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Saturday Confession: I Like to Hustle

Posted by Julie on February 1, 2014 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Saturday Confession, surrender |

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February 1. That means January is done-zo. Weather wise, I’m pretty excited to wave that first month of the year goodbye. The kids had 8 extra days off from school thanks to the cold. We had the polar vortex thingie. Twice.

I’m also pleased because last month I joined a group/challenge/movement and I saw some incredible results.

Jon Acuff asked through his blog if anyone wanted a 30 day challenge to reach goals. I signed up and became a “hustler.” The kind that gets an email everyday with a challenge and the invitation to share on the Facebook group called 30 Days of Hustle. From naming the goal, cutting it in half, finding accountability, measuring goals, learning more from books on the goals, and much more I watched a little goal branch out into many accomplishments I didn’t even see coming.

My original goal was to sit down and talk with my husband. In December I received news that kind of surprised me, and what was even more shocking was how it stunted everything. I felt immobilized and wasn’t bouncing back. But I kept it inside, which didn’t help. So by naming that as my goal and following the challenges, it was achieved.

But there was more.

  • Because of the first talk, we decided another good move would be to talk to my pastor and just share where I’m at and see if he and his wife had any additional feedback. That meeting already took place and really helped break the isolation.
  • I got back on a good eating plan and exercise, even trying Zumba at home. Oh, I’m a hot mess, but it’s fun to try at home.
  • I revised this site. I talked about that in detail last week.
  • I added a gift to newsletter subscribers, scheduled to roll out for Valentine’s Day. It’s a story called Match Made in Heaven with installments set to release throughout the year.
  • I researched podcasts. I’m considering doing this to share surrender testimonies and information I already share when I minister to others.
  • I read a lot of books for reviews that already published or will until mid February. Check my right sidebar to see how many are coming up, and this page for the ones I already reviewed.

Having the Facebook group and community support definitely helped motivate me, and conquering that first goal broke open the isolation and gave me courage to keep moving forward. Although January felt endless with -30 windchills for many days, it was a good month.checklist

Bring on February!

What helps you with goals? What keeps you motivated? Any goals for February?

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MC Blogfest: An Interview With Ben Regan, My Fiction Character

Posted by Julie on June 24, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

 

 

 

I have a guest today, kind of. Author Elizabeth Mueller is hosting a MC blogfest, inspired by Character Therapist Jeannie Campbell. I blogged about Jeannie recently, if you write fiction following her blog is a MUST.

Jeannie recommends that writers get into the heads of their main character and have the MC answer three questions. Doing so is going to give greater depth to your character and perhaps reveal more for your story you didn’t even know about. I love doing things like this because it really helps. Today Elizabeth is taking that exercise and having fun with it through a MC Blogfest. Prizes are available so join me and link up today.

With that, let’s meet my main character from my work in progress (WIP) Spectcular Falls. Ben Regan is the village grocer and councilman in fictional Speculator Falls, NY. This is a setting in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate NY based on my favorite place in the world, Speculator.

Ben’s family has a long history with Speculator Falls so he doesn’t take kindly to new folks barging in trying to change everything. Right now he keeps butting heads with newcomer Jenna Anderson, an Ohio young woman who moved to Speculator Falls to be the new senior center director after one phone interview.  A little problem…Ben is working hard to shut the center down for good.

So Ben, what is your greatest fear?

Ben: Loss and change.

Care to expand on that?  I know you’re fidgeting in your chair but there is no time frame here.  Share away.

Those that live in Speculator Falls know my story. Anyone else is a tourist in my book but tourists keep my business alive.  About eighteen months ago my grandfather, John Bivins, passed away. He was the heart and soul of Speculator Falls. His death was cruel. Before he got sick I watched him after he visited the senior center. So many of his friends were in poor health and then next thing you knew, the center was closed mornings for funerals. I hate loss. I hate that the former director of the senior center thought she was too good for Speculator Falls and left. That was like another death to me.

Let’s talk about something happy. What is your biggest accomplishment, Ben?

There are two. I take my job as co owner and manager of J.B.’s grocery story seriously. Grandpa built and ran that place for decades. I pretty much grew up there. I’m happy that business is great, I feel like I’m honoring grandpa by taking good care of the store. I’m thinking about an expansion but I’m nervous about it. A lot of risk, not sure about it so I can’t count that as an accomplishment yet.

The other accomplishment is my house. It’s log cabin style with a wrap around porch on top of Panther Mountain overlooking Pieseco. I built it with grandpa. It’s my sanctuary.

One more question. What’s your biggest regret?

Hmmm. Letting my grandmother near a computer and a phone. That’s all I’m saying on that subject.

Ooookay Ben, that’s cryptic. I guess we’ll have to read more when the time comes. No clues?

I’ll give you two words and then I have to go.  Ready? Jenna. Anderson.

Ben, thanks for your time. I learned a lot through this.



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