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Month: February 2016

How I Organize my Blog using Scrivener

You might remember me mentioning Scrivener a few posts back, when I was discussing my top writing tools. I use it for my novel writing, but I also use it to organize this blog and today I thought I’d tell (and show) you more. Screenshots and explanations are going to be bursting off this page, but please ask me questions. I’m definitely not an authority, but I’ve been using this method of organizing for about 6 months.
If you are completely new to Scrivener – start here. If you’re using Scrivener for your other writing projects but haven’t thought about using it as a blogging tool, then keep reading.
First, I set up a new project called Then I created files for Goals, To-Do, Ideas, Drafts, Scheduled, and Posted. There’s also the normal Research folder and the Trash (standard Scrivener items). 


Right now, I have just a few listed, but they are items I want to think about and work on through the next few months. Especially posting at least 3 times a month and researching possible ad revenue. 

To-Do Items

Simple reminders of things I can actually do to work towards my goals. These are NOT blog post ideas, these are items to research, or revisions I need to start working on (so if I have a draft, and it’s just sitting there, then I might drop a to-do item to kick my butt back in gear), or books I want to check out. Once I’m done with an item – it goes in the trash. It looks like you could check things off, but you can’t – the only downside, but I have a Filofax/planner that I can write down and check off items if I feel the need.


The meat and potatoes of this system. I drop a new card on the “cork board” every time I think up something I might want to write on. All of my flash fiction ideas live here too, although I’m rethinking some of these so they might disappear into their own folder for awhile until I decide if I want to keep including short stories on my blog. But seriously, if I think of an idea, any short little idea, I drop it here. As I grow and research and update the ideas, they get closer to the top of the list. I physically move them there for visual reasons. I use the “index card” portion to write notes to myself, or an actual synopsis if one of my short stories, or any links that I know I want to include. Basically, it’s the place my main blogging ideas live.


Pretty self-explanatory. Once I have a full first draft, I move my card out of Ideas and into Drafts. Then I can read them out-loud, take notes about pictures and/or graphics that I need, etc. As you can see, my current post (the one you’re reading) is in Drafts right now in all of the screenshots because I took them as I was working on this post (makes sense, right?)…and actually it might have moved in some of the screenshots because it definitely started in Ideas and then moved to Drafts. Once I get this sucker either scheduled or posted, then it gets moved again.


So, if I have a post ready, but I’m not ready to post – it gets dropped here. I don’t use this very often as I usually write, revise, and publish right away. But it has happened, so I gave it a spot in the chain. Usually this happens if I want to post something while I’m away and since blogger does have a scheduling option…well, it’s here just in case. 


Once I publish on blogger, it gets dropped here so I know what’s what. If I need to go back for any reason, all of the posts I’ve written since starting this project are there, right there. I haven’t done much with these, they are just here for posterity or if something happened to blogger than at least I have a backup. 


If I have any research links that I’m including (not just YouTube or specific company links) then I usually store them here, so everything is in one place, and I know I can find the link if needed. A lot of my research lives in Evernote, so this hasn’t been utilized often….but I did throw in some Scrivener research for this post. Honesty! It feels good. 


Uhh….it’s where old ideas go to die, old research, old links, old….well, you get it, it’s the trash.
And two last things I want to mention, Labels and Status. 


My labels here correspond to the labels within blogger (writing, music, etc) so that’s pretty self-explanatory, but it helps color code things here so that’s nice. 


The statuses help me know where things are at: Ideas, Drafts, etc. These show up on the “index cards” making a nice visual reminder for me. So, if I’m looking at my Ideas cork board and notice a card that says Draft across it, I know that I have at least a first draft written but haven’t felt ready to move it yet…usually because I’m waiting for something, time to find pictures or links, time to find a YouTube clip, etc. I can tell at a glance what type of post it is and where it is within my system. I love these! If you’re visual like me, they are amazing! 
So, I think that’s it for now. Like I said, if you’re already using Scrivener for your novel, playwriting, or poetry, then give it a shot for your blogging needs. It’s super helpful to keep you organized but let’s you work the way you want and need to. I have felt more productive since starting this “project” within Scrivener – I feel like I generate ideas quicker, have better ideas, and can make sure I stay on top of my blogging goals.
What do you guys use for blogging? Do you plop right into Blogger or WordPress and write on the fly? Use Word or Pages before hand and then copy and paste? Real paper? Let me know below!


I Could Have Been Jennifer Lawrence

I want this blog to a friendship of sorts between you, my sweet readers, and me, the crazy writer. One of the first questions I tend to ask a new friend is: Who was your first celebrity crush?  It’s an amazing conversation starter. So…I’ll tell you mine, but only if you promise to tell me yours in the comments, deal? Deal!
I was a child of the 80’s and a teenager of the 90s – the decades of bad hair and odd fashion choices – and my first celebrity crush was on Joey Lawrence. Whoa! 
It all started with Gimme a Break when he was only 8 years old and it grew stronger during Blossom when he released an album. Oh, yes, he was multitalented. Actor, Singer, Dancer…he had the whole package. (Wink wink). I had pictures of him on my bulletin board and all over my school binders. To be fair and honest, he shared those places with Scott Bakula, Jeremy Miller (from Growing Pains), and a very young Jason Bateman…but Joey was the first and longest crush. 
In fact, I was still watching him on my TV when Melisa and Joey was on ABC Family, but that got canceled not too long ago. I also still listen to his CDs and sing along loudly every time (I dare you to watch that clip above…it’s his biggest hit!). I remember dancing around my bedroom or dorm room (yup, still loved him when I went away to college) using a hair brush as a microphone. I’ve been there through long hair, no hair, fake (?) hair – who cares!   Have you seen how tight his jeans are?
Especially on Brotherly Love….and no, you don’t remember the show because it lasted all of two seasons I think and was preempted every week for football…or at least it seemed like it at the time. Anyways, this show was on for a hot second and had all three Lawrence brothers – Joey, Matthew, and little Andy (sooooo stinking cute!)  No one remembers this show except me and my Mom, who dutifully watched it with me every week. Thanks lady!
Oh…and I even met them. Well, Joey twice and the other two brothers once. These are embarrassing stories I’m about to share…so pull the chair up closer and get ready. I stood in line at the ripe age of 16 with my sister, actually – she dropped me off and went across the street to a computer store – to get Joey’s autograph when he was doing a Kmart tour across the country for his debut album. HOT!   And then later, when Brotherly Love was first on, the brothers did a tour and came through St. Louis so I once again stood in line to get their autographs. And here’s the most embarrassing thing, when Joey asked me my name for the headshot autograph, I couldn’t remember it. Totally forgot my name. Idiot!

Okay, so I’ve completely embarrassed myself and bared my soul so now it’s your turn…first celebrity crush and have you met them in person?  Any funny stories?  Dish and let’s revel in our childish fantasies shall we?  In a few weeks, I’ll tell you about my current celebrity crush…because the embarrassment never stops.
PS – I totally loved looking at all the YouTube clips linked and shared here, and I found one of Joey’s albums in Amazon Prime (which I usually listen to while working)…score!
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I’m Fat, I love Yoga…and You Can Too!

So, you just read that title and rolled your eyes, didn’t you? That’s okay, a few years ago, I would have done the same thing, but now – I practice yoga four or five times a week, and yes I’m still fat.


I have always hated exercise, and gym class for that matter. Besides a brief foray into square dancing in fifth grade, gym class was the bane of my existence. It didn’t get much easier as I grew up either. I have always been heavy, as they say, and pretty much hated my body.

About two years ago I started reading about the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement. One of the basic tenets of HAES is finding movement that you like. Exercise that’s fun. So, I looked into some things and yoga really spoke to my soul, but I was scared.  Would I get hurt? Would I make a fool out of myself? Could I really do this? The answer was no, probably, and yes.


The first thing to do when deciding to try yoga, or any new exercise regime, is to talk to your doctor (okay, so we got that out of the way, right?) Now come the real decisions. Should I do this at home or in a studio? Personally, when starting out, I was too body conscious to try outside my own living room, but look in your area and see what’s available. I looked up a few videos online, grabbed a DVD at Barnes and Nobles and set off. The frustrating part was, none of these videos had me in mind. The fat girl, the girl with a stomach and boobs, and well…fat places. These instructions were for thin and beautiful people who had no clue what I was going through.

So I searched and googled some more and found Curvy Yoga and Anna. Anna is plus sized and a yoga instructor. She has a library of videos that you can join (monthly/yearly memberships are available – Curvy Monthly) with a wide variety of choices. She walks you through modifications for your body in the moment which made a world of difference for me and any fears about pain or humiliation I still had. Her voice is not only soothing, but I get to practice with someone who just gets it. It feels like we’re friends, although we’ve never met in person. I highly recommend curvy yoga, curvy monthly, and their Facebook group. 


You could, but plus sized yoga clothes are super comfy and easier to find nowadays. I buy my stuff online at Old Navy. Their rollover plus size yoga pants are the bomb! I wear them pretty much all day every day, on and off the mat, but I live a low-key lifestyle so results may vary. I also buy Old Navy’s tank tops and tee shirts. Here’s the thing, you don’t need fancy clothes to do this. Just a pair of loose fitting pants and a shirt that’s not going to hit you in the face when you do downward facing dog. That’s it.

Okay, if you’re a lady and have boobs, you’re going to need an exercise bra too. I recommend looking online at Champion or going to your favorite bra shop and asking them. I use a Champion sports bra with no underwire because that’s how I roll and I like to keep the ladies supported but comfy during practice. Otherwise, accessorize away. Cute headbands, yoga toe socks, matching pants and tops are all adorable but not needed. If you want them, great, get them and use them.


Great! So, you’re ready to try this and you’ve decided you want to go to a studio in your town or neighborhood. Call them up and ask them if they have mats and other props available for use during class. If they do, great – go and get your Om on. If not, then you’ve got some more shopping to do. Yay!

You’ll need a yoga mat at the barest minimum, but I would also suggest at least two yoga blocks and a blanket of some sort. The mat is well, duh where you will do your actual yoga-ing. I use an extra thick extra long mat because not only am I fat, but I am also tall. 

The blocks help bring the floor up, so if you can’t quite bend over and touch your toes, no problem – grab a block and bam! You can get your stretch on and be fully supported. The blanket is nice for relaxation to act as a pillow or to cover up if you’re cold. It is also nice to sit on during certain poses or to help cushion your knees during other poses (like cat into cow – which I love, but my knees don’t). 

If you’re playing along at home only, then get a few things to start, find a video and try it. Seriously, just try it. If you want to watch first and then do…that’s fine too. I did that a lot when first starting out. And, start with something simple…five minutes, 10 minutes and work your way up. Don’t start with an hour long intense yoga video if you haven’t so much as walked 10 blocks in years. 

Be smart, be careful, but do it. Try and enjoy. I can’t say that you’ll lose a ton of weight (I haven’t) but you will feel better about your self, your body, and your abilities. You will learn to love that your body can get into poses that a few months ago looked crazy. You will feel strong and more confident and this will carry over into your every day life, I promise. I’m fat and I love yoga…and you can too!