Category Archives: Inspiration

Health and Fitness for Creative People, the Ebook

I’m thrilled to present my new ebook to the world!

Health and Fitness for Creative People has been something I’ve wanted to put together for several years because I do believe that stronger in body is stronger in mind. Feeling better, being healthier is going to improve a person’s production, energy levels and their creative endeavours will benefit.

It took a lot longer to write than I had initially thought because there was just so much information I wanted to include. I’ve given presentations by the same name at conferences and never seem to have enough time to tell the participants everything I wanted to. With the ebook I got to include everything I wanted and it is packed full of what I believe to be valuable information for creative types looking to improve their level of health and fitness, their craft and their overall well being.

If you stumbled across this blog post and don’t know who I am, I competed in Fitness for 10 years, including 4 years in the IFBB Pros and have trained over 150 athletes to the stage, plus hundreds more individuals seeking better health. I have a black belt from Master Gee’s Black Belt Academy and am working my way toward my second degree black belt. I am a published author, blogger, speaker and avid crafter, always seeking to produce higher quality and quantity of my work. I have helped authors and artists reach their fitness goals and decided I wanted to help as many as I could.

It’s available on my site, you can view more information there. I also managed to get it up on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com! Big shout out to Jill Flannagan for help in that new adventure. I might get some of my other manuals up there in the future.

Thanks to Diana Rowland for the great cover blurb, as well as to Howard Taylor and Chadwick Ginther for their kind words. Of course, I have to post their blurbs here to show them off. I’m also going to add to the end of this post a list of what you’ll find in the ebook. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about the ebook before you rush out and purchase it (I know you all want to!) feel free to email me at sandrawickham@live.ca!

schlock

“Sandra Wickham’s counsel on health and fitness has been invaluable to me for the last five years. She’s an expert here, and she’s a class act besides. ”

—Howard Tayler, Writer and Illustrator

 

thunderroad

“I knew a lot of the information in HEALTH AND FITNESS FOR CREATIVE PEOPLE–most of us do–but I kept it compartmentalized in such a way so as not to do anything with that information. HEALTH AND FITNESS FOR CREATIVE PEOPLE kicked down those walls and delivers all you need to know to feel better and create more art in one well-researched volume. (And I’m not just saying this because Sandra has me in an armbar.) ”
—Chadwick Ginther, Author of Thunder Road

 

 

What you will find in this Ebook

  • This is a ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-ONE PAGE manual, complete with everything you need to improve your health
  • Straight talk on why this is important for every creative person.
  • Help with finding your motivation to start and to continue improving your level of health and fitness.
  • Lots of geeky apps, suggestions and resources to satisfy your creative geek.
  • A section on proper posture for sitting or standing desks, including simple to do exercises to improve your overall posture!
  • Thorough information on cardiovascular and strength training so you know what to do and how to do it.
  • Helpful nutritional information covering everything from weight loss, to eating out and healthy snacking.
  • Also included are tips on getting enough sleep, and a section for those over 65.
  • Finally, a Now It’s Your Turn section including:A Quick Stretching Routine
    A Five Minute Creative Break (away from your desk)
    A Desk Break (you don’t even have to get up, but you’ll feel better!)
    Tips for Fitness and Health on a Budget
    A Sample Treadmill Workout (to shake things up a bit!)
    Tips on How to Avoid Overtraining
    Many Different Motivational Tools
    Inspiring Quotes of All Sorts to See You Through

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Filed under Creativity, fitness, Health, Health Ally, Inspiration, Nutrition, Nutrition Tips, Sandra's Writing, Training Tips

100 Happy Days

I’ve just started participating in the 100 Happy Days Challenge. It’s a simple concept, you take a photo every day of something that makes you happy, for one hundred days in a row. The one hundred part is a bit daunting, but I figure if I can do 100 pushups, 100 sit ups and 100 deep squats for my black belt fitness test, I can do this.

Day One: Making preemie caps for the hospital

Day One: Making preemie caps for the hospital

I’m in the early stages of 100 Happy Days and right now it seems easy. I find myself excited to pick something to post and even thinking ahead to what I can post the next day, and the next day. That’s the point, really, to get yourself focused on the good things in your life. We’ll see how I feel about it when it’s day seventy, but I hope to see this out to the one hundred day finish line. Wish me luck. And also happiness.

My Mom

My Mom

Uncle Fatih's pizza on cheat food night.

Uncle Fatih’s pizza on cheat food night.

Today’s is easy. I’m currently at our Ink Club meeting for January, something I started up to give writers, artists and creative people of all types, the peer pressure nudge to sit down and actually be productive! This is our sixth meeting, I absolutely love it and I think everyone else does too. The atmosphere is fantastic, we get to socialize with like minded people during our breaks and work hard on our creative endeavours. No question, it makes me ridiculously happy.

Ink Club!

Ink Club!

Ink Club!

Ink Club!

Have I sparked your interest in it? Check it out over at 100happydays.com. All you have to do is sign up and start. You can post your photos to twitter, facebook or instagram, or if you don’t want to publicize them, you can email them in to 100 Happy Days. Let me know if you decide to join in! We shall all be happy together. Big thanks to Andrea Westaway for bringing this to my attention. I know she’ll finish her 100 days and it will be spectacular.

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Filed under Creativity, Health, Inspiration, Random Wickhamness

My VCon Schedule

I’m excited for VCon 38 this weekend! I’ll be on several panels and I’m doing two readings, one at the book launch on Friday night and one on my own on Saturday. This year we have great guests of honour including Dan Wells and Mur Lafferty. There’s always lots to do at VCon, panels, discussions, readings, the art show, gaming, dealers room, crafting and much more.

This year’s theme is pirates!

You can see the whole schedule online HERE. VCon is using the great site Sched.org, so you can choose lots of options for viewing. Say, for example, you wanted to find out when a particular guest was doing panels and readings (ahem) you can click on their name and see their entire schedule. To save you the trouble of clicking on my name, I’ve included my schedule below. The book launch is open to everyone, the panels and other reading I’m doing are part of the convention membership.

Come join the fun!

 

Friday, October 4

2:00pm  Marketing Short Fiction and Poetry 

 3:00pm  Publicity: The Good, The Bad and the Bonkers

4:00pm  TAURINE : Legacy of Jolt

7:00pm Book Launch (reading)

8:00pm Writing Girly Women

Saturday, October 5

11:00am  Interview with Dan Wells

1:30pm  Author Reading: Sandra Wickham

5:00pm  Drawing Out the Dark Side: Tapping Into Your Inner Villain

Sunday, October 6

10:00am  Pirates vs. Ninjas

11:00am  Writing for Fighting

 

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Filed under Conventions, Inspiration, martial arts, Sandra's Writing, Writing

Smiling Through the Tears

Eileen Kernaghan, the leader of the writing workshop I used to attend, posted yesterday that one of our members, David Glyn-Jones had passed away, just before his 91st birthday. Every workshop meeting, he was even more energetic and enthusiastic than me, which is saying a lot. He and I used to talk about his swimming and strength training and his exuberance was a breath of fresh air.

David Glyn-Jones

I attended the launch of his first novel, The Queen’s Sword, published by Fireship Press* back in 2010 and was so inspired, I blogged about at the Inkpunks in a post titled, Never Quit. I definitely learned that lesson from David.

At the launch he told us, with a twinkle in his eye, that he’d been a professional author since the age of ten. He received fifteen shillings for his short story in a contest, and then, he says with a grin, there was a 60 year gap. You couldn’t help but laugh with him, David was as charismatic as they come, a former professional musician, stage and screen actor and singer. Wait, there’s more. He got his Royal Air Force pilot’s wings in 1942 and did “34 missions in Lancasters. From there [he] was seconded to the UK Foreign Office on Political Intelligence and played out the war in London.”** He also had an accounting degree, occasionally directed and he recorded nearly 400 books on tape for the handicapped.

One of my favourite David memories is from one of our workshop sessions. After the group had verbally critiqued David’s submission, he collected all our page comments, tapped them neatly on the table top and said, “Thank you. I hate you all.” His delivery was perfect and the way he summed up how we all sometimes feel after being critiqued was spot on. We all cracked up laughing and I’ll never forget it.

Truly, David was an example of living life to its fullest, but he also shows us the importance of never giving up. If writing is your passion, your dream, pursue it. Never quit. I know that’s what David would tell each and every one of you, right after he cracked a joke to make you smile and tried to sell you one of his books. There are tears now, but every time I think of David I will smile and be strengthened along my writing journey.

David, you will be missed.

*Also published by Fireship Press, David’s second book in the series is The Queen’s Jewels. The Fireship website describes David’s books as fast-paced and intrigued- filled novels set in 1599 at the court of Queen Elizabeth. Sworn to defend the Queen, Michael finds himself embroiled in treacherous plots, and undercover investigations, some which lead to his own arrest. England’s most vigorous and colourful era is captured in this stirring tale of intrigue, treachery, and dedication to duty.”

**from David’s website

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Ink Club Becomes a Thing

It’s official! When I proposed the idea of getting together for productive creative time I didn’t know if anyone would come out, if anyone would enjoy it or if anyone would want to continue meeting. Turns out, people are digging it! The first two sessions had just over twenty people come out to each night and so we’re going to make it a regular gig, every other Monday or as close as we can get to that.

Ink Clubbers busy during Creative Time

Ink Clubbers busy during Creative Time

I’ve posted it before, but I’ll include the information about Ink Club below, in case you’re in the area and want to join in. Our next meeting is Monday September 23rd, we meet at Nerd Headquarters, also known as La Fontana Caffe. I post our meetings through the Nerd HQ Meetup Group here: http://www.meetup.com/Nerdhq/events/139391852/ and also on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/217536878396268/

Thanks to everyone who is participating, I look forward to seeing you again and can’t wait to see what you produce!

Artists and Writers hard at play!

Artists and Writers hard at play!

Ink Club
The idea behind Ink Club is to give writers, artists and creative people of all types, the peer pressure nudge to sit down and actually be productive! (wow!) We’ll combine focused Creative Time with breaks for socializing with the goal of making progress on our creative projects.

Format:

5:45pm to 6:15pm: Free time to arrive at the Cafe, eat, drink and socialize before getting creative.

6:15pm-7:15pm: Creative Time!

7:15pm-7:30pm: Time for a break and socializing. (or feel free to continue working right through the break if you’re on a roll!)

7:30pm-8:30pm: Creative Time!

8:15pm: Time to perhaps share what we’ve been working on and say our good-byes until next time.

First rule of Ink Club, you don’t talk during Creative Time! Okay, there can be talking, but the goal is to keep it to a minimum to create a quiet, focused environment.

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Phew! I Get Carried Away Talking About WorldCon 2013

I’m always impressed by people who can come home from a convention or conference and do a write up about it within a few days. It takes me a lot longer to recover from the convention (ahem, who needs sleep?) and to process the entire thing. Usually by the time I’ve done that, all the recaps have been posted and it feels like I missed that boat, but I do love it when I get mentioned in other people’s recaps! I’m also terrified I will forget to mention someone, or a great aspect of the con and that fear has held me back from doing any sort of write up.

No more! I’m going to shout it out that I had a blast at WorldCon this year and I am going to do my best to pay homage to it with this post.

Before leaving, I will admit to experiencing some con anxiety. Days before leaving, impostor syndrome hit me hard. I wasn’t going to this convention to promote anything, I didn’t have an agent or book coming out and I wasn’t on any panels. “Why are you going?” my brain screamed at me. Thanks to Christie Yant for her advice and for talking me down off that cliff of insanity.

How to recap such a fantastic trip? By mentioning the amazing people I got to hang out with. I was thrilled to get to hang out with my Taos Toolbox classmates (was calling them my Toolmates, but was told I’m not allowed to do that) Sara Mueller, Lauren Teffeau and Fran Wilde. Fran did a reading from her book coming out from Tor and it gave me shivers. I can’t wait until it hits the shelves. Much of the convention was also spent with my Rainforest friends, Nicole Feldringer and Kelly Lagor, as well as my new bestie and fellow SF Canada member, Kristene Perron and old bestie, Mark Teppo. (wait, that didn’t come out right, but Mark, you know what I mean!) A gang of us hit the Glitter and Mayhem roller skating party in style, as well as the Hugos and had a fabulous time throughout the weekend. Thanks to all of them for further enabling the party girl in me.

Roller Skating Party!

Ready to Roller Skate! Kristene, my floating head, Nicole and Kelly.

Pre-Hugos Dinner

The lovely ladies at dinner before the Hugos. Kristene, Nicole, Kelly, Fran, Me, Rhiannon, Lauren and Sara

I also got to spend quality time with my fellow Inkpunk, Galen Dara, which was fantastic. I may have jumped out of my chair and screamed when she won the Hugo for Best Fan Artist, and I may have WOOTED loud enough for her to hear me from the back when she thanked the Inkpunks in her acceptance speech. It was such a great moment and I see only fabulous things ahead for Galen’s career.

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Me and my Galen. 🙂

With Galen and her Hugo award!

With Galen and her Hugo award!

The other great thing about WorldCon is that I got to see some of my favourite people EVER, including Howard Tayler. I got to do a workout with Howard, which was awesome, and also ran into him throughout the weekend. I also got to catch up with Lou Anders, where? In the bar, of course. I had an overwhelming happy moment (as I do at these things) when I realized I was sitting at the bar with Howard and Lou.

Selfie with Kevin Hearne

Selfie with Kevin Hearne, our first IRL meeting!

One of the best parts was getting to meet some authors in person who I’d only met online before. It’s crazy how exciting it can be to meet someone IRL and I was thrilled to finally meet Kevin Hearne. I was also on a mission to meet Tobias Buckell and I’m happy to report it was a success. Both are fabulous gentlemen and I will have to settle for harassing them online until I can see them again in real life. Highlight of the weekend was meeting Brooke Bolander in real life which was AWESOME!

Rob, Me and Tobias. :)

Rob, Me and Tobias. 🙂

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Brooke, me and Galen! 🙂

The bar really is the best place to meet up with people. I found Carrie Vaughn there a couple of times and we got to sit and chat for a bit. She doesn’t know this, but she actually made my entire con when I went to say hi to her. She said (and I paraphrase) “oh good, you were one of the people on my list that I wanted to catch up with.” Mind, blown. Carrie is fabulous and I love any chance to hang out with her.

I also got a chance to talk to Mur “winner of the best dress ever worn at the Hugos” Lafferty. I’m excited for her to come be GoH at VCon in a few weeks.

Me with Patrick and Amy!

Me with Patrick and Amy!

The number of cool, awesome people at this convention is staggering and I had many of my overwhelming happy moments. (if you wonder what that looks like, imagine a kid at Christmas getting their favourite toy they never thought Santa would bring) I spent time with the lovely and amazing Amy Sundberg, as well as Rainforest Retreat founding father Patrick Swenson and my good friend Dave Bara. I was thrilled to hang out with the lovely trio of Nancy Hightower, Stina Leicht and Valya Lupescu and can’t wait to hang out with these ladies again! Though I didn’t get to use him as a test dummy for my black belt testing, I did get to hang out with Wesley Chu and totally photo bombed his photo with Galen and her hugo. I also tried to buy his book from the dealer’s room, but it was sold out. Nicely done, sir. I barely got to see Sam Sykes and Myke Cole (whoa, I just realized their names are extremely similar) because they were busy being the belles of the ball. Next time, guys, let’s sit and have a drink! It’s on me. I also got to see Patrick Hester (congrats on the Hugo!), Robert J Bennett (always a blast) Paolo Bacigalupi (winner of most amazing smile ever), John Klima, Rhiannon Held, Christy Johnson (aka Folly Bain, aka Trouble Maker) Alan Smale and his wife Karen and met so many new, amazing people. This is the part where I’m afraid I’ll miss mentioning one of my amazing friends and I’ll feel awful, but know it’s just post con brain still affecting me and that I love you.

Andrew and I photo bombing Galen and Wes. Love it!

Andrew and I photo bombing Galen and Wes. Love it!

I almost forgot about the story that made me squee so loudly in the bar, I think some of the glasses shattered. Galen and I were chatting with some lovely ladies in the restroom (as you do) and then I ran into them in the lobby later that evening. I went to chat with them (as I do) and we talked for a while about fashion, the convention and the hugos. One of the ladies asked about what people wore to the Hugos because she was handing out an award in her flight suit but was wondering what to change into afterwards. Yes. I think my jaw hit the floor. She handed me her card and it was Cady Coleman, NASA Astronaut! I carried her card around for the rest of the evening, telling the story and squeeing quite loudly about it. As she handed out the Hugo, her  speech was brilliant.

What else? Panels. There were panels? While this was mostly a bar con, I also made it to lots of panels and readings and as always, I picked up something from each of them. I learned a lot from Joshua Bilmes of the Jabberwocky Agency and followed him around to several panels. I learned from the QandA with Jay Lake that I really need to be producing more words. Lou Anders talk on scriptwriting for novelists taught me I do know what I’m doing most of the time, I just need to do the hard work of getting it done right. I’m sure there are other things I learned that I’m forgetting, but it’s okay. I took notes.

See? This is why I don’t do con wrap ups, there’s just too much goodness to put into words.  I’m sure I’m still forgetting things worth mentioning but I feel I should stop now or I could go on and on about the many conversations, meet ups, things I learned and fabulous people I got to talk to. Maybe next con, I’ll recap only with photos. Speaking of the next con, I can’t wait to see you there!

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Filed under Conventions, Inkpunks, Inspiration, Travel

Never Quit

I didn’t have an idea in my brain jumping up and down to be noticed to be blogged about today, but what I was thinking about was how we often need cheerleading in our health and fitness journey.

I currently have clients preparing to compete in our fall classic show in several different categories, women’s physique, men’s physique, bodybuilding, figure and bikini. No matter what division they’re in, they’re about half way through their preparations and it’s one of the toughest parts of the contest prep. They’ve been at it for what seems like forever (almost two months) and have another two months to go. The excitement of beginning the prep has worn off and it’s still too far from the show to really be excited for the big day. They must trudge through the strict diet, intense workouts and cardio training even when they don’t feel like it.

At this point, I usually send them this poem to encourage them. It helped me a great deal when I was competing and it doesn’t just apply to competitors. The last two lines hit me the most and I hope it helps you as well. Please, never quit. Follow your dreams, reach for your goals and be the best you can be!

NEVER QUIT

WHEN THINGS GO WRONG AS THEY SOMETIMES WILL

WHEN THE ROAD YOU’RE TRUDGING ON SEEMS ALL UPHILL

WHEN FUNDS ARE LOW AND DEBTS ARE HIGH

AND YOU WANT TO SMILE BUT YOU HAVE TO SIGH

WHEN CARE IS PRESSING DOWN A BIT

REST IF YOU MUST BUT NEVER QUIT

 

LIFE IS QUEER WITH ITS TWISTS AND TURNS

AS EVERYONE OF US SOMETIMES LEARNS

AND MANY A FAILURE TURNS ABOUT

WHEN HE MIGHT HAVE WON HAD HE STUCK IT OUT

DON’T GIVE UP, THROUGH THE PACE SEEMS SLOW

YOU MIGHT SUCCEED WITH ANOTHER BLOW

 

OFTEN THE GOAL IS NEARER THAN

IT SEEMS TO A FAINT AND FALTERING MAN

OFTEN THE STRUGGLER HAS GIVEN UP

WHEN HE MIGHT HAVE CAPTURED THE VICTOR’S CUP

AND HE LEARNED TOO LATE, WHEN THE NIGHT SLIPPED DOWN

HOW CLOSE HE WAS TO THE GOLDEN CROWN

 

SUCCESS IS FAILURE TURNED INSIDE OUT

THE SILVER TINT OF THE CLOUDS OF DOUBT

AND YOU NEVER CAN TELL HOW CLOSE YOU ARE

IT MAY BE NEAR WHEN IT SEEMS AFAR

SO, STICK TO THE FIGHT WHEN YOU’RE HARDEST HIT

IT’S WHEN THINGS SEEM WORST THAT YOU MUSTN’T QUIT

 

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Filed under fitness, Health, Health Ally, Inspiration