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Princess Alethea’s Power Salad

I keep making these salads and eating them before I remember to take a picture. OOPS. 馃檪

My family has always eaten salads. When I was a kid, my salad consisted of cucumbers, with Creamy Cucumber dressing (which, of course, Kraft doesn’t make in the US anymore…but apparently you can still get it in Canada). I hated the lettuce–I just thought it tasted like nothing. Little did I know, Greek folks had been eating salads without lettuce long before I came along…I just didn’t realize that until I actually WENT to Greece.

See, I like my salads with STUFF in them. Taco Salads, Black Bean Salads…drag it through the garden. The more junk the better. The greens in my salad are almost garnishes. My salads are dense, HEAVY things.

I came up with the idea for the power salad when I was visiting Mom & Dad earlier this year. We all chip in to cook (this time even moreso since Mom had just had shoulder surgery), and it happened to be my job that particular night to make the side salads. I informed my parents that I would be making MY salad, and hoped they’d be okay with it.

Then I rummaged through the refrigerator. See, my parents are fabulous home cooks, which means they have fabulous leftovers. (In our house we often had “pikilia”聽 [pronounced “picky Lia”] for dinner, Dad’s fancy Greek way of saying “leftovers.”) When I delivered the salad, it was devoured with聽 multitudes of praise…also common in Greek households. And enough to make me go “hmmm…”

So, without further ado: This is MY power salad. YOUR power salad may differ. Heck, even my own differs depending on what I’ve got in the fridge. But I’ve bolded the “usual” ingredients.聽 I urge you to try your own!

***

A mini power salad!Greens:
*Spinach. My favorite.
*Second choices: Mixed Greens, Romaine, Other Fun Stuff. As mentioned before, Amanda Havard prefers Kale on hers, but to be honest I haven’t tried that yet. Would like to try both Kale and Swiss Chard.

Protein:
* Salmon
* Goat Cheese (Also love BellaVitano Balsamic, when I can afford it.)
* Baked, Grilled, or Pan Fried Chicken (aka “leftover”)
* Shrimp
* Morning Star Farms Chik Patties (on the days I feel like being vegetarian–must be crispy oven-baked, not microwaved)

Veggies:
* Beets! Possibly the most important part of my salad. I take a can of sliced beets and put it in a Tupperware container along with the juice. Then I throw in some garlic cloves, olive oil, and rice vinegar. Mom taught me this (Thanks, Mom!). This concoction lasts FOREVER in your fridge. When you use it, drizzle the beet juice vinaigrette over your salad for an instant dressing. VOILA. (Also, it turns your salad pink. AND WHO DOESN’T LOVE PINK FOOD?)
* Bell Peppers — I prefer red, gold and orange, diced.
* Asparagus — I often make extra asparagus, just to chop up the leftovers for my salad
* Sugar Peas
* Brussels sprouts
* Broccoli (not my favorite, but useful in a pinch. I like the florets best)
* Chickpeas
* Avocados (just be careful — if you go with goat cheese, additions like tomatoes and avocados can make your salad mushy pretty quickly)
* I could go on forever. Any leftover veggie I have in the fridge is fair game.

Other Fun Stuff (if I have it, I’ll add it):
* Nuts (which I always have to add to my oatmeal–they stay freshest in the freezer)
* Dried fruit (ditto on the oatmeal, not the freezer)

Dressing
* Garlic Beet Juice Vinaigrette (see above)
* Green Goddess (this dressing is usually pretty thick, so I use some, and then dump Beet Juice Vinaigrette back in the bottle to thin it out a bit…they go magnificently together!)

***

This salad may seem like a lot of work, but I assure you, it’s not. If you don’t cut everything directly into the salad bowl, use a separate plate — no need for cutting boards and the like, unless you’re going all out making salads for ten people.

Even if you do feel like this is too much time for you to spend, let me assure you — IT’S WORTH IT. Every time I eat this salad, I sit around with garlic on my breath thinking “Man, that was so good…and I feel so great right now. I need to eat those more often!”

Seriously. I think this EVERY TIME I EAT THIS SALAD. (Would I lie to you about something this dumb?)

Drag it through the garden, folks. You’ll thank me later. xox

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Princess Alethea’s Book Tour Diet

First of all, I want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who stopped by here and shared their love, as well as my friends on FB and Twitter. I am a Princess who cherishes her Brute Squad proudly…and I know that Mom for one will be thrilled to see such an outpouring of support here on my site. xox

In light of yesterday’s post-fat-shaming rant, I thought it might be a good idea to chat about things I do and don’t eat while on book tour, and why. It’s an informal list I keep in my head, though–like everything else–it’s probably a good idea that I officially write it down somewhere. (This way, too, I can always go back to it and edit and add things I forgot.)

Now, every person is different, so I don’t recommend these ideas for everyone…but hopefully this list might give you some things to consider that you might not have before. And do I adhere to this strictly? Man, I wish. But yes, when I am out of town, I am very aware of everything I put in my mouth…for better or worse.

Since I am prone to migraines (they are not food induced, but certain foods can raise or lower my tolerance) I tend to focus more on protein while I’m on the road. I am not a vegetarian (and I’m okay with that). I prefer fish to steak, but I can’t always afford it.

Like many folks, I am on a budget. I have to promote myself throughout the year on what I make on my royalties. I get to write it all off as a business expense later…but I still have to pay for it up front. I got my advance for Book Two and Three last year. Book Two just released in October, so I won’t get those royalties until next year. All I’ve had to live on this year are hardcover sales of Enchanted and the first month it was out in paperback. THAT’S IT.

I do not smoke, nor do I drink alcohol. This helps with the budget (as well as the migraines).

According to my nutritionist, I need to be eating 672 small meals a day. This has been the most difficult part of my journey so far.

*

THINGS I EAT:

–Protein bars. These aren’t just the over-the-counter bars, they are supplements supplied by my nutritionist. They are hella expensive, but they pack the most protein punch (and vitamins) for the least amount of calories. (I used to carry granola bars, but they weren’t staying with me long enough, and the headaches still came.)

Along with protein bars I have other protein snacks and shakes…though the shakes are chalky and kind of horrible unless you mix them properly with a submersible blender. Not something I carry on the road. These help me eat more often and stave off migraines. I survived Dragon Con this year living off protein bars & snacks…and I also lost 5 pounds.

–Water. Carry a bottle with you at all times. Refill it at every water station or fountain. Keep it in your hand, especially if you are a social drinker. Staying hydrated is SUPER important.

–Vitamins. Okay, technically I’m not eating these, but I’m never without my daily multivitamin, and possibly Vitamin C and D. Joe and Leanna will tell you that if you’re rooming with me, I will probably force them upon you as well.

–Tea. I carry a travel bag of various teas with me all the time. Black tea, green tea, and chamomile. I even bring honey and my own travel mug to Dragon Con.

–Protein. My preferred protein is seafood, though that can get expensive. Chicken is okay, but often is dry when grilled by a substandard chain restaurant (and dangerous when undercooked). Steak is okay, but can also get expensive. So when I’m on the road I typically go for a hamburger. Most places make a decent burger, and standard cooking temp is medium well, which cuts down on the possibility of illness.

–Vegetables. Good veggies are hard to get on the road. Salads at restaurants are typically overpriced and sub par (notice how your hamburger toppings are higher quality than your salad?). Veggie side-dishes are usually bland (carrots, broccoli) and over- or under-cooked. But if there’s asparagus or sweet potato or plantains or Brussels sprouts (!), I go for it.

–Apples. I love stealing these from the continental breakfast and saving them for later. Bananas are also great, but have a much shorter shelf-life.

–Oatmeal. Also something I toss in my travel bag & keep with me. I carry dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon as well. What I most often forget is THE SPOON.

–Rice noodles. Rice is another things that’s typically improperly cooked at restaurants…but rice noodles are made of awesome. If Thai is an option, I’ll happily go for it. Bonus: Cold pad thai is great for breakfast, if my room happens to have a fridge.

–Sushi. This rice is cooked properly. It has to be. And other than the expensive part, it’s just SO fabulous.

–Greek Food. Because I was raised on it.

–The Local Cuisine. If a place I’m in is known for something famous (Memphis ribs, Beignets at Cafe du Monde), then I will absolutely try it, even if it’s on my “don’t” list. I just won’t overindulge, if possible.

*

THINGS I AVOID:

–Coffee. This stinks, but it’s true. I’ll let myself off the hook and sneak in a coffee when I’m dying for a hit of caffeine…and then regret it later when I’m stuck in the bathroom with an upset stomach. It doesn’t happen all the time, but I’d rather take a couple of Excedrin than tempt fate with that crapshoot.

–Salads. If it’s spinach greens, beets, goat cheese, and salmon, sign me up. In the last six weeks, I saw this option on ZERO menus across the US. Salads are usually iceberg lettuce, a handful of tomatoes, a couple of cucumbers…and it all tastes funny because it’s been pre-refrigerated and/or covered in preservatives. My stomach doesn’t react well to preservatives. We’re talking food poisoning-like symptoms.

–Spicy foods. I *love* spicy foods. The Fairy Godfamily does not, so eating spicy stuff when I’m out is a treat. Eating spicy stuff while I’m hyped up on adrenaline after a performance = bad news.

–Pasta & Bread. Apart from making me feel sleepy and bloated, I try to stay away from most carbs, dairy, and sweets because it makes getting a migraine a lot easier.

–Sweets. Desserts, like magic, are best when shared. The sugar is just too high a spike and too hard a crash. This includes candy of any kind, which I will often hoard and then never eat. If I have to snack, I prefer nuts.

–Eggs. Oh my gosh, I’ve had some HORRIBLE experiences with eggs. Enough that you think I’d know better by now. No more eggs on the road for me.

–Continental breakfast. The stuff they have at most hotel breakfasts is terrible. Eggs (see above) and proteins full of nitrates (sausage, bacon)…if there is protein at all. Sometimes it’s just wafflemakers or sugary danishes or what I like to call “three-mile muffins” (because I have to run 3 miles to burn off that many calories). If this is an option, I will often select a peanut butter bagel or english muffin…or oatmeal. Most of the time, though, I’ll just eat a power bar in my room and steal an apple for later.

–Pizza. OMG no pizza. Like, ever. I’m not even a fan in the first place. I know, I know…I’m a weirdo. And I’m comfortable with that.

–Sodas. I will have a Coke Zero when I fly, because I get sick when I fly (migraines are so much fun!). Otherwise, it’s water and tea for me, and I’m fine with that.

 

Any recommendations, folks? For or against?

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In Which Princess Alethea Gets Fat-Shamed

Shame on you, Dr. Dude.Yup. You read that right.

In all my 37 years on this planet, I have never before had a fat-shamer doctor. Oh, I’d heard stories about them, horrible stories…but like all the other stories like these, I never thought it would happen to *me*.

This guy is my GP –I’m not someone who gets sick all the time (just accident prone), so I usually make do with a decent Urgent Care. I found Dr. Dude last year after I came home from 100-driving-hours on book tour a broken woman. He told me to take a bunch of vitamins and do hot yoga — I decided to go for therapeutic massage instead (and thanked the gods for every minute). I saw him again this fall when I bit the bullet and decided to ask for anti-anxiety meds (that’s a whole nother story).

The first thing this guy did was walk in and say, “Congratulations!” like he’d just heard I was pregnant. I actually thought he might be in the wrong room, or was confusing me with someone else.

“Congratulations for what?” I asked.

“You’ve lost ten pounds! That’s exciting!”

No, actually, it wasn’t exciting. Losing ten pounds since the last time he’d seen me–A YEAR AGO–was really no big deal. Besides, I wasn’t there to talk about my weight. I was there to stop the voices in my head from screaming 24/7 and making me manic and depressed all at the same time.

But he’s my doctor, right? Your doctor is supoosed to be able to talk to you about your weight. If he got off on it, well, good for him. I shrugged, and we went on with the appointment… during which he asked me what I ate on a typical day. Everything I told him, he shot down as horrible. I actually cried and snapped at him.

I’m not proud of myself, but it felt like he was attacking me. Then again, I was in a state of mind back then where I felt like everyone was attacking me. (Proof positive that I needed those meds, right?)

It still left a bad taste in my mouth. Had I been listening to myself (or able to hear above the screaming) at the time, I would have walked out of that office and never come back, just based on the slimy way I felt afterwards.

Fast forward to today, a few months later. The anxiety meds (once I cut the dose in half) are working like a charm. Today was just a follow-up visit, in which I answered questions on a survey, answered them again for the assistant, and then waited 45 minutes to answer them again for Dr. Dude.

Am I depressed? No. Am I suicidal? No. Am I still having trouble sleeping? Not nearly as much as I was. Am I any of this list of things…? Yeah, “Tired.” Pretty sure I said “Fatigued” and “Tired” a lot. But then, I have just come off book tour. It’s to be expected. But maybe it’s the meds…I don’t know.

Dr. Dude came in and said hello, and I had to explain my t-shirt to him (because “Hooked on fonix dun good four me” is funny when you’re a New York Times Bestselling author). Then I answered all the questions: fine, fine, yes, no, fine fine, tired, yes, fine.

Then he scrunches up his nose and says, “Hmm…well, this is awkward but I have to bring it up…”

Awkward? What, we’re going to talk vaginal secretions? Bowel movements? My sex life? How slowly my revision’s going on book three?

“…you’ve gained some weight since you were here last.”

Yeah, like 4 pounds. Four pounds that could probably be explained away by hydration, stress, time of day, and the heavier clothes I’m wearing since it’s…you know…colder outside now. BUT HE’S MY DOCTOR, and we’re supposed to talk about this stuff, right?

So I shrug. “It’s fine. I’ve just been on book tour the last six weeks.” And then I made some comment about difficulty eating on the run, or on the road, or something.

This time, his entire body squinched up and he said, tentatively, “…Salads?” As if I had never heard of such an invention.

I’ll say this for Zoloft — it kept me from punching Dr. Dude and walking straight out of that office right then and there, SO I GUESS IT WORKS AFTER ALL. I think another part of me was just so shocked that this asshole had pretty much just told the fat girl to eat a salad that I was frozen in place.

“That’s not the problem,” I said after a moment. “My problem is that I don’t eat. I get busy and I don’t think about it.”

“Oh. Then have you considered keeping power bars with you?”

This guy was about 14 steps behind. “That’s what I do. It’s still difficult. I’m still working on it. It’s a work in progress.”

See, I know all this because I am actively on a weight loss program separate from this doctor (and thank goodness). They have said as much to me, and it makes sense. I don’t have seriously terrible eating habits as far as food choices go, but I have a tendency to NOT EAT AT ALL when I’m busy and performing. Instead of dropping a few pounds like a normal person, my body goes INSTANTLY into “starvation mode.” I swell up, despite being adequately hydrated, and the migraines have a field day… It’s one of the most annoying things possibly ever.

This same thing happened to my bestie Sherrilyn Kenyon, who lost a bunch of weight a few years ago. “My nutritionist told me I had to eat to lose weight!” she said, like it was the coolest thing ever. I am here to tell you that it is not the coolest thing ever. Training yourself to eat 345 small meals a day when you’re used to eating until you’re full and then moving on with your life is TOUGH. When you’re touring, it’s NIGH IMPOSSIBLE. Sherri is to be commended. But then, she had a nutritionist. And now, so do I.

But I don’t *need* to lose weight. I want to, for my overall health and my sore feet, but every other doctor I’ve had, including my Gyno, thinks I’m just fine. I have a heart like a horse, my blood pressure’s great, I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, I don’t get sick very often, and I work out regularly. I actually *did* try to bring up my weight with my Gyno last year. He waved his hand at me and literally said, “Eh, you’re fine. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”

But–again–my appointment today was NOT to talk to Dr. Dude about my weight. My weight had nothing to do with this appointment, unless he thought the medication was causing the uptick in weight, which was very possible. Not that it was something he suggested, by any means. Because Zoloft is far less likely to be responsible for that four pounds than the DEEP FRIED CHEESE AND MAYONNAISE BALLS I consume on a daily basis BECAUSE I AM A FAT WOMAN. [Edit: I apparently have no idea how to even *spell* mayonnaise and had to let the computer correct me here. LOL]

After thinking about this whole scenario–as authors are wont to do–I came up with several conclusions (besides the fact that Dr. Dude is an unprofessional jerk):

1.) By saying “Oh, this is awkward,” HE made the situation awkward. A professional doctor would have simply noted the weight gain and asked after its possible causes. After hearing a plausible one, he would have said, “Well, we’ll keep an eye on it just to make sure it’s not the meds.”

2.) I’ve been around enough introverted socially awkward geeks in my life to know one when I see one. This was not innocent social awkwardness. This was…prejudice? Assholishness, if you will.

3.) No doctor should be allowed to make sweeping generalizations about a patient’s life. I can *maybe* see this accidentally slipping out if we’d been actively having conversations about my nutrition, but we hadn’t. And it’s not like he was ever taking notes, because I essentially told him two months ago that I mostly ate salads for dinner while at home because I don’t like eating carbs after 4pm. (Someday I’ll put a recipe up for my “power salads.” Amanda Havard and I bonded over this, because she does the same thing, only with kale instead of spinach.)

4.) “Salads.” I want to go back and bitchslap that man with a menu. Because the answer to every overweight person is “Salad”? Have you SEEN A RESTAURANT MENU LATELY? When you’re touring, you’re lucky if you can find a chicken caesar salad…and there’s only so many of those you can have before you want to puke. Most salads in chain restaurants are made with iceberg lettuce, a handful of tomatoes, two cucumbers, and eggs and onions I don’t want. Even Greek would be acceptable, but most American joints only serve cheese that comes out of cows. There aren’t a lot of options that come with spinach greens and beets and goat cheese or salmon. I know, because I’ve looked.

The thing is, I actually considered just sucking it up and going back for the next follow-up. It’s not like I’m going to see this guy what…three or four times a year? But “…Salad?” keeps flashing in my mind, right along with that squinched-up face of his.

When I got home, I had an email to check the patient portal. This is actually a cool service this clinic does — they securely email you all your pertinent information in case you want to print it out and keep it for your records. It goes over what you came in for, what you talked about, and what the doctor prescribed.

Among my symptoms today, the doc listed “Obesity.” At no point in time did I ever list this as a problem. Because it’s NOT.

Among the things we talked about, he listed “Obesity” again and “Nutritional counseling.”

Dude…if “…Salads?” is your idea of nutritional counseling, then YOU’RE FIRED. In fact, you’re fired right now. You will never see another dime from my insurance company. If I thought I could do it anonymously, I’d report you as a fat-shamer on every online review site.

And if I wasn’t on successful anti-anxiety meds, I’d totally find your car and cover it in Caeser dressing.

“…Salad?”

Jerk.

 

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Princess Alethea Rants About Snow White

SPECIAL FAERIECON EAST EDITION: In Which Author Princess Alethea discusses the original Grimms’ Fairy Tale “Snow White” and BONUS CLIP, featuring Jim Butcher demonstrating the Old School Fae gang sign that Leanna and I instituted this year at Dragon Con.

Yeah…it’s entirely possible we had too much fun. BUT ISN’T THAT THE POINT?!?

Enjoy!

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New Books Released!

Boy…this last bit of the year has suddenly seen FOUR books released with me in them. I feel all shiny and popular. In fact, when I get home from FaerieCon on Sunday, I’ll be buying myself some flowers to celebrate!

Hero you know about…goodness knows I’ve been talking it up enough this year.

Hero, October 1, 2013

The second is my collection WILD & WISHFUL, DARK & DREAMING — not the fairy tales, but still full of darkness and magic..and even the occasional bit of sci-fi fun.

Wild & Wishful, Dark & Dreaming--story collection by Alethea Kontis

The Book of Apex Volume 4 was also just announced — this anthology includes stories from 15 issues of Apex Magazine, including my creepy horror YA fairy tale serial killer origin story “Blood From Stone.”

Book of Apex, Volume 4

And if you were lucky enough to be at Comic Book City Convention in Greensboro a few weeks go, you had the opportunity to pick up an exclusive VERY FIRST PRINTING of the infamous Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome by me and Janet Lee.

Chances are, we’re not even going to put this one on Amazon — it’s only going to be available if you see either Janet or I in person at one of our many appearances all around the globe. But if you keep your fingers crossed and wish on many stars, you might also find some copies available through Janet Lee’s Etsy Site — best go ahead and bookmark that link anyway. There’s great stuff there!

Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome...IS ALIVE!

 

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My FaerieCon East 2013 Schedule

Yes, indeed, the rumors are true — I will be in attendance at FaerieCon East in Hunt Valley, MD this weekend!

Here’s my schedule of events:

Friday:
3:00-3:45 Meet the Authors (Salon A)
5:00-6:00 Author Tea and Meet and Greet (Writing Workshop Room)

Saturday:
1:15-2:15 A Little Bit of Everything with Princess Alethea (Writing Workshop Room)
3:00-3:45 Autographing (Bookstore)

Sunday:
11:00-11:30 Autographing (Bookstore)
2:00-3:30 Author Tea and Meet and Greet (Writing Workshop Room)

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I Am Strange

…along with a slew of other awesome people.

This was a mission put together by my friends Monte Cook and Shanna Germain — to check out the website, support the effort, and celebrate your own special strangeness, CLICK HERE.

Featured Strange People (in order of appearance):

Bruce Cordell 路 Jay Lake 路 Cat Rambo
Lee Moyer 路 Kurt Busiek 路 Jen Page
James L. Sutter 路 Susan Morris
Tammie Webb Ryan 路 Stan! 路 Fred Hicks
Mary Robinette Kowal 路 Len Peralta
Bill Cavalier 路 Kat Richardson
Sean K. Reynolds 路 Russ Morrissey
Mike Selinker 路 Alethea Kontis
Jonathan Tweet 路 Charles Ryan
Natalie Whipple 路 Erik Scott de Bie
Ed Grabianowski 路 Matt Forbeck
Erin M. Evans 路 Peter Adkison
Monte Cook & Shanna Germain
Monte Cook Games, LLC encourages acceptance, equality, and inclusion at the gaming table and in the geek world at large. We support organizations and events that embrace these values, and we encourage all strange people to do the same.
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Princess Alethea Rants About “Briar Rose”

A new fairy tale rant for you!

No, the original title was NOT “Sleeping Beauty”…

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In Which Princess Alethea Confuses The World

Princess Alethea ReadingToday over at the Waterworld Mermaids, I talk about writers who do more creative things than just write…like me…and how those writers CONFUSE THE HECK OUT OF PEOPLE.

I credit most of this to Neil Gaiman and his Sandman comics, circa 1993.

Hop on over and check out my True Confessions!

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Traveling Princess

So I’m home. For now.

I have to say, I’m a bit loath to leave again.

Not that I don’t like traveling — I do! — and not that I don’t like meeting people — I have made some of the best friends EVER this year on all my various jaunts. I’m about to head back to NYC, and then to Nora Roberts’ Girls’ Night Out in Boonsboro, and then to FaerieCon in Hunt Valley MD, and I’m sure I’ll come back with even more friends and funnier stories to tell.

But I’m not going to lie: I miss my home. And so much more than just my bed and my pillow.

Authors lead this Clark Kent/Superman existence where half their life is spent behind a computer and half is on the road performing and Being Fabulous. I love both of these things. But the more publicity I inevitably do, the fewer and farther between those days behind the computer come. I can’t keep waiting for that solid week to work on my revision, because it will never get here.

There are also other little things I miss that I wouldn’t normally consider. Like:

Toilet Paper. Most hotels and convention centers use seriously cheap toilet paper. Generally, I don’t mind. But after I’ve wiped the royal bum with sandpaper for a month solid, traveling does start to lose a bit of the magic.

Fresh Air. Conventions are rarely held outside, and you only get a balcony in your hotel room these days if you’re very, very lucky. There was a screen on the window in our room in New Hampshire for MISTI-Con, and thankfully Zoraida didn’t mind that I left it open most of the time we were there. The reason I gushed so much about the backyard on the hotel in Missouri was because the door was left open most of the time I was in my room. If there’s been a locking screen door, I probably would have slept with that open as well (though Mom says otherwise).

Fresh Produce. There are only so many chicken Ceaser salads a person can eat on the road. What’s typically on restaurant menus are hamburgers, iceburg lettuce, and sweet potato fries…if you’re lucky. Where I would normally eat half an order of pad thai and save the rest for later, in the cases where I don’t have refrigeration, I have to be okay with sacrificing half my meal to the refuse bin…or eating as much of it as I can because I know I won’t get the calories later. In the meantime, I need to remember to stay vigilant with vitamins and hydration…it’s a rough road. I eat a lot of protein bars. I think of them like food cubes on sci fi shows.

I am an Author of the Future.

Then I get to go home for a few days and I dream of home cooked meals…or even salads full of everything I keep in my pantry that typical restaurants don’t. But I can’t go shopping…there’s little sense in buying three days worth of produce so I can try and eat it all in 72 hours. But maybe I do it anyway. I risk the wilting spinach and the onion growing on top of my refrigerator just to have one meal that isn’t mass produced by a restaurant. Though it’s better if I make something I can freeze…otherwise, it’ll just be going to waste the minute I leave again.

Flowers? Plants?聽 I don’t buy them, as sorely as I’m tempted, because I won’t be around to see them bloom and if I don’t water them I’ll have a sad company greet me at home. I’ve started to invest in non-dairy creamer because milk products in our refrigerator tend to go bad at what seems like an alarming rate.

It’s not…I’m just never home.

I was hoping to go to England this December to celebrate the wedding of a very good friend…but since the sale of the TN house fell through, those plans have been scrapped. I realize now that I have absolutely nothing on my calendar for December.

And you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

In fact, I think when we get home from Newport News after Thanksgiving, I’m going to buy myself some flowers. And some asparagus. And a vat of spinach leaves big enough to swim in.聽 I’m going to hide from the world and work in peace…and I’m not going to dare the world to stop me because she will.

Peace, writing, and home.

*sigh*

I can’t wait.

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