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40. The quest of dehumidifiers

Photo by Med Badr Chemmaoui; Quote found on Pinterest

Over the summer my husband decided that our house was too humid and bought a dehumidifier. He liked it; I didn’t care.

Then he decided to get another one to get rid of all the leftover humidity. He liked it; I was mildly annoyed.

Then he decided to get another one and move two of the three dehumidifiers up into the attic. After a big ordeal getting it all set up and wired correctly, he liked it; I was not happy.

All that work for a little moisture in the air. In the end it made him happy, and I became less unhappy when we didn’t have to spend any more time in the hot attic.

Sometimes, things seem important to other people that we could care less about. Even if you would rather spend your time and money on something you deem has more value, it can be worth it to comply with the other person.

In the end, he was happy that I helped while I complained about it, and now owes me one. Plus, how many of you out there, dear readers, can control your dehumidifiers from your phone?

What project have you helped someone with that you didn’t want to do?

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39. A blurb on Writer’s block & more about the upcoming Halloween sale on Black Cat Scribbles Vol. 1!

Sometimes things are just dead in the water for a writer. You might have a plan, but that day you brain is telling you to go take a hike.

Writer’s block hits the best of us. For some people, they have a routine they get into, a setting that helps them relax and move their thoughts forward. I read about this one author once that had to sit at a specific desk all the time for best writing.

I like to sit on the couch and daydream. This is also how I get around a problem with my experiments. I let my thoughts dance across my brain, and usually they land on something I can use.

I use outlines sometimes (I’m a big list person). Occasionally my lists are just vague ideas I get randomly, written down to come back to at a future date when one of them seems to make a little more sense.

What do you do to get around writer’s block? Do you free write until an idea comes to you (I do this sometimes too)? Or do you have a more constructive plan in place to generate ideas?

Whatever you decide, choose the approach that works for you that meshes with your creativity. There are no wrongs paths to take.

I wrote Black Cat Scribbles Vol. 1 over a few years. Sometimes I would get really awesome ideas, and sometimes I got so busy I didn’t have time to be creative. There was a period in my life where I was just working part time jobs (the most I had at one time was four), and I was soooo busy, much busier than I am now. Whenever I had free time I focused on doing mindless relaxing stuff just to recover. Now that I have a little more breathing room, I make my side hustles about my creativity. There are times when it flows like water; other times the well is dried up. On occasions it is overflowing so much that I write tons of material; other times weeks, even months can go by and I just take life in. Overall it balances itself out pretty well I think.

Halloween is just around the corner—check out Black Cat Scribbles Vol. 1 today to prepare! Be ready to get spookified! The sale will start on Saturday, October 26th, 9:00am Central Time and end on Friday, Nov 1st, at 7:00am Central (because I have to get up early for work and don’t want to lose sleep ending the sale st midnight and be a zombie the next day). Grab some chills, enjoy the thrills!

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38. Forgetfulness

Photo by Kelly Sikkema; Quote by MGSpear

Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you went in there? It could have been super important, but for some reason just slipped your mind.

I absolutely hate it when that happens.

The same thing happens to me if I don’t write something down. I might think in the moment, “I will remember that,” and then I promptly forget it when I need that information. This is why I write down everything about my experiments; blog ideas; what aisle something was on at a craft show—anything I might want to remember.

For my experiments, one of the great things about writing stuff down is that when you go back to previous entries, sometimes you see something you missed, or wonder why X wasn’t obvious to you at that moment in time. Some of my early experiments aren’t the most comprehensive, but I’ve built on the knowledge gained and now, at least I would like to think, I perform more advanced experiments.

For my blog ideas, the craziest thing might have happened, and by the time the work week has exacted it’s toll some of the details may be blurred. So when that crazy thing happens, I jot a note in my phone about some of the key details, and it all usually comes back to me.

What do you keep track of? Do you think the world would be better off or worse if everyone remembered everything?

What was your name again?

Lol.

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37. Organized Plant Chaos

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi; Quote paraphrased from Mel Odom

My husband loves plants. He loves plants so much, that while I was at work one evening, he went and bought a ridiculous number of fruit trees that we ended up planting over the weekend.

Then it was more fruit trees.

Then it was more roses.

Then it was blueberries and other fruit bushes.

Then it was a huge garden.

Don’t get me wrong—the fruit and veggies taste excellent, and we enjoy our fruits of labor (pun intended), I just would like to be kept in the loop as to what is going on so I can plan around it.

Ask me how many blueberry bushes my husband got. Almost the same number as the fruit trees.

Planning can be an important aspect in life and in business. Knowing what’s coming helps you prepare and allows you to think about what could go wrong, or change, and prepare for that too. For me, I like having lists to keep track of everything, and I love the feeling of crossing stuff off: it’s the little victories that let you know you are moving forward.

So what did I do about all the plants? I pretended to be bringing home kittens (like a whole litter) to my husband a day shortly after the plants arrived. I sent text messages, I meowed into the phone (I can mimic a cat pretty darn well), and he was a little worried by the time I got home. Serves him right for bringing a forest onto our property.

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36. It’s getting closer to Halloween–time to announce an upcoming sale!

Some writers write off on an outline. Some just think up an idea and go for it. Others like to write stuff on paper until an idea emerges.

There is no wrong way to get started in writing.

I like to do a combination of the above—if I have an idea I am having trouble fleshing out, I will do an outline and see where the pieces fall. Mostly though I like to muse on an idea, and see what comes out when I write.

There are a million people out there who want to sell you their course on how to start writing. Sometimes they are helpful, but really, just like anything else, it comes down to practice.

Honing those writing skills. Developing your voice.

Some people start out better than others; some have further to go.

I read a lot when I was younger (not as much these days—just too busy), and in my writing I played with the different writing styles that I read. This helped shape my own unique writing style, and eventually my voice emerged. I have my favorite authors that I emulate and have gleaned techniques from them and others along my writing journey.

For Black Cat Scribbles, I tried to lean my writing style more towards Edgar Allen Poe, the great gothic writer. I grew up on his stories, and the writing, while sometimes tedious, has many great attributes. Another one that left its mark on me was Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I have the complete series still on my bookshelf, and to this day I remember that scared feeling I got from reading those stories and looking at the pictures. Over the years I have read other horror stories, and some taught me other techniques to include in my writing, while others showed me stuff not to do.

In any project, find an awesome example of what it could be, and take cues from there. Your own style will eventually emerge, and you will end up with a unique finished product. The greats are great for a reason, and there is nothing wrong to take lessons from them. 

Speaking of great writing, I am getting ready for a Halloween sale of my book, Black Cat Scribbles Vol. 1. Even if you aren’t sure about the whole collection, I just recently uploaded all of the stories for individual sale as well—they are cheaper and can give you a taste of the whole collection–check them out here. The sale on the book won’t last long though, so get it while you can. I will give more updates through email (this would be a good time to subscribe) and on future posts.

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35. Failure is not the end

Photo by Dylan Nolte; Quote found on Pinterest

I think failure haunts everyone. It defines us; it shapes our lives; it makes us better. Some people look at failure as a roadblock, a stop sign to not go down that path anymore.

I like to think of failure as an obstacle on an obstacle course. If you get through one, there are more to follow, a path of falling and rising in between. But at the end, if you keep going, is success.

Maybe not like a million dollars success, but something you have achieved and is worthwhile, and could possibly lead to million dollar success in the future.

Don’t ever listen to people who tell you that you are a failure. You are not a failure. You will succeed eventually. Just because someone says you are stupid to pursue that idea or that goal doesn’t mean it is true.

Get up. Fight back. Succeed. Show those people that you will accomplish something worthwhile, and you will win in the end. Just like with running, you could be the slowest person in the world, but you are still lapping everyone on the couch.

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34. Pumpkin Rap

Photo by Anthony Rossbach; Quote found on Pinterest

I like pumpkin everything I can not lie

You other brothers can’t deny

When someone walks in with a pumpkin flavor anything

A round cookie in your face

You get sprung

Wanna pull up tough

Cuz you notice that cookie is awesome

Dripped in icing that cookie is wearing

I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring

Oh, baby I wanna get with ya

And stuff my face

My homeboys warned me of October

But that pumpkin cookie you got

Make me sooo enticed

Ooh, that pumpkin flavoring

You say you wanna get in my benz

Give me that cookie and you won’t be the average groupie

I see them in the packaging

To hell with romancing

It’s pumpkin, give me somethin’, so I can get my pumpkin crush on…

Gotta loooove October.

By the way, I might have picked up these awesome pumpkin cookies with cinnamon icing at the grocery store, and I may or may not be munching on one as I type.

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33. Afternoon person

Photo by Silviannnm; Quote found on Pinterest

I am not a morning person. Not in the least. I tried to get up at 4am once to get some work done for my business, and I about died the rest of the day, and the next day.

Sometimes if I am realllly lucky, I can get up at 5am and run on my treadmill or get up a little later and take a shower before work, but usually those days I am dragging.

The average hours of sleep a person needs is about 8 hours. Some people need more; some people need less. I happen to need like 10 hours of sleep to feel fully rested. The problem is after I get off my day job, and my evening job, I still need to work on my business and projects. Usually I suffer through the week and sleep in majorly on the weekend to catch up on lost sleep.

I am an afternoon person. Around 11am or so, I ramp up, get my energy on, and usually it will last me until about 6pm—then I need a caffeine pick-me-up if I happen to be working that night.

I can rock the afternoon like nobody’s business. But if I could change things, I wouldn’t mind being a morning person—to not be sluggish in the mornings, drag myself into the car, and drive to work.

What would the world be like if everybody was a morning person? Would there be no late-night television? No evening shifts? What are your thoughts, dear readers?

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32. Building Habits

Photo by Tamar Waskey; Quote by Michael Clifford

They say it takes 28 days to make a habit.

I’ve tried that with running, and I’ve run consistently for several months straight, but then I loose interest or feel my time should be spent on something else I feel is more important, and I stop running for a while.

I think instead of just hashing out 28 days, a better approach is engagement and motivation. You do see this in runners—all the memes are true: some of us sleep with our running clothes on so we don’t have to get dressed in the morning; some of us listen to upbeat music to keep going. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to fitness, and whenever I am trying to get in the mood to go running, I look at that board to get motivated. Usually that is enough for me to get on the treadmill or hit the road after work (Yes I tried running in the mornings, but I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination).

In my businesses it helps that I have a set schedule to post on this blog and my social media outlets (check out #mgspear_ for this blog and #teazzed for my tea business), and whenever I post I can check that task off and feel more motivated that all this stuff might just actually work. I have to take it one day at a time to stay motivated.

What motivates you? What keeps you engaged?

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31. Venting

Photo by Steve Johnson; Quote found on Pinterest

My vent for the last few months:

I am just so frustrated. I want my experiments to work, but the majority fail. Yes, my Teazzed straw is awesome, but the project I have spent a little more than 4 years on still doesn’t work. I have a notebook filled with ideas and strategies on how to best approach my idea, but always I fail. It’s like I am stuck in a loop that seems never ending.

Of course, as the saying goes, it took Edison over a thousand times to invent the lightbulb. This struggle is nothing new to inventors—it’s just so incredibly frustrating.

I have an experiment lined up this weekend. As much as I hope for it to work, as much as I wish for it to succeed, it might not. For the past year I have been sure that the latest experiment will work, but always I am disappointed. I do learn a lot from the failures, and am still pressing onward with new information each time, so you could call it progress.

I just wonder sometimes if it will ever work. Like the ant that dreams of growing up to be a giant, but will never see fruition. Sometimes I wonder if it will all be worth it someday.

End of venting.

Have you been frustrated with something lately?