One thing that kept coming back to me is the idea that I’ve read about these places and seen pictures. But to experience them is so much better.
I’m not sure the pictures really did this justice. However, I couldn’t resist physically touching this beautiful building. The phrase “If walls could talk” came to mind. I bet this building would have fantastic stories to share.
Now that is a story to write about. Don't you agree? I might have to include something similar in one of my books. Have you read a book where this is included?
It was a bit of a walk to get to the barge, but the scenery made it worth it. The barge captain obviously knew what he was doing as we went nice and slow.
While trying to look everywhere at once, my author’s mind kept wondering what it was like to live there. Luckily, we got to peek inside one windmill “home.” Simply amazing.
That afternoon, we headed on over to the Anne Frank House. There wasn’t any way I’d go to Amsterdam and not stop here. The images of her life were bittersweet and scary.
I remember reading her diary when I was younger. There in this museum, they had a copy under glass. Very humbling. Have you ever read it? If so, did it make an impact on your life?
Since we knew of a closer grocery store, you’d think we’d go there. But, nope. We decided the walking and sightseeing was an opportunity too good to pass up. The weather was beautiful too.
One of the first things I found which tickled me pink is the "Viking Daily" -- a newsletter of sorts which gave us a Nautical Term of the Day, along with informational tidbits on where we were, where we were going, menu of the meals for the day, onboard events and scheduled excursions. Love it! I never thought to take a picture of one of these, so there you go. No pic to show you. Sorry.
How exciting to start this trip with a welcome toast! On our first night, we were introduced to the major players of the crew (captain, etc.). All very pleasant, but the excitement came with the idea of actually getting started on this adventure.
Is there a hobby of yours where your stock can be purchased anywhere in the world, if you should go visit there? Or, is it limited to one locale? Let me know!
Running to the River to Relax and Recharge!
Finally, after a cancellation and two reschedules, we finally got to head onto our Rhine River Cruise planned long before the pandemic hit. Why, you ask? Firstly, to celebrate my father’s birthday. Secondly, because, hey…I saved the money and who doesn’t need a break?
So come along with me and share my journey. Maybe some of these images can help you recharge too.
For the next few blogs, I'll be sharing via pictures taken and my notes on the whole trip. I hope you enjoy the trip.
By the way...have you ever been on a river boat cruise or to any of these places? Fell free to comment below if you have and please share a photo too. I'd love to see them!
I think it was about four years ago. Someone once told me that she doesn’t go to any more writer’s meetings nor take anymore writing courses. Her reasoning? “Because I don’t learn anything new.” The weird thing is that I sort of agree. I don’t always learn something NEW when I attend these programs, but I ALWAYS get a light bulb moment. It’s usually something I forgot about or even an idea to look at, something I typically do differently.
So, with that said. Has anyone heard of Skillshare? (https://www.skillshare.com/) I recently discovered it, and the first class I watched was on productivity. Aren’t we all in some way working on this? There was a lot of information I’d heard before, but I was hearing them said differently. For example, one of the things he talked about was a two-minute rule. Meaning, if something takes less than two minutes to do, do it now rather than putting it on a “to do” list. I started doing this, and it really gave me those “I’ve done something” moments—a positive reinforcement type of thing. I try to do this every day with anything decision I face. If it takes less than two minutes, then I just do it. Now…what about those things that take longer? Well…we default to the five-minute rule. What this means is: If you’re faced with a task that you’re struggling to get done, tell yourself, “I’m only going to work on this for 5 minutes, and that’s it.” Now, you’re thinking, if this task takes longer than five minutes to complete, why even start? Good question!
Newton’s First Law of Motion – If something is still, it will stay still. If it’s moving, it will continue moving unless an external force acts on it. So, we must start. Ergo, your five-minute rule. So, let’s apply this to writing, shall we?
How do we make these five minutes less stressful?
We start by prepping the area, get our stuff together and turn on the computer. Open the files we need, pull up a blank document or the current document.
This starts the motion. Think about it. You’ve already got everything set in place to write. Continue that motion by writing.
Okay, I’m giving everyone two minutes to get something to write with. That means a paper and pen, or even pull up a word document.
So, you’re going to start with the words above and think about your current or new manuscript. Now, complete this sentence and go on to explain in detail what you want to happen. You can tell it, no need to focus on showing. But, if you get into showing, that’s fine. Now, I’m setting the timer. Ready, set, go! (Go on…I’ll wait while you try this)
Okay, so count your words. It’s okay if you only got 20 words. Now, you did this many words in only two minutes! How many of you could’ve kept writing if the timer hadn’t stopped you? That’s the external force stopping the motion. You wouldn’t have stopped unless told to do so. Let’s say you give yourself five minutes towards writing new words…you’d have double this amount. If you set up another five minutes, you’d get more, and so on and so on. Think about it.
I’d like to recommend a book: Atomic Habits by James Clear This book is exciting.
One more thing from this class that I thought was really interesting:
Pareto Principle – 80% of the results will result from 20% of the effort. OR 80% of output will result from 20% of the input.
So, basically, first draft (crap draft) is 20%,
next round of edits is 20% (focus on active verbs & dialogue),
next round 20% (focus on plot arc),
next 20% is the character arc.
Think about this for a moment. You only need to input 20%, and you get 80% done afterward with the edits.
It goes back to what we hear all the time: You can’t edit a blank page.
We all need that 20% to start. If you’re a new writer or beginning in a new genre, or anything really. Remember getting those words on the page will get you 80% closer to a final draft.
Although this is focused on writing…you CAN apply it to anything else in your life. Let that stew.
Then, let me know how it worked out for you. I’d really like to know!
So, if you’re a writer, consider if you write every day. If you don’t, try it for two weeks. Write every day and see if it changes your thought process too. I’d love to hear back from you if you try this. You can do it!
I'm sure every year, everyone has holiday traditions. Mine started with my children when they were very young and I wanted to take pictures on Christmas morning without them wearing their most comfortable pajamas. Pajamas that consisted of favorite worn T-shirts sometimes with or without pants. So, I started a tradition on Christmas Eve. All my children were allowed to open up one Christmas Eve gift. A “Santa” gift. It was always a new set of pajamas. When the kids were younger, they loved the idea of opening at least one gift early, even though, as they grew older, they knew it what that gift contained. This tradition satisfied two major things for me. The first being my children got to open at least one gift early, and second, my Christmas photos consisted of children dressed in a matching pair of pajamas. As the years have gone by my children have grown, yet we still maintain this tradition. A tradition which now brings a chuckle to everyone as they always ask: “Gee I wonder what Santa will bring us this year?". It has become a challenge now for everyone to have the most surprising reaction when they open the box and see their new pajamas.