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Archive for January, 2014

Fitness Friday: Losing

This is a good kind of losing. I’ve had mixed success with my goals: exercised most days, not so good with snacking or tracking. Yet, the number keeps going down on the scale. The small steps still seem to be helping.

Monday I went to work out on the Wii. I use a game/program called My Fitness Coach. I got it a few years ago, but tend to not keep with it. It has you do a fitness evaluation at the start and then after every 10 workouts(I think). Monday it prompted me to do it. So, I weighed myself first, was down 3 pounds from the last one I did(which I think was around the beginning of the month). Then, I took my measurements. Biceps & chest stayed the same. Waist, hips, and thighs were all done by 1/2 inch each. I was able to do the 60 crunches & 50 squats without a problem(same as before) but added two more push ups (17/40). Push ups are a serious weakness of mine, even the modified ones. It’s more a problem of the weight it puts on my wrists and the fact I have less upper body strength than lower. But, this is all still progress

  • drink one bottle(24 oz) of water a day: 4/5 days. One day I even finished 2 of them. I’ve drank about 1/2 of today’s bottle.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes(between Wii & treadmill)  4/5 days. It’s been mostly the treadmill. My routine’s been a little off this week with 2 hour delays & cancelled school for my daughter.
  • Limit snacks to 1 between meals – Again, I do good in the morning, not so well after lunch though.
  • Track food daily – I think I got 1/5 days. Another thing that I do good in the morning, but forget about adding things in to the tracker after lunch.

Starting weight: 174.8

Last week’s weight: 172.4

This week’s weight: 171.2

This week’s weight loss: 1.2 pounds

Total Weight loss: 3.6 pounds(not bad for 3 weeks)


Writing Wednesday: Off Week

I haven’t taken this week off, but it’s been a weird one. Monday school was on a 2 hour delay. So, we didn’t go down to wait for the bus until 9. That has a tendency to throw me off. Yesterday, school was cancelled. That was an ordeal. We knew Monday night there’d be a 2 hour delay before the girl went to bed. So, she was prepared for that. Then, we got another call after she had gone to bed that there was no school. She was NOT happy about that when I broke the news to her in the morning. She got over it, after screaming like it was my fault it was canceled. Today was another 2 hour delay. I’m starting to wonder if they’ll have a full day of school this week. I’ve still been getting things done though.

First, my WiPPet: 19 sentences(1+2+9+2+0+1+4) from the end of the next scene from what I shared last week. Cordelia is meeting up with Elijah and just told him what had happened with her following and eavesdropping on Henry.

“Your guardian angel must be working overtime, Cordelia. It’s a miracle you made it out of there. Why would you put yourself in such a situation?”

“At first, I wanted to find something that would help you and the other farmers. Once I saw that deed, I had to know what he was up to. The store’s the only thing I have left of Pa. I can’t let him take it from me.”

His arms came around me again, and I felt them tremble. “I won’t let him take you away from me. I’m not sure I would survive that.”

I was so wrapped up in him, I didn’t notice the sound of approaching riders until Elijah stiffened beside me. I started to turn, but he kept me tight against him.

“Step away from the girl.”

Elijah stood, and in the same movement, pushed me behind him. “Go,” he whispered before turning to the three men. “You’re not going to touch her.”

The man in the lead laughed. “I’d like to see you stop me.”

“That’s just what I plan to do.”

Now, for my progress on my ROW80 goals.

  • Flames of Redemption: Finish Revisions – I’m through Chapter 23. 7 more chapters/15 scenes to work through.
  • East of Abilene: Finish 1st Draft- I’ve finished 4 scenes so far this week. 3673 words. 2 more scenes to go unless something changes.
  • Flames of Renewal – Finish Character Worksheets – I did this on Sunday. And almost have the blueprint filled in.
  • Catch Up on Reviews – I caught up on the backlog of reviews on Sunday as well. So now, I’m trying to write them as soon as I finish the book. I’ve already read 2 books this week.

Sunday Summary: Book Bingeing

I have done a lot of reading this week. Anyone who knows me knows I’m pretty much always reading. But, this week has been a little insane. And yet, I’ve still managed to get my other stuff done as well. Despite what my tweet from the other day says:

And my personal book pimp/pusher, Lauren Garafalo, doesn’t help by recommending more books to me:

And yes, I did love it. More book boyfriends to add to the harem 😉

Yet, I still managed to cross everything off my list for the week. I think it helps that I tend to be productive in the mornings before I start reading. If only I had the self-discipline to not open the kindle until after I got everything done for the day. I did have to move a few things to yesterday’s list from Friday, but I still got them done before the end of the week.

  • Flames of Redemption: Revise through Chapter 19 -finished this yesterday. I added 5 new scenes in the last 9 chapters. The last of these meant I had to rewrite a good bit of the next scene. Hoping it makes it better, or it was a waste of yesterday’s time. I don’t have any more I plan to add in, so I’m hoping to finish revisions by the end of this next week.
  • East of Abilene: Write 6 Scenes – Wrote 5. One of the planned 6 no longer worked because things changed on me a bit as I wrote the scene before that one. I have 5 more to go, unless things change again. So, if everything goes according to plan(does it ever?) I should be finished by the end of the month.
  • Read: Shatter Me & From This Moment On(Bella Andre) – finished Shatter Me Tuesday and From This Moment On Wednesday. From This Moment On picked up a little bit, but I still had problems with it. I may not have finished it at all if I wasn’t looking for to the third one(the firefighter brother’s story). It wasn’t bad, just something kept me from connecting. Then, I read Destroy Me(Warner’s novella by Tahereh Mafi), Sins of the Son(Linda Poitevin – LOVED), Skeleton’s Key(Stacy Green – another loved), Riven(Kait Nolan – again, loved) and Altered(Jennifer Rush – omg, those boys. Loved) I’ve never known so many books in a row to make me cry/yell/scream at my kindle screen. I may get a little emotionally involved in fictional character’s lives. 🙂 I’ve finished 18/15 books this month, and it’s not over yet. According to Goodreads(as of yesterday), I was 6 books ahead of schedule for my yearly reading goal of 175 books.

If I get everything else done, I also want to:

  • Finish back stories for Flames of Renewal – I had those done early last week. I also finished the plot summary and started working on character worksheets.
  • Write reviews for books I’ve read this year – I have 6/18 written. Hoping to catch up on some of these today.

Goals for the rest of January:

  • Flames of Redemption: Finish Revisions
  • East of Abilene: Finish 1st Draft
  • Flames of Renewal – Finish Character Worksheets
  • Catch Up on Reviews

No reading goal for this week since I’ve already surpassed that goal. Although you can be sure I’ll still be reading.

Fitness Friday: Small Steps

I’ve have mixed results for my goals over the past week. Monday and Tuesday I did good with working out and even tracking what I eat. Wednesday and Thursday, I didn’t. I did walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes this morning. I’ve been working on finishing at least one bottle of water each day. It hasn’t happened every day, but that’s all I’ve been drinking after my coffee in the morning.  I’m taking small steps to reach my goals though, so I know I’ll get there. Weekends are kind of an off time for me. I don’t really track what I’m doing.

  • drink one bottle(24 oz) of water a day: 3/5 days(working on today’s).
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes(between Wii & treadmill)  3/5 days
  • Limit snacks to 1 between meals – I can do pretty good in the morning. It’s more of a struggle between lunch & dinner and after dinner.
  • Track food daily – 2/5 days.

Last week’s weight: 172.8

Today’s weight: 172.4

Not a lot of weight loss. Hopefully I can do better with this little steps over the next week.

Writing Wednesday: An Impossible Position

The girl had Monday off from school, and I figured that would throw off my routine. Then, the boy took a four hour nap in the afternoon. I thought that was really strange, but I wasn’t going to take it for granted. Then, he slept in until almost 8 Tuesday morning, when he’s usually up by 6 at the latest. Even with all that sleep, all he wanted to do all day was lay on the couch. This is a kid who usually doesn’t sit still at all. So, I knew he wasn’t feeling good. And he was practically begging to go to bed at 6:30. He didn’t get up until almost 7:30 today and I figured we were in for a repeat of yesterday. But, he ate breakfast(he didn’t seem to want to eat much yesterday) and is up and playing. So, whatever had him down yesterday seems to have passed. I was able to make a good bit of progress so far this week. I’ll report on that in a bit, but first a WiPPet snippet.

22 lines from the scene after what I shared last week. I believed Jack was mentioned in that one. He’s Charlotte’s father and the sheriff. I thought he was going to have a very minor part. I didn’t realize he actually cares about Cordelia(in more of a protective, not romantic way). He’s talking to her here about what she had told them in the last scene.

“And what were you doing in there?”

I felt heat flush my cheeks and cast my gaze to the floor.

“Snooping, huh? I’m guessing you already had your suspicions about him.” I just nodded, and he continued. “I have to admit I have a problem believing it too. Henry Vickers has done a lot for this town.”

“He’s a snake,” I muttered.

“Maybe. And like I said it’s not like you to truly lie. Maybe you just misunderstood something.”

I shook my head. “I didn’t misunderstand any of it. Maybe if I had just seen the deeds. But, what they said. There aren’t many ways to interpret ‘one way or the other I’ll be rid of her’. If Charlotte doesn’t marry me off to Frederic, he’ll kill me. Those are the two ways to get rid of me.”

He ran a hand over his face, and I saw the way it trembled. “Then, maybe you should accept his proposal.”

I pushed up from the bed. “No, Jack. There’s no way I’d marry that creep. I’d rather have Henry kill me then spend my life with him. I want Elijah. He’s the only man I’ll marry.”

He sighed. “This is an impossible position, Cordelia.”

“It’s the only one I’m willing to take.”

“Stay away from Henry Vickers. I’ll look into this more, see if he really is scheming. But, I want you to watch your step, Cordelia. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“Don’t worry, I will.” I wanted to stay as far away as I could. In fact, I wanted to be away from this whole town right now.

He took a step toward the door then turned back to look at her. “You know, Charlotte never planned to get a daughter when she was barely twenty. Especially not one a half dozen years old and extremely spirited. And she planned even less to lose her husband a few years later.”

“I know.”

“She’s done the best she knows. She just doesn’t always know how to handle you. She did love your father though. And he wanted a mother for you. She’s trying to do what she feels is right for you.”

“It’s not. I don’t want this. She won’t see that though.”

Now, for my progress this week:

  • Flames of Redemption: Revise through Chapter 19 – Halfway through Chapter 14. There were a few scenes in here that I’m adding in. And a couple more coming up. Some I planned to add didn’t really seem necessary.
  • East of Abilene: Write 6 Scenes – I’ve finished 3 scenes. The next one I planned on writing doesn’t work now. So this goal will probably end up at 5 scenes. That will leave 5 left unless something changes.
  • Read: Shatter Me & From This Moment On(Bella Andre) – finished Shatter Me yesterday(Loved it!) and started From This Moment On(meh so far. Hoping it picks up).

As for my ‘if I have the time’ goals:

  • Finish back stories for Flames of Renewal – I finished these Sunday afternoon. Also figured out plot points and started fleshing out a plot summary.
  • Write reviews for books I’ve read this year – 4 reviews written for the 12 books I’ve read. 2 of those were written right after I finished reading. Trying to catch up on at least 1 a day.

Hoping the rest of this week goes as well.

Sunday Summary: Productive Week

I love when I can cross off everything on my to-do list for the week. And I’m almost there. When I checked in on Wednesday, I’d been productive. And then I went down to get my daughter off the bus and read for the rest of the day. I fell behind on some of my goals, so I moved them to Thursday. Thursday morning I got caught up on those one and some of the ones for Thursday, went down to get the girl off the bus, and…read. Noticing a trend? I had my three planned books for the week finished by Thursday night.

Friday, the girl didn’t have school but she went with a friend to the movies for the friend’s birthday. The mom took a couple other kids as well, then they went out to eat and for ice cream. So, it was still just the boy and me most of the day. I was actually able to get caught up on my list. I even read another book(short novella actually) Friday night. I didn’t have too many goals on my list for this weekend, since that’s the time I usually have for finishing what I didn’t get done during the week. I actually spent most of yesterday writing out character back stories for my upcoming WiP. Finished 2/4 of them, both were 6 pages handwritten in a composition notebook.

Feeling pretty good about my progress this week. Hoping for another good week.

  • Flames of Redemption: Revise through Chapter 10 – Done
  • East of Abilene: Write 7 scenes – 7/7 written. Have 11 more planned
  • Read: Rock Your Revisions(Cathy Yardley) – Done
  • Read: Soul Oath(Juliana Haygert), She’ll Never Rest(Jannine Gallant), & Deadly Games(Lindsay Buroker) – Done(Loved), Done(Liked), & Done(Loved). Also read Cup of Life(Juliana Haygert) & am 25% through Shatter Me(Tahereh Mafi)
  • Crochet: Baby Converse booties – Done(well for the most part. Should get some Stop Fray glue for the ends of the laces, but that’s it.)

I like seeing all those Dones. I also baked a ham, made some potato soup, and yesterday cooked up some ham stock. Now, I just need to figure out what I’ll use it for. My goals for next week are:

  • Flames of Redemption: Revise through Chapter 19
  • East of Abilene: Write 6 Scenes
  • Read: Shatter Me & From This Moment On(Bella Andre)

If I get everything else done, I also want to:

  • Finish back stories for Flames of Renewal
  • Write reviews for books I’ve read this year – This is something I struggle with. I’m not sure why, but especially when I really love a book, I have a hard time with putting into words what I really loved about it. I’ve written two so far this year even though I’ve read 11. It’s my goal to write at least a couple sentences on goodreads for each book(and then put it on Amazon since that’s where I buy my books).

Fitness Friday: Ashamed

I haven’t done a fitness Friday in well, a long time. And that’s probably part of the problem. I haven’t been doing anything to keep myself accountable. I stopped tracking what I was eating. Got lazy about working out. Part of it is that even when I was doing those things, that damn number on the scale never seemed to budge. And it frustrated me. And I may have given up. A little.

Then I watched that number keep going up. And it depressed me. Especially when it got over 170. The only other time(s) I’ve been up this high is when I was pregnant. Other than that, 166 was my highest. And I wasn’t happy with that. After my son was born, I was able to get down to a little over 140. I’d love to be able to get back down to that weight. I felt good there. I’d even be happy between 145-150.

So, obviously some changes need to be made. I’m going to try to start with small goals. Of course, I’ve never been too good at pacing myself. I’m going to use these Friday updates to track my progress with those instead of just recording weight loss. I will still track that, but I’m trying to keep myself to only weighing in one day a week. Otherwise, I have a tendency to obsess(and right now, I can hear the sarcastic “no, not you” from those who know me).

So, for right now, my goals are:

  • drink one bottle(24 oz) of water a day
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes(between Wii & treadmill)
  • Limit snacks to 1 between meals
  • Track food daily

Snacking is one of my hardest issues to overcome. Not so much in the morning as in the afternoon though. So, that’s what I really need to work on.

As for the weight, I stepped on the scale Monday morning as a starting point. 174.8. This morning I weighed in at 172.8. I made some of those changes this week(not so good with the snacking though). It’s a good start.

Writing Wednesday: Being Productive

I’ve had a productive week so far. Other than chores and crocheting, I’ve crossed everything off my to-do list each day. And I expect to move the chores from day to day, depending on what I can get done. I usually don’t spend more than an hour on them each day. But, right now, I have all the laundry done for the week and only have 1 more thing on my list of weekly chores(well 2, since I’m going to make ham stock after baking a ham today).

Writing, editing, and reading are going pretty well too. More on that in a bit. First, some WiPPet math: Today, I have 7 paragraphs( 1/15=1+1+5) from the scene I wrote this morning. Cordelia has overheard some information and is trying to convince her stepmother.

“That’s just ridiculous, Cordelia. He’s the wealthiest man in town. What cause would he have for this kind of scheme?”

“Greed. It doesn’t matter how much money he has. He wants more. He wants control of this town when the cattle get here.” Just one more reason to help Elijah fight against them. It was my battle now too.

“You’re being ridiculous,” Charlotte said, turning back to me. “Henry Vickers is a good man. He only wants what is best for this town.”

“He only wants what is best for his pockets.”

“That’s enough.” Her tone was sharp, and it took me back a step. “Go to your room and get some sleep. You’re obviously tired to be coming up with ridiculous stories like this. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

I opened my mouth to say more, but she held up a hand. “I said I don’t want to hear any more. Go to your room, Cordelia.”

I sighed and turned around and caught Jack watching me, a thoughtful, and maybe concerned, look in his eyes. When I closed my door behind me, I leaned back against it. She didn’t believe me. I couldn’t be sure if Jack did either. Michael did though. And I knew Elijah would believe it. We needed more than that to fight against him though. But, it was a start.

Onto this week’s progress. Like I said, it’s been pretty good so far.

  • Flames of Redemption: Revise through Chapter 10 – I’m through Chapter 5 and 1 scene into Chapter 6.
  • East of Abilene: Write 7 scenes – 4/7 and 33 words into the next scene. I was going to stop when I’d finished the one scene this morning but I had 666 words for the day. So, I decided to start the next one.
  • Read: Rock Your Revisions(Cathy Yardley) – through Chapter 9
  • Read: Soul Oath(Juliana Haygert), She’ll Never Rest(Jannine Gallant), & Deadly Games(Lindsay Buroker) – finished Soul Oath last night(loved). downloaded the novella that follows it. Going to start it when I finish the other books I have planned for this week. I’m about 30% through She’ll Never Rest now.
  • Crochet: Baby Converse booties – I’m about halfway finished with the second bootie. Then I have to do the laces and other finishing touches.

Sunday Summary: Mid-January Melt

Last week we were headed for the coldest temps we’ve had for a while. And now, all the snow we had has melted. Again. We had a light dusting of snow this morning, but that’s it. Warm temperatures(well high 30s-40s) are supposed to continue through the week. Of course, it was supposed to be in the 40s-50 today and it’s only in the 30s. So “supposed” is all I’ll give it. 🙂

I’ve made pretty good progress this week. Have managed to get pretty much all my day’s crossed off on that day instead of carrying them over to the next day.

  • Slow Revenge: Contact editor – No. Money is extremely tight right now, and I keep balking at this. I’m thinking of holding off until we get taxes done, and depending on how that goes, can hopefully set some money aside to put toward editing/cover art fees.
  • Flames of Redemption: Finish read through – finished this Thursday & compiled all the notes into Scrivener
  • East of Abilene: Write 7 scenes – 7/7. Added 5837 words this week. The 1st Person pov is coming a little easier. haven’t found myself slipping into 3rd lately.
  • Read: Almost Matched(A.O. Peart), Two(Leigh Ann Kopans), and Only Between Us(Mila Ferrera): Done, Done, & Done.  Liked, Loved, & Loved. Also finished Protecting What’s His(Tessa Bailey) – Loved & About 80% through The Daddy Pact(Kristy K James) – Enjoying
  • Knit: Stocking Cap & Knitted Hood – Finished the Stocking Cap, looked at pattern for Knitted Hood, realized I’d done one almost exactly like it before, and decided I didn’t want to do it again. Haven’t started any other projects yet.

For next week, my goals are:

  • Flames of Redemption: Revise through Chapter 10
  • East of Abilene: Write 7 scenes
  • Read: Rock Your Revisions(Cathy Yardley)
  • Read: Soul Oath(Juliana Haygert), She’ll Never Rest(Jannine Gallant), & Deadly Games(Lindsay Buroker)
  • Crochet: Baby Converse booties

Writing Wednesday: Warming Up

It’s been cold when you look at the thermometer to see it’s 18°(F) and your first thought is, “good. It’s warm today.” Of course it was only 4° when I had to take the girl down to the bus today. And that was with school being on a 2 hour delay. Still better than the -12 we had yesterday(before wind chill. Not sure I even want to know what that was). I think I only opened our door 4 times. That was to let the dog in and out for about a minute each time. It’s supposed to be in the 40s this weekend.

I struggled a bit with this week’s math and figuring out what to share. But, I finally settled on 6 paragraphs(1+8+1-4) from the first scene. This character seems to be a bit rambly(is that a word? It is now. Shut up, WordPress, it is). I may have to shut her up in revisions. 🙂

I saw a figure move in front of me, rising from a rock. I felt the smile tug at my lips as the light from the moon glinted off his hair.

He took a step toward me, and I pulled the horse to a stop before swinging down from the saddle.

I felt his arms slip around me almost before I had both feet planted on the ground. My heart galloped in my chest. I couldn’t believe I still reacted this way when he touched me. We had been seeing each other in secret for nearly a year now. But, it had only been a little over a month since he had first kissed me. Now, he was doing it again.

Something fluttered through my stomach as his lips brushed across mine. This feeling had scared me the first time. Now it made me feel alive. I wanted to grab a hold of him and hold on. I didn’t want to let him go. But, we both had other responsibilities, other duties. He had his family’s farm. After his brother had gone off to fight for the South instead of the Union, and never come back, he was the only one left to help his father on the farm. And I had Charlotte. No matter how I felt about my stepmother, she had kept me after Pa died in the war. She could have sent me away and no one would have blamed her. But, she held on. I wouldn’t be the one to let go.

He pulled back from me but kept his hands on my shoulders. His smile sent just as many flutters through me as his kiss had. Sometimes it felt like he turned me inside out. He brushed a few strands of hair behind my shoulder, and I thought he was going to kiss me again. But, he just rested his forehead against mine.

“I’ve missed you, Cordelia.”

  • Slow Revenge: Contact editor – No. Moving on.
  • Flames of Redemption: Finish read through – I’ve read through 24/29 chapters. I’ll have this finished by Friday, barring some kind of catastrophe.
  • East of Abilene: Write 7 scenes – 3/7. Pretty good progress for the midpoint of the week.
  • Read: Almost Matched(A.O. Peart), Two(Leigh Ann Kopans), and Only Between Us(Mila Ferrera) I finished Almost Matched and am about 20% through Two(since this morning).
  • Knit: Stocking Hat & Knitted Hood – Finished the Stocking Hat while making lunch today. Will probably start the hood sometime today.

Not on my list, but I also started brainstorming the follow-up to Flames of Redemption. I’m not sure if this will be a novella or a full-length novel. It’s actually Kayla’s Uncle James’ story. It will be my first time writing a couple this old(40s/50s), but James deserves his happy ever after. He has such a sad back story. And then, I was watching Chicago Fire this morning and had all these ideas for another character’s back story. And it makes me want to write his story too(which will likely be #3). The ideas didn’t really have anything to do with what was happening in the episode. But, as soon as the character of Jeff Clarke came on earlier in the season, it was like I was looking at this character in Flames of Redemption who I thought was just a jerk. As I wrote the second version of it though, I realized there was more under it, and he wants me to tell his story.  Anyway, I think I’ll work on brainstorming/plotting these stories on the side/when I have time. Most of my concentration will be on the ones already in progress for now though.

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