Monday, June 29, 2015

Back on Track

While I was driving to Indiana yesterday, my daughter called to say her power came back on.  I was only about a third of the way there so I turned around and came home.  We took the generator back and got her money back.

I'm happy she got her power restored and I was able to come home.  I wasn't feeling great so I took last night off and watched a couple of movies.  This morning I'm working at my desk to get things done.  I have a few business type things to deal with for both writing and personal.  After these tasks get handled, I am going back to writing on Wayfarer 9.  I have a pile and a list so I'm hoping to get through quite a bit today and get back on track.

I'm waiting on feedback from my test readers on some short stories.  Hopefully I will hear from them soon.  Once I do, I'll be going ahead with publication in all likeliness.  I know it is the holiday weekend this next weekend but in all likelihood, I'm going to spend it working.

Hopefully today I'll get back on track for writing projects and tasks.  I've already chatted with all three of my daughters - one on the phone, one by text, and one in email.  I've sorted out paperwork.  Next is to make some calls and then back to writing.  I know if I were away on a retreat, some of this might not be happening but I'd just have to deal with it when I got back.  Frankly, it's probably better I am here and have everything at my fingertips so I can get it done and off my plate.

It's going to be a productive day even if I did sleep in and get a late start.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Writing Delayed

Yesterday I spent the day writing.  I was so absorbed in writing, I had no idea what time it was.  I was busy doing edits, covers, sending things to my test readers and so on.  I even worked on drawing some stuff for a cover.

While I was working, Ken brought me lunch.  I hadn't even realized it was lunch time.  I got a lot of stuff done and hope to continue the trend.  The only bad part is I didn't get any actual writing done.  I did get summaries of short stories written - everything I put out has to have a summary (think back cover of book).  Sometimes these are the hardest to write because they are so short.

I also got two of my Wayfarer stories updated with the edits I wanted to get done.  This means I have to update three documents per story.  I got the short story and the first novel updated.  I was hoping to work on the others today but it looks like I'm driving to Indiana instead.

Vicki's power is out.  The power company is saying it will be Tuesday before they restore it.  Which seems crazy to me but what can you do?  She has a freezer full of food, probably somewhere around a $1000 worth of food.

We are going to get her a generator and I'll drive it down today and come home tomorrow.  It cuts into my writing time but you do what you gotta do for your kids.  I'll be spending the night at her place so I need to get ready.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Jammies All Day

Last night I wrote until 12:30.  I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open but still I had three scenes I noted I wanted to write.  As soon as I went to bed I thought of another scene I wanted to include but I went to sleep and managed a whole whopping four hours.  When I woke up at five this morning, I tried to go back to sleep and did manage to doze for a while.

Unfortunately, I didn't get back to sleep.  Eventually I got up and went to my office computer.  I paid bills, did some production, and worked on some administrative stuff.  I spent a good deal of time getting information like what books I sold in May (yes I was behind) and from which company I sold them through.

As I sat at my desk, I eventually realized it was nearly one in the afternoon and I hadn't had breakfast or lunch.  I had brunch and wrote another scene for Wayfarer 9.  I got cold while I sat at my desk in the office, so I curled up with a blanket and took a nap until my daughter called me.

Ken came home and I've spent time with him.  Now he is off to bed and I'm all alone.  Guess I could manage to write another couple of scenes or more.

It felt good to get the work out of the way this morning.  I feel like I got somewhat caught up.  I still have a binder full of edits to do for the Wayfarer series so I can update them.  I'm hoping to get that done this weekend maybe.

I texted with all three of my daughters today, wrote, did admin stuff for my writing, worked on production, spent time with my husband, played Peggle, and wrote some more.

Now I have my classical music going.  My hair is up.  The characters are grumbling in my head to stop writing this post and work on their story.  I may have stayed in my jammies all day but I have been very productive.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Personal Writer's Retreat

I've looked at writer retreats and they are either too expensive, too far away, or the facilities I'm uncertain of how handicap friendly they are.  I still want to go on one and may invest in it in the future.

Starting Friday I am off work for ten days.  I have one thing scheduled and may have one other thing.  Aside from those two, I'm planning to write, write, write, and write.  I have a bunch of editing and production stuff I want to get done.  After I wade through all of those tasks, my plan is to spend my time writing.  I have two novels I really want to finish.

Fair warning if you bug me I'll probably be grumpy about it.  I've already told people this.  I'm also not planning on spending a lot of time showering or eating or maybe I'll stay in jammies all week while I write.  I definitely plan to follow more of my natural schedule when it comes to sleep.

Ken will be working.  He will be there in the evenings to pester me but that will be good for me as it will take me out of my head and remind me to deal with the regular aspects of life like showering.  I'll have all my stuff there - my netbook and computer, my reference materials, maps and so on for the one story I want to work on.

Two work days and then I'm off to write and be in my own little world.  It will be wonderful!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Coloring Outside the Lines

I LOVE to crochet.  I love to make beautiful and practical things for people I know are going to appreciate them.

This is your only warning about my rant.  On facebook, I joined a Crochet Addicts group.  I love it and am inspired by it.  Except when someone goes on and says, how can I make this more girlie or are these colors boy colors.

First, all colors are gender neutral.  It is our society which has deemed girls must love pink and boys blue.  Please spare me this.  I do not like pink.  I've never worn it.  I hate getting mother's days and birthday cards that are pink.  On top of which - there are a ton of beautiful colors - ha ha a whole rainbow of them - that all kids can enjoy.

As for adding flowers or other decorations to make it girlie.  Okay again PLEASE!  Boys can like flowers and often do.  While I love flowers, I don't necessarily want them on everything.

Can we please stop putting a gender on things that don't have a gender?  Can we please stop assuming that all females will like pink (or other stereotypes)?

For some of these posts, I don't say a thing.  It just isn't worth my time to tilt against a windmill but there are times when I want to smack them.  A woman posted a picture of a beautiful afghan she made for a girl.  It was - shockingly - blue and white.  This is what her customer asked for but she wanted to make it more girlie.

Girls like to play with trucks and cars just as much as they do dolls.  Girls like all colors.  Let's allow our children (regardless of gender) to decide for themselves what colors they like.

The more freedom we give our girls to do and be what they want the better they become at being themselves.  I would imagine the same could be said for boys - I raised girls so I'm speaking from experience.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Perfectionism is a Curse and a Blessing

Edits are done on the Wayfarer series.  I've spent the last couple of weeks working on editing the novels already published.

This started because I reread them and found errors.  My impression was there were so many errors, I had to redo them.  I started the process and in doing so discovered there really weren't that many errors or errors that were so drastic they need fixing.

My next step is to analyze the errors and decide if it is worth the time and effort to republish.  The perfectionist in me is saying HELL YES!!!  But the realist in me is saying, let's be reasonable.  Time is a precious commodity.  I've done the editing now are those errors really so important I need to republish?

Part of this is me needing to make sure I'm producing a quality product.  One side benefit from doing these edits, Wayfarer eight seemed to pop out of my head and onto the pages so is now in the rough draft stage.  Wayfarer nine has been started.

I'm planning some vacation time at the end of the month.  I'm staying home to write.  I'm hoping in that time I'll finish Wayfarer nine and the Defenders series.  I am about halfway through the third book and keep getting distracted from finishing it.

I also need to get some crocheting done.  I'm going to try to get some of that done this weekend but I'll have to see how it goes.  When I want to write, there is little else I can do.  I write or my head explodes (or feels like it will).

I've not been hitting the marketing aspect of my author business so I need to get back at that.  I feel like I never have enough time for this (and the other hats I wear).  I'm hoping to have another book out by the first part of next month.  If I can finish the Defenders series while I'm on vacation, I'll try to get that one out in August.  Then I turn my attention to either new novels and non-fiction or I look at the sequels to other series waiting in the wings.

So much to do and so little time to get it all done.  I keep reminding myself I'm one person capable of doing one thing at a time (unless I'm doing three or four).  I'm trying to keep my to do list realistic as well as my own expectations.

This is why I'm hoping to let go of the need to correct the minor errors I found in my books.  It helps to see books done by professional publishing companies have errors in them.  As I read the JD Robb series, I kept finding errors.  She is a long standing author, who is published through a traditional publisher, with the use of a professional editor.  Still her books have errors.  It helps me realize I need to let go of the desire to be PERFECT in my work.  Missing commas are not going to show up on a report somewhere.  Though I could see a missing commas department somewhere investigating ... wait I digress...

Next step, decide how many of the books need republishing and how many I can let go.  After that I'll move on to the next task.  Writing, marketing, publishing, and the list is never ending...

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Car!

Crazy weekend - there's no other way to describe it than I had a crazy weekend.  Ken and I celebrated our 34th anniversary on Saturday.  We went out to lunch / brunch and had a nice meal at the Milwaukee Grill.  They have great breakfasts.

It was nice to sit together and chat.  We spent an hour over our meal, talking in general and just being together.  We both feel like the time has flown by.

We left the restaurant and Ken said, do you want to drive through the Nissan lot next door.  Well we looked at the Kia, Nissan, and Subaru dealer next door.  We were planning to go to the movies but had about forty five minutes to kill.

This is how we shop for cars.  We drive in the lot, drive up and down the rows.  I say I like (since it was for me) and Ken gets out to look at the vehicles.  We talk price, miles, and so on.  We stopped to look at one car and a salesman came to us.  We chatted, he wanted us to come in.  We said we were just looking.

We wandered around looking at different cars.  A second salesman came to talk to us.  We told him the same thing.  We wandered some more and Ken was out looking at a vehicle and a third salesman came to us.  We drove around to the front of a building to look at a Sol.  Ken went into the showroom.  I was going to stay in the car but decided to hobble in.  My legs are generally pretty tired when we shop for cars.

I sat in the Sol, it was nice but I had the same issue as the van - I had to crawl up into it.  I was not in love with it but Ken liked it.  He told me to come sit in the Forte.  I thought it was too small but gave it a try.  The steering wheel telescopes and adjust up and down.  I was able to get into the car without any problems.  I closed the door and the stuff on the door didn't hit my knee.  I was surprised by the room in the vehicle.  Ken and I don't hit shoulders when we both sit in there.

We tried my scooter.  It isn't ideal but I think manageable.  The guy asked if we wanted to do a test drive.  Now we were supposed to be going to a movie.  Ken told him it was our anniversary and had plans.  So we said we'd come back after the movie.  We got to the theater with about five minutes to get into the movie.  This is never enough time for me.  I just hate trying to find a seat in the dark and find a place out of the way for my scooter.

We sat in the parking lot talking about the vehicles we tried.  One of the vehicles we wanted to try was a Honda Fit.  We drove to the Honda dealership and was looking at them and test drove one.  It was okay.  Getting my scooter in would have been easier than the car we bought but the space inside was not as comfortable or as roomy.  We went back to the Kia dealership.

The salesman - Doug - looked at us funny.  He said we didn't have time to go to the movie.  We'll probably go next weekend.  We went out for a test drive.  After five hours (I think) we drove away with a 2015 Kia Forte that when we test drove only had 12 miles on it.

I don't buy cars this way.  I research.  I check with my insurance.  I get preapproval from my bank.  I do all this prep work.  This time I didn't do any of that.  We drove home Saturday with a new car.  There's extra space in the garage so once it is cleaned, Ken and I should both be able to park in the garage.

I worked on budget and the new car (and this is a shock) will actually save us money.  I called for insurance and our insurance is going down.  I'm just blown away.

Ken and I figured out a way to prevent my scooter from dinging up the tail end.  He took a dowel and attached a heavyweight fabric to it.  I put the fabric over the bumper and slide the scooter out.  No dings to the car.

Here's the best part though.  I drove it to work this morning and it wasn't painful to get in and out of.  It was awkward to get my scooter out but given time I'll be able to do that more easily.  It was raining this morning so it was a little rough to get everything the way I needed it.  My routine is obviously going to be a little different but the less pain, the better.

My phone can go through my car, so when I'm driving I can make calls with a touch of a button on the steering wheel.  I've been playing with this a lot (sorry girls) and really like it.  Next is to get my MP3 player out where I have a ton of audio books and try it out.

Ultimately, I was feeling like I wouldn't find a car that fit me and I would be comfortable in.  I even told my middle daughter I'd probably end up with another mini-van even though that wasn't what I wanted.  Now I have a new car.  It is going to save me money every month on payments and gas.  I fit in it and can drive it comfortably.  I'm happy with the purchase.  Thank you Doug at Kia.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Little Sleep + 70,000 Words = new Wayfarer Novel

I've been putzing on writing the eighth Wayfarer novel.  I'd write a little and put it away.  That all stopped this week.  I went from 20,000 words that I wasn't sure I wanted to keep to 70,000.  I think it's a good one but I'm not sure.  I say this and I can hear other authors telling me to be confident in my work.

I am confident in my work but I just finished this one and I need some space from it before I can objectively judge the work.  I'll wait for my test readers to tell me what they think.  I'm hoping by the end of the weekend.

Finishing this was supposed to get Wayfarers out of my head for a while.  That's not happening.  I can already tell the ninth book will be started sooner rather than later.  I can feel it bouncing around in my head and wanting to be born.

I will attempt to set writing aside and finish a crochet project or two but the writing has grabbed me.  Once it starts, I have to write.  If I don't I can't sleep or focus on much of anything.

My goals for the weekend include finishing a baby blanket and starting a skirt.  I'll likely write as well because I can already tell I'm going to need to.  I am working on editing the Wayfarer series - it is me being a perfectionist.  Even though the books are published, I reread them and discovered errors.  I decided to print, edit, and decide whether the errors merited going through the edit and republish process.  I'm on five and I'd love to finish them this weekend but we will see.

I liked the editing process.  I think rereading the books helped jump start the eighth book.  I'm planning to do the same with the Defenders series to see if I can get that story out of my head as well.  From there my to do list is long and complex but I am trying to be realistic and only think about the things I can actually accomplish in a short time frame.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Hermit Hole

Essentially I'm a pretty private person.  Now if you know me personally I'll share almost any aspect of my life but if you don't know me, I'm pretty private.  It is hard for me to be on social media.  It puts me out there to a lot of people.

When I went on vacation, I took a week off of social media, book marketing, everything except spending time with my family.  Social media and book marketing are key to getting my books sold.  I've been back a little over a week and just am struggling with going public again.

I've met some interesting people online.  One of my friends I met online only.  I've never met her in person but I feel we are closer than most people.  She is caring, giving, and understanding.  I can tell her anything and get no judgement.

I've been in my own little world the last week.  Enjoying the me time, the quiet time that I think my soul needs.  I'm feeling rejuvenated and recharged.  I finished off the JD Robb series - just waiting on the next one which comes out in September.  I've been going through the Wayfarer series and looking at edits.  I'm through two and half books.  There are only a few edits I need to make and I'm weighing that against the time it take to make the edits.

Next is to work on the next novel - either Wayfarer or Defenders.  I also want to work on the next Murder and Dragon Lord's books.  These two haven't been started at all though I have some ideas.

I have a pile of crocheting I want to work on.  Ideas are just flooding me.  I need to work on the baby blanket, skirt, and bibs for co-workers.  After that I have a list - a very long list - of things I want to get done.

Right now I'm just happy in my little hermit hole but I know reality will be climbing in my quiet little hole with me and pushing me out into the world to get things done.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Vacation

We had a wonderful vacation visiting our daughters.  It was great to have the family together in one space and just be together.  You can't replace those odd moments when you get a giggle for one of "dad's" jokes or that late night conversation because the house is quiet or that moment when dad walks with one of the girls around her land.

The girls' house is perfect for them.  I can see how they will settle in, make it theirs, and create a home for themselves.  It is a hard house for me to get around in but I'm not there daily.  They've been in there six months and it is really starting to come together.

While on vacation, I finished Virginia's afghan.  It turned out beautifully.  I believe she likes it.  I am fairly certain she hasn't allowed it out of her room since she got it.  I don't think she's even sharing it with her sister, though she was willing to share with Gus Gus.

I also finished a scarf for her out of the same material.  The purse I had started for Vicki got done and left with Stephanie to put a lining in it.  When we got back to Vicki's I was able to make two bib's for her to give to her co-worker whose wife is pregnant.

While we were down there, we went to the aquarium again.  It is sort of expensive but I LOVE going there.  There are a couple of rooms I can sit in and just watch the fish forever.  It was one of my favorite parts of the visit.

I got a video of the yellow jellyfish and it is amazing.  I love watching it.  I could have stood and watched them for much longer but there were so many people at the window.  The color contrast between the blue and yellow just is gorgeous.

The big tank had whale sharks in it.  The one shown in the picture was somewhere over twenty feet long.  We were there at feeding time and got some incredible pictures.  We all just sat together in this room and watched.  The fish are mesmerizing.  When we go back, I think I want to go again.  I know it is crazy as we've been twice now but I just can't get enough of it.

We are back home and I spent the weekend doing very little.  I read a lot and crocheted a little.  Ken and I watched tv programs and movies.  It was a very mellow weekend which we needed after all the travelling.  Now we are back to the routine of our life.  It was great to get the break, see the girls, see their new house.  It's also great to be home and settle back into our routine.


Fun Versus Work

I have the feeling I'm going to be struggling with balancing out the need to have down time while I also have a long long list of things...