Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Insecure Writers and Potential Adoption

I’ve been terrible, but in my defense, parts of my life have been terrible too. Someone I love very much is deep in crisis and I can actually feel it aging me. Almost like being president, except I am powerless, so really it’s very little like being president. Never mind. But it has made writing nearly impossible. I thought I’d attempt NaNoWriMo, knowing I wouldn’t win, but in fact I only wrote one day. I’m buried under it.

But enough of that. You are not here to get a sob story. You are here for SUPPORT! And I support you! I have a few writer friends in the midst of great things and I am thrilled for them. Shout out to Allison Dickson, who not only has a fabulous looking book in August, but has sold film rights. She was a moderately successful Indy author, but this is her first BIG DEAL. Also a shout to Gae Polisner who has done well with her first three YA books, but is now juggling 4 and 5 together to get them out. I’m happy for these successes.

Now for the Insecure Writer's Support Group Content!

And now to this month’s question: What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?
Hmmm… laptop, obviously. Beverage, most often my big water bottle, but sometimes coffee or wine. Stack of notebooks (some for new ideas or story notes, others with previous work storylines—I usually work out plot longhand) and pens. The books that inspire me—there are about 15 on the shelf above my head. And a cat.

Speaking of cats… we found this fellow squatting on our porch Sunday. He ran into the garage and hid and cried, so I brought out a little food and water to coax him out. I left him to be tempted. When I came out to see him eating, he hid again. I gave him a bit of time again. And the next time I came out he approached. He let me scratch him and rubbed around my ankle—he is young—not full grown. Then when I went in he cried and cried. I moved the food and water to our three season porch and made up a little bed. I kept going to check and he was still there. Hubs got home and we talked about what to do. We decided if he was still there in the morning, we’d take him to see if he was chipped, and maybe if he wasn’t, we’d consider adopting. Flash forward, no chip. The vet agreed with my 8 month guess. The vet agreed with my 8 month guess. I posted on our neighborhood site and reported to the Humane Society. We will give it a week. If someone doesn’t call the Humane Society within a week to seek their lost cat, they don’t deserve a cat. At that point we will get his shots and neuter him, but we have moved him into our laundry room for now. He has a bed, a litter box, food, water and cuddling several times a day. He is safe and warm. And importantly, separate from our animals until we get him vaccinated. We are already in love, and he seems to be, too.

I'm taking name suggestions. Right now Bagheera is in the lead, but it doesn't roll off the tongue very well.

Okay, so NOW it’s time to go visit other insecure writers!

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?


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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

FMD: Phase I

So phase I of this baby was lots of evenly spaced carbs. And one of the diet details I don't remember if I mentioned... I am meant to be eating double portions because I have a lot to lose. Yesterday I had a REALLY hard time with that, probably because I took the day off so had to eat it all in a more compressed time. (like I didn't want a big dinner at 10:30 so I switched order of snack and dinner. This is allowed, but it made dinner too soon after lunch. I just couldn't eat it all.

And yesterday (Day 1) I felt sluggish and lethargic. No fun. And today my hands are killing me. Worst carpal tunnel ever. I think I overused beans as grain (turkey chili for 3 meals in 2 days... and a lot of it). But I don't feel so sluggish today and didn't get a hot flash every meal like I did yesterday. And tomorrow I am on to protein and veggies. So hopefully that will help. I am still counting on this being a process and I am barely started.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

FMD: An Eating Adventure

So this blog has normally been about writing, which is why I've been so scarce. I haven't really been writing. But I am beginning an adventure Monday (yes, that is a euphemism, but I AM motivated). It's about eating. And exercise. And hopefully about overhauling my metabolism. And I am hoping by blogging my progress that I can ALSO get in the habit of writing regularly. But I DID want to warn readers that the majority of my newly active blogging activity will be related to that. So that you don't feel you need to rush over here only to find I'm talking about that if it doesn't interest you, I will title all of them starting with FMD (Fast Metabolism Diet).

If you ARE interested though, my plan is THIS introductory post, then a REVIEW of each phase the first week (there are 3), then a weekly progress report and maybe a few extra things I learn or experience.

So why am I doing this?

I have ended up grossly overweight. I have always battled it and for decades was able to follow Weight Watchers to bring it back in check. I had four big rounds of success with Weight Watchers:

1984: lost 29 pounds and almost came within 10 pounds of goal. (maintained briefly)

(through college I managed healthy weight with exercise and sugar limit—nothing more necessary)

1990: lost 38 pounds and actually went 10 pounds BELOW goal at the time. (gained back to goal, but then held for a few years before starting to gain again)

1999: (post babies) lost 57 pounds and achieved goal.

(moved across country and gained a significant portion back in the shake up)

2002: Lost 45 pounds and ended up 20 pounds below goal—mostly maintained 2 years until job change, then the gain started.

And as of my 40th birthday (2006) Weight Watchers has mostly stopped working. And since 2002 I've ended up about 100 pounds overweight... It's horrible! And I feel totally helpless. Nothing works. I've found a system to slow the gain, but that's as good as it's been.

My gorgeous daughter and I: Halloween (I'm a gypsy)

This picture is mortifying. I am clearly seriously overweight and desperately want to do something about it. Even my face--my eyes have disappeared.

Jump clear forward...

One of my writer friends posted a pic... she'd successfully lost 32 pounds on the Fast Metabolism Diet. I decided to investigate. And the premise is that through diet cycles over time we slow our metabolism more and more. Our body is panicked that we are facing starvation because we keep denying it stuff. The science behind this looks pretty solid to me with a goal of metabolism recovery.

How it works:

Banned food list: Sugar, wheat (except sprouted), corn and all corn byproducts, dairy, soy, regular potatoes (turnips, rutabagas and sweet potatoes okay), high sugar fruits (bananas, grapes), alcohol, caffeine

Now it's not totally that simple. Different fruits and veggies and proteins are allowed at different phases. It is a rough one for full vegetarians, as phase 2 doesn't allow bean and similar proteins... for me it will be a lot of fish and turkey, as those are the only meats I eat.

The other big challenge: I am to divide my weight in half and drink THAT MANY ounces of water every day. At first this is going to be hugely challenging. I confess it is more than the 64 ounces of water most diets require.

Phase 1 (Monday, Tuesday) Calm the adrenals with easy to process healthy carbs

Breakfast (grain and fruit)
Snack (fruit)
Lunch (Protein, grain, fruit)
Snack (fruit)
Dinner (Protein, grain, fruit)

At least once in this phase there needs to be a cardio workout

Phase 2 (Wednesday, Thursday) Start the fat grabber... the first two days tells the body it will give it what it needs, then this phase denies it fat and carbs, so it feels free to grab fat from the body stores.

Breakfast (vegetable, protein)
Snack (protein, (veggie optional))
Lunch (vegetable, protein)
Snack (protein, (veggie optional))
Dinner (vegetable, protein)

At least once in this phase there needs to be a strengthening workout

Phase 3 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Pre-emptively stop the panic about no fat by adding in healthy fats. This apparently turns up the metabolism as it calms that panic down enough that the body thinks it is safe from starvation once and for all. It also does a lot of hormone repair.

Breakfast (protein, healthy fat, veggie, fruit)
Snack (healthy fat/protein, veggie)
Lunch (healthy fat, protein, fruit, veggie)
Snack (healthy fat/protein, veggie)
Dinner (Grain, healthy fat, protein, vegetable)

At least once during this phase there needs to be a relaxation activity

The groceries...
A bit more:

I've read enough that I intend every day that allows fruit to include a citrus, every day to have at least one dark leafy green veggie. I'm trying to have it easy. I have a turkey chili recipe I can eat all but phase 2 that I plan to mega jump the veggies in... totally easy for one dinner and a couple lunches. I also have a fish stew that is just fish, vegetables, spices and broth for that difficult Phase 2.

And I had my first ever yoga class yesterday. At my work they are offering a Friday class and it is a lot cheaper than club yoga, as the U subsidizes it, plus they take it straight out of my check, so I won't miss it. So it started yesterday (went in even though it was a day off).

And I did my shopping for the week today. I had to go to three stores to find tortillas with no wheat or corn... but I found them. I think I will look for a recipe, though I hear Trader Joe's normally has brown rice tortillas (I ended up with some grain I've never heard of, but we will see).

Anybody ever tried this thing before? I'd love some advice. And I sincerely don't intend to bore you. That's why I am titling to warn you. Just skip it if you aren't interested. I'm trying to document for a few friends who HAVE expressed interest and get in a regular writing habit again. Hopefully it will take and I will get back to writing posts, too.

If anyone is MORE interested, the book was published long enough ago that I got the copy from my library, and TONS of info about it is available just by googling.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Is a Writer who isn't Writing a Writer?

Spring is time for these little fellas around here...
Hallo fine peoples! It's first Wednesday and therefore the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group... Sadly, I'm not feeling very writerly these days. My mom attention is demanding a lot of me, which is ironic, since my kids are both adults now, but there you have it. I've also developed a real life group of friends so I do more social stuff, which can only be good, right? But the bad habits are the worst of it.

So the question for May is: Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

Yeahnono. Spring makes me want to be outside. And if I take my computer outside I get a glare. But JUNE has been BuNoWriMo for me for many years, so THAT might get me going. Probably means I should spend May plotting, eh? And plotting I can do in a notebook, which I can take OUTSIDE!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Insecurity March

Hallo fine peoples! It’s first Wednesday! Wait, whut? Where did February go? Though to be honest I’m glad it’s over. February is when winter really drags and once March arrives I feel a little more hopeful.

Gratuitous cat in drag

So welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group meeting!

This month's question...

How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/ finish a story?

Gads, I wish I remembered! I guess I must have been doing it wrong though. Because if I was doing it right, it would have reinforced me to do it more often and it also would be epic enough that I would remember.

I think my trouble is my first drafts are dirty, so it ISN'T the end. I still have at least 9 rounds of editing ahead. And even then I don't know if it's done. I mean it may not be good enough for any publisher or agent and then where are we? In front of more editing, that's where.

But when something is accepted for publication--THAT is big. THAT is a party.

I gotta question for you. If you had NO RESTRAINTS (time or money), how would you LIKE to celebrate this? I think I'd do a trip. A different country for each book....

Okay, now go visit some other insecure people!

Insecure Writer’s Support Group meeting!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Almost Missed Me Completely

Here I am halfway through the day before I remember... not that I forgot. It was on my weekend to do list. And my Monday one. But Tuesday rolled around and I had social commitments and my mind left me entirely.  But I'm here now!

Welcome friends to the first Wednesday Insecure Writer Support Group!!! My writing life has been on hiatus of late, but The Burrow, my writing group, is at least talking about writing again, so that's something. I've also been reading a lot. Erm... and binging on too much television...

As for this month's question... What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I suppose for me that boils down to suspense. I write YA, dystopian, mystery... the common thread is I like a twisty tale. The thing I love is laying out the threads and then pulling them all back together again. My very favorite stories are the ones that elegantly pull several strands back into place that you haven't even noticed were anything more than description at first. Sometimes I do this intentionally (like with murder clues)--I always try to have my major plot points mapped--but the part I REALLY love is when I suddenly realize I have a solution where part of the pieces were just included organically. There is this rush of satisfaction with it.

What about you? What is the favorite thing about your genre?  And now go visit some other insecure writers!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Insecure Much?

Hallo fine people, and welcome to first Wednesday and the Insecure Writer's Support Group. This blog is officially a re-first... what do I mean by that? The first second blog within a week in many many moons.

But enough about that. Welcome to the support group and welcome to writing life 2018, which will hopefully be a significant improvement on writing life 2017 or writing life 2016. Because here is the thing. I haven't finished a new book since 2015.

Yeah. If that isn't something to feel insecure about, I'm not sure what is. I have some 20 finished books under my belt, but somehow things unraveled for me in 2015 and I haven't been able to find it again.

Somehow. I actually know how. My worklife threw me a giant turd and I spent the next 18 months trying to find my place again so I wouldn't end up fire. This left me a big pile of emotional goo when I got home and my several attempts to get going again went amiss.

The good news: I have found that spot so my nerves are no longer shot and my creativity has peeked in on me now and then. In November, while I didn't “win” or finish a book, I DID write 43,000 words. Better than an ordinary month, if not WriMo speed.

I also made a deal with a neighbor, though I need to check in with her again, to hold each other accountable in the new year.

But BEST... as I slept in yesterday (my last day off of 12 days) a good plot unfolded. When I got up I wrote a timeline and thought through some characters and actually started writing.

My intention is to put in at least an hour five days a week. I may have some more intense periods, but that feels sustainable to me. I'm not worrying at this point about publishing and how it fits with my other stuff, as I haven't had much luck selling my other stuff. It is just time to remind myself I love to write and that if I stick to it, I can finish.

What about the rest of you? How are you feeling on writing in the new year?

And please, go check in on some other insecure writers!

Monday, January 1, 2018

One Day at a Time (With Planning!)

Resolutions are easier to keep with specificity. I know that. But I am trying something different this year because my last couple years the plan has petered out relatively quickly.

I did do a couple things right last year. I adopted an eating plan that is totally sustainable, NOT a diet, and only gained 4 pounds over the course of a full year. Normally I have either been losing or gaining, and with this plan my entire range this year was +/- 7 pounds from my starting place. But always returned to that center. It involved mixed methods (which the statistician in me loves) so I have 3 days of no carbs in a week, 2 days of “light” (one super light, one 25% less than normal) and two days of flexibility (one “normal” and one 25% EXTRA). The idea is that it keeps the body from panicking and hoarding calories.

This year I am just adding some objectivity. I am going to track calories and “define normal” calorie wise... just a reality check that I hope may be enough to push me into loss range.

But there are several things that I've not been attending to that I need to get going on. I feel like I've been in crisis management for a few years now, just doing the next thing that needs doing because it has reached critical and failing to do the self care I know I need.

Physically I need: more sleep, regular stretching, regular strengthening, a more coherent exercise plan.

I need to write.

I need to organize.

I need to be there for my kids and husband.

It's a lot.

So I am actually only making ONE resolution. I take a bath every night as part of back pain management. This allows me to EASILY spend five minutes planning the next day's specific goals. That way I get the specificity, but also the flexibility to adjust for what is and is not working. So my resolution is to make a mini plan every night.

Anybody else?