Thursday, May 31, 2012

Week Forty-Nine of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase my reps. I've worked up to 30.

The 25th: weigh in: 233.2 lb. Shoot. I also woke up before 4 am. Sleep is still weird. Sigh. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Tired.

The 26th: weigh in: 234.2 lb. This is not good. This is hormones. Great. Woke up before 4 am, again. Good news: I was able to lay on my right side without any sciatic pain. It has been years. Physical therapy, with 2-lb weights.

The 27th: weigh in: 233 lb. Good to see. Took myself for an easy one-mile walk.

The 28th: weigh in: 231.2 lb. Yes! SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. I've figured out the sleep problem. I wake about 3 am because I'm too warm. I'm going to try splitting my sleep, and see if it works, since it's cool enough during the middle of the day.

The 29th: weigh in: 231 lb. Slept well, last night. What a blessing. My room was cold enough. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 2 lb weights.

The 30th: weigh in: 231.4 lb. Not bad, considering I ate out, last night. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Slept okay.

The 31st: weigh in: 231.6 lb. Waist circumference: 39". It's okay. I was asleep by 10pm last night, afraid I'd wake at 3am. I did. Difference? I went back to sleep. Yay! Why? I took a Benadryl before I went to bed. I'm breathing better this morning. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 2-lb weights.

Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I'm feeling overwhelmed. Why?

Upcoming Romance Reader Event, Arizona Dreamin'. I'm looking forward to it, and yet it's also scary. I'm meeting new people, though many of them I've interacted with online. It's still meeting new people, new wonderful people, but new people. Yes. It's always tough for me, but I pull up my head and move forward. I've had a lot of great experiences. I anticipate this one being great also, but I won't pretend all the interaction isn't overload. I'm planning some down time.

After I finish editing, I always feel a bit drained, like I poured everything into the book. Now that I've written it, it doesn't sound so bad. I try to give myself recovery time, but I suspect I underestimate how much time is needed. Then again, I have more deadlines, so dawdling isn't an option.

I'm prepping the fourth book. It's written in part, but there's a great deal of work yet. I need to properly schedule my time so everything is done that needs to be done, on time. I am capable, but it won't be easy. I'm okay with that. I just need a little time to panic once in a while. Then it's shut up and buck up time.

The Desert Rose meeting, last night, was very informative. It was both encouraging and discouraging. I'm okay with that. I've set my course, with no desire to turn back despite the possible threat of storms. Welcome to real life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oops... spaced it...

NASCAR - Carl game in 9th. This has not been a great season for him, but he's my driver, and I'm sticking to him. :-)

My sleep has been seriously messed up. I'm doing a lot of new things, and I suspect that's part of the struggle. I actually did sleep well last night, for over five hours, with no waking at 3 am. Thanks God.

I'm looking forward to attending Arizona Dreamin' - A Romance Readers' Event.

Tonight is the monthly Desert Rose meeting. I'm looking forward to it.

Time to start the day. Hope everyone finds something to make them smile.

Here's something to start, from Funny Cat Photos, I think, or maybe it was Facebook:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day...

All gave some. Some gave all.

My deep and abiding gratitude to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so I might enjoy the freedoms I do and too often take for granted. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who must endure the pain of an empty place at the table. Thank you for raising and loving someone of honor and courage.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #104...

~Franklin Santagate 53 minute interview part 5 of 5 on It's a New Day:

~I have been blessed with amazing friends.

~Life is changing in awesome ways.

~Summer has been held off for a few days yet, with lovely cool weather.

~Inspiration, in all its varied forms.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Heroes... Vets and those currently serving...

It's Memorial Weekend. Today, I want to remember all the vets and those currently serving. They each made a choice I did not, but I benefit from their service. Thank you.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Follow up on anger...

Several of my blogging friends have addressed anger this week. It was exactly what I needed.

I decided to step back and investigate more thoroughly my own anger triggered this week.

I know it wasn't the subject matter, as demonstrated when one of my friends said they disagreed with me. So if disagreeing with me isn't why I was angry then what was it?

It was buried in the "hot topic."

When others try to emotionally blackmail me -- manipulate me emotionally -- my anger explodes. It's been used against me all my life, and I am so done.

My sister has described anger as an early warning system. It tells you a boundary has been violated.

So what boundaries were violated?

My no-go into narcissistic game playing.

~A compliment negated by evidence.

You are beautiful but studies have shown that smart men don't marry women with a face as scarred as yours is or who weigh as much as you do.

~Blaming one group for another group's problems.

Clean your plate. Children in China are starving.

~A generalization used to prove a specific point.

Some people make bread whether or not they have a bread machine, but those who might have considered it an option have less reason to do so if they're told using a machine is the only smart way to make bread.

~Comparing apples and oranges.

The recipe doesn't have to change (even though you're trading out different ingredients), just like a business changing it's accounting method doesn't compromise them.

~Sharing emotions to influence others using hidden information.

I'm angry about how society deems single people outcasts, as less than those who are in relationships, especially because of the problems of my past have made a healthy relationship next to impossible.

Yes. I realized I'd pulled some emotional blackmail myself. I'm not proud of it. I'm working on being better about it. I don't like it in myself; I'm not going to take it from anyone else.

Studying the whole thing with a more objective perspective hasn't changed my original observation that it was written with the intent to manipulate my opinion with emotional blackmail. The whole thing is loaded with emotionally charged terms and evidence used to manipulate my feelings and beliefs.

What's the most important thing I learned?

I am allowed to have my opinion. I do not have to play "nice" and bend to make everyone else feel better. I can be angry. I know how to express that anger with passion and without swearing or name-calling. I recognize manipulation and emotional blackmailing, and I do not have to accept it. I've worried about falling into old traps. Not so much now. This doesn't mean I'm safe. It does mean I'm learning. Good to know.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Week Forty-Eight of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase my reps. I've worked up to 27.

The 18th: weigh in: 229.2 lb. Whoohoo! My sweat is crying. Can you hear it? "Help me! I'm melting!" Yes! SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 19th: weigh in: 228.2 lb. Was so tired last night, I crawled into bed by 9 p.m. Of course, this means I woke at 1 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. I stayed in bed, with my eyes closed, and let my brain run wild. Close to dawn, I nodded off a few times but kept waking up. It's okay. I'm learning to be flexible. I'll nap later. I walked with my sister and did a bit of yard work. Physical therapy, with 2-lb weights. I'm so proud of me and how well I'm doing with taking care of myself. Go me!

The 20th: weigh in: 227.2 lb. Cool. I was up for 24 hours yesterday, taking myself to bed at 1 a.m. I imagined I'd sleep for hours. Sure, 4-1/2 hours. Eyes popped open at 5:30 a.m. Rolled out of bed and took myself for a leisurely 1-mile walk. I'm giving myself permission to take a nap later, though I never took one yesterday. I'm not used to feeling this way. We'll see what happens. By 7:30 a.m. I was yawning. So I laid down and slept for three hours. I feel much better. And then slept another two hours in the afternoon. I think I may be caught up now. :-)

The 21st: weigh in: 231.2 lb. Uh-oh. I didn't make it to sleep at all last night. It doesn't bode well for the next few days. Maybe I need to relax and simply let myself do the switch. I don't know. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Yes, I still did my exercises.

The 22nd: weigh in: 231.8 lb. Shoot. Then again, my sleep scheduling being off wasn't helpful. I seem to be back on track, already. Cool. I went to bed at 11 last night, and slept until 5 this morning. Six hours straight. Yay! One-mile walk and physical therapy with 2-lb weights.

The 23rd: weigh in: 233 lb. Shoot. I've been stressing a bit, so I suppose it's understandable, but I don't like it. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 24th: weigh in: 231.8 lb. Waist circumference: 39". I've only started the day, but I will go for a one-mile walk and do my physical therapy with 2-lb weights. Good to see the weight going back down. The only way it is happening is me believing in myself, believing I am worth taking care of, believing I don't need to hide behind the weight. I will overcome this.

Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ruffling feathers...

Yes, I'm about to ruffle some feathers, so if you aren't in the mood, don't read what follows. I've tried to be respectful in stating my opinions, but suspect I wasn't always successful since I'm passionate about this. Should you decide to continue, please continue all the way to the end. You've been warned.

A comment was made about my Sunday post, regarding the Catholic video. I've decided to post my thoughts, knowing they will be unpopular with many. The commenter disliked the view of marriage:

I gave them the right to their opinion, and posted it. Now, I'm exercising my right to disagree.

Nowhere in the Bible anywhere does God sanction same-sex marriages. I don't pretend to understand how it all works in the end. I will not condemn someone else. It isn't my place. God is the final judge, but we are expected to adhere to the laws God has set, not rationalize them away. We are not to commit adultery. Marriage has been established as a union between one man and one woman. Perhaps it is tradition, but until God -- not fickle man -- reveals it is something else, I prefer to err on His side. And before you question it, please continue reading.

Have you considered the nightmares created by "redefining" marriage? What about marriage between multiple partners? What about marriage between adults and children? What about marriage between a person and their pet? Where do you draw the line, or do you prefer the line be removed altogether? Considering the fact that God laid down 10 specific laws, He has drawn lines. Who is man to change those lines? I know, I know, man decided on the one man/one woman. Really? God started with Adam and Eve. One man and one woman. God's house is a house of order, not chaos.

Please do not insult me by saying that uncommitted relationships are encouraged by the laws established. It's a weak argument. Being single, I'm held to God's laws, including not committing adultery. I do my best to obey His Commandments. Frankly, I'm sick to death of having men/women -- not God -- demand I accept their terms and definitions because they want to feel better about themselves rather than bite the bullet and obey the 10 Commandments. I'm not saying it's easy. It isn't, but there are only ten. If it were easy, why bother? And those who don't believe in God have cut the first four, so there are only six, most of which are treated as optional or at least flexible.

You say the Catholic church wouldn't need to change. Do you understand the tenants of the Catholic church? I'm not Catholic and I'm pretty clear on quite a few of their tenants, including the one on the Sacrament of Marriage. You don't like what the Catholics believe? Fine. Choose a different church that conforms to what you want. There are plenty to choose from. If you don't believe in the tenants of the Catholic church, then you aren't Catholic. Really. Stop lying to yourself. Find out what you are and quit demanding others bend and twist to fit you.

And don't you dare try to throw the label of hater at me. You don't know me. You don't know my history, except what little I've shared here. You don't know my friends, my losses, or my journey. You do not know my prayers or my standing with God.

Am I angry right now? Yes. I resent anyone trying to manipulate me with emotional blackmail. And yes, that is exactly what you're trying to do.

In case you don't see it for yourself, let me show you:

The Roman Catholic video was well-made and beautiful, but a simple review of anthropological liturature and writings on ancient history will show that the word 'marriage' is not used in quite so simple a fashion as the creators of the video want us to believe.

Using "scientific evidence" has you coming across as educated. I don't care if you are or not. You are using education as your weapon of choice. It's a poor choice. Science is all about theories. Theories are disproved every day. In fact, the whole point of science is to disprove the experts.

Over a decade ago I came up with the one argument no one makes and no one takes the time to refute: if we discourage committed relationships between homosexuals, we encourage uncommitted relationships.

This is a blatant lie. If you start with a lie, it doesn't matter how many truths you pile on top of it, it's still a lie. But in case it isn't clear: WE encourage? Since when? No one is encouraging anything. Don't you dare play the it's-everyone-else's-fault card. So it's perfectly okay that I have to live by a different standard simply because I'm single? What happened to personal responsibility? What happened to self-restraint? What about self-discipline?

Some homosexuals will have committed relationships anyway, but those who might have considered it an option have less reason to do so if such relationships are generally viewed (legally, politically, socially) as no better than sleeping around.

And this is different from heterosexuals how? The Catholic church frowns on premarital relationships. Period. For the record, "relationships" and/or marriage are not requirements to survive and thrive. Really.

The position of the church need not change on this, just as Buddhists need not eat chicken as a part of a campaign to promote free-range (as opposed to caged) chicken.

Wait... what? Now you're comparing apples and oranges. The comparison is only vaguely related, at best. Trying to muddy things by false comparisons suggests a desire to hide from the truth. I suspect you're offended by that, but I'm sick of having such ridiculous arguments thrown at me as "evidence" of someone's rightness.

I admit, I am as unhappy about the desire of the makers of the video to deny Unitarians the right to perform 'gay marriages' as I would an effort to force the Catholic Church to perform 'gay marriages'.

And now it's about you. Finally, some truth: You are unhappy. I understand that. I don't agree with your point of view, but I accept you feel that way, and with reasons you haven't shared. I'm also okay with that. I don't need to know your reasons. You are entitled to them.

How could you have addressed this without raising my hackles? "I don't agree with all of the Catholic tenants."

There. Done.

I begrudge no one a loving relationship. I know what it is to live without, and to live with no hope of this changing. Most of my life, all I wanted was to marry a loving man and have children with him, to see his eyes when I look in our children's little faces. My past has made it impossible. There are I things I never learned and things I learned that hamper me in developing healthy relationships. It is with indescribable sorrow I have carefully boxed up those dreams and turned them over to God.

Have I sometimes wished I could change the rules? Just cut loose and live for the day. Do what I want. Yes.

Then sanity returns, and I realize I can break myself against the Commandments God has given, or I can use them as He intended all along: Guidance and protection.

Protection? Yes. I have enough regrets without the additional ones I'd have added if I'd done what I wanted rather than what God commanded.

The real question about that video isn't whether or not the Catholics are right or wrong in their beliefs. Really.

One can look at the video and complain and nitpick, or one can look at that video and examine one's own beliefs.

For me, since I'm not Catholic, the question is: What do I believe? Do I live up to those beliefs? Am I willing to take a stand for those beliefs?

I don't agree with all the Catholic tenants, but that isn't what I'm standing for: I'm standing for their right to believe and practice their faith as their church teaches. I'm standing for freedom of religion, peaceful religion.

If we give up our right to worship God how and where we may, nothing else matters.

The video is asking: Will you stand for what you believe?

The battle before us is as simple and as complicated as that: Do you believe in freedom of religion or don't you? If you don't, then it doesn't matter. If you do, then will you stand?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What didn't get done...

Laundry wasn't done. It's okay. Friday is soon enough, or Wednesday. It's flexible.

Transcribing. Nope. Not at all.

What happened?

I turned my days and nights around. It's cooler to sleep during the day. I prefer to sleep cold. Night is too warm. My writing is also more of a nocturnal activity, so I often find myself writing away, and suddenly it's the wee hours of the morning.

I did manage to finish a book by a new author. It should have been half as long. There were entire scenes that needed to be cut, and a lot of repetition. I wanted to quit, but had promised myself to see this one through to the end. I truly did love the last half, though there was a lot of superfluous material. Tightening the story would have done wonders.

So, how did I spend my evening? My current WIP is on the chopping block, cutting and tightening material. Not to mention asking myself, "Does this need to be here? Does it move the story along?"

I want each story to be my best final effort, not my best first effort.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Carpe diem... NASCAR...

...sigh... Carl did not do well. It's been a rough season. Never give up!

What must be done, today:

A bit of transcribing.
Editing. I really need this book to be ready for a final edit after next week. I'm settling into my new understanding of my relationship with my writing, which means becoming comfortable with who I am. I'm not yet, but I'm working on it. I have to be so careful not to get cocky.

This one is courtesy of either FaceBook or the Funny Cats widget:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #103...

~Franklin Santagate 51 minute interview part 4 of 5 on It's a New Day:

~Learning to be bold, a little at a time.

~Amazing support from friends.

~First round of editing is done. Whew.

~This video came out this week. I'm not Catholic; I am standing with my Catholic friends.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Heroes... Furry Children...

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. ~ James D. Miles

I've been blessed to own rabbits, a horse, and a dog. I was going to say a cat, but the cat was more feral than anything, but she was friends with the dog we had at the time. Choosing to adopt an animal is a huge decision, with a lot of responsibility attached to it, including a lot of tough decisions. I'm so grateful I accepted the challenge.

Pets touch places in your heart no one else but God can touch.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Burn Notice on Hulu...

For those who are interested, all 18 episodes of Burn Notice (Season 5) are currently available on Hulu. I watched them as they came out, but for anyone behind, they're here. Whoohoo!

For fun...

Fig the Library Cat is inviting teens to participate in the Gaming Contest at the Hugh Embry Branch Library. This is too cute not to share:

And another Fig the Library Cat for the Hunger Games trivia contest:


The first video is 48 seconds and the second one is a whole minute.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Week Forty-Seven of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase my reps. I've worked up to 25.

The 11th: weigh in: 232.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 12th: weigh in: 231.8 lb. Wow... Since my sister was out of town, I would be going for my morning walk alone. I not only didn't wake up early, I didn't wake up until almost noon. Too warm to go walking, but physical therapy still needs to be done. Done.

The 13th: weigh in: 232.2 lb. I have to catch up on my sleep, or figure out what has me sleeping so much.

The 14th: weigh in: 232.4 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Fat cried, today. Whoohoo!

The 15th: weigh in: 231.4 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with two-lb weights. I hate when this happens: My nose is runny. My eyes are itchy. I'm miserable. For most of the evening. Finally, the lightbulb goes off in my head: Allergy medicine. Wow. What a difference it makes.

The 16th: weigh in: 232.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. The fat is crying. Whoohoo! I ended up with only three hours of sleep last night. I plan on a nap, today. Editing is like Lays potato chips; you can't stop at just one. One more chapter. Just one more.

The 17th: weigh in: 230.4 lb. Waist circumference: 29". One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 2-lb weights. Allergy season is upon us. It explains my difficulty with staying awake. I'm not sleeping as well. I'm finding the short nights, with a nap during the day, working out. I'm on schedule for my editing, which also helps. I'm also discovering I'm enjoying the positive visualization. And I'm really having fun making my fat sweat. :-D

Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day of Fasting and Prayer...

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Congress's first declared National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, May 17th, 1776. Congress, yes, the United States Congress proclaimed throughout the colonies the need to "confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his [God's] righteous displeasure, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness."

I'm fascinated by those who demand religion be banished to the darkest corners. They do realize the colonists came here for freedom NOT FROM religion but OF religion, don't they? Those who demand God be erased are denying the very reason America exists: People wanted to worship God how and where they chose. Separation of church and state wasn't to keep religion out the state but to keep the state out of religion. By the way, separation of church and state is NOWHERE in the Constitution. It was in a letter from Thomas Jefferson assuring a little religious sect they would not be denied the right to practice their religion.

This year's day of prayer was earlier this month, but I thought it would be a good reminder: This is not a new event.

The following link is to my favorite picture by Arnold Friberg:

It's copyrighted, so I'm sending you to the gallery. The picture is titled "The Prayer at Valley Forge."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This week's reading...Abby Gaines...

I finished Abby Gaines' That New York Minute, and loved it! Abby is on my Must-Buy list. Her humor is laugh out loud, and her couples are so attracted to each other they sizzle, but she doesn't go beyond the bedroom door. In a line of books that is predictable for when the couple will fall into bed together (almost to the page), her characters resist, and yet I've never been disappointed.

Most of her books are contemporary, but she's recently released The Wrong Sister, a historical inspirational. It's in my TBR pile, still unread, because it's the first in a series, and I like to read a series all together. Her love of NASCAR fed mine. She usually has a secondary couple, often older than the typical 20s and 30s. In this latest, I knew how the hero would need to change, but I couldn't figure out how she'd create a change in the heroine. When I read it I thought it was perfect. Yes, I own all her books.

She also has some cool features at her website. My favorite is titled "After the End" under the For Readers section on her website where she offers extra scenes to most of her books. I never want her stories to end, and when they do, I wish there were a little bit more, and there is! Someday, I want my website to be like hers. :-)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Carpe diem... Darlington...

NASCAR ~ Carl started in 7th and ended 7th. Not bad, but he needs a win if he wants to be in the Chase. Go Carl!

Okay. Now, it's Monday, and there's a lot to be done.

Laundry. Always good to have some constants in life.
Reading. It's part of my homework for myself. I need to know what I like and what I don't like and what's out there.
Writing. Actually, edits have arrived, so I'll be busy with those. I have a week, but I know me. I tend to push once I know what's expected.
Exercise. The last few days haven't been great for that, so this week, I'm jumping back in. My niece shared a great poster with me that says "Sweat is Fat Crying." I'm going to demand a lot more crying. :-)
Eating right. Exercising will work better if I'm eating better. I started back on eating better, yesterday, so today is to continue on the healthier path.
Stay on top of emails, blogs, and Facebook.

Probably more than enough for one day.

Seize the day!

*Whispers* Done. I am so awesome. :-)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #102...

~Franklin Santagate 48 minute interview part 3 of 5 on It's a New Day:
Don't be intimidated by the "No Views." It seems to be cleared out on a regular basis, because Part 1 shows No Views, but I've viewed it. This is worth the time.

~Blessed rain.

~Wonderfully supportive friends.


~God's long-suffering patience.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Heroes... Stephanie Meyer...

I've debated about whether or not to choose Stephanie. I know a lot of people who dislike Twilight and a lot of people who love Twilight. Not that I worry overmuch about what other people think. I'm reading SEAL of Honor right now, little by little, and Lt. Michael P. Murphy is simply so amazing, but I chose him as a hero early.

Anyway. Why I decided to choose Stephanie: She took a genre, paranormal, and made it her own. She changed the rules of how the vampire world worked, forever opening the door to the imagination of writers everywhere. They no longer had to stick to a rigid set of rules, but could explore a little beyond the edges.

I'll be honest. I didn't like the first book. I don't care for first person in fiction, usually. Stephanie is one of my exceptions to my rule. I read the books so I could have an intelligent conversation with a couple of my nieces. I hated feeling so stupid about something so popular. So, they dragged me into the saga, and then I found myself happily joining in. Team Jacob!! My favorite of the four books is book four. I was awed by Stephanie's storytelling ability, the way she took a tried and true genre (so to speak) and gave it twists and turns all her own, forever leaving her stamp on it.

Then I read The Host. Wow... If ever there were a book I wish I could have written, this was it, except I know I never could have even hatched the idea in the first place, let alone carried it through to the end. I'm so glad she wrote it. I can't imagine how they're going to make it work in a movie format. It's such an in your head story.

I don't think I have the next Twilight or The Host in me, but I hope my stories are even marginally as successful or at least touch people like Stephanie's stories have done. I think what speaks to me is her decision to make her own way. To pursue her dream, her vision, her stories, her way. I want to do that.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Surprise rain...

Weather people, gotta love 'em. Some of the few people who can be wrong most of the time and still keep their jobs... wow... can't really say that anymore when I think of the media, Congress, and the current administration... not going there, today.

Back to the rain... same thing, but not... at least the rain is beneficial... oh, dear... it seems I'm more than a little snarky, today. Should make the day interesting. Hopefully more productive than the past week.

Anyway, the other day I was working and thinking it was awfully dark considering it was still afternoon. I glanced outside, and the wind is blowing everything around. Thank God for the internet. I'd been chatting with a friend, two hours away, on FaceBook. She mentioned the storm there, and I replied we weren't scheduled to have anything but a few clouds. She'd lost power for a while, but was back. I checked Accuweather. It was clear, and then a huge storm popped. This happens a lot around here. Lightning and thunder, with blowing wind, and pouring rain, and the guy on the weather channel on television is saying that there might be some storms in the eastern part of the state but our part of the state won't see anything. Sure. Sure.

Then it was over.

Blessedly, we didn't lose power, but a lot of other people did. There were downed trees, and several home fires due to lightning. A few homes had wind damage. No one was hurt.

Kind of like life. We're going along, and everything's sunny. Then it grows dark, without warning, and there's turbulence and seeming disaster. Then it's over, and the business of life continues. You do what you're able to pull yourself together, sometimes stronger, sometimes not, except you're in a different place than you were. There's no going back. Nothing will ever be exactly the same.

The question: What will you do with what has happened to you?

Is the storm but a blip on your radar?

Or do you choose to embrace it, and allow it to change you forever?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Week Forty-Six of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase my reps. I've worked up to 24.

The 4th: weigh in: 231.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 5th: weigh in: 232.4 lb. Only managed four hours of sleep last night. My fault. Couldn't put the book down! 2-1/2 mile walk. Physical therapy, with 2-lb weights. I remember when this weight was my all-time high, before I messed up my back. Now, it's 20 lb lighter than my all-time high. I never want to go there again. Going down.

The 6th: weigh in: 232.6 lb. Stressed a bit, yesterday, read overate. Today will be better. I'm trying something new: Positive self-talk. Yes, I know, it isn't new. It is to me. I've known about it, but haven't been able to bring myself to do it for myself. The negative talk always grew louder. I'm going to start out with the following: My body is amazing. My body does amazing things considering all the abuse it's endured. I love my body. Okay, the last one is going to be tough to say without laughing, but I'm using the laughter to drown out the negative talk. I'll let you know how it goes.

The 7th: weigh in: 232.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Remembered the positive self-talk, and only laughed a bit.

The 8th: weigh in: 231.6 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy with 2-lb weights. Well, shoot. All binging and moodiness is explained. Two days early. Hate when it starts early. Okay, I can be moody without the hormones, but they don't help. There are reasons I confine myself to my room. I know why I'm being unreasonable. I can't think straight to correct the problem.

The 9th: weigh in: 231.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk, in deference to the occasion, though I may try to put in another mile, one way or another, later. SEAL puppy rep. Picked fresh blackberries for breakfast, along with crackers and peanut butter. Life is so yummy.

The 10th: weigh in: 232.8 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Physical therapy, with 2-lb weights. Nope, didn't walk this morning. It rained, last night, so the molds will be having a hayday. No need to aggravate my allergies on purpose. Unfortunately, I did a bit of stress eating due to the storm. The lightning and thunder were awesome, but I'm still a bit paranoid about it. Funny how that is. For those who don't know, we had a storm almost ten years ago, with a lightning strike close enough to blow up the processor in my computer, melting the motherboard. Impressive. Terrifying, because doing my work was severely hindered. I need to "get over it." :-D

Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This last week's reading list...

What I'm sharing is short. I tried three new authors, all of which left me annoyed and grumbling, dumping them on my No list.

I've started a new series: Wrath and Righteousness by Chris Stewart. The first in a series of ten books. It's action/adventure. At least, that's how I'd describe it. Next "episode" comes out June 19. Looking forward to it.

A number of blogs have been great reading.

Then there is the short, fun stuff over at FaceBook.

I really need my brain back. Soon. It will be back soon.

Funny Cat Photos widget:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What happened, yesterday?

My first thought is what happened to my day? I'm feeling out of sorts. I know I'm not sleeping enough, but it's never affected me quite like this before. What's different?

I used to beat myself up for everything not done or not done perfectly right. It's odd finding myself changing the way I think. I've tried to change it for years, and now it seems I'm succeeding. I think.

Laundry was done. The only writing done was one of my blogs. Not this one. I try to write a day ahead, and yet, I'm not beating myself up this morning for not having done this last night. What's up with that? I did edit a chapter. I called my client, and settled that bit of work. I read a new author, who is now on the no list. I really hate heroines who are practically perfect in every way, and if the men would just capitulate everything would be perfect. Ugh.

I'm not quite on top of my emails, blog, and FB, but not bad.

And yes, I did my exercise. My eating was okay.

Not going to worry about it. Taking it moment by moment.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Carpe diem... Talladega...

NASCAR ~ Unfortunately, Carl was a DNF ~ Does Not Finish. He was caught up in a pileup. Overall finish ended up at #31. He's now #11 in points. Next week will be better!

What will be done, today?

Workout. Yes, I do it everyday, but I'm trying to recognize it's an important routine.
Call my client, and let them know the work is done.
Stay on top of all the little things I need to do, like emails, blogs, and Facebook. I trying to learn to manage my time. I'm remembering what Amber and Jess taught about the brain resets every 10 minutes. I'm going to see how the day goes keeping that in mind.

Today is Lt. Michael P. Murphy's birthday, one of the three SEALs killed during Operation Red Wings. May God bless his family and those he loves with courage and strength and comfort.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #101

~Franklin Santagate 48 minute interview part 2 of 5 on It's a New Day:

~Blackberries from the garden. After all the trimming, there won't be enough to make jam, but there are enough to enjoy a few every day, for breakfast.

~Good friends.

~Good books.

~A/C with summer weather already making an appearance.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My Heroes... Evin...

Who is Evin?

Evin is retired military and is now biking across America, starting back on the 1st of May. He is dedicating each day to a different SEAL who made the ultimate sacrifice since 9/11. Visit his blog to learn more.

I'm following his journey, every day, here:

He's dreamed of doing this since he was 15 years old. It's never too late to fulfill a dream.

Friday, May 4, 2012

May the 4th be with you...

Whoohoo! I've wanted to use this ever since I heard about it, but have forgotten, until today. :-)

Sugar Belle cookies has character cookies to celebrate. Help yourself.

I watched Star Wars for the first time shortly after it came out. My younger brother wanted to go back and see it, again and again. Being a good big sister, I, of course, had to accompany him. Oh, the sacrifices we make. Yeah, sure. It was great. I saw it ten times in the theater, with him, and he saw it several more times with his friends.

Quotes that still make me smile:
"There is no try. Do or do not."
"Great kid! Don't get cocky."
"I got a bad feeling about this."
"Sandpeople go single file, to hide their numbers."
"Use the force, Luke."
"These are not the droids you're looking for."
"Help us, Obi-wan. You're our only hope."
"There's been a disturbance in the force."
"Luke, I am your father."
"Shut down the trash compactor..."
"We're here to rescue you."
"Sorry about the mess."
"Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?"
"Let the Wookie win."

And the list goes on... :-)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Week Forty-Five of REAL...

National Day of Prayer ~ One Nation Under God

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
500 yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke 12.5 minutes 10 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups No time limit 10 minute rest
Run 1.5 miles wearing boots and long pants 11.5 minutes

Here's the link if you're interested in the whole thing:

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase my reps. I've worked up to 22, across the board.

The 27th: weigh in: 233 lb. Not bad considering the stress eating I did, yesterday. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 28th: weigh in: 2-something lb. Don't know. I did do my physical therapy. I ate too much. The food was abundant, and I was stressed. Not a good combination.

The 29th: weigh in: 2-something lb. Again, I don't know. Again, the food was abundant, and I was stressed. I never handle well anything I do for the first time. The primary goal becomes to make it through with as little drama as possible and hopefully with my dignity intact.

The 30th: weigh in: 234.4 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.


The 1st: weigh in: 233.2 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy.

The 2nd: weigh in: 233 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Note to self: I have no self-control when it comes to ice cream. I've found a better donut, P.Croissant, so I'm no longer tempted to buy donuts. I need to figure out something better, healthier, easier to control. Yea. Good luck with that. :-P

The 3rd: weigh in: 232.8 lb. Waist circumference: 39". How that happened after what I ate, yesterday, I do not know, but not knocking it. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 2-lb weights. Yes, I think of what I could accomplish if I ate healthier. Today, starting today, I will eat healthier. It really is helping to eat a little every 2-3 hours. I'm drinking all my water, 6-8 cups a day. I'm learning to not hide behind my weight. I am capable. Go me!

Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Brain is on vacation...

Is this adorable or what?

What was my favorite meal at the conference? Chaparral Suites offered a hot breakfast plate, included with your room. What did I order, both days? Pancakes and bacon, with a cup of milk. Well, I have to admit, they did serve a chocolate cake that was absolutely decadent. But I looked forward to my pancakes and bacon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

God Wink...

It dawned on me I hadn't seen my flashdrive since returning home. ACK! I called the hotel, and transferred me to housekeeping, since they took care of lost and found. All my work is on this flashdrive. I cried, and prayed it was safe. I looked in all the places it could be, and it wasn't there. I prayed it was found. Instead of only looking, I did an investigation by feel. I didn't know there was a hole in the lying of my leather backpack. It had slipped between. It's safe. Thanks, God!

What a weekend!

The Desert Dreams Writers' Conference was amazing. I'm so glad my folks made it possible for me to attend. I learned a lot. I'll be blogging details over at Laurel Hawkes, so feel free to take a gander over there.

In the meantime, life hasn't slowed down a bit. I managed to accomplish everything on yesterday's list, though the editing I did wasn't what I expected. I needed to go to bed before I made it that far.

What all I accomplished:

Laundry. YAY!

Some editing. I'm trying not to delete the whole thing. There are days like that.

I wrote some impressions from the conference. I've even thought about a workshop I'd like to create, and wrote the concept and how it would start.

Plotting has started for one of the later books.

I'm caught up on blogs and FaceBook, for the moment.

I even managed to squeeze in a little reading.

That was all on Monday. Today is going to be busy, too. I was given so many great hints to help me improve, and they all seem to be doable, at this point. I hate to think of how often I'd hear things and think "I'm going to do it," and then I'd end up sidetracked because it simply wasn't working for me.

I'll keep myself accountable here, and see what develops.