Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Month of Letters Challenge

I have decided to join with Mary Robinette Kowal in her Month of Letters challenge. For every day the post runs in February, I will be sending out a letter or something in the mail to someone...probably some of you...Here's the website: lettermo.com It's pretty cool. I've been wanting to be more connected with people who have impacted my life, and mail is such a fun way to do it. I am really enjoying writing letters to people and will probably continue this (perhaps not every day) for the forseeable future! Who doesn't really love getting a real letter in the mail? So fun!

Oh, and if you haven't read Shades of Milk and Honey by Ms. Kowal, then you should...especially you Marie! :) It's a very fun combination of Jane Austen style writing with a fun twist of fantasy! I highly recommend it! Jane is the main character and she's a homely but very accomplished woman. She is especially talented in glamour (which is basically an art of illusion-making). She has a younger, beautiful sister which makes for some interesting sibling-jealous moments which I would have liked to see a little more fleshed out, but were true and endearing all the same. There are, of course, several elegible men in the story. One is a glamour artist, one a kind neighbor, and one a naval officer. I was impressed with Ms. Kowal's ability to give both positive and negative character traits for all of them, and therefore the reader is sometimes unsure as to which way the wind will blow, so to speak. For me, one was obvious, but the other was not. I won't say more unless you ask me after you read the book. I don't want to spoil anything. Even with as well as I know Austen, I will admit to being surprised by one maybe not-so-small part. Afterward, I actually though "I should have seen that one...wow." and I felt pretty dumb, but I'm going to just put that as praise toward Ms. Kowal instead of beating myself up over it. I'd love to know if she surprises you too! :)

Personal Goals

Hahaha! I suppose that since it's February now, I've passed by the goal-making time for the year... But I'm going to ignore that fact because these are things I've been thinking about for over a month now. I just haven't had time to post it, but that's probably because I've been writing so much on my novel (I made the 20k goal, btw). However, thinking about them is mostly all I've been doing. I should have been trying to implement them, but since I hadn't put them on my blog yet, I didn't have the accountability of actually needing to do them - or something like that. So here goes:

Gratitude. I've actually always considered myself an optimistic person, but recently I've been annoying myself with my grumpyness. I have been focusing on the negative things in my life rather than on all the blessings that I have. That really needs to change. I blogged about a book I had started to read last fall called One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp which totally blew my mind. However, I haven't gotten past chapter four yet! Partly that was because I was trying to read it with another woman, but she was extremely busy and couldn't continue it, so I'm going to finish it on my own. Also, over on her website aholyexperience.com she has instituted the Joy Dare for the year and challenged us to count 1000 blessings this year. I've even downloaded the free app! However, I haven't been very good so far on this one. Of course, this is the type of goal that just doing a little bit helps and hopefully as I become more accustomed to seeing blessings again, I'll see more of them and get the ball rolling - so to speak.

Excercise. I've been doing well since I joined the gym last February. I try to go three times a week. Sometimes I do that, sometimes I don't, but I usually get two times fairly regularly. I think I'm good with this. The YMCA is 20 minutes away so it ends up taking up most of a morning, and I don't want to take that time away from my kids more than that. However, I need to implement daily stretches. You would think that I've been doing them for years because I should have. I have had several doctors over the years tell me that I needed to do these stretches daily for my health. But I haven't. And I hurt. All the time. I have neck and shoulder stretches that really do help with the headaches. I have back and leg stretches that really do help with my lower back and knee issues. So why do I not do them? Well, because they take time. Because I forget. Because the moment I get on the floor my children are climbing all over me? Maybe. Or maybe it's because I feel like I'm okay for the moment, so it's not so important today. But over time, I'm not doing them at all and I need to. So, I am going to add these in somewhere. Yeah, that's about as thought out as I am about it. First, I'm going to find the papers that have all the stretches. Perhaps I can combine them with the prayer time in the morning, since I'm praying anyway...I can pray and stretch at the same time! Okay, we'll see how that goes. Oh, and I'm going to see how adding some video excercise on the days when I stay home...pilates...or at least crunches, push-ups and weights...yeah, we'll see how that goes!

Skills. Hahaha, okay I don't really know how else to label this one. I kinda want to learn how to knit. And I really want to learn how to play the piano. Random, I know. I'm still not sure I can do much this year. I know someone who can knit, so I think I'll ask her about it sometime. And the piano thing probably means starting a piano fund in our budget somewhere so in a few years we can buy one. But I thought I'd put it out there.

Apparently there was another one, but I can't think of it at the moment. I'll have to write it up later. :) Well, we'll call that done. Thanks for reading.