Wednesday, June 26, 2019
So the NHL finally released the upcoming season's schedule for all teams...
There are some teams I have no desire to see, like Blackhawks or the Ducks or the Kings.
I didn't get my smaller swimsuit in time for the lake trip, but that's okay. I swam in the lake in shorts and a tee shirt and it worked out fine--especially after I got a little sunburned and opted for a long sleeved tee.
Here are a few more pictures from the trip.
Midsummers dinner by the lake...
Midsummer's eve sunset...
The view of the house from the boat.
There's apparently a dinner cruise on Lake Conroe.
(or was at some point, it looked a little dilapidated)
There's also a lighthouse.
And here's me enjoying being in the bow of the boat as we cruised along.
Monday, June 24, 2019
Another lake retreat is in the books and was a great success for all six of us. My goal was to read through and edit the whole of "Snowball," which I did. The book's not ready to go to my editor just yet, but it's that much closer. There were a couple of scenes which needed big tweaks. Those got made. Most of the book just needed a more consistent arc of one of the protagonists' feeling about the plot I dropped him in. That hasn't been completely accomplished yet, but it's closer.
Of course, our friendships were cemented and we talked about how our lives have changed since last year's trip. Mostly all for the better.
From left to right: Gina, Regina, Susie, Clover, Chrissy, and me...
Now if you're wondering why I'm wearing boots on a boat ride, it's because the boat was actually our mode of transportation to a restaurant on one of the many marinas around the lake where we had lunch.
While I was down in this area of Texas, I also got to see my beautiful Brown Eyed Girl.
As you can imagine, none of us wanted to return to our real lives, but that's what makes this weekend so special.
Hope you had a lovely weekend. Catch you Wednesday.
PS--Sonshine's in town and I get to see him Wednesday or Thursday. Yippee!!!!
Friday, June 21, 2019
The third annual Cowtown Critiquers lake treat has begun. I know it looks like the same picture I posted the other day, but I promise I took it yesterday when I arrived.
It's going to be four lovely days of writing and relaxing and deepening my bond with some of the most important women in my life.
The goal, besides having a good time and decompressing, is to get my Snowball book as complete as I can possibly make it. I should make good progress since I'll have at least three more hours of writing each day than I normally would.
Have a great Friday and a great weekend.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
As I mentioned at some point in the last couple of weeks, I switched projects from Book 7 of the first series called "A Certain Kind of Man" to Book 1 of the next series, called "A Snowball's Chance in Texas."
Last year at this time, I was hoping to have "Snowball" done by October for the conference I attend, so I had a cover made for it. For whatever reason, I didn't finish the book. Looking at what's written, I have no earthly idea why I couldn't finish it. But-- I'm gonna finish it this year and have a new book to take the conference.
Two, actually. :0)
Remember that 15K word thing I wrote back in March/April? Well, after 90 days of being a part of the anthology--more to come on that soon--it'll go on sale in October as a standalone. It's called "No Protocol for Love" and I've contracted a cover for it, which I should have by mid-July. I'm really excited about this book in and of itself as well as the opportunity to participate in a few more anthologies with these same authors. It's also a chance to expand my fan base a little. Maybe. I'm pretty sure I'm the only MM author in the collection, but I read across genres, so others do too. Now, whether they read my genre is anybody's guess, but we'll see.
I think I learned that I work better under someone else's deadlines. Despite all the excitement of post-season hockey, I still met the deadlines and got that bad boy written. So yeah. Gonna keep participating as long as they'll have me and I have ideas.
We're getting a lot of rain here in North Texas. I shouldn't complain because we always need the rain and other parts of the country have it worse in terms of way MOAR rain than they need or not enough rain, but yeesh.
Sonshine is coming home for a week's visit come Sunday. I'll be at the lake still and I'll miss a couple of days with him, but any time I get to see him is welcome. He'll get some one on one time with his dad though, so that's a good thing too.
All right, my friends... Friday will be busy as I'll be meeting my daughter and a friend, but I'll try to post something at some point. If I don't see you, have a great weekend.
Monday, June 17, 2019
I went ice skating yesterday! And unlike last time, I lasted close to an hour on the ice. I got some speed going and kinda sorted figured out taking the corners.
Mind you, I skated the whole time with a stack of five gallon buckets to keep myself upright and mostly balanced. A few more sessions on the ice and I should be able to forgo the buckets. :0)
Who's Connor McDavid you ask?
Well, Connor McDavid has won the fastest skater competition at the NHL All Star weekend for the past three years. He's a forward for the Edmonton Oilers when he's not winning skating events. :0)
I'm off to Lake Conroe come Thursday for four wonderful days of fun, sun (I hope), and writing with my favorite women on the planet. My swimsuit came in last week, but it was way too big, so I requested an exchange, which I don't think is going to arrive on time. I'll be wearing shorts and a tee-shirt this year, which, all things considered, matters little. I'll be there. That's what counts.
While I'm down in that neck of the woods, I get to see my Brown Eyed Girl and meet a friend for lunch. It's gonna be a great weekend.
My after-the-meeting meeting shrunk to two of us this past Saturday. On a good day there's five of us, but one gal works nights, so she's had to go home to sleep before her shift for months now. Another is planning to move and had to go view her new digs. And the other wasn't feeling well, so she ended up going home.
But C and I had a great few hours together and a really cute server to check in every once in a while to boot. Not only did I head home feeling buoyed as I always do, but C and I talked about that book 7 I was/am having issues with and I feel much better about it and she suggested a scene that's going to make it so much better--when I get to back to working on it after October.
Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend too. Come tell me what you did.
Friday, June 14, 2019
By the time the Blues scored their second goal in the first period, I was pretty confident they were taking home the Cup. Now, even TWO minutes in hockey is a long time wherein anything can happen. My beloved Stars scored three goals in seventy-one second just this past February. But sometimes you can tell whether a come back is possible. And many times we've heard that the team who scores first generally wins the game. You get an insurance goal and, well...
The joy of the winning team doesn't hit me nearly as hard as the grief of the losing team. It's one thing if you get swept in four games. It's hard, sure. It's heartbreaking to a degree. But when you duke it out to a game seven, trading wins back and forth and then you lose. That's heartbreaking. To see grown men, kneeling on the ice, shoulders shaking as they cry... wow, pulls at the heartstrings even if you don't like the team.
And the losing team can't leave the ice until the handshake line which takes a few minutes to get to while the winners are jumping around hugging, yelling, celebrating.
Scrivener is the writing application I use and I've had issues with it off an on for months. Nothing serious, I just feel like there are little bugs cropping up here and there. I'm waiting for the new Windows version to be released, so there probably are a few bugs since they're not updating the version I have.
Anyway... my word count for my book--I switched from the book I've been complaining about to the other half-done book I mentioned a while back--was reported to be 38K-ish according to Scrivener's word count tabulator. I didn't think that was correct, but once I exported the thing into Word, I was very pleased to see I have indeed written that many words. After a read-through, it's missing a few scenes and things, but it's way more complete than I remembered, so YAY! I also have a book cover for it already, so I don't have to spend money on it at this point.
I've reached out my editor for a slot on her calendar in August, and between now and then it's going to be nose to the grindstone to get the book complete. Minus the holiday and Sonshine's visit of course.
And today is Friday, tomorrow is writers group, which I'm looking forward to as usual.
Have a GREAT weekend!!!
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Thank you, Google, for my birthday doodle. :0)
For my birthday, I get to watch the last game of the 2018-2019 NHL hockey season. Tonight is game seven of the Stanley Cup Final. Someone is walking away this year's Stanley Cup Champ.
Will it be the St. Louis Blues, who have never won a Stanley Cup? Ever.
Or will it be the Boston Bruins, who've won several over their history as one of the original six?
I haven't watched much hockey since my beloved Stars were knocked out of contention by said St. Louis Blues. But it's the last game of the season and I want to see the handshake line--one of my favorite hockey traditions--and I want to see who takes home the Cup.
Despite, the Stars loss, I want to see the Blues win. Mostly because I hate the Bruins. But also because, they're a Western Conference team. But mostly because they've never won and that would be a really cool thing to watch happen. Sadly for their fans, they aren't at playing at home tonight. Of course, they probably don't care as long as the team wins and brings the damn Stanley Cup home to St. Louis finally.
Three weeks ago, I couldn't imagine saying this, but...
LET'S GO BLUES!!!
Monday, June 10, 2019
How is it June?
Where has the year gone?
What have I accomplished?
The answers are: it just is; good question with no answer; and not a whole heck of a lot, to be honest.
I wrote a book, so that's definitely something. And a something I'm definitely proud of. The book will be part of anthology to be released in July. More details and a cover when I have them.
I spent a lot of time bonding with DD and at the same time living life, as it were. All that hockey and the playoffs were such great experiences. Sharing it with DD before she leaves home again was super and I'm grateful for the opportunity.
Sometimes things happen for a reason, and even though someone else was supposed to be president, I think maybe I'm here for a reason....
For the last several weeks, I've gotten a lot of writers-group-related tasks done, so there's that too. I want to start my tenure with as much in place and done as I can. I want my President-Elect to be able to easily step into the presidency come next fall, with us both having streamlined the duties of all board positions.
So that's what I've accomplished (along with gaining ten pounds, but whatever).
What are my goals going forward?
Two writers with whom I interact on a mostly daily work on their writing business plan / writing schedule every quarter. I'm sure many other writers do this too, I just don't know them or know this about them. Now, both these ladies write for income. I don't. But I'd still like to actively write/publish at least two books a year. One of my goals for the near future is to really think about my writing process and plan for those two books a year. Plan out the projects, from idea, to character building, to series planning.
I have ideas for two different series at the moment, one with six to nine books, the other with four or five books. At two books a year, I'm busy for the next five years at least. I'm good with that. Ideally, I'd like to publish three books a year, but I'm going to have to build up to that I think.
My other major goal, to lose those ten pounds, but I'm having an awful hard time overcoming my sweet tooth right now.
Hope you had a lovely weekend and may the coming week be productive.
Friday, June 7, 2019
It's been a rocky week. A major clusterfuck happened in the business we own, and DH spent the better part of the week angry and frustrated because no one in the companies involved could figure how to fix what someone in one of the two companies screwed up. It fell on him to figure out how to fix it...meaning he had to get high enough in the customer service food chain to find someone who knew how the different systems worked together. I know he's glad for the weekend for sure. Except it's almost fireworks season again and he'll be preparing for that.
On my end, I feel like I'm spinning my wheels a bit with Book 7. I keep writing and I'm churning out words, but I don't feel like I'm making progress. If I knew what the issue was I could probably solve it, you know? But I'm reaching the point where I'm wondering if it's time to move on to another project.
I hate to give up on my characters and for them to not get their happily ever after and for all those words to be for naught. (I'm at about 16K of a projected 35K.) Maybe I need a book/plot whisperer. So I plunked down $35 for some help. Kristen Lamb claims there's not a plot problem she can't solve, but what if it's an author problem and not a plot problem?? That one's a little harder to fix.
I meant to post Wednesday, but got busy with beginning-of-the-month tasks that needed to get done.
Wednesday's would-have-been topic? Office cleaning. I'd mentioned Monday that my 100 Things project seemed to be petering to a close, and it mostly is, but I got a wild hair on Tuesday while working from home to clean my home office. I'm talking about sorting through stuff, throwing stuff away, moving furniture and sweeping and dusting all surfaces. I stalled out at the bookshelf full of stuff in the corner. It was mostly full of paper and I undertook to go through it all.
And I did. I threw out a shit ton of paper and saved four story ideas that could be re-worked at some point. I went through all kinds of cross stitch stuff as well and only saved a handful of hand-created patterns that will go into my pattern software at some point.
I've also been going great guns in terms of my writers group. Last Friday, I mention that I was going to be president again and I've been going great guns in securing nominees for other positions, getting all the admin ducks in row, and just generally gearing up. It's going pretty well.
My dear friend N reminded me that a lot of writers give up writing time when they take on volunteer positions in their various volunteer organizations. That was definitely the first thought I had when asked to step up, but as I write so early in the morning before anyone else I might need to interact with is probably awake and functioning, so I'm not terribly worried, and I have time during the day job as well. But I will be vigilant about the writing time for sure.
Hope you have wonderful weekend!!
Monday, June 3, 2019
I've bought/brought more things into the house this last few weeks than I've purged. But I do think I'm at the end of that project unless I get super cutthroat and I'm not really ready to go down that road just yet.
Someday, just not now.
In other news, I got to meet the Stars new head coach Jim Montgomery. He's fun and personable, unlike many/most NHL coaches. Not only is this his first year with the Stars, it's his first year in the NHL. He hasn't learned to be vague or to bury his personality. He did great things for the team this year, and I was super excited for the opportunity. Honestly, I was surprised more people didn't show up. Their loss!
DD, her BFF, and me with Coach Monty!!
A very good day was had by all.