Saturday, June 17, 2017

I jumped out of my comfort zone and it was AWESOME

Ok, so I'm....*cough* fifty-one now. There. I said it. OVER 50.

                                                            (picture from Google Images)

Some days, this is what I feel like I look like.

That sounds so OLD to me. Like ancient. I should be wrapped up in Quilted Northern bathroom tissue and thrown into a sarcophagus.



                                                      (picture from Google Images)



But, I'm still alive and kicking, so I need to make the most out of the time I have on this earth. I could kick over tomorrow and then they really would have to put me somewhere...preferably an urn. I'm not a big fan of the southern tradition of looking at somebody lying in a coffin all made up.

So, I did something today. Something totally terrifying. I was more afraid of this than going into a haunted house with my daughter and husband. She wanted to go, so I made her go first. She has autism, so I thought she was going to lose her mind, but she giggled the whole time.

Sorry, I squirrled. ANYWAY.

So, I went to the Music City Romance Writer's meeting. That's one of two chapters of RWA (Romance Writers of America). Those people are writers. Legit writers.

Most people wouldn't think going to a meeting would be a big deal, but it was to me.
If I'd walked into a clan of music teachers, I wouldn't have given it a second thought, but these are writers. I guess I still feel like I'm not really a writer. I'm just trying to be one.

They were all so nice. I can't tell you how at ease they made me feel, as soon as I walked in the door. They were introducing themselves and showing me where to sit. Their welcome was warm and inviting.
Not only was the meeting informative, several people read snipits of some of their work and the group critiqued it. It was so good. Great insights and nice people.

I don't know what I was expecting when I walked in there. Maybe a firing squad.
Maybe for them to have an x-ray wand that when they held it over me, like they do at airports, they would see through me.
                                           (picture from Google Images)


They would see all my insecurities stacked up on all my internal shelves, like my to-be-read stack of books. They would see that I'm not a legit writer, but trying to play the part of one.

Nope.

They saw a person coming in, wanting to learn as much as possible about how to get a book published and were willing to help any way they could. Because, they've all been there.

I'll definitely go back next month.
So excited. :)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Wait----has it been a year already?????

The saying, "Time flies when you're having fun," just slapped me in the face when I opened up my blog.
I'm still in a little bit of shock that it's been a whole year since I posted on here. WHAT????

So what in the world did I do for the past 11 months that I couldn't get on here and write something down??

Okay, so here's a recap of why I may not have had time to post anything...maybe if I go month by month, I'll figure it out.
January:  2016--Nephew's birthday, Punkin' Pie (PP for short, because I have a feeling I'll be saying her name a lot), was 3 months old and keeping us busy. And it might've snowed some.
February:  Youngest turned 17. PP was 4 months old and still keeping us busy. Program at school.
March:  Nephew's birthday, Mom's birthday, PP 5 months old, started teething with no teeth. Program at school.
April:  I turned the big 5-0 and survived it. Surprise party from some school peeps. Really nice. PP 6 months old and scooting around. Crazy in our house.
May:  Oldest kiddo turns 22. Our 26th anniversary. School the month of May is INSANE with Talent show and end of the year stuff.  PP seven months old and starts pulling up on stuff. Now we have to watch her even closer. My partner teacher for the last four years left and went to a different school. So then I was going to have to find somebody new to work with the next school year. Major life adjustment.
June: Brother-in-law's b-day. Vacation to PCB. Took PP to the beach for the first time. She hated it...lol. Vacation was still good. Hubs and daughter came home late one night with new tattoos, which turned out really nice. Went to a specialist about my hip/leg pain. Sciatic nerve is being pinched. Another reason I haven't been able to sit and write much. Hurt too much to sit for too long and carpal tunnel in both arms. Started physical therapy-helped a lot, but still battling it, even as I sit here.
July:  Nephew's birthday..Goat stampede to Savannah, GA. It was SO amazing to see the goats that got to come. So happy to spend a few days with them. I told them they feed my writer's soul and it is SO the truth. We spent some time talking about each other's writing style. They told me my writing was cinematic and very emotional. It was so cool hearing what other people thought about my writing style. I'd never thought about it before. I came back from there energized and raring to go. The only problem was with a baby in the house, it was taking all three of us to watch her...lol. No time for writing and it still hurt to sit for very long.  Did interviews for my partner teacher position and one of my best friends steered me toward this kid that had done an interim at her school. I liked him automatically when I talked to him on the phone, so I hoped we would be able to get along well. When you have to spend 7 hours a day in a portable with another human, if you don't get along, you have a BIG problem.
Dad's birthday too...July was awesome and yucky at the same time. It really set in that I wouldn't be with my bud of the past four years and that was hard.
August:  School started and kept me even MORE busy. I feel like I've written the word BUSY about 100 times in this post already and we're just to August. Youngest has autism and has a social skills group she goes to. So we have that once a week. Baby was keeping us hopping. She was becoming more and more mobile as the days progressed. Crawling like LIGHTNING. Partner teacher working out great, thank goodness. Still missing the old one. We text at least a few times a week because she will always be one of my best buds. Another best bud's mom died. That was hard. But new ways of doing lesson plans was keeping me busy. Very busy. I think that's 102...
September:  Hub's birthday, oldest started college again. Going to a tech school and doing great and working. So proud of that kid. Stuff at school we had to stay after for, lesson plans, inservices, (teacher meetings), I'm starting to realize why I didn't cook much during the week during school....geez....can't hardly keep dishes and clothes washed and it's not even THAT busy yet.
October: Sis and sis-in-law's birthdays. Staying after school for parent-teacher conferences, PP started walking. Still no teeth. One of us has to watch her all the time because we're old and tired. Started planning for her birthday the first part of November and working on Halloween for youngest. Even though she is 17, she still expects to go trick-or-treating. Poured rain, so we didn't go to many houses.
November:  PP's first birthday. Took the whole month of October to clean the house. Not even an exaggeration. Did some every Saturday. Cake was done by a friend of mine. SO CUTE! Then we had to put our 6 year old cat to sleep. He was our gigantic furry baby. We cried a lot and buried him in the backyard. Then ten days later, our old 14 year old dog decided it was time for her to go too. Two animals in the same month. We buried her next to the cat. At least Thanksgiving would come and we would be busy again and could stop thinking about it.
December:  Another one of my besties lost her dad. Two friend's parents this year. Ugh. After the election and losing two pets as well, I decided this year wasn't the best, but our bright spot is always PP. She keeps us so busy, we forget the yucky parts. December in elementary school should be an Olympic event, under marathons. No lie. Any one that has a kid that age can tell you. December does. not. stop, until we're out of school. So for the three weeks after Thanksgiving, we are full steam ahead with three programs after school. That almost killed both of us and he's a LOT younger than me. Including our choir concert and a 4th grade program that included recorders. We've already said we're doing it differently next year.

So here we are...the day after Christmas. Sometimes, I still think I see the dog outside walking past the door on the patio. And I miss my big old, black and white furry kitty. Since I've had two different friends lose a parent, I feel fortunate to still have both of mine. PP is walking and talking and into every cabinet she can open. She is becoming very 'opinionated'...lol. She keeps us laughing and we love her SO much. She is the light in our lives for sure. She opened presents this year for the first time. That was so fun. We had a day filled with food and just being together. It was a great laid back day.

Now onto 2017....Things I know for sure will happen:

Oldest will graduate from tech school
Youngest will graduate high school
Donald Trump will be our president and that scares the hell out of me.
PP will talk her head off and we will enter a new level of having her own opinions..lol.
We have 3 programs we have to do in the spring semester of school and the talent show. That won't be easy.
The next 5 months will zoom by faster than lightning and we'll wonder how we survived it.

Things I would LIKE to happen in 2017:

I've said this every year for the past 3 years, but come hell or high water SOMETHING I've written is getting published this year. Not sure how it will happen, but I want it to happen. Focusing on it.
I would LOVE to be in a position to retire in the next few years so I can write full time. Focusing on that as well. I need a way to self fund my insurance, so there's that. I'll be working until the day I die..lol.
Both of my children, PP and hubs and my extended family to be healthy and happy this year.

So that's what I've been doing this past year. It did fly by. We had good and bad, but everybody does.
Here's hoping your 2017 will be awesome. :)



Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!!!

2015 Was a year of changes for our family. For sure.

The biggest change was our new addition:  Punkin' Pie. You know that old joke, 'Let me tell you about my grandkids.'  And how everybody that doesn't have grandkids rolls their eyes at the offending grandparent? I totally get that now. I will officially become an offending grandparent.

Cutest. baby. ever.

So one of my goals was to get one of my books published, which, unfortunately, didn't happen yet. But since the preparation and arrival of the grandchild took nine months, I'm going to give myself a pass. I might've been a little distracted this year.

You know everybody has a year end list, but I want this to be a 'looking ahead' list.

Here are some of my top happenings of 2016, that I know of.

1.  I'm going to be 50 in April. So that is a huge deal...er...milestone, or it just means the clock's ticking and if I have things I want to get done, I'd better get on it.

2.  In 2016, I'm going to have a better handle on the whole Nannie thing, so it'll be easier to write/edit etc...I hope.

3.  2016 is an even number...for some reason, I just like it better...lol.

4.  This summer, we're planning a Goat Stampede. This is where the Goat Posse members get together from all parts of the U.S. in one place and have the BEST time. We have so many members in so many different places in their writing journeys, but when we're together, it doesn't matter. We enjoy hanging out with each other so much. It beats all odds of probability that we would all get along so well, but we do.

5. We have two books, (that I know of) coming out this year in the Goat Posse. Of Delicate Pieces by A. Lynden Rolland and Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate. These are both going to be excellent books. I can not wait to get my hands on both of them. That's a definite positive for the year. I'm hoping mine will be number 3.

6. Hoping to get an online store started for my daughter with Autism. She has discovered jewelry making and just loves it. One of my best buddies showed her how to do it and she's taken to it like a fish to water. So I'm hoping to sell some of her creations and save the money for her for down the road when me and her daddy aren't here any more to take care of her. And buy more beads with some of it too..lol...because beads are expensive! This is a goal I'm shooting for. I'm hoping I have the time to do this.

Here's hoping your 2016 is full of love, laughter, good food and family.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Grandma?!?!?! What???

Yep.

This has become my new title. It took me nine months to get used to the idea that my oldest college student was going to have a baby. That stuff usually happens to other people. Not my kid, right?

Wrong.

It happens. All the time.

She wanted to keep the baby and so we have. We welcomed my Punkin' Pie on November 5th of 2015. She is precious. Punkin' Pie just kind of evolved from Punkin', since she was born close to Thanksgiving.

When people would ask me if I was excited, I couldn't really be. I'd been through labor twice and neither time was a picnic for me. Had to end up having C-sections both times after being in labor for HOURS. I dreaded my daughter going through the pain of childbirth. I worried about complications, I worried about losing her and having to raise her daughter. I worried about a lot of things.
I also know that worrying about things you can't control is a waste of time. But when it's your kid, sometimes you just can't turn that stuff off.
So when the time came, I was privileged enough to be in the delivery room and watch the whole thing. We breathed and I held my baby up as she pushed hers out. She was a freakin' rock star. Pushed that baby out in 16 minutes. No lie. And she's not a big girl either. She's strong, but small, but made quick work of that 6 pound 2 ounce tiny little thing. Punkin' Pie was born with hair that covered her collar and was jet black. She's lost most of it now, but she still has the row of hair that covers her collar. So cute.

So, what have I learned from having a new born in the house again?
I've learned that when you're close to 50, you don't have the energy to stay up more than one night in a row with a baby that won't go to sleep.
I've learned that staying out of the way and allowing my daughter to be the mom and do all the work is what needs to happen. For both of our sanity sake. Because I raised mine with very little help. I was the one that got up with them every night. Husband worked all the time, so other than holding them and feeding them every once in a while, the child rearing fell on me.
He's much more help with the grand kid, which is awesome. If I try to do everything for her, I'm not doing her any favors. She's learned what works, what doesn't and what her different cries mean.

Now that Punkin' Pie is out and cute and snuggly, I can say how much fun being a Nannie is.
I picked that name since I'm a Goat Posse member. (nannie goat--lol) After getting my daughter through the delivery, I could actually breathe and enjoy the whole Nannie experience.

She's close to 7 weeks now and starting to raise her eyebrows. It's the funniest thing I've ever seen an infant do.
When she smiles at me, my heart just leaps for joy. That is not even an exaggeration.

I think the most important thing that's come out of this is our family is closer. We all have a common goal. Take care of Punkin' Pie. Whether she needs feeding, watching, changing, holding...whatever she needs, one of us is here to do it and to help my daughter if she needs it.

If you ever cringe at the idea of being a grandparent, don't. I did every time somebody mentioned it, until she was born. But now, seeing my daughter be a mom is one of the proudest accomplishments of my life. And I'd hate for any of you to miss that with your kids.




Sunday, December 28, 2014

A-Z Blog challenge 'B'

The way I'm going, I'll only be able to do a letter every three months or so. To say I've been a little busy is like saying a honeybee is lazy. Now that school is out for another week and we all survived Christmas, now I have time to blog a bit.

I'm on "B", so I guess I'd better look through my MS and see what B word I can pull out of there.

Barn.

That is a place where part of the first chapter takes place. There's an introduction of a few characters and the main one and their horses. They gather in the barn to talk about some things and you get to know them a little.

I grew up riding and even though I don't have horses now, I always wish I did. I miss riding and wish my kids could've experienced riding like I did growing up.

I rode from the time I was little until I was in college. I guess since I missed riding so much and had so much fun during that time in my life, I decided to have my main character ride like I did. She has a lot of me in her. I guess most first characters do, just because you don't know what else to write about. So you write about what you know, and then your imagination fills in the blanks or makes new ones.

I've looked around for pictures of barns that look like the barn in my head, but I have yet to find one that really is exactly like what I'm thinking of.

Here's a picture of two barns that have features of the one in my head.

The first one:



This is the shape of the barn that I have in my head. The middle is big, like most barns. The wood is not as new looking. It's more aged without looking like it's about to fall down. Still functional. Open on both sides instead of closed up.

The second picture:

This one has the breeze way and the stalls on the left side, like in Andy's barn. The only difference is that there is a wall about three-quarters of the way up from the ground between the posts. So you still get some light, but if it's raining, you can stand in there without getting wet. Unless the wind is blowing really hard. There are about two more stalls, so it's a little longer and there's only one stall door split with a top and bottom half instead of two that slide to the sides.

So attach the left side of this barn to the one at the top and open up the right side to park the tractor under and you've got Andy's Barn. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A-Z Challenge-tweaked a little

So....haven't been on here in  a while. Trying to remedy that now. I was looking back at some of my blogposts and some of my favorite ones are when I did the A-Z blog challenge. It's so hard to blog EVERY day. I'm lucky if I can get to it every six months, but it helped me quite a bit.

I'm not sure when they'll be doing that again, but I would love to do it. Met some really great bloggers while I participated in it. So for now, I had an idea I'm going to try. Don't know how far I'll get, but I wanted to see if it would keep me from forgetting to post something.

I'm going to pick one of my WIP's and blog about them using the A-Z theme. Don't even know if this will work, but I thought I'd try it. :)

Here goes.....My first post from the "Tweaked A-Z challenge" The manuscript I'm going to be using is "Never Alone." It's the first book in the trilogy I'm working on, but it's not the first book I wrote. I actually wrote this book second. Kinda weird...I know...but that's me. I've said it before, my brain bounces like a Tigger.




Image from www.disneyclips.com


So here's A:   


A is for Andy Akers

I created his name from a friend of mine from high school and a co-worker's last name and put them together. He's not really based on anyone I know. He's a nice guy and he's had a crush on my main girl character since middle school. When the story starts, he's still in the 'friend zone' with her, but he wants to make sure she knows that he's ready to go to the next level.
The opening scene takes place at Andy's family farm.

This picture is pretty close to what it looks like. I need to take pictures of the real place, but for now, this will work. Green grass, trees and a hill....this looks like it could've been taken in Tennessee, so I liked it.


That's all for now. Have a great day!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sam doesn't disappoint as Jamie Fraser

So, two episodes into the fall season of 'Outlander' and I'm already in need of an intervention. I record the episodes and watch them.....over and over.

It reminds me of when my oldest daughter was about 2 and a half. She's twenty now and would DIE if she knew I was outing her Barney addiction over the planet. But you know how parents are. We live to embarrass our children.


Barney the purple dinosaur invaded our home without any prior warning around 1996. We found 1 Barney videotape (when VHS tapes were all the rage, lol) and she watched it...over and over. I knew and can probably still sing every song on the Imagination Island video. I challenge anyone who may think I can't. Those songs have been, not burned, but CAUTERIZED into my memory. "Just imagine....just imagine..imagine all the places we can go....and see...Imagination's fun for you and me..."

I know you're impressed....anyway.....

Now, back to 'Outlander', which only has one song with any words so far. And I almost know all of them, not quite, but I'm close. That's without even trying. That's just from watching the episodes *cough* numerous times. "Sing me a song of a lass that is gone.." You know it...;)

This picture of Sam being Jamie makes me happy....very happy. :D Look how cute he is....EEEK!

And this one too....happy am I. Happy, Happy girl!


So maybe now I kinda get why my daughter wanted to watch Barney so much. If a tv show or a movie evokes happiness or laughter, why wouldn't you want to watch it a million times? Makes sense to me. Just like my two year old drove me insane watching Barney, I'm sure I'm driving my husband insane watching 'Jamie Fraser on 'Outlander'. :)

If you haven't joined in the addiction, you should give it a whirl. Outlander comes on Saturday night on the STARZ channel (in the U.S.) Not sure how you can find it in other countries. I know it's on in Australia on Foxtel. That's all I can remember right now.

I'm giving them a free plug...they should be paying me. Oh well..:P

Gotta go be a mom before it's time for bed!

Night all!