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2016 Goals

  • 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


Blog Archive

Blog Archive

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Monday, January 16, 2017

And so it begins...contest and writing...contest and writing...contest and writing...

Well, technically it began in November, but judging began this past Sunday. Meaning lots and lots of emails to send out. Scores to receive and log. In a continuous cycle until the beginning of April. Getting started is the busiest part because you're sending books out to all judges. Once that first blast is complete, then it slows down because everyone reads at different speeds. I'll might get a day or two of a reprieve, but then the score sheets will start to trickle in, which means sending another book to those judges. And so on and so on until all books have gotten the minimum number of scores.

I finally got my writing groove back. Well, I say that, but really I forced myself to do what needed to be done, whatever it was. What I mean is that I created a new document for book three and copied and pasted chapters in, one at a time, reading through them as I went and fixing whatever needed to be fixed. The first seven / eight chapters were fine, which I knew, but things started getting a little more messed up around chapter ten. So nose to the grindstone. Read and fix, read and fix, read and fix.

Anyway, it worked. I made really great progress last weekend. My self-imposed deadline for getting this book in order is January 28th, two weeks from this past Saturday. I'm not talking ready-for-the-editor finished, but all pieces in place even if they're a little rough around the edges. Then I'll go back with the sandpaper and smooth those edges.

My time is going to be very precious for the next couple of months, but it's good training for publishing three books a year. That's a goal for 2018 and beyond.

Hope you had a relaxing or productive weekend!

Ode to fog!

I love fog. I love driving around in it and the eerieness of it. Early Sunday and early today, we experienced really great fog--not the kind we normally get--rather thin and easily dissipating. But really thick, very-low-visibility fog. There was a patch on the way to the gym this morning that was so thick I could only see about five feet in front of me. But, as long as I could see the lane lines, all was good. It even thickened up over at the gym between the time I went in and the time I came out.

It was thick enough both mornings to really block out the radiating light from parking lots and large stores that I can usually pinpoint half a mile down the road at least. Not so much yesterday and today. They couldn't be seen until you were right up on them.

Anyway, it's been a fun little adventure, at least for me driving around. One of our employees wouldn't agree as he dislikes fog with a passion. It really spooks him. And it's so thick, really like pea soup today, and all over the Metroplex that it wouldn't surprise me if he had an issue getting to work this morning. :)

Hope you had a good weekend and here's to a productive week.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Made it through the week...

Even with my daily longer-than-normal list of things to do each day and despite crossing off the bulk of those items, I'm not feeling like I'm making progress.

Last night I sat down to revise for a minimum of an hour. When I looked at the clock in my office when I was done, I thought 'wow, I worked two hours!' It felt like two hours, but it turns out it was only an hour. :( The clock in my office is an hour off... It really did feel like two hours.

Maybe I'm just tired because I've had so many things to accomplish (and done so) and I started back to the gym after two weeks of not going.

But I'm definitely happy it's Friday even though Saturday will probably be busy with writer group stuff. I'm looking forward to Sunday. And I'm hoping that next week I'll be feeling a little more energetic.

On a more sporty note...the STARS won last night and my favorite STAR, Tyler Seguin, was chosen for the NHL All Star Game. This makes his fourth time being selected. Way to go boys!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

American Fun/Interesting Facts

Crazy busy, but didn't want to miss a day. This list comes from here.

#1 The amount of cement that China used from 2011 to 2013 was greater than the total amount of cement that the United States used during the entire 20th century.

#2 In more than half of all U.S. states, the highest paid public employee in the state is a football coach.

#3 It costs the U.S. government 1.8 cents to mint a penny and 9.4 cents to mint a nickel.

#4 Almost half of all Americans (47 percent) do not put a single penny out of their paychecks into savings.

#5 In 2014, police in the United States killed 1,100 people.  During that same year, police in Canada killed 14 people, police in China killed 12 people and police in Germany didn’t kill anyone at all.

#6 The state of Alaska is 429 times larger than the state of Rhode Island is.  But Rhode Island has a significantly larger population than Alaska does.

#7 Alaska has a longer coastline than all of the other 49 U.S. states put together.

#8 The city of Juneau, Alaska is about 3,000 square miles in size.  It is actually larger than the entire state of Delaware.

#9 When LBJ’s “War on Poverty” began, less than 10 percent of all U.S. children were growing up in single parent households.  Today, that number has skyrocketed to 33 percent.

#10 In 1950, less than 5 percent of all babies in America were born to unmarried parents.  Today, that number is over 40 percent.

#11 The poverty rate for households that are led by a married couple is 6.8 percent.  For households that are led by a female single parent, the poverty rate is 37.1 percent.

#12 In 2013, women earned 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees that were awarded that year in the United States.

#13 According to the CDC, 34.6 percent of all men in the U.S. are obese at this point.

#14 The average supermarket in the United States wastes about 3,000 pounds of food each year.

#15 Right now, more than 200 million people around the planet are officially considered to be unemployed.  Meanwhile, approximately 20 percent of the garbage that goes into our landfills is food.

#16 There is a city in Bangladesh called Dhaka where workers are paid just one dollar for every 1,000 bricks that they carry.  Meanwhile, the “inactivity rate” for men in their prime working years in the United States is hovering near record high levels.

#17 According to one recent survey, 81 percent of Russians now have a negative view of the United States.  That is much higher than at the end of the Cold War era.

#18 Montana has three times as many cows as it does people.

#19 The grizzly bear is the official state animal of California.  But no grizzly bears have been seen there since 1922.

#20 One recent survey discovered that “a steady job” is the number one thing that American women are looking for in a husband, and another survey discovered that 75 percent of women would have a serious problem dating an unemployed man.

#21 According to a study conducted by economist Carl Benedikt Frey and engineer Michael Osborne, 47 percent of the jobs in the United States could soon be lost to computers, robots and other forms of technology.

#22 The only place in the United States where coffee is grown commercially is in Hawaii.

#23 The original name of the city of Atlanta was “Terminus“.

#24 The state with the most millionaires per capita is Maryland.

#25 There are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

#26 86 percent of men include “having children” in their definition of success.  For women, that number is only 73 percent.

#27 One survey of 50-year-old men in the U.S. found that only 12 percent of them said that they were “very happy”.

#28 The United States has 845 motor vehicles for every 1,000 people.  Japan only has 593 for every 1,000 people, and Germany only has 540 for every 1,000 people.

#29 The average American spends more than 10 hours a day using an electronic device.

#30 48 percent of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies in their homes whatsoever.

#31 There are three towns in the United States that have the name “Santa Claus“.

#32 There is actually a town in Michigan called “Hell“.

#33 There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body.  If they were stretched out in a single line, they could go around the planet more than twice.
Monday, January 9, 2017

Feeling blue...

I dropped Sonshine off at the airport early Sunday morning...and yes I cried. Just a little. I hadn't expected to, but this years' visit seemed shorter and we didn't get any Mom/Sonshine alone time. But he did get to spend time with DH as well as one of his HS buddies, so that was definitely nice for all of us to just hang out.

We did go to a Stars game, so that was a fun experience to share with him. He is partially to blame for my newfound love of hockey so it seemed like a fitting activity. :) If only the STARS had won...

And so the real new year begins... Sonshine is back where he belongs (for now) and my leisurely start to the new year is over. It's time to get going on all my waiting endeavors.

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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