Monday, April 16, 2012

Looking for Balance in "Pure Fiction"

This month is not going to defeat me.

I started ApriWriMo with high hopes...or well, hopes. I'm rarely high. I would succeed at the challenge and write my 50 pages, a mere 12 pages a week, plus four pages for those last two days. I could do that. Anyone could do that?

The first few days, I seemed to be doing well, much like I would on a new diet regimen. I had the writing equivalent of a stocked fridge of veggies and fruit, a set time to meet with my personal trainer every day, and daily affirmations posted everywhere to keep me on the path.

Then after day three, I got a little nervous ("Terri! I don't know what I'm going to do! My BFF is in town and I haven't seen her since 2003! I won't be able to write my pages these three days! I'll be SOOOO behind!"), but after Terri talked me off the ledge, I went to bed most nights, scribbling longhand and at least had some pages if they weren't ALL the pages I needed to make my monthly quota. I felt, well, not good about it, but resigned. Some was better than nothing.

My friend went home on Friday, and I had the weekend to myself, which I chose to spend recuperating. This is Hellion Shorthand for "Sleeping", which I honestly wish I could be paid for. I'd make so much money. I was also struggling through a Dragonlance book that I promised my Deerhunter I would read since "it was the best book ever...well, excluding Tolkien, but since you won't read that..." and to which I lovingly replied, "God, you're such a geek." (Said the Harry Potter fan as she hurled the first stone.) But weekends are for recovering from work, and this is the busy time of year for applications, and it's so draining. I frequently fantasize about working somewhere else. Somewhere where I'm paid for sleeping. Also because I was lazing around, visiting with friends I hadn't seen in an eon, and skipping the gym (which has contributed to shoulder pain, more sleeping, and an alarming amount of laziness.)

I'd get it back together come Monday, I thought. I'll have the creativity night with Pam...and I'll go to the gym. I promise! No dillydallying!

At 3 a.m. the phone rang.

I don't know what it is for you in your part of the world, but in mine, a 3 a.m. is never good news. I glanced at the number and saw it was the friend I had just seen last week. I answered--and she sobbed into the phone, "Arthur just died." Arthur is the husband I just met last week, whom she brought home for all of us to meet. She'd married him less than a year ago. He was 36. He'd had a heart attack. There is nothing more helpless than being 1000 miles away from someone you can't hug or hold as she cries on the phone.

Monday was a bit of a loss where sleep was concerned, as you might imagine. But I did have my creativity night with Pam. I penned a couple pages and we called it a night. Tuesday I crashed early from the Monday episode; Wednesday had my normal long night of Weight Watchers meeting and then also a run to the farm to pick up Dad for a doctor's appointment on Thursday. Thursday was a 7 am-8 pm day of running and worry, and when I got home, I pretty much crashed. Then Friday through Sunday turned into a repeat of last week: recovering from the stress of the week before.

It's not like I couldn't make time. I can carve it out. It's not like other writers don't go through family crises of children and aging parents, have other personal crises that may crop up in their own lives or their friends, or even have another day time job that sucks out their energy and drive like some kind of vampire. Writers deal with this crap all the time.

As usual a lot of this inertia is stemming from my PERFECTIONIST gene. Which doesn't exist because you can't have perfection in anything. As a clever little line in a writing book I read recently (I think it was Wabi Sabi for Writers), "Perfection is PURE FICTION." I want to have huge hunks of time; I want to write 10 pages at a sitting; I want the pages to be the best freaking pages ever, so much that Shakespeare would be jealous; I want to feel refreshed as I'm writing pages--not exhausted, brain-dead, stressed, or depressed.

But in the end I arrive at the conclusion I always circle back to. There is no perfect time to write. You just do.

I think the other half of this month is going to be dedicated to finding Hellion's groove back for one. I have a list of remedies, but need to add them back one at a time. Adding them all at once will only doom me to failure. Clearly though I need to figure out out some ways to de-stress first to contribute to my overall well-being.

But I'm really going to have to kick this Perfection Habit. Or Perfection "Need". I'm sure it's a mental ailment, so you can't really get rid of it; you can only live around it. But I need some better ways to live around it. De-stressing is the first cure, though, I'm pretty sure.

So I'm sorry this blog isn't clever or witty...or even deep or revelational. It is what it is. A confession. I'm still mired in my own head and my own problems--and I'm going to have to figure out a way out of the first because problems never go away. :) Knowing my therapist, I'm sure the witch would tell me I should give up writing because I clearly wasn't any good at it and find a new hobby that was less stressful.

Yes, that's exactly what she'd say. And I'd have to write to prove her wrong--because it's what I did the last time she gave me that sort of advice. But while I'm doing it, I'm going to do some meditation and a few yoga stretches first.

How do you find balance in your life? Do you ever stress out from your normal everyday activities and wonder how you'll make writing really work? Does it ever feel to you the moment you begin working on something in earnest, the Universe conspires to throw extra things your way to deal with?


Maureen said...

Uh, RT hit me and I'm hoping I wake up on Monday ready to write again. I didn't even read the week in Chicago! I did a ton of good things, talked with a ton of great people...and Saturday night got the news that a dear high school friend had passed away.

I don't know how to move back into the book I am still determined to finish this month, but I figure a few hours working on collecting RT pics for future blogs, submitting to my agent for a pitch I made to Carina Press...I'll find my groove and be ready to dive in.

Knock on wood.

Hellie, condolences to your friend. My old high school bud was felled by a heart attack. Sigh.

Marnee Bailey said...

First, I'm sorry about your friend's hubby and Chance, sorry about your friend.

I am a perfectionist too. I don't have anything that will completely fix this problem because no matter what I do, I'm stuck with feeling like I'm failing in one regard. If I write, I feel like I'm neglecting my fam/house/etc and, if I need to set my writing aside for a day or two, I get antsy that I'm not letting that out.

I just try to minimize each of those effects. I write when everyone else is sleeping. Or when I give myself an hour or so over coffee and breakfast in the morning (like right now).

But that requires I give up something (usually sleep or a neat house). So much of it for me is time management. But I'm forced into the time management anywhere because of the small people.

What I do think is that if your therapist says stuff like that, you should delve into her personal issues. Expression (art, music, etc) is a very healthy and valid outlet for emotions and creativity. Dismissing anything because it's stressful isn't the key, I don't think. I think a hobby (especially a hobby involving creation of something) gives us an opportunity to learn to get in touch with our inner zen despite the stress. Best to learn to be balanced and deal with the stress in something that isn't life threatening or doesn't affect our personal relationships.

But I'm no therapist, so maybe that's bad advice.

I do agree though, that the universe conspires against you. When you've got something to do, that's when you get busiest. All I can say is that life happens a day at a time. If one day doesn't go exactly as planned, if we're lucky, we get another day to try again.

Marnee Bailey said...

*anyway, not anywhere.

Coffee, STAT!

MsHellion said...

Hi, Mo, I consider RT still "writing" in a sense--you're networking and making contacts in the biz--as well as paying it forward and helping new newbies find their feet. (How did it go this year? This is the first year without Judy, isn't it?)

I'm sorry to hear about your high school friend.

Here's to you getting your groove going again now that you're all re-inspired and rested again!! :)

MsHellion said...

Marn, exactly TIME MANAGEMENT. I have no TIME MANAGEMENT. I guess because writing is not like "work" or "family" where I feel I'm required to do it. I want to write because *I* want to write, not because I have to--and I think that's the problem. And I *CAN* write like that but then I'd have to accept that writing IS a hobby and not a career and then I feel guilty about treating it like that. Which of course, vicious circle. Bah.

But at the very least I could set writing above watching TV and that would get more pages done at the very least, even if not a breakneck speed. Small manageable steps, I guess.

MsHellion said...

I told Terri I was going to write about the Dollar Store and collaging, but you guys are going to have to wait. I didn't get it done.

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Hellie & Chance - my condolences. I'm so sorry for your loss and your friends' loss.

Hellie - Bravo on this post. Seriously. The best blogs are sometimes those that touch upon personal feelings and issues.

Perfection - that's one that gets all of us. And you know what? I'm glad I'm not a perfect writer. Where would I go from here on the next book, and the next...

If you get your first book so perfect, then where is the journey of creativity in writing supposed to take you years from now?

I also don't want to be one of those people who sends a query letter to an agent saying "This is the best book ever and if you don't take it you suck." and then convince myself everyone else is just too stupid to see my genius.

I try to look at the lack of perfection in my writing as an opportunity - to get better, to learn, and even to let my creativity out a little more.

Perfection can be boring - and tough to live up to book after book after book. Hell, even big name authors say you can tell how far they've come from reading early works vs. now. You loved their early work, but I bet they wouldn't call them perfect now...

TerriOsburn said...

These questions might as well be rhetorical because I read the last one and a voice in my head went, "Bwahahahahahahaha...." I don't like that voice.

I've been doing pretty good. Wrapped up in the GH stuff, getting queries out, getting requests, keeping up with email (full time job these days.) But then I had to spend the last two weekends on the road and two issues flared up in the last couple days. My brain is totally fried.

All I know is that the only difference between those who are published and me is that they keep writing. They don't stop. They have kids and families and jobs and they keep writing.

Okay, that's not the "only" difference, I suppose, but it's the biggest. I'm tired and my house is a mess and the dog won't eat and the laundry needs done and the invoices need reconciled and and and...

Doesn't matter. I want a contract. I have to keep writing. But I also have to keep getting better. Which means I have to keep writing. I'm not going to beat myself up if I fall out by 6 tonight and get no writing done. I need to recover. But I have to put limits on that because I am the queen of procrastinating so if I don't, I'm dead in the water.

I've reached the rambling state now (did I mention I'm TIRED??) but it's mind over matter for me. NOT saying that's the answer for everyone. But it is for me.

MsHellion said...

Sabrina, true! Thanks for shining the light. My favorite writers' first books aren't necessarily the best books I've ever thought they've written. :) They improve because they keep writing and keep pressing on . :)

And also true--if you think your work is "perfect", you won't listen when editors tell you how to make your writing better!! I didn't think of that!

MsHellion said...

Terri, yeah, the Universe can be a little perverse. She doesn't have to laugh the loudest ALL the time.

So replace my "PERFECTION" with the other P-words: "PERSISTENCE" and "PERSEVERANCE"! And perhaps "PLEASURE", if I can tap into the pleasure of writing again, it doesn't feel like I'm doing the dishes...or laundry...or I won't go in search of the dishes and laundry to do instead!

TerriOsburn said...

The funny thing is (and *you* probably won't find this funny) you're saying the stuff I used to say. I do this because I want to and I don't want to HAVE to because every damn thing in my life is a HAVE to. And you have to admit, putting the writing before watching TV is so me.

But something has clicked. Partly out of desperation but also out of one of those "P" words you note. PLEASURE. I get pleasure out of the writing. I'll get pleasure out of selling something. I get pleasure when beta readers email back how much they like the story. Even when they point out blatantly obvious stuff I missed (okay, that's not so pleasurable) I feel good.

It's the classic question. How bad do you want it? I finally want it bad enough. I know you want it like crazy so if we could perform some IE removal ceremony you'd be good to go. What do we need? A live chicken? Frog eyeballs? A bat wing???

MsHellion said...

You said "I want a contract"--just reading that made me curl in on myself. I can't imagine getting one. I *LITERALLY CANNOT IMAGINE IT*. So much of this feels...useless. I'm now writing to fulfill some...creative need, like I want to finish the story, but at the same time, there is no sense of urgency because it doesn't matter what I write, no one will ever publish me anyway. That's honestly how I feel right now.

How can I want something badly enough when I simply can't imagine it.

TerriOsburn said...

Dude. Do you think I EVER IMAGINED I'd final in the GH? I'm living proof miracles happen. Hell, I couldn't have imagined owning my own house. Buying a brand new car no one else had ever owned. This shit happens. You can make it happen. You have the talent. You have the knowledge. All you need is the faith in yourself.

I'll get woo-woo on your ass if I have to. You can't make anything happen unless you see it in your mind. SEE IT!!! It's right there. I can see it. I can see you turning out books and laughing at the joy of it. I can see readers racing through your stories then drooling to get the next one.

Set a goal and go after it. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!

TerriOsburn said...

Did I kill the blog? Seriously. I'm exhausted and rambly and tied up about other stuff. Just ignore me.

MsHellion said...

No, I think I killed my own blog. This is a application week and I need to get stuff off my desk--so I'm basically not even here for my own blog. But I appreciate people who have commented. Thanks, you guys! I know this is basically a bunch of whining...and I don't really mean it it to be. It's more...I'm calling my life as I see it and I need to stop freaking out and be grateful for the progress I'm making rather than freaking out that I'm not writing at the speed of sound.

And you can get as woo-woo as you like--I'm not going to believe it right now, as in today. I have PMS and a meeting deadline. I've already given my boss THE LOOK and he has finally left me alone.

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

You didn't kill it, it's just a busy Monday!

I'm going to point both Terri and Hellie to the quote I used on Thursday:

He is able who thinks he is able. - Buddha

Without going all Oprah on you - you can envision - even dare hope - for a contract, for being published and you should! It shouldn't feel self-serving or that you aren't humble enough...

I've seen some pretty horrible books that have been published...THERE IS HOPE! Now, let's none of us be that terrible stuff that gets published, but my point is that there is NO REASON NOT TO ENVISION OR DREAM IT FOR YOURSELF!

TerriOsburn said...

There is no whining in this blog. You're being honest. You're working hard and not feeling like you're accomplishing enough. (For the record, I want to strike the word "enough" from the English language.)

You're doing fabulously. I know because I get the emails where you've written 2 more pages and you're excited about this scene and you know what your characters look like and you created a collage of sorts. You need to put that in here too.

I know you think you're not doing enough, but you're making progress all the time. You haven't stopped in weeks, it might feel like you have, but really, you haven't.

Great quote, Scape!

And I have TONS of crap to barrel through today. So go on and do your day job stuff. We gots to pay the bills until that contract stuff comes through. :) Even I'm not woo-woo enough to say "Picture money and it will appear in your bank account." LOL!

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Hellie - this is not whining! As Terri said - you're sharing your struggles, which is what we should all do since the point of writer's blogs is to show that we aren't all in this alone. If you feel this way, then others do too and talking about it is helping everyone.

If I could shout 1 thing from the rooftops for all writers - EVERY SINGLE WORD IS A STEP FORWARD! Every day that you write is a progress. I don't care how little or how much. In fact, those days I get 50 words on the page I hope I'm proud because I fought everything in my day to find that time for those 50 words. :)

MsHellion said...

You guys are awesome. We need to do a National Celebrate Your CPs Day soon.

I just had a brownie. Chocolate should really be listed as a medicine. I feel a lot more hopeful.

Maureen said...

Okay, stop playing word games with yourself. Enough is simply an evil word, get rid of it. Wanting/Have To...all of these are tactics our inner critics use to manipulate us. And to provide excuses for one simple thing. Being afraid.

Perfectionism isn't about getting it right, it's about getting it right and still failing. Which is scary. But totally out of your control. You can write a perfect something and no one will still publish is. Because they are all batshit crazy about teenage ninja vampires or something.

Fear is normal, fear is survival. Fear has to be worked through. Fear that if you don't do this today, you'll never do it again. Fear that the dishes in the sink mean you're a bad mom/wife/person.

Tools of the inner critics!

I'm living proof, and Terri is living proof, that if you push through the becomes something magical that feeds you instead of feeding on you. Or starving you... I love writing. I love it when I get one page done or twelve.

I loved throwing pirate rubber duckies to people and watching them pose with Bluebeard at RT and signing my books!

Hellion, either your therapist is an idiot...or they know exactly how to push your buttons to get you taking prove them wrong.

TerriOsburn said...

Chance gets my vote for best comment of the day. Maybe the month.

...if you push through the becomes something magical that feeds you instead of feeding on you.


Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Chance always cuts through it and delivers the core lesson we need. :)

Maureen said...

Ah's all the drinking I did at RT.

Best drink it doesn't have rum in it so don't tell the professors at the Tortuga School of Bartending...

6 oz pineapple juice
2 shots UV Cake Flavored Vodka
1 shot UV Cherry Flavored Vodka
Garnish with a few marischino cherries
Coat rim of glass with crystalized brown sugar (do this before pouring in the booze)

It's a pineapple upside down cake but I'm stealing it for our bar menu and calling it a Pineapple Bomb.

Marnee Bailey said...

I love pineapple.... :) That sounds yummo.

Maureen said...

It was. DIVINE!

MsHellion said...

Mo, I think that's what it is. Or I agree that's what it is. (I think we all agree you're right. *LOL*) It's the getting it right on paper again and it still not being right for market or the world. It's just so freaking demoralizing sometimes. I'm not demoralized enough to quit, per se, but neither am I gun ho ready to run up the hill to face the firing squad, you know? Doing things to impress myself doesn't impress me anymore...and I don't feel I'm impressing too many around me either. This is my cross to bear--wanting praise. It's one of the first things they tell writers. "God, I hope you're not in this for the praise. That's fleeting!" *LOL*

Yes, I think my therapist knew I was susceptible to reverse psychology. *LOL* But she didn't really say this about my writing. She said it about my friends. BUT she did say, "You shouldn't expect to get published. So few ever do." I think she was huge on keeping your expectations low.

MsHellion said...

I agree, Terri, that is a marvelous comment! I would love for the magic to feed me rather than consume me for a change. (Or starve me as the metaphor goes.)

MsHellion said...

Mo, I'm not sure I'd like the shot. MAYBE, but since I don't even like Pineapple Upside Down Cake--this drink was not designed for me. HOWEVER, I *LOVE* cake, so I might just do shots of the cake vodka...and probably the Whipped Cream and Marshmallow Vodkas I hear are also available. :) There's gotta be a SMORES version of a shot somewhere. Marshmallow, chocolate, and something cakey-spicy to make the graham cracker??

TerriOsburn said...

I think that therapist got her degree from a Cracker Jacks box.

MsHellion said...

Not the first time I've heard that opinion. Hell, I've heard it from other authors... *shrugs* That's more demoralizing. The therapist I can blow off that she doesn't know about it specifically, but when other authors suggest it...that's when I get really sulky. *LOL*

TerriOsburn said...

I read an article that said publishers released more books last year than in any year previous. That means SOMEONE is getting published. We know several who have gotten published just in the last five freaking years. Think about it. Of that maybe a dozen core writers we started with, more than HALF of them got published.

I don't care what anyone says, I'll take those odds. And besides, even if I never get a contract, it won't be for lack of trying. And that would bother me more. Plus, self-publishing is sweeping everything out of the way. That is a VIABLE option so there is nothing that says we will never have books out for public consumption.

Maureen said...

Aiming for the market is like pissing into the wind. Messy. You have to write for yourself initially and trust.

Yeah, the hardest thing in the world is to trust. I know. Praise is easy, Hellion...lack of sales sucks. Regardless, I do trust...and keep trimming the sails, adjusting the course, feeding the kraken...

And there must be a version of that drink with a S'mores feel to it. I'll query my drinkmaster...she did make me a Dirty Girlscout, that tasted like a thin mint. But it's much more complicated.

The cake flavored vodka is pure wickedness. ;-)

TerriOsburn said...

...she did make me a Dirty Girlscout...

Thank goodness I wasn't drinking when I read this line.

Maureen said...

*note to self

The ship needs more shamwows.

P. Kirby said...

Chiming in late because Internet was down at work...

First, Maureen and Hellion, I'm sorry about your losses, friends and friends of friends.

Second, I can so relate to today's post. After probably a lifetime of trying to be perfect and not ever ask for help, I got a panic attack that lasted a week. My poor husband, unnerved by the vague suicide noises, hauled me into urgent care on Friday, where I got a mild sedative. (Haven't been near a doc in decades.)

Anyway, this being my sorta-rock bottom--without the sexy drugs and alcohol--I did a lot of soul searching and came up with a long list of self-defeating, stupid sh*t that must stop. Won't bore ya with that.

FWIW, however, the two biggies that got me through the weekend and most of Monday without the stupid, dopey-making pills were breathing and slowing down. I'm now approaching all my tasks very deliberately and with great care. Seems counter-intuitive for a busy person, but all that rushing just added to my stress.

I also realized that lately (maybe always), I approach life with grim anticipation, jaw clenched, literally holding my breath. All the friggin time. It's amazing what a difference simply getting oxygen to my teeny brain makes.

Anyway, it's going to be a looong process. OTOH, despite being crazier than a shite house rat, I'm 8K toward my 10K goal. So, uh, yay, me.

Maureen said...

Wow, rough weekend, Pat. Glad the DH was paying attention. Yup, breath. Amazing what a difference it makes...

Sounds like you need to take some lessons from the hound...sprawl in the sunshine more...

Sending you good vibes!

TerriOsburn said...

I had a panic attack once. Lasted maybe an hour and started in the shower. NEVER want to have one again. My sympathies for having one last that long.

I'm one of those "Help? I don't need no stinking help!" people too. It's HARD to ask for help when you're like that.

P. Kirby said...

Thanks for the good vibage.

On the up side, maybe I can break some really bad habits. Plus, despite feeling like my creative self was crushed--crushed, I tell you, drama much?--the words are still happening. :)

Di R said...

Cap'n and Chance condolences on the losses you've experienced.

I have been 'stuck' for lack of a better word, since last fall. I had one of those weeks where the bottom fell out from under me. And I didn't/couldn't write for what felt like forever. My local cp group started having a writing prompt every week. This helped because it was only a paragraph, but sometimes I get a couple of pages. Then I had a couple of prompts that fit in with my story, and suddenly I was excited again. The pleasure was back, and I wanted to find out what happened next.
Sometimes it helps to know you're not alone. Great Blog!

Maureen said...

Oh, yeah. The panic attack. I had my first one on a drive home from the dentist. A three hour drive. 45 minutes from the dentist, it hit. Speeding heart...clammy skin, shivers... WTH?

I was 6 months from my sudden cardiac death... Thank gods, my sis was in the town I was driving through, visiting a friend. I called her, we met...together they calmed me down, watched me come to the conclusion I wasn't heading back to the ER.

I got home, still didn't feel right and ended up in the ER. Ativan, checked out...panic attack. Started therapy a few weeks later.

I'm much better now.

But I look back on that drive and still get a little squikly around Stockton...if I'm alone.

What is it Dan Savage said? It gets better. And that goes for everything that challenges us. If we trust.

TerriOsburn said...

As long as the words are coming, sail with it, my friend.

Di R - Sorry about that big block. Those times can really take the wind from your sails. (Let's see how many nautical metaphors I can use in one comment. *rolls eyes*)

Good to hear you've back to the writing. Hoist the sails and off you do! (Had to get in one more.)

TerriOsburn said...

I've never had a heart attack, but I thought that panic attack was one. I don't know how people deal with having them all the time. Thank goodness for those lovely pills that help.

Maureen said...

I think because my initial crisis happened in my sleep, I didn't know if what was happening to me on that drive home was the same thing or not. Which made it even more freaky.

MsHellion said...

P Kirby, meant to respond yesterday--the breathing and slowing down, I've been thinking of this a lot lately. (Which the slowing down makes me giggle because since I like to sleep, how much slower can I get, but a lot of this feels from being pulled in different directions and sometimes you just feel like sitting in the middle of the road and just being run over.)

I've been looking into meditation and CDs and seeing how those can help. You always read those studies about people who go to church and have those communities live longer--but what if you don't like organized church? It's not the church so much as the slowing down, going within to tap into the Divine, breathing.

Panic Attacks suck. I'm so sorry, but I'm glad you were able to pull through and had your husband nearby to help however he could until it passed.

And huzzah on the near meeting of the goal!!

MsHellion said...

Hi Di! It's great to see you on the ship! Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone! And I love writing prompts or anything that makes me excited about writing again. Its' like sometimes you just keep trying anything to find that second wind, you know?

MsHellion said...

Mo, I can't imagine that while driving. Horrible!! I want to hug you but you know how I feel about hugs...

Janga said...

Hellie and Chance, my sympathy on your losses.

I've just gone through about seventy hours of forced inactivity, and eventually I decided that I needed to reorder my priorities. Being healthy--physically, emotionally, and spiritually--is more important than the thousand and one things that I worry about every day. Most of those things I can't do anything about anyway, but I can do something about living a more healthy lifestyle.

I fretted for a bit about lost writing time, knowing that I was already behind on my April goal and that losing three days meant I was unlikely to catch up. But then I started making mental notes (later transferred to a notebook) on people I met, using bits of them as characters, and I realized I was writing even if I wasn't working on my WIP.

MsHellion said...

Janga, it's so good to see you, there are not proper words!!! *HUGS* I'm glad you're doing better; and yes, you need to take better care of yourself because we all freaked out. There was a lot of "What Would Janga Do?" going on around here and it was all the same of "Well, it's not the same as if Janga were here to do it!"

I need to take better care of myself as well. My 20s were for living on chocolate, soda, and little sleep. That stuff is for kids. Now it takes longer to recover from that kind of hangover, let alone a one caused by alcohol--and it's clear one needs to do a little strength training as well as cardio in order to feel remotely good! Maybe we should have a pirate boot camp, take some walks around the ship deck--that sort of thing! Some pirate meditation!