Once Upon a Fat Girl

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Writing and Weight...are you suprised??

So I have the best idea ever for my next novel. I mean, it's a really good BIG idea. A blockbuster idea, I think. And it's scary as shit to have one of those, let me tell you. Why? I'll tell you.

1. I'm not sure I can actually write my big idea.

2. I may never have an idea this good again. It's really THAT good.

It's such a big story that I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts and deciding what exactly it is I want to say. This story is so far removed from my little romantic suspense that it's like jumping from the seventh grade directly to graduate school. So if anyone has any advice about organizing a Really Big Story, I'm open to suggestions.


My weight is holding steady. I've decided that until after the New Year I'm just going to be happy with that. I've lost twenty pounds this year. If I do that every year for five more years I'll be one sexy 40-year-old mama. So what the hell. I am so clearly not cut out for dieting. Even considering it makes me want to bury my face in a tub of Cherry Garcia. I'm also not exercising. I should. I know I should. Every morning I say to myself "Self, you should move your ass today." And every day I just...don't.

I'm traveling a lot this next month. We're going for four days to Ely and I'm spending a weekend in Florida with my dad for his wedding. Ok, that may not sound like a lot to you, but it is to me! I'm not going to beat myself up about not losing more. I'm just gonna hang tight until New Year's and then let my natural need to set resolutions kick in.

No diets though. Just--healthier choices. Making better use of the three months I'll have left on my Athletic Club membership (and then, who knows if I'm sticking with it maybe going month to month.) Remembering that I can eat some Cherry Garcia without eating the entire thing everytime.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy December, keep an eye on the scale just so I'm not shocked in a few weeks, and be happy with the twenty pounds I'm not carrying around with me anymore.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The One Wherein I Say Yummy a Zillion Times

I went up half a pound this week to 304. Not sure what that's about, but I think it might be bloating, because I snuck a peak at the scale the night before and was at 301.5. So...next Tuesday will tell.

I'm cooking all day today, getting ready for Thanksgiving. I'm going to give you the recipe for my absolute favorite holiday sidedish.

Red Cabbage, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad

1/2 head red cabbage, cut in strips
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 T salt
1 T Dijon mustard
1 t prepared horseradish
pinch each of cinnamon and allspice
1/3 to 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (depending on how much you like blue cheese)
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Prepare the vegetables and put them in a big pot with the rest of the ingredients, except for cheese and nuts. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce to a simmer, cover and leave it alone for an hour. Make sure the cabbage is tender, but not mushy. Cool thourghly. Mix together cheese and nuts. When the cabbage is cooled, mix in cheese and nuts.

Seriously yummy stuff. And good for you, too!

I'm also making Mexican bean salad today, because it's a thousand times better the next day. It's pretty damn good the same day, so you can imagine how delicsious it is when the flavors have time to mingle.

I watched Paula Dean on the Food Network the other day making Sweet Potato Balls. Funny name, but they looked fun, so I'm giving them a try. For some reason the picture on the website is less than appetizing, on the show they looked really good. It's just baked sweet potatoes mixed with the yummy sweet potato things, then wrapped in a ball around a big marshmallow, rolled in coconut and baked. I'm making the balls (giggle) tonight, then rolling and baking tomorrow.

Lastly, being the gourmet that I am...I'm brining my turkey this year. It's sitting in a cooler filled with vegetable broth, spices and brown sugar as we speak. I was worried about the kinds of things a mama worries about when considering leaving poultry out of the fridge for two days...but the bird is defrosting beautifully and the ice I dumped over it still hasn't fully melted, so I think it's fine.

Oooooooh...I love Thanksgiving!

My dad is getting married on December 16. His wife-to-be lives in Panama City, Florida. I'm flying with him the day before, for the wedding. I haven't been in a plane for ten years. Sad, but true. Not only do I get to fly somewhere...I get three ENTIRE DAYS with no kids. I'm going to try to hit some thrift stores on Sunday before I come home. Maybe I can find some neat vintage that will end up paying for my trip.

P.S. I just made the Sweet Potato Balls. They look weird on the internet because sweet potatoes are white, not orange. I swear, I had no idea. I've eaten sweet potato pie before, and it was orange. Strange. Anyway, they look yummy, the potato part is scrumptious. I can only imagine that rolling them in coconut and baking them will make them better!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One more time...

This week the idea for my next novel came to me. It's a big one. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it. But, it's mine. And I'm glad to have it. I was scared I maybe only had one in me. Now I know I have another one.

Writing is a funny thing. I do it commpulsively. I'm actually physically uncomfortable if I find myself with unstructured time and no pen in my hand. When I was first a single mom and worked for my dad as a receptionist, it drove him insane. I'd cover every available surface with ink without even noticing it. But I'm sitting here with this idea, and no idea where to start. No real proof that I'm capable of a book bigger (I'm not talking word count, either) than an almost catagory-romance. No real faith that if I devote another year or more of my life to writing another book, I'll actually find an agent this time. And truth be told, I'm a little afraid to start. When I choose a starting point, I'm leaving behind five or six. What if one of them is better? That's my first hurdle.

Today my critique partner read through the last major changes I'll make to novel number one. She agrees, I finally hit on the right starting point. It only took a year, and cutting--count them--five chapters, and then the first third of the chapter I finally hit on as the true start. But I have it now. So I'm thinking if I don't get a positive resonse from my last round of queries to agents, or from Ellora's Cave, I'm going to give it one last shot with my changes and a new query (to different agents.) I think I might toss it out to a few more contests.

I keep thinking one day I'll have an agent, I'll be published. My books will be in your local Barnes and Nobel or Borders. And then this part--the fear that I'm not good enough, that my one major life goal will never be realized--will be over.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm down 1.5 pounds this week to 303.5. Not bad :)

Calorie King sent me the beta version of their massive updates the other day, and I loved them. Check out their site, it's well worth the $40 or so for the year. Their updates rock, too.


I took the kids to the park for this drive-thru Christmas light show. Yesterday was a free community day, otherwise it's $12 per car to drive through like a mile and a half of Christmas lights. I've never been, even though I've lived in Vegas since I was 16, mostly because I never heard of a free night before, and I'm too cheap to pay $12 to look at Christmas lights.

Kevin called yesterday and the chick said free night was TONIGHT, not last night. I was going to turn around and go home since I didn't bring any cash with me, but they let us through. I'm really glad we didn't pay. It wasn't worth $12. At least half the lights were things like "Sunny 101.5" and "Vons" and "U.S. Bank" all lit up in Christmas lights. The rest were...blah. Not worth $12.

And then we got a light show that's free here every night. Because I got lost coming home. Yes, I got lost coming home from a park that's literally a straight shot down ONE street from my house. And I mean really, really lost. I had to call someone for directions to get out of where I'd gotten us lost to. The only time I've ever been this lost was when I missed my exit on the 215 and ended up in Jean. Another town for God's sake. I shouldn't be allowed to drive. My sense of direction is legendarily bad.


I sent my book to an e-publisher this morning. Yes, I sent my book to a publisher of "romantica." That's a cross between romance and erotica.

I heard they were looking for submissions for a series of books next year, each based on a tarot card. The eight of cups was left on their list--and my book fit so perfectly that I figured, what the hell and sent it off. The worst they can say is no. I didn't write romantica on purpose, but my book does have some fairly graphic scenes. Especially the opening, which is an attempted rape. I've entered three contests so far. Each contest has two judges that do the preliminary round judging. I won first prize in the one. The other two, in the preliminary round one judge gave me a near perfect score and loved the opening, and the other judge scored me badly and said the opening was far too graphic for them. That's what made me decide to send it in.

I'm using a pen name if they buy my book. I've pretty much settled on mine and Kevin's middle names, because I read that one of my favorite author's did that when she needed a pen name. Maria Michael. What do you think?

The fact is I think I've written a decent book. I read a couple novellas on Ellora's Cave--research you know--and it's at least that good. I spent the last three days re-reading it and giving it one last polishing. I still really like it. I haven't had any luck finding an agent, and I think if I can place this book with an e-publisher like Ellora's Cave (which is respected, and picky...not like a vanity press where you pay to publish whatever you want)and it gets good sales, I'll have an easier time finding an agent for my next novel.

So there you have it. The resident fat girl may soon be a published author of chick porn. HAHAHA!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Here we go again...

I've gone back to recording everything I eat at www.calorieking.com. It isn't that I restrict, or even diet. It's just that I have this habit of mindless eating--hungry or not--and writing down what I eat helps with that. I got away from it, and my weight has been completely stagnant, bouncing between 295 and 305 for months. That seems like quite a bounce doesn't it? To me, too. I'm not sure what that's about.

Anyway, I decided that I'm ready to make a small effort to move away from that number. For some reason I'm mentally stuck there. If I can lose another twenty pounds, the combonation of being 50 pounds down AND having a cushion outside my bounce range from 300 pounds, will be a huge lift.

I weigh 304 pounds right now. I lost one pound last week. I'm weighing in on Tuesday's again. One happy thing. I seem to have broken my weighing habit. In the beginning I was weighing every time I went into the bathroom. I had to have Kevin hide the scale for a while, because it was getting to the point of scary OCD-ness. Now it's in the laundry room, and I'm not having any problem at all with only weighing on Tuesdays.

I broke down the other day and did a one-week free trial of weightwatchers.com. I canceled it today. I wasn't impressed. And I was given a nice graphic reminder of how my particular brain reacts to diets. Or even the perception of a diet. Even the idea that in seven days I may be charged $65 for three months of a diet. I binge. Apparently, I binge on Halloween candy. Hence the 305 starting weight this time around, and not 298. Sigh.

What seems to work for me is planning three meals--eating whatever I want for those meals, but with an eye toward a serving size that will leave me full but not stuffed. I almost always eat frosted mini-wheats with milk for breakfast. That along with lunch and dinner usually comes to about 1400 calories. I try to keep my calories at about 2000. It helps me curb my mindless eating. I have those 600 or so calories in mind when I'm hungry. It's plenty for two good snacks.

Okay. I feel very...back. It's time to take the next step down.

Friday, November 03, 2006

And only three days late...

Halloween 2006 a la the Alburger Family:

First the kids. Nick was the grim reaper in Kevin's Gene Simmons wig. Yes, my husband really does own a Gene Simmons wig. He's a fan.

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Adrienne's fairy costume ended looking a little like Tinkerbelle goes to Wall Street.

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And Ruby was the sweetest little cheetah kittie you ever saw. I kept finding different pieces and parts of her costume here and there (the ears and tail at Party City, the tights on eBay, the leotard, a pair of shoe covers and a skirt at a thrift store) so none of the spots match. Which only added to the serious adorableness of my baby.

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Kevin has a serious talent for pumpkin carving. We can always hear the kids coming up our walk saying "Wow...look at those!" Adrienne's learning, too, and showing a lot of promise.

Kevins pumpkins:

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Adrienne's pumpkins:

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Nick's pumpkin:

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I have about the same level of patience for intricate squash art as Nick does. I'm the official cheerleader of Halloween. And the pumpkin seed maker.