YouTube Workout Challenge- Day 1

Today I started my newest 30 Day Challenge. As a writer, I find myself sitting a lot more than I used to. I’ve tried to workout most days, but I usually stick with the same strength routing. I’ve always disliked cardio and avoid it when possible. However, even though I know there are muscles in this body, it’s hard to see them through the layers of, uhm, well, fat. We all know the best way to burn fat that’s already in the body is to do high intensity interval cardio, so that’s what I started off with.

I went to one of my favorite YouTube stations- Blogilates TV and did her Pop Cardio: Fat Melting Routine.

This routine is about 7 minutes long. You’re supposed to complete 4 sets of it. I made it through 2. As I said, cardio is not my favorite, so I know I have a long way to go. I don’t think I’ll do cardio everyday out of the next 30, but I do plan on adding it in more than I had planned, because clearly I need it. To be fair to myself, though, there were burpees involved.

Verdict: I’d do this routine again, especially as a challenge to see if I can make it through 4 rounds. Maybe Day 30?

30-Day Blog Challenge, Day 25

Someone who fascinates you and why

This is probably pretty lame and sappy, but my husband fascinates me. We’ve been together for 14.5 years, and married for 8 of those years. Even though we’re together everyday, we spend a lot of time apart. His work schedule is very different from mine. We also enjoy and pursue different things, so even some of our free time is spent apart. Maybe this built-in distance is what keeps us close, we truly enjoy the time we do spend together. I’ve known him for a long time, yet I feel like I learn new things about him everyday. He is loving and kind and sometimes a little emotional. I’m less outgoing, so being with someone who feels comfortable in new situations and meeting new people fascinates me.

30-Day Blog Challenge, Day 16

I’ve gotten pretty far behind, but that doesn’t mean I can’t catch up! Expect a barrage of posts over the next few days!

Your views on mainstream music.

I’m a fan of music, in general. In college I worked at a record store and there was definitely some judgement about the kinds of music people liked, but we also played what we knew would sell. I expanded my musical interests a lot during that time. I started out think I was pretty much a punk rock girl, but I left realizing how much I admired the talent and perseverance of all musicians. Now my musical tastes range from top 40 to jazz to Cuban to electronica. I like the feeling of being in the moment with the music I’m listening to.

30 Day Blog Challenge Day 13

Somewhere you’d like to move or visit

There are so many beautiful places on this Earth and I’ve traveled to so few. One place I’d love to visit is Sweden. I love Nordic crime novels, mostly for their setting details. There is something so peaceful, easy-going, and natural about Sweden. I’m not sure I’d like the food or the long, cold, dark of winter, but I’d still like to visit.

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 9

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Well, this one is easy. I’d be a writer. I’d make a living with my words, my ideas, my characters, my visions. I’m so fortunate to have found my way toward this path. I’m making small steps toward making this dream come completely true. For now, I still write for other people, but at least I’m writing. Someday, I’ll write my own fiction. Someday I’ll hold my own book in my two hands.

30-Day Blog Challenge, Day 7

Your favorite childhood toys.

I liked dolls a lot. Barbie dolls and Jem dolls were my favorite. I would reenact my favorite movies with my dolls. Ken or Jericho would be Indian Jones and Barbie or Jem would be his love interest. My favorite Barbie was actually her Hawaiian friend, Meiko. I thought she was so beautiful and exotic with her long black hair

I also have a cardboard kitchen with plastic food items. I liked to pretend I was cooking and making dinner.

But my favorite was my bike. It gave me such freedom and was the most fun thing to do in the summer besides swim.

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 6

You Zodiac sign and if you think it fits you

I’m a Leo. In fact, my birthday was one of the reasons I started the 30-Day Blog Challenge. I wanted to get back to writing here more often and this was a good way to do it. So happy birthday to me!

Here’s all about Leo’s from astrology.com: (I’ve bolded what seems fitting)

Leo is the fifth sign of the zodiac. These folks are impossible to miss, since they love being center stage. Making an impression is Job One for Leos, and when you consider their personal magnetism, you see the job is quite easy. Leos are an ambitious lot, and their strength of purpose allows them to accomplish a great deal. The fact that these folks are also creative makes their endeavors fun for them and everyone else. It’s quite common to see a Leo on stage or in Hollywood, since these folks never shy away from the limelight. They are also supremely talented and have a flair for the dramatic. Warmth and enthusiasm seems to seep from every Leo pore, making these folks a pleasure to be around. They do love pleasure!

It’s the Lion that symbolizes Leos, and the king (or queen) of the jungle is a most appropriate mascot, since they consider themselves the rulers of their universe (and the zodiac at that). Like Lions, Leos tend to be dignified and strong, and it’s this sense of their power that allows them to get things done. A Leo on your team is a good thing, since Lions are eager to see their projects through to completion. Putting these folks at the helm is a good thing, too, since the Leo-born are natural leaders. They may ruffle a few feathers along the way, however, since they can also be overbearing and somewhat autocratic. This may be in keeping with the Fixed Quality assigned to this sign — Lions are indeed opinionated and set in their ways. That said, they are well organized, idealistic and have a knack for inspiring others.

Leo is ruled by the Sun — the center of the universe and the fuel for our being. In much the same way, Leos consider themselves indispensable and the center of the universe, and those who would tell them otherwise had better look out! Lions are outgoing, self-assured and have a tremendous zest for life. So what if the world revolves around them? There are worse role models, for sure. The Lion’s enthusiasm is boundless, and along with that comes generosity of spirit and the determination to succeed. That focus may be construed as vanity and even bossiness at times, but Lions would say ‘No way!’ and continue along their regal path. Regardless of appearance, those born under this sign can be counted on for their loyalty and sense of honor. They are also decisive, intensely proud and wonderfully romantic.

The element associated with Leo is Fire. Everything about the Lion’s personality is hot, hot, hot. Those born under this sign are fearless and strong, which may be why Lions plunge in headfirst and let the chips fall where they may. Thankfully, Leos are dignified enough not to commit too many pratfalls. It’s the Lion’s unswerving courage that wins so many folks over. If you need someone to lead the charge, call a Leo — and the bigger the project, the better, since these folks love an expansive stage (and the audience that comes with it). While some would take to calling Lions status-conscious, these folks are truly warmhearted and want everyone to be happy. Hey, it’s their kingdom, and happy campers make for a perfect peace. Further, it’s the great gift of the Leo-born to be dynamic, forward-thinking and self-confident. These attributes certainly catch the attention of others, making Leos sought after by both friends and lovers. The Lion’s charms extend to all, even to the children they dearly love. Yes, the pleasure principle is paramount to the Lion, and along those lines, Leos are great at spending money. Lions can’t fathom an uncomfortable throne. Leos also enjoy trying their luck at the tables, so expect to find them living it up in Las Vegas.

Come play time, Leos are at their best. Those born under this sign enjoy fun and games both outdoors and in (and with a group), so expect to find them playing softball, hockey or a game of cards. Lions are also a natural at the gym, where they can show their stuff to a crowd. When the lights are low, the essential Lion comes to the fore, since this beast is 90 percent fun and 100 percent romantic. The Leo lover is devoted, creative and almost too hot to handle! Since Leo rules the heart and back, however, overzealous Lions may have to take a deep breath and slow down a bit. You can bet that the Lion’s home will be swaddled in royal purple and gold.

The great strengths of the Leo-born are their creativity, idealism and leadership. Lions don’t lack for ambition, either, so they’re likely to accomplish a lot — and have fun while they’re at it. Their warmth and loyalty ensures that others will enjoy the ride as well.

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 2- 2 Days Late

Where you’d like to be in 10 years?

This is a better question than the first day prompt. I think I was so frustrated by how inane Day 1 was that I almost gave up. But I’ll make it up now.

In 10 years I’d like to have a few books published and be making a comfortable living as a full-time writer. I hope to still be as happy with my relationship as I am today. My dogs will be seniors and we’ll spoil them rotten everyday. My nephew will be 10 1/2 years old, a healthy, smart, happy boy who loves his tia.

I hope to make more time for volunteering and bettering the community. I hope by then I know more of my neighbors.

I guess I don’t really want anything too big or too crazy. I just want to be healthy and happy, surrounded by people and dogs I love and doing things that matter.

30-Day Blog Challenge- Day 1

Rather than spending too much time apologizing for my absence over the last 4+ months, I’m just going to get right into this. I need a kick in the pants to get blogging again. So here goes:

Prompt: Your current relationship status. If single, discuss being single.

Right away this blog challenge irks me. Why should we single out single people? Why can’t married, divorced, dating, asexual people discuss, too?

My relationship status is not something that should concern others.

So there you go! Welcome back to blogging, Amanda.

30dayblogchallenge

Can’t Stand Still

When I get an idea, I have trouble not following through with it right away. I think that’s why I have so many first drafts and not so many completed manuscripts. I love to follow up on new things. When I get an inkling of something, I get a little obsessed with doing it or finding out more.

I wrote last time about pursuing other avenues of writing, just to see what’s out there. I have a few great friends who make their livings as freelance writers and they’ve been nice enough to share (or plan to share) some of the ways they do it. I’m not looking to write fulltime, yet. If (and when) I do it will be because of my fiction writing, I hope. But in the meantime, I’ve been exploring some options for getting a wider audience and doing different types of writing.

This morning I completed my first web content job. It was writing copy for a few sections of a website. The guidelines were intense and it took me awhile to wrap my head around what they really wanted from me. But once I got into it, it was actually pretty fun. I think I’ll keep my day job and even put my fiction writing first, but it’s nice to know there are writing opportunities out there that pay, if you’re looking.

Some other great advice I got was to volunteer to blog for nonprofits. In those cases you can usually use your own name, which means I can add the clips to my portfolio. So I reached out through http://www.volunteermatch.org and made a connection. The editor liked my ideas for the blog, so I’m sending her some rough outlines this weekend. I hope my next post here will direct you to read another post of mine at a beautiful and important website!

My brain feels like it’s dancing with all the writing possibility and opportunities out there. Are you pursuing freelance work? Do you write full-time? How did you get into it?