Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Second Time This Week!


Hallo fine peoples! And welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Is everybody holding up on this back to school stuff? Three out of four cities I've lived in have been college towns and I solidly hold to liking those towns better when the majority of the students are absent. Traffic chaos, cluttered sidewalks. How is a girl to read while walking with all these people about?

Okay, and to the question of the month.... What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Far be it for me to be traditional, but honestly, I've tried both. And I am NOT a great self promoter (which I know you need for both, BUT, for self publishing you need to cover a lot more bases yourself). The book placement is HUGE. Getting it into book stores. There is also the editing process. Collaborating with a publisher is helpful. After my brief run (a trilogy) at self publishing I have determined I am just not cut out for it. I AM however, debating smaller publishers over the two tiered agent process. Maybe it's just because my luck with agents has been rather grim. Though they DO know the publishers and who might want a particular book... So not fully decided. I have 3 books I've thought were ready for a couple years, but the agent process breaks me down every time... I do a round or two and lose heart.

So enough about me... now go visit some OTHER Insecure Writers!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Out of Practice

I've taken such a hiatus from writing that I almost don't know where to start. So why not with blogging? I started in 2009 and blogged with high regularity for a couple years, then it began to dwindle. But I think it was good for my voice. So I think I ought to make a go of it again, even if it is just for me.

DISCLAIMER: I probably ought to throw out there that this effort is more for my writing than my following, if you will, so while I will try to do some reciprocating, my time for that is super limited. I will try to clean up my side bar that tells me who has blogged recently so I can see headlines and get there when there is big news. But I expect I might be disappointing if people count on the regular reciprocity that is part of this blogging community contract.

I've toyed with some ideas as to how to get writing again. One is flash fiction... just exercises, like scales for a musician. So if anyone knows of any online resources with prompts and such, I would love recommendations. Maybe I will alternate that with blogging so I am writing something every day.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hallo, fine peoples! I remembered!

It's first Wednesday and time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! But first some newses.... On Saturday I am flying to Oregon for some time with my childhood friends. I haven't had a girlfriend vacation in ages and I am so excited. Not to mention I miss Oregon like crazy.

Astoria, Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia


So now for this month's question... What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

Don't rush.

It is so exciting to get that first book done, but that first book is NOT going to look good ten years from now if you don't slow down, get lots of feedback, go through the hoops of either querying a publisher or paying an editor... I know my first 5 books will never see the light of day unless they get total overhauls. I loved those stories, but I had to find my voice and my grounding. I'm glad self publishing wasn't really a thing yet at that point. Or they might be out there.

Take your time to learn the craft and get a feel for the industry. It's okay. It's not a race.

Okay, so that is my wisdom for the day and month... Now you should go visit some other insecure writers!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

I Almost had it then I missed it Completely

Here I am... July 3. Blogging for Insecure Writer's 1st Wednesday, but it got all moved and stuff!  So I will entertain you briefly. I had a birthday recently... and my neighbor got home from vacation over the weekend with THIS awesome present... It's hysterical. Read the fine print.





And it SMELLS so good! The brown end smells spicy and the aqua end smells clean.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

FMD: So I'm a Believer


It took five weeks. One more than the diet says you have to do, but I've hit a stride, in spite of a few tweaks and cheats.

First tweak: (I took this from the FMD follow-up list so it's legit): add cooking oil regardless of phase. Sauteing in broth wasn't cutting it flavor wise, but more importantly, I had some joint aches on those no fat days. Only using fat as cooking oil is not much, but I think it should help that a bit.

Next tweak: Any fruit is fruit. There are a couple that are more sugary, and I don't really eat bananas anyway—a habit holdover from my Weight Watcher days when I had to count bananas double any other fruit. But things like strawberries and peaches are technically only permitted on those carb load days (Monday and Tuesday) but I am also allowing them in phase three because otherwise I'd end up throwing out fruit. I can't eat a whole thing of strawberries in my two days and the rest of the family just doesn't seem to eat them. Plus I love them in my oatmeal, so there.

Last tweak: Nuts are nuts. The phase three says only raw nuts, but I can't see what harm roasted nuts will do if the only ingredients are nut and salt. Not often. Usually my fat is avocado or hummus. But I do love a handful of pistachios now and then.

My cheat attitude: It's not a secret I like a drink or three now and again. I am not drinking often, but I am allowing for social invitation drinking. This week that was Thursday and Saturday. I still followed the eating rules. I just had a couple glasses of wine Thursday night because my buddy had a bad day and so we met at Whole Foods after work, and last night we went to Homes with another neighbor for a couple beers.


As to my conversion...

1) it has gotten a lot easier. I still have to think about it, but it isn't the stressful thing it was at first where I was “Wait, now what?” for trying to eat on plan. I have figured out a few things that satisfy me that might seem a little strange, but they work (like on Phase 2 that is only protein and veggies, my go to snack has become rolling spinach in turkey slices). I mean who would have thought of that for a snack?

2) It's working. Week 1 I only lost a pound and a half. Week 2 I lost 3, but it was a little flukey—like a sudden one day drop of five pound and then up again and it stayed back on most of the next week. Week 3 I lost 2.3 pounds and week 4, 3 pounds. That totaled 9.9 pounds for the 4 weeks. Week 5—catch this... I lost 3.6 pounds. It seems crazy, but I really feel like after 3 weeks of not being sure what I was up to, my metabolism finally kicked in to help and it is no longer just a diet.

You can see the drops down tend to befrom Monday to Tuesday and Friday to Saturday... Every week is lower. And no I don't weigh just over 100 pounds... that is how much MORE than my dream weight I am... Scary, I know.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What's Harder? Erm...


Nobody dive in the gutter. I am double entendreing but neither is sexual at this point in my blog (early days, yet, I know)...

For some context: Welcome to Insecure Writer's Support Group and First Wednesday! So this is what I will get to first. THEN I will talk eating plan (I'm on day 24 gang!) *cough*

As for the writing... say it with me... WHAT WRITING!?

*now for the tears* So many tears.

But I can still answer QUESTIONS about writing, can't I? That's legit. I mean I haven't totally forgotten. I've just lost my discipline. So let's do that.

June's question: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Totally character names. Easy peasy.

Know WHY?

VOLUME. 

I only have to hit one title I'm happy with for a whole book and I actually have sort of a knack for it. But you know what? EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER wants their own darn name! Man, what a tedious exercise. I mean I usually do fine with my first 3 or 4, but then I begin to realize they all start with M, or some such nonsense. I need to get clever and have my names mean something. That would help. Or complicate things. One or the other.


These beauties make everything right
Now for the FMD Portion of this blog.

Know what is harder? All the parts that don't allow any fat. Phase I and II are BOTH hard, then I get to Friday and get to add healthy fat (avocado, nuts, olive oil) and suddenly life is smooth sailing. There are hard things about the supposed “soothing days” (soothing, my butt—I may be allowed carbs, but HELLO, no fat! Sooth Schmooth. It's not). And the protein heavy days... GADS! Five times a day and every single time is meat (and vegetables, sure, whatever) but that is a LOT of meat. Add to that the complication that the only meat I eat is turkey and fish. So the hard part is all the no fat part.

Know the irony? Those three days I get to add the fats back in are the weight loss ones. I'm not breaking any land speed records but averaging just over 2 pounds a week--always lost in those last 3 days when I add the fats back in (about 8 pounds so far and I have 4 days left).

I plan to MOSTLY continue, but the lack of fat on those 4 days is making my joints hurt, so I am adding in cooking amounts of olive oil on those two days and allowing myself the occasional social splurge or I will derail. I know myself, and I can do the no splurges for the 4 weeks (though I did have a couple splurges, but not bad), but to go on I need to make some allowances.

Monday, May 21, 2018

FMD Progress


So I failed to give my phase updates, but better late than never, eh?

Phase 2: This was Wednesday and Thursday of last week and boils down to LOTS of meat and veggies and nothing else. And it was surprisingly easy. It shocked me this could be easier than the carb load days, but it was. Figuring out what to eat, eating enough. It was easy easy easy. I made some turkey jerky (a recipe in the book that is super easy) for my snacks—at it wrapped in spinach because the protein veggie combo is what they recommend, though only require at meals. One hard things is this phase has some limits on the veggie list including tomato and salsa, which is one of my go-to “make meat and veggies a meal” and salsa is a dressing free dressing, ifyouknowwhatImean. Starchy vegetables are also off the list (tuber family, squashes), but that doesn’t bug me, as years of Weight Watchers makes me think of those as carbs anyway.

I made my hat. I smelled really good.
Phase 3: The thinking is hard, but once done the eating was great. By hard I just mean every meal is a different thing so there is a lot more checking for “hey, is this right?” I had some additional challenges that were “me specific”.

First, my work had a service day Friday, so we went to Detroit to do a service project. Then they bought us lunch (are you seeing the challenge?) and we went to the zoo. But I planned well. I know lunch was wraps. I had ordered turkey. So I brought my sprouted bread and moved my sandwich innards to my “allowed” bread. And I brought almonds for morning snack and celery with almond butter for afternoon snack. Done. Success.




Pajamas and hats, to be specific. It was 6 am.
Second challenge was harder. My neighbor hosted a little party to watch Harry and Meagan get married. Fancy gorgeous food, nearly none of it compliant. I brought my own veggies, though. And could eat the fruit. And she had marcona almonds which aren’t RAW (as they should be) but I figured were close. My only cheat in the positive was salmon dip (which was made which cream cheese, but hey, at least I at it on veggies rather than crackers) and I had 2 glasses of champagne. But I was MISSING the required protein, so I had to eat that when I got home. The rest of the day I was good, and yesterday was fine. Ironically, Saturday was my best loss day all week.

But that weight loss thing is tricky to think about anyway. My first day (before I started) I was down 3 pounds already… Something I did last weekend dropped weight somehow. So after day one I was up 2 and it dropped again by about 1/3 of a pound a day until my low Sunday morning (down a pound and a half from “pre” and then gained it again overnight, so this morning I was back to my starting weight, though this is the only day this week I didn’t weigh less than same day last week… I know. Complicated. I am going to keep going for the next 3 weeks though. Let that fluke even out.