#66 - Progress Meter

I've added a progress meter to my blog to keep myself accountable for my January writing goal of 30,000 words by the 31st. I wanted to put it in the sidebar, but I can't figure out how to do so without it being either too small to read, or so big you can hardly see any of it. So, there it is, in huge living color above my blog posts. You don't get more accountable than that.

As you can see, the meter shows not only my word count, but my mood. At the moment, the icon is showing me watching TV, although in truth, I'm surfing the 'net. When I start writing tomorrow, hopefully you'll see the icon guy hard at work.

#65 - Starting Anew

The new year is always a good time to look at our lives and re-asses goals, ambitions, and plans for the future. At the beginning of our marriage, my husband and I planned to sit down every January 1st and make a video of ourselves talking about the past year and our goals going forward into the future. We did that for a few years and it's fun to look back on those videos and watch ourselves grow and progress. Unfortunately, it has been several years since we did that. Maybe even as many as 8 years. I feel really badly about that, but the only time is now, and we are going to sit down this year with our kids and talk about our year and about our goals for 2009.

One of my goals is to finish the first draft of the book I started writing a decade or so ago. Tristi Pinkston is challenging writers everywhere to join her book-in-a-month challenge for the month of January. Rather than challenging us just to write a new book like NaNoWriMo does, she is aiming this challenge at any writing goals, whether they be finishing a first draft, editing a finished book, sending out query letters, or whatever our goals are as we move forward in our writing careers.

NaNo really moved my first draft forward in a way it never would have happened without the challenge, so I've decided to take up Tristi's challenge and see if I can get this first draft finished in the next month. My official goal is to write 30,000 new words in the coming month.

I'll be updating this blog over the next few weeks with reports on my progress, so stop in often to keep me accountable and cheer me on! :)

#64 - The Christmas Spirit

I have to confess I haven't felt much of the Christmas Spirit this holiday season. I don't think I've ever been more unprepared for Christmas as I was this year, and as I look back on this week, I don't think I really felt like it was the special time of year it's supposed to be. Thursday seemed like a pretty average day, except we happened to spend it opening a lot of presents.

I spent all of Christmas Eve shopping and wrapping presents, and I really regret not having everything ready ahead of time so I could spend the day with my family, reading the Christmas story, and feeling the spirit and awe that is what makes Christmas special.

I hope it's not entirely too late for us this year. My kids had a "Night Before Christmas" play they wanted to perform for us on Christmas Eve, and I'm going to see if they'll do it for us tomorrow instead. Maybe we can still cozy up around the Christmas tree and read from the book of Luke and fill the special stocking we have for Jesus with things we are going to do for Him this year.

We also have a Christmas celebration on Tuesday with my family, and it will be the first time in a lot of years when all of my family has been together at once. Now that only one of my brothers is in the military, it's a little easier to find a way to all be together, and I'm excited for that reunion.

So, although Christmas may officially be over, our Christmas will continue for a few more days, and hopefully I can feel a full measure of the Christmas Spirit by this time next week.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you all the best with the coming new year.

#63 - Twilight Spoof

I truly mean no offense to those faithful readers of mine who liked the Twilight movie. I haven't seen it yet, so I honestly can't say if I will like it or not. Based on the trailers I've seen, I have my doubts, but I know a lot of Twilight fans loved it.

However, I just saw this link on Tristi Pinkston's blog, and I thought it was absolutely hilarious. Thank you for the link, Tristi!

So, watch the spoof, and tell me what you think. Should I see Twilight? Should I skip it? Should I try to get DH to go with me so we can "experience" Twilight together, or should I avoid it so he doesn't think I'm crazy for liking such a book? I just ask that your comments be nice, either way. :)