I love summer and I spent all day yesterday basting my pasty-white skin the sunshine. Love it, love it, love it.
This weekend was pretty quiet except for losing my dog. She’s on a tether during the day and when she sheds her winter coat her collar gets a little loose. I got home Friday around 5pm and noticed she wasn’t there. Now, I know she’ll come home eventually so I didn’t worry too much about it . . . until the next morning when she wasn’t in her little house. Then I started to panic. I drove the neighborhood calling out her name and shaking a little container with food. Any other time that would bring her running, but not this time. I just looked like a complete idiot to all of the morning walkers.
I drove home, hopped on my computer, found a few pictures of her, and posted them on Facebook. Luckily, within twenty minutes I knew where she was. Some lady had found her in MY neighborhood, picked her up, and took her to ANOTHER neighborhood, completely dismissing the built-in GPS all dogs have to find their way home. If she’d have left Kai alone, I wouldn’t have lost two hours of my life tracking her down.
Granted, she probably just loves animals and didn’t want to see Kai get hurt, so I shouldn’t be too upset . . . but I was livid. Luckily, she had posted a lost dog, and eleven others had shared. But . . . there was no contact information anywhere — only her name. I headed straight to the internet and within two minutes had this woman’s address and phone number. I called, but there was no answer.
Figuring there was no way this woman would let a strange dog just roam in her house, I hopped in my truck and drove to this woman’s house, which was wasn’t very far away. I drove to her house and Kai must have recognized my truck engine, because I could hear her barking before I even got out of the truck.
As I headed for the front door of this woman’s house with a leash and collar, a neighbor who was cutting grass, stopped his lawnmower and walked over.
Him: “Do you know her?”
Me: “No. But she has my dog.” Meanwhile, Kai is going absolutely bonkers. “See.” I pointed at her.
Him, looking hesitant: “You know she’s crazy.”
Me, looking confused. “How so?”
Him: “For one thing, she thinks she’s descended from Elvis.”
Me: “How old is she?”
Him: “Probably in her late sixties.”
Me: Wouldn’t that make her about as old as Elvis?”
Him (laughs): “Yes, just be careful. As I said, she’s crazy.”
Me: “Sweetheart, she has MY dog. You ain’t seen crazy.”
But I was nice. I rang the doorbell, explained who I was. She took the leash and collar and brought Kai to me. I thanked her, and was as gracious and appreciative as I could possibly be. When I asked her where she found Kai, she said: “On Pine Lake Lane close to Lebanon Road.” THAT’S WHERE SHE LIVES! SHE WAS ALMOST HOME!!!! But I only said, “Oh.”
Kai jumped in the truck and off we went. Why does this shit happen to me?
B2′s last day of high school ever was Friday. Now I have to take B3 and B4 to school for the next week until school is out. Have I mentioned there is a school bus that drives right past our house every morning? She should be getting her dorm room assignment for UNCC this week in the mail. Anyhow, I’m so glad school is almost over. They . . . or rather I need a break.
B3 has been at a softball tournament in SC all weekend with hubby, so it’s been really quiet. They did well, but B3 needs to hit a little better. She had the best batting average in the state during school ball, but that’s school ball. Tournament ball is an entirely new level and she needs to step it up. If she doesn’t hit, she doesn’t play.
B4 spent yesterday with a friend and today, snookered me into driving to Dick’s and spending over $30.00 on fishing crap. I haven’t heard from B1.
I changing jobs at work. No promotion and no more money, just something different. I think I’ll like it.
I plan to start writing again during lunch. I’m still on Chapter 1 of the Prepper novel which is quickly turning into a Revolution novel. I’m about 5k into it, but I can’t move on until I think it’s the best it can be. Wish me luck. Gotta run.
I didn’t blog once during May, until today. It’s been busy but there’s no excuse. It seems the more I attempt to get back to what I enjoy doing, the more difficult it actually is.
In family news B2 is graduating from high school and B3 turned sixteen yesterday. B1 is living in northern Virginia with his uncle for a summer internship and B4 is struggling with his grades. I think everyone is ready for this school year to be over.
My mom has been ill, so I’ve been traveling to West Virginia every other weekend to visit and help her clean up the house a little. She’ll have surgery later this month, so I have about a two week reprieve before I need to drive back. Thank goodness it’s summer. I’ve been driving B3′s Camry instead of my gas guzzler F-150.
The state of the country still bothers me, the corruption, the lies, and the greed. Spying on the press, silencing free speech, and violating civil rights through bureaucratic intimidation, it seems to me the entire election was stolen by the Dems. It one doesn’t hold their progressive viewpoint, the one is a target. Repubs in general are powerless against a liberal press, although quite a few are not without their own misguided desire for power. The government keeps growing and taking more and more from those who work. It’s so disheartening.
We were lied to about the Affordable Care Act (no big shock for those paying attention), I don’t believe anything in the bi-partisan immigration bill, Common Core is infiltrating our schools and rendering our teachers virtually useless, and the government keeps attacking our 2nd amendment rights. It’s to the point where I cannot believe anything any government official says. Are we not all Americans? Where are the people of honor?
I know many of my blog readers disagree with my political views and I certainly respect that, as well as their point of views. I’m not trying to sway anyone. Just blogging about how I feel.
There’s nothing much I can do about it except to pray, have courage, and keep breathing.
We’ve actually schedule a family vacation the week of June 30th. I can’t wait for the beach. We booked late and the only house we could find that would hold all of us is on Cape Hatteras. It’ll take about six hours to drive there even though it’s in the same state.
In other news, I’m the proud mama of two new kittens – Lilly and Sprout. They’re sisters and they are just darling. With the kids all growing up, it’s nice to hear the pitter-patter of little feet again – even if they do walk on four legs.
As for the new novel, I believe I’m analyzing everything too much instead of just writing the damned thing. I bought a book that should help me edit my previous novels to resubmit, but it makes me think too much when I’m just writing.
I’m about 5k into the new novel. I’ve already rewritten chapter 1 several times. It sounds like overkill, but since this is my debut into first person character writing, it seems beneficial.
Well, B4 has to have braces put on his bottom teeth this morning so I better get moving. I hope everyone has a wonderful, blessed day.
It seems like just yesterday she was a freshman, a tiny little girl from a small charter school going to the big, bad high school. She came through it pretty much unscathed, with a level head on her shoulders, a strong moral ethic, a titanium backbone, and the will to achieve whatever she wants. Okay, she did lock herself out of the house and had to call me on my cell phone at 5 am this morning to let her in, but . . . isn’t she pretty?
Poor thing had to go to work at 10:45 today after about 4 hours of sleep. But she got up and went. Her friends, who were also at our house, stayed in bed until around noon.
Must have been some night!!!
The girls have one more regular season softball game and then it’s conference and state playoffs. If our team wins their final regular season tomorrow night they will be 2013 Conference Champions for the second year in a row. Both B2 and B3 have had great seasons, both hitting and fielding. It’s sad that it’s B2′s last time playing competitive softball . . . unless she walks on to the UNCC team . . . which she could if she wanted to.
B4′s lacrosse season ended Thursday. Their season didn’t go as well as softball, but it’s a new program and the majority of our starters are freshmen. It should get better next season.
The past few weeks have been hectic and I haven’t got much work on the new novel done. I’m hanging at 4,100 words or so. My mom fell a few weeks ago and dis-located her shoulder. I drove home for the past three weekends to help her, but B2 had softball senior night and prom, so I didn’t go this weekend. I plan to go next weekend.
While I was there, I couldn’t help but notice the enormous number of telemarketer calls she was getting. Hopefully, there is a special place in hell for companies who prey on the elderly. Thank goodness mom just hangs up on them, but there are probably many trusting old souls who are too kind and end up getting swindled. Where are the people of honor?
Today is dreary, rainy day. Hubby bought steaks to grill out for dinner. I also thawed out a pork tenderloin that I’ll put in the crockpot tomorrow. I asked him earlier if he wanted me to freeze the steaks and put the pork in the oven, and he said no. Well, I hope he doesn’t think I’m standing out in the rain grilling steaks. That’s not happening.
Whelp . . . I guess I’d better to finish the laundry. I found an entire other load on B3′s bedroom floor. She’s such a slob.
Happy Easter to everyone! This Easter has been a little different than most. Spring break for the kiddos began as well. B4 left Friday afternoon for a weeklong trip to the Florida Keys with friends and B3 left Saturday for a week at Cherry Grove. It was just me, hubby, hubby’s mom, B1, and B3 for Church services today. B3 said she didn’t want any candy for Easter and since she was the only one home, I didn’t make anyone a basket.
B3 left with a friend after church for Surfside Beach and B1 left shortly after we got home from the grocery store. He needed food. As of today, hubby and I are childless for the entire week. On the one hand it is certainly going to be quiet. I won’t have to pack lunches or wash sports uniforms daily. On the other hand, it’s up to hubby and I to take out the garbage, empty the dishwasher and care for the dog. I have mixed feelings about this. Hubby has a habit of failing to unpack his suitcase until Sunday evening after all of the laundry is done. Typical.
Yesterday B3 and I did a little shopping at Blakeney. For some reason, the girls would rather go to this shopping center as go to the mall. I’m okay with it because the Marshalls there has an awesome shoe department. We made it a tradition to visit TCBY after we’ve shopped. It’s good on a nice, sunny day to stroll around outside and peruse the stores, although I think we must have walked at least ten miles. Hubby played golf so when B3 and I got home, we took a big fat nap and had sushi for dinner around 7:30. It was a wonderful day.
Tomorrow it’s back to the old grind. I did manage to plot some more of the new novel over the last few days. Of course it will be plotted out at least ten more times before it is finished because nothing ever works the way I plan it to. I also need to gather a list of more agents to query for my completed novel. I kind of dropped the ball on that one and there are a few agents I still want to contact. I also got no reply from several agents I know from previous contact actually do respond, so I think Hurricane Sandy might have messed me up a bit on that. I’m not quite ready to give up on this book yet.
I need to find a site that has stock e-book covers for historical fiction – Civil War Era. I need a cover that looks a bit more professional for Jordan’s War. I need three of them, actually. Most of the sites I’ve found are for romance, fantasy, and thriller novels and not many for literary or non-romance historical stories. This is such a niche market that there is probably little demand for such artwork. I’ll keep looking. I have photographs I could use, but I’d like something a little more professional if I can find it.
Well, the sun is out and I promised myself I go for a nice long walk through the neighborhood if it quit raining. I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed day.
One of the many good things about working in the Corporate World is accrued vacation. currently, I’m up to three weeks paid. I know it’s not like it is across the Atlantic where they get a great deal more, but I’m happy with it. I’m employed at a Swedish company and I work directly with them on a daily basis. They are wonderful, knowledgeable, and kind people, but man, I never hear from them during the summer months. And don’t get me started about their maternity and paternity leave.
Anyhow, I took a much needed mental health day. I got up around 5:50 am this morning and did my usual stuff for the kids and then went back to bed and slept until 8:45. I needed it badly. I’ll probably do a load of laundry or two, but other than that, it’s me time.
Yesterday afternoon I sat on a freezing softball field and watched B2 and B3 play for their school team. The thermometer in my truck said it was 48 degrees, but it was windy and unbearable when the sun went behind a cloud. There were plenty of them. It’s B2′s last year and I’m not going to miss a game unless I absolutely have to. They won, but their hitting wasn’t stellar (both of them had a pop-up) and they flubbed a double play, but the other team scored zero runs and the game ended with our team up 5-0. There are no lacrosse games until after Spring Break. It has to be warmer by then.
After the game, the girls and I picked up some sushi and headed home and just as we turned into the driveway, we remember we had to pick up B2′s car over at the school. By then my head was pounding with what I think is a sinus infection. I got back to the house, ate, and went straight to bed. I didn’t get any sleep the night before. The Walking Dead always gives me nightmares and I watched Sunday night’s episode on Monday. To me, that show is passing by a bad car accident. I don’t want to look at it, but I can’t help it. I love (and HATE!) that show, but I’m addicted. It’s so hard to find a good drama on television these days and I’ve never been a fan of reality tv. Okay, I do love me some Duck Dynasty and I’ll watch Dance Moms if someone else is already watching it. But that’s it! If they’d get rid of the barefoot guy on Dual Survival and bring back the first guy, then I’d watch it. Hey, they could rename it Dual Mancandy Survival. I think I might have something here.
I’ve made some progress on the new book. If you’ve followed this blog for any time, then you know I can’t move on to another chapter until the chapter I’m currently on is perfect to the best of my ability. I’m not a fast draft or even a rough draft kind of writer. It works for me. I hope to be done by the end of this week with chapter 1. I plan to do a little work on it today as well.
Well, it’s almost 10 am, the first load of laundry is probably done and I hear a hot shower calling my name. I best get moving. I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed day.
I lost the desire to write somewhere. I don’t know if it is because I put so much effort into my last project, my day job, the cold, gray, nasty winter, the cold, gray, nasty spring, all the political bullshit happening or the diversions – softball games, lacrosse games, iPhone games, social media – shit, the list could go on forever.
Today, I got it back. Today, for the first time in a very long time, I liked what I was writing, the characters were talking, the story seem to blast into my head out of nowhere, and I wrote it all down as fast as I could. I didn’t care if it was crap, didn’t care if anyone else would ever read it, let alone sign me to a contract, I just wrote. It felt as if I had just started all over again.
Most writers know that feeling - the epiphany of creating something out of nothing, where the words come together with seemingly little effort, the satisfaction of attempting to do something everyone says they want to do but rarely start, and the tenacity to see it to the end. Those of you who write, can you remember that magic? Somehow we lose it. For most, our dreams are quickly dashed by the business of publishing, but there is a time where we all truly believed in our work.
That’s what I found today and that’s what I intend to hold onto. I don’t care if I have any luck in traditional publishing. There are other routes, although most are not lucrative, I don’t write to become rich. I’d certainly like to make some money off of it, but I think the real reward is intrinsic. I’ve created something. Me. My ideas, my words, my story.
There was a time when I was part of a small writers group. There was so much talent in that group and still is, even though one by one, we all abandoned our little sanctuary. Some of them made it to the large publishing houses, Peter Salomon and Kristina Riggle just to name a few. Other’s such as Terri Molina, Devon Ellington, Michelle Miles, Lara Stauffer, and Colin Galbraith have blazed their own paths, achieving much in their writing careers. Back then we cheered each other on, offered congratulations for all the successes, and a shoulder to cry on when needed. We still do really. Sadly there was one I left behind there, a lovely, cantankerous old broad. I can’t even remember my sign on to log back to see if she still posts. I don’t even want to post her name (Lyd) here, I don’t even know if she’s still with us. I feel terrible that we all just abandoned her.
For me . . . I dilly-dallied around, bouncing from genre to genre, not real certain which one was my strongest, pursuing the traditional path of querying and trying to find a publisher, getting great feedback, but in the end, no takers. I still am dilly-dallying around. I’m okay with that.
I got caught up with all the experts saying self promotion is the key to success. Start blogging, create a website, keep fresh content, join Facebook, start a Twitter page, blah, blah, blah. Technology is coming at us faster and faster, but writing is none of that. Writing is not posts, tweets, or soundbites. It’s breathing life into characters and creating a world for them to tell the story. It’s putting words in their mouths, a motive to their actions and either loving or hating them each time you continue the story. I think we sometimes forget that. With life’s pace getting faster and faster, our writing gets faster too. It also gets sloppy, disjointed and so bad that even we get discouraged.
Today a very successful writer posted a very narrow-minded post on her Facebook page. I love her work and it wasn’t in her character really. Normally, I would have let it go, but no, I courageously posted a contradicting post and realized that even though I walked into the lion’s den, I came out unscathed for the most part. It was then that I realized, I don’t need social media. I don’t need to spout my status every day. Not that I did, but sometimes I probably posted too much. I don’t need to tweet. I can read, observe, and yes, sometimes even pass judgement in my head, but just because others have the desire to make their lives an open book, I don’t have to. Don’t want to.
I don’t believe many people read this blog, so this is where I’ll stay. This blog has always helped me sweep the cobwebs in my brain and even now, I’m thinking with a clearer head. As of today, I’m going old school and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. Blogs might be yesterday’s news but news flash, so is my writing career. For now, I’ll just write.
I don’t care much for snow, hence the move south over twenty years ago. I did allow my seventeen-year-old drive in it last night though. She’s got to learn. I think if they learn how to drive in it properly, then they won’t be a menace when they have to drive in it. When I was younger, we had to drive in it or just not go anywhere for five months out of the year.
The car is still in one piece, so I know she did something right. She was driving B3′s Camry and not her Mustang though. I’m not a complete idiot.
B2 and B3 made the school softball team. B4 is on the school lacrosse team. I’m $400.00 poorer because I have to pay $100.00 for each of the girls for softball and $200.00 for B4′s lacrosse because it isn’t a CMS “sanctioned” sport. It’s all bullshit. I’m so glad I’ve only got a few more years of public high school.
B1 moved out about a month ago. I’ve only seen him a few times since he left, but he seems to be doing okay. We went grocery shopping on Tuesday. He’s also asked for an internship with his uncle’s company in Northern Virginia this summer. Hopefully he’ll get it as it will look great on his resume.
B2 got accepted to UNCC. She got deferred at NC State and UNC Wilmington. UNCC is where she is going though. Now the decision needs to be made as to whether she’ll live on campus or commute. Commuting will be much less expensive, but she really wants to live on campus. I filled out the FAFSA so I guess we’ll wait to see if we get any money. We’ll get a small loan, but I’m hoping for a grant or two, but families like mine don’t really get much grant money. I’ll leave it at that.
B2 and I got a much needed haircut yesterday. She had a least an inch of dead ends trimmed away and I needed my layers fixed and my bangs straightened out where I’ve been cutting them myself. I don’t to a bad job but Pat certainly does a better one. B2 hadn’t had her hair cut in a year and a half and I hadn’t had mine cut in over six months.
B4 had his hair cut on Thursday before he left for a school trip to Disneyworld. Yes . . . a school trip to Disneyworld. He left Thursday night at 11:30 pm and won’t get back until tomorrow around 9:00 am. I’ve only received one text and one picture from him, but I haven’t heard from any of the teacher chaperones either, so he must be okay.
Why am I not worried??? Because I have this handy little app called “Find My iPhone” and I can track where B2, B3, and B4 are at all times. I don’t track them often, but when I do see that their little green dot isn’t where it is supposed to be, I definitely get to the bottom of it. The last time was with B2 on New Year’s Eve. She said she was staying at one friend’s house, but there were too many of them, so they had to crash at another friend’s house. Luckily, I know where most of her friends live, so I can tell who’s house she at. I LOVE THIS APP!
I also set my alarm about twenty minutes after curfew and check to make sure everyone is home. I can’t really stay awake past 11 pm when I’m at home. I don’t even have to get out of bed. Ah technology. The only sorta, kinda bad thing is that they can track me too. But I haven’t been somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be since I was their age, so go ahead . . . track away!
My absence from this blog as well as Twitter was on purpose this time. I needed to make sure I wanted to continue to write, that it wasn’t some distraction and that I’d actually miss it if I stopped. I haven’t written down anything for over a month, but even though I haven’t, Mia’s story is still in my head . . . as is Raina’s (who really got a shitty deal during the query process, but that’s just business). So I’ll keep going. I even took a few days and rewrote the Prepper novel in 3rd person just so I’d know for certain that 1st person is the way to go with this one. It is.
I got into a pretty solid routine in 2012 with writing during my lunch hour. When I wasn’t writing, I felt like I was just wasting time. I worked through a few lunches and the afternoon seemed so long that I’m surprised I didn’t hurt someone. When I did leave, I ate too much fast food, browsed the Target a few too many times and pissed away valuable writing time. It’s time for that to end.
So starting tomorrow, it’s back to the routine. Well, I’d better get moving. Hubby and I cleaned the house today and I still have a few loads of laundry to finish. I hope everyone has a wonderful week.
I have a bad case of the winter blahs. It’s rained almost every day for the past week and a half, except for last Sunday, which was gorgeous. I had every window in the house open all day to blow out the stale funk. But it began raining again on Monday and stopped Friday. The sun is out now, but it’s kind of chilly. Okay, it’s in the upper 50′s, lower 60′s but to a thin-skinned, southern gal like me, that is cold.
We were supposed to have snow Thursday night, but if it did, there was no evidence Friday morning. The kids didn’t have school anyway because it was an exam make-up day. They’re off tomorrow and Tuesday.
B3 had surgery on the 11th for bone graphs in her mouth. It looked painful and her face swelled up something awful. She looked cute though, with those huge lips and puffy, chipmunk cheeks. I felt bad for her because she had to go to Appalachian State University for a softball camp. Hubby said she did good despite her odd facial expression. My dental insurance won’t pay for bone graphs or the dental implants she has to get next year. That’s about $8,000
She had a video done for perspective college coaches. Here’s the link on YouTube. Just FYI, I did not pick out the music selection. She’s sent out a couple already, but we won’t know anything because college coaches can’t talk to her directly because she is only a sophomore. They contact her travel ball coaches.
B2′s car has been in the shop twice in the past month and my truck has as well. We both have been driving the crap out of B3′s Camry. We have to take B2′s car back in again. I’m not sure what’s wrong with it now, but I’ll drive it around tomorrow so I can tell the shop what it’s doing.
B1 moved into his house Sunday. I’ve only seen him once or twice since the move. He didn’t come home or call this weekend. I guess he’s still alive. He still has some laundry here, but his room is bare except for his desk which I’ll get boxed up tomorrow. Me and the girls want to turn his room into a workout room and move the treadmill, elliptical, all the free weights, and the tv on a stick in there. Hubby nixed it, probably because he’d have to move most of and it’s heavy.
I haven’t touched the Prepper Novel in over two weeks. I have a bunch of handwritten pages that I need to get typed. I just haven’t felt like typing it up. I guess I wanted to make certain that I was really into it. I am and so tomorrow, I’ll get back into the routine of writing during lunch tomorrow. I’m not feeling good about the 1st person narrative, but I hope the deeper I get into the story, the more into Mia’s character I can get. I think the premise is timely though considering all the gun ban crap and such going on in this country. It’s probably just another novel that will go nowhere, but it’ll stay in my head until I get it on paper. Sometimes, liking to write stories is a curse.
We went out last night with some friends. I drank too much beer. There are some times when it just goes down really smooth. Last night was one of them. We went to a bar after dinner and listed to a live band. Hubby didn’t like them, but I did.
Well, it’s after 6 pm and I still have about three loads of laundry to finish. I hope everyone has a wonderful week.
All of the Christmas decorations are put away for another year and the house is pretty much back to our normal. I say “our normal” because there isn’t anything normal about this family. Three of the four kiddos are back in school and my mini vacay from work is over. Hubby is back to work as well. I’m not sure when classes start back for B1. I’m not sure if he knows, but he better.
I’ve been working on something new as of the first of the year. It came to me out of nowhere. Here’s the beginning. Please comment and let me know what you think.
My family lives by three rules. One – never trust anyone outside the family. Two – never get in trouble with the law. And three – never, ever, rat. Well, today I have royally screwed up. Somehow, I’ve managed to break rule number two.
My name is Mia . . . Mia Matthews, the third of five Matthews’ children, the family everyone knows as the crazy survivalists living out on Spring Road. A kid of those preppers who stockpile guns, food and God knows what else, for an impending societal collapse. Because of rule number one, no one knows much about us. Some may claim they do, but they don’t. Trust me.
It’s my first attempt ever with writing in first-person and I’ve called it my “Prepper Novel”. I don’t know where this is going. I guess I just let Mia tell her story. I wrote around 800 words on Monday and added another 700 today. I’ve calculated I’ll finish this by around the first of August, which will give me a little time to polish and being querying in September. That’s the plan today.
Back to work was heck . Another huge project that has to be completed by Friday. I have a ton of questions, but typical of the place, few have any answers. I guess I’ll figure it out. Or do it wrong. Probably the latter.
It’s been a rainy 2013 so far, but tomorrow it is supposed to be in the 50′s for the rest of the week. Yay. I’ve my fill of cold, cold weather. Two days were more than enough for me. Well, I’d better go pack lunches and fix the coffee pot for tomorrow. I hope everyone has a wonderful evening.
Before I start the 2012 wrap-up, let me say HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone. I hope everyone has a successful, enjoyable, and productive 2013. I guess I could have inserted a sappy HNY clip art graphic, but I really like this picture I took of a lonely maple tree against a gray sky. Besides, I won’t get sued by some photographer if I use my own work.
Christmas went without incident at the Birch household. The kiddos got pretty much everything they wanted. B1′s LL Bean boots are on backorder until 1/4 and B3′s Northface jacket still hasn’t arrived, but those were the only two mishaps.
I got two $50.00 gift cards to Barnes and Noble and I’ve already bought two books – GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn and BLACK LIST by Brad Thor.
We traveled back to WV during the break. It was cold. Low 20′s with a wind chill of minus gazillion. And snowy. It sleeted on us most of the trip after we got north of Wytheville, VA, and when it stopped sleeting, it was snowing. Here’s a shot on Rt 219, heading towards Pocahontas County, WV.
Let’s say 2012 ended on a good note. There are some things I’m happy to have accomplished, but there are others things I wish would have happened. In the end, the family is still intact, happy, healthy and gainfully employed. That’s saying a lot.
In 2012, I wrote a kick-ass YA novel and I received some great feedback, but no agent offers. Perhaps it’s not in my future to have an agent. Shit, after twelve years of writing and editing and at least eleven years of polishing, and submitting, I can’t help but be a little put off by it all. But that’s okay, because although when I first started learning the “business” of publishing there weren’t many viable options other than the traditional agent / publisher route, there are certainly other options today. I’m grateful for that. Am I lowering my expectations? Hardly. Many authors are pursuing the self-publishing route and being successful at it. One of my favorite authors is doing it, although I have to admit, I haven’t purchased his latest yet. My bad.
In 2012 I also taught myself how to format an e-book. Here’s my first available on Amazon Kindle. It’s a steal at .99 cents. Click on the cover to order.
Virginia has just seceded from the Union. The Civil War has begun. With few slaves in the region, the Sinclair family of Droop Mountain attempt to carry on as if nothing has changed. Even with their isolation from the battlefields, they cannot sustain neutrality as Jordan’s cousins and neighbors answer the Confederate call to arms. The harder they try not to align themselves to either side, the more the conflict is thrust upon them.
Jordan’s older cousin flees the mountain to avoid the scandal of an illegitimate child, neighbors and kindred alike are angered when his father hauls wool for days to the northern textile mills to sell for gold coin instead of taking it to the southern markets for paper money, Jordan’s arch-enemy is empowered with the duties of a Home Guard Private and harasses the family, while his own brother is arrested as a Federal spy. In all of this confusion, Jordan must learn that family loyalties can either save his life or get them all killed as lawlessness thrives and peace is a distant dream.
This book was written back in 2004 as contracted serial fiction. There are two more that are formatted and will be for sale at the same price early in 2013.
In 2012 I kept to a productive writing schedule and met a fantastic friend who became my awesome beta reader. She helped me tremendously with my last novel and is currently reading a civil-rights era historical I wrote back in 2005. I can’t wait to get her feedback on it.
No doubt I’ll keep the momentum going in 2013. I’ve listed my new goals and even started drafting a new novel today. Dystopian in a sense, but very real. I’m writing in first person which is completely new to me. I’ll just keep writing and see where Mia Matthews takes me. She’s my new character.
Well, I guess it’s time to put on the sweatpants and pour a glass of chardonnay. No party for this old girl. I’m still reeling from this little New Years incident a few years back. I still can’t smell Burberry perfume without getting the shakes.
I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Years celebration.