Goal Progress Report after February

· Finish THE BUNYAN BARTER. DONE

· Edit SHADES OF GRAY; In progress. I’m about 50 pages into this re-edit.

· Finish GIRL VERSUS DEMON: DEMON DEADLY SINS. Am at the 1/3 mark, and full speed ahead.

· Research THE PERRAULT VOW. Ideas are percolating! 😉 Research fun is started.

· SEKRIT PLAN #1 Still working on this.

· Blog at least once a week Okay, so I’ve totally fallen down on this one with life going crazy and the newest publishing hiccup. Will be trying to get back on this horse.

· Work out on a regular basis Does loading and unloading for a convention count? Haven’t done as much as I’d like; some of this is due to the bitter cold weather we’ve had here lately.

· Bathroom remodel Hubby and I are earmarking funds for the tub and shower surround; our goal is to have this bought in the next two or three weeks, so that we can actually start doing the work on all of this.

· Write at least two new short stories. Working on the ideas and doing research. And I might have had an incredibly awful idea for one…that is starting to scream at me to write it. Blame my Sister and Niece…they’ll know which one I mean…lol

· Plant some roses So not happening while the weather is like this!

· SEKRIT PLAN #2 On hold … waiting for both the bathroom remodel and Sekrit Plan #1 news to get started.

· SEKRIT PUBLISHING NEWS AND THE WORK BEHIND IT This was about the official print release from Musa Publishing for book one. I’m working on the next step on this series, will announce more when I know more.
NEW GOAL ADDED! Cuz I don’t actually have enough to do…Let’s add another. EAT HEALTHY 6 days a week, eat what I want 1 day a week. I’m doing a bit of calorie counting but at the same time, I don’t care if I go over my calorie count for the day as long as it’s healthy stuff…raw veggies, fruit, etc. I am trying to add in more of that.

Progress Report January

On this, the third full week of January…where am I at on these goals for 2015?

Without further ado, and in no particular order…

  • Finish THE BUNYAN BARTER. Well, I am writing like a maniac and closing in on the end, but not done yet…good thing I’ve still got a week to go!
  • Edit SHADES OF GRAY. Not on my radar yet until after January. Have been discussing with Hubby the need for cover art, edits, and have been talking to another author about interior formatting. More as I figure this out.
  • Finish GIRL VERSUS DEMON: DEMON DEADLY SINS. Not on my radar yet until after January.
  • Research THE PERRAULT VOW. Not on my radar yet until after January.
  • SEKRIT PLAN #1. Working on it.
  • Blog at least once a week. This counts…so I’m still on it!
  • Work out on a regular basis. Hauling books into the house, taking inventory for 2015, reorganizing everything for upcoming appearances, and repacking the car, and then unloading and reloading for my first event of the year counts, doesn’t it?
  • Bathroom remodel. We are actually going this weekend to look at faucet fixtures or a light/vent fan combo. We’ll see what we see and see what prices we can find. Is it sad that date night is dinner and Home Depot?
  • Write at least two new short stories. Too many ideas popping up while on deadline for something else…needs to stay off my radar for me until after January.
  • Plant some roses. Where are my gardening gurus? I’d like pink or red flowers, possibly sweetheart roses. I’ve had roses in containers before, so I get that these aren’t the easiest, but what would you recommend for fairly low (relatively speaking) maintenance in a small yard?
  • SEKRIT PLAN #2. Will have to happen if #1 happens. And yes, this is another remodeling project in the house. We have the paint. That’s as far as we’ve gotten.
  • SEKRIT PUBLISHING NEWS AND THE WORK BEHIND IT. Will have to keep you updated as I can; this is not yet in stone, and is still in flux, but the work it will take to do this will be in the to do list.

So, it doesn’t seem to look like a lot of progress yet, but progress is being made. Once I get through January, you might see a bit more accomplished.

Until then, keep your hands and arms back, and provide the writer on deadline with a continuous IV of coffee!

Goals for 2015

GOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I’ve gone to WAY too many soccer games….or, as Husband and The Boy would put it…not enough.

My point is that this post isn’t about New Year’s resolutions, but rather goals for 2015.

My thought is that if I set myself twelve goals for 2015, enough that MAYBE I could complete one each month, that it would be a really nice way to see what progress I’ve made this year. However, as some of these will take more than a single month to finish…I’d like to set them, and then keep myself honest by posting here on progress throughout the year…

Without further ado, and in no particular order…

  • Finish THE BUNYAN BARTER. This one will come up fairly quick, as the manuscript is due at the end of January to the publisher. This is my biggest priority at the moment, so if I turn down plans with someone…you know why!
  • Edit SHADES OF GRAY. Yeah, that werewolf novel I’ve been kicking around for a long time. I’ve just about decided to self-publish it, having put out some feelers about editing and cover art and etc., but it needs a heavy duty deep line edit before I do it. I’ve noticed some inconsistencies I’d want to fix before putting it out there.
  • Finish GIRL VERSUS DEMON: DEMON DEADLY SINS. It’s a third plus of the way done. Once I get contracted deadlines met, this needs to come off the back burner and get out there. I do plan to query with this one; I have a great publisher, but I do not have an agent as of yet, and I’d like to see what I can do with this one.
  • Research THE PERRAULT VOW. The final (!) book in The Grimm Legacy series needs some research foundation under it, and a loose outline finished so I’ll be ready to start writing it in the fall.
  • SEKRIT PLAN #1. I’ll tell you more when this gets started. So to speak.
  • Blog at least once a week. This will be my week one blog…so I’m keeping up already!
  • Work out on a regular basis. I don’t want to make weight loss a plan, because I don’t want this just to be about losing weight, although I’m a-okay with dropping a few pounds. I want getting healthy to be the plan, so I’m good with the idea of some kind of exercise two to three times a week.
  • Bathroom remodel. Husband and I have been stockpiling supplies to remodel our upstairs bathroom. So far, we have linoleum and laminate flooring, a vanity and vanity top, and a mirror/medicine cabinet. We’ll likely be able to reuse the existing toilet, so all we need is to save up the money for a new tub and shower surround, the materials for behind it, a new light/fan, and all the remaining hardware and supplies. Once we have the rest bought, we’ll be able to determine how much time it’ll take to do the work, which we’ll try to do a lot of ourselves.
  • Write at least two new short stories. With new characters and different worlds. I wrote two short stories in 2014; one an epic fantasy work for hire project (more on that later), and a story set in outer space. It’s my understanding that BOTH of them will be released in anthologies in 2015; time to start work on two more.
  • Plant some roses. I’ve wanted some rosebushes in my flowerbeds for YEARS. Grandma King used to have rosebushes, and I always loved them. I’ve had some luck with a rosebush in a big container on a patio in the past. Now that Husband has yanked out the ornamental grasses that I HATED in my flowerbeds, I can start thinking about putting rosebushes in. Not a ton. Thinking maybe one this year, and see how it does. Unless I get talked/tempted into more, that is.
  • SEKRIT PLAN #2. Will have to happen if #1 happens.
  • SEKRIT PUBLISHING NEWS AND THE WORK BEHIND IT. Will have to keep you updated as I can; this is not yet in stone, and is still in flux, but the work it will take to do this will be in the to do list.

WHEW!

Life is what happens when you’re looking the wrong way…or something like that.

Well, last week was INSANE.

I was obsessing over the last details of THE ANDERSEN ANCESTRY last week (yup, hit my deadline. Yay me!), when everything else seemed to be exploding at the same time.

Last Wednesday, the day before the book was due, I thought I was doing pretty darn good. I’d gotten up that morning and everyone in my household was getting things together and out the door early. That doesn’t always happen. The one snag was getting after The Boy for putting his shoes up on the couch as I was reaching for my own shoes…

Only to find, when I got to the office, that I was wearing two different shoes. Both black, both platform heels of the same height…but one was a Mary Jane style shoe and one was a penny loafer style shoe. What still amazes me is that I’d grabbed a right shoe and a left shoe and put them on, walked to the car, drove to the office, and then got halfway to the office door before I realized I’d done it. Oops.

Thursday morning, BF said he wasn’t feeling well. I’d mentioned that I had a hearing that morning, and was running around like mad (and of course, checking my shoes) to make sure I had time to go to the office first. As we all ran out the door, we found that I had a flat tire. And I’m not talking about a low tire…I’m talking flat-as-a-pancake. Turned out I’d somehow picked up a roofing nail in my tire, without realizing it. BF had me hop in his car, and he dropped me at the office after he dropped The Boy at school. He asked for my key, and I gave it to him.

What I didn’t think about was that my door handle was not working correctly, so the key wouldn’t work. I hadn’t given him the keyfob thingy, so he couldn’t get in the car. Instead, he couldn’t even get inside the car to drive it to the tire place with the spare on because he couldn’t get inside the car. Before I knew it, he’d dropped the key at my office…but I had no idea where my car was. He headed on to work, and ended up busy, so I couldn’t get an answer about where to find my car…I was even calling the tire place asking if they knew where my car was. (It was still at home, since he couldn’t move the car itself he took the tire off, took it to the store, had them patch it, came back, and put it back on the car.)

Friday, I realized about halfway through the day that I’d left my wallet at home. Of course that was the day that I’d planned to do the after work grocery run.

And then, just Tuesday morning, we got skunked.

I’m not kidding.

A skunk sprayed the side of the house right behind the kitchen windows, near the sunroom (which BF corrects me, and he’s right…it’s now really the Man Cave). We don’t know why. We don’t know what for. We do know, however, that it must have been REALLY upset. I have a theory that one of the neighborhood cats might have ticked it off right beside our house, but I don’t know that for sure (I just know that I’m constantly chasing cats out my backyard).

Two days later, I’ve got bowls of white vinegar all over the house. I’ve got a couple of small plates of coffee grounds sitting out as well to soak up odors. We have a trap set beside the house to catch the skunk, and I’m planning to scrub the house from top to bottom when it’s caught and gone. We’ve changed the furnace filters, and we’ve Febreeze-d the house within an inch of its life. Elizabeth the fuzzy minion has been CLINGY beyond belief, because, of course, she’s stuck here all day smelling it while we get out and go to work.

I’m so paranoid about smelling like skunk that I’m Lysol-ing and Febreeze-ing myself on a regular basis. I think its just stuck in my nose and I can’t get it out.

So…if you were to walk by my desk at work and smell lavender, it’s the air freshener and odor neutralizer I’m keeping on my desk, and I’m using enough of it to neutralize just about the worst smells you could imagine.

On the other hand…it is getting somewhat better.

So who’s got a good de-skunking idea? Remember…I don’t want to use tomato juice because it stains, and because the skunk didn’t actually spray the inside of the house. It’s just the odor to get rid of inside the house.

Any suggestions?

Updatery and Stuff and Things

Life is awfully crazy around here, between writing like a fiend (or at least trying to), work on the house before winter and hosting a family get-together on Halloween for Beggar’s Night, The Boy in a soccer tournament, working a full time job, and planning our wedding.

We’re in good shape so far on wedding planning, at least in getting things on the calendar and booked. A big thanks to Mom and Sister who made a lot of phone calls for me when I couldn’t because I was at work during the day. More details to come as we firm things up.

There’s a new article by me, that went up last week. Sorry for the late notice, but it’s information that is good for anyone planning to write a novel, especially during the craziness that is National Novel Writing Month. Here’s the link…http://diannaswritingden.com/2012/10/17/building-your-world-by-addie-j-king/

Sorry for the delay…life is a bit crazy at the moment!

Also need to tell everyone that EIGHTH DAY GENESIS: A WORLDBUILDING CODEX FOR WRITERS AND CREATIVES is being sold at a 10% discount from now through November by Alliteration Ink. If you’re planning a novel, or writing a short story, this book has a lot of awesome ideas and suggestions from all kinds of authors, including an essay on legal systems in science fiction and fantasy by ME! Check it out here…http://8thday.alliterationink.com/ and click on Buy It Now…and enter the discount code writenovember to get your discount.

I am a Klutz Extraordinaire

Some of you may have already heard what I did earlier this week. Some of you will not be surprised to hear it.

I’ve been panicking about all the details of everything I have to get done over the next month or so. Not only do I have the book release and launch, but also a conference right after that, a house in dire need of spring cleaning, another book to write, flowerbeds and yard in need of weeding, thinning, and mulching, a garage in need of work…and a partridge in a pear tree, if you catch my drift. There are more details on top of that that are more personal, but suffice it to say…all good stuff, just a lot of details to handle.

Sometimes the best thing I can do when I feel overwhelmed is to start tackling the details that are right in front of me.

That means house and yard.

Over the last week, I started tearing apart my house. The weeding is (mostly) done in the backyard. Hanging baskets are up on the porch. I started inside, with taking down curtains to wash, washing windows, wiping down baseboards, clearing out cabinets and closets, etc. I always feel better when all of this is done, and I figured I could slowly get the entire house in order.

So, Monday night, BF had decided to get some stuff done at his house. I was alone at my house, and decided to take down the rest of the curtains in the dining room. To get to the last set, I was standing about three stair steps up, since the window is right at the base of the steps. I pulled down the valance and the curtains with no problem.

The problem was that I stepped on the trailing curtain as I tried to come down off the stairs.

I have no idea how graceful I looked (probably not at all), but it hurt.

I sat at the base of the stairs for a few minutes, collecting myself, before I made it into the living room and onto the couch. It only took me a few minutes to realize that 1) it was serious, and 2) I needed to go to the emergency room for x-rays.

I called BF, who came and picked me up. The minute he got me out onto the porch, the skies opened up and sheets of rain began to pour from the clouds. By the time we got to the emergency room we were soaked. And cold. And miserable. My hands were shaking, although I’m still not sure whether it was from the cold or from the injury itself. Probably both. And we were in the emergency room for more than two hours. Between the three medical professionals that took care of me…only one seemed like a human, with an actual sense of humor and compassion. The doctor especially seemed annoyed that I was even there, but it was the closest emergency room, urgent care was closed, and I’ve been to the ankle sprain rodeo before…I would rather go get x-rayed to be sure it’s not broken. And I couldn’t walk on it at all at the time.

I got lucky. It’s a bad bruise and a sprain, but it’s not anything to sneeze at. I’ll spare you the pictures, but my foot is black and purple on the inside AND outside of my foot, it’s still swollen, and it looks terrible.

Of course this happens when the house is still in the torn up, I’ve pulled everything out of the closets and cabinets, stage. Needless to say, the housecleaning is on hold for a couple of days. I’ll get back into it eventually, and get everything exactly the way I want it. I’m trying to take this as a sign that I needed to just slow down and take a breath. Or ten.

Good news is that I was only on crutches a couple of days, but am still hobbling.

I just wish I had a better story for how it happened.

Just call me Grace.

Silence and a Learning Curve

I’ve been silent here because there are so many things going on that I wouldn’t know where to start. There’s also a lot of things in the news that make me crazy, but I possess both the right to remain silent, as well as the capacity to know when to keep my trap shut, so I’m being quiet. I’ve written many blog entries, and consigned them to the trash heap corner of my flash drive, where they will likely never see the light of day…and that’s probably for the best.

My personal life has gotten a lot busier than normal…but that’s not a topic I generally discuss on the blog.

I don’t have any major news to report regarding the writing. According to the conversations I’ve had over email with my publisher/editors, we’re on track to release THE GRIMM LEGACY right on schedule on May 25, 2012.

I’m learning real quick about working to deadline…I’ve had a bunch of those lately. And I’ve been learning about my own ability to meet them….as well as being realistic about hitting them without losing my mind.

I’ve been talking to people about different things with regard to the release of the book in May, but I don’t have anything to report yet.

I CAN tell everyone that I am scheduled to be at MARCon in Columbus, Ohio on April 6-8, 2012, and am scheduled to be on four different panels while I’m there.

Here’s the schedule…

Friday April 6, 2012

8:30 p.m.             Writer’s groups-the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

10:00 p.m.           Paranormal Romance

Saturday April 7, 2012

4:00 p.m.             The Urban Fantasy

11:00 p.m.           Beyond Sex: Writing Realistic Relationships in Novels and Short Fiction

As usual, there will be someone at the house when I’m not there, and Elizabeth the amazing whiny cat will be on her usual guard patrol.

More to come as I get deeper into this process!

Public Service Announcement

The day to check your balances on your retirement accounts is NOT the day that the Dow drops 600 points. Or even the day after. If you see the stock market drop that much that fast, wait a week before you check. Make sure it’s not a fluke.

Just sayin’,

Gulp.

Trust me. I say this from experience.

The Easiest Mood Cure in the World

So I was cranky when I got home from work last night.

It wasn’t that I’d had a bad day. Far from it. It had been a strange day, with oddball cases in court, but for the most part, the day had run on schedule.

But it was hot. And I don’t just mean shorts and a t-shirt hot. I mean humid and hot, as if I was breathing soup instead of air. I grumbled into the house about having to go out later and water all my flowerbeds and gardens, checked on the goldfish in the pond, and went inside to deal with Velcro-kitty.

The cat was GLUED to me. For some reason, beyond my understanding at the time, she was absolutely wigging out. And she wanted to sit rightthere, attached like Velcro to my hip, as I tried to check my email.

We’ve been in need of rain for quite some time. It’s so hot that plants are getting scorched in the sun.

I decided that I was going to sit down, pay the fuzzy minion some attention, have an adult beverage, and relax, to shake off the cranky-pants mood I was in.

And then it began to pour down rain outside, sheeting against the front windows, thunder booming and echoing outside. No wonder the cat was freaking out. She’s terrified of loud storms, and had known it was coming. It rained and poured and there was lightening and thunder.

And then I realized I’d forgotten to get the mail. Luckily, the mailbox is on my front porch, which has a roof over it, so I could step outside and get the mail and take a minute or so to watch the storm without getting wet.

And then I saw it. It was a package I’d been waiting for. It was my author copies of the anthology coming out this Friday. It was the first time I’d seen my own fiction in print, the first time I’d seen my name as a byline under a title of one of my own stories, the very first paid publication credit I’ve gotten.

I started grinning. It hasn’t stopped yet, twenty hours later.

(Yup, that’s my hand. I couldn’t figure out another way of taking the picture without terrible glare from the overhead ceiling fan.)

There is nothing on this earth that jollies one out of a bad mood faster than seeing your own name in print for the first time.

And I’m still smiling.

(FYI, it is available for pre-order on Amazon now, and the release date is THIS FRIDAY!!)

Travel Plans

I’ve talked before about picking conferences and staying within one’s budget.

I’m following my own advice this year; I am staying closer to home than I normally do.

In that end, I will not be attending any conferences outside of Ohio this year. As much as I’d love to return to some of the conferences I’ve been to in the past, it’s just smarter this year to stay closer to home.

I’m hoping that means that I can do more since I’m spending less.

I’m still putting together some of my plans; I might even be able to stay at my own house and commute…which is a big budget saver.

I’ll say it here…no, that doesn’t mean that I’m having money problems. It means that I have a house that needs a few updates and a bit of a facelift. I need new carpet. I need new flooring in the bathrooms. I need to fix my dishwasher. There’s a whole list of things that I need to replace. These things mean prioritizing. I’m hoping that getting a head start on house expenses means the ability to travel more next year.

As I finalize plans, I’ll post my conference ideas.

Where are you planning to go this year?