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Entries tagged with “health

The end of the year is fast approaching, and as usual it has inspired me to make a fruitcake and do fruitcake 2a little housekeeping, taking stock of what this year has meant for me as a writer, a reader, and just a person, too.

I confess that 2014 has been a difficult year for me. Sort of like Longfellow’s little girl with a curl right in the center of her forehead, when this year was good, it was very good indeed, and when it was bad it was horrid.

I struggled with personal relationships this year, with both friends and with my family, but I also reconnected with several old friends, and was privileged to witness a truly amazing event in my immediate family—my uncle surviving a bone marrow transplant from my mother.

After enjoying performing lion dance over Chinese New Year I decided to take a leave of absence from my kung fu studio for personal reasons both physical and mental. And while I felt less fit overall this year since 2011 (the year I committed myself to taking time for fitness) I ran my first triathlon and achieved the times I wanted.

I wrote a novel that is a total mess, that I may trunk forever, but I also wrote one that I believe may be my best yet.

As is apparent from that last point, I struggled with my writing this year, aesthetically and emotionally, but I also sold a handful more short stories than usual, ones that I like more than usual, even, and I also sold my first novel, my second novel, and a novella.

Though I struggled with feelings of career stagnation, I achieved some other firsts this year. I edited my first ever magazine edition (in spite of being Managing Editor/Assistant Editor of several magazines over the years, I was never invited to take part in actual fiction-selection), and was invited to edit two more projects, an issue of another magazine, due out next year, and another project which has not yet been announced.

Though I did not have a book come out this year, I saw seven short stories published, one of which earned me my first-ever mention in Publishers Weekly, and I sold seven more. I also began (and completed, more impressively for me) a blog series for Pornokitsch, where I am now a regular contributor.

For the first time since 2009 I did not attend a single con, but I was invited to be a guest—an actual guest, not just a participant—at a con next year, a first for me. I turned down cons for good and bad reasons this year, a learning experience, but I also traveled to Japan, which was an amazing experience.

I read more this year than I have in many, many years, in part due to a concerted effort to do so. I kept track of my adventures on Goodreads, which was enlightening. After beginning the year at a good clip I had hoped to read 75 books this year. I’m currently at 65 and I’m not sure I’ll be able to squeeze in ten before the new year, but I’ll try–and whatever I achieve will be extremely rewarding, I’m sure.

I also played video games for the first time in years—Dragon Age 2, and I just started Dragon Age: Origins. As this was also a rewarding experience, I hope to play more games in future, as I am woefully ignorant of the state of gaming, having never owned a video game system that wasn’t Nintendo. Onward to Skyrim, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect, and more!

2015 should be an exiting year. Having my first novel come out, and my second, is already a thrilling but intimidating prospect. I’ll be doing two other blog series for Pornokitch, which I hope to complete with the same or greater level of success as the last. I’m enthusiastic to do more races, to have new adventures (didn’t get to my annual 14er this year), and to begin new writing projects with more confidence and self-assuredness in what I do best, rather in what I wished I did better.

I hope you all had wonderful years, and if you didn’t I hope your 2015 is better. Cheers!

I’ve decided, as a “motivational practice,” to blog once a week during Virtual Boot Camp. Last week, I talked mostly about my initial efforts to be more fit, as well as the sorts of things I’d been doing for myself before starting the boot camp. This week, having now completed a full week and then some of VBC, I’m going to talk about the awareness of and appreciation for certain things which working out has recently given me.

First: Food. I will always love to cook, bake, and eat. I’m good at preparing delicious meals, and I enjoy it. It’s rarely a chore for me. But, having discovered over the past week and a half what it really feels like to be “body-hungry” (needing to eat to nourish one’s body—used in contrast to being “mouth-hungry,” which is one’s desire to eat tasty things regardless of need), I can say that eating when you’re super-hungry from exercise makes food more delicious, which is awesome. To wit: I went on a hike last Sunday, up at Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a gorgeous hike, as it takes you to three different lakes, and it’s more than decent exercise for the likes of me, as it’s 3.5 miles round trip, with a 600 ft. elevation gain. My husband and I did the whole thing in about 2 hours, including a lunch break. We ate at the terminus, and let me tell you, the sandwich I made us was the most wonderful thing I’d ever put in my mouth. Sure, this was in part because it was a freshly baked, hollowed-out rosemary loaf smeared with homemade olive relish and then stuffed with spinach and a bunch of vegan salami and bologna, but it was also because I had goddamn earned that sandwich. This is how I’ve been feeling at every meal. Even my usual wrap come lunchtime tastes divine.

Second: Sleep. I usually have quite a bit of trouble falling asleep and then staying asleep. Not since starting boot camp! I’m sure I’ll eventually adjust, but recently I simply cannot stay awake past maaaaaybe 11 PM, and when I fall asleep, I sleep well. Deep snoozin, big dreamin. I am also now all of a sudden now waking up around 6:30 AM naturally, which is let’s just say. . . atypical for me. True, my normal wake-up o’clock is a mere half-hour later, but the thing is, recently when I arise I’m all like RAWR! IT’S A NEW DAY! And I’m just not that sort of girl. That may be changing.

Third: Hot Water. I’ve always liked showering. I enjoy being clean and the process by which that is achieved. These days, though, I enjoy it ever so much more, and it’s not just because of my Lush collection. There is nothing, I have found, so wonderful as a hot, hot shower when you still have that “Whew! I did it! And am slightly sore!” feeling after working out. Especially, for me, post-weights. It’s just so delightful, feeling gym-gross sluicing away down the drain as your body relaxes. I know by working out with weights I’m gaining all sorts of health benefits and stuff, but seriously, it’s worth it purely for the aahhhhhh feeling of hot water beating on my shoulders while Lush Sea Vegetable or A Ring of Roses perfumes the whole bathroom.

And that, friends, is what I’mma go do right now. Woo!

x-posted to my LJ