Woot, It’s Wednesday!!!

And I’m on the road again. So is my assistant, for that matter. Too bad we’re not headed to the same place. One of these days we’ll definitely make it happen.

In the meantime, we’re continuing on for the ninth (right? Wow … summer is going by fast) week in our Summer Reading Program. If you’re new with us, Past Forward is the original series that I published in bite sized pieces called episodes. Over the course of the summer, we’re giving away those episodes each week, two at a time, along with 2 episodes each week of my current series, HearthLand. So, Past Forward Episode 17 and Episode 18 will both be free today and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday).

If you’re willing to help share this with your friends, please consider doing one or the more of the following. Please, step on over to Amazon and download them! And please, even if you’ve previously downloaded these episodes, grab ’em again.  MOST have been revised and updated. For those who are Kobo or Nook readers, email me.  I’ve got you covered. *please note: links to my books are affiliate links and as such, I may receive advertising compensation from Amazon.

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Pin the covers on Pinterest: Episode 17 and Episode 18.

Download Episode 17  and Episode 18.

Comment Request: If I ever do more Past Forwards, think I should consider beekeeping for her?  I always meant her to begin after Mother died…

Do You Know What Your Children Are Reading?

 

Trust me, as a parent, I know how hard it can be to make sure you’re keeping good, clean, quality material in their hands. Especially if you have a voracious reader. Then again, on the other side of the coin, it can be hard to catch the interest of a child who simply hasn’t found his or her love for reading. I was definitely more of the voracious variety. And, while I love writing my adult novels (I cringe even typing that out, considering what society has taken “adult” to mean when used as a label these days), sometimes I just have to take time and write a young adult/children’s book. One such book is Legends of the Vengeance, which we’re reducing to just .99 for a limited time. Like pretty much all of my novels for younger readers, many, many parents have written to me, telling me how much they enjoyed this story as well. So, whether you’d like a light read this summer, you have a child or ten who’d enjoy a fun adventure story, or both, I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Legends of the Vengeance has been reduced to just .99 for a limited time.

So… if you’re willing to share, it’s simple:

Purchase (Kindle Unlimited readers can get it free!) Legends of the Vengeance
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Comment request: Was anything about your father’s job something you really didn’t like?  Mine was that Dad (as an appliance serviceman) refused to allow animals in the house because he saw what it did to appliances.

 

Myner Monday

Have you been keeping up with us on the episodes for the Summer of Reading Program? Each week this summer, we’re giving away a total of 4 episodes. Two of HearthLand, and two of Past Forward.

To start off the week,  HearthLand Episode 17  and Episode 18 will both be free Monday and Tuesday.

There will be a blog post on Wednesday, giving details on the Past Forward episodes. Don’t miss it!

If you’re willing to help share this with your friends, please consider doing one or the more of the following:

Please, step on over to Amazon and download them! And please, even if you’ve previously downloaded these episodes, grab ’em again.  Some have been updated. For those who are Kobo or Nook readers, email me.  I’ve got you covered. *please note: links to my books are affiliate links and as such, I may receive advertising compensation from Amazon.

Like our Facebook Page/Post
Tweet this giveaway
Pin the covers on Pinterest: Episode 17 and Episode 18.
Download Episode 17  and Episode 18.
Comment Request:
What about a hearthland 2 series about the new sub-community someday?

A Day in My Life: Friday

Ooooh boy.  Ever have a day when you spin your wheels… indefinitely?  Then, miraculously (because God is Who He is), at the end of the day, all that spinning managed to get the work done?

Yeah–one of those  Woke up late, forgot to eat breakfast, and Lorna (#7 daughter) came home from basketball camp not long after.  That tells you how late I slept.  Note: If this post makes no sense, you can blame the fact that I haven’t slept yet.  It’s 8:04 a.m. and I board in an hour and a half.  So… just sayin’.

Among the many things I needed to do, packing was top of the list for reasons that really don’t need explanation, right?  I also needed to  make sure I didn’t FORGET anything I needed to pack.  So, I made a list of things not already sitting on my bed and ready to go:

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I meant to blur one line.  I didn’t.  Forgive me.  Just call it “keepin’ it real” and we’ll leave it at that.  *blush*

But before I could pack, I needed to get a couple of things at the store.  So, off #6 daughter and #2 son and I went to Walmart.  For those philosophically opposed to Walmart, sorry.  1.  I’m not.  2. All we have in  Ridgecrest are Walmart and Kmart (which attacks me lungs with the chemicals in their clothes the second I walk in the door).  So, for all you Target lovers. YAY!  Glad you love and have ’em.  We don’t, and I don’t really miss it.  😀

By the time I got back, it was almost time to go pick up the rental car.  It had been my intention to take a picture of the row of cars and have you guys guess which one it was.  I forgot.  Oops.  I got a Hyundai Elantra, for those who care.  Champagne. I also did not cook dinner.  Kevin the Fabulous went to  Stater Bros., used one of those scrip cards I got yesterday, and bought rotisserie chicken so that I didn’t have to cook.  I took a nap.

So, I bought these cute little books a while back–just fun little nothings that I use for mini-brain dumps.  You know… you’re sitting somewhere and get a million great ideas but have no paper? Nope!  I keep one of these with me at all times.  Don’t use them tons, but I have them when I need them (I usually have my planner and have specific brain dump pages for those like this):

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But these cute little things are great for on the go.  But they’re pretty simple/boring things, so #6 daughter and I played around with one and voila!  It turned out cute.  So, Andra made me a few more to take and add to the gift bags at the retreat.  WOOT!  Lorna (#7 Daughter) helped with the stamping, too.  Can’t forget that. Aren’t they adorable? They’re made from the scraps I cut off the sheets for the letters to self bundles!  😀  We just added a little paper tape from the Daiso store and voila!  😀

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Didn’t they turn out adorkable?

I also got mail!  WOOT!  And in that mail was a sweet birthday present from one of my readers!  Thanks SK!!!

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My favorite book of the Bible! And in the version I originally memorized!!!  WOOT!

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Made my day.  Seriously.  I am so blessed!!!

Then I did some SERIOUS packing. I mean, I went to town.  Started with the non-clothing stuff.  Books, laptop table, etc.

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And then I added clothes and packed it to the gills.  I guessed that I’d go over by 3 or 4 lbs.  I did.  Had to remove this tote bag and 6 books.  Still, that’s a lot easier to carry around an airport than a carry-on, so I was thrilled.  Planning to go home with no books (already got rid of 3 of the six I’d carried so woo!).  I’ll show that in the Saturday post, though.

After that, it was time to make shirts for Vyonie and me.  Alas, my iron-on letters didn’t come with  numbers, so I zipped over to Joann and snagged a few.  I think they turned out pretty cute (Sunday’s will show pictures of them).

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Some people thought I shouldn’t do big/little but hey… I’ve ALWAYS been “little sister” to her, so dad burn it, she can live with the consequences of her word choice! Mmmwwwaahahaha.

Then it was nap time.  See, my flight leaves at 10:00 a.m.  LAX is 3 hours from my house.  That means that I need to leave 5 hours early in order to be there an hour before the plane departs (they board 30 minute before), and still have time to drop off the rental car, drop off the suitcase, get through security (Praise the LORD for TSA Pre-check!) and stuff.  So, that meant I had to leave by five a.m.–just as I’m ready to go to bed.  Um… yeah.  Not happening.  So, at about 2:00, I started getting ready.  Took a shower, did my hair, even took another stupid selfie to show I was ready to go out the door.  Note:  I still hate them.  If I hadn’t been doing this series, it wouldn’t have happened.  Just sayin’.

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And, I even drove the long way out of town so I could show you the awesome lights of Ridgecrest.  You usually round this corner where I took the video and see just  a slow spattering of lights and then the further you come, the more you see until it’s just a sea of lights down there.  For some reason, the video only shows one line of them, but they’re spread out over about a three by three mile or more area. Still, since I took the blasted video, I decided to post it!  LOL.

The whole “lights of home” makes me think of this song:

There you have it!  My Friday!  I wasn’t going to do Saturday and Sunday, but since they were so fun and actually INTERESTING, I have decided to do it.  I’ll try to get them up today and tomorrow.  Mmmwaahahah.  I can dream, okay!

Did everyone  have a great weekend?  I did!

A Day in My Life: Thursday

Well, today went pretty much as planned.  Those are rare, no?  Well, they are in my life.  Of course, it helped that I didn’t have a busy day planned.  My goals for the day were as follows:

  1. Get scrip cards (check!)
  2. Finish gifts for retreat ladies. (check!)
  3. Plan menu for while I’m gone.
  4. Edit more of A Forgotten Truth. (check!)
  5. Alter tops. (check!)
  6. Cook dinner (check!)
  7. Repaint my nails. (check!)

Like I said… pretty simple.

Scrip cards:  A local private school sells gift cards to local businesses.  Parents can get a certain percentage off their tuition if they sell them.  So I buy from people and use the cards t make recording in my budget easier.  It’s a lot easier to put say 400 into the grocery budget once and not have to record 10 different trips in the span of 2 weeks.  Yes, I know we shouldn’t go that often, but we do.  We just do.  One entry instead of 10 is much preferred for me!  It also helps keep you on budget when you have a limited number of gift cards to work through.  I like it.  So, today I had to have a check ready in case the woman came before  I woke up, and ten I got my cards.

I did, with the help of daughters  #s 6 and 7, get the gifts done. We spent a few hours cutting and pasting stickers onto the envelopes today.

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I decided NOT to do the folders for each set.  I needed to be done with the project.  so, I did this…

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Seemed fitting.

I also got a cool new birthday card today!  Isn’t it cute?

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Making dinner may seem like an obvious thing,but honestly, I knew I wouldn’t want to.  and I was ready to send my husband for a rotisserie chicken tonight (had a legitimate excuse–dirty rice cooker pan) when someone announced that the cooker was clean now.  I made myself make dinner.  Glad I did.  It’s a favorite:

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I take kielbasa and fry it with onions.  Drain the grease.  Then I add a couple cans of diced Italian tomatoes and some chunked zucchini and crookneck.  I like lots of garlic and worcestershire sauce too.  We eat it over rice.  some of us add parmesan cheese.

Once everyone went to bed, I came out and got to work on the alterations I needed to do so I can pack tomorrow.  I have to say, I REALLY need to order my replacement foot pedal for my Bernina.   I had to use the “Oh, Brother” and well… it’s just not any fun to use.

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Took up the shoulders on that one.  Now the armhole isn’t so low–it’s decent!

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This one is the same–too deep of an armhole and the bust darts were a bit off because of it.  Now it fits perfectly  Woot!

And this is what I’ll do my menu on–tomorrow. LOL. I’m tired tonight.

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Isn’t it cute?  I have a couple laminated for in my planner, but I don’t use it.  Weird, isn’t it?  I really like the little boxes at the bottom of each day instead.

thurs9And as silly as it seems, I did want to get my nails repainted.  They’d gotten a bit chipped in the past couple of days.  So, my fingernails are sporting Sally Hanson’s “Sweet Talker.”  That color looks a bit bright compared to what it really looks like.  I bought a slightly different shade from my usual “Shall We Dance.”  Both are pretty much natural colors.

But, the best part of today was spending a little time in Carol and the Belles.  I found it interesting that jet lag was the natural topic and well, I expect to have a bit before I ever get on the jet.

See, my flight leaves at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.  I live a minimum of 3 hours from the airport.  So, to get there an hour early AND have time to turn in my car, I’d have to leave here at 6:00 a.m.  But it would get me there during “rush hour” type hours.  Now on a Saturday, it might not be too bad. But frankly, I don’t want to risk it.  So, for me to get there and avoid all traffic without me being exhausted too, I’m going to have to leave here at 3:00 a.m. at the latest.  I should be there 3 hours early that way.  Three. Hours.  Ugh.  So, add to that the fact that I will get no sleep, and that 3 hour drive to Birmingham, and I ‘m gonna be exhausted.  I plan to get to the airport, get a day pass to the Admiral’s Club, and sleep there for three hours if I am at all tired.

So, I’m tempted to skip to another scene–just in case I get some funny things like trying to check my purse and carry on my behemoth of a suitcase.  😉  But writing for a while really did help break up the long hours of work.  And I did manage to get a few more sections of clarity added to  A Forgotten Truth.

So, today might have been particularly boring to read about, but it was satisfying to live.  I love when days are productive enough that you can look back and SEE what you did.  So often you spend all day working, doing, going, and at the end of the day you have hours all gone but nothing to show for it.

Friday is going to be a big one for me.  And, if I can’t sleep at the airport, you’ll hear all about it.  But it might not come until Saturday night.  I plan to show a few pictures of Ridgecrest as I’m leaving.  I sure hope I don’t forget!

Have a great day!

A Day in My Life: Wednesday

Sorry… this is a bit late.  Last night at about midnight, I lost Internet access.  UGH.  So, I found myself just working and not worrying about it.  The theme for the week continues, no?

Okay, so the obvious.  Got up, got dressed, ate, made the bed–all that jazz.  Then I started editing–made it through chapter 12 before I realized that the editor has only  made it through chapter 11.  Thud.  Found this nugget in there, though…

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Favorite part of editing–silly notes from my editor.  Sometimes they’re teasing me about stupid mistakes (pretty sure I had a “put on the breaks” in there.  Proof that I do type what people around me say instead of what I mean to write.).  This one was a good one.  Oh, and I found a line I’d forgotten I wrote. Posted that on Facebook.  It goes: “Khorinka threw a frosty glare in the man’s general direction. “You would know the name of someone who walks around popping her butt out after every accomplishment.”

Andra needed things from the store, Lorna had a chance to go play with the boys her sister nannies, and I needed to drop books off at the Bread of Life.  Pat, the owner, is a sweetheart.  Here’s a picture of us from last fall.   😀

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Oh, I was writing The Matchmakers of Holly Circle that day.  If it matters.

Once home, I went back to the whole editing thing.  Here’s how my screen looks during editing.

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See that red line? I put it on the picture to show what I do.  I make the words FILL my laptop (about 200%) until no words drop off the sides, but it stretches all the way across.  Then I scroll one line at a time.  I  ONLY read that bottom line.  This keeps my eyes from getting ahead of my brain and missing stuff.  I still do.  Okay, let’s face it. My brain knows what it thinks (or meant) to type, so it doesn’t always see what didn’t get typed or what got typed incorrectly. However, it DOES help a lot.  A WHOLE lot.  😀

Okay, so then things got REALLY exciting.  I got weak.  Seriously couldn’t stand weak.  Hubby is wondering what’s for dinner, and I’m wondering if I’ll collapse before I get to the kitchen.  That’s when I realize that I had yogurt for breakfast (shocker there, right?) but nothing else.  See, I woke up at 1:20 and by the time I got ready, it would have been 1:45 (because I’m not coherent when I wake up, you see).  And a 5 minute drive to the Bistro… means they have 10 minute to closing.  Yeah.  Not doing that.  So, I didn’t eat.  I often forget to eat.  It’s why, when I remember to eat more, I actually lose weight.  Weird, but hey.  It fits me.  I’m weird.

So, Kevin drove out to Inyokern to the new “Classic Burger” place and got me a BBQ & Swiss burger.  YUMMY.

I promptly fell asleep at 8:00 and slept until 9:45.  This isn’t unusual, especially when I don’t go to bed until almost 6:30 a.m. (stayed up an extra couple of hours on Tuesday night).  Then it was time for the big project of the day.  Blood sugar restored meant that I could actually do it!

So my annual writer’s retreat is pretty awesome.  This year, we’re doing gifts for each other.  I fell in love with this little book of letters you write to yourself when I was at Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago.

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We usually have about 12 of us or so, so I didn’t want to buy one for each person.  I paid 15.00 for mine and that would be nearly 200.00.  A bit pricey.  But, Amazon sells them for 12.41 and now we only have 6 this year  I could have managed that.  Oh, well.  I’d already decided to make them and bought the stuff before I learned that.

Look at these cool things!

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So, I started cutting and folding.  First I took this book of paper…

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And cut 108 sheets into 8.5×11 sheets.  Then I printed notebook paper lines on the backs of all of them.

Then it was time to score and punch.

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For those who might want to make their own, put the top of the paper to the right and score at 3.5 and 8″.  😀

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Punch the top corners with a corner chomper or corner rounder.

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SERIOUSLY recommend the Corner Chomper by We R Memory Keepers.  I also am using the Martha Stewart Score board–amazing tool.

Then I folded… all 108 of those suckers.

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Okay, so that’s a total lie.  There were 3 sheets of each paper style.  So I cut all of them at once, but I scored, chomped, and then folded each set of three and set them in piles.  It needs 12 for each set of letters.

Then I made stickers for the backs.  These stickers say what the letter is about and when it’s written/should be read.

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I actually made 9 sets, so if only six people really come to the Barn, I’ll be giving away a set or two to commenters on this thread.

I still have to decorate the fronts to look like actual letters AND I have to make something to “keep” them in.  I’m thinking some kind of folder thingie.  We’ll see.  😀

Then I crashed and burned.  Yep.  That was my day.  And here it is at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday and I’m still typing up WEDNESDAY’s post.  Still haven’t even read email.  Time to get to work!  See you all tomorrow!  Have a fabulous day.

*prays no one notices the lack of gym-ness*

5 Things I Hate about Writing (Number 4 is the worst)

image purchased from thinkstock.com
image purchased from thinkstock.com

What, you thought it was all roses and ink stains?  HA! Dream on!  Okay, so writing is pretty awesome.  I’m not going to pretend it isn’t.  I love it.  Always have.  I’ve “written” stories in my  head since I was old enough to think coherently–or at least I thought I was coherent, and I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t crush my rose-tinted dreams.  I could easily do a post on “500 Things I LOVE about Writing” and still never hit them all.  I should try it someday–all in one word answers.  Each one can only be one word.  Hmm… gotta think about that.

Anyway, there are, however, a few things I DON’T like about writing.  Some of them are obvious.  Others, maybe not so much?  So let’s dive in and share the top five (and probably close to the only 5) things I don’t like about writing.

 Number 1:  It kills my motto.  Seriously.  I have this  motto.  It goes:  “Perfect isn’t without flaw.  Perfect is FINISHED.”  Um… ahem.  Seriously?  Have you ever heard of those nasty things called “rough drafts” or, for the tortured soul in all writers, we can call it the “FIRST draft.”  Mmmmmwaaahahahaha!!!  Seriously.  Who thought of that?  Sixty-three revisions later (two after publication because all the advance readers, the editor, the proofreader, and your 353490 rereads that made you hate the book you once loved  missed that you said California was EAST of the Mississippi), you finally admit defeat and call it “good enough.”  But really, if you’re honest with yourself, it’s not.  Jeff Goins said it right.  “Your art is never finished.”

Number 2:  The hyper-awareness of time.  I don’t think it’s supposed to be this way.  I think good writers are supposed to become so lost in their work that they forget time–become lost in another world, as it were.  Yeah.  Not me.  My problem is that I have so  many stories in my head–characters screaming for their time on stage.  I have a woman so in love with her husband–the man she thought she’d be able to distance herself from–that it kills her when she has to leave him and divorce him. I have a group of young people heading off to church camp for a couple of weeks of refreshing time with other Christians and the Lord who want their tragic story told.  I have a family saga, only just begun, aching to flow from my fingers like the wine in the valley where they live.  And that’s truly the very smallest tip of the iceberg of my imagination.  I’ll never be able to do it all.  I need to come to grip with that truth.  I will never be able to tell all the stories.  Time.  I hate it.  I hate that it’s always chasing me–pushing me to work faster, harder, get the stories out when sometimes I just want to kick back and enjoy a leisurely walk through someone’s tale.  I’d do it–I’ve tried.  But you know what?  I can’t stand it because that other story is still there, niggling me.

Number 3:  I can’t read a book just for pleasure in the same way I used to.  As I said in a previous post, all the things you learn about the craft of writing, and your propensity to practice those skills every second of the waking day (and in your sleep.  You won’t believe how often I wake with a single thought in mind to write down–one that’s been repeating itself in my brain for the past 8 hours!!!), tends to strip the joy out of reading unless you’re blessed to begin a book so good that the story sweeps you along and out of your constant “work mode.” 

Number 4:  Marketing.  there, I said it.  All the marketing gurus say that we’re supposed to embrace the thrill of marketing.  They say it’s just about talking to people–making connections.  Being friendly.  Okay, I can do that.  I LOVE to do that.  But you know what I can’t do–what I despise doing?  Using that friendship I’ve forged to try to sell a book.  I won’t do it.  I can’t.  But, if I don’t do it to some extent, then guess what?  I go broke and the IRS tries to take possession of my firstborn.  Hint:  they can’t have her.  She’s not mine anymore.   Okay, here it is. You take a person who is naturally shy and make her write a book.  You tell her to go on social media. Hint: social media is either the best thing ever for the shy person–or the worst.  Depending on how they handle their… affliction.  I think introversion vs. extroversion might  play in there, but I’m not sure.  I’m a shy introvert.  That means that IN PERSON, if I can get away without saying anything and still feel comfortable… I will.  And then I’ll go home and collapse for a few hours while I recharge.  If I can’t, I’ll run my mouth, make a fool of myself, and then go home, collapse, and recharge.  Either way, I need to recharge.  Alone.  And lick my wounds.  LOL.  Online, seems to kill that problem.  So marketing should be a breeze right?  Um, no.  Why?  Because the fundamental core of marketing is to sell something.  I can try to convince anyone to buy anyone else’s products, but I can’t stand doing it for myself.  I’d rather give it away.  That’s why I hired Ashley.  She does the dirty work and lets me give away enough to handle the guilt that comes with each royalty payment.  Look, I’d love nothing more than to be independently wealthy and just write.  I’d give my books away and no one would pay a dime.  We all have dreams.  That’s mine.

Number 5:  And the last thing (but certainly not least!!!) is saying goodbye to characters and series.  I hate that.  Seriously hate that.  I remember dragging my feet as I tried to finish the Annals of Wynnewood Series. Only when I gave myself permission to write a spin-off series was I able to finish up the final book.  Aggie–same thing.  I didn’t want it to end, but it needed to  So, I wrote Not a Word and put Luke in there just because I missed him.  And, well, it’s why there’s another Aggie book coming AND why I came up with another spin-off–a Vannie story.  Who wants to see our little girl grow up?  I  hated ending Past Forward–so I wrote HearthLand.  I hated ending The Agency Files, so I turned one of my other book ideas into the one where Keith JOINS The Agency.  I tell you.  It’s an illness.  They’re real to me–friends.  Some people think I’m just being silly or joking when I call them my “imaginary friends” but I’m not.  People often describe writing a book as a birth–the book being their child.  In a strange way, it’s true.

There you have it.  Five worst things about being a writer–for me anyway.  Sigh.

A Day in My Life: Tuesday

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My morning routine:  Mix my Xypstix drink, eat some yogurt, take my first supplements. For those who want just a quick recap, here it is:

   The Laundry list of my day:

  • Woke up (this may seem insignificant, but let’s just trust me that it’s not)
  • Got dressed (see above)
  • Did hair and makeup (because I am doing that lunch thing—somehow).
  • Got breakfast.
  • Checked social media and email while eating. (thankfully, I eat SLOWLY or I’d be needing food again before I got done with the computer stuff.
  • Went out to eat and edited A Forgotten Truth
  • Went to the grocery store and bought food/flowers.
  • Made dinner (after cleaning kitchen)
  • Made cards
  • Went to gym
  • Planned cool book idea
  • Made itinerary and audio recording
  • Read Bible.

Okay, so the audio was WAY too long.  So, one of the things I mentioned in it was how I woke up.  Now remember, #7 daughter is at basketball camp.  that meant that only 2 kids were home (#2 son and # 6 daughter–15 and 17.75 respectively).  Now every day for a couple of hours, I have the Bestekids (grandkids).  And so I wasn’t surprised to have 4 extras.  But I HAD forgotten that #6 daughter is babysitting.  Four more kids.  And within half an hour of waking… TWO more.  So this is why I had a bit of a Facebook silliness today over not wanting to make dinner, giving myself an attitude adjustment, and then being irked when I go in to do my job and the kitchen was a disaster movie.  UGH.  Had to clean before I could cook.  Always a joy.  But you know what?  It happens.  Life happens.  So…  I think this means you can see the rest of my day and I can go to bed.  With those cards unsigned.  *blush*  OH!  And remind me to post about the planner thing and Willow.  That was on the recording too.

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Breakfast in my new Birthday cup of “famous first lines.” Vanilla yogurt.  It’s exciting stuff.

By the time I was done with that, it was almost 2:00.  I’m a slow eater.  So, around 2:30 I went to eat my lunch out. This is what I had.  Sandwich was great.  I just realized that I didn’t even try a fry.  LOL.  This is NOT the restaurant I wanted to try.  It closes at 2:00  Only in Ridgecrest.  Sigh.  so, maybe today?  Maybe? I don’t know.  We’ll see!

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Then I went off to the store for some scintillating shopping.  Everyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE shopping–especially grocery shopping.  It’s the best.  There I took this picture:

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And had the Facebook gals pick out flowers for me.  First one to post wins.  Joan won.  She picked these:

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They’re actually the ones I wanted most.  WOOT!

Then I went home, did some editing, and dreaded dinner. At least I had THESE to look at!

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This is what I made. Can you guess what it is?

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Maybe this’ll help…

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Yep!  Aggie’s Enchiladas!  Mmmmmmmmmm.  Yes, those tortillas are on a plate. No, it is not for aesthetic purposes.  I turn a plate upside down over the top of another one and heat the tortillas that way (so they don’t crack when you roll ’em).

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I actually made two pans.  One for tonight and one for while I’m gone.  I always dab a bit of sauce on the ones waiting to be finished so that they don’t get dry and crack.  Cracked enchiladas are disappointing.  Trust me.  This is the desert.  They dry out just by being out of the fridge.

Then, it was time to make cards.  You know… those things.  I went in my room and found this:

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That’s what #7 daughter (Lorna) made me for my birthday.  Tied, double-fleece blanket.  In the desert.  In July.  Yeah.  That.  Goes to show what I know.  I used it last night. It got a bit chilly.  It’s been a very mild 10 days or so.

Once I cleaned off all that mess, I started workin’ on the cards:

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Yes, they are quick and easy ones.  Sorry… better than none, right?

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That’ll go on top of the pocket.  Isn’t it cute?

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Ran out of tape  OOPS!

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Eight done!  WOOHOO!  Oy,yeah.  I then let myself play with some scrap cards:

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But they needed a bit of oomph, of course…

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ta da!

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ta da!

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This is one of my favorites.  I’ve made this one a few times. Speaking of cards, look what came in the mail today from a reader! THANKS!

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My torture chamber a.k.a “In Shape.”  I suppose they do that for some kind of “affirmation” or whatever.  Just like when you go in and they say, “Have a good workout!” in the world’s most annoying peppy tone.  Seriously?  Didn’t anyone tell them that “good workout” is an oxymoron?

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Of course, then there was the itinerary I keep saying I have to do.  I did it on these cute papers I got for my birthday from a gift exchange I’m in.  WOOT.  There’s even a nice handy list of phone numbers on the right side of the bottom one!

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Now I’m editing my audio recording (and we all know how that went.  Wasted hour of my life), but while that works, I’ve got this open to read when I’m done.  Maybe Wednesday will be the day!  :)

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There you  have it… one, unbelievably exciting day and an audio recording that I can’t even share of such stunning quality, killer MBs, and amazing–I can’t do it.  I can’t even joke.  Hey, you’re getting the very raw “this is how it is, folks” stuff.  And yeah.  It’s not exciting–not really.  but it’s my life.  And I love it.  😀  See you tomorrow with further joys like…oh… alterations!  oooooohhhhoooo.

Willow Wednesday is Wow-Derful!

1-pf*Groans*  Seriously, that was just BAD.  LOL.  Oh, well.  It’s there, and you will get a laugh at my expense, so… hey!  So we’re starting Volume 4! This is the volume that, if you wish, CAN end the series for you (although there are six volumes for those aching to continue.

This week we have Episodes 15 and 16!  Both will be free today and tomorrow, so snag ’em while you can!  Without further ado (and because I STILL need to get back to editing A Forgotten Truth) , let’s get this download on the road!

Note:  All links to my books are affiliate links and as such I may receive advertising compensation from Amazon.

Please, step on over to Amazon and download them! And please, even if you’ve previously downloaded these episodes, delete the old grab ’em again.  Some have been updated. For those who are Kobo or Nook readers, email me.  I’ve got you covered.

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Past Forward: Episode 15
Past Forward: Episode 16

I’m cheating and calling it good with this. Hee hee… Shhh… don’t tell Christy or Ashley!

So tell me, is anyone interested in seeing just how Cheri tamed Chuck Majors?

A Day in My Life: Monday

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Yes, I know it’s on the wrong week, but honestly, it just seemed to fit.

“Man plans his ways…”  Yeah.  That.  Okay, so two weeks ago, I decided I wanted to do this series now.  I figured this would be the best week option for it.  While not “normal” I did hope it would be reasonable.  HA!

So, it all started “last night” at about 5 a.m. (Still July 20, but I’m weird, okay?).   I didn’t get tired.  That’s how I roll.  I stay up until I’m tired and then I sleep until I’m rested.  There was just one problem.  I had to be awake at 8:00 a.m.

Which just proves I don’t know what I’m talking about.  It all started last Friday when Lorna (#7 daughter a la Charlie Chan) came home with a sign up sheet for basketball camp.  I filled it out.  But alas, you have to sign a liability waiver that wasn’t included.  I’m the only one who can sign it, so despite Lorna working hard to get rides set up, I had to get up to have here there by 8:30.  Yeah.  That.

Plan one: shot.  No sleeping as long as I needed.  Because you see, something else happened.  I came home and I went back to bed.  But I need a bare (although otherwise you’d think that should be “bear”) minimum of 7 hours of sleep.  Nine is perfect.  Eight is usual.  Guess who got home by 9 and went straight to bed?  Guess who had to be up by 12:30 to go get #7 daughter because I realized that the original plan of #1 daughter bringing her home leaves her alone for 10 minutes.  At home?  No problem.  At THE COLLEGE?  I don’t think so.

Blessing in disguise:  A friend offered to take her to and from when they came out today.  WOOT!

See... set and ready to "work"
See… set and ready to “work”

Now remember, I have plans for today.  They are as follows:

  • Take myself out to lunch
  • Buy myself flowers
  • Write birthday cards.
  • Make more birthday cards.

I arrived home to a message from #1 daughter.  She’s bringing me my favorite salad for my birthday.  Okay, plan 2 changed.  Oh, and plan 3 changed too.  I didn’t want to go out to the store at that point.

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Yum! My fave!

But my big goal for the day was the birthday cards.  See, I’m WAY behind on my birthday card sending.  As in, three months.  *blush!*  So what better way to spend my birthday than by sending cards to readers who have been waiting WAY too long.  I got all of April, May, and June in the address book and then I got ALL of the April cards done.  Of course, I didn’t START on those cards until HOURS after I’d intended to.  *whimpers*.  So, the day ended and guess what?  Only April got completely done.  You see, I used up all of my cards.  And there was no time to make more.  :(  Still, I like it.  I think I’ll be making a bunch tomorrow.  It’s not what I was supposed to be doing, but I want to get caught up!  Argh!

My box of cards I've made--there were over 20 in there. Now it's empty.
My box of cards I’ve made–there were over 20 in there. Now it’s empty.

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Then, of course, there was the gym.  *cue weeping violins*  So I get my voice recorder and decide to do a little audio discussion of my mixed up day.  The seventeen minute stroll to the gym…   perfect.  I go in and BARELY get my .5 mile on the elliptical before taking on the treadmill again.  Okay, something you should know about me.  I made a deal with myself a while back.  It works this way.  I can read all I want–at the gym. Otherwise, I don’t get to read.  That’s some serious motivation for me. I LOVE to read. For the curious, I was reading book 2 of THIS series–seriously good books.  Great suspense, CLEAN (both smutually and verbally speaking) Soooooooo…

I walk home, I get a few new ideas for Carol and the Belles and.. guess what?  I plug in my voice recorder and there’s  CRAZY audio noise.  I mean, I can hear it, but it’s annoying to listen to.  It’s a “Murphy Day.”  What else can I say?  Day one was a total bust and yet… It’s what the Lord wanted, I suppose.  Today reminded me of a quote by Annie Keary that Elisabeth Elliot mentioned in her book A Quiet Heart.

“I think I find most help in trying to look on all interruptions, and hindrances to work that one has planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one’s work. Then one can feel that perhaps one’s trues work—one’s work for God—consists in doing some trifling hap-hazard thing that has been thrown into one’s day. It is not waste of time, as one is tempted to think, it is the most important part of the work of the day,—the part one can best offer to God. After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work; trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it.”

So, I did.  It’s good. Plans change.  And that’s okay. Because things like This weren’t in those plans:  Cheesecake surprise from my son-in-law.

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A few special cards from my Mom, a gift exchange, my daughter, and a reader.  😀
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I’m particularly partial to this one from #4 daughter.
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Still can’t stop laughing!  Oh, and I was obviously out of my head, because I also did another first  A “selfie.”  this is a unique first, because I’m pretty sure it’ll be a “last” too.  Not my cuppa.  But there’s one off the “never going in a bucket list” list.
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So I was blessed with a wonderful day.  A day of fabulous gifts from friends and family, reminders that I am loved, and a chance to remind “strangers” that I appreciate them–even if I’m super late showing it.  *blush*

Thanks for joining me.  I’m sure it was a thrill a second.  *cough*  Maybe tomorrow will be a “better” day. *snickers*