Seasons Greetings!

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So, I tried. And I mean I REALLY tried. I barricaded myself in my office, I tried going to Starbucks and two different libraries, I tried writing the chapter out by hand, I tried putting word limits on things like… when I can eat again. None of it worked.

So I think I’m suffering from fatigue and need to take a break. It’s December now, which means Christmas and my birthday:

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With a packed schedule this month, I think it’s a good time for me to go on hiatus and give myself some time away to miss these characters and miss writing, hopefully that’ll get me back on the wagon. So, there won’t be any updates this month. I’ll be back in January.

Thank you all as always.

Lots of love,

WishingMrGreyWasHere

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Monday Update

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Sorry guys, that brief reprieve last week turned out to simply be the eye of the storm. I had something big come in at the end of the week (for work) just as I was starting this week’s chapter that monopolized my time and has left me empty handed on Monday morning.

But if any of you happen to be on one of the health plans I do legal compliance for, you’ll be happy to know your health insurance benefits will be ready as of 1/1 (US readers only.)

Thank you for your continued patience, and I hope by now you all know that it bothers me to be late as much as anything 😦

Have a great week!

xoxoxo

WishingMrGreyWasHere

PS. I’m a horror movie whimp, so I haven’t seen Suspira but Bad Times at the El Royal and My Dinner with Herve were both excellent! See them if you can because Jamie and Dakota are going places.

 

Author’s Note

Hello Readers! Please, gather round…

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Everyone comfortable? Great!

My life has been hectic. I know in my last author’s note I promised that I would be back with a new update on October 8th, but that’s tomorrow and I’m just no where close to being finished with the next chapter. Not for lack of trying! I spent my entire Saturday this week locked in my home office trudging to get through this chapter and it just didn’t happen.

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Part of it is because this is a very emotional chapter and it’s a little difficult to navigate through, which I think is something to look forward to, right??? But most of it is because my work load at my job has exploded in the last few weeks and hasn’t slowed down as I expected it to by the time this particular Monday rolled around. The chaos has made finding the motivation to do anything at night other than binge watching old seasons of Grey’s and eating entire pints of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked literally impossible. Which unfortunately includes writing.

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Actual picture of me last Thursday night.

The silver lining is that, fearing my imminent mental break down, my best friend thought we needed a weekend at La Push to unplug, be unreachable, and de-stress. That’s right Twilight fans, in real life that cell phone Edward gave Bella for when she was with Jacob would have been utterly useless because there is no cell service on the reservation. I assume because of werewolf magic.

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To be clear, I’m #TeamEdward

(Christian 1.0)

And since my weekend away will mean fewer days to finish the next update as well, I’ve decided that it’s best not to post mid week and get off my normal routine and simply delay posting chapter 23 until October 15. I know, I suck. And I’m sorry. But it looks like chapter 23 is going to be a long one so hopefully that counts for something? IDK… but I did want to let you guys know in advance not to wait for an update and that I really am sorry to leave you high and dry two weeks in a row. If it makes any of you feel better, I had to watch the Seahawks lose to the Rams today, so Karma is alive and well.

Have a great week everyone! I’ll be thinking of you from the ocean!

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xoxo

WishingMrGreyWasHere

Updates

Happy Tuesday everyone! I know that most of the U.S. is experiencing a devastating heat wave, but here in the Pacific Northwest it’s only 48 degrees. So, I think it’s appropriate for a…

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Fireside chat. That’s what that means.

Anyway…

I know I’ve been terrible at updates for WEEKS. And I have all kinds of excuses. My job’s been really busy, we’ve been travelling a lot, my husband is on summer break (he’s a teacher) so he’s been hogging all of the time I usually reserve for writing… but I know that you all probably aren’t interested in excuses. You just want to know where your update is.

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The unfortunate answer is… I’m working on it. I don’t know what it is about Final that’s making it impossible for me to find my groove and get into a routine, but I’ve been on the struggle bus for a few weeks now.

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There are so many things I’m excited for in this story, so I don’t want you to think my interest isn’t there and I’m going to quit. I’m not. In fact, when I sat down and plotted this book out from start to finish, I nearly cried with how well this ending wraps up all four books and finally (haha, get it?) concludes Christian and Ana’s story. Calliope though… there might be more. There’s hardship, and drama, and angst ahead, which you all know I need to live, but the HEA I promised from day one is still fully intact. I want to get there. I’m excited to get there. I’m not going to ghost you all and disappear, promise.

This summer, between family visits, camping trips, vacations, weddings, and standing in line for Seahawks tickets, I might just need some extra time between posts.

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That being said, I’m going to actually take the rest of this week to finish chapter 12, because it’s an important chapter and I don’t want to rush it. And because I want to get back on my Monday schedule. How I thought I’d be able to get back on a Monday schedule when I’ve been posting on Wednesdays because I already couldn’t get it finished in a week is BEYOND me.

But I want to offer a heartfelt and sincere thank you to all of you who have followed me through this long journey we’ve gone on together. Honestly, I really do feel terrible when I don’t have something to post on Mondays because I feel like I owe it to you with how much you guys have been there for me. Without your constant love and support, I probably would have abandoned ship on this story years ago. And now, not only do I have three completed books under my belt that I can look back on and feel proud of, I actually met with some people in LA a few weeks ago to begin work on copyrights and purchasing ISBNs and meeting with cover art artists for my own original novel. That wouldn’t have happened without all of you, so THANK YOU. Truly. For everything I’ve given you these past three years, you’ve given me so much more. And for that I’ll never be able to fully express my gratitude.

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Get it? Hahahahaha

(Best Barbra impression: Stick around for the jokes)

So, while I start plugging away at chapter 12 again, I hope you’ll all be like me and will be wishingmrgreywashere.

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Fifty Shades Freed: Don’t Miss the Climax (He He)

Obviously, for those who haven’t seen Fifty Shades Freed yet…

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A few weeks ago, I won a drawing to attend an early pre-screening of Fifty Shades Freed. It was built up to be this big media event with press, and studio executives… turns out it was really just like going to see any other movie. But that’s fine because it was free and I got to see it a day earlier. Take that, countdown app!

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So, Wednesday night, my cousin and I got all dressed up, went and had dinner at the Space Needle (for the most Seattle-y experience one could have, obviously), and headed off to the movies. But standing there, in the long line of other contest winners, the pure, unadulterated excitement that consumed me prior to seeing both Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker was not there. I was happy to be there, I was looking forward to seeing the movie, but there was absolutely no chance I was going to pee my pants.

It was an odd moment.

I think it was because of Fifty Shades Darker. It’s my favorite book of the trilogy and after the interminably long wait between 2015 and 2017, I was out of control with anticipation. I said in my last review that I obsessively stalked filming updates with near religious conviction, and it wasn’t an exaggeration. I’m pretty sure I’m the reason the Fifty Shades Darker trailer broke the Star Wars view record. I think my phone might STILL be playing it on repeat…

But when I left the theater after Fifty Shades Darker, I was feeling let down. Upon retrospect, I did it to myself. I overloaded before I even got to see it until it was built up to this great big thing that nothing could ever actually have measured up to, and it ruined an experience for me that, two years prior, was amazing.

Note: In order to test this theory, I am also willing to have sex with Jamie Dornan. Just to see if you really can over hype something into mediocrity.

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I made a promise to myself with Freed. I wasn’t going to ruin it this time. I wasn’t going to DVR all the talk shows or live stream the premier. I wasn’t going to watch the trailer 50,000 times or even watch any of the promo clips that were released in the weeks leading up to it. I was going to go into this movie with absolutely no expectations.

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And here’s how that turned out:

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You guys. It’s so good. Like, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. I left the theater last night unable to stop talking about it (Sorry, husband). I’m actually mad that I’m not watching it right now. I want to go into my bedroom, turn on my TV, pull up my Amazon library, and scream at both Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker for NOT being Fifty Shades Freed.

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Let’s discuss, shall we?

The Good.

Jamie Dornan:

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I know you’re all going to take this with a grain of salt because of the source material, but he was so good. I feel they changed Christian’s character a bit from the books, but I love every second of it. He was so funny and warm in this movie. He made me fall in love with Christian in a whole new way. Spoiler: There’s a scene at the end where he’s trying to cook Anastasia dinner and he burns everything, including my loins, and while Ana gives him a bit of a hard time for it, he just pushes the pan aside and says, “Fuck it, let’s get take out.” I. Die.

Anastasia: 

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I love Dakota Johnson, and this is in no way a dig at her (since I put Jamie and not Christian), but I LOVE Anastasia’s character in this movie. Anastasia Steele might have been meek and shy, but Anastasia Grey is a badass. She will knife you if you stare too long at her husband, she will run your ass off the motherfucking road if you want to chase her on the highway, and she will get FINALLY get on her knees and do the deed for her very giving man. She’s still hilarious and warm and cute, but I loved the strength of her character so much in this movie. 10/10, Ana. Get it, gurl.

The Honeymoon Montage: 

This was just cuteness overload. Most of what came before the beach scenes was just quick flashes of them running through Paris, but it was seriously SO sweet. Spoiler: There’s a quick scene of them running through the pouring rain into this little cafe and Christian is shielding them both with his jacket. When they sit at the table, Ana has to dump water out of her shoes, but they both just laugh. They’re both clearly so happy and in love. Ugh, I loved it so much. Even the sex during the honeymoon was romantic and sweet, not gratuitous. It might be one of my favorite parts of the movie.

The Sex: 

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Apparently there was some outcry about Ben and Jerry’s and Ana not being included in Fifty Shades Darker because we get it in the Aspen scene, and it’s just as hot as it was in the books. We still didn’t get the D, but Jamie’s pants were not present for every sex scene the way there were in Darker. It was explicit and prevalent. Freed is only like an hour and a half long and I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 30 full minutes of that was sex.

The Soundtrack:

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I think that the music has been good in every movie, it’s something the Fifty Shades franchise has really excelled at. In fact, for all of my friends who hate Fifty Shades (don’t be too hard on them, everyone is wrong about something or another) I always refer to the first movie as Oscar Nominated Fifty Shades of Grey, because Earned It got a nomination for best original song. Anyway, Freed killed it. The music was perfectly chosen and really just made the whole thing cohesive. Unlike I Don’t Wanna Live in Darker, I was never wishing they would turn the music down so we could hear the dialogue better.

Seattle: 

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They actually filmed a lot of the aerial/car chase scenes IN Seattle, so that felt really nice to me. No fake 12 flags to report this time, folks.

The Pacing: 

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I think this is actually where the first two movies have their biggest weakness. Well, this and the scripts. The first two dragged in some places and were too rushed in others. But this movie felt really well paced the whole way through. Honestly, because of how well this was edited and put together, I think it’s my favorite of all three movies.

I could go on, I want to. Jack Hyde, more scenes of the entire ensemble, Luke Saywer’s gorgeous blue eyes… But I think it’s time we get to:

The Bad.

Aspen: 

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But for literally the opposite reason this was my least favorite part of the book. In the book, this part just drags on and on without any purpose or reason. In the movie, it’s really not long at all. BUT the club scene where the guy feels up Ana on the dance floor and Christian punches him out, you know, the one we saw in the trailer, that’s not in the movie at all. Elliot proposes, then everyone dances a little bit, Ana kisses Christian and suddenly it goes into this weird spliced scene between Ana and Christian in the red room and Ana in her office the next Monday. It’s a very jarring transition and honestly made the whole club thing pointless. I’m hoping we’re going to get more of this scene in the extended cut, because, as is, it’s baffling.

I’m pregnant: 

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The scene where Ana tells Christian she’s pregnant fell flat for me for the same reason the Christian submissive scene fell flat in Darker. It was SO rushed. There was no shock, realization, anger… it was just:

Ana: I’m pregnant

Christian: Instantly furious.

But also, not really furious. Jamie toned Christian down a lot, so he gets mad and storms off, but not in a Christian Grey epic meltdown kind of way. The table didn’t even get flipped. There wasn’t enough build up to this scene and so his following actions just didn’t seem realistic for me. That might not be an issue for anyone else, but if I was going to point to one pacing issue, that would be it.

And that’s it! THAT’S ALL OF THE BAD.

It really was such a good movie. The best of the three in my opinion and I can’t wait to see it again. I’m a little devastated that this franchise is coming to a close. I’m going to miss the anticipation for these movies so, so much. I really hope Jamie and Dakota both go on to have amazing, lucrative careers, and make plenty more films for me to indulge in for years to come.

Thanks for the ride, EL James. It truly has been remarkable.

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Welcome Back!

I know it’s been a long, cold winter, but never fear…

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Happy February!

 

First of all, I hope that all of you have had a wonderful few months. It’s been about since Thanksgiving since I posted anything and it honestly feels like a year ago. I took a pretty serious break between Thanksgiving and Christmas and didn’t do anything. No plotting. No writing. Nothing.

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It was fine.

BUT THERE ARE THINGS I’VE MISSED! I promised updates, specifically in regards to Darker.

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But, the truth is, I still haven’t finished Darker. I haven’t even picked it up in weeks. If this book was everything you’ve been holding out for for two years and you loved it, then I am very happy for you. Personally, I think it’s a little dry and I’m having some difficulty getting through it. I think the book is written in a way where we’re not really given a new perspective on the plot, instead we just see Christian’s internal reaction to dialogue in the moment, and in, I FEEL, a fairly shallow way. For example:

 

In Fifty Shades Darker, we may get a line where Ana says, “Christian chuckles.”

In Darker, that same scene will say something like, “Damn, this girl is funny. I chuckle.”

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There just wasn’t enough insight to Christian’s character or his journey for me. I still want to get to the Leila stuff where he finds her in Ana’s apartment, and then the later submissive scene, but the last thing I read was the pool table scene so I’ve got a ways to go. I did appreciate Christian’s subtle dig at Portland in chapter one though.

“Well, it is Portland…”

#SeattleRulesPortlandDrools

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But speaking of re-writing the exact same material in an extremely dull way–
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Thank you all for your requests! I had so many that, at my normal writing pace, it would have taken me six months to get through them all, LOL.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have six months, so the list was whittled down to what I think were the most important moments we didn’t see and to what I think is going to be important for The Final Shade of Fifty. In total, I have fourteen, possibly fifteen, outtakes with two, possibly, three left to finish. There is one, from Carrick’s PoV, that will be important to read before The Final Shade of Fifty, as it will bridge the time gap between Stronger and Chapter 1.

I’m going to wait until Fifty Shades Freed comes out, then I’ll do a reaction/review post similar to the one I did for Fifty Shades Darker. Once that’s up, the outtakes will start going up (probably one every three or four days). That should put us in March somewhere for the first chapter of The Final Shade of Fifty.

I do have some new subscribers since last November, so for those of you who are new, WELCOME!

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Once I begin posting book four, you can expect updates every Monday. I’m not 100% done with the plotting of TFSoF, but I don’t think it’s going to be quite as long as Stronger was. But Stronger was 50 chapters, so this is a good thing.

I do have a new beta for The Final Shade of Fifty, AND for my original work (title: TBD), so I’d like to thank Stephanie for all the work she put in for A Broken Shade of Fifty and A Stronger Shade of Fifty, and would like to thank Erika and Robyn for agreeing to put up with me for my next two books. I know you all don’t get a lot of the “behind the scenes” stuff that’s gone into Shades of Fifty so far, but it entails a lot of panicked phone calls that begin with, “I’ve changed my mind, I need to talk you through something…” and then a two hour long conversation where I inevitably end up right back where I started.

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^Actual image of my previous Beta during the last few weeks of Stronger

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you’re all as excited about Fifty Shades Freed as I am. It was only last week when I realized that (besides Fifty Shades Darker) Jamie didn’t have a single new release last year, so I’m ready for his beautiful face on the big screen once again.

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Lots of Love, and eternally…. wishingmrgreywashere.

Announcement!

Welcome to fireside chats, second edition.

Did someone bring marshmallows? Everyone cozy?

Great!

In December 2014, I got an idea for a story. It started simple enough, Christian and Ana meet in college when Christian is still Elena’s submissive. The idea was that Christian wouldn’t have enough separation from Elena’s control that the consequences of the abuse he’d endured by her hand would be more blatant and would therefore HAVE to be dealt with (since E.L. James never really did). With that in mind I started plotting, and while the idea remained intact the story took on a life of its own and quickly bloomed into A LOT more.

It took a month for me to do the general outline of the entire story, and then another month working out the finer details/arcs. And on March 31st 2015, A Different Shade of Fifty was born.

I’m not one of those writers who can just write chapter to chapter, I’ve always been working from an overarching outline from start to finish, and then a more narrow, granular outline for each book. I always knew the trial would happen, I always knew about Elena’s club and Mia’s involvement, and I always knew it was Andrew Lincoln who would come for them in the end. The outlines I write from are so detailed, they include dialogue. But as I started to approach the end of a Stronger Shade of Fifty, that became less and less true. This is the actual end of the 84 page outline I created three years ago.

Long, angsty hospital scene where Christian is in surgery. He’s fine, it all works out. They move into the big house and live happily ever after.

Seriously. I went from basically creating a whole separate outline for Ana’s book, just so I would know exactly how and where it actually mirrors what happened between her and Christian, and writing turn by turn directions for how Luke and Kate take Ana to Cape Flattery for the wedding, to “He’s fine, it all works out.”

Now, I’m actually at the end of A Stronger Shade of Fifty and I’m left with… how?!

How does this all work out? How does Ana ever step into a room again without having to check all of the corners to feel safe? What happens to all the remaining pieces that Lincoln couldn’t just dispose of, like the police involvement? Where do Kate and Elliot go from here? What ever happened to Carter?

I fell into the classic trap. I closed the plot, but I didn’t create resolution for the characters.

I think I thought I’d be able to answer these questions in “future takes”, like a few scenes here or there would fill in the details and we’d all be satisfied.

But I’m not satisfied.

Not even close.

So, that being said, I’d like to announce…

Book 4: The Final Shade of Fifty.

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Time frames: 

I’m going to do the Stronger outtakes first, the same as I’ve done with every other story. For those of you who never followed me on fan fiction, my typical process is to write all of the outtakes at one time (offline) and then post them as I get a head start on the actual story. I’m probably going to take a break to decompress from the Stronger roller coaster and really solidify everything I’m going to do for TFSOF (which includes one major arch I had to cut from Stronger due to it’s already over complicated plot– excitement!), and will most likely begin writing the outtakes sometime after Christmas. Depending on how many outtakes I end up doing, I should start posting the first chapter of The Final Shade of Fifty probably sometime in February.

In the meantime, please stay subscribed as I will be posting other Fifty blog posts, like my review of Darker and initial impressions of Fifty Shades Freed, and will keep you all in the loop of where I’m at in the process of getting TFSOF up.

For those of you who were really excited about The Family, I’m sorry. I was excited too. But if I don’t finish what I’ve started now, it’ll leave a bitter taste in my mouth for the rest of eternity. I will not be writing that story. Instead, once Shades of Fifty is ACTUALLY complete, I will be starting an original work, which I will also post here. That’s right, an original. Thanks to the encouragement of everyone here, I think I’m finally brave enough to really take the plunge and create my own characters with their own problems and their own drama. It’s nerve racking and vulnerable, but I can’t wait.

Is three too excessive? No.

See you all Monday! Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to my American followers. If you’re not in the U.S., you should still eat a lot of food today. I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of loophole in the space-time continuum that makes it so that calories don’t count on the 3rd Thursday of November. At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself as I throw down this second (or forth) slice of pie.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering. I’m still wishingmrgreywashere.

Trigger Warning

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Once again, I just want to give those readers who are sensitive to certain topics a heads up before I post the next chapter. Chapter 48 is rated M for intense situations, strong language, and violence. If you are someone who would like to avoid difficult subject matter I would encourage you to reach out to me privately and after the chapter is posted I will give you the run down of what happens without all the gory details.

A day in the life

Hi everyone.

Let’s have our very first fireside chat, shall we?

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Cozy? Good.

So this last week, I was obviously behind on posting. I finished the last chapter on Wednesday, and posted the same day. That meant that the first day I could start chapter 47 was Thursday, which was coincidentally the day I got to go to the emergency room.

Unfortunately, my body hates me and I’ve spent the last few days on opiates. For those of you who have never taken opiate (as was the case for me before this week) let me tell you about some of the fun things I learned.

  1. They make you itch like you have the freakin’ chicken pox. Everywhere. What even in the…?
  2. They work really fast. Great if you’re in pain, bad if you’re hoping to get something done before you conk out, which leads me to…
  3. The sleep. Since Thursday afternoon, I have been awake only a total of MAAAAYBE 16 hours. I literally am astounded by the amount I’ve slept. Apparently, I’m a lightweight.

This morning I woke up feeling great. I was sure the worst was over and I was going to force myself to write an entire chapter in one day AND watch the Seahawks. I was even feeling so good that I decided I could go grocery shopping with my husband (to ensure he didn’t come home with an $100 worth of IPA beer and sunflower seeds).

But there, in the middle of the aisle of my local neighborhood Safeway, the pain struck again and now I’m home in bed looking down the long orange tube of an Rx bottle. So, here’s the deal. I’m still going to try and finish this chapter today. I got a good start this morning, so I’m hoping momentum will get me through. But if the pain killers win and manage to knock me out once again, I’m probably going to be late posting this week.

Wish me luck.

And wish my husband luck, because if I end up sleeping the Seahawks vs. Texans, my house is not going to be a place you want to be for the next week…

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xoxo

WishingMrGreyWasHere

Update

I wish I could say that I’m not finished with this week’s update because work has been too busy, or the Cubs being in the NLCS occupied most of my nights this week (all true) but in reality, I think I’m just suffering from a good old fashion case of writer’s block.

I’ve drafted and re-drafted this chapter a few times and I can’t tell if I’m just trying to make it too complicated or if something needs to change. I’ve tried addressing the first, but obviously to no avail, so I’m going to work on the second.

It shouldn’t take me until next Monday to be finished, so just keep an eye out for this week’s update. It will hopefully be up in the next few days. If you haven’t subscribed to my email list, this would be the perfect time to do so.

Sorry guys 😦