Thursday, December 13, 2012

30 days later...

I hate it when I do this to you. Just leave you hanging for a month, but here we are - exactly 30 days later with apologizing for my absence once again.

I do have a good reason. I've been focusing all my time and energy into work on my novel. Hopefully, it'll be my first published work, but let's not get ahead of myself. So far, the three pre-beta readers are loving the story. One last go over for those pesky grammatical errors and the novel is ready for my short list of beta readers. Then, it's time to consider any recommended changes to the manuscript.

Finally, write a synopsis and a query and pray that there is an agent out there who wants it.

And to occupy me in the meantime, I'm working on a sequel (well technically a prequel, but the stories can be read in any order).

So that's my story. Other than it being that crazy time of year. You know, the darned holiday season. And yet again, I promised I would do Christmas cards and the time got away from me. Now, it's too late. *sigh* One year I will remember!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What NaNoWriMo Means To Me

Okay, before I start I'd like to apologize for not keeping up with the awesome NaNoWriMo meme that I was doing. It was just a little too much for me over the last few days and I am so sorry. I hate not finishing things, but as my family and friends would be eager to tell you - I'm good at not finishing.

If you read the title and came here from twitter you may actually know what this post is going to be about, but I shall explain anyway.

@NaNoWriMo posed the question - What does NaNoWriMo mean to you? - with the hash tag #WhatNaNoMeansToMe.

NaNoWriMo means something different to everyone, but when it came time for me to answer the question I couldn't find a short enough answer. It has meant so many things to me over the years. Even now, it means more than just one thing to me.

We'll have to go back, way back, for you to understand exactly what NaNo means to me. I hope you don't mind a back story in this case. And I'm sorry about the length of this post as well.

What NaNoWriMo Means to Me - Before NaNo

When I was a teenager all I did was write. I would glue myself to the computer and typed up stories. My parents were very encouraging of this hobby, but they also wanted me to be realistic about my dreams. Writing was great and I should definitely do that, but maybe move towards journalism or at least, get a good education and a good job just in case.

I wrote my way through high school and when I wasn't writing, I was reading. I mean, I was a pure academic taking all the science, law geography, English and math, but I always found the time to write.

College came and crushed me after that. I stopped writing. I never even realized it. I was so wrapped up in essays and studying that I just didn't write. I was doing what my parents had told me I had to do, I was looking for a real career. Something to support me for the rest of my life. And I failed.

I ended up just working and growing more and more despondent. Who was I? What was I going to do with my life? Why was it all so hard? Although I had enjoyed my job to begin with it was slowly sucking the life out of me. I needed to do something, anything to change things up. So, after much thought, I decided to follow my best friend to Alberta.

I didn't start writing again, not right away. I still had a lot of things to figure out. I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but at least I had changed something and that was a huge move. It was a good move because it allowed me to grow.

I moved to Alberta in 2006, but I didn't start NaNo until 2008.

On October 28 2008, after much encouragement from a writing forum I was a member of at the time. I finally decided to stop just thinking about writing again and just write something. I had been dabbling a little before that, but mostly I talked about and I never really did it.

What NaNoWriMo Means to Me - Years of NaNo

NaNo 2008 really opened my eyes. For me this was the year that I remembered what I loved to do the most. I didn't just love thinking about stories and planning. I loved to write. I missed writing. It was like finding myself all over again. How could I have ever stopped writing? I hadn't stopped reading, so why stop writing?

There is nothing so incredible as finding yourself in something you love. It didn't matter if I was good or bad at writing. I never even finished that novel although I did get my 50K. It was a truly new beginning for me. I finally knew what I wanted to do and I cursed myself for those wasted years.

NaNo in 2008 meant life to me. It meant healing. It meant a brand new beginning and rediscovering my first true love in life.

NaNo 2009 was the year I discovered the forums and the social aspect of NaNoWriMo. Once again I passed the 50K mark, but the novel was unfinished. I wanted to write something funny, but I ended up with some hard science fiction instead! I like to humour myself in thinking that my writing had improved this year.

In 2009, I was still discovering myself as a writer. It was all about expanding my horizons and learning. NaNoWriMo was the best deadline I had ever faced. Learning was definitely what it was all about this year.

2010 was a crazy year. Those who know my NaNo history may know this as the year I wrote a full length novel in under 30 days. About 120K words by November 28th when I decided I was done writing. I had hit 'The End'.

I came to realize and not just dream that maybe I really could be a writer. What I had written in a month was decent. It had some good bones and a few great lines. I was starting to reach out more in the social aspect and I got to grow as a writer. NaNoWriMo was fun to me, it was a great way to meet other writers. I may have been entertaining thoughts of becoming a so-called serious writer, but for me this year was really about the core truth of NaNoWriMo - which surprisingly isn't really the writing itself.

It doesn't matter if you write 500 words or 400K words in the month. NaNoWriMo is about pushing your limits, opening up your horizons and, most importantly, having fun while you do it. It's about the fun kind of scary and the delightful deadline. What you write or how much you write doesn't really matter.

2011 was just me settling into the truth of NaNoWriMo. It was my chance to try something new and revel in the social aspect. 2011 was the late nights, gallons of tea and just letting myself "run whooping through the valleys of my imagination". (Yeah, I have that NaNo sticker on my laptop!)

2012, this year is closer to a 2010 year for me without the dreams of grandeur. Now, it's all about the writing for me, the meeting of other writers. I've relaxed into NaNo and I ask nothing of it other than to just be. NaNo is my home now. It is the place where the magic happens and guilt monkeys live. They are the keeper of inner editor and an unreasonable amount of amazing people all gathered in a single place.

And that is what NaNoWriMo means to me. All of that and so much more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day Six

Day 6: Realizing what’s at stake scene

“He’ll save her,” Father Brannigan released his grip on Michel’s arm. “If he doesn’t, we will have bigger things to worry about.”

“You’ve read something?” Iain’s face seemed to crumble, his anger vanishing.

“I’ve read many things, Iain, but it takes a lot of time to interpret what I’ve read. As for anything pertaining to the current events, it’s been a lot more muddled than usual and Mal’ach was entirely unhelpful…as usual.”

“What are you talking about?” Michel had enough of being in the dark on this conversation. All he wanted to do was rescue Paige at any cost, but there was a lot more at stake than that from the sounds of things.

“The same thing we always talk about, the end of the world. It’s kind of our specialty.” Iain sighed. “It gets a little boring after a while, always saving this place from Hell on Earth.”

“Hell on Earth?” Michel wasn’t too sure he was quite understood what Iain was talking about.

“You know the end days and all? That is Hell on Earth; that will one day happen when there are no more guardians left to guard the portals or one of us fails at our job. If one of us fails, we all fail.”
“Portals?” Michel had once known the bible well, but obviously not as well as he had thought. Then again, it’s easy to forget things over a few hundred years.

“We’re wasting time,” Father Brannigan cut Iain off before he could say anything else. “Time passes faster in Hell; a minute here is an eternity there. Do you want her to suffer needlessly?”

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day Five

I have really got to stop writing these at the end of my day when I am dead tired. You know I only realized today, that I gave away the scene for Day 10 already? Sheesh. I suck.

I can barely even type right now. I am just so exhausted. So I will keep this one shirt and sweet.

Day 5: Defeat of villain scene

"With God, all thing are possible!" Michel screamed it as loud as he could, not caring at all if every last demon in Hell heard him. It didn't matter if this was the end of him now because without her, nothing mattered anymore. He had lost his first love, he would not lose Paige as well.

"Faithless words, they have no meaning. You need faith to back it up." Satan sneered as he stood in front of Paige's unconscious body.

"Maybe once upon a time I had lost my faith. I spent my time clinging to the past, but no longer." Michel reached for the small golden pendant that hung around his neck and ripped it off. "I need no tokens to remind me of my sins and I will always have my memories if I find myself missing what has passed. I've put it behind me and I shall not carry those burdens with me any longer."


"Maybe, but actions speak louder. If can forgive me than I can forgive myself - and with God all things are possible. You are nothing but the whisperer of lies. You have no power over me anymore, not even here." Michel strode forward toward Paige and he tried not to feel the prideful as Satan had no choice, but to step aside and let him. He gathered her in his arms and headed in a random direction. He didn't know how to get out of Hell, but at least he had achieved the most important thing. He had rescued Paige.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day Four

Wow. You have NO idea how hard this was to write tonight. I just spent the last little bit writing a VERY emotionally intense scene between my two main characters that has just drained me. Actually, let me give you an idea....I'll show you part of a sentence of what I just wrote.

Paige pressed herself against him and kissed him again, allowing everything she felt to be present in that moment. Her fear, her passion, even her confusion; it was all there. His arms wrapped around her body and pulled her even tighter to him.

Yeah, you get the idea. Not my usual fair. In fact, I didn't even want to write this scene, but it had to happen. It took me forever to get these words out of my mind and on to the screen. *whew* and now, today's writing is so far removed from such a scene that I'm not sure I can do it justice.

Of course, let's not mention that I really do not have anyone that counts as a side kick anywhere in any story that has ever taken place in this world so I am going to have to create a scene from scratch. I guess this is very true to this meme.

Day 4: Death of side kick Scene

Placing the contact in her pocket, she tried hard to control her anger. Taking a deep breath she glanced evenly at Jean-Alain, her lips pursed. She watched as he began to quiver slightly.

"How in any way would you think that this was an acceptle compromise? I asked you to find me servants and this is what I get?"

"I tried my best. He is clever." Jean-Alain began to shake even harder.

"Clever is good, but I am very dissappointed in you. Do you know what happens when I am disappointed?"

The blood drained from his face and she watched his body twitch as if he wanted to run, but he knew there was no where he could hide. He was now shaking so hard that his teeth chattered and he could not speak. She smiled. It was not a nice smile it was a hungry smile.

"Yes, you know. Your services shall no longer be required." She reached her hand out and stuck it deep into his chest and pulled out a black and quivering lump. Jean-Alain stared at it for a few seconds, wondering what it was before he collapsed to the ground.

The small black thing pulsed in her hand and she laughed. "To Hell we go where you belong and maybe, if he turns out to be worthy, I just might take it a little easier on you."

Okay, a little anti-climatic. Sorry, best I can do.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day Three

There are no weddings that will be taking place during this novel, but I thought perhaps you would like to catch a small glimpse of Michel and Jacqueline's simple wedding. Maybe it could be a dream....ah, but I doubt it.

Oh and sorry about being so late in posting this (10 minutes to midnight! sheesh). I spent the day out with a friend and I was so focused on upping my word count that I almost forgot. I whipped this out in 30 minutes. And I'm really tired.

I hope it's not too horrid to read!

Day 3: Wedding scene

He stood with his father by his side trying not to show the world how nervous he actually was. The doors opened to the small chapel, the light was nearly blinding, but he could see her outline. As she stepped into the shadowed alcove he caught his breath.

She stood still for a moment, the light catching on the stones and making it look as though she was the sun herself. She stepped forward as the doors began to close, the illusion broken. Michel found it hard to breathe still for he still found her stunning.

She was dressed in velvet the winter river trimmed in lace and her dark hair had been combed until shone even in the dark church interior. She joined him underneath the carre and smiled shyly. As the priest spoke they exchanged glances that spoke volumes.

As they walked out beneath the arch of flowers and over the laurel leaves scattered on the path, she reached out and touched the back of his hand. Michel felt sure that this was heaven. He must surely have died for there was no possible way his heart could hold this much joy with bursting.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day Two

As a very surprising coincidence, today is writing a flashback scene just as I am writing one of two flashback chapters that are mini stories within my stories. So, I guess today is easily going to be a part of my word count.

Unfortunately, I am VERY pressed for time today, so you're getting the little flashback that I wrote yesterday. I know, not true to the challenge. Sorry!

Day 2:Flashback Scene

Annoyed, he crushed the unfinished cigarette in his fist and closed his eyes. It was different images that followed him into his sleep. His past haunted him constantly when he let his mind wander on its own. He’d see their dying faces, he’d see the face of Mother Mary, at whose feet he had prayed and fasted for many days.

And all of that would burn in his mind, the flames eating at the images, warping them into nightmares that he could not look away from. This was his past and even as he fell asleep he could feel the tears roll down his cheeks.

His body relaxed and he was blessed with images of a sweeter time. A better time than all he had experienced since. He could remember her, her long dark hair being blown in the breeze, laughing and running through recently harvested wheat field.

Michel watched her, transfixed, just a young man of only sixteen years, but a man all the same. She was the daughter of their neighbour. A freehold landowner like his own father. It would be a good match, his family had said and he had no objections. Jacqueline was perfection itself.

“Michel! Michel!” She was close enough now for him to hear her. Her voice echoed in his mind like the sweetest song. “My father just told me the news. We are to be married at noon tomorrow. Is that not wonderful?”

And that is all you get! There is a lot more to this one, but I wanted to leave it a good note and not to where this flashback ends up taking us.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Capillary's 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Scenes: Day One

So I have decided to write these so that they fit into my current NaNo novel since I never did finish plotting it, but I will not count any of this as a part of my NaNo word count unless it makes it into the actually novel draft.

That is my decision and I *shall* stick to it.

If you would like to take part in this awesome meme you can find everything that you need to know right here.

Day 1: Ending Scene

Michel knelt in front of the altar, steam rising from his back in the cool air of the church. This was the right place for him to be for an altar was intended as a place of sacrifice in his day and he was here to make a true sacrifice.

He bowed his head low and prayed to a God that he had only just begun to believe in once again. A God that he was learning to trust – even if the path he was now on was not the one he had wanted. He gave what was left of his tattered soul and used up body. He vowed to stay until his debt had been repaid.

He was stuck upon the Earth, for how long he could not know. A servant again, but this time to a much better master.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Can We Get a Little Crazy in Here Please?

Maybe it's the lack of sleep talking, or the awesome plot planning session I attended on Sunday afternoon, but I am starting to think that I ought to just try pantsing my NaNo novel this year. Yes, I spent most of the month working on a detailed plot line only to be annoyed and frustrated by the way things were going.

To tell the truth, I haven't touched my plot plan in over a week.

Am I really going to throw out nearly a month of my hard work? Well, no, not really. I did figure out what world I am writing in. I discovered my other main character. I figured out some of the plot details. So, it wasn't really wasted time.

Plus, I never throw away (ermmm delete) anything. I have some absolutely horrid writing. Things that are only one or two lines in before being abandoned, but I have them because you just never know.

But, I digress. I was unhappy with the plotting of my current NaNo novel, but not with some of the realizations it gave me. I have a feelings that this may just be a wonderfully shitty story that I am going to be writing, but that's okay. It's a part of NaNo - allowing yourself to write badly.

I may just start my planned novel in a whole new spot... Or maybe throw it to the side for now and write something else... Who knows. There are two full days left in which I can decide.

Worst comes to worst, I'll drop some characters in a setting with a MacGuffin and see what happens.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

You know that feeling?

You know that feeling when you write a really good, meaningful blog post. You even do research and link to sources? It's a great feeling.

Unfortunately that feeling was followed by accidentally deleting said blog post. I bet you know that feeling too. And word didn't do an autosave recover. I searched my work computer high and low, but the blog post was gone for good.

Sorry readers. I'm even more disappointed than you could possibly know. The only reason I am not crying is because I am at work right now.

And even though you'll never get to see it because I just do not have the time or energy to attempt to write it again; much thanks goes to The Capillary for her wonderful help in the editing of what would have been today's blog post about bullying.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The NaNoWriMo Meme

The wonderful, incredible The Capillary decided to start her own little 30 days of NaNo meme and I quite like what she has planned!

Although I am planning this novel to the extreme because I would like to finish a full first draft again this year (~90K words). For me to write that much in 30 days I need to be prepared. I flounder and panic when I pants it. Or even just percolate it. I need a plan. However, I would still like to give this a bit of a try.

I've got a few choices. I can base something within the same universe that I am currently writing in. I've written in this world before for a previous NaNo and a Screnzy. So it's a world and characters I am familiar with.

Or I can write in one of the many other worlds that I have previously created, but not worked in as much. Such as my Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Supernatural crossover novel that I've kept on the back burner for a couple of years. Or something based on the novel that I am currently on the fourth edit of...

And of course, I just write something entirely new. A whole new story in addition to what I am writing for NaNo. A story and world that is almost completely pantsed and barely percolated.

So what do we think I should do? The sooner I decide the easier it will be to get my mind in the right working frame prior to November.

Whew. This is going to be one hell of a November.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Day To Give Thanks

Although the Canadian Thanksgiving has a different origin than the more well known American Thanksgiving, it is still a day in which we are reminded to give thanks. Families often gather together to share a large meal, but how many people really do think to give thanks for the bounty of their lives?

So right now I'd like to give thanks in writing for all the blessings in my life. A good job, incredible friends, a family that knows how to love unconditionally. My dog and my cat that never judge me. A roof over my head and food in my cupboards.

I give thanks for the ability to always see the beauty in things. For an imagination that keeps my world colourful. For the ability to keep my faith even when things are that their worst. And most of all, I am thankful to just be here.

I could probably go on forever, but I'm sure you get the idea. I have a lot to be thankful for. A lot that I just take for granted. And I think it reminds me that I have a long way to go on my self improvement project.

I part of my self improvement is to try to keep a positive mental attitude and part of that is to constantly remember all the good that out-weighs the bad. I need to always keep in mind that the bad is never as bad as I think it is. In fact, it's really just an opportunity.

Great example. I am tired of being alone and single. Actually, I used to love it, but I am starting to hate it. However, if not for this small thing that I don't like I may never havw strived so hard to improve myself as a person. And to be honest, do I deserve what I often have a hard time giving to myself?

So, I am thankful. For the good and the seemingly bad. Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

All Moved In

Well, it's official. I am all moved in to my new apartment. Overall, I really like my new neighbourhood. It's an older area, but people seem so warm and friendly here. I even know the names of several of my neighbours outside my apartment building and the name of only one living inside!

Although I am in the same 'city' that I was living in before, it really feels like I've moved somewhere else entirely. Everything about my life has changed in the span of only a month. I have a vehicle now. I have a new apartment, a new (part time) job to add to my life. It's almost like starting fresh. And I like that idea.

Actually, this is more than like a fresh start. This is more like a new me. I'm thinner than ever before...and just getting better with everyday.

It's even time to start a new NaNo Novel. I've got a new plot in the works and a plan to push through on another draft of "Memoirs" after NaNo. Of course, I've still got an apartment to finish organizing during all of this, but I'll get it done. I know I will.

I do have to say one thing though. It's kinda nice having my desktop up and running again. It's been collecting dust for far too long, but I have room for my bedroom no less. I'm hoping having it here will help with the novelling. Although my longest work to date was done mostly on my laptop, I do actually prefer working on my old desktop (that I call Franken-Carl).

So who else is on the NaNoWriMo band wagon this year? Who wants to be my novelling buddy this year as I attempt to crank out a fantasy novel (a genre of great weakness for me)?

Don't know NaNoWriMo? Then get out from under your rock and check it out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

For Bean

In my last post I mentioned near the end my pets. I also said that I don't spend a lot of time talking about them.

Today I make a big exception.

At 2300h my cat Bean passed away in my arms. He had been sick a long time, but I nurtured and him cared for him and gave him another good year or so.

Bean was a rescue cat. He had fallen out of the loft in a cow barn and was found, at only a week or two old, between the feet of one of tha calves. No amount of searching produced the mom and litter he belonged to, so only one thing could be done. He was hand-raised by my best friend Liz and her good friend Chrissy.

As a kitten he was often referred to as demon spawn. He would attack anything, whether it moved or not! But once he was neutered everything changed. He went from hyper to lazy right away.

Bean (and his "sister" Missy) came under my permanent care when they were both about 4 years old. I wasn't willing to give them up for anything. Even when I moved provinces, they came with. It didn't matter how much it cost to make it happen.

Bean was an odd cat. Probably a result of being hand raised. He was as docile as anything till he saw a strange cat or dog. Then he went balistic. He coulenMt have cared less about rodents, but birds were fascinating. Until they flew in his direction.

He liked to sleep under the covers. It wasn't unusual for me to come home from work to throw myself on my bed and land on a cat. He never seemed to mind much. He'd just give me a dirty look and find a new place to sleep. If he was especially forgiving, he'd just come and snuggle.

He had one trick that he did. He would high five for treats. It came naturally. He loved to hold his paw up when I was giving treats. He just wanted to grab my hand to bring tthe food closer to him, but it didn't take much to get him to tap my hand instead.

He loved menthol. In fact, I couldn't brush my teeth right before bed for fear that he would try to stick his whole head in my mouth. He once even tried to like tigerbalm off my fingers. Crazy cat.

He was an intensly curious cat. He may not often want what I was eating, but he often insisted that he had to check it out first. Heaven forbid I eat something without his okay!

That was Bean. The cat that moo'ed. The cat that I'm going to miss. That cat that I had known for 13 years.

I'm going to miss him so much.

RIP Bean.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A New Introduction

Almost two years ago when I started this little blog, I decided that it was a good idea to sort of introduce myself. This was what I wrote by way of introduction. Most of it is just as applicable today as it was then.

Since I have some new readers, maybe I ought to expand on it little though?

First off, for new readers, WELCOME! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by.

There are a few topics that I do talk about on a semi-regular basis.
One of them is my weight loss. I've been working very hard to lose a lot of weight since November 2011. It's been a slow process, but I'm quite proud of the fact that I am doing it on my own. No programme. Just me, my research and my own judgement.

Another is my little projects. Organization, growing plants, my attempts at building things. I plan to add more about my efforts to introduce hobbies into my life as time goes on. We'll see. Some projects, I've dropped, but if I talk about it often enough - there will be a tag for it.

Writing. I do talk about my writing. Although you'll find more of my writing over at my other(and less frequently updated) blog A Tale to Spin. Sadly, I haven't been writing much lately. I've been too busy/distracted/whatever to write. I always intend to change this. To write more often, but it rarely seems to happen....

Over the course of the blog you may learn a few things about me. Things like the fact that I am very accident prone. I don't always talk about my accidents (for example, until now I don't think I've really mentioned running over myself with a quad in August), but they happen. A lot.

I have pets. I love my pets, but I know talking about them bores a lot of people so it is also a topic I tend to avoid talking about too frequently. If you're curious, I currently have two cats (13 years old) and a dog (6 years this December). Over the course of the last few years I've also had reptiles, fish, birds and rodents (ah, Emo - you are still missed). At one point, I even worked in the pet industry and I was still freelancing as a pet trainer as recently as a year ago.

I don't like people. I shouldn't really say that on a blog, but it's true. I'm sure it's come out over the course of my blogging. And hopefully, people don't run away because of that. I like individuals, but I have little tolerance for stupidity - including my own. I am angriest at myself at the times I realize I'm being or doing something stupid.

And I think that is just about enough sharing. Now you know a few things about me - the "author". Although I shall leave you with this quote from a close friend of mine:

"You are just the perfect mix of neurosis's and phobias - enough to make you interesting, but not so much as to make you unbearable."

Monday, September 10, 2012

What's Your Chocolate?

I've never done a blog hop before, but my friend The Capillary does them quite often. When I saw her post about this one it caught my attention and I figure. Why not? Let's give this a try. I can talk about chocolate.

In fact, I eat chocolate all the time. At least 5 times a week. Not much, mind you, just a little bit everyday.

When I was younger I wasn't much of fan of chocolate. I mean I liked it like most kids seem to, but it wasn't my favorite thing in the world, but still better than most sweets. (Actually I never really liked sugary candy much at all).

When given a choice, I would generally choose white chocolate over milk chocolate. I never knew such a thing as dark chocolate existed back then. I was a snob in my youth about quality though. I liked the taste of European chocolates over most domestic stuff - with the exception of Purdy's chocolate.

I have no idea how old I was when I discovered dark chocolate, but I never looked back. As soon as I tried it it became my favorite chocolate. In fact, it renewed my love for chocolate. I had always found milk chocolate so 'meh', but this rich, wonderful stuff was like a full on chocolate explosion.

I'm quite grateful for my love of dark chocolate. A little goes such a long way and, in moderation, dark chocolate actually has many health benefits that are still be researched.

So how do I prefer to indulge? Well lately it's been a little square or two of Lindt Chili Chocolate or any 70% (or sometimes a bit higher) dark chocolate bar. Especially with coffee. After sucked on a square of dark chocolate as you sipped at your coffee after dinner? It's absolutely delightful. A friend's mom introduced me to that one.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Just a little bit more...

It's almost hard to believe that I am coming up on another big weight loss milestone. I only just dropped out of the '2's and into the '1's. Now, I am approaching a goal that seemed incredibly far away from the last one. In reality though, it is only a difference of 10lbs.

This coming weigh-in or the next one I will hit the 50lb mark. Yeah, it blows my mind. That is a number that always makes me go "wow". I have be honest that there was a large part of me that wasn't sure I could do it. That I could achieve the 50lb gone mark.

At that point I will only have 20lbs left to go. I know the last 10 and 20 can be the some of the hardest pounds to get rid of, but I'm okay with that. What bothers me more is one thing -

Will I know when I am done?

I have a goal in mind. 170lbs. I call it my reassessment weight. It may seem like a high number to a lot of you, but I also measure in at 5'10" and I'm not built small. My sister, at only an inch shorter, has such a small bone structure that 130 is a good weight for her.

I'm a little afraid that when I hit that point and look in the mirror, I won't see what others see. I'll still see me as being overweight. I won't be able to objectively judge if I need to push myself for another 5 or 10 lbs. Will I be able to look and go - I'm done now. Time build myself back up with muscle instead of fat.

Of course, with a focus on weight training, I know my body will continue to change, but I still worry about what I am going to see in that mirror. What if I can't see it? What if I just keep telling myself "just a little bit more..."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

An Upsetting Realization

First off, this month between posts thing has got to stop. After the move I do hope to be able to get myself onto something that will resemble something almost, but entirely quite unlike a schedule. Wait. Backup. No, that is actually what I wanted to say. I think.

Anyway, it's not much of a post, but I felt I needed to say something here and so you are stuck with what just happens to be on my mind tonight. Which is about how old I look. Not exciting, but I came to the upsetting realization this evening that I may actually be getting...old.

I know, it happens to the best of us, but at 31 years old I still often pass as my mid to late twenties. This evening, however, as I tried to take a picture of myself because I liked how I had done my makeup and hair, all I could see was wrinkles. All I could think was, boy do I look old.

It was a very depressing moment for me. 31 and single and now I don't even look young anymore! What am I going to do now? Well, for starters, I pulled out my microderm abarasion kit and went to work. A good skin polish couldn't hurt.

As I attempt to scrub away my imperfections I decide that it's about time I start taking better care of my skin. I have the products just sitting around waiting for me to use them, but I don't. Lack of time, lack of memory.

But no more. I need to start taking care of my skin. Looking good isn't just for attracting a guy, but when I look good, I feel good. And I want to always feel good about myself.

So, anyone want to recommend anything?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


It's been almost a month since my last post here and I do feel bad about the long absence, but it's been a productive month. During the month of June I was busy caring for my health, taking driving lessons and preparing for my dog to come and live with me.

As for caring for my health goes, I'm not doing too bad. A few inflammatory issues, but nothing to write home to mom about. I do have one thing of note to post. I have lost over 40lbs now. I'm now weighing-in at numbers that start with a '1' instead of a '2'. It's a pretty significant achievement I think. Before I know it, I'll be at my goal.

I did manage to finally get my drivers license. I achieved a perfect score on my driving test. Not a single demerit. It's about time I finally managed to get that done! It only took my 15 years to get it.

With my drivers license comes the gift of a truck from my BFF. She doesn't need her little, old Ranger so it is coming to stay with me till it breaks down or I can afford something new. The truck may be free, but getting it here comes with a price tag I can only just manage. It's a small bit of stress, but I'm sure it'll be worth it in the end.

My dog, I may have mentioned her once or twice, has finally come to live with me and the last few weeks have been quite the adjustment for all of us. The cats are slowly getting better with her and she's not as terrified as she once was of them. It's more of a struggle getting her used to city life, but we're working on it. We may also be facing a move in the next few weeks....if my management company ever gets back to me!

I do have to sadly report that I have failed at the 365 photo project. I seemed to have stopped everything for the month of July.... I will post some of the photos and I probably will give it another try, but my life is so boring that I run out of ideas of what I can take a picture of!

I'll try again to be a bit more regular on my writing here, but that means I'll have to turn on my computer...Something I've hardly done in the last month!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A New Addiction

It's been a while since I've posted something because I have become pre-occupied lately. I seem to have a new focus and I am still learning how to balance my life with this new focus.

I am still working on my 365 photos. I'll get around to uploading those and posting them. I swear. I just need to find my balance.

Those who know me and follow me elsewhere on the internets may know that I got "pressured" into joining a gym. I am not a gym person, but with several friends joining and an incredible deal on, I gave in.

Since I have joined I have been going neatly every day. Or if I'm not going to the gym, I'm out getting some other sort of activity. Even on the days I go for a run in the morning, I still go to the gym after work.

Yeah. It's like an addiction. I am trying hard to make fitness a habit for me. I am trying to make like an addiction. If I have a hard day, I want my default to be to go for a run or to the gym. Not reach for food or drink.

I may not be the sort of person who gives in to addiction, but this is one habit I want to form. I want a body I can be proud of. I want to be strong, fit and healthy.

So please excuse the mess while I attempt to make this adjustment in my life. I just need to get this new addiction sorted out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


It is is obviously time for me to start running again. Last night I was feeling quite restless so I decided to go for a little walk. Not a very long one, it was only about a 3 km loop. Just something to get me out of the house for a few minutes.

Once I was out on the path by the river, I no longer felt like walking. I wanted to run. Just run flat out and stretch my legs, watch the scenery fly by me. I felt the need to move.

Only problem was, I wasn't dressed for running. No matter how tight I do up my belt, my pants still slip. I was wearing skater shoes and a hoodie as well. No, I wasn't dressed at all for running. And I ran anyway.

I ran until my pants were falling down and lungs were hurting. Then I pulled up my pants and ran a bit further. I did this for the whole 3 km and I realized that I must have fallen in love with running even though I haven't run since the half-marathon a year ago. I never would have thought that it was possible for me.

I went home, and I fell asleep. And when I woke up this morning and saw the rain, I thought - I can run in this. It's not that bad.

So, I need to set a reasonable goal. I want to start, but being able to run the full 3km loop I did last night. I'd like to do it in under 15 min.

Then I am going find a 5km route and practice that till I can run it straight through as well. And then I am going to keep going. Moving up the distance, trying to shorten the time. I'd like to be able to run a 10 km race in under an hour.

Yup. I have goals. And those little goals are going to get me to my next half-marathon. The Hypothermic Half in Calgary in Jan/Feb.

Oh, and as a bonus, my foot only bothered me a little bit during and after the run. Whatever is wrong with it, it's not doing too bad so away I go.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Adventures of the Midnight Walker

Last night, I went for a walk in the rain. I hadn't planned on walking in the rain, but when I left my place at 19h30 to head out to games night I knew that it was a real possibility. There was also a possibility that one of the guys might be able to give me a ride home, but I wasn't counting on it. The Doc had given me the okay to walk and I was going to do just that. Games night was a great success, played a couple of fun games and had a good time. Win or lose, I usually have a great time because every usually plays fair.

22h20 and the night was over. It had started raining earlier and none of the usuals were around to give me a ride home. That was okay, I came from a rainy place and my ancestors came from a rainy place. I wasn't going to melt.

I donned my hoodie and hiking shoes and off I went. It wasn't pouring buckets, it was just a nice moderate rain. Almost a light rain at times. The slight breeze was a problem, but it wasn't so bad that I couldn't just ignore the slight chill.

It wasn't long into the walk that I noticed the mist. Although it hadn't been a warm day the surface temperature was obviously much higher than that of the rain. In the sickly orange glow of the street lights - and the occasional more welcoming glow of a porch light - I could see the soft cloud shifting and dancing it's way across the road.

As the wind picked up the dance became more violent and towers of mist rose up towards their brethren in the sky. Not quite reaching high enough before disappearing. The occasional passing car stirred the mist up even more.

It was this beauty that I wondered at as I walked. I ignored the pain in my heel from where my shoe rubbed against it. I ignored the chill of the wind and the pervasive dampness that numbed my skin. I focused on the little bits of wonder around me.

Eventually I was home, soaked to the skin, heel bleeding, but pretty much happy all the same. Happy and with a hot drink in hand.

I was happy because of the mist that kept trying to reach for the sky. Happy that I was able to walk at all.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Adventures of the Socially Inept

Just the other day I went plant shopping with a friend. There was a wholesale greenhouse that was having a one day retail sale. We decided to go check it out. Neither of us needed much, but it was something to do.

When we got there she realized that the greenhouse only took cash or credit - no debit. I gave her the okay to abandon me to go find some cash so I wandered around on my own for a bit. Mostly sticking by the herbs and veggies since I have a preference for useful plants.
A very tall and rather cute guy started talking to me. He had volunteered to help out at the sale (the proceeds were going to local highschool sports team). He was joking around and of course I played along.

Every time he walked by he made a point of talking to me. Mostly joking, sometimes leaning towards serious. When my friend returned he left, but every time she walked away to check out another plant, he was back talking to me.

He even made a joke about how he should have worn a muscle shirt and walked around flexing his pecs as he asked people if they needed help carrying things. Unfortunatly, we left soon after and my friend turned to me to asked if I had gotten his name and number.
"Wait, so he was hitting on me?" I stopped and frowned. "I was wondering about that. I mean, he could just be nice. But he really was cute wasn't he?"

My friend rolled her eyes and just walked on ahead,

So there you have it my friends. I spent fifteen minutes chatting with a hot guy who was hitting on me and I didn't even realize. Perhaps if I had, I'd be going out on a date this friday instead of staying home like always.

Friday, May 11, 2012

365 Photos: Days 7, 8, 9 & 10

Day Seven - May 5th, 2012

I spent the entire weekend waiting on puppies. Ended up reading the entire Hunger Games trilogy as I waited for my dog to go into labour. By the time I realized there was no puppies coming this day, the sun was setting over the town.

Day Eight - May 6th, 2012

And here is where I spent a good deal of the weekend. Sunday night didn't involve much sleep. Almost no sleep really. Although I left this comfy recliner for a bed, I should have just stayed in the chair. It would have come to the same thing.

Day Nine - May 7th, 2012

Although I went home to sleep, the actual sleep eluded me. Instead I got a call saying that my dog was starting some light labour pains. I called around for a ride, but no luck. So I decided to walk from my city to the town where my dog (and her breeder) live. I was maybe another thirty or forty minutes out when a pizza delivery guy offered me a ride. I had been walking for about 1h30m maybe 1h40m at that point.

Day Ten - May 8th, 2012

As you can tell from reading the clock, I took this picture on the way to work in the morning. It more represents the week and not just the day. Still, it was a yet another day of waiting on Naven to deliver the puppies.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

365 Photos: Days 4, 5 & 6

Day Four - May 2nd, 2012

Yet another exhausting day. Not so much because of work, but because I was Naven sitting. This isn't a very special or artsy picture. It's just a picture of the dog that will soon be mine, laying around with a belly full of puppies.

She's due any day now and I was on Naven watch just in case she went into labour early while my friend (and registered Standard Poodle breeder) took her show dog up to the handler to go to a show in Saskatoon.

Day Five - May 3rd, 2012

This is the night that I finally got some sleep. I didn't take a picture of that. I took a picture of the reason why my calves are killing me. Morning and afternoon break times are no longer the time where I sit at my computer and play on pinterest. Now I climb up and down those stairs for my fifteen minute breaks.

That's right, look at those five stories worth of climbing I'm doing!

Day Six - May 4th, 2012

This is my lunch hour. A leisurely stroll up a moderate hill. It's not much for me to do this, but it's still moving, it's still burning calories and as my walking buddy gets better at this hill, we'll start adding more distance to this walk!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Over 1/2 Way There

Today at my weigh-in I hit a new low. Or high. It depends on your point of view. I weighed in at my lowest weight thus far in my journey. In fact, I passed the 1/2 way mark of my journey.

Which means, I ought to celebrate. I don't know how to celebrate this milestone, but I really ought to.

I do have to say one thing. I thought I'd feel more triumphant. Invigorated to continue onwards - in truth, I'm just tired. It's been a hard week. I'm quite sore from busting my butt to walk 9km as fast as I could. And I'm feeling kind of "meh" about other areas in my life.

The first 20, 25 and 30 lbs. I felt more excited about all of those. I think I won't be feeling celebratory until I start registering a weight under 200 lbs. That is one of the things I know I've been looking forward to the most.

I've also got to start training for the half-marathon that I want to do in January/February. The Hypothermic Half in Calgary. That should be a goal that I am eager to get started on. Unfortunately, I haven't started training. Can't wait to see the results once I start training for that. I need to get started on it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

365 Photos: Days 1, 2 & 3

In case you're wondering, I am doing some photo altering, nothing too hard. Basic stuff really.

Day One - April 29th, 2012

This was my thirty-first birthday and as you can see, this picture has nothing to do with that because I didn't celebrate my birthday. Actually, I never really celebrate my birthday. Not since I was sixteen at least.

What I did on this day wasn't much. It was my last full day in the Vancouver area as I had to drive home to Alberta the next day. I went to White Rock and said good bye to the ocean, I went to a fashion show, had dinner with my parents and packed for my early morning take off (gone before 6am).

As you can see, this picture represents my location, which is really what the day was all about. My last day with my family in the Vancouver area. This is the White Rock Beach pier. Good-bye ocean for at least a year.

Day Two - April 30th, 2012

All day we drove with only a few stops to stretch, sightsee, eat, switch drivers and fuel up. It rained for pretty much the entire drive through British Columbia. We took the old Crowsnest Highway - a much longer drive than taking the TransCanada and Yellowhead - which is a beautiful drive.

I could have chosen a lot of pictures to represent this day. From the road, to the mountains, to the ruins and windmills. I had a lot of choices. I chose this picture of the road and mountains through a rainy windshield. It really does represent the day the best. I like how the rain blurs everything. And in some ways the day really was a blur!

Day Three – May 1st, 2012

The first day back at work was a hard one. I was dead tired. Working through a fog, but I made it through! I even managed to restock my fridge and make myself a really simple meal.

I figured the best way to represent this day was a darkened picture of my desk at work. Kinda what it looks like through half closed eyes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thirty-one to Thirty-two: A 365 day photo challenge

April 29th was my 31st birthday. Or as I say, I'm 21 with 10 years experience. Although I spent that day on vacation and the following day driving back home, I decided that it was a good time to start my 365 day photo challenge.

Previously I have mentioned the <a href= target="_blank">101 things in 1001 days</a> challenge. While many are in progress, few are complete. So here I am starting challenge #14.

No people will be shown in any of my pictures, but each picture will show an aspect, a highlight or a summary of the day. With each picture I will write something about the day and how the picture relates to the day or why I chose that particular picture.

I doubt I will post everyday, so every few days you will see a post with several photos tagged 365 photos. And maybe you might see some tagged other photos. I'll be taking a lot of photos so I am bound to have a few that may not work for the day, but they'll be pictures I felt like sharing anyway.

I hope you enjoy this view of my life from thirty-one to thirty-two.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Alberta Election

I'm going on vacation. Not a real one, but close enough. A road trip home, but I'm not seeing family and friends (well I have to see my family we're staying with them). I am playing tourist, going to attractions, hiking and even an overnighter to the island! Yup, this is as close to a real vacation as I've gotten since 2001.

However, I'm not really going to post about that. I actually want to talk about politics. The Alberta Provincial Election is just around the corner. General voting day is April 23 - if you live in Alberta please remember to vote. However, I leave first thing tomorrow morning so I am voting in the advanced poles tonight, April 19.

This is my first provincial election since I moved to this province nearly 6 years ago. I came from a more liberal/socialist province and Alberta has been true blue conservative for a very long time. Sometimes I feel a little out of place here, sometimes I feel like my vote is a waste of time against the overwhelming opposition. But I still vote

It is a right and privilege to be able to vote. There are people in other countries that are willing to die for what we take for granted here. So why the apathy? That is really what that preface was bringing me to. Why the apathy?

We see it at the federal, provincial and local levels. Hardly anyone really seems to be voting and I don't really understand why. There are a lot of reason, excuses really, not to vote. It won't make a difference. They're all the same anyway. Politicians are liars. No faith in the democratic process. The government is corrupt. Why BOTHER?

Yeah, why bother? I can think of plenty of reasons.

Everyone quotes the common saying that if you don't vote, you can't complain. I'm not going to fall back on that, as true as it is. I am going to ask those who don't vote to think about one thing - if you don't take part in the process how can you hope to change the very things that make you not want to vote?

When I went to the locate candidates debate, one of the candidates (not one I was planning to vote for) gave me a thought. Because sometimes politics is boring and hard to understand. Sometimes we don't feel involved in the process because we aren't really being involved in it.

Sure, some of us make ourselves involved. We follow politics, we find it interesting, but that isn't everyone. You cannot expect everyone to take interest in something that can be so dry even if it does impact their lives. It would be great if they did pay attention, but no one can expect it of them.

The discussion was on attracting the youth vote, but it applies to everyone - regardless of age. The local candidates said something that really hit me.

"If you want to engage the youth you need to be engaging. You can't just stand there and talk at them. You need to hold a conversation with them. You need to be engaging." ~ Derrek Seelinger, NDP candidate for Red Deer North

I thought back at that moment to the leaders debate. Although I have often voted NDP in my life, I just was not impressed with Brian Mason - the NDP leader for Alberta. So I shrugged my shoulders and decided to vote in a different direction this time. When I made a comment about this to someone I got this in response: "He's really good with policy and he's not their to entertain you, he's there to do a job."

I didn't respond, but I thought about what was said. I thought about federal and provincial politics and politicians. I spent a lot of time thinking about why we vote certain ways and why we don't. And then I thought about first impressions. How one of the candidates I was thinking of voting for gave off an air of smugness and superiority that I didn't like at all.

Being a politician today means much more than having a good platform. Society is in a hurry and people don't have time to listen to a dry message about what some usually rich white dude has to say about how they want to run the government - and half of those who do listen don't believe most of what he says. It's a media game now, it's charisma (although that has always been a factor), and it's making the right impression the first time.

Politicians have to be engaging - not just get the youth involved, but to get everyone involved. They need to get your attention first and then get you interested in what they're really saying. They need to make it feel as though they are having a conversation with people - even if they are the only ones talking. Even in a debate, they need to find a way to connect with the audience.

I think if politicians really want to get people involved they've got to start being more involved with the people they represent. Not some distant rich white dude, but a flesh and blood human being that you can relate to. Someone that makes you feel okay to drop by their office and go "Hi , can I talk to you about ?"

Social media is another way to get people interested. Although I do not support my local MLA, she added me to her twitter account when I tweeted to the opposition. I don't know why she added me, but it made me feel a bit more connected to her. If my mind wasn't decided, that move might have been enough to make me consider voting for her.

The only other thing I can touch on is transparency. We've all heard a politician talk about transparent government, but have you ever really seen it? Experienced it? Does your MLA have a website where they talk about is going in the legislature? No, but wouldn't it be great? Wouldn't help you feel more connected to the government that is supposed to be serving you? I know I'd like it.

Right along the lines of transparency, why don't MLA's hold more open public forums maybe 3 or 4 times a year so that they can connect with their constituents? Encourage people to become interested in what's going on by getting them to talk to their MLA, meet their MLA and get to know what's going on in an interactive setting.

So I guess this is a message to politicians and politicians-to-be - be engaging, have a conversation, be aware of your first impressions, use media & social media to your advantage - and although I haven't mentioned it yet - be passionate. Passion sways a great many people.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Avocado and General Update

Some time last year I decided I was going to try and grow myself an avocado tree. I knew that not all my seeds would grow. So I started with five seeds.

Now here I am almost a year later and the one seed that grew roots is finally starting to sprout. Seriously, just started sprouting last week.

Now, I just started another seed because I still want a couple of avocado trees. So here we go again. I am starting my seeds much earlier this year in hopes that they will grow better.

Wish me better luck this time around with my seeds. I would really like to do better this time around.

In other news, my apartment is torn to pieces as I am in the process of building myself a storage bench and new desk. Yes, I said build.

I have become addicted to Pinterest and have decided to take some of the ideas that I have found on there and put them to work. New recipes, new projects. All apart of my new life in 2012.

Of course, the bench project is taking much longer than I thought it would, but that's okay. I'll get there eventually. I also need to find more time to work out since I've been falling behind in that aspect of my new life.

Now, if only pinterest could help me find a guy...

Friday, March 30, 2012

1000 views - thank you.

It may not seem like much for most blog writers, but I'm not exactly the kind of blog a lot of people follow. I don't post a lot, I don't have a set subject, I'm not particularly funny and I don't promote my blog. All of that adds up to a blog that only my mother would read....if I had told her I had a blog.

Still, after a year and a quarter of blogging, I've finally hit over a 1000 views. My most popular post being 2012. And I think that just might have something to do with the name of it and less about the actually content.

I'm still trying to find my blogging feet and I'm particularly thankful to those people who actually do read what I have to say. I'm sure I might even have some semi-regular readers out there - so thank you for reading.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled web browsing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

30 - Almost 1/2 way

It's been a little while since I've posted anything here and I do feel very negligent. However, for the last week, I have a very good excuse for not doing any blogging. Heck, if it hadn't been for my phone there would have been no facebook either.

Last week my sister flew out to spend some time with me, but mostly with my best friend and her son, our nephew, who also drove out at the same time. I took the week off of work so that I could spend as much time as possible with them.

Unfortunately, my best friend also brought a highly contagious stomach flu with her from Saskatchewan. With few exceptions, she managed to infect all her friends including me and my sister.

Sometime between the stomach flu and my recovery, I passed the 30 lbs gone mark. I'm just a little over 30 lbs gone at the moment and looking at the 1/2 way point. I can almost taste the little victory that awaits me. I've got just a hair over 4lbs to go to get there, but that isn't much. 2 - 3 weeks sees me there.

To be honest I had hoped to hit the 1/2 way mark a little earlier. I'm about a month behind where I wanted to be, but I'm down on myself about that. I knew that this wasn't going to be easy. There would be setbacks and if the worst I can say is that I am about a month behind schedule - that ain't so bad.

You know, when I started, I was determined to lose all this excess weight, but I think there was still this small part of me that didn't quite believe I could do it. I couldn't imagine being able to say that I had lost more than 10 or 20 lbs. I've never managed to lose weight like this before so I must be doing something right this time.

It's a really good feeling - you know? I think just being able to say that I've done it helps me feel like the next 30 lbs is entirely possible.

I'm still just taking it milestone, but milestone. The 1/2 way mark is the next one and the one after that is 40lbs, then hitting below 200 lbs. I think it helps to give myself those small goals to focus on. The big picture is still too big to look at.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lost: Creativity

As silly as this may sound, I seem to have some sort of writers block that is even stretching it's way to my blog. I want to write something, I sit down to write and nothing comes out.

Yesterday I sat down to work on some flash fiction. After two hours, all I got was a bit of flash of under 100 words. Not that it wasn't good, but it was a struggle. I hate being blocked like this. And it doesn't even feel like block, not really. I just feel like I have no creativity left in me. I'm drained.

I have to tell you that this not a very nice feeling. In fact, it's frustrating. All I want to do is write and I'm getting nothing. Just nothing.

Does anyone know where my creativity went? I may even offer a reward if it is found and returned to me in the same condition.

Heck if it wasn't for the wonderfully talented The Capillary encouraging me, I would never have managed to crank out at least one short story.(read it here).

So, I repeat, please help me find where my creativity went.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Old Habits Die Hard

As some of you may have noticed, I haven't had a whole lot to say lately. Most of my effort has been going into re-adjusting my "diet" and attitude since I stopped counting calories. It has been an interesting two weeks since I stopped.

When I decided to stop counting my calories I was thinking that I had been doing this "diet" since November and I ought to have a pretty good idea on what I'm eating. Sure I still had days where I ate a little over, but I usually made up for those days with extra exercise. I was sure that the experiment would be a success.

At the end of the first week I had gained a pound. I know, it's not much to be worried about, but I had spiked higher than that during the week. It was enough to know I could more than likely maintain without counting, but what about losing? I still wanted to get rid of a lot of weight. I decided to give it one more week.

During this week, I was concerned as my weight climbed to almost four lbs over my last recorded loss. I felt terrible, this wasn't going to work at all. Not only could I not get rid of my weight without counting my calories, I was even failing at maintaining.

Instead of giving up, I stepped back and thought about where I might have gone wrong over the last week and a bit. Had I allowed old habits of eating to sneak back into my current life? Maybe it was just a simple case of underestimating my calorie intake? Whatever it was, I was determined to figure it out and fix it.

I came to the realization, that even though I had altered what I was eating to fit my calorie count, I hadn't actually altered my eating habits. I am a snacker. If food is in front of me, I will eat it - even if I'm not hungry. When I'm hungry - I'm hungry and I feel like I need to eat now, so once again, I'd snack. Even right before a meal.

All of this was behaviour that was reduced through the guilt of not wanting to go over my calorie count or the fact that I'd leave an open bag of celery on my desk for the afternoon. I managed it because of the calorie counting, but I hadn't actually dealt with it.

So I spent some time looking up ways to stop my "hunger" cravings that really had nothing to do with hunger. Or at least, things that held my actual hunger off for a few minutes while I prepared a healthier meal. I needed to cut those extra calories that I had unknowingly added to my diet.

The suggestions I decided to go with was more water and more fibre. I already drank about 2 litres a day, but a bit more couldn't hurt. I could definitely use more fibre in my diet, so that was something that I should probably add anyway. So I started with taking a couple of fibre pills between meal time and snack time. I doubled my water intake and sure enough, the weight started dropping.

It was an interesting experiment and one that I am going to continue with for another week at least. I even have another good suggestion to help with the hunger cravings when I'm not actually hungry. Vegetable broth. 20 calories per cup (give or take) and it could be a nice pre-dinner snack.

I may still be snacking, but at least I am more aware of the issue and I am finding ways that I can take care of it. I'm also trying to take more time to think "am I really hungry?". The answer isn't always yet, but taking that time to think about it is one of the things that is helping the most and will continue to help in the future.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

11 Things

I thought I ought to jump on this as soon as I read it. Although I don't have 11 people to tag and pass this on to. :( Kind of sad to think that I don't know enough bloggers/not enough people read this blog for that to be the case. Still, I rise to a challenge...even if it's just being tagged to answer some questions.

1. What's your pipe dream/dream career?
I wanted to go into politics and become the Prime Minister. Not going to happen, but it was either that or be an astronaut (also not going to happen).

2. What do you fear more? Dying or public speaking?
Dying. Public speaking may still give me pause, but I know I can do it - no matter how large the crowd - so long as I practice and prepare. Dying is something most people only get to do once and no one can really tell you what comes after.

3. If you could be one hero's side kick, who would it be?
Wow, this was a toughie. Lotes of heros that I like, but I'm not sure I want to be their sidekick! I always found Cloak and Dagger fascinating, but they're a duo so I doubt that would count.

4. What character archetype do you find yourself drawn to most?
The Unwilling Hero. What can I say, I find the story of a character rising to the challenges that life throws his/her way an incredible story.

5. If funds were not an issue, what cosmetic alteration would you get on a continuous basis? ie. fake nails, hair extensions, laser hair removal, liposuction, etc
Laser hair removal and fake nails. I'm not much for cosmetic alteration, but those are something I would do without batting an eye. I have ugly thin stupid nails and I hate shaving. Two problems solved.

6. Do you need a playlist or a song to inspire you?
No, but I can find them inspiring. I do however use music to get my pumped up to go (ENREGIZE!)

7. What is your go-to fandom?
I can't really say that I have any.

8. Wine or beer?
Wine because, sadly, beer is no longer an option for me. Actually wine would have still won before, but beer would have least been in the running.

9. Rum or Gin?
Rum all the way. Rum and coke, white rum added to a shirley temple....I choose rum.

10. What are your 3 essential things you need when you're trying to be creative.
Something to drink. Something to munch on and a quiet head.

11. Buffy or Bella?
Buffy. Seriosuly. Better role model.

Monday, February 20, 2012

101 Things

Ever since my last post, I've been thinking about the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge. I wasn't sure I could come up with that many short term goals, but with the help of my friends on Facebook, I managed to get 101 things.

You can find the list at Day Zero Project, but for your convenience I will list them here. As you can see by the strikethrough, I've already completed one thing on my list.

  1. Get a piece of my writing published
  2. Achieve my goal weight
  3. Run a marathon
  4. Get my driver's license
  5. Paint a canvas and hang it on my wall
  6. Take a creative writing class
  7. Finish a story - first to final draft
  8. Go backpacking in the mountains
  9. Learn to play a ukulele
  10. See the Northern Lights
  11. Make an effort to dress better
  12. Travel outside North America
  13. Save a 3-month emergency fund
  14. Complete a 365 day photo challenge
  15. Go away for a weekend on my own
  16. Make a successful soufflé
  17. Make sushi from scratch
  18. Make pizza from scratch including the dough
  19. Do the 100 pushups challenge (
  20. Do the 200 sit-ups challenge (
  21. Fast for 3 days
  22. Buy (& at some point wear) lingerie
  23. Get a passport
  24. Become debt free
  25. Get my own vehicle
  26. Go cross-country skiing
  27. Plaque mount and hang my favorite photos
  28. Wear all my shoes at least once or get rid of them
  29. Learn another language
  30. Attend a cooking class
  31. Visit at least two new provinces and a territory
  32. Get rid of my clutter
  33. Learn how to and create a scrapbook
  34. Get my nose pierced
  35. Go on a picnic
  36. Have an un-birthday birthday party
  37. Get renters insurance
  38. Attempt meatless Mondays for a month
  39. Write down my recipes
  40. Go vegetarian for a week
  41. Donate blood regularly
  42. Do NaBloPoMo again
  43. Pay myself $5 for every task completed (to be added to my rainy day fund)
  44. Find and buy a real watch
  45. Do the Hypothermic Half Marathon
  46. Take a hot air balloon ride
  47. Grow an avocado tree
  48. Open a TFSA to save for a down payment on my own place
  49. Stick firmly to my budget for one month
  50. Fly a kite
  51. Make my own wine
  52. Catch up on my webdesign work and resolve to stay up-to-date
  53. Take a photo to commemorate the completion of each of these goals
  54. Keep a list of inspiring quotes
  55. Learn to shoot a gun
  56. Organize my spare room so it's useable
  57. Donate $5 to charity for each task I don’t complete
  58. Take an unplanned road trip
  59. Create 5 new recipes
  60. Write 20 short stories
  61. Learn to change a tire
  62. Don't complain about anything for a week
  63. Talk to myself with respect for a week - no name calling
  64. Go one week without hitting snooze
  65. Go one week without swearing
  66. No junk food for a month
  67. Buy a dress and wear it
  68. Take myself out for a fancy meal
  69. Write down something that made me happy everyday for 30 days
  70. Run 10K straight
  71. Send out Christmas cards
  72. Dress like a professional for one work week
  73. Organize my paperwork/bills and shred what I don't need
  74. Try snowboarding
  75. Learn to make cheesecake
  76. Follow a strict skin care regimen for 2 weeks
  77. Keep up with ALL my laundry for one month
  78. Get involved in a sport
  79. Take a weekend bike trip
  80. Try 5 new foods
  81. Make homemade marshmallows
  82. Replace my mismatched dishes with a full, nice set
  83. Start taking vitamins
  84. Make my own jam
  85. Learn to make 5 new desserts
  86. Make my own GF bread
  87. Maintain my goal weight for one year
  88. Buy a nice/expensive pair of shoes
  89. Inspire someone else to make their own list
  90. Learn to sew
  91. Pre-plan my meals and actually eat what I planned to for a week
  92. Watch all the movies I am ashamed to say I haven't actually seen, though often pretend I have
  93. Listen to 30 new-to-me artists
  94. Own more than one dress
  95. Find my perfect red shoes
  96. Do the 200 squats challenge (
  97. Have a mole check done
  98. Finish a full first draft during NaNoWriMo
  99. Clean my fridge top to bottom
  100. Clean out my freezer
  101. Post this list somewhere I will see it everyday

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Different Kind of To-Do List

A recent post by The Capillary had me thinking about the same question that she asked herself.

If I died tomorrow, what do I want to have pursued and accomplished before anything else?

And I'm not just talking about the big things, I talking about the little things too. My passions, the things I enjoy. Stuff that I've always wanted to do and never had time to. I mean I have my Life List, but those are things I'd like to do sometime in my life. These are the things that may or may not be on that list. Some of them are just little things. Seemingly inconsequential things.

Right now, it's not a long list, but I think it's a start. It's got me thinking anyway.

  • Have a body that I am proud of/happy with
  • Run a full marathon
  • Take a backpacking trip in the mountains
  • Learn to play my ukulele
  • Take a creative writing course
  • Get my drivers license
  • Attempt 101 goals in 1001 days (and hopefully succeed)
  • Publish something. Doesn't matter if it's a novel or a short story or a non-fiction article.
  • Finish a novel first to final draft - even if it never gets published
  • Learn a new language and use it.
  • See every province and territory in Canada.
  • Take a road trip with no destination in mind
  • Take a trip/vacation with no plans.
  • Visit Antarctica
  • Paint a painting

I guess that's all, but perhaps I should sit down and start plotting out a way to make these things possible. Heck, I can even make everything else a part of my 101 things in 1001 days. I should do it. I will do it. I might not be marathon ready in 1001 days, but why can't I be? Why not?

The only thing standing in my way is me. As I've said before This is the Time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Twenty Five Pounds

Damn. Every time I say that it feels good. I have gotten rid of 25 lbs of excess weight. I can't help, but post about. I almost want to sing about. I'm over a third of the way to my weight loss goal. I am ecstatic.

I've started to make more changes to my current diet. Now that I am past that 20 lb mark, I am giving myself some more reign and watching what happens very closely. I'm watching what I eat, but I'm not counting my calories right. I'm still exercising, and I'm adding more challenges to my life. I've started doing the #PlankADay challenge on twitter. My goal is to be able to do a full minute standard plank and a full minute on each side.

Of course, if I stall or if I start putting back on some of that weight I lost then I am going to go back to counting again. Just long enough to get myself back on track, but I am feeling good about this right now. I feel like this is the right step forward for me. I don't want to spend the rest of my life counting the calories of everything I put in my mouth.

I am looking to try other challenges for health via social networking - I just have to find those challenges. Do you know of any health/exercise challenges that can be done via social networking?

In the meantime, I'm just going to bask in the glow of happiness at hitting this milestone amount.


Oh yeah, I'm still not tired of saying it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Confession

I have a confession to make. It's not something I say often or tell many people.

I am a romantic

I know it doesn't seem like much, but I've always put on a tough act. I've never been much of a girlie girl. I don't even like for people to see me cry. Even my best friend of over 18 years has rarely seen my cry. I've been taking care of myself for a long time and it has made me a little hard. Cynical is a word I often hear used to describe me.

And I am a cynic. I don't like or trust most people. I often expect the worst of people while secretly hoping I'll be wrong. I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Despite all of that, I believe in a love that can last forever. Even if you have to work at it sometimes, but it's worth it. It's worth it because the other person means that much.

My grandparents met on a blind date and were married 6 months later. They spent the rest of their lives together. It was pure chance that they were both in Vancouver. They got lucky.

Even my own sister seems to have found her perfect match. A romance that spanned halfway across the world with her in England and him in California. The distance was no obstacle to them. They found a way to make it work.

Sometimes it feels silly that I'm waiting for something like that. The romantic in me insists that this is what I need to do. To wait for this great love. Although I often feel sad that I'm still waiting. Waiting and hoping for something that may never come.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

This is the Time

Now is the only time you really have.

If you want to accomplish something, now is the time to start.

Later does not exist.

Later is a lie we tell ourselves to make us feel better about that which we want to do, but never get around to doing.

We put off our chores, we put off our dreams, we leave our lives for later because we don't have time now. We wait around hoping that one day we'll have the time. We make it the enemy. "Later," we say, "When I have time."

Time isn't something you can wait for. The longer you wait, the less you have.

Time is something you make. If you really want it, you will make time.

Ask yourself what you really want to do. Go on, make a list even. What do you really want to do?

Here's mine: I want to...
  • write a book
  • get fit
  • save more money
  • be a better housekeeper
  • stop procrastinating

Maybe your list is longer. Maybe your list is shorter. That's just fine. It's your list and it isn't meant to be judged against anyone else's. In fact, it should never be judged.

Now look at each of those things you've written down. For each one, ask yourself "Why am I not doing this? What am I letting stand in my way?"

Time is not an excuse. Throw that one out.
It's too hard is not an excuse. Throw that one out.
I don't know how is not an excuse. Throw that one out.
It'll take too long is not an excuse. Throw that one out.
I'm afraid is not an excuse. Throw that one out.

Look at your excuses that are left, if there are any. Now ask yourself "Is this an excuse or a reason?"

An excuse is just you standing in your own way. It is you rationalizing why you aren't doing what you want to do.

A reason is an outside factor that is nothing more than an obstacle to be overcome.

Now, sit down and make the time. Make a schedule if that works for you. Get up 30 minutes early and go to bed 30 minutes late. One extra hour may be all you need.

If you want it, make the time now because all you have is now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wasted Time

Today I'm going all the way back to a my kickthehabit posts about procrastination. I had started to make some good progress, but I've backslid quite a bit since then. There are a lot of things that are just not getting done. Why did I back slide? I'm really not sure. Disruption of routine usually does it for me easily enough.

I've found a lot of ways to put off doing what I need to be doing. Instead of designing websites (which is work after my day job) or writing, I'm exercising. Or trying to work of the energy to exercise. I've got to find better ways to manage my time then I currently do and still fit in the exercise as well.

Okay. We'll take this by the steps. Let's work through this.

Step 1 - Break down your day
  1. Get out of bed between 6:30a and 7:00am
  2. weigh-in, heat up water for shower, feed cats, make lunch - 15-20min
  3. shower - 15-20min
  4. set-up coffee, blow dry hair, dress - 20-25min
  5. make-up (if time) - 5-10min
Time Required: 55-1:15min ~ Time Unaccounted for: 0min
Work 8am-5pm (not including OT)
  • breaks and lunch are used for surfing internet, sometimes writing blog post. Potential for optimization.
  1. arrive home between 5:15 and 5:30pm
  2. optional - grocery shopping, run errands do laundry - 40-1:30min
  3. cook dinner, check on cats, do dishes - 30-60min
  4. eat dinner while watching TV - 60min
  5. exercise - 30-60min
  6. Bedtime at 10:30pm
Time Required: 2:00-4:30min ~ Time Unaccounted for: 30-3:00min

Step 2 - Find Wasted Time

Okay, there is some obvious room for improvement on those evenings. We all need time to chill as well, but how much do I really need? Is my dinner time my chill time or should I use that to multitask? Should I try cleaning while I'm cooking my dinner? Can I make better use of my breaks at work for writing or blogging?

I've never written my schedule out like this before and I'm scared of even thinking about how much time I waste on the weekends. My weekends are so up in the air all the time and when I do have the weekend at home I often find myself thinking about everything I need to do, but not doing any of it.

Step 3 - Plan Optimization

Okay, the best way to take this is to change on thing at a time. So what can I change? Where can I add or move things to make the schedule better? I can add more time in the morning, by getting up earlier. I can use that time for writing, exercise or even blogging. I can prepare my lunch the night before to free up even more time in the morning.

I can block manage my time during the evenings so that I spend less wasted time. I can break up the workout. Maybe even do some exercises while cooking. Some people find that block managing their time and focusing on one thing at a time makes it easier to get things done. I've never tried it before, but it might be worth it.

The important thing is making the changes slowly, one at a time, so that I can make them apart of my schedule and not back slide again. Once I have one change well incorporated then I can add another change and then another.

It's obvious that, like many, I procrastinate way too much. So here I go again, trying to kick my procrastination habit.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dear Carrie,

I know it's been a few years since we talked last and now I know we never will again. Your story was one of such sadness and hope. I had always prayed that your path would remain true. I will never fully understand the struggle that you faced every day of your life, I'm just glad that you kept fighting. Had you never given it your all I would never have had the chance to have you in my life - even for such a short time.

You can rest now. Your fight is over and I hope that where ever you are, you're truly at peace. And our tears are only because we miss you. Because we loved you.

RIP Carrie. I'm sorry I never got to know you better than I did, but you are a shining light that I shall always remember.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Giving it up...

Last night it occurred to me that Ash Wednesday is less than a month away. Now I am not what one would call a religous person. I have my beliefs and I usually keep them to myself. One of the things I do like to participate in is Shrove Tuesday (seriously, a day for indulging and eating pancakes - who doesn't want to take part?) and Lent. I view Lent as a chance for change and self-improvement.

Last year I gave up sugar and I'm not sure exactly how well I did with that. This year I was considering refined and artifical sugars, but do I want a repeat of last year? I'm not sure. Fasting is often a part of Lent and I considered doing some sort of fasting - such as giving up breakfast. I could give up TV, but in reality I watch maybe an hour a day on average. Not much there to give up.

Some people add things for Lent - such as adding exercise at least 30 min a night., but I already do that and I'm not sure what else I can add to my life that would help to make a better me? I'm a little stuck on this one. If I didn't already drink 2 - 3 litres of water a day, I would start drinking more water for Lent. Maybe I'm better off with just giving up instead of adding something to my life?

Either way I go this is something that I am going to be putting a lot of thought into. I am also more than willing to hear what others have to say on the subject.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I was talking with a friend of mine who is also trying to get rid of a few extra pounds when I realized something for the first time. It came as a surprise at first, but it was very true.

Although I've put myself on diets and exercise programmes before, this is the first time that I've lost a significant amount of weight by my own doing.

It's definitely something for me to be proud of. I'm also hoping that it means that this time the weight loss will stick with me for a very long time.

I've also decided that it yes time to start judging my progress by more than the scale. It's time to start measuring the inches. This kinda scares me, but I know my weight it's not a true judge of my success in this endeavor. The inches tell more of the story.

Guess I better get back to working out. I've got a lot further to go to get to where I want to be.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wii Fit

So I've been watching my food to help lose weight and as you can tell from my previous entry I've been pretty successful. The first 20 lbs down and far-too-many-too-admit-to left to go.

For Christmas my sister and BIL gave me a gift card to buy a Wii Fit when I got back to Alberta. I bought the Wii Fit and I've had it for just under a week now. In this time, I've used to every day.

I started off just playing with it a bit. A balance game, the step "class" and hula-hoop. Then I started adding in the strength training and the harder step and super hula-hoop. Then the timed Free Step. And then I added extra weight. Ankle weights and dumbbells.

So what am I thinking of the Wii right now? Well I am sore, but not too sore. I work up a good sweat when I use it and I find it gives me the direction and viewable results that I need to keep me encouraged.

I'm finally learning to not hate yoga. In fact I'm finding the programme encouraging me to keep trying at it. It even makes me feel like I might one day get back to the sort of flexibility I had when I was younger.

I know a lot of people who get the Wii Fit intending to use it, but they never do. Well I think it is worth it and I enjoy it. I'm hoping to add this to my daily routine. I know I won't always be able to get a work out in everyday, but I'm sure going to try.

Losing weight isn't just a goal. It's part of a bigger plan and exercise is a part of that plan. Get healthier by getting fitter.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The First 20

I started on my current diet in early November, I may have mentioned it once or twice before. I've been, for the most part, recording steady losses in my weight - which makes me very happy.

Christmas was hard, of course, and I did lost a couple of weeks of hard work. I wasn't going to sweat about it though. It was the holidays and I knew it would be difficult to eat right. Still, I lost the equivalent of 3 to four weeks of weight loss (in actual time and pounds gained).

I am now proud to annouce that I have lost exactly 20lbs as of this morning. The first 20lbs. It is probably the second hardest part of making a diet change like this. The first hardest being the last 20 of course.

The jeans I bought near the end of November are far too loose on me now - which is good, but none of the smaller jeans I own fit me yet. It's got to be the only bad part of losing weight. Not having anything to wear and not wanting to buy anything because you'll shrink out of it too quickly.

And what this first 20 lbs really means? Well to me it means I've made a commitment to my health and well-being. It means that for once I am really going to finish something I've started.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Hello New Year!
Last year I posted what I think was a very nice little entry about the coming of 2011: Letter to a Year Gone By. I certainly did not manage to keep all the goals I had set for myself last year, but that's okay. I always had a problem with setting goals to high.

Looking back:

2011 was a pretty decent year for me. My biggest highlight of the year was running a half marathon. Something that I would have believed impossible not too long ago. I did nearly cripple myself, but that just makes me more careful moving forward.

The low points were the injuries. From the near crippling I just mentioned to slicing of a chunk of my thumb. Not to mention greeting the new year with a tendinitis flare up. Still, I'm not totally broken yet so I'm not going to fret too much!

Looking forward:

I want 2012 to be a year of change for me. I'm working hard to get my weight down. I even have another half marathon goal...but this one is in 2013! Plenty of time to prepare myself properly. Moat importantly, the real goal isn't just weight loss, but overall fitness. I want to be healthy.

The health/weight thing is the biggest thi this year, but I want to do more than that. As I said, I want this to be a year of change. It may seem vague, but I want to make my life better for me.
I want it to be better in a way where I can say that my life is good. That I am happy just as things are. With just the way I am. I want to learn to find a better connection to the world and to other people.  Does that make sense?

So I raise my glass and toast to this new year. May it be the kind of year of which I can be proud of.