Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 2013 in Pictures

A beautiful lake we found in South Carolina
A laptop that has been repaired & a new book being written
Early visit to Scarowinds (aka Charlotte's Carowinds)
A happy grandfather sharing his birthday with his terrific grandkids
My new favorite drink, discovered @ Panera's

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Live & Learn

Seems like the lesson of the day here is: Don't assume that just because running shoes are these cute, crazy color thingies that they'll be comfortable and suitable for running...or even walking. For me, at least, that first pair (see my first post on my Adventures in Running) were not a great fit. They were also the first pair of New Balances that I didn't absolutely love.

My allowance is now going to this new pair, which I think happen to be cute in their own right. More importantly, they're comfortable, provide good support, and perfectly cushion my feet, now that I'm headed into my 2nd week of running.

And yes--also New Balance running shoes! Currently reading No Need For Speed by John Bingham and finding it very inspirational and informative.

Again, is it love or still infatuation? Still too early to tell, but I'm alternating days between running days and resting days. On resting days, I'm wishing I was out there, running. On running days, I'm finding pleasure, even though it's more strenuous than walking. Looks like this may turn into a serious relationship!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Thank You, Readers!

There have been so many reviews for THE CHRISTMAS WALTZ that I'm super-jazzed! Also, I wanted to post this note of thanks to you readers. Not only for reviews of this book on Amazon but also for my other books, and wherever else you choose to post a review. They're truly appreciated. Naturally, I know reviews are really for other readers like yourselves, but of course we authors read them, too. Thank you for taking the time to do that and I'm really happy when someone finds enjoyment (or maybe even God grants them a blessing) in a story I've written.

Seems like many readers tend to enjoy longer works, so in light of that, I'll be working on longer works in the future. (Although there'll be that occasionally short story or novella. I love those shorter works done in between the longer books, and there are books that don't need as much length. Many readers like those, too, because they're that "quick read" while you're relaxing on your commute or in between reading longer books.) So look for most of my future books to be anywhere from 50,000 words and up.

Speaking of which, THE VAMPIRE'S MERMAID BRIDE is shaping up to be longer than that, due to the number of characters and the development of the plot and the story's "people." Editing takes longer as a result of the longer length, too. Because of that, I can't give you a definitive date in October yet for its release, but check back for the date both here and on Goodreads.

Coming soon: An interview with a mermaid bride. You won't want to miss it!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

October 2013 Release

Coming next month: THE VAMPIRE'S MERMAID BRIDE, a paranormal romance, my first since DIMENSION. Here's a sneak peek at the cover, with more info on the way!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Healthy Changes, New Beginnings

"The miracle is not that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." - John Bingham, No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running

First off, the healthy changes: For me, this is Day 5 of no diet soda and no chewing gum with aspartame. No artificial sweeteners AT ALL (unless there was some in my yogurt. Please note: Remember to check labels!).

I'm one of those women who switched to diet soda back in my late thirties when I began dieting in earnest. And dieting and dieting and dieting. There has to be some truth to that "diet soda is addictive" business because I wasn't even discriminating about what I drank. ANY brand would do, though Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi were my favorites. I even considered them "writing aids." Like a cup of coffee, a bottle or glass of soda relaxed me while working on a work-in-progress. Keep in mind that I was also having a pack of sugar-free gum (one filled with 15 pieces) that only lasted me 2 days at a time.

Really? Come on--all that aspartame can't be good for you.

This is coming on the heels of my declaring September "Healthy Month" in this household. Bill, my husband, is actually enjoying it. We're eating more fruits and vegetables in this household, and it doesn't matter if they're fresh, frozen or canned, though leaning more toward the fresh. That's not to say my candy dish doesn't offer Hershey fun-sized chocolates. Listen, life is short, and a little chocolate is good for the soul! But it's interesting how, more and more, the grapes and the mangoes are being reached for more than the candy.

Have I given up on gum completely? Not yet. Gum also relaxes me and, hey, one word: mint! But have you ever noticed how much chewing gum is made with that chemical? Your choices without it are pretty limited. Also, if I'm going to have sugar, I'd rather have it in my coffee. Big Red is made with sugar; since I don't like it as much as a minty gum, I have much less of it.

I don't know if I'll be able to get rid of all the aspartame in my daily diet, like in the case with yogurt, but if I can kick the diet soda and chewing gum habit, that'll be a great start. So those are the healthy changes.

Now for the new beginnings!

I've started 53. For years, even as a young person, I'd tell people, "I can't run." I could walk for hours, and over the years developed a love for hiking, as well. Running was too hard, for someone much more athletic, and once I hit a certain age, it was for young people (or older people who, I thought, had been doing it for a long time). Even as a kid, other kids outran me easily. Since I had no speed, I assumed running was just not in the cards for me.

So this being Keenan Healthy Month, I hit the treadmill last week, except instead of interval training with the incline, I put a little more speed on that baby. Miracle of miracles, I did not have a heart attack and I did not fly off the machine! Feeling bad & bold for a middle-aged grandmother, I headed to the greenway, where I took the advice of Jeff Galloway: Run, walk, run. For me, that meant a 10-minute walk first, then intervals of walking for 2 minutes and running for 30 seconds. Yesterday, on my third day, I was running for 1 minute at a time.

I've stopped saying "can't." I'm a runner. Me. After 50 years of saying I can't run.

Is this love? Or infatuation? I'll let you know. What I DO know is that you don't have to be young or athletic (though you should check with your doctor first; mine already knows I'm a walkaholic!) to run.

By the way, what they say is true. This IS fun. It doesn't matter that I take walk breaks. It doesn't matter that I'm not fast, that my run is more of a jog. I'm doing this for me, for fun as well as for my health.

And since my running shoes were frayed from all the walking I've done this year, here is the little gift I gave myself just for trying. Aren't they the cutest? (Wink!)