Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Tag: life blather (Page 2 of 5)

Weekend recap & goals for the last week of February, 2015

bullet-journalWelp, I did not get my taxes done this weekend. I don’t have an excuse, really, other than that I just didn’t feel like it the least little bit. Saturday ended up being a lovely, spring-like day, so we lit the fire pit and spent most of the day hanging out in the backyard, recovering from one week of wintry weather and bracing for the one to come. Sure enough, on Sunday it snowed, and I couldn’t be bothered to do anything more rigorous than crocheting whilst huddled under a thick quilt on the sofa and watching Gilmore Girls all day.

I did manage to finish a set of boot cuffs I started last weekend, though. And then in an attempt to use up the yarn I also made a lacy hair kerchief. See?

Weekend #crochet output: boot cuffs & a lacy hair kerchief

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Feb 23, 2015 at 12:54pm PST

All of which means that taxes are one of the big rocks that needs to be sure and get done this week. Possibly today, even, depending on how the rest of my To Do list goes.

This week’s goals are focused on putting the “big rocks” in the jar first — and learning to discern what is really a big rock and what is merely a pebble; sometimes it’s a lot harder to tell the difference than you’d think. For me, the big rocks are A) things that definitely must be done and can’t be put off till later, B) things that are necessary for my health/sanity/well-being that won’t get done at all if they don’t get done first thing, and C)client projects with an impending deadline. Everything else is pebbles, gravel or sand.

Other than the taxes (which for various reasons fit definition A), the other big rocks I’ve identified for this week are:

  • Daily prayer time
  • Daily novel writing (so far, so good — I got over my block enough this morning to get a decent start on the next scene of Ghost of a Chance)
  • The critique and editing gigs that filled up my Fiverr queue over the weekend, plus a sample edit for a potential direct client.

That’s enough to keep me pretty busy all week. As for pebbles — the stuff I would really like to get done if there’s time — they include:

  • Write & post two more blog posts
  • Finish reading Let’s Get Digital
  • Update the descriptions on various Fiverr gigs
  • Add some features & static content to this website
  • Make a pot of chicken soup from scratch
  • Get out of the house for something other than groceries

For that last one, we might go out for a lunch date and check out a new Pho place nearby. We’ve also talked about taking our work to a Panera or Starbucks for a few hours a week for a change of scenery. As much as I complained a couple of weeks ago about how tiring it is for us introverts to have to go someplace every day, I admit that even I start to get cabin fever if I stay cooped up for too long, and all this snow is making us both a little stir crazy.

Your turn! What are the big rocks that are going in your time jar this week? How do you distinguish between what is an actual big rock and what is just a pebble? Or do you think Stephen Covey needs to take his rocks and shove them someplace really dark and unpleasant? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

How to Write a Novel in 16 Easy Steps!

Image by mpclemens via Flickr Creative Commons

Step 1: Get a new story idea that you’re totally stoked to write.

Step 2: Spend hours outlining and plotting that puppy.

Step 3: Start writing!

Step 4: Write about three chapters, then decide your B plot should be your A plot and your A plot should be put aside for the next book in the series.

Step 5: Throw everything out, including the outline and start pantsing it from the beginning.

Step 6: Just as momentum starts to build, have life become unusually hectic and force you to stop writing for about a month.

Step 7: Get back on that horse. Make progress. Sluggish progress, but still, progress.

Step 8: Get to what you think is the halfway point and celebrate!

Step 9: Get a little bit past the halfway point and realize you have no idea what needs to happen next. Spend days opening the file, staring at it while munching Cheetos, then closing it without writing anything.

Step 10: Feel like an utter failure, fraud and phony who will never finish another book again. Eat more Cheetos.

Step 11: Debate whether to throw it all out and start over, or keep going, knowing that probably at least 50% of it will have to be completely rewritten.

Step 12: Decide to keep going, because a finished broken draft is better than an unfinished draft and you’ll never finish if you keep going back to square one.

Step 13: Push yourself over that wall, bit by bit, one word at a time.

Step 14: Get sudden inspiration as to how everything comes together and get totally stoked.

Step 15: Write like the wind!

Step 16: Reach the end. Collapse. Have some celebratory Cheetos. Try not to think about all the rewriting ahead.


Currently, I’m at steps 9, 10 and 11 as regards Ghost of a Chance. I haven’t written on it all week, save for 334 words on Monday that I’m pretty sure are going to get deleted. I think the problem is that I’m at a point where what I feel is best for the main character and the story is conflicting with my own personal morals and values.

That might sound odd, but for a writer who happens to be a Christ follower but who doesn’t market herself as a “Christian Author,” this tends to be a thing that happens. My characters want to have sex! But they’re not married! And my mom might read this! And people from church! And what will God think? Will I be glorifying sin? Am I gonna get in trouble? Arrgh!

I always end up going with what’s best for the story and truest to the character. After all, not all my characters share my beliefs and values, so it would be weird for them to behave as though they did. Still, as a rule of thumb I try to write things I won’t be too embarrassed for my mom to read, and sometimes that rule gives me anxiety.

Sometimes that rule has to go out the window. This may be one of those times.


What about my end-of-week update on how I did on my goals for the week? Here it is: outside of getting caught up on my freelance editing queue, I got frick-all done besides. Between the weather and hormones, and all of the gluten- and cheese-filled comfort foods those two things compelled me to munch on all week, my focus and energy levels were shot. This means I’m going to have to spend tomorrow doing our taxes, but really, I’m just happy to be caught up on the client stuff, and I’m really, really glad it’s Friday.

How did your week go, dear reader? Better than mine, I hope. And for the writers in my audience, what kind of conflicts tend to derail your writing, at least temporarily? I want to hear all about it in the comments!

In which I go ginger(er) and host a Super Bowl shindig

I’ve been gradually making myself over these last few weeks. This was prompted by several things, not the least of which was feeling frumpy-dumpy after weeks of wearing various combinations of layers of fleece and flannel and a big wide knitted headband/earwarmer on my head.

It started with a haircut. When we had a warm spell that actually made it too hot for said headband, I realized that my hair had grown out to a really awkward length, and it was time to either commit to growing it long and making friends again with ponytail holders and barrettes, or cutting it short again. I opted for the latter and gave myself a chin-length wavy bob with straight bangs. It turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

Next, I finally bought some new glasses. They’re just readers; I can’t look at a computer screen or small print for very long without them without giving myself a headache. But my old ones were pretty scratched up, and I was really bored with the frames. The new ones are black/green rectangular frames with a slight cat’s eye thing happening, and I think they’re quite fetching. Better yet, I can actually see out of them, which is nice.

Finally, this past Saturday I did something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time now: I put henna on my hair to cover my ever-increasing number of pure white hairs. I’ve never used henna before, and it was quite the project. After a lot of research and combing through a lot of reviews, I settled on Light Mountain pure henna. Following some suggestions left in the reviews, I added lemon juice and ginger to the mix. The day before, I did a strand test, and after letting it set almost two hours, the strand overall had a lovely boost, just a shade more vibrant than my natural hair color, with the white hairs having turned a coppery gold. The effect was subtle but lovely, and it was just what I wanted.

So I repeated everything for the main event — which, let me tell ya, was messy and tiring; applying henna to your hair is definitely the sort of thing that’s best done with the help of a partner — and actually shortened the time I left it on … and it came out just a couple shades shy of bright Bozo red. I mean, it’s bright. The picture below doesn’t really do it justice.


New specs, new 'do.

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Jan 21, 2015 at 12:35pm PST

Note that the white balance in the above pic was off and made my hair look much redder than it actually was at the time. Which doesn’t really make it a good “before” pic to pair with this one…

Henna'd my whitening hair. It came out just a LEETLE brighter than anticipated. #neon #ginger #owmyeyes

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Feb 1, 2015 at 12:27pm PST

I don’t hate it, but it’s taking some getting used to. It definitely looks better when I’ve got on makeup, and use eyebrow pencil to make my brows match. Otherwise, it looks pretty fake — and the last thing a true redhead wants is to look like a bottle redhead. Other than that, though, the henna left my hair really soft and manageable. I’ll be sticking with it — I kind of have to for a while since I bought three boxes (that’s how they were sold on Amazon) — but I hope I can figure out a way to tone it down a bit next time.

At any rate, I’m hoping that my slow makeover and my recently acquired cute green jacket are going to add up to some kick-ass author portraits, just as soon as the weather warms back up enough for Matt and I to head out and do a photo shoot somewhere picturesque.

In other news, the friend I thought was coming over on Saturday came over Sunday instead, along with my nephew, so we had a bona-fide Super Bowl party. Matt cooked lots of yummy stuff and I mixed up some dirty margaritas, and the game was close enough to be interesting even to a non-football-fan such as myself, although we were all rooting for the Seahawks (or rather, for NOT TOM BRADY, really), so the ending kinda blew. Still, it was a very nice time overall.

The commercials were also pretty disappointing, but there were two that stood out for me: the Liam Neeson “Revenge” one, and the Breaking Bad one, with Walter White having replaced the lady’s pharmacist. I have no idea what that second ad was selling, but it was funny, so good job, I guess?

After everyone left, we were both still pretty wired, so we watched a couple eps of Breaking Bad (we’re still in the middle of a nightly BB binge) before turning in, after which we both wanted to read, so it ended up being almost 2 AM before we finally turned out the light and went to sleep. And that is the latest either of us has intentionally stayed up (insomnia notwithstanding) in a very long time.

And then our dog woke us up at the usual time this morning, so we’re both very tired.

What about you guys? Any changes you’ve made recently, big or small? Did you watch the Super Bowl, or did you find something else to do with your Sunday night? Did you sit around cracking “The more you know” jokes at the finale of Katy Perry’s performance? Does Tom Brady’s face make you want to stab somebody? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Weekend Wanderings & Shopping Wins

The last time I posted here, I mentioned that part of the reason I was too busy to write up a real blog post was because we had to get the house clean enough to entertain my mother on Friday. Well, we ran out of time before we got the house all the way up to Mom code, but that’s okay because we ended up going out instead.

Thanks to the whole truck rear-ending/insurance settlement rigmarole, we weren’t able to do anything for her for her birthday in December. So on Friday she came into town and we took her to our favorite Chinese place, and then we all went to Kohl’s so Matt and I could combine the gift certificates she’d given us for Christmas with a 20% off store-wide coupon she’d gotten in the mail. I ended up scoring a $100 pair of boots for about $2 (sale price of $29, minus the $20 discount, minus the gift card). Win!

Since I was unable to find the pair of dark brown flats that I initially started out shopping for, we decided to go check out the selection at Goodwill. I didn’t find any shoes there (it’s always so hard to find things I like in my shoe size; either there are too many women with size 10 feet out there shopping or there aren’t enough women with size 10 feet donating shoes to Goodwill — probably because it’s so hard to find shoes that size anywhere else, either, so they feel like they’d best hang onto what they’ve got), but I did score a really cute green jacket for $8, along with a cute $5 top.

My $15 shopping haul from last Friday.

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Jan 26, 2015 at 2:49pm PST


And while my husband and I were debating whether or not I really need a cute green jacket in my wardrobe, a very kind and generous lady named Betty, who was standing nearby, whipped out $10 and handed it to him to buy me the jacket. He did his best to refuse, but she was incredibly insistent, so we finally relented with a promise to pay it forward. So we need to be on the lookout for opportunities to do that. At any rate, thank you so much, Miss Betty, for my new jacket. May you receive a blessing in kind.

The rest of the weekend was just as lovely. I spent Saturday making some tweaks to my website and book sales funnel, and then we had wine and pizza and a Breaking Bad marathon. On Sunday we watched the Dinesh D’Souza documentary America: Imagine the World Without Her, which I think is worth a look regardless of your political leanings. After that I caught up on Castle and Supernatural, and then started a Gilmore Girls rewatch on Netflix, all while I worked on a crochet bunting for the living room wall.

Which brings us to Monday, a day in which I’m trying something new: I’ve decided to dedicate Monday to writing, publishing and marketing tasks, as well as planning and dealing with the things that clutter my mind, in the hopes of laying a solid foundation for being productive the rest of the week. This will hopefully include getting my own blog posts written and scheduled for the week so I can focus on client blogs, and here is one post down.

It’s shaping up to be another busy week. I’ve already got a full freelance workload, and we’ve still got to finish getting the house in shape for entertaining, because we’ve got at least one friend coming over on Saturday. We may also have my nephew joining us on Sunday for the Superbowl, but we’re not sure yet. If that happens, next Monday will have to become an Introvert Day (™ Rebekah Loper) to give me a chance to recover and recharge.

What about you guys? Did you do anything special over the weekend? Score any great shopping deals lately? Do you have Superbowl plans, or do those plans involve skipping it altogether? Tell me all about it in the comments!

In which Jean gets ranty about socks and other not-so-critical things.

I need to rant about a couple of things for a minute. Rant the first:, women’s socks. I’ve been in need of a few pairs of thick, warm socks for a while now, and with this Arctic blast heading our way, we swung by Target after our weekly sojourn to Sprouts to see what they had. This is the second time I’ve tried to find decent warm ladies’ socks at Target–last week we checked the nearest Super Target, where I came up empty. Why is this so hard? They’re socks, for crying out loud. They have one basic job: keep your feet warm. But in the women’s department, all of the socks I could find were more concerned with being cute than warm. I ended up having to go to the men’s department to find a good pair of thick, warm boot socks that weren’t made out of fuzzy acrylic and covered in polka dots. Not that I have anything against polka dots, but that fuzzy stuff isn’t nearly as warm as it looks, and I found it kind of insulting that Target (or at least their sock vendors) seem to think women only care about fashion and not about, y’know, warm feet.

At any rate, now I finally have some good socks keeping my toes warm, even if they are made for big man feet (fortunately (I guess?) I have big woman feet, so they’re not too terribly big for me).

Rant the second: Carrots, man. Why is it so hard just to buy a couple of carrots when you need one or two for a recipe? Why does every store want you to buy a huge bag that’ll feed a family of ten? I want to make a pot of chicken soup and I don’t need twenty carrots to go in there. I also don’t like carrots well enough to have to eat two dozen of them. Seriously, I was really getting frustrated trying to shop for carrots today (and yes, I do realize that this is a first world problem). But I went to three different stores and by the end I was really feeling discriminated against for only being part of a couple and not having an entire family to feed (I’m sure it’s even worse for single people). Remember when they used to sell them in bunches and by weight and you could just take what you needed? Sprouts had bunches instead of bags, but even they priced them by the bunch instead of by weight, and the bunches were still way more than I wanted. Shopping for the right amount of carrots should not be so difficult, people.


At any rate, we’re weathering the cold weather okay. I also picked up another pair of fleece leggings at Target, and between that and my long johns (and my PJs and ear warmers and wrist warmers and heating pad and heavy blankets and a warm doggie in my lap and plenty of hot tea), I’m staying toasty enough.

So far this week I’ve done a good job of following my adaptation of Ma’s weekly chore rhyme, although the true test will come tomorrow when it’s time to do some house cleaning. I have recently come to terms with the fact that I am not a homemaker; homemaking is a full-time job, and as long as I have to freelance in addition to writing books to help pay the bills, that’s just not a reasonable thing to expect of myself, so I’ve got to let go of the idea of having a perfectly spotless and decorated house (and the guilt associated with never accomplishing it). So if we can both just rein in the clutter and do what we can to make it feel clean, I think we’re good to go.

Monday was the official start of my business and writing new year, and so far it’s been a pretty productive week. I’ve added about a thousand words to Ghost of a Chance, which is less than I hoped for; yesterday’s and today’s errands kept me from my morning writing sessions, although I’m hoping to fit in 500 more words later today. I outlined my self-publishing guide, and I’m hoping to start writing on that later today, too. It should go fairly quickly once I get going, since it’s all stuff I know and shouldn’t require too much research or mental gymnastics. I also have a new ghost-blogging client, which promises to be a weekly gig if they like my first post well enough (this post is serving to warm up the gears for that).

…that’s actually a lot of writing to get done in one afternoon. I guess I should stop blogging and get started.

What about you guys? Are you staying warm? Is your first full week of 2015 as productive as you’d hoped it would be? Tell me about it in the comments!

Still Alive

I have made myself miserable. I’m not saying this to whine, but as an impassioned plea to my future self to please do a better job next year of refraining from gluten and dairy-based treats. All of the cheese and butter and eggnog and cream and gravy and such that I’ve been eating lately is wreaking havoc on both my digestion and my PCOS, and all the bread, rolls, biscuits, cookies, stuffing, and other gluten-laced deliciousness has caused my energy levels to flat line. Now we just need to be sure we’re rid of all the Christmas leftovers by New Year’s Day so we can both get back on track and start feeling healthy again.

Between the self-induced misery of holiday eating habits, seasonal affective disorder brought about by the fact that the sun has only been seen here about three times in the last two weeks, and ongoing frustration with the insurance company regarding our totaled truck, I haven’t been feeling very sociable lately. My freelance work slowed way down by the end of last week, so I’ve been taking the opportunity to enjoy a vacation from any type of computer work (besides, I had a ridiculous amount of knitting and crochet I had to get done before the big day) and recharge my mental batteries — hence my absence from the blog and scant appearances on social media.

Despite all of that, though, we had a lovely Christmas. We stayed home and stayed in our PJs and just hung out with our four-legged “kids,” enjoying and celebrating our own little family while marathoning a Christmas movie roster that included Scrooge, A Christmas Story, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. Yes, those are too Christmas movies.

The bulk of all that frantic knitting and crochet was for the furbabies. Pete got a new sweater and a knitted plush bone squeak-toy in his stocking, and the cats got a new bed and a door hanger bouncy cat toy in theirs. Matilda the box turtle got left alone to sleep, which is, I’m sure, what she preferred.

In addition to books, warm comfy pants and a nice bottle of Scotch (a present to himself), Matt also got a replica of the scarf Jeremy Brett wears in the old Granada Sherlock Holmes series, which is the other thing I was frantically trying to finish on time. I failed, but mainly because I ran out of yarn. I need to add at least two more balls of yarn before the length is right. Still, Matt said it’s his favorite present. *beams and twirls*

As for me, so far I’ve gotten books and chocolate, which is enough to make me happy. Besides finally getting the most recent Dresden Files novel and the illustrated trade paperback version of The Dark Tower: Book VII, Santa/Matt also got me a copy of The Little House Cook Book, which is my favorite so far (sometime soon I will have to talk to you about my new Little House obsession). I hope it will teach me a few old-timey skills that I can incorporate into my zombie plan. I’ll also be getting the new Laura Ingalls Wilder autobiography, Pioneer Girl, once Amazon gets it in stock, and I’m kind of chomping at the bit to read it.

In other news, we’re still waiting for State Farm to settle up and pay us for the truck, going on over two weeks now since we reached a settlement agreement. First we were supposed to be able to pick up the check the Friday after settling, and then for some mysterious reason that got pushed to Wednesday of the following week, and then the State Farm office where we’re supposed to pick it up and sign over the truck still hadn’t received it and nobody had an explanation as to why and we haven’t heard anything from them since. On the bright side, at least the insurance adjuster finally stopped giving us deadlines to return the rental car that Matt kept having to call and extend, and just told us to keep it until we get the check and can finish making our Aveo road worthy. Whenever that will be. I’ve given up on expecting it to happen this year.

And now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a magic cookie bar calling my name in the kitchen. Hey, I can’t very well expect the husband to polish off all those leftovers by himself. That wouldn’t be fair to him, now would it?

How was your Christmas this year?

Not enough of me to go around.

I have been falling down on the blog, and I’m not sure yet when I’ll be able to get back into a regular posting routine. We’re still dealing with fallout from our accident, and it’s ridiculous how much of our time that keeps eating up. We’re behind on just about everything, including Christmas; we just got the decorations put up this weekend, and we haven’t even started our shopping yet. I’m just hoping we can get around to that before all the stores are too picked over to find what we want. Add to that some issues with our plumbing, and I just don’t have time for regular blogging–or noveling, for that matter, which quite the source of bother.

So anyway, the insurance company decided to total the truck. We went to the repair shop this morning to be sure we got all of our personal items out of it, and that was a surprisingly emotional time as we said goodbye. We had a lot of good memories tied up in that little truck. So now we’ve got a week left to get our Aveo operational before we have to give back the rental car we’ve been driving. Since it hasn’t been running, we haven’t been insuring it, so we’ll have to get insurance and a new tag put on it, too.

I tell you what, this is sure turning out to be a lot of hassle for what was a relatively minor wreck that wasn’t even our fault. On the bright side, at least now we can afford to get the Aveo fixed.

And of course the other thing keeping me busy is that I’ve got steady freelance editing and e-book formatting work coming in, so that’s another thing to be thankful for.

In other news, I haven’t been doing very well at sticking to my gluten-free diet, and as such my energy levels have severely tanked. I guess I can take that as confirmation that avoiding gluten really is good for my thyroid and the extra energy I had wasn’t just a placebo effect. Now if I can just stop being tempted by all this holiday food… oh look, cookies!

Fire bad. Tree pretty.

zNaNoWriMo Participant 2014This week did not go as planned. Matt and I ran all over town  running errands and stocking up on winter supplies. Wednesday was supposed to involve a quick morning run to Sprouts to stock up on produce and bulk dry goods, after which I was going to catch up on writing and freelance work. But just before we left, the insurance adjuster FINALLY returned our call (did I mention here that we were involved in an accident last week?).

We spent probably 45 minutes on the phone with him, asking and answering questions about our claim, and then he approved us for a rental car, so we had to go pick that up, which ate up another hour or so. By the time we finally made it to Sprouts it was noon already. Tuesday and Thursday were even more hectic. The upshot of which is, I haven’t added a single word to my NaNoWriMo word count since Monday.

This introverted homebody is completely worn out. But at least we’re ready if the winter weather that’s expected to hit this weekend turns into a big deal. Today was all about getting caught up on my freelancing so I don’t have to work through the weekend, so it hasn’t exactly been restful. My new plan is to spend Saturday vegging out and recharging my brain, and then Sunday, while Matt is distracted with football, I will make a valiant effort to catch up on my word count before deciding whether to throw in the towel on trying to win ‘WriMo this year. Unless ice knocks out our power, in which case my chances are pretty much screwed. But at least we’ll be well fed and we won’t freeze to death.

Here’s hoping next week is much calmer.

PCOS, goal interference, and reluctant diet changes

Last week was just a bad week. I have those from time to time, and I’m growing more accepting of that fact — and better at extending grace to myself — now that I’m past 40. Still, it’s really annoying to have stuff that needs to get done and lack the energy or mental clarity to do it. On the bright side, spending last week feeling vaguely ill has finally helped to convince/motivate me to get my diet back under control, since probably at least 99% of what was wrong with me could be traced to not eating healthy enough.

Seriously, I’ve been doing some research on my various chronic ailments and diet, and basically I’m not supposed to be eating any of the stuff I’ve been living on lately. I already knew that PCOS causes issues with insulin resistance and that I should be eating a low glycemic-index diet and not nearly so much bread (I’ve been eating a ton of bread, y’all) or sugar (hello, Halloween candy!). But apparently the fact that I have both PCOS and hypothyroid means it’s highly likely that I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease that’s been linked to gluten intolerance. Yet more reasons for me to avoid bread. Excuse me while I cry into my pumpkin spice flavored English muffin.

And then this short podcast offered compelling reasons why dairy is also horrible for anyone with PCOS. The gist of it is that any animal-based milk contains natural growth hormones that stimulate androgen production and make PCOS symptoms worse. Also, despite the fact that dairy is considered a low-glycemic source of protein, it actually causes blood sugar to spike about as much as bread or sugar.

So lately, this is what my diet has looked like: for breakfast, an English muffin with peanut butter and a glass of milk; for lunch, tuna salad with cottage cheese mixed in on two slices of toast; a cup of yogurt in the afternoon; and something involving meat, veggies and some form of cheese for dinner.

Can you see a few problems there? No wonder I feel like crap half the time.

Of course, this is the worst time of year to try and start a new healthy eating regimen, with Halloween and the holidays right around the corner. And I’m actually dealing somewhat better with the idea of cutting out bread and sugar than I am with giving up cheese. But I’m really tired of not feeling well and it would be nice to actually have the energy to go after my goals.

I like that the podcast I linked above pointed out that it’s not like I have celiac disease or anything, so the occasional indulgence won’t kill me. That’s good to remember, because so many of my favorite things have either gluten or dairy or both. Off the top of my head, that list includes pizza, egg rolls, cookies, breakfast toast, beer, grilled cheese sandwiches and ice cream. Sure, there are gluten-free alternatives to all that stuff, but it tends to cost twice as much and often tastes half as good as the real thing.

At any rate, I’m going to need to do some more researching and planning on all of this. If you follow me on Pinterest, don’t be surprised to see an influx of PCOS and health food related pins showing up on your home page.

I think I’m having a thought. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s a thought. Now I’m having a plan…

This has been a terribly off week. Despite a lovely, restful, craft-filled weekend, on Monday I woke up with a stomach ache and barely any energy, and my condition didn’t improve much throughout the day. Yesterday I felt better, but we needed to make a Target run in the morning, which threw off my routine, and by 4 PM my wrist was throbbing from tendonitis and I had to log off to let it rest.

I went to bed early last night, hoping for a good night’s sleep that would let me hit the ground running today and make up for the lost productivity of the last two days, but then I woke up around three o’clock this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep until almost six, only to be woken up again shortly after seven by my dog, who didn’t care about my sleep deprivation nearly as much as he cared about being fed and let out to pee.

So I’m a little on the zombified side today, and will most certainly require a nap before I even attempt any of my freelance work. Needless to say, it hasn’t been a good week for making progress on my fiction, although I did at least add quite a bit to the PANIC outline on Saturday.

One good thing, though — after I shut everything down yesterday afternoon, I decided to go for a walk. That isn’t the good part, although I did need the exercise.

I had a lot more written here about my freelancing journey over the years, but I was getting into overshare and way too much thinking out loud, so here’s the TL;DR version: I’ve been doing some soul-searching about what I really want to be doing for a day job (until my writing can become my day job), as opposed to basing my whole business model on “what can I do that people will give me money for?”

At the end of the day, the answer to that is that I want to take all of the knowledge and experience in writing and editing, web & graphic design, social media, marketing and branding, etc. that I’ve accumulated over the last several years and focus it all on helping other self-published authors succeed.

So the good thing that happened is that during yesterday’s walk I came up with some good ideas on how to go about doing that, as well as some inspiration for branding and promoting this new venture. So that’s going to add a whole lot of stuff to my To Do list that will probably take a while to bring to fruition, but even so, it’s nice to have a goal and a direction for my freelance biz beyond “what can I get people to pay me to do for them this week?”

And that, to me, is very exciting. Or at least it will be after I have my nap.

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