Archive for February, 2013

I’m a little disappointed. The natural deodorant I made is causing a rash. And it’s very uncomfortable. So much that I’m not wearing ANY deodorant today. It’s a really good thing it’s winter time and we’re having cold temperatures. If it was summer, I might not smell so great. LOL. Anyway, I can’t figure out which ingredient is making me break out. It really shouldn’t be the coconut oil because that’s what my moisturizer is made with, and my face is fine. So it has to be either the baking soda or the arrowroot powder. My husband seems to think the culprit is more than likely the baking soda. Baking soda is pretty alkaline, about a 9 on the scale, I think. Not enough to be caustic, but pretty high. I have no idea about the arrowroot powder. I’m very upset about this because I LOVE this deodorant. It goes on smoothly, smells great, and seems to work really well (summertime would be the test, though). I’m not sure which ingredient actually neutralizes the odor, although I suspect the baking soda has a lot to do with it. So just using coconut oil by itself probably wouldn’t work. It probably wouldn’t dry well either. Every homemade deodorant recipe I saw used those three ingredients I mentioned. Does anyone have any ideas? Do you guys think it’s the baking soda? Do any of you have any experience with this?

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We are getting into the busiest time of year for my full time job. I now have two assistants instead of one, but here’s the problem. My first assistant is also our truck driver. (It’s a small company and we wear multiple hats.) My second assistant only works three days a week (due to school) and he leaves two hours before closing to go to his second job. And on two of the days he works, he takes two hour lunches because he goes to school during his lunch hour. So that leaves me without help a lot. Today, my phone has been ringing off the wall with customer orders. I FINALLY went to the bathroom and had two voice mails when I got back. The bathroom is next door to my office…I was only gone a short time.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because if I don’t visit your blogs as regularly as I usually do, it’s because I just don’t have time. It will be all I can do to post on my own blog. And I WILL answer all comments on my blog. I’m a big believer in answering blog comments when people have taken the time to comment on my blog. I think it’s rude not to answer, so I always do. If you’ve ever left a comment on my blog and I didn’t answer, it’s because I missed it somehow. But there are a lot of blogs I visit, and I’m just not going to have that kind of time right now, probably through April. I’ll try to stop by, but I don’t want anyone to think I’ve abandoned them if I miss a few times. So bear with me. Things will slow down eventually. I’m just happy to have a little extra help this year. 🙂

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I really don’t like to keep mentioning my diabetes on this blog. When I first found out I had it, I was determined not to make a big deal out of it. But it keeps coming up, and I realized it’s because it was, and still is, a huge part of my life. The only reason I need to mention it today is that it has impacted my writing.

When my blood sugar was high, I felt SO bad. I know I’ve said that before, but if you’ve never experienced it, it’s hard for me to get you to understand HOW bad I felt. So what happened was, I just got out of the habit of writing. I was to the point where I wasn’t writing at all. I wasn’t playing computer games, either. I was lying on the couch watching TV. At work, it was all I could do to get up out of my chair some days just to go to the bathroom or go get coffee. So now, I’m feeling SO much better. It’s amazing the difference a change in blood sugar makes. But here’s the thing. I got into a HABIT of not writing. And I’m having such a hard time breaking this habit. I’m doing more housework, I’m enjoying time with my family, I don’t leave “get-togethers” early (because I felt like crap)…but I’m still slacking in my writing.

I think part of my problem is that I’ve stopped thinking of writing as a job. I used to. When I was churning words out, I thought of it as my part-time job and something that I just DO. When I got out of the habit of writing, I started thinking of it differently, so I don’t have my mind back in the right place yet. Lagging book sales have also discouraged me a bit. There’s so much more competition now. I think if I start making myself believe again that this is my job, I’ll have more self-control about getting it done. If I can get my health habits under control, which I have, I can get writing back on track, too. It’s all about changing bad habits into good habits.

I only wrote one day last week.

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I hate the word “failure”. HATE IT. When someone feels like they’ve failed, it causes discouragement and makes one wonder if it’s worth it to go on with what they are trying to accomplish. The word failure is a nasty word and really shouldn’t be in one’s vocabulary.

I didn’t lose weight this week. Nada, zero, zilch. Did I fail? Of course I didn’t. I succeeding in finding out what happens when you don’t eat properly. I succeeding in finding out what happens if you let your priorities slide. But I’ve also succeeding in keeping my blood sugar at a normal level. Last night I went to a jewelry party, but it was also someone’s birthday. There was cake. Not the kind with the nasty whipped icing. It had real homemade butter cream, clog your arteries, icing. My favorite kind. The kind where I could just eat the icing, the huge globs shaped like roses with just a tiny bit of actual cake. It’s all about the icing, ya’ll. I resisted…and resisted. Then I thought, you know what? I’m going to have a bite. And oh that bite was good. But that’s all I had. One bite. And my blood sugar was only 122 when I got home. So did I succeed last night? Oh, yeah, I did. Do you know how hard it is to have ONE BITE of your favorite kind of cake?

So, although it wasn’t a week of weight loss, it WAS a week of success. It was a week of learning and reminding. And it was also a week of control, at least in the sweets department. And, hey, at least I didn’t GAIN any weight. 🙂

Stats for this week:
Beginning weight: 193
Today’s weight: 178
This week’s loss: 0 lbs.
Total loss: 15 lbs.

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I’m not going to link this in the ROW80 linky tool today because the majority of this post doesn’t pertain to ROW80. And there have been SOME people who get annoyed if you link to the linky and post other stuff that day. Some people do it anyway, but I would hate to annoy anyone. 🙂

Short ROW80 update. WIP is going pretty well. I’m getting a feel for what’s happening in the small Florida town, although I still don’t have a name for the town.

What I want to talk about now is what I did last night. I got all my ingredients for the natural stuff I wanted to make. I like buying from Mountain Rose Herbs, but they were out of some stuff I needed, plus they are slow shipping stuff out (because they are so popular and busy) so I got the rest of what I needed from our local health food store. Anyway, I had coconut oil, sweet almond oil, baking soda, arrowroot powder, emulsifying wax. beeswax, and a couple of essential oils. I was going to buy some more essential oils from my local store, but when I saw the prices, I decided to buy those later from Mountain Rose Herbs. Anyway, I set out to make three things…moisturizer, deodorant, and solid perfume. Now, normally, when one decides to make these kinds of things, SOMETHING is going to go wrong or won’t turn out right. I hate to disappoint you, but I have no funny story to tell. Everything came out AMAZING. The moisturizer is just the right texture. The deodorant felt wonderful. And the solid perfume…well, it turned out right, I just wish I had different essential oils. I mixed lemon with cedarwood. It was okay, but not my favorite scent. That’s just all I had.

So, the moisturizer felt great on my face this morning. I’ll probably use it for hand lotion, too, because I have way too much to just use on my face, and natural products have no preservatives. The deodorant felt so good going on this morning. I wish I hadn’t put any cedarwood scent in it just because I love the smell of the coconut oil by itself. I think if I do the solid perfume again, I’ll put it in something flatter or maybe one of those tubes like lip balm is in. This perfume is REALLY solid, and it’s hard for me to get enough on my finger to rub on my skin. It would be better to rub it directly on my skin.

So, is anyone else experimenting with any of this? If not, are you thinking about it? I’ll have to let everyone know how the deodorant works. LOL

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Hello, my name is Lauralynn Elliott, and I’m a pantser. Kait and Susan have given me a good talking to about plotting and why I should. I understand the concept. I understand the reasons for plotting. I sort of plot in my head. But, alas, I’m still a pantser. And there’s a very good reason why. Here’s the story:

I don’t know what’s going to happen. Seriously, I don’t. I get an idea. A GENERAL idea. And I know the MAJOR points I need to hit. I almost always know the ending. I know certain things must happen. But if I sit down to write an outline for the book I’m about to write, I have no idea what’s going to happen in the book. So I can’t write the outline. This is going to sound strange, but there’s something almost magical about my hands typing out words. That’s the only way I can make the story happen. I don’t even think I could dictate the story. I HAVE to be typing it out, and the story unfolds as I do. I’m very surprised sometimes by things that happen in the book. Characters do things that I don’t expect. An example: I just wrote a character in my WIP who was going to be this older, snobby, stuffy woman who owned an antique store. As I was writing the interaction between her and the main character, she suddenly became a woman who seemed stuffy on the outside, but really had a good heart and a sense of humor. I had no idea. Now, sometimes, I’ll be sitting at my desk or somewhere, and I suddenly know what needs to happen in the next scene. But even that ends up changing as I write. I’ve never been able to do it any other way.

So maybe I need another weekend with Kait and Susan. Maybe they can beat me into submission. Is it possible for me to change? Maybe. I think if I could quit my day job, my mind would settle down and be more open to plotting. If I want to eventually get into writing mysteries that have very complicated plots, I will probably HAVE to change my method. Although, some of my beta readers tell me they like the twists that have been in the books I’ve already written. One said, “You think up the best twists and creatures.” But, honestly, for something a lot more complicated, plotting is probably necessary. Stephen King is a pantser. But I’m not Stephen King. I don’t have his experience. I think I’m going to start a WIP at some point during the summer and maybe work on plotting on my vacation when I’m relaxed and my mind uncluttered. We’ll see what happens.

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I only managed to write 3 days this week. My goal is 5, so I’m not happy with myself. There was no excuse for not writing on Friday. It was pure laziness. It was me wanting to do other things. Bleh. Yesterday, I was having a pretty good writing day. I was in my office in my comfy chair. Then my son, his girlfriend, and her little girl came over and decided to stay in the room with me. My son’s girlfriend was very quiet, doing her own thing. But my son likes to talk. And he did. Here’s the thing, though. What my son has to say to me is SO much more important than what I’m writing. If you have kids, you understand. Although he’s grown, he’s precious to me, and if he wants to talk to me, then I’m going to let him. The book can wait. I still got almost 800 words in. So my total words for the week is 2417.

Weight loss and healthy habits are still going well. I try to keep that updated on “Fitness Friday” every week.

I have the print proof of Soul of a Vampire, but it looks like there are changes to be made to the spine. The title isn’t centered exactly right (CreateSpace fixed something and I think that’s why it happened), and the font is really too small to see well. Anya said she would fix it. I hate to pay for another proof, but in the long run, I think it’s better to get it right. I let my son and his girlfriend look at it yesterday. My son said he would definitely get it fixed. So I guess that’s what I’ll do. I’ll let Anya look at it tomorrow. This is the first time I’ve had to have a cover redone after seeing the proof. The measurements are SO precise when submitting a cover file.

SHAMELESS PROMOTION: Don’t forget…Soul of a Vampire, Vampires’ Curse, and The Gnome are all on sale for .99 through the month of February. These books are regularly $2.99.

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