101 in 1001 ~ update the seventeenth

It’s time for the 17th update on my 101 in 1001 Challenge! If you haven’t been following along on this journey so far or have any questions about what the challenge is, you can check out this link for details.

November is for NaNo. I’m always a bit surprised at how much else I get done during the month of November. I guess it’s proof that if I really work at it, I can fit in writing along with the rest of my regular activities. It does often take work, though. It’s not something I can do without thinking about how to make it work.

Here’s this month’s challenge progress:

November 2017
4 items completed this month
20 items currently in progress

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Writing #100: participate in NaNoWriMo 2017 ~ 11/1/2017 – 11/30/2017

NaNo is a lot of fun! This year’s participation included going to local write-ins and playing with other WriMos, both in person and online. We did word sprints and word wars and just generally had a good time. If you do NaNo, you should try a write-in. If you have a fun group (like we do) they can be both enjoyable and productive nights.

Health #47: Get an eye appointment (and new glasses if needed) ~ 11/11/2017

Eye appointment: check! New glasses: ordered, and should arrive soon! It’s nice to have vision insurance again. Yes, my prescription is not very much of one (and my distance vision is getting better while my reading doesn’t yet require glasses… yay aging?) but still. It’s nice to know that my eyes are getting checkups. I blame the 1983 TV series “V”. Ever since accidentally* seeing the aliens pull out their whole-eye contacts and eat guinea pigs, I’ve been very sensitive about my eyes.

* “accidentally” because as I recall it, my parents didn’t know I was watching until I started getting upset. I don’t remember now if the eye thing or the guinea pigs upset me more.

Arts & Crafts #14: Make my own Christmas cards ~ 11/25/2017

I haven’t finished making them, but I’ve made a nice batch. (Want a preview? I haven’t finished the cards with the otters on them yet, but I did make an entirely different batch. Here’s a glimpse at them – this is about half of the ones I’ve completed.)

2017 Christmas cards part 1

Food #33: Drink no soda for a month (do 3 times) ~ 11/30/2017

I’m trying to cut soda out of my diet entirely, but it can be difficult in some locations. For instance, when I go somewhere (like a theme park) that only has weak tea and I need a caffeine hit, I will get a Coke. I know, it would be better to wean myself off of the caffeine, but I don’t want withdrawal headaches when I’m in the places where this happens. Also, I love the Cherry Coke & movie theatre popcorn combo that Mr. Wyrm and I have been doing lately. I did manage to abstain from that these past few months while I finished up this challenge item, but I’m not sure I’ll always decide to cut out Cherry Coke. (Which is my absolute favorite soda.) There’s also the mixed drink problem, where a lot of the drinks I enjoy come mixed with soda. So… I think I will stick with cutting soda almost entirely out of my diet, and call that good.

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And just like that, November is over. Are you ready for the last month of the year? I’m not sure I am. I’m not sure I ever am, to be honest. Still, ready or not, here comes December!


101 in 1001 ~ update the sixteenth

It’s time for the 16th update on my 101 in 1001 Challenge! If you haven’t been following along on this journey so far or have any questions about what the challenge is, you can check out this link for details.

Happy Halloween! If you celebrate, I hope you’re doing something fun for today. My work does a little mini-celebration, which can be fun. It’s always nice to have the occasional break from the daily grind.

There’s been a lot of progress on the various reading challenges, but most of them are still in progress. Here’s this month’s challenge progress:

October 2017
4 items completed this month
19 items currently in progress

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Arts & Crafts #13: make 2 digital scrapbooks for me ~ 10/8/2017

These were both scrapbooks of trips. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to continue making scrapbooks of everyday life also; it doesn’t seem to matter as much since I don’t have kids to share them with, but they’re still fun to look at. I guess I should still do general books, but planning them out takes time (even though it’s much faster to make the digital version than the paper-and-sticker-and-photo-print version). It’s so much easier to make books for events than daily life. At least this is something, though — for too long I’ve been doing nothing at all scrapbook-wise, and I’ve missed it.

Reading #87: read 7 non-fiction books ~ 10/9/2017

This ended up being a mix of paper and audio books. I really enjoyed the books I chose for this challenge… mostly memoirs and science non-fiction, with a little history thrown in. Still, I’m a bit surprised that I finished this one as early as I did. I’m not known for reading non-fiction books (which was the point of this challenge item in the first place). It feels good to do some significant reading outside of my typical fantasy genre!

Theatre #91: Watch 10 live theatre shows I’m not otherwise involved in ~ 10/21/2017

This one was here because sometimes I need a kick in the pants to get out of the house. (Yup. I’m an introvert.) I do love supporting live theatre, though, so it was an easy compromise between being socially active and an introvert.

Blog #21: Make 10 new blog friends ~ 10/23/2017

Yay! I’ve been making new blog friends partly because I’ve been more active on the blog, so I’m hoping this number continues to go up. 10 is as high as I’m tracking, though.

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With the cooler weather, it’s time to pull out the knitted socks and scarves and mitts. This is the Time of the Knitter. (I love this time of year.) I hope you’re enjoying your autumn as much as I am! (Unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case I hope you’re enjoying your spring, my other favorite season.)

101 in 1001 ~ update the fifteenth

It’s time for the 15th update on my 101 in 1001 Challenge! If you haven’t been following along on this journey so far or have any questions about what the challenge is, you can check out this link for details.

YAY! This month included the completion of a 7-year-task: I finished the Babette blanket! But more on that later. This month also saw progress on other challenge tasks, plus my third blood donation (which completed that challenge item).

Here’s this month’s challenge progress:

September 2017
3 items completed this month
22 items currently in progress

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Arts & Crafts #6: Finish crocheting Babette blanket ~ 9/3/2017

I started this blanket in April of 2010. That’s way too long for a project to linger, and yet I could never seem to bring myself to finish it. So now, I finally did! I’m not sure how much of it was due to this challenge, but at least some of it was. (If nothing else, this challenge kept the Babette blanket at the front of my mind.) It’s not as large a blanket as I really would have preferred, but I also didn’t want to make any more squares. (And since this was intended as a scrap sock yarn project, I wasn’t going to change the yarn weight, either.) Nevertheless, it will be a great desk chair throw for when I’m working and need a little extra warmth. If you want more information about the blanket, it can be found on the FO blog post for Babette.

Personal #51: Donate blood (do 3 times) ~ 9/23/2017

This is something that I intend to keep doing even now that the challenge item is finished. However, I figured 3 times was a good number for the 101 in 1001 challenge. Still – with all the ugly stuff in the news, it’s nice to be able to do something to actively help people in need. If you are able, please join me in donating blood. It doesn’t take long – under an hour from check-in to walking out the door (which include the intake evaluation and the snacks afterward) – but it could be the difference between life and death for someone.

Reading #84: Read 10 books by new-to-me authors ~ 9/29/2017

This is one of the ways I’ve been trying to branch out and read new books instead of re-reading books as often as I used to, or reading only the same handful of authors that are in my comfort zone. I guess I get stuck in reading ruts as much as anything else, and for a while I was barely reading anything new. So this was a good way to discover new authors. I found some great books that way, too! (Though there were misses, too. Maybe one week I’ll do mini-reviews of all of the books from this challenge item.)

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Autumn is officially here! Yay! I love that season — spring and autumn are my favorites, so I’m always happy to see them arrive. I hope that you had a great end-of-summer hurrah, and enjoy the cooler weather to come! (Unless you’re one of my blog readers from the Southern Hemisphere, in which case I hope your upcoming spring is lovely!)

Misc Monday ~ in which dreams are not always goals

Let’s talk in a little depth about one of my 101 in 1001 categories today: the Writing category. When I started the 101 in 1001 challenge, I was planning on working on my dream of becoming a published novelist. Therefore, one of the main categories of my challenge is writing. And yet, now that I’m over a year in to the challenge, I find that this is no longer a focus of mine.

The change in my mindset made me start thinking about dreams vs. goals.

Sometimes, your dreams are your goals. You can work toward something that you’ve dreamed about, and it’s both a dream and a goal. Or you can have dreams that float at the back of your mind or deep in your soul, but that you aren’t actively working on, and therefore while they are still your dreams they aren’t also goals.

For me, being a published author has been a dream for a long time, but it’s almost always been something I played at instead of worked at. The only times I’ve done more than play around at it were when I was unhappy in my personal life. (Part of me wonders how much I subconsciously associate success in my writing with unhappiness. Most of me suspects this is a pretty high association, and I need to work on that.) So, I was planning on using this 101 in 1001 challenge to turn writing from a dream only into something that was also a goal.

And then, for one of my other challenge items, I started evaluating my day job. And I didn’t like what I saw. I also didn’t like what I had in mind as a nebulous “while I’m getting the writing career going” plan. So I started to look at what I could do to be more satisfied and more fulfilled in my day job, and realized that my best option was to focus on that instead of on the novel writing.

Yes, being a published novelist is still a dream. But right now I don’t have the drive to make it a goal. I don’t know that I will ever have enough energy to both work on improving my writing and improve my day job at the same time. You have to pick your battles, and choose where you’re going to spend your energy. Therefore, my primary goal right now is to improve my day job to the point where it feels like a career instead of a job. (Yes, I’ve been in the workforce for decades, and still don’t feel like what I have is a career.)

I am not planning on changing the 101 in 1001 list to reflect this change in focus, however. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of your dreams even when they aren’t your primary goals.

What about you? Do you have dreams which are or aren’t goals in  your life? How to you balance the two?

101 in 1001 ~ update the fourteenth

It’s time for the 14th update on my 101 in 1001 Challenge! If you haven’t been following along on this journey so far or have any questions about what the challenge is, you can check out this link for details.

Sadly, my August only included a partial eclipse of the sun, not a total one. However, it’s always still cool to see any rare astronomical event and I dearly LOVE how many people got so excited about SOMETHING RELATED TO SCIENCE. Now if only we can find a way to keep that momentum going.

Anyway, that’s a longer post for another day. In the meantime, here’s this month’s challenge progress:

August 2017
3 items completed this month
25 items currently in progress

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Food #39: Try 20 New Restaurants ~ 8/17/2017

This one was a fun one! I like trying new places, but Mr. Wyrm and I have a habit of getting stuck in a rut and only going to the same places over and over again. (When you are within walking distance of a good Mexican place, a decent Italian place, a good breakfast place, a few good places with different Asian flavors, and a new brewery, it’s hard to want to branch out.) The challenge, though, made me stretch my comfort zone a bit, though, and I’m glad I did! I found a few new places I want to return to (some I already have), a few places I was curious about but didn’t pan out, and a few new types of cuisine that I’ve discovered I enjoy. (Puerto Rican food, yo. So good.)

Professional & Financial #72: Cut personal debt in half ~ 8/21/2017

Personal #68: Watch 5 “what do you mean, you haven’t seen this?” movies ~ 8/30/2017

This one was a lot of fun, too, because movies! Fun! Well, not all movies are fun, I’ll grant you that. Some are depressing or through-provoking or otherwise not “fun”. But those aren’t the kinds of movies I generally choose to watch. In this case, I watched movies that one or more people thought it was odd I hadn’t seen yet. And while there are many others I still want to watch (“Close Encounters,” “Ferris Bueller,” “The Birds,” etc) I’m glad I was able to get some of the movies on my list taken care of.

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If you (or family members) are headed back to school, then I hope it’s a great school year for you (or them). But in any case, here’s hoping for a great September and a happy approach of autumn!

101 in 1001 ~ update the thirteenth

It’s time for the 13th update on my 101 in 1001 Challenge! If you haven’t been following along on this journey so far or have any questions about what the challenge is, you can check out this link for details.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for over a year now! Crazy. It does show something about me, though: if I can make a tracker for something, I’m a LOT more likely to keep doing it. I have a tracker for the challenge in my Bullet Journal, and also have an Excel sheet I’ve been updating with progress. And you know what? Unlike (untracked) New Year’s resolutions, this one I have been keeping up with.

Here’s this month’s challenge progress:

July 2017
1 item completed this month
27 items currently in progress

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Blog #22: Refresh my list of Favorite Blogs, and find at least 10 new blogs to include ~ 7/27/2017

I have all of the links to these new blogs in the official challenge post (which is a sticky post at the top of the blog), and I enjoy visiting them. I’m just glad they ended up being blogs on a variety of topics – usually when I go looking for new blogs I end up finding bunches all on the same topic and don’t branch out at all. Granted, most of the blog topics in my list of new blogs-to-follow are one of a few things, but hey, those are my interests, right? It only makes sense that most of the blogs I read would be about things I’m interested in.

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In any case, even with little in the way of completed tasks this has been a good month. Have a great August! Can you believe we’re already to August?

101 in 1001 ~ update the twelfth

It’s time for the 12th update on my 101 in 1001 Challenge! If you haven’t been following along on this journey so far or have any questions about what the challenge is, you can check out this link for details.

It’s June! Officially summertime in the Northern Hemisphere. I’m not sure I’m entirely happy about that, but there you are. I tend to prefer spring and fall, but here in my part of California our springs and falls are shortened a bit by summer encroaching on either side. (I can’t imagine places that are warmer still than we are. Some Facebook friends in Vegas and Arizona talk about their weather, and I just shudder.)

But like it or not, it’s sunny and (mostly) warm! (This has been a really weird year for weather.) And I do like our summers, I’m just never ready for them to start. Oh well. Start it has!

Here’s this month’s challenge progress:

June 2017
3 items completed this month (& 1 cancelled)
29 items currently in progress

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Personal #69: Watch 5 documentaries ~ 6/2/2017

I watched these over the span of a few months, and enjoyed them all. (Some more than others, obviously.) I watched: Atari: Game Over; Minecraft: The Story of Mojang; For the Love of Spock; Back In Time; and Waking Sleeping Beauty. Of them, I would recommend them all if you are into the subject matter. For instance, if you like the “Back to the Future” trilogy, you’d probably enjoy Back In Time. If you play Minecraft or enjoy hearing about video game developers, you’d probably like Minecraft: The Story of Mojang. However, if you don’t have an interest in those, you probably wouldn’t get much out of them.

The two I think I would recommend universally, however (and my two favorites), are For the Love of Spock and Waking Sleeping Beauty. Both of those seem to me to have a more general appeal, even though they are still about specific topics which some people will enjoy more than others. It’s hard, however, to imagine someone in modern culture who doesn’t know who Spock is, or who hasn’t seen a movie from the Disney Animation Renaissance (Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, Lion King, etc). For both of these, though, be warned. I needed Kleenex.

Arts & Crafts #15: Needle felt at least one project – CANCELLED

I am cancelling this one. I’ve decided I’m just not interested in continuing this hobby, so I’m giving my supplies (the ones worth keeping) to my sister, who still enjoys needle felting. And instead I’m going to focus on the hobbies I do enjoy: knitting, crocheting, and sewing. I may even get back into cross stitching, if I end up with extra craft time. (Unlikely, but I suppose it’s possible…)

Health #49: Use Invisalign to get my teeth straight ~ 6/19/2017

All done! I’m still supposed to wear the aligners all the time for 3-4 months, but the part where the teeth are moving is done. Now it’s just maintenance and retainer wear. Yay!

Arts & Crafts #10: Go through needle felting supplies and get rid of what I won’t use ~ 6/29/2017

I got this one in just under the wire! After deciding that I wasn’t going to continue with needle felting, it was just a matter of pulling all my felting supplies out and setting them aside. And since I know someone else who is going to keep needle felting, I was able to give the stuff to her to do with as she pleases. (I realize that not everyone has the same taste, so some of the things I thought would make good projects might be things she has no interest in. But I’m leaving that choice up to her.)

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There are a couple more items that are that close to being done, but aren’t yet. Still, getting three items completed this month isn’t bad progress at all. It does bring me to a total of 28 challenge items complete (with 2 more being sent to the “incomplete” list). Essentially 28% complete (or 30% accounted for, if you include the incomplete list ones) with just under a year over (and about a year and a half left to go). Not bad! I especially think it’s not bad since several of the items are close to being complete, and several others aren’t going to be done until the final month of the challenge, anyway. (You know, the “do this every month of the challenge” items.)

I hope summer (or winter) is good to you!