Friday, November 30, 2007


Here is a video I did about my life post-NaNoWriMo via YouTube. This is a high-quality video (hopefully not blurry...I'm striving to improve with YouTube) and I'm expecting it to load quickly and display well.

I'm also experimenting with a few special effects (just a few) to make my Friday night more exciting. And yours as well.

I've noticed that with YouTube my videos can be a little longer. It takes less than an hour to process from beginning to end, even for a longer video, whereas Blogger took much longer and was unreliable and buggy, often necessitating loading and reloading for hours. Thus, I'm a YouTube fan :)

I hope that everyone has a fantastic weekend!

UPDATE: Video quality is much improved, but still has a way to go...all suggestions welcome!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wellness Wednesday: Today I Appreciate Exercise (It's Not What You Think!)

I'm a day late for Wellness Wednesday, but here it is. I think you'll like it. Hopefully it will be easier for everyone to see, too, via YouTube!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Celebration Tonight

I have some good news! See my post immediately below from earlier today (or here) before seeing the video so it makes sense...thanks for "coming with me", my online support team---YOU!

This video is 2:05 long:

Okay, I'm in the process of switching to YouTube! Here's the same video on YouTube---watch it here and see if it is better for you:

Finished NaNoWriMo

I finished NaNoWriMo with the first draft of my novel at 55,691 words. I couldn't get the whole plot into those 50,000 words--or even in 55,691 words! So, I decided to end it at a certain point in time and call it Book One (about my protagonist right up to the time of her husband's death), then write a whole separate Book Two about what happens after his death. Book One could be a complete novel in itself, but it really needs a shorter Book Two to be the story I wanted to write.

LoveHubbie and I are going out to eat to celebrate and I will attempt to blog this and post it later tonight. Ya'll can celebrate with us; I couldn't do it without your support! I'm sorry I've been behind commenting on your blogs, but I will catch up in the next couple of days.

I feel like a real writer now :)

This lovely collage was done by Karen Smithey and was my visual inspiration for BE BRAVE and NaNoWriMo. I wrote the text on it, which was composed by Karen. It says, "There were no railings to hold onto, nowhere safe to she kept on climbing..."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Check-In: Complaint-Free...Does It Matter?

The first video is just over 3 minutes:

The second video is 2:35:

UPDATE: Today I made it 22 hours again. I'm a-keepin' on!

This post is about the Complaint-Free Challenge, otherwise known as GWCC. If you'd like to find out more about creating a Complaint Free World, see my earlier post here. If you don't know how the complaint free bracelet works, find out how here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sacred Life Sunday: My First Art Journal

For Sacred Life Sunday, I started my Art Journal. This was sacred, daring, nurturing, and satisfying for me today.

I found out about how to do an art journal in this video by Suziblu.

Here is the link to Leslie's Comfortable Shoes Studio blog. I got a screaming deal on the journal for $19.99 on ebay. It is worth way more than that, of course. Leslie has another one just like mine on etsy now but it costs twice that. It's still a fantastic deal. I treasure mine and will keep it forever.

Ha, ha, I see that Leslie is on Suziblu's blogroll. Is that cool or what?

Here is my video about my first art journal. I apologize for the way the zoom was a little off at the end. This was because I had it on for the wasp (see below).

All you GWCC-ers may note that I'm finding creative ways for dealing with my anger. This particular time I did not transmute it, but expressed it in the journal. Overwhelm would be a good way of describing how I feel far I've gone almost 22 hours with no GWCC! I have never gone a full day before. But anyway, it, er...backed up a bit. This is maybe not the best way of dealing with it, but it is less destructive than many other ways I would have chosen in the past, so I'm happy.

UPDATE: My new record is now 22.5 hours with no GWCC. I wanted to make it a full day...I will, hopefully one day soon.

So here is my video, less than two minutes long:

And here, for your amusement, is an OTV outtake that is 50 seconds long. It was kind of funny and educational so I thought I'd include it :)

This post is about the Complaint-Free Challenge, otherwise known as GWCC. If you'd like to find out more about creating a Complaint Free World, see my earlier post here. If you don't know how the complaint free bracelet works, find out how here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Homemade Fire Starters

This is obviously not a Thanksgiving post like the umm...7 posts below this (yes I went a little crazy, but just a little...just call me super duper grateful!) but since some of you might be sitting by the fire, I thought it might be useful. This video will be of interest to you only if you have a fireplace or woodstove and would like to learn how to make homemade fire starters. The video is just over 2 minutes long:

Sorry about that constant hum in the background. That was my roof being cleaned. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have to clean our roofs or else the moss will grow under the shingles and actually pull them up. I'll bet you didn't know that unless you've lived here :)

Complaint-Free Check-In

I'm still on Day 1, but aware more of my speech. The longest I've gone so far is about 3 hours awake, and 8 hours asleep. The rewards of this challenge are rich, however, even with results like this. Being complaint-free is a spiritual foundation; it's like the soil that many other spiritual practices and blessings are based upon. I only curse now maybe 5-6 times per day, almost always at myself. I'm getting kinder and more compassionate to me insides as well.

So, in this Thanksgiving post, I'm grateful for the Complaint-Free Challenge, otherwise known as GWCC. If you'd like to find out more about creating a Complaint Free World, see my earlier post here. If you don't know how the complaint free bracelet works, find out how here.

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark (of a painting in a Hawaiian vacation condo rental)

The Dark Side of Thanksgiving: Sales

In this least important Thanksgiving post, I include a practical link so that you can save time for more important endeavors on Thanksgiving, such as self-care, love, gratitude, family, good food, rest, and relaxing. I'm exaggerating a bit when I call it "dark", I suppose, but I can't really think of a better word.

I don't like conventional shopping, especially on Black Friday; instead I love the combination of search engines and online shopping: good deals + no driving + lightening fast!

So, if you like to shop on Thanksgiving, but don’t want to leave your cozy warm house, check out Amazon’s Black Friday sale here. Note that it starts officially on Friday. This is something special Amazon is doing to compete with offline stores.

Also check out Amazon’s continuous deals (not just on Black Friday) in the widget in my sidebar.

Touching Others’ Lives

For this Thanksgiving post, I offer a link to a short video about service, and it applies each one of us. If you are looking for something beautiful and inspirational to watch for Thanksgiving, here you go:

I saw this here on Virginia’s blog “Sacred Ruminations”.

Today I give thanks for the way each of you touches my life...

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Giving Thanks for Our Bodies

This Thanksgiving post refers to this post from Claire from Anna's World. She reminds me how every day I can be grateful for the wondrous way in which my body works instead of focusing on its flaws or size or aches and pains. Overall, our bodies work miraculously!

Prayers for a speedy healing for Claire.

May we all have a happy Thanksgiving!

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Talks From My Chair #15: Friendship

This is my most important Thanksgiving post, featuring the first in the series of Talks From My Chair, on friendship. As you probably have noticed, they are not in order. I am numbering them according to my journal so that I can keep track :)

This video is 2:20. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wellness Wednesday: Thanksgiving

Gratitude is important every day, and the Thanksgiving holiday is a good reminder of that.

Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. I normally am uncomfortable with holidays, but Thanksgiving is different. I have so many things to be thankful for. I am going to have several Thanksgiving posts. If you only watch one video here, please watch the above video (Talks From My Chair #15) about friendship; it is about YOU.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Talks From My Chair

Today I wanted to introduce a new blog series I'll be running on OTV (a.k.a. Olivia TV) on a random basis. This video is 1:28 long.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sacred Sunday: A-N-G-E-R

Here, on OTV, is a series of short videos I made on my walk today, loosely tied together with a theme of anger. They total just over 5 and a half minutes in length.

Here are the links I refer to in my videos:
Kikipotamus the Hobo on blog synchronicity and anger
Lori-Lyn's post with the YouTube interview of Ram Dass and Thich Nhat Hanh
Lil with a prayer to the Goddess about anger
Also there is a quick picture of me expressing some anger with a masque on (really quick)--just for effect. And some phenomenal up close shots of deer I encountered in my driveway. Nature shots. Musings.

The first video is 1:08:

The second video is 1:06:

The third video is 2:32:

The last video is 51 seconds:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Somewhat Lame Update

This is a Somewhat Lame Update of me being really tired and written out today. The video is two minutes long. It is a NaNoWriMo update (although I forgot to say that's what it was and just start talking about word counts) and a Complaint Free update. If you are new to this blog, this is me when I'm silly and tired. I was inspired by so many of you who are faithful to making videos when you're not at your absolute best, and decided it was time for another installment of OTV (Olivia TV) anyway :)

Love After Love

"Love After Love" is a poem by Derek Walcott, that I've seen three times in as many days. Most recently, I've seen it in "Arriving At Your Own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindfulness" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I wanted to share it with you.

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Friday, November 16, 2007

7 Random Things

So I was tagged by Angela at Eclectic Recovery yesterday to write 7 Random Things About Myself. These are the rules:

1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.

2. Post these rules on your blog.

3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.

4. Tag seven random [?] people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

Thank you, Angela, and here are my seven random things:

1. My first story every published was in the Honolulu Advertiser when I was 9.

2. I am the only oldest daughter in four generations on my mother's side to not die right before (as in, within days before) my 45th birthday.

3. I am highly allergic to champagne and pork chops.

4. My major in college as an undergraduate was statistics.

5. I have been Catholic, Mormon, and fundamentalist Christian. I have never been Buddhist or Hindu.

6. I have had over 40 jobs, spanning wildly different areas, including ballet school administrator, systems analyst, paralegal, high-end dating service salesperson, library clerk, medical practice manager, and ice hockey guard.

7. I don't follow or care about sports and never know what people mean when they talk about "the game".

And here are the people I'm tagging:

1. Rick

2. Lori-Lyn (who I really want to know more about!)

3. Kate

4. Kate I

5. Karen

6. Eileen

7. Joni

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark with underwater camera

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Will Not Whine

~Picture of plaque on our office wall taken by LoveHubbie Mark

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sacred Sunday on Monday

I missed Sacred Sunday yesterday, so I decided to have it today. I desperately needed a sacred sabbath, a time of reflection, a time to slow the pace and just be.

I have been participating in NaNoWriMo, the writing project in which participants create a first draft of a novel in 30 days. We are currently on Day 12. To write 1,667 words in a day that fits into the structure of a novel is a challenge. To do it day after day after day after day is a phenomenal challenge. I have been keeping up, but after this weekend, the strain of keeping up each day became overwhelming and I finally gave myself permission today to take a day off. Sacred Sunday came and Sacred Sunday went, and I did what I do every day---write, write, write, write, write. I truly enjoy it, but I'm realizing that as part of my process I must build in breaks, time off, stress relief.

In addition, LoveHubbie was home all weekend. He normally works seven days a week, so it was a pattern break for both of us to have him home. And a monster challenge to keep up with my words each day. I felt like all weekend long I fought for writing time, fought to stay with my novel, while at the same time bearing with interruptions and still taking care of LoveHubbie, as well as planning in some LoveHubbie types of fun since things so seldom work out that he has time off. I woke up this morning tired and barren, my creative well bone dry. I knew that I had nothing to write from today and needed to feed my soul.

Thus today so far has involved doing some collage, getting caught up on the computer with you all--my supportive community, and eating a meal slowly. It will soon involve reading spiritual books and a quiet time and some exercise. All of these activities done slowly and without time pressure help me to pull myself together, and to feel like I have something in place to write from.

I clearly would be better off building this into my writing process. I will be exploring ways of doing this. I don't have any clear ideas. I can't imagine how people with children and full time jobs manage NaNoWriMo, and admire them for even attempting it!

In my writing process, I wake up each day (seven days a week) and begin writing right away. I enter at least 1667 words into my AlphaSmart Neo (named Kaiolohia), usually more, so that I can get to a good stopping place. Then I upload the words from Kaiolohia to a Word file and print it out. I edit it, and expand upon sections where I can. Then I print out a final copy and fit it into my existing manuscript. I have just over 30,000 words, which is something like 90 pages or so. I totally love doing this.

I know now that I'll continue doing this after NaNoWriMo, just not so intensely. Maybe I'll limit myself to two hours a day. Or just mornings M-F. But right now is the learning time, when I'm figuring out how I work and what I need in all of this. NaNoWriMo's founder, Chris Baty, has said to never take off more than one day in a row. I'm finding that I need to listen to my body and my creative spirit, since I tend to lean the other way, towards overdoing.

I've been thinking about perfectionism, too. I've been delaying perfectionism with this book, knowing that I'll have a chance to work towards a better draft later. It makes for a much more productive day. I love working with the AlphaSmart Neo, and want to keep this up. It is too hard to go back and make everything "just so" when you have a screen size a little larger than a calculator. I hope to always use it for writing.

I read at some point over the last week about "positive perfectionism" and "negative perfectionism". Negative perfectionism is trying to be perfect because we need approval, especially our own approval, and can't be without it. It feels like a burden. Positive perfectionism is continually improving and learning in the interests of mastery, and is joy-filled. I like this distinction. I am learning how to discriminate between the two.

The best thing about NaNoWriMo so far is that it has taught me that I love to write. This has been the greatest NaNoWriMo gift, although there are many after just 12 days!

I want to finish my first draft this month. The draft has to have the plot structure included--the beginning, middle and end. I plan to expand on it for three more months; it should double in length. And then take it to Hawaii in March and add special details to it while I'm there (my novel takes place in part in Hawaii). I think I can finish up in the spring. This is my work, and my joy!

To fully enjoy my work, I have to take at least a weekly sabbath, and I have to do more with my life than just write. I need time to renew and time to exercise, time to think and create. I don't mind at all just doing that and limiting my social activities, because secretly, just between you and me, doing so is a real treat for me, and a productivity booster for my writing.

I also want to get more serious about creating a Complaint-Free world. I've been just diddling with it, and it shows. I'm slowly becoming more aware, but not getting results anything like the people who are committed. I find that I need to be centered and grounded and live at a slower pace to do a good job with this.

Well, I'm off to continue my Monday sabbath. We're having a big storm here and it looks like there's a break in the action so that I can Nordic Walk. I enjoy being available for those weather breaks and darting out between the downpours to breath in the fresh northwest air, and the moist smells of the forest.

~Pictures by LoveHubbie, alteration by Me

Friday, November 9, 2007

Complaint Free World, the Early Days

If you'd like to find out more about creating a Complaint Free World, see my earlier post here. If you don't know how the complaint free bracelet works, find out how here. This video is 2:07.

Please see my Complaint Free Day counter in the right column. I am using an icon from Patty Digh via Rick and Rebecca's NO GWCC (gossip-whine-complain-criticize) Thank you!

Complaint Free World Bracelet Instructions

I really jump-started my Complaint-Free project by including a makeshift bracelet. Find out how here. This video is 2:22. I've been wanting to make shorter videos and break them down so that they are accessible for everyone, but I've been a little cramped for time lately; I'll get back to it soon!

Please see my Complaint Free Day counter in the right column. I am using an icon from Patty Digh via Rick Hamguin and Rebecca's NO GWCC (gossip-whine-complain-criticize) Thank you!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'm Trucking On!

Hi to everyone! I'm trucking on here with NaNoWriMo, currently at 20, 465 words. And no, I'm not little Miss Perfect, as you'll see in my video here, which is 2:22:

NaNoWriMo has pretty much monopolized my life, which is a good thing actually, because I love to write. Just love it. It's a lot of pressure though to do so every day and to get a certain number of words every day. I know, though, that I'm learning things from the intensity that I could learn no other way, just like I did from BE BRAVE. I'm an intensity fan.
"Life is short. Intensity rules."---Me

So, if you're able to watch the video, you'll see I'm learning from my mistakes. How could I hope for more?

Love to each and every one of you, the ones who comment and to whom I get to wish lots of good things for, and the ones who don't! Peace, love, and joy, O

Wellness Wednesday: Nordic Ski Walking

Last month I took up Nordic Ski Walking, also called Nordic Walking, and Ski Walking, which is basically walking with poles. It has been great for me, because I was looking for something doable for me at an introductory fitness level, something I could do at varying fitness levels, and something aerobic and anaerobic (so that I wouldn't need to lift weights).

Here are some facts about Nordic Ski Walking (NSW):
1. It burns up to 40% more calories than just plain walking.
2. It is easy and doesn't require skis or snow.
3. It is the fastest growing fitness activity in Europe.
4. It is inexpensive. It costs just the money for your poles, and you're on your way. Mine were $69.95 and involved no gym membership.

I really love NSW, as it involves no gym membership, and allows me to be outdoors. Also, if I feel like an intense workout, I can adjust for it. If I'm exhausted, I can still do it, just slower, and less intensely.

Here is a video of me doing NSW:

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sacred Life Sunday: Gratitude Dance

For Sacred Life Sunday, I'm going to do the Gratitude Dance, because I have so much to be grateful for. Here is an original video about the Gratitude Dance from Dr. Mercola. It is 3:20 long:

LoveHubbie and I made a special video of us middle-aged folks valiantly attempting the Gratitude Dance, too. We keep getting slower the more we do it; still, I am grateful to be able to do it at all! It is 43 seconds long:

Friday, November 2, 2007

BE BRAVE Summary

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I just completed BE BRAVE on Thursday. Over my 30 days of BE BRAVE, I:

1. Wrote my first Amazon Vine review.
2. Discovered in my heart that I deserve nice things, ordered a designer key fob.
3. Stood up for myself.
4. Made first video ever.
5. Conquered my fear of groups. Really!
6. Took a yoga class.
7. Grounded my health by giving up sugar & refined carbs & alcohol.
8. Started a low carb diet.
9. Decided to stay sober, sugar-free, and refined carb-free for a good while.
10. Decided to do NaNoWriMo, a writing challenge.
11. Became more authentic on my blog.
12. Attempted to get more sleep (still have work here).
13. Eventually stopped putting myself down for my hair.
14. Made first video Amazon review.
15. Did first guest blog spot on a blog.
16. Opened up to a new friend.
17. Figured out how to use my new word processor.
18. Took on procrastination and broke through it many times.
19. Said no to good things that weren't right for me.
20. Learned how to give myself permission to take a break.
21. Became more comfortable with receiving good things from the Universe.
22. Began to lose weight.
23. Began to feel my feelings.
24. Experimented with being present.
25. Decided to adopt being present as a spiritual practice.
26. Started and continued to due yoga every day.
27. Shook up my patterns by doing things differently.
28. Discovered that I could be brave with the flu.
29. Learned to face difficult intimate conversations better.
30. Discovered the ease that comes with perseverance.
31. Eliminated clutter on To Do List.
32. Cleaned my pantry.
33. Did things imperfectly with comfort.
34. Dealt with my most feared person ever.
35. Learned to trust that the Universe will come through for me.
36. Practiced keeping myself safe.
37. Had video featured for the first time on another blog.
38. Stopped out-of-control late night eating.
39. Decided to help create a Complaint-Free World.
40. Found out that things could be easy instead of hard, if I wanted them to.
41. Discovered that being afraid is something I can move through.
42. Surprised myself with what I could do.
43. Fell in love with this community.

BE BRAVE never ends. Ever. It has changed my life forever. YOU have changed my life forever. Thank you to Jessie, who started it all, and to each one of you precious, precious souls. Blessings and abundance and love to each of you forever, With love, O

Have Fun with NaNoWriMo!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Update to How I Use(d) Food

Got a hit last night---yay! (No Late Night Eating!, see prior post) I'm going to keep going with this, all the way, each day. Step by step, creating more and more of this "new lifestyle". Thank you all for your support, Olivia


BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 30.

Happy NaNoWriMo...whoo hoo! This video is 1:19 long: