Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Pictures!

I think I've promised pictures of all my birthday/Mother's Day presents, our boat trip and some miscellaneous band functions. I haven't taken pictures of the presents yet, so we'll start with the boat trip!

That was Sunday, May 20, 2012

Picture 01: Sonshine in the bow of the boat as we raced across the water.
Picture 02: DH trying to get up on the knee board.
Picture 03: Sonshine just chillin' after skipping rocks. We'd found a little beach and anchored for a bit, enjoying the sun and the breeze.

They're coming, they're coming...

I finally got that stinkin' camera cable, but of course the camera battery died.

But pictures are a comin'!

In just a little while, so stay tunes and check back.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Freedom isn't Free

Please take some time today to remember those men and women (and their families) who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can now enjoy life as we know it. And though it isn't Armed Forces Day any more (that was the 19th) take some time to thank a veteran and any active member of the military you know. Maybe even ones you don't. Stop a soldier on the street and thank him or her!

We'll be back to our regularly scheduled blog posts on Wednesday.

Enjoy your day. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ticking them off, one by one...

Another event crossed off my list. Sonshine's band concert was last night and they played well. I took video on my camera, but until that pasky cable arrives, that's where they'll stay, along with *all* my pictures I'm dying to share.

Tomorrow, however, Sonshine and I will be dropped off at school by 6am to leave on the band trip. We're on a two-day whirlwind tour of Dallas! The kids will be performing at the Winspear Opera House, which is supposedly on par with Carnegie Hall and Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall. We'll see. Not that I've been to Carnegie Hall, but I have been to Bass Hall. We'll be hitting several local tourist attractions as well, finally returning to school close to 11pm on Friday. *whew* I'm tired just thinking about it. (I will have yet more pictures to share.)

I mentioned Monday that I'd finally settled on a title for my current WIP. I'm also excited to say that I've finally found/chosen a publisher/line to target: Entangled Publishing's Flirt line. Required word count is between 10K and 15K. That's actually a relief for me.

The first book of the pair I'm currently working on has me stumped. I think the shorter word count is going to make it easier for me to fix as the line requires a much simpler plot and a faster resolution. I've already started some of the slashing. I knew one scene wasn't working though I loved it so and now it's gone, cutting approximately 3K words. Once I simplify the conflict, I'll be able to cut a lot more. The second book is at 11K and will only take minor alterations at this point to make it work.

But alas, little of that is happening during the next two days.

Anyway, I have work to do before I'm gone for two days. (which means there will probably be no post on Friday--but maybe there will if I have Internet!

Have a great long weekend--

And don't forget Memorial Day is to remember those who sacrificed to give us/help us keep our freedoms.

Thank a veteran today!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Time to Rest

Yesterday, I rested. I was tempted not to, but ultimately I went for it.

DH wanted to take the boat out. I was hesitant as I had laundry to do and words to write. Especially those words. This is going to be a short week for me since I'm chaperoning the band trip and will literally be gone and busy all of Thursday and all of Friday. (7AM Thu to 11PM Fri) There will be little time to write without distractions and/or interruptions. Plus this is band time. The children will get my undivided attention should they desire or require it.

Anyway, we went. It was a lovely day on the water with just three of us: DH, Sonshine and I. Sonshine didn't want to go at first, but changed is mind when the boat showed up. I was glad. And I will have pictures to share as soon as my transfer cable arrives in the mail--which could be today.

So once I get that transfer cable we'll be seeing lake pictures and then the Twelve Days of Jen--pics of all my cool Mother's Day/birthday gifts.

On Saturday, I received my second/third charm for the writing incentive program my writing chapter is sponsoring. Pics of that coming too.

Since we're back to the writing, I did *not* reach my goal yesterday and (as mentioned) I'll probably lose Thursday and Friday. So...I think I'm going to give myself a bye week. I'll write what I can on the days I can, but otherwise I'm going to give myself a break and not try to cram in all those words since I also actually have to prepare for the trip as well as go on it.

I had a lovely day with my writer peeps on Saturday, especially my critique partners. Mostly we visited and brainstormed some titles for on of them. Speaking of titles, I finally decided on a title for my current WIP:

Children With a Chance of Marriage

With the title came some helpful direction regarding part of the plot. So YAY! Now if I can just pull it off. :)

And with that, you all know it's Monday and I do have work to do.

But please share with me how you spent your weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2012

More items crossed off the list...

Well, we're about halfway through the month and several more items will be crossed off my TO DO list...

Tonight is Sonshine's band banquet. I'm looking forward to it and I wonder if Sonshine will get anything this year. Last year's award was a surprise. I probably should have gotten something for the band director, but what? I had an idea, but there wasn't enough time to execute. Plus she's moving in June so I don't really want to give her more things she has to pack. Ah, well...maybe next year when she retires.

Tomorrow is writer meeting day--chapter board meeting, chapter general meeting, and critique partner meeting. Yep, it's going to be a long, busy day, but that's okay.

Today should be a nice quiet day and I'm hoping to get some writing done. I need today's words and an equal number left towards tomorrow's words.

And that is about all I have to say for the day, except...

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What? Am I Crazy?

Apparently so.

Following in one of my critique partner's footsteps...

Most of my waking hours revolve around writing. Either I'm writing, revising, or reading. Sometimes I'm taking classes or preparing for writer meetings.

And if I'm not doing that then I'm doing something for Sonshine or the band or just general house wifey stuff.

Or working (yeah, uh huh; that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

Earlier in my life, I was more crafty. And I don't mean that in the devious sense. I mean that I used to sew, cross stitch, crochet, and rubber stamp. Baking too, a bit, if that counts.

But I don't do those things anymore. And I miss them.

So when an online friend of mine mentioned she was participating in an event whereby one crochets or knits something during the period of the Summer Olympics and invited others to join her, I accepted her invite almost immediately. In my head at least. It took me a few days to get to the site and join.

The event is called the Ravelympics. And come to find out, my own dear momma is also a member of the site that's hosting the event:

So if you are a crocheter or a knitter and are not a member of Ravelry and are interested, check out their About Us page. If you decide to sign up and need a friend, let me know.

It's been a while since I've crocheted, so I'm going to start with something easy. A scarf or something. I bought yarn, a pattern book and a hook yesterday, but I'm not sure if I'm going to proceed with that or make something else. I'll keep you posted.

So are you a well rounded person? Can you share two things that you enjoy doing? The more different they are the better.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kristen Lamb

If you're a writer, you should be reading Kristen Lamb's blog each and every week. She's got something great to say all the time.

I met her a month or so ago when she presented at my chapter's conference (the North Texas Two Step, if you read this, Kristen) and she's as sweet as sweet can be and is very industry savvy on many many levels.

Today, she talked about resting. As the Bible says, there is a time for everything.

Including rest.

If you haven't rested recently, maybe it's time you did.

Go read what Kristen has to say on the matter. She said it way more eloquently.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It was a very good day...

So yesterday was Mother's Day and my pseudo birthday.

And it was a good weekend all the way around.

Saturday was my nephew's graduation from Baylor University and subsequent commissioning as a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force. He graduated with a B.A. in Russian and will attend flight training school at Laughlin AFB here in Texas.

Thankfully, there were only a baker's dozen or so cadets, because at 10-15 minutes per cadet, it was already a longish ceremony. But I was glad Sonshine got to go and see this. I think he really enjoyed it and I hope it helped solidify his intention to join the military.

Sunday was a good day. Though I did go do the grocery shopping (DH said he'd go, but then I'd have gotten ten phone calls about what brand and what size, so it was faster if I just went and did it) and the laundry, everything else from dinner to dishes was handled by everyone else. Mostly.

Dinner was burgers on the grill with salad and chips. Dessert was eaten mid-day. We were going to go to Olive Garden so I could have their cheesecake, but it was so crowded we went back to the grocery store and everyone picked out a treat of choice there instead.

Now to the presents! I got a lot of them (remember Mom's Day and B-day) and they'd been piling up for two weeks now. I have pictures, but the transer cable is broken.

My haul: a new SHINY Revereware kettle; the complete set of Harry Potter books in hard back--which came in a cardboard Hogwarts trunk and which tickled me more than almost anything else; a new battery charger for the camera; a couple of other books that I will talk abot later; the DVD of Water for Elephants which I raved about last week; socks; new Sharpies in a lovely patriotic metal tin bucket; three candles; another hurricane lamp looking candle warmer; an iTunes gift card; and a new set of dishes (12 place settings!)-- oh, and a lovely frame for my picture of Sonshine in his marching band uniform. :)

Now the whole family was waiting to see my reaction to the new kettle. Remember a month or so ago I posted about it? How old and funky it was and how it had finally broken. Well, me getting it wasn't that much of a surprise, was it? (none of the gifts really were, tbh)

The biggest surprise of the lot was the complete set of Harry Potter books. Yes, I'd sorta asked for them, but really said in passing conversation with DD that I'd like them in hard back. I expected one or two of them. Maybe. Not all seven of them. And not in the cool (cardboard) Hogwarts traveling trunk. The trunk came with stickers that I got place on the box too. Silly, I know, but hey...

On the writing front, I made last week's words with plenty to spare, but this week didn't start off so well. I bare got a quarter of the words for yesterday I was supposed to. There will be lots to make up throughout the week.

And now it's time to go get some work done. :) It is Monday after all.

(pics to follow soon, if I can get them off my camera)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pretend there's a witty title here...

I've got nothing. I'm a week into the month of May. Two events checked off my list, but many more to go. Tomorrow is my nephew's graduation from Baylor and subsequent commissioning. We're only attending the commissioning.

There's a new wrinkle in my life, at the moment, so additional time and effort will be spent dealing with that. Gah.

But aside from my nephew's thing, the weekend is mine. Oh, and it's Mother's Day and my (new) birthday. That day went from good to melancholy back to good in the span of two days. (Having to do with the new wrinkle aka the rarely mentioned Brown Eyed Girl.) My children (all three of them) will cater to my every whim, which will mostly be to do chores and leave me alone to write. It'll be a welcome respite from the chaos.

And despite the busyness and the new wrinkle, I am ahead on my writing, so YAY. Hopefully, I can keep up with it and all my other random commitments, including two online classes. Oy! One was originally scheduled a month earlier and ended up being pushed back.The other is free through RWA, so I generally sign up for any of those that sound interesting and just read the lessons and comments. I didn't actually choose to take two classes at the same time or during the month of May. It just worked out that way.

Anyway, I'm glad, sooo very glad it's Friday.

Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow mothers and especially to my own momma who lives so very far away from me.

I love you, Mom.

(And hugs to your new roomie too.)

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Water for Elephants

Monday evening I sat down to watch Water for Elephants, a period drama with strong romantic elements.

Wiki said it was a romance, but really it wasn't, fyi.

Anyway, I sat down to watch, not that excited to do it because I wanted to be writing. But I'd made a commitment on another social media platform to watch one movie a week and talk about it, so I sorta had to. Plus, I know it's good for me as a person to just relax and good for me as a writer to refill my creative well with other things and also to see how other people tell stories, whether they be told goodly or badly, and learn from them.


Oh. My. Goodness. I loved this movie! I was on tenterhooks throughout the film, sorta knowing what was coming at one point but not how or when. And when it came, I cheered out loud.

Based on the book of the same name, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, (which I haven't read) it is the story of a young man on the verge of life when tragedy strikes and sends him down a completely different path. For a while anyway.

He ends up on a circus train and we follow his journey for a few months, I think, as he becomes a part of this world.

The bulk of the story takes place in 1931, book-ended in modern day when an old man is left at a circus. The proprietor takes the old man in to try and call the nursing home he lives at, but they end up talking. The old man then shares his story of the events leading up to a particular incident of circus lore.

I think I'm going to read the book now.

Have you seen this movie? What did you think?

Monday, May 7, 2012

So far, so good!

The Jazz Festival on Saturday was a success. The selling of concessions was much easier than I anticipated--got to sit on my butt most of the time. I also kept the band director's mom company, or she kept me company, I don't know which. She's a sweet old lady (89, I think), but she suffered a stroke a couple of years ago, so she can be difficult to understand sometimes.

Yesterday truly began the new round of eating right. I bought a scale and a Britta water filter though I drink straight out of the tap. I'm hoping my family will drink more water too. (Also, I'm having friends over in June and I know tap water has a taste and as I'm used to mime, it tastes fine to me. But when I go to a CPs house, her water tastes nasty to me. So...)

Nothing but water and hot tea to drink, but I've given up the sugar. Ahhhhhh! I know. I LOVE sugar, but it's got to go. Also, the carbs are gone again. Except for my daily lunch of beans and broccoli slaw. We'll see how it goes. Depending on my rate of loss, I may give those up after a month. But lots of protein and veggies.

The goal: three pounds a week for the next 8 weeks. That's twenty-four pounds by June 29th--the day I meet some online friends face to face. I don't want to be a chunky chicken. Plus I just need to be healthy. This event just gives me some good motivation.

On the writing front, I'm proceeding along. I've earned my May charm with two weeks to spare. Ooh-rah! I got back into revising book one this morning. I've had trouble with this book from the get go. Not really from a plot perspective per se, but from the heroine's perspective of the plot. I've had a hard time figuring out why scenes from her perspective are the hardest to write. I've figured out that she's too wishy washy.

Not that she doesn't know what she wants, but she lets others (one certain other) sway her. Then I read a blog this morning about knowing the character's emotion for that scene. All of us are swayed by how we feel on any given day. When we're happy the day goes well, when we're not, the day is harder. Same for the characters. I think this is going to help me some. But unfortunately I think there's going to be more re-writing on this book in my future. Ah, well. It's all a journey.

Time to get to work. Talk to you Wednesday!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The faster I go, the behinder I get...

So it's Friday and tomorrow's long day selling concessions for the jazz festival looms. It'll definitely be easier than selling concessions at the stadium, though, so no real complaints.

My weekly word count was reached last night as I knew I wasn't going to be able to write tomorrow. I still have daily counts though tomorrow's is covered, so I'm still going to try and get today's word count written even though I don't really need it for the overall weekly count.

I have a story (well, part of it)  I need to polish a bit for posting on another blog as part of an ongoing, post weekly series. Due Sunday. Hmmm....

A TV series called Storm Chasers that I found on Netflix sucked me in. I need to be caught up in TV like I need another hole in the head. Ah, well...

The band newsletter out the door yesterday, so one thing crossed off my to do list...

The TO DO list should be longer than it is. I best start a master list.

All righty then, time to get my TO DO list and my day started.

Have a super weekend.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

And here we go...

Can I stop time right now? The month of May is going to be a busy whirlwind of a month, most of it revolving around band events with a handful of family events thrown in for good measure. My month looks like this:

05.05: Jazz Festival sponsored by Sonshine's band, I'm helping. All day.
05.10: Band Booster meeting
05.12: oldest nephew's graduation from college and subsequent induction into the USAF
05.13: Mother's Day and my birthday celebration
05.18: band award banquet
05.19: writers group and critique group meetings
05.22: spring band concert (which included booster meeting to vote on officers)
05.23: my youngest nephew's birthday
05.24: band trip, lasting 2 days and on which I'm going as a chaperone (eek)
05.27: my father-in-law's birthday
06.01: graduation for Sonshine's HS - he's not graduating, but the band plays Pomp and Circumstance
06.02: youngest nephew's graduation from high school
06.03: my momma's birthday
06.03: Cowboys Stadium event (and so it begins....)

And I have writing and revising to accomplish in between all that.

I'm feeling overwhelmed now that I've compiled this definitive list. Yikes.

Breathe, Jen, breathe. In. Out. Slowly. One day at a time and I'll get through it.

On that note, I have a couple of things I need to get done, so this is all you get today.

Happy HUMP day. See you Friday.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bound by Trust

It's out! It's for sale as of today.

My CP, Lavender Daye's, first novel Bound by Trust is available from Siren Publishing/Bookstrand.