Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011

It's hotter than hell here in Texas. Forecasted high today is 103-104 with a heat index of around 110. I cannot bear it. (Yes, I'm overly dramatic. Sue me!) I lurk in the air conditioned house, or drive in my air conditioned car to the air conditioned gym or store. I haven't been swimming since Saturday because it's been crazy busy. Still.
However, today is the last day of June. The last day of our lease on the office. 2000 square feet of empty space. In a few minutes, we'll be going there to clean, clean, clean. We have a $1,200 deposit riding on this. After this, we're done with that phase of our lives. Next, we have to get ready for a HUGE garage sale. (If it was up to me, I'd have already hauled all that junk to the Goodwill and been done with it.) In the middle of all this, I expect line edits for my January book to arrive in July, we have the mini-vacation to Biloxi, MS, and of course the garage sale.
And I hope to be back under contract soon. Writing sounds really good right now. Especially if I can pretend to be someplace else, like Vancouver Island or Nova Scotia. Why Canada? Because it's COOLER than here, that's why.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Whew! The merging of lines at Harlequin has nothing to do with either of the ones that I write for. One of my fellow authors heard it directly from big boss lady there.
Sigh of relief.
Tomorrow is the last day of our lease on the insurance agency office. We spent hours there yesterday, hauling off the last six or seven huge bags of trash and bringing home three truck loads of junk for a big garage sale. Once again, my house looks like I'm a hoarder. Sigh.
At least I can go into the holiday weekend without the office. But we still have the storage warehouse unit - we need to downsize that, move all that stuff to a smaller one. And there's the ginormous garage sale we must have soon - very soon.

And of course we have to cope with 100 plus degree heat. So far I haven't noticed any difference as in an abundence of time since we closed the office. I'm guessing and hoping that will come once all that is settled and out house has regained some semblance of normalcy. Then I can go back to contract and write, write, write.

And maybe catch some rays (with SPF 55 on, of course) and swim!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's Monday, starting off a week of promised triple digit heat. Almost every writer I know is traveling to NYC for the annual Romance Writers of American annual conference. I'd planned to go. Swore, after missing 2009 and 2010, that I wouldn't miss this one. I have buddies I only get to see once a year. My agent will be there, my editor, the senior editors for both of the lines I write for. My publisher, Harlequin Enterprises, has leaked info saying there will be major news and word has it that there will be consolidation of many lines. Hmmmm. Interesting to me, since I currently write for two of them.

I'm so bummed that I couldn't go. BUT - I used the money I'd saved for the conference to book a cruise for Lonnie and I. We're going to Jamaica, Grand Caymen, and Cozumel, baby! So I can use that to console myself.

Still... The day job is over and now I'm wondering if I'll still have two lines to write for. Of course my awesome agent will do her best to make sure I'm taken care of, but I really need to start working on that single title. Like now. This is the last week of cleaning out the office - we sold two more desks last night. There is only one left and the copier. We have a few boxes to haul out of there, clean the place up, and we're done. The electricity will be shut off on Friday.
Then it's over.

I told my husband that I'm going back to work. So I am. And keeping my fingers crossed that whatever is going down in NYC this week won't mess with my income. Gulp.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm blogging today over at Harlequin Romance Authors. Check it out here -

And yes, in case I forgot to mention this, I had a Harlequin Romantic Suspense book out this month. It'll only be on the shelves for a few more days, so please check it out soon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Tuesday, Summer Solstice (the first day of summer), and I have put the e-book edition of my previously print published Fae paranormal romance SOUL MAGIC on sale for 99 cents for a limited time.

At Amazon

At Barnes and Noble

Please stop in and pick up a copy for your Kindle or Nook and help celebrate the beginning of summer!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It isn't even officially summer for two more days. This is ridiculous.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

More in the ongoing saga of shutting down an office that's been in the same location for 13 years...

This morning we got up and, having found a location that destroys computer hard-drives and then safely recycles computers and monitors, we hurried off to beat the heat. We went to both the storage unit and the office and loaded up 700 pounds of computers and monitors and hauled them to the facility in Euless.

At least yesterday we got a bit of a break. Sort of. We spent the day transferring items from our old desks at home to our new ones. I trashed three large trash bags of files. This took all day and I still had one more stack to do when I sat down this afternoon. We also had to meet someone at the office who wanted to buy all the chairs and some other assorted stuff. That was last night. So far we've sold the conference table and chairs, the receptionist desk and credenza and hutch, the break room kitchen table and chairs, and the double door fridge.

I have personal training today (what was I thinking, scheduling this?) with a new trainer because my old trainer quit. I really will miss him, but he got a good opportunity at another gym and I wish him the best of luck.

The heat wave still continues. I just want a break.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Yesterday, in 103 degree heat, my husband and I loaded and transported 2,590 pounds of paper (files in boxes) to the commercial shredder. They weigh it, that's how I know this. It took three trips and we started a little after 9am and didn't finish until around 3pm, though we did take a short break for lunch. We also transported another 1,100 pounds of files from the old office to the storage place. We have to keep at least three years worth of files - the new agent took the current year and the immediate prior year, so we have 2008 to 2009 still in storage as well as 2007 to 2008. I am still sore today. And tired. Did I mention tired?
On the plus side, we were able to jump in the pool afterward and cool off. We drank fresh lemonaide and swam. Then we dried off and went out to eat (and share a pitcher of beer). After that, we ran BACK to the office because someone came and bought the conference room table.

This morning someone else called and we're meeting them in an hour to see about some of the other desks and the photocopier and fax machines, etc. I really want everything gone. I just slashed the prices so it will go. Craigslist works wonders, I tell you.
Meanwhile, I'm catching up on email and thinking about taking some Advil. And drinking coffee by the bucket.
On writing news - I've put my ebook (previously published in print by Dorchester) on sale for 99 cents at both Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Check it out -

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's Wednesday and the moving thing STILL isn't over. In a few minutes (at 9am), we're leaving for the office. Today's task - take a bunch of old files from the storage rental thing (yes, we have one of those PACKED with boxes of files - five years worth. This will involve hefting huge, heavy boxed onto a cart, wheeling said card to the truck, and packing them in. Once we've filled up the truck space, we have to drive to the bulk shredding place. This will involve numerous trips and several hundreds of dollars.

And heat. Did I mention it got to 101 yesterday? We'll be doing this in the heat. So I think I can safely skip going to the gym today. And a jump in the pool will feel fantastic after. That reminds me - I need to go pack an ice chest with bottled water.

Around here, I think one more day (tomorrow) will enable me to finish transferring everything from my old desk and office to this new one (Not including the crazy closet!) Lonnie still has to transfer his stuff from the upstairs desk to the downstairs one. Then we somehow have to get those two desk out of that room so we can put our exercise equipment back in there.

It never ends. Maybe July will be better. It's got to be.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Monday night, a little after 8:30 pm, and I'm exhausted. We're still moving stuff, shuffling stuff, and I wonder when I became a junk collector. There's stuff everywhere, stacks of it, closets full of it, and I want to just throw it all away. Everything. But of course, I won't. Because a lot of it is books, and my stuffed dog collection. And we're going to have a ginormous garage sale once the office is closed.

I've even lost two pounds! Lots of exercise moving stuff, plus I've been cooking really healthy food. Lonnie's lost weight as well!

And tomorrow is my workout at the gym. I'm looking forward to that, especially since I've been so busy that I haven't been to the gym in a week.

Our internet has been out all day - the old wireless router got messed up and we finally broke down at 7pm and went to Best Buy and bought another one. Now we're up and running and maybe in a week or two, I will have my home office all set up. Because I'm a full time writer now. (Or will be, once I get all this stuff moved and cleaned out)

Thought honestly, right now all I want is to go to sleep!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Friday, it's summer, and it's the end of the first week since closing the day job office. I spent yesterday moving furniture and exercising equipment, getting ready to bring home my desk and hutch and hubbie's desk and credenza. We had to clean out two entire rooms - the formal living and the exercise room. Stuff is stacked everywhere. It's messy and disorganized and cramped.

None of us like it one bit - especially the dogs.

Every morning after I burn through my email, I have a blog roll I check. Vets, nurses, Dr Grumpy, a cop, and a couple of other writers. Today, on one of my favorite author's blog, was an entry that made me feel great.

Because I enjoy time alone. Because I want to dress weird and hibernate and avoid other people. I talk to myself, can get lost in music, and love hanging out in nature. I too hate talking on the phone. But then, I'm a writer, aren't I?

Read her blog here. And if you've never read one of her books, try it. She writes the richest description - of food, of nature, of people. It's lush and delicious and when I read her books, it always feels like a celebration of being alive.

Speaking of celebrating life... Being a writer, since I completed my last book in the contract and turned it in on May 1st, and having written nothing except two proposals (synopsis's) since then, I must say that I'm enjoying the time off. From everything. Sure, I'm still packing and moving furniture and dealing with tying up odds and ends from the former insurance office. But I've been cooking - used the wok last night and tried a new recipe - chicken and apples and onion and garlic - that was wonderful. I've made fresh juice - carrot and apple - yumm!. I bought wheat flour and am going back to baking bread again. These are all things I never had time for between working full time, writing two to three books a year, and working out. Now I do. And I'm thrilled, happier than I've been in a long time.

I feel more alive. Which is absolutely amazing and wonderful. I'm thinking this new delight and joy I'm taking in life might - just might - show through in my writing too. Taking this hiatus has actually made ideas start bubbling in my subconscious. That hasn't happened in a long while.

Yes, I won't be making as much money. No more coach purses or designer shoes. But then, I won't need them so much, will I? Because (chortle!) I'll be wearing shorts and tank tops and hippie dresses and walking around listening to the character's voices in my head!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Another busy day here at the home front. The painter is here, finishing up the house. The lawn guy is here, mowing and weedeating. We got up at 5:30am today - no reason, but we were both awake and decided to. Force of habit, you know?

I put this picture of Daytona Beach here, because I've been thinking of where to go for a vacation. Yes, we're taking a mini-vacation and going to Beau Rivage Casino is Biloxi next month. The nice folks at MGM sent us a free trip (using those Players Club cards in Vegas really does pay off!)

And, while I am looking forward to that trip, I also have been leaning toward an all-inclusive somewhere like Jamaica. Not sure why, since I can't lay out in the sun without wearing SPF 50 at least, but is sounds relaxing. I've also been looking into other things - a cruise, a trip to the Maine Coast, a trip to New Brunswick, Canada (I love that area), Nashville, Memphis, or the California coast. I've also been looking at going back to Vancouver Island, which is where we went in 2004 and had the most wonderful time.

Planning - and pricing - is an eye-opener, let me tell you. At first, we were thinking of England and Scotland, or Ireland, or Italy. But pricing those sort of week long jaunts had me rethinking fast. We're retired now, so I have to be mindful of spending. (By retired, I mean no day job. I'm still writing, of course).

I did write some yesterday. Just piddling around with various books ideas. I'm see-sawing between starting work on the Harlequin Romantic Suspense that I proposed or starting something for a different market, something completey different. I don't know what I'll do. I actually have a folder on my computer called Various Beginnings. In that folder are odd assorted books I've tried to write and never finished over the years. It's been fun reading some of that early stuff (and painful, LOL!).

Ah well. I'm gonna get started again today. After I do the Craigslist thing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Remember I told you that my house is being painted? Well here's a picture at twilight, where the soft yellow is only sort of glowing. I did buy new light fixtures - a nice burnished sort of antique rusty bronze. Now they are piled on the dining room table waiting for my poor, beleaguered husband to put them up.

He has finally finished the statements for May and paid the last of the General Agents. I've been super busy managing posts in Craigslist as I mentioned. We sold the breakroom table yesterday and today someone came and bought five chairs, plus two large locking file cabinets, plus the reception desk and matching hutch/credenza, which he is picking up tomorrow.

I've had a weird/busy day too. I had a doctor's appt this morning, then got to the office after (about 9:30am) and worked there packing and cleaning out until 11:30. I came home, made lunch for both of us, and then jumped on my computer to catch up on emails. More people called or emailed about the furniture, the painter had an issue with the color of the downspouts - he left just now to go try to mix the paint again because the color he'd chosen, I nixed.

It's 2:30 and now hubby has a doctor's appt (it's hell getting old!) and I should go to the gym, but I have weights here and a yoga mat and machines and it's 99 degrees outside and MISERABLE, so I'm probably gonna toddle off to the exercise room after I do Craigslist (I haven't had a chance to even touch it today). Yes, I actually feel a bit stressed. It's really weird how busy I've been since we closed the office, a mere week ago today. I know things will settle down eventually, but until we sell all the furniture, move all the other stuff home, and have a HUGE garage sale, I won't have a chance to develop a new routine and see what this new life is going to be like.

Worse, I haven't written a single thing since I turned in the two synopsis's. And I'm starting to ache from not writing. Which is also weird, because I actually have been enjoying the break. Still am, but starting to feel a nudge to get back to it. I like that.

We swam last night after supper. It's so hot here and the pool was close to 90 degrees (88). Beautiful for swimming at dusk. Then we came in and watched The Voice and went to bed.

I'm sort of ready for this office stuff to be over. I know Lonnie is. He keeps saying so.

Better go do Craigslist and then get in my exercise.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Remember the tomato plants? Well finally they're yielding tomatoes! None are ripe yet, but they're getting bigger and growing and I'm pleased!

Also, we've had a painter here all week painting the outside of my house. The color came out more yellow-tinged than I expected, but I'm gradually growing to like it. Yesterday Lonnie and I went to Lowe's and bought new outside light fixtures. I'm excited to get those up.

No word on either the Delivery and Acceptance of the book I turned in May 1st, though my agent has checked on it. And no word of course on the synopsis's or the new contract. I've been so busy with the dadburn office and life that I haven't done any writing, and I need to get back to it before I forget how! Just kidding, but still.

We've gotten a good response on the Craigslist ads for the fridge and furniture. Hoping we can clear some of that stuff out of there quickly. Saturday is the day the guy we hired to help move the stuff that's coming home is doing that. So I've got more reshuffling to do at the house.

Personal training tonight, a doctor's appt in the morning. I made a tuna casserole last night, an old favorite from when my daughter was younger. Lonnie and I both enjoyed it, which is good since we're having it again tonight.

Gotta run. Probably better go by the office and pack some more stuff. Sigh.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday June 6, 2011

It is hot here in Texas. Seriously hot. The temp hovered near 99 all weekend. The weather skipped right over the 80's and all of a sudden we're having July and August temps in June. WTF?

I'm not a big fan of heat. Yes, I grew up in the mountains (Catskills and Rocky) and while it does get hot there, in Colorado the nights and mornings are cool (and awesome) and in upstate NY, it doesn't stay hot long. And I remember lots of rain in the summers too, like a sunshower every day.
Here, not so much. Just hot. And more heat. And hot.
Down where our lake is (Halfway between here and Houston), it's only rained 1.89 inches since January. The lake is down - way down. In our little cove, there is only 16 inches of water. Not enough to pull our boat up to our dock. Sitting outside, even under the covered patio with ceiling fans whirring, was still uncomfortable, so we left early on Sunday and came home. At least I have a pool at home!
The pool water is 87, which is warm, but still feels good when it's 99 outside.
I've got to go back to the office this week and start packing stuff up. I'm also going to put some of the furniture on Craig's List and try to sell it that way. I also need to continue throwing out trash and packing up stuff to come home. I'll probably do that all week.
Looks like a vacation from writing this week!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday's were always my favorite day of the week when I worked the day job. Lonnie and I always ate lunch together at the office, usually some fast food like Subway or something. That alone made the day different.

So it's Friday and the first one since we sold the insurance agency. Lonnie is there right now with the guy that bought our phone system - they are taking it down and unhooking it or something.

We are going to the lake - first time EVER that we get to leave here mid-day rather than like 4pm. The house painter is working on our house and will be here all through the weekend.

And it's eleven and I haven't even packed yet. Yikes. I have checked my email, requested web site updates, talked via email to my agent several times, visited some online forums that I'm a member of (and posted), and read my regular morning blogroll. The last thing on my to-do list before I pack is this blog.

Yesterday I finished the two synopsis's (finally!) and sent them to my agent. My editor is currently reading the book I turned in on May 1st and hopefully will soon give approval for the Delivery and Acceptance check to be cut. Once she does this, my agent will present the two synopsis's so I can go back under contract. Being without a contract is like being unemployed. Ok, it is being unemployed. OMG, I'm unemployed!!!

Just kidding, I'm not really freaking out. I'm actually kind of calm today. I love the lake and am glad to be getting to go there. I guess I'd better go pack.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday June 2, 2011

Ok, yesterday was day two of no office and I can see where it's going to be weird.  It was totally different when it was just me and the hubby went to work - we got up at five, did our normal routine and then he went to work and I stayed home and wrote.  Not often, but occasionally.

When he doesn't go to work, it's weird.  Like both yesterday and this morning, we "slept in" until 6.  We still stuck to the normal stuff we did before, with the end result that I felt like I was running an hour behind.  Then, when I came in my office to get on my computer, he came too and got on his.  And kept talking to me.  Both yesterday and today.

Eventually, he stopped and left to go to the office.  Yesterday I worked on my synopsis most of the day and we had lunch together downstairs.  I went back to work, he occasionally got on his computer and did stuff.  I can see that I *must* have a separate office (much like I did at the day job).  Despite me buying him a new laptop, he continues to use the desktop.  When I told him this morning that he had to have his own office, he asked why, genuinely perplexed.  I tried to explain that when I'm writing full time, I MUST have my own office where I can close the door if I have to.  Especially when I get close to a deadline due date.

He just left again to go to the insurance office.  He has to do payables for last month, plus he said he plans to stop at a used office furniture store and see if they want to buy our stuff.  I am hoping to finish the second synopsis today, then I can really dig into the task at hand of moving office stuff home, trashing the millions of excess crap, selling the furniture, etc.  Because until that is done. we can't be done.

On the plus side, I did book us a mini-vacation in July.  My daughter will stay with the dogs.  I might book another mini-vacation in August.  Baby steps, you know.  Baby steps.

For now, back to work!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's release day for my June Romantic Suspence - THE CEO'S SECRET BABY. Unfortunately, I can't get this blogging software to allow me to upload photos anymore, so that's why there haven't been any lately.

I'm still working on fixing that. Side note - I FIXED IT! And, as you can see, I went back and added the cover!