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2017 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


Blog Archive

Blog Archive

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My Fitbit, weightloss, and me...

So I learned how to track my various exercises via the Fitbit and it seems the device does a better job tracking my heart rate when I do that, so yay. I guess the question still accurate is the heart rate as gauged by the Fitbit in exercise mode versus figures provided by the machines at the gym?

I haven't done a detailed analysis of this, but the times I've compared the two, they seem close enough. As long as I'm in the heart rate range for fat burning, it doesn't matter much if the discrepancy is within five to seven beats.

There's a larger difference, however, in the "calories burned" figures. The machines always tell me I've burned more calories than what the Fitbit says. While I'd like to burn more calories, I use the Fitbit's figures just to be on the safe side. As long as I eat/log fewer calories that I burn, I'm always in the process of losing weight.

Apparently a pound is 3500 calories, so it would take a seven-day week to lose a pound if you consistently consumed 500 fewer calories than you burned every day.

I haven't been making as much progress as quickly as I'd been hoping, but learning that info the other day, has made it easier to make sure I keep at least that much of a difference between intake and outgo.

So new challenge for Jen--consume 500 fewer calories a day than I burn. Let's meet back in a week and see what's happened. :0)

Have a great rest of the week.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Please send your good wishes into the universe on my behalf...

Why you ask???

Because there's a chance I could sail aboard Sonshine's ship on its last leg home--IF IF IF a enough spots open up.

They announced the plan to the crew the other day. Unfortunately, Sonshine was apparently sleeping when the initial call went out and he didn't see the announcement until he showed up for work. He's got me on the waiting list (well, HE'D BETTER), so we just need enough other people to not be able to go in order for me to be able to.

So please-please-please keep fingers and toes crossed and send those happy thoughts out on my behalf.

I'll love you forever.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Just TGIF my friends...

Gotta dive back into my book this weekend!

Have a good one.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Writers Retreat, Part II

Home again, home again, jiggedy jog, after a fabulous long writers retreat weekend with some of the most beautiful women on the planet.

 Clover, Jen, and Regina...

 ...Susie, Chrissy, and Michelle.

As I mentioned last week, we went to Lake Conroe. The house on the lake we stayed in belongs to the sister and brother-in-law of one of my writer peeps and they graciously allowed us to take up residence for a few days.

The weather was gorgeous, even when it rained. The food fantastic. The company unparalleled. Every single one of us got words on a page or some plot point figured out or both, but the real beauty of the weekend was the way the time together doing things other than writing bonded us all closer together.

 The lake from the house...

 ...and the house from the lake.

I've never had as close or as good of friends as this. I cannot imagine my life without any one of these special women.

While I was there, I also got to visit with the Brown-Eyed Girl as she lives just a ways down the road.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The wonders of technology...

I am still sometimes amazed by aspects of technology.

There's this lovely little app on pretty much every smart phone called Google Maps. :0) When I go places usually look up my route on a computer and have a fair idea how to get where I need to go. I like having the app, because if I get lost, I can pull over and figure out how to get unlost.

Now, I've never used the app to its fullest potential--that is, using it to actually direct me real time to my destination.

In Nashville, we used it to get to the conference hotel from the hotel where we stayed, but DH was driving and had used it before.

I used it to get to the lake house and from the lake house to the Brown-Eyed Girl's apartment and back and, holy cow, that was pretty wicked cool.

And a lot of you might already use that feature, but I rarely drive anywhere I've never been and I'm usually with DH and he drives or navigates if I am. This time, I was with my writer girl friends and none of us knew where we going, so it was time I used it for myself.

Now, I feel a little more confident about going out of town to events or just when traveling and visiting places like, say, Seattle where my kid is home-ported and we rent a car to get around.

How about you?? Do you use the maps feature on your phone to navigate.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Writers Retreat

Good morning,'s blog post come to you from the shore of Lake Conroe in South/Central Texas, when my closest writer friends and I are enjoying a writers retreat weekend.

I even got see my beautiful baby girl last night as well.

Hope you have lovely weekend too!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Resistence is difficult, but not always futile...

I've come to discover the Fitbit has at least one snafu in it's something (I'm not sure what)--it won't always (hardly ever) register your elevated heart rate. Except it sorta does, sometimes? My higher heart rates from when I'm working out don't always register on the Fitbit's screen, but if I go into the dashboard and look at the data, sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not--weird.

In order to burn fat (my long-term energy storage/source) rather than my short term energy, I need to do two things: get into fat burn mode by getting my heart rate up to a certain level and do that when my body doesn't have easy access to short-term energy reserves--those that come from recently eaten foods.

Two weeks ago, I gave up tortillas and cold cereal yet again. I fell off the wagon once, but have been good ever since.

Last Friday, I was really craving cold cereal... But as I have seen progress in losing the weight I had regained, I held fast, as difficult as it was, and was able to successfully resist that delicious bowl of sweet crunchy goodness.

My willpower paid off and I have lost a few more ounces and am 17% of the way to my target weight.

I still have several adjustments to make to my diet, but all in good time and in moderation. I figure once I've been on the wagon for a while, I won't crave them so badly. That's my hope, anyway.

This is constant state of learning and adjusting--well, isn't everything in life??-- and eventually I'll find the right combination.

Have a great rest of the week!!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights all the hockey talk on my blog, I haven't said much of anything about the NHL's latest expansion team.

This year, the NHL added a 31st team to the League: the Vegas Golden Knights. They populated their roster with one player chosen from each of the thirty other teams. Each team was allowed to protect a certain number of players/combination of positions. There were a lot of deals made behind the scenes leading into the expansion draft to protect additional players. To be honest, I don't remember who the Knights pilfered from Dallas and it's not important.

What IS important is that the Stars will be playing the Knights in their home/season opener and guess who's going to be in attendance??

Yep. Me. I'm so excited to see this match-up. One of the things I'm most excited about is seeing Marc-Andre Fluery in the net... I hope the Dallas crowd cheers him on when he's introduced because he's a beloved player across the league--in fact, he got a standing ovation from everyone in attendance at the expansion draft/NHL awards ceremony, players and fans alike.

Mr. Fleury was plucked from the back-to-back Stanley Cup winning Penguins (remember them, lol?) by Las Vegas. He's gonna prove a challenge to our boys, that for certain.

I'm excited, but I'm nervous too. The Stars didn't do so hot last season, and I just want them to acquit themselves well at home on opening day against a brand new team. It'll be kinda embarrassing if they don't, huh?

Keep your fingers crossed on their behalf, would you??

Friday, July 28, 2017

Welcome to Riverdale...

Depending on your age, you might or might not be familiar with Riverdale...

Riverdale is the home of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead of Archie Comic fame. I'm vaguely familiar with the comic, although I never read them as a kid.

But I was looking for something else to watch and finally decided to take a chance on this and was pleasantly surprised as well as pulled into the plot lines.

As far as I know, the original comics were about teens in high school and the related high jinks. Riverdale, while still focusing on our high school foursome, is darker and begins with the murder of the Riverdale High School quarterback, Jason Blossom.

 (L-R: Alice Cooper (Betty's mom), Jughead Jones, Veronica Lodge, Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Cheryl Blossom,
Josie (of Josie and the Pussycat fame), and Hermione Lodge (Veronica's mom)

At least one parent of all four teens plays a role in the show. None of the characters, save for maybe Archie, Jughead, and Veronica are what they seem. Betty has a dark side we see glimpses of, and all the adults, except maybe Archie's dad, have some sort of secret.

The writers have done a fantastic of weaving this tale of secrets, lies, and revelations through the thirteen action-packed episodes of season one.

Has anyone else given this a try? What did you think?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Thank goodness for YouTube...

I'm sure y'all know that you can find many amazing (and a lot of not-so-amazing) and wonderful things on YouTube.
From yoga routines to car maintenance how-to's, you can save a lot of money. There are craft tutorials, music videos, audio books, old movies, new movies, news footage, video game analysis, and so so so so much more.

Honestly, I don't actually spend a lot of time on YouTube. I pull up the yoga occasionally and listen to music when I don't have access to my iTunes.

Do you know how hard it is to catch much of any kind of sports on regular TV with basic cable??? Nearly impossible.

Even with sports venue/network apps, you have to enter your IP login and if you don't have the right cable package, you're still S-O-L. Last year, I subscribed to and got to watch any and every hockey team/game I wanted. EXCEPT the STARS... Why??? Because I live in their blackout zone or whatever the heck they call it. Yeah. Needless to say...I will be changing my cable package starting in September.

In the meantime, better cable wouldn't do do me any good because hockey season is over, but you know what there is? YouTube. :0)

I can find old games on YouTube. Why would I want to watch an old game? Well, first of all, beggars can't be choosers. Second of all, I just want to watch some hockey. Not always watch even, just listen to the play-by-play in the background is good enough. Why hockey over music? That I can't say.

But I can say, thank goodness for YouTube!

Have you used YouTube for one of the a-for-mentioned reasons??

Share a YouTube experience with me!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Second Quarter Goal Review

With all the excitement of the 4th of July, I forgot to review my progress of my goals. Let's take a look!

Goals are just there to the left...

How'd I do?

Oh--I just noticed it still says 2016 Goals--oh goodness. Okay, changing to 2017.

Now let's gauge progress...

1) I've been writing Grandma in Denmark, but not staying as on schedule as I'd like.
2) I'm not doing as well calling my mom's either, though to be fair, the last time I tried to call my mom, I think she was camping and had no cell service. Will call both moms before the week is out.
3) Am I cooking and eating better? I might have been during the first quarter, but I haven't been so well as of late. But the Fitbit's capabilities have got me swinging back that direction, so during the next two grocery shopping cycles, I'll make changes as needed.
4) I haven't cleaned out my writing room/office/craft room. *shrugs* It's not a high priority.
5) Cleaning plan is nowhere in sight.
6) I have not pulled the trigger on the publishing journey. I've lamented my ups and downs in other posts, but the new goal is November.
7) Because of my lapse in exercise, I've gained back about 4 pounds, but I think I can lose that fairly easily and quickly and be within 5 pounds of the high end of my target weight.
8) No, I still haven't taken that poor dog out for a walk...

Friday, July 21, 2017

Getting enough sleep...

One of the things the Fitbit tracks is sleep. DH had mentioned several times over the last couple of months that he hadn't slept well and referenced the sleep tracker on his Fitbit.

Mostly, I sleep well. Or so I thought. And it turns out that I do.

I've reviewed the logs of my sleep for the last several nights and then had to do some research. My time in deep sleep was low compared to light sleep. I didn't think much of it seeing as how I sleep fine and usually have enough energy to get through the day, but I mentioned it to a friend and she wondered if that little amount of deep was good for a person.

The short answer depends. Of course, it does. But for my age and gender, I'm right where I need to be. Article One | Article Two

Different things go on in the body during various stages of sleep. As I'm a grown woman in the second half of my life, I don't need all of the things or as much of those things as I used to, hence my time spent in deep sleep is less. Babies, children, and teens should have longer periods of deep sleep because growth hormones are released during this time.

I've always known that I require a certain amount of sleep, I've known what my window is, and I've fought hard to maintain it, because I know and I like the way my body functions and feels when I keep that balance.

How about you? 

Anyway, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Funny how small the world can be sometimes...

I've been struggling again with this whole publishing journey.

I know all the best practices from a money-making stand point. But what's best for me?

Sure, I'd love to have a steady income stream in order to pay off debt and fix up the house and leave something to my kids. Unfortunately, publishing on the type of schedule that maximizes my money-making potential is stressing me out. All my friends are very encouraging. "You can do it, Jen." "I have every confidence in you, Jen."

And it's not that I don't think I can--eventually. I just can't yet. I've still got some learning to do.

On one of the Facebook groups to which I belong, someone shared a blog post from an author who I created a series bible for last year. I enjoyed all her books tremendously. But, as it turns out, this poor woman suffers with depression and really struggled to meet the deadline of the publisher she signed a contract with.

She talked about pinpointing when the writing was fun for her, i.e. not a chore, when she was most productive. She talked about what it means to be a writer. What "THEY" say... and what the realities are.

The fact is, we're all different. We all have a personal ecosystem going inside of us which includes not only physical health, but mental health, among other things. Each writer gets to decide for him- or herself what their writing life looks like in order to balance that ecosystem and get out of writing what they want or need from it.

I love writing and I don't think I'll ever stop, even if it ends up just be fan fiction. But I also think I can make money with my writing. So I want to try, but I have to keep the process realistic for my abilities and needs at any given time. Do I think in the future I can write faster and get where I want to be in terms of output? Yes, I do. But just like getting the physical body in shape, getting your writing abilities in shape takes time and effort as well.

So, with yet another timely "tale from the trench," I'm gonna do need/what I want to do to have fun on this journey.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Happy Anniversary to me!

I got a FitBit for my annivesary... DH got one several months ago and he's really benefited from it. I don't really need something to encourage me to get up and move, etc, but the Charge 2 has some other functions and features that I thought would be helpful to track. Things like resting heart rate, fat burning, sleep quality. I've sort of plateaued in terms of motivation and I'm hoping this device will get me revved up and ready to step it back up again.

Anyone else using a Fitbit or similar device for health and wellness purposes?

Friday, July 14, 2017

I've been derelict this week...

There just hasn't been much to tackle via blog this week. But for the sake of a post, let's see...

Book six is trickling into existence. It's not coming as quickly as I'd like, but I average about two pages a day. It's not as much as it could be, but I'm gonna be happy with that over a big fat goose egg.

Hockey is mostly quiet right now. Most of the big trades across the league seem to have taken place and the Stars look good for the upcoming season. A few players are starting to train again. Pre-season starts end of September. I'm super exicted.

My cruise and all its attendant costs has been paid for--thank you DH and thank you fireworks.

Tomorrow is writers group and I'm so looking forward to seeing my core peeps whom I haven't gotten to see en masse since April. There will be a lot of chatter tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

Have a great weeknd!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mall Shopping...

DD and I had a mother/daughter date yesterday. She wanted to check out a store at one of the local malls, so off we went. We had a fun time and I came home with a sore hip joint and a Build-A-Bear bear...

It was a tie between the hockey outfit and the Navy one, but ultimately they didn't have a Navy one, so hockey it was. I'll just have to order the sailor suit online.

It's not often I get to hang out with DD, so a good time was had by all. I hardly ever go to the mall because generally speaking I hate shopping. I mean I don't go just for the sake of going. I go when I need something.

Part of me had been wanting to people watch because I'm hip-deep in writing books and I really don't spend a lot of time out in the world. I see the same five people everyday and that's a very small sample group. :0) I got to do some over the 4th while down at the fireworks store, but then you get busy and you forget.

Are you a shopper? Do you like going to the mall?

Friday, July 7, 2017

Who's watching "The Ranch"?

It's a thirty-minute sitcom on Netflix starring Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Debra Winger, and Sam Elliott.

It's not for everyone, that's for sure, with its crude humor, but I gotta say, I laughed my way through the first season. The show, while still humorous, explored some more serious plot-lines through end of season one and into season two, so the laughs were fewer.

I've never paid much attention to Ashton Kutcher over the years, so I'm not terribly familiar with his body of work, but I like his boyish, dumb-jock charm and sweetness in this. He's not hard on the eyes either...

Anyone else seen this? Your thoughts?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Birthday America!!!

Sure, we have a lot of issues, but it's my country and I still love it.

Have a lovely and safe 4th of July filled with family friends fun food and fireworks.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Do you listen to the radio?

I don't very often and I've been reminded why-- And it's not the commercials!

Since we bought the new car and I have Bluetooth capability and can easily and automatically listen to my random playlists, I generally don't listen to the radio. I mean, why would I?

But I cleaned up my phone and was having difficulty getting my music on my phone via iTunes, so I left the issue for another day and selected the oldies station for my ride to work the other day.

And then I remembered why listening to the radio at least during the standard commute times is so frustrating...

Because there isn't that much music being played. There are morning shows and traffic reports and, of course, commercials.

I don't need traffic reports because I live ten minutes from the house and take back roads all the way.

The morning shows are filled with ridiculous prattle about TV shows I don't watch and inane chatter about things I don't care about.

Commercials...well, we all probably all feel similarly about them. 

Only the classical station really plays music all the time, with breaks for weather and traffic, of course, but it's not overwhelming, and I do like classical music.

Do you listen to the radio? What's your genre/station type of preference?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

It's not a race, it's not a race, it's not a race...and yet it is.

Wait. What?

Getting published is not a race. There's plenty of room out there for books. There are plenty of readers out there who will enjoy my books. I'm not competing against anyone here.

My journey is not a race. I get to decide "where" I want to go, what I "see" on the way, and what "route" I take to get there.

Over the last ten years or so--since I've been a member of Romance Writers of America--I've heard and read and listened to most of what the organization and its members have shared about writing and publishing in the romance genre. Granted, most of it has probably been more osmosis than anything, but if you hear something enough times, it sticks even if you're not an active listener.

As the years have passed and I sort of drifted (okay, not drifted--I served my chapter every year but one) along in my local chapter, learning and watching as my fellow chapter mates followed their own paths and published one by one, some to big six publishers, some becoming indie authors...

There are few people in my chapter not published, and those that aren't have been part of the group for a much shorter period of time. At this point, I think there are only two people who've been a member longer than I. My journey, my timetable. But I digress.

...I gleaned from fellow authors' trials and tribulations, as well as their successes, what kind of journey I wanted to take. I've kept my expectations realistic.

I get to decide when and how this journey begins and mostly the path I take, but once I start the car and pull out of the driveway, what then? Then outside forces get a say in my journey. Weather, traffic, road construction...

In publishing, I've learned that momentum is everything. This is where the journey becomes a race. (to a degree.) A race against time and outside forces. I have a schedule now for getting the books published in terms of length of time between releases, but I have to make sure all the books in the series are written or can be written/edited/finalized by the time it's any given book's turn to be published.

And then I have to be ready with the second series at whatever interval I decide is appropriate and do-able. Sustainability is the key.

But the thing is...I haven't held down a full time job in a decade aside from wife and mother. I know that the writing muscle becomes leaner and stronger and more powerful as it's used, just like the muscles of our bodies. Writing is going to have to become at least a part time job at some point. More structured, more focused, more deliberate. Writing can no longer be done just when I feel like it and am in the mood.

One of the reasons I haven't started my publishing journey is because I got stuck, somewhere, somehow, on book six--think of me on a large roundabout, to continue the driving metaphor, going around in circles and not knowing where I am or what the correct exit is. I'm working on the book again now, trying to string ideas for scenes together that tell the story I had envisioned, but I lost a month and it was important to me that book six be as complete as possible before I started publishing.

I'd prefer if book seven was at least started as well, and I think it will be, because I've got characters and plot pretty well hashed out. Book eight has characters with backstory and the basis of a plot. Book nine (last one) is a shimmery notion, but that's okay. My brain can only process so much data. Or the gas tank can only hold a max amount of gas at one time and must be refilled periodically. (Am I maintaining my travel/journey metaphor still? Or have I run off the road???)

Once I finish this series, how much time do I need for the next one...? I have the series premise. I know how many characters/books there will be. I know the basics of a couple of plot lines.

So it's become a race to do this in a timely fashion to get the best start and the proper momentum to keep the income stream primed and flowing for months and years to come.

 I guess I need to keep training.

Have a great rest of the week.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Advice from a tree...

Saw this on Facebook and thought I'd share here... I think I only have one or two cross-overs. :0)

Here's to a great week.
Friday, June 23, 2017

And next season's hockey schedules are out!!

I've been waiting and waiting for the NHL to release the game schedules for the upcoming season and they're finally available!

The reason I am so excited to see the schedule is because I'm going to Denver in October and I wanted to catch a hockey game while I'm there and now I know I can.

If the conference had been a week earlier or I wanted the expense of staying two more days, I could have seen the Stars. I admit I was hoping for those "stars" to align, but it's not like I'm not going to have plenty of chances to see the Stars play this season.

The match-up will be the Colorado Avalanche (obviously) versus the St. Louis Blues.

Now to find some people to go with. My roomie's not interested in hockey, so to find some fellow conference attendees who are. *fingers crossed*

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why the heck does it take so long for a package to arrive...?

On June 2, I ordered yet another Pittsburgh Penguins t-shirt. I received an email on June 10th that it had been shipped with an estimated arrival date of June 13th. I originally thought the 12th, but I might have mis-read the email hoping for a gift actually on my birthday. :0)

I finally received my t-shirt on Monday June 19th--seventeen days after I ordered it, six days after it was originally supposed to have arrived.

(I just got the shirt, not the mug.)


No reason that I can understand except I realize it's a low priority package. I get that. Had they charged me TWO more measly dollars, they could have put it in a priority mail envelope at a US post office and I could have gotten it in about three days. How happy of a camper would I have been???

Instead, the company I bought the t-shirt from is using some sort of combination of shipping--USPS and DHL--I imagine to get much cheaper rates. I've experienced that before on something else I bought, but packages then take a meandering route to where they're supposed to go.

If they'd correctly identified the day of delivery, I wouldn't be quite as upset, but when my package sits twenty miles down the road for three days for no apparent reason, I have a problem. It's seriously ridiculous that a package coming from Denver took nine days to be delivered.

I get making a profit on the item, but charge appropriate shipping and get a product into the hands of the consumer even if all the shipping funds are used up. I doubt I will ever order something from this company again.

Has anyone had similar frustrations?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Christmas in June...

My BIL & SIL gave me a really neat waterfall aquarium for Christmas last year... It's taken me a while to get it setup, but I finally did. No fish as of yet, but the bowl is setup and the filter is running. I'm gonna let it run for the week, let the water adjust to the house temperature, and probably get my new fishies next weekend.

Here's to a lovely week.

Friday, June 16, 2017


Yeah...I wanted to post something interesting and thoughtful, but it just wasn't happening, so have some eye candy...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


The Pittsburgh Penguins won back to back Stanley Cups. The Stanley Cup is probably the hardest trophy in sports to win. Doing it two years in a row is feat that hasn't happened in nineteen years for various reasons, but mostly because hockey is a very fast and very physical sport. Hockey hits are generally speaking, 17% harder than football hits. As a result of being hit, a player may end up in the boards (the sides of the rink) or hitting the ice. Whether that's factored into that "17% harder"I don't know, but regardless... And I digress.

This year the Penguins overcame injury after injury of player after player, bringing in guys from the lower leagues to fill in. They brought in rookies who showed up and played big games.

This morning I watched the Penguins parade through downtown Pittsburgh, and what an event!!

Can they go for three in a row? Why can't they? But we'll see, won't we?

Some screen grabs of the parade, because why not? I can!

The owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins--without these guys there would be no Penguins.
Ronald Burkle on the left, Mario Lemieux on the right.
Mario won back to back Cups for the Pens in '91 & '92
(before he was an owner).

Marc-Andre Fleury (left) and Matt Murray (right)--the goal-tending duo of the decade.
Fleury was drafted by the Pens back in 2003. Murray was also drafted by the Pens in 2012.

Some of then Pens on stage at the end of the presentation after the parade. Holding the Cup is the best forward duo in the NHL, #87 Sidney Crosby, considered by most to be the greatest player in the world, and #71 Evgeni Malkin.

I hope that someday soon, the Dallas Stars will win the Cup. I look forward to celebrating a little more up close at that point and in person and attending their parade. *fingers crossed*

And if the Stars don't make it next year, I'll be rooting for the Penguins for sure.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Happy Birthday to ME!!

What would I like for my birthday...?

Well, a visit with my son would top the list, but that's not feasible at the moment.

To be a successful self-supporting author. I'll do what I can do...learn my craft, learn my business, and put decent books out into the world. The rest is up to fate.

And maybe a nice dinner out with DH and DD. I think that, at least, can be arranged. :0)

One thing I did get...the Pittsburgh Penguins winning back-to-back Stanley Cups. What a treat to watch and learn about about this team this past couple of months.

Have a great week!!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Anyone else watching Chicago Fire?

DH and I decided to give it a try. We're only a couple of episodes in, but so far, so good.

There's an interesting cast of characters, and few things are more compelling than real life heroes.

Anyone else watching? You like? Don't like?

Have a great weekend...!
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A time for my first REAL vacation!!!

Royal Caribbean ship Liberty of the Seas 
(By Stephen & Katherine - Flickr: DSCF1152, CC BY 2.0

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to me!! So, yeah...I'm going on my very first cruise with all of DH's family on a 7-day cruise to the Western Caribbean. Wow! Even DD has been on cruise. Sonshine's on a cruise on steroids right now. Not sure about my Brown-Eyed Girl.

Nope, I've never been on a cruise. I'm definitely excited, but I'm also a little nervous to be away from home for that long. House, dog, business... I know it'll be fine, but still.

Have you ever been on a cruise? Any suggestions, tips, advice?

Monday, June 5, 2017

To publish this year or not to publish this year....?

Benedict Cumberbatch doing the To be or not to be speech...

That's the big question...

I've been told that October/November/December is a good time to publish, but I'm no closer to a final decision at this point. I want to publish. I do. That lure of an income stream no matter how small is pretty strong, but I also know that if I can't stick with the schedule, I'll lose momentum, and it'd just be better if I can avoid that.

My options at this point are next June to coincide with and/or start off my 50th birthday/50th year with a bang, January of 2018, or Oct/Nov/Dec of this year if I can get my act together on the last three books.

The problem is Book Six is still a big muddled mess in my brain. But I am getting help with that, so fingers crossed. Also, I plotted out one of the remaining books--which may get bumped up to "six" status, depending on how it goes--so that's encouraging. I worked on one of the other books as well, but didn't make quite as much progress. Which is fine. I just gotta keep plugging away.

The other thing that was niggling at me was lack of ideas that really excite me for the next series. I have a few written down, but I've felt kind of meh about them. And then one came to me and I was instantly stoked about it and several ideas sparked right away. So that's the one. :0) The plan is another nine books. And, unlike my current series, it's gonna have some advance planning--way advance, since it won't start until the first series is complete. It'll take approximately seven months to publish a nine-book series on the schedule I've outlined, so yeah...

That gets me into 2019. I guess I don't have to worry about the next series for awhile.

Any words of advice?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Happy Birthday Momma

Hope you have a super day!!!

In other news, saying so long...

Sonshine's ship left on deployment yesterday. He won't be just a plane-ride away for the next six to nine months.

So long, Sonshine--fair winds and following seas to you and the entire strike group.

(Ships of the Nimitz carrier strike group steam together during training in March, 2017.
Photo: US Navy)

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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