May Reads

Time for an update of my monthly One Little Word goals! If you haven’t read about my FINISH intentions + actions yet, this post will make a lot more sense if you do.

My February intention was to FINISH early. My goal was to FINISH the material from the Shakespeare / Poe / Frost challenge. And I DID! I can now say that I’ve read the complete works of Shakespeare, Frost, and sort-of Poe (a few of his poems and his unfinished second novel weren’t included). For a year now, these big heavy volumes have been with me in my monthly reads posts, and now I’m ready to MOVE ON!

For those of you who are new, here’s what happened: Jake bet me that I couldn’t read the completed works of Poe, Frost, and Shakespeare in a month. And he was right. He was SO right. It took me a year, but I did it. (So I completed it in March… just the wrong March.) Taking the challenge on at all may have been hubris (which is ironic, because it is so often a fatal flaw in Shakespeare’s characters), but I still maintain that I could have done it. I calculated that, in order to complete the challenge in a month, I’d have to read for two hours per day. I don’t have two hours per day to read. And, as it turns out, I can’t read only these works. Part of the challenge was that I had to understand what I was reading, and my brain is not always up to reading on this level. Sometimes I have headaches or the kids are playing in the room or I’m a little depressed and these works are not for those times. In fact, I was so overwhelmed in December that I couldn’t do anything at all for the challenge.

I loved taking on this challenge. You’d think it would make me want to take a break, but it just made me want to move on to the complete works of Keats after I’m done with the pile of nonfiction on my nightstand.

I took on the challenge for more than just bragging rights (though believe me, these are great bragging rights). I did it to become a better writer, to be able to develop my literary criticism skills, and to keep the part of my brain that has reading superpowers from atrophy. I did it because I truly enjoy the work of these authors (though not all of it). I did it because the words are beautiful, and I love few things more than beautiful words.

You can read more about what I thought of specific works in these oeuvres in my monthly reads posts.

FINISH Intentions + Action


March wasn’t only for FINISH reading, it also was for looking to the intentions for the months ahead. I tried to do things that needed to be done in order to meet the goals for the months to come. Here are the rest of the year’s intentions, and what I did to work toward them:

Apr FINISH draft | I will complete the writing of the most current draft of my novel.

I did a lot of prep work that will help me to write and edit like a maniac in April.

May FINISH wood | I will put finish on wood (hah!) on a carpentry project I will make with Poppy (my grandpa).

I did no things.

Jun from start to FINISH | The editing on the final draft of my manuscript will be complete!

See April.

Jul FINISH fini | I will finish reading a book in French.

I read some kid’s French books to Eliza.

Aug FINISH trip | We will come back from our first real family vacation to Yellowstone.

I’m getting a little worried that this won’t happen. We might have to change our plans to something cheaper / more Jonas friendly.

Sept FINISHing touches | My novel will be DONE and query letters will be out of the door.

See April.

Oct FINSH line | I will run a 5K (the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure).

I learned that this is actually in August! Ah! I have to be able to run two months earlier than I thought! I kept up with (almost) daily yoga, ran none (ooops), and came up with a Plan A for raising money for the race.

Nov FINISH debt | Our debt will be decimated!

We didn’t meet our monthly money goal this month, because side work money went to Jake’s motorcycle fund. That’s his big goal for the year, and he’s almost there, so that’s a big deal!

Dec FINISHed | We’ll close the doors to our Etsy shop and I will enjoy the end of the year!

It’s looking like crickets over there! We’re possibly making some stuff for a local store this month, but we’re about done with the shop. We’re considering using it for fund raising / charity purposes this year and will probably keep it on reserve for specific projects we’d like to sell. But it’s definitely one the back burner, which is a GOOD thing.

Focus has shifted to the Document Life Workshop Store, and I’m working on self-paced workshops and digital products!


Also of note:

Do you have a One Little Word? How did your intentions vs. actions work out for March?

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