Monday, March 08, 2021

The Jobs are Getting Done!

First one - finished the Creating Your Life Story in Bite-Sized Pieces. 4 classes, 90 minutes each.

Followed that up with a Slack Space for the group. Have just dipped my toes into it, so far. I was planning to make each Tuesday a day when I would post new content. Still plan it, but haven't yet reached that point. However, I haven't any appointments on Tuesday in the morning, so I can put it off until then.

Second one - I've finished 4 of my courses for the Insurance Renewal CEUs, giving me 13 CEUs out of 24 needed. I'm part-way through the next course, which I plan to work on today for at least 2 hours (may or may not complete it, but that's about all I can handle at one sitting).

Third one - this one, updating my blog. I'm going to post links to the content I have, so far (3 short stories), and add in more as I complete them. I want to have it in a handy-to-reach place.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

First Class Done!

It wasn't perfect - but, few things in life are.

But, it was pretty good. A few bloopers, and I had WAY more call on the Resources in the folder than I had expected.

Only 1 person needed that much more instruction than most, and she was in a pretty good place by the end. Several have reached out to me on email, and I was able to respond quickly to them.

I'm getting excited about next week's class - it will center on audio and video insertions. I'm also making a list of prompts that they might want to use for their entries.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Summing Up January's Output

On one hand - great!

I managed to make some real progress on my new short story, On the Front Edge of the Storm.

At least, it STARTED as a quick short. At this point, I'm at almost 8,000 words, and I'm barely started. I may take a look at it next week, and see if I can split it into several parts, and serialize it. I can always put it back together in one book after I finish.

I won't be tackling that task this week; I have to:

  • Work - HARD - on my CEUs for my renewal of my insurance license. I only have until the end of March to renew (and, I'm assuming that the process of vetting the CEUs, getting the paperwork/online app done and paying for it will take a few days, too).
  • Getting my preparation for my first online class. I've got a 4 week gig teaching Writing Your Life Story in Short Bites - will use episodic format to help seniors get it all in one place, for future generations to have available. I've got the framework, now I need to create the ppt, a couple of short tasks for the class, and put the instructions into a pdf format.
  • Continuing radio work and housework. They are both coming along, little by little.
  • Taxes - I really don't know why (oh, I REALLY do!), but I always get stuck with the organization and figuring out how much we have in deductions in different categories, as well as making sure all the forms - W-2s and other income - are in one place. Den has promised to get his small part done (he figures out the mileage, and does a last check to make sure that I haven't forgotten something deductible). That's the part that, year after year, stays stalled for weeks/months.
And, a lot of other little things that have to be done, that others don't want to do. It's the price of not working a full-time, on site job. When you work from home, everyone thinks you have nothing to do but sit and watch daytime TV.

I don't even LIKE TV.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

A Room of My Own

I've always been relatively flexible about having my own space - I'm a woman, and I've had to. People were all around me in my home.

For most of my marriage, there were gaps, in the midst of which I wrote. Those gaps could be:

  • Physical - literally a separate room in which I could not have interruptions
  • Time-based - that space when kids napped, were at school, or evenings when my husband went out for a few drinks
  • Scheduled/Stolen/Built-in - I sometimes made time by scheduling some out of the house errands, and stopping off at the library or coffee shop for some writing. Sometimes, I didn't even tell my husband what I was doing, or just implied that I'd been working late that day. Other times, I would use a lunch break, or head to work early to get some writing done.
What I didn't do was say: I'm going to need to be by myself to write.

I've always be shy about openly telling people I'm writing. My husband's first reaction, when he asked what I was planning to do in retirement, and I responded by saying I was going to write, was surprised laughter.

It stung. I'm still perturbed about it.

I don't think he was trying to ridicule me. I just think he was so surprised that I had that ambition, he didn't really know what to say.

He's never thought all that much about writing or writers. He's a hard-core science, math, and engineering kind of guy. For him, writing was that horrible thing he had to do in certain classes, that he struggled with. He is quite articulate, when speaking. It's just putting his thoughts on paper he finds difficult.

That someone would actually WANT to do what is so hard for him to manage is just beyond his understanding.

UPDATE: I came back here to create an end-of-the-impossible-year post, and found this half-finished. So, rather than leave this hanging, I decided to combine it with the Last Post of the Year From Hell.

That's an exaggeration - in some ways, this has been a good year. I've lost a little weight, managed to clean up part of the house, organized my business files, begun mastering the virtual meeting, put out a proposal for an online course (which was accepted, and I will be starting in February), and connected with my kids in different ways.

There were losses - people no longer with us, lost time with grandchildren that can never be re-captured, lost opportunities.

But, for the most part, the gains outweighed the losses.

Some plans for the new year:
  • Get that backlog of mending/sewing/crafting whittled down. I have a new sewing machine, and that will go a long way towards accomplishing this. I'm also going to use some stashed fabrics to recover some seat cushions, as well as make curtains for windows that have been neglected.
  • Crafts: Finish a few projects, organize the yarn/needles/hooks into containers. Organize by project, and schedule time to work on them (one at a time).
  • House: keep working on getting those parts of the house completely cleaned/organized. Work on small sections every day. Start hanging up pictures, and weeding out stuff I don't need/want.
  • Writing: Every day, make progress - 1 long-term project, 1 short story, and my journal. Get back to tracking progress by the number of words. First project should be my course-book.
But, to make that happen, I have to get my Dell laptop repaired (can't tackle that until at least Saturday - Best Buy's tech support is closed for the holiday). So, I will do what I can on other things until it's back in operation, including using the Pi for journaling and such.

My knee has to be rehabbed; without being able to do stairs, the piles in the attic can't be tackled. I may move some storage (bookcases, old files) upstairs, once I've started clearing out the crap.

The Room, at this point, is a pipe dream; but, by this time next year, if I can do these other things, it will become a reality. (I started to write MAY, rather than WILL - but, when I realized the difference between that dream of May, and the goal of Will, I changed it).

Sunday, November 08, 2020

The Prince - Week One Reading

 Sorry for the long delay. I was obsessing over the election (Machiavelli would under that focus on politics, I think).

Let's plan on meeting next Sunday, 11/15, at 2 pm. I'll send the Zoom invite to your listed email.

The topic: Chapters 1 & 2.

If you've not yet signed up, here's the link.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Fox's Book Club - 1st Book

We're up to 5 in our little group - a nice number to start with. The Prince is the first book selected (Most 1st place votes). Here's a link to the Cliff's Notes guide to The Prince. Let's plan on reading chapters 1-2 this week. Which day works best for a Zoom Meeting? Vote at this link. We can start our meetings next week, if that works for everyone. Cranberry3 - I don't have your email yet - could you contact me at lfox368806-at-yahoo?

Monday, September 21, 2020

Thinking About Starting an Online Book Club

With a focus on History, Politics, and Foundational Writings.

I was reading something less important, and more trendy today - Don Trump's latest book, Liberal Privilege. For a political book, issued in the year of an election (and, therefore, best understood as a piece of campaign literature), it's not bad. Easy to read, a little heavy on colloquialisms, but - funny in the right places, more than a little snide and snarky - actually a delightfully refreshing piece of lightweight lit.

And, that's intentional. The Jr. is not trying to self-publish an enduring philosophical tome. He's making a case for his Dad's re-election, and, as he is getting a heftier slice of the profits, also collecting compensation for his time spent writing it.

Mostly, though, I was not planning to include books such as that, but those books we'd always WANTED to read, when we had the time.

Which, many of us do, now.

I planned on using Zoom or similar technology to run the meetings - your choice whether to use computer, tablet, or phone to call it in.

So, I'm setting up a poll with some choices for the first book (all will be available either free, Project Gutenberg, Amazon Prime/library, or at a nominal cost).

Poll here.

The Jobs are Getting Done!

First one - finished the Creating Your Life Story in Bite-Sized Pieces. 4 classes, 90 minutes each. Followed that up with a Slack Space for ...