Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019: Experimental Year.....and Heartache

Wow, I sure began 2019 with ambition, didn't I?  To recap, here's what I wanted to accomplish and how it all went down:

-Write RiKar's Redemption (The Chosen #5) Nope
-Finish/add words to Heart Song Nope
-Finish/submit Time Travel Trilogy Nope
-Finish Paranormal Preacher Nope
-Write new Bad Decisions story No; instead, submitted the 'recalled', so-called 'PTSD-trigger' story
-Mail Christmas cards and packages Yes:)
-Hand-sell 150 Books (last year's record 145) Almost; 137
-Pull titles from KU and learn D2D, plus maybe Audible? Nope
-Buy Inventory and vertical banner Inventory, yes; banner, no
-Pay cover artist for CR Yes:)
-Promote Catered Romance and have successful launch Yes:)
-Set up at:
   -April:  Kentuckiana Book Fair Sold 1, Dale Library no, due to scheduling conflict; attend writer's conference in Nashville, In No, due to scheduling conflict, but did two more craft fairs, selling two more.  Off to a slow start....
   -May:  Art Walk Sold 1, Farmer's Market sold 5:)
   -June:  Art Walk Sold 3, Celebration On Main Rained, but sold 1, Corning Irish Festival Rain-out, PrideFest Sold 7:)
   -July:  InConJunction Sold 10; 35th Class Reunion Sold 13 (2 MCH and 11 JHS), plus set up at inaugural Heroes For Kids, but sold 0
   -Aug:  Watermelon Fest Not in budget, but set up at Art Walk and sold 2, Royal Readers at Mall of America (17th) Sold 5, plus did State Fair, selling 18, and the Collector's Carnival, selling 4.
   -Sept:  Cil-Con Sold 2 Saints and Sinners Indy Author Fair (Pd last year??) Sold 2, plus Saluki-Con, sold 7:)
   -Oct:  Imaginarium Sold 5, Carnivals Crafters Fair Rain; sold 2 Plus set up at Farmer's Market and sold 3:)
   -Nov:  ICGAHS ($100 deposit pd) Sold 29!, Rivet Sold 10, Art Walk Sold 1
   -Dec:  DNH.
-Put new roof on the house 1/24:  Day 1 (Left side); 1/25 :  Day 2 (Right side); 1/29:  Day 3 (shingles going up!)
-Enjoy 35th Class Reunion Yes!
-Finish cleaning out Green House and get it torn down Nope
-Finish clearing out Brown House front room and start rearranging.  Also, turn on electricity. Nope
-Participation In MFRW Blog Challenge Check:)
-Lose 5 pounds per month (Starting weight:  240) Actually only lost 6 pounds, but had gone up as high as 247, so managed to lose 15, and ended with 323....at least, prior to Nov 20th.
-Get Mom back on her feet and finish decluttering house She's back on her feet a little, but the rest will happen in 2020.
-Set up signing at local coffee shop/brewery/library?? Nope, though we did have a successful Open Mic night in April and a failed one in Oct.
-Watch SE 7 of GOT, plus keep up with shows online Yes, though decided to quit watching all but the Reality TV, This Is Us, and Big Bang Theory.
-Reading Goal:  200 books, including all of the GOT titles. GOT, yes, with the exception on prequel; read 67 total.
-Karaoke Goal:  Thurs:  Get through the W titles. Yes!  Am now on the 'U' titles 
                                 Sat:  Get through the R titles Almost; made it to the 'RU' ones.
                   Total Songs: 95
                             Thurs:  69 
                                 Sat:  26 At the beginning of the year, Bottom's Up decided to only let Mark and Kelly be there every other week, but by June, they had fired them and brought in Dustin F, and two months later, the bar closed due to tax issues.  I began working my 'R' titles into my Thursday lineup.

To Recap The Year.....
Put a new roof on the house, and Mom did well in PT at Cumberland Point.  Friend MP and I were guests on the Star Chamber show, and was able to promote my upcoming 25th book, Catered Romance.

Super Bowl was between the Patriots and LA Rams, which turned into the 'Punt Bowl'....final score was 13-3, Patriots.  Found out Lowes was hiring, so decided to see if I was capable of getting myself hired.  Five minutes into my 1st interview, I realize the Ass't Mgr and I are no longer talking about ME, but instead, exchanging horror stories about things found in baby diapers!  He finished the interview, marched me down to the Manager's office, where I proceed to raise HIS eyebrows when I chimed in that cashiers were 'the face of the brand', not 'just' a 'cashier'.  He told HR to drug test me.  I texted Mel, "I think I managed to just get myself hired..."  Sure enough, I began training at the end of the month.

College Kid popped The Question to his g/f on the 15th.  I'm getting a DIL next year!

I loved my new schedule!  I worked 3/4/5-close, in Lumber with Mel the first two weeks, then up front, and finally earned my vest.  Made a few errors, but hey, I'm still learning.  Finalized the e-version of Catered Romance and put it up for pre-order:)

Had an interesting time at the Evansville Craft Fair, and an even more interesting time in LG area at work.  Went to the Kentuckiana Book Fair and ran over a table on the way home, stranding me in downtown Louisville for 2 hours.  Made it back just as the Easter Vigil was letting out, ha ha!  Also was able to spend a few days with MDQ and Master P.....we decided MDQ was an 'overprotective, lazy mom'.

Spent most of the month in LG, plus had requested a lot of weekends off.  Mgr Scott caught up with me one day and told me I couldn't have all of them....I said the ones he approved, I was happy; the others, I'd simply arrange to switch with someone.  Next day, he told me that beginning in June, I'd work M-F in Lumber.  I was thrilled!

Had a minor spat with the spouse:  He began griping, 'The point of you getting a job was to help out with the medical bills, not blow your paycheck on stupid stuff...'

That's funny; I thought me landing a job was MY idea, so I could pay for all MY trips!  If that's the case, then fine....I'll stop giving you half my paycheck until all MY expenses are paid....oh and BTW....I'll start paying that medical bill that you refuse to pay for!

Catered Romance released quietly; I'd only pre-sold 2 books.  Still, I was thrilled, and managed to hand-sell four to various co-workers.  Memorial Weekend was a hassle; I sold 5 books at the Farmer's Market; worked Sat night; drove up to Lafayette, and watched the 500 on TV......then we ribbed Dad, when he arrived home, because a crash had happened on the front straightaway, but he'd left before it had happened!  His arthritis was bothering him so much, he left before lap 100.  Memorial Day, we drove to Indy and had lunch with Uncle Bill and Will at the Mug-n-Bun, then I witnessed an accident while driving home, which caused me to call into work, saying I'd be an hour late.

Started my new schedule on the 17th:)  Sold 7 books at PrideFest, four while I was standing in line at the Thai truck for dinner!  Rainy month; Celebrate Washington and the Irish Fest were both a wash.  Took A to see Secret Life of Pets 2 for her birthday.

Did well at InConJunction; sold 11 books AND had a great time at my 35th HS reunion; had a good time at the Heroes For Kids Con, even though I didn't sell any, and met two celebrities.  Had all my booth fees paid for by this time, with the exception of the State Fair and the Christmas Show.

Skipped the Watermelon Festival, which turned out to be a good thing.....I was called into work!  Set up at the State Fair and over the course of 2 days, sold 18 books AND met Al Unser Jr!  Also discovered I'm officially 'too old' to ride my favorite ride, The Typhoon aka Remix.  Nearly vomited as the thing was winding down, ha ha!  Had an enjoyable visit with my sister, and spent a wonderful day at the Mall of America!  Kids went back to school:) Discovered Whispers made it to the final round of Imaginn Awards!

Was the Cashier of the Week:)  Had a good time at Cil-Con and the Indy Author Event, even though sales were low.  Did better at Saluki-Con:)

Enjoyed the Imaginarium Convention, even though Whispers didn't win Best Antho.  Had a wet, rainy day at the CCC, then went to see Billie G for two hours.  Wore my Pirate costume to karaoke....and surprise surprise, there were only a handful of us dressed in costume.

Began the month on a high note, since I sold 29 books at the Christmas show, and indulged in buying coffeecakes, the wine bottle opener, and a vest, as well as some Christmas presents for the kids.  Ended on a bad note when my dad passed away on the 20th, sending my world spiraling out of control.  Had a very quiet Thanksgiving in Lafayette.

Worked Black Friday and the weekend; saw Alex's Christmas concert, then returned to Lafayette.  Got several things accomplished, including dragging out all the ornaments.  Bittersweet Christmas; it's probably the last one in my childhood home.

Looking Ahead......
I'll be attempting to move some of what I want from Mom's house into mine.....and gently coaxing encouraging her to move in May or June.  I have no idea at this time about my job status; I do not qualify for FMLA, since I've not been there a year; I've got a pesky sore on my leg that hasn't healed, I need to go to the eye dr and the dentist, and there's just not time to do everything.

Monday, December 2, 2019

December Goals

November hit me like a sledgehammer:  The first two weeks were good, then WHAM!
 -Lose 5 pounds (starting 233?) Nope; gained 4 lbs instead.
-Do well at First Friday Sold only one...
-Do well at ICGAHS Check:)
          -11/6:  Sold 4:)
          -11/7:  Sold 3:)
          -11/8:  Sold 13:)  WOW!
         -11/9:  Sold 8:)
         -11/10:  Sold 1:)
         -TOTAL:  29!!!  Personal Best!
-Do well at Rivet Craft Show Sold 10; Nancy sold 5, so collectively, we equaled last year's!
-Attend cousin's wedding No; plans changed.
-Do well at Jasper show No; plans changed
-Enjoy a relaxing Thanksgiving Check:)
-Work enough hours to meet expenses Check:)
-Add words to Regrets Nope; spent entire month editing K and K
-Revise K and K Reunion 75% complete! and contact Dawne for cover (Second Chances??) Not yet
-Add words to Angel story and type it up (NaNo project) Not yet
-Organize more basement Nope

Books Read:  2
           Print:  2

Karaoke Songs Added:  2

December Goals:
-Conference call with Mom's investment planner Forgot to fill phone, but sister filled me in.
-File FMLA Check!  Now waiting for documents to arrive in email.
-Attend Granddaughter's Christmas Program Check!  It was cute:)
-Rent car Check:)
-Celebrate K's birthday Check:)
-Help Mom seriously declutter Forgetaboutit...we decorated for Christmas instead.  So NY's goal??
-Have a good birthday Check!  Saw the Mr. Rogers movie, went to B and N, and had dinner at Red Lobster!/Christmas
-Enjoy New Year's
-Finish revising Second Chances (1st pass finished!) and contact Dawne for cover
-Buy CR and WHH inventory Check:)
-Mail packages Check:)
-Lose 5 pounds (starting 237)
-Add words to Angel Story and type it up

Payment Schedule:
November 16-22:  4
       23-29:  8
Dec 6th Payday hours:  12
    -Projected income:  $211
        -$21 to church; pay (GSH) medical bill ($61 Check!); pay credit card ($50 Check!) +$88 (banked)-$167- $50 (Maurices Check!)-$47 (inventory Check! )=$70-$23 (Scrivenor Check!)-$8 (lunch)-$7 (lunch)=$32 banked+$200 birthday=$232-$50 (charms Check!)-$6 (books mailed Check!)=$176 banked-$158 (Christmas expenses)=$18 banked
Nov 30-Dec 6:  16
               7-13:  Off Schedule
Dec 20th Payday hours:  16
    -Projected income:  $172
         -$17 to church; pay GSH ($61 Check!); pay medical bill (Neuberg) $50 Check!.  Bank $44 +$18 banked=$62 banked+$300 Christmas money=$362-pay Penned Con $245 Check! (half table);  pay Cil-Con ($75 Check!)=$42 banked
December 26:  $200
          -$20 to church;pay medical insurance ($88 Check!); pay for rest of MOA table ($65 Check!)=$27 banked+$30 left from 20th =$57 banked

2020 Expenses:
-Book Lovers Con Book signing Sat (March 2020) $10+ travel expenses; Nashville, TN
-Liberty Writers-New Jersey Not gonna happen this year
-Kentuckiana Authors Fair (April) -$78 for hotel; $83 for car rental; $36 (gas total); $10 (book); $15 (approx Arby's); $2.12 (iced tea); $16 +$2 tip (Sweet-n-Savory Food Truck). 
-Weekend With The Authors 2020 (April) and 2021:  20 ($200 hotel/gas/food/rental car);$50 charms (Paid 12/13).  21:  $225-300 table fee; hotel/gas/food/rental car
-Writer's Workshop (April 25, 2020) Nashville, IN $25-50??
-Farmer's Market (June 6, 2020) $12
-PrideFest (June 20, 2020)
-Corning IrishFest (June 21, 2020)
-InConJunction (June 3-5, 2020)?????
-Imaginarium (July 10-12, 2020):  $100 early bird booth fee (PAID!); $30 banquet; $100 food, $200 hotel, gas. ($186 hotel, $371 rental car (prepaid $30 gas), $35 food, $10 gas)
-Heroes For Kids (July 18, 2020) Perrysville, MO car rental $252, gas $40, hotel room, $140, food $40=$472 total)
-Watermelon Festival (July 31-Aug 1, 2020) $45 ?????
-Indy State Fair (Aug $100) ($100-200) Rental car:  $257, gas $30, $15 admission; $24 parking fee; $20 food; $6 ride
-Minneapolis travel expenses (Aug 8, 2020) ($200-hotel, $228 car rental, $120-food,$100- gas=$648 needed)
-Penned Con: $225 half table (6') (Paid 12/21) Hotel/rental car/food/gas
-Cil-Con 2020 ($75 Paid 12/21) plus  $340 car rental, $112 hotel, $30 food, $15 gas)
-Saluki Con expenses-Sept ($340 car rental (credit card), $203 ($25 refunded after stay) hotel. $66 food and $40 gas.)  
-ICGAHS:  $340 booth fee, $440 rental car, hotel/gas/food

December Reading Schedule:
Life and Death of Erica Flynn-Sara Marian Interesting.  
Justice-Karen Robards Interesting story; keeps you guessing until the last chapter!
Six Years-Harlan Coben Kept me guessing til the last few chapters!  WOW.....well done:)
Blind To Blood 2:  End Game
Eleanor Oliphant Is Just Fine-Gail Honeyman Thoroughly enjoyed this!!!  DRR!
Rich People Problems-Kevin Kwan DRR!!  Loved this!!!
Rosie Colored Glasses-Brianna Wolfson
The Wedding Date-Jasmine Guillory

Real Men Don't Break Hearts-Colleen Kwan Good:)
Friday Night Alibi-Cassie Mae Loved this!!  DRR!
Stage Mom-KL Montgomery Very enjoyable!  RR:)
Pride-Brynn Paulin Very enjoyable!!
Sugar and Spice-Phoebe Alexander
Now and Forever:  A Love Story-Jean Joachim
The Flip-KL Montgomery

Alphabet Karaoke has been put on hiatus, as I leave to go help my mother.  I've had several people remark to me this past week that 'you're doing well'....there are a few things I need to clarify about my father's passing:
-I spent four mornings with him when I was working the Christmas Show, and we'd chat for at least an hour or two, plus I'd kiss him goodbye before leaving.

-When I arrived home on Sunday, he was the one who answered the phone, and his last words to me were 'Love you, talk later.'

-My father was a firm believer in God, Jesus Christ, and Heaven.  I KNOW where he is; he's up there, immersed in the Word, and chatting away with RC Sproul, CS Lewis, and possibly Jesus Himself.

-He's finally seeing his sister Julie in her perfect self, no abnormalities, as she's able to move, speak, and run.

-He's chatting with his parents, his favorite uncle, and possibly clearing up the mystery of WHY the spelling of our last name was changed between two branches of the family.  We THINK we know the story, but who knows if that was the ACTUAL story?  Two brothers had a feud over a barber shop, so one of the brothers changed the spelling of his last name to M-c-I-n-t-i-r-e instead of M-c-I-n-t-y-r-e.

-Finally, my father didn't suffer.  He had a massive heart attack and went quickly.  He would have hated being hooked up to tubes and wires, and passed away in his favorite place, the garage, surrounded by his beloved Craftsman tools.  Possibly his only regret was the fact Mom was the one who found him, and he didn't get 'everything' in order, since we had a septic issue and the tires on the van need replacing.  But then again, Dad raised us to be capable women, able to pick up the phone and take care of it!