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Archive for June, 2012

Yesterday my boss let me work from home the second half of the day because it was too hot for my kittens to stay outside in their cage. They have a fan blowing on them out there, but 105 is too hot for them to be out there. I think it’s just awesome that my employer had enough concern for my cats that they let me do that. My kitties were glad to be able to be in the house for hours. It’s going to be that hot again today, and I’m getting ready to let them in soon.

I’ve started cooking lately. I got my first shipment of cheese, butter, Devon cream, and tampenade from igourmet.com. I’ve tried the cave aged Emmental (Swiss) and it’s delicious. I’m planning on making au gratin potatoes with the Emmental and the Devon cream for dinner tonight. My husband will probably think the cheese is too strong, so I might have to fix another potato dish for him. LOL. And I’m making meatloaf in my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker. In the MICROWAVE. I never thought I would cook meat in my microwave, but it’s the best meatloaf I’ve ever had. And I made Burrito Bake in it the other day. I also made a cheesy rice dish I found in my Fine Cooking magazine. I LOVE that magazine. I’m becoming a cooking machine. LOL

I’m currently in the process of proofing the Libby Fox trilogy again for print. Even though it’s in ebook form already, I always go through another proofing for each print book because it’s a lot harder to correct typos after a book is in print than when they’re in ebook form. Besides, I get to read it again that way, and I have a fondness for Libby and Adam. 🙂

I’m just lazing around today. It’s too hot to go outside, even though my rose bushes really need watering. Maybe later this evening….

Okay, I’m off to let Willow and Oz in. They can spend some time annoying my husband. LOL

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Many of you who follow my blog know that I struggled with the writing of The Gnome. My struggles were mainly about whether it was going to be good enough, and whether or not I could write decent action scenes. I had only written paranormal romance up to that point, but I love to read horror, so I wanted to give it a try. And the kind of “light” horror I wrote wasn’t that far from paranormal romance. There was some romance in The Gnome, but that wasn’t the focus. I feel like The Gnome ended up being one of my better books. I worried about the action, but one of my beta readers told me that’s the area where I “shone” in the book. So where do I go from here? Do I stick with paranormal romance, or should I write more horror? And then there’s the book my husband has an outline for that I need to write, and it seems to fall somewhere in between. Although, since I’m the one writing it, I might put romance in it whether he likes it or not. LOL

How many of you cross genres in your writing? How comfortable do you feel writing something out of your normal genre? I would love to know!

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A good while back Kait Nolan called me out for not having a book page listing all my books. I promptly obeyed her command and set up such a page. I just realized today that I have published THREE books since I updated this page. *blushes in shame*. I can’t believe my mind wasn’t in a place where I think about those things. I could use the excuse of my day job, my household chores, my family, my kittens, my new puppy…. But my mind needs to be on my business, too. And I fell short. Today (yes, while I was supposed to be working!) I fixed my book page. In doing that, I also realized that Kobo had changed the URL for the books where I had links to Kobo. So if any of you have links to your books on your blog, please check and see if those links are still good, especially on Kobo.

I still have one glitch on my book page. After I inserted Vampires’ Curse after the individual Libby Fox novellas, My Haunted Lake cover picture is askew. Every cover is supposed to be left adjusted, but Haunted Lake is sticking out, farther to the right, like a sore thumb. I’ve looked and looked at the html on Vampires’ Curse, and I can’t find the problem. I experimented and inserted it in a different place, and Haunted Lake was fixed, but the book after Vampires’ Curse was then affected. So it has to have something to do with Vampires’ Curse. I reinserted the cover image, and I reinserted the Kobo link (since it’s the last thing), but to no avail. I can’t find ANYTHING wrong with the html. Grrrrrrrr.

So, do any of you drop the ball on things like this? I hope I don’t do this again. As soon as my next book is published, I need to get it on my book page!

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A couple of posts ago, I asked for suggestions on finding gourmet items that are hard for me to find locally. I only got a couple of suggestions, which disappointed me. But one suggestion was the one I needed! I had seen some things sold by “igourmet” on Amazon, and someone commented that they could vouch for them. I checked out their website, and now I’m giddy as a school girl. They have everything I could possibly need! My mouth is watering at all the cheeses they have to offer. And they have the Irish butter I need. I chatted with customer service and asked about shipping it in this heat, and they promptly responded and said it was packed with lots of dry ice. I should still probably have it shipped here at work rather than let it sit outside at home. Squeeeee! What a yummy site!

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Fairy T-shirt

My husband is awesome. He saw this t-shirt and thought I would like it, so he bought it for me. 🙂 See the dragon at the upper left? Cool shirt, huh?

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Even though we are on a break between ROW80 rounds, I still want to continue to report progress on Sundays, even if just for myself. If not one person reads it, I’m still putting words down about what’s going on, so it helps me stay focused.

Writing: Mon-1119, Tues-1061, Thurs-722, and Sat-920. I’m a little disappointed in Saturday because that’s the day I have more time, but this Saturday I knew I was going to a wedding, so I felt kind of rushed. I’m one of those people who have a hard time focusing on something if I know something else is kind of hanging over my head. LOL

Exercise: Monday, Tuesday, and Friday I walked at lunch. 20 minutes the first two days, and 30 minutes on Friday. I have trouble getting back to work on time if I walk 30 minutes, so I need to start taking my lunch instead of going out. That’s another reason I had the plea on my blog yesterday for help finding foods. I want to start cooking more. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday I rode my bike after work. That’s pretty brutal in 90 degree weather, but at least there’s a breeze when you’re riding that you don’t get when you walk. LOL

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I love to cook when I have time. I’m ready to start cooking more, and I love my subscription to Fine Cooking magazine. The problem is finding some of the ingredients. For instance, I love European butter. It’s richer and tastier than American butter, and it actually keeps longer. We used to have a gourmet food store here in my town which was owned by the same people who own a local grocery store. Unfortunately, the gourmet store didn’t do well (I think the location was bad), so they remodeled the grocery store and combined the two. So now we have a grocery store that carries SOME gourmet items. Unfortunately, the Irish butter they used to carry is missing from their stock. I saw European butter on Amazon sold by a company call “igourmet”, but I’m not sure I want butter shipped to me. It doesn’t say how they pack it, and I’m afraid it will spoil en route.

Do any of you have places you order hard to find food items? I’m hoping I can find porcini mushrooms and fontina cheese locally for a rice dish I want to make. But it would be great to find one website, or maybe one seller on Amazon (it would be better if it shipped FROM Amazon since I have Prime) to order from. Any ideas?

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I bet you’re wondering what in the world this topic could possibly be about, right? LOL. Well, I love pizza. I mean I love it SO much. I’m one of those people who have to have at least 4 or 5 pieces at a meal. Fewer than that, and I feel like I’ve been cheated. So, the pizza test. I knew that this would be the true test of whether or not I was serious about weight loss and better eating habits. So I picked up a Little Caeser’s $5 pizza and took it home WITHOUT EATING ANY ON THE WAY. Then, I took out two slices and put them on a plate. I sat down and slowly savored each bite. AND DIDN’T EAT ANYMORE. That’s right, folks, I ate only TWO slices of pizza. That’s practically unheard of! But I did it. I passed the pizza test. 🙂

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This has been a strange round for me. In the last three rounds of 2011, I wrote and published a novella for each. That’s when I did the Libby Fox series, which consists of Dark Relic: Vampires’ Curse, Secrets of the Wolf, and Search for the Vampires’ Curse. I loved writing these novellas, and I hope the sales of them pick up someday. My older works still do better than these novellas, or the compilation of them, Vampires’ Curse. I have yet to figure out what makes some books sell better than others, even when the ones that are selling aren’t quite as good as the ones that aren’t. Anyway, I digress and ramble. This round, I just couldn’t get my motivation together. I would have some days where I wrote, then many other days when I didn’t. This was so foreign to me, because I had always stuck to goals and written most days of each round. I don’t know what happened to me. I felt like I was so busy with other things in life and didn’t have the energy for writing, I guess. I really envy those who can write any time of the day because they’re not burdened by a time-consuming day job. I want to be in that situation someday. I WILL be in that situation someday. So I didn’t finish my current WIP in this round. But that’s okay because I can continue it in Round Three. No one is going to beat me with a stick for not meeting the goal I had of finishing this round. I LOVE ROW80. The word count has been good the past two days. Monday – 1119 and Tuesday – 1061. I think it’s really helped to stop focusing on a certain word count every day (usually 500) and just focusing on spending a set amount of time with my WIP. This has actually led to higher word counts, as you can see. 🙂 So I feel like I’m really back on track.

Exercise and eating habits are going well. I planned to only report specifics about this on Sundays, but since this is the last check in for the round, I’ll do it here. I walked at lunch both Monday and Tuesday, and I rode my bike Tuesday evening. I’ve been leaving food on my plate and stopping when I’m satisfied. If I feel like having a burger, I have one, but leave off the french fries. Sometimes it takes just changing little things to make a difference. I buttoned a pair of shorts today that I usually leave unbuttoned and just zip up. Yay!

I look forward to Round Three, and I hope the rest of you will join me again. It’s been fun!

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I LOVE Michael Johns. I had never heard of him until last year when someone told me he was on American Idol and how good he was. So I went on YouTube and he blew me away. Yum! This guy makes my heart flutter. Here are two videos for your viewing and listening pleasure:

This is a song off of his album, I think.

I love his version of this Dolly Parton song. It doesn’t sound country when he does it. LOL

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