Thursday, January 31, 2008


1) Gilmore Girls Movie marathon-DONE. Remember that 10K fundraiser I ran in last year where I bet E that I could raise more funds than he could, and if I lost I had to do an orienteering race, and if he lost he had to watch the last season of Gilmore Girls with me? I won mainly because all of his friends gave money to me in order to make him suffer. We finally got through all of the DVDs and while it was a little fun to make him suffer, it kind of ruined it for me because I like GG. Lesson learned- I'm not good at torture.

2) Making an effort to go out with my female friends more- PROGRESS. Everyone is busy, but it really doesn't take much to pick up the phone and arrange a night to go to the movies. So I miss the occasional workout or get to bed later than normal - big deal. So far I've gone to 2 chick flicks: Atonement (YUK - I Highly recommend avoiding it)
27 dresses (CUTE! Meets expectations from the trailers. Not deep, but entertaining)

3) Book - PROGRESS. I'm working on it regularly instead of waiting for huge chunks of time to open up, and I've been reading other books strictly to learn how they were put together - I am close to finishing my first Nora Roberts book ever.

4) Relaxing - NOT SO GOOD. I signed up for yoga twice a week, and have missed as many sessions as I 've attended so far. grrr. I also have a lot of trouble falling asleep at night. Must work on this one.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's Nice to Be Important, But it's Important to Be Nice

My high school calculus teacher (who I hated with a white-hot passion) had that saying posted on the wall of his classroom. It was written by hand on parchment-looking paper with leaves, bark, and other outdoor debris glued to it. I used to stare at it, imagining a dull rainy day at summer camp, being forced to participate in a lame indoor 'keep busy' project like braiding lanyards.

My friends and I used to repeat that saying to each other and it made us laugh every time. There's nothing wrong with the idea behind it; but I hated school, that teacher and calculus so much that the words and that freaking bark made me insane.

I used to make fun of people who have inspirational quotes on their walls, and I love the demotivation series that makes fun of corporate motivation posters. However.... as part of my ongoing battle with my "you can't write a book" demons, I have to reluctantly admit that a powerful way to defeat negative thoughts is to replace them with positive thoughts.

I tried an exercise involving writing down 5 positive things that happened each day before going to bed at night, and it was incredible how it changed my whole outlook during the day. Instead of focusing on everything that went wrong, I paid attention when something went well, keeping it in the front of my mind so I would have it ready to write down on my 5 things list.

Now I'm posting quotes on my wall from people I admire, and thoughts that I wish would stick in my brain. I'm not talking about Ned Flanders-like Polyanna sayings, or 'turn that frown upside down' crap, and there are no cuddly kittens, puppies or bark anywhere. I'm talking about straightforward words in modern fonts with clean lines. My favourite is this one that E put up in my office before it was officially my office:
"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic."

If you're looking for quotes to conquer your "you're an idiot - stop trying new things and go sit down and complain about everything that's wrong" demons, try Compendium.

For the record, I still snicker at people who have hand-written 'turn that frown upside down'-type sayings on their walls, and I can't stand receiving crappy power point presentations filled with cliches, animal pictures and typos. Don't be put off by all of the Stuart Smalley type people who preach the power of positive thinking - you can still make fun of those losers. It's not that important to be nice.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Finally, the surfing, diving and Chicago photos are online. Use the links below to see them. I split the photos in two sets so that you don't have to wade (!) through all the fish pictures.

The links will take you into my flickr account. View each set as a slideshow so the photos are as big as possible. To see my captions, in the lower right corner click Options and then select Always show title and description.

Florida, surfing, diving highlights, Chicago

More Diving

Monday, January 07, 2008

Small step in the right direction

I just spent one hour working on my book. No checking e-mail, IM turned off.
No distractions. I finally made my actions match my words. Is the book priority #1? If so, then it should take precedence over all else.
So far so good.
Now, on to priority #2 projects...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Karen needs improvement in all areas

Looking back at my 4 goals for 2007, which are posted in living color on the wall of my office, I did not complete any of them to my satisfaction:

1- Finish book
2 - Submit book to agents
3 - Earn enough $$ to go to a writer's conference, contribute to RRSPs and go on a dive vacation
4- Complete a 1/2 marathon and reduce my 10K time to sub-60 min.

I came close on #3 - I did go to a conference and take a snappy vacation. For #4 I almost had my 10k time under 60 min in March...

For the first time EVER I am receiving a 'needs improvement' performance review. The worst part is I am reviewing myself. Do I expect too much? I don't think so. All of these goals are achievable. Maybe one year wasn't enough time. Maybe I just need to re-word the goals to be more benefits-oriented in order to motivate myself.

2008 goals
1. Be able to say "YES" when someone asks if I finished my book yet
2. Wear out a copy of my guide to agents and editors
3. Enjoy a fabulous vacation while knowing I have plenty of $$ invested for my future
4. Show off my 15lb slimmer self in perfectly fitting non-mom jeans while wearing a snappy t-shirt from the 1/2 marathon that I finished.

So, Karen - are you sure you're up to the challenge? You could always work in an office job and watch television in sweatpants until your time is up.

No no no - I can do it!

Prove it.