Group challenge starting February 1 (Uno)

I am joining a group challenge that runs February 1-April 30.  We work together playing “Uno” hands against other teams.  We get points for each book we read that fulfills the criteria.  Since I am considered a slow to medium speed reader, I was placed on a team with faster readers and slower readers to even out the number of books each team normally reads per month.

I love working on the group challenges since it helps keep me on track for my annual goal.  Being accountable to a team pushes me forward.  The hard part for me is that the books don’t count if I start reading them before February 1 and I usually log my books as I open them the first time.  I can’t do that for this challenge.

I have played this game before, and the challenge to this is to keep track of ALL of the characters and locations as I am reading.  It is fun, and especially fun to work as a team to get all of the cards completed.  Here are the things I need to look for.

O (Zero)
Read a book that:
– has a 0 or Zero in the title
– has a title starting with Z
– has an author first name or surname starts with Z
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with Z
– is set in a place name starting with Z
– is a “stand-alone” book (i.e. not part of a series)

1 (One)
Read a book that:
– has a 1 or One in the title
– has a title starting with O
– has an author first name or surname starts with O
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with O
– is set in a place name starting with O
– is book 1 in a series

2 (Two)
Read a book that:
– has a 2 or Two in the title
– has a title starting with T
– has an author first name or surname starts with T
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with T
– is set in a place name starting with T
– is book 2 in a series

3 (Three)
Read a book that:
– has a 3 or Three in the title
– has a title starting with H
– has an author first name or surname starts with H
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with H
– is set in a place name starting with H
– is book 3 in a series

4 (Four)
Read a book that:
– has a 4 or Four in the title
– has a title starting with F
– has an author first name or surname starts with F
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with F
– is set in a place name starting with F
– is book 4 in a series

5 (Five)
Read a book that:
– has a 5 or Five in the title
– has a title starting with I
– has an author first name or surname starts with I
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with I
– is set in a place name starting with I
– is book 5 in a series

6 (Six)
Read a book that:
– has a 6 or Six in the title
– has a title starting with S
– has an author first name or surname starts with S
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with S
– is set in a place name starting with S
– is book 6 in a series

7 (Seven)
Read a book that:
– has a 7 or Seven in the title
– has a title starting with V
– has an author first name or surname starts with V
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with V
– is set in a place name starting with V
– is book 7 in a series

8 (Eight)
Read a book that:
– has an 8 or Eight in the title
– has a title starting with E
– has an author first name or surname starts with E
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with E
– is set in a place name starting with E
– is book 8 in a series

9 (Nine)
Read a book that:
– has a 9 or Nine in the title
– has a title starting with N
– has an author first name or surname starts with N
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with N
– is set in a place name starting with N
– is book 9 in a series

Skip
Read a book that:
– has a title starting with K or P
– has an author first name or surname starts with K or P
– has a character with a first name, surname or nickname starting with K or P
– is set in a place name starting with K or P
OR you can choose to “skip” reading a book for this cards (and get no points for this card)

Draw 2
Use the same book for two cards in this hand (and get points for both cards)

Reverse
One member of your team must read a book another team member has already read

Wild
Read a book that can fit for any of the cards in that SAME hand (i.e. you are duplicating one of the cards in that same hand)

Wild draw four
Read a book that can fit for any of the colored cards you have that month (i.e. you are duplicating one of your colored cards. Each colored card can only be duplicated once)

Colored cards
Special colored cards will be randomly provided each month. for these cards you need to read for the card number (as above) and the book must also have a colored cover for the color specified (blue, red, yellow or green)

Baby steps in goal setting

My reading goal for 2019 is 75 books. I was asked why. Because I didn’t have a lot of trouble with 62 books in 2018. The 62 was chosen as a book a week, plus ten audiobooks. I fell behind for a while because of lack of concentration after my surgery. I caught up and surpassed my goal.

I feel that a goal should be a challenge, but not unattainable. Sure, I could set my goal for 1 book for the year, and meet it almost immediately, but there’s no challenge in that. I’d finish right away and be bored the rest of the year.

One of my Goodreads friends set a 2018 goal of 2018 books. She read 10. That’s not even close. Why set such an unattainable goal? Six ish books a day? Not going to happen, really.

I do have friends who set their goal over 100. I am not yet that brave. That would stress me out, so I add to my goal little bits at a time. I met that goal, next year try a little more. Maybe in a couple of years, I’ll be over 100. Not this one.

My retiree friends have 365 books set as a goal. And make it by early December. Please note… retiree. I don’t make time for a book a day yet. Maybe one day.

75 books in 2019. I think it’s doable for me. As those of you who read me frequently know, I have many halfway finished, so I have a little head start. I can do this!

63/62

I met my reading goal for 2018. In fact, I exceeded it. I slowed down on the reading because of it. I shouldn’t, but I did.

Last night, I ended up going to sleep before 8 pm. My eyes were just too tired to read. Couldn’t focus on anything. So I just bundled up and slept. I will get back to it today.

Acquiring a passport, part 3

This part of the passport acquisition was exciting. Not much of a story behind it, though. It arrived in the mail. Plenty of time before my trip. I received my documentation paperwork and passport card the next business day.

I was able to check in for my trip with my correct info, finally! I am all set. Especially since I have my dresses and found a suitcase set for the trip. I just have to wait a couple of months until the day of the trip. I am excited!

Fifteen minutes at a time

I have had people ask me how I get so much reading done. I make time for it. I am not a fast reader, really, but I pick up my book or Kindle whenever I have free moments.

“I could do that if I ignored work, my kids, my spouse, etc.” No. I don’t. I just do my reading in little chunks. Waiting in line. During breaks at work. Waiting for a dental appointment. On the train or bus. All useful quiet time.

I start reading about fifteen minutes before I plan on falling asleep. This actually helps with my insomnia, too. My body knows that if I’m lying down reading, it’s almost sleep time. I used to have hours of awake time at night. Now it’s about fifteen minutes after I start reading. Sometimes less.

I multitask. Read the book on the treadmill. Bring the waterproof Kindle to the pool and hot tub. Run the audiobook in the car.

Another trick I learned us to put on my headphones. When my family sees them on, they know I can’t hear them well. They get my attention if they are addressing me, but if they are talking to each other, they are muffled. This is usually at the point where I’m trying to sleep. I’m not just ignoring them.

The main thing, though is that I turn the TV off and read during the time that I’d normally be watching TV. The TV is a big distraction. I have learned to only watch the few shows a week that I actually enjoy. The rest of my former TV time is spent reading.