Monday, June 24, 2013

Music Monday: Let's Get Physical

It's been awhile since I did a Music Monday. What can I say - I have been busy and I have had way too much stuff going on.

However, I have to get this ear worm out otherwise it will continue to bug me! Therefore, this week I decided to highlight Olivia Newton-John's "Let's Get Physical" video.

Sorry for the torture, but I have a good reason.

Most people who know me, know that I am obsessed with working out. Lately, I have been slacking. It could be the medication I was prescribed. It made me very lethargic and drained every little bit of energy out of me. It sucked.

Well, over the last two months, the medicine took it's final toll on me and I gave it up. I know my body better than anybody else does and frankly, I didn't think the medication was worth the side effects. It caused me to put on close to 30 pounds.

To me, this is not only scary but downright depressing. I could actually watch the pounds crawl on. I could see my skin stretch and I could feel my clothes no longer fitting me right. Yet, it didn't matter because even if I tried to combat the problem, it didn't work.

Back in 2011, I lost 45 pounds. I have done it before and now it is time to do it again. It is time to get strict and it is time to get picky. I want to feel comfortable in my body again. So I started P90X again. I will probably be complaining about how sore I am, but it is going to be well worth it. After all, I know this program is what gave me results last time. And if I have to use this blog as a resource to stay accountable, so be it. I need to get into shape... preferable something other than round.

working out, getting healthy, lifting weights,
Welcome back Crazy Workout Lady!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I am starting the zombie apocalypse!

I just can't seem to win!

I am sick again. It seems like I have the worse immune system ever. It all started out with an allergic reaction. I have never been allergic to anything before... yet last month it started... small and itchy.

Last week it spread. 

I never learn though. I can't leave things alone. So I messed with it. I itched it. (Because it felt good. And when things itch, you scratch!)

What did I end up with... a face that looks like I was wearing glasses and got punched in the face!
surprise, accessorizing
I accessorized
to distract people from my face!

Don't worry. I won't show you because I don't want to scare you! Luckily it has stayed on one side of my face, so I could easily get a mask like the Phantom of the Opera.

So as if I wasn't miserable enough... then I got a cold. It started off small. A little scratchiness in my throat.

Then my voice disappeared. (No applauding - I don't talk that much!)

My noise started running. (I would run too if I had the opportunity!)

My sinuses are clogged and if I take a deep breath I seem to launch into a coughing fit!

This morning when I woke my face had scabbed over where the allergic reaction was and it was leaking, my eyes were watery and crusted shut, and I couldn't stop coughing. I felt miserable and what should be getting better each day, isn't even close to improving. (I only share this disgusting description so you too can share in my misery and feel sorry for me!)

That means there is only one logical conclusion.

The zombie apocalypse has started...              and it started with me!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Go BIG or Go Home!

I have a problem...

I usually get something set in my head and I want to do it. The problem is, I can't and won't start out small. I have to go all the way. I have to make an investment. If I don't have everything I want, I won't be a success.

I did this once with sewing. Got all the Dummy manuals, got the tomato looking pin cushion. I even asked and got a real live sewing machine for Christmas one year (which is, by the way, sitting in the box - only been used a few select times, most of which ended up being a jammed up mess!) I spent more than 100 dollars on patterns and fabrics and really cool specialty scissors.

The obsession to be the next best seamstress and make awesome homemade clothes didn't last long. Soon I moved on to crocheting... That didn't last long either but I did make a rather frumpy looking scarf once.

I also did the same think with crafts. Bought all the supplies to make my own jewelry. I intended on wearing it and selling it. Instead, I gave most of it away and threw the rest in the box were they continue to get into a tangled mess. Bought a bunch of stamps. Thought it would be fun to make homemade cards and stamp stuff. It really wasn't my thing.

I also can't forget about the time I decided to explore my musical talents. I love music. I used to play the clarinet in high school. So naturally, I thought with all this extra time on my hands, I would be able to teach myself how to play guitar.

playing guitar, rocking, acoustic guitar
I am pretty good at pretending that I am rocking out!

After months of not being able to figure out the correct way to strum, some really sore fingers, and constant complaints about my boobs getting in the way, I gave up and moved on to Piano. (I am happy to say I am having a more positive experience with this one, and have almost figured out how to play Fur Elise!)

This year - it is gardening.

I have no idea how to garden. In fact, looking at my record, I have probably killed more plants than I have been able to grow. I once treated a hanging strawberry plant with Raid to get rid of the ants. The ants no longer bothered my plant... we didn't get strawberries either.

So this year I am going to prove my black thumb wrong. On a positive note, I got my kids to keep checking on it for me! Out of the four of us, we should at least come up with one thing that is edible.
gardening, healthy eating, planting, vegetables
The kids are so excited. They can't wait
for stuff to start growing!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Are You A Bra? A Question of Support

The desperate and insecure writer in me is trying to climb out...

I can't help it though. I am a curious individual. I ask questions. I seek answers. I talk about everything. I can only assume this is the reason I enjoy writing.

It allows me to express myself. I can just blurt stuff out on paper that comes to mind. When I talk, I usually try to think before the words are formed. I hold back a lot.... not when I am writing.

So this leads me to where I am today... thinking about my book, Mother's Day. Thinking about how to get it into the hands of readers. Thinking how to convince people to spread the word. Wondering if it is good enough. There are people out there that have told me it is great. I didn't pay them to say it either.

I still question it though. Is it great because they know me... or did they really enjoy it. Did they get an emotional response? Are they telling their friends and family about the last book they read? Are they passing it on.

I am new to this whole promoting myself. What it has done has brought up massive amounts of questions. Questions about my supporters, questions about spreading the word, just questions in general.

Freelance artists struggle. No body knows who they are and they have to work insanely hard to get a buzz going. It is those supporters who create that buzz... and it is one thing that made me realize what kind of supporter I am.

I am a supporter of the freelance artists. 
I am a bra - if you must.

Misfit Heights, unfettered entertainment, zombie puppet musical
Anytime I know a person who has accomplished a goal they can brag about, I get excited. I want to support them. I want to brag about them. I want to tell the world that I knew them way back when....

When I found out an old friend from high school made a movie, I couldn't wait for it to be released so I could see it. I immediately went to their Facebook page Misfit Heights and not only "Liked" the page, but also spammed my friends with it. It is a zombie puppet musical. How can it possibly get any better than that? Sure, it might not be everybody's thing. It is a small niche to say the least. But it was great and the fact is... I was supporting a fellow peer from High School.
If you want to know more - look to your left. I got him on the sidebar and I highly encourage you to check it out!

Soul Finding, Fantasy fiction bookAs a writer, I have also run into others as well who have jumped on the dream boat and accomplished a goal. One of my friends from Wisconsin, author C.L. Crowe, wrote the book Soul Finding. I have already
read it on my Kindle and I am anxiously awaiting the second book's release. I also plan on purchasing a hard copy of the book just so I can have her sign it the next time I see her. I won't even go into how mad I am at her for publishing her book first! I guess she won fair and square though, so I can't hold it over her head too much. She will just have to buy me lunch next time we get together since she has got a few months on me for the publishing gig.

Obviously because of what I do, I have run into many talented artists out there. Melanie from Scribbles and Smiles also just published the book "Make Happiness Happen!" It is a quick read packed full of inspiration. I was so excited to see it since her accomplish this goal since she was one of my biggest supporters and fans during National Novel Writing Month.

My friend Vicki over at Laugh Lines was recently featured in a book called the "Life Well Blogged," which I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary copy. What I have read so far has me rolling with laughter.

Then of course their is Cyndi over at Pictimilitude, who is going to take the world by storm with her works of art. One day I will have one of her pictures hanging on my wall.

As writers, there are several different forms of support. Marie Landry gave me the opportunity to have my first experience at being a Beta Reader for her book "Waiting For The Storm." I was really excited to read it and give her my personal thoughts. It was a definite read and it made me curious about the other books she has written as well. Upon completion of beta reading, I bought all her books. I love supporting other artists.

Naturally, I can't forget about Julie DeNeen, form Life According to Julie, who was the initial push into my blogging. Who has always been around to push others to write what they feel and expose themselves. She is honest and doesn't hold anything back and that is something to admire in today's world. She already wrote two books which I couldn't put down - "Wanted" and "Writing Through The Chaos." She has a million other things on her plate, including a blogging consultation business through Fabulous Blogging. She has been a big inspiration for almost every writer and blogger I have met in the digital world, and no one has a negative thing to say about her. Honestly, even on those days when I have been busy and it seems like I am not around, I still quietly stalk her just because the stuff she has to say is so refreshing.

girl fight, boxing gloves, fighting
Last, but definitely not least, (because she will beat me up otherwise!), I want to mention Terrye from The Adventures of a Misplaced Alaskan. I hear she is jumping on the band wagon to write a book as well. She won't tell me any more details about it, so I won't dwell about not being able to gossip. However, when it comes to support, she is someone you want on your side and she is a treasure to have in your life. Every time I was feeling down and wanted to call it quits, I would say something and she would tell me to shut it. It really made me feel better!

There are also some other key people who are responsible for some  great products. Shelby McKee, owner and founder of  Keysocks, has been one of my biggest supporters. I was one of the first writers to get the inside scoop on this product. These socks are perfect for any woman who like to wear their shoes, and their socks too. This was an ingenious idea and I talk about them like they were mine. Reality is, I just want to share the love.

Yoga Sandals are another product I stand by and want to mention.  The philosophy behind this product is one I can stand behind and truly believe in. I love the concept of these shoes, since they help with foot and knee problems. I love the positive outlook this business portrays. And I also can't fail to mention one of their employees, my friend Liz, is also one of the people who helped me with the cover of my book. One thing is for sure though, I love spread the word about great quality products like this.

bras, support

Who are your bras?

Overall, I learned there are people in your life who are like bras. They support you and pick you up. They go out of their way to tell you how proud they are of you, the will spend their last dime just to buy your latest piece of work. They don't do this because of it's quality, because it doesn't even matter what it is, but because they want the bragging rights. They want to show you off.

For instance, my mom has already bought 3 of my books. My Grandma has to buy another one because she refuses to share. My sister finished the book in less than 24 hours of receiving it, and I might also add that she was one of the very first to buy it. Now that is support.

After talking to one of the local bookstores, I started feeling the love of supporters everywhere. This man, who has never met me or seen me or even read my book, was excited about my accomplishment. This excitement stemmed from me being a local self-published author. He told me how to make connections - how some of these people will become the greatest supporters just because I am local. It got me excited.

It also got me thinking - who are your supporters? Do you know who they are? Do they brag about you, or do they stay silent? Are some of them a surprise?

I got curious... so I actually asked. And yes - I am taking names. In fact, I would love for them to share a picture of themselves with my book. Why? So I can do a contest and one lucky winner will get something from me and they will also get the opportunity to send my book to a person of their choice. But more on that later. Right now I just want to know who has supported me.

These supporters that create a buzz, and when you are a new artist, that is what you need. You need to create a buzz. So here is my chance to tell everybody who has supported me how much I appreciate you.

Thank you to all of those who have bought my book and shared it with your friends. 

Thank you to all of those have created a buzz 
about "Mother's Day!"

Monday, June 3, 2013

Music Monday: I'm So Excited

I know it has been awhile since I have done a Music Monday post, but yesterday I got this song stuck in my head and I just couldn't get it out. I thought I would share...

There is a big reason why this song is stuck in my head, and frankly, if you could see me right now, you would notice that I haven't stopped jumping up and down since yesterday afternoon. I walked out on a ledge and took a chance. I really wasn't sure what was going to happen, so I walked into a local book store more nervous than a person afraid of heights jumping out of a plane and I asked a question.

"I am a new self-published author and I was wondering, how do I get my book on your shelves?"

Instead of being turned away or told to buy a book and do some research, I was given a phone number by one of the store owners and told how excited they get to promote local artists.


To make it even better, this gentleman used to do marketing for Borders and gave me all sorts of ideas on what I need to do to market myself and my book. How far I take this is completely up to me, however, as any writer knows, information is gold and I don't think I could ever repay this gentleman for the insight he has given me in the short 15 minutes I talked to him.

So I better get to it. I got some marketing to do while I dance away to the song playing in my head. I couldn't have planned this out better if I tried!

Virtual Mirror