Posted by: Tiffany | January 10, 2011

Living to the Fullest

Why is it when we are kids we play until we fall asleep and then wake up ready to tackle the new day.  We don’t think about the obstacles we just do it.  Then as we age the freedom we had as children is gone and we let obstacles get in the way.

I have goals and dreams and I let things get in the way, I make excuses.  It is a new year and that means a new beginning.  Bust up the obstacles and push forward.  Life is too short to wait for tomorrow to start really living.  For me one of the biggest obstacle is my job, the stress and time it takes away from my family, health and writing.  I need my job to pay the bills.  One of my fears is that once I do become a published author will my writing turn into the same type of obstacle? 

I need to not let my job shape my life and how I react to things.  I can’t let the stress influence my eating habits or exercise habits or what I do when I get home.    I need to change my reaction because the day job is needed and not going away.  The only thing I have control over is how I respond.  I have choices and I do chose the job,  I have to support my family until my writing can take over.   It is a good job with a great company the pressure I feel is more about me then the company.  I don’t have to be prefect and it’s okay if things go wrong.  The world doesn’t come to an end and I haven’t been fired yet and eating that cheeseburger didn’t solve the problems and in the end it made me feel bad about myself.    I chose to change and live life to the fullest and make my dreams happen.

I am 41 and in February I am going to be 42.  I kicked off my forties wanting to make changes and instead I have let obstacles stop me.  No more, I need to bust them up and just do it.  Life is short and if you don’t live to your fullest you are wasting time.  We only get the time that we have and we need to make the most of it.

So here is to changes and that way when I turn 50 in 8  years and 1 month and 19+days,  I should be adding new goals and dreams not rehashing the ones that I had at 40.  So I will focus on not making excuses and bust up those obstacles because most of them are in my head.

How are you living to your fullest?  What obstacles or excuses get in your way.

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Posted by: Tiffany | January 8, 2011

Weekends

Favorite Weekend Things…

There is something about the weekend that everyone longs for.  Once Thursday hits you know it will be here soon.  Come Monday you long for it all week.  I love the weekend because the pace is different, more relaxed  than during Monday through Friday.

On the weekend we sleep in, run errands, go to the movies, stay up late and do laundry.  For me most weekends also mean I get to put my writer hat on and spend quality time with my WIP.  I review the work I did during the week and edit and spend time moving my plot forward.  I get frustrated on the weekends when we have too many obligations and my time is reduced. 

Some weekends are lazy, some are crazy and some are boring.  As we kick off the first weekend of the new year that is after a full work week, I am thankful for all types of weekends.   Because whatever the weekend holds it is different from Monday through Friday routine and it renews my spirit.

This first weekend I am going to treat myself to a mai tai and a book by the fire tonight.  I had a day of laundry, family time and errands.  Then tomorrow I will get a little caught up on the day job, spend some time with a few friends, then play Wii with my family, make dinner and end the day with my writing.  A great first weekend of the new year. 

What do you like about weekends and what are your favorite things to do? 

Tiffany Lyn

Posted by: Tiffany | January 5, 2011

To Be Read (TBR)

TBR

My to be read pile is huge and my time is limited.    So I pick with care what to read and I know that once I start a book it is very hard to put it down.  Which means I don’t read as often I as could because I don’t usually start something I can’t finish in a day or so. 

For 2011 though I want to read more so I am going to bring my books or my nook along when I walk on my treadmill at home or the gym.   So I read and get exercise.  Now I must review and prioritize who will be the first read when I step on that treadmill.    The bigger question will be will I be able to stop or will I end up spending a day on the treadmill.  Win, win situation I think.

So how big is your TBR pile and what are the creative ways do you make time to read?

Tiffany Lyn

Posted by: Tiffany | January 3, 2011

My Daily Journal

Writing is Writing

For 2011 I have purchased a small weekly planner.  It has enough space for me to jot down my thoughts but not too big that I feel I must write a whole page.  The goal is to capture my thoughts and get my writing juices going to then go from the Journal to my blog.  From there off to my current WIP or if stuck some free writing on a random topic.  

One thing I learned this last year was that writing is writing.  This last year I have written more as part of my day job than ever before.  While I enjoy writing fiction;  I have found I am really  enjoying writing as part of my day-to-day job.   I find the more I write fiction my skills as a writer improve and I see that in my business writing as well.    I think my business writing impacts my fiction skills.  5 years ago writing was area at work I was asked to focus on improving and today I see improvements and I am often now the go to person to write-up detailed business communications.

 As an aspiring author I often feel disappointment and self-doubt in my writing.  It has been rewarding to see comments and praise for the documents I have written at work.  While I don’t always have the amount of time I want to focus on my latest WIP; I am always writing.   Writing an email to communicate or verify a communication or document a new process, I am writing and improving my skills.   My storytelling needs improvement but just as my business writing has improved so will my fiction writing with time, practice and guidance.  

So everyday I work on my craft from small journal notations to an email communication to spending quality time with my WIP.  I am a writer so therefore I must write.

Are there things that you do everyday that transcend to your writing life or day job?

Tiffany Lyn

Posted by: Tiffany | January 1, 2011

Yosemite in the Winter

Yosemite in the Winter, kicking off the new year right!

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area you have many great local spots to visit and you are  only hours from the coast, mountains and lakes.    This past week I traveled to Yosemite National Park one of my favorite destinations.  

In the winter Yosemite takes on a whole different level of beauty, covered in snow the stark  contrasts  between the white snow and grey granite of Half Dome and El Captain is breath-taking.   This trip was a day trip into the park and then an overnight stay at Tenaya Lodge.  The drive out of the bay area via Interstate 580 to Interstate 5 to highway 120 was uneventful and we even took a short stop in Tracy to visit the Black Bear Dinner. 

The Black Bear Dinner serves great food at great prices and everything is homemade.  The hash browns are homemade and you can actually see the butter on your toast.  The decor has a cabin feeling with carved bears and a beautiful mural inside the entrance.  It was a great way to kick off a woodsy trip to the mountains.

Arriving into the park the weather and roads were great and when you go through the last  granite tunnel you catch your breath as you lay your eyes upon the beauty of the valley floor.   El Captain is one of my favorite spots in Yosemite and it was so majestic against the snow backdrop. 

This year Northern California has had lots of rain fall and snow fall.  Bridal Veil falls was cascading down a granite wall inviting you walk towards her for a closer look.  Yosemite falls was rushing down crashing against the rocks breaking the icy areas below displaying the great power that water holds.

Yosemite Falls December 27, 2010

It was a nice day, not to cold so we walked a few trails around Yosemite falls and in the valley floor area.  We spent about four hours inside the valley floor area and my body and mind felt rejuvenated and ready for a new year. 

We drove out of the park in the late afternoon and arrived at Tenaya Lodge, it was our first stay there and it was great.  The property was very nice with indoor pools, hot tubs and several restaurants.  They also had lots of places for kids to play in the snow or go sledding, next time we might have to bring the kids along.  You could even schedule a message at their Spa or a sleigh ride on the property.  We stayed in one of the cottages and it was homey and had a nice gas fireplace, very romantic.
 
All in all a great overnight trip to a beautiful location to  relax and restore the mind and body.  Yosemite is a place I could visit often and I am planning to make another trip back in late spring to hike to the top of Nevada Falls.    Living in the bay area lends itself to great weekend escapes with a quick stop at one of the fruit stands on the way home to pick up some oranges and walnuts we ended our journey ready  for the New Year.  
Posted by: Tiffany | December 31, 2010

2011 a New Year and lot’s of things to get done.

In looking at my goals for 2010 I didn’t accomplish as much as I set out to do.   One was posting more on my blog.  So for 2011 I am going to mix things up.   But first what I did accomplish:

  • Go to RWA National Conference

That is it, all the other items I started and worked towards but didn’t accomplish my end goal. I think I had too many things.  So instead of a yearly goal I am going to focus on quarterly goals and see if I break things down I should  have more success.  These quarterly goals are aimed to help me achieve the things I want in the next 5, 10 and even 20 years of my life which are:

Published Author, physically active, healthy weight, full-time author/writer, family time, own a travel trailer and/or cabin, live in Hawaii for a year, and travel.

Q1 Goals for 2011

  • Walk everyday, go to Gym at least 2 days a week
  • Finish my current WIP
  • Follow the  Weight Watchers new Points plus plan

At the end of March I will set my goals for the next quarter.   Here is to a great coming year and making permanent changes to my life and continuing the journey to achieving my goals. 

Sometimes the path to a goal is more important and meaningful that the end result.  I have worked hard on my writing and added regular exercise to my daily life.  While I didn’t hit the goals by doing those activities making those additions are about the long-term goals and growing as a person.

So how did your goals go in 2010 and what are your goals for 2011?

Tiffany Lyn

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”  by Ella Fitzgerald

When I ran across this quote, it struck a chord with me.  It seems like I have been writing a lot this year and not going very far.  I think I had re-written the first chapter of my current WIP way too many times and I have thought about giving up.  But I haven’t because writing is what I really want to do.  I love taking a nugget of an idea and shaping it  into a story.

I have worked pass the issues with Chapter 1, which were really about how does the hero/heroine meet and what is their conflict.  I might not have the best Chapter 1 and will have to re-work it once I finish but I have found my conflict and how I can move that through the entire story not just chapter 1.   

So with a good outline of external and internal conflict I move forward.  Because I love writing and putting the stories that have been running in my head for years to paper.  My WIP is shaping up nicely and I am glad I didn’t give up earlier on this story.

Doing what you love, doesn’t mean it’s easy  or it comes naturally.   With hard work, inspiration, a desire to succeed  and the joy of loving what I am doing;  I will not give up.   I am writing, and I will edit, rewrite, submit to  editors and agents and then start my next WIP.   Because loving what you do is the best thing for you and the  journey is what defines you.

What does the quote mean to you?

Tiffany Lyn

Posted by: Tiffany | July 6, 2010

Thoughts for Tuesday July 6th

Everyday I receive motivational thoughts via email and some days they inspire or motivate me other days they just make me smile or take a pause.  I thought I would share some of these thought here and how I feel when I read them.

Today’s thought……”Success in any endeavor does not happen by accident. Rather, it’s the result of deliberate decisions, conscious effort, and immense persistence — all directed at specific goals.” ~Gary Ryan Blair

After I finished reading this quote, it made me think about my writing  journey.  I need to make deliberate decisions and efforts to have a successful writing career.  To me that means writing needs to become part of my daily life.   Just like adding exercise to my daily life, I need to schedule and make writing the same priority for my health and well-being.   This year I have done well at adding both and I could be better at making writing part of my daily life.

I still have a lot to learn about my craft;  so writing daily and completing manuscripts will hone my skills.    Not only will writing daily improve my skill over time but it will also give me the discipline I will need when I publish.   Dreaming about writing will not lead to my dream coming true, nope only hard work and deliberate decisions and efforts will make that dream a reality.  

So this quote validates my goals for this year, make writing a part of my daily life and with hard work and deliberate action I will accomplish my goal of becoming a publish author.

After reading this quote how did you apply this to yourself or others around you?

Tiffany Lyn

Posted by: Tiffany | April 17, 2010

Gym Week 1

I joined a Gym April 8th, one of my goals for 2010 is to be healthier and since walking my dog doesn’t really produce sweat, I needed to take things up a notch.  It’s not a fancy gym, but it has flexible hours and is close to my home.   The other plus is a good friend of mine is also a member and we have an exercise pact for the next 180 days with great rewards to incent us to make this part of our day-to-day lifestyle.   We are going to both work out 5 days a week, three of those days together. 

When I signed up I purchased some trainer sessions and my friend also has some, so we are seeing the trainer 30 minutes a time at least 1 to 2 times a week.   Monday, April 12th was our first day, so 10 minutes of cardio warm up, then 30 minutes of strength training and finally finish off with 20 to 30 minutes of cardio. 

 I was all pumped and felt great after the first 10 minutes of cardio and then the strength training with the trainer, after 5 minutes of doing squats and these leg press things, I was like what am I thinking.   Then we moved over to the arm press machine and then vertical push up downs and 15 jumping jacks.   I thought I was going to barf, I am is such bad shape.  We finished off with some lunges and then some curls and bicep back things.   I worked up a sweat and my legs and arms were tingling and burning.  

The week progressed with day 2, day 3 and then day 4 at the gym.  I did a mile in 20 minutes on the tread, my goal is to get to 15 min mile.  Today was day 4 and we worked out with the trainer.  It was pretty intense and one of my goals is to not only get really good with the work out but remember the names of each thing.  Anyway, about 1/2 through I started to feel like I was going to barf again, those inverted push down things get me I think.  Anyway, I excused myself to the restroom and actually did throw up.  I felt tons better afterwards.  New goal, not to even feel like barfing., let alone have it actually happen.  I am going to make my trainer feel bad.

So tomorrow is day 5, cardio day…. then Monday kicks off a new week.   It’s really hard and each day I feel better and I know after more practice and working at it I will be do better at executing the exercises.  Sometimes I feel like I am going to fall over, I am not only out of shape but have no sense of balance and I am klutz. 

So what is your work out process and do you remember your first time exercising?

Tiffany

Posted by: Tiffany | March 28, 2010

Writing and Spring

So March is almost over and spring is in the air.  I just prepared my garden with some new dirt and stirred everything up so that when my little seedlings are ready I can plant some veggies (tomatoes, peas, corn and lettuce) and sunflowers to intermix between everything.  Just a little bit of sun and water and in several months I will have my bounty.  It seems so easy and yet I know that it is not.  All things in life take time and patience and growing a garden is the same as growing as a person.  You must feed and tend to yourself in order to become the you that you are meant to be.

 I have been reflecting the last couple of weeks and I have realized  I need to focus on tending my own internal garden and being kinder with myself.  I have these goals that I want to achieve and by putting them out there I also come up with all the reasons why I won’t succeed.  So I then don’t succeed at my goals and beat myself up, year after year.   I am starting to see the cycle, sometimes it takes some time for me to learn.  

So as we bring in April , I will write and focus on being healthy.  Practice is the key to success, so by sitting in the chair and writing daily I will become a better writer. Eating healthy and exercising I will become a healthier person.  Again it will take lots of practice and patience and time.  My garden will not be ready to enjoy until July so I will tend it so that I can enjoy it once it is ready.  I don’t know when my writing will be ready to be published but I will tend it and enjoy the process until that time comes.

In today’s world everything is about instant gratification and we lose sight that it takes a lot of hard work and patience to become good at  something.  From today until the end of the month(April) my focus is practicing taking care of me and being patient.  It’s not about being a skinnier person or being a published writer.  It is about learning the process and practicing those skills so that someday I will be ready to become a published author and a healthier person not just a size. 

I will just write to learn nothing more nothing less, then I will see where I will land.  I will walk and exercise so that my body will learn and become stronger.  I will just do and be and enjoy the journey and come July enjoy my homegrown veggies and flowers.

Tiffany

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