Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wayfarer Negotiator

The fourth book in the Wayfarer series is now available:

Decker and Adara return from time on Command Space Station collecting new members of the crew.  Their new sectors await their arrival.  Adara is called to negotiate a settlement between two groups – Wayfarers and shopkeepers – on a space station. 

Avin gets a murder case that is both baffling and odd.  Adara reminds him that Etienne society is much more polite than human society.  She aids him in one murder investigation which leads to another migraine. 

Adara’s continued health issues have Decker trying to control her decisions.  She has to negotiate with him to get him to treat her like an equal. 

At the same time, Adara meets Decker’s parents for the first time.  His mother disapproves of her instantly thinking she is after his money or using him to advance her career.

The data crystal from Commander Farin contains a design for a weapon or space station the command crew needs to figure out.  Janet gives birth to her twins at Bedelia’s instead of in med bay as she planned.  Decker finally proposes.  

Watch for the fifth book to come out early next year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Unplanning My Next Year's Goals

My year has certainly not turned out the way I planned it.  This is one of the reasons I don't like to make long term plans. 

It isn't that my year has been worse - quite the contrary - it just hasn't turned out the way I planned.  I could be disappointed in myself and the events of the year but that would be ridiculous.  I was supposed to submit to contests and publications at least four to six times each month this year.  I didn't.  I was supposed to get my poetry books, romance book, and meditation book all published.  I did this.  I did more than this.  I got eleven books and two crochet patterns published. 

In looking back at my year, because that's what we do at the end of December, I find myself very satisfied with what I've accomplished and am looking forward to the accomplishments of the coming year.  I have four books in progress that I want to get done.  I'm certain these will get done and published. 

Knowing me, there are other stories rattling around in my head that will find their way onto paper and into publication. 

I keep telling myself I need more balance in my life - equal out the time I spend crocheting, writing, working, spending with family and so on.  I'm not sure that is true.  I think having the imbalance helps me accomplish things.  When I'm so focused on one or two things, I get them done.  Very little gets in my way or stops me from accomplishing what I set out to accomplish.  Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out what I want to accomplish but once I do - it usually works out in the end - even if it isn't the way I planned it. 

When I look forward to the next year, I know I want to write, crochet, spend time with my family.  I think I'll leave the details of how that works out to the future and just enjoy the journey I'll be taking in the upcoming year.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

No, I'm not going to start spouting about a Clint Eastwood movie but the title seemed appropriate for all the things I want to talk about.

Vicki made it safely to Wisconsin and we've had a good visit with her.  I missed my other girls this holiday but know they had other responsibilities and obligations.  Ken's family Christmas was good.  I have to say two of his nieces have done a great job raising their daughters - Tara and Marcia.  Their daughters were friendly, polite, and welcoming.  The behavior of these four girls reassured me that not all of our society is going to hell (see my post about Are you the One on MTV).  I had wonderful conversations with many of his family and enjoyed the time we spent with them.

Christmas day, Vicki and I organized my craft room.  It was nice to stay home and not have to drive anywhere.  We got all the yarn sorted into the shelving and baskets I wanted them in.  Vicki stole many skeins of yarn I had purchased but I won't complain.  By the end of the holidays, I had two new scarves that are amazing.  The one I'm thinking of adding a button to and making into a wrap or shawl.  It is GORGEOUS, soft and warm.

Friday we ran all over the place.  We went to Shopko, Woodman's, Joann Fabrics, Sorgs, my mom's, my work, the university for Vicki to get her id and we picked up a friend.  We returned home to order supper and video chat with Virginia and Stephanie while everyone opened their gifts.  It was a twenty-first century holiday.

While at my mother's, I found out my great aunt had passed away.  Her visitation is tomorrow night so I will be picking up my mom and sister to go to it.

Saturday Vicki and I cooked.  I miss cooking with her.  We worked together in the kitchen with me chopping and prepping and her cooking.  We made turkey meatballs for her and us, beef meatballs for Ken, and she made lasagna for us.

Sunday Vicki went home.  This always makes me a little sad.  My friend came over who lost her significant other in November.  She has been so busy, she hasn't had time to grieve.  We talked at length about the death of her loved one.  I reminded her that she is going through the natural and normal grieving process.

After my friend left, I opened my email to wade through a day's worth of emails.  I was thrilled to see an email from a friend.  Unfortunately, that email included the sad news that her husband had passed away. They just celebrated their anniversary with a renewal ceremony.  He's been in pain and struggling with depression.  Within the last year, she lost her father to illness.  She's having a rough time.

My heart breaks for my friends who are struggling with the losses in their lives.  Their grief is heartbreaking.  The loss they feel is sharp and painful.

Death is a demanding beast and it seems like I've been to a lot of funerals and memorials lately.  It is difficult to express the sorrow and compassion you feel for people and sound sincere.  I'm sorry for your loss is lame.  But what else do you say?

Sorrow and joy seem to go hand in hand this season.  It is a balance of emotions I guess but not in the way I think is healthy or positive.  For those who are grieving, I send them love and positive energy in the hopes that it gives them a bit of comfort.  In my experience, sorrow and loss is only dulled with time and patience.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


My daughter is coming home tonight.  She called this morning to tell me how many hours it would be before we saw each other.  I love the day we go from it being days (weeks, months) when I'll see her (or any of my daughters) to hours. 

The excitement is palpable.  Of course it's December and we've been watching the weather hoping for safe driving conditions.  Hopefully the rain they are calling for will be just rain and the temperature will remain high enough to keep it from being icy. 

My nephew just drove home yesterday.  He had a seven hour delay because his truck broke down.  Fortunately, he was able to get it fixed and back on the road but his short five hour drive turned into more like a twelve hour day. 

Friday, we will be doing the video chat Christmas with the girls in Georgia.  It will be our way of  having the whole family together.  We will watch as people open gifts and talk about our holidays.  It will be our unique family time. 

I'm excited to have whatever time I can get with them this week.  I'm sorry the girls couldn't afford to come home (or get time off to come home).  However, I'm betting they are loving their house and the space they have. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Busyness

I edited and refined two stories to submit to a contest.  I don't know how either of them will play for the company but they are strong stories even if one is a little controversial.  That's what I did with my morning yesterday. 

A friend came over and she graded while I worked on editing and crocheted.  I made her a lovely cowl and then worked on editing.  It was a good day, yesterday. 

I work two days this week and have the rest of the week off.  I'm looking forward to the time off even though it will be busier than I normally like to be.  Vicki will be home and I wish Gin and Stephanie could come home but we will video chat with them for the holidays. 

I have five days off but each and every one of them is booked so full, I could wish for a vacation from the holiday.  Hopefully it isn't too crazy but I have the feeling this is a futile hope.  I have all this stuff to do with Vicki and at the same time I have all this stuff in my head I want to get done. 

I'm looking at getting one book out in January - I'd like to get the fourth Wayfarer book out - Wayfarer Negotiator.  I am working on edits right now which always takes a bit but hopefully shortly after the Christmas holiday, I'll have time to finish refining it. 

It will be on to the fifth book after that.  It needs the edits on the computer and all the extras.  Hopefully that will happen shortly after I get four done.  However, I have the Defenders third book to work on.  I want to finish that before I dive into more stories.  Once those are done, I'll dive into my pile of starts or my ideas and see what comes out as interesting. 

Over the five days off, I'm hoping to get my craft room organized so I can have my yarn organized and easily accessible.  I know I want to work on a few smaller projects but I also have three larger projects to do. 

At some point I'll find a balance amongst all the things I do - I hope.  If I don't, I guess I'll continue with the craziness of working like a mad woman on crocheting to get things done and then switching to writing and so on.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sleep, blessed sleep

Sleep was the order of the day yesterday.  I dozed until after 11 in the morning.  I worked on the computer for a short period of time updating the checkbook and such.  We had lunch (or breakfast for me) and watched West Wing.

He put up the Christmas tree while we watched.  I meant to crochet but I didn't.  After the tree was up he did other things and I napped.  With supper, we watched Diners, Driveins, and Dives and then West Wing again.

He went to bed and I thought about going to bed.  Instead I worked on editing a manuscript.  Once I started editing, the night slipped away from me.  Still I made it to bed before midnight.  Apparently I needed sleep yesterday but not today.  I woke up early this morning and am up, showered, dressed, and ready to face the day all by 8:00 am (or 8:20 as it is right now).

Ken's wrapping gifts and I'm going to crochet today I think.  I have a few things I want to get done but we will see.  I've not written in a week it may be time for my brain to kick back into gear and work on writing.  I edited the fourth and fifth books of the Wayfarer series over the last few days.  They aren't done.  I need to swipe through them again once I get the edits in the computer.

Before his game starts, I may see if he wants to watch Babylon 5 or West Wing but if he doesn't I might just decide to make it a writing day.  I'm feeling ambivalent about it which could be good or bad for the writing.  I could open the file and the words could just flow or I could putz around and not accomplish anything.  I'll have to see how the morning goes.

If I'm not knee deep in writing, this afternoon while he watches football I'll work on getting the edits on the computer.  After that it is a matter of getting all the pieces together.  Wayfarer Negotiator and Wayfarer Wedding are the next two in the series.  I have the cover for the one but need other pieces in order to publish.

As much as I slept yesterday, I wouldn't mind a nap at some point today but I'll have to see how the day goes and how involved I get with what I'm doing.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Losing Brain Cells

This week has been about being a bum I guess.  I have been watching TV and crocheting.  I feel like I'm accomplishing nothing but at the same time I don't have a story pushing at my brain. 

I finished Bomb Girls.  I mostly enjoyed the series but was ticked about the ending.  They killed one of my favorite characters.  Additionally, one of the characters enlisted in the CWACS but earlier in the series she'd lost the sight in her eye.  They also messed with the dates of the timeline.  At one point earlier in the series it was 1944 and then for the last episode it was 1943.  Overall good series and interesting premise. 

I started watching Are You the One last night - random show in Amazon Prime.  It was produced by MTV and was about ten men and ten women who are looking for love.  I watched three episodes and will probably finish the season as it is ridiculous and stupid.  There is nothing redeeming about this show.  Why do people expect to find love in a reality tv show?  Yet I'm ridiculous in watching it but I have to.  Supposedly they've done matchmaking and each person has a perfect match on the show.  They have to find their perfect match and if all ten couples are matched up after the ten tries, the entire group wins a million dollars. 

I blame the loss of brain cells from this show on the yarn and crochet project I was working on.  My yarn was tangled and it took me forever to untangle it.  I didn't even untangle it completely.  I ended up cutting out the tangle.  I watched the first episode to see how it was and knew it was blah.  The second episode I watched to finish the project but didn't finish it.  The third episode was because I still wasn't done and I just wanted something to watch in order to finish it. 

Sadly, I'm probably going to have to watch the rest to see if who ends up with who.  It is crazy and I'll be losing brain cells.  I'll be crocheting at least while I'm doing it so there is one redeeming factor.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wastral for a Day

Saturday was busy with tasks and a nap.  Sunday, I was a wastral.  I did next to nothing and didn't really care that I accomplished nothing.

In the morning, Ken and I went to the new and bigger Aldi's grocery store.  We had a coupon and needed several items so went to shop.  He put gas in my car and we came home.  From that point on, I did nothing.

I watched Bomb Girls which is an interesting show about women who worked in the bomb building factory in the 1940s.  Vicki has been trying to get me to watch this one and I was tired with absolutely no ambition.  I watched while Ken did the football thing.  I'm pretty sure he put stuff away too. 

I have crochet projects.  I had every intention of crocheting but the hook seemed too heavy and the patterns too complicated.  I could have read a book but my kindle was too heavy to hold up. 

I curled up under the blanket and watched the show.  I didn't think I was all that invested in them.  They are good but not great.  I planned to go to bed early because I had a bad night on Saturday night (lots of pain and didn't sleep much).  When it got to be 9:00 ish, I ended up saying I can't stop here.  I have to watch one more.  I did watch just one more. 

The show was interesting.  I was a little turned off by the one scene early in the epsiodes where a woman is scalped by the assembly line (her hair gets caught in a moving hook) but I generally don't like gore. 

At one point, I worked on the checkbook - writing in the grocery and gas costs.  I made a point of grabbing my orange pen to do editing.  The pen got really heavy between the office and the living room.

I curled up, watched the show and spent the day as a wastral. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Quiet Life

Ken and I lead a quiet life.  We go to work.  We come home and are home bodies.  He does stuff around the house.  I write and crochet.  Rarely do we go out to socialize.

Yesterday my boss had a holiday party at his house.  It was fun to get together with the people in our department, see their spouses, and be outside the work setting.

Normally when it comes to large gatherings I get anxious.  I am almost always nervous and cranky because of the nerves.  Even though there were a lot of people, I didn't feel that way ahead of time.  It was just nice.  I sat and spoke with people as they rotated around me.  I got snippets of conversations from all sorts of people.  I stepped outside my comfort zone and had a good time.

While I enjoyed myself, I still prefer our quiet life.  Yesterday morning we spent running errands, helping my mom with legal documents, and getting ready for the party.  This morning we ran more errands and got gas in my car.  My plan for the day is to take it easy.  I may crochet or read or edit or write.  I haven't quite decided yet.

It was a rough night last night for me with lots of pain and restlessness because of it so I'm feeling a little lethargic today.  Ken will watch football.  I will be a bit putzy.  We are back to our quiet life.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Six Days...

Last Friday I worked on changes for the fourth Wayfarer novel and came up with a splendid opening for the fifth book. 

Over the last six days, I've been busy.  Monday I had 22,000 words in the fifth novel.  This was not my intention, though it was certainly a nice surprise.  There are times when I'm writing that I know the story is going really well.  I can't get the words out fast enough and as I'm writing I know that every step I take is the right one.  That's how this one went.  Four I struggled a little in places, rewrote some scenes, added in to the rough draft, but this one.... this one was a dream.  There were nights I was mad because I had to go to sleep in order to get up for my day job.

Last night I spend an hour putzing because I was trying to think how I wanted to do a scene.  I was annoyed with myself because I had written myself into this scene and there was no way around it.  It was supposed to be the culmination of a plot from multiple books. 

I did wha tI normally do when I'm feeling grumbly about a scene.  I called one of my daughters.  I rambled around the topic and the options and eventually decided on a method for handling the scene.  Since I finished writing it at 12:30 last night, I don't know how well it worked.  My test readers have it and will tell me if I need to change it.  I'll read it and decide if I need to change it. 

There is one scene after, maybe two little scenes, in which the two main characters are together.  I went for a little funny, a little romantic, and hope that it worked well. 

Now all my test readers - I'm working on a different series for the next month.  No nagging for the sixth Wayfarer.  It isn't even in my head .... yet....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Late Night or Early Morning

It has been a week of late nights and last night I stayed up writing (and waiting on my computer to shut down) until Ken got up. 

Ironically, he always asks me why I'm still up.  It's a silly question because mostly I stay up writing.  It could also be that I can't sleep but lately it's that I'm writing. 

I'm working on the fifth Wayfarer novel.  The fourth one is done and needs editing but I've been really busy with writing the fifth one.  I did some rewrites on Friday to the fourth one.  I sent them off to my test readers and they liked them.  After I was done with the rewrites, I realized I knew the perfect opening for the fifth book.  I wrote it hoping it would get it started and get it out of my head so I could work on other things.

I wrote it and the next scene seemed to follow in its heels.  And the next... and the next... and - well you get the idea.  I now have 42,000 words written and two more scenes to write.  One will be a big scene with lots of smaller scenes leading up to the culminating scene.  The other will be a summing up scene, not quite an epilogue but a scene that says essentially - hey this is where we're at and maybe hints at what comes next. 

Hopefully when I'm done with the obsession five has become I'll be able to go to the last Defenders book and finish it.  Unless the sixth Wayfarer takes over my brain, that is entirely possible.  I'm going to try to put my foot down though because I don't want to have three books to edit in one series. 

Two of my test readers are cranking at me to finish the fifth book.  They apparently want to read it.  Of course they will read it and ask for the sixth book.  It is just a neverending round of demands from them.  They are such slave drivers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Family Discussions

Ken and I have been working on paperwork for in case of situations.  We have two power of attorneys done.  We're going to work on the other two documents I posted about previously. 

It was interesting to hear what my daughters had to say about the legal documents.  It is always a touche topic when you are talking about who will be in charge of what.  Certainly there is no indicators of favoritism or even trust. 

I trust all of my daughters to do the right thing.  I trust them all to manage our wishes the way we would want.  The problem is, it is a burden.  I'm reading these documents.  In case I'm in a vegatative state what happens. 

One would hope that if I'm in that state my daughters are going to be emotionally upset so making difficult decisions like not hooking me up to tubes to sustain life would be difficult.  We tends to want to cling to people we love, not letting them move forward or move on.  How do you look at the loved one in the bed and not want to do everything possible to save them? 

This is why these documents are so important.  Here are my wishes is basically what the documents are saying.  Here are my wishes and you have a legal obligation to follow them. 

That means if my daughters are emotionally distraught when I'm laying in this hypothetical vegatative state, they don't have to think.  They just have to follow directions.  It isn't that simple but it makes it easier - I hope. 

I know some people will read this and be uncomfortable with the topic.  We all are going to die eventually. Isn't it better to go into that time prepared and having things in order so your family is prepared and doesn't have to make decisions that are difficult. 

A friend of mine died years ago.  It was sudden and tragic.  I remember speaking with her mother about the disposition of her body.  Did she want to be buried or cremated?  Her mother wasn't sure what her daughter wanted and as her best friend she wanted to know what I thought.  I don't know that I was in any better state than her mother was but we worked through it.  I remember feeling more upset because I didn't know and I wanted to make sure my friend was honored. 

That's why the paper work is important.  That's why it's important for the discussions to happen. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Times Awasting

I need a clone.  With all my responsibilities, I need a clone or a longer day or to somehow stop time so I can get more done.

This morning I spent two hours working on the business end of writing.  Mostly I compiled data about sales so I could see how that would help me for marketing.  I told Vicki yesterday that I'm getting steady sales with an average of about 45 books a month for the last three months.  This is great as I'm just getting started but at the same time I have done very little marketing.  The thing for me is to figure out how to market and where to spend my money for marketing.

This led to another analysis of sales - which books are selling the best.  By knowing which book is selling the best I can either choose to put more money into marketing that book (because it is popular) or I can choose to let it grow on it's own (because it is popular).

When I'm done with this blog, I'll be heading to the recliner to put my foot up because my foot is doing better and I want to keep it that way.  While in the recliner, I can write and listen to music or crochet while I watch tv or listen to a book.  I'll probably write for a time because I have a new book going and there are scenes I want to work on.  If Ken and I opt to watch something together I'll try to pull out my crocheting but we usually do that when we're eating so I might be busy eating.

If only I had a second me, I could work on all of it at once.  I have three crochet projects started and several in the works.  I have a half dozen writing projects started and actively working on plus all the other ones that aren't being actively worked on.

It promises to be a full day one way or another and that is with only the writing and crocheting demands.  Two of my daughters just bought a house so they are calling with questions.  My sister is writing a paper so she will want me to edit it for her.  I'll slide those in because it's family and they are important.

We've been watching West Wing and in their they're always saying - "What's next?" That is my life right now.  I'm done with this so what's next.    

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Necessary Documents

With my mother's recent hospital stay, I've been digging into what legal documents you should have in place just because.  This is an uncomfortable topic because it involves conversations about what happens if you are incapacitated or dead.

First I'm not a lawyer so this isn't legal advice.  This is me telling you - this is what I've learned.

The one most people know about is the will.  You should have your will updated regularly.  This helps to ensure that your stuff gets distributed the way you want it to.  Now anyone can contest a will but hopefully your heirs will respect your wishes.

There are two power of attorney documents you should consider having as well.  The first is for health care.  It is simply who will make decisions about your health care if you can't.  The other one is for your finances.  This is the person you want taking care of your money when you're incapacitated.

A living will sounds like a regular will but it isn't.  It is a document that states what happens if you are in a vegetative state.  Again this is so your wishes are followed when you can't say what your wishes are.

For Wisconsin there is also a document about the disposition of your body.  Obviously, you're dead so this is telling people what you want to happen to your body once you're gone.  

Like most other people I am guilty of not having these in place.  I have a will but it is thirty years old, two of my daughters weren't even born when Ken and I had them made up.  The other documents don't exist yet.

I will be rectifying this.  I'm going to sit down with Ken and we are going to create these documents.  It won't be hard because all I have to do is go to google and type in power of attorney wisconsin and all sorts of things come up.  Mostly though I'm looking for the ones the government gives out for free.  I get the four (not the will) from there.  The other thing I'm going to do is find our current wills and use that format to create new wills.

After we get them all done, we just need signatures, notary (I think) and witnesses.  But we won't be done yet.  The final step is to distribute all of the documents to our daughters.  This way they know what we want and have a copy so they can be responsible and not have to make the tough decisions when they are upset because we have croaked.  At least I hope they are upset - maybe not - depends on how much we've annoyed them... (That's humor - sick and demented but still humor).

It is hard to talk about this stuff for a lot of people because no one wants to talk about death and ultimate this is a conversation about death.  However, in order to make sure you have your wishes followed this is necessary.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Finished the next Wayfarer novel.  It still needs work since it is just the first draft.  I don't even have a name for it.  I will soon though.  My first test reader finished it last night and she pointed out some flaws.  I will be fixing those as I work through the edits.  I'm sure the other two test readers will come up with other suggestions as well.

I've gone back to the Defenders series.  I have one more book to write to finish that story - I think.  I started rereading the last book so I can get back in the groove with the story.  I'm hoping to finish that in the next few weeks. 

My test reader finished the fourth Wayfarer and said where's the next one so I have to think about the next plot and how I'm going to work in the details and subplots. 

My gout decided to flare last night.  My left foot is unpleasant today.  I've changed my regime to hopefully nip it in the butt early.  I'm fairly certain it is stress related so I need to find some zen moments. 

I'm hoping for a calm weekend with lots of time to do writing and crocheting this weekend.  I think it will help to settle things down.  I've also been making a point of sleeping more as I seem to be needing that. 

It comes back to finding the balance in everything.  I'm working on it but it is an ongoing struggle.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Nag, nag, nag

Two of my three test readers for the Wayfarer series are nagging me to finish the story.  I can't help that there is more in the last chapter than I would have thought.  I have to tell the whole story and not leave out the good bits. 

This means they have to have patience.  I thought I'd finish it last night but I got distracted by other tasks.  One of these things was a conversation with one of the readers. 

I am hoping the ending will be good.  I have an exciting scene in my head that I want to include but I'll see if I can make it play out. 

In the meanwhile, I've had requests for two hats and a few other crochet things.  I probably should work on my daughter's afghan which I haven't worked on in a while. 

My mother is resting comfortably if not patiently.  She wants to get up and go like she did before her stroke but the doctors are telling her to take it easy.  I understand the anxiousness to be back to regular routine but there is also the matter of taking care of yourself. 

This next weekend I'm hoping for some writing time so I can work on marketing and writing.  I need to do both so I'll have to see how things go.  I have another crochet booklet I want to get out there for production.  I'm hoping it will be a productive weekend. 

This week I've been struggling with a lot of pain in my legs, partly due to stress from all the stuff over the weekend, and partly due to the overwork from driving and doing stairs on Saturday.  It slows me down and wears me out but I'll do what I need to in order to get better.

Hopefully - fingers crossed - Virginia and Stephanie close on their house today.  They are waiting on one form and if that gets delivered they can still close today.  It is exciting for them to buy their very first house!  I'm hoping for a call saying they are owners at some point today!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

To do is getting done

I'm nearing the end of a manuscript, I am pretty sure I'll finish with the chapter I'm on.  The problem is there is a lot to fit into this chapter.  I have story lines to finish, plot lines to clean up, and a murder to solve. 

This book has been a little different for me as I've worked it in bits and pieces with the crazy schedule I've had in the last month.  Normally when I work on a Wayfarer book I take two weeks and zip through the story. 

I have three people (my test readers) who are begging me for the next installment for this series.  I don't know if they are going to like this one as I delved into different storylines but I'm sure they will tell me if they don't.

On another task on my to do list, I got all the presents ready over the weekend (with the help of Ken) and brought them into the office.  It was a nice little thing for the people to get after the long weekend. 

Friday while I was down in Indiana with Vicki, I got my hair cut and donated 12".  I now have short hair.  I don't hate it.  I know that sounds odd but I'm so used to the long hair that going short is quite a change. 

We had fun at JoAnn Fabrics again.  All the yarn I bought was on sale.  Between coupons and sales, I paid half price (or less) for every item.  Vicki got a bunch of flannel super inexpensive.  It was a good couple of hours in the store.  Ken and Vicki went to Menards to look at a few things and both of them came out with goodies from there. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving... a lot to be thankful for...

This Thanksgiving I have a lot to be thankful for.  My daughters are healthy.  Two of them are buying their first house.

The weekend went as planned to a point.  We drove to Vicki's in Indiana on Wednesday night.  I was disappointed Virginia and Stephanie couldn't get time off to come up but understand that between new job for Virginia and the new house they couldn't make it.

Thursday was good with cooking, hanging out with Vicki, and checking in with the girls in Georgia.  Friday Vicki and I went to JoAnn's for their sale.  The morning was fun with yarn shopping and fabric shopping for Vicki.  Ken sat in the car waiting as we shopped.  He is a very patient man - mostly.

We went to Menards next as they had some things on sale that Ken and Vicki wanted. I wrote in my journal and listened to music.

Friday evening my sister, Alicia called.  My mother suffered a stroke Friday morning.  It was mild and didn't do a lot of damage.  Alicia was busy running errands in the morning but when she got home she noticed mom was a little off.  She took her to urgent care who then sent them to emergency and they did their thing and ended up sending mom to the hospital.  Fortunately this is all in one building.

It is hell being three states away when someone you love is suffering and you just want to go to her.  Normally I would be ten minutes from where she was being treated and could have gone to offer support.  I'm grateful that Alicia and my niece Cristina kept me up-to-date while we were so far away.

After many phone calls apprising me of the situation, we opted to cut our visit a little short and come home about six hours earlier than we had planned.  We got back to town and immediately went to gather with the family.

One of my sister's gave me a run down of how mom was and what the occupational therapist had to say.  It was a relief to hear the information.  We opted not to go visit mom on Saturday night because there was a line of people who all visited her.  We were concerned about taxing her when she needed rest.  Other people were taking care of her, keeping her company.

Today we went over and spent a long time with her.  The doctor came in and the physical therapist came in while I was there.  They were very encouraging and positive about mom's condition.

Tonight I'm grateful to my husband and my daughters who offered their support to me while I was stressed and worried about my mother.  While driving back from Indiana, Ken held my hand while I cried.  I kept flashing back to when my grandmother was in the hospital before she died.  We all lined up in the waiting room for our turn to visit with her.  The comfort of his hand in mine, the strength that he gave me with just holding my hand helped me push those memories away and deal with what was going on rather than the sad memories of losing my grandmother.

My daughters have listened to long conversations about the situation up here.  They have offered their love and support for which I'm very grateful.

Most important, I'm grateful that my mother is doing well and moving towards recovery.  I know she is determined and strong enough to come back from this.  I am glad the medical professionals took good care of her and are helping her recover.

Monday, November 24, 2014


There is a moment when you're writing that you just KNOW what you've written is wrong.  Last night I wrote from 7:00 until 12:00.  I was tooling along, the words were flowing, and things seemed to be going okay until I realized I'd lost my characters and changed them from who they were into completely different people. 

I started a scene and it ran away from me.  I couldn't stop.  After writing 3300 words, I realized I had completely changed how my characters react and interact.  I've had this feeling before and the best course of action is to let it be and come back to it later. 

I shut down my computer.  I got ready for bed and realized I couldn't leave them hanging there.  I went back and started tinkering with the scene.  I hated it even more.  I opted to undo all the redos so it went back to the original I had when I shut down in the first place. 

Then I couldn't sleep.  I knew the story had gone terribly wrong but I wasn't sure where it had gone terribly wrong.  I lay in the dark thinking about it.  This is never a good thing - at least for my being able to sleep.  Eventually I realized I needed to go back to the first scene I had written and change the way a conversation went.  This was where I'd gone wrong.

Finally I knew what I needed to do so I was able to eventually get to sleep.  This morning I woke up and knew exactly what I needed to keep and get rid of all the 3300 words I'd written.  Now I just have to find the time to actual do the changes and get them back on track. 

My characters are probably milling about saying - what is she doing to us?  Fortunately, my inner editor will be able to rescue them from the complete disaster I made of the last two scenes.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dragon Lord's Mate

This is my newest novel out.  The cover art is done by TJ Jahns.  She is amazing and talented.

Here is a description of the book:
Dragon Lord Arius must find his mate. During spring rites, he claims Pena, a healer from the Plains. He likes her small body, flame hair, and spunk. Pena wants nothing to do with the Dragon Lord. She wants love. She longs for long and comfort. Arius carries her away from her Plains village to be plundered like the days of old.

Arius saves her life from a large and deadly adder only to have Pena save his life from the deadly bite. In the healing, Pena loses her heart and gains a great love. Arius discovers the woman he lusted after has more depth and skill. He loses his heart to her. Binding her to him, and himself to her, he performs an ancient rite of fertility.

Upon returning to Measc Realta, the Dragon Lord's home, Pena settles into being Lady of the Keep. The people of the mountains love their new lady and cherish her healing skills.

An old enemy for Pena and for the Dragon Clan rises in power. Indirez, connected to the shadow dragon, tries to steal Pena's power and ruin the burgeoning love between Arius and Pena.

Betrayal, courage, strength, all help Pena and Arius face the challenges and danger that invades their town and their clan.

It is available on Amazon and Smashwords in ebook format and by the end of the week will have a paperback as well.

My other books are available.  If you want to know where, go to my website and check out the links:

Friday, November 21, 2014

End of the Week

This week and last were so busy at my day job.  Registration is a stressful and busy time of the year.  This year was of course no different.  By midday yesterday I was tired and ready for the weekend. 

Last night I worked on presents while I listened to an audio book.  The projects were simple and basic which was about all my brain could handle the last two nights.  I did get quite a bit done and am pleased with my progress. 

The yarn I ordered from Herrschners is nearly all used up.  I have eight skeins left I think.  I got some different yarn I'd not worked with before and enjoyed it very much. 

My weekend will include more crocheting as well as processing of a book.  I have one more book which I think is on it's last edits that I want to get out.  I hope to get that done this weekend but only time will tell. 

I finally finished the short story I was working on and got that submitted.  Now I'll have to see if I win.  I'm trying to put it out of my mind until they announce. 

Virginia has asked for the fourth book in the Wayfarer series for her birthday.  This would be okay if I actually had time to write.  I'd love to finish it.  I'm about 18,000 words into it and like where it's going. 

Presents and writing those are my two activities for the most part for the weekend.  I'm hoping to destress from two weeks of registration.  Let go of some of the tension and just enjoy the crocheting and writing. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Too Little Sleep, Too Much To Do

Late night calls reduced the amount of sleep I got over the weekend but it was my girls so of course I took the calls.  This meant after a long day at work, I was tired and wanted nothing more than to go home to bed. 

I know myself well enough to know that if I go to bed at six at night, I'll be up by midnight and grumpy the entire next day.  I opted to work on a gift and listen to a book. 

Sunday while I worked on projects, I watched Finding Your Roots, Person of Interest, NCIS LA, and Elementary.  Most of which I didn't really enjoy.  The first three shows were good but Elementary was predictable - so not a Sherlock Holmes story.  By the time I was done catching up on shows, I was grumpy and annoyed.  I felt like I hadn't made enough progress on crocheting and that watching the shows was mostly a waste of time.

This meant that last night I opted for the book.  I look at Cast in Peril and just couldn't get into it.  It is very slow to start and I'm a little disappointed.  I swapped over to Vengeance in Death.  While I worked on a crochet project, again writing my own patter, I listened to the new book. 

My crochet project I started about six times.  First it was too narrow.  Second I wasn't liking the yarn I had chosen.  Once I had the right yarn and the right width it was easy enough to snap pictures as I worked.  I got about halfway through and just wanted to close my eyes and go to sleep.  However, I finished it.  I like it enough that I'll make it into a leaflet to sell the pattern. 

Tonight I have one more of a similar style project to work on and then I'll see where I am with gifts.  I'm making progress in getting them done.  Once they are done, I'll be able to go back to writing more at night. 

I've got a manuscript I need to do last edits on, create a cover for, and go through production.  I've got two manuscripts I'm partway through writing, I'd love to finish at least one of them.  The other I'm not sure is going to make the cut.  I need to finish writing it and pass it on to my testers.  It is a different genre than I normally write so I'm not sure it is good enough to publish. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Crochet Patterns

Vicki has been encouraging me to put my crochet patterns up for sale.  It makes sense.  I make up the patterns and then I forget them.  This forces me to write them down and document them so when someone says they like something I can easily (I hope) create the item again.

Dish Towel with Hanger:
This is a good one.  I've made countless ones and get requests from certain people for more.  It is great to make for housewarming or wedding shower gifts. I've made these for most of my nieces and nephews who I hope are using them.  It takes a couple of hours and is fairly easy to create.

Woven Winter Scarf:
This turned out really well.  I'm very pleased with this one.  It is a gift and I hope the person doesn't visit my blog to see it.  It's made from worsted weight yarn so it is warm.  Additionally I made it with Wisconsin in mind so it is wider and longer.  That way when the arctic blast hits us, the person can wrap it around her face and try to stay warm and protected.

These are available on Smashwords and Amazon for only 99 cents.  I've also posted them on my web site if you want to take a closer look at them.

I'm working on three or four new patterns so there may be new patterns showing up soon - it just depends on how nice they turn out.

On another note, I started organizing all the gifts I have done and I'm about half done so that is a good thing.  I still have to do the wrapping which is never my strong suit.  I have them organized, it is just a matter of getting them done.

I also got a package from Herrschners on Friday.  It had such lovely things in it.  I'm looking forward to working with the yarn I got and seeing what sort of mischief I can cause with it.  Is there anything better than a bag full of yarn?  Probably but not to a crafting addict like me.

Winter has definitely arrived

This morning we woke up to white lawns instead of green.  It has been cold all week and we've had flurries but nothing stuck.  Last night we got enough and it was cold enough that it stuck.

I'm working at my desk today and looking out at huge snow flakes and chunks of snow falling from the tree.  It is pretty.  I'm also not out in the cold.  This is Wisconsin weather.

I've listened all week to people complaining about the cold and the snow.  My feeling is - this is November what did you expect?  Also we have a lot of winter to get through so you better suck it up because we probably won't see a lot of warm pleasant weather until March (maybe February if we are lucky) or April or later.

There is something magical about the first significant snowfall for me.  It seems to make things slow down, cover up the bumps in the land, smooth things over.  Ken has a fire going in the fireplace and it is a good time to cuddle in to work on crocheting or reading a book (or both if I listen to a book while I crochet).

For me, it is a quieter time of year, spent inside, doing homey things and spending more time with my family (well okay Ken because the girls are not home anymore).

Like everyone else, I'm not fond of the cold but it is the other parts of the winter that I like.  The beauty of the season is astounding with white contrasting with the dark brown of the trees.  The glistening of icicles in the winter light is breathtaking.  The darkness that covers the land feels like a warm blanket, comforting and cuddling.

I don't love driving in the snow and ice.  I don't love worrying about whether this storm is going to be one I need to stay home for or if I can make it to (and from) work without it being dangerous.  I do love the landscape and the energy of the season.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Disabled Shouldn't Mean Unable

First let me say, I don't like to burden people or even businesses.  Part of the reason I don't go shopping is because it is too hard in a lot of stores for me to get around.  I use a scooter to move around.

I went to one of my favorite places to shop and I don't think I'll be going back there.  This makes me sad.  JoAnn in Janesville is a nice store, carries a variety of items I like to wander through, has a different variety than Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

I have two difficulties.  Their doors aren't automatic so when I go by myself, I have to struggle to open the door to get in and out.  Now I've found that the people who go to craft stores are really nice and I've almost always had someone offer to open the door for me.

The second difficulty happened today.  I'm always concerned about the aisle width as I'm riding on a scooter.  Today the aisles were so narrow Ken had to move things so I could make turns and even get down the aisles.

In fact, if Ken hadn't gone with me (which is what we both prefer - he hates craft shopping and I hate craft shopping with him), I wouldn't have been able to get to the items I wanted to purchase.

I called the manager and got a "we'll work on that" and "all you have to do is ask" response.  I felt like she fobbed off my concerns.  If you want my business, you will make it so I can get around in your store.  I can manage the door but I can't manage or don't want to have to rearrange your damn store so I can get through to what I want to look at.

I'm not a big shopper in the first place but this just makes it even harder for me to think about shopping.  If I can't get around in your store, I can't buy your products.  I thought stores wanted me to spend my money in them.  Apparently not in some cases.

Friday, November 14, 2014

On Track - ish

Back on schedule - sort of - last night I worked on seven small projects and got them done.  I didn't finish the one project because I want to take the time to lay it out and experiment with the next step.  I want to lay it flat and look it over. 

I also listened to six chapters of my book - Ceremony in Death.  I am enjoying it and actually remember more of this one, including bits of the ending so it is a comfortable read. 

On Goodreads, I'm noticing I have two books I've had there a while.  One is Cast in Peril which I'm trying to listen to (Damn Vicki for telling me the next book in the in Death series) and the other is the paranormal romance I have a hard time getting through.  I need to just barrell my way through it and finish it.  I'm disappointed in the author because I feel I can't finish the over arching story because of the extreme violence she has in the beginning of the story.  I'll get there eventually.

Tonight will be bill paying, crocheting and then I will either watch some stuff on the PBS station or I will listen to more of my book.  This weekend I want to work on projects but I've got a story banging around in my head.  I also have two manuscripts ready for production.  I have a short story I want to finish the edits on so I can submit it to the contest. 

It is also a pay week which means we have to get grocery shopping and other errands done.  One of the things I want to do is get gift bags so I can start packaging up the gifts I've been making.  I have to pick up a button to finish one project.  This means a trip to the craft store which I have a number of coupons for and I'd love to spend some time in. 

All these other things means I'm not writing or working on crocheting but they are probably necessary things to get done.  At the very least this weekend will be busy. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Out the Window... completely...

I'm one step away from finishing a project.  I just have one small step before I am done.  It will probably take me an hour.  Last night I was supposed to finish the project off and start on other projects for presents. 

This did not happen.  In my head (my damn brain never stops working), I had a scene I wanted to get written.  It kept playing over and over.  I couldn't stop thinking about it. 

I meant to work on the project but I got distracted.  I opened my computer and started writing the scene.  I meant to work for an hour or so and switch over to the project. 

My sister called to ask me stuff.  I talked to her for a little bit before returning to my scene.  My friend called for a little bit.  She wanted me to read the scene to her.  I read a small bit to her before she said I should just email it to her.  I went back to writing.  I wanted to finish the scene before moving on to the project.

My middle daughter called to talk.  We chatted and she called me out on being distracted.  I was, I wanted to write my scene so I could get to my project. 

By the time I was done with all the phone calls and the scene, I was too tired to finish the project.  I will finish the project tonight.  I will.  I'm determined. 

Unless of course the scenes that are bouncing around in my head demand to be written, in which case, I might not finish the project until this weekend.  In which case, my plan will go out the window again....

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Falling in Love - again - With Crochet

Crocheting is amazing and beautiful.  I love it when I set out with a plan and it works out.  I’m working on a project (gift for a student worker) and I don’t have a pattern.  It is coming from somewhere in my odd little brain. 

After several false starts, I got a pattern worked out that I liked.  This is going to be a two-step project but I had the colors on hand for the project and I am loving how it is turning out.  Granted I’m done with the first step and I’m pleased with the initial results.  Now hopefully the rest goes as smoothly and as easily.  I’m going to try a couple of different techniques to see how I feel about the look of it. 

I’m using Herrschners Worsted 8 that I got this year for my birthday.  The yarn has a beautiful texture.  It’s soft and warm.  Additionally the colors are vibrant and striking. 

Since I’ve been writing so much, I’ve not had yarn in my hands.  It has been good to feel the yarn slide through my fingers as I crochet.  The indentation on my index finger is back as well.  I wrap the yarn around that finger.  I never notice the indentation being made but I’ll look at my hand and there it is. 

While I crochet, I’ve been listening to audio books.  This is a matter of killing two birds with one stone – or more to the point getting two things done in the space of the same amount of time.  I can listen to a book for hours while I make gifts.  The audio book allows me to get lost in the story while I’m crafting.  I can keep my eyes on my work while I listen.  I love it. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What do we really know about gout?

I have gout.  It is painful and difficult when it flares.  I’m stuck unable to walk and do normal activities like drive.

Over the weekend I spent time with my brother-in-law who also has gout.  We were talking about what sets off our gout.  He told me turkey sets off his gout.  I was surprised to hear this because turkey doesn’t set off my gout. 

  • Limit meet, poultry and fish
  • Cut back on fat
  • Limit or avoid alcohol
  • Limit or avoid foods sweetened with high fructose corn syrup
  • Choose complex carbohydrates
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products
  • Drink plenty of fluids particularly water 

Basically, I can’t eat anything.  Okay fruits and vegetables are good.  It does say that poultry is better the beef. 

Here’s the thing.  I know when I eat a lot of beef or chocolate or drink a lot of Coke, I have a flare of my gout.  This means I eat beef only occasionally – i.e. once a month or once every couple of months. 

When I get stressed out I lean towards chocolate.  When I get headaches that don’t go away, I lean towards Coke (from McDonalds is most effective).  The problem is these things are really bad for me.  I guess I’ll have to keep trying and see what I need to keep out of my diet and what I can keep.  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hermit Grumbling

Finished another student worker gift and am half done with another, as well as discovered I'm more productive listening to an audio book than I am watching tv.  This is probably due to my not having to look up to see what's going on while I'm listening to a book.

Last night Ken and I went to supper with two of my sisters, a nephew, uncle, mom and brother-in-law.  It was a good supper and a good time with the people.  I thoroughly enjoyed being with the people.

Having said that, when I was getting ready to go all I wanted to do was stay home and keep working on my stuff.  I was grumbly about having to go outside my house and my comfort zone of being a hermit to go out to supper.

Now I do laugh at myself because we did have a good time and a good meal.  It was really nice to spend time with Aimee and Jerry because we don't get a lot of time with them.  I enjoy their company and can have a good conversation with them.  It was just me being grumbly about going out.

Today the plan is to stay in all day.  Yes I'm going to be a hermit and work on writing and on crocheting.  I want to finish the student worker gift I'm working on and hopefully start the last one.  I have an idea in my head and I want to see if I can make it work out like I see it in my head.

I've been entering the Writer's of the Future contest every quarter.  This quarter I haven't entered because I didn't love my choice for entering.  I have taken a lot of criticism on the piece and I'm not sure it is up to par for submitting.  Then last night I had a really good idea for a piece that might work out nicely - going to see if I can crank it out in the word limit they have.

It promises to be a full day with crocheting and writing.  There is so much I want to get done and I know I'll be lucky to get like half of it done.  On a positive note, I'm now reading Rapture in Death and enjoying it thoroughly.

Not sure what Ken's plans are for the day but he grumbled something about chores he wanted to get done.  I know he got out the snow blower because they were calling for six inches.  With it being weather, they have of course changed their minds on that.  But the lawn mower is put away and the snow blower is out.  We are switching gears with the season.

Come check out my web site and the books I have available at:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Crocheting to an Audio Book

Books are amazing.  They take you to a place you can't go on your own whether it is in the future, the past, a distant location, or some other fantasy.  I adore a well told story.

Last night I worked on crocheting again.  I spent four hours working on gifts and got two and a half gifts done.  At the same time I listened to a book.  There is something about having a book read to you that is just entrancing to me.

I find I crochet more, getting more accomplished while I listen to an audio book.  I finished off Immortal in Death and thoroughly enjoyed the entire book.  Today I want to work on more gifts.  This means I'll be finishing the half gift from last night and then I have a larger gift to work on for a student worker who is graduating.

I'll have one more (I think) to finish for student workers and she asked me for something warm as she hates the cold of winter.  I'll work on something for her next.

After that I'll be working on gifts for my faculty.  I've got a huge stash and I'm hoping to be able to pull out of my stash to create all sorts of goodies for them.  I'll have to see what colors I have and such.  I also have new books that I want to try different projects so I guess they are going to be guinea pigs for my crocheting.  I hope they don't mind.

For this weekend, I'm hoping to finish the student worker projects and maybe a little bit of writing projects.  I have to copy stuff over from my flash drive and see what the plan is for the day.  Ken has already run errands and I didn't have to go with.

I've decided that at heart I must be a hermit because once I get into my house, I just want to stay in my house and not go wandering around too much.  It's good to snuggle in - especially as we are getting colder - and just work on projects at home.

I'm going to make sure I take pictures of the projects I'm doing and I'll post them after I've given the gifts.  It is definitely a colorful year for gifts.  I like almost all the colors I have been working with and when I look in the bag of gifts that are done it is great to see the rainbow.

If you're looking for a good gift to give, check out my books at my site:

Friday, November 7, 2014


My life is all about juggling the different aspects of it.  I'm working on a story that is pounding in my head and wanting out.  I have 11,000 plus words done in it already.  I'm also working on holiday gifts of which I have about thirty to make. 

Thursdays are my early day to leave.  I get off work an hour earlier which means I'm home earlier and have more time with Ken.  Last night I spent it with him, eating supper, watching West Wing, and crocheting. 

By nine last night, I had two gifts done and had listened to a couple of hours of my book.  I have three hours left in the book and am hoping to finish it tonight, along with a couple more gifts.  Right now I'm working on the gifts for student workers.  Once I have their gifts done (hopefully this weekend) I'll start on the faculty gifts. 

I could have worked longer last night and started a third gift.  I thought about it but opted for sleep instead.  This week has been a good sleeping week for me with me actually having a couple of nights where I get more than two hours at a time. 

As I was crocheting last night I was thinking about the things I have to get done today.  In order to remember them all, I texted my email a list of what I wanted to remember.  Once I get home, I'll be tackling that list before I go back to crocheting and listening to my book. 

My daughter - have I mentioned that my kids can be a bit smart ass? - my daughter told me the name of the next book in the series.  I told her I wanted to try to listen to a different book once I was done with the current one I'm listening to.  She laughed at me.  This does not seem appropriately respectful but not an uncommon occurrence.  Now of course I know the name of the next book in the series, I'll want to read it. 

To be honest, I am digging the story of Eve and Rourke.  JD Robb (i.e Nora Roberts) is a master crafter of this story and I am thoroughly enjoying it - again.  I think this is the third or fourth time I've read through the entire story.

I'll get to the other books eventually.  I hope I will.  I'm sure it will happen eventually.  I'll get tired of the JD Robb ones - there are a couple in the series I'm not so thrilled with - and then I'll switch over.  However, my goal is to finish Immortal in Death and then switch to Cast in Peril.  I just don't know if that will work as my inner reader rules when it comes to what I listen to. 

Ken and I were talking about the schedule for the weekend.  We only have one commitments so that means a quiet weekend - hopefully.  I'm hoping Sunday will be a good day to sit and crochet all day - hopefully finish a number of projects and gifts. 

Saturday I'm hoping to work on manuscripts but I'll have to see what all we decide to do.  Ken was talking about errands.  It will depend on what and when he wants to do them.  I have a stack of coupons I have to sort out - some for me and some for the girls.  At some point I'd like to clear off the couch as it is filled with manuscripts, crocheting, mail, and other random things.  Maybe I should make a to do list?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rhythm of Life

It occurs to me that I listen to a lot of classical music.  I've been teased about it.  In my office, I work with students who are probably thirty years younger than me.  I always tell them they are welcome to put on music they like (within reason for appropriateness for a work setting). 

Almost all of my student workers have told me they like classical music.  This always surprises me that they are interested in this type of music.  I don't know why, my daughters also like classical music though I don't believe they listen to it often. 

The rhythm of my days is working for nine hours, listening to all the things I have to at work from faculty requests to students who need assistance to student workers who need help as they learn new tasks.  My day is spent giving to all of these groups and more.  I enjoy my job but at the end of the day, I'm happy to have a change in rhythm.

I go home, talk to my husband, spend an hour or so with him before he goes to bed.  This is a different rhythm.  It is a slower pace, a quieter pace where we focus on each other. 

Then I get my time.  It doesn't matter if I'm writing or crocheting or what.  This time has a pace all of its own.  The last few nights have all been about listening to an audio book and crocheting.  It is easy, peaceful, rejuvenating.  The flow of my day feeds into the change of pace and change of activity. 

There are smatterings of other things.  I could spend an hour or more talking on the phone with my girls or a friend or some family member.  I could spend the night sitting in the dark thinking (yeah I know this sounds odd but it works for me).  I could spend the night writing battles or love scenes.  All of these have a different rhythm but mostly it is the rhythm that helps me wind down and relax. 

When I listen to classical music, I find it fits in with my mood the best.  It becomes a harmony to the melody of whatever I'm doing.  What I'm doing changes but the basic rhythm is there underneath all the craziness of my life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Two Down

I started listening to Cast in Peril last night and just wasn't into it.  I changed over to Immortal in Death and was instantly involved and engaged.  At the same time I worked on two of the gifts I need to get done. 

I managed to get the two gifts done.  Tonight will be starting a new gift.  It was fun to listen to a book and crochet.  I enjoyed the time and it passed quickly.  After I was done crocheting, I lay in the dark listening to the story until I forced myself to stop. 

This is one of the reasons I don't read at night because when I'm involved in a book I don't want to put the book down.  However, I was good last night and turned the book off around ten.  If this continues to engage me then I see no problem getting gifts done. 

It was this morning before I realized I hadn't missed writing last night.  I'm working on a story that I'd lost the two scenes on and thought I'd be antsy about not writing but I wasn't.  I guess that shows how a good story can distract you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Change of Focus

Starting tonight, I'm going to crochet instead of working on writing.  I need to get a number of gifts made in the next month. 

This weekend I'll probably work on two manuscripts which are close to being done but during the week this week I'm going to either watch tv and crochet or listen to an audio book.  I have three Michelle Sagara books to catch up on.  I also have a ton of JD Robb and Nora Roberts audio books to read.  I'm sure there are other audio books I can listen to as well.

Interestingly, I was listening to Glory in Death and taking note of certain scenes and how she handled certain types of scenes.  I respect her as a writer so as I'm reading her books I'm also researching writing techniques. 

I guess as I'm listening to the books I'm also doing research on writing techniques.  It will be fun to read a book while I'm crocheting.  Two of my favorite activities will get done all at once. 

It is the whole NaNoWriMo but this month doesn't work for me.  I'll be working on crocheting this month.  I wonder if they have a craft project month?  I'm sure they do - they have a month for everything it seems. 

In all likelihood I'll still work on writing on the weekends.  I will go stir crazy if I don't write, especially since I'm almost done with three manuscripts.  Marketing will have to be a focus.  I need to promote more to a wider audience. 

So the plan - I'll see how well this one works - is to crochet and listen to audio books during the week.  Work on manuscripts on the weekend as well as crocheting and listening to audio books.  In the next month I have to finish a lot of presents, three manuscripts, and keep my sanity.  Well okay - the sanity is probably too much to hope for.  I'll have to see how the plan goes. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Life, Life, Life

Life is what happens when you're planning your life, right?  Unexpectedly, we got to see Virginia this weekend.  It was wonderful to see her but unfortunately, she came home for a funeral of a friend's mother. 

I spent my weekend running around, visiting with people, and accomplishing nothing useful.  I did get some editing done while Virginia was off with her friend. 

Funerals are always difficult.  This time of year is a little rough for me as it is the anniversary of my father's death.  I was pregnant with Vicki at the time.  He was a good man, strong, loving, stubborn, accepting of who I was.  I have to say I've rarely felt as accepted as I did when dad was still here. 

Fall is about endings and most endings I handle just fine.  The ending of my father's life marked me and changed me.  Up until his death, I had experienced death of my grandparents, uncle, cousins, but none of those deaths affected me as much as his.  I miss those people but I miss my dad more. 

Letting go is one of the hardest things we have to do in life.  It is a matter of trusting that when we let go of what we are clinging to that things will be better or we will have a better understanding of whatever we are hanging on to. 

This fall I guess I'm letting go a little more of the grief (yes I still grieve 30 years later) and embracing the memories I have of my father.  I can list off a dozen words to describe him but it doesn't get to the core of how much he loved and cherished his family.  No matter what he accepted and helped us handle what needed to be handled. 

I'm sure he had flaws.  I know he was stubborn and proud.  For me, he listened.  He listened when I felt no one heard.  He hugged when I  needed it and he was firm when I needed that too.  I hope he's proud of who I am and what I've accomplished.  I know he'd love his granddaughters and be excited for their accomplishments. 

Grief is hard, has a hard edge to it and usually eases over time.  There are times when we lose people in our lives who are so dear and precious that the grief never stops but we have to learn to cope with it.  One way I cope is by honoring the person who has passed. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Post Migraine - I hope

Yesterday a migraine ripped through my head making me useless for the day.  By evening my head was less miserable but still not great.  I opted to watch movies while laying in the dark.  It didn't bother my head like trying to crochet or writing. 

I watched Hitch and She's the One.  I haven't seen Hitch in a while and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Will Smith is always pleasant to look at and watch his skill at being silly and romantic.  It made me laugh and relax.  I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Interestingly, I've not written anything in almost three days now.  However, in my head one story keeps popping up and ideas fill my head when I wake up so I'm hoping when I reach a point where I am able to write without my head wanting to explode, I'll be able to move forward quickly on the story.

At one point last night I woke up headache free but when I woke this morning, my head was slamming me again.  Tylenol and caffeine will be my friends today.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Death of an Orange Pen

Yesterday I spent the day with my mother and going through some genealogy stuff.  It was good to look through family memories and mysteries.  We discovered invitations and thank you cards sent to my grandmother that we think come from some cousins but we can't quite place them.  It will be fun to see how it all shakes out.

My sister and uncle came to pick up my mother and stayed to chat.  It was a good time.  Ken and I watched some tv, ate supper, and chatted with the Georgia girls.

I got alone time.  Ken went off to bed.  I tackled a manuscript that needed editing.  My orange pen got put to work as I read through a two hundred page manuscript.  My intention was to go to bed early.  That didn't happen.  I was up until after 12:30 editing.  I looked at my pen and realized it was nearly half gone for ink.  I just got it out in the last month.

Even after I was done editing, I crashed but woke up at 1:30 with a headache.  Yes, the headache woke me up.  I shifted position, took Tylenol and tried to go back to sleep.  I must have slept because I woke up around 6:30 when Ken went out to gas up the two vehicles.

Today I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  I may work on writing, crocheting, or sleeping.  It's Sunday so it is supposed to be a relaxing day.  I've already got a headache with my ears ringing.  It might be a good day to just shut down and do nothing.

Those who know me - stop laughing - I can to do nothing.  It just takes a lot for me to do it.  Doing nothing is hard work.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Sometimes I just want the world to go away and let me be.  When I have a headache it hits me a hundred times harder when I feel this way.  Mostly I want my head to stop hurting so my brain can think and do what it needs to do.

I have a desk full of work and none of it makes sense.  I try to focus on work and it all falls away from me.  I can’t make sense of anything.  It all falls away from me in an unintelligible mess of chaos and confusion.

My mind tries to focus, but it skitters off into a corner quivering and quaking trying to escape the complexity expected of it.  My eyes droop and the thrumming in my head seem to keep time to some raucous band only it can hear.

My head feels heavy, too heavy for my neck to hold it up.  I’m like those water drinking birds that dip into a glass and sit up except I have a hard time keeping my head up.

The clock ticks slowly, ever so slowly towards the end of the day.  Each tick sounds like a bass drum and feels like it lasts a thousand minutes.

The ringing in my ears reverberates off my brain, attempting to jump start it into functioning but it fails, every time.  For my brain is hiding in the corner pulling a blanket around it to stop the light, the sound, any input from getting through. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Marketing.  It is the bane of my existence.  I’ve been in writing mode – write, edit, production.  With ten books published, I need to work on marketing.  The problem – I’m not good at promoting myself.

This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it.  It means it is a chore.  It is one of the aspects of writing I am not comfortable with.  I do my blog (see I’m blogging) and my website.  I tweet (though does this make any sense?) and I facebook.  It would be nice if my magic genie would come out and take care of all the marketing issues – like convincing people to read my books or having a famous director like Steven Spielberg or Joss Whedon or Ron Howard to pick up my books and say wow this would make a great movie or series. 

Unfortunately, that isn’t likely to happen.  The genie is on strike with the brownies who are supposed to clean my house.  This means I grind through researching and promoting and hope that somewhere along the line something clicks and it creates sales.

I’ve researched romance newsletters and sent off information to them in the hopes it will get my name out there and get Secret Past noticed.  I’ve done the same with science fiction / fantasy newsletters to try to get the Wayfarer and Defender series noticed as well.  I don’t know how successful either will be. 

I’ve tried emailing bookstores announcements on my books.  They haven’t been very responsive – either locally or nationally.  This is probably going to be an ongoing thing which I need to spend some time working on. 

If you have any ideas you want to share on marketing, let me know.  I’m open to most things and will beat up my introverted self to work outside my comfy quiet little hermit cave.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

No Stress Day

Vicki called me last night to chat before she went to bed.  Before she called I was writing, the words were flowing, everything was moving along nicely.  I hung up with her, typed a sentence and my phone rang again.  It was my other two daughters calling to chat.  I asked if they coordinated that with Vicki.  They laughed and denied by I have my suspicions.

It seems like every time I go to the bathroom or am writing they call.  I think they may have hidden cameras in my house.  Well okay - probably not.

Yesterday I got the new Wayfarer book out!  Today it is available on Amazon.  I've reviewed the proof and the paperback will be ready in a few days.  I ordered copies so I can have them on hand, donate to the University library, send to my kids.

Last night I worked on another story and am trying to get it wrapped up.  I realized I had three plot lines to complete before I could finalize the book.  Of course I have editing to do after that.  I'm hoping to finish it off in the next week or so but I'll have to see how writing goes.

I'm going to play with a cover for one of my novels I'm almost done with.  I don't have one in mind so I'm going to play around with a few ideas.  I am leaning towards simple with my covers.  I find I like them better when they are either a photo someone has taken or a simple cover.

Once I'm done with a few of the writing projects, I plan to work on crocheting.  I'm hoping to get a few of the gifts made while I watch movies or tv today.  It will be interesting to see if the crocheting loosens up my hands a little.  If it does, I may have to go back to crocheting on a weekly basis to keep the arthritis under control in my fingers.

It's Sunday so I want a nice and easy day without a lot of stress.  Crocheting, writing, tv, movies, all sound like a good plan.  Of course I have a manuscript to edit so maybe that will find a way into my day as well.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wayfarer Immemorial

Decker and Adara face her new role as clan leader while struggling with new threats from the Barions.  The Fletnon calls for help and the crew of the Pritchard is forced to rescue the Barions who nearly killed Adara. 

The Wayfarer clans give the Cloch clan - Adara's clan - three long haul ships as reparation for the damage the Dotean clan did to the Cloch clan.  Adara is inundated with requests to join her clan but she's not even sure how to induct people into her clan.

A trip to the Etiennes for a solstice celebration solidifies Decker's commitment to Adara.  He looks for a way to express it.  Franklin gets an apprentice from the Etienne hunters.  Janet and Hal hook up for some steamy romance but his past pushes them apart. 

On her way to do clan business, Adara is confronted by a lone Barion claiming to have a message for her.  The Barions are up to something.  Battle cruisers abound and it's unclear whether they're working together or chasing a single ship. 

At the clan gathering, members of the elusive Spiorad clan join the Cloch clan as well as dozens from the other clans.  Members of the crew step up to officially join Adara's clan bringing all aspects of Adara's family into her clan.

The artist for the Aegis memorial flirts with Decker, making Adara furious.  She refuses to be featured as part of the memorial and forces the artist to look at the people who died on the Aegis.  Before the memorial, Adara and Decker are captured by Barions.  Harot has Decker tortured to punish Adara. 

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Writing, Crocheting, Napping

Here it is Saturday morning and I should be productive.  Yesterday I came home tired and grumpy.  After paying bills, I curled up in the recliner and took a nap.  Ken and I watched Babylon 5 and had pizza for supper.

I should have worked on all the writing stuff I have on my list or some of the crocheting stuff I have on my list.  I didn't.  By 8:00 last night I was in my jammies and crashing.  I talked to all three of my girls yesterday - always a good thing.  After that I crashed for the night.

Normally I wouldn't go to bed this early because after about four hours I'm up and can't sleep.  It throws my sleep pattern off.  However, last night I crashed.  I woke up three or four times throughout the night but I "slept" for about eleven or twelve hours sort of.  I haven't done this in ages.

This morning I'm working on book work for the writing, matching payments with sales.  Several people have asked if I'm coming out ahead, the answer is no, not yet.  My expenses still outweigh my income but I know this is a long term thing not a short term thing.

I have nine books out and am hoping to get another out this weekend.  That will be my next project.  I have a little bit of editing to do, checking things out, adding in front and back material.  Then I will do production.  Shockingly I have the cover already done and am hoping to get through all the production steps so I can go ahead and publish today or tomorrow.

Once I'm done with this book, I'll be working on edits for the next manuscript and writing for the several stories I have running right now.  I feel this week has been unproductive for me.  I've written only a little and edited only a little.  I've done a little crocheting.

One thing I have noticed this week and I'm reminded of it as I look at the trees outside my window.  It is fall and the leaves are gorgeous.  It is my favorite time of year, the trees are gold, orange, red, green and it feels so good.  Even though it is a gray day outside, I see all the flame colors out my window and know it will be a good day whatever I end up doing.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Take Two

Last week I wrote a scene for one of my stories.  I was pleased with it, planned to go through to the next step in the manuscript.

I went to my other computer (the one in my office) and shifted files, saved the files from my flash drive to my hard drive.  I thought I'd got all of them.  As is my habit, I deleted the files on my flash drive and copied over my big main file.  I use the flash drive as a portable back up of most files.

I opened my story expecting to move forward and realized I had copied over the file with the scene I'd written.  I was annoyed with myself.  I've been saying I need a better way to keep track of the files I change but hadn't done anything about it.  I have now.

In wandering around looking at other files, I discovered a copy of the story with the scene I thought I'd lost.  This left me with a dilemma - which of the two scenes I'd written did I like better.  I read them both and liked parts of both.

I read both version several times and couldn't decide.  Instead I combined the two versions.  Going through the scene I cut a little from each and found a nice combined version of the scene.  It is probably a little heavy in parts but when I edit the whole story I'll catch it and cut the fat from the scene. Hopefully I can now move on to the next scene.

As for my issue of saving files, I've opted to put files I've worked on in a different folder.  It is a little cumbersome but for now it works.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Constant unrelenting noise - that is how my day has been.  I like quiet and calm but today has been constant noise in one form or another.

At my day job, they were working on the roof and moving furniture on the floor below us.  It is the start of advising season so there are a lot of students on the floor and the faculty are all in the office.  This means there is a lot of collaborating going on which means a lot of talking in the halls.  I've had student workers in the office most of the day, this means that they are making noise.

I can take the chaos and the noise but at some point I just want peace and quiet.  I want every thing to be silent so I can hear my own thoughts.

When I get in noise overload, I get a headache and my ears ring.  At which point, any noise starts to annoy me.  Of course while I'm at work, I have to be nice and pleasant.  By the time I get home, I'm going to be ready for no noise and not a lot of conversation.

I've reached a point where I just want to say "SSSSSHHHHHH" to everyone and turn off all the other noise too.  It was a good thing the day ended.  I came home exhausted and am looking forward to a quiet night.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Completely Unproductive

My evening was completely unproductive.  I meant to work on editing and writing.  I planned to get a chapter or two written on the next Wayfarer novel. 

None of that happened.  I talked to all three of my daughters and one of my sisters.  I spent the night on the phone and video chatting.  It was an interesting change of pace.  By the end of the evening, I was tired and ready for bed. 

The lack of writing last night just felt odd.  I'm so used to having my time to myself and editing or writing that to be engaged in other ways just felt odd.  Not good or bad, just different.  I spent a lot of time talking with my two daughters in Georgia.  We video chatted, I got to see one of the grand fur babies - the other was camera shy. 

I like video chatting because I get to see my girls rather than texting or talking.  I get to see their faces and their place.  It is always a good thing for me.  I feel more connected with them. 

Tonight I plan to write and edit but you just never know what will happen...

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Yesterday I was busy with writing.  I published a book, downloaded reports from the companies who I publish through, printed a manuscript for editing, finished editing one manuscript and got a third of the way through another.  It was a busy day.

In addition to all the writing things, I talked to all three of my daughters, organized coupons, and spent time with Ken.  It was a good day with a bit of balance in the day.

This morning I'll be putting edits into the computer for the manuscript I finished a round of editing.  I have more coupons to go through.  I want to work on croheting.  I also have to get stuff ready for work this week.

I now have nine books under my name.  This is way beyond what I thought I would do in a year.  In the next two months, I'm hoping to get two more books out.  The two manuscripts I've been editing need to have a nice polish put on them and then out for readers to enjoy (I hope).  The one will be Wayfarer Immemorial, the third installment of the Wayfarer series.  The other will be a new book about magic, love, good versus evil, betrayal and a bit of redemption.  I've not named it yet but it will hopefully be ready by the end of November.

I've been submitting short stories and other items to other places and having absolutely no success.  I don't know that I'm successful with the books but they are at least out there for people to try.

My relaxing weekend has been full of writing and hopefully today a bit of crocheting while I catch up on the tv shows I'm behind on - NCIS LA, Dr. Who, Person of Interest.  I hope I can finish the current scarf I'm working on and then start some of my holiday crocheting.  I'll just have to see how things go though because the editing is really calling to me.

I started the fourth Wayfarer book and have struggled with getting more down.  It's in my head, I just can't seem to decide which scenes to write first.  I realized last night the moon is in the full phase.  This is almost always a non-creative time for me but a productive time in getting things done.  I can only assume as the moon shifts to the dark moon I'll get back on track with the fourth Wayfarer book.  I also have a bunch of information in my head about the last Defenders book and the second book in another series I'm working on.  I just need the time to get it all into the computer.

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...