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Back to work?

Neither I or my blog are dead. 

We've simply been hibernating. Some progress is being made on Three Witches to Dharlag. What IS Three Witches to Dharlag, you ask? My recently named novel about Copper and Riona. I've been unable to stop writing about them as short stories and I've gone ahead and begun a novel. Not begun. I am sitting at 35k words. 

BUT I am going forward slowly. Progress is being made.

Also, everything in the world is kind of crap, so remember to practice kindness and compassion in everything you do. 

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Self-care and what I am doing.

There has not been a story posted in 12 days. I have 5 started, and unfinished, sitting in the cloud. They are mocking me and I hate them for that. 

Why is that? 

Well, November sucked. My husband's uncle died suddenly, he'd been ill, but we had no idea things were as bad as they were. The drama from that was intense and by the time we made it through I was exhausted.

By the time we began to recover, and right before Thanksgiving, we lost our beloved German Shepherd mix, Emma P Dog. We'd lived with her for 10 years and she was our rock through a LOT of bad times. It is still hard to remember she is no longer around. She was a helpful, wonderful dog to the end. 

We have gotten a new dog. We were intent on waiting, but our other pooch, Ellie Belly, and the boys, had a hard time. So, less than two weeks after we lost our beloved Emma, we acquired our new Kona Kona Dog. Well, Kona, but all our dogs have multiple names. She's a full blood German Shepherd and we drove a couple of hours to a rescue group to adopt her. Adopt, don't shop! 

All of this leads me to where I am now. 

I made myself finish NaNoWriMo. Like, forced myself to write anything. So, I thought I was ready to dive back into a big project and I am not. I WILL be finishing my alphabet project, but it will not be in December. Instead, as I research two new projects I am going to work on in 2018, I will push forward.

This is not a new problem, fyi, I am aware I tend to push forward when not ready. I've always tried not cause trouble, draw attention, bother people with my problems. Because, obviously, my problems do not need as much attention as others. Siiiiiigh. My husband is so super supportive with me, but I do still defer to his emotional state. I am working on it. He is helping as he can, but so much is up to me.

So, here I am, starting, to acknowledge I need this break. And, I know I will feel guilty about it and think I am failing, but I will do my best to answer that voice with the truth. And, that is, I deserve this break as much as anyone else. 

I will see you in 2018! Enjoy yourself, enjoy your time with your family and friends, and be good to yourself. I'm going to try.

 

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Caught up!

I fell 4 days behind on NaNoWriMo. Which has never happened. Camp NaNo has been met with varying degrees of success, but every since my first time, I've never gotten this behind in Nov. Or behind at all.

After the death of my husband's uncle I was wrecked. That we dealt with some drama stuff and the grieving while I was PMSing was not a boon. Still, Monday, I sat down determined to catch up, and catch up I did. Over Mon-Tues I wrote over 10k words and once I finish this scene today I will be on track. Which is still painful. By the middle of the month I am usually closer to the end.

Ah, well. Sometimes these things happen.

My goal, over the next two days, is to pull further ahead if possible. Because next week the beloved husband is off ALL WEEK. So are the kids. We'd like to do some family things along with sleeping in, which is always a good thing. :) 

I really liked this scene I wrote yesterday so I thought I'd share. Copper and Silver remain two of my all time favorite characters and I hope someday someone else loves them the way I do. 

Enjoy!

***

“There is no breaking the bond,” Copper said when he stopped her in a patch of moonlight filtered through shaking branches. 

“I know.”

“I had to kill her.”

“Caoimhe.”

He nodded.

Now she knew why he’d not wished to speak of it. “You worry I will feel guilt.” She turned her face away from the moon to stare at him alone. “I do not. Perhaps a better person might, but I shall always be jealous of those who draw your attention. It is not even the bond. Not entirely.”

“I have killed so many people. How does this not frighten you? To this day, no matter what I do, you are constant.”

“You are not the only one who has blood on their hands. I have killed for you. I will kill for you. There is nothing, no one, I value above you.” Which was not what this was about. She knew that, understood what truly bothered him.

“And I am sorry,” Silver said. “Because she was yours and I made you kill her. I should not have put you and your honor in such a position.”

Copper’s laugh was drier than the leaves underfoot.

“I have no honor. I am a monster. It has always been so.”

“No,” Silver objected as she turned away before stepping back into an embrace that faltered only a moment. “I have seen your honor at work. I have ever strived to live up to what you desire. I have never denied my selfish ways. It is only with you I find it in me to be selfless.”

***

Oh, one more thing! I think I've figured out the best way to get all of the Scarlet Ibis story in one place. I'm going to do that next week. Until then, back to the story!

 

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Happy NaNoWriMo and other emotions

I got off a to good start with Nano. This weekend killed productivity. I managed at least 1800 words each day, but today I don't think I've broken 1000. I will. I obsess over my word count average. Also, it's Copper and Riona. They can take my mind off things. I may be farther back than I wanted to be, but I am on track and will crush this month.

That is Copper and Silver's theme song. For this novel. I keep defaulting to Riona and she would be made because someone else has the name now. I don't think I will get to that in this book, but maybe the next I can visit him again. He is introduced in a short story. I know, I keep teasing all these short stories, but I haven't decide what to do with them still! 

My husband's uncle died over the weekend which is what threw my Nano-ing off track. Things were needlessly complicated and I'm still coming to terms with his loss. He was such an amazing man and I only got to know him a few years. After losing my father-in-law last year, things have been rough. 

I hate to end this on a downer, so here is a small tease of Copper and Riona from a short story. What? I'm not sharing novel bits yet!

And, yes, Silver is still as hard on herself as ever. She is my tortured soul like no other. 

“Any oath,” I begged. The mud sucked at me and I could not resist. Life mattered little if Copper was taken from me. Eyes closed, I let the rain beat me down.

“Swear.” How bored he sounded. As if the ruination of my soul kept him from tea.

“Riona. Don’t.”

I looked at Copper, calm as he awaited the sun’s jealous rays to shine bright enough, to break through the clouds, and end his life. No begging. Nothing in the strength of how he held himself, staked to the ground with foul-smelling rope, to tell anyone he was hurt.

I knew.

I knew and I swore anyway. Because I’d given him my word. Until I had nothing else to give. So, I swore an oath to ruin what was left of my honor.

 

 

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Welcome to October!

Yay! I may be pretty over my pumpkin spice addiction, but I still love pumpkin ice cream so rejoice! Also, it is finally cooling off here in Oklahoma. Thank goodness!

My dogs are enjoying the cooler weather. Emma, our eldest, will be taken off some of her meds now that summer is over. Ellie is not such a fan of winter, but will be glad when we are firmly out of thunderstorm time.

The kids are back in school. Things are going... well. Yes, that was cryptic. I am a mysterious woman!

Or, not so much!

This week is going to end on several high notes! First up is the Donner Party Reunion Tour from American Murder Song.  This year's costume is based on the song below. If they're playing near you, be sure and spring for a ticket. As awesome as their music is, the live show is 1000% better!

Get Tour Tickets Now: http://AmericanMurderSong.com/GetTickets Get The Complete AMS Experience on DVD & CD: http://bit.ly/AMS-Set These fine ballads of Murder are also available wherever you buy music iTunes - http://bit.ly/AMS-itunes-Donner-Party Amazon - http://bit.ly/AMS-amazon-Donner-Party Google Play - http://bit.ly/AMS-google-Donner-Party CD Baby - http://bit.ly/cdbaby-Donner-Party Or our website: http://AmericanMurderSong.com/music For more on American Murder Song, be sure to Follow The Mark: Facebook - https://facebook.com/thekillingplace/ Spotify - http://bit.ly/ams-spotify Twitter - https://twitter.com/thekillingplace/ Instagram - https://instagram.com/thekillingplace/ American Murder Song is a collection of original murder ballads by Terrance Zdunich and Saar Hendelman, the star of Repo!

 

Saturday we're driving to Muskogee to take the kids to the Castle in Muskogee for the Halloween event. We have passes to all the stuff that shouldn't scare them. Or me. I am a wuss. 

I'll write up both events next week! And might have decided what Nano project to work on by then. And, I have decided on my December project for my blog. Yay! 

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Those clothes...but I still <3 him.

We'll ignore the time between blog posts, shall we? Because I am here to talk about something important. Someone important. Perhaps the best action hero of all time. The greatest man to save the world on the silver screen. 

Jack Burton ruined me for all other heroes.

Jack Burton ruined me for all other heroes.

Now, I know some of you may be wondering how I could possibly adore a character who tucked his jeans into suede boots. I mean, I wonder the same thing. Because, well, you know...it's terrible! :) But wonderful, nay, delightful, when worn without concern. There is no concern here for how he looks. Well, perhaps not. He might think he looks good. It's hard to tell with ole Jack Burton.

I've said before I adore secondary, sidekick characters. Which is what makes Jack the best hero. Because, truthfully, he should be the sidekick. In fact, he IS the sidekick. Except, no one told him. He stumbles through and discovers things without any intention of doing so. What he sets out to do, he rarely succeeds at in a traditionally heroic way. And, most importantly, and despite what one thinks he might desire, he is not an alpha. He's better.

Not that I would call him a beta. He's undefinable in that manner. Instead, he's his own astounding, heroic animal. I totally understood him telling Gracie sooner or later he rubbed everyone the wrong way. Because, oh, my, of course he would. Riding off into the sunset WITH Jack Burton would be no end of trouble. But, doing a thing or two before he left would, no doubt, make someone happy. 

I was about 13 when I saw Big Trouble in Little China for the first time. Not in the theaters because we never had money for the movie theater. Instead, my father brought it home on VHS. (How I date myself!) And, I was instantly drawn to Jack Burton. Hey, Kurt Russell was a good looking man and the character was catnip to my soul. (Ok, in the spirit of honesty, Kim Cattrall as Gracie Law ALSO added to my love of the movie. She was totally crushworthy.) FINALLY, here was a hero I wanted to hang out with. 

Yes, I would totally hop in if the Pork Chop Express pulled up outside my house. And, yes, I would totally be ready to come home when it pulled up again to let me out. Because, some heroes are too awesome to linger in our lives for long.

In the real world. In tv, movies, books, and plays, they can linger forever. Which is good, because we all need inspiration and Jack Burton is mine. 

Now I'm going to go finish watching Big Trouble in Little China. 

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The State of Affairs

I really need to set reminders in my calendar to write blog posts. Because, in the grand scheme of things, I forget quite often. This last month has been more hectic than normal. Mostly, because of good things. However, there was the week our eldest dog Emma had to be in a cone of shame. She was a cone virgin until this year. It was not her sad, sad face within the cone that was trouble. No, it was the way we had to rearrange the whole living room for her convenience. Because, she discovered early on she could knock everything off any table. Not to mention, she learned what a great cow (read us) catcher it was. I can’t count how many times I felt a plastic cone on my butt as I cooked. Don’t even ask about the time we let her outside wearing it and she began to shovel up the whole backyard!

The Sad,&nbsp;I Will Crush You Face of the P Dog.

The Sad, I Will Crush You Face of the P Dog.

 

She’s doing better now. But, we have the cone. She chews on her arthritis and she’s getting older despite my demands otherwise. So, she’ll see the cone again I figure. Other than knocking things about she handled it fine. She really is so lowkey. Nothing bothers her.

More recently, the beloved has developed a bad tooth. Phah. So, he’s been at half-speed about a week and we have an appointment tomorrow to handle it. Here’s hoping it goes smoothly, because…

We’ll be in Costa Rica next week!

I’m bringing no electronics, but plenty of notebooks. So, while I may not get a lot of writing done as I sip fruity drinks on the beach, I plan on doing a lot of prep work for two upcoming items I want to work on this year. The only bad part about this trip is it is over spring break for the boys and we had plans to take them to WA so Shawn could meet his latest grandbaby. We’re going to try for this summer instead. Which likely means no trip to see my parents. It is not cheap to get four people from the middle of the country to Alaska. Worth it, of course, but that does not make the money magically appear.

How’s the writing, you ask?

Well, I ask myself frequently.

Mad Baron is still a work in progress. A third of the way through this rewrite I am rethinking dropping the third pov. Turns out, she was more important than I thought…But I may be wrong. So, I am going to power through and finish this and get some trusted people to let me know which works better.

I have a sci fi idea. I know, I know, I always have a sci fi idea. I’m going to work on it this year. I might dive into Camp Nano and do it then as a break from other things. It takes place on a mining colony on the edge of the second solar system humanity settled after Sol. It’s sci fi romance with a poly heroine and a hero who loves dogs. Really, I can’t say more! I could, I guess, but I am not going to right this moment!

Last week I finished a second Copper and Riona story. It’s not going up on the blog. For now. Still tweaking it here and there.

So, there’s where I stand! I’ve been pretty social media scarce for all these reason and, well, because sometimes one needs a break! I’ve even begun adding 80s music to playlists. THAT’S how much I’ve needed to unwind.

 

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OMG! It's 2017!!!!

I've been meaning to do a blog post. I keep telling myself to sit down and do it, but then something else goes wonky. Speaking of which, I still need to get back to laundry!

But, after this!

So, I know a lot of shit is going on in the world, but I maintain a politics free blog. Not because I don't care, but because I don't believe the internet gives birth to rational conversations about certain topics. It's one of those things I'm likely to be more open to discussing in person with someone I know at least a little than with the internet peoples. And I love my internet peoples!

Ok, that's out of the way!

What am I working on right now? I'm still furiously editing Mad Baron. I've fallen behind, but that happens. I shall get caught up once more! My eldest had his first date with a girl who is a friend. They attended the winter formal together. Super adorable. He styled in a three piece suit. He cleans up well, like his dad. 

See how I tangented off? I've been doing that a lot.

The beloved husband wants to work on something with me. We're currently in the planning stages of a fantasy trilogy. There will be fancy clothes, sword fights, and daemons. It's exciting! Or, it will be when it is done. Right now it is a shared notebook of scattered notes.

That is in addition to Mad Baron. Because, I have not given up on this story! It's just taking some time to rewrite. Because I dropped a POV character. Argh! And changed up the whole beginning. And switched positions of characters.

This March, we will be heading to Costa Rica for a week. Beloved husband won an award at work and we will be going on their dime. I will not even be bringing a computer with me. Other than my phone and I don't write more than notes on my phone. 

If I get these three scenes I am working on done, I am going to write a short story for my blog. Since I missed so much in December. Think I might do my month of short stories earlier in the year. Pre-flu season and all!

I hope you're doing well and I <3 you even if we disagree on things. 

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Merry Christmas!

So, the flu has hit the Carpenter house. The kids are on some flu medicine after separate trips to urgent care because, of course. :) The beloved has been struck down as well. I am pretty ok. Superior genes and all. ;) Also, I tend to run last in the queue of illness. Everyone says I sound sick, but what to do they know? Sickos.

Everyone at Christmas was sick. So, I did not feel too bad about hauling my flu kids over to their grandmother's for the holiday. They made out like bandits. They always do! I didn't do too badly.

Merry Christmas! Which is what we celebrate although in a pretty secular way. I hope everyone enjoys whichever holiday, or none, you might celebrate this winter season. Personally, I'm more of a solstice person. The kids might celebrate with me next year. Even though it is not a present holiday.

So, as the flu runs its course I've had to halt stories. :( But, with three people sick, not counting the dog who is still on antibiotics and steroids, I am running around twice as much.

Blarg! As the beloved said to his youngest daughter, Merry Effin' Christmas!

 

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But, Peggy, where did you go?

Hi! I live! Sorry for missing weekend updates. The beloved took the weekend off. His first days off since Thanksgiving Day. So, I set everything aside and we did the whole family thing.

I am not sure where yesterday went! Other than family time after school.

That being said! I will be catching up this week and by Friday have the proper amount of items posted. Even with Rogue One on Thursday.

Because I will!

Thanks for understanding, you awesome people in the ether!

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It's been too long.

I saw the time since my last blog post and was shocked I had not updated sooner.

Yesterday, I broke 50k on my Nanowrimo project. The last few months I'd been thinking of skipping, despite the fun. Instead, I pushed myself on MBDD rewrites to get to here I might stop. For Nano this year, I did something completely off anything else I was working on currently. The idea is mashup of the show Person of Interest, one of my all time favorites. I rhapsodized back in June on the series finale. If you haven't seen the show it is currently on Netflix in all its glory. Just saying... :)

Anyway! Person of Interest in Ancient Rome. With monsters and magic and, truthfully, I do not know if I will every do anything at all with this or just store it away. That was the point of Nano this year for me. Just to be writing without worrying about anything. I definitely think it will set me to refresh for finishing up this latest draft of MBDD next month.

I've got an idea for a December project, but it is one I can do WHILE rewriting. I'll give more details once I settle them. So, if you liked my weird, barely edited, silly story last year, stay tuned for this year!

Since my last update I've been doing better. My thyroid medicine dosage has definitely fixed most of what ailed me. Yay! I even had a pap smear. Ladies, we all know it needs doing. Don't forget!

In September, the beloved husband took me to Tulsa to see Delta Rae. I could gush, but if you are awesome you already know how amazing they are and to see them live was so great. They are doing a Winter Acoustic tour along the east coast. Yes, if I lived less than two days away and did not have kids who want Christmas I would go. And, yes, it takes a lot to get me to willingly return to the east coast, but this would do it. It was a bright spot in an otherwise bleak feeling time. 

I'm not going to keep gushing over Delta Rae, but...well, maybe a little more. Every playlist for every novel I've written has had at least one Delta Rae song on it. The theme song for several novels has been one of their songs. And I write all kinds of different stuff, so, yea. THEY ARE AWESOME.

Did you think I was done gushing? Well, I am not! Because earlier this month, beloved took me to another show. The American Wake Tour came to OKC and you bet I was there. (We were right in front of the stage for both shows.) The AWT is winding down. Alas. If you missed them, I should have told you sooner! You can still find American Murder Song on their website and on YouTube. I absolutely love their recordings, but it does not compare to a live show. WHICH WAS SO AMAZING OMG! How amazing? Check this out:

Caught on camera.

That's right. A picture of me with a ridiculous smile. Check out those teeth. The fan on the table I left behind because it was admired so. I, yea, stuck a Halloween crow decoration to a black fan via rapidly applied pipe cleaner. I am so creative. Or, umm, desperate to make the damned thing work already! The outfit I wore was inspired by this song.

Oh, and the boys were heartbroken to miss the show, but we bought t-shirts for them. Sometimes we just need a night out. :) Even wearing boots not as broken in as I'd have liked did not dull my fun at the show. Because nothing could have done that! SO AMAZING. Sorry, I run out of superlatives when this excited about things.

This is our first Christmas since the beloved's dad died. It's not going to be easy, so I am clinging to all the things I love. Like, kids, dogs, and the beloved. His dad passing reminds me on occasion of my own brother's death. So, sometimes I cry over commercials because, well, even after 16 years it still gets me. If you're lucky enough to never have experienced losing someone close and you're curious, Patton Oswalt described it so well.

So, there you are. A nice long blog post to make up for the fact I have not blogged. I'm still posting on FB and am considering getting back into Twitter. Post election it was too much to bear so I stepped away. Speaking of the election, I love you all. That's it. Nothing else to say.

Before I go,  here's a peek at what I am working on. Poor Floriana's life was not easy even before I started writing he. Because I am a mean, mean character mom. :D

***

“Are you her daughter?”

Floriana looked away from the smoking torch. “Am I whose daughter?”

“Floriana’s. I know there was a legionnaire with that name. A scout. You would be the right age. Your armor is old.”

“My mother was a potter. My father, Florianus, served with the Eighteenth and I joined up because of him. Thirty-five years ago.”

“Does madness run in your blood? You would have to be, what, fifty for that to be true?”

“Fifty-one, in fact.”

The officer laughed and sat at her desk. “You are half that, if that. I should turn you out. Or whip you for impersonating a legionnaire and then turn you out.”

“You would have a hard time doing so.”

“Are you threatening me?”

Yes. Of course, she threatened the woman. Was she an idiot, or only trying to trap Floriana? Silence was her response.

Into the silence there was a knock on the door. Floriana turned to see Naevius enter. He looked every year she did not, but she would know him anywhere. The look he gave her showed no shared recognition. Impossible!

“We won’t take up much of your time, praefectus castrorum.”

“Naevius-”

“Silence.”

Floriana fumed in silence.

“Do you know this woman?”

Naevius stared at her. He met her eyes and did not even offer a silent apology before he said, “I do not know her.”

“Thank you, you may go.”

He turned and left.

“Naevius.” Floriana watched him leave before she returned her attention to the officer in the room. “What about Petronia? Vibius? They were with us when we left the forest. We carried the eagle together. They will surely not betray such a memory. Naevius be damned.”

 

***

Until next time! Happy Thanksgiving, my American friends! It is going to be less fun for me with the whole cutting carbs thing. Carbs are life blood! Just, alas, not so much for me any longer as I get older.

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Oh. That explains everything.

I've been stressed for the last month, maybe two, and now I know why. At first I thought it was summer doldrums and resolved to push past it. Except, I didn't. Like, at all. So, I didn't do much of anything and let the depression take me. @whee. Never a good idea.

Took beloved to the doctor for his cough the other day and mentioned I need a prescription refilled for my thyroid condition and did I need bloodwork. I did. And, thankfully so. Because my dosage needed to be raised. It's been so even for so long I never considered it an option for why I was so down and felt off. It's gone up and down in the years since I was diagnosed, but always with a few years inbetween.

Now, in the midst of a feeling bad about everything cycle is not the time I'm going to think my clearest. So, I never considered it being my medication. Neither did beloved. He knew I was having a hard time because I told him. We both have these moments and do our best to tell each other so we can help. I told him last month, don't let me lay in bed all weekend, and he does not.

I am so terribly thankful I married such a great guy.

So, new prescription. I anticipate being back to my normal, not normal, self before too much longer. I've even ignored my desire for cake. What am I eating? F*ing celery. Which I hate. I mean, I like it fine in salads or stews and such, but....argh! Even beloved's suggestion to pretend I am gnawing on the bones of my enemies doesn't make it more appealing.

I so want cake. :( At least, should my bananas ever ripen, I can make banana bread. I hate watching what I eat. And cutting back on the sugar in my tea. And using the horrible torture device in the workshop. But, hey! We do what we have to do.

Today I forced myself to get dressed and go out and spend 15 minutes on the elliptical. Which, for me right now, is a long time. Last night I put my clothes on top of the dresser where, this morning, they stared at me until I forced myself to workout for a wee little bit. I know how to guilt myself into doing what I should. :D

All of this means I should, fingers crossed, be able to dive back into MBDD revisions. There's still time to get a rough draft done before November so I can participate in Nanowrimo.

In happier news, I am slowly accumulating pieces for my costume for the OKC stop on the American Wake Tour next month. OMG! It's LESS than a month away. Eee! I am super excited for this. Oh, and check out their YouTube page for truly awesome content! Such a fangirl.

That is all for now. Other than a reminder to visit your doctor for lab work when you should! It's nice to know WHY I've felt the way I have. And to know I can make it better.

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Promises to myself.

I keep saying I will finish Widowed Witch of the West and I keep putting it off. It's not that I don't love the characters, but the story feels a bit meandering. Editing this is NOT going to be fun. Not that I can work on that until I finish the first draft.

So, I hereby declare I WILL finish the first draft by the end of the week. Barring something catastrophic like aliens or comets or mole people. The usual stuff.

If I do that then I can write sci fi. Yay! I want to write sci fi NOW. I've got a story in mind already. Maybe two. Definitely one. So, if I can stick to my schedule YOU get a brand new short story to read in a couple of weeks.

Back to work! The stars, and aliens, and limb loss awaits!

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At that point...

The point where I realize I need to move on and get back to work. As I've mentioned, we had a family thing. My father in law died this month. It was a relatively quick thing, but it resulted in my mother in law being laid off as she had to be home to care for him these last couple months. Between helping her out, deciding how much and when to tell the kids about their grandfather, and helping Shawn stay on course so his work (the job that pays all the bills) doesn't suffer I've gotten behind on everything. Which, fine. I'm always going to put my family first even if I lose a month and a half of work. In the end, I'm going to believe my priorities were correct.

We're slowing normalizing with things the way they are now.

So, it's time to quit playing quite so much of The Division and other video games and get back to work. Want to know how I know it is time? Because half the time we play now I am busy writing backstory and adventures for npcs. Clearly, my brain desires more work. Who am I to argue with my brain when it finally engages?

This all, of course, led to my spending the morning sorting out this annoying bug on the computer. But, it seems to be as sorted as it can be and my music plays again so I am calling it a win and moving on.

Now to finish sorting out Aoife's motivation and wrap up her story.

 

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Life Sometimes Kicks Your Rear

Sometimes things hit you and you're all, "I can deal." Then four more shoes drop and you realize a celestial spider is raining footwear on your parade. Damn that spider!

I've had several family emergencies hit lately and it's sapped my will to do much of anything. Still, the kids need clean clothes, as do I, and everyone including the dogs insist on being fed. So, I move a little more slowly with household chores. I do get them done. Eventually.

Now, to be fair, most of the stress has fallen on my husband. He is a rock and will endure and still be the freaking adorable smart ass I married, but...well, that's the main source of my stress. Worrying over him. It's always been that way. I may stress over outside situations, but nothing compares to worrying over him or the kids. Well, the dogs sometimes top them all, but if you've met my dogs you understand why. My dogs are adorable! ;)

The dog part may not be true.

It may be true.

I refuse to say.

Here's where I stand coming up on the end of the first quarter of the new year.

1. Mad Baron's Doomed Daughter is undergoing another round of outside eyes. I still hate XXXXX (in case they read this blog I don't want to taint their opinion) and will rewrite it no matter what feedback I get.

2. Widowed Witch of the West languishes with about 10-15k to the finish line. So close, but I so totally despise every word (thank you, stress inducing celestial spider) it is hard to work on it. I have a goal to finish the first draft by the end of the month. I WILL NOT work on anything else until this first draft is finished.

3. I kind of really want to write the next book in my historical romance series. Working title, Circe's Promise. Because I am on an Odyssey kick. There's a cyclops in book three! Book four is a real Odysseus kind of tale.

Truthfully, with all that's going on, I may not write anything else new this year after WWotW is finished. Instead, I might focus on reworking several existing projects. Like Tesia's book. I also might not.

Right now my focus is on finishing WWotW. I will do it!  Because not finishing it is not an option. I've only ever started and left one novel unfinished and I don't mean to make it two!



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Teaser Delayed

I had plans to post a teaser for a project I am going to be working on this year. A short story that delved into the MC's background. I still plan on posting it, but it needs more work than I thought to be set out into the wild. It was always planned as an internal document of sorts.

I'll be getting that out soon.

Not likely for the next couple of weeks as I am dealing with a rather serious illness in the family and all of my time and energy is going there. Thanks for understanding, few but loyal followers!

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Options are confusing!

I haven't updated in awhile. I meant to last weekend and last weekend was crazy. As crazy as this entire week turned out. Which means I let my head get spun around too much to get much done. I have one of those weeks a few times a year. Thankfully, I can recover!

I can't even blame social media for my lack of accomplishments this week as I was mostly off those as well. Basically, I had a hermit week. I played Fallout 4 some, read more than I have lately, and caught up on housework. Somewhat. With two dogs and two kids it's never truly caught up.

Mostly I am fighting conflicting projects! I WANT to work on one and need to work on the other. I am being good and doing what needs doing, but it's no fun. ;) Not when the other characters keep popping up with new scenes I need to write NOW! Widowed Witch of the West is only about 20k from being done, but until I get this unnamed short story done I am not going to address the conflict between the handsome US Marshal and the cursing witch. And let's not forget the- oh, well, that's a secret. ;)

I should get back to work! On the short story.

Here's where I left off the last time I worked on WWotW. Now you see why I am anxious to get back to this first draft!

~~~

“Do you want to get dressed first?”

Oh, right. She was naked. Aoife looked down at herself and wondered if she should put something on. Then again, he’d seen her naked. They’d, well, she figured once a man had been inside her maybe being naked in front of him was not a big deal.

“Does it bother you? My being naked?” It only bothered her a little, but she wasn’t going to let him know. No, she was going to be a modern, independent widow.

Had she drawn the curtains in the entryway? And the kitchen shutters. Were they closed? Maybe she should put something on.

 

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Looking back, peeking ahead

2015 gave me a lot. Here's a short list.

1. Fallout 4's Maccready. My current video game boyfriend. (I still love the previous ones, especially Baird from Gears of War.) No one who knows me is going to be surprised I especially love the funny, smart ass characters. I have always loved the funny, smart ass characters. Heck, I married one!

2. Poe Dameron. Have you seen The Force Awakens? Loved it! And Poe is my absolute favorite character. My kids asked who it would be and I told them to guess and they never did. Shawn, the beloved, did because he knows what I like.

3. The end of the Pennyroyal Green series by Julie Anne Long. Even though I absolutely loved the series. And I did. Do. That said, The Legend of Lyon Redmond was the way a series should end. (Also, sometimes, she responds to comments I make in response to her posts on fb. Do I sound too stalkery? Because, I swear am not, but I still squee when she does it.) 

4. Avon's FanLit contest. My first writing contest. I met great people through it. Helpful, awesome, supportive, talented people. Check out their pages on my Links page.

5. I submitted two different projects to two different publishers. Big step. 

6. Blog content. So much blog content! I'm glad I could do a little filling in so the first year of my blog was not empty. I still am not good at short stories, but I've had more practice and think I am getting better. It also gave me plenty of fodder (As if I needed more!) for new novels.

Here's to 2016 and what I'm going to do.

First, I've put Widowed Witch of the West on hold for a bit. I've lost the book somewhere and I write and then get stuck and then think I've sorted it out and write again, but it comes in fits and starts. So, I'm worried about pacing. And, I can't figure out where it's at or what I am doing. So, despite advice from a very talented writer friend of mine I am setting it aside undone. It is 3/4s done so I will be coming back to it. Just...not for a bit.

Instead, I've started a new project tentatively titled Fixing Broke. I had an idea this morning. I've written one chapter. I may wake up tomorrow or the next day and think it crap. Who knows? That's the fun of writing! (That is the fun, right?) 

Once this is done I'm going to either do a second project or dive into deep edits on something I finished, but want to fix. 

So, three novels this year. That's the plan. Maybe two. Depending on the route I go. 

Mad Baron's Doomed Daughter may bravely seek further rejection as well. Not right away. A month or two down the road. 

A couple of months from now I'll probably have a whole new idea about what I want to do this year. 

In the meantime, happy new year! 

 

 


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My December Project

What am I doing this December? I'm taking a holiday! I want to focus on other stuff so all other projects are on hold. I'll finish Widowed Witch of the West in January. I'll work on assorted editing for projects in January as well.

For December I'm going to do something fun. I had a ball writing my short stories in October. Along that vein, I am going to be doing some free writing here, on my blog.

Every day between now and December 31st I am writing a chapter of an ongoing story. It will cover one event, in one year, of the lives of my characters. I have no idea what sort of backdrop this story will take place in front of right now. That will develop. It's a love story and it begins when the two characters, Jory and Marcelina are five years old. I'm thinking 500-1000 words a day. 

As with the short stories, I am writing and posting in a day so minimal edits will be done. If you want to follow the whole thing check back every day!

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Obligatory Fallout 4 Post About Romancing My Companion

Yes, I won Nano. No, the novel is not finished. So, I lost. In my head. Because usually I write the entire thing. Still, I am close. 

Yes, this is entirely the fault of Fallout 4. Which I resisted like the dickens until I hit that 50k and then I surrendered. Since then, I've played a lot and been reading all kinds of posts about the best companions and how to romance them and etc. You get a special perk when you reach the highest level of affinity. If they are romancable, you can do it then.

Not all companions can be in a relationship with you. 

I love Dogmeat. He is my boy! What a good dog! Who's a good dog? Dogmeat! Seriously, I love my dog. However, I hit a point where I wanted a companion who can range attack. Dogmeat, who loves you unconditionally no matter what, like a dog, does not shoot guns.

So, I brought out Preston Garvey. I like him. But, as has been said, he's basically a paladin. I am NOT good enough for him. He's always, you can do better, don't steal that, quit shooting! Also, I cannot romance someone named Preston. That is my brother's name. It feels weird. So, the weird and the dislike of lockpicking let me know that Olivia, my sole survivor, would never settle down to roam the Commonwealth with him.

Then, Olivia met the love of her post apocalyptic life. She was in Good Neighbor. A charming place. In the bar she met MacCready, RJ MacCready and it was, if not love at first sight, an excellent match! He's a mercenary. She bought his gun. MacCready is NOT the obligatory merc as someone had the nerve to call him!

No, MacCready had BACKSTORY. Backstory that tied into Fallout 3. Yes, yes, he did. His backstory also had some similarities with poor Olivia. Most importantly? He liked when locks were picked and  Nuka Quantums were stolen from people who clearly did not need them the way I did!  As they traveled, they grew closer. Eventually the whole of his story was learned and, soon after, they were smitten with each other. 

At one point, when checking up on the relationship he said (paraphrasing) "I'm happy to spend the rest of my life walking this earth with you." The man is swoonworthy! And looks damn fine in his militia hat. He mentioned once he wanted one. So, I procured one for him. He also jokes about not messing with Olivia when she's in power armor. A secure man. SWOON!

So, yea, now they roam the Commonwealth kicking ass and taking names. And stealing NQs and sometimes plates. He doesn't think it's worth the time stealing junk, but junk is needed in the settlement. He deals with the eccentricities of his one time employer. 

In my head I am writing out their lives together. Because, well, I always want a happy ending and these two crazy kids deserve one! After all, he got out of politics and she was a Popsicle once. If anyone deserves happiness it's these two. 

 

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