Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Overloaded and Overwhelmed

Things are speeding up at my day job which is putting a stress on my writing and crocheting because I have so much I want to get done but I'm tired when I get home.  My pain level isn't helping but I'm hoping for milder weather in March.

Mentally I have a long list of things to get done editing, writing, brief descriptions, press releases, production for the manuscripts and that is just the general list off the top of my head.  I still have a gift to make and a few other things.  My daughter is grumbling about people being put before her afghan so I need to focus on her project.

I have a LONG LONG list of to read books.  So many I can't even begin to say.  I can't seem to make myself read Cast in Peril.  I guess I'll go back to making myself listen to one chapter (at least) before I start the next JD Robb.  I'm on book 15 of the JD Robb series.  I want to get all the way through them and move on to other series.

The nice thing about crocheting is that I can listen to books and crochet so I'm doing two things I love at once.  Unfortunately when I write, it is the only thing I can do.  Tonight I worked on two stories and considered the start to another one.  I want to finish the final Defenders book.  I need some quiet weekends to be able to do it though.  I'm in the middle of writing a battle - a turning point in the book.  It takes my revolutionaries from thugs to respectable people attempting to change the rules of a society.  It's turning out good for now but I need some quiet time to focus on it and think about where I am with all my large cast of characters and where I need to be and how I'm getting there.

I probably wrote about 3000 words tonight, maybe more.  Not bad considering I'm tired and cranky.  I've got too much in my head to not write and too much in my head to write and get the stories down.  It's a matter of whittling away at my to do list.

Tomorrow promises to be another busy day.  We are coming up on advising followed inevitably by registration.  I'm sure it will be no worse or no better than other semester but just long days spent trouble shooting why people can't register.  I managed to get a variety of tasks off my desk today and that felt good.  I like being busy while I'm accomplishing things.

This weekend is busy, very busy.  I've got things scheduled for most of the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I'm hoping I can get some down time with my feet up during all the chaos but we will see.

I made a call to one of my student loan places today.  I was supposed to get a tax form.  I didn't and called them about ten days ago.  They said they would mail me one and still haven't gotten it.  I called back today and got someone who was very helpful and got my form.  It was the largest chunk of the interest I paid so it was an important document to have so I can do our taxes.  I'm going to have to try to fit them in some time soon.  Normally I like to have them done by this time but with the schedule I've had and the missing document it was difficult.

With all this stuff in my head, I just need to make a comprehensive list and start working on it.  Part of the reason I haven't is I don't want to overwhelm myself with the list.  I have too many projects going right now and I need to finish a couple off.

Tonight - I'm going for an early night (for me) and hopefully a little more sleep than I've been getting.  Hopefully that will lower my pain level and keep me moving forward with my long list of things to do.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chronic Pain

It's been a rough week.  I've had higher pain levels and less motivation for a week.  I'm still struggling with pain but I can't let that stop me from moving forward with things that need to get done.

The good thing about a rough week - I listened to a number of audio books while I crocheted.  It is about the only thing I can do that doesn't hurt.  I finished three gifts and two other small projects.

The purple shawl is supposed to have buttons on it but I want to have Vicki here so I can place the buttons in the right spots.  This was a pattern I liked the looks of but had to rework it.  The person who designed it gave only directions for a magic ring start and a non-chain double crochet.  I've done them.  I don't like how they look.  I rewrote the pattern and I think it turned out nicely.

The blue scarf isn't done yet though I'm close.  It is baby yarn that will make a nice light weight scarf for spring / summer / fall.  I still need to get some length on it but I'm pleased with how it is working up.

I finished my niece's afghan, the throw for my student worker and a hood / wristers set for another student worker.  I'm not posting pictures of them for obvious reasons but I do have to say I think the afghan turned out particularly nice.

I finalized the cover for Wayfarer Aegis and got preliminary covers for Wayfarer Trials and Murder Next Door.  TJ Jahns did a wonderful drawing of what I needed for Murder Next Door.

I finished my preliminary edits on Wayfarer seven.  This gives me four manuscripts to edit and I'm hoping to get them done soon.  Wayfarer Aegis has the final paper edits done, I just need to get them on the computer and read them one more time before it hits production.  I've posted a look at the cover and a description on my web site.  http://eileentroemel.weebly.com/

Most of what I need to get done can be done on my netbook but production work - finishing edits on manuscripts and prep for publishing - has to be done on my computer in my office.  When I'm in pain, this is difficult.  Until the pain eases, I will work on whatever I can on my netbook.  I certainly have a litany of tasks I can work on up until production becomes necessary.

This week I've struggled with attitude and self image.  When all I can do is sit in the recliner and hope the pain will ease enough so I can think, it drags me down into a well of grumbliness.  I hate not being able to get done the things I know need doing.  I keep reminding myself it will pass, it will get better.  All I can do is what I can do when the pain washes over me.

People genuinely care and are concerned about my welfare which is nice.  It helps remind me to keep looking up.  When they ask 'are you feeling better' I hate telling them no.  It's hard for people to understand that there are layers to the pain.  There are the days where I start out feeling fine but go downhill.  There are days I start out feeling awful but can force myself to get through the day.  There are days when I can't do anything more than sit in my chair and hope the pain goes away.  The thing is.... the pain is always there, always tearing at my joints.  I can't remember the last time I went without pain.  All I can do is manage and hope I can get through what needs to be done and not fall into that well of darkness where the pain wins.

Accomplishing things, like the crocheting or writing which take little movement, helps clear the grumbliness I feel.  It helps me be able to say, at least I can do this.  At least I can accomplish something for now.  Even in my worst moments, I know it will get better and I'll batter back the pain to a level I can tolerate so I can keep moving forward.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Coupons, Crocheting, and Juggling...

After I finish a manuscript and switch to something else, I feel like I'm not accomplishing anything.  I have to remind myself there is more to life than writing. 

Sunday, I spent the day listening to an audio book and going through the stack of coupons.  Since my stack was so large, it took me most of the morning to go through them.  I got the three piles done (one for me, one for my middle daughter, and one for my Atlanta daughters).  I talked to my middle daughter for a bit to sooth her pre-test nerves. 

Ken came home from helping his sister with a car that wouldn't start and we had lunch.  I worked on a throw and finally finished it last night about 8:30.  I started another crochet project but realized I had done the first row wrong so I have to tear it out and start over.  I like the pattern, I just got the count wrong - at least that's my hope because otherwise the pattern is screwy.  It's a new book so it could be the pattern but I'll try the first row again tonight. 

I'm still listening to Obsession in Death.  I'm up to chapter 13 and enjoying it.  Robb does a good job in drawing in the reader and even though this is the 40th book in the series, it is still an interesting story. 

I have editing to do.  I'm trying not to think about writing so I don't get more manuscripts to edit but the third book in the Defenders is calling to me.  I know what the next two or three scenes will be.  I just need time to write them.  However, I also want to make sure I get the editing done.  I'm juggling again, juggling projects for both writing and crocheting. 

Often I feel like I have too many things to do and not enough time to do them.  That is when I remind myself it will all get done in time.  I have to remember to not be too hard of a boss to myself.  I get annoyed when I know I should do things - like marketing - and find myself opting to do things I know I like more - like writing.  It is a matter of balance. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Checked off...

Yesterday I managed to check off two big things on my to do list.  I got the taxes done for my mom and sister as well as the paperwork for my uncle.  Last night I finished writing the rough draft of Wayfarer 7.

This morning I promptly rewrote the ending as it felt bad and abrupt last night.  I woke up knowing a better way to end it.  One of my test readers said it felt too final and the tweak I had in mind I hope makes it feel less final.

However, this means I now have four manuscripts in the editing phase.  I will try to get them through this phase and into production.  It will take time.  I swear I'm going to write on the Defenders series next.

Before I turned to the Defenders, I want to get some crocheting done.  I think today will be a day of going through the LARGE stack of coupons I have to clip and then crocheting to see how many gifts I can make.  In all honestly I'm working on the throw I need to make and hoping I can finish it today.

As is normal for me after finishing a project, I feel rung out and used up.  The ending for seven was tough, One of the constants in the book goes away.  Now I'll have to replace it in the next book but I'm not thinking about eight until I get some editing done.

I think I'll work on crocheting for the next two weeks with the editing thrown in.  Hopefully I'll be able to do a cover reveal for Wayfarer Aegis shortly.  I am excited for the release of all these books.  I love them all and can't wait to get them edited and into production.

If I do the coupons, I can lay out my crocheting on the card table and figure out which projects I can get off my to do list.  If Ken doesn't want to watch Babylon 5 with me, then I'll probably listen to the new JD Robb book.  Either way, my crochet hook will be going and my brain will hopefully get a rest from creating - well creating a story anyways...

It's dang cold out, it seems like the perfect day to stay inside and get things done, fun things like harassing my husband and crocheting.  All while I wait nervously for my test readers to come back with whether they like seven or not.

Friday, February 13, 2015

I'm sorry officer I was rushing home to write

On my way home from work today, I had the next scene in my head for the novel I'm working on.  I could see it playing out, see the characters and how they were going to behave and respond to all that was happening in the scene.

I followed a car going 50 - 55.  Not uncommon on the road where the posted speed is 55.  I usually set my cruise at 60 and figure it's all good.  Usually I'm patient and understanding of slower drivers.  Today though I wanted to scream at the driver ahead of me to get the F*&k moving.  I didn't.  I was very relieved when he turned off.

I got onto Hwy 26 where it is 65 and sped up nicely.  I looked down at my speedometer and wondered if I explained I was rushing home so I could write a scene if a cop would let me off with a warning.  I figured the answer would be no but it did cross my mind.  Though I did wonder what he would say if I told him I was writing a scene were a 3 year old was kidnapped and I had to send his aunts and mother after the kidnapper to rescue him... probably would have delayed me further.

I slowed down from 80 (yup I was speeding) and when the speed limit slowed to 55 I set my cruise for 60.  I was doing okay until I was in town and this guy pulls out and goes 20 and is all over the road.  I'm nearly screaming at him but manage to not go all road rage on him by the time we reach the light.  Thank the stars, he turned left and I went straight.

I get home and I love my husband.  He was in a good mood and asked me for something.  I made myself not scream in frustration as the words were leaking out of my ears by now.  I help him with what he asked for and scurry (as much as I can with my legs bothering me) away to my office.

Finally, finally I get back to writing my scene.  My 3 year old gets rescued and even lands a painful blow to his kidnapper.  I've now written over 12,000 words tonight.  I have an outline of what is going to happen in this book.  I have thirteen or fourteen scenes to write.

I'm calling it a night not because I can't think what to write next but because my eyes are burning and sleep is calling.

Oh and just in case you were wondering - I didn't get stopped by the police and I didn't get a ticket but my imagination wondered how the conversation would go...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Return to Normal?

I hesitate to use the word normal because I don't consider myself normal but I guess I could qualify it as normal for me.

This week has been busy with work and writing.  I'm neck deep in a manuscript (Wayfarer 7) and working towards finishing it.  I'm also attempting to get some editing done which thinking of all the aspects of all the novels related to whatever I'm editing.  Since one is a prequel to Wayfarer, this means I have to keep in mind all the things that have happened in the books since and how they relate to the prequel.  I've also got a murder mystery novel to edit and the first edits (search and replace) for the sixth Wayfarer novel. 

Edits inevitably lead to the need for a cover.  I have the prequel one done and will be doing an event to share the cover.  I worked with TJ Jahns to get the cover going on the murder mystery.  I'm hoping she will come back with a cover for me to use.  It still leaves me with a cover to make for Wayfarer 6 which I still don't have a title for yet but I'm working on it.  I have one in my head, I just have to think it over and decide if I like it.

I started one of the crochet projects I need to get done.  I've got the new JD Robb book Obsession in Death to listen to so I may take a break (once I'm done with 7) and listen to that while I work on the crochet project. 

This weekend I'm working on taxes for people and helping my uncle with some paperwork.  It promises to be busy and possibly frustrating.  I was going to work on my own taxes but then I got notified that two or three of the forms I got were wrong.  I believe I will get the corrected forms next week - I hope so at least.

To do list - marketing of Wayfarer (on sale)
                   finish writing Wayfarer 7
                   Editing three manuscripts
                   Crochet gifts - student workers, wedding, baby, Virginia's afghan
                   Read new JD Robb
                   Taxes for people and paperwork for my uncle.

These are just the things I need to do by Saturday or Sunday.  I hope I can get them all done.  Ken's back home so I'm less productive though he is very understanding and gives me lots of time and space to do what I need to.  Still I sort of like spending time with my husband.  Seems like if he's around and in the house, I could maybe spend some time with him. 

Oh and I have season 5 of Downton Abbey.  I wanted to watch it this next weekend but I don't think that's going to happen.  If I get all of my to do list done maybe I can do it next weekend.  I can work on crocheting while I watch. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Productivity bottoms out...

I got my hubby from the airport just fine last night and even though it was 5:00 on a Friday night, traffic wasn't horrible.  We had one stretch of parking lot like traffic but still managed to get home by 6:30.

We spent a nice night together before he went to bed.  I was tired so planned to go to bed early.  Then my sister texted me a couple of times.  Then my oldest daughter texted me and I called her.  We talked until 12:30.  It was one of those good conversations.

At 12;30 I had every intention of going to sleep.  I meant to.  I meant to just turn out the light and crash.  Instead I pulled out my net book and started writing.  A scene was bouncing around in my head.  I couldn't get the scene out of my head.  I had to get it on paper.  I started writing.  At 3:30 in the morning I stopped writing but only because my eyes hurt and were watering.  I turned out the light and struggled to get to sleep until 4:30... then I woke up at 7;30 wishing I could sleep for another two or ten hours.

I finally gave in to wakefulness and got up at 9:00.  By 11:00 I was ready for a nap.  I didn't get one.  I was either texting or talking to a variety of people all day long.  It seems the moratorium on my peace and quiet so I can write is up and now everyone wants my attention.

I did get a lot done and last night I wrote 5300 words.  Today I've written about 3300 words.  I'm making progress but not as quickly as when people were leaving me alone.

Since the people bugging me are my daughters, I'm okay with that.  I've had good conversations with all three of them, one of my nieces and one of my sisters.  It was a busy day.  Tomorrow will probably be just as busy but I'll see how things go.

I swear I'm going to bed early and getting up early so I can get stuff done tomorrow.  At least that is what I mean to do... yeah - I know that didn't work so well last night.

Wayfarer is still on sale!  99 Cents!!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Do I Gotta?

Last night I finished the manuscript I was working on.  I wrote about 15,000 words yesterday.  It was a good day.

After I finished I was tired and rung out (like I normally get after a manuscript) and opted for a little tv.  I watched an episode of NCIS LA and Person of Interest.  I crashed.  At 1 my phone beeped with a text message and woke me up enough I struggled to go back to sleep.  However, a scene played and played in my head.  I'll have to see about getting it written otherwise it is going to annoy me.

I woke up this morning groggy - not unusual as I didn't sleep well after I woke up at 1.  After I talked to my middle daughter, I realized I had to get dressed today.  Since I left work on Tuesday I've just been hanging out at home in my jammies.  I did shower and change, just put on jammies both days.

This morning I've been busy with paying bills.  I called my credit union because I had a question.  The woman I spoke with was polite and friendly.  We ended up talking about yarn and I learned she was a crocheter as well.  Crafters are everywhere!  You cannot escape them!!!

My hubby comes home tonight.  I have about five hours more of my alone time.  I'm not sure what I plan to do with it, probably write, but I definitely want to make the most of it.  I guess I should find some clothes as I don't think I want to drive to the airport in my jammies - tempting but no.

Defenders series I have one more book (I hope it's only one) to write.  I have maps of the villages I'm currently writing in and I am going to look for a list of which people went to which group.  If I can get that info in paper form (yes I know but sometimes I just gotta have paper) I will go sit in my recliner and fall into Bri, Tof, and the other defenders.

I could use another week of alone time.  Do you think Mother Nature might snow us in for that period of time?  Probably not.  I guess I should just be grateful for the time I've had and keep working.

At this point I have two manuscripts in paper form to edit and one electronically to edit.  Electronically, I do a search for a set list of words I know I overuse and look at them to see if I can rewrite without the words and I do a spell / grammar check.  Then I print.  Either way, I have three manuscripts in the edit phase.  I should add them to my spreadsheet where I track these things.

Don't forget, Wayfarer is on sale for 99cents!!!!  Go to Barnes & Nobles, Amazon or Smashwords to get it:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

12,000 Words

Yesterday, I woke up and intended to write.  I started writing and didn't make a lot of progress.  My day was somewhat putzy with conversations with my middle daughter and work.  I spent a chunk of time taking care of work stuff and waiting on business stuff for my writing.

This of course means I was playing games on the computer while I waited.  I enjoy the games but by the time I had lunch I was annoyed with myself.  Here I am alone in my house and instead of being productive, I was playing Royal Envoy, Backgammon and Rummy 500.

To be fair, I was waiting on Amazon to process my change in price on Wayfarer.  After I quit playing and got lunch, I started writing.  I wrote all afternoon.  I wrote well into the night.  I nearly forgot to eat but my stomach was grumbling at me.  I heated up supper and ate before going back to writing.

I quit writing when I couldn't keep my eyes open.  I came to a scene where I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to go so I wrote as far as I could and quit.  This was a little after midnight.

Turning out my light, I slept almost immediately.  Until 2:30 this morning when I woke up, looked at the clock and told myself I needed more sleep.  I dozed until 5:30, frustrated I told myself I was going to sleep.  I woke up again at 6:00 and gave myself 15 minutes and I was going to just get up.

I hate mornings like this because I wake up feeling groggy and grumpy.  The good thing is at 2:30 I woke up knowing what I wanted to do with that scene.  Now when I'm done with my morning routine of checking email and such, I can hit the scene and move forward.

Yesterday with all my putzing, I still managed to write 12,000 words.  I got so much further in my story and am pleased with all the scenes I wrote.  I have two more scenes in my head to play out.  Now I'm finding with this book that the characters and story are taking me to scenes I hadn't expected so those two scenes will likely turn into several other scenes but for now, I am going with two scenes.

I have today and most of the day tomorrow alone still and I'm planning to make the most of it.  I will write the scene in my head, take a shower, and get breakfast.  At some point I have to pay bills,  However, if that doesn't happen until after Ken's home it isn't a big deal.

If I put another 12,000 words into this story today, I'll have met my goal for word count (and then some).  If the story is done in 12,000 words that would be very nice.  I'll just have to see how it goes.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wayfarer on sale!!!

Wayfarer - the start of the series is on sale now for just 99 cents!  Go out today and purchase it from Amazon or Smashwords.


Adara Stone youngest pilot in the Interstellar Planets Union survived one ship's destruction only to be treated like a jinx.  Being half human and half Wayfarer, she's always been set apart.  Captain Decker Flannery thinks she's too young, too solitary and too sexy to be on his hsip.  He needs a third pilot so he has no choice but to hire her.  He knows he's just hired trouble.

The first of five in the series - Wayfarer starts the adventures of Adara and Decker.  Get the first installment for only 99 cents right now.  Just follow one of the links above.

If you like the first installment, check out the others Wayfarer Clans, Wayfarer Immemorial, Wayfarer Negotiator, and Wayfarer Wedding.  


Monday, February 2, 2015

Kindness of...

In Wisconsin we got hit with snow over the weekend.  I spent my weekend indoors so didn't really care or think about it.  Since I'm handicapped, my husband does all the snow removal.  He's in Georgia.  It's hard for him to do snow removal from Georgia.

I got in my van this morning and hoped I could just barrel through the snow in the driveway.  I got about halfway out of the garage and spun my tires, pulled forward tried again, and again, and again.  Until I was well and truly stuck in the lovely snow.  It took me a while but I got back in the garage. 

At this point I decided I'd have to consider an alternative.  I tried to shut my garage door but the door wouldn't come down.  I decided it was likely there was snow blocking the eye. 

I got up early to go to work.  I got up on purpose early (which I hate) figuring I would have to take it slower and take my time to get to work.  I called Ken - how do you start the snow blower?  The answer so complicated and ridiculous I asked why don't we have a blower that just starts?  He started to explain the intricacies of small engines.  I said please don't. 

He is so sweet.  He felt so bad about not being here to clear the snow.  I told him not to, I just needed to figure out my options.  I was talking to my sister and she said my uncle (who lives with her) could come down to help out. 

My sister called to tell me my uncle would be down in an hour.  I said okay and curled up in a blanket, ate my breakfast, opened my computer and waited.  A few minutes later, one of our neighbors started blowing out our driveway. 

I called my sister back to tell her not to send my uncle down.  Our neighbor to the north of us blew out the driveway.  He shoveled off the ramp and front steps.  When he was done, I got ready for work and saw he was still in his driveway.  I stopped and thanked him.  It was very kind of him to take the effort.  Our temps are hovering near zero and there was a drift in the driveway.  It was a lot of work. 

I let Ken know so he wouldn't worry.  I made it to work only a little over an hour late.  The snow has made for a crazy day but at least the driveway is clear and people can get to the door. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015


I've been busy.  I did sales summary analysis for January, billed for an editing job, responded to a bunch of emails, ate three meals yesterday (though supper was a bit late), and wrote.  I wrote an epilogue of sorts to Wayfarer Aegis.  One of my test readers insisted.  I was reluctant but having written it I see how it changes the tone of the ending and connects it better to the first book.  My test readers agree.  I wrote a blog for here, did posting on Facebook, answered posts on Facebook, and checked on Linked in, Goodreads, Pagan Square and looked for new reviews.  In addition to all of those things I wrote about 7,000 words for the sixth Wayfarer novel.

I went to sleep last night trying to figure out if I wanted to write a love scene between two characters or leave it as strong implied.  I couldn't decide.  I slept on it.  This morning I woke up with the love scene playing in my head.  I sat up and wrote it and the following scene as well.

I have to check my business email this morning about the editing job I worked on.  However, I think I'm going to go take a shower.  When I'm done with my shower, I am hoping I'll figure out what I want the next scene to be.  I know in general what it will be but I'm having Adara do a private negotiation that Admiral Chesnik specifically asked her to do.  I don't know what will be under negotiation.  I have to figure that out.  Once I do, I'll be able to write the scene.  After that I have one more scene for this contract day.  Then I'll be jumping forward, I know the next scene for the new contract, I just have to figure out all the details of it.  It's going to be complicated and involved but I think I know how it will play out.

If I can get all of that written today I will count it as a good day of writing.  The thing is I even know what happens after all of these scenes.  I know where I'm taking the story and sort of how it is going to play out but not the details yet.  It's always fun for me to see the details unfold as I write.

If I can get Wayfarer done today or maybe in the next day or so, I can move on to Defenders.  I really want to tackle the final story in that series.  It's two thirds done, I just need to finish it so I can work on edits.  There are battles to be fought, people who need to die, people who shouldn't die, and justice to be done in that story.  It is exciting and should be fun once I get to it.

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...