Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The End of the World As We Know It

I couldn't sleep this morning.  I woke up in my bed, stared at the ceiling, cuddled with a little girl who won't stay in her own bed, then I set one foot on the ground and resigned myself to the fact that today is going to be a very long day.  I don't feel well. I went to bed early, which is why I woke up at 3 AM.  I had my coffee, but I want another cup. 

I'm having writer's block this week.  I don't think I'm necessarily getting discouraged, but maybe that's what it is.  Maybe I'm depressed since I can't run or do Taekwondo.  I don't know.  I am cycling, so at least I'm getting some exercise. 

I'm reading too.  A LOT.  I'm almost done with I Am Legend, which I started on Sunday.  The book reads fast, and you can just imagine Neville's solitude as he is the only person left alive in the world, fighting against something he doesn't quite understand.  I realized why reading it yesterday that I love end of the world books.  I loved The Road.  I loved On the Beach.  These are my favorite kind of books, and I wonder why?  Maybe because usually it is one person trying to triumph over a seemingly lost cause.  The underdog becoming the hero.  Naturally, humans are concerned with the end of the world, things as we know it changing completely, and our habitat becoming uninhabitable.  These thoughts and ideas bring up all sorts of questions, such as: what happens when you die, who or what will inhabit the world after we're gone, and then all the questions about how mankind will most likely be the master of their own demise.  Almost all of the end of the world books occur because of some war, some bomb, some human-made nightmare inflicting pain and hurt on others, as well as ourselves.  Human nature.

My Dad told me this joke this week, I guess he saw it in magazine or something, so I had to look it up.  Here it is:


It made me laugh, because it's so true!  Humans have a tendency to think they are invincible.  They are the strongest, the most powerful, but the truth is: if we destroy the earth, then we destroy ourselves.  Maybe there is a rhyme behind the reason though.  Maybe mankind is meant to make the world unlivable for themselves, thus making it livable for other species to come.  The dinosaurs died off to make room for the humans.  Maybe we're supposed to die off to make room for something else.  Hopefully not vampires, like in I Am Legend.  That would just be plain scary...
My thoughts at 4 in the morning are apparently pretty dark, but I do think this is something we need to think about.  It makes me sad that mankind, so much of the time, has so little regard for their habitat.  It makes me sad there are people out there who are killing themselves and others in the name of religion.  It makes me sad there are megalomaniacs in power who "get off" on touting they will nuke their neighbor, just to have some ego power trip.  Sometimes humans' minds are too powerful for their own good.  Sometimes I think it would be better if we were in a less-complicated world or time...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Injury Purgatory

Ok.  So, I'm injured.  I'd been sort of half-ignoring the nagging feeling in my leg since the end of January.  I mean, it HURT when I ran, so I took about a month off then started running again.  I think I went at it too quickly, full force, because after my 5K it started hurting all.the.time. 

The 5K was on Saturday, so I'm not talking weeks here, just days.  I'm sort of aware of why I felt like I was going to throw up after the 5K now...not because of adrenaline but most likely from the pain of the injury.  The few days of torture, pain, and the complete swelling of my leg to about twice it size after Taekwondo on Tuesday night finally sent me to the doctor.  Stress Fracture.  In my Tibia.  Most likely cause.  I declined being sent to an orthopedist just for them to do a bone scan to tell me so.  My doctor is a runner, and he has had one before, and he said all the symptoms I'm describing and the spot tenderness = stress fracture. 

He was nice though.  He didn't put my leg in a boot or cast.  He told me I couldn't run or do Taekwondo for at least six weeks, but I can cycle.  I think I'll be breaking out the old bike and trying to get my exercise in that way.  I've come too far just to completely stop exercising cold turkey.  I need the stress relief, and I need to burn calories so I can actually EAT.

Hubby looked at me yesterday, and he said, "I guess this means we really need to start watching what we eat again."  Um yeah. 

I do have to admit: Lately I've been horribly inefficient at watching what I eat.  I've been eating a lot more than I should, loving ice cream and brownies and all sorts of goodies that are actually terribly bad for you!  Plus...beer.  I love beer.  It is probably my downfall, and Hubby just bought me a whole pack of Sam Adam's from Costco.  I will have to put in some serious miles on my bike before I allow myself to drink those!!!

Things are always changing, and you can't let it get you down.  I'm disappointed I have to take off from Taekwondo and from running for six weeks, but I just have to throw myself full force into my alternative and not feel sorry for myself or say, "Woe is me I can't do what I want to do."  I really think that is the key to feeling happy: taking a negative situation and turning it into a positive instead. 

Remind me in six weeks to start off slow, ok?  I can't just start running three miles again or doing crazy jump spin side kicks right away.  I have to build back up so I don't reinjure myself. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Form Letter Rejection

Lately I've been writing.  I've been editing.  I've been attempting to write a "good" (by whose standards?) query letter.  I've started querying agents.  This process seems to be: a) long, b) tedious and c) totally, utterly frustrating. 

I think one of the hardest things for an author is to try to have their work published.  I may be a superb writer (I'm not--I'm still learning every single day!) and have no chance of getting my work published if an agent doesn't look at it and feel it will sell in the world of what everyone wants to read.  Plus now there is self-publishing.  Is it even worth it to go the route of traditional publishing? 

I say, yes, because the publishers can market your book, get the word out.  The fact is, most first time authors do not even see any royalties off of their books.  They sell a few copies, and most of that money goes straight to pay for the editing, the print job, and to pay all the people who helped by not giving you a BIG FAT REJECTION!!!

As you can tell, I received two rejections yesterday.  I know in the scheme of things this is not a big deal.  I've just started out and rejections are part of the business.  Plus, the rejections came so quickly it told me my query letter was really not up to par.  I worked on the letter, and I think I have a bit of a better format.  Some people query 50 agents at a time, but I'm doing about 5 at a time, because honestly I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING!  I wish I was in the publishing or editing business and knew even an inkling of the information about how the publishing world works. 

I have read a lot of blogs lately, including the blogs of the agents I've queried.  These blogs contain great tips for writing query letters, getting recognition, and not giving up when you receive those little rejection slips.  Agents are bombarded with query letters, and if yours does not grab their attention right away, or stand out as totally amazing, then it will go in the Slush pile and receive the automatic REJECT notice.  Rejection is part of life, and I'm getting used to it.  I just have to polish and make it better.

Here are a few of the websites I've been reading about query letters.  I received rejections from both of these ladies, who were probably way out of my league anyway:

Bent on Books: Jenny Bent of the Bent Agency.  I'd loved to be signed with her, as I've read on Writer's Forum she is simply amazing to work with.  On to the next project!

Pub Rants: The Nelson Agency.  I queried Kristin Nelson. 

Back to the chopping block....

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Has Sprung

I had one of those glorious weekends that you never want to end.  I took off Friday, and I had a day completely to myself.  I read, I went for a run.  I did nothing productive, besides one load of laundry, and then 15 minutes of a board breaking class at Taekwondo.  I soaked in the tub, and I took a nap.  I recharged my batteries.  It was the most wonderful feeling!

On Saturday, our day was full.  We went, along with some friends, for a walk in the Tuskegee National Forest on the Bartram Trail.  We went with the Fresh Air Family for a free talk about the flowers and the trees and the stories that go along with them. Being in the South, most of the anecdotes were Christian, but the trail was beautiful, and we enjoyed it.  I forgot how much I miss being in the woods.  Every time I go for a hike it takes me back to my college days and post college days where I would hike with friends and with Hubby.  After college, Hubby and I would pick a different state park every weekend and go camping and hiking.  We did this for months until he was bitten by a tick and got Lyme disease and decided against it!  I want my kids to have those nature experiences though, and so far they seem to love it, even though I had to lug Darling Daughter most of the way!

Alabama in the Spring time is gorgeous.  Living here, Spring is my favorite season.  Everything blooms with such brilliance you just want to reach out and touch them.  My favorite on this hike were the native azaleas.  They have such a beautiful flower, and I would try to grow these but my Dad says they are hard to germinate.

My sons discovered, with the help of our trail leader, that Shamrock is really tasty.  My oldest is on the lookout for Shamrock every time he leaves the house now.  He almost ate my parent's whole garden full, and he told us yesterday we needed to plant some Shamrock in our backyard. He also successfully pointed out the poison ivy on this trip, so I am content in the knowledge he won't touch it from now on!  Itchy.

We had the most perfect weather.  Sunny, not humid, and highs in the high 70s to low 80s.  There was a slight breeze all weekend, and we spent probably about six hours on Sunday outside at the playground, in the backyard, walking (and I went running).  It was one of those days where you dread coming indoors, and you dread the pinks and purples filling up the sky to indicate the sun going down.  A day you want never to end. 

As we were about to get the kids ready to go to bed last night Number One asked if he could go outside and jump on the trampoline one last time.

I said, "No it's getting dark."

He said, "But this has just been the most perfect day.  I don't want it to end."

Took the words right out of my mouth, kid.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Joy to Life

I know.  I've been missing in action.  I haven't blogged for over a week.  I've been seriously busy with LIFE.

What have I been doing that's taking up so much of my time?

1) Getting three kids to smile, while wearing pretty clothes (um, make that handsome clothes for the boys)...and a BOW!!!

2) I'm pretty sure this one speaks for itself...


3) Reading -- I've pretty much had my head stuck in a book the last two or three weeks...or maybe my whole life. 

4) Eating -- hey, it was Easter.  Um, I'm paying for the splurge now to the tune of 5 extra pounds!
1) Exercise--boo.  I was lazy.

2) Clean -- this could be on my list every week.  I hate cleaning.

And last, but certainly not least, the one thing I'm very proud of having DONE THIS WEEK was signing up for the Joy to Life Walk/Run. I will do the 5K!  I need to train MORE.  Aghh!!!  I signed up yesterday, and I earned a free cupcake at Gigi's (as if I needed more incentive to exercise!)   I want to raise $500. Click below and just put in my name, Lauren Greene, and make your donation to this cause.  This cause is very personal to me, because my grandmother had the cancer gene, and she had cancer many times in her life, including breast cancer.  We all know someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, so why not give towards finding a cure.  THANKS!!!
                                         CLICK RIGHT HERE TO DONATE
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