Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: A Look Back

This past year was definitely full of ups and downs!

The year began with an email from my publisher,asking for NiKoh's story; it was due on the 1st.  We pushed back the due date to the 30th, then I had it finished by the 15th!  Also, I discovered 5-6 shots of tequila before my eye appointment and I had no issues with the laser treatment to fix my pre-glaucoma diagnosis, or the pressure test:)  I also agreed to be a part of a multi-author series, to be released in Oct. My characters arrived in my head, but had to push them to the back burner.

Plus, the spouse began going with me every Saturday to karaoke, then we'd hit Denny's for a late-night snack. After the first week, he began bringing ear plugs to wear.

Had a relaxing Valentine's Day, baking cookies, then singing 'anti-love' songs at karaoke. NiKoh's edits arrived, and since SaLie's book and my Hearts of Braden book were due a month apart, I got  to work on both.

I had also agreed to take part in a community concert of Mozart's Requiem,so I immersed myself in Latin, singing it twice a day and attending rehearsals.

My friend Linda implored us to try to buy her house, since she would be putting in on the market in May.  We looked at her house, liked what we saw, and contacted the bank.

A freak snowstorm hit on my Youngling's 11th birthday, the same day as our Requiem performance. My dad was unable to make the trip, and we had a modest amount of local audience members.  Three days later, while practicing Easter songs at church, I realized how much of my Latin had crossed over: Instead of singing 'Jesus, Jesus', I was singing 'Ye-suh, Ye-suh'!

After the performance, the family picked me up and we took Youngling out to dinner:) On the 20th, I believe I fixed the spouse a nice meal.

My local writers group launched Hotel Stories and soon after, two of our key people left the group. One moved across the country, while the other chose to focus on other projects.  My editor felt some back story was needed on NiKoh, so I mulled over the problem at one of the meetings, and as I was leaving, an idea sparked:)

Also attended two meetings in Evansville, and began my Crossroads story.

Bank refused our loan application.

I attended 3 events: That Book Place's Author Fair in Madison, In,with Floyd Root and his wife, and met Carol Preflatish at the Key West Shrimp House for dinner. Sold 4, which doubled my sales from the year before!

-Midwest Authors Conference in Indianapolis, and had a good time networking and picking up marketing ideas. Afterward, discovered karaoke in the bar, and sang the night away:)  Beverly Ovaille let me crash in her room, PLUS celebrated NiKoh's release at an online launch party.

-Lunch With The Authors in Nashville, TN, and just enjoyed meeting my fellow SCP authors and buying a few books:)  Went to dinner with Jean Joachim and Kathleen Ball, plus enjoyed meeting rising Nashville star, Jackson Young, and driving AROUND the Opryland Hotel. Next year, I hope to be able to spend the night, so I can actually go INSIDE and do some sight-seeing:)

Attended my 1st meeting with the Washington Writers, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Spent most of the month writing, finishing up my Crossroads submission and the one for the Orion Anthology. Missed the May meeting in Washington.

Made the heart-breaking decision to have our cocker spaniel,Roxie, put down, but she was having issues with her bladder, and I was NOT about to go through that again!  Dexter barked and growled as dirt was being shoveled over her, then both he and Cheyenne sat there beside her grave for several minutes.

I also began attending Thursday night karaoke, and was delighted when Brower had songs that Mark (my Saturday KJ) didn't:)  This brought more friction between D and I, so I agreed to only go every other week.

Had a great time at the Indy 500 with my Uncle Bill and my cousins:)  Was NOT thrilled the winner was Juan Pablo Montoya.  While watching the Victory dinner, I had dizzy spells, so went to the ER, where they discovered I still had fluid behind my mastoid bone, and referred me to an ENT in Evansville.

Ariel and Jaevon arrived, and since I was now under pressure to get SaLie's book finished, I put A in charge of Alex and spent the entire month writing until I finished,and sent it off, convinced it was full of crap.

I spent a week at my mom's, doing some house-hunting and attending the funeral of a friend's father.  Spouse nixxed all four of the ones I liked.

Daughter had woken up several mornings with strange bites, so I arranged for an exterminater to give us a free inspection.  Verdict:  Bed bugs (shiver). Treatment would begin next month!

Made it to the Washington meeting, and read my story for critique.  Turned out Orion was headed for formatting, so Roy asked me to email it to him ASAP, as he wanted it included. I was thrilled:)

The Great Clean Up began, moving all non-essential items to storage.  We rented a larger unit and moved everything over, plus I washed EVERYTHING in the house.  We began getting monthly treatments, which caused neighborhood kids to stay away when they learned of the nasty creatures.

My sister and kids came home, so my youngling and I spent a few days with them, including a trip to Chicago for the day.

I realized Heart Song wasn't going to be finished by the 30th, and emailed my publisher, requesting an extension.

At the Washington meeting, we discussed when Orion copies would be available.

Attended our 2nd 'Open Night Mic', and not only read part of NiKoh, but also part of SaLie.

Daughter turned 21 and thanks to me, she had an enjoyable birthday:)

I sold 5 books at the Watermelon Festival, effectively breaking even:)  Bought ten copies of Orion and sold six of them at the Wine and Art fair.  School began, and we discovered W's school work was going to be more intense this year.

I went up to Indianapolis in order to help take care of A & J while their mom underwent bariatric surgery.

Received the stunning news my beloved publisher, SCP, had closed its doors!  NOW I understood why I'd not gotten more hounding of 'when will Heart Song be written?' emails!  I could relax a bit, and decided I'd try to have it written by Halloween.

Had an enjoyable week in Indy, marred only by one incident:  I'd met friends for dinner and apparently the moment I'd left, the fire alarm had gone off, so the kids had to help their poor mother down 22 steps.  My phone had died, so they called my SIL for advice, who was none too pleased with the news I'd gone off and 'left them', never minding the fact J had okayed it!  Yes, it wasn't the best judgement, but everything had turned out all right in the end.  Some idiot had pulled the alarm, and I'd brought back cheesecake for everyone.

A dear friend succombed to pancreatic cancer, and I was so thankful I'd been able to see him the week before.

Our launch party for Orion went well; we sold over 60 copies:)  I also spent a wonderful day in Louisville at the Palace Theater, and got my 1st professional head shot:)  Managed to sell 4 books, even though I was in a bad location. Afterward, enjoyed dinner with several other authors before heading home.  Also spent quite a bit of time getting all my books back up on Kindle and CreateSpace.

SaLie's book, Best of Both Worlds, actually debuted the day before it was scheduled to release:)

My BFF arrived for a wedding, and we spent an enjoyable day together before she had to leave again:)

Daughter switched jobs and began working nights, which put a strain on all of us.

Another busy month!  Had 4 events, and sold no less than 5 books at three of them.

Adoptee Reagan came to live with us,and has been a big help with Miss A:) We all dressed up for Halloween and had a good time. She began working at Steak-n-Shake.

Spent three wonderful days at the Christmas Gift and Hobby show, selling 15 copies of my books:) Also acquired hearing aids:)

Sold 5 more copies at the Holiday Vendor Fair, so ended the book signing season on a good note:)

Thanksgiving was nice and relaxing, with only two 'extras' in the house, Reagan and Hunter Mundy.

Received my cover for Heart Song, and finished Ch. 4!

Managed to catch W up on all his lessons, save for three History and 2 Spelling before heading to Lafayette.

K's and mine birthdays were wonderful! BFF ES came to spend the day with me, and I got my hair bleached and a little bit of blue added, then after dinner, headed out to karaoke:)

Today, as we prepare to ring in the new year, W has one more lesson in Spelling, plus I'm taking Mom to a dr. appointment.  The hot water heater died, so a new one is being installed later today.

Have a safe and Happy New Year!

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