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Accountability

When I sort of accidentally began this journey, accountability was a big thing for me. I talked about it. Owned it. Showed it. Through daily full body Instagram photos, I am holding myself accountable to myself and to (I’d like to think) the world for my fitness and health, whether I do or don’t meet my goals for that day, week or whatever.

Just recently, I’ve begun adding food pics to the mix, which I had been doing from time to time before, but that’s when I was flaky about it all and could easily have had a salad for lunch and fried chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner. You’d see the pretty picture of the salad, but you wouldn’t see and I wouldn’t speak of the fried chicken.

I guess it’s like the proverbial tree in the forest. If I eat it and no one’s around to witness it, does that mean it didn’t happen? Well, I knew that couldn’t last because even if I didn’t post pictures of every meal, I repeat, I post full body shots of myself every single day, so you would know something went awry, somewhere. I wouldn’t be telling the truth. I wouldn’t be telling my truth. And there are many parts to my truth.

The truth is, if this were five days ago, I’d have either a vodka cranberry or a glass of wine in my hand. And if I’m going to tell the truth, five days ago, I DID have a vodka cranberry in my hand, and followed it up with several more. And let’s just throw a couple of shots of tequila in there for sport, because that happened, too.

Also, a hangover happened, and though I’ve posted a vicious hangover selfie on Instagram, I made sure I got myself together before I posted my daily shot, and I still went walking/jogging.

I haven’t had a drink since Sunday and that’s in part because I’ve been thinking a lot about this accountability thing and also because a friend challenged me to a strict seven day fitness thingy that doesn’t allow for alcohol.

It’s been easy. Unbelievably easy until today, when my day wasn’t so good, when my relationship isn’t glowing that perfect glow, when I’m so annoyed/pissed/mad/sad that I just want to numb myself with a vodka neat or a whole bottle of wine. And yes, I can take down a whole bottle…and a half.

So, far I’m resisting. Sipping iced water and channeling this negative energy into new words and promoting Can’t Get Enough. And I think I’m able to resist mostly out of stubbornness and a small part of me thinks it may be an around about attempt at sabotage because my husband of course lives with me, knows my habits, my weaknesses and unfortunately, my triggers.

It’s good to get that off my chest. I’ll let  you know how it turns out tomorrow. Honestly.

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Walking and Writing

So, something happened. Not that thing discussed in extensive detail right below this post, but another thing, or to be more accurate, things.

I started walking again. Now, for those of you who don’t get here often, I haven’t been wheelchair bound or anything of the sort. But, due to an ankle fracture, broken bone in my foot and the general shitty-ness of Lyme disease, my afore established exercise regimen came to a screeching halt. That was four months ago.

I hadn’t made any solid plans to start up again, but on Wednesday when I decided to walk the dog (about ten minutes, three to four times a day) my husband decided to join me and make it a joint exercise effort. I was game, but I didn’t think we’d go as far as we did.

We wound up walking over three miles. It was midday, so it was pretty hot and it took us just over an hour. The dog wasn’t too happy about it, though. I, however, felt fantastic and decided that that day would be my Day 1.

Day 1 of how many you may ask? Well, I don’t have the answer, yet. I don’t want to jinx myself or set myself up for failure by setting hard goals, but what I have done is made myself accountable to my Instragram account, where every morning, before I do whatever workout I’m going to do (right now it’s walking) I post a picture of myself. And I’m talking full body shots. Nothing from the face up with clever angling that makes me look cuter and thinner.

This is the true definition of no filter. It is what it is. Take me as I am, and how I will be, at Day whatever.

Also, I’ve been at the writing table actually writing for the past three days, averaging 1100 or so words a day. It’s chapters for a novel I plan to pitch and it’s going just swell.

Now, I generally link to Facebook and Twitter when I post my daily picture, but if I forget, am in a hurry, or my mind is cloudy as usual, feel free to follow my Instagram account (@therealtenille) and watch my journey, day by day. And oh, cheer me on! Call me out! Keep me accountable!

Let’s do this.

On signing books, guest blogging and being called a “Breakout editor…”

I feel like much of my days are spent playing catch up. For a while there, I was on a roll, posting in sync with daily blog tour stops, updating everyone on new events and appearances, etc. And then I took what I didn’t intend to be a break, but turned out to be one, and now here I am, with so much to tell all at once.

First, yesterday’s blog tour stop. It was at author Annabeth Leong’s place and I wrote a guest post about cars and sex, one of the many sub themes in Can’t Get Enough. You can see it here if you missed it yesterday.

We also earned our 6th 5 star Amazon review yesterday. Very flattering. One of the best yet. Here it is.

Secondly, the book signing. It was this past Saturday at a Books-A-Million in Lawrenceville, GA. By that time I had done a one and a half hour reading with a wonderful group of ladies and was less shaky about appearing in public. Plus, I wouldn’t be required to say the words fuck, pussy or cock in a crowded room. All I had to do was sit there, a table with my books stacked in front of me and wait for the customers to come by, pick up a book and have me sign it. Except, for the first hour plus, I didn’t sign anything.

Well, that’s not completely true. Within the first ten minutes a woman approached me excitedly and asked for my autograph (not in a book, but in her little notebook where she collects them, but still…). I happily gave it to her though I’m still getting used to autographing things and am pretty insecure about my penmanship when do so. But anyway, she asked for a hug which I gladly gave. Hugs are easy. Hugs are reassuring, I can do hugs with no problem. I forgot to take her picture though.

In the last thirty minutes a woman came by and bought a book for herself and one for her book club. That made me extremely happy. Then, who I eventually found out was Gary Wit Da Tea from The Rickey Smiley Show came by, bought a book and took a picture with me. He also bought both my signing mates book (it was Lewis Ericson, BTW). My day was made after that, and then it was time for me to go.

tenandgary

Over the weekend an idea had been brewing in my mind re: marketing and I’m thinking and hoping something will happen with that soon. But, the hubs Googled me today and saw this.

I’m sure there are words sufficient enough to describe how unbelievable happy and proud this makes me, but right now, I just don’t have them. All I have is this feeling of shock and awe. Oh, and nerves out of this world.

I’m Coming Out

Luckily, I’ve been too busy online promoting the book to think about upcoming face to face promotion. And to fret about it, which kind of blows because the stress weight loss would have done me good.

Anyway, here it is, where it all begins. I have two readings/meet and greets/signings this week alone.

And for the first time it’s occurred t i me that for ten + years I’ve been in hiding, well, not exactly hiding, but not promoting other than online,

online, and in other people’s books where showing my face wasn’t a requirement.

And I’m excited, I really am. Interacting, reading, signing. Easy peasy. You’ll find that after a cocktail or two I’m a real people person.

But what to wear? What about my hair? What if I’m not what everyone expected?

I guess it’s the literary equivalent to stage fright, and something I’ll have to get over rather quickly because in three days I’ll have my first appearance.

I joked about practicing my signature, and I really should have because my handwriting is rather shitty.

And reading, I haven’t selected a story and haven’t read anything a loud since before my kids could read themselves.

Damn… ill prepared much?

Either way, see you (and me) there.

 

Why?

why

I seldom feel the need to explain myself, and I never intended to start now. But since the news of my family’s move to Atlanta has been met with the general inquisition of “why,” I’ve been feeling the need to explain myself, to tick off reasons why we’ve decided to leave this grand old place, and basically, sell the idea of Atlanta to people who are not only not coming with us, but probably won’t even visit.

Our “why” basically is this, though.

We live in a rural area, and though my husband works for the federal government, his particular placement has little room for advancement right now. Atlanta has that. We do have family here, because we were born and raised here. However, that has been a blessing and a curse. Family is there for help and support, but only when they can and want to, and family tends to overstep their bounds. Hell, I’ll say it, my mother especially.

When you have the comfort and convenience of family, it’s hard to motivate yourself to go it on your own. For instance, I almost never have issues with babysitting. On the other hand, my mother often treats me like a teen mom and coaches me (without solicitation) through whatever thing I’m dealing with concerning the children.

We have special needs children, I’ve said that before. The school district has been accommodating, but all the while letting us know that they only have so many resources available and there is only so much they can do. We are relocating to a place where there will be many more resources for the children.

And also, despite their challenges, my children are gifted, but there are no resources here to help nurture their talents besides basic school activities. If my daughter wants to dance, she has to do it in her bedroom.

Finally, we will be in a place where, at last, I can give the proper time and attention to my own career. And not law enforcement. I’ll get to really give freelancing a shot, and I’ll be in a prime place to promote my book next year.

So, there you have it. Those are just a couple of reasons why other than, damn it, it’s our party and we’ll move if we want to.

“Welcome to Atlanta where the players play…”

This is the text I got from my husband this morning, once he got to work and found out that he had been picked up as a transfer with his job to their Atlanta facility.

We decided on a whim almost a month ago to put in for it because the situation here has been at such a stand still, and really, I’ve been complaining about this place (my hometown) for oh…since I moved back here in 2006. We also tried for Houston and Butner, and I would have been fine with either, but being honest, my heart was already in Georgia.

And, truth be told, and as my history speaks for itself, I believe in fresh starts.

On one hand it’s scary. With two special needs children, transitions and the what ifs surrounding them can be paralyzing, but on the other hand we’ll be in a place where there are many more opportunities and hopefully school districts that can better suit their needs.

I will, at least for a bit, be able to be at home writing and be there and available for my family. The chances for promotion for my husband will greatly increase. And I will still have family in the area, including two beloved older aunts who I don’t see or talk to nearly enough. And there are a couple of friends who relocated there several years ago who I get to catch up with, too and writer friends I’ve met through social media who I might actually get to hang out with in real life!

But enough with the jibber jabber. I have a house to sell and another to locate and buy!

Is it true?

So, here I stand in my first role as editor. The book is turned in, the table of contents is finalized. I’m awaiting copy edits and getting things together for marketing.

And, I’m doing things I never thought I would…like asking a major author and personal idol of mine for an unbelievable and almost unthinkable favor. If this happened…if the universe would throw me just this one bone…I can’t even think about it, I’m so nervous.

But it leaves me wondering, is this where the path has taken me? Has it put me in the position where I can actually sit down and type and even send out an email like that and even feel hopeful that I’ll get a response?

I sure hope so, because I remember wanting to be a writer, wanting to be published, wanting to be published by X, wanting to be edited by X, wanting to edit my own collection after X amount of time and those things actually happened. I had a wish list. I have wish lists. And somehow, slowly over time, I’m ticking those things off my list and can’t believe where one story written on the fly over ten years ago has led me.

Man.

Life is good.