I vividly remember summers in elementary school. They were the time of year when we would meet Grandpa and Grandma Nelson at Eagle Creek for a day of food, hiking, and even the occasional attempt at fishing. We would have time to go on trips, but those were always preceded by our famous/infamous lemonade stand. (Famous because we would sell anything from lemonade to the bag lunches we’d brought for ourselves if someone was interested. Infamous because it was at one of these lemonade stands that I fell into a ditch and broke my arm.) My favorite time of the summer had to do with the parental dates. Mom and I would watch the sunrise over the Portland rose gardens and then go for pancakes. Dad would always take me to a movie and lunch.

My other enduring impression from those years was one of focus. When I was older, I had the choice to go to orchestra camp or take weekly lessons for violin or viola with the teacher I used during the year as well. But when I was seven or so, I remember Mom and I deciding on a list of what I would like to accomplish before the first day of school. These goals were usually pretty lightweight, but made sure that I kept learning throughout the summer, so I’d commit to learning spelling words or verses of scripture. There were also fun things to break up the monotony.

It’s been a few years since I last had that kind of goal sheet, but I’ve been having trouble setting objectives for myself. As I mentioned in my first post, I have spent two years with a punishing schedule and it’s taken a toll on my creative life as well as my physical well-being. So I decided that, with today being the first day of summer, I would sit down and set some goals. I’m going to borrow Claudia Gray’s “Day of Demand” requirements of having challenges of mind, heart, and body.



Write my own fiction three times a week

Write two blog posts a week

Finish editing the last book I wrote.

Learn one word of Old English each day.

Reward: Buy one of the writing books off of my Amazon wishlist.


Write one encouraging letter to someone a week.

Memorize two verses of scripture a week.

Go on one “date” with myself” a week where I just have something fun to do.

Meet someone new each week.

Reward: Go to a concert I haven’t already gotten tickets for.


Run three times a week.

Run the Temple to Temple 5K

Run/walk the Wonder Woman 10K

Reward: Go to my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Salt Lake City.

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