Bienvenida a 2016!

2016 is here, and I’m determined to have a productive year! (Remind me of that in March or September if I’ve gotten off track!)

I have lots of things on my plate so it will be interesting to see what survives or at least what I manage to do consistently.

Without further delay, let’s jump into some of those things:

  • To start, I’m participating in Apartment Therapy’s The Cure, which is basically a way to get your house in order during the month of January. My first task is 75% complete. It’s to clean all the floors. I’ve done all the vacuuming, now to the scrubbing. (Can you tell I’m thrilled?)
  • I’ve also decided I want to consistently art journal this year. Last yearNo_Excuses_art I purchased No Excuses Art Journaling. I loved the ideas and suggestions, but never managed to implement them for more than a couple of days in a row. Here’s a link to Gina’s website if your interested.
  • I just set-up my 2016 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. I kept it the same as last year: 75 books. I didn’t make my goal in 2015—I was 5 books shy—so I’m going to try and do better in 2016.
  • I’d also like to get back to writing more consistently. Do you hear that Ms. Muse?? Thanks to my friend Dawn, I’ve ordered 2 writing books to improve my craft and get me free writing. The books are Now Write!: Fiction Writing Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers and Spellbinding Sentences: A Writer’s Guide to Achieving Excellence and Captivating Readers
  • On the health and fitness front, I’ve set some lofty goals. I’d like to train for and run a half marathon this spring/early summer. If my knee can take that training, I’m going to try for a fall marathon. I’m not excited about training in the heat of summer, but with any luck, I will get a lot of biking in, which should help.
  • If you noticed the title of my post, I’ve been learning Spanish. It’s come in handy in my job. I plan to continue with my studies and hopefully can be fluent (well, as fluent as an American living in the US can be!)
  • And speaking of studies, I’m all set to start grad school in March. I will be registering for classes at some point this month. Mercyhurst University best look out!

I’ve probably overlooked a goal, but right now, I’m drawing a blank. Willow (the ever grumpy cat who doesn’t like being photographed) and I wish you a healthy and happy New Year! May you get to read, write, and relax until your heart’s content!

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Time Management

Well, I’m finding myself having issues with time. As in I need more of it (although, don’t we all?)!

I’ve recently started art journaling, and this morning I completed the first project in my new, handmade journal (thanks to Jen of Eve Designs). The journal is absolutely beautiful – a work of art in itself. If you are interested, check out her page on Etsy. She does great work and is very punctual with shipping your order.

I picked up an art journaling book at my local big box craft store. It was one of the few they had (hence my recent order to Amazon). At any rate, the book is titled Journal Spilling and is by Diana Trout. I like the author’s approach as she gives you options if you are just starting and don’t have a lot of supplies. One of the first projects she suggests is a collage. Pretty easy, right? Most people have old magazines or newspapers and glue. My inspiration this morning was “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder.” I’m happy to say I completed the pages, and I’m happy with my design even though it took a bit longer than I would have liked. This afternoon I hope to go to my local park and work on some sketching. The trees are blossoming here so I should find lots of good landscapes.

As you can now see, between art journaling, writing, and music there are lots of demands on my time. Not to mention work, which sadly takes up the most of it! LOL Yes, I know I need to work so that I can live – have a roof over my head and food on the table. Some days, however, I wonder what it would be like to be either retired or independently wealthy! Would I make the most use of my time then or would I be lazy? Kind of makes you wonder… which I certainly don’t have time to do!!

Let’s get to some updates on the writing and music front because before I know it, lunchtime will be here.

I’m working on the edits to Rescuing Rafe, the sequel to Tumbling in Time. It is over halfway done. I haven’t had time to write any further on it, but I did get feedback on the first half. I’m excited about the suggestions – they will add tension and suspense to the story as well as keep it moving.

I’m not sure if I’ve announced it on this blog, but I’m writing m-m romance under the pen name of Avery Dawes. I just got the edits on Mountain Memories from Torquere. I’m excited to make the changes and get them back. We are so close to the release date – just over a month away. Yay!

I’ve also started a new romance story for Books to Go Now’s Hot Summer Nights Anthology. That story is a third of the way done. I’m hoping to keep it around 9K words so we shall see… right now it will be more than that, but hopefully I can condense some of it.

Last, but not least, on the music front. Willow_sunshine_web

Hang on, kitty cat interruption. Willow has come to visit and scratch her chin on my laptop. Quite frankly I wish she would stay as I’m a bit chilly! She is shedding like crazy! Guess I will need to vacuum again today. Add that to the list!!

Back to music… music for me is now playing the piano as opposed to singing. I’m been practicing a lot of late. Just in the mood, I suppose. I’m working on Song for Rome by Brian Crain. I’m also beginning to work on Clair de Lune by Debussy. In fact, I’ve been playing so much of late, that I’m craving a new piano, one with a full, rounded sound. Yeah, not happening, but it can’t hurt to wish, right??

Well, my wish sort of came true. Willow is curled up next to my thigh and is sharing her heat. Yay!!