Being Thankful on the Yellow Brick Road

Hey Everyone.

I know that I’ve been super quiet lately. That’s due to a few reason, one of which is that I’m still recovering from the Labyrinthitis. I’ve regained 99% of the feeling in my face, all of my hearing in the left side of my ear. I can read on the iPad again. I can walk without a cane and am back on regular eating habits and meals. My eating tastes have changed and I’ve lost ton of weight. Hey, there has to be something good to come out of it right?

I have gone from a 48 waist to a 32 waist. I figured out the math the other day (this involved stepping on a scale willingly for the first time in five years) and I’ve lost around 100 pounds of weight. I should state that not all of this came from the two weeks I was mostly bed ridden (the stress of my divorce didn’t help, but adopting a low carb diet and eating more healthy foods-and smaller portion sizes-did help. I also cut a LOT of junk food out of my diet. Instead of eating a bag of chips, a bowl of ice cream, dinner, chocolate and a lot of pop in one evening (I kid you not) I’ll have ice cream once a week now. A small bag of chips lasts me a week. And whereas I’d have a whole chocolate bar in one even, I still have chocolate, just not as much of it.

When I stopped weighing myself, I was was 278. A few months later, I had gone from a 36 waist to a 48. I didn’t know how much I weighed. My blood pressure was 180 over 110, I wasn’t happy and decided to do something about it. So I changed my eating habits. I ate more vegetables and salad. I walked more. I drank a lot of water.

I figure that I probably lost 20 pounds or so from having the Labyrinthitis. I went from a 36 waist to a 32 during that time period. Now, that’s a sure thing given I was existing on rice, electrolyte water, saltines, chocolate pudding and tea for two weeks; I couldn’t keep anything else down.

Since then a lot of my time has been focused on getting better. I have much to be thankful for: I can take the bus to work without the use of a cane, I can work a full day at work and am finally getting back up to speed and take things one day at a time. It’s a healing process, I guess. The one thing I’m most thankful for, however, is that I am writing again.

Though nowhere near my full speed. Usually, my writing schedule usually went like this: do edits for three novels, work on current novel, novella, short story and plot next novel, do marketing for novels(s) that are currently out now and, if occurring, finish workshop notes and look at homework. Plus the occasional canvass, book review, book video, blog post. Oh and lets not forget that I actually have a day job, so there is work and a social life and family and loved ones to see (all of which I’m thankful for, too).

When I was able to sit at the computer for long periods of time again, I decided to take the advice that was given to me by Scott Pack a few years back. He had told me to take a breath and work on one thing at one time. I tried to slow down, but there were so many words and they had to come out the way they did. However, as I was healing, there was no way I could go back to my regular pace. So I did something I’d never done.

I finished off a few projects I had on the go, handed in edits, updated my web site so that it was current with all content and gave it a new look. I finished off some poems and promo pieces and picked the one work in progress I was going to work on.

I had never done this before; just picked one thing to work on. It would mean I might not have any releases for a while (though I had a few in the pipeline). It would mean no edits and writing every day-that was one thing I knew it had to involve. I would still allow myself the occasional poem or canvass if inspiration struck with the occasional blog post. I knew the novel would have to be a good one to hold my attention.

I picked one I had started two years ago (I know this because the Sexy Boyfriend and I are close to our two year anniversary and I started it shortly before we started dating. So let’s say two years and a while ago. It was called The Other Side of Oz. I had started it and, knowing the path I intended for the main character to take, put it aside. I knew it would be difficult to write and knew it would be hard work. That’s not to say that any writing is now difficult, just that this one would be more so,

I picked The Other Side of Oz because I knew that it was a story that would be a long one. I had a vague idea of where I wanted the book to go (following the path of the first half of The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum) but it would be quite a different retelling of the Wizard of Oz that would move between the book and the iconic movie. I knew I had to take a walk on the Yellow Brick Road, I just had to take the next step.

For about a month and a half now, I’ve been writing only The Other Side of Oz and taken those meagre 3, 000 words or so up to nearly 30, 000 words and we’ve got a long way to go yet, but now that I’ve finally gotten Justin to Oz, I’m having a lot of fun. I have a vague idea for a sequel, but I’ll have to see how far into the book I get and how far along the Yellow Brick Road my characters find themselves.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep writing-being thankful I can do so again-one yellow brick at a time.


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