Giveaway: Catch-up with Project Life

online workshop Catch Up with Project LifeI literally have not done ANY memory keeping in 2014, except 30 Days of Lists.

Granted, I have been doing other things, but I KNOW I will be sad if I don’t complete something else this year. I have some great photos and some great adventures, and our Team Schubert story this year is pretty special.

That all needs to be recorded.

THANK GOODNESS my friend Megan (and Annette and Trisha) have created this Catch Up with Project Life class for Big Picture Classes!

I’m taking this class — begins October 30 — and hopefully will have some thing to show for my 2014. The pre-class material has been super helpful so far. There are THREE challenges already, and the class has not even started yet.

I added 1-hour every day to my calendar during these 3 weeks to get all caught up.

I hope you can join me!

Catch Up with Project Life: Progress, Process, and Productivity for Pocket-Page Scrapbookers

Taught by Annette Haring, Megan Anderson, Trisha Harrison

3-week guided workshop • Starts October 30, 2014

Get over the guilt of feeling perpetually behind! Catch Up with Project Life will reconnect you to feelings of accomplishment and gratitude—both for the hobby you love and your life in general. Instructors Annette, Megan, and Trish are here to help you tackle common trouble areas, so you can make real progress with your Project Life albums.

After three weeks of inspiration and interaction from your three talented hosts, you’ll walk away with:

  • Finished layouts that fill in the missing gaps in your albums
  • Photos printed and organized, ready for use in your projects
  • Photo management ideas to keep you productive long term
  • An organized workspace to help you get more from your creative time

Not everyone approaches pocket-style scrapbooking the same way. But no matter what approach you take, you’ll learn a ton and have a ball in Catch Up with Project Life!

workshop

Good news! I have a seat in the class to giveaway! So you can join me!

Enter below — or grab your seat now and get started on the pre-class challanges!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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L&R Book ClubOur last book of 2014!

I thought since so many of us are memory keepers AND since NaNoWriMo begins in November, this would be a great selection.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I learned to live a better story by Donald Miller

Blurb from Amazon:

After writing a successful memoir, Donald Miller’s life stalled. During what should have been the height of his success, he found himself unwilling to get out of bed, avoiding responsibility, even questioning the meaning of life. But when two movie producers proposed turning his memoir into a movie, he found himself launched into a new story filled with risk, possibility, beauty, and meaning.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years chronicles Miller’s rare opportunity to edit his life into a great story, to reinvent himself so nobody shrugs their shoulders when the credits roll. Through heart-wrenching honesty and hilarious self-inspection, Donald Miller takes readers through the life that emerges when it turns from boring reality into meaningful narrative.

Miller goes from sleeping all day to riding his bike across America, from living in romantic daydreams to fearful encounters with love, from wasting his money to founding a nonprofit with a passionate cause. Guided by a host of outlandish but very real characters, Miller shows us how to get a second chance at life the first time around. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is a rare celebration of the beauty of life.

I remember liking this book when I read it a couple years ago. I’m looking forward to the re-read!

Grab your copy on Amazon, the library, your personal bookshelf or your local bookstore. Reading begins November 1.

Note: This book is categorized under Religion and Christian Living on Amazon, but I don’t remember it being religiony at all. That categorization MAY just be because of who the author is, his previous book and the business decisions behind ranking in a small category. I could be wrong or misremembering of course. That said, you’ve been warned.

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For the long run

Every day for the last few months, I’ve been getting up at 6am and writing fiction for 2+ hours (usually more). I have spent lord knows how much money on learning about fiction writing and the self-publishing industry.

I am not going to lie to you guys, it is HARD work. Just yesterday (Sunday), I wrote 2400+ words and it took me until about 1 in the afternoon. Today I woke up and I have to do the same thing all over again. And tomorrow. And on and on until I’m done. Because I have a deadline and I have ambition and I don’t want to embarrass myself I have standards.

I have yet to earn a single dime from all of this time and money invested.

But I don’t even care, because this is a long-term game. I am in it for the long run.

(I feel bad for my husband. I apologize to him regularly that I am spending all this time without a way to help pay the bills. Fortunately he understands and is totally behind this plan.)

Twyla Tharp has a chapter in The Creative Habit about doing creative work for the long run. Steven Pressfield breaks it down to just getting on base and worrying about it from there. Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10,000 hours.

It doesn’t matter what you call it, but spending hours, blood, sweat, dollars, tears and love on projects that may not pay off for a long time is what helps us grow as people. Instant gratification is for 1-minute rice and microwave popcorn.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have at least the next 15 or 18 months of this planned. Who knows when it will pay off?

 What is your long-game project?

P.S. I was interviewed recently about my fiction.

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in courage and fear, dreaming and planning, FIND YOUR GREAT WORK, great work

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Memories and cravings triggered by fall

  • Scary movies and ghost hunting shows: I actually broke down this year and bought a ‘season pass’ to Ghost Adventures, Andrew will be recording the new season of Walking Dead at work, and we just immerse ourselves in the horror and thriller categories of Netflix.
  • cinnamon in my coffee: YES. Directly in the coffee pot with the grounds. So good. But special to fall.
  • cold mornings, hoodie sweatshirts and cardigans: love love love being cozy. I love when it is cold enough for layers.
  • Band of Brothers, LOTR appendices and Harry Potter: These are all ‘comfort’ movies, and for whatever reason I associate them with fall. I have lots and lots of photos to edit, so I’m hoping to relax with all of these over the next few weeks.
  • working from bed with the window open: We’ve got an enormous window in our bedroom, and with the weather cooler, this is the perfect place for me to spend all day. Laptop, coffee, cats and under the covers.
  • cats on my lap every second for the warmth: I run hot, and the cats have learned this. When it’s a little cold in the house I get piled upon.
  • apples and peanut butter: yum.

This is the time of year that the weather in SoCal shifts, and we get to keep our windows open all day and memories from previous falls pop into my head.

Fall is my very favorite time of year. I keep texting Andrew the weather forecasts with lots of exclamation points when the high is lower than 85 degrees! I get super giddy happy this time of year.

What is your favorite part about fall?

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in Amy

October is for realizations

For the last few years, October has been a time of reflection and realizations. I’m not totally clear why, but I think it comes from a mix of the weather changing (and my favorite season really making me super happy) contrasted against all of the build of frustration elsewhere. It’s hard to describe:

In October 2010 I realized that I want to do work that matters and my day job at the time wasn’t it. I got a phone call at home, 6 hours before I was supposed to be there, about a comma. Completely unnecessary and very frustrating.

In October 2011 I was told my work schedule would change to Sunday – Thursday against my will. That was the only time I have ever cried at work and was seriously depressed. I realized I wanted to be some place where I’m not taken for granted and merit means something

In October 2012 I got physically ill (severe headache, dizzy and nausea) and then nearly immediately better after I called out sick. It’s incredibly powerful when you recognize how something negative in your life is really affecting you.

In October 2013 I decided to quit my long-time personal blog Those Crazy Schuberts, for many reasons. I freed up several hours of my week, and relaxed some of my personal anxiety by making that decision.

This year, October 2014 …. Feels like a sea change. For both Andrew and I — this October is for realizations for Team Schubert.

As I mentioned yesterday, Andrew’s work schedule has been ridiculous this year and we are starting to see what our lives can look like once all this hard work pays off. He is getting recording clients from literally all over the world. A band was just here from Oregon, but earlier in the year a band from Toronto came out to work with Andrew and a band from France hired him to mix a song.

That, combined with my projected new career as a fiction writer is going to change the entire structure of our lives.

It’s still far away; we both still have a lot (a lot) of work to do to make this new life pay our bills, but we are on this path together. We are each fully behind each other’s individual goals, as we work toward a better life together.

Having someone like Andrew on my team, supporting me spending hours (and hours) every day writing with nothing yet to show for it is the best. Knowing how I can help him work toward his goal of being 100% freelance has changed so much about how I spend my days.

This October has been hard, but so awesome so far. Can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

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in Amy, courage and fear, dreaming and planning, FIND YOUR GREAT WORK, great work

planning the end of 2014

We have fewer than 100 days left of the year, so I’ve begun to plan. I’m a planner. I can’t help it. I like to know what direction I want to be headed. Even if my path ends up veering off, I like to know roughly where I want to end up. Knowing my big-picture priorities helps me establish my daily to-dos. There are things I want to finish, things I want to reassess and (yes) things for the future I want to plan.

This is the perfect time of year for me to review my tasks and my priorities, because I am beginning to feel overwhelmed. How did my year get so full?

Oh, that’s right. I said ‘yes’ to some amazing opportunities and didn’t quit anything else to make room. I remember now.

I just recently finished doing developmental editing for all 20+ stories in a short story anthology Beyond the Gate (releasing soon, for free). It was difficult and extremely time-consuming (one story alone took me 10 hours), but I loved it so much. I am hoping that it leads to more developmental editing clients, because good lord did I love it. Reading fiction, flexing my critical analysis master’s degree muscle, but also helping a writer to shape their story into its best form. LOVE IT.

I work part-time for a portrait photographer, and this time of year my work load doubles and triples. Already. Maggie was basically completely booked by last week, and now we are pushing her associate photographer. It will be like this until probably mid-December.

And then, on top of all of that, I am trying to write a book so it is ready to be published by March 1 (for larger world and marketing purposes). Complicating this are the facts that A) it is the first book of a series, so I need to do at least some big-picture plotting and B ) I didn’t actually know what happens in the book when I started writing it. As of the writing of this post I am still flailing a little, but certainly doing better.

It is all I can do to keep up with my self-imposed deadline. And I must keep that deadline if I want to produce something at least reasonably close to my own standards by March 1.

So, for the rest of 2014 I will be….

Keeping up with L&R: Blog posts, a couple more webinars, and creating a lot of content for my annual blog party on Jan 1 (email me if you want to pitch a guest post). I am being modest in my L&R-specific plans for now, since I’m not entirely sure how much time I will have to spend doing photographer-customer-service, or how much time getting a book ready to be published will take. Once I have a better handle on my schedule and limitations, I have tons of fun ideas for L&R (and US History Class and TravelScrap HQ and others)

Writing book 1: The goal is to have the first draft of book 1 done by October 31, and revised and ready for beta readers by Jan 1. Somewhere in there I also want to plot book 2, so I can start writing it on Jan 1. I also need to start marketing for this series (once I have a title and figure out what it is really about), source a cover design, etc. This is my fifth book (in first draft), but I have not actually finished one all the way to being published. All learning for me.

Fiction Unboxed 1.5: My friends at Sterling and Stone are writing a book live again, and I will be following along. Partly because I think it is fascinating, particularly their story meetings and brainstorming together. But also because I am writing in the same world, 20 years earlier. If they set specific world-building details (like, length of the prime minister’s term, for example) those are things I need to know for my own books. They are running it in conjunction with NaNoWriMo, so you can still sign up.

Date nights with Andrew: His freelance schedule has completely out of control since about May. Mostly because he is so good at what he does and so many people want to work with him, and he can’t say no. To the point where he sleeps at home only about once a week. True story. But, we are going to try to have Friday nights set aside just for us. He still might have his day job interfere, but he won’t be scheduling any sessions or concerts or anything on Friday nights. I’m so excited!

Read books: Because this is where my heart is. At least a few minutes every day. It’s really my only ‘hobby’ — everything else is work of some kind. I’m on track to read 100+ this year! Reading will always be a priority. It makes me sad all the writers who say things like, “I used to read, but now I just don’t have time.” I don’t want that to be me.

What direction are you headed in? What does the rest of your year look like?

SHIFT_free creativity guide

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in Amy, dreaming and planning, FIND YOUR GREAT WORK, great work

Found

*We’re reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman for this month’s NovelTeaBookClub! Are you joining us?

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September Book Report

Reading up on as much steampunk as I can get my hands on because I will be writing a book series in a steampunk-ish world. Any recommendations for me? Also watching Victorian-era movies and The Princess Diaries. SO fun!

Some reads from September:

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan: This was a quick, adventurey, Young Adult read, recommended by Kam. The main character is 12, so the simple reading level of one of the first 2 Harry Potter books, and in fact Percy Jackson reminds me a bit of Harry (hot-headed, self-sacrificing, etc). I liked it. Not enough to buy it and obsess over it, but I plan on reading the rest of the series and trying out Riordan’s other 2 series as well. It’s nice to have easy YA books to read sometimes. Breaks up the U.S. History.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket: I love this series. I believe Count Olaf was written for Jim Carrey. I love the unique voice. I love the tiny details thrown in. I love the side references to Snicket’s love for Beatrice. I love books with smart, capable kids.

Soulless by Gail Carriger: Fun but slightly ridiculous. Just an easy, quick supernatural steampunk … thriller romance? I don’t know exactly how I would categorize the genre. I get irritated with books that throw in sex just to have it there, and this book felt a *little* like that. Lord Maccon reminds me a bit of the hulking Rhett Butler. I’ll probably read the next in the series, but we’ll see. I enjoy the tone and humor either way.

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger: Hot pink book cover so you know it’s for women. God bless marketing. This is a Young Adult pre-quel to the Parasol Protectorate series (read as part of the NovelTeaBookClub). The main character Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where she learns things like poisoning and intelligence gathering in addition to proper curtsies. I liked this book more than Soulless. Probably because there was no love story to distract from the main plot. Probably because it gave me ideas for my own book series. It seemed less silly, somehow, than Soulless.

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger: The sequel to Etiquette & Espionage. Less world-building details (she is already at the school, after all) and deeper conspiracy. This book almost didn’t feel resolved — it is clearly just one step along the way to the bigger story. But I love the tone and the world details. The third book in this series comes out in a week or so and I’m looking forward to it.

The Dream Engine by Johnny B Truant and Sean Platt: This was a re-read. Kinda. I read the first draft as it was written in June, but this was my first read of the final, published version. The writing weekend I went to a few weeks ago was related to this book, so I re-read half of it in advance of going, and the other half when I got back (and had an autographed paperback in my hand). I will be writing a book series in this world, so I imagine I will be re-reading this book and its sequels a lot. During the writing weekend we started planning out future books in this series and it’s going to be fantastic!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: This was a re-read, started solely because I wanted a book to read on the plane to and in Austin that *goes with* the book I had in mind to write/brainstorm without being too close as to lead to unintentional plagiarism. And, lord almighty, I had forgotten just how beautiful the prose in this book is. This is one of those books that I just adore, the kind I have decided to call ‘literary fiction through a veil of fantasy’ (like the later Harry Potter books, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell or The Magicians series). I love it. I can’t wait for Andrew to read it.

Read anything good lately?

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in Amy

Found

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