Thursday, January 29, 2015

Brainfart

Throughout many a day, I think to myself 'hey, I'll write about that on the blog', but when I sit down to write a post for Tuesday or Thursday, those ideas all scamper away like frightened bunnies.  Sunday's easy - it's Update day.  The other two days?  Brainfart.

Speaking of bunnies, we finally saw bun-bun again.  He was hopping through the back yard a couple days ago.  I have no clue where he goes when he leaves.  As far as I know, rabbits don't really have a huge territorial range.  But I could be wrong. 

Speaking of speaking of, Hubs does this thing where he'll say 'speaking of :insert whatever we were talking about:' and then he'll say something that is totally unrelated to anything we were talking about.  Like "Speaking of yard work, I need more coffee."  Cracks me up every time. 

You might've seen on FB - you know, if you follow me on FB (and if you don't, go here and rectify that if you so choose) - I finished cutting my own hair yesterday.  I say finished because I cut the bangs and the sides several days ago, but the back... Let's just say I was formulating a plan on how to cut the back of my hair without leaving me looking like 'hair by Cuisinart'.  Well, I finally hit on an idea and tried it yesterday.  It looks pretty darn good.  It's finally the length I prefer.  And I don't look like I stuck my head in a food processor.  No pics, though. 

I've discovered that I really don't like having my picture taken anymore.  I know what I look like and if we aren't on vacay or someplace special, I don't need a pic to remember what I looked like on an average Thursday.  :shrug: 

Okay, back to my morning routine.  And I'll leave you to go back to yours.  Feel free to tell me about anything that pops into your head.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 4

It's bedtime on Saturday night - around 9:30pm, as a matter of fact - and I'm trying to get a jumpstart on the update for the week.  Probably not the wisest of ideas, since I am totally brainfried, but tomorrow will probably be worse, so here goes...

I finished the proof-edit-thingies my readers sent me.  So, my book is like 99% ready to be formatted.  For the last 1%, I sent it to my Kindle and I printed off the first half for Hubs to read.  (He'll get the other half when he gives me back the binder clips I used on that half.)  I printed the half yesterday and handed it to him.  And wouldn't you know, I already got ketchup on the title page.  (I had hashbrowns for breakfast while I watched TV and I must've set the plate on the book at some point.)  Looks like blood, though, so I'm not overly upset.

I haven't really done much else this week.  Part of the reason was we got Hubs a boat this past week - because he's been such a good boy for the past ten years, he earned it - and I was wrapped up in that.  While he was up looking at the boat, I did some major cleaning, so there's that, too.  Other than that, though...

Well, I was playing around trying to format the manuscript myself.  The test one I sent to my Kindle looks pretty snazzy and the test one I put together for the hardcopy looks good, too.  Once the manuscript is as clean as I can make it, I'll format the real book and see how it goes. 

My cover is also complete for the ebook.  The cover artist added in my shiny, new tagline and it looks like a book you'd find on the shelves at a bookstore.  I'm pretty pleased.  The poor guy is now waiting for me to give him a final pagecount so he can make my print cover.  And he's working on my marketing materials.  I can't wait.

Once I get those, I'll be making a FB page and will adjust my Twitter background to fit.  It'll be awesome.

What's going on in your world?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bored

This is what happens when I get up obscenely early.  I go through my usual morning tasks - read blogs, read the FB newsfeed, check the actual news - before 6am and then I'm left with nothing to do.  I'm far too under-caffeinated to work and too under-motivated for cleaning.

I did spend some time this morning reading Wikipedia pages devoted to old cartoon characters.  They're pretty funny.  (Or maybe that's just me.  I get silly when I'm tired.)

Then I did FB quizzes.  I found out this morning that in the category of 'What TV Mom Are You?" I'm Morticia Adams, in "What Muppet are You?" I'm Gonzo.  I'm Monica on Friends, and Belle in Disney Heroines - according to them.  I can see Belle, but I am so not Monica (at least not all the way).

And then the quizzes ran out. 

I'm bored.

Oh, I have things to do.  I just don't want to do any of them.  Meh and Bleh.

I feel like Garfield hanging on the screen door.  Boredboredbored.

This'll only last another hour or so.  Then the sun will be up and so will Hubs.  Then I can start working on my to-do list and later, I'll go to my doctor appt.  (No biggie, just my quarterly shot.)

Maybe I'll spend some time shredding printed chapters.  That's a boring task suited to my mood.  Plus, it's quiet, so I won't wake Hubs.  And it is something I need to do before the pile takes over.

Maybe I'll go watch YouTube videos of old cartoons.

What do you do when you're bored?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 3

I can't believe it's already January 18th.  The days are all WHOOSH lately.  Then again, I can't believe it's Sunday.  (But we've already established I have trouble figuring out what day of the week it is.)

Anyway,  here's the lowdown on last week:

I finished the second round of edits on Dying Embers and then sent that sucker off to a couple people for proofreading.

After some back and forth with the cover artist, we have the final decision.



Now he's waiting on me to come back with a tagline and a blurb.  (I assume for the print version of the cover.)  I told him I'd have those to him by Monday, so I have today to complete them.  (I thrive under pressure.)  In all reality, I should've already had these things done, but I brainfarted out, so now I'm scrambling to get those into tip-top shape.  Lucky for me, I already had a rough blurb from all that querying I did.  Unfortunately, I totally didn't use it for more than a jumping off point.  I'll post more about taglines and blurbs over at B.E.'s Writerly Space, and maybe do something fun with it tomorrow.

Now I really have to get with a formatter because I am profoundly lazy and I hate writing HTML.  I have a line on one that a BFF uses, so that shouldn't be too hard.  I just have to hope they have time in their schedule for me.

Since I got the edits back and shot the book off for final proofing, and I hadn't gotten the cover back or been asked for a blurb, I spent the majority of mid-week slacking off from writing.  I did some major discovery shit in the family tree (which you can read about here) and I read a bunch.  One of the things I read was Cowgirls Don't Cry by my very good friend, Silver James.  Actually, I inhaled it yesterday evening.  It was awesome.

That's my week in a nutshell.  What's it like in your nutshell?



Thursday, January 15, 2015

This n That n Genealogy

It's been a while since I did a 'this n that' post, so here goes:

I love Carmex.  I used to use it all the time when I was in college, because nothing says dry, cracked lips like the Upper Peninsula in winter.  Then I left college and didn't really need the Carmex anymore.  Flash forward twenty years and for some reason my lips have been wrecked lately.  Chapstick ain't doing the job.  Blistex isn't either.  That's when I remembered my old friend.  Snagged some at the Walmart yesterday, and applied it in the car.  My lips are awesome today. 

We were at Walmart yesterday to buy a new space heater for the garage.  The one we bought last winter was going kaput.  The new one is an infrared heater, and while we were doubtful that such a small unit could provide the heat it said it would, last night the garage stayed at a reasonable temperature.  And you know what that means?

Max was not in the office when I woke up this morning.  Yep, he's back in his two-car bedroom, which means I get to have coffee and a cigarette before having to deal with Monsieur Demanding Kitty.  If he lived in the house full time, I would definitely get him on the same schedule as Kira - who gets fed at night so she's not annoying in the morning.  (Both cats are doing well after their respective dental surgeries, btw.)

We were supposed to get snow last night, but I haven't looked outside yet.  I don't really want to know.  Plus, it's still dark.

If you don't follow me on Facebook (and why not?), I had a major breakthrough on my ancestry search last night.  For a long time, I couldn't get farther up one branch of the tree than my 3x Great Grandfather, and then I found something online talking about this dude and his grandchildren - one of whom was my 3xGGf.  So, I had 5xGGf's name, but no clue as to which of his sons produced 3x.  This year's genealogy, I'm trying to focus on hunting down those pesky bits I haven't managed, and last night, on another website, I found an obituary a guy had written for himself a year before he passed.  In it, he yatters about his family and about his accomplishments, and his father (who I knew was one of 5x's sons), and there at the very end of the whole long thing, he mentions his brothers - and there was my 3x's very distinctive name along with his location.  I tell ya, I whooped out so loud I had to have startled Hubs and the cat. 

I also discovered I'm indirectly related to the guys who started the company that has always made the trophy for the Kentucky Derby.  (5x's brother's grandson started the company - but I'm too lazy to figure out what that makes him in relation to me.)  Today, I might try figuring out how 6x could've been killed at the Battle of Brandywine during the Revolutionary War, when I show he died in 1832.

I also found what might be the link to the old family story that we're distantly related to President Zachary Taylor.  But that's another rabbit to chase and I don't know if I'm up to it today.

What's up with you?  Are their any famous people you might be related to?  Any snow where you are?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Curious Questions

Okay, admittedly, I don't talk about books often when I'm out in the real world.  But I couldn't help myself today.  Today, I found a copy of my friend, Silver James' first Harlequin release - Cowgirls Don't Cry

I snagged the last copy at Walmart. 

So there I was in checkout and the cashier scans my purchase.  I held out my hand, because books never go in with the groceries in my world.  I slide them into my gargantuan purse (it has pockets that are just right for keeping a paperback safe).  She hands me the book and I hug it to my chest - natch.  And she looks at me like I just slipped a gear. 

I turn the book face out toward her and say "This is my friend's book.  Her first Harlequin release."  I may have squeed a little. 

And that's when the questions started.

"How old is she?"  Umm, I don't really know. We never talked about her age.  Older than me, I think. 

"So, she's like married and settled, with kids and stuff?"  Yep. 

"Where's she from?"  Oklahoma.  

"She must be selling well, if they're all gone."  Yep.

"Well, I'll have to look for her book at another store."  Cuz, yeah, I snagged the last copy in her store.

I didn't really think anything of it until I was on the way home.  And then the questions seemed really odd - like she either didn't believe I actually know Silver, or she was assuming those books are all written by people with no lives.  I don't know.  Yes, folks, real people really do write for Harlequin.  Real people actually write most of the stuff that's out there in the world.  (Some things might be written by fake people, but I wouldn't know for certain.)

I wasn't brave enough to tell her my own book will be out in March.  She said something about how she guessed there were people out there who had the talent for writing books, and people out there who wrote books and still didn't have any talent.  She also said she loves to read but doesn't have much time for it anymore. 

I did tell her, if she likes modern day cowboy romances, to look for Silver's books - this one and the next Red Dirt Royalty.

Was those questions weird or was that just me?  If someone told you they knew an author, what kinds of questions would you ask them? 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 2

It's January 11th.  Yes, I have a flair for stating the obvious.  Except January 11th is never just another day for me.  It's the 21st anniversary of my car accident.  You'd think after 21 years, I'd stop memorializing this day.  But hey, I haven't managed it yet, so why stop now? 

Have you seen that commercial where they're toting this crumpled car through various stages of post accident, and in each instance the people looking at the horribly mangled metal turn to each other and say 'They survived'.  Well...

I survived.

Anyway, that's 21 years ago today.  Let's talk about last week, shall we?

The week started out with me receiving my final round of edits from Ms. Editor Extraordinaire.  Followed the next day by receiving the sample cover designs.  It's really getting close now. I still have a very unfirm date of mid-March for release, but if I can go earlier, I will.

I took the edits and set them aside for a few days.  Then when I was in a better, less tired, frame of mind I started working on those.  I'm 11 chapters in on that as of last night.  I expect to get at least the next five chapters done today.  Which, if I estimate right and keep up the momentum, should make this part done by Wednesday at the latest.  Then I'll see who's still interested in doing a read-through for me to catch any little things M.E.2 and I missed.

I took the cover samples, sat down with my husband, debated the finer points of each, and narrowed the field of 9 down to 3 we could go with - after some tweaking.  I sent that letter off to the artist on Wednesday. 

Needless to say, I had to set aside the line edits I was working on for Wrongful Termination.  

This past week saw me at 5 books into my goal of 100 books read in 2015.  Three of those I read last week - a mystery and two romances.  Thank goodness it doesn't reflect the number of books I started but did not finish - one of which was formatted so poorly I actually didn't start reading the book because reading the pre-book stuff gave me a headache.  The only good thing about that is that it encourages me to find a formatter rather than format my own books myself.  (A decision I will have to make soon.)

Well, that's about all I'm good for this past week.  How are things in your world?