Writing Prompts: Character Development (Harrison)

23 May

It’s been ages since I did one of these but I’m having to partially re-work one of my side characters. The time period is late 1890’s, set in the East Coast where Society is still rigid (more lax than it would have been in Europe but stricter than out West).

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Harrison James – American – Name means ‘Power’ – 19 years old at the beginning of the book – single child – brown hair, brown eyes, 5 foot 9 inches (taller than Amelia, shorter than Ian), trim

Standing in Society – In one of the Prominent families

Type of Childhood- pampered – High Society (raised by nannies?)

First Memory – a nanny getting fired for refusing him something?

Religion – in name/title only

Finances – wealthy and set to inherit the estate

Bad Habits – gambler, drinks, smokes

Hobbies – card playing/gambling, betting on horse races (does he start racing horses too?)

How does he spend a rainy/sunny day? –  at parties, club or the races

PERSONALITY:

Greatest Source of Strength – ????

Greatest Source of Weakness – gambling

Soft Spot – Amelia

Is this soft spot obvious to others? Maybe before he realizes it himself

If not, how does he try to hide it? – Tries to treat her the same as everyone else (but how does it ACTUALLY come off? is he harsher with her or is he simply not able to?)

Biggest Vulnerability – ??

ATTITUDE

Most at Ease when – he’s the center of attention/when he’s working hard at the paper

Ill at Ease when – he’s idle – in Society and after

Priorities – MONEY

Philosophy – ?

If Granted one wish, what would it be? – ?

INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS

How does he relate to others? – on his terms – there are a few that he doesn’t act as arrogant around but not many

How is he perceived by the Heroine? –  Originally she is infatuated with him. She sees only the good. Time goes on and their relationship changes and she starts to see him in a professional light – someone to give her a chance.

How does he view heroine? – Until 1/2 way through the book (?) he sees her as a young girl with impossible dreams. But realizes she’s grown up – wants to help her gain independence/backbone – and snub Society. Is drawn to her.

First Impression and Why? – Depends on his mood – could be very good/charming or could be terrible. he decides in an instant if he likes you or not and bases it off that

What do family/friends like most about him? – He’s entertaining – when in the right mood. He can charm an entire crowd when he wants to

What do family/friends like least about him?- he’s cocky. Arrogant.

GOALS

Immediate Goals – none. Are you kidding? Life’s about having FUN

Long range goals – once tragedy strikes (in whatever form that happens..) to create his own fortune by growing a newspaper empire

How does he plan to accomplish this? – growing a struggling paper and then buy out others as he can

How will other characters be affected? – Amelia will be helped. Georgia will be helped/hurt in the 2nd book. What about his parents?

 

There are 2 more pages of questions but that’s it for now! You’ll notice there are several question marks still – and I didn’t even write all of the blank questions down, just the ones that I feel really need answered.

I recently heard advice for developing a character – take who you want them to be at the end of the story and flip it – that’s who the character is in the beginning. I am trying to follow that with Harrison. But let me tell you, it’s going to be a long road to get him where he should be.

~Laura

~Also, these are the ladies that I’m loving following for all things writing related lately – lara ferrari and Amara Luciano .

 

 

 

Health Update April/May 2018

8 May

Once again, I am so glad I do these updates! It helps so much in keeping track of where I’ve been – and where I am. While I have been frustrated lately on just how expensive all my treatment is – how come insurance just won’t cover lyme treatments?! – I have to admit that it is all worth it. Out of curiosity, I brought up last year’s update  and the difference is striking. I don’t take melatonin or theanine to sleep anymore – ever! While my fibromyalgia is still painful, I can crochet pretty much as long as I want and it doesn’t get to the point of making me cry/scream. I no longer have disassociation. I am able to keep up with housework better overall. The things that I started taking/increased are all some of my favorites now – St. John’s Wort, Butterbur/Petadolex, iron supplement, etc. I have decreased the ceanothus to once a week though because I react to it so strongly.

 

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Overall Health:  It’s a bit tricky to know how to summarize… The fatigue, fibro and migraines just seemed to hit and not want to ease for several weeks. Going to IV and bodywork didn’t help as much as they normally do. But the last few (?) weeks, I have noticed a bit of an improvement. Often, I see it in individual days rather than an increase over several days…

Mar 22- fatigue and migraine today. Crashing in evening with fibropain and migraine. Two or three clonidine. 
Seem to flare on days 15 and 22
Mar 24 – fuzzy brain and fatigue. Migraine hard to calm down throughout the day. 
April 4th – IV (push, not drip) yesterday. Woke up with a headache. Took 2 clonidine during the day to keep it down from a bad migraine. Felt pretty good otherwise. Had energy and ability to focus. Left calf tensed up quite a bit this evening – migraine flaring
April 5th – severe fatigue today. Migraine off and on. Hard time focusing. Left calf tight and foot tingling late evening. Three clonidine today
April 8th- a little fuzzy brained all weekend. Fatigue too. Some cramping. 
April 9- took one drop clonidine am. Mega fatigue hit late morning. Bad migraine early afternoon and most of rest of day. Started SAT.
April 13- increased SAT to 2/day. Some fatigue and migraine
April 16- bodywork Dr. 
April 17- calves cramping. Some fatigue. Nightmares
April 18- foggy brain and fatigue. Calves still cramping. Increased SAT to 3/day
Have mostly forgotten to take daily liver the past week. Haven’t noticed any difference? Fatigue has eased although it is still present. Brain fog is the same. Was busier this past week odd than have been in a while and have not CRASHED like I thought I would. Sensitive to smells and loud noises.
April 23rd- started Mineral complex again. Migraine off and on all day. Energy even though I’ve been tired and took two naps. Was a productive day.
April 24- was tired but not overwhelming. Took one nap, maybe two. Fibropain flaring in late evening, hip hurting too, going to bed a little early, hoping to sleep it away
April 26- fatigue hit today, even more so in the evening. Was hard to even eat dinner. Taking iron supplement didn’t help, like it normally does. Was also hungrier than normal. Front of neck has hurt a lot the past few days. Increase Mineral Complex to 2/day
April 28 – woke up feeling pretty good, fatigue eased. Front of neck still hurt but eased as day progressed. Took Abby to the park with start of migraine but eased by evening. Went to movie, took 3 clonidine before and during. Didn’t crash like I expected to afterward. 
April 29- woke up feeling even better today, still with some fatigue. No clonidine so far. April 30 – increase Complete Mineral Complex to 3/day.                                                           May 4th – start Molybdenum

Migraines: While I haven’t had any level 10’s (and just a few times of a hint of my vision going), these have been bad. And have often not responded to anything I do to get them down. And then other days, one clonidine is all I need. Very back and forth.

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Sleep: I am able to sleep longer than normal – up to 8 hours some nights! It’s been so nice. But. I have been waking up more often to use the bathroom.

Memory/Brain Fog: this has increased, frustratingly. Quite often, I won’t realize how bad it is until I leave the house.

Vision: Like I mentioned above, I had a few times of vision loss. But it was very minimal – the sparklers in my left eye that is the precursor to it, and then nothing else.

Fibromyalgia: This is just bad enough to be obnoxious but not debilitating. My left calf is always tense/hurting. My joints ache frequently and have had some random stabbing pain in my palms or base of feet.

TMJ: The front of my neck has HURT so much these past weeks. Even going to the bodywork doctor didn’t help it like it normally does. My jaw isn’t popping quite as much but my teeth still ache frequently.

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Fatigue: This has eased….most days, thank goodness. I do think the H2PLX has helped a lot. I tried going off my iron supplement and while I didn’t think at first there was any difference, there was. (it got to the point that I’d fall asleep mid-project…or almost fall asleep in the checkout line at the grocery store.) I now am taking it most every day again.

Weight Loss: I have been able to lose a tiny bit!

Mood: This has calmed back down again and I am so very thankful for that.

Bladder: Ahhhh, this one. This one has me a bit baffled. All of a sudden last week, I was needing to use the bathroom about every 10 minutes. And I’d wake up about 5 times a night. GAH. I don’t know why either. Thankfully it’s calmed down but it’s still more…active than it should be.

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~ Check out It’s the Lyme Life – may 2017 and Encouragement for living with Chronic Illness (the start of a 4- part series) for more!

 

 

April Book Review 2018

4 May

As promised, April’s book reviews! I got a little excited while at the library one day and came home with a STACK of books of all different genres. It’s been fun bouncing around such different styles of writing these past few months. I have decided though, that I’ve got to stay away from the library for a few months at least to tackle my TBR list of books that I already own!

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Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut by Aaron Eby – Learn why God calls meat and dairy to be separated, hidden additives that contaminate food and practical ways to eat kosher.

~This was an easy-to-read book on eating kosher. I learned so much from it and it brought up many discussions between my OH and I about the topic. Definitely worth the read if you’re at all curious about the topic!

My Foolish Heart  (Deep Haven #4) by Susan May Warren – Unknown to her town, Isadora Presley is the voice behind Miss Foolish Heart, the talk show host guiding callers through finding  true love. When it seems that she’s falling in love with a caller, her ratings soar. What she doesn’t know is the the caller lives right next door, in the form of Caleb Knight. He has come to Deep Haven to start over after paying a steep price in Iraq. All he wants is to land the high school football coaching job and then he’ll reveal his disability. But he doesn’t count on moving in next door to a beautiful young woman. Desperate, he calls in to Miss Foolish Heart for advice.

~ As I have come to expect from Warren, this was a unique story line with endearing characters. It did take me a little bit to get fully into it though, as I felt there was so much longing for the past that it put me off. After a while, that eased and I just fell in love with Caleb, Issy and supporting characters.

The Shadow of Your Smile (Deep Haven #5) by Susan May Warren –  Noelle and Eli’s marriage is on the verge of divorce when an accident wipes Noelle’s memory of their life together. Not their life together, including their children and the tragedy that tore them apart. As she slowly finds her footing in this strange life that she’s built for herself, will their secrets tear them apart again or give them a second chance?

~Ahh, this one. What a heart-breaker. I’m learning that I have a hard time reading novels where the characters are struggling in their marriage. Aside from that, it was interesting how Warren wove the family’s restoration together after so much tragedy and ill-spoken words.

The Cozy Life : Rediscover the Joy of Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge by Pia Edberg – Learn how to slow down and enjoy each moment in every aspect of your life in this small treasure trove of inspiration and practical advice.

~This was a nice, easy read about Hygge – disconnecting from the fast-paced society (logging off social media, stepping off the rat race) and creating a life that we can enjoy and feel safe and content in. There’s even a 30 day challenge to Hygge.

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard – Adam Dunne’s life is perfect. Until his girlfriend doesn’t return from Barcelona. Until he receives her passport and a note “I’m Sorry – S”. He starts searching for her and ends up connecting her to a cruise ship called the Celebrate. And finds that another woman disappeared from the ship a year ago in eerily similar circumstances. To find out what happened, he has to make difficult decisions, do impossible things – like outsmart a predator on what seems like the perfect hunting grounds.

~You. Guys. Thrillers aren’t normally my thing. Well, if I do read them, they are Christian, aka ‘toned down’. But I’ve been following Howard online for years (hopefully that didn’t make me sound like a stalker…) I got this from the library and couldn’t. Put. It. Down. I read it in less than three days – all 368 pages of it. There was some cussing in it so beware if you decide to read it. The plot was incredible though. I was pretty much blindsided by the ending. Brilliant. I am still thinking about it, weeks later. If you enjoy a good thriller that will wake you up at night because the Killer just might be lurking in your bedroom, pick this one up.

As You Wish: Inconceivable tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes – A first-person account of the making of the Cult Classic, this book is delightful. Elwes’ recounting of the whole process – from auditioning for the part of Wesley, to the 25th Reunion – will bring laughs, tears and add another level of enjoyment to watching Princess Bride

~Delightful. Absolutely Delightful. I am so glad I finally read this! If you’re a fan of Princess Bride, you have got to get your hands on a copy of this.

 

Currently Reading:

You Don’t Know Me by Susan May Warren

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

How to be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick by Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Taken by Dee Henderson

Gifts of the Spirit by First Fruits of Zion

 

To Read:

Dear Theo: the Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh by Irving Stone

A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck

Whispers of the Moor series by Sarah Ladd

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

March Book Review – 2018

1 May

I know, you’re probably thinking, “Laura, you mean April’s book reviews, don’t you?”

No. No, I don’t. I read so many good books the past two months, I decided not to smoosh them into one long post. So later this week, a post will be up of what I read in April! With these two posts, I am hoping to jump back into blogging – at least once a week – regularly again. I have missed it and really want to keep up with it. Sometimes, these breaks are necessary, even if they are unplanned!

Also, remember, while covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

Let’s get to the books!

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

The BFG by Roald Dahl – When Sophie is carried off by a giant in the middle of the night, she isn’t sure what will become of her. She’s pretty sure she’ll be eaten by morning. And she would have been, if any of the other giants had snatched her – ones like The Bonecruncher or The Fleshlumpeater. But The BFG is not like them, he is kind and jumbly. So when she finds out what the other giants are doing, she comes up with a plan to stop them.

~ After thoroughly enjoying the movie, I knew I had to read this. I hadn’t read any of Roald Dahl before and had no clue how closely the movie had followed the book. When I found a copy at a second-hand bookstore, I snatched it up and read it right away. What a delight! It, of course, was different than the movie, but I simply loved it. The BFG himself is simply delightful and snozzcumbers are just as disgusting. I highly recommend this book!

 

Rose Daughter by Robin Mckinley- When Beauty joins the Beast in the castle, he tells her that the heart of the place is dying. And it’s true. So Beauty sets out to heal it, sure that that is the only reason that she’s there. Because growing roses is the only thing she’s good at. And the glasshouse is full of dying bushes – all prickly stems and brown leaves.

~I decided to pick this up again as I haven’t read it in years. Yes, Mckinley wrote two versions of Beauty and the Beast. The other one is Beauty , this one is a bit more…. fantasty (? I think that would be the word for it). It is still very enjoyable and fun to see how she takes a different route with the story. I enjoy how she has the animals come back to the castle lands – and the background story of the Beast! If you enjoy re-tellings of Beauty and the Beast, you must read this one.

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas – A twenty-year battle to abolish slavery was the focus of Wilberforce’s life. But he did much more besides that, to better the lives of his fellow men. He is one of the few men of which it can truly be said ‘ he changed the world’. Victory came for him in 1833, just days before his death.

~I really intended to review this separately because it was just THAT GOOD. If you don’t know who Wilberforce is, or just want to know more about him, read this! I enjoyed it so much and was constantly telling my OH and mom (and basically anyone else who would listen) tidbits from the book. The history of how he and his friends fought slavery for so long is interesting and motivating and heartbreaking all at the same time. 

Vigilante’s Bride by Yvonne Harris – Finally on his way home again, Luke Sullivan doesn’t expect to rob a stagecoach. Much less kidnap a woman passenger. But he’s really rescuing her from having to marry his enemy. Emily McCarthy doesn’t see it as a rescue, though, as she is tossed over a stranger’s shoulder in the dead of night.

~This story had fun, unexpected twists throughout it, keeping me turning pages! I always enjoy a good western novel, but I was pleased with how Harris kept you guessing. My only disappointment was that the ending felt rushed and was slightly less satisfying because of that. I still recommend it though, it didn’t ruin the story at all for me.

Finished the O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson

Finished the Shadowfell Series by Juliet Marillier – upcoming separate review!

 

Have you read any of these? What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear from you! 

 

 

March/April Recap and May Goals 2018

27 Apr

What with disappearing for the past month-ish, I didn’t do goals for April. But I want to get back on track with these, so let’s get started!

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Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography : I read Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas (review next week!). I’ve also been thinking about watching some of Gordon Buchanan’s shows again. Like this one

Try a new recipe: I have been trying a lot of new ones lately. I just haven’t been keeping track. Mostly they’ve been from Against All Grain cookbooks though.

Write one letter a month – I wrote one just the other day!

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I have finally finished Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut by Aaron Eby.

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I’ve finished filling out index cards for each scene and am prepping for re-writing scenes and writing new ones

Eat healthier/lose weight : I have gone back and forth on this. I am strict on my eating habits and then get fed up (or just really want pasta) and get off track for a while.

Post Regularly: well, we know this didn’t happen! Ha.

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March’s Goals:

Finish Index Cards/Move onto next step :  well, I’ve sort of moved on to the next step…

Finish Crocheting Vespa for Mom   

Finish Dusting Blinds

Finish 30 Day Declutter Challenge  still working on this….

Workout 2 days a week

1 thing that I didn’t think I could do: I washed and covered my VW Bug! Finally!

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May Goals:

Go through/declutter stuff in attic

Crochet appliques for my aunt

Finishing touches on crochet Camper

Character changes/development

Finish reading/reviewing Nick’s book

Visit Collett end of month

 

~Laura

What are your goals for this coming month? 

 

My Month in Photos – March 2018

31 Mar

While titling this post, I noticed that I didn’t do one of these last month! Ah well, I suppose every few months is okay. Oy vay to my memory.

Anyway,  while it was a pain-filled, frustrating month in so many ways, there were still many happy moments. Happy days. Enjoy.

 

  1. One of Abby’s best buds came over for a play date. 2) Feeling GOOD on a run to Joann’s 3) YUMMY protein bites    4) YES, this is happening. My OH is graduating with his bachelor’s in June!  5) Abby and her ball   6) A look at what several days this month have consisted of – video games, night guard (for necessary naps) and chocolate shakes.
  1. Just one of the times we got stuck in traffic on our way to Bend.  2 and 3) the beauty of the drive.  4) Abby and little Cocoa being sooo cute at my parent’s house 5) the ONLY photo I took while in Bend, that wasn’t of my dog.  6) Abby’s cuteness on the way home.
  1. Finally washing (and then covering) my ’68 Bug!! 2)Abby’s sadness that her and Cocoa were separated.  3) The beginnings of a yummy Detox Salad 4) PAIN people. Pain. 5) The stash I brought home from my Doctor’s appointment.  6) The weirdness I came out to the other day. . . .

 

1 and 2) Two of the crocheted stuffed animals I made. 3) I finally made it through filling out an index card for each scene in my book! 4) What my desk typically looks like while editing. 5) THIS QUOTE IS ME.

 

There should be a book review post up for you next week! For more frequent sightings of Abby and what I’m crocheting, follow me on Instagram (and of course, I can’t get the link because somethings going wrong…. but if you type in my blog name, you’ll find me!)

~Laura

Health Update Feb/Mar 2018

22 Mar

With it raining outside, corned beef in the crock pot, roasted veggies in the oven and the ingredients for veggie burgers prepped, I’m feeling accomplished – and worn out – this morning. But I’m finding that if I just rest for about an hour, I’m typically ready to get back up and do some more things. Like make the veggie burgers. And vacuum.  But just learning that I can replenish my energy supply, has made such a difference on my attitude – and in what I can realistically accomplish in one day. Of course, there are many days where I am relegated to the couch. And on those days, I seem to be fine with it – read : my brain is so fuzzy that I don’t care where I am as long as I don’t have to hold myself up. Slow progress is progress. And coming to terms with where I am physically does a whole lot for me mentally.

 

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Overall Health: Still able to see improvement but fatigue and fibromyalgia have been flaring this month. A tad bit of mood struggles.

Feb 20- flaring fibromyalgia. Bad fatigue. Migraine kicked up early afternoon. Upset stomach mid evening for no apparent reason. This has been going on for a week ish, off and on 
Feb 22 woke up with migraine from the night before. Went away by mid morning. Felt decent most of the day. Came back early evening to a sharp 7. Took one clonidine. 
Feb 23- migraine kicked up quickly to an 8- neck and shoulders stiff, teeth aching, early afternoon. Two clonidine. Finally eased. Got really tired after making dinner. Calves very tight in evening. 
Feb 29 – some fatigue, upset stomach because I ate some coconut ice cream last night. IV today. Still feeling pretty decent the past few days, even though cycle is coming. Have been able to get multiple things done each day. 
Mar 2 – fatigue. Achy. Fibropain flaring a bit. If I wiggle my toes, a… Tingly (?) Feeling runs up my left calf. Have been overly hungry this evening. Took 3 clonidine again today. 
Mar 5- . Felt decent all day till after a bath. Migraine hit pretty hard and left arm started hurting bad.
Mar 6- woke up with migraine and arm still hurting. Had to sleep with an ice pack all night in my arm, tender to the touch, very achy. 
Mar 7 – woke up with fatigue and migraine but has eased as the day went on. 
Mar 8 – did better today overall until mid evening. Then crashed- migraine, fibropain, back pain. Took clonidine. Then Advil (for my back) a while later. Then fibronol, magnesium, feverfew. So tired but such pain
Mar 9- crashed pretty bad this evening. Was rough today but not awful. Tonight, fibropain, migraine, jaw is super tight and painful. Augh
Mar 11 – jaw hurt and popped all day. Fatigue was less. Migraine off and on all day. Crashed in evening, left calf is very tight making from my toes to hip ache, teeth are throbbing, migraine pulsing. Make. It. Stop.
Mar 15- saw Dr vogel today finally. Whole left side tense and hurting, right side was pretty upset too. Worked on my right kidney a bit as well. Had migraine and fatigue today, nap only helped a little. Brain fuzzy the past few days, mood a little off. 
Mar 19- 20 a bit brain foggy and fatigue but able to do things. Crashed in the evenings significantly.

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Migraines: While these have increased in severity again I am still having days with minimal/none.

Sleep: This has stayed the same, where I’m getting 7 hours a night (almost to the minute). I wake up about 2 times a night. I’m not needing many naps during the day but have mostly been able to when I need them. I did sleep almost 9 hours last weekend though.

Memory: haven’t noticed any change

Vision: Other than noticing they are blurry when I’m tired – especially tired and not wearing my glasses – my vision has been great

Fibromyalgia: This has flared just enough to be obnoxious but not debilitating. My left calf is always tense/hurting. My joints ache frequently and have had some random stabbing pain in my palms or base of feet.

TMJ: My jaw has been popping a lot along with my teeth aching frequently.

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Fatigue: This has flared enough that it’s kept me down on the couch at least half a day several times this month. I have started taking my H2PLX at lunch and dinner to see if it helps with the evening burn-out and I think it is, to a degree. I’m now thinking of increasing to 3 a day.

Weight Loss: GAH. I’ m trying not to be frustrated by this – I have gained. Even though I have been relatively strict on my eating (allowing some starch from time to time and a bit of ‘dairy’ every few days), I didn’t expect that to throw my plan of losing 5 lbs by my birthday so off track.

Mood:  this has been a bit off again, but not terrible

Bladder: the same as last month -> This has eased a bit I think. It’s at least to the point of my normal (which still isn’t where it needs to be)

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~Laura

February Recap and March Goals 2018

9 Mar

 

February was a pretty good month for me and I did so much more than I normally am able to. This doesn’t mean that I busted out all of my goals (if only!) but I am still quite happy with everything I accomplished.

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Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography : I’m still reading Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the amazing campaign to end slavery by Eric Metaxas.

Try a new recipe: Once again I made a few recipes from the Eating Clean cookbook (Tomato Soup, veggie burgers and the Everything but the Gluten cookies. I also just made the mock mayo yesterday). I also made Lemon Coconut Bars ( pretty yummy even though they weren’t what I was expecting) and Chicken Spinach Meatballs (didn’t add the parmesan cheese of course).

Write one letter a month

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I have started Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut by Aaron Eby

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I have almost finished filling out index cards for each scene

Eat healthier/lose weight : I have been able to clean up my eating even more

Post Regularly – In keeping with one post a week, I have been able to.

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February’s Goals:

Couch and box springs to the dump – NOPE. Augh

Clean Oven –  I did scrub the door and a quick wipe down on the rest. So I’m counting it

Finish dusting house – I did dust a few of the blinds!

Workout 2 days a week – I did good the first few weeks of the month! Took Abby on a walk almost every other day.

Finish crochet Camper – nope. Other projects that have/had deadlines took precedence

Index Cards for ‘Amelia’  – I’m only a few chapters from being done!!

At least 1 Thing I didn’t Think I could Do: I worked in the yard for quite a while. Baked 2 pies in one morning.

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my book. in a nutshell.

And now, for March’s goals:

Finish Index Cards/Move onto next step

Finish Crocheting Vespa for mom

Finish Dusting Blinds

Finish 30 Day Declutter Challenge

Workout 2 days a week

How was your month?

~Laura

 

Jan/Feb 2018 Book Review

1 Mar

              “A Book is a Dream that you Hold in your Hand.” ~ Neil Gaiman

This is a double feature today! I didn’t share my reads from last month so I’m throwing them in with this month’s reads. There are some really great books from classics to fantasy. I enjoy reading such different genres, especially since I have started reading them from a writer’s perspective. Like the book that I just finished yesterday, the author wrote one character in the 3rd point of view while the other main character was in the first person. I liked how you knew right away which person you were reading about. My writer’s brain is trying to decide just how hard it would be to implement that…. Anyway, on to the book reviews!

 

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Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

 

Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. Wilson  – Crave salt or sweets? Unreasonably tired? Need coffee to keep you going? Having a hard time keeping up with daily life? With an easy to follow style, Dr. Wilson guides you through figuring out if you have adrenal fatigue, and then tells you just how to start feeling better.

~ I took notes as I read through what foods to eat/avoid, supplements to take and the best herbs to include. I learned so much from this book. I had several ah-ha moments , finding sense in so many health struggles that have confused me for years. I would highly recommend this to anyone with unexplained health struggles. And remember, whether you have adrenal fatigue or not – be your own advocate. You know your body better than anyone.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by AVI – It’s not often that a young girl, when crossing the ocean to join her family, ends up joining the crew and being accused of murder. But Charlotte Doyle did. Her fantastic tale is one that must be read, unless of course, you don’t like strong ideas or action.

~I heard about this book through carrottoppapershop  and I requested it from the library that same day. I was so intrigued by it and it was well worth it. The story was fun and engaging and with some very unexpected twists. I was so pleased with how it ended that I read the last few pages twice and then had to tell my OH all about it. It is a children’s classic so all ages can read and enjoy it. 

 

Truth Be Told by Carol Cox – Great Western Investment Company is eager for Amelia Wagner to retract her late father’s statements about their business dealings. But as Amelia takes over the running of the newspaper and picks up the investigation into Great Western, she thinks her father was right. But she doesn’t know the danger that she’s getting into. Nor does Ben, the man that is keeping tabs on her. But soon they’ll both have to decide just how important this is – and try to reveal the truth before Great Western stops them.

-I got this book partly because it bears similarities to the novel that I’m writing and I wanted to know just how close they are. But! Relief, they aren’t that similar. (WHEW!) This novel was so fun, so easy to read that I flew through it. I will definitely read it again.

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A Little Princess by Frances Hodson Burnett – When Sara Crewe is taken to her first boarding school in England, it is far from the life she knew with her father in India. But as she is an exceptionally bright and imaginative child, she makes friends – and enemies – quickly. But when news comes that her father has died, leaving her destitute, she is devastated. The matron, Miss Minchin, forces her to work as a scullery maid. But Sara dreams that her fortunes will change again, and they do, in a very unexpected way.

– I enjoyed this story so much and it’s going on the ‘I can’t believe I’d never read it’ list. I liked the moral lessons in it and just fell in love with Becky. ( I have a thing for side characters). As a children’s classic, this is a great book for a younger – and older -audience. Another great story by Burnett is Little Lord Fauntleroy

 

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier (book #1) and The Caller (book #2) – A separate review will be up when I read the third book! It’s waiting on my shelf and I can’t wait to start it! This series has been so good – and so engrossing.

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A Yellow Journalist by Miriam Michelson – The newspaper world was a male-dominated field in the early 1900’s but a young and pretty female reporter enters into it with courage. She does whatever it takes to get the story – be it climbing a high ledge or acting as a blushing bride – and proves that she’s the best.

– This story was unlike any I’d read. It was highly amusing and I laughed out loud often. I did have a hard time keeping track of all the characters but that didn’t ruin it for me. As it was printed in 1905, and was about that era, it was perfect as research material for me for my own novel. Double win.

 

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – click the link to read all about this wonderful series!

 

Currently Reading:

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery

Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut  by Aaron Eby

The Vigilante’s Bride by Yvonne Harris

 

To-read :

Raven Claw by Juliet Marillier (book #3 of Shadowfell)

Dear Theo by Vincent Van Gogh

Whispers on the Moors series by Sarah E. Ladd

 

~Laura

What are you currently reading? Do any of these sound good to you?

 

 

Health Update Jan/Feb 2018

21 Feb

If you follow me on Instagram, you know a little bit of what this update is going to say since I shared some of this last week. I’ll admit that I kept putting off writing this post. I’ve found it hard to want to share – which feels a little strange but there’s something scary about saying “I’m feeling some better!” I feel the weight of expectation landing squarely on my shoulders. Expectation that I won’t have any more set backs. Expectation that I’ll soon be back to full health. Expectation…expectation… Perhaps it’s just all in my mind, but they have held me back. So, I’m facing them and finally writing this post because I NEED to. I need to document this. fightinglymemigraines

 

Overall Health: One word: improvement. Do you know how scary that word is to type?  I’m noticing I’m able to do things that I wouldn’t have months ago. Fatigue is still a big struggle. Focusing on one task has been tricky.

 

January 16-23 – all symptoms started easing. Needing naps occasionally- cut back on dosage of dmsa which helped with fatigue a lot. Only mild flaring in evenings now, including the restless fibropain. Still struggles with mood after increasing xcht to 3/day. Started h2plx on the 20th. Am avoiding fruit in the am, since the 20th to see if I have any changes in how I feel. Increased B2 to 2/day on the 23rd.
25th – woke up tired and decent fatigue but wasn’t couch bound. Migraine didn’t kick in till around 130pm. 
1-26 felt good today. Did a bunch of cleaning and took Abby to the park. One? Two? Clonidine. Increased horse chestnut to 2/day till day 28.
1-27 upset stomach all day but felt good despite that, took one clonidine late afternoon. Took Abby to the park. Quick grocery store trip ( used a basket instead of a cart!), Worked on book. 
1-28 feel good but so tired- couldn’t nap so took Abby on a walk.  
1-29 felt good again, took Abby to the park. Migraine in afternoon, mostly kept down with clonidine. Some minor brain fog. Increased h2plx to 2/day
1-30 IV. Cycle started. Fatigue but still feel decent. Took Abby on a walk in am. 
2-7 been feeling pretty well the past week. Been able to do quite a bit. Think I overdid it today though – with a lack of veggies, causing some cramping and my left calf is very tight. Brain fog has been increasing. Not feeling able to handle decisions/lots of stuff going on around me. This is my last week of chelation!! 
2-9 fatigue has followed me all week – thanks in part to the chelation. Hip has been hurting the last two nights. Some minor fibropain in my left hand and left calf. Still avoiding fruit in the am as I’ve noticed that I am not as hungry throughout the day. Have even not been hungry for some meals this past few weeks.
2-15 have been doing well this past week. A bit of migraine and fibromyalgia flare up, but it wasn’t bad. Sleeping better and sometimes longer.  Energy. More mental clarity. Hip has been hurting lately. Jaw pops/hurts a lot

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Migraines: These have decreased – yay! There have been a few days that I haven’t taken any clonidine – and several where I just needed one.

Sleep: This has stayed the same – with maybe some slight improvement? –  where I’m getting 7 hours a night (almost to the minute). I wake up about 2 times a night. I’m not needing as many naps during the day – but often even when I do, I can’t fall asleep.

Memory/Disassociation: I’m starting to think I can take the disassociation aspect off of this list! Memory has improved slightly (?)

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“and then, one day, you see a spark of your old self again.”

Vision: No visual auras at all this month. My eyes have been more blurry than normal when I’m tired lately.

Fibromyalgia: I can’t believe how much this has eased. My left calf still is tense most days. I’ve been able to crochet/ write just about as much as I want. When it does increase, it’s more in my joints – wrists, elbows, knees and ankles.

TMJ: It’s been popping a lot along with my teeth aching the past few weeks. I’ve had to push out my bodywork appointment almost two weeks and I am sure that’s a big part of this.

Fatigue: This eased dramatically once I cut back (and then finished) my chelation dosage. It’s still strong though, to where it is the main symptom I have day to day.

Weight Loss: I’ve lost almost all that I had gained in Nov/Dec. I have been able to get out and walk Abby a lot more these past few weeks.

Mood: Yay for mood consistency again!

Bladder: This has eased a bit I think. It’s at least to the point of my normal (which still isn’t where it needs to be)

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All in all, I can’t quite believe the progress I’ve seen this past month. I’m finding myself saying ‘ I couldn’t have done ________ a few months ago’, quite a bit! I am still, of course, ill – fatigue holds me back daily, mental clarity is still something I lack often, etc. I just read through January 2017‘s update and can’t believe how far I’ve come in a year.

 

~Laura

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