The incredible shrinking me

Slowly but surely (well, maybe not so slowly lol) I’m doing it…I’m losing the weight that so terrified me earlier this year and sent me into a deep depression. From 287.4 lbs and edging ever closer to 300+, I have lost 35.6 lbs in just shy of two months. All I’ve done, aside from being stuck in a fracture boot for my foot, is switch diets from the high-carb, high-junk stuff I was eating to a keto diet.

I can put on socks without getting out of breath. I fit into all of my clothes, plus some old ones I had given up on (and once again my chain shirt). I have more energy. I feel better. And I don’t have that fear of dying from obesity-related causes.

I’m far from my goal still, and I know that it’s not over. I can’t just stop eating a keto diet now that I’ve started. Every single person I’ve talked to who has done keto or who has known someone on keto tells me that the instant they went off of it they started gaining again. So this is a lifetime thing. It’s a lifestyle thing. I have changed how I eat, and I need to maintain that diet indefinitely.

Am I okay with that? Absolutely. If giving up sugar and snacks is all I have to “pay” as the “cost” of losing this weight, then so be it. I’ll pay that cost 1,000 times over if it means not feeling like I’m on the verge of death every day.

This was one of those “scared straight” things. I terrified myself with the thought that I might be ineligible for important surgery or at risk for co-morbid diseases and health problems if I didn’t lose the weight. I was desperate. And my healthcare providers? Not much help in the advice department.

My primary care doc pretty much told me that I was screwed because of all the meds I’m on for the bipolar and the rheumatoid arthritis. He said I’d have to cut down to less than 1200 calories a day because I’m a woman. Does keto do that? Not necessarily–but it’s effective regardless.

Now, this doesn’t mean I think keto is the be-all and end-all of the dietary world. It works for some, but not for all, just like any diet. No single thing works for everyone. Human beings aren’t built that way. But for me, keto seems to be the thing that works. I’ll tell people how easy it is for me, but I’m not going to force anyone to go on the same diet I am.

I probably won’t be back to 150 lbs or less, like I was off and on in my twenties. But I’ll be in a better place than where I was, which is important. Better for my health, better for my mental health, and better for my self-esteem.

On Valkyrie Wings

The battle’s won

But death is nigh

Red haze of blood

Obscures my eye

I blink, I wipe

I try to clear

But I can’t see

Only can hear

The beat of wings

The rush of air

The winds, they come

Run through my hair

Through blood-red haze

A light does shine

Glowing over

Me and mine

“Come, brave soul”

She says to me

“Come with me now,

And you’ll be free.”

I raise my hand

I take a breath

I try to think

Of what I’ve left

Of who still stands

Who soldiers on

Of who will grieve

Once I am gone

None come to mind

It’s all a blur

My thoughts, my eyes

Centered on her

Her flaxen hair

Her brilliant light

Her beating wings

That give her flight

Her hand takes mine

She pulls me up

Inside I rise

My body slumps

My soul, it flies

With her as guide

Valhalla blooms

Before my eyes

No longer live

But not quite dead

My eyes now cleared

Of haze of red

Odin beckons

Inside his hall

Urging me in

I heed his call

Gliding forward

I take a seat

I lift my cup

I drink the mead

Thoughts of my life

Fade from the fore

My cup empties

I ask for more

I fear not death

Now that I’m here

I welcome fate

With smiles and cheer

Piloting without a manual

Remember that webcast/podcast idea I talked about a few months back? No? Well, I don’t blame you. I haven’t really been talking about it, because the logistics were a nightmare, but now…

…Now we have our pilot episode recorded and aired! That’s right, Muses and Murderers podcast (the webcast/video portion is on hold until I get a better setup) is officially started. It had some hiccups, it had some bumps, it had some awkward silences, but it’s live and ready to listen to!

I learned quite a bit in the process as we winged it today with a three-way call, a voice recording app, and a slew of other apps to make the recording work for sharing to a podcast app. Apps. Have I said “apps” enough? After today’s session, I know a few steps I can use to shorten the time and process from recording to publication, so that’s good. Because three hours to get a less-than-hour-long episode aired is a bit much. Lol

One thing that I’m grateful for as I went through the interview today was my experiences with Talk Nerdy With Us. Those phone interviews when I was with them made me more comfortable with the interview process today. I’ve listened through the whole podcast, and it sounds pretty good for a first time thing. I mean, I’ve interviewed people over the phone on behalf of Talk Nerdy and I’ve been on podcasts and webcasts, but this was my first time “running the show,” so it was an interesting experience.

First interview down, many, many still to set up and record. I’m hoping to get some done next weekend, now that I know how it will go and how to get it done. I’ll get some emails out in the coming days, set up some taping times….but I’m feeling much better about it.

We’re gonna do this thing.

We’re gonna do awesome things with this thing.

Extended Sentence

Went to the podiatrist yesterday. Got new x-rays taken.

It was not the best of news.

Yes, the bone is starting to heal. There’s calcifications forming and a “bridge” between the two parts where the bone is starting to knit.

But it’s not enough.

Remember how excited I was to possibly be out of this boot in two weeks? Well, he tacked on another two yesterday. Another whole month in this blasted thing.

I know I’ll survive it. I know I’ll be okay… Eventually. I’ll just also be constantly frustrated. And disappointed. And a little depressed.

************************The next day**************************

Yeah, so I was I guess a little tired, too–I kept dozing off while writing that! Lol Still hating the boot this morning, but I’m slightly less depressed about it. That mood will change as the day goes on, though. The longer I’m up walking on it, the heavier it gets, or at least it seems to. You wouldn’t think three pounds would be a terribly huge amount to carry around, but all those steps add up after a while.

This weekend has a forecast of grocery shopping, a small SCA event (no camping involved), and a lot of cleaning around the house. I had been hoping to get a new Skjoldhamn hood made for myself for Coronation, but the outlook isn’t great for it. With how busy we’ve been lately (and with, yes, the boot hampering my ability to do some things as well as I’d like), the house has gotten a bit cluttered. Not, like, dirty, just messy. A lot of “stuff” accumulated. Oh, and my husband’s birthday is Monday, with the dinner party for him after the SCA event tomorrow.

About my husband….This guys is amazing. Seriously. Like, he’s been 100% supportive with the change in diet since I’ve gone keto, even though he himself is not on the diet. He’s constantly trying to figure out new things for me to eat or new ways to cook to accommodate my new eating habits. He now looks at the carb counts on foods in the grocery store to see if I can have X food item or not. He helps me out when my boot becomes a burden, often taking over some of my household chores, and the poor guy has been driving me around everywhere whenever he can. Yeah, I have to get rides to and sometimes from work because his work schedule doesn’t allow him to drop me off, but he takes me to doctor’s appointments and any stores I need to go to and he damn near killed himself driving us to and from Great Western War because I couldn’t take over for any of the driving. No catnaps in the passenger seat, no real chance to rest except for the occasional stop for gas or bathroom breaks. And when the podiatrist gave me my “extended sentence” in the boot, he just shrugged it off and said he’d keep on driving if it meant I healed better and didn’t break myself again. Here are a couple photos of this incredible guy that stole my heart and puts up with my shit:

Y’know, I just realized I don’t have enough pictures of him. I have, like, eleventy million selfies, but not many of my husband. I’m so terrible.

Here’s a good one. The look on his face is because I was messing with the camera on my new phone, and he probably didn’t really want a photo taken at Burger King while he was waiting for his food. See? Puts up with my shit. Lol

He makes it all tolerable though. He makes it all worthwhile. He’s there, 100%, and that’s what matters in the end.

Yeah, I’ve got a month more of the boot. I’ve gotta beg for rides when he’s not available, and I lag behind when we’re out walking anywhere, but he always waits for me to catch up. He always comes to get me when I need it. He’s the reason I am able to do the things I do–his support and encouragement.

Love ya, baby. I promise to drive more when the boot’s off. And to try to learn to cook for myself, so some of the food load is off of you.

Broken hopes and shattered dreams

Well, so much for the hopes of being able to fight rapier again soon. I had a follow up with my podiatrist yesterday, and he has sentenced me to four more weeks of boot on my broken foot, with an indeterminate amount of time after the four weeks “taking it easy.” (I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that “taking it easy” does not include rapier fighting.)

I had also hoped to be out of the boot by the next big Kingdom event, Coronation, but nope, that’s not happening.

The only good thing is I got a new boot because the one I had was falling apart. Velcro tearing up the padding, some of the straps slipping a bit. If I was going to be wearing it any more than a couple of weeks, I’d need a new one.

I don’t know why I’m so disappointed. I mean, he did say “six weeks minimum” when he assigned me the boot in the first place. That implies that it could be longer.

Four more weeks of lugging around this three-pound monstrosity. Four more weeks of hobbling. Four more weeks of being a passenger. Four more weeks of questions from patients.

Countdown to Freedom?

It’s been four weeks today since I was sentenced to the boot for the Jones fracture on my right foot, and it’s been four weeks of hell–waiting for rides everywhere, not being able to help my husband with the driving when we travel, lugging around three extra pounds of boot everywhere I go. To say that I’m sick of the damn thing would be an understatement. Today, however, I see the podiatrist again for a follow up and another x-ray, and, theoretically, I have only two weeks left of bootness.

I still haven’t gotten the bone scan done, but then again, I can’t fucking drive myself to the doctor to pick up the order, and I can’t drive myself to the radiology department in town to get the scan done. I’m totally reliant on other people to get around. In the words of Gollum, “We hates it!” Maybe once the boot is off I can get around enough to take care of the scan myself and, hopefully, get some answers as to why my foot keeps breaking.

In other news, as of Monday I was down 27.2 pounds from my initial weigh-in of 287.4 pounds. I’ve been doing the keto diet for about a month and a half, and for two thirds of that time I haven’t been able to exercise the way I’d like, mostly because of the boot. Still, even with less mobility and less exercise, I’m feeling better, my clothes fit better, and I’m not craving carbs like I thought I would. Do I miss them? Sure. Do I sometimes wish there were keto-friendly snacks more readily available at work? Sure. Have I broken down and gorged on candy and bread? Nope. I’ve been a good girl. And, after the next two weeks have passed, maybe I can go back to exercising–and to rapier practice!

That’s right, my diet is going so well that I think I might be able to fit into my chain shirt again, which means more stabbing! I am so out of practice that I may have to start from the beginning, in a way, because I’ve probably forgotten a lot of the fundamentals, but my health and my confidence are up enough that I feel like I’ll be able to once again enjoy the only sport I’ve ever been remotely decent at!

Oh, yeah! Back to “fighting trim”–or at least trim enough to fight! Lol

I know my good friend and rapier teacher will be glad to hear that. I feel like I’ve disappointed her by quitting practice for, what, a year now? Or close to it. It’s amazing what a difference 27.2 pounds can make to one’s confidence, even though I’m far from my goal weight. Ideally, I’d like to be back down to the 150-170 range, which I know is a long time off. Realistically, I’m probably going to be content with getting down below 200.

Maybe the weight loss will take some of the stress off of my foot. Maybe it will boost my physical confidence and make it so I don’t get out of breath putting on socks. Maybe I’ll be able to exercise again and lose even more. Maybe, maybe, maybe. It’s all a waiting game, really, until this boot comes off and I find out what kind of activities I can partake in. Hopefully–fingers crossed!–I will be cleared for light rapier fighting. Maybe just practice for now, then work my way back to tournament fighting. I miss it now. Before, I was so depressed over my weight I didn’t want to fight. Now? Now I want to get back in there. I mean, the shirt fits. It would be a shame not to put it to use. 😉

Exercising might be tricky. I often am not out of work at a decent time to go to the gym where my friends work out and join them. However, now that I’m losing a decent amount of weight (and once the boot is off and I can drive again), I might make the effort to go out there and, yes, exercise in public. Where people can watch me. It’s a little intimidating to think about, but less intimidating than it was 27.2 pounds ago.

My advice if you’re trying to lose weight? Well, I have a couple of things. One: keep your mind open. If I hadn’t given keto a try, I might still be 287.4 and gaining. I’m not saying keto’s the only answer, but for me it’s working. If one thing doesn’t work after, oh, a month or two, try something else. Just try. Two: keep going. Don’t stop trying. Don’t give up. Take your health into your own hands and be strong about it. Three: Don’t be ashamed to tell people what you’re doing. If you hide in shame, you won’t get the support system that you need to motivate you. I’ve had coworkers and friends who never would speak about my weight before come up to me and tell me how much better I look, how I look more slender, how my clothes fit different. I know that they wouldn’t be mentioning it if they didn’t know I was trying to lose weight, but all the same it feels good. It gives me that boost of confidence I need to reassure me that I’ve made the right decision and that I’ll be okay. It may take a while, but I’ll be okay.

Two more weeks. Two more weeks, and then I’ll be free.

Good news, everyone!

Drumroll please! ABNORMAL is coming soon to audiobook!

That’s right, soon you’ll have no excuses for not having a copy. 😉 Don’t have time to read a physical or digital copy? This will be your opportunity to dive into the world of ABNORMAL.

Work on Book 3 is coming along nicely. I managed to get over 8k words added, and it’s good stuff. 😉 Book 2 is with beta readers through the publisher, so things are moving right along… Which again means it’s a great time to catch up on the first of the series.

I’m so excited to hear my words narrated soon! It’s kind of overwhelming but amazing at the same time.

Gooooood morning, Caid!


I’m writing this blog post on paper with an ink pen. Why? you may ask. Well, despite the good signal I have at this SCA event, I’m trying not to kill the “period” mood by whipping out the cell phone here at the Arts and Sciences display.

This weekend has so far been mostly relaxing–when it’s not sweltering or freezing, that is. Note to self: 1 make lighter garb and more layers of garb, and 2 don’t trust the weather forecasts for overnight temps.

Thanks to the lovely selection of goods at the merchant’s area of the event, I am five yards closer to step 1 above. I got a gorgeous light blue cotton to make a new Viking area underdress. My current underdress (well, the one that currently fits me) is made of raw silk. Very pretty, very period, v-e-r-y heavy. Not very breathable. I have some embroidery projects lined up (don’t I always?), but if I use my silk underdress as a pattern I should be able to make quick work of another one.

I haven’t actually done much more than sleep, shop, and bitch about the weather this trip. Not exactly productive, but at least this morning I’m participating in things by placing something on display at the A&S showcase. I’m talking to people and interacting, but I’m not freaking out at the number & volume of the people under this pavilion… probably because I have this pen and paper here with me. I guess as long as I can write, even if it’s just a handwritten blog post, I have a “security blanket” of sorts.

Once the A&S showcase is over, I’m not sure what I’ll do next. Probably have lunch, maybe take a class on how to “curse like Shakespeare.” Maybe shop–again. But only window shopping. I might have spent quite a bit yesterday. Not, like, an exorbitant amount for a vacation, but quite a bit. Unless I find the shop that had the warm gloves. I should have bought them yesterday, but I was a fool & thought I wouldn’t need them last night/early this morning. [Insert “Never have I been so wrong” meme here.]

The broken foot has slowed me down but not overly hampered me this trip, aside from the pesky “can’t drive with the fracture boot on the right foot” thing. My poor husband has had to do ALL of the driving for the past 3+ weeks, and I still have over 2 weeks of boot left.

Someone asked me just now if I was a Laurel. Lol. I corrected them, but it’s nice to have someone think I could turn out Laurel-quality work. Some day. Some day.

Tomorrow we break down camp & head back to Atenveldt/Arizona, and Monday afternoon it’s back to mundane life. I enjoy my journeys to the middle ages, but I can’t afford to do that all the time.

In mundane news, Book 3 got (yet another) reboot this past week, with a new restart-from-the-beginning and a new plot direction. I’m very excited for this new path for the story, because it presents challenges that I haven’t had to face yet. I might have to annoy my publisher and editors by POV-hopping to pull it off, but I think in the long run it will be worth it, both for me, for the publisher, & for the readers.

Well, I think that the A&S showcase is ending soon. It’s almost 11am & the showcase started at 9:30. I’m actually hoping it ends soon, because I finished my energy-drink-in-a-tankard a while ago & I’ve really gotta pee. Maybe I’ll leave my table for a few minutes to take care of that before it becomes an issue. 🙂

I think I’ll post this blog post as-is, with photos of these pages. That sounds interesting–& don’t worry, it’ll all be transcribed in a nice, easy-to-read font below. 😉 (<– winky face emoji)

Her Own Worst Enemy

Finally! After months of struggling with the plot of Book 3, I’m finally back on track with the flow of it.

Book 3 is going to take Clare to some pretty surprising places, and even though this weekend is all about the SCA, my mind is buzzing with story ideas for her and her cohorts in the future.

I obviously can’t reveal much–that will ruin things–but it feels good to be out of that rut and back in the game. I’m so excited that I’m half tempted to stumble outside in the pre-dawn light in this unfamiliar house to grab my laptop and start typing. Only half tempted, though…I don’t want to piss off our hostess by waking her up this early.

Book 2, Escape the Light, is still moving through preproduction. It’s agonizingly slow from my point of view, but that’s because I want to share the next installment of Clare’s story with everyone. I realize that my publisher is doing what they can, though, and I know I need to be patient. As for Abnormal, I hope to have news on that front soon, too. What news could there be for a book that’s already been published, you might ask–well, just wait and see 😉

Once people are up and moving, I’ll grab my laptop and get busy making words happen. For now, though, I’ll keep entertaining myself with my phone and social media lol


I thought I could do it. I thought I could get the new garb all made in time for Great Western War. I knew it would be a challenge, sure, but I thought I could do it.

I didn’t anticipate getting a nasty cold. Once I came down with the cold, I didn’t anticipate the drain it would be on my physical and mental faculties. I was foolish enough to think I had it in the bag, right up until last night. Then it hit me: I am not going to finish. Not before the day after tomorrow. No way, no how.

It’s extremely disappointing. I may always be cramming to finish, but I always finished.

Until now. Now I have to go to the event and see all the people dressed up as period versions of heroes and villains and know that I can’t be part of that because I failed.

My husband is very understanding about it, which helps to soften the blow a bit, but I’m still disappointed in myself. I had all these detailed plans and they just evaporated as time ticked by.

There would be more to this post, but the cold is already zapping my mental energy. I can’t think of what I want to say. I thought there was more, but I’m just a lump with thumbs who knows how to spell. I hope…