A Drop in the Bucket


Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!

Welcome to week 7: Top5 Things on My Bucket List


Let’s get right to it then, shall we? I never really put much stock into a bucket list until last year, when I thought I had waited too long. All sorts of images from worst case scenario to the ten worst possibilities flooded my mind. I thought that the first thing on my list would never get accomplished, and if I was lucky I might be able to do number 3 and 5.

Prior to my surgery I actually sat down and made a list of the things I wanted to accomplish or experience before I kicked off, or kicked the bucket. As that day seemed rapidly approaching, I spent most of those days in tears not knowing how I would be able to do any of them.

I’ve mentioned it before, but yes I tend to be overly dramatic at times. It’s kind of difficult not to when you get the big C diagnosis. I have been intensely focused on the first one, and this year I plan to make a serious dent in the first one, second one, and the 5th one. (I’m really pulling for all 5,  but hope to complete #2 and #5 this year!)

Ellie’s Top 5 Bucket List Items

  1. Publish 20 of my books. I have a huge file of partially completed and completed stories that I have been clinging to, reluctant to release my babies. Then what did I write them for? Why do I write in the first place?  To entertain others. How is anyone going to enjoy them when they are squirreled away in a locked file?
  2. Decorate my home the way I want!  I spent many years, trying to pease my mother, trying to win the approval of my mother in law.  I spent so long trying to fit in with everyone else,  I didn’t put things on my wall that I like. Currently,  we have very little on the walls. I can’t really use the excuse of we just painted because we painted over 5 years ago. I need to minimize the clutter in my home and organize, and put up minimum decorations in this house, in order to sell.  But when we move, Katy Bar the Door! I’ve got some great ideas saved on Pinterest.
  3. Travel!!! Nova Scotia, Western Caribbean, Hawaii, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Venice, Rome, Australia – not sure I want to go to the outback and experience the wildlife like black mambas – crikey! There are places in the US that I haven’t been to yet, and I want to go. The Badlands, Grand Canyon, and many others!
  4. Be the Keynote Speaker at an Author Event. Someday. I have done public speaking before,  that’s not the challenge.  The challenge is to do it for other writers. It will be so much more fun than speaking of scientific type stuff.
  5. MY OWN OFFICE!!!!  Let me clarify, my own home office. If you’ve read last week’s post about the office you will understand. And here is where we have the hole in the bucket.

What do you think?  Do you think they are attainable? How about you? what are some of the items on your bucket list?

As this is a blog hop, there are many other authors who are participating.  You can check them out HERE: when I scheduled this,  the list wasn’t up yet so hopefully you will be able to go there and get the fresh list.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

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5 Authors I’d Like to Meet


Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!

Welcome to week 6: 5 Authors I’d Like to meet (dead or alive).

Mark Twain –  I was greatly inspired by Mark Twain when I was younger, and after visiting Hannibal, Missouri I was even more motivated. For a man who wrote sagacious wit,  he lived a tragic life. It makes me realize how much we often take for granted and motivates me to do better. I would love to sit down over a cup of coffee or tea with him and ask a million questions and let him regale me with his sardonic humor.

J.R.R. Tolkien – To get inside his head! Oh my, can you just imagine?? Where did he get the ideas for . . . (fill in the blank) What inspired specific characters?  Did he write linear? Did he write chronologically? Who did he feel influenced him?

Anne McCaffrey – The queen of all things dragon! Oh to discuss her dragon world would be amazing!

Katie McAlister – I would LOVE to sit down over lunch and talk shop with this amazing woman. I adore her sense of humor, her writing style and OK, it would probably have to be a full day’s worth because I would fangirl her so hard for the first several hours. SQUEAL!!!!   Seriously though,  I would love to meet her in person.

Chatty Chicks (Cathy Brockman, Vicki Locey, Misty Harvey, Amity Riles, and Emily Joy Grace Thompson! These women have kept me writing when I was so close to throwing in the towel numerous times.  They have shared my ups and downs.  They’ve offered a cyber shoulder to cry on, a cyber party to share our victories, and numerous hours of writing sprints! We would need a supply of coffee and cocoa, maybe some biscuits to snack on and several hours to visit in person. (OK, technically this is more than 5, but there is no way I could pick one of my chatty chick sisters and not the others, it’s a package deal!)

On a similar note, last year at Penned Con I got the chance to meet Angie Fox! I’ve adored her for years. When I found out she was a local St. Louisan, I hoped that some day I could meet her and I DID!!! By the way, she’s just as amazing in person. I hope I didn’t emberass her by fangirling her. I tried to act cool, but you know how it is, right?  I don’t think I could have been any less cool if I had met Jensen Ackles in person. GAH!!!

Go check out what the other authors are saying in this blog hop. You can find their links here:

MFRW 52 Week Challenge

Write on my friend, write on!

Tasty Treats!


In my quest for finding recipes that I can eat and don’t taste like cardboard, or consist of a bowl of kale. . . I’ve come across a few winners.

So, I decided to share a few of those with you here.

My dietary constraints are cancer and diabetes. Sugar-free is an absolute necessity, and with diabetes, low carb count is essential as well.

I have been cooking with whole grains, fresh foods, mostly lean proteins – fish and poultry, and very few processed foods of any sort.

I feel great most of the time. I feel so much healthier than I was at this time last year. Small changes add up to big results.

Here’s a tasty recipe if you want to make just one healthy switch in your diet.

Banana – Blueberry Muffins

  • servings – 12 muffins
  • Prep – 20 minutes, Bake 15 minutes
  • Oven – 400 F

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1  cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar ( I use Swerve baking brown sugar substitute)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400.F Grease 12 muffin cups. set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, set aside. IN another bowl, combine banana, milk, butter, egg, and vanilla.

Add banana mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. filling each about three-fourths full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool on wire rack, just five minutes then serve warm.

Nutritional info per muffin: 172 calories,  4 g total fat, (3 g saturated with real butter) 11 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 25 grams of carbs, 3 g protein.

I gotta be honest,  I used a few more blueberries than the recommended amount. What can I say, I like blueberries!

It’s good to have nutritious tasty foods! Hope you enjoy. Let me know if you try the recipe and what you think! Write on my friends, write on!

Get Your Mojo On!


Monday morning, rise and shine! It’s a new beginning, a fresh start, a day for opportunities to abound! 

Don’t even talk to me before I’ve had my coffee.

Then get your coffee Ms. Crabpatch and get busy. Just take a look at the gorgeous sky.

Do you realize the temperatures are in the single digits? Maybe I’ll just crawl back into bed.

Now is that any way to accomplish your goals? Where’s your resolve for those plans you made? Are you giving up that quickly?

~~~~~

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has those self-talks.  It’s like the angel on one shoulder, demon on the other, each of them whispering into my head, but I have to make the choice.

It’s true –  the week is full of opportunities. Monday is the start of a fresh new week, a chance to have this week count as a success in my planner. Before I started using my bullet journal,  I had plans in my head.  I kept a mental to-do list and rarely got past the first two.

But then I discovered the bullet journal! This amazing tool is priceless to me.  I don’t keep it up every day, and I’m not going to stress over that.  Life has gotten pretty crazy over the past year and I’ve learned to chill out and do what I can and go with the flow when I need to.

One of the ways that I feel that my bullet journal, or bujo for short, has helped me is that I have my daily to-do list. When I first started,  I wrote out my daily wishlist as my todo list. It looked something like this:

  • Housekeeping (sweep, mop, vacuum, clean counter, clean bathrooms, dust, clear clutter out of living room)
  • writing – blog, Point #3, 2 scenes, 2500 words
  • exercise – walking, aquacise, weights
  • appointment if I had one that day
  • MLO job – correspondence with emails, check sop updates, check rates, make calls, upload documents.

Now my daily to-do list looks more like this:

  • MLO job -make calls, correspondence, upload documents, etc ( there really isn’t much I can do to change what needs to be done at a job that someone else is paying me to do a specific job.)
  • HOusekeeping: chore of the day – focused on one room
  • Writing -1000 words minimum,
  • exercise: aquacize 45 minutes
  • Scheduled appointments

At first glance, you may not notice a big difference but it’s there. realistically, I know I am not going to get the entire house clean in one day. I’ve decided to focus on one area per day. Since I’ve been doing it this way, my house is cleaner. It’s not where I want it to be yet, but that’s because of the clutter. Much improved, but still room for more improvement.

I have to do certain tasks for the dayjob, so that doesn’t change other than I don’t stress out about it like I used to. There are days when I only get a couple tasks completed, and that’s OK. Some processes take longer than others.

My daily word count used to be 2500. It will go back up to that but for now, I am trying to hit at least 1000 words daily. To be honest,  on days when I have appointments or therapy, it may not happen. Last Friday I had an appointment, I couldn’t concentrate before the appointment,  then afterwards I crashed! I didn’t realize that I had been so keyed up over that appointment,  but apparently I was. I got a whole whopping 460 words last Friday –  I still count that as a win because I got some words.

My point is, back to the opportunities; by not putting a bunch of constraints on my schedule,  I have the flexibility to adapt to those urgent things that pop up unexpected.  Before, I never allowed ten minutes downtime so if anything happened, anything,  I was stressed and freaking out because I didn’t have the wiggle room. For instance –  being stuck in traffic. I sat in traffic for nearly 2 hours on a drive that should have been thirty-five minutes. It was aggravating,  but I took the opportunity to enjoy the music on the radio.  It was soothing. What could have been a very stressful 2 hours turned out to be calming. I couldn’t do anything about it anyway but in the past I would have been biting my nails, yelling at the moron driver who caused the accident up ahead and probably using some colorful metaphors in my monolog!

We can take the opportunity to take charge of our lives,  how we deal with what life throws at us or we can take the approach that we are helpless victims being tossed about by the wind and waves. The storms are going to happen so be prepared! Some of them can be avoided. Sometimes we get caught out in the rain. Other times, we have plenty of warning.

Seize the day while you can!

By the way, I stayed up, I went to my exercise class, I did the things, and I feel better for it. Regret is a hard task master that I plan to avoid! There is nothing that can beat you down faster than a bad case of the ‘should-haves’.

Is there one thing that you can do today to improve your outlook or  decrease your stress levels?

Write on my friends, write on!

I’ve Been Influenced!


Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!!  YAY!

This week’s prompt: A Book That Has Influenced My Life.

Which one to choose?  That’s the thing about readers, we sometimes read excellent books that impact us! Maybe I should make mine in list form.

  1. The Bible – I was raised in a denominational church that my Grandfather founded, that had my dead relatives names on the stained glass window. I never read the Bible then, it was my parent’s religion. However, when I was in college, I was greatly influenced by an important person in my life that told me I should read it for myself. You want violence? Romance? Betrayal? Heartbreak? Disease? Pestilence? War? Love???? It’s all there. Seriously, go read Song of Solomon sometime – hubba hubba! I read it from Genesis to Revelations.  I read it like a history of mankind book. I cried, I laughed,  I connected. It guides my daily path. I made the decision for Christ just a couple weeks after New Year  in 1985 and have never looked back.
  2. The Four Agreements – I’m not forsaking my faith here, so don’t even go there. I have issues with a lot of things within the Christian community, namely that many are judgmental, discriminating and have lost their love for humanity. They are all about the religious practices,  us four and no more, the bless me club. It’s the very reason why Mother Theresa’s selfless sacrifice was such a tremendous act. These are things that I personally have grievances with. Because, at the end of the day, we need to be kind to each other and love one another. We are instructed as Christians to Love GOd with our whole heart, our whole soul, and our whole mind and to Love our neighbor as ourselves. Many people forget that last part and it is grievous. So anyway, I absolutely agree with the four agreements. No pun intended. I have a page in my journal that is the four agreements to remind myself often. I feel they help me be at peace with myself and keep the compassion towards others.
  3. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Literally changed my view on reading from the forced reading required at school to reading for pleasure!
  4. The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Silmarillion – the epitome of reading pleasure.
  5. Outlander Series – OMG! Have you ever seen these books? They are huge – like War and Peace huge. I read the first one in like 2 days,  then raced back to the library and checked out the rest of the series. This book or series of books, jerked me out of a pity party slump where I was feeling useless as a writer, had had a long string of rejections on books and the only thing selling was magazine articles.
  6. Harlequin romances – I don’t even remember the titles I’ve read so many. The first one I read when I was maybe fourteen. It was OK, but, I didn’t really like it. I read a lot of Stephen King and Ann McCaffrey back then. However, when I was in college,  I found the stack at the college library that held the paperback Harlequin novels. It (reading a romance) was my reward for completing an assignment, doing good on a test, not spending money I didn’t have, . . . I used lots of excuses to go get yet another ‘cheesy romance’ book as my dorm mates would say. Meanwhile, they would spend hours watching daytime soaps that I never got into. (It was many years later while nursing my daughter that I discovered Nathan Fillion was on a soap – then you betcha I watched that one! Something about Buchannon’s??)
  7. The Worst Romance Book I ever read – This may sound strange,  but yes it really did change things for me. I have the book. It’s written by a well-known author, whom I’ve met in person and is a lovely person.  Makeover on the front stoop in the ten minutes she waited. She started off with long blonde hair, crystalline blue eyes, khaki trousers, and a red polo as described in the previous two chapters. Then when the man answered the door, she wore snug straight leg jeans, a soft angora sweater, her Ginger swing bob made a perfect arch as she turned to face him with her green eyes. WHAT?  This book launched me on my writing endeavors. If this crap could get published,  surely I could get published! I finished the book,  but it took me a very long time.

So once again I didn’t exactly follow the rules.  They are more like guidelines anyway, right?

 

Go check out what the other authors are saying, you can find that list here: MFRW BLOG HOP

Write on my friends, write on!

Version 3.0 – Author #MFRW


Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!!  YAY!

This week’s prompt: What I would do If I couldn’t be a writer.

Who is the evil person who thought up this prompt???  This is the stuff of nightmares! Are they a horror writer? Was it Stephen King? OR  maybe it was a descendent of H.P. Lovecraft.

*shudders*

If I couldn ‘t be a writer,  I would probably have pursued teaching as my second career choice. I worked as a civil servant for the department of defense,  my degree is in cartography. Back in those days,  I was firmly convinced that science was where the money was at,  and only pure genius writers could earn a living actually writing.

Well the years start coming and they don’t stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn’t make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do, so much to see
So what’s wrong with taking the back streets?
You’ll never know if you don’t go
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow

I digress. . . but, All Star seriously sums it up. Getting on the career track, following the ruts, doing the things you think you are supposed to do and then somewhere down the road you run out of gas, and look around and realize this isn’t where you wanted to be.

I was late in the game to allow myself to pursue my dreams of writing. I don’t know,  I guess with my upbringing and the push for success, I didn’t allow myself to chase dreams. I was already labeled a daydreamer, and I resented that my mom said it with an air of disdain.

Yes, I have mother issues. I’m dealing with it!

So, after Ellie version 2.0, stay at home mom left me with time to read, time to do crafts, sew, crochet, . . .did I mention read????  I read voraciously.  I read to my kids.  My eldest daughter’s favorite book was Moo Bah, LALALA. I can recite it from memory.  My youngest daughter’s favorite was Goodnight Moon. I can also tell that one from memory.

When we ran out of books to read before it was time to go back to the library, or we had exhausted our home library I began making up stories to tell them and they liked mine better! It gave me the boost I needed to pursue my writing aspirations.

About that time,  an opening came up at our local paper to write an opinion column.  Trust me, I have an opinion! LOL

When both of my kids were in school, I started substitute teaching at their school. There were certain parts of the substituting that I really enjoyed. So if I couldn’t write, I probably would have pursued teaching science at the junior high level.

I’m sure it would have paid better, and set my husband’s mind at ease. He tries to be supportive,  but the unknown factor of writing is whether or not people will buy your book.

Money isn’t everything, but it sure helps out to pay the bills and buy groceries! Hence I keep the dayjob as mortgage loan officer until my books fly off the shelf!

It could happen!!

 

Never say never!  It’s the beginning of a new year,  a time to dream and let your hope rise! What would you do if you couldn’t pursue your dreams? Would you vet your creative interests in another direction or shelve them?

So here we are with Ellie version 3.0 – author, editor, mortage loan officer, blogger – doing what I love, trying to manage my time effectively to get the things done!

Go check out what the other authors are saying, you can find that list here: MFRW BLOG HOP

Write on my friends, write on!

Oh Well!


In the past, I would have been quite upset.

In the past, I would have been ten times bent out of shape because my plans were derailed.

In the past, . . . well you get the idea. I make plans,  they get trashed. You’d think I would get used to it by now, but no.

I can’t afford to get upset over this anymore, it’s not worth it. I can choose to go with the flow, adapt, overcome, and change directions on the fly. Well, sort of.

OK, so maybe I don’t adapt on the fly. There are a few kinks and jagged edges before I accept the inevitable. Alright,  in some cases I am downright pouty that my plans were trashed. Like my plans for January – trashed. I haven’t been in the “Oh well” frame of mind.  I’ve been in the ‘toddler kicking and screaming mentally’ stage. Hey, I know my truth and at least I’m honest about it!

Real mature, I know. I need to adapt a more French “C’est le Vie” approach, or  the “que sera sera” or a more Bohemian -“Oh well.” attitude.

Changing your habits and behavior is a difficult thing and sometimes those learned responses that are programmed into the rabbit tracks of our brains,  you know the automatic responses, still show up even when you think you’ve kicked it.  It’s the same type of thing that triggers PTSD, seriously it’s the same brain parts. I know y’all don’t want to talk about the amygdala and the reticular formation so we will move on.

For example, I had laid out a plan for my blog with themed days again. Mojo Monday with my motivational posts to stir myself and others up! Tasty Tuesday where I will share new tasty Cancer friendly meals. I was undecided on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Fridays would be the MFRW posts, and Sunday to get back to the WeWriWa snippets.

Then . . . LIFE HAPPENS. First, it was the flu, even after getting a flu shot. Then the therapy appointments and doctor appointments. Then, family in the hospital, then funerals, then more people in the hospital,  then the big appointments with the oncologist. (We’ll address that at a later time when I’ve processed things fully and can  be calm.)

All of this has left me with little left to give out, feeling exhausted and drained emotionally and physically. Not that y’all aren’t important to me,  because I’ve told y’all before, I get super excited when I get a new follower, or someone leaves a comment. It really is a high point in my day! But there comes a time when there are other life matters that take priority over what I want, over a self-imposed deadline that only really matters to me.

Seeing a loved one in the hospital in pain,  or the nerve-wracking waiting for them to be out of surgery. This is when you have to accept the moment, be in the moment and realize that the most important parts of our lives are the friends and family we love and that love us.

You are only truly blessed when you love and are loved.

I think this is one of the really sad part of our current society, people will spend hours on social media, yet isolate themselves from the people who care about them.

Do yourself a favor.  Put down your phone, get off your tablet and engage with someone. Call your mom, ask her what’s for dinner and tell her how much you appreciate her. Call your sister you haven’t seen or talked to in weeks or months. Go visit your kids and grandkids! Life is too short.

We need to embrace the moments of joy that life offers. Make part of this year’s goals be spending real time with friends and families and living life.

I have a lot more I’d like to say,  but I need to go to the hospital to visit my sister. The “tyranny of the should haves” is really working overtime on me and I don’t want to add to it.

Go! Live! Laugh! Enjoy life.  Have dinner with someone you love! Visit a friend or at least call. That’s what our phones are really for.

Write on my friends, write on!

This Year’s Plan


You may have noticed my absence. I got one post in for this year’s 52 week blog hop and then I got hit with the flu. Along with feeling ill,  I’ve been uber frustrated with not getting my blog up. Sorry guys and gals!

This is the first time I have ever gotten a flu shot,  at the direction of my oncologist and I got the flu anyway. *Levels look*

The past few days I haven’t been online because I have been tackling the decluttering/organizing for our home that is at the top of my goals for this year. OK, part of this is avoiding the anxiety I am having over my scheduled mammogram –  the first since my diagnosis last year.

Timeout for a sec:  It is my intention to avoid talking about cancer,  to stay focused on the present,  the future, and not give any more attention to the hell that was last year. Having said that,  ultimately this is the cause of my current anxiety because I sure didn’t expect the diagnosis last time.

I’ve removed 5 bags of stuff- clothing, bedding, linens, miscellaneous stuff to take to Goodwill,  but it’s still sitting by the front door as it’s been too cold to get out if I didn’t have to. It’s going to be warmer tomorrow,  so it goes bye bye with me when I leave!!

I think that is a fair amount of progress for this week, that equates to a full trash bag per day!  I’ve been too embarrassed at the mess – seriously,  the whole time I was going through treatments,  it was all I could do to cook a few meals,  to sweep the floor on occasion, and swish the toilet. Since nobody else bothered, the accumulation of stuff is overwhelming.

Stuffitis is a serious issue here. But this year,  2018 –  the Year of the Dog, we are going with close to austere existence.  Minimalism is my new favorite word.

In fact, I’ve been pondering my word for this year.  I’ve seen several of my friends post here or there that their word for the year is. *fill in the blank*. I didn’t have a word.  I was looking for something spiritual I think, but yesterday it hit me like a 12-pound bowling ball on a rope –MINIMIZE!

  • Minimize the clutter and stuff.
  • Minimize the clothes that no longer fit or suit me.
  • Minimize the pantry contents.
  • Minimize my schedule.
  • Minimize my measurements –  making progress on that one!!!!
  • Minimize the emotional baggage I’ve been carrying.
  • Minimize wasted time.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I figured out that this is my word for the year.

So for this year on the blog,  I have a few things planned but I’m not promising that I won’t go off track.

There may be recipe shares, craft shares, writing shares,  health and diet information. ( I found a couple really interesting things I want to share.)

So,  I realize we are in the third week of January –  but my first two weeks have been mostly occupied with sickness.  So, here’s hoping for a great year –  for all of us!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

 

My Favorite Bit of Writing #MFRW


Guess what? MFRW is doing a 52 week blog hop for 2018!!  YAY!

TO kick things off for the new year,  this is my first week post for that blog hop.

The prompt is: Week 1: Favorite thing I’ve written (and why)

Sometimes I  take off running with these prompts only to find that I went in a totally different direction than everyone else participating in the bloghop.

So, let’s first address the obvious qualifier – the favorite thing I’ve written that’s published.

Roxy Sings the Blues – ultimately this is a tale of overcoming insurmountable obstacles, a tale of triumph. It also has elements of romance, intrigue, and a few bits of humor.

The reason this is my favorite over my other published book, Red Wine & Roses, or 30 DAys of Sass is that I feel I  worked very hard on fully developing the characters in this one. I spent a lot of time trying to capture the emotional punch and I feel I nailed it!

I think my writing has improved greatly from my first book, and I hope that I continue to improve as time goes by.

Now the less obvious, more obscure point that my brain seems to gravitate towards first –  my favorite bits that I have written and as yet is unpublished.

*Clears throat*  You’ll have to excuseme forr a bit while I gush.

I am excited about my Realm Wars series. It started with Faere Guardian, the first draft was a Christian fiction that lacked . . . everything. I had to change so many things to fit into the Christian bookseller’s association guidelines for publication,  that much of my story was lost.

For example –  the list of words NOT allowed is lengthy.  I couldn’t use Angel for my character’s name and I didn’t want to change her name,  she is paid to screw things up for Kyle and throw incredulity on his name and mess things up between Kyle and Lindsey.

Then I wrote Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price.  OK,  I may have ventured off into the erotica little too deeply for this one to be mainstream, but the essential tale of the McIntyre brothers has to be told.  I will probably give this a heavy edit and make it more mainstream freindly.

Then of course, there is the sister – Brigit. Faere Mage is filled with antics of the up and coming Druid mage, and the Faerie Realm underlying meddling in human affairs. We can’t forget the original brothers Robert, Ian, and Alistair who is the first generation McIntyres.

How did they become keepers of the realm? Who are they protecting? DO they work for the FAE? Do the FAE work for them?  

Come on, I know you’re interested!

I submitted the trilogy (Books 2 through 4) for publication to three different publishers. My social media coach at the time read it and said – “Well, it doesn’t suck!”

LOL  But, with the myriad of questions thrown at me, I was able to answer them all. This was a problem though, because she then told me that I need to tell the backstory that ties them all together, and unites the greater story that is going on. SIGH  I had spent a week cutting out the backstory and paring it down to a reasonable length.

This is why it is yet unpublished.  However, I plan to change that this year. I will have the first book written and revised some time this year. I have to check my calendar in order to get a definite deadline. (Don’t worry,  it’s on my todo list!) Books 2 through 4 are already written,  they may need a few tweaks but for the most part are already complete. Also, The Blood Key – the novella I have been working on will be released in an anthology-  I HOPE!

Fingers crossed that I make the cut! If not,  I will still release it as a short available for my readers.

I’ve shared a few snippets in the past from this series, and I feel this is some of my best writing. When you feel like you’ve done your best,  then it’s easy to pick that as your favorite!

Realm Wars writing has been in the zone. Red Wine & Roses had bits in the zone,  but not the entire thing. Same for Roxy,  more of it was in the zone,  but not all of it.

Realm Wars is  the type of stuff I love to read – paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy, epic fantasy type stuff. I’m probably not going to be writing the epic space odyssey, well maybe not.

I’m pretty proud of the world building I’ve done in this series as well. I keep saying series and as of yet not one book is released.  BUT,  when I get the covers nailed down,  and the first book completed, books 2 through 4 will not be far behind. Books 5 and 6 may take me a while,  but I already have my outlines.  I promise not to pull a George R. R. Martin! Unless of course someone buys the film rights, and pays me handsomely to produce an epic saga of Realm Wars, paying me royalties and megabucks up front.  Then I’ll finish the last two books in the series from an island oasis in the Caribbean!

Never say never!  It’s the beginning of the new year,  a time to dream and let your hope rise!

IF you want to check out what the other authors are saying is their favorites, you can find that list here: MFRW BLOG HOP

Write on my friends, write on!

What Awaits in 2018? #MFRW


Week 52 – the last, final post for 2017 blog challenge.

Colorful fireworks over a night sky

I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions several years ago,  but I do set goals for myself for the coming year. What’s the difference? A resolution is something you hope happens.  A goal, a smart goal is something you set for yourself with a specific framework and a deadline.

This past year – 2017 my goals were as effective as resolutions. Why? CANCER.

I’ll admit, I didn’t see that one coming.  I let it derail me. I was shocked, stunned, reeling from the diagnosis. Then the whirlwind of prompt action from the doctors had my head spinning. The only time doctors act swiftly is when it’s a serious matter,  so I felt an additional stress imagining the worst –  what if it was stage 4, what if it had metastasized, what if . . .  but it wasn’t the case. THANK GOD, mine wasn’t nearly as bad as some. Praise the Lord –  it was found early.

The point is though,  they were swift in all their actions and then rushed me to treatment. I barely had time to think. It was the next appointment, the next treatment.  I lost control of my life from March through August.

In August, I evaluated where I was in comparison to the goals I had set for myself and cried. Seriously,  I just sat there crying for nearly an hour before I decided to do something about it. Then I looked at what I could do and pushed myself to get Roxy completely revised so that I would have at least one book for Penned Con.

I did manage to lose some weight, although the goal I had set for myself was 50 pounds,  I have lost 46 pounds. Still a win! (It was a 48 but I had extra portions over the holidays.)

From September through now, it’s been a difficult battle with dropping pounds as the medication that I have to take is known to cause weight gain. In addition to my slow fat storing metabolism,  I now have an additional obstacle, but I’m winning, slowly!

I had set a goal for myself to read 100 books this year, didn’t make that one.  I have read 25. Most of those have been hard copy print books. The ability to focus was lost during treatments. Chemo brain is a very real thing. So, I’m cutting myself some slack and counting this as a win as well because I have managed to read most of those since August.

What about 2018?

What goals will I set for myself this coming year?

  1. Publish 5 books in 2018: Valkyries Curse: The Awakening, Book 2: Trial of Aegir, and Realm WArs book 1 –  I haven’t decided on a title for that one yet. This is the precursor to Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price – which has been finished for ages,  but held back because my former media coach advised me to write the prequel first. In addition,  the release of The Blood Key in a fantasy anthology, then I will release in paperback in September. And one other one – I may have to do a poll with my readers to see which one they are more interested in because I can’t decide.
  2. Continue with healthy eating and lose 40 more pounds.
  3. MOVE! We plan to move closer to where my husband works because now he commutes for an hour each way. I have discovered one major flaw in our moving plans,  they don’t have a community pool in that area, so my aquacize classes will be gone. My solution?  We need a pool of our own! (You like how I worked that in there?  You think I could maybe get a tax write off for medical therapy??)
  4. Finally get my office! We’ve been through this before, I’ve worked hard to clean an area in the basement, shared pictures on here then it was promptly taken over for another use. Can’t even tell you how pissed off it made me. Then with cancer, I honestly didn’t have the energy to fight it.
  5. Enjoy living! Carve out time to spend with ones I love and care about, do the things I enjoy, have some fun in life! This will become a priority because I am prone to get overwhelmed with all the things that should happen that I forget to enjoy everyday life. Stress less and live more!

That’s it. Those are my goals for this next year. Not a twenty point bulletin of overachiever perfection. Not a ten point attack on every area of my life. Not even a 12 month, 12 item list of things I’d like to see happen. Simple, basic, achievable yet challenging goals that will improve our quality of life.

Cancer changes things.  It really made me see how much time I waste on fretting over things that don’t really matter, conceding on things that do matter to me, and wishing I had more time for what really matters –  the people in our lives.

What about you? What are your 2018 goals and dreams? Not going to say resolutions, because we blow those before the end of January!

You can find the other authors participating in this blog hop HERE!

This post is included in the prize drawing for the flash fiction fest –  so leave your comment!  All commenters are entered in drawing for this week’s prizes. (See post yesterday for the list of prizes, I don’t feel like typing it in yet again!) All entries will be put through randompicker and the winner will be selected!

Best wishes to each of you, and have a Happy New Year!

Write on my friends, write on!