I've been talking to a friend of mine about getting together a critique group. Just a small cluster of 3 to 4 people who write historical romance. I have an on-line critique group and they've been a fabulous help so far, but I find I'm moving at a clip now that a group that size isn't really set up to keep pace with, so I need to find a smaller group in addition to my on-line group. I also like the idea of getting together every couple of weeks face to face and talking about the stories we're creating, brainstorming and helping each other out. I think it will definitely help me stay focused and generate a lot of new ideas. So hopefully I'll be able to find a 3rd and/or 4th member and we'll be off, armed with a good load of enthusiasm and chai lattes.
Okay, anyone who's read this blog for any length of time has probably heard me bitch and moan about the sad state of my financial affairs. I know some people get hinky about talking about money, but I've never been that shy about it. All in all, things could definitely be worse. I can still pay by bills each month and I have a decent roof over my head and equity in my home. So it's not like I’m about to retire into bag lady land. But I'd also like to make sure I never get to that point. And quite frankly, I hate carrying debt.
I know, I know, everyone does it, so they say. Well maybe so, but that's only because the past couple of generations have made it so. Before that, my grandparents generation, it was a cash or nothing existence. They seemed to have the right perspective - if we can't pay for it now, we can't have it. These days, with our instant gratification personas, we've thrown that mindset out the window and now most of us are mired in debt and working just to stay afloat, one or two paycheques away from being out on the streets. I'd prefer to avoid that scenario.
So I've retired my Visa card. I've taken it out of my wallet and stuck it somewhere that I'll hopefully forget about it for a long while. My new motto - no cash, no go. Now granted, this may prove a little dicey with a maid of honor dress I need to pay half down on next month...but hopefully with some creative accounting and cut backs I can come up with something.
As for my planned shopping spree once I knocked off the weight, the one I had planned for March 18th? Well, the weight loss is on track, but the budget, not so much. So I might hold off until the first of May for that and just buy a couple of things instead. I took a second look at my wardrobe and figured out what I absolutely needed and it wasn't as long a list as I had originally thought. And again, if I can't pay cash on hand, that list may get shorter yet. But I'll sleep a lot easier knowing the debt load is shrinking, because the less debt I have to pay, the more money I can sock away into savings, and the more money I have in savings, the better chance I have of taking a trip each year--something that has been on hold for the last few years (with the exception of Reno which wasn't really a vacation type trip).
I've lost track of how long I've wanted to go to Europe, and to be honest, I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of so many things getting put on hold because I don't have the cash to do it because it's always going to pay off my debt, which I then wrack up again on stupid things that I don't really, truly need. Like that stupid notebook I bought last week. Another notebook. To go with the over 20 I already have.
I think I need to call Staples and have them bar me from their store.