Category Archives: Author’s Notes

Rugby Championships, Part 6 (Alpha & Omega, Episode 60)

This entry is part 60 of 60 in the series Alpha and Omega

Reunited again!

Nate stood in the middle of the field, trying to extinguish the shadow of frustration that tainted his greatest triumph. He looked at the cheering masses, the gold confetti raining from above, his teammates celebrating with the cup. It was all so perfect, but he wished he could share this moment with Adelie. She wouldn’t even be able to watch it live, nor would she be able to see everything on TV. He wanted to kick something, but Jake’s heavy hand slapped his shoulder first.
“Don’t be sad. Look who’s here.”
“Huh?” He turned and couldn’t believe his eyes. Through a veil of gold confetti rain, a group of young women and men in Westerhaven Academy blue picked their way across the field. It couldn’t be, but one slender figure looked very familiar, and then she saw him and walked up to him. His face contorted into a smile while his chest wrangled with a sob of relief. Adelie! Adelie was here! And then she was in his arms, enveloped in the biggest bear hug he was able to deliver short of breaking her back. She held on to him just as tightly, hands grabbed fistfuls of jersey on his back. He buried his face in her hair, refreshing his memory with its scent. Adelie.
“Oh, how I missed this.” Her glorious voice.
He allowed for the tiniest amount of breathing space between them, still trying to understand how it came that she was in his arms. “How… why… what are you all doing here?”
She chuckled, her eyes full of mischievous sparkle. “The Academy Rugby Association decided it would be nice for the players to have their partners there after the final. So we got shipped here three days ago. They boarded us in an excellent hotel, gave us the full sightseeing tour, and we had our own box near the twenty yards line for the match.”
“You saw the game.” He still couldn’t believe he wasn’t dreaming.
She wound her hands around his neck, tilted her head backwards and smiled. “Yes, I saw the game. Everything. I’m so proud of you.”
“You saw my try!” Finally, his brain caught up with what she was saying. “So I did hear you yell! I didn’t imagine things!”
“Yeah, you probably did. I nearly killed my throat again that moment.”
He lifted her up and spun around with her. She squealed, and it was the happiest sound he’d ever heard. His Adelie, his little Spitfire. He put her down again and they hugged in a drunken state of dizzy happiness. Their eyes and foreheads met and the surrounding world went mute. Her soft palm cupped his cheek, her thumb brushed carefully over his bruised skin. “You look awful.”
“I know. Doesn’t hurt, though.”
“Wait ’til the adrenaline drops.”
“I don’t care. I have you. I finally have you back.”
“Hey champ, you left me… not the other way ’round.”
“Sorry, won’t happen again. No, sir.”
“Shut up and kiss me.”
He obliged because that was an order he could not resist, nor did he want to. Their nose tips rubbed against each other, her breath was warm on his skin, and no gold confetti could sparkle as beautiful as her eyes. A mutual sigh. Her hands moved into his hair, his tightened around her shoulders. The sensation of something getting loose that had been stuck before. Sound returned, and suddenly the colours were more vibrant than before.
#
Adelie marvelled at the view of the city spread out before her like a toy land. Shanghai Five was bathed in the pink glow of dawn, pouring in through the crystal clear hull of the dome that protected the city’s inhabitants from the planet’s harmful atmosphere outside. The morning’s first monorails zipped along their rails through the maze of high rises. Space was scarce, so Shanghai Five was a multi-storey town, with gardens and parks and bridges connecting the buildings on every level. Rumours had it that some people had not been to the ground in decades. Soft snoring made her abandon the view and turn around. They had just returned from a night of celebrating, and Nate laid on the bed sleeping. The state he was in though caused her to smile. He had managed to get off his shoes, jacket and dress pants, but then exhaustion must have overwhelmed him, and he had fallen asleep, legs still on the floor. Gently shaking her head, she stepped closer, the moss-green fabric of her evening gown rustling from the movement. Lovingly she lifted his legs up, pulled off his socks and draped the blanket over him. She had to find a way to get his shirt off later. For now, she needed to get out of the dress and into her own PJs too, maybe she could catch a wink of sleep before they had to leave in the afternoon to return to Westerhaven.
She stood in front of the large mirror over the desk next to the bed and pulled out the pins that held her hair up. One after the other, chestnut curls fell on her shoulders. Morning light streamed into the room, and she made a mental note to close the drapes before she’d crawl into bed.
“You look like a goddess. A goddess of the morning.” Nate’s voice was slurred from too much champagne, exhaustion and sleep, but it also had this rich, dark timbre that never failed to give her goosebumps. She turned around. He’d braced himself on his elbow, looking at her almost mesmerised.
“Hey.”
“Sorry for falling asleep.”
“Don’t be, my mighty warrior.” This made him laugh, and he sat up to rub his hands over his face.
“Don’t feel so mighty right now, to be honest.”
“Darling, you had a very long and very exciting night. It’s allowed to feel like minced meat. A lot happened.” Adelie had finished hunting the hundreds of pins in her hair. She took a comb and put a least a little order into her hair, then she zipped open the dress to take it off. Nate sucked in his breath sharply.
“So that’s what you’re hiding under such a formal affair? Good golly, if I’d known this, I’d dragged you up here right after desserts.”
This made her laugh, and she climbed onto the enormous white bed, silk stockings and lace panties and all. He grinned, suddenly looking not so tired anymore. “Let me help you with this,” she said, tugging at his crumpled white dress shirt.
“Thanks. The shoulder is not happy,” he groaned. She gave him a peck on the cheek, then pushed the shirt over his shoulders and helped him free his arms. “You’re the best.”
“Do you need anything else?”
He shook his head. “No, besides you I don’t need anything.”
His arm wound around her waist, then he pulled her close enough to lean his forehead against hers. Nose tips brushed against cheeks, lips almost touched. The heat of his body radiated out to her, and she found his familiar scent on his skin, peppered with traces of champagne. He breathed tender kisses between her eyebrows, on the corner of her eye, her temple, near her ear. Her guts unclenched like a fist she’d balled without noticing as she answered him in the same vein, brushing her lips over all the battle wounds he’d suffered. The stitches over his left eyebrow, the cut on his cheek, the shadow of a fading black eye. Eventually, he softly cupped her chin, and they made eye contact. Sun-faded indigo once again seemed to fill out her vision.
“You know, after you’ve been underwater and come up, when you take your first gulp of fresh air?” His voice was only a quiet whisper.
“Yeah?” Hers too.
“This is how I feel right now. I feel like I’d held my breath for four weeks and only now I can breathe again. I missed you so much, in so many unexpected ways…”
Water welled up in her eyes, and she took his beloved face into her hands. “I love you.”
His knuckle caught an errant tear. “I love you too, babe. So much.”
“So we’re dancing on the rings of Saturn, laughing at gravity?” Her lips brushed along his, a sweet half-kiss, as his arms slid around her and she found herself down in the pillows with him. He chuckled while he contemplated her face with a loving expression.
“Yes, I’m laughing at gravity. You’re not afraid when you found your home in the arms of a great woman.”
“I’m your home.” She had no word to describe how happy this made her, but her broad smile probably told him anyway. He bowed his head and nuzzled the crook of her neck. She wrapped her arms around his massive torso and pulled him on top of her.
“Yes, you are.”
As she lost herself in his kiss, she realised that he was hers too.

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So, what’s up?

Greetings, fellow Dumplings in the Soup called Life, how is it in your corner of the world? We’re currently victims to another heat wave with temps around 35°C (this is 95°F for you on the other side of the big pond), and this makes things quite sticky and sweaty. Anyhoo, it’s called summer for a reason.

So, what have I lined up now that Alpha & Omega is only five episodes short of being complete? Unfortunately, writing takes time, and I’m nowhere near a 56.000 words strong book. Life, work, etc… you get the picture. But there will be a Book Number 2, and currently, I plan to begin publishing its first chapter in October. Nothing is set in stone because I haven’t written anything yet. It’s going to be called “Rocket Sisters”, and it will be a collection of shorter stories, focusing on Adelie and her friends. More strong ladies, woop woop! But no worries; Nate, Jake and Gerald will still be there, too. And, that’s the biggest change probably, I will be writing in German. I’m switching languages for various reasons, but mainly because writing in a second language is like writing with the handbrakes on. There are enough mediocre English writers already, and that’s what I always feel when I write in English: Mediocre.

I’ve also been quietly working on lining up two social media accounts that accompany this blog. There is the Facebook page which will keep you in the loop about new episodes and also posts pictures of shiny vintage cars and other pictures that I find fitting for my made-up world of Meadow Junction or are in other ways awesome Science-fiction. And then there’s a (new) Instagram account himmelskratzer.writes, which will not post inspiring quotes as so many other authors do, but will show behind the scenes and my own creations for the Cadets’ Universe, as well as notifications when new episodes are available. So if you don’t follow the Cadets there already, you’re welcome to do so.

I’m still undecided what I’ll post after Alpha & Omega has run its course, to tide everybody over until I can post new original stories. I do have oodles of one shots and vignettes in my notebooks, mainly fluffy scenes between Nate and Adelie; maybe I’m going to post some of this. Time – the archenemy of the creative person with a full-time job. *huffs*

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Getting used to it, Part 2 (Alpha & Omega, Episode 42)

This entry is part 42 of 60 in the series Alpha and Omega

Because my favourite reader is in “No Internet Land” over the weekend, and I don’t want to keep her hanging, here’s a surprise episode… sans cruel cliffhanger. 😉

His stomach constricted with icy fear. Was she having second thoughts about them? He scrambled to his feet, fishing for his boots.
“Gimme ten minutes, I’ll be right over.”
“Okay. And Tiger, please… drive carefully.”
“I will.”
Tiger. He stared befuddled at the device. If she wanted to end their relationship calling him by a pet name for the first time ever wasn’t making any sense. He burst through his door and poked his head into the kitchen. “Hey Eds, you need the truck tonight?”
Eddy looked up from wrestling a toy from Snoot’s snout. “No, I don’t. Has something come up?”
He was already halfway out of the house. “I don’t know, Adelie just called, and she sounded upset.”
It took him fifteen minutes, but only because he obeyed the red lights and drove carefully, as she’d requested. Having no patience to wait for the elevator, he ran up the six flights of stairs to her studio. Adelie opened the door as soon as he rang. Her lips were pressed into a thin line and her brows furrowed in anger. He wasn’t sure if she had cried.
“Hey, little Spitfire, what’s up? What happened?” He sat down on her love seat, hoping she would join him. Instead, she paced the room.
“Leslie was just here. Congratulating me. But I never told her! She was so happy for me. Not even here I can have some privacy! It’s infuriating!”
She wasn’t making any sense, and he had no chance to get a word in edgewise. So he did the only thing a man could do to shut up a woman in a polite way. He got up to intercept her frantic course, grabbed her by the shoulders and kissed her quickly. Drawing back just far enough to still feel her breath on his skin, he checked if Adelie was about to scratch out his eyes or if she was up for more. She looked at him bewildered and confused, so he touched his lips to hers again, lingering this time. Gradually, she relaxed, seeking him. Their kiss deepened. Her hands, first flailing, found his chest, then his shoulders, then she wound her arms around his neck and melted against him. He enfolded her in a tight embrace as the tension in her body lessened. She was still his, she wasn’t going to split up with him. Adelie broke up the kiss and buried her face in the crook of his shoulder.
“Thank you,” she murmured.
He kissed her sweet neck, brushing back silky tendrils of chestnut. “You’re welcome. Now, what got you worked up so much? Leslie breached your privacy, or what was it?”
“Oh.” She lifted her head and looked at him as if she only now remembered why he was there. “That.”
“Yeah?”
“Someone saw us kissing and apparently the news spread like wildfire among the nurses. Leslie heard from a friend that Nathan Havisham was kissing a girl in broad daylight on the steps of the library, and she deducted that things between us must have worked out, so she came over after her shift to see if she was right.”
“But why were you so angry?” He pulled her to the love seat and into his lap. Adelie put her arm around his neck, and he wound his around her waist and thighs. It took him a lot of willpower to not shower her throat with kisses. She was just in a t-shirt and sweat pants, and that was the most casual attire he’d ever seen her in.
“Pangs of history. Being stalked by paparazzi all the time. I had hoped I would find privacy here, but I underestimated your fan girls. I’m not keen on being lynched by a mob of rabid nurses.”
He laughed. “Don’t be silly. I haven’t touched a nurse in ages.”
“You’re still in high demand.”
“Worried about my fidelity?”
She cupped his jaw. Gold-speckled amber quizzed him wordlessly but since the day she saved him from the van, he knew that he could never be not faithful to her.
“You’re an honest guy. I trust you.” She kissed him, pushing her hand into his hair and he kissed her back, his hand slipping under her shirt, seeking the smooth curve of her waist. He inched his hand higher, but before he could find out if she were wearing a bra or not she sat up straight again and he froze. “But the whole incidence reminded me that we should maybe maintain a professional appearance. We’re soldiers after all. Perhaps we should keep the kissing to times and places when we’re alone.”
“No.” It came out more forcefully than he intended, and her eyes widened in surprise. He paddled back a little. “Well, yes, you’re right. We shouldn’t smooch while we’re in uniform and on duty. That’s a no-brainer. But I insist on the right of kissing you in public when we’re off-duty. Nurses or no nurses, I want to greet my girl the right way.”
She chuckled, her surprised frown softening. Then she leant in and kissed the tip of his nose. A smile crinkled her eyes. “Okay, okay, okay. I underestimated how important this is for you.”
He huffed and poked her waist. She twitched. “You underestimated…? Oh, come on…”
Giggles. She was pulling his leg for sure. She poked him back, and he cursed under his breath that he’d allowed her to find his weakest point over the weekend. In vain he tried to squirm out of her reach, but Adelie knew no mercy. At long last he managed to twist and roll and pin her arms safely between them, burying Adelie effectively underneath him.
“Gotcha,” he breathed hotly down her neck. She wiggled helplessly, still giggling.
“You do.” Her eyes looked up trustingly into his.
“Now, what shall I do with such an insolent girl like you?” He kissed her softly, muffling further giggles. “You really are a menace…” He explored the velvet skin of her neck. She sighed, all excited tension from their tickle fight leaving her body. Convinced that he was safe from further attacks he gave her a little room to breathe and free her arms, and she wrapped them around his torso.
“Mmmh… what are you going to do with me?” Her defiant eyebrow again. A quick glance at the clock on her nightstand. It was getting late.
“Nothing.” He sat up, rubbing his face. “I mean, not that I don’t want to do something, but that would mean neither of us would get enough sleep to survive tomorrow. And you said you wanted to take your time…”
She laughed, smoothing his hair back into order. “Are you free for another lunch date tomorrow?”
He grinned and tugged at a strand of her hair. “I can’t have the night with you, of course I’ll take the lunch date instead.”
“Tiger.” She breathed a kiss on his cheek. “I’d love to spend the night with you, but you’re right… tomorrow is another long day. And you’ve got to work at the Lemon Tree too. I’ll better let you go home and sleep.”

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watercolour life lessons

I’m trying to work more with traditional media lately, mainly sketching with pencils. A few days ago, though, I pulled out my little watercolour field box, firmly set on developing my not-yet existing skills. Watercolour is a challenge, in more than one way. It requires you to think from light to dark, from background to foreground and you can’t just paint over mistakes due to its transparent nature. Not mention that it has its own mind. Perfectionist me has a hard time learning to just go with the flow (of water and colour) – but if I do, magic happens. I set out to practice clouds, but instead I learned how to put depth and structure into the foreground mountain range. I learned that a colour that at first feels like it has no business of being there can actually make the difference between bland and vibrant.

I think one of the reasons I’m drawn to watercolour is actually its rebellious nature. It forces me to let go of the perfect picture in my head and work instead from a rough idea. And in that lies a valuable lesson of life. Let go of that perceived perfect image of how things should be, how you should be. Take a breath and take chances and something beautiful will happen.

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let’s get the ball rolling again

Hi there! *plops in*
It’s been a loooooooong while since I wrote here last. So long, that I had forgotten the logins for both the admin and the writer accounts. *hangs head in shame* And goodness gracious, did a lot happen in that year since my last post. Let’s try a recap.

1) I got married.
Uhm yes. We did the thing we never planned to do, and promised to be there for each other in good times and in bad, through sickness and in health until death rips us apart. Well, actually, it wasn’t THAT dramatic. But it was wonderful, and exciting and everything we wanted it to be. I’ll tell you all about it in another post. And I’ll maybe even add pictures.

2) I bought a car.
Also a thing I never really had on the agenda, but opportunity struck, and now I’m the proud owner of Janis, a 1993 Mercedes C-Class, which is not-yet vintage, but classic enough for me to not confuse me with a gazillion gimmicks. And just like with the dishwasher, I’m kicking myself for not getting one sooner.

3) I finished Beginnings.
I don’t know how I did it, not with wedding planning and two major meetings to organize at work, but I somehow managed to write over 50.000 words. To my utter amazement it’s a whole story and I didn’t give up, even though there were moments I really wanted to quit. I still haven’t decided how I’ll publish it. Maybe as a serial on the blog first, and then as an ebook? It still needs some sort of cover graphic thingamagick, too.

4) Other hijinks.
Besides these major life events we also had to deal with a rotten drain pipe in the kitchen and a broken fridge. I’ll tell you, living without a fridge for 3 months can seriously up your stress-levels. It took so long to replace, because the old fridge was too young to die on us and the manufacturer eventually agreed and offered us a new one for half the price. But that took time.

Okay, I think that was all… and I promise, I won’t keep you waiting another year for the next blog post. 😛

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sunday snippet

I worked a lot on “Beginnings” the last few days, finally cleared out the excess words and laid out the structure for the last few chapters. And I also wrote an awful lot that isn’t showing up in the statistic, because I deleted much more. Gnah. Frustrating. Anyway, here’s a glimpse at the words that ‘do not count’:

There were three reasons Adelie preferred the Lemon Tree over every other diner in town. First, it was never crowded, despite the fact that it was practically next to the airbase. Second, the hot dogs. The Lemon Tree’s hot dogs were special. The bun always had a crackly crust and a fluffy inside, not spongy like cheap ones. The roasted onions were crisp and caramelised to perfection. The hot dog itself was always indeed hot and not lukewarm like in other places. The ketchup was home-cooked, a chunky red sauce with a spicy aftertaste, and Adelie often just ordered fries because of it. The third reason was, of course, the handsome guy behind the counter, who currently smiled at her while she finished her hot dog. Nate was the main reason she dropped by because it was an easy way to see him during their busy days. He worked three shifts a week, which ate up a considerable amount of his free time. Outside the big windows, the first fall storm played chase with the leaves. Inside, the Lemon Tree’s owner, Trudy, was busy putting up some fall themed decorations, mainly pumpkins.
“Do you have rugby training tonight?” Adelie asked, pushing back the empty dish.
“Yeah, it’s going to be a hoot in this weather. Let’s hope there’ll be no rain, that makes everything so slippery.” Nate collected her dish and brought it into the kitchen.
As he returned she said: “I’m going to think of you, while I curl up on my love seat, reading a good book and drinking hot cocoa.”
He shot her a dirty look and walked around the counter to sit down on a bar stool next to her. The diner was empty so he could keep her company for a while. His handsomeness was off the charts today, with the little stubble on his chin and the lick of black chest hair that was visible under the v-neck of his t-shirt. The navy blue of his hoodie set off the bright blue of his eyes even more. She wanted to slide her hands over his chest, under its thick fabric where his warmth would be waiting for her. His nearness was the best antidote against any heartache she was still harbouring.
“It’s unfair,” she murmured.
“Pardon?” He took her hands. “What’s unfair?”
“Your handsomeness.”

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staycation

Happy Friday, everyone! How are you all? I had this week off, because I needed to do something with five (!!!) unplanned vacation days. Oh, the luxury. (1) So, what did I do? I cleaned, mostly. After I don’t know how many weeks of soaring temperatures and having to store all the balcony stuff inside due to paint works going on outside, my house was a hell hole. A mess. A disaster. And this state always makes me extremely unhappy, short tempered and not a nice person. But – balcony is ready to be occupied again, all the plants are back outside, as is the bean bag and I can walk around without tripping over anything – time to bust out the vaccuum cleaner and go to work.

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I’m also working (very slowly though) on a redesign of this very page. I had the hardest time to decide on a colour scheme and am still not happy with it. For some reason designing for myself is the most difficult thing. My brain always draws a blank when I want to think up pretty things for myself.

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I wrote too, but not as much as I wanted to, because: cleaning. Lounging in aforementioned bean bag and reading was also a top priority. I’m on vacation after all. I also climbed back on the working out band waggon, which had taken a back seat during all this heat. Although I’m seeing results with my current routine, I decided to follow a program named Spartan Trials. (2) I did the first day yesterday and nearly fainted… yeah, working out while it has 34°C outside maybe wasn’t the greatest idea. Luckily, today is an “abs day” – THIS I can do without fainting. I love doing crunches, sit-up, etc… After a motherfucker of a thunderstorm last night it’s also significantly cooler today. I fear that was it for temperatures over the 30°C degree line… *sniff* I love heat.

So, what’ve you been up to? I’d love to hear from your adventures.

(1) Well, I still had them because I couldn’t take my usual week off in March. So there.
(2) I found darebee.com on Pinterest a few weeks ago. They have awesome workouts, aren’t sponsored and totally free. Go check it out.

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hello august!

I realised that I wrote just one meagre blog post last month. And that one wasn’t even writing related. Bad me. In my defense, it was just too warm to think. ^___^ Anyway, I’m happy to report that “Beginnings” is nearing completion of the first draft. Hooray! I even began meddling with already written stuff, so technically we’ve already entered the second draft stage. This meddling led to me rewriting almost the entire first chapter, because there just wasn’t enough energy between Nate and Adelie. Want proof? Continue reading

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six months with an activity tracker

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I started using the Polar Loop in February and upgraded to the M400 in March, so it’s almost half a year with a little dictator on my wrist. Coincidentally, six months is also usually the time most people stop wearing a tracker (1) – because they don’t feel they’re getting fitter, aren’t loosing weight or simply don’t like a bulky, ugly thing attached to their wrist. Truth is, yes – the M400 is bulky and not pretty at all. But it’s also very robust and has so far survived all our adventures together. I can even shower with it, which is nice. Most importantly though, it motivates me to get off my ass and move. I especially like the function that it beeps when I sit for an hour. Of course I can’t always get up and walk around – it would be rather weird to do that in a meeting – but I do it whenever it’s possible during the day, no matter how much sidekick giggles.

Things I like of the M400:

  • I can use it as a watch, meaning there’s a reason to actually have it on my wrist all the time. Yes, I’m a watch person. Too much hassle to pull out the iPhone every time.
  • It has GPS! I can use it for bike riding and it “knows” that I’m moving, and not sitting around.
  • Programmable workouts, stop watch, timer, alarm…
  • It’s not just an activity tracker, but designed for people who train, especially runners. I can pair it with a HF sensor and track the activity way more accurately.
  • The battery lasts a week, even with daily GPS usage.

Things that I don’t like so much (that actually goes for all the motion sensor based trackers):

  • It only works for a certain kind of workouts or movements, mostly cardio based ones. Strength training or even something like cycling, goes undetected, unless I’ll “cheat” with using the GPS and/or the HF sensor.
  • As they measure everything, even a rather passive activity like cooking can fill up the bar, simply because my hands move a lot.
  • I have no idea what the sleep tracking is supposed to tell me – are 80% restful sleep good or bad?

I don’t want to say the data is totally unreliable, and I’m aware that it’s the bigger picture that counts, not the individual day. I also never just felt obligated to fill up the 10.000 steps – the M400 doesn’t base it’s calculation of your daily goal solely on this anyway. It measures the intensity too, so I can reach my goal faster if I do something like running, leading to lesser steps needed. (2)

I use the M400 to monitor my success, to nudge me when I’m slacking, but it’s not the thing that tells me what to do. It’s not even setting the goal, it’s just making sure that I reach my personal goals. Although I can’t deny that it’s unbelievably rewarding to hear the little fanfare when I reach the daily goal it has set for me.

Right now I have my aptly named “Bootcamp” workout that consists of:

– 10 minutes of hula hooping/dancing/ goofing off to get warm
– 20 – 40 min of body weight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, etc… depending on how many repetitions I want to do. I always aim for 50, but considering the push-ups, I’m nowhere near that goal.
– doing weights
– 15 min of stretching/yoga

This is almost an hour, and I don’t do it every day. I try to make time to do it two to three times a week. I also go for walks and take the bike to work.

All of this makes a difference. Back in February I was feeling like close to death after 15 min of body weight exercises, I had zero muscle definition and the three flights of stairs up to the office left me wheezing. When I got off my bike in March, I more than once saw stars after bending over to lock it, my thighs feeling like tree logs more than once. Now I have baby abs, toned arms and stairs are having a hard time getting me out of breath. The bike ride is easy-peasy. I feel better overall. I enjoy having that hour of sweating, huffing and hurting for myself in a very visceral way. My bouncy brain doesn’t have time to stray because it needs to focus on us not tipping over, so it’s really just me and my body achieving things and concentrating on moving. This is the most motivating thing actually. Not the growing muscles, not the improved stamina, but the fact that I get to spend time in myself, with nothing distracting me from being in me. Yeah, I know, it sounds very much like the yoga gods got me, but that’s what gets me down on my mat every week. That and the shower afterwards.

Yesterday I bought serious workout clothes. Now I know why fitness models all have artificially enhanced breasts, because those sports bras are nothing but flattening devices. o___O Now I have shiny new clothes made from high tech fibres that whisk away sweat and dry fast and I even managed to find some in not eye-searing colours. And they are sooo cooomfy, I could live in them all day. ^___^

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Overall I can say that getting such a tracker worked for me, but only because the one I use is not a one trick pony. I think I can safely say that the Loop with its limited functions wouldn’t have kept me at trying to lead a more active life. The M400 still works as a sports watch should I ever decide to stop trying to reach my daily activity goal, so it’s still useful besides that.

(1) I did some research about how useful the trackers actually are. This article sums up their limitations quite nicely, so I won’t go into them with much detail.

(2) Fun fact: When I use the HF sensor on my bike rides to work, I’ve reached around 80% of that daily goal solely through getting to and back from work at the end of the day. I can easily fill up the missing 20% with cooking, cleaning and going for a short walk. If I just use the GPS on my bike rides, the activity tracker hovers around 50 – 60% at the end of the day, requiring a lot more effort to fill it up.

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writing happy couples

Writing Nate and Adelie in sappy moments is one of my favourite things. I sometimes do it just for fun, because it is so therapeutic. Yesterday I learned that one of my all-time real-life OTPs (1), and the first couple who sort of hired me as a wedding photographer, has split. I’m still in shock. Of course, you can never know what’s going on in a relationship when you’re not part of it, but I’d never ever suspected them to break up. So I needed to write lots of happy Nate and Adelie moments today, and luckily I was at a point in Beginnings that actually justified exactly this. Like Nate coming home after a long and shitty shift as a bartender…

Adelie was still awake, sitting at her desk and studying.
“Hey handsome, how’re you doing?” She pushed the chair away from the desk and it swivelled around so that she faced him. The sight of her in a loose tank top and a pair of shorts instantly soothed his bruised soul. She got up and took his head into her hands, studying his face. “You had a hard night.”
“Hey. You have no idea.”
“My poor baby.”
He dropped his bag to the floor and put his hands on her hips to pull her closer. Hers slid up into his hair and she kissed him. Suddenly he was glad that she’d insisted on him coming over. Her pliable body in his arms, her warm welcome – the day would end on a happy note. He nuzzled her neck, and his stubble tickled her. She drew back, giggling.
“Ugh… Eau de Hamburger is not my favourite.”
“I warned you.”
She pushed him towards the bathroom. “Go, take a shower. You’ll feel and smell better afterwards.”

I also found another very happy couple on DeviantArt last week, Blaire and Prosper, and I’m so glad I’m not the only one who comes up with couples who are not all drama and no substance. It’s not like being together isn’t a challenge, and relationships themselves provide enough ammunition for the most stupid fights (2), so I don’t think I need any external source of conflict. Shortly after the moment above Nate and Adelie will learn exactly that – that relationships are a lot of work, that you have to make compromises and that you need to accept your partners quirks, ticks and habits. The chapter has the working title “shit hits the fan” for a reason.

(1) OTP = One True Pairing, aka the pairing you ship the most. If you’ve no idea what shipping is… go find a dictionary.
(2) I’m guilty of nearly flipping tables because of so substantial things like correct recycling… ahem.

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