Getting Personal #296: March Goals Recap

Image Credit: Success Magazine

Welcome back!


Here were my goals for the month of March:

  1. Publish two Book Reviews.
  2. Spend some time away with Al’s parents.
  3. Make progress with my sci-fi time travel outline.
  4. Continue inventory of my American Girl collection.
  5. Help Al re-do the flower beds in the front of our house.
  6. Continue reading as often as possible.
  7. Do at least one act of kindness.
  8. Continue writing in my journal / notebook during my lunch breaks.

March was a great month!

I published two Book Reviews – Isabel’s Journal and Nicki’s Journal. I look forward to their big first story – It’s scheduled to be published later this year.

We enjoyed time away with Al’s parents for Al’s mom’s birthday. We had a great weekend with them.

I’m ready to start writing my sci-fi time travel book for Camp NaNoWriMo April 2023!

I’m slowly working on my American Girl inventory – Bits and pieces.

Our flower beds look so much better! We took out the old rock and replaced it with landscape fabric and 20 bags of shredded brown rubber mulch. What a major difference.

I was able to help a local woman get her dryer fixed. That felt so good. I want to keep doing acts of kindness.

I’m really enjoying unplugging from my phone during my lunch breaks and writing in my journal / notebook. I’m hoping to continue that trend.


What about you? Did you have any goals for this month?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #295: March Goals

Image Credit: East Willow Grove

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of March:

  1. Publish two Book Reviews.
  2. Spend some time away with Al’s parents.
  3. Make progress with my sci-fi time travel outline.
  4. Continue inventory of my American Girl collection.
  5. Help Al re-do the flower beds in the front of our house.
  6. Continue reading as often as possible.
  7. Do at least one act of kindness.
  8. Continue writing in my journal / notebook during my lunch breaks.

What about you? Do you have any goals for this month?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #294: February Goals Recap

Image Credit: Centre for Collaborative Health

Welcome back!


I had an amazing February!

I gave blood at our drive on February 4th!

I re-read the latest draft of my second novel, tentatively titled “Specialton,” to get back into the groove of editing it. I’m really excited about this one. This one has series potential, folks. I’m excited!

I was able to take some time off work to meet up with a few friends early in the month. I had coffee with my former director at Riverside – Two hours went by like it was nothing, like we hadn’t seen each other since 2019. I enjoyed seeing Newport News again, shopping at 2nd and Charles, plus I looked for some gifts for friends at other nearby stores.

I still had time before I met with my college friend Amy for dinner at Panera, so I decided to drive along the Colonial Parkway for a while. I listen to a great podcast called Mind Over Murder. One of the hosts, Bill, is the brother of Cathy Thomas. Cathy was/is one of the victims of the now-called Colonial Parkway Murders. With Bill and Kristin’s excellent storytelling and deep dives into the Colonial Parkway Murders, I knew one of the places that’s been discussed is Cheatham Annex. I followed my GPS and headed that way, thinking I was heading to the public access part.

Nope. That’s definitely not what happened. I ended up at the entrance to the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. I was incredibly embarrassed and handed over my ID to the military police (MP), explaining that all I needed to do was turn around and leave. The MP was very nice and sent me on my way, although I knew it had to have been annoying. Oops. I told Al about it when I got home from dinner with Amy. Al suggested that I message the podcast, and I did! Thanks, Bill and Kristin, for reading my tale and responding. I’m glad I wasn’t too suspicious, either.

The other big news is that I successfully uploaded and launched my first novel! Check out the Books page here on the blog for more information. I’m in the process of creating a website for my pen name as well, so stay tuned for that. More to come soon.

I’m thrilled with the feedback I’ve received so far. Thank you all for your support over the years of me talking about it and dreaming about it. It’s finally happened. Bucket list item checked.

I’ve also made a lot of progress with my office this month. I took several hours on a Saturday and went through all of my American Girl items. I had an empty box ready, and I started filling it for Trey’s Dolls. I love this charity, and the people behind it, so much.

The next step for my American Girl stuff is to do a complete inventory of what I have – Dolls, clothes, accessories. I started an Excel spreadsheet years ago, but I need to finish it and keep it updated.

I also caved and purchased quite a few items from the new collection – Nicki and Isabel Hoffman. They were released on February 22nd as part of the historical collection. The historical collection part hurt. Nick and Isabel’s story is set in December 1999. Yeah. I was 11 then. They are nine in their stories. Ouch!

I didn’t buy the two dolls, but I bought quite a few of the accessories and Nicki’s skateboarding outfit. I hope to get their meet outfits and their journals at some point. I may end up buying the dolls eventually and either selling them or donating them, but keeping the outfits and journals.

I’ll make a post here once my items arrive – I’m ridiculously stoked about the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! set and the computer that lights up and makes dial-up sounds.


What about you? Did you have any goals for this month?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #293: February Goals

Image Credit: Balancing Today

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of February:

  1. Launch my first book!
  2. Continue work on my current outline.
  3. Get back to editing my second book.
  4. Meet up with a few friends to catch up.
  5. Go see a movie with my mom.
  6. Finish reading at least two books
  7. Give blood.
  8. Celebrate Valentine’s Day!
  9. Continue decluttering.

I’m so excited to launch my first book! Thanks to everyone for their support so far. I really appreciate it! I’m making the final touches on the paperback and ebook. I plan to celebrate a little bit as well.

Our next blood drive is this Saturday. We are getting ready to celebrate 23 years of blood drives soon!

I’m excited to take a few days off of work soon. I’m spending some time with several friends, and I’m looking forward to taking my mom to a movie and enjoying time with her.

My goal for decluttering this month is to clean off the couch in my office, find homes for everything, and start reading there more frequently.


What about you? Do you have any goals for this month?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #292: January Goals Recap

Welcome back!


I had a very successful January!

I made major progress with my book. I learned about formatting and a lot of other stuff with Amazon KDP. It’s really easy once you spend some time in it. There are videos and guides for everything!

We enjoyed celebrating Al’s birthday. His parents came down the weekend before. We went to The Bier Garden, an excellent German restaurant in downtown Portsmouth. On his actual birthday later the following week, we did surf and turf, his favorite. Yum!

I worked a bit more on my office. I also went through all the paperwork and mail that we had in various places. There’s a large shred pile now. My next goal is to completely clean off the couch in my office and find homes for everything.


What about you? Did you have any goals for this month?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #291: January Goals

Image Credit: See Jane Write

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of January:

  1. Continue preparations for launching my first book!
  2. Celebrate Al’s birthday!
  3. Schedule more blog posts.
  4. Continue decluttering.

Yes, you read that right. I’m finally publishing my first book! As of this writing, I just created a new page here on Hot Shot Headlines for my books – Check out the Books page for more information. I’m looking forward to launching my book, What Happens at Camp … in about a month’s time. Keep an eye out on February 21, 2023! I appreciate everyone’s support here on the blog for many, many years. It’s finally happening!!

I’ve been so busy with the holidays and preparing to launch my book that I haven’t posted very much on here. I hope to get back to a regular posting schedule in the next few weeks.

When I haven’t been working or deep into learning everything about Kindle Direct Publishing, I’ve been decluttering my house. I went through all my clothes and closet. I donated three huge garbage bags full of clothes and shoes. We bought another Shark vacuum which is the exclusive upstairs vacuum.

I’m anticipating another closet clean-out when it gets warmer. The next step is my office, and then the garage.


What about you? Do you have any goals for this month?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #290: My Favorite Things of 2022

Image Credit: Quote Master

Books

I made it to 100 Book Reviews!

A Civil Action

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America

Evette: The River and Me (World By Us)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Makena: See Me, Hear Me, Know Me (World By Us)

Maritza: Lead With Your Heart (World By Us)

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft


Movies

All The President’s Men (HBO Max)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Seen in theaters, November 2022)

Blast from the Past (Hulu)

Elvis (HBO Max)

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Seen in theaters, December 2022)

Mack and Rita (Seen in theaters, August 2022)

Senior Year (Netflix)

The Adam Project (Netflix)

The Batman (Seen in theaters, March 2022)

The Curse of Bridge Hollow (Netflix)

The Lost City (Paramount Plus)

Top Gun: Maverick (Seen in theaters, June 2022)

Turning Red (Disney+)

Uncharted (Netflix)

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (The Roku Channel)

West Side Story (Seen in theaters, January 2022)


TV

Baking Impossible (Netflix)

Cold Case (Seasons 1-7, HBO Max)

For All Mankind (Season 3, Apple TV+)

Ghostwriter (YouTube)

Glow Up (Seasons 1-4, Netflix)

LEGO Masters (Season 3, Hulu)

Only Murders in the Building (Seasons 1 & 2, Hulu)

Stranger Things (Seasons 1-4, Netflix)

The Way Down (Season 1, HBO Max)


Podcasts

48 Hours

Cold Cases

Crimes of Passion – Ended 2022

Dateline NBC

Disappearances

Dr. Death

Embedded

Female Criminals – Ended 2022

Forensic Files II

Mind Over Murder

Missing in America (Dateline)

Serial Killers

Small Town Dicks

Solved Murders: True Crime Mysteries

StoryCorps

The Seduction (Dateline)

Up and Vanished

Very Scary People (HLN)


Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2022!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #289: August Goals Recap

Image Credit: Success Magazine

Welcome back!


Here were my goals for the month of August:

  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Celebrate my birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. Recap my Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022 efforts. — Accomplished!
  4. Write my annual Reflections On My Birthday blog post. — Accomplished!
  5. Publish one Book Review. — Did not accomplish yet.
  6. Read before bed at least 2-3 times per week. — Semi-Achieved.
  7. Continue my writing sprints and work on book #4. — Semi-Achieved.

I was able to donate at our last drive. My iron was off the charts, yay! I couldn’t quite fill the bag, but it happens.

My birthday was wonderful. Relaxing. I’m glad I took a couple of days off work to have a long weekend.

I was very successful with Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022! I enjoyed working on my third book. I felt like I was getting close to the end!

I celebrated on August 21st. After several more writing sprints, I called the first draft of my third book finished. It clocks in at 109,000 words. The most I’ve ever written!

I haven’t started working on book #4 yet, but hopefully soon!

I’ve started reading again at night. My mom gave me another book for my birthday, and I’ve been enjoying that one.


Come back tomorrow to see my goals for September!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #288: Reflections, On My Birthday

Image Credit: lilyandval.com

I love writing my annual birthday post. It’s a good way to look back on the last year!

This year, I find myself filled with love and gratitude. I’m grateful for wonderful family and friends. I’ve made some new friends along the way, several of the writing variety!

Work has been on the up and up after several months of struggle in late 2021 and early 2022. I’m very close to finishing one long-term project in the next month or so. I will celebrate three years at Sentara in September!

Phineas and Ferb are still grumpy old men, and we love them so. They are almost 13 now.

Al and I celebrated six years of marriage in November. We went at Amedeo’s in Suffolk for the first time, one of the first true date nights we’ve had since COVID began.

I’m still working on my books! I have a solid plan to publish the first one, finally, in November 2022, which marks 10 years after I started writing it. Several amazing people have read it and offered incredible feedback, and I’m grateful for every piece of advice and encouragement. I wrote more than 53,000 words during NaNoWriMo 2021, and more than 30,000 words last month for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m hoping close out the first draft of my third book very soon. Writing sprints are my jam!

LEGO is one of my favorite hobbies now. After completing the Sesame Street Ideas set last June, Al got me the Stranger Things Upside Down set for Christmas. He gave me my first LEGO Architecture sets – New York and London – today, plus six of The Muppets minifigures!

I still love true crime podcasts. Al and I love For All Mankind on Apple TV Plus. I’m re-watching Cold Case this year too!

We held our 130th blood drive yesterday. We collected 71 units! We have passed 8,000 collected units now in 22 years of drives.

I’m very excited to start traveling again. I’m lucky enough to have a Dad-daughter weekend in September to attend a family wedding, and then Al and I are taking a much-needed week-long vacation later in the fall!

I’m grateful for every single day.

Cheers to 34!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #287: Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022 Recap

Image Credit: NaNoWriMo

Welcome back!

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2022!

After skipping Camp in April, I decided to finally go for finishing the first draft of book #3. I wanted to write 30,000 new words, which would push me over the 100,000 word mark.

As of July 1, 2022, I had 74,858 words written.


Day 1 – 49, 837, and 362 new words, 50 minutes writing time.

Day 2 – 730 and 562 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 3 – 134, 733, and 468 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 4 – 583 and 513 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 5 – 928 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 6 – 925 and 252 new words, 25 minutes writing time.

Day 7 – 878 and 447 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 8 – 814 and 196 new words, 25 minutes writing time.

Day 9 – 751 and 409 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 10 – 820 and 447 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 11 – 912 and 437 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 12 – 908 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 13 – 1,021 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 14 – 767 and 485 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 15 – 945 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 16 – 441 and 936 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 17 – 1,027 new words, 25 minutes writing time.

Day 18 – 519, 117, and 404 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 19 – 797 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 20 – 929 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 21 – 811 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 22 – 846 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 23 – 651 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 24 – 813 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 25 – 698 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 26 – 605 and 79 new words, 20 minutes writing time.

Day 27 – 511 and 397 new words, 30 minutes writing time.

Day 28 – 671 new words, 15 minutes writing time.

Day 29 – 359 and 229 new words, 25 minutes writing time.

Day 30 – 538 and 1,185 new words, 45 minutes writing time.


Word count as of July 30th: 105, 735 words.

And the crazy part: I haven’t written The End yet!

I’m still going.

But I’m putting this aside for now. I want to come back to it in a month or two with fresh eyes. But it will be finished!

Thanks to everyone who has cheered me on this month! I’ve had lots of well-wishes here on WordPress and Facebook!


Have you participated in Camp NaNoWriMo before?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚