Friday, October 31, 2014

October Wrap Up

Today is Halloween, and Youngling is a ninja.  Granddaughter Alex is Sofia the 1st:)  I did NOT turn on our porch light last night, since our candy budget was limited.  Tonight is IT.  If you're not at my house tonight, you may not get any candy.  Unless you show up at the Toy and Hobby show on the 6th.  I'll have more then:)

Homeschooling:  Going well!  His scores are good, and his P/T conference went well:)  His teacher and I are on the same page as to what he needs to improve on.  (Study Island)

House Hunting:  Was a little disappointed when my plan last month didn't work out.  Plus, I tried to run away from home, but the kids came with me!  So really didn't accomplish much, and Mom asked when I could return w/o the other two, lol!  I DID have a great two nights of 'roke with friend Brenda.  Hope to return again in November and sing well again:)

Books Read:  18
            Print:     3
         E-Book: 15

Festival Prep:  I have 12 print books (plus whatever is left in storage); my CDs; candy; 21 blurb booklets (7 more in my printer, as soon as more ink can be purchased); and cover flats, trading cards, one copy of Balancing Act, and 3 more booklets to be picked up at Office Max.  I THINK I need to order three discounted tickets when we arrive, and I'm toying with taking our small tree along and maybe printing out small book covers to dangle from the branches.

Another author suggested plastic shot glasses with candy; I'll have to check the budget.  Maybe I can get them for next April's signing?

I also nearly fell over when I saw my sales report for Sept. FORTY (40) copies of Heart's Last Chance were sold!  I'm gonna have a niiiiice paycheck in either Dec or Jan!  Thank you soooooo much everyone who bought it!  And also mine:)

I'll post the November Reading Schedule and goals tomorrow:)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Flashback Friday: Family Plus Two

October 2004:
Forgot To Mention:  Honorary grandkids A and J came to live with us in September, since their mom was working nights in Indianapolis.  The plan was for J to arrive for dinner, spend some time with her kids, tuck them in at night, then head off to work.

But gas prices jumped.  Soon she began arriving only Friday night....then Saturday morning....Saturday afternoon....Saturday night....Sunday for a visit.

A was 3, J was 2.  I don't remember what everyone dressed up as for Halloween; that particular photo album is packed away in storage.

What I DO remember vividly is 2 y/o J, standing by W in his exersaucer, yelling because W was smacking him on the head.

"Honey, you can move away.  He can't!"

J was also very unhappy to be separated from his mommy, and one afternoon he threw such a fit, I had no choice but to grab him and hold him tight; he had totally lost control and didn't know how to calm down.

We eventually settled into a routine.

Present Day:
I plan to go ahead with my plan to dress up as Betsy Ross/Molly Pitcher tomorrow night, and since I have to be at church at 7:30 am, I'll have to leave at midnight.  So the two or three songs I plan to sing are
Famous In A Small Town
Let It Go
Edge of 17.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flashback Friday

Forgot to post last week, due to being at my mom's....

Oct 1984:
TM and I began dating Sept 20th, and over the course of the next 6 weeks, I slowly lost my resistance to every overture.  Right before Fall Break, we were lying on my upper bunk, cuddling, when three knocks came at the door (our signal), followed by the sound of a key turning in the lock.  Since I wasn't sure if the sight of me laying on my bed with the opposite sex was going to be frowned upon, I decided to get off the bed asap.

Instead of landing gracefully on my desk chair, then leaning casually against the beds, I ended up wrestling with my chair, then falling onto the floor.  I laughed; TM looked down while laughing; EY and EK had expressions of 'WTH...'

And then I tried to stand up.

Pain shot through my left foot.

One of the guys we knew was an EMT, so we called him down.  He examined me, then suggested a trip to the ER.  So we went, and I ended up on crutches.

Over Break, Mom took me to my doctor, who injected dye to see the foot more clearly.  Result:  It was NOT a hairline fracture, just very sore.

I still had issues putting weight on that foot, and TM piggy-backed me when it became too painful.  For years after, I could always tell when rain was approaching:)

By Halloween, I was healed, and wore my punk-rock outfit to a dance.  EY borrowed my shirt earlier for another party, and GW dressed in black leather, while KC wore black pants and electric blue shirt and went as a rock fan.

Next Month:  Thanksgiving and going to State Band Finals

My next MOPS meeting went well, with the exception of the craft project.  I don't remember what it was; I just remember it fell apart.  S had objected to being in the nursery, so she accompanied me to the meeting and happily drank a bottle and charmed the women at my table.

For Halloween, we dressed 2 y/o K as a mouse, and S as a little pumpkin.

Next Month:  Thanksgiving:)

Present Day:

Trying to add more words to book #4 of The Chosen series.

Tomorrow's Karaoke Line Up:
Hold On Loosely-38 Special
Hold On To the Nights-Richard Marx
Holding Out for a Hero-Bonnie Tyler
Holding Back The Years-Simply Red
Magic Power-Triumph

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Triple D Dude Ranch Tour:)

Today I'm hosting friend and fellow SCP author Beverly Ovalle:)  Take it away:)

Triple D Dude Ranch
By Beverly Ovalle
Published by Secret Cravings Publishing
October 4, 2014
Buy Link

One look ignites a smolder between Dan and Blaire, one touch sparks a wildfire that burns out of control, hotter than the Texas sun.

Blaire is a freelance photographer on assignment. She is heading home to Texas, armed with her camera to do a photo feature for the Tribune. Taking photos of the dude ranch, she gets an eyeful of an uninhibited cowboy through her lens. The summer heat of Texas has nothing on the heat he generates in her.
Dan was expecting a photographer but not the sexy urban cowgirl that arrived. He knew it was hot out, he just hadn’t expected the hot and sexy woman to make him burn the minute he caught sight of her. One look and he had to quench this fire inside.

One touch between Dan and Blaire sparks a wildfire that burns hotter than the Texas summer and is just as hard to put out.

Clean Excerpt:
Graduation had her moving to Chicago. After a couple of years of living and working there, she realized that Chicago couldn’t give her the life she thought she’d wanted. What she wanted was right here in Texas, so when she got this assignment she packed her bags, subletted her apartment, and headed home.

The GPS announced she was there. Looking around, Blaire spotted the driveway; it was hard to miss. The wrought iron arch over the drive simply proclaimed Triple D Dude Ranch. She frowned. The drive was just as dusty as the road and there was not a hotel in sight.

Sighing, Blaire put on her signal and pulled over. She stopped and grabbed her camera. A picture of the arch, with the wrought iron words showcasing the name, would be a perfect shot. Blaire opened her door and groaned as the leather made a sucking sound as she peeled herself off. Maybe she shouldn’t have shucked her panties at that last stop. She hadn’t thought about peeling herself off the leather seats, only how infernally hot the day was. Stepping out, she looked both ways before she minced to the opposite side of the road. The heels of the unfamiliar and recently purchased cowboy boots and the long drive had made her a bit wobbly.

Blaire lifted her camera, uncovering the lens and holding the cap in her hand. No dust on the lens, she was glad to see. It wouldn’t have surprised her at all if there were. She felt like every crevice of her body had grit in it. Her cute Western outfit might never be the same. She felt wilted from head to toe. Lining up the arch in her lens, Blaire cursed as she dropped the lens cap on the ground. One of these days she’d remember to attach it with the string to the camera itself.

“Damn it!” Bending over from the waist, she picked up the cap from the ground; after all, it was a good opportunity to do one of her daily stretches. Blaire tucked it in the pocket on the front of her cute little denim skirt as she stood, like she should have in the first place.

Lining up the arch once again, Blaire could see that the dust continued, the drive a little smoother than the road coming in. Shaking her head, she snapped a picture. Moving around, she tried to capture it from different angles. She could always delete the ones that didn’t work.

Finishing, Blaire decided she’d had enough of the arch. There had to be at least one good one. She started back to the car when she heard a noise and whirled around.

Her breath caught and she instinctively lifted the camera for a shot. Holy hotness! That was          a real cowboy. Her eyes widened as she looked through the lens, quickly snapping a picture.

Author bio:
Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband Edmond of 25 years and two Chinese Water Dragons. Having her own Dragons is expected as she is dragon crazy and anyone that walks in her house can tell. Her son Nicholas visits when he is on leave from the Marines.  Her daughter Susannah visits from time to time to make sure us ‘old’ folks are alive and kicking.

Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy and has worked for the government in one capacity or another for the past 30 years. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell.  Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS.

Beverly has been reading romances since her Aunt introduced her to the gothic romance in the fourth grade and is still reading every chance she gets.

Contact Links:

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Flashback Friday: Halloween!

October 1974:
My father did something unusual.  He dressed up as Hagar the Horrible (cartoon viking character), with a black and silver outfit, hat, fake black moustache, and carried a plunger wrapped in aluminum foil.  I don't know if he and Mom attended a party, since Mom hadn't worn a costume, and neither did the friends whose house we went to!

Mrs M had encouraged our class to make our own costumes, but since I didn't have a clue what to do, I figured my dad had mine covered, so I went as a skeleton.  My sister was Mickey Mouse, and friend A was a clown.

In class, we were learning our multiplcation tables and Mrs. M was dearly trying to remove the word 'ain't' from our vocabularies.  She refused to answer anyone who used the word, and soon even I had quit using it.

"There ain't no such word as ain't, 'cause the teacher says there ain't!"

Present Day:
Yesterday's post seemed to be well received, and hopefully I'll hear soon whether or not Kabbage chose to promote my post.

Karaoke songs for tomorrow:
Hit Me with your Best Shot-Pat Benetar
Hold My Hand-Hootie and the Blowfish
Hold On-Wilson Phillips
Invincible-Pat Benetar

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Staying Productive

A few weeks ago, I was contacted me to ask about how I stay productive.  While I don't have all the answers, and at times I'm certainly NOT the most productive person in the world, I do happen to have a few things which work for me.  I recently found out about, which provides small business loans and helps increase their productivity.

First of all, who are you?
My name is Molly Daniels/Kenzie Michaels, and I need to clone myself.  One to write, one to watch TV, one to take care of the house, and one to do everything else.


Okay, okay.  Since my two busiest seasons are coming up, NaNoWriMo in November, and Christmas, this is a perfect time to remember these.

1)  Prioritize:  Not only am I a stay-at-home Mom, but a published author with two pen names, fourteen books, and four more due out in the next two years.  I'm also home schooling my youngest, caring for my two year old granddaughter, and dealing with a diabetic spouse who has a wound on his foot.  Yes, your read that correctly.  I'm essentially a teacher, Mom, Grandma, Author, Domestic Engineer (I hate the term homemaker), and Nurse.  I get up anywhere between 7:30 and 9 (that's the beauty of home schooling!) and go to bed around midnight.  

Obviously, the granddaughter takes precedence in the mornings, getting her changed and fed until her mom wakes up.  She loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so while she watches it, I can check emails and social media sites.  Then I get the Youngling started on his schoolwork, which is a combination of independent work and me working with him.

Household chores are next; twice a week I tackle laundry and the kitchen patrol, while the spouse and daughter usually take care of the rest (and yes, they gripe about it!).

But what does this have to do with your writing?  I'm getting to that.

2)  Social Media:  I'll admit it; I'm addicted to Facebook.  But this also helps me stay focused.  HOW?  I post my word count.  I join other authors in word sprints or word wars, either on Facebook or Twitter, where we write for 45 minutes at a time, then post our word counts.  There's no prizes for who's written the most words; it's all about encouraging each other.  I like to do these between laundry loads.  I use that 15 minutes in between sprints to stay on both tasks, and it means I have to get up and MOVE.

3)  MUSIC:  I like to work with music in the background.  Years ago, when my older two were little, nap time was 'my time'.  I'd get them settled, put on Hooked On Classics (remember those?), and write for two solid hours.  This was before we had a computer, so I wrote in longhand, since my electric typewriter was noisy.

4)  Being Alone:  Sometimes I work best when the family members go somewhere and leave me alone.  I also call this a 'mini vacation', ha ha!  I can play my music as loud as I want, and no one complains if I play the same CD over and over.

5)  Change of Venue:  Sometimes, all it takes is for me to be elsewhere with my laptop.  I can be at the coffee shop, or at my writer's group for the words to flow.

How often do you do this?

Sadly, not often enough.  For example, over the summer I managed to get hooked on NetFlix, watching Star Trek Deep Space 9.  If I found myself with a free hour, I fired up my Kindle Fire and watched another episode.  I finished the series this past weekend, and now I'm catching up on shows I didn't watch this summer (Extant) and the new season of shows which began this month (Ink Masters, Good Wife, Madame Secretary).  The only ones I'm actively keeping up with are Survivor and Big Bang Theory.  Plus the new episodes of Ink Master; I think there are only 3 I've not watched.  Yes, I'm hooked on TV and my DVR.  See why I need a clone?

8 hours of sleep equals 16 hours of productivity.

Not quite.  When you factor in an hour for lunch and dinner, plus clean up, that reduces it to at least 13.  Plus I need at least an hour every morning to get ready for the day.  So now we're down to 12.  Not to mention when I have to spend at least two hours working with the Youngling-

I get it.  You're now down to ten.

Plus I read for at least an hour every day.  That makes it 9.  Add in my TV time and that's at least two more hours.  So we're back to 7.

So 7 hours to do laundry, grocery shop, make sure your son does his lessons, write, cook dinner, and keep up with social media.  Whew....I'm tired and all I did was write that sentence!

I also have to write blog posts, then spend time promoting myself on chat loops, facebook groups, and other social media sites.  That can take up to two hours.  We didn't even touch upon my spouse's doctor visits.

Wait a minute.  The purpose of this post was to talk about your PRODUCTIVITY, not reasons why you're UNPRODUCTIVE.

Hey, you started it with your 'how-many-hours-can-you-be-productive'.  What do you say we go to lunch?  That's another problem I have:  Procrastination.  Maybe my publisher will see this and give me a kick in the pants.  My next book is due to be released in March, which means I have to get the rest of it written and turned in no later than mid-January.

Forget lunch.  Let's go get a drink.  You've worn me out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's October???

Where did September go?  Oh yeah, I spent a week and a half with my parents, and had to promote Kenzie all month long.  Which reminds me, I need to award some books....

Homeschooling:  Going well, though he hates Study Island and all the reading he has to do.  He didn't pass his unit assessment due to spelling, so I've begun adding spelling words every day.  At the end of each week, I'll give him a spelling test, with the hopes of by the time the next unit assessment rolls around, he'll pass it the 1st time.

House Hunting:  I'll be frank; I'm getting really fed up with the way the family treats me, and am considering just finding a place and moving in.  If the family chooses to come with me, great.  If not, well, then, we'll manage.  No, I don't want a divorce.  I just don't want to live with him anymore.  Does this make me a selfish bitch or finally standing up for myself?

Books Read:  7
           Print:  3
           E-book:  4

DS9 on NetFlix:  Finished the series on Sunday the 28th, so my addiction is over.  Unless I can find the final season of 90210....

Festivals/Signings:  I've been invited to be a part of the Indianapolis Toy and Hobby Show coming up in November, so I'm saving all my inventory for that event.  My local writer's group's antho should be going Live this month:)

October Reading Schedule:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks-Rebecca Skloot Very interesting!
The American Heiress-Daisy Very good!
The Importance of Being Wicked-Victoria Alexander Excellent!

Bluebonnets For Elly-Sandra Nachlinger Wonderful story!  DRR
Lust, Sex, and Tattoos-Sheri Velarde Good
Waking Up Lori- Eve Simon Good
Reunited By Chance-Sharon Katana Good story!  RR
Under A Dom's Care-Sam Crescent Wonderful story!  Too much 'F' word though.
Never Coming Home-Paloma Beck Good story!
One Night Stand-M.O. Kenyan So-so.  Skimmed a lot after Ch 5 or 6.
The Cover Model-Cheyenne Meadows LOVED this story!  DRR!
Love Notes-Brynn Paulin Good story!  RR
Stocking Full of Cole-BP Wonderful!  RR
Black Irish-Tricia Andersen Good:)
Heartland-TA Still good
Man On-Liz Crowe Not bad...
Red Card-LC  Enjoyed 1st half...
If You Want It-Tara Mills Good

Karaoke Songs:
Hit Me With Your Best Shot-Pat Benetar Not bad
Hold My Hand-Hootie and the Blowfish Bleh
Hold On-Wilson Phillips Bleh
Hold On Loosely-.38 Special Yuck!
Holding Back The Years-Simply Red
Holding Out For A Hero-Bonnie Tyler Not bad...