Monday, April 29, 2019

TA DA ! ! !

My short story is told!!

I have a cohesive tale from the beginning to the end that hits all the beats. I'm pretty sure anyway.

Now, I'm not done, mind you. There are still edits and tweaks to be made, but the with the exception of the second-to-last scene, there will be no more major changes.

I'm excited and definitely relieved. I can even take a short break from the whole thing after I finish transferring all the first-pass, start-to-finish edits I made over the weekend.

I did end up about 300 words over the limit. I'm not sure what the window is, because the coordinator did allow a little leeway. But I may be able to reduce that with the tweak to that scene mentioned above. And I have a few other places noted where statements could be removed if absolutely necessary.

I have a couple of friends who might beta read this for me just to give me a heads up on any major issues I might be blinded to, so that's on the agenda for today. Asking if they would help me out.

The weekend was lovely, if a bit windy, but that's one aspect of spring in North Texas.

DD and I enjoyed a lovely Saturday afternoon in Victory Plaza--a courtyard off one end of the American Airlines Center where the Dallas Stars play--watching the Stars game (they were playing in St. Louis). The Stars pulled out the win to even the series at one win a piece. A great position for the Stars to be in heading home for games 3 and 4 of the series Monday and Wednesday nights, respectively. DD and I will be there, cheering our boys on.

This will be the last series DD and I see in person. I squeezed in tickets to game 4 with blessings from DH, but I just can't keep up with the pace of it, nor the expense, more to the point. So after this, it'll be watch parties either at our house or DD's BFF's house.

Hope your weekend was delightful or productive or both.

Take care!

And as always:

Friday, April 26, 2019

It's been a while since we talked about this...

But I'm collecting way more stuff right now than I'm getting rid of. Easy to do since I haven't gotten rid of anything recently and I keep getting free Stars swag at the watching parties.

I don't know that I'll reach the goal of 100 things like I imagined I would. I mean, individually, yes, I've removed several hundred items from the house, but because I bunched like items together (vases, DVDs, books) , I'm only at 32 things. >>sigh<<

I really thought I could do it, but I'm not as confident now. I might could reach 50 items, but 100 is going to be a stretch unless I decide to get really crazy. But that wasn't the goal. The goal was to get rid of stuff hiding in closets and cabinets that wasn't being used and hadn't been used in a long time, not to strip my house of the things I look at and enjoy having around me.

I definitely need to make another pass through the house, though. I'm sure I can find a few more things that I don't need to keep.

Anyway, it's Friday and I've a short story to whip into shape this weekend. I've done a very bad job this week of making progress. I'm sure you can guess why with one guess.

Hope you have lovely spring weather to enjoy wherever you are.

Regardless of the weather, have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


From this:

to this:

This was nowhere near the biggest upset of this year's playoffs, but it's a huge deal to Stars fans.

Next up:

The biggest travesty of this (and maybe every) playoffs is the lack of correct penalty calls against teams. Officials "say" they don't want to change the trajectory of the game, but aren't they doing that anyway when they don't call penalties or call icings? If one team has momentum but is committing penalties against the other team, shouldn't the other team get the benefit of relief with a penalty call?

Penalties should be called equally and fairly. The rules didn't change, just because the regular season ended. It's crazy ridiculous and I've heard just about every fan base complaining.

We have at least a three day breather while the last three series all go to game sevens. Two series will be decided today, one tomorrow.

I know y'all are probably getting tired of hockey. I'm probably boring you, but this is my life right now. Mostly...

There's the book, of course, and that's coming along. There's spring, which is wonderful. There's the fact that after four months of holding down the business fort while DH was out of town supporting family during medical issues and then two/three weeks of preparing for and filing taxes once he returned--I am finally able to work from home again two days a week. #iamblessed #technology

Hope you're having a great week.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Confession time...

As of the last time I stepped on the scale, a week or so ago, I've gained ten pounds.

Because of hockey, I have made bad food choices. I own that.

I have two more in-person games. Tonight and a day to be determined. There may be more official watching parties in my future, but that'll be it for live games. I looked up pricing for the final round--$1K minimum per seat. Yeah, I don't have that.

So it'll be watching parties one way or another for the rest of the playoffs...

I'll be making better food choices going forward, but I also need to get back to exercising even if it's just the old treadmill at home three times a day.

It shouldn't take me terribly long to lose the weight...the inches are another matter. The question becomes how important to me are those inches because it's going to take me going to the next level to make better progress than the last time. So something to ponder.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend...

Catch you Wednesday. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

So many words...

I'm at 16K+ and counting. I still have a little more of my short story to figure out.  And then I have to pare it down to 15K words.


I've already thought many times, "Does the reader need to know this?" or "Does the reader need to see this play out?" I've said no several times and skipped over the scene, referenced it in subsequent narrative.

But I still have way too many words, even with a little leeway.

Nothing to do but keep at it.

Unfortunately, even though it's the weekend, I'll be busy all day Saturday, so I'll be up extra early on Sunday to focus and I'll work for as long as I can on Sunday to make some progress in sorting through scenes and paring them down or beefing them up.

Anyway, I hope you have a love weekend, and...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Lightning Bolts and Penguins and Stars, oh my...

The Penguins and Lightning Bolts were both swept from the Stanley Cup playoffs. Meaning, they lost four straight.

The Lightning Bolts with the season's best record were the first team to clinch their playoff spot. They were eliminated by the team that clinched their spot last--the very last day of the regular season. It's been labeled the biggest choke in sports history. Ouch.

The Penguins (one of my faves, if you recall) also lost in four strait in its series. Surprising/not surprising. While I'm sorta sad for the Pens and my sweet baby favorite player Sidney Crosby, I'm terribly thrilled for the New York Islanders and specifically their goalie Robin Lehner.

Lehner came clean about his substance abuse and sought help. He sought a new contract and was given a chance by the New York Islanders and had a banner year for them, helping to get them to the playoffs after a two season hiatus. That's a redemption story I can get behind. One that I hope encourages more athletes to seek help. One that encourages more people in power to give second chances. So Lehner making it to the second round, I'm happy for the guy. He'll more than likely be awarded the Masterton Trophy winner for overcoming his adversity. But I'm excited for every achievement this guy can collect for himself.

(Until of course the Islanders meet the Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals, then all bets are off.)

As for my first playoff hockey was awesome!!! (Except for the part where we lost, ugh.) Here are a few pictures.

We had a blast. Can't wait for tonight. And as I keep chanting:

Monday, April 15, 2019

Happy Hockey-versary to me and some Stanley Cup Playoff upsets...

Three years ago, at this time, I got into hockey and (mostly) watched the Pittsburgh Penguins march their way to the first of back-to-back championships. That year, the Dallas Stars, who I wasn't paying much attention to at the time, lost in the second round.

Three years later and I'm attending a freaking Dallas Stars playoff game!!!! Dallas vs. Nashville, playoff games 3, comes to the American Airlines Center tonight and I will be there!!!

So happy hockey-versary to me. Thanks Penguins, Golden Knights, and Stars for a fun-filled three years. Here's to many more.


Prior to the start of the playoffs as a whole, one of the biggest predicted upsets was the Dallas Stars winning the series over Nashville. I mentioned that the other day. Hockey writers knew better, but general fans did not. We won game one in Nashville. That's a nice feather in our collective cap--er, helmet??

And while I'm not watching any hockey but Stars hockey right now despite two other favorite teams both playing in the playoffs because I've got other things on my plate, I am keeping tabs. Hard not to when you allow alerts from the NHL app. :0)

Anyway... there are two surprising upsets that no one would have predicted. Both the Tampa Bay Lightning, the best team of the regular season, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Stanley Cup winners and the only team to make the playoffs for a record holding 13 seasons in a row, are both down 3 games in their respective series. To move to the next round you must win 4 of 7. Both of these teams would have to win four in a row. It's possible but not probable.

Everything else going on is within the realm of "playoff hockey" but those two things... Wow!!

I'll report in on Wednesday in regards to my first playoff experience.

Please send all your good wishes for the Stars to the AAC in downtown Dallas this evening. 

As always, please remember to BE LOUD. WEAR GREEN. and GO STARS.

Have a great week!!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Happy Spring!

Looks like spring is mostly here to say. We dipped below 50* this am, but that will probably not happen many more times, if at all.

My novella is coming along...I've started the editing process a little because first draft is due Monday and as I mentioned before, the story is a hot mess. Any time not focused on work or hockey or chores this weekend, as well as my lunch date with a friend, will be spent on this project. It's gonna be a long weekend.

Stars update: my Dallas Stars won their first game!! against their Central Division rivals, the Nashville Predators!! this past Wednesday evening!! It was a huge deal for the team to win there and take some wind out of the Preds' sails. As well as that of all the people who think Nashville's win of the series as a whole (best 4 of 7) is a foregone conclusion.

Anyone who's watched the teams play each other, especially, this year, knows that it's going to be a scrappy bout. The Preds are gonna come back hard in game two, scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Send your winning wishes to Nashville tomorrow afternoon, and don't forget:


Have a great weekend.

Monday, April 8, 2019

New Adventures!

Last night, I went to a movie at the Texas Theater in Oak Cliff, a Dallas neighborhood. The theater is one of those old charming relics, built in 1931, but still standing despite fire and bankruptcy and other issues.

DD and I saw "The Russian Five" a sports docu-drama about the journey of five Russian hockey players who came to the United States to play for the Detroit Red Wings. The story was sad and amazing and inspiring.

The Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites was on hand for Q&A afterwards as he was a member of the Red Wings organization at the time.

Anyway, a fun evening with DD and hockey.

Here's to a great week.

Friday, April 5, 2019

This and That...

So a really cool thing happened the other day... I got notice from BookBub (a service that helps authors promote or readers find books) that someone had recommended my first book. What a pleasant surprise to find the notice in my email.

It's looking to be a terribly busy weekend for me, but as I've said before, I can sleep when I'm dead. Or at least when hockey season is over.

My writers group's biennial conference is all day Saturday with a Friday dinner with the speaker. Saturday night is the last hockey game of the season. Sunday night DD and I will be seeing a movie.

My short story is coming along too. A quick tally tells me I haven't crossed the maximum work count line yet, but it's bound to happen. The first draft, due 04.15, is going to be a hot mess. There is going to be a lot of down and dirty editing sessions in my near future.

As a Dallas Stars season ticket holder, I was offered my assigned seats for the possible 4 home games of the first round of playoffs. The cost? $3064. Yeah, no. DH and I discussed it and I could have attended the first game ($200 each seat=$400) and resold the rest. But then I got another email allowing me to buy extra tickets, so I went poking around and ended up with three pair of tickets to three separate games for less than that $400. A much better deal in my book. No, they're not my regular seats, but I can't really complain about any seat in the AAC. And I just want to be there and experience that atmosphere.

Not only am I attending three playoff games, but I am now the proud owner of tickets to the Winter Classic, one of a handful of games played outdoors during the season. The Winter Classic takes place on New Years Day in an unusual venue. Notably on football fields. This past New Years Day, a rink was created in the middle of Notre Dame Stadium. This year.... >>drum roll<<

Cotton Bowl Stadium here in Dallas!!! I've been waiting and waiting for my email and it finally arrived. So yeah. Life is pretty good right now.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

My Dallas Stars are going to the playoffs!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I missed Monday. :( I just didn't have anything meaningful or important to throw out in the universe. But today... Well.

Last night I watched an exciting game of hockey on tv where the Dallas Stars clinched their berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2016. Now DD and her BFF went to the American Airlines Center and I didn't get go. I was disappointed at first for how it played out that I didn't, but had I been there, the game wouldn't have played out the way it did. Three pebbles tossed in a pond create a different set of ripples than only two pebbles would, so I'd rather have the win in the fashion it came than be there and I'm glad the girls got to experience it.

As a season ticket holder, I have first dibs on playoffs tickets, so I am now the proud owner of three sets of tickets to the playoffs... DD and I will attend the fist two home games of the first round as well as a home game in the second round should the Stars make it that far.

One more home game on Saturday and then playoffs begin April 10th... Because we are a Wild Card team, we will not have home ice advantage for the first two games. Which I'm okay with.

So that's what's taking up a lot of gray matter right now, even though I have a couple other things than need my focus. After I post this...that's what I'm doing.

Have a great rest of your week. See you Friday.

And as always: BE LOUD!! WEAR GREEN!! GO STARS!!