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We’re into the second week of 2019 already! Can you believe it? Only a few more months of winter here in the northern hemisphere, that’s the way I look at it. 😀 Even though, we haven’t really had winter yet–no significant snowfall, and the temps right now are spring-like. I know it’s waiting just around the corner, though.

The new year means resolutions for some people. I always make some…whether I follow through is another story. Some people don’t believe in making them and I totally understand that. The concept of time keeping is made up by humans, so literally any time is a good time to start working on self-improvement. I believe that too, but I also feel like the new year is a good time to hit the reset button. I always give it a good pounding, anyway.

Some of my resolutions were sidelined a bit during the first week of 2019 as I had some health issues that blew me off course. That’s okay–I’m trying to frame it that all the bad stuff got out of the way first so the rest of 2019 will be smooth sailing. My personal resolutions (which I won’t bore you with) stayed intact, but my writing resolutions got derailed due to having to go to the hospital (twice) and being on some mind-fogging medication. I’m back up on my feet and doing much better now, but I’m trying to get back on my writing resolutions. That is, more consistent blogging, and contributing some work toward my writing every day, even if I don’t have much time and it’s just a tiny bit. Part of that is keeping myself AWAY from distractions on the internet and TV and concentrating. Using my spare time more productively. I’m really quite horrible about it and easily pulled away so I’m trying to be more mindful.

Again, some people don’t do resolutions and I get that. Just because the year started over doesn’t mean you’re mentally, physically, or emotionally ready to make big changes in your life. I tried to focus more this year on making changes that I feel I’m ready for and capable of. And if you do make resolutions and slip on them, it’s important not to beat yourself up. Persistence and trying again when you fail is far more important to success than consistent perfection. Nobody ever learned to ride a bike, drive a car, or heck, even walk, by doing it perfect forever from the very first try. However, trying again and again got you there eventually.

Besides, everyone knows January is just a trial month to figure out how you want to spend the rest of the year. 😉

How about you? Did you make resolutions? Do you believe in them? How are they coming along?

How was everyone’s Christmas? I had a particularly lovely one simply because I was actually OFF from my job on Christmas Eve AND Christmas–which I don’t think has ever happened in my working life. I work in food and beverage/hospitality and also in an airport, so we don’t close for the holidays. My regular days off just happened to fall over Christmas. I have to work New Years but hey…I don’t even care, I’m grateful!

I love to decorate, so of course Christmas is my favorite time of year. It’s the most extra time of the year, so it suits me!

The BIG present was a new gaming chair for my son.

My son got me some lovely presents. I love Hello Kitty!

A work friend got me some cute stuff too! Yes, I like coffee and cats. Why do you ask?

I also bought MYSELF a gift before Christmas, when I upgraded my phone to the Galaxy Note 9. I can’t say enough good things about this phone. It’s AMAZING. I’m a big Samsung/Android person anyway, but this has so much storage and it’s just so responsive and efficient and BIG. I loooove it.

So yes, it was a pretty lovely Christmas. Do you celebrate? Did you have a good one? What sort of presents did you get?

To finish, here’s a picture of my cat and the funny way she always sits in “her” chair. She just doesn’t want us to forget what a lovely tail she has.

Have a great weekend!

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Happy Friday, everyone! How are you doing this week? Anything planned for the weekend?

I’m slowly getting back into a regular writing and blogging routine–and I’ve really missed it. My day job kept my life pretty stressful and chaotic for a while, but I also know it was an utter lack of motivation at the end of the day that contributed. I HAD time, I just chose to be lazy with it, because I was so mentally and emotionally drained from everything else going on. Things are a bit less hectic now, but I know if I want to use the precious free time I have wisely, I’m going to have to make myself do it. My life is not going to go back to the way it was before, at least not for the foreseeable future.

Is it any wonder we escape into fantasy worlds?

Last night I attended the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which honor works that explore themes of racism and diversity. I went with a friend (the woman who is the subject of the top blog post on that page) and it was such a great experience! It was really interesting listening to the award winners talk about their books and read passages from them. I met Shane McCrae and got an autographed copy of his book of poem and prose In the Language of My Captor. I’m eager to start reading it!

On my personal writing front, I’m awaiting edits on my current in-production book (with tentative, possibly-to-change release in November) and writing the sequel to it. I’m going to do something with my upcoming book that I haven’t done before and see how it turns out–and of course, I’ll make sure I share the experience on here so you guys can learn more. I’m going to use a PR service to promote it. I struggle with self-promotion beyond the obvious outlets (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) and I want to find out if it’s worth the money to hire someone else to promote it. If not, well–lesson learned. However, I feel like I can reach a wider audience (and of course, spend a lot less personal time doing so) than I can by myself. I’ll be sure to blog about the results after. Have any of you used a PR service to promote a book?

Everyone have a great weekend!

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I know I’m a few days late, but autumn has officially arrived in the northern hemisphere: my favorite season! I fully admit I’m one of those people who is all about fall leaves and colors, sweaters, fires, and pumpkin spice/apple flavored/scented EVERYTHING. And of course, Halloween! I love all the imagery and trappings of fall. I do like spring and summer too…basically, anything that isn’t winter.

I’m a bit of a freak about decorating, also. I swear I decorate as much for fall as I do for Christmas. You can click the pictures for full-size!

Definitely a fake plant, as I kill real ones by just being in their presence.

As you can see, despite it being fall, summer lingers on in the background. When will the fall outside match the fall in my heart?!

Do you like fall? Do you decorate for it?

Once again I must apologize for my lack of posting lately–I’m going to try to work my way back up to three posts a week. I’m trying to get back to a regular writing routine, as well. Real life is too distracting! But clearly, I have time to decorate. 😉

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Happy Monday everyone! I’m popping onto the blog with some good news today–I had another book accepted for publication! Somehow, in the midst of my currently chaotic life, I managed to get another book published (granted, it was submitted back before things got truly chaotic). This is lucky number 13 for me. I can hardly believe it! After years and years of being utterly convinced I’d never be a “real writer” I’ve accomplished so much it boggles my mind. 2018 has been the most successful year for my writing career so far.

So, can I be rich and famous now?

I kid, I kid. I just feel very grateful and blessed that I’ve managed to do as much as I have, and I’m going to continue working at it, even if I never get to quit my stressful day job. I’d keep writing even if I never made another dime from it. I love writing, and I love doing it for the sake of doing it.

This book is the first in a new paranormal series set in…wait for it…Iceland! I’m still working on my contemporary Man Catalog series, but paranormal romance is my first love and I knew I’d come back to it eventually. I’m just trying to vary my writing a bit to keep my mind sharp and I’m having a lot of fun with it, as well. Still, I knew the spooky things would draw me back in.

The funny thing about this book is I wrote it BEFORE I went to Iceland this summer. The country and the scenery plays a huge part in the story, and I literally described it and created the settings by using the imagery in Google Maps. I finished the book and sent it off before we went on our trip, or literally, before we had even solidified we were going on the trip. So when I got to Iceland I was like “oh please, don’t let the stuff I described be utterly wrong.” I was amazed to find all the sites I used were absolutely spot on in their descriptions–it was almost eerie. I felt like I had been standing in those places before, even though it was my first time there. Google Maps is a godsend! The power of technology is amazing. I’m also a very visual writer, so just seeing a picture helps me tremendously.

Anyway, the book is tentatively set for release in November–I’ll keep you updated! Everyone have a great day!