Category Archives: Veronica’s Musings

My Unrealistic To Do List

To-Do-List, unrealistic to do listI’ve always has a problem with time management. I keep a To Do list, but it’s the most unrealistic To Do list I’ve ever seen.

Right at this moment, I have 39 work-related items on the list. Thirty-nine! There’s no way all of them can be done today or even this week. Yet there they are, staring at me, making me feel unproductive.

People have suggested that I prioritize the list. I try, but if I were any good at that, I’d be better at time management overall, wouldn’t I? Some have recommended elaborate time management systems that are arduous and end up being something else I have to manage – one more item on the list itself.

I’ve read books on time management and I have a brain full of tips for managing my list. My problem doesn’t seem to be with the theoretical knowledge of how to do this. Rather, my problem is in the execution.

The bottom line is that time is my most precious resource and, like most people, I have more to do than I have time to do it. There are home and family responsibilities that often jump ahead of the items on my work-related list. That’s a matter of priorities, for sure, but it doesn’t help me get that work list handled.

So I keep struggling with my unrealistic To Do list, adding two items for every one that I check off.

What are your ideas for managing this situation?

The Grass Is Always Greener in the Other Genre

grass is greenerI write both fiction and non-fiction, and I love both. I really do.

Fiction is my dream world. It’s creative and imaginative and free. It’s like my brain unleashed.

Non-fiction is very rewarding. I love taking my knowledge and expertise in certain areas and sharing it with people in the written form.  I enjoy knowing that people will find my books and articles and solve a problem in their lives as they read them.

My only problem is that when I’m writing fiction, I miss non-fiction, and when I’m writing non-fiction, I start itching for the creativity of fiction. Yes, the grass is always greener in the other genre.

That’s why I jump back and forth.  If I need a shot of creativity while I’m in the middle of a non-fiction project, I’ll write a short story or a poem to help satisfy that itch until I can work on a larger fiction project. If I’m in the middle of a fiction project, I’ll put together an informative article or a blog post to carry me through until my fiction project is finished. This way, I get the best of both worlds – creativity and helping people.

I know I’m fortunate. I have friends who only write non-fiction and others who only write fiction. I get to enjoy both!

Does anyone else notice that the grass is always greener in the other genre?

Back in the Saddle

Back-in-the-Saddle-AgainAh, how good it feels to be writing again!  I’ve spent the better part of the last year preparing for or recovering from one surgery or another – four in the past year. But now here I am with two knees and all of that surgery and recovery behind me.

My project list is very long. I just finished and published a learning unit on angles and triangles (Mathcraft Geometry: All About Angles), based on the game Minecraft. The next in line is my new book The Quick Guide to Learning through Video Games which will be accompanied by The Quick Guide to Learning through Minecraft. It looks like those will be finished and ready for release in February. I’m looking for beta readers and editing help. If you’re interested, please send me a message.

I’m also taking on new grant writing clients. This is the first time in well over a year that I’ve accepted new clients, so if you need help in this area – or you know someone who does – now is the time to jump aboard.

It definitely feels good to be back! What are you working on?

Hot, But Grateful

Yeah, it’s hot.

sunIn my part of the world, it’s 102 degrees hot right now, on its way to 108.  Our air conditioner is starting to have a hard time keeping up, but I’m still grateful that we have air conditioning.

In fact, I’m grateful for many things today. I’m grateful for my friends and family. I’m grateful for my health.  I’m grateful for all of you who have bought and read one of my books.  I’m grateful for internet access and the technology that lets me do my work so much more easily than in the past.

I’m grateful for the smiling face of my son that I just saw a moment ago as he peeked over the top of his computer monitor just as I was peeking over the top of mine. Moments like that are truly precious.

I’m grateful that I get to work at home where I can see my husband and son all day, every day. My husband is now working from home, too, so we a re doubly blessed. Even though my older son is far away, I’m grateful that he’s happy and safe.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. My complete gratitude list is very, very long.

Just because everything doesn’t seem perfect doesn’t mean there isn’t much to be grateful for, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be happy.

Yeah, I’m hot, but grateful.

 

It’s Not All About Baseball

66105_237330353070501_366883523_nIt may seem like everything in my life is all about baseball and Rookie Season because you’ve been hearing so much about the Rookie Season launch this month. Well, there is so much more going on than that.

The Quick Guide to Learning through Video Games, which will include The Quick Guide to Learning through Minecraft™, will be released in February. I’ve also been busy working on the next two curricular units based on the game Minecraft™.

But that’s not all! Scoring Position, the sequel to Rookie Season, is also in the works, as is a short story collection.

By the time all of these are finished and published, it will be baseball season and my life will be all about baseball. 🙂

I love baseball.  I always have.  There’s something magic about being at the ballpark on a hot summer day. The warmth of the sun. The coolness of the breeze.  The scent of fresh cut grass.  The sound of the crowd and the crack of the bat. It all restores the soul, my friends.

And in less than three months, it’s back.

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Writing with My Son

Danny January 2015I’m working on a collaborative project with my youngest son.  He is eleven.  I started this project on my own, but then I needed his help with a few things, and that escalated into him doing a bunch of writing with me.

The project is A Parent’s Quick Guide to Learning Through Video Games. I’m writing most of the main guide, but we’re also developing about 15 video game learning guides to accompany the book.  Most will be sold separately, but the Quick Guide to Learning Through Minecraft will be sold with the main book. Danny is doing a lot of the writing on the individual game guides, and he’s doing a great job so far!

Writing with my son has turned out to be a grand adventure! I can’t wait to share the results.

Why Am I Already Behind?

lateHow can I possibly be behind already when we’re only six days into the new year? Regardless of how it happened, I am.  I’m already running trying to catch up, and I hate that feeling!

As you know, my book is scheduled for release on January 30th. Rookie Season (Love in the Ballpark Series Book 1) is available for pre-order now.  If you haven’t pre-ordered your e-version yet, do it soon.  You can pre-order through Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Nobel (Nook), or Kobo.  The print edition will be released at about the same time.

Anyway, the editing process is finally wrapping up.  I’m collecting comments from beta readers to incorporate into the final draft.  Soon I’ll be doing the final formatting. The first virtual book tour starts on Monday. The book trailer is just about finished. All of this requires a bunch of work and coordination, even though I have some awesome folks helping out and doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

And then there’s all my other writing.  Ack!

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m very grateful that I get to do what I love, but it’s not as much fun when I’m struggling to keep up.

Still, I’m a very fortunate gal. 🙂

Am I the only one who’s already behind?

Goodbye to 2014!

Goodbye-2014-cardI’ll admit it.  I’m glad to see 2014 go.  Charles Dickens comes to mind. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” If you read my post, My New Sight, you have an idea of what I mean.

I struggled with some serious health problems, my business went through some profound changes (both good and bad), and I was faced with some pretty important personal decisions.  The first half of the year was hell. July through October was purgatory as I started making big changes, and November and December have shown me some lengthy glimpses of heaven.  That’s the trend right now.  Heaven.

I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the process I went through in 2014. For that reason, I’m grateful for it all, but it’s still hard to say that. It’s hard to be grateful for pain, isn’t it?

Since 2014 is ending on a very positive note for me, I’m optimistic about 2015. I’m happy and reasonably healthy.  I have a plan for the year and I’m excited about it! I have several publications in process. Even better, I know that there is a lot of unexpected good in store for me over the next year and I’m ready for it.

For the first time in over a year, I’m looking forward to creative opportunities, rather than just working as hard as I can to overcome obstacles. What a difference this one change makes!

Specifically, the creative opportunities I’m looking forward to right now are related to publishing several more books in the coming year. That’s not all I have planned, but that’s what’s motivating me these days.

What about you?  What are you looking forward to in 2015?  Are you ready to say goodbye to 2014?

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Photo courtesy of HolidaysWishes.net

If You Can Read This, Be Grateful

children readingIf you can read, it probably seems like everyone can, and it seems like literacy is no big deal.  In reality, it is a very big deal.  One in seven U.S. adults can’t read.  Let that sink in for a moment. That’s about 14%.  In a group of 100 people, about 14 of them can’t read. On a global level, 774 million people are illiterate and two-thirds of those are women.

I’ll admit that I have taken literacy for granted. My mother taught me to read when I was 3 or 4 (she says I taught myself, but I’m not sure I believe that), and I can’t remember not being able to read. Not only can I read, but I read well (and in more than one language), so I have access to more printed material than I could ever consume. These days, though, I am keenly aware that there are millions of women in this country and abroad who can’t read and, as a result, don’t have the opportunities that I do. I am now profoundly grateful.

Literacy is not just about economic opportunity.  For many people it is about survival.

Almost twenty-five years ago, I was teaching a bilingual (Spanish-English) 4th grade class in southern California. It was that year that I learned how much literacy really matters.  I had a young girl in my class that year named Elena.  Elena was a very bright girl with excellent literacy skills in Spanish. Her command of spoken English, however, was very basic, and our school district had very specific guidelines for English reading. One of the criteria was the achievement of conversational fluency in English. As a new teacher, I was following district procedures by not including Elena in my English reading group, but I was working with her intensively on developing her English conversational skills.

Until my first meeting with her mother in October that year. Continue reading If You Can Read This, Be Grateful

Why the Violin?

violinYes, I really did decide to learn how to play the violin recently.  Picking up a new instrument, especially something like the violin, is not something that people typically do at my age.

So why did I do it?

I suppose I could cop out with the easy answers, like Why not? and Because I wanted to, but it’s deeper than that.

I’ve watched violinists since I was a little girl, amazed at the beautiful music they made and how it seemed so magical.  How could someone make sounds as beautiful as that simply by running a bow across some strings? I wanted to do that, but I kept hearing about how difficult it was. I doubted that I’d be able to play well.  So I never tried.

That was a running theme in my life for many years.  If I couldn’t do something well, I wouldn’t even try. As a result, I did everything well. Well, everything that I tried. I avoided failure. I even avoided the chance of failure for a long time. Continue reading Why the Violin?