Merry Christmas Everyone

English: Merry Christmas.
English: Merry Christmas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Turkeys Left Uncooked

Keelaa's selfie
Keelaa’s selfie

I’m so thankful that we were exempt from the Thanksgiving Snow Storm power outage of 2014. With the exception of a few power flickers, ours remained on the whole entire time. The only thing we lost was the internet and our phone. The cable was also out for a few hours on Thanksgiving Day, but I’m sure that was only so that they could repair the downed lines elsewhere.
Many people in NH didn’t get to eat their cooked Turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Some won’t be getting their power back on until Monday.
You never realize how dependent you become on the technology of our times. If it weren’t for cell phones, we wouldn’t have been able to call out for help had we needed to do so.
It was bad enough that we were lost without our internet. (Which should have been a blessing for me. It’s funny how I was able to avoid working on that work in progress. No matter what, we do learn to make excuses.)
Then when the TV went off, I should have dragged out a board game instead of leaning back on the sofa and taking that nap.
Keelaa, our new pup, who’s now almost 6 months old, didn’t enjoy the snow. She hated the fact that it was too hard for her to walk in and had to resort to hopping around when she occasionally would become stuck in the snow. Being able to eat the snow is the only benefit she found. Being like a little kid, she did take her sweater off after it filled up with snow.

Julie, on the other hand, our older dog, still loves the snow.

Julie's selfie
Julie’s selfie

She would stay out for hours if we let her. I think it is funny how black dogs like to turn white by using the snow and white dogs find every muddy puddle available.
ROW80 Check In:
First off – I didn’t finish NaNo. I’m not surprised. I’ve never finished a NaNo project on time.
I did manage to clean off my desk that I’ve said I would do for the past 6 months.
I haven’t given up on Sleeping on the Beach. I did manage to give that file another 1k words.
Two weeks ago I began working on another title. It too will be published under my pseudonym of Lydia Clark. She writes my hot & sexy titles. I had so much fun writing that last one I had to come up with another one that is sort of like it. Visit Lydia Clark’s website for more information.

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Black Friday Shopping:
Most of my shopping is done – yea! I hate doing last minute shopping.
The first item I bought showed up the other day when Santa came early. It turned out to be an early present. We wasted no time hooking it up. An Amazon Fire TV with the game controller. Oh – My – God – The system is excellent. It’s nothing more than a little black box that does WiFi and plays games with outstanding graphics. It is neat as can be.
All I can do is rave about the thing. Needless to say – I did join Amazon Prime.

How did your turkey carving day go? Lots of leftovers? Did you lose your power? How did you fair?

Turkey Day Disasters

Thanksgiving – In the US, it is time for family gatherings loaded with dysfunction. We all have at least one dysfunctional family member that we hope and pray decide to visit the other family member this time around.
But just because that family member has decided to spare us a visit this year doesn’t always necessarily mean that we won’t have a Thanksgiving mishap. They happen. Life happens.
I remembered my first Thanksgiving mishap many moons ago. My son was just a baby. That was well over twenty-five years ago.
I was tired of having the same old thing for Thanksgiving and wanted to try my hand at changing things up – turning away from the traditional turkey.
Sometimes it is best to stick with what you know for the sake of the matter. Don’t experiment on your parents. They’ll never let you live it down.
What I wanted to serve that year for Thanksgiving instead of turkey was a goose. They tend to be bigger, and I thought juicer than the average bird.
We even went to the extreme of getting a bird fresh from a farmer and plucking our own. No one told me about using a hot butter knife or pouring hot liquid over the bird to help with the plucking business. I spent hours plucking that bird instead. I only learn about the later technique after the fact.


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It was our first Thanksgiving in our new home. A home we bought instead of rented. We wanted it to be memorable, not ordinary. So a goose seemed to be the answer for our change of tradition.
The plucked bird was stuffed in the usual turkey way and placed in the oven before my mom and dad arrived. Hopes of showing her that I was developing healthy cooking skills, which didn’t happen.
First the oven took too long to heat up. Apparently the regulator was gone, and we didn’t know it. Dinner wasn’t ready on time – almost two hours late.
Then Mom tried to help me make gravy. I didn’t know that goose was so greasy. The gravy didn’t want to set. Ugh!
Dad hates dark meat! That’s all a goose is made up of. Naturally he did nothing but complain about what a disaster Thanksgiving turned out to be. No one said, “Real mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, or anything about the desert being delicious.” All they could do was focus on the Goose no one wanted to eat.
Had I done a trial run before hand, I would never have selected to serve my father goose on Thanksgiving Day.

2013 – The Year of my Me Time

I’m a writer. We all know that. I’ve been writing and blogging since 2008. A few years ago I came across Kait Nolan’sRound of Words in 80 Days and discovered a vast network of fellow writers who are darned adept at cheering each other on while we all try to meet our writing goals.

Well in 2013, even though I managed to write and publish two books that brought my YA Contemporary series, Wings from Ashes to its conclusion, I slacked off.

That’s right.

I don’t honestly think that I hit an actual road block or a writers’ block, it was more like a sudden need for down time.

For the past three years, I was writing every night, almost nonstop. Either I was blogging or working on that next book.

Looking back at this past year, after publishing Along Came Neil, I lost the need to write with fervor. I no longer feel as though I need to hurry and get it done. It will get done when it is ready. Who knows, maybe my word count will be longer on this work than the past works.

Is this a sign of maturing as a writer?

I thought that the #wip I was working on for my Na No Wri Mo was going right into that slush pile of unfinished works. It didn’t after all. Instead, I have slowed my writing pace down to a hundred words or two here and there. Add a sentence there, maybe change a paragraph there.

The story is not growing at the pace I was writing at in the past. But it is growing.

I have almost hit the half-way point. Then today I thought about some additional plot points and how to work them into the story line to make it more appealing.

This new, careful way of writing brings me hope for the future of the remaining works in my slush pile. Maybe they can be saved after all. I have two other stories that remain half written and may have to be tackled next. I hate leaving anything unfinished.

Besides writing this year will continue with my Me Time. This is the time I will set aside to do other things I like doing, as in my crocheting, computer gaming, quilting, reading, and gardening.

In 2014, I will follow each completed project, whether it is a written project or a crafting project of some kind with a follow up photo to share with all of you, even if it is a book I just finished reading.

This is the sweater I made for my grandbaby two years ago. My daughter is keeping it even though she has outgrown the sweater. She says it is now an heirloom.

Sweet!

I made Jas a new sweater for Christmas this year. I will post the picture of it as soon as I get one of her wearing it, in a couple of days.

Next up is an afghan that my son has already laid claim to. I never expected that. When I’m done with that, I may need to make a quilt. I haven’t quilted since writing and publishing Friends of Choice. It is long overdue.

It feels right to find my Me Time again.

Do you set time aside for your Me Time?

What do you do with your Me Time?

Stop by and Share – I’d love to hear about your other projects.

Cyber Shopping Done – #ROW80 Check-in

Christmas is right around the corner. There are 17 shopping days left. Are you done with your Christmas Shopping?

I think I am. It will be the first time in years that I am done before the last minute shoppers hit the stores. It is a lovely feeling too. I did sacrifice my NaNo Wri for Xmas Shopping.

My plot was hitting a bump. I wasn’t sure it was going to work out right or that there would be enough action or conflict. All the shopping down time helped me work things out with my plot, and it seems the story is back on track. The first draft is 35% complete. That’s almost halfway there. If I have another strong weekend, plus the vacation I will be taking Christmas week maybe I will finish this story by the end of the year.

I do average 90 days when it comes to first drafts on manuscripts. Maybe, if I’m lucky, my ADD will stay at bay, and I will be able to keep working on this story past the 50k minimum mark. It would be neat to have a work that is a bit longer than normal.

It surely will be an adult only read. All I can say is Kings + Pirates + Maidens = Oh la la.

I’ve been listening to Celtic Music while working on this piece. It seems to help me get into the set time. This may not be our world, or it maybe. I’m thinking an Arthurian Period of someplace that is not here. Maybe add some magic, music and dance to the story to spice it up more. In time, we will see.

You’ll just have to stay tuned to learn more.

ROW80 Check-in:

I did not write at all during the week. I was glued to the Walmart site hitting all their Cyber deals.

Today I did 3k words. Yup that equals my average of 400 words a day that NaNo said I averaged. This is still within my target range. Now, if only I did the 400 words every day during the week, I would be done ahead of schedule with the addition of the 3k on the weekend. That is probably asking too much. Who knows what will happen as I get deeper and deeper into the story.

Thankful Thinking

I am thankful more often than not. I just don’t usually post what I’m thankful for, and I probably should. So this year for Thanksgiving I will post my 27 Thankfuls.

  1. I am Thankful I have a job. So what if I am a writer. I have a full time day job that I do enjoy. It is a good feeling to like your line of work.
  2. I am Thankful for being part of a loving family. Some families are full of so many crazy negatives that it takes away from being able to enjoy the time spent with them. If you find you are in this way during the holiday season, remember everyone is at a different place, everyone has a life story and a plan. You just need to wait and let it all come together.
  3. I am Thankful for those who are present in my life. You have been given to me for a reason. I don’t need to know the reason at this time, just enjoy the moments and have the aha moment later.
  4. I am Thankful for those who had been in my life. They taught me many a lesson and left me with many memories. Both Good memories and bad memories serve a purpose. Learning from your experiences make you a much stronger individual.
  5. I am Thankful for the food on our table. Lord knows some people are probably going with out and others will have more than their share. I know I have what I need.
  6. I am Thankful to be a descendant of the Mayflower. It brings even more meaning to my holiday knowing this.
  7. I am Thankful for being a New Englander. Our season weather is never boring. If you don’t like the weather just wait a minute it will change.
  8. I am Thankful our dog is feeling better. Julie is the best dog ever and we will greatly miss her when she is gone.
  9. I am Thankful I wrote those stories. I feel they are all tales that needed to be told.
  10. I am Thankful I am a writer. I have found a constant outlet for my own entertainment.
  11. I am Thankful for my fans. They are the ones who have read and liked my stories.
  12. I am Thankful that NaNo is almost over. I never did expect myself to finish that WIP on time, but it did give me motivation to get a good head start.
  13. I am Thankful for online ordering. I don’t have to face the crowded stores if I don’t want to. I shopped last year on Black Friday. That was an experience.
  14. I am Thankful it is warm out. We are saving on heating fuel.
  15. I am Thankful that the next writers meeting is only two weeks away. I can’t wait to see my friends at the NHRWA chapter once again. They are such a great group of gals.
  16. I am Thankful for starting the next work in progress. It feels good to be writing again. Now if only I could keep my butt in the chair, it would hurry up and get done.
  17. I am Thankful for almost having my granddaughter’s sweater done. I have one sleeve and the hood left to do. It needs to be mailed to her by December 20th if she is to have it in time for Christmas.
  18. I am Thankful for the Hens who lay our eggs. If only they would lay more often so we would have plenty of eggs for all the goodies I plan on baking in the coming month.
  19. I am Thankful for the love of my life. He has brought me nothing but happiness for the past fourteen years.
  20. I am Thankful my son is back in recovery. May he find strength to continue on this journey he is taking. I know the path is long and winding and some do die along the way.
  21. I am Thankful for knowing the mothers/friends in my life. One lost a daughter and a son at very early ages, randomly. The other, lost her son before his time too, accidently. Their strength they have exhibited has shown me that if this were ever to happen to me for what ever the reason, life can and does go on. They are my heroines.
  22. I am Thankful I have a granddaughter. She is sweet. Someday in the future we will have a week together.
  23. I am Thankful for the service workers. They are the ones who help keep us safe.
  24. I am Thankful for planting apple trees this year. Hopefully we will have a great crop come next fall.
  25. I am Thankful for the garden we had this summer. Our freezer is full of peaches and green beans.
  26. I am Thankful for the price of gas dropping. It has made it a little bit easier to afford those Christmas gifts.
  27. I am Thankful I don’t have to travel for the holiday. The weather is not the best, but it is fine if you are remaining home. Oh and the traffic at this time of the year is amazing.

Great Grandma got a Kindle

This year I found the perfect Christmas gift for my mom.

You see, she had been having trouble reading for the past few years. She has tried using reading glasses. In fact she even has bifocals, but they really don’t help her when it comes to reading. She is in her mid-70s.

So I got her a Kindle.

No, not a Fire, not a Touch, and not a Keyboard. It is just the simple plain Jane version.

At first I was not sure she was going to like it. She has never really been much into electronics. But the more I heard her fuss over the fact that she couldn’t see the words on the pages of the books she was trying to read the more I got thinking. Why not get her an eReader? Then she will be able to make the font larger and make it easier on her eyes.

I was a little leery at first. There was the possibility that she wouldn’t even give the device a chance.

What could I do to entice her to give it a try?

Well, first off, I put some books on it. Since I didn’t know if she was going to use it or not I put some free Kindle Thrillers and Suspense books I found in the top 100 free list.

Then I added for a bit of measure Steven King’s, 11-22-63.

Boy was I surprised when she turned on the device and began to read.

Now that it is over 2 weeks after Christmas she is 74% done reading that Steven King book.

She loves her Kindle.

So if you are having a hard time figuring out what to get Grandma or Grandpa for their birthday, why not get them an eReader?

Just make sure it is the simplest to use device you can find and they will be in their glory with the door reopened to the world of books.