Friday, May 31, 2019
I've been a member of my writers group since February of 2005. Fourteen years! Who'd-a-thunk??
In those fourteen years, I've served the chapter in one way or another except for maybe three?? of those years. I've served in just about every capacity there is to serve, except for Programs Director. I'd been asked to run for that position for this next year, and I'd agreed. But then stuff happened and the woman who'd been voted in as President Elect to serve as President come September 1 had to withdraw.
So guess who got asked to step in a serve as President? Yep, yours truly. This'll be my 4th stint as head honcho and I'm fine with it. I'm not dreading it. Quite the opposite, I'm looking forward to it for several reasons that I won't bore you with.
In the weeks leading up to the election of next year's board in late July/early August, I've got to recruit people to serve in the various positions. That's by far the hardest challenge of the position--getting chapter members to join the party.
Many refuse to serve, period. Some get turned off after the experience. New members don't qualify until they've been a member for a year. Then the same people cycle through positions until we can lure in some fresh blood. Sometimes a certain position (Treasurer) can be daunting. Sometimes it's a job outside of most members' skill set (website updating) even though neither job is actually all that difficult with a little hand holding and training.
I'm prepared to do a lot of hand holding if I can just a get a body to agree.
Anyway, wish me luck.
And, as always, have a great weekend.
DD, her BFF, and I are off to meet Dallas Stars new Head Coach Jim Montgomery tomorrow. Pics Monday!
Have a great day and great weekend.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
I've been on the hunt for some ear buds for the last month or so. Not seriously, but keeping my eyes peeled when I'm in WalMart. I've had no luck, so this past Sunday, I went up and down every aisle in the electronics department so figure out where they were, once and for all.
You know where I found them? In a locked cabinet! What the hell, society?? Are people are so desperate for ear buds that they've become high-theft items and have to be under lock and key???
Apparently so. >>HUGE SIGH<<
I guess I'm going to have to order off the Internet at some point because I'm not waiting around Walmart for an associate who may or may not have a freaking key. Ridiculous.
Hope you're having a better week than I am. Aside from the fact it's a short week, it's started off pretty crappy.
Hopefully by the time we meet again Friday, things will have taken a turn for the better.
See you Friday.
Monday, May 27, 2019
I had half a notion to go visit my family in Omaha this year so that I go visit my dad's grave, but didn't plan far enough in advance. Probably next year, which'll put me at at least two visits a year.
Anyway, enjoy the three-day weekend.
Friday, May 24, 2019
My annual writers retreat to Lake Conroe is coming up soon. This'll be third year this group of us (minus one, sadly) has done this.
The lake house belongs to one woman's sister and brother-in-law, and this woman graciously allows us (her writer friends) to spend her allotted visit there with her rather than taking her family. We are all of us grateful for the opportunity to get away from home and spend this time together not just writing, but strengthening and deepening our bond as women and friends.
The chance to write without life's general distractions is also much welcomed by us all. The whole trip is a blessing.
But that's not really where all of this was meant to go. As I mentioned we go to Lake Conroe. The house itself, it right on the lake. Each afternoon, we don our swim gear and trek out for a couple hours of floating and chatting.
It's the swim gear I'm here to talk about. Finding a swimsuit that fits well and is flattering is a chore. One I hate and one I've not bothered much with because until three years ago, I didn't need one. The original one I bought was ill-fitting because I'd lost weight and the halter top was uncomfortable.
This year, I'm bound and determined to get something that fits and is comfortable and is cute. Another friend had a suit that was made specifically for mature women--with modest cut or *non* bikini cut leg openings. But do you know how hard those are to find?? Yeesh.
I spent some time the other day Google-searching and finally found some sites with bathing suits that appealed to me and had those modest-cut leg holes. Think (and search) Esther Williams style swimsuits.
I really like this one, but I realized the lack of straps wouldn't work well for the size of my bust.
(Image from ModCloth.com)
I'm leaning toward this one. It has straps and will hide what'll be left of my tummy, and of course the leg holes are also modest-cut. Also, it's green. Not Victory Green, exactly, but close and I love green in general.
(Image from ModCloth.com)
I'll let you what I end up with after a bit more searching and research...or I'll share a photo from my trip. :0)
Have a wonderful weekend.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
"Darn," you're thinking, right? Y'all finally got a break from my hockey obsession and here we are again.
I just want to express my disappointment in the San Jose Sharks--who I'm sure are way more disappointed in themselves than I truly am--but I digress.
The Sharks were supposed to win the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and send the St. Louis Blues home laden with disappointment. The Blues, you remember, won over my Dallas Stars in the second round of said playoffs and sent my boys home laden with that disappointment.
Instead, the Blues are moving on to the Stanley Cup Finals, playing the Boston Bruins. I hate the Bruins and I hate the Blues this year, so I don't know who'd I'd prefer to win. Not that it matters since it's not the Stars, the Golden Knights, or the Penguins.
Now back to whatever I was originally going to ramble on about... Um... No, seriously, blog topics are a crap shoot. Did I think of something and forget because I didn't make a note somewhere? Did something happen in the world that I have an opinion on? Is there anything exciting going on in my life that rates coverage? No, no, and no.
Let me roll the metaphorical dice and see what occurs to me...
I used to think life was busy with kids and that once they'd all grown up and moved away, life would be less busy, but that's not the case. It's not a bad thing, but anyone who has reached a certain age (it's different for everyone, I think) knows that time starts to pass faster. I do think you have to be at least 50 years old, though, yeah?
One of our speakers at writers group this past weekend talked about business plans. Now, several years ago, I put one together. It wasn't nearly as detailed as this person's but it served its purpose at the time.
Something she said struck a chord and is something I'd heard or considered before, but didn't really put into practice. Fast forward to two and a half months ago when an opportunity to participate in an anthology was passed along to me. I wanted to do it, but with all the hockey going on, could I pull it off?
I had to consider the deadlines, the scope of the project, if I could even come up with characters and a plot line, and how many days I'd be out of commission to write in the early morning because of a late night of hockey. I spent a weekend on characters and plot before I joined. If I didn't have that, there was no point. Then I figured up how many days were available to me and how many of them would be writing days. After that, I calculated how many words a day I had to write.
One of the woman's points when drawing up the business plan was how many books a year do you plan to write and or publish. You've obviously got to factor in your real life (day job, children, travel, etc) as well as how fast a writer are you.
It was a concept I'd considered previously but didn't do much with it, but I probably won't have the two books I wanted to publish out in the world this year. I will have the anthology I just mentioned and possibly another little volume of very short "coffee reads"--they're short enough to read while consuming a single cup of coffee--but not the two longer books I have despite both of them being half written.
The fact that they're both half-written and I can't seem to get them done maybe speaks to other issues. I'm trying to sort those...
Anyway. I need to try the approach of deciding on how many books to publish, how long they're going to be, plot and plan them, set deadlines maybe, sort daily word counts, and then--as Nike says--JUST DO IT.
Yeah, some of that ain't so easy. The plotting gets me every time.
Anyway, back to work. Have a great rest of your week.
Monday, May 20, 2019
Back in May 2005, the TV show series finale ended with a coin flip. The two main protagonists had finally declared their love for one another but had each been offered a promotion--to opposite end of the globe of course.
The coin toss would determine who would accept their promotion and who would pass so they could live happily ever after together.
A spinoff (NCIS: LA) of a spinoff (NCIS) that JAG launched way back in 2003 just aired their season finale featuring two special guest stars : David James Elliott and Catherine Bell reprising their roles as Harm and Mac fourteen years later.
The fans' question--who won the coin toss--was finally answered.
Unfortunately, the group of ladies I was with--my JAG ladies for the annual JAG meet--were not happy. Some were terribly disappointed, some were just plain angry.
If this episode's writer--who just so happened to be the biggest proponent of that Harm & Mac relationship back in the day and a writer on JAG who tended to write shippery episodes--couldn't give the fans what they wanted, then why bother bursting everyone's fantasies of how the coin flip ended. The winner of the coin flip didn't really matter.
What mattered was that Harm and Mac would be together and that they'd work out the logistics to make things work.
I'm not angry, but I am disappointed.
On the other hand, the current situation leaves the two characters in a position to find their way back to one another. There are rumblings and rumors (which may be just that by hopeful fans) that some sort of new show with our beloved hero and heroine is in the offing. We shall see.
As mentioned...it was JAG Meet weekend when a group of women who came together solely on the love of a TV show are still friends 20 years and long after the show has ended. I haven't been a part of the group for all 20 years, but I was on the fringes when that first group gathered at a local restaurant to meet. This year is the 20th anniversary. Amazing.
Here we are this year, with a handful of missing faces:
Now on a slightly different topic... It was this photo, nine years ago, that really spurred me hard into weight-loss/getting healthy mode:
See that big orange blob on the left? Yeah, that's me. I didn't want to look like that anymore, so in January of 2012 I finally knuckled down and made the commitment to do something about it.
In October of 2017, I reached my target weight--losing 63-ish pounds to get there. I knew it was going to be a long haul with various milestones and adjustments along the way.
While I do have to get back on the wagon of exercising and eating right again to lose the ten pounds I've gained over the last several months, I'm very pleased with myself for maintaining the weight loss over all and making the lifestyle changes necessary.
There are or shall I say *there will be* new physical-health related changes coming. But life is in flux and I have to figure out what the best path forward is going to be and what change I want to work on first.
As always, seeing these women was a wonderful time and a lovely weekend.
Hope you had a great weekend.
Friday, May 17, 2019
Remember these guys??
(images from Ebay)
I have happy memories of me playing with these. I think I even have a picture somewhere.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
For today's post, I mean.
I've spent a good bit of the day trying to buy a plane ticket for my son to come home for a visit and to help at the fireworks store for a few days...
I checked flights the other day and thought prices were doable. I'd heard a few years ago that the ideal time frame to buy a plane ticket is something like 51 days. I've passed that by. But today, while searching for "best time of day" to buy a plane ticket, I saw it's two to three weeks and on a Sunday.
I checked this morning, mid-afternoon, and then again an hour later (as I'd botched the second attempt) and found the prices growing steadily higher each time I searched. Mid to late afternoon isn't an ideal time to buy flights it appears. I guess I'll be online Sunday morning (five weeks out), checking prices and hoping that they're lower than I've seen so far. Depending on what the fares are, I may just buy the ticket and be done with it. Keep your fingers crossed for me...
Hope your week is going well.
Monday, May 13, 2019
I'm still trying to sort out the work-in-progress and made a bit of progress, but not nearly as much as I hoped. So today, I turned my attention to a smaller project just so I could say I made progress on something.
The weekend was lovely. I heard from all three of my children and called both of my mothers. I went out to eat with some friends on Sunday evening and hung out for a bit afterwards.
I keep trying to get life back to normal, but life is not helping. There are events and activities on the calendar for the foreseeable future and I'm going to have to put my willpower to the test...
Cooking-wise, I'm doing okay. Since I'm back to being home Tuesdays and Thursdays, I cook and I cook decently healthy meals.
My snacking isn't the best it could be, but it's better.
Gym visits begin tomorrow night because tonight I have a movie date with DH. :0)
I finished up a letter to my Grandma and put it in the mail. Finally.
My car has finally gotten its oil change.
One of the next important things on the docket: the next phase in addressing the issues with my teeth. Meaning a consultation with a different periodontist. My first consult was okay. The second one comes highly recommended by a friend, so hopefully she'll have some alternative options to the first lady.
Hope you're all well. Have a great week.
Friday, May 10, 2019
As you know most of my life was on hiatus due to my hockey team's run in the post season. But that's over now and it's time to get life back on track. That includes eating better and cooking meals, as well as exercising at home or going to the gym again. The trick with the gym will be finding a good time to go.
My brain works so much better for the writing early in the morning. I can exercise without needing too much brain power, however, so it looks like I can exchange live hockey games or watching parties for trips to the gym. :0) Trips to the gym will also take less time.
Now that the short story is turned in, it's time to focus back on my other works-in-progress. I've chosen book seven of the original series. I've already opened the documents and read the thing through. Right now, I'm trying to get a handle on the character arcs using lessons from a couple of online classes whose lessons resonated for me.
Also, it's the weekend...
Another day or two to rest and recoop before I dive back into my regularly scheduled life.
Have a great weekend!!
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
I'm sad and disappointed.
The night started with good omens and ended with heartbreak.
The handshake line is the worst thing ever when you're the losing team.
Stars lost in double overtime...
That is all.
Monday, May 6, 2019
The short story is, for all intents and purposes, done. It even has a new title that I'm pretty pleased with. I turned in my second draft, as per the submission requirements, Sunday morning although it wasn't due until today.
I tend to work better when my work is titled so I slapped a title that sorta fit when I started writing. As I plodded along and after a pretty hefty edit, the title fit even less, so after I turned the book in, I turned my creative energies to a new title and came up with one that fit much better now that book is done.
This morning I turned my efforts to an extra for the book. Basically, the epilogue that will feature an event mentioned in the book. I'll link to it at the end of this story if anyone wants to read it.
This group is doing another anthology for Valentine's Day, so I'm hoping to participate in that as well, but in the mean time, I need to work on one of the other million books I'm in the middle of.
Okay, just kidding, one of the two other books that really needs my attention.
But this anthology gave me a boost that I could conceive a plot and write a book start to finish, short as it was. Now to apply my enthusiasm to one of these other tales and get something else done in time for my conference in October.
Speaking of my conference in October...I'm trying to apply several lessons I've learned. One from last year's experience and a couple from a recent program of my writers group.
The first lesson is to get any ordering (books or swag) done early in case there are issues.
The second lesson is author branding is important. I had a notion of that last year and anytime I did something official like the book signing, I wore business casual in the colors of my publishing company. (Yes, I have one, with a name, a dba, a logo, a website, and everything.)
Unfortunately, there were issues with the table runner (graphics) I tried to order last summer (see lesson one) and I was trying to get a lot of ducks in rows, so that fell by the wayside.
The third lesson is that, in general, people at conferences feel more comfortable walking up to a stranger if they know their name. So I solved the graphics issue for the table runner and it has been ordered. I also ordered a small standup cardboard sign, and I'll be ordering some magnetic names tags.
The fourth lesson is that SWAG doesn't sell books, but it offers name recognition. People take your stuff and use it as applicable, so choose swag that people will use. Either get your name printed directly on the item as in the case of pens or slap a sticker on them in the case of many many other items. I still have pens and some paperboard coasters left from last year, but this new story doesn't fall under the series the coaster is specific to, so that means...do more *author* branding than book or series branding.
Anyway, hope you had as lovely a weekend as I did.
Friday, May 3, 2019
...until very late in the day. Apologies.
There is nothing in my head right now but work, writing as needed, and...
As DD and I were driving home from the game Wednesday night (or maybe VERY EARLY Thursday morning), she commented that her BFF said she hates how hockey is ruling our lives right now.
And that's the truth.
When's the next game? Do we have tickets? Is there a watching party? Are you going?
Oh, it's Mother's Day...what are we doing? I don't know, it depends on if Dallas makes it to the third round and if they play that day.
Oh, are you going to >>friend's house<< for annual JAG meet? Well, yes...as long as >>friend<< allows me one TV to watch the Stars if they're playing. (She will. She has three TVs in her very large living space.)
Also...how did it get to be May??? It was just January.
Best of all...the short story is finished, for the most part--yes, I remember sharing that already--and is being read by BFF Jenn. It's got to be turned in Monday...I'll be working on it this weekend to get it finalized.
On a somewhat unrelated note, I am working from home again two days a week. It's nice for may reasons, one being I can have windows and doors open to enjoy the weather unlike at the office. Two being I can set the iPod to shuffle, plug into the speaker, and listen to the eclectic assortment of music I've collected over the years. Three being, my fur babies are generally close at hand. Four being, I can spread the weekly chores out and not have to do them all on Saturday and Sunday.
Hope you have a super weekend!!