Wait, it’s New Year Already…?

It just hit me a bit ago that I completely zoned on doing an Anthology Markets post this month. My husband and I were in Seattle on our househunting trip on the tenth, which is when I’ve been doing it, and although I could’ve done it from there, I just didn’t think about it at all. :/ Well, no one’s working over the holidays, right…? [hides under keyboard] The Antho Market listings will be back in January, and my apologies for the gap.

Seriously, though, Christmas just sort of came and went, and New Year will be marked with a bottle of Martinelli’s and not much else. We have holes in our ceiling from where the plumbers fixed a leak, holes in our walls from where other repair guys worked on yet another gas leak (more jackhammers a few days ago — I’m going to miss them when we move, or maybe not) plus the huge hole dug (yet again) in our concrete patio outside from where they replaced a chunk of said gas line. The gas guys will fix the patio in a day or two, but the guy who does drywall was called out of the country on a family emergency and will be back on the fourth. I’m keeping a set of virtual fingers crossed that everyone’s okay and he gets back on time.

There are boxes and piles all over — more than usual — because even though the moving guys are coming over (for an estimated two days) to pack for us, we have to go through things ourselves to sort and dispose, get things in order, and pack certain fragile things ourselves. Plus my husband has been packing books just… I don’t know, I guess because he’s been feeling antsy and wants to do something. Or something. Whatever. [pets frazzled husband] I spent yesterday going through the closet and dresser and some cupboards bagging up clothes and shoes for Goodwill; I have more stacks of clothes in corners and such around the bedroom to go through, but I stopped when my back went from griping to yelling. More of that tomorrow.

I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting — eating only every other day — since January, with one unplanned hiatus in March for a horrible attack of gastritis (during the first week of which I wasn’t eating anything anyway) and a few planned hiatuses for trips. There’s about thirty pounds less of me than there was a year ago, even though I flaked out on an exercise program over the summer after being faithful to it for several months, so all around I’ve been doing well on that. I’d rather be thirty pounds down after a year, than thirty pounds down after three months and then fifty pounds up after a second three months, which is the more usual pattern when weight loss is fast, so slow is just fine with me. Christmas finally defeated me, though — a bazillion cookies, plus my mom’s homemade almond roca and leftover prime rib forced an executive decision that the last seven days of the year I’d eat every day. I’ll be paying for that starting tomorrow, but whatever; the fasting works, and I’ll be back on track soon. If there’s another thirty pounds less of me at this time next year, I’ll be happy. It’s all about results, not following a routine slavishly.

Every year at this time I do the usual Writing Goals thing. For 2009 I promised myself I’d finish and submit a novel and I did that — I signed the contract on December 19th, and am waiting for edits. That’s a huge milestone and I’m proud of it, so Go 2009! for that chunk of it. I always include some sort of productivity goal as well, though, and I’ve never managed to keep it. I mean, a thousand words a day should be incredibly easy — there are certainly writers who do a lot more, and have for years or decades — but apparently not. :/ This year I’m trying something different: since the product goal worked better in ’09 than the wordcount goal, I’m going with that. So for 2010, I want to finish another novel, plus half a dozen short stories, with the caveat that the fanfic novel which is just a few chapters from being done doesn’t count; the official goal is for another commercial, submittable-for-publication novel. (I still have to finish the fanfic novel, though, ’cause my readers on that side of the fence were incredibly patient while I set it aside to finish Hidden Magic.)

What else? Keep up on the fasting, and exercise more. Even my walking’s fallen off in the last month or so, which I’m sure is why my weight has plateaued during that time. Hopefully being in a new area after the move will get me doing more walking outside. I know I can now; I haven’t had an OMG-I-absolutely-HAVE-to-sit-down-NOW!! incident while walking in a while. (My joints and tendons and such tended to lock up or start screaming at random while I walked, and were keeping me housebound for quite a few years. I’ve been walking back and forth at home, where I’m never more than a few steps from a place to sit, for the last several years. It’s boring but it works, and you can put on some serious mileage in a small space if you’re determined.) Since I haven’t had to sit in the middle of walking for a while, though, that means I can actually go out for walks again, and feel secure that I won’t suddenly have to find a seat on some stranger’s retaining wall or front steps or on the curb. (And let me tell you, when you weigh what I do and have arthritis and various other joint-and-tendon problems, getting up off a seat on the curb is slow, difficult and painful.) So being able to go out walking again is something to look forward to. And hey, if we get the townhouse we made an offer on, there’ll be a Barnes and Noble in a shopping center right across the street — wow, incentive to go out and walk at least that far! 😀

I can think of a bunch of other things I’d like to do, but I think this’ll be enough to commit to. One of the things I tend to do when making plans is way over-commit, then get depressed when I fail. I’d like to commit to not doing that anymore. 🙂 We’ll see if it works out.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year, and a great 2010. [wave/hugz]


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Angela Benedetti lives in Seattle with her husband and a few thousand books. She loves romance for the happy endings, for the affirmation that everyone who's willing to fight for love deserves to get it and be happy with someone. She's best known for her Sentinel series of novels, the most recent of which is Captive Magic.