Research Pitfalls


I got a brilliant new idea. (See video from 2/5/19 post) However,  I don’t really know enough about the subject to write a believable story. I  would be willing to bet that you know what my time has been spent on the past few days, right?

Yep, research. Google can be an amaze-balls tool or a dangerous chasm of unhelpful information that never ends. Have you ever followed the search to those pages listed at the bottom? 2, 3, 4, 5, . . . 18? Talk about falling through a rabbit hole.

To be honest, most of the time I stick to the first page because those are the closest to my search words. If I don’t find what I want, I change my search words. This time, I clicked through the pages, finding the most helpful site on page 6.

I saved it to my bookmarked pages so that I can go back and reference it when I need it. More helpful than any site however was my friend. She answered questions I had, explained some terminology that I didn’t understand and walked me through the various forms of magic, witchcraft, spells, and all things witchy. At least I understand enough to get me started and I will check back with her frequently.  it helps that she is one of my beta readers so this time around, she will be my alpha reader and my consultant.

It’s more enjoyable to converse with someone who understands the subject you are interested in than visiting a static website. Live interaction trumps dry research any day. I wish we lived closer, although she would probably tire of me wanting to come over for coffee and talk her ear off daily.

I know several authors who have gleaned their information from people rather than researching online. Also, vice versa.  There are a few pitfalls when you rely solely on the internet or on books. Real life implementation of the topic may not actually be the same as documented. For instance,  if you are doing a police procedural and you are basing your story on what you’ve seen on TV,  you could be way off.

All I need to do now is reference a book of shadows. I happen to know where I can get my hands on one,  then I will be discussing it with my consultant.

How do you like to do your research? Do you think research is an important part of writing? Leave a comment below and click like,  if you like this post!

Go to Youtube to catch my latest vlogs as I often forget to upload them on here.

Write on my friends, write on!

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Reading, Writing, or Living? #MFRW


This past week,  I think my answer would have to be – *drum roll*

LIVING.

I  admire my friend Vicki’s work ethic.  She is diligent to get her writing time in every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I don’t. My goal is to write for an hour five days a week and spend my weekends with family and taking care of those domestic things.  It is treating writing like a business, a business that I work five days a week.

However, I know many authors who say you should write daily to stay in the habit.  There is definitely something to be said for maintaining a good habit.  So what about those parts related to an author’s life that aren’t exactly the drafting or writing stage? What about proofreading? What about editing? What about the brainstorm sessions for a new idea, or trying o figure out your plot?

There is a lot more to writing than the first draft. Here, in a nutshell, is the summation of my week.

Authors are just like everyone else.  Our lives consist of numerous aspects. Somebody has to do the dishes, the dish fairies never show up! Someone has to do the laundry, the laundry fairies don’t show up either.  Of course,  this is the part of life we often omit in books because who wants to see the character folding laundry? Nobody!

What have you been up to, reading, writing, or living? Let me know in the comments.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Certainly Not the Best of Times


Hello my lovelies!  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – scratch that. It certainly was NOT the best of times!

This year has not been a good year for me blogging,   but there are other things that  make it a good year. I sit and debate for several minutes before I begin a blog post after not blogging for a while. Do I catch you up with everything that is going on?  That would take hours and end up being a novel length entry. Do I hit the highlights? Do you care? Do I pretend everything is cool and carry on as if life was just rolling right along? 

I think my readers know me well enough to realize that I’m not once for pretenses, and I’m not going to pretend all is well. It’s better than it has been at times. After several false starts, more coffee, I’ve decided to do a year in review- sort of. Grab a cup of joe, or whatever your drink of choice may be and let’s jump right in. 

January – started off with a bang! I have 3 drafts in my queue that were never published – DOH! Got a flu shot for the first time in my life and guess what? Yup, got the flu.  Isn’t that ironic? I realize that the 2017-2018 flu vaccines were overall ineffective for the strains that we were hit with. Aren’t we the lucky ones????  I fully intended to participate in the #MFRW blog tour again, but after missing it a few times, I gave up.  I posted my modified goals for the year, which were:

Stuffitis is a serious issue here. But this year,  2018 –  the Year of the Dog, we are going with close to austere existence.  Minimalism is my new favorite word.

  • Minimize the clutter and stuff.
  • Minimize the clothes that no longer fit or suit me.
  • Minimize the pantry contents.
  • Minimize my schedule.
  • Minimize my measurements –  making progress on that one!!!!
  • Minimize the emotional baggage I’ve been carrying.
  • Minimize wasted time.

In fact, I’ve been pondering my word for this year.  I’ve seen several of my friends post here or there that their word for the year is. *fill in the blank*. I didn’t have a word.  I was looking for something spiritual I think, but yesterday it hit me like a 12-pound bowling ball on a rope –MINIMIZE!

I’m happy to say that I’ve made progress in most of those areas.

 We have moved boxes and boxes full of stuff out of our house. Numerous trips to Goodwill and multiple trash bins were filled. 

Six large bags of clothing were donated, given to friends, or thrown in the trash. (Because I had things that were basically worn out.)

Not being one to be wasteful,  we used what we had and didn’t replace. My pantry now looks more like a normal person’s and not a hoarder afraid the apocalypse is coming.

It is both humbling and freeing to acknowledge that I simply cannot run myself ragged or burn the candle at both ends. Much healthier too.

I lost my tape measure –  however, I am down 58 pounds.  It was 62,  but I had a backlash last month. I am down 3 sizes! For the first time in many years, I was able to shop in the junior miss department!

Part of clearing the emotional baggage is setting firm boundaries. I have set boundaries with some very negative people. I’ve been firm with practicing NO. I’ve been careful to not allow myself to get too tired to where the emotions get out of control.

YEah, still working on time management

 I stated that I was not going to talk about the cancer – I haven’t. As a matter of fact,  I haven’t talked about much of anything on my blog!

February I started off on a roll, with a few posts about writing,  managed a couple #MFRW posts, some food posts about my new eating plan, shared a few recipes, then my life was occupied with driving to and from appointment after appointment. In May, I shared the cover reveal for Tempting Fate anthology, which was released June 1. Then in August, I shared cover reveal and release of The Awakening, with 3 different cover changes.  I really wanted to use the one with my neice as the model on the front but Createspace and KDP had other ideas. Ahem, no bitter feelings here though, I ended up with a gorgeous cover so it’s all good. September was a good month –  we took our vacation to the beach, and attended Penned Con just one day after being in a multi car accident. 

October and November was head down working on my day job, focusing on the online training I was required to take. In November A Flashy & Frosty Christmas Anthology was released!  Let me just take a quick review –  that is 3 books released in 2018 as opposed to 1 a year since 2015.

Which brings us to December. . . 

I was notified Tuesday that  my position is being cut along with nearly 20% of the workforce for the company I have been working for. You can imagine my surprise when on December 11,  I find out that my last day is December 14. OUCH!

On the one hand, I’ll have more time to write ???!! Which as a reminder – 3 books this year! On the other hand, the one that always gets me in trouble, what am I going to do for income? I have health issues now because of the cancer,  and the cancer treatment. I still have a fair amount of fatigue – nothing like it was right after treatment,  but it can linger for years. So, Cancer patient, over 50, with health limitations – I was not prepared to lose my job or my purple office. Really,  I don’t even mind the purple. Alas, I have one day left to get my stuff out of the office. 

*HUGE SIGH* One thing is for sure,  I’ll get through it somehow. I mean after all, if cancer didn’t take me out, nor did a semi truck creasing the side of my car, nor a head on collision, . . . this tough ol’bird will survive a reduction in force job cut. 

On that note,  I have a big surprise both tomorrow (FRiday, December 14, and Saturday December 15) so stay tuned! BTW –  it’s good to be back!

Write on my friends, write on!

Whirlwind I tell you, a whirlwind!


Did I read that right???

Was it really August 31 when I last posted????  OMG! I knew I was in a funk but seriously? Holy Moly!!

Wow,  I really don’t even have an excuse for that except the funk and I’ve had my head down, trying to work amongst other things.

So, if there are any of you out there still following . . . THANK YOU!

We have a lot to catch up on,  so settle in,  get your coffee, tea, soda, beer, scotch on the rocks,  . . . or whatever rocks your boat.

I guess I got some ‘splainin’ to do!

The short story – it’s been hell trying to overcome the side effects of the cancer meds,  which apparently have a cumulative effect that worsens over time.

the longer-ish version:

I basically decided that my limited energies needed to be focused on writing and preparing for Penned Con, and the newest one, which you will hear about tomorrow and other requirements with the day job.

Alright Misty, fine! I’ll give a few more details for those who are curious if there is anyone listening anymore. It’s been a whirlwind!  A whirlwind I tell you!

August was difficult.

September:

Trying to get my books ordered in time for Penned Con turned out to be a bleeding nightmare! First off, if you all recall I had this beautiful cover:

My great niece Savanna was the cover model whom I planned to use for the entire series. However,  the image became pixelated in print with my ARC copies. Obviously, that wasn’t going to work.  Then,  there was the whole Createspace transitioning to KDP fiasco.  So of course,  I needed a new format file.  It wasn’t just me,  but every author transitioning to KDP.

I’m hoping to still use some images of Savanna in the future,  but had to let this one go with great regret. However,  my cover artist did a redesign and I love it.

Gorgeous, isn’t it?  Then there were issues with the interior files,  my computer was having a big crisis with running out of memory.  Like I had time to transfer files and delete files while trying to meet a deadline!  Why do computers pick the worst time for their breakdowns?  I mean it isn’t like it doesn’t get enough attention daily!

Ergghh! September is the time they do maintenance on the pool at our local gym, so I had to find alternate forms of entertainment, I mean exercise!

September 9 through the 15th was our long-awaited vacation. I cannot tell you how badly I needed this! Well,  I can. I needed it like I need air! Like a fish needs water! So the perfect combination of course,  is the salt air!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course,  do you think I got a complete reprieve from feeling sick?  I wish!  Wednesday was spent in bed at the hotel room.  At least I could look out the window to the ocean and remind myself that feeling sick in Florida was better than feeling sick in the Midwest sauna we call home.  I gotta be honest here,  I thought when I finished radiation that it would be a relative straight line to wellness.  Was I ever wrong!

Back home in the suburbs of St. Louis,  I had a few days to pack and prep for Penned Con! On Tuesday my books still had not arrived and I was beginning to think this was going to be a waste of time, but they arrived on Wednesday!

Guess what else happened on Wednesday?  Go ahead,  you’ll never guess.

I drove my sister to the eye doctor, the retinal institute in South County area of St. Louis.  While I was in the waiting room I got the notice that my books arrived – Yay!  Then I looked outside at the blackening sky.  It was so dark,  the street lights came on at two in the afternoon. The wind was whipping around like crazy, and I was driving ridiculously slow because visibility was very limited.  I told my sister we are going to have to pull off somewhere soon because I couldn’t see.  ( She is blind in one eye and they had given her a shot in the other basically making her fully blind at that point)

The rain let up a little,  but since it hadn’t rained in a while,  I knew the roads would be slick so I was being extremely cautious. Then all of a sudden,  there are cars stopped in the road in front of me.  I hit the brakes!  I managed to stop before hitting the car in front of me – whew!  But then, an SUV hit me from behind/driver’s side pushing me into the third lane, which pushed me in the path of a tractor-trailer. As if that wasn’t enough, a pickup rear-ended me, then we felt a few more bumps as the cars behind him piled up. You can’t make this stuff up –

20 Car Pile-up on I-55

 

What was left of my car.  It was a total loss.  Both my sister and I got a very expensive ride in the ambulance to the ER.

Thank God we are both relatively OK aside from the trauma,  bruises and anxiety, and well,  the loss of my car.  This was before the paramedics arrived, a nurse who had just got off work rushed to us to see if we were ok.

NOT HOW I WANTED TO SPEND THE REST OF MY DAY!

Well,  that brings us up to the day before Penned Con 2018, and a good place to leave off.  I’ll catch you up more the next time.

Until then,  here’s a DEAL for you:

The Awakening

Write on my friends, write on!

Connections


IN case you wondered, I”m not dead!

My internet has been. We had a series of storms come through and it knocked out power. When we got our power back,  we realized that we didn’t have any internet. It’s been weeks!

I didn’t realize how dependent on the internet I had become. Yes,  I ‘ve had very real withdrawal symptoms. I’ve had to go to local businesses to use their wifi in order to finish work related business. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic about this. I’ve had to budget my time a little differently is all.

It’s still not working correctly,  but my husband has managed to “redneck fix” it. NO duct tape was involved.

This couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

My new book just released. I’ve not been able to get on to order print books to have available. I ordered a few for prizes from release parties,  but that’s it. Then I find out that 2 recipients did not receive their prize packages –  but USPS tracking says they were delivered. I get it,  we have our mail delivered to wrong addresses all the time. It’s still frustrating though.

You’d think with all this time offline,  I’d have volumes written,  but I don’t.  I have made progress on the second book, and I’m in chapter 6.  I may start sharing some snippets from both – don’t even know if anyone would be interested in them.

I’ve taken my connections for granted, I’ll be the first to admit. I like having my wifi connections.  I like being able to scroll through my tablet from the comfort of my sofa.  I like being able to check facebook with my morning coffee.  I like being able to write a blog post when I have something to say – which is often. OF course, you’d never know it from the past few weeks, now would you?

So, I plan to get back into the saddle as soon as things get straightened out,  but in the meantime,  I have to budget my online time between the library and our local YMCA. After spending an hour and a half in my aquacize class, spending another couple of hours sitting in their lobby is not my idea of a good time. Besides,  I’m hungry after the classes!

Until next time,  be thankful you have internet!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

To, Two, Too – Which One?


Welcome to my blog!

For the month of June, I planned to post 30 Days of Definition, well . . . if you’ve stopped by this past week,  you know I haven’t managed to do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still dealing with the malaise from medications, but trying to get on top of it.

Today and for this week I thought I’d talk about frequently misused words. We all do it, be honest.

It’s  – its has been my latest issue.  I thought everything was good to go on my newest release and just a couple of days ago a friend pointed out that I had it’s on my back cover blurb instead of its.  EEEEEEEK! I got so excited about the design and finishing this book that I didn’t read my own blurb, just glanced over it.

That’s just one example which is only noticed in print. HOw many times though,  have we been in conversation with someone and they misuse a word, or habitually misuse the same word.  Do you correct their grammar or just cringe a little inside? NO? Just me?

Here are some that I’ve heard frequently misused.

• Adverse means detrimental and does not mean averse or disinclined.

Correct: “There were adverse effects.” / “I’m not averse to doing that.”

• Appraise means to ascertain the value of and does not mean to apprise or to inform.

Correct: “I appraised the jewels for the insurance coverage.” / “I apprised him of the situation.”

• As far as means the same as but cannot be used the same way as as for.

Correct: “As far as the money is concerned …” / As for the money …

• Bemused means bewildered and does not mean amused.

Correct: The unnecessarily complex plot left me bemused. / The silly comedy amused me.

• Cliché is a noun and is not an adjective.

Correct: “Shakespeare used a lot of clichés.” / The plot was so clichéd.

• Credible means believable and does not mean credulous or gullible.

Correct: His sales pitch was not credible. / The con man took advantage of credulous people.

• Data is a plural count noun not, standardly speaking, a mass noun. [Note: “Data is rarely used as a plural today, just as candelabra and agenda long ago ceased to be plurals,” Pinker writes. “But I still like it.”]

Correct: “This datum supports the theory, but many of the other data refute it.”

• Depreciate means to decrease in value and does not mean to deprecate or to disparage.

Correct: My car has depreciated a lot over the years. / She deprecated his efforts.

• Dichotomy means two mutually exclusive alternatives and does not mean difference or discrepancy.

Correct: There is a dichotomy between even and odd numbers. / There is a discrepancy between what we see and what is really there.

• Enormity means extreme evil and does not mean enormousness. [Note: It is acceptable to use it to mean a deplorable enormousness.]

Correct: The enormity of the terrorist bombing brought bystanders to tears. / The enormousness of the homework assignment required several hours of work.

• Fortuitous means coincidental or unplanned and does not mean fortunate.

Correct: Running into my old friend was fortuitous. / It was fortunate that I had a good amount of savings after losing my job.

• Homogeneous is pronounced as homo-genius and “homogenous” is not a word but a corruption of homogenized.

Correct: The population was not homogeneous; it was a melting pot.

• Hone means to sharpen and does not mean to home in on or to converge upon.

Correct: She honed her writing skills. / We’re homing in on a solution.

• Intern (verb) means to detain or to imprison and does not mean to inter or to bury.

Correct: The rebels were interned in the military jail. / The king was interred with his jewels.

• Ironic means uncannily incongruent and does not mean inconvenient or unfortunate.

Correct: “It was ironic that I forgot my textbook on human memory.” / It was unfortunate that I forgot my textbook the night before the quiz.

• Irregardless is not a word but a portmanteau of regardless and irrespective. [Note: Pinker acknowledges that certain schools of thought regard “irregardless” as simply non-standard, but he insists it should not even be granted that.]

Correct: Regardless of how you feel, it’s objectively the wrong decision. / Everyone gets a vote, irrespective of their position.

• Literally means in actual fact and does not mean figuratively.

Correct: I didn’t mean for you to literally run over here. / I’d rather die than listen to another one of his lectures — figuratively speaking, of course!

I can’t tell you how many times I find these in editing, which is easy to mark for correction but when they are used in conversation . . . Irregardless is a major pet peeve with me. It seems to be the standard thing from several people lately.  I don’t know if this is a local colloquialism or just general misinformation but the grammar nazi in me wants to correct them every time.

What words do you commonly misuse? Which ones set your hackles up when others misuse them?

Tomorrow is the big day – come back and check here tomorrow.

Until then, write on my friends, write on!

What Can I Say?


Welcome to my blog!

For the month of June, I planned to post 30 Days of Definition, well . . . if you’ve stopped by this past week,  you know I haven’t managed to do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I managed to get the first week in –  defining moments. Sort of.

You know,  it’s like as soon as I make a plan to do X the universe conspires to make sure it doesn’t happen. Yes, that is an exaggeration,  but it sure seems like it at times.

What’s been happening in my world? Aside from the panic that comes with book publishing after the revisions are dead, I’ve been swamped in the day job. That and a general malaise that I”m trying to overcome with a change in medicines. (Have I said lately that Cancer sucks?)

I feel really bad now because I invited other bloggers to participate in this and I haven’t even managed to post.

Today I’m going to touch on something that defines us as individuals.  Or rather me.

I read a book once, can’t remember the title,  but in the first chapter, it asked –  how do we define ourselves. Without using our usual monackers of mom, wife, sister, our job – what defines US.

I had a tough time with this, and it really made me think. Beware, we’re going to the deep end.

We are not defined by our jobs-  that’s what we do. We are not defined by our titles or monackers – mom, sister, wife.  I was me before I became a mom. It changed me sure,  but I was still me.

It’s not achievements we’ve made, the laurels we have achieved, or battles we’ve won.

So truly, what defines me as different than everyone else? What makes me stand out from the crowd or am I just one in a crowd of lemmings?

I have to be honest,  I didn’t finish the book because it sent me into a tailspin. Since then, I’ve still thought on this many times.

This is the conclusion that I’ve come to: the essence of what defines us as individuals is ultimately our soul. It’s how you treat other people. It’s your humanity, your compassion, your personality, your strengths and weaknesses, and the love that you show towards your fellow human being.

Human being – not those who are the same religion as you, same skin color as you, speak the same language, or have the same lifestyle.

I’ve shared my faith before and I am appalled at the hatred and prejudice that comes from many claiming to be Christians.  All of us are in the same human condition – flawed, broken, and mortal.

Love is the answer!

Seriously, would you expect anything less from a romance author? Wait let me amend that –  a romance author and paranormal fantasy suspense author.

The Awakening: Book 1 of the Valkyrie’s Curse series releases on June 20th! Yes, I had to get that in there-  I’m proud of my accomplishment and  I think this one will blow you away!!!

 

 

The Awakening 

Helena Eskildson is obsessed with Vikings and Norse Mythology. Neither Helena nor her sister know they are Freya’s daughters – Valkyries, the shieldmaidens to Odin.
When her obsession leads her to a remote site at Roskilde and it’s two monolithic rune stones, her destiny is awakened.
While the team wages a battle between a cursed site and a sociopathic killer, time is ticking closer to Ragnarok.
Will her friends be able to save her before the gjallerhorn sounds?

 

Available now on PReorder for $0.99

 

Write on my friends, write on!

Nothing Goes As Planned


Welcome to my blog!

I’ve been doing the MFRW blog hop for a while, kind of hit or miss.  I’ve tried to get back onto the WEWRIWA Sunday Snippets, mostly off. Things have been hectic and overwhelming lately, so of course, I decided to do a new thing! You know how I love new things!

For the month of June, I will be posting Definition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first week is defining moments.

de·fin·ing mo·ment

noun
plural noun: defining moments
          an event that typifies or determines all subsequently related occurrences.
~~~~~~~~~
And this is where things have gone terribly off track!
Seriously, I had a plan outlined and scheduled to write on for each day this month.
Then, Tuesday through Thursday,  I was neck deep in it getting my manuscript ready to send to the editor and formatter.
I was determined to get it sent out to the point I have neglected my housework, preparing proper meals (What adult has a PBJ for dinner one night and BLT the next?), and pretty much everything else in order to make certain that I had my t’s crossed and i’s dotted.
So here’s what I’m going to do since I’m a few days behind.  I”m going to give you the abbreviated versions of the other Defining Moments.

Day 5 – Public Speaking

I am an extrovert. I’m the kind of extrovert that most introverts hate.  I will talk to strangers in an elevator.  I will smile and say how you doing to a stranger as I pass them in the hallway.  In fact, I will confront someone who is doing something uncouth.  Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not going to be stupid about it.

When my mother was in the hospital numerous times,  I hate that ‘get on the elevator and stare straight ahead and don’t talk to anyone’ thing.  The guy is holding a plant with a Congratulations on a new baby balloon – heck yeah I’m going to comment “Good news I see”  Or if it’s nothing so obvious I’ll comment about the weather –  whether it’s hot, cold, raining, or gorgeous.

Most people will respond with at least a nod.  Here’s the thing though,  our society has been teaching kids for ages “Don’t talk to strangers”.  But, in a self-defense class, one of the things that they said was rapists and muggers will target the fearful.  I don’t cower.  I don’t walk with my shoulders slumped,  or curved inward.  I walk with my head held high and if a guy is coming towards me with intent to harm me,  I’m going to make the biggest loudest scene I can. 98% of criminals will walk the other way and wait for an easier target.

For that 2% –  I have pepper spray and know some maneuvers to protect myself.  Anyway,  this isn’t about not making myself a victim.  This is about the extrovert thing.

When I was in college and had to give a presentation to the department staff for my senior theses, I was shaking like a leaf.  When I was first asked to speak publicly it was awkward,  filled with OK, and ummms,  but I lived.  The next time it was easier.  If I have the time to add lib a little I can have the audience laughing.

I’ve mentioned before that I try to use the EIEIO method, it seems to work for me. Along with informing and educating,  you have to entertain them at least a little.  If you can do that you can keep their attention.

OK, well it may help that I’ve been told that I should be a stand-up comedian as well.  Not going to happen,  but I use the sense of humor to help with speaking.  My largest crowd so far has only been about 150 people which is small,  but I’m not done yet.

Day 6 -Moment of Clarity

I really don’t have a better way of describing this. So here goes.

Several months ago, the doctor prescribed a medication for me to deal with the increased anxiety after the cancer diagnosis.  Part of that is I can’t “cope” with the same habits I had before.  I am a stress eater.  I have self-medicated myself most of my life to avoid the feels, the hurts, and the emotions. Just being honest. If you have ever watched Biggest Loser,  you’d see that the majority of fatties are in the same boat.  It’s not the simple formula of less food in more calorie output equals weight loss.

Why does someone eat themselves up to 200, 250, 300 or more pounds? It’s insulation.  Insulation from having to deal with life.  Having to deal with our past.  Having to deal with emotional wounds and baggage.

So I can’t do that anymore,  most of the “comfort foods” I would turn to are now off the menu because of the big C. Hence, the increased anxiety.

So I was taking this medicine and my daughter commented that I was considerably more chill.  IF it weren’t for some very bad side effects that I couldn’t live with,  it really did help. During the time I was taking it,  I could see clearly the issues.  I could see that the problem was that I had all these emotional issues that I would have formerly turned to food and that wasn’t an option. I’ve said before,  the best diet in the world doesn’t fix the most important six inches.

During one of those moments of clarity, I was reading some articles that the dietician had directed me to, and one of them was a quiz for a food addict. I got a perfect score! NO, that’s not a good thing.  I had to say yes to every single question. I never put two and two together,  but after answering those questions,  I can see it.

Trigger foods that cause that reaction inside my body or head,  that I have to have more. The biggest triggers across the board are sugar, carbs, chocolate, fast foods, and most junk foods.  A new study shows that the brains of women with food addictions are similar to drug addictions and an alcoholic. Since then, I’ve recognized the cycle and been able to stop before binging.  I”m happy to say I’ve stayed on the wagon.

We all have our issues,  don’t judge.

DAY 7- The Big C

Cancer has a way of leveling the playing field.  One day, you’re carefree and even though you know you’re not immortal, you plan to live to a ripe old age and spoil grandbabies and cause a ruckus at the old folk’s home. (I’ve already warned my kids that if they stick me in a home it better be in Florida or I’ll be causing a scene weekly.)

Then one day you get a diagnosis that literally changes your life. Cancer is an equal opportunity bastard of a disease. It doesn’t care what race, religion, persuasion, financial status, or age you are.

At first, I was in shock. I’ve shared before that from the date of diagnosis to the day of surgery was a whirlwind that didn’t give me time to think.  It’s just as well. It was during the radiation treatment while taking the oral medications that I had a true “Come to Jesus” moment.

I was slapped in my face with my own mortality, and I very much view this as a second chance to get it right.  What was important to me?

What did I want to accomplish in my life?

What would my legacy be?

The most important thing to me is my family. I decided that I would make certain to spend time with my family, including my siblings and extended family.

I wanted to publish as many of my books as I could get out.  I looked at the pace I was going and realized that I was a long way from getting even half of them out if I didn’t kick it into gear. When I first tried to sit down and write,  I couldn’t focus.  My mind was blank.  I cried numerous times thinking that I may have lost my opportunity. However,  after radiation was over and I was slowly beginning to recover,  it started coming back to me and I was determined in a way that I was never determined before.

I don’t even care if people don’t like Roxy Sings the Blues,  it will forever be an important milestone to me because I managed to finish that after Cancer. It made me realize that if I wanted to achieve my goals, I was going to have to put out a concerted effort which meant I have to focus.

There are many other moments in our lives that we could say are defining moments and many other moments.  It’s what we do with those moments that matter.

What are your defining moments?

Write on my friends, write on!

Resignation/Retirement


WElcome to my blog!

I’ve been doing the MFRW blog hop for a while, kind of hit or miss.  I’ve tried to get back onto the WEWRIWA Sunday Snippets, mostly off. Things have been hectic and overwhelming lately, so of course, I decided to do a new thing!

For the month of June, I will be posting Definition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first week is defining moments.

de·fin·ing mo·ment

noun
plural noun: defining moments
          an event that typifies or determines all subsequently related occurrences.

DAY 4 – Resignation/Retirement

For most of my young adult l had focused on career. Graduation from high school was briefly celebrated as I moved to the next stepping stone – college. College was a means to an end – a well-paying career.

I had already made the decision that the double major of forensic anthropology wasn’t going to work, and focusing on cartography. My father worked for Defense Mapping Agency and urged me to pursue cartography.  It’s currently known as National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Cartographers make good money –  I mean, really good money.

Life was great. I was in a department that I enjoyed and had worked my way up to target expert in the digital productions division. I was a shoe-in for the position after working in points during Desert Storm.  I liked what I was doing and I was good at it!

Then I delivered my second child. I returned to work after maternity leave,  but my daughter caught RSV virus at the daycare that we had our children in and ended up in the hospital.  My husband and I alternated who would take off work to stay with her. The opportunity came up to do a buyout, and essentially retire. We ran the numbers and I was shocked to see that despite my great salary,  I was essentially working for 5 an hour after gas, auto maintenance, and daycare expenses. The decision was easier to make after seeing the numbers, and the nudge that made the decision final was another admission to the hospital for my baby. It’s hard to see your child under an oxygen tent, and that was the last straw.  I had to stay home with my kids.

Before that, I identified myself as what I did in my job. I was identifying myself as a mom also,  but when people say tell me about yourself,  the government employment came first.  I was proud of my job, proud of my work,  and proud of who I was.

IT was quite a shock to only be a “mom” for a while.  Don’t get me wrong please,  I love my kids with everything I am. It’s just that I was a professional for ten years before kids. It took some adjustments.

I loved those years though,  and so glad that we made the decision because I was able to raise my children, not someone at a daycare. Which of course means that anything they are screwed up about is on me!

I enjoyed the majority of those years.  I would trade the vomit in a heartbeat, but everything else – priceless!

OUr kids have turned out to be amazing young adults that I am so very proud of, I guess maybe I did a few things right or I was just blessed with amazing kids.

Anyway, leave a comment and brag about your kids if you want!

WRite on my friends, write on!