Monday, November 30, 2020

Wheeeee!

Goal reached and then some! My goal for the weekend's writing was 5600+. Final word count for my four days was 5909-- Mission accomplished. Total word count after this morning's work is just over 10K. I'm barreling down on the end of the book and I'm expecting to reach 14K or 15K. Not bad for a month's or so work.

* * * * *

DD and I also finished up a craft project. Instead of buying our annual Dallas Stars ornament, I opted to DIY it. She'd purchased an ornament for another team and I decided to replicate it for the Stars this year.

From this...

...to this...

I'm quite pleased.

* * * * *

Hope you had a lovely long weekend.

Catch you Wednesday!


Friday, November 27, 2020

The Countdown Begins...

Now that Thanksgiving is barely but officially behind us, it's time to think about and start planning for Christmas.

DD has already requested something non-traditional for Christmas dinner. Actually she claims that Christmas dinner has no requirements like Thanksgiving dinner does and has requested spaghetti. Spaghetti is not something I eat often anymore, so I don't think we're going that route, but chips and queso and deviled eggs are already on the short list of nibbles.

Sadly, Sonshine will not be flying home anytime soon, but the Brown Eyed Girl and her soulmate are planning a visit home.

* * * * *

So far, so good... I reached my word count goal of 1400+ words yesterday and today. Just Saturday and Sunday to go. I do think I'll end up exceeding the projected final word count. Not that it's a bad thing, more words just means completing this WIP might take a little longer, and I'm trying to get to some other projects sooner rather than later.

* * * * *

I hope you and yours had a lovely Thanksgiving. See you Monday.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIENDS!

It's been a year, hasn't it? It started off pretty well. DH and I and his parents went on a wonderful cruise to the Western Caribbean -- yup that was 2020 -- and when we returned home, the world changed pretty drastically.

 Despite it all, I have things to be thankful for:

My husband, my three wildly different children, my fur babies, my two moms, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, for our business that keeps on keeping on, the ability to write and publish books, for my dearest friends (known to each other as the Cotton Patch Kids), for my writers group, for other authors and their books, for fan fiction, for music, for Perfectly Mint Tea, Benedict Cumberbatch, my online friends far and wide, my Dallas Stars and hockey in general...

Hope you have a lovely day tomorrow filled with delicious food, family and/or friends, and fun.


Monday, November 23, 2020

Thanksgiving Here We Come...

Three days to go.

The ham is thawing. The temperatures are dropping. The tempo of life is slowing.

I baked pupcakes this weekend and they turned out pretty delicious. A little on the dry side, but they taste as marvelous as ever once you slather on the frosting. Flavor sensation!

 From this...

To this...

To this...

It's not the greatest frosting job, but I never claimed to be the Cake Boss, and it certainly has no bearing on the taste. :0)

Have a great short week! Catch you on Wednesday...

 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Happy Friday...

So DD and I went shopping this past week. She wanted to look at fabric paint for a project for her little kiddos. We went to Michael's because that's where we go... She walked out with nothing and I walked out a few dollars poorer. :0)

Two of the treasures I walked out with were...

With Thanksgiving next week, I was going to bake pumpkin cupcakes for our employees and when DD pointed this out to me, I couldn't help myself. I was pleasantly surprised when it rang up at 50% off.

And this!

I shared my little tiny nutcracker back in August here. I had planned for this to be Stars colors, but as I type, the idea of a red, white, and blue theme appeals too. I guess we'll see what happens when I sit down to paint him.

Wishing you a delightful weekend...

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Time for Thanksgiving!

And a time to write!

Four day weekend coming and isn't that delightful!?!?

Due to the black cloud that is COVID still hanging over society's heads, Thanksgiving will be limited to our household only. I've bought most of the dinner fixin's. I just need to buy another bag of potatoes, because Thanksgiving is NOT complete without mashed potatoes no matter what else you serve. Otherwise:

Ham. ✅

Corn. ✅

Hawaiian King Rolls. ✅

Gravy. ✅

Canned Pumpkin. ✅

Cream Cheese Frosting. ✅

DH also wants turkey, so hopefully there will be a small package of pre-cooked turkey and I want to make cupcakes for the office, so I'll be hunting down another can of pumpkin and container of frosting. I also love stuffing, so I might hunt up a box of cornbread stuffing...

DD is looking forward to a full week off school. She has the 2 / 3 year olds, so they're a handful.

I wish we had a whole week, but I'm definitely thankful for the four days I do get.

I was thinking this morning that I have time to percolate more of the new WIP--I'm writing a short Christmas story to submit to an online publisher for release next holiday season. The deadline is March 1.

Four days of writing for at least four hours at approximately 350 words an hour...that's 5600 words, which is about half the word count I'm shooting for and would be a heck of an accomplishment.

That doesn't include any of the words I write in the meantime and...

I'm getting super excited about the prospect & possibilities right now. 💖

In order to prime the pump a little I'm going to have to work on my Romancing the Beats, well, beats...and get a road map put together.

Oh--I commissioned a book cover for one of two historicals I've had in my back pocket. I think I mentioned them a while back. I got the cover back for the one and I'm so pleased. I wanted to have it to keep me focused and inspired to finish the book, and this cover is gonna do just that.

Have a great rest of your week!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Hallelujah!!!


My first cup of Plantation / Perfectly Mint tea in almost two weeks was just as soothing and delicious as I hoped. The scent, the flavor, the comfort...perfect.

The book is done!! 

 Well, insofar as all the revisions were made. I've set it aside to get some distance from it and I'll read it again in a week or two. I'm still debating on finding a beta reader.

I finished Saturday, so as a reward I slept in on Sunday. Only for an hour however and then I was awake. Now that Book 4 is done (for the moment), it's time to turn my attention to Book 5 and so I've been working on building the characters. They've been percolating for a month or two, but now it's time to get things nailed down, make decisions about who they are, what they want, what they need, etc., etc., etc.... I've made progress on hero 1 mostly and I know a little about the other. These things take time and this is not one of my strong suits.

* * * * *

Fun with Dick, Jane, and Spot... 

These guys ventured forth while I was sitting outside on Saturday afternoon. I don't know if these are all the same squirrel or what. There were actually three of them nibbling and squabbling.




 Have a great week!

Friday, November 13, 2020

TGIF

I'm very excited for tomorrow-- It's Saturday, obviously, but it means I'll have a good 4 to 5 hours of writing time to get my revisions done. I'm not sure I can get them all done Saturday, but I'm hopeful that between Saturday and Sunday, they'll be completed. *fingers crossed*

The question becomes: do I let it rest and then re-read it myself or find a beta reader for the final set of eyeballs....

* * * * *

The office upgrades are coming along. The kitchen should be complete no later than next week, from what I hear. All the water-stained ceiling tiles have been replaced as well. Now we just need a fresh coat of paint and good dusting / vacuuming and my little corner of the office space will be as good as new.

* * * * * 

That's all I've got...

Hope you have a great weekend. Take care.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Final Revisions

I've received the second half of the revisions to the current work-in-progress! And I'm definitely excited to have them back. This book will be infinitely better because of this editor's touch. Can't wait to dive in tomorrow morning. :0)

 In other news...

There really is no other news at the moment. Oh wait, there is...

As you know, we own our own business. After twelve years, we're finally getting kitchen space. It'll be nice to have a place to prep meals and eat them that aren't my desk. We'll also be splurging on an ice maker and a hot/cold water dispenser.

We'll also be painting the tech area and buying news desks in an effort to spruce up the environment for the employees.

Everything is moving a high speed right now which is not my favorite pace, but the changes are long overdue, much anticipated, and worth the short term chaos.

I'm trying to get back on the meal plan wagon...the weekend was a loss, but I've done well so far this week. My motivation was / is pumpkin cupcakes over Thanksgiving weekend, so I'm trying really hard to earn them.

Weekdays are definitely easier than weekends and after being off the wagon for so long. Consuming sugars and carbs for that time frame, re-awakened my sweet tooth--which is always just taking a catnap anyway--and lowered my resistance levels.

On top of all that--first world problems, I know--my stash of Plantation Mint has run out and the stores are out as well. What I discovered is that after decades, Bigelow has decided to change the name from Plantation Mint to Perfectly Mint.


I think the stores aren't replenishing their stock because of that for some crazy insane reason and it's wreaking havoc with my morning writing time and my stomach. My stomach doesn't care for the other flavors that early in the morning. The scent and flavor are just an ingrained part of my routine and I miss them terribly.

I have setup a subscription from Amazon so that I no longer have to worry about whether or not my local grocery store has it. The problem is waiting another ten days or so for the first delivery. I might just have to break down and place a smaller order to tide me over.

Did I mention how much I really miss my tea?

Have a great rest of your week!



 


Monday, November 9, 2020

More losses...

 Rest in peace Sean Connery and Alex Trebek.


Sean Connery isn't my favorite James Bond, but he was the first and made the character the icon he is. His and Daniel Craig's versions are the only ones I like.

As for Alex Trebek--game show icon for decades. The world will be a dumber place.

2020 has really kicked the crap out of us.

Hope you had a lovely weekend aside from the Trebek news.

Here's hoping the week is a good one.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Advent Calendars and Writing

I really love rubber ducks. Don't know why or how I came to it--probably a duck too cute to resist--and now I have a bit of a collection.

Perusing Facebook yesterday, I saw a rubber duck advent calendar!

Unfortunately, it's not the worth the $42, so I'll have to pass.

Then DD saw an ice hockey advent calendar...


Which has some cute stuff in it and is probably worth the money because creating one yourself would cost way more when you only need one of something rather than buying in bulk like the makers of this would do...

I did see some cool ideas for homemade advent calendars, so I might try to put a little something together for DD as one of her (early) presents.

Anyway, I hope your week is going well. 

 Mine is going well enough--I got edits back on the first half of the book. My editor had a lot to say and a lot of suggested tweaks and fixes. It's going to take a minute or two to go through and make decisions.

On top of that, I'm not quite finished with the book. I have 500 to 700 words needed to write a transition scene, but I have no idea what to do. I sent the second half of the book off the editor without that scene, because I need the rest done. I'll have to do my self edit on that bit.

As a result of me not finishing, I'm not going to make my pre-sale deadline, so I've got to go with plan B for the Facebook group takeover event I have on the calendar.

Lessons learned-- From now on, no scheduling a release until the book is done. And no scheduling events until I'm confident the book will be ready.

Catch you on Friday!

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Finish Line is in Sight

 

DD's pumpkin turned out rather well. Sadly the middle part so heavy, it began to droop and sag almost immediately. But she had fun doing it, and I had fun watching her.

I spent a lot of extra time on the book this weekend and I made a huge dent in the necessary tweaks. My editor has everything up until where I was stuck and she's almost done, so we should be able to trade halves this week. I'm hoping by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest to have my issues sorted.

My due date to upload to one specific retailer is November 8th--Sunday. I should be able to get the completed if not fully edited document uploaded. Then I can upload the final version a few days prior to the go-live date.

I'm cutting it close, I know, and I was this | | close to postponing the launch, but after the progress this weekend, I feel confident enough to stay the course.

And for the first time ever, I'm seriously considering a written plan for my writing / publishing goals for 2021 with milestones and due dates. Because I saved money not going to my conference in October, I'm "splurging" on a couple of book covers for the historicals I've had in my back pocket. One is complete, the other is almost done, so I'm hoping a deadline will get me across the finish line.

Anywho...have a great week.

 

 

Friday, October 30, 2020

Happy Halloween

 My masterpieces...


Sadly, DD's broke at a critical place and was unfixable with toothpicks. I was hoping she'd buy another one and try again, but she hasn't yet. I however bought her one, so pics on Monday of her creation.

* * * * *

I'm not looking forward to the time change this weekend as I'd planned to get several hours of good writing in. I'm not sure how the loss of an hour is going to affect me. Might have to hit the sheets early tonight.

I'm close to finishing, but there's a section I'm not sure how to tweak. It's only a couple of chapters and if I knew what to do, it wouldn't be an issue. But working through the dilemma takes time I don't really have. I might have to enlist the brain-trust that is my writer peeps at our weekly chat tomorrow morning.

I have one week from Sunday to upload a final file to one retailer and two weeks from tomorrow for another. None of the others specified a due date, so the day before will work if necessary, but I don't want to push that boundary if it can avoided.

* * * * *

And I did the thing--I voted... Please oh please oh please let my candidate win....


Anyway, have a great weekend. Catch you on Monday!


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

CONGRATS to the LA DODGERS

 

 

For the first time since 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers have won the World Series...

My oldest child was seven months old and I still lived in Los Angeles! I was also a Dodgers fan and still am to a degree, so congrats to them.

And the fact that they beat a Tampa team...icing on the cake. ;0)

* * * * *

Jack-o-lanterns are coming along--one down, one to go. Pictures on Friday I promise.

Tonight though-- Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein's creature. Can't wait.

Have a great rest of your week.

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Greatest Showman

 

First of all--Happy Birthday to my Dear Husband whose birthday was this weekend.

One of the things we did was watch The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman, and musical drama and based loosely on the life of  P.T. Barnum most famously known in my lifetime as the founder/creator of Barnum & Bailey's Circus.

It's not a film I especially wanted to see, but DH wanted to watch it and so we did. And I greatly enjoyed it. So if you're looking for something fun to watch, give it a try.

* * * * *

Remember, about a month ago I said I had a hankering to carve a pumpkin? Yeah. And then I decided I had no desire to do so...Well, DD put pumpkins on the grocery list this weekend, and so... I bought pumpkins. Here are the pre-carved pumpkins:

Unfortunately, DD's had an unfortunate accident and a part that needed to remain connected accidentally broke and there was no repair for it. One of my pumpkins is not yet complete and the other hasn't been started. And I may offer it to DD anyway.

But pictures of at least one completed jack-o-lantern coming later in the week.

The cold front finally arrived in our neck of the woods and we've had gloomy drizzle and rain along with chilly temps. Not the fall I was hoping for, but this may pass and our Indian Summer may yet show up.

Have a great week.



Friday, October 23, 2020

Hello Cold Front

 

 

I didn't dress for this kind of weather!

 

In other exciting news--yet another encore of National Theater's Frankenstein starring YOU KNOW WHO--that's Benedict Cumberbatch if you really didn't know--is playing in theaters. I might have a date if a gal from my writers group can get her hubster home on time. Yee haw.


Tonight's my Facebook Live Spotlight for my conference and I'm about as ready as I'll ever be. I've got a cue "doc" (rather than cue cards) ready to go. I have to set up the laptop when I get home and put in my pretend teeth, but otherwise...yup. Ready. I'll let you know how it goes--


Anyway, have a great weekend. See you Monday. :0)

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Virtual Conference

 



My in person conference didn't happen last week, but a virtual version is going on this week, starting today. I won't participate in most of it because of work, but I'll try to attend some of the online live author presentations after work.

I've got my own scheduled as well for Friday evening, so I've been preparing for that along with Saturday's promo opportunity.

So all was not lost since I published this last book to actually coincide with the conference.

It's going to be interesting considering the condition of my mouth at the moment. But I have a temp appliance, so I guess I'll wear it for the first time. The surgeon told me not to unless absolutely necessary. And I haven't, so I think I'll be all right for my allotted thirty minutes.

Have a super rest of your week.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Little Bit o' This, Little Bit o' That

First--new WAY MORE self-check stations at my Walmart with large "counter space" for bagged groceries. Check it out. I'm very excited for this. At least there's a bright spot while the rest of my store is topsy turvy and I have to hunt down the new location of my groceries.

After umpteen years we have also finally gotten rid on non-running vehicles--gaining a little pocket cash as well as valuable space in our warehouse!

Before:


After:


Aaaand... I finished the birdfeeder bed. Almost. There are no flowering trees for sale at the Home Depot this time of year, so that will have to wait. But the rest got done.

Before:


During:


After:


Hope you had a good weekend. Here's to a productive week.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Happy Fall Y'all

It's gorgeous and cool in the mornings now and I feel the draw to be outside and puttering in the yard.

SOON.

I'm still knee-deep in edits and they're going well. But there's still a long way to go and I can't take the mornings off to putter.

But IF the afternoons start being cooler, then one of these Sundays, I'm going to get the bird feeder / birdbath area fixed up like I've been wanting to since the deep heat of summer and it was tooooooo hot to work outside.

Here's the way it looks now:

There also used to be a weed growing to the right of the birdbath, offering it some shade, but it has since died off and chopped down.

Eventually, these...

 ...will get placed back around that area. I'd dug them up this summer, but that's as far as I got with the project. I have three bags of mulch to make it look neat and tidy, and I'm contemplating buying some sort of flowering tree (hibiscus, maybe?) to plant in there to provide shade and possibly draw humming birds next year.

I'm feeling a trip to Home Depot this weekend coming on... :0)

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Home Retreat...

Had COVID not caused the havoc it did, including the cancellation of conferences across industries, I'd be headed for St. Louis this week to participate in my annual GRL conference.

 

Instead, I tweaked my time off request to half-days this week so I could get some quality writing time in while I attempt to finish the latest Work In Progress but not get behind at work.

It's been great. I've gotten in five focused, quality sprints every morning before turning my attention to lessens for an online class I'm taking.

The time spent on writing has been great. That being said, I'm not sure I'm going to be ready to publish on November 18 as I'd hoped. I'm gonna keep working hard to make it happen, but I'm not feeling confident at the moment. We'll see where progress stands by the end of the week. I'm not overly worried about it, except for the fact that I scored a Facebook Group Takeover slot for November 19 and I don't want to have to release it.

But in other book news, today is release day for two other books. :0)

Rookies at Love is book 3 in the Face Off For Love Series. (the book I'm trying to finish is book 4)

The Face Off For Love Box Set is the first three books in the series in a single volume...

Hope you're enjoying the weather. Fall is descending on North Texas and it's wonderful.

Take care and have a great week.


Monday, October 12, 2020

The end of an era...

 

My 6th Gen iPod has finally kicked the bucket once and for all. I can't tell you how bummed I am about this. I've had that thing for well over a dozen years, and it works great--when I can get it to show the contents after I've charged it. Problem is I can't get past the "lock" screen (I guess) which shows the (incorrect) time and the battery charge level.

It has my writing music on it as well as my thunderstorm white noise for when I travel, along with some random videos I like to watch every once in a while.

New iPods--devices that look like phones just without the phone parts--cost $200. I have an old-iPhone dealer, so I'm gonna see what he's got in stock for cheaper.

Could I use my current iPhone? Sure, I could. Most people do, which is why iPods have gone the way of the dinosaur. But I prefer to have a separate device for my music for various reasons, none of which are that big of a deal.

* * * * * 

In other news, my Dallas Stars re-signed our 1B goalie to a new three-year contract.


This is great news as we've had the best goalie tandem in the league for two years now but our 1A is, unfortunately, a bit fragile. Without this guy, we wouldn't have gotten to game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

As bummed as I am about the iPod, I am about 1000X that thrilled that Dobby is back. :0)

* * * * *

And now that the mouth is about as good as it's gonna get aside from continued healing in the graft area, it's time to eschew the soft foods and the carbs that I've allowed myself to binge for the last couple of weeks.

No guarantees I'm not going to fall off the wagon, because I've allowed my body to develop its sweet tooth again. I've allowed myself the Greek yogurt and a carb-light tortilla in my daily diet and not going full Keto again yet because that would def be a recipe for failure. I'm going to struggle enough as it is.

I am going to reward myself at the end of the week, though, if I can get through and stick with the diet plan.

Hope you had a great weekend-- Hope you have a great week.


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Rest in Peace...

We've had some big-name deaths in the last few weeks. The last three that I heard are all from the music industry: Helen Reddy, Mac Davis, and just yesterday, Eddie van Halen--a rocker icon from my childhood.

Of course, Ruth Bader Ginsberg passed a few weeks ago.

It always hits a little too close to home when celebrities from your childhood--no matter how much older than you they might have been--pass away. It's even worse when they're not that much older than you...