1 Down, 11 To Go

In case you have not guessed, I am talking about the months of this year. Yes, January is drawing to a close. Gone. Gonzo. Good-bye. So, how was it?

First of all, let me put 2020 @HomeCrazzyHome into perspective for you:

  • Alan retired on January 1st. I ask him every day if he feels retired and he still does not.
  • We are getting married. Not a big wedding, of course, as it is his second, and my third marriage. But it is bigger than my others, with a dress, bridesmaids, invites, a reception, and the works.
  • I am taking photography classes with our local lifelong learning center.
  • I have committed to making something for Show & Tell each month with little old lady quilting club. And oh, I just joined the national Quilters Guild, too.
  • Of course, there is still loads to be done on @HomeCrazzyHome. Heck, wait until you see what all we got done this month.
  • And oh yes, if all that was not enough, I set myself the impossibly high bar of #1Mwordsin2020. Yes, that translates in real English to one million words in 2020.

So, it was vital that I get off to a good start this new year. How did I do?

The good news:

Work on our @HomeCrazzyHome is coming along incredibly well. After getting rid of the guinea pigs, I set about cleaning, redecorating, and organizing my study. The biggest bit of that was tearing up the old manky carpet and refinishing the wood floor underneath. I am sitting in my office writing this. There are a few more pictures to hang in my goddess art collection, loads of ironing and organizing my fabric hoard, but overall it is looking pretty good.

If that is not enough, the sensory room off of the top floor bathroom is finished except for fluorescent stencils on the sloping ceiling. Of course, even though it is finished, it is not accessible right now since February’s biggest project is rebuilding that bathroom from scratch.

But not to worry, the next EcoDiva Designs room also got finished. Well, mostly. The carpet men came yesterday and installed the new flooring in what was first called the playroom, but since @PanKwake is a teen now we have decided the Tree Clubhouse is more appropriate. So, it is all kitted out, including a spectacular tree painted on the wall by my lovely artist friend Jude Soven, who did several of my favorite pieces of my own art collection. But now we need to put everything back. Heck, we have a whole load of Ikea furniture arriving on Monday. Hopefully, it will be completely finished in the next couple of weeks.

I am enjoying my photography course. Heck, for the first time, I took it off of auto. And I knew what I was doing and why (well, mostly). This is, of course, my latest creative endeavor. And as with the others, I need to learn the rules before I can break them. It is a bit of peopling but I really like my instructor.

IMG_3220And I did manage to make this Valentine’s table runner for little old lady quilting club. By the hair of my chinny-chin-chin (and trust me as a menopausal woman there are a couple). I literally completed this in two days, right before the meeting. Of course, this was the bring and buy month. You brought stuff you did not want and need to sell, and you bought what others were selling. Want to guess how that went?

As I said, I joined the national quilting group, too. But they don’t have regular monthly meetings. That is more online stuff.

But perhaps the best thing of all was Alan retired! Mind you, he has always worked from home so it was not like he was gone for a huge chunk of the day. But he would have conference calls for much of the day. So, our lives still revolved around those schedules. Yes, he would come down between calls or I would go up. But it is incredibly nice not having to worry if he is in a meeting every time I want/need to ask him something or talk to him or just get a cwtch. (Welsh word for hug or cuddle.)

The Bad and Ugly:

Of course, the hardest part of this month was getting rid of our girls, the four guinea pigs that had been with us for a couple of years. But we had no choice. Alan’s allergies were getting dangerous, considering he also has asthma. But it was still traumatic for us and them.

The wedding, oh the wedding. The biggest hiccup was calling to confirm the restaurant where we wanted to have our reception, only to discover they could only handle twenty, which is about half the number we are inviting. So, we panicked. I did some research. Then decided the only option was to have the reception here at out @HomeCrazzyHome. It is not that many more people or food than we have at Thanksgiving, but then again we don’t have a wedding then either. I did create a whole wedding plan, what needs to be done by when.

But I am already off-plan. The invites are supposed to be going out TODAY! Not happening. Monday – if I’m lucky. And I have loads more work to get done this coming month. Too much to think about right now or I’ll panic – AGAIN.

But for you, folks, I suppose the biggest disappointment is that I did not make that #1Mwordsin2020 goal. I first came up with the idea in November during NaNoWriMo. I wrote a little over 80,000 words that month. My daily average word count was 2,683. It was the first time in almost five years that I felt that I had my writing mojo back.

I then got to playing around with numbers. Just what would it take to write one million words in a year? The answer is 2,740 words per day. But since 2020 is a leap year, that means it will only take 2,732 and some change. That was doable…at least when I’m on my game.

What counts as words though? Almost everything I type.

I have four blogs going…at the moment. This one, of course. I post mostly writing updates, but also romance/relationship stuff occasionally. All in keeping with my Tara Neale – Fifty Shades Meets Jane Austen for fat, old, dif-abled people. I post here on Monday and Friday.

But I also have three others:

HomeCrazzyHome is finally back to its original content. This was my original blog over a decade ago, called FrugalFam back then. It was about sustainable living for your family. It has morphed over the years and also has content related to autism and even some home ed. But this year, I took it back to that first passion – the environment.

My latest additions this year are:

Transcendental Ramblings – You may not have heard of the American literary movement called Transcendentalism (though you may). But I bet you have heard of a couple of its most famous writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Basically, Transcendentalists believe in the goodness of nature and humanity, which they think becomes corrupted by society, politics, and religion.

I became a Transcendentalist after becoming disillusioned with the first Obama administration. I had worked to get him elected but felt he sold out to politics as usual once he got in the White House. As I read more of these writings, I was struck by how relevant they are to our world today.

The problem is they are sometimes difficult to understand due to the old language and style in which they are written. You sometimes need a bit of historical context and knowledge of the classics in which they were highly versed. In other words, the important message gets lost in their intellectual snobbery. This blog attempts to translate them into the twenty-first century. Though honestly, sometimes I fear that I too take on their intellectual elitism.

My newest is The Feminist Homemaker. Yes, those may seem oxymorons. How can you be both a feminist and a traditional homemaker? It has not always been an easy journey for me. And that is where I am beginning – with my personal journey of reconciling those two. In the long term, I want the blog to bridge those diverse topics with everything from homemaking tips such as organizing, my quilting, recipes, and the like to thoughtful pieces on what it means to be a feminist as well as book reviews of feminist literature past and present.

And then there are my two-hundred-seventy-five works on Literotica, many of which are unfinished. I posted the final chapter of my Ægir’s trilogy just before the bells rang in 2020, so that was a good start. It took me over seven years and a quarter of a million words to bring happiness to Kirsty, Sven, Mikael, and Bjorn. But I’m not done with them yet.

That still leaves several other popular stories hanging out there, such as:

Night Walker’s Womanthe next chapter of that one posted just this morning. As soon as I finish this blog I am off to write a bit more in it. This story as morphed into the foundational piece of a four or five book series that I am calling Trouble Texas-Style. It pulls together a few other unfinished stories and ties them together around corruption and mystery. I have been working on those other stories as well, including: One Night Stand and Tight Fittin’ Jeans. But Small Town Secrets also plays into the mix somewhere. That does not even take into account three other finished or mostly finished pieces I am working on, including the continuation of No Strings Attached.

To top all that off, I am still grappling with how best to distribute my edited works. While I don’t intend on leaving Literotica completely, it is no longer the platform it once was. I am getting fewer reads and most discouragingly fewer comments, which was always my real paycheck. But Amazon is practically a waste of my time. My books are hidden among eight or thirteen or who knows how many other millions of books. I have a Wattpad account but fear that the audience there is too young for my ‘fat, old, dif-abled’ seasoned romances. And I want/need too much control to go the traditional publishing route.

Of course, the good news is that Alan says my writing does not need to make money. We are firm believers in this @HomeCrazzyHome in free access to information via the internet. That is why Literotica has always been more of a passion for me than Amazon. I am toying though with the idea of releasing edited and complete books in PDF format here under Creative Commons license. Then paid versions of them on Amazon, Kobe, and iTunes. I know Amazon does not like that, but heck most of the price for me is the cover art…which I don’t have to f^ck with for Literotica or even the PDF.

But that is for later in the year. When the wedding is over and I can rebrand. You know if it was not for the fact that Neale is a derivative of ex-husband’s surname, doesn’t Tara Neale Cox sound completely…well, ME?

Oh, I still have not told you how I did exactly with my #1Mwordsin2020. Between blogs and fiction, I wrote a little over seventy-eight-thousand words in January. Yes, 78,000. Yes, I know that is more than most novels. Yes, I know that is way more than many writers write in a whole year.

BUT…that is a daily word average of 2,527. Nowhere near that 2,732 that I need to be on track for #1Mwordsin2020. In fact, that is 205 words per day below it. And have to make those words up somehow.

Though probably NOT in February. Did I mention I have invites to make and send? And bouquets for two bridesmaids and myself? Oh, and a practice dress. And a photographic wall quilt. Okay, it is barely eight a.m. and I am tired just thinking about it all. And I still need to go write a bit more in Night Walker’s Woman. Oh well, every word there will increase that daily average.

So, how was the first month of your 2020?

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