Words, Weights, Whatever

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Testing, testing

Ah! It worked!


Made some...slight...changes to the sidebar. Take a look and let me know what you think. I'm still debating about adding a few more.

I'm also still considering changing the appearance of this blog. Unfortunately, there are few templates available and I don't like any of them. I can create my own but that'll be time-consuming, something I (and most writers) have little. I'd also like to start work on my bio: the content's fine but it's a bit out of date and additional stuff is sparse.

Hmmm. So many things to do, so little time to sleep....

Friday, January 16, 2004


Gonna remove some of the links from the sidebar this weekend. Several folks are going to stop posting while others...well, for other reasons. Debating if I want to add more or stick with "the core".

Using "why?" worked

Writing mood as of 21:47:
Current mood: Little tired, little depressed.

The session went well tonight despite the rough beginning. Using the "why?" method mentioned by both Piers Anthony and David Morrell, I answered not only the theme for my current work in progress (WIP), but a "focus"--so to speak--to revolve the conflicts and turning points.

Won't be easy, though: the focus is faith. As my family and friends know, I find the concept a little difficult to swallow, especially with gods.

Will be an interesting...challenge.

Time for a change?

I'm debating about changing my blog's template. What do y'all think?

I've been also considering moving to another web log service such as Livejournal. What's your opinion about Blogger? What about other on-line web logs?

What I'm reading

How stupid of me. Here's what I'm currently reading:

Bridge of Valor by Anne Lesley Groell

Exercise for Men Only (NOTE: The website does not show the current issue.)

Discover magazine


Spouse is on-call tonight. After recovering from a busy work day, I plan to write. I'd like to workout Saturday morning but don't want to push myself into a relapse. My body's energy may be nearly normal but my sinuses and my lungs are not.

Thus, writing, light housework, food shop, and paying bills for Saturday, and any extra from my ToDo list. We'll probaby read; surf the World Wide Web (WWW); and watch anime throughout the day and evening. Hmmm. Any interesting movies being released this weekend?

Sunday we're seeing a play. Yeah! One of my goals--to see at least one play a month--has been accomplished. I've already scheduled a play for February as well.

Building your own cell

I'm concerned. Two close relatives have recently revealed deteriorating health issues. While there's little chance of demise soon, both issues can be drastically remedied by diet and exercise. But they're family; I know how they think and keep my mouth shut.

Sounds irresponsible, right? Not if you've know them as long as I have. Both are women and have been dealing with weight issues their whole lives before I started my regimen a few years ago. They told me the best and worse types of diets and fitness resources. But I succeeded; they've gained more weight.

I've been overweight for over a decade. Runs in the family. My spouse, as a physician, encouraged me to lose the weight but I didn't listen. It would not be until three years ago when one of those two relatives lost a breast to cancer, then had a double-bypass after a heart-attack, that I made the decision to improve the length of my life and/or the quality of it. Within a year I lost thirty pounds of fat; six months later, I gained fifteen pounds of muscle.

I was ecstatic: I've never been in such condition in my life. And I shared my techniques with family and friends.

Then I heard their "silences" and shut up. I knew they would never change.

Physical fitness, like writing, requires a personal dedication. No one can truly pressure someone to write quality material. I learned this lesson well and, when my relatives finally said they were trying to lose weight, I positively supported home while secretly hoping they would follow through. They haven't yet.

Instead they continue to build what I call "the cell": the denials, the lies, and the blames of why they can't lose weight. No time to exercise. Will start the diet next week (never does). "Family before fat". Too tired. One actually has told me many times they're eating less while I see them getting bigger. Hormone problems. I'm a womam. It's society's fault.

Or your nagging me.

The cell continues to build while I stand outside, willing to encourage. It's at times like this I wished I believed in a higher power.

Always the now

What's happened (or, in this case, has not happened) is in the past. Writing tonight.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Today so far....

Though a busy day (see below), not much writing. However, next week and the (near) future will be an entirely different story.

Plan to write tonight.

Good at lunch. Seafood is always low in calorie. And I barely ate the bread. Yeah!

Work has been busy. Lots of clients wanted our services. And we're getting new ones, too. I didn't have time for my breaks. Due to a conference all today, I took an early (before 13:30) lunch. Ugh. And I'm behind in certain routine stuff, too.

Fridays are normally quiet. I hope so. I can already see next week will be busy.

To Do...today

Work on my WIP or articles from 1930-2100. Don't forget to note how I'm feeling when I start to write.

Going to go out to lunch today. I want to implement another new program: carbs during the day; minimal carbs (and less portions) after 1800.

Go to bed early (around 2300).

Pay bills, probably during lunch.
Some light shopping. Need shaving cream, etc.
Some housework. Maybe clean out my car finally.

Yesterday's WWW

When I returned to work yesterday, I was told the handbook I've been working on is being edited by no less than two department heads and the director. Whoa! And it's still the rough draft.

I'll find out what everyone thinks early next week.

No work on my WIP. Quality time, instead, with spouse (see Whatever below.)

Felt much better yesterday. Still coughing, though, which will probably persist for a couple of weeks. I can't wait to get back to the gym.

Didn't eat out for lunch yesterday. One step to regaining control of my (increasing) weight. Dinner, though, was carb-heaven.

Quality time with spouse. Dinner out and watched anime. Oh! Got a message from my mum. She had atrial fib last week. Ugh. She's okay but this may be a harbinger of things to come. I hope she truly follows up in getting her health back.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Day so far

Doing much better today. However, my co-workers are keeping a good distance away and flinch every time I cough or sniffle. Good :)

No workouts of any kind this week. Grrr.

Busy. More details later. For now, here's the "good news" of the week:

Sweet dream machine for sale

If anyone gets the machine, please let me know and post a review.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


Anvil of the Sun by Anne Lesley Groell

Jenifleur Radineux, a young and beautiful noblewoman, is on her way to meet her beloved aunt Vera after schooling abroad. But both women are more than they seem, for Vera is the accomplished assassin Hawk and her niece Jenifleur (“Jenny”) is her protégé. On his way to pick her up at the ship is her childhood friend, Thibault Lescevre, an apprentice carpenter.
What would have been a pleasant meeting quickly goes awry. The Hawk takes an assignment in the desert country of Ashkharon before her niece’s arrival. It’s a trap. While the lethal assassin struggles to escape from death, Jenifleaur and the reluctant Thibault go to her rescue.

This leisurely paced book is an enjoyable read. All the protagonists are likeable: the impulsive Jenny, level-headed (for the most part) Thibault, Vera, and the two brother assassins, the Hound and the Fox. The major antagonist Iaon Pehndon is no caricature and—in many ways—the most complex character in the story. The plot itself is quite simple (rescue Vera and, later, Jenny) so much of the story is devoted to adding depth to the characters and fleshing out the setting.
And what a setting! The world of Varia and the country of Ashkharon are, of course, pseudo-medieval Europe and Arabia with magic thrown in. Magelights (light bulbs), long-distance instant communication through crystal balls, “magecasts” and other such devices (including a very interesting tape recorder) add interesting (though at times odd) modern twists.
It’s the latter that can be jolting to the reader. While magical devices duplicating modern technology in fantasies are nothing new, anachronisms such as “bollocks” and—especially—“tarnation” threw me out of the story a couple of times.
Setting—specifically, description--also fills the novel to an extent I haven’t read since the Lord of the Ring or the Thomas Covenant series. In a time where most writers are told to emulate Hemingway’s sparse style, Anvil is filled with paragraphs of it. But Groell definitely prevents “description fatigue” by keeping virtually all the chapters to ten pages, an amazing accomplishment. I was ready many times to stop in a chapter when I discovered it was ending, tempting me to read again.
For the likeable characters and quick read (despite being over 400 pages in length), I give Ms Groell’s first novel a C plus.

That was a mistake

Whole bunch of new blogs over at Forward Motion and, of course, I had to read them. That took a good 15-20 minutes.

So far today....

After waking up, I browsed the blogs on the sidebar (see left) leaving messages as appropriate. Whew! Took me a good forty-five minutes! Took care of some personal business afterwards then prepped an order for the company. As I type this entry, I'm sweating despite the cool temperature in the house. Yup, I'm sick.

Update today so far....

Read the prior entry on my cold.
I called in sick this morning. Despite yesterday's rest, I'm worse today. Hope that means I'll be on the upswing soon.

Regarding Comments. If you notice, all got wiped to zero. Blogspeak , my Comments provider, is down until further notice. I've switched over to Haloscan. So, to my regular readers, please comment!

Ugh. Going back to bed....

Update on Monday

I'm sick. (See below for details.) Unlike a lot of writers who would view such an...opportunity...to put in a few words, I rested all day. It's pretty hard to concentrate when you're trying to draw breath.

However, I did make the attempt and generated a few new chapters in the outline. This will develop my "professional" muscles when I'm published and have a major deadline looming in a few weeks and I can't let such a thing as a cold get in the way.

The cold's turned worse. It's gone south and is affecting my asthma something fierce. Ugh!

I have a cold. And talk about coincidence. I drove to work yesterday. When I told my boss I've been sick since last week, she said to get out; too many folks--including herself--are still recovering and can't afford to get sick again. I protested but confirmed with R. that I'm contagious. Reluctantly, I left.

Good timing. Later that evening the cold had traveled down my lungs making me cough (and really infectious). I rested all day, napping frequently and using my asthma inhalers frequently. (Yes, I'm familar all too well with the side-effects.) Between the periods of unconsciousness, I've slept and watched TV. I tried some writing but the actions triggered my asthma attacks.

Sunday, January 11, 2004


Worked on my current work-in-progress' (WIP) plot and subplots. Looking good.
Finished Groell's Anvil on the Sun. Review to follow shortly.

Nada. Didn't watch my weight, either. Sigh. I already can see I'm not going to enjoy this week.

Confirmed the story of the woman who lost her skin is not a hoax. The condition is known in the medical community as Stevens Johnson Syndrome/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. (NOTE: If you check out this website, the pics on SJS Pictures are graphic. Those with a weak stomach or easily prone to nightmares should not click that link!)

Truth is stranger than fiction

A young American woman is making a remarkable recovery after losing all of her skin when she suffered a horrific allergic reaction to a common antibiotic prescribed to millions of people.

Being the cynic that I am, I'm going to verify this is no joke. If it's not, it's amazing how--again--truth is stranger than fiction.

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