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Posts tagged ‘fitness’

The Workout-Writer: Perceived weakness holding us back from our potential


I’ve taken up hitting the boxing bag. Not only is it an excellent cardio workout, but works/strengthens/tones the entire upper body—arms, chest, back, core. I “knee” it, too, thus adding some strengthening to my lower body. I often think of my father—he boxed while he was in the Air-Force, and while I’d never hop into the ring, it brings a connection all the same.  But what I want to talk about here today is perceived weakness that keeps us from realizing our potential, because we often don’t recognize potential when we give up too easily, especially when we feel weak and ineffective in an area.

While boxing a couple of days ago, I’d punch the hell out of the bag with my right, but the left was weak and puny. I flailed away a few times and when my left arm just wouldn’t cooperate, I gave in and punched only with my right, every so often smacking unremarkably with my left just to give the right a rest—and, because I figured I had to do it, even if it didn’t feel right.

It frustrated me, this weakness, but  the more I concentrated on the way my left fist felt when it connected to the bag— the weakness of that punch—the more I hated punching with that fist, and the weaker it felt. My workout wasn’t near as effective as it could have been, and I soon tired of it, finally moving on to something else. I came up with excuses as to why my left jab was pathetic: I’m right-hand dominate; I use my right hand much more often and it’s stronger; maybe there’s a pinched nerve on that side causing weakness, etc. and blah blah blah!

Two days later, I headed down to my workout room early, put in my earbuds to loud techno music, and slid on the gloves. Without thinking about what I was doing or how I was doing it, or why, or when, where, what, I just began punching the bejeebus out of that bag—right right right left left left right left right left right right left left left LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT—POW BIFF BAM!

When I at last stopped, sweat pouring, I looked down in surprise at my left gloved fist, amazed at its strength and endurance. It was tingling and burning but it felt great! It felt powerful! I felt powerful and strong, and capable. I’d hit the hell out of that bag with what I thought was a useless left punch but instead was just as powerful as my right. I slid off my gloves and noted the redness and coming bruising of my knuckles and inside the soft portion between my pinky and “ring finger” and all that did was make me feel more powerful—it was visual tangible evidence of the power of my punch.

Did my arm/fist grow that much stronger over the two days since I’d last boxed? Nope. What I’d done was stepped up to the bag and without thinking about it I just began pummeling it. I didn’t think about weakness; I didn’t think about what I was doing at all. I allowed myself the freedom to find my inner strength. For whatever reason, I’d blocked myself from recognizing my potential by that perceived weakness.

Isn’t it fascinating what our minds can do? The tricks it can play on us? Sometimes, we must outsmart our own Self.


This is often how it is with the writing. When we approach our work with our fears and wants and needs and with conditions and scads of willy nilly jumbled up over-thinking-it thoughts, we encounter perceived weakness—the words stall, the language comes stilted, the characters blink at us from the page with perplexed expressions. The writing day seems flaccid and weak—just like that perceived weak left appendage of mine. We want to give up and give in, and we at last grow frustrated and/or bored and move on to do something else.

Yet, for many of us, when we just sit down, put our fingers to the keyboard, and let fly whatever pours out of the black hole in our brain, something seemingly magical happens. We become stronger writers almost overnight—well, dang! Because imagine if we wrote without those conditions, without over-thinking, without all the “What if this isn’t right?” “What if it doesn’t sell?” “What if no one likes it?” “What if a meteor falls on top my stupid head and smushes me to kingdom come and I never finish this and someone sees it before it is finished and it sucks and that’s the legacy I leave behind—a stupid half-finished work that sucks so bad everyone laughs and taunts and points their fingers at it?” What if we instead allow our beautiful subconscious minds, those deep instinctual strengths, to rise up from a place we cannot mine by peeking in the opening—we instead sometimes must amble, explore, stumble upon. Go for it. There’s a reason the clichéd advertising phrase Just do it makes sense—because it does work.

Wrapping it up now, y'all

Wrapping it up now, y’all


As I box, I will gain in confidence. I will become even stronger, yes, but I will also become better at the control of my body and what it can do. And as I grow stronger and better and more confident, I’ll start critiquing my form, how I’m hitting that bag, how my stance is—I’ll be “editing” my workout. So it is with the writing. I lift up my head and there will be a completed terrible (or not so terrible!) first draft—then the work of editing begins where I critique my form, check my stance, work on fine-tuning. I’ve done it with novels and other works that have gone on to be published—five, six, or more, times. What’s stopping me now? Perceived weakness, over-thinking, fear, conditions.

Stride into your writing room just as you will the workout room and instead of letting the world in, instead of telling yourself you are weak and can’t do it right, march in and just start punching (tippity tapping on the keys) away until you feel strong and confident and know nothing can stop you now.


three set_edited-best_edited-11743500_553542498076585_1943216434_nIf you all haven’t gone on over and checked out kat magendie novels that are on Kindle sale, and haven’t read any or some of my books, I hope you’ll go on over and give them a try. I as always am appreciative and grateful for my readers—thank you all for your support. It’s all for you. The link above should take you to a page that should list all my books and stories, and you can see the ones on sale. As well, I’m going to soon have a promo on my 1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_nshort stories, offering a few for free—since I rarely mention them and often forget them, they kind of sit there like little lost waywards, and I’m so proud of the artwork!TG audio

Now get to work(out)!


Touty mention of the day:

Head over to the Word Shark – Karen R. Sanderson’s Blog– Right now she has a guest there who does some amazing metal artkaren-sanderson-word-shark-blog-graphic

Karen R. Sanderson was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword in a day. Their favorite expression was, “Look it up!” Karen reads punctuation and grammar manuals for fun.

Karen is an editor and proofreader, blogger, and writer. She edits fiction and non-fiction including: sci-fi, fantasy, children’s, mystery, paranormal, western, horror, historical, literary, and journalism. Karen completed her writing coursework through UCLA, the University of New Mexico, and Santa Fe Community College. She was the winner of the SouthWest Writers 2009 Writing Contest – The Best Hook. Her short stories have been featured in The Rose & Thorn Journal, Every Child is Entitled to Innocence anthology, Valley Living Magazine, BewilderingStories.com, and WritingRaw.com. She is currently working on collections of short stories and poetry.


Five Easy Things You Can Do For Good Health/Well-Being

Be strong.

Be strong. Be flexible. Be.

I’m not an expert on nutrition and certainly not as educated as a nurse or doctor or nutritionist–but I do know my body, and I do my research, and I Pay Attention to people, and my former clients’ experiences. Personal Trainers run the gamut of education and training but often we know our “business” through personal experience and research along with whatever educational training we experience. See your doctor; talk to a nutritionist; do your research. However, there are some things you can do easily on your own, and can reap the healthy benefits.


  1. Get off your butt throughout the day. Studies show that even if we exercise regularly, we aren’t realizing the full benefit to our health if we sit most of the rest of the time. Yes, exercising regularly is good for us, but so is moving our bodies throughout the day. Find ways to remind yourself to rise to your full height, stretch, walk about. Your body will love you for it. And, if need be, so will your waistline.
  2. Eat an apple every day. For a healthier heart, for whiter teeth (though don’t expect miracles—but chewing crunchy apples does help produce saliva that will “wash away” bacteria). As well, the fiber binds to cholesterol and out it goes from your body—no, not all of it; you must eat well and be mindful of your family history. Apples are filling and can help satisfy a sweet tooth—often, I will cut up an apple and put it on my plate first, then put something sweet that I’ve been craving; I’ll eat less of the sweet part when I have that entire apple on my plate. There are more benefits to eating apples, so rush to the store and purchase some. Honeycrisp are my favorites.
  3. Get more sleep. I can hear some of you laughing: you call this easy, Kat? Maybe, maybe not. But aside from the nights where our minds won’t shut up, there are the nights when we do the “just one more thing” thing. Or we stay on our phones/tablets instead of leaving our bedrooms dark and cool and comforting. Sometimes it is our own fault we aren’t sleeping well! Research over the years said we should have 7-8 hours, but actually, new research shows that at different ages we require different amounts of sleep—it could be even that different people at the same age require different levels of sleep. Perhaps 6-9 hours is a nice range for this or that person, right? Tune into your body–it’ll tell you. People underestimate how important sleep is to our health and well-being. While we sleep, our brains work out the stresses and activities of the day; otherwise, we’re just tossing around with circuitous thinking, right? As well, sleep helps with weight loss: there’s a hormone called leptin that helps to make you feel “full;” leptin levels will decline without enough sleep. Better memory, better sex, clearer thinking, better mood—it’s worth it to figure out a way for a good night’s sleep.
  4. No added sugar in this peanut butter!

    No added sugar in this peanut butter!

    Eat less refined/added sugar (and less processed foods!). When you purchase a “pre-packaged” product, look at the ingredients list. Often you may be surprised at how much sugar is in that product. The listed ingredient order tells you a story: ingredients are listed from most to least. Try to find foods that have fewer ingredients, and where sugar isn’t listed as 2nd or 3rd on the list–better yet, find those that do not have added sugar. If you must purchase processed foods, do your research—pay attention! Find out just what is in that food and in what amounts. Sugar is a sneaky ingredient—it’s in the savory as well as in the sweet. If you purchase something that has fruit in it, the sugar content may be higher, but how much of that is “refined/added” sugar and how much is “fruit sugar.” Some may say, “all the same” but I do not. If I buy trail mix with raisins in it, the raisins are the “sugar” part that will satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthier way, but if I buy trail mix with raisins and M&Ms in it, there’s that refined/added “bad sugar” that will make me feel a tiny burst of energy and then quickly sap me of it. Best thing: the less processed white-four sugar-filled foods you eat, the better you will feel, the more energy you will have, the less weight gain you will experience, etc. etc. etc.!

  5. You can always return to a place that gives you joy.

    You can always return to a place that gives you joy.

    Find something or someone that/who gives you joy. We spend too much of our lives chasing after some dream, working hard to achieve that dream, running full speed ahead to whatever lies ahead of us. I will tell you that when you reach a certain age, you often look back and think, “Well, dang—where’d that time go? And why did I wait so long for such and so?” While I understand we often must work jobs, raise families, and do the “shoulds” of our lives, it is important to take time out for those things that are OURS only—the thing/things that often make you feel guilty or selfish: well, you are not selfish! If you are unhappy and stressed, then it not only effects/affects you, but your loved ones. Take a moment to breathe and figure out what makes you and only you happy/contented and then go for it. And if it is a person or place who/that makes you happy–then what are you waiting for? Time isn’t banked like money, y’all.


Now, go do this day right, eat an apple, move, stretch, and get a good night’s sleep tonight. So let it be written; so let it be done.


Workout Writer: How Bad Do You Want This?

10417600_10152480426884176_6460205242015283935_nI’m exhausted! A few hours of non-continuous-multi-interrupted sleep, and an anxious but excited brain (more on what’s causing that later). Today I’m supposed to haul myself to the gym, in the rain, with my tired but anxious excited brain, and do an aerobics then weight training workout for at least an hour and a half. Do I really want to? (ZOMG! I just stared at my keyboard for waaaaay longer than cool trying to find the italics maker—um, Kat, the italics maker is at the top of your screen, where it’s been for the upteen years you’ve been writing on word, and to infinity and beyond. Lawd. And I thought this was Wednesday. And I keep losing my train of thought. And a bird keeps chirping and I both love it and want to throw a rock at it. And my brain has cotton-clouds floating in a sea of mush. One coffee down and it ain’t touching the WAKE UP AND BE ALERT button yet.)

I am light. My body is under my control.

I am light. My body is under my control. But my brain is wackadoodle doo doo

Well, since I’m one of those weirdlings who loves to exercise, perhaps I really do want to—this is the answer to the question above. Yeah. My thoughts are organized, y’all! Haw! But really all I want to do right now is climb back in bed and sleep a few hours and worry about the gym another time. After all, I’m in good shape, right? My body is strong. My heart and lungs are fit. Welp, y’all: how did I achieve that? Not by climbing back in bed and going back to sleep knowing the workout will not be done, since there’re other things I must accomplish today, as well. This reminded me of a post I’d written a few years ago when I was re-shaping my workouts, and my body–it was supposed to be a post for Wednesday, but who cares? Tuesday, Wednesday–meh. Laugh. I know I’ve reposted or rewritten many a post lately, but my world is soon changing again–and in that change comes the flood of words, the vomit of words, the torrent, the Mt. Vesuvius of bellows of writing of words to ensue, because . . . because . . . I can’t even breathe it out right now. Later.

So, my beauties, that day, I was completely exhausted and didn’t wanna workout—thusly, with a few tweaks, y’all—

askyourdoctor—during my run/treadmill aerobics, I wanted to stop multiple times. I didn’t want to challenge myself. I wanted Easy. To go along at this slow steady pace, or better yet, walk, or better yet, jump off and go do something else. I became so frustrated with myself, that I yelled in my head like a red-faced coach, “HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS? HUH? HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS?” And all of a sudden, I knew I wanted it BAD! I bumped up the speed and tore off on the treadmill.

During one particular song, I pushed off on my leg and hovered in the air before slamming down, and did it again and again. As I hovered there, it felt as if I were suspended about a foot in the air, when in reality, I probably only came up a few inches—but the Perception was I felt myself higher. Does it really matter if I only came up a few inches? Or is the Perception of what I felt I accomplished a just-as-important reality? I like to think the latter, for it inspired me to take it further and farther, to run stronger, to push myself past the point of what I thought was my limit.


Take what I said above and apply it to your writing life, or your musical life, or your artistic life, or your work life, your home life, your Life. How bad do we want what we think we want the most? How hard are we willing to work for it? How often are we willing to feel uncomfortable? How often are we able to face a disappointment and still go on? And how much are we willing to push ourselves past the point where we think we must stop? And when we push off, hover in the air, feeling powerful and strong, do we let that wonderful Perception spur us on to do more and better and stronger? Or do we say, “Eh, I was really only inches off the ground. No big deal. Other people can jump higher. Eh.”

How bad do you want this?

images (1)Bad enough to sweat and push and sprint and, as well, sometimes to feel pain and set-backs and exhaustion but pick yourself up and do it again. And again. And again.

I’ll tell you what giving up or giving in gives you: Not a danged thing but regret. And the flipside of that is this: you can work your ass off and still not reach all of your goals, but I can guarantee you’ll have accomplished more than you ever dreamed you could if you do not give in to negativity and fear and doubt. You’ll have jumped up, hovered higher than you ever thought you could soar, grow stronger, faster, more determined. Note the accomplishments and savor them, for even the smallest goal reached is A Goal Reached. Why do we disregard even the smallest of goals? They weren’t so small when we were arching towards them, were they?

How bad do you want this?

Finding peace in a yoga pose . . . .

072Once I step onto my yoga matt, I leave everything else behind but the moment. There are no racing thoughts, no worries about what I have to do next, for I must concentrate on breath, on maintaining internal silence, Antar mouna. I am careful not to overextend, such as in forward and backwards bends, or to take my body too far into the pose in those areas where I am not as flexible; I must respect my body’s abilities and its limitations. My eyes look inward as I concentrate on a spot or object, Bahiranga tratakanot. I stand in Mountain Pose, Tadasana—feet together, hands at my sides. I bring my hands to prayer position, then raise my arms up to the sky, feeling a gentle stretch, my balance, my focus, and from there, I fold and move into the sun salutation, Surya-namaskar.

If my back is bad and legs are in Extra Pain Mode, I will let yoga take me only to where I feel safe, as in a gentle cat and dog stretch, or perhaps hold downward facing dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana, a bit longer. It is just me and my matt and my heart; there is no one to tell me how much or how little I must do. I like that. I feel the freedom of making the yoga my own. Perhaps that is what is intended, but if not, I can only ask forgiveness for my ignorance.

038No matter which yoga poses I do, I always include child’s pose at the end. It is hard to feel anything but peace and serenity when folded into a facing-down fetal position. My face is hidden from the world, my body tucked tight, yet my spine is vulnerable to the sky and anyone who may come near me. It is at once both a trusting pose, while a very private and protective one. I breathe in and out, slowly and evenly. I stay that way until I can face the world again. Then I curl up and sit into half-lotus pose, ardha padma-asana, bring my hands to prayer position, then lower my head, close my eyes, and sometimes, if I’m feeling extra meditative, which is very difficult for jittery jittery me who is rarely rarely still and rarely rarely meditative, I may whisper, Namaste, which is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another, or when alone, my own acknowledgement of my heart. How can I feel anything but contentment, peace, and gratitude when in this beautiful pose? I cannot.


Namaste, y’all . .  . .

The Work-out Writer: no more whining!

balance, strength, energy


I used to tell my clients I trained to “listen to their bodies” to let them know how much they could do or when to pull back so there wasn’t over-use or injury. And that is mostly true, all y’allses beauties out there. However, I also recognize how this isn’t always the case. Sometimes our bodies/minds want to fool us, because what we are doing may be Haaaaaaard, and why oh why would our brains want to do the Hard Thing when it can at times easily convince us to do the Easy Thing? Even if the Easy Thing isn’t as good for us. Sometimes we must re-wire our thought processes.

Folks, there are times we must push through when our bodies/minds tell us it wants to slow down or stop—not to the point of exhaustion or dangerous over-working, but to the point of Kicking Our Asses and doing the Hard Thing—and not “once in a while” but “several times a week.” (Though, you must always consult a doctor before beginning a workout program!)

And you can see Monday Classroom archives as well if ye's wants a boost to rememborate sumpin. Write write write! write with abandon; edit with a keen critical eye!

 Write write write! Write with abandon!


Some days I just ain’t feelin’ it, you know? Well, Kat, suck it up. Sit your arse down in the chair, fingers to keys, and write. Timed writing isn’t going to do it for me. If I watch the clock, then just as with my aerobics workout, I’ll be ever aware of that clock ticking: 15 minutes of writing? Okay – tic toc tic toc tic toc. *Yawn!* The work also isn’t going to be done by my whining about how haaarrrrd it is to be a wrriiiiiitteer.

Stop whining! It’s time to re-wire our “minds/bodies” from telling us we caaaaann’t to that of I can do this!–we have to, at the least, give it a try, right? Books aren’t written by rolling our eyes and sighing. Royalties aren’t paid to writers who aren’t producing books. The work is done by doing the work.


This person (me about a year ago) felt like shit. Wasn' t writing, wasn't taking care of herself

This person (me a few years ago) felt like crap-a-doodle-doo-doo. Wasn’ t writing, wasn’t taking care of herself

I used to crave junk and loads of chocolate. (Honestly, I still do crave it. And, I’m a Sweet-a-holic.) There were days I wanted to sit on my ass and do nothing but eat chocolate and feel depressed and not do a danged ole thing. Some days are sucky and I could fall into that trap again if I weren’t careful. But if I were to sit on my ass and gobble down an entire box of chocolates, feeling sorry for myself and the state of Everything, well, dangity it all to dangtown, but I’d feel even worse. My body would be bloated and sick from Chocolate-Junk-Sitting on my Arse Overload. Sluggish, tired, cranky, like in this pic from a few years ago–I was being silly, but there was truth behind this photo .

The more I work out, the healthier I eat, the better I feel, and the more I want to do those things to continue to feel better. Then when I do treat myself, it tastes/feels even better than it ever did before.


Sometimes I want to sit on my ass and do nothing but feel depressed and not write a danged ole thing and eat junk and drink vodka. Some days are sucky. Well, guess what? If thousands of us sat our asses on the couch and did nothing because life is haaarrrrdd, who’d write the books?; who’d deliver the mail?; who’d bake the bread?; who’d teach the kids?

This book/writing business isn’t always easy, but ask yourself: Is this what I really want to do? Am I ready to be in this for the long-haul? Am I ready to sacrifice? Can I handle rejection? Scrutiny both good and bad and in between? If not, then what do you want to do? Reorganize your thought-processes.

Sometimes being a published author (or an unpublished one) is the easiest best job in the entire danged ole world, and other times it sucks like a big fat suckity suck black-hole sucker—but I love it more than my right arm. Get back to work. Whatever that “work” is for you–if writing novels isn’t truly what you love but you’ve been slogging through it, then maybe there is something else in this business you will enjoy more? Or maybe you’ll discover a direction/road you never considered.




At the end of a grueling work-out, find time to stretch those muscles, and then just as important as the work-out and the stretch, comes the quiet moment of reflection. Time and distance and wants and needs lift away as we respect our bodies, minds, hearts. The old saying “you only have one body, one life” is true (reincarnation doesn’t count – because you’ll be someone/something else, right? so no excuses!). We have this one chance to make the best of our lives. To honor our bodies. To give ourselves the gift of good health and well-being. What will you do with yours?


step up and see what's around that corner

step up and see what’s around that corner

When the writing day is done, find a moment to reflect on this writing life. Calm the voices, the rejections, the expectations, the harried hurry and the long-ass frustrating waits, and remember just why you love this writing life so much. Recall the raw beginnings of it, when it was just you and a white space of whatever in the world you wanted to say to anyone who would listen, even if it was only your own ears. Find that joy in quiet reflection. Time is going to pass anyway. A year will pass, and a year from now, where will you be? Will you have written a year’s worth of words? Or will you have angsted yourself to a wordless mass of messy nothing-on-the-page-ness. Time will pass no matter what we are doing with it; make the best of it by stretching your writing muscles.


Night comes. Time to rest the body. Rest is as important as movement. A good night’s sleep prepares you for the next day’s challenge. Your body/mind deserves and needs this rest. Requires it. Be grateful for the body you have instead of fighting against it. Why would you dislike your beautiful self? Our bodies are a work of art; a gorgeous scientific biological wonder!


When laying your head upon your pillow, remember to give gratitude for what you have accomplished. This business is so much about looking ahead to what we “should” accomplish, or what may come, or what we hope will come, that we must remember what we did achieve. Hold on to it, let it come with us into our dreams. “You Did This! Good for You!” Sleep. Dream. Going to sleep with a heart of gratitude will ready you for the next day’s challenge.

dsc09813-1Namaste, y’allses.




(post taken from a previous post. soon I’ll be writing original posts again, but this is a start to getting back to blogging regularly!)

Advice from “Big Sis” Kat Magendie . . . .

156The farthest thing from a young woman’s mind is that time far off into the future when she will be considered “Middle Aged And Menopausal.” Who has time to think about that when your toddler is crying and your eight-year-old just threw up all the pizza, cake, and, I’m not kidding—sushi (sushi?)—he had at a birthday party where the parents spent more to please Bobby or Suzy than what you spend on two-weeks of groceries? Or your boss has asked you to work late and on the weekend—again. Or you’ve over-extended your obligations to (fill in obligation blank here)—again.

Listen: how you treat yourself and how you ask to be treated by those around you will forever affect the person you will become. Who are you?—I mean, the real you, the Woman You, the one you must face in the mirror from now until, well, until you can no longer look into a mirror, or perhaps not care to (look anyway, for you are beautiful!)? For one day in your future you will gaze at yourself (even if through others eyes) and see the woman you have become from the experiences you have now. As your big sister, I want to tell you to care for yourself. To think in terms of gratitude, and health, and well-being—one decision at a time—in what you eat, drink, behave, grow, and how you perceive the world and react to it (or how you expect it to react to you).

Hair Dryer Antics Update & Oregon here I come. . .Consider the benefits you will receive right away, yes, but also think about two years from now, five, ten, twenty—your body and mind will become healthier and stronger so that you will have more energy for your busy life, and further, when you reach My Age, you will have fared better with such a healthy physical and mental base. You will be well-prepared for the Next Stage, even if that next stage is “simply” to be as good a grandmother as you are a mother. Your future you will thank you. Trust your big sister—she knows.


Do love what you do? Do you love yourself?

Do love what you do? Do you love yourself?

Finally, when is the last time you patted yourself on the back for a life well-done? Have you been perfect? I bet not. Has every day been a gloriously sunshine-filled day of joy and happiness? Probably not. Have you lost your temper, been in a foul mood, screamed at your kids/husband/co-worker/the person in line at the grocery who has fifteen items instead of ten in the ten-item line? Maybe. But if you did not do these things on occasion, I’d wonder what you were trying to prove. We’re all human, and we all need to give ourselves a little break now and then to consider just how hard it is to Be Humanly Human. You have permission to love yourself, to have gratitude for your days, to love yourself enough to care what happens to you now and then later and for the rest of your life.



The Lightning Charmer cover1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_n*note: My friends – The Lightning Charmer $1.99 sale has been extended for a couple more days on Amazon Kindle. It’s been steadily moving up the charts – all because of all of you! Thank you! I am grateful for every single sale. Y’all are awesome! And if you haven’t yet checked out Lightning Charmer, I hope you will.*

Work-out writer: Music to get you off your ass – excuses just piss me off – time for some WHUPOW, y’all.

askyourdoctorWelp, did y’all think I wasn’t going to come back to this here blog? Nah. I’d never desert it. However, this here’s what I believe: you can be a good writer but that doesn’t mean you can keep up a good blog with tantalizing posts and goldenfire words that draw people by the hundreds–hell, I’m lucky if I draw people by the tens *haw haw!* Same goes for books – you can kick the ass of writing to whoopeetown and back, but if’n you ain’t got a story, then all you have is a bunch of well-written words strunged together–what? strunged ain’t a word? It is now — haw!

So, while I have a good ole time on my Facebook page (and it’s a regular ole Facebook page and not one of those “like” thangs so come join in), I’m not as blabbity here. There are so many other blogs out there that are kick ass and where the blog writer knows just what to do to make it shine. I learned how to tell a story in my novels and am doing pretty well in that regard with my readers (y’all are big ass buckets of awesome!), but I still haven’t learned how to take a blog and make it kick ass. Dang! I’ll leave that to the Blog People on High.

cartoonDSC08450-001So have you been working out? If you are shaking your head no, then come here. Come.Here. Closer. Cloooosssseerr. CLOOOOOSSSEERR. *FWAP!* that’s me smacking you upside your head! Get your ass out there and get moving! I ain’t play’n! And same goes for writing. I don’t want to hear no excuses. Shut up. Excuses piss me off. Yeah. Now, come here. Come.Here. Cloooseerr. Naw, I ain’t going to smack you again! I just was going to plant a kiss where I smacked you, cause I’m sweet like that *MUWAH* I know you like it.

If you are looking for some good heart-pumping music, I am suggesting the 50 Techno Trance Anthems collections. I have three of the volumes and am quite pleased with them. Most have that beginning that starts you off, then builds you to a frenzy, then pulls back a bit, and then WHUPOWS! you again–great for interval training, for which I strongly suggest you try.

I don’t listen to music while writing, so it’s up to you if you use this music for that. But it’s good for traveling, too, or cleaning the house.  These are the three I have – you can purchase them from iTunes for your iPod or shuffle, or from Amazon as MP3 or whatever.

Get moving. Get Writing. Stop whining. Stop complaining. Okay, you can whine and complain sometimes–I know I do!–but if’n you are doing that and not accomplishing shit for shinola, then it’s time to take stock.

Now go kick the ass of the day!

50-Techno-Trance-Anthems-Vol-4 51o2-ZK30CL._SL500_AA280_ 51ZLWzdy4bL._SL500_AA280_

Work-out writer: the sneaky hidden world of eating disordered thinking in women over fifty

The photo that started it all . . .

The photo that started it all . . .

Last year I wrote a post entitled: “Does this obsession make me look fat?”

There’s been a lot of talk lately about eating disorders in women over fifty. Well, I would guess that while there are some women who are dealing with this issue for the first time, there are an awful lot more of us who have had eating disordered thinking most of our lives and have just hid it really very well or have had it under control. Then, according to what is going on in our lives, the eating disordered thinking may rear up its ugly head right as we think we are at our most confident and powerful: in our fifties, the time of our lives when we are feeling the most kickass, when we don’t care what people think, when we say what we want and live how we want. Imagine our surprise when eating disordered thinking sneaks up and bites us on the ass. What? Me? Wait a minute now! I’m not that teenaged girl any longer. I’m not that mixed up frightened little thing. I’m strong. I’m sexy. I’m ready to take on the world.

What the hell is going on?

The “experts” will tell you and/or your family and friends to watch out for these signs:

‘. . . there are signs to look out for that may indicate someone has an eating disorder. These include: precipitous weight loss or low weight; withdrawing from family, partner and friends; evidence of binge eating or purging; extremely low self-esteem and body esteem; not eating with the family; avoiding events where there is food.” (Taken from HealthDay by Steven Reinberg)

What goes on behind the eyes of a woman?

What goes on behind the eyes of a woman? Secret secret things.

Sure, those things are true for a certain group of women—but not for us! We aren’t like that. We’re out enjoying life. We’re reaching long-hoped for goals. We’re walking with our head up and eyes forward. We are feeling sexual power. We are power. If you looked at us, you’d see a woman who is in pretty good shape–not too thin at all. We may look pretty danged good “for our age” – hell, maybe for any age.

But there is the sneaky hidden eating disordered behavior that no one may ever know.

We’re told that eating disorder in aging women is because “fifty is the  new thirty; seventy is the new fifty,” and yes there may be some truth to that, for some women. Not us!  We have taken care of ourselves; we feel awesome; we feel sexier than ever; we will be kickass well into very-old-agedom. We are not our grandmothers kind of grandmothers. We strut. We look back over our shoulder and say, “Yeah, you think you can handle this much woman? I dare you to try.”

Though it doesn’t start out that way, it quickly becomes about Control. Think about it: what else is completely under your control? Since the time you become aware that you could tell your mommy, “No! Don’t want it!” you have been able to control what goes into your mouth. And what goes into your mouth, or not, has the side effect of affecting your body size—a double whammy of Control. While the outside world can twirl about you; while people—your boss, your spouse, your parents, your friends, your editor, your colleagues, a stranger on the street—take their pieces of you; well, by golly gee, they can’t force you to eat! They can’t dictate what your body looks like! As your body changes, your power grows. Look at you! Control! Control! It’s both as simplistic and as complicated as all that. Even if you don’t really believe that’s what it’s all about, this is a truth that must be explored.

What you really tell yourself is, “I like myself like this.” And you do. To a point. But the toll must be paid. Tolls always must be paid.

We lose our daddies

We lose our daddies

Sure, our aging bodies can frighten us a bit, and it isn’t only about what we look like, but thoughts about our mortality. Our grandparents die; our parents are nearer to death or they do die—we are next in line. Every line or wrinkle is another sign that life is heading towards death. And not just physical death, but what about the death of dreams? Or desires? Or what about the death of health? Or good looks? Or time to do the things we want to do? And there’s nothing you can do about growing older, kiddies. It’s a fact of life, growing old, and then death.  And when we arrive at Very Old, will we look like ourselves? A fear is: We don’t want to look like someone we don’t recognize. We don’t mind becoming older, just let us look like US! Don’t let our face and body melt into a stranger’s face/body. We want to be able to look into a mirror and see the person we have always been. To recognize our faces as ours.

I suppose for some, gaining weight would mean we do not look like ourselves.

Oh, it’s heady powerful stuff. As the scales lower, there is that thrill—look what I have done! Look at the control I have! I am powerful! I can plan, plot, quirk my food and my body into whatever I want it to be, just by my own strong free will, by will-power.

Will. Power. WillPower.

For many  of us in the fringes, it never reaches the anorexic stage, or the bulimic stage, the binge and purge stage.  The “under weight” stage. We find that stuff distasteful. Yuck. They aren’t In Control. We are! We find the sweet spot of Control just at that edge, just at that spot where people would never know the struggle we are going through. We still are within our healthy BMI; we still eat—we don’t avoid food situations, and in fact, may embrace them, for we can eat whatever and how much ever we want, for tomorrow is another day where we’ll just eat less to make up for it. Ha! Fooled up, sumbitches! We don’t binge and purge—gross! That’s for the “crazy ones.” We don’t starve ourselves into emaciation—why, that’s for those obsessive whiners. Give us some credit, whydontcha. We walk that fine line of eating enough while still maintaining our control. We exercise and we eat healthfully, but we also know how to manipulate food just enough. Just enough.

We are many times highly intelligent and highly motivated and goal driven women–and for some of us, people don’t see this in us, so we give them what they want: A perfect sexy body they can objectify. Then while we have their attention, we kick their ass with our smarts and our insights. WHUPOW! Gotcha! Suck on that!



we have to remember that the jeans we bought to fit our new bodies are supposed to be tight, we bought them that way. They should stay tight.

The danger comes when the weight drops lower than you meant for it to. Oh oh. You tell yourself you won’t go any further. You tell yourself you’ll gain back a few pounds. You tell yourself this, but by then the Control Demon has its claws in you and you must tread carefully now. You don’t want to be one of THEM. You put on muscle, eat more protein, find ways to walk that fine line of “healthy but thin.”

It isn’t always about what we look like—for really, there isn’t a true concept of “what we look like,” for when we look into the mirror, we do not see what everyone else sees–no one really does, it’s just for us, the body dysmorphia is more acute. And, honestly, one day we may feel quite good about ourselves, fit and thin and wonderful, and the very next day we may feel willy nilly bound; oh my god oh my god am I gaining weight(losing control/losing will.power)?

If someone would hear us say, “Oh my god! I’ve gained two pounds,” they may roll their eyes and say, “Get over yourself! Two pounds! Get real!” But what they may not understand is that it is not the two pounds itself that is the problem—it’s the fear of careening out of control. Two pounds leads to three and then four and then six and then ten and where does it stop? If we are not vigilant, two pounds becomes more and more and more, and what if we can’t stop it? What if we gain and gain and gain and gain and gain . . . No! Must.Gain.Control. We do not like the out of control feeling and it must be Stopped.

Because we are better than that. We are too powerful to let something have control of us!

I'm not listening. I'm not listening. (Yes, I am too listening - please shut up).

I’m not listening. I’m not listening. (Yes, I am too listening – please shut up).

People who do not struggle with eating disordered thinking would see that two pound gain as a shrug in their lives. People with eating disordered thinking sees that two pounds as weakness. Are you weak! No! Get back on the program! NOW! Do not relax! Vigilance! You are stronger than this! You can beat this! And when the two pounds releases out into the air and off your body, it’s almost sexual, an orgasmic thrill. Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, oh god yes.

There are many thrills to the eating disordered life. That’s why it’s so powerful. We may start out only trying to lose a few needed pounds. Perhaps we’ve been going through our lives and step on the scales one day and go, “Oh oh. You have let yourself go. You idiot!” We really mean it when we tell ourselves we will lose those extra pounds and be happy with that.  People notice, and we feel better, yes. Good. Done. But . . . wait. Hold up. The little voice cajoles, “Lose a couple extra, just in case. That way, you’ll have a cushion! You can relax some. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?” Hey, that does sound great! So you lose a couple more pounds. The compliments rise, and you feel even better.

There comes the thrill of seeing the scales bow to your power, to your will. You are kicking the ass of those scales. You are In Control. Yeah! WILL.POWER!

I am light. My body is under my control.

I am light. My body is under my control. What else can my lighter body do? Exciting.

You lose a couple more, maybe even accidentally. You think, why not? Your clothes are fitting looser. You feel lighter. Your body is buoyant! Your body can do things it couldn’t do before–move in ways it couldn’t, bend in ways it couldn’t, exercise in ways it couldn’t, have sex in ways it couldn’t; it is pleasing, pleasurable, giddy, heady.

When you lie down at night, your stomach is flat and you can feel your hip bones—and this becomes one of your litmus tests. If you lie down and can’t feel that slight concave belly and those hip bones, then You Are Out Of Control! Oh oh.  You begin to like the way you can feel some of your bones under your skin, not hidden by layers of fat, no, but right there, so beautiful, the body is so very beautiful. Your body is beautiful. The curves and knobs and sharp planes and muscles that you manipulate with your hand. Your partner slides his hand along your body and you hum and shimmer–he can feel it, too. You still have enough body fat to be curvy and soft, but you’ve lost enough that as you explore your body, as he does, you/he feel all the new nuances of it. Your ribs, your hipbones, your collar bones, the tiny waist, the lean muscle. Your cheekbones ride higher and you think maybe it makes you look more knowing; there, those cheekbones below your big dark eyes full of deep dark secrets.

When you work out, your body is light and airy-air-borne. It flies over the treadmill, as if your bones are hollow, yet they are hard as a boulder, unbreakable. You are unbreakable! You feel strong, competent, powerful. People begin complimenting you more and more. Men stare appreciatively, and even younger men wink at you, tell you that you look hot.

You feel a sexual thrill you have never felt before–they are under your control now, helpless–who’s the little bee-otch now, huh? I am in control; you are in my control.

Your clothes skim your body, rubbing against your skin, nothing spilling over, no binding. You could almost float, so light you are!

And meanwhile, (practically) no one is the wiser. No one knows your obsessive thoughts about food and weight. No one knows the fear and anxiety. No one knows your need for control. No one knows that sometimes you go to bed hungry because you “lost control” and ate too much earlier that day or the day before. No one knows how you don’t know if you ate enough that day and because you do not want to become One Of Them, one of The Crazies, you force yourself to eat more the next day.

No one knows that hunger, your growling belly, is so fucking scary, for it means two things: you need to eat, your need to eat.

Sometimes friends will know what's going on because they know you best, and they'll miss the extra you.

Sometimes friends will know what’s going on because they know you best, and they’ll miss the lost part of you.

No one knows that every time you step on the scales you tell yourself not to be happy if you’ve lost weight and not to be sad if you’ve gained weight. Then, if you’ve gained weight, you try to calm the out of control feelings. If you’ve lost weight, you try to calm the tiny little thrill that shimmers up your spine.

In my post I linked to above, I listed how my weight began to drop, and my feelings about it at the time. And now? . . .  No, I did not gain back to 120; no I did not stay at 116. Yes, I am stable where I am now, and I must be, because I will not be one of Them.

I am Will.Power. Stand back. Get out of my way.

Don’t get too close now . . . . that’s right.

People are at all times prone to their own stupidity. We're sorry about that.

People are at all times prone to their own stupidity. We’re sorry about that.

Control. Power.  Isn’t it ironic? Because, really . . . yes. That’s right. You got it. We are so good at justification. We are so smart. We are so stupidly smart.

Work-out Writer: Start off wild, uninhibited, and then exert that CONTROL . . . .


Control . . .

Control . . .


Wild  & Free . . .

Workout WriterYou have to find the Way that works for you. But if you are at a weight or goal plateau/finding yourself obsessing over the same danged ole paragraph or two or three over and over again. Wondering, “Will I EVER fit into those jeans I love, run that marathon, lower my cholesterol, feel healthier/write this goddamm book?” Then perhaps you can consider  finding your wild and free, flailing and flinging  yourself on the treadmill/your words on the page; and then, when you are sweaty and all fired up/have your crappy ass first draft, you exert that CONTROL.


When someone asks me what I do to keep in shape, I will simply say, “I do treadmill aerobics dance for an hour, and then I do about thirty minutes of mat work.” That’s my process, I say.

But there’s so much more to that “process.”

Children play with abandon, but they often have their own "rules" and process - there's PURPOSE to their play - be like that.

Children play with abandon, but they often have their own “rules” and process – there’s PURPOSE to their play – be like that.

On the treadmill, I  jump, skip, hop, kick out my legs, run full out for nuttin, and in between those high-energy aerobics moves,I tone it down a bit to let my heart rate lower. What I’m doing is uninhibited and free—I don’t over-think it; I do what feels good, what feels happy, whatever comes to mind without a plan. Does this mean I am “out of control” on the treadmill? Not exactly, for I do have to maintain some control or else I could injure myself–I have to Pay Attention. However, for the most part, I’m all over that thang, sweating my ass off. I am at the edge of my endurance, and the endorphins are KAPOW WHUPOW! A little chaos is good; a little wild jittery is wonderful.

This is a good example of what I do on the treadmill, except I do not turn around backwards because I don’t feel that’s safe.

My goal is to stretch that leg even more - but with CONTROL!

My goal is to stretch that leg back even more – but with CONTROL! I had no flexility even a year ago.

DSC_0033When I am ready for my mat work, I’m nice and warmed up. This is when I exert the most CONTROL in my workout. I use dumbbells or my body weight or a ball or some other “device” to challenge my body to the very edge of its endurance, but with CONTROL. The stronger my body becomes, the more control I have over it–repeat that to yourself.

An example would be: Lying on mat, holding ten pound dumbbells in my hands, I do chest presses while also keeping my legs lifted from the mat (as the photo above shows, except with or without ball, and using the dumbbells)—as I do my chest presses with my legs lifted, I’m working many muscles at once, and I am very careful with my CONTROL. Without control comes chaos—injury! And during my mat work, I do not want chaos—injury—or flailing about.

As my body grows stronger, as I challenge it to do more and more, and different, workouts, I can see the progress of my hard work. Things I didn’t think I could ever do before suddenly have become “easier.” My flexibility is better—this coming from a girl who had practically no flexibility.

No one is looking at your workoug and if they are? So what? Stay in your own zone--ignore everything around you but your body and what it is doing. No one sees your manuscript--only you! Stay in your zone and have fun

No one is looking – and if they are? So what? Stay in your own zone–ignore everything around you but your body and what it is doing-have fun! No one sees your manuscript until you want them to, so stay in your zone, and have fun!

That wild abandon paired with the CONTROL of my mat work creates the health and body I want to have—strong, flexible, heart and lungs healthy, higher endurance, etc. I feel confident, and proud of my accomplishments. And I want to do more, more, more, because it feels so danged good.


When people ask me, “What is your writing process?” I always say, “I dunno. I just sit my ass down and write.” But of course  there is more to my process than that.

The first draft of my work is written with abandon, wild and free, without over-thinking it; whatever comes out of my pea-headed black holed brain is fine with me; let it come on! It’s fun, my endorphins are high, I’m feeling GREAT! Does it mean I have zero control? Nope, for the more I write, the better I naturally do the kinds of writing that will mean less work later on. Meaning, I have a grasp of grammar and punctuation “rules” even if I break them; my work comes out, even in draft, with paragraphs and dialogue and narrative and in chapters, automatically. My very first novel was almost all narrative-aw lawd! It was  a HOT MESS! Well, so what? Look at what’s happened since then: four published novels, a novella, and one set to be released in September. GO FOR IT, y’all!

Then comes the “mat work” of my manuscript. Where I exert the most control. Tweaking, editing, rewriting. I look for repetition, for too much internal dialogue/monologue, for ‘tic words,” for things that seem out of character or voice or POV. I read my manuscript a gazillion times and in different formats, such as, Kindle Fire, regular Kindle, my computer, printed out, let my Kindle Fire read it to me.  I am concentrating on the work with CONTROL. I know the rules so I can either break them, or tweak something to make it better.

Once I allowed myself to know my process and to OWN IT, I’m betting that each novel I write will become “leaner” and stronger, because I am exerting that control better as I become a stronger more flexible writer, willing to take some chances or try something different.

This wild abandon paired with the CONTROL of my re-writes/edits creates the kind of novel I can be proud of, one with which I am confident. And I want to do more, more, more, because it feels so danged good.

(Consult your doctor and your good sense before you begin this, or any other high energy workout–in fact, consult your doc before you begin any exercise program. I always say this–bears repeating. And don’t compare yourself to others, not to me, or anyone else, you hear?)

Just Do It

Just Do It

Just do it

Just do it

Work-out Writer: After the big cussin’ hissy fit, we may see a truth we tried to deny

He was an ass . . . but . . . . was I, too?

Jerkface, sumbitch! Huhn!

Workout: Saturday while on the treadmill doing a new, and particularly high energy part of my workout, some jerkface came over, waved his hand in my face, and then bitched me out for stomping on the treadmill. I couldn’t even respond—I was so furious, a sailor would blush at what caught in my throat and I had to swallow down.  All the rest of the weekend, I was pissed off, and within that anger came a little depression and anxiety: what would I do? That newer part of the aerobic workout kicked my ass but good and was something different, made me sweat, helped control my stress and take down my jitteriness a notch. I kept seeing his face; kept seeing his hand waving in my face; kept seeing me punching his face until it was a bloody-ass pulp (um, yeah, not proud of that thought, lawd!)

I didn’t even look forward to my next workout, for I thought, “It’s all ruined. My joy is ruined. My workout is ruined. Woe is me.”

*woe is wittle me*

*woe is wittle me*

Meanwhile, I’d conveniently forgotten how many people said I inspire them, how they enjoy my joy. I’d forgotten that the addition of this stomping was fairly new, and in a quiet little dark corner of myself, I knew I shouldn’t have been doing it—it just felt so good I ignored everything and everyone else. I was being stubborn. I wanted want I wanted. I didn’t want to give it up cause it was just so cool.

omg - I was being an asshole, too!

omg – I was being an asshole, too!

But, when I allowed my rage to subside. When I stopped thinking, “That sonuvabitch jackass mo-fo, rude asshole!” I heard what he said, not how he said it. And folks, yeah, I sure was being disrespectful to others and the equipment at that particular addition of my high-energy workout. Admitting that made me pull up my big girl panties and acknowledge I was being an asshole, too. I don’t excuse his delivery system, for he had no call for the way he treated me, but hidden in his Big Ass Stupid Face Assholedom was some truth.

This morning, as I stepped on the treadmill, someone said something so positive, reminding me that I wasn’t a bad person, I hadn’t always been so out of control, and I felt my joy slipping back in. Instead of stomping like an over-crazed idiot, I found something else to do that kicked my ass even better and more efficiently, and without worrying about hurting myself, and just as wonderful, I was still respectful of the machines and others.


Writer: Sometimes when we’re given critique/edit suggestions from our editors or beta reader, or whomever, that we don’t like, we may be tempted to say “Oh, they just don’t get it; they don’t understand what I’m trying to do; they SUCK! I ain’t listening. If I change this, it ruins everything! If I take that out/put that in/alter that, then what?  Waaaaaaah! Sumbitches!”  We push any rational thought aside, cuss, holler to the four winds of the universe how unfair they are, and how they just don’t get us and our work. Want to smack them three sides to Tuesday. We may want to give up, give in, be depressed and defeated. Put aside the work and walk away.

Well, shit . . . huh. I guess I see what you're saying . . ..

Well, shit . . . huh. I guess I see what you’re saying . . ..

However, if we still our minds and think of the bigger message, even if it’s embedded in a delivery we don’t appreciate, we may just find some truth in that critique/edit. We can pull on our big girl panties, or big boy undies, and acknowledge how we are being intractable, childish. We can pull back and look at their suggestions/comments, see if really they do have something to add to our manuscript, after all. Then, we find a way to work the manuscript into something that still gives us joy, makes us excited, and works ever so much better to make the work kick-ass.

images (1)

I actually do have a can of this!

WHUPOW! Open up a can of whoopass and get going!

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