Hold me and tell me I’m pretty…pretty talented

Okay, internets. Today is part three of a three-part scary thing that’s been happening this year.

Scary Part 1: The First Scare

In January, I sent an essay off to a real publication in the hopes that when they rejected me, it wouldn’t be too harsh. It was a second submission for this essay, and I’d reworked it mightily since its first rejection.

I then promptly put it out of my mind and did my best to forget about it. I put a reminder in my calendar to maybe follow up in about 8 weeks and then deliberately thought of other things. (Like impromptu trips to South Dakota.)

Scary Part 2: The Elation-Laced Scare

Less than two weeks later, I got an email from the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine letting me know that my essay had been selected for publication. She also said many nice things. I was pretty freaking excited. I’ve had a couple short short fiction pieces published in “inaugural issues” of publications that had, at best, about 3 issues. This publication has a leetle more staying power. Also money. They have money.

Then, an editor was assigned to work with me to make my essay better. That was terrifying. And awesome. And she really did make it so much better. It was my first experience working with an editor and it was great. Scary.

We did two big rounds of edits and a couple little “clarifying questions” type of edits. All of the easy things she did (like punctuation stuff and consistency stuff) was easy. It was the hard questions of “how were you feeling when this was happening?” and “can you make that more” that were the scary bits.

And now, a couple of months later, here we are.

Scary Part 3:The Scarening

So, today is publication day. My essay has been published. It is out there on the “Web Exclusives” section of this magazine’s website. With my words and my name and my author bio at the end.

In addition to it being scary because they’re my words, the essay is deeply personal.

But now, I’m going to put on my big-girl pants and share the link. This is both exhilarating (I’m an author!) and frightening (you might judge me!).

I feel that logically, other people liked the writing enough to publish it, so it’s probably not horrible. But logic is not working on me right now.

Deep breath.

My essay (currently one of four on the mag’s home page…ahhhh!) published in Brain, Child’s web exclusive section today!

Check out the amazing illustration they selected!

Check out the amazing illustration they selected!


Thirty-six (36!) Months with Alvie Bean

Dearest Bean,

Today you are three. I am blown away both by the fact that you’ve seemed three for ages and that you’re already three.

You are such a little person! You have opinions (so many opinions) and thoughts and preferences. It’s crazy.

Birth Day!

Birth Day!

You challenge me. Continually. Both with your questions that I cannot always answer (“But mommy, how does the piston work?”) and your behavior which is very demon monkeyish from time to time.

1 month old

1 month old

You are simultaneously fearless and fearful and already Mommy’s kisses are not enough to scare away the bad things in the dark. “Your kisses are broken mommy. I still scared.”

Two months old

Two months old

I look at pictures of you from those first months when you were a squishy lump of love that scared me more than delighted me and I’m amazed at what you’ve become.

Three months old.

Three months old.

I want so much for you and it’s hard to start letting you choose your own adventure. Especially when that adventure is 100% cake based.

Four months old

Four months old

You love to laugh (“Mommy, let’s laugh together, okay?”) and to make others laugh. You are a tiny ham and a miniature stand-up comedian.

Five months old

Five months old

You like to do yoga with me every night before bed. I like to believe that it helps you calm and center yourself so that you can sleep (knock on wood, that’s going really well lately), but I think you just like to stick your butt in the air and wiggle it around.

Six Months Old

Six Months Old

You are so very smart. You recognize a lot of words, regardless of context (Open, stop, exit, your name and the names of all your classmates) and have memorized a couple of books so that you can read them to your Lightning McQueen.

Nine Months

Nine Months

In fact, your intelligence is such that I occasionally forget that I’m talking to a preschooler with insufficient frontal lobe development and try to use logic when there is no logic to be had. I get frustrated almost as much as you do when I’m trying to explain a complicated concept (like why we don’t go to school naked).

One Year old!

One Year old!

You teach me, more than anything, patience. Not just patience with you (although I need that a LOT), but patience with me. It’s easier to be kind to myself when you’re watching.

1 1/2 Years

1 1/2 Years

You love books almost as much as I’d hoped, and only slightly less than you love your trains. OMG your trains! Your favorite show is Dinosaur Train (thanks be to Freya that we’ve moved on from Daniel Tiger) and you know your favorite episodes by heart. You build train loops that stop in the Cretaceous Time Period. TIME TUNNEL APPROACHING!

Two Years Old

Two Years Old

In the last year you’ve grown almost a half a foot (last fall was crazy! you’d wake up complaining that your legs were broken). It’s slowed a bit now, probably because you refuse to eat dinner most nights. The other day you took four bites of the soup I’d made and I almost called the national news to let them know. I hope that means we’re approaching the end of the “I won’t try new things unless they’re fruit or chocolate” days.

2 & 1/4

2 & 1/4

Your memory is amazing, but your sense of the passage of time frankly sucks.  (“Mommy, we went camping at the lake last night and I had a walking stick and we slept in a tent.” “Mommy we went to a party at that building last night and I saw…[exhaustive list of every single person we saw at the party. In December.]”)

2 and 1/2

2 and 1/2

You are amazed at all the wonderful things we can see and learn. You love to look at books that are far beyond your age level and ask questions about the pictures. We looked at a Childcraft book on “Our Bodies” the other day and you asked a lot of questions (“I want to see your bones and blood, Mommy. Take them out.”) and made some very astute observations (“Mommy, those people don’t have penises or vaginas. Are they broken?” “No, just desexed for the kids, I guess.” “Mommy, where are the books with penises? I read those books.”)



You have very strong opinions about your favorite colors (pink and red and orange) and the clothing you wear. You dress yourself (with help) most days. Your fashion sense and mine don’t always mesh, but if it makes you happy to wear your Christmas pajama pants with a Spiderman shirt, who am I to argue?

I grow my hair long so I can have more ponies!

I grow my hair long so I can have more ponies!

When I asked you what you wanted for your birthday, you said you wanted a Dinosaur Train Cake and a beard.

With pink frosting and sprinkles.

With pink frosting and sprinkles. Beard forthcoming. No, really.

These last three years have been amazing and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. At least not today when you’re being amazing.

My favorite kiddosaurus rex.

My favorite kiddosaurus rex.

This morning, you were delighted by your birthday shirt, blown away by the Dinosaur Train cupcakes, and demanded that I sing “Happy Birthday” to you.

I love you like crazy, Bean. When you open your arms and say “Oh, Mommy. I love you. I’m so glad you and me are friends. Let’s cuddle,” I die.


Happiest of birthdays, my darling.



WHOA! My baby’s getting so big!

No, not that one.  The blog baby!

Gazelles on Crack is nine years old today. Sing it a song, give it some cake, and take a stroll through the archives.

Some of my most popular posts of the last nine years:

Anthropophobia (2006)

Faux-lebrity Encounters (2008)

Before & After (2008)

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Race Report (2009)

Arach Attack! (2010)

Shoesday – Fluevogs (2011)

The Birth Story (2012)

Cowboy Boots and Bow Ties (2013)

Accidental Cleavage (2014)

Crowd Sourcing for Parenting Advice (2015)

My posts have run the gamut from shoes to babies to writing to school to book reviews to running to weight loss.

I’ve gone from this:


to this:


to this:

March 2012, still a month before Alvie arrived

to this:



to this:

2/28 - four mile run, Leif Erickson trail, 11:30 avg pace.



I’ve moved from Los Angeles to Portland

Gotten married

Run a marathon

Had a baby

Recovered from PPAD

And made some fantastic new friends. (If you ask me nicely after a couple glasses of wine, I’ll even share the texts I’ve exchanged with my PSM about rope bondage. Did you know you could buy shibari ropes at Amazon? The More You Know.)

It’s been a great nine years, but I’m not done with you yet, internets.



Continuing the hot streak

I am, as previously noted, crazy. I am okay with that, because as long as there are still people crazier than me out there, I don’t seem too off-the-wall, right? (RIGHT‽‽‽)

Anyhoosits, I may have mentioned my deep and abiding love of spreadsheets before. In case you’ve missed it, a recap: I love me some spreadsheets.

I have annual training calendars on which I track all my workouts and then a master spreadsheet where I track my annual stats. On the first day of each month, I go update the master list with the month’s workout stats.

I track the following:

  • Total hours worked out each month
  • Total miles run/number of runs/average miles per run
  • Average run pace
  • Total miles walked
  • Total miles biked/number of bikes/average miles per bike
  • Total yards swum/number of swims/average yards per swim
  • Average swim pace
  • Number of strength training sessions
  • Number of yoga training sessions
  • Number of days in which I was too lazy (does not count sick days) to even hit a mile on my step counter

the crazy is strong

Still with me?

I started my 70.3 training on 2/27/15, which means I just finished one month of training. I may have skipped a few workouts. I was feeling a bit bad about that. I have decent reasons for about 60% of the missed workouts.



Today, with a feeling of shame, I compiled my March stats into my insane-o spreadsheet. The surprising results made me decide to brag about it share my unwitting success.

March 2015

  • The most hours I’ve worked out in any given month since pre-pregnancy marathon training in July 2011.
  • The most number of runs I’ve done in any one month since I did C25K in June 2012 (and I had more miles last month than in 6/12).
  • The most miles I’ve biked in a single month since September 2009. In addition, in March 2015, I biked more than in 2012, more than in 2013, and almost as much as in all of 2014.
  • My average run pace for 2015 is the fastest it’s been since 2010 (by 2+ minutes).
  • My average swim pace for 2015 is the fastest it’s EVER been since I started tracking it in 2010.
  • My average bike speed has improved over 2 mph since the beginning of the month and I no longer want to cry and ice my personal laundry after I finish a 90 minute ride.
  • BONUS: Last night, I went to a beginner’s ballet class. I’ve wanted to take ballet for approximately 30 years. In fact, about 30 years ago, I used to check out books on ballet from the library and practice all the moves on the bannister in our house. I don’t have a tutu. Yet. I’ll post a picture next week anyway.

Verdict: I’m killing it, even with my missed workouts.

the gentlemen


Book Reviewsday: Bragging edition

(or, not really a book review at all.)

That's right, bitches

That’s right, bitches

So – this just happened. I just finished the first draft of the third full-length (some more full than others) novel I’ve written in two years.

It’s pretty awesome.  In what ways is it awesome? I’m glad you asked.

  1. Having written three books without doing a complete edit of any of them is a bit crazifying, but I’ve really grown a lot as a writer having done it this way. FYI – I will never do it this way again.
  2. I have approximately the same number of chapters in each book, but in book the third, my total word count, including incidentals (like title page) is 111K. My total word count for book the first? 149K. My average chapter length is shorter and my writing is tighter (twhs) and more succinct.
  3. I finished book the first about a year ago. I wrote book the second last summer. I started this on on November 1. I could’ve finished this a month ago if I’d been a little less procrastinatey, but even with a kid, and exercise, and a husband, and a full-time job that means that I can be prolific.
  4. Did I mention that I may have found an effective treatment for logorrhea? (No, spell-check, I have not found a treatment for a similar sounding STI that starts with “g.”) Yeah – I’m feeling pretty damn good about that. Should make editing easier when I make my way to this one.

Soooo, what’s it all about, you might ask?

None of your damn business, nosy parker!

Ahem, I mean I’m still shy. It’s apocalyptic urban fantasy/romance that I hope is in the vein of some of my favorite UF authors.

Before I tell you more, though, it’s time to dig out MS #1 and cut out about 40-45 thousand words (ouch), tighten up the story a lot, and then pull on my big girl britches (which are, not incidentally, covered in dragons) and send that bitch out to my betas. Of which I have four. *finger wave*

I will need the following (not necessarily in this order):

  1. Patience
  2. Perseverance
  3. A healthy dose of self-esteem
  4. Booze

Wish me luck, internets! For tomorrow, I edit!

This is what awesome looks like.

This is what awesome looks like.