End of the Year Hustle

The family got through mom’s possessions.  We got them divided up, organized and sent off to the appropriate sibling or charity.  This includes the difficult task of dividing up her jewelry.  Saturday was a very long and emotional day.

Now I’m working on gifts and projects.  I had five student worker gifts to make – can’t say what at this point.  Since Sunday I’ve gotten four of them done.  I’m hoping to make the last one tonight.  I’ll take pictures of them as they are new patterns and then ask my husband to please wrap them. 

This is the rest of my immediate needs for crocheting:

  • 3 baby bibs – moved up because the publication changed the date for the issue they’re going in
  • gift for my daughter’s boyfriend – again can’t say
  • blanket for the woman who organized my blog post
  • slipper socks for my niece
  • scarf and hat set for a client
I think these are the immediate needs.  I am still working on a blanket for my niece which I may submit to the publication – I may be too late for the issue.  I have to check since they rearranged dates of issues.
I’m hoping to get all of these done within the two weeks.  After I get these done, I’m going to think about making things for the markets I’m hoping to participate in.  However, I have a lot of writing things to get done as well.  
I’m sure I’m going to be bouncing back and forth between tasks.  It’s all a balancing act for me to keep moving forward in both of these areas.  
I’ve been feeling too scattered so I wrote up a to do list for my writing.  I need to break down some of the tasks into pieces so I can check them off but I’m hoping with the list, I’ll be able to focus a little better and spend less time bouncing around and more time accomplishing things.  
Work is winding down for the end of the semester so this means I can think about more things.  I’ve also got a long eleven days off over the holidays.  I’m looking forward to this as I’ll actually have about three days in the house alone.  I’m hoping those will be productive days for writing.  On the days where I’m sharing the house with other people I’ll work on things like posting patterns on Ravelry or marketing as that is easier to be interrupted than writing.  
I’m also hoping to start going through some of the photo albums of my mothers.  This is going to be a task as there are dozens of them if not hundreds.  Without a doubt there are thousands of pictures to look through, determine if they are good enough to scan, and pick the ones the family will be interested in.  My mother was a prolific photographer who snapped shots of everything.  Collectively, we’ve already decided we can’t keep them all and there isn’t time to scan them all.  Still it’s a big job and will take time.  I’m hoping to take a few hours on one of my days off and work through a number of them.  
After I get done with the pictures, the next thing will be the slides.  This is going to be time consuming as well.  Both my parents took a lot of pictures.  This means I’ve got lots of slides to go through from the beginning of their marriage to about the 70s (I think).  This will be slow going as well.  
All of this should keep me very busy through the end of the year.  I’m hoping to rest a bit during my eleven days off and come back to my day job a little less stressed.  I’m also hoping to get quite a bit of work done while I’m off. 

Crochet Weekend

Today is going to be a crochet day.  I think I have three episodes of Midsomer Murders left so I’ll probably finish off those while I work on crocheting.  My goal this weekend is to finish some socks and work on a blanket.  If I manage to finish all of those, I’ll look again at the list of themes for the publication I submit to.

It’s going to be a rough day for me.  I’ve had very little sleep though I did turn in early (especially for me).  I woke up at 1:45 and haven’t really been back to sleep since.  I see a nap in my future.

Once I get these projects done, I do want to look at the themes and see what I come up with for other crochet projects I can submit for consideration.  Since I’ve been finishing up Wayfarer Resolve, I’ve not looked at them in a couple weeks.

Now Wayfarer Resolve is done, I’m working on rereading a manuscript I was working on.  I’m hoping I can finish it.  I’m also in prep mode for the reader event next month – holy mackerel it four weeks from today!  This weekend I want to do an inventory of books so I can order any I may need for the event.

I’ve got a couple crochet patterns I want to work on so I can publish them as well.  This is mostly getting them in the right format and then once I publish put them post them on Ravelry as well.

Well I’m off to work on slipper socks.  Since it’s gray and gloomy outside, it’s a perfect day to stay inside and crochet.

Bulging To Do List

I’ve been working on a story almost non-stop for several months.  I like how it’s developing.  I like how it changed from what I thought it was going to be.  It was flowing nicely and then life got complicated.

As is usually the case, my brain can only handle so many tasks and then it rebels.  In this case, every time I open my document, I read through, do edits, and come to the end.  I may write a paragraph or two or even as much as a scene but then blank.  The problem – so many things on my to do list.

I separate my life into segments.  There’s the business of writing which involves marketing, prepping for publication, creating covers, and so on; writing; crocheting; editing (paid or for myself) and then other.  Obviously I’m not including personal here because that is always ongoing. 

My process is always affected by how much I have going on in these sectors.  I can write and write and write until I have three or four or more manuscripts waiting to be edited.  There’s a tipping point.  I think the most I had at one point was six.  Then I switch from writing (incessantly) to editing.  Some of these things go on no matter what – like the marketing.  I try to do some every day.  At the same time I’m looking at crocheting as well.  I want to do a sale in December but I’m trying to judge whether I will have enough time to make enough for a sale or not.  Then the question becomes would my books draw enough money to make a profit after I pay for the table.  Initially I was thinking of having both my books and my crocheting but I am not sure at this point.  I feel I need to make a decision soon.

The only way that decision is going to get made is if I get a couple of my current crochet projects done and off my plate.  This would mean a few nights a week I would devote to crocheting items for the sale.  Part of the problem is I don’t know how much and what to make.  I’d rather have too much than too little.  So many things rolling around in my head.

Right now, I’m trying to focus on getting stuff done.  I had stalled on one item I was working on because I didn’t like the options I had for part of the project.  Last night I figured out what I liked and wanted.  Now I have to check to make sure the end user will like it as well.  Then it’s a matter of finishing that part and figuring out one more part.  Once it’s done, I need to take pictures and send it off for submission to a publication.  I’m hoping to finish it tonight or tomorrow night.  Then I’m back on the blanket I’ve been working on.

I’ve got a book I’ve been keeping track of things in.  I realized I wasn’t carrying it and it was causing problems because I wasn’t keeping up with things.  It is now back in my backpack to help keep me on track – I hope. 

I finished a read through on Wayfarer Resolve – which I wanted published in August but it wasn’t ready.  I want to wait a day or three to let it settle, then I will do one more read through before I work on publishing.  I’m hoping before the end of September at this point. 

New Pages and Other News

If you have been here before, you’ll notice new pages.  There is a page for interviews.  I’ve got my first one posted featuring Lauren Alder.  I’ve got another one ready (or nearly) for the next interview.  I’ve got feelers out to authors.  If you are an author or an editor or even a publisher, contact me to do an interview.  I want to feature people in writing and publishing.

I had a lovely blog tour and am happy with the results.  Because of that, I’ve signed up to try featuring blog tours on here.  I’m going to see how it goes.  I’m being selective because I’m busy and don’t want to overload myself.  You should totally check out the blog tour page.  There’s a giveaway that goes with it.

This weekend has been busy with errands and other craziness.  I’m working on two crochet projects to get them ready to submit for publication.  I’ve been working on Wayfarer Resolve.  I got a round of editing done but again, lots of changes in it so I’m probably going to do a read through only on it before I start publishing.  I’m pleased with it but I’ve made a lot of changes to it so it needs another read.

I’ve got a list of crochet projects to get done for custom orders.  I have the yarn, I just need the time to get the work done.  They are on my list.

I’ve been busy with paid editing and some freelance work.  This always shoves my work to the side but the freelance work is done (I think) and the paid editing is on a pause.  It’s time for me to get things done for me.  I have a long list (when don’t I?) which includes publishing crochet patterns.

One thing I want to add to my list is a look at hashtags and how to use them.  I’ve never really understood them but a fellow author recommended using them in instagram.  I discovered in short order how effective they are.

Today I’m going to work on posting some more stuff but then I will be hitting the recliner to finish (I hope) a project for submission and work on either another submission or some of my requests.  Though there is a particular skein of yarn which is calling to me.

Which End Is Up?

My goal has been to get more patterns published.  I submitted three patterns and one got accepted!  Yeah!  Last night I worked on a pattern and the pattern is complete I need to finish the crocheting so I can take a picture and submit the pattern.

I have so many ideas for patterns right now but I’ve got a plate and a half full.  I’m going to have to keep myself in check and be cautious about what I start.  I’d rather look forward and make attempts.  I am working on a blanket for one of the issues – I am really liking how it is turning out.

We are building a new pantry in our kitchen.  Ken tore out the old pantry today.  Hopefully by next weekend we will have new ones.  Under normal circumstances, we are usually pretty frugal.  However, we are spending a little more money on the shelves because we want specific things in this pantry.  If we’re going to the expense of redoing the pantry, I don’t want small shelves in there or ones I’m going to have to replace every few years.  I want good sturdy shelves which will hold up and expand my space drastically.

I’m in the middle of projects, not just crocheting but writing, editing, and others.  I’ve got a chapter to review in the next Wayfarer novel.  My beta readers have told me what I already knew – this one section of the book was rough and needs work.  I’m giving it work.  I don’t want to rush publication and have readers be unhappy.  I have a manuscript I’m making progress on.  I was not getting the scenes clear in my head so I wasn’t writing but then it occurred to me what needed to happen.  Now I have to make the time to write the scenes while they are in my head.  I’ve got one more manuscript waiting in the editing box.  It also needs work so it will be slow going on the edits I’m sure.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish the two freelance projects fairly quickly.  It will bring in money to cover some bills and pay for the pantry.  Then I’ll move on to the books.  I’m feeling overwhelmed right now but I know this will pass as I get things done.

Royal Undercover is still on tour.  I am quite excited about it.  I hope this improves sales and awareness of my books.  Only time will tell.

One Step at a Time

Frustration abounds for me right now.  There are a lot of things happening for me with my writing.  I’ve got a sale going on through Smashwords, a blog tour coming up in less than a week, and a reader event I’m trying to get organized to go to. 

Each of these has many steps and components I need to pay attention to.  Meaning – get busy and work on them.  I’ve finished making the star coasters.  I started making bibs per a request from my daughter.  I decided if I was making bibs, I might as well design them so I can publish a leaflet.  I’ve got ideas for each.  The first one turned out FABULOUS!  I have five or six more designs I want to try as well as having one started. 

There are all these steps and each time I work on a different one, I think I should be working on eight other steps.  I keep reminding myself I can only do one or two things at a time but my manager in my head (who is a slave driver) keeps telling me to do MORE!!!!

It’s difficult for me to sit down to crochet for hours because in my head I’m thinking – I need to do this and that and ten other things.  For instance, I have all the components for the 100 gift bags.  Next step, assemble them.  Okay – I need to get them all in one place.  I need to punch holes in the bookmarks and gift card and then attach (how am I attaching them?) all of them together. 

This task leads me to the gift basket I want to get ready – I have to make a decision on whether I’m crocheting something or not.  Along with this crochet project, I’m trying to crochet things for publication… the list is endless. 

I know I’m in overload when I sit down with the intentions of working and my brain can’t settle on one thing so I end up playing a game on my phone.  My to do list helps but insomnia doesn’t.  I know the key to success – prioritize and delegate.  My daughters step in and help. 

The other night, I got a video call from the two in Georgia.  They wanted to show me some things they made.  The two of them worked on some good stuff for me to take with me in November to have on my table for a giveaway!  I didn’t ask them to but they went ahead and made them.  They looked super cute and I LOVED them.  It was so sweet and helpful. 

Ultimately I’m busy – over busy right now.  I need to let go the frustration, keep reminding myself one thing at a time, and keep moving forward.  Now I need to stop thinking seven or a hundred steps ahead and focus.  I need to remember I’ll get stuff done and things will slow down.  I keep thinking – take a deep breath and relax. 

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  Not so much.

I got 70 stars made but I need to get 30 more done.  I’d like to get them done sooner rather than later.  But it wasn’t this past weekend.  I guess I’ll take them to work with me so I can work on them during my lunch hour.

I still have a shawl to do and I have an idea on how I want to do it but I have to see how I think it will work out.  Part of me is itching to get these two projects off my list.  I know I have two more right on the heels of it which are both started.

The good thing is I got edits on the computer for the next Wayfarer book but I didn’t get the second Wild Magic book edited.  That stays in my bag to work on.

Oh and if that isn’t enough, the girls brought home this fun, addicting game called Ticket to Ride – which is about building trains on all sorts of maps.  We found out there’s a version of it I can have on my phone.  This is a mistake but it’s on my phone.  Oh my goodness – I can’t stop playing.  Saturday night I stayed up till 1 in the morning playing it and I didn’t notice time passing.  I’m going to have to be firm with myself because I have too many other things to do.

On Facebook I’ve been seeing snippets from JD Robb’s books.  It made me want to read them.  I got through the first three in no time.  I’ve got a Dragon book I’m reading too.  I like the premise of the dragon books (and who doesn’t love dragons?) but there is a touch too much repetition for me.  There are 64 chapters in the book I’m reading but they are short chapters.  I’m sort of interested but it doesn’t hold my attention.  I’ll get through it eventually and I’m hoping there’s a tipping point where I get enthralled in the story to the point where I can’t put it down but I’m not holding my breath.  On the JD Robb books, I’m not sure whether I’m going to reread the whole series (she has a new one coming put in September) or not but I thoroughly enjoyed the ones I’ve read so far.  I’m also reading a review book.  I need to struggle my way through the end of it and write the review.  Then I have two or three more to read for reviews.  I hope they are better than I expect.


It’s been a good and a bad week for me.  My gout is acting up so my pain level is up – this is the bad in case you didn’t know.  I’m going to get the whining out of the way.  I’m having a hard time walking, standing up straight – this is also arthritis not just gout.  With the rain, comes pain. 

On the plus side – I’ve got a new book out.  I have a five star review on it on Goodreads!  I also got a five star review on the crochet pattern – Half Dozen Headbands! 

I was writing hot and heavy on a story but I’m looking for ideas.  While I look I’ve been doing all sorts of other things – marketing, editing, and reading.  I have all my book covers on Pinterest and Mogul.  Next step is to get them up on Instagram. 

I’ve been feeling really grumpy lately.  I’m in serious grumpy mode.  This doesn’t happen to me often.  I don’t want to talk to anyone (yet here I am writing a blog – yes I am aware of the irony) and I don’t want to do social crap.  I want to do what I want to do and if I could do it alone – all the better. 

People don’t get the need to be alone.  I haven’t had a lot of time to myself and it means I’m ornery.  I don’t mind talking to the right people but lately I feel like I’m stuck in a rut and not able to get what I want done.  The problem?  I’m not getting the writing things I want done.  I was supposed to publish two manuscripts (one under my pen name and Royal Undercover).  I only got one done.  I’m grumbling about my current work in process because I’m not getting the other things done. 

I have a list of subjects for the crochet magazine.  I’m hoping to get a few projects done so I can submit them.  I have a couple of ideas I need to get done for the event in November.  My to do list grows and grows.  I need to take a breath and either write it all down (which will probably put me in shock) or I need to let it go and get busy. 

This week I’ve been reading.  I started a few series and have read a few books into them.  I’m not reading a dragon series by Julia Mills.  I don’t know how I feel about it.  There’s a story line which carries on throughout the books.  I’m hoping the format isn’t too formulaic.  The first one was good enough I wanted to read the second.  I’ll see  how the second goes.  One thing I don’t like is there’s a lot of internal dialog – which I’m okay with in general but this seems like a lot.  These are supposed to be erotica books – that means getting the two main characters together and getting things going.  I skim a lot.  I’ll see how I feel after the second one.

 I need to crack down and get stuff done.  I think if I can get things done, I’ll feel better.  So I either shove a movie in and crochet or I work on writing tasks.  And I stop whining. 

Wayfarer Evolution and Other Good News!

It’s done!  It’s published!  I’m really excited about this one.  I think the story turned out really good.  I’m pleased with the end result.

Here is a synopsis of it:

With the retreat of the Hettians to their own space, Adara is left to face the day to day running of the Wayfarers.  With Oakes’ reassurance and Decker’s support, she plans to take the new ship and explore their sectors.  A visit from Dalina of the Tuscalains and trouble in Hometown, Adara’s escape is delayed.
Adara settles into having four children but worries she isn’t giving them enough time while she is Mathair Naclan.  Consulting with Oakes, she and Decker plan to return to space so she can explore their sectors. 
Unrest with the Humans only group causes conflict and violence in Hometown.  Adara’s children and family are threatened.  Adara’s assistants are attacked, which leads to their first trial.  Due to her involvement with the victims, Adara stays on the sideline of the trial. 

Back in space, Adara settles into running the Wayfarers and exploring space.  She finds comfort and excitement in learning how to delegate and balance her life.  But the conflict isn’t resolved and follows her.  Will the bigotry continue?

Here are the links where it is available so far:

This week I also got my Braided Scarf pattern published in Happily Hooked Crochet magazine (issue 51).  If you want to check out the magazine, it’s available here.  The Braided Scarf is a gorgeous gray and purple sparkly yarn which turned out beautifully.  

I’m jumping up and down for joy but only for a little while because I still have work to do!  Crochet patterns to publish and post on Ravelry, edits to enter in the computer, and a long long list of projects to work on.  

Quick & Easy Throws

As I make gifts, I usually write my own patterns.  These throws were made for gifts for student workers and for one of my daughters. 

All four of these I crocheted in under 12 hours.  They work up quickly because you use a large hook and the yarn is so thick.  More than that, they are gorgeous and a wonderful gift.

Here’s a little more information:

Five throws which can be done in a weekend.  Each of these throws are simple patterns and work up quickly.  Four of them are made with Bernat Bundle Brights and the fifth is made with Buttercream Luxe Craft Mohair Metallic purple, blue & silver.  These make an impact when given as gifts.  They are warm, easy to make, and fit any color scheme.

You can check out my web page or Amazon or Smashwords

I usually end up binge watching something while I crochet projects like this.  I think I was watching Midsommer Murders while I worked on the four for my student workers.  The one for my daughter I worked on while we were in Georgia.