life curation

Book Publishing: Latest Updates

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday to you all. I wanted to quickly stop in and give you all updates on the publishing of my first book.

As you all know, I finished writing and editing my first book earlier this year. So after moving past my own internal resistance, I forged ahead with publishing. I’m still learning about Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and tinkering with the format of the book so it renders the way that I want. Right now, the pages don’t look like how I want them to look; that is unacceptable. I’ve done too much work on this project to drop the ball and get sloppy at this stage. Once I get the formatting right, I’ll be well on my way.

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Between the blog and my book, I’ve been busy

There’s a lot involved with taking a book from idea to published, but it’s been an educational process. I’m proud to make it this far, but I have to see this through to the end before I’m truly satisfied. If you’re inclined, please send me good publishing vibes! I’ll keep plugging along, and I’ll keep you all posted on what’s happening as I go through the process.

Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

Welcome December: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Can you all believe that we are here at the end of another year? This time of year always leaves me in awe: the dates are long but the years are short, as I’ve heard it described. I have written a post for every day this year, so you already know what my year was like. I haven’t been feeling my best over the past few weeks but overall, I’m feeling good about my year.

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The beauty of today, the first of December, is that there are still time to accomplish one (or more!) big goal(s) before the year’s end. Even if you haven’t taken action since before my Finish 2018 on a Strong Note post, there is still time to do something that you’ll be especially proud of. I will be reviewing my last Goal Update post and seeing what I can take care of before the end of the year. Feeling under the weather has slowed me down a bit but it hasn’t stopped me, and I’m determined to make this December count.

Going forward, there are a few things I’m mulling over for 2019. For one thing, I want to bring back my book reviews. I’m reviewing a book this month, and I’ll continue doing one per month until inspiration leads me to something else. I’m also going to be more diligent about creating content for my YouTube channel, since I like the thought of being able to communicate across different platforms.

This is going to be a fantastic month. I’m claiming it right now!

life curation

NaNoWriMo Updates: Tomorrow is the Last Day

Happy Thursday, y’all! This has been quite a November to remember. . . I’ve been working on a lot of projects, and as a result, my writing suffered this month.

Of all months for my writing to suffer, it happens during NaNoWriMo.

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I didn’t meet the 50k goal for NaNoWriMo 2018. I got to 20k, which is still impressive, but nowhere near what I intended for the month. So I’m frustrated with myself right now. I wish I could have rearranged my affairs so that I could pour more time into my writing, but the truth is, this just wasn’t a good month for it.

One of the things I’ve been actively working on is being gentle with myself. No one is more disappointed in my failings than I am, so if I am going to own my shortcomings, I also have to give myself room for grace. I’m at a point where I’m doing the best that I can with everything that I do but it doesn’t always turn out how I want it to.

And that’s okay.

On the upside, I haven’t given up on this story. I’m still going to reach my 50k words and when I do, I’m going to rejoice! Until then, I’ll keep plugging along.

Enjoy your day, loves! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

life curation

NaNoWriMo 2018 Week 1 – Updates, What’s Working for Me

I’ve got NaNoWriMo updates, everybody! I have 7,000 words written so far. Only 43,000 more to go! Considering that averages out to 1k words per day, I’m feeling pretty good about my numbers so far. I’ll be writing a lot more over the next few days since I anticipate having some more downtime (not to mention I’ll have to make up for a few days where I won’t be able to do much writing at all).

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I just want to share a bit of what I’ve used this first week to help me make progress on my writing goal. What I’ve found it helpful is to set aside 15 minute chunks of time to write. Of course, I always end up writing for longer than 15 minutes, but at least if I set aside the time, it’s more likely that I will not only write for that time but I will also write even longer than I originally planned.

I also find that I’m challenging myself to see how many words I can write in 15 minutes. I’m seeing that it’s normal to get at least 300-400 words written in 15 minutes (if I haven’t thought out what I want to write before I sit down). However, if I have a good idea of where I want my story to go and what dialogue I want to capture, I can easily squeeze out 500 words in 15 minutes (full disclosure: I type at about 75 or 80-ish words per minute, so that helps). I’m trying to get my words up to 700 in 15 minutes: imagine how many pages I could cover if I committed to 1 hour a day at 2800 words in an hour! I know, that’s pretty ambitious (even for me) but I like thinking about the possibility.

Finally, I’ve been writing my story slightly out of sequence. I started writing the beginning, but then I jumped and started writing the last couple of chapters. That made it easier for me to stay interested in this book idea, which goes a long way in making sure that I actually finish it!

Those are all of my NaNoWriMo 2018 updates for this first week. So far, things have been going well and I’m looking forward to telling you all about my progress next week, as I think I’ll be doing this each week until the end of the month.

Alright friends: it’s time for me to get back to writing. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

Excited for NaNoWriMo

I can barely contain my excitement. It’s NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writer’s Month, for those that have never heard of it before. This is possibly my favorite month of the year, because no other month gathers so many writers together to churn out a novel within 30 days.

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Now, a novel written in 30 days won’t necessarily be the next great American novel, but the main thing is to get into the habit of writing daily and capturing your creativity in words. So many people want to be writers, yet, they never can quite get their time or support network together to undertake the task. So their great book remains unwritten and inside of them. It’s tragic, really: how many of us were changed by something that we read? Imagine how many additional life-changing moments are out there, sitting the recesses of someone’s mind.

NaNoWriMo is especially beneficial for me because I love having a clear goal that I can work towards. 50,000 words in one month? Lofty goal, for sure, but completely possible. What’s really great about NaNoWriMo is that there are Meetup groups that form specifically to support one another during this month. I may attend a gathering before the month is out.

Are you all participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, please let me know in the comments below!

beauty

Skin Care Updates

Hi everyone! I’ve been eager to do this update because it’s been a few months since I started my Glass Skin routine and I wanted to let you all know about a few changes I’ve made that have made my skin even better than before.

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So I ran out of toner and I was at a loss for what I should use on my face. Picking up Caudalie would have required a 30 minute drive and I couldn’t have even gotten to Sephora until the next day, anyway. So I used the only thing I had available: hydrogen peroxide. I used it in the evening and the following morning and I was so impressed with the look and feel of my skin that I decided to keep it in the rotation until further notice.

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CVS Hydrogen Peroxide

After doing some research, I learned that hydrogen peroxide is great for skin, especially if you’re acne prone, like me. So I’ve been using it and my skin has been loving it! It’s very inexpensive – around $1USD per bottle – and can easily be purchased at any drugstore. It’s been a great addition to my routine!

I also made a few other small modifications:

  • I don’t use an oil-based makeup remover: I use makeup remover towelettes on most days. I sometimes use coconut oil to remove stubborn eye makeup but I don’t apply it all over my face unless I have on a TON of makeup (which is rare).
  • I only use my Dr. Gross exfoliating pads a few times a week. I find that I’ve been able to stay glowing and even-toned without using them daily. The moment I notice any dullness or unevenness in my complexion, I’ll go back to using them every day.
  • Instead of the “Buffet” serum by The Ordinary, I’ve been using the Argireline solution. It’s thinner and seems to absorb really easily into my skin. I’ve been liking the results so far.

Other than those changes, my skin routine is pretty much the same! I can get everything done in less than 15 minutes at night, and my skin has been looking wonderful! I’m still trying to figure out the best way to reduce the appearance of my pores, but since my skin is oily, large pores are generally part of the deal. I’d rather have oily skin than dry skin, so if I have to just suffer through visible pores, then so be it.

That’s all for today! Talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

fitness

Days 78 – 84 of My Fitness Challenge

How-oh-how did a WHOLE week get by me with NO gym visits occurring? Well, let me tell you all: the end of the fiscal year is going down RIGHT now. Everyone is working longer hours, trying to tie up loose ends, and praying that they don’t fall ill or otherwise have to take off any time until October. Despite having my gym clothes clean and ready to go, I’ve been unbelievably busy, helping various finance teams with making sure that their contracts are showing up properly and ensuring that vendors are being paid timely.

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I’m tired!

This time of year is tough on me, because it’s stressful and you have to be two steps ahead as everyone else is running around a bit crazed and overwhelmed. As a result, I have to make up for things by indulging in some extra rest and lots of fun “diversions” to reduce my stress levels. Along with more sleep and more fun, I’m going to be scheduling a massage, so that I can get a good rubdown and (I’m sure) release all the kinked muscles that I know I’ll be sporting after September 30th has passed.

To be truthful, I completely forgot that I may be too busy to workout this week and next week. Then again, I hoped that I would be able to at least squeeze in one or two workouts . . . However, that didn’t happen. I didn’t move my body as much as I hoped, but I did stick to my healthy eating routine. After all, fit bodies are made in the kitchen, and the gym just builds on that. So, I’m proud that I haven’t “eaten” my emotions in the form of salty and sweet junk food.

Don’t get me wrong: I always factor in a few treats, and everyone needs indulgences now and then. But I’m not scarfing down entire bags of Chex Mix or inhaling Heath bars throughout my eating window. I’d hate to undo all of my good progress by eating lots of junk food and hoping to “burn it off” at a later time. Since I’m focused on continuing to improve my health, I’m still eating lots of salad, drinking tons of water, and having goodies in moderation.

Speaking of water . . . Since Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Major Annoyance Florence didn’t wreak as much havoc in Virginia as initially anticipated, I have tons of water that I’ve been guzzling around the clock. Well, “around the clock” is an exaggeration, but I’ve increased my intake because, well, I hate looking at multiple cases of water near my kitchen door. I love having at least one case on hand at all times, but three is a bit much. Until I figure out a better storage idea, I’m a strictly one-case girl. So these other two cases have to be drank sooner rather than later.

That’s this week’s fitness challenge update. Here’s hoping that I’ll have more thrills, chills and spills for you next week. Take care, and enjoy your Sunday!