Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lemons, burning Life's house down...

Sorry I haven't posted in a long time. Things have gotten kind of crazy again. I guess the washer is to blame partly...

We had an incident around the house recently, involving the washer and dryer. The dryer has been broken for a very long time. The timer doesn't work, so it stays on the wrong heat setting and doesn't beep to tell me when the clothes are dry. This has caused many of our clothes to shrink, but I've been trying not to complain and to just deal with it. However, a few days ago, when the washing machine began to smoke, we came to the realization we needed a new washer and dryer, which meant putting it on the best buy credit card, and making us go into more debt.

I had a bit of an epiphany...I really need to get another job. If I'm thinking of having a child at some point in the near future, we need to pay off some debt. And, while I love my writing, it isn't paying the bills. Don't get me wrong, I will continue to write in my scant amount of free time, but I need to go back into graphic design, or become an administrative assistant. I need to use the skills I went to school to learn and bring another income into the house.

The problem is, there will always be small emergencies that will require money. Recently, I had a terrible pain in my abdomen and had to go to the hospital--600 dollars. We adopted a stray cat that wandered up and needed medical attention--300 dollars. We needed a new washer and dryer--1000 dollars. And, at any time, my old car (It's a 92 Chrysler Lebaron) could say "goodbye cruel world" and then that will be a few thousand for a "new" used car. The point is, if we don't have the money to cover small emergencies, having a child will be very hard on us.

I'm going back to work to cover my bills, some of the groceries, and to pay off my credit card. Then, my husband can work towards paying off debt much faster. A temp agency is trying to get me an interview with a graphic design company right now. If such an interview can be arranged, I think I might have a full time graphic design temp to hire job soon (I've been exposed to the program they use, and it isn't one of the usual ones like Photoshop or Illustrator, so I think I have a good chance).

Please, wish me luck and pray for me. I need it. It's hard to balance everything and going back to work full time or part time is going to be a big adjustment. I'm not sure how we're going to keep the house clean, how I'll be able to pursue my writing, or even how I'll be able to get used to staying us so early, but I am determined to do this. Somehow, things work out one way or another. When life gives you lemons, you create a machine that makes flaming lemons and burn life's house down!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fantastical Mystery Tour

Wow, it's been a long time since I've written on my blog. To be honest, it's been a long time since I've written anything at all. I think I've figured out why after about a week of taking a break from doing anything.

I recently went on vacation to the beach. For one full week, I didn't have any chores to do, or any work at all. It was a lot of fun, but instead of feeling like reading or writing, I just wanted to relax and play some video games. I haven't "felt it" when it comes to my writing lately. Directly after the beach trip, I discovered why.

I went to an event at a local Barnes and Noble called, "The Fantastical Mystery Tour." Several local fantasy authors (local to the Southeast, at least), Kaylana Price, Faith Hunter, Rachel Aaron, Misty Massey, and John Hartness, were there to sign their novels and discuss writing. I truthfully haven't read any of their books yet, but I want to. They sound like very good books, and are right up my ally, so I bought nearly one of each and you can expect reviews of those books in the future. Most of them are urban or high fantasy. I was amused to find I did have some things in common with the writers already, at least personality wise. Rachel Aaron told the group that she thinks of her characters in anime form, which secretly is something I also do. (Not much of a secret since I just put it on the blog...don't judge me!)

Ahem, anyway, it was a very useful discussion panel. They told us tactics for writing (planning an outline verses going by the seat of your pants), some etiquette when it comes to working with an agent, and the differences between getting an agent and working with publishers in New York, and being successful in the self publishing market.

As I listened, and learned more than I had previously, it rekindled something that had been slowly dying in my mind for the past year or so...ambition. It reminded me why I wanted to be an author, and it reminded me that I enjoy writing and want to make a living doing it. That has been my dream for a very long time, but I've found myself lately thinking that my dream won't come true. I had been giving up with out even realizing it.

I can't say that I didn't have good reasons for my temporary apathy towards writing, especially after the last few months. A death in the family has you re-evaluating the things that are important to you. Even though I love to write and would love to make a career out of it, I still find God, family, and friends more important. I hope that I never feel any differently. Still, that doesn't mean that I should give up on a dream that's important to me, or that I should stop doing something I feel passionate about and enjoy. Now that I realize that I was giving up, I refuse to do so anymore.

Long story short, when I watched those authors speaking, I wanted to be one of them. They were all very down to earth and nice, and they had done what I one day would like to do myself. It made me realize that I have deep down gotten discouraged because of all of my rejections. Thus, I haven't sent out any more agent letters because I'm being so self-critical that I don't think my work is worth sending in. I didn't even realize that I felt that way. Now that I know this is a problem, I can take steps to get over it.

First of all, my husband says he'll edit my "Everburn" book for content. (The authors said that everyone needs an editor that will tell you what makes a winning book, and for me that editor is my husband. He tells me what he does and doesn't like about my books, sometimes almost too harshly, so thankfully I already have my editor.) Once he works on "Everburn," I can go ahead and start sending it to more publishing companies and agents.

Also, I'm going to go through "The Writer's Market" to look for more agents to submit my work to. Also, I've been informed that I need to remove any writing samples from novels that I want to get published that I have on this blog, so please enjoy those snippets while they last--I'll be taking them down probably next week. If I'm serious about wanting my work published, I need to start acting it.

And, finally, I need to get back to writing again. Whether I "feel it" or not, I'm going to set aside time everyday to do some writing and I'm just going to sit down and do it. (This was Faith Hunter's advice, and it's very good advice indeed, sit down and write.) All of the authors agreed that there was no such thing as writer's block. Usually, when you have writer's block it's your brain telling you there is something wrong with your story and you need to take a step back, re-read it and then when you know what the problem is, write on it again. I'm also going to check out Rachel Aaron's blog to see her advice on doubling your word count. Since I have other responsibilities in my home other than writing, I need to make the time I have more productive.

As for what I'm going to write this week, I don't know. I'm going to go through my works in progress and pick the one I am feeling most excited about. Even though I was working on "The Guildsmen," I am no longer excited about it, and I need to be excited about the plot of a novel to write well. If you aren't passionate about your own work, no one else will be either. Maybe I'll start a new one, but either way, writing will get done, and I'll feel more confident and complete again.

To anyone reading this, please check out the blogs of all of the writer's I listed and look at their work. They were an inspiration to me, and I'm sure they will be to you as well. I owe them a great deal of thanks for getting me back on track and making me realize what was missing. Thank you all, if you get to see this. I appreciate your time and advice.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Feeling Better...

Well, I'm glad to say that I'm feeling a little better. This week I finally feel that I've gotten back into my old routine. I'm getting up a little earlier in the mornings, I've started exercising and reading again, and I'm writing in between catching up on chores around the house. Currently, I'm reading "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. I like a good intellectual read, but I think after this one I'll read another Jim Butcher novel or something lighter. It's odd reading philosophy while you exercise...

It's funny, I never thought I would miss a routine, but when bad things happen that throw you out of it, it's sometimes nice to get back that same old, same old comfortable routine. This week has been a particularly nice one. I'm going to work on chores today and hopefully at the end of the week I'll be able to write all day on Thursday and Friday.

The story I'm currently working on is still "The Guildsmen." I think it's coming along nicely. I'm on page fifty, and I think it's an enjoyable story. I'm working very hard to make the setting accurate for the times other than, of course, the whole steampunk aspect. It takes place around the 1890s in London (you know, alternate universe London), so I'm trying to get everything right from the dress to the drinks that the characters order. It's a lot of research.

While I'm enjoying the steampunk story, I think when I'm done with this one, I'm going to switch back to good old fashioned horror for a little while. Heck, that would be nice if nothing more than just to get in the mood for Halloween. (I don't think it's an unrealistic assumption that I'll be done with "The Guildsmen" by Halloween.) And, since I'm already thinking of Halloween several months early as usual, it seems that things are normalizing in my mind again. Yay!

On that note, it seems even if I do get pregnant between now and Halloween, I shouldn't be so huge that I can't wear a normal costume. WOOT (we own the other team, for those not internet savvy)! I'm still trying to get pregnant, but I think being on birth control for so long is meaning that my system needs a few more months to normalize first, but I'm not stressing over it yet. In the meantime, I'm looking at it as extra time to write and to have a little less responsibility. Anyway, looking forward to Halloween again, and I'm hoping to run a horror themed RPG as well closer to time, probably Little Fears, or Call of Cthulhu.

Well, I'm off to do some more chores. I hope you have a great day. I'm going to try.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This month...I don't want to talk about this month.

Hello all,

Sorry, I know I haven't written much this month. That was because, there wasn't a lot that I wanted to write about. I guess you could say that I've been putting things aside and handling some heavy stuff going on in my family. I'm ready to write it out now, and to hopefully get back into a productive routine. We'll see.

I'm not going to go into a great amount of detail, but my Grandmother died in early May. She was ninety-one years old, but however old she was, I still was sad to see her go. Still, I know that she's in a better place. She had a dream a few nights before that the Lord came to take her away. I'm sure that's what happened. Still, it's hard for those left behind.

The day after Grandmom died, my Mom had to go to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a transient ischemic attack (in essence, a mini-stroke). She's okay and she got out a day later, but we were all very worried about her. Somehow we did manage to pull together as a family and plan Grandmom's burial, but it was rough.

Jesus really worked through me. I could have never done all that I did to help alone. I owe Him a great deal, for his sacrifice for me, of course, but currently I'm referring of all he did for me during the two weeks surrounding these events. It was a wonderful feeling to have him work within me. I've never felt anything like it. I felt so peaceful, and so in control. Usually when someone dies in my family, I'm depressed and disorganized and pretty much freaking out, so I know it wasn't me that was doing all of these things. Still, when it was all over it left me totally emotionally and physically drained. My body isn't designed to handle that kind of thing.

Anyway, long story short, I got through it, only to get sick with a terrible head cold that lasted a full week the week after things settled down (that was the week before this one). Anyway, I'm finally over that, and I'm now trying to get caught up on chores, etc. My husband was very supportive and didn't ask me to do much this week. We ate fast food alot so I wouldn't have to cook, and somehow I didn't give the cold to him, which is amazing. Still, I haven't exercised or read anything at all this month, and I was getting out of the routine I had a few months before anyway. I know I've gained at least five pounds over the past two months(probably more like ten) which I'm hoping to shed. Thankfully, I don't look that bad yet though and can still wear most of my favorite clothes. Now that things have settled down, I want to get back into exercising and taking care of my body as well as my mind.

I've done a little writing on "The Guildsmen," that steampunk story I have a sample of on this blog. It's coming along nicely, probably because usually when bad things do happen I somehow become more inspired to write. Still, I'd definitely take writer's block over everything bad that's happened this month any day. I might have another writing sample from it in the future. I kept the intro that I put on this blog, and I'm trying to keep that writing style as well. With a few minor changes, he first few chapters have passed the approval of one of my friends who is an avid fan of steampunk, so I feel confident that so far it's going well. Still, this week I also took a break from writing while I was recovering because I took long naps in the afternoon (I couldn't help it. I was really that sick.). So, anyway, wish me luck on getting back to writing.

Anyway, that was this month. Hopefully, June will go better. There are a lot of good friends of mine, including my Pastor that are going through things just as bad if not worse than I was, so please keep him along with anyone you know who is going through bad things in your prayers. I have no doubt prayer requests went a long way with me and my family.

I'll try to keep this blog up and keep you posted more often from now on. Thanks for reading. I would say "keep reading" or "keep writing" but I can't say that in good conscience since I need to take my own advice on that this month. Here's one that's more appropriate...take care.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Dangers of Writing and "Redemption"

Well, I finally finished "Redemption" today. I have enough ideas left over that I could create another book as part of that series, but I don't think I'll do that anytime soon. I'm going to change genres for a little while. As I mentioned, I'm torn between picking up my horror novel, my steampunk novel, or starting my changeling novel. I guess I'll have to sleep on it.

I've been talking to my other writer friends and it's made me introspective about writing and why I do it, and why other writers do it. It's also made me think on the dangers of being a writer. So, I think I'll say a few words on my thoughts today.

I've noticed over the past few years that writing can be as great a pleasure or a burden as we tend to make it. It can either detract from life or add to it greatly. It can be an activity that causes stress or causes no stress at all, depending on how harshly we police ourselves. When I started out as a writer, I was very hard on myself, refusing to be satisfied until I had written a certain number of pages per day, etc. I quickly found out, however, that writing like that usually wasn't nearly as good as the writing I did when I felt inspired to do it. Also, it left me no time to edit as I went along, thus making me practically rewrite the entire piece by the time I was finished. Now, when I write, I write only when I feel like doing it. If that means taking a day off or even a month, I do it. Not only am I less stressed out, but it also makes me feel like my life is balanced and when I write I can focus on it entirely. I also write one or a few chapters at a time, and re-read the section two or three times and edit it after I finish for the day. This cuts down on long editing and helps me remember what I was working on the next day.

I've also noticed, for me at least, writing is a great form of escapism. My life in general is pretty boring. I work hard to keep my house clean, but I tend to get stuck doing the same thing day after day. My writing often gets pushed to the side in favor of keeping a clean house, visiting friends or family, or even just to play a video game. So, I find myself writing at odd times. While it might seem like a bad thing, I've found that even small thins like having a clean house help me write when I get to it. The danger, for me, is when I put writing above real life. I've done that before, and you always regret it later. I've had friends over before and found myself inspired and instead of talking, I end up writing. I do not recommend this because not only does it make you seem uncaring, but later you start wondering what you've missed out on, and then before you turn around, you're closing in on age thirty...

To cut down on this I don't allow myself to take my laptop with me on special occasions like visiting friends or family so that I won't obsess over it. I still am sometimes obsessive, over a story, but generally speaking if you aren't actually writing on it, you can eventually get it off of your mind. I do still write on vacations, just not one day getaways. It keeps things in perspective.

Obsessing over writing is also a danger. When I get into the middle of a story, I often find myself daydreaming from the point of view of the various characters. The idea that one can get so invested in an imaginary life is a little scary, and yet, it is very interesting and fun. I realized long ago that writing is just another way of playing pretend, only you do it in the form of a story you control entirely. (I say that, though the story tends to write itself and sometimes you find the characters do something you didn't expect...but I digress.) The point is, I've often wondered if I was in the middle of a project I'm obsessing over if I get hit in the head and have amnesia, will I wake up as me or remember the "memories" of the character? Doing anything to the point it consumes you is unhealthy.

I guess a good summary of what I'm trying to say is moderation is good in all things. Writing is addictive and fun, but we sometimes should step back and remember that we only live once. It's always best to put our writing aside for God, family, and friends. Otherwise, what are we doing but intellectually masturbating? (I know that phrase is slightly vulgar, but I think it describes writers very well at times.)

So, the challenge I give to you writers today is to go outside and do something fun that isn't writing. Call a friend you've been missing or play a video game. I know everyone enjoys writing differently, but I'm just telling you what works for me, and am noticing that as you grow as a writer and a person, how you handle it tends to change. Ask me about this again in another ten years, and I'm sure my perspective will have also grown with me as well.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Hello all,

Sorry I haven't posted in a long time, but I've been very busy. I took a great vacation with my husband for our six year anniversary. Getting out of the city for a little while and spending some time with him was just what I needed. It has convinced me that I need to get back into the things that I've neglected over the past few months and work harder to balance my time.

First of all, I'm going to get back into my exercise routine. I've already gotten a good start on doing that. While I don't look bad yet, I could look better and it's always a good idea to keep up my cardio, especially since I'm about to turn thirty and am trying to get pregnant (I need to start good habits now). I'm also going to be sure to write in my prayer journal at the very least once a week and pray every night before bed. I'm going to continue to blog and write, and I will finish my "Redemption" story by the end of this month.

"Redemption" is not a bad story, but I'm sort of feeling like it's holding me back now. I have other ideas that I want to try, but I keep adding more and more to "Redemption." It also is getting a little too long now, pushing the 80,000 word limit, so I need to wrap it up so that I can move on to something else. I'm going to either pick up my steam punk story, my horror novel, or start the urban fantasy changeling story that I was thinking of recently. Either way, I'm ready for a fresh start. Also, I've started looking for agents for my "Everburn" story again as well.

I've decided not to self-publish "Eternity Game," or at least not to do it yet. Hindsight is always better than foresight, and I've noticed that while it isn't a bad story, it was my first and the writing style leaves something to be desired. I want my first book to be better than that. I also want my first book to be published by a real publishing company. That being said, if I get some more cyberpunk novels written and published that take place in Cimmerian City, then I can publish the first three novels later as a sort of "prequel" to the others. Hopefully by then, someone will be interested in what started the books taking place in that city. An author can dream.

Anyway, wish me luck.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I thought it would be nice to write up another movie review this week while the movie is fresh in my mind. For my birthday party, I went with my friends to Arizona steak house for a meal and then afterward went to see the movie "Rango." I didn't know what to expect from the film since I had only really seen one or two previews, but the reviews for it were good, and I like Johnny Depp. I must say, I was really impressed with this movie.

The general story is that of a captive lizard that has spent his life pretending to be other people and thinks of himself as an actor. He plays as many different personas, but all of them seem shallow. He realizes that it's because there are no conflicts in his narratives--and upon coming to this realization, his aquarium falls out of the back window of the car when the car swerves to try not to hit an armadillo. He's a chameleon that now has to survive the heat of the desert. Eventually, he does make it to a small town that is undergoing a water shortage. He decides to pretend to be a tough gunslinger and is appointed sheriff of the town. He soon realizes that there's more to the water shortage than it originally seemed, and he eventually has to quit pretending, and either leave the town to it's own devises, or try to become a true hero.

I was surprised at the dark overtones of this movie. Death seems to be a recurring theme throughout the narrative. The band keeps telling the audience that Rango is going to die. The armadillo from the beginning is actually flattened by the car, but somehow pulls itself together and moves on, and yet it becomes a spiritual guide. Rango becomes sheriff by accidentally killing a hawk. And, there's even a scene towards the end where Rango passes out from exhaustion and ends up going on a sort of spiritual journey. The movie definitely has the feel of a Western with those sort of dark overtones, and it's easy to lose yourself in the feel of it and to sort of forget that you're looking at a cast of animals.

The animation of this movie is also very good. It seems computer animated films are becoming better and better as the years go by. I think what impressed me most about this particular film was the textures of the animals used. The fur looked like fur, the dry scales of the rattlesnake looked like scales, and yet there were subtle things about each of the characters that gave them personality, like the line on the scales of the rattlesnake's mouth that looked almost like a thin mustache.

All of the acting was very good in this movie. Once again, Johnny Depp also proves himself to be a versatile actor. All of the voices seemed to fit the characters perfectly. There was lots of humor throughout the film that was delivered well by the actors, and subtle humor that a child definitely wouldn't pick up on. (I must say, it's hilarious to hear "Flight of the Valkyries" played on a banjo.)

My only real complaint about this movie is it is a little slow to start. The first quarter or so of the movie leaves you wondering, "What am I watching," and it does come across as a little boring. This is mostly due to the strange nature of the film. Still, the pace picks up quickly. I think I decided this film was excellent when Rango meets "The Spirit of the West." (Watch the movie, you'll love the reference.) My only other complaint is that the female lizard for some reason has hair. I know that's a small complaint, but it bugged me for some reason. I just kind of wanted to have her hat knocked off at some point so that we could see the hair was attached to the hat, but that's okay.

Overall, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good Western. It's funny, fun, and is definitely worth the money to see in the theater.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

See You on the Dark Side of the Moon...

Hello all,

Well, it's close to the end of the week, so I thought I would go ahead and write another blog entry. There isn't much to say about this week. Since I worked very hard last week, I've been trying to take it a little easier this time around. I've worked just hard enough that I know I'll finish my chores by the end of the day tomorrow. In my free time I've been doing a little bit of brain storming on that changeling novel, trying to put the finishing touches on my "Redemption" story, screwing around on the internet, and playing a little WoW. I've also started a prayer journal, and that's pretty nice.

This last weekend was very busy. We built a new set of stairs for the front porch of our house. Thank you again to all of my friends who helped out on that. You are awesome. I also gamed more than I have in a very long time. We played Ars Magica, the Grimm game (the one I run), and Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies. But, it left me feeling a little tired this week, that and changing the darn time and losing an hour of sleep... I still don't think my sleep schedule has caught up yet. Anyway, I won't have the cover finished this week for "Eternity Game." I'm hoping for the next.

The big news is that my birthday is coming up on Tuesday. I'll be twenty nine. Hence the title of this blog, because I really don't know where the time went. It's not getting older that's bothering me as much as how quickly the years slipped away. It feels like I was in my mid-twenties maybe a year ago, but clearly that isn't the case. It's spooky, and the years don't seem to want to dance any slower. Still, I'm okay with that. Twenty-nine isn't that old, but like I said, it just snuck up on me and makes me realize that I'm not as young as I once was.

I should probably start taking better care of myself, establish good habits now, etc. I probably won't though. I'm also realizing if I ever want a tattoo or another type of piercing my time is running out for that as well. (I got a belly-button piercing last time I felt this way...)

Well, happy reading and writing to you all. I hope you have a good weekend. I think I will. I have a fun birthday party planned and the weather should be good. Take care.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I don't want to go in the cart...

Hello all,

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've written on my blog, but I've been incredibly sick for about two weeks now. I had an upper respiratory infection that left me sleeping most of the day for over a week, as well as making me not feel like doing anything at all. Still, despite my illness, I've managed to do a lot of writing this week and have almost finished "Redemption." I've also come up with a new idea for another novel.

My next idea is an urban fantasy novel with the lead character as a changeling. She manages to escape from Arcadia, but her place in her home has been taken by a fetch. So, she must learn to adjust to living in the human world again on her own. Her memories of her life in Arcadia are also fractured. She comes across other changelings in the city, faces that she remembers, but she can't place them.

It's only a rough concept currently, but I plan to try to work on it in the near future. Also, I've used this week to start work on the cover for "Eternity Game." Since I'm publishing it on e-book readers, I need to make my own cover. I'm glad to say that it's coming along pretty nicely. I didn't expect it to go so smoothly since I've been so out of practice. I've been using free photos from sites offering stock photos for public use. When I finish, I'll post it on the blog for you to see. Wish me luck.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Busy busy week.

Hello all,

Well, this has been a very busy week, but it's finally Friday! Hooray! And, I got to write again today so I'm in a very good mood. I'm about thirty thousand words into my most recent novelization and I think it's coming along pretty well. Still, I'm not sure if this one is up to my standards, so I might not try to publish it. That doesn't matter though. The point is I'm having lots of fun writing it and it's keeping my creativity active. Also, I'm learning a lot about writing in first person. I think I will put a section of it up on the blog here when I get to a good stopping point, but until then, I'll just keep writing on it in my free time. This is the same one I mentioned before, the dark fantasy story. (I haven't come up with a title yet. Titles usually come to me after the book is finished.)

In other news, I auditioned for the church band and managed to get a singing position. I'll also be joining the choir this coming summer. I'm looking very forward to it. I love singing and if I can praise God with one of my talents, then excellent. It'll also be a good opportunity for me to help out at the church and meet some new people as well. I was pretty nervous about the audition at first because it's been a long time since I've tried out for that sort of thing. Still, it sounds like they needed another soprano, so it worked out perfectly.

I also had a doctor's appointment this week that went pretty well. I was having a few problems and was a little worried, but it turned out, thankfully, to be nothing unusual. Thank goodness. So, now that my house is clean, the audition is over, the doctor's appointment went well, and I've gotten some writing done, I can officially say that this has been a good week. I think the weekend will be good as well, but it's going to be just as busy. Tonight is a gaming night, tomorrow I celebrate two birthdays, and on Sunday I got to church and celebrate a third birthday as well!

Well, that's it for now. I think next week I'll put up a writing sample from some of my old work for a blog entry. I hope you'll enjoy it. Keep reading and writing and take care.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The last few weeks...

Man, I've been flying through January! I can't believe it's already almost over.

Before I begin, let me just say I'm going to work extra hard to keep up this blog. I'm sorry that I haven't written much, so I'm going to go ahead and tell you everything that's been going on. (This will be a long entry, since there's a lot to catch up on.)

First of all, I've been working on e-publishing my first novel, "Eternity Game." When I'm finished, it'll be free to download on at least the Kindle and the Nook. The first book will be free, so I'm hoping, when I publish the second and third, those that like it will show their support by buying them. I still need to design a cover and change the format of the manuscript. I've downloaded the program "Calibri" to convert the Word document into e-book format (I know, it doesn't do Word documents, but it does do RTFs, which you can make through Word). I've heard good things about it. I also proofread the manuscript one more time. I'm sure I didn't catch everything, but I feel confident that it at least doesn't look unprofessional. This process will probably take a few more weeks, but I think it will be finished, or very close to being finished, by February.

I've also started trying to promote myself through more than just this blog. I just joined Twitter under the name WriterNancyGray. I've also made an account on Even though I've really just gotten started on these things, I'm hoping to keep them up as well. The next step is joining forums I enjoy and becoming more involved on the Amwriting site, which I plan to do. I've been wanting to become more involved in the writing community anyway, this e-pub stuff just kind of made me quit dragging my feet.

Christmas went pretty well. We threw one party which was a lot of fun, and went to a New Years party with our friends which was also very fun. We spent some time with our families, and most of the presents we got this year were things that we really needed. It's a telltale sign that you're getting older when the gifts you get the most excited about are a new comforter for the bed, an electric can opener, a punch bowl, and a rug shampooer. Still, it wasn't all good this time around. Sadly, the next day, the snow day, one of our cats died. We don't know how it happened. We think it happened in the middle of the night, and it was probably pretty sudden, possibly from a heart attack or aneurysm. She was a young cat, and we miss her very much. Even though I've been taking it pretty hard, the way I see it, taking care of her was a gift from God. We were lucky we got to be her steward, and we'll see her again someday. It was very sad though.

I didn't really make many resolutions for New Years. My only resolution for this year was to get pregnant. I think that will probably happen soon. I got off the pills in December and I'm letting nature take it's course. Wish me luck. Since I'll be looking to have a baby, I can't really make a resolution to lose weight, so I didn't. Still, I've decided that I'm going to try to get back into exercising everyday and start getting up early. Getting up early has been difficult, but I've been doing it. That will probably go out the window when I get pregnant though. As for the exercise, I've been using my exercise bike almost every day, but what I'd really like to do is take some sort of dance class. We'll see.

I'm still writing on that fantasy story. So far, I don't think it's too bad. Like I said, it's an experiment in writing in the first person. I'm on page 70, about 27,000 words into it. So far, so good. I might put a writing sample from it up in the near future. It's a very dark story, to the point that I feel it's almost too dark. It needs some sort of relief, maybe not comic relief, but some sort of lull in the abuse of the main character. I'll have to think on it. Still, I'm glad to say that I'm finally inspired to write again and the writer's block is (for now) officially over. Thank you, Jesus!

I guess that pretty much catches me up to where I am now. Like I said, I'll try to be more diligent on writing in this blog. Like I said, my goal is once a week, and this is, mind you, a goal not a resolution. Everyone breaks their New Year's resolutions, but I try to take my goals seriously. (And, before you start pointing fingers and asking, "What about that web comic?" Let me clarify, I take goals seriously only if they are attainable and don't make me feel bad about myself. I've finally admitted that I've lost my touch at graphic design. Hopefully, I won't lose my touch on writing.