Updates for the Week of Jan. 12th

bitmoji_goalsI’ve been quite busy, though I’m not as far along in some goals as I’d like, but I’m okay with it.

I finally finished my antibiotics. This is great for two reasons. One is that I’m tired of being awoken in the night because of the bad taste they put in my mouth. Two is that it’s just in time to celebrate a friend’s birthday tonight with Escape Room fun and drinking.

Goals Progress

French – I did a crazy thing and joined a free course on Coursera that is advanced. Right now, I’m in way over my head and it’s frustrating, but I’m hopeful I’ll understand more by the end of the course. It’s much like how I felt in Statistics in University, only I at least know a little bit of French. By the end of that course, I was able to get 80% on the final exam.

Career – I have an interview next week! If I get this job, I’ll be with the same company, but at a location closer to home, which means I’ll have a little more time for my goals and life. It’ll also mean a return to doing coordination, which is something I prefer doing.

Home – As far as following the official challenge, I’m doing horrible. But I have been making progress cleaning this place up, just not in the order they suggest in the challenge.

The Blood Waitress Club – I haven’t done anything on this in a bit. I really should get back to it and will this week. I kind of forgot about my 250 words a day plan…

Trumpet – I reached out to Adam Zinatelli of the Calgary Phillharmonic Orchestra. There was a story about him that a friend had shared. He had to take time off from playing after having surgery. I asked him if he could suggest a place for me to restart my playing. He got back to me the next day! He suggested I start with lip buzzing and not rush to pick the actual trumpet back up. Specifically, he suggested 5-10 minutes a day until I feel comfortable with the mouthpiece again.

Songwriting – I’m taking a course on this, which is really helpful in managing the frustration of the French course. There are a lot of familiar concepts. Also, homework is partly listening to music, which is awesome.

Lots to do before tonight with writing, homework, and cleaning. I hope you’re enjoying the weekend despite the cold weather.



Happy 2019!

2010_05_19_giantatsunriseI’m starting off 2019 with an ear infection. It’s not ideal, but it could be worse. I’m thankful for generic medications! When I was finally able to get to a clinic, I had to wait about an hour and a half, which isn’t terrible. I’ve had much longer waits in my youth.

When I last left you, I had a deadline. I met it. Now I’m waiting for the next step to happen.


Goals Progress

French – I downloaded a ton of podcasts.

Career – I applied for a position on the 20th and am waiting to hear more.

Home – I’ve decided to do Clutterbug’s 12-week challenge. This week is the bedroom.

The Blood Waitress Club – I’ve been plugging away at this. It dawned on me that since life is hectic lately, it might be best to give myself a reasonable daily word target of around 250, since I should be able to meet that even on busy days.

Puppy Chow – I’ve made a list of producers and even reached out to one.

Reading – I’m halfway through one book already: Crimes of Grindelwald.

Business – I attended a webinar today and learned some things.

Crisis – I decided I’m going to turn this into a screenplay.

Trumpet – I played once the other day.

The Page & The Magician – I made a list of agents.


Christmas with my family was decent. My dad wasn’t feeling great, so I spent part of it worrying, but he’s going to be okay. He has to change his eating for a bit and has some antibiotics. The drive there was easy, the drive back was horrible. They had plowed the passing lane on my side, but not the main one, so no one could pass.

Christmas with my boyfriend’s family was a little overwhelming. They spoiled me. A lot. They’re really loving people. I guess that’s where he gets it from.

I was pretty exhausted by the end, so we spent New Years Eve binging on Game of Thrones as I got several seasons for Christmas. My ears were bothering me then, but all the clinics had closed, so I treated it with vodka and a warm compress in the interim.

All right. It’s time to do those 250 words.

Happy 2019!



Year End Goals Post

The other day, I couldn’t log into my blog, so I posted on my Facebook instead. Here’s that post:

I can’t access my blogs right now for some reason, so I’ll post here for now.

I’ve been running myself ragged as of late, so it’s no surprise that I caught a cold shortly after getting my flu shot.

Recently, I worked on a short documentary called Bash-Full, which will be screened at Digi60 later this month in Ottawa. I acted in it and used my writing skills to help get it to fit the time limit.

Other things accomplished in 2018:

– Completed a graduate certificate in Scriptwriting with Honours.
– Read 7/10 books.
– First drafts of two plays.
– A revitalized website.
– Transcription work.
– Resume work.
– Restructuring of my business.
– A new job.
– A new relationship.
– A summer internship.
– Several short screenplays.
– Acted as an extra in several productions.
– Renovated my living room.
– Began decluttering my home.
– Took on my first martial arts student.

There may have been other things, but those are the major items. I’m not sure I achieved everything I wanted to, but there were several surprise opportunities along the way.

I’m excited to see what 2019 will bring!

Here is a snapshot of my plans for 2019. It doesn’t include the things I’m sworn to secrecy on, the things I’ve yet to stumble upon, or the things that are in a loose discussion stage, but it’s a decent picture of my thoughts of the year ahead.

One thing I’m not going to do is say that it will be “my year,” as I’ve said that every year and it’s getting a bit silly. I think I’m just going to aim to do my best in everything as a budo practitioner should.

– French: I will learn all the most common words and phrases this year.
– Iaido: I will regularly practice and challenge Sandan.
– Career: I will get a new job after this contract finishes.
– Home: I will finish decluttering and fix up my bathroom.
– The Blood Waitress Club: I will complete a first draft.
– Puppy Chow: I will search for a producer.
– Reading: I will read 8 books or more.
– Business: I will make products for my online store.
– Crisis: I will revise Crisis and enter it into contests.
– Trumpet: I will get my embouchure back.
– The Page & The Magician: I will query agents.
– Relationships: I will work on developing more close friendships and make time for my relationship.
– Self Care: I will find time for pampering myself.

Several of these are already in progress.

It’s with a heavy heart that I say I’m probably going to be posting only once or twice a week. I need more time to get things done.


Thoughtful Thursday – Short Weeks

Sometimes short weeks feel longer than regular ones. The first time I heard that, I shrugged it off in disbelief. But this week, I feel it.

I think the phenomenon can be best described as Vacation Brain. It’s where your thoughts continually drift toward weekend plans. This is often experienced on Friday afternoon during regular weeks, but seems to happen for much of the day before a getaway. Productivity becomes as slow as the clock, whose seconds seem like hours.

I have a busy weekend ahead including a wedding and a family visit. They are in two different cities.

I have some things to do yet like laundry and packing, but now that it’s finally the evening, my heart’s into cuddling and watching a movie. I figure I can manage a bit of play time in with the responsibilities. Laundry mainly washes itself…

A few other things to do before leaving town like an oil change. It seems there’s always something.

I think I’m getting very close to being caught up though. Pretty soon my life should be smooth in the right areas and exciting instead of where it’s hectic now. At least, that’s the plan.


Make-it Monday – October Plans

It’s a new month, so some goal tweaking and other changes are in store.

1. Reducing Facebook use: The app has been sucking up too much of my time, so I’ve disabled it on my phone. I’m keeping messenger, but I’ll only use Facebook sparingly going forward.

2. The Page & The Magician: I’m targeting the end of this month to have my edits complete on it.

3. Movie logging: I’m moving away from keeping an album on Facebook related to my movie watching and switching to Letterboxd. I was using Letterboxd earlier this year and stopped for no real reason. I think it’ll generally be less maintenance and I can connect it to Facebook anyway.

4. NaNoWriMo Prep: I’ll also be taking some time to get ready for National Novel Writing Month. I plan to add as many words as possible to The Blood Waitress Club in November.

That’s it for now. I’m hoping some allergy medicine kicks in soon as I’ve got an allergic rash that’s making it hard to fall asleep. I hope you’re having a better night than I am.


Make-It Monday – New Directions

bitmoji_goalsFall marks a return for many to school, to a regular work schedule, and to the activities enjoyed in cooler weather. For me, that means it’s back to martial arts and to a more rigorous and disciplined writing schedule.

It was nice to see my writer’s group tonight. We talked about how everyone’s summers went and what their goals for the year are including what each of us might work on during National Novel Writing Month in November.

One of the things we often ponder and discuss is how best to support each other, because that is a key reason for bothering with a writer’s group. Not that it’s the only reason, but it does help define group direction. There are all sorts of writing groups. Some push each other to reach their goals. Some just read and offer feedback. Some just get together to be around other humans.

Many writers find just having regular contact with other writers can be helpful for inspiration and for touching base with other people who get it.

Get what?

The life of a writer has many layers to it. So many people don’t understand that writing isn’t just a hobby for many, but a calling. Many of us couldn’t stop writing if we wanted to. The pen beckons us to lay down the words as our characters lead us into discussions we might never have had with anyone otherwise. We take everything in around us and bleed onto the pages, screens, and anywhere else we can put the words because they will cut themselves out if we try to ignore them.

All this to say that I’ve always found fall brings a sort of fresh start. It’s a time to figure out whether or not the direction I was heading is right for me at this time in my professional and personal life. I spent a lot of last year worrying about what time to publish my blog posts and trying to blog everyday because some articles said I should. Well, I’m done with what articles say I should do. I’m just going to write posts when it makes sense for me to. Lately I’ve felt like blogging has been cutting into my writing time and I think it’s far more important for me to get some projects finished and out into the world for people to enjoy than to blather on about something just to remind people I exist. At least, I hope they’ll enjoy them…

So expect that I will be busy getting things done.

Things like:

  • Rewriting Crisis.
  • Polishing The Rat Race and submitting it to contests.
  • Completing The Blood Waitress Club (first draft).
  • Finishing edits and submitting The Page & The Magician to publishers.
  • Shopping Puppy Chow around.
  • Writing screenplay #2.
  • Working on some collaborations.
  • Learning about song writing.

What I’m not going to work on at this time:

  • Doing more with martial arts beyond practicing, teaching, and enjoying it.
  • Doing more with my blog because being a professional blogger isn’t my goal.

More on where I’m at with this blog right now:

  • Make-It Monday is one of my favourite posts to write.
  • Theatrical Tuesday was fun now and then, but I really don’t enjoy writing reviews, so I’m going to use it for talking about specific experiences like working on movie sets or when I do background extra work and the like.
  • Warrior Wednesday I like, but I struggle to find the time for it and I’d rather be doing martial arts than writing a blog about it.
  • I miss Thoughtful Thursday, so I might bring it back.
  • Frisky Friday hasn’t been happening because I feel like too many moments are too precious to share with the world.
  • Symphonic Saturday has become scarce because I’ve had no time to work on my music recently.

I haven’t fully figured out the blog stuff, but I expect I will soon. It will be a lesser priority than all my other writing regardless.


Make-It Monday – Discover Your Love

bitmoji_goalsI’ve been off enjoying the summer.

I recently started watching a documentary on the keys to mastery. It includes interviews with musicians and actors such as Carlos Santana and Stephen Tobolowsky. In the early part of the documentary, they talk about the first key being finding the thing you love.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard something along these lines time and again.

What haven’t I heard much?

How to figure out what you love.

In the documentary, they say that many people never do. They die without figuring out their true purpose in existing. How sad is that?! I can’t think of anything sadder, so I thought I would explore that angle and offer some suggestions I’ve gathered from talking to people and from my own experiences.

  1. Try a lot of things.
    • You may have heard this advice before. When I was newly separated six years ago and slightly before that, the reality was that I didn’t even know myself anymore. I didn’t know what I wanted out of life either. So I set out on a quest trying things. That was the first time I tried to get back into the theatre scene, but it didn’t feel right back then. I hadn’t yet figured out that I was meant to write, not act. I spent a year watching hockey avidly and though I enjoyed it to a degree, I never felt like I couldn’t miss a game. It never gnawed at my innards like an unfinished story does. I initially set out to try everything that I didn’t or couldn’t do with my ex. From those, I found several loves. Some, like roller derby, I didn’t stick with because it was too dangerous for someone with a history of neck injuries and I really didn’t enjoy refereeing.
    • Make a bucket list of things you know you need to try before you die. Start doing them. You’ll love some and hate others. Some will be okay, but not fun enough to repeat.
  2. It’s okay to have multiple passions.
    • I’m so sick of hearing that the only way to make it is to get good at just one thing. That’s ONE way to make it, but there are many paths up the mountain. Yes, you’ll have more difficulties prioritizing if you have multiple passions, but that may be the thing that makes you more successful in the long one. J.K. Rowling isn’t just a writer. She’s been many things over the course of her life. Stephen King has also led a fascinating life including being the member of a band at one point. Those other hats make them both better writers. One must do things worth writing about to write stories that people connect with.
    • Furthermore, I think it’s more than acceptable that you have a job that isn’t your passion. Why? Because if you’re like me, maybe when you’re worrying about paying the bills and keeping a roof over your head, it’s too hard to focus on producing stories. It’s far better to have a job that ensures survival. The image of the starving artist has been glorified, but I wonder what the statistics are on those that didn’t make it, not because they didn’t work on their passion, however slowly, but because they actually starved to death. Many people, once they figure out their passion, can convince a boss to let them put those skills to use in their current role, or as part of a project team on loan to another division.
  3. The thing you’re meant for might currently be out-shined by something you’ve put in the forefront.
    • Don’t forget to look behind. In your past or perhaps something you think is too simple to be important, you may just find your golden ticket. You might be doing it all the time. Maybe you can’t imagine not doing it because you’ve always just done it. This tip was suggested to me by a friend.
  4. You need to minimize distractions.
    • I’m not just talking about the little bits you go on Facebook or watching a favourite TV show. I’m talking about the bigger drains like following Trump’s every move. I get that he’s screwing a lot of stuff up for many, but do you really want him to be the thing stopping you from finding your calling in life? If you’re not chasing dreams of being someone in the political field, you need to find a way to tear yourself away from the daily stupidity surrounding him. This goes for anyone you are having an unhealthy obsession over, which may be a jerk at school/work or an ex-lover.
    • And yeah, we could probably all do with less Facebook time unless we’re working in a social media job. I’ve always had the everything in moderation philosophy. Watching TV and movies are important for me as an emerging screenwriter, but I need to make more time to read scripts and work on my projects than I have been lately. My renovation has been distracting me a lot and it can be difficult finding a balance between getting that completed and not being away from the writing for too long. Thankfully, I’m doing the last wall section’s second coat today, so I’ll be able to focus more on the business of writing. There are legitimate distractions like health issues that one must attend to. Though I haven’t been making a lot of progress on some of my projects, I’ve been writing ideas down for later. I’ve also been watching movies and reading books in my genre.
  5. Learn to critically think.
    • If you’re one of those people that says you can’t relax because your mind starts thinking, you need to work through that. You need to learn to critically think to find the way to your path. Stop regularly dulling your mind and emotions with substances. You can use them to unwind within reason, but don’t let that be in your way either. Thinking is a good thing. You simply need to channel that power to learn to make it work for you instead of letting it overwhelm you. I say this as someone who is prone to overthinking about EVERYTHING. What usually puts my mind to rest? Making a decision, planning the next two or three steps, then starting on step one. Turn that restless energy into something productive.
  6. Eliminate what you hate doing.
    • Okay, this one should be obvious, but if you loathe something so much that the thought of it knots your stomach up and makes you feel like you’re a step away from murdering someone that says hello to you, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. At least not long-term. Sometimes we have to do undesirable things in the short-term to get us out of debt or to move up into something better. Don’t stay there though. It won’t be good for you or the people you work for. Also, you might be taking up a position that is someone else’s dream. It’s hard to believe that something we abhor could be someone else’s love, but that’s part of the beauty of this world. It’s why my dad was a mechanic and not an auto-body specialist. He could do the refinishing well enough, but he preferred not to do it regularly. Similarly, while I don’t mind discussing politics with some friends, the majority of the time it just pisses me off. This is how I know I don’t want to be too involved in the industry. I don’t mind helping others who have political aspirations, but I don’t want to be the one on that hot seat.
  7. Make a list of the things you’re decent at doing.
    • Often, it is when people combine several things they may not be exceptional at that they find something they excel at. I have friends who may not be the best at grammar and spelling, but they love writing anyway. They have other skills that have lead them down a musical path because lyrics don’t have to be grammatically perfect, they only have to resonate with others. You may have heard something like play to your strengths. Make a list of your strong points. Get a friend to help if you’re struggling to see what you’re good at. Actually, get several perspectives because people see you differently. Somewhere in between what you know and what they perceive, you may find something you never thought of before. Marie Forleo has a good video on this.
  8. Stop making excuses.
    • I hear stuff from people all the time that is an excuse. Not enough money is an excuse. You can qualify for OSAP and other bank loans if you’re thinking about going back to school. Want to open a business? There’s probably funding out there and you can probably also get some crowd-funding. If you want to make a change in your life, you’ll find a way. I know single parents of small children who found a way to make it work. Hell, take night classes or do courses online. With many MOOCs, you have so much freedom to learn something and many don’t cost a thing. Next you’ll say you don’t have time. If you have time for things like Facebook or soap operas, you can find the time for whatever goals you are brave enough to make. I know people who manage to write novels in 15 minute chunks while waiting for appointments or buses. Is it harder? Yep. But you CAN do it.
    • The truth about excuses? You don’t want it bad enough to risk your current comfort level. I get it. I risked a lot going back to school. I cleaned out my savings and used OSAP. I’ve had a hell of a time getting caught up on all my bills and I know I’m lucky I got a job. Despite how hard I’ve had it at points along the way, I’d do it again. Maybe I’ll never write an award-winning anything. Hell, maybe my books and movies will never sell, but I love writing them too much not to be chasing the dream. It’s not easy. It’s scary, hard, and lonely, but also worth it. For every one person that is supportive, there are many more who aren’t.
  9. Get lost.
    • No, I don’t mean go away you annoying person. I mean, when is the last time you did something that made you lose track of time? This happens to me when writing, when sewing, and when playing music. It also happens when I’m with certain people. Things that transport you away from the clock are your passions. Video games also do it to me, but I haven’t figured out if I need to work in that industry or not yet. Maybe they’re just a way for me to unwind for now.
  10. Know thyself.
    • Yeah, you’ve heard it before, but it’s important. All of the previous steps are part of knowing yourself. Your likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses can all help you figure it out. Just because you’re good at something though, doesn’t mean you should be doing it for life. You might be skilled at something and detest it, which wouldn’t be healthy long-term. Similarly, just because you’re currently bad at something, doesn’t mean you’re not meant to do it. It means you have a steep learning curve ahead and you’ll have to work harder than someone who may be naturally skilled at it.
    • So how does knowing yourself factor in? Well, you’ll be able to figure out whether or not something is meant to be a hobby or a career for one. Writing hasn’t been a hobby for me for the past eight years. It has been something more. I recently thought I wanted to do more with martial arts, but now I’m doubting that I want to keep them as anything more than a hobby that is part of my fitness regimen. This realization may lead to blog changes, or it may not, but I feel at peace inside. The better you know yourself, the more easily you’ll be able to figure out which opportunities are worth taking or should be passed on. You’ll know whether or not the crappy stuff that is part of every passion is worth putting up with too.

I hope someone found this post helpful. I’m off to finish that wall of mine and enjoy this holiday Monday. I think by next Monday, I’ll have a good idea of my fall priorities, but I expect they look rather like:

  1. The Page & The Magician: Finish editing and resubmit.
  2. Puppy Chow: Figure out what the next steps are based on the outcome of the contest.
  3. The Blood Waitress Club: Finish writing it.
  4. Script #2: Finish writing it.
  5. French: Read books to improve my vocabulary.
  6. Home: Continue to declutter and organize.
  7. Collaborations: Work on projects with others.

I suppose that’s about it.