writing text, random text, text, paper, notebook, pen.

Summer Vacation Part 3

Yesterday I worked on getting Solana into blogs. Having different bloggers post about my books helps different people see my book. It also means I have to write something to go with. It might be a character interview or to answer specific questions. These take time to write so I got several done.

Then I worked on getting my books set up in Asana. Now I use this to schedule the different tasks I need to accomplish between now and the release date like editing steps, ordering graphics (or creating them) and marketing steps. I had seven books to set up. The nice thing is I lumped a number of those tasks on the same day despite the later release dates.

It makes it easier to do all the books at once like researching keywords rather than scattering those tasks over multiple days for the next year. This means I need to look at my calendar so I keep track of what’s on the agenda.

I planned to write last night but I had people around me until late. I read a book instead. I was up until about 1 am and enjoyed getting lost in the story. When it was done, I wanted to keep reading but of course the book was done.

My daughter has started making fruit smoothies in the morning. We’ve had a mix of cherries, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, banana. This is how we’ve been starting our day and it’s delicious and filling. We will probably put the fruits we need for smoothies into one freezer bag so we can grab and make very easily.

Today is a lot of meetings for me. I do an author talk in my Facebook and then a group of authors get together and chat about writing stuff after that. In between today, I need to peel and halve peaches so they can go in the freezer.

After dinner, I plan to send people off to their own spaces so I can write. Yesterday while having a conversation with someone I came up with a plot for the short story I am working on. It all just fell into place. I have an idea of what I want to write and how to solve the issues. It just clicked which is heavenly!

person holding white printer paper

What I did on Summer Vacation

Summer is supposed to be quiet for work. Not this year. Training, hiring, and procedures have been dominate in my day job. It’s been busy – very busy.

It’s been so busy finding time to take vacation has not been easy. However, I’m on vacation from the day job! I’ve got a full week off and I’m filling it with what I want to do.

Now some people think I schedule my life too much… sometimes I do. But for this week I haven’t.

Saturday and Sunday were normal weekend days. We did chores, ran errands, and I worked on writing stuff. I did my author talk and then met with a group of authors to talk about writing and life. I also worked my way through final edits for two manuscripts. They got sent off to my formatter.

Monday I worked on another manuscript – my longest of this batch. In my process I go through a lot of steps for editing and one of the final ones is to do a paper edit. I know this sounds weird to some people with all our technology. I actually print out a copy of the manuscript and edit on paper.

When I’m done with the edit, I turn it over to my sister who goes through it to enter the edits I’ve done. She also reads it again for me and adds anything she catches. She emails it back for me. I go through it to make sure the edits are correct (sometimes I wonder where my head was). Then I do an edit check and read through.

Today I tackled the last of the four manuscripts. I’ve added the author’s note and the acknowledgement and will send it off to my formatter so she can do the formatting for me.

One of the stories I sent to one of my beta readers. She and I talked through some of the story and there were some pretty serious rewrites done on it. Since I did that one yesterday, I’ve let it sit today. Tomorrow I’ll probably read through it but my beta reader said she’d try to read it this weekend so I might hold off.

Next step – well in doing my edits, I’ve culled some good quotes to add to graphics for posting. I’ll work on those. I also need to set up all seven stories (the three Dragon Descendant short stories in addition to the four manuscripts) in Asana which is my project management software. That will be time consuming but worth it as it keeps me on track when I’m doing other things like writing.

My hope is tomorrow I’ll work on client editing work and then tackle some writing. We’ll see. I’m not rushing things. I’m enjoying my days of leisurely working on books. Oh and because I like numbers I’ve edited 264,637 words in the last four days. Not quite done but happy with my progress. I still have plenty of days left in my week and I’m looking forward to seeing where my muse and tasks will take me.

I have options – oh so many of them – so I’m not picking tonight. I’m enjoying the accomplishments of my leisure time.

For Sanity’s Sake

I’ve got three more days of work before I have eleven off.  I swear someone has slowed time just to torment me.  I really want it to be Friday so I can get started with the time off.

With a long long long list of stuff to do, I cannot decide what I want to do first.  There are commitments for the holidays but I’m hoping to be able to have a couple days to do only what I want to do.  Let’s be real – write.  I want to work on writing.

I’ve got Wild Magic 2 in the edit phase which I need to enter the edits I’ve done on the computer.  Do a read through and then probably print out and edit again.

Seven Sisters – working title – is also in the works.  I want to finish writing this so I can move it to the editing pile.  Sequels are pushing at me.  One is a longer one which will take time but the other will take a little more plotting out – maybe.  Generally I don’t plot things out because I never end up where I’ve plotted things.

As well as the writing projects, I have piles and piles of photo albums I need to work through in order to get them online for the family.  I’m talking hundreds I think and probably thousands of photos.  I will not be scanning every single photo but I do want to get the family pictures and a sampling of mom’s photography.  After the albums are done, we  have the same amount of slides which we will have to deal with.

Now I know all of that won’t get done over my time off but I want to make a start.  I’m hoping I can make a dent and do a few a weekend or something like that.  I’ll have to set up a system.

The holidays are approaching.  I’m not interested. I don’t know any other way to say it.  When I think of the holidays it makes me sad.  This leads to grumpy.  I’m trying not to think about it but… In a good year I have issues at the holidays and this has not been a good year.

I’ve been working on Christmas gifts / holiday items for crocheting.  I got a number of them done but I have two skeins of yarn I want to make up – mostly because I have a bunch of crochet patterns which I want to publish and these skeins will fit nicely with them.  I also think I have people who may want them.

Now if they don’t take them, I will be doing a City Market at the Whitewater Library (I hope) in January (and possibly other months).  I can always put them on the table to sell for that event.  I think though they will get snapped up before then.  I have one more pair of slippers to get done before Christmas day.  I need a break from them though as I did a bunch.  I find them tedious and annoying.  For some reason, I can usually only do about half a slipper at each sitting.

Right now I have to get pictures of two projects – can’t talk about the one as it’s a gift.  Once I get those pictures, I need to ship the one out.  The other gift will be hand delivered.  I LOVE how the two projects turned out and can’t wait to share the patterns.

Is Showering Really Necessary?

It’s pay week so the normal chores have to get done.  Bills are paid.  Grocery list needs to be made.  I’ve got to go through Ibotta and Checkout 51 to see if we can get any rebates.  We need to make up a menu for the next two weeks.  I need to clip coupons.

Fortunately, I have  more time to do these tasks since I’m off this week.  Today I’m slow getting up.  I woke up sleepy despite going to bed early last night.  My plan for the day – pay bills (done), take a shower (I guess), check diggers hotline to see how far in advance we have to schedule, work on edits for Wayfarer Conviction, read the rest of the Wayfarer series, and remember to have meals.

Yesterday I got to tell my daughter I was at 90% for reading a book and she needed to go away while I finished.  She’s usually the one telling me this – but she reads a kagillion books in a year.

My vacation is going well.  I’ve crossed off a number of things on my todo list and I’m still working on several of them.  Progress is good.  I’ve also had down time to veg.  I’ve worked on the business side of my writing / publishing stuff.  I’ve finished writing a novel and am shifting to the editing phase.

Next I want to do some crocheting.  I’m trying to decide if I will take a day to binge watch a series or movies while I crochet or if I’ll do it during the evening.  I’ll have to see how things go.  (This is more of my zen approach – sort of).

The hardest part for me during my vacation?  Remembering to shower and eat.  I get involved and forget to do both.  I’ve listened to a lot of music and read several books while I’ve been off – a few not the Wayfarer series.  It all goes to me taking time to take care of me and do the things I LOVE to do.

One downside to cleaning and organizing my craft room – I want to crochet and create.  I can feel that edging into my brain for let’s do this now.  We were putting away some amazing yarn and I wanted to get my hands on it and make good stuff with it.  I can feel the switch from writing to crocheting coming.  However, I have a lot of editing to get done first.  Right now, characters are pushing on me more than the desire to crochet.  I’m going with the flow of things for now.

Pre-Vacation Cranky

Prevacation cranky has come over me.  Next week I’m off my day job and will be able to work on anything I want to.  If you’ve read my blog – you know I have a to do list.  Counting the weekends, I’m going to have nine days off!  I cannot wait.

I have writing and publishing goals.  I have household goals.  I have crochet goals.  Are there more goals than I can accomplish in nine days?  Probably, most definitely.

Writing has been stampeding me.  I’ve written four novels with a fifth nearly done.  I’ve submitted a bunch of my novels for contests.  I’ve submitted a story for a book.  I had a pattern accepted in a magazine, sent it off for photographing and got it back.  I sold it to a friend who liked it.  I’ve been editing where I can.  It’s been crazy busy.

During my lunch hour and when I watch training at work, I pick up my crocheting.  I’ve made pot holders and coasters.  I tried a new pattern which I’m going to have to tweak because it was poorly written.  However I like the idea so I’ll tweak it.  I’ve fulfilled one crochet order and gotten paid.

My house is a mess.  I can’t seem to keep up on it.  I’ll pick up as I’m able (which isn’t much) but I have piles of laundry in my bathroom and lots of stuff sitting around in my living room.  It’s starting to bug me so more effort…. unless I get too involved in writing my novel.

We painted boards for Vicki so Ken and her can build her bookshelves and a desk.  The shutters we wanted to replace the plastic ones on our house went on sale with a rebate.  We picked them up.  Next step is to paint them and put them up.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.

If things go well, I’ll have help a couple times this next week to work on more organizing, discarding, and cleaning of my house.  If schedules don’t mesh, I’ll work on other things.  I know my days off are going to fly by but I can’t wait to have the time to work on what I want and get stuff done and off that never ending to do list.

For next week, I’ve got specific days which I’m working with other people.  Other than that I’m hoping for quiet days at home so I can do what I want, when I want, and without a lot of fussing.  A lot of peace and quiet to help recharge my batteries.


We had a wonderful vacation visiting our daughters.  It was great to have the family together in one space and just be together.  You can’t replace those odd moments when you get a giggle for one of “dad’s” jokes or that late night conversation because the house is quiet or that moment when dad walks with one of the girls around her land.

The girls’ house is perfect for them.  I can see how they will settle in, make it theirs, and create a home for themselves.  It is a hard house for me to get around in but I’m not there daily.  They’ve been in there six months and it is really starting to come together.

While on vacation, I finished Virginia’s afghan.  It turned out beautifully.  I believe she likes it.  I am fairly certain she hasn’t allowed it out of her room since she got it.  I don’t think she’s even sharing it with her sister, though she was willing to share with Gus Gus.

I also finished a scarf for her out of the same material.  The purse I had started for Vicki got done and left with Stephanie to put a lining in it.  When we got back to Vicki’s I was able to make two bib’s for her to give to her co-worker whose wife is pregnant.

While we were down there, we went to the aquarium again.  It is sort of expensive but I LOVE going there.  There are a couple of rooms I can sit in and just watch the fish forever.  It was one of my favorite parts of the visit.

I got a video of the yellow jellyfish and it is amazing.  I love watching it.  I could have stood and watched them for much longer but there were so many people at the window.  The color contrast between the blue and yellow just is gorgeous.

The big tank had whale sharks in it.  The one shown in the picture was somewhere over twenty feet long.  We were there at feeding time and got some incredible pictures.  We all just sat together in this room and watched.  The fish are mesmerizing.  When we go back, I think I want to go again.  I know it is crazy as we’ve been twice now but I just can’t get enough of it.

We are back home and I spent the weekend doing very little.  I read a lot and crocheted a little.  Ken and I watched tv programs and movies.  It was a very mellow weekend which we needed after all the travelling.  Now we are back to the routine of our life.  It was great to get the break, see the girls, see their new house.  It’s also great to be home and settle back into our routine.


For the last week, I’ve been traveling.  Ken and I went to visit all three of our daughters.  We had a wonderful time and enjoyed our family time.  I was very worried about not being able to go with all the problems I’ve had but I checked with the doctor and she said it was okay to travel.

Our southern girls gave us great hospitality and entertainment.  We played games, shopped, went to a movie, and visited an aquarium.  Since we don’t get to visit them often it was wonderful to meet their cats – two of my grand fur babies – Moo Shoo and Gus Gus.  They are adorable, of course.  The girls have a lovely apartment and we had a good visit.

Our midwest girl gave us great care when we showed up on her door tired from driving.  She took care of us, made us food and talked a lot.  We also went to her ortho appointment and her shoulder is on the mend.  We also went shopping and I found the shoes I love at a great price – saved myself about $50.

I was thrilled to come home though.  It has been a long week with driving and visiting and all the activities.  All of my daughters were careful about my foot issues which are doing much better.

As I drove home yesterday, I thought of all these things I need to get done.  I’ve done some of them this morning but my foot will soon drive me back to my recliner.  One last thing I want to work on is updating my todo list I have on the computer.  I have to cross off all the stuff I’ve gotten done and add in all the things that came to my mind when I was driving yesterday.

I wasn’t completely unplugged for the last week.  I did check my home email a few times but it was good to be mostly unplugged.  It was fun to focus on family and let the phone, email, and all the technology go for the week.

At the same time, I’ve been working on the computer this morning and it is like coming back to an old friend.  I’ve gotten a lot done including paying bills, submitting written work to different places, and checking on all my different publishing avenues.  I cleared a couple piles off my desk which is always a good thing.

While I was gone, I crocheted several scarves and slippers.  I enjoyed wandering around in JoAnn with my youngest daughter and Beth.  All of the items I crocheted stayed with my daughters.  My oldest daughter got the scarf she liked and my youngest got slippers she’s been nagging for and several scarves.  My middle got two scarves.

All in all – it has been a really good week.  Tomorrow I return to work and am looking forward to seeing my faculty and student workers.  I’m sure I’ll be stressed with all the emails I have and with catching up but that will pass quickly.


It has been a busy week.  I’ve been crocheting a bunch of things – finished a gift for a friend, bib, and worked on a baby afghan.  I’ll be making a few more bibs today.  One of Vicki’s friends wants some and one of my faculty is pregnant. 

My niece was coming out today but isn’t able to now so instead of hanging with her I will do movies and crocheting.  I hope we can reschedule but we are both extremely busy. 

Yesterday I didn’t use the office chair at all to get around the house.  It was all walking.  It hurts and I tire easily but my foot doesn’t hurt too much and it isn’t swelling.  Hopefully this means I can go back to work next week and manage on my own.  That is the plan at least. 

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep I came up with several things for the books I’m working on and also for the grant I’m writing.  Now today I hope to have the time to get them down on paper – at least the ideas if not the actual writing.  I’ve a lot to do in the next three days before I go back to work next week.  I just have to be careful not to overdo things.

Mixed Bag of Stuff

We had a wonderful visit with the girls.  It was super busy and there wasn’t enough time to do everything we wanted.  That is usually the case with their visits.  We did have a lot of great people at our house on Sunday.  It was great to see everyone and I know the girls really loved seeing those who were able to make it.
Wednesday Ken, Vicki and I trekked off to Madison to check out a new store – Gordon Food Services.  http://www.gfs.com/en/home.page?  It is sort of a wholesale club without the fees.  There are some great deals in there and it is a well organized store.  You need to know prices and be prepared to buy larger quantities.  They don’t just carry store brands but some name brands as well.
Last night we had another love incident in our neighborhood.  Our neighbor across the street had his mailbox damaged.  Well really it looks like a stub so they have no mailbox anymore.  The people next door were having a party again.  I’m sure that someone had too much to drink or other mind bending things.  I heard a ruckus and the cat even perked up from her nap but I didn’t see anything.  We have a great neighborhood if only this one house would not be so destructive to the neighborhood. 

Today will be bills and writing.  Vicki is off to volunteer and I’m hoping to get the bills paid and another chapter written in my novel.  The novel is progressing nicely.  I just need to stay on track.  I’m planning to stay in my jammies today and just write.  My desk is a mess.  My office is mess.  I’m going to attempt to ignore that and get the next installment written on this one novel. 


Apparently I need a day of decompression before I can switch into vacation mode.  My intention yesterday was to get stuff done in the house and work on writing.  I got a few things done in the house but didn’t do any writing. 
I did spend the day watching things on the DVR and TV.  Yes I did the rare thing of actually watching live tv.  I hate commercials and I hate watching the same commercials throughout an hour long program.  I watched the Dog Whisperer last night and for the whole hour the same commercials aired.  I was annoyed and muted them. 
While watching the Dog Whisperer he was working with a German shepherd and it made me want a puppy.  I love shepherds they are so expressive and loving.  However, at this stage in the game I would don’t want another pet.  Vicki has her cat and we love having her in the house.  I don’t have any of the responsibility of the cat though.  Plus if I got a dog now I’d want Cesar to come and help me train him.  I can’t afford that. 
Today I’m alone in the house.  I have classical music on and I’m caught up on email.  I’ve got a great idea in my head for my book so I’m going to try to get that on the computer before Vicki gets home from volunteering. 
Late afternoon I’m going to hop in the van and drive to the airport to pick up Stephanie and Virginia.  I cannot wait to see them and give them a big hug.  From there I have five days to cram as much family time as possible into our time.
Now that I’ve had my day of decompression I am ready for the vacation and fun time!