Friday, October 18, 2013


Yesterday was my birthday, so I have now officially entered my 38th year of life on this planet.  No longer can I say I am in my mid-30s.  37 is just a little beyond that age range, don't you agree?  I am, however, still within that 35-39 age group so maybe that's why I'm still okay with it. Regardless, my birthday means I get to spend time with the people I hold near and dear, so I'm looking forward to all the festivities going into the weekend.  Dan and my Thursday girls spoiled me rotten yesterday, tonight I will enjoy delicious Pad Thai, and tomorrow a big group of my loves are all joining me for dinner at D'Agnese's, one of my favorite Italian places.

My birthday clearly is also an excuse to eat lots and lots of food.  And cake.  Mmmm, cake.

The year ahead brings some changes, the most notable one coming up next week.  I don't know if anyone remembers my post back in June, but I had some crazy medical issues all dealing with my nose. I had a skin infection called cellulitis that was undoubtably one of the most painful things I have ever been through in my life.  When all was said and done and the infection finally cleared up, I was left with a slightly deformed nose due to the fact that the infection ate away at the cartilage near the end.

I've hated my nose pretty much my entire life.  Whenever given the question of "If there was one thing about yourself that you could change, what would it be?"- my nose was always the number one answer.  It was made even worse when I broke it several years ago after a drunken stumble into my armoire at night (ah, to be 27 again).  So, when the doctor told me reconstruction was an option, and that since it was necessary due to the infection my insurance would cover it, I pretty much jumped on the chance to get it fixed.  The doctor also said while they're in there they can also "take care of" some of my other issues, too, like my slight deviated septum, which should help with my breathing issues, and get rid of the lovely bump near the top.

Um.  Yes, please.

In less than a week I go under the knife.  I haven't had a surgery in over 14 years, so of course I'm nervous- scared about how much pain I'll be in and how sick I'll get from the anethesia.  But to be completely vain, mostly I'm excited for the outcome.  I wouldn't wish that infection I had on anyone, nor would I EVER want to go through something like that again. But if the result is an improved nose that helps alleviate some of my allergies, well, I have to say I'm pretty okay with that.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How I Spent My Summer

Clearly, I spent my summer NOT writing.  While this makes me sad and somewhat antsy to get going again, all in good time. 

June was the last time I posted anything here, and that's just downright shameful.  But it is what it is.  The summer months were crazy dealing with health issues, car issues, a crazy social schedule, and then, finally, a lovely beach vacation with my good friend Barra and her family.  Getting away from it all was EXACTLY what I needed.  I came home refreshed and raring to go.  I've started writing a new story, but so far it's really only in the beginning stages.  As in, first chapter is all that's been partially written.  But it's a start.

The past couple weeks I've been working almost every day on my query letter for Where We Fell.  I still need to update my agent list, but I think I'm juuuuuust about ready to start the scary submission process.  I believe in this book.  Everyone who's read it says my writing has come a long way since the first story- and for the record, I still think that one was good, too.  Just needs some more work   (and someday I swear I'll go back to it).  Thanks to some major help from my sister in law- I think we've emailed back and forth at least 79 times now- here's where my query stands right now:

If only Jane had given Connor the five minutes of her time he’d begged for, he wouldn’t be lying unresponsive in a hospital bed, stuck between this world and the next. But Jane had been upset, still raw from the pain he’d caused her, so instead she’d practically shoved him into the car with someone who’d had far too much to drink that night.
Feeling desperate and full of guilt, Jane heads for the old well in the Patterson fields. Town legend says that the ghost who haunts its crumbling ruin, Gabby King, grants wishes to a rare few she deems worthy of her help. Jane has always thought the stories of Gabby were just silly fairytales, and even if she did believe them, she isn’t sure she deserves anything at all. Yet if a simple wish can save her boyfriend, she’s willing to try.
To her surprise, Gabby not only exists, but wants to give Jane the chance Gabby herself never got with her own first love. She offers to send Jane into the space between; the place, Gabby explains, where souls go to await their destiny on earth. Connor’s soul is there in a perfect world created by his mind, and if Jane can’t convince him to leave he’ll never wake. Gabby warns Jane of the dangers a living soul faces to enter this realm; she must go back when Gabby calls or she will get trapped there herself.
However, once in the space between, Jane realizes persuading Connor to leave is not going to be easy. He's angry, resentful, and has brought all the pain from that fateful night with him. But Jane will do anything to bring him back, even if it means trading her life for his.
WHERE WE FELL is a contemporary young adult novel with paranormal elements, complete at 75,000 words.

So I ask you, dear loyal readers of this blog, what are your thoughts?  Does this sound like something you would want to read based solely on the query?  Pretend you don't know me.  Seriously.  I will listen to any suggestions at this point.  These are soooo hard to write, and I only have one shot to impress an agent.

I have a lot more to discuss, but I shall save those thoughts for another blog.  Hopefully I'll get back to posting on a semi-regularly basis again here soon.

Thought for the day:  How can you have a beautiful ending without making beautiful mistakes? (this was from a fortune cookie and I just loved it.  I cannot take credit for this thought.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Craptastic Month of June

Let me start off by stating that June has not been a fantastic month.  Oh, it had potential to be pretty great, but it started off crappy and hasn't really gotten much better.  This is not an excuse for why I've been so absent from this blog- and well, writing in general, it's just simply a fact.

The first Monday of this craptastic month, I started my morning off with a tumble down the stairs. Surprisingly enough, in all my clumsiness I have never fallen all the way down stairs before (I usually tend to trip going UP them).  Thankfully, this tumble was no big deal, really.  I scraped up my right knee and pulled my shin muscle pretty good, but no broken bones or anything. I even made it to Pilates for the first time in months that evening, although I did have a hard time doing some of the moves due to my sore leg.

That same week, I woke up on Tuesday with a very swollen nose.  I thought perhaps I had a lovely zit a-brewing in there, because yes, I am 36 years old and still cursed with the occasional volcanic pimple from time to time in weird places.  I messed around with it a bit, probably more than I should, and by the end of the day it swelled up even more and hurt when just the wind would hit my face.  No exaggeration.  It was like someone was continually punching me, over and over, right in the nose.  The pain was unreal.  On Wednesday morning, I took myself to the ER because the pain, if possible, was even worse.  I had googled my symptoms and found out that it sounded like cellulitis, which is basically a bacterial infection of the skin.  It can be caused by a cut, ingrown hair, etc- any minor injury will allow staph in and hence, the infection.  Long story short, after arguing with the ER doctor that no, this could not possibly be an allergic reaction to something, I was prescribed an antibiotic and sent on my way.  Nothing for the pain, which was still getting worse by the minute.

The next day I had my allergy shots, and I'm lucky that there's an ENT on staff there at all times.  My allergist took one look at me and knew what I had (even though an ER doctor seemed basically clueless) and had the ENT look me over.  He prescribed some other antibiotics and a cream and told me to stop taking the other antibiotic the ER had prescribed. 

Nothing for the pain, though.  Terrific.  I was eating ibuprofen like M&Ms.  I was a mess that night- the infection caused me to feel flu-like and achy on top of everything else.  I wanted to rip my face off my head.

Oh yea, and we were leaving for Chicago the next day, did I mention that?  A highly anticipated trip, a weekend of fun and sight-seeing and shopping, drinks and good food...and I was miserable.  Somehow I rallied and still managed to have a good time, but if I had been home, you can be damn sure I would not have shown my face to the public the whole weekend.

I'm still not better, either.  This infection has eaten away cartilage in my nose and it's still swollen inside.  I'm afraid when and if it ever does go down I will be left with a lopsided, caved-in nose.  Because, you know, I'm not already self-conscious enough about my nose.

Then this past weekend lightning struck again.  My mom called me with the sad news on Sunday that our good friend, her old co-worker Joanne, had passed away.  Joanne was a wonderful, funny, kind, super sweet lady whose laugh you could hear from a mile away.  She was there for me through one of the darkest parts of my life, assuring me that things would get better and I'd feel whole again one day.  She was the one who encouraged me to start writing again, that she "saw" me writing books for kids.  Joanne called herself a "feeler"- she could just sense certain things about people.  She had a sort of pyschic ability, you see, and let me tell you, she was right about a LOT of stuff.  She's one of the main reasons I finished writing not one, not two, but three books.  And now, for her, I am going to do my damnedest to get the third one out there and make something come of it.  I will make sure that her prediction comes true, somehow, someway.

June can suck it. I'm glad it's over after next week.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The bandages inside the pen

"You found the bandages inside the pen, and the stitches on the radio..."

The line above is from the chorus of one of my favorite Gaslight Anthem songs, Boxer.  I remember singing it at home one day, and my husband shaking his head at first, saying he didn't get the lyrics.  To me, they've always made perfect sense: through writing and music, I find a way to heal.

For as long as I can remember, when I've been upset or angry or depressed, I write.  I think I got my first diary when I was in the fifth grade, a tiny, hardcover book with a real lock on it.  I would hide the key in my jewelry box, tucked away under the felt so no one would ever find it.  The thought of someone reading my most intimate thoughts scared the crap out of me.  I was terrified of being teased even more relentlessly than I already was.  Elementary school, and well, most of junior high, were not especially fun times.

As I grew older, I kept writing.  My journal entries were sporadic, but whenever I was feeling frustrated or sad, getting words down on paper always made me feel better. I wrote terrible poems and long paragraphs of angsty stream-of-conscious thoughts, scribbling like a madwoman in a beat up notebook.  Somewhere in my parents' house there are crates of notebooks full of stories and poems and probably a lot of really terrible writing.  I couldn't bear to throw any of them away- each notebook represents a piece of me and who I was becoming.

Music became more and more important throughout high school, too.  I loved punk rock; fast poppy songs by Bad Religion, Lagwagon, Pennywise, etc.  Their songs were the perfect anthems to my crazy, confused life at the time.  But I also found myself weeping to music from the Indigo Girls and Tori Amos. They inspired me to write better, to really try to create beautiful imagery and say what I wanted to say without flat-out saying it...if that makes sense.

My latest novel, Where We Fell (a real title!!), was inspired by two songs, both about wishing wells.  The Airborne Toxic Event's Wishing Well is where I actually got the title from; it's a haunting song about feeling low and being full of regret.  The other song that inspired me was A Silent Film's Danny, Dakota and the Wishing Well, a lovely song about being afraid to take a chance but then throwing caution to the wind to go after what you really want (Sidenote: these are my interpretations and how the songs make me feel.  Music is so subjective, though, that someone else may get an entirely different feeling from these songs.  Just sayin'.).

I understand that not everyone feels the same way about music that I do.  Some people can listen to a song and not feel anything at all, even though they may appreciate the beat or the singer's voice.  But I love being moved by a lyric, getting that ah-ha! moment when it seems like the band just gets me.  Like they got inside my head and made sense of all my jumbled thoughts and came up with this beautiful song just for me, to make me feel better. 

And I thank them for that, for giving me the words I can't find on my own sometimes.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Another teaser + ahh, the sweet smell of revisions!

Well, it's official.  I've completed writing the first draft of my third full-length novel.  It's crazy to think that just a few years ago, writing a book was just a lofty goal, a dream I had but didn't think I would ever accomplish.  Now I've written three.  Three!!

Granted, the first two didn't go anywhere.  I like to think they were my "test" novels.  They allowed me to work out some kinks, to try to find my voice and decide what kind of story I'd like to write.  I think they both still have potential and have some very good pieces in them, and maybe someday I'll go back and start them over.  But for now, it's time to move forward.

My third novel topped out at just over 75,000 words, which was my wordcount goal all along. Funny how that happens- I thought it might end earlier, around 70,000, but in the end, I needed to wrap up a few more things.  Before I pass it off to my lovely readers, I have some revisions I know I want to add in first.  I'm going to reread the whole thing and make the changes along the way, and then hand it off.  I'm not so concerned with grammar and punctuation stuff just yet, though.  I just want to make sure the story has all the elements I think it needs.

And so, I leave you with another snippet.  I'm not gonna set this one up at all, so just read it and enjoy it.  I mean, I hope you enjoy it...

I settle down on the stiff grass in the small graveyard, curling my feet under me.  There doesn’t seem to be anything to do but wait for Connor’s appearance.  I find myself wishing the sun would come out; it’s not that it’s cold here, but goose bumps spring up along my arms regardless.  It’s like the grayness sinks under my skin and chills me from the inside out.
I rest my chin on my hand and stare at the blank headstone.  Whose name will end up etched into that granite?  Shaking my head, I decide it will not be Connor’s.  I will not allow that to happen.

My ears feel stuffed with cotton.  Why are there no sounds here?  True, there is no breeze either, but being so close to these false woods I’d still expect to hear something coming from them.  Some sort of rustling in the brush nearby or bird wings flapping above, something.  The utter lack of movement makes it feel like the minutes here are dragging by, like time itself has forgotten how to move forward.
I wait.

And I wait.

And I wait. 
To pass the time, I braid and unbraid my hair.  I lie down, but I’m afraid to close my eyes in case I should miss Connor’s arrival.  I pace, first with my shoes on, then with them removed.  The grass beneath my feet should feel sharp and scratchy, but I barely feel it at all.  Along with my hearing, I feel my sense of touch also slipping away.  I run my hand along the headstone and my fingers are numb; I know I’m touching it but I don’t feel the coolness or the smoothness of the granite.  The longer I wait, the more I’m filled with an odd peaceful feeling, like when you first awaken from a good dream.

“Connor,” I whisper, looking up at the purple clouds rolling through the sky.  “Where are you?”
I can’t explain what happens, but I feel a gap in the silence after I speak.  There’s a rift in this place, something unsettled in the stagnant air.  I whirl around and see nothing, nothing but the endless gray landscape.

My eyes close in despair and I sink back down into the grass, pulling my legs into my chest and resting my forehead on my knees.  Where is he?  What if he doesn’t show up before Gabby calls me back?  What if I end up trapped here, alone in this timeless, silent place?
What if I’m too late? What if, back home, Connor is already dead? 

I’m so tired of crying, but I can’t stop an icy tear from slipping from my eye.  The thought that Connor might be dead fills me with horror, to think I might be missing any last moments with him because I’m trapped here in the space between.
“What are you doing here?”

My head whips up.  My ears are ringing from the sudden disturbance in the silence, but I see no one.  Did I imagine that voice?  That voice I know so well, the voice I hear in my dreams?
“I said, what are you doing here?”

I couldn’t have imagined it twice.  I get to my feet, shaking as I look around.  “Connor?” I say, my voice nothing more than a shrill, tiny squeak.
As if conjured by his name, he materializes in front of me, suddenly real and whole and here.  He’s wearing his favorite worn-in jeans, the ones I told him only a few weeks ago how much I love the way they hang on his hips, and a charcoal gray t-shirt, the shirt I’ve stolen from his room countless times.  No matter how long it’s been since he’s worn it, when I pull it on I feel his warmth and smell his soapy scent as if he’d taken it off five minutes earlier.  His feet are bare; Connor loves being barefoot.  He would walk around school barefoot in the dead of winter if he was allowed.  His hair seems longer, although it’s only been a few days and there is no way his hair could’ve grown in that time. 

What strikes me the most are his eyes.  Normally a sweet, chocolate brown, here they seem muddy, almost black in color.  They are not his eyes. 
“It’s you,” I breathe, taking a step closer despite the anxious feeling sliding down my spine at his eyes.

He holds his hands up in front of him, backing away. “How did you get here?” he asks, his voice low and husky.  And maybe…angry?
“Don't worry about that.  What’s important is I’m here, and I’m going to bring you back with me,” I explain, trying to ignore his cold stare. 

“I’m not going anywhere with you.”
I swallow hard.  Gabby said he wouldn’t want to leave, that I would have to convince him it was for the best.  But the way he’s looking at me right now, almost like he’s filled with disgust at the sight of me, makes me think this is going to be a much harder task than I ever imagined it would be.

“Connor, listen to me,” I plead.  “I know what happened, um, was terrible but-“
“Who are you?” he asks, cutting me off.

I blink in confusion.  “It’s me.  Janie.”
He squints at me, crossing his arms in front of his chest.  He shakes his head.  “Sorry.  I don’t know anyone named Janie.”

My breath gets caught in my throat and I’m paralyzed with fear.  Of all the things I was expecting him to say, denying that he even knows who I am was not one of them.
“Now if you excuse me, I have things to do,” he says, ice dripping from his voice. “I don’t know how you got here, but I suggest you go back the way you came.”

“Connor!”  I cry, panicked.  “Wait!  Please!”  I cannot let him walk away from me.
But walk away is exactly what he does, disappearing without a backward glance my way.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sharing is caring

Last night, I had one of those dreams that just stuck with me after my alarm rudely woke me up.  I can't stop thinking about it even now.

I was in a class or some sort of writers' group, and everyone had to read the first page or two of their most recent work in progress.  I was so excited to share mine, and I shuffled through my notebook to make a few revisions before it was my turn (sidenote: I have not handwritten a story in YEARS, but the one I was about to read from a battered, old notebook just like I wrote in in high school was my current WIP).

After listening to everyone's first pages, it was finally my turn.  I opened my notebook and to my surprise and horror, my story was gone.  It was like the pages got up and walked away.   And I knew I had just looked at them moments earlier! I frantically leafed through every page in my notebook, searched my bag and the floor around me, but it had just disappeared. 

And so, no one got to hear my story.  And I was devastated.

So, what does this dream mean?  Does it mean I should take better care of my WIP and how I share it with people?  Or, maybe it means the thought of NOT being able to share my stories with people would be the worst thing ever.  Hmm.

I have about two more chapters to write, by the way, until the first draft is complete.  It's already over 71,000 words, so I'll have hit my word count goal and then some.  Now just to tie up all the loose ends. In a way, finishing a first draft feels like saying goodbye to an old friend.  I've spent so much time with this story that it's almost hard to end it all.  What will I do with all my time now??

Well, revisions, of course.  And eventually, start the next one. :o)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Productivity at its finest

Last week, I got hit with a weird 24-hour flu type of thing.  I say it was weird because I woke up Tuesday morning feeling completely fine, drove to work feeling fine, and then got to the office and immediately starting sneezing.  At first I thought it was just an allergy attack of some sort, but it just wasn't calming down.  I literally needed to shove tissues up my nose to keep it from dripping all over my desk.  Gross, I know.  So, I went home at lunchtime so I could sniffle away from the comfort of my couch.  By late afternoon, I was achy and fevery.  By nighttime I was worse, and slept on and off through the night thanks only to my sleepytime cold stuff.  

Then I woke up Wednesday morning, groggy and achy, but the stuffiness was gone.  This was the weirdest part.  You see, when I get a cold, it inevitably turns into a sinus infection within a day or two. So being able to breathe the day after going through an entire box of tissues?? Insanity.  By Wednesday afternoon I was thinking I probably could've made it into the office after all. 

Maybe I just needed some down time, though.  I haven't had a day off since Christmas (wahh, I know, it's only been two months) and I'm not gonna lie, it felt SO GOOD to just sit around and catch up on the DVR.  I checked my work email and did a little writing, but for the most part I got to just relax.  I had nowhere to go, nothing pressing to do, nothing needing cleaned, etc. 

It felt glorious.

I have been noticing, however, that lately when I'm in a productive mood I am REALLY in a productive mood.  Take yesterday, for example. I went grocery shopping, started dinner in the crockpot, cleaned the bathroom, dusted & vacuumed upstairs, hung some new wall stuff in the bedroom, did two loads of laundry (even putting the clothes away!), ironed two dresses and like 87 pairs of pants, wrote over 1100 words, made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, etc etc etc.  It was bananas.  And it felt good.

The WIP is now officially alllllmost finished, thanks to said awesome productivity.  I'm over 65,000 words, and I think it'll wrap up around 70k.  There are some revisions I know I want to go back and add it right away, but then I'm gonna let it sit for a week, then read it once through without touching it.  I haven't been going back to reread stuff much at all with this one, besides for some continuity purposes and to post snippets here.  So I want to get a feel for the flow before giving the first draft to my readers.  My ultimate goal is to have it finished and start querying again by late spring. 

Making goals seems to be helping this one move along quickly, so I'm going to stick to that.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wake me when it's spring

I might not be sleeping through this winter, but if I had my choice I probably would.  It's been a weird mix of freezing, frigid cold temperatures and somewhat lovely days, fooling me into thinking spring is just around the corner.  I suppose it's not that far off anymore...I always feel like February is truly the last winter month.  March brings the promise of spring- fresh air, new life, melting snow...

I feel like I haven't been doing that much socially these days, and I'm actually okay with that.  I've had plans here and there, but this time of year I'd much rather hole up in the warmth of my house.  And because of this, I've been getting in some phenomenal writing time.  Every time I sit down to write for an hour I get more than 1000 words down, almost every time.  I swear this story is practically writing itself. The WIP is now over 57,000 words, which means I'm in the home stretch, for real.  There's a strong chance I really will finish it by the end of this month.

*pauses to do happy dance*

It's been a while since I shared a snippet, so here you go.  As a little set up, this is a quick flashback scene, before Jane and Connor were a couple, leading back to the present tense.  Questions, comments, concerns are welcome as always. 

To my surprise, unlike so many of Colin's parties, the night was not a total disaster. It was a laid back sort of event, no stupid dares or drinking games or craziness. We sat around the fire and drank a couple beers Colin’s friends offered us- Connor and I hadn’t had a way to purchase our own, obviously- and roasted marshmallows from an economy-sized bag someone had brought. Colin and his friends tried to top each other with the scariest ghost story, and I’d brought up Gabby and the wishkeeper legend. Everyone but Connor knew of her story, at least bits and pieces of it, so we filled him in on all the details. I remember how he’d turned and stared at the well, thoughtful for a moment until the wind picked up and sent a foul-smelling gust our way. It was like sulfur mixed with rotten fruit and smelly feet all wrapped up together. We all wrinkled our noses, pinched them with our fingers or tried to hide them in our t-shirts to avoid it.

“That must be a miserable existence,” Connor said, waving his hand in front of his face. “That poor ghost.”

“Her story is really so sad. I think she slipped,” I said, grabbing another marshmallow. “Because one whiff of that and there’s no way she would’ve be able to throw herself in there willingly.”

“That makes sense,” Connor agreed. “As far as why she’d stick around here for all eternity, I mean. Although either way, I guess, she’d probably be forced to stay here.”

I’d looked back at the well myself at that point and wondered if Gabby was there, listening to our conversation. I saw a shadow drift past the well and my eyes widened, but the more I stared the more I was convinced it must have been the tall grass rustling in the breeze. The darkness beyond the glow of the fire made it easy for my eyes to play tricks on me.

“It’s not always so bad here, though. Sometimes you can’t smell that well at all,” Colin chimed in. “I think my dad wants to keep it as some sort of historical landmark.” He’d shrugged, and then the topic had changed abruptly to summer vacations.

As the night wore on, I remember feeling hyper-aware of Connor next to me. The stars seemed brighter in the sky, and the fire seemed to grow warmer instead of cooler as it died. Our chairs were near enough that our elbows kept touching, and each time they did a small bolt of electricity surged through me. If I had been looking at our arms, I surely would’ve seen tiny sparks flickering in between them.

Back in the present, the crow from yesterday has returned. He startles me out of my thoughts, screeching at me from his perch in the treetops.

“Gabby,” I whisper. “Please help me.”

The crow caws in response; two sharp, quick shrieks that make me wince. I pull my legs in against my chest and lay my forehead on my knees, ignoring the sweat immediately gathering in the creases behind my knees. I’m exhausted, weariness weighing over me like a thick wool blanket. Despite the stifling heat, I drift off to sleep in the shade of the wishing well.

I can’t have been out for more than five or ten minutes when I sense someone looming over me. I raise my head, expecting Rina to be standing there with her hands on her hips, her head shaking slowly as she finds me once again in this field all alone.

But it’s not Rina. It’s Gabby. In her hands she holds my necklace by its chain and the pendant sways back and forth in front of my face, hypnotizing me.

“I believe you dropped something,” she said, a severe frown distorting her lips.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Work it, girl, work it

Since my last post, I think I've added about 6000 words to my WIP.  I'm totally guessing, but I think that sounds about right. I'm very happy about that, and I'm very happy about how well I've been sticking to my new routine. 

If you recall my last post, I mentioned that I was going to try to get back to writing 2-3 days a week and working out the same amount of days.  I'm happy to report that in these first 3 weeks of the new year, I've been sticking to that.  I've been really good about squeezing in an hour of writing time a couple weeknights and then more time on the weekends.  It's paying off- I can feel the story starting to wrap itself up.  I'm over 46,000 words as of last night, so while I'm not exactly in the home stretch yet, I'm well over halfway done.

As far as exercising, well, I'm keeping up with that too.  Even when I don't feel like working out, like yesterday for example.  I'd gotten my allergy injections at lunch time (on month 6 of those, only 6 months more to go!), and my left arm had a bad reaction to the shot.  It blew up around the injection site and was incredibly itchy for hours.  Then I started to feel achy.  Sometimes that happens when they up my dosage, I think.  Anyway, the point is, even feeling like poo, I forced myself to hit the elliptical for 35 minutes after work anyway.  I ended up burning off my entire lunch and the granola bar I'd eaten as a snack. By the time I was done, I was a sweaty mess (as per usual- I sweat like no one's business), but I felt so much better!  Who woulda thought?

I'm also trying to watch what I eat during the week.  For someone who has a HUGE sweet tooth and loves junk food, this is not so easy.  But I'm doing it.  I'm eating low calorie lunches and my snacking usually consists of veggies & a little dip or some fruit, no chips or chocolate or random junk.  I'm trying not to get obsessive over it, though.  Because I can totally be obsessive about food these days.  It really is easy to do once you start learning the nutritional information of what you're putting in your body.  How many calories one tiny bag of Cheetos has or one miniscule piece of chocolate.  It adds up SO fast.  And then I start panicking, knowing I'm going way over my calorie goal and there's no way I can burn it all off, etc, etc. 

But I'm not trying to lose weight quickly or anything.  Just trying to be healthier.  And if I want a giant burrito from Qdoba once in a while, that's okay too.  It's good to reward yourself now and then for reaching your goals. Or so I tell myself...

Friday, January 4, 2013


With the insanity of the holidays over, we now enter that time of year in which I tend to go in to Hibernation Mode.  If I could remain in pajamas and not have to leave my house- like, ever- I would be completely fine with that. 

Sometimes I think I have a hint of Seasonal Affective Disorder. You know, that depression that hits mainly in the winter months due to lack of sun.  Most of the symptoms ring true for me- less energy & ability to concentrate, loss of interest in work and other activities, social withdrawl, weight gain, feeling sluggish, etc. 

To combat it this year, I'm trying to force myself to stick to a strict routine that mainly involves working out at least 2-3 days a week.  I figure the more active I am, the better I'll feel, right?

Of course, today I woke up feeling achy with a sore throat, so I'm not sure I'll be up for the gym tonight.  Sigh.  Already with the excuses.

Anyway, along with taking care of myself physically, I'm also going to start my writing routine back up- at least two week nights and Sundays.  While I was on break from work last week, I wrote shockingly little.  Like, so little that I'm somewhat disgusted with myself.  I had no motivation whatsoever to do anything.  Not only had I planned on getting in some good writing time, I had a bunch of little projects I wanted to do around the house, like cleaning out my desk and the junk drawer in the kitchen, weeding through closets, etc.

I did none of that.

I pretty much stared at the TV watching nothing but garbage (literally, one day I watched a Hoarding: Buried Alive marathon).  I did at least manage to read a little, but even that seemed to take more brain power than I had available. 

Maybe I just needed some good down time, a break from EVERYTHING, but I'm not usually such a slug like that.  This is also why I think SAD may be playing a part.  There's always such a big build up to the holidays, and then it's just...over.  The presents are unwrapped, the cookies all eaten, the shiny decorations hidden away for another year. And there's nothing to look forward to but dark, cold days and nights for the next three months.

But it's important to me to finish writing this book, this third book that could be "the one".  And it's important to me to start querying again, to put myself out there and see what might come of it.  This is my dream.  And I'm not going to let winter's winds knock it out of my hands.