Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Current Anthem

Every time I hear this song, it strikes a chord in me.  Sure, he's talking about writing songs, but in my head, it's all about this crazy business of writing and self-publishing.  Some days I think I must be insane to keep at it, but I am not a lunatic.  I can do this.  Crazy would, indeed, be leaving it behind.

by Andy Grammer

I've got five bucks sitting at a coffee shop
I just wrote a lyric that made me stop
Think about the world and what I got
It's a beautiful, beautiful day

I've got dreams for food and hope for drink
A new chance coming every time I blink
Sunset dripping off the thoughts I think
It's a beautiful, beautiful day

And maybe I should care more about safety
But I can't ignore or betray these voices singing

You can do this, you can do this
You are not a lunatic
Crazy would be changing your mind
You can do this, you can do this
You are not a lunatic
Crazy would be leaving it behind

I've got five bucks waiting on a matinee
I love to see films in the middle of the day
Same movie seen a different way
I don't think that makes me crazy

And I start work on the opposite side, of the clock
Tic tock clubs open at nine
I like to rock till the early daylight
Write music till five, this is my life

Maybe I should care more about safety
But I can't ignore or betray these voices singing


I will wiggle in a straight jacket forever
This is not some slight disease we can try and cure
This is one thing in my life that I know for sure
There is no turning back now

And maybe I should care more about safety
But I can't ignore or betray these voices singing


Thursday, January 29, 2015


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


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?  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My Only Resolution

Last year, I made three resolutions:

1)  Take my writing more seriously.
2)  Reduce the irritation in my life.
3)  Accept myself for who I am.

I am definitely taking my writing more seriously.  I've been pretty good at reducing the irritation in my life.  And I'm happy in my own skin. So win win win.

This year, I only made one resolution, and it really shouldn't be that hard:

1) Maintain my sanity.

I said that as a joke when people first starting talking about resolutions for 2015.  One person even said something like 'you have sanity?'  You know, cuz writers are hanging on by their fingertips most days.

But then I started to think about it.  And the more I said 'maintain my sanity', the more I realized, it was a good resolution to have.  It doesn't just mean preventing a psychotic break, and staying out of an 'I love me jacket' at the local looney-bin.

It means not letting every little thing drive me crazy.  And I suspect there will be a lot of little things this year.  Missed deadlines and weird reviews and people not holding up their end of the bargain and squonky formatting and... Well, there are a lot of potential pitfalls to self-publishing that could drive one out of one's mind, doncha know.

But it's not just self-publishing that could make me crazypants.  It's the writing and the editing and the cats and the news and... well, life in general.

Hell, a trip to Walmart could send me 'round the bend.  I made the mistake of going to Wallyworld on New Year's Eve.  In the afternoon.  Oh.My.God.  I was totally stressed before I even parked the car because the people in the parking lot were insane.  So, I parked and sat in my car, calming down and then I shouted HAPPY NEW YEAR, climbed out into the world, and waded in.  Maintained my sanity that day.

So, I'll be working on my one resolution this year.  Life's too short and people are too weird to let it all make you nuts.

What about you?  Did you make any resolutions?  And what makes you crazy? 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday Update - 2015 - Week 1

Sorry I'm a little late today.  It's a new year, but the old me.  LOL

Well, last week, I wasn't sure what to call this week. Google-fu tells me the first week of 2015 started on 12/28, so there we are.  (Okay, several sites said it started on the 29th, but as far as I know, weeks still start on Sundays and not Mondays, so I'm going with the 28th.)

For the first week of this new year, I actually finally got working on the line edits for Wrongful Termination.  I'm partway through Chapter 5 as of right this minute. 

I spoke with my editor and she should have the 2nd round of edits to me by bedtime today.  Or tomorrow.  Since she gave me a 'at the latest' date of 1/15, I'm happy either way.  I also talked to her about doing my next book sometime late March or early April, and that's a go.  Still haven't gotten samples of my cover, so I can't progress with any of that yet.

I started reading a book called The Zen of eBook Formatting to see if this is something I can do myself.  Looks like I certainly could do it, but whether I actually want to is a completely 'nother thing.  It's a balance between how little I want to spend the extra dough and how little I want to slog through the process myself.  Right now, the miser in me is tipping the scales, but I have a feeling the scales will tip the other way before too long.  We'll see.

In other news, we had to take the other cat in for a mouth problem she decided to have now that Max is feeling better.  She had to have several teeth pulled.  I think the cats were conspiring.  Anyway, Kira's doing well now.  And now Max has to go back to the vet tomorrow to see if all his booboos are healing right.  I spend more time at the vet's office now than I ever wanted to.  I mean, I love those people, but I really want to see them less.

I renewed my Goodreads reading goal and set 2015 at 100 books - like last year.  I hit that goal.  We'll see if 2015 becomes too busy for me to hit 100 this year. 

Also, I renewed my subscription to for a month.  I don't know what I was thinking. Genealogy can be a tremendous timesuck.  I promised myself I wouldn't play in the family trees until I made progress on my work, though, so it should be okay.  And I located a long-lost living relative while I was out there, so it's all good. 

Other than that, not much going on around here.  How are things in your world?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 - Books Read

I just hit my goal of 100 books for 2014.  Not sure if I'll have too much time to read this year, but I went ahead and set the goal at 100 again.

By now, you should know what all this means, but * denotes ebooks, date is date finished, the books are in reverse order with most recent read on top, and genre is self-explanatory.  =o)

77. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (12/31/15) - Fantasy
76. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (12/10/15) - SF
75. No Good Deed by Allison Brennan (12/6/15) - Suspense
74. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (12/3/15) - Fantasy
73. Kill as Directed by Ellery Queen (11/21/15) - Hard-boiled Crime
72. The Vampire's Mail Order Bride  by Kristen Painter (11/17/15) - Paranormal Romance*
71. The Hitwoman Hires a Manny by JB Lynn (11/3/15) - Mystery*
70. The Devil's Cut by Silver James (10/25/15) - Paranormal Suspense*
69. Until Proven Innocent by JB Lynn (10/24/15) - Romantic Suspense*
68. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (10/15/15) - Fantasy
67. The Long Afternoon of Earth by Brian Aldiss (10/12/15) - SF
66. Hit and Run by Brennan and Griffin (10/10/15) - Romantic Suspense*
65. Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle (10/8/15) - Dark Urban Fantasy*
64. Vulcan's Kittens by Cedar Sanderson (9/30/15) - YA SF/F*
63. Daughter of the Stars by Phyllis A. Whitney (9/28/15) - Romantic Suspense
62. Cape Fear by John D. MacDonald (9/24/15) - Suspense
61. The Proposal by Lily Zante (9/22/15) - Romance*
60. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (9/20/15) - MG Fantasy
59. Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt (9/19/15) - SF*
58. When Dorinda Dances by Brett Halliday (9/18/15) - Mystery
57. Exposing the Heiress by Jennifer Apodaca (8/24/15) - Romance*
56. StarDoc by S.L. Viehl (8/24/15) - SF
55. Best Laid Plans by Allison Brennan (8/17/15) - Romantic Suspense
54. Black Magic & Mojitos by A.A. Chamberlynn (8/13/15) - Urban Fantasy*
53. Caged Magic by Jennifer Lyon (8/13/15) - Paranormal Romance*
52. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett ( 8/1/15) - Detective
51. The Hitwoman's Act of Contrition by JB Lynn (7/26/15) - Mystery*
50. Sew Deadly by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (7/22/15) - Mystery
49. Audacious (Kris Longknife #5) by Mike Shepherd (7/21/15) - SF
48. Ideal by Ayn Rand (7/18/15) - Literature
47. Amethyst Dreams by Phyllis A. Whitney (7/14/15) - Romantic Suspense
46. Slayride by Dick Francis (7/12/15) - Mystery
45. My Sunny Vampire by Stacy McKitrick (7/10/15) - Paranormal Romance*
44. The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith (7/5/15) - Womens' Fiction
43. Double Cross: Hard Target #1 by Silver James (7/4/15) - Paranormal Romance*
42. A Woof in Sheep's Clothing by JB Lynn (7/2/15) - Mystery*
41. The Mystery of the Merry Magician by Ellery Queen, Jr. (6/25/15) - Mystery
40. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harries (6/21/15) - Paranormal Romance
39. The Nothing by Kerry Schafer (6/18/15) - Fantasy*
38. The Girl from Outer Space by Carter Brown (6/14/15) - Detective
37. A Wicked Pack of Cards by Rosemary Harris (6/12/15) - Gothic Mystery
36. The Lurking Fear and Other Stories by HP Lovecraft (6/9/15) - Horror
35. The Talon of the Hawk by Jeffe Kennedy (6/7/15) - Fantasy
34. The Ebony Swan by Phyllis A. Whitney (5/31/15) - Romantic Suspense
33. Kill Them All (Marksman #3) by Frank Scarpetta (5/28/15) - Crime
32. Anti-Social Register by Alfred Hitchcock (5/25/15) - Mystery
31. Dragons of Autumn Twilight by M. Weis & T. Hickman (5/21/15) - Fantasy
30. Night Shift by Silver James (5/16/15) - Paranormal Romance*
29. Vengeance from Ashes by Sam Schall (Amanda S. Green) (4/23/15) - SF*
28. Fat Vampire by Johnny B. Truant (4/20/15) - Paranormal*
27. Wakeworld by Kerry Schafer (4/15/15) - Fantasy
26. Inside the Criminal Mind by Stanton Samenow (4/9/15) - Non-fiction
25. The Cowgirl's Little Secret by Silver James (4/1/15) - Romance
24. Catnapped! by JB Lynn (3/31/15) - Romantic Suspense*
23. Darkness Falls by Erin Kellison (3/24/15) - Paranormal Romance*
22. In the Beginning by Lori Handeland (3/?/15) - UF*
21. Six Geese for Monica by Brenda Gayle (3/22/15) - Romance*
20. The Stainless Steel Rat Returns by Harry Harrison (3/22/15) - SF
19. On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony (3/18/15) - Fantasy
18. The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier (3/15/15) - Suspense
17. Monster Hunter Nemesis by Larry Correia (3/10/15) - UF/Action
16. Endurance by S.L. Viehl (2/23/15) - SF
15. One Bright Star to Guide Them by John C. Wright (2/21/15) - Fantasy*
14. Eye of the Ruby: Mack Bolan/Stony Man #29 by Don Pendleton (2/21/15) - Action Thriller
13. The Hitwoman's Downward Dog by JB Lynn (2/13/15) - Mystery*
12. Bone Dry: Soul Shamans Book 1 by Cady Vance (2/9/15) - YA Paranormal*
11. The Mystery of the Claddagh Rings by Kallie Lane (2/8/15) - Romance*
10. Building Your Book for Kindle by Kindle Direct Publishing (2/8/15) - Non-fiction*
9. Cowgirls Don't Cry by Silver James (1/17/15) - Romance
8. Stealing Justice by Misty Evans & Adrienne Giordano (1/16/15) - Romantic Suspense*
7. Aces Wild by Amanda Carlson (1/11/15) - Urban Fantasy*
6. Let's Get Visible by David Gaughran (1/11/15) - Non-Fiction
5. A Case for Calamity by Mackenzie Crowne (1/10/15) - Romance*
4. Home for Christmas by Patricia Kay (1/7/15) - Romance*
3.  Depth of Field by Audrey Claire (1/6/15) - Mystery*
2.  Moon Shot by Silver James (1/2/15) - Paranormal Suspense*
1.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling (1/1/15) - MG Fantasy

Happy New Year!

And welcome to...

Let's make it an awesome year!