Small Steps, Incremental Changes, Tipping Point

In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point he looks behind the big changes to find they began with many small steps. Some by quite a few people who meet at a certain point to create something amazing.

This year, with pandemic uncertainty, how can we possibly plan for the year?

I decided to set big dreams aside, and focus on small steps that walk towards dreams. The dreams are big, but in reality they might not happen this year, but they will happen.

In the meantime, I’ll walk towards them. My word for this year is two “Small Steps”.

How’s your goal setting going?

Books I’ve read in January towards my 52 Books in 2022 Goal (I just need to work on which category they come under):

Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone – Diana Gabaldon (began in December, completed January)
The Relaxed Author – Joanna Penn
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
Breath, The new Science Of A Lost Art – James Nestor
Financial Freedom – Grant Sabatier
Home Truths – Susan Lewis
Educated – Tara Westover (I’m not going to do well in the 52 books challenge if I keep repeating the same one!).

I have my listening speed set anywhere from 1.25x to 1.40x the normal speed. Yes, the books I read are audio. I listen when driving, doing housework, gardening and walking. My eyes aren’t what they were and by the time I’ve written for two to three hours, they’ve done their dash on printed word.

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Goal: Read 52 Books In 2022

A reading challenge for 2022 is to help expand the genre and topics I would normally read. Fifty-two books in fifty-two weeks.

The rules are reasonably flexible and creativity is encouraged.

The books don’t need to be read in order.

Books can be listened to instead of read. I use the apps Audible and Libby as well as Kobo (which manages both e-books and audio).

Libby provides books for free via the local library.

I’ve completed my first book, Untamed, ‘challenge number 7 – A Non Fiction Bestseller’

Glennon Doyle’s coming out story is full of honesty in a part memoir work. Its also about how women in particular look out to others for permission about what choices they make. Men make their own decisions.
An example was the simple question “are you hungry?” The boys made their own decision. Glennon watch the girls take a silent poll, even to appointing a spokesperson for all of them. I found this example of the differences enlightening. The book was full of aha and raised eyebrows moments.
And about judgement.
I’d recommend the book, but not a repeat read.

I’ll keep you updated as I work my way through the challenge. If you’re joining in, let me know how your going and I’d love to hear your recommendations.

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The Best Use of My Time

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot” – Michael Altshuler

The end of year is looming at break kneck speed. Smell the roses? Put up a Christmas tree? Hurrying past the people in our lives, all but yelling “get out of my way”. Don’t these people know how busy we are?

And yet…

Once it was important to make time for family and friends. Not to rush to the next place. The next job. The next…whatever has our attention.

At the start of each year, do you set goals? Possible covering all the important areas of life:

Career and business
Health and fitness
Personal growth
Spiritual growth

When was the last time these were reviewed?
How are these goals tracking?

What if we squeezed ten minutes to take a look, now.

Celebrate the wins.

What if the order of these goals were reversed?

My goals have been partially realised, but I’ve been wondering what the outcome would have been if I’d begun with spirituality, personal growth etc.

A long time ago, we decided to get ready for Christmas a week early. And go camping.
Hardly anyone else was wherever we went. They were jostling shoulders with the maddening crowds while we soaked in the sun, read a book,  played board games and splashed in the water, enjoy a campfire. Carefree. No hustle. No hassle. We returned home relaxed and ready to enjoy Christmas and our Christmas traditions.

Take time to chill out and celebrate this year’s wins. Its been a tough one very few people would have known to plan for. That makes all you have achieved special.

Go you!

The Shelfie – Nanowrimo Instagram Challenge

The Shelfie is an author and reader thing. My current book shelf is on Audible, Kindle and in my basket is my notebooks, Motorhomes, Caravans and Destinations Magazine, and writing craft books, Fast Feast Repeat, by Gin Stephens, and a spiritual book for digging deep.

Quote for Today
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

Even the possible threat of a COVID outbreak lockdown sent everyone in Christchurch into a spin and my intentions to write at the beach went out the window – I did visit the beach.

Nanowrimo – three days to go!. Look out for a celebration launch in your area (you can find your local people – even though Nano have said no physical meetings).
Christchurch writers can check out the ChristchurchNZwriters dot org for events in their area (because we’re online, anyone can join in).

The background photo is of my current bookshelf because I live in my campervan. When I move into my motorhome in a few weeks, I get a bookshelf again.

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A Book Lover has Shelfie’s

A Cliffhanger – Nanowrimo Instagram Challenge

Your on the edge of your seat, eyes dilated, heart pounding for the hero. Its one o’clock in the morning and the pages have been turned fast to find out how they get out of the diabolical situation. And…

‘Be sure to buy the next book to find out what happens next.’ Huh? Book flies across the room and slides down the wall.

If there’s a cliffhanger, the next book had better be accessible!

Fun fact: remember the series “Lost”? The writers were instructed to finish each episode on a cliffhanger.
When asked how they were going to tie up all the loose ends, a writer shrugged, they weren’t. The series made lots of money, but ticked a lot of people off.

Quote for Today
“Attention spans are changing. It’s very noticeable. I am very aware that the kind of books I read in my childhood kids now won’t be able to read. I was reading Kipling and PG Wodehouse and Shakespeare at the age of 11. The kind of description and detail I read I would not put in my books. I don’t know how much you can fight that because you want children to read. So I pack in excitement and plot and illustrations and have a cliffhanger every chapter. Charles Dickens was doing cliffhangers way back when. But even with all the excitement you have to make children care about the characters.” – Cressida Cowell

Writing today was in a new location. I think you’ll like it. It’s

Nanowrimo is nearly here. Um, what words do I write next? Trust they’ll come. Begin writing anything to get into the groove. The cliffhanger is for the reader, not the writer.

The background photo is a true cliffhanger for a dramatic continent. The cliffs stretch acrossthe bottom of the Southern end of the Australian continent, amazing to see in real life. An audio book to listen to, dramatic views, wildlife, whales, the Nullarbor is not boring. (Check out Instagram posts September 2018).

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Nullarbor Cliffs, the dramatic southern edge of Australia

Favorite Quote – Nanowrimo Instagram Challenge

Todays challenge is favorite quote, but this would have to be one of the hardest challenges. I LOVE quotes. They often form the basis of what I post. My favorite quote changes as I grow and stretch along my journey.
The quote that I have lived my life by is “And it came to pass.”
No matter what happens in our life, it will either come to pass or the way we look at the challenge will come to pass.
When we change under the pressure of what burdens us, we move forward. I confess, sometimes the pressure was on for sometime before I was able to move forward.

Quote for Today
“And it came to pass.” – ubiquitous biblical quote.

Whatever is troubling you, hold it out. Think about the worst scenario. Now think about the best possible outcome. Whatever happens, you will find a way to cope as you accept this thing has happened or, will happen or may happen. Hand it over to God. Stand in his amazing presence. You are not walking alone. It may take time. Acceptance is the first hurdle.

I have found a name for my fictitious town. Volcano Harbour and the closest city Te Taone (Maori for The City). I’m hoping this will be an acceptable name as Maori give the name of a place as a precious gift.

Nanowrimo is nearly here. Excitement and fear are building among writers. Look at it this way. If you don’t make the fifty thousand word challenge, whatever you do write is more than you started with. One time my story stopped at thirty two thousand words and I discovered it was a novella, not a full blown story. My characters refused to budge, no matter how hard I tried.

The background photo is from a wall of T L Travers Mary Poppins, from when we visited Maryborough, Queensland, Australia.

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Mary Poppins

Favourite Book – Nanowrimo Instagram Challenge

Todays challenge is for you and me both. What is your favourite book?

The answer is such a hard one.

My most read is Anne Of Green Gables, after the Bible.

My favourite genre is mystery, with romance.

I love books with strong characters that stick around in my mind long after the book is finished. The author was done their job creating believable people.

I also like a strong message, not cringing from topical issues like family violence, protecting our planet, giving a hand up for the less fortunate, encouraging world peace, and not placing a high priority on possessions and consumables – living simply, with a light footprint.

Quote for Today
“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” – Roald Dahl

“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” Rom 10:17

Writing Today
The WIP took a leap forward. After the school run my morning was free to ensconce myself at the library and work for two solid hours.

Nanowrimo has YouTube videos on how to write a book.

The background photo is of the goats and sheep on my daughter and her partners lifestyle block at sunset. Peaceful.

Leave a note in the comments of your favourite book. We readers are always looking for our next book.

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Lifehacks: Always Get A Receipt

Day 4

Today’s lifehack is: always get a receipt when making an eftpos transaction. It closes the sale and protects you from being scammed.

“Life’s too short. Be an Avid Reader” – Carron Stevenson Author

Writing today.
So I heard on The Self Publishing Author Show (SPF #291) an interview with Dan Clark from Brain:fm (not to be confusedwith Brian fm).
They provide music tailored to your brain and the work / tasks you do.
I gave writing a go while listening to specific tempo Classical Music. It worked! Nailed higher than usual word counts without breaking a sweat.
The sprint flew by.

October is InstaWrimo where authors post a photo from prompts.
Todays: Adventure
There’s definitely adventure in my cosy mystery and in life as we camp out and watch my daughter and her partners home get built.

What I’m Reading
I read several books at a time. Currently I’m reading:
1. On craft – The Relaxed Author by Joanna Penn and Mark Leslie Lefebvre
2. To Study – The Princess Spy by Larry Loftis
3. Self Improvement – Shades Of Light by Sharon Garlough Brown
4. For enjoyment – The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrew’s while I’m waiting for my next Lucinda Riley book to come from the library – currently in the Seven Sisters series.

5. With my grandsons – Playing For Pizza – John Grisham
6. Various versions of the Bible in my early morning meditation. I’m trying to bring in an evening reading, but I drop off to sleep.

Total books read this year (to date) 145 – started out aiming to read 50, but got carried away.

Todays photo:

is my cosy nest where I like to read in the evening. On a good day, I turn the pillows to the other end of the bed, open the rear doors and enjoy the view and sunshine washing in. Benji always claims his spot with me. The beautiful quilt was made by my lovely friend Rhonda. Her Instagram is @rhonda.robertson.925

Benji has claimed his spot to snuggle in for a reading session

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