A Series of Intriguing Events

Anyone who knows me can tell you about two very important characteristics I have: I like lists and I’m all about finding fun new experiences. Put those things together and I often have a ton of different lists going on in the form of vision boards. Consider Exhibit A:

That’s my life list in the form of post-it notes on my living room wall (yes, my husband is amazing for letting me do that). There’s also Exhibit B:

This is something new I’m trying. It’s a blown-up version of an adult coloring page and each enclosed space is something I want to do this year. It has a ride range of items on it, from reading fun (not work-related) books, going to the beach, taking vacations, etc. Every time I do something on the board, it gets colored in. I have REALLY loved this board so far.

I tell you all this so you’ll understand (and maybe laugh) about my next idea. You hear about method actors? Well I love the thought of being a method writer; of experiencing the situations I’ll put my characters in so I can write about them more authentically.

So I’ve come up with an idea: A Series of Intriguing Events. This will be a dynamic list here, on my blog, of different adventures I want to have. The list will be created from experiences I already know my characters will have, plus unique/fun things that I or you (yes, I’m taking suggestions) come up with, which may serve as inspiration for future books.

The best part: I get to share each of these adventures with you! Each one will be a future post so you can get your giggles in by reading what I go through.

Without further ado, here are the ideas I have so far:

  1. Birthday at a drag dinner show. This one will be happening quickly – tomorrow, in fact. Twist: I’ll wear a wig to “be” someone else – I might think of a different twist for this one still.
  2. Make homemade dog treats. Twist: Bring my husband along to hand these out to shelter dogs (this is a twist because my husband has a history of going dog-crazy like woman sometimes go baby-crazy).
  3. Mini road trip. Twist: There can’t be any set plans for where I go/stop.
  4. Karaoke. This doesn’t need any more twist because it scares the crap out of me. 😝
  5. Visit a trampoline place to have some bouncy fun. Twist: Still thinking on this one too.
  6. Drive a race car. Twist: Still needed.
  7. Have a picnic and fly a kite. Twist: I have to make the lite myself.

These are the first events that come to mind based on books I’m currently writing. The “twist” piece is important because I figure adding a different element to the activities will allow me to get a slightly different perspective than just my own. For example, maybe adding the wig to the drag show one will give me the perspective of:

  • Someone who wants to be someone else
  • Someone who’s hiding from the law
  • Someone who’s lost their hair due to chemo treatments
  • My poor husband who’s already said (jokingly) that he won’t be sitting with me

More ideas will be added to this post as I come up with them. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your suggestions! Are there any adventures I should add to list? Twists I should add or consider for the activities that are already listed?

Share your ideas in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear them! 😄

25.5 Miles of Booyah!

25.5 Miles of Booyah!

Life can’t be all about writing so periodically I step away from the computer to get in some running. This weekend, my run time was all done during the 40th annual Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa, Florida. It was 25.5 miles over two days (a 15k and 5k on Saturday, and a half marathon on Sunday).

I’m so proud of everyone who ran, including myself! There was a time in my life when I would have sworn I’d never be able to do races like this so I really appreciate every time I complete one. That’s also why I say “booyah” to that race challenge! 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, the Gasparilla run is part of a two-month pirate-themed celebration that occurs in Tampa. As such, I had to have a little fun and add a “pirate” sash to my running outfit (yes, August Kyle is a pseudonym, hence the different name).

My mom, who is also a writer (Author Robin Michaela), went a step further and got a pirate-themed running shirt. She realized a little too late that it was actually a men’s shirt, but hey, it was worth the laughs! You didn’t know running could put hair on your chest, did you? 😉

My mom, husband, and I began running a few years ago. It started with a bucket list goal I had, to run a full marathon. A full seemed daunting at the time so we agreed to try a half marathon first. Three years later, I can say with confidence that we’ve shut down our aspirations for a full but it was exciting to realize that we’ve now run 12 races together (plus a bunch of individual side races).

This weekend, after we ran, we each reflected on how different we felt compared to when we first started. After our first half marathon, we all could have been extras in a zombie movie. We had to walk half a mile back to our car from the finish line and that half-mile was the longest walk EVER. Our sore muscles caused us to stumble everywhere and we were so fatigued that we could barely form coherent sentences.
Fast forward to this weekend and we were relatively normal, even after doing double the work. Of course we were tired and sore, but for all intents and purposes we were our usual selves.

It’s so nice to see progress like that and know you’re getting stronger and healthier! And, just like with stories, it’s great to realize how lessons from one part of your life can apply to others. For example, right now, I view my writing similar to my run training. When I first started running, it was a real struggle because I had to build up my endurance and muscles. Eventually, though, I found my groove and I’ve gotten stronger because I’ve continued to run even after accomplishing my initial goal. For my book, I’m building up my writing muscles – the routines, habits, and skills I need to craft what will (hopefully!) be a great story. 

A lot of people have the goal of writing a book. In fact, that specific goal used to be on my bucket list. Recently, though, I changed that goal to “establish a sustainable writing career” because really that’s what I’ve always wanted. So now I need to not only complete my first book but my second, third, and so on, until I got the point that my writing is stronger than ever.

What about you? What goals are you working on or have you accomplished lately?