Books, Writing

On writing and reading

As I have worked on my writing these past few weeks, I have discovered something interesting. I have always been the type of writer who wrote as I went. Now, I’ve never been a terribly great writer when it comes to things like fiction but I could bang out a paper, have it be well researched and get a good grade. Many an English teacher has touted the importance of outlining before you write. I always scoffed at this because I could write papers fairly quickly and very well without an outline. Not a written one anyway. I’d have a vague idea of what I wanted to do in my head. Sometimes it changed course as I wrote but generally it worked well. I have always tackled fiction in much the same way and it’s readable but I usually had trouble getting things to coalesce. Then I started to write down an outline.

Oh. whoa. Suddenly I can see why people talk about outlines as being such important things. I could write a lot more effectively with an outline in place than I could without one. Even though I knew where I wanted my story to go. Even though I have characters in my head. This worked so much better. I will admit that it took a little time. In fact, putting one in place retroactively may cause it to be more time consuming because I have to go back and fix things but it helps a lot. So, I will admit defeat. Outlines are useful things and I can probably see a use for them writing regular papers too, if only to get an idea of where the paper is going before I start writing so I don’t have to rewrite my thesis a dozen times. It means that some of what I write earlier requires some edits but that’s ok. I don’t mind editing. As long as I’m not looking for grammatical errors. That is still a bane of mine.

I still haven’t done my bullet journal post. I keep meaning to and then something else comes up. Like finishing another book or needing to do dishes or going for a run. So it’s still on the list. I’m hoping to be able to use the new layout I have as a more effective tool for watching what I eat, studying, working out and writing. We’ll see how well it goes since Tuesday has me back in classes and with little time to breathe. Also, work, so my whole weekend is pretty much consumed too. Although the last few weeks have been strange with me ending up on the floor a lot. I don’t mind being on the floor. It’s just unanticipated, especially given it’s been more than a month like this.

As a brief aside, I like reading books that nobody else is reading. It makes getting said book from the library much easier. I had wanted to start rereading Outlander because I got halfway through the fourth book and then put it down and never pick dit back up. Now I’ve forgotten a lot of plot points and I feel like instead of picking up book 4 and starting there, I need to go back to the beginning. However, getting ahold of the book is nearly impossible. I’ve had it marked as to hold at the library for weeks. I can only imagine there are a million people in front of me wanting the book. So, you know I may or may not get to that anytime soon. I still have other things to read. It’s just annoying that everybody wants to read it all of a sudden. Honestly, more people need to pursue libraries and bookstores. There are lots of good stories out there but apparently if it’s not on tv, it’s not worth reading which is so silly.

So that’s it. Attempts are being made at lots of things. I still don’t have a post schedule. I really need one. Like seriously. I’m working on it, I swear!

Life, Nursing School

It’s almost back to school

Somehow, this brief vacation is nearly over. I don’t want it to end though. I finally feel as though I’m starting to become a human again, functioning at a normal level and not worried about my next test. But sadly, next Tuesday, we go back to it, jumping in feet first to try and finish this wild two year ride.

I am blessed because I got scholarships to cover the entire year, so I don’t have to pay for any of this or worry about getting money from work (who will help a little bit, if I needed them too through an education program). That’s all good. I was reminded to day of all the little things I still need to do before going back.

The senior students get little sisters/brothers from the incoming class. So I have to contact both of mine, something I still haven’t done as I’ve simply been enjoying not having to worry about getting things done. I have to clean up the bookshelves, from where I just threw books and notebooks onto the shelf, not worrying about where they landed. They have an order that I need them in (that’s the organization in me). I have to check my clinical bag and see what’s stuffed in there and clean out anything that needs to go and make sure I have pens and whatnot.

I also need to go through my backpack, which is full of all kinds of random stuff from going to work and clean that out. Possibly run it through the washer. The only thing I know is clean is my scrubs, which got cleaned after my last clinical and hung up and they are still there. My jacket may be stuffed in my clinical bag, actually… I may see if I can track down a different pair of pants for clinical that actually have pockets in them.

I have two books that I need to try and finish before we go back. That may be challenging. One of them I haven’t started yet, so we’ll see how that goes. I got the kids registered for after school for this year. The only potential problem is that our first clinical day is also the day of open house where the kids meet their teachers. I don’t have hours for that clinical yet, so I don’t know if I can go or not. I’m hoping that I’ll make it. It’s from five to seven at night, but if our clinical goes to six or seven there’s no way I’ll get there (because let’s face it, I’ll be at the hospital farthest from me, like always, so it’s about forty-five minutes from the school).

I meant to make freezer meals but alas, I spent most of my time writing. Who am I kidding, I’ve loved spending so much time writing. So if you are inclined to read crappy fan fiction I’ll leave you a link here: Lost and Found – A Court of Thorns and Roses FanFiction. You don’t have to register to read, I don’t think. Don’t feel obligated. I just know that I’ve talked about it quite a bit and thought some of you may be curious. My original writing isn’t posted anywhere and I’m not at a point to post anything, so sorry if you wanted to read that. Maybe once I have something solid down. Right now it’s mostly outline with vague character ideas and general descriptions that need to be actually written out.

I also have to get a 504 meeting scheduled for my youngest for her ADHD. I meant to get that done before now but it slipped my mind.

The upcoming eclipse has me excited. It’s been awhile since I’ve been anywhere near a solar eclipse… I think there was a partial when I was in elementary school. This one will be nearly complete and I can’t wait to see it (with protective glasses, obviously – don’t look at the eclipse without protective glasses!).

I got through all of the past season of NCIS. I didn’t have to go back and watch any Criminal Minds because I got through all of that during the season. I’m back to watching whatever looks good on Netflix. That’s good because I’m not trying to find time to watch anything.

The rest of my week looks to be pretty quiet. I’m meeting a friend for lunch Friday before working this weekend. We have a friend coming next week to stay for a week. It’s been awhile, so I can’t wait for that either. Otherwise, I’ll be trying to wrap up my fan fiction so that it’s done before school starts (I have more written than I have posted) and then I need to get my planner in order. I meant to do a post about my new planner spread and forgot about it, so I’ll try to get that done tomorrow!

Books, Fitness, Healthy Eating, Running, Writing

It might be a miracle

It’s been several months since I began running again in earnest. It does a soul good to be able to pummel the ground repeatedly with your feet. Unfortunately, I live in an oven. Or at least that’s what it feels like from (usually) May until September. That’s almost half the year if you’re keeping track. And generally it isn’t the heat that is the true problem here. It’s the 90% humidity that accompanies it. That can make breathing hard when you aren’t doing anything. Then put exertion in the mix and you have a recipe for crawling rather than running.

Our weather this year has been odd. It hasn’t been as hot as it usually is and it didn’t warm up until much later than usual. So you can imagine my surprise when I went running Sunday and did three miles with all negative splits. I’ve never run all negative splits, since I started running years ago. I could get the second mile negative but then the third would be a disaster or the second mile would be awful and the third would be better (but not better than the first). Now part of this is a poor ability to pace on my part, which I’ve been working on. But part of it is the horrible heat.

When the weather is cooler out, I can typically run about even splits, a second or two over or under for each mile. Sunday was remarkable because the second mile was almost third second faster and my third was a few second faster yet. It wasn’t a ten minute pace (it was around 10:30) but it was a vast improvement over the 11:00 to 11:30 that I’ve been running. I have no idea what I did differently and could not replicate it today. I’ll keep working at it though.

I have also made efforts to get my food healthy again. I was lax during the last few weeks of school due to stress, so I wasn’t eating as much and some of it was not the best choices (there was a lot of pizza… pizza is my kryptonite). So I’ve really put effort into ensuring that I’m eating a good breakfast and getting lots of fruits and vegetables in, especially while they are really good. I was good about not resorting to eating out all the time. So while my choices weren’t the best choices at home, they were at least choices that I largely controlled the portions and sides for. Small victories, right?

As a brief aside, I will also add that I am working on two more books currently, as I move forward on my day zero project. I have also started a book with a full complement of characters, a brief outline and somewhere around 12,000 words. This is progress and hopefully it will continue. I have research notes and may actually get a notebook to keep details in so that I don’t have to keep flipping to different computer files (it’s easier sometimes to have paper!). I haven’t decided yet what to do with the book once it’s finished. First I have to finish it but I can say with confidence that this one is the most likely yet to actually reach a point where it would be complete. Of course, I’d also need an editor because I am bad with grammar and can make mistakes that are very amateur. A person with good editing skills would need to look over this thing before I even contemplated publishing it.

See what I can accomplish when I have time off?