Monday, March 28, 2016


Are your posts all ready for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Are they perfect?  They don't have to be but you want them to be interesting and easy to read so visitors come back again and again. I finally finished my posts yesterday. Not as soon as I planned but soon enough. On IWSG today, I'm sharing some ideas on what to write about on your posts.

A challenge embedded in the challenge for a writer, is to keep working on the WIP while keeping up with the challenge. Fortunately for me this year, my local writer's group is starting another 50/50 on April 3rd. During the 50/50, we all try to write at least 50 words on our WIP for 50 straight days. Prizes are involved. This will keep my writing during April though I'll do more than 50 words each day. I'm working on book #3 in my Galactic Outlaws series. The second book will be going into edits soon.

I was trapped for most of last week in the editing cave for the final book in The Futhark Chronicles, Heir of Futhark. I don't have a release date for it but editing that book one last time saddened me. Even after reading it so many times, I found I could cry again on the two parts I hope make readers of the series shed a tear or two.

Four out of six children managed to get home for Easter dinner this year. Pretty good number since they're all grown up. One had to work and my daughter couldn't make it home from college. She and her roommates were making Easter brunch for themselves. She's not much of a cook so she was in charge of the mimosas. That's my girl.

I'll be back Friday with the letter A. And then it begins. Relax, have fun and don't worry about being perfect.

"A man all wrapped up in himself makes a small parcel." John Ruskin

How will you motivate yourself to keep up with everything else while doing the A to Z Challenge? Did you get together with family for the holiday weekend? Any last minute advice for Challenge participants.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A to Z Theme Reveal 2016

Only ten days to go. How did April get here so quickly? Today is the annual theme reveal for the famous, world-wide blog hop, The A to Z Blogging Challenge. Not everyone has a theme for the challenge. I didn't have a theme the first year but I have every time since. This is my 6th time participating in A to Z. This year I'm stepping back from being an administrator and taking on the less vigorous duty as Ninja Minion. Find other theme reveals here.

And now the theme:

For my 2016 A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing three facts for each letter. The genres I write and love to read are mostly science fiction and high or epic fantasy. In fantasy, there is often magic associated with crystals or metals. They also used herbs both for medicine and for magical spells. Each day I will post a short description of an herb or a mineral you might find in medieval or fantasy writings. For the record, most of the herbal remedies I’ve investigated are not recommended by the FDA. Many are actually poisonous and dangerous. As tribute to my second love, I will post a scientific fact that may deal with physics, biology or health science. And because another name for a writer is wordsmith, each day I’ll share a strange word that I would probably never use in my writing, but that amuse me in some way. So enjoy my trio of quick facts. And don’t forget to visit the IWSG site where we’ll share a writer’s resource for every day of the challenge.

I've had so much fun researching for this but it's the most work I've done for an A to Z Challenge. Even as I write, a few posts have holes in them I need to fill yet. So much of the science is interesting, I get distracted and end up reading on and on about something I didn't know. And I'm horrified that so many of the plants people drink in herbal teas can be very poisonous. I don't think any of the ones I used are considered harmless.

Only one post for me this week. I'm visiting my mother for a day, hoping to cheer her up a little for spring. I also need to do some work on the outside as the warm weather has started the green things happening a little bit earlier than usual.  Not complaining, even if it means I have to start mowing the grass again. Also, I'm doing a final read-through on the last book in my Futhark Chronicles, Heir of Futhark. I need to get it back to my publisher before the week is out.

I'm not posting again until next Monday, so I'll share this fact today:
76% of people eat the ears of a chocolate bunny first.

It gives me a 'good mom' moment every time I'm reminded that none of my children are candy or sweet eaters. No chocoholics at our house. I've never put more than a few pieces of candy in their Easter baskets even when they were little. But at some point when they were all in their teens, they told me how disappointed they were not to get a chocolate bunny for Easter. So now, they all get one every year. Children are strange.

Did you do a theme reveal today? Are you having a chocolate bunny for Easter? Eat the ears first? Did the calendar start of spring coincide with actual spring weather's arrival at your abode? Do you drink herbal tea?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Happy St. Patty's Day

I'm a day early but how about an Irish blessing to get everyone started ahead of time.

When the flowers bloom, I hope you'll not sneeze,
And may you always have someone to squeeze.

How about some St. Patty's trivia.

The very first St. Patrick's Day parade was not in Ireland. It was in Boston in 1737.
Erin go Bragh translates to "Ireland forever." 
St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD which is why we celebrate him on that date.

My best friend besides my husband has her birthday on March 17th. No, her name is not Patty but her twin sister's is. Her twin was born first so she was gifted with the Patty name.

Working and working on those A to Z posts. Theme reveal is coming up so I won't give away what I'm working on but there is science involved. Did you know that our sun makes up 99.86% of our solar system's mass? I'm finding out all kinds of things I didn't know.

Don't celebrate too hard and let me leave you with another Irish Blessing.
May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

Will you be celebrating St. Patty's Day? Do you like green beer? Do you know anyone whose birthday is March 17th? Is your house too small to hold all your friends?

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Week That Was

If you're a writer, stop reading now and visit IWSG and learn about keywords and SEO. Everyone hoping to do any kind of promotion needs to understand these mysterious and often confusing terms and how to use them to your advantage.

I didn't get much writing done of my new WIP last week but I did hours of work on my A to Z posts. I hope to have at least half of them scheduled by this time next week. Even though my daughter was home, she had a lot of work to do on her thesis so we worked together separately.

Home Front
I enjoyed my children as teenagers and they're great adults. I don't miss them being in high school, if that makes sense. Except for one of my sons, all my children were excellent in math. I'm not saying they loved it, but they did love this day, 3/14. Yes, math geeks, it's pi day. The math teachers at our local high school would have a party day and the students would bring in pie. I lost count of how many I helped my children make. If your school doesn't celebrate pi day, maybe you can do it with your child and teach them a little math love.

I hope to get more outside work done this week. Lots of bulbs poking their heads up. The geese have been flying over for a few weeks now and the hawks are back. For the past year, there have been a lot of crows around. A entire murder, I suppose. They are creepy birds.

I haven't watched much TV lately though my favorite show, Once Upon a Time, has returned from hiatus. I caught up to The 100 on Netflix. I don't usually like shows where so many of the main characters are teenagers but the kids on that show have grown up fast. I also like post-nuclear war fiction trope. And Daredevil returns to Netflix on March 25th. Can't wait for that. It will help me survive March Madness when my husband and sons watch basketball 24/7. At least it seems 24/7.

That's all for today. My desk is piled so high with things I need to do and a multitude of Post-It notes to remind me of even more things to do.

Are you having pie today for pi day? Needs some pointer on SEO? Are you into March Madness?

Monday, March 7, 2016


Question of the Month

What a week this will be. Today starts with the Question of the Month, a monthly bloghop started by Michael G. D'Agostino on his blog, A Life Examined. It's fun and simple so join up and find the list of others participants on Michael's Blog. This month's question:

Have you ever met an idol/influence/someone you really admire? How did it go?”

I've never been one to idolize famous people or celebrities be they entertainers, sports figures or others who've gained fame. I've always discouraged my own children and students from doing so. It's better to admire people you actually know are the genuine article. I admired my father and especially when I had my own children. He dropped out of high school to serve in WWII. Without a high school diploma when he returned, he and my mother bought a rundown farm. He worked construction 8 to 10 hours five days. He'd rise at 4 am, take care of farm chores, go work construction, and then come home and do more work on the farm. He did it for years until the farm grew large enough to support the family. We worked it as a family farm, all of us putting in full time hours even while attending school and playing sports. Through it all, my father lectured us on the importance of education and how going to college would mean we never had to work as hard as he did to make a living. And we never missed a Sunday of church. A strong work ethic and the value of education? My father taught us by example and word how to be successes in life. I only hope to be as good a parent as he was.

In the writing world, I've met three authors I really admired when I first started this career. They are talented, but what disappointments they were as people. No names will be mentioned here but probably you've heard of them. There are often actors or musical entertainers that I admire their talent but not them as people.

Writing News

One of the speakers I met at the last writing conference I attended was Jane Friedman. She has a lot of experience in the publishing business. On her blog and at her speaking engagements, she shares her expertise on social media. I found this article, Why You Should Join All Social Media Networks, interesting though I'm not I agree with it. What do you think? Should you make a profile in every social media there is even if you don't keep it active?

My publisher is not selling my latest release on Amazon after keeping it exclusive to the NCP site for a while. The Outlaw's Prize is the first in The Galactic Outlaw series of my newest space opera romance worlds of the future. The Outlaw's Rebel Lady, the second book, is in editing at the moment.

"As long as the Sun shines, one does not ask for the Moon." Russian Proverb

Personal News 

This is my last post of the week as I'll be enjoying spring break with my daughter. It's going to be a beautiful week weather wise so I'm sure we'll be getting some outings in.

Next weekend marks the start of Daylight Savings Time already. The old spring forward means we get up an hour earlier. Some wisdom on that from The Old Farmer's Almanac:
Lose an hour in the morning and you'll be all day hunting for it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IWSG: March (already)

It's that time of month. On the first Wednesday of each month, the wonderful group, IWSG, join in a blog hop to support each other and share our insecurities. As usual thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this best group in the blog-o-sphere. Visit more participants on this list.

There is so much going on at IWSG group. The newletter! The anthology, Parallels: Felix Was Here, and the IWSG site is signed up for A to Z Challenge. Are you?

Why so glum, chum? Well, lots to worry about this month. The fall of another small press, Samhain, last week, as I mentioned in my Monday's post has me worried. But what can I do about it? Nothing except keep on working on my next book. I hope to have the major plotting done by the end of the weekend. This is the second in my next space opera romance series.

"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms." Muriel Rukeyser

The third book in my Warriors of Gaviron is finally available on Amazon. The Warrior and the Professor answers all the questions of where the alien invaders have come from and whether or not humanity can defeat them.

Speaking of A to Z, that brings me my next worry. Only a month until April and I haven't started my posts yet for A to Z. Good news, I'm going to only post once next week and spend some time working on them. Of course, my daughter is home for spring break so who knows how that will go.

I helped my husband with another big paint job over the past two weeks so it has put me behind on some of my writing work but the next two days are catch up days for me.

On the optimism side, the bulbs are pushing green shoots up through the ground. It's been balmy outside. I put my snow boots away. And Mother Nature answered. The forecast is for 2-3 inches of the cold, white stuff Thursday night.

"Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." Earl Wilson

And a fun fact from The Old Farmer's Almanac:
Austin, Texas is home to North America's largest urban bat colony."

Do you have your A to Z posts ready yet? How sick of snow are you? What is your insecurity this month? Do you know any good publishing news?