So this is 41 … it’s something alright. How am I planning on spending it? Well, the folks are coming up for dinner but aside from that, not too much is happening.
Most of the fun stuff happened last weekend. As a combination anniversary (June 5), Steph’s birthday (June 15), and my birthday (June 23), we treated ourselves to the Gentlemen of the Road music festival down in Waverly. (Fun Fact – It was originally to be held here in Decorah but logistical arrangements couldn’t be made with the college, so we lost out on it. Boo.)
The headliners capped it off with a 2+ hour long show that was incredibly high energy and fun. Didn’t regret it one bit. Had a blast and would do it again in a heartbeat.
The only problem was the thunderstorms that swept through Saturday morning. Looked a little bit like this:
We were fortunate though in that one of Steph’s friends was from Waverly and her parents lived right next to the campground. We were able to get our car out of the mud pit that was the parking lot and park on solid ground. This also let us skip out of town right after the concert, getting home about 1:30am and letting us sleep in our own beds that night (plus the heavenly shower).
All in all, a great weekend. So here, treat yourself to some pictures and vids (click to embiggen any of them):
Sixteen years ago on a nice, summer day not too unlike today, Steph and I were married. It has generally been a pleasant time.
Since that church in Calmar, IA (about 10 miles from here), we’ve been a lot of places. Our first anniversary was in Galena, IL, a town not far from where I grew up in Dubuque. Then we bounce around to a few other places – Colorado, Atlanta, and others here and there. Few topped the 4th in Paris with lunch at Versailles and dinner at the Eiffel Tower (that earned me about 10 years, just sayin’).
This year, we opted not to go anywhere and spent the week at home. This morning, we planted trees. Two apples and a cherry. And, with a bit of unintended humor, one of those apple trees?
We have a new resident in our house. Say hello to Bee.
Bee, short for Beholder (either in relation to the one-eyed D&D monster or the phrase, “Eye of the Beholder”, take your pick) came to us from the local Humane Society. She lost her eye when she was younger but otherwise is the epitome of a young cat – full of energy and loves to get up in your face and find out what you are doing. This includes when you are sleeping.
This means, of course, that Steph fell in love with her right away. She spent a couple of months wearing me down until I finally gave up and said “Sure, bring the cat into the house.’ And so here she is.
Bee was found in a trailer with 19 other cats so she’s used to other animals. This has proven a boon as she has no problems with Skye or Cici. Now, Skye and Cici having problems with Bee is another story but it hasn’t been as bad as we feared. Cici came around pretty quick (she’s always chill) and Skye has taken a bit longer. There’s still a bit of ‘Who the hell is this?’ but very little hissing and even some playtime.
And if anyone asks – No, we are not getting any more pets. That’s final. End of story. Because if we do, I get to buy a new computer. 🙂
I honestly did not mean for a month to pass before posting again. Wow.
Anyway, here’s some February progress.
Again, the Green dots represent days that I’d written in increments of 250 words. Orange is video games (guess when I beat a game? Go on, guess!). The total for the month is roughly 7,500 words. That’s not bad considering that A) February is a short month and B) I was laid up by a nasty cold for a solid week. Total for the start of the year is almost 17,000 words which is alright in my book (both literally and figuratively).
March is shaping up to be a pretty good month as well. Hopefully I can keep that up and avoid coming down with the plague or something. That would totally suck.
I actually meant to post this last week but a nasty bout with the stomach flu waylaid me. Here is a picture of cute cats to atone for the error:
Okay, that aside, here is another picture:
A couple of months ago, I read about V.E. Schwab’s method of tracking her writing. She explains it in depth in a video called ‘Best Writing Trick I Know‘ but I’ll sum it up quickly here: Go buy a simple calendar and a bunch of stickers (she uses stars, I use dots). Each star or dot represents X number of words. Hit or surpass the goal and earn a sticker. Different colored stars or dots can be used to track other things such as exercise, reading, etc.
For me, I set the goal to 250 words earns a green dot. The orange dots represents how much time I spend playing computer games (1 dot = 30 minutes), a known and major distraction for me.*
The whole purpose of the calendar is to be a visual reminder of your progress and to give you something to work toward.
And it works surprisingly well. There is something about looking at the calendar and saying “I haven’t earned a sticker today” or “Another 150 words and I can slap down a third dot for the day! Booyah!” Guess it goes back to that childhood fascination with getting a gold star on your paper or whatnot. In fact, I’ll probably be switching to stars in March as the dots seem rather bland. In any case – I like it and it’s working. I wrote most days in January and earned 9,500 words.
This makes my editing buddy very happy:
* The gaping holes in Wednesday and Saturday are due to those being my session days with ShackTac. Those are known times and I try budget for them on other days.