Bullet Journal

March Bullet Journal Cover

February was rough. We had a week of ice and a week of snow. We actually had two snow storms back-to-back – combined, they dumped about seven inches on the ground. We haven’t had snow in quite some time, we were due. But the star of the show was the temperatures. Negative degree low temperatures. Our heater didn’t really shut off. And that’s after we turned it down to 63 at night (which is normal for us as we sleep better when it’s cold) and 65 during the day. Our house is old and drafty though so it wasn’t surprising that our heater struggled to keep up. I am, however, DREADING the heating bill. I’m sure it will be much higher than we’re used to.

Did you guys hear about the heating bills Texans were getting? THOUSANDS of dollars. I think I’d have a heart attack. (Green energy is fine, but what about bad weather? Gotta have a backup plan, folks!)

It was also a rough month at work – more on that Tuesday.

So yeah. March, green  … go hand-in-hand. Not exactly original but I’ve just about had it with all the gray we’ve been experiencing lately. Feel free to use this cover. It should fit an A5 journal.

Speaking of journal – I’m starting a brand new journal in March! I’m using a Rhodia journal and just finished Turquoise Tom, (I guess I’m naming my journals now) and now I’m getting ready to crack open my Purple Paul. I’ve chosen the Rhodia notebooks because they are soft back and the paper *chef’s kiss*. Since I use my bullet journal as both a planner and a journal, it was important to me to have easy, scratch-free, paper to write on. So far, I’m really loving it. I wanted a soft back because it just FEELS more like a journal and it would be easier to carry around with me when (IF) we travel again. I started my turquoise one mid-August so I got six-ish months out of it. I’m sure I’ll get about another six months in my purple one. It sort of bothers the OCD part of me that I’m not starting a brand new journal in January and June but it bothers me more to think of not finishing a journal and using all of the pages so … I’ll just have to ignore that little detail.

Enough babbling – here are my pages from February:

My steps – notice how many steps I got in this month. Yep, I’ve started walking again. Woohoo! Not only am I walking because I want to tone back up but it REALLY helps my anxiety – which I never had before I started this medical assistant job. (Not exactly a good advertisement for being a medial assistant but hey – just keeping it real, folks).

Weather seems like such a boring thing to keep track of, but I like to look back and remember the crazy weather days as well as have proof for when someone spouts Climate Change crap at me and I can open up my journal and point out, “Um, actually, it was this cold last year, too.”

I goofed up on my sleep tracker page (shocker!) and was watching a YouTube video (shocker) while I was putting this together and accidentally put in “steps” instead of “sleeping” so I had to improvise and tear a piece of paper and put over the “steps” part. But you know what? I’m sort of digging it and I think I’ll do more of that in the future. Do you know how cheaply you can buy craft/construction paper? It’s like a $0.25 a piece. Or maybe that’s not that cheap considering it’s ONE PIECE OF PAPER.

Sleep amounts were pretty average for me. If you look closely, you’ll see that I’ve been staying up to midnight / 1:00 AM on Saturday nights. Kevin and I film our podcast together and then I come into my office and record my personal podcast.

Saturday is also the only day I allow myself caffeine.

My mood, writing, podcast and reading trackers. I need to do something different on writing tracker because I’m fooling NO ONE when I make a tracker like this. We all know there is no way I’m writing every single day of the month and setting a tracker up like this is just pathetic. And depressing. Because instead of motivating me to write more so I can put a number in the tracker, it just makes me yawn in disgust and find something else to do.

I can’t even attempt to explain my brain to you so there is no use in trying to understand it.

And my mood – meh. I like this tracker because I have a lot of moods – much more than just happy, sad, angry or meh. But I’m a bit bored with this tracker so I think I’m going to use a more traditional mood tracker next month.

The podcast tracker – there is supposed to be a YouTube tracker on this page as well, but I just can’t be bothered to set my camera up and film myself. It’s a lot work, people! Maybe next month. And my book tracker? Four measly books. But again, I’m sacrificing my reading to write on my blog more because apparently my pea brain can’t handle BOTH. *shudder*

And lastly, my “productivity” tracker. As you can see, I changed it up a bit this month. I was getting depressed on my previous productivity tracker because I really don’t DO much. It’s the same thing, over and over and over again and though it was fun to make and fun to fill out, it was just … boring. So, I thought I would make these cute little trackers this time. As you can see, my fiction and cleaning trackers are blank. Yes, they are accurate. No, I don’t clean very often.

Now before you go and think I’m a disgusting human being (which, to be fair, does apply at times), I clean up after myself. I clean the bathrooms every week, Kevin and I straighten up and make sure the kitchen is tidy, but I guess my definition of “cleaning” was mopping the floors. Which I don’t do very often. Because Kevin and I aren’t home very much and it’s just the two of us. (Okay fine, I’m trying to justify the fact that I HATE cleaning the floors).

But I do like these trackers so next month, I would like to do reading, walking, journal, blog, fiction and Instagram. I’d like to take more pictures and I have no excuse not to now. My Samsung A51 phone has an absolutely awesome camera and the weather is starting to turn nice so … time to get back to photography. I miss it. My problem is, I never do anything outside of home and work so it could be challenging. But Kevin and I have plans for the coming months so … (more on that Tuesday).

I am going to look up some writing trackers though. I would like to add a writing tracker that keeps track of my word count without depressing me. (It wouldn’t depress me if I actually did any writing but let’s not nitpick).

As always, I am going to leave you with the most interesting bullet journal plan with me video I watched these past few weeks. This YouTuber is pretty amazing. Enjoy.

(One last thing – if you’re reading this via RSS feed, I updated my blog look for March. Come visit!)

 

Book Corner

Story Sentence: The Arrangement

I now have two sugar daddies (SD) and I’ve learned loads in the past fortnight.

This is the first sentence from chapter 24 from “The Arrangement” by Miranda Rijks

Blurb:

Abi had a secret life. That’s why she had to die.

Grace is living through every mother’s worst nightmare. Her student daughter Abi went away on a dream vacation – and was murdered.

Overwhelmed by grief, and fighting off old demons which have resurfaced, Grace tries to make sense of it – who would want to kill her beautiful girl?

But as she learns more about Abi’s life, she realises she didn’t know her own daughter very well. How did Abi acquire all those designer clothes? And what was she doing on those mysterious trips to the city?

Grace desperately needs to find answers. But soon it becomes clear that someone doesn’t want her digging into Abi’s secret past. Someone who knows how to use Grace’s own weaknesses against her, sending her on a journey to the darkest hell…

My thoughts so far:

This is a classic example of making a character’s life a living hell. Rijks throws everything but the kitchen sink at poor Grace to the point I’m yelling at my Kindle, “Oh come ON.” But here’s the thing, I can SEE every horrible thing happening to Grace actually happen to a terribly unlucky person in real life. This character can NOT catch a break.

The story opens with Abi, on holiday in South Africa, excited to meet a mysterious person. Only, she’s being followed and her mysterious person changes the location from a cafe to a deserted beach. Obviously, the person following her is the person she hopes to meet up with. The chapter ends with that mysterious person stabbing, and killing, Abi.

Grace is a divorced mom of two. Abi is her oldest daughter. She’s a hair stylist just trying to make ends meet. She’s also a struggling alcoholic. When she finds out Abi has died and her local police really can’t  help her since her daughter died on foreign soil she gets lost in her grief and obsessed with trying to find out why Abi was killed.  She stumbles into a few secrets and Grace is left wondering if she really knew anything at all about her daughter.

To top it off, the more she discovers, the more someone doesn’t want her to find out the truth. And because she started drinking again, her friends and the authorities think what is happening to her is a figment of her alcoholic brain and don’t believe her. I won’t spoil it for anyone who wants to read it, but suffice it to say, Rijks really makes Grace suffer. I’m currently at the lowest of the low for Grace and I’m wondering how she is going to pull herself out of this.

I also have a pretty good idea who the killer is.

I’m about 69% done. It’s a pretty good read, if not a bit frustrating, but I admire the way Rijks tortures Grace.

TBR

March To-Be-Read Stack

Hello readers!

Gah! I’m two books behind, according to GoodReads, and that stresses me out! I need to stop watching so many YouTube videos and catch up.

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review on Goodreads – I’ve come to trust the reviews of Goodreads readers. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

Moving on, here is my March TBR stack:

  1. Elsewhere by Dean Koontz
  2. The Professor by Robert Bailey
  3. Winter’s Curse by Mary Stone
  4. The Last of the Moon Girls by Barbara Davis
  5. Looking Glass by Andrew Mayne

One (?) ARC (Advanced Reading Copy from NetGalley)

Happy Reading!
Annoyances, Work Stuff

Things That Annoy Me #2

( I seriously can’t stop laughing at this little girl’s expression!!)

“Good morning. Welcome to our team. I expect you to work faster than your peers, update every little detail if older than six months, answer all calls live NO MATTER WHAT and you must have all rooms full so that our doctor is NEVER idle. You have to run everything through me – you are not allowed to think for yourself. I don’t trust you and no one is as smart as I am. You are not allowed to put orders in, even though your peers are allowed to. You can not schedule a patient unless you run it by me, even though your peers are allowed to. And by the way, I need you to be flexible because the way we do things on this team changes DAILY. Which means, the way you did it yesterday? Doesn’t apply to how we do it today. Why are you frowning? Aren’t you happy? I don’t understand why you’re miserable. Why is this job affecting your health? We’re the best team on this floor! We run efficiently and we do everything right! In fact, every team needs to run exactly like us because we’re PERFECT.”

I’m paraphrasing, of course. But this is an example of what our assistant manager thinks and it’s frustrating, unrealistic and insulting to insinuate we don’t know what we’re doing. Can we improve? Of course. But to imply that what we’ve been doing, what we have been doing for YEARS, is not correct, well, let’s just say insinuating this to the entire clinic was enough to nearly cause mutiny.

Here are some signs you’re being micro-managed: (Source)

  1. They avoid delegation. Since micromanagers can’t believe anyone else will do a decent job, the only solution is… to do everything themselves. While they might get the results they want at first, this can’t possibly last. Eventually, they’ll come to discover that there are only 24 hours in a day. Without assigning tasks to others with specialized skills, supervisors will inevitably take on work that they aren’t as qualified to produce. If your boss is a micromanager, they might also think it’s faster to revise your work than to give you feedback on what could be improved.

Oh my gosh, YESSSS. This is EXACTLY what is happening right now.

2. You’re not allowed to make decisions. If even the smallest tasks require sign off from your supervisor, it could be a red flag

3. They complain constantly. The funny thing about mistakes is, if they’re all you look for, they’re all you’ll find. A boss that doesn’t trust their employees is always going to look for evidence that validates their paranoia. And they’re going to find it, even if it’s a typo in a calendar reminder you only sent to yourself. This type of manager can find fault in anything, no matter how inconsequential. While they might tell themselves that they are pushing for excellence, they are only sapping the motivation of their staff.

Oh my gosh, YESSSS.

4. They won’t pass on their skills or knowledge. It’s inspiring to work for a boss that you feel you can learn from. Supervisors can act as role models for junior employees who are starting their careers. For a fresh new employee, finding out that your boss has little interest in mentoring you can be a crushing disappointment. To these micromanagers, knowledge is currency. If they share that knowledge, they’re depleting their own value.

5. Feedback falls on deaf ears. While a normal boss-to-employee relationship should have feedback flow in both directions, a micromanager is more interested in a one-way conversation. Because they’ve put themselves under enormous pressure, they are more irritable and explosive when faced with criticism. They might respond to your critique with some variation of, “Well, that’s just how things work here.” Micromanagers aren’t interested in what they can do to improve–they only look for the weakness in others.

These issues are EXACTLY what we’re dealing with at work right now.

As with any job, you have your ups and downs, your hills and valleys. There are times things are going great and there are times things are definitely NOT great. I’ve been with my current employer for almost ten years – it will be ten years this coming September – and I can count on one hand the number of ups we’ve had. And by this I mean, everything is going great, we’re fully staffed, we’re all getting along, etc. On. One. Hand. All other times, there is some drama, people are quitting, a process is not working, or management is micro-managing us. In fact, I feel like we’re micro-managed, a lot.

I get why this happens. Medical assistants work under the doctor’s license – everything we do is on behalf of our doctor so any mistakes we make the doctor could potentially be responsible. It’s a big deal and shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, when you work for a management team that wants everything run through them, you can’t do anything without running it by them first, it’s suffocating.

I read somewhere that micro-managing is the number one reason why people leave their jobs. When a person is not given an opportunity to prove his/her worth, to live up to his/her potential, it’s suffocating. Our clinic right now, is definitely at an all-time low. People are dropping like flies and we all know what the problem is, but no one is willing to do anything about it. It’s like we’re all on the Titanic and we’ve hit an iceberg – now the question is – do we find a way to save ourselves or do we just sit back and wait for it to sink?

I’d like to figure out a way to save us, thank you very much.

It’s funny. I never really wanted a career in medical, I just sort of fell into it. But now that I’m here, (and I really do like the work I do and I feel like I’m good at my job), I just can’t sit back and watch our ship sink.

I need a plan. I need to convey my concerns, along with examples AND potential solutions and present them to my director. He’s the head honcho. The big cheese. The man with a plan. (I hope). I had a long talk with my nurse today about these problems and how to approach them and she gave me some really good advice. Now I just need to compile these thoughts into a nice, neat outline and present it to my director in my best “professional” voice.

Enough with the micro-managing. It’s time to take a stand and get off this hamster wheel. It’s insanity to continue to do the same things over and over again and expect a different outcome. We all agree there is a problem, now we need to get together and come up with a better plan, try different solutions. One is bound to stick, right?

Will they listen to me? Who knows. But if this ship sinks, at least I will know that I did all I could do on my end.

Don’t micro-manage me, it brings out my aggressive side. And let me tell ya, folks, it ain’t pretty.

Book Corner

Book Review: The Girl in Cell 49B

Pre-order on Amazon

Emily Calby disappeared at age twelve, the only survivor of a notorious home invasion. Three years after her terrifying odyssey in The Hiding Girl, she’s safe, living in anonymity with her mentor, ex-gang member Lucas Jackson—before life blows up again on her Sweet Sixteen birthday. Arrested for carrying her birthday gift—an illegal handgun from Lucas—a fingerprint scan shows her to be the missing Calby girl and worse: she’s wanted for murder in another state.

Extradited to a corrupt juvenile prison in the middle of nowhere, Emily struggles to adjust to a new code of survival while battling a vindictive prosecutor willing to resort to any means to convict her. As The Law thwarts her every move, she begins to appreciate its awesome power. She discovers an unused prison law library and buries herself in the books, casting her destiny.

As she fights for her life in court, the dark secrets behind the prison walls close in. Her cellmate, a spookily prescient drug addict, is in grave danger. So is her first love, a gentle boy sentenced to life without parole. Emily’s desperate to help them, but how can she, when her explosive trial brings one new disaster after another? A courtroom thriller like no other.

This was an ARC, (advanced reader copy).

This is the second book in Emily Calby’s story though is easily a stand alone book. I did not read the first book and though I do wonder why the men who raped and killed her mother and sister targeted her family specifically, (was it random?), where her father is, and if the men who did this heinous crime are still alive or still looking for her (and why), Box does a good job of bringing me up-to-date with Emily’s back story without giving away too many details. In other words, I’m curious enough to want to go back and read book one.

Emily has survivor’s guilt over the death of her mother and sister. She ran away but feels like she should have stayed to try and help her family only she knows, realistically, she likely would have died as well. In a lot of ways, she wishes she had. As a result of this horrific experience she has PTSD from the event and she has trouble controlling her anger at times.  Lucas is a gang member and professional forger who takes her under his wing. In a lot of ways, he saved Emily’s life by extending her kindness and guidance when she needed it the most. Lucas’ girlfriend (wife?) is a boxer and teaches Emily how to fight and defend herself. Emily channels her rage and aggression into working out and her body is toned and tough.

Because Emily is hiding, and because she is trying to put distance between her new life and her old life, she goes by Alice Black. Lucas forges documents for her and Emily is Alice for three years. She is now 16 years old. Emily is a walking juxtaposition – she’s tough and will not shy from trouble if she sees someone getting bullied or hurt, and yet, she has a big heart and a lot of compassion. These are unusual traits to package into one character but I think Box does a good job of melting these characteristics into a likeable character.

And that’s just it, I really don’t want to like Emily. She’s a badass that has killed people. True, the circumstances she killed people were due to self defense, still, she killed them. She graduates from self defense to murder and that’s the gray line that Emily struggles with. In a lot of ways, her character reminds me of Dexter from the TV show Dexter. In essence, if you haven’t seen Dexter, he’s a man who has homicidal tendencies. He knows this and recognizes this and yet, he can’t stop himself from killing people. So, he channels this disorder (?) into “good” – he only kills murderers, people who have gotten away with murder and are free to terrorize society. Only, there’s a twist, he’s also a blood-splatter expert who works with police. This juxtaposition is interesting and disturbing. I’ve watched a handful of Dexter episodes and I wanted to like the show but it was too gory for me and honestly, I couldn’t justify the premise, though I certainly could appreciate him getting rid of society’s cancerous people.

Emily is a bit  like Dexter in that she channels her aggression and anger into people who are scum, bad people. I don’t know if anyone can justify murder even if it’s for the “good” of society, but I can certainly understand it if not exactly condone it. As a result, I have mixed feelings about Emily.

She starts the story out being super aggressive but once she is caught and recognized as the girl who escaped the tragedy of her youth, (no one knew what happened to her – she just disappeared), and was thrown in juvenile jail she softens almost to the point where I’m left wondering, “is this even the same girl?” That shift nearly caused me to knock this star rating into a four but again, Box does a good job of “reforming” her to the reader – her actions really were justified, if not disturbing on so many levels.

While in juvenile jail, she befriends her cell mate who she suspects might be a bit clairvoyant and falls in love with Ben, a boy from the neighboring boys’ juvenile jail. Once she learns Ben’s story of why he’s in jail, she begins to question the legality of what happened to him.  After getting into some trouble while in jail, she is given a job in the jail library. She’s saddened to see so many of the girls are not very well educated and are reading below their grade level. She also discovers a little-used law library tucked into the corner with books that have never been cracked open. Emily begins reading about the law in order to try and help Ben but ends up teaching herself more and more in order to try and help her own defense against a murder charge of a man who picked her up while she was hitch hiking.

Emily soon learns that THE LAW pretty much dictates her life and if she has any hope of saving her own life, she has to not only learn THE LAW but to navigate it so she can be her own best advocate. I have mixed feelings about the ending. I can understand Emily’s decision to some extent, but her tendency toward bloodthirst borders on disturbing.

Emily’s journey is far from over and I’m intrigued enough that I would like to read more about her adventures.

In summary:

The Girl in Cell 49B is a story about a girl battling her darkest demons. She has multiple demons: guilt, aggression, and rage. She also has a soft spot for underdogs. Emily has a dark past – her mother and sister were raped and her family home was burned to the ground, nearly killing her in the process. She carries a lot of guilt around because she feels she should have somehow saved her family instead of running away, which ultimately saved her life. After changing her appearance and assuming a new identity and living as Alice for three years, her aggression gets the best of her when she witnesses a nasty bully abusing his girlfriend at a gas station. Unable to stop herself, she walks up to the bully and points a gun in his face. The bully stops his behavior and they drive off but not before the gas station employee reports her to the police and they capture her using the gas station security camera.

This lands her in juvenile jail where the authorities discover, after taking her fingerprints, that she’s the lost girl that disappeared after the horrific home invasion that killed her family all those years ago. She’s also a person of interest wanted in a murder in another state.

Once she’s in juvenile jail, she quickly learns how to navigate the various caste systems and befriends a few underdogs who she feels compelled to try and save. Once her own trial starts, she quickly learns that THE LAW could quickly make or break her and in order to give herself the best chance of surviving a “fair” trial, she begins using the law library in juvenile jail to teach herself how the law works and how she can make it work for her.

This is a story about grit, determination and self-perseverance. This character has had to adapt to a cruel world, learn how to fight and defend herself while somehow managing to keep her sense of self. She’s unusual in that she has a big heart and she can’t stand to see good people being treated unfairly. But she also has a dark side. A side that she finds hard to control and keep under control. Once that dark side of her is unleashed, she can be cruel, dangerous and unpredictable. Emily’s journey is just beginning and she intends to use her new-found interest in the law to help people who can’t help themselves while trying to keep her dark past from destroying her and those she cares about.

Podcast

17: Gender-Bender Chemicals are Real and Wide Spread – Does This Justify All the Confusion?

This episode I talk about how a large percentage of the country want to split off and become regions “of like-minded people.” Why does that premise sound so familiar …? Hunger Games anyone? Also, did you know there are gender-bending chemicals that make men more feminine and females more aggressive? Do you think that’s contributing to all of this gender dysphoria and confusion? Hhmm…. Book review this week is an ARC – “The Girl in Block 49B” by Dorian Box. Hopefully you have power and can hear this podcast – stay warm!

Mentioned in podcast:

Intermission music:
Take Off by LiQWYD | https://www.liqwydmusic.com
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en_US

Take me on the go! You can hear my podcast on the following platforms:

Anchor.fm

Apple Podcast

Spotify

Overcast

Google Podcasts

Breaker

Pocket Casts

Radio Public

RSS Feed

I upload a new podcast every week. Thanks for listening!

*TALK” to you soon!

Writing Mechanics

Brandon Sanderson: Writing Class – Introduction

I confess, I’ve never read any of Brandon Sanderson‘s work. That’s not to say, I wouldn’t be interested in reading any of his stuff, I just haven’t as of this post.

(Side note: After visiting Mr. Sanderson’s website I discovered that he offers some of his work for free. SWEET!)

However, when I saw he published his writing class lectures on YouTube, I was instantly intrigued. I’ve watched enough YouTube videos where people talk about his lecture series to want to watch them for myself.

The first one is an introduction:

And by introduction, it means he talks about the writing life. He talks about how he got started in writing and the number of years he toiled away before he was discovered and now he’s a best-selling author.

Every writer’s dream, am I right?

But he also said something really interesting – writing is what you make of it. For example, for me, writing is fun. I get satisfaction out of creating something out of nothing. I like my characters and I like putting them into various situations. I write because … I don’t know, I just feel like I NEED to, sometimes. Sure, I would love to be published at some point in my life but it’s not WHY I write. In fact, I would be, and perhaps I will someday, perfectly fine to post a serial story on my blog, just for kicks. I know other writers would be horrified at the thought of putting their work on the Internet because once you do that, it sort of  kills your chances of publishing it later. But I’m not really into writing with the goal of being published. Sure. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that the thought of being published and actually making money from my work wouldn’t be a dream come true, but it’s not my sole goal. I just want to write because I enjoy it. And perhaps, other people will enjoy reading it.

Brandon also talks about the importance of making time for “real” life outside your work. Relationships, friendships, engaging with the world as a whole. Because doing that not only gives you fodder for stories, but it makes your writing more relatable.

He talks about being disciplined in your writing schedule and figuring out what works best for you. I really appreciated the fact that he talked about writing advice and how one author will suggest you try this and another author will tell you that doing this will be better, but ultimately, you have to figure out what works best for YOU. We are all different and we all approach writing from various points of view, from life experiences. There is no right or wrong way to write. I also really appreciated the fact that he said if you write, then you’re a writer. You don’t have to be published, and/or make money, to be a writer.

Nothing annoys me more than to watch writers stick their noses up in the air and claim that to truly be a writer, you must be A. B. C. I disagree. If you write, journal, whatever, you’re a writer. Because creating something out of nothing is HARD.

He also talked about leaving brain space for writing. This is my current problem. I work in healthcare and that takes up A LOT of brain space. I have very little space, and energy, to be creative when I get home from work. So often, I don’t write a lot during the week. I’m one of those weekend writers that he mentions in the class. That is when I have the most, time, energy, and brain space to write something.

I count what I do on this blog as writing. Again, writing these blog posts takes creative energy. I would like to write more fiction, and I will try and do that, but I feel like I need to clear my brain space first and to do that, I need to dump all of my other thoughts and ideas into blog posts first. Once I’ve done that, I feel refreshed and ready to invite my creative muse in for a visit.

I appreciated how he didn’t discourage new writers but at the same time expressed realistic expectations. You can’t become a writer if you don’t write. It’s fun to TALK about wanting to be a writer, but to actually sit down and write something, is a whole new ballgame.

Discovery and architect writing. Meaning – discovery = pantser and architect = outliner. I feel like I fall closer to being a discovery writer than an architect, though I’m not opposed to outlining … a bit.

And writing groups … I’d like to become part of a writing group at some point. I think that’s why I really like the Word Nerds because I think it would be fun to belong to a group of people that are friendly, supportive and helpful when critiquing my work. My problem is, I have no idea where to find that online. Any suggestions?

Even though Brandon doesn’t really get into the nitty-gritty of writing in this lecture, I think it’s important to hear, all the same. He talks about the importance of getting to know YOU, the writer, your habits and why experimenting with different ways to write will help you learn what works and what doesn’t work for you.

Brandon is more focused on science fiction and fantasy and though I don’t write these genres, I’m not opposed to trying them at some point. But his writing advice can be applied to whatever genre that interests you. I’m looking forward to watching more.

Did you learn anything from this lecture? If so, what? What type of writer are you: discovery, architect, or, somewhere in between?

Book Corner

Hey Readers, GoodReads Has Competition

Goodreads is an American social cataloging website that allows individuals to search its database of books, annotations, quotes, and reviews. Users can sign up and register books to generate library catalogs and reading lists. They can also create their own groups of book suggestions, surveys, polls, blogs, and discussions. The website’s offices are located in San Francisco. The company is owned by the online retailer Amazon.

Goodreads was founded in December 2006 and launched in January 2007 by Otis Chandler and Elizabeth Khuri Chandler. In December 2007, the site had 650,000 members and 10,000,000 books had been added. By July 2012, the site reported 10 million members, 20 million monthly visits, and thirty employees. On March 28, 2013, Amazon announced its acquisition of Goodreads, and by July 23, 2013, Goodreads announced their user base had grown to 20 million members.

By July 2019, the site had 90 million members. Source

I discovered Goodreads in December 2007. I didn’t keep track of the books I read between 2007 and 2012 – I have no idea why – but here are my reading stats beginning 2012 if you’re interested:

Not sure why I only logged four books in 2012 and I have NO idea what happened to 2017,(NO books, really??) but my reading has really been all over the map these past years.

Anyway. All of this to say, I’ve enjoyed using Goodreads over the years and I will continue to enjoy the site but ya’ll, Goodreads has some competition.

Have you heard of StoryGraph?

(By the way, I’ve been watching Word Nerds for a while now – they are a group of girls that make videos and host writing sprints from time-to-time – they are fun to watch and I encourage you to follow them!)

I made an account on StoryGraph and I like their interface so far. It’s simple, but strong. I like how you can take a survey and they will customize recommendations for you. I also REALLY like how you can EASILY import your Goodreads data and everything transfers over to StoryGraph. I’m still trying to figure it out, like I haven’t quite figured out how to follow people yet, but if you’re so inclined to follow me (and you can figure it out – which, by the way, let me know in the comments if you do), here is my profile page.

It’s still in early development and I’m sure they will add more features as they grow but I wanted to join to help support them on their journey and it’s fun to get involved in something in the early stages.

Anyway, if you’re looking for an alternative to Goodreads, or maybe you’re in the market to try something new, check them out!

(Not sponsored).

Podcast

Podcast: Biden’s Dog Says Joe Will be a Great President

This was published 12-6-20

Sorry, it’s a little blurry. We’re still learning. We are currently using three cameras so that’s why the lighting is off. There is a camera on me, a camera on Kevin and a camera on the both of us. I’m still not sure how I feel about filming our podcast but here we are, in all our flawed glory.

Please be patient as we (and by we I mean Kevin) works through camera issues. He’s getting better and better and he learns a little more each time. He is playing around with transitions and I think he taught himself how to insert pictures/graphs.

Our channel is Right From Us on YouTube. I know at some point he’s going to make an account on Rumble simply because we can’t trust YouTube to eventually find us and censor us as we’re right leaning and obviously critical of radical left wing agendas. I’ll link that account when that happens.

Anyway. I hope you enjoy two mature (ahem) people shoot the breeze about today’s politics. We are working on making our podcast more lighthearted and fun as we don’t want it to just become a bitch fest. And we’re also working really hard to challenge ourselves to think objectively and present ALL sides to an issue, not just OUR side.

Thanks for watching!