Looking Up and #Row80

Attitude Continued

My husband read my last post and then reminded me of his favorite quote. I’m sharing it with you.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
  Charles R. Swindoll

So my attitude  changed this week. How’s yours doing?

I wrote 3090 words on Perfect Appearance
My house is CLEAN!
2 blog posts
Read and commented on at least 2 ROw80 posts

Changing Attitudes

A2Z Challenge Redo

It’s time for another Round of a2z, Patty Wysong’s meme.
cat on swing
It’s all in how you look at life

A is for Attitude

Just so you know this is a note to me–not so much to you–my readers, though you might find yourself in what I write. This post is all about me and my attitude.
I’ve been grumpy, worried, cranky and annoying these past few months. I can blame it on a myriad of things–sick kids, politics, aching neck, things aren’t going the way I want– pick anything and I can develop  a showstopping diva attitude in under 20 seconds. 
The thing is, I don’t care much for myself when I’m wearing “that attitude” you know the one that got you sent to your room as a teenager? That ugly personality that flashes to the surface screaming life is all about me and the rest of you better get used to it?
So I’m shifting my attitude. I want to go back to the kinder me. How am I going to do that? 
I’m not doing it alone. I’m picking up my bible and reading through Mark. I can learn from Jesus how to accept things, let God be in charge and focus on the good.

My other plan? Listen to this video by Jason Gray. Remind me who I am.

Stick with me, I think it might be a bumpy ride because it’s easier to have a wrong attitude.
Finished the proposal for Seeking Normal–my crit partner has it.

a 2 z meme with Patty Wysong at Patterings.

Going North and #ROW80


two men standing on a beach


Escaping the Heat

The heat has been oppressive this past month in Southern Illinois ranging from 100-108 degrees.

Saturday we drove to Chicago to see our son. Our other son and his wife went with us.

As we gazed out the window it seemed as if we had left the country. The grass was green, the trees had healthy leaves and when we stepped out of the car we sighed in relief. It was 82 degrees. It almost felt cold.

In the photo you can tell which son lives in Southern Illinois by his clothes and footwear. The boy in black seems to live inside most of the time or he would know better than to wear black to a beach. Just sayin’ son. You live by the lake, get some shorts.

Grosse Point Lighthouse

We climbed the irons steps at the Grosse Point Lighthouse. I didn’t make it to the top. Our tour guide had wings on her feet and climbed 11 stories in under 2 minutes. I was hot and dizzy so thought it best to stop. We came down and I took this photo. I think I might have still been dizzy.

Lighthouses intrigue me and I wonder what it would have been like to live in one. This one seems like it would have been a good one to be assigned to because it isn’t isolated from the town.

Have you been in a lighthouse? Did you find it hard to climb the twisty stairs? Did it bother you to come back down because you could see through the steps?

Late on my ROW80  check in.
Last week was worry week, I managed to get two blog posts done but no writing.
change in goals to meet publisher request: Revamp proposal for 3 books. That means 9 chapters need to be written and 3 synopsis! 

How do you handle stress? #ROW80

green street sign COPE
Do you live on Cope Dr.?

 Living on Cope Drive

I have two sons that have been ill these past few months. They don’t live at home anymore but that doesn’t make it any less stressful for Ed and I.

This past week  has been challenging in the coping department.

Unable to fix the situation, bake, or read stories (they are way to old for that–one of them is married) I had to come up with ways to keep my mind busy.

I could have written.
I didn’t.
The writer’s brain I’ve been given turns dark and surly when I’m distressed, turning my characters into evil people.

Here’s what I did do:
worked out
ate a small pizza
stripped wallpaper
talked with my friends
bought paint to use on the ceiling and walls

It may be an odd way of coping but it’s better than my normal way–eat through the worry one bag of chips and grilled cheese sandwich followed by the same.

What do you do when stress is trying to take over your day?

Goals are kaput this week.
I have been asked to resubmit a 3 book proposal so I’ll be adding that to the goals for next week.

Nothing like a fresh coat of Paint and #ROW80

Annie Sloan Changes Old to Fresh

I admit it. I’m a paint addict. Some of my friends think I’m a bit strange (Luanne!) and maybe it’s from the paint fumes.  I was searching out fun decorating blogs and came across Susie Harris’s blog 
(check out her site! So much fun stuff!) extolling the joys of Annie Sloan Chalk paint.

I was so excited I asked my friend (Luanne) if she wanted the link. She politely declined. I’ll convert her to loving paint one of these days.

I have several pieces try out this paint  and after tracking it down at New Art Legacies I was ready to start.

stained wood night stand early American Sytle
1980s nightstand

This is what I started with. This nightstand is one of the pieces left from my first check as a teacher. I bought the entire bedroom set and spent weeks staining it. Now it’s in my guest room and needed an update. The whole room is getting updated because my friend (Terry) is coming to stay. Terry is a great friend and could care less if I updated the room but any excuse to get out the brushes and a can of paint and I’m there.

old white paint color
Annie Sloan old white

What is unique about Annie Sloan chalk paint is that is is very low odor, it dries super fast and sticks to everything, even metal and glossy finishes without sanding or priming.

old white pain annie sloan over wood stain
First Coat

I probably should have used a brush, instead I used a Purdy (yes I know the name I’m a paint geek) roller. The paint went on thin but no brush strokes.  After two coats it looked like this.

Early American furniture painted
Old White

So what do you think? I love it. Even the handles turned out nice. Once it was done I sent a photo to my friend (Luanne-the anti paint person) and she liked it too.

I’m working on few more pieces too, but I’m not ready to show those yet. I’m also trying to decide if I want to add the wax.

Have you ever painted with chalk paint? Will you?

ROW80 check up
Writing goals took a fun twist this week when I was asked to write an article. So I put away my other writing this week until I finished with that.
Finished reading Rob Eager’s book on marketing. I have lots to do but I did work on my about me page. Still needs more work!
As you can see I did a project–just not a sewing one.
The house –well, it’s over 100 degrees I’m pretty sure dust and dirt don’t accumulate in that kind of temperature. 

Gold Mine Research=Rabbit Trails

ikea book shelf, writers bookshelf

 How much time should you spend on research?

No matter how many books you have, 
the right one isn’t on your shelf
when you need a fact to support your story.

I have the Time-Life The Old West series on my shelf. (The brown ones in the bottom left of the photo.) There are 26 of them filled with stories that intrigue me but don’t have anything to do with what I’m currently writing, except for this one. 

The Miners leather bound Time-Live Old West Seires volume

This volume is The Miners  and it’s filled with rabbit trails. I’m researching for a story set in Colorado in 1860 except it wasn’t called Colorado then, it was Idaho, or Colorado Territory or Jefferson Territory. (Rabbit trail alert! Idaho was called Montana for for a while.) Because of the rumblings of the Civil War, the state and territory naming was halted until 1863. So that leaves me with making a writer’s decision. Do I go with what the reader would be comfortable with or the historian?

 Help me decide by leaving a comment, please.

And if you’re wondering those aren’t matches under the book. That’s a copy of Rob Eagar’s Sell Your Book like Wildfire. Why is it there? Because it’s another rabbit trail I need to follow.

*ROW80 Check in 2000 words written on proposal
met my blogging goal 
met the workout and food tracking goal for the week AND–cleaned my house!

The 4th Commandment

man with mustache and hat standing by a woman
My Great Grand Parents

Honor Your Mother and Father

I memorized the 4th commandment according to the Holy Christian Apostolic Church along with the other six  in confirmation class. I didn’t give it much thought because when my dad lived with us honoring wasn’t a choice, if you didn’t–well, let’s just say there was pain involved.

After my dad left, it was easy to honor my mom. She found a job for the first time in 16 years, managed to pay the bills and keep us clothed–while she went without.

So why bring it up?

I attended a memorial service this week. The pastor had an another way of looking at the commandment that I’d never heard.

Even  after your parents have died you are still to honor them by the choices you make in your life.



He said, “God picked those parents for you. They brought you up with morals, values and Christianity. After they are gone, it is your job to continue honoring them by living in a way that reflects those things to the those younger than you.”

Those aren’t his exact words but close enough.

I have trouble honoring my dad or even thinking God gave me him as a parent. And yet if I take the time to sift through those days he was around, there are things I learned. Learned them the hard way but the lessons have stayed with me.

I learned: not to lie, keep rules (he was a policeman) and stick up for those who aren’t as strong. Ironically he also taught me how to pray the Lord’s Prayer.

Guess, I need to honor his memory after all.
I’m still learning about him. I researched my parents on ancestry.com My dad’s family is a mystery beyond my grandparents. It’s possible he didn’t know what a good father was supposed to act like. His father left when he was young and his step-father was an abuser.

My mom will always get my respect and honor.
Her family cared enough to keep records–they date back to 985, which is another blog post someday.

Maybe honor isn’t a natural thing, but something learned and passed on? If that is true that 4th commandment is more important than my 12 year old self could imagine.

If it isn’t difficult for you, tell me in a comment how you feel about honoring your parents.

*ROW80 check in
Worked out 2xs
Sent the first proposal to my agent
Staying on track with blog posts

Breaking Rules Allowed or Not?

When is it okay to break rules?

When you learn how to write a there are so many rules–double space, start the first chapter 2/3 down the page, don’t use adverbs and the list continues until your head spins.

After writing a while you find out that some of those rules are okay to break, if what you do works.

Today I grabbed a sewing project that I started over a year ago. It’s quite challenging because I haven’t sewn clothing in quite a while. This is a HotPattern Jean pattern. That means tracing the pattern, then cutting it out before you can start to cut out the fabric.

Even though it was challenging I thought I could skip the directions, jump right back into sewing because it’s like riding a bike, you never forget how.

pink jean sheild with flat flower head pins

I think that is a myth. I clearly forgot how and my reward was ripping out numerous seams.
Then I read the directions.

pattern sheet for hotpatterns classsic nouveau dressy jeans

They didn’t help. More ripping followed.

The next best way to figure it out? Youtube.

iPad with woman sewing jean shield on sewing maching

Trudy from HotPatterns to the rescue.

If they turn out I’ll post a photo–don’t hold your breath.

So I learned even if you know your subject or hobby breaking the rules only works if you know the rule first. After that you can play tug-a-war with them and win.

*Rule applies to cooking too. Just because I had a new blender and knew how to turn it on didn’t mean I understood how it worked. I filled it to the top with hot split pea soup and turned it on. Took me weeks to get all the soup removed from the kitchen walls. The joys of being 21 year old bride and a kitchen full of new kitchen toys. Priceless.

What rules have you broken that you had to go back and do it the right way?

Sunday ROW80 Check in:
rough draft of proposal finished
almost compeleted sewing project
blogged 2xs last week and worked out 3 days.
not bad, maybe this goal setting does work.

Are you a noun or a verb?

bookcases in kalidescope photo action

Accepting the challenge of  being an action verb.

Round 3 of  ROW80 is just beginning and Kait Nolan writes:
While it’s a great thing to own being a writer, it’s not enough.  It’s necessary but not sufficient.  Because saying that you are a writer is a static thing.  It’s a noun.  A descriptive term.
READ MORE on her site about how it works.

The kalidescope photo on the right reminds me of my writer’s brain. I have so many ideas, some of them overlap and others barely touch because they are a new idea spawned from on old idea. The there are the everyday “if you are alive you have to do other things besides write” that invade my brain.

Those other things have thrown me off course with my writing. It’s easy to allow every day life to take over your writing time when you don’t have a contract–deadline. It must stop–now.

I’m accepting the ROW8o challenge (Round of Words in 80 days) I will be an action verb!
Will you join too?

Here are my career goals:
Write two proposals.
Do 2 blog posts a week.
Write 3 chapters for one book.
Study the art of marketing and apply it for the books that are now for sale.

Personal Goals:
Continue using Losit.com
Continue working out.
And this is the hard one!!! Keep the house clean.

If you are a writer hope on over to Kait Nolan’s site and join up. It’s free.

If you aren’t a writer how about setting your own career and personal goals. Track them the next 80 days and see how  much you’ve accomplished.

In the comment box below tell me what you want to accomplish in the next 80 days.

VBS and Sunday ROW80 check-in

It’s been a fun weekend celebrating our wedding anniversary, so not much was accomplished toward my major goal for ROW80. I did get the synopsis written, but not the chapters. That’s for this Wednesday’s check-in. At least one chapter finished by then.

The good thing is after that 15 mile bike ride I felt okay about eating a great lunch complete with a gluten free chocolate chip cookie from Free Range Bakery.

It’s a busy week ahead. VBS (vacation Bible school) starts tomorrow night and I’ll be there. It’s going to be fun working with the children. We have an amazing volunteer staff and they’ve turned the church into biblical Babylon.

This is one of the hedges. I’m pretty sure that hedges in Babylon don’t have names in them, though.

Can you spot the name and the initial?