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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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Friday, April 28, 2017

Time Keeps On Slippin' Into the Future...


I guess that reference might show my age, although to be fair, I remember it from the movie Space Jam (released in 1996), which my kids loved. I was actually eight years old when the Steve Miller Band released the single in 1976...

But I digress.

My point is that it's almost May and where the heck has the time gone? This year has been a haze of running my writer's group's contest, hockey fan girling, and lots and lots of writing and revising--mostly revising until now.

I finally got to start a new book and I've been so excited to finally get these guys on the page.

But now I'm struggling. Things aren't gelling. I thought I knew them, I do know them--but maybe I don't know the things I need to. I can't seem to pull the threads together. I'm missing some key nugget.

I'm writing scenes and I'm making my minimum daily word count, which is good, but the scenes have no meaning at this point... There's gonna be some heavy-duty thinking in my future. I have a deadline--end of June for this to be written and ready for the proofreader.

Better get to work. I know what I'm going to be doing this weekend.

How about you? Big plans??


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Oh Happy Day


I finally heard from Sonshine who's been on a communications blackout while his ship has been completing deployment inspections and exercises--which the ships & crews passed with flying colors.

He called Monday afternoon to say hello and that he's enjoying the job and having fun despite the long long days. Not much more a mother could ask for. :0) Except to maybe SEE said child, but all in due course. I might be able to make it to Seattle before he deploys, I may not. Either way is okay...

But what a great way to start my week and end a Monday.

Hope your week is going well.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Yup, I'm talking hockey again. Cuz I can...

I've been watching hockey for a year now...I came in somewhere in the middle of the 2016 playoffs. The Stars lost in the second round to the St. Louis Blues who are making a run for the Cup again this year. The Blues won this past Saturday in overtime, sending them once again to the second round...

But that's not the point of this. :0)

Last year, I knew nothing about hockey except that the team that scored the most goals won the game. And that's pretty much the easiest thing about hockey to understand.

Now lest you think I watch hockey to watch the hot athletes, let me disabuse you of that notion right now--those men wear so much padding that there's nothing to ogle. In fact, I went to a Stars open practice a while back and saw some of the players in street clothes after the fact and, quite frankly, I was shocked at how skinny a couple of those guys actually are.

Let's compare...Tyler Seguin in street clothes...


Tyler Seguin in hockey gear...


As lovely as he is, I digress...

So over the course of the last seven months (hockey season starts in October), I've watched games and listened to announcers and I've learned a bit about the strategy of the game. I've learned things like why a player slides across the ice...it's not because he slipped, although sometimes it happens. It's because he's trying to block the puck. I've learned that sometimes players pick fights just to rouse the crowd. Of course, sometimes, they're just pissed off. And I've learned why players chuck the puck down the ice without there necessarily being a teammate waiting for it...to clear it away from their goalie/net.

I still have a lot to learn, but I don't think hockey's going anywhere for awhile.

Now if only learning about writing was as easy as watching and listening...



Friday, April 21, 2017

It's my journey and no one else's...


I've been doing this "event" thing with my writers group where we read a blog post by this particular author/publisher and discuss his topic.

I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again, this guy's opinions really resonate with me. They don't resonate quite as deeply or as across the board with everyone else, though. Which is, of course, perfectly fine. But it's certainly been interesting.

I was reminded the other day that this journey, my journey, is not a race. Yes, there are deadlines I need to meet and a there's an understanding in indie publishing romance that the faster you churn out books, the more financially successful you can be. Of course I want to be successful. Financially and otherwise.

But I also know that I don't want to be a slave to my writing. I'm almost fifty years old and I'm in a better place than I've been on many levels for most of my life--I want to live and enjoy life too. And if I'm not out living life and learning things and meeting people, then I fear my writing won't be as enriched as it could be.

I'm not even in competition with other writers. My chosen sub-genre is a small one. There's room for new authors. I hope my style, my twist resonates with people. I think (I hope) it will.

Not only is it not a race, but it's no one's journey but mine. I get to choose what I write, when I publish, if I advertise or spend time on social media. All the loud voices say you should advertise and promote and connect with fans on Facebook (or wherever) but that's not me and I'd much rather spend time writing or watching hockey or talking to my DD.

That's not to say I won't put my Facebook out there and interact with people if they find me, but I'm not going to actively recruit. I've never been convinced that all that stuff equals enough sales to justify the amount of time people seem to spend on it.

Every little while I start feeling ansty, like I'm falling behind, but until that first (second & third) book goes live, I can take as much time as I need to get there. After that, there's a bit more pressure to stay on track and be more timely rather than less, but it's still ultimately my decision.

I'm still hoping to hit "publish" on or before my birthday in June, but I've had some small hurdles and I'm just not sure if everything's going to come together. And maybe every single thing doesn't need to be in place. I don't know. Food for thought.

Have a great weekend!!!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

OFF THE GRID


Sorry this is soooo late today...it's been a crazy few days.

And so sorry I missed Monday. The weekend was a bit busy and then Monday, I ended up being without Internet access aside from my phone, but that's not conducive to everything Internet-based. Not for me anyway.

On the other hand, I did have my laptop and I was able to finish reading through book five. It could use another pass (or two), but it needs to go to the editor in a few days. And--I'm tired of looking at it. The editor may have her work cut out for her, but I said that about the last book and she didn't say much about that one. So who knows. >>shrugs<<

Does watching real TV count as being off the grid? because I've been able to watch the Stanley Cup semi-finals on my big screen TV the last couple of nights too, so that's been a nice change from watching it on my iPad. Anyway, last night's game was a freakin' nail biter.

The Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off a much needed win--
had they lost they would have been eliminated from the first round.


Anyway, being off the grid was nice and lonely at the same time. But I survived.

Hope you've had a good week so far!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Remember when I used to post about my backyard a lot?


Yeah, me too. I kinda miss my yard. I haven't spent a lot of time outside recently, except to hang while the dog runs around. I usually sit and read while she sniffs and chases things and does her business.

I haven't worked on anything in the yard in years and you can definitely tell. It's not that I don't want a nice-looking yard, because I do, but I no longer have the inclination to do it myself. At least not right now. I'd rather pay someone to do the back-breaking labor and enjoy the fruits of their labor and my money. But that's a ways off...maybe months, depending on how the books sell come June, July, and August...or maybe longer.

The lawn gets mowed and weed-whacked but that's pretty much it. The trees need trimming, we have a huge brush pile behind the shed and any semblance of specialty areas are mostly over-grown with grass or covered in leaves.


What I'd really like to find is a "putzer"--someone who'll come putz in my yard once they're done in their own. Someone who likes to just putter and weed and water and trim and plant. Anyone know someone like that in my neck of the woods???


I also miss watching the squirrels and birds. Although that could be easily remedied  by filling the bird feeders and squirrel feeders again. Once I have some extra cash, I plan to. But you'd be surprised how not cheap bird food and squirrel mix is.

Hope you have a great weekend!!!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2017 First Quarter Goal Update


Quite frankly, I'm not doing so hot.

I'm calling my mom & step-mom, so that's good.

I'm behind on writing a letter to my grandmother.

I'm not doing as well on the cooking better/eating better as I'd like, but I'm doing better than last year. Still have nine months to make further improvements.

My writing room is also not as clean and tidy as I'd like it, although I have worked on it a little. Again...still have time. :0)

The cleaning plan is nowhere to be found at the moment.

I am slightly behind on getting my six books published. Just need to get my arse in gear and pick up the pace.

I'm on track to reach my weight goal. Just got to keep on doing what I'm doing. Only maybe a little more gung ho there too.

I haven't walked the dog in months, so yeah. There's still time!!

How about you???

Did you  lay out some goals? How's your progress??


Monday, April 10, 2017

More hockey surprises...


In April before the trade deadline, the Stars lost four players in trades. Good players. Producing players. But we got draft picks in exchange for a couple of them, so...we'll see how that plays out in June.

But Saturday after the last game of the season came the news that the coach (!!) was let go. At first I wasn't sure why, but after some article reading I figured out that while this coach is one of winningest coaches in the NHL, this season was the Stars second worst season record since they moved to Dallas. Since the coach's contract expired, I guess the higher ups figured that shaking things up might -- um -- shake things up.

I guess we'll see how the summer and training camp plays out. *fingers crossed*

In other Jen-related hockey news, my two second favorite teams both made it to the playoffs. The problem is, they're in the same division--meaning they play each other in that first round, so somebody's going home...someone's going to the second round.


The Columbus Blue Jackets vs  the Pittsburgh Penguins.

I'll be happy and sad at the same time either way it shakes out.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

It's amazing the things you learn...


Okay, so this isn't a deep and heavy thing. :)

For the last couple of years I've been invested in and reading heavily in a particular fandom. For the sake of this discussion, the fandom itself doesn't matter.

At some point, I came across a term I'd never heard before, but based on context knew exactly what it was. I looked it up just to be sure and went on my merry reading way.

And then a few Friday's ago as I was writing, I researched hats because I was looking for something specific and found it, but while I was doing so, I realized why I had never heard that original word word before.

Are you wondering about that word?? :0) It's "snapback." Also known as a trucker hat. Basically a type of ball cap that usually has mesh sides and whose size can be adjusted by two plastic straps that snap together at the back.

Snapback:



This hat website I was reading listed baseball caps and snapbacks separately because authentic baseball caps are made to size specifications and "typically worn by the MLB."  And that's when it hit me why I'd never heard snapback before--because I watched baseball growing up and in no other sport that I can think of or watch do they wear hats during play. Helmets yes (NHL, NFL, NASCAR), hats...no.

Ballcap:


It's not that I'd never seen a snapback before. My momma wore them all the time, other people I know wear them. I just didn't realize they had a special term all to themselves.

So yeah, I love that I can learn something new anytime, anywhere!!

How about you? What's the most unusual way you've learned something?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Good Morning...


Yep, I went AWOL last week. I think I was just wiped out and my brain couldn't come up with anything exciting to talk about. I'm still at a loss, really, but figured I ought to check in.

So what's going on with Jen?

Well, Saturday was my writing group's annual conference, which was a lot of fun. I saw my favorite peeps which is always a joy and I learned about character archetypes.

In pondering the heroes of my first six books, I discovered I have four of one type with two others that also have those underlying tendencies. All the others are unique. I might have to branch out a little and challenge myself to try a new archetype.

I also made some progress finally on book five revisions. I've still got a ways to go, but I'm feeling better about the whole thing. Mostly, anyway. :0)

I've got a lot of publishing stuff to get a handle on this month too as time ticks down to publication day. I'm looking at a slight change to my plan after a conversation with a successful friend of mine--that being only publishing the first three books to start, with the fourth one coming 28 days after, and book five coming 28 days after that and book six 28 after that.

And now that I'm thinking about that schedule, books six will now be scheduled two and half weeks sooner than anticipated... Hmmm... Gonna have to think about some more. I'm not opposed, but the question becomes: can I get the book done and edited in time along with all the other stuff on my plate?

I really wanted to publish in June for my birthday, but maybe I should consider postponing for a month... I don't know.

So a good weekend over all for me. How about 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