So much for those regular “Manic Monday” posts. Ah well — you live and learn, right?
What on earth have I been up to since my last update? A whole lot of writing, with a little bit of fun tossed in here and there.
You might have read last week’s Writer Wednesday post with Roni and Carla, the authors of What You Can, When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms. Well, I’m still thinking about #wycwyc, and trying to figure out who’s with me.
Is anyone interested in creating a #wycwyc support group? I know I could use a little extra motivation to get healthier, but without all the pressure of a “perfect” plan. The older I get, the less excited I am about cutting entire food groups from my plate. Even though I’ve had success doing a low-carb diet in the past, I can’t seem to bring myself to give up all the pasta, bread and potatoes.
I made this little reminder to forget perfection and focus instead on good enough. It’s fine to be just “okay” at things. Having a mostly okay diet is better than not even trying because I can’t follow a “perfect” eating plan.
Leave a comment on this post if you want to join me. I can create a Facebook group for us to “meet” in.
In other news:
— I lost a lot of sleep last Wednesday morning, thanks to a radio interview in Flagstaff. I used to live right down the street from the KAFF studio where the interview was scheduled. But now that I’m in Prescott, I had to be up before 6 a.m. to make it to FLG for an 8:30 interview. No easy feat considering I usually sleep until at least 9!
Anyway, I got to visit Flagstaff Country to talk about the upcoming Payson Book Festival, which is on July 25 … less than a month away now. Eeep! I’d better round up some books, bookmarks and postcards for the event, eh?
The interview lasts about six minutes, and I talked about the festival as well as a little about my books. Check it out here.
The weather was lovely in Flagstaff, and being up there gave me a chance to get my Dunkin’ Donuts fix. That’s what was left of my iced coffee with two Splendas and coconut by the time I made it back to Prescott. (Although I’m pretty sure they left out the Splenda, because it didn’t seem as sweet as normal.)
Do you like to sleep in? I come by my schedule honestly because of my work hours. I’d rather work days, but someone has to put the latest news in tomorrow’s newspaper—and that means working in the evenings and into the night.
— I can’t remember if I ever shared the link to my Writer Groupie podcast. Way back in April, Kim Smith and I chatted about writing and her “author unplugged” sessions, which I still need to try out for myself. It sounds like a blast.
— Now that I’m reporting part-time, the day job gives me a chance to go out and meet people. I’d forgotten how much I liked that part of newspaper work.
On Sunday, I got to hang out downtown with area firefighters for the annual Fire Hose Cart Races. It was a lot of fun…and inspiring. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one of my next novels ends up with a firefighter hero.
Here’s a link to my story on The Daily Courier’s website. (I even shot a video of the hose cart races. Our photographer on the scene took a video of the Bucket Brigade.)
And, just for fun, here are a couple of the photos I snapped with my iPhone during the races.
Welcome to the My Sexy Saturday blog hop. Can you believe this is Week 99? I haven’t participated every week, but it’s still nice to be nearing such an impressive milestone.
From the blog:
This week’s theme is Keeping It Sexy and we’re thinking about all the wonderful things that lovers do to and for each other. Think about those special vacations, those sexy beach or mountain homes or maybe it’s just a fun day at the spa. Or taking a ride in the latest spaceship or seeing the home they’ve built together for the very first time. There are things that all lovers do to keep their love fresh, alive and inviting to each other. It’s all those special sexy environments that we’re talking about.
In honor of the theme, I’m going to share a quiet moment from BLIND DATE BRIDE.
Kari and Damien, the reluctant winners of Romance TV’s “Get a Love Life” contest, have been “married” (really in name only at this point) for several weeks by this time. Damien recently learned that he’d have to accompany Kari on her pre-planned Alaskan vacation, which means he needs to get over his flight-phobia—fast. He asks his buddy, Cody, to take him up and imbibes in a bit too much liquid courage—and celebratory “I made it back to the ground in one piece” booze afterward … on the afternoon he’s supposed to meet Kari’s family. With some difficulty, Kari wrangles him into a shower to sober up and then goes to the kitchen, where Cody is making coffee.
As she neared the closed bathroom door, she heard the water shut off. Wanting to give Damien plenty of time to wrap up in a towel, she counted to fifty before putting her hand on the knob and pushing the door open.
He wasn’t wearing a towel. He wasn’t wearing anything at all. Since their exploit in the Element had been in semi-darkness, this was the first time she’d gotten a good look at Damien in all his glory. And he was magnificent.
Kari gulped, wishing she’d counted to a hundred and fifty instead. She swallowed again, seeking to soothe her suddenly parched throat. Her hand shook, reminding her that she was holding Damien’s industrial-sized vat of coffee. She stole a sip, certain that he wouldn’t miss it from a mug that size.
Speaking of large …
No! Kari refused to let herself go there. Locking her eyes on his face, she stepped into the room, shut the door and held out the mug. “Cody thought you could use this.”
He took it from her, and Kari felt a jolt as his fingers brushed hers. “Thanks. I’m already feeling more like myself.”
“That’s good, because we leave for my sister’s in about fifteen minutes.” She tried to ignore the electricity humming in the air between them, and the part of Damien that seemed happy to see her.
Find BLIND DATE BRIDE at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, and in print at CreateSpace or Amazon.
This week’s Writer Wednesday is a little different. Instead of talking to a romance writer, I’ve invited Roni Noone and Carla Birnberg, bloggers and authors of “What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms.”
We all know we should eat better, exercise more, get better quality rest, and so on. Tell us something we don’t know, right? After all, every statistic we have about Americans and our health proves that no matter how good our intentions are, we are failing to change the habits that undermine our well-being. But how do we achieve our healthy living goals when they’re so daunting? Who has the time, the willpower, the resources to do all that nutritious eating, muscle building, restful sleeping, and work-life balancing?
Carla Birnberg and Roni Noone have the answer to that—the answer is you. You have the power to make healthier living easy and exciting, just by adopting one simple mantra: “What you can when you can.” It’s all you need.
What You Can When You Can (#wycwyc) is a book, a movement, a mindset, and a lifestyle—one that harnesses the power of small steps to let you achieve your health and fitness goals on YOUR terms. The #wycwyc (pronounced “wickwick”) philosophy applies to anything and everything that contributes to a healthy, happy life: nutrition, exercise, physical and mental rejuvenation, and so much more.
The movement has its own hashtag (#wycwyc — pronounced wick-wick) and there’s a podcast, which I eagerly download every week.
You might ask why I’m such a fan? I’ve been following both Roni’s and Carla’s blogs for years, and when I heard they’d be writing a book that summed up this approach to healthy living, I was thrilled.
Too often, I fall into the perfection trap. If I’m not eating according to whatever diet plan I’m trying to follow at the moment, I throw in the towel and binge. If I can’t take an 45-minute walk, I don’t walk at all. #wycwyc is a reminder to strive for progress, not perfection.
We authors can be a particularly unhealthy lot, sitting at our computers for hours on end. Relying on takeout. Downing sugary coffee drinks like they’re going out of style.
Is that just me? Sorry.
But seriously. Life doesn’t have to be all or nothing. With each podcast, tweet and photo on Instagram, Roni and Carla remind me that every moment offers a chance to make a better, healthier decision.
Let’s get to know Roni and Carla with a round of “This or That.”
Snack of choice: sweet or salty?
Roni: Salty then sweet!
Carla: Salty salty salty. Years ago when my daughter was tiny she looked me in the eye one morning and said: Dada has a sweet tooth. I felt pretty prideful for a fleeting moment until she took a breath and continued with: and you have a really bad salt tooth. Ahh well….
Night owl or early bird?
Roni: Ex-Night owl turned early bird. Hey, you got to do what you got to do.
Carla: I am so much of a lark I often cross friends in the hallway – the metaphorical hallway 🙂 – as they are going to sleep and I am getting up to start my day. Especially my friends in the west coast now that I am a central time zone’er. 4 AM. Pretty much seven days a week. I treasure the quiet morning hours for writing.
Cardio or yoga?
Roni: Yoga for sure!! Although I do like a good run now and then.
Carla: Either. I’m a traveler and I will take it to how I can get it.
Would you rather travel to the past or the future?
Roni: Future for sure! I’m fascinated with how much progress we’ve made an a society and culture and I’d love to see what the future holds.
Carla: Either. I’m a traveler and I will take it to how I can get it.
Star Trek captain: Kirk or Picard?
Roni: Hands down, Kirk. Gotta love the cheesy original.
Carla: Either. I’ve never seen an episode. I know, I’ve been told that’s blasphemy.
Note from Arlene: Total blasphemy. Now I’m not sure we can be friends. 😉
Mac or PC?
Roni: Another switch for me. Started out PC and now I’m a MAC user. Although I love Android on my phone.
Carla: I’m a habit gurl. I was PC for decades, but now that I’ve switched to Mac I think I may never go back.
Arlene again: Okay, that redeemed you … Die-hard Mac grrrl in the house!
Get your greens: lettuce or kale?
Roni: Kale. Kale. Kale. Kale. KALE!
Carla: Both but in entirely different fashions: The lettuce is in salads etc. the kale is always shoved into my vitamix blender and whirled until it’s unrecognizable.
It’s vacation time: Beach or mountains?
Roni: Beach. Nothing beats the feel of sand on my feet and the sound of the ocean.
Carla: 20 years ago I would have said beach. I don’t know if it’s growing up or simply changing – but I am a mountain woman now. Long hikes, fresh air, and nights spent reading.
Solo or group exerciser?
Roni: Group all the way! I’m super social and love working out with people.
Carla: My entire approach to fitness is fitting it in where I can. Completely our what you can when you can philosophy. So it all depends on who’s around when I feel the spontaneity and the time is there. If I’m at a playground I usually drag in companions 🙂
With unlimited funds at your disposal, would you hire a personal chef or personal trainer?
Roni: Trainer. I love to cook so this one was easy.
Carla: Neither. I’m such a boring plain eater I don’t need the chef and let’s just say I don’t respond well to personal trainers. I owned a boutique training studio in the early 90s and, while I like to think I was a fantastic trainer, my response to encouragement or people cheering me on is often to stop. I’m an enigma wrapped in a riddle who would probably donate the majority of the funds.
Jocks or nerds?
Roni: I’ve always associated with nerds but the more I workout and get into fitness, jocks are growing on me!
Carla: Both and neither. The older I get the more I’ve learned one label does not fit most individuals. Nocks 🙂
Shopping bags: paper, plastic or reusable?
Roni: *sigh* I would love to say reusable but I usually forget them! So I normally use plastic BUT I get a lot of use from them at home for things.
Carla: Reusable. After spending two years in Oakland California where it was a nonnegotiable I have finally learned to always be prepared. That said, my real answer would probably be backpack. I’m never go anywhere without my backpack and that’s where I tend to shove all of my groceries 🙂
More about the authors:
Carla Birnberg is an award-winning writer, speaker, healthy living and fitness expert, community builder, and social media maven. With “unapologetically myself” as her motto, Birnberg encourages others to carve their own unique paths to longer, healthier, and more vibrant lives. She has been published in Woman’s Day, the Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World, Better Homes and Gardens, and Health, in addition to numerous other publications. Shape magazine named Birnberg one of the top 15 fitness gurus to follow on Twitter, alongside Jillian Michaels, and Fitness magazine listed Birnberg’s blog as one of their favorites. To learn more about Carla, visit CarlaBirnberg.com
Roni Noone has founded and runs several healthy living blogs including Roni’s Weigh, GreenLiteBites, and a supportive online community called BlogToLose, where now more than 6,000 users are blogging to reach their own weight-loss goals. She used her blogs to not only shed 70 pounds, but to start a running habit, get over a fear of weight training, complete two marathons and run seven Tough Mudders, yes, seven. Roni has been featured by many media outlets including CNN, the Today show, Inside Edition, Ladies Home Journal, Everyday Health, Woman’s World, Woman’s Day, and Wired. To learn more about Roni, visit RoniNoone.com
#wycwyc online: wycwyc.com
Anyone want to join me in #wycwyc-ing our way to better health?
Happy Saturday! I try not to get political here—not because I have no opinions about what’s going on in the world but because I write to entertain readers, not preach my worldview. No doubt, readers could care less how I feel about gun control, Confederate flag-waving—or any flag-waving, for that matter—and same-sex unions.
However, I can’t let the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage go unremarked. Love is love. Period. And on Friday, love won.
Thanks, SCOTUS, for joining the new millennium. I’m proud that, in the words of President Obama, the court’s ruling has “made our union is a little more perfect.”
“This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts,” Obama said. “When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.”
In honor of the court’s decision, I’m sharing a snippet from BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER for My Sexy Saturday this week. Matt Thatcher, the hero of BEAUTY, has a brother who happens to be gay. (He’s also a stylist, which a few judges dinged me for when BEAUTY was making the contest rounds. Too stereotypical, they said…but in my mind, at least, Stan is a well-rounded guy. If I didn’t convey that…well, that’s on me.)
In this scene, it’s the morning after Matt and Meg have sex for the first time. Matt, in the heat of the moment, told her it didn’t matter that she was pregnant…but now he’s having second thoughts. In a panic, he calls his brother Stan, who already knew Meg’s secret because she’d told him in the stylist’s chair. Stan, ever a straight-shooter, wastes no time laying into Matt: “Oh God. Tell me you didn’t feed her some line so you could sleep with her.”
Stan’s reaction stunned him into silence. That’s exactly what he’d done, even if he hadn’t been conscious of it at the time. When he rediscovered his voice, he asked, “Why would that be so terrible?”
“That girl needs a man with staying power you have yet to demonstrate.”
Stan’s accusation hit him with the power of a 105 mph fastball, and Matt sank to the floor again. His butt hit the carpet with a soft “thunk.” His brother was right. These days, his relationships lasted no longer than Greg’s.
“Please tell me you’re still in the same room with her. Meg’ll feel abandoned all over again if you’re not there when she wakes up.”
Odd that Stan was more concerned about Meg than his own flesh and blood. “Are you forgetting who you’re related to? I’m your brother.”
Stan’s silence spoke volumes. Wondering how he managed to convey such strong disapproval without saying a word, Matt sighed. “I’m in the hallway outside the room. Does that count?”
“Barely.” Stan sniffed. “I suggest you get back in there, pronto.”
BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER is available now at Turquoise Morning Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, Smashwords, Kobo and iTunes.
And in August, it will be re-released as part of Turquoise Morning Press’ UNFORGETTABLE HEROES boxed set — a collection of 14 books from New York Times, USA Today and national bestselling authors. Preorder now and get BEAUTY and 13 other titles for just 99 cents on Aug. 25: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes