50 Resolutions in 50 Weeks Before I’m 50: Resolution 5

fullsizerender-8

It’s been a month on my quest to change my life. Overall, I love the idea of resolutions. They help me keep on track with things I want to accomplish, but tend to blot out of mind when life gets too hectic. For fifty weeks, I have to think about resolutions, all of them everyday.

How am I doing so far?

  1.  Journaling

I’m surprisingly not great with this. I’m too tired to write before I go to bed at night and so I write a few sentences in the morning. More a summary of my day than an overview of my feelings.

  1. No television after 8pm

My family time has become richer by shutting off the television at night. I work on my computer, but I’m available for everyone while they’re doing homework and as they wind down for the day.

  1. Exercise everyday

When I get my exercise done in the morning, I’m good. But if I try to fit it in later in the day, I miss exercise over 60% of the time.

  1. Eat better, at least one salad and one nutrition shake per day.

Forcing myself to eat has been a blessing. I eat salad everyday, and have a shake for breakfast. They are filling enough to me that I don’t snack as much. So this one so has been the best resolution yet.

As time goes by, my life is better with these tweaks, but nothing is perfect. I have good days and bad days, but doing nothing is not an option.

For my fifth resolution?

My brother wants me to try meditation. I hate meditation. The idea of trying to not think about anything for a writer who has thirty plots trolling the background of her mind daily makes the task impossible. If I’m stressing about whether I can get away with a pounding heart in a scene instead of something infinitely more unique, to I’m thinking about my grocery list or whether the kids brought their homework to school.

As a compromise, I’m going to try two minutes of mediation per day. I can do anything for two minutes, except planks. I even have a guided mediation program on my phone. I’ve got this.

 

50 Resolutions in 50 Weeks Before I’m 50: Resolution 4

 

FullSizeRender (6)

My third week into the 50 weeks was a bust. Traveling and trying to exercise did not work well. I ran once and walked about three times, but note enough to feel stronger. On a good note, the kids are back to school today and I’m hitting the gym for a rowing class.

I don’t feel guilty about not working out, I feel sluggish. Exercise gives me the calm to sit at my desk for hours every day ad write. Without it, I have too much psychological energy running in the background of mind, messing up my thoughts and ideas.

I only messed up once last week with my second resolution, limiting my television time after 8. Being stricter about it has made a huge difference in my productivity. I also have a better connection to my family. We communicate better when we’re not yelling at each to “Shhhh.”

For my fourth resolution, I need to bite the bullet and add a nutrition component to my life. Instead of a taking anything away, I’m adding one nutritional shake and one salad per day. I hate salads, but they fill me up and keep me from eating my favorite writing food, tortilla chips and salsa. I’ll still be able to have chips, but hopefully, the cravings will be limited.

I love having a shake because it’s easy, fills me up, and tastes good, although my newest brand has a green juice kind of look which is taking a while to accept as real food. The rest of the day I can eat whatever else I want, although I’m hoping that by filling myself with quality, my propensity toward junk food will decrease.

Have a great week!

-V

50 Resolutions In 50 Weeks Before I’m 50: Resolution 3

193_exercise_png

My second resolution (no television after 8pm) hit a snag when I watched Supernatural and then Frazier with the kids and husband on Saturday night. It was a weekend. What could go wrong? I could end up becoming a tired zombie who watched 5 episodes of Frazier and ended up in bed past midnight. I think I need to keep weekend nights clear of television too.

My third resolution? Exercise everyday. Yes- now it’s getting painful. I don’t need to hit the gym, watch a video, or run 5 miles per day every day, but I must do something active for at least a half hour. No exceptions. Yoga and Pilates are included so I can use different muscles throughout the week. It may be hard, especially if I get sick, but even stretching will count on those days. Maybe I’ll even get into shape for soccer season this year. It begins in three weeks.

On a good note, I had a burger, fries, and an Oreo milkshake last night for dinner! No limitations on diet ….yet.

I’ll keep you all up to date on my progress.

50 Resolutions in 50 Weeks Before I’m 50: Resolution 2

I decided on the second resolution after missing quality social contact with my family while we stared at the television for four nights this week.television18Granted, we were together watching movies, but my God, if I said anything during the movie or we’d need to rewind the ten seconds lost to human connection.

So the resolution this week? No television after 8pm. Will this be difficult? Probably, but it also gives me another week to skip exercise and not watch what I eat.

Does the family have to follow my resolutions? No. But I’m hoping to be a decent role model. Or I will end up killing someone after having too many restrictions on me.

I’ll keep you updated next Friday.

-V

50 Resolutions in 50 Weeks Before I’m 50: Resolution 1 Update

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 4.07.55 PM

I’m a goal fanatic. Give me a goal, I’ll set off on the journey with zeal! So the first resolution was a piece of cake.

Journaling is not hard when there is no word count that I have to meet. So on a few nights, I wrote one or two sentences and put down the pen. I’m trying to write about positive things so I can count my blessings, although occasionally, I’ve written about issues that have come up that I need to work out like staying up way too late and never waking up in time to exercise.

My biggest problem is the anticipation of other resolutions coming up over the next few weeks. If I’m going to force myself to exercise more, I need to rest now. If I’m going to be placing restrictions on my diet, now is the time for ice cream. If I’m going on a tighter budget, I should spend now.

I haven’t decided the content of Week 2’s resolution, but I’ve it narrowed down to a few things that could help me step closer to my zen self. I’ll tell you all on Monday!

-V

2016 Booksellers’ Best Winner

2016BBAwinner

 

I attended the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference last week in San Diego. What a great opportunity to meet with my agent, editors, and my friends. The highlight of the week was learning that my novel “Untrue Colors” won the 2016 Booksellers’ Best Award for Romantic Suspense.

I also did a book signing there with over 400 other authors including many of my favorites. If you are near the Orlando area next July, come on out. It’s such fun and all sales are donated to support literacy.

IMG_9816IMG_9823

Romance Writers Weekly: All in the Name of Research-Locations

Welcome to Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Tour. A.S. Fenichel provided our topic for the week! What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of “researching a book?”

largeI’ve been fairly active all my life. I can ride a horse, shoot a gun, ski down mountains, and have gone scuba diving with sharks. I loved sailing as a kid, prefer hiking outside to the Stairmaster at the gym, and have finished 2 triathlons. I’ve worked on a road crew, as a loader at UPS, as a waitress, at the Massachusetts Statehouse, at the United Nations in Geneva, and in tall skyscrapers for huge corporations. My experiences help me with my writing, but most of them came long before I’d decided to be a writer. I’ve never decided to climb a mountain for a book.

I’m very efficient at computer research, but when it comes to locations, I prefer visiting. There is nothing like taking in not only the sights and sounds of a foreign culture, but also the attitudes of the people. The physical push of a crowd on the Champs Elysee in Paris, the smell of spilled beer at a beer garden in Munich, the style of the people of Tokyo, and the tranquility of the Fiji Islands.

There are very few locations I’ve written about that were not described straight from my memory. One place I never visited, however, is North Korea. My novel True Deceptions has a significant amount of scenes in the countryside there. I do not have a desire to visit North Korea, especially having published a book where businessmen are executed by the North Korean military. My research came from articles, photographs, and a study of Google maps to plan my hero and heroine’s escape.

Northern_Countryside_in_North_Korea

The second location I wrote extensively about without having visited was Columbia. I set the location of the third and final novel in the True Lies series on the property of a drug cartel in the Andes Mountains. I researched the area again by Google, but I also found many documentaries about harvesting opium for heroin. The films provided some knowledge of the sights, smells, and dangers of living in such a place.

6a00d83452137a69e201157062b746970b-800wi

Future locations I’d love to visit include China, Russia, and India. I can imagine entirely new environments to explore. New tastes to discover, new sights to see, and new people to understand.

Where would you go if you had the opportunity?

Travel to J.J. Devine http://definingjjdevine.weebly.com/ramblings-of-a-writer to read about her research.