Tag Archives: Snapshots

Sunday Snapshot: All Moved In (Almost)

It’s been a truly hectic week, but I’m happy to say, I’m almost all moved into the new place! We officially moved on Wednesday, but ran out of elevator time (this is something that can happen when you move from or to a condo). So it’s been a mad dash to get everything out of the old place by today; we’re able to keep using the locker at the old place for a little while longer, thank goodness, and basically all that’s left to be moved is in that locker.

I am nowhere near unpacked, but I LOVE my new room; it feels good to have “my space” like this, and even though we’ve already had an argument, I think there’s a good chance that this new post-separation arrangement will work out. Dylan loves the new place, too, which is nice—he’s definitely all settled in, even though most of his toys are still in boxes. Kids today don’t need too much—a power bar to plug in their laptop and their iPad and they’re quite content.

It’s been hard even thinking about blog posts lately, so I thought I’d start doing more Snapshot posts, but on various days, not just Tuesdays. So here goes!

Time: 1:24 pm (and I was extremely grateful for that extra half hour today; yesterday was a gruelling day)

Feeling: Tired but good

Eating: A ham sub on flat bread. The low-carb diet worked really well for me and I’m at my ideal weight now, so I’m slowly adding more carbs back into my diet.

Drinking: A decaf latte from Second Cup.

Reading:

blackhouse

I haven’t read anything at all this past week, other than browsing Facebook links during the brief snatches of downtime I took. But before that, I did finish up the first two books in Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy series; these are mysteries set in the Isle of Lewis, in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. I enjoyed both of them, although I did like the first one, The Blackhouse more than the second one, The Lewis Man. Unfortunately, my library still doesn’t have a copy of the final book in the trilogy, The Chessman.

Listening: I did manage to get some listening time in last week, finishing up two of Robert Parker’s Spenser books written by Ace Atkins, Kickback and Cheap Shot. It’s tough to step into the shoes of a grand master like Parker, but I think Atkins does a fairly good job, and it’s great to be able to keep getting my Spencer fix.

Writing: It’s November 1 today—and I don’t know if I’ll be able to do Nanowrimo! It’s been so busy I haven’t even had time to think about my writing, and the next two weeks are so busy, filled with both work deadlines and, of course, unpacking. If I do participate, I will keep working on Sweetness & Dank, so that will make me a Nanowrimo Rebel, since I won’t be starting a new story. I’ll keep you all updated.

Working: Too much. It’s my busy season, and I have so many deadlines coming up. And a surprising number of rush indexes. So November will be all about juggling everything. I’m so thankful for my coworking space, because when I go there to work, I have this laser focus and I’m incredibly productive.

Creating: Nothing! And I don’t foresee doing any arty things anytime this month. But I’ve been looking at recipes, though, and collecting simple ones that I can make easily. So maybe I’ll be able to write a Weekend Cooking post soon.

Looking forward to: Finally getting all unpacked, whenever that may be.

Snapshot: April 14, 2015

Time: 3:44 pm

Feeling: Hot! It’s double digits out there today, which means it’s really hot inside (we’re in a condo apartment where all outside walls are windows).

Planning: I’m really pleased to report I’ve finally found a planner system that seems to be working for me. I ended up designing my own planner page using a spreadsheet. It’s great—has a time log/scheduling area that tracks from 6:00 am (not that I’ll ever get up that early but I can dream, right?) until 1:30 am. I could have made it go even later, but I’m trying to get to bed a little earlier so I’ve decided 1:30 am will be the latest (but I can change this if it doesn’t work—that’s the beauty of using your own planner template).

Planner.jpgMy planner, with printouts inside

Right now I’m using a combo time tracking/time scheduling technique that’s working really well for me. I only schedule in actual appointments but using the Passion Planner’s weekly pages I map out everything I want to accomplish each day which has made a huge difference. I can’t believe I never did this before. I would just keep everything in my head and while it worked in that I was never late meeting deadlines, it was also really stressful.

And now I am so aware of how much time I have each day to accomplish what needs to be done. Since the deadlines are now easy at the moment, it turns out I have a lot more time each day to work on my own personal things, like my writing, than I realized.

Reading: I’m currently reading David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. The first few pages took some getting used to, but it’s not as tough going as I’d expected. I’m also reading Good Omens which I’m really enjoying. Not that these are two books you can compare, as it would be like comparing apples and oranges. But if I had to pick one, I know which I’d pick!

Listening: I have two audiobooks on the go right now. I’m about a third of the way through David Rosenfelt’s Leader of the Pack, the tenth book in the Andy Carpenter series. It’s a fun, light read. I started this series in audio last year and have been slowly but surely working my way through them.

I’m also listening to Motive, the latest in the Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman. It’s been a long time since I last read an Alex Delaware book in print form. I think I’ve listened to the audio versions since around book 14 or 15. I really enjoy John Rubinstein’s narration, particularly the way he does Milo’s voice. I always know it’s Milo!

Writing: I’m struggling with the revisions for Waverley. It’s just overwhelming how much work needs to be done. At times I feel like I haven’t really told the story I want to tell. I started a writing journal yesterday and I’m hoping I’ll be able to use it to tackle the revisions.

Working: My deadlines are nice and steady both this week and next. I’m now consulting my planner for everything and seeing where a potential deadline might cause stress. When I see this happening, before I say yes I’ll talk with the editors about setting a different deadline and they usually have no problems, so that’s been good.

Creating: I got my first colouring book for adults! Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book arrived the other day. I couldn’t resist going out to Staples and stocking up on some supplies:

markers.jpg

Looking forward to: I’ve got a lunch date with my older son tomorrow, shopping with my daughter on Friday and lunch with two of my friends on Sunday. My social calendar isn’t usually that full!

Snapshot: 12-23-2014

Time:

8:05 pm

Wearing:

Black pants, black tank top, black cardigan. Yes, most of my wardrobe is black. I’d like to add some colour into it in the new year.

Feeling:

Tired. Pleased. Exhausted. Happy. (I just finished ALL the last minute shopping. This means, I’m all set for Christmas! But I’ve also just trekked all over downtown, so I’m really really tired.)

Photo of the week:

This is Creeper. He’s one of our two cats (the other is Hobbes, the sweater-eater. Actually, he eats almost all clothing, not just sweaters).

Creeper in tree

As you can see, Creeper is in the tree. This particular spot is about my shoulder height, the highest in the tree he’s climbed. He’s quite pleased with himself in this picture, but oh, our poor tree! It no longer has a tree-shape, as Creeper, cute though he is, weighs quite a bit more than he did last Christmas, when he was a kitten. Our tree is so un-tree like, we can’t put presents under it, because the tips of the lower branches now droop too low.

Eating:

I had a large bowl of rare beef pho noodles with my daughter before I started my last minute shopping. Very good, but a lot of carbs (I’ve been trying to cut back). But I love pho, so having the occasional carb-splurgy day is fine with me.

Drinking:

Water kefir, unflavoured. It’s okay, but I need to get the flip-top bottles they sell at beer making stores in order to get it to carbonate.

Reading:

I finished Jackaby, by William Ritter. I wasn’t as enthralled with it as I had expected. It was a good read, but it didn’t grab me and wow me the way I’d been expecting. I’m not sure why. Although I did figure out who the bad guy was about midway through the novel, so that might have been it. I didn’t know what he was, but I knew who he was.

I’m now reading The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries, edited by Otto Penzler, which I talked about earlier this week. I started out by dipping here and there, choosing what stories I wanted to read, but then I decided to just start from the beginning, skipping any story I’d already read before (which turned out to be both the two Agatha Christie’s,the Ngaio Marsh and the Nero Wolfe short story). So far I’ve read “Gold, Frankincense and Murder” by Catherine Aird, “Boxing Unclever” by Robert Barnard, “The Chinese Apple” by Joseph Shearing (another one where I guessed “whodunnit” early on) and “Blue Christmas” by Peter Robinson. I enjoyed “Blue Christmas” the most – I’m very fond of Inspector Banks.

Listening:

I finished 14, by Peter Clines – wow, what a seat of the pants ending! The whole last quarter of the novel was so gripping, which is nice when it’s an audiobook. I’m now finishing up Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm, an audiobook I’d started much earlier this year, then stopped and have just now decided to get back to. I think, though, I haven’t been as focused listening to this one – my mind has occasionally wandered and a few times I listened while in bed, which is never good because unless it’s extremely exciting I nod off. So now Cormoran’s getting close to deducing who did what, and I’m finding I’m not even sure who some of the potential players are.

Writing:

Just blog posts. But I’ll be starting writing daily after the holidays.

Working:

I’m not working – I have this week off! Waiting on answers to an interview email, but they won’t come until after the holidays.

Creating:

Nothing. But that will change in the new year. I hope.

Discoveries:

There are a lot of productivity blogs out there! I know this because I’ve been adding them to my Feedly (part of my new year’s intention to be/stay more productive). Same goes for self-development. Actually, there are even more self-development blogs than there are productivity blogs.

Looking forward to:

The next two days! We have our intimate family Christmas on Christmas Eve. It’s not really a “dinner”, as we do snacks and appetizers from late afternoon well into the evening. Dylan is excited because Sean and Hayley have agreed to play a Wii game with him (it’s a Mario game, I believe). This is a big deal because they are twelve and nine years older than him respectively and they don’t often play his console games with him.

My family is also getting together for Christmas at my sister’s on Monday, so that will be fun too. She’s making prime rib roast, and her roast beef is always excellent. It will be another foodie day. I’ve asked Hayley to bring her Cards for Humanity game, so I expect there will be a lot of laughter as well.

The rest of today:

I’m going to read for a bit, and then once Dylan is in bed, I’ll start wrapping. I’d planned to get my wrapping done on the weekend, but that didn’t happen. But I have a good chunk of time tonight. I’ll probably put Netflix on and wrap and watch.

Snapshot: 12-16-2014

Wearing: My pajamas and a hoodie, because it’s a bit cool in here.

Feeling: Pretty good. I still have some deadlines before Christmas, but they’re on the lighter side, so I feel like I have some breathing space.

Eating: Just had a bowl of savoury oatmeal, with salmon chunks in it. I prefer my oatmeal to be savoury rather than sweet – kind of like a Western version of congee!

Drinking: Homemade mango kefir and a cup of green tea.

Reading: I started Jackaby by William Ritter last week. It’s been good so far, although I haven’t read enough of it yet to be feeling that “can’t put this down” feeling. I have high hopes for it, though.

Listening: Still listening to 14 by Peter Clines. Just finished a really exciting scene last night – I think I was holding my breath through much of it.  I have about two and a half more hours of the book left.

I also downloaded the Eckhart Tolle bundle onto my iPhone, and have been listening to his talk on Manifestation. As always, the focus is on being and the practice of presence, and it’s always such a good reminder for me, especially around this time of the year. Lately, despite daily meditation (or attempts at it), my mind is usually going a mile a minute, and Eckhart always manages to slow me down to the speed of presence. I just wish I could get there easily when I’m not listening to him!

Writing: Other than blog posts and freelance articles, nothing. I may be able to get back into a regular fiction writing habit before Christmas, but this time of year can get crazy, I’ve decided to be okay if I don’t start until after the holidays.

I’m excited, though, because my writing buddy Memory is currently doing an alpha read (it’s more like pre-alpha, if that’s possible) of my children’s book WAVERLEY, both the new, finished version and my first, incomplete version. The feedback she’s given me so far has been really good, and I’m planning on revising WAVERLEY beginning in the new year.

Working: I have two freelance articles due tomorrow, and I’m also finishing up an index for a very interesting book. I like this, because I rarely index interesting books (most of my projects are university textbooks, with the occasional high school book thrown in). This one is on the cooperative business model and servant leadership, and I found the concepts rather breathtaking.

Creating: Another big zero here. I know this is something I need to make into a daily habit or it will never get done, so it’s probably not going to happen until after the holidays. Things I’m thinking about doing in the new year are more drawing and more sketchnoting. We shall see.

Photo of the week: I took this last night, of Dylan and Creeper:

Photo 2014-12-15, 7 29 30 PM

I’ve also been having a lot of fun this past week on Instagram with the #SeasonsReading challenge. I think I’ll be doing more Book-a-Day photo challenges in the new year – they really make me think more creatively about the pictures I’m taking.

Discovery: Now that I can comment on blogs from my phone, I’ve developed a new morning routine: blog reading! (I used to read the Toronto Star quickly followed by the New York Times (not as quickly), but I much prefer blog reading). So I’ve been coming across a ton of “Best of the Year” lists. They make me weep sometimes, though, as my TBR now feels even more out of control than ever.  Kristen’s list at We Be Reading has probably done the most amount of damage so far in this regard.

Looking forward to: The holidays! Doing the final bit of gift shopping! Actually having time to have fun wrapping this year (instead of doing it all in a crazed, two-hour, frantic blitz as I’ve done in previous years)! And some nice big blocks of time for reading (fingers crossed about this one).

The rest of today: Dylan and I are headed out to the library, where we each have a large stack of holds to pick up. Plus our library cards need to be renewed. And then work. But I kind of feel like I had the morning off, so it’s not too bad.

Snapshot: 12-09-2014

Time: 2:12 p.m.

Feeling: Sleep deprived. Worked on a deadline late last night, then had to spend some zoning out time so I could sleep. Which resulted in a really really late night.

Wearing: PJs and my bathrobe (I know, I know. It’s past noon. It’s one of the perks of freelancing. Plus I’ve been groggy all day. I’m changing as soon as I finish this, though.)

Eating: Having lunch late today. I’ll be making my Anything-Goes Parmesan Vegetable Soup. It’s great because it works with whatever I have in the fridge. Today, that will be zucchini, onion, celery and portobello mushrooms.

Drinking: Homemade blueberry kefir! Yes, my milk kefir grains are doing well! The blueberry kefir is nice, but the strawberry kefir I made yesterday was just amazing.

Reading: Nothing. Sigh. But once I put this current deadline to bed, I’ll be able to dive in.  I have a stack of library books which have now acquired the label Must Be Read Before They’re Due Back. Nothing like a reading deadline to get me going.

Listening: 14, by Peter Clines. This audiobook has been in my to-listen list for a long time. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten to it earlier, but I’m really glad I’m getting to it now.

14

Writing: I haven’t gotten back to my writing yet, either, but I will as soon as this deadline is done. Current WIP is Lakeview Legacy, a horror novel. I got about 39K during NaNoWriMo (nope, didn’t win this year – too many deadlines forced me to take a week off from writing … and that was that, unfortunately).

Working: Indexing a book on labour relations. Yes, it’s definitely not the most lively book in the world. It’s due tomorrow, and I’m hoping to get it done by tonight, since I’m supposed to be meeting a friend tomorrow for lunch.

Creating: NOTHING. Argh. I hate how deadlines take control of my life. I’m hoping to figure something out about this in the new year. In the meantime, no, I haven’t been creating a thing.

Discovery: Not all the ornaments on our Christmas tree are shatterproof. I know this because one of our cats, Hobbes, just fell off the top of the bookcase next to the tree, where he’d been perched trying to fish one of ornaments from near the top. He crashed into bottom of the tree, dislodging several ornaments in the process and breaking one of them.

The husband: The ornaments!

Me: Hobbes! Are you all right?

I soothed Hobbes (only thing hurting was his pride, I think) while the husband cleaned up.

Looking forward to: Getting this deadline done! I still have presents to buy and wrap. Those Christmas cards, though, are going to have to be Happy New Year Cards, I’m afraid. I’m pretty sure I’ve missed or am on the cusp of missing several mail-out-by- deadlines.

The rest of today: Finishing up this deadline. But first I have to take my son to hip hop.