Eat and drink healthier.
5. Create and stick to a budget.
6. Finish at least one of my novels in progress.
7. Write at least one blog post a week.
8. Keep car maintenance current.
9. Prepare for Donovan's education.
10. Use leisure time more wisely.
I complain a lot about my job but I'm not really doing everything I can to make a change. This year I will start taking advange of the free online training that my job offers. I will also check the job postings every week and apply for every position that I'm interested in, not worrying about how many people that I feel may be more qualified. I might get lucky.
I've always hated house work, ever since I was a teenager. I mean I love the smell of a clean house and I love being able to get a plate of food without having to wash the plate first. The thing is, I just wish I had someone else to do it, or at least help a sister out. But since it's only me and the kid I have to make time every day to get things done.
"An elephant is stout," my dad used to say. And sometimes I feel like I'm on my way to being a baby elephant. I've gained more than a hundred pounds in the last 13 and it's driving me nuts. On occasion, I go through exercise phases but once I've lost 20 to 30 pounds, I end up dropping the ball. Of course I end up finding the lost pounds and few of their friends. SMH
Exercise won't help much if I keep making McDonald's and Burger King richer, so I'm going to have to start eating better. I'll never be able to totally leave fast food alone, but I can always make better food choices. I can treat myself to some utterly useless food as a treat for a job well done every once in awhile but should get right back on track. Sodas are also a big issue that I need to cut back on. I don't drink nearly as much water as I should and I'm sure those empty soda calories have contributed to my weight gain.
I've had budgets before and pretty much stuck to them over the years but the last three or so years, I've been slinging money all willie nillie and my bank account is suffering. "A fool and his money are soon parted." is another saying that my dad uses a lot concerning my siblings and other relatives. I'm afraid to tell him that I fall in that category as well.
My home office and dresser drawers are filled with three novels in progress and several short story ideas and first drafts of poems. I am determined to finish at least one of the novels by October before I begin to prepare for another NaNoWriMo, which will add yet another unfinished piece of work to the list.
With this blog and the one at http://poetryforyoursenses.wordpress.com/, I should have a much larger cyberspace presence. But since I haven't even uploaded one blog post a month, no one but my high school chums, co-workers, and a few Twitter and Facebook friends even know that I write. I plan to do something about that in the very near future.
My break light has been on for a month and since I can still stop without scaring myself to death, I haven't done anything about it. Not a good thing I'm sure. You would think a person with a white car would have sense enough to keep it clean, but unfortunately I don't. If it wasn't for the kid rubbing his little hands on the car, it would probably be gray. Plus I have a habit of eating in the car on the way to work or on the way home and don't always throw my trash away once I've gotten to my destination. So not good when it's my turn to drive everyone to lunch.
The little dude of the house will be turning 4 in May so it is definitely time for him to go to somebody's school and learn how to get along with kids his age. He's been around grandparents, pre-teens and teens since he's been in the world so he only knows how to rough house. I'm sure I'll have to stay by the phone for the first few weeks until he realizes that he can't put his hands on every kid he comes in contact with. D is a smart kid though. He can count and read a little (mostly fast food signs), he knows his colors and most of his shapes. Once I teach him how to spell his name he'll be all set, if he can sit his hyper butt down long enough.
I must admit--My name is Susie and I am addicted to Facebook games. From the time I walk into the door from picking up D, until I can barely hold my eyes open before I drag myself to bed, I am gaming. Cityville, Farmville, Frontierville.... The list goes on and on but I'm gonna have to get myself together and limit my game playing.
When I incorporate all of the other points, the last one will be a no brainer. I won't have the time or energy to spend hours playing games and getting frustrated when I run out of coins.
So here's my list. What do you hope to accomplish in the coming year and beyond?
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
To get my creative writing juices flowing, I've decided that I want to participate in National Blog Posting Month (www.nablopomo.com). Since there isn't any specific month that this challenge takes place, I figured February was as good a month as any. Not only because it is the shortest month (which means only 28 posts) but because I should be able to come up with something interesting to talk about with Valentine's Day, my birthday and the anniversary of my mother's death all taking place during that month. I may even write about my baby sister, who was born a couple of weeks before my 25th birthday (Yeah, I'm old enough to be her mom). On those dates where nothing significant happened, I'm sure I will be at a loss for words. To avoid that fiasco, I've been Googling blog topics and trying to decide what else I could talk about to inform yet entertain my readers.
Here's the list of blogs that I found that provided a wealth of topics to choose from.
Even though these sites are written from the prospective of people in several different fields, they all pretty much give you the same advice-in so many words-write about what interests you. A lot of things interest me (writing, crafting, technology, and education), but I'll just have to come up with a way to write about my ideas in a way that won't make my readers fall asleep or wonder--"What the heck is Susie talking about?"
Help a sister out...
What do you blog about? Does your blog have a particular theme or do you just write about whatever tickles your fancy?
Sunday, November 28, 2010
My Twitter friend and fellow Nanoer @ganymeder has already exceeded the 50,000 word goal. I asked her what her secret was and she said, "Just break my daily word count into 500 word chunks-2500 daily M-F & weekends off. Plus I eat my veggies." I thought that was great advice. Since it's a little too late in the game to try that, I will definitely keep that in mind for next year's NaNo and possibly for JulNoWriMo as well.
As I mentioned in one of my tweets last night, even though things look bleak, I'm going to continue to add to my word count until the clock strikes 12 midnight on November 30.
This has been a wild ride and I really hope to do a better job of preparing for next year's challenge.
If you've already met the 50,000 word goal, let us know what your secret is. If you are still chugging along, do you think you will make it? If you feel that there's no way in heck that you'll meet the goal (as do I) let us know what your weak spots were and how you plan to work around them next time.
As always...Happy NaNo-ing!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I took JanFlora's advice and wrote a little on Write or Die. It did help quite a bit. Write or Die helped me to keep in mind that it didn't matter that whatever I was writing wasn't perfect, I just had to write something.
Victoria Mixon's advice was to spend a whole day outlining the rest of my novel, which is what I did yesterday. I added a few paragraphs to my total word count, but I was mostly trying to get all of my scenes and chapters in order, thanks to Scrivener for Windows.
Since I know exactly what I want to happen for the remainder of the book, today I was able to push out 2,338 words. I'm still about 6,400 words behind, but I feel confident that I'm going to catch up and win this thing.Thanks for all of the great advice and support.
Friday, November 12, 2010
It was my intention to share my daily word count and my life happenings throughout the month of November, but have fallen short because I have been ashamed of my paltry word count.
This year's NaNoWriMo has been really hectic for me. I anticipated this going in, but I was and still am determined to participate and win this competition.
When the month began, I had numerous computer problems, but thank God and all of the angels that I was able to get a new one. Of course now my problem is either not having the time, energy, or ideas to put anything on paper. Kind of crazy all the way around, right?
The last few days, I have had all kinds of off days to catch up on my word count. I have been kinda slacking, but don't slap my hand because the free time isn't over just yet. With three weekends and one more holiday between now and November 30, I should be flying across the finishline like my pants are on fire.
According to the NaNoWriMo website, I would have to write 2007 words a day from now on to finish on time. If I continue at the average words per day that I'm shooting out (1162), I won't finish until December 14. This to me is losing. Losing is not an option, so 2000+ a day is what I'm going to have to push out.
If you're having issues, please share how you are handling them.
If you are on or ahead of schedule, please provide a few pointers for the rest of us.
But no matter what...
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
After getting off work, and paying a few bills, I picked up D from my dad's house and headed home.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Another difference between this year and last year is that I was in school and I was in the habit of writing an essay every two weeks. Since I'm not in school, I really haven't written much of anything on a regular besides emails. So I've got to get back in the groove.
I have been thinking about how I could get in as much writing as possible, here are a few of my ideas.
- I could wake up an hour earlier every day and write a few hundred before heading to work.
- Writing during my breaks and lunch will be good when my co-workers aren't pulling me in one direction or another.
- I'll also attempt to write more on Saturdays and Sundays so I won't run the risk of getting behind schedule.
This will be my second year participating in NaNoWriMo and I'm both excited and scared at the same time. I wish all the participants luck and hope to see you at the finish line.
Friday, July 9, 2010
I had never used stamping in my projects, so I invested in some ink pads and acrylic stamps. Of course, I also bought plenty of themed stickers to match the photos and articles that I would be putting in the books.
Once I had completed the first scrapbook, with the photos, I emailed Kevin several times telling him to come to my desk to get it. When he didn’t respond, I walked over to his desk with the book and told him that I would be finished the second one the following week.
I didn’t say anything, because I had already made enough false promises to him, and I refused to make anymore. I would just do the best that I could and hope that he was satisfied with the results.
The following Sunday, I loaded most of my supplies in a luggage bag and my son and I went to see my dad. Daddy would be able to fill some of the demands of my toddler, who always seemed to need me when I was in the middle of something. In between letting the kid stick his finger in one of the ink pads and bribing him to leave me alone with a few stickers; I finally got everything that would fit into that scrapbook without making the binding pop. There were a few items left, so I bagged them up.
I really hoped that Kevin would like what I had done. The thought of wasting all of that time and going through those guilt trips for something that he hated would have floored me.
On Monday, I skipped the email routine and went to Kevin’s desk to let him know I was finished. We went to my desk grabbed both of his books and went outside to my car. We sat in my car and I watched Kevin flip through the pages slowly, silently evaluating ever item. At first he wasn’t saying anything, and then he began to mumble and grunt. He was driving me nuts because I couldn’t tell if he was happy or pissed. When got to the last page of the second book, I held my breath. Then he turned to me and smiled. A wave of relief washed over me and I almost hugged him. I began apologizing for taking so long as he put both of the books in the bag. Kevin began to shake his head.
“Girl, I love these books. You couldn’t rush this, you put a lot of work into them and I thank you,” then he reached in his pocket and handed me $40. “So when are you going to get another book so you can put what’s left over in them?” I giggled thinking he had to be joking. But Kevin didn’t smile. Oh boy, I thought, not again.
“Relax, next time we’ll decide together when would be a good time for you,” he said. I thanked him for his business and watched my satisfied customer walk to his car and put his books in the backseat.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I loved the historical displays that were in the museum. D tried to climb up on everything, and I kept snatching him back down. Some of that stuff was more than 100 years old, I didn’t have any money to repair or replace anything up in there.
We tried to take a paddle boat ride but I was afraid we would tilt over because I’m so big and D’s so little. I was gonna take the chance anyway but he got to wiggling and there were no seat belts on the thing to strap him in so we got off. He cried for about 5 minutes, until I thrust a juicy hotdog in front of him. Then he was all smiles.
Sunday, we spent most of the day at my dad’s house, stuffing our faces. D, my niece and little sister worked their gluttony off in the trampoline. Dad took a nap and I talked shhh until it was time for D and I to go downtown for the fireworks display. We lollygagged around for about 1 ½ until the show started at 10. D made a friend that I hoped wouldn’t turn into an enemy after he practiced some kind of karate chop on him. The fireworks display only lasted seven minutes, but we got encore performances from people in the various neighborhoods that we traveled through on our way back home.
My dad’s birthday was the 5th, but since we had already given him his cards and gifts on Sunday, D and I decided to hang around the house. We took turns using the laptop until we fell asleep on top of the covers because guess what? The A/C was not working. We slept nice with the bathroom window open since there was no screen on the one in my bedroom.
I’m supposed to return to work today, but I don’t wanna. My boss is supposed to be off all this week so I guess I could go in and clean my desk off a little—maybe.
All in all this has been an excellent holiday weekend. I’m sure D would agree.
Friday, May 28, 2010
It took maybe a month for me to call his cell to tell him about some design ideas that I had. He told me what he liked or thought we could do without then we ended the call. Another month went by before I brought him the book with only a third complete.
“I like it. So, how much longer do you think it will take? I have some newspaper clippings that I would like for you to add.”
“It won’t be too much longer. Just bring me what you want added. I may have to buy another book for the articles, but I’ll bring you a receipt like I did the last time.”
Last night, I tore up my storage room/home office trying to find Kevin’s scrapbooks and materials. All I found was the empty b I had bought for the articles, but the one with the pictures were nowhere to be found. When I was packing for the move to my new place, I just knew I put his stuff in a bag by itself so it wouldn’t get messed up. But the bag wasn’t in the room, or in any of the closets. I had changed cars since then, so it wasn’t in the trunk. Kevin was going to kill me and I couldn’t blame him.
I called his cell phone a few times, but didn’t leave a voice mail. If he was going to yell and curse me out, I would have rather do that on the phone, so by the time I went back to work he would just be rolling his eyes at me. Since I didn’t have his work extension, I called my friend Keisha, who used to date him. I told her about losing the book and the pictures. Keisha told me to look through the stuff in the room again just in case I had overlooked it.
“But, it’s not here. I looked everywhere. He’s gonna be mad isn’t he?”
“Just look again, that’s the only thing I can tell you.”
“Something told me to scan those pictures, just in case…”
And guess what? The locks hadn’t been changed. As soon as I opened the door, I saw the bag with Kevin’s scrapbook and clippings laying on the room floor right where I had left them, two months ago. Lord have mercy!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
“Hey baby,” I said to my two year old son.
“Did you give Granddaddy a hard time today?”
“No no. We watch TV. SpongeBob. Cowboy picture.”
“Well, that’s good,” I said walking into Dad’s room.
“Hey Daddy, how did Don act today?”
“Aw, you that lil’ rascal don’t bother me. He was just being a typical boy.”
“Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of.”
“Ha-ha, aw that boy all right.”
“Mommy, mommy,” Don yelled pulling on my sleeve. “I love you soooo much!”
“Uh huh, I love you too. What do you want?”
“Mommy, you want some Subway meatball?”
“That boy half ate the food I cooked earlier. He ain’t gone do nothing be waist your money,” Dad said.
“I ain’t gone waist it on the floor, Granddaddy, I’m a eat it.”
“Well girl, it’s up to you, but he ain’t gone do nothing but mess over it.”
“Don, why didn’t you eat all of your food today?”
“It was nasty. I throwed up.”
“He didn’t throw up, he only ate part of it and I gave the rest of to the dog.”
“Well, since he’s still hungry, I’ll buy him some chicken nuggets.”
“I don’t want no chicken nuggets. I want Subway meatball.”
“Well, you’re getting a chicken nugget Happy Meal. I don’t care what you say.”
“I don’t want it!”
“Well, I’m gonna play with your toy and I’m not gonna let you play with it.”
“I want my toy, Mommy,” Don says falling out in the floor.
“See, that boy only cuts up like that with you. Women ruin children.”
“Well, if he doesn’t eat it, I’ll eat it.”
“Don, you’re going to have to start eating all of your food. You know I can’t keep buying food for you when granddaddy has already fed you.”
“I don’t like it.”
“Well, what didn’t you like?”
“All he wants to eat is meat. That boy is gone be big as a hog if he keeps eating like that.”
“I eat corn and tater tots…” Don said.
“Boy tater tots ain’t no vegetable!” Dad said.
“…and beans and rice and barbecue…”
“Don, you remember the salad we ate the other day? That’s what Granddaddy is talking about.”
“I like bell peppers and onion and cucumber…”
“That’s it! See Daddy, he likes vegetables, just certain kinds.”
“…and tomatoes and pickles…”
“Don, we get it!” I said.
“Mommy, you want some Subway meatball?”
“Boy, you silly. Come on, let’s try to get there before they close.”
Friday, May 7, 2010
Photo credit: copyright Danielle Ruschena, 2009
This is the second flash fiction challenge from @Story_Craft. The challenge was to write a piece about, or from the POV of a character inspired by our choice of four photos. I chose the one above. I hope you enjoy.
It’s really beautiful here. My best friend has found himself a wonderful paradise to live in. I’m on my way to see him for the first time in 10 long years. The scenery along this road is so inviting that I want to just pull over and take off running through the trees. I contain my excitement and continue on to my destination.
I had run into Shonn’s cousin, Tyrone, in Wal-Mart six months ago, and he said that Shonn had been looking for me. Then he gave me Shonn’s email address and phone number. When I called my friend, he sounded really excited, as if life had really turned out great for him. I’m happy about that because even though Shonn was always good at hiding it, I knew there was always something on his mind that he wasn’t comfortable sharing with me. I respected his privacy, but I still couldn’t help wondering what the big secret was.
As I approach the lovely home, that Shonn had sent me several pictures of, I see an attractive very well dressed woman standing on the porch. My friend had not told me that there was a woman in his life. I actually felt a pang of jealousy.
I park and get out of the car with a fake smile pasted on my face. She meets me at the car and grabs my bag. Her smile is a lot more genuine. There’s something very familiar about this woman, but I’m sure I had never met her.
“Nikki, I’m so glad you came,” she says embracing me, tightly like my friend used to. When we part, I take a closer look at this stranger—her face, her hands, her body. Damn.
“I go by Shontell now.”
Her strong arms catch me before I hit the ground.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
During this week's Twitter chat with @Story_Craft, writers were challenged to write a Flash Fiction story from the point of view of an inanimate object. Since we could choose any topic, other than animals, I chose one of my favorite things--Magaritas. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Being popular isn’t always a good thing, although there’s never a dull moment. People go in search of me at their favorite restaurants and bars after a long day at the office or whatever job they have that makes them need a liquid stress reliever. I come frozen or on the rocks. I also come in a number of fruity flavors. The amount of Tequila that I’m made of varies, depending on the person mixing me up and of course on the drinker’s preference.
Now this may be hard to believe but there are virgin margaritas. OMG! I mean come on, it’s 2010. How much fun could a virgin margarita be?
When I’m in a basic mood, I’m made of a nice blend of Tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, sweet and sour mix, and a splash of orange juice. But when I’m feeling sassy and feel like getting dressed up, I’m accompanied by strawberry, mango, raspberry or sometimes watermelon. Once I’m blended up and poured into a sleek, sexy glass, honey nobody can tell me nothing but how good they think I’m going to taste. Please believe that there aren’t too many people that can resist the moisture dripping down the sides of my glass and the salt or sugar around the rim. Whew! Is it getting hot in here or what?
A worry disappears with each sip of me until the drinker is stress free. Now, please take caution when partaking of my goodness. If the drinker sips too fast—ooo wee—brain freeze. And nobody wants anything resembling a headache ruining their good time.
Now don’t feel sorry for me because people are always drinking me up, I don’t die baby, I multiply. Don’t believe me; check me out at the next happy hour.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Elaine is dancing her butt off, ain't she!! That's how I feel to be back in the blog world, although I think I can dance quite a bit better that she can, LMBO!
This has been a very hectic but blissful 30 days. I finally moved out of the place that I hated into a place that I love. I can finally get D to sleep in his own bed at least 3 nights a week. And I don't have to worry about birds in the attic and mold on the walls. Car trouble did plague me for awhile, but I bought another car this past Thursday. No, I don't have any more money so don't ask. LOL!
During my damsel in distress phase, my friends and co-workers were very helpful when it came to giving me a ride to and from work and when I needed to run errands. And even though many people say that it's not a good idea to be friends with your ex, if it wasn't for two of mine, I would have had a very hard time. Thanks to all of you that were there for me physically and in spirit.
I don't have my internet service hooked up at my place yet, but thank God for Wifi. I'm at the library at this moment trying to kill some time before I head to work. Of course that time is nearly up. Hopefully tomorrow I'll will have found my notebook with my notes for the poetry blog I plan to establish. I have all of the poems, but I just can't remember what I had decided to call the site yet. Well, it will come to me and I promise it will be worth the wait.
Thanks for stopping by and don't be a stranger.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
It's been a while since I've written a blog post, I've had a lot of stuff on my mind. Yes, it all seems to boil down to MONEY.
I've been a faithful servant for the federal government for 13 years. The first 5 years, I was a seasonal employee, but after applying for hundreds of positions, I finally became permanent. Yes, it sounds ungrateful, but ever since I became permanent I wanted to quit. Of course I didn't quit because of what--MONEY!
The fact that I've been promoted a number of times has made things a little more bearable, but things are still not the way I want them to be. This is the second time (beginning Fall 2009) that I've decided to go to school in order to acquire more skills so I can advance. Since I will always be a writer whether professionally or as a hobby, I've decided to get my Bachelor's Degree in English with a concentration in Technical Writing. At some point I may return to get my Master's in Creative Writing but I'm taking it one step at a time. Yes, to many people it seems like I am a career student but when you have 20 more years to work before you are eligible for retirement, you begin to think about how far you can climb up the ladder within that time frame. I'm not the type of person that sits in one position forever and ever. I crave challenges and I love to learn new things. Although MONEY is not the most important thing to me, it makes getting things I need and want much easier.
The first time I attended college while working for my current employer was from 2004 to 2006, when I got Associates Degree in Information Technology. For a little over 5 years I tried to acquire a position in this field at my job with not much luck. It turns out that it's alot easier to get the position you want if you are willing to move out of town. Of course the only downfall to that is that if they decide they don't need you anymore, they will send you back to your previous position. Which means relocating a least twice. Before having my son I was pretty mobile but I wouldn't want to put a two year old through all of the moving back and forth, so I'm trying to sit here and be patient until someone reads my application and considers me worthy. Hey, the girl needs more MONEY.
Even though I was an honor roll student all through high school and the first couple of times I went to college, this time is a lot harder. I'm not sure if it's because I'm older or because I just have too many things on my plate (son, work, and school). It may be a little bit of everything, but I'm not the only person that has gone through this and I'm sure I won't be the last so I just have to suck it up and keep it moving. I thank God for my former babysitters (The Fletchers) and my father (my current babysitter) because without them I would be like my dad says--"Nutty as a fruitcake". One day all of the working and schooling will pay off and these will be the first people that will get taken care of when I get that big MONEY.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Novel Finishing and Editing Month (NoFinEdMo)
The 50,000 words that you wrote for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was no small feat, so you should be very proud. And if you’re anything like me, this was the largest work you’ve ever written in your whole life. Unfortunately, that number of words is only 200 pages, which is pretty short for a full length novel. You more than likely have a lot of editing to do as well since no one writes a perfect first draft.
If you missed NaNoFinMo (National Novel Finishing Month) that began at the beginning of December and you cannot wait for NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) which takes place during the month of March, try NoFinEdMo (Novel Finishing and Editing Month).
NoFinEdMo actually covers a 44 day period. The object of NoFinEdMo is to reach 80,000 words (a 320 page novel) by the end of the first 30, which happens to be January this year. The first 14 days of February will go towards the editing process. To track the number of words written or edited, you can go to the Write or Die website and download the progress meter onto your blog or website.
Happy New Year and Happy Writing!!
Doing it big in 2010