Get Back Up and Dance Again

Three weeks ago, I wiped out at dance class.

All things considered, I had it coming, really.  I’ve been doing Irish dance for nearly three years and I had yet to fall.  It’s like when you go ice skating–inevitably, you will eventually fall.  For Irish dance, skipping around on the balls of your feet, crossing one foot in front of another as best you can, and then adding in all the other complicated footwork that comes with more advanced steps…yeah, you’re just going to eventually hit the floor.

So I wasn’t exactly surprised.

Our dance teacher had decided to start drilling those of us planning to compete in August on our solo steps.  Reels, to be exact, but likely very few of you will know what that even means.  For competition, we have to do two full steps, back-to-back.  I somehow came out of my first step weird, and when I went into the start of my second, my ankles twisted around each other and I fell sideways.

I’m told it was a very graceful fall.  For me, it just seemed comically slow.  I had enough time between my ankles getting knotted and finally hitting the ground to think “huh, I’m falling.”

After I fell, I sat back up and waited for my dance friend to finish the step I’d epically screwed up (hint: I wasn’t supposed to faceplant).  My poor dance teacher, who seems frequently afraid of breaking us, was freaking out a little, asking me over and over if I was okay.  I kept telling her I was.

“I’m fine!  Really!  I’m good!”

I got back to my feet, ignoring the twinging in my ankles, and went back to the spot on the floor where we’d started.  My dance teacher suggested nervously that we try the steps again.

“Okay!”

She looked at me warily for a while before then asking if I really wanted to, making sure once again that I was okay.

“I’m good!  Back on the horse!  Let’s go!”

(To note: I really was talking with exclamation points.  It’s likely, looking back on it, that I was slightly hysterical.  And I feel like my voice was about an octave higher than it usually is when I talk.  I don’t know why this was.  Feigning confidence, perhaps, or maybe I was trying not to laugh.  Whatever the case, it’s no wonder my dance teacher seemed worried that I had done myself more harm than I had.)

She kind of looked at me like she didn’t really believe me, but let me carry on.  We did the two steps again, and this time I didn’t screw it up.  I danced the remaining 45 minutes of class on two sore ankles.  In retrospect, this was a mistake, because I really should have wrapped my right ankle (my notoriously bad ankle) right away.  As it was, I only put my ankle brace on for the walk to the parking garage after, then iced my ankles when I got home.  A few days of ankle pain later, I was good as new.

This past week marked the release of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semifinalist list (there’s a connection, I promise.  Stick with me).

I never really thought I had a chance to make the top 50 of the YA category.  In fact, I’d been pretty freaking surprised when I’d made it to the Quarterfinals (top 250 out of 5000).  So while I was nervously waiting to see if somehow a miracle would occur, I was mostly panicking about the looming Publishers Weekly review that was going to come with the announcement.

I hadn’t been panicking, though, until I read an old thread on the ABNA discussion boards where last year’s Quarterfinalists were sharing their PW reviews.  And then I suddenly realized how unbelievably harsh some of the PW reviewers are.  That’s pretty much when the panic set in.

I’d more or less decided, since I never expected to make Semifinals anyway, that my degree of disappointment would be contingent on that review.  If I didn’t make it, but my review was either good or, at the very least, not mean, then I’d be okay.  If I didn’t make it, but my review was one of the ones that makes people go “OUCH”, then I’d need a whole lot of chocolate.

So the Semifinals list was posted.  I wasn’t on it.  I kind of got over it quickly, though.  Then I, and 499 other writers, waited anxiously for the posting of the reviews.

And waited.

And waited.

They finally went up about half an hour before I left work.  Good thing, that, because…well…it meant I could stock up on chocolate on my way home from work, rather than having to make a special trip.

My review was definitely an “OUCH” review.

So after I got over the shock of getting a review like that, and after I purchased much chocolate, I went home…and that night I revised a chapter in the novel I’m currently fixing.  Part of this was because I wanted to submit something to writers group for Saturday, and hadn’t realized that I hadn’t fixed this one chapter after my critique partner had looked over it several weeks ago (oops).

But part of the reason was because I needed to prove to myself that I could.  I needed to get back on the horse.  I needed to get up off the floor and do the steps again on two sore ankles (see?  Told you I’d connect it).

I didn’t let myself mourn the bad review until the next day.  That’s when I let myself feel the heartache.  But my immediate response to getting such a harsh review, other than eating chocolate, was to write something.  Anything.  Even if it was only a handful of sentences.  Even if it was just fixing a chapter I should have fixed weeks ago.  I had to do something.

So I did.  And then I wrapped and iced my wounds and am now letting them heal. 

In a couple of days, I’ll be good to dance the writing dance again and I’ll just be able to laugh and say that it was inevitable I was going to fall eventually.

It’s just what happens when you put your writing out there.

Then Please Tell Me What a “Real” Book Is…

Today was an annual event that happens at my day job, where our entire section of the company takes over a high school…and we proceed to have to listen to presentations on how to better ourselves and grow and blah blah blah.

Usually, this particular event is not anything worth me blogging about…or, honestly, talking about after we’re released from it. But something happened at lunch today that I can’t get out of my head.

Here’s an important thing to note about me: I’m basically semi-antisocial when it comes to eating lunch in cafeterias. I prefer to sit alone. And while I sit alone, I read (or write, if I’m actively working on a first draft).

At lunch today, the cafeteria at this high school was super crowded with the 700 people that were crammed into it, so a couple of guys ended up sitting across from me. No big deal. I’m pretty great at tuning out noise and talking and I just kept reading. About fifteen minutes before we were supposed to go to the auditorium for the large group session, I decided it would be a good time to stop by the bathroom, so I started packing up all my stuff.

And then THIS conversation happened between me and one of the random guys sitting across from me.

Random Guy (RG): What are you reading?
Me: Possess.
RG: *confused look*
Me: It’s…a Young Adult paranormal…
RG: *that look that I hate that asks me why the crap I’m reading YA when I’m in my twenties*
Me: …I’m a Young Adult writer.

Now, see. I’m used to that conversation. How that conversation usually ends is with the other person nodding understandingly…because, apparently, it’s only okay that I’m a twenty-something that reads YA because I also write it. (But whatever. Different rant for a different time.) Oh, no. THIS conversation continued.

RG: You know what I don’t understand? Why Young Adult has gotten so big.
Me: *stares*
RG: I mean, it’s all vampires and Harry Potter.
Me: *stares*
RG: They’re just page-turners. Just fast reads. I don’t get why people can’t read real books anymore.

Oh. No. He. Didn’t.

I didn’t even know what to say to this, so I ended up saying something about how they’re more exciting to read. And then I excused myself and left. (Of course, it was ten minutes later that I thought of a better response…about how Stephenie Meyer and JK Rowling are laughing all the way to the bank anyway.)

I just…there were no words. NO WORDS for how annoyed and…angry that comment made me.

I mean, first of all, I had JUST told him that I write YA. What made him think that was a smart thing to say to someone who WRITES YOUNG ADULT?

And, second of all…

“Real” books? “Real” books?

Please, tell me. What on earth makes a “real” book? Because…I mean…maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t a real book one that has characters and a plot and is published in some way, be it epub or traditional or otherwise? Isn’t a real book one that people take the time to read?

So what makes Young Adult stories not “real” books? Because they’re exciting? Because they’re typically pretty quick reads? Because they have a tendency to garner large, passionate followings?

It kills me when people say things like that. When they think that YA isn’t “real” just because they’re page-turners. YA can be just as deep and explore characters just as much as adult fiction. It’s not always “easy” to read and it’s definitely not “easy” to write. It takes emotional turns and curves and explores tough topics. It makes you cry and worry and panic and fear for the characters and just feel ALL THE THINGS. It makes you see the world around you in a different light and it makes you relate to that world differently.

What about all of that isn’t “real” enough for you?

Wasn’t Excited At All

I wasn’t excited for The Hunger Games. No, not at all.

I haven’t been following the movie news ever since the production was first announced and casting was first done.

I didn’t start rounding up my friends two months ago, trying to figure out who would go to the midnight premiere of the movie.

I didn’t re-read the book and make a mental list of all the scenes I was most looking forward to (or most dreading…or both) seeing.

I didn’t buy a ridiculous amount of merchandise from Hot Topic, nor did I buy the soundtrack the second it came out.

I didn’t dye my hair last Wednesday night for a costume, or spend hours making Hunger Games-inspired food for a dinner party.

I didn’t tweet obnoxiously all day on the day of the midnight premiere about how excited I was for the movie.

No…not me…

Okay, you caught me. I was INSANELY excited for this movie. Insanely. And as is my norm, when I’m insanely excited for something…I may go a bit overboard. But I love every minute of it.

As I said above, I made a costume. Katniss. And, yes, I dyed my hair for it (to be fair, though, I’d been kind of wanting to dye my hair anyway). I also had a Hunger Games dinner party with a few friends the evening of the premiere…just because I had a few recipes I’d seen online that I’d been wanting to try anyway.

The most important things learned at the dinner party:

  • lamb actually doesn’t taste much different than beef when in stew
  • syrup tastes great on drop biscuits that only contain three ingredients
  • goat milk actually just tastes like…milk. Huh.
  • Peeta was definitely onto something when he was dipping rolls in hot chocolate
  • customers in retail suck

All important things to know, of course.

The adventure officially started when I had to call one of my friends (Jessica, I’m looking at you) and talk her into getting her butt to the movie, regardless of how tired she was from work. My argument? “Know what will make you feel better? Watching teenagers kill each other!”

This made her laugh. So I won.

We left for the movie. Janet headed off to kidnap (er…pick up) Jess, and Caitlin needed to swing by her house to get a jacket before going to the theatre. Kathleen (one of my roommates) and I were driving separately. We were like, “we’re TOTALLY going to beat everyone there! We’re going straight to the theatre! Weeeee!” And then I got all excited about deep discussions regarding fandoms and cross-overs and how people totally underestimate the passion of the Hunger Games fans, because we’re just quieter than other ones…and totally missed the exit for the theatre. Oops. So this required us to go another couple miles down to another highway, and another couple miles down THAT highway, before we could turn around and come back.

We STILL beat everyone to the theatre. (This is why I need a GPS even in my hometown. At least the GPS lady would have been screaming for us to get off at the correct exit.)

Half an hour later, most of our group had arrived and we discovered that…barely anyone else in the theatre was in costume. The down side to being one of five people in full-on costume is that you get a lot of strange looks and you feel kind of ridiculous. The plus side is that people REALLY notice your costume, which is pretty epic.

Fast forward to the previews. One of the first previews was for the next Twilight movie. Between the little 13 year old girls sitting behind us screaming at the top of their lungs IN MY EAR, and my friend Caitlin throwing an anti-Twilight shit fit three seats over…I couldn’t hear a single word of the trailer. Which was vaguely annoying, because I was kind of curious what was being said (it’s really grating to see people’s mouths move and have no idea what’s going on).

The 20-somethings got their revenge as the next trailer started. First, there were humorous comments from the 13 year old girls about the “disaster related horror” warning that came before the trailer started. And as we were all wondering what on earth this could be for, we saw that famous opening shot of a little underwater robot descending into the deep unknown.

At which point all the 20-somethings in the audience started cheering and freaking out about Titanic.

And the 13 year olds were clearly VERY confused as to the freaking out. Which was hilarious.

I went into what I loved about the Hunger Games movie on the Fiction Flurry blog, but I will say that I thought the movie was exceptionally well-done. It was a great book-to-movie adaptation, I loved the cast, and I just can’t get over the amazingness. There was one moment toward the end where I jumped violently in my seat and made some weird quiet-screaming sound, which made my friend Jenn nearly pee herself because she was laughing at me so hard (I’m easily startled…I still jump when the Inferi grabs Harry’s ankle in the Half-Blood Prince movie and I’ve seen that sucker a hundred times).

All in all, it was a great midnight movie experience.

And then, two days later, I saw the movie again.

No…I wasn’t excited AT ALL.

My Travel Horror Story

This weekend marked my first-ever writers conference, at Write Stuff in Allentown, PA. It also marked the first time that I ever booked a flight and flew by myself. You know the phrase “baptism by fire”? That’s kind of how my first flying-alone experience was on Friday.

I contemplated posting this fun little story on Friday or Saturday, but…I felt like I needed time to calm myself down. You cannot fully understand how completely tightly wound I was during this whole…debacle. I needed distance from the experience so I wouldn’t drop F-bombs and other inappropriate ranting-type words all over by blog. (Yes, I was actually that annoyed.)

It all started on Friday morning. I had my alarm clock set to wake me up at 6:30am, in time for me to get ready before heading to the airport at about 8:00am. Luckily, the general nerves of attending my first conference resulted in me actually waking up at 6:30, rather than hitting the snooze button for 45 minutes, like I usually do. So I pull myself out of bed, get on my laptop, and figure I’ll check my email…like I do every morning.

This, my friends, was a fortunate decision. Because the first thing I see when I open my inbox is a lovely email from Expedia whose subject line reads “CALL IMMEDIATELY IN REGARDS TO CHANGES TO YOUR TRAVEL ITINERARY.”

I’m pretty sure the whole neighborhood could hear my heart drop into my stomach.

I stumbled over to my cell phone and…well…called immediately. I’m near tears at this point, because I’ve been in varying levels of panic for the last 24 hours (first, because my computer crashed the night before…then, of course, the obvious of the nerves surrounding my first conference). The lady on the phone told me that there’s “probably nothing wrong”, that United and some other airline recently merged, and it has been causing a lot of weird confusion in flights and such. She checks the itinerary and…

EL (Expedia Lady): Well, that’s strange. You’re flight has been cancelled. They’ve changed you to fly to Allentown on the 18th and fly home on the 18th.
Me: Um…could we fix that?

She calls United to figure out what happened. Turns out the flight I’d booked was…ya know…NEVER SUPPOSED TO EXIST. With the merger, it got closed. And through some miscommunication, no one realized this until four hours before I’m supposed to have my butt on the plane. Thank you, United and Expedia. Thank you so very much.

Through a series of back-and-forth between the United representative and a disgruntled me, the Expedia agent figures out that there are two flights going to Allentown earlier in the day (originally, she’d wanted to put me on the United flight that would get me to Allentown at 11pm, which just wasn’t going to work) through different airlines. One leaving at 11:17am and getting me to Allentown at 2pm. Another leaving at 9:30am and getting me to Allentown…at 2pm.

Me: So…for the 9:30 flight…wouldn’t I have to be at the airport…like…now?
EL: Um…yes, you would have to leave quickly.

Upon this information, I sprint across the hall to my roommate Tracy’s room. She was supposed to drive me to the airport. As soon as I get her awake, I ask if…say, hypothetically, I have to leave for the airport in…ten minutes. Would that be possible? Bless her, she jumps out of bed and gets dressed.

Now you’re probably wondering why I didn’t originally conceive taking the 11:17am flight to give myself more time. Simple: I swear the Expedia lady told me that there was only a 2 minute layover for that flight in Philly. Which, like, I didn’t want to do.

Also fun in this conversation was that switching to a new airline would up my round trip ticket cost by a few hundred dollars. Which, to be honest, was ANNOYING, but not a huge problem. At first. Until the next part of the conversation.

EL: There are still a couple of spots open on the 9:30am flight. *gives me all the flight info* It takes your price up to $900, though.
Me: *jaw drops* NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS? Is there some way that I could…you know…not pay so much more to get to Allentown? Considering that…like…THIS WASN’T MY FAULT?
EL: Well, I’ll talk to the United rep. Please hold.
Me: Can you possibly HOLD the ticket, though? So I don’t lose it?
EL: We can’t do that. Please hold.

I’m very disgruntled by this time and very nearing a panic attack. Through a series of more back-and-forth that I can’t fully remember because it was just that kind of morning, comes to be that United will cover the extra cost for their epic fail that is currently causing me to pace anxiously around my house and stress out my roommate. Well, that’s SO kind of them, offering to cover the FIVE HUNDRED EXTRA DOLLARS that it will cost me to get my rear to Allentown sometime decent on Friday.

Me: So can I book the 9:30 flight?
EL: Well…

I hate it when they do that. Turns out, even though they’d TOLD ME about the 9:30am flight…even though I’d gotten my roommate out of bed to speed my butt to the airport…they can’t “actually” book me on that flight. Because there are so few seats. And it could take 2 hours for the ticket to process. So they don’t want me to get to the airport and have there be…not a ticket.

Me: Fine. 11:17. Put me on that flight. PLEASE.

So I get to the airport in plenty of time. Get my boarding passes and get through security like a champ. Buy some water, a snack, and a People Magazine with Hunger Games on the cover. Get to the gate and settle down to fight with the wifi and do revisions and basically kill an hour and a half, because I totally overestimated the time. And then…

There’s a delay.

The weather in Philly is so crappy that we can’t take off until an hour after our original time. Guess what this means?

I’m going to miss my connection.

So they put me on a new flight. The only other US Airlines flight going to Allentown from Philly on Friday is at…5:45. Which is a good four hours after my original connection.

Fine. Whatever. Weather can’t be helped.

I get to Philly and get to the gate for my new flight to hang out. Because it’s so much later, the information isn’t up on the Arrivals/Departures board yet. I find food and play on my computer and get some reading done. When I decide to get up to go to the bathroom, I check the board.

Oh, hey. My flight has been moved from Gate F4 to Gate F22.

I’m lucky I found this out so quickly. That I had more than enough time to haul ass to the complete other side of the airport. Because I found out later that they NEVER announced the gate change. There were a few people who had to run to catch the plane.

Thank you, airport staff, for being so helpful.

Anyway, by the time I finally got to Allentown, it was nearly five hours later than I was originally supposed to be there. I had just enough time to check in at the hotel, get my conference registration packet, and breathe for a few seconds in my room before I went down for the conference opening reception.

On the bright side…on the way home to Columbus on Sunday…everything was running earlier than planned. So that was a nice change.

Titanic: One of Many Writerly Fascinations and January 1912

When I was in the fifth grade, the movie Titanic was released into the world. At first, I didn’t have any particular interest to see it, although I thought it sounded interesting. If it hadn’t been for my cousin, I likely wouldn’t have seen it for years. The Thanksgiving after the movie came out on home video (that sounds so long ago, a time before DVD and BluRays), my cousin and her family brought it to the holiday at my aunt and uncle’s house. It was the first PG-13 movie I ever saw (which was a big deal for a 10-year-old). My cousin, me, and the adults all stayed up late watching it. I fell in love.

That was my favorite movie for a few years. I watched it at least once a week. I loved the story, I loved the characters. And, because of that movie, I grew an immediate fasciantion with all things related to the Titanic. I read as many books on the Titanic as I could possibly get my hands on. I knew nearly any obscure fact about that ship and about what had happened the night it sunk. I was a wealth of Titanic-related knowledge.

After a few years of this, I got away from it. I got fascianted in other things. But then the summer before I went to college, the Titanic Exhibit came to Columbus. That old spark reignited, and I insisted that I go. I went with my mom and sister and the second I stepped into that exhibit…it all came flooding back. All the obscure information I knew, all the facts I’d learned, everything.

The fascination has never died. I would love, one day, to write a novel about the Titanic…but it’s not my time yet. One day, perhaps.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic. My little Titanic-fact-consuming brain is going to be working in overdrive, just because of this. So I’m going to try to share some of that 100th anniversary thoughts with you.

100 YEARS AGO…
January 1912

The lifeboats are installed in the davits on the Titanic…sixteen wooden lifeboats and two Englehardt Collapsible lifeboats. Originally, 32 lifeboats were ordered, but Bruce Ismay (the Titanic’s owner) requested only 16 be installed. This was all the law required at the time (a law that would change after the tragedy). The ship’s original designer, Alexander Carlisle, had also originally proposed that 64 boats be on the ship, which would be enough for every person on board, but this proposal was never seriously considered.

Also in January 1912, the Titanic was given its call letters for the Marconi Wireless System: “MGY”. These letters would identify the Titanic to other ships listening in on transmissions.

(1912 Facts About Titanic: Revised Edition by Lee W. Merideth, pg 36, 37)

Change Write Now: Week 2

Here we are. Week 2 of Change Write Now. I survived week 1. Huzzah!

How are things going for Team For Our SAKES? Things are going well! We’ve got awesome goals for this week and I’m so glad that I get to talk to these girls every day. Some have added on additional, unofficial goals for the challenge…like writing ones…and now I’ve taken to bothering said team member on Twitter to make sure she’s getting her writing done. I’m truly LOVING this team. Do we rock? I’m fairly certain we do!

How are things going for me? I’ve made a goal to work on exercising more this week. I did pretty well last week, but I need to do even better. Also need to blog more. Thus, this. I know, you feel very loved.

That’s all for now, folks!

Revisiting My (Novel) Baby

Over the last couple of weeks, I somehow got the bright idea to send a couple of chapters from my re-re-revised first novel to a couple of email penpals I have. The novel centers around a radical religious cult (and if you look back waaaaay to the beginning of this blog, you’ll see me talking about it A LOT), it was the first novel I ever completed to satisfaction, it was the first novel I ever queried, and it was a novel I worked on all throughout college.

This novel is my baby. And while I’ve decided that other projects I’m working on are much more marketable than this one (not to mention just…better…as my writing style has changed since I finished my pre-querying revisions on this one), I still would love to see this novel in the world someday. Down the road. Maybe.

Anyway, for some reason, I decided to share the first few chapters with my two penpals. We share writings with each other from time to time, as two of us are writers, and it’s just fun. Since I stopped querying this particular novel, I started revising it again, trying to make it better and make more sense and make it sound more like my current style. I only have about four chapters (out of twenty-three) re-revised currently.

In sharing the first few chapters with my penpals, now they want to read more. What does this mean? This means I need to actually open my notes for this novel back up (I had to fish them out from under my bed last night after my one penpal DEMANDED more. Yes, in all caps and everything), and get back to my very slow re-revisions. If nothing else, at least then this novel won’t just be sitting in the back of my mind, nagging me to pay attention to it like it has for a while now.

So here’s to revisiting old projects, just because.

Change Write Now

I’m embarking on a new challenge this month. It’s called Change Write Now and it’s a habit-changing challenge taking place in the writing community. The basic idea is everyone has been split into teams (Go Team “For Our SAKES”!) and is competing to earn points each day…for eating healthy, exercising, creating one good habit, and breaking one bad habit.

My eating goals revolve around losing some weight I put on over the course of last year (which also goes hand-in-hand with a different weight losing competition I have going with my dad currently). Luckily, many of my teammates have similar weight loss goals, which is going to be great motivation for me!

But the good habit I’m trying to pick up is in posting on this blog more often. I’m aiming for three times a week, at least to start. Hopefully that will work out!

Anyway, this was just a quick post to introduce all of this fun and let you know what’s going to be happening for the next couple of months!

T-minus 2 Days to NaNoWriMo 2011

I love this time of year. NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. This is really my writerly Christmas. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (with a side of insane).

This will be my eighth year. EIGHT YEARS! I can’t even believe it. My first year was the November of my senior year of high school. I can’t even wrap my head around that fact. I didn’t win until 2009, though. Then again last year. I’m hoping this will be the third year in a row I cross the 50k finish line.

In preparation for NaNo, I’ve been doing a few things…

1. I’ve picked out a general plot, the names of my two main characters, and a title. I was starting to panic for a little while at the beginning of October, because I couldn’t think of anything. AND THEN IT HIT ME! And there was much rejoicing.

2. I’ve created a NaNoWriMo 2011 playlist.

3. I’m going to my region’s kick-off party on Sunday!

4. I’ve warned the friends that didn’t already know that I do this that I’m going to do this. They needed warning. Querying and doing NaNoWriMo at the same time. My stress level is going to be nuts.

5. I’ve set a goal to finish my current first draft before November 1. I set this goal today. That gives me three days. HA! We’ll see how that goes.

So, all in all, I’m psyched. I’ll try to keep this blog updated throughout my NaNoWriMo journey.

Love of the Week: Gum

A certain friend of mine has taken it upon herself to relentlessly quote my previously “most recent” blog post at me until I post a new one. So here’s a new one. And now she can stop.

Yes, I’m aware that I keep saying that I’m going to blog more regularly. That darn thing called life keeps getting in the way. As does a multitude of other stuff, including but not limited to my TBR pile, MiMC, e-mail insanity, HPA, alumni bands, car drama, schizophrenic internet, writing a synopsis, getting ready to start querying this novel, and general exhaustion.

Huzzah.

So here’s a new Love of the Week post. It’s lame. And for that, I apologize.

I love me some sugarfree gum, particularly as of late. In particular, I’ve grown kind of addicted to Extra Dessert Delights.

Here’s the thing: A couple of years ago, I lost a ton of weight. During that time, I chewed a lot of sugarfree gum. I’m on a diet again, to lose some of the weight I gained over the summer, and it’s become a lifeline. It keeps me from the vending machine and snacks at work. I’ve gotten some flack from co-workers who have seen my “gum drawer” (I tend to stock up), but the thing is…it works for me. And I need a variety of gum in order to keep my sweet tooth under control, otherwise I start craving things like chocolate. It also comes in handy once NaNoWriMo starts, to keep me away from the snacks during that stressful time too.

So, yes, sugarfree gum is my love of the week.