Go big or go home

Dale and Heather

We were five months along with baby #2 in May 2014 during our trip to Peru

I’m the type of person who generally doesn’t shy away from a challenge. In fact, periodically I choose to make something more challenging because I like the philosophy of go big or go home. I did both (literally) when we had our son 21 months ago. He weighed in at 9 pounds 14 ounces (yes, you read that correctly), so I both went for the “oh my” big weight factor, and went home from the hospital happy he was no longer kicking around inside of me. Not that I had control of his weight – although I tried to by teaching cycle multiple times each week until I delivered – but it seemed appropriate that his weight fit with my life philosophy.

Now that we’re expecting package #2 in September, I thought I should make the most of my last few weeks of only caring for one child. So what am I up to?

Gee, I thought now would be a good time to start my own estate planning law firm since I am an attorney and all.

Then of course there’s preparing for the baby by doing everything around the house and yard that I couldn’t do while I had a broken foot for eight weeks this summer and won’t be able to do for awhile after the baby’s born.

Oh, and did I mention I’m submitting my mystery novel, Beguiling Deception, to literary agents so I can hopefully get a publisher to accept it sometime this year?

So yes, big, big, big.

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Here’s hoping baby #2 weighs in below 9 pounds. I’m thinking 8 pounds sounds splendid.

If you’re interested in joining me on this wild, summer ride, you can do a couple of things. First, you can follow me on my new website, www.HeatherHarshman.com. I’ll be posting teasers on my novel, short stories, travel tales, recipes, funny stories, and whatever else tickles my fancy. I’ll also update you on my journey, providing tips along the way on what I’ve learned in the process. This website you’re on now will be discontinued shortly.

Second, you can like my Heather Harshman Author/Speaker Facebook page. I’ll post additional updates on my writing on that page, such as information on the publication of my story, Winters of Solace, in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life in September 2014. I’ll also respond to your thoughts, questions, and whatever else you are nice enough to post.

Reboot your lifeTo get things rolling, I’m going to treat you to a sneak preview of Beguiling Deception since I know you’re wondering what kind of novel an attorney, writer, mother, fitness instructor type person like me would write. So buckle up and get ready for a sneak peak in the life of Candice Morgan, my main character.

Beguiling Deception

Candice Morgan enjoys practicing law until her life becomes a criminal case of its own. She finds a girl stabbed to death at her office. Then the killer sends a riddle, demanding she deliver what her deceased father failed to produce or people close to her will continue to suffer or, preferably, die.

Candice scours her attorney father’s criminal client files, searching for the killer and evidence to prove her father’s innocence while her friends solve the riddle. Their research reveals details about her father better left buried, but once uncovered, Candice has to deal with them in her quest to find the killer and the truth.

Hope becomes a pastime for Candice when she realizes the killer’s demands are based on a reality of his own making, yet his aggression accelerates, his grip on her life tightens. Death is Candice’s shadow as his relentless pursuit locks them in a battle that can be fought by no other, insisting she give him the impossible or die.

Who needs cell phones anyway?

If someone asked you, what is something you’ve done that’s had a lasting impact on you, what would you say? Skydiving? Backpacking through Europe? Starting a non-profit organization?

For me, it was being pregnant. There were a lot of special moments I treasured, like knowing I was never alone, seeing his hair and big feet in the last ultrasound before his birth, and watching my husband say silly things in a very loud voice to get the baby to move (it didn’t work). I still savor these moments even though baby Christian turns one this month.

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Yes I had a massive belly. But at least the brain still worked.

And then, for most pregnant women, there are those parts of pregnancy that are memorable for not such fun reasons:

  • The realization that being able to bend at the waist is pretty dang convenient,
  • An appreciation for having a waist,
  • The acceptance that snoring is not just for men,
  • The shocking reality that you can’t turn from one side to the other in bed without shifting your weight ten times,
  • And pregnancy brain.

Lucky for me, I only had to experience the first four of these. I should be thrilled I was so lucky, right?

Not so.

I got the pleasure of experiencing post-pregnancy brain instead. For the first six months of Christian’s life, I trained myself to stop asking my husband Dale, “Where is my phone?” Instead, I started brainstorming with him to narrow down the universe of possible locations of my device. This exercise never included naming any “normal” places like on the kitchen counter, in my purse, or on the bed, because my brain was anything but normal during those sleep-deprived days.

“My phone isn’t in the refrigerator,” I’d say to him. “It’s not in the oven or the dryer. I didn’t leave it on top of the car this time.” Smile. “What about the dresser? Did you look in the drawers?” After a few weeks of this mega waste of time, I decided to just let it stay lost for awhile, unless Dale was around to call my phone so it could alert us of its location.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, things were elevated to the next level when I went to Costco with a girlfriend. I stocked up on all the usual things, and then tossed a gargantuan bag of chocolate chips into the cart because it was time to get back into my baking groove.

Two days later I opened my trunk and gasped. There was the bag of chips. I’d unloaded everything but them. When I picked it up it was a melted bag of gooeyness. Great. I’d committed chocolate abuse.

That bag still sits in my pantry as a painful memory of my mental incapacity. Now if I want to bake with chocolate, I have to slam the bag into the back patio concrete to break it into useable pieces. This is wrong on so many levels.

What bizarre or funny things have you done when mentally out of it?