Checking In

Before I get into my goals, a quick thanks are in order to Natalie Hardford for passing along all three parts to the Goat Episode on her own blog. And if you haven’t read it, her Ding-A-Ling-Bling post is great. Not just any woman could make a man actually fear the bedazzler.

And now, the goals.

Goal #1 – Got a Valentine’s day post up on RantRaveWrite, so I still have two more to go. Plenty of ideas, I just have to find a way to get my butt to stay in a chair for more than ten minutes to write them.

Goal #2 – Domain investiga. . .forget it. I’m not talking about this. I’m not.

Goal #3 – Social Media – meh

Goal #4 – Children’s WIP – in about 6 minutes I’m on a phone call with one of the people I am considering for illustrations.

Goal #5 – Reading and commenting, finding some new blogs. Haven’t hit my target for the week, but I will before Sunday.

Goal #6 – Edits – I am changing this – it was originally so many pages read/edited each week.

New Goal #6 – 1 hour editing between each check in. Status: Failed. So that bar has been set nicely.

Goal #7 – This is my short-term weekly, which this week was to find a home for all of the random items I dislodged during a house purge last weekend. Not only did I fail at this so far, I actually brought in NEW items. Hoarders, here I come.

Goal #8 – Still reading Atlantis Betrayed for my reading challenge, and added The Phantom Tollbooth as a bedtime read with my little.

Goal #9 – N/A on the sidebar updates until Sunday.

Linky do.



Checking In From Sleestak Manor

It is dark here. And it smells bad. The sounds alone are enough to drive a man mad. Worst of all, I fear I am becoming one of them:

The Sleestaks have been keeping the shades drawn, and the smell of old tea and Vicks permeates the house. And the horrible, gut wrenching sounds of mouth breathing and hacking coughs echo in my head, even when I hide in the bathroom trying vainly to shower away their plague germs.

I’ve done load upon load of laundry this week and the smell of Lysol is losing the battle with the tea and Vicks. It is cosmically cruel to have one’s entire family sick at the same time. Even the dog is sick, sneezing her mighty St. Bernard slobber all over the back of my pants.


Yet somehow, I’m pulling this week off. I’m ignoring the little tickle in my own throat and have pulled into superhero mode. They are cared for, day job work is humming along nicely and my goals are walking about on their own legs this week! Yay!

Goal #1      Of the three posts I need to do, I have done 1, but it is part 3 of the 3-part real-life goat episode that I find hysterical and I am so happy I took the time to do that. . .I even got a reblog out of it. And I’m over halfway through the 10 x 10 I started on Sunday, so progressing well here.

Goal #2      Domain investigation – had a bit of time to finally get to this – looks like there is a Google App which will let me run an email through my domain. I bookmarked the page, now I just need to find the time to go back and take a stab at it.

Goal #3      Social Media – much better than normal. I even managed a couple of Rant Rave Write FB page likes that weren’t blood relatives. Yay me!

And I discovered a private tweet from back in January. I, um, didn’t know there were private tweets, so yeah. A scale of ignorance drops away. Again, yay me. Or does that not really qualify as a yay?

Maybe that qualifies on the same level of a normal 8-year-old going to the potty on their own for the first time? For the love of God, why has this taken you so long to figure this out??

Goal #4     Childrens WIPs. Nothing here so far. Again.

Goal #5      Doing better on both the RoW and Non-RoW reads/comments. Not at my mark for the week, but approaching it.

Goal #6     Edits. I DID IT!

Let the parade begin!

I actually opened that 8 pound monstrosity and started going through it. I know it weighs 8 pounds because I happened to spot the scale while I was walking by, and thought I’d take a quick peek at the damage hibernation eating has caused, and nearly had a stroke when I saw that I’d gained 8 pounds since December. When I realized I was still holding the binder, I put it aside, stepped back on and returned to breathing normally.

That spike of terror aside, I went through the first two pages. This may not seem like much, but to me, it is making the peak of Mt. Rainier in preparation for the Everest climb. And I am really fighting with a certain element of this book so I may borrow a method from Shah to see if I can get some feedback from others about it.

Goal #7     Woo Hoo! I cleaned my office. Sort of. I got rid of all the recyclable paper and clutter off the desk and washed the blankets and pillows I keep stacked on the couch. I still have to find a home for the giant stack of toys in the corner. I’m thinking Goodwill has lots of shelves, maybe I’ll put them there.  And then there’s the books. . . Still have to do some tax prep to lock this one in for the week.

Goal #8     Reading – Speeding through A Reliable Wife. Odd tale, that. A refreshing change from what so often feels like form writing.

Goal #9 –   I don’t have to update my status bars yet, but I have done some sidebar housekeeping – added a few sites to my blogroll, and found a few more I have to get up there.

So there it is. Now I’m off to see if showing in Lysol will make me feel clean again. I really don’t want to become a Sleestak. Green is just not my color.

Stay healthy and do the linky hop!

Speedy Check In

Holy insane week! I had almost no time to myself. Normally, my client load is in the ball park of 20-25 calls each week. I did 38 this week. Including 3 yesterday.

And may I just state for the record: I HATE WORKING ON SATURDAY!

On top of this, my Grandpa’s in the hospital and a coworker of my husband’s quit, so we are trying to wrangle in the new schedule that is resulting from that disaster.

We also had a rare grown-ups night out with friends on Friday. These are rare enough so that I was hard pressed not to wipe the mouth of my husband’s friend when he got a dot of wasabi on his chin. And when we drove by Stephen King’s house, I actually started to explain who he was, in language for a 4 year-old. Ooops.

I think I need to get out more.

Goal #1 – Two posts up in Rant Rave Write – both are 2 parts of a 3-part goat incident that occurred last summer. And I’m halfway through a 10 x 10 list, so I’m okay with this progress.

Goal #2 – Have done zero digging on this domain info search.

Goal #3 – Social Media. A couple of posts here. Not much. Delighting in Pinterest right now, and trying to find the best way to use it as a place to organize my random brainstorming for stories.

Goal #4 – Yay! A bit of progress here. I actually opened the Seuss style book to play a bit with my rhyme scheme.

Goal#5 – Right about the halfway mark, but some of the comments I’ve made are longer than usual for me.

Goal # 6 Edits. Nothing. I cannot seem to overcome my hatred of this. I’m making this my priority this week at the cost of all others, if need be.

Goal #7 – These are my shorties – this week was getting some tax stuff organized and passing the Versatile Blogger award along. I’m close enough to the latter to call it done – I just have to attach my links. I also got some tax organizing done.

This week’s #7 – another 1/2 hour dedicated to organizing the unmentionable parts of my house, and another hour dedicated to tax organizing.

Goal #8 – Challenge reading – A Discovery of Witches, done. I picked up A Reliable Wife started and I also switched gears for my next read with Atlantis Betrayed

Goal #9 – Sidebar updating, done.

Linky linky

What Scapegoats? I Have Pack Goats.

This has been a nutty week. In the last three days alone, I’ve wrangled with the attorney about my the suit related to my Dad’s death. That seemed harsher than usual because we’re nearing the year marker, and she didn’t call with positive news. My grandfather is in the hospital, my paycheck is being held hostage by the U.S. Postal Service somewhere near Omaha,  and some of the family is launching a campaign to get my husband to quit his job so we can bring my mom from the nursing home into our house for care. And I guess my life wasn’t absurd enough, so I also had a total stranger accost me in a parking lot, critiquing my mothering skills.

But. . .I’ve turned my scapegoats into pack mules.

These are not really my pack goats. They belong to the people at

They’re out in the yard, sniffing through the grass, wearing leather packs of stress and distraction that I will address later. One by one, when I can.

There is a small fear that the herd will turn on me, charging through the door and taking me down in retaliation of carrying so much weight, but that’s a concern I’ll address if I hear them tripping up the stairs. I’ll go give them peanut butter sandwiches later, to keep them happy.

Do goats like peanut butter sandwiches?

Yes, they do. I’ll tell you a story about that, sometime.

Goal # 1 – Done done done! Got my 10 x 10 on writing exercises done earlier this week, and one post on the general Rant Rave Write page as well. And yesterday I finished my blog goals by recapping that event in the parking lot during which my edit button failed again. But I’m pretty sure I won, so that’s good, right?

Goal#2 – Haven’t done much with the domain information search. I think I may hit up someone who’s done it before and see what their thoughts are.

Goal # 3 – I think I found my favorite of all the social media platforms. Pinterest. It’s a bit alien and I’m still feeling my way around, but Hunter was right – this place can definitely be used by writers to do good things. I’m kind of feeling my way around and creating all kinds of pinboards, most of which aren’t for writing, but it’s a great place to keep track of books and brainstorming ideas. And story boarding. I love the idea of using the pinboard as a storyboard tool. It’s not a socially driving force like Twitter or Facebook, but it does let people get to see who you are and what you’re about. I’ve seen a lot of posts about this concept recently.

Goal #4 – I opened two of the kids’ WIPs. I’m thinking about rhyme schemes. I win.

Goal #5 – I don’t think I hit 10 comments posted in both RoW and non- RoW blogs, but I came close. I definitely read more than the stated goal of 10 of each. For some reason I have a really hard time commenting on Blogger – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Grrr.

Goal #6 – Edits. Fail.

Goal #7 – Weekly short terms – this week it was two –  the Versatile Blogger award pass along – I started this, but haven’t finished my list of blogs to pass it along to. That part is hard. The other one was 30 min rearranging my office. I literally picked up one thing and took it up to the attic, realized that a lot of what I needed to clean out belonged up there and that it, too, was a disaster. So I spent 2 hours cleaning it. And I probably need to spend 3 or 4 more. But since I think it makes more sense to clean that first, then unload the random furniture from my office, I’m calling this a win.

This weeks #7 – finish the award pass along. Go through the receipts I’ll need organized for my tax lady. This year I will not procrastinate until two days before the appointment.

Goal #8 – Almost done with Discovery of Witches, picked my next read – A Reliable Wife. Progress. Yay!

Goal # 9 – All progress bars updated. Another at 100%.

I’m off to make peanut butter sandwiches for my goats, to show them how much I appreciate them carrying their loads.

Here’s your Linky.

A Check In of Meh Proportions

Trying to shake off the herd of scapegoats. They’re annoying, eating the shrubbery and trampling the herb garden. I have them corralled for now, but I wish I could find a new home for them. I’d get so much more accomplished.

But since I locked them back in, I am at least back in the race.

Of course, I’m racing at glacier pace, but still. . .  forward is forward, so I’m not going to knock it.

Goal # 1 – Nailing it. Yay! Got a post up in the 10 x 10 – Writers on a Plane – 10 Ways to Amuse Yourself. Not all of it is geared towards travel only, but a plane really is a great place to break through some writing exercises in a unique way. I also got one more post up in Mother of the Year in which my son learns an expensive lesson. Or maybe I did – not quite sure how to process that yet. This means I have 4 days to manage one more post. I can do that.

Sh! Don’t argue.

Goal # 2 – No work yet on ways to have fun with my fancy new domain, but I’m still mulling over all I read. I think I need to make the to self host or not self house decision before I go off half-cocked.

Goal #3 – A few posts on FB and a couple of Tweets – Twitter makes me feel like a moron. What’s this mean, what’s that mean? I am bumbling my way through hashtag hell, but I am trying, so go me. I’m also somewhat intrigued by Pinterest, and think this may be more ‘me’ than Twitter is. I’m shortly off to read Hunter’s well-timed post about just that to learn more. And figure out how to score an invitation.

Goal #4 – Have not even looked at a children’s WIP. Though I will be talking to one of the people I’m considering for the artwork in a few days, so maybe that will spur me on. . .

Goal #5 – Tanking my reading and commenting on blogs. Somehow I managed to find my way into an alternate world consisting of 21 hour days. Damn string theory. If I can just find my way back out I’ll get back to this.

Goal #6 – Edits. Ahem. Moving on. . .

Goal #7 – My weekly short terms. Nothing.  But I still have 4 days. I will again be blaming this alternate univer–OH MY GOD, THE SCAPEGOATS ESCAPED!!!

Goal #8 – Still reading Discovery of Witches for the Bookmark Break challenge and almost done with Alice In Quantumland. Discovery is thick, and Alice is a book on quantum physics theory – no choice by to go slow on those. Going to pick up the pace on my next selections – looking for my next books now. Any suggestions?

Goal #9 – This is a Sunday task, so I’m good here for the moment.

Do the Linky dance.




Heeeere Little Scape-Scape-Scapegoat!

I would love to blame my absence from Wednesday’s check in on the SOPA protest. But that would be a lie.

I would like to say that the reason I didn’t achieve all of my goals this week was because of the aliens, or the escaped goat, or even a house cleaning bender of psychotic proportions. But that would also be a lie.

Of the three, I think the aliens would be the most viable. The house looks like it was tossed into a Vita-mix, and the goat episode was just funny.

This week, it’s all me, out of whack. Part of it was the post-travel hangover. Part of it was Quinn’s birthday. We also suffered through the tragic loss of the Cutelil’humpty nighttime lovie for a while. But these things are all minor. Small, feeble attempts to avoid responsibility.

Goal #1 – I accomplished 2.4 out of three. I got two posts up in the general Rant Rave Write site, and I got 4 entries through a 10 x 10 post on writing.

Goal # 2 – I did spent a little time on this. Not the stated hour, and I didn’t learn anything useful aside from the idea that trying to work with Google products may make some things friendlier on the email/domain link.

Goal #3 – Aside from having my fear of random tweets dismissed by a number of folks, including Kristin Lamb in a well-timed post, I have done very little with this. I have the random thoughts, but I fear putting them out there. But I knew I’d struggle with this, so even though I haven’t hit my stride I’m not too alarmed by this failure.

Goal #4 – Children’s books – I thought about one of them. . .mostly about how cool it would have been to have one complete enough to take to Quinn’s school for the book time session of his Montessori birthday celebration.

Goal #5 – I even tanked this one, and this is usually one of the easier ones. I do have a small, pygmy scapegoat for this one – for some reason, almost of my followed blogs have disappeared from my WordPress reader. I thought everyone was just really quiet this week until I checked my Google reader last night and found a number of posts the WordPress reader dropped.

Goal #6 – I haven’t even cracked the book I’m supposed to edit. This is my greatest disappointment – I really want to get moving on this project.

Goal #7 – This is my weekly short-term one – this week it was 30 minutes on office clean-up and passing along the Versitile blogger award. Tanked. That lack of followed blogs pygmy goat had an impact on this goal too.

This weeks #7 – Round 2 on the above. Both of these things have to get done. This is ridiculous.

Goal #8 – My reading challenge – just about done with Alice In Quantum Land and making good progress on A Discovery of Witches. Not the pace I need to reach my yearly goal, but not terrible, either.

Goal #9 – Updating my progress bars. I was working in the wee hours of the morning on the blog and had just opened my dashboard to do this when we lost our power. Another little bit of not-entirely-my-fault.

And now – after writing all this out and reviewing just how poorly I did this week, I have the answer.  I don’t have a big, aggressive scapegoat.

But I I have this:

A herd of the fabled pygmy scapegoats attempt to avoid capture by hiding in the scrubby foliage of my brain.

Here’s the bloghop.

Back From Oz and Checking In

I am so happy this check in, even though my accomplishments are hit or miss. I am back on the ground, and I get to stay here for foreseeable future. I hate leaving my family, and spend a lot of time while I’m away wishing for a pair of ruby slippers. And of course, the trip, like pretty much everything else I manage to get connected to, had moments of you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me. To give you an idea of all the fun things I have to write about later here’s a hint: Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.

I did not see that coming. Nor did I anticipate the lesson in animal scat. Or the tiger penis.

So, for today I am grateful to be in an environment where I don’t have to hear “Sorry about this turbulence, folks,” there is nothing alien crawling on me, and I’m not having to handle the unmentionables of wild animals. (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the phrase ‘team building’?)

At least the weekend was fodder for about a dozen different posts. But onto the goals. Just before I left, I got sucked into a brand new goal, so I have some modification to do this week.

Goal # 1 – Still 1 for 3 on the blog posts.  This failure is not completely my fault. I’d planned to use some of the air time to write, and of course first my laptop hated me (do you know what BIOS adjustments are? Me neither, but I made a bunch. I really shouldn’t be allowed to touch computers) Then the Wi-Fi on the plane hated me. This one was out of reach.

Goal #2 – Still nothing here either. Same reasons as the first one. I at least want to figure out how to run email through this domain.

Goal #3 – No social media to speak of either. Hmmm. I’m seeing a trend here. Apparently I rely on computers.

Goal #4 – I’ll just go ahead and blame my failure on opening a kid’s WIP on the above too. Pretty sure I wouldn’t have done this, even if I’d been home, though. WHAT is my problem with this???

Goal #5 – I think this read/ comment goal for ROWers was met, only about halfway on non-ROW participant reads and comments.

Goal #6 – Nope. The printed version of the WIP I need to edit weighs about 30 pounds, and I have to do edit reads in print or I can’t make it happen. We’ll just not mention how I could have brought 20 pages or so in a folder, as that brilliant solution didn’t occur to me until right this minute. Yay, problem solving skills!!

Goal #7 – These are my short-term, weekly goals. This week it was in 3 parts, and I met all three. Packing done without waiting ’til last minute, paperwork from tomorrow all ready, and not once did I say aloud, “There’s. . . something. . . on the wing!”  That was SO hard.

And this week’s short-term #7  is to pass along the Versatile Blogger award I was gifted with last week. I also need to spend a minimum of 30 minutes trying to reel in the disaster that is my office.

And I’m also adding 2  new goals this week.

Goal #8 – I signed on to a reading challenge – The Bookmark Break Challenge
so I have to make headway there – my goal is 200 books this year, so I have to read a LOT.

Goal #9 – I now have a new widget in my sidebar of RantRaveWrite that needs to be updated with the books I’m reading for the challenge, plus I have two progress bars for two of my WIPs. Goal #9 is to actually update all three of these by Sunday of every week.

Here’s the Linky.