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?

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Misc Monday ~ in which we have eclipse linkity

Let’s do some brief linkity about the Solar Eclipse today! Yes, I know, the eclipse was a week ago, but I had other plans for last week’s post.

First of all, the USPS has Solar Eclipse stamps! And when you heat them up (say, by holding your thumb over the image) you can see the moon! (Yes, I bought a sheet. They’re cool!)

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The Oatmeal had a great comic about the eclipse. (safe for work for a change)

xkcd also had a fun comic. (be sure to hover over the image to see the alt text)

NASA had some great stuff about the eclipse. I particularly like the image with the ISS transit.

For myself, I didn’t see much through the clouds. It was still really neat, though!

Misc Monday ~ in which I try a new BuJo layout

As you have read in prior blogs, I am into Bullet Journaling. I really love it; for me, this is one great way to keep on track. I can record all of my plans and goals in one place, and know that it’s all where I need to see it.

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I recently moved from a Rhodia webnotebook into a Scribbles that Matter journal. I love them both for different reasons, but one thing I love about both of them over much of the competition is that the paper is fountain pen friendly. (The Rhodia has better paper than the STM, but both are better than other journals I’ve tried so far.) I can use my fountain pens on both, with no bleed-through and minimal ghosting. I can even use regular ink stamps in them without difficulties.

(For comparison, I’ve tried Moleskeine journals, and while I love their wide range of covers, if I want to use my fountain pens AT ALL I can’t use these journals for anything where I want to write on both sides of the page. I’ve also tried Leuchtturm 1917 and while they are much better, I still have to be careful with my broad nib fountain pens and I have to use a chalk stamp pad instead of the ink pads I prefer.)

In any case, when I changed notebooks (because I ran out of pages in the Rhodia), I tried transferring my spreads directly over to the STM journal. Only to find out that the number of squares per page is slightly different. If I remember correctly, they have the same number across the page, but the vertical count is different. Not a huge deal, but it did mean I wanted to vary my layouts a bit.

And then I realized that my weekly spread wasn’t really doing it for me anymore. There was too much duplication between my weekly and daily spreads. So I’m now testing out a new weekly layout, and here’s the basic premise of it for anyone who has a BuJo and wants to test it out for themselves:

Weekly BuJo

This coming week will be my first using this spread, so we’ll see how I like it. (I drew it in Excel for the week following, so that I could see how the spread worked across months.) I’ll be using stamps for the hydration tracker, the weather, and my moods… and possibly my cleaning tracker, if I have stamps that work.

I like the way it looks so far, but I’m not positive how useful it will be. That is one thing I like about the Bullet Journal system, though: you can use whatever helps you at the moment, and change it up when it’s no longer helpful.

Have a great week!

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I haven’t used them in a while, but the links to Amazon are affiliate links. There’s no extra charge to you if you decide to purchase anything using the link.

Misc Monday ~ in which my weekend was derailed

Well. Life happens sometimes, you know? And accidents happen.

This weekend’s accident involved broken china, deep cuts, and three stitches. I’m not going to go into more detail that that, since the accident is Mr. Wyrm’s story to tell more than mine. (He’s fine now. Otherwise I would be taking care of him instead of writing a blog post.) However, it did mean that instead of spending my weekend being productive like I was supposed to be, I spent several hours of it sweeping up broken china and waiting at the urgent care clinic.

That did mean that I had some good knitting time. But it also meant that I didn’t have the focus to work on anything super detailed, and so I followed the urge to cast on a brand-new project.

Reyna start

This is Reyna (here’s the Ravelry pattern page) and I’m using Queensland Collection Uluru yarn to make it. So far I love it. It has enough of a pattern that I was able to stay interested in it, but is simple enough that worry didn’t cause me to mess anything up.

Reyna start

I have gotten significantly further than this, but haven’t taken any more recent photos yet. That will have to wait for a WIP Weds post sometime later.

Anyway, I hope your weekend was less interesting and more fun than mine. Have a great week!

Misc Monday ~ in which we play Desert Island Discs Tag

Jay at This Is My Truth Now tagged me last week to play in a blog tag. (He’s got some great book reviews, and if you’re interested in reviews you should check them out. He also posts non-review stuff too, but the reviews are what first got me visiting his blog.) This one is the Desert Island Discs Blog Tag. It sounded like fun, so here goes!

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The Rules:

  • Link back to BookBum’s original post, so she can see all your answers! (Remember to do this via pingback, she won’t get a notification if not!)
  • Thank the person who tagged you… show some love!
  • Come up with your answers
  • Then tag others to keep the tag going!

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The Premise:

You are cast away onto a remote desert island:

  • You can bring 5 albums – what are they?
  • You can bring one book – which is it? You are provided with a Bible/ other religious text if you want it, as well as the Complete Works of Shakespeare. No series!
  • You can have one luxury item (it has to be inanimate and can’t help you escape the island) – what is it?

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Well… let’s see. I kinda think it might be stretching it to call some box sets “albums” even though you have to buy the whole thing at once. But when something like Weird Al’s “Squeeze Box” includes all 14 of his regular albums (and even more) or the Musical History of Disneyland has 6 discs with over 7.5 hours of run time, I think that’s stretching the definition a little. So we’ll say an album can include 2 discs, because that’s a lot more common. We’ll stop at 2, though.

  1. First album on my list right now would be the Moana soundtrack. I would need a combination of vocal and instrumental music to stay sane while stranded, and this album has both. It also might inspire me to try my hand at sailing… which could either be a good thing or a bad thing.
  2. The second album would be the Eurovision 2015 album. For those who don’t know, Eurovision is kinda like what you would get if the Olympics was for music. Or maybe if you made something like a European version of “American Idol” happen over the course of a few hours instead of a few months. It’s flashy, it’s energetic, it’s fun – and the 2015 songs were, in my opinion, the overall best batch in the past few years. Seriously, though, if you don’t know about Eurovision, go to YouTube and check it out. (This is a good place to start, or this or this or this. Or for Australia’s first Eurovision entry (yes, I know; it’s complicated) go here.)
  3. For my third album I really wish I hadn’t said only albums of 1-2 discs. I would love to include my Complete Beethoven Symphonies album set here (5 discs). Instead I’ll assume there’s a Best of Beethoven on 2 discs which includes the 5th, 6th, and 9th symphonies.
  4. My fourth album would need to be The Beatles’ “One”. Because it’s got most of their best songs on it, and I need another vocal album to balance out the Beethoven.
  5. And for my fifth album, let’s go with Weird Al’s “Mandatory Fun”. Mostly because talking about the 15 disc Squeeze Box got me thinking about Weird Al, but also because this is my favorite of his albums and his music has at least a bit of crazy in it. Stuck on a desert island I’m bound to go at least a little crazy, so the music I listen to might as well reflect that.

The book is harder. Jay had the great idea of bringing a blank book so that he could write in it, but I’m afraid that if I picked that now I’d just be copying him instead of being clever myself. I also am not going to do the “how to survive on a desert island” kind of book, because that would be too sensible and this kind of game isn’t supposed to make sense.

Instead, let’s say I’d bring Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey’s first Pern novel. I won’t say it’s my favorite book in the world – I don’t think I have one. My tastes change too much based on my mood. But this is one of my favorite books, and it’s one that I could (and have) read over and over again.

And the luxury item… again, I’m making some assumptions here. I’m assuming, for example, that a means of playing the music albums I brought is provided for. (Otherwise the obvious luxury item would be a CD player with speakers and a massive pile of batteries.)

Which means, my luxury item would be knitting. Hopefully with sufficient yarn to last until I’d get rescued, and patterns to knit. But in a pinch I could just re-knit the same yarn over and over until it died, and I also know how to spin yarn so I could find some plant (or animal?) fibers on this island and make more yarn if necessary. But knitting helps keep me sane, and if I was along on a desert island, staying sane would become super important.

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And now I’m supposed to tag people! I’m not going to do that, though. Instead, if you’re reading this and think it sounds fun, then consider yourself tagged. I enjoyed playing along, and I hope you do too!

(You can also leave your choices in the comments, if you prefer. Go ahead. Be a rebel.)

Misc Monday ~ in which we discuss reading preferences

Let’s talk books today. But not book reviews; let’s go with something more general. Specifically, genre. Do you have a favorite genre? How about a hated genre?

One of the items on my 101 in 1001 Challenge is to read a book in each of six genres (hard sci-fi, western, mystery, biography (non-memior), memoir, and science non-fiction). This is largely because, without any suggestions, reminders, or prompts to do otherwise, I would limit nearly all of my reading to fantasy (including its sub-genres) with the occasional foray into a cozy mystery.

Lately, though, I’ve discovered that I enjoy a well-written memoir. Notable recent memoirs which I have enjoyed include Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist and Wishful Drinking; Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography; Felicia Day’s You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost); and Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. It helps that, unlike many biographies, memoirs are written in a more human style. They’re more likely to include humor, and to be something the reader can relate to.

Realizing that I enjoy memoirs has made me wonder what other readings tastes have changed since I was young and developed my default genre preferences. I’ve tried reading “classics” with mixed success, so at least I know that my reading tastes haven’t COMPLETELY changed as I’ve aged. But in the specifics? I tend to think of my sci-fi preferences to be more science-fantasy than hard core science-fiction, but is that still true? And I’ve never read a western. Would I like it? We’ll have to see.

Have you noticed any of your reading preferences which have changed as you grew up? I know that some of my friends and I have discussed how our tolerances (for bad writing, for certain story tropes, etc) have changed, and we now have a hard time reading, much less enjoying, some of our favorite stories from childhood. But is that just that we’ve gotten more discerning as we gained experience, or have our genre preferences changed?

I don’t have any of the answers. But I do know that something is different, in the same way that I now sometimes choose to listen to news radio instead of music (on purpose!!) when I never made that choice as a younger person.

Misc Monday ~ in which Seanan McGuire is awesome

I wasn’t going to post anything today, since yesterday was Father’s Day and so I didn’t make the time in yesterday’s schedule to write a Misc Monday post the day before like I usually do. (Holidays and such will throw wrenches in blog posting schedules. You know.)

And then I visited some of my blogroll this morning, and saw that Chris posted this link to an AMAZING Twitter thread by Seanan McGuire. And I HAD to repost it.

(If you would rather see it directly on Twitter, you can do that here.)

Anyway. Any Tweet thread that include mention of a Moana protest sing-along and German (and Japanese) translations is well worth reading in my book.

Happy Monday!