Friday, March 23, 2012


I recently went to the doctor and discovered I was severely anemic. By severely, I mean - I already take a daily multivitamin containing 100% of my Daily Value (DV) of iron, as well as eating red meat and iron-rich vegetables, and I still fell into the "anemic" rating.

Now I'm on an iron supplement and I can't even begin to describe how much better I feel.

I originally went for fear of my family's personal genetic curse - hypothyroidism. It is not an exaggeration to tell you that it afflicts almost 100% of my female relatives on one parent's side. Luckily (for now, at least!) I've escaped that particular hurdle.

I am fat because I am fat!

Hypothyroidism and iron deficiency fatigue have strikingly similar characteristics. Joint pain, physical exhaustion, confusion, depression, lack of concentration/motivation. (And no wonder, with pain, exhaustion and depression would YOU be motivated??)

I am overweight, and not particularly proud of it. But since January I have been trying to do something about it. I even started a grueling diet and workout, in which I consumed 1,200-1,500 calories of strictly water, veggies and almost all lean proteins with a 3,000+ daily caloric burn. This would mean I would lose 1lb about every other day.

Well, actually I gained weight.

Mathematically, it doesn't make sense. Nutritionally... the fact is, while I wasn't "starving", my body thought it was (stupid body). So it held onto every tiny bit of every morsel of food that came into my body... so even though I was running/biking a combination of 6 miles a day, plus strength training and eating about half my output... I gained weight.

This is a symptom of hypothyroidism (which I mentioned I do not have). I read, for severe hypothyroidism, a person could need to burn NINETEEN THOUSAND calories a day to lose 1lb a week! How exhausting!

In fact, my doctor told me something I thought I'd never in a hobojillion years hear, "You need to exercise less and eat more." How funny! So now I range between 1,700 and 2,000 calories a day, and during my "exercise" portion of the day, I burn 600 instead of 1,000 calories. Throughout the day, I still end up burning around 3,000, because I walk the dog, and strength training benefits your metabolism for 24 hours afterward.

The good news is that I am now seeing progress. I had my 60-day fitness test today. In January I went to the gym, in February it was a big life upheaval and I didn't, and this month I've been really steady. I go three days and am off the fourth, so I end up there 5-6 days a week depending on how the "breaks" fit.

Soooo, for mostly this month's work, I've lost 6lbs of body fat! Yeah! I still have a lot to go (boo!). My 1-minute-do-as-many-sit-ups-as-you-can, went from 27 to 31 (4 increase!) My muscle endurance stayed the same - I can lift 100lbs once, but not 105 :( But the good news is, with the weight loss I had, that 100lbs I can STILL lift, is a greater percentage of my overall weight. At my "ideal" weight range, 100lbs is actually perfect (by that I mean average, because I am not a bodybuilder.) I lost a number of inches (enough to need both hands to count :D).

My heart is still strong and healthy and I lowered my resting heart rate by 2 beats a minute. (My heart doesn't need to work as hard to get oxygen to my body.)

Overall, I'm happy with my progress. I know the work I'm putting in (and how much easier EVERYTHING has gotten since I started taking iron supplements). As I jokingly say:

"When my books make it big and it's time for me to do the talk show tours and the interviews, I want to look goooooooood" ;)

But besides that, general health is important to me, and I want to take care of my body if I can. And as far as the changes since the iron supplement - I am so much more on the ball with writing! That's fantastic, seeing how it's my life :P

Any health stories anyone else would like to share?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Now Available: "Nightmare"

Been pretty busy lately, sorry I haven't been stopping in much! Just wanted y'all to know that I uploaded my newest novelette, "Nightmare" this week!

Lisa Maynard's son is every sort of problem child. When she receives a mysterious letter from someone called the "King of Nightmares", she thinks it's a prank by Joseph. But the promise is sweet - a child that will "never, never give you grief again." But how much is prank, and how much is promise fulfilled...

Clocking in at almost 11,000 words this is my 13th release! And, I've met my monthly release goal - I'm 3/3 so far this year! :D (Waaaaay behind on word count though haha.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Best Thing (Floppy Jowls, Floppy Ears)

Today was ridiculously beautiful outside. Some of that awful Midwestern winter sloughed off, and left us with clear blue skies and a shorts-worthy temperature that makes all the hearts of those cooped up all winter, sing with joy. So I did the right thing, and went over to my beau's parent's house, with their big country backyard, to let my dog chase his frisbee and be happy and free running his legs off.

But getting there, now that was the Best Thing. There is something especially gratifying about driving down those country roads, radio on, windows open and the dogs jowls and ears flapping in the breeze.

Very gratifying. (Also, HILARIOUS.)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Year-on-Year, February 2012

I started my indie journey in February 2011. That was when I published my first completed novel, "Shackled". When I started, I was honestly relieved that I had finally "written that novel" that I intended. So many people say they think they'll write a book, or they have this great story without a single word scrawled anywhere.

Good intentions don't actually amount to anything without action.

I feel like I'm sounding preachy, so sorry about that.

I now have sales data from a year's worth of sales. That's to say, of my own work (obviously). Yes, I have learned a lot about the "bidness". A few unshakable things I have determined:

1. Being previously traditionally published DOES help your ebook sales.
2. Marketing CAN help your ebook sales. (It CAN also hurt your image.)
3. Customers' desires for reading material do not always make sense.
4. Patience is the long game.

There have been a number of people who strike it big with that first novel, or first whatever on Amazon, etc. I am not one of them. I am solidly the backbone of the writing industry - the mid-list author. Do I think I could still "make it big"? Absolutely. Just not in my first year - and I'm learning to be okay with that. Do I think being mid-list makes my writing poor quality? Absolutely NOT. I think I have a fair number of reviews to back me up on that.

And one last point I will touch on, but briefly and as delicately concise as possible: Do I think everyone that writes a book should publish it? NO. The fact is, we are not all created equally and some people are just not writers. I am not a lacrosse player. I am not much of a skier. I can't identify birds by their call, nor am I particularly good at folding laundry (or keeping my socks matched). Some people are writers, some are not. I believe I am a writer.

I believe interest in my work is growing. With the massive amount of marketing I've done (read: none), I am not surprised that my sales are still small while others around me are reaching peaks of 5, 10, 100k sold. Yet, I constantly see while they spend a lot of time pushing their first book, I've gotten three or four new works up for sale. This is the key of the mid-list author - write something good. Then write something else good, so that after your first good thing has been read, the reader can move onto your next good thing. This frees up a lot of marketing time for me to do what I do best - the writing craft. And while I'm not paying the mortgage or buying fancy chocolates, my royalty checks are increasing in both amount and frequency. I still feel confident that one day they will pay my bills and still leave me at the leisure to write as I please. It just may be another year, or a few 'nother years down the road ;)

So anyway. I know what you're really here for - the pretty graph. Here are my year-on-year sales (in units) through February 2012. Please also remember, my first work was published February 2011 - so there was nothing for sale January 2011.

Comments welcome!