Tower of Babel, Carrots, and Other Random Thoughts

So the other day my friend, Kaye, posted on her blog about a cool tablet she found. You can read her post here. First, I am BEYOND excited that she is writing fiction again. I can’t even describe how my JOY it gives me. I can’t imagine how she feels. Well, check that, maybe I can, a little bit.

But back to the tablet. I read her post, jumped for joy for her, then went to reMarkable’s website (which is here), and started researching a bit. It seems really cool. In fact, it seems like a great fit for RV life since it would greatly reduce paper because I could also use it for my journal.

What really excited me about it that day is that what is not common knowledge, until now, is that I have been fictioning again. Yes, I made up a word. This tablet would be perfect.

I talked to Daniel about it. He agreed it’s a great idea. I set some criteria for myself to justify buying the tablet. A day or so later Daniel told me to buy it now, not to wait for later. So, I did. I will get mine in November. Yay!

So, like Kaye, I’m eating the carrot first.

In the random thought category, one thing I am learning about living in less than 200 square feet is that things might get cluttered and dirty quickly, but also I can clean the entire camper in about 30 minutes. That, my friends, is pretty cool!

We are still struggling a bit with clutter, but we’ve only been full time for about 6 weeks. We definitely need to do another purge soon. (See comments about the reMarkable tablet-will get rid of all my journal notebooks.)

Another RV lesson is that tee shirts, hoodies, leggings, and sports bras are about all a woman needs in her closet. For real. If I have to dress up, I ain’t going. The exceptions being weddings and funerals.

Now to the Tower of Babel.

I’m doing a Bible study from Proverbs 31’s First 5 app entitled The Answers to Life’s Deepest Longings. Today’s study was on, you guessed it, the tower of Babel. Something I had not noticed or not paid attention to before in Genesis 11:4 is that part of the reason for the tower was so the people could make a name for themselves. They wanted to be known. They wanted the spotlight on them. Ouch! I started thinking about social media and how it’s definitely a place where we can get sucked into building our own towers of “Look at ME!” Then I discovered that was in our study guide as well.

I’ll be honest, I’m struggling with social media. Not because I don’t like it. I think it does serve a purpose. And, I also think it’s fine to build a brand or a business. I have nothing against network marketing. I mean, that’s what Kaye did with the reMarkable tablet-she brought it to my attention-I bought one. She’s not an affiliate, but that’s how network marketing works, right?

My personal struggle with it, is where is the line? I think it’s in the motive. Kaye shared a product that she loves, that works in her life, that brings back to her the joy of something that she does well and that honors God.

I need to examine my own motives. I think social media can be an absolute blessing and has the potential to absolutely wreck me.

Freedom Update

A couple of months ago I shared that Daniel and I plan to significantly downsize, sell our home, and buy an RV to live in full time in a few years. We are both super excited about this plan. We’ve moved up the date to 7/25/22, but hope to be able to make the move before then.

We’ve done some RV shopping, changed our minds a couple of times, but our current first choice is the 2019 Jayco Alante 31V. It’s a smallish gas powered class A. I’m posting some pictures from the Dunlap Family RV website. We met a salesman there who we really liked, so plan to buy from him when the time comes.

We’re so excited about this adventure. Three years seems like such a long time, although we both know it isn’t.

What we’re focused on right now is how to make a little money while on the road and going through all our belongings to downsize. Both of these take serious consideration.

Part of my plan for money on the road is to take my writing more seriously than I ever have. I’m writing every day, at least a couple hundred words. I’m dedicated to my dream of writing.

The downsizing, y’all. Wow!! Where did all this stuff come from? LOL There’s just so much!!

I’ll update on our freedom plan next week.

Have a great weekend.

Surface Laptop 2

I did a thing yesterday. I bought a new laptop. I have a good desktop. I also have an inexpensive Chromebook. The Chromebook is good. I is great for surfing and checking email. But the Office apps are less than…well, just less than. The office apps on my iPhone are better than the Office apps on the Chromebook. I believe that in order to seriously write and submit, I need fully functioning MS Word. Not the crappy version on the Chromebook.

After an hour browsing Best Buy, I decided on the Surface Laptop 2. I looked at MacBooks. I’ve had one before and loved it. But the Surface Laptop 2 gave me a much more zippy response compared to the MacBook and cost several hundred dollars less.

I looked at the new HP super charged laptop, but it is several hundred dollars more than the Surface Laptop 2. While it has the i7 chip vs the i5 of the Surface, I just couldn’t justify the price difference. And, honestly, I’ve never owned an HP computer that I liked. Love their printers, not their computers.

I also sprung for the Surface Pen. It’s a fabulous little piece of hardware that I think I’m really going to like, especially when I get used to all the functionality. It’s much more useful than the Apple Pencil I used with my iPad last year. The Apple Pencil is basically just an expensive stylus.

I’ll update this review after a few weeks of using my new Surface Laptop 2, but for now, I’m loving it!

What kind of laptop/computer do you use to write? What do you love about it that makes it better for you than anything else? What would you change to make it better?

A Writer Without Words

I admit it. That’s where I am. A writer without words. It sucks. I hate it. I beat myself up over it. How can I call myself a writer if I don’t write? Why don’t I just do it? Where are the words? 

I can’t call this writer’s block. It’s not. It’s fear. Pure and simple blinding fear. When I sit down to write I absolutely freeze. The negative voice in my head is stronger than my will to write at this point.

I hate this. 

Hate it!

But how do I beat it? That’s a real question. Suggestions? 

 

Friday Faves

For years I’ve admired the amazing leather work of Oberon Designs. I have two Kindle covers for previous Kindle versions. I love those covers. Unfortunately, I’ve not found a good use for either of them now that those Kindle versions are no longer working (or supported).

In December, I decided to splurge and buy myself a composition notebook cover from Oberon. Their pieces are not inexpensive. But they are all handmade to order. They are true, old school craftsmen.

I could not be more happy with my composition notebook cover. It’s truly a work of art.

9AAEBF8B-4C6C-4969-B7EF-7C3C17FCF2B5I have always enjoyed journaling, but now I really look forward to it every morning with this beauty waiting for me on my desk. I carry it with me almost everywhere and jot down ideas. The cover itself inspires me.

What new, or not so new, item are you particularly loving this week? Have you discovered a new service you love? A new book or TV show? Spill!!!

Resurrection

I’m back!! I have no idea where this will go. But I’m planning my editorial calendar for 2018. I’m not sure if I’ll post much between now and January 1. But I do have a plan.

So, stay tuned.

And, I really have not given up on my writing goals. They have been adjusted, however.

More on that later.

If you’re still here, thanks. You deserve a prize.

#2017WritingGoals

So my personal goals are set for the year. But my writing goals have been in limbo. Until Thursday night, anyway. During my somewhat weekly writing meeting with Kaye I pretty much defined my #2017WritingGoal: I want to have a submission ready manuscript in one year.

Big freaking goal.

Gulp.

Double gulp.

But, when I break it down into smaller goals it looks like this:

fullsizeoutput_7b6

Still a HUGE FREAKING GOAL. But it’s doable. Not easy by any estimation, but doable. Actionable. Within my control.

Let’s do this. What are your #2017WritingGoals?

Sunday Reflection on #FirstDraft60

Every Sunday Kaye posts some questions for reflection on her blog. You can check out today’s post here.

Today’s questions made me think hard about this challenge/project and about what place I want writing to have in my life. So I thought I’d share my answers here.

What are your key responsibilities that cannot be put aside for writing? 

  • Marriage
  • Day job
  • Pet care (although I do have help with this-I get home before Daniel so must take the dogs out and feed them-that takes 30-45 minutes as soon as I get home)
  • Housework (again, I have help, but Daniel can’t do it all, though he will willingly do more)

What priority does writing take in your life? 

Writing is important to me. Has been for years. But for so long it has scared me, so I pushed it to the back of my life even when I said I was working. But now I’ve released all those old expectations. Now I just want to write for the sake of writing. So writing is important to me, but not the most important thing.

What would you be willing to give up, for just 30 days, in order to have more time to write?

  • Riding the train (I learned over the summer I don’t write well on the train-my good intentions fail miserably-I often doze off or read on the train)
  • Mindless TV watching (you know how you turn on the TV just to have background noise but end up binge watching old episodes of Law and Order SVU that you’ve seen 300 times already instead of doing what you intended to do)
  • Getting home from work earlier (so giving up the train would get me home about an hour earlier-tested this out last week-what if I take that hour to sit at Panera close to the hospital and wait for traffic to thin out a bit and write)

What are some obligations and commitments you currently have that you can reprioritize and/or reschedule in order to build more writing time into your daily schedule and give your writing the priority in November?

  • Easier meals and/or weekend meal prep
  • Write at least two hours per day while we’re on staycation the week of 10/31-that should get me a good head start

One thing I’ve recently realized is that I’m okay if my dream of being a traditionally published novelist never happens. I used to think I would die if that never happened. But I have no control over that. What I can control is my work, my writing. And I’ve realized that writing for its own sake is worthwhile for me. But a haphazard approach is not. Therefore, I’m taking this #FirstDraft60 challenge seriously, putting myself into it, and learning to enjoy the journey instead of looking toward the destination.