My eyes have finally healed enough for me to work on writing again. The last two weeks I’ve been outlining a new novel.
This is a new step for me. I don’t normally outline before I start writing. What I like to do is write and then make mini outlines of what I want the next three or four events to be. Generally when I start writing a novel, I have an end point in mind. Then, I work to get my characters there by preventing them from getting it too soon. (At least that’s how I think of it in my mind).
So at this point, the next step should be drafting, but…
There are two other stories that I want to write. Both are in different stages.
My three projects are:
1. Mages of the Lake (already wrote about 50,000 words during Nanowrimo last year) This one could be worked on. At first when I wrote it, I didn’t really want to do more with it, but now that some time has passed, I can see what needs worked on and what I’d like to change.
2. A New Novel Set in the Magical Realms Universe. This one would focus on Zak before he met Jamie. This is the one I’ve been outlining.
3. A BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW novel about magic that’s been hidden and then found in our time.
So… my brain can’t seem to focus because I keep thinking about all three. I’m honestly not sure which one to work on now. I would like to pick one and get it to a final draft.
I’m going to work on the outline for the second one until I decide. By April, I am going to decide and focus and buckle down!
Anyway, happy reading and writing today and every day!
Well, I had PRK eye surgery during the first week of this month. The recovery is still on going, so my posts will probably be short and even more sporadic than normal.
Things are recovering well, but there is still a lack of sharpness to my sight that makes anything text related (writing, reading, blogging), especially challenging. This is normal for that type of surgery. It can take anywhere between 1 to 3 months for most people’s vision to “settle in.”
That being said, my experience with PRK has been great. I had a great doctor with an amazing support staff. I listened to everything they said and followed it to the letter. (Owner compliance is important!)
Anyway, I can’t do some of the things I love right now (read, write, or cross stitch) but I’m finding ways to not lose my mind.
Well, this year is not off to a super productive start for me. (Which is not surprising for me).
I usually take some time “off” from my to-do lists to decompress after the holidays.
But in exciting news, I am working on outlining a new novel. As I’ve been working on my outline, I got an idea for another story. So, I’ve been writing down my ideas, but still focusing on the one I’m currently working on. I’m trying not to let myself get distracted by the new story idea.
I won’t say what my new stories will be about, it’s too soon for that. I’m super excited though. I’m itching to get started on another project!
In other exciting news, I’m going to have eye surgery in a couple of weeks and hopefully not need glasses after! I’m very excited. I’ve worn glasses since I was 15, and I am over them. I would love to be able to see the items in the shower without having to hold them right next to my face. (I am severely nearsighted).
The time when I decide whether or not to join NANOWRIMO.
And like the last three years, I’m in.
This year though I’m starting something completely new! Which is exciting and terrifying.
If you follow me, you know that the last three years I’ve worked on my series: The Magical Realms Series. (Third book will be out soon!)
But my next project is not a part of that world.
I’m excited to be working on something completely new, but it’s also a lot of work to world build.
This time I’m using a different process than last time. I’m actually planning a little bit before I just jump in. In the past, for NANOWRIMO at least, I’ve been what is called a panster. Meaning, that I don’t really plan and I write the story by the seat of my pants.
This year I’m trying for a combo of pantser / planner. I’m planning characters, some of the bigger plot points, and I even made a map of the world.
I’m looking forward to Monday and this year’s NANOWRIMO!
Less than a month ago, my family said goodbye to one of our dogs. He was 16 years old and had been losing the battle with a brain tumor since November last year. We knew it was finally time to say goodbye because he would get up and eat breakfast each day and after that just sit down and stare at a wall. He had zero enthusiasm for anything. He was also struggling to walk and use the bathroom. His quality of life was gone.
Despite that, it was still hard to say goodbye. My husband and I only have one child, and our pets are like our babies. And I know 16 years is a nice life for a dog, but I must be selfish because I don’t care. I wanted him to live longer. It’s been a few weeks and I still have to stop myself from getting him a plate at meals times like I do for the other pets.
In addition to missing him like crazy, I’ve been thinking back on his life with us. He had a good life. I’m not saying that to sound superior. We take good care of our pets. They are important to us.
The absence of Napoleon has left a dachshund sized hole in my heart. I wish we could have had more time together, and I hope he knows how much he was loved.
Napoleon was the first dog we adopted. We actually adopted him after we went on a 9 day camping trip to Yellowstone. At the time in 2004, my husband and I were young and newly married. We went to Yellowstone and camped, really camped, in a tent, without showers, on the ground. While we were there we ran trails, (this was a long time ago when I still ran), and we swam in the lakes. We saw so many people camping with their dogs, and on that trip we decided we were going to get a dog so that next year when we went camping, we would have one too.
Shortly after that trip, we adopted Napoleon. I don’t know how we decided on a mini dachshund, but when I saw him, I knew he was ours. We brought him home and introduced him to our cat, Electra.
The next spring, we decided to go camping again. We were excited because we would finally get to take Napoleon with us. We had been taking him running on trails throughout the fall and spring and he enjoyed that, so we figured he would enjoy camping.
The first night of our camping trip, he couldn’t sleep. He paced and paced the tent looking for a real bed. (At home he slept in bed between my husband and I). Not only would he not sleep because sleeping on the ground was not his style, he acted like being outside was too hot. He clearly wanted to know where the AC was. My husband and I thought he was hilarious. We figured he would adjust; we were planning on staying 5 days.
The second day of our trip, we went swimming in the lake, and of course we took Napoleon with us. It turns out he was an excellent swimmer. He looked like a river otter and he was pretty fast.
My husband and I would take turns carrying him out into the lake, and the other would wait closer to the shore. Then, we would release Napoleon and he swam to other person. After about the sixth time of this, Napoleon figured out our game and instead of swimming to the waiting arms of my husband, he veered right and went for the shore. Once on shore, he took off running.
My husband jumped out of the lake and followed. I got out of the lake and waited for them to return, but after twenty minutes, they didn’t show up. I gathered our clothes, picnic things, and floats and waddled my way down the path back to the campground. On the way back, I passed a family heading to the lake. I asked them if they’d seen a tall man and a short dog running on the path. They laughed and pointed back towards camp informing me that they were all the way back at our campsite.
I found them both there. My husband was laughing. Napoleon was supposed to be our camping companion. He HATED camping. He wanted his bed and indoor air, but most of all, he didn’t want to swim.
We didn’t stay a full five days and cut that trip short to three days. After that, we didn’t take Napoleon camping anymore. He didn’t turn out to be outdoorsy, and that’s okay.
This month has been pretty great so far. I’m taking the time and settling into my new routine for the year. (Just in time for it to change again as my daughter might finally get to attend in person school again, which we are both super excited about). However, as I’ve been working on my new goals for this year, I’ve also been reflecting on what I actually accomplished last year. Despite the superbly weird year that it was, it wasn’t all bad.
Here’s what I actually managed to accomplish…
Read 40 books (I’ve underlined the ones that were high points in the year for me).
The Library of the Unwritten
The Starless Sea
The Destined Queen
Bright Lights, Big City
Night and Day
The Shadow of the Wind
I adored this book. I don’t want to give away the plot but it’s about love and revenge. It’s soooooo good. READ IT.
Locke and Key Vol.1
Batman Arkham: Black Mask
This Mortal Coil
I sat down to read this and didn’t get up till I was done. Imagine being and working for grim reapers in a society where people don’t die anymore…..
The Stone Sky
This is the third book in a series. If you haven’t, read them all. The series is amazing and this was the perfect end to it.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
The Left Hand of Darkness
When You Reach Me
The Lovely Bones
Follow Me to the Ground
This book definitely falls into the “weird tale” category of fiction. It’s bizarre and amazing. I can’t explain it; it’s too weird. Read it.
The City We Became
This Savage Song
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Dreaming Vol.2
Walk Two Moons
Our Dark Duet
The Constant Rabbit
The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 1
Black Market Unicorns
Word by Word
This is a non-fiction book about how dictionary entries are completed. I found this whole book fascinating, and the author is funny. Great read!
The Lost Plot
The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 2
Born a Crime
Wrote and published my second novel
If you haven’t heard, the second book in my series is out now on Amaon! Buy your own copy here:
I stitched her some flowers with a snarky saying. It’s one of my favorite projects I’ve completed. (You can see it below this list).
We moved from Kansas to Washington, and even though it was rough, we did it! We are settled in now and everything is going pretty good here. I just can’t wait for the schools to open because my daughter is getting cabin fever!
All in all, it wasn’t a bad year. It was challenging, I’ll give you that. Anyway… let’s move on…
Usually about midway through the year, I sit down and assess where I’m at with my personal goals for the year. I never really got around to it this year because we moved from Kansas to Washington in June, and everything has been utter chaos until recently.
So, anyhow, let’s see how I’m doing. These are my goals for the year:
Read 40 books
I’m doing well on my yearly reading goal. I’ve read 28 books so far, and according to the tracker on goodreads, that puts me two books ahead of my goal right now. Yipee!
Write the 2nd novel in my series
Working on this one, slowly but surely. I didn’t work on it from May till July because the move was nuts, but I’m at it again, making slow progress.
Sell the house we own
Not yet. Our renters keep postponing their move out. The world is nuts right now, what can you do?
Stop drinking soda
I stopped for a while and then started again, and now I’m back to not drinking it again. It’s my weakness!!
Write 12 short stories
I am running a bit behind on this one. I haven’t finished my story for August yet, so I’m running one month behind at this point.
Finish the Grimm Fairy Tales SAL
This is a cross stitch project I’m working on. It’s getting there, but I’m not caught up. There is a new section released each month, and I’m a few months behind at this point. UGH!
Finish my gift for Mindy
DONE! One small victory! (You can see it below).
Finish my flower needlework
Still working on this one. I’ve made really good progress on this since I moved it into the living room. I’ve been working on it when I watch tv at night.
DONE. This was a big victory and the single most awful move my family has endured.
So, honestly, things are going okay. I wish I were done with a few more of these, but I’m working on them. I hope everyone else is reaching their goals despite the obstacles of life right now.
I am running terribly behind with just about everything.
We are mostly unpacked with just a few lingering boxes of things I’m not sure if I’m going to unpack floating about. Things are starting to settle for my family. We enrolled our daughter in school, and we’re starting to learn the lay of the land. That being said, it’s time for me to start getting back on track with things. I need to write three short stories at this point (June, July, and August’s).
With that in mind, I’m going to try and get caught up in the next few weeks so that by Septemeber, I can get back to my normal posting schedule.
I’ve already posted June’s prompt, but it was so long ago, I will re-post it now:
After the funeral, I spent the next few days in the attic, reading the letters my mother had written him in the years before they were married. He had never been the sentimental type, so I was surprised to find a whole box of them, carefully bundled. Even more surprising was…
Complete the Story
For July, here is the prompt I never got around to posting because of the move:
It felt uncanny, but oddly good, to hear kids running through the house again. I wondered if I could handle being a father, or at least a father figure, after all these years. I thought about the times when…
Complete the Story
And finally, the story prompt that I should be writing for August:
Always the same old lines whenever she came home for the holidays, like her parents were rehearsing a play over and over and never could get it right. Yet they didn’t seem to notice how much they repeated themselves. Her father would sit down to dinner and say…
Complete the Story
It’s a lot to write in the next few weeks, but here we go…
Since my last post, things have not gotten any better. This has been the worst move that my family has ever been through.
Today, as we were unpacking one of the last boxes we found my coin collection archival box, but it was empty.
The movers/packers opened my archival box, which just looks like a black cardboard binder, and took my coins.
My coins don’t have that much value — maybe between 20-40 dollars. The coins have sentimental value though. I have been collecting them since I was a child. Most of them are not even US currency. I had coins from all over the world in there.
But the ones that hurt the most are the one dollar bicentennial coin that belonged to my great-grandfather, and the coins we gave to our daughter when she thought we were the toothfairies. They’re gone. The dollar value isn’t what was important. They were important to us because they were tied to memories. And someone stole them.
So, to the mover who took my almost worthless coin collection — SHAME ON YOU.