Design Friday

I have finally managed to get a few things accomplished! Going to bed early most nights cuts into productivity. But if I overdo it, I pay for it in pain.

The book cover has been revised. There were valid concerns of legibility in thumbnail size on websites. The same photo and colours are used but the title font and placement of a few things have been changed for the better, I think.

Chapter One: January of C’est Ma Vie! 2015 is currently being proofread.This chapter is accompanied by two knit patterns; the Damia Cowl and the Damia Hat. The Damia Cowl pattern is off with the tech editor. The Hat, I am still working on. I’ve never designed a sized pattern without knitting or crocheting each size. I’m not sure how to size the hat. I’m going to finish it tomorrow so I can email it to my tech editor. If I wait any longer it may not be ready for next Sunday’s release! I can’t believe how quickly the release is arriving! It seemed so far away when I chose the date.

I’ve been wearing the Damia Cowl when I go out. It is so warm and snuggly when it’s frigid outside.

Chapter Two: February is being written on almost daily. I think I missed one day. This chapter is accompanied by a crochet and a knit pattern. Samples one are completed for both patterns. Sample two of the crochet pattern is almost done. I should have it finished tomorrow. I will then begin the search for a crochet tech editor. Here’s a peek at sample two of the crochet design from this morning:

Elodie, sample two
Elodie, sample two

Another task for tomorrow is to figure out which yarns will be in the next few months’ designs and write some emails. I would like to include a dyer bio and yarn base info for each yarn I use. Some may decline, but I’m hoping most will see it as an opportunity for free advertising.

Review: DIY Writing Retreat

Today’s review is on the short e-book, DIY Writing Retreat by Alicia De Los Reyes.

I’ve never been on a writing retreat. But after reading this book, I’d like to go away from it all and just write for a few days.

Alicia gives simple instructions on everything from what foods you may want to bring, things to do on breaks, to writing prompts. A summary at the end lists your accomplishments.

Now, I’m trying to figure out where and when I can do a DIY Writing Retreat!

January 18 Weekly Review and Planning Session


Here is my “completed” planner for last week. One day I’m going to surprise you and actually complete everything!

Jan. 11-17 Weekly Plan
Jan. 11-17 Weekly Plan

i think this may be the most Urgent/Important items I’ve completed in a week! One thing you may notice is something’s are shown as complete in last week’s plan but return in this week’s. I have decided to do things differently with long-term projects. If I have completed as much as possible that week, I will mark them complete but also carry them over to the next week. I’m utilizing the Notes function to track what I’ve completed so steps are not missed or duplicated.

Here is this week’s plan. I am positive I have forgotten to add something. Despite thinking about it all day, I cannot remember.

Jan. 18-24 Weekly Plan
Jan. 18-24 Weekly Plan

It seems long but I’m hopeful I can complete a good amount this week.

Just a Few Things Changed

This is a photo of my plan from last week:

Week plan ended 14-20
Week plan ended 14-20

As you can see only three things on my to-do list were completed. There’s two reasons for that:

  1. The Book

  2. Fibromyalgia/cervical degeneration

Adding the book into the plan, of course, shifted my time around. The prologue is almost complete. I discovered it’s harder to type about the Cancer aftermath than expected which has slowed the process. But I hope to have the prologue complete tomorrow or Tuesday. I already edited draft one in an effort to get back in the flow and out of the freeze. It didn’t work but does mean I only need to edit the new stuff.

I learned with Fibro when you’re body is done, your body’s done. If you try to push past the pain, the fatigue, too much your body rebels. I don’t know if it’s the fibro rebelling the massive (comparatively) amount of typing or the cervical degeneration but for the last two days it feels like someone’s trying to pull my arm out of its socket. It hurts from my ear to my fingers on my right side. Maybe I’m just sleeping funny. I don’t know. All I know is it hurts more than normal. And my normal hurts enough already, thank you very much.

I start physiotherapy tomorrow morning finally then am helping Mum watch my three year old nephew while my sister works. The Day Care Centres here are all through the municipality and are closed for the next two weeks. So I don’t know how different I’ll be pain wise tomorrow. But I learned before Siri is actually a pretty good transcriptionist. Worst case, I’ll have her type up the end of my prologue and I can just cut and paste it.

Here’s this week’s plan:

Weekly Plan Dec. 21-27
Weekly Plan Dec. 21-27

I should probably start calling these weekly dreams instead of plans. I never seem to make a dent in them. But that’s life with chronic diseases, especially when one is a pain disorder than the others all cause extra pain! If nothing else I want to get my Christmas knitting done and the prologue before Christmas. Then I can start catching up on the design knitting.

I expect to have lots of knitting time while munchkin plays games on my iPad. He’s only allowed if he sits beside me at the table and if he’s been a good boy. It’s good incentive to be a good boy when you know Auntie’s iPad is the reward.

I’m Writing A Book!

A checking of the mailbox this weekend brought me some goodies. Some yarn, some Soak Wash in a new scent and a Christmas gift for my neice.

Yarnie Goodness!
Yarnie Goodness!

Today was our department Christmas lunch. There was soo much food I’m still full eight hours later! Look what I got in the gift exchange:

Gypsy Approved
Gypsy Approved
More gift, less cat!
More gift, less cat!

I’ve had a thought of writing a book for decades. Last week I thought of an idea and even came up with a perfect title. I almost let myself be talked into waiting until I had built a larger audience. Then after some encouragement I went for it. So I have started! Typing has begun.

The book will be a chronicling, almost like a journal, of my life in 2015-the story of my year as I work a full-time job, build a creative business, design patterns, write a book and try to have a family life all while living with multiple chronic illnesses and the possible return of Cancer. Bits of the same information will be on the blog as well but not in the same depth as in the book.

As it was all decided quickly not all the details are yet in place. I intend that there be two versions. One with patterns and one without. There will be a prologue covering the history of my diagnoses and life at the time. Each month of 2015 will be a chapter. Each chapter will contain one or more patterns.

The book will be released in sections. Most likely monthly but possibly further apart. Perhaps bimonthly or quarterly. I will need to build a storefront through an as yet unchosen company, most likely Etsy if I meet their newest sale criteria. There will be two versions-one with patterns, one without. The patternless version will be available on my site with both a pay in full and a subscription option.

The version with patterns will be sold through Ravelry in sections as well with an update in 2016 to the new compiled version. All designs will be exclusively available only through the ebook until 2016. Designs will range from small to large; there will be at least one afghan. I’m working on a list of pattern possibilities tonight after I publish this post.

More book news will follow as decisions are made.

Once compiled the chapters etc will be digitized and available as an ebook through Amazon, Kobobooks and Smashbooks. There may also be print-on-demand options. I haven’t decided on that yet.

Subscribe to our newsletter. The prologue will be sent to all subscribers in mid-January as a preview of the book.

Weekly Review and Plan Creation

Please join our new newsletter! The first issue will be January 1st but there is already a Welcome newsletter available.

Now to start the review. I didn’t think I’d accomplished much this past week. Writing everything down made it seem much more than I realized. It’s amazing how much you can do in fits and starts between naps. These medical trips leave me drained. I spend more time sleeping than awake after one.

What Did I Do Last Week

I went to Thunder Bay. I saw the neurosurgeon. I got all my hair cut off. I’ve got a pixie cut now! I went Christmas shopping and me shopping.

I started the Automagical Email Series from Tara Swiger. I did lessons one and two. Speaking of Tara, her new program Lift Off is available now. It’s a great six month program for creative entrepreneurs who aren’t quite ready for the year-long Starship Adventure. The Starship opens again on Dec. 18th. I highly recommend both. I’m in the Starship and have learned so much in the last three months!

I worked on my dishcloth inventory for my department staff Christmas lunch. I plan on selling as many as I can make. Two people have asked for some. I worked on Damia, sample 2, my gift exchange present. I need to text my boss tomorrow and see what day was decided for the lunch.

I worked on Bettina, sample 2.

I opened a MailChimp account. I downloaded the MailChimp and Chimpadeedoo apps to my iPad. I added signups to the blog, my Ravelry Designer page, profile page and the Bridgwater Crafts group page. I wrote and published a Welcome newsletter for all new subscribers. I started the January 1st newsletter.

I added the remainder of my stash of names to the Google Sheets Design Name Possibilities document. It has way more names than I’ll ever use but I’d rather have too many than not enough.

I read the Get CLEAR!: The Blog & Website Clarity Workbook by Kyla Roma. It’s free when you sign up for her newsletter.

I scheduled quotes for Quotation Wednesday on the editorial calendar then pre-wrote and scheduled these posts.

I really liked having separate Gneo pages for each day but missed having a week-at-a-glance view. So this week, I’m doing both. Most tasks take more than a day to complete so they’re spread over multiple days. As I complete the day’s portion I mark them off. As I complete tasks I’ll mark them off on the weekly page.

Here is what I’d like to work on this week:

Weekly Plan for Dec. 14-20
Weekly Plan for Dec. 14-20

This Week In Review

Thank you to everyone who has taken the poll. I know it’s a holiday weekend for my American readers so I’m not considering the poll “closed” until Monday night. I want to give everyone a chance to vote. Actually I’m not sure if I can lock down the poll. It’s my first poll. Another thing to add to the to-do list!

Last week I trialed the program Gneo for my weekly to-do list. I really like the program. My only issue is my to-dos were too broad. Here’re what my Gneo master list looks like with this week’s (including today’s) things crossed off:

Weekly plan Nov 23-29
Weekly plan Nov 23-29

What you can’t see is that I also worked on a number of things without completing the task. You can’t see that:

  • I read two chapters of Market Yourself.
  • I almost completed knitting Elspeth sample 1 and very roughly wrote the pattern.
  • I started reviewing Vogue Knitting.
  • I started the Social Media Plan.
  • It doesn’t show I found even more quotes but haven’t had time to add them to the editorial calendar or schedule them in WordPress yet.
  • It doesn’t show that the Lauch Plan is a “no time to advertise” launch plan I designed so I could get Drusilla out in time for Holiday Gift-making. It needs a lot of work before the next launch.

So, this week I’m going back to making my weekly plan in Evernote. It will be a Master Plan of all the things that need doing and will break them down into tasks. Those tasks will go on Daily Plans in Gneo. I think this will create a plan using the best features of both apps and will be less overwhelming than always looking at the Weekly Plan.  So I’m going start that tonight so I can finish it up tomorrow before a family dinner and can post it in the evening here.

A difficulty is I will be travelling for two days this week by car (4-5 hours each day) as a passenger along with a three-year old who loves, really loves to play on Auntie’s iPad mini (with supervision and usually only sitting at a table or Emergency Care waiting room). He knows I have games on here for him. It makes him feel special and like a big boy. He doesn’t know 99% of those games were free apps of the day.

So I don’t know how much work I’ll be able to do on the iPad in the backseat with him or at the hotel overnight. I think he’s going to be getting a lesson on taking turns. And when it’s his turn I’ll read for fun on my Kobo or knit. So I’ll still be able to cross things off my daily lists!

I’ll let you know how it all works out next week!

Weekly Plan Creation, Nov 23-29

I’m trying something new this week-well two but I’m having issues with the second. The first is how I do my weekly planning. I’m trying out an app called Gneo. It sorts your to do items under urgent/important, urgent/not important, important/urgent and not important/not urgent. I’m hopeful this will eliminate procrastination and overwhelm.

Here’s what this week looks like:

To-Do This Week
To-Do This Week

The other thng I’m trying is a new keyboard app for my iPhone and iPad. I like the look but auto-correct is worse than ios and it keeps runng my words together.

We will see to heybook fare thisweek! Ack! See what I mean! That was supposed to say we will see how they fare this week! It’s like sticky keys on an old typewriter!

Weekly Review

It’s been a bad fibro week. I think I’ve spent more time in bed than out most of the week. The medications we were adjusting left me fatigued, dizzy and off balance. It was like I had no equilibrium. I was bumping and falling into things. I made my last adjustment to the med I’m pretty sure is the cause today. Lowering the dose to a tolerable level hopefully. The dizziness and equilibrium issues seem better but the pain is worse today. It’s so hard with a syndrome like fibromyalgia; it’s hard to tell what’s the fibro and what’s the meds.

I think I got about half my to-do list complete:

This is blogpost # 7! Even when I had a prescheduled post, I knocked out another and scheduled it for later. I have posts scheduled through December! Not every day of the week but one at least. Today I made editorial calendars through March 2015. I’ve decided to keep some of the features I’ve been running this month so those are labeled on the new calendars and the template. I’ve made posters for the themes I’m keeping.

Drusilla is just waiting on new photographs and a reply from the tech editor that she’s still available. I updated my style sheet too.

I worked a little bit on Sample 1 of Bettina writing the pattern as I knit.

I’m almost done Creating an Effective Blog lesson 2 part 2. I’m stuck on the last question!

I worked a little on Christmas crafting.

I’m starting Holiday Sanity tonight after this posts.

I’m buying that scale battery tomorrow.

Not bad for someone as I’ll as I’ve been when I type it all out! But next week’s list won’t be quite so ambitious. It may have two parts: if I’m still off sick and if I return to work. I see my doctor on Tuesday. Right now, the way I feel, I don’t think she’ll allow me back to work. Thankfully I’ve got a good paying job with full sick pay for 75 days. I think I’m halfway through those days.

November 9-15 Weekly Plan

Sunday is my weekly plan creation day. I’m not putting firm “do by this day” deadlines right now because a lot depends on how I’m feeling. That can change daily. Although I am improving, finally!

Here is my weekly plan:

  • Write seven blog posts
  • Finish revising Drusilla and send her to the tech editor (I may need to reknit to ensure pattern works post revision)
  • Finish sample 1 and write the pattern for Bettina
  • Knit sample 2 of Bettina and edit pattern
  • Photograph Bettina samples
  • Complete Lesson 2 of Creating an Effective Blog
  • Continue Christmas crafting
  • Knit sample 2 of Belle and edit pattern
  • Buy a new battery for my yarn/kitchen scale
  • Start Holiday Sanity on the Stsrship (I’m behind)