Scheduling My Life

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Summer is (unfortunately) coming to a close. School is going to start back up whether we like it or not; which means I’m going to have to go back to work.

I love my job; I love the kids and my co-workers. The hours are ideal even though the pay could be better (isn’t that like every other job?).

Despite that, I have to admit that I’m dreading going back to work. I’ve gotten a lot done this summer when it comes to my blog, my writing, and even reading. I’ve had a good system going and I’m afraid that all of that is going to be–for lack of a better word–ruined once work starts back up.

I work Monday through Friday for six and half hours each day. I’m also going to be babysitting three afternoons a week right after work. That’s a new family, too. I’m sure I’ll be babysitting for the other family as well, so it’s possible I may be babysitting four or five days a week.

Plus, Sunday school is going to start up as well. So that’s another thing on my to-do list.

My biggest concern is that I’m not going to be able to keep up with my writing. I love teaching, but writing is what I really want to do for a career. It’s hard to balance starting that while needing to have a day job–plus more.

I decided a schedule for myself about a month ago. I kept to it for about a week and then I went on vacation; twice. So I never really got a chance to test it out.

I don’t start back to work until the second week of September. So until then I’m going to try out this schedule and see how it goes. That way I can get as much done as I can before work starts and also–hopefully–be able to ease the two schedules together when the time comes.

Sunday: Sunday school plans; I want to write my lesson plans well in advance. That way I can leave Sundays open. I can write, blog, do extra Sunday school things, or relax and have a day off.

Monday-Thursday & Saturday: Write; Before or after work/babysitting, I want to get at least one or two hours of writing or editing done. For Saturdays, Kris and I will hopefully still have the opportunity to go to Barnes & Noble and write. That will give me a good couple of hours to get some things done.

Friday: Blog; My posts for Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday are the only posts that are not planned and not written in advance. All the other days are planned and written ahead of time so I just have to hit the “publish” button on WordPress and be on my merry way. I hope to spend an hour or two on Fridays working on blog posts. That way I can have a few weeks done in advance.

Balancing writing with a day job and life in general is tough; especially when you have a lot on your plate and many ambitions like I do.

How do you schedule your writing to fit in with your day job?

 

Paper Towns by John Green

2015-07-02 20.23.13

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Genre: Young adult
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

My Review (May contain spoilers!):

I’ve heard many great things about John Green and one of them was that once you start reading his books, you can’t put it down until you finish. Well, I certainly understand what those fans mean now.

I read Paper Towns in a day. The mystery of the plot was such a page-turner that I just couldn’t put the book down.

The first part of the book followed the two main characters, Quentin and Margo, as they embarked on an all-night adventure to wrong some rights and right some wrongs–as explained by Margo. Margo drags Quentin along as a getaway driver as they play harmless revenge tricks on a few of her friends and ex-boyfriend after finding out he had been cheating on her.

I absolutely loved that part of the book. The chemistry between Quentin and Margo was awesome, Margo’s personality was fun and energetic, and Quentin tried to be the voice of reason, but adrenaline took over–and maybe also the fact that he was head over heels for Margo.

The second part of the book is after that fun night. Quentin goes to school exhausted, but Margo is gone. She ran away and no one knows where she is. She’s done this before, so her parents have given up. Quentin finds clues left by Margo for him to track her down. With the help of his awesome friends, Quentin embarks on another journey to search for Margo.

Overall, the book was fun and suspenseful, but not in a scary way. There were many outcomes that you just didn’t know which direction the characters would take you. All the characters were easy to read and fun to get along with. Plus, there was plenty of comic relief.

I would highly recommend this novel.

Paper Towns by John Green gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“I mean, at some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.” –John Green, Paper Towns

Be sure to check out my Goodreads account to see what I’ll be reading next!

Warriors: Power of Three Books 1 and 2

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Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

There will be three, kin of your kin . . .

The wild cats have flourished in their new home on the banks of the lake for several seasons, and the Clans are growing strong and healthy with new kits. The time has come for three kits of ThunderClan to become apprentices.

Hollypaw, Jaypaw, and Lionpaw spring from a strong legacy: children of Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw, two of the noblest ThunderClan warriors, and grandchildren of the great leader Firestar himself. All three young cats possess unusual power and talent and seem certain to provide strength to the Clan for the next generation.

But there are dark secrets around the three, and a mysterious prophecy hints at trouble to come. An undercurrent of rage is rising against those who are not Clanborn, and the warrior code is in danger of being washed away by a river of blood. All the young cats’ strength will be needed if the Clans are to survive.

. . . who hold the power of the stars in their paws.

If anyone has read the Warriors series then you will know that this is in fact the first book of the third series. In other words, this is the 13th book.

Firestar was the main character who started this series for all of us, so this series focuses on his grandchildren: Lionpaw, Hollypaw, and Jaypaw.

The book follows their struggle as they try to find a place within their clan. Lionpaw wants to be a warrior, but Hollypaw would rather be a medicine cat while Jaypaw wants to be a warrior as well. However, destiny says otherwise.

Due to Jaypaw’s blindness, it’s hard for everyone else to believe that he’ll make a strong warrior. However, Jaypaw is able to “see” through scent and touch. It’s not until Jaypaw dreams of StarClan, their ancestors, that he realizes he’s not blind in his dreams and he was walks into other cats’ dreams. That alone proves Jaypaw is the rightful medicine cat.

This book follows mostly Jaypaw as he learns to deal with his blindness and how he can effectively serve his Clan and learn how to “see” everything.

The Sight by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“You drift around the camp like a little dark cloud looking for someone to rain on.” –Erin Hunter, The Sight

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

The three children of Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw, grandchildren of the great leader Firestar, have thrived in their apprenticeships: Lionpaw’s strength and energy serve him well as a warrior in training, Hollypaw hones her understanding of the warrior code, and Jaypaw explores his mysterious powers and connection to StarClan as the medicine cat apprentice.

With more experience comes both power and danger: Lionpaw makes a friendship–and a discovery–that must be kept hidden; Jaypaw learns a secret that could benefit ThunderClan by damaging others; and Hollypaw knows something that could avert a battle, if she could convince the rest of her Clan.

The three are torn apart as each discovers darkness: in themselves, in the Clans, and in the past. And, as conflict begins over what it means to be a warrior, rising tensions threaten to overflow, washing away the peace that has existed for many moons.

The second book in the third series follows mostly Hollypaw and Lionpaw now. Lionpaw betrays his Clan by sneaking out at night to meet a WindClan apprentice, Heatherpaw.

They’re friends, not harming anyone. However, staying up all night takes a toll on Lionpaw when he is unable to train properly due to lack of sleep. His clanmates are getting suspicious and Hollypaw already knows and isn’t too happy with him.

Meanwhile, to help with his training, Lionpaw receives lessons from Tigerstar and Hawkfrost, his deceased kin. They will him to the dark side, but Lionpaw has yet to see that.

Heatherpaw discovers underground tunnels where she and Lionpaw can meet in peace. It isn’t until much later that Jaypaw discovers some ancestors are in those underground tunnels because they died in there.

Hollypaw tries to keep the peace between all the Clans; especially when three WindClan kits go missing. WindClan automatically assumes the worst believing one of the Clans has kidnapped them. Hollypaw is determined to find the kits before a battle breaks out.

Hollypaw, Jaypaw, Lionpaw, and Heatherpaw, with the help of another WindClan apprentice, Breezepaw, track the kits down in the underground tunnel before the rain floods it.

Warriors: Dark River by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 4 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“I am no warrior, but I am a ThunderClan cat. I stay in the nursery rather than hunt and fight because that is what I do best. I care for our young as though they were my own. This is my gift to the Clan, but I do it in my own chosen name.” –Erin Hunter, Dark River