Six Years Later… & I Finally Did It.

I did a thing. No, I did two things. I wrote a book. And then I published it.

I came here to update my website, add purchase links, change information, those kinds of things. And something hit me…

I’m excited, but I’m not jumping for joy like I thought I’d be. Coming here, though, I figured out why that is.

When I started this blog 6 years ago now… wow, 6 years… holy cow… that was a while ago. Anyway, getting back on track, when I started this blog, I didn’t believe in myself. Not even a little. I had no confidence. Zero. I intended to use this blog as a way of breaking out of my comfort zone. (Which I did.) But if you want honesty? I never thought I’d make it. Not really. Not at the time. I hoped so, but I didn’t believe it.

Over the last six years, I’ve changed, my life has changed, in ways I can’t even comprehend most days, much less describe. Suffice it to say, I’m not who I was six years ago. I believe in myself now. And I have for the last couple of years. It’s the reason I wrote the book. It’s the reason I’ve written three more. It’s the reason I’m working on a fifth. It’s the reason I’m officially a published author. — I believe in me. And I have for some time now.

I’m not jumping for joy quite like I thought I would because I knew I’d get here. Before, it felt impossible. But now? Oh, no. It doesn’t feel impossible. It feels right. Like home. Like I have just stepped into who I’m meant to be, and I’m coming into my own. I see the long game, and I believe in it. And that’s where my mind is. It’s where my focus is. I haven’t stopped to really appreciate it because I’ve gone all in on pushing forward.

But ya know what? I should pause and celebrate hard for the person I was back then. I should jump for joy for her. Because she fought, and struggled, and clawed, and cried, and felt the overwhelming depressive weight of defeat over and over again… and even though she changed, and grew, and became bolder and braver… she deserves that celebration. The hard fought battle she never believed she’d win.

Because guess what? She won.

And she’s just getting started.

Got Caught Up In The Bargain Cave! (With A Sexy Lumberjack!) … Sort of.

I’m over here doing some online shopping for a camping trip. A task, which my husband has left to me, cause, well… y’all… I like to shop. If ever there were any doubt…

I’m on Bass Pro’s website, already got those fancy mosquito repellent candles in my cart, when I see in huge, red letters… BARGAIN CAVE.

A bargain, you say?! A whole cave full of them?! For me? Why, yes, that sounds lovely! I think I’ll check that out! <Me, to the computer> As if it could hear me. (Although, honestly, conspiracy theorists unite! *fist bump* Cause, well, it can hear me! It’s listening to us all!)

Anyway, I ventured into the cave! Whether this was my first mistake or not, I have no idea. I’ve been online shopping for an hour. It could well be just one mistake in a long line! Anyhoo, I have since put in batteries I’m not sure we even need, a flannel shirt-jacket cause I think my husband would make a sexy lumberjack, and about 72 various coffee mugs. (Okay, I admit, that last part is a bit of an exaggeration.) And as much as I want to see my sexy lumberjack drinking his coffee out of a manly looking mug with a grizzly bear on it… I took the jacket and the mugs out of the cart. Cause, well, I don’t actually need them. (Neither does my husband, who now, I will never get to have lumberjack fantasies about!) Maybe I should put that one back in the cart after all, eh? Give him an axe, a beard, sexy flannel jacket… manly coffee mug…… See! Now we’re back where we started!

Anyway, next thing I know, I’m looking at flashlights, and they’re trying to sale me a $200 bargain flashlight! $200! They promised me bargains… and see, I know that thing was listed for like, $295, so technically, it’s a bargain. But ya girl is over here looking for a $20 flashlight at best. Y’all done lured me down into this cave, on the premise I’d get bargains… and all I got was a lot of batteries, a lumberjack fantasy going nowhere, and coffee mugs that won’t fit in my kitchen cabinet, cause well, I buy too many of those things as it is!

Then there are the deals that are so good I don’t want to pass them up. A $12 tent? Why, yes! Give me that! Except… we have two tents as it is! We don’t need another one. We sho don’t need a three person tent with two big ol’ adults and a giant dog!

And this, my friends, is what online shopping looks like in our house. Wish me luck as I dive back in! Cause I’m not finished yet. I’m not even halfway into the bargain cave, and I already tried to convince myself to just put the camo duffel bag into my cart and buy it. And for what reason, I have no idea. I don’t need a camo duffle bag! I’m not trying to blend in when I’m camping, sho not trying to do it when I’m hiking, I don’t want to get shot by a hunter who thinks I’m a deer. There are posted signs for that! Wear bright colors! Hunters abound! And I don’t hunt, (I’m a bleeding heart if there ever was one) so I sure don’t need it for that. I own one camo shirt, and it came from Old Navy. I ain’t even about that camo life, and I’m trying to snap up a big ole’ camo duffle like I need it for something.

What I actually need… is to behave myself when I’m shopping. But… that’s unlikely, so, who knows what’ll happen next!

The Story Of A Picture… ❤️

It’s me! 😉

There’s a chance you’re lookin’ at this thinkin’ … Why? Why are you uploading a selfie to your blog, Heather?! 

Well, I’ll tell you.

Few things about this picture… 

1. I just took it. At (looks at clock) 2am. So ignore the glassy eyed look. It’s late. I’m tired. I haven’t been tossing em back tonight. I’d tell you if I had been!  😘

2. It’s black and white. I’m in my living room, and the only light on in here is a dim little lamp. It cast an ugly shade of yellow over this whole picture, and we couldn’t have that now could we?! (We couldn’t! It was hideous!)

3. I have a pimple! (Okay, two! 👀) Ignore it. My skin led a revolt against me this week and fired some very ungentlemenly shots my way. We’re still at war, but I’m winning! (Please note… The opposition was out of bounds and will be tried for war crimes immediately upon my win.)

4. There’s some awkward arm placement going on here… cause, well, I’m in my jammies, and I’m not wearing a bra. Need I explain further? (I think not. I’m sure you get the gist! 😂)

5. And the reason I took this picture despite one through four being darn good reasons I shouldn’t have… I cut my hair tonight. 

Why does that matter? It doesn’t really.

It was long last year. And for many years before that. But after losing 40 lbs and realizing I hid behind my hair like some sort of security blanket… I chopped off like eight inches back in November. (Yes, I did that.)

A few months ago I saw a picture from last Easter and was like, I miss my long hair! I’mma let it grow back out. So I have been. And I really do miss it. But I wear my hair up more than I wear it down. And since it has grown back out about five inches, I realize how much it hurts to wear it up when it’s longer! Geez, it’s annoying. And painful!

So the great debate ensued. To cut or not to cut? (I cut my own hair, btw. YouTube tutorials made that possible, and then practice for the last four years has made it darn near perfect. — Most of the time. 😂)

Anyway… it came down to vanity or comfort. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my shorter or more medium-length hair. I like it. I just happen to love it when it’s longer… if it’s down, that is. If it’s up, I do not. It hurts. See the problem? I can’t have it both ways. Unfortunately. 

And In the end…. I went with comfort. Chopped off roughly two and a half inches, got back into comfy ponytail and messy bun territory… and I’m quite happy. 

I took the picture because I was happy. That’s it. That’s why.

Thought I’d tell you the story that went with the photo.

Riveting, isn’t it? 😂 (We all better hope I write more interesting novels than this drivel. 😘)

My Best Laid Plans… Went Up In Smoke…

I had plans to be productive today. Really, really productive. I was going to get up early, I was going to work, I was going to reorganize my closet, and I was going to workout. — I. Had. Plans. — But you know what they say… the best laid plans and all that…

When my alarm went off this morning, I realized fairly quickly that I did not feel well. There’s nothing I despise quite like sinus problems and post-nasal drip… Because, well, it makes me feel awful. But there I was, post-nasal drip from hell, absolute misery. So naturally, I went back to sleep.

After several more hours in bed, I did finally climb out of it. While I slept, just so y’all know, my dog stole my flip flops, which I found, thankfully unharmed, in two different rooms of the house. Anyway, besides taking Pepper out, eating lunch, & checking the mail… I haven’t done anything except sit on my couch, in, as I said earlier, absolute misery.

I thought about working out anyway, powering through it and all that nonsense. But then I thought about the strength it would take me to do 160 pushups alone, not including the cardio workout or the 150 crunches… And well, I think it would kill me… So, that’s doubtful! 😂

Work. Well, I may attempt to write later. I’m roughly 20,000 words into my fourth novel. But honestly, even that’s doubtful. Y’all know I love to read, but even when I thought about doing that an hour or so ago, I was like, no. Too much effort. So while I like to entertain the idea, I can’t imagine actually doing so. Even now writing this, I’m getting a headache, which I didn’t have before I started this. Soooo… 👀

The closet… Well, that’ll still be there when I feel better. It’ll still be an unorganized mess, but it’ll be there.

So what will I do with the rest of my day? I have no idea. I’ve been meaning to rent the movie Kong: Skull Island… As I’ve recently gotten into the whole Godzilla, Kong movie world… But my husband hasn’t seen it yet and if I watch it without him he’ll probably be disappointed. Sooooo, maybe I’ll rent something else. Maybe take a nap. I don’t know. It won’t be much, because I have zero energy for anything at all. My nose is dry. My eyes are itchy. My throat aches. My head feels three times bigger than it’s actual size. It also hurts now. And to add to that, and TMI warning… All I can smell and taste is mucus. 👀 See, I told ya… Absolute misery.

Missed y’all, btw. This is my first post in ages. ❤️ See ya soon! 😊

Just Another Tuesday!

The past four or so days have been really busy around my house. So, today, for the first time in days, I had a normal day. I slept in a little, I got some writing done, and I managed a nice workout. Long overdue, all of it, and it’s been nice. ❤️

My fingers are itching to get at the keyboard, not this one, I’m typing this on my phone while cooling down from that workout I mentioned. My laptop is charging in the corner, just waiting for me to get back to Justin and Lynsey. Things are heating up for them! 😊

I’d stick around and chat, but besides writing and editing, I have a million other things to do, too. Will you see all soon!

Heather.

A Rainy Writing Day…

It’s a rain, rain, rainy day! Seriously, it has rained all day. Still raining. It’s one thirty in the afternoon, I have work to do, but I’m tossing out a quick blog post first. (Insert thumbs up here!)

I’m sitting at my desk. Which is actually the bar in my kitchen. Sometimes it’s my couch, but today it’s the bar. I have a, well, what I’m actually about to say I’m sure will offend many, but I have a nice, big coffee mug full of water. — Yeah, I drink water out of coffee mugs. I just like the way it tastes out of coffee mugs. I know plenty people would say that water tastes like water no matter what you drink it out of, but I would argue the opposite. What you drink beverages out of changes the way they taste. And I will die on this hill! (With my coffee mug of water!) 😉

I have nine chapters left on this out of order edit I started about a month and a half ago. If you’re wondering why it has taken this long, well I’m writing my third book, too. I write for a couple days, edit for a couple, back and forth we go. I like to break up the monotony of doing the same thing day in and day out. Plus, I feel like my work is better when I get little breaks from it and come back. Whether I’m writing or editing.

I’m almost there. I can see the finish line. Plus, when I started this out of order edit, novel number three was at roughly 15,000 words. We’re now at 50,000! Woo-hoo! 😀 Makin’ progress.

A lot has been accomplished in the last month and a half. As much as I could have done? Probably not. No, definitely not. But, hey, we’ll get it.

I’m going to jump back in now, edit, and listen to the rain coming down outside my window.

Hope you all have a splendid day! – Heather.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Happiness!

A little bit about my day…

I went to the grocery store, came home, did some laundry, edited four chapters of my manuscript, and that’s about it.

If you want a few more specifics, I bought new wax melts for the wax warmer, a lovely beach scent. I fed the birds, uncovered the flowers so they could get some sun, ate some chocolate chip cookies, and took a shower.

I have a little bit of a headache from sitting in front of the computer for hours, so I’m going to relax and watch something on tv. Don’t know what yet. We’ll see. Oh, and I’m making grilled cheese sandwiches and French fries for dinner. I’ve been wanting it all day! But we were out of sliced cheese, hence my run to the grocery store. But I have american and colby jack now, and I’m about to make grilled cheese magic happen!

Heather. ❤️

In Editing News…

I’ve been editing today.

I just did a chapter that used to be one of my worst ones. No joke. It has seen some of the largest edits over the last year (with the exception of chapter 1) and when I pulled it up I fully expected to wrestle with it some more. No matter what I did, that chapter never seemed to come together right.

Well, apparently, and to my great surprise, I only needed to make six minor changes!

It’s a fantastic read now! I didn’t realize I’d finally accomplished that feat and I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief right now. The last several edits were much more successful than I realized. I once thought, I’mma have to scrap the whole chapter; it’s never going to improve. And yet, here we are, and chapter 15 is good to go.

Now keep your fingers crossed because Chapter 16 is closely tied to it and saw a lot of reworks along with it. Hopefully when I get to it, as this edit round is out of order, it will be a pleasant surprise too! ❤️

If not, well, par for the course… 😂 At least now I know it’s possible. All hope is not lost! 😉

Bested By The Dog… Again.

I have a dog for sale. She’s a lovely black Labrador Retriever. She has big brown eyes and a pretty, silky coat. Her ears perk up all cute when you grab a pack of crackers, she loves long walks, and she’s fully potty trained. We’ve had her seven years. And she’s mostly well-behaved. She can be a pain in the rear end though. But you’ll easily overlook that as long as you keep in mind her adorable little face and her overly-waggy tail. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, why in the world would someone part with such a great dog?

Oh, I’ll tell you why!

Little miss came and sat in front of me. Just sat and stared. This means, Hey, Mom! I have to potty. Take me outside please. Except for when it doesn’t because the little manipulator just wants to go outside.

I told her no. (Don’t get it twisted, she went out four hours ago. She was fine.) Anyway, she just kept staring. So naturally, I explained myself. I said, “No. It’s cold.” She stared some more. So I said, “No. It’s 27 degrees outside. I won’t do it.” Now see here, some of you are probably thinking, you think that’s cold? Whaaat?! Well, I live in South Georgia. It only dips into the twenties a handful of times a year. That’s cold for us! — Anyway, she’s covered in fur, so what does she care? (She doesn’t.) So she just stared some more. So I stared back. Intimidation tactic 101. (This did not work.) She scooted closer and stared some more. I continued telling her, “No. No way. Won’t do it.”

As you can probably guess, I did it. Just in case she actually had to go, I didn’t want to be mean and refuse to let her. But, alas, it turns out I knew her all too well.

So there I was, in a pair of fuzzy socks, pajama shorts, a long sleeve tee, and wrapped in a fleece blanket, standing on our little back patio in 27 degree weather. Where was the dog? Oh, she was standing in the middle of the yard, staring at me like, I know you didn’t put shoes on, so I know you can’t come out here and get me. *sniffs around* *Looks up and stares again* Isn’t it nice out? I’m going to sniff over there now… *Goes and sniffs somewhere else.* — All the while, I’m telling her to come on, get inside. And she just keeps looking at me like, Why would I do that? You’re the dummy that brought me out here. Sucker!

After about two minutes, I’d had enough. The dog did not have to pee, and she was not the least bit ashamed of her behavior. In fact, she went over and scooped up a stick, toting it around, prancing about the yard like I wasn’t standing there telling her to get her butt inside.

What y’all don’t know, is that she’s a big chicken. Big. Chicken. Chick-Chick-Chick-Chicken! Seriously, she’s a fraidy cat. So I said, alright, that’s it. I marched myself inside and shut the door and the curtain. You know what she doesn’t like… thinking she’s stuck outside in the dark by herself and can’t get inside. The closing of the curtain was the real kicker. That was when she was like, Uh-oh! Mama can’t see me on the other side of the door anymore. This is bad. — Because like most dogs, she comes to the backdoor when she’s ready to come in. But we don’t close the curtain. Not when she’s outside. So little miss thought she was locked out. (I was peeking through the curtain.) Which is how I saw her race up and stare at the door like, let me in! And because it was after midnight and I didn’t want her to disturb the neighbors by barking, I only made her stand there a minute before I let her in.

And do you know what she did? Danced over to the laundry room where we keep the treats like she was about to get one. No siree! Not on my watch. (Seriously, she didn’t get one. We do not reward blatant disobedience in this house.) (Well, most of time. She slides by on occasion. What can I say, we’re only human!)

Obviously I’m not really selling the dog. She would be, and this is no understatement, completely devastated. Absolutely heartbroken and incredibly depressed. Seven years is a long time. And I joke, but we, my husband and I, would be just as devastated. Again, seven years is a long time. We’re all attached to each other, and it’s til death do us part. (Even if she drives us crazy along the way. — Which she is good at!)

It’s Like Jekyll & Hyde… Sort Of.

This is about my many heated, volatile, passionate, wild, irrational, mixed emotions… about working out.

If you’re wondering, what?! Don’t worry. I’ll explain.

I love it. I love exercising. It’s the best way for me to kick stress. It feels good. It’s fun, It’s exciting. It does fantastic things for my mental well being as well as my physical. Seriously, it does it all. It’s great. The endorphin rush is worth writing home about. It’s fantastic!

But here’s the thing… despite all that, and knowing what’s waiting for me on the other side… I still have to drag myself off the couch, grumbling and complaining most days… because, well, I don’t wanna!

But I do! But I don’t! — Now isn’t that something?

I was thinking about it yesterday while working out. Right smack in the middle of some jumping jacks, I was like, Oh yeah!! Best decision I’ve made all day baby!!!! (I may or may not have said this out loud.) (I did it. I said it out loud. With an embarrassing amount of enthusiasm, too.)

Anyway, my mind went back to when it took me an hour, a full hour, to convince myself to get up and work out. I literally grumbled all the way to the closet to change. Then all the way to the laundry room to get my shoes. Then I sat on the couch for an hour, reading a book, with my tennis shoes on, trying to convince myself to get up. I grumbled as I put on music, and huffed with great annoyance during the first few minutes of exercising. However, halfway through, there I was shouting all sorts of ridiculous stuff because I felt fantastic!

And I thought, why in the world did I fight myself so hard? Why is it so difficult to get up and get started when I know I’m going to be incredibly grateful when it’s all said and done?

Isn’t it wild how that works? And maybe that’s just a me thing. For all I know I’m the only person in the world who does this. It’s like the lazy, unmotivated part of me is like, no. I don’t want to. Leave me alone. But the slightly more disciplined, wiser part of me is like, Yes. Get up. Now! You lazy couch potato! — And round and round we go.

It’s funny, it was easier when I was losing weight a couple years ago. Because every week I’d see a pound/pound and a half drop and that was all the motivation I needed to keep at it. I had way less days where I didn’t want to. Plus it was new, and that made it more fun. Now that all the extra weight is gone, and the new has worn off, I have to fight to stay more disciplined. Which is strange, given I know if I don’t exercise enough I’m a grumpy, antagonistic, much more anxious, I-will-bite-your-head-off-for-looking-at-me kind of person. (And nobody wants that! — Just ask my husband… 😉 )

So there’s a little look into my love/hate relationship with working out. I really do love it. It’s changed my entire life for the better. But I still have to fight a part of me that’s like, I would rather not, thank you. Crazy, huh?

Maybe not. Maybe you can relate. I don’t know. If you can, you know what I’m talking about. We can commiserate together. If you can’t, well, gimme some of what you got!

I’ll see y’all later. I have to go workout.

Heather!