Danzar Christian is… ME!

Jenn is Deeniefoo is Danzar Christian.

Confusing, right?  

Hey, I admit it. It’s not easy keeping track of who knows me how, but I have changed the way I am approaching my writing. I’ve got several new ideas percolating and I’m halfway to completing the rough draft of Delano’s story.  This is MAJOR and I am super excited!  

SO!  Find me on twitter (@DanzarChristian), look for me on kickstarter (I’ll post more info as I get it!) and HAPPY READING!

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Damn. That got away from me…

My social media has gotten away from me.  I miss most of what is going on with my twitter friends. I haven’t looked at pinterest in weeks. Tumblr?  I haven’t had the time.  And then there is facebook. Many friends ask me, “Did you see what I posted?”  Sadly, unless I’m procrastinating on my novel, I can’t be relied upon to check my facebook timeline at all.

That said, it’s NaNoWriMo time, people. I’ve been working on this storyline – off and on – for something like 6 years.  So, naturally, I was checking my facebook timeline this evening.  (Seriously. Me writing this book is turning into a Boston record. It’s been 6 years and I’m about halfway done. At this rate, the second will be done about the time I retire!)  

Anyway, I’m glancing at the timeline tonight and find myself reading my friend Sam’s blog (since I happened to notice he’d posted one). And I realize he’s linked to MY blog.  This blog. That I haven’t updated in MONTHS.

BAD DEENIE!!  

The good part is that, as of today, I owe UNICEF $42. I’m hoping to increase this to an even 43 by the November 24th deadline. I’m also going to go out on a limb and set birthday donation intentions for 2014 as well.  And I’m stating right now that I am REALLY looking forward to participating in Live Below The Line again!!  

I’m going to set another goal to be more diligent in my writing here. So now that it’s almost bedtime, I’m going to check out the open Word document that is mocking me, see if I can get one or two new words down.  

6 years.

 

 

Updates and Kudos

So… Here we are, beginning of May. Or Middle of May, if you want to be snarky about it. Where have I been?  

Lost in space… Or twitter. Same thing, right?

Seriously, though. I’ve been rattling around in my head lately – trying to figure out what my purpose is, how I can get where I feel I need to be, trying to picture myself as… well more than this.  

My conclusion? I think I’m trying too hard to see the destination when all I need is to be able to see the next 10-20 feet in front of me.  

So now I am updating again. I have the first few feet behind me. I committed to AND SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED the Live Below The Line Challenge that ran April 29-May 3, 2013. So far, I have raised $266 for UNICEF – which exceeds my initial goal of $250. (ENDLESS thanks to my supporters!! OH!! And donations will be accepted through May 31, 2013. If you want to contribute, please go to http://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/deeniefoo and pitch in!! :D)  As for my previously stated personal donation for weight lost, here is an update: I put a contribution of $36 towards my Live Below the Line fund-raising as that is the dollar amount equal to the difference between my highest documented weight and today.  I will measure again at the end of May to see what more I need to put in to keep things square. 

And I WILL keep it square. I’m using http://www.myfitnesspal.com for tracking food and I am finally walking again. I have put in at least 1.25 miles 3-4 times per week for the last 3 weeks. On nice days – like yesterday and today – I walked both morning and evening.  This morning’s trek was especially lovely – around 60 degrees and a light rain that woke me up and made me feel clean and loved.  It was gorgeous!! 

I have reached out and connected with people lately, too – both old and new friends – to widen my social circle and pull me into the world. And this IS crucial, or I will spend all my time playing Candy Crush Saga. 

And, perhaps most importantly, I now have several ideas in process for my writing. Some are extremely spicy, some incredibly funny and one that will require some fairly extensive research and several boxes of facial tissues before it is complete. 

Since I want to work on at least one of them for an hour or so tonight, I had better get this published and make dinner. My daughter is prodding me to make my chicken pitas — I call it shawarma just so she will eat it.

The next few feet will unfold as they may 

Wednesday… Valentine’s Eve

It’s the day before Valentine’s Day. No worries – I’m not going to go all maudlin on being single yet again. Promise. I’m just going to post a Valentine for you from Hashtag Genius:

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Little Hiddles is the cutest!!

I had a thought strike me today. I was listening to an inspirational webinar and I was urged to find joy within myself. It was then that I realized a truth: I AM JOY! Both literally and figuratively — Jennifer Joy, to be precise. So isn’t it time I lived up to that moniker? And I am and will, from this day forward. I accept the joy in my heart and will cultivate it outward.

Weight loss is a mystery. My bathroom scale is simply not reliable. Over 3 days, I had 6 vastly different weights – about an 8 pound range. I intend to visit the doctor’s office Friday morning and borrow their scale. I’ll update again after my weigh-in.

I think the big key for me will be in making good meals on the weekend so that I have leftovers to carry myself forward. this past week I have been simply tossing whatever I grabbed out of the fridge into my lunchbag. And it’s been… unappealing. Though I DID have a moment of hilarity today. I managed to gross out my boss by eating a tube of applesauce. (Seriously — she ended up leaving the lunchroom. Poor woman! **giggles!**) I know it wasn’t gourmet cuisine or anything but it wasn’t THAT nasty!

Super excited for tomorrow – I took a half-day and I’m off on Friday!!! YAAAAY!!

Blessings and love to you all!!

Deenie

Deenie’s First effort

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Okay, so this isn’t about a pretty, hand-made craft.  It’s about effort. The first effort. The first REAL effort I have made in an embarrassingly long time. 

The first part of my purpose is bald: I’m grossly overweight.  The fact of the matter is that I’ve paid lip service to my health for several years. I’ve tried this or that diet halfheartedly, each time saying that I’ve had enough of being the fat one. But when it came right down to the wire, I really haven’t done ANYTHING to change my thinking, my actions or my future.  Thankfully, I am still healthy, despite the neglect.  Cholesterol is good, blood pressure is good, glucose levels are just where they should be.  So this is as good a place as any to start, right?

The second part is where this gets a little muddled: I have a new-found passion — UNICEF.  Yes, the organization that aims to help children all around the world.  In reading a popular actor’s UNICEF blog (see the previous post, please), I found myself inspired to act.  But HOW? I’m a single mom, underemployed and with few contacts.  Well, first I donated a little bit of $$ to a fund in this actor’s honor for both my daughter and myself. Next, I signed petitions and re-tweeted posts. Then I talked with close friends about my new focus. Fine, good. But NOW WHAT??  I need to do more. I need to do something directly.  

Which leads me to The Challenge: How do I combine what I MUST do with what I feel COMPELLED to do.   Aaaah… Mindbender.

It took me a few days but the answer came to me while washing dishes Saturday morning.  I could lose weight to end global hunger.  Direct action on my part.  Nerve wrecking, too, since I’ll be putting my status out there so… publicly.  But this is the kind of statement I feel I need to make.  As a bonus, if I am as successful as I hope to become, I will be in condition to volunteer directly in the near future. Then I will be able to act even MORE directly!!   

SO — what I am proposing is this:  2 “finish lines” this year that are of significance to me and a pledge from myself and my supporters to donate a certain monetary amount per pound lost during that time.  The first finish line is May 28, 2013 – my 42nd birthday. The second is November 24, 2013 – my daughter’s 16th birthday.  My supporters can choose the amount they wish to donate. I am pledging $1 per pound for myself.  I will keep myself in touch by weighing in and blogging about my successes, challenges and progress. 

The starting point: 281 lbs. as of 2/1/2013.

Wow.  Words escape me.  Well, not really. POSITIVE words escape me so I will simply say there is plenty of room to raise cash!    

The beginning plan is that I will be paying attention to my servings, drinking more water and getting more movement. Simplistic approach, yes, but YEARS of being on and off various weight loss plans taught me what works for me and what doesn’t. And I know I will be more successful with baby steps. I will be more successful if I am relaxed and adaptable rather than restrictive and regimented. 

So, here we go.  Wish me luck and feel free to make a supporting pledge as you feel comfortable.

Bless,

Jenn   

The #Tom_UnicefUK Fascination

So — those of you who are friends with me on facebook or follow me on twitter know that I’ve become wrapped up in Tom Hiddleston’s UNICEF trip to Africa. I’ve posted several times about how wonderful I think this trip is and how wonderful I think Mr. Hiddleston is for having gone. And I’m sure more than one of you is wondering what the HELL is up with my fascination.  Give me a few paragraphs and I’ll get to it. 

First — Mr. Hiddleston is a working actor in a popular movie franchise.  He is as human as any of us except for the fact that most of us haven’t had to don a charming public persona in order to go to work.  When he steps into view, the public expects to see a dapper, affluent man in the prime of life. We expect him to smile, waive and appreciate the attention because we are the reason he has a job.  To his credit, Mr. Hiddleston has more than lived up to our expectations. He seems to understand how tenuous public opinion can be and appears to be appreciating his good fortune while it lasts. 

Next — We all know there are challenges in developing countries – just as we know there are homeless people living under bridges in (insert community here) or that this (child/woman/man) is abused by a loved one every day.  Reality is ugly. But so long as we keep it at the back of our minds we can go about our business. We can order in pizza, eat it as we watch the news and exclaim, “Oh! Isn’t that terrible!” then toss out the leftovers without feeling too guilty.  We do this because we don’t have to affect change if we don’t face it directly. 

Did you get that? If. We. Don’t. Face. It. Directly.

Mr. Hiddleston may be in Africa as a celebrity ambassador to UNICEF but in doing so he is facing the reality of developing countries directly. He has stepped away from the comfort of his home and television and delivery pizza, taken a deep breath and opened his eyes to reality.  Granted, large portions of that reality have probably been sanitized so that he can bear to witness them but it’s still more than I have done. 

When I read his words and see the pictures, I can’t help but think Mr. Hiddleston has stepped out of his depth deliberately.  Tom Hiddleston cannot supply all of the necessary medical equipment on his own. Tom Hiddleston can’t clean the drinking water. Tom Hiddleston cannot heal sick and malnourished children.  What Tom Hiddleston CAN do is be visible. What Tom Hiddleston CAN do is describe what he sees so people who pay attention to him can see what needs to be done, too.  What Tom Hiddleston CAN do is inspire people who admire him to act. In my mind, THAT is the entire point of his trip.  THAT is the entire reason organizations like UNICEF bring celebrities to their sites.  Awareness. Inspiration. Recognition.  

Apart from defending the man, I can’t help but wonder how he is coping – especially with regards to the children of Donka Hospital. To me, his words seemed stunned.  I realize I am attributing my emotional response to him but when I closed the browser window I had the impression that Mr. Hiddleston has lost a kind of innocence most of us will always retain.   I imagined he felt much less significant when he entered that ward of twenty children than he had even at the doorway. I imagined he felt helpless. I imagined he felt useless.  I imagined that he will never have another day where he doesn’t remember the small child with Vitamin A deficiency and wonder if that child became one of the 65% who are cured.

And that’s the reason I am fascinated. That is the reason I keep refreshing my twitter account, hoping to see his next post.  Tom Hiddleston’s trip to Africa has struck a chord in me that I didn’t know was there. 

I realize that I live and have lived a superficial life, paying lip service to self-improvement and school and work and love and career. I have made no strides, little or great, down the road to being the person I know I could be if I only tried.  I say that I am hoping for things to happen. I say that I hope to make an impact. I say that I hope to make a difference in the world but I back away from the risks associated with those hopes. 

So this blog post is me, trying to find my way from the superficial to the meaningful. This blog post is me putting my toe on the road with “an open heart and an open mind”.   This blog post is me, saying, “Thank you, Tom Hiddleston.  I am inspired.”