Long Island Sound

Things to do when oddly-employed.

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Writer's Workshop & How to Blow a Life or Death Diet.
I attended my first live writer's workshop in Manalapan last night. I figured it was about getting an exercise and then sharing the results with everyone the next week. It wasn't like that at all. Simply put, one person reads his/her 1500 or so word excerpt, and everyone critiques it. I found myself liking the process a lot, and the writings were generally good. I'm motivated to put something together which would probably be shared a month from now.

It's probably no accident that most of the people in the group are at least a decade older than me. These are folks that didn't grow up with computers. While not Luddites, I could see why they would seek live humans out rather than rely on the 'net. On the other hand, I certainly found it far more motivating than doing all of this digitally with a bunch of faceless avatars. If you have such a community available (odds are you do), I highly recommend giving it a try.

I'm probably the only absurdist or sci-fi writer in the bunch, however. It will be interesting to see how a bunch of older strangers would respond to behaviors of alien species. I'd hope that if they review my work favorably (especially the beginnings of stories), then I have a good gauge of future success. At any rate, it's nice to spend time with people of similar spirit (if not genre).

Meanwhile, I got sloppy with eating yesterday and wound up 1.5 pounds heavier at 267 even. Essentially, I got caught up in what I could and could not eat. I started fine with breakfast and mid-morning snack. Lunch started with Burger King, where I got a grilled chicken sandwich (with *nothing* on it) and apple slices. All well and good. Then it dawned on me that KFC was probably legal if I ordered a grilled filet (no bun) and mashed potatoes (which was just silly). So I went there and had a second lunch! Dinner was a gravy-laden turkey sandwich and mashed potatoes from Wawa (again, senseless). This was followed up by a Dunkin Donuts low-fat blueberry muffin and a York Peppermint Patty (the only thing outright illegal as chocolate is off-limits). In other words, I ate perhaps twice what I normally do, and with a lot of borderline food. Mashed potatoes don't have as much fat as you'd think, but still....

This weight loss effort has a glass jaw. I can easily get back into the 270's if I have more days like this. I still think KFC is a good idea (if only for the breadless, grilled chicken filets), but I have to overall cut back on fast food. I feel confidant I can get back on track today. Then again, I have the girls this weekend and Thanksgiving is less than a week away.

I'll be thrilled if I can just stick to 265 for the next 7 days. And more thrilled if this colitis flare up would finally go away (it's been 6 weeks now).


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