Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Time Management

So the home gym thing seems to be working out.

Remember I talked about saving the drive time to and from the gym? That was forty minutes of time saved.

Forty minutes of additional writing time each morning. I was up to an hour and forty-ish minutes and now I get to add an additional twenty minutes because of DH's morning routine change.


And I'm going to need those extra twenty minutes and any others I can carve out over the next three and a half weeks.

My next anthology story is due on the 23rd and I'm three thousand words over my soft limit.

There is a lot of cutting and consolidating and rewriting that needs to be done.

I don't want to miss the deadline and not participate, so I'm going to do everything in my power to get 'er done, but if it happens, I can still self publish this thing when I'm good and ready and at whatever word count it happens to be completed at.

Of course I'll incur the added expense of editing, but then again...I have friends I can barter with.

Hope you're having a great week and looking forward to the holiday weekend. That extra day off--think of all those minutes I could utilize!!!!!!


Monday, August 26, 2019

Proteins and Fats and Carbs, oh my!

It's absurd how easily affected my system has become by grain-based carbohydrates and affected badly.

When you eat something like a donut or drink a soda, you expect that you're going to experience a sugar crash at some point right?

Well, that's been happening to me from eating Cheerios and eating the carb-balance tortillas.

Last week, I had a bowl of Cheerios for an early lunch and had to take a nap because I was feeling so lethargic afterward.

It's a bummer and a blessing. A bummer because I love carbs. And not much beats a bowl of cereal on a hot summer day--except maybe--definitely--some ice cream.

Now I've given up every type/flavor of cereal except Cheerios because I buy them for DH. But it looks like now, I can only indulge every once in a while and when I can nap as needed.

Today, I had a single tortilla wrapped around some protein and even that left me feeling like I could close my eyes and sleep.

It's a blessing because I'd rather give them up than feel so out of sorts during the day. And that's gonna be better for my bottom and my bottom line.

But, man, am I bummed.

On the other hand, I've reached another weight-loss low on my way to getting back to where I was a while back.

Also, congrats to DH who has lost 11 lbs. since July 8. He put himself on an exercise and eating plan and has stuck to it. I'm so proud and excited for him.

Have a great week.

Friday, August 23, 2019

It's hot, hot, hot...

Thank goodness September is just around the corner. Hopefully a break from the heat will come with it.

I'd really like some ice cream...that smooth sweet flavor of Pecan Pralines n Cream...

But I'm doing well with the weight loss and don't want to rock the boat.

It sure is hot though...

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Hugo Award

I could loosely be considered a Hugo Award Winner. :0)

Archive of Our Own, an online archive for 500M+ fan works, won a Hugo at the 2019 Hugos at WorldCon in Dublin on August 18, 2019. Its category was "Best Related Work."

As most of you know, I've written fan fiction for many many years. Pretty much every "fic" I've ever written is housed there. It's very cool and amazing that fan works and its creators are finally getting their due.

Fan fiction, as does romance, has gotten a bad rap over the years, and I get why. One of its stigmas seems to be that it's all written by 12-year-old girls, but that's the exception, not the norm. Well-educated women, degreed women, smart women write fan fiction. The same for romance.

Now I'm not saying the majority of fic writers fall into this category either, but there are way more of them than you might expect. The specific fandom (the tv show, movie, book, etc for which the fan works was created) probably has something to with it too, but let me tell you there are a lot of mature women reading Harry Potter and writing fantastic stories that rival any commercially published fiction.

But enough of that. :0) If you want to read a little more about the Hugo win, visit The Mary Sue.

Have a great week. Catch you Friday...

Monday, August 19, 2019

Hitting the ground running, but I'm tired already...

I thought the first half of the year whooshed by too quickly...

The rest of the year looks like a luge.

Not a luge, but LaVibora at Six Flags Over Texas...

I might be in big trouble, y'all.

On the other hand, I manage my time much better when there are a lot of things competing for my attention.

Today, though, I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed. I need to make a list and then work on whatever I can each day.

As the old adage goes: How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.


I got this...

Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, August 16, 2019

It's Raining... It's Pouring...

No that's not a typo or a brain fart. The rain is gone and it's hot here once again.

I'm referring to the words. They poured out of me yesterday afternoon while waiting for my oil change and again this morning during my usual writing time.

Oh, what a feeling. It's awesome.

They're not awful words, certainly not great (yet), but now that they're on the page they can be fleshed out, tweaked, edited. Made better.

My synopsis for the next anthology was "approved" the other day and the notification came along with some comments and suggestions. I'm not generally one to be contrary, and when working on a project like this or, say, writing for an official publisher, an author generally does what the editor says unless he or she feels really strongly about an issue and can logically refute the change. It is the author's story after all and s/he should have some control/say so even when it's being published by someone else.

Okay, so it's a Valentine's Day anthology, coming out--you guessed it--next Valentine's Day. Now, the original V-Day anthology had to be postponed because not enough people made the deadlines and that was before I came aboard for the second anthology, so I have no idea what parameters were originally set forth.

This time the info was basic, timelines and deadlines and such, but for newcomers like me, the requirement of the big moment happening on Valentine's Day would have been helpful to know going into the project. It might seem like an obvious thing to some, but not to me. I'm feeling a bit disgruntled about the whole thing, but making that happen--aside from the fact that hockey games are played on Feb 14th and one of my heroes is a hockey player--won't take much work.

The other won't take much work either but coincidences do happen, right?? But when two people point it out, you have to stop and reconsider. I ended up giving both my heroes type one diabetes. Originally, just the hockey player had it--

Don't forget  it's an anthology featuring heroes and heroines who deal with some sort of disability in their life.

--but then the other guy had it too. When a friend commented on it and then the coordinator commented on it, well. I could dismiss one person's concern, but two people's and one of them the coordinator? A little harder to brush off.

So now I have to ponder the logistics change. It's doable. Fairly easy even, but ugh. I don't want to.

Oh, well. Suck it up buttercup, right??

Anyway, have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

It's Raining, It's Pouring... What?? It's August!!

Yes, indeed.

I'm not complaining. The temperature dropped to a modest 76* this morning and we always need rain here in Texas even when we don't. Of course, it'll be humid as all get out once the rain moves on, and the mosquitoes will be out en masse once again, but it's a nice respite from the heat.

I have a small leak in the spigot in the backyard. It drops into a small bucket, maybe two gallons or so, and it takes a full day to fill up. I've been using it to keep the birdbaths with fresh water through the heat wave. It's always a treat to see the mourning doves and blue jays splashing about each evening. Even the yellow jackets buzz around as I'm pouring in fresh water. I imagine the squirrels must also take advantage although I've never seen them do so...

Anyway...hope your week is going well. As I'm feeling pretty uninspired at the moment, I'm going to sign off for now. TTYL

Monday, August 12, 2019

Monday, Monday...

And back from a three-day writers retreat, although I didn't go to far from home. Still, it was a chance to meet some new writers and to bank some words, which I did.

Thursday night we all set goals for the weekend, which officially ended at 11am Sunday morning.

My goal was 5000 words -- which I did not meet, but was calculated by doubling my daily word count for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Doubling my word count for three days put me at 3750 words, which I passed. Along with that, I wanted to write a synopsis, which I did. I also needed to break Snowball into chapters in preparation for sending to the editor this week. Which I also did.

All in all a very productive two-and-a-half/three days.

Despite the challenge of writing a synopsis--

Being an independent publisher I don't have to write them for myself, so I never have. However, synopses are being required to participate in the anthologies.

--I feel like having them has been an aid in actually writing the book itself.

Go figure.

A synopsis is basically a high level bullet point telling of the story. The publisher wants to ensure you can bring the story successfully to fruition/conclusion.

It seems to help me keep my eye on the end game.

I also spent a lot of time rethinking the story a bit and came up with a more feasible plot line for the word count I have to work with--which dropped from 15K to 12K since there are a few more authors participating. Yikes.

Anyway, hope you had a lovely weekend. Catch you Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Happy Birthday Sidney Crosby

My sweet baby, er, favorite hockey player SIDNEY CROSBY celebrates is 32nd birthday today.

And ode to Sidney in pictures...

He got his start in the basement of his Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia home.

Gold at World Junior Championships in 2005.

Olympic Gold in 2010. He won again in 2014.

Stanley Cup Champ in 2009.

Stanley Cup Champ in 2016.

Stanley Cup Champ in 2017.

Sidney Crosby and members of one of his hockey school classes.

Happy birthday, Sidney. Many happy returns and may you have many more career years of hockey.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Coming at things from another angle...

Sorta kinda but not really.

I have a hard time learning when information is being flung at me and I don't really understand it or it's new. I have a less hard time in writers workshops because I'm familiar with the lingo and the concepts, etc.

I have a book that I like to use for plotting. The plan of attack makes sense to me, the concepts make sense to me. The execution is harder for me, but that's a different issue.

Come to find out, there's an audio version of this book. Since it wasn't cost prohibitive (only $5.49 or something) I bought it. Listening to the book was helpful as I heard things that I'd glossed over (after multiple readings) or hadn't really registered properly.

So I made some progress on plotting this next anthology submission. I've started writing it since the beginnings are usually easiest and we'll see how it goes.

I also got the timeline for this next anthology. I wasn't really happy about it, but it turns out I have more official writing days than I did the last time, even after calculating days I take off like Sundays to prepare for the upcoming week and writers group days. I can write those days if I want to, but there's no pressure if I need the time to adult or rest or whatever.

It also means the book is done before I go to my conference, which I'm not sure is a good thing, only because it's one more thing on my plate to worry about over the next two months.

On the other hand, welcome to the world of being a published author. I have a friend who writes books for a living--and raises four kids and supports her DOD husband and runs various types of marathons. So yeah. I can choose to or choose not to. Right now, I'm choosing to do this because I enjoy writing and I like the influx of cash into my business account each month. :0)

No way I could churn out more than two books a year at this point however. I need to hone a few skills first.

Anyway, I hope you had a good weekend...

Friday, August 2, 2019

Back to School...

I've got to say, I don't miss having school-age kids. The thought of all that stressful school-shopping and money-spending makes me shudder. Now, do I like getting pens and spiral notebooks for the office on sale? Sure. The rest? RIP. :0)

TGIF...although it hasn't been a bad week despite the transition from one month to the next. I got a head start on all my new-month tasks, so that makes the shift much smoother. All I've got left to do of the major things is send out the monthly invoices and download bank statements to reconcile accounts. Nice.

I tried to work hard on plotting yesterday and made some small strides, but as I do 95% of the time when wrestling with this aspect of writing, I end up feeling stupid and frustrated because there's an aspect of this that I don't get, that hasn't clicked. I'm not quite sure what it is, because if I did, I could research it and learn it.

I've taken several different classes, listened to an online webinar thing, read a book or two in regards to plotting/setting up your characters/etc/etc/etc and it's still a struggle. Like I said, something isn't clicking.

I wonder if a one-on-one mentor/coach situation would help me... Someone who could sit down with me as I utilize the different tools at my disposal and ask questions when I get stuck to unstick me or point me in a better direct and help me somehow figure out what's going to work more often than not.

It's especially frustrating when I breeze through plotting a book like I did in March and then breeze through writing said book like I did in April and then here we are again and >>BRICK WALL<<


Anyway, looking forward to the weekend. Have a great one.