Celebrating Hitting 300!

Nope. Not talking baseball. Although I do love baseball. However . . . Ever since that time my boy Max was catching and I was up, batting lefty, and caught him in the head on my backswing . . . well, suffice to say, I'm benched.

But I have been doing something in secret that now, on this 300th day, I'm Celebrating! Cue the Band! 

...be kind to your fine feathered friends/for a duck maybe some-body’s mo-th-er!

For 300 consecutive days, midst two moves, construction, vacation, births and birthdays etc. etc. I have completed a poetry prompt ala Bernard Friot's The Aspiring Poet's Journal. 

No, I am not going to share any of my poems here, now. (You're safe...for now!}

No, I did not do it alone! 

Nor would I ever imagined getting to day 300. And that's what why I'm telling you about it.

Is there something you've been meaning to try, but haven't?

Perhaps a personal goal? Maybe a resolution? Do you keep saying to yourself, as I have/do/probably will again:  "I'll start next week" . . . "After the holiday, really" . . . "Tomorrow." . . Tomorrow. . . tomorrow. . . tomorrow . . . tomorrow . . . tomorrow . . . 

What's the Gimmick?       Gotta Have Skin in the Game. 

Here's what I mean:  I committed to the challenge with a friend. The rules of the game were set in writer's blood (aka "Ink"). We pledged to email or text our assignments to each other every day by midnight. Or else...

It's that "Or Else" that made the difference.

Rewards & Consequences: Some folks respond better to positive reinforcement. I've shared previously how my author-mentor-friend the late Paula Danziger bought herself pieces of amber jewelry but...gave them to her editor to hold until she met a deadline. In order to get SE Hinton to write her second novel (after The Outsiders), her then boyfriend waited each day for her to finish her pages. Others reward themselves by putting dollars into a honey pot. (Big bucks!)

Rewards do not work for me. It is too easy not to pay myself. Nor have I yet found a payoff big enough (and attainable) to entice me to do anything...and I mean An-ny-thing!

I need Consequences, penalties, shame. That's what motivates me. Deadlines with consequences. So, in order to insure that I'd stick with the challenge, I set a penalty a miserable embarrassing consequence. I pledge to complete each days prompt and send it to Cindy by midnight. If failed I vowed to donate $50 to Trump's campaign publically--on Facebook. Pre-election that was the stiffest-realistic-penalty I could imagine. One I was not willing to pay and so, I did the work Every. Single. Day.  Here's the 1-2-3 of it:

  1. Set a "realistic" Goal
  2. Set a "clear" Consequence or Reward
  3. Set a Timer (The secret ingredient!) Cindy and I devoted 7 1/2 minutes each day to complete the prompts. That's it 7 1/2 minutes. Read. Set Timer. Go. 

I was amazed at what we accomplished in 7 1/2 minutes. Having a set deadline and consequence for not meeting was exactly the motivation I needed to stick with the journal, especially through those first couple of days, then weeks, and vacations, and late nights, and yucky prompts. The answer is YES I CAN! 

Tomorrow is here. 300 down, 65 to go!

Celebrating 300 Playlist:

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99 Days and Celebrating!

Get ready for a Fishbowl Trifecta! First, an apology, then a confession, followed by a huge celebration! 

I have been sorely neglecting my faithful Fishbowl followers, and for that I am truly sorry. There are countless, endless, reading opportunities, including blogs galore, and I so appreciate you--all 3 or 7 of you--for wanting to read mine. I have heaps of reasons why I haven't been posting (and each time I don't guilt ridden me finds a few more). The simple truth is this Gardening Leave has thrown me for a loop. And rather than taking time out to blog about it, I've wallowed in it.

 I must confess, it's been super fun, just being, living, doing, with minimal obligation. And a big part of me considered hanging a "Gone Fishin'" sign and calling it quits. But the truth is...Confession Time...I like blogging. 

People ask sometimes, "Why I write?" as in "Why do I think anyone should want to read what I write? What's so good about it?" Usually, that question is tossed at me during horribly uncomfortable moments: During a lull in dinner party conversations, after I've just received yet another rejection, when a big-time famous, award-winner author is standing nearby. I usually mutter something stupid. But now, thanks to this hiatus, I have the answer: I write to process events: I share my writing because I believe you and your, or you, might be experiencing the same things--if not in the same way. Or, you might need a diversion. I missed this time with you. 

And if that's not enough to celebrate, dig this: The day, June 22, 2016, marks the 99th consecutive day in a 365 day Poetry Challenge! 

Along with my writer bud, Cindy Faughnan, I am working through the Aspiring Poet's Journal, by Bernard Friot, illus. by Herve' Tullet. It's a fat book of guided assignments designed so "aspiring poets can spend a year developing their voice and practicing seeming the world through a poet's eye." While I am not a poet, not do I aspire to be a poet, I do want my writing to have a lyrical quality. Besides, what else did I have to  do these past 99 days???!! 

What have I learned during these 99 consecutive days:

  1. Buddy System Works: Alone, It's easy to cheat
  2. Consequences: If I don't post, I have to pay.
  3. No matter how busy I am, where I am, how lousy the Internet, If I really want to, I can do it! 

Only 264 more prompt to go! 

99 Days Playlist:

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Growin' Grapes 

Growin' Grapes 

Salads Fixins & Herbs 

Salads Fixins & Herbs 

Unpacking & Organizing

Unpacking & Organizing

Sorting of all Sorts

Sorting of all Sorts