Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas is near o_o

It's the week of Christmas, and I am not ready. Not at all. My house is a disaster area. My decorations aren't up yet. My Christmas shopping is only half done. Usually, I'm a little more prepared than this but this month has been hectic and the holidays have managed to creep up on me faster than expected.

For instance, last week I was in Colorado partly for work and partly for pleasure. As a result, I lost a week to the madness. I managed to get some presents while there so it wasn't a complete bust in terms of Xmas preparation. As a side note: Denver is awesome. We went to the Denver Festivus, a beer festival, in an old hangar which doubled as a museum. They had all local beers and even I, who usually doesn't care for beer, found a few I like. We also went hiking at Red Rocks which has an amphitheater built into the side of the the rocks. Pictures are below if you're interested.

Now though, Christmas with all the impending madness is around the corner and I am slightly freaking out. In addition to the usual amount of family, I have friends in town so I will be pretty busy. This is both good and bad. Good because I get to hang out with some people I rarely see anymore. Bad because I am so close to being done with this book that I can practically taste it, and I just can't physically find the time to write the ending. Grr. I just need two days of steady writing time. Two! I think I could finish if I had just that much time, but I have so many impending plans that I don't know if  I'll swing it.

Wish me luck. For now, enjoy the photos while I try to carve some writing time into my schedule.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The end is near...

Of the current book I'm writing, anyway. I'm entering the end game and gearing up for the final confrontation between my characters. It's gets my adrenaline going to be this close, but at the same time I still have several weeks of writing left.

I'm about three quarters of the way through and have officially entered the stage of just wanting to be done. My brain is so fried that I don't even care whether what I'm writing makes sense. At this point, I've promised myself that all flaws and bad sentences will be caught and polished away in the editing and re-writing phase. All I can think is 'the end is in sight. Must get there as fast as possible before my brain deflates.'

So to give my brain a break and also entertain others, here is a photo of my cat. She's found a new toy. It's called tissue paper.

To my frustration, I've discovered that taking a good photo of a black cat inside is nearly impossible. Her fur makes all her features just blend together until all you can see is a blob. I refuse to give up though, hence the photo :-|

Thursday, November 26, 2015


It's that time of year again, where amazing food and the people you love come together for a memorable day. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it's about spending time with the people you love and giving thanks for the blessings you have in your life, both big and small. I have a lot of things to be thankful in my life right now.

This is the first year where I am responsible for the Thanksgiving meal. My kitchen is small as is my dinner table but it will work out somehow. I'm particularly excited about the turkey that's currently roasting in the oven. I decided to go bold and tried for a whiskey, maple brine that I got out of a magazine. It'll either be amazingly delicious or frighteningly horrible. That's what's so fun about cooking for me. The adventure. You never know if the end product is going to turn into something that will make your taste buds scream in delight or if it's going to be an epic fail your family will be ribbing you about ten years from now.

Along with the turkey, I am doing mashed potatoes, another thing I don't have a lot of experience cooking, corn bread spoon bread, roasted mushrooms and pumpkin pie. All of my favorites.

Now I think I will stop typing and get back to cooking! Hope everyone has a memorable Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

When your brain doesn't want to work

Writing can be hard. It often feels like an uphill climb on a never ending mountain. Today, I'm reminded of just how hard it can be. I've stared blankly at my computer screen for the past half hour, willing my brain to churn out something, anything and haven't written a single word yet. At times like these, I'm stuck asking questions like 'Do I give up and hope it comes tomorrow or do I push on and force the issue?' My writing goal was high today as it's a Saturday. I even cleaned part of my house yesterday and dodged plans with a friend so I could concentrate on writing. I don't want to walk away from my desk with nothing to show for it.

I've learned over the past few book that a large part of writing is discipline. It's pushing through the initial brain soup and persevering on yourself. If I waited for inspiration, I'd still be working on my first book. There are times, though, that it doesn't matter how I push and pull on my imagination, nothing comes. I really hope today isn't one of those times.

Sometimes I can jump start my brain by distracting it with social media, goodreads or checking out other author blogs. Sometimes the process of brewing loose leaf tea with its precise measurements and methodical preparation relaxes my brain enough that the words inside can escape. Also, I just like using my really pretty cast iron tea pot. Other times, I switch my writing hats and work on something writing related (like this blog) before going back to the book.

Hopefully, complaining on here will have gotten the gears turning so I can achieve some progress today. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

So excited for December

I've already got my tickets to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Dec. 18. As you can guess, I'm pretty excited about this. It's the first time I've actually bought tickets in advance of a movie. Usually, I just show up on opening night and hope for the best. That's how I did it for all of the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potters and any other popular franchises.

I saw the original trilogy when I was on summer break in high school. My dad knew I loved Sci Fi so after I worked my way through the Aliens movies, he talked me into borrowing the three Star Wars movies from the library. They were amazing and totally opened my eyes to a whole new universe. I have to admit that I never cared for the prequels and didn't come even close to this level of excitement when they first came out. Some of that is because I don't really care for prequels that I already know the ending for. The other reason is that J.J. Abrams is directing the new trilogy and I love what he did with the most recent Star Trek movies. He's a very talent director and I am waiting with baited breath to see what he does with the Star Wars universe.

The only bad thing about this is I still have nearly a month and a half before the movie comes out. Ah well, patience is a virtue.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ghost, Goblins and Witchs

It's that time of year again. Halloween. Where you get to dress up and pretend to be any sort of creature or thing you want. The more creative the better. I think that's why I like this holiday so much. It's such a rich holiday for the imagination whether that be creating a costume or decorating your home. That's why, for the second year in a row, I'm throwing a Halloween party.

My slight obsession with Pinterest has come in handy lately as I've managed to source a lot of great ideas for do it yourself decorations. It's also where I'm getting all the ideas for spooktacular recipes. Since I'm not made of money, I thought I'd think outside of the box and try to create several things from relatively inexpensive materials.

The below were created with construction paper and a stencil I created by printing the outline of a bat off my computer.
Poster paper and tracing my hands.

And the last image - streamers, poster board and tape.

I don't know why but it gives me an awesome feeling seeing the things I created out of such simple materials. Maybe it's because I've never considered myself particularly crafty. I'm excited for the party and hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Back In the Writing Seat!

I know I've been out of touch for the past year or so on this blog. Oh wow, just checked and it's been over two years. Way longer than I thought. How time flies when you're busy working, writing, and living. My only defense is I've been hard at work at what matters. Writing.

In that time I've managed to finish the project I was working on, edit it, and start querying potential literary agents. I've recently started a new book and have made decent headway in the narrative. My goal is to finish the rough draft by the end of this year. Don't know if I will make it but need to challenge myself. I'll never get all of the ideas cluttering my head space down on paper if I don't start writing faster.

Right now my progress feels strong and I'm getting word count most days but the real test comes when I get to the middle section of the book. That seems to be where I usually get bogged down. This time I have a new plan of attack and have created an extensive outline that should help me find my way again.

Wish me luck and stay tuned. Below is a video I found that made me laugh. Enjoy!