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Monday, March 3, 2014

Time To Stretch! - March Madness Check-In, Day 3 #WIPmadness


Welcome to the first Monday check-in for March Madness! If this is the first you've heard of our wonderful challenge, you can learn more about it here. It's about setting wild goals and smashing them, while joining in with a community to support you as you go. There are even prizes for participants! And best of all, it's never too late to join in the crazy. ;) 

So here we are. Monday. To the dismay of some, this is the first weekday check-in. So let's start things off with a smile: our first contest winner! Denise Jaden mentioned on goal-setting day that she would give away a first prize to someone who set their goals within the first twenty-four hours.

And the first prize goes to…

Kathleen Smith!

Congratulations, Kathleen! Stop by the goal setting post at http://denisejaden.blogspot.ca/2014/02/march-madness-set-your-goals-wipmadness.html and pick your prize from those listed. Email your choice to d(at)denisejaden(dot)com and we’ll get it out to you as soon as possible.

And if your name is not Kathleen Smith and you did not win, keep checking in regularly! We will be giving away more prizes on the various blogs, but you never know where or when…

^__^

All right. "I hate Mondays" jokes aside, this is also a great day to check in and assess how things are going so far. Did you have two glorious days of productivity towards your goals? What are you looking forward to?

I let a few things take over my time this weekend, more time than I'd expected to spend on them, so I wound up woefully not getting much done until late last night. But the good news is, I have my query letter polished and ready to go, and a list of agents to start submitting to! And I also have some ideas about where I want to take my urban fantasy novel.

In other words, I'm ready to get cracking. But before I do, I thought you all might appreciate some tips to help keep the body as limber as the mind.

See, I'm under strict orders from my RMT to get up at *least* once an hour whenever possible to help keep me from getting too tense when working. And some time ago, when I asked her what I could do to lessen the tightness in my muscles, she showed me four easy stretches (done in the chair, even!) to help keep my muscles limber. So I thought I'd share them here.

Note: all of these stretches should be performed for at least 30 seconds each. Most of them involve making some space before beginning:
  1. Fix your right foot on the floor. Place your left foot on your right thigh, sit up straight, then lean forward. You'll feel a stretch in your IT bands. Repeat with the other leg.
  2. Scoot to the edge of your chair. (If it has wheels, make sure it's against the wall, first.) Fix one foot on the floor for balance, and then stick the other leg out, locking the knee. Point the toes of that foot upward. Reach forward and grab the foot, or at least as far as you can reach. Stick the butt out for extra oomph. You should feel a stretch in the entire leg. Again, repeat with the other leg.
  3. Also on the edge of your chair: grab the outsides of your legs with the opposite hands, so that they're crossed. Lean forward and take a deep breath. Move your legs farther apart for a deeper stretch. All of this opens up the thoracic cavity and spreads the muscles of your upper back. Switch the way your arms are crossed for a slightly different stretch, if you like.
  4. Sit on one hand, so that your arm is fixed. Turn your head in the direction of the opposite shoulder, then either look down (like you're sniffing your armpit) or up. Both actions help stretch the trapesius muscle in the neck. Repeat with the other hand.
I hope you find these stretches useful as the days of March go by and the madness descends. Ready to get on with the rest of the month? *cracks knuckles* Let's do this.

And don't forget to check in at Shari Green's blog tomorrow!

41 comments:

  1. lol
    I doubt I'm going to remember all this stretching.
    I looked at some of my pages yesterday. But I was so tired from work I couldn't keep my eyes open.
    Better luck today, I hope.

    ~Akoss

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    1. Every day is a new day, Akoss. I had similar trouble on Saturday, exhausted from the dayjob. Just remember, every time you sit down with your story is a new opportunity!

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  2. I ended up not writing this weekend. I needed a break, something I didn't figure into my yearly schedule *wink*, and couldn't wrap my brain around it. Today, I've accomplished half my goal so far. One scene, 1566 words completed. I'm not sure if I'll be tackling a second scene today (that was my original goal--2 scenes per day--I may be tweaking that goal, lol), so I wanted to check in before I forgot.

    Hope everyone else has a productive day! :)

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    1. I ended up going back in and writing the second scene. The guilt was too heavy. lol Hey, whatever it takes to get it done, right? Now, I'm thrilled. :)

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    2. Glad to hear you were able to get more done, Jennifer. It's true, whatever it takes! :)

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  3. Ooh, I did have a gloriously productive weekend. (The next few days look to be less productive, though.) And I'm looking forward to handing my MS off to my agent. :D Stopping every now and then to stretch and take the eyes off the screen is a good reminder. When I first got glasses around the 4th grade, the eye doctor told me that I read too much, and when I got to the bottom of EVERY PAGE I should stop and focus on a spot in the distance. Clearly a suggestion from someone who's never read a great book!

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    1. Hah, Joy. It's great to hear the stretches are helping. Best of luck with things done this week!

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    2. *getting things done. And the "hah" was in regards to that doctor.

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  4. Went to yoga on Saturday and did some wonderful stretches. My favorite had to be the modified downward facing dog and sleeping swan. It was storming at here in Cali so hardly anyone showed up for the 8am class. It was fab!

    Looks like I'm going to dr with sick kiddo who has been complaining since Thursday of a really bad sore throat. Hope to get in some writing. At least one scene today.

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    1. Sorry to hear about your sick child, Kim. It's definitely the season. I hope they feel better soon! And yes, definitely focus on doing what you can, even if it's not as much as you'd first hoped.

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    2. Doctor thinks kiddo might have mono. She asked him, "Did you kiss anyone?" He's 12. He was horrified. "I didn't French kiss anyone! I swear!"

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    3. Oh, my. Poor fellow. I hope he's okay!

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  5. Great reminder! Too often I get caught up in all the things that need doing and my neck is all hunched by the end of the day. Alas, my writing over the weekend was not great or productive, but I did get up an hour early today and got right to work, so I'm feeling better about that. Glad to see all the new faces around here this year (and familiar ones too!)

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    1. I agree, Denise! The fresh faces and the regulars are all bringing a wonderful energy to the month! I like hearing how you're making your schedule work for you.

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  6. Thanks for the helpful stretches! I was getting so stiff sitting in a traditional chair until my PT suggested I try sitting at my desk on an exercise ball. It's worked wonders! I am able to move and stretch any time and using your core to balance really helps your posture. As far as my writing goals, I've been brainstorming new ideas and will be off and writing soon!

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    1. You're welcome, Trudi! Happy writing!

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  7. Good morning to one and all! I hope everyone is off to a good Monday morning start.

    Some of us look to the weekends to catch up on all the things we didn't get done during the week, and others finish a week by avoiding work and relaxing on the weekend. Starting #wipmadness on a weekend was a mixed blessing for me. I was so pleased with what I accomplished on my new WIP Saturday, but Sunday... um, not so much. When I was actually at home, instead of getting on with the next scene, I tinkered with what I'd already written -- a time-sucking no-no. But since my goal-setting didn't involve a specific word count per day, I'm accepting that at least I spent some time on the manuscript, and I'm ready to be more productive today.

    I'd never be able to stretch into some of those poses, Laura (not the knee bending part, anyway), but I do need to get up or stretch into different positions occasionally and look away from the computer monitor periodically, so thanks for the reminder.

    Happy writing, Wipsters!

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    1. Oh, and big congratulations to Kathleen for being our first prize-winner! :)

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    2. You're welcome, Carol. From everything I've heard on the subject, especially at the yoga class I was taking before I injured my ankle, do what you can. Modify the stretch to work for you. The point is stretching as you can. :)

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  8. One of the benefits of ADHD is that I can't focus on one thing for a long amount of time, so I'm always up and down taking some sort of a breather while writing. Yesterday I revised 10 pages of my historical YA and noticed that the whole thing is 300 pages which means if I do 10 every day I could finish this revision by the end of the month. Hmmm. Have a great one, Wipsters!

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    1. Oooh, that sounds promising, Angelina! Best of luck with finishing!

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  9. I just did 20 minutes on the treadmill while I was reading some class notes so that kept me moving. I’ve done a bit of writing and look forward to a productive day.

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    1. Yay, Linda! I hope your day is fantastic. :)

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  10. Thanks for the stretches, Laura! I just did them after reading your post. I added on some gentle neck rolls and simple standing forward & backward bends. Now I feel great. :) Ready to tackle more pages.

    When we started MM, I already had quite a bit revised. Since Saturday, I've revised 45 additional pages. It seems like a lot, but I put in 3 hrs. Sat., 12 hrs on Sunday and already 6 more today. I've got 107 pages left to revise.

    I'm wearing my *lucky* shirt again today. For those of you with FB, I've posted a picture of it there. Since I'm not washing it until MM is over, I'm limiting my wearing of it to only revision time. Which makes me giggle. It'll be my lucky (stinky) shirt by the end of March. My hubby wanted to know why I wasn't washing it. I told him it has my writerly mojo on it. :)

    Hope everyone has a productive day!!!

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    1. Hey, whatever works, right? ;) Happy revisions, Candilynn!

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  11. Great stretching tips...thanks!

    I had a slow start over the weekend as I regained some strength and energy after a bout of food poisoning. (No, it was not fun.) I did get a little done, and am happy that today I feel like my usual self. So, words! But first a wee stretch... ;)

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    1. Oh, glad you're feeling better, Shari. I got a slow start too, mostly because of previous commitments I'd not been able to set aside. But we can definitely do this!

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  12. A little late to the check in. And Congrats to Kathleen! Woohoo! After weekends of bad naps for the little one, I'm kind of glad when Monday rolls around. Not so much the rolling out of bed extra early to make breakfast and lunches for the kiddos, but I do enjoy the quiet house and my 2-year-old has taken a wonderfully fulfilling nap which gave me all the time I needed to reach my daily goal.
    And thanks for the stretches. I needed those!

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    1. I agree, Stacy. I love it when I have the house to myself. Glad to hear the stretches are helping! May your naptime writing time prove to be *very* productive. :)

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  13. Checking in - and checking out to do some stretches. Been a solid day at the office, but stretching - both in the physical and creative senses - will happen later this evening.

    Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Deana! May your evening go exactly as planned. ;)

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  14. Yay for polished query letters!

    I revised an especially stubborn scene last night and I'm hoping to push through at least one chapter later this evening.

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    1. Best of luck, Jennifer! Revisions can sometimes be easy as pie, but other times pose a real challenge. May it be the former for you.

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  15. #wipmarchmadness #BIC paying off! 1017 words today. So far, so good! Hope everyone else is doing well!

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    1. OMG!!! I just saw I won a prize! Wow, thank you! I'm off to pick it out!

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    2. Yay, way to go Kathleen! Have fun picking your prize. As the first winner, you literally have the choice of *everything*. :)

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  16. I think you're psychic, Laura! Dealing with a day l8ng tension headache, so not much accomplished writing-wise, but the stretches will certainly get done! Thanks for these! Hopefully I'll be more productive tomorrow.

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    1. You're welcome, Jenn! I'm glad they help. Hope you're able to get more done as the week progresses! :)

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  18. I'm the middle of moving while the madness continues. I'm definitely going to do this tomorrow before the builders come. Might as well enjoy wide empty spaces while I can. I've done a lot of handwritten butt-in-chair work lately, it'll be good to work all the knots out. :)

    Cheers,

    Tonette

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    1. Hope your move goes well, Tonette! The important thing is that you're still getting stuff done despite the non-writing crazies. :)

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