Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.



THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I HATE BEING FAT - Part 4



Somehow I managed to lose two pounds since yesterday.  I can’t explain how it happened since I gorged on some horrendous sweets. Three Cake Clouds (Little Debbies) and two Dove bars.  Shite!  My reasoning was I needed to finish off the Dove bars and not buy any more of them!   They come three to a package.  Gone now.  Absolutely no reasoning for downing the three Cake Clouds. Okay, okay. I'm not there yet, I know.  Obviously I haven't fully committed.  
One day at a time, as the alkies say. 

If you have too many expectations of staying on a diet or project too far in advance it can be frustrating, the fear of not being able to do it for any length of time is overwhelming.  You fall off, get back on. This is what I keep saying to myself.  So one day at a time, better yet I'm thinking, one moment at a time
I’m also thinking I need to get back to making the fresh veggie/fruit drinks again with my Jack LaLanne juicer and have plenty on hand for snack-time when I’m craving something sweet.  Plus it’s a healthy approach, helps meet the daily vitamin and mineral requirements.

At one point I had decided to go on the juice diet, having only vegetable and fruit juices for two months to lose my forty pounds. I had watched the Australian Joe Cross who made a movie of his foray into the juicing program as he traveled the U.S. telling everybody about it. He lost all his weight juicing.  It was a fabulous film and pulled me right in. And I’m telling you, there is value in what he subscribes.  (It's on Netflix - documentaries.) 
So I tried what Joe Cross did and lasted one entire week.  There it is again. You've got to keep doing it to make a difference, you can't quit!  No progress at all if you do it for one week or eleven days, which seem to be my durations. 
The juicing diet I’m talking about by Joe Cross you’ll also find on Amazon if you want to buy it. Search for ‘Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead’, the film he made.  It is definitely worth seeing.  The blurb says: “An inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health while traveling across America, juicer in tow, and inspiring others to do the same.”   It certainly inspired me, let me tell you. It got me started on this quest to get back on track. It was the beginning for me. 
So, today I’ll start making juice again to add in with the calorie counting program, and I’ll reach for the juice instead of grabbing the sweets during those down moments.  We’ll see how it goes.
Kale, celery, apples, carrots, and ginger are the ingredients of the juice I like best. You can vary it.  Lots of nutrients, hardly any calories, trace of sugar from the apples (green apples) but not much.  Perfect.
Need to make a trip to the grocery, though, no kale.  

Another film I watched that has made a difference and made me more aware of my obesity is “LBS.”  Yes that’s the name of it, pounds, lbs.
This one was made by Matthew Bonifacio from Brooklyn/Queens. “A 315-pound man [Matthew] decides to kick his food addiction to the country.”
Now this documentary is an eye opener too. A must see if you’re struggling to lose weight. You will see the actual progression as he runs from, literally runs from family and friends in Brooklyn/Queens and from his obsession with food to the outback in upstate New York.  Enlightening and very entertaining, this one does have a storyline, more like a movie, and true.
Again, vegetables and fruit play a huge role in his weight-loss too. And exercise!

WHICH REMINDS ME  . . . I DIDN’T DO MY JOYCE VEDRAL yesterday.  Damn!  Just twelve minutes of exercise is all she’s asking. Okay, I’ll be the first to admit, it ain’t gonna be easy to instill these new habits, exercise at the top of the heap. 


ANOTHER CALORIE-COUNTING DAY, TODAY

BRUNCH – OJ, Egg, Toast, Butter
297 Calories
  23 Carbs
  19 Fat
  11 Protein
  13 Sugar
299 Sodium

Had a late start today, skipped breakfast, just had the OJ. But around lunchtime I had the rest of my brunch, included OJ in the tally. 
So here it is: four ounces of orange juice and one fried egg (olive oil) and one slice of buttered toast.  Let’s see how far this carries me today. 
Am going shopping in a few moments for my juice ingredients, so I’ll have that as a snack later today and maybe this evening after dinner.  On second thought, I might have a glass of wine mid evening for a ‘snack’.  Juice this afternoon.

                                             ************************

DAMN! THIS DAY WAS A TOTAL LOSS!
I FELL OFF THE DAMN WAGON AGAIN!
I QUESTION MY SANITY!
I’M NOT GOING TO LIST ALL THE CRAP I ACTUALLY ATE!

Now I’m thinking I gotta remove all the sweets from my house: cookies, candies, anything tempting, anything that grabs out at me when I open the cupboard and refrigerator doors, or walk by the tins or dishes holding my stashes, got to remove all sweets from my visual and presence. I have no self control! I know it’s a waste of money, but I’m thinking that it’s more important at this point to think address my health.

To hell with the money, it’s gone! OUT IT GOES!




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

AND THE PLOT THICKENS . . .

Arriving at a point in writing my novel in progress, as always, when I want to skip to the parts that intrigue me the most.  Nothing wrong with doing that, I know, for I can always go back and write what I've skipped, but I truly feel in my heart it's best to write characters in order as the plot unfolds. You know what I mean, jelly bean?  Continuity?

Like I've said many times, I don't outline, refuse to do that, but I vaguely know where the turning points are, the 180s, and the jumps back and forth between one character's story and the other.  In my novels usually I have two stories going at the same time, two female main characters, and then at one point the two characters meet.  Rachel O'Neill, of course, my main protagonist in my novels, has her story going on, and then there's the second female - who in the present novel is Jessica. We also have the sub-characters and sub-stories connected to each of the two main characters.  Lot of drama going on, romance, suspense, some really bad stuff and of course the good stuff - in this novel rape and the Las Vegas scene comes into play, the New York mob, and Homeland Security is brought in with a big hunky Air Force type to die for (had a dream about him which prompted this part of my story, unbelievable how that happens!).

I think I mentioned on my blog, maybe a year ago or so, that I didn't come up with the idea for the Jessica story by myself this time, and it was going to be a novel of its own at first.  Trish and I were in Port Isaac, Cornwall UK, and we met two very interesting, fun, and pleasant couples - sisters and their husbands. Over drinks we came up with a plot of a young girl from the U.S. in Port Issac on holiday, what got her there from North Carolina to Las Vegas via New York City and what happened after that.  The name Jessica itself is taken from one of the British sisters' grandaughters. I promised her I'd name the girl Jessica. I feel the names are very important, names have to feel right for my characters, and Jessica feels right, you'll see.

Back to what I was saying, the lead up in a novel is the trickiest, getting the two protagonists to their meeting place.  And believe me, sometimes they come from totally opposite ends of the world and of life, always actually: 1) Belinda from London to Cornwall; 2) Shellie from Marina del Rey CA to Paris;  3)Amanda all the way from Arkansas via Bakersfield to Belgium; 4) Della from Oklahoma via New York City to Moscow; 5) Allegra from Montana to Malibu.

In this one Jessica is twenty-one when they meet and Rachel is now in her fifties (yes, Rachel is aging, lol lol, in realtime). So right off  the bat I had to find something they would have in common so they would meet without it feeling far-fetched.  No problem there, got it figured out.  It's the timeline that's giving me fits.  In order to tell Jessica's story adequately, I've begun with her at age twelve writing her up to the present of twenty-one.  So of course her story must open the novel.  Rachel's story comes in at Part Two continuing from the previous novels in the present.  This novel will have six parts, whereas usually my novels have three or four parts, so this is a departure.

My dilemma is getting to that point of meeting without jumping ahead of myself.  In other words filling in the gaps as I go. I've got Jessica up to the age of nineteen, the first leg of her story, Part One, and have skipped to Part Two where Rachel's story this time around begins . . . without finishing Part One.   I know I know, confusing.  But I'll sort it all out.  Laying down the plot is always the hardest part for me.  But when I finish, it will be seamless - my goal. And an easy read.

Just felt like telling you how it's coming along ... sometimes when I put my thoughts on 'paper' it helps to sort it all out.  And you know what?  It just did.  This helped.  Thanks for lending me your ear, uh, your eyes.

Have a good one ...




Thursday, January 3, 2013

THE NEW YEAR AHEAD FOR ME . . . BUSINESS AS USUAL

Each new year brings lots of plan-making, usually, and lots of resolutions to do things better including improving your physical and mental health (which includes emotional health), but this year I'm taking a different approach.

Yes of course, I am still working on the weight-loss, as you can see in my I HATE BEING FAT series, and yes I am writing two books this year - one novel and a non-fiction, or maybe a short story collection, but these are always uppermost in my mind whatever the year.  Nothing new.

So, in addition to the usual . . . my different approach is this . . .

I am going to go about my daily business, personal and professional, at my own pace. I am going to enjoy the time between the two much more. Family is going to be a priority, more so than before. That is, those who need me, some don't.  lol lol  Funny how that works.  Must watch my boundaries.

And I am going to try to bite my tongue when it comes to giving my opinion or feelings when I shouldn't.  Now that will be a biggie ... for sure ... especially with some of my close friends.  I'm going to let them take the lead and I'll try and stay out of it.  lol lol  Sure.  But I mean it, I really do.

I'm going to try and support my daughter's choice of fellas, which is a hard one.  But it's her life, her feelings. And as I remember back to all the times my parents didn't approve of my choices, it really didn't make any difference, I went there anyway.  Had to do it my way regardless.  I tend to forget that when it comes to love and lust, parents input is inconsequential in the real world.

So I made my choices my way, now it's my daughter's turn, just as my sons made theirs. I can only hope she doesn't get hurt any more than she already has been.  We parents tend to want to protect our wee little ones.  Although my daughter is pushing 50, so I guess she's entitled to her freedom from mama. lol lol

Okay, other than keeping my nose out of others' business, I am going to take it light and easy this year (reminds me of the Frank Sinatra song 'Nice and Easy').  Am going to do things I enjoy and still get my work done, for I do enjoy my work.

I have four books lined up to publish this first quarter by four authors: Charles Moore, Ray Duarte, Mary Patricia Alden, Curtis Hendel.   And I'm writing my two books at the same time.

ALSO ... there're a few trips I'm hoping to take this year.  Am working on those possibilities.

So, here's to you all, may you have a fun year too!  It's all up to us to make it so.


I HATE BEING FAT! Part 3


How the hell do you watch your calories during the holidays?

I don't have a clue. I really don't.  If it hadn't been for all the chocolates that arrived in the hands of guests, the thickly frosted birthday cake I made for my two adult kids, and the giant blueberry cobbler I baked it would have been easier.  But no, I had to partake. The food devil twisted my arms once again, took control of my hands and shoved it all in my mouth over the duration of the week my family was here.  Damn! Damn! Damn!  I hope I'm not swearing too much for your taste, but that's how I feel about now.  The total setback.

Below was how I began my quest, however, before the holidays, and although I was serious as ever on Day One, I still wasn't there.  So let's step back a bit before Christmas . . .



DAY ONE

BREAKFAST – Cereal and milk
230 Calories
  45 Carbs
    2 Fat
    7 Protein
  20 Sugar
293 Sodium

Okay, I began today with three-fourths cup of raisin nut bran cereal in a half cup of non-fat milk.
That was a couple hours ago and now I’m feeling hungry. Just have to control what I eat, I know.  So I’ll take a look at what I have on hand and decide after checking the caloric count what I’ll eat. Have also had coffee, no cream no sugar.  Coffee is fine on this regime, thank God!  I can’t give up everything.  Jeez!  And wine is okay. So at least I have those options to assuage my feelings.
Normally I’ll have the cereal and two slices of buttered toast by now. And a full glass of OJ. 
You aren’t going to believe this …
First of all, the full glass of OJ contains the full allotment of sugar for the whole damn day!  So that’s a big no no.  I can have 4 ounces which is half the allowance, but then no cereal if I have OJ due to the sugar content.
The cereal contains half the allotment of sugar as it is, natural sugar, not any I’ve added.  I don’t add sugar to my coffee or cereal.  So right there is an eye-opener. Half the day’s allotment of sugar without using any sugar. 
Now when I would have had cinnamon toast, I’d use sugar or honey. But honey is high too, so you have to watch that if you’re calorie counting . . . which is the only way to go as far as I’m concerned, calorie counting. 
If I would have had a full cup and a half of cereal as I would normally, or even two cups, it would have shot my sugar allotment way over the top.  Can you believe that? I’d be in the minus. No wonder I’m fat!
I would have already had my sugar allotment plus in the first meal of the day. And then I would have gone on to have cookies and candy and ice cream and fruit (fruit is high in sugar, doesn’t matter what kind of sugar, it’s still sugar and takes up the calorie allotment) and whatever else throughout the day.
Again, no wonder!
Just had a glass of cold water to subdue the thoughts of eating. It worked.


LUNCH –  Lettuce, Cheese, Caesar Dressing
550 Calories
    5 Carbs
  47  Fat
  30  Protein
    2  Sugar
836 Sodium

Had a cup and a half of iceberg lettuce, six ounces of cheddar cheese, chopped, and a tablespoon of Caesar Dressing. I opted for the lettuce instead of a grilled cheese sandwich which is what I really wanted.
Now I could have had only 2 ounces of cheddar cheese and I would have been better off, because what I had has upped the FAT content quite a bit for the day.   Live and learn. 
 So that was lunch.  Boring, but I feel good that I’m being frugal with the calories, or was I?  550?  That’s almost half of the day’s allotment of 1200.  

BUT . . . next is a big one . . .  I WILL NOT LIE!



SNACK (mid afternoon)  –  Sweets
870 Calories
123 Carbs
  39 Fat
  12 Protein
  92 Sugar
428 Sodium

Mid-afternoon I walked by the candy dishes all stacked up in a row on a brass and mirror étagère, and grabbed a handful of the mini-bite Reese’s P-nut Butter cups.  YES, I DID THAT! I ate a damn handful!
Then I grabbed a handful of the saltwater taffies and ate them. I KID YOU NOT! What is the matter with me?
What in the world possessed me to do that?  On the first day of my diet? 
I’ll tell you what possessed me, the food devil possessed me, that’s what it was! I can’t believe it.
So, that pushed my daily allowances into catastrophic abundance … everything flew over the top.  And the end of the day’s calculations said if I eat like that everyday, I would weigh 183 in five weeks.  That’s more poundage than I started with. Uh, surprise, surprise!
But this is a really big eye-opener. You see what happens?  That’s how weight is gained. That’s how it increases, by eating the no-no’s everyday. Just a handful here and a handful there.
So that is what has happened to me over the past few years. I’ve grabbed those handfuls of sweets and those six or seven cookies at a time, and big chunks of cheese (I mean BIG), and I’ve paid the price. Not to mention the half of giant pizzas, three and four slices of bread a day, half gallons of ice cream, etc. Plus all the other calorie/fat-chocked foods.



DINNER  –  Meatballs
390 Calories
    8 Carbs
  32 Fat
  18 Protein
    0 Sugar
915 Sodium

At first I wasn’t going to eat dinner because of all the crap I ate in the afternoon. But then I thought, I must eat something, if only protein to help combat the damn sweets I had and try to restore some sort of order in my body. So I had some Italian meatballs, bite size. Nine of them. And that was filling.. 
Needless to say, if I had not binged with the sweets, my day would have been very sane with the calorie intake.
By the way, based on my age, my starting weight, and my weight goal, the program calculates what my daily calorie allowance should be.  Mine is 1200.  And then again, the daily food values and percentages of vitamins and minerals are also calculated. 
All I have to do is try and meet the goal by choosing foods high in the requirements, low in the bad stuff.  



DAY ONE TOTALS:

Okay, so here are the totals, my actual intake vs. goals:

                                    Actual            Goal
CALORIES                2040                1200
CARBS                         181                  165
FAT                              120                    40
PROTEIN                      67                    45
            SUGAR                       114                    24
            SODIUM                   2472                2500


You can see I was over in all categories except Sodium. Almost went over it too. Terrible, terrible, isn’t it? These are every day’s goals. My daily target.

And here are additional nutritional totals:

                                    Actual             Goal
CHOLESTEROL         168                 300
POTASSIUM                567               3500
VITAMIN A                 36%               100%
VITAMIN C                   5%               100%
CALCIUM                  110%               100%
IRON                            46%               100%

Obviously, the only one I met was the Calcium Goal.  Must have been the cheese that filled that quota.

So this is what MyFitnessPal figures each day. Makes it easier to see the overall picture of my progress and where I need to improve.

FINGERS CROSSED I CAN DO IT!!!

--to be continued--