Time to Get Serious

Today I am nursing my second major headache in less than two days. Yesterday was a massive one that nearly had me yakking at my client’s house. No bueno, I had just finished cleaning that toilet! And I wasn’t functional until nearly 5 p.m. afterwards.

Today, waking up with yet another headache, I got up, headed toward my computer and started working on our budget. Before any major decision, I tend to hit the file in Excel – it allows me to fiddle with numbers, trim here, fix this other number over there, and keep us on an even keel. I made a copy of the current worksheet and started with a couple of premises, one that included me making no money on a monthly basis.

How I wish I could do that! But the fact is, we have more expenses than one job outside the home can handle. If we didn’t plan on paying off our mortgage until our late 60s, or having any kind of savings, or traveling or ever eating out – well maybe my not earning an income would work, but not otherwise.

I played with the budget until I found a plan that satisfied me, and that included some of these highlights:

  • Dave finding an excellent paying position (there’s one in the works, and I’m really hoping it pans out)
  • I will take over Dee’s cleanings once she is full-time employed (this seems quite likely to happen in the next couple of weeks) for the rest of the year.
  • I will finish the edits on Gliese 581: The Departure (go Like this page, will you?) and get it up for sale on Amazon
  • I will write Book #6, edit it, and get it up and published this year and begin work on Book #7. (It’s a numbers game, folks, write enough good stuff and the money will follow)
  • Reduce my cleaning clients down to a small handful by the end of the year (no more new clients).

By building up some savings during the rest of this year, we have something to fall back on at the beginning of 2017 when I reduce/eliminate my cleanings.

My body is telling me – enough is enough. I have to listen to it. It’s time to get serious.

3 AM Goals

I love to have our dogs sleep in our bed with us. Until they end up laying ON me, farting, or snoring – all of which they did last night. Which caused me to wake up at 1am, get up and put them in their kennels, and then try, unsuccessfully, to go back to sleep.

By 2:30, I had given up. I’ll sleep later, I guess.

Instead, my mind is full of goals. Damn those goals, I would have preferred to sleep! Here are some of the goals that popped into my brain as I lay there wishing I could go back to sleep:

Lose Weight, Gain Flexibility

I got on the scales yesterday for the first time in nearly a year. My weight fluctuates, and I only worry about it when I feel my clothes shrinking. I haven’t had to change clothing sizes in a long time and so I was rather surprised at the number on the scale.

231 pounds.

Considering that when you take in my bone structure and height I should weigh about 100 pounds less than that, I’m thinking I need to do something about it. Mainly that will consist of exercising a little more, in addition to my work in the garden, and making better food choices.

I have a ton of yoga videos I keep meaning to work out with. Maybe I’ll pull those out. They would sure help with the flexibility issues I’ve been having.

At Least One TED Talk Each Week

TED talks inevitably leave a smile on my face and a flash of inspiration. So I have (yet again) made it a goal to watch at least one TED talk each week. They keep my ideas flowing and my brain and heart in a healthy space.

Here is the one I’m listening to right now: The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

“It’s about being the kind of person who takes the initiative to doubt the default and look for a better option.”

If you haven’t heard of TED talks, check out the main website here.

Write More

Again, Christine? Haven’t you said this a million times?

Shut up, you!

I keep coming back to the concept that, if I want to make money writing books I need to:

  • Write well
  • Write something others will want to read
  • Write MORE

That third item, that MORE part? It’s important. By sheer numbers of books (written with the first two salient points firmly in hand) will make a difference. Eventually, I can actually earn a living doing so.

As I was laying in bed, trying to sleep and my brain going a mile a minute, I thought of writing some “how to” crafts and cooking articles for local or regional magazines. I had limited myself before to just parenting, gardening and homeschool articles – but I think I could whip together some cool instructional articles as well.

One thing that I don’t want to do is let it take over all of my other writing projects. I tend to focus on chasing the money right now and putting off more long-term money making ideas.

4th Edit in Progress!

I’ve got to write a quick note here and then jump back into edits.

Last Saturday, my editor-in-chief (my eldest daughter) got the manuscript back to me. As silly as it might sound, especially considering this is my 5th book, I’m still getting the hang of the editing process. More specifically, when I receive an edited document in Word, I have to “Accept/Reject Changes” -something I hadn’t done in the last round of edits.


No wonder she looked frustrated and said, “You haven’t taken any of my suggestions from my last edit, and the words are all smooshed together and weird!”

Lesson learned. I spent over two hours the other day just going through the basic little wording changes and clicking “Accept Changes.”

So now I’m diving into the more difficult parts. My worst sins?

  • Telling instead of showing
  • Omnipotent/narrator voice
  • Flipping back and forth with points of view

So I’ll be tackling those, and then doing an “oral edit” – reading the manuscript out loud to my husband. This will be the first time he has heard the story. And due to his dyslexia, he prefers audio to text any day of the week.

So when will Book 5 be on the metaphorical shelf?

That’s a great question.

As we move out of winter, I’ve got my hands full of classes to teach and a half acre lot to plant and sculpt. It could be a week, or it could be a month. Believe me, I want it done. But books are finished when you can no longer point to huge sections and say, “Oh damn, that needs fixing.” Until then, it’s not leaving my side.

I will be looking for reviewers. If you have a Kindle, I will be saving this file in .mobi format and possibly other formats (just have to learn how). This will be available to you for free, with the understanding that after you read it, if you could please post a review (good or bad, but geez, I hope it’s good) on Amazon and Goodreads.

Sound fair?

Contact me for more details or to put your name on the list.

And now, back to editing!