Saturday, October 31, 2009

Where'd I go???

Gosh, sorry its been so long, all.  Happy Halloween all, first off.  I hope this weekend is so much fun for all of us.  How have you all been?  I feel so bad that I've basically been out of commission for so long.  To be truthful, I sort of lost track of everything so now it's time to get recharged and restarted, huh?  Ok.

So.  What happened?  I got h1n1 of all things.  It seems I've had this 3 month stretch of nonstop sickness, so my immune system must just really be exhausted.  Anyways, I got h1n1 and I *thought* I would get over it relatively quickly.  In fact, I seemed to be on the mend two weeks ago and life was going on in a merry little way. Suddenly, two Fridays ago, I woke up and was so.much.worse.  I mean, could barely move, felt like I was dying worse.  Nolan had to go into work that morning and I was here struggling to even deal with anything.  Anyways.  Nolan came home from work early and I got up to go to the bathroom to cough up a lung.

Next thing I know, I'm in the ER with Nolan and my friend Jordan (she's a nurse) and she tells me "You passed out.  Nolan and I brought you here and I think you've got pneumonia."  I spent the next 5 hours fading in and out of dozing during tests and lab work (luckily, the dr gave me morphine so I'd just sleep.  The results?  "Walking pneumonia", aka all the symptoms of it but not the actual virus or infection.  Apparently h1n1 can either mimic the symptoms of pneumonia or develop into it.  Thankfully, it was just mimicking the symptoms. 

So, I've spent a week and a half resting, medicating, and slowly working on writing projects.  I still have a wicked cough and lots of sinus congestion but each day I'm seemingly getting better.  I really need to commit myself to restoring good health.  I always sort of just get myself back to functioning but not actually doing "really" good, health wise.  I need to do that.  I need to focus on eating well, getting good sleep, taking my vitamins, meditating, and exercising so I can be strong and healthy but most of all productive.

Got any tips for me?  Honestly, I'd love and appreciate any and all advice or suggestions.  Isn't it kind of the chronic American lifestyle of just slugging through things but not really making the effort to make sure our wellness is a top priority? We're all so busy that we just run ourselves ragged but don't stop to take the time to make sure we can actually handle everything we're doing.

So.  On to writing.  I backed off of my blog to focus on doing a few things to get paid.  In my last BIG blog, I wrote about deciding to just take the jump and commit to being a full time writer.  I'm still finding my sea legs doing this but I'm so much happier than I was trying to apply myself to a job that wasn't going anywhere.  The trouble comes in just learning to balance working from home with being a mom and a wife.  So much easier said than done.  But I've found a few ways to focus myself, one of which being . . . .

NaNoWriMo!!!!  That's right.  Go to and sign up to spend a month writing a 175 page novel.  The goal is quantity, not quality for your writing.  You spend a month writing furiously to produce a verrrrrry rough draft of a novel.  The purpose?  Get your creative juices flowing, get yourself trained to spend significant parts of your day really writing, and also to not shoot yourself in the foot by constantly self-editing.  Sometimes writers block comes from the fact that we're always trying to make what we're writing "perfect" when really we just need to get it all out first, THEN edit.

I've been working on notes for a story for about a month now, so I'm going to use that as my NaNoWriMo project.  I'm really excited to just apply myself to this and I'm really hoping that its going to help me overcome some of my own personal hurdles with writing.  More on those later.

I got hired on by The Examiner and I'm writing 3-4 articles a week!!!  Hurray!!!  I also got a few freelance book review projects starting up, and am working slowly on developing two new blogs- one for my book birthday project and one devoted to political commentary that I'm doing with 4 other writers.  When those are up and running, I'll let you know!

For this weeks goals, I'm going to try to keep it simpler.  I need to really devote myself to the rhythm of meeting my daily nanowrimo word count so I don't fall behind and I get a running start.  I need to get back to regular posts on my blog, articles and pieces for The Examiner and other jobs, and development on the other blogs.  That sounds so overwhelming! Argh!  We'll see how I do.

My other goal is to get back on track with Weight Watchers.  Two weeks of being sick really got me unfocused, but since health and wellness is a priority . . .well time to pay the piper.  Anyways, have a wickedly fun little evening!  Talk to you all soon!

Sara Rose

Monday, October 19, 2009

Drriftwood: Week 7 Goals

Hi all,

Hope everybody's doing great!

I've been busy, but decided I just have to post this week.

Week 5 (and 6) Update:

This week's goals (Oct 5-Oct 11)


1. When I get feedback on my paper, hopefully this week, work on it. Haven't gotten feedback yet.


1. Write a few scent related blog posts. Wrote 1. 1 more in the drafts.

2. Everyday, for atleast one hour before sleeping, either do WPs or read a book. Did this for a few days. Must make a more conscious effort.

3. WPs - atleast 10 mins 3 times a week. and half an hour on Sat, Sun. 1.5 hours - Not much. Though I did write some free form food related stuff

4. Morning Pages for work related stuff Again not really..:(

Week 7 goals (Week 19th - 25th)


1. Work on a document/proposal explaining my experiment with pilot results/plots and rationale. This has to be more detailed than my previous one

2. Work on programming the new version of my experiment

3. Reading for a class I am sitting in. - 3 Chapters


1. Do some research for a short trip, I'll be making soon. Will post details in the locker room soon

2. Finish a post waiting in my drafts section

3. Finish reading Middlemarch/resume reading. I started this book ages ago (I am talking Was loving it, but life caught up and I stopped reading it. Each time I begin at the beginning and then again stop reading for some reason or the other. This time I am going to finish It is such a lovely book

4. Work on my novel a bit- have been neglecting it.

Have a great week everyone!

Tomato: Behind!!

Hi friends!! I know i'm uber behind here, and yes I totally failed all the goals i posted last time. Eek! Am hoping to catch up on life in the next week or two so please be patient with moi. :)


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Update Later, Read My Post

Hi all!

I'll writ, update, and comment later today or tomorrow.  But I wrote an important blog over at the chatterbox about a major life decision to focus solely on writing, and would love you to check it out.


Sara Rose

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vienna again: Quick update

Marking while listening good music is always better! I am actually enjoying it now or at least I'm more relaxed about it. Ay, life!
How is your creative week going?

Vienna: Too tired, too busy and fed up about it.

Hi ladies!

I'm sorry I've sort of vanished from the SWIM scene but my life has been absolutely non-stop for the last two weeks. In a positive note, just to say the Yoga course is amazing. I am very excited about it. However, I am working like mad from Monday to Friday at uni (I hate grading, or I hate grading soooo many papers) and I was away for the weekend (my yoga course takes place on weekends) so I feel exhausted. I was about to write my goals or to see what I've accomplished this week and, really, I don't even know where to start. I hate working at such intensity that life becomes work, work, work. Since my teaching load is so heavy,I feel like a teaching machine with very little space for development. I'm tired and I don't particularly want to be here right now. Sitting by my desk, marking more coursework. No time for writing. I feel I'm getting nowhere with all what really matters in life. Anyway! I'll give myself time till Sunday to re-think my goals and I'll get back to you. I'll also try at some point to catch up with all your posts.
Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sara Rose: Oct 7- Oct 13 Goals

Encore, bonsoir, mes beaux amis!

So last week, I got a bit accomplished, but it always seems I have this huge pile up of more/more/more I need to get done.  Where do I strike a balance with this?

One of the things I need to really work on in the next few weeks is carving out a writing/work schedule since I work from home now.

I have Owen home with me too and am trying to make the hard decision . . . do I have him at a babysitter a couple mornings a week while Eva is at preschool so I can work uninterrupted? Do I try to work when he sleeps and in the evenings, thus potentially cutting into family/couple/me time?

Also, since I work from home now, I feel more pressure (from myself mostly) to be the one entirely responsible for my household.  Since I am a bit of a neatnik/clean freak this presents the problem of cutting into writing/work time.  ARGH!  I need balance!

Ok so goals for this week.

1.  10-20 minutes character development & research for my short story.  It's rounding nicely into what I hope is going to be a good piece of work.

2.  Send of writing samples and resume for a few jobs I found, preferably by Friday afternoon.

3.  Rough drafts of first Weight Watchers articles by Sunday morning.

4.  Journal more!  Even if it's short entry journaling.

5.  I've got two new blogs I've been a part of developing and Im excited to get them rolled out.  Hopefully in the next two weeks.

6.  Finish editing the content for my mothers website.

7.  Get my butt to the gym.  Period. Amen.

8.  4 posts on the Chatterbox.

9.  Make my husband get my hard drive and flash drives.  Get to work on cookbook/recipes.  Refuse to do his laundry if he keeps forgetting.

Ok thats more than enough.  Good night all! 

Sara Rose

Update on my first week here! :o)

Bon soir, mis amis!  Here's a recap on my goals last week and my progress with them.  I've still got lots of work to do but feel like I made a bit of progress last week.  It's a bit like chipping away at a proverbial iceberg sometimes.  Ahh well.

1.  I've embarked on a new project that I started the week of my birthday.  I decided to start reading a book a week until I've reached 1500 (yes 1500) books.  So far its going well but now I am faced with another conundrum-  Do I start a new blog for this project or just do posts on it ony Chatterbox Sara?  Thoughts, anyone?
    -I'm going to do a separate blog.  I've been struggling for awhile with really focusing the content of Chatterbox Sara to present a more cohesive block of writing.  I need to really separate out different areas of interest (more on this later) so I can get to the "meat" of what I want Chatterbox top be about.

2.  I've got a short story rolling around that I've been brainstorming for about a week on.  I want to do 10-20 minutes of brainstorming/character development/free writing to see where this story goes.
    -I did do about 10 minutes of brainstorming just about everyday this week.  My husband has been a great help in this.  He's also a writer and while he doesn't actively pursue it anymore, he wrote a number of plays.  Character development is one of his strong suits with writing so as part of my brainstorming, I talked over my story with him almost daily to get input on where I am going with this.  He's really helped me hone what I want the story to be.
3.  Catch up on blogging.  I've got 4 posts I've been meaning to get done.
    -Done for the most part.  A couple important posts I wanted to do are in notes on my computer still but thats  I'm really working on a more coherent and concise writing style for my more topic driven posts.
4.  Sign up for Weight Watchers.  Use it.  Consider if I want to blog about it in the locker room or on my own blog.
    -Signed up AND got an opportunity to write about the experience!  Still unsure as to whether I want to write about it on my blog or not, but Ill talk about it in the Locker Room for sure!
5.  Retrieve all my recipes and free writing on my cookbook from our external hard drive.  Edit 1-2 recipes/write ups daily.
    -Nolan has the hard drive and our flash drives at his office.  Grrrrrr.  He keeps forgetting to bring them home.  If this keeps up, I may "forget" to wash his boxers anymore.
6.  Pursue 3 new freelancing opportunities.
    -Done!  Got the job writing about my weight watchers journey, and submitted writing resumes/queries/samples 3 other places.  Also got a job reviewing three books for next month!  Woot!

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Driftwood Week 5 goals

Hi all,

Hoping you are all doing great. I am loving the chill in the air and the prospect of curling up in my bed, in the evenings, with a big fat book. Also, I think autumn and tea sort of 'go' together. Since, most of you are tea-lovers, I thought I'd ask if you could suggest some must-have/must-drink teas that I should try. I thought I'd compile a list of must-haves that I'd work through.

Now on to last week's goals:


1. Write up the proposed changes to my experiment, the rationale behind the experiment etc. Yes! I also got some feedback at the end of last week. Lots of work ahead.
2. When I get feedback on my paper later this week, work on them. Haven't gotten feedback on this yet


1. Taking a leaf out of Revisionista's book, I am going to start doing timed/untimed writing practice. Atleast 3 times a week for 10 mins and 1 hour each on the weekend. That is atleast 2.5 hours this week. I did WPs once this week. But for more than 10 mins, maybe 20.

2. Morning pages, to sort out work related ideas. Yes, on most of the weekdays.

3. Let the writing practice lead into 'novel' writing. Sort of. Wrote a page..Not sure if the WP led to the novel writing. Was in the mood to write one morning , so wrote..:)

Also wrote 1 blog post.

This week's goals (Oct 5-Oct 11)


1. When I get feedback on my paper, hopefully this week, work on it.


1. Write a few scent related blog posts

2. Everyday, for atleast one hour before sleeping, either do WPs or read a book. I have been trying to this, this weekend, and it feels soo much better than checking my email and twitter a million times before I noticed Carolyn had posted a similar goal..Good luck to us..:)

3. WPs - atleast 10 mins 3 times a week. and half an hour on Sat, Sun. 1.5 hours

4. Morning Pages for work related stuff

Have a great week ahead.

Tired Tomato

Bonjour, fellow SWIM-ers! I am all kinds of tired today, but trying to stay as upbeat as possible. Also feeling really good about last week's SWIM goals...

1. Write 3 snail mail letters. Yup! Granted I did them last night but that counts, right? Nothing better than getting fun little somethings in the mail.

2. Write letter to myself to read when overwhelmed at work. Check! This was a great exercise prescribed to me by Jennifer. I did the same exercise back when I was painfully slow at work and needed to cheer myself up. After printing it (in cute font of course), I laminated it and decorated it with gorgeous fabric tape. Plan to do the same with Letter #2!

3. Practice nothing, then discover my truth. Admittedly I did not follow the nothing part as strictly as I should have, but the truth, oh my, the truth was all over the place! Read more about my experience here.

Now for this week's goals...

1. Respond to blog comments. I'm really bad about this (and it doesn't help that i'm terribly behind on blog reading as it is), and it's completely unacceptable. I've gotten such lovely comments, and i really want to make it a priority to respond so i'm making it a goal!

2. End my evenings with either journaling or reading a book. Absolutely NO laptop or TV watching when i'm about to go to sleep!

3. Pink Heels HW: includes fun activities like creating a life mandala and answering big picture journal questions. I promise to share a picture once I'm finished!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

gussying up fall finale

ladies aaannndd, well, ladies ;)

quickie review on my quickie week 7 goals:
  • work on city girl's guest blog post - holla yeah!! and i loved every second of it. if you missed it you can read it here.
  • focus on schooling - keeping up with assignments - yes but barely. when there is only 6 months of schooling there is a LOT to do in a short amount of time, which i'm sure you could imagine. which leads me into...
photo credit ici
i hate to say this, but i am gonna put my swim suit away for the season. this past week has felt as though i've been drowning. i do plan on coming back when the weather is warmer (aka when school and life in general has calmed down). i will miss you all terribly but if given a chance will definitely be checking in on my swim team and cheering you on from time to time. this has been such a fantastic lap while it lasted and no worries, i will definitely be back!

much love & hugs to all of my swim team!!

Vienna: Survived the first teaching week.

Hello ladies,

Here I am. Sitting by my desk. Seeing my garden gaining life and going absolutely nuts with what it looks like a gigantic hurricane. What's going on today in the middle of the UK? Sunny spells, rain, grey clouds, clear blue sky, all-in-one type of weather. I even had to rescue the bin container from flying away and crashing against the neighbour's new car. Ayyyyyyyy!

Anyway, day ooooofffff! After the first week of teaching this feels like heaven. Up late (-ish, I can never sleep until late anymore...), Wild Swans, Zest magazine, new Autumn Mslexia, Yogi tea and cereal in bed (does that counts as an Artist's Date?). A bit of tidying up, 30-minute-yoga session and 25-minute-meditation, light lunch and down to do some work at my PC. Sorted out a few financial issues and now working on an application form for a grant for my Dru Yoga Teacher Training course, which starts next Saturday. Yes, yes! I made my mind up. I'm doing it. Universe help me!

Let's check my previous goals:

  1. Last July I was accepted in a Yoga Teacher Training programme. I've been wondering for ages whether I should go ahead or not. Mainly only financial reasons hold me back. There is a grant I can apply for; however, there is nothing guaranteed and I am afraid of struggling with the payments. The Yoga Centre has been fantastic and offered me all sorts of alternatives to make my life easier. I need to make my mind up this week. So I will explore the issue in MPs and/or journaling. Yes, yes and yes!!!!! I'm doing the course and I am trying to apply for a grant. Starting next Saturday. Hooray!
  2. Figure out how long it takes me to plan my lessons and grade students' work. This first week has been quite mad, as expected. Students constantly knocking on my office door (despite the signs directing them properly...) have slowed down my work rhythm. I teach 19 hours a week, which personally I find excessive, given that I also hold managerial and research responsibilities. Anyway, I suppose next week I'll get a clearer idea of my actual workload for this academic year.
  3. Work out a fitness routine, both at home and in the gym. At home I've managed the usual twice-a-day yoga so I'm happy with that. I need to work out how to get to the gym for my studio classes and my cardio. The nearest gym is quite far away. Well, maybe not for drivers, but I rely on public transport and it takes me an hour to go and another to get back, so I'm finding it pretty difficult to get organised. I know, I know, I need to get a driving license, but for various reasons (mainly financial) that will have to wait (still) a bit more. I have a deal with R and he picks me up from the gym twice a week but now is away filming so I'll have to wait till he's back. Hate being dependent though.
  4. 4. Figure out WHEN is the best time for me to write creatively, squeeze it in my timetable and STICK TO IT. I might try to start with little writing every day to get into the routine (Revisionista style! Thanks for the idea!).5. Work out a time for blogging and reading blogs (I found it so difficult last term). FAIL. BIG TIME. This week I've had no time at all with the classes and I'm scared that is the way is going to be during term time, which I hate. I WANT TO WRITE. I cannot bear another year without a writing routine. When I come back from work I'm so so tired. I really cannot write at night, plus I need to get some decent sleep if I'm to get up at 5:30 am.

Well. And that's all for now. Overall it's been a positive week, even though I still need to figure out a few things, as you have read above. Hope you are enjoying your weekend. I'm really excited because R comes back tonight to spend Sunday together, which will be great. Miss him.

Loads of love,