Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Other Goals and Dreams for '09

Well, as promised, I'm going to blog today about other goals/dreams for 2009, besides my writing.

One thing off the top is to get back to doing my exercise on my Tony Little Gazelle. I did it for 3 or 4 months midway through the year, but after that, I slacked off. I'm disappointed in myself that I quit, but it seemed I lost sight of that when the kids started school and things got busy and hectic.

So exercise- big on the list of priorities for this coming year.

Taking care of my health is another thing. Dental work would probably be high on the list, too. My teeth are in bad shape and I know that can lead to severe health problems if I don't get it taken care of, so I'm going to look into having them taken care of sometime this year.

Decluttering my home- The place is a mess and needs a good overhaul on clearing the junk and only keeping the things that are necessary or wanted. My spare bedroom is jam packed with stuff- some of it old and wore out, like my old stereo. I'm sure the speakers would still work on another stereo component, but the radio/cassette and cd player is kapoot- there's old shelves and clothes the kids have outgrown, which I'm planning to give away anyhow. My stepson's clothes will go to my step-FIL's neice for her boys. My daughter's clothes will have to wait till I can make a trip up to Lawrenceburg to give them to one of my friends for her youngest daughter.

The bedroom and my closet could also use a good decluttering. I need to go through my clothes and pack away any blouses I don't wear or haven't worn in a while. No need for it to be taking up space if I haven't and probably won't wear it this next year. Besides, if I clear that out I might be able to make room in my closet for the boxes of stuff that's scattered around the bedroom! LOL
Truth is, like I said, the entire house needs a good cleaning and as soon as I take down my holiday decorations I'll probably give it all a good straightening up.

Of course, my family is also a priority and so that's another goal for the year- Spending quality time with my family. That includes going back to my hometown for a visit during spring break when the kids are out from school. I've got a big girl who'll be graduating kindergarten this spring and my boy will be moving on up from 4th grade.

I'm thankful that my aunt who has brain cancer is coming up on her 5th anniversary- a survivor. My other aunt had lung cancer, but with chemo and radiation, she's gotten a clean bill of health. My uncle, who has rectal cancer is still hanging in there and doing better since he got a colostomy bag, which has improved his eating habits so he doesn't get sick and makes he feel a little bit better.

My hubby had a close call this year and almost wound up with pneumonia again, but is doing much better and we've all been sick, so I'm hoping for a healthier year to come as well, for all of us.

I guess there's not much else to say though. I have a full plate of things I'm hoping for in 2009 as I'm sure everyone else here's hoping the "dish" ends up being enjoyable for all.

Happy New Year Everyone! See you in '09!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Don't Need No Stinking Resolutions LOL

"In 2008 I hope to write more novels, edit more, and get a few stories polished enough to send out and keep my fingers crossed that one (or more) find homes."

That was the remark I made on my blog last year about what I expected out of this year as far as my writing was concerned. It wasn't necessarily resolutions, cause they just fill me with disappointment in myself if I don't do exactly what I plotted and planned out. No, instead, I will call them my hopes and desires- those hazy, misty dreams that I'm determined to fulfill.

As I had said in my blog last year...I used to do resolutions, but I never kept any of them, so I don't technically "set" resolutions for myself, but prefer to just keep the list "at the heart of the matter" so to speak.

And so- did I accomplish the things I hoped in this past year? Well, I've written 4 novels this year alone and I'm working a 5th one. I did do a lot of edits and revisions on all my stories, but the polishing enough to send any out? No- not this time around.

I researched publishers and agents midway through the year after I finished the fourth novel I had written this year (8th in total) and discovered something I should have known/thought about a bit sooner than before I wrote 8, going on 9 novels. I need to lengthen them a bit more than 50-55K or so. There's only a fair few that accept manuscripts with that kind of word count and I need to make sure I've got enough of a story to leave my options open to submit to other places when I get my first rejections.

So what do I hope to do in 2009?

Finish this 9th novel I started and won with during NaNo and then start doing more revisions, additions of scenes, editing and polishing of all my novels to start this year off. At this point, writing the next novel can be put on hold, even though it's part of my new four book series of which my 9th novel is the first. Perhaps I will give myself the first half of the year to work the revisions and get up my courage to start submitting. After that I could possibly write 2-3 more of the novels I intend to- if I get 3 written, that would finish out the 2nd four book series I plan to write at this time.

Of course, I will also give myself the freedom that, IF one of my unwritten characters starts to talk to me or beg for their story to be told, I will go on and write that novel, when it's ready to be written. It's how I've written most of my novels so far- I am at their beck and call and when the pull is strong enough and the call comes, I have to answer it. I am a slave to the written word.

Of course, I better enjoy this "freedom" to write at will while I can. I don't have any real deadlines, other than those self-imposed, but I know that if and when I do get published, there will be times when I have to multi-task between edits of a soon to be released as well as the current WIP and so on and so forth.

So I'm ready- ready to work through my novels and prep not just my novels, but myself, for the next road in my journey to publication.

Tomorrow I'll post about my other hopes for the year to come, but for now, I think I've rambled on enough. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Trying to Settle At The End of 2008

Christmas has come and gone, and though I'm tired, it still seems as though there's a hustle and bustle going on around and within me. Perhaps it's because that sense of "normalcy" I'm used to hasn't been retrieved yet amongst the busy-ness of the holidays.

Maybe it's because I have a fridge full of 4 day old leftovers I need to dump in the trash, decorations I won't be taking down until the day after January 1st-after my best friend and her husband come visit us to start of the New Year. Maybe it's because our regular routine is scattered at the moment with my husband and daughter still home with me all day. Well, hubby does go to work tomorrow, but then he'll be off the rest of the week again like last week. My stepson is gone to his mother's for the week, but I think it's one of those cases of "I can't get things done around the house when I have a houseful."

It's wonderful to have them home with me, but also a distraction from my routine. I'm used to quiet in the house during the week while everyone's either at work or school and therefore, these weekdays haven't felt the same to me.

My daughter's watching television in her room, but hubby's playing a race car game here in the living room, so I'm surrounded by noise, when I'm used to most the time turning off the television until my soap opera comes on or having the volume turned down on the TV and listening to my music on the computer while I write.

I need to finish working on Novel Number 9- my NaNo novel, but not sure I can wrap my mind around it with all this extra noise I'm not use to. I have this nervous energy sparking inside me begging I find something to use it for- I can't seem to "settle" myself down, but at the same time I'm finding it hard to get motivated to do anything.

This year is quickly coming to a close- 3 more days and 2008 will be long gone as we welcome in 2009. Doesn't that seem strange? Seems just yesterday we were starting a new year and yet here we are, heading into the next.

I guess I'll save my waxing poetic about the things I did and didn't accomplish this year and what I would like to accomplish next year for another blog- either tomorrow or Wednesday when I can think a bit more clearly than today.

Hope everyone is relaxing and enjoying some down time before we get the new year under way!

More From the Authors of Ladies of Legend

Just found out on Amazon that two of Janet Eaves' other stories from the Ladies of Legend Series- Beauty and the Beast and Harvest Moon, have been released in print as a 2-in-1 book! These two stories, if I'm not mistaken, come right after the Finding Home Anthology, but before the Christmas Anthology. The only one not yet in print is Maddie James' Murder on the Mountain, which I'm also eager to get and comes after Janet's two, but also before the Christmas one-

Though not part of the Ladies of Legend series, but by one of its authors, The Blank Book by Magdalena Scott is also available in print through Amazon as well.

So as not to jam this blog up with links, I would also recommend doing a search on Amazon for Maddie James and Jan Scarbrough's releases, too- Four wonderful writers and lots of stories to choose from!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Night Huntress by Yasmine Galenorn Released January 6th!

Night Huntress, the 5th book in the Sisters of the Moon Series by Yasmine Galenorn is coming out January 6th!

I've been keeping up with this series since the beginning and absolutely love all three D'Artigo sisters- Camille, Delilah and Menolly as well as all their friends, family and aquaintances.

Yasmine weaves such a wonderful world that it's as if you have been woven into the sisters' world as well and you are right there- going along on the wild ride as the sisters fight to protect two worlds that mean so much to them from the evil lurking beneath the surface- the things of fairytales and nightmares.

I'm especially looking forward to Night Huntress- Delilah's second book in the series. I've been eagerly anticipating this books release since I finished Dragon Wytch months ago. So much is going on in the story and I just HAVE to know what happens next.

If you love fantasy and adventure, you should definitely check out Night Huntress- Heck- check out the entire series!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! May your blessings be many and your worries few- Enjoy good company and good food and safe travels.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dinner Anyone?

I know I haven't posted much recently..... just too much going on between stepson's 10th birthday, daughter's 6th one, me being sick- AGAIN- It's a neverending cycle, I do believe. And recently, very little time for writing, I'm afraid. Just can't seem to get back in the right mind frame for writing.

But I wanted to "cyber" invite you to dine with us this evening...Homemade Beef Stew and Cloverleaf Yeast Rolls on the menu. See, I already fixed you a bowl. :D

If anyone would like my recipes for this "comfort" meal- please feel free to let me know and I'll be happy to share.

(The stew is a crockpot recipe I made up that's nearly from scratch-0ther than the pre-packaged gravy mixes I use). The yeast rolls are my great-aunt's.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Greetings (A Poem by, you guessed it- me)

Christmas Greetings

Twinkle bright and have good cheer
Christmastime is drawing near
Mailing cards to Family, Friends
Happy holidays now begins
Top the tree with a beaming star
Greet your loved ones, near and far
Sparkling garland~ silver, gold
Take me back to days of old
Stringing lights up in the tree
Pretty ornaments for all to see
Shiny paper, ribbons, bow
A kiss beneath the mistletoe
Glistening snow, through windowpane
Sweet peppermint~ shaped like a cane
Warm spiced cider, piping hot
Perhaps cocoa would hit the spot
Cookies, treats and candies, too
Remember Christmas, old and new
Best of all, Love fills the air
As we show how much we care
It’s not the gifts bought at the store
No, it comes from something more
It’s not the lights, the tree, the toys
That fills our hearts with Christmas joys
It’s kindness sent along the way
That makes us smile on Christmas Day
To you and yours, from me and mine
Best wishes at this Christmastime.

(December 11, 2008)

Cupcakes With A Sprinklin' of Nostalgia

I'm letting the cherry chip cupcakes cool right now for my children's birthdays before I put the frosting on them. Chris is 10 today and Koty will be 6 Saturday.

Every year I reiterate that I just can't believe where the time has gone. Seems only yesterday Chris was just a little itty bitty thing when I first entered his life. Seems only yesterday we brought Miss Ko home from the hospital.

I don't know which hurts the heart of a mother more- dealing with the stress of day to day life, or the moments that remind you just how quickly they are growing up.

I think I'll take the latter. The kids can drive me bonkers and the closer we get to the holidays the worse they seem to be acting out- so much so I've threatened to go on strike! LOL

But, I look at the kids now and I see Chris growing into a young man. I'll take a moment to talk about the birthday boy today-

He's still got that chubbiness of childhood in his face, still has that tiny bit of twinkle that suspends disbelief most of the time, but I know one of these days I'm going to look at him and realize he's growing facial hair, taking girls on dates and worrying about getting a car and going to prom and graduation.

He's already on his way toward adulthood, losing bits and pieces of childhood, shedding them like an extra layer of skin he no longer needs. Already this year, he lost his belief in Santa. He questioned it because of kids at school telling him it's the parents who buy the gifts. My heart broke because it's hard to fathom he's at "that age" already.

And yet he still seems to believe in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. I'm sure once Easter rolls around, he'll question us about that as well and slowly his childlike beliefs will unravel...Innocence slips away, only to remain in sparkling particles of remembrance and nostalgia.

We are including him in the illusion and allowing him to feel like he's a part of it now. He will help us fill the stockings, though he won't be allowed to see what the presents are and if he's home early enough from his day with his mom, we might allow him to eat a cookie or two and have some milk before he brushes his teeth and goes to bed.

He has been sworn to secrecy about Santa though, so he doesn't ruin it for either of his sisters. They still have a few years to go before the magic of Santa leaves them, but I hope that we're able to help the kids see that he still lives on in our hearts and that it's truly not just about Santa, but about loving one another and being kind and caring.

I still believe, even though I know I am the one playing the part. It's a cherished memory of mine from my childhood and I want my kids to cherish it and carry it on when they have children of their own.

We watched Prancer the other night and I keep hearing the words of Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus which was originally written as an editorial by Francis P. Church for The New York Sun in 1897, in response to a young girl's letter- over a hundred years ago.

I won't reprint any of it here, but you can easily look it up if you wish to read it. It brings me to tears, though this is not something I grew up with, it touches my heart in a way the reminds me that no matter how old I get, and no matter how old my children get, I can only hope I have instilled in them the magic of Santa- the magic of imagination and childhood dreams and the ability to suspend disbelief and have hope.

It's always wise to keep a bit a childhood for yourself, even once you're grown. It's that youthful belief that keeps you young at heart, no matter your age. It keeps you dreaming, wishing, hoping and believing. May we all be so lucky.

Friday, December 5, 2008

74% of the Way There and Friendship

Just a short blog today. Feeling pretty good about where I'm at in this novel now. I'm 74% of the way done. That feels REALLY good!

My writing has been really sporatic since I hit 50K a few weeks ago, but I'm getting there, slowly but surely. Seems there's always something around here that needs my attention and draws me away from it.

Today it was laundry. Three baskets in all, but it seems to be smothering me...LOL.

I still have dishes taunting me though like children who need a bath. I have also had friendships on my mind today and thinking of those I've lost contact with over the years. This time of year generally conjures them up.

It's funny how friendship means so much when we're children and we grow up and lose track of so many good friends. This year I've been lucky enough to get back in touch with a few old friends and still keeping track of the ones I'm still in touch with or just getting to know.

They all represents parts of who I once was, who I became and who I am. Childhood friends that I've known as far back as I can recall. Friends from adolescence, young adulthood and even now.
I don't like to ponder what my life would be like without even just one of them because they've touched my life in so many wonderful ways.

Do the holidays get you thinking about your friends, old and new? Does it fill you with wispy memories and the desire to hunt them down and wish them a healthy happy holiday season filled with love and joy?

I guess that's why I enjoy sending out Christmas cards so much. I generally send out 70+ cards each year to family and friends. I'm able to reach old friends I don't normally get to talk to or see all that often and at least I'm able to let them know, once a year, that I still think about them and wish them well.

I can only hope that the ones I can't find or don't have addresses for know that I do still think of them and wish them all the best.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jingle Bells and Ho Ho Ho and Christmas Lights All Aglow

It's nearing Christmas and I've been in the spirit since the beginning of November.
My tree is up....

The Christmas village is set....

And outside my house is all aglow in the evenings and early morning, too, as the children head off to school.

The Christmas cards have been mailed, other than the cards meant to be given to the bus driver and the children's teachers. All the presents are wrapped, other than those last few from Santa on Christmas Eve and the one I'm waiting on for my husband that should arrive some time next week.
Time is flying by. The children's birthdays are coming up next week. Got that covered, too. And so I have settled in. It's warm and cozy here at home on this blustery December morning. The tree sparkles and twinkles next to my desk and all is quiet besides GMA on television.
I think I'm going to fix myself a cup of French Vanilla Cafe and work on my novel this morning while I can enjoy the quiet. The tv is going off.
Have a wonderful one.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Entering the Homestretch...

Of 2008.

This year is nearly over. did that happen? LOL

Seems it wasn't that long ago this year had just begun, stretching and squawling it's way into life. Now it is settling, yawning- ready to take it's rest.

Of course, I see this past year through writerly eyes...four novels completed and another almost finished. When it's done, I have a lot of work to do on all my novels. Revisions, rewrites, additions to the stories and then again and again and again until I polish those babies till they shine.

I have family and friends who keep telling me, begging me, to just go on and send something out- ANYTHING...but I know my writing is not up to par just yet. Several of my stories are not nearly long enough or polished enough to submit. Sometimes it would be easier if I kept my writing to myself around family and friends. Some don't quite get that it takes time and you can't just throw a 1st draft out there to agents and publishers. That would ensure rejection without doubt.

Rejection on the first manuscripts I send out is something I'm prepared for, but to send something that isn't good to begin with would just doom me to failure the rest of my writing life. Friends and family don't get that, especially if they haven't read anything I've written and base it solely on their opinions and good faith in me.

There's so much more to it than that and I know I'm just getting started. I don't expect that two years after I started taking writing seriously I'd be completely utterly ready to submit. Sure, that would be amazing, but I'm not fooling myself into thinking that two years qualifies me to become a professional writer. Yeah, I've written a lot, but I also know I have to put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into my work. I have to know I'm ready but, at the same time, not kid myself about the quality or quantity of my work. I have to be prepared, do the work to the best of my ability and then see where it goes from there.

Am I dooming myself to failure with this attitude about it? Possibly..... but I'd like to think not.

I like to believe that being prepared for what lies ahead for me is the best foundation I could create for myself. I may not know exactly where I'm headed, though I have a nice little destination in mind, but I hope I'm getting myself off on solid ground with sure footing and as much as my family and friends would like to toss me over the cliff toward that destination, I'm still not quite ready to make that leap.

Maybe it's fear lurking inside me of taking that first step, but I'm starting to feel that it's not just that...It's my good common sense telling me that I need to take the time to look things over, get my priorities straight and follow the path that leads me where I plan to go. There's no real road map to get to the place all writers dream of. The path is different for everyone, for some can get there in short order, with little trouble, few road blocks or traffic jams, while for others the journey simply takes a more scenic route that twists and turns, carrying them along on a long rollercoaster ride- but they all still get there nonetheless.

So, truthfully, my journey has just begun. I'm only a few "hours" into the drive, but I'm enjoying it and relishing it and looking forward to what awaits me around the next bend.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!