Sticking with #Keto!

I’m sharing these because I hope they help someone else make this change. On January 9, 2019 I made the choice to stop eating sugar, carbohydrates etc. and to completely change my way of eating. It’s funny, I knew how fat I’d gotten. I knew how bad I felt but I just couldn’t figure out what I needed to do to lose the weight. Then I found #Keto and intermittent fasting. Call it what you like but pictures don’t lie. I still have a way to go to get to my final goal but seeing these photos side by side blows my mind. I’m proud of the commitment I made and that I’ve stayed the course and continue to do so. If one person sees this and decides tonight to change their life, it’s worth sharing these fat pictures. I love myself and now I know sugar is the devil lol 😂 I’m 55 years old and feel 35 again.

Good Guys | Bad Guys | Writing the Villain

Everybody loves the good guy/gal right?

That main character who is above reproach and does everything with the motivation for good. He or she rescues the innocent, saves the day, rights the wrongs of the world and then rides off into the sunset on their white charger…or IN their white charger depending on your story, and the happy ending is complete.

However, sometimes your good guy does what society considers bad things in order to achieve the greater good and that’s okay! Like for instance, this incredibly handsome, brooding good guy who I love and miss already…where’s my next book George???

Please don’t ruin your Jon Snow by forcing a fake mental illness on another protagonist to end an epic fantasy because you want to go play with light sabers…OKAY? There is room for more than one good protagonist. Think Justice League or the Avengers. You don’t have to FORCE them into madness with no legitimate character build up, just to end your story. (Sorry they did that to you Daenerys.)

This guy was the perfect good guy and he was figuratively slaughtered for the sake of turning a good gal into a a bad gal through insanity. No, I’ll never get over it so back off!

Listen, even fairy tales don’t always have happy endings so let’s do better than that. I know we can! I have faith!

Bittersweet endings? Yes! Salty sweet? Oh hell yes! Just don’t waste our time for eight seasons and then completely corrupt our heroes.

Okay…moving on now…

Let’s chat about the villain of the story, assuming there is one. What makes them worth reading about?

Personally, some of my favorite villains have been those whose motivations are greed and power. They’re not cartoon character baddies (JOKER) but rather have layers…of badness. Not everyone just wants to watch the world burn. Some of them want all the goodies before pushing that detonator or snapping their fingers!

Some villains are jealous or feel disconnected from the world. Maybe they didn’t want to be the bad guy/girl but a chain of events awakened them to who they really are and catapults them into their destiny of trying to achieve world domination. Maybe they just want people to understand that this is what is best for all! Maybe there is actual character buildup other than itty bitty threads of foreshadowing that causes them to evolve into a complete psychopathic killer. Give me some acts of pure madness, even small ones before you make her burn an entire city when she hears a bell ring…right ZuZu??

Maybe the villain is just a mean girl who hates everyone except a select few other mean girls/guys who want to be her ride or die bitches. She gets off on hurting people and making people feel insecure and insignificant. She doesn’t have some tragic back story where she was orphaned and passed around from foster home to foster home. She’s a spoiled brat who obviously was never told the word no. Think Varuca Salt – I mean imagine if she hadn’t fallen into that rotten egg machine but instead, grew up to be Cersei Lannister, who died like the wicked witch of the east. God help me I’m still in so much pain over this.

I’ll get you my pretty and your little dragon too! Run along now before someone drops a castle on you too!

There are so many villain types but not all of them are worth reading about. We all know who they are:

The one who’s evil for evil’s sake with no real motivation. The one who likes to torture animals and believes everyone was put on earth for his amusement. No, not Joffrey Baratheon. Incest can cause madness but give him some substance, rather than making him/her/they/them just some one dimensional devil person. Please, we need more than that. This villain is overdone and he’s boring. We don’t need their life story but every villain is motivated by something. Just try to make that motivation believable, even if it’s as simple as greed.

The sexy hot guy who’s the tallest, best looking, most mysterious human in the story (or the equivalent female with the 18 inch waist and double D boobs.) Every man fears him and every stupid female wants the D and if she doesn’t, he’ll use his sexual prowess to convince her she does want it. Mkayyyyyy…Um…please don’t. Let’s not perpetuate the abusive, hyper-testosterone, toxically masculine bad guy who’s a beast in the sheets and on the streets. Ugh, just please don’t make women or men so stupid that they fall for this douche bag, at least not without some mind altering drugs.

Give me a villain who’s the neighbor down the street with the poodle and the Siamese cat named Bootsie, who spends his evenings working at a diner where oops, people come in to eat and are never seen again.

Give me the villain who’s obsessed with chemistry and accidentally discovers a formula that transforms her into an powerful wizard but changers her from a mild mannered scientist into an evil murderess.

Villains don’t always have to be out to rule the world. They can just wreak havoc on their town or use power and money to manipulate, dominate and destroy those they deem as the enemy. They’re jealous. They’ve been betrayed. The options are endless. Let’s not stop until we find them and write them all. Yes, even the bad guy deserves a great story.

 

 

 

 

#Vacations | Big Game #Fishing | #BreastCancer Research

Author P.S. Bartlett

There I go. Off living life again and this time, it was a two for one trip. Another Fantastic Voyage in the books!

It’s no secret I love the beach…the ocean…my family…my friends…margaritas and about a billion other things but checking off a bucket list item is always on the table. I don’t necessarily go hunting down bucket list items but when they become available, with the added cherry on top to do it for charity, hell yeah I’m in!

Poor Girls Open

About a year ago, my sister in law, Kim, came to me with an opportunity to take a fishing charter out of Ocean City, MD to fish for big game…like, BIG fish way out in the Atlantic ocean. Every year there is a tournament called The Poor Girls Open that has been going on for 25 years.

From the web site:

The Poor Girls Open is a ladies only billfish…

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#Ancestry, #DNA and Wait What? I’m a #Descendant of WHO???

DNA is innocent. DNA has no objective, no motive, no choice and definitely no other reason to exist but to be our building blocks. Last year I found out about all of the building blocks that made me who I am…well, at least physically…as a human being.

First and foremost I’m a history buff. I mean, I write historical fiction and do a ridiculous amount of research so I figured, why not research myself? I knew there were some questions about my lineage (see this post) but due to my DNA test I now know certain aspects of my pedigree were 100% TRUE and I’m good with it. However, what I didn’t know was, was tracing my ancestry would be so much FUN!

Let’s start at the beginning shall we? Below is my DNA Story, aka where all of my DNA came from geographically. Scientifically speaking, I’m kind of a mutt.

With that being said, I wanted more.

I started a tree. Guess what I found out? It does not grow on its own. You have to build it and then, no sleep. All you want to do is keep finding people and not to give away my age here but remember those old Breck commercials?

This thing grows more like weeds than a tree!!!
It goes off in all different directions and then these leaves pop up everywhere and you dont know which one to click on first!
Phew!!! More and more leaves and more and more people and let me tell you one thing, before the pill and other birth control…people had a LOT and I mean a lot of kids. I somehow imagine these families as the first models for baseball teams.

I was exhausted. Its expensive and its terribly time consuming but no, I don’t expect them to compile all of this information for free and once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t so bad. The problem is as a writer, I am constantly trying not to be distracted. Believe me when I tell you, this isn’t only a distraction it becomes an obsession.

A year ago I quit. I set it aside and walked away. I cancelled my subscription and gave up.

2 weeks ago, I decided to see it through. I promised myself no more than an hour or so a night (3-4 hours realistically) and to just try to enjoy it, along with the little surprises along the way.

Here are a few of my favorite surprises:

Poor Sir Richard Epson, my 16th Great-Grandfather.

Apparently he wasn’t a very nice guy. He was in charge of collecting taxes for King Henry VII. This little article here kind of explains what happened to him but the short attention span version is, Henry VII died and his lovely, darling son, Henry VIII was crowned king.

He didn’t like my grandfather very much.

He chopped his head off…not in the Ned Stark way you know, the one who passes the sentence should swing the sword but the end result was the same.

But…as if that wasn’t interesting enough, then I found this guy…

Yep. My 17th Great-Grandfather was a Sheriff of Nottingham and he wasn’t the only one. His son was too.

Despite this, I’m impressed with the fact that I expected to find bank robbers and peasants and instead, my English ancestry is chock full of Lords, Ladies, Knights and royalty. I found this little ditty on the interwebs as well. Its a bit difficult to follow but I’m related to all of these people. I may never sleep again.

Yes, those names at the top are my distant cousins, aunts, uncles etc.
And here I sit in my modest albeit comfortable home in the good old USA, dreaming of my ancestors in their castles and finery.
Damn you DNA. Damn you. 🙂

That Lady Diana connection though? I’ll be burning the midnight oil until I find her in the weeds.

 

More to come…I’m only in the 13th century.

Sir Richard EmpsonSo here’s an update:  Someone on Ancestry used a photo of Sir Thomas More for my 16 times great grandfather, Sir Richard Empson! I’ve since fixed it on my tree but I’m fixing it here as well. Below is my actual 16X great grandfather, with King Henry VII of England their other cohort, Sir Edmund Dudley.  

Book Review: Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling

Book Review: Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling by P.S. Bartlett – Lomeraniel Audiobook Reviews http://ow.ly/92oZ30kyFbQ

I was lucky enough to discover this book due to his narrator, Jake Urry, which has a distinctive style and velvety voice that I could listen to for hours on end. He really became Gabriel in this book, or rather Rasmus. Bartlett’s beautiful language found the perfect voice and style in Urry’s narration, and both text and voice complemented each other reaching perfection. This is one of those audiobooks that will stay with me for a very long time and that I absolutely recommend to everyone.