Exercising My Options

First, my triumphant announcement:  Book 14 is finally live, hooray! (Click here for retailer links) Now, as long as there are no SNAFUs with the retailers, I can breathe a sigh of relief.  *crosses fingers*  Maybe I’ll even kick back and relax for a day or two.

Or maybe I should go and work out instead…

I have a love/hate relationship with exercise.  I’ve always been a bit of a jock, but I also have a bad case of inertia:  Bodies at rest want to remain at rest, and mine is no exception.

So I’m working away, planted comfortably in my chair, when I realize it’s mid-afternoon and my butt is putting down permanent roots into the chair cushions.  That’s when my better self murmurs, “You should get up and exercise.”

My lazy self whines, “But I’m busy and I don’t wanna! I’ll have to change my clothes, and exercising takes so much time, and it’s hard…”

This argument goes on for a while, but my better self (usually) prevails and pries me out of the chair.  It helps that I’m eager to get in shape for martial arts again — even though I’m too old and slow to compete, I still love to kick and punch the hell out of something that won’t hit back.

So I get changed and get started. Then there’s another whole round of whining until the endorphins kick in and I really get into my workout.  By the end, I’m frizzy-haired, red-faced, sweat-soaked, and grinning with the knowledge that I’m closer to my goal.  That afterglow carries me for the rest of the day, but the following morning is a different story.

I creak out of bed groaning and swearing and questioning my own sanity.  I mean, seriously, what’s the point? I’m going to die sooner or later anyway, and all the exercise in the world won’t change that. Why am I putting myself through this? I could just schlep around being comfortably weak, and I’d only be sore on the rare occasions when I overdo it.  I wouldn’t be sore every damn day. *whine, whine, grumble*

I was in my ‘cranky’ phase a few weeks ago when I arrived at my painting group. After struggling with my watercolour for a while, I let out a martyred sigh and announced, “I’m tired of trying so hard all the time! Why can’t there be just one thing in life that’s easy?”

One of my painting buddies spoke up immediately. “Gaining weight is easy.”

I stared at her, happily enlightened. “Dang, you’re right! And it’s fun, too!”

“Except for the long-term consequences.”

“Uh, well… yeah…”


So I’m sticking to my exercise program.  It’s slowly getting easier.

And hey, that painting turned out okay, too. After nearly two years of weekly attempts, I’ve finally created something I might just hang on the wall!  But I can’t decide on a mat colour.  Opinions, please?  (Click the thumbnails to enlarge.)


52 thoughts on “Exercising My Options

  1. I like the dark gray one best. I think it pops the painting. Choice number two is the light gray one. Ok so now I’m wondering what is the Canadian way to spell grey/gray?


    • Thanks, Joanne! And since you posed a word-puzzle, I had to go and look it up: Apparently the Brits use ‘grey’ and the U.S. prefers ‘gray’; but either is correct. Who knew? 🙂


  2. You’re whining about exercise, while I whine about cold temperatures! 🙂 My favorite way to be active is hiking in nature. Plenty of that these days. Love the comment of your painting buddy about gaining weight being easy. Some days, nothing else is easy. As for the background for your beautiful painting, I prefer the two last – darker – ones.


  3. I’m chiming in a little late here! Book 14 was AWESOME!!!! Loved Chow’s slap down of Holt. POW!! LOL!
    Anyway, your mat color choices are tough! I agree that the frame will probably be a good tie breaker. And picking based on computer pics is always hard. But I don’t think the first does much for it though. Too soft with the already soft tones that make watercolor paintings so beautiful and serene. The darker gold tone is gorgeous and instead of making my eyes pick up on the bluer tones, which is what I would have expected, I’m drawn the the golds and oranges in it. The grayer tone pulls me into the water and sky, is very soothing and makes the colorful-ness pop. I like it. But the dark green is a bold contrast to those colors. It pulls my eyes to the spaces in between the elements in your picture; spaces between the rocks, between the water and trees, and between the trees themselves. I’ve always believed that another life happens in the spaces between and to truly see the whole picture you have to get inside those places. Long story longer, I like the dark green. I can’t decide if I’d want a camera or a fishing pole if I happened upon this scene in real life, lol. It’s lovely.
    Thanks for sharing the pic and for another great book!


    • Hooray! I’m so glad you liked Book 14! 🙂 I always have fun writing Reggie — you never quite know what he’s going to do.

      And thank you for your thoughts about the painting, too! I like your observation about life happening in the spaces between — that’s a very cool thought. Green it is!


  4. Dark green but you could use the gray if you’re placing it on a lighter colored wall. Great project BTW! Be proud – water color is hard to master.


    • Thank you! I’ve been struggling with watercolour for a long time, so it’s nice to finally see a bit of progress. My next goal is to develop a looser style — that’ll probably take another few years… 😉

      And it sounds like the dark green mat is the winner!


  5. Third one Dianne is my pick and your picture looks Lovely. Making buns hear and I do need to finish a quilt and that’s lurking in the back burner up with that exercises. Curling is almost all done the maybe I could get serious about other things.

    Sent from my iPhone



  6. I would choose the dark green mat. Helps bring out background details. Very nice watercolour indeed. Congrats for your perseverance !


  7. I like them all for different reasons but having read all the comments so far I have to agree the dark green pops. And will look good on a pale wall.

    I’m still part way through spy High, so book 14 will have to wait a smidge but it has been downloaded and bought.
    I will probably be read it in Spain. I am really enjoying spy High again so I will be patient and enjoy books 10-13 before I read 14. The way I see it if I rush I will still have to wait til later in the year or next year for book 15. So why not enjoy and take my time.


    • Good thinking! That’s the lovely thing about books: They always wait without complaint.

      And I have to admit that Spy High was one of my favourites — it was so much fun to write Moonbeam and Karma and Skidmark for the first time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Either Heron with Green, or Heron with Cream in my opinion, Diane. I think the cream makes the picture seem a little warmer, but the green makes it stand out a little more. Love the painting by the way – I always knew you could do it!
    But exercise. Who has time for exercise in this day and age? I don’t have time to breathe fully at present!


    • You’re right about breathing – maybe that is the exercise. (That, and fighting with computers, as you well know.)

      And thank you for the compliment on my heron – coming from an accomplished painter like you, that means a lot! I feel the same way about the mat colours as you do — I can’t decide whether I want ‘lighter and warmer’ or ‘brighter with more contrast’. Hmmm…


  9. Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is 14 is out in the world now and your international sales keep climbing!
    The bad news is just a reminder that the creaking and stiffness you feel in the morning might just be early onset rigir mortis (EORM) so you better keep motivating to get out there and move!


    • EORM – that’s hilarious! I’m afraid that’s part of the equation for me, but I’m pretending I’m only sore because I’ve been working out hard. “Middle age: That time of life when a person wakes up every morning thinking they’ll feel better tomorrow.”

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I like the darker green mat as it brings you right into the picture.. Nice work! Painting is Something I haven’t tried and have decided to stick to spinning and knitting yarn since I have a lifetime supply! Looking forward to a good read too Peggi

    Sent from my iPad



    • Thanks, Peggi! I have a LOT of yarn tucked away in my to-do closet, too, and lately I’ve been playing with yarn made from worn-out T-shirts. I never seem to find time to finish a project, though. Maybe one of these days… 😉


  11. Oh wow – you did a great job on that painting, Diane – does your talent never end? It’s really good. As for a mat, I like the way the dark green makes the colours stand out, but I wonder if the grey-ish mat would be more timeless and also look better against your pale yellow wall; it would let your painting itself be the focus, while still providing a “frame” for it, whereas the yellow/tan ones might blend into the wall too much. Then again, blending may be a good thing. In summary, I can make a good argument for any of them, and this is the sort of thing I can parse until the cows come home and eventually just have to take a leap of faith. I think louisa has the best answer – whatever you and your husband like best is what you should end up choosing. And while it IS expensive to change it, it’s still POSSIBLE to do so down the road if you grow tired of your first choice.

    Congratulations on going live! And congratulations just as big, of a different sort, for continuing to motivate yourself into activity. I’m a sedentary slug. Can’t understand people who have energy to spare. *shakes head mournfully and wishes I were one of them*


    • LOL! I don’t know about ‘energy to spare’ — most days I have just enough to go around. 😉

      And thank you for your congratulations and kind words! I did exactly what you did with the mats: “Well, this one works because a) and b); but that one works because c); and then there’s d)…” At least I know I’m not alone in my thought process. 🙂


  12. After wearing out practically every joint in my bod working for a living when I was a much younger man, my indifference toward exercise is rapidly becoming harder to suppress. It doesn’t just hurt *after* I do it, in other words. Thus, the only real exercise I get anymore is jumping to conclusions. Well, that and running off at the mouth.

    Perhaps a secondary consideration with your *very* nice artwork, but what background will the frame/mat/picture hang against? That can work for or against the mat color, too. My nano-penny’s worth. Otherwise, the dark green, hands down.

    And Book 14 absolutely rocks. Just finished reading it again! Time well spent.

    I’m still pretty much on track for getting mine out there this summer. Well, as far as I know. Anyway, that’s what I’m pushing for.


    • Look at you go! A summer release would be great, but the ‘right time’ to release is ‘when you know it’s ready’. As long as you have the goal, you can always adjust the release date!

      Aha, another vote for the dark green. The wall is pale yellow, so I think the dark green would look fine.

      And I’m pumped that you still enjoyed Book 14 the second time around — woohoo! Thanks! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. on chapter 24 it’s great , fantastic, wonderful , funny .I cannot put it down. Thank you for all your hard work, going back to read more. Do you think I need to make dinner to-night? I just want to read and enjoy this book, oh we can have beans on toast quick easy and hardly any any reading time wasted by eating.


    • LOL! Beans on toast sounds like a perfect dinner. You can even eat it one-handed while holding a book in your other hand. And wow, you’re already deep into Book 14 — I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! Hooray! 😀


  14. I started exercising to assist my daughter in her quest to shed for her wedding and that support lasted about 2 weeks!!!

    And I totally dig the green mat!! And the watercolor is very impressive. My paintings look like a kindergartener did it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lisa! Pretty much everything else I’ve painted with watercolour was kindergarten-quality, too – this one is the exception. Maybe I’ve finally turned a corner and I’ll start getting better now… or not… 😉 Seems like the green mat is pulling ahead in the polls — maybe my decision will be getting easier!

      And I completely understand the 2-week workout. That’s about how long I lasted before I started struggling, too. But I’m still trying! I figure anything is better than nothing…

      Liked by 1 person

    • One of the funniest cartoons I’ve seen: Bride and groom getting into limo after wedding. Rice in the air, cans tied to the Just Married sign on the bumper. Bride is overheard saying, “Oh, boy!! No more Weight Watchers!!” The look on the groom’s face was priceless…apropos of nothing at all, of course… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Can’t wait to read #14. I’m traveling next week so I’m considering saving it for the trip but not sure if I have that much willpower.
    Nice painting! The mat color might be influenced by what frame it will be in (wood, metal, colored,,etc), the color of the wall, or other paintings near where it will hung. Disregarding those factors, I like the look of it in either the light tan or the light grey (green? not sure of the exact color). Anyway, the first two options are my favorites.


    • You’re right about all the other influencing factors – I was thinking of using a slightly distressed-looking natural wood for the frame, and the walls are pale yellow. The paler mats that you chose really brighten up the painting, and that’s why they made my shortlist, too. Such a tough choice!

      I hope you enjoy Book 14! *fingers crossed* 🙂


  16. I prefer the last mat, probably because I’m picturing a deep colored wall behind it. But the third compliments the painting’s colors better. Pretty painting.


  17. Hey Diane-I think the green mat makes the painting colors more vibrant. Really though doesn’t matter what we think you are one who is looking at it daily so you and your hubby’s opinion are the ones that count. It’s a great painting!


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.