Getting Personal #169: May Goals Recap

Welcome back! I don’t know about you, but May seemed like a really long month! It’s been a mix of heat waves and cooler weather here, so we’re in for a long, hot summer.

Here’s the link to my May Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Continue work on the garage. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Make at least two thrift store donation runs. — Accomplished!
  3. Meal-prep for the entire month. — Accomplished!
  4. Participate in Didi’s WIP Writing Challenge for May. — Did not accomplish.
  5. Attend P.E.O. Virginia State Convention! — Accomplished!
  6. Celebrate May The Fourth Be With You. — Accomplished!
  7. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Continue work on my 2014 WIP. — Did not accomplish.
  9. See Long Shot. — Did not accomplish.
  10. See Pokemon Detective Pikachu. — Did not accomplish.
  11. See The Hustle. — Did not accomplish.
  12. Spend time with good friends. — Did not accomplish.
  13. See Avengers: Endgame again. — Did not accomplish.
  14. Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend with family. — Accomplished!

I didn’t work on the garage, but I made a lot of progress with my office. I organized all of my doll things, and got a lot of trash and recycling out. I made two runs to Goodwill, and have plans for at least one more.

We watched Solo: A Star Wars Story with Nick, Savy, and Mia at their place on May 4th. So much fun!

We had a good trip to the farm to see Al’s parents. Nick, Savy, and Xeno joined us on Saturday night. We watched The Majestic and North By Northwest. So much food! When we got home Monday night, my parents invited us over for skeen burgers and fun with Debbie D.

Look for more book reviews in June!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Book Review #72: “Columbine” *Re-Read*

I try my hardest to post Book Reviews within 24-48 hours after finishing the book. However, life has been pretty hectic recently. I finished Columbine in mid-April, just after the acknowledgment of it being 20 years since the tragedy. I’m just now posting my review.

I have a special connection with this book. The author, Dave Cullen, came to Longwood in the spring of 2010 as a guest lecturer. I was able to interview him for an article I wrote for the student newspaper, The Rotunda. He graciously signed my copy when I bought it at his lecture. It was strange, reading his message from March 17, 2010. That feels like a lifetime ago!

I’m glad I re-read this book. I remember how I felt after I read it the first time. Part of me wishes I’d re-read it before now, before nine years had passed. However, I still felt similar emotions as I did the first time.

I have to give major props to Cullen on his research and dedication to this book. This is one of the best accounts I’ve read of the events that occurred on April 20, 1999. And Cullen goes deeper than that. He covers the massacre, but also delves into the lives of the shooters, their families, and survivors.

It’s not perfect, but as someone who originally read memoir-style books such as The Journals of Rachel Scott: A Journey of Faith at Columbine High and She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernallย years ago, when the tragedy was still relatively fresh (I was almost 10 when it occurred), I appreciate the time and effort Cullen devoted to this book.

If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. Cullen makes it clear that he is a journalist first, and it’s evident throughout. His amount of sources is simply incredible. It’s very dense, and tough to read, but it’s an important work. I’m glad Cullen devoted many years to writing this book.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #168: Camp NaNoWriMo April 2019 Recap

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2019

Image Credit: Camp NaNoWriMo

I was thrilled to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo for the third time!


Because I’m finally finished with my first draft of my 2012 novel, I decided to focus on my 2013 WIP, tentatively titled “Specialton.” I knew I wanted to change the overall POV of the novel, so for this Camp session, I was trying to accomplish two goals at once.

Goal #1: Change the POV in the 28 pages already written.

Goal #2: Write 20,000 new words.


Here’s the synopsis I put together:

John, an aspiring architect, dreams of building a different kind of community in the 1950s. As he launches his business and starts making his dream a reality, a beautiful woman enters his life. Will Evelyn help John, or will other plans be made for them?


Original word count: 14,303 words

Day 1

Today: 211
Total: 211

Day 2

Today: 225 + 224 = 449
Total: 660

Day 3

Today: 838
Total: 1,498

Day 4

Today: 426 + 56 = 482
Total: 1,980

Day 5

Today: 447
Total: 2,427

Day 6

Today: 948
Total: 3,375

Day 7

Today: 595
Total: 3,970

Day 8

Today: 747
Total: 4,717

Day 9

Today: 173 + 669 = 842
Total: 5,559

Day 10

Today: 523
Total: 6,082

Day 11

Today: 344
Total: 6,426

Day 12

Today: 453
Total: 6,879

Day 13

Today: 841
Total: 7,720

Day 14

Today: 254
Total: 7,974

Day 15

Today: 0
Total: 7,974

Day 16

Today: 0
Total: 7,974

Day 17

Today: 515
Total: 8,489

Days 18-28

All zeroes
Total: 8,489

Day 29

Today: 841
Total: 9,330

Day 30

Today: 939
Total: 10,269


Final Thoughts

I was very pleased to add over 10,000 words to this WIP, after not touching it for several years. I’m excited to see where this one goes!

I’m looking forward to the next Camp NaNo session in July!!

Current word count: 24,572 words


Have you done NaNoWriMo in November before?

Have you done Camp NaNoWriMo before?

Let me know what you think!


Until thenext headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Personal #167: May Goals

BeautyBeyondBones 36

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Here are my goals for the month of May:

  1. Continue work on the garage.
  2. Make at least two thrift store donation runs.
  3. Meal-prep for the entire month.
  4. Participate in Didi’s WIP Writing Challenge for May.
  5. Attend P.E.O. Virginia State Convention!
  6. Celebrate May The Fourth Be With You.
  7. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants.
  8. Continue work on my 2014 WIP.
  9. See Long Shot.
  10. See Pokemon Detective Pikachu.
  11. See The Hustle.
  12. Spend time with good friends.
  13. See Avengers: Endgame again.
  14. Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend with family.

Do you have any goals for the month of May? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚