The Quarter Project

Jon Acuff has this talent for lighting a fire under my procrastinating behind.  Last November, after reading his post on how much “almost” sucks, I followed his advise and “put a stake” in my long-labored novel, called it done, and finished the last 2% of the final draft that I’d been sitting on for a ridiculous amount of time.  BAM.  No more almost about it.  Done in three days.

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Let’s just skip over the fact that it then took me four months to format, finalize cover art, buy ISBNs and upload to Kindle.  Let’s also skip over the fact that I still have the notification email from when Jon responded to my victory tweet.

Yup, skip all that.

This Fall, as life turned into pumpkins and the “Where has the year gone!?” panic set in, he Acuffed me again posting THIS:

The year is not over. It’s not even close to over. We still have 25% left! Sure, we’ve burned through almost 75% but that’s not the same as 100%. Imagine if you came up with a 75 on a test and told your parents, “Don’t worry mom and dad, that’s almost 100!” How would the rest of that conversation go for you?

 

The year isn’t over.

It’s not too late.

It’s time to rally!

– See more HERE

What else is one to do when Jon Acuff issues a rally cry?  You rally people!  In response, The Quarter Project was born.

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The premise is simple.

With 25% of the year left, the last quarter of four, I will tackle a list of 25 things that need conquering before January 1st.  My key to success?  Loading the list with fun things I’d do anyway.  What else did you expect from the girl that lists “Wake up” as the first item on every daily to do list?

What made the list.

Some things are simple one time actions while others, such as de-cluttering the house, will be longer projects (posts to come on this initiative!).  There are things that make huge milestones like holding my novel in print and other things on the list that just need to get done like finishing the master bathroom.  I put no parameters on what made the list.  This alone is a victory.  I should have made the first item on the list be “write the list.”

  1. Hold my book in print version *SHAMELESS PLUG HERE*
  2. List and sell stuff I’ve been holding for eBay
  3. Pay off [some] debt
  4. Finish reading a book – any book – even a re-read of the entire HP series will do
  5. Use up candle making supplies
  6. Finish the master bathroom
  7. Research/plan/outline/snowflake a new writing project
  8. De-clutter the house
  9. Wrap up the family photo project
  10. Make a T-shirt quilt
  11. Plant a Fall garden
  12. Send real mail
  13. De-clutter the digital life
  14. Make my first block printed fabric
  15. List new products on Etsy
  16. Paint Grandma’s kitchen
  17. Plant flowers in the front of the house
  18. Surprise a certain special someone with homemade strawberry cheesecake
  19. Buy a perfect little pumpkin somewhere other than a grocery store
  20. Make s’mores in the fire pit
  21. Wear my favorite hat while knitting several more
  22. Take walks
  23. DIY gifts for Christmas
  24. Open the window, use up candles, play the “fireplace” on the TV with hot cocoa
  25. Actually stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Come along for the ride.

My goal is to provide updates on accomplished tasks in a reasonable manner.  If you are familiar with my blog at all you know that consistency is not my thing.

Care to join me in this project?  I’d love to hear about your progress! Link up in comments! Use hashtag #thequarterprojectfall2014 on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, social-media-platform-I’m-too-over-it-to-learn.

Rally friends.  Let’s get some stuff done.

 

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Seryn

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I have a serious thing for songs with counting and clapping.  This love fest overflows into the repeated sung syllables phenomenon.. you know, “na na na” etc.

So it is no mystery that I’m crazy lovin’ the band Seryn.  I had the pleasure of hearing them live in Nashville two weekends ago and they are shut-the-front-door-awesome-sauce.

They met all my criteria of fantastic music elements with incorporated clapping and lyrics like “come away away away” ( <— repeated syllables!).  But they raised me 752 instruments.  This may be a slight exaggeration but I highly emphasis “slight”.

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The lead singer switches between various guitars and a ukulele… at one point he sings INTO THE UKULELE.  The drummer grabs a guitar then hits the xylophone… you know, no biggie.  The female vocal whips out a harmonica, a tambourine, the a stand up drum that gets passed to the lead singer who at one point beats the drumsticks on the frame or mic stand or something (which gets me more than clapping happy) and the bass player…  yeah, he just busts out a trumpet and plans some instrument with a bow that I couldn’t identify.

And there’s a fiddler… a freaking fiddler.

Color me impressed.

 

Like Jon Acuff says, “their a more musically talented Mumford and Sons.”  Sorry Mumford and Sons—you’ve been ousted from my playlist.  It’s going to be Seryn on a loop for at least 27 days.  Not a good time for you to release your new album… I’ll catch ya later.

Special thanks to Jon Acuff and the Quitter conference for introducing me to my new favorite band (well, next to The Cure anyways).

Meet Seryn from Matthew Armstrong on Vimeo.

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And don’t forget to check out my prints for sale at: OTS

Week(s) in Photos: Sept 15-28

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My grandmother had a knee replacement two weeks back.  She had a few complications and was suffering severe pain and they couldn’t figure out what was causing it.  On the day I visited her in the hospital, I stalked followed her and the nurse down to sit with her while she got a second set of x-rays to make sure that no one hurt my grandmother (that’s my job… kidding!!!).  The tech made me sit in a waiting room.  I’d already threatened every person that worked on her floor (in my head anyways) so I gave the guy a break and took a seat.  This is what I saw while doing my obligatory count of ceiling tiles… not sure that would make me feel all warm and fuzzy if I was flat on my back waiting for an x-ray but, hey, guess they’re trying…

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The road between Orlando and Melbourne that I like to take is natural Florida most of the way…

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it feeds my Florida sky obsession… we really do have better clouds than anywhere else…

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I’ve seen the insides of my feet more than any other part of my body… I’ve done more damage to my right foot than any other appendage… THIS is why I only wear awesome shoes…

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Gratuitous sky pic… deal with it…

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I arrived in Nashville in the early evening then waited at the airport Starbucks for my friend to arrive on a later flight… I got to see the sunset while I sat there…

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and also realized that I WAY over process my photos… but I sorta like them like that… yeah, it’s totally on purpose… it’s “artsy”… yeah…

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Friday was our touristy day in Nashville… so naturally we started with a few hours of work (well, writing for me) at a cool coffee shop near Vanderbilt.  I got a fireball… it was the most awesome thing EVER.

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Then on to the Parthenon… because when somebody randomly decides to built a full scale replica of a Greek temple, you’re obliged to show up.

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and when in Nashville, one must walk down Music Row… sorta like a Bourbon Street with less beads and more twang…

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Puckett’s Grocery in Franklin was AHmazing.  Fried green bean, pulled pork quesadillas and pumpkin ales… enough said.

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Tennessee sky pic… see.. obsessed!

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But most of the weekend was about the Jon AcuffQuitter” conference (buy the book… buy it!) where I received some of the best advice in my life, including this…e5053eb205ef11e2904b22000a1cdc2a_7

Then after some wonderful time spent with friends, I flew home…