A Needed Break

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I didn’t post last week because I took a staycation and took care of some health issues. Other than a brief trip to visit my mother for 2 nights, I hardly budged outside of my house. I did some serious R&R, as we called it in the military. I played low-stress games like Freecell and Solitaire until I was winning almost every game. I loaded music on my computer and synced them up with my iDevices. I only wrote about a thousand words. I browsed lots of news sites (you may not realize it, but I am quite a news junkie).

I also got my blood pressure managed. Additional dietary choices are now open to me, so I will once again eliminate dairy from my diet. I went the entire month of January without milk, and my intestinal issues and rib pain went away. Unfortunately, my blood pressure also went up because my breakfast without milk has a lot more sodium than plain cereal with milk. Now that I can eliminate dairy again, I am hoping this rib pain will go away again. It kept me up last night for about an hour.

So it was a good week. I don’t want it to end, quite frankly, but that’s why they call it vacation. My husband wants me to schedule another week already. July is looking good.

I decided not to move my website. I am currently using a premium WordPress account, and after reflecting that I have spent zero time worrying about my website over the last year, I decided to stay put. The managed WordPress accounts are too expensive and don’t get me anything that I don’t have here, plus I have been accumulating a few handfuls of WordPress followers (hey guys!) I don’t want to cut them off by moving.

I may, however, redo my theme, and maybe procure a premium theme … if I can find one that is worth the cash.

Financial Tip!

This is my first financial tip ever. But we got our first American Express card and it is really helping our finances. We put all our charges on the AmEx card and pay it off at the end of the month. Nothing else is going on our regular credit card, allowing us to pay it off faster. Plus we are getting lots of AmEx points.

An important note about AmEx cards–they are designed to pay off at the end of the month. So be careful to only use it for planned expenses, like grocery, gas, and small credit card purchases. You do NOT want to be in a position where you are unable to pay off the card at the end of the month. AmEx is designed to be a charge card, not a credit card, and there is a distinct difference.

It is going to totally be worth the 200 dollars to renew at the end of the year.

Writing Update

Chicory, Anne Elizabeth and I were having quite a discussion on epic fantasy and warrior woman tropes in the Back From Hiatus post. They got me to reveal some of the ideas I have been playing with (ahem–paladin story–cough), and we have just been having a good ole time. While my first priority has got to be finishing East of Yesterday, I am finding it difficult to resist working on my paladin story!

Anne Elizabeth recommended I try reading David Weber’s War God series, and I probably will, but it seems to be kind of a spoof of a paladin story. Has anyone ever read any good paladin stories, other than the quintessential Deed of Paksenarrion?

15 Thoughts to “A Needed Break”

  1. Would bagels help? Or are they a high sodium breakfast food?

    Good paladin stories… hmm…. I never thought about it before. Does `Redwall’ count? I mean, sure they’re fuzzy mice, but they do have a magic sword that always passes to the Abby Warrior, which is how you know who the protector of Redwall is. It originally belonged to Martin the Warrior, their version of a little mousey saint. (Mice in shining armor. Sooo cuddly.) It was forged for him by a badger lord from the metal of a fallen star, to make it unbreakable.

    The first four books are the best, because Brian Jaques was still excited about his series. Some of the later books feel like they follow a formula. It’s a very sad case where the series was so popular that Jaques felt unable to branch out, and it really hurt his writing. (The later Oz books have the same problem.)

    I do hope the Paladin discussion hasn’t been TOO distracting. I’ve been looking forward to East of Yesterday. 🙂

    1. Bagels are rather high in sodium, as are most breads. This is why cereal worked so well. I am down to saltless eggs and a sausage or two. But the new meds help me not have to be so restrictive.

      I tried Redwall a few years ago, but set it aside. I think I had overdosed on young adult and middle grade at the time. I’m not sure the book I’m looking for has been written yet …

      1. Yikes! Breads being high in sodium really cuts out a lot!

        I’ve never overdosed on YA or mid-grade (fortunately, since that’s what I’m looking to write) but I did overdose on quest fantasies once, and it was several years before I could enjoy them again. It did lead me to branching out in my reading and changing some of my writing patterns, since up to then I thought every fantasy had to involve a long journey. I think moving on when you’ve mined out a genre is a good way to keep from stagnating.

        1. I have definitely had the same experience. I also had some friends that got me into reading mystery, which I greatly enjoy, and which I have not read in quite a while. It was definitely helpful when writing Magic by Starlight.

      2. {raise eyebrows} You’ve found low-salt sausages? Where, and what’s their name? Dad’s pretty much given up on sausages because of the salt. He still eats bread, but but I think he’s careful about the amount. He says people can’t – and even shouldn’t – cut out salt entirely. A little salt is necessary to life; it’s just a lot less than the vast majority of Americans eat on a regular basis. {lop-sided Smile}

        Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

        1. Sorry for the delayed reply–the sausages are not low-salt; I just limit my servings. 😐 It sounds like your dad and I have the same approach. I go for 1500 mg a day.

  2. deborahblake1

    Ya for a much needed break! I’m due for one myself as soon as I finish these revisions. (I’ll still have to go to work, but i’m going to let everything else slide.)

    1. Yeah, work is SO demanding on our time. If only we can do something about those pesky needs for food, clothing and shelter!

  3. That does sound like a nice vacation. I hope you get rid of that rib pain for good. That sounds nasty. {Smile}

    I’m glad you sorted out the website, too. {Smile}

    About David Weber’s War God series, it isn’t exactly a spoof. At least Dad and I don’t find it such, tho I can understand why you might get that impression. It does stand some stereotypes on their heads, thoroughly re-imagining them in the process. Tolkien did the same when he created Hobbits, and I know some people think they’re great, while others think they’re some of the silliest creatures to be found in literature. Different stereotypes, but probably the same reactions to Weber’s Hradani. {lop-sided Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

    1. I will definitely give them a try, but I wanted to see if anyone knew of a straight-up story as well. The only such story I know of so far is Poul Anderson’s Three Lions and Three Crowns (or do I have that reversed?), which I’ll have to find a used copy of because it is out-of-print with no ebook version.

      And thank you regarding East of Yesterday.

      1. You’re most welcome. I just wish I could think of more paladin stories for you, but I’m pulling blanks. {rueful Smile, rub forehead, Smile}

        1. I’m kinda glad there aren’t many of them–this way I know it is not an overdone trope.

  4. P.S. East of yesterday does sound interesting, too. {SMILE}


  5. Hey Tia, so glad to hear your health is improving. I didn’t notice this post until you were FEATURED in Networked Blogs, that has to be a kick, huh? So you must be doing something right. Congratulations.
    I always back up playing Free Cell, until I figure out how to win. The hero of my next novel, Solemn Judgement is definitely a paladin but not typical: he plays a card game suspiciously similar to Free Cell! But he sees the moral message in EVERYTHING, including that game, until even the Gypsies he’s with can’t stand him.
    P.S.: I should be last in line to give financial advice, but let me just say two words- debit card. Blessing from God. OK five. But it’s basically AmEx without the points, and you never have to remember to pay the bill! You are definitely on the right track- good credit is like good cocaine as far as I’m concerned.

    1. Hey, Will! Wow, I didn’t even know I was featured at Networked Blogs. Wonder how that happened?

      Yes, I totally discovered the value of backing up on FreeCell.

      I came off of debit cards and now use my AmEx as I once used my debit card. It works better this way, somehow. Probably I have a slight bit more hesitation before whipping it out than I did the debit card.

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