August’s To Do List

This month is busy.  I feel like I have too much to do, and not just at home.  It’s actually a fairly quiet month for work, but there are other things to do, as well as things I want to do.

Reading

I’m 6 books behind in my Goodreads challenge.  Only read 11 out of 30 books so far.  I should be at 17.  Well, thank the long books for that.  I’m currently reading A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin, a book that’s more than 1100 pages long.  I’m also reading an eBook called The Somali Doctrine, which is much shorter, and I should be able to finish it within a couple weeks.  After that, I have these to read:

  • The Seeds of Earth, by Michael Cobley (kind of long)
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, by Douglas Adams (a short one)
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke (another short one)

That’s just the next three books.  The next three eBooks are:

  • The Circle of Sorcerers, by Brian Kittrell (no idea about this one)
  • First Contact, by Michael R. Hicks (really looking forward to it)
  • Blood Skies, by Steven Montano (again, I don’t know much about it)

Writing

Of course, I want to get Journey to Ariadne part 2 up, get part 3 critiqued, get part 4 written.  Also, try to get at least 3 flash fiction stories a week written. The “Daily” part of the name is my target, really, not the reality.

Home Stuff

I want to organise my library (that is, my book closet) and get a picture of it. It’s a mess right now.  Too many books for them to be arranged nicely.  I’ll need to stack vertically.  Also, I want to get my daughter’s toys organised.  They’re a complete mess, but she does that every day.

Official Stuff

I have to get my passport renewed.  Annoying to do, but necessary, considering I don’t live in my home country.  I also can’t believe how expensive it is.

Photography

I’ve been neglecting my photo blog recently.  I’ve fallen behind.  Lots of photos to post.  I also need to choose a new theme for that blog.  It doesn’t display images properly on the homepage.

Blogging

Keep things going as always, but also try to interact more on other blogs.  More commenting, more following, especially amongst writing blogs.  I also need to update the rest of my reviews to the new format.  I haven’t been doing that recently.  And on the topic of reviews, I have two to write: Moving PIctures, by Terry Pratchett and The Sword and the Dragon, by M. R. Mathias.

Vlogging

Get more videos done.  Try at least two a week.  Also, try promoting my YouTube channel to gain more followers.  That means you! So, go over to it and subscribe.

Other Things

Continue with my exercising and finish level 1 for push-ups and sit-ups on Runtastic’s apps.  Read more to my daughter.  Welcome my new niece (my wife’s sister is having a baby this month).  And there’s just so much more.  I also have to start preparing to get my daughter’s Canadian citizenship sorted out.  But that can wait.  It’ll happen, though.

So, how’s your August?  Busy?

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Exercise’s Effects on the Mind

For the past five years, I’ve been a walker.  Not the zombie type, but someone who likes to go out for walks.  When I walk, I feel my mind is clear and I can think, especially if I’m somewhere more natural and away from people.

I started off exploring neighbourhoods, and I noticed I was becoming much more aware of my surroundings.  I was more alert to what was going on around me.  I then started challenging myself to long distance walks.  I regularly walk more than 10 km these days, but four years ago, I walked 35 km in one day.  It was incredible.  It was an eye-opening experience, and gave me a sense of adventure.  I saw places I’d have never seen if I didn’t walk.  But walking alone and walking with someone are completely different.  Walking with my wife, we tend to talk a lot more.  Walking by myself, I can get lost in my thoughts and I can clear away any stress I have.

Walking does something to my energy levels.  I have a lot more endurance and can walk for longer periods of time, but I’m still quite tired when I’m finished.  I want to sleep.  I don’t have any energy for anything else.  Running would do the same.  High energy cardiovascular exercises would drain me.

Last week, I started something a bit different.  I’m now doing strength exercises, the very simple push-ups and sit-ups.  I’m amazed at how much of the body is worked on during push-ups. To keep the body straight, the muscles in the back, stomach, hips, and legs are all given a workout.  I also noticed on day one that my arms felt dead.  It had been years since I’d done a push-up, and I realised how out of shape I am.  My arms felt weak for two days after the first session of push-ups.  But on the second session, which was two days after the first, it was easier.  And my arms didn’t feel rubbery.  I had my third session today, and while it was more strenuous, I feel fine now.

So, what does this do to my energy levels?  I’ve found that on the days I’ve done push-ups, I have more energy.  I feel more awake during the day.  I feel better.  Who knew doing a few minutes of push-ups would give you more energy, more alertness, and a much better feeling.

This is great for keeping my mind more alert, and this can only mean it’ll help me with my writing.  That’s right, exercise helps with writing, or at least the thought process.  I’m going to try to keep at it.

For another writer’s perspective, check out Shannon A. Thompson’s post here.

For those of you who write, do you find that exercise helps you?