Merry Christmas! These are a bit late but I hope still helpful and inspirational throughout the holidays. I’ve chosen to stick to Regular everyday themes. Sometimes the holiday quotes and holiday themes can ‘Holiday’ a person out. Thank goodness for hockey or all that would be on TV at night would be Hallmark type Christmas movies.
Anyways enjoy your Christmas’ and ponder these in-between. 🎄❤️😊
What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to the dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?
I’ve let this prompt sit a few days. There is not to much I can tell you which isn’t on my About The Author page or on my Gravatar Profile on the side menu of my blog.
What I do the most when I’m not writing is read. I read other blogs, trying to stay up to date on other people’s writing and posts, making comments, and exploring new blogs.
I enjoy reading and looking at fashion magazines. Instyle is my favourite fashion magazine. Magazines are an interesting source of media as you can read it paper format and on your tablet, and receive varied information for each method of reading the magazine. I like how on the tablet you can go into all the websites of the various clothing, makeup, and accessories advertised or shown. I go on Pinterest and I pin interesting outfits I like. Often, the clothing is priced way out of my budget but finding similar pieces of clothing in my budget range is interesting to me.
I’m also into reading books when I’m in the mood. I read fast as I’ve said before so often, I’m waiting in-between book releases for the next book in the series to come out. Most of my library is now on IBooks but I do have some books on Kobo and Kindle. Every once in a while if it’s a classic book, I will read and buy the book in paperback.
Watching videos on YouTube on makeup and doing hair is also fascinating. I’m a girly girl and I like to stay on trend in makeup. I try different products out if I think I will use them.
Shortly, I plan to have a couple of makeup pieces out. One post on products I’m using having to do with eyes and another on products not associated with eye makeup. Additionally, I never knew how to put my hair up growing up so I figured a few years ago that it was time to learn. Now I know several styles and ways to put my hair up or half-up. I try to go for elegant in both hair and makeup. Not sure it always works.
I also watch a few of my favourite TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder, The Catch, Grimm, The Vampire Diaries, Chicago Fire, and off and on The Big Bang Theory and The Blacklist. Sometimes I watch hockey and football. In addition, I watch movies and various TV series on Netflix and I love going to see movies in the theater.
The most cost effective way to see a movie with a friend or relative is to buy a movie pass at Costco (or other places you might now of) for either Landmark Cinemas or Cineplex Odeon where I live, and then you can buy two movie passes, two medium/large popcorns, and two drinks for about $25.00/pass. You save yourself $25.00 at least when you go to see a movie using a pass.
Whenever I have energy and often even when I don’t, I do yoga. It stretches sore muscles out and it gives your body flexibility. I live right next to a couple of parks so I also enjoy walking in and around the park area a few times a week.
When I have money to do it, I enjoy shopping in-store and online. It depends on what I am looking for as to whether I buy it online or in-store. Often, online shopping is cheaper but it isn’t cheaper if you end up with items you don’t wear or don’t use.
Once or twice a week I see a friend and we do something such as have wine, coffee, see a movie, go for dinner, etc. At times I go out to a coffee shop to write in a different setting on my own.
I do stuff with my Mom as well and we have lunch, visit my Baba, go shopping, or go to an event such as The Women’s Show, or a Craft Show at the Agricom. I went to Make It Edmonton a couple of times this year and liked it a great deal.
Most of the time, I spend a lot of hours writing. For as long as I can concentrate, I write.
Each month I try to give you guys a bit of an update on my life. It’s been a while since I have been able to sit down and think about things.
April was extremely busy, writing a poem a day for National Poetry Writing Month. As I wrote each day in accordance with the prompt provided on the website, I also tried to do various forms of poetry. This is continueous with the poetry journey I have been on this year, learning new types of poetry from Shadow Poetry.
I found my first attempts at new kinds of poetry frustrating at times this month, because I was having to write poems using a prompt, and write on weekends too. I think I wrote the best poetry going back to types of poetry I had used before and had had the chance to refine over the months in 2015 and 2016.
As much as I love April’s NaPoWriMo, I’m glad it is done and I can focus on some other aspects of writing. I was scraping the bottom, the last few poems I wrote for the challenge. Kudos to those of you who both did NaPoWriMo and the A to Z challenge.
I think my biggest concern lately has been with weight put on from medications in the past, which I haven’t been able to lose. I had a good idea I would gain another ten pounds off last July’s medication switch. I don’t regret doing the changes in hospital, but I would really love it if I could even get my body weight down twenty-pounds.
A good friend of mine from university L, started on this new supplement program. It’s not only about losing weight but getting proper vitamins, having more energy, and feeling healthier all around. I’m careful where supplements are concerned because sometimes they react with medication. However, I brought an ingredients list to my pharmacist and he said it was fine. You would hope so, as all the ingredients are naturally sourced.
Initially, I lost 5 lbs and 8.5 inches on what they call an 8 day detox. I was happy with this result, but once I started back on their day 9 to 30 diet, I gained back the weight. Now I find, I have also gained back inches and put on a couple pounds on the weightloss meal plan. I’m frustrated because I actually know many people including my friend, who over months kept losing weight on the weightloss plan and on these supplements.
My friend said try increasing your protein and I tried it last week but as I feared, the protein increase made me put on a couple pounds and inches. So, I went back to smaller amounts of protein except for the last meal of the day, so I remain full at night. I have issues with finding myself ravenously hungry at night. Right around 11:00 pm to 1:00 pm, my stomach thinks it needs food now. I guess, I will have to convince it otherwise.
The weight issue is extremely discouraging when I’m doing the same plan as my good friend, but can’t lose the weight. I got into a bad habit after a month and half of trying to lose more weight. I began eating some delicious calorie loaded food because I was not losing weight anyways. But stepping on the scale a moment, changed my mind about continuing this trend.
On a good note, I have found a supplement I take called xyng, to be an extremely excellent product. It actually increases my energy. I take one pill in the morning and one in the afternoon. It is supposed to help with a person’s metabolism and appetite, but I haven’t noticed those effects. But I do notice I have much less energy without the xyng so I plan to keep taking it with a couple of other supplements from the product line I liked for the health benefits. I’m planning on carefully sticking to the meal plan for the next while, to see if it goes better. It may or may not.
Between poetry writing, I have been going full-out trying to finish the first draft of How Was Last Night For You. I’m a chapter or two away from finishing the novel in first draft. Last week I became stuck at a pivotal point in one of the main character’s story. I’m going to think about it a bit before continuing on. The ending needs to be strong as well as set me up for book two in the series. Yes, there will be a second novel, I have been considering it for some time and once this one is mostly complete, I will begin planning book two.
I have been researching and saving articles on publishing books and a generous blogger even provided me with information for a couple of fantastic editors. Right now I have a fellow writer looking my work over, it’s a huge job. When he said editing it ‘line by line’ he meant it. I am hoping I’m able to provide him with the same quality of feedback with his writing projects. Having that feedback has helped me a great deal in regards to writing short pieces of flash fiction, especially with meaningful dialogue.
I’m also participating in a challenge called #Maydays and the generous host K.L. Caley, provides a prompt each day. Thus far, I have chosen to write fiction, heavy on the dialogue as I am attempting to ‘show‘ verses ‘tell‘ in my writing and working on developing better dialogue. I’d be interested to hear what other writers think about these terms. Do you agree there should be more ‘showing‘ than ‘telling‘ in a work of fiction?
Another aspect of my blog I would like to work on is having a couple of guest bloggers a month. I’m interested in people as a writers and I have some interview questions I can email to that effect. Why you write, how you started etc. If you would like to be a guest blogger/writer please comment on this post or go to the top of my blog page, to the contact me page.
As for the rest of life, I’m back to reading a lot again. I’ve forgotten how reading a great book can go quickly and find myself moving through different genres of books with speed. It’s not that I’m not absorbing the books information; I’ve always been a fast reader, when I’m feeling well and can concentrate. I will update you guys on some of the books I like sometimr in May. As well. I will have new beauty posts and some other posts unrelated to writing in the coming months. I’ve been unable to do these kinds of posts lately, due to having to keep up with my novel writing.
I spent a wonderful night out attempting to paint a picture and drinking wine with some friends at a small wine place downtown. It was a lot of fun despite not being able to make my painting look like the one the instructor had painted. I’ve never been an ‘exact’ painter, I go with the flow.
Also, I saw the third movie in the Divergent Series of movies called Allegiant. I’m not entirely sure if this is part 1 or if there is a part 2? I thought they were breaking the third book Allegiant, into two parts for the movie but perhaps I’m wrong? If you know let me know 🙂
I’m looking forward to Alice Through the Looking Glass, this summer in theatres, the new Captain America and Iron Man film, a new addition to The Pirates of the Caribbean movies with Orlando Bloom in it and the newest Harry Potter-like movie coming out in Fall, set in the 1920’s.
As for TV, I’m anticipating a twisty finale for Scandal and hopefully, something big on Grey’s Anatomy since last season was not an exciting ending, more of a tying up of loose ends with McDreamy’s death a few episodes before the Finale. Also, I’m looking forward to watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey and Season 2 of The Fall on Netflix.
As for other things, enjoying walking in the river valley in the warm spring weather. It’s not so hard now without a dog, I’ve grown used to it. Also, doing yoga as always. I think if you have trouble with exercise or are starting trying to be fitter, yoga or Pilates is excellent in keeping your body toned and flexible. Just start at an easy beginner level and repeat it until you can do the exercise pattern for longer or the moves become too easy. Then move up from there. If it is never easier add another beginner routine in for variety and remember even doing a small amount of exercise, you are lapping everyone on the couch!
Additiinally, a quick congrats to one of my besties Tara for becoming engaged in Hawaii last week. Also, since I probably didn’t mention her, congrats to one of my other besties Shannon for her engagement earlier this year! So excited for you both!
Thank You to La Duchesse D’erat for hosting this weeks list prompt. The list prompt for this week is a portrait of who you are.
Eating – For the most part a lot of protein and green vegetables. I am supposed to increase my protein because I’m not getting enough and am not losing weight because I’m eating too little protein.
I’m not sure about this advice, but it is what my coach says from the supplement system I am on. I’ll have to check at the end of the week. Hopefully, I haven’t gained weight.
For protein I like greek yogurt, pecans, almonds, avocado, chicken breasts and thighs, occasionally pork or beef, and eggs.
Drinking – “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.” – “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”
Kidding though. There is much water I’m supposed to drink. I have about five or six glasses of eight ounce each day, more if I can. Every few days I like a glass of milk or a Pepsi.
Watching – Scandal! It’s my favourite show and so exciting. Olivia can’t go anywhere near Jake and ruin her father’s plans of getting him into the Oval Office, or he’ll slit Jake’s throat. Olivia broke Jake’s heart so he wouldn’t die. All the candidates are being gathered for election for the new President after Fitz. It will be interesting who makes it into the Republican and Democratic leadership position on the show. Funny enough, there is a Donald Trump like character on the show.
Also love – Grey’s Anatomy, Vampire Diaries, Season 5 of Downton Abbey, and The Catch.
Going – Who knows at this point. I would like to take a small vacation somewhere. I’m thinking Vancouver at this moment.
Reading – The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard. Excellent writer. If you haven’t read the writer’s first series beginning with Gabriel’s Inferno, it’s awesome and has three books to it. This is the second book in his vampire series, which is connected to his first series. Yes, they are romance type books but have a lot of theology and paranormal aspects as well.
Texting – I’m kind of in a constant state of texting.
Playing – “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. A classic which never grows old.
Working – 1. On blogging and my different prompt challenges. This Month I’m doing #Mayday prompts from C.L. Kaley of new2blogging, please join in doing her prompts each day in May. Link to her page after each prompt.
2. Finishing How Was Last Night For You the last few chapters in first draft. I need to write the happy ending then, the first draft is done.
3. Working on editing in a major way, the first chapter of How Was Last Night For You. Going to be making sure, every sentence should be there for each chapter.
Listening – Well besides to my IPAD music, the Edmonton Global News is on. Bad fires in Ft. McMurray, Alberta. The entire city has had to evacuate. It’s awful!
Thanking – God, I don’t live in Ft. McMurray and praying for the people who have to leave their homes, probably to come back to nothing but scorched debris. I don’t think insurance covers this fire damage unless they find out it was arson. ‘Acts of God,’ aren’t covered by insurance. Prayers for them please!
Buying – I paid my cellphone bill.
Planning – I want to finish my novel off in first draft. Then I need to edit and do more research on publishing. Also, need to figure out the vacation thing.And I need to spend a few days reading books, instead of writing them.
Visiting – My Grandma I hope for Mother’s Day. Also, my Great-Godmother sometime soon.
Wondering – Why is this list so long?
Feeling – Tired and frustrated. I’m trying to write and people keep talking to me all day long. I love the late hours when people are asleep and I can write in peace 🙂
There was a quote I read last night on Pinterest that has stuck with me today: “Great things never came from comfort zones.” It was coincidental that I came across this quote when I did because I was thinking about my life and believing that I am a little to comfortable right now. Some of that is not by choice, I still struggle with the new medication my doctor put me on this summer. I struggle with sleep and with energy during the day such to the point some days I wake up and know I won’t be doing much that day. But also, I recognize that I have to push myself on those days because sometimes if I just get up and go out, I start to feel better.
I believe removing ourselves from our comfort zones is truly a way to bring new and exciting things to our lives. If we don’t push the line a bit, we never see what could be on the other side. I have really hoped to make new friendships and meet new people in my life. The trouble is sometimes I can’t keep up with new commitments. It’s a balancing act that I seem to always be playing. But just the same through social media I have been meeting new people.
It is difficult to explain my situation to new people. A lot of people can’t handle a person who can only be out for a few hours and only some of the time. It hurts when you want to be a dependable person but cannot be. It hurts when you are valuable for a night but not valuable enough for a relationship, be it romantically or just for a friendship. But I’m learning to deal and I know that the kind of people I want in my life are authentic kind people, understanding, and funny.
Some of pushing my comfort zone has come in just dealing with bureaucracy. I have been taking this course on ‘Residential Furnishings.’ But I can’t attend the class so I need a note taker. Finding one has been difficult and a month of classes have gone by. I feel like I have missed so much already and hope I can catch up. The first exam is October 20th. The office that helped me out with this at the U of A are not very knowledgable or helpful. They tried to have me go through student loans and the courses I’m taking aren’t part of credit courses, it’s adult education. I went through a whole process of discovering that and still haven’t got a note taker. So, I’m frustrated but determined I’m going to do this course so I can get my certificate.
Also, yeah new shows on TV. I love TGIT. Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal. I’m upset that Scandal doesn’t seem to be on any Canadian networks, it’s my favorite show. But I watched all last season of How to Get Away with Murder so I’m caught up for that show. Do you have any favorite TV shows? How do you try to stay out of your comfort zone?
Have you ever cried when something horrible happened to a character in a book or maybe a TV show? I don’t know exactly how to describe it just there is something so relateable, nice, compassionate, and something called gumption having to do with this character that you can’t help feeling as if they are in a sense real and part of your life, that you morn when they are hurt badly, especially when they die.
At the end of Allegiant the final book in the Veronica Roth series that begins with Divergent, I bawled when Triss died at the end learning the true meaning of sacrifice. I also cried a lot when Patrick Dempsey’s character Dr. Derek Sheperd died this past Thursday on Grey’s Anatomy. Literally, for two days I felt sniffly and I still think about his death in shock.
Here’s why: Derek is Meredith’s person. She keeps losing everyone in her life her mother, dad, sister Lexi, and now she loses Derek. Derek survived a plane crash where Lexi died and later his best friend. He was shot at a hospital shooting, pulled Meredith out of the water when she tried to just let go and drown, and he has survived so much more. Not to mention Shonda Rhimes has spent the ten years he was on the show developing this heart wrenching relationship between him and Meredith from day 1 of the show. So, why kill him? No one I’ve talked to is impressed. Rhimes promised to have Mer and Der end up together now Derek is dead from a car accident a year before his contract as an actor on Grey’s expires? Not cool.
So, why does this bug people so much that less then a week later 70 000 people have signed a petition to get him back on the show? Because in reality situations in life are really bad sometimes and things such as books and TV shows bring us through the bad times. It can get exciting on a show and more minor characters can die but not the male lead, the handsomest guy on the show, and the protagonist, Meredith’s husband and father of two children they had together. People want hope and people want that happy ending.
So, I don’t personally think this petition will go anywhere unless it picks up speed but because I want to see Derek finish the show out and I want Shonda Rhimes to regret writing the episode where Derek dies, I want her to fix it — I want this petition to epically do fantastic. I want Shonda to fix the happily ever after she promised Derek and Meredith when she first introduced us to them in 2005 in episode 1. I want her to bring back our favorite character who keeps Meredith together, Derek.
I miss a quiet house when everyone is home over the holiday. Time passes more slowly and I feel as if I have all this free time after Christmas and I’m not exactly sure what to do with all this time. I believe this coming week will definitely pick up but the weekend was about as slow as it could get.
Sleep issues played havoc with my concentration so I felt, having tried several times, I couldn’t pay attention to any kind of reading. But knowing I had a small library of books to read in my iTunes book library, I endeavoured to try different sleeping medication options given to me by my sleep psychiatrist so that I had a restful sleep and could think during the day.
I added half a tablet of clonazapam to what I was already taking and viola I could sleep through the night. It has been that way for the last 3 nights, so I believe I can actually do activities this week.
Today and yesterday I spend reading the new novel by Meredith Wild in the Hacker’s series called Hard Limit. I’m about a third of the way through and so far it delivers as the three other books in the series did — good romance, exciting plot, lots of tension between the main characters, and some good sex scenes if you’re into that. See meredithwild.com for further information.
The other activity I’ve been doing is watching The Fall with Gillian Anderson ( The X – Files ) and Jamie Dornan. Dornan as Paul Specter plays an elusive and intelligent serial killer/ family man whom Anderson is trying to find after a series of similar murders. There are only six episodes in Season One and I have only two episodes left. I’m excited that Season Two comes out January sixteenth on
Netflix. It is an HBO series and the second season just ended. It is very much a thinking crime series and a tad graphic at times but it is odd to see the very personable ( I think from interviews) and former model Dornan playing such a dark character. You’d never know he’s usually a very good-looking and happy guy. Anderson plays a similar type role to that if her character on her old TV series. She is serious and detailed as a police investigator. What is fascinating is the whole idea of morality on this show. It would seem that Dornan as a Dad of two, with a lovely wife, and a job as Grief Councillor, would be a great guy but he’s a serial killer. He is also extremely perturbed to find out that one of the woman he killed was quite a few weeks pregnant. Kids are important to him. Anderson it would seem should also have greater morals then she does but the viewer sees that even in the Police of Belfast morals are pick and choose. For instance, Anderson’s character thinks nothing of having an affair with another police officer who is married, she never thinks to ask.
Between watching Seasons One and Two of The Fall to finish and go back to episode five of Grey’s Anatomy. I have watched it religiously for years but since it was not on the same TV channel I just watch it on my iPad when I have time. I would like to finish out the last couple years of Grey’s but truthfully I’m much more into Scandal these days.
Tomorrow I’m off for more blood testing, banking, some errands, and to see The Battle of the Five Armies, the third instalment of TheHobbit. I’m excited to see it but not for the sudden cold taking the bus will entail. Also, looking forward to seeing A this week and New Year’s Eve at an Irish Pub, The Druid. It will be fun to dress up and I’m hoping it’s not to icy to wear my silver heels. Happy to see my man and enjoy 2015!
Physical body image is an issue I believe all women struggle with in one form or another. We all have at least one part of us that we would like to change. We may want our thighs to be thinner, our butt to be smaller, or our breasts to be bigger, or our tummy to be trimmer. Often woman think that if something were different about their body and if they received their ideally thinner thighs for instance, they would be happier and live a better life. In some cases, I think this is true. If you are overweight and make the healthy lifestyle changes such as exercising and eating better to get those thinner thighs I think you will be happier because you will be living a healthier lifestyle and this will affect you positively all around.
However, physical changes that are actually problems with our self-esteem, will only make us happier for a little while. Then, other problems will arise that can make us disgusted with our body image. Suddenly, you may have trimmer thighs but now you really want to weigh as much as you weighed in high school so you become unhappy about your weight, instead of focusing on the goal you did achieve and that you do have trimmer thighs. It can be a sad cycle, improving one part of yourself, only to be disappointed by one of your perceived other flaws later on.
For me, body image has often been a struggle starting from about the time I was in Grade 1. My mother never overfed me, I had little to no junk food, and I had plenty of exercise but I was still a pudgy girl. Boys were especially mean to me at this age calling me fat and bullying me even though I was just a little pudgier than the other kids. By the time grade 6 came around I had lost all my baby fat and now many of the boys liked me. I maintained a weight I was happy with until I finished my Bachelor’s degree.
When I was 23 years old I got my first job as a receptionist and suddenly I was putting on weight due to copious amounts of food around the office. I threw myself into exercising 40 minutes for 3 times a week on the elliptical at very hard pace, and weight lifting an hour along with each of my elliptical sessions, until I suddenly fell ill with depression and lost 25 pounds in a month.
The problem with losing so much weight at one time is you gain it all back and then some. I sky rocketed from 161 lbs. to 191 lbs. over the next 3 years due to medication, inability to exercise, and perhaps, the fact that I was so no longer 23 years old anymore and was naturally putting on weight. I managed last year to lose 10 lbs. on Herbal Magic and even though I have quit the program I have kept the weight off. I never reached my goal weight of 165 lbs. although, it seems that no matter what I do my body sits comfortably around 180 lbs.
For me height 5’6,” my weight is a little heavy even though I have always been about 10 lbs. heavier than what is recommended by doctors for my height. I would dearly love to be thinner so I could buy smaller clothing and have my body look the way my body looked in university. But if I think about it, I have always been unhappy about my weight, it is just one of my hang ups. Even when I had no reason to think I was fat, I was unhappy about my weight and when my weight didn’t bother me something such as the condition of my skin would.
This is my point that we will always find something in or on our bodies to be upset about, to fantasize how happy we would be if we didn’t have that flaw. But the thing is our flaws make us who we are. I may have a bigger tummy now and have gone up to a size 12 from a size 10 in jeans but I know have bigger breasts – this is a plus. Not to mention, I am never stuck in-between sizes as I was often before. I fit a size 12 or a size large and in most stores those are the sizes I am, I never have to guess.
In addition, I have a boyfriend who loves my curves. He liked them when I met him and I was 191 lbs. and he likes them now that I am 181 lbs. He would like them if I got bigger again or if lost weight and got smaller. He is one reason I really have learned to love my body. People have tastes for partners in all shapes and sizes and just like our partners love our bodies we need to learn to love them too, to be self-confident, and self-confidence is sexy. Curvy is in even if most of the woman we see in the media have thinner body types.
There are celebrities that I admire that are in the entertainment business that are bigger than the average Hollywood sized 0, 2, or 4 woman. Sara Ramirez for example, who plays Callie on Grey’s Anatomy, is said to be 160 lbs. She was a size 12 when she began acting on Grey’s Anatomy and I feel very proud when I see her act as she is both talented and weighs a weight the average woman can relate to.
Someone else I really admire is Lizzie Miller, a model who for Glamour magazine posed “jiggly bits and all.” In her picture, you can clearly see a tummy on Lizzie miller who is 5’11” and considered too big to model even for plus size. Yet in 2009, there she was bearing it all, flaws and everything. Lizzie really inspired me and made me think that it was okay that I have a have a tummy too, I always have. Some of us are never going to be model thin and Lizzie personifies beauty in any body weight. Woman are beautiful and worthy to be loved with tummies, thighs, and butts that are considered too big, so are woman who are incredibly thin and wish they had curves, and so are those woman who are somewhere in-between in their body weights. We are all monumentally blessed to be who we are and have the bodies we do have, of this I am certain. To read a fascinating article on Lizzie Miller you can go to: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1210814/Lizzie-Millers-Glamour-magazine-shoot-How-models-picture-shook-world-flabby-tummy-all.html and read all about Lizzie’s brave model shoot in 2009.