Category Archives: Writing

No NaBloPoMo this year for me or is there?

NaBloPoMo

 

It’s November! For bloggers and writers that means it’s NaBloPoMo  or National Blog Posting Month or National Novel Writing Month. That is where you either publish a blog post daily or commit to write your novel of 50,000 words by November 30.

I participated in NaBloPoMo last year. It’s not easy to do, especially when you go out of town. Of course, that’s where scheduling posts comes in handy.

NaBloPoMo 2016

One year I tried to do write 2000 words daily. I had an idea for a novel. Not an original idea. It turned how to be really stressful to find the time to just sit down and churn out some many words. So, since it was a hobby, I quit! Hobbies should not be stressful.

One point I have read about writing it, just do it. You need to establish a habit. The water won’t flow if you don’t open the spigot.

write

 

 

Maybe I will commit to *just write* every day, whether it’s a draft blog post, or a snippet for a future article.

editblankpage

Are you in for NaBloPoMo this year?

How To Choose Your Word of the Year

How to Pick Your Word for the Year Ahead

 

It’s a  popular activity to pick a “word” for your next year, to find one word that can be your focus, your mantra, the word that will guide you through the whole year.  I’ve been doing this for the last five or six years. Sometimes the word works, sometimes it does not.  My 2016 word was “Try” which was very fitting with my Project 50.  2016 has also become a “trying” year for me as I struggled to re-imagine myself as a different athlete.

I usually work through either Christine Kane’s document or Susannah Conway’s document.  I have a file folder called WORD and I re-use my print outs from previous years.  I found another good blog post from Elise Musele.

Word of the Year

I went through both Christine and Susannah’s documents on a long drive (I wasn’t driving) and I did come up with my Word for 2017.

Embrace

I had originally adopted “accept”.  But that word is too passive for me. It just didn’t feel right. But now, embrace does.

hold (someone) closely in one’s arms

accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.

an act of holding  closely in one’s arms.
an act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically

It’s basically accept with enthusiasm. I’m sure I’m going to face some different paths and challenges in 2017, and I want to do my best to “embrace” these new issues.

What is Your Word for 2017?

Have You Ever Used a Typewriter?

This NaBloPoMo writing prompt brought back memories! Do they still have typing classes in high school?

http://www.cah.utexas.edu/db/dmr/image_lg.php?variable=e_ha_0148

This photo came from Briscoe Center for American History

I guess that would be a texting class now, but kids know how to text by about age eight.  I didn’t attend typing class, but had an extra curricular class one summer and learned to type.

Being a budding writer, being able to get words on paper faster was awesome! I had several typewriters over the years.  All my typewriters came from garage sales.

Manual

Manual means work.  There was no electricity.

typewriter

An example of the typewriter I used. Way back when we didn’t take pictures of inanimate objects.

In fact, if the zombie apocalypse hits, you could still bang out a newsletter to your group of survivors.  You had to sit up straight and hit those keys hard! You got to slam the return lever also.

Thomas Edison invents electricity

Whoah! Then there was electric typewriters. You cautiously turned on this little switch, heard a little hum, and you were off to the races! I had a HUGE typewriter like this one Don’t let your finger hang on the key too long or you would end up wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwith too many characters! My electric typewriter was some used office model like the one above. It weighed about sixty pounds and was huge. There must have been some electric jet engine in that housing to be that big.

Correction Tape

Which leads to correction tape.  Typing was forever. Therre was no going *backspace* to correct too many “r”s.  You had to use a method or two to save your zombie apocalypse  or resume writing.

White Out- the liquid stuff that smells, invented by Michael Nesmith’s Mom (you know, from the Monkees)  You literally would roll up your manuscript, dab a bit on, hope you didn’t slop it on too heavily, and wait for it to dry.

Correction Tape Built In

These came later. ribbon for typewriter I think there was a key on the typewriter, where you would hit the “correct” key, which raised the white paper, then hit the “wrong” key again, then type what the correct letter should be.

The Digital Age Arrives

in 1988, my husband had one of these fancy Amstrad processors.

amstrad

Example of an Amstrad Word Processor

Whee! Now we’re on a computer.  I used to retype my college class notes on it, and then print it off on the dot matrix printer. Ah, dot matrix printer, that could be a post in itself!

Do you still use a typewriter? I am interested to hear if you do, how and why!

Reverb 14: One Word 2014

One word: What one word could describe your 2014?

 Tough.

Tough. The original word that came to mind was “sucked”.  But then I realized tough would work just as well.

To keep this not so much of a debbie downer, I will just give the brief overview of the suck:

My husband had some health issues the first two quarters of the year. Nothing life threatening or debilitating, but he was pretty miserable.

 

The trauma drama. The dog cut her pad of her foot in December. It wouldn’t heal, wouldn’t heal, got infected. The local vet was treating it, then it got real infected, we took her to Med Vets in Columbus.

alice february

Where she lived from the end of February to July. Trying to get this wound healed.

 

It did not. We visited her every three days, driving 100 miles to see her, 100 miles home. Where I also tried to keep up my with training. Ever run midafternoon 8 miles after a sushi lunch? In June?

 

Her leg was amputated mid August. Probably the worst day of my life. Yes, I know #firstworldproblem, but I felt like such a mom-dog failure.

IMG_20140919_131056_413

 

The first nine month of the year sucked. With the husband being ill, trying to run, going off on a few scheduled races (feeling guilty for leaving home) trying to train, paying attention to the other two dogs-my stress level was about an 8 out of 10.  It was really bad.

 

Now the good news. I completed two 100 mile runs this year, TWOT in February, and Zion 100 in April. I’ve very proud of finishing TWOT-toughest thing I have ever done.

 

And the dog? She is perfectly fine.  Possibly faster than she was with 4 legs.  The husband is in good health, the dogs are getting along magnificently.  My stress level has returned to it’s normal 3-4/10 level.  After being so stressed, for so long, it just feels good to be this relaxed again.

alicesept21

three legged dog

 

I am looking forward to 2015 being the best year ever.

How to Make a Vision Board

vision board

I always called them Motivation Boards, but Vision board works well also. I think I started on my first one back in the 2000’s when I was focused on losing weight. Many quotes went onto the board:  “A New Me in 2003!” and ““We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

 How to Make a Vision Board

Grab a piece of cardboard. Cover it with fabric or old wrapping paper.  I use an old marathon finishers medal ribbon to hang my latest.

For pics, quotes, I look at magazines, and randomly rip out words and phrases. Some as simple as “Outside”.  I will also cut out pics that are meaningful or inspirational to me. I would add stickers that companies had sent with products to the board.  Funny cartoons also made it to the board.

too busy

The website Pinterest has made it super easy to make yourself a digital vision board. My board, called “Training” is more or less a vision board. But I like to have the physical board here in “Real Life” to look at.  I have found pins on Pinterest that I have printed out for my undigital vision board.

 

I started to change my motivation board over time with running and goals, and got to a larger board. I would cut out words and pictures that grabbed my imagination.  Stickers from companies, favorite pic of me or friends, that went on the board. Pictures of trails were on the board.  Funny cartoons were on the board.

This is the board that culminated in my first MMT 100 Finish. The handwritten note in the middle was sent from Gary Knipling, congratulating me on my finish. That’s me in the blue, finishing my first Reverse Ring.

vision board

On my boards I tend to just paste over other images. It’s not about covering up the old quote/saying/picture, it’s about adding freshness and more motivation.

 

I have continued to have vision boards. I tend to just “know” when it’s time to retire one, and bring the fresh clay out and begin again. That’s what I have right now.

latest vision board

After getting into Hardrock 2015, I immediately printed the Course profile for the CCW direction. There’s my VISION for 2015.  The other visions will play around that.

 elevation profile

 

Why do I think a vision board is valuable and why do I think you need one? I see my board daily. I look at it daily. It keeps my goals and motivation in front of me. I post tiny milestones on the board. I have printed out my “you lost 1.2 pounds this week” from WW Online. That only means something to me, and it’s a big deal, this tiny milestone. Right now I also have my 30 Day Plank Challenge. I’m kind of stuck on 90 seconds right now, it’s tough, but that’s okay. Having it on my vision/motivation board keeps it in the front of my mind, something to work toward.

So if you need some motivation for the new year, or are starting a new project or goal for 2015, why not make a physical board, to remind you and stimulate you to work toward this?

Reverb 14: Small Pleasures

Small Pleasures: What small pleasures did you discover this year?

small pleasures

Photo by phasinphoto

The only good thing about the trauma drama with the dog was our lunch. After driving 100 miles to Columbus, spending 45 minutes to one hour with our dog, at least there was a decent sushi resturant near by.

As we made this trip to Columbus at least twice a week, we became regulars at Sushiko.  My husband was delighted to find they had Uni on the menu. I finally decided to try the uni myself.

Uni is sea urchin. What we were actually eating was the sea urchin eggs, or roe.  It turned out to be such a great treat. I’m not sure how to describe it. I want to use the word unctuous but I don’t know if that is correct. Kind of a creamy texture yet filling. Maybe it should be umami? “Pleasant savory taste”. Yes, that is more like it!

That’s my small pleasure. A new favorite food, uni.

 

Reverb 14: Tiny Milestones

tiny milestones

 

Kat writes:  

As you enter into the new year, what would you like to do/make/have/be more often? How will you bear witness and celebrate the tiny milestones? How will you respond on the occasions when your intentions do not come to pass?

 

tiny milestones.

It all begins with one step. one behavior modification. I read this sometime ago on the interweb:

This Coach Improved Every Tiny Thing by 1 Percent and Here’s What Happened:

Dave Brailsford took over as the manager of the British Cycling Team. He believed in something called “aggregation of marginal gains.” He explained it as “the 1 percent margin for improvement in everything you do.” His belief was that if you improved every area related to cycling by just 1 percent, then those small gains would add up to remarkable improvement.  So, not only by improving the cyclists nutrition, bike fit, they looked at everything possible to improve. The Brits ended up winning the Tour de France.

I have been working at this with weight. Over the last few months, I’ve gotten a little sloppy with eating, which has lead to not losing weight, but I’ve gained six pounds on top of the “last fifteen” that I have been chipping away for-well a long time.

I’ve started small. I went back to the Weight Watchers Plan. Then, right after Thanksgiving, I actually tracked my “points” for the day. I didn’t track for the week, but it was a start. I started measuring my food portions again.  This past week, I tracked three days more or less of the week.

The results? I’ve lost 5.6 pounds since Thanksgiving, by just making a very small change. Being more mindful of what I am eating; planning more vegetables and fruit into my lunch box.  Very small decisions.

I would like to lose sixteen pounds in the next six months. I am going to continue to try and make slightly better decisions on a daily basis.