video: hypothyroidism and WTF is up with my health

I filmed this video two months ago (wow! my hair has grown), but I was reluctant to post it at first. When all the other life drama hit, I decided to shelve it for a few weeks. Now that I’m embarking on a whole new health journey/experiment, I think the time is ripe to share my story.

I’ve written about my issues with weight, but I’ve never truly shared my story. This video barely covers the surface, but I like to think that this is my form of advocacy. If in doubt, keep searching for a second/third/fourth opinion. Health above all.

life: work. time. pcos.

Hello. Long time. Yeah, that happened. All schedules out the window; my head is awhirl with deadlines and documents, and no space for all the rest. Still working on promotion, still gathering evidence and examples. My NaNo project is on a slow roll, but progressing in between all the rest. Meanwhile, my home is a mess and my financial fast is not so fast. With all that’s happening, side goals have taken a step back.

In other news, I most likely have some form of PCOS, but my appointment was rescheduled just as I was driving to the office… so the official diagnosis will have to wait. I suspected. I have several of the symptoms, and my weight has been settling in odd places (odd for me). I want a diagnosis, but I don’t want to take hormones or metformin (for reasons I won’t go into, but it involves dependence, band-aid fixes, and other health issues that won’t jive with the treatment). I’m researching all I can, tracking my fertility (no babies! I want nothing to do with that!), and looking into medical research on supplements and other types of nutritional support (library with med school database access = librarian on the hunt!). Just received my latest order from Vitacost and a book from amazon, so it’s a sort of PCOS-inspired haul.

And my book arrived too! #pcosdiet #pcos #research

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I’m going to try this, look into other books for ideas, and rely on the Whole30/paleo as the basis for my eating habits. I seem to do well on a paleo-inspired diet, though I’ve not been the best at maintaining a strict protocol in recent months.

It may remain quiet around here, but feel free to follow on the insta if you want to check in or say hi 🙂

life: what have I done?

It’s never a “good” time to apply for promotion… not when it’s academic and requires a sh*t-load of documentation, writing, and compiling of letters. But I applied, and now I’m in it to win it (she says with a strained smile). I’m nothing, if not committed. But it does mean that my lofty writing goals are going to become a bit more down-to-earth. Namely, there’s no way I can reach my current word goal, while also putting together a promotion file, keeping up with reviews (something I do professionally, outside the blog), and grading essays. It’s crunch time! And some things are going to have to wait. I’m glad I’m between drafts with project #1, because there’s no way I was going to get any work done. I’m going to keep writing, but I’m going to scale back. Take things slow and steady, rather than rush and try to meet some arbitrary word count (it’s a rough draft, after all, there’s always Camp NaNo in July).

Things may be a bit quiet around here, but I’ll continue to check in from time to time. Wish me luck!

off the shelf: spies, forgers, and lovers unite!

a little departure from the Friday vlog.

I like to sneak some sweetness between the “serious” reads (you all know that), so I took a chance on a couple of prepub selections from Loveswept (via Netgalley).

512k37PVBiL._SY346_The first was Sharon Cullen’s Wed to a Spy, a historical romance set in the court of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Synopsis:

When Aimee de Verris is caught with her sweetheart, her aunt, Catherine de Medici, packs her off to Queen Mary’s court, where she is to spy on Mary or lose her chance to return to France.

Sir Simon Marcheford is one of Queen Elizabeth’s best agents. When the Queen sends him on a mission to Spain, until fate delivers him to Mary’s court. Things get heated when the two get caught between a forced marriage and a plot against Mary.

Thoughts:

With the exception of Philippa Gregory, this is a time period that I rarely see in romance (maybe I’m not looking in the right place?). Like most romances, this was a fun read and an easy romp. I liked the change in setting (I tend to read Regency or Victorian), and I found the dynamic between Aimee and Simon believable for the period. It wasn’t until I reached the end that I realized I Sharon Cullen also wrote Campbell’s Redemption, which I read a few months ago and found refreshing in its depiction of romance and widowhood. Definitely recommend if you want something Elizabethan.

Find Sharon Cullen on amazon.

51dwAl4i9FLThe second selection was K.C Bateman’s A Counterfeit Heart.

Synopsis:

Sabine de la Tour is on the run. A forger and a woman, she had everything to lose if caught. Unwilling to let her friend Anton take the fall for her actions, she flees with him to London, where she presents herself to the one man who came close to learning her secret: the relentless Lord Richard Lovell, agent of the crown and lust incarnate. Can a forger change her ways? Can she be more than a counterfeiter Lord Lovell’s eyes?

Thoughts:

I really liked this one. The moral ambiguity in particular added an extra something to the romance, as well as the “meeting of equals” feel between Sabine and Richard. In addition to history, there’s a lot of art in this novel, which made for a smart read (Bateman is an art appraiser and antiques expert, as well as a historical romance writer, which makes for some really rich description). If you want Regency with a dash of mystery and danger, check this one out.

Find K.C. Bateman on amazon.

Disclaimer: Previews via NetGalley. Not affiliate links. Just sharing the book love.

writing: on finishing draft 5

I can now say that I’ve finished draft 5. New prologue and all. I learn something new from each draft, but one element that really became obvious is how sparse I am when it comes to description. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, it’s just a fact. I tell myself to add more, but end up taking out. My very first rough draft was around 98k words (give or take, I have the numbers saved somewhere). The first draft rewrite clocked in around 90k. The next one was around 79k, followed by around 90k again. Current draft is complete at 83k.

Of course, now I need to do a continuity read, because I edited out of order and things might be screwy in places. But that will wait. For now, I will celebrate and get over the cold that finally got around to me. (I thwarted it for a good two months)

life: this world we live in

I had a video for today, but too much has happened and I just can’t bear to make light of it. My heart is breaking in so many ways. I’m scared for my future, my friends, my family, my country, and I just can’t find a way to wrap my mind around it all. There is just so much that I can’t fathom. I don’t know how we’ll get out of it and I can’t see a bright future at the end.

My truth is this:

I grew up in public housing, in a single parent home. I was poor. Public television inspired me. I ate free school lunches. I completed an undergraduate degree because of grants, and a graduate degree because of an assistantship. I completed a second grad degree because of a subsidized federal loan. I worked my ass off for a future that is at risk because someone else’s elected official(s) does not value the work I do nor the people I come from.

And then there is the threat to our peace and our environment. I just don’t have the words.

life: mid-month writing check-in

March is underway and my writing is coming along at a really good pace. If I keep at it, the draft will be done by the end of the week (next week, if I rewrite the prologue now rather than later). I’m riding this wave to the end!

I’ve also made good progress on my Camp NaNo plan. I’ve been toying with this idea for a while, but I didn’t realize how long until I unearthed a brain-dump file dated July 2011(!). That’s well before I started working on my current project (which dates to 2012). The idea has definitely evolved since that early document, but the spark remains. I’m definitely eager to delve into this new world.

Next stage: beta readers and drafting!

life: headspace and budgets

Howdy y’all! So I’m in a weird headspace… literally. Feeling tired, wired, and spacey all at once. In short, I am a squirrel. Kind of manic, but lazy at the same time. Could be hormones, could be the weirdness that comes before a migraine… could be both (probably both). Anyhow, it’s going to be a week.

But back to real talk… I’ve been adulting. It’s been a while since I took a good, hard look at my finances and spending habits. I’ve gone through at least one raise and one rent hike, so it’s about time I take a good look at where my money is going. After several failed attempts at using a cash budget and an online tracker, I’ve decided to just keep a written log of my spending—keeping my receipts, tracking my purchases, and just reviewing where my $ is going at the end of the week, when I’ll pop it into a spreadsheet and tally up the amount. I tried tracking in my bullet journal, but that just didn’t work, so I’m using a dedicated notepad just for spending.

I’m fine when it comes to money, but I would like to scale back and take better control of my spending. Mostly impulse buys… and coffee. That’s kind of a problem, but one I hope to address by building better habits. We’ll see.