Monthly Archives: February 2013

Just Another Manic Monday

Freak out over, it’s time to get back to work. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. As long as I don’t ~think about things, I’m okay, it’s only when I start to really think – that I can feel the freak out hovering right on the edge. So I’m determined to knuckle down, not think, and just do.

Accomplished: Well, after the initial Manic Monday post – I actually did exercise that week – managed to walk for almost an hour three days in a row! I decided I pretty much don’t like the gym and walking outside in the cold is preferable to that. So that’s what I did, and we’re not talking stop and smell the flowers walking, we’re talking walking in time to keep the beat with the music blaring through my headphones. Music like Beat Me Up by Allison Iraheta, Strut by Adam Lambert, You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC, and House Rules by Christian Kane – to name a few.

I totally skipped the week of the freak out BUT I went for a walk this morning – so GO ME!

In terms of writing: That first week I wrote just under 8K – not bad, not great either, especially considering during Nano I was averaging 2500 words per day. So must improve on that. Although I did manage to edit 30 pages of the older fic I was working on – so there’s that.

The week of the freak out – I wrote a whopping one hundred words. #fail.

Real Life: I’m done talking about the freak out, so let’s talk about my trip to Paris instead. We had a BLAST. Left really early Saturday the 16th and drove to Paris (on a bus with about 20 other people at least). Arrived in Paris around 2ish and did a quick driving sight-seeing tour, stopping once to get pictures of the Eiffel Tower. Off to the hotel to check in and then off to Montmartre and Sacre Coeur. Got some fabulous pictures there and bought our first round of souvenirs – we collect magnets so we bought some magnets there.

Dinner and back to the hotel for us, the kid was exhausted. Others (ones without kids LOL) were off to an exciting night at the Moulin Rouge (I REALLY wish we could have gone – maybe someday).

Next day we spent the morning at Versailles, which was just as lavish as the pictures you see in books. Then it was lunch at the Louvre and a few hours spent there – we managed to see everything we wanted to and a few other things as well. The Winged Victory was my favorite. And the Mona Lisa was bigger than I expected mostly because I’d been told it was really small and therefore my expectations were lower LOL.

Then it was a trip to the Arc de Triomphe (we didn’t get to go up inside but we got to take pictures out and around it) and then on to a boat tour down the river Seine which was lovely. Dinner and some night pictures of the Eiffel tower and back to the hotel to bed.

Final day we spent the morning at the top of the Eiffel Tower – got a really great picture of the kid with Paris in the background. It was a little disconcerting on the elevator ride up but once we were out on the observation deck it was fabulous!

Finally, we were off to Notre Dame and lunch in a nearby café before loading the bus to go home.

Really an AMAZING weekend, we saw everything I would have wanted to see so I’m very happy we made the trip.

Goals for this week: I have decided that my goals last time were too specific because I never managed to accomplish what I set out to do. My muse is a bit of a dominating bastard – I need a name for him – suggestions? Anyway, he never works on what I want him to work on – it’s mostly at his whim. So my goal for this week? To write every day. At least a thousand words every day. Bare minimum. I’d really like to write about 2500 words every day but I think that might be pushing it with everything else going on. So, by the end of the week – I’d like to say I wrote 5K. We’ll see.

I plan on working on edits for Fixing the Hole (adding an additional scene), still working on that belated fanfic birthday present LOL, that LONG overdue edit for Choccy (yes still working on it, in my defense it is 92K words!), and figuring out the plot for that submission due in June /o\ I have one scene written and possibly the opening but all the stuff in between? *glares at silent muse* *cringes at him flicking the whip*

Now, hope you enjoy a few of the pics I took, SO SORRY for the size, but I’m a bit photobucket illiterate and I REALLY don’t know how to post thumbnails or make them smaller.

Have a great week!

See you on Friday!

<3333 KH

Sacre Coeur

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Mona Lisa

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Winged Victory (my fav!)

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Venus de Milo

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Cupid and Pysche

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Freak Out Friday

It’s Freak Out Friday

I apologize ahead of time for the rambling nature of this post and also for any errors but by the time you finish reading I hope you’ll understand why <3333

There wasn't a post on Monday because we spent the weekend in Paris seeing as how Monday was President's Day and therefore a school and federal holiday for Americans. Tuesday I spent catching up with email and laundry and grocery shopping and whatnot. And then lo and behold Wednesday instead of writing or doing a blog post or anything productive – I had a freak out.

See, we are getting ready to move back to the States this summer. We've been here for three years, the hubs has orders, so it's time to go. We do this a lot, we're used to this, we move every two to three years, no big deal. But Wednesday, I had a freak out.

This is not unusual either. Moving is stressful, changing jobs/schools/etc is stressful and we're doing all of that in one go. So my brain decided on Wednesday to go down the rabbit hole of my nursing licensure. I'm licensed in California and I was licensed in Virginia but because of mail issues and them sending out reminders via snail mail and not email I let my license lapse while we've been over here because I simply forgot to renew.

Along with my license comes certification and various other associations I belong to. No big deal, except my certification is expiring this year and in order to renew it I need practice hours or to retake the test. No big deal, except my test is being retired so I either need to take it before the end of 2014 or I need to apply to take the NEW exam.

So this is what I spent my Wednesday freaking out about. I got all my CEUs lined up, figured out just exactly how many I still have left to do and where I can get them from. I also looked up my old graduate program to see if they were still accredited and researching both the exam that is being retired and the new exam and contemplating how awful life would become if I had to start studying to take either one of them. Plus there's the entirely terrifying prospect of finding a part time job when I return to the States in order to get the clinical hours I need so I don't actually HAVE to take the exam. I'm a stay at home Mom right now and I LIKE being one. I'm not sure I WANT to work but I also don't want to give up my certification – so rock meet hard place.

Couple that with yesterday where my hubs spent almost two hours with the military travel folks arranging our flight home – at first we were all flying on different days from different cities /o\. Finally they got us ALL on the same flight, same day, to the same place INCLUDING the dog – which is a further complication because there is an embargo on dogs leaving the country from the city where we currently live so we have to fly someplace else and get the international flight from there. Then we hit up housing and arranged our housing inspection (which freaks me out because CLEANING), our temporary hotel lodging our last three nights here, got tentative dates for our car shipment AND our household goods shipment. Oh and we skyped with our real estate agent about a property we're interested in – so busy day yesterday.

Combine all that together and it leads up to MASSIVE FREAK OUT which I absolutely cannot telegraph to my child because he is already stressing over the move – he's told me that and he talks about it with his friend Sarah. Now, again, this is not his first move, that happened when he was four months old LOL. But as he gets older he understands more what moving means – that he has to change schools, lose friends, make new friends, get a new place to live, leave the old place – that's a lot for a kid. Now, mind you, military kids tend to be a bit savvier than your average kid because they have to be – they move a lot, they have to make new friends in a short amount of time and get themselves up and running in their new environment pretty quickly, and they've lived a lot of places. My kid's lived in California, Cuba, Washington, D.C. and now Germany. He's been to almost half the states in the US and several countries over here in Europe – so yeah, savvier. Doesn't mean it's not stressful.

That writing THANG – I'm working on it, I've gotten zero writing done this week because of the epic freak out. I submitted something back in December and haven't heard back on it and it's reaching the 'twelve' week guideline so I'm faced with emailing them an inquiry. I'm working on a possible submission to MLR for their Average Joe sub call – that deadline is June 1st. I don't have time for freak outs unfortunately the writing 'thang' and deadlines make me even jumpier.

I kind of feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off so I make lists except last week my lists stressed me out so I had to throw them out. /o\

Bottom line – I'm not complaining – it is what it is, I knew the life I was getting into when I married my hubs, but moving is stressful no matter how you look at it, it's affecting my writing which my good friend Lillian Francis pointed out happened the LAST time we moved – so I need to find a happy medium in between the stressing and the moving and the writing. I'll find it, but right now, I'm still working off the vestiges of my epic freak out LOL.

So tell me – what do you all have on your plate? Anyone else having an epic freak out like me? Please share, because you know, misery LOVES company 😀

TTFN

<3333 KH

Fiction Friday!

It’s Fiction Friday again and today I’m posting a review. Now, I don’t normally do reviews, because frankly I don’t think I write them very well. Plus, there’s the whole ‘I’m new to this publishing thing so who am I to review something?’ feeling I have LOL.

But I met Cameron at the UK Meet 2012 and was instantly charmed. Cameron is a HOOT with a rapier wit and a dry sense of humor that I LOVED. I thoroughly enjoyed Yours to Command and when I was offered an early copy of Cancel Christmas if I would read and possibly write a review, I jumped at the chance. Then RL exploded in my face and here it is over two months later and I’m just now getting around to posting my review. Fortunately, the book is still for sale LOL and you can find it at MLR Press, at Amazon US and at Amazon UK. And you can find Cameron HERE

Now, on with the review – thanks Choccy for looking this over *HUGS*

Jack and Rory are Military Police and were introduced in the short story “Yours To Command” but you don’t need to have read that one to get into Cancel Christmas. There’s enough background information given in the beginning to get you right into Jack and Rory’s relationship. Jack is just about to depart to spend his Christmas leave with his family when his leave is canceled to join Rory in a murder investigation in Germany.

As the author peels back the layers of the crime, the layers of Jack and Rory’s relationship are peeled back as well. We learn that Jack has come from a big family and Rory is a bit jealous of his relationship with that family. Rory is a bit gun shy when it comes to their relationship because not only is it not accepted in the military but he’s an officer and Jack is not and fraternization is most expressly forbidden. Early on we learn that Jack has a secret penchant for rough sex, something that surprises Rory (and me as well) but Rory rolls with it and I was especially impressed by the fact that it came up several times throughout the book and they did finally discuss it in their own way to a satisfactory conclusion.

The murder they were investigating was just as intriguing as the new dynamic to their relationship. There were twists and turns and red herrings galore and I enjoyed every single one of them. I like a good murder mystery that keeps me guessing about the identity of the killer and the motivation behind the kill until the very end and this one did not disappoint.

Mix that with the burden Jack and Rory have of keeping their relationship a secret coupled with their desire to take their relationship to the next level and the hint of regret over not being able to be public about how they feel for each other, and this makes for a page-turner that I had trouble putting down.

I’m looking forward to more of Jack and Rory’s adventures in the future.

Ok, that’s it for me this week. Look for my next update on TUESDAY instead of Monday – more on why on Tuesday 😀

Have a great weekend!!!

<33333 KH

Just Another Manic Monday

Look at me, two blogs in a row! YAY 😀

I’m shamelessly yanking this from Josephine Myles who has a fantastic blog Here which you should totally check out because she’s a hoot and an AMAZING writer with an adorable daughter and a penchant for knitting and sewing and making fantastic clothes!

Accomplished: Not much, last week was kind of a bad writing week, and seeing how I just started this I have no word count totals to give you, but look forward to that next week.

Real Life: Lots of moving planning, trolling real estate websites, talking with our real estate agent, and making sure the school here has sent records to the private school we’re applying at for our kid.

Which brings me to another point about the epiphany I had last week. I was chatting with Buttononthetop last night and she pointed out that about mid-November until about mid/late January is pretty much a bust for getting anything accomplished. And she’s right, there’s Thanksgiving and then Christmas, and then New Years, this year we had the in-laws in for almost three weeks, and then the entire month of January is this weird month where the school never has a full week. Every week the kids either had one or even two days off. Which meant most days I was treading water just to keep up with the housework, the laundry and whatnot – let alone trying to get any writing done /o\.

Throw all our moving preps on top of that, planning out our final trips here, and it’s no wonder my muse was in hiding and I was feeling more and more frustrated with writing. But things have settled down to a mild roar, I’ve managed to incorporate all this move/trip planning into my schedule and I’m even going to start incorporating exercise into it as well. I think a more structured schedule might make me more productive – at least that’s what I’m hoping. So I have written out a schedule for the writing tasks I want to accomplish this week.

Goals for this week: I’d like to get to the gym twice this week, I’m shooting for Tuesday and Thursday. I need to finish an edit for a friend, and continue work on another edit that is WAY overdue (sorry Choccy). I need to finish an edit on a fanfic (yes I still write those, but not much) and get it posted. I intend to finish up the novella I talked about on Friday and get it out to my pre-readers for their chop. I have one more fannish thing to finish up – a belated birthday gift for a friend and I hope to finish that this week *fingers crossed*. I plan to finally figure out how to start the story I’ve got in mind for a submission due in June. And finally, dust off one of my old finished pieces, start updating and refining it and bringing it up to submission standards. Lofty goals I know, but I think they’re attainable. We’ll see. Check out this space next TUESDAY to see how I did.

Coming this Friday – more Fiction Friday – this time a review!

Hope everyone has a great week!

<333 KH

My First Fiction Friday!

So since fiction is on my mind today, today is Fiction Friday.

I submitted a short story a while back for an anthology and although the publisher rejected it, they said they liked the story and encouraged me to expand the word count and submit it as a novella. That’s been my main writing focus as of late. I’ve surpassed the word count, but I can’t seem to make the story connect and, of course, there’s all that self-doubt that maybe my writing is just crap and the stuff I’ve added is just so much filler.

One of my main characters has been wallowing in self-pity to the point where even I want to tell him to man-up and stop selling himself short. At least that’s what it felt like until I looked back over things and then I thought, no, he’s just a waffle. He needs to make up his mind – is he going to flirt or is he going to continue to think he’s not good enough and not take the risk?

Oops, had to take a break to take my kid to German soccer training. While I was there I managed to give my MC the kick in the ass I think he needed and I think the story is back on track. Honestly what I think I needed was some quiet (distraction-free) time to think.

See my hubs has night duty/call this weekend so he was home all day. Also, we are in the process of looking for a house in Virginia so he was talking and asking questions and basically keeping me from concentrating. Once I had no demands being placed on me I was able to get my brain in the right place and get my MC to unscrew himself.

Now, there’s still a part of me that thinks what I’ve written is crap but a few more polishing touches, plot tweaks and it will be off to my pre-readers who will either confirm or deny my fears LOL.

Anyone else have a story about when they really needed to get something done (and it can be anything) and their family (no matter how much you love them – because goodness knows my hubs is my other half!) was just an unwanted distraction? When you just wanted to say ‘please just give me one hour to myself, that’s all I need and then I’m all yours’?

So that’s my story for Fiction Friday – tell me yours.

Also, thanks to Buttononthetop for the edit *smishes*

<3333 KH

Update

Hi all!

So I read a fantastic post the other day about Social Media and the lessons we learned from the Super Bowl Ads. You can find it Here.

Well, I can honestly say, I really took it to heart and realized that about the only time I post over here is when I’m trying to push my next publication. I don’t want it to be like that anymore – it shouldn’t have been like that to start with.

I’m going to try something new. I’m going to start off with attempting two blog posts a week. One on Mondays and one on Fridays and I already have themes. Movie Mondays and Fandom, Fiction, and Food Fridays. On Mondays I’ll obviously talk about movies, either something we’ve just seen in the theater, something I want to see, or something we’ve recently watched on DVD – warning this will contain discussions of kids’ movies watched AD NAUSEUM LOL. Fridays I’ll talk about fandoms I’ve been in or are still in and why, something about what I’m currently working on, and my newest food obsession for the week LOL.

I hope you’ll all join me. I’m going to try to do the first one this Friday!

See you then.

<333
KH