Monday, July 29, 2019

Information Overload

The workshop was fabulous and chock full of information. I don't know how much of it I absorbed so we'll see how it goes. We could take notes, but no recordings or pictures of slides, so...

Now I'm back at work and there's lots to catch up on considering I missed a full day and we're bearing down on the end of the month. Transition time and the busiest part of the monthly cycle...the end of one month and the start of another.


I'm trying to stay on track with the exercising and the eating right and doing okay. I finally saw a slight drop in the low arc of my weight, so that was encouraging. There's about a four pound swing in my weight cycle that cycles lower as I lose the weight. It took a good two to three weeks to see movement, but I finally did, so WHEW!


The writing is coming along too. The time between exercising and getting reading for work is sacred for writing. Mostly I'm trying to keep that open for actual writing or editing, but last week I was sort of in between projects, so I did use it to work on publishing tasks.

Today, though, I wrote. I'm trying to get a handle on the plot trajectory for the next anthology book and that's not my strong suit. I've got the beginning of it sorted, so I'm writing with the hopes that things will become clearer to me as I progress toward the beginning-middle of the book.

I'm going on another writers retreat in a couple of weeks, and while I'm there I'm going to tap into the collective writer-brain-trust and ask for some brainstorming help. There will be five other writers besides me, so yeah!! Until then, I'll write and hope that lightning will strike.

Hope you had a wonderful and productive weekend.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Stocks and Bonds and Investing, Oh my...

Today, I'm at workshop to learn how to make money by investing in the Stock Market. Things like when to buy, when to sell, and hopefully how to choose which ones to watch and ultimately buy.

I've had an account with Robinhood--a commission-free brokerage platform for trading stocks, options, and crypto-currency--but haven't done anything with it because I didn't really know what to do or how to work the system.

Then they started sending out newsletters called Robinhood Snacks that talked about what stocks were up, what were down, and other interesting things about the stockmarket and my interest was piqued again.

Now, DH and I were supposed to attend this workshop last fall, but we had that family medical emergency and had to wait until this traveling workshop came back to DFW. Gotta say, it's not great timing now, but we've got $900 tied up in this venture and I want to make it work for me instead of letting it work for them, so it's going to be a long couple of days--all day today and probably all day tomorrow.

I'll tell you all about it next week.

In the mean time--have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Facebook Takeover Event

So I participated in my first Facebook Takeover Event to celebrate the release of the anthology I participated in. The book is 99 cents for purchase with proceeds going to Pets for Vets.

I'd never done a Facebook Takeover Event, but the gist is you takeover someone else's FB page or a group page for some allotted time period. I hung out all day trying to support the other authors, but they were thin on the ground during time slots not their own and so were the other 220+ members of that group. What a shame.

I did learn how to do one though, so there's a bonus. I learned what would lure people to participate and what wouldn't. GIFs of celebrity crushes for the win; hockey talk, not so much, lol...

Anyway, that's it for today. Catch you on Friday.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Making Progress

Despite it being writers group Saturday (and being gone all day), the weekend was pretty productive, at least as far as my publishing hobby goes.

After conversation with my dear friend Clover, I finalized the two book blurbs I needed to get done and I made some inroads on plotting a couple of books. Not deep ones, in all honesty, but I'm satisfied. I'm not one to bang these things out. The ideas have to percolate a bit so I can make sure the plot progression works and makes sense.


I'm just under three months out from my conference and there's still a lot to do, but now that book blurbs are written, everything else can start happening. Finally. I need to compile all my lists into one comprehensive list and then start doing.


Once the conference is attended and past and I'm back home, it'll be time to get back to writing--hence the plotting I'm trying to get a head start on.

Because not only is the conference in October, but HOCKEY SEASON STARTS in October. In fact, it begins prior to the conference. The Dallas Stars home opener is October 3rd.

My goal is to put two books out next year: book seven of the Ten Rigs series that is half written and to participate the second edition of the anthology, the Valentine's edition.

To that end, one of the books I'm plotting is that second anthology so once I get back from conference I can dive right in.


Hope you had a wonderful and/or productive weekend...

Friday, July 19, 2019

One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing tomorrow, I guess. The Google Doodle video is well worth a watch.

One thing Mike Collins said that struck me hard--he was the astronaut that remained in orbit while Neil and Buzz explored the moon--was that our cell phones today are more powerful than the computers they had in 1969.

It's amazing to think that. And, yet, there still isn't a cure for cancer or even the common cold.

While the current space program is still going strong and attempting to get humans to Mars, it's funny to consider that even with how far technology has come, it's been 50 years since a human has set foot on another heavenly body.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Chair Gym

 (Don't mind the mess around the chair, eh??)

Thanks to my mother-in-law (Thanks, Mimi!!!) for allowing me to add this piece of exercise equipment to our collection. It'll now allow me to do some of the exercises I gave up by trading in my gym membership on that elliptical.

I spent some time searching out "chair gym" workout videos. I only found one so far, but it hit all the areas I like to target and I'm happy with it for now. I added some garden stepping stones to act as an aerobic step platform until I can buy one, and I do the stepping in between each of the lady's different sections to catch my breath, but keep my heart rate up. So far so good.

While my body is feeling achy from the more diligent workouts, I'm also feeling generally better over all. And that's the goal.

I've also been pretty good, though not perfect, about giving up bad carbs. It's harder on the days I work from home because all the food is there. So it'll be a struggle until those things are consumed.

Unfortunately, despite my diligence, I haven't seen a noticeable drop on the scale. Yet. I imagine it's just a matter of time.

Hope you're well. Talk to you Friday.

Monday, July 15, 2019

It's Monday--what happened to Friday??

Yeah, I missed posting on Friday somehow. Got involved in various and sundry things early in my day and completely forgot.

I forget how much I like to be busy. Not too busy to breathe, but busy enough to have to prioritize.

I even ended up getting two inquiries regarding proofing services, although I'm not sure I'll actually get the jobs. I hope I do even though they'll cut into some of my conference prep time. But I could use the extra cash they'd provide. **fingers crossed**

The weekend was productive too. I did some proofing for that anthology I'm participating in. It's always an interesting endeavor to read other authors' work. You see writing ticks, if you will, that bother you and you have to ask yourself if you do that. If it bothers you in someone else's work, then eliminate it from your own.

For example, the use of italics, ellipses, and em dashes. I like these tools, but as I was reading along, I kept asking WHY? Why did the author choose to use the tool? Did it really do the job it's meant to? Most of the time the answer is no.

When I read italics, sometimes it's straightforward, and yes, that word or phrase needed to be italicized. Sometimes though, I think I would have italicized a different word. When I read my own work and I go back and forth between words, I end up not italicizing anything. The reader will often emphasize the word that makes the most sense to them while reading.


Book blurbs are a challenge. I've come up with a bit of process that seems to work well. I finished the one for the anthology book. I like it a lot, but it's long. Considering the book itself is only 15K words and I usually struggle with writing these for longer books, I had to laugh.

I sent it off to my trusted writer peeps to see what they thought. I got back a few suggested tweaks, which was great. And then-- I got a request from the anthology coordinator for a 300 character or less blurb for Amazon. I really had to get down to the nitty gritty of what was important info to impart to a reader. That was a challenge.


I did a bad, bad thing. I inadvertently deleted the file for the book (Snowball) I'm just about done with. Because of the software I use (Scrivener), once it's gone, it's gone. It doesn't go to the deleted-items folder. (Bad programming on their part.)

Luckily I had compiled/exported the entire thing to send to a friend, so the text itself is not lost. Thank the good Lord. That was 42K words I would not have had the heart to re-write. All I have to do is create a new Scrivener project and copy/paste the text back in. WHEW!

Hope you had good weekend.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Preparing for October and GRL...

GRL is the conference I go to. This year it's in Albuquerque. I've never been and looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to the drive--I'm gonna take the more northern route and check out some Route 66 tourist spots--namely The Cadillac Ranch. I haven't decided about the drive back--if I want to take the more southern trip and hit Roswell, although I'm not much into aliens and such. So maybe not.

In the mean time...

I mentioned the other day I'm trying to get two books out, so there are plenty of things to populate my TO DO list.

Things like write the book / back cover blurbs for both books. Assign ISBNs for various formats of each book. And by format I mean the epub, mobi, pdf, and print formats. Yes, an ISBN is required for each one. After that, I have to create said formats, except for print right now. And you know, finish that second book. :0)

I'm so close to finishing the second major proofing pass. I'll read it through one more time to address any last notes I've made, but there shouldn't be anything major left. I've addressed them all during this second pass.

So far, in each book of my Ten Rigs series, I had the first chapter of the next book to use as a preview. I have a first chapter for book two of this new series, except I wrote it so long ago when I was still writing heterosexual couples. I don't know if the plot line as written will convert easily as a pregnancy is involved. So do I add an extra character or do I remove the pregnancy angle? Things to ponder. There will be no chapter preview in the short anthology book.

Other things to prepare for are the book signings--do I have all the SWAG I need as well the signing accoutrements needed? That would my table signs and table runner, pens to sign with, etc, etc, etc...

Sounds like I need to borrow my kitchen table at some point and do a mock setup.

Hope your week is going well!

Catch you on Friday.

Monday, July 8, 2019

The year is half over...

Where has the time gone? What have I accomplished?

Mostly I've accomplished living life, which is definitely a worthy endeavor. :0)

I wrote one whole, albeit short, book and am in the process of finishing another. I will have both of them published mid-October. The short book will be included in this anthology, coming to your retailer of choice any day now for probably $.99. Eleven short romances featuring heroes or heroines with some sort of disability. All royalties go to Pets for Vets.

I have seen all my babies at least once this year.

 The youngest ........................................... The oldest
Of course, the middle one lives at home, so I see her all the time.

I have enjoyed yet another hockey post season but with my home town team taking part this time.

I have spent time with a handful of many of the wonderful women in my life and deepened our bonds of friendship.

 As for my goals listed up and to the right, I've done a terrible job and I don't know that I'll do any batter moving forward. I'll revisit them later. Maybe.

Hope you had a wonderful Treason Day. Ours was crazy busier than usual or so it seemed because we were short a sales person, but we made it through.

Friday was spent recuperating and catching up on the sleep I lost the prior two nights.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Happy Treason Day

I saw this tee shirt on Facebook and it made me laugh, so I thought I'd share it with you.

In the same spirit, there's these:

Have a great and safe Treason Day. Catch y'all on Friday.

Monday, July 1, 2019

So long, Sonshine...

I had to put my boy on a plane for his adopted home yesterday, but here's the latest selfie of the two of us. It was a short but sweet little visit and today we both are back to business as usual. School for him, working, writing, and exercising for me. Also for me: back to eating right. I've eaten so much junk for the last I-don't-even-know-how-long. I can feel it and I can see it in the pooch I've re-developed. I don't like it, so... back on the wagon.


I've completed the editing pass of "Snowball" I started while down at the lake last week. I'll go through it at least once more, but probably twice before I'll feel like it's where it needs to be. The first half probably only needs the one additional pass, but the second half has seen quite a bit of tweaking and will definitely need two more edits.

I'm also now percolating the next anthology submission I'm planning. I know more of one character than the other. I've got a couple of plot ideas, but I'm still hoping for a few more--especially the one that screams "I'M IT."


The new hockey season begins today, as does the period known as free-agency when teams can sign players from other teams whose contracts are expiring. The Stars have made a few trades these past couple of weeks and bought out a non-producing player in order to free up "cap space." Basically the NHL sets a limit on how much teams can spend on player contracts each year.

A lot of people in the know (mostly hockey reporters that I follow on Twitter.) have reported that the Stars will be signing two big names sometime today. And the Stars specific beat reporter thinks there might be something else in the works as well. Exciting times. We'll see how it plays out today and this week.


Hope you had a wonderful weekend.