Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Post Christmas exhaustion

Compared to usual, it wasn't a crazy, chaotic Christmas. We didn't have to cram all our visiting into one day, and managed to get it all done without having to post pone anything due to illnesses. (One year we didn't see my grandparents until February.) Both of our days of traveling were capped by really treacherous drives home (finally got the damn snow the kids had been asking for).

I had set only a few Christmas goals this year -
1. make figgy pudding. CHECK! It was actually pretty good. Kind of like carrot cake.
2. remember to give out pictures of the kids from school. Almost got this one. I forgot to take some to my grandparents but I'll be going back up there in a few days.
3. Don't make so much baked goods that it all goes to waste. CHECK I didn't actually bake much this year, so this wasn't an issue. There just wasn't time. Last year I spent a whole day making half a dozen different types of cookies, 4 types of brownies as well as little tarts and squares. Then realized only a few of each kind would fit in the tins I'd bought, so I had dozens of everything left over. I froze some, pigged out big time, and ended up throwing a lot of it away.

But now that the main rush of the holidays are over, it's time for the dreaded new years resolutions. As I type this, I'm surrounded by candy (turtles, dark chocolate mint truffle kisses, a few donuts and some jam tarts) so I'm thinking eat healthier should be on the list. Maybe a bit of exercise wouldn't hurt either. Actually, I hope to improve the strength of the muscle around my knees so I can manage the hikes when we go camping without wanting to throw myself off a cliff.

On the writing front, yeah big time plans there. I have at least 4 more stories I want to write for the Tiara Islands Inn series, plus several stories that fit in the Highlands Hills town where the Inn is located. Let's not forget the Dragons that have been giving me guilt trips now for 5 years. So much writing to do! I also want to commit to actually doing a monthly newsletter this year, having monthly giveaways, creating better promotion methods, and being more active in the social aspect of writing.

And keeping my desk clean is pretty big too.

What are your resolutions for the new year?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Figgy Pudding Disaster is out!

A very merry tenth day of Christmas to everyone! Figgy Pudding is available now from Red Rose Publishing.

This story was written very much off the top of my head, with no planning, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. It's all about traditions, and second chances. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

News on Figgy Pudding

Five days into the twelve days, and I haven't blogged about the releases! I'm so bad! I can tell you Figgy Pudding is scheduled for release on the 21st, along side Aline de Chevigny's A Master for Christmas. I've just finished edits and am awaiting line edits.

On the personal front, Christmas shopping is almost complete. Again, spent way too much money and will regret it horribly come January. Next year I am making a vow to do all my shopping super early, and online so I don't have to face the crowds in the malls. Maybe I can manage to get something for everyone on my list at the Apple store. That would be awesome.

How's everyone else doing on their shopping?

Monday, December 05, 2011

A New Cover!

So, before I left for the weekend, I got the cover for my Christmas story, The Figgy Pudding Disaster. It's very sweet and old fashioned, like a Christmas card, which fits perfectly with the story.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Christmas at Tiara Islands

I'm the first to admit, my motivation to write in the last few years has been rather lacking. A week and a half ago, I started writing a Christmas short on the off chance I'd finish it in time to send it in for the Red Rose 12 of Christmas submission call. I didn't, but a few days after the deadline, I was asked if I had any Christmas stories. I managed to finish the story within 2 days and send it in, and it was accepted. *whew* I've never started, finished, subbed and sold a story in about a week.

The Figgy Pudding Disaster is the second of the tales set at the Tiara Islands Inn. When I started it I had only two goals...write a christmas story set at the Tiara, and somehow include figgy puddings. I've never had figgy pudding...but I love the name. It always makes me smile.

The story is about Dizzy, a single mom who lost contact with, Dean, the love of her life before she could tell him she was pregnant with his child. When she and her son travel to The Tiara for a Christmas vacation, she finds him working there, only he doesn't seem to remember her. An injury sustained while serving over seas has left Dean with jumbled memories, but the one that's always been clear, is of a blond with green eyes, he just can't remember who she is.

In other news, I just finished the rough draft on Family of Four, another story set in the same town as Jewel of the Highlands and The Figgy Pudding Disaster. I'm hoping to have it polished up and submitted soon.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A little pissed at Nintendo

Our Wii was heavily used, and more often than not, the kids would leave it running all night long because they didn't want to stop the game if it couldn't be saved. So naturally, it broke. After almost a year, we finally were able to set aside the funds to get a new one, and when the blue one came on sale this weekend, we thought "cool! Blue is different."

This one didn't come with any games, which was fine with us, as we already had the games the other consoles come with. So we rushed out to get one, worried they would sell out quickly, and because it was a Black Friday sale and the crowds were a little thick, we didn't bother to read the side of the box. Nor did I bother to search up reviews online, because hey, we'd already had a Nintendo Wii and I honestly didn't think there would be any difference other than color. Why would anyone think that certain features would be left out of one color of console? Unless you happen to be the kind of person who reads gaming blogs on a regular basis, you'd never know until it was too late.

Apparently, I was wrong. The blue console doesn't have the ability to play gamecube disks, nor use gamecube controllers. When we tried to open the area where the controllers would plug in, it wouldn't budge, so I went online thinking maybe I just missed some secret to opening the compartment...nope. And apparently, it also doesn't have wi-fi capability which is really going to piss the kids off when they can't enter the mii contests anymore.

A very squinty eyed look at the box revealed it did actually say no gamecube very tiny letters that took me forever to actually see.

We've had every model of Nintendo to ever be released, including every version of gameboy/DS. I've always been a very loyal Nintedo fan, even when others have tried to sway me to other systems that had better graphics or games that just weren't available on the Nintendo platform. This just infuriates me because it makes no sense. The one thing I loved about the Wii was that it did play Gamecube games, which for us was wonderful as our son had destroyed our Gamecube when he was a baby. What purpose does it serve to make one version of the console without that feature? And for God's sake, why didn't they at least make the lack known on the front of the box? People who were going to buy a Wii, but wanted the Gamecube compatibility would buy the other versions, and nobody would be furious and feel like they'd been cheated.

Arg. Off to deal with two kids who are severely disappointed. Maybe I'll buy them a PS3 or an Xbox for Christmas and take this thing back for a refund.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas already?

So...back in the spring I had planned to write at least two Christmas stories and here it is, almost a month until Christmas and no stories in sight. I also haven't really bought any presents yet, nor have I gotten the yearly "where are we going when" holiday disaster sorted out. Every year, we add more people to the equation, so every year, it becomes even more difficult to figure out when each section of the family should hold it's gathering.

So, I was giving some thought to perfect Christmas gifts for writers. Obviously #1 is an iPad (for those who don't already have one) because lets face it, they rock. I love mine, and take it and my keyboard/dock everywhere I go so I can write.

I did a bit of net surfing to see what other people thought would be awesome gifts for writers and here's a sampling of what I found....

ebook reader - pretty cool. I have apps for kindle, kobo and ibookstore on my ipad so I don't really need one but I admit they look very nice and whenever I'm in Chapters, I drool over them a bit.

Digital Voice Recorder - Again, cool and useful. I'm sure if you don't have hangups about hearing your own voice on stuff, it would be a handy little gadget...I get all squicky when I hear myself so I don't know if I'd use it much.

Going in the less tech-driven direction, there are some less expensive ideas that writers will always want and need. Pens, highlighters, paper clips, staplers, notebooks...a nice gift basket of these essentials would be thoughtful. Add in a mug and a supply of tea/coffee/hot chocolate and I think that would make a great gift.

What do you other writers wish for this holiday season?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Nano shouldn't be in November

Uggg, after the chaos of getting ready for Halloween, the last thing I want to do is sit and write. Its cold, the house is a disaster, and there are pumpkins to take a sledge hammer to...

Good luck, and happy Nano-ing to everyone who is participating this year.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Too hot to do anything

I swear a week ago, I was bundled in a sweater while eating on my parent's patio. It was windy and just chilly enough to need a long sleeve shirt and jeans. Now, I feel like I'm melting and it's only 9 in the morning. Heat wave's suck. Today's forcast is calling for 36 degrees (before humidity is taken in to account, which will apparently make it feel like 46) for those not using celcius, that's 97 feeling like 110.

This is perfect laze around reading weather. Too bad I'm not exactly going to be allowed to do that. I should be writing, or cleaning the house, or planning our camping trip, or weeding my garden. Yeah, I don't think so. Poor Chris is going to be working in a hot restaurant kitchen.

So, I'm going to go make a batch of lemonade, keep the kids and dogs hydrated, and hope the heat doesn't result in another 3 day long power outage. We don't have an air conditioner, so at least I won't be contributing much to the strain on the power grid.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Break

It's four days into march break, and I've had a great time lounging on the couch, watching my Star Trek Voyager DVDs. Today though, I'm going to make some attempt to get some writing done.

It's been interesting, watching this show. Not only is their out-of-uniform fashion something to be remembered with fascination (there are some speedo shots that should have been banned...seriously) No, what I find the most interesting is the politics. What makes Star Trek so interesting to me, is the rich history and depth of world building that's grown with each new series and movie. As someone who's favorite part of writing is developing the character's history, and in some cases, the history of a made up world, Star Trek has always been something of an inspiration for me.

It had been a long time since I watched any of these (except the new Star Trek Movie...yum!) I'll be watching them now with more in mind than entertainment.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A Sale!

I received a contract for Jewel of the Highlands yesterday from Red Rose Publishing. Very excited. It's been a while since I've had a sale, well it's been a while since I've done much serious writing.

I've been trying my best to keep up with my writing goals the last month, but with no real heat in the house, it's hard to write. My writing office is now a pillow on the floor of the living room, with the laptop on the footstool for our poang chair. I think my butt and back are going to go on strike at some point. It's not the most ergonomic set up. But, since we can't heat the sunporch, where my desk is, it'll have to do. Apparently, their best guess for when we'll have our new furnace set up is March 21st....

Okay, back to work. Or maybe out to get a least the car can be kept warm.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Hello 2011

Another year over, and not much writing to show for it. I suppose I did better this year than the last, but not as well as I'd hoped. I'll keep my fingers crossed for 2011 to be the year I get my ass in gear.

I usually make resolutions for my writing, and usually is a list of stories I want to finish. This year, I'm just going to go a bit simpler.

1) try for one submission a month
2) try to blog and tweet more. To do this I'll need some sort of a life, so I have something to talk about *grin*
3) Sub to Harlequin, for a print line. Not sure how successful I'll be in this one, but I'll do my best.
4) 2011 reading challenge - 104 books.

For the challenge, I'll be posting my reading list here as well as on my "other name" blog. If anyone wants to participate in the challenge, the information is posted on the Daughters of Circe website