The Year of Loose Ends

It's a bit early to say good riddance to 2008, but I've always suffered from what one professor called get-it-over-itis. It's not that the past year totally sucked, because only parts of it did. The rest was divided, not evenly, between just kind of going by without anything especially noteworthy happening and with a few highlights I hope to carry into 2009.

I think this calls for a list, don't you?

1. The Year of Pointless Typing
I did a lot of this one. Thousands upon thousands of keystrokes and nothing much to show for them. I don't care what some seminar instructor tries to sell you, writing is hard, finishing a novel is harder yet and getting published is near impossible. And, you know, this is the way it should be. Just because anyone can be president, it doesn't mean everyone should have the right to inflict their fiction on the reading public.

2. Late Starts
The last few weeks of December did see me finally get my writing butt in gear. I wrote the synopsis for my replacement novel and churned out the first act of the screenplay adaptation for More Than This. Now all I have to do is wait for my editor to say "OK, go" and for me to write the rest of the MTT screenplay. Easy!

3. Academically Disinclined
I set foot on three different institutions of higher learning in 2008, two as a guest speaker and one as a student. Part of being an author is hustling for speaking engagements and I suck at this. Not that I don't like to talk, but because I find it's easier to assume that no one cares to hear what I have to say I don't go out of my way to set them up. When I am asked, I'm flattered and I try my best to be informative, honest and entertaining. After all, the point is to entice people to buy my books or at least not yawn while I'm giving my spiel.

I took two classes at my local community college and I got my $200 worth out of it. I gave myself the time to just stop pretending to write and allowed myself to enjoy hanging out with some really funny, clever and kind people. I have no idea what my grades will be and for the most part I don't care. I do, though, want to know what my screenwriting teacher thinks of my first draft of my first act for MTT. He did me the great favor of calling me out when I attempted to get out of doing an 8 sequence outline for the screenplay. I hope to bribe him with a cup of bad bookstore coffee to take a look at the whole thing once I'm done.

4. Less but Better
This was also the year I realized I waste more money on cheap clothes than I do on clothes I care about. I've purged my closet a couple of times and plan to do one more heartless go through to get rid of (by donation) anything I own that I don't or shouldn't wear. So no more almost right jeans that are made more right because of the price. No shirts or dresses that would be perfect with just a tweak or two (that never get made). Shoes are never a bargain if they are cheap because they look cheap and rarely fit well enough to make them worth the trouble of putting on. And even I can agree I do not need another bag or tote to add to my already well rounded collection.

Instead, I'm looking forward to buying a nice coat, the perfect pair of flats and finally finding a pair of jeans I can honestly say are worth the price. The rest is just t-shirts and good bras. Good bras, by the way, make a world of difference in how clothes look and your boobs deserve the best.

5. Higher and Lower
Earlier this year I finally subjected myself to a long overdue physical. As instructed, I fasted, offered up my arm and was pleased to learn my cholesterol level was 132 despite my, up until then, atrocious diet of pizza and too much Pollo Loco. My blood pressure clocked in at 100/70 which the nurse said was excellent, even though I'd severely slacked off in the physical activity department. I cheerfully answered that no, I did not drink or smoke. I was feeling quite chuffed until she asked me to step on the scale. Crap. I peeled off as much clothing as I could get away with, exhaled until I was dizzy and watched as she nudged the top slider thing over and over and over some more and finally settled on, gulp, 142.

One hundred and forty two pounds.

The last time I weighed north of 140 I'd been a few weeks out of given birth. At 5'5" (and a half on good days) 142 lbs was still within normal range, but sheesh who wants to be that normal? Not me. And, yes, I know some people will say weight is just a number. To them I say weigh yourself while standing naked in front of a full length mirror and then see if that number doesn't mean something more. Since I have long given up the greatest diet of all time, breast feeding, I knew I'd have to do it the boring way--making sure what I shoveled down my gullet was worth it and moving my ass a lot more than I had been doing.

On these two fronts I can claim success. Just the other day,right after a pee and before my shower, I stepped on my evil Tanita scale and felt my jaw drop down when I saw it read 133.4. And just the other day, after successful preforming my first honest to goodness chaturanga dandasanas (or in English, from a plank position to a hovering a couple inches off the ground without wimping out and using my knees) during my regular yoga workout, I caught sight of my arms and noticed a hint of a shadow where the shoulder meets my upper arm. This is what I think people call definition.

It's well short of what Madonna is sporting and that's totally OK with me. I think Madonna is scary looking and even though I've curbed my Pollo Loco habit, I would never give it up entirely. A girl's gotta eat, you know.

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