Why Choose?

I am still in a haiku mood today—it’s a good poetic form to think on when running. The lines come out like breathless mantra. This morning I was thinking about choices and how we have to choose and limit ourselves to a few… or we can just run faster ;)

Paths Haiku

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Haiku For Night Runners

I’ve changed my runs up again and have started doing 2.5 miles in the morning and at night for a total of five miles. The morning run charges me up and gets me in the mindset for a good day. The night run has a different set of challenges.

Being National Poetry Month… I wrote a haiku about it.


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Shakespeare Day!

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 6.00.47 AMI woke up this morning to find Google celebrating Snakespeare…er… SHakespeare. Quite by accident we published our book, which pays homage to the brilliant playwright from antiquity, one week before the anniversary of his death.

You can find Snakespeare in Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon. The reviews are piling up already and our book has been hanging out on a few bestselling lists.

Here’s to William Shakespeare, still inspiring after all this time!

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Snakespeare Love!

Snakespeare has been making friends since he first showed up in the latest Literary Lizard book! He’s also received 5 five star reviews—that’s 25 stars total. Pretty stellar :D

You can find Snakespeare on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Snakespeare will also be available soon at Cafe Bienville, Artful Things and now L.J. Schooners! Come find Robin Wiesneth and I next to the Bouncy House April 30 during the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida‘s 40th Saturday in the Park event.

Here’s what some readers have said…

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Last ‘Before and After’

Fat angela skinnier angela2

Bye bye to XLarge in less than a year…!

I promised a last photo with this shirt. It’s been 19 days since I hit my goal and officially stopped trying to lose weight and so far I’m maintaining well. I haven’t gained anything back despite visiting a few desert tables.

All together I lost over 45 pounds in less than a year. I started tracking my pounds at 185. Clean eating was the key—no sugar, artificial sweeteners or processed grains. To help me stay on track, I relied heavily on 310 Nutrition Meal Replacement Shakes. They taste delicious, curbed my hunger, gave me plenty of energy and are easy.

Exercise didn’t factor in the weight loss in the beginning but was a key factor in the final pounds and keeping them off. I still try to keep my diet free of sugar, artificial sweeteners or processed grains but I have been indulging.

Running and exercise keeps the pounds from returning along with continuing to drink my 310 Shake for breakfast. One half hour of running in the morning and a shake for breakfast means I can now eat whatever I want and stay the same weight? Well worth it!

This #TransformationTuesday I offer up my before and after along with encouragement. Less than a year ago I had given up on ever losing weight and the best I could imagine was dropping 10 pounds. I attributed it to my age (47) and the fact that I have birthed four babies and have three grandchildren. I had given up.

In less than a year my life has transformed. The weight loss has affected all areas of my life and I feel like the me that was trapped inside has finally dug free and surfaced. Physically, there is less of me…but today I am more myself than I ever have been.

If you are dealing with weight and getting discouraged, don’t give up. Keep at it, one day at a time, and next year you will be sharing your amazing changes. I will be here cheering you on.

Previous posts on working out…

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Running (almost) Naked

Hello running huaraches!

Hello running huaraches!

My running has been a passionate act of love since I began last November. I adore everything about it—the sweat, the challenge and the feel of my feet churning over pavement. Then my first pair of shoes needed to be replaced.

I also hate buying and changing my personal belongings. One reason why I almost always wear the same thing is because I hate wasting time trying to decide what to wear (and if it matches!). That’s why I have eight pairs of black pants and shirts in my closet that all look the same. When I needed new running shoes I went back to the same store and got the same shoes. The love affair continued for 300 more miles. Then those shoes wore out.

Goodbye old runners...

Goodbye old runners…

Trouble started. I went to the same store to get the same shoes and found none in my size. I decided to switch brands to something that lasted longer. I hated the new shoes. I started spending far too much time and energy thinking about shoes.

“I wish I could just run barefoot,” I complained to a friend. I was told I could—in fact their is a whole movement of barefoot runners who swear it’s actually better to run that way. I started looking into it.


The Xero DIY kit I bought to make my own running huaraches for $28.

I won’t get into the details of how much better running in bare feet or minimalist shoes is. I’ve seen it called naked running, barefoot running and minimalist running. There’s a ton of studies already published on the subject all over the internet. I decided to try minimalist running shoes in our area rather than go completely bare because of all the sandspurs Florida tends to have.

I found a pair I liked at Xero Shoes—they have pre-made shoes as well as a DIY kit. The cost was low. I paid around $25 for a kit that included everything I need to make my custom running huaraches including the hole punch awl and extra laces. I liked the DIY aspect of the kit because it made me feel crafty and it was half the cost. I pre-made pair of Xero shoes still only runs around $50 or less. I was dropping $70 on my old shoes. The best part is that the Xero shoes come with a 5,000 mile guarantee. I won’t have to swap my shoes for a long time.

Finished 3 miles in nothing but sandals and feeling great!

Finished 3 miles in nothing but sandals and feeling great!

Today I ran my first three miles in my new running huaraches. I had no plans for distance, just testing out these new minimalist shoes. I was skeptical and did a few test laps in front of my house before setting out. I expected to feel discomfort and have a slower, shorter run. The opposite was true.

While I did start feeling footsore, it was minor and didn’t set in until around the 2.5 mile mark. My pace was steady and relaxed at around 10 minutes per mile. I found myself focussing on my environment much more as I kept a look out for gravel. The increased alertness made for an enjoyable, in-the-now experience. I finished my run on the third mile, amazed at how well—and comfortably—the tiny pads of rubber and cord on my feet had performed.

I’ll have to keep testing these, but if the experience remains positive I may be running my first race on April 30 in nothing but sandals.


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Focus Delay for Upgrades

Keep your Focus—we will be back May 1

Keep your Focus—we will be back May 1. Image courtesy of Robin Wiesneth/aBrushWithHumor.com

There have been some amazing things happening behind the scenes with the Panhandle Focus. We are upgrading equipment and software to bring a better Focus to our community. We are also welcoming some new team members.

Rather then rush and put out a substandard issue to our readers, we are delaying publication to May 1 while we make the changeover. We are excited to unveil everything soon and have fantastic stories and photos lined up.

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Snakespeare—Available Now!

Adobe Photoshop PDFSnakespeare, the second of the Literary Lizard books, is now finished and for sale directly from the printer. It takes a few days to become available on Amazon and other channels.

I’ve also ordered copies to supply our local fans at Artful Things and Cafe Bienville, both in Niceville, and I will be visiting the Kid Zone at the at the 40th annual Saturday in the Park festival April 30 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The festival is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Here is the schedule for when and where Snakespeare will be available—or purchase it from the printer now :)

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 6.54.35 AM


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Here comes Snakespeare!

Lizard 2 Cover 1.1I have always been fond of lizards, but I never imagined I would fall in love with one. From his birth, tapped out on my blog one night for fun, the Literary Lizard has unexpectedly captured hearts and earned fans—me included.

With Snakespeare, I’m excited to continue his story with Robin Wiesneth, the artist who gives him his lopsided, disarming smile. Her illustrations tell his story as much as my words, breathing life and color into the text.

“An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told,” writes Shakespeare in his play, King Richard III, and Robin and I hope that is what we have done here. This is the simple tale of a snake and a lizard, both afraid that the other will see where they come up short. In the end, words mend and build bridges for both of them.

In the final stages of publishing, the curtains are about to open to reveal Snakespeare, the newest book in the Literary Lizard Adventure series. It will be available on Amazon and local fans will be able to get their copies at Artful Things and Cafe Bienville, both in Niceville.

I will also be signing books in the Kid Zone at the 40th annual Saturday in the Park festival April 30 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The festival is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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From Bathroom Scales to Snake Scales

Finally, I can turn my attention from my bathroom scale to snake scales—specifically Snakespeare’s scales. Robin Wiesneth and I are within days of releasing the second book in our Literary Lizard series.

This story features a snake named Snakespeare who can quote from great plays but has a dramatic secret. Our favorite lizard discovers not only what’s irking Snakespeare, but the perfect solution that helps everyone.

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Even Snakespeare wants to trim his figure down! Illustration by Robin Wiesneth

April is National Poetry Month as well, and tomorrow night I will be celebrating with poets at Say the Word’s monthly Open Mic at French Quarter Grill, 714 Howell Rd. in Niceville beginning at 7 p.m.

There’s also some exciting new projects and news just ahead… but for tonight, I think, it’s time for bed.

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