Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Writing Tasks

Wayfarer 8 will be Wayfarer Freedom.  I'm nearly ready for production.  I have a group of short stories ready for production but I don't have a name for the book.  I also have to think about a cover and name.  These stories have gone to my test readers.

I have a second set of short stories which I have to edit, then I will decide whether they will be individual short stories or if I will do them as a book.  Wayfarer 9 has gone through a number of edits.  I need to come up with a name.  I have several in mind but I'm not in love with any of them.  I also need to work on the cover.

I'm apparently in edit mode right now because I keep working through all of these different manuscripts.  I've got a number of projects going and I hope I can get some of them cleared up in the next couple of weeks.

Hopefully in the next month, I'll be able to get the four projects (two Wayfarer novels and two short story groupings) completed and through production.  I've also got a number of marketing things I'm working on for getting people interested in my crochet patterns.

I have to keep reminding myself it's one step at a time.  I can only do one thing and keep moving forward.  It's a matter of working hard, keeping focused, and keeping at it daily.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Easy Sunday

Sunday I spent with Ken.  We watched movies and did very little else.  He picked me up some rope so I could try out a crochet technique, which I started last night.  It wasn't the right size for the project I want to do but it gives me an idea of whether I will like the technique.

In the morning, I made microwave caramel which turned out pretty good.  I think I want to tweak the recipe a bit.  I also got coleslaw ready for lunches this week.  Ken made chicken on the grill for me and brats for him.  I had mine with munster cheese and canadian bacon.  It was quite good.

For supper, we had tacos.  Mine were grilled chicken and his were left over ground turkey.  It was quite good.  I wrote a scene in Wayfarer 10 and knew I wasn't going to write more. I needed to do something different.  I worked with the rope to see how it would work up with this technique.

There was nothing big done but it was a good day.  We got a few smaller things done and enjoyed each other's company.  One of those quiet and easy Sundays.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Right as Rain??

When I wake up at 5 am and can't go back to sleep, I just know it's going to be a blah day.  Errands are run, bills got paid yesterday, and Ken and I are back home.  He's mowing the yard and I'm doing the grocery list.  I clipped some coupons but mostly I just want a nap.

My joints hurt today, have been hurting all week.  The damp weather is wreaking havoc on them.  The only thing I can do is keep the worst of them warm and hope the dampness will end soon.  I've gotten through several levels of editing both Wayfarer 8 and Wayfarer 9.  I'm hoping to put the final touches on Wayfarer 8 this week and work on production at some point in the very near future.

I finally dug out the other short stories I want to publish.  I'm going to start the edits on those and see how it goes.  A few of them are flash fiction which means they are extremely short.  I may put them into a short compilation of stories so I can make it economical for people to purchase.

I dug up a bunch of leads for marketing my crochet patterns.  I just need to figure out how to do some of them.  I'm hoping if I can get them listed in a couple of more niche oriented places sales will improve.

It's only 10:30 but I feel like I've put in a full day.  I guess that comes from waking up too early.  It probably doesn't help that sleep was nearly non-existent last night.  This is the way it goes with me.

The sky has gone from gray and gloomy to blue with a bit of white clouds.  Perhaps we won't get the rain they said but I'm not holding my breath, my joints say rain is coming.  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Good Deed Gone Bad

Yesterday Alicia, my oldest sister, and I went to Madison for a Paint Nite event.  We had a wonderful time painting and chatting with the people around us.  Our pictures turned out very nice.

On the drive home, we got in what I call a tangle of cars - not an accident but a grouping where everyone has to slow down because the lead people are going slower for whatever reason.  I was in the left lane and a minivan was in the right lane.  He had his blinker on and I let him in.

As usually happens the tangle cleared up as people passed the slower vehicles on the right and those going slow in the left got over.  Unfortunately the minivan I let in continued to go slow.  I waited, gave him some time to move over.

When he didn't get over, I turned on my blinker and passed him on the right.  I'll admit, I went a little faster than I would have preferred but I didn't cut him off.  Still he blew his horn at me and sped up to get really close behind me.

I don't play games on the road.  Vehicles are too costly and lives are too fragile.  After we passed another vehicle in the right lane, the minivan sped up, nearly hit me from behind, swerved into the right lane, sped around me, and got in front of me.  He then slowed down to the point where I was stepping on my brakes.

I set my cruise, go along and leave people alone.  I'm a fairly considerate driver, letting people in when I can.  There was no opportunity to go around this guy and he was playing games.  If I slowed down, he did.  If I changed lanes he did.  My exit was coming up so I ducked in behind a semi and let the minivan go ahead of me.

Driving isn't a race nor is it a competition of any sort.  I wish I could ask that driver why he thought he was justified in being such a prick about driving.  According to him, I did something wrong enough that he felt he had to teach me a lesson.  I bet the lesson I learned was different from the one he thought he'd teach me.  I'm sure he thought he'd teach me to not pass on the right or to not cut over as quickly as I did (though I maintain I had plenty of room).

The lesson I learned is that sometimes it doesn't pay to be nice and let people in.  I'll probably still do it but it will certainly make me think twice in the future.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ode to Cheetos

There are just times you have to have something.  It doesn't matter how good or bad for you it is.  You MUST have it.  I've been craving Cheetos.  Ken was a sweetie and got me some on Monday.

I don't know what they put in them but I've eaten a full bag of Cheetos since Monday and still I want more.  I have a bag at work which I've been nibbling on.  It's a little harder at work as there is the orange finger issue.  

Last night I had no Cheetos.  I was a little disappointed but I worked through one of my obsessions.  I got the first round of edits done on Wayfarer 8.  It took me until about 10.  Next step is a hard copy edit.  This one is about 20,000 words more than what I aim for but as I was editing last night I looked for scenes to cut.  I thought - I could take out this one or that one but the flow of the story was good and there weren't any superfluous scenes.  As I was editing, I looked for shorter ways of saying the same thing and did manage to reduce the word count slightly but not by even a couple thousand words.  

The decision has to be made then of whether I will just have this one be longer or if I will try to cut the scenes?  I'm going to do the hard copy edit and see how I feel about it.  I wrap up a number of ongoing story lines which is why I think it is longer.  

The question becomes now do I start the edits on Wayfarer 9 which the rough draft is already done or do I wait until 8 goes into production?  The searches I do take me a couple of days and the first read through usually takes a day sometimes two.  

I'm still working on Wayfarer 10 and Defenders 3.  Part of my problem with writing Defenders 3 is because I'm so wrapped up in the Wayfarer series.  

I need to go back and do a clean up edit on the published Defenders novels.  I think once I'm immersed in the story again the last book will flow better. In the meanwhile I keep writing a scene here and there.  

Fortunately, I've wiped all the orange Cheetos residue from all of my devices and I'm getting over my craving (maybe) and will go back to trying to eat healthy.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Balancing Act

My searches in Wayfarer 8 are done.  Now I have to do a read through before I print for an edit.  I've also gotten about 15,000 words into Wayfarer 10.

My middle daughter sent me a blog from one of her favorite authors about how to handle being stuck in a story.  It was interesting and gave me some ideas for the Defenders series.  I'm hoping it will help me move forward with the story.  It's ironic, I started this story in 2010 and couldn't get it down on paper fast enough.  I saw the whole story at the time.  I still do.  My problem is getting from the point I'm at to the next step.  Once I figure out how I move forward, the scenes all but write themselves.  I think I'm just getting hung up on the transitions.

Last night Ken went to bed very early so I watched a Midsomer Murder episode and worked on another ruffle scarf.  I wasn't quite done with it when the episode was done but I finished and moved on to writing.

Work has been busy.  I've gotten a lot done in this week.  It certainly makes the days go faster.  It also feels good to get stuff accomplished.  I love crossing things off my to do list.

Tonight will probably be more of the same.  Saturday I'm going to Madison with my sister to do a painting thing.  I'll see how it turns out.  I'm not great at painting but I enjoy it so much I keep working at it.

I'm going to a place I've never been.  I'm concerned about being comfortable and able to get around in there.  There's always this what if they aren't handicap friendly or my scooter will cause more problems or.... the list goes on.  I'm taking it on faith I'll be able to get in and be comfortable.  I'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


First let me say I'm a feminist.  This is going to be a feminist rant of sorts.  If you've read my stuff or you know me personally you know I'm not a big sports fan.  I think we treat our male sports figures as gods and let them get away with things they shouldn't get away with.

My daughter was telling me about a young football player who was going to school on a scholarship.  He had a confrontation with a woman and hit her.  As a woman I find this horrible.  No one has the right to hit another person.  The school kicked him out and revoked his scholarship.  He was charged with a misdemeanor.

I think the school overreacted a bit if this was his first incident of domestic violence.  However, I can understand why they did it.

I've looked up the video - yes I actually looked up a sports thing.  I watched the video.  He bumped into her at a bar.  She turned to him with her fist raised.  He grabbed her arm to stop her from hitting him.  She then hit him with her other fist.  He slapped (I think) her.  Now he's a guy and should know better than to hit a woman.  However, she wasn't charged with anything.

Women are not above the law.  She assaulted  him.  He assaulted her and should be and has been punished.  As far as I'm aware, nothing happened to her.  If we as women want to be equal we have to know that our action have consequences.  So when we do something wrong, we should get punished for it.

He did something wrong.  His team, school, and the police took appropriate action and he's dealing with the consequences of his actions.

She should have to deal with the consequences of her actions as well.  Why wasn't she charged as well?  She should have been charged with a misdemeanor as well.

There were all sorts of wrong things done in this incident.  He was wrong to hit a woman - I can't say that enough.  She was wrong to hit anyone.  He was punished appropriately.  She was not.  This is not equitable.  She should also have been charged and should be punished appropriately.

As women we cannot expect to get away with doing wrong simply because we are women.  Yes we need protection from the violence but if we commit violence, we need to pay the price.  Woman up!  Woman up and admit you did wrong and take your punishment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

In My Head

My mind has been scattered over a variety of projects and I want to work on all of them at once.  The problem with this is I can't focus on anything.

The solution - at least this time - is for me to do a little of several things.  Last night I wrote for a while but after a conversation with one of my daughters, I put away the writing and watched an episode of Midsomer Murders.

Tonight I came home, spent time with Ken, watched another episode of Midsomer Murders and crocheted a ruffle scarf.  In an hour and half I watched the show and finished a scarf.  When I'm done with this blog, I'll be switching over to writing on a novel.

I'm not getting the hours and hours of writing in but I am getting some crocheting, writing, and relaxing done all in one short night.  I've got this crazy list scrolling in my head.  I've got ideas for painting, crocheting, writing, and I want to work on all of them.  Of course I'm one person and can't do six things at once so I have to pick.

As I'm finishing things, that to do list in my head ticks these things off and for a little while at least it quiets my crazy need to DO something.

At the same time, I'm in my head.  I can see scenes I want to get written; see projects I want to crochet, see pictures I want to paint, and so on.  The more in my head I get, the less I accomplish so I'm jumping out of my own mind (yeah even I'm scared to be in my head sometimes) and just doing what feels best.  Tonight it was a ruffle scarf while I watched a tv show before I work on my novel.  Who knows where my crazy brain will take me tomorrow.  See why my head scares me?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Short Stories Available

It's been a productive morning.  Ken went to help his dad.  While he was away, I got down to work paying bills, and starting production.  Now I'm four hours into my day, I've got six short stories published.

Some of these were inspired by a writing prompt.  Witches' Tower is about the mythology and ghost stories rising from the local town having had a Spiritualist college in the late 1800s.

Writing short stories is a challenge because you have to develop all of the aspects of a good story in a short amount of space.  I don't have twenty chapters to explore the story or the characters.  I have ten pages (maybe).

At one point I thought these stories might go longer but the more I tried to work on them the more I realized they were just meant to be short and sweet.

These are all in the science fiction / fantasy / horror genre.  I have more short stories which will come out later in other genres.  There's nothing like a good spooky story.

They are available on Smashwords and Amazon.  Check out my web site:  http://eileentroemel.weebly.com/  I have a new page dedicated to the short stories.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Back at Work

I didn't dread coming back to work.  For the most part, I enjoy my job.  Yesterday was WORK though.  I had a ton of emails and it seemed like the ones interspersed with the junk mail I got took a lot of time to work through and address.  I eventually got caught up but still a tiring day.

When I left work I was still in a fairly good mood but by the time I was driving my energy had fallen away.  By the time I got home, I was wiped out.  Sitting at my desk all day, my pain level was up.

I am back at work.  It means I'm back to picking and choosing what gets done in the evening.  I've been watching Midsomer Murders (no that isn't misspelled).  Tonight I'm going to attempt to crochet while I watch.  My arm was bugging me again.  I worked on a scarf for my daughter out of the Paton Metallic yarn.  This yarn is very slippery so the tension when you crochet has to be fairly taut, I think this is what causes my arm to hurt when I use this yarn.  I have a small project I want to finish with this yarn and then it is going to be put away.

This week I'm going to settle back into routine and work.  My sleep has been sporadic at best so I'm taking some down time.  However, this weekend I'm hoping to publish several short stories and update two of my novels.  Once these writing tasks are done, I'll be looking at the third Defenders novel again.  I've been reading what I have and hope to start writing on it again next week.  I may have to give up and decide it will be a four books but I am still hopeful I can finish it in three.

Wayfarer 10 is starting to nudge at me.  At the same time Wayfarer 8 is in need of editing.  All of these tasks mean I'll be busy for a while on writing.  At some point, I need to work on crocheting.  The next big project is the skirt for my friend.  I'm going to pull it out and redo the waistband.  I have two separate ideas and I have to see what my friend would prefer.

After the skirt, I have an afghan for my niece, which she just told me the pattern she likes so I'm going to make it my next project.  Plus I have all my holiday gifts to get started.  It's already July.  I better get busy.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Movie Day

San Andreas was a bit of a let down.  I LOVE a good disaster movie.  I got hooked when I was little with movies like Towering Inferno and Airport.  I know that disaster movies are based on highly improbable things occurring.  I know they bend the laws of physics and science to some degree.

The acting was good.  The story line believable except for one major problem.  The premise is that the big one has finally hit California and the San Andreas fault.  I found it intriguing.  I was looking forward to a tale of heroism and sacrifice because ultimately this is what is the best about disaster movies.  

My biggest problem with San Andreas - a 9.6 earthquake his San Francisco.  While trying to rescue his daughter, the main character (Dwayne Johnson) is on a boat trying to find her in the chaos surrounding the earthquake.  To me the natural secondary danger would have been the aftershocks, falling buildings, looters, and those types of things.  Instead they throw in a tsunami in San Francisco.  Someone didn't check their science facts.  If the earthquake is in San Francisco, the tsunami is going to be across the ocean from it - like Hawaii, Japan, Philippines.  

The movie made me laugh and cry so overall it was good but I'm seriously disappointed with the makers of it for being so DUMB.

Jurassic World was better than I expected.  I went into this thinking it was going to be another stupid reboot.  I was surprised to find a good story line and believable characters - mostly (it is a dinosaur movie).  My biggest problem with the movie is there was really only one female lead character.  The rest of the characters were all male.  I just want to point out the female lead did all this running in a jungle setting (filmed in Hawaii) just like the males but she did it in high heels and a skirt.  

The story line was good.  The bad guys got eaten.  The right people got rescued and in the end, the guy got the girl - at least for now.  It was a good movie.  I didn't compare it to the original until it was done.  It didn't feel like a reboot of the franchise.  

On another note - has Hollywood run out of ideas?  Or have they become so commercial, they are unwilling to risk an original story?  It seems like the only movies coming out are remakes, reboots, or comic book stories.  It saddens me to see the same old same old from them.  Mostly, I'm just not going to the movies as much.  

Overall, it was a good day at the movies.  We had popcorn, soda, and two movies I didn't feel we wasted money on.  Now I'm tempted to pull out some good disaster movies from my own collection and spend time watching them.  Armageddon, Day After Tomorrow, and Deep Impact come to mind.  

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Balance Out My Week of Writing

As is normal for me, I couldn't jump back into writing having just finished one novel.  I spent my day doing admin and marketing things yesterday.  I combined, updated, and entered information into a spreadsheet.  I worked on a crochet pattern, which is turning out lovely.  My hope when I'm done is to produce the pattern for sale.

Last night I watched Midsomer Murders while I crocheted and putzed.  It was relaxing and let my mind rest from all the chaos in it.  Today, Ken and I have to run some errands and are going to the movies.  Last time we tried to go to the movies, we bought a car so I'm hoping that won't happen.

When we get back, I'll see how I feel about writing and pick between crocheting and writing.  This week is quickly coming to a close and I've got to return to my normal routine on Monday.  It will be good to go back to work and have the routine but I've enjoyed my writing insanity.

In the hour or so before I leave, I'm hoping to get some more marketing done.  I'm trying to get more people to review my books.  My oldest daughter gave me a nudge on one thing I should do which I will.  Aside from her suggestion, I'm sending out my work to different reviewers in the hopes of getting some hits.

Monday with my return to my day job means I'm back to juggling what I want to get done each evening with going to bed at a reasonable time.  At the same time I've got test readers asking me for sequels.  I swear I need an assistant but sadly I cannot afford one.  I guess that makes me my own assistant.  Lots to do and so little time to get it all done - as is normal.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cross Off My Todo List Items

It's done!  Wayfarer 9 is complete in the rough draft stage.  I sat at my computer yesterday, forgot to eat, worked on it for hours, ignored my phone and most other distractions and got 33,000 words done.  After 22 hours being up I sent off the rough draft to my test readers who can now stop nagging me.

When I sent it, I was in the "I'm done with this project and I don't like it" stage.  My daughter always gives me grief over this because generally I'm okay with how things turned out, it's just I don't have enough distance to be objective.

I slept from 6:30 this morning until 9:00 which was a little disappointing as I would have liked a little more sleep.  I dozed until after 11:00 so I'm getting a slow start to the day.

I've gotten a bunch of admin work done.  I got my sales spreadsheet updated.  At some point, I'm going to shower and eat - maybe before Ken gets home.  Today I want to work on updating four through seven of the Wayfarer series so I can take this task off my todo list.

Since I'm working on such little sleep, I'll probably nap at some point.  You never know.  I may get some inspiration and work on Defenders 3 as that is the next project I want to tackle.  I may just lounge about reading what I have done before I tackle the next stages of the novel.

I'm giving myself today and tomorrow to work on it.  Saturday I'm hoping to talk Ken into a movie (or two) and Sunday I have mom coming over for a bit.  I don't know if I can finish Defenders in one day but I'm going to see how it goes and hope Wayfarer 10 stays out of my head until I'm done.

I also want to tackle the edits for 8, production on short stories, and a crochet pattern I'm midway through.  The list never ends.

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...