Hello, my dears. I’ve neglected your for far too long. But if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram or even my personal Facebook, you may be in the loop: I’m pregnant (and I’ve been very VERY sick as a result). And between that and the book stuff, I’ve just been out of commission for the past 20 weeks. And even if I was able to write, I tend to not like to write about health if I don’t know how to have a handle on my own– if you know what I mean.
BUT, I’m on the upswing health-wise (only took halfway through second trimester, but I’ll take it!). And so, I’m hoping to be blogging a lot more—especially since now I’ve been running into some pretty funny things along this journey and, of course, working toward getting a handle on being a happy, healthy individual (after all, isn’t that always the goal?).
Any who, I wanted to get this post out today because I’m finding out what the baby is very soon and announcing online next Monday, October 11th!
Obviously, the Hubs and I would be happy with whatever we end up with, but it is fun to speculate. Here’s what some old wives’ tales have told us.
Heartbeat: The kid wiggles so much, they can’t get an accurate read but last time it was between 150-160. Before that it was consistently 160-170s. According to the tale? Girl.
Cravings: Overall, I’m way into savory foods and lemons–lots of lemon everything. My want for sugary/chocolatey things has greatly diminished. Also, the kid REALLY demands kale, apples, and granola. According to the tale? Boy.
Leg hair growth: According to a coworker of mine, thicker leg hair than usual means more testosterone in the body. According to the tale? Boy.
Bump placement: If it’s high, apparently it’s a girl. If it’s low, apparently a boy. I have a high bump. According to the tale? Girl.
Ring test: With the wedding, let it dangle on a string. Swing in a circle means a boy and back and forth means a girl. According to the tale? Boy.
Epic levels of sickness: Apparently girls make you puke more. Given, my sickness was more due to gallbladder issues as a result of the pregnancy (more on that later), so I’m not sure I believe this one. Plus, my sister-in-law was sick as well and she just found out she’s having a boy. So who knows? According to the tale? Girl.
As you can see…so far it’s 50/50. But what’s your guess? Are there any wives’ tales that I’ve missed? Let me know and I’d be happy to try it out before the big reveal.
And thanks for all your patience with me as I took a blogging hiatus for my health. Now that I’m feeling better, stay tuned for a whole lot more. And maybe a rant or two about how we still don’t have a dishwasher.
It’s no lie this blog space has been somewhat neglected. Between all the author stuff from last year with signing with being in Pitch Wars, signing with my agent, and working on revisions for THE TRUTH ABOUT TWO-SHOES plus the added stress of holidays, I haven’t had much time to think, let alone focus on my health journey.
But that also made me realize something– all my recent posts were about writing. WRITING?!?!
While there’s nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t really bode with with my happy, healthy life journey–what this blog is supposed to be about. Not only did I let myself get too distracted with my writing (which contributed to me gaining some extra pounds), but I realized I haven’t been giving proper attention to my other writing love– health writing!
So, this blog post is to not only say that I’ll be blogging again but that I’ll be blogging differently.
From now on, I’ll be blogging about my favorite Mrs. Healthy Ever After things like recipes, married life, and my health journey here and when it comes to writing, books, and my author journey, I’ll be blogging at my newly updated professional site: www.NikkiRoberti.com.
And yes, I’ll still be writing about writing because…well…I have author things on my mind like 99.9% of the time.
But this way if you’ve been a fan of my healthy life stuff and recipes, you can still get it here and uninterrupted by my author stuff.
So first update on the health…I’ve decided to try something new. When I lost the 30lbs in 2013, I had done it doing a high protein and low carb diet. However, my cholesterol was pretty high– a hereditary issue I hadn’t know about. And in 2014…I unfortunately gained a lot of it back after my grandfather’s death and then focusing on writing books.
So now, in 2015, in addition to realizing I’m probably lactose intolerant, I’m amping up my plant-based diet by focusing on natural proteins from the ground rather than meat.
I’m calling it vegan-ish. I’ll probably never go the full monty of vegan (at least not any time soon), but for the most part, I’m hoping to live a predominately dairy-free life and minimize meat significantly.
But for those who love my recipes–never fear! I’m still cooking meat for the Hubs. Posts to come!
Has anyone else gone vegetarian, vegan or plant-based? How has it been for you?
So my lovely author friend Tasha Raulerson, whom I co-host a new webcast with, tagged me in a fun blog hop where essentially I just flip through my current manuscript and the first place my cursor lands, I need to take the phrase and that’s a new faux title for my book– EIGHT TIMES.
Could be fun. I’ll be brief though because I’m feeling a bit exhausted at the moment from my whirlwind past couple of months. But now I present to you the 8 TERRIBLE replacement titles for THE TRUTH ABOUT TWO-SHOES!
1) Arms Embraced Me
2) Overbearing Neck Kisses
(Okay…side note commentary– my book is NOT a romance. Totally anything but. There’s like one kiss. So this is…amusing/horrifying?)
3) Freebles and Frobbles
(More commentary: OMG PERFECT!)
4) Between Taco Shell Crunching
5) Like A Scared Child
6) Sarcasm Were Gone
7) The Very Best Private School
8) Leslie Shook Her Head
(Final commentary: While #8 is fantastic, #3 probably takes the cake! But MAN #6 is the worst by far)
Well, that’s that! Since I just recently tagged people in another blog hop, I figured I’d just open this up to whoever wants to join the fun. If you do, let me know and I’ll link to your blog below.
But my Book Baby is one step closer to being born. And I have news…
I HAVE AN AGENT!
Like a real one. A real literary agent! Like one who will represent, not only my book THE TRUTH ABOUT TWO-SHOES, but also my writing career as an AUTHOR!
(I may or may not have just done a victory lap around the cubicles in my office) So here’s how it happened…
The agent round for Pitch Wars arrived, and I was pumped. They featured my first 250 words and a 50 word pitch (view my entry here). But man, when I saw the other entries of my fellow Pitch Wars mentees— I was blown away!!! Everyone was so talented, I was suddenly so nervous I was going to be lost between the cracks.
Ask my coworkers. I was a crazy mess. By lunch time, people already had like six requests and I had none. While super happy for many of my Pitch Wars friends, I began losing hope that Pitch Wars would be my way to an agent and figured I should start getting my queries ready to send out.
But then something amazing happened. Agents saw me. And loved me. In the end, I had five requests on the blog and two private “ninja agent” requests via Twitter. I was BLOWN away.
One Ninja Agent saw me only because my Pitch Wars mentor’s BFF Rachel Simon decided to tweet about my entry to support me. One of her agent sisters saw it and tweeted it as well. And as a result– their agent saw my entry too.
Via Twitter DM, Carrie requested I query her and within a day asked for my full manuscript! I was on cloud nine!
After I got my seven requests via Pitch Wars, I sent a handful of queries out. Almost immediately I started getting requests for fulls. I was beyond flabbergasted. I’ve queried three other books before (given, none as awesome as THE TRUTH ABOUT TWO-SHOES. I revised this manuscript more than any other ones I’ve ever written), but I’ve never gotten so many responses.
In the end, I got 14 requests for further materials between querying and Pitch Wars. That’s a LOT of important people willingly reading my book.
And when I got my first offer and had to nudge the rest, it turned into an avalanche of both more requests, rejections, and calls. Two weeks after Pitch Wars’ agent round, I had seven phone calls with agents (six offers and one R & R). Carrie was my second offer, and I immediately clicked with her over the phone. She loved my book so much and had such great ideas for it. She also saw the other projects I was working on and was just as enthusiastic about those. At one point, she said the biggest compliment I’ve ever gotten in my life when she was talking about my talent as a writer: “I’d read your grocery list.”
But I talked with more agents, listened to their visions for my book, contacted many of their clients to see what it was like to work with them, and quickly learned that no two agents or agencies were the same. All the agents were fabulous and were so sweet to believe in my book. Making a decision was literally agonizing. Just ask the Hubs who ran out to get my ice cream one night so I could wallow while watching The Mindy Project as I tried to sort through each and every agent’s vision for my book.
But at the end of the two weeks, I couldn’t stop thinking about Carrie and how much we just clicked over the phone. So I called her up again with some more questions to make sure I felt the same way still and I DID!
And just FYI because I think it’s cool…that’s THE AGENCY WHO REPRESENTS CHUCK PALAHNIUK — THE AUTHOR OF FIGHT CLUB!
Carrie is so fantastic, and I am beyond thrilled to start working with her. This is an exciting new step in my author career, and I still can’t believe it’s happening.
Ironically enough, after her offer call, even though it was the second one and even though I didn’t know I was going to accept then, my neighbors and husband agreed we should celebrate since I didn’t get to really celebrate after the first offer because we already had plans that night– so we went out and got Chili Cheese Fries (because they are actually a part of my book lol).
So we are sitting there and my husband goes, “Wow. Did you realize you’re wearing a red cardigan today?” If you haven’t red my book, you don’t know that my main character wears the same red cardigan on occasion throughout her pregnancy despite how it gets tattered/doesn’t fit anymore. I looked down at my cardigan and argued it was wine colored but he continued.
“I’m so telling people you wore a red cardigan eating chili cheese fries after that agent call.”
“Haha. Please don’t. People will think I’m weird.”
“Can I if you end up with this agent?”
“Uh..sure. I guess so.”
So, I’m beating him to the punch. Hey guys. As a weird as fate would have it, the night I talked to my future agent, I wore a red cardigan like my main character and ate her favorite food (I swear none of this was planned lol).
Thank you to everyone who helped me get here. Obviously Mom & Dad for encouraging my writing, and my husband Addison for letting me spend so much time these past few months working on nothing but my novel even though it meant the house was a pretty big mess. Thank you to my AWESOME Pitch Wars mentor Rachel Lynn Solomon for her help revising THE TRUTH ABOUT TWO-SHOES, her crazy awesome advice handling query/the calls, and putting up with my stressed out moodiness. Thanks to the beautifully awesome Brenda Drake for running and organizing contests like Pitch Wars. Thanks to my writer friends–both old and new– especially my trusty CP Emily who watched my brain explode constantly via Skype.
Oh and thanks to my cubicle neighbor for putting up with my incessant talking about all this stress. She’s wonderfully patient.
I still can’t believe that my dreams are coming true! Stay tuned for further progress on this epic adventure ❤
I was tagged by my new author friend Rachel Simon for the Liebster Award. I have to answer her ten questions about my work-in-progress and then tag some more people and give them my own questions. Since THE TRUTH ABOUT TWO-SHOES recently completed it’s agent round for Pitch Wars (more on that at a later date), I’m going to answer these questions about my newest projects…yes…plural. Why? Because I’m a crazy person in love with two different books and am writing them at the same time until one pulls ahead as the one I should focus on. Last night, I started leaning a little more one direction over the other, but it’s still too early to say.
But regardless, here are my to WIPs: THE LIFE AND DEATH AND LIFE OF CRAIG and THE DAY I KNEW I’D BE MURDERED– both are young adult contemporary thrillers.
1. Describe your current WIP in 6 words.
CRAIG: Doomsday-prepping foster kids running from druglords (I may have cheated by making drug lords one word. SUE ME!)
THE DAY: Boarding school girl tutors red-flagged sociopath
2. Who was the first fictional character you had a crush on?
I’m not sure I had too many of those. Maybe Gordo from Lizzie McGuire? I had a thing for nerds (still do!).
3. What authors would you like to do a panel with and why?
This is a hard one. I’d honestly be so humbled to be on any panel with other authors. I love meeting writers and hearing their process. It doesn’t really matter how successful they are or what they write. But for the sake of being optimistic, I’m going to say my author friends who currently have unpublished works that are close to making their debut (I’ll tag some of those lovely writers at the bottom of this so you can visit their blogs since I’m giving them the award too!).
4. What is your favorite beverage to have when writing?
Really depends on my mood. Currently it’s anything hot (probably because it’s on the verge of snowing every day now) whether it’s green tea, chai tea, mocha lattes, or hot chocolate.
5. What is your favorite beverage to have when revising?
I literally edit with a gallon jug of water next to my desk so I can stay hydrated. If I’m not hydrated, my brain cannot work at all. Like…it cramps. Like a charlie horse for my noggin. Not pretty.
6. If you could describe your main character as a candy, what would it be and why?
For CRAIG, l there are two main characters whose point of views are being shared:
The first is obviously Craig, the 17-year-old foster kid obsessed with doomsday prepping. He’d probably be a jawbreaker because he seriously believes he cannot die. Talk about an invincibility complex.
The second main character is Trust (short for Trustine), a 16-year-old foster kid who puts up with Craig because she doesn’t have many options for friends so she gets in on the doomsday prepping stuff for lack of a better thing to do. She’d probably be a Ferrero Rocher– hard and prickly on the outside, but smooth and sweet once you get past her hard outer shell.
For THE DAY, the main character is a sophomore named Mia who was dumped at a super isolated boarding school while her parents travel the world on last minute notice. She’s a total word-vomiting empath without a filter, so her candy would probably be….eh… let’s just say old school Fun Dip. Just cuz. Those things always confused me as a kid, but I loved them anyway.
7. Did you ever change a character’s name (in any of your works)? And from what to what?
I did for once! Usually that’s something I never mess with. Once a character tells me his or her name, they’re stuck with it. Francis Grace in THE TRUTH ABOUT TWO-SHOES was originally named Katie Beth until a coworker’s wife made some very valid points on why I should change it to Francis Grace, but those are unfortunately a secret. Maybe one day…
Oh and last night in THE DAY, I changed a librarian’s name to Zeborah. You gotta trust me on this one, guys.
8. If you could describe your WIP in a song, what would it be?
I actually just picked a theme song for THE LIFE AND DEATH AND LIFE OF CRAIG the other night, and then added a second song to the playlist to get me started. The husband says the two songs don’t go together, but I don’t care. But here’s the theme song (for right now, at least):
THE DAY, doesn’t have a play list yet, but I’ll let you know when something hits me. EDIT: No lie. Two seconds after I published this, someone recommended a song and I was like, “Eh. This works maybe.” So just in case:
9. What is your main character’s astrological sign?
I actually hadn’t entirely thought about that yet for either book, though I’m not really into those. But CRAIG opens on Trust’s birthday– though I’m still deciding on what time of year to make it in. So far I’m leaning toward August…so I guess whatever sign is for August people?
10. If you could re-cast your favorite movie for today’s audience, who would play who?
My favorite movie is the classic PRINCESS BRIDE and that thing was sheer perfection. I’d recast with all the original actors (including the ghost of Andre the Giant to play Fezzik) and have them do it all over again.
WHO IS NEXT?
Here some of my lovely author friends who deserve some love and are being tagged for the Blog Hop!
And for their Liebster Award, here are the 10 questions:
1) How did you come up with your WIP’s title?
2) What motivates you to write?
3) Do you find yourself putting past experiences in your book? Give an example!
4) What is your main character’s biggest obstacle?
5) What is your crutch word that you always have to go back and delete because you use it too many times?
6) Who is your author role model and why?
7) What happens in your favorite scene from your WIP?
8) Please share a favorite line from your manuscript!
9) Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?
10) What advice do you have for other authors
It was subtle at first. The baby catcalls shouting, “You’re next!” The random pokes to the guts to “zap” some baby dust in there. But then, the we-want-you-to-have-babies-right-now disease spread in ways I couldn’t even begin to fathom or prepare myself for.
I was minding my own business in my cubicle when a lovely, dear friend and coworker of mine found her way to my desk. I stared up into her eyes, slightly terrified at the sight because…well…she somehow had procured a baby. In our office. Out of nowhere.
Note: I STILL DO NOT KNOW WHOSE BABY THIS IS.
And before I could even speak, she held him out to me and began rubbing his diapered butt all over me. “There,” she said with a sweet smile. “Now you’ll have a baby.”
Apparently I missed a major key component of sex-ed in school growing up, because I certainly was unaware that one could catch pregnancy through the act of simply touching a baby…
But it wasn’t just her. It didn’t end there. The terror of my blatant misinformation continued.
One day, my darling Hubs and I went to visit another coworker friend to play cards. They recently had twins and of course we both took turns holding them. And since babies are just so darn cute, we couldn’t resist a photo op. I mean, just look at this little guy. Who could resist?
But then a bizarre thing happened once I posted these simple pictures to the internet. It was like an outbreak of craziness infected our friends and family in cyberspace.
At first, we got the expected, “You’re next!” comments. But then things like “Congrats!” started trickling in, and I stared in horror at my computer wondering what the heck I was being congratulated on. For holding a cute baby? It’s really not that hard, people. Just find someone with an adorable little one and ask (though, it’s probably best if you know said person so you don’t, ya know, get arrested).
Then the disease spread further still. Comments left the photos to my actual Facebook wall. Dumbfounded horror slapped me across the face as I saw the words: “YAY! Saw you’re pregnant. Congrats!”
I immediately deleted the friendly comment before anyone else could see and then further assume I was pregnant, and then I politely contacted the person to clear up the miscommunication.
But it didn’t stop.
I got IMs from family members asking me if I was pregnant because they heard from so-and-so that maybe I was and that someone said I posted pregnancy announcement pictures or something.
And that’s why I’m here to warn you, oh dear young marrieds or anyone who, in fact, has two hands and can hold a baby. BEWARE. Use protection. And by that, I mean literal gloves on your hands– maybe even hazmat suits, because we have been gravely misinformed our whole stinkin’ lives.
You can get pregnant touching babies. That’s right. Skin to skin contact. Like Ebola.
And all this time I thought it was just sex! My bad.
So if you see me glaring at you next time you ask me to hold your baby, please don’t be offended. I’m simply trying to protect myself from this contagious disease, which now sorta makes sense considering every single person I know on the planet is pregnant at the moment or posting baby pictures on Facebook.
In the mean time, Addison and I will only be making public appearances near bundles of joy if we get to put these bad boys on:
**And for the record, because I know that for some inexplicable reason this still needs to be said even after some people read this: NO. I AM NOT PREGNANT. But I am terrified, so there’s that? **