Sunday, June 24, 2007

My new Panda diet

Panda bears are basically vegetarians. They prefer eating flowers to eating other critters. (Or maybe they just don't want to move fast enough to catch anything but flowers and bamboo.) So like my namesake, I prefer a diet of vegetables, fruit, grain, nuts and sometimes yogurt and cheese.

Last night, my sister, who is suddenly looking as svelte and lovely as her daughters, brought over samples of organic whole foods, which have made up the bulk of her diet for the past two weeks. I spent today grazing on tasty combinations of raw dates, oats, raisins, sesame and sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, hazel nuts, pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, prunes, grape seed oil, figs, raspberries, brown rice, kidney beans, chick pea flour, bananas, peas, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, millet, rye, barley, quinoa, and over forty-three other delicious foods and spices.

Tonight, I sent for my own thirteen-day supply of healthy, organic food. If it does half for me what it has done for my sister, to eat unprocessed whole foods, I'll be more than happy - I'll be ecstatic.

I enjoy eating fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries and bananas in the summertime, but the rest of the year I fall off my vegetarian wagon.

If, like me, you have wanted to eat organic, whole foods and, like me, you've had difficulty finding the variety you want, and more difficulty finding them convenient and easily consumed, then you may also want to investigate the foods I just ordered.

I will get paid a referral if anyone -however unlikely - purchases stuff using my linked page, however, I'd tell you about it even if I didn't, because it is good stuff.

Here is a link to my referral page:

I'm going to take some 'before' pictures now, and if it goes well, I may post them with my 'after' pictures in a month or two. My confidence is high, because my sister is like me, and finds it hard to stay on a diet or lose weight, and to do so and also have energy and look younger at the same time, is just something that has not happened to her before, nor to me either.

So that's what I've been up to lately: yummy, whole organic food.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Next Exciting Event in my life

Scheduled for Wednesday this week, the next exciting event in my life: my bi-annual mammogram. Oh, sorry, you were expecting maybe a trip to DisneyWorld? Not this year.

Last Thursday was the six-month anniversary of my mother's death from breast cancer. Yes, I still miss her, and yes, I'm still angry that she never had a mammogram. If she had, she would still be dancing, and reading to her fourteen great-grandchildren.

I can't believe the number of women over sixty who have told me they 'don't need a mammogram at their age'. I'd like to fire their doctors!

FACT: the older you are, the more at risk you are for cancer. MORE not less.

Haven't had a mammogram? GET. ONE. NOW. Your family will thank you.

And so will I.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Paying it Forward

One of the best movies I've ever seen was "Pay it Forward". If you have never seen it, do yourself a favor, gather your kids and friends, and enjoy.

I recently discovered that the writer's community, Forward Motion, was named after the idea of paying it forward. Not surprising, when I considered that it was started by fantasy and suspense novelist Holly Lisle. She has 'paying it forward' built into her career. On her website, Pocket Full of Words, I found "Mugging the Muse", her free, funny and practical guide for novice novelists. I enjoyed reading her free books and I continually learn about writing as a career from her Diary.

This week, Holly's four writing clinics - on creating Language, Culture, Characters and Plot, are discounted 10% at her online bookstore. Holly has an Affiliate Program for paying commissions for referrals on purchases, and I think it's a good opportunity, but for now, I'm just saying "thank you".

What I mean is that I haven't signed up for the program, and I do not receive any kind of payment for any of my recommendations, referrals and links on this blog. It is my way of thanking Holly for all she has taught me, for all the enjoyment I've had reading her novels, and not only Holly, but also 'zette and the other writers I have mentioned on Pandababy.

If you don't need any books on writing, Lazette Gifford's latest novels, "Muse" and "Ruins" are both on sale at the bargain price of $3.59 each. Lazette is an original writer and I enjoyed both of her novels. I've learned writing techniques and found motivation in zette's "Two Year Novel" course books, also on sale this week at Holly Lisle's online store.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Thank you, PBW

I won a signed copy of Blade Dancer from Lynn Viehl yesterday. Set in the StarDoc universe, but with a different MC, Blade Dancer is my favorite of all the StarDoc novels.

Lynn revealed the research she did on swords and sword fighting in answer to a recent question on her blog, PaperbackWriter. She also wrote a series of suspense/romance novels: "The Deepest Edge", "The Steel Caress", and "The Kissing Blades", which revolve around a theme of swords, published under her pseudynom Jessica Hall.

I have greatly enjoyed finding and reading Lynn's backlist, including the three she wrote as Gena Hale. By whatever name she chooses, Paperback Writer creates fascinating characters and interesting plots. Her books are all in 'keeper' section of my bookcase, where I shelve the stories that I read more than once.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thank You, Zette

Lazette Gifford is a prolific writer, author of at least fourteen published novels, countless short stories, three books on writing and editor of several anthologies and Vision magazine. She owns and manages Forward Motion, an online community numbering over 10,000 members, and is Associate Publisher for Dragon Tooth Fantasy Ebooks. Zette has won honors for her photographs and digital designs, and has three book covers to her credit.

Zette has a collection of the thousands of photographs she's taken of animals - one of my favorites is the Amur leopard published by the University of Michigan on their Museum of Zoology website. (Congratulations, Zette on the U of M using so many of your pictures.)

(On days when I'm feeling as if nothing can lift me out of my fibromyalgia gloom, I'm amazed to find myself smiling and even laughing out loud at the photographs, stories and pictures you publish, Zette!)

The most amazing aspect of Zette, to me, is that with all her creative talents and administrative responsibilities, she puts people first. Amidst her writing and publishing to deadline and managing an online community of writers, teaching some of the classes at Forward Motion, and participating in several of the writing challenges, Zette takes time to encourage and mentor members of her online community. I've watched her celebrate their accomplishments and offer comfort with sound advice when they're distressed.

When the excellent rules at Forward Motion - which have made the community a safe haven for new writers and even minors - need to enforced, Zette communicates the rules and issues with clarity, patience and common sense. (Zette, you're like an uber-mom for us, settling squables and soothing sensitive feelings. Thank you for keeping the peace in our community.)

I have benefited from her knowledge and experience which she shares in the Two Year Novel class, and also in her recently published manual based on the class, but first and foremost, I have been inspired by Zette herself - an amazing and wonderful living template of what it means to be creative and caring.

(Zette, may good health and prosperity be with you increasingly this year and always. Thank you for all that you do and all that you mean to me. Most Sincerely - Pandababy)

Margaret Fisk has linked to other Zette Appreciation Day postings on her blog. Don't just take my word for it -- read what the friends who know Zette well have to say.