Another Day in the (American!) Life of Aussie Expats

Well everyone (American everyones),

It’s Friday again, and despite some considerable challenges, here is my weekly update.

The reason I’m late off the mark today? I have done a lot of writing recently. I spent the vast majority of last weekend writing (and rewriting and rewriting), my entry to the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge, Round 1. I was allocated to Group 45, and having been assigned Genre: Romance, Location: Nursing Home, Item: Locket as of 11:59, 22 July 2016, I set to work. I plan to do a post early next week detailing how I set about creating an entry for the challenge, but suffice to say, despite cracking out a first draft sometime on Saturday afternoon, I spent the majority of my weekend revising and polishing my submission. I also managed to get Monday’s blog post mostly written on Sunday, which is a relief, because my drive to write has been a little lower recently (hence the lack of a post on Wednesday).At the moment, I’m writing for an hour every day on the first draft of my novel. Add in study for uni and a number of assignment due dates coming up, and it might be easier to understand why today’s post is late!

Friday Storm

Today’s storm brewing over our garage… Sadly it dissipated into nothingness.

But what have we been up to? Good question. After a few discussions with some beautiful human beings (and I mean physically exemplary) at our gym, I decided to try flexible eating: or, if it sounds more familiar, If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM). The basic premise is that all food can be divided into fats, carbohydrates and proteins, and we need a particular proportion of these on a daily basis in order to lose weight, maintain our current weight or gain size. The beauty of it is that there’s no requirement to cut anything out: so if I want to have a ‘icy pole’ (like a poorer, less tasty cousin of the Zooper Dooper, for all you Aussies reading), I can. Everything just gets balanced against everything else and, theoretically, sticking to the goals

I’m sure everyone will be thrilled to hear that I had another mild cooking catastrophe earlier in the week. After having BBQ Pork Baby Back Ribs sitting in the freezer for more than a week, I decided Tuesday night was it, since James was leaving the next day. They were marinaded, wrapped in foil and set to cook, while we ducked out to training. I say ducked out, but we were gone for over 2 hours, which made me somewhat apprehensive about the ribs… Only to get home and realise they were perfect. I pulled the foil back, liberally applied some Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, threw the oven on broil and set a 15 minute timer while I went to have a shower.

Oh, woe is me.

Fifteen minutes was too long; broiling was too hot; American ovens still confuse me. Though the ribs were salvageable and pretty tasty, there was much table-side grieving (on my part, James is too much of a stalwart to indulge in burnt ribs grieving) for what might have been. I have vowed to try again, and watch the oven like a hawk! Also, I think I’ll steer clear of broiling anything for the near future.

James left Wednesday morning to road trip to Missouri for work. Sadly, the wild and overactive imagination that allows me to create short stories and populate a novel with bizarre people and creatures, also means that I tend to really freak myself out. Never having been alone at night in this house before, I managed to work myself up into quite a lather. What was the better option? I wondered. If I hid, would whoever was coming up the stairs, search all the cupboards and chop me into pieces? Maybe leaping from the second floor window and breaking both my legs was the smarter choice: I considered getting up and unlocking the window so I could get out faster. Could I hide behind the door with the bedside light or our mammoth salt lamp and brain them with it? If I killed them, how much trouble was I going to be in?

I hope this is a lesson to James to never and try to surprise me by arriving home early in the middle of the night. 

Otherwise, this week has been heavy with university work. A very frustrating publishing assignment is due next week and I’m hoping to get some feedback from a fellow blogger and classmate before submission, so the aim is to finalise draft numero uno in the next day or so. I’ve also calculated that I could 156 000 words written (roughly) if I continue with my current writing habits of an hour a day, which would definitely see me finish the first draft (god, I hope so anyway) by the end of the year. What does that mean? Well, I’m not quite sure yet: I’m hoping there’ll be a lot of pride, some chocolate cake and a flicker of terror about what happens next.. I’ll keep you all posted.

Kim and I are heading out for dinner tonight, so who knows what deliciousness and groaning overeating awaits us! I haven’t exercised or written for my stipulated hour today (cheeky sleep in this morning!), so it’s off to save the world!

Have a great weekend and look forward to seeing you guys next week.

— Ana.

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