Monday, June 25, 2018

The 2018 NHL Draft

DD and I only stuck around through Dallas's pick at #13. As I said in a previous post, it was more the experience of attending since it was here in Dallas than any great interest in the actual draft. Most of these boys won't be playing in an NHL game for a few more years, so we don't care much about it. But each pick only took a few minutes, so we stuck around for Dallas's and were still home before it was completely dark. YAY!

But before all of that, I attended the Draft Fan Fest, which is what exactly what it sounds like. The event started at noon, although I didn't get there until about  3:15. I jumped in a line for autographs and got Stephen Johns' autograph--the same player who was the guest at my podcast event the night before.

I got my picture taken with the Stanley Cup!! How freakin' cool is that??

After seeing the Cup, I was gonna go grab a bit to eat, but then I saw the autographs was way too freaking long for the person who came after Stephen John--I honestly don't even know who the guy was--and realized that people were already in line for

drum roll please

Jamie Benn--the Dallas Stars captain and one of the team's two most popular players.

There's a sweet young woman in my life who loves Jamie Benn. She was supposed to come with DD to the Draft, but her little boy was sick and she's a single mom, so she stayed home to care for her little one.

I stood in line for close to two hours to get an autograph for her. I can't wait to see her face when I give it to her.

Because there were so many people for autographs, there were no selfies allowed, so all pictures had to be taken while waiting in line and around other people already standing in front of him.

A fun day was had by moi!!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Puck Soup Live

So the Puck Soup Live event was freaking awesome. Had a wonderful time and got to meet my podcasters!! Here are a couple of not-so-good pictures because I am a horrible photographer. I am also bad at selfies and had to ask each of the guys to actually take the picture for me. In addition, I'm horrible at smiling for the camera, so in one of the photos I took, I have a horribly dorky expression on my face and you don't get to see that one.

 Dave on the left, Greg on the right.

 Special guest, Stephen Johns, a defenseman for the Dallas Stars.

 And a not-quite as dorky-looking Jen with Dave.

Next up--the NHL Draft this evening.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Found a project to work on...

Finally took some time to look at any other projects currently floating around in my files and found a pair of books (a duet, linked together by siblings) that I can convert from male/female (that's how old they are) to male/male romances...and do something with.

I'll be at a local writers gathering/retreat this weekend and will spend some quality alone time with these books. I'd already started the conversion process of one book, so YAY. The other one will be a lot more tricky since there's an unplanned pregnancy that's an integral part of the plot. I'll have to figure out how everyone can/should be related now and reduce the unplanned pregnancy to a sub-plot...

Now that I have something concrete to work on, I'm looking more forward to this weekend and hoping I can make a lot of progress.

But the next two days are gonna be busy, PUCK SOUP LIVE PODCAST (I'm SOOO excited!!!) event on Thursday night and NHL Draft event on Friday. I might just want to sleep all weekend.

Have a great rest of your week...

I might have something posted Friday, I might not. Just depends. I'll be back Monday for sure.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Talk about being forced kicking and screaming into gear...

So...writers group was this past Saturday and it was fun as it always is. I caught up with three out of five posse members.

In light of needing to get all my ducks in a row for the conference in October--mainly getting physical books printed, I asked my friends what the first thing I needed to do is.

The answer: format the manuscript for print.

Okey dokey--Google is my friend. Found several tutorials and I was on my way. Once I got the gist of what was required, it was a snap. All things I'd done before for another project.

One of my friends also had a coupon code (allowing me to do them for free) for one of the print-on-demand (POD) vendors, good through June. So I have two weeks to get at least two books formatted and uploaded along with a full cover (front, back, and spine) images... Yikes. I'm hoping to get four done.

Along with the proofing job and the series guide I'm working on and all the other things going on at the end of the week, it looks like I'll be busy busy busy... Yikes again.

Hope you had a lovely weekend.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Finally getting my rear end in gear...

Not in the writing sense, but in the prepping for the writer conference I'm attending in October.

I've talked about swag a couple of times and I've known what I wanted: pens and cardboard bar coasters.

Almost everyone loves pens, so that's almost a given. As for the bar coasters...I didn't come across any last year at the conference, so I may be a trendsetter. I have a handful from a con I attended years ago. I do use them.

Here's what they look like:

I'll probably also invest in either postcards or bookmarks...people like autographs at this con, so it might be nice to have something sign-able. One thing I noticed was missing last year were QR codes to e-book versions of people's books. I prefer e-books and I have to think there are others who do as well, so for each book, I'm going to have a sheet with QR codes to each retailer...

On the book front, I've decided on getting only the first two books in physical form. This is mostly a cost-based decision because I have to buy them and then ship them, so yeah...

As I'm writing this, all the things I need to do are bombarding me--time to make a conference preparation list me thinks!

Tomorrow is writers group and I'm super excited to see my posse after a two month hiatus. In the interested of being fifty and fun and fabulous, I will be wearing my new hockey jersey to the meeting. :0)

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Happy Birthday to Me, Part II...

The view from my seats...

I am the brand new owner of a pair of (half) season tickets to the Dallas Stars. I will get to attend twenty-one games over the course of the 2018-2019 season. I don't know which games I'll get to see yet as the NHL league schedule hasn't been released yet and I don't get to choose... But that's fine. I'm happy to see almost any other team. :0)

How long till hockey season...?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Happy Birthday to Me...

My birthday gift to myself...

Monday, June 11, 2018

What a difference a month makes...

On May 4th, I wrote about the state of Jen. I vaguely remember the things that were weighing me down at the time, except the weather which I mentioned specifically.

I've moved on and things have gotten better mostly. The weather has warmed and turned sunny (and humid) and is better for my general outlook on life.

The one major thing that happened is still there. At the time, I was upset and angry and scared. I've had time to process the issue. I talked with a friend, did a little more research, and I was able to get a better grasp of what the issue really is. Unfortunately, there's not much I can do at the moment but work around the issue. So work around it I will.

Another issue is... I haven't written much for months. As I've said more than a few times, I should be writing...


I've also said that this is my journey. A Facebook friend (a person I have met in person) and fellow author recently wrote a post reminding all of her writer friends that our journey is indeed unique. It doesn't matter if you write fast or slow. If you publish 1 book or 5 or more in a year. We each have real lives to work around. Jobs, partners, children, pets, extended family, and on and on. And we each have to accept that about one another. Unless we walk a mile or spend a day in someone else's shoes, we cannot know what's best for that person. We cannot judge.

I have author friends who seem to be chained to their computers a lot and they seem miserable. I've never wanted to be that author. Also, unlike many, I'm not trying to make a best-seller list and I'm not trying to make a living. The only pressure I want is the pressure I put on myself for the right reasons--I'm ready and willing to get the next book written, edited, and published. The wrong reason is that much of the publishing world says I need to churn churn churn.

I'm going to turn fifty years old tomorrow. I want this time in my life to be as fun as I can make it. That means I write when I'm damn good and ready to do so. I make no excuses when people ask. I made the choice and there are consequences. Here comes the pressure though: I need and want to get back to it soon. I do enjoy it and I have a conference to get ready for.

Of course, now I have a proofreading job and a series-guide-updating job and several clients for whom I do website updates and places to go and 4th of July coming up. *sigh*

It is what it is, I guess. Better get to it.

Have a great week.

Friday, June 8, 2018


For the first time in the franchise's forty-four year history, the Washington Capitals have won the hardest trophy in sports to win: the Stanley Cup.

Alexander Ovechkin, the Capitals long-time captain in anticipation of receiving the Cup.

Ovechkin getting the Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

 Ovie circling the rink with the Cup as each team member gets to do.

Ovie handing off the Cup to Niklas Backstrom, the Caps' second longest-suffering member.

Congrats to the 2018 Stanley Cup champions.

The loss by the Knights didn't hurt quite as much as I expected...I guess after three straight losses, it was probably inevitable and just a matter of time. Sure the Knights could have won last night, but could they have won three straight? It's happened once in the Stanley Cup final, decades ago.

The 2017-2018 hockey season is officially over and I'm glad. There are a few more things going on, but no more actual NHL hockey until mid-September. It's a good thing too...I do have things to do...

Have a great weekend and ROCK the RED in support of the Washington Capitals this weekend.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Astronauts Wives Club...

So I finished watching The Astronauts Wives Club, a ten-part tv mini-series, based on the book of the same name, chronicling the story of the wives of the Mercury Seven astronauts. It covers a span of approximately ten years.

The thing I loved about the series is the look into history of the time just before and just after I was born. The clothes, the hair, the seeming simplicity of life, especially for women. The only degree a woman was expected to get was her MRS. Of course, things were beginning to change during the 60s. Women and blacks were experiencing awful oppression and changes were simmering.

It really hit home how gender biased the time period was when one of the wives of an Apollo astronaut decided to get a divorce as her husband had basically abandoned her and their children (one of whom had Down's Syndrome and leukemia and eventually died at four-years-old). She was told even by her own attorney that she was better off staying married because it was so difficult for a woman to obtain a divorce at that time. One scene depicts her access to bank accounts being ended. Her saving grace was that her husband wanted the divorce to marry someone else. As an aside, only seven of fifty marriages (of all 60s era space program astronauts) didn't end in divorce.

Watching some of the women attempt to pursue their own dreams and being put in their place over and over was painful. I know we've still got a long way to go for women and for people of color and for people of other religions and faiths as well as for people of all sexualities, but thank goodness it's still not that...

It might not be a show for everyone, but I really enjoyed the look into the past and liked the show for what it was. I like that it didn't try whitewash or ignore the issues the book brought to light like how much pressure NASA put on the wives to keep all troubles away from the husbands when they were home. The struggles the wives went through, depression and alcoholism. The attempted cover-up of the real reason why three men died in a fire.

Anyone else watched this? What did you think?

Monday, June 4, 2018

The happy couple, post vows...

The drive down along Highway 281 through the Hill Country was gorgeous. The venue was gorgeous. The wedding itself was lovely. The company fun.

Sending out best wishes to the happy couple.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Going to the chapel and we're gonna get married...

Congratulations to my dear nephew and his fiancee, today, the day of their wedding.

All the best to you both.

Much love from your favorite Auntie Jen