Articles

Good News, Bad News

It’s crazy how much can happen in a week, isn’t it? More good news than bad, though, which is how it should be, methinks.

Good News: My new glasses came in last Tuesday, and I picked them up right away. I’m kind of missing the old bi-focals, because there was a clear demarcation of where the reading lens was vs. the rest of the correction, so it was easy to know where to direct your eyes. Now, I just have this sort of fuzzy area in between that won’t correct either way, and that does kind of drive me a little nuts. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, and I’m happy to have the stronger reading part (that does make a huge difference), even if it is kind of small, but it’s going to take a little more time.

Bad News: I think I mentioned that I missed budgeting the week before last due to poor planning on my part…and I definitely paid for that (no pun intended) last week. It was a very expensive mistake – one that I really couldn’t afford. So now, more unnecessary expenditures have to be temporarily dropped until I can make up the difference. Sucks, but this is a lesson I *will* learn, no matter how long I need to struggle with it.

Good News: Needless to say, I did get my transaction log downloaded early this past Friday, did my budgeting for the paycheck that should hit my account today, and as long as I’m careful and stick strictly to the budget, I’ll stay in the black. No finger-crossing necessary, just discipline.

I had Thursday and Friday off work last week – Thursday was my birthday, and I kept it all to myself. Friday was just for fun. My weekend was pretty low-key…household stuff, more new routines put into place (some money-saving), and I was more careful than normal with my time, so I got stuff done and didn’t have to rush about it. I am really going to strive to do that more often going forward. Weekends are so much nicer when they aren’t spent rushing to get everything done.

Yesterday wasn’t a vacation day, but a federal holiday, so I spent it writing and knitting. And playing a little, but I did limit close screen time because…

Bad News: I realized something a little depressing during the time I had off, which is that once again, I’m straining my eyes with all the “extracurricular screen time”. Mostly, playing games on my cell. *sigh* My eyes have been incredibly dry lately, and part of that is the extra heat running plus the cold air when we’re out walking, but part of that is my propensity for playing games in the evenings (Pokemon Go & Animal Crossing) rather than just watching TV and crocheting/knitting (or playing a game on the TV screen, which is far less taxing on the eyes than playing on my cell). The switch screen is bigger, and doesn’t seem to bother as much, but Pokemon Let’s Go is still engaging enough that I’ll sit there and stare and *not blink*, which is the killer.

So…along with breaks every hour or so, I also need to build in a few hours in the evening where I’m not visually focusing as hard. I’m using my Neo to write, which is a non-backlit screen with big letters, so that works well, and I’ll just have to make sure to put my cell down after we get back from walking and do something else while I’m watching TV (if not playing big-screen games).

Good News: My weight is slowly (oh, so slowly) dropping with the extra workout time I have with the new morning routine. I have time for weight lifting along with yoga four times per week (Mon/Weds/Thurs/Fri), and adding weight lifting in there has made a big difference. So hooray for that! I’ve lost around 9lbs since last August, and would like to lose another ten or so. We’ll see if the downward trend continues, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

Finally, I am a very small stack of comic books away from being completely caught up on my Harley Quinn backlog. Once that’s done, I only have a smallish stack of Amazing Spider-Man comics to get through, and I will finally be completely caught up with all my comic book series. *And* I got a gift certificate to the comic shop for my birthday, so…I see a restocking trip in my near future.

This week will be short, busy, and end in a haircut, which I really, really need.


Support your author:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks

Fair Time, Hobby Restart & Comic Book Catch-up

It’s county fair time! Which was more fun when I was in high school/4-H, but I still enjoy going to the fairgrounds to eat fair food, check out the exhibits and take in some free side-shows along the midway. We’re going tonight, so that should be fun.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that I had an idea on how to get back to the hobbies (and my comic book TBR pile). Well, I’ve been working on implementing that and another one, with some good success. Sometimes whining is productive, once you realize that at least some of what you’re whining about just isn’t true, when you really think about it.

I set myself up for success this past weekend, in that I did what I could to make my hobbies more accessible to me, and also to change my perspective when it comes to hobbies like stamp collecting and fiber arts. This is one thing that my personality does not serve me well with, and I end up putting too much pressure on myself to “do and learn everything right away”, and “participate and interact regularly with other hobbyists” with activities that should be fun and relaxing, rather than stressful. I tend to treat it like a job and knock myself out trying to learn everything about it all at once, instead of taking it easy, figuring out what I enjoy about that particular activity, and then focusing on that. In a more moderate manner.

So part of getting back to my hobbies is to acknowledge that I don’t have to do “all the things” associated with that particular hobby, and I don’t even have to do much in one sitting just to make a little progress & enjoy myself. Saturday night after I cleaned my office, I got my two stock books out and put several hundred assorted worldwide stamps into glassine envelopes for passing to other collectors. They’re stamps I got in the big assortments that beginning collectors get when they’re first starting out. Those packs are great ways to sort of figure out what draws your eye and what you’re personally interested in collecting, but I’d kept far more than I was actually interested in keeping just for the sake of “building my collection”.

Years later, I have a better idea of what I like and what I’m not really interested in, and I feel like I can pass along the stamps I’m not interested in, and just keep what I really like and want to know the history of. That will make collecting easier as time goes on too. Before, I’d get shipments and keep a lot that I kind of liked, but didn’t really fit anything else in my collection. Now I feel more okay with saying “no” to things that just don’t interest me – and I think that will make for a healthier collecting attitude/environment, and make my collection easier to maintain.

I tell you what – it felt good to sit there for an hour last Saturday night and just look through stamps, deciding which to keep and which to pass on. It was relaxing and fun. I have an hour on Monday and Friday nights set aside for working with my stamp collection, so last night, I went through a couple more packets of stamps I bought ages ago. Put some into my newly cleaned out stock books to be put into albums later, and put the rest in a pile for trading/selling. Another enjoyable hour.

My issue with fiber arts (crochet/knit/weaving) is similar but different, in that if I’m just making stuff and not worried about what/who it’s for (or if it’s for myself), I’m having fun. If I’m working on something for someone else and that’s the whole point of the project, that’s work, and no longer fun. I wish that wasn’t the case, because I’d love to make things for people, but that’s how my brain perceives it, unfortunately. I need to just “make stuff”, with no particular purpose, and then if I happen to have something on hand that will work as a gift, so be it! If not, no problem, I’m not going to knock myself out to get projects done on a deadline, or to specific sizes/colors/etc. I have to take the “work” out of it in order to enjoy it…probably because it needs to be a relaxing endeavor in order for it to “earn” space in my already tight schedule.

I need some new dishcloths (for myself), so that’s where I’m starting this week. Simple, easy, no pattern needed (so I can easily watch TV while working on them). I have an hour on Tuesday and Thursday nights set aside for crochet and knitting projects. It’ll be Thursday night this week, since tonight is fair night.

I figure with two nights per week set aside for each hobby, I’ll feel good if I actually get one night for each. That gives me two “chances” to work on things, and if I use it, great, if not, well…no biggie. I can’t complain about not having time for these things if I actually have time built into my schedule. It’s unlikely that all four nights in a week would be preempted for something else. And if that happens on a regular basis, then maybe it’s time to give priority to whatever’s doing the preempting.

These hobby hours intersect with our normal “TV hour” between 9-10pm, so they won’t get in the way of dinner or walking the dogs or working out or whatever. I’ll be splitting focus those four nights, but Monday/Friday nights are hit or miss on the TV thing anyways, as the hubby often works out late on those nights (he did this week, so focusing on stamps was easy enough once the dogs settled after our walk). As long as I’m working on easy things I don’t need to follow a pattern with, Tues/Thurs should work fine for knit/crochet/weaving. Keep it simple.

As for comic books – I mentioned last week that I’ve been reading one issue every morning when I get up. Last weekend, I hung a magazine rack in the hallway between the bedroom, the office and the bathroom, so I can grab the next issue as I’m headed from the bedroom to the bathroom to shut off my alarm, and then when I’m done with that issue, it goes in a pile on the bookshelves in the office for archiving later. Routines are all about flow, and a simple magazine rack on the wall makes the morning flow that much more efficient. Plus, it’s a visual reminder to grab an issue – not even just in the morning, but whenever I have time.

So…good things happening around here, plus the writing is finally picking up a tiny bit of speed, finally. Naturally, I’m wondering what kind of a curveball life will throw at me next to knock all this new organization/prioritization out of my hands, but until that happens, I’ll just enjoy being back to “normal” for awhile.

That’s really all we can do, right?


Resolution Check-In
Sleep 6 hrs: Did pretty well for the weekdays, but worse on the weekends.
1 push-up per day: Did 5 on 3 non-consecutive days, and that’s it. Need to work on that.
Goals check-up: Completed Sunday, with a few changes to a couple hobby goals.

Writer’s notes for this week

Just a Few Things…

…because I’m dead tired, it’s later than I’d like it to be on Sunday night/early Mon. morning, and I have to be up and getting ready for work in 5 hours.

  • National Poetry Month is over – yay! I love poetry, really, but man, that whole poem-a-day thing was much harder than expected. A good exercise, but not one I’ll care to repeat anytime soon.
  • Amazon sent me an email advertising their new Prime “Sweets” program. Apparently you can order a button to put in your house, and whenever you press it, Amazon will send you a box of goodies. Um…does Pavlov’s estate know about this? And why do I suddenly want cheese?
  • I got a new tattoo last Wednesday – continuing on my Victorian/steampunk/dark story arm. I should post pics here, and will eventually, but for now, visit my Instagram or Twitter pages to see, or friend me on Facebook. It’s another skull cameo, in a top hat this time, and my artist added a monocle which I think just really completes the whole tattoo. It’s awesome. I love it. Next up – poison bottles.
  • This coming Saturday is Free Comic Book Day – yay! Hit up your local comic shop and/or bookstore to get a nice stack of free comic books. My local comic shop is The Splash Page, and I’ll definitely be stopping in sometime Saturday morning.

That’s it for now – gotta get some sleep so I can function on this predicted-to-be-rainy Monday.

Odds ‘n Ends

Yesterday, I turned 41. It was a rather uneventful day, really…and I spent most of it trying to decide whether to get my normal Sunday chores done then, or put them off until today (since it’s a federal holiday, I have today off work). Needless to say, I put most of them off (except for what really had to be done, like laundry since my hubby has to work today), but I didn’t really do anything else either, so…I kind of squandered my “free time”. It’s almost better when my birthday falls on a weekday, because I always take the day off, which means I don’t have anything that has to be done so I can just do whatever without guilt.

In any case, it will only take me a couple of hours to get my chores done today, so I’ll still have plenty of time today for reading & writing. I won’t have time to binge-read an entire novel like I was planning (not if I still want time to write, anyway), but I have a (smallish) stack of comic books waiting, including the latest Harley Quinn and I Hate Fairyland issues. That’ll be a nice segue between cleaning & writing, methinks.

As far as drafts go, I’m currently working on Donteneoux’s Dragon, a medieval/steampunkish sort of fantasy/sci-fi story. It’s not nearly so convoluted as it sounds, but I’m not sure how else to describe it, since it will *seem* fantastical to the reader but there is no magic involved, and all will be explained logically…eventually. It’s got me intrigued, even though work on it has been slow, but I’m enjoying discovering the story as I go.

The second draft I’m working on is a still title-less short origin story/myth to complement my first young adult adventure story that will hopefully be coming out this spring. There will be several novels in that series, and I plan to write an origin story for each of them, to be sent out with quarterly newsletters throughout the year. I think it will be fun, and also add a little more depth to the main stories as they come out.

Hopefully, I’ll get a little work done on each today, to start the week off right.

In other news, this Wednesday Lucy-dog goes in to get her ear amputated to remove that monster-tumor and to have a lump just behind it removed. Whether or not that’s the “right call” is anyone’s guess, especially since my husband and I both thought we felt more swelling on the side of her throat this weekend. But, we’ll see, I guess. I’ll drop her off at 7:30am with food, insulin, syringes & care instructions, and hopefully they’ll give her back in somewhat better(?) shape around 48 hours later. Luckily work’s been busy lately, so I should have plenty of distractions on Weds/Thurs. And there are certain projects I need to get done so I can take this Friday, as well as the following Mon/Tues off to make sure she doesn’t pull out her stitches, and to monitor her blood sugar with the meds she’ll be on.

Fun times, I tell ya.

Now, I should probably get my butt in gear and get to work – time’s a-wastin’! Right after I make another cup of tea and maybe eat a leftover piece of angel food cake…

2016: The Year of Threes

I have a lot of things I want to accomplish and improve on in the next year. And when I first wrote out my list of resolutions, it was pretty long. I looked at it, and decided to distill everything down into three sections (personal, writing, and work), with just three goals each for the year. Anything I accomplish or change outside of that is just gravy, so to speak. And I have, in fact, already made some changes not on my lists that mean (among other things), that I had more time on Sunday to get this blog post written and scheduled.

I’ve also started changing my attitude towards certain aspects of my life – it’s a process, but since I’ve started that shift (with my vacation in mid-December), my head has been a lot more clear, and life in general has felt much less overwhelming. My main goal for 2016 is to keep it that way as much as possible.

Leaving out the work list (because it just doesn’t need to be public), here are my personal and writing resolutions for this year:

Personal
– Read *every day*, even if just for 10-15 minutes.
– Treat hobbies with the respect they deserve.
– Engage in more analog, tactile activities

Writing
– Write three novels in 2016 (I have them chosen)
– Write eight short stories: two per quarter for each pen name (just writing under two this year)
– Focus on just two drafts at any one time (one novel, one short)

Last year, I was so focused on meeting my writing obligations that when I was on vacation and tried to remember the last time I’d picked up a book, I couldn’t. Reading is my escape, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. It’s one of the few things that pulls me out of my own head, makes me stop thinking about my own life, and forces me to live in the mind and life of someone else for a little while. And I underestimated the importance of that to my mental well-being. Ever since my vacation, I’ve made a point to drop everything – even writing – by midnight and go to bed so I can read for half an hour before sleeping (the only time I’m guaranteed to get). And my mental state has improved significantly just by making that one little change.

One other thing I found I was doing was making hobbies into “mini-jobs”. Whether it was crochet/knitting, or comic books, or stamp collecting, I was getting to where I felt guilty for not making/finding time for them, but also guilty if I *did* indulge because I should be doing other things – stuff for the writing business, or writing, or housework, or whatever. So I felt like I “should” work on them, but always felt bad when I actually did. Not healthy.

This year, I’m going to engage in my hobbies guilt-free. It’s healthy to explore a variety of interests, and I don’t want to stifle that just because I feel guilty that something else has to wait. My hobbies will all have a weekly spot on my schedule where I can work on them if I want (or not, if I don’t feel like it that day). No obligation, and no guilt.

I should note that for priority purposes, my writing is going to “major hobby” status in my brain this year, rather than “second business”. I’m done feeling guilty for working on other things because I “should” be writing (or working on something regarding writing/publishing). My writing doesn’t have to pay the bills, and since I like my job, there’s no reason to saddle my writing with the responsibility of making money. It’s fun, and that’s why I want to do it. It’s okay to write as a hobby. It took me awhile to be okay with that attitude.

Writing does help to keep me mentally healthy though – I get a bit angsty/anxious when I don’t write. So writing is a higher priority hobby, and has a set spot in my schedule Monday through Friday. But business is not fun for me, it’s work, and worse, work I don’t want to do. Writing is great fun. I have no need to make writing pay, therefore I’m going to pay far more attention to what’s “fun” than what’s not.

My writing goals are there more to give myself limitations, rather than give myself deadlines. I love writing so much and have so many ideas that I tend to tackle way, way too many projects all at once, which is part of why I was in such a pickle with it last year. It ceased to be fun, and became just another obligation. My three resolutions are there to rein myself in, so I keep it fun, rather than trying to do too much.

As far as engaging in more analog/tactile activities – it all started with a pack of Harley Quinn cards my husband gave me last month. I decided to play a game of solitaire with them – and found it the most relaxing few minutes I’d spent in a long while. Played a game of solitaire on the computer to compare…and it wasn’t nearly as relaxing. Even though I have a touch screen, there’s still something about being physically engaged with an activity – turning over cards or puzzle pieces, turning pages, writing by hand – that is …well, just so much different than interacting with a computer for the same tasks.

While I have zero intentions of giving up my computers/gadgets/ebooks/computer-based job, I did notice a definite mental downshift when playing solitaire with an actual deck of cards on my ottoman, or working on a jigsaw puzzle laid out on our dining room table. There’s something about the tactile experience that forces me to focus, to engage more with the task, and to let go of all the other things swirling about in my head. Crochet/knitting are similar, along with my stamp collecting hobby, or reading print books/comic books.

More tactile activities seem to keep me out of that overclocked-overstimulated frame of mind that is so deadly to my daily outlook and attitude. So I plan to make a point of setting the screen aside more in the evenings/on weekends, and doing more analog/tactile tasks, even if I’m just “playing”. Good for the brain. Also, good for dexterity. Win-win!

There will be challenges this year, and things I don’t want to deal with, but I think sticking to these few basic “ground rules” will keep me on a mostly even keel no matter what I have to deal with. And that should provide a good basis for the other changes I want to make as I work my way through another calendar (and planner).

Hittin’ the Reset Button

It’s been awhile since I took a vacation from work – over a year, as a matter of fact. I love my job, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been a seriously crazy year both personally and professionally, and I’m taking the whole week off just to regroup and get my head back on straight. Or as straight as it ever is, anyway. Murphy’s Law being what it is, there are a zillion things I could allow myself to be dragged into and distracted by, but I’m holding firm, and declining any obligations or invitations other than what I truly *want* to do. Honestly, I may not leave the house Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday at all.

Wednesday afternoon I’m giving myself a Christmas gift – a new tattoo. It will be on my left forearm, which means my week is naturally sort of dividing itself into “things I want to do before my arm is swollen and sore” and “things I can do without using my left arm much”.

Needless to say, the first half of my week will include a bunch of crocheting I’d like to get done (and some movies, while I’m at it). The second half will include reading my way through my comic book backlog, finishing off a novel and starting another one. I have some writing and editing I’ll work on the first half of the week as well. Maybe even the second half, if the swelling isn’t too bad.

Anyone who knows me well knows I have a lot of different interests, many of which I really want to pursue “right this second”. I used to be able to get away with spreading myself pretty thin, but things change, “life” changes, and priorities have to change along with everything else. It’s just the way things go. I’ve been doing a *great* job of stressing myself out with all the things I want to do, vs. the things I need to do, vs. the things I feel like I need to do for health or other “noble-sounding” reasons.

The stressing out needs to stop, and the only real way to make that happen is to decide what’s most important to me, set the rest aside (even if it’s just for now), and make sure that what I keep doesn’t exceed the time and mental energy I have available. Easier said than done, in some cases, but I’ve already made some progress on that this weekend, so I’m optimistic.

I also need to get back to regular daily workouts. I’ve done well with keeping up the morning yoga, but my nightly workouts (and daily stair-climbs) have been completely tossed aside. And I wonder why the stress is getting to me…

Now, for my first stress-free, Monday vacation act, I shall sleep in (it’s around 1am as I type). And it will be glorious.

 

Of Fall, Brains, Hobbies & Ink

I know, this is late. It’s been “a week” already, and last weekend was busy too.

Fall is here, and inexplicably, our desire to get some yard work done kicked in this past weekend. Although it was probably more a sense of panic than anything else – as in, I bought a bunch of bulbs awhile back and really needed to get them in the ground. We spent a good portion of Sunday planting 200 bulbs, and still have quite a few left to plant next weekend. I sure hope the work pays off next spring.

Weekends are seriously not long enough for both yard and housework. I think that’s why fall/winter are my favorite seasons. Frozen ground and snow means no yard work and an excellent reason to stay inside. I might feel differently if weekends were four days long…

Actually though, it’s more cerebral than that. My husband and I were talking this weekend, and we’ve both had a lot more mental challenges at work lately (“lately” meaning most of the past year). Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (though I think we could both use a good vacation), but it does leave a lot less brain power for anything outside of work. Halloween is normally our “Christmas”, but this year we’ve both been so distracted and busy that we’re not even doing much in the way of yard decor…our normally elaborate decorations are scaling way back to nearly sedate, just because neither of us have enough energy to deal with it (or even think about it, really).

My writing has really suffered as well, unfortunately. I’m still getting words down semi-regularly, but it’s not nearly as easy this year, and the publishing part – editing, formatting, cover art, distribution, promotion – it’s all just…way, way on the back burner because I have no mental space to even think about it, much less do it. I did have sort of a “crisis of faith” with regards to my writing abilities (no need to try to make me feel better on that one – if I know you even a little, I won’t believe you anyway, sorry!) for a good chunk of the year as well, which contributed, but using more brain power at work is definitely one of the main issues in how far behind on the whole writing/publishing front I am.

Alas, life goes through seasons just as nature does, and things will not always be this hectic.

I’ve been thinking too about how it’s so easy for hobbies to turn into obligations. The writing and it’s inherent obligations notwithstanding, I have stacks of comic books to catch up on, books half read and not even started, stamps everywhere that are waiting patiently to be cataloged, a sock that would require about 2 hours of my time (maybe less) to finish knitting, and sweater not even a quarter done in crochet, and while none of these things are necessary, important, or something anyone but me cares one iota about, somehow, I feel like I’m “failing” by not getting them “done”.

Why is that, I wonder? I mean, they’re my hobbies. Their whole purpose is to entertain me when I have the time/inclination to be entertained. They aren’t obligatory activities like work or housework, no one is waiting on me to finish any of them (as I said, writing notwithstanding), and they aren’t hurting anything by just sitting around waiting (okay, I may eventually be buried alive when the stacks of comics or prose topple over…or I suppose suffocation by yarn is entirely possible as well). So why do I feel like they’re just one more thing on the to-do list? Things I genuinely enjoy (which includes all of these things) should not feel like obligations. And I know it’s my own perception that makes them feel that way…I just don’t know how to change it.

Of course when I finally get that vacation I’ve been whining about? I fully plan to spend half of each day writing, and the other half with my nose buried in fiction someone else wrote. At least until I get to the bottom of Mt. Super/Anti-Hero.

I like to work on fiber arts (crochet & knitting) at night while watching TV. But I’m still suffering from the delusion that says if I have my laptop in my lap, I will Get Stuff Done. Important Stuff, like publishing and promo and web site updates and…

Yeah. It doesn’t happen. But every night, I delude myself into thinking it will, instead of just closing the laptop and migrating to the floor with the dogs and my latest yarn project. The grand irony is, I’d probably get more done if I just left the laptop closed, watched TV, played with the dogs, played with yarn, and *let my brain rest* for a few hours – away from the constant stimulation of news feeds and virtual conversations. Then late at night when I finally plug back into the matrix, so to speak, I’d be refreshed and ready to do…stuff.

TemptTat

On a completely different subject, as you can see, I got my tattoo/cover-up done last week, and it’s gorgeous. Well, not so much right now, because it’s healing and peeling and generally shedding like a real snake would, but it was beautiful right after it was done, and it will be again in another week or so. I love it. Andrew Hauck is the artist with Ghosts of Grace Tattoo Collective – http://ghostsofgracetattoo.com, and I’m going to have him do more work for me next year – I love his style and his philosophy with regards to tattooing and art. Good stuff.

Tomorrow, I have to pay my blood debt to the insurance company in order to keep getting my insurance free through work, which is annoying for a lot of reasons, the least of which is not being able to have my late night snack and tea, or my early morning tea tomorrow. *sigh* Mornings are hard enough, but navigating one without tea or food is just torture.

Tonight, however, there was steak. And wine. Mmm…wine…

And yes, a workout later. New body art is a great motivator for me to keep working towards a “better shape”!


Enjoy this post? Support your author:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords
Audible | iTunes

Talkin’ Books, July 1, 2015

The print TBR pile - The Blue Labyrinth is on top only because we just bought it. The hubby will read it first.

The print TBR pile –  or part of it, anyways (I have plenty of books sitting in my office waiting to be read as well).The Blue Labyrinth is on top only because we just bought it. The hubby will read it first.

 

Books Finished:
Still The One by Jill Shalvis
Ruby by Anna Skye
Her Imaginary Husband by Lia London
White Fire by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Instant Temptation by Jill Shalvis
Instant Gratification by Jill Shalvis

Kindle Books In Progress:
Enter Ruinland by CJ Anderson
The Indie Author Power Pack  (Write, Publish, Repeat)

Print Books in Progress:
The Kill Switch by James Rollins & Grant Blackwood

Comic Books:
Silk #1
Harley Quinn #15
Harley Quinn Valentine’s Day Special
A few other issues of different series that I didn’t keep track of before archiving them

I know, it’s been awhile, but time’s been in short supply for the past few months. Or I’ve been lazy about blogging. Probably both.

I have been reading though, as you can see. Lots of romantic comedy (ala Jill Shalvis, my favorite), catching up with my comic books and working away on my print TBR pile which is growing by the week.

There are even a couple romances up there I’d classify as “new adult” – romances for the late teen/early 20’s set. I’m not normally into those, and I can’t say I am now either, but Ruby was surprising in that it’s written in first person (which I really don’t like) yet it held my interest to the very end. And then I was just annoyed at where it ended – not a cliffhanger, exactly, but the story isn’t finished, it’s just in a sort of “lull” with no real resolution. Not my cup of tea – it makes me feel manipulated into buying the next book (which I haven’t, and probably won’t). Plenty of people *do* like that sort of serialized novella format, so if you do, and you like new adult romances, I’d certainly recommend it – the writing is great and the story engaging.

Her Imaginary Husband is another young/new adult romance, though light on the romance, and more of a “coming of age” sort of story. It’s well-written, but the reasons for the central plot (a non-existent husband) seemed a bit overly dramatic/angsty for me, though true to the age/maturity of the character. Mostly it just seemed “young” in every way, which makes me feel old. LOL

There’s a reason I’m really not into the new adult romance trend – mostly that a lot of the plots and decisions seem silly and overly dramatic and could all be solved with a healthy dose of honesty and confidence/backbone – but they did when I was that age too. I’ve always been an “old soul” (and a very direct one at that), so the genre as a whole really just doesn’t do it for me.

Then we swing about 180 degrees in the other direction, and you have White Fire, by Preston and Child, my favorite adventure/thriller duo. It’s not as much of a page-turner as some of their others, I’m sad to report, but it’s still a good read, with a rather engaging mystery at the core.

And in yet another direction entirely, I’ve just started Enter Ruinland, by CJ Anderson. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale with a central theme of sociopaths being genetic “mistakes”. The writing style is quite different than the normal “mass market” fare, and it took me a bit to get into it, but the story itself is very intriguing so far, and I’m interested to see where it goes.

Next up from the print pile is the latest Tucker & Kane novel by James Rollins & Grant Blackwood – The Kill Switch, which I just started, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy because…Tucker & Kane. Tucker is the rugged and oh-so-manly guy Army Ranger who finds/extracts people and “stuff”, and Kane is his dog. Who also finds things, and protects Tucker, and is incredibly intelligent, handsome and pettable. My kind of guy. 😉

And of course Jill Shalvis and Tawna Fenske both have new books out this week (more romantic comedy – yay!), but I’m trying to convince myself to wait and see if they go on sale later. Yes, I know, I should support my fellow authors, but…well…I’m still kind of cheap when it comes to books (because I buy and read quite a few, probably).

That’s what’s going on in my reading world…if you’re so inclined, feel free to share what you’re reading as well…

On…Random Stuff

Monday was rough. Part of it was me not being properly prepared because I didn’t use my weekend wisely (take this post, for example…). Part of it was just me being an idiot (the last couple hours of the workday, mostly). All in all, it added up to a day I’d rather just forget, though parts of it are going to spill over into Tuesday by necessity. But my Tuesdays generally suck, so no big surprise there. I expect them to be bad, so I go into Tuesday pretty much resigned to the fact that whatever’s going to happen, will, and surviving the day is all I can really reasonably ask of myself.

A couple of groovy things that happened this weekend:

I turned the heel on the sock I’m knitting and started decreasing the gusset

FirstSocks

I got a bunch of fun stamps from the Monthly Postcard Exchange

IrelandStampPackage

A third groovy thing for the week: Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!

Now, I’m off to bed because it’s past my bedtime yet again, and I’m gonna need my wits about me tomorrow…

Here’s hoping your week’s off to a much better start than mine!


Enjoy this post? Support your author:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords
Audible | iTunes

Talkin’ Books: January 28, 2015

Books Finished:
Best Man For Hire by Tawna Fenske
Invasive Species by Joseph Wallace

Kindle Books In Progress:
The Indie Author Power Pack 

Print Books in Progress:
White Fire by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Comic Books:
None

Another quick update as I’m knee-deep in revisions and formatting to get the latest book out by Friday and still get some new words written for drafts in progress as well…

Look at that – I finished two books this week! Good stuff, I tell you what.

Invasive Species is one of those books where you just keep thinking that the situation *has* to get better, and it just keeps getting worse instead. It’s both fascinating and horrifying, but ends on a hopeful note as well, though a different one than you might think. If you like suspense, it’s definitely worth the time & money, in my opinion.

Best Man For Hire was good, but as I mentioned last week, I just really haven’t been in much of a romance-reading mood lately. I go through cycles, and apparently I need something else for awhile. This book definitely has it’s moments, and it’s hilarious in spots (all Tawna’s books are), so I’d certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a rollicking good time.

I also made some progress with Write, Publish, Repeat from the Indie Author Power Pack. I found a few more nuggets of wisdom regarding blurbs that I think might help quite a bit, and a couple interesting tidbits on titles as well. I’m skimming a lot of the pricing/distribution parts, because I’m content with the way I handle those already, so we’ll see what comes up next…

And I also started White Fire by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child in paperback this week. I haven’t gotten too far into it, but I already know it’s going to be good…partly because they always are, and partly because my husband loved it. Good enough for me!

That’s it for this week…hopefully next week I can get back into my comic book stack. Harley’s getting lonely!


Enjoy this post? Support your author:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords
Audible | iTunes