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.


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.

the quarter project


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.



May Habits

My “habit” resolution has gone about as well as all resolutions go… but I’m holding out the hope that some will stick.  After not even thinking about habits in April, I’m brushing the dust off and starting new in my favorite month.



may habits

1. TV free “T” days – that’s Tuesday and Thursday just in case you needed clarification.  I’m a TV addict.  I’ll admit it.  I justify the time waste by knitting or processing photos so TV time isn’t exactly unproductive but I get so much more done when it’s completely off… and usually, I have more fun!

2. Give myself a break – we are our own worst critics.  I set unrealistic expectations for myself as a norm.  I plan to work on gaining some perspective, with a little help from my friends, and be a little more gracious with myself.

3. Do something creative every single day – anything.  This includes 5-minute “make something out of office supplies” creative challenges amongst Skype buddies in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday.


What are some habits you are trying to develop?  Any projects on your radar?



(yes, that’s right… I’m bribing you!  Be the first to share a post from OneThreadThatWinds and get two-months free.  That’s what reading the fine print gets you!)



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40 Random Things…

Get prepared for some reading…


1. I find that coffee is a solution to nearly every situation.

2. If coffee doesn’t work, jumping jacks do… you can’t do anything but feel silly and giddy after jumping around and flailing your arms for a few.

3. I haven’t had a haircut for over a year.

4. I’m allergic to tomatoes, eggs, dairy and corn.

5. I love tomatoes, eggs, dairy and corn.

6. I embrace suffering (therefore I’ll still mom’s “egg dish” and pay for it for days)

7. I want a new tattoo but I’m waiting (I know not what for).

8. I love slurpees … a lot.

9. I’ve been covered in someone else’s blood (that sort of evokes images of Dexter… not my intention.)

10. I have a compulsion to nickname everyone, and given nicknames evolve constantly causing people to give me looks like “what did you just call me???” I also come up with every possible nickname for people’s potential baby names… some people say I can only come up with horrible nicknames, I say kids are crueler than me and will come up with even worse ones so if they don’t like mine they better pick a new name.

11. I don’t use top sheets… EGATS!

12. I absolutely LOVE getting something other than bills and junk mail in the mailbox.  One postcard makes me happy for days :o)

13. I drive a red truck… it makes me feel tough… no, I won’t help you move… what’s that? free drinks?  okay!!!

14. In college I adopted two cats and named them Sonny and Cher.  Sonny died in a freak accident (with freakish similarity to his namesake).  After that, my roomie and I ended up with one rescue cat after another and started the Beatles with George, Ringo and Lennon but for some reason we never got a Paul…hmmm… anyways, I still have Cher and Ringo… strange couple.

15. I have two dogs: Kimi, short for Kimimela which means “butterfly” in native american, her official show name is “Too Damn Cute”, her nicknames are kim chi, cha chi, kimmers, scooby, goober, gumby, bisous, bonzo, dorko, and goobee… don’t ask.  Quinn’s official show name is “Pour Me Another” after his dad “Johnny Walker Black” (I don’t pick these names!).  He also goes by pupito, Q, Q-Pie, Quebec, Q-tilicious, buddy, bubba and budreaux.

16. I hate wearing shoes.  Since my two foot injuries and two foot surgeries in the last 4 years I’ve had to wear shoes more than ever and it’s no fun.

17. People who ask me if I’m related to Mariah Carey drive me crazy… yeah, she’s my sister but in my family we all share the same first name … and NO I don’t sing.

18. If I didn’t have to pay the bills or sleep I would write all day and all night.

19. I learned to knit from a book with no pictures and help over the phone from a friend several states away.

20. I have TMJ and my jaw has been locked for 17 years.

21. I slept outside in a field in Alaska… later saw the same city featured as the top spot for fatal bear encounters on “When Animals Attack”

22. The first and only fish I ever caught weighed about 40 pounds.

23. I never want to catch a fish again.

24. I bite the insides of my cheeks. You don’t have to scold me… the dentist already does that.

25. My favorite place on earth is Cades Cove in Tennessee.

26. I like to hang my head out of the car window and look straight up into the sky, preferably on roads with overhanging tree branches (from the passenger seat of course!)

27. I have anxiety over hanging things on walls… I once had a break down over unhangable shelves because of metal studs.

28. I borrow my friends’ husbands to hang things (and build things-James you are my hero!!!)

29. I’m still irritated that they turned “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” into “Winnie the Pooh’s Blustery Day” at Disney World.

30. One of my earliest memories was watching the Challenger explode from my front lawn and wondering why everyone was running inside to watch the tv when you could see it in the sky.

31. In elementary school I found a chunk of concrete that broke off the sidewalk and brought it to school for show and tell claiming it was part of the Berlin wall … I still have it in my rock collection.

32. I’ve started to write over 30 books and have finished the first draft of ONE.

33. I’ve been maid of honor 4 times.

34. I love to sing along to the Beatles at the top of my lungs with the windows down when I’m driving at night.

35. I was named after the song “They Call the Wind Mariah” from Paint your Wagon.

36. I’m sure you’ve noticed but I love the ellipsis… it’s the greatest punctuation ever and as I think in fragmented sentences I use it all the time.

37. If I could be any fictional character I’d either be Jo March or Elizabeth Bennett… or Lara Croft :o)

38. My eyes change color depending on what I’m wearing and when I cry they turn the brightest most unreal shade of green.

39. I have an actual phobia of throwing up. The tears stream and I have full blown panic attacks, as if throwing up isn’t embarrassing enough.

40. I’m ridiculously accident prone… I’ve broken my tailbone three times, stabbed myself through the foot with a shish kabob skewer, gashed my leg open on a septic tank, fallen down stairs in slow motion, fell off the back of a 4 wheeler and got dragged quite literally on my derriere, and broke my foot pushing my broke down truck out of traffic… the list could go on forever.

How about it? Write your own “random” list and link back! I’d love to read about you!

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2011: Goals in Review

Here’s a little reminder of the goals I set for 2011… then promptly tucked away to forget about…


and here’s the rundown on how I did…

1. Write regularly-The novel just doesn’t want to be done… that’s all there is to say.  The characters just aren’t cooperating.  Yeah, let’s blame them.  I did make major progress though so I can’t say I failed.

I’ve been better about blogging.  48 posts in 2011 doesn’t seem all that impressive but when you check out the percentage increase in my nifty little chart here, you’ll see I’ve exceeded the rate of 2010 by 128%.  Not. Too. Shabby.


2. Read-I didn’t exactly knock this one out of the ballpark but since I copped out when creating the 2011 list and didn’t establish any sort of quantitative threshold for success, I get to call this goal accomplished.

  • On Writing by Stephen King (Easily my favorite book on writing ever.)

(Then there is always the trashy teen vampire novels that I wouldn’t really want to endorse like Bloodlines, Destined and Diary of a Vampeen…forget I even mentioned them.)

3. Invite friends over-Again, no specifics outlined so I get to cross this sucker off the list.

  • In January I hosted the 1st Annual Fake Thanksgiving… I even cooked my first Turkey.
  • In October I had my housewarming party!
  • I’m going to lump in the “ask for help” goal with this list too since I asked people to come over to help me move in June and also to help me/keep me company after my surgery in August.
  • Being stuck at home for weeks inspired Waffles-n-Church where I invited folks over for breakfast and live streaming church on Sunday mornings.
  • In preparation for my one and only craft fair of the year, there was also a Waffles-n-Crafts day.

Conclusion: Waffles are a good bribe…

4. Give yourself a break-oh, Mariah, and your super vague goals.  I guess I was just really loading the situation to ensure a win at the end of 2011.  Regardless…

  • When I tell myself I didn’t accomplish much this year, a loud and excited voice in my head screams back, “YOU BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!!!”  If you told me on January 1st, 2011 that I’d befinishing the year out on MY couch, in MY house, watching fireworks over MY backyard I would have said you were crazy.  GOD IS GOOD.
  • Is it my 30’s kicking in?  I don’t know, but I spent a lot of 2011 wrestling with the question, “What do YOU really want?”  With the help of my awesome mentor, Lisa, I’m starting to understand my uniqueness and how it interacts with other personalities.  I’m getting a grasp on the ways in which I am best filled spiritually and I’m starting off 2012 with a nice collection of “aha!” moments and whole lot of motivation to get some more!
  • This year I did something I’ve never done.  I handed over my writing for critique.  TWO PEOPLE.  This is big… maybe you have to be a writer to get this but goodness.  It felt like asking a psycho killer to watch your baby.  Then something amazing happened.  My two friends, who are absolutely NOT psycho killers, handed me back a ton of encouragement, some questions and a few criticisms that grew my story and my writing in ways it never would have if I’d kept the manuscript locked up in its Microsoft Word prison.
  • Lastly, in the most literal interpretation of this goal, I’ve adopted a new motto, “Do something for yourself today that your future self will thank you for.”  Get gas tonight, give rushing-to-work-tomorrow-morning-Mariah a break.  Make the bed now, it will give exhausted-going-to-bed-Mariah a smile.

Overall, 2011 was awesome.  Check and Check!  Watch out 2012, I’m coming at you full speed!

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