Saturday, January 31, 2015

Everything is good and right in my world

For those who are worried, stop.  Yesterday I managed to remember to eat, sleep and even shower.  On top of which I finished Wayfarer Aegis.  I may work on the cover for it today.  It went off to my test readers.  The first one got back to me last night and she loved the changes I made.  It pleases me that the added scenes helped to polish the story.

I worked on Wayfarer six last night.  I don't have a name for it yet.  They generally come to me as I'm writing so for now it is six.  When I ran out of energy for writing I slept and woke up this morning with at least one scene in my head.  I have a lot to do in this one so I think it is going to be a dense story.

I remembered to call Ken to wish him a Happy Birthday!  He's 54 today and better than he was at 20 when we married.  I admit to no bias in that statement.

I've had breakfast, took my meds, and brushed my hair.  I'm managing to remember to do the basics.  Of course I haven't started writing yet.  All bets are off once I start writing.  Classical music is on and I'm at the computer.

I'm up and working.  In my head there is a list of what I want to get done today which I'm trying to tackle before the scenes in my head take over forcing me to write.  My list includes blogging, facebook marketing, email, invoice for editing job I did and then WRITING.  I've already done the sales review for the month.  I just have to check tomorrow to see if there were sales today.

Yes I'm pretty sure I'm obsessed with writing.  I'm pretty sure if I stopped writing my head would explode because there would be too many words and stories in it.

Virginia and Stephanie are with Ken and they are doing the birthday and superbowl thing this weekend.  Vicki is at a conference getting tons of books.  I'm writing.  Everything is good and right in my world.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Alone at last!

Ken went off to visit the girls and I'm just back from dropping him at the airport.  I get to be home alone for the next week!  I am very excited about this as I plan to WRITE until my fingers fall off.

I sent Ken with goodies for the girls.  I've been crocheting for them for the last two weeks.  They got two scarves and something like twenty six coasters.  Virginia requested the purple and gray combo and then Stephanie sent me her color choices.
I got baby yarn for the scarves so it would make a nice light scarf.  They both turned out beautifully.  I LOVE the yarn and will be purchasing it again.

Now their stuff is done, I have to turn to my other projects.  I have a scarf I'm working on for Vicki which is almost done.  When it's done I'll be working on the gifts for my student workers and my niece who is getting married.  I have four gifts to get done by beginning of May and one by July.

While I'm alone this week though I'm going to focus on writing.  My short story didn't place for the contest I sent it to but I think it's good enough to publish so I'm going to polish it up some more, add a couple more scenes and put it out there for purchase.  For the rough draft, I have two or three more scenes to write and then it can go in the editing pile.

I just finished writing Murder Next Door.  I know exactly what I want for a cover (I think) so I have to figure out if I can get a photo of it or if I will try to get a picture (drawn) for it.

This week I have three things I want to get done - Wayfarer Aegis (which is just the two or three scenes), the Defenders third book, and the Wayfarer sixth book.  All three projects are started and in varying degrees of being written.  I just need to finish them.

On the drive home, I tried to settle into one of the stories to see if I could plot out the first steps.  I think the Aegis is going to be the first one.  Part of that is because it is so close to being done.  I need to write about so little to polish it off and then I think I can send it to my test readers.  If they don't have any problems with it, I can start the editing process and get it out for publication.  The other two are going to be longer and more complicated to write, edit and publish.

Enough with sharing for now.  I'm on to writing.  Adara and the Aegis here I come.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wayfarer Wedding

Product DetailsThe fifth installment is out! 

With the wedding only 106 days off, the men in Adara’s life decide to send her family ships to the Hettians known location. Adara fixes a flawed plan to send them off. She negotiates property and payment for the risk her clan must take.

While checking in on the shop keepers on Space Station Zed, Adara discovers Devoe is moving to Castitate colony – a human’s only colony. After training the pilots on the Galway, Adara returns to assist in rescuing a mother and daughter from a stranded mini scout. The mother has been raped and beaten. They are from the Castitate colony. This prompts Franklin to dig deep into the pasts of the founders. He opens a fifteen year old case of a prison fire.

Trainees show up for Adara to assess after a shuttle accident on the Command space station. She assesses and trains them in practical applications of flying. 

Decker and Adara field demands from his mother about the proper way to have a wedding. Decker puts his foot down on how his mother treats Adara telling her to be nice or lose them both.

Next - Prequel - Wayfarer Aegis - a short story about Adara's time on the Aegis. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Craft Focused Day

After meeting my mom and sister to get our paperwork signed and notarized, I contacted my niece.  While waiting on her to arrive, I worked on all sorts of writing administrative things.  I got a lot done and then she showed up.

We played in my craft room for a little bit before we wandered off to Michaels.  I enjoyed - very much enjoyed - our time shopping at Michaels and the other stores.  Both of us needed stuff from Staples.  Since it's two doors down from Michaels we hit there first and then Michaels.

I love sales.  I love yarn sales and I love wandering up and down aisles and touching different yarn.  I didn't buy a single full priced item at Michaels.  It was all sale items.  I found pretty yarn both crochet cotton and regular yarn.  I filled in colors for my crochet cotton I didn't have and even found some blues to make Stephanie happy for the items she requested.
We found good stuff for an afghan for my niece.  Her old one fell apart (it's only about 20 years old) so rather than fixing it, I'll be making her a new one.  Don't worry people who are in line ahead of her - she isn't butting in line.

While at Michaels we wandered the bead aisle so my niece could get some beads for some of her projects.  I'm hoping this means I will get the stuff she promised to make me.  It is always fun to wander through the bead aisles.  I like beads, I just don't have a lot of skills when it comes to making the jewelry.

JoAnns was our next stop.  We wandered around quite a bit.  I actually didn't spend a lot there.  Got a small package of yarn and a single skein.  My niece however spent a lot more there and got lots of goodies.

Picking up lunch, we came back and chatted the afternoon away.  After she left and Ken went to bed, I worked on daisies for the girls in Georgia.  Virginia requested purple and gray.  I was tired after all the shopping but I still tackled some more of her daisies.  I listened to Witness in Death and started working.  I was tired to begin with and after two I just wanted to go to sleep but I stuck with it and got the last six done for her.  Now I have to move on to Stephanie's color choices.  I have a list and will be tackling them today.

Ken and I are watching Justified, since there is no football he plans to watch today, we may finish off season 5 and switch to Babylon 5.  At least that is my hope.  While we do that, I will work on the daisies for Stephanie.  I also have two infinity scarves to make so if I get bored with daisies, I can switch over and see what I come up with for the infinity scarves.

It was a good day yesterday.  I enjoyed the time with my niece.  I enjoyed making the daisies and listening to an audio book.  Today will hopefully be as productive and as enjoyable.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mishmash of Gobbledy Gook

Paperwork done.  Next is yarn and crafting stuff with my niece.  I can't wait.  It will be fun to wander through what I have and then go shopping for what we need.

Today is going to be filled with book work and updating things.  I have to work on my web site and marketing details.  I have books to get in the mail.  It's all the administrative stuff.

Ken leaves in six days to go to Atlanta.  People are trying to horn in on my alone time and I'm guarding it like a fierce dragon.  I have PLANS.  I'm busy busy busy busy while he is gone.

Tomorrow I'm working on crocheting for the girls in Atlanta.  They've put in their request so I am hoping to get a good chunk of it done tomorrow.  It will be good to make things for them as they don't often request crocheted stuff from me.

I think we are going to watch Justified and Babylon 5 tomorrow.  The fifth season of Justified is free on Amazon so we're enjoying it as we've been waiting a while for it to become free (for prime users).

Tax season starts soon.  I have a bunch of documents to print out for my business and my finances.  Ken's got his paperwork.  Then it's a matter of which family members are going to want me to do their taxes.  I've already told them it won't be until after Ken comes back.  I am NOT giving up my hermit time.  I have a to do list of writing to get wade through.  I'm hoping to be extremely productive.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Radio Interview on Main Street Universe Show

Tonight I had my first radio interview.  I was nervous.  However, I had a lot of fun.  I enjoyed talking to the hosts.  We covered a lot of topics and had a great conversation.

Here is the link to the interview:

Check it out.  Let me know what you think.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend in Review

We spent part of the weekend with Vicki as it was her birthday.  It was good to go see her but I wish I could have had more time with her.

Now we are home safe and sound.  On the drive down I wrote three scenes for the next Wayfarers book in my head.  While Vicki and Ken were out shopping I got them on the computer.  On the way back, I wrote a couple more scenes in my head and a couple of scenes for a different story I'm working on.

Driving would be better if I could stop and write stuff down but Ken gets annoyed when I do.  Plus it makes the trip much longer.  While visiting Vicki I made her a couple of things (of course).  She was thoroughly spoiled in the crochet department.

Now I need to turn my attention to Gin and Stephanie as Ken is going to visit them in less than two weeks.  I need to get their list of crocheted items done so he can put them in his bag.

Today will be a bit of a lazy day.  I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to crochet or write.  I still have one or two scenes in my head I want to get out.  I wrote last night and got the Wayfarer scenes out but was tired from the trip so crashed somewhat early (for me).

I've got the next JD Robb book to listen to and Cast in Peril still.  I've also got Babylon 5 to watch.  Either option could be fun.  I'll have to see what Ken wants to get up to.  We're having lunch with my sister, aunt, uncle, and mother.  After that, I'll see what mischief I can get up to.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bad Book

I barrelled through the bad book.  It's done.  I'm annoyed and will never read the author again.  I posted a review on Goodreads and Amazon.  When I was on Amazon, I discovered she's continued to write in that same town but with new characters. 

I read some of the reviews of the first one and it reaffirmed my belief that I wouldn't be reading her again.  She took a character from the last book - the bad book - who stood by while the main character was raped and tortured and made him into the love interest in the new book.  How is he supposed to be romantic and loving? 

At the end of the last book, she put in a bit about how it was the brother of one of the sister's love interest.  He said his brother was undercover.  The whole spiel was you do things that are wrong while you're undercover.  Can you just imagine the meeting - hey bodyguard, you stood by while I was raped and torture but come have Sunday dinner with your brother, sister-in-law and the rest of our family.  I don't think so.

Of course, realism was not anywhere near this book with the rape victim having sex, lots of sex, within a few days of being rescued.  Of all the things in this book, that is what bugged me the most.  There's just no way, no matter how much healing - magical or otherwise - that a woman would be ready in that short of time. 

It's behind me now.  I'll stop complaining - maybe.  I won't be reading anymore of the author.  I'm going back to JD Robb tonight.  I'm going to try to finish the scarf and the book I'm listening to.  I'm going to work out a schedule for all the things I want to get done including the writing.  I also want to look at yarn to see what I will need to buy (there's always room for more yarn - it's squishy!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Beware the Exploding Head

I spent my night reading a manuscript and editing it.  I see the weaknesses in it and know where I need to improve the story.  I did some minor edits but I'm at a stage where I need to do my searches and print it for a thorough editing. 

I have no name for the book.  When I started writing it, I just called it murder.  Now I want to think about the story and what I want to call it.  My test readers have suggested it would be good to be part of a series.  I don't know.  I'm not confident in the murder mystery arena. 

I could not face my books last night.  I needed to work on editing / writing things.  I am still working on that scarf for Vicki.  I just made a list of the things I need to make over the next semester for student workers who are leaving me (sadly).  When they grarduate, I make them something.  I have four who are leaving, this makes a lot of crocheting for the next semester.  I got one done already but I still have three more to do. 

Plus I have three afghans on my to do list already.  It's a good thing I have audio books galore to read.  I can crochet while I listen to all the books Vicki's been telling me to read.  I'm going to have to juggle my time and energy. 

Part of the problem I am having is I need to write.  If I'm not writing, I get grumpy.  There are times I take a break from it to give my brain a break but they are few and far between.  I will have to balance out what I want to do.  This is an ongoing struggle for me - balancing out all the aspects of my life.

I guess for this it will be a matter of prioritizing and scheduling so I get everything done in time.  I already have the yarn for two of the three student worker gifts.  I also have a baby gift to make.  I have some of the yarn for that and if I go to my stash I probably have the yarn needed for the blanket I want to make.  I have a ripple book that would take stripes. I could make something nice from that. 

Ideas are just flooding my head.  I may have to write them down so I don't forget.  That way it is just a matter of grabbing the material and getting to work. 

My Atlanta girls have requested coasters so that is my next project.  I have a LOT to get done before Ken flies out and can take them all their goodies.  That will be next week and I have until the 29th to get the stuff done.  Once I'm done with their stuff, I'll turn towards these other projects. 

Plus I have three afghans on my list for family members.  I have the yarn for two of them.  I just have to make the time.  It will be an interesting spring while I juggle all these different projects with my writing projects.  Let's hope my head doesn't explode with all that I have going on. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I've found myself in a bad place with reading books right now.  I have one book I hate.  I read two chapters of it last night and wanted to throw the book (i.e. my kindle) across the room.  I've been struggling to finish this book since June of last year.  The JD Robb book I'm reading is slow.  I'm a tad bored with it.  I've read it before.  It gets better but I feel like I won't get to that part.  The Sagara book is just tedious.  I can't stand to listen to more than a chapter at a time.

My strategy to get through these books is this.  Tonight I'm going to skim the beginning of each chapter of the BAD book.  I'm going to read the last two chapters and finish the damn thing. 

For the JD Robb book, I'm going to listen to the opening of the chapters and see how I feel about where I am in the book.  I've read this book two or three times already so I don't feel obligated to read every word.  I'll likely skim ahead until I get to the parts I like.  I know once I reach a certain point in the book, I'm going to want to listen to the whole thing. 

For the Sagara book, I'm going to continue to intersperse a chapter or two at a time with other books. 

I love to read.  I enjoy falling into a story and getting lost for hours as I traverse the world the author has created but these three are just annoying me.  I know the next JD Robb one won't annoy me.  I'm not going to pick up any more by the BAD book's author - not ever.  I hear from my daughter that the Sagara books I'm behind - there are three - two of them are like the one I'm currently reading (so this one and one more) and the third one out is back to her usual format and story telling set up.  I'll get to a good book.  I think it's going to take a few days - unfortunately.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Car Repair

Unexpected car repairs suck.  Yesterday Ken got in my car and it wouldn't start.  Now I didn't start it on Friday but my spoiled van sits in a garage so I didn't think the cold was the factor.  You never know though so he put the heater in the garage and put the charger on it.

Later it popped off.  He said he thought it was the starter.  I called around to find out the cost of a starter.  Farm N Fleet comes through as the least expensive (again). Still it was going to be a $300 - 400 expense.  Not what I needed to hear.

He turned the van off and tried it several times throughout the day.  It seemed to be working.  We, of course, are not that lucky.  He went to start it this morning and no joy.  It wouldn't start.  We were looking at battery replacement, starter, or who knows what.

Of course no one can get it done until Monday so I'm trying to think of ways I can get to work and still get my car fixed.  I'm just trying to come up with contingency plans.

We took it to Farm N Fleet and they just called.  Battery.  Thank the car gods.  Battery replacement is $100 not $300 or $400.  The annoying van will get a new battery and hopefully I won't have anymore problems with it.  Hopefully....

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Down for a Day

At 2:30 Tuesday morning I woke up with pain in my foot.  I knew it was gout pain.  I figured I'll get more sleep and feel better in the morning. 

I didn't sleep the rest of the night.  I got up at 7:00 thinking I gotta go to work.  Now if I'm going to work I need to be out of the shower and headed to the car by 7:15 so I knew at the very least I was going to be LATE. 

It was a rough morning for me.  Pain, lack of sleep, and just general growliness.  I opted to not inflict my orneriness on my job and stayed home.  I don't watch a lot of TV.  I've been weaning myself off it since we got rid of cable. 

Instead of surfing unsuccessfully for something worthwhile, I listened to an audio book and crocheted.  I leaned back in my recliner, kept my foot up and worked on a throw for my mother.  When she was over, she told me her legs got cold when she sat in her recliner in the living room.  I made her a small throw.  It is with fleece yarn which is yummy and soft.  My sister picked out the pink and multi colored purple / pink.  Unfortunately there wasn't enough for what I wanted to do.  Of the fleece I had left, black was the only one that went well as there is a dark gray in the purple variegated.  So I did a border in the blank.  I did a lacy pattern which was quick and easy.  Hopefully it will work for my mother and keep her legs warm. 

Now I got a box of yarn.  I resisted using anything in that box because I had four projects going.  However, I finished a project and I wanted a small project so I pulled out this soft gorgeous yarn and made a cowl.  I went to my book that has some ridiculous number of patterns and made a cowl.  It didn't take long, sewing the buttons on took longer as I had to find them, get a needle that would work and figure out what I was using to sew them on for thread (yarn was too thick). 

In the middle of the day, I was tired so I took a nap.  I took a two hour (maybe longer) nap.  Curling up with the electric blanket on to keep me toasty warm, I just conked out.  I had the heat from the blanket wrapped around my legs and it helped reduce the pain of the gout. 

After I woke up, I went back to listening to Holiday in Death by JD Robb and worked on a shawl for Vicki.  I finished that and still had an hour left on my book so started another scarf with more new yarn.  I didn't get far.  I'm not happy with the pattern so I'm going to pull out my book with the different patterns and see what she's tagged - my poor vandalized books.  I finished the book but not this fourth item.  I did go in and finish listening to the chapter in Cast in Peril by Michelle Sagara.

I hate taking a day off because of my gout.  However, by the evening my foot had shape again, the red ring around my ankle was gone.  The pain level had gone from nearly unbearable to tolerable.  I got three crochet projects done.  Considering I didn't think it would be a good day - I'd say it wasn't all bad.  The nap was wonderful.  I'm betting Vicki will LOVE the two items I got done for her.  I'm hoping mom will enjoy her item as well. 


Monday, January 5, 2015

A Box of Yarn

I'm obsessed with yarn.  I love yarn.  I came home tonight and here was my order from Herrschners.  A friend gave me a gift card from there so I handed it to Vicki and said, I need crochet cotton, you know the colors, and whatever is on sale.

This is the result.  Now most people see just a bunch of yarn.  I see smiles, hugs, and appreciation.  I see hours of enjoyment as I listen to a book and crochet.  I see dishtowels, pot holders, dish cloths, scarves, make up pads and more.

There is so much potential in this one small box and so much happiness for me and for others.  I am sitting here saying I will not pick up the new yarn and make stuff because I already have four projects in progress and I need to finish at least one or two of them before I start new ones - right?  Maybe...

The colors are exciting.  The textures are exciting.  The hours of just enjoying myself with the goodies in this box are exciting.  One might assume I am a little excited about this box.

It's a little box and a little thing but I know it will bring a lot of happiness.  The items made from the yarn in here will be useful and appreciated.  I can't wait to dive in and play around with the goodies.  I have to wait ... I keep telling myself I have to wait.  I have other projects to finish before I start with the new yarn.  I must resist the temptation - am I convincing anyone else?

Tonight I'm supposed to be working on a manuscript.  I have two I'm working on that are in progress.  I should work on writing and not crocheting.  I could pull up the next JD Robb book and listen to it while I work on one of the projects.  Maybe I would finish the project so I could play with the new yarn tomorrow.  But I have those two manuscripts.  Oh the war of responsibility and the desire to play with new yarn.

I'll be good.  For now.  Maybe.....

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pre-Orders and Reviews!

Book reviews are hard to come by.  A good book review is a gem.  This week, to my surprise, I received three of them!  

On Barnes and Noble, Dragon Lord's Mate received a five star review! You can check it out here:

On Crystals Many Reviewers, I got a five star review for both Wayfarer and
Secret Past!  In addition to the five stars she wrote a wonderful review.  I'm thrilled and excited about these reviews.  They will go on Amazon and Barnes and Noble soon.  For now you can check them out here:

 In addition to these reviews, I got the fifth Wayfarer book - Wayfarer Wedding - out for pre-order.  Wayfarer Negotiator came out on December 31, so there will be two new installments in this series.

My writing to do list is long and complex.  I just finished the rough draft of a futuristic romance murder mystery.  I don't have a title and it needs some serious editing but that goes in the mix next for editing.  I have the first scene for Wayfarer six done but need about 48,000 more words in that one.  Defenders of Magic (third in the defenders series) is underway.  The sequel to Dragon Lord's Mate is percolating.  Aside from these, I have a half dozen other projects jumping up and down saying "Pick me, Pick me, work on me next."

I'm pretty sure this list will keep me busy for a little while at the very least.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Grief Surrounds Me

In the last year and quarter, I've gone to six memorial services or funerals.  Lately, I've felt that's all that is left to us.  We live, we love, we die.

If we're lucky, if we're very lucky, we have people in our lives who will grieve for us when we are gone.  My great aunt passed away on Christmas Eve.  I didn't know her.  This in itself is so sad because I would have liked to know her stories, heard them, grown up with them.  My grandfather didn't speak with his siblings (most of them) for whatever reasons.  So the cousins on that side of the family, I didn't know.

Right now I have two friends who are coping with the loss of their partners.  Men who were dear to them.  This morning I read an email from one of these friends and it broke my heart to hear how callously she was treated after her husband's death.  Officials were rude, inconsiderate, and obnoxious.  She's grieving and struggling to draw breath.  She has no energy to deal with snotty officials who can't summon a shred of common decency.

I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't coping with death.  My grandparents started dying when I was five.  I don't have a lot of memories of them other than funerals and stories others tell.  As I read my friend's email about her experiences, I couldn't help but feel her grief and her sorrow.

My great aunt has 22 descendents who seemed to spend her visitation celebrating her life rather than grieving her loss.  In my mind, this is how a memorial should go.  It should honor the person who has passed with their stories - good, bad, and indifferent.

My friend who sent the email - we are email friends.  We started on a writer's group and spun off to exchange regular emails - often daily.  I've never met her.  I never met her husband.  Yet in all the funerals and memorials I've attended in the last year.  This is the one that moved me, touched me so deeply I was compelled to write.

For all the people in my life and in the world who are dealing with grief.  I don't know if this will help but I hope it expresses an empathy for what you feel:

Grief Surrounds Me

Grief surrounds me
wrapping me in a blanket
of numbness, anger, sadness

Grief surrounds me
with the loss of loved ones
a part of my heart dies

Grief surrounds me
shadowing every thought
every decision, every deed

Grief surrounds me
death and loss overwhelm
everything leaving me empty

Grief surrounds me
pounding at me hope
ripping away my faith

Grief surrounds me
tearing at my heart and soul
until I'm sure I can bear no more

Grief surrounds me
until time passes
and I keep breathing

Grief surrounds me
except when it is
pushed back by love

Grief surrounds me
but love warms me
helping me cope with the horror of

Grief surrounding me

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Five Star Review

Secret Past is a book I spent a lot of years writing and perfecting.  I never thought it was good enough until my middle daughter told me to stop fussing with it and publish it.  Don't get me wrong I love the story but I couldn't believe other people would want to read a full length story I'd written.

With her (and my other daughters) encouragement I published.  I've been watching it for eight months and every time there is a sale, it's a thrill.  There is still a part of me who is under confident and doubtful of my skills.  I think I need that doubt to make sure I'm writing to the standard I expect.

Yesterday I received a surprise in my email.  I sent a copy of Secret Past to several web sites for reviews.  I got one yesterday.  As soon as I saw it in my email, I prepared myself for a horrible review.  I don't know what I expected the person to say but I never expected a five star review.

I love Dee and Nick.  They were my first full length characters.  My first foray into developing someone's personality, reactions, and life.  Their story became a large part of my life.  The first time I had to cut scenes from the book, I felt like I was ripping apart their lives.

Yes, for all the therapists out there, I know they are characters.  I know they are figments of my imagination.  I also know how much they mean to me.  I never expected them to mean so much to others.

Go check out the review. 

Secret Past is available as an ebook and a paperback.  You can purchase it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and a lot of other places.

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...