Category Archives: Life

Procrastination

As you know if you’ve read my blog before, I am a bit of a procrastinator. It’s a writer thing, apparently. And a comic thing, and pretty much anyone creative, I think. Today’s post at Twisted Willow highlights a few different authors’ perspectives on procrastination. Check it out!

How much procrastination does it take to write a novel?

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Resolve

I didn’t make New Year’s Resolutions this year. I’m tired of making goals and then ignoring their existence. New Year’s Resolutions have come to be a pointless activity that almost encourages you to make goals and then break them.

There are a couple of things I’ve decided to dedicate myself to though, and the decision did happen to line up quite nicely with the start of 2014.

Due to the projects I’ve been working on at work, I’ve read a lot about getting out of debt. I’ve read a lot of stories about people who had massive amounts of debt, but managed to get out of it well ahead of schedule. Their strategies are simple, a combination of living frugally to save money, and increasing their income.

While these stories that I’ve found, like Man vs. Debt and Frugal Confessions helped inspire me to really focus on paying off my student loans, they only have so much actionable advice I can follow. This is partially because everyone’s financial situation is different and partially because of the assumptions that a lot of “get out of debt” articles and sites make. Assumptions like:

1. You’re in debt because you have bad spending habits.

2. You have a million things you could cut back on.

3. You have things to sell

My next few posts will be dedicated to outlining my game plan to pay off my student loans as soon as possible. I was going to put it all in this post, but I wrote a lot and it was scattered and teetering on 2000 words before I was even close to done. So I’ve broken it up into the following sections which should be easier to digest:

1. My Debt – All of my debt is student loans, but I could have decreased it by having better financial foresight in college. I’ll go into that a bit.

2. My Savings Plan – A huge part of paying off debt (or even just saving money) is utilizing the funds you already have. I am a huge fan of cutting back on extra costs, but a lot of the advice to do so is either vague or not applicable to me because I don’t have a lot of extras. This post will outline my savings plans for this year.

3. Increasing My Income – I can only do so much with the money I currently make. So this post will focus on my ideas for increasing my income. This will be interesting, because so far in this category, I have a lot of ideas, but no solid plan.

So that will be the beginning of my “get out of debt” story. I’m not going to fully dedicate this blog to this subject, but I will be posting updates along the way, as well as money-saving and earning ideas I come across. And knowing how my life influences my writing, I’m sure a character in at least one story or sketch I post will be struggling with debt.

Making Good Choices

Crawling the internet, I find a lot of “alternative” lifestyles that are meant to be eco-concious or healthier than the typical American lifestyle. A lot of these really strike a chord with me because I do want to live a life that is less materialistic, and even more importantly, I don’t want the items I own and food I buy to have come from companies and people involved with slavery, torturing animals,using harmful chemicals, or intentionally harming the environment and/or people/animals in order to make their product.

Being an informed consumer is difficult though, and not made easier by the fact that I can be lazy. Big stores are easier to buy from because you can get everything in one place. They also sell in bulk or can be cheaper because of shortcuts that involve the means I listed above. Also, it’s hard to tell what stores/brands/items are safe. Just because you’ve eliminated one evil from your life doesn’t mean you haven’t increased the affect of others. Read the rest of this entry

It’s crazy but it’s true

I do believe I have created a Christmas Eve Tradition. I have spent tonight going through my stuff trying to consolidate my belongings, organize papers (which really just means walking down memory lane) and listening to Straight No Chaser-esque music on Pandora. Its a pretty good night.

This is despite my aching knee, which I scraped after slipping on the ice earlier.

The phrase “my aching knee” makes me sound old.

Have a great night everyone, and be safe tomorrow!

It’s a funny way to make ends meet

You know how sometimes you have a song stuck in your head, but you don’t know what it’s called or who sings it? Well, thanks to advertising, I often find I have that “It’s a funny way to make ends meet” song stuck in my head. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well here it is:

The Gossip- Heavy Cross

Yeah, so I’m not a perfume person, but I do love the Dior commercial that features the above song.

I love the song, which I had never listened to completely until 3 minutes ago, but the visuals are pretty great too.

Also, the way the singer says “You” is so weird that you could imagine it being “Dior”.

Very good choice. Bravo advertisers who made that decision.

I often wonder what order certain commercials are conceived in. Did the Nationwide marketing team start with the idea that people baby their cars and then try to find the perfect song? Or did they see “Love is Strange” on a list of options they could afford and work from there?

Anyway, those are my rambles for the evening. I’m going to stop watching so much tv soon. Seriously.

Since I’m not Writing

This is the answer to yesterday’s prompt. Check out my last two posts to learn about the writing challenges I’m posting. I hope you give the prompts a try as well, and share what you write!

The point of these challenges is to improve writing skills, which starts with getting past everything that keeps you from writing. The first thing I’m going to address is the physical activities that distract us wannabe writers. Tomorrow we’ll talk about fear. The following scene is an enactment of one of my pet-characters doing what she and I do best: procrastinating.

I’m so excited that I have the house to myself for once, Sophie thought to herself on the drive home. I am going to get so much writing done! I’m going to write some short stories, and some poems, ooh! and I can work on my book idea! Maybe I’ll outline it! Or I can just write a chapter or two! 

So here’s the game plan. Once I get home, I’m going to make a quick dinner so I don’t forget to eat, and then it’s straight to work. I won’t write very efficiently while I eat though, so I’ll watch a little bit of tv. just a half hour. 

Sophie walked into the house feeling confident in her ability to be productive. Then one tv show while eating turned into 2 hours of some stupid sitcom. Then… My shoulders are so sore. I could really use a bath. Maybe I’ll do some reading while in the tub. Reading’s just as important as writing. I’ll write a quick poem while the water runs. 

So while the tub water ran, she checked facebook and her email. Then..

This water is soooo nice. I’m just going to soak here for a while. And now my hands are all wet… I’ll just read later.

So Sophie went to bed 45 minutes after she planned to and got absolutely nothing done.

Middle Ground

We often see life in extremes;

an experience will be perfect

or it will end the world.

 

But perfection is unachievable

and life goes on

despite disasters.

 

Life happens in the middle ground;

Perhaps expectations should live there as well

Ingenuity

So this morning I woke up tired. This is usually the case, but I did not go to bed at a decent hour last night, what sleep I had was interrupted twice, and it was monday.

But I woke up in a good mood. And as I pulled clothes onto my body, I figured it was going to be a good day. And it was.

But even good days have little fiascos. As I decided what to wear, (“deciding” consisting of pulling the shirt closest to me over my head”), I chose to don a nice orange blouse I bought a few months ago but hadn’t worn yet. I vaguely recalled thinking it was a high maintenance shirt, but couldn’t figure out why. I looked in the mirror, all the important bits were covered, off to work I go.

Fast forward to me sitting at my computer, glancing down and noticing half my bra. I pulled my shirt up. 30 times. Before 8. There was no way I was making it through the day.  I started to think of solutions. I didn’t have any safety pins. I didn’t have any extra clothes in my truck (sometimes I do). I glance down. Pull up my shirt. Look at my desk. Pen. Pen cap. Done.

I walked to the bathroom without even really thinking. Pull up my shirt, fold the back over, slide the pen cap over the fold and WAH-LA! My brief stint of workplace inappropriateness has come to an end! Hurray for ingenuity. Next time, a camisole gets to go under this shirt.

Fable

Once Upon a Time isn’t the first work of fiction to combine many fairytales. It’s not the first to put fairytale characters in the modern day. Fairytale retellings and re-imaginings have run rampant for years.

And because of this, it makes me wonder. If it were to be revealed tomorrow that we’re surrounded by magical beings, from fairytales or mythology- immortal little girls who steal from bears. werewolves. vampires. fae.

Would it be that surprising?

Which is probably the train of thought that has started every modern day fable.

Stay tuned next year for the release of my first novel, little red goldilocks fights a vampiric werewolf. Instant classic.

I bring you a song

And it’s sung from the heart,

though you can’t hear my words

this text is a start.

 

I’m just making stuff up now. But I’ve always loved to sing, and this first year + out of college is the first time that I haven’t been involved in some sort of choir. I think it’s definitely affecting the amount of sentences I turn into songs. My pets probably think that I’ve lost all ability to talk normally.

My commute home every day is a solid 40 minutes of rocking out to whatever’s on the radio. If there are commercials everywhere, I give in and plug in my iPod. I seriously need to update my iPod though. There are songs on there that I skip every single time they come on.

Anyway, music is still a big part of my life, as it is for a lot of people. I received a guitar for my birthday in December, and can count the times I’ve played around with it on two hands. I think that that will be my end of year goal. Learn to play guitar. That way I can turn the little diddies I make up into complete works. Also, it will get me creating music again, and who knows, maybe I’ll join a choir or band that needs a guitarist. First thing’s first though: learn those dang chords.