Proofreader Services

For more information about my proof reading services, click here.

2015 Reading Challenge

I've pledged to read 26 books via the official Goodreads challenge. The rest of my 3 million words will more than likely come via proofreading jobs and fan fiction. Everything will be listed on the other side of the blog and you can view the details and numbers here.

2015 Goals

  • do more crafts
  • self-publish a book
  • research degree programs
  • work on the yards
  • ramp up my proofreading business
  • clean up/clean out the house
  • get healthy and well
  • write 2500 words a week
  • read 3 million words
  • reach the 120lb. mark


Blog Archive

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Movie Monday

So I discovered the TV show Madam Secretary starring Tea Leoni as Secretary of State McCord and Tim Daly as her husband...

So I've plowed through all 22 episodes of the first season over the past week or two and am now ready to keep up with season two as it airs on prime time. I really enjoyed the struggles and juggles of the most powerful woman in the United States. There is no blatant indication of which side of the aisle our team is on, which I like. I really enjoy the international intrigue and the drama, as well as the more personal family interactions. It also brings home the fact that the world really isn't black and white.

Anyway, I give it very high marks.

Have you seen it? What do you think?

Friday, October 9, 2015

A year ago yesterday...

A year ago yesterday, I watched my son climb aboard a bus for Navy boot camp. It was, without a doubt on my part, the hardest thing I've ever done. Not kidding. Not exaggerating for effect. The thought of it can still bring tears to my eyes.

I spent the better part of last winter depressed and out of sorts, in a haze, writing letters to Sonshine, who himself was undergoing tremendous change, trying to keep us both going.

It's been a year and I still miss him like crazy.

I've wondered when it should be time to get over it, but I still get teary eyed when I see old men with Grizzly Adams beards, and my dad died almost six years ago and I hardly ever saw him. I know my son "growing up" is not the same as a death, but we were close and he was a huge part of my every single day. Is it really so surprising that I still have a hole in my heart and life his shape? It's getting smaller to be sure, but I've heard (several times of late--is the universe trying to tell me something?) that grief is as individual as the person suffering through it. It is what is it and it lasts as long as it lasts.

Sonshine playing Xbox hockey in out hotel when we visited Seattle a month ago.

But each day I look forward to what the day has to offer and enjoy the journey.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

American Fun Fact

America is one of the only countries in the world to do display its flag just about everywhere!

"Americanflags" by Lipton sale (talk) - self-made. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia -

Monday, October 5, 2015

The latest cross stitch project...

About two years ago I started a very ambitious cross stitch project--a birth sampler for my younger daughter. All three of my kids have one, made when they were babies, but DD's was simple and plain and small. She's the middle child and the good one, so she garnered less of our attention as she grew up. Nor is it a secret that Sonshine (the youngest and only boy) is my favorite. Understandably, she has some jealousy.

So I looked online for birth sampler ideas so that I could make her something as special as she is. One particular alphabet showed up again and again and I thought it was perfect, but it was quite detailed. Never-the-less, I purchased the pattern, laid out the design, and purchased the cloth and embroidery floss.

Then I set to stitching, but soon discovered that I wouldn't be able to complete it by Christmas nor probably by her birthday three months later. So I set it aside. And then didn't pick it up again.

Until now. The goal is to finish by her next birthday at the end of next March.

And here's what I've got so far...

These first two pictures are as of Thursday, October 1.

And the second two as of Sunday afternoon...

This is (obviously) one of the letter pattrns.

Am I crazy??

Friday, October 2, 2015

Quarterly Update

It's time to ask that question again... How am I doing on my goals??

They're just to the left and down a smidge....

So let's just go down the list, shall we?

1) Do more crafts--got that one covered. Sorta. I've been doing a lot of cross stitch. I finished my Sherlock sampler and have created patterns and stitched a bunch of mini-samplers to put up for sale on Etsy. Fandom can be rather lucrative, I have discovered. A fandom friend completely funded a trip to England with her crafts. My goal is not quite so lofty, but I am hoping to at least pay for my plane ticket to Atlanta for the 221B Con next spring. We'll see how it goes.

2) Self-publish a book--not going to happen. After over a dozen years, I have decided to accept that I am a hobby writer and that any kind of career as a published author is not in my near future. I like writing fic and I like the kudos and comments that I get as a result. I have at least a dozen almost finished books. Someday, I'd like to hire one of those people to walk me through fixing a handful of them. But that service is not cheap, so that's a few years down the road.

3) Research degree programs--unlikely to happen. I came to a realization earlier this year. I'm really lazy. So the chances of me going back to, slim and none. Homework at my age??? Now, I'm not ruling it out completely, but I'm not feeling it right now. Just being realistic.

4) Work on the yards--a little late in the year now. We've hired a guy who comes and mows & weed whacks every other Friday. But anything else is a no go until next year. I'm thinking just repair the grass for now.

5) Ramp up proof reading business--I did good at the beginning of the year and then slacked way off. I should try to drum up a few more jobs as I have a few things I'd like to be able to do with the money. A friend joined some sort of organization for those types of jobs. I've been thinking of signing up myself, but it's a couple of hundred bucks. I'm gonna ask her for a few more details before I spend the money.

6) Clean up/clean out the house--I can check this off the list. I've done a few things. Enough to qualify. :) There are a few more things I'd like to do and I probably will before the year's over.

7) Get healthy and well--an ongoing process. Not sure I can really check this off. Sonshine's departure for Navy boot camp and his subsequent assignment threw me for a major loop.

8) Write 2500 words a week--see #2.

9) Read three million words--yeah, hit that back in February. Closing in on TWELVE million words. If you want proof, click here and peruse the "logs."

10) Reach the 120lb. mark--not yet. There's still time. Though, I may have to re-think #7. I tend to eat when I'm feeling good. I let temptation get the better of me, so perhaps I am feeling a bit better than I realize.

How about you?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

American Fun Fact

Of the six American flags planted on the moon during the Apollo Space Program, five of them are still there. Sadly, the very first flag, placed on the moon by Neil Armstrong in 1969 no longer flies.

Astronaut Harrison 'Jack' Schmitt, American Flag, and Earth (Apollo 17 EVA-1) by NASA/Eugene Cernan - NASA website. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.

The last flag deployed to the moon was larger than it's predecessors as it used to hang on the wall in the Mission Operation Control Room. And, yes, that's Earth there above the flag.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Super Moon Lunar Eclipse

So yes, I followed the lunar eclipse. I didn't sit out in the yard for two hours, but went out every so often to see its progress. So here are my not-so-great photos.

Taken shortly after nine p.m. That bright spot is the last bit of the moon going into the shadow of the earth.

Taken shortly after eleven p.m. As you can see the moon is coming into view.

Taken at eleven thirty. There's still just a smidge of moon still covered, but it was definitely time for bed.

At six thirteen this morning in the western sky....

And again at seven thirty...

Did you follow the eclipse?

Friday, September 25, 2015


We've survived another week on this journey we call life!

I've had a pretty productive week, except Tuesday. I was a slug on Tuesday and got very little accomplished.

But it's the weekend again and I have a handful of things I'd like to get accomplished.

What about you??? Big plans?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

American Fun (?) Fact

Not that I want to encourage anyone, especially youngsters to smoke, but did you know that is it completely legal for minors in the US (and some parts of Europe) to smoke...?
(Image from Wikipedia: "Marlboro4wiki2" by Nikita2706 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via
Commons -

Yep. It's only illegal to sell them the cigarettes!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Recycling Teabags...

Running a little behind today, but here I am finally. Also had a bit of a brain fart of what to share, but something came to mind at last!

I saw this idea on Facebook and decided to give it a try and surprisingly it's worked the two times I've tried it. As the post title says...recycling teabags...

But for what you ask...

For getting rid of bugs. Yep. Once my first few used tea bags dried out, I set one on the kitchen window sill where a small spider had taken up residence. Within a few days, it was gone.

Then Saturday, there was a party of ants in the bathroom. So I grabbed two plain and two mint teabags and placed them strategically in the bathroom. This morning...I only saw one random ant. I'll keep a few on hand and continue to test the theory, but so far so good. Also, mint is supposedly more effective.

If you've tried it, did it work for you?

About Me

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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

Read in Oct 2015

  • The Very Best of Times by Moranion
  • The Hollow Verse Series by ScopesMonkey

Read in Sept 2015

  • They're Gonna Be All Right Series by ImpishTubist
  • The Runaway Highlander by R.L. Syme
  • Sherlock: Give Me a Label, I'll Make Confetti by IBegToDreamAndDiffer
  • Patience by EmmaGrant
  • The First Trip by Phyona
  • Favors by Aria_Lerendeair
  • Trigger by wendymarlowe
  • The Temper Between by Phyona
  • The Last Drop by Phyona
  • Seek Out the Unworthy by squire
  • Bury the Bells by unknownsister
  • Of Chocolate Mice and Little Green Men by naughtyspirit
  • Being Unprepared by naughtyspirit
  • My Life as a Fairy Tale by naughtyspirit
  • Sentenced by SarahKnight
  • The Fix by peg22
  • Uphill by scullyseviltwin
  • Working on the Edges by earlgreytea68
  • The(y) Kiss by anarmydoctor
  • A Service in Belgravia by KeelieThompson1
  • One Fixed Point in a Changing Age by KeelieThompson1

Read in Aug 2015

  • Back in the Day by KeelieThompson1
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 90 by serpentynka
  • Silk Road by saki101
  • The Seventeenth Page Affliction by EmmyAngua
  • The Adventure of the Bridegroom's Photograph by spacemutineer
  • Nowhere To Be by allonsys_girl
  • The Alphabet of Sherlock Holmes by SilentAuror
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 89 by serpentynka
  • Silhouettes by allonsys_girl
  • The Rising Tide by allonsys_girl
  • Of Razors, Pipes, Red Notebooks and Rugby Jerseys by allonsys_girl
  • Positive Reinforcement by Mildredandbobbin
  • Of Course I Forgive You by allonsys_girl
  • Dirty Love by saziikins
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 88 by serpentynka
  • Inexplicable by EmmaGrant
  • Eyes Up, Heels Down by Codename Meretricious
  • Tea by wendymarlowe
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 87 by serpentynka
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 86 by serpentynka
  • Dr John H Watson, Sexual Surrogate by smurff
  • Tigers Make Good Pets by tenderly_wicked
  • Just Staying by tenderly_wicked
  • However Improbable by earlybloomingparentheses
  • Help Us to Surive by solrosan
  • Heartbeat in the Brain by Indybaggins
  • Runaway Highlander by R.L. Syme
  • Collateral Damage by SilentAuror
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 85 by serpentynka
  • The Mystery of the Olive Green Chair by allonsys_girl
  • Undressing by unovis
  • What Are You Going to Do About It? by brbsoulnomming
  • Yes and No by emungere
  • Shallow Grave by SilentAuror
  • A Study in Bees by daasgirl
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 84 by serpentynka
  • How I Impregnated Your Mother by Mildredandbobbin
  • Disguise by kaalee
  • Sherlock Never Noticed the Cameras by wendymarlowe
  • The Lucky Few by saziikins
  • Conversdations With Idiots by scullyseviltwin
  • Reason Goes Before a Fall byLorelai_Lee
  • Breakable by MissDavis
  • Sharp Bits and Safe Paths by midgetnazgul
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 83 by serpentynka
  • Boxing Up a Life Together by flawedamethyst
  • Barter System by brbsoulnomming
  • Phoenix by Lono
  • What You Really Want by type_40_consulting_detective
  • I Don't Speak French by Ricechex
  • A Bleeding Heart in Longhand, ch. 82 by serpentynka
  • Echoes Through Time by chellefic
  • A Negligible Accident by flawedamythyst
  • A Close Shave by poppyalexander
  • Grip and Release by PetraTodd
  • How to Be Brave by stillaseeker
  • Thrust Vigorously by Dlnnanzor
  • The Boys of Summer by mazarin221b
  • The First and Only Convention of the Scotland Yard Matchmaker Committee by ImpishTubist
  • Paper Hearts by testosterone_tea
  • Slip Out the Back Jack by yaycoffee
  • Smoke by poppyalexander
  • The Scent of Home by PetraTodd
  • Her Boy by saziikins
  • LHT-HNL by scullyseviltwin
  • Blande Barista Seeks Dashing Ballet Dancer: Inquire Within by prettysailorsoldier
  • I Fall Through the Cracks Until You Catch Me by sc010f
  • The Newlywed Game by patternofdefiance
  • Game Night by Random_Nexus
  • Gotta Have It by poppyalexander
  • Blank Canvas, Warm Bed by taylorpotato