Und hier ist wieder eine neue Folge:
Gestrickt habe ich:
- Hearthstone Pullover: weniger weit als beim letzten Mal
- Owligan ist fertig. Die Wolle ist Lana Gross Feltro, die gibt es nicht mehr:
Genäht habe ich:
- Das weinrote T-Shirt:
Und hier ist wieder eine neue Folge:
Gestrickt habe ich:
Genäht habe ich:
That was a really productive week. I like it. And I almost got enough sleep, even.
The writing went okay. Somehow I got my determination back and wrote almost every day. On Friday I even did my words in the evening. I focused mostly on doing two pomodoros per day and that usually results in the word count I’d like to achieve. Since I’m about halfway into the story – or maybe a little more – things are flowing better.
I finally transferred the edits to the Eva Mandel short story into the Scrivener document. Then I converted that to an ebook file and looked at it on my ebook reader. Which showed me that I really need to structure my paragraphs differently. Interesting experience.
I also finished one of my online writing workshops and made progress on another.
I’ve been reading quite a bit, even with everything else that was going on. Mostly Christmas stories from the WMG Holiday Spectacular and they keep being extraordinary. I’ve been diving into other holiday stories as well which is rather unusual for me. I’m reading „Christmas in the City“ and am enjoying it a lot. It’s still free, so if you enjoy steamy romance go and have a look. I got it because it has an Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen novella in it with two of my favorite characters ever.
I’ve also been downloading samples like crazy and starting and abandoning Christmas novels. I’m a bit restless in my reading at the moment. One that I really loved was „Christmas for Commitmentphobes“ by Rhoda Baxter. I read another one in that series last year and then went on to read the others as well.
I’ve been hopping from one non-fiction book to the other. I’m reading another book about time management for writers that leaves me unimpressed. Since I already bought it I will go through to the end but I’m skipping most of it at the moment. That doesn’t really mean the book is bad, it’s just that I’ve read so many books about time management that it doesn’t tell me anything new.
Something I found really helpful and useful was Mark Manson’s thing about self-discipline. It is a short ebook that you can get when you subscribe to his newsletter on his site, I think. I can’t find the link anymore. I found it rather illuminating.
No strength training again, that remains hard to schedule but I did run four times. Running feels easier at the moment and while I’m still walking a lot things are going well. Monday with a little snow left:
All of those runs were 5K. On Saturday I went out for 11K. The wind was strong enough that I was a little afraid to be blown off the bridge. On my way back there were long stretches were the headwind was so strong that even my husband resorted to walking:
Almost in the next town over:
Fortunately all the branches came down before we went out:
I’m starting to get used to teaching later and that much. I taught another potential new student and will meet her brother this week. While I still want to improve the teaching website it almost seems pointless. I was good and got all the lessons prep done in time. Well, apart from finding a new piece for a student I’ll see today but I’ll do that in the break between two students this afternoon.
Teaching is pretty interesting and challenging at the moment. I have all these singing students, every single one completely different. That week I taught musical, romantic choir music, classic rock and jazz. There were a lot of Christmas songs and „Lady Gaga“. Fun. I do get to sing a lot, play the guitar and piano.
I didn’t get quite enough sleep but napping continues to be a great idea. Seems I will continue doing it. Despite all the running my knees feel good. I think I am developing habits of movement that help prevent injury. There were a few days where I thought I was getting a cold but then I went out running again and things righted themselves.
My new monitor came on Monday. Installment was fast and easy and I really like it. The desk I’m using is not idea but having the bigger screen is helping. I think this will be excellent for revamping the website and the design stuff I want to learn. So getting that monitor was a good idea after all.
On Tuesday my husband and I went to a local furniture store and bought a new sofa for our living room. Basically, we went there on our bikes, waltzed in, looked at three couches and chose one. It took a few more minutes to decide which red fabric we wanted and to finalize the order. Now we only have to wait for eight more weeks.
Afterwards we went to a new to us Indian restaurant that was rather nice, did the grocery shopping together and went back home.
The boy had gone to Munich that day, eating burgers with a friend, getting a library card for the university library and the Bavarian state library and buying himself some climbing shoes. He went all out in socializing that week, going to the climbing gym with a friend on Friday and visiting another friend on Saturday and going to the local Christmas market.
On Saturday I finally pulled out the sewing machine and finished a t-shirt and on Sunday I recorded the podcast.
This will be the last week before Christmas break. I’m not quite sure how to handle the grocery shopping logistics. There will be one potential new student, all the teaching, hopefully more writing (I think I’m almost at the ‚all is lost‘-moment) and I want to publish the podcast on Friday. I have to wrap all the Christmas presents and put packages into the mail. But the most important thing will be the boy’s 17th birthday. There are plans to have cake for breakfast, have lunch at that new Indian place and spend the evening with ‚Star Trek: Discovery‘ on Netflix while eating junk food.
And then we will have two whole weeks off.
Another week that just flew by. I had to look at my journal to see what happened. When there is a lot of stuff most of it just falls out of my head. Lots of teaching.
I only wrote 3,000 words. If this novel ends up being only 60,000 words – as I would like it to – I would be about halfway through. The writing goes faster, seems I have arrived inside the story. I didn’t write all that much, though, because I was prioritizing sleep.
I went running three times and it was fun. I continue to take lots and lots of walking breaks. Am okay with that. The weather was cold and mostly gray. This was on my Monday run, rather early because of a doctor’s appointment:
And this was just two days later:
The boy and I only managed to do bodyweight training once. I had three days of teaching late and on Friday he went climbing with a friend.
Lots of teaching. Met another potential new student and called another one on the phone. I think I have found a pretty good system for lesson prep. For now.
I did start the week with a thyroid ultrasound. Things are looking okay but it’s always those side remarks that get me. Like, „Well, I guess with that many nodules you’re used to the ultrasound taking ages by now.“ Um, okay? They all seem to be the same size as last year so that’s good.
I felt like I was battling a cold all week but so far I’ve won. With all the singing teaching I often end up with my voice a little strained by the end of the day but I hope that that gets better with training.
I did start taking daily naps a week ago and so far I like it. It’s often hard to squeeze them in but I think they give me a little more energy in the afternoons so probably worth it.
I ordered all the Christmas presents and most of them have already arrived. I had an epiphany on Monday while reading Eric Barker’s post about the four secrets for having an awesome marriage. My husband kept saying that NaNo makes me cranky and I insisted that it wasn’t but I then realized that with all that pressure I give myself permission to not be as patient and nice as I usually try to be. Which makes everything less pleasant for all of us. (It isn’t my husband alone, I also snapped at the boy.)
So I started prioritizing sleep and writing again and did not allow myself to flip off the handle and, lo and behold, everybody feels better, myself included.
I also continued to read „Time Management for Writers“ and am now getting into the good stuff, the things I didn’t know before about getting both the craft and the business things done.
When thinking about how and when to do the non-writing part of the publishing thing I realized that one reason I’m not making progress might be.a lack of proper tools. So I have ordered a new monitor for my computer. The 13“ laptop screen is rather small and when designing websites and book covers it feels rather cramped. I hope that this new tool will actually make a difference. It might also be a case of procrastination. Only time will tell.
I read „His Royal Highness“ and loved it, very unusual conflict, refreshing read. It gives a nice spin to both the princess and the rich guy trope. Other than that I spent a lot of time reading the stories from my Holiday Spectacular calendar. I get the daily story each evening at around seven and then read it right away most of the time. I also seem to collect holiday themed novels but I’m not actually reading them at the moment. This morning I started „The Flatshare“ instead and am already a quarter in.
I still didn’t feel as rushed last week as the week before, seems my husband might have been right about NaNo stressing me. I did manage to get the podcast published in time, having four days between recording and cutting it was a little weird, though. Next time I might try to record and get it ready on the same day but I couldn’t do that because we went out on Sunday evening.
On my husband’s sweater I made great progress. Until I had the brilliant idea to compare the sweater-in-progress with the one I was modeling this one on:
Yeah, that didn’t work. The gray one is a little too wide but not by that much. And the lesson I learned? If you wing a sweater it might be a good idea to whip out the tape measure now and then and compare the thing you’re knitting to the measurements you took. Especially when the thing you’re working on feels too small.
I have ripped it all back and started again. I have two inches of ribbing on one sleeve and two inches of ribbing on the body. Hmpf. The good thing is that I won’t be needing more yarn soon.
And just yesterday my husband and I finally made plans for the trip we want to take around his birthday in January. We already booked a bed and breakfast and will stay in Salzburg for four days. Hurray! Not knowing where to go was stressing us both out a bit too. I’m really looking forward to that little getaway.
Again, there will be quite a bit of teaching. The boy has a thing on Tuesday and a chemistry test on Wednesday. I want to knit a lot. Watch a couple of „Star Trek: Discovery“ episodes which I’m really loving at the moment. I am hoping to write more words, 7,000 would be ideal.I might have to resort to lock my phone and computer before breakfast again.
My new monitor is supposed to get here today. I’m hoping that will make me super-motivated to do all the design stuff. It’s all very exciting, with the new OS I can use my iPad as a graphic tablet and all.
Getting enough sleep would be great, naps and all, and running four times would be wonderful. My husband and I have plans to go grocery shopping together on Tuesday (it’s a date!), then look at couches and go to an all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch. Fun!
Und hier ist wieder eine neue Folge:
Gestrickt habe ich:
Gehäkelt habe ich:
Gesponnen habe ich:
Let’s just say that the week was full enough that I wrote a very detailed plan and had to resort to putting things like ‚phone call to S‘ on my actual calendar. I wound up not getting enough sleep and being so exhausted for most of the week that I was shivering all day. We now have a crochet blanket residing permanently on the kitchen bench. I also decided to quit NaNo.
As I said. It did go rather well but there was no chance of me writing 3,000 words a day every day. I found that out when I wrote every spare minute for two days and only got more and more behind. In the past I have been able to write some more in the evenings but it turns out that when I wake up around 5, start the day writing and do a lot of teaching until 7 or 7.30 my brain just shuts off. The best I got was 2,300 and that was pretty painful. So, no need to do this.
I did celebrate giving up on NaNoWriMo with some potato chips, beer and licorice:
Just your typical party, sitting alone in the kitchen with the table all full with pots that need to be put away.
I was all content that I seemed to have established a daily writing routine until I decided to take things a little easier and somehow didn’t write for four days in a row. I’d like to do daily writing in December. Only after I have gotten enough sleep, though.
Went okay-ish. I did run three times that week again:
I was all determined to do bodyweight training three times that week but only did it on Tuesday. On Thursday the boy didn’t have time and on Friday we ended up both being so tired and exhausted that we skipped. Saturday I was still a little sore from running two days in a row and Sunday was extra-busy.
There was a lot of teaching. And a lot of lesson prep. All the planning and organizing was a very good thing because I was unusually well-prepared for all the lessons. Next step will be to get back to practicing music as well.
Apart from not enough sleep things were good. I did have a slightly scratchy throat one or two evenings but so far no cold. Even though a lot of the students are sick at the moment. Running more is a bit challenging for my knees so I will do more stretching in the upcoming week.
I also decided to try taking naps from now on. I’m hoping to be a little more alert in the evenings. Not feeling like I’ll nod off the next minute would be splendid.
I got irritated enough by all the small, niggly things that need to be done eventually that I gave them their own collection in my journal. No need to rewrite them week after week. I’m still reading about time management. I did squeeze the planning for December into half an hour on Sunday morning. Sunday went off the rails at around 7 am because I found out that some friends of ours had called the night before to tell us they’d come over on Sunday morning with our wine delivery. Yeah. So I frantically reordered my to-do list. And started making gnocchi right after breakfast. That turned out to be a very good idea, even with chatting with out friends we ended up having lunch on time. It was very good:
I ended up recording the next podcast episode on Sunday because there is no way I can squeeze that into a teaching day at the moment, then started writing this post and went off to see this concert afterwards. (There doesn’t seem to be a way to link to a specific concert but we went to the one on the first of December, „Ullman/Swell’s Chicago Plan“.)
Which means I’m starting the week on sleep deprivation yet again.
Loads of teaching again, including another potential new singing student. I’d like to make progress on my husband’s sweater, write a lot, do all the exercise and get all the sleep. Oh, and I’m having a doctor’s appointment today for a thyroid ultrasound.
Only a few more weeks until the end of the year…
Phew. Not the easiest of weeks. It was made a little harder by the lack of recharge time the weekend before because of that party we went to.
That was my main focus all week but I still didn’t write as much as I had wanted. I did manage to write every day for as long as I felt I could and would be happy with the result if it hadn’t been for the fact that all that writing was not enough to get ahead on NaNoWriMo. At the moment it looks unlikely that I will ‚win‘ this year.
Not as much as I wanted again, strength training, stretching and yoga didn’t happen at all, I did go running twice and enjoyed it:
That took the big chunk of my time and energy. I taught two more new students which is good. My teaching hours are changing rapidly. And that means that my schedule isn’t working anymore. Lessons are often starting earlier than before and instead of getting off around six I am now teaching until seven or a little later most evening. Which means doing strength training between my last student of the day and dinnertime isn’t really working anymore. It’s just unfair to make the boy wait that long. Plus, working out when it’s an hour past your regular time to eat is no fun.
I’m sure my teaching schedule will change again soon, that’s how it’s always goes, but for now I need to change things around a bit. Not this week, though.
Apart from the lack of exercise I also didn’t sleep enough at all. The weekend started that trend and then I just didn’t recover from it because in the evenings I usually was so beat that I wouldn’t find my way to bed. Twice my husband felt the need to feed me dinner after work which resulted in me a) eating more than I had wanted and b) just staying seated at the kitchen table indefinitely. By Tuesday all I could think of was sleep. And food. And having a beer in the evenings.
By Thursday I thought it would be a good idea to eat a whole pint of ice cream for dinner, have a beer afterwards and then start reading a new Sarina Bowen novel („Man Cuffed“ it is excellent). I stayed up to read the whole thing, then ate some cheese while surfing the web and went to bed at 1.30 am. Not my best move. Funny enough that served as a reset for my habits. While I was smart enough to set my alarm for 6 instead of 5.15 on Friday I was very good with all the things I wanted to get done that day.
Still, not a sustainable long-term strategy. Mind you, that was the week I had explicitly prioritized sleep for the week. And writing. And I relearned yet again that if I don’t sleep enough writing won’t happen, at least not much. Especially not in the evenings. After working late.
So, not the best week healthwise. I am very happy, though, that I did not get sick, a lot of our students are.
I finished spinning the next ball of yarn for my husband’s sweater and went back to knitting on the body. Both sleeves are done up to the underarms. Right now I am spinning more yarn in the mornings and knitting in front of TV because I’ll need more yarn. I am using my spindle instead of the wheel because that way I can make use of those small pockets of time.
I also ordered yarn for the next crochet blanket. I was so cold the past week that the Sweet Pea blanket has gained a permanent place on the kitchen bench and I keep wrapping myself in it. I love the colors for the Dahlia blanket, not a single shade of blue anywhere, just pleasing reds:
This will be another crochet-along starting in January.
On Saturday the boy and I reached a milestone, we watched the last episode of ‚Deep Space Nine‘ together. We have now made our way through the original series, ‚Next Generation‘, all the movies that exist and a big chunk of ‚Voyager‘. We decided to start ‚Discovery‘ next instead of ‚Enterprise‘ because we’re just so curious. Also I don’t care that much for ‚Enterprise‘. We still have more than two seasons of ‚Voyager‘ to go, so I’m expecting this to take some more time.
We watched the series finale as a family with celebratory ice cream and beverages:
While the last season was brilliant the very last episode did drag a bit but we were okay with that.
There will be a lot of teaching again, about the same as the week before but I’m hoping that getting more sleep and a free weekend will help me navigate that better. I’m still trying to write my 50,000 words even though I’m only around halfway by now. Regular life still needs to happen, though, so we’ll see how that goes.