Workout Wednesday – 5/9/12

This week I did:

Thursday: Aqua fitness, followed immediately by jogging three miles (this, btw, led to my best times ever, whether it was due to a great warm up or because I was wearing my wet swimsuit and was cooled off as I ran)

Friday: Last week’s PT routine – weight lifting

Saturday: I decided to rest due to the heat

Sunday: Jogged 4 miles

Monday: Last week’s PT routine – weight lifting.  Then after work I did 35 minutes of Zumba on the PS3

Tuesday: I was out all day and had planned to stop at the gym on the way home, but I had forgotten my sneakers, so I did nothing.

Wednesday: New PT routine – more weights this week

So I had this crazy idea of doing one of the Disney half-marathons this winter.  Crazy because I just started this running thing recently.  But I think it would be kinda fun.  My only concern these days is who would be able to go with me.  I could do the one at Disneyland, near my family, but it happens right after Christmas, which makes it tough to schedule.  Still I’m excited by the prospect.  I keep expecting someone to tell me that it would be crazy for me to do it.  I mean, like a month ago, I didn’t even know I could run one mile, much less 13.1 miles.  I think back to all those mile runs in middle and high school and what torture they were.  What a difference an inhaler (and 3 years of strength and cardio training) can make.

Anyway, so that’s my crazy thought for now.

Lots of love,



Sixth-Year Potions Class at Work

Today I did one of my favorite things at work.  I got to do potions class.  Here’s how I took ordinary tap water, made Felix Filicis, the Draught of Living Death, and then back to water.

(Note: the real ingredients and end product are actually very dangerous and should not be touched with your bare hands or drunk)

So first I started with plain old water, which must be rushing from the tap when you fill the bottle.

I added some powdered moonstone (Manganous sulfate) and crushed scarab (alkaline iodide-azide reagent). This turns the water into an orange floc which settles eventually.

To finish the Felix Felicis spell, you must add the dust of a fallen star (sulfamic acid powder) to the floc.

Ta-dah! Felix!

But the magic isn’t over.  Next up was to make the Daught of Living Death, a potion you certainly don’t want to mess with.

First I transferred my Felix Felicis to a new flask.  Then, of course, I need to add some valerian roots and the juice of the sopophorous bean (starch indicator).  By now your Draught should be pretty dark.

This is all pretty cool, but my favorite part comes next.  Now’s when we take this deadly Draught and turn it back into water.

To do that, you need the liquid from a phoenix egg (sodium thiosulfate in liquid form).  You drip this slowly into the flask until it turns blue…

…and lighter blue…

…and then, finally, until it turns clear as water once more.

Hooray, you have done magic!

And in real life, this will tell you the dissolve oxygen in your water.  The magic trick as a whole is called the Winkler titration.

Hope you enjoyed today’s potions class.  Tomorrow, perhaps, I will teach you how to find the antidote to an unknown poison  (We call this a Toxicity Identification Evaluation in the lab).

Lots of love,



So way back when I was writing Love Sucks (a million years ago, I think), I was looking for a name for my love/lust/inhibition drainers.  If it had just been love, I probably would have been find with “love drainer” or something, but for some reason “drainer” or “sucker” didn’t really appeal to me as an all-encompassing title for these demons.  This was before vampires were impossible to sell, but “vampire” didn’t quite seem to fit.

I turned to my writing buddies and asked for suggestions.  One had been taking Latin, and together we came up with “Haustor” or “someone who drains.”

Today I was working on a report that summarized major threats to different species.  Imagine my surprise when I came across the word, “Haustoria.”  Obviously, I couldn’t let that go without looking it up.  It turns out that the haustoria (haustorium = singular) are the part of a parasitic plant or fungus that draws nutrients from the plant.

Of course, it makes perfect sense that Haustores and haustoria have similar names and do basically the same thing–drain food from a host with a touch.  They were both named with the same Latin root (“to drain”). But it was cool to have my work and writing worlds collide with the chance encounter with a word I basically consider to be mine.

Do you ever have your writing world intersect with the real world in a weird way like this?

Lots of love,


Teaser Tuesday – Finding Trouble

So once the book is published, you don’t just stop!  You have to write more, of course.

This week I worked a little on my kidlit series Trouble.  This is from pretty much the beginning, so all you need to know is that Rebecca is a good girl, and she hears crying in the rain.

The solid, wailing thing shrieked and pulled away from me.  He flailed his arms as he went slipping in the mud and ended up on his butt.

It was a boy.  A boy with blue skin and white hair and pointy ears.  He was the strangest-looking boy I had ever seen.

“I’m sorry,” I said, twisting my hands together.  I hadn’t meant to scare him.

His eyes were huge.  Like a cartoon character’s.  He shot off the ground and grabbed the front of my coat with his muddy hands.  “You can see me?”

“Of course I can see you.”

He let go of me and started bouncing around the yard.  Like he was the Easter Bunny, I guess.

“Why were you crying, boy?” I said.

He stopped bouncing.  “I was lost.”

I felt so bad for him.  He had been so sad, and sometimes people are mean when you look funny, and he did look funny.  I held out my hand.  “Do you wanna come to my house and have some food?”

He grabbed onto my hand like it was saving him from water that was too deep.  I pulled him to the house, then we washed off his hands and bare feet with the house on the patio.  I left my galoshes on the patio and hung my jacket up inside the door.

The blanket he had tied around his neck dripped on the floor.  “Why are you wearing a blanket?” I asked.

“It’s a cloak!”

“What’s a cloak?”

He held out his cloak and shook it around, sprinkling the house with water.  “This is a cloak.  It keeps me warm.”

He didn’t look warm.  He was shivering.

“What do you want to eat?”

“I dunno.”  He was looking around at everything in our house with those wide eyes again.

“I’ll make you a sandwich.  Do you like peanut butter?  Are you allergic?”  My friend Kermit was allergic.

“Don’t think so.”

Good, ‘cuz peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were my specialty.

I pulled myself up onto the counter to get a plate down from the cupboard, pulled bread from the breadbox , peanut butter from the pantry, and jelly from the fridge.  The boy watched me put together his sandwich.  I cut the crusts off and cut it diagonally.

“Here you go.”

He stuffed one sandwich triangle into his mouth, then sat there chewing for a really long time.  I wanted to ask him more stuff about himself, but I couldn’t while he was eating.  It’s not good manners.

His mouth was full of the second half when my mom came in.

“Rebecca Kincaid, what do you think you are doing?” she demanded, her hands on her hips.

I look at the sandwich, then at the boy, then back at her.  I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

“You know that we have a humongous lunch as soon as your father’s sermon is over.  A sermon he’s starting in five minutes, and there’s no sign of you anywhere.  And here you are, making yourself a sandwich and ruining your appetite.”

“But Mom…”

“No buts.”

“But it wasn’t for me,” I said.  “It was for the boy.”

“What boy?”

I look at him, all blue-faced, his cheeks full of sandwich.  He swallowed hard and said, “Trouble.”

Hope you enjoyed!

Lots of love,