Monday, December 23, 2013

Motivational Monday - Weight Watchers Starts NOW!

Yep, the program officially starts today. I walked 3 miles on the treadmill last night, and did an upper body weight lifting workout yesterday to prepare myself for a new routine.
The new routine is about more than just Weight Watchers and exercise. It's about getting my life in order, and paring down on more than just food.
I may be offering tips to get more done in less time as we head into 2014. I'll be letting you know what works and what doesn't, and how I did with what I tried.
I'm working on a blog posting routine too. Short blog posts about specific topics. I'll be picking a topic for 4 days of the week. You'll be able to find the topic schedule on the links at the top of the blog page.
Have a fantastic week.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Not a Resolution

In 2012 I lost 28 pounds. I did it with a fad diet, because I had less than 2 months to take it off. I actually wanted to lose more, but I didn't have the willpower to stick with it. At the end of 2013, I've gained back 15 pounds of that weight, when I really needed to lose another 15.
The problem is that until a few years ago, my weight has never been a problem. I've never been more than five pounds overweight. Even then, losing five pounds was a struggle.
I'm usually quite active, running a restaurant, and working horses 4-5 days a week, but that doesn't seem to matter anymore.
It's all about metabolism. And here's the thing, I've lost a lot of muscle mass in the last decade. I feel it in so many ways. I read the book Evolution, and decided I needed to build my mass back up, so my metabolism will go back up, and I can burn calories more efficiently.
So, along with the Evolution program, which I can't even perform to the fullest at the moment, I'm adding Weight Watchers into the mix. I'm planning to work my way up to doing the full Evolution program by the end of 2014, and get back to my fighting weight.
I don't feel compelled to tell you my starting (or my goal) weight, but I will share my trials, ups and downs, and successes with you.
If you are in the same boat, I'd love for you to chime in and let readers know what works for you.
Now, it's been a long time since I've blogged regularly, so I'll do my very best to keep at least a weekly update.
And as the title says, this is not a New Year's resolution, it's a life plan.
I'm getting to the age where I will start reaping the "rewards" of my terrible eating habits, and I want to live long enough to be a great-great aunt. Considering my nieces and nephews haven't had kids yet, I need to last a lot more years.
I hope everyone had as unbelievable a 2013 as I did. And I hope 2014 is even better.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

All Grown Up

Yep, with the coming of 2014, also comes a whole new series. Along with the Gotcha Detective Agency Mysteries, I'll also be writing some thrillers.
With the thrillers being much darker, I thought it was time for the website to have a more serious tone too.
So I unveil the newest version of www.jamieleescott.com

Monday, September 23, 2013

New Swag for My Readers

Fun new swag. Lip balms. Photo is blurry because I took it with my phone. But super fun.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Favorites - Meet Author Jill Hughey

Meet Jill Hughey and her favorite things. 

Hi, I'm Jill Hughey and these are a few of my favorite things.
 ON MY iPOD: Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell
 CURRENTLY READING: Got Your Number – Stephanie Bond
 CITY: Driggs, Idaho
 DREAM VACATION: 2-3 weeks in Hawaii or Australia
 ACTIVITY:Writing
 BOOK: I have many favorite books but I’ll sayKingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
 BOOK ON WRITING: Strunk and White Elements of Style
 PLACE TO READ: In front of a fire.
 TV SHOW: “Longmire” and “The Americans”
 MOVIE: Again, too many to pick from but I really like August Rush
 SONG: See above, Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell
 SINGER:Bernadette Peters, mostly because I take voice lessons and just listening to her is like going to school. Every note is nuanced.
 BAND: Cold Play
 ACTOR: Russell Crowe
 ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep
 PET PEEVE: People who won’t take responsibility for themselves.
 MOST LIKE TO MEET: Jesus, not because of a particularly strong religious inclination but because I’d like to know what is true and what is false.

 Jill Hughey is at http://jillhughey.blogspot.com,
Facebook at www.facebook.com/jillhugheyromance,
and tweets @jillhughey.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Favorites - Meet Author Stacy Juba


Meet Stacy Juba and her favorite things.


Hi, I'm Stacy Juba and these are a few of my favorite things.
ON MY iPOD: soundtrack to Rock of Ages
CURRENTLY READING: No Justice by Darcia Helle
CITY: Paris
DREAM VACATION: Disney World
ACTIVITY:  Playing Just Dance on Wii
BOOK: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
BOOK ON WRITING: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
PLACE TO READ: In bed
TV SHOW: Once Upon a Time
MOVIE: Return of the Jedi
SONG: Faithfully by Journey
SINGER: Katy Perry
BAND: Bon Jovi
ACTOR: Brad Pitt
ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock
PET PEEVE: parents not supervising their children on the Internet
MOST LIKE TO MEET: the writing friends I've connected with on various groups online

website: http://stacyjuba.com/blog
Twitter: @stacyjuba
Novel: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/books-2/twenty-five-years-ago-today/ - list of retail links
or on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Twenty-Five-Years-Ago-Today-ebook/dp/B003U4WVKA/ref

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Favorites - Author Tony Acree

Meet Tony Acree and his favorite things. 

Hi, I'm Tony Acree and these are a few of my favorite things.

ON MY iPOD: My current playlist includes Michael Buble, Blake Shelton and Wild Cherry. Yes.Really. 
CURRENTLY READING: I'm dipping my toe into the Steampunk world and am reading The Exile's Violin by R.S. Hunter. I'm six chapters in and hooked. 
CITY:  My favorite city is Sydney, Australia. Beautiful, contemporary and clean. Add in they seem to truly love Americans and start drinking beer at seven in the morning, all I can say is, "No worries."
DREAM VACATION: My dream vacation would be a golfing tour of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. My twin girls are just learning to play and we would have a blast. Then hitting a pub at night (root beer for the twins) and taking in all the history would be fantastic. 
ACTIVITY: I'm going to leave off reading and writing (large Duh) which leads me to poker. I love the challenge, the skill level needed to be successful and the payoff when you rake the last chip into your stack. Shuffle up and deal.  
BOOK: This would be tough for me on so many levels, but the first book which always comes to mind is The Collected Works of Robert Frost. After reading Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, I knew I wanted to be a writer. The man could paint the world so well with so few words, it's pure magic. 
BOOK ON WRITING: On Writing by Stephen King, hands down. Part humor, part biography and all knowledge. Pick this up and learn what every writer should have in their "toolbox". 
PLACE TO READ: Any place on the Ohio River. When I was a teenager, I would drive from my home in La Grange, Kentucky to the river, about a twenty-five minute drive, just to read under one particular tree right on the river's edge. Now I live close enough to walk to the river to read. 
TV SHOW: My current favorite TV show is Game of Thrones, which to me is hands down the best drama on TV.  Second would be Castle. Of all time? Toss up between West Wing and Law and Order. 
MOVIE: My top five, in no particular order: Big Trouble in Little China, Arsenic and Old Lace, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Field of Dreams and The Princess Bride. I just can't pick one.  

SONG: At Last by Etta James. I was a huge fan of the song for years, but following the birth of my twin girls, after such a long and difficult road to bring them into the sunshine of life, the song took on a whole new meaning. It makes my heart soar just humming the lyrics in my head. 

SINGER: My birthday is January 8th. My mom and dad were huge Elvis Presley fans from their teen years and they passed the bug down to their children. No one even comes close, though Nat King Cole may have the smoothest voice I've ever heard. Still, The King of Rock 'n' Roll is my choice. You know what I mean? I think you do, thank you very much. 
BAND: My band likes to Take it to the Limit, kind of Taking it Easy during One of These Nights hangin' with a Witchy Woman. The Eagles, no one has harmonized as well before or since. 

ACTOR: If I could come back as anyone I choose, I'd be Carry Grant. Smooth, handsome and could act in anything at anytime. Arsenic and Old Lace, North by Northwest and Charade are favorites. 
ACTRESS: My wife and I have an agreement: If Sandra Bullock says she's looking for an ex-mailman turned novelist, she has to give me an uncontested divorce. I became a fan when I saw her smile in Demolition Man. Although, truth be told, Stana Katic of Castle is closing the gap. 

PET PEEVE: Littering. I will go out of my way to ruin your day if I see you throw garbage out your window. Just don't do it. I'm telling you, I'll hunt you down. 

MOST LIKE TO MEET: The person who wrote the very first sentence in English. Mainly so I can ask him or her what the *%#! were you thinking when you decided to spell things the way you did! As for a person with a name, dead or alive, it would be Mark Twain. Just alive, then Sandra Bullock. Hey, if you're going give me an option, then I'm going for it. (apologies to my wife)

Webaddress: Tonyacree.com
    Twitter: @Tonyacree

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Favorites - Meet Author Ava Miles

Hi, I'm _____Ava Miles__ and these are a few of my favorite things.
ON MY iPOD: Fun Some Nights
CURRENTLY READING: Linda Lael Miller The Man from Stone Creek
CITY: Alexandria
DREAM VACATION: Safari and wine tasting in South Africa
ACTIVITY: Sky Diving
BOOK: A Return to Love
BOOK ON WRITING: Writing the Blockbuster Novel 
PLACE TO READ: Porch Swing
TV SHOW: Justified
MOVIE: A Good Year
SONG: On Moonlight Bay
SINGER: Nat King Cole
BAND: Fun
ACTOR: Leonardo diCaprio
ACTRESS: Meryl Streep
PET PEEVE: Drivers driving too close
MOST LIKE TO MEET: Oprah


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Watch Out World: Home Inventors and 3D Printers Will Change Everything (guest post by Abbey Peschel)



 See 3D printer in action here!
The world has become more and more personalized, as we all know too well. Though radio is still around, many prefer to listen to custom playlists on their iPods. TV is still here, too, but we can use our TiVo or streaming video service to choose what, when, and where to watch. The entertainment industry no longer gets to tell us what's available for entertainment. This is just the beginning. Get ready for the next huge wave of personalized products, stuff that you design yourself. The 3D printer will likely be in many, many homes by the end of the decade, and marketers, lawyers, and manufacturers are already preparing themselves. Companies like Nokia are trying to ride the early waves of the trend, by creating personal phone cases for people who buy their phones, and Converse is allowing customers who visit their flagship stores to create custom sneaker designs to wear. Once these printers hit homes, however, the game will change. The world's switch to digital media has been an intellectual property portent, and businesses who have CAD designs all ready to cash in on the next big trend are looking for ways to market, profit, and avoid having their hard work turn into pirated freeware. There is much good news, however, about the future of home printing, and that is that we will no longer be limited by the imagination of manufacturers. This is especially true for quirky, one-of-a-kind items that would never be worth the profit margin in mass production. And artists will have a whole new way to recreate the world. Switzerland and Tokyo have seen scaled-down models of one such creation, an alien cathedral that has to be seen to be believed. Artists Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer have created something that is one part complex math (the algorithm for the division of the artistic works of Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger), one part creepy sci-fi experience, and two parts eerily beautiful. The future is beginning, and like the mobile phone and computer ages, will most likely make the next decade look like a place we could never imagine living. And yet, when we get there, we'll most likely wonder how we ever lived without it.
Abbey Peschel, Boston-area printing and marketing specialist. Twitter: @Abbey_Peschel

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Favorites - Meet Author Caren Crane


Meet Author Caren Crane

Hi, I'm Caren Crane and these are a few of my favorite things.
ON MY iPOD: The Civil Wars debut album
CURRENTLY READING: The Bride Wore Pearls by Liz Carlyle
CITY: Vienna, Austria
DREAM VACATION: hiking Hadrian's Wall in northern England
ACTIVITY: reading
BOOK: The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
BOOK ON WRITING: Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
PLACE TO READ: Big purple chair in my library
TV SHOW: Battlestar Galactica
MOVIE: Moonstruck
SONG: Supermassive Black Hole by Muse
SINGER: Amanda Palmer
BAND: Guster
ACTOR: Matt Damon
ACTRESS: Anna Kendrick
PET PEEVE: aggressive drivers
MOST LIKE TO MEET: the Dalai Lama
Twitter handle: @carencrane1

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Favorites - USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen


Meet USA Today bestselling author Stephanie Queen.

Hi, I'm Stephanie Queen and these are a few of my favorite things.
ON MY iPOD: What iPod?
CURRENTLY READING: Roget's Thesaurus mostly every day, and The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
CITY:   Boston, especially the crusty Beacon Hill area that reeks of history and secrets seeping up from the cobblestone streets
DREAM VACATION:  I don't even dream about vacations anymore. I live them, then write about them.
ACTIVITY:  Sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean with a group of friends sloshing down margaritas, munching chips & guacamole  and talking about books, writing and the publishing business. (Okay, so this may not qualify--strictly speaking--as an activity, but I'm not that crazy about downhill skiing and I'm not crazy enough to reveal any hot secret activities)
BOOK:  The Hunger Games (my latest favorite in a long line of favorite books)
BOOK ON WRITING:  "On Writing" a 1970's vintage publication of assorted interviews with writing icons from Papa Hemingway to Rod Serling
PLACE TO READ: Bed--where else?
TV SHOW:  NCIS (if I lived inside the TV, that's the cast I'd hang out with)
MOVIE: 1980's version of The Scarlet Pimpernel (quirky choice, I know)
SONG: Yesterday by the Beatles
SINGER: Roy Orbison wasn't bad, but then neither is Neil Diamond or James Taylor
BAND:  The Beatles (see favorite song)
ACTOR:  Cary Grant (I know--I'm old school, but he has no modern peer.)
ACTRESS:  Audrey Hepburn, classic grace, glamour and a genuine person too.
PET PEEVE: None (Favorite motto: don't sweat the small stuff)
MOST LIKE TO MEET: I don't know what it says about me that I have so many people on this list who are dead, but as for live people, I wouldn't mind meeting Nelson DeMille, author extraordinaire, or Bobby Orr, hockey player extraordinaire.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Favorites - Meet Lynn Cahoon

 
Hi, I'm Lynn Cahoon and these are a few of my favorite things.
ON MY iPOD: Nada - no iPOD and I rarely listen to music except for on the radio or through my husband's computer. Lame, I know. 
CURRENTLY READING: Assaulted Pretzel by Laura Bradford and in the car (audio book) The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
CITY: New York
DREAM VACATION: Anything tropical.
ACTIVITY: Cooking a new recipe - like Shrimp and Grits
BOOK:  Illusions by Richard Bach
BOOK ON WRITING:  On Writing by Stephen King
PLACE TO READ: My reclining easy chair
TV SHOW:  Top Chef -Anything
MOVIE:  Harder - probably Any of the Harry Potter's or Sliding Doors when I'm blue. And Overboard. 
SONG:  Picture by Kid Rock
SINGER: Kid Rock
BAND:  Lady Antebellum
ACTOR:  Tim Curry
ACTRESS:  Sandra Bullock - Practical Magic and putting up with Jessie. 
PET PEEVE: Mean People - or people who just don't care about anything but themselves.  
MOST LIKE TO MEET:  This changes too - right now? Tess Gerritsen.


@LynnCahoon

Monday, July 22, 2013

ON SALE - This week only Gotcha Detective Agency Box Set of 2 Only $0.99

For a limited time, The Gotcha Detective Agency, Box Set of 2 is on sale for $0.99. If you have the books already, no fear, this is just a promo for the release of the long awaited and highly anticipated What A Meth.

Amazon Kindle http://amzn.to/1dORVlI
NOOK http://bit.ly/16TM3nI
Kobo http://bit.ly/1aD16Gk

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Favorites - Meet Margaret Taylor



Hi, I'm Margaret Taylor and these are a few of my favorite things.

ON MY iPOD: Don’t have one, but I have The Piano Guys on my phone and my desktop! Awesome writing music!
CURRENTLY READING: Cade by Lilianna Hart, when I have time.
CITY: San Antonio, TX
DREAM VACATION: Ireland
ACTIVITY: Writing
BOOK: Too many to list!
BOOK ON WRITING: Steven King’s On Writing.
PLACE TO READ: Desk or overstuffed recliner
TV SHOW: Too many! Currently I’m having a mini-marathon to catch up on Hot In Cleveland. Love Betty White’s part!
MOVIE: Again, way too many to list. Love most Disney’s though...Open-mouthed smile
SONG: I’ve really gotten into The Piano Guys lately, but I’m a sucker for any sound track that can inspire my emotions.
SINGER: Wow...erm, don’t really have one.
BAND: The Piano Guys
ACTOR: Vin Diesel or Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock!
ACTRESS: Don’t really have one if you must know.
PET PEEVE: Leaving the shower curtain open so it molds! Let it close to dry peoples!
MOST LIKE TO MEET: Vin Diesel or The Rock!
Current book link(s):
A First Love Never Dies, Book 1 of The Spi-Corp Series: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D5UWYC4
Wolf’s Paradox, Book 1 of The Layren Series: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D553XE2

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Favorites is BACK! Meet Michele Drier

On Friday Favorites, I've invited authors to tell you a bit about themselves. I alway like finding out the things I have in common with these talented authors.

Meet Michele Drier

Hi, I'm Michele Drier and these are a few of my favorite things.

ON MY iPOD: Anything Classical Baroque
CURRENTLY READING: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
CITY: Sacramento
DREAM VACATION: France
ACTIVITY: Reading
BOOK: The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles
BOOK ON WRITING: Write Away by Elizabeth George
PLACE TO READ: In bed
TV SHOW: Masterpiece Theater
MOVIE: Reds
SONG: Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby McGe
SINGER: Joan Baez
BAND:
ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis
ACTRESS: Meryl Streep
PET PEEVE: People who drive 55 on the freeway
MOST LIKE TO MEET: Doris Lessing

Michele's website http://www.micheledrier.com/ 
Follower her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michele.drier

Monday, July 1, 2013

NEW from Tawny Stokes (my fave YA author) CARNIVAL WORLD

Carnival World 
Episode 1
For six teens and one young boy, an innocent ride at a summer carnival becomes a harrowing trip into another dimension where everything they've ever known has been destroyed and everyone they’ve ever loved are gone.  Now they have to travel a road through a harsh and unreal world where mutated creatures hunt them and a mysterious man with an ugly scar dogs their every move.  Guided by the Barker in their dreams, they each must face their past enabling them to perform a task in the present that will help them find a way home.  Every game played is a piece closer to solving the puzzle.
 
For Darien, the Strong Man, Nicole, the Tightrope Walker, Maddie and Justin, the Conjoined Twins, Summer, the Escape Artist, and little Sam, the Fortune Teller, dreams are lost, nightmares are real and Carnival World is the place they need to survive if they want to make it back home.

Please be aware this is Episode 1 about 16K words, 40 pages with 10 episodes planned.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

We Did It! Mirth, Murder & Mystery Made the USA Today Bestseller List

I can't believe it. I knew the USA Today Bestseller Book List updated around 3 pm. I was in the car with my husband, and I grabbed my phone to refresh the USA Today page. There it was, Mirth Murder & Mystery was parked at #134!

This makes all of the authors in the set, bestsellers. We cyber celebrated, and clinked glasses. No, we didn't have any major ad that catapulted us. We had a small ad, and then once we were in the Top 100 on Amazon, we just kept pushing, and we stayed there.

All of the authors are so grateful for the people who bought the set. Thanks from the bottom of our hearts!

(the photo is a screenshot from my phone)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mirth, Murder & Mystery - Great Deal for your Summer Reading!


Mirth, Murder & Mystery

Summer is here! And have I got a deal for your summer reading pleasure!

7 authors got together to offer 7 novels for only $0.99

You may have read Let Us Prey, but have you read novels from authors Jenna Bennett, Adrienne Giordano, Misty Evans, L.J. Charles, Sally Berneathy, and Stephanie Queen?
Now is your chance to read these great authors for only $0.99.
And if you email me at mail@jamieleescott.com with proof of your purchase, I'll send you my new novel, What A Meth, for FREE, when it's released later this summer.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Smart Talk - We could all use a refresher...


(from my review for this book over at www.bookendbabes.com)

For anyone who has ever had to talk to another person, this is a great book. From the very basics of introductions, and shaking hands, to any type of public speaking, this is the book that should be on everyone's shelf, or (audio version) iPod.

Lisa B. Marshall has the education and experience, and makes it seem so easy. I know I'll be using the parts about giving and getting feedback on a daily basis, in both my writing, and as my position as a business owner. I now know I could have  been communicating with my employees so much better. Where was this book 17 years ago?
From Amazon:
Have you ever lost out on a promotion? Struggled with a difficult conversation? Been put on the spot and blanked? Imagine if...
...you were better at persuading others and negotiating for what you want.
...you were more fluent at introducing yourself, making conversation, and following up.
...you were better at delivering feedback, receiving criticism, and using positive language.
...you were perceived as more diplomatic and charismatic.
Smart Talk applies up-to-date communication research to everyday situations and gives smart, practical, step-by-step directions to achieve results. Smart Talk is no ordinary book— it's the Swiss Army Knife of communication—a comprehensive set of tools to build strong relationships and avoid communication breakdowns.
With proven strategies and practical action plans, Smart Talk will help you resolve conflicts, strengthen your natural charisma, and master the art of persuasion. Never again will you dread a holiday party or be rendered speechless at a business meeting. Backed by solid research and written in an engaging narrative style with a warm sense of humor, communication expert Lisa B. Marshall translates her wealth of experience into practical, fresh advice to help you navigate any complex situation, and achieve professional success.
We could all use a little help "talking smart."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rewriting and more rewriting..or time to stop?

I've been rereading all of the Gotcha books to see all of the editing mistakes. Wow, Prey must have been garbled in the uploading process, because I didn't see all of the errors on my last read through. I'm sure there's a gremlin that invades computers in the uploading process. Haha, really!

I'm procrastinating, but at least I'm working on my writing. I'd been stuck on the process of writing What a Meth, and while editing I was able to get unstuck. It's amazing what happens when I let go of the novel I'm writing and move on to another project. Suddenly, the original novel becomes so clear, and it's easier to continue writing.

I've got a TV pilot and three features to finish editing and rewriting, so I have plenty to keep me busy. I have to admit, editing is much easier when I've put the project away for a long period (a month or more). And there are scripts and novels I'll never finish, because they just weren't meant to be.

The famous quote reads, "Writing is rewriting." Truer words. But with any story there is a point where you have to stop rewriting, or as I call it, beating a dead horse. Either the story works, or it doesn't. Putting all of your eggs in one basket, and rewriting to the point where the Spackle is easily visible is a mistake. There is a point when it's time to move on. When enough people have turned the novel/script down, know when to say when, and just move on to another story. I've had to move on many times, and I've even put a story aside after writing 200 pages, knowing it's not the right story. (I'm full of cliches today). It's a tough thing to do, because 200 pages equals many, many hours, and it's hard to look deep inside and know this just isn't the right story, no matter how many times we rewrite it. I'm at that point now on one of the screenplays I wrote. There is just no way any manager/agent/producer is going to want the script, I've come to grips with it, and put it away, never to see the light of day. In the process, I've come up with a better story to tell.

Such is the life of a writer, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winter Blues

It's that time of year again. The weather has been too cold to go outdoors for any period of time. Even driving in the car requires a mad dash to start the car, and let it warm up while waiting in the house.

After about a month of this I start getting really depressed. Even the sun doesn't make me feel better. When I lived in California, seeing the sun meant it was going to be a nice day to be outside. Here, in the Midwest, seeing the sun in January likely means the temps are in single digits. Almost more depressing than cloudy days.

I haven't been able to ride my horses for over a month because of the ice on the ground, and the dangerous low temps. Even though this means I have more time inside, I'm tired of being inside and suddenly hate everything about my house: the wall colors, furniture, how clean it is (or isn't).

I have yet to come up with a solution to this dilemma. I've tried reading, meditating, and even shopping. The shopping just makes me feel worse, because I also decide that I'm too poor to afford to even go grocery shopping. I'll dig through the canned goods to be sure I'm not wasting anything. I avoid going in public, and start panicking because I'm sure I won't have enough money to pay my mortgage.

I'm delusional, and I know this. My state of mind is completely ridiculous, and I know this. But I'm at a complete loss as to how to snap out of it. Since I've been through this for the last 17 years, I know it's coming and I've tried to stave it off by planning a vacation to sunnier weather, and this doesn't even work. Anti-depressants? Ha, I'm already there.

The best thing to come out of the "winter blues" is that I start to purge. Room by room, I dig through everything we own and purge unused items. The Goodwill stores probably hate to see me coming, because I inundate them with stuff. Stuff is all it is, and many items are brand new, never opened. So far I've listed 45+ books on half.com and listed 1000s of glass beads on eBay. The rest gets donated. I always hope this will help my mood and until I completely burn out, it does.

Writing helps, as I get to dive into a fantasy world where the sun is shining, and I'm in complete control. But at a certain point, I don't even want to write, because I'm a fraud, I don't know how to write, and whatever made me think I could.

Exercise would be great, if I could muster enough give a shit to get out of bed, or my chair, or whatever.

In the end, I know I'll snap out of it, and I'll be back to me again soon. And while I'm in this mood, I take an extensive inventory of me, making me a more aware individual on the other side.

Have you ever experienced the winter blues?