Friday, January 30, 2009

Friendship

First off- I wrote quite a bit yesterday- not as much as I would have liked, but it put me that much closer to my word count goal. I've got under 3,000 to go, so Woohoo!

No, yesterday found me connecting with friends, something that gets taken for granted so often in the jumble of everyday life.

I chatted with my best friend via IM for a long while and then one of my other friends called and we talked for a little over an hour, laughing at our pets and grumbling about our husbands and then laughing some more at how silly men can be. Both my friends had a lot going on and needed my ear, which I happily leant without a second thought.

This year seems to have found me in touch with my friends more often than I had been in the last few. I'm glad of it though, because it's comforting to feel like we haven't really drifted so far from each other after all, even with me being way down here and my friends being back in or around my hometown.

Perhaps it is time moving forward that brings us back to old friendships. My birthday is coming up in less than a week and I know 34 isn't really all that big a deal, but anymore, my birthdays bring to mind all the years I've lived and all the friendships and relationships I've had- the people who've come and gone in my life. I've lost grandparents and let friendships go. I've had my heart broken many times, but it always mended- not perfectly, but enough to tattoo the lessons into my memory so I can learn from those experiences and sometimes look back with a smile.

Every facet of my existence has made me who I am today and I really am blessed with wonderful family and great friends. We do have physical distance between us, but I tell them we're always close in heart, no matter how far apart we may be. For a long time I had felt disconnected- since I moved away almost 8 years ago.

But something has changed in the past few months- the past year I suppose. Maybe we needed the space to grow and mature, so that when we came back to our friendship we would have more to offer. I don't know. What I do know is that in my youth I believed certain friendships would never die- BFF! I believed they would live on regardless of where our paths led us.

After I moved here, I floated through my day to day routine. My life had changed. I was a wife and mother. My friends' lives had gone in other directions too, so keeping in touch melted away for a while. I thought of my friends often and how long it had been since we'd talked or hung out or connected. In the past couple of years I've realized I'm more than I believed myself to be. I'm a wife and mother, yes- but I'm a daughter and granddaughter. The sister and cousin. The writer.

I'm also the friend. Probably the reason I bawl when I watch movies like Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias, Beaches, The Divine Secrets Ya-Ya Sisterhood and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

They're friendship flicks. Movies about women and their connection with other women. They're about the times we are close and the times we're separated by distance and life's changes. About coming together to provide strength and support when it's needed. It's about the laughter through the tears and the truly precious gift that our friendships are and how they enhance our lives. Without these friendships, we wouldn't be who we are. These relationships impact our lives just as much as our family relationships and sometimes even more than our love relationships.

A friend can know you far better than your own spouse and almost as well as your mother, especially those friendships that started in childhood or adolescence. They went through what you went through and if they didn't, they were there, standing by, as you struggled through your first broken heart or the loss of a loved one. They gave you a shoulder to cry on when no one else seemed to understand the misery you felt. They were the staunchest supporters of your dreams, believing and hoping and praying for your successes as they would their own. The same way you supported theirs.

We should never forget those friendships. Tie the knot tight when you have the opportunity and hang on. Don't let distance be an excuse- keep those bonds strong and always remember that these friendships will be there as you succeed and they'll be there even when you fail. They'll cheer you on to victory and they'll lift you up when you don't think you have the strength to go on.

Thank goodness for friendship.

That's why, when I received this yesterday on my writer's loop, it touched me. It spoke of the true abiding connection we have with our dearest friends. I just loved it and wanted to share it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Butter Cake and Brown Sugar Icing- Yum!

Yes, I'm indulging in cake for breakfast...

I made a butter cake the other night and then threw together homemade brown sugar icing and I have to admit- it is just delicious... I don't think I've ever really eaten butter cake very often in my life. If I did, I wasn't aware of it. This is so dense and wonderful, not like the texture of a regular cake. Maybe it's the butter in it. I don't know, but it has become a new weakness for me. ;o)

Anyway, while I was eating I thought I'd post a small blog. Yesterday flopped like a deflated balloon. I wrote around 750 words, but maybe I jinxed myself talking about the 8K. There seemed to be so much distraction I couldn't concentrate at all and my daughter was extra clingy yesterday and I developed a slight headache that emanated to my right eye, so staring at the computer screen just wasn't helping it any.

Now that the house is nice and quiet (other than Regis and Kelly chatting it up in the background at the moment) I've got to get myself back into the right frame of mind and do some real work today.

Hope everyone is doing good and surviving this wintry weather!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snowy Day in Southern Kentucky

This morning got away from me. I've barely written 200 words so far, but hubby and I were having fun searching old R&B music on myspace to listen to that we hadn't heard in a long time. While we did that, we watched the snow start and I took some pictures.

Now I'm listening to some of Jim Brickman's beautiful instrumental piano music and since the weather seems to be a hot topic today, thought I'd share some of the snowy pics I took. We never get much, so this was exciting for the kids.



I'm on Fire, but Don't Put Me Out Yet!

I'm feeling pretty good today. I slept heavy and deeply last night- first time in a long while, but I almost overslept. Woke up at 5:45 (45 minutes late) but as it turned out, no school, so I have my kids and my hubby home again today because we're supposed to get some icy rain in here shortly, possibly turning to snow flurries a little later this morning.

But there's a reason I slept so good. I'm on fire. At least I was yesterday. I wasn't just burning up, I was feverish.

Something lit a flame under me yesterday and I added 8,000 words to the novel I'm currently working through revisions for. Added about 3 Chapters and WOW! I was thrilled.

Now, normally I can't get anything done with a lot going on around me, but yesterday I had everyone home with me and lots to occupy my mind, but I found a way to lock myself away in my own head for a while and I'm really surprised I didn't singe all the print off the computer keys! :o) My fingers raced across the keys and even with interruptions, I still managed to pull 8K out of thin air when I didn't think there was more I could possibly add to the story. But it's working.

It was like magic dust had been sprinkled over me and it makes me almost teary.

I just wonder if it was a one trick pony or if I can pull it off again today. Figuring in my word count goal, that leaves me just around 6,000 words to add.

I think I can handle that. Even with a houseful.

Happy Writing and stay warm today!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Strep Throat, Icy Trees, Everyone Home, Oh My!

Oh yes...

As of yesterday afternoon...my daughter's diagnosis after the trip to the doctor- strep throat. Amoxcillin for 10 days and alternating Children's Tylenol and Motrin every 4 hours until her fever is gone, but seems we took her in early enough it didn't turn to blisters. Simply red in the back of her throat. Truly relieved about that because I know how bad strep throat can get. I used to get them all the time growing up, to the point of the burning, not being able to swallow hardly anything and being miserable. A lot of times I would end up with blisters and a lot of coughing and that in turn meant a lot of busting blisters and blood. Not fun at all.

Woke up to trees and grass having a nice little icy coat on this morning, decked out in all the wintry finery...but you know what that means....school's closed today. I don't think there's any ice on the roads, but then, it's only 6:30 and I've not been outside to see...BRRRRR...would just as soon stay indoors all day.

So I've got one sick kid, though both would be out today anyway since they closed school- so two kids home and my husband decided to take off work today for a little break during the lull at work. I'm glad he can do that. He needs a break.

I did actually get 1,275 words added to my revisions yesterday. Bumped up over the 70K mark- so about 10-15K more to add to beef up this baby. I'm surprised I even got that much added considering all that went on yesterday. Today may be another story.

I never get much done when I have a houseful, but I'm going to give it a shot today. We'll see. ;o)

Hope everyone is staying warm and riding out this weather.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Week, A Sick Kid

It's a new week and I'm hoping to get back to revisions. I did get some reading done over the weekend- The Blank Book by Magdalena Scott and just LOVED it. The story, as well as the time I actually got to spend reading! LOL (Such a rarity these days!)

In the meantime, I'm nursing a slightly feverish 6 year old who I kept home from school today because she was running a low-grade fever (99.6ΒΊ) and complaining of a sore throat off and on since yesterday morning. Hubby is taking her to the doc this afternoon.

On top of caring for an ill child, we also have the impending chance of icy/snowy weather headed this way tonight. From the looks of the forecast, if we do get it, we're in the Ice Storm Warning from tonight at 9pm till Noon tomorrow. Deep in my gut, I have a feeling school may be closed tomorrow.

It's awful, I know, but I almost wish it had hit in here last night.

Crazy right?

But from a mother's standpoint, a day of school missed for inclement weather would have been better than a sick day for my daughter, even if she still has to go to the doctor. LOL That thought is neither here nor there though. She's collected another sick day and that's just that. At least I'm not sitting on pins and needles waiting for a call from school to tell me she's running a fever and they need someone to come pick her up, which has happened the last couple of times she's been sick. Most of hers I believe have been sinus/allergy related though rather than actually having a cold or the flu.

So, my plan today is to take care of my baby girl and attempt to fit in some more revisions during the times that she's resting and asleep.

Chicken soup and grilled cheese will be on the menu for lunch today (though I hope Ramen will suffice since we used the last can of chicken noodle yesterday).

Cheers and good Health and Happy Writing to everyone today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lost in Spaaaaace!!!

This week I've kind of zoned out. Not sure why, but I just can't seem to concentrate on the revisions that lay before me. Maybe it's because school was out Monday for a holiday and then Tuesday because of snow, so my entire week was thrown off kilter.

I'm not really stressed out, but I do feel a disconnection with my surroundings and daily events. Maybe it's January Blahs. Everyday goes by in a blur.....

One of those times when you catch yourself staring off into space and realized that your mind is just a complete blank.

Or when you go about your day, doing the routine, not because you were thinking about it, but because it's so deeply ingrained that you don't HAVE to think about it. You go through the motions without realizing that you were even doing it.

Sort like doing laundry. You do it, you know you did, but it's a never ending cycle and whether you did it Monday or today, it's like doing the same thing all the time. That's where I find myself now.

It's been two weeks since I started doing my Gazelle again. So far I've done good to get at least 4-5 miles in a week. Last week I missed one day. This week I'll probably only get 4 miles in again, counting when I do it today, unless I find the motivation to do so over the weekend. Tuesday- with kids home- my plans shifted and I let it slide by without even thinking about it.

Got to get my behind in gear today though and make sure I do it.

I can happily say that I did lose about 1/2 inch in all measurements over the first two weeks of exercise. My weight didn't really shift much, but I just have to keep remembering that it takes time.

I'll muddle through. Perhaps doing the Gazelle in a few minutes might help open and clear my thoughts to get back to revisions today.

Am I the only one "lost in spaaaace?" Anyone else dealing with the "blahs" right now?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Deep in the Trenches

Well, I have gotten revisions under way. I started with the first book in my completed 4 book series and so far have only added 450 words to the count yesterday, but also did some corrections on misspellings, bad sentences, etc.

The main thing at the moment is to bulk up the stories that fall short of my desired word count goal. I'm aiming for 85K at this point...for each of my novels. Four of them are within the 70-85K range already, so they will mostly only need a little beefing up, but probably more for grammatical checks for misspellings and errors and punctuation or just crappy writing.

I have one that falls just under 60K and then four others that are all in the 60K range. Those will be the ones I concentrate on first and foremost. Once I get all the word counts around where I want, I'll go back again and start another round of edits.

Of course, I had one child home with me all day from school yesterday since it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and laundry going and a long phone conversation from a friend who needed to talk and get some stuff off her chest, so I tackled revisions between all of that.

Today I've got both kids home since school was closed- because of the snow I think... though not sure why since our snow is only on the grass- not the road...but who knows? Hopefully I'll be able to still get some work done today, even with two kids running around all day.

Back to the trenches, ya'll!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I've Come to the End of the Road.... Yay!!

Yes, indeed. I put "The End" on my 9th novel just a short time ago. Probably not even 30 minutes ago. I'm riding on a wave of natural high at the moment-

I'd love to do the little "I love what you do for me...!" jump.

That, or burst into tears of joy. I can't decide, so at the moment, I'm just quietly mulling over how far I've come since I picked my writing back up in July of 2006. It's been about 2 1/2 years, and here I am- staring down "the end" of my 9th manuscript. Wow! I'm not sure I can think of much else the rest of today.

It blows my mind that I've made so much progress in these 2 1/2 years, especially since my writing had truly been on the back-burner for 10 years before that. And even before that the dream had been ignited more than 20 years ago. That deep abiding desire and need to tell stories.

I think back to the Christmas I was 17 and my parents got me a word processor/typewriter. My dad sitting on the edge of my bed in my room explaining to me how to practice typing from this old college typing course book he had. Telling me that writing is a tough business to get into and asking me if writing was really what I wanted to do with my life, cause it wasn't exactly a "reliable" source of income and I might never be able to write without having a regular job to fall back on.

I was adamant about it though at 17, but not nearly as adamant as I am now that I'm 30-mumble-mumble-mumble. LOL This IS what I want to do, what I "need" to do. I know the business is hard to get into. I know I might never become famous or rich, but it's not about that- it's the desire that eats away at me, reminding me that I'd like to be published- to have others read and thoroughly enjoy the stories I want to share and have to tell.

Here's hoping I'm on the right path.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The End is Approaching

I got the two chapters added to the beginning of the story and I'm doing read-through edits to make sure things line up and nothing is out of place as I work my way back toward finishing this novel. I'm nearly there! Yay! About 5% to go.

Soon I'll be able to move on to edits and beefing up my other novels. Just a matter of getting myself woke up. This cold weather is destroying my motivation.

How is that possible?

Because we have to use space heaters in our home and since the temps have been dipping so low into the single digits, with wind chills in the negatives- the heaters, fully cranked up, are struggling to keep things even just coolish warm, especially in this old drafty house. So I've been wearing layers- indoors...

The other day I wore two pair of socks, two pair of pants, two shirts and I was still cold. The disadvantage of wearing so many layers indoors? It makes me uber-sleepy.

I'm not talking, "I FEEL like I could take a nap." I'm talking- I AM taking a nap- sitting up- right in front of the computer. I can't stop yawning and can't keep my eyes open AT ALL because I'm bundled up so warmly it's like I'm drugged and sluggish and the chill still creeps around my ankles and the cold slithers into the marrow of my bones. A numbness takes over and all I want to do is hibernate! LOL

Doesn't make for a productive writing day, to say the least. Instead, I groggily find my way to the couch, huddle under a throw blanket and nap for at least an hour and a half. If I try going without layers I'm still done in by shivers and the desire to hover over the heater instead of concentrating on what I should be doing.

I piled about 7 blankets/comforters on my daughter's bed last night to make sure she stayed warm. I put our thick comforter on our bed- on top of the quilt, the vellux blanket and sheets. I still wore socks, pants and a long sleeve shirt to bed, even with all that on the bed. I huddled and shivered and fussed and grumbled in my mind about the bitter cold that I couldn't seem to get away from.

I told my husband they should make bed sheets out of those fuzzy vellux blankets. Seriously- a fitted sheet as well as a flat and pillowcases. That would be wonderfully warm on long cold winter nights. Like being hugged by a big teddy bear. Probably better than flannel... If only!

Hope everyone is staying warm this weekend and are still able to stay productive in their writing or whatever else you might have going on!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Traveling Along Hollywood Boulevard

The past two days I've spent researching Hollywood Boulevard and some of it's most famous surroundings...

Why, you might ask?

Because my novel is a contemporary set in California- L.A. or around about those parts. The hero and heroine barely know each other very well since he just hired her to be a nanny for his two children who are coming back from Tennessee for summer vacation visitation.

So when they take a lazy Sunday drive together so she can do a little photography, where in the world could they go?

Well, Hollywood Boulevard, of course! He's been there before, but she hasn't, even though she grew up right there in L.A., too.

But now, being the country bumpkin that I am, what do I know about Hollywood Blvd?

Not much...I won't kid you- yesterday I had a generalized idea of where Grauman's Chinese Theatre is- but that was because in one of my prior stories, the heroine had to attended a movie premiere of her sister's at Grauman's. The whole kit and caboodle- flash bulbs, red carpet, celebs decked out in their best...etc.

Anyway...yesterday I started doing research and discovered the wonders of Hollywood Boulevard and it makes my feet itch to walk those streets, to travel the sidewalks and look at all the stars on the Walk of Fame. I'm even more interested in Grauman's than before because that's where the hand prints and footprints of celebrities over time are housed, right there in cement in the Forecourt of the Stars. How amazing it would be to see Shirley Temple's barefooted prints from her childhood there, frozen forever in time. Or even Sean Connery's barefooted prints- As an ADULT! The only other adult to do their footprints with out shoes was Harpo Marx.

You have so many choices it seems of things to do there. You can see a movie, go shopping at Hollywood and Highland Center, go to the Wax Museum or Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum or the Guinness Museum. You can check out the Roosevelt Hotel and take the tour. Claims of celebrity hauntings and lots of history, it would be intriguing. Of course, I know there's plenty more, but these places were the most interesting to me.

So- what a way to spend the day, right? So I started checking things out, but realized that my ignorance of the area could nearly double me over in an anxiety attack. I've never been to Hollywood, nor California for that matter.

So I did more and more research. I discovered a nifty new advancement on Google Maps that thrilled me to no end. If you're in a place that has been covered by the "virtual" you can actually see everything as though you're there, walking down the streets or driving along the boulevards and avenues. You can "drag" the screen and turn to look at your surroundings. So cool! I got to be there- virtually as it may be, but it was very very cool!

I routed out my hero and heroine's trip to Hollywood and Highland with it, so they could park the car and take a leisurely walk along the boulevard. If I get confused about their little trip, I can always go back and check with Google maps or the generalized map I printed out that I scribbled more notes on.

It was a trip to somewhere I've never been...a place I might never get to go, though there's always that wishful thinking- but while I was at it, I tried out my hometown. I could travel the main streets, but I couldn't go "home." Whatever this is they're doing for the maps is in process so smaller towns can only be seen via the main roads, but not in the subdivisions or way out in the country. I'm hoping that one of these days they'll get the entire city covered so that, even though I'm way down here in the south- I could visit my hometown anytime I want to and see my old stomping grounds without even leaving my living room.

If you write, what are some of the most amazing things you've found out while researching? If you don't write- have you ever stumbled upon something or some place that suddenly called to you in a way it never had before? A little gem that, perhaps, you weren't even aware of?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Night Huntress by Yasmine Galenorn Review

Night Huntress by Yasmine Galenorn-
(Released January 6, 2009)

The D'Artigo Sisters are back as the fight against Shadow Wing rages on. This time it's Delilah, the half-human, half-Fae werecat who has more on her plate than even she can stomach. And she loves to eat!

The maniacal demon who got his grimy fingers on the third Spirit Seal is back and it's up to the girls and their allies to find the fourth Spirit Seal before Karvanak can. As if that weren't enough, Delilah's dealing with issues of her own when it seems her world spins out of control.

Can she continue to put her trust in Chase? Or should she end her relationship with her FBH (full-blood-human) boyfriend? Would she be better off in a relationship with someone like Zachary Lyonnesse- a werepuma who would understand her more fully?

Would she ever know the truth about whether she had a twin and when she finds out what the Autumn Lord truly wants from her, it hits her like a ton of brick to realize she is bound to him not only as his Death Maiden, but he also has something special in mind for her. There's no turning back and it's a price she must pay in full eventually, whether she wants to or not.

But when Karvanak kidnaps Chase, in order to blackmail the girls for the fourth Spirit Seal and his former associate, Vanzir, the dream chaser-- Delilah must find a way to save Chase without ruining their chances of saving both worlds. Not only does she learn to unleash her panther side, but she also learns a little bit about the power of love.

Just as with each book before this one, I was glued to the page, anticipating what would happen next, holding my breath during the tough battles and sobbing through some of the most emotional scenes I've encountered in quite some time. Yasmine Galenorn has a magical way with words and storytelling and quite frankly swept me away in this newest release in the Otherworld Series. My heart ached for all that Delilah discovers throughout this book, not just about others, but about herself. Truly brilliant and now my favorite in the series.

I highly recommend Night Huntress- I recommend the entire series.

(Image used with permission from Yasmine Galenorn)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oops! I Wandered Off Course....

I realized I haven't posted since Tuesday. Where did this week go?

I can't say a lot about what I've done this week. Not that I don't want to talk about my week, but there's not really that much to talk about! LOL

Tuesday I didn't get any writing done. Heck, I don't even remember what had me so embroiled that I let it slide right out of my head. Really need to plug those little holes so that it doesn't keep happening. I think I just frittered my day again!

Wednesday I did write almost 2,000 words on my novel, but again Thursday and Friday I sprang a leak and it just seeped out of my thoughts. I did get in 5 miles on the Gazelle- one mile a day, so I'm proud of that little accomplishment.

Friday I spent the beginning of the day medicating the "sugar" burn on my finger with aloe vera gel. Stupidity overcame me while making oatmeal for the kids for breakfast...wasn't thinking and saw some droplets on the stovetop I thought was water- no- it was melted sugar! I don't suppose anything was going through my head, honestly, when I went to "swipe" the "water" away, only to find hot melted sugar sticking to my fingertip.

Since typing was nearly impossible while my finger was burning like crazy- I played around in my Paint Shop Pro because I could use the mouse, just not doing anything else. Silly as it sounds- I was playing around with making "faux" novel covers of my stories. Yes...silly isn't it?

I make them with images of the actors and actresses I envision my characters looking like on the cover and a background that- to me symbolizes or embodies something in the story. I put my working title on it and my name. It builds my ability to "see" my characters in my mind as I write. A lot of the time, I will make a desktop backgrounds for the computer that looks like "my novel" laying on a wooden desktop near the current month's calendar with pencils, paperclips, tacks and such laying around it. I change it out from month to month with a whatever I'm working on as the theme. It's a small form of inspiration that solidifies what I'm aiming for when I write.

Of course, these little graphic creations are for my own personal use and viewing only. I know, in the end, none of them will ever be the covers of my novels, but they are just a little something to inspire me as though I AM looking at my future printed novels and in turn makes it seem all the more real to me in a way that encourages me to keep going and striving to reach the point where I don't have to have pretend covers, but be able to hold my works in my hand as honest-to-goodness books.

Later I made up the menu and the grocery list, balanced the checkbook and enjoyed my new Jewel CD- Perfectly Clear. It's extremely good and has me going back to listen to her other CDs. She's such a poet and I can get lost in her lyrics. I think I'll be able to use some of her songs as "soundtracks" to my upcoming writing projects. {smile}

My finger is doing a lot better today since I busted the small blister last night and put some Neosporin on it and a bandage. Looks strange at the moment, but no pain, just an awareness of it.

While we were at the grocery last night I decided to give green tea a try. My sister has been drinking it for a while. I know it has all those good antioxidants in it and I've heard it's good to drink some of it every day and that it can actually promote weight loss. A wonderful companion to doing my Gazelle exercise, I would think. I'll probably have a cup of it at least once every morning and see how that makes me feel and if it helps me any with the weight loss.

The day is gloomy and grey, again...and we've had rain off and on. It makes me sleepy, but I'm intent on getting some writing out of the way today- I don't have much farther to travel with the current WIP and the sooner I get it out of the way, the sooner I can get to revisions and beefing up my other manuscripts.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Mile Down The Road

I got my exercise out of the way this morning (2 miles so far this week) and I'm happy to say that yesterday I found a "gap" in my story. That might sound like a bad thing, but in adding another chapter near the beginning of the story, I've added almost another 3,000 words. Hopefully I'll actually fill the gap with two chapters. At this point, I've only got about 10% to go to reach "The End."

Woo Hoo!

That's progress. Something I haven't really seen since back in November or December when I last worked on it. Not only that, but it puts me so much closer to finishing this one so I can dig into the others and start shaping and polishing them. I'm off to a good start, so Yay!

It's a good day, even with the gloomy gray sky outside and the rain and the possibility of snow tonight- I'm still glowing with the accomplishment and progress I made yesterday.

So, I'm off to write some more.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Exercise? Check!

Just finished my first 1 mile on the Tony Little Gazelle this morning. I feel exhilarated. Took me about 11 minutes, but my ankles were screaming they weren't ready for more, so I'll take a cue from them and not overdo it. Need to strengthen them.

One interesting thing this morning I found out...I weighed myself, as well as took measurements before I start and then I track it every two weeks- Well, I've lost 4.5 pounds somewhere in the past few weeks that I wasn't aware of! YAY! I would have thought the holiday food would have done me in!

Plus, most of my measurements are about the same as they were the last time I did any exercise back in mid-September. I've gained about a 1/2 inch back on my waist (blech) but I've lost 1 1/2 around my hips. Hmmm...Everything else is still the same. Now I have a jumping off point. Next thing is to gauge my weight/inch loss over the next few months so I can see where my goal weight/inches should be.

The unexpected weight loss though thrilled me to no end considering I hadn't been trying to lose weight, but apparently I've been eating less or better or something. Yay me!

So, exercise- Check!

Next up- turn the TV off and opening my novel file.

Have a wonderful day and may it be productive and filled with progress and unexpected joys!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

5 A.M. Wake Up Call- Am I Ready?

Tomorrow school and work come calling for my kids and husband respectively. But I'm their reminder- their wake up call- so I have to be the one up earliest and frankly, I'm looking forward to a quiet day alone to get back to writing, but how is my body going to react when that alarm goes off?

I've been sleeping in most mornings since mid-December. I've enjoyed the extra rest, but not the inevitable headaches I got from not being used to it. Sure sleeping in is nice and sure I have a hard enough time getting up on a routine schedule, but I'm truly looking forward to it---it will be how Taryn gets her groove back...hehe. (and not in the same way Stella did.. In that respect, I don't need a hot young man to help- I've got my ol' man. haha!)

Anyway- I'm dreading and anticipating the alarm in the morning all at the same time. I know I'll groan, roll out of bed and hit the snooze a time or two (or three), but I'll get up and make sure the kids get dressed, fed. I'll wake up my husband and kiss him a good day as he leaves for work and then make sure the kids are out the door when the bus comes up the road.

After that- the quiet can engulf me momentarily before I check emails, blogs, etc. I'll hop on my exercise machine and "Gazelle" my way to AT LEAST a mile. Starting slow after such a long hiatus from it sounds like a good idea to me. I'll probably do 1 mile a day, at least 5 days a week, for a week or two, or until I realize I "need" a little more. Then I'll probably move up by quarter or half miles after that.

As I said before- I did well for a few months mid-way through last year, but this time around I have every intention of keeping up with it, so long as I'm home and can pull the Gazelle out. Now, when I go up to visit my family during Spring Break or any other time, I might just get up early and go to the park and walk the path. Four times around it makes a mile- if I remember correctly. Perhaps convince my mom or sister to tag along so they can watch my daughter on the playground while I walk my mile(s).

But at home- I'll get the exercise out of the way early on in the day, shower and then get my head in the game and work on finishing novel number 9 and moving on through edits and revisions on the others. It's not just time for my kids to go back to school or hubby to go back to work- It's time for me to bring the focus back to my writing- to rein it in and work my hardest to make something of what I love to do- Write.

Am I ready for that early wake up call? I hope so.

Are you?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Holiday Wind Down

Yesterday I took down all the decorations in the house other than both the kids' little trees in their room and all the lights and bows outside except for my solar snowflakes, my wooden snowman lawn decoration and the greenery under each from window. I had a momentary lapse of melancholy though after the fact, but I realized it was time to face the fact that "when it's over, it's over." At least for 2008. It won't take long before it will be coming back around to the holidays again. This year will fly by- just like the last one did.

My husband moved the rocking chair, the cat tower and my Gazelle back to the living room. I finished reading Ladies of Legend: Finding Home and loved all four stories. This morning I ordered the two-in-one book of Janet Eaves' stories from the anthology along with Magdalena Scott's The Blank Book and Jewel's new cd Perfectly Clear because I love the song "Stronger Woman" but also because I love Jewel's music. I have 3 of her cds, but there's also 2 others on my list I'd like to get from several years back cause I never did get them.

Of course, my TBR pile doesn't seem to be getting smaller...it's growing. LOL I just don't have the time to read them all right now, but I will. Eventually...

I'm tired this morning, sitting here yawning my way into the first weekend of the new year.

We've been shopping at Save A Lot the past two weeks and it seems we've been saving at least $100 a week from what we spent every week at our regular grocery store. Of course, we've not been buying nearly as much as we normally would have at the other store either. It's nice to see the lower total after our groceries are rung up though. So we're transitioning to spending less and accepting the changes we're making in the items we buy.

There are bound to be a few items we'll have to shop elsewhere for, simply because SAL doesn't carry them, but that's all right, too. We were spending way too much at the other place. I also like the atmosphere at SAL, but probably because I worked at the one in Lawrenceburg for over a year before I moved here. It's more down home and I'm reacquainting myself with their items- items I used to be fully aware of because I didn't just run a register- I stocked shelves and took care of order paperwork and such.

It's one of the changes I thought about as part of our goals for this year, but I forgot about it when I posted my blog about the goals I'd like to set for this year. But saving money is another good thing to do this year considering all the economical problems we're facing this year. Saving it and paying off our credit cards and other bills.

Much as I want to get back into writing- and finishing- my 9th novel, I think I'm going to hold off till Monday when things REALLY get back to normal though, unless I can find a quiet moment to stick my head back into the file and figure out where it's going next.

Hope everyone has a good day. Much as I shouldn't I might just lay down and rest a bit. The allergy medicine I took this morning is making me drowsy and on top of that, it's been a long holiday. Hope everyone had lots of fun, were safe and are recooperating and getting some much needed rest before we get back into the groove of things.