Getting Personal #166: April Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 2

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Here’s the link to my April Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Donate blood. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Celebrate Dad’s birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. See Shazam! — Accomplished!
  4. See Avengers: Endgame— Accomplished!
  5. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019. — Accomplished!
  6. Enjoy time with Emily and Matt. — Accomplished!
  7. Continue work on the attached garage. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Participate in Didi’s WIP Challenge for April. — Accomplished!
  9. Take multiple boxes of books and DVDs to 2nd and Charles for consignment. — Accomplished!
  10. Continue work on my office. — Semi-Achieved.
  11. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants. — Did not accomplish.

I got so close to donating blood this time. For women, you have to have a hemoglobin “score” of 12.5 to be eligible. My highest score was 12.4 – I hate it when that happens!

We celebrated my Dad’s birthday in early April. Yay!

We loved both Shazam! and Avengers: Endgame. We went to see Shazam! with our friends Mike and Shana after a lovely dinner at Chili’s. Al and I just saw Endgame on Saturday afternoon, and we’re still recovering from it emotionally. Such a good movie, though. It’s like the final satisfying chapter of a really good book. Look for a huge recap here on the blog in about a week!

As of this writing, I’ve added more than 9,000 new words to my 2013 WIP for Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019. I’m very pleased. And, I still have tonight to add some more!

We got to see Emily and Matt twice last weekend! My parents hosted a wonderful dinner at their house for us and several family friends on Thursday night, a wonderful reprieve from the absolute nut house that was my work last week! And, they came over for a couple of hours on Saturday morning, with my dad, to meet our dogs. We got to talk to Matt a bit more and learn about his life in England. I didn’t want them to leave!

Al helped me schlep more than six boxes of books and DVDs to 2nd and Charles on a rainy Sunday afternoon. They don’t take a lot of bestsellers or well-known authors / series, but they did buy $34 worth of items from me. They also offer store credit as an option. The stuff they didn’t take, we dropped in their “Free” bin on the way out. It felt so good!

I was able to go through quite a bit of paper for shredding in my office, and filed several things away. Bit by bit, it’s coming together. I’m hoping to buy my stand-up desk by the summertime.

I didn’t have the money on hand to justify the planters this month, but hopefully it will happen in May. The mosquitoes are already emerging!


Did you have any goals for the month of April?

Come back tomorrow to see my May Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #237: “April WIP Writing Challenge: ‘Road Trip'”

Road Trip

Found through Didi Oviatt

Here’s the link to Didi’s challenge post:


As John finishing packing the Bel Air, Evelyn sat back in the passenger seat. She pressed her hands to my stomach, and sighed. She lost herself in her thoughts.

This is a good thing. I think. We both need to get away for a few days. Think about us. Think about the future. Our future child.

I know John’s been stressed about work. So have I. But, everyone needs a vacation now and then, right?

Evelyn’s thoughts were interrupted by the slam of the trunk.

John smiled at his beautiful fiancee as he opened the car door. Although he was an admitted workaholic, and recovering alcoholic, Evelyn’s idea to take a few days off felt good.

“Are you ready to hit the road, my dear?”

He leaned over to kiss Evelyn on the cheek. She smiled, and grabbed his hand. She moved it around her growing belly. The slightest butterfly kick startled them both.

“Oh, Evelyn! Wow. This is so neat. When did this start?”

She smiled.

“Last night. But you were sound asleep. I think this vacation is going to do some good. You haven’t slept well in months.”

John started the engine, and hung his head.

“Running a construction company is challenging. And we have lots of deadlines. But, for the next few days, we don’t have to worry about anything. Come on, darlin’, Let’s get out of the city!”

John carefully navigated the Bel Air out of Chicago. They didn’t really have a destination, just driving along Route 66 to see the sights. They both were long-overdue for some fresh air and R & R.

They played the radio for a while, but eventually encountered mostly static. Evelyn didn’t mind. She could see the stress slowly melting away from John, and that made her happier more than anything.

They both worked hard at John’s company, and they fell hard for each other shortly after Evelyn was hired. Several months ago, through a co-worker, Evelyn figured out she was pregnant.

Thankfully, John was a good man. He not only stuck around, but he’d proposed at the groundbreaking of their biggest project – A new, innovative, revolutionary neighborhood designed for everyone.

Evelyn was lost in thought again when the radio went from static to music again. She smiled, and reached for John’s hand. Her beautiful engagement ring sparkled in the spring sunshine.

“Do you have the map, dear?”

Evelyn leaned forward and pulled out the road map. It was well-worn. John had used it many times on his travels back and forth from Chicago to other architectural sights. His biggest “hero” was Frank Lloyd Wright.

However, taking this trip on Route 66 was different. And in the best way. John smiled, stealing glances at his pregnant bride-to-be. This trip would be legendary. A few days away on the surface, but one of the first trips with Evelyn, out of the city, and not on business.

As the sun started to set, she started to notice the colorful, painted billboards for a diner and a motel next door. Evelyn laughed, putting a hand on her stomach again.

“Our child is signaling they’re hungry, dear. And I am, too.”

John smiled and took her hand.

“We’re in for the adventure of our lives, dear. Let’s eat. And celebrate.”


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

 

 

Commentary #89: “He’s a disabled Gulf War veteran with a new purpose: Save birds nearly wiped out by pesticides”

Injured veteran finds purpose

Vallieres shows an owl to a veteran during a demonstration at the New Hampshire Veterans Home. Found on CNN.

Around the middle of April, I stumbled upon a fascinating headline whilst browsing CNN.com, as I do nearly every day:


Robert Vallieres served our country. He came home from the Gulf War broken, and nearly died. He’s battled a traumatic brain injury (TBI), chemical exposure, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among other things.

However, he’s channeled his recovery into volunteering with the New Hampshire Audubon Society.

He’s helping to track and rehabilitate peregrine falcons and bald eagles.


What started it all? His son, who was three at the time. He asked his dad what type of bird he saw. Vallieres bought a bird identification book, binoculars, and they started learning together near their home in Concord, New Hampshire.

In the newspaper, he saw an ad for a birding trip in the state’s White Mountains. He signed up. What stunned him was when a falcon grabbed a bird in mid-air. And it helped him appreciate and enjoy the outdoors – Using all your senses.

Unable to work, the New Hampshire Audubon Society was looking for volunteers to count and track peregrine falcons and bald eagles. Both were nearly wiped off the map due to the pesticide DDT, now banned, which killed unhatched chicks in the 1960s.

The New Hampshire Audubon Society was thrilled to have Robert come on boarding. With his military training, a lot of the same skills applied to counting and tracking these birds.

“Finding rhythm or purpose in life besides myself,” says Vallieres, “Not to get stuck on myself, to have an outlet and be semi-physically fit.”


In addition to volunteering, Robert built a nesting box for kestrel falcons in his yard. It worked. He now has breeding pairs.

He also works to rehabilitate birds for Wings of Dawn, a local wildlife hospital.

He also takes birds to the New Hampshire Veterans Home monthly. The home was so impressed with Robert that they applied for and received a grant to get dozens of binoculars for residents to observe the birds on the property. They also purchased more bird feeders so the less-mobile residents can experience the visitors.

He still struggles with migraines and painful scar tissue. Seeing birds take flight, however, helps him lift his own wings.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth

Tag #85: Song Challenge

1980s Music

Image Credit: Pinterest

I wasn’t tagged for this. However, I love everything Kristian at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table posts. When I saw this on her blog, I wanted to participate, too!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post:


A Song Challenge from Laura Venturini

The original post was created by Laura Venturini. You can find her post here:

Weekly Song Challenge-Round 9

Rules:
Copy rules and add to your own post, pinging back to this post.
Post music videos for your answers to the musical questions.
Tag two people to participate!


1. Post a music video of a song by an artist popular in the 80s.

Rick Astley – “Never Gonna Give You Up”

2. Post a music video of a song that makes you wanna shake your groove thang!

Van Halen – “Jump”

3. Post a music video of an acoustic version of a popular song.

Eric Clapton – “Tears in Heaven” (MTV Unplugged)


Tag – You’re It!

  • I’m not tagging anyone specifically. But, if you want to participate, please do!

Thanks for sharing your post, Kristian! You inspired me to get back to the blog after a long 11-day hiatus. Thank you!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #236: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter Z)

The ABC Book Challenge - L

This is it! The last letter of the alphabet for The ABC Book Challenge!

Memorable Books Starting with the Letter “Z”:

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Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo

  • I first read this book in high school. It inspired me to write my Extended Essay for the IB Program in Peace and Conflict Studies, to study the effects of the Bosnian and Kosovo conflicts on children.

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “Z”:

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Zeitoun

  • A true story springing from Hurricane Katrina.

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Zelda

  • I’ve been fascinated with F. Scott Fitzgerald since high school. With that fascination comes wanting to learn more about his family.

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter Z? Let me know!


Thank you so much for following along with me on this incredible journey! I started it in July 2018, and here we are, roughly nine months later. I’ve really enjoyed writing and researching new books, and remembering the good ones I have read.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Blog Awards #26: Sunshine Blogger Award – Number Six!

sunshine1

Image Credit: Found on Bookmark Your Thoughts

Thank you, Jenna, for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I’m so honored to have been nominated for this award six times. I really appreciate it!

Here’s the link to Jenna’s post, where I was nominated:


The Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post/or on your blog.

Jenna’s Questions

  1. Have you ever read a book in another language? If yes, which one? *
  2. What is your best solution for a reading slump? *
  3. If you could only read one author forever, who would it be and why? *
  4. Which book do you think would make the best video game? *
  5. If the place you lived in could only experience ONE season forever, what season would you choose?
  6. If you could live in any sitcom, which would it be?
  7. If you could INSTANTLY become an expert in something, what would it be?
  8. If you were a member of a circus, what type of performer would you be?
  9. What’s your FAVOURITE book to movie adaptation?
  10. What type of literature do you prefer the most? Why (i.e. poetry, fiction standalone, fiction series, nonfiction standalone, nonfiction series, plays/dramas, short stories, etc.)?
  11. You are the main character in a novel — who’s your sidekick/partner in crime and why?

Laura Beth’s Answers

Have you ever read a book in another language? If yes, which one? *

spanish omg GIF by truTV

Image Credit: GIPHY

  • Never a full book, although I took Spanish for six years. So my answer is no.

What is your best solution for a reading slump? *

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Image Credit: Goodreads

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Image Credit: Goodreads

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Image Credit: Goodreads

  • Read something light and fluffy. For me, that’s a romantic book, or even something middle-grade. That’s helped me several times. I tend to be drawn to books set at the beach, if the images are any indication.

If you could only read one author forever, who would it be and why? *

  • Only one?
  • As hard as this was to pick, I’ll go with John Grisham. He’s a prolific writer, and most everything I’ve read from him is entertaining.
Image result for john grisham books

Image Credit: Medium

Which book do you think would make the best video game? *

  • Excellent question!
  • To me, I think Ender’s Game would be great!
Image result for ender's game book

Image Credit: Wikipedia

If the place you lived in could only experience ONE season forever, what season would you choose?

forest autumn GIF

Image Credit: GIPHY

charlie brown thanksgiving autumn GIF

Image Credit: GIPHY

  • Autumn!
  • I love the cooler weather, and the fall colors are just spectacular!

If you could live in any sitcom, which would it be?

Image result for full house

Image Credit: Entertainment Weekly

  • The first sitcom that came to mind was Full House.

If you could INSTANTLY become an expert in something, what would it be?

  • This was a really hard question!
  • I think I would pick forensic science. I love true crime! And, I’ve seen every single episode of Forensic Files.

If you were a member of a circus, what type of performer would you be?

trapeze GIF by Scorpion Dagger

Image Credit: GIPHY

  • A trapeze artist. I’ve had the opportunity to try it out once or two, and it’s such a rush. As long as I have a net under me, I’m game.

What’s your FAVOURITE book-to-movie adaptation?

Image result for the hunger games movie

Image Credit: Wikipedia

  • The Hunger Games (2012)
  • I’ve read all three books, and seen all the movies. However, I love the first movie. I think it was the best at doing the book the most justice. Plus, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss is kick-ass, and the book character-actress portrayal I never knew I wanted. The rest of the cast is well-picked, too.

What type of literature do you prefer the most? Why (i.e. poetry, fiction standalone, fiction series, nonfiction standalone, nonfiction series, plays/dramas, short stories, etc.)?

Image result for stepping on the cracks

Image Credit: Amazon

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Image Credit: Amazon

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Image Credit: Amazon

  • Fiction standalone. I’ve discovered so many different authors this way! Plus, I always get sad when series end, so standalones are in a way easier, and more enjoyable, to read.

You are the main character in a novel — who’s your sidekick / partner in crime and why?

  • My best friend, Melissa. We’ve been partners in crime for over 20 years now!

My Nominees

  1. Fiction No Chaser
  2. Trisha at The Tea Reader
  3. Ashes Books & Bobs
  4. Lori at The Inky Saga
  5. ilona pulianauskaite – easydiet.blog
  6. Kristian at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table
  7. Simon at Planet Simon
  8. Laura at lauravent69
  9. Destiny at Howling Libraries
  10. Xandra at Starry Sky Books
  11. Siobhan’s Novelties

My Questions for the Nominees

  1. If you could only listen to two artists or bands for the rest of your life, who would you choose, and why?
  2. What is your dream novel, or idea for one?
  3. Do you remember the first book you ever read?
  4. If you could live in any sitcom, which would it be? *
  5. If money were no object, where would you be living?
  6. If you could INSTANTLY become an expert in something, what would it be? *
  7. Who are three people, living or dead, that you most admire?
  8. Is there someone you would love to see live in concert?
  9. What was your favorite subject in school?
  10. It’s “Self-Care Sunday,” what are you doing?
  11. What historical time period would you like to visit?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #88: “Make Your Own MAGIC and Manifest Your DREAM LIFE”

The quoted words in the title of this blog post comes from a relatively recent episode of the That Smart Hustle podcast by author Kristen Martin. I haven’t read any of her books yet, though I plan to change that sooner rather than later. I discovered her Facebook page, and then stumbled upon to her podcast. I subscribed, went all the way back to Episode 1, and just fell in love.

That Smart Hustle - Soundcloud

Image Credit: Soundcloud

I love her voice, her style, and her podcast format. They’re short, sweet, and simple.

Granted, she does things very differently than I do. But, what she shares in her podcast episodes are always encouraging and inspiring to me.

I’m not “into” or “practice” certain things such as the phases of the moon, crystals, tarot, and so on. I know people who do a combination of things like this, and I’m not arguing against any of it. As a Christian, I pray. However, I really like the idea of manifestation. And, I think I’m already doing it, and didn’t even realize it.

In this episode, Kristen expands upon manifesting, and how she does it in her life. It’s based on the law of attraction. Focus on something to bring it into your reality. There are several ways to accomplish this: Meditation, visualization, or using your conscious and subconsicous to focus on this thing, or goal, or whatever it may be.

Once you’ve pick the thing or goal to manifest, then you have to take action. As an example, if you want to get a new job or a promotion, then you focus on that job or promotion, visualize it, and then clean up your resume, submit the applications, or climb the ladder toward that promotion. It takes effort, and hard work, but it pays off.

For me, I “accidentally” manifested the completion of the first draft of my first novel. I was tired of struggling with the ending of the book, and I decided I just needed to finish it, no matter what it took. When I saved the draft on March 30th, the feelings of elation, pride, and joy I had were remarkable. I practically jumped up and down in my living room. I posted about it on Facebook, and the response and feedback I received was absolutely incredible. I realized how many people were cheering for me, how proud they were, and how many are looking forward to the book when it’s ready to be published. I’m still blown away by it all, and here we are nearly three weeks after I finished it.

Am I manifesting anything new, you may ask?

Yes, I am!

  1. Being debt-free
  2. Completing the first draft of my second novel

These two things are huge in my universe right now. I just took major action on #1 today, and it’s definitely a step in the right direction after a lot of negative thoughts, and a huge emotional breakdown between yesterday and this morning.

I’ve been actively participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month for #2, and I feel so good with the progress I’ve made thus far. And we’re only 11 days into the month!

As I write this post, I just realized the Monthly Goals posts I make here on the blog are also forms of manifestation. I set those goals, and having them in writing on the first day of every month allows me to take action on them immediately, or work on them throughout that month. And, I’m able to look back on them whenever I want, to remind myself of the goals, and invest more time, energy, or whatever it is to accomplish those goals.

Now, why is “dream life” capitalized in the title?

Well, Kristen says in the podcast that you can use manifestation to help you build your actual dream life. I love this idea. She talks about making a list of everything you dream about that you want in life: What job do you have, what car are you driving, what are you wearing, what house do you live in, what state or country do you live in, and so on.

I will be working on this in my personal journal, and I’m pretty stinking excited about it already. If you’re interested in doing this yourself, think of it as your “vision board,” but those visions are achievable. Making this list, using techniques like this, will help me make those dreams a reality.

All that said, I still pray to God. As a Christian, that’s a given for me every day. That won’t change a bit.

And something special has been happening at my church that I haven’t talked about very much. As a congregation, we have a Breakthrough Prayer we are challenged to pray every day at either 5:17 a.m. or 5:17 p.m. The reason 5:17 is significant is that’s our Bible verse, 2 Corinthians 5:17, for the Next Level Innovations (NLI) process we are embarking upon for the next three years.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

How fitting that our church is New Creation United Methodist Church.

In a way, NLI is another form of manifestation. The three-year process has a series of goals and visualizations, and it takes effort and action from everyone involved to make it successful. I love the mantra: Going from good to GREAT.

I know, for me, since we started this process, I’ve already experienced a few breakthroughs, and I can only imagine there are many more to come.

Here’s the Breakthrough Prayer:

Almighty God, today breakthrough in our lives and in our church. Make us a new creation. Transform us by the power and presence of your Holy Spirit. Show us how to make a difference in our community and the world. Give us boldness to follow where You lead. Amen.


Resources


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂