Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Goals and a Give Away

By Jeannie Watt

During the daylight hours I'm a teacher. It’s only during the twilight (and weekend) hours that I shift identities and become an author. The beauty of being a teacher is that there's a lot of vacation time built into the schedule.

When my summer break started two weeks ago, I thought I'd have s-o-o-o much free time to accomplish s-o-o-o much. By this time I figured I’d have a book outlined and half written, several dresses sewn, the house cleaned top to bottom, the basement organized, and maybe have learned a little French. Or Russian. I also wanted to read.

That was the plan. Then life happened.

So far this is what I've accomplished during my two weeks of vacation:

1) I turned in sample chapters for next book. I had the chapters pretty much written before the vacation started, but I edited on the first two days of vacation, so I count them.

2) I cut out a dress and sewed three seams.

3) I drove to Montana, toured a prison and visited my mom.
My writing space during the packing and unpacking
as I let the mail etc pile up to the point that the cat had
to hold it down for me.

4)  I managed to make the house even messier while packing and unpacking.

5) I dumped all the stuff I brought home—unorganized, mind you—in the basement.

6) I found the Rosetta Stone Russian CD in the basement. Stored CD back in basement. Who has time to learn Russian?

7) I read two books!

I therefore accomplished one of my goals. I read! And I’m satisfied, because after all, it’s only two weeks into vacation. I have the rest of the summer to finish my book, sew many dresses, clean the house top to bottom and organize the basement.  Da?


What are your summer goals? I’m itching to give away a copy of Once a Champion to a randomly chosen responder. 

UPDATE: I'll post the winner on Saturday June 22nd.

33 comments:

Mary Preston said...

It's Winter here right now, so my main goal is to not be blown away by the winds coming up from the Antarctic. Feel free to send some Summer sunshine this way thank you.

I could always start a language course, Russian perhaps.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Mary,
I'd love to send you some summer sunshine--we're getting just a little too much. Let me know if you start the language course. ;-) Perhaps it'll inspire me.

Pamela Hearon said...

Lose 3 more pounds before RWA National and finish planting my garden with perennials so I don't have to keep planting year after year.

Yeah, ask me in September how these ended up :-)

Laney4 said...

Let's see now.... Get mending pile either done or at least noticeably smaller ... keep on plugging away at my TBR pile (an ongoing battle, but I'm willing to take one for the team, LOL) ... get a regular schedule going on scrapbooking my photo albums (instead of just buying more and more paper and stickers, which only get used for homemade greeting cards or wrapping of presents/envelopes/cards in the meantime) ... maintain a "tidy enough" house ... and host our annual "wine party" in a few weeks (where we share homemade wine my daughter and I win every year from our badminton club championships in May with 50-75 close friends/neighbours, combined with croquet, street hockey, ladderball, and a potluck supper).

Jeannie Watt said...

Hey Pam--I'll see you at Nationals and get an update. Can't wait.

Jeannie Watt said...

Laney--You put me to shame. You are way more ambitious than I am. Your wine party sounds like so much fun! Enjoy. Oh--and thanks for continuing to battle the TBR pile. We appreciate it!

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

My first goal is to read the whole Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis this month. I am on At Last, so I am in good shape.

Then I want to keepp reading and try to keep my daughter busy as she stays home all day on her Summer vacation while I work. She's 14.

kris said...

I'm on the other side of the fence, Jeannie - I overload all my goals during the school year. For summer, I am more than content to keep up with my writing plan, have productive times at National and a writing retreat, have some fun with the kids, and avoid substance abuse. (Please note that mainlining ice cream does NOT count as abuse.)

Lisa McManus Lange said...

Ya know - I always do writing goals for the year every January/February. But given how summer can be kind of topsy-turvy, I never thought of making goals specific to those two months...will have to do that for sure! Thank you!
Lisa McManus Lange

Kathleen O said...

I am looking forward to my annual GalPal weekend next month and I want to reduce my TBR pile.. It is starting out good.. But I keep adding to it.. Never ends..

BW said...

My goals:

1) Start writing my book. By day I am technical writer for an engineeering company and write documentation for two experiments on the International Space Station. However, all I have accomplished is some research. Writing technical documentation can leave you tired where you don't want to touch a computer when you get home.

2) Read books. I have a few books that I want to read this summer.

3) Listen to books. I do this usually going back and forth to work. I just completed recently Dan Brown's Inferno and I am waiting for a couple of books to arrive so I can listen to them.

Learn Italian. I have the CDs for the car but have not done it yet.

Exercise more. I try to do this three or four times a week at least but it's more like two.

Kristina Mathews said...

Jeannie,
My summer started with the biennial computer crash. But at least this time, I'd paid for the extra warranty and was able to get my computer fixed. Just a detached on/off switch.

My goal was to get a cleaned up copy of my MS to my editor by mid-June. Sent it Saturday night. And finish my next book. I'm about 3/4 of the way there with the first draft.

I'd be farther along but my husband is home, still looking for a new job and I have to find quiet spots to work where he won't disrupt me.

I'm also trying to get some exercise. I've started by walking a couple of miles on the high school track when I drop my Sophomore off for football practice at 7:45 in the morning. I try to count the laps, but I'm often attacked by plot bunnies, so I'm thinking I should bring my laptop and just stay for the whole practice rather than run home, shower and just get into a writing groove when I have to go back and pick him up.

Beth Andrews said...

Jeannie, those are great goals! Best of luck with them!

My goal this summer is the same as last summer's and the year before that and the year before that...

To read the entire Harry Potter series. I've seen all the movies (several times) but have never read the books - which is probably why I never achieve this goal. I already know what happens :-)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Reading two books :) Just realized it's been awhile since I've finished reading anything I've started. No fault of the authors, just my scattered brain and habit of starting a story for every mood.

Mary Brady said...

Wow! So many people with so many great plans. My biggest plan is to find a week to take off and convince hubby to do the same.

mary sullivan said...

I've whittled an inch and a half from my waist in the past two months, but want go much, much farther because, really, that small a loss really doesn't show. I want it to REALLY show :-) So...a walkin' I will go this summer.

linda s said...

I want to plant my tent in a shady spot by a creek in the middle of the mountain forest and have temps over 80. The whole summer if I could.

Bri said...

I need to clean up the garage and then clean my belongings out of my parent's basement, catch up on a few tv series from the school year, and make a bunch of embroidery projects. We'll see what happens ....

Jeannie Watt said...

Excellent goals, Tammy. I want to have a Jill Shalvis marathon myself. I hope you think up some fun stuff to keep your daughter busy.

Jeannie Watt said...

Kris--Of course mainlining ice cream doesn't count as substance abuse. (Insert shocked face here.) If it did, then I'd be in ice cream rehab by now. Enjoy your summer and I hope to see you at Nationals!

Jeannie Watt said...

Lisa--I try to make shorter range goals because I have a short attention span. A year is just a wee bit too long for me, but a couple of months works well. Good luck!

Jeannie Watt said...

Kathleen--I hope you have fun at your GalPal event. It sounds like fun. The TBR pile...I love mine and get frustrated by it at the same time. Like you say, it just keeps growing.

Jeannie Watt said...

BW--What a fascinating job! I understand not wanting to touch a computer when you get home, but I hope you do. The neat thing about people in the sciences who write fiction is that they usually write in a streamlined fashion that I love to read. Good luck with the exercise (I have the same goal)and Italian!

Jeannie Watt said...

Kristina--I can't wait to read your book. Keep me posted on its scheduling.

My husband is also home during the summer and I hear you about finding an alone place. He's good about letting me write, but he's also a distraction, which I don't need when I'm trying to escape a tough part of the book.

Writing during practice sounds like an excellent idea. Another idea with the laps is to carry coffee stirring straws in your hand. Every time you pass the finish line, drop one. That way you can keep track of the laps.

Jeannie Watt said...

Beth--My daughter rereads the entire series every few years. I read them all a couple of summers ago--some for the second time and loved having a story that went on forever. The books are so much better and more involved than the movies and her writing evolves as time goes on. I highly recommend taking the Potter plunge.

Jeannie Watt said...

Rogenna--I just finished One Night in Reno. I'm in love with Itch. Thank you for creating him.

Jeannie Watt said...

Mary B--Good luck getting a week off with your husband. It's good to have a guy you enjoy spending your free time with :-)

Jeannie Watt said...

Mary S--An inch and a half doesn't seem like a small amount to me. Congratulations! Good luck with your walking regime!

Jeannie Watt said...

Linda S--Now that's the way to spend a summer!

Jeannie Watt said...

Bri--I love your goals because they sound so much like mine. Do the fun ones first, i.e. the embroidery.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Jeannie! Those are awesome goals! Best wishes with those! My summer goal is to get rid of enough stuff so that there are no boxes in the living room--should be TOTALLY doable... ;)

Beth, the HP series is very fun to read--we did the whole series as a family read-aloud a couple years ago, and DD re-reads select volumes/sections when she wants now. We've seen the first three movies, but haven't gone further yet because the youngest started having bad dreams... He's a touch older now (almost 8) so maybe this summer? We'll see... we definitely enjoyed the books though!

Happy summer, everyone!

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi flchen--I have box goals, too, lol. Most of my life I've had boxes that needed moved. By the by--I enjoyed the HP movies, but the books were so much better. I can certainly see how the movies might scare a kid.

Jeannie Watt said...
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