I know I've been kind of focused on writing updates. I thought I'd take a breather from that and do a general update. I've been making a ton of changes in my life.
I've been into running for a long time, but I've never taken it seriously. For the past nine or ten years I've done some sort of running a few times a week. This could be a short as a few miles only once or up to a bunch of times culminating in a fourteen-mile long run.
I know what you're thinking: that sounds serious! Not really. If you build up slowly, doing an "easy pace" long run isn't any more difficult than going for a two-hour walk. You'll be tired and sore afterward, but it's not a real struggle during it.
So when I say I've never been serious, that means I've never really done the hard work to "get better." I've run a few half-marathons, but I had the intent to finish, not to get a good time. This summer I've decided to start trying to get better. I've introduced some speed training, and I'm doing yoga every day I don't run to build up some core strength and flexibility.
I'm doing a 5K series where I run a 5K race every week for eight weeks. The goal is to try to get better times each week going into my half-marathon training season. Then I'm going to transition into focusing on running a 1:40 half-marathon. Anyway, I know most of your eyes probably glazed over at that.
I'm also trying to get more organized. I'm a pretty obsessive person, so doing this could do more harm than help. I started a "journal." It's not so much for feelings or what I did for the day. It's just a way to get organized.
I set it up so that I have yearly goals which I break into monthly goals which I break into weekly goals which then gets turned into a daily to-do list. I know. This sounds crazy, but it's a way to make sure I'm always on track for longer-term goals in my day-to-day activities. I've had too many months in the past where I consistently do things every day only to realize I've accomplished nothing relevant.
Here's an example. Say I want to make sure I post something on this blog twice a month. That gets put into the weekly breakdown at the start of the month. Then when I make the daily to-do list, it is placed on a specific day. It will get done, and that goal is guaranteed to be accomplished. In the past, I've gone two months without blogging, and I just totally forget to check when I last did it.
I also use the journal to keep track of book ideas or blog ideas or books to read and what I thought about them. I also use it for some longhand free writing to get the ideas flowing. It's just become a convenient way to keep track of everything.
Anyway, one day I came home from the store, and the dog was feeling particularly destructive:
My journal got some frustration taken out on it. It's still usable, though:
But Daddy, you've always got your nose in it, why can't I try?
I'll end with some writing updates. I sent in a Christmas story to MLR. I think it turned out pretty well. It's got a lot of humor and a snarky, grinch-type main character. He comes to realize something magical about himself, and it's all about the journey he goes on as his feelings about the holidays change. Look out for that in the Nov/Dec timeline if that's your type of thing. More specifically, it's a "reindeer shifters" story.
I've started plotting Merlin's Grove: Book 3. It will probably be the last in the series for a while. I thought there was a big interest in that type of thing (small-town Gilmore Girl's vibe), and I thought I was doing a really cool twist on the genre (ancient magic lurking beneath the surface). But whatever, I guess it probably just crosses genres too much to have any appeal. That's fine. I want to move on to other things temporarily anyway.