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Thank you for the feedback, Sambie.

 

The photos you are posting about the places were you are living are awesome.

 

I am from a coastal city in Spain. My relationship with the place I live is weird. I love my city, but I hate the climate (too hot in summer, very wet, so you are sweating at any time, etc.). Anyway, some images (random search, thanks Google):

 

9695653.jpg

 

Calas-de-Cabo-de-las-Huertas-en-Alicante

 

I put an image of my two favorite places here. Also, we are known (at least in the rest of Spain) for some typical Holidays, specially Hogueras. I don't like them, but...

 

14274681.jpg

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Since everyone's showing off their beautiful countries, I might as well.

 

Some of you might haven't even heard about my tiny home country by the Baltic sea. It's small but has so much (except mountains. We need some mountains.) Lithuanians are a proud nation. Sometimes we live up to those 'former Soviet Union country' stereotypes but I hope not too often. Yes, we have electricity and water at home. Yes, we have universities and schools. No, not all of us speak Russian. (I had to answer all those questions at some point in my life).

I didn't really know how much I love Lithuania until I moved away. That's probably true for most of the people, though.

 

neregeta.lietuva,01.jpg

 

8118158.jpg

 

jbvbQTy.jpg

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daggart - thank you so much for sharing that clip of you playing, I really enjoyed it.

 

Laurel - I have your writing sample open so I can read it later when I have more time to pay it proper attention. Thank you for sharing it!

 

Sambie - I loved Maine when I visited it a few years ago, and I share your hobby farm dream.

 

daggart  and laurabzz - WOW.  You both live in beautiful places

 

I need to get my main computer up and running so I can share some pictures.

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Just checked in, and got to say I love the ballsy lion mascot. Cute and tough all in one!

 

 

I love the lion now, it looks great! :)

 

 

 

I love the mascot, too. Very nice!

 

 

I think it's OK breaking the rules if you think it would be better for the story. I have to read the chapter a couple of times to understand properly (English, English, English), but at the first reading it seems interesting. I tell you something more later when I will read it again.

 

 

Laurel - I have your writing sample open so I can read it later when I have more time to pay it proper attention. Thank you for sharing it!
 

 

Thanks for the feedback on the shield/logo/motto! I like how it turned out, too, and it's much better for everyone's input. I'm going to print one out to have by my computer as I start my morning to remind me what to focus on for the day.

 

Our tooo cuuute mascot reminds me that even when I'm taking baby steps, I'm making progress toward my goals. And kittens make me laugh, especially this one! Thanks again, laurabzz!

 

i-am-a-tiger-mom-hear-me-roar-L-kxkAwJ.j

 

Daggart and Vibrant - Thanks for reading! Enjoy the writing and be completely honest in your assessments if you do choose to give any critique. Please. You will not hurt my feelings! I am too isolated in my writing and need specific feedback from people who have no prior exposure to the world or characters I am creating. My biggest difficulty at this point is determining if I am giving too much, too little, or just enough background for a reader to follow the story. And I understand everyone is busy and may not be a fan of epic fantasy, so if it's not your thing, no worries. If you do like it, you can have more!

 

I'm "breaking rules" based on early feedback from my writing group (whose members are now too familiar with the premise and worldview to be objective!), so I hope it does make the story better. Previous readers were getting lost in the cultural detail and I thought by starting earlier in the story, I could build readers' understanding along with my protagonist's. Of course, almost all of the conventional wisdom floating around says that this will alienate readers, bore them, cause them to stop reading. I figure the only way to find that out for sure is to test it.

 

[RANT WARNING] Those same founts of wisdom that don't like a child's viewpoint also advise against female protagonists, say women warriors are cliches, and advise lots of other things that would make my story somebody else's story. If I still cared about conventional wisdom, male chauvinism, and trying to sell my book to a mainstream publisher, then maybe I would listen to that advice. But I don't, and I won't. :highly_amused: That's one great thing you all have to look forward to as you get older - you care less and less about what other people think. That makes creating your own work--your own deep-down real voice of your own soul creative work--a whole lot easier! :encouragement:[END OF RANT]

 

Wow, that felt good to get that out of my craw! I've obviously been listening to the wrong "experts." Keep in mind that I started this journey a few decades ago, so a lot of my writing books are pre-Harry Potter. Thankfully, the world has changed a lot since I first started scribbling in my notebooks! As I sit here, though, lots of older books come to mind that break the rules, too. I'm in good company!

 

It's been a great first week and I am so impressed with how everyone is doing, especialy with how supportive everyone is being in the group. I've stil got a few loose ends to tie up in the last couple of hours of Week 1 - catch up my logs, post in my thread and finish my weekly recipe. I'll see you all back here tomorrow - I can't wait to see how Week 2 goes! Yay, Renaissance Rebels!

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hey - checking in after sickleave - looks like everyone's been busy here! I am personally from Sonoma County in Northern California, so it looks like this: 

 

SCV-2083.jpg

 

 

it is pretty awesome. some of my most florid writing has been about my homeland, and i especially tend to write long and rambling letters about the live oak forests and the blonde hills of dry oat straw and the great cliffs of jasper and serpentine that jut out among the redwood groves.  You know.  Not to brag or anything :P

 

I know I have been off the radar, but i am here, and writing, and so so happy to be here with everybody!

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Hmm. I write from my mobile, so later I will read some posts that I can't read now. I think my challenge has a problem, and needs some changes.

I have been at the hospital this morning and they told me that I can't do any exercise during the next week. That makes impossible achieving my two fitness gals. I know it is a major cause and it's not the end of the world, but I don't know if I should change those goals and changing them again when I feel recovered, or pause them this week, no changes.

Good new: I am not angry, but in some way this make me sad. I have started pretty well and now I have to wait and start again later.

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I have been at the hospital this morning and they told me that I can't do any exercise during the next week. That makes impossible achieving my two fitness gals. I know it is a major cause and it's not the end of the world, but I don't know if I should change those goals and changing them again when I feel recovered, or pause them this week, no changes.

Good new: I am not angry, but in some way this make me sad. I have started pretty well and now I have to wait and start again later.

 

Oh no!  I am sorry to hear you've been to the hospital.  I hope you are okay and it's not something major.  It is always a bummer to have a setback like that mid-challenge.  I think how you respond to the setback is entirely up to you: if you want to modify your challenge to accommodate your injury/illness and keep on working at it, go for it.  If you want to leave your challenge as it is and just put it on "pause" until you are recovered, that is also fine.  Whatever you feel most comfortable with.  The most important thing is that you don't stress out about it, take good care of yourself, and heal up soon.  :)  And keep us posted on how you're doing!  :)

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I think I'm going to focus on diet during this week, and next Sunday I will decide with which goals I want to continue (fitness or diet). It will depends on my injury. Sambie, I think I am going to be fine, but I have to be in "observation" a week (there are some risks... the visit at the hospital was due to a hit on my head). So, I am going to redefine them and I'll share tonight.

 

Lt_Laurel, the first chapter seems interesting. It's true that maybe at fist there is lack of context, but I like stories starting in media res. I like epic fantasy, don't worry. In fact, it's probable that I read Game of Thrones this week (I can't do anything else than reading!! :( ).

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Hmm. I write from my mobile, so later I will read some posts that I can't read now. I think my challenge has a problem, and needs some changes.

I have been at the hospital this morning and they told me that I can't do any exercise during the next week. That makes impossible achieving my two fitness gals. I know it is a major cause and it's not the end of the world, but I don't know if I should change those goals and changing them again when I feel recovered, or pause them this week, no changes.

Good new: I am not angry, but in some way this make me sad. I have started pretty well and now I have to wait and start again later.

 

Oh, Daggart, so sorry! I'm assuming that this related to the fall where you hit your head? I hope you feel better soon!

 

I would say completely pause your two exercise goals and when the doctor says you can exercise again, restart them with any needed changes for your recovery. You had a great start and you can come back when you're healed. When a doctor says, "No exercise," I figure it's a free pass on those goals until they say you can start exercising again and that it won't affect your completion of the challenge.

 

If it is a head injury/concussion, it may affect your ability to concentrate and to study, too. If you need to modify, do so. Again, when you have an injury, do what it takes to heal and then ease your way back into the challenge and keep going. We'll be here to cheer you on and encourage you!

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I think I'm going to focus on diet during this week, and next Sunday I will decide with which goals I want to continue (fitness or diet). It will depends on my injury. Sambie, I think I am going to be fine, but I have to be in "observation" a week (there are some risks... the visit at the hospital was due to a hit on my head). So, I am going to redefine them and I'll share tonight.

 

Lt_Laurel, the first chapter seems interesting. It's true that maybe at fist there is lack of context, but I like stories starting in media res. I like epic fantasy, don't worry. In fact, it's probable that I read Game of Thrones this week (I can't do anything else than reading!! :( ).

 

This one came in while I was writing the previous post, so now I know more what's happened. It sounds like you are doing the right thing and best wishes in a speedy and complete recovery! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with tonight.

 

Sorry you can't do anything except read, but Game of Thrones ought to keep you occupied! It's a great epic.

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hey - checking in after sickleave - looks like everyone's been busy here! I am personally from Sonoma County in Northern California, so it looks like this: 

 

it is pretty awesome. some of my most florid writing has been about my homeland, and i especially tend to write long and rambling letters about the live oak forests and the blonde hills of dry oat straw and the great cliffs of jasper and serpentine that jut out among the redwood groves.  You know.  Not to brag or anything :tongue:

 

I know I have been off the radar, but i am here, and writing, and so so happy to be here with everybody!

 

 

Glad you are back and feeling better! Cheers for the writing! :triumphant:

 

Northern California is beautiful and you've got every right to brag! I'm a native Caiifornan (grew up near San Diego), but left because there were just too many people crowding into the area. If I was to go anywhere other than back to northern Arizona when I make my escape from Phoenix, it would be to somewhere either around Monterrey or north of San Fran.

 

I'm curious why you left such a beautiful place. What is your attraction to New York? Don't get me wrong - I completely understand that sometimes a girl's just got to get out and see the world! And maybe San Francisco is too close or too familiar. I just know how the noise and poluution and chaotic pace of a big city can wear on a country girl...

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I still do not have spread sheets done, but it seems everyone has bypassed the need for that and is doing great with following each other's threads and posting regularly. Cool! So, I am hereby going ahead and issuing a short-term challenge for Week 2:
 
WEEK TWO SQUAD CHALLENGE!

 

While keeping all of the balls in the air, pick one to be your particular focus this week.
 
Will it be FOCUS itself, CREATIVITY or LOYALTY?  Then...
 
TAKE ACTION - Commit to one (and only one!) small daily action that you can do between this Tuesday and Sunday to support your choice. Post your action below for accountability and support from the group.
 
And don't forget to HAVE FUN! (Hmmm. Maybe this should be a fourth ball...drat, too many. Hey, it does look like the lion is smiling while he's juggling, doesn't it?)

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My Week 2 Squad Challenge Action:

 

My Ball is FOCUS.

 

Sometimes I waste a lot of time dithering about my priorities or I just do whatever pops into my head to do in the moment. The day goes by and then bedtime rolls around and I've still got a ton of stuff left to do. Guess what gets sacrificed? Sleep. So I'm tired the next day and the work I did late at night is not as good as it could have been. The cycle needs to stop. My first step in that direction:

 

FIVE MINUTE FOCUS - I will take 1 minute each morning to choose my three top priority actions for the day and place them on my kanban board. I will use the remaining 4 minutes to visualize the successful completion of those actions and their parent missions.

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Woo moar challenges!

 

I'll focus on focus.

 

Every day I start doing so many things that none of them get actually done. So each day I'll focus on a different task that I've been putting off for a while now.

They are: clean the flat, email study coordinator, buy new clothes, sort out my bills, plan a trip to London and one more that I can't remember now. If I manage to do all of those by the end of the week, I'll be the happiest person in the world.

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For me it will be Loyalty.  I have a distressing tendency to flit about a host of different projects, never actually completing anything, and losing scores of ideas and potential awesome things in the process.  I also tend to fade out of contact with my friends, who are all creatively involved renaissance nerds in their own rights, and help to keep me inspired and on track.  So, what I'm going to do this week is to work on my novel, specifically, in place of or in addition to my daily 30 min of general writing, and on the seventh day, send the draft to a friend to read.  EEK!

 

Also- feel better Daggart!  I respect you so much for keeping with the challenge in any way you can, where so many other people would have given up by now.

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Yeah, never never give up. Thank you everybody for your kind words.

 

My challenge for this week is going to be LOYALTY. I also have a tendency to starting a lot of projects, books, serials, and so on, and never finish any of them. As I only can read and be a couple of hours on the PC I am going to try to be loyal to a one book at a time.

 

I am starting with Bestiario (by Julio Cortázar).

 

The only exception I could (and I will) do is a selection of articles of Buddhism that I have on my Kindle. I usually read two or three per day, but my challenge will be not reading anyone but one before lunch time and one or two before bedtime.

 

It could be funny take account of how many books could I read in one week of reading.

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Checking back in the week 2 squad challenge - so far, so good. Taking the five minutes to FOCUS and deflne my three top tasks for the day really did help. First thing this morning, I got two things I had been procrastinating on for weeks crossed off my to do list and I got in my endurance workout in earlier in the day which should help with sleep. I had been tending to let it go until late at night and then was too revved up to fall asleep easily. The procrastination items weren't especially hard and didn't take long to do, they just kept getting crowded out by more urgent or more interesting things. So it was really good to clear those out.

 

The more I use my Kanban board, the more I like it. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a method used in specific fast-iteration software development methods to keep teams focused and on-track to meet deadlines. It bypasses the elaborate gantt charts and other managerial frills for a simple board with columns on which you limit the number of tasks (usually to three) and only move new items on when a space opens up. It may be simple, but it isn't easy. At least not yet. I want to load everything on for the day, but that is forbidden by the system. Arrrgh. It is teaching me much better thought habits!

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For those who are with focus: http://pomodorotechnique.com/

 

It could help you. I find it very useful when I try to finish some activity, and it's useful to knowing your won productivity, too. I'll search information about Kanban board - I'm addicted to productivity tools, like GTD, ZTD, etc., though I created my own system which works for me (inspired in those), too.

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Wow, you read fast! 

 

Checking in to confirm that I HAVE BEEN WRITING!  Somehow putting the thirty minute time limit on it and thinking, well I gotta keep writing, I find that problems and gaps I was facing in the novel are beginning to resolve themselves.  I hope it continues this way!

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Are you going to share any chapter as Laurel did? When I read your enthusiasm, I feel impatient for reading something.

And, yes, I read fast, but such velocity has surprised me, too. I've started today The sorrows of young Werther (by Goethe). Probably I finish it tonight, but I didn't do almost anything else than reading, so maybe it isn't so surprising.

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I think I have to choose focus. I've got so  many unfinished projects projects around, and getting those done will be great.

 

And I know the kanban system. I've got a simple version of it up at work, but there is nobody that really understands it so it get neglected.

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For those who are with focus: http://pomodorotechnique.com/

 

It could help you. I find it very useful when I try to finish some activity, and it's useful to knowing your won productivity, too. I'll search information about Kanban board - I'm addicted to productivity tools, like GTD, ZTD, etc., though I created my own system which works for me (inspired in those), too.

 

I'm addicted to productivity tools, too! Pomodoro method is great - it's how I get any housework done at all, ha!

 

There's a good book on using the Kanban system for personal productivity, Personal Kanban, and the authors have a very useful site, as well.

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