Writers write, right?

Hello, world!

It is going into week six in this new year and I am just now publishing my number one resolution. There are two reasons why I have not posted about my challenge until now. The first reason is fear. Fear can be a great motivator or paralyzing mental hiccup. The second reason is trying to find the intersection of what I want to do and what is practical. To rush into something and fail because of poor planning would be disheartening.

As you can read in the title I have chosen to write for my major New Year’s resolution. Listed below are the items I have come up with for this challenge. Once or twice a month I will write an update on how I am doing and what I have found useful. In doing this challenge I hope to answer a question I’ve had with me for a decade: am I a writer?

Goals:

  • Write 329 days this year for a minimum of 20 minutes
  • Word count of 100,000 words or 200 hours by the end of the year
  • Enter 1 to 3 writing contests
  • Win at NaNoWriMo

Bonus:

  • Find a writing buddy – CHECK
  • Join a writer’s group
  • Possibly do 1 or 2 write-a-thons
  • Reach 10,000 words per month

If you have any tips, resources, or a personal story about writing you would like to share please feel free to comment. I look forward to seeing what people have to say.

Until next time,

Rey

No More Books in 2016

Hello, world!

What do you get when you mix a book lover and a minimalist?

Me! (My original punchline was going to be “a paper weight.” Then I reminded myself this is why I am not a comedian. Haha!)

If you are a book lover like I am you have shelves full of books. You gaze at your bookshelf in utter joy of your collection and find it calming to reorganize your books. Every time you walk into a bookstore you know there will be a minimum of three books leaving with you. When someone is giving away books be it the grouchy neighbor or the free box outside the library you seize upon it with zeal. At every holiday you request books and, in a conflicted disappointment, you smile while accepting a $20 gift card to Penny’s or a label maker.*

At this point in my life I have over 200 books. When I moved to Arizona there was a limited to how much I could fit into my suitcase. The bulk of my books, at least 180, are in boxes with my family in California. During this move I realized the volume of books I owned went against what I have been working towards these last two years. In pursuing a minimalist life I have decreased my anxiety and increased my happiness. Books had been my blind spot. I don’t want to be weighed down** by objects or be the warden of books that should be free.

These are some of my ideas for letting go of my beloved clutter:

  1. This year buy no books. (This will be a challenge and I consider this my 5th New Year’s resolution).
  2. In 2020 have 100 books or less.
  3. Possibly buy an e-reader.
  4. Immediately upon finishing a book decide its fate (e.g. will it be given to a friend, brought to an used book store for credit, donated, etc.)
  5. Only keep the books you plan to reread in the next two years or have significance.
  6. When reading a book type up or take a picture of your favorite sentence(s) or thoughts.
  7. When purchasing a physical book pencil in when you bought it or if its sitting on your shelf what day it currently is.

These are my thoughts and feelings. I don’t expect everyone to understand. If you were to travel back in time and inform my high school self I would do this I’d think you were insane. Insane because “I could never give up my books” and “time travel can’t work, Police!”

Please leave your thoughts down below with how you feel about this topic or if you have any good ideas on downsizing one’s bookshelf.

Until next time,

Rey

 

*I did receive a label maker for my 18th birthday along with Slim Fast and a hat box.

**This is why I thought my punchline would be funny because books are made of paper and weight can understood as being a burden or an object when placed after the word paper. Comedy 101 is knowing if you have to explain something then it’s not funny.

Sentence Wednesday #4

Hello, world!

I am using the idea of posting a sentence (or more) on Wednesdays from Rebeca’s One Sentence Wednesday meme. For more details please check out her delightful blog Books and Messy Buns.

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The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

This week I started a book set in the late eighteenth century in Germany. I am only a few chapters in and have been enjoying the story so far. If you are not used to German names like Dietmahler or Sidonie I highly recommend writing them down. This will cut down on confusion and turning back pages to figure out who is Freifrau Von Herdenberg. And just like Russian novels some of the characters have several names Erasmus is referred to as Asmus and Friedrich as Frits.

Pg. 3. ‘Jena is a place where Fritz and Asmus wasted money, caught lice, and listed to nonsense from philosophers.’

Pg. 6. Opportunity, after all, is only another word for temptation.

Pg.. 12. ‘You said once death was not significant, but only a change in condition.’

             ‘Drat you, you’ve no business to understand that,’ Fritz shouted in his ear.

Until next time,

Rey

Resolution #4 and #2

Hello, world!

Yes, I am now just getting around to posting two other New Year resolutions on the first of February. Better late then never, right? It is not as if I have not been doing these resolutions in the organic world. I just have not posted them yet. (If you are wondering where, and what, my third resolution you can find it here.)

My Fourth Resolution:

My fourth resolution was is a simple one, but one I think is overlooked. It is evaluating all the people in my life. Is it a toxic person who wont change? Let them go. Are you the one putting in all the effort making the relationship work? Explain how you feel to the other person. If nothing happens let them go. Are there people you want to be closer to or have drifted away from? Make an effort to reach out.

Bottom line your time is not infinite. Don’t waste it on people who don’t value you. Never be afraid to let go out of fear of not finding someone else. There are over seven billion people on this blue dot, you will manage just fine.

My Second Resolution:

My second resolution is to read 20 books. Last year this was my only resolution and I succeeded with the final tally being 28 books. Keeping it simple works.

Until next time,

Rey

 

MR. January: A Record

Hello, world!

(Please read my MR (Movies Resolution) article to find out more about this)

I don’t know about you, but the first month of the year is the craziest for me. In the midst of the holiday whirlwind I found myself watching far more movies then I expected. To my surprise I watched 17 films this month. Before this month the most movies I had seen in a single month was four or five.

A few days before January I moved in with my long time boyfriend. The apartment is within reasonable driving distance from his parent’s house. His grandfather was staying at his parent’s house for a month and we spent a great deal of time with them. There are not many activities a 92 year old can do, or would want to do, besides the race tracks, dining out, smoking cigars with a nice whiskey, and watching movies. I watched roughly half of these with my boyfriend’s family, a quarter with friends and the rest with my significant other.

Due to the volume and time it would take to write out my thoughts for each film I will list them instead. As I am not going into detail I will not place my personal rating. In parentheses I have written where or how I viewed the film.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (DVD)

Hateful Eight (Theater)

Pale Rider (DVD)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Theater)

The Revenant (Theater)

Anna Karenina (Netflix)

Shakespeare in Love (Netflix)

The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (DVD)

Frida (Netflix)

The Crow (Netflix)

Hot Fuzz (Netflix)

The Aviator (Netflix)

Like Chocolate for Water (Netflix)

Turbo Kid (Netflix)

Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix)

The Terminator (Netflix)

The Naked Gun (Netflix)

Since I did not rate these films here are a few I would recommend seeing because they are underrated, surprisingly good, or a classic. Here they are in alphabetical order:

Anna Karenina

The Crow

Frida

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Hot Fuzz

The Revenant

The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming

Turbo Kid

Below in the comments please recommend movies for the month of February. If I ch0ose your movie I will be sure to thank you in my next article.

Until next time,

Rey

Update 02/02/16: My boyfriend pointed out that I missed two movies: Ink and Aeon Flux. If you have not seen Ink you need to. It is a very emotionally moving film with a great story. This brings my total number of films for the months of January to a staggering 19 movies. To my surprise I did not sprout seeing as I was a couch potato.