And so closes the first full week of the New Year. As part of one of my three resolutions, I am going to lose a substantial amount of weight by the time 2014 rolls around. To aid me in that endeavor, every week I am adopting a new strategy in addition to my regular routine of walking and counting calories. This week’s addition was incorporating a fun workout, something that is so enjoyable that I wouldn’t realize I was even working out. Such mental trickery has never worked for me, but I must admit that dancing really is an entertaining way to burn calories. The article that provided me with “52 ways to blast your blubber” from The L.A. Times suggested Zumba because it is wildly popular and usually, you can attend your first class for free. For me, I decided to keep it cheap and private, and used “Dance Central 2” for the Xbox Kinect in my own home. Three times this week, with the third time being today, I played this video game while burning calories with a smile on my face. The music was great and the game has a “fitness” option where I can choose for how long I work out, and at which kind of pace (interval, warm up, cool down, crazy-calorie-burning-not-for-the-faint-of-heart). There are other games in the series too (hence the “2”), so I can mix it up.
(I hope I look this cool – I know I don’t always feel this cool while dancing)
I must admit that I am having difficulty in getting radio stations to respond to my e-mail efforts. I am incredibly polite and professional in the message, and attach the press release with accompanying art, and a synopsis of the book. It’s only been a week of trying but so far, no go. This upcoming week, I am going to reach out by telephone first. When I called to follow up with one station and spoke with an incredibly helpful woman, she suggested calling producers and/or on-air personalities to begin networking. I figure since that information is beneficial and was obtained over the phone, I better start calling first. Makes sense, right? Wish me luck!
I am submitting short stories. I am hoping that now that I am published, there will be a greater interest. I want to dedicate more time to writing and get my priorities in order, especially since I want to be a writer full-time … eventually. I envision myself writing in the upper bedroom of a log cabin by a lake in some remote location preferably in the northeast of the country. Is that weird?
I am going to see more of people. I am not going to let work, exhaustion, or other frequently employed poor excuses keep me from living and not wasting one second.
The other day, when I was driving home from Sussex, I saw a squirrel dash across the Garden State Parkway – across five lanes of speeding traffic – to the other side. He scurried amongst leaves and shrubs safely and smile spread across my face. I wish I had that kind of daring and tenacity.
Sometimes, in the morning when I am driving to the high school, I scan through the radio stations. Inevitably, the dial lands on Bible Thumper radio, which features men who sound impossibly old, who gasp out sermons of fire and brimstone, demanding that we all repent. I like to leave the station on for a minute or two because I like the eeriness that fills the front of my car. The streets are usually deserted, my dying, dim headlights lighting on nothing but pavement and painted white lines. The change that lies discarded in one of two cup holders and clangs irritatingly around in the space as I drive is the only other sound. It is not comforting; it is unsettling, but I enjoy it all the time. I suppose that makes me weird.
More and more, I am realizing that the more things change, the more they truly do stay the same. My belief – or faith? – in a common human thread is affirmed on a daily basis. Human beings may age physically; hair may grey, joints may weaken, and lines may form, but emotionally, they can be as childish and as whimsical and romantic at seventeen as they can be at ninety-seven. That knowledge, that possibility, gives me hope and makes me smile time and time again.
Lately, I am becoming more and more obsessed with romance. I worry that this could be dangerous; dangerous to myself, to those around me, and to my writing endeavors. To make this obsession more of a contagious disease, enjoy the following passages from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Also, please note that I have booked a hotel room for Salem, Massachusetts. At least I make good on some promises.
“’Because,’ he said, ‘I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you—especially when you are near to me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you—you’d forget me.’”
“’I tell you I must go!’ I retorted, roused to something like passion. ‘Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automaton?—a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!—I have as much soul as you—and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal—as we are!”