Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hand-written Letters

Today, despite wanting to work on my manuscript, Herbal Junction, I will blog. It’s been far too long and there are so many blog posts running through my head these days. I suppose that’s the good news. Eventually they will make it to the blog and all will be well.
I actually sat down to work on Herbal Junction but saw–as I uncovered a spot on my desk to work–a European glass dip pen I purchased for myself years and years ago. I love it. Cobalt blue, teal/turquoise, red, and a clear nib. It feels good in my hand, even if it is a bit scratchy when I write with it. The shopkeeper said if the nib ever bothered me or got too dull from use, I could take a bit of sandpaper to it. Maybe I’ll try that and use it even more.
Photo on 2015-02-13 at 09.56 #2
It had been awhile since I used it, and it was so pretty looking at me, that I immediately caved in and pulled out a green hummingbird notecard and wrote to my mother.
Photo on 2015-02-13 at 09.55
Emailing and texting are far more efficient, but I still love hand-writing letters to my family and friends. It was a rare and wonderful treat to myself to begin the work day, and I just wanted to share it with you.
Photo on 2015-02-13 at 10.02
What little luxuries do you afford yourself?
Leave a comment below. I address all of them.
Have a happy day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Inspiration Strikes Again, With Gratitude

I've slated this morning--the whole day really--for working on client work. Editing. Typing. Editing some more. But I just feel so inspired lately. So many ideas percolating. One quick blog post won't hurt the overall day's intention. I'll get to the editing. I'll have to. It's the last day to do it. Deadlines, you know.

Yesterday I picked up a few magazines from the book store. I rarely gift myself with magazines. They seem so expensive and frivolous for what they are. Pretty pictures and full of ads. I could have bought two novels for the price of the three magazines, and they would've lasted me a lot longer. But I forget about feeding the Muse. I do need to seduce her once in awhile or she'll stop coming to play.

The only print magazine I subscribe to is Writer's Digest, for work. But Artful Blogging magazine, or Wanderlust, or Lonely Planet all could be "for work," too. Research. And, again, keeping me inspired to work on my novel and other writing projects.

I feel on the cusp of great things in my author business. I've got the correct mindset now. It's taken years, but with the help of my online mentor Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn, (She doesn't know she's my mentor) and my loverloverman at home, I finally know that I am living my dream life and working at my dream job right now.

You see, I kept trying to forecast what I wanted my dream job/life to be like three or five years from now. To work as if, but still knowing in my heart I wasn't there yet. I thought I was just "planning" and "setting goals"--which I still believe are important--but it was preventing me from feeling the satisfaction of where I already was. Much like the house we just moved into over last summer. I used to look at all of the projects that still needed to be done and felt like it was a never-ending heap of exhaustive shoulds on my shoulders.

"It'll never get done!" I'd privately wail.

But then.

I realized that our home, just like ourselves, was a living "document," if you will. It would ever-evolve, just like us. We grow and change everyday, and so would our home. Every few months, something changes on the house. We put up a towel-rack or a curtain rod. We hang more art. We paint another wall. We add garden beds to the front yard.

Like that.

So, too, my author business is a living and growing entity. It will change every few months to accommodate the industry and my growth as an author.

I'm already living my dream job in my dream life.

I still plan ahead. I still dream. But I'm so happy and grateful right here, right now.

What is it about your life or your job--right now--that you can be grateful for?

Please leave a comment below, or check out my website at valeriewillman.com.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nostalgic Notes

As seen on a Whidbey Island walk.

I miss this blog. 

I've been writing over here and had decided to retire this Blogger blog. :-( But I love it here. It's so pretty and I know where everything is and the interface is way easier to use than Wordpress.

Maybe I'll ditch the other one and move back.

That might take some extra tech support, and some time I don't have to figure it out, but the idea is there! It may just come to fruition.

We'll see.

In the meantime, if you want to read about addictions to Netflix and sugar, or other shenanigans, find me at http://valeriewillman.com

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Addictions Are Running Amok

The only reason I’m not completely horrified by my wicked dietary and personal habits during the winter is because it is winter. And this sort of behavior only happens in winter.
I don’t use ‘it being winter’ as an excuse for unhealthy behavior, but rather anunderstanding of how completely off track I can become. I seem to lose the ability to take care of myself properly in the winter time. I forget to take my supplements, I bitch about every yoga class on my schedule–and barely make it to one a week, sometimes none–and I eat sugar like it is the last edible thing on the planet.
I also Netflix.
Yes. I used Netflix as a verb.
It has become almost as addictive as sugar for me. I sneak in episodes of The Paradise, Ms Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and Boardwalk Express during the day, and watch movies at night with my partner. And on sick days, I watch entire seasons of Downton Abbey. (But that’s hardly wrong; fevers must give us an excuse to be a little naughty.)
AND, addictions to Netflix and sugar–while they can strike at any time–do seem to flair up when my defenses are down.
For instance, if I am tired and overweight because I’m eating a bunch of sugar and carbs (because its winter), causing my thyroid disease to spike my hormones to frightening levels, causing me to become more tired, so I eat more sugar to get more energy, which causes me to crash, which causes more fatigue, and then finally causes depression, I run straight to Netflix, chocolate chewies cookies from Market of Choice’s bakery, and the four or five glasses of wine or cider a week.
In my depressive, addictive, “poor me” induced haze, I forget to take my vitamin D and iron supplements that I really really need to function.
It’s all an annoying, boring, and exhausting cycle.
Each spring it seems to dissipate though.
Thank God.
Chronically, February is the worst month for me. But I’m happy to say that this month, despite its only being the 3rd day, isn’t so bad. I’m quite inspired really.
Inspired to cleanse. 
See, I went to the doctor’s today to discuss my terrible thyroid panel labs, and the subsequent increase in my medication dose. My TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is so so high this time. An increase of almost six uIU/ml in two months. Which is outrageous–in case you’re not up on the latest Hashimoto’s Disease info.
Diet and nutrition seem to play a large part in keeping control of my disease. Even medication doesn’t work all the time, as evidenced by my latest lab reports. And my weight has gotten a wee bit out of hand–I’ve gained twenty pounds in two and a half years. It’s paramount that I do something about this. Now.
And so, I’m proud to say that I’m about to embark on a cleanse under the care of my naturopathic doctor friend. The MediClear Plus cleanse by Thorne Research. (And thanks to my friend Cammie who gave me the idea.)
I’ve only tried the MediClear cleanse once before, and while it wasn’t my cup of tea last time, I’m certain it’ll be a success this time around. They have a new formulaand I’ve taste-tested the powder and it wasn’t vomitus–which, you know, is a plus.
Here’s how it works: 
The first three days (1-3) I drink a shake for breakfast and lunch, and then eat vegetables for dinner. One fruit snack is permitted.
The next three days (4-6) I drink a shake for breakfast, and then eat vegetables for lunch and dinner. One fruit snack is permitted.
Day 7 has me eating all veggies all day.
Day 8 gives me a shake for breakfast, and then veggies for lunch and dinner. One fruit snack is permitted.
Day 9 is back up to a shake for breakfast and for lunch, and then veggies for dinner. One fruit snack is permitted.
On the last day (10), I can eat a closer-to-normal diet but low on foods that become acidic in our bodies, (no potatoes, corn, green peas, tomatoes, oranges, or pineapple) and easy on the meat protein.
And then here’s the kicker:
No sugar or alcohol for at least a week or longer, after cleanse is over. So that’s really a total of 17+ days with no sugar. I think my head might blow up.
Good thing I finished off the Pad Kee Mao leftovers from last night, and most of the chocolate cookies. That way I can start fresh tomorrow!
Very good plan.
Who’s with me?!
We’ll do it together.
MediClear cleanse buddies unite!