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1. Write Strong!
I fell way short of my 25,000 word per month writing goal, but I did keep writing.
I wrote and subbed an article for the new IWSG newsletter, and Chris Fey accepted it! Yay! (It may be with this month or a forthcoming month newsletter edition).
2. Market with Strength!
I'm still figuring out what this might mean.
However, a friend of mine sold 15 of my books for me. (Wow!) I think I need to at least buy her a coffee.
On a seriously sad note, the most encouraging and kind bookstore owner I've met has sold her business and closed shop. She's retiring and no one bought the bookstore from her, so I had three books returned to me.
3. Publish with Strength!
Champion's Destiny is still getting its paperback cover . . . soon, soon, soon.
Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry is set to launch via Smashwords on March 1st - and the paperback might be ready that day, too. I'm kind of proud of it since over half of the 90 stories in it were published previously over the last few years. A little warning/taste for readers (especially those few younger readers who stop by my blog), Flicker is meant for readers 15 and up since some material is dark and there are a dozen stories that reference serious topics like human trafficking, depression, and serial killers (not all at once). At the same time, if you like truly dark stuff, it doesn't have that much of it - it has light-fluffy stuff like superheroes struggling with long capes in addition to the grim stuff. It's a combination of short, long, light, and dark - flickers of various genres and lengths of story-writing and poetry.
4. Live Strong!
I've walked 27 miles and biked 45 miles this month so far. I have cut back slightly on caffeine, and I've been feeling much better.
Sadly, vertigo has still been my companion if I use my computer too long. (This is why I haven't been asking for any blog book tour kind of help - I feel like I'm in the random zone of blogging time - 15 minutes in the am - 15 at noon, and then sometimes in the evening.)
5. Worship Strong!
I'm taking part in a Bible Challenge for Lent - attempting to read from Genesis to Revelation by Easter. I've fallen a few books of the Bible behind, but I think I can catch up . . . maybe.
I'm also fasting from fiction, except for Sunday afternoons - so all of my fiction reading is going on in 2-4 hour spurts once a week, and the rest of the time I'm into the Bible and a few non-fiction books.
6. Gratitude = Grace (Strength Through Thanksgiving!)
I noticed that my attitude improved on day 5 of my Bible reading challenge. Maybe this was just coincidence, but I don't think so. I was a bit cranky while reading Genesis and Exodus - "really, God - using totally broken, messed up people to start the kingdom of God on earth?" but finally started feeling some thanksgiving - "so glad my dad comes to church with me, and sings off-tune right next to me." (Really, I would rather hear my dad singing off-tune over any professional singer - I love my dad's voice.)
7. Rest, as needed. (Rest Strong!)
Did this, again! Score! I know it sounds weird to add to a list of goals, but I have to remind myself that rest is a good thing.
Books, Movies, General Fandom, and News
Books I enjoyed this last month:
Bill Bryson's African Diary is probably the shortest travelogue that I've read by Bill Bryson and one of the most serious as he highlights CARE refugee camps, but Bryson's humor still makes a showing on the small aircraft rides and train transportation sequences.
The Inquisitor's Mark by Diane K. Salerni takes off where the first book, The Eighth Day, ended, and it adds more twists and exciting turns to this excellently written adventure series. Highly recommended!
Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible by Stan Lee is a unique comic book auto-biography of Stan Lee's life. I think I learned more in an interview of him in Costco Magazine. However, I got it from the library and it was fun.
Pawn by Aimee Carter was a one-afternoon library read for me, and it takes the reader on an action-packed dystopian journey filled with political intrigue. The MC, Kitty, undergoes a total make-over of her life on a bone-deep level just to escape punishment for stealing an orange.
Movies and Shows I enjoyed this last month:
Fantastic Four, the newest remake, made for a wonderful family evening at home. We wished we had supported it in the theaters. While it didn't have quite enough Ben Grimm (Thing) screen-time for me, we all thought did a great job developing the characters and the background of the Fantastic Four. Sure, it only had one major action scene, but we didn't mind. This was a movie about friendship, not about beat-downs.
Hail, Caesar! by the Coen Brother is . . . a Coen brothers' film. I'm not sure how else to describe it. It's funny, thought-provoking, interesting, and enjoyable, but all at a slightly odd angle . . . or at least that's how I felt after I watched it.
Flash has been in my docket of Netflix shows for a while, but I finally convinced my family it was worthwhile this last month and we raced through the end of season 2. My daughters had a half hour debate over how time travel issues might work. My husband managed to keep his "that's not within the laws of physics, engineering, science" comments fairly low, and we were all glad that this particular DC comic hero doesn't need to strip to the waist to do his stuff (cue: many more comments from the husband unit peanut gallery).
An old youtube show that got picked up and had a three year run from 2012-2015: Video Game High School. I didn't expect much from it but I thought I would try it one night on Netflix, and the first episode is worth a watch, even if if you never watch the rest. I think it's pretty funny, and my family seems to agree. Enjoy ultimate gamer geekdom with this show!
Current non-fiction reads (will report in a month or two, since I'm slow at non-fiction): The House of Sky by Ivan Doig, Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams, and Showing and Telling in Fiction by Marcy Kennedy.
What are your goals? Your current reads? Best movies or shows watched recently? And, if you would like to dream big, please join this awesome hop!