Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 5

Good morning!

So, last week, I finished the edit round with In Deep Wish.  I think I won that round.  It was a tough battle, though.  Took a lot of right hooks to the chin and a couple deep body blows.  And now I don't have to think about it for 3 weeks.  Well, except for writing the cover copy.  So far all I have is:  Jo does stuff.  ;o)

I settled on a series titles for the genie books: Once Upon a Djinn.  Not sure it's perfect, but it works and no one else is using it.  Besides, it's way better than the losing ideas.  So, I added that to listing of Wish in One Hand, and I took the initiative to add it to my cover art - rather than bother my artist. 

Works for me.

In other news, I raised the prices for Dying Embers, Wish in One Hand, and BloodFlow up to $2.99.  Still not an expensive way to spend your time.  I'll raise the price of Accidental Death after the 6th - because I committed to an advertiser to have it at .99 until then, so if you haven't read that one yet, now's the time to one-click that puppy. 

I started back to work on Fertile Ground yesterday.  Back at the end of last year, I read through it and made edit notes.  Now I'm inputting those.  Stuff like "If the office is new, where did Rick find out about the connected cases? Why is he working it? Solidify the reasoning." and "Where is the office in relation to Detroit and the airport? Between? Livonia?" and "Need to explain her need to transfer better. If reader hasn't read DE the Jace thing is weird and you need to make that the rationalization rather than the reason."  (Yes, I write these notes as if I'm talking to myself - you need to do this, why did you do that, what were you thinking.)

I also started reading through Up Wish Creek yesterday.  I love this book.  I already think I figured out the cover art idea - Jo in her library.  But we'll see if something else jumps out as a snazzier concept.

I got an idea for the beginning of the next genie book. And I got some ideas for the title concept of the next three books.  "Djinn on the Rocks", "Djinn and Tonic", "Straight up Djinn" or something like that.

I did something active 5 out of 7 days last week.  3 days of dance/exercise and 2 days of walk or rake.  Not bad, but I can do better.  Every day is the goal.

My reading kind of fell down.  I was focused on my own words, so I only finished one book - The Flight of the Phoenix.  Good book.  I love the original movie (never saw the remake) and the movie seemed to follow the book pretty well from what I remember.

What did your Week 5 look like?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

This n That Thursday - Editing Edition

I am still up to my armpits in editing.  My house is a mess.  I haven't showered in days. I haven't exercised either.  (Which is kinda good considering the 'not showering' thing.)  I'm wearing the same clothes I put on Tuesday.  I had leftover pizza for lunch at my desk yesterday and a sandwich for dinner.  Can't tell you what Hubs ate.  He fended for himself.  Thankfully, Hubs is also tending to the cat.  Also, thankful that Hubs isn't a nagging, anal, clean freak.  That would totally suck.

I figured it out - I worked from 7:30am 'til noon-thirty, then worked from 2 - 5, then worked from 6 - 10 off and on last night.  (Off and on means I have the Kindle in my lap, the notebook next to me for jotting, and I make notes while I watch TV. If the program's really good, I make notes on commercials.)

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though.  I will finish today.  I WILL finish today. 10% left to make notes on. Then the notes need to be entered.  Then I can send it to AWE.  THEN I will collapse into a quivering puddle.

Then I will start all over again, getting Fertile Ground ready to send to my editor next month.

Right now, though, my brain is consumed with editing.  So the this n that is more THIS than anything else.

What's the this-n-that skinny where you are?

ETA: Two hours more and I finished!  It's been sent off to the editor who will have it back to me in 3 weeks.  Meanwhile, I have to go back to Fertile Ground and re-read Up Wish Creek. Tomorrow.  I'll start that tomorrow.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 4

Yeah, it's not Sunday.  Once again, I forgot Sunday was Sunday until it was way to late to matter anymore.  So, here we are on Monday.  Better late than never, right?

I have edit brain.  Deep in the brambles of word choice and tweakage I forget what day it is, what I'm supposed to be doing, and sometimes who I am.  I missed my deadline last night.  I'm now shooting for Wednesday.  Keep your fingers crossed.  I'm still on track for a mid-March release of In Deep Wish.

Today is day 21 of my 'do something active every day' goal.  Other than Thursday and Friday of last week, I've done something active every day.  Thursday and Friday?  I was under the weather.  (Felt like I should've been under a rock.)  I don't know if I've lost weight yet, but I do feel better.  Yesterday, I went out and attacked the big pile of leaves leftover from November.  It's wet and heavy, and frozen into flats like old shingles, but I hacked away at it.  Then I walked to the bottom of the hill and back.  THEN I came inside and talked Hubs into taking a walk.  We went around the loop (1.25 miles of up and down) and when we hit that last hill, I wasn't dying.  That's progress.

I've read 7 books so far this year.  Which puts me ahead of the goal. Which I need because I will inevitably fall down at some point, and get so busy I don't take the time to read. 

That's pretty much it.  Editing and exercise.  Interrupted by and interspersed with the creeping crud. 

How're things with you?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

This n That Thursday

Wow.  I totally forgot Sunday was Sunday, which led to the whole week going to hell.  But here I am again with another round of this-n-that.

Kirk Douglas' real name is Issur Danielovich Demsky.  Which explains why he took the stage name.  Imagine putting that on a marquee. 

We have snow on the ground.  Just enough to cover the grass, but not enough to hide the sticky-uppy strands.  The local news showed a picture at a major intersection in Springfield with a mention about how it hadn't been plowed yet.  Plowed? There's only like a 1/2 inch for petesakes.  Throw some rock salt on that sucker and call it good.  Where we lived in CO, they wouldn't send the plows out for less than 2".  Different strokes for different areas, I guess. 

My cat has this quirk where she likes to lay with her face in the water bowl.  Just her chin, mostly, although she does sometimes fall asleep like that and we hear her sputtering because her face dropped too far. 

I'm reading the third book in 'The Cat Who..." series by Lillian Jackson Braun.  Fun books. 

I was under the weather yesterday.  Must've been something I ate.  I have a keen love of leftovers and a stupid sense of when they probably should've been throw out.  It tasted fine. Really it did.  But it couldn't have been anything else.  On the upside, I spent the 'after lunch' part of the day laying in my recliner, reading and watching TV. 

Any this n that to share today?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

This n That Thursday

Apparently, I didn't win the Powerball.  I haven't checked my tickets yet, but the scuttlebutt is that someone who bought a ticket in the LA area won.  And I am hell and gone from LA.  We also bought some state lottery tickets.  Haven't checked those either.  Plus we bought scratchers, but those were both duds.  Oh well.

I lay in bed last night trying to sleep and thinking about how right now our favorite fishing spot and our second favorite lake spot is totally trashed after the flooding.  I mean, it wasn't exactly pristine before.  Some time ago, it was abandoned as a 'maintained site'.  Which means no fees to get in, but also no people watching over it to make sure morons don't break shit or trash it up, and no one to maintain the paved portions, and no bathrooms, and no workers to come clean it after floods and junk.  And as I lay not sleeping, I laid out a plan for what I would do with the park after I won the Powerball lottery.  I mean, 1.5 billion dollars goes a long way toward buying a defunct park from the state. I would clean it up, fix the bathrooms, redo the road and the parking area and the boatramp.  Then I would pay someone to act as guard and caretaker.  It would be free to get in, but with the express idea that if people don't treat it nice, it'll be turned into a 'pay to play' park.  Maybe 'members only' with a nominal fee so the people who went there would care what happened to it.  :sigh: 

Anyway, since that ain't gonna happen, I'll just hope some local residents with heavy equipment go over there and move the big logs and set it right again.  I know they fixed it up after last summer's flooding, so there's hope.  Once they do that, I'll be back out with my little garbage bag picking up the small stuff like I do when we're out there fishing.  You know, the way parks could all be maintained if the people who used them gave half a shit. 

But enough of that. 

In my bird-a-day calendar, yesterday's bird was some kind of weird, ugly chicken.  Good thing I forgot to change it yesterday, so I got to spend the day looking at the day before's cute chickadee instead.  Today the bird is a willet.  (Long-legged shore bird.)  I love my bird-a-day calendar!

I'm on day 10 of 'do something active every day'.  For the past nine days, it's been every day, so that's something.  I'm keeping track of it in my day planner.  The unfortunate side effect of upping my activity level is that now I'm hungry all the time.  That's seriously farqued up. I'm sure it's all in my head.  I'm not exercising that hard.  So, I'll just have to uncover some willpower somewhere and get over it. 

What this n that have you got goin' on today?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 1

Well, here we are at the beginning of a whole new year.  Other than the date, not much has changed, so let's just get right on with the updating.

After some pushing, I got the edit notes finished for this pass on Fertile Ground.  I haven't counted the pages yet, but they look pretty hefty.  Good thing I got them done when I did...

My edit notes for In Deep Wish came in from my editor on Friday.  And I knew without even looking that they would be hefty, too.  I sat down with the first chapters yesterday and aarrgghh.  No worries, though.  That's always my reaction to seeing my book all pinked up.  (My editor works in pink. Still pretty bloody, but more oxygenated than red ink.)  I'll get working on those today.  Because...

I will have this back to her in two weeks.  Well, my calendar says the 24th.  Two weeks from the date I expected to get the edit notes back.  Or something.  Anyway, I will do that.  I have to do that to keep on schedule.  And really there isn't anything keeping me from doing it but my own loathing of editing.  Which I need to get the hell over because this is a business not a party.

I finally made some time to read some stuff.  Older stuff, but it's still reading.  I read The Turquoise Mask by Phyllis A. Whitney and The D.A. Goes to Trial by Erle Stanley Gardner.  Good stuff.  I'm also a large chunk of the way through Beyond Varallan (Star Doc #2) by S.L. Viehl. 

I received the final cover for In Deep Wish.  Ebook only.  I'm not even close to giving her the page count or blurb so she can put together a print cover.  It's really awesome, but I can't share it yet.  Well, I could, but I won't until release day gets closer and I can get a Goodreads listing up.  Maybe in my next newsletter.  (So if you want to see it before anyone else, sign up for that sucker.)  I can tell you that the central color for this one is green.  (Like Wish in One Hand's was blue.)

My artist and I also talked a little about Up Wish Creek, but that won't be started until May.  All I know right now is the central color for that will be purple. 

I also began trying to build a cover for Fertile Ground.  I did a lot of stuff and then made a huge mistake, so I clicked Undo, and undid everything.  After that I was too heartsick to continue.  I'll get back to that soon.  If I can't create a professional cover for this one, the cover artist for my genie books says she can do it.  I love her, but I really want to try and do this myself. 

Week one of the 'be more active' goal worked out like this. Starting Tuesday, I did something active every day so far.  Tues, Wed, Thur, Sat - I did actual exercise type things.  Wed and Fri - Hubs and I walked.  Today I hope to exercise and then clean.  Anything that gets my ever-widening ass out of a chair and gets my blood moving at a faster rate than hot, chunky peanut butter.

Well, that seems like about it for me.  What did you do for the first week of the year?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

This n That Thursday

I didn't win the Powerball.  Not the jackpot.  Not a dime.  Stupid Powerball.  And now it's up to 675 million.  That's too much.  I'm done. 

Today on my 'bird a day' calendar, the picture is of penguins.

While looking for Christmas gifts last month, I saw a t-shirt that said 'I write so I don't snap'.  I need that shirt.  LOL

There was nothing on TV last night, so I switched to the Light Classical music channel on the satellite.  Hubs got inspired and wandered off to his creative pursuits.  I sat in my chair and edited Fertile Ground while the music floated around me.  It was very refreshing.

I've started exercising every day.  So far, I'm at two days in a row.  Nothing major.  I put on the Retro Disco channel and dance around the living room for 5 minutes, then go through an exercise routine put together by my physical therapist 20+ years ago for 5 minutes (various left lifts, donkey kicks, etc. w/ sit-ups and push ups thrown in) then dance for another 5 minutes.  I finish up by walking the length of the house back and forth until my heart rate is back to normal.  Yesterday, we also went for a walk in the afternoon.  I'm not trying to lose weight or anything.  I'm just so atrophied from plopping my butt in a chair for weeks on end that I need to start moving.  If I lose weight, too, it's frosting on the cake.  Mmm, cake.

I took Hubs to a new barber.  Well, new to us.  Apparently, this guy's been tucked into a little horseshoe shaped stripmall for years but I never could find him.  Well, I found him.  Best haircut Hubs has had since that one he got while we were on vacation.  Now to find someone for me.  I'm doing an okay job cutting my own hair, but sometimes I'd rather pay someone else to do it - if I could find someone who wouldn't screw it up.

I was in a reading drought at the end of last year.  Now, I've got two books waiting on my Kindle and a paperback I can't put down.  The Kindle books will have to wait until I finish this edit pass, though.  I hate juggling from one book to another on the Kindle.  I can do one paper book and one ebook, but not two ebooks or two paper books.  Weird.

What's on your this n that today?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 Reading Resolution

I'm not one for New Years resolutions.  I have goals sometimes that start at the beginning of a year.  Resolutions are typically something that just sets me up for failure.  I will do X vs. I will try to do X.  Yeah, it's all mental, I know, but it works for me.

This year, though, I had this awesome idea.  A reading resolution.  Oh, I already have a reading goal - 70 books read this year (not counting my own and anything I read that won't be published in 2016).  This resolution thing is something different.

This year I resolve to buy and read one 'new to me', indie-published author a month.  And if I enjoy the book, leave reviews for it at Amazon and Goodreads. 

Kind of a put up or shut up kind of thing.  I'd like people to give my books a whirl.  I'd like them to leave reviews when they do.  I can't really expect people to do something I don't do myself.  Voila! Reading resolution.

So, once a month, all through 2016, I will choose a book from an indie author I haven't read before, read the book, and leave a review.  I expect there'll be some kind of link thing in the sidebar once I finish the first book.  Might even post the review there or something.  All that isn't finalized yet in my head. 

This resolution is doable.  It's important. And I will find a way to squeeze it into my schedule.

Now I just need to pick a book for January.  Lucky for me, I get all sorts of book newsletters these days.  There should be something in those to hold my attention. 

What about you?  Does this sound like something you'd be interested in doing along with me?  If not, do you have any other resolutions you'd like to share?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 Wrap Up

I said somewhere that I'd do a wrap up of 2015 this morning.  Okay, here goes...

I was totally going to do a month by month thing, but I got bored.  And if it's boring me, it's sure as hell gonna bore you. 

Here are the highlights:

I published four books in 2015, which means doing all the things that are required to get books up and available.  You know, cover art, editing, marketing, etc.  Lucky for me, all four of those books had already been written. 

Hubs sanded all the yucky orange paint off the house.  It looks so much nicer.

I did some landscaping and gardening, so the yard is pretty much the way I want it now. 

A lot of time and energy went into keeping Max as comfortable as possible with his recurring mouth infection.  In November, we lost the fight and decided Max had fought enough. 

Baen rejected Djinnocide, which gave me leave to publish it myself - as Wish in One Hand.

I ended the year with 1017 books sold in 2015. 

And that's about all.  What are some of the highlights from your 2015?

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 - Books Read

Well, here we are at the start of a new year.  Of course, I haven't finished anything yet, but this will be the place I list all the books I will read in this coming year.  (Scroll down to see what I've read.)  My 2015 goal was 100 books.  I finished the year at 77.  So, this year, I'm going to try to be more realistic and set my goal for 70 books.  Not sure what the year will bring, but if I'm as busy as I was last year, that should be doable.

If you click the link to last year's list, you'll see I started the year with HP#1 and finished the year with HP#5.  I totally didn't plan that, but there it is.  I'll finish the other 2 of the HP series this year.  I'm currently reading a book by Phyllis Whitney.  I don't expect to finish 2016 with one of hers, but who knows.  She wrote enough books that I could make that happen if I was so inclined.

As always, * denotes ebooks, date is date finished, the books are in reverse order with most recent read on top, and genre is self-explanatory.  =o)

Update 10/6/16: Increased the reading goal to 90 because I was only 2 books away from hitting the goal of 70.

81. The Deep by Mickey Spillane (12/14/16) - Hard-Boiled Crime
80. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (12/12/16) - Literature
79. The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lillian Jackson Braun (12/7/16) - Mystery
78. The Cat Who Played Brahms by Lillian Jackson Braun (12/6/16) - Mystery
77. The Red Dragon by Thomas Harris (12/5/16) - Suspense
76. Rescue Moon by Silver James (12/2/16) - Paranormal Romance*
75. The Hitwoman Plays Chaperone by JB Lynn (11/18/16) - Mystery*
74. Savaged Surrender by Jennifer Lyon (10/29/16) - Romance*
73. Blood & Fire (Dallas Fire & Rescue) by Silver James (10/20/16) - Paranormal Romance*
72. The Black Shrike by Alistair MacLean (10/15/16) - Spy Novel
71. The Destroyer: Missing Link (Remo Williams #39) by Warren Murphy (10/11/16) - Crime Novel
70. The Removers (Matt Helm #3) by Donald Hamilton (10/9/16) - Crime Novel
69. The Widow Watchers by Frank Archer (10/08/16) - Crime Novel
68. Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home by Harry Kemelman (10/6/16) - Mystery
67. Convenient Cowgirl Bride by Silver James (10/4/16) - Romance
66. Nero Wolfe: Three at Wolfe's Door by Rex Stout (10/1/16) - Crime Novel
65. Feda's Anchor by DJ Salisbury (9/28/16) - YA Fantasy*
64. Nero Wolfe: In the Best Families by Rex Stout (9/19/16) - Crime Novel
63. The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett (9/11/16) - Crime Novel
62. Illusion's Child by DJ Salisbury (9/2/16) - YA Fantasy*
61. Barefoot Bay: Double Trouble by Silver James (8/30/16) - Romantic Suspense*
60. Where Angels Fear by Kasey Mackenzie (8/24/16) - Paranormal Romance*
59. The Truth about Love and Murder by Edie Ramer (8/8/16) - Romantic Suspense*
58. Crooked House by Agatha Christie (8/5/16) - Mystery
57. Line of Fire by Donald Hamilton (8/2/16) - Crime Novel
56. A New Eden: Idolatry Book 2 by Quent Cordair (8/1/16) - Literary Fiction*
55. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (7/24/16) - Literature
54. The Man Who Played Thief by Don Smith (7/23/16) - Suspense/Crime Novel
53. Witch Myth: A Yew Hollow Cozy Mystery by Alexandria Clarke (7/22/16) - Paranormal Mystery*
52. Cappuccinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse by Harper Lin (7/21/16) - Cozy Mystery*
51. Whiteout by Laurel Heidtman (7/19/16) - Suspense*
50. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (7/15/16) - Literature
49. Eternity Row by SL Viehl (7/11/16) - SF
48. Killer Mine by Mickey Spillane (7/7/16) - Hard-boiled Mystery
47. Hit & Run Bride by Nana Malone & Misty Evans (7/4/16) Romance*
46. Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley (7/3/16) - Paranormal Romance*
45. Broken Faces by DM Carr (7/2/16) - Historical Romance*
44. The Second Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen (6/28/16) - Fantasy
43. A Charming Crime by Tonya Kappes (6/26/16) - Paranormal Mystery*
42. The Hitwoman Under Pressure by JB Lynn (6/19/16) - Mystery*
41. Overture to Death by Ngaio Marsh (6/18/16) - Mystery
40. Assignment in Brittany by Helen MacInnes (6/14/16) - Historical Suspense
39. The Boss and his Cowgirl by Silver James (6/9/16) - Romance*
38. The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie (6/8/16) - Mystery
37. The Shadow of Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer (6/6/16) - Crime Novel
36. Profit Motive: The Destroyer #48 by Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir (6/5/16) - Crime/Adventure
35. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (6/3/16) - Fantasy
34. Night Moves by Silver James (5/28/16) - Paranormal Romantic Suspense*
33. Ten Days' Wonder by Ellery Queen (5/27/16) - Mystery
32. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (5/25/16) - Literature / Children's
31. Boys and Ghouls Together edited by Alfred Hitchcock (5/24/16) - Mystery
30. The Flaming Tree by Phyllis A. Whitney (5/23/16) - Romantic Suspense
29. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (5/22/16) - Literature
28. Body Double by Tess Gerritsen (5/20/16) - Suspense
27. Shockball by SL Viehl (5/16/16) - SF
26. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling (4/27/16) - Fantasy
25. The Hitwoman and the Mother Load by JB Lynn (4/27/16) - Mystery*
24. Honor from Ashes by Sam Schall (4/22/16) - SF*
23. The Cat Who Saw Red by Lillian Jackson Braun (4/18/16) - Mystery
22. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (4/17/16) - Literature*
21. Closer Home by Kerry Anne King (4/12/16) - Women's Fiction*
20. Scavenger's War: The Marlowe Transmissions #1 by Jack Sheppard (4/11/16) - Dystopian*
19. Moonstruck: Secrets by Silver James (4/10/16) - Paranormal Romantic Action Thriller*
18. Duty from Ashes by Sam Schall (4/9/16) - SF*
17. Easy Coffee Cake Recipes by Jeen van der Meer (4/3/16) - NF Cooking*
16. Dragons of Winter Night by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickmen (3/31/16) - Fantasy
15. Dracula by Bram Stoker (3/25/16) - Literature*
14. Moonstruck: Lies by Silver James (3/20/16) - Paranormal Romantic Action Thriller*
13. Beyond the Veil by Pippa DaCosta (3/18/16) - Urban Fantasy*
12. Barefoot Bound by Roxanne St. Claire (3/8/16) - Fiction (Romantic Suspense lead-in)*
11. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (3/8/16) - Urban Fantasy*
10. Compulsion by Allison Brennan (3/7/16) - Suspense
9. The Hitwoman and the Chubby Cherub by JB Lynn (3/4/16) - Mystery*
8. The Flight of the Phoenix by Elleston Trevor (1/30/16) - Adventure
7. The Cat Who Turned On and Off by Lillian Jackson Braun (1/21/16) - Mystery
6. One Monday We Killed Them All by John D. MacDonald (1/18/16) - Hard-boiled Crime
5. The First Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen (1/15/16) - Fantasy
4. The Hitwoman and the Sacrificial Lamb by JB Lynn (1/12/16) - Mystery*
3. Beyond Varallan (Stardoc #2) - S.L. Viehl (1/9/16) - SF
2. The D.A. Goes to Trial by Erle Stanley Gardner (1/5/16) - Hard-boiled Crime
1. The Turquoise Mask by Phyllis A. Whitney (1/2/16) - Romantic Suspense

Do you set reading goals?  How many books did you read last year?  How many are you hoping to read this year?