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2016 Goals

  • write to my grandmother every six weeks or so
  • call my moms every month or so
  • cook/eat better
  • clean out and organize my writng/craft room
  • re-institute the cleaning plan
  • publish six books by September 2017
  • reach 120 to 125 pounds
  • walk the dog three times a week

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bye Bye Carbohydrates...


It's been coming. I've know it and have been resisting for a while now, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE my carbs.

I have pretzels and tortillas pretty much every day as part of my regimented meal plan. Oftentimes I have pretzels as a snack before bed too. Any carbs I get from veggies or beans or what have you are bonus. And I don't mean that in a good way. Well, the stuff in veggie and beans are the good carbs, pretzels and tortillas are refined carbs...

So I've Google-searched "losing belly fat" because that's pretty much all I've got left aside from general toning. Each site I visited prescribed six to twelve things to help get rid of the nasty stuff.

I felt a bit discouraged because I've done quite a few of them...

...stop consuming non-natural sugars, especially soda (gave those up years ago)
...exercise (well I've been talking about my trips to the gym since August, so, yeah)
...eat more protein (eggs, cheese, tuna everyday; fish and chicken with green veggies mostly for dinner
...eat more fiber (see green veggies with dinner, but I've been thinking about daily salads)
...keep a regular sleep schedule even on weekends (I can't sleep in to save my life)
...reduce stress (only so much I can do, but I do what I can)
...a spoonful of apple cider vinegar a day (I have some at home, the good stuff with the "mother" even, so starting that tomorrow...)

So what's left...?

You guessed it--reduce refined carb intake. >>SOB<<

I've replaced the tortillas with some sort of wrap with half the calories. Not total elimination, but it's a start--I need some bulk to make me full. I'll also start having one of my daily tuna wraps in some sort of leafy green veggie, this week it's green leaf lettuce, but I like romaine and kale too. Red cabbage, maybe, we'll see how it goes.

DH also suggested a before-bed snack of beef jerky because the body has to work hard to break it down so it provides the right kind of energy overnight.

I've added yoga to my repertoire on days I don't go to the gym. I find that I have less energy those days too, plus it's good to alternate workouts--keep the body guessing, which is probably also contributing to this plateau.

Any other helpful hints??

Monday, February 20, 2017

What's next on the agenda...?


Many, many things, to be honest...

Sometime this week, I'll finally be able to get down to the courthouse and file my assumed name. I'm super excited about that. And once I have that, I can create my accounts with the various e-book distributors around the Internet. I'll be two steps closer to publication. :)

In my research of various things, namely pricing and book covers, I've come to suspect I might be  carving out my own little niche. From the look of a cover, you can generally tell a few things about the book; tone, feel, and genre or sub-genre being the relevant ones for this point. Like I said, this isn't empirical research. It's merely an observation from looking at a lot of book covers (had to see them when researching pricing too).

This series I've been working on doesn't appear to be much like anything else that's out there right now. A few are similar, I think. But, of course, no one's going to write exactly like me, so I've got that. I'm looking forward to seeing if those who are wishing for books like mine actually find them. I think the offerings in this sub-genre seem fairly small (compared to other romance sub-genres) since  I saw the same books from retailer to retailer with not a lot of pages of offerings. I have a feeling a new author on the scene is going to be noticeable/findable in a short amount of time. *fingers crossed*

I also heard from a fellow chapter mate that she'd heard of my cover designer and thought her work really good. Just the fact that someone else had heard of her was nice. I mean, I think she does nice work, but it's nice to know others have heard of her and agree.

Well, time to get the week started...see you Wednesday. :0)




Friday, February 17, 2017

TGIF My Friends...


I hope your week has been a good one. Mine has been pretty productive. I have no complaints. That being said, I'm glad it's Friday. Tomorrow is writers group day and I'm looking forward to spending a day with my peeps.

On a completely unrelated topic, let's celebrate today being Friday by talking about HOCKEY! Specifically, the greatest hockey player in the world right now. The Pittsburgh Penguins own Sidney Crosby. Last night, Sid scored his 1000th career point. That's what they celebrate in hockey--points. Players earn points by scoring goals or by assisting others in scoring goals.

A couple of pics...
Sid acknowledging the fans after he assisted a
teammate with a goal to earn that 1000th point.

 Sid with the puck that went in...

And that's it folks. Have a super weekend. See you Monday.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

And yet more research...


I've done yet more reading on how to write a business plan. The different kinds, what the different sections are, what should be included, how to write them. Mini- or micro-plans, internal plans, presentational plans...

The key is determining the sections that are going to be most helpful to me going forward. And what sections I don't need or, honestly, have no desire to figure out how to accomplish. :)

But I'm gathering the information section by section so that at some point I can compile it all into a single complete document.

I also researched front matter--you know all that info in the first several pages of a book? So I looked at books from seven different publishers. Several big dogs--Harlequin, Montlake, Carina Press. A couple of respected/reputable mid-sized epublishers. And one small epub.


I want my imprint to look as professional as possible, so I'll compare the lists and create a checklist of my own. Then I'll go grab the standard verbiage for things like copyright notices, trademark acknowledgements, the "this is a work of fiction" disclaimer, etc.

This is turning into a much more involved endeavor than I imagined, but it's nothing too complicated or overwhelming to tackle. At least not yet...

The production and distributions aspects are yet to be experienced...


Monday, February 13, 2017

Congratulations to me!


WOO HOO! The last I has been dotted and the final T has been crossed in book four (formerly three). That's not to say there might not be editorial-related changes later, after the editor has a look at it, but I'm finally pleased with the story I wanted to tell.

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:The_end_of_Wikipedia)


I was tempted to not finish my last read-through, but I'm so glad I did. I fleshed a few things out and fixed some things at the end I hadn't realized weren't up to snuff. At the end of the day, I also added about 800 words. It's my longest book to date and I'm not even sure how that happened.

Now it's "resting." I'm taking a break from it for two weeks to get some distance and then I'll do another read-through before scheduling a date with my content/copy editor.

In the meantime, book five is now on my plate. It's written, but needs revisions. Maybe not as many as I thought, based on what I read yesterday. We'll see how it goes. I do have two other projects, one (very) short story and book six to write.

In my quest to start up this little publishing company of mine, a new but oh-so-important aspect of being a business owner has come up in my reading/research--bookkeeping. Yep. This endeavor isn't going to have to cover set costs yet (office space, electricity, Internet, etc.), but I do want it to eventually pay for the book covers and editing, as well as the things I stipulated in my business plan.

Anyway, I researched bookkeeping for small business and found some easy-to-fill out Excel spreadsheet templates. Income and outgo are going to be minimal for a while, income=owner investment, outgo=book cover and editing expenses, and they won't happen on a predictable schedule either, so I think even a plain old ledger would serve me fine. But I found a spreadsheet template with a whole bunch of formulas already built in. All I have to do is key amounts into the appropriate cells and the spreadsheet will do all the hard work. YAY!

A dear friend reminded me that sometimes we need a break from all the noise in our head. Something not writing- and not business-related. We need to feed our souls as well as our muses. So I celebrated finishing the book on Saturday with a lot of hockey watching and some cross stitching. And it was lovely. Almost done with my sampler and the Dallas Stars won--YAY. The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets lost--HUH?? (None of these teams played each other.)

Hope you had as lovely a weekend as I did. :0)

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Jen FitzGerald
Thanks for stopping by one of my little corners of the world wide web. So, a little about me...My husband and I have been married for twenty years and we have three adult children although our youngest is still in high school. We've lived in Texas for fifteen years and for the rest of the story, click here.
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Jen's Glossary of Terms

  • DH = my husband
  • my Brown Eyed Girl = my oldest daughter
  • DD = my Darling Daughter (the younger one)
  • Sonshine or Marching Band Boy = my son
  • NT = the North Texas chapter of RWA
  • RWA = Romance Writers of America