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2018 Goals

  • Regularly write to my Grandma in Denmark.
  • Call my moms monthly.
  • Walk the dog three times a week.
  • Cook and eat better.
  • Re-institute the cleaning plan.
  • Work on my writing career--such as it is.
  • Reduce body fat and maintain current weight.
  • Take dance lessons with DH.
  • Do more crafts!
  • Take ballet and/or ice skating lessons.
  • Attend more STARS games.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Podcasts...


Do you listen to podcasts?

I've listened to a couple over the years when they came across my radar and seemed interesting. I enjoyed them, but in general podcasts are not things I go out and actively search for.



Last week, I listened to a specific episode of a podcast because the creator of that hockey webcomic I love so much was interviewed and I ended up enjoying the rest of the episode as well, sooo...

I subscribed to the podcast and then went back and listened from the beginning, which thankfully was only a year and a half ago and also thankfully airs weekly.

Anyway, it's mostly a hockey podcast (of course) with some other random TV and movie chatter thrown in. The two "hosts" are hockey/sports writers for various entities, hockey fans, and just general middle aged bros, and I like their humor.

One of the most interesting things about listening the podcast from the beginning is that they started this leading into the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs and that's right around the same time I was getting into hockey. I watched a little bit of the playoffs at the time, but not a whole lot.

Anyway, I've learned a lot about hockey since then, but it's amusing to hear their predictions as each round was played through, knowing what I know now about that season as well as the following one. I'm also looking forward to what they have to say about everything that's happened since that I paid attention or affected my teams.

So back to the original question...do you listen to podcasts?


Monday, November 27, 2017

Amazon has failed me!


So DD brought these to my attention...


And I want some pretty badly, but as I'm not Canadian, I can't order them from the Canadian branch of Amazon and they're not available in the US.

What I want to know is WHY WHY WHY??

Hockey has a pretty decent following here in the United States. I mean, TWENTY-FOUR of thirty-one teams are home-based here. What the heck, SHOP.NHL.COM??? Why aren't you carrying these???

Can I get NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's email so I can contact him about this travesty??



Friday, November 24, 2017

My own Black Friday Special...


Okay, not really, but it sounded good. :0)

I'm participating in a Christmas Advent Calendar Romance Novel give-away and I wanted to share the info with you! This is your chance to stock up on free books for the winter--if romance novels tickle your fancy.


Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving full of delicious food and family-filled or friend-filled fun. We opted to stay home since December is going to be pretty busy for us. And I made a full crockpot of my favorite beef stew, which we'll be eating all weekend, because why not? Gotta have leftovers, right, no matter what you have for your Thanksgiving meal!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!


This is going to be short and sweet because, well, it's time to be thankful and travel and spend time with family and friends. No one wants to read my ramblings today!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to one and all.






Hope you have super day filled with food, fun, family and friends.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Time to think about Christmas shopping...


It seems like it should be too early, but I'll be stuck on a ship during some prime shopping days, so...


It's time to think about Christmas shopping. Who I need to buy for, what I'm going to get them. I do have one gift in my hot little hands and I'm super excited about it. Alas, it's for Sonshine who probably won't be home until January to receive it.

I've been cross stitching one gift, and I think I need to speed up the process a little. I'll have the four day Thanksgiving break, though, to make some progress, so fingers crossed I can get as close to done as possible. It'll need to be framed, which I may end up running out of time for.

Two other gifts are on order...

I'm getting confused think about this all of a sudden. It must be time to create the annual Christmas Gift spreadsheet. Yes, I use spreadsheets even for that. It's easy to keep track of who has what gifts and how much of budgeted amount has been spent on each person. I can also go back to previous years to see what was bought.

No, this isn't what my spreadsheet looks like, but it's cute.

On that note, enjoy the short work week and the long holiday weekend!!


Friday, November 17, 2017

So I finally got my new refridgerator...


Our old fridge died a couple of weeks ago and the new one we purchased turned out to be a more popular model than we anticipated as the delivery date got pushed out.

So we ended up living out of ice chests for a couple of weeks, which seemed fine on the surface, but I'm so very glad to have this lovely new appliance in my house now. Though smaller, it's actually a much better fit for my kitchen.



Our old fridge was close to 20 years old, if not older, so while I would have rather not had to fork out hundreds of dollars for a new fridge, I can't be too upset about it finally giving up the ghost.

After living out of ice chests, there wasn't much to transfer into the new fridge, but it wasn't the challenge I expected it be. As I mentioned, the new one is smaller than the old one--and the height available in the shelves in the door is not as much, so salad dressing bottles, as well as ketchup and BBQ sauce can only go in one place. Easy peasy.

Not complaining, though, it's new and it's pretty and it's bright inside!

The fun part is going to be figuring out how to arrange my sizable magnet collection!!

Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy your slide into the holidays!!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

It's all Kelly Severide's fault...


Who's Kelly Severide, you ask...

Well, THIS is Kelly Severide: Hunky firefighter from TV's Chicago Fire, played by the gorgeous Taylor Kinney.



In the show, Kelly gives the appearance of being the archetypal bad boy, but for all the dark clothes, leather jacket, broody looks and sleeping around, Kelly is a not a bad boy. He's a fire fighter, he's a local everyday hero.

The other thing that contributes to the appearance of Kelly as a bad boy is his proclivity for muscle cars. The first car he drove on the show was a vintage black Camaro and after that was torched by an arsonist, he restored a vintage blue Mustang which got totaled in a car accident in the most recent episode I've seen--which is a season behind what currently airing, so we'll see what he ends up with next.

The whole point being, these days, I see muscle cars everywhere and it's all Kelly Severide's fault. :0)





Hope you're having a great week!!


Monday, November 13, 2017

It's OFFICIAL! I'm now a published author.

So

It's been a long journey--not that it's over yet--and there were many times when I wasn't even sure I wanted to take it, but ultimately I did decide to pursue publication.

And here I am...well over a dozen years after taking up writing with book babies out in the world!


Book one in the Ten Rigs Texas series, For the Love of Scott, is out free at a handful of online retailers. Well, except Amazon, because they don't allow free and it takes time to get them to change the price to match other retailers. And also propagation takes time... Books two through four are available for pre-order.

This is book one, For the Love of Scott:

You can find it at...

Amazon

iTunes

Kobo

It's not at B&N/Nook just yet because of technical issues, but it will be soon.


Books two through four, coming soon!

Book Two Book Three Book Four

So, yeah--the journey's finally begun. Wheee!

Have a great week. :0)

Friday, November 10, 2017

I have a plan, I have my own plan, and I need to stick with it...


In the last month or so, between the conference in Denver, talking with writer friends, and listening to industry experts (Mark Coker!!), the pressure to deviate from my plan of publishing attack is there.

I'm not going to say it's heavy or hard, but it's there. These are all people who are more experienced than me and definitely more knowledgeable. But I based my plan on other conversations with other people who are also knowledgeable, as well as on my own wants, needs, and capabilities.


Considering that I'm preparing to launch my books any day now, it's really a little late to second-guess and/or change my plan. I'll do what I've been planning to do all along with one major change (that doesn't contradict anything I've already decided) and see how it all plays out.

If it doesn't work, I can change things, I can try various things. No one's life is in danger.

It's getting real now, though. ANY DAY NOW! It's exciting and scary and nerve-wracking.

There's still a lot to do, so I'd better get to it.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Book Covers



So I finally got a draft of book 6's cover. I was not impressed. At all. I can't put all of that on my cover artist because I did a bad job of bullet pointing the book, I didn't have any idea what I really wanted and gave minimal instruction. But still. After the first four covers (she didn't do five), I expected more for some reason.

Instead, I spent several hours looking through stock photos until an idea started forming. Then I created a mock-up or two and sent her those as well as the link to the images I used/liked.

Hopefully, the next draft will be pretty much what I created only better because she's the artist and has a better grasp of the tools.

Fingers crossed.

See you Friday!


Monday, November 6, 2017

Getting back on the wagon...


While in Denver, I fell off the carbohydrate wagon, and I've really struggled to get my willpower up and running again. It's coming along slowly, but still, those grain-based carbs are not good for me.

It's hard to not to dangle my legs over the side of the wagon, though, because despite my indulgences, I'm still making progress in eliminating the first layer of fat. The key turns out to be a combination of things--

A) As long a fasting period each day as I can hold out. Usually, it's about 13 hours. I don't eat after 7pm in the evening and I don't eat before 8am in the morning.

Which means that when I go to the gym and work out in the mornings, B) my body is forced to fuel my workouts with energy I already have stored. Fat burn for the win!!

So that means consuming carbohydrates again hasn't stopped the fat loss. Makes it so hard to stop eating the bad ones...

But I'm making better choices day by day and eating less and less of the unhealthy ones. I need to get back to eating more vegetables and maybe my body will find enough satisfaction in those that the temptation will be easier to resist.

Hope you had a lovely and relaxing weekend. I sure did.

Friday, November 3, 2017

So it's Friday...



And, honestly, I don't have much to say.

Most of my writing posse is coming over tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to seeing them since I haven't seen most of them since September and won't see them again until January. Our writers group doesn't meet in November, so we're gathering on our own.

Here's hoping you have a lovely weekend...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The next step...and the next...and the next...


One of the next steps in this publishing process is the purchase of ISBN numbers. Like a bar code, it's a unique identifying number for each and every book in the world and for print versus "e" versions of the same book... Also, sometimes from retailer to retailer. That means one book may have to have a different ISBN for each platform. Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Kobo... I think. I'm pretty sure. I'll be researching that again. The point is that I'll need several ISBNs for any given book depending on who requires a unique number. Yesterday I was able to purchase a block of ISBNs at a sizeable discount, so I'm very pleased that I won't have to limit distribution of my books.

As I've been mucking about in the back matter of each book, the issue of linking to online retailers for ease of purchasing the next book has come to light. But linking to Apple from a book bought via Amazon or to Google Play from a book bought via Apple is a big no-no. So that now means, either I add no links at all or I create a separate file for each retailer containing links to the next book. It's not a lot of extra work. And I have to think a sale or two or ten is worth it because I've made it so easy and is worth an extra ten minutes, right? Yeah.

(Just one more thing--or do I count creating each version as a thing of its own??-- to add to my growing to-do list...)

(I better actually create that to-do list.)

In other news, I'm still enjoying hockey. My team won in overtime on Monday and will play the last game of a road trip in Winnipeg tomorrow. Go STARS!!

On Saturday, my writer peeps will gather at my house for the monthly get-together since our writers group does not meet in November. I'm excited to see everyone and talk writing, books, and publishing.

Hope you have a great rest-of-the-week.



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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