Weight Loss for Dragons character sheet


Creating a Weight Loss for Dragons Character Sheet:

When you are playing a roleplaying game, you start by creating a character.  In this book, that character is you!  Instead of rolling for your stats, you need to determine them.

NAME: well, if I have to spell it out for you, then it’s G-U-E-S-T.

LEVEL: One.  If you’re level 20, why are you reading this?  Go get in your helicopter and sit at a beach on your island or something.

CLASS: we’ll discuss this later, right now you’re all “Novice”

ALIGNMENT: choices- lawful good, chaotic good, neutral good, lawful evil, chaotic evil, neutral evil and neutral neutral.  If you go online, you’ll find some memes that will give you examples from movie or tv characters, and quizzes.

BMI: Body Mass Index.  Your number on a height and weight chart that indicates whether the medical community classifies you as overweight, obese or morbidly obese.  Healthy BMI range- 19-24, Overweight- 25-29, Obese, 30-39, Morbidly obese- 40 and up.  BMI calculators can be found online.

BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate- this is the amount of calories you body should need to run while lying in bed all day.  Note the should.  Sometimes your body is better at its job (which makes sense! Famine survivors were able to keep going on little food).  It’s a starting point.  You then account for burning some calories with daily activities (unless you really do just lie in bed all day).

SPEED: Here’s the first “gotta get off your butt” part of this endeavor.  Speed is how long it takes you to travel a mile if you had to.

To test your speed, go to the start of a measured mile, or use a treadmill. Time yourself. How long does it take you to get to the end of that mile by either walking, running or a combination of the two? (use a wheelchair? go ahead and put in your speed for manual)

  1. I can’t walk a mile
  2. I would have to rest, so about 2 hours
  3. about an hour (1MPH)
  4. about 30 minutes (2 MPH)
  5. about 20 minutes (3 MPH)
  6. about 15 minutes (4 MPH)
  7. about 10 minutes (6 MPH)
  8. about 5 minutes (12 MPH)

I’m not going to measure over 8 in speed.  PLEASE, if you are out of shape, don’t overdo it!  You can increase your speed, but only if you haven’t hurt yourself.

Statistics: For your stats of Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, you need to honestly evaluate yourself.

  • Poor- 5
  • Average- 10
  • good- 15
  • astonishing- 20

Strength: your ability to use your muscles.  Not just how much weight you can lift, but your ability to carry, push, pull and hold yourself in a position like a plank.

Dexterity: your balance, agility, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.  Also your flexibility in stretching and yoga poses.

Constitution: Endurance. How fragile are you?  Do you get sick easily, pull muscles, get migraines, or have trouble maintaining mental health?  How well do you bounce back after physical or emotional trauma?

Intelligence: Your ability to read, compute, remember and analyze facts, figure out puzzles, get organized, find information, follow complicated instructions and make calculations.

Wisdom: Common sense, life experience, big picture thinking and self-mastery.  Noticing changes in your environment and people. Knowing what the best path is and making good choices.  (being intelligent is being able to make a giant self-aware robot, being wise is knowing that’s a bad idea)

Charisma: being a people magnet.  Having lots of friends, online followers, celebrity status or notoriety.  Having influence over others.  It doesn’t necessarily mean beauty or talent (note the reality tv stars).

Armor Class- how well can you stand up to attacks?  For this we are talking about emotional and mental defenses, not actual armor.  When someone criticizes you, do you give up or keep going?  How do you handle insults, people ordering you to do something else, guilt trips, accusations of wrong-doing or rejection?

  • 1- collapse in a heap at the slightest disapproval
  • 2- sensitive
  • 3- hurt by others but able to keep going
  • 4- only certain types of attacks effect me
  • 5- F ‘em all, I don’t care what they think.

Gear: list any equipment you have that is important to your goals.  Put in parentheses anything you want to get but haven’t gotten yet.

Goals: How are you supposed to know if you’ve gotten somewhere if you don’t know where you are going?  Write down your goals in increments.  What do you want to achieve in three months?  six months? a year? Five years?  Goals should be S.M.A.R.T.- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, realistic and timely.  Don’t be vague, don’t be extreme, and only put down goals you are willing to commit to.

Skills: fill in the bubble of anything you know how to do.  If there is a blank line, fill it in with applicable information.  Put any bonuses to the right of the skill.

  • Kinda-sorta- no bonuses
  • pretty good- +2
  • impress your friends- +3
  • impress a television audience- +4
  • impress experts- +5

I bet half the people decided this was all too hard. If you kept going and filled it all in- congratulations!  You now have character…  sheet.

Disclaimer: The author is not a medical expert.  Consult with your doctor before undertaking anything advised here.  This blog is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.


Weight Loss for Dragons- The beginning…

Enter the Lair

The adventurer raced through the driving rain, keeping just ahead of her pursuers on the muddy trail.  She could hear the orcs’ shouts as they called to each other to cut off her escape.  There was little time left, she didn’t know if she had the energy to get to safety.  Her lungs burned, her muscles ached.  There it was!  A small crack in the rock.  An orc appeared behind her, swinging an axe.  She could see his teeth gnash as she slipped into the tunnel.  It was almost too small for her, and she scraped her skin as she pushed through, the buttons on her vest coming off.  The orc roared, too big to follow her, trying to stab at her with his axe, then she was on the other side and the passage opened up.  It took her a long time to catch her breath. She ran along in the darkness, stumbling and feeling her way.  It was warm in this tunnel, surprisingly so.  

When she reached the end of the tunnel she almost fell out into the massive cavern.  Gold gleamed in a dim light from high above.  She caught her balance, taking a step back, for she saw, in the darkness, a massive shape curled around the gold.  One golden eye opened a slit, and she tried not to breathe.  It was a dragon, with blue and green scales, reclining on a pile of gold.  

“Well, I know you are there.  Tell me why I should not kill you.”  The dragon opened both eyes, slowly raising her head.

“Oh great one, I beg your mercy.  I have come here to see you, to talk with you.  I hear that you are wise, that you know the secrets of the universe.”

“Flattery.  You are here to steal my gold.  I have no use for smoke blowing.” The dragon suddenly whipped her head around, stopping inches from the adventurer.  

“No, truly!  The treasure I seek is knowledge!  I want-“ the adventurer stopped, embarrassed to go on.


“I want to be like the great warriors of old.  I want to know how to become powerful.” The adventurer said softly.  She looked down at her body, sighing.  She knew her muscles were soft, her belly round.  She knew that she could not have lasted five seconds fighting off those orcs if they had caught her.  She had almost gotten killed because she had been too big for the tunnel.

The dragon pulled back her head, eyeing the adventurer thoughtfully. 

“Hmm.  Well, I was feeling a little bored, and this could be interesting.” she said, repositioning her wings.  A small cascade of gold tinkled down as she shifted.  “ I reserve the right to kill you, if you prove to be insincere.”

“Yes, great one, I promise to follow your guidance!”  The adventurer clasped her hands together in delight.  Finally someone would help her!

“We shall see.” The dragon said, chuckling. “I often find people don’t like the wisdom I impart.”

enter the lair


Dragoncon: Notes to Myself @Dragoncon


Dragoncon Notes

I had a crazy week after Dragoncon, as my kids started school the day after we got back, but now I’m jotting down notes before the memories fade.

Things I want to do differently:

  • Don’t bother packing entertainment beyond a device.  I didn’t need crafts, books, notebooks or other forms of entertainment.  The only time I wanted to read was when all my room-mates were asleep early in the mornings, where reading an ebook was better.
  • Make one costume, and start now, because you will be too embarrassed to show a poorly made costume amongst all the amazing ones.
  • Set up your day bag with water bottle, camp stool and anything you need for the entire day.  Waiting 30 minutes for an elevator to get lunch is just miserable.
  • Standing or sitting on the ground makes my knees ache, bring a stool.
  • Make a “can’t miss” list of guests, activities and friends to see.
  • try to get a later flight so you can stay up all night on Sunday
  • Write down when events are going to be broadcast on Dragoncon TV.  If you are in the very back of the giant auditorium, you’re watching it on tv anyway.
  • Going all the way through the tunnels to the Hilton means you only have to walk one flat block to the Sheraton.
  • The Subway at Peachtree Center doesn’t have the good bread.  The wrap place puts croutons in their ceasar wrap.
  • Definitely buy from CVS again, preferably on Thursday.
  • The Aquarium was a lot of fun, go early to get in line, buy tickets at home.  The bus leaves from the back of the Marriott around 6.
  • Don’t try to take pictures behind someone taking picturesP1110714
  • If you see someone you want to take pictures of, ask them, let them pose, and put your flash on!
  • Ask a group if you can take a picture of them having lunch at the food court- it would make a funny scene.
  • Write a script for a music video, plan it in advance with friends.

Favorite Quotes from Dragoncon (some may be paraphrased):

  • “Felicia Day makes people leave the Hyatt.” ( A friend, saying that she’s worth going to another hotel to see even if you’re exhausted.)
  • Friend: “I’m giving up John Barrowman.”  Me: “What, for lent?”
  • “My book could kill someone. Not that you should.”-  Felecia Day
  • “I like fans better than people.”- Friend
  • “You could do an intricate story, but really I want to make readers flip tables.”-  Jim Butcher
  • When asked what was the scariest monster on Sleepy Hollow, star Nicole Behave looked apologetically at the monster effects person and said it was the coin that made people their worst selves.  “It’s PEOPLE! People are scary!”
  • Audience member to Arrow cast: “What’s it like working with John Barrowman?”  Stephen Arnell’s chair falls apart (a wheel came out) and John leapt up to grab the lost wheel, giggling madly and running around behind the cast.  “Like that.” Stephen replied.

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Cosplay Armor (for dogs) #gishwhes

The Art of Creating Fake Armor

One of the things I love about GiSHwhes (the greatest internet scavenger hunt the world has ever seen) is that it challenges me to try new things and learn new skills.  Last year I made John Barrowman’s head out of duct tape.  This year, I made dog armor.

I have so much to learn.

I used craft foam, making a seam with duct tape, then sealing it with Mod Podge.  Two layers of silver paint, followed with “aging” with brown paint.  I used a toy foam shield and gave it the same treatment, as well as a gem for accent.  It was… well, it was like most first attempts at a new skill.  I have discovered it is easier to fake leather armor than metal, and crafts people out there are amazing.  I need to watch tutorials.  Many refer to a higher end material they work with besides craft foam, called Worbla that I want to look into.

Next on my list of things to try is armor for my son.  He might actually stand still for pictures.

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Appa was a good sport, but wanted to play.


10 things I learned from #GISHWHES

11267855_10203285720663909_640726525462153337_nThe Greatest Internet Scavenger Hunt the World has ever seen has just finished, and as I clear away the piles of paper lists, notebooks, craft supplies and random household objects, I reflected on my experience.  I was on team hugtheelbowsandhedgehogs.  We have no idea how well we did, but we completed 51 items (points will be assigned later when the entries are evaluated).

Ten things I learned from GiSHwhes:

  1. No one can do it all.  It is better to do a few things “whole ass” than to do too many “half-ass”.
  2. Doing ludicrous things is a bonding experience
  3. Some things are harder than you think, and trying them makes you appreciate the skill needed for a well made work of art, photograph or hand-made item more.
  4. Letting go is ok.
  5. Life is short and you need to find joy every day.
  6. Don’t assume you can’t do something just because you’ve never done it before.
  7. Accept your son’s love for a hitchbot, even though you know it won’t last.
  8. Appreciate the people who play along, they are what makes the world a wonderful place.
  9. Don’t let your daughter apply makeup and take a picture without looking in a mirror, even if it’s zombie makeup.
  10. The points don’t matter, the experience does.


The Perfect Writing Place?

Write Right Herecoffee

I’m working on revising a rough draft of a novel.  I have a skeleton there, but there is a long, hard way to go. I look at the mess and wonder if I’ll ever make it, if I’m wasting my time.  I took a break and saw a pretty picture of a coffee drink, and started dreaming about writing places.

I want to write in a quiet cafe with wood-paneled walls, leather cushioned booths and intriguing pictures on the walls.  I’d have a latte with a design swirled in the foam, and an almond pastry.  A stranger walks by and says “It’s unfortunate she found that,” and I’m off and running.

I want to write at a picnic table in the woods, in view of a lake where I’d just gone kayaking.  The warm wind ruffling the leaves of the trees overhead would join together with birdsong as a quiet background noise.

I want to write in a room at the top of a tower, with a large window looking out over a valley.  My broad oak desk is full of interesting knickknacks, and a nearby wall has a bulletin board full of inspiration pictures.  I stretch, climbing circular stone stairs to the roof access, and out in the wind, I watch the sun set.  The solution to my character’s development comes to me, and go back in to write some more.

I want to write in a shady pavilion on the beach, sitting in a sling chair.  The waves hit the white sands with a soothing roar and the scent of salt water is refreshing.  I have a frozen lemonade at a little table next to me, and I promise myself a nice swim if I get this chapter down.

I want to write in a cottage in a big easy chair next to a fire, with snow drifting by the window.  The air is chill, but I have a blanket over my lap and a cat curled up next to me.

I want to write on a sleeper train, late at night, listening to the clatter of the tracks and imagining a complicated murder mystery involving a lost letter and a secret engagement.  The train is taking me to a city to explore with my friends and family, and I am excited for the adventure awaiting me.

I want to write at a Sci-Fi convention, collaborating with several friends.  We work silently for a while, writing with a frenzied focus as people in costumes walk by our table.  Then we share ideas, tweaking and rearranging the plot of a shared story.  Someone asks to join us and we are delighted to work with a well-known fantasy author who shares her insight and experience.

I want to write in a fancy resort with a balcony overlooking mountains.  There’s no need for me to pause my writing for cooking or cleaning, since I have meals delivered and a maid coming in every morning.  When I need inspiration I go out on a hike.

I want to write in a library, but not just any library.  The ones I see in librarian magazines, with beautiful architecture, comfortable furniture and quiet nooks.  A library of massive size but designed to welcome readers of all types.

I want to write in a secret room of a mansion, a windowless hidey-hole accessed by a staircase behind a false bookshelf.  The little room is full of cleverly designed storage, and the desk has plenty of light.  I feel snug and safe.

Where I am is not that terrible.  I’m sitting in a comfortable chair, watching the sun set through our window, the dying light illuminating the piles of books, toys and dishes on the coffee table, the figurines and pieces of the Heroscape game spread out all over the floor.  The dog walks up and casually punches me with his paw, asking for attention.  My son comes in and wants help getting ice cream.  My daughter comes in and wants help designing a creature for a story of her own.  The fish tank burbles.  Explosions and screams from the tv come from the other room.  The doves cry.  Now the dog is staring at me with sad eyes, his head on my knee.

Not bad, actually.  I want to write here.


Lego Party

Just Add Legos

My simple Lego party was a success!  The only thing I’d have done differently would be to have more food.

Lego gunship

The Lego company donated a box to our library, and all the libraries in our area.  At first we thought the bags with specific parts were kits, but then we realized none of them were complete or had instructions.  Since it came with a poster that said “Calling All Master Builders” I figured out that these random parts were for whatever creations kid’s imaginations could come up with, just like the Master Builders in the Lego movie.  I put out the bags of parts and told the kids to go to town.  Some of the creations were amazing, and everyone had a blast.

Side story: I did write to Lego when I discovered that I had a huge bag of bodies and legs, but no heads.  The outreach representative was very pleasant and sent me a box of heads in the mail.  I now had way too many.  So I contacted the other libraries in my system.  It was the most delightful email thread ever, entitled “I have a bag of heads”.  I sent heads to ten other libraries through our courier (apparently the same lack of heads occurred in the other donation boxes).  (Our youth services coordinator said she loved my email “heading”.  Groan.)  I don’t say this often, but it was great to send bags of heads to my peers.

I had the kids color their own Lego figure page.  I then went around the room and had each child put together their own figure from a box that just had figure parts and accessories.  We had two tables, with a big box of basic bricks in the center of each table, and we passed around boxes with specialized pieces.  I put the flat bases scattered around the table.  I didn’t have to prompt anyone for ideas, they just started creating at that point.  If you do have a reluctant teen or adult, suggest making a mural or picture on a base. I walked around and made sure everyone was sharing, and found that they were collaborating, asking each other for pieces, and showing each other their work.

Lego party tableLego party decorations

Lego face stencils link.

There are many amazing books out there- how-to books, art books, graphic novels made with pictures of builds.  I put them out on display to be checked out. I decorated yellow cups and bags with Lego faces, and served Cheese-its and Lego brick treats (Rice Krispie squares with 6 M+M’s each).  At the end of the party, I let each child take home one Lego figure, in their bag.  Next time I’ll serve pizza too.

When the builders finished their masterpieces, I made sure to take pictures of them to put on the library website and Facebook page.

The bigger libraries have expanded this basic get-together, using Lego Mindstorm kits that create programmable robots.  Another idea is to have each child make a vehicle and then run them down a track (we didn’t have enough wheels).

Lego creations

New drawing of Jane’s Folly




The Tower Folly

So I redrew my logo today, trying to give it a cozy, if slightly lopsided and imperfect, look.folly2I want it to be a place where people feel welcome to come and create, full of crafting supplies and comfy places to sit.  The sun is streaming in the windows and there’s an owl nesting in one of the upper rooms.  If you want, you can open the trapdoor to the the roof, where you can look across the land (avoid being whipped by the pennant).  The place smells like baking bread and strawberries.

There is a door that leads to other lands, and sometimes when you are climbing the circular stair, you find a landing that wasn’t there before.

What else is in the Folly?



Hero Party

super hero training

Every Hero Has a Story

We kicked off the summer reading program at the library with an event called “Hero Day”.  We invited community heroes to come join us.  We had different stations around the library.  The police had a car seat check in the parking lot, and the fire department brought a truck for the kids to look at.  A teacher watched over the crafts and helped kids draw on the whiteboard with colored dry-erase markers.  Two nurses had a game of operation and a doctor’s kit and wore white lab coats.  The Army and Air Force had tables and gave away toys.  We had a local comic book artist do drawings with the kids.  Then we had a superhero training camp, run by teens in superhero costumes.  They challenged the kids laser mazeto go through an obstacle course, including a “laser maze”, a tunnel of chairs, hopping between hula hoops and knocking down cups with a ball.  We set up the course right in the adult fiction section (which irritated my staff trying to shelve- “I’m not dodging lasers to put away books!”) We served hot dogs, lemonade and cookies.

To decorate I put up a city backdrop and a photo stand-up.  We had summer reading posters and the comic-book-like words “bam!” “Pow!”  We also put up entries from our “Who’s your hero” contest, where kids from our local school made essays and posters about their personal heroes.  We got a lot of great drawings, essays and photos.  We gave out a gift certificate for three age brackets, with a randomly drawn winner so we didn’t have to judge.  All in all, it went pretty well.

super hero stand-up