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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.


Blog Archive

Blog Archive

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Free Romance Novels...

Get some free romance novels...

I'm participating in the promo...they are not all male/male romances, so take a look if you're so inclined.

And now for an update...I heard back from KDP and I spent almost an hour on the phone with a lovely, patient gentleman named Christopher who helped me (hopefully) get the book accepted for print so that I can order copies for my conference.

The bleed issue--that my cover graphics (back and front cover images) weren't long enough for when the book gets trimmed was insane. The cover template I was sent--by KDP--was 2475 pixels high. After two print proofs with issues, I made those graphics 2510 pixels high (35 additional pixels) and there was still an issue on the back end. They could see it, but it never shows up on the screens and views that I have access to. That's a problem.

But, as I said, Christopher walked me through an alternative method and reviewed it on his end and said there is now 99.9% that it will be accepted this time. *cross your fingers please*

The other issue was with pagination. The main book is numbered and the excerpt of the second book is numbered although not continuously--why would it be?? According to the notes in my files, this could be an issue and cause a print delay.


My print proofs arrived within days of ordering with nary an issue as far as the page numbering was concerned. *sigh*

BUT-- I just need print books right now, so I deleted the page numbers of the excerpt and re-uploaded the manuscript.

Please, please, please...let that work. I will have an email within twenty-four hours.

Now to get book two sorted... Wish me luck and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What the heck, KDP???

As you know, I'm going to a conference in October. You also know I've been trying to get physical copies of my books to have available...

It took three tries to get everything sorted for book one...the third print proof copy looked great. I was happy with it. So I clicked the "go live" button within my Kindle Direct Publishing account and upon review by Amazon I have two issues to resolve...

But, but, but... my print proof looked great. There were no issues with the cover or the numbering within the book, so how is there now a problem??

I sent a query to Kindle/Amazon and they are going to research and get back to me by end-of-day Friday.

Time is of the essence now for getting the physical copies ordered.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Have a great rest of your week.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The 100 Things Challenge...

Into the giveaway box this week goes an assortment of tablecloths, table runners and curtains/sheers.

I'm counting this collectively as the third thing.

Hope you had a lovely weekend. I had a good time at writers group and even more lovely time at the meeting after the meeting even though we were missing a couple of peeps.

Have a great week--see you Wednesday.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Is it October yet?


I need more in person hockey friends because so much has happened in the hockey world that I'm really excited about and have no one to squee with or at or to.

First things first, my favorite STARS player, Tyler Seguin, signed an 8-year contract extension--much to every Stars fan's relief. He took a little less than he's definitely worth, but has still become the highest paid player on the team.

The team announced the extension with a Super Mario video spoof. Here's the link, if you're so inclined:

In trade news, the NHL's top rated defenseman, Erik Karlsson was traded from the Ottawa Senators to the San Jose Sharks. Karlsson's trade had been speculated about for months and months and months. Not continuously, but the rumors heated up on a rather cyclical basis. But it's done now and the teams in contention, the Sharks, the Stars and the Golden Knights, can now focus on training camp, pre-season play, and their respective opening nights.

One kind-of-funny thing though...several months ago, amid accusations of harassment toward Karlsson's wife, a teammate of his was traded to the Sharks before being subsequently traded on the same day to the Florida Panthers.

And the last but not least hockey news...the trade of Max Pacioretty from the Montreal Canadiens to the Vegas Golden Knights. I didn't know anything about Max but his name before this week, but after reading several articles about the guy, I really like him and look forward to seeing him take his place on my second favorite team.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The pumpkin cheesecake was a success...


Because my oven doesn't work properly, I couldn't use it to bake the walnut crust in a large enough pie pan, soooo...

I had to get a little creative.

Meaning I had to split the recipe in half and bake the thing in an Anchor Hocking glass bowl that fit in my countertop convection oven.

Here's the finished product.

I originally worked on this last Thursday as a bake test because of the oven situation as I wanted to make it for when my friends came over.

Here's my first piece...

...or what's left of it. :0)

What I discovered was that my walnut crust was a little bitter, not so much as to be rendered inedible, but if you eat walnuts, you know how they taste. So yeah. The pumpkin cheesecake part was delicious. The Stevia used as sweetener also leaves a bit of aftertaste, but what are you gonna do if you're trying to avoid sugars/calories/carbs and have a penchant for sweets?

Anyway, a friend suggested I serve it more like a parfait with the crust more of a crumble and with a berry on top for color and presentation.

So my guests were served this:

Everyone thought it was delicious, so I think I'll be making this on a fairly regular basis for my own benefit. The recipe is here, if you're interested.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The 100 Things Challenge

I had a great weekend. How about you?

My writer friends came over for a day of sprinting (writing in sprints, not running). In between, as we are wont to do, we chatted.

One friend said she enjoyed coming to my house because she liked that I put my stuff out to be enjoyed even though it's not what one might call "decorator approved," if you will.

For example...

The kitchen wall with my decorative Christmas dishes that stay in place all year round rather than hiding them away in a closet.

Or the fall paper chain that DD and I put together several autumns ago, but that still loops across my front window.

Now, my office, which I shared a few weeks ago is a mish mash of my collections and fandom treasures and is another story altogether. I keep that kind of thing contained mostly to my personal space. :0)

As conversations wound around, another friend mentioned a 1000 item giveaway challenge that she and her husband had embarked upon. I'm not a minimalist by any means as my office can attest to, but I know I have a lot of stuff that I never use anymore. I've been meaning to go through closets and cabinets and the garage and start downsizing if you will.

I didn't find anything about the 1000 thing except for radio stations giving away money (yes, please!) but I did come across a blog about 100 things. So using that as a framework, I'm going to challenge myself to get rid of 100 things in however long it takes.

Also, the original challenge from Dave Bruno is to get down to 100 things, but that's unlikely for me at the moment. So instead, we'll just get rid of 100 things for now. And maybe, someday, I'll try for 100 more.

So my challenge is to clean out a drawer or a closet or a shelf in a closet or whatever at some point during the week and move it to the Goodwill pile in the garage or to throw it out. Hopefully, most of the stuff will be in good enough condition to give away rather than needing to be thrown away.

I'll report here with a picture at some point and we'll see how things go.

One of my first challenges is the baker's rack in the garage that holds a lot of appliances and bake ware and other random kitchen items. There are a couple of things on the floor I'd like to get off of the floor. So finding space for those items is number one.

The top shelf is now mostly clear. Since I don't eat cereal anymore, I'm passing along all my Tupperware cereal keepers as well as a produce/salad spinner.

What about you? Are you up for getting rid of a thing or two you don't use??

Friday, September 7, 2018

What's a fan supposed to think...?

Today I'm lamenting...

Last weekend news broke that Nate Schmidt, defenseman for the Vegas Golden Knights, has been suspended for the first 20 games of the hockey season for violating policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Of course, you never want to see this kind of story, but when it's about a player you really like--whose jersey is the first-ever authentic sports jersey you've ever owned and bought for yourself--it's a blow. You think, "no way, not this guy."

Even once you've read all the articles and you hear arguments from both sides, it's still hard to know what the truth really is.

Based on the little I've read on the NHL's testing policy (very sparse), it stands to reason that we don't hear about hockey players testing positive for anything. But are there really no NHL players using any kind of drugs? There are between 700 and 1000 players in the league at any given time. The whole thing begs a few questions... Why this guy? Why now? Why a player who appears to be well-liked across the board?

This just makes me really sad.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Didja Miss Me?

So I missed a couple of blog posts because I was traveling both blog post days. I left Friday and returned Monday from a visit to Omaha to see my family. I have a new niece that I wanted to see. She's just about six months old now and a pretty happy baby.
I missed regular exercise and my standard food. I ate a lot of food that I shouldn’t have, but oh well. I was visiting kin!!

On Saturday we went to a safari park and saw some cool creatures including some bison, some bears, some elk, some prairie dogs and some hummingbirds.

 (all pictures taken by my brother)

It was a good visit but I am glad to be home and on back to a normal schedule with my standard boring menu/eating habits.

Also, my brown-eyed girl got to make the trip with me, so here she is with my nephew (baby's brother) and me at the safari park.

A good time was had by all!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What was I thinking...??

So I read a book called "5 Secrets of Story Structure" as it was free and, honestly, I don't even know why.

And then I fell down the rabbit hole of copying the list of ten items. And then I watched a movie to see if I could pinpoint them as an educational exercise. And then I decided to figure out the structure points of the book I'm working on.

The book I'm trying to get done and to an editor by September 15th. The book I want to have published by the time I leave for my conference mid-October.

It took me an hour and half or so to get my little worksheet filled out.

Then it took me two hours--two hours--to hash out the first four (of ten) with a writer friend until we both felt everything made more sense. Oh. My. Goodness.

The good news is...the book will be all the better for doing it.

The bad news is...chances are I can't get the book done by September 15th.

So plan b is to print the cover, put it in a clear plastic frame/stand thingy and have it available for pre-order.

And then work like a lazy fiend to get it done in time to publish no later than Thanksgiving.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Road Construction...

So we live along a stretch of East Loop 820 in Fort Worth. The highway narrows down to two lanes a bit north of us and at rush hour, as you can imagine, it gets clogged up for several hours.

A few weeks ago, lanes were shifted, barriers put up along various sections, and work begun.

But on what??

Well. It turns out the DoT is adding a lane in each direction.

Yippy skippy! About dang time...


It's going to take about four years.

I get that these things take time, but this is a stretch of approximately half a mile. WHUT??

Unfortunately, there are a few challenges--the highway crosses over a small lake on one end and merges into another highway on the other. Along the southbound side of the highway is water overflow drainage, so they have to do whatever it is they need to do to allow that overflow to remain available, which I think, means building a ledge/bridge for that new lane.

Luckily I rarely have to utilize the highway. Only to get to the gym, but that's at the butt crack of dawn and I can take back roads if I have to. :0)

So, yeah, four years of road construction.

Friday, August 24, 2018

My hockey wall...

My office is an ode to my various interests and obsessions as well as to my odd sense of interior design.

Hard to see with the light glaring at the camera, but you can probably see the fairy lights. And on the right side of the left window is a Stars car window flag. :)

My Charles Wysocki collectors plates (one set of three, actually) that I've had for over 20 years. Just to the right of those is...

My BBC Sherlock wall. Note the sampler there on the left... That was a blog post subject many many moons ago.

My desk and the wall above, chock full of random goodies that make me smile or were gifts.

Now this is the piece de resistance... my shelves full of more randomness, suck as my rubber duckie collection, my dala horse collection, my Matchbox NASCAR collection, along with keepsakes from my trips to Nashville. Draped around the top is a Fourth of July garland, because I love that too.

I have a little section of wall between the window and the corner that has been designated the hockey wall--the back of the door and the wall space next to it is also hockey wall, now that I'm thinking about it...

(The back of the door is really a shrine to Tyler Seguin... Yup, I'm that kind of dork.)

But this particular space only had a Tyler Seguin pennant along with a couple of "posters" -- a.k.a. expired calendar images of Tyler and his teammate Jamie Benn.

Remember those little baby samplers I shared a couple of weeks ago? Well, one got framed and is now on the hockey wall. :0) Of course, Jamie Benn had to come down. He's not a favorite of mine so I passed him along to a friend.

And now the hockey wall looks like this:

And the sampler itself...

The wall still needs a little work, but I have a few plans.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Getting into a routine...

I have successfully set a new routine in place...

I prefer to get my trip to the gym done in the mornings. I also write best first thing in the morning, but for the longest time, my trips to the gym were chewing up two hours. That was also back when I was in weight loss mode and I needed to burn enough calories in a day.

Now, though... I'm in maintenance mode and fat-utilization mode, so I don't need to work out as long or as hard. I've cut the length of a trip to the gym almost in half, leaving the rest of that early morning quiet available for writing.

It's been working out (heh) really well. I get my workout in, get my energy for the day, and I get my brain online enough to write. So I'm getting writing time in every day as well. And now that I'm in writing/editing mode, that's a wonderful thing. No matter what happens during the day, I've spent time with the words already.

Remember when I said it was crunch time almost two weeks ago? Well, now it's really crunch time. At that point, I hadn't fully grasped how much work was needed to get this book done. Now I do. I told my editor I'd have it to her by September 15th. That gives me three and a half weeks to get the book sorted and cohesive and finished.

I think it's going to take more than just the hour I have each morning. Granted, on Saturdays, I can work for three or four hours, so that's good, but I might will have to start carving out time here and there during my workday (the boss is lenient that way) to make sure I can send the book off by the deadline. Starting today...

Have a great day. See you Friday. :0)

Monday, August 20, 2018

My Sunday Project

So I have larger hockey-themed cross stitch sampler I've been itching to start. Unfortunately, I have a couple of smaller projects that are gifts that I'm trying to get done.

Instead of denying myself completely until I'm done with these gifts, I decided to work on this larger project on Sundays.

The gifts fit in a quart-sized zipper bag and I tote one back forth to work each day or the current one sits on the dining room table for quick access when I have a few minutes, like in the mornings when I'm waiting for DH to be ready to leave or when I'm waiting for the kettle to boil.

On Sundays though, I'm going to lay out my new project on the dining room table and work on it.

Sunday before yesterday, I cut it to size and bound the edges.

Yesterday, under the watchful eye of my sweet grand kitty, Karma, I made hash marks along the edges for easier stitching.


And then I got ONE letter done... On my way! :0)

Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Carb-free treats...

They take some getting used to, that's for sure...

This week I made Keto peanut butter cookies and Keto chocolate.

The peanut butter cookies were very, very dry and crumbled in my mouth as soon as I took a bite. They were good with milk though.

The Keto chocolates were okay. I've always had a sweet tooth and while these weren't sweet exactly, they should take care of the any cravings. I did add a tablespoon of Stevia to counteract the bitterness of the cocoa powder. Next time, I might add two to see if that adds any actual sweetness to them.

And yes--I used my deviled egg plate as a mold. :0)

The biggest issue with the chocolates, if you want to consider it an issue, is that they have to stay refrigerated or else they melt back into a puddle of chocolate goo. (See the center blob of chocolate.) Mostly it means I can't take them with me without packing them in a cooler with ice.

Next up on the Keto recipe experiment... Pumpkin Cheesecake. **adds ingredients to shopping list

Image from this URL:

Have a great weekend!! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Meatball Experiment

Meatballs are an easy and economical way to add more protein to my diet. Unfortunately, the pre-made kind don't taste all that great plain. So that means sauces of various kinds. Having spaghetti sauce every day would get pretty tedious. A-1 Sauce, though I love it, has sugar in it. It's not a large amount per serving, but it would take 3 to 5 servings to cover the meatballs, because...

The one thing I've discovered is that the meatballs are so much better when they're submerged in whatever sauce I want them in so that the sauce really infuses the meatballs.

I thought enchilada sauce would be a nice change of pace, but I only used one serving (1/4 cup) and there wasn't enough for it to really soak into the meatballs during the mini-slow-cooker process. Next time around, I'm using 1/2 cup of sauce. Adding sour cream and olives and maybe some shredded cheese would make a really nice little dish, don't you think?

Remember I mentioned the Buffalo Ranch concoction? Yeah, I tried that on the meatballs. It's great on chicken. I could snarf it all day long. On the beef meatballs? Not so great. But live and learn, right?

The other thing I just thought of as I sat down to write this post--gravy! Plain brown or beef flavored gravies. As a change of pace, it's worth a try.

Any recommendations? I perused the condiment aisle and surprisingly, options are pretty slim. So many things have carbs and sugars. Ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great week!!

Monday, August 13, 2018


So I've been churning out the words every day, reaching and exceeding the 600 word goal. As mentioned in the subject of this post, I've crossed the 30K word mark of the book as a whole. The goal was originally 32.5K with the belief that I'd be close to the story actually being complete. But with the progress I've made through the actual story--still in the middle of chapter 6 of at least 12!!--I'm definitely looking at a few thousand more words and at least another week.

I know some of the words already written will be deleted because they don't fit the narrative any longer, but new ones will take their place. Whether it will take more words or fewer words in the rewriting, I have no idea.

Resetting end goal to 35K. Leaving the deadline as this Friday for now, because I'd still like to do that, but with the understanding that it just may not happen. And the only reason I picked Friday is because Saturday is writers group, and for encouragement and acknowledgement from one another we can report written words, edited words, and finished books, as well as submissions, sales and rejections. I really wanted to be able to report finishing the book.

So onward I go each day, curtailing my workout a little bit so that I can squeeze in the time in the morning when my brain works the best for the writing.

Hope your weekend was as enjoyable and productive as mine...

Catch you later!

Friday, August 10, 2018

It's CRUNCH time...

I took the notion at some point in the last month that I wanted to have a new book ready by the time my October conference rolled around. I knew I couldn't write one from scratch, so I dug up a book I'd written years ago, and as I've already mentioned started converting it from being a male/female romance to being a male/male romance.

I've made good progress, am making better progress. I contacted a cover artist... Here are the two preliminary covers she sent me. I like the left one better, although it needs a few tweaks.

I've arranged editing services--trading with a close friend in exchange for me starting a guide for one of her series.

Now all I've got to do is finish the book and get it turned into a cohesive whole. The other day I figured out I needed 600 words a day by the 18th to reach the target word count. Now that doesn't necessarily mean the book will be done, but it gets it dad-gum close, although having it done, no matter how much work it needs, is the goal.

So for the next seven days, I'm planning on being pretty focused on this work-in-progress. I'm glad it's the weekend and I'll have two whole days to work on it.

Have a great weekend and please send your creative vibes my way!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I Need to Eat More...

Not an utterance I'd ever thought I'd make, but it's true. I've dropped too many pounds.

Remember, I talked about the moratorium on carbs except for what comes naturally in meats and veggies...? As my body transitions from not sourcing its energy from food (as much) to sourcing it from my stored body fat, I have been feeling draggy. After stepping on the scale, thinking about what I've been eating, and a convo with DH, it seems I'm not eating enough. More protein is definitely in order.

Meatballs are a quick and easy way to get more protein in my diet. Relatively inexpensive too, which is good for my beleaguered budget. Unfortunately, I'm going to get tired of spaghetti / marinara sauce quickly. BBQ sauce has too much sugar. But I did mix Ranch dressing with Buffalo sauce the other day for dipping chicken, so I'm going to make a slightly larger batch of that and slow cook a serving of meatballs and see what happens.

I might add the carb-light tortillas back in...there are only 4 net carbs per serving and it gives me something in which to eat egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, and peanut butter, so thinking hard about that. Plus it'll soothe my bread craving and helpfully keep me from breaking down and cheating horribly at some point.

Anyway, hope you're all well. Stay cool and hydrated--it's still hot hot hot here in North Texas.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Yeah, so I missed Friday again... My reason and other random stuff...

I don't have as exciting an excuse this time. I wanted to share an animated GIF for posterity, but could not, for the life of me, get a hold of the original file. It was taking too long and I had other pressing, work-related things to get done and fell by the wayside.

I still don't have anything exciting to share, but life cycles on.

My patio chair began to unravel (the really thick and super-long ponytail holder-like elastic that connects the seating to the frame) and as a result, I *had* to purchase a new one. I sit on the patio just about every day, weather permitting, so... This is chair number three in close to ten years. The first one lasted a long time, that second one, not as much. Which, while I didn't want to have to buy a new one, the broken one wasn't my favorite. Not surprisingly, it was also the cheapest.

This new one has a foot rest--that I cannot use because I am TOO short-- and reclines back much farther than the last one (like the first one too) and has a shade thingy (also like the first one). The second one had a cup holder that I found useful a time or two, so I might try to get it off the broken one and onto the new one. :0)

I'm also thinking about dragging this one inside everyday to protect if from the elements. But that's a pain. On the other's a really nice new chair and I'd like to have it around for a good long while. Maybe just a cover?

I wrote some words this weekend Sunday which was quite exciting. Over 1500 words, which was really exciting. This morning on my way home from the gym, I tested dictating part of a scene. The result was 230-ish words (about a page worth). Not bad. I need to learn to add in the punctuation and possibly new paragraphs, but for the first test it wasn't horrible. Unfortunately, if you stop talking, the app stops recording, so you either have to say filler words or press record again when you want to continue after a spell of silence. Since the app is free, I'll just deal with it for now. If I get really proficient--many months down the road--I'll think about other better options. On the other hand, if I get more proficient, I may not pause to think quite as often, so... >>shrugs<<

I'm taking an online class as well as reading a writer-help book. The class is good so far, the book also good so far.

Hope you had a great weekend. Talk to you Wednesday. :0)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Also Frustrated...

I've been working on formatting my books for print... Meaning applying styles and headers and page numbers and breaking my Word doc up into sections, etc., etc., etc...

I've been working on this task (not daily, but often) for over a month now. I started off with one issue and I finally got that figured out, but then I have a new issue. And it's frustrating and I really just want to get the thing done and the books printed.


Back to the drawing board today.

I may start from scratch. Ugh.

I don't want to have to pay someone, but at some point I'm going to run out of time to keep messing with it.

But that point is not now, so...

Hope you're having a great week.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Refreshed and Inspired and Raring to Go...

You might have noticed that I missed posting Friday's blog... I was at the lake having too much fun.

 The view of Lake Conroe from the back deck.

I had planned to post, but time got away from me. :0)

Spending four days with my dearest friends in such a lovely setting is a treat like no other.

Everyone got something done.

My WIP grew by 2K words and I realized how many scenes were missing from it--meaning more words to come. That's a good thing because it was shorter than I like my books to be. The transition from a man/woman romance to a man/man romance is pretty well complete. There are just a few phrases here and there I need to masculine up a bit, but I think I have all the pronouns straightened out.

I figured out how to use the second book still and fleshed out a third character for a possible third book. That's always exciting for me. I'm not the writer who always has a plethora of idea bubbling in my head.

In between sprints and meals and fun, we bonded. Our friendship collectively as well as individually has grown over the years, and we learn so much from each other. That's the real gift of the weekend. These women and the blessing of knowing them.

I have also been inspired to keep on keeping on, to continue on my journeys--the writing/publishing journey as well as the weight loss journey. When people tell you they're inspired by you, there's a pressure to stay the course and not back track. For me it's not a bad pressure, but rather a good one. Even when I'm tempted to be done with whole thing--I've reached my original goal after all--they keep me going. I don't want to let them down.

Hope you had a lovely weekend as well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

My latest cross stitch projects...

Yes, they're variations on a theme...but that's okay.

What have you been up to?

Monday, July 23, 2018

What is cereal coming to?

Maybe it's been like this for a while and I didn't notice since I don't really eat cereal anymore. I buy Cheerios for DH and otherwise don't look closely at what else is on offer because why torture myself?

Maybe it's always been like this, but I didn't notice because I consumed it and was deep in cereal love.

So I was grocery shopping yesterday morning, as I am wont to do, and saw these:

Dippin Dots are an ice cream generally found at ball parks and fairs and such. Now it's a cereal, at least for a limited time.
Now the cookie cereal isn't much of a surprise, because there's been a cookie cereal for quite some time. 
Now the Nilla Banana Pudding cereal really caught my attention because DH loves banana pudding. I was sorely tempted to buy it, but I didn't. He seemed interested in it when I showed him the picture, so I might surprise him with it next time I go shopping.

I do occasionally break down and have a bowl of Cheerios, because I deserve a treat sometimes or I just have no more willpower.

I mean I ate cereal everyday for breakfast pretty much my entire life. Once even, when my husband took the kids to visit his mom and I stayed behind, all I bought for me to eat while they were gone...three or for boxes of my favorite cereals.

My favorites include Frosted Mimi Wheats, Corn Pops, and Frosted Flakes. All are 1000% better with chocolate milk over white milk. That's my sweet tooth talking. :0)

No more cereal though as a general rule. It's not the greatest food for you, even the healthy stuff, for a variety of reasons, but it's full of BAD carbs/sugar and you know those are my mortal enemies.

Hope you had a cooler weekend than I did--111* on Saturday, blech, but we are down to 101* today, so WHEW.

Are you a fan of cereal? If so, what's your favorite?

Friday, July 20, 2018

Yippee Skippy!

I'm so excited. I'm finally making progress on a writing project. And decent progress at that. It feels good.

Of course, my newfound gumption comes right in the middle of editing and series guide projects for others, but I'm almost done with them. Then I can focus all my spare time and attention on my own stuff for awhile and how exciting is that?

Looking forward to hanging out with writer peeps tomorrow, too.

The heat wave lingers on and looks like the crazy hot temps are hanging around a few days longer. UGH. I'm going to start eating ice cream by the half gallon instead of the pint. :0)

Have a great weekend and STAY COOL!!
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

It's freaking hot...

I took this pic Monday at the gym...note the temps. This morning they were 108* and 109* across the board.

Yikes. I have given up my moratorium on carbs and have utilized the power of ice cream to keep cool.

I had to.

On another note, I finally got an official computer/desk chair for my home office.

I'm not sure what the urgency was, as I've been sitting on a sewing table stool for these many months since I got the PC in my office...

I mean, I borrowed Dan's office chair the other day--for the first time ever--and he was suddenly worried there was going to be a fight over it all the time. I don't even like his office chair. I just needed something cushy that one evening.

The next day (Tuesday morning) I was dragged off to Office Depot for a new chair. I'm not really complaining. I like the new chair. We had some extra funds. I needed one.

So anyway, how are you doing this fine summer day??

Monday, July 16, 2018

In the interest of reducing my carb intake... (again)

I've given up the protein bars I'd been eating and also bananas.

The protein shakes have few or no carbs--why do the bars have 18 to 20?? Ugh.

I've been eating bananas with the protein shakes, chocolate or caramel, and it's quite a delicious combo. Saturday, the banana was a tick to soft for eating so I blended it into the shake and whoa!! that was delicious.

A shame I've decided to switch fruits. On the other hand, berries have the fewest carbs of all fruits, so I bought blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries this weekend. It turns out that neither blackberries nor raspberries mixes quite as well with a caramel flavored shake as the bananas, so I'll have to consume separately, which isn't a big deal.

My first week back at the gym went better than I expected. I wasn't as sore as anticipated past the first day, but I didn't jump back in at all the same weight levels that I was at when I quit, not did I run through the full routine. I'm working my way back to that slowly.

The expending of energy has definitely made me sleep hard. It was relatively easy to get back into the early-to-bed routine--but then again, I'm not really a night owl and never stayed up more than and hour or hour and a half later, so... >>shrugs<<

I had a productive weekend and hope yours was good or enjoyable--whatever you needed it to be.

The dog days of summer have arrived here in Texas--stay cool and stay hydrated.

Friday, July 13, 2018

It's official...

I'm out of stuff to read.

Okay, not really, of course. But every fan fic in progress I've been following is complete, there's been nothing new that looks interesting when I search my various fandoms and pairings.

So the universe is telling me it's time to do other things.

Catch up on cross stitching and pattern-making.

Continue brainstorming the new series.

Continue to prepare for the October conference.

Prepare for a writers retreat happening two weeks from yesterday.

And the really important task: WRITE.

No pressure there.

Also, how did it get to be JULY already?

But, really, I should be writing.




In the absence of inspiration and plans for new words, I'll just have to edit something old...

Hope you're keeping cool and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

So I have a physical copy of my book in my hand... Wheeee!!!!!

This is the proof of book one on the Ten Rigs Texas series...

It definitely needs some tweaking, both the cover and the innards, but I was more excited about seeing it, warts and all, than I expected to be. The print proof of book two should land in my mailbox in the next few days.

As I've mentioned, I hadn't planned on offering print books before each book's 1st birthday, but because I went for supporting author status at the conference I'm going to in October, I have to have physical copies for at least a couple of books. I decided to start with two. If I can get them tweaked easily enough, then I might attempt getting book 3 and maybe 4 done as well. But we'll see. I also have to keep costs in mind...

Anyway--YAY--so cool!!

Monday, July 9, 2018

This and That...

Hard to believe that half the year is over... The last month has been busy, the last week has been busy.

Sooo...fireworks season wasn't a great as we'd hoped. We bought more fireworks than we probably should have and spent way more on advertising than we probably should have for a season with a burn ban in effect. The fireworks will keep for next season and the next, so that's not a major issue, but chances are that we'll stop with the advertising. We have no definitive way to know if we're getting the customers or if they're just being reminded to go buy some and hitting the closest-to-them stand.

But in better news, a book series I read ages and ages ago, and I mean ages ago, is finally in e-book format. I bought it and am looking forward to reading it again. It's also available in audio format and I might get that too...

I finally got around to formatting books one and two for print and got covers done and submitted to Kindle Direct Publishing. My print proofs, one for each title, are on the way for my review. I'm another step closer to being ready for my conference in October.

Speaking of October, despite SO MUCH HOCKEY in May and June, I miss it a little. The new season doesn't start until October, so I'm having to ease my withdrawal symptoms by watching World Cup soccer and baseball.

On the writing front, I'm no closer to finishing book seven than I was a month ago, but characters for my new series have been bubbling around in my noggin for a couple of weeks. Five of my six core characters have names and occupations; a handful of supporting characters also have names and jobs. A few characters have some backstory.

I haven't gotten to plot lines in more than vague idea terms, though. I really want to know these characters well and have their romance plot come from who they are and where they've come from. I also want their lives to be really intertwined so that readers will wonder whose book is next and be more invested in their story.

The last series didn't work that way and it was anybody's guess--even mine--as to who would show up in the next books. There was some crossover with a few characters, but no one a reader might look forward to seeing. I wanted to come at a series a different way this time around.

And now that the 4th of July has come and gone, it's time for life to return to some semblance of normalcy. It also means that Jen has gone back to the gym...starting this morning. Getting out of bed at the sphincter of dawn was tough, working out was tough. But it felt good too. My body had started to let me know that all that lying around was not kosher. My butt's going to be dragging for probably a good week, but maybe break I took will have set my body up for burning the fat.

Despite not going to the gym, I did do stuff here at home, mostly, and I counted calories and I didn't gain any weight back. But my tummy is still there and has maybe grown a little. So, yeah...

Hope you had a lovely holiday week!!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Do I Want More House...?

In the last couple of weeks, I have been a guest of friends with considerably larger homes than my own. In getting to these friend's homes, I had to drive past newer, larger, more expensive neighborhoods than the one I live and I wondered: if I could afford and upgrade, would I want it?

And the answer is, quite frankly, no.

The size of my house is perfect. Enough rooms for what we need and not so large that I can't clean it myself in a weekend if I were of a mind to. Which I'm not, but I could do it.

The yard is a decent size. We live in the middle of the block. And we don't currently have any overly-noisy neighbors.

DH is not especially fond of our house or the neighborhood we live in, but even when we get around to moving, I still don't want a bigger house. A little nicer one, for sure, but not much bigger. On the other hand, I'd love more property. I'd love to be out in the sticks where I can watch the weather roll across the countryside and see the crops growing. Maybe someday.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Birthday America!!

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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