Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

This morning, I woke up earlier than normal, which doesn't bode well for me since Santa Claus is coming tonight.  Every Christmas morning for the last few years, we've been taking a photo of the kids on the stairs.  My kids don't like pajamas, but I managed to have them wear PJs for all these photos. (Not sure why, as I would happily live in PJS if I could).  Anyway, here's the last couple of year's worth of pictures.

December 25, 2013

December 25, 2012

Darling Daughter was a latecomer and didn't get in on the stairs party in 2012

Christmas 2011

It's amazing to me to see how much they've grown over the years.  I think it's funny Number Two is wearing the same pajamas at 3 years old as he is at 5 years old.  That gives you a little perspective on how quickly my kids grow.  There's just something about Christmas. 

I love seeing their faces as they look at the gifts they received.  I love getting on the floor and playing with them.  I love putting together legos endlessly, and "Mommy, can you open this?"  I'm not sure we missed the mark this year on Number One though.  He is ten, and he's impossible to shop for.  He either wants expensive gifts, or tons of video games, or a Flash or Impulse costume. The costumes are hard to find (and expensive) in December.  I just hope he can be happy with what he receives, because that's what Christmas is all about, right? Joy and Love. The magic of giving to others.  

Tonight, Number One gets to be the stepfather of Jesus (his words) in a pageant at church, while Darling Daughter will be an angel.  Number Two had stage fright, and he refused to do it, even though there are no speaking parts.  

Tomorrow, we'll open presents, then cook a big dinner, then lie around exhausted!

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

What will you do in 2015?

2015 is knocking on our door.  Every year seems to move faster and faster.  I remember when I was little, and my parents used to say things like, "This year went by so fast," and I thought they were so ridiculous because the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed like an eternity, and the time between New Year's and the summer seemed even longer.  Now, I get it. As your perception changes, life seems to move faster.  Only yesterday, I had one newborn son, and now I have three kids and the oldest is 10.  Time keeps moving, and you can't stop it no matter how hard you try.

Every year, I set out to make goals for the new year.  Sometimes, I manage to achieve these goals and other times the year flies by and I've done nothing (well not nothing, but just nothing in the way of achieving my goals).  This year, my goals are going to be mostly writing oriented, because at this point in my life it's the most important thing to me.  Plus, if I don't set the goals I'll never get anywhere.  You never know what you can achieve if you don't try.

Here are my goals for 2015:

  • In 2015, I will publish "No Turning Back."  I'm working, slowly, but surely on editing it right now.  I am also finding a cover, then I will format it for e-publishing.  I'll have a soft open and then a promotion period on Amazon.  Self-publishing is about a lot of self-marketing too.  So, I'll be on Twitter, Facebook, here (my blog), and Google+ doing giveaways.  Stay tuned for that, as well as some teasers from the book.  I'll be posting the first few chapters on #Wattpad the first week of January, then the book should be out on Amazon by mid-January 2015.  
  • Polish "The Devil Within," and re-write certain sections.  I'm releasing a chapter every three days of this book on #Wattpad.  You can read it here:
  • Finish my work-in-progress.  Find a suitable name. Edit. 
  • Query one agent a month 
  • Write at least 1,000 words a day.
  • Blog twice a week
And now for non-writing goals
  • Exercise at least three times a week
  • Read one book a month (I tend to put down books while I'm writing, and this is not good). 
  • Lose 10 pounds
  • Start a professional blog. I'll keep this blog for personal blogging, but I'd like to separate out my writing blog. 
That's all folks!

Make sure to check me out on Facebook and on Twitter:

Check me out on Wattpad. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Practice Makes Permanent

I woke up super early this morning, because Number 2, my precious middle guy is sick. 102.5 fever and cough.  He must have come down with what his sister had last week.  This poor kid has missed out on Trick-or-Treating this year, a Pumpkin/Playground Field Trip and now his Christmas party at school.  I feel sorry for my sweet little guy.

I need to take a note from this kid in learning how to roll with the punches though.  He is so laid back.  He moaned for a minute, and he cried about not being able to go to his party, but then he was over it.  He deals with things as they come, and he has the sweetest disposition.  Love the kid.

Because of my 4:30 AM wake-up call, I finished a basic edit of Chapter 11 of "The Devil Within" and published it.  You can find that on #Wattpad.  I wrote about 2,000 words on my no-name WIP.  I needed to edit a little bit of "No Turning Back." I'm going through my feedback from my beta readers, and I'm trying to figure out what advice I need to take and leave.  I'm polishing, and then I'm going to self-publish in January.  I know I've said I would be self-publishing before, but this time I actually have a timeline and it will happen.  When you procrastinate, nothing happens. True story.

Then after I finished actually working on my writing, I played with Social Media for awhile.  I'm a little overwhelmed with all this social media.  I have accounts on Twitter, Google+, Facebook (of course), Instagram, and now Tsu. (I don't know how to make the special u that goes on Tsu).  Social media is the way for an indie writer to get noticed.  Twitter, I think, is one of the most important social media outlets, even though just a few months ago I thought Twitter was the stupidest thing that ever existed. I still don't "get" all the things I need to be doing.  It's a learning curve, for sure, and I spend so much time trying to keep up with all the tweets and retweets that I barely have time to write, or clean, or cook, or take care of kids.  Being an indie writer needs to be a full time job, but unfortunately for most indie writers it has to be done on the side. A second job, because that is what writing is to me.  It's not a hobby: it's a job.

I love writing. I want to do it for the rest of my life.  Self-promotion is hard.  Getting noticed is hard. Being published traditionally would be my dream, but in the meantime, I'll keep plugging on with what I have, and I'll try to keep promoting myself the way the rest of the indie writers do.  I heard the other day, instead of "practice makes perfect," which is not true, "practice makes permanent." And boy is that ever true.  I've put myself in a routine to write every morning, and now if I don't I feel like I'm missing a vital part of my life.

Now if I could only get everyone in my family well and make it to the gym.  That would be an accomplishment, for sure.

Check me out on Wattpad. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Quit Misbehaving!

Characters have a funny way of misbehaving.  Yesterday, I couldn't get over how much I currently HATE my protagonist in my work in progress.  Thanks to my characters, my book took a turn I didn't expect, and I've been trying to dig them out of a hole ever since.  (Not literally--they are figuratively in a dark space--all of them).  At the beginning of this book, I disliked the male character, but now he's my favorite.  He's the most decisive.  He's the one taking action, while Eliza: well, she's just sitting around sucking her thumb and complaining.

And then when I was writing yesterday, a secondary character went ahead and told a secret that I was going to leak out several chapters later.  REALLY!  They are like disobedient children.  So, after that happened, I decided I needed a rough outline of the rest of my novel.  I jotted down some basic scenes, and how I envision the ending.  I know this will probably change, because characters have a way of changing and developing on their own. Plus, I'm not a plotter--never have been.

In my books, the characters always lead, weaving it from a basic idea into a complete story. Sometimes this is aggravating, because as you write things can change.  When I set out to write my current work in progress (no title yet--still working on that), I expected it to be rather different.  Now, I have four characters who are all involved with each other, a pregnant wife, and an object that has the potential to destroy one of the characters' lives.  I feel like it's turned into a soap opera.  But, I'll do what I do every time I finish a novel.  I'll set it aside for six weeks, and then I'll see if it's total crap.  When I read through it, I'll cut, edit, and it may end up changing again.  At that point, I won't be so attached to my characters and it will be easier to make the necessary changes.

As a writer, one becomes almost part of the book. When I'm writing, the words flow through me onto the paper, but it's almost like I'm on another level.  Sometimes I can't believe I've written as much as I have, because I almost feel like I'm not there while I'm writing.  A writer seeks to give her characters life, breath, to break them down, and then to build them back up again (unless she plans on killing them off).  And a good writer knows when to follow her characters' leads.

So I bet when you started reading this blog, you thought it would be about my three darling children. They never misbehave! HA! If you believe that, then I really am a good writer.

Check me out on Wattpad. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Have you ever had a moment of pure inspiration?  Yesterday, I did.  I was in Insanity at the YMCA, and these guys in the front were doing tucks, donkey kicks, and frog jumps almost up to the ceiling.  Meanwhile, I was in the back of the class, raising my knees up and down because anything that involves jumping makes me want to vomit. Well, watching them, I thought, "How hard can that be?"  They inspired me to try it, and when I did it HURT.  It was hard, not something that comes easily, but I was proud for having tried.  After all, if I hadn't tried I would never know if I could do it or not.

I don't know exactly when my moment of inspiration came for me, in regards to my writing.  I have been doing it since I was seven years old; jotting stories down on paper. When I was little, I was obsessed with the Civil War, with boy babies, and with triplets.  You can imagine how my stories read.  But even if something comes so easily for you, it doesn't mean it's easy to get where you want with it.  For the longest time, I wouldn't let anyone read my work. I had a phobia of criticism.  I still feel feel that way. I have this need to know whether the work is good or not, but I'm at the point where I know I need the criticism in order to make myself a better writer.  If my audience doesn't like something, then they may just stop reading, and I don't want that.

Yesterday, I was surfing the net, and I came across this article: 25 Steps to Being a Traditionally Published Author. I laughed as I read this, but part of it made me want to cry.  Writing stops at number 5 or 6, and the rest is about how to land an agent, how to edit, what to do with your work.  There is so much to do after the ink stops flowing, it can be overwhelming or it could be inspiring.  Okay, so maybe inspiring is taking it a little bit far.  I mean, "Can a rejection be inspiring?" It could, if it pushes you to send your work to 50 more agents until you finally get a yes.  It could if the agent writes you a personal note, inspiring you to keep writing, or to change it up, or to toss your current book and start on another.  Inspiration comes in the funniest of ways.

Until then, I'm going to keep editing, keep writing, and keep sending out to agents.  One day I'll be discovered if I'm persistent. I'll follow the rules above, and I'll keep reading and writing: making myself a better writer.

Check me out on Wattpad. 

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