Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughts for Thursday

Wow, I can't believe how quickly time has flown.  Not only is it the end of February, but it's almost time for Daylight Savings Time to begin (March 10!)

I'm just about at 40,000 words on Texas Lies, Lovers' Secrets, which is excellent since the book is due April 1st.  I'm loving the people and the story and can honestly say this book has been a joy to write. 

My little Mini-Schnauzer Mitchell Thomas is at the groomer's right now.  He's an old guy (12) and the dog of my heart.  He always looks fetchingly shaggy right before it's time for him to get groomed, but he cleans up so beautifully!  I miss my writing buddy while he's gone.

I'm going to be doing quite a bit of guest blogging this year since I have four new releases out in 2013.   I'll be posting the links to them when I do, so you can go check them out.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Chilly Friday

We had rain, we had wind.  Yesterday, we had sun and the temperature creeped up to the 70's.  Then last night, a cold front blew in.  When I got up, it was 30 outside.  Brrrr. (Hey, cut me some slack, I live in the South.  We're not used to cold!) 

I still did my morning walking, bundled up in my ski parka and gloves.  I used to live in New York and Colorado and used to have horses and remember riding in temperatures much more chilly than this.  But these days, I've lived in the furnace of Texas for so long, my thin blood is a bit more resistant to cold.

Anyway....  all of that rambling made me think about tea.  Hot tea.  Which I love.  I have a pantry full - the picture below doesn't do it justice, as I have even more loose tea than is shown in this picture.  Teavana in the mall could become my favorite store if I could afford it.  They have some amazing and exotic (and expensive) tea. 

I love drinking hot tea when it's cold outside.  I love drinking hot tea period.  I have tea bags and loose tea.  All flavors, all kinds.  And while I have to have my coffee first thing in the morning, tea is perfect for writing.

I'm chugging away on this October book, which has now been titled Texas Secrets, Lovers' Lies.  So far (knocking on wood) it has been a fun book to write, which if you're a writer, you know isn't always the case.  I'm happy with it so far and liking the characters.  I'm just about at the halfway point.

Speaking of which, I'd better get back to it.  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


We got rain overnight and this morning I went outside during a lull and snapped these pics of the amazing clouds.

Breathtaking, right?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I'm copying the title today from my friend Anna Adams .   She talks about work ethic and about how I have a good one with my writing.  It's funny, but I always think I should do better, do more.  Honestly though, on the whole I'm okay with my writing work ethic.  I make my word count goals and turn my books in on time, and that's good.  What I *don't* do that I wish I did is work on the other projects, the non-contracted ones.  The Young Adult novel I've started.  The Woman's Fiction book I want to try. 

But the real area I need an attitude adjustment is in the area of fitness.  Once upon a time, I had a personal trainer and I went to the gym four days a week and did resistance and weight training as well as cardio.  I lost 20 pounds and felt fit and strong.  I have totally let that slack away to almost nothing.  And I've gained every bit of the weight back.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm lazy when it comes to fitness.  Without an appointment every day and a trainer to "crack the whip" over me, I'm not motivated.  I have weights, a mat, an exercise ball, resistance bands - heck, I still even have a gym membership.  I have exercise DVD's, books, and I subscribe to Oxygen, Shape, and Fitness magazines.  I *know* what I need to do.  Doing it is just another matter.  That's partly why I think Cross Fit might be a good fit, but it's still too expensive for my self-employed writer budget right now.  Sooo...  I've got to adjust my attitude.  Starting with what I eat and drink. 

Attitude is everything.  I need to schedule appointments with myself as my own personal trainer, diagram my workouts as if a trainer was giving them to me, and just DO it.  Cliched, but true.

Starting off, I'm going to go back to eating clean.  That's the first step because after all, you lose weight in the kitchen and get fit in the gym. 

So, here we go.  Once again.  Focused.  New attitude.  I can do it.  I WILL do it. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday, Monday Monday. Yep

Monday again.  Pounding headache,  bad night with little sleep, trying not to be grumpy.  
Last week was a full week.  There was Valentine's Day.  We went to Texas Land and Cattle and had a lovely meal. 

Here are the stuffed mushroom appetizers.  (Not as good as Chef's Point's What-Nots, but still ok)

And then I had my favorite - the smoked sirloin and sweet potato.  Yummm!

That was my red meat quota for the month. 

And Sunday I made pinto beans with leftover Christmas ham that I'd frozen.  I soaked the beans overnight, cut up an onion and a bell pepper, and cooked the beans in the crock pot with the ham bone.  Then, about an hour before it was time to eat, I removed the ham bone and added the cut up ham.  I also made a pan of sweet cornbread.  It was delicious!

Ok, so that's my food news.  Now for writing news. 

I learned I will get my pin for 25 books published with Harlequin this year at RWA Nationals.  I wasn't planning on attending (it's SOOOO expensive), but am considering going because I've always dreamed of getting that pin at the Harlequin party.  And they do throw a mean party!!

I'll have four books out this year - a first for me.  I usually have two or three.  I'm very happy about that.  We've changed the title again for what I was calling The Broken Wolf.  It's now The Lost Wolf's Destiny.  I like that, so I'm happy.

And I'm 25,000 words in on my October book.  I'm on schedule, on track.  Happy with it so far.  The hero is turning out to have more layers than I expected, which is always enjoyable.

My friend Anna Adams sent me a link to an online course on using the Scrivener software.  I bought the book Scrivener for Dummies, but haven't taken the time to learn it yet.

That's about it for now.  Karen out!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

This morning, my love got me a dozen red roses and a heart box full of chocolates.

Then he took me out for breakfast, while the cleaning service thoroughly cleaned my house.  Tonight, we're going out to dinner too.

Yes, I'm spoiled.  Why do you ask?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More Random Tuesday

Once again, a week slipped by me.  It's been another crazy week of doctor's appointments and other assorted oddities.  We had a storm come through on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  On Sunday we were getting ready to go to church (yet another new one, trying to find the one where we fit in), and we got a call that there had been storm damage at our lake lot.   You know the place.  Our summer retreat.

So of course we abandoned church and headed down to Richland Chambers Lake.  It takes 90 minutes to 2 hours.  We got there and saw that the neighbor's metal boat cover/awning/carport had been picked up by the wind. It crushed our fence, took out out beautiful light post, and cratered our pontoon boat. It also dented our storage building.

Crazy, right?  I'm glad we weren't down there.    Progressive has already had someone out to look at the boat (that's FAST!) and we're dealing with the neighbor's awning installer to try and get the rest of it fixed.  We need to get the awning removed too.
Other than that, on the writing front I learned that my April release The Wolf Prince got 4.5 stars from Romantic Times Magazine.  And I learned that I will have four books out this year (yay!) since Harlequin Romantic Suspense decided to schedule the book I'm working on in October.
My husband is working on getting better.  We've still been making the round of doctor appointments, but his health seems to be improving.  Today is my mother's chemotherapy, which always leaves her exhausted.   
And Thursday is Valentine's Day, which means chocolates and dinner out for us.   

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Random Tuesday

Wow, time goes by so fast.  We've had a lot going on at my house with my husband's health issues, but I'm thinking those are getting straightened out and hopefully soon our lives will return to normal.

Today I'm just going to post ten random thoughts.

One.  I got a Sodastream maker for Christmas and to my surprise, I love the thing.  I bought a couple of extra bottles for it and adore making whatever flavor of soda (diet) I happen to want.  Love it, love it, love it.

Two.  I got a new title for my September Nocturne.  My working title was The Broken Wolf.  The actual title is going to be Heart of A Wolf.  Nice, huh?

Three.  You've seen the cover art for both my April and May books here.  Both covers are men only.  I'm really happy with both of them.

Four.  I'm working on an as yet untitled Harlequin Romantic Suspense.  This book is going really well.  I love when that happens.  The words just flow and I don't over analyze.  I just write.  I can go back and fix later.

Five.  I was in the middle of filling out an application with Legacy Boxer Rescue to foster Boxers when my husband got sick.  Looks like I'm going to have to put that off until things normalize again.

Six.  I miss the lake lot and camping.  We went there on Saturday to put the Purple Martin house up and trim our trees up.  We didn't camp as we've winterized the trailer, but it sure made me miss it.  So peaceful.  So quiet. 

Seven.  Valentine's Day is nearly here.  Wow.  Where did the time go?  Looks like Lonnie and I will be going out to dinner.

Eight.  I suck at motivating myself to exercise.  Sure, I'll walk.  No problemo.  But without a personal trainer (which I can no longer afford) to motivate me, I can't seem to force myself to pick up weights.  And I don't want to go to the gym.  I really wanted to try Cross Fit because you show up, there's a set routine, you have trainers watching and correcting your form, and you're actually competing against others.  (I'm very competitive).  But that's expensive too and I can't really justify $130 a month right now.  But I'm sure curious to see if it would be a good fit.  What I'm thinking of doing now are DVD's.  I have a couple sitting around and I might try them.  We'll see.  Sadly, I'm very, very lazy. But I need to at least try.  I want/need to lose that 20 pounds.  Sigh.

Nine.  I have two more Rita books to judge.  Two.  They're books I would never in a million years normally read, but I'm going to be open-minded and judge them on the story, the writing, and the romance, like the score sheet says.  Starting one today. 

And Ten.  I got my W-9's from everywhere except and Barnes and Noble.  I didn't do too badly, income wise.  Oh sure, it's a third of what I made when I ran the insurance agency.  And yes, I can't do fabulous vacations or awesome home improvements like the granite counters I did a few years ago.  But we're ok cash wise, at least so far, and I sure love life a lot more.  I have to watch my natural inclination to become a hermit, and make myself get out there and interact with other people, but I sure love my life as a full time writer.