Sunday, August 30, 2015

R&R

Today is going to be another rest and relax day.  Tomorrow starts another stressful week with lots of meetings, faculty, students, and people in and out of my office.  I'll probably have more people in my office in a half a day than I did all summer.

I'm working on a crochet pattern and plan to finish it today.  I'm hoping it turns out all right but I have to do math so I'm sure the next part will be a bit frustrating.  Math and I don't always see eye to eye.  Once that is done, I have a short list of things I want to work on.  I'm going to see if I can convince Ken to watch movies with me.

I spent last night being a bum.  Crocheting was too much effort so I read through a few different things.  The thing is I woke up this morning with a scene I want to include in Wayfarer 11.  I'm mid-scene and not sure where it's going - though the more the scene I want to write sits in my head the more it firms up what I think will happen.  Sometimes I just have to let my characters sit and stew before they tell me what's next.

While I am taking the needed R&R, I plan to try out a few other patterns.  This will lead to what I call my ridiculous electronics.  The other night I was crocheting a new pattern so I had my phone to take pictures, my tablet to write the pattern, and my netbook to watch a class on Craftsy.  I laughed at myself for all the electronics but didn't shut a single one down.

If Ken doesn't watch movies with me today, I'll probably do the same.  Watch a Craftsy class while I work on my projects.  I'll have the tablet and phone available so I can create new patterns.  I know it is ridiculous but it's easier than using pen and paper because I can email it to myself and don't have to take the extra step of typing it up.

The point of today is resting.  Tomorrow will be busy with training student workers, meetings and the first week of classes starting at my day job.  This week will be busy with more of the same.  Today is all about relaxation!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

I Survived...

I survived the first week of faculty being back and a crazy schedule of meetings including two all day meetings.  It was good to see everyone back and to have a bit of a buzz and energy in our department.  However, I'm worn out from the hectic pace and high demand.

Refilling my tank this weekend is going to involve rest, sleep (if I can) and crocheting.  I'm in the mood to crochet.  So long as my arm doesn't get too sore, I think I'll work on projects.  I have a few going and a few I want to get done.  I like quick projects as they allow me to feel like I'm accomplishing things.

I've been making baskets and I want to try a couple more different things for patterns.  Then I will put them together into a group of patterns.  It has been fun to try out different techniques and see how they work.

There is a strange thing happening this weekend - I have no plans.  I know there are things I should or could be doing but at this point, I have NO plans.

I wrote last night for a bit.  It felt good to get a short story out of my head which had been bouncing around in there.  I worked on Wayfarer 11 for a bit but couldn't settle into it and switched to the other story.  My intent was to just get the opening down as that was pounding at me.  Instead, I wrote the whole story before crashing for the night.  That's just how it works sometimes.

Today I'm going to be lazy, keep my legs warm in the damp weather, and crochet.  If I make new patterns great.  If I fall back on old patterns, great.  I'll do what I do and see what I get accomplished.  I have no agenda and I'm ignoring my to do list.  At least as of right now.  I'll have to see what mischief I get up to and what I get done without looking at my to do list.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's Only Tuesday?

It's only Tuesday.  I keep telling myself there's only three days left but it feels like I've already worked a week.  It is the week before classes start and the building is buzzing with activity and last minute tasks.

One of my student workers came back today.  I had a long long list of tasks for her to do and she barreled through half of them.  While she worked on her list, I worked on the Student Employment Handbook I've had on my to do list for a while. It took most of the day to pull it all together but I got the first draft done.

On top of the heavy activity at work, the weather changed so I've had a constant headache for about four or five days.  Tylenol helps somewhat but it is still tiresome to have a headache.

I'm restless and unable to settle to anything, probably because I am so busy at work.  I know it will settle down after a couple weeks of classes - well at least for a bit.  I'll get more into routine and back to writing at night more.

The good thing, I got another crochet pattern done and will be publishing it soon.  I've posted my patterns on Ravelry and am getting some good hits on there.  It's a marketing tool which hopefully will lead to more sales.  However, at 99 cents, my patterns aren't going to bring in money hand over fist.  It's more like a trickle.  I'm okay with it - it's nice to know my patterns are out there and people are using them.

Sunday, I made a new recipe for my breakfasts.  My niece told me about it.  It's oatmeal (rolled oats not instant), yogurt, and fruit.  You mix it up and let it sit for 8 hours in the fridge.  It has a consistency of a soft muffin.  I struggle a little with the oatmeal but overall I like it.  I can't see doing it every day but it is a good start.  I found a recipe I want to try to intersperse with it.  It's essentially an egg muffin or egg cup.  You fry up your meat - sausage, Canadian bacon, or bacon, and chop it up.  Then you mix onions, peppers, cheese and eggs into a bowl, add the meat and pour it into a well greased muffin tin.  It's baked and you can put it in the fridge or even freeze them.  I'm going to try them to see if they are easy to make and good to eat.  If they are, I will stop driving through McDonald's for my bacon, egg white and white cheddar, bagel with apple juice.

I'm so not good in the mornings so breakfast has to be easy or I won't bother.  It's easy to drive through but it adds up.  If I can replace my morning meal, I can save myself a lot of money.

I'm loving the cooler weather.  It's nice to step outside and be able to enjoy the day rather than hurrying to the next air conditioned place.  For August, this high of 60s is cool, especially when we've been in the upper 80s for a couple of weeks.  It's a welcome but unexpected relief.

It's not even 10:00 and I'm thinking about crashing for the night.  This is an oddity for me, but I know it is the time of the year.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Normal Weekend Errands

Bills to pay, errands to run, and writing tasks to get done.  This is what I should be doing.  Yesterday I wandered off to Nasco for some craft shopping.  I picked up one thing for a project I want to try and canvasses so I can do some painting.

Today is going to be all about business - writing and personal.  I have spreadsheets to update, marketing to do, and bills to pay.  It doesn't help that I've got a headache - again.  I think it is from the change in weather but it could be anything.

I'm sitting here knocking out one task after another and thinking I should be doing more.  I know I can't but still.  I read through a proof this morning.  Format looks good.  I just have to approve it but since it is available for preorder electronically, it has to wait until next weekend.

Ken is off cutting up a tree for my sister.  We hope to get it out of her yard today.  It came partially down in a storm last weekend and she had people take it the rest of the way down.

Since it's pay week, I have to make a grocery list, clip coupons.  Once Ken does the grocery shopping, I'll have to do some food prep.  My list of other things to get done is long as well.

Hopefully the headache will ease off so I can get lots of things done while Ken is off cutting up wood.  It's easier to do some of the tasks while he isn't around.  He's already been up and gotten laundry started.

Last night I watched Sense and Sensibility (the long version) and Emma (with Kate Beckensal).  The Emma was a version I've not seen before.  It was well done.  The S&S is one of my favorites but I found myself saying oh this is the spot in the other version where Emma Thompson does this or whatever.  It amuses me.  The ironic thing is even though I just watched this version - which I like very much - I now want to go watch the over version.  I spent a couple nights watching Pride and Prejudice and wouldn't mind watching it again - the one with Colin firth which is six hours long.

I might have to do Shakespeare next though because Vicki and I were talking about Much Ado About Nothing.  I'll have to see how things go.  If the writing is flowing, I'll be too busy.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Audacity by Melanie Crowder

I'm in a good flow with my writing and rarely do I take a break to read a book.  I'm busy creating a book.  I don't have time.  One of my sisters (you know who you are) was at my work and told me about a book I had to read.  She described it as a fictionalized story written in poetry form about a woman who helped unionized the garment district in the early 1900s.  

I thought - poetry?  Really to tell this story?  Well move over Homer the epic poem has a new face.  Even better, it has a strong, powerful, inspiring face talking about an amazing woman (yes there were amazing women in history) who did incredible things against all those who told her to be submissive.  

Melanie Crowder has created an incredible story based on the real life of Clara Lemlich.  My sister handed me the book and I was skeptical.  How would you tell a story like this in poetry.  Buy the book, open its pages and read.  I read the first poem and wanted to keep reading but couldn't as I was at work.  

In three hours, I read the poems, the Historical Note, and the interview with the family.  I wanted more.  The poems are not hard to read or puzzle out the meaning but they have depth and breadth which is almost unseen today.  In so few words, Crowder manages to entrance, engage, and emotionally draw in the reader.  It was worth interrupting my own work to be inspired by her work.

I've got quotes and two of her poems which moved me so much I'll be copying them into my journal.  I must remember these words.  In a time of social apathy and upheaval (yes it's possible to have both), this story illustrates how one person can make a difference and how one person can inspire others to work together to create the change which is needed.  Go buy this book.  Stop reading my blog and go buy her book!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's All Her Fault!

In my head last night, I had a little argument with myself.  I was working Wayfarer 11 and writing a scene.  I had to pee but I didn't want to interrupt the flow of writing.  In my head, I'm saying, I have to pee.  I have to write.  I have to pee. I have to write.

Needless to say, I did eventually make it to the bathroom.  When I realized I was having this inner debate (it was distracting from my writing) I made myself stop writing for the necessary break.  This is how involved I get with my writing.

I spent the commute home talking to my eldest daughter, we discussed at length where I was with 11.  I reiterated it was her fault I started the next Wayfarer novel as we were talking about different plot issues and scenes.  It made my brain think about it and I woke up with these ideas, which led to me writing 3000 words.

By the time I was done last night, I had nearly 12000 words and am LOVING the start of this book.  I don't always say that and usually by the time I'm done, I don't like the book.  I was able to tie up several loose ends from previous plots.  While those plots were finished, they weren't tied up nicely.  This way all the answers are out there and it made for an exciting start to this book.

The thing is I woke up this morning with more in my head so I'll be working again tonight with writing (hopefully).  Even though I didn't get to bed until midnight, I actually slept really well until  my 5:00 am alarm.  This is an improvement from the night before.  Five solid hours of sleep is better than eight hours of broken up sleep.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lazy Night

Why is it when I'm tired and try to be responsible by going to bed early, I sleep horribly?  It's probably my messed up brain.  I went to bed early but woke up on and off all night.

I worked longer yesterday as we are coming into the new academic year.  I got home later, received an order from Amazon only to be disappointed with it.  I tried buying some hemp rope for a project I want to do.  I guess I might have to go to Farm & Fleet to see if I can find what I want.  The crochet hooks I got a great deal on did actually turn out nice.  I'm looking forward to trying them as they have the ergonomic handles.

This week will start to speed up and next week will be insanely busy.  Meetings are abundant right now.  I don't mind if they are productive but if you're sitting there listening to people blather on, they are tedious.

I pulled out my binder with Defenders in it so I can start the review process.  I'm hoping it will spark a creative way to move forward without having to write a bunch of battles.  Battles are all right if you have a unique perspective but the book / series isn't about the battles as much as the magic and so on.  Maybe I'm over thinking it.  Either way, I'll work on the review and see if I get inspired.

Ken and I were both so tired last night.  We were sitting in the office helping the girls with some information and neither of us had the energy to either go to bed or do something else.  Eventually he went to bed and I played solitaire on the computer.  It was a lazy night for me.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Wayfarer Salvation

Wayfarer Salvation is the next installment for Adara and Decker.  See how they cope with a pregnancy after a miscarriage.  Adara continues as a trainer for pilots and has to deal with a recalcitrant and arrogant Bart Jarvin.  After two conflicts, he decides to show her what a good pilot he is but fails miserably by crashing a shuttle and injuring himself and three engineers.  A cascade of events follows with a secret investigation being launched into Adara.

The release date for this book is September 1, 2015.  You can pre-order the book now on Smashwords or Amazon.  The links are available on my website:

http://eileentroemel.weebly.com/


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Diversions and distractions

Diverted, I think is the way to describe my evening last night.  I went home focused on finishing Wayfarer 10.  Ken and I had a late supper and chatted before he went to bed.  I spoke to two of my daughters, warning the middle one I was going to write.  Her response was "And?"

I was in the groove, writing a scene when I got a text from my niece.  We had made arrangements to chat last night and I'd forgotten.  She was letting me know she was running late.  I said no problem, finished what I was writing (not the book but the section) and settled in for a conversation.

Three hours later, we finished our conversation.  I'd like to say it annoyed me to not finish the book but the conversation was so good, so interesting and diverse, I didn't notice the time slipping by until after 10 last night.  If someone forced to me tell them what we talked about, I could probably come up with a list but it was convoluted.

After our conversation, I wrote for another hour and a half.  I should have kept writing because I couldn't sleep.  It took me till almost two to get to sleep.  When I woke up this morning, I had four short stories, a to do list, four scenes for Wayfarer 10 fleshed out, and two or three scenes for the third Defenders novel all screaming to get out of my head.

To calm the voices in my head, I emailed myself an outline of the short stories so I can refer to it when I have time to sit and write them.  I opened up Google Keep on my phone and made the to do list.  I got up (late by this time) showered, dressed and got off to work.

My evening was diverted from my plans but I have to be honest, it was a good diversion.  One I enjoyed and hope she did as well.  The scenes bouncing in my head are fuller, better developed ideas.  I can't wait to write them to see how they play out.  I think my characters will enjoy the twists and humor of them.  I know I'm going to.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dear Businesses

I'm a hermit.  I freely admit I'd rather stay home than go out.  When I do go out, it has become more and more difficult for me to go places.

I've been feeling a bit annoyed with myself over the anxiety I feel when I have to go to new places.  It's hard for me to know whether I'll be able to get into a new place of business or not.  Yes, we supposedly live in a world where everywhere is supposed to be handicap accessible.  We don't.

My favorite craft store in my home town does not have automatic doors.  I know this may seem small but without them it makes it more difficult to get into the store.  When an employee sees me struggling to get in, they do come help.  Also I had complained to the manager about how difficult it was to get through their aisles and it has been somewhat better.

Ken, Alicia and I went out to supper last night.  Alicia and I were going to do a Paint Nite event at this restaurant.  I was excited and looking forward to it.  Alicia went in to see where in the restaurant the event was going to be held.  If it was close to the door, I would have walked but it was at the back of the store.  We were told we could go in the back.  I drove around but there was a fence surrounding the back and you had to climb over the fence to get in.  Does this sound handicap friendly?

I drove back to the front of the building and went in.  Now had I been on my own, I would have had a hard time getting in because the doors weren't automatic.  Fortunately, Ken was there to open doors.  I got all sorts of funny looks when I drove my scooter through the building.  We got to the area where the event was being held.  They had all these plastic lawn chairs or tall bar stools.  I can't sit on a bar stool, my legs go to sleep and I can't walk.  I asked the bar tender if they had sturdier chairs.  I'm a big person and the plastic chair wasn't going to cut it.  She ignored me.  When I asked a second time, she rolled her eyes at me.  Fortunately, Ken isn't shy and he went into the restaurant and got me a better chair.  Again, had I been alone, I wouldn't have stayed.

So here is my little rant.  If I could I would send this to all business owners.

Dear Businesses:  We may be a minority but we still have money to spend.  If you want a handicapped person to come to your store make it easier for them to get there.  Have your doors easily accessible for people to get in and out of.  Train your employees to assist without judgment.  If I feel like I'm inconveniencing you, I won't come back because I don't want to inconvenience anyone.  I don't want my visit to be a production.  If it is, I'm less likely to come back.  I don't like to be stared at or considered a difficult customer.   Think about whether your customer - all customers are going to be comfortable when you pick your chairs.  I shouldn't leave your establishment in more pain than when I came in just from sitting on an uncomfortable chair.  Flimsy plastic chairs are not going to work well for larger customers.  If you don't want my business, no problem.  I'll take my money elsewhere.  But you can bet your bottom dollar, I'm going to make sure everyone I know is aware of how poorly I was treated.

These factors contribute to my being a hermit and the anxiety I feel going to a new place.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Wayfarer Freedom, Grandma's Doilies, and The Broom Closet

Three new books are available.  Wayfarer Freedom is the eighth installment in the Adara and Decker story.  The Pritchard was destroyed and now Adara is trying to cope with her grief and loss.  She wonders if she's a jinx as the captains all thought after the Aegis.  While working through this grief, Decker and Adara suffer a more devastating loss.  Struggling with loss and grief, they return to Command.  Decker wants a bigger ship with more people. Adara's afraid she won't be able to protect their people. Pulled into negotiations, training, and prepping for a new ship, Adara couldn’t possibly have time for more but there is always more.

The Broom Closet is a collection of short stories.  A Stroll, a woman takes a stroll through a park to bring herself back to a place of balance.  The Broom Closet addresses the issue of religious freedom in the workplace.  Choices, a stressful life has led to medical issues which leads her to meditation.  Dolphin Quest, an old woman visits a dolphin.  She takes a journey with him to the depths of the ocean.

Grandma's Doilies is a collection of short stories.  The Fight a boy waits to see if his mother will be abused. History Repeating, a great aunt tells of being raped. Guess, a mother teaches her daughter fiscal responsibility. Grandma’s Doilies, a granddaughter recalls a beloved grandmother. Dream Rich a poor mother struggles to feed her baby. Poignant stories address difficult topics.

Wayfarer Freedom is 2.99.  The Broom Closet and Grandma's Doilies are both 99 cents.  These are available on Amazon and Smashwords.  I've got links on my site:  http://eileentroemel.weebly.com/

If you've read my books, please post a review somewhere like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads.  To all my supporters - Thank you!  I keep writing because of the encouragement I get from the readers!


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ridiculousness

Last weekend I drove to Fort Wayne to visit Vicki.  It was fun to take the car out on the interstate and open her up.  Since we bought the new car, I've been ridiculously protective of it.  I took a longer route to one event because they had just graveled the road I normally would have taken.

Ken was annoyed with me on this trip because he has this habit of just throwing stuff on the floor while we travel and picking it up when we get to our location.  I wouldn't let him do that this time.  I made him put all the garbage in a bag so nothing messed up my car.  I was annoyed when he spilled soda on the seat.  To be fair, I wasn't annoyed with him but the fast food place because they didn't put the lid on tight.

I did get the car up to 90 while I was driving - I was passing an erratic driver - and she handled beautifully.  I got great gas mileage.  On the way down, I made 35 mpg it took 3/4 of a tank to get there.  On the way back, we had a head wind but I still made 33 mpg.  We would have made it all the way home on one tank but I wanted to make sure we didn't run out before we hit 39 as there aren't a lot of good places to stop on that road.

While we were down there, other people drove my car.  I was annoyed because the average mpg was lower than I like.  When I drive it is right around 30 mpg they were driving and it was around 25.  Plus they don't treat her as nice as I do.  I don't like that.  See this is my ridiculousness of having a new car.

Vicki said she wanted to trade cars.  I told her absolutely not.  I like my car.  I'm being ridiculous about my car I know but I'm sure in another year or so I'll stop being so protective and ridiculous about it.  Maybe.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Write, Edit, Publish, Repeat....

Writing has been on my mind and keeping me busy.  I have five projects I'm working towards the production phase.  They're all written and edited.  The next steps are to enter changes on the computer, do spellcheck, read through a final time, write a summary, create a cover, and production.

For Wayfarer Freedom I'm at the production phase.  I have to sit down at my computer at home to put it through the production steps.  For the other ones, I have various steps to get through.  I'm hoping to finish as many as possible so when I do production, I can do a number of them all at once.

Once these are off my plate, I will go back to writing and crocheting.  I have a number of projects for crocheting that are grumbling at me.  My brain wants to work on them but I haven't had time.

I have to come up with a name for Wayfarer 9.  I'm considering suggestions from my test readers and what sounds right with the book.  I also have to figure out what I want to do for a cover.

I also need to work on marketing again.  It's never ending but much needed.  There are times when all the tasks I need to do get to be overwhelming but I just keep plugging away at  it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Weekend Away From Home

Ken and I spent the weekend with Vicki.  She and I went to Painting with a Twist on Friday night and did a moon picture.  Saturday, Vicki talked Ken into going and he had a good time.  We did a sunflower picture.

We watched the three original Star Wars movies and the three Back to the Future movies.  As well as I made pizza for Vicki.  She made me hermits and Ken German Chocolate Cupcakes.  She thoroughly spoiled us.

Today is back to reality.  I have a long long list of writing projects to deal with this week or at the weekend.  I'm hoping to accomplish some of them during the week but I'll have to see how my week goes as I can only spend so much time at my desk at home without it bothering my legs.

It was good to get away.  The car handled wonderfully and we got good gas mileage - definitely an improvement over the van.  In addition to the good gas mileage, I didn't hurt nearly as much as when I was driving the van.  Ken also was more comfortable in the car.  It was a good decision to get this car.  I don't like the loan or the car payment but I like the improvements for my pain level and his.

Ken and Vicki took Sasha to the vet for shots.  She is having surgery as she appears to have a cyst or growth on her paw.  It's bothering her so Vicki will be taking her to the vet again on Thursday for a quick surgery.  Hopefully all goes well and Sasha will only be annoyed with Vicki for a few days.

Normally when we go to Vicki's we do as little as possible - mostly just hang out with her.  This is the first time I didn't crochet her anything while I was there.  I wasn't in the mood.  It was nice to just sit back, watch movies and hang out with her.  Painting with a Twist was fun.  I didn't like my painting on Friday but when I woke up and looked at it on Saturday, I did.  Now I just have to find a place to hang it.

It was a good weekend.  I enjoyed the mini break and the time away from home.  Now it's time to get back to work on my writing and crocheting.

Surgery and Other Updates

Last Wednesday I had sinus surgery.  It was a day surgery where they cleaned out my sinuses, straightened a deviated septum, narrowed some b...