The Times, They are A’Changin’

We rarely notice it happening, but we all change as we grow. Some things may remain the same, like our taste in movies or our favorite book, but as the world changes around us so too do we. Our attitudes and opinions evolve, the way we react to certain situations transform, and our memories transform to match the way we want to remember them. It’s human nature. The way we look at something tomorrow may be dramatically different from the way we look at it today.

On my “About My Projects” page I have a short description of a current work-in-progress that I’ve referred to as “Parallels” since it’s conception in my mind almost ten years ago. I began writing this particular story during an upsetting time in my life, and the story reflected that. The first few chapters, if you knew enough to know where to look, were all about me, about my thoughts and feelings, and how I wished a big, crazy adventure would sweep me away from those thoughts and feelings. I spent a lot of time on that first version of the story, until I had probably somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 words…and then I started all over from scratch.

It might seem illogical. After all, you wouldn’t stop reading a book halfway through and start over from the beginning, so why would you do the same while writing a book?

The reason is that my attitudes had changed. Events had occurred that made me think different, made me want to modify the story. And so I began again, with changes to the plot, changes to the main character, and changes to the overall tone of the story. This time I think I wrote somewhere around 15,000 words.

You might see where this is going now, and why this particular piece has been in the works for almost a decade. Until a couple of years ago I would only write every now and then, when I got the chance or when the fancy struck me, so by the time I would get around to adding some more to this work-in-progress things would have changed again. Attitudes, feelings, perceptions, the world around me, and how I thought readers would react to the story. When I first began writing this story I was writing it just for me, with no intent that anyone would ever actually read it, but as time went on I felt that it could actually become something worth publishing, something worth sharing with the world. But not in any of its previous forms.

The worst form was actually a webcomic version that involved this little fella.
The worst of the several forms was actually a web-comic version that involved this little fella.
Cute though, eh?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this work recently. With my zombie apocalypse novel nearing completion, I’ll need to put my efforts into something else, and I want it to be this piece. Though I’ve already done it a dozen times, I want to start over again, this time with a much more adult, professional view of the world and what readers want. I have a desire for this story to be told, and for the first time in the past decade I believe I know exactly how I want to tell it.

The story will be changed quite a deal, from the issues that plague the main character, to the number and nature of supporting characters, the length and format of the overall story, and many things in between. For one thing, I’ve decided that instead of the 100,000+ word single adventure that I was originally envisioning, this story will henceforth be a series. I do not yet know how much I will be able to stretch the story out, but I anticipate 6 books. If that seems like an outrageous stretch (after all, each book would have to be somewhere in the range of 70,000 words, which means more than four times the original length I had expected), don’t worry. I have lots of plans. Previously this story went from point A to point B to point C, and so on, but there are lots of modifications that can be made, subplots that can be added.

There will be lots of other changes to ensure that this story is the best that it can be, but suffice it to say that despite my usual tendency to deal with things as they come, I’ve got lots of big ideas and plans for this and it’s all really rather exciting.

It’s not always expected, and we don’t always notice it happening, but sometimes change is an excellent thing, don’t you think?

I’ve Been Changed in the Write Way

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

101. How writing has changed your life.

When I was in the third grade, we were assigned a writing project. I can’t recall exactly what the project was, but it involved writing a short story and binding it into a little book using construction paper and string. I wrote a story called “The Mystery of the Emerald-Eyed Cat” and while I can’t recall precisely what the plot of the story was, I remember that I bound it in green construction paper and that I drew mean-looking cat eyes on the cover. I also remember that I signed my name on the front with an extra middle name that doesn’t actually exist, but hey…kids are weird.

Anyway, I remember my teacher at the time, Mr Power, telling me how good the story was and that I should write more. Looking back, he was obviously just being a sweet, encouraging teacher, but at the time I took him at his word it was pretty much then and there that I decided I wanted to be a writer.

My writing continued on throughout grade school with my best friend and I writing what we called “The Game Masters”. They were two separate series’ with the same basic plot, one written by each of us. They had the same characters, but in my series I was the main character, and in hers she was the main character. We would write our stories in those thin, crappy scribblers that little kids get for school, and whenever we each had a full chapter or so we would exchange and read each others’. It was great fun, and though I’d probably cringe terribly to read those stories now, they seemed pretty damn awesome at the time.

From there on my writing has waxed and waned due to any number of reasons, but I’ve always returned to it. I wrote nonsensical mini-stories in junior high school, fanfiction in high school, slash fanfiction in college, and eventually returned back to original fiction over the past 10 years or so. In the past couple of years I finished my first original piece, start to finish (minus the editing part), and I am currently in sight of the finish line for my second original piece.

So you see, writing has been a part of my life for a long time. As to how it has changed my life?

On the negative side, writing has definitely made my life more stressful over the past few years. It’s difficult to work a writing schedule around a full-time job and a husband and child, and even thinking about doing so makes writing feel more and more like work, which I hate. Writing is something I love to do, so I have to struggle hard not to let it become one of those things that I have to do and dread to do. I would love to be able to write for a living, but I never want writing to become a job, and sometimes when I’m trying to force myself to write a few paragraphs in camp after I’ve worked a 12-hour shift, that’s exactly what it feels like.

But on the positive side of things, writing has kept me sane all these years. No matter what else was going on in my life, I could always write. When I had a fight with a friend as a child, when I was a ridiculously awkward teenager, when I experienced heartbreak, when I had doubts about my future…whenever something frustrating was happening in my life, I still had writing. Some people escape into books written by others, but I’ve always been able to escape into stories written by myself. I can pour my feelings out into my characters when I don’t know what to do in real life. I can torture my characters to make myself feel better, or give my characters the world for the same reason. I can twist reality exactly as I see fit, which is even more satisfying than you might imagine. Writing, for me, has always been one of the most cathartic things I can do. It keeps me from punching holes in the wall and screaming until my voice gives out. It is my Valium.

So I guess, what you could say, is that writing has changed my life by helping to prevent me from becoming a violent lunatic, because I can just write violent lunacy instead! That sounds sane, right? Right?

Comfortable People are Lazy People

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

95. Breaking out of your comfort zone

Humans are creatures of habit, by nature. We like to stick with what we know, what’s comfortable and easy. That’s why it’s so hard for us to do things like move away from home, take on a new diet or exercise routine, or otherwise break out of our “comfort zone”.

For writers this can be particularly detrimental. While you want to write what you know, what you’re good at, you don’t want to dig yourself into a rut. You don’t want to stagnate. You can’t stick with the exact same formula for your entire career; if you do, your writing will become predictable and boring. Imagine for a moment that a reader is picking up your latest book at a storm and skimming over the cover. Now imagine that reader making a face, thinking, “Why bother spending the money on something that’s going to be the exact same as the last one he/she wrote?” and putting the book back on the shelf. Now imagine reader after reader all doing the exact same thing, no one ever taking the leap to actually purchase the book. How does that feel? I’m going to wager not very good. Even if you’re someone who takes criticism extremely well, you can’t deny the fact that not selling your book is a bad thing. A very bad thing.

So how do we break out of our comfort zones and keep producing books that our readers will want to read? By buckling down, gritting our teeth, and forcing ourselves to do the opposite of what we would normally do. Are all of your main characters always female? Force yourself to write from a male perspective. Do all of your stories feature a romance subplot? Try a subplot about how much two characters can’t stand each other. Do you only write stories for adults? Try writing one for kids. Doing any of these things will probably be difficult, likely it will even be unpleasant, but it will force you to break your mental boundaries, and you never know…you just might discover that you enjoy it.

For myself, I have a few bad habits writing in my “comfort zone” that I’m actively tying to break. All of the examples above were taken from my own experience. I always write from the perspective of female main characters – not because I don’t think I can write from a male perspective, but because it’s easier to write from a female one. I always have a romance subplot in my stories because I enjoy writing about people falling for each other, even under unusual circumstances (*cough*zombie apocalypse*cough*). And I always write for adults – not because I don’t think I could write books for kids, but because I enjoy writing sex and violence, and it’s usually preferable that those things stay away from kids. I’ve been trying to break some of these habits lately, and yes it’s difficult, and sometimes it definitely sucks, but I do believe that I’m learning from the experience.

Never stop learning, no matter what you’re doing or how good you might think you already are. It would be the biggest mistake you’d ever make.

Going Beyond Your Depths

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

90. Adding depth to your writing

Oh man, this post could go in so many different directions depending on how we think about the word “depth”. My brain is beginning to hurt just thinking about it. Couple that with the fact that I’ve never so much as submitted a manuscript to an editor, agent, or publisher, and I find myself wondering if I’m really one to talk. But as with several of the other posts I’ve written in response to the 101 Blog Post Ideas, I’ll go ahead and give you my thoughts and opinions, and you can take them for what they are. For additional info, I suggest wandering over to Kristen Lamb’s Blog. She’s written advice on almost every aspect of writing and she’s about as close to an expert as I’ve ever come across.

So…depth. There’s no doubt about it, you want your writing to have depth, but that’s a fairly broad term. Are we talking about emotional depth, depth in the plot line, or depth within our characters? Are there other forms of depth we could be considering? Probably, but these three are the ones that come to mind right now, so let’s talk about those.

First of all, emotional depth and character depth, which actually go hand-in-hand. Maybe this isn’t an important aspect to all readers, but for me it’s an absolute necessity. If I, at some point during the reading of the story, do not feel emotionally attached to a character (not necessarily the main character) then I feel like the author has not done his or her job. If the book in question is part of a series, failing to make me feel emotionally invested in a character will result in my failing to continue on to the second book in the series. That’s not to say that every character has to have an elaborate back story that endears me to them, but someone in the story has to make me care about them. Otherwise why do I care what happens to them? This sort of depth is best achieved, in my opinion, by finding reasons for your readers to bond with your characters. Harry Potter gains our empathy because he’s an orphan and we feel sorry for him for having to grow up with his awful relatives. Eddard Stark gains our approval because he’s an honorable man who cares deeply for his family and finds himself in a difficult situation that pulls him from them. Frodo Baggins has us rooting for him because he’s clearly the underdog with no discernible skills or abilities. Your characters have to have both upsides and downsides, merits and faults. The main reason that so many people hate the character Bella Swan is because she’s too goddamn perfect. Even her “faults” are played off as things that make her more adorable and endearing to the other characters. It pulls the reader away because you find yourself wanting to see her fail just to prove that she’s capable of failure, and that’s not a great way to think about the character who is meant to be your hero. Your characters have to be human (even when they technically aren’t) or else your readers can’t get inside their heads and feel for them, become them, and find themselves desperate to see them succeed.

As for depth of the plot, this is something that will vary from book to book, genre to genre, but the basic element remains the same. You do not want your story to be predictable. Now obviously a psychological thriller is going to have a lot more plot depth than a supernatural romance, but the point is that you have to occasionally give your reader something surprising or upsetting. If your reader is constantly thinking “this is what’s going to happen next” or “this is totally the big reveal” and it turns out that they’re right, that’s not a good thing. Sure, some level of predictability is to be expected, and there are always going to be those readers who somehow always seem to know what the author was thinking while writing the story, but most readers crave some kind of mystery to their books. You don’t want to be able to figure out exactly what is going to happen because otherwise you could just write the story yourself. One of the reasons the A Song of Ice and Fire series is so interesting is because it constantly has you guessing. You’re never quite sure who is a good guy or a bad guy, or what might happen next, or what just happened ten pages ago for that matter. You don’t have to create a labyrinth of mystery, confusion, and intrigue, but you have to give your readers something worth looking forward to. Reveal a good guy to actually be a bad guy or vice versa. Throw in something magical or otherwise supernatural just because it would be surprising and interesting. Kill off a character that the reader would have thought was important or had become attached to (this one doubles for emotional depth). Keep your readers guessing, basically, because that’s what keeps them moving on to the next page, and the next, and the next. Why do you think so many television shows end on a cliffhanger every single freakin’ episode?

In general, when writing your book, think about what it was you liked about the books you’ve read. Think about the types of things that made you like the characters, what events made you gasp or cringe or cry, what about the story made it impossible for you to put the book down. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that all the different types of books have already been written, and any truly good author will tell you that part of being a writer is stealing from other writers. Use those concepts to figure out what is good about other books, and to imbue your own stories with those successful elements. Build depth by learning to recognize it in the writing of others. And when in doubt, remember what I always try to remember: if my writing doesn’t affect me, emotionally and mentally, then how can I possibly expect it to affect others?

Internally Inspirational

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

40. Where to find inspiration

Ah, inspiration…that elusive elixir of writer-juice. Did I seriously just say “writer-juice”? That is a lack of inspiration right there, if ever there was one.

If there’s one thing that’s as hard to get a grasp on as motivation, it’s inspiration. How many times has a writer sat down in front of a blank piece of paper or an unsullied word processor file and just stared, dumbstruck, unable to produce words? I’d be willing to stake my reputation (such as it is) that for every word that made it on to the page, a hundred went unwritten simply because the writer couldn’t grasp the inspiration required to create.

There’s an old adage that one should “write what you know”. On one hand, I disagree with this concept. If we all only wrote what we “know”, the world of literature would be a pretty boring place, since everything would have to be based on facts and the physical reality of this world. We would never have books about magic and dragons, alien worlds and alternate realities, creatures of the night and immortal gods of the universe. If we write only what we “know” we find ourselves trapped in reality, and while that is fine for some books, it cuts our possibilities by a vast, positively immense number.

On the other hand, writing what we “know” can be excellent inspiration. Look at the world around you. Some of the people we see every day can make excellent characters for our books if we just tweak them a little bit. Look at their habits and mannerisms, their quirks and unique personalities. Some of my favorite characters are based on people I know in real life, and many popular, successful authors have admitted to doing the same.

Similarly, sometimes we only have to look as far as our own pasts to find nuggets of inspiration for our stories. Two years ago for NaNoWriMo I decided to write a supernatural romance (don’t judge me) and was having a difficult time with the setting. I already had an idea of who my characters were going to be and I knew I wanted them to get trapped together, but I was having a hard time with how they would meet and why they would get trapped there. I wanted my idea to be at least marginally original, since much of my story was likely to follow along the lines of the ever-expending world of soft-core vampire porn (what did I say about judging me?!). I thought about it for a while before I came up with a great idea. My female character would work in a paper mill. It was a great idea for several reasons. One: I worked in a paper mill, so I could describe it realistically. Two: I know what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated field, so I could express my character realistically. Three: it gave a believable explanation  for my characters to be trapped there together…see, my male character was a werewolf being hunted by other werewolves, and since a paper mill is rife with the smells of steam, pulp, and chemicals, it’s reasonable to believe that the other werewolves wouldn’t be able to track his scent from there.

Of course, inspiration can come from many other sources: dreams, other forms of media (remember, nothing is truly original anymore), world experience such as traveling, and not to mention good old fashioned research. Inspiration can really be found anywhere if you’re just willing to look for it. But I do truly believe that most of the time all we have to do is look at ourselves, our own lives and experiences, the people and places we’ve known or seen, the things that interest and amuse us. Sit back and think for a minute, and then…write.

The Trick is to Learn From Them

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

22. List the biggest mistakes you made in your first manuscript

For the purpose of this post, I am going to use Nowhere to Hide, my zombie apocalypse novel, because it is the only (non-fan-fiction) manuscript I’ve ever finished (minus the editing part, which is happening now). So, without further ado:

– I didn’t plan anything. While I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the planning type and that I tend to prefer just writing, I suspect that having a general layout (at the very least) would have significantly decreased the length of time it took me to finish this story.

– I wrote a prologue. I personally don’t see this as a ‘mistake’, exactly, but after having a number of people on Critique Circle tell me that the prologue was pointless and detracted from the story, I guess it was maybe a mistake. :\

– I started a “shout-out” naming convention, giving my characters last names of famous horror-guru authors/directors/etc, and then promptly forgot about following through with it once I hit the fourth character.

– Looking back at certain sections of the story, I see that I rushed through things that I didn’t find as interesting, but are actually fairly important parts of the overall narrative.

– I didn’t establish character stories. I’m sure this isn’t a necessity for everyone, but if there’s one aspect of the planning process that I, personally, should be doing, it’s creating character backgrounds ahead of time. I tend to just go with the flow, and more often than not I find myself writing my main character’s feelings or actions to reflect how I think I would feel or act, but that’s not really a smart way of doing things. Not all of my characters can have my exact personal thoughts and beliefs. That’s just foolish. What I really need to start doing is establishing my character’s lives and personalities before I presume to write about them.

I’m sure there’s more, but I don’t really have to bash myself all night long, do I? 🙂

Critique Coping

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

20. How to cope with a substantial critique or edit

Reading critiques or edit suggestions must be the worst part of being a writer. I don’t care who you are, no one enjoys being told that there’s something wrong with the thing they’ve spent so much of their time and effort creating. Your initial reaction is always going to be one of defense: “This idiot doesn’t know what they’re talking about! I’m right and they’re wrong, end of discussion!” Even if you’re mature and composed enough to realize that the person giving you the critique has a very good point, part of you will still want to argue, to fight and say that there’s nothing wrong with the way you wrote it.

For myself, the way to deal with a critique is by taking a deep breath, reading it through a couple of times, and trying to see what the reader didn’t say. That is, I put a lot of effort into trying to decide whether the reader is being harsh because they really want to help, or if they’re just being intentionally cruel; whether their ideas have merit, or if they’re letting personal opinions get in the way of sense; whether they genuinely want to help you make the story better, or if they’re just shooting out some generic nonsense to mask the fact that they barely read the story.

The sad fact is that while you can’t have the knee-jerk defensive reaction to critiques, you also can’t accept them as gospel. One thing I learned while hanging out at Critique Circle is that, yes, some readers are knowledgeable people who truly want to help you make your story be the best that it can be, while other people are just going to force their opinions on you under the guise of giving you “advice”. That’s why it’s a good idea to have multiple proof-readers. For example, there is a scene near the beginning of the action in “Nowhere to Hide” in which the main character strips off her pajama top and wraps it around her fist so that she doesn’t hurt herself while breaking a window. When I posted this scene for critique, one reader told me that the whole scene was pointless and “smacked of fetish”. I was hurt and confused when I read that because I didn’t feel that way at all, and I thought the scene made a lot of sense given the situation. I was just beginning to wonder if maybe I was being a little sensitive when half a dozen other critiques came in and almost all of them mentioned how much they loved that particular scene. If I hadn’t gotten those other critiques I may have changed the scene based on one person’s opinion, which would have been foolish.

So in conclusion, take critiques seriously, but not always to heart.

Genre Wars

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

18. If you could write any genre (and it would sell), what would it be?

Fantasy, definitely. No question. I enjoy writing other genres as well (hello, zombies!) but fantasy is definitely the most fun for me. I love being able to do anything I want, create anything I want, and be able to say, “Hey, it’s okay! It doesn’t have to make sense, it’s fantasy!”

I guess that’s a kind of black and white way of looking at it, but let’s put it this way. If I had made the main character in my zombie novel have some kind of supernatural special power or ability, people would scoff and wave it off as ridiculous. Even though we already have an extraordinary premise (the zombies), the story is still set in the “real” world, and the crazy premise is actually one that we can almost believe as being plausible. Even though you know better, the idea of something that’s so ingrained into our storytelling history (monsters and the like) intermingling with the “real” world makes an acceptable level of sense. Superpowers, on the other hand, are pure fantasy and thus don’t have any place in a story where “plausible” things are happening.

Does that make any sense? Oh well, it works in my brain anyway. 😛

Continuing on from that thought process (however flawed it may be), writing fantasy allows you to pretty much do whatever the heck you please. Want a dragon in there? Boom! Dragon! Want your main character to be able to transform into an animal? Bam! Done! Anything your childish imagination can come up with is fair game because, hey, it’s fantasy!

Prompts

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

10. Creative prompts for other writers

Now here’s a twist. Usually I’m the one searching for prompts, not the one giving them. I’m concerned about my ability to come up with a prompt that is actually useful, so if you come across this list and decide to use one of the prompts I’ve given, please let me know if it was any good! 🙂

– Your character wakes up on a perfectly normal day, has breakfast, gets ready for the day, and walks out of their home to find…silence. Every other human (or if you’re really keen, every other creature) on the planet has mysteriously vanished overnight, with no signs as to what may have happened to them…

– Your character is vacationing on a sunny resort, perhaps taking a walk on the beach, when all of a sudden they are grabbed from behind and dosed with chloroform…

– Your character is a futuristic astronaut, exploring new worlds for breathable atmospheres and signs of life. On a newly discovered planet, on which your character is supposed to have been the first person to set foot, your character stumbles across a small human child, playing all alone in a field…

– Your character finds his/herself standing alone on a busy city street with no recollection of how they got there or who they are. All they have is their wallet, full of credit cards and store membership cards, but their ID has been stolen…

Hope these help someone! 😀

Brain Dump

A few things, some bigger deals than others, have been happening lately, and since I find Sunday to be an excellent day to talk about the week that has just passed, you get to hear about them all. 🙂

– As previously mentioned, a week and a half ago I got a call offering me my job back at the paper mill. The job offer is conditional on the sale of the mill being completed, which is conditional on Nova Scotia’s Utility Review Board okaying the deal that the buyer has created with Nova Scotia Power. If the Board okays the deal, the buyer is hoping to start up the mill some time in August.

Personally, I don’t see it happening that way. For one thing, even though the government is probably going to be pushing the Board to okay everything and get the sale over with, I don’t think they’re going to agree with it right off the get-go. The deal the buyer and NSP came up with is, in my opinion, overly complicated, and also gives NSP the rights to 18% of any profits made by the mill. I’m sure everything will get the okay eventually, but I don’t think it’s going to be a quick process. I believe the Board will have a few issues with bits and pieces of the agreement, and that will slow things down.

For the other thing, I think the buyer is drastically overestimating how easy it’s going to be to get staff back in that mill. A large number of maintenance workers have already found other jobs or gone out West for work, and my understanding is that many of them are reluctant to come back. Why give up an excellent camp job for the absolutely sickening contract we were strong-armed into? Also we seem to have lost quite a bit of management (of the necessary type) and it’s going to take time to fill those positions.

No, I definitely don’t think that mill is starting up in August.

– The reason I bring up the uncertainty of when the mill might start up is because last week I got a call for another job…a camp job working for MMR Canada. This company will fly me out to the site where I will work for 14 days straight, then fly me home for 14 days straight, rinse and repeat. In the 14 days that I work, I will make more money than my husband and I made combined at the mill. In other words, it is a really good opportunity that is impossible to pass up. Even if I only work there until the mill starts up (a decision that will have to be worked out later, once I know what it’s like out on this site), it will still be more than worth it. So this Saturday my hubby is flying home from the job he’s been at, and he will stay with the baby while I’m on my 14 day shifts.

I have a powerful belief that the baby will lose her tiny little mind when she sees daddy come through the airport gate. 🙂

– Because of the impending start date of my camp job, I’ve been really trying to force myself to write. I’ll never find the time to write while I’m on camp (I’m working 12 hour days!), but I might be able to find a few minutes a day to edit, which is why I’m desperately trying to get to the end of my zombie novel before I leave (June 19th). And I’m so close I can taste it. My main character is currently at the ‘big reveal’ moment, which is essentially the end of the story. If I had to estimate I’d say that there might be about 5000-6000 words left to this story, so if I work really hard (and my brain starts cooperating with the ‘big reveal’ wording) then I might actually have it finished this week. ^_^

– Also because of the impending start date of my camp job, I’ve been thinking that I need to start trying to get into shape. If my duties are anything similar to what they were at the mill, I’m in rough form. And the fact is that the work I’ll be doing out there will probably be much more physically demanding than what I’m used to. With this in mind I decided yesterday that today I would start getting up early and running again, as well as trying to eat better.

I set my alarm for 6 am. The baby woke up at 5:30 am. 😐

Since I can’t use my treadmill while the baby is awake (it’s in the basement, which is also where a bunch of dangerous stuff and also the kitty litters are, so I can’t just take her down there with me), I’ve been waiting all day for the little booger to lay down and take her nap so I can get my exercise in. It is now coming up on lunch time and she appears to have no plans of the sort. I’m at least twice as tired as she is.

And as far as eating better…..I’d forgotten how hard that is. I had a bowl of grapes, a glass of juice, and a coffee for breakfast, and a little later I had a bowl of oatmeal that I hoped would tide me over until lunch. I’ve also since had 2 more glasses of juice (it’s a calorie-free concentrated thing that you mix with water) to try to keep my belly feeling full. It’s not helping. I’m freakin’ starving. And it doesn’t help that we have a whole closet just packed with the discount Halloween candy we buy every year after the holiday. 😐 I’m not cut out for diet and exercise.

– And finally, my word counts for the week. Aside from one crappy day and one day where I evidently forgot how to write, I did pretty well! An average of 1303 words per day!

Sunday – 1396
Monday – 2617
Tuesday – 1098
Wednesday – 211
Thursday – 0
Friday – 1960
Saturday – 1839