Tag Archives: running

Moody Monday: What I learned from my last NaNoWriMo about Writing

I’m still finding notes from earlier story and novel projects, and think it is a good idea to review lessons learned from drafting and editing my previous two practice novels, before I start drafting my next WiP, which I think (or hope) that I’m nearly finished planning.

My second practice novel, started on Wattpad,  was easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website before I set up my own spreadsheet.  It taught me several things about managing Depression (actually PTSD -> anger->depression…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp, if you live farther from the equator than the 35th parallel…).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This helped me feel like less of a waste of oxygen while I can looked for a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth,  the actual writing lessons:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.  (Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
Writing 7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and I, a planner, felt annoyed trying to write stream-of-consciousness just because I had 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better, I learned, to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and

Writing 8.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

modified from original 2015 post,

some Action Items in support of literacy and writing that you can take right now:

1.) Download some advice on novel writing, maybe from two different websites,

2.) Read about NaNoWriMo,

3.) Share your thoughts on the value of each person writing a book, perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a novel that references a classic book, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Other ideas welcome on how to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail, starting with improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure:

1. #libraries,

2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,

3. #UniversalHealthCare, and

4. good #publictransport

Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19

ShiraDest

 September 2020, High Holidays of 5781, 12020 HE

Can learning languages help local education? Libraries, nurses and mass transit certainly can…

Anna J. Cooper was a strong advocate for education, especially in Washington, DC, and one of the first Black women to earn a PhD. August 10th is her birthday, and as she fought to make the dreams of Black students possible, we must fight to make all of our collective dreams possible for a safer, kinder world.  So dream, and write your dreams in a language all your own, if you have to.   Then, expand your world by learning two more languages.

(My personal dream has always been to save and enrich all lives, and my dream for the world is to see a Tiny House or at least a small well-insulated room with kitchenette and bathroom, with potable water, green vegetables, brown rice and dried beans and solar/windpower with backup pedal power for every man, woman and child over maybe, the age of 10, world wide, free for that person’s use from birth to his/her death with no charge, no questions, and no way to lose that right.)  See four suggestions for ways that our Community Colleges can help all of us make the dream of a kinder world come true:

So, I journal in Spanish and Biblical Hebrew, which inspire me to look to examples like Amelia, of El Ministerio del Tiempo, and Ruth, of Biblical fame, as inspirations to persevere.

Spanish has always been my favorite language, especially in the bilingual South West. As an adult education instructor at the Continuing Education division of the San Diego Community College District, that proved helpful for me as an instructor, and also, of course, the ESL classes help our students from many nations contribute in the USA.

Every local educational institution has room for improvement, particularly when seen from both faculty and student perspectives. I posed some questions, recently, about ideas for implementing (on a shoestring budget ) projects that would have been helpful to our students when I taught in North campus involving

1.) a small library or study area,
2.) workshops by CA Promise Program graduates,
3.) an on-site nurse paid for by mediCal, and
4.) access to public transportation:

1.) Many of my students told me they didn’t have a quiet place to study.  While I know that space is in very short supply on the North campus, I wonder if a small area, possibly in the multipurpose room when it’s not being used, could be set aside with cubicles or movable small desks and a small movable lending library like the tiny libraries?

2.)   I wonder, on the assumption of course that having graduated and started a new career as a professional with a bachelor’s degree anyone can be found who will have time, if any students having graduated with a bachelor’s degree after getting their first two years of community college paid for through the California promise program or with the San Diego promise program, could be persuaded to come back either as tutors, mentors, or even just to give workshops in the areas in which they got their educations?  Particularly accounting majors or paralegal/pre-law majors who could give small workshops on dealing with debt in California including California statutes of limitations, or financial planning workshops or how to do your own taxes if you only need to do the 1040EZ, etc?  One-on-one tutoring, and also mentoring,  that supportive help, especially for our high school equivalency students, could be both useful and inspiring.  Seeing successfully graduated professionals with a bachelor’s degree who came through the community college system and are willing to spend individual time with them, even if only a couple of hours a week, could make a difference.  Could interns or SCORE volunteers put a program like this together?  Do we track or stay in touch with students who finish the California or San Diego promise program once they finish their bachelor’s degrees?

3.) Many of my students worked two jobs or for other reasons never had time to see a doctor even when they were ill. I wonder if it is possible to pay, through the Medi-Cal system, for a nurse to be on-site, perhaps based out of the office  of each campus, a couple of days/evenings a week?

4.)  One of the biggest problem areas that I saw for my car-free students was that neither the continuing ed, nor the  faculty Union was able to get the transit authority to enforce acceptance of continuing ed student IDs for the monthly bus and rail pass discount.  In planning for post-Covid-19 classes, will we have any resources to address public transportation discount and access issues?

I imagine that some of these ideas may be a little overwhelming, because I understand that time and resources are extremely limited, but once in a while, as Dr. Rivera-Lacey noted: we do have to dream.

Some possible action items that you can take right now include:
1.) Call your local City Council members, and ask them to increase library funding,
2.) Donate to ProPublica for probono legal and financial education for all,

or, please share your ideas for improving local libraries and education!

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE

Happy Birthday, Anna J. Cooper, & Can learning languages help when you are under stress? Yes! Write your Dreams in your favorite Languages!

Anna J. Cooper was a strong advocate for education, especially in Washington, DC, and one of the first Black women to earn a PhD. August 10th is her birthday, and as she fought to make the dreams of Black students possible, we must fight to make all of our collective dreams possible for a safer, kinder world.

Write your dreams in a language all your own, if you have too, and then expand your world by learning two more languages.

My personal dream has always been to save and enrich all lives, and my dream for the world is to see a Tiny House or at least a small well-insulated room with kitchenette and bathroom, with potable water, green vegetables, brown rice and dried beans and solar/windpower with backup pedal power for every man, woman and child over maybe, the age of 10, world wide, free for that person’s use from birth to his/her death with no charge, no questions, and no way to lose that right.

So, I journal in Spanish and Biblical Hebrew, which inspire me to look to examples like Amelia, of El Ministerio del Tiempo, and Ruth, of Biblical fame, as inspirations to persevere.

 
Spanish has always been my favorite language, especially in the bilingual South West. As an adult education instructor at the Continuing Education division of the San Diego Community College District, that proved helpful for me as an instructor, and also, of course, the ESL classes help our students from many nations contribute in the USA.

Every local educational institution has room for improvement, particularly when seen from both faculty and student perspectives. I posed some questions, recently, about ideas for implementing (on a shoestring budget ) projects that would have been helpful to our students when I taught in North campus involving

1.) a small library or study area,
2.) workshops by CA Promise Program graduates, 
3.) an on-site nurse paid for by mediCal, and
4.) access to public transportation:

1.) Many of my students told me they didn’t have a quiet place to study.  While I know that space is in very short supply on the North campus, I wonder if a small area, possibly in the multipurpose room when it’s not being used, could be set aside with cubicles or movable small desks and a small movable lending library like the tiny libraries?

  2.)   I wonder, on the assumption of course that having graduated and started a new career as a professional with a bachelor’s degree anyone can be found who will have time, if any students having graduated with a bachelor’s degree after getting their first two years of community college paid for through the California promise program or with the San Diego promise program, could be persuaded to come back either as tutors, mentors, or even just to give workshops in the areas in which they got their educations?  Particularly accounting majors or paralegal/pre-law majors who could give small workshops on dealing with debt in California including California statutes of limitations, or financial planning workshops or how to do your own taxes if you only need to do the 1040EZ, etc?  One-on-one tutoring, and also mentoring,  that supportive help, especially for our high school equivalency students, could be both useful and inspiring.  Seeing successfully graduated professionals with a bachelor’s degree who came through the community college system and are willing to spend individual time with them, even if only a couple of hours a week, could make a difference.  Could interns or SCORE volunteers put a program like this together?  Do we track or stay in touch with students who finish the California or San Diego promise program once they finish their bachelor’s degrees?

3.) Many of my students worked two jobs or for other reasons never had time to see a doctor even when they were ill. I wonder if it is possible to pay, through the Medi-Cal system, for a nurse to be on-site, perhaps based out of the office  of each campus, a couple of days/evenings a week?

4.)  One of the biggest problem areas that I saw for my car-free students was that neither the continuing ed, nor the  faculty Union was able to get the transit authority to enforce acceptance of continuing ed student IDs for the monthly bus and rail pass discount.  In planning for post-Covid-19 classes, will we have any resources to address public transportation discount and access issues?

I imagine that some of these ideas may be a little overwhelming, because I understand that time and resources are extremely limited, but once in a while, as Dr. Rivera-Lacey noted: we do have to dream.

Some possible action items that you can take right now include:
1.) Call your local City Council members, and ask them to increase library funding,
2.) Donate to ProPublica for probono legal and financial education for all,

or, please share your ideas for improving local libraries and education!

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

August 10th, 12020 HE

Groups to join as Coping and Family-building measure

Personally, I have a high need for connection with others.  In order to avoid burning out my nearest and dearest, I’ve decided that finding groups that share my values may help diffuse some of that pressure on my supporters.  So, I personally want to find:

  1. A progressive chavurah, shul, temple or synagogue to join, and a Women’s Mosque as well, if there are any lady Imam or leaders around (there was one in Ankara back in 2005…)
  2.  A Quaker (Friends) Monthly Meeting to join and stand silent Peace Vigil with,
  3.   Greek or Balkan or other international folk dance,
  4.  a walk-run marathon group
  5.  a public library-based book or reading club
  6. A public library based writer’s critique group
  7. an NVC and also maybe Literacy Volunteering group (and give blood).
  8. (added 1.1.12018 HE) make long-term plans part of and flow via short-term goals!!

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
24 March, 12016 HE

Rain+Tendonitis = Nightmares??

The night before, I dreamt I was a consultant on a ship w/an insane captain somewhere in the North Atlantic, with giant waves that froze around us like a white out.  I ordered and got a shovel, dying digging while the sailors around me gaped as if I were the crazy one.  No, digging did not help, but at least I think I died on my feet.

Last night, it was me being attacked by a crocodile : not sure if it was Sacred or not, but at least I died warm!

Ok, I will admit that trippling the number of km Power Walked (Fr, but accessible) (in compensation for km not run, trying to reach 45km/week by mid-March (English, log in needed) ) may not have been the best idea I’ve had lately, but why the renewed ‘My Life is in Serious Danger’ dreams now that I’ve stopped running/walking for the last 4 days?

While I know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) aka la Dépression Hivernal, is linked to light, but also to excercise levels (which is why I always take my walks and runs early in the morning), I wonder if the feeling of a cold or flu coming on, combined with having to rest the ankle tendon due to my own stupidity, makes me feel powerless?  Obviously the answer is Yes!  But it remains irritating, and a bit scary, to see how quickly those fears and despair of just a short while ago can come screaming back, threatening to overwhelm you, just after a few days of darker than usual weather (weekends I generally do not write, so do not sit with my SunLamp), and enforced ‘rest’ (which is making me more restless by the day, but with a tendon still aching for no apparent reason…).

So, dear friends, my reason for writing this post is as follows:  if you feel down, do not give in to despair.  Drink a spicy hot chocolate (soy milk and Fair Trade chocolate with cayenne if possible, but if you feel rotten, just a hot choc. may help), and then turn on the lights for a few minutes, and bask in them.  Then, get out a pad of paper, and write.  Preferably while you wriggle your toes and think of Frodo Baggins!

Then, plan to change your life.  Taking risks is scary, but sometimes the only way to make life better, for you and for someone else.  Don’t let those dreams that tell you your life is in danger go unheeded:  especially if the one putting you life in danger might be You.

Human Love,

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
31 January, 12016 HE

And with this financial, emotional, verbal and even physical (being shaken twice) going on at the time, of course I was having nightmares:
FinancialAbuse

Writing about running breakthroughs?

Now that I am an older runner (ok, at 46, I don’t feel old, but apparently most runners do…), I am having to push through injuries that never bothered me when I was younger, so I am learning to celebrate pain-free long runs, rather than Personal Records as most other runners seem to do.

I am wondering how to work my running into my next novel.

Why, I wonder, do we not see more blog entries about having beaten a torn tendon, rather than a personal best?  Is it me, getting older, or is our society rather competitive?  How do we help ourselves become more cooperative?

 

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
24 jan, 12016 èH
12016 HE

(updated with MyWriting tag and link to H and H…)Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
20 March, 12016 HE

Running, Writing, Relaxing, and Belonging?

I find that anger can often be useful, if I follow it back to the source and then look to see how I can fix the problem.  This week, I was feeling frustrated for a variety of reasons, and wanting to do more running than my current running plan seems to allow, since I lost 9 weeks due to illness.  I had assumed that that blew my GreenMarathon plans out the window.

In a fit of pique, and irritation with myself for being unable to finish the detailed planning for my short story, I searched and found, Lo and Behold, a 41 Week walk-run Marathon Plan shown on PBS (that looks safe enough to jump 41MarathonVert2016 into) after losing my running base!   🙂

So now I can relax, if I could only figure out how to do that.  My usual way of relaxing is to read something interesting (or watch an episode of Sihirli Annem (My Magical Mother) and share it with someone who might enjoy it, but that hasn’t worked lately.   So I go back to the question of how to relax if one feels alone?  Feeling lonely can make it difficult to smile.

Which brings me to the sense of belonging, or the lack thereof.  How does one develop a sense of belonging (without joining a cult or accepting the first marriage offer) when one lacks family and does not have a strong sense of cultural identity?  You can try borrowing other people’s stories, but that doesn’t always work.

Any suggestions, friends?

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,
ShiraDest
12th of December, 12015 HE

What I learned from NaNoWriMo about Writing and Depression

My second practice novel actually started on Wattpad , but much easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website, has taught me several things about managing Depression (or PTSD -> anger->depression, sort of…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This makes me feel like less of a waste of oxygen, provided I can find a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.

(Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and you will feel annoyed if try to write stream-of-consciousness just because you have 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and the real

Writing 7.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

🙂

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
29 November 12015 HE

Shira