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Mid-New Year

Or should that be New-Mid Year? It's the middle of the calendar year, and I'm talking stock of some of the things I accomplished in the past six months.

Writing: I finished GhosTV and published the ebook. I finished the first draft of my serialized novel, The Starving Years. I re-released Payback: Channeling Morpheus 1. I typeset and published three paperbacks: A Bitter Taste of Sweet Oblivion, Petit Morts 2: Food of the Gods, and GhosTV. I'm very happy with all of this. Good accomplishments for half a year!

Skills: I joined InDesign User Group, attended an InDesign conference, kept up with the weekly Photoshop User and Indesign Secrets podcasts, and I've been rockin' the Lynda.com online training site. Lynda.com is amazing. It's like a video college that you can attend whenever you want, as often as you want. (And you can watch it on your iPod in bed if you really don't feel like moving as far as your computer.) Not only have I learned much better practices in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, but I've been KILLING Excel spreadsheets. Tax time will be a lot easier. And I get my royalty payments to my authors lickety split because I'm an Excel wizard now.

Fitness: Lost 15 lbs, religiously attended water aerobics (for mood rather than weight loss)...now that session's over, and I'm looking into some workout routines from The Four Hour Body to replace them for the summer. Plus once it's warm enough for an outdoor pool I'll start meeting one of my swimming friends and working out with her. I really like the even-keel feeling I get from regular exercise. It's easy to skip when you feel, as I feel, that there aren't enough hours in the day to do all the things I'd like to do. But I prioritize it. Also, I implemented the standing desk to ensure I was sitting less, since too much sitting isn't good for you. So on many days I'll stand all morning, between 6am and noon. I think that's helped the metabolism.

Other stuff
: I've been hoping to nurture some hobbies since I was feeling incredibly one-dimensional (blah blah writing blah blah ebooks blah blah computer) and within the past few weeks I've taken up DRAWING again. YAY. It's wonderful to be in flow and be drawing. I'm positive two things got me back into the practice: having a project to work on and having a space to do it in. I took a "junk" room, gave away a lot of clutter, reconfigured existing furniture and repainted. I love my studio. So do the cats. They hang out with me in there while I draw. Since I'm a perfectionist it was helpful for me to encourage the mindset that I didn't need to be perfect, I just needed to enjoy what I was doing.

Decluttering: It's a process. An old patio set's going out front today with a "free" sign and I'm going to take a load of clothes to the thrift store. One big leap was taking the potentially-valuable stuff and listing it all on eBay during their free listing month. Looks like all of it will sell.

So...goals? Keep doing what I'm doing, I guess. All of this looks really good to me, and I'm pleased. I want to hang out with my friends more so I'm not just living in my own head. I've been doing that too, hanging out with someone at least once a week, attempting to go out to social things and say hello to people even though it's awkward for me. There are some home repairs that need to happen...that's definitely my downfall. I hate maintaining a house. It's stressful and I don't feel like thinking about it. I've decided I probably won't move, though, since it's so gloriously quiet where I live now, and I can't risk moving somewhere and ending up next to a jackass with a loud radio. This year I'll finish off the Petit Morts series and edit/publish The Starving Years, start a new serial in my newsletter and maybe work on the followup to Sleepwalker.

What about you?
 Are there any goals you can invigorate at this halfway point of the year? Is there anything keeping you from prioritizing your goals that you can revisit--such as me repainting my "junk" room and giving away the clutter?

Edit to add: HOORAY, most of the patio set is gone. Whoever took it left the lounger chair. Maybe they had no room for it. And they left the foot spa. Surely one of my neighbors needs a foot spa.



( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:29 am (UTC)
You can move here - I have a lovely river view ;o)

You've accomplished a lot! Go you! I look forward to seeing your drawings. I wish I could draw.
My goals? Get my attic done so I can move my office up there. Ge tthe basement done for when my cousin and his gf arrive. Paint my bedroom for when my aunt and uncle arrive. And get ready for my trip to Germany for Christmas - so xmas shopping early!
I'm tired just writing this list ;o)
Jun. 3rd, 2011 11:43 am (UTC)
Re-doing those parts of the house will be so rewarding once you're finally done! I usually hit a wall partway through when I say "OMG this sucks and I hate it" but I push through that and finish.

Jun. 3rd, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, it'll be great once it's done - in theory anyway.
Bought a heavy duty shop vac so I can tackle the mess/dust. Painters will be here Sunday and hopefully by next week end I can start setting up my new office. I can't wait until I have to tackle the 6x12 rugs - if I can manage that I can do anything! Sadly I won't have a river view while sitting up there - only has one window but has 6 or 8 skylights. From those I can see the river but I need to be standing. when it's done I'll take a pic and post it on my LJ - do that desk meme again.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
I hear ya about decluttering being a process. An ongoing and never really ending process. *sigh*

You've accomplished a lot of the first five months of the year!
Jun. 3rd, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
HAHAHA it's not even the middle of the year yet. Woo hoo! I can take a month off.

This is why I need excel. My counting skills are obviously suspect.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
LOL! :)
Jun. 3rd, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you really have a handle on things. My decluttering has been slightly foiled by having to clear out my dad's house after his death. But I've been able to reallocate most of his things to others and am down to one suitcase of stuff I'm not sure what to do with.

As for accomplishments, I finally got my previously published paperback coded for Kindle and uploaded to Amazon. I've done some sewing projects, but have felt amazingly unmotivated of late. I have started walking again to make sure I'm not too sluggish, though. Piles of work on on my desk staring at me accusatorially. Meh, I don't even feel guilty about them.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
I was so sorry to read about your kitty :(

(And your dad...wow, you see where my mind is. I'm such a cat person.)

I have no clue what I'll do someday when I have to handle anyone's estate. Freak out, no doubt. Or hire someone to handle it for me. It seems phenomenal you have everything but one suitcase full of stuff dealt considered and re-homed.

I'm so proud of you getting your novel on Kindle! Is it under your real name or do you have a pen name? Post a link to it!

At the moment I'm feeling guilty for not feeling like writing today due to a big headache, no doubt exacerbated by hauling patio furniture in the sun. I think I'm driven by all kinds of guilt.

I put a too-heavy-for-me drill in my free pile and the UPS guy took it. I don't know why that strikes me as odd.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
Lynda.com is something I've been wanting to try, your post is nudging me closer (and all their HTML5 coverage). And 2x5 yay for GhosTV!
Jun. 3rd, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
I won an upgrade of Dreamweaver CS 5.5 so I've been peeking at the HTML 5 coverage myself.

I got a month of free Lynda.com when I bought CS4 or 5 (don't remember which) and was like OMG I LOVE THIS. You can get a free week through this link to see if you love it.


It's a thing where you sign up and if you cancel in a week there's no charge.

I really really love it. It's awesome. Sometimes I find it easier than looking up a written instruction or tutorial, I'll just think, "Oh, I remember Deke McClelland had a video on cropping that addressed that issue," and go re-watch it quick. They have a Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effect new course that I'm watching, then following along each effect step by step.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
You're awesome! ♥
Jun. 3rd, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
I just want you to fall in love with Lynda so we can geek out about it together.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
I really admire you for all you've accomplished. You seem to have your life together very well right now.

As for me ... I'm going through a negative whiney patch. No goals. My life consists of visiting my aged parents and I hate every minute of it. See! I need some cheese to go with this whine!
Jun. 3rd, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)

When my grandmother was in her early 90's in the last year of her life it was really hard for me, even though I didn't live nearby. Experiences from my final few trips home made a big impact on me.

We all need some cheese...whine or not.

When you're ready, I'll bet a goal will come to you. Even a little goal, who cares? I sometimes think there's too much emphasis on "doing." (She says right after the whole post on doing.)

I really admire you for all you've accomplished. You seem to have your life together very well right now.
Thank you so much! Last year was like the earthquake of my life where everything as I knew it was shaken to bits, between leaving my job of 9 years and my relationship of 14 years and some unexpected financial hits, so it feels good to know that in a year I can come back with a vengeance.
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
I went for a walk today. Your post must've helped to inspire me. New goal: walk at least three times a week outside, possibly with a couple of days inside on the treadmill. Let's see how I go with that cheese. ;D
Jun. 5th, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
Re: Goal!
I'm so happy you went for a walk! I may see if I can swim this week without turning into an ice cube. It's hot during the day but cold at night.
Jun. 3rd, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
I am happy for you that you got a great deal done.

Things have been mixed for me these last few months. I'm very glad that I can walk again. I was glad to have moved, but my brain-damaged roommate is a challenge. Moving and adjusting to living with her put me behind on work, but I've caught up with a lot.

I spent some quality time with the students I'm friendly with, and made it to several of the garden club events, so I got my share of socializing in. My secret love child is staying in touch so far this summer, and I'll be seeing my boy sometime this coming week.

I've made more online friends by hanging out on AfterElton, so I'm getting as much or more online socializing as ever. My comprehension of spoken German has gone down since I got behind on watching German soap operas, but my written German has improved since my Austrian pal Trekboy made me one of his many buddies.

I got more done with gardening than I thought I would, but still have a good deal yet to do. That will slow down when June is over.

So...mixed, but I'm happy about managing to stay in touch with friends as much as I have.
Jun. 4th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)
Walking probably ranks as being pretty darn important in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (I just looked at a chart for the geekiness of it. I'd put it as a second-level need, just above things like breathing and eating.)

Your move seemed to be a mixed bag of positives and negatives.
Jun. 4th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
Wow, you HAVE managed to achieve a lot so far this year! ^5!

I can't think of anything that I have achieved this year. Trying to stay positive, does unplanned travelling count? Oh, and I did finish a couple of craft/projects when you posted about Massive Action Day :)

Otherwise, I may have regressed on a few things e.g. fitness. But last year I only kicked myself into gear from June onwards, so um, it's not late for me to get off my ass now and start SOMETHING.

PS Looking forward to the Starving Years. The other night, I dreamt that it came out early this month!
Jun. 4th, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
What did you finish on Massive Action Day? I planned to do house stuff but ended up writing instead.

I was about to tease you about that early Starving Years dream, but actually that may be a good idea. I'm having Puffy's dental work done on the 15th and may want to be undistracted by the Internet that day. (Plus...how cool is it that you actually dreamt about the next installment of Starving Years coming out???)
Jun. 4th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
OMG, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if the Starving Years came out early. I don't want to change my routine of checking my email 4pm Sydney time on the 15th!

I did a very simple upholstery project which I am inordinately happy with, and made a photo book on Blurb (which arrived on the day of my anniversary, so good timing!) Last night I started writing down a list of my project ideas, plus a list of equipment to investigate buying if I want to set up a workshop at home. So there we go, it's a start :)

My partner thinks I've been extra grumpy lately because I haven't had that creative outlet this year. For a while there I had a good work/life balance, which sounds really corny but I've come to appreciate how important it is, so I'm going to work on getting it back, the sooner the better.
Jun. 7th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
You got a heck of a lot done. Any chance of you posting a photo of your upholstery project?

I can totally relate to the work/life balance. Mine is now blurred because my creative outlet has become my work. While that's awesome, in fact probably everyone's dream, still I definitely need to make a conscious effort to have hobbies.
Jun. 4th, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
Hi there -- remember me?? After a ~3 year absence I'm trying to reconnect with online friends/interests. It sounds like you are doing wonderfully well! Things are good with me, I'm in the process of making some changes and was tickled by the subject of this post. :-)
Jun. 4th, 2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
Holy cow! It's fabulous to see you! Last time we talked you'd been hurricaned out of your home.
Jun. 4th, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
You too! It was a crazy time -- moving from place to place and dealing with contractors on the house -- it turned everything upside down. We finally got back into the house (and they did a beautiful job), but now I'm in an apartment.

Every time I see one of your books on the shelf I think about you and wonder how you're doing!! I'll have to send you an email and catch you up on everything that's been going on with me. I've been so out of touch -- work is insanely busy and I don't really have a computer of my own at home (or much time to use it if I had). Right now I'm using my daughter's Mac. I'm going to have to resolve this computer situation if I'm going to try to keep up online!
Jun. 5th, 2011 07:33 am (UTC)
I look forward to that email when you get a computer! The thought of having no computer is scary to me, but I take it to mean you have a more engrossing offline life than I do :D
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 7th, 2011 10:01 am (UTC)
About a week ago I participated in a Massive Action Day which was where I got the idea for a Mid-New-Year. One of the other participants was doing her papers...and the poor thing had something like 8 hours of papers to go through. I couldn't imagine! What a drag!

As I started wearing down from all the activity I sorted the paper and junk mail that was cluttering my living room, and it took 15 minutes. So my system must be pretty good! At some point I really should alphabetize my files, though. I have them grouped conceptually. It makes sense to me, and yet I think alphabetical will help me find things faster.

Two more semesters to go? GO YOU!

I like the sound of having a bookshelf for nefarious uses.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 7th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
Yikes! That's a lot of paper! I'll bet it felt amazing.

I agree, I think I agonize a lot more about doing some things than they'll actually take. My cats are kind of cheerleaders. They love to stand on whatever I'm doing. In encouragement, I'm sure.

Then again some things take twice as long as I think they will, and are much more difficult.

I think knitting needles can be plenty nefarious. And they look pretty innocent when company drops by.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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