Salt Lake City, Utah | Photo credit: Me!

Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame. I’ve smashed my thrice-a-week blog post resolution to bits, but wait! Hold off on the waste-throwing, because I made progress in a few other areas. It’s an uphill climb, my friends.

New Year Resolution Scores:

  1. To read the Bible for 10 minutes every day (3/5)
  2. To publish a blog post of at least 300 words, 3 times a week (0/5)
  3. To spend at least 10 minutes writing fiction every day (1/5)
  4. To take 1 great photo a week (2/5)
  5. To update Project Life once a week (5/5)

Out of the 8 weeks since my last post, I’ve read the Bible daily for at least 6 of them. I’m finally past the 100-day mark of my 365-day plan! I’m awarding myself a 3 out of 5.

I went off the ARFI grid completely, so that’s a big, fat zero for me. I didn’t write 10 minutes of fiction everyday, but I did write the second chapter of my thesis project (a 60,000-page novel), as well as two short stories for class. That’s got to count for something, doesn’t it? Even if they’re for school. Jenna gets a 2 out of 5.

I spent a week in Salt Lake City (ski trip) and a week in Washington D.C. (writers’ conference), and I took a couple of great shots during those trips. Back in Philly, though, I reverted to hermit mode, living off the stockpile of meat in my freezer. So the only shots I took were of my husband and my beautiful Le Creuset. I’m awarding myself a two.

A Project Life spread from December 2016

Ah, resolution no. 5. My only perfect score. For the first time in my 2-year love affair with Project Life, I’m up to date. In case you haven’t heard of it, Project Life is scrapbooking made easy. It’s a photo journal that helps you, in Project Life’s own words, “Cultivate a Good Life and Record It.” I’m a huge fan.

For more information on Project Life, watch the video below. You can get them in Malaysia from this website. I use an Epson Picturemate 310 to print my photos at home. They turn out better than if you print them at a shop, and fit perfectly in Project Life’s photo slots.

In Other News

I caught a bad flu after being exposed to a freezing day in Washington D.C., which resulted in my missing most of the conference I had travelled there for, and a topsy-turvy sleep schedule (because I was in bed all day). For almost two weeks after my return to Philly, I was running on Malaysian time—falling asleep at 9am, and getting up at 5pm. While this facilitated my catching-up with friends back home, I started to miss the sun. On Sunday, I took advantage of a short story deadline to stay up for 24 hours, crashed, and was finally able to get up when the sun did. Now I get up at 5 am and crash at 6pm. Better, but not ideal. Hopefully, by the next time I post, I’ll have gotten back to my 3am-11am sleep pattern.

What else? As I mentioned two months ago (shame, shame), I recently took up photography, and I’m loving it! I bought Bryan Peterson’s “Understanding Exposure”, which really helped me understand the basic ISO/aperture/shutter speed trio of previously daunting photography terms, then registered for a free online digital photography course on alison.com (the course has since been taken down). Once I understood the basics, my DSLR (a Nikon D7100) became my new best friend. I’ve always envied friends who are able to draw/paint/design (I suck at drawing. Like, really suck), and photography has opened the door for me to be an artist, too.

Writing is a form of art, but it’s much less spontaneous and much harder to do well. Plus it’s harder to get your friends to read your stories than to look at your photos.  On the other hand, writing is free. The cost of new glass (that’s fancy photography-speak for lenses) is insane. INSANE.

You’re all caught up now. Two months covered in one blog post. Boy, I need to start living it up if I’m to blog three times a week.

Thanks for checking in, guys.


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