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It’s been a while since I have blogged or written anything of substance. I did write a short story towards the end of last year, but I’ve been dragging my feet on the edits. And boy does it need editing.

I’ve also not written on my weight loss blog for a long time. When I went back to do so, I found that the domain expired. I’ve been trying to work with WordPress to get it back up and running, but it may take a few more days.

I’ve had a pretty rough year and a half. A lot of which centered around a terrible job that I had. I do not usually like to write about my full-time employment online. But that job consumed me. I was working pretty much nonstop in a thankless job with people who had no idea what I did or the work it took to do my job. Plus, my boss was a screamer. I spent much of my time simply trying to avoid confrontation with her. I retreated into myself in order to protect myself, and I was very unhappy. I worked all of the time, pretty much around the clock, for no additional pay.

This took a huge toll on my mental well being and my health overall. I did manage, after searching for about a year and a half, to find a new job. It wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, but there is a lot of potential there. And it is so much better than my other job. I still work a lot, but the atmosphere is a complete 180.

Nonetheless, it has taken me a while to mentally pick up the pieces and try to reassemble my life. It is amazing how one negative situation can affect every area of your life. I knew that I was stressed and unhappy, but I didn’t realize how much I had let it affect me until I let it go.

So, new things with me…

I have a new cat. Her name is Naomi. I’ve been tweeting about her. I bought a new flat screen tv and she is completely enamored with it. She must think it is a new window, or the people are somehow real, but it’s hilarious to watch her swat at the tv.

Obviously, I have a new job. I really do enjoy it quite a bit. The office is 24/7, so my work schedule can be kind of weird, but for now, its OK.

Nothing too new on the relationship front. I ended a relationship back in November/December with a guy I had been seeing for a little over a year. That relationship had run its course and there was no hope it was every going to turn into anything more, so I broke it off. It was a friendly break-up. We still talk, but there’s no chance I’ll restart that relationship.

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And spring has sprung here in DC. It’s almost 80 today and I took a walk in my neighborhood to get a late lunch. I went to a new restaurant, which was just wonderful. It’s called Palette22. They serve what they call “world street food” on small plates. Kind of like tapas, but better. This is kind of perfect for me. I had gastric by-pass surgery 3 years ago, and going to a normal restaurant where everything is so huge is very stressful for me. I often overeat and end up not feeling well after. Or I take home a ton of food that I never end up eating.

I had the vegan ceviche, which was OMG wonderful. And I had some kind of beef tacos. They were also delicious.

 

They also serve these plantain chips. I’m not a big fan of plantains. And I only tolerate bananas a little. But the plantain chips were fantastic and were a nice side with the vegan ceviche.

Tonight is writer’s group. My attendance over the last year has not been anything even close to regular. I’m trying to resolve that. Because my current work schedule is somewhat erratic, I will not be able to go every week, but I’m definitely going to make more of an effort when I can.

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What a horrible blogger I am!  I feel like it has been months since I have written on this blog.  I have spent all of my time writing on my self-absorbed weight loss blog talking about myself and my gastric by-pass surgery.  I have completely neglected this blog and my other writing obligations.  Just a quick note, the surgery went well.  I have lost 71 pounds.  I have been writing quite a bit.

I owe my friend Jeff Miller a review of his book, The Bubble Gum Thief.  I need to post my 2013 writing goals.  I also want to talk about some of the other non-diet-blog writing I have been doing.

In this post, I am going to talk about my 2013 writing goals and about some of my other writing.  You see, my writer’s group asks each of us to create goals for the new year and to be specific.  We cannot just say, “write more,”  we have to set specific goals to show what “writing more” looks like.  The only thing I did not finish last year was to finish my children’s novel.  I am giving myself to Chinese New Year’s though, so I could still make it.  (see what I did there?)

Writing Goals for 2013:

  • Submit writing, short stories, essays, etc to four contests or other publications.
  • Finish children’s novel, which is almost done and hanging in limbo.
  • Write, finish, edit 12 personal essays.
  • Blog on both writing blog and weight loss blog 4 or more times a week.
  • Begin editing children’s novel and submit to my writer’s group for review and revision.
  • Join SCBWI and attend one of their conferences.

Lofty, I know, but I have to set lofty goals to guilt myself into doing something about it.

Current Writing Projects

A couple of the girls in my writer’s group formed a separate group that is dedicated to personal essays and/or creative nonfiction.  I have been attending that group as well.  Because the group is small, about seven of us I think, we are much more demanding about making each other submit their work.  As a result, I have written several personal essays and semi-true short stories.  I also have many more ideas on future personal essays.  I would like to put together a collection of essays.  I am not sure if I will turn it into a book or not, but I first want to get them together and see what I have.

I plan to dedicate my next post to the book review of The Bubble Gum Thief.  I will also post my review on Amazon.

That is pretty much what I have been up to.  I hope to spend more time on this blog and sharing all of my writing ups and downs throughout the year!  Happy writing in 2013!

 

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I know I have not been writing much of late on this blog.  So what have I been doing with myself?

Mostly, I have been preparing for my upcoming surgery.  The surgery has consumed a lot of my time and mental thought recently.  As a result, I have been doing a lot of blogging on my other website where I discuss my pre-surgery progress and my thought, fears, and hopes for the upcoming big day.

Writing updates:

My short story did not win the Glimmertrain Family Matters contest.  Oh well.

I have started writing another short story, although I am not quite certain what it is about yet, so it is kind of hard to finish.  I had a really great idea for one scene and one other event.  I wrote the scene and the event, now I have to figure out what to do with it.

The idea for the scene has been in my head for a while, but I did not quite know what to do with it.  I did not write it down because I didn’t have a story to go with it. Now I have written the scene and I have one character at least.  If I cannot think of anything to do with it, I may just set it aside and wait for my writer’s group to have a Flaming Fragments session.

WTF is a Flaming Fragment, you ask?

Well, one of the original members of the writer’s group had this great idea for a workshop.  She called it, Fanning Fragments into Flame.  During the workshop, you share bits of a story, an idea for a story, a character that’s been stuck in our heads looking for a story, a scene with nowhere to go, whatever with the rest of the group and see if they can give you an idea or direction.  Sometimes it works.

Well, you cannot expect to put the words “flame” and “fragment” into a title and expect it to stay intact.  Plus, the originator of the session moved back to Canada.  Top that with no one could remember the very long, artistic title of the workshop, so it very quickly became “Flaming Fragments.”

So, I might just set the idea loose during one of those sessions and see if anyone has any good ideas.

The third thing I’ve done is work a little on my youth novel.  I am almost done with it.  I had some huge gaps in the plot and with the last few scenes and I was pretty stressed out about that.  I had a great idea on how to fix it.  I had an epiphany after my sister and her family subjected me to 14 hours of Doctor Who this weekend during the DC power outage.  Either that, or I just went a little crazy.  Perhaps a bit of both.

I have updated the outline and started adding to the plot in my current location.  I still have to go back and insert the idea in several other places.  Mostly, the idea will help me finish the story and bring the kids back home in a semi-believable yet fantastical way.   My original idea was a bit too boring.  If I can pull this idea off, it can be a connecting thread throughout the entire book.

I would like to get the book finished before my surgery.  The surgery will be some time in August.  After the surgery then, I can read through it and see what I need to fix.  Then the re-write process will begin.

Even though this is a kid’s novel, it has been harder to write than I thought it would be.  It’s been good though.  I really had to think through a large scale plot.  I wrote a poem the kids have to figure out.  And I wrote a song.  The poem is short, just a few lines, and it is more of a riddle than a poem.  The song is longer and actually kind of bad, right now.  I don’t imagine that it will ever be a top ten hit or even set to music, but I’d like it to be not bad.  I am going to have to have someone who writes poetry look at it to see what I can improve.  A poet, I am not.

I think the story is fun and I hope that I can do something with it once I’m through writing/editing, etc.  We shall see.

Have a Happy 4th of July!

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I hope every has a safe and Happy 4th of July!

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OK, so I have done it.  I followed through with my new project.  I created a separate blog for it.  It is called The Skinny Girl Inside.  I will be discussing my experiences as I prep for gastric by-pass surgery, the surgery itself, the weight-loss, and the recovery.  I wanted a separate blog to distinguish it from my writing site because what I will discuss on that site has nothing to do with writing.  I will not be cross posting either.  If you are interested in knowing more about it, please follow that site. If not, that’s OK, too.

There may be times when I blog more on that site depending on what might be on my mind at any particular moment.  It is also a subject that is consuming much of thoughts these days as I prepare for the surgery itself.

I hope I do get some followers on that blog as well, as I will probably spend a lot of time over there talking about the process and my feelings. Over the next few days and weeks, I hope to get some pictures up.  I apparently have to start taking some “before” pictures, not something I enjoy doing.  I may also post some pictures from my younger days as well.

I hope to see some of you there!

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It has been some time since I’ve blogged.  A couple of weeks at least.  I would like to say that I have not been posting because I’ve been slaving away at my novel or some other writing project, but that would not be entirely true.  I have done some writing.  Entered a contest.  Worked on another story for another contest.  And jotted out a rough outline for the last part of my youth novel. But that’s not what has been keeping me from blogging.

Excuse #1

I could blame the beautiful weather that has hit the DC area.  I even escaped outside to try to get some writing done today.  See here’s the proof:

I’ve done everything but write today, actually.  I read a bit of that book next to my computer (more on that book later).  Had a great lunch.  Walked around my neighborhood.  Now I’m sitting in front of the library sucking in the sunshine and warm weather that has finally come to the area.  I seem to only go out when it has been raining, so it’s nice to be outside for once.  It seems to rain every Wednesday, which is when I go to my writer’s group.  We even joke about it.  “It’s raining, must be Wednesday!”  or “Oh yuk, it’s raining!”  “Of course it is, it’s Wednesday! Time for writer’s group!”

Excuse #2

Work has been extra stressful recently and I’ve been pretty crabby about it.  And when work is extra stressful…

Excuse #3

I have a tendency to use video games to de-stress…after work of course.  Specifically, games that have loads of destruction, explosions, or pvp.  (that’s player vs player arenas for you non gamer types.)  Yes, the secret is out, I’m a gamer. “But you’re a girl!”  Yes, yes I am and I have a wicked backstab, so watch out.

But these are simply excuses.  The truth is, I could do all of that and find time to seriously focus on writing and blogging.  So, I guess it is time to face the music and admit the real reason I’ve avoided blogging recently.

Fear.  Yes, I said it.  Fear.

Let me explain.  I’ve had another idea for another project recently.  One that is much more personal that will force me to discuss very personal issues that I have been dealing with recently.  Well, more than just recently.  But it has been recently I have been actively working to do something to solve a huge obstacle in my life.  And I have spent a lot of time considering whether or not I should blog about it.

My idea would require that I create a separate blog plus a huge time commitment, the willingness to stay focused, and the promise to be open and honest about what I’m experiencing.  It is my hope that what I am doing will be a profoundly life changing event in a very positive way.  I think it will be.  But it has already proven to be much different than I thought it would be.

I will still be doing this blog 2-3 times per week as I promised at the beginning of the year.  I will probably link the blogs.  I have not worked out all of the details yet, but I will probably be getting it started this weekend.  So, stay tuned.

And since my laptop is not solar powered, I have to regrettably find my way to an outlet, which is probably inside.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  🙂

 

 

 

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Yes, yes I know.  That is what I am.  It has been a while since I posted.  I think my last update was just before I went to see The Hunger Games Movie. (which btw…2 thumbs up)

I started a movie review then all inspiration went kaput.  I have not written anything in a couple of weeks.  No blog posts, no short stories, and no work on my novel.  I suck.  

I did join another writer’s group, though.  Well, it’s really just an off-shoot of my current writer’s group.  Some of the women in the group started a memoir writing branch of the Arlington Writer’s Group.  I am not really writing a memoir, but many of the short stories I write are based on real life events.  I tend to take one or two real life events, merge them and create a fictional story.  I often find truth to be the most powerful, moving, or funny tool. And if truth isn’t compelling enough, I have no problem spinning a good tale around it to improve the story.  🙂  

I also have expressed interest in beefing up my bio.  If anyone has taken a moment to read my bio, there is nothing impressive or informative about it.  I’m not very good at promoting myself I guess, which makes my interest in blogging sort of a contradiction if you think about it.

Nonetheless, they invited me to join and so I did.  I like it.  We are a small group, which is refreshing. The AWG has become HUGE.  We have hundreds of members, over 200 last time I checked.  Not everyone attends, but we can get anywhere from 20-40 people per meeting.  And we meet every week.  The regulars attend nearly every meeting, and there are a lot of regulars.  It is a great group and I love it.  I love the constant influx of new people.  I’m a fairly social person and enjoy meeting like minded people to share my ideas with.  But I do find myself missing the intimacy of the smaller group we once were.  This new memoir group I think will fill that void.

That said, the new group is going to require that I submit work and ideas more often than the AWG currently does.  This is good.  Motivation and deadlines are good.  I also have two stories that I am polishing for Glimmertrain’s April Contest.  I am also working on a third story that may or may not be suitable for that same contest.  We shall see.

That’s what I’m doing these days.  Wish me luck!

 

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