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Archive for November, 2006

Buh-bye, now, NaNoWriMo

Okay. It was a good idea. Write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Just forge through the writing, don’t go back and edit, don’t worry about research, just get the writing done.

And I did get 9000 words written during the first week of the month. I even wrote every night while I was at WFC. Pretty impressive, eh?

The problem with it, for me, is (a) that’ s just not how I work, and (b) the novel I’m working on requires intensive research. I just can’t forge through the writing without getting the research done. I have forged through as much as I can right now. I now have to stop and forge through some pretty major research. I get to study Celtic magic, Celtic history and folklore, herbs, and aromatherapy. I get to take extensive notes. I get to figure out who’s who. Then I can forge ahead with some more writing.

It has been a good experience. I learned from it. My muse was kind to me. One of my characters emerged full-grown and completely different from how I had expected her to be. I’m madly in love with her (nothing perverted, though), and can’t wait to learn more about her. The protagonist has finally developed a mind and a voice of her own, and she’s surprised me more than once as well. The book that I am writing bears little resemblance to the book I had planned to write, and I can thank NaNoWriMo for that. So I cannot call this a failed experiment. That said, I cannot wait to dive into Culpeper’s Complete Herbal.

And even though you don’t know it yet, you can’t wait to meet Erea. So far I actually like her better than my protagonist, but I will admit that I know her better.

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Everyone else is doing it.

You.
Can.
Only.
Type.
One.
Word.
No.
Explanations.
Not as easy as you might think…

1. Yourself: goofy
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend: musician
3. Your hair: beautiful
4. Your mother/stepmother: enigma
5. Your dog: kissiful
6. Your favorite item: books
7. Your dream last night: vampires
8. Your favorite drink: water
9. Your dream car: sleek
10. The room you are in: office
12. Your fear: nonexistence
13. What you want to be in 10 years: alive
14. Who you hung out with last night: husband
15. What you’re not: quitter
16. Muffin: verboten
17: One of your wish list items: boots
18: Time: break
19. The last thing you did: walked
20. What you are wearing: colorful
21. Your favorite weather: breezy
22. Your favorite book: Annwn
23. The last thing you ate: apple
24. Your life: exciting
25. Your mood: anticipatory
26. Your best friend(S): stalwart
27. What are you thinking about right now? life
28. Your car: silver
29. What are you doing at the moment?: typing
30. Your summer: hot
31. Your relationship status: married
32. What is on your TV?: nothing
33. What is the weather like?: glorious
34. When is the last time you laughed?: lunch

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I know I’ve blathered on about the WW Core program a few times this week. Well, that’s because it works. I have felt so fantastic while eating great food and a lot less than I’ve been in the habit of eating. And my feelings were reinforced at weigh-in this morning. My leader’s face reflected her astonishment: her eyes widened, she gasped, and I eagerly jumped up and down and demanded to know how much weight I lost.

8.6 pounds!

I got another 5-pound star, as I have now lost just over 20 pounds. I’m also 7 pounds away from my 10% goal.

It amuses me that every time I’ve mentioned the core program to someone at work, they immediately say that it’s too limiting. I think that’s the perception, but it’s not the reality. To the contrary, I have found it amazingly freeing. I have had absolutely no cravings for anything unhealthy. I’ve eaten only the amount of food I need, and it’s less than I ate even on the flex plan. It’s all been fresh food, nothing processed. Although last night Joe did buy some ready-made mashed potatoes and gravy and put a little bit on my plate. I ate a few bites, and just about gagged at the amount of salt on them.

Sarah and I have been using our morning and afternoon breaks as opportunities to get in some exercise. We have a route mapped out that is about 1/2 mile, and we walk it twice a day no matter the weather.

I am determined to succeed. I know this isn’t something that I will do until I hit goal. This is just how I live now until I die. And I like it. I’m going to die slim and healthy and lookin’ hot!

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Yesterday Chicory blogged about the realization that she derives her sense of self-worth from what she can do for others (here). It took me back to my own journey.

I’d say it started, gosh, probably 23, 24 years ago. I know I wasn’t yet 21. I was living on my own for the first time. Mom was living with Liz and our brother near the coast of Texas with our grandfather. I was up in the DFW area. I worked in Dallas at a job I detested. My favorite uncle and his then-wife, who lived in Houston, decided to go to the Kerrville Folk Festival, and invited us to join them. So I made arrangements to fly to Houston, where my Mom would pick me up at the airport, take me to my uncle’s house, and we’d all ride out together with my uncle and aunt. I asked one of my few–very few–friends to take me to the airport and then pick me back up.

We had a good time at the folk festival. I loved the music, loved the freedom, loved camping out. I was a little shocked at a few things my uncle said to me, but hey, he was from a different generation, and had different opinions, so I shrugged them off and didn’t let them worry me too much. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to going back to work, but all good things must end, so I reluctantly boarded the plane that carried me back to Dallas Love Field.

When I got to the airport in Dallas, my friend wasn’t waiting for me anywhere. I waited, patiently at first, and then got more and more worried. I tried calling her, but couldn’t reach her. Finally deciding that she had forgotten, I called another friend who lived near me in Fort Worth. She left immediately. About 10 minutes later, the other friend arrived. When I apologetically told her that I’d just called someone else, she was furious with me. She could not believe that I thought so little of her to think that she would forget about me. But that wasn’t it at all. It was that I thought so little of myself. She didn’t understand that, and I don’t think she ever talked to me again, despite my apologies and attempts at explanation.

It didn’t sink in, then. I kept going my not-so-merry way. Life was hard. It always has been for me. I missed a lot of the bad experiences I hear about that others had, and I’m grateful. But that doesn’t mean it was easy or fun. I was desperately lonely, desperately broke, too ignorant to understand how I could go to college without money or family support, and doing a lot of dead-end jobs that provided no enjoyment or satisfaction. Those years were painful then, and I don’t like thinking about them now because they bring nothing but painful memories.

So advance forward 7 or 8 years. I’m in Salt Lake City, living not too far from the University of Utah. A neighbor had promised to pick me up for some activity. He was late. (Are you noticing a theme here?) I decided he wasn’t coming. Took my clothes back off. Cried. Got a pounding headache. Then I heard someone knocking at the door. I couldn’t answer the door–I wasn’t dressed fit to be seen, I looked like a wreck, and I had a raging headache. I just lay there and sobbed, pretending I wasn’t home. Bless his heart, he knocked for a good 5 minutes before he gave up and left. I felt like the biggest heel in the world. After I was sure he was gone, I got up and threw on some clothes and went to a pay phone and called my mother and stepfather and told them what had happened. They came over to see me, and my stepfather gave me a blessing. Somehow the realization that I thought of myself as completely worthless sunk in that time.

It took a long time and a lot of hard work to learn to realise that I am of worth because I am. God created me, and he created me just the way I am, imperfections and all. I have learned that it is my very imperfections that have created bonds between me and other people, people whom I truly love and admire. It is the imperfections and quirks that make me unique. I think if God had intended everyone on earth to be alike, he could have rolled out some human dough and used one cookie cutter, popped us all in the oven at one time, cooked us for the same length of time, and then we would all have been just the same.

Since he didn’t do that, I think it’s probably safe to assume that he loves us as we are. I don’t think that gives me a blanket excuse to not try to improve myself, but I can improve myself without losing my individuality.

Anyway, sorry to blather on for so long. I’ve just been doing a lot of thinking since I read Chicory’s post yesterday. I remember that icy shock of realization, and then the days of stunned pondering that followed it. I’ve studied enough psychology to understand what led me to that way of thinking, and I do not see any benefit in delving back into it now. I’d rather press forward, with a perfect brightness of hope, with a love of God and of all men (and women!).

Excelsior!

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J. came into my office wanting a retractable badge holder. I looked in the drawer where my keys are usually kept. No keys.

Then I remembered. One of those trips to the bathroom. I had just picked up some office supplies for one of the other managers, and couldn’t wait long enough to take the keys back to my office before going to the bathroom. I don’t have any pockets. I put the keys in the only available place.

I looked down, and gave J. a panicked look. “Uh, would you mind–”

He took the hint, and looked the other way while I fished the keys out of my cleavage.

I quickly got his retractable badge holder and we both pretended like nothing happened.

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What’s New?

A broken tooth. Well, it’s not new. The tooth is slightly younger than I am, and it’s been broken for a few weeks. But it’s just buggin’ the stink out of me! I have a huge fear of dentists, and have had one ever since a dentist extracted a tooth when I was 12 or 13 and I got a horrible infection. That means, as you might have deduced, that I only go to the dentist when something is terribly wrong. That further means that my teeth are a mess. Well, my friends, 2007 is the year! When I go to the dentist next Wednesday (yes, the day before Thanksgiving, which means that I’ll successfully avoid the feast at work because my appointment is during lunch), I’ll also ask for an estimate on what it will cost to get my teeth fixed. And then I’ll put that much money in my healthcare account. That means I’ll HAVE to get my teeth fixed, because if I don’t, I forfeit the money. And then next January, I’ll start going to the dentist/orthodontist/other-various-ontists as required, and maybe by the end of next year I’ll have a reasonably decent set of teeth in my mouth, or else a reasonably close facsimile thereof. I joke about getting dentures, but part of me really would like to tell him to just yank ’em out, and give me dentures. The other part of me never wants to be seen without teeth in my mouth. And I do mean never. I was a little dismayed that the earliest appointment I could get was next Wednesday, but didn’t see fit to complain. I asked if there is something that I can put in the broken tooth to keep food out, and was told that there is something called Tempbond or Dentemp, available at grocery stores or drugstores. Cool! I looked, but never saw any such thing. I suppose it helps to find it if one actually knows what one is looking for.

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Holiday HerbTea. Again, probably not new, but I just bought a box last week at the grocery store. It’s by Celestial Seasonings, and has milk thistle, roasted barley, orange peel, natural sugar cookie flavor with other natural flavors and vanilla bean. It’s really good for quelling those desires for something hot and sweet in the afternoons. I just brew up a cup (or three, depending on how strong those cravings are), and stir in a little fake sugar, and my tummy is happy.

Painting by Chagall by the Weepies. Again, not new, but new to me, so I get to list it here since I’m making the rules right now. I got Chicory’s Crazy Mixed-Up CD while I was at the World Fantasy Convention, and I didn’t get a chance to listen to it until last Friday. I love it!!!! The whole CD I mean, not just this song. She titled it “Songs You Shouldn’t Listen to at 3 AM.” Good title, by the way. I really like all the songs on this CD, and there are 3 songs by the Weepies. Have you heard anything by them? No? Well, what are you waiting for? Chicory wrote in her liner notes that this song (Painting by Chagall) is the song that hooked her. It’s a hooky song. It’s the kind that I could just keep hitting the back button over and over and over and over. It’s that good.

Yet another boil on my face. At least this one’s on my chin. The last few have been on my nose. But still. Ugh. Boils. The last one was horrible!!! See, if I avoid squeezing them, they die faster. But the last one came to a perfectly disgusting pussy head, and I had to squeeze it to avoid grossing people out. So then it scabbed up, and bled a lot for about 4 or 5 days. It is still scabby, but it’s a tiny scab now. My skin got so much better when I started Weight Watchers. I think it’s getting even with me for my indiscretions that caused the 3.8 pound weight-gain. Damn skin! (Why am I cursing my skin? I should be cursing my indiscretions. If you can call Godiva cheesecake an indiscretion. Personally, I call it bliss.) Well, it’s getting virtually no toxins from my food, and I haven’t been wearing makeup (except to the concert the other night), so I’m hoping that the boils are about finished erupting. Maybe this one will be the last. [wayne campbell]Yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.[/wayne campbell]

Another episode of Veronica Mars tonight. No need to elaborate. Just know that I’ll be sitting in front of the television between 8 and 9 p.m. I’ll be doing laundry before that, and will go to sleep after that.

I could probably ramble on, but I have to go to the bathroom. And you know how much water I drink, so I can’t bold that. It’s definitely nothing new.

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Chicory’s Sick

Chicory’s down and out right now with pneumonia. If you get a chance, drop by her blog and leave her some positive thoughts. I know she’ll appreciate them.

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