Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Daughter's Loss

Russell Stone 1927
On the way to work the other day, I drove by a piece of land the family used to own.  In my head I heard the phrase, I've walked this land.  It played over and over in my head.  When I got to work it came out with a lot of other words in the form of a poem.  
Russ Stone Graduation

The family farm is long gone, owned by other people who have cut down the trees I grew up with and burned down the house my grandfather and father built.  It's not our land any longer and hasn't been for a long time.  

However there are moments when I feel so connected, to joined with the land I want to tell the people there to get off.  In reality, I only lived on the land for seventeen years.  Yet part of me is still there
Russell & May 1932
going through the seasons.
Russell & Joan Wedding

In a conversation with a friend, we talked about my dad.  I've been thinking of him a lot lately.  I have no idea why but he's come to my mind a lot in the last month or two.  I've wondered a lot about what he would be like if he had lived.  He'd be 91 at this point.  He was a middle aged man when he died.  

Russell and ?? in South Dakota
I wonder what he'd think about my daughters - he didn't know the younger two.  I wonder what he'd think about me, where I am in life, how my life has turned out.  I wonder how he'd feel about my siblings and how we get along (or don't).  

Russell & Joan
I wonder how mom would be different if he were still here.  They were always so connected and so much a part of each other.  My friend assured me my father would be proud of me and my daughters.  When I doubted it, she asked me why.  She couldn't understand how I could doubt whether he would be proud of me.  

He always encouraged us to reach further - within a safe zone - but always further.  He wanted us to reach for the stars (safely).  He didn't want anyone to tell his daughters they couldn't be whatever we wanted to be.  It's been 33 years.  The grief has settled and softened but I still miss him.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Non-Birthday Day Off

I've got three days off work before my day job goes crazy with advising.  It's my non birthday year, today is my "birthday".  At least somewhere between today and tomorrow my birthday lands.  My to do list is enough to keep me busy for a month (or longer).  But I'm tackling things one at a time.

This morning I slept later than normal - that was on my to do list.  I'm going to attempt to do the same tomorrow.  I got dressed - very reluctantly.  I'm going out later, so I guess clothes are necessary.  I finished two crochet projects.  Now all I need is some pictures and I can publish the patterns.  I worked on budget and bills.  I paid most of them but my check isn't in my account until tomorrow - so I'll pay the rest tomorrow.  I brought current my reports for my writing - sales, commission to TJ, adding in the new crochet pattern, and other things.

My goal was to be back in the recliner by 12:00 - it is now past that time.  However, I did play backgammon and some card games on my computer.  Maybe that gives me a little leeway.  I was supposed to get the two areas cleared that are still cluttered in my office.  As of right now, all I've managed to do is get the filing done.  I hate filing.  However the folders are made, the files are cleaned out.  I had two years of taxes which needed to come out - not sure how that happened I'm usually really diligent about taking the old out when I put the new in but it did happen.  I had all seven years in one file and separated them into individual files.

Ava - my middle daughter's youngest cat - lay on the stand for most of the morning.  She liked me - or at least that is the interpretation I'm putting on it.  Really I was in her sun room and annoying her with my work.  I'm waffling between hitting the recliner and doing crocheting or moving forward with the office.  My legs will be the determining factor.  My fear is I'll end up moving from one pile to the next and that is simply not acceptable.

I have my birthday journal entry to write.  It is my birthday and it is right here and it would be good to write it now and not put it off for three months (or when I get to it.  I started this in 2007 and wrote it in every year since (except I missed it in 2013 & 2015).  Last year my entry was short and crabby.  Maybe this year can be better.  My goal with this is to summarize how I feel about the previous year.

At the very least I've gotten some thing accomplished today.  I've got two more days off and then the weekend so hopefully I'll mark off a lot on my to do list.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Bit of Zen

It's Sunday night and I'm headed to my recliner.  It's been a busy weekend.  Yesterday my middle daughter, her godmother and I went shopping.  I drove, they shopped, I crocheted.  I wouldn't have minded going into the bookstores they went to but my scooter has been sporadic for operating.

When we got home, I finished the afghan I was working on.  Vicki took pictures for me so I can get the pattern ready for publishing.  I have to think of a name for it.  I'm not happy with any of t

he names I've come up with.  After I finished it, she and I talked about the submission guidelines I looked up for a couple of publications.  I made a list so she pulled yarn to see if I could use her yarn to make something to fit the categories which she would like.  We found a couple.  I started one yesterday and am about halfway through with it.  I'm hoping to finish the first steps of it today.  Once I finish it, I'll snap a few pictures of it and send it to the editor.  If they accept it, it gets sent off to them for photographing and then it comes back to me.

I'll work up the pattern but until after it's published, I can't publish the pattern myself.  I need to look at my list of things to do submissions for poetry and articles as well.  I have a number of them to work through.  Hopefully I can make some good progress.

I have so many projects right now, it's crazy but at the same time I love it.  I love having a list, working on it, and being able to cross them off my list.  

I'm taking three days off next week.  I know exactly what I want to accomplish while I'm off so I'll see how things go.  There are two small areas in my office I want to finish in order to start the move to bring the bookshelves into the office.  I have a long list of writing projects I want to work on.  My to do list may seem endless but it isn't (not quite) but I do have crocheting projects and household projects to deal with as well.

This is going to be a mini break before things go crazy at my day job.  Advising and registration will fill up my time.  I'm hoping this time off will be a decompressing time for me before things wind up too stressful for March and April.

The pics are all from our various trips to the Atlanta Aquarium.  I LOVE going there.  It's expensive but worth it.  I could watch the fish (and have) for hours.  The movement of the jellyfish (and other fish) are mesmerizing and it makes me feel zen to watch them.  I'm sharing here to share a bit of the zen.  I hope the video works as this is my first time posting a video.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

New Crochet Patterns

 I've published three new crochet patterns.  A Set of Squares is a hat, infinity scarf and wristers.  Squares done three ways to create a love set including a hat, scarf and wristers.  The large pattern provides warmth in the winter.  Featuring a square repeat, this set provides style.  Easy to make from the soft, large yarn, the pattern is simple but stylish.

Infinitely Luxurious is an infinity scarf.  Luxurious and warm, this scarf is easy to make and beautiful.  Made with soft, luxurious yarn, this infinity scarf will keep you warm through the coldest of winters.

Jute & Cotton Baskets is a set of ten patterns.  A unique technique using jute (or hemp) with crochet cotton to create baskets for any use or occasion.  Ten patterns for different shaped baskets. Combining hemp rope and crochet cotton, these make sturdy and unique baskets for multiple uses from decoration to storage.

For my youngest daughter I've been working on a doily.  It's the first one I've designed and I like how it turned out.  Next I'll have to decide if I want to publish the pattern.

I've been busy working on things for the two girls in Georgia.  I've got at least three more things to make for them but I think they will all be from a pattern.  I'm also working on a blanket for my middle daughter which I'll be publishing the pattern for as soon as I'm done.  I've got it nearly half done at this point.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Wayfarer Home and other news

Wayfarer Home is now available on Amazon and Smashwords.  This is the next installment of Adara and Decker's story.  Here is a brief synopsis of the story:

Building a new society, Adara struggles with all the responsibilities on her shoulders.  An uncomfortable ship, seven months pregnant and a saboteur create an intolerable situation.  Teamwork and drawing on all resources, including the children, helps get all the tasks done and sets a precedent on how they move forward as they travel to their new home.

I'm excited for this to be published.  I love the new step the story has taken and am excited for the next book.  Wayfarer War is next and should be out in March or April.  

In addition to publishing this, I've been crocheting a lot.  I don't know if the crochet did it but I've on the bench when it comes to crocheting right now.  I've been working on thread projects which have always been tough for me and two days ago I realized my middle finger on my right hand (the one that holds the teeny tiny hook) has swollen.  I can't get my ring on it and it hurts to bend it.  This means crocheting is on hold.  I'm annoyed with this because I have several projects I'm trying to get done for my daughters.

On the plus side, I've made my first doily with no pattern.  I really enjoyed working it up.  I've always thought doing this would be a numbers thing but I'm going on purely design rather than numbers.  I won't be publishing this one - maybe.  It's gorgeous but I haven't written down any of the rounds.  

I do have two new patterns I am working on to publish.  I hope to get those ready soon, maybe a week or two.  One is a lovely warm winter scarf and one is a hat, scarf, wristers set.  Next will be a blanket which I'm working on - or was until my hand became an issue.  I'll rest it but it is going to be hard.  Yesterday Vicki was knitting and I was just sitting there.  I found myself very impatient and annoyed and realized it was because I couldn't crochet.   

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Rise of the Ancients

Rise of the Ancients is now available on Amazon and Smashwords.  I'm very excited to have this one finished. 

Here's a brief synopsis of it:
Samantha Crane’s arrival on space station Zed causes a stir.  Colin MacKenzie, Security Chief has a love hate relationship with her.  He loves her body, hates the trouble she brings.  This time she’s not playing.  Injured, exhausted, Samantha Crane let Mac in her ship and her heart.  But it may all be too late as an ancient enemy rises to destroy everything in its path.

Sam hides her heritage as she hides from her family.  Mysterious, dangerous, yet vulnerable, Mac can’t resist her.  Sensual and sexy, she draws him in but disappears too frequently.  Rescuing people from an overwhelming enemy, Sam lets down her walls to admit she wants more from Mac.

In the midst of discovering their love, Mac and Sam face her past, her enemies, and her abilities.  Not a team player, Sam has to learn to trust Mac, and the others on the station in order to confront an enemy stronger than any before.  A mystical prophesy tangles up Sam and Mac in danger and death.  Will she trust Mac enough?  Or will she lose her love and her life?

This book was completely unexpected.  I had finished a novel and was looking for something different to work on.  I have a file folder of starts.  I was going through it and none of them were speaking to me.  The name of this one was completely unknown to me.  I opened it and said - Oh this one.  I read through it and thought by the end, I would be done - nothing new.  But I was wrong.  I got to the end and said - oh I know what's next.  From there it took  me very little time to finish writing it.  I spent a lot of time editing, adding scenes, changing the way some of the early part was written.  

Now it's done, all the prep and editing is done.  I like the story.  The characters are a bit gritty and rough and I like that about them.  There's some softening but not in the way which is typical.  Considering where I started, I'm pleased by how well it turned out.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Catching Up

We know where mom is going when she's released, but we aren't positive when she will be released.  This week she sees the doctor and hopefully she will be done with the antibiotic.  Then it's up to the nursing home to say how long they need her for therapy to prep her for release.

It's been a crazy time with a lot of extra tasks - finding paperwork for the Medicaid application, paying her bills, and working with the nursing home for her care.  I got a request for more information for the Medicaid application.  I'm working on gathering that information so I can fax it in.

Thank goodness for my daughters.  When I've needed to rant, they've listened and not judged.  When I needed a reminder that I can only do what I can do, they've let me know.

In amongst all the craziness of the last few months, I've managed to finish Defenders of Magic.  It's available on Amazon and Smashwords.  I'm also working on a few manuscripts to get them ready for publication.  Wayfarer Home will come out next month (hopefully).  After that in the series, I have Wayfarer War and two more.  TJ Jahns did the covers for the Defenders series and I like how they turned out.  This one is the conclusion to the story.  It took seven years but I finally finished the story.

The writing tasks and the crocheting I've been doing help keep me balanced.  I need this more than ever now as I'm handling so many other tasks.

Today I'm having a snow day - or more precisely an ice day.  We had rain and then snow.  The roads are bad from what Ken said.  We didn't get a lot of snow but it's the ice underneath which causes me problems.  The most hazardous for me is the parking lot.

While I'm off, I've checked my work email, personal email, and have done some writing / publishing tasks.  I'm going to make some changes to the paper version of Defenders of Magic (format changes) and then submit it for the third time.  Hopefully this time it will be how I want it.  Once I'm done with that, I'm going to work on my crocheting projects - dishtowels, daisy coasters, dresser scarf.  I'm waiting on thread to arrive.  I might check on the orders to see when they will get here.

I'm hoping to get a lot accomplished today on the writing and crocheting front.  Then when I face the world again tomorrow, I'll be ready for more of the other stuff - mom's tasks, work, and so on.  Also I'm hoping the roads and the parking lot at work are in better shape.

A Daughter's Loss

Russell Stone 1927 On the way to work the other day, I drove by a piece of land the family used to own.  In my head I heard the phrase, ...