Bullet Journal

April Bullet Journal Cover

Not exactly earth shattering – bunnies = Easter, but I thought it was cute and different and I liked the colors, which I sort of kept to, you’ll see in April’s spreads. I wish I could draw bunnies, but alas, I don’t wish to offend any bunnies out there by trying.

I didn’t journal very much this month. I didn’t have a whole lot to say. *GASP* Quick! Mark that down in your calendars, but really, this month just sort of glided along. We’re still crazy short handed at work but somehow, we’re all making it work because WE’RE THE BOSS, and that’s all I’ve had energy for this month, just surviving work.

Weather has been good. Lots of sunshine and 60-degree days. The winds are coming though, which means tornado season will be upon us soon, but so far, so good.

Our youngest son, Brandon, turned 26 this month. Our BABY is 26 years old. *SIGH* It’s so weird to have children in their m-d to-late twenties. That means, we’re OLD. But I don’t FEEL old, until, I look closely in a mirror and then I’m reminded that I’m no longer a spring chicken.

Just wait, you young whippersnappers out there, you’ll see what I mean when you get to be my age. I look my age but I FEEL like I’m still in my 30’s.

Sort of sucks when reality doesn’t match your inner self.

Anyway …

Here are pictures of my March spreads – prepare to be AMAZED. *snort*

The cover page and my steps. I like the green and black – really pops. Don’t ask me why I put a arrow-thing design on the bottom of the page. I did that with my April steps page, too. All I know is that I have a packet of cool design templates and I’m dying to use them.

So there.

Didn’t do as good on my steps this month. You can really tell when I was off work and/or it was the weekend. I literally sit around all day on my days off. I’m staring at my Kindle or staring at my computer monitor. I do a lot of staring. If I stared a little less I would probably be a lot more productive. But some days, my brain is just, “NOPE.”

Another Earth shattering weather and sleep spread. Again – I don’t know WHY I like keeping track of the weather. It’s just something my brain refuses to give up. I’m old. Aren’t old people supposed to be obsessed with the weather?

Don’t answer that.

And if I were to guess what my average sleep hours? About 7 … ish. I could add up all of those sleep hours up and figure it out but I’m tired and my brain is all “NOPE.”

My habit trackers and my mood tracker.

Let’s all address the elephant in the room, shall we? I didn’t write a damn word or walk a damn step (outside of work) all month.

Yep, I’m a loser.

I also didn’t post anything on my Instagram but who am I kidding? I don’t even like Instagram all that much and I’m changing habits next month to something I might actually accomplish.

As you can see on my mini calendar, (because let’s face it, I’m not busy enough to warrant a FULL size calendar), I was off for a few days, (why does it feel like that happened months ago instead of weeks ago? That can’t be a good sign), Brandon turned 26 and Blake had all of his wisdom teeth cut out this month.

He spent the night with us the night he had them done because you just never know how people will react when put under anesthesia. (We could hardly get him to go home the next day because he was enjoying being babied so much. Ha!)

And my moods … cute turtles, right? However, I hated not having more than four emotions to choose from because let’s face it, I’m a complicated woman and I feel a minimum of 60 different emotions throughout my day and it annoyed me, (see?? Another emotion), that I didn’t have emotions to color in. I mean, sure, I had a lot of “meh” days, and thankfully, not very many sad days and probably too many mad days, but I was also productive, giddy, annoyed, irritated, and every other emotion you can name. So, I’ll be changing that up this next month but I had fun coloring in the turtles.

Hush, it was therapeutic.

Here is my reading tracker, (read 5 books this month, not bad), did three podcasts and worked/finished my Patreon. My writing tracker is pathetic but hopefully that gets better with time.

The rest of my pages are my actual journal pages and of course, I’m not sharing those pages. (Especially now that my co-workers have found my blog and have discovered that I’m an INTERNATIONAL SUPER BLOGGER.)

I try and stay humble but it’s not always easy.

Here’s one of my favorite bullet journal videos from April. I have such a fascination for watching people paint and just be artistic. I envy their talent. I mean, I have to use templates, for Pete’s sake, and I don’t even do that well.

Anyway, enjoy! And please consider supporting your favorite creators by joining their Patreon! It’s only a few dollars per month but to the creator, it’s priceless.

Podcast

20: Are We Living in a Permanent Pandemic?

leaves2
 
So are we? Living in a permanent pandemic? What does your gut tell you? I think the government is going to try its hardest to inject as much fear, as often as it can, for as long as it can. The question is, will we be warriors or sheeple? Have you been paying attention to the situation at the border? It’s disgusting that we’ve served those poor people to human traffickers. Also, Biden’s mental capacity seems to be getting worse. I think it’s elder abuse! Book review this week is Andrew Mayne’s “Looking Glass.” And my Patreon is open! Come join us!

Mentioned in podcast:
 
 

Intermission music:
 
Where Did The Time Go? by Pyrosion | https://soundcloud.com/pyrosion
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/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!

BONUS! Here is our Right From Us Podcast, if you’re interested in watching it. Our podcast is also on the above platforms called “Right From Us.”

Camp NaNoWriMo

Laptop, Check, Flashlight, Check, Bug Spray, Check – Packing for April Camp NaNoWriMo 2021

*blows whistle* Listen up, campers!

It’s time to line up for Camp NaNoWriMo! Come on, don’t be shy! Grab your gear and follow me.

Watch your step, stick to the path. We don’t want anyone to get lost!

I hear some excited chatter back there! I know how you feel! It’s time to chuck the real world aside for a moment and dive back into our creative worlds. Here at Camp WritefromKaren, our goal is to provide you with a safe, comfortable place to allow your creative muse room to stretch, grow and dance, if he/she feels so inclined.

I know it feels a bit cool now, but once we build the campfire and snuggle up with a hot beverage or two, you’ll be all set to begin your writing adventure.

Step lively! We want to get there before dark!

*fifteen minutes of traipsing through the woods later*

And, we’re here! *blows whistle* You can place your stuff in your assigned cabins, there is a number on the back of the keychains you were given earlier, and then meet me back out here with your preferred writing utensil of choice and let’s get started!

*ten minutes later*

Welcome back! We’re all gathered here today to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo. Anything goes. The rule is, there are no rules. You can approach Camp any way you choose. You can set your own word count, you can choose to use this time to edit an existing project and work on any project you so choose. Camp NaNoWriMo is not as stringent as the traditional NaNoWriMo held every November. The weather is warm (in the Northern Hemisphere) and the goal is to get out of the house (because the pandemic is almost over, right??), breathe in some fresh air, clean out the brain cobwebs, dust off your creative muse and have some fun!

Just a reminder, Camp NaNoWriMo is held every April and July so if you miss this camp, there is always another one just around the corner. I hope we can establish a writing group by next Camp so we can exchange ideas and offer support to one another.

For those of you curious as to my project – I plan on writing four stories about 6,500(ish) words long. Wait, what is a novella length … *Googles it* 10,000 to 40,000 words whereas a novelette, (which I didn’t even know existed before just now), is 7,500 to 10,000 words long.

So now, I have to challenge myself to write four novelettes this month because, why not??

I’d like to write 25,000 (ish) words in April – we’ll see how close I get.

I’m choosing shorter pieces because I feel like that’s the type of writing that suits me best. Anything longer than 10,000 words and I start getting bored – with or without plotting.

I’d like to host some writing sprints – not live, but via video. I don’t know about you guys, but writing sprints REALLY worked for me in November and I’m pretty sure that’s the reason I won NaNoWriMo in November 2020. You can also find TONS of writing sprints on YouTube – just search writing sprints and you can take your pick.

My Patreon is up and running, (link in the sidebar) but it’s just beginning and will take some time to build a community so in the meantime, I would love if you would consider joining me on the NaNoWriMo site for my “Write Away” group hosted there. NaNoWriMo limits the group size to 20. If you want to leave a comment on this post with your NaNoWriMo username, I can add you to the group. My username is take2max if you want to search for me. (You have to be signed into the NaNoWriMo site for that link to work).

I’m not sure if I will post my stories here or not. It all depends on what I get done and how fast I get it done. But I will post excerpts of my work on my Patreon, tier three, if you’re interested in joining. I would LOVE to see what you’re working on as well! Feel free to leave a link to your WIP in the comment section.

Here are a couple of story ideas – feel free to steal this for your own writing, if you’re looking for ideas:

  1. Hidden room discovered behind a mirror – why is it there? Who is watching her? Who is living there?
  2. Message in a bottle washes ashore. What is the message? Who is it from? Why was it put there?
  3. Bride’s limo catches fire on the way to her wedding. Does the wedding go on as planned? Or does this interruption change the bride’s life path forever?
  4. Flash drive full of disturbing pictures. The hunt is on to find the girl in the pictures and potentially save her life.

I may, or may not, use some of these ideas. 🙂

So, to recap: I plan on writing 7,500 (ish) words per week in April and to offer weekly (??) writing sprint videos.

Gah. I’m starting to sweat when thinking how much work this is going to be. lol

Okay campers, enough about me. What are YOUR plans for the 2021 April Camp NaNoWriMo?

TBR

April To-Be-Read Stack

AprilTBR1-2018

Hello readers!

*SNIFFFFF* Can you smell the fresh air? Oh look! I see some green out there! The world is slowly waking up and I’M READY.

To read some more …

I’m not reading for the rest of the month. I’m “caught” up on my goals, according to Goodreads and I want to take this time to work on my blog and Patreon AND the April Camp NaNoWriMo.

More on that very soon!

___________________________________________________

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.

I have currently read 12 books out of 55.

Moving on, here is my April TBR stack:

  1. An Unfinished Story by Boo Walker
  2. The Cipher (Nina Guerrera Book 1) by Isabella Maldonado
  3. DEAR NEIGHBOUR: no boundary to murder by Anna Willett
  4. The Arrangement by Kiersten Modglin
  5. In the Dark by Loreth Anne White

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

Happy Reading!
Podcast

19: No Screaming Allowed

relax-just-me
California is close to opening it’s theme parks again – with the stipulations that it can’t operate over 15% capacity and no screaming, singing or shouting allowed. In other words, you may go but you may not have fun! Question: would you stay home if the government paid you more than you could make at your job? Rand Paul spears Dr. Fauci to the wall like a trapped bug and it’s so satisfying to see him squirm for a change. Book review this week is “Winter’s Curse” by Mary Stone. And two strange story ideas that are actually true. Also, my Patreon is VERY close to being completed! Stay tuned!

Mentioned in podcast:

Intermission music:
And Watch The Birds Fly by Sapajou | https://soundcloud.com/sapajoubeats
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!

Podcast

YouTube Deleted Our Video – Strike One

WE HAVE ARRIVED! I guess we’re somebody now because we were kicked off YouTube.

At least, this video was.

Admittedly, our original title was a bit … provocative. And the YouTube gods didn’t like that, so they issued a warning.

So Kevin changed the title, uploaded it again and they deleted it again – they also issued our first strike. We’re not allowed to post anything for one week.

This podcast IS controversial in that we dare to go right whenever everyone else is marching left. We DARE to talk about how the COVID-19 vaccine is not technically a vaccine at this point in time, it’s an experimental injectable because it hasn’t been trialed and the FDC has not approved it yet. But the government is being able to distribute it because the country is in a state of “emergency.”

But are we? Cases have gone down. The number of people in the hospital have gone down, in fact it was going down BEFORE the distribution of the experimental injectable. It also went drastically down on January 20th. Does that date ring a bell for anyone? (Hint: Biden took office).

But whatever. Do what you want. Kevin and I are simply trying to point out there are a lot of unanswered questions about this injectable – what are the short-term side effects? What are the long-term repercussions? Why are we being coerced into sticking out our arms and getting jabbed with God knows what when “science” has determined COVID is 99.1% recoverable?

These are questions that should be asked and people should take into consideration before making the decision to agree to the injectable. Why is that a bad thing? Don’t people WANT to be informed? It doesn’t seem like it. It seems like people just want to do whatever it takes to get back to normal. And I get that. But at what cost? Let’s be honest, we are only in this situation to begin with because the government put us here and now the government is scrambling to fix a problem THEY started.

As usual.

Look, I’m not an anti-vaxxer. I think vaccines are very important to prevent serious diseases – measles, mumps, polio, etc. But this injectable that is being sold as a vaccine has never had a successful animal trial. Let that sink in for a moment. It hasn’t been fully vetted and I’m simply saying, that for me and my family, I’ll wait until it’s been thoroughly tested and approved before I will consider getting it.

But apparently, you can’t raise these issues, or ask legitimate questions, without being forcibly silenced. Why? What is big tech scared of? If this is all on the up-and-up, then what’s with the totalitarian response?

NO ONE is going to force me into something I don’t feel comfortable with. And if that means we’re kicked off YouTube or I am forced to quit my job because I refuse to consent to an injection of .. whatever, without viable testing that proves it’s safe, so be it.

We are in a very, very dangerous place in our society, folks. When you can’t even ask questions – that’s bad.

Anyway. Here is the video that caused YouTube’s head to explode. In the meantime, I would recommend you follow us over on Rumble because there is no telling how much longer we’ll make it on YouTube. We plan on continuing to post videos on YouTube but we’ll be forced to use alternate words in place of “hot” topics that YouTube’s bots are programmed to watch for. It’s a sad commentary on our country when you have to alter your communication and speak in code simply to try and inform and offer people alternative sources of information.

We’re rebels, I guess. Not bad for a couple of old fogeys, eh?

Patreon

Building My Discord Server

It’s a good thing I’ve been off work these past several days because I’ve been spending a lot of my time and focus on setting up my Patreon page and my Discord server.

I’m happy to report that I submitted my Patreon page to the Patreon gods so hopefully that gets approved soon.

In the meantime, I have been watching a TON of YouTube videos on how to set up a Discord server and how to connect it to my Patreon. I’m happy to report, I was successful and it seems to be working.

I’ve also been watching a TON of YouTube videos on how to set up bots on a Discord server, too. I successfully set up one, so far. It’s a YAGPDB bot that assigns roles whenever you read the rules and click on the check mark to signify you have read and agree to the rules. After that, the bot allows you full access to the rest of the channels on my server. Sounds complicated but it was surprisingly easy to set up. I’m looking at adding a few more bots as well.

Here is a screenshot of what I have so far:

When my Patreon page is approved and goes live, I’m offering three tiers:

Tier One will not have access to my Discord server – however – they are free to try it out for a few days and if they like what they see, to upgrade for a Discord invite.

Tier Two is for writers who would like to exchange ideas, participate in writing activities and hang out together.

Tier Three is a private group (I’m limiting it to about 30 at this point) where we participate in writing activities, critique each other’s work and join a monthly book club to discuss aspects of the story and how we could incorporate those story elements in our own writing, hang out and have some fun.

The Discord Server has been a challenge to put together and I have a lot to learn but I’m having a BALL and I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’m going to give Kevin an invite so we can see what it looks like from a user’s perspective to make sure everything is working correctly.

In case you’re curious, I set up my server watching this video:

SUPER HELPFUL video.

And I used another one of his videos to make the YAGPDB bot as well.

I’m not sure when I will “go live” with my Patreon yet. There are a few more things I want to test out and add, but when I do, I’m going to need more time to devote to my Patreon and less time to devote to my blog.

However, if you feel so inclined, I would LOVE to see you and get to know you on my Patreon so I hope you’ll consider joining me over there when it goes live.

In the meantime, the schedule I’m going to tentatively start when Patreon goes live is:

Blog / Patreon blog – Mondays / Wednesdays / Sundays

Discord Server – Tuesdays / Thursdays – maybe Saturdays.

I’m taking Fridays off. (Maybe)

We’ll see how it works out. I still need a place to vent about my personal life and politics and this blog is more appropriate for that. I’m only using Patreon to focus on reading/writing fiction.

Anyway – thanks for reading. Stay tuned – it’s about to get a lot more interesting around here! Ha!