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April 2011

The Heartbreak Diet Works!

Patti Stanger, aka The Millionaire Matchmaker, has lost a lot of weight after her breakup. I hate the stress diet, but I'm most happy about her beautiful new silhouette. However, PLEASE> PLEASE put her on Rachel Zoe's program and help her dress for her age. She is beautiful. She looks so much younger than she is, but there are things that need to go by the wayside no matter how slim you are. I would say even at sixteen one should leave the leopard-print pencil skirt off of one's wardrobe...but that's me.

I did tell my three teenage boys that I'd take them to ComicCon if I could wear the Princess Leia gold bikini. LOL But exactly, right? My boys know that mom is WELL past the age for the Princess Leia gold bikini. Not to mention that would just be weird.

They told me I could wear a red Star Trek outfit (people in red always die -- it's an insider joke, I don't get.)

Patti's always talking about "getting a man" but that outfit screams "GO AWAY! I'm having a crisis!"


Seriously though, if I ever get dragged to ComicCon, I am SOOO wearing a costume!

Couple Alert!

Remember Vienna? The one who "won" Jake Pavelka on "The Bachelor". Well, she's back, and guess who she's dating?? Remember Casey? Tattoo Casey who was going to guard and protect Ali's heart? That is a couple I would have never put together. But she needs a hero after Jake. Let's hope Casey's the man!


What do you think?

The Heart Always Wins

Colleen Coble sent me a book called "The Healing Code" -- it's basically a Christian version of energy healing work. I've done a lot of energy/meridian stuff with my ms and I've always just prayed to the right God throughout it. Now, it seems, if I'd written that down, I could have gotten rich. LOL

But one of the things it says in the book that I think is brilliant -- is that in a competition between the head and the heart, the heart always wins. What does that mean? It means that you can live by your head and do the right things according to the head, but if in your heart, you don't believe it, your body will take on sickness. Your body can't lie to you. It tells you the truth, and symptoms are a way of checking oneself.

Look to "Hoarders" to see this in play. People will fight to keep their sickness, their "normal" -- but the lie they're living comes out somewhere. I think the deeper the sickness get, the more obvious the lie. Like when people on "Hoarders" claim they NEED a piece of paper that the cat peed on.

With our Christian culture being so "outward" focused -- meaning we're living to be seen as good by others -- I do wonder if that takes a toll on health. To live your truth, you have to be strong enough to withstand criticism. Think about it in these terms: you're at a job you HATE, but you cannot quit. There are no other job. You'll be destitute. Your family will starve! So you go to work everyday because you can't quit. Your body will feel that lie and you'll take on the stress of what you HAVE to do when it's really sucking out your lifeblood.

In one of my healing books, it talks about how some are duck and some are sponges. The duck -- everything rolls off their back and they think what is wrong with that sponge that they get weighted down with emotions! The sponge thinks what a heartless creature that duck is with no emotions or empathy whatsoever. I'm a sponge. (Big surprise, right?) And my surroundings have a huge impact on my well-being and I really, really hate this house. I can tell myself that I'm lucky to have it. I can tell myself to be more grateful and I can decorate it to avoid looking at its bad bones and feeling its darkness.


But my body knows the truth. My body recoils at the idea of coming home, and I feel it. I can't help that, but it's true, the heart wins. My brain knows how I SHOULD feel, but my heart rejects that! I want to get out of here! (And I have to mention, it's the house, not the area. Because I had my choice of three houses when I got married, and I chose the one in the Ghetto because it was the only house of his that had decent bones. I loved that house.) So it's not a money thing.

Doing the right thing without your heart behind it can seem empty. I think that's why I can't stand to listen to Dr. Laura. Yes, we can all do the right thing, but if that right thing has no regard for who you are, it's going to take a toll. I don't want everyone living their lives like robots to be "approved" by me. There's a spiritual part to our being that was created by God for a reason. Have you ever done the "right" thing and paid mightily in some way?

The New iMac is Supposedly Worth Waiting for...

Come May, there's a new iMac out. I've never been a fan of writing on the laptop, though I can and do write on my Mac Air. It's the first laptop I've ever actually used.

Now I hear there's a new iMac coming out in May and I think I'm ready. Mine is starting to move just a tad slower, and I'm ready for an update. I have to say though, after five years, I still love my iMac. But I think I'm ready for an upgrade. This way, my kids can take the old one and leave me alone when I'm working. I do owe them though. I couldn't use anything remotely outside of the norm without their help. Why is that? Why do kids just get it?


Here's more on why it should be worth the wait. And thanks to Robin Lee Hatcher who stopped me just in time:

Nautical Fetish

I was looking through the family photo albums, and it's clear: I have a nautical clothing fetish. Every one of my kids is dressed like a sailor at some point, and here's the really devastating part: THE PLETHORA of lovely pregnancy gear I wore in nautical. Nothing like a porky sailor to make one say, "Ahoy!"

Today, I wore a nautical necklace and shirt I have and it reminded me that Seth told me I should buy the necklace. I'm not a jewelry person, but he said, "Mom, you LOVE sailor stuff. You should get it." So I did. And he was right. I never regretted it.


My favorite dress ever was a wool, fitted navy Laundry by Shelli Segal dress. Dang, I loved that dress, but I can't find a picture of it anywhere. Oh sure, I'm covered in stripes when I'm nine months pregnant, but where are the pictures in that dress? DH bought it for me before we got married. Probably one of the reasons I said, YES!

Anyway, I also noted that my kids dressed a LOT better when I dressed them. It's kind of painful letting that go. But I need some new clothes, and I'm going with Nautical. You can't go wrong there. Unless you're pregnant and the stripes are going the wrong way.

How Hyper-focusing Works in ADD

For those of you out there who don't have ADD, but may have a child or loved one with it, I'm going to explain hyper-focusing to you. Why? Because I'm about ready to explode with stress. I watched a documentary last night on what stress does to the brain. Yeah, like I needed SCIENCE for that. Hello? Look at me! Have the time I go out with my shirt on backwards, I don't need science to prove that stress will shut the brain down.

We are not meant to live on adrenaline. (I don't know that this is true of ADDers. We LOVE adrenaline.) And the constant stress of fight or flight in you normal folk is taking its toll.

Back to hyper-focusing. When an ADDer has to focus, they will shut everything else out to focus on that task. Meaning, if you talk to them while they're hyperfocusing and you CAN get their attention, they will eventually come out and tear into you. See Jack Nicholson writing scenes in "As Good as it Gets" for an example. I showed my kids that scene so that they could understand what they were doing to Mama when she's writing.

Here's why I don't think writing is the career for me at this point in life: When I'm in a book, I'm IN that book, so it's very hard to pull me out for another. So as an example, I had someone quoting me from my own recent book, and I had no idea I wrote it. I'm done with that book. It's off the brain. No room for that file.

Now,let's look at how the publishing industry works. I am working on "Perfectly Dateless III" but I am doing radio and blog tours for "A Billion Reasons Why" -- which I wrote a BILLION years ago in ADD time. So I have to skim the book before an interview. Promotion for the devotional that's out now, I simply can't focus on, so it's off the table. Yesterday I got word that the promotion is about to start for "Perfectly Invisible -- YA#2) so I have to be careful not to mix that up with Perfectly Dateless 3 and give away something. Then, today I get word my edits are coming back on the Smitten novella, and I'm supposed to be starting on the Fragrance novel. It's due at the end of June.

So do the math. Five books, one hyperfocusing brain. Now add four kids, soccer everyday and dinner/grocery shopping to that mix and I seriously don't know which way I'm coming or going. And being on the ACFW board, which is a lot of organizing work, which takes a LOT of focusing.

ADDers are very creative, but that takes focus. And that focus is what makes us not normal. When you mix up the priorities -- as in yesterday's hamster fiasco, I'm really screwed.

How can you help your ADD loved one? Send them off with a candle and a bathtub. Let their minds be free of outside stimulation and FEED them. When we're hyperfocusing, we forget to eat.

I didn't know I'd become a writer when I started to be a parent. I didn't know Silicon Valley lifestyles mean, you as a mother, are totally on your own -- and I'm thinking a "real" job would free up so much brain power. I used to be pretty smart.

Another example: a friend in Starbucks asked me where I was going in Kansas. I said, "That's September!" Meaning, I have no idea where I'm going. I always read up on what I'm doing on the WAY. On the plane. So you see, hyperfocusing requires us to delete files the rest of you can keep in your brains. It also keeps my blood pressure slightly above dead, because I don't worry about crap I don't have time to worry about. So if you want to know what's for dinner, ask me at 5:30 p.m. -- that's when I'll start to think about it. Capiche?

The African Lego

Well, I have to say, the picture doesn't do it justice. You can't really see the guy blowing up, or the epaulets on the general's shoulder, but the grand masterpiece is done. The African Front is complete.


Since history (something my son is a WHIZ in) is combined with literature, he had to write a paper as well, and he was all excited because he found a piece from 1946 written by an English commander.

Trey is a genius in history. He has a photographic memory and he remembers every painstaking detail, ad nauseam, about everything. His paternal grandfather, the surgeon, has the same gift. Let's just say it doesn't always make for stimulating conversation, but it is great to have a walking encyclopedia around when you need to know who invented the steam engine.

However, I think it's unfair to have lit and history be the same class. It would have brought my lit grade down, since studying history depresses me. It's harming his history grade as facts are facts, why should HOW you say it matter?? Lit is SOOO STUPID. Who needs it anyway? (Slapping head madly!)

He'll be in advanced history next year, thank goodness for both of us!

Sooo Sexy!! #MattNathanson

Okay, Matt Nathanson's voice turns me into a sixteen-year old! I love this guy, and this song -- yummy! It was the first song he did when I saw him live. Warning, Matt has a potty mouth so don't listen to the talking, but the singing. Oy, the singing! The guitar!!! He makes my heart beat...faster.


Elizabeth Taylor...again

Last night, I read my "People" magazine on Elizabeth Taylor's life. A woefully-incomplete look, but apparently, they're going to have a whole magazine dedicated to her life -- and yeah, I'm a sucker, I'll buy it.


I loved Elizabeth because she just oozed with passion and wow, did that cost her a lot in life, but it also made for a really amazing example of what a life without fear looks like. And I know, she did have her issues and they came up at any given point in her life -- with men, rules, drink, and weight. But there again, there's so much we can learn from a life like hers. She died quietly with her children at her side. Did you ever really hear much about her children? I admire that so much about her, that she kept them from the public eye.


I loved her soft-spoken way of speaking and that she took responsibility for her mistakes and could laugh at them. I loved that she had a crush on gay Montgomery Clift, and was faced with forbidden love -- even looking like her! It shows the human spirit. How we always reach for more.


Mostly, I love her for her obsessive love with Richard Burton. She loved him until the end and said she wouldn't release his last love letter until her death. In the end, she was buried with it. I find that so incredibly romantic. That even though they couldn't be together in life -- too much furious passion and self-issues to make it reasonable -- that she never stopped loving him.

I noticed looking at the photos in the magazine that there was not one bad feature on Elizabeth. You know how so many have one feature that sets them apart? Elizabeth had everything. She had the rarest of eyes, a perfect profile & nose, full heart-shaped lips and lovely cheekbones. But I truly believe what captured us about Elizabeth is that she lived her entire life in front of the camera and she survived it. She, above all else, was a survivor.


There was a visual of her described in the magazine. She's going to the movies later in life and she's wearing jeans, an Ed Hardy hat and her 33 carat diamond. I think she was a very loving woman who was unselfish with her passion (look at her work with AIDS when no one would discuss it!) and I think we lost the last of the greats.


This Young Adult Book is NOT Happening!

This third YA and I are having the perfect conflict, in that I never actually get the work on it, and the more I try to (ie., carve out special times for straight writing) the more my life goes terribly Ashley Stockingdale (ie., WRONG!)

I know I've been nagging on the DH, but look at it this way. He doesn't read my blog, and I save myself the hassle of actually nagging him. But this morning, he took the morning kids' routine so that I could write. Lesson learned: One will NEVER save time this way. Men, God bless them, are men. And they simply don't do things the way that women do.

At 8:30, I get a phone call. "There's some things you need to know about the day."
Uh oh. "Yes?"
"First off, the hamster is loose in the house somewhere." (We have a terrier.)
"Where's Fiona?" (the dog)
"Well, she's in the house."
See, I totally didn't even ask why didn't you put the dog out? That would be plain to you and me, but a man in charge of the morning routine, is not you and me. Hence, my passive aggressive blog.

I pause for a deep breath. "And?"
"The boys don't have any lunch money."

Okay, that's reasonable. I mean, everyone makes mistakes. The boys can borrow until tomorrow. No biggie.

"So what do I do if the dog finds the hamster first?" I ask.
"We'll get another one."
OH. MY. GOODNESS. He did not just say that. First off, let's go thru this scenario. I get to find said rodent carcass and dispose of it. Plus, I liked my little guy and I don't want to find him as a carcass. He's a rescue hamster and three years old, so I'm hoping he's learned a thing or two.
"Elle doesn't want another one. We have to find THAT one."
"Well, I have to go to work, so you can hunt for it. It's probably asleep somewhere and won't wake up until later. They're nocturnal."
Thank you, Marlin Perkins. "It's nocturnal, unless the dog finds it."
"Right. That would wake it up. I gotta run to a meeting."

Gosh. The warmth. He's like a Hallmark card, right? So I'm home hamster-hunting.
Which is bad enough, but on Thursday I scheduled my last radio interview for "A Billion Reasons Why" -- in Toledo, Ohio at 12:15 p.m. I was going to take myself out to lunch to celebrate. The publicity knot had totally come undone in my stomach. While at Starbucks this morning, I get an email this morning that all that publicity stuff is starting up for the second young adult novel, and my stomach tightens all over again.

Maybe I need this angst in my life to make the YA's work. Ya think? But if anyone has any hamster-hunting tips, I am totally open to them. Look how cute he is.

Photo on 2011-03-27 at 21.02 #2