Friday, August 31, 2012

Insanity - Two Weeks In

So I've hit the first milestone of Insanity, which is Fitness Test #2. As I mentioned in my last post, the Fitness Test is a series of seven exercises that you do over the course of 30 minutes, and recording the number of repetitions you can do for each exercise. We do this four times over the course of the 60-day program, so we can see our overall progress.

I've definitely made huge improvements in all the exercises. In virtually all of them, I was able to do 25-30 percent more repetitions.

Interestingly, I have not dropped any weight yet, but I do feel a lot leaner (and I think I look leaner when I look in the mirror.). I've stuck to the workout schedule pretty closely, so I guess it's the whole lean-muscle-weighs-more-than-cheese-fry-and-Oreos thing.. Or maybe I'm still taking in too many calories (although I think I've been pretty good about that). 

It's still a tough program, and I will be glad not do it six times a week when it's over. However, until then, I will try to stick to the program as closely as possible.

For those curious, I think it's harder, overall, than P90X, although I think P90X does put more emphasis on upper body work. Also, Tony Horton is a better instructor than Shawn T (yes, he calls himself Shawn T, so I don't know what his last name is). 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Insanity Workout

So I've started the 60-day Insanity workout program. I'm 4 days in. 

I did the P90X program two years ago (which really did wonders for me), and since then I'd focused on running 3 or 4 days a week. But running, as great as it is, doesn't do much for your upper body or the core. And I don't log enough miles to really do much but maintain my current level of fitness. 

So, I'm taking this program on in the hopes it will get me back to the same level of fitness I had after finishing P90X. I'm confident that better all-around fitness will help me in all aspects of my life, from baby-daddyhood, to marriage, to work, and, of course, to writing.

It's a pretty grueling program, but I'm happy with it so far. I've done the fitness test (which you do 4 times during the 60 days so you can measure your progress), and three of the primary workouts. There's  a lot of cardio and core in there, mixed in with a little upper-body work. I don't know much, but I know I'm dripping with sweat within 10 minutes of each workout. By the end of the workout, my legs are shaking with fatigue. 

Ideally, I'll lose 10 pounds on this program, but I'd be happy with 7. I lost 18 on P90X, but I had a lot more to lose then. I've kept most of that weight off, but I have given back about two pounds. 

Anyone else out there tried Insanity?  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Interview with Author Leigh Moore (Miss Snark's First Victim Blog Tour)

Welcome to what will hopefully be the first of the Annual Authoress' Success Story blog tours! Those of us who have owed our publishing successes, at least in part, to the Miss Snark's First Victim contests and blog have decided to come together and help cross promote each other's work.  Every day in the first two weeks of August, a different author will be posting an interview of one of our fellow Success Stories, so make sure to tune in to everyone's blogs (there's a list below the questions).

And now, I've got the great pleasure of interviewing Leigh Moore.

Hi, David! Thanks for having me here, and thanks to Authoress for all she does for aspiring authors!

Tell us a little about how you got here. 

I started writing as a kid, but I never seriously tried to write books until the fall of 2009. Before that I'd worked as a high school English teacher, as an editor in the public relations department at Louisiana State University (Geaux, Tigers!), as an editor for national associations, then when I had my two daughters, I started doing freelance news writing and editing.

In Fall 2009, for whatever reason, I started sneaking off night after night trying to write my first book. After a month of that, hubs accused me of having an online affair--LOL!--and I confessed. I'd fallen in love with a story.

Four completed manuscripts later, I entered the MSFV contest in April 2011 (for the second time). My entry ROUGE won, and from there, I was offered representation for that book by Kate McKean of Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. It's due out through Pocket Star in Nov/Dec 2012.

Who are your biggest literary influences, and what are a couple of your favorite reads?

I don't know about influences, but as a writer, I'm aiming to be something like Judy Blume meets Charles Dickens--totally commercial fiction, but with relatable characters dealing with common problems who find themselves in the middle of Dickensian-style adventures. That way I hope one of them, one day, might turn into a classic. (A girl can dream, right?)

Oh, I have so many favorite books, but two recent reads I absolutely loved were Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Franny Billingsley's Chime. Then last week I read Easy by indie author Tammara Webber, and I just swooned. I actually sent Tammara a fan email. She's great, btw.

You recently announced your three-book deal with Pocket Star (a Simon & Schuster imprint). Congratulations! I was really intrigued by the fact that your deal is, as you described, “first and foremost” for an e-book. Can you talk a little about how your deal came to be, and how it’s different from a print deal?

Thank you so much! I'm still getting used to saying out loud that I have a book deal. It was a pretty fast development, and the timeline is equally fast. Pocket Star is a new imprint that was launched in March 2012, and in April, Abby Ziddle, my editor, talked to my agent Kate about acquiring ROUGE for it. Then the three of us talked on the telephone about it, and it grew to a three-book deal. 

This is my first book deal, so I can't really compare it to other deals, but Kate said it's pretty much identical to a traditional print deal in every way except format. It will be marketed the same as their print books, and PS reserves the option to bring it out in print if they decide to do that. But the primary format is electronic.

You also work as an freelance editor. What are some of the most common mistakes you come across as you review other people’s work?

Honestly, I don't see common mistakes--other than some grammar issues. It seems every writer's different. Some have trouble with pacing, some have primarily grammar/mechanics issues, and some just need a good eye for consistency from start to finish. I love my authors, though. All of them are such great storytellers, and I'm lucky to get to know them and help make their books as good as they can be.

In addition to writing and editing, you also have a family – how are you able to balance everything and maintain some shred of sanity?

Oh, man. I don't think I do this very well, but I try. The hardest part--especially in the thick of summer vacation--is stepping away from the computer, knowing that idea or that email will keep, making good notes, and counting on my brain (or muse) to hold on until school starts back up in a few weeks.

Thanks, Leigh!

Tomorrow's post is at Leigh's blog, where she'll be interviewing J. Anderson Coats. Make sure you swing by to check out their interview.  

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