Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Chicago Visit

I got to see a Blackhawks game! Thanks, Dad!

There are no Dunkin' Donuts in Idaho. I missed them. 

A whole store of Nutella... there was a line coming out the door.

I got excited by weird things in the grocery store - like this barrel of pickles. 

And also how the candy shelves at the checkout have their own lights.

It was very rainy.

I got my kolacky fix. I swear, if someone would just start making these in Idaho, they'd catch on. 

We got to see the Daily Show Undesked! Again, thanks Dad and also thank you to John Schmitz.

I did not take great pictures of the experience.
I blame my camera phone.
I circled us in the audience. Ambrose's hair definitely sticks out in the crowd. 
There's that hair again - my kind of blends into the darkness. 
That one's a bit clearer :) What an incredible experience!

My dad told my husband that his cat wouldn't drink water out of her bowl. Proof! Coco can and does drink water out of her bowl. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Been Traveling

Well, I've spent the last week in Chicago and the suburbs thereof. It was good to visit family and have them meet my husband at last. More later.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Liquid Reset

For no better reason than the box of meal replacement shakes we bought came with enough for 16 breakfasts, I stopped my liquid breakfast experiment at 16 days.

Overall, I would rate the experiment a success. Although I still felt sick during the first week, the IBS symptoms did start fading in the second week Almost without my noticing, I was sleeping better and having regular movement in my bowels. There was still gas happening, but it wasn't as painful. And, right about now, I'm happy to settle for not as painful.

I'm going to keep aiming to drink about a gallon of water per day, because that seems to help no matter what else I'm doing. And I'm just going to see how going back to a normal breakfast does for me. I don't want to stick with the liquid breakfast, because I've been burned too many times by sticking to something that seems to work.

So I stopped rather than waiting for the inevitable failure of the liquid breakfast diet, where I made a rule for myself that I would not eat solid food until I had been awake for at least 4 hours, in addition to consuming the meal replacement shakes. On days when I did 5am Crossfit, that wasn't much of a hardship - up by 4:30, snacks allowed by 8:30. I usually wasn't even hungry by that point. The weekends were a little more difficult. The longer I slept in, the longer I had to wait to eat solid food.

The first weekend of the liquid diet, I slept in to 7:30 on Saturday and 7 on Sunday. Waiting to long to eat "real" food was too hard, so I ended up getting up at 6 both mornings the following weekend. 10 was a much better time to wait for than 11. Though during the week when I was at work, it wasn't that hard to wait til 10 or even 12 some days, a good 7.5 hours after I woke up. Keeping busy will make time fly.

Now starts the chaos experiment. I'm not going to get into another rut. No more than two weeks eating the same kind of breakfast every day. Of course, I'm expecting that my body will decide to work on larger cycles and I'll end up being just as confused about what works and what doesn't in another 6 months. But I'm going to try. I have to keep trying. This IBS thing is a puzzle and I do like solving puzzles.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Keep on Booking

I finished the written draft of this year's hiking book last week. Ambrose liked it. And, over the weekend, I got the pictures all set up and captioned. Next step is inserting the pictures into the text in the Word template., which will take another weekend or so, depending on how many need to be reformatted to fit on a single page together. I'm excited to have it ready so early in the year, but the truth is, I'm not really going much faster than I have in previous years.

In the past, I've done my book hike in August, and finished writing around December. This year, I did the hike in May and finished writing (just barely) in September. Publishing has been in December or January, and this year I'm confident I'll get it ready in October - though I'm still going to send books as Christmas presents.

After I get this completed, I've got a couple of guidebooks that I'd like to write up. Those projects should be shorter, and I'd like to get those done by the end of the year. My inventory is slowly growing, and the sales continue to trickle in each month. Sometimes enough to buy a cup of coffee, even (not Starbucks though).

I haven't been as focused on writing fiction this year, though I did that workshop and I feel like it has helped point out one of the weak points in my writing. My husband has pointed out another that I'm still working on.

Dean Wesley Smith writes about letting the creative side out to play without letting the inner critic censor what gets written, but he also writes about the importance of doing a clean draft. I think that I've become so practiced at writing clean that I let my inner critic take a bit too much control during my writing process, and the result is something that is clean but lacks passion.

Passion is what my husband wanted to see in my hiking book this year. He knows that I can be passionate - how not when we live together? But he had yet to see that really come through in my writing. I think I need to let go a bit more in my writing to get there. To consider less the placement of words and sentences and more the expression of ideas. I need to let my inner English teacher take a break, and let my inner five year old have free rein. Because it's in the passion that my writing voice is going to come through and maybe allow me to buy two cups of coffee a month from my writing earnings!