Thursday, November 15, 2007


I'm writing this post just to prove I'm still alive (barely). Bear with me; things will pick up later. NaNoWriMo progress is all but nonexistent because I've just been busy busy busy.

I was able to get my entry into Jason's contest in under the wire (#44) even though I had to stay up through the night to find time to write it.

Health update: I had an EKG done and there is a slight abnormality in my left ventricle(?). Why did I have an EKG? Because my doctor was concerned about my abnormally high heart rate, resting and otherwise. Anyway, he says the most probable reason I'm not losing weight is because I'm working out TOO HARD! Im burning carbs instead of fat, which leaves me starving so I'm eating more too. Who'd have thought? The guys on the exercise videos, on Oprah, in the magazines say that you should always push yourself. Pushing myself generally keeps my heartrate in the high 170s and low 180s. Turns out I need to be in the low 150s or lower to be in the fat burning zone. At the gym today I watched my heartrate closely. Averaging about 156 I felt like I was barely moving. In 45 minutes I hadn't even really begun to sweat. Anyway, my doctor wants to do a heart ultrasound, which involves doing a resting heartrate ultrasound, then putting me on a treadmill at a sprint and then doing another ultrasound. If indeed the muscle around the left side of my heart is abnormally large I may need to take medication. I'm not sure. It's nothing to be worried about, that I know. Just a possible explanation for things I've always wondered about.

Anyway, Kudos to all of you who entered Jason's contest. I was honestly being as objective as possible, yet Szelsofa, Angelique and Beth all managed one of my votes. You blew me away, ladies! I have talented buddies. I wasn't even paying attention to who wrote them when I decided favorites. Aside from the five I voted for, there were four others that I wish I could have.

We're visiting family for Thanksgiving, so if I don't post, HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY, Y'ALL!

And P.S. to those of you who commented about exercising at home. Sounds great, but my kids don't let me do it much. I actually do it whenever possible, but it's not a feasible solution for all my exercise needs.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Climbing the Wall

Thank you so much to everyone for commenting on my last post. I appreciate the words of encouragement, advice and validation. I'm doing okay today, even though my concerns still stand.

As for my weight loss, I saw my doctor yesterday who had done blood tests last week. There are some abnormalities with my red blood cells and my output of thyroid chemicals. He said that these things could cause tiredness and difference in metabolism and that without doing another blood test he couldn't rule out anemia. It is comforting to know that there may actually be a cause for the changes in my body, so I'm taking some supplements now and hope some areas will improve.

He also prescribed 1 hour of exercise a day, seven days a week, including yoga, pilates, and strength training to help manage my mood. I would love to be able to do this, and I'm trying to find a gym that will make it possible, but we don't have $140 extra dollars a month to fork out in Health Club fees (that's how much it costs to join the one my doctor suggested). I'll keep looking.

As far as the piano thing goes, I'm going to go ahead and do it. One commenter suggested that I've probably done it before and truthfully I have not. I have sung many times in front of many congregations, and I also lead our church choir. I think there were church members who kind of assumed that since I could do those things I probably played the piano well. Whatever the case, I told them from the beginning what my abilities were and they have been supportive. Even though I'd like to accompany the kids flawlessly, I'm learning to accept that it will be what it will be and I'll do well enough. It's just a little nerve wracking.

As for NaNoWriMo, I will push on. Truth be told I haven't even reached the part of the story where anything exciting happens, so I'm just going to start writing that part. I really wanted to write it chronologically, which is why there are so many bad parts because I was just putting stuff down trying to get my main character into position for the exciting things to happen. I will be able to rewrite much of what I have already written later and condense it considerably. If it has accomplished anything, it has served to flesh out background details in my own mind. Thank you, blog friends, for letting me know it is appropriate to be frustrated and that writing a novel really is hard. It helps me not feel like such a wuss.

I read each of your comments several times and cannot tell you how much your words mean to me. They have helped me achieve perspective and to feel valued.

I even had a big long talk with my husband and he seems much more supportive now.

Love to all. Thank you.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Wall

I'm going to try to write this post without sounding like a crazy person. I really would like to think of myself as a non-crazy person, but sometimes I feel like that status is severely challenged.

I've hit a wall. A big one. Lots of walls all lined up to make one big wall.

Two months ago I decided I was going to do something about the weight I'd inexplicably gained over the summer. I was already exercising regularly, but it was time for a major overhaul. I have religiously worked out daily, dieting the best I can (with only a few Halloween flubs). If anything, I can say my clothes are tighter and my flab is flabbier. Really great for the motivation. Wall number one.

In August I was asked by people at my church to play the piano for the children's program happening this coming Sunday. Even though I'm not a terrific pianist, I was given eight songs to learn which I have practiced regularly and while vast improvements have been made, I'm still seriously screwing up these songs. I'm terrified to accompany the children in front of my whole church's congregation. I feel like I could practice for forever and I will still suck. Wall number two.

I've been so looking forward to NaNoWriMo. It was my chance to give up all excuses about becoming a novelist and just go for it. I pictured it being exhilarating and I have really committed to the process. Right now my word count stands at 8,246 words. I had my husband read it back to me today and realized that even though I had given myself permission to write crap, I didn't really expect it all to actually be crap. Rationally I can realize that this is a process and that only by experience will I get any better. Emotionally, I feel like a big fat joke. My 8k words are pretty boring. I'm realizing my story must not be starting in the right place. And I'm not scrapping my 8k yet because I need that word count. But, alas, here I am, eye to brick with wall number three.

I realize that these things are pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. But I can't help the feeling that no matter how strong an effort I give something I'm bound to fail. Little successes can do wonders for the ego. No success at all makes me wonder why I even try.

I know how whiny it sounds. Just writing it makes me want to puke. But I'm feeling so totally alone right now and I'm desperate for encouragement from any voice at all. I tried to tell my husband how I was feeling, but he was asleep before I even finished my sentence. He is not an insensitive man, he just doesn't get the magnitude of my feelings. In general I feel things quite strongly, so he seems, unfortunately, desensitized.

I apologize for my gush of self indulgence. But it was either this or find a sharp object and make myself bleed. And that folks, really does make me sound like a crazy person. God help me.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nano - The journey begins

It's 10:30 PM and I've got to go to bed. After a rough night last night I don't have the stamina to stay up and write liked I'd originally planned. The end of my first day of NaNoWriMo finds me with 2,270 words and four revelations:

1. I am such a NOVICE! I can recognize so many flaws.
2. When forced to just write without continually going back and editing I find I have a horrible habit of much more tell than show, not what I would have guessed my greatest weakness to be. There is much revision to be done.
3. Good characterization is hard. Heck, bad characterization takes effort.
4. Despite my abundance of inadequacy, I like doing this.

My first chapter didn't pan out the way I had envisioned it, but we'll see what happens. I can tell you that I won't be giving up and that I'm excited to see my writing improve. Writing big long stuff is different than writing little short stuff.

To bed, to bed.