Sunday, December 2, 2012

Trying to better myself, damn it!


In only two weeks, I'll be grading the finals for my creative writing class. I'll miss my students, but the extra time will be more than welcome. Then, gulp, here comes Christmas. How is it that ads, retail displays and even some holiday decorations go up as early as October, and yet the holiday sneaks up on me each year?

Holiday season or no, I am getting so healthy! Okay, not really, but I'm still trying to eat better. If I am what I eat, up to the last few weeks I'd be packaged in thin cardboard and stuffed in a freezer next to the Lean Cuisines.

Along with trying to reduce milk (switched to almond milk and oat milk), I recently bought a single-serve blender so that I can begin tricking myself (and hopefully the husband) into eating more fruits and vegetables. It has only two days, but I think I've already consumed more veggies than I did all last month, so it's working as of now. I bring this up because I am completely romanced by my blender, and now I want to get everyone on my list a single-serve version, which is quite affordable. This thing is magical, people! It's making it possible for me to eat kale without gagging. Point is, if we exchange gifts every year, and you don't want one, I recommend dropping me an email now.

Here's is my first creation:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • A few pieces of kiwi
  • A few small strawberries
  • Broccoli 
  • Mango Juice 
  • Protein powder
  • A splash of oat milk

There were no real measurements.

And the result? Wonderful tasting, but I drank it too fast and felt like a balloon for a good twenty minutes.

In support of a proposed new, healthier lifestyle, my husband went to Green with me today. This is a guy that wants a fried egg, bacon and extra cheese on his burger, and today he ate (devoured rather) his first veggie burger. What a guy! And the best part is, he liked it. I'm hoping I can make this work long-term. I'm never going to be one of those people who does everything right, but I'm on a mission to do all the holistic curative and preventative stuff I can tolerate without letting it keep me from normal outings. I'll let you know how I do, even if I end up reverting to old ways in a week's time.


I was invited to submit a piece to Lost in Thought Magazine by the amazing Robert Vaughan, and I'm hoping I can deliver. I have a good start, so we'll see.

I found out a few of my short stories, notably the first three here at Fictionaut: A Glimpse, Soft like Snow, and Getting There, will be taught in a fiction writing course next term. This is the second college that my stories have been taught at, and I'm over the moon about it.

I've thought a lot about Duotrope's new subscription policy. This is a service for short story and poetry writers (and now even for those looking for small publishers for full-length manuscripts) to find journals that meet their individual needs; and more, Duotrope offers a tracking device for the writer's submissions so we don't, oops, submit the same piece twice and not realize it. Not that I've ever done this... Anyway, Duotrope is now a $50/year or $5/month subscription service, as of the first of the year. I've been discussing this a lot, debating the costs and benefits and rationale with other writers, and I've come to the following conclusion: They should charge! Here's why I've come to this conclusion after an initial response akin to oh-hell-no: 1) It's a service, and there are costs associated with said service, so there should be a fee to cover said costs. 2) Writers should read the journals they're submitting to, and programs like Duotrope are designed to allow a writer to bomb the lit industry with his/her submissions without ever having read many of the journals s/he submits to. And, 3.) There are plenty of other places to find lists of literary journals. Check New Pages. Check Poets and Writers. Check other writers' blogs and bios.

Finally, I'm officially shopping my second short story collection, which is a bit more diverse than the first, topically at least. We'll see what happens. In the meantime, I've been tinkering with final novel notes, and after my class is complete (the one I'm teaching), I plan to go at that bad boy full force. Maybe my blender and super-power green veggie and juice drinks will be just what I need to finish this damn novel.

Me versus My Novel
The Part of my Weekend I Don't Want to Talk About 

Have a beautiful week, all! Do like me, eat your greens!


  1. Thanks, Harley! :) I don't think I was actually supposed to touch the sculpture, but I was gentle.


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