Monday, August 30, 2021

Looking Ahead to 2022...

But Jen, it's not even September...


No, it's not, but the end of the year will be here before we know it, and my brain has been conjuring up things I want to accomplish. One of my laments this year is lost momentum and the things I meant to do but didn't...

 Hence the looking ahead.

Now that I know where next years' GRL conference is going to be--Portsmouth, Virginia again, a place I've already been--I can officially say I'm not attending. Had they gone to New Orleans, I would have to think long and hard. I loved the French Quarter and definitely want to go back again. If I can do it as a tax write-off, so much the better!

But it's not and I don't have to worry about it for another year.

The only events I'll consider for next year will be local. A local library, for instance, has a "Night of Romance" close to Valentine's Day and I've already committed to that for 2022. There's nothing else I usually do, but some friends and fellow authors attend other events that I'd like to get my foot into the door at. But I'll have to wait and see when and where and what they are.

What I am going to do is hunker down...

Instead of the conference expense, I'm thinking of investing some of that money in advertising and one or two super in-depth writers classes. A friend has raved about a certain instructor and his classes. His philosophy on publishing is one I bought into early on and perhaps a class or two will help me get to the next writing level.

That level being...reliably getting three books written and published every year.

I've yet to get three books written and published in a single year except for the very first year, but those were all lined up and ready to go for that purpose. 

It might take a year or two or three, but I'll get there.

Hope you had a super weekend. Here's to a great week!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Let's Talk Cereal!

If you've been a follower for long enough, you probably know that I LOVE cereal. I have since I was a kid. Cereal was a staple breakfast in our growing up and it was for my kids too. I don't eat it much these days because it's full of carbohydrates and sugars and I'm trying to head into my golden age a little healthier.

And I've lamented several times (or more often) how many UNNECESSARY cereal varieties there are in the grocery stores. At my local WalMart, cereal takes up the length of one full aisle on one side and about a third of the facing side.


Do we really need that many options??

What I did find a couple of weeks ago was this:

How excited do you think I was?? Yes, very!!

Unfortunately, the reality did not live up to the expectations. Maybe in a few years, when the science of things has progressed a little. But, then again, maybe it never will...

Now this cereal...

...which is not/was not available in my local area (because the player doesn't play for my hockey team) I would love to get my hands on. Not necessarily for the cereal itself, but for the novelty of it. I'd eat the cereal and save the box... Yes, I am a fan of Nathan MacKinnon's. He currently plays for the Colorado Avalanche.

In the mean time, I'll stick with good ol' Cheerios.

Have you a favorite? Please share in the comments.

Take care and have a great week.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Prepping for the conference...

In one day and eight weeks, I'll be headed to St. Louis for my annual genre specific reader/writer conference. The hotel is not canceling, the conference organization can't afford to postpone again, so it's on for who-so-ever shall come. I will be there. Masks are being required by the conference organizers and I'm completely on board with that. With the new strains, I have begun to mask up again.

Anyway, I'm looking forward it this year.

Primarily because I upgraded to "Featured Author" status and I'm going to be participating in a new event (for me)--a Storyteller Series Panel. I was able to find three other authors to join me and we brainstormed the topic "The Joys and Challenges of Writing MM Sports Romance."

In addition to the Storyteller Series Panel discussion, I get a second author lounge--an opportunity to sit at a table in the corridors outside the ballrooms where the panels are held and meet people. I bought a small table-top hockey set for passersby to play and try to win a prize. I'll have the whole table to myself this year, since the organizers are trying to be cognizant of social distancing as best they can implement it.


The other major change for me is being part of the Saturday book signing rather than the Thursday signing...usually the bigger name / more popular authors are at the Saturday signing, so that's another upgraded opportunity for visibility.

So I've made my lists and I've checked them twice, three times, four times...trying to make sure I have all my conference "ducks" in a row. I don't yet, but I'm getting there and I still have those eight weeks.

Now, if only I could finish the latest hockey book. I keep plugging away at it, but I still feel a bit lost in the weeds.

Hope you had a good weekend and here's to a great week.

Monday, August 2, 2021

I'm Late, I'm Late...

Not to any "very important dates," but I kept meaning to do a report card on my 2021 goals as of the end of the 2nd quarter, but I just hadn't gotten around to it until now.

But honestly there's not much to say...I didn't make much progress on any of them. It was a rough quarter, topped off by a crazy 4th of July.

I'll be sending my Grandma a post card this week though. I'm doing okay there--not quite monthly but averaging every other. I think. Also August is her birth month, so some flowers will be ordered. She gets an arrangement for her birthday and Christmas.

Oh-wait-- I accomplished one thing! My home gym is complete as far as equipment goes. There are some empty boxes that have piled up that need to get tossed and a couple of random items that need to get taken to the warehouse.

I also need to figure out if I can get on the internet on the TV. I can do YouTube and watch my yoga channel, but I also bought another program that I want to try to access from out there.

The three pounds did get gone, although the inches did not. But that's a project for another day, well, another quarter probably. lol

The three I really failed on were learning about personality strengths, getting a handle on my housekeeping, and the brainstorming of characters and plot arcs for a specific series...

I continue to learn peripherally (via a newsletter and a Facebook group) about the Strengths, but I haven't taken that deep dive into *my* top ten as I had intended. And I probably won't get to it this year.

Now, housekeeping I'm working on. I've got a chore or two to do every day this week and we'll see how that goes and ramp up from there.

As for the brainstorming of characters and plot arcs...that series is still a ways down the road, so it wasn't critical that it all get done, but I am disappointed that I didn't make better progress. On the other hand, other things cropped up and that's okay too. I may re-evaluate that plan, spread out the due dates a bit. I can't plan too much of it all in advance though. If I know too much too soon, then I won't have much interest in writing any of the stories.

In other news--it's been a crazy summer for hockey. There was an expansion draft and then there was the regular draft and then there was free agency frenzy. And it was wild across the board. I'm scratching my head about a couple of the moves my Dallas Stars made. But only time will tell how those trades and signings will pan out.

Future road trip plan: Tennessee in 2023 to check out the nations largest Buc-cee's!! Of course it needs to be built first. Hence the 2023. And there are other things to see and do in Tennessee as well. :0)

Hope you're well. Have a super week.