I said I would try to give an update more often…I’m trying. January is over and was it ever a wild rollercoaster. Highs and lows…and I hate rollercoasters. However, despite frustrating health issues, despite major anxiety that felt like it was going to kill me, there’s a possibility for good stuff, really good stuff, ahead.
I’m going to start with the not so good news. I’ve gained a significant amount. More than I expected. My weight as of last Saturday was 278 lbs. That’s approximately 140 lbs more than what I’m supposed to weigh. I’m not happy about it. In fact, it’s damned depressing. For those who haven’t been following my ride up til now. Here’s a super quick rundown:
- In 2009, my weight was 303 lbs. and my doctor referred me to get gastric bypass surgery. I went to the surgeon he referred me to but did not get to see him that first day. Instead, they took my before pictures, made me an appointment with a nutritionist, and explained to me I would be getting “the gold standard” of bypass surgery.
- When I did get to see the surgeon, it was not a physical. In fact, it didn’t seem medical at all. It was a sales pitch. After he “sold” me on the idea, he told me I would need to lose 10% of my weight before surgery. For some reason this is a norm. I don’t really care why.
- When I got home, Maurice and I had a talk. He hated the assembly line operation that we went through, and we agreed that if I could lose 30 lbs (10%), then why on earth would I stop there. If I could do it, I might as well simply keep losing more. In January 2009, I joined Weight Watchers.
- Not much happened at WW. Not much happens if you go to their weekly meeting, but don’t follow their plan. About a year later, Maurice joined to lose a few pounds, but primarily to support me. I started eating according to their plan and started exercising like a madman. Mostly by going down to the beach and walking for miles, and miles, and miles, and even more miles.
- I dropped from 296 lbs to 213 lbs in less than two years. People were cheering me on, I got rather smug, and life was great…and then I started creeping up again. Weight Watchers was not the problem. I will promote their program to as many people as I can because I believe in it. Not just for me. I’ve seen other miracles happen too.
- To wrap this up, It took 5 years to get back up to where I am now and I’m sicker of it now than I ever have before. I was walking down the street earlier this week and for the first time in my life I felt like an old man. I’ve joked about it before, but this is the first time I felt it.
- I’m struggling, but trying to get back on the WW plan again. This time for good. At 54 years old, I can’t let my body remain the way it is.
Here’s a chart of my loss:
Major Anxiety and Writing
The anxiety and the writing kind of go hand in hand. Well not kind of – Very much so. January was a struggle for me in general. I don’t know why, but I really struggled with anxiety. Things got worse, but suddenly a possible good thing happened, which made my anxiety worse. It had to do with the novel I’m writing.
I have no idea how long I’ve been working on my book. I’d guess about two or three years. Probably closer to three. That sounds like a long time, but being that it’s my first novel, it doesn’t concern me all that much. I’ve learned so much along the way which is part of the process. When I read Chapter One and compare it to Chapter Twenty…well, there is no comparison. I’ve been looking forward to finishing the book because I’ve been so anxious to get back to my earlier chapters to strengthen them with my new wisdom and skills. Well, much of that happened over the last week or so.
Why I write is categorized as Male/Male Romance Mystery. In case it’s not clear what that means, it’s that the novel is a romance between two males and involves solving a mystery. A call went out last week from a publisher I follow. They are seeking M/M Romance Suspense. Well, I don’t write suspense. I’m not even a fan of suspense, well, maybe suspense films, but not suspense novels. When it comes to reading, I like a puzzle. A good old mystery to solve. Search for the clues and let me try and beat the sleuth to solve the mystery. Being very interested in this publisher’s search, I contacted the editors and was told they would absolutely consider a mystery, as long as there was a romance.
Why did this call for submissions interested me so much? Because it’s not a one shot deal. They want a series of books, each with its own event to solve, in addition they require a second problem storyline that follows through all the books in the mini-series, to be resolved in the last novel. How long is a mini-series? It’s a minimum of three books. I did some searching and three seems to be the magic number.
To put it simply, if I’m selected for publication, I would immediately have a 3, or 5, or 7 book deal. That’s what made Bradley so excited.
Don’t worry. While I’m reaching for the stars, I have both feet firmly on the ground. I know the chance of whipping out a novel, sending it to a publisher and expecting to get a contract soon after, is outrageously slim. Stephen King says he submitted “Carrie” to fifty publishers before he found one willing to sell his book. ** Spoiler alert ** He’s done quite well for himself.
The news here, is much more than this random request for submissions. The news is it got me incredibly excited to the point that I worked my ass off to produce a good, clean manuscript. Just the kick in the ass I needed. There is no “lose” here. Getting the novel polished and ready to submit and I either get accepted by the publisher I want, or I’ll still have a nice crisp novel in my hands to be submitted to dozens of other.
For now, my life is totally focused on wrapping up my manuscript. I woke up with my head on the keyboard three mornings last week. There are certain specifics the publisher is looking for, so I’ve had to make some changes to fit their requirements. Nothing too major, but is time consuming. That’s where the anxiety comes in. I have this terror that I’m putting together everything they want and by the time I’m done they’ll say they’ve gotten all the submissions they need. UGH!
So, it’s time to end this hastily written post about writing and get to writing.