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A SPARK - 2020 ROW80 R3-W4

It has been a fun week at work this week. I've been selected to lead the development of a video script. It has been really nice getting to use my education in this area and it has been fun working with people from other sections. We have a tight deadline as filming happens in a couple of weeks! I'll may get to act in it as well because there are only so many people who volunteered to be part of the project. It has been extra challenging to write with the pandemic. Due to the need to wear masks, we opted for going more visual instead of having lines, which was an interesting challenge. I hope the actors aren't too disappointed there aren't speaking roles.
Working on that project has given me some motivation. I haven't been working on something like this in awhile as I've been really focused on decluttering and my job. I think it was the kick in the butt I needed.
FITNESS Honestly, I've been letting my reno work count here because I'm using a lot of muscle a…

Chipping Away - 2020 ROW80 R3-W3

I've been chipping away at my bathroom reno this week and haven't made much progress on my writing. I've had to carefully scrape some adhesive off the tiles to prepare for grouting, which hasn't happened yet as I forgot to get the drill bit for mixing the grout. As I'm writing this now, it's Saturday and I had to wait to leave my house to get the drill bit because I was waiting on a delivery. It turns out that it's good I didn't go before as in order to put the new drain on my sink, I need a wrench bigger than all the others I currently have. After grouting and sealing the tile, I intend to install my sink and use it. During painting, I'll just cover it. Bad news for me though, I have to cut the old drain off to install the new one because it can't be pulled through the hole since it was modified. I feel like I've stepped backwards here.
I've installed my light, though it will be taped for painting. It takes up vastly less wall space than…

Staycation July - 2020 ROW80 R3 Week 2

I didn't do everything I planned on my vacation partly due to rain and because I've been working through some personal issues, which I tried to talk to some friends about and it didn't go the way I had hoped. In time, I may address this here, but I'm feeling quit hurt from the experience and I need time. For me, it was a major piece of a puzzle that has been troublesome for decades now.
Anyway, moving on.
I spent my staycation getting myself some amenities like a soundbar and a whiteboard on wheels. One fun thing and one writing tool. The whiteboard was left in the lobby by the delivery person, which was less than ideal. I used to have one on an easel, but I had no place for it when I moved cities, so it left my life. I almost replaced it with the same model, but I searched around and found a less expensive one that has an extra feature, which is a telescoping magnetic strip. My old one was also stationary and took up more floor space. And as far as the soundbar goes, I …

Fun with Technology - ROW80 R3-1

I've been up to a lot in recent months. Sometimes I feel like I haven't actually done much, but if I look at these recent pictures, I can see what I've done. I've fought a wasp queen, attempted an all black puzzle, gotten a new bike, new utensils, installed an air conditioner (with the help of friends), built a coffee table, installed a shelf to expand my workspace, and I got a mini trumpet for practice.


Not pictured are things like fixing my domain name. For a long time, I haven't wanted to use my original domain. Let's face it, my name is hard for most to spell, remember, and I even get tired writing it. So my plan is to publish as Rae Roy going forward and my domain is now www.thewritebuttons.ca. When I came up with that name, I fell in love with it. It's fun and easy to remember. It was a challenge to get it functioning, but both providers were helpful. Even if this is my only achievement this week, I will be happy.
Things left to do include getting new b…

ROW80 2020 - R3 Goals

I struggled with whether or not I wanted to participate this round. It didn't go so well for me in the last one. I mean, I perhaps got onto the right path with my novel, but I didn't get far into the edits. Not as far as I would've liked to have at any rate. But I realized I didn't really set proper goals to attain. They weren't manageable. 
During the break, I took a look at the plan I made during school. It was the plan for spending my time as a writer once school was done. The problem with it is that I don't have the amount of time I thought I might. Maybe I will once my bathroom is done, but I'm living in the present.
Anyway, the plan was useful in that it gave me an idea. I also looked at the schedule we used to use for how many pages to write for a screenplay each week to get a first draft done in a semester. We did 6-10 pages each week, but had other assignments. I wasn't working during school, so that amount is too much right now. But it helped me…

ROW80 R2 - May 31, 2020

I'm not going to talk about my goals today. There is something more important than them to discuss.
It is 2020.
How are the police still killing unarmed individuals?
How can we call ourselves first world nations made of civilized persons when this is still happening?
The FBI draw up profiles on people who are likely to be terrorists, serial killers, etc. Why is there not a profile on racist a**holes who are likely to kill people for no reason?
We have so much technology available, yet there hasn't been enough focus on capturing so-called bad guys instead of killing them.
I see a lot of people lately doing challenges online. I've been doing the 10 Movies That Have Impacted Me one.
What if we do a 10 Times I Thought I Might Die While Doing Something Ordinary Like Buying Diapers challenge?
Here are mine:
1. When I was 5, a friend dared me to throw a rock over a car. I missed and hit the windshield. Then the man came at us. We ran. I hid. He was a spoiled lawyer's son. My dad inspe…

ROW80 R2 May 24, 2020 - Growing and Flowing

I've been pretty terrible at checking in for this round of ROW80. The past month or so, I didn't get much writing done, only fighting in my own head about my WIP. But sometimes one needs that in order to figure the story out.
HOME
My coffee table is plodding along. I have two finished crates (one that is currently drying), and two yet to start. My arms need a break from the sanding. It's worth noting that the wood used for these doesn't come completely smooth after sanding with multiple grits and that's a bit annoying. I need some more supplies to finish the remaining two.
What else have I been doing? I have a young garden started on my ledge that will eventually move to my balcony. I plan to get some squirrel deterrents before I put anything out there. 
I have 3 cherry tomato plants growing. Two are strong, the third is going really slow. To the point I'm wondering if it is even the same kind of tomatoes. The stalk looks like tomato, but why is it growing so much …

Hello Again

I've reached a curious point in my life. One where I feel like I know less than I ever have before. One where I've realized the best brother is Sam Winchester.
What have I been up to lately? Well, I've been continuing my goals for decluttering. Part of this has me building a coffee table out of crates. There are some things I need that don't have a home and I couldn't find what I want at IKEA. Also, given the current state of things, I didn't really want to go there anyway. Also, a friend had trouble with a desk order for her little one's birthday, so I'm not in a hurry to have anything to do with them right now. I have one crate of four completed. There is a lot of work ahead, but I feel motivated.
I've also been working on my current screenplay. I've found it helpful to go back to the planning stages and rework things as I made a major change to which character would be the main character and it is fundamentally changing the story. As it should,…

Feeling Broken - ROW80 R2-5

It's not a great day for me. My tablet PC fell and broke. The cracks in it have convinced it that it is constantly being touched. It's unusable.
So I've had to replace it. I'm currently waiting on a new laptop to arrive. It's not something I was planning to purchase right now. I think I'm going to love it. I went midrange on the cost and performance and got something that should handle some gaming, video production, and all my writing needs.
But I can't update on my writing as I can't access my software. That may cause me issues with final draft. I'll have to see if I have the licence code somewhere. I'm not worried about Scrivener as I can get help from them easily enough as I have in the past. 
This wasn't something I needed right now.
In other news, my desk being in my dining room is working for me. I can't believe I never thought of it before.
I don't have anything else at this time. Just continuing to work on the house declutter. Thi…

ROW80 R2-2: Back At It!

For this round, I want to read more and write more. Those are two things I want to focus on. Unfortunately for some, it means I'm not going to be showing up to every event even if they stay online for the quarter. And they are certainly going to. Let's face it, I won't accomplish my goals if I keep sitting around on Facebook, Google Hangouts, or Zoom instead of working on my goals.

During the downtime, I wrote a children's book. I want to learn to draw, so I can finish it and do more in the series. I found it rejuvenating to write something short.

I've also found myself sucked into Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I have so many plans for my little island! I pretty much played it through the entire weekend, but it was good for the soul. I needed a break from work and everything else.


DRAWING

I bought access to a drawing course and I'm going to aim to practice 30 minutes a day.

FINANCES

Canada Revenue Agency has moved the date for tax filing to June, so that is one …

Goals - ROW80 R2-0

I have a handful of things I want to focus on for this round.

DRAWING

- Complete the online drawing course.

FINANCES

- Pay off as much of my student loan as possible.

HOME

- Renovate the bathroom.
- Tackle my paperwork.

READING

- Current: 4/20 books

TRUMPET

- Complete the Hal Leonard Lesson 1 book.
- Learn one popular song.

WRITING

- Agent O: Write another book.
- Sparks: 77,117/80,000 words
- The Mockumentary: 14/120 pages


Rae-Rae

Coping - ROW80 R1-21

I've struggled so much with figuring out what to say about this COVID-19 situation.

First off, I think we can all agree that it's a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction scenario we're in. Who would predict one person would eat a bat across the world and cause all it has caused?

But here's the thing, we're being asked to stay home and watch TV or read. Go for a walk away from other people. Play with our pets, play board games, dance in our living rooms, play video games, play instruments, etc

This isn't like the holocaust. It's not like The Walking Dead. It could be a lot worse.

So how am I getting through this? Well, I'm doing things like spring cleaning. I'm folding my clean laundry and putting it away. I'm reading books. I'm watching Netflix. I'm staying in touch with my friends and family via Facebook and my phone. I had a Netflix Party with friends on Wednesday. And I'm watching concert live-streams like the one the Dropkick Murphys pu…

Shiny - ROW80 R1-19

I meant to post this sometime last week, but life has been hectic. My work day today was filled with people constantly coming to me for things all while I tried to get 2 tasks done as part of year end prep. They shouldn't have taken me all day to do and normally wouldn't, but I was interrupted about once every 15 minutes. Anyway, without further ado here is the post planned for last Wednesday with some updates as of today:

It is so hard to stick to the project you want to focus on.

On Monday, I had no trouble. I edited Chapter 8. There's probably some way to make it better, but it's the best I can currently do, so I'm happy with it. My word count increased.

Tuesday rolled around and all I could think about was another project. It is one I haven't really started per se. A project I've been more in research mode for. Well, my brain said it would be better if I cut most of it and expanded it in a different way. So I wrote some notes for it and did some word as…

On Edge - ROW80 R1-16

This sounds superstitious, but the fact that this is Leap Year has me on edge. Why? The last two have been rather difficult for me.

In 2012, my work place was being divested and I was working multiple job roles because of all the people who had left. My marriage also ended. This led to a major life change, which included moving to Ottawa. I love Ottawa, so at least that worked out. The rest was hard.

In 2016, I was restructured out of my job. This led to me floating about for a while on EI as I tried to figure out my future, trying some things like Copywriting out, and going back to school for screenwriting. After school, it took time to find work and I almost lost my home and car in the process. Scary stuff.

It's now 2020 and I have a full-time permanent job again, but I'm filling multiple job roles because we're short-handed. We're also so far into year end that it's hard to train the person who is learning to be me for one of those roles. I'm just hoping not…

Thrift - ROW80 2020 R1-15

I finally got around to a thrift store for a wardrobe change. I love those places. I grew up in them hiding in the racks, so it's partly nostalgia, but it's also that I think it's fantastic one can spend relatively little to change their whole wardrobe. Seriously. I got two new leather jackets, a pair of jeans, and 8 other items for a little over a hundred dollars.

Shopping at thrift stores is also an environmentally friendly approach to the wardrobe. Items that are still in good shape find a new life in a new-to-them home.

Decluttering hasn't been just about reducing, but about removing the items that are wrong for me, so I can have more of what is right in my life. I have been getting rid of items that either didn't fit me well or that I wasn't in love with and it was time to start replacing some of those items.

And it's also making me want to get serious about fitness. This is partly to trim my tummy fat, but also to be healthy.


FITNESS

I walked a lot on …

Staycation - 2020 ROW80 R1-12

I've been on a staycation. It started off roughly. The trains went down on the Friday and there was so much traffic that it took nearly 30 minutes to move from my station to the next by bus! In that time, the trains were back up. Mostly. They were still having some power hiccups along the way, which made for a bit of a scary ride home.

The day after, I picked up my Click and Collect item at IKEA. I learned never to be in that area during noon. After I left IKEA, it wasn't long before there was an accident on the highway. It was in my lane ahead of me. I got stuck behind the accident as cars in my lane fled left and right. Some of them did so without doing proper checks and caused more accidents! I decided to stay put until it was really safe to get into another lane. There were around 8-10 all up that lane as I drove carefully past to go home. I live quite aways away from IKEA, so it was a bit scary and I felt really thankful to get home safely and in one piece.

Getting my pac…

Approaching a Rest - ROW80 2020 R1-9

Outside of work, today was focused on the future. I proposed some things, prepared others, and am looking forward to some plans. I'm on vacation next week and I'm looking forward to that break. I'll be off until the 18th and I plan to get some things done around the house. 
Regarding the house, I've realized that if I ever move, I don't want an open concept place. Stuff migrates too easily in the absence of layout. 
Anyway, I had a good financial appointment today and I'm looking forward to what comes next.

We're supposed to have another snowstorm tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn't mess up all my plans!
FITNESS

I have a hurt knee right now, so I'm not doing a lot right now on that front, though I did some martial art theory yesterday. I think it's an alignment issue as new insoles seem to help a lot. More than I would have thought they ever could.

HOME

I've been planning out home things to do with my time off including starting the bathroom demol…

Imbolc 2020 - ROW80 2020 R1-8

I've missed a couple of check-ins. I really wanted to check-in, but I was too exhausted. And I'm pretty tired today too.


Today is Superbowl Sunday. For those who aren't into American Football, such as myself, I prefer to celebrate Superb Owl Sunday. Depending on the calendar, February 1st and/or 2nd is Imbolc. February 2nd is also Groundhog Day. Apparently the Ontario and Alberta Groundhogs say Spring is coming early in 2020. We'll see.

A common thing to do for Imbolc is to craft a St. Brigid's Cross from natural materials. One could also craft an owl if they wanted on this particular day. Or even a Groundhog. Or maybe all three. And there's also the puppy bowl.

As part of Imbolc, I've been cleaning and planting. I cleaned my desk off to put a monitor on it. I think that is going to help my writing tremendously. It's wide enough to view two documents side-by-side.

I planted some succulents and some herbs. I originally wanted all my succulents in one ter…

Overloaded - ROW80 R1-5

Today, a colleague asked me how I was managing to work three roles right now. I said that sometimes I didn't know. The truth is that I've been here before. Years ago, when I was doing project management and/or project coordination, the place I was working at was being divested. For those who don't know what that means, a chunk of the company was being sold off. A number of people jumped ship and those left all took on extra duties.

But the skills I learned for managing projects are ones I use time and again when life gets hectic like this. I create excel tracker sheets to help me keep on top of things because if it just stays in my email, it gets lost. My planner helps me too.

I also place a more important role on eating healthy, so that I have the energy to withstand it all and to help prevent colds.

Things like knitting, reading, TV, and music help lower my stress levels too.

And because I'm doing so much, my writing isn't moving forward as much as I would like i…

Feeling My Age - ROW80 2020 R1-4

I've reached the age where my body has decided to have issues. Not constantly, but frequently. Sprinting for a bus can leave me with an injured ankle simply from using it, not from actually twisting it in ways it shouldn't move, just a fairly normal activity. I guess I need to warmup and stretch before walking to the bus now. About a decade ago, I was given a guard for my teeth due to grinding. And for the next month, I need to sleep with wrist braces because my doctor thinks I'm developing carpal tunnel. Really, I'm surprised it hasn't happened before now given my level of computer use. My mom had it years ago and had to have surgery. From reading books of all things. Anyway, he thinks if I sleep with braces on that it may be enough to keep it at bay because the nerves will get 7-8 hours of rest. After 4 days and nights, the tingling has been reducing, so I'm hopeful.
"Your body is like an elastic." -Georges St. Pierre I recently stocked up on health…

ROW80 2020 R1-2

I'm enjoying blogging again now that I've returned to Blogger. I can just write a post and choose to bold a few words or make some links without it being cumbersome. And I don't miss having both tags and categories. Having just tags is simpler. Sometimes I feel like this world has gotten feature heavy.

I was able to get the vast majority of my posts automatically moved over. I cleaned up the tags. There are a few decisions to make, but largely I'm happy with it. The missing posts are all from 2019 as far as I can tell. I'll be slowly manually copying them over soon. Otherwise, I need to tweak my Poetry section. I think I can link to the tag. Right now, a lot of the poems were pages rather than posts, so I have a little work to do to have it all working how I envision.

FITNESS
I really enjoyed Iaido last Sunday. Class was cancelled today due to the amount of ice everywhere that has been covered with snow. Given how the rest of my week was, I'm not upset about it.…

Hanna "Semi Precious" Murphy

A legend in the roller derby community is gone. How and why, I do not know. What I do know is that many are reeling from the news, myself included. 
Hanna was known for big hits and a brilliant personality. I experienced her hits first hand as she sent me flying a number of times. Then she'd smile and make sure I wasn't hurt. 
I stumbled onto this clip on Youtube from 2012 and I think it shows Hanna as many knew her.
She was a force off the track too.
As a cofounder of the award-winning Top Shelf Distillers, she gave much to the surrounding Ottawa Valley community.  
Hanna was a relatively petite woman and it was she who taught me that I could be mighty despite my size. I wouldn't be the woman I am today if I hadn't had the pleasure and the privilege of sharing the track with her. 
I'm shocked. I'm sad. I'm upset I'll never see her or speak to her again. 
R.I.P. #10.

Rae-Rae

Change is in the Air

I've been making a lot of changes lately around my home and some of them might seem a little odd, but they're making me happy. One thing I've done is taken apart my dining table. I never eat in there or have people over to eat. It was just another horizontal surface that would collect things like receipts, odd screws from various projects, and countless piles of paper. I had been frustrated because of the clutter it encouraged, but also because I didn't have a space for my Yamaha keyboard. I had been trying to use my keyboard in the living room, but it felt too cluttered and it wasn't sitting at the right height. With it now in my dining room, I was able to relocate my storage bench, which happens to be the perfect height to sit at while playing my keyboard. I now have much more breathing room. There is still a lot of mess to handle here yet, but I'm making solid progress. A lot of people suggest the bedroom is the place to start when decluttering, but I haven&…

ROW80 - 2020 R1 Goals

I'm annoyed with Wordpress right now and have been since they introduced the block editor. I've been wanting to take a pen name anyway, so I'm trying Blogger out.

Remember when I posted that pretty list of 20 goals, many of which were daily for 20 minutes?

Yeah, well, there's not enough time in my day for them because I'm not a robot!

I know. I'm shocked too.

Anyway, I've had to tweak things for the round.

There are two things I want to mainly focus on this year more than anything and those are writing and French. So here are my Round 1 goals with an update on how I'm doing so far:

FINANCES - 260 minutes of budgeting: I have been working on this weekly.

FITNESS - 60 home-cooked meal days (3 meals = 1 day): I have only had one lunch that I didn't make. I'm actually aiming for one 1 day of eating out per week versus nearly every day.
- 60 workouts: 3/7 possible so far, but I've been doing a lot of decluttering.
- 5/20 lbs lost: This is tracked o…

2020 Vision

Mostly, I’ve been planning for the new year, but I discovered I know Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It was a recollection under the influence that brought this to light. I also discovered I still suck at drawing, but I’m okay with that. I used to think I had to be good at everything, and I’ve realized that’s just not so.

Some friends and I recently hit up a local board game pub. It was a pretty fun night. The first game was Balderdash and I was terrible at it. Because I was the writer in the group, some of my friends thought I should be more embarrassed about it and hide the fact that I don’t spend all my free time learning advanced vocabulary. But I’m not upset about it. Why? Two reasons: 1. I now know what I don’t know. 2. If one takes a close look at the top selling novels on the market, the level of the language used is not the level of many of the words in Balderdash. Not that I’m comparing my own work to those, but audience is what matters in writing. To me, it is far better to en…