Sunday Speeds

It’s been a good week. Sorta. I wake up every morning so, that’s something to be thankful for, yes? Yes.

I’ve blogged daily, which is something I’d set out to do. I’m keeping a planner. Two actually. One is yearly. And the other is quarterly. I loved the idea of quarterly planners, breaking my year up into smaller visual pieces and had to give it a try.

I joined in #fitreaders to do 5K or 10K each month, but really I do more than that and it’s a good thing. I do 5K or 10K several times a week. Or, I’m starting to do so. I’m not looking for weight loss (though my doctor would love it if I did.). I’m looking for better fitness on the inside.

FitReaders2016

I started a thing (that’s also still in infancy and full of need to be tweaked here and there) called #10KWeekendsForWriters. I want to write more and always do better when I have an end goal or a deadline looming. So, I thought this would be a good thing, going back to when I first started writing. The first weekend of it ends tonight at 10pm and while I won’t make it to the 10K, I’ll have made a HUGE dent in the current book I’m writing and needing to finish like yesterday.

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I accomplished some things. But still, not enough of what is necessary each week. I’m working on trying NOT to stress too much. To read more. To think and plan and figure out when I’m most productive as a writer. Ever since my son started back to public school in October of last year, I’ve been floundering on the writing front. I’m a night writer. (No. Jokes.) I always have been really. Yes, I can write during the day sometimes, but it’s never consistent. I write at night after everyone goes to bed or goes to their rooms, when the dishes are done and the house is quiet. There are minimal distractions and minimal noise I can make. It’s always been perfect.

I kind of got into the habit of creativity at night when I was in college. The guy I had the biggest crush on, who had a crush on me but would never admit it, would show up at my house at 11pm. We’d talk while he was waiting for a practice room at the university to come available. He was a French horn player and he’d practice from midnight to three or four in the morning. He said it was when he felt most alive, most in tune with the music. I understood that perfectly. I sometimes did the same thing.

Night has always been my friend and while we home schooled, I could work at whatever hours I wanted. But with public school hours, I can’t. I’m up at 5:30am and in bed by 11. The hours I’m used to writing, I’m now using for sleep and my mind, my creative mind, hasn’t figured out how to make the transition. I sit sometimes and simply stare at the screen because the words are just not there. But at 2am I’ll wake up and the words are ready to pour through and I’m just so dead tired, I’ve created at night for so many years. I’m not sure how to switch. I’m even sure I can.

This has been a struggle. We’ll see what I come up with and how I’m able to adjust. I don’t have a choice but to adjust, I just have to figure out how and in what ways.

And, that’s about where I am right now. I have more writing to do, some errands to do, a book to finish reading, and more coffee to brew… Y’all have a great Sunday.

~lissa

 

What Are Leftovers? My Attempt At Meal Planning…

When I was growing up (yes, it’s one of those stories), eating out was a rare thing. Special occasions were when we went to Red Lobster. You also dressed up to go there or to a steak house. You didn’t wear jeans.

Fast food was rare, too. We’d stop at McDonald’s on the way out of town for a quick on the road dinner or breakfast. Taco Bell was a once every couple of weeks thing. And we rarely ever ordered pizza out unless it was for a party.

No, we ate at home. You wanted pizza, we made it. Tacos, we made them, too. Cheeseburgers? There was a secret recipe and they were famous among family and friends. We didn’t eat out on a regular basis as we all do now. And when I say we, it’s a collective society WE.

My parents worked, sometimes crazy hours, but 90% of the time, we ate at home.

But, it’s been a problem in our house, the eating out more than we should. I’m the only cook. My kids have no interest in cooking (they better marry a chef or have a really high paying job so they can eat out). I’ve tried, but nah. My spouse has no interest in learning how to cook much either. And, I get tired of being the only one, no matter how much I love doing it. But eating out is too expensive on a regular basis. Too many meals can be made from just what a family of four spends eating out at some place like Applebee’s.

Now, I’ve tried this before and life got the best of me and it was working out really well. I’m doing it again in the hopes that it sticks this time.

I loosely plan meals. I find dishes I want to make or try and buy all the ingredients for them for the week. I pick a cookie or something to bake (I haven’t yet this week). I buy all the breakfast stuff and the lunch stuff to make sandwiches. And I do my best to stay out of the store the rest of the week. It didn’t work this week, but maybe it’ll work better in the coming weeks.

I make things that are hearty and will have leftovers. Casseroles. Stews and chilis and soups.

We used to dread leftover when I was a kid. It was like, “but we had that last night’. Little did I know how much I’d come to love having leftovers in the fridge. It makes life so much easier, especially on the weekends when people are hungry ALL THE TIME!

The links to the recipes I made this week are as follows:

  1. French Onion Chicken and Rice Bake
  2. Grown Up Cheeseburger Macaroni
  3. Mexican Lasagna
  4. Crock-Pot Ravioli Casserole

Most recipes I try I have found on food blogs and Pinterest. I haven’t decided what we’ll have in the upcoming week, but I’m thinking something with shrimp, and maybe a beef stew… It helps to know what we’re having each night, using the crock pot especially, even just once and yes, I know there were only 4 recipes, but, there are enough leftovers for Friday and Saturday without someone eating the same thing more than twice in one week. And dinner on Sundays is typically, breakfast.

Do you cook at home? Do you plan meals? I’d love to know your tips and tricks.

~lissa

 

It’s The Small Things, Really

Happy Friday!

And now that I get my ass up every morning at 5:30 and take my son to school, I look forward to Friday. Every. Damn. Friday. Before that, days just ran together because working from home, home schooling, all things delivered to your door… But anyway, FRIDAY! I can sleep in tomorrow. Thought it rarely ever works that way, it is nice to dream.

So, this post. I’ve blogged every day now since last Friday. Twice yesterday. And one of my goals for 2016 was to take a page out of Delilah Devlin’s book and have something on my blog all the time. It might be a guest post, or me yammering away about nonsense, or posting information about book releases, etc… But to start utilizing my blog again. A lot.

I’m disenchanted with social media. I use it. A lot. But I use it way more than I use my blog and my website and really, I think, it should be the other way around. I may only have 3 people reading this blog or visiting my site right now, but at least I know those 3 people WANT to be here.

2016 is the year I’m going to turn that around and use my blog and website and newsletter more than I use social media. I haven’t figured out all the ins and outs yet. I haven’t figured out how to get more people here or there or to sign up, but it’s a process and I’ll figure out what works for me.

I don’t generally like social media because Oh My God, I can’t control all that drama and I really don’t want to be part of it. I want to keep up with the business and then do the business MY way. (cue Elvis on stage in Hawaii singing MY WAY. it’s his birthday, by the way… he’d have been 81).

Oh Look!

Now, that man… He did it all his own way.

And I think that’s what we need more of. People doing things their way and even though we’re in a business of creating, most of us doing get ahead by being different. Nope. Author A does one thing. Then, Author B. emulates exactly what Author A did, right down to the hook and cover of her book. Authors C, D, and E, follow suit, and what we now have is an alphabet size pool of books that all look the same, read the same, follow the same path, etc…

I don’t want to read the same book and I don’t want to write the same book. I don’t want mine to look like yours or yours look like mine. But different in this business seems to have gone the way of the dodo. If we’re not all doing the same thing, then whoever is doing it different is doing it wrong. And I call bullshit.

I have listened for too long all that. No. More. I’m going to go about this my way. That’s how I started and I’m not afraid anymore. I’m not scared to say what’s on my mind. I’m not cowed by the ‘but how’s that going to look?’. Who cares.

It’s the small things that mean something. It’s the small gestures that are remembered, not always the grand ones. It’s the personal touch. It’s the individuality. And that’s what I’m going with. That’s what I want 2016 to be and mean to me.

Have a great Friday evening, y’all…

~lissa

10K Weekends For Writers

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(Updated Post…)

So, I had an idea… (this still remains true)

No, I’m not talking about a race where you have to lace up your shoes and walk or run 6.2 miles. Heaven forbid! Not that we shouldn’t move around a little bit, because we absolutely should. It’s why I stand to work most days now, but that’s another post for another day. The 10K I’m talking about is writing words.

When I first started in publishing, there were several of us who would commit to writing 10,000 words in a weekend. Sometimes there were longer word counts, rarely ever shorter ones. But some of us would write well into the night or early in the mornings. We’d check in on social media or through Yahoo! IM. It was fun and it was a good way to get some words in and not always feel so isolated.

That’s what this is about. Starting on Thursdays and going through Sunday nights at 11:59pm, up to 10,000 words are written.Not everyone will get 10,000 words in just a few days. Some will definitely surpass it. But the goal is to try, to challenge ourselves, to maybe even surprise ourselves. And I know with family and friends and work and home, etc… it’s not always easy to write on the weekends, but for many, writing during the week after work or before work or after dinner or after the kids go to bed or…the list goes on… isn’t easy, either.

These reasons and because I need a good solid kick in the ass sometimes is why I wanted to create this writing challenge. As much for me as for anyone else it may help.

This is how it works… Below each post on Thursdays, there will be a Linky. Add your name. Check in on social media with the hashtag #10KWeekendsforWriters to update your word count, starting, ending, etc… There’s a button on the sidebar —-> over there…for you to snag if you want to add it to your own site and link back to mine and this post. I’ll also have little finish line badges that will have different word counts on them for you to grab when you hit a certain one.

All writers of any stage of the game are welcome. Beginners all the way to someone who’s published a ton of books. Bloggers are welcome, too.

This whole idea sorta came to me while I was washing my hair and I realized maybe it’s not just be me who would benefit from some blocks of writing time and a goal, even if you don’t make it to 10K.

So, what do you say? Are you interested? If so, Click Here and add your name to the Linky. You can find me on the following social media sites:

Twitter: @lissamatthews

Facebook: authorlissamatthews (profile) and LissaMatthewsAuthor (page)

Instagram: @lissamatthews

~lissa

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