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Archive for October, 2014

This story is based LOOSELY on a true story (you can ask how). I almost didn’t post this, because you guys probably didn’t know my mind got this dark. I used to wonder how Stephen King could seem to be such a normal guy and write such disturbing stuff. And then I realized, maybe it’s the normal people who write it instead of DO IT. LOL. Anyway, I’m going to take a chance and hope I don’t scare anyone off. And I want to apologize to my sweet husband. No, I don’t secretly wish him ill. He’s the love of my life. Folks, this is just a STORY!

The Morning Glory

It was a morning in early fall when I first saw it. There, entangled in the rose bush beside the garage, was a morning glory. I knew I should dig it up. It could choke the life out of my rose bush, and this one was one of my favorites. But, for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The flowers were lovely, the trumpet-shaped blooms a deep blue, the vine so delicate. Surely, this little thing couldn’t hurt my rose bush. Besides, the rose bush was just about finished with its last blooming cycle.

I went back into the house, going about my usual business, the thought of flowers leaving my mind as I worked on my chores. It was a Saturday, and I was hoping to get a lot accomplished. Soon, the house was clean and neat, and I felt like taking a walk outside after all I’d accomplished.

I walked around my rose bushes, deadheading the old buds. When I came to the rose bush where I had found the morning glory earlier, I frowned. The tendrils had snuck into the garage. I had to leave the garage door open all the time since the door would no longer open and close, so there was no way to really keep anything out. I stooped down and touched the tiny flower that was forming on the end of the vine. I felt an affinity with it, some deep empathy I didn’t understand. I knew I should get rid of it, especially since it was invading my garage, but I just couldn’t.

The next day, when my husband and I got ready to leave for church, I noticed the morning glory had made its way farther into the garage and wound its way around a rake handle. He looked at it and frowned.

“Is that a morning glory?” he asked. “I need to get rid of it when we get back from church.”

“No!” I shouted, surprising us both.

“It’s invading the garage,” he said.

“But it’s pretty. Let’s just leave it, okay?”

He shook his head, but when we came back later, he didn’t bother the little vine. I went outside later that afternoon, and the plant had wrapped itself around the tines of the rake and then trailed along the wall to the mattock, wrapping itself around the handle and the business end. I smiled.

The next morning, as I was getting ready for work, my husband said, “Have you seen how far that morning glory has gotten into the garage? I’m digging it up today.”

“You can’t do that!”

“I’m going to. Stop acting weird about it.”

A strange calm came over me as I left for work. All day, I thought of the beautiful morning glory. I knew my husband wouldn’t dig it up. When he saw how glorious it was, he would have to leave it alone.

I started to pull the car into the garage that evening, but I saw something that made me slam on my brakes and jump out. There, lying in a pool of blood, was my husband. The tines of a rake were embedded in his stomach, and the mattock was lodged in his throat. I glanced at the morning glory where it had wrapped itself around the shelving unit high up on the wall. It looked like it was hiding.

“Come on down now, it’s okay,” I said.

The morning glory slid down the wall and wrapped itself around me in an affectionate hug. I said, “I’m sorry you had to see this. It was a horrible, horrible accident. I guess it’s just you and me now.”

The vine tightened around my waist and neck as the delicate flower on the end caressed my cheek. I turned my lips toward it for a kiss.

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ROW80 Check-In 10/29/14

I’ve written two days this week for a total of a little over 1100 words. I was trying to shoot for 5000 words a week, but since I sort of fell out of love with my WIP, I’ve backed off a little to regroup. It’s coming back together, but I’m not going to push too hard. If I get 2500-3000 this week, I’m okay with that. There it is, short and sweet!

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ROW80 Check-In 10/22/14

I almost didn’t post since I really have nothing to report. I took some time off from my book like I said I was going to, but I took one more day than I’d planned. Yesterday, hubby had a skin cancer taken off his forehead, and they had to go deep, so he’s in a lot of pain. So I watched TV and a movie with him last night and made it all about him. I figured that was more important than writing at the time. Tonight is church night, so I’ll get back to it tomorrow and see if my motivation is back.

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I’ve had a little “hiccup” in my writing. I’m feeling strangely detached from the book I’m working on. I’m trying to figure out why, so I’m taking 3-4 days off from writing, just relaxing, playing games, etc. Then Monday or Tuesday (I’ve already taken Friday-Sunday off) I’m going to reread everything I’ve written and see if I can renew my interest in this manuscript. If so, onward I go. If not, I’m going to switch to another book for awhile. We’ll see how it goes. Has this ever happened to any of you?

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Wednesday, I got my second Stitch Fix box. The last time, I kept two items from the box. This time, I kept three! And I paid about the same because the jeans in the last box were almost $30 more than the ones in this box. I had told the stylist I preferred more feminine things, and she tried to accommodate me. Here are the items I kept.

blouse2

This shirt is an odd color. Sometimes it looks purple, and sometimes it looks brown. In the note from my stylist, she said she picked the embroidered blouse because I had mentioned I wanted to see some lace in this box. It’s not exactly lace, but it works.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
blouse

I almost didn’t keep this one because I felt like it made me look heavier than usual. But I loved it so much! The designer took a blouse that would look very plain and added a ruffle at the bottom. It also has a large keyhole opening in the back with a ribbon that ties it at the top. I’m wearing this today, and it’s OH so comfy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

jeans

These jeans were a little…immodest for my taste. I specified straight leg jeans on my style profile, but she keeps sending me skinny jeans. Hubby even thought they were a little too tight in the rear. I liked them well enough that I decided I would keep them and make sure I wore long shirts with them. (I’m sure the guys here at work wouldn’t mind the jeans, LOL.) Anyway, the color isn’t exactly true in this picture. They are sort of a light bluish, greenish, grayish color. A little unusual, which I liked.
 
 
 
 
 
There was a sweater I didn’t keep because I thought it cost too much, and I was already at my budget. There was also a dress that was WAY too short. WAY!
 
This is so much fun that I decided to go ahead and let them send me a box every other month. I told my husband that my December Fix could be my Christmas gift. I hope I’ll be a size down by then and can change my profile. 🙂

If anyone is interested in doing this, please let me know. If you follow my assigned link and decide to sign up, I get a $25 credit toward my next Fix when you buy something. NOTE: The sizes only go up to size 14 at present, although they are working to change that. Also, these aren’t Wal-Mart clothes, so they can be a little pricey. That’s why I can’t keep a whole box, so I hope I never like everything in the box. LOL.

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I just checked in two days ago! Wait…I was a day late. 🙂

I’ve been making some progress. In the last three days, I’ve written for about an hour and a half, 1908 words. I didn’t write last night because I was SO upset with CreateSpace. When I got my proof, the cover of Fire Wizard was so dark and bland. Nothing like the colorful cover Anya had made for me. 😦 I just couldn’t focus. So I went to my friend’s Jamberry Nail Facebook party. Retail therapy is so effective. You know, that’s the first Facebook party I’ve ever attended that wasn’t an author’s party. It was the first party I’ve ever attended on my “real life” Facebook account. And I won something!

I did write about 30 minutes during lunch today. Wednesday isn’t usually a writing day, but since I was feeling sorry for myself last night, I thought I better make it up a little. LOL

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Yes, I’m a day late. I unplug so much on weekends, especially Sunday, that I sometimes forget it’s check-in day.

My main goal is, basically, to write five hours a week (trying to get about 5,000 words done, figuring on 1000 words per hour.). I stated it as five days, one hour each day, but I allow myself to make that up as long as I get five hours in for the week. I ended up only working, I think, four days, for a total of about four hours. But I ended up with about 6000 words because I averaged a lot more than 1000 words per hour. So that means I’m still on track to finish this book during this round. I’m at least going to try! 🙂

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See that little tab up at the top that says “Newsletter”? Click it. You know you want to. Seriously, I’m going to start sending out newsletters about new releases and other news, but I won’t be spamming anyone. You’ll get very few newsletters in a year if you sign up. BUT…if you do sign up, when I get 50 people on my list, I’ll do a drawing for a signed copy of Fire Wizard. /end of promo

My goal is to write for 1 hour, 5 days a week. This is 5 hours a week. I’m a little bit behind on that since I’ve only gotten in a little less than an hour and a half so far, but I can make that up on Saturday since I have most of the day to write. My cozy mystery is going pretty well. It’s my first attempt at this kind of story, so I hope I can do it justice. It’s harder to write than paranormal romance. I’m at the point where the murder is about to happen. Well, at the point where the body is found. That ought to be interesting.

I’m still stewing in my mind about the Sci-Fi romance. I need to start plotting that out before I forget stuff.

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I complete forgot today was the beginning of Round 4! My, how time flies.

So here is what I hope to accomplish this round.

1. Write at least five days a week.
2. Write for at least an hour each time.
3. This is a big goal, but I would love to have my cozy mystery finished by the end of the round. It’s probably not going to happen, but 80 days is 11.43 weeks. Multiply that by 5000 words per week. I could write 57,150 words by the end of the round if I stuck to goals 1 and 2. And I already have a couple thousand words written. Plus, I usually write more than 1000 in an hour now, so there’s a little wiggle room. So it’s POSSIBLE.
4. Get my science fiction romance plotted out.

Goals 1 and 2 and can be measured each check in. But achieving goal 3 can’t happen until the end of the round. And goal 4, well, whenever it’s done.

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When I format my books for ebooks, it’s SO easy. I can do it quickly with no problems. All Romance has several formats, but you have to convert them before uploading, so I do Mobi, Epub, PDF, RB, LIT, html, etc. I never have any problems. BUT, when it comes to formatting for print, there are so many things you have to do. I keep forgetting what order I like to do it all in, so I decided for next time I needed to make a checklist. I thought I would share it here since someone else might benefit from it.

This is all done in Microsoft Word. I’m assuming you already have the paragraph indents done. Some of these steps might not apply to you.

1. Change the pages to the size you want the book to be. I do mine 5.5 x 8.5

2. Change it to “justified”. This is where the right side lines up, which is the norm for print books. Some people do this for ebooks, too, but I don’t see a reason for it.

3. Add the “gutter” so that when the book is bound, there is room in the margin. You have to choose “mirror margins” and the gutter should be on the left side on the odd pages and the right side on the even pages.

4. Change the chapter font and add a graphic under the chapter if you want one. This is entirely optional, but I like my chapters to have a different font with a graphic.

5. Go through and make sure all chapters start on an odd numbered page. If they don’t, add a white page right before it. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it looks more professional, and most traditionally published books are like this.

6. Add your headings. Your name goes on the even pages and the title goes on the odd pages. You should choose “different odd and even” and “different first page”. I always leave off the headers on the blank white pages and the first page of each chapter.

7. Add your page numbers This is the bane of my existence. I hate adding the page numbers. Sometimes this goes smoothly, and sometimes I get so frustrated I have to come back later. This last time was one of the frustrating times, but then I suddenly got it. One of these days I’m going to write down DETAILED instructions as I go. Again, I don’t like page numbers on the blank pages and first pages of chapters. OR the title page and copyright page. The way you make this happen is you have section breaks, not page breaks between chapters and also between the title page, copyright page, and blank pages.

8. Tell your cover artist how many pages your book is so she can make the cover the right size! 🙂

These are NOT detailed instructions, it’s just a checklist. If I left anything out, please let me know. I had to do this from memory since I’ve already done the book. Also, if someone sees anything I need to reword, let me know.

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