Catching Up

We know where mom is going when she’s released, but we aren’t positive when she will be released.  This week she sees the doctor and hopefully she will be done with the antibiotic.  Then it’s up to the nursing home to say how long they need her for therapy to prep her for release.

It’s been a crazy time with a lot of extra tasks – finding paperwork for the Medicaid application, paying her bills, and working with the nursing home for her care.  I got a request for more information for the Medicaid application.  I’m working on gathering that information so I can fax it in.

Thank goodness for my daughters.  When I’ve needed to rant, they’ve listened and not judged.  When I needed a reminder that I can only do what I can do, they’ve let me know.

In amongst all the craziness of the last few months, I’ve managed to finish Defenders of Magic.  It’s available on Amazon and Smashwords.  I’m also working on a few manuscripts to get them ready for publication.  Wayfarer Home will come out next month (hopefully).  After that in the series, I have Wayfarer War and two more.  TJ Jahns did the covers for the Defenders series and I like how they turned out.  This one is the conclusion to the story.  It took seven years but I finally finished the story.

The writing tasks and the crocheting I’ve been doing help keep me balanced.  I need this more than ever now as I’m handling so many other tasks.

Today I’m having a snow day – or more precisely an ice day.  We had rain and then snow.  The roads are bad from what Ken said.  We didn’t get a lot of snow but it’s the ice underneath which causes me problems.  The most hazardous for me is the parking lot.

While I’m off, I’ve checked my work email, personal email, and have done some writing / publishing tasks.  I’m going to make some changes to the paper version of Defenders of Magic (format changes) and then submit it for the third time.  Hopefully this time it will be how I want it.  Once I’m done with that, I’m going to work on my crocheting projects – dishtowels, daisy coasters, dresser scarf.  I’m waiting on thread to arrive.  I might check on the orders to see when they will get here.

I’m hoping to get a lot accomplished today on the writing and crocheting front.  Then when I face the world again tomorrow, I’ll be ready for more of the other stuff – mom’s tasks, work, and so on.  Also I’m hoping the roads and the parking lot at work are in better shape.

Book and Publishing News

Wayfarer Contentious is out and available on Amazon and Smashwords.  This is a continuation of Adara and Decker’s story.  More turmoil and trials with the Command withdrawing their support and racial tensions rising.

Change and conflict surround the Phoenix.  New trainees and Nancy O’Neal Finnegan arrive to board the Phoenix.  The Command mandates keep coming provoking the unrest amongst the crew.  Racial tensions rise with many attacks on other races.  Trainees complain about Adara, leading Command to issue and ultimatum.  Allies are attacked, humans only group is on the rise.  Have they reached a tipping point?

In addition to publishing the book, I’ve updated covers for the Defenders series.  TJ Jahns created new artwork for me (see her web site).  I think they turned out well and are a decided improvement.

Defenders of Magic is coming soon.  I have the cover done (I think).  Final edits went on the computer but I still have to read through one more time and do a spell check before I can publish.  I have to find a few hours of free time in order to do the actual publishing.

Behind the scenes, I’ve been updating my files so I can more easily market my crochet patterns and my short stories.  Part of this was to find links for my web site in order to make it easier for people to buy from their preferred vendor. 

Over and above my own writing, I’m working on reading some books to write reviews.  I’ve completed six and have two more to read.  Out of the six, only one of them was enjoyable enough to keep.  I’m hoping the other two I have are more enjoyable but I’m not holding my breath.

Lazy Night

Why is it when I’m tired and try to be responsible by going to bed early, I sleep horribly?  It’s probably my messed up brain.  I went to bed early but woke up on and off all night.

I worked longer yesterday as we are coming into the new academic year.  I got home later, received an order from Amazon only to be disappointed with it.  I tried buying some hemp rope for a project I want to do.  I guess I might have to go to Farm & Fleet to see if I can find what I want.  The crochet hooks I got a great deal on did actually turn out nice.  I’m looking forward to trying them as they have the ergonomic handles.

This week will start to speed up and next week will be insanely busy.  Meetings are abundant right now.  I don’t mind if they are productive but if you’re sitting there listening to people blather on, they are tedious.

I pulled out my binder with Defenders in it so I can start the review process.  I’m hoping it will spark a creative way to move forward without having to write a bunch of battles.  Battles are all right if you have a unique perspective but the book / series isn’t about the battles as much as the magic and so on.  Maybe I’m over thinking it.  Either way, I’ll work on the review and see if I get inspired.

Ken and I were both so tired last night.  We were sitting in the office helping the girls with some information and neither of us had the energy to either go to bed or do something else.  Eventually he went to bed and I played solitaire on the computer.  It was a lazy night for me.

Ode to Cheetos

There are just times you have to have something.  It doesn’t matter how good or bad for you it is.  You MUST have it.  I’ve been craving Cheetos.  Ken was a sweetie and got me some on Monday.

I don’t know what they put in them but I’ve eaten a full bag of Cheetos since Monday and still I want more.  I have a bag at work which I’ve been nibbling on.  It’s a little harder at work as there is the orange finger issue.  
Last night I had no Cheetos.  I was a little disappointed but I worked through one of my obsessions.  I got the first round of edits done on Wayfarer 8.  It took me until about 10.  Next step is a hard copy edit.  This one is about 20,000 words more than what I aim for but as I was editing last night I looked for scenes to cut.  I thought – I could take out this one or that one but the flow of the story was good and there weren’t any superfluous scenes.  As I was editing, I looked for shorter ways of saying the same thing and did manage to reduce the word count slightly but not by even a couple thousand words.  
The decision has to be made then of whether I will just have this one be longer or if I will try to cut the scenes?  I’m going to do the hard copy edit and see how I feel about it.  I wrap up a number of ongoing story lines which is why I think it is longer.  
The question becomes now do I start the edits on Wayfarer 9 which the rough draft is already done or do I wait until 8 goes into production?  The searches I do take me a couple of days and the first read through usually takes a day sometimes two.  
I’m still working on Wayfarer 10 and Defenders 3.  Part of my problem with writing Defenders 3 is because I’m so wrapped up in the Wayfarer series.  
I need to go back and do a clean up edit on the published Defenders novels.  I think once I’m immersed in the story again the last book will flow better. In the meanwhile I keep writing a scene here and there.  
Fortunately, I’ve wiped all the orange Cheetos residue from all of my devices and I’m getting over my craving (maybe) and will go back to trying to eat healthy.  

Balancing Act

My searches in Wayfarer 8 are done.  Now I have to do a read through before I print for an edit.  I’ve also gotten about 15,000 words into Wayfarer 10.

My middle daughter sent me a blog from one of her favorite authors about how to handle being stuck in a story.  It was interesting and gave me some ideas for the Defenders series.  I’m hoping it will help me move forward with the story.  It’s ironic, I started this story in 2010 and couldn’t get it down on paper fast enough.  I saw the whole story at the time.  I still do.  My problem is getting from the point I’m at to the next step.  Once I figure out how I move forward, the scenes all but write themselves.  I think I’m just getting hung up on the transitions.

Last night Ken went to bed very early so I watched a Midsomer Murder episode and worked on another ruffle scarf.  I wasn’t quite done with it when the episode was done but I finished and moved on to writing.

Work has been busy.  I’ve gotten a lot done in this week.  It certainly makes the days go faster.  It also feels good to get stuff accomplished.  I love crossing things off my to do list.

Tonight will probably be more of the same.  Saturday I’m going to Madison with my sister to do a painting thing.  I’ll see how it turns out.  I’m not great at painting but I enjoy it so much I keep working at it.

I’m going to a place I’ve never been.  I’m concerned about being comfortable and able to get around in there.  There’s always this what if they aren’t handicap friendly or my scooter will cause more problems or…. the list goes on.  I’m taking it on faith I’ll be able to get in and be comfortable.  I’ll see how it goes.

Hermit Hole

Essentially I’m a pretty private person.  Now if you know me personally I’ll share almost any aspect of my life but if you don’t know me, I’m pretty private.  It is hard for me to be on social media.  It puts me out there to a lot of people.

When I went on vacation, I took a week off of social media, book marketing, everything except spending time with my family.  Social media and book marketing are key to getting my books sold.  I’ve been back a little over a week and just am struggling with going public again.

I’ve met some interesting people online.  One of my friends I met online only.  I’ve never met her in person but I feel we are closer than most people.  She is caring, giving, and understanding.  I can tell her anything and get no judgement.

I’ve been in my own little world the last week.  Enjoying the me time, the quiet time that I think my soul needs.  I’m feeling rejuvenated and recharged.  I finished off the JD Robb series – just waiting on the next one which comes out in September.  I’ve been going through the Wayfarer series and looking at edits.  I’m through two and half books.  There are only a few edits I need to make and I’m weighing that against the time it take to make the edits.

Next is to work on the next novel – either Wayfarer or Defenders.  I also want to work on the next Murder and Dragon Lord’s books.  These two haven’t been started at all though I have some ideas.

I have a pile of crocheting I want to work on.  Ideas are just flooding me.  I need to work on the baby blanket, skirt, and bibs for co-workers.  After that I have a list – a very long list – of things I want to get done.

Right now I’m just happy in my little hermit hole but I know reality will be climbing in my quiet little hole with me and pushing me out into the world to get things done.

Overloaded and Overwhelmed

Things are speeding up at my day job which is putting a stress on my writing and crocheting because I have so much I want to get done but I’m tired when I get home.  My pain level isn’t helping but I’m hoping for milder weather in March.

Mentally I have a long list of things to get done editing, writing, brief descriptions, press releases, production for the manuscripts and that is just the general list off the top of my head.  I still have a gift to make and a few other things.  My daughter is grumbling about people being put before her afghan so I need to focus on her project.

I have a LONG LONG list of to read books.  So many I can’t even begin to say.  I can’t seem to make myself read Cast in Peril.  I guess I’ll go back to making myself listen to one chapter (at least) before I start the next JD Robb.  I’m on book 15 of the JD Robb series.  I want to get all the way through them and move on to other series.

The nice thing about crocheting is that I can listen to books and crochet so I’m doing two things I love at once.  Unfortunately when I write, it is the only thing I can do.  Tonight I worked on two stories and considered the start to another one.  I want to finish the final Defenders book.  I need some quiet weekends to be able to do it though.  I’m in the middle of writing a battle – a turning point in the book.  It takes my revolutionaries from thugs to respectable people attempting to change the rules of a society.  It’s turning out good for now but I need some quiet time to focus on it and think about where I am with all my large cast of characters and where I need to be and how I’m getting there.

I probably wrote about 3000 words tonight, maybe more.  Not bad considering I’m tired and cranky.  I’ve got too much in my head to not write and too much in my head to write and get the stories down.  It’s a matter of whittling away at my to do list.

Tomorrow promises to be another busy day.  We are coming up on advising followed inevitably by registration.  I’m sure it will be no worse or no better than other semester but just long days spent trouble shooting why people can’t register.  I managed to get a variety of tasks off my desk today and that felt good.  I like being busy while I’m accomplishing things.

This weekend is busy, very busy.  I’ve got things scheduled for most of the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I’m hoping I can get some down time with my feet up during all the chaos but we will see.

I made a call to one of my student loan places today.  I was supposed to get a tax form.  I didn’t and called them about ten days ago.  They said they would mail me one and still haven’t gotten it.  I called back today and got someone who was very helpful and got my form.  It was the largest chunk of the interest I paid so it was an important document to have so I can do our taxes.  I’m going to have to try to fit them in some time soon.  Normally I like to have them done by this time but with the schedule I’ve had and the missing document it was difficult.

With all this stuff in my head, I just need to make a comprehensive list and start working on it.  Part of the reason I haven’t is I don’t want to overwhelm myself with the list.  I have too many projects going right now and I need to finish a couple off.

Tonight – I’m going for an early night (for me) and hopefully a little more sleep than I’ve been getting.  Hopefully that will lower my pain level and keep me moving forward with my long list of things to do.

Coupons, Crocheting, and Juggling…

After I finish a manuscript and switch to something else, I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything.  I have to remind myself there is more to life than writing. 

Sunday, I spent the day listening to an audio book and going through the stack of coupons.  Since my stack was so large, it took me most of the morning to go through them.  I got the three piles done (one for me, one for my middle daughter, and one for my Atlanta daughters).  I talked to my middle daughter for a bit to sooth her pre-test nerves. 

Ken came home from helping his sister with a car that wouldn’t start and we had lunch.  I worked on a throw and finally finished it last night about 8:30.  I started another crochet project but realized I had done the first row wrong so I have to tear it out and start over.  I like the pattern, I just got the count wrong – at least that’s my hope because otherwise the pattern is screwy.  It’s a new book so it could be the pattern but I’ll try the first row again tonight. 

I’m still listening to Obsession in Death.  I’m up to chapter 13 and enjoying it.  Robb does a good job in drawing in the reader and even though this is the 40th book in the series, it is still an interesting story. 

I have editing to do.  I’m trying not to think about writing so I don’t get more manuscripts to edit but the third book in the Defenders is calling to me.  I know what the next two or three scenes will be.  I just need time to write them.  However, I also want to make sure I get the editing done.  I’m juggling again, juggling projects for both writing and crocheting. 

Often I feel like I have too many things to do and not enough time to do them.  That is when I remind myself it will all get done in time.  I have to remember to not be too hard of a boss to myself.  I get annoyed when I know I should do things – like marketing – and find myself opting to do things I know I like more – like writing.  It is a matter of balance. 


I’ve been busy.  I did sales summary analysis for January, billed for an editing job, responded to a bunch of emails, ate three meals yesterday (though supper was a bit late), and wrote.  I wrote an epilogue of sorts to Wayfarer Aegis.  One of my test readers insisted.  I was reluctant but having written it I see how it changes the tone of the ending and connects it better to the first book.  My test readers agree.  I wrote a blog for here, did posting on Facebook, answered posts on Facebook, and checked on Linked in, Goodreads, Pagan Square and looked for new reviews.  In addition to all of those things I wrote about 7,000 words for the sixth Wayfarer novel.

I went to sleep last night trying to figure out if I wanted to write a love scene between two characters or leave it as strong implied.  I couldn’t decide.  I slept on it.  This morning I woke up with the love scene playing in my head.  I sat up and wrote it and the following scene as well.

I have to check my business email this morning about the editing job I worked on.  However, I think I’m going to go take a shower.  When I’m done with my shower, I am hoping I’ll figure out what I want the next scene to be.  I know in general what it will be but I’m having Adara do a private negotiation that Admiral Chesnik specifically asked her to do.  I don’t know what will be under negotiation.  I have to figure that out.  Once I do, I’ll be able to write the scene.  After that I have one more scene for this contract day.  Then I’ll be jumping forward, I know the next scene for the new contract, I just have to figure out all the details of it.  It’s going to be complicated and involved but I think I know how it will play out.

If I can get all of that written today I will count it as a good day of writing.  The thing is I even know what happens after all of these scenes.  I know where I’m taking the story and sort of how it is going to play out but not the details yet.  It’s always fun for me to see the details unfold as I write.

If I can get Wayfarer done today or maybe in the next day or so, I can move on to Defenders.  I really want to tackle the final story in that series.  It’s two thirds done, I just need to finish it so I can work on edits.  There are battles to be fought, people who need to die, people who shouldn’t die, and justice to be done in that story.  It is exciting and should be fun once I get to it.

Alone at last!

Ken went off to visit the girls and I’m just back from dropping him at the airport.  I get to be home alone for the next week!  I am very excited about this as I plan to WRITE until my fingers fall off.

I sent Ken with goodies for the girls.  I’ve been crocheting for them for the last two weeks.  They got two scarves and something like twenty six coasters.  Virginia requested the purple and gray combo and then Stephanie sent me her color choices.
I got baby yarn for the scarves so it would make a nice light scarf.  They both turned out beautifully.  I LOVE the yarn and will be purchasing it again.

Now their stuff is done, I have to turn to my other projects.  I have a scarf I’m working on for Vicki which is almost done.  When it’s done I’ll be working on the gifts for my student workers and my niece who is getting married.  I have four gifts to get done by beginning of May and one by July.

While I’m alone this week though I’m going to focus on writing.  My short story didn’t place for the contest I sent it to but I think it’s good enough to publish so I’m going to polish it up some more, add a couple more scenes and put it out there for purchase.  For the rough draft, I have two or three more scenes to write and then it can go in the editing pile.

I just finished writing Murder Next Door.  I know exactly what I want for a cover (I think) so I have to figure out if I can get a photo of it or if I will try to get a picture (drawn) for it.

This week I have three things I want to get done – Wayfarer Aegis (which is just the two or three scenes), the Defenders third book, and the Wayfarer sixth book.  All three projects are started and in varying degrees of being written.  I just need to finish them.

On the drive home, I tried to settle into one of the stories to see if I could plot out the first steps.  I think the Aegis is going to be the first one.  Part of that is because it is so close to being done.  I need to write about so little to polish it off and then I think I can send it to my test readers.  If they don’t have any problems with it, I can start the editing process and get it out for publication.  The other two are going to be longer and more complicated to write, edit and publish.

Enough with sharing for now.  I’m on to writing.  Adara and the Aegis here I come.