life, Trying ME on for Size, Writing

NEW Book!

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Okay, here’s the thing. I’ve been absent for quite some time, and I’ve hinted at a new “project” I was working on. Well, that project was ME. In July of 2015 I underwent Weight Loss Surgery and my life has been forever altered. I’ve lost 112 pounds and I feel like I can fit in my own skin now. It’s an incredible feeling.

It’s not for everyone. It’s controversial. Some people think it’s “cheating” or taking the “easy way” out. (It’s neither of those, actually, and I truly don’t understand that mentality. Cheating what? The billion dollar weight-loss industry? Okay! I’m good with that!) But I did it and it’s been life-changingly wonderful for me.

And so, I wrote a book. Cos that’s what I do. So here it is… partially story of my own journey, partially a workbook to help people decide if it’s right for them (or simply to learn what people go through with this tool). If you’re interested, you can click on the photo of my cover above, or you can click right here to get to the Amazon page. Right now, only the e-book is available, but the paperback will be out next week.

This is a personal journey, made less personal by putting it on Amazon. It’s a vulnerable experience, especially for an introvert like me. But I’m hopeful that it can help someone else going through the same journey. If that’s the case, then it’s worth it all.

And yes, book two of Drawn In is still happening, and it’s nearing completion. I promise. 🙂

life

Thankful

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I haven’t been updating my blog lately… well, at all really. But I had to post today. it’s Thanksgiving Day and beyond the turkey and the pumpkin pie and the cranberries, beyond the football and the shopping and the tryptophan-induced naps, there is family. There are friends. There is love. I am so very grateful for everything and everyone in my life. What a beautiful world we live in, and it is full of grace and love and blessings. It is full of all of these things… if you choose to see them. Choose happiness. Choose to be thankful. Choose to be blessed. Today & every day. Happy Thanksgiving!

life

My May 1st Resolution

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I’m not good with New Year’s resolutions. We sort of have a love/hate relationship going on, and really it ends up with me just feeling like I spend the first few weeks of the year lying to myself. So a few years ago, I made a resolution to make no more resolutions.

But today is May 1st, and for a couple of different reasons that I won’t go into just now, it feels like a chance for a new beginning. So, while I still didn’t join the Get Fit! Stop Smoking! Win the Lottery! bandwagon in January, I did make a sort of … let’s say promise to myself. I’ve done well in keeping it so far, and I’m ready to share it with you. So here it is. This year, I promised to Use Stuff.

Okay, so that probably doesn’t sound earth shattering to you. In fact, it probably sounds pretty dumb. But here’s the thing… I’ve always been the kind of person who will keep things. I keep things that I don’t need just in case I might need it someday. I keep things that I really really treasure… perishable things, special things, useable things. But I don’t use them. I’ll buy a special set of note cards on vacation, and then never use them. Why? Because they’re special. Well duh! Isn’t that why I bought them? Or I’ll get a favourite treat that I can’t get anywhere else, and do I savor it? No, not savor. SAVE. Save until I’ve forgotten about it, or it goes bad and ends up being thrown away. It’s silly, and it’s sad.

My brother is an excellent example what I’m trying to achieve. We recently took a trip to Tokyo, as I’ve mentioned before. There’s a candy that they make there that we love, and we discovered a kind that we’d never seen before while we were there, so we brought back a few packs to enjoy after the trip, but once again I didn’t want to open them. But he has a great ability to live in the moment, and so we did. And each delicious fruit-flavored bite was a perfect little remembrance of Tokyo. Without that push, I’d still have those boxes of unopened delights, just sitting there gathering dust. Because, (and here’s the thing…) before the box is even opened and we’ve had a chance to savor their sweet and sour goodness, I’m already mourning their loss.

I’m mourning their loss while the unopened box is still in my hand. Do you see the problem here?

So that, my friends, has been my resolution for this year. Use stuff. Enjoy the heck out of it.  Special things are meant to be enjoyed and treasured and remembered. One of my favourite quotes comes from Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone. It’s been too long since I’ve read the book, and I don’t remember the context, but the quote has stuck with me. It says,

“Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.”

Isn’t that a beautiful thought? When you’re presented with something wonderful, accept it graciously, be thankful for it, and enjoy it. That is my goal.

life

Happy Things

I haven’t posted in a little while, BUT I have a fantastic excuse. Ready? Book One is COMPLETE. That’s right. You heard it here first. The Kindle version is available for pre-sale here, and the paperback version is uploaded and the proof copy is on its way to me even as we speak. (Okay, we’re not speaking. But now as I type, it’s making its way to my doorstep.) So, pretty good excuse, right?

So in lieu of a regular posty kind of post, I’m going to take an idea from another blog I follow by wonderful YA author Skylar Dorset (find her blog here and the first book in her fantastic Otherworld series here). She does what she calls a “Pick Me-Up” post where she just lists a few things that have made her happy in the recent week. So I’m taking a page from her book, and posting my own list of recent happy things.

Five things that have made me happy in the last week:

  1. Snow!!!! Winter finally found its way to the Ozarks and we are snowed in! I know that so many people are annoyed by this fact, but I love it. Bring it on.
  2. Finally feeling like Book One is FINISHED. It’s been a long long long time coming, and I know my book isn’t perfect. I know that. But I like it, and I’m happy to introduce it to the world in just a few short weeks!
  3. Big Hero 6. I saw this movie in the theatres when we first got back from Tokyo, and we watched it again last night. The movie itself is so wonderful and sweet and funny… it’s quickly becoming a favourite. But having just been to Japan, it took on a whole different meaning for me. I love it so much. I could live in San Fransokyo. So brilliant.
  4. Green fingernails. That’s right–green. St Patrick’s Day is upon us and my nails are in the Irish mood!
  5. My puppy. Okay, to be fair, she’s on my list every week. She’s sweet and spoiled and super cute, and she LOVES the snow. Happy happy girl.

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And there ya have it! What tops your list this week?

life

Fast Five Friday … a few days late

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Hey! I just discovered a great blog called Cover Girls (found here) with a really fun feature called Fast Five Friday. I love lists, and having a blog hop each week is a great motivation to post something fun! So I really think I need to play.

This week’s Fast Five topic is Five TV Character Crushes. It’s not literary-based for this list, but a lot of the posts coming up will be, so I can totally justify it on a blog about writing right? We’ll consider this part of the “and such.” So here we go. Top five TV crushes coming up…

Number One: Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), Firefly 

Best show ever. Ever, I say! I have much love for Richard Castle, also portrayed by the ruggedly handsome Nathan Fillion, but Mal will always be my number one, so I figured one character per actor was fair.

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Number Two: the Doctor (particularly Doctor Ten – David Tennant), Doctor Who

Doctors Nine and Eleven also have their charm, but Ten will always be my Doctor.

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Number Three: Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), Once Upon a Time

The quintessential “bad guy” with gorgeous eyes and topped with a British accent.

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Number Four: Bob Brown (Scott Foley), the Unit

I almost went with Jonas, played by Dennis Haysbert from the same show. They’re both very crush-able, but Bob won out.

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Number Five: Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), Sherlock

I wonder how telling it is that three of my five have British accents? Hmmm…

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This was actually harder than I thought it would be! I’m not sure if using characters from mostly cancelled tv shows was cheating or not, but I can’t help it. I love them! 🙂 So who are your TV crushes? Any you’d care to share?

life

Decemberish Thoughts

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I’m home with a really nasty cold today, and as not fun as that is, it feels like a perfect excuse to catch up on my blog. December is my favourite time of year. I love winter weather, I love Starbucks red cups and Egg Nog Lattes (thank goodness they brought them back! What were they thinking??), I love Christmas specials and Christmas movies and Christmas trees and Christmas shopping… I freaking love December.

This year, I kind of feel like I’ve missed it. For the most part, it was for a super good reason… I got to spend almost two weeks in Japan! It was the trip of a lifetime, and so amazing to see Tokyo and the Ginza and Mt. Fuji and all the wonders of Tokyo Disney firsthand. And they were all decked out for Christmas everywhere, so I definitely got my fix while we were there. (A separate post with some pics will follow, I promise!) And then as soon as we got back, I got sick. This is actually not that unusual for me, unfortunately. My immune system is out of whack, and it’s hard for me not to pick up every bug that floats around. So add that to the recycled air on three flights and a day that literally lasted about 31 hours, and it equals me getting sick. Whee.

So here I am, with no Christmas decorations on my tree, hardly any Christmas presents bought (let alone wrapped or shipped), and my Christmas spirit is running very low. So I’ve decided (just now, in this moment; this is not what my post was going to be at all!) that I am going to make a Love List for December. I still have a week until Christmas, and let me tell you… it will happen ready or not, so I might as well enjoy the heck out of it. Here goes…

A Love List for December

Christmas shopping

Buying wrapping paper & bows & cards & tags

Christmas music!

Fireplaces

Snow (even though we don’t have any yet, I love the potential)

Sweaters and scarves

People are nicer

Bells ringing outside Wal-Mart

Christmas lights

Sending & getting Christmas cards

Christmas movies & cheesy TV specials

Christmas cookies

Nativity scenes

Wreaths on front doors

Red cups at Starbucks

Cozy blankets & cocoa with little marshmallows

Okay, I’ll stop there because I really could go on and on and on. My spirit isn’t fully restored yet, but I am hopeful. And, cold or no cold, it’s time to light a few scented candles and put some ornaments on the tree. I can do that while I’m on codeine, right? What’s the worst that could happen? 🙂

Merry Christmas!!

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Some Summer Magic

 

 

I can’t believe my last post was June 7, and next week is July! How did this happen, and who authorized it? Man, time goes so fast these days.

I have a confession to make, and please don’t hate me for saying this… but summer is my least favourite season. There. I said it. I know, I know, everybody loves it for the freedom and the vacation and the sunny days and blah blah blah. But honestly, summer to me means mostly humidity and crowds and looking for the next place I can find air conditioning. That being said, however, there are a few things that I look forward to when this time of year rolls around.

Road Trips – I love them at any time of year, but there’s something extra special about escaping the daily routine and driving off into the horizon. Windows rolled down, music too loud, wind in your hair … it’s a beautiful thing.

Summer movies – I love summer movies! The action, blow-things-up movies are usually exactly what I’m in the mood for when the days get long and hot. Plus the family movies (that I love to go see and complain about all the kids there – go figure). I’ve already seen Maleficent twice and can’t wait to see it again. It’s FANTASTIC and I highly recommend it, for those of you who haven’t seen it. Angelina Jolie is amazing, and the little girl who plays young Maleficent is extraordinary. Truly – go see it. But I digress…

And I save my favourite summer feature for last. If you know me personally or you’ve read my ms, you already know what it is. Fireflies. Yes, okay, they’re bugs. But they GLOW. Did you hear me people? These amazing little creations actually LIGHT UP! No battery required! Granted, I grew up on the Central Coast in California, and they don’t exist there. The only ones I grew up with were the ones on a string inside Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. So it’s true that I may get a little extra excited now that I live somewhere that I can experience them for real, but come on… you have to admit, they are pure summer magic.

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