Taking a Break from Society

So here’s the why- this last week has been a bad one. While I’m trying to focus on my writing, I’ve got people needling me about BS from left and right. I’ve come to one determination- there’s only one way to prove that I can make progress on my writing to prove where the stress is coming from that I’m enduring.. And that’s to take a break from society. This includes both in-person and social media. One week of just me, my cat Athena and my writings. Unless something major happens that I have to share- I’ll be back on the 4th to let you all know how things went.


The Body Diet

First, I have struggled with my weight since I hit puberty. I have this hormone problem called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It causes a lot of problems and if not dealt with it can lead to things like diabetes or worse.

On to the diet- First, for years, it was The Debt Diet, then last month I started with the Writer’s Planner-at the same time I also started The Body Diet!

I had decided that 2018 was going to be my year. The year I make progress in my writing, the year I concur my budget to save, and the year I fight back against the PCOS. I am tired of getting my butt kicked- so this year I’m finally fighting back.

So far I’ve made considerable progress in my writing, I’ve made headway with my finances allowing me to save for my move. And today, I learned that I’ve lost 10 pounds!

For the last 30 days I have been on the GNC Total Lean diet plan. This is a meal replacement shake diet. Two shakes a day with one square meal. It doesn’t matter when you have the meal as long as the other two are shakes. I like breakfast foods so this was a no brainer for me. Sure, it sounds like Slim Fast but there are major differences. There are more nutrients in the GNC products, it’s more filling, and after drinking one, I don’t have that craving to grab something sweet and sugary- ala CARBS- unlike I did with Slim Fast. Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT saying that this is what will happen if you use Slim Fast- I’m saying that this is what happened with me with it.

GNC Total Lean appears to be the diet for me. I love the flavors. There’s French Vanilla, Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Mixed Berry, Orange Cream, Rich Chocolate, Snickerdoodle, Cookies N Cream, and Shamrock Cream.

I have tried the: French Vanilla, Banana,  Mixed Berry, Orange Cream, Rich Chocolate, Cookies N Cream, and Shamrock Cream.

Most people mix them with water. I tried this and it didn’t appeal to me. I tried orange juice with the Orange Cream and 1 % milk with the others and I’m hooked. I’m thinking about trying the French Vanilla with Orange Juice- see how that tastes.

I really think that I’ve found the diet for me.

There are no quick fixes, and no one diet will work for everyone. People and their bodies are not cookie cutter designs- so, if you’re trying to lose weight talk with your doctor- get full physical exam and have your blood work done. Know your levels with cholesterol etc. Look into things like alternative exercises. I’m looking into Tai Chi, meditation, and I’ve found a stationary bike that I like.

The key is that you have to find what works for you- both with your body and your wallet.

To everyone who is trying to lose weight, thinking about it, or needs to- I wish everyone of you the very best of luck- and may you find what works for YOU.

Fussing With My Writer’s Planner

I think I’m done fussing around with my Writer’s Planner. I’ve been tweaking it to make it my own. I haven’t taken anything away from it sans the calendar. What I’ve done is add things to it. For example: the original has pages dedicated to listing things to treat yourself with. I added a page to track me treats- so I don’t repeat myself. I also added an Achievements page. This way I can look back and see what I’ve done. A reminder for those times when I’m feeling like a slug and wonder if I’m making any progress.

Of all the planners I’ve seen, I think I like this one the best. This is not because it came from IFW or because it was free. It’s because I can tweak it to add things that I feel I need.  I’m satisfied for now, although, I won’t be surprised if something comes to mind that I’d want to add.

That said, I have kept the original PDF as well as the file I created from it. Plus I’m keeping a copy of the one I made adjustments to. I have also created files specific for each quarter. This is so that any year 2018 I can just open the file and save it to new and I’m good to go for that quarter. Sure, I might have to make some minor tweak, but not so much so since I took the calendar out. I set this to its own file. It’s just easier for me, this way.

I do honestly believe that I am going to enjoy working with this planner. It’s the  start of week 6 and I’m off to a good start. It’s like Jerry Doyle used to say “your attitude controls your altitude.” It’s a pilot’s saying but it can apply to your emotional and mental attitude just as easily as a plane’s.

Thank you IFW, I needed this.

Institute for Writers

Formerly known as Long Ridge Writers Group- Institute for Writers has existed since 1989. Their programs are designed to help writers hone their skills in fiction and nonfiction. They have courses on writing for both adults and children. I can’t say enough about how much this program “Breaking into Print” has helped me. The 12 lesson course focuses on creating short stories and articles (fiction or nonfiction) for publication in magazines and other periodicals. I, personally, chose to create an anthology of my works. It still counts!

The school, one-on-one student mentor contact, and the ladies in the office have all been instrumental in helping to build my confidence towards this goal. So much so, that I feel I need to share my story and introduce the school to other fellow writers. Try the aptitude test for yourself- it’s free. And the program does offer an option for college credit.

What I like best about the program- the way they’re set up with sending assignments and receiving critiqued responses. It’s exactly like the real world when dealing with the publishing industry. In the beginning, I’d have to send two copies of my scripts and I’d receive one back with my mentor’s remarks and suggestions- just like an agent or editor might do. Now, they’ve changed to online submissions. Genius! And it saves on postage!

Yes, it’s costly, but well worth it when you consider the invaluable information you receive with the course manual, the collection of books, and the one-on-one mentoring with someone actually in the industry. Don’t sweat the cost though because they offer a monthly payment plan.

I could keep going but you should check it out for yourself. It is challenging but in the end it is worth it! https://www.instituteforwriters.com/

A Cast System? Really?

I was unaware the the US practiced a cast society. That once you entered a certain field of employ, you were stuck there for the rest of your life. “This is where your experience is, so this is where we’ll look.” According to the woman at the job center.

I’d like to become a phlebotomist, This would allow me the time and energy to focus on my writing and education. Yes, I have a heavy work history in fast food. I want OUT of this industry because of the stress and pressure involved. And yet, this is where the job center keeps sending me. Just because I have a heavy / long history in it does not mean it’s a good history.

Rest in Peace Sue Grafton

Over the years I had grown tired of the formulaic scripts in mystery novels. Then I discovered the Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Series. I’m not a fan of first-person stories but this one grabbed me.

I suppose this is because Kinsey was a grown woman, with grown thoughts and ideas- and she wasn’t trying to save the universe. She is a private detective doing her job, doing what needed to be done.

Thank you, Sue Grafton, for creating a relatable, realistic, and believable character.

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with the world through your novels.

As a writer, Sue Grafton was and will continue to be an inspiration to me. You will be missed by many.



Sue Grafton died on Thursday, December 28, after a two-year battle with cancer. She was 77.

Goodbye Nieca (bugs)

Goodbye Nieca, you were a joy and a love in my life. People will miss you greeting them and saying goodbye at the door. You were a fun and loving and lovable cat. You will be missed.

She passed tonight, peacefully, and joins our beloved Sunshine across the rainbow bridge. I am heart broken at this sudden loss and yet comforted to know that they are together. Nieca will be buried next to Sunshine.