I’m still here!

I’ve been remiss in the neglect of my blog.  I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been focusing on some really new and exciting things, but the truth of the matter is, that it hasn’t been.

So far I’m missed lots of really important goals in the last few weeks.  I lost a DietBet, I failed my CampNano goal, and I’ve missed personal deadlines. Mostly podcast and writing goals.

Why you ask?

Because LIFE!

Apparently, I’ve hit a bit of a weight-loss plateau sooner than I thought I would, so that’s been a struggle.  It makes eating right and hitting the gym that much harder when you don’t see the progress you have grown accustomed to.

The kids were out of school for a week because of #RedforEd, a cause I fully support, but having an unexpected seven days sucked out of my schedule definitely put things on the back burner. Also, they are still planning to begin summer break as scheduled, so those days are lost.

Then there was a power outage for a day, a scheduled power outage, and the installation of solar panels!  HURRAY FOR SOLAR!  But I failed to realize that installing solar panels would involve loud hammering and other noises.  Totally understandable and predictable, but not optimal for recording/editing podcasts. So that got pushed off.

And then, There’s Hero’s Mistake.  Life has also grabbed hold of the people I rely on, and that’s been delayed.  Again, it’s understandable, but yet another goal has been pushed off.

I know I’m going to have to re-adjust my expectations for the summer, not much writing will happen the way I need it to, but maybe the kids can create a podcast/YouTube channel, and everyone can have fun while hitting other goals.

I’m trying to remain optimistic. My twitter is always gaining followers, occasionally writers I respect and admire retweet something I comment on or follow me.  (You can find me on twitter as @dl_spartan and follow me too!)

My therapist changed up my meds, and that has also been an adjustment.  Managing my depression better, while keeping my anxiety at bay has been a challenge. Especially when sometimes the meds don’t make me feel OK. They say it’s temporary as I adjust to the new medications, but that doesn’t mean I feel any better about it.

I’m trying to keep a positive outlook, and in the next couple of weeks I hope to hammer out some stuff so check off a few things from my  ToDo list, but once you’re in a hole, it’s so hard to crawl your way out.  I guess the good news is that I didn’t’ plan on getting much done with over the summer; with the kids’ activities, vacations, and whatever else tries to claim my attention I figured keeping my expectations low was a good plan. So hopefully I can get a bit ahead and close the gap by the time school starts back up again.

I do plan on posting some fun, new material soon (not just me bitching about how life in general). I have my Kitty Shifter Short in the works as well as another couple shorts, I’m turning “The Green Gecko Bar and Grill” into a podcast (which should be out early June), and I hope to have Stan’s Ghost to the point where I can tease a bit of it.  I also have an idea for a podcast and I’m recruiting a team for that right now, and that seems like it will be fun and interesting.

I’m also hoping to start a book review here, mostly naughty books, but if a fellow Indie Author needs some exposure, I’ll happily share that as well.

So please bear with me, better stuff is coming soon.   (and this post is a positive sign since posting any sort of update was a plan, so WINNING!)

 

 

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The Human Kittens Need Enrichment

Okay!  I’m a terrible procrastinator.  I mean I’m an EPIC procrastinator.  

Right now, as things stand, I’m two months behind my desired release date for one book, I’m weeks behind where I want to be on two others and summer is coming.  SUMMER IS COMING!!  I’m basically a Stay A Home Mom.  Which means for ten weeks I’m going to have TWO miniature humans to entertain and educate all on my own.  I’ll also have minimal time for the things I’m currently procrastinating on.  I suppose I could continue with Plan Procrastination, but somehow that seems less like the adult thing to do. So 1) I’m going to have to crack and get two novels first drafts finished in the next eight weeks and 2) I’m going to have to come up with real, enriching, and exhausting plans for the mini hominids before they start peeling the paint off the walls.

For my first issue, I think this will have to be resolved with Ass-In-Chair-Time.  No excuses, no whining, no distractions.  Just get it the hell done.  I can re-write and edit in small batches once the bulk is on paper. If by the end of summer I have even one more novel more or less ready for beta readers, then I can call that a win.

As to problem number two, keeping two small humans with considerable curiosity, boundless creativity, unrelenting energy, and minimal downtime, engaged, enlightened, and exhausted, I’m at a bit of a loss.  Of course, I have considered several options for summer activities.  Swim lessons, music lessons and practice, and an assortment of reading challenges are already on deck, but honestly, my older child needs more. She is social (it comes from her father’s side, I’m sure) and needs to have interactions with other children on at least a semi-weekly basis or something important pops in her brain and she is insufferable until she gets a social outlet. The younger child is content with her electronic media, and if I let her, she would hide out in her room only to emerge for the occasional corndog and ice cream sandwich or maybe a trip to the pool. The internet tells me this isn’t good parenting.

So I have ideas that will literally entertain the children for about two hours of every day.  If I toss in random chores, trips to the gym, swimming outside of swim lessons, cooking lessons, crafting classes, sewing lessons, trips to local museums, math challenges, library programs, learning to write, record and produce a podcast, learning to knit, music camp, gymnastics camp, camping camp,  build and programming a computer, and learning a new language (perhaps even developing a language of their own) I will still have roughly twenty hours a day to figure out what to do with these pint-sized people.

You may be wondering why my goal is to exhaust them. Well, I’ll tell ya.  Because if these tiny tyrants aren’t exhausted, they will color the ceiling with sharpie pens, or make trebuchets with rubber bands, shoes, popsicle sticks and paper clips, or eat three boxes of cereal in the dead of night.  I have woken these children up to discover they have painted their ENTIRE bodies overnight.  No, if there is to be peace in this house, they must get exhausted every day if there is to be peace.

At the end of this summer, my kids will be either completely ready to launch their one start-up or their brains will have completely rotted away and their teachers will wonder if we did anything edifying over the summer.

I’m tired just thinking about it.  The knowledge that most of my summer energy will be dedicated to my micro-monkeys makes the pressure to finish the projects I have just floating in front of me all the more daunting.  I may just put them in charge of my social media accounts.  The older one wants a YouTube channel, and this would be good practice for it.

But there is a silver lining, I’ll be able to write short stories over the summer because I won’t have another, larger project demanding so much attention.

Also, I really love spending time with the little toadies.  Watching them master a new skill, excel at an existing one, or just try something new is really fun and gratifying, and I’d also like to not detract from my time with them by worrying about projects I could have nailed down before summer.

So summer is coming, I need to get shit done, but it’s because I want to get it done 1) because I will be happier to move these projects along, and 2) I will be happier to not worry about those things when I could be having fun with the human kittens.

Aww. Crap!

So I’m working on the follow-up to Bloodsucker, called Stan’s Ghost, and I realize that not only do I have to get cracking on that or according to my self-imposed deadline the universe will explode, BUT I have to write a story in-between.  WTH!  I mean really!! WTH!

stan scifi

There’s the tale of Scott’s Dentist that has been mostly fleshed out, and I intended to be a freebie for my email subscribers (Of which I have 0.0, which is why it’s unfinished), but it’s getting a bit overblown for a short story.  The Vampire’s Dentist (the real name of the thing) is demanding its own commitment from me, and Stan’s Ghost is pulling a lot from The Vampire’s Dentist (opposed to the Dentist doing all the pulling  LOL. Yes, I laugh at my jokes in real life too.)

Do I set Stan aside to write Dentist? Some of the events in Dentist happen first, but most are concurrent, so maybe a simultaneous release is the way to go.  But that means I’ll have to put the next Mistake book on hold, and whereas that one is complete, it has two or three stories waiting to be told, and there are loose threads that need to be tied up.

a hero's mistake ebook

ACK!  I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do now. My brain is spinning out of control, and I’m having a hard time focusing it.  So I’ll either shut down, and you won’t hear from me for several months, or I’ll bite the bullet, pick a thing and run with that.  If that’s the option, I’ll probably go off the rails and write about how humans developed space travel three hundred thousand years ago and colonized the universe. Of course, that technology was lost after a great plague, preventing the space humans from returning to earth.  (See, I have no shortage of ideas.)

Also, if you want to read Bloodsucker, click the link in the widget to the side, and leave a review. Tell me what you think.

D_L_Spartan

 

 

 

 

Motivation and other things

Here we are 25% of the way through 2018, and I’m talking about motivation. Sure, it’s a topic better suited for January or maybe even December (if you are extra motivated), but it’s never too late to get motivated, right?

I mean sure, there might be some lost opportunities if you aren’t motivated, but holy hell, if they were that great, you would have managed to get your shit together.  Am I right?

So for posterity and my own benefit, I’m going to write out how I motivate myself.  So the days I can’t remember how to do it, I can drag my procrastinating butt here and see what I’ve done in the past that’s worked (at least in the short term.) I’m also going to attribute much this insight and added motivation to an increase in my depression medications. I mean, sure I’m cracking my teeth in anxiety, but I’m getting shit done!

To motivate myself for writing, I like to get all the random chores out of the way.  This helps me eliminate the distraction of having something ‘more important’ to do.  I also like to make notes of what I’m writing for this session.  It gets me excited for the story and seems to foil any attempts at writer’s block.  I also need to be wearing a bra or tank top, because I need to attach my Garmin watch to it (more on this later.) Oh, and coffee.  Always coffee. The final thing I need to get my writing mojo flowing is a dedicated start time.  Everything that is going to distract me must be done and dealt with before my dedicated start time. To be honest, if this target is missed, then it’s pretty iffy that I’ll be able to get the mojo to do any meaningful writing. I mean, sometimes I can, but usually, once I get derailed, I’m off the rails.

My next motivation issue revolves around my physical activity or lack thereof.  Like every other American, I need to lose weight, I need to eat better, and I need to let go of all the things that are keeping me from being my healthiest.  I’m part of a Mommy Group (because of course I am!), and a part of that group is dedicated to health and wellness.  This week, one of the gorgeous mamas decided we should all record a video detailing our goals out loud, and we needed to share that video. It’s a private group so I won’t be sharing any videos here, I probably won’t even share mine here, but I might.  It helps to record it first, though.  I came here today to mainly to write up the script for that video. SO HERE GOES!

“Here is my motivation video.  For a long time my motivation to get healthy and fit was primarily to get more attractive and be ‘sexy,’ but it turns out that isn’t very motivating for me.  So I’ve just gotten fatter and less healthy.  But I have an excuse. I mean we all have an excuse, right? And they all are great excuses too.  Here’s my current excuse:

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I sprained my ankle, badly.  Like required surgery and will probably need more surgery. Even the government declared this to be a permanent injury. So it’s a really good excuse.

I’ve been using this injury as an excuse to let myself go.  But it’s catching up with me.  I guess my general physical activity was high enough before I hurt myself that it took some time for my body to realize how out of shape I was.  Eventually, it did catch up, in about six months my resting heart-rate went from the mid-forties to the mid-nineties. There’s a reason this is important.

This is where superstition meets science. I read somewhere that the average heart beats approximately one billion times before it can’t do it anymore. So you can see why I would be unhappy about an increase in my heart rate. I have found this to be very motivating. Each extra beat now is one I won’t get later.

So now what? What’s my plan?  I’m happy you asked.  I’ve taken some StepBets and DietBets.  These have been motivational because I’m not one to lose money because I’m lazy or dumb (which is why I need a bra strap when I write. I can’t type with my Garmin on, and I’ll forget to put it back on if I haven’t attached it to myself.)  Let’s face it, we all know what we need to do, we just need the proper stimulus and tools.  I’m keeping a fitness journal to track my non-scale wins and using My Fitness Pal to track my eating honestly. Seriously, what is more bullshit than lying to MFP about what you’re eating? Nothing is! That’s what!

My first week on my StepBet, I ended up hurting myself, remember my foot is jacked. But I can’t let that stop me this time.  Every time my heart beats is one less beat I’ll get in thirty years.  So I need to figure this out. I talked to my orthopedist, and she said I needed to wear my brace all the time. ALL.THE.TIME. This thing is awful, it’s stiff, uncomfortable, hot, makes me walk funny, and is a pain in the ass to get on and off, but you know what is worse? Dying of a totally preventable heart attack, or diabetes, or stroke.  For the first time in my life, I’m feeling the effects of being overweight and unhealthy, and now I’m motivated.

I know I can achieve my goals, I’ve written two novels, and am well into two more. I’ve graduated from college, hosted parties, booked vacations, created small humans who seem to be decent people, I know I can achieve goals.  I just need to focus.

I know I can reach my short-term goals set by my Bets. My long-term goals are to be a size 10-12 because it turns out I look better not skinny (I have a boy figure that a couple of extra pounds helps hide).  My non-scale goal is to get my resting heart-rate into the 60s.”

img_7063   img_7126

So there it is.  My little motivation speech for my mommy group.

I have no idea if others will find this motivational or helpful, but as I said, there will be times I need to remind myself how to do it. I know I can achieve goals. I can do this! Right? There’s no room here for crushing self-doubt. Enter crushing self-doubt.

I know I’ll struggle. I know that my emotional issues will create problems. But I’ll need to have a point to reference so I can get myself focused on my goals once I’m functional again.  I hope this won’t get lost.  I hope that I can look back at this and cheer on my successes, and not focus on my failures.  OH, DEAR LORD, PLEASE DON’T LET ME FAIL!  I’m so scared I’ll fail at this so I’m afraid to even share this.  What happens if I come back in three days and realize that I’m not able to do this? If it’s out there, in the universe, will the universe think I’m a failure?

Fuck.  I’m going to stop writing now.  I don’t think this last bit is useful.