Category Archives: Random Weirdness

Happy New Year! We Survived!

  If you can see this, you’ve made it through 2016. Or at least, 2016 on the east coast of Canada. Hoisting a glass to you all in hopes of a better 2017.

My resolutions haven’t changed much. Keep fixing up the house. Buy a newer car, as this one is getting up there in years. Take the kid on a trip, since she’s never been farther than my mother’s in her life. And try to get back to writing, which given that it’s another job on top of the two I have already… urgh. But, houses must be repaired and bills must be paid. I’ve requested a schedule change at job one to give me a day every two weeks home with no distractions. So a new resolution for this year is to make that work for me, lol. And, I’m hiring people to do these things, instead of trying to do it myself, because it’ll get done faster and better.

So, as a gift from me to you, for surviving this absolute shit of a year, I give you:

A Nutty Interlude(maybe some slight spoilers? not really. Like Vince is ever going to leave Nathan, right?)

“I’ve never had a real tree before,” Vince said through a mouthful of pine needles. He spit out the branch trying to feed itself to him and peered down the trunk at Nathan. “Now I know why.”

“It’s just a few needles,” Nathan said. “They’ll clean up easy.”

“We should have done this tomorrow. Who takes down the Christmas tree on New Year’s Eve?”

“In my family, it’s a survival requirement.” Nathan was about to explain, when the explanation himself burst out of the tree and landed on Vince’s head. “Luke!” Nathan yelled. “Get off him or you’re spending New Year’s outside!”

The squirrel, a gray-backed cousin of Nathan’s, spun in a circle, digging his claws into Vince’s scalp as he turned. Vince’s eyes started to tear up with pain and the tree slipped out of his grasp when he tried to wipe them. The tree rolled and tipped sideways, and Nathan was pulled off-balance on the slippery front step.

Whoosh! Down he went, bumping over each step with the tree sliding merrily after him and his Cousin Luke yelling excited squirrel obscenities into the chill air.

“Nathan! Nathan? Are you okay?” Vince fumbled his way past the branches splayed over the step and fell to his knees beside Nathan.

“Yeah,” Nathan wheezed. Visions of acorns danced around his head for a moment, unlike the pleasant ones at Christmas, then slowly faded.

Cousin Luke bounded up the tree to sit on Nathan’s chin and peer worriedly at his face, only accidentally sticking his little front paws up Nathan’s nose once. He chittered once, asking if Nathan was okay, and Nathan chittered back that he would, but Luke wouldn’t be if he didn’t get a grip on himself. Luke shot back an angry chitter and spun to race back into the house.

“We better go after him,” Nathan said and began to fight his way out from underneath the tree. “He’ll get into something, for sure.”

“Well, I guess 2016 is having a last go at us,” Vince said as he helped Nathan to his feet. “You sure you’re all right?”

“Yeah. This isn’t the first time Cousin Luke did something landed landed me with a bruised butt.” He smiled and cuddled into Vince’s arms. “You may want to check me over later to make sure there’s no permanent damage.”

“Already in the works.” Vince held him close. “Let’s get the tree out to the end of the driveway and then we can plan our own personal fireworks.”

As they dragged the tree over the lawn, Nathan decided that no matter how bad 2016 had been, he still had Vince, and if even Nathan’s family hadn’t chased him away, then maybe it wasn’t an entirely moldy year after all.

I have to fix my snowflakes

In so many ways, lol. I usually have snowflakes in the winter on my site, but I forgot about them until the other day. Now it looks like my Christmas lights are working, but I’m going to have to dig a little deeper into the backend of the site to figure out why the snowflakes aren’t showing.

So, NaNo was a success, in that I wrote 50,000 words. Sadly, they weren’t all in Proud Flesh. I’d thought, this one being slightly lighter in tone (once you get past the beginning) than the first one, I wouldn’t have the same reaction while writing it as I did while working on Flesh Market. Boy, was I wrong.  At least this time, I caught it before I got to the point I did with Flesh Market, which was a level of anxiety and depression I hadn’t experienced in a long time. So I backed out of Proud Flesh and wrote in something else for the rest of NaNo. But, Proud Flesh is 55,000 words in, and I think better than Flesh Market was. I like Dave, though he’s probably not thinking the same about me. #sorryDave is my new motto. I’ll admit it, my writer style in this series appears to be Total Jerk.

#sorryDave

I’m trying to reorganize my schedule so that I write at least 2000 words a day in something, and 3000 words on each of the weekend days. That way I can take a day each week that isn’t focused on writing and work on other things. Like finishing the edit on Knight, which I had tentatively slated to go to the editor over Christmas, but have been sorely neglecting. So, tomorrow being my first No-Writing-Monday, I’m going to open that one up again and try not to feel guilty about the lack of new words being added to anything. I also have a fairly labor-intensive beta I’m working on, and my usual contingent of critique group work to do. I sure won’t be a Netflix and chill night. 🙂

It’s also going to snow here tomorrow, so more snowflakes and I have to hope to get out of the driveway in the morning. I do have snow tires now, which I didn’t have for the last storm, so that’s one step forward.

Man, is it really December 11? And would anyone kill me if I said I couldn’t wait until December 23? (’cause I’m off for a week and a half from the day job after that?) But I’m really looking forward to some time where my brain isn’t divided between two entirely different jobs, and hoping that some day I can give one up (bet you can’t guess which one) to work full time at the other.

Oh, if you were looking for Christmas Goes Analog, my rights have reverted on it and I’ll be revamping it and republishing it, but probably not in time for Christmas, since my cover artist is booked up until after. But I’ll be working on the next one in that series as well. So many stories crammed into my brain…

3 x 3 WIP and Tag, You’re It!

I’m going to tag @Ann-Katrin Byrde and @Amelia Faulkner for this. The idea is to post the first three lines from the first three chapters of your current work in progress. Since dayjob is done for a bit, I’ll finally have the time and the spoons to work on The Wall Nuts, so I guess that makes it my WIP. 🙂

Chapter 1: Happy Beginnings

Nathan lay on Vince’s bed in absolute bliss, while his incredibly good-looking, fantastically wonderful boyfriend massaged his way from Nathan’s shoulders to the small of his back. With firm, loving strokes, Vince chased down every last ounce of tension in Nathan’s body and left him cheeping sleepily against the soft cotton.
Best present ever.

Chapter 2: A Bird in the Kitchen

Nathan decided to make a run by the kitchen before he jumped in the shower, just to see if could put the brakes on Charlie. Charlie didn’t actually eat a whole lot—there was only so much you could fit into that tiny frame of his at one time—but he had a typical hummingbird’s addiction to sweets and a tendency to get…feisty while on a sugar high. Plus, if he ate enough, there was also the problem of that little allergy of his.

Chapter 3: Road Trip of Your Nightmares

Two hours into the four hour drive, Charlie wedged himself through the gap between the front seats. “Are we there yet?”
Nathan rolled his eyes and pushed Charlie back into the back seat. “Put your seat belt on. And we’re five minutes closer than we were the last time you asked.”

Neglected Blog is Sad :(

1978807_321519584667893_6995466395857257882_nIt’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been working on some stuff, and dealing with the kind of roll-with-the-punches situations that life seems to be throwing at me lately.

I’m still playing with brain.fm. I don’t find it quite as effective, but it’s pretty close. I think letting the kid use it a couple of times moved it away from my optimum, but I’m slowly getting it back. I’ve settled on an average of 3000 words per day, one the days that I get anything done, but any time I try to switch back to one of my main projects, it plummets, which is frustrating. I think it’s because the practice projects have simpler storylines, so it’s easier to just sit and roll through it. I’m pantsing them too, which probably doesn’t help with the main projects.

Today, I plan to write a couple of scenes in The Wall Nuts, a few more in Proud Flesh, and a few more in a side project. It’s storming here, because Canada. Six inches of snow. I’ve decided that we all, collectively, need to buy Mother Nature a few drinks and get her laid. I keep checking my email and hoping that my daughter’s dance class is cancelled, lol. It feels like a pajama day. Brrrr.

Other than that, I’m still looking at late May for The Wall Nuts, simply because of editor scheduling. And I’m going to need to pick up some shifts at the old day job, because a couple of big bills just landed on my lap. I hate this in-between state, where I’m making almost enough to manage the household bills, but not enough to handle any emergencies. And this year has been one emergency after another, so it’s just proved the point that I’m not ready yet to chuck the day job and go whole hog at this writing thing. Close, but that only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Maybe in another year, once I’ve got the major house repairs done, and a bit of money put away for emergencies. (Because heaven knows, they do seem to like me.)

My niece and nephew are thinking about moving out of the country to look for work, as well. Which means I’m expecting to inherit some of their menagerie. The girlchild may get her snake after all. And I may end up with some sort of lizard. And a dog. And possibly some birds. (Yeah, I wasn’t kidding about menagerie.)

So pray for me to have a snow day. Because I just realized I left the car windows cracked open and the car will be full of snow now. O.O

#AReBlast Book Sale!

b72daaae-1865-411a-9081-8d4f2e39804f

All Romance Ebooks is having a St. Patrick’s Day sale! And since I’m of Irish descent, I joined in on the fun! Click here to go see my list of books–if you’ve been uncertain about the squirrels, now’s a good time to try them. 😀

So, This Was Unexpected

popcorn chipmunk1Goofing around on facebook, I made a joke about wanting this image on a mug. The next thing I knew, I was hearing from other people who thought that it was a great idea.

I laughed it off at first, but I really wanted one, so I made a couple on Cafe Press just for me, and as a belated Happy Merry Christmas Birthday present for Heloise West. And then I found out that people were serious about wanting the mug. O.O

If you look up at the menu, you’ll see a tab for Non Book Merchandise (stupid name, I need a better one. Feel free to criticize and offer better ideas.) There’s links to my store in Zazzle, where you’ll find a small mug like mine, and a jumbo author-sized mug. I kept the prices down as much as I could–this isn’t about making money, more about a general group hilarity centered around our lovely Nathan. But if you wanted a Team Nathan mug, there you are. Let me know if you want me to set it up on other products, that’s no problem at all. 🙂

This Woman Is Absolutely Spot-On About Writers

I’m crying laughing, but it’s all so true.

Goodbye Weekend…

I couldn’t resist.
a80eb6d0635febafd84b1fee1f3cd83c

#Rainbow Snippets : Nuts About You

Nuts About You is a novelette of mine, coming out on January 7. It’s the story of Nathan the weresquirrel, his crush on one of the customers at the Bulk Mart that Nathan works in, and the Night Of The Fateful Shoe. 🙂 This excerpt comes from a chapter titled “The Watcher in the Bird Feeder”; It’s safe for work.

Next week’s won’t be. 😀

squirrel cover

Nathan hung off the side of the bird feeder, one paw hooked through the wire mesh holding a suet cake in place, the other grasping a sunflower seed that he nibbled absently as he stared through the window. He’d managed to stay away from Vince’s feeders for two whole days before the need to see the man again got the better of him. So he’d changed his shape and scooted out through the cat door in the back porch, then run the whole two miles cross-country to Vince’s home.

When he arrived, he skittered up the old oak tree that took pride of place in the big yard behind the house. Its branches spread almost thirty feet wide, and Nathan could look in every window in the building just by moving from branch to branch. But this bird feeder was, bar none, the best place to watch Vince in the big stand-up shower.

Don’t forget to check out the other Rainbow Snippets here.

Find Nuts About You at the following outlets:

Happy New Year! What are your plans?

2015 saw me finally get back into my writing stride–sort of. When I look back at my spreadsheet, I see lots of months with daily average wordcounts below 500. When I look into the months, there are far too many days where I wrote nothing. But still, somehow, I made my wordcount goal–185,000 words. Not a huge amount, given that there are many people out there who regularly get over 500,000, or even a million, but it was a good goal for me. The same number of words I wrote in the last year before my husband passed away and life kind of went off the rails.

So not bad. 🙂

This year, I’m going to bump that up a little bit. Not much, just to 215,000, but the goal is to set the bar just a little farther than I know I can reach. My actual wordcount for 2015 was 202,000, so the new goal seems reasonable. I’m also going to plot a lot more. I think I’m getting the hang of it, although I’m still a total amateur, but it worked really well for Flesh Market, and seems to be working for Worship the Moon.

My specific bookwriting plans for this year are to finish Moon and Alpha Squirrel, which have already been started. Then I need to start from scratch with Proud Flesh (Bodies and Souls 2) and The Wall Nuts (Nutty Romances 3). Once those are done, there’s the third Bodies and Souls, and a third Witches and Wolves, neither of which have permanent names yet, though B&S 3 is going under the project name Weregild. And somewhere in there, I want to finish off the second world fantasy The Emperor’s Favorite, and lay out the plot for a goofy Halloween story about a guy who inherits a rundown German castle from a dead friend, who then shows up with all his ghost buddies. Hijinks ensue. 🙂

As for immediate stuff? The Seven Days of Squirrel start tomorrow, wherein I shall bombard you with pictures and memes of squirrels doing weird things that make me laugh, in honor of Nathan’s and Vince’s re-release into the wild on Thursday.

So that’s it for me. What do you plan to do differently this year? Where are you going to stretch or redirect yourself? What personal bests are you going to leave behind in the dust?

It’s getting late here now and I can hear my pillow calling to me. Good night, sweet dreams, and I wish you a squirrely New Year.
702419577_1820368