Archive for the ‘weekly updates’ Category

(personal/writing) A blissful, lazy Sunday

I don’t get many of these anymore. I slept late, had my shake for breakfast (for those who don’t know, I’m doing the Herbalife program right now, and it’s FABULOUS), and already folded a load of laundry while watching last night’s Ghost Adventures. Now, I’ve got a cup of tea, because it’s getting cool again, and instead of iced tea, I’m craving hot tea again. That’s part of fall I love. The fact that snow is coming? Well, having the snowblower means I don’t worry as much, so yeah, I’m okay with the fact that the seasons are moving on.

 

I’m baking bread today as well. I’ve figured out that it’s not the gluten that bothers me – it’s the artificial preservatives. Which is awesome on the one hand (Yay, real bread again!), but dude, do you know how much of what is offered at the grocery store is full of artificial preservatives? I can handle guar gum, xanthum gum, salt, and citric acid. That’s about it. But that’s okay, because it means I can use my bread machine again! Yay!

 

I’m writing again too. The current novel involves a poet and a watercolorist – both things I have very little experience with. So it’s a learning experience. But I’m enjoying it. I’m also writing it without an outline, and it’s not an urban fantasy that involves the world as we know it ending. It’s a reminder that even if there isn’t a super-evil coming to destroy us all, there are stories that are woven in the tapestry of time. Hmm, I might have Mark use that. A tapestry of time would be a lovely image for Abby too.

 

In addition, I’m working on the concept for the next Advent story. Since I introduced some of Drew’s family during the Wedding story, I thought I might investigate some of the other people important in Molly, Drew, and Schrodinger’s life. And how to do that? With books, of course. (I also admit to being inspired by a Pintrest post about doing a 25-day book Advent calendar. How cool is that?)

 

Today, I’m blogging, both here and setting up the week’s blogs over at Dark Knights Paranormal. We’ve got another investigation coming up on October 12 – if you’re in the New Hampshire area (or New England, really) and want to come along, you can sign up here to join us!  We’d love to have you along!

(writing/personal) Monday, my old enemy, we meet again.

I’m trying really hard to keep updating this blog.  I feel bad that it seems to be only on Mondays – I promise, I will get onto more of a schedule soon.  Life has just been…well, life, lately.

 

Hubby is still job hunting, and any good thoughts (or job prospects!) that you folks can send our way would be awesome.  He’s looking hard, and in the meantime, I get to enjoy things like the house being cleaner than normal, and my laundry being done.  Honestly, if we could afford it, I’d love to keep him as a house husband.  He’d be happier too.  We need to win the lottery or something.

 

I’m still writing (yes, this is totally counting as words today, because it is after 11 pm and I’m brain-dead after a Monday), and I’m up to 23 days, I believe.  Not even hurricanes or hurricane-related hangovers stopped me, so one day of weird chats (and dear lord, were they weird.  Especially the guy who wanted to make sure he was still employed, because he couldn’t change his contributions online.  From his work computer.  While he sat in his office.  I swear, I can’t make this stuff up!) is not going to stop me.  And as my friend LC pointed out last week, the fact that I have a life means I have more inspiration.  And I do!

 

I’m hoping to get Into Thin Air out this week.  It’s on my list, and Wednesday after my PT appointment, I’m planning on heading to the studio and getting it out.  This is a labor of love – I really, really love these characters, and I think the story and the concept are awesome.  It’s a new universe, a new plotline – and I can’t wait to share it with you.  I’m thinking Wednesday I might post a scene for you.

 

Health update!  We think the kidney stone passed while I wasn’t looking (a 4mm stone, or so they thought.  My friend Bob uses pearls smaller that that in his jewelry. O.o) but I go to the urologist on Wednesday to find out.  There’s no pain anymore, which is good, but apparently now I’m prone to them (kidney stones, that is).  Joy.  It’s been stupid cold here, so my knees are not happy.  I think Wednesday might also be swim day, as I have a 3 hour block of time in between urologist and PT.  And the pool is warm.  I just have to find my swim suit.

 

But right now, I’m not going to think about sore knees, or bills, or anything like that. I just wanted to thank you guys.  All of you, who believe in me, who like the stories and the characters that I bring into life.  I want to be thankful that I can continue to write.  And I want to remind myself, and everyone else out there, that I always have my writing, and that’s a very, very cool thing.

 

Even if it is stupid cold out.  (Seriously, it’s -17 degrees F before the wind chill.  WTF?  It’s March!  It’s baseball season!  This is NOT AWESOME!)

(writing) An update, only a little late

This week has not been good to most of my life, I’ll be honest.  I’m in the last week before my Remicade treatment, the weather is playing havoc with my allergies, and it seems like every one around me is sick at work.  The upshot?  A migraine.  Yeah, a migraine.

 

But despite that, I’m here, at the computer.  My words are nonfiction tonight (yep, I count blog posts as words, because dammit, I had to show up), but they are words, and this will be my 145th day in a row of writing.  Which is pretty damn cool.  Not sure what I’m going to do when I hit 150.  Maybe color my hair?  Something cool.

 

I’m almost done with Into Thin Air; I rewrote the ending to the last chapter last night, and now all I need to do is the epilogue.  Then it goes out to beta readers, and I start work on the next project.  Nope, not taking any time off.  Let’s be honest – I don’t want to break my streak.  And NaNo is fast approaching.

 

Something to keep your eyes open for – if you are heading to CapClave in October, I’ll be there!  Right now, I’m on 4 panels on Saturday and Sunday, but I’ll be around on Friday if anyone wants to meet up.  My schedule now is:

4 pm Saturday – Quoth the Raven

Panelists: Val Griswold-FordJames MaxeyTee MorrisJames Morrow (M), Steven H. Wilson
Forbidden Planet shows some strong similarities to Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Honor Harrington’s historical borrowings are easy to spot. But what if your influences and references are not as well known? How do you connect it for readers? Should you spell it out or hope someone catches your subtle references? What authors do this well?

 

5 pm Saturday – The Evolution of Fantasy

Panelists: Scott H. AndrewsVal Griswold-FordKathryn Morrow (M), Michelle D. SonnierLawrence Watt-Evans
Dark fantasy, Urban fantasy, and Tolkien fantasy are just a few examples of modern genre writing. Trends and tastes change over time. A Song of Ice and Fire brought gritty fantasy to the forefront. Is the reading public ready to move on? And to what?

 

12 pm Sunday – Magic’s Price

Panelists: Iver CooperVal Griswold-FordMichelle D. Sonnier (M), Jim StrattonAllen Wold
How do magic users tap mystical powers, and since there are no free lunches what is the price? What authors create the most interesting magical systems? What do authors do when the magic user becomes too powerful?

 

1 pm Sunday – Devourer of Books

Panelists: Judi FlemingVal Griswold-FordRahul KanakiaLeona Wisoker (M)
The speed reader gets to the end faster and as a reader they can outread every author they follow. They need new books, or old books to explore. Where do they get and keep their choices? General discussion of being a fast reader.

 

(writing) TGIF – seriously.

I should have remembered that Remicade weeks knock me for a loop.  I”m sorry I didn’t have a review for you guys for Wednesday, but I was so exhausted Monday and Tuesday that I just barely did my minimum for writing.  Between the Remicade and my allergies (which are just awful this year.  I swear, they get worse each year), I feel like I’m behind on everything.  I just gave up and called in sick to work on Thursday, so I could sleep.  Not catch up, sleep.  Yeah.

 

However, I’m still up to date on my streak, and I’m rapidly approaching 100 days of writing.   One hundred days.  I’m in awe of myself, really, and wondering if I can approach other things like this.  I just haven’t figured out how, but I’m working on it.  So, here’s the current state of the writing.

 

Into Thin Air  is chugging along.  I’m wondering if it will still be a novella by the time I’m done this rewrite, or if it will have grown into a short novel.  Either way, I’m starting to look at some markets for it.  It’s going to be e-published, either by an established publisher or, if I have to, by me.    I love this world, I love this story, and I’m determined to get it out.  Some how.  Anyways, my writing group saw the new first chapter, and really liked it.  Even those who said it wasn’t something they would normally read.  Yay!  For those who don’t remember, this is my ghost hunter book.  First in a series, one way or another.

 

Baker has a first chapter, and the beginnings of a second chapter, but I have some work to do, worldbuilding-wise.  This may sound weird, but I kind of hate worldbuilding.  Actually, I hate worldbuilding a lot.  Not the actual dreaming up the world, but the getting in and figuring out how the guts work.  Especially that.  Ugh.  I thought editing was my least favorite part of writing, but no, I really think worldbuilding is.  The reason I hate it is that I’m very much a big idea type of person.  I get plot ideas.  I get character ideas.  I really don’t get world ideas much.  I think this might be why I haven’t done any real fantasy stuff, and since I have now recognized this flaw in my writing, of course, I need to work on it.  So I’m going to start worldbuilding and outlining the Baker world for a while, and see what I can figure out.  Since I have three novels planned for this world, I really need to know what’s going on.

 

And, of course, I have to start outlining the third Advent story.  This one at least is a bit easier, because I get to work on a calendar schedule.  And the world is pretty well made.  Of course, this one is going down the rabbit hole (pretty literally), so I need to figure out some of the other worlds that they’ll get to.  And I think a certain pirate might show up….

 

That’s the state of the writing this week.  No snippets, but you might get one over the weekend.

(writing) Update on the writing

Happy Friday!  Happy August!

 

As promised, Fridays on the blog are writing days.  I’ve been plugging away at the rewrite of Into Thin Air, the very first Pendragon Casefiles novella.  Since I do a pretty extensive rewrite, it’s slow going.  Also, I’m exhausted this week, since my schedule has been all out of whack.  I’m hoping to get some major work done this weekend, but we’ll see.

 

I’m also working on the first draft of my new novel series, which has the working title of Baker.  The series title is Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker and it’s paranormal romance.  Lots of fun.  Witches in New Hampshire!

 

What’s coming up?  Well, once I finish the rewrite of Air, I need to start working on the next Schrodinger story.  Christmas is coming, you know!  I also need to start working on some outlines, I think – there are a few stories that are niggling at my brain, and I want to at least start planning them out.  Even if I don’t get beyond worldspinning on them, that’s more than I have now.

 

And I have to decide what next year’s plan is.  I’m continuing to write every day, and I will need some new projects!  (As my bunny brain goes “Yay!” and starts offering things.  Not yet, bunny, not yet!)  I have a bunch of ideas, and I’m toying with doing a series of short stories and self-publishing them next year.  We’ll see.  I need to decide soon, but not that soon.

 

And, since I haven’t given you much yet, I think you all deserve some actual writing.  So here’s a bit from Air.  This is the first in the series that I want to write, and it’s my ghost hunters.  Because ghost hunters rock, you know.

 

Sapph Pendragon is not a ghost hunter, exactly.  She’s a psychomorph, which is a very specialized type of psychic.  Literally, she turns into a ghost.  Which is damn cool, I think.  Lance and Amari are ghost hunters, and very skeptical of psychics.  Which is a good thing in the real world, but in my world?  Not so much.  Scottie is Sapph’s bodyguard.

 

Enjoy!

 

Lance looked over at her and Scottie, wondering just what he’d gotten himself into. This was NOT what he’d expected.

 

“I don’t know how to say this any way but outright,” he said finally. “Uncle Malcolm didn’t specify what kind of psychic you were, just that you were reliable. We don’t usually work with psychics…” His voice petered out as she grinned at him.

 

Sapph removed her glasses; her hazel eyes were bright with mischief, which worried him. “Malcolm told me it was a special case. Luckily for you, he sent a very special psychic.”

 

“Oh?” Lance couldn’t help it; he raised his eyebrows at her. “What kind of special?”

 

“Do you know what a psychomorph is?”

 

His jaw dropped. “You can’t be serious.”

 

Sapph nodded, her eyes sparkling. “I am serious.”

 

“What’s a psychomorph?” Amari demanded, looking back and forth between Lance and Sapph.

 

“A myth,” Lance said flatly, recovering. “A legend. There are no such thing as psychomorphs.”

 

“I hate to correct you when we just met, but they are not myths,” Sapph said. She turned to Scottie. “I like legend, though. Remind me to add that to my business cards.”

 

Scottie snorted softly. “As if your ego needed feeding.”

 

“Hey!” Sapph turned back to Lance and Amari. To Lance’s surprise, she squinted at the small dog still snuggled up under Amari’s chin. “I think it’s okay,” she said. “Bear hasn’t alerted, so that means that it’s quiet around here, parapsychologically-speaking.” She looked back over her shoulder at Scottie. “Do you sense anything?”

 

“No,” he said. “And Bear’s far more sensitive than I am. I think you’re safe for a short demonstration. But keep your jacket on, and keep it short.”

 

“Yes, MOM,” she said, wrinkling her nose. And then…she vanished.

 

“Holy shit!” The words exploded out of Lance’s mouth as he looked in awe at the spot where Sapph had just been standing – probably was still standing, he corrected himself. “She really is a psychomorph. They really exist.”

 

“What is a psychomorph?” Amari demanded again. “And where did she go? How did she do that?”

 

“She moved into the Ghostland,” Scottie said calmly, crossing his arms over his muscular chest. “That is her talent. She can physically move herself into the world of the dead.” He raised his voice a little. “And she needs to come back, as she’s not really dressed for ghostwalking right now.”

 

Lance forced himself to stare at the spot she’d stood in, and this time, he saw the ripple in the air, almost like the shimmer of heat rising from the asphalt on a summer’s day, right before she reappeared. Instead of heat, though, he felt an icy chill surround her, and her cheeks were bright red, as if she’d been somewhere very, very cold.

 

“How did you do that?” Amari asked, staring in awe at Sapph, her hazel eyes wide.

 

“I don’t know,” Sapph admitted, rubbing her hands together. “I just can. I’ve been able to do it since I was about ten or so.”

 

Lance was still staring at her, unable to look away. It was real. “It’s really real,” he said finally. “The Ghostlands. It exists.”

 

“Yes.” Sapph wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. “It’s very real.”

 

 

 

(health/personal) Healthy Mondays!

Yep, restarting the blog.  I’m sorry I’ve let it slide, but I’ve found that there are some things that have to give, and this time, it was the blog.  (And the housework, this past week.  Seriously.  I don’t even want to THINK about people coming over, because it’s that bad.  I’m in CLEAN ALL THE THINGS mode for the week.)  But I’m back!

 

Now that life is coming back to semi-normal, I’m setting up a schedule for myself again.  It’s funny – I used to think I hated schedules.  I hated planning.  I was a live for the moment, fly by the seat of my pants kind of person.  Not anymore.  I find I get zero done if I don’t have a schedule.  Is that part of getting older?  Maybe, but I prefer to think of it as getting wiser.

 

Part of the scheduling I’ve been doing is meal planning.  I went mostly gluten-free in November, and we’ve been playing with the Paleo diet ever since.  Now that I have time to cook again, I really want to keep myself fed well, because when I don’t plan, I eat crap, and I feel like crap.

 

So one of the things you’ll be seeing on Mondays is my meal schedule for the week.  This week, Argus and I are enjoying the following:

Monday: baked summer squash with apple chicken sausage stuffing

Tuesday: pepperoni pizza portabellos

Wednesday: sweet and sour crockpot kielbasa

Thursday: swiss and mushroom burgers with sweet potato fries

Friday: pizza! (because it needs to be easy – that’s launch night!)

 

I’m also experimenting with zucchini noodles this week, because I have a ton of zucchini this week, and I’d rather not buy gluten-free noodles if I don’t have to. Saving money, you know?

 

This week also marks heading back to the gym and the studio.  Tuesday morning is studio time, and Monday and Wednesday is swim days at the gym after work.  I’m determined to get my body health.  However, my scale is currently broken (well, it needs a new battery, and I keep conveniently “forgetting” to get one), so we’ll just have to go by how I’m feeling.

 

And I’m feeling pretty damn good right now.

(personal) Only 1 blister! Score!

Yesterday was the day I ran my first solo 5k.  I did run about half of it – walked the other half, but that is fine.  My time was  1.05.56 – better than the last race (I think we were at 1.30 or something), and I was able to run across the finish line.  More importantly, I was able to walk afterwards and wasn’t too sore.  That happened later in the day, when my hips decided that they were done and locked up.  However, this morning, I’m feeling pretty good.

 

Taking today as a rest day – I have some writing/sewing to do.  And I’m going to take it easy on the hips/knees, so I can run tomorrow at the gym.  I’m already looking at what I need to work on for my next race in the fall.  I plan to run the Todd’s Trot again next year, and the goal will be to run it all in under 1 hr.

 

Today’s to-do list:

– Bake something.  Not sure what yet.  But something.

– Write at least 2k on Midsummerland’s outline (the best would be to finish the plot summary)

– Finish the line edit for Client #1 and get that back to them

– Fix 1 pair of pants for a friend

– Make meal plan for the week.

– Cut coupons.

 

I’m also going to make some time to play WoW today.  But right now, I have things to do.

Getting back into life – the last weekend of summer

It is, actually.  Fall swoops in next week, so this is the official last weekend of summer.  And I slept half of it away – odd fever dreams dominated my day yesterday.  So today I have a ton to do!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, even though I’ve been quiet here.  Life has gone ahead at warp speed – I autocrated the Harper’s Retreat event over Labor Day weekend here in New Hampshire, and then did my Remicade treatment the day after.  Then our van died, so I’ve been dealing with that as well.  No real writing, although I’ve got the beginning of the next short story that I’m working on (for an anthology I’d like to be part of).

This morning, I got up about 10 minutes after my alarm went off, and went into my office – and wrote.  I did my morning pages, just like I’ve wanted to.  Bear came in with me and fell asleep in the sun while I poured out the odd dreams I woke up to.  It’s  now a little past 10, and I’ve fed hubby, had my first cup of tea, and my breakfast is simmering on the stove.  I feel alive.

I do have a to-do list today, and it’s long, but I feel it’s all perfectly in my grasp:

– put away folded laundry in living room

 

– fold laundry in dining room

– put away laundry in dining room

– go to WalMart and get eyes checked

– Stop at Carter Hill and get apples and cider (and maybe donuts!)

 

– make mushroom-leek-ham soup for the week

– make herbed ravioli for dinner

– make maple-mustard chicken thighs for the week

– clean up kitchen

– Bread? (question mark because I’m not sure if I want to or not)

– Write 1k on Black Rose

– Catch up on email

– Store run: containers, pop-tarts, anything else I think of.

 

That looks doable.  Onward and upward!

(personal/to-do/writing) Another Sunday comes…

It seems like Sundays are the only days I blog.  Which isn’t good, but hey, it’s better than complete radio silence, right?  I’m trying.

Vacation comes up next week – I’m planning on one day of just writing, nothing else.  But I have to get through this week first.

I’m reading a couple of interesting books – one is called The Exhaustion Cure, and the other is called It’s All Too Much.   Sense a theme?  I’m trying to get a handle on things.  I have another one here called Instant Recess that I’ll start after I finish one of the others.  I’m just tired of being tired, and I’m realizing that  yes, I do too much.

Today is a day of rest.  Seriously.  I’m cutting my to-do list way down:

– Put away the folded laundry in the living room.

– Fold and put away the laundry in the dining room.

– Empty  my garb chest into the laundry.

– Make pasta and veggies for the week.

– Make a quiche.

– Make a rhubarb crumble for dessert. (We have a friend coming over)

– Write 250 words.

– Put away the dishes in the dish rack and wash the dishes in the sink.

 

That’s a doable list.  And not a hard one.  The game is on at 8 pm tonight, and I’m planning on watching and enjoying.

(to-do/writing) Chilly, with a chance of Birthday!

First, thank you to all those who posted birthday wishes – I do appreciate them!  I’m spending my birthday at home, cleaning and waiting for the furnace guy to show up again, because that’s how adults spend their birthdays, apparently.

 

Hubby let me sleep late (yay, hubby!) and I’ve already done my morning pages for the day.  There’s baseball in an hour, and lots to do, so we’ll get to the list as soon as I update you on the novel progress.

 

I’m about 10k in, give or take.  That’s going to change, because I’m finally getting to the point where I need to sit down and outline it, which is what I’m doing.  I need to do some research too – I’m not quite in Sapph’s head yet, which is disturbing, considering the novel is in 1st person.  The part I’m having an issue with is how she thinks about being wealthy – I need to do some research on heiresses and their lives.   Luckily, when Mom and I were perusing one of the thrift shops we hit yesterday, I found a biography on Alice Roosevelt Longworth entitled Princess Alice for a dollar, so there’s a start.  I need to hit the library and see what I can find on folks like Christina Onassis and (ugh) Paris Hilton.  Folks like that.

 

On to the to-do list!

1. Clean bathroom.  Completely.

2. BASEBALL at 1:35 pm! *this will be listened to while cleaning*

3. Walk

4. Fold and put away laundry in dining room.

5. Put away dishes.

6. Make bbq pork sandwiches for dinner/lunch tomorrow.

7. Take out chicken to thaw.

 

Off to begin!