Category: Goals

I will admit…I don’t want to do this post today. It feels relentless and it’s coming on too fast.

Today was a good day, though.

We got our passports in the mail.

I made a good lentil and kielbasa soup.

I got an acceptance to being published on

I watched a few really good Tony Robbins videos.

I got a little further on book planning.

That is all I have on this Tuesday night.


Today is hot-relatively. It’s in the low 80s, so in July I will not think this is hot. But, it is April 7 and low 80s is hot to me today. And…I do not have air conditioning in my car.

I think I might start The Artist’s Way and go through that again.

I feel stymied and stifled today. Maybe I should have some compassion for myself since it’s the first weekday after spring break. I got up and made lunches, worked a little, then had an appointment in the middle of the day. I stopped at Wegmans’s and now have an hour before my daughter gets home and I have to take her to piano lessons. I’m dying to finish my Herman Melville biography, one, so I can list it down and be done and two, because I’m tired of it. I don’t like him as a person as much as I thought I would after reading Moby Dick.

I am curious now about the Hawthornes. What made Nathaniel agree to be such close friends with Melville? How did Melville treat his wife and children? I know he didn’t always treat them kindly. I would also like to know about the Hawthorne family’s European travels and their time with Maria Mitchell.


Thank goodness for my daughter or I wouldn’t be doing this post today. Just got out of the shower after a day of cleaning out the garage, dropping off and picking up daughter from her friend’s house and making chicken and broccoli with rice. Now I’m ready to stay on the couch until bed with The Hate U Give and Buddy vs. Duff.

Ready to go back to a normal week with school and writing. Spring Break is officially over. It’s a school night.

Will 1,000 words a day happen this week? Yes.

Thought more about fate, synchronicity, serendipity, reincarnation, ghosts/spirits/souls, whaling, 19th century Nantucket, rock star, French and Indian war. What is this going to be?


Flights booked to Heathrow!

I’m overstressing my creativity. I feel pressured and like I’m running out of time. There is time. My guidelines for life are:

  1. Show up.
  2. Stay open.
  3. It’s never too late.
  4. There are no rules.

I have to believe it’s never too late. Life is what we have right now, in this moment. It’s up to us what we do with it from this moment on.

I have to let go of creative pressure. I have so many ideas it’s like the coefficient of friction or whatever the term is for when there is so much pressure that material can’t be released (as in a funnel) even though the opening is not blocked.

There is time for listening to music, writing on paper, walking and letting ideas rise up. I just have to continue to make time for daily writing. A writing practice is essential. I still have fear surrounding that because writing is too precious and that’s another issue I have. Demote writing to a creative practice that can be wrinkled, stepped on, written in the margins, used up (because it will be replenished), torn and spilled on. It is not to be held up on a pedestal, behind glass, a pristine blank white piece of paper, dead yet perfect. That does no one any good.

Create, imperfectly, and let it go out into the world. Then create again.


My fourteen-year-old son is making pizza from scratch tonight. He’s doing a great job but he is easily frustrated. I hope he uses what he learns and tries again. It’s a great effort and it’s going to be yum.

I’m at the kitchen table, drinking a Destana by Valley Road Vineyards while his dad helps him grate cheese. Sister is doing her project for Day 4, art using blue, at the kitchen counter.

My thought for the day is a realization that I probably should be writing what I’m most drawn to. I am absolutely drawn to history and so have always thought that I need to write either nonfiction or straight up historical fiction, either based on a real historical figure or purely fictional. But yesterday I watched one of my all-time favorite movies with my daughter, Made In Heaven and it made me remember why I’m drawn to movies like that. It’s the met in heaven, fated love, love through space and time, genre…if that’s a genre. I’ve always steered away from topics like that even thought I’m absolutely fascinated because highbrow literature does not cover such things. But is that what I want to do? Wannabe Iowa-style dour, cynical short stories?

Let the art come out how it needs to.


Spring Break breakfast at home:
Trader Joe’s hash browns and turkey bacon for the boy
Kroger French toast sticks and turkey bacon for the girl
two hard-boiled eggs and turkey bacon for me (and some of the hash brown)

clarinet lesson
dinner at Chipotle
Captain Marvel at the movies
I can’t wait for Endgame. They have me. Infinity War guaranteed them ticket sales. Brilliant.

Another lovely spring day. Tomorrow rain and 59.

Still reading The Identicals. It’s fun and interesting and well written. I had no idea Elin Hilderbrand went to Iowa for graduate school.

Today my parents and my brother’s family are leaving Corfu and heading to Messina, Sicily.

My England plans are going pretty well. I absolutely have a goal of booking flights tonight.

I love Thursdays. Today I am going to have a self-care day of reading without guilt. And writing on paper to organize some ideas.


I have too many journals going at once. Too many book ideas. I have to narrow. Organize down to one journal for writing and one for research.

What I’m reading: The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand, Melville: His World and Work by Andrew Delbanco, Hawthorne: A Life by Brenda Wineapple, travel guides by Rick Steve’s and Fodor’s for UK

The weather is beautiful and just like spring. Temperatures in the high 60s, buds, new green leaves, tiny flowers, daffodils, birdsong.

I finally watched The Time Traveler’s Wife . I read the book in 2006 when I was pregnant with my daughter. I liked the book but my morning sickness kind of tinted it so that I used to feel a mild nausea when I thought about it. I think I’m over that now.

I used to love movies but stopped watching as many around 2004 when I had my son. Everything seemed too disturbing. But now I’m coming back to movies and catching up. A lot of newer ones are still too irreverent and over the top for me but there are a lot of good ones I’ve missed. Tomorrow we’re going to see Captain Marvel. The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are some of my favorites.


My #100 day project is going to be posting a blog post every day. So here is the first one. I am hoping this will create a practice. Something like Morning Pages. Something to help me refine my thoughts. About writing, living, reading, traveling, eating. About gaining confidence in putting writing out there, even though no one is reading this yet.

Reading: The Identicals by Elin Hildebrand


I believe I’ve finally, finally let go of the belief that I am not valid unless I have a full-time job that entails being mandated to report to a certain location at the same time each day, taking a quick lunch break, and clocking out at the proper time, or staying late if necessary.

It turns out that is the writing life, as well, except that the mandate comes from myself. Because if I want to write, then I better write. Certainly no one will tell me I have to…as Steven Pressfield says, “No one wants to read your shit.”

I’ve spent a lot of my life withholding permission from myself to do things I’ve wanted to do. Although I’ve had a serious desire to travel since I was a young kid, I didn’t allow myself to do it. Same goes for writing. Everything in me screams writer as far back as I can remember but I’d tell myself that that goodness was for other people. Same for becoming fluent in Spanish. I’ve come so close on many different occasions only to back down at the last minute out of fear, not allowing myself, believing I didn’t deserve certain experiences, imposter syndrome, all kinds of things I’m finally sorting out.

So that’s it. I’m a writer. I write. And I spend time reading. Unashamedly.

I work at home, at the kitchen table, the dining room table, my desk upstairs, the table on the screen porch, and soon when the weather warms up, the foldable converting bench/picnic table in the yard. Sometimes my office is the library, sometimes coffee shops.

All work is valid and it’s individual. You do you.


You know those challenges we see online. Some I’ve mentioned previously on this site. There are reading challenges–read 52 Books in 52 Weeks, the Read Harder Challenge, Reading Women Challenge, etc. There are so many and I want to do them all. Although I never do. Yet now that I think about, I’ve read 7 books this year so far…I might do it. I have spreadsheets other people made for download that I’m using to keep track.

I also have reading lists from classes, websites, prizewinners, etc. I want to meticulously go down those lists and check them all off one by one. I want to go methodically through the books I already own and read each one in the order in which they are placed on my shelves. This one I have just decided I will do this year. It just won’t be that I read those exclusively. And some, I’m sure, will fit into my reading challenges.

I’m drawn to those projects where someone cooks their way through a whole cookbook. I’ve always wanted to do that with my Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.

I used to be a big fan of the daily to-do list. But now I don’t keep them as rigorously because I found all my little errands and tasks were distractions from writing. If I need to clean the bathroom or go food shopping, it will be obvious and won’t need to be on a list.

I’m starting to realize that this could be my Year of Finish. To Finish something. Anything. Because every year I have lots of goals, ideas, “challenges,” half-assed projects, and, aside from Couch to 5K and 10K training schedules, which I have finished more than once, I don’t finish much. Not even the cross-stitches I start.

Elise Blaha Cripe said, “There is something so powerful about setting a goal, committing to yourself and then delivering for yourself.” I really believe this and I want to just DO something. I have always felt there was magic of some kind in completion. In getting through the mundanity, having some discipline, overcoming boredom, lack of motivation, obstacles in general, and showing up for yourself and your project. Committing to yourself.

So. I have decided I will do #The100DayProject. It starts April 2.

I could:

  • Bake something every day
  • Write 1000 words every day (which I plan to do anyway so maybe not that)
  • I do not consider myself a visual artist at all so maybe I can try?
  • Take a photo of some sort every day but it would have to be focused, a theme, something with direction
  • Work on my cross-stitch that I’ve been “doing” for 13 years.
  • Take a different walk every day and document where I went, for how long, and the weather
  • Flip to a page in a random book, pick a sentence, and use it as a prompt
  • Go somewhere I’ve never been before, like even a Starbucks or library branch I’ve never visited.
  • Write a blog post every day