On Shopping, Weight Loss & NaNo Fail/Win…

Prompt o’ the Week: Cupcakes are falling out of the trendy
list, and the owner of a popular cupcake shop needs to expand the menu
with something that will save the business. It looks hopeless, until
late one night a piece of paper is dropped through the mail slot with an
intriguing recipe on it…

Now that the Christmas season is knocking at the door (for some it’s
already started, I know, but for me it doesn’t start until Dec. 1), how
goes the shopping? I’m not a Black Friday shopper, having a healthy
dislike of shopping in general, large crowds and early mornings (don’t
get me started on Thanksgiving day shopping), but I hope those of you
who were out and about got the things you wanted without injury or too
much hassle. 

We tend to pick up gifts for
people as we find them throughout the year, so our list was about
half-done already, and my husband did some online shopping to get us to
about 85 percent done. I just have a few more gifts to buy once I get
paid on Friday, and I have those picked out online already, so we only
have to hit the stores for a couple specific things next weekend (only
one gift – the rest items that we want) and that will be it. Having it
mostly done really does take most of the stress out of the holiday
(especially since my idea of wrapping these days is a nice decorative
bag and some tissue paper). 
Random people are
starting to notice I’ve lost weight, which is fun, since several have
commented on it when I’ve been wearing three layers of clothing due to
the colder weather. Since Jan. 1, I’ve lost 35 pounds, which may not
seem like a lot when you consider it’s taken 11 months (and I still have
10-15 to lose), but it took me several years to put it all on, so in
perspective it’s been a nice, steady drop. The oddest question I’ve
gotten though is, “Have you been losing on purpose?” It’s not something
I’d ever think to ask, as I expect someone losing weight without meaning
too would probably respond to  a comment on weight loss with, “Yes,
I’ve been sick” or something to that effect (and if they don’t, is it
really our business?). People don’t tend to lose weight “accidentally”
unless there’s an illness involved, at least not that I know of. In any
case, it’s not illness causing my weight loss, but rather an extreme
attention to calories & portion sizes and less sitting/more
The less sitting thing has had an
adverse effect on my writing, unfortunately. I used to have no issue
with sitting for hours and writing when I needed to, particularly in
November when racing for as many words as possible. Now however, my body
is used to a higher level of activity, which means I have less
tolerance for sitting for long periods of time. This isn’t the reason
I’m not going to hit 50k words this November, but it’s part of why I
really can’t catch up. Rather than sitting and writing for most of the
day on Saturday and Sundays this month as well as most evenings after
work, I’ve been up and down, cleaning, socializing,  and playing with
the dogs. Yes, part of that is just procrastination, but part of it is
just the fact that I don’t feel like sitting as much when that’s what I
do every weekday at work. My butt literally gets sore from sitting too
long, and I need to get up and do “something”. Which is good for my
metabolism and ongoing health, and bad for the writing. 
not behind on NaNo due to that though – I’m behind because I simply had
too much other stuff to do at the beginning of the month. Writing
projects to finish up, mostly. I bet if I added in the words I’ve
written on other projects this month, I’d easily have 50k…they just
didn’t all go towards the NaNo draft. And that’s okay. Because what the
NaNo draft has accomplished this year is to push me to write *more* in a
shorter time frame on a daily basis. And it’s a pace I think I can keep
up for the long term too. So while I won’t win NaNo this year, I’m
coming out with a faster steady writing pace, which was my personal
challenge for the month. In that respect, I win – it doesn’t matter if I
don’t sit for as long if I’m putting down more words in the time I *do*
In any case, I’ll keep working on the
NaNo draft in December and hopefully finish it up for a February release
next year. It’s a good story – different than what I normally write,
and I’m not sure whether it will be a novel or a novella now that it’s
not under a specific word constraint, but I like how it’s shaping up
either way. Fun, really. 
So this week, it’s
back to normal for me, and no more worrying about racing to the NaNo
finish, just writing as much as I can within my set writing times. 
Here’s the to-do list for the week…pretty straightforward, really: 
– Scenes for 2 serial stories in progress
– Half hour to 1 hour for OHT per day (NaNo draft) 
– Christmas letter
– Decorating next weekend
– Catch up on some BSB publishing stuff
– Workout 3x and work the dogs out nightly. 
– Start scheduling editing/publishing projects for December
– Schedule out major housecleaning projects for winter
A little writing, a little holiday stuff, some organizational stuff and workouts. Dang near balanced, I’d say…
Here’s to a calm and productive week, whatever you’re doing!

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