Friday, September 29, 2017

There’s That C Word Again

I guess life, or something, decided that Hubby shouldn’t have all the fun. Nope. It decided I should experience the fun with him.

That’s right. I have cancer. Breast cancer.

I found out the day after I returned from Dragon Con. Certainly hadn’t seen that coming, either, because I’ve had breast issues for decades. Breast issues that had always been benign.

I went in for my annual mammogram back in July. It was my first annual exam after having a biopsy back in January 2016 for a suspicious shadow on my ultrasound (one that came back negative, but I was told to come back in six months. That mammogram came out okay, so they put me back on the yearly schedule.) This time they found something suspicious in the same area as before. Calcifications, they called it. Probably from the previous biopsy, but just to be sure…

After all the mess with Hubby, I went ahead with another biopsy. Better safe than sorry, I said. Truer words were never spoken.

When it came to make the appointment with general surgery to find out the results of a biopsy I was sure would be like all my others—negative—the only open spot I could make was after Dragon Con. Probably just as well. Don’t know how much fun I would have had with that hanging over me.

Surgery is scheduled for Oct 4th. I decided to go with the lumpectomy, followed by radiation (which will start in November). Radiation kind of scared me, what with my leaky heart valve, but I was assured that it won’t be an issue. Whew!

Prognosis is good, though, since they caught it early. And I probably won’t need chemotherapy (that’ll be determined after surgery, when they remove some lymph nodes), since the cancer is so small. So small that I can’t even feel it.

So… if it’s been over a year since you (or a loved one) have had a mammogram, go get one now. I never thought this would happen to me and I’m soooooo thankful I get the yearly exam. You just never know.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

No Wednesday Reads, But I Have Some Pictures

I didn’t post anything on Monday because I was a little busy on Sunday. You see… My son got married!!

And I haven’t finished the book I was sure I’d have read by now, so no books to report. Which means I can post what I was going to post on Monday, but got too busy doing other crap.

Because apparently crap is taking over my life!

But Sunday was a great day. The wedding was fun. The ceremony started with a little bit of Princess Bride. They sealed it with a kiss while the Mario Cart (game) winning tone played (have to know the game to get that). And they walked up the aisle as husband and wife to Men in Tights.

Yep. Lots of fun. Here are a few pictures I took.

They were married at an old theatre, which was renovated to hold the wedding ceremony and reception. So they got to dress up the marquee.

I've only watched Princess Bride once (don't shoot me!!), but I'm guessing this is also in reference to that film. If not, someone please enlighten me.

My son loves monkeys. When he was told to design his groom "cake" he said he wanted a cookie instead and that he would have a monkey bridal couple on the top. This big cookie is actually six cookies (3 different sizes), with icing in between the layers.
Here's a close up shot of the topper. My son had this specially made. I think it turned out so cute!

The wedding cake was pretty. And yummy.

But the topper was super funny! If you can't read it, it says "Mutual Weirdness Forever."

Hopefully if you enlarge this you can read it better. It's quite funny!

This is the back side.

My one good shot of the wedding party. My daughter (on the far right) was one of the groomsmen. And Ashley's daughter (now my granddaughter!) is on the far left.

And here are the newlyweds cutting the cake.

I'm sure I'll get better pictures later (there were two photographers roaming about). This was about all I got that came in clear! It was a fun day for sure and I'm so happy for them.

No honeymoon for them yet, though. That'll happen in February (due to work schedules). And they're going to Hawaii!!

I was kind of hoping I’d get back to writing my next book by now, but it hasn’t happened. Yet. Soon, though. Soon. I can FEEL it!

Happy Reading!


Friday, September 22, 2017

Asking the Right Questions

I “subscribe” to a lot of writer e-mail groups. I often see writers asking how other writers manage their time to get their books written (because they want to get 2-3-4 books published a year). And it got me wondering: Will I ever write that many books in a year? What happens if I don’t?

It started to stress me out!

Then I realized I was asking myself the wrong questions. No two writers are the same. What works for someone else won’t work for me, because of our goals. So I changed the questions to: What’s my goal in writing? What do I hope to get out of it?

And then it clicked! And relieved me a great deal. I didn’t start out to make a LIVING at writing books. I mean, if that happens, GREAT. But when I started that path to publication, my main goal was to obtain a fun retirement job, to make enough for fun trips. Do I need to write 2-3-4 books a year to get that? Gosh, I hope not. I don’t know if I’d enjoy writing as much if that were the case.

As it is, I’m still waiting on earning that fun money. Good thing Hubby hasn’t retired yet, because it’ll probably take a few more published books before we see any of that money. And that’s okay. I’m in no hurry, because he’s in no hurry to retire.

It’s just as well, because publishing is not a get-rich-quick endeavor. You have to be patient for that long haul. Good thing I have patience!

Writing will be my forever retirement job, though. I love how it can go wherever I go. And if I manage to write more than one book a year, yay! But I can’t let it get me down if I don’t, because that isn’t my overall goal.

So I’ll stay on the slow and steady pace I’m on. It’ll eventually pay off and it won’t stress me out. I’ve got enough stress without adding to it.

So… Is it hot where you are? Today is the first day of Fall. And it’s one of the hottest days of the year around here. I’m starting to think the calendar got a little screwed up this year. Not that I’m looking forward to cooler weather. I’m not. Really!

Happy Fall!


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Reads and Summer TV Shows

I’m two-thirds through Ghostly Interlude before I return it to my editor. Should finish it by tomorrow (because today became a busy day). Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #50

Dates read: September 6-14
Title: “Darkest Before Dawn”
Year of publication: 2015
Author: Maya Banks
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: The Kelly/KGI Series, #10
# of Pages: 378
Paper or plastic: Mass market paperback
How obtained: Free from a convention (either RT or Rust City)
Blurb from book: The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they’ve known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock’s true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.
     But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he’s been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She’s the only woman who’s ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he’s spent years working to complete—or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good”?
My thoughts: It was a good story, although the pacing was a bit slower in parts than I normally like. This is also the first book I’ve read of Ms. Banks, so I wasn’t sure if I’d be confused, having started with book 10 of this series. Nope. Well, not until toward the end, when characters from other books came into play. Then it got a little confusing with all the people! But it’s not necessary to have read those other books to enjoy this one.

Anyone here watch “Midnight, Texas”? How about “Salvation”? I recorded both series and I’m still in the process of watching them. The first one I’m watching alone (one episode a day) and man, am I hooked! Can’t wait to read the book now (I have the first of the series I got free at a convention). The second one I’m watching with Hubby. And man, are we hooked! That is one suspenseful series. Twists and turns abound. Can’t wait to see how it ends. But don’t tell me! Oh wait, you can’t. Last episode airs tomorrow. J

Happy Reading!


Monday, September 18, 2017

Busy Weekend!

How was your weekend?

Mine was pretty nice. I attended the Central Ohio Fiction Writers (RWA chapter) meeting on Saturday in Columbus. The two speakers were very informative and I left feeling a little smarter and more prepared for my next round of writing. That’s always good right? Next month (Oct 21) the chapter is having a writer workshop featuring Larry Brooks. If it weren't for the fact I'll be in California that weekend, I'd be going. I always enjoy learning more about the craft of writing.

If this is something you might be interested in, you can see all the details here: You don't have to be a member of COFW to attend (price is $55 for members and $75 for non members) and you don't have to write romance either.

I also finished fixing the edits on Ghostly Interlude on Saturday. Today I will read the book (or at least start reading—doubt I finish it in one day) and make sure my “fixes” didn’t break something else! That’s been known to happen.

Saturday night, I handed over Ghostly Liaison to Hubby (or I should say, his business, Enterprise Book Services) for formatting and I’ve chosen a Sep 27th release date for the paperback, meaning the e-book will be out before that. Yay! Can’t wait to get it back out there.

Other than that, I watched a lot of Football. Friday night the Wayne Warriors (HS) beat Miamsburg, 56-28 (it was tied 21-21 at the half). Always like seeing OSU and USC win on Saturday (I actually stayed up until 1am watching USC beat Texas in double overtime!). And we were able to enjoy watching the Steelers beat the Vikings on Sunday from the comfort of our family room. Only disappointing loss: the Rams. Guess it was too much to ask for a perfect football weekend, huh?

I finally got off my duff and went walking this morning. 3 miles. Not too shabby since my last actual walk was on 8/21. Hopefully I can keep it up. I need to get back into shape. It’s been too long since I’ve been to the fitness center.

So… Do you like walking? When’s the best time for you? I like the mornings best. Air seems cleaner then. Well… except when I run into the smell of skunk, which I did today. Turned around quickly then. Don’t want to find out if it’s dead or alive!

Happy Monday!!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Why Oh Why Don’t I Write It Down?

When I hit PUBLISH on Wednesday’s post, I remembered there was something else I wanted to say. No biggie. Figured I’d save it for Friday. But did I write it down? Nope. Did I remember what it was? Nope.

I do this all the time. You’d think I’d learn by now.

Write the stupid stuff down!!!

Speaking of forgetting, I realized I never told you how the fan panel for The Vampire Diaries went at Dragon Con (Hmmm… could that be what I wanted to write about? Could be. Whew!). 12 people showed up (I counted). Of course, we were competing against Buffy, The Musical (among many other things). Something I would have attended if I wasn’t ON the panel. And I’ve seen the show before (funny stuff!). J

But I wasn’t near as nervous as I thought I would be. It would have been nicer if I had finished re-watching all 8 seasons before the con, but it was what it was. I actually had some stuff to say. And it was a nice discussion panel (between the audience and the panelists).

I did find it interesting that there were four of us on the panel and we were all authors (although I was the ONLY romance author). But only two of us wrote about vampires. I also found it interesting that one of the panelists didn’t even watch all of season 8 yet (short two or three episodes). Guess we spoiled it for her. Haha!

Will I get asked to return for another panel? Have no idea. I don’t know what their process is. But will I volunteer to be on another fan panel? Sure, as long as I see the request (a big IF) and there is something of interest to choose from. It was fun. And people actually took some of my swag. Win!

Oh hey! Before I forget (haha!), I got the new cover to Ghostly Liaison and thought I would share it here first.

E-book version

Print version
Didn’t Maria Zannini (of Book Cover Diva) do a great job? No help from me, that’s for sure. I need to learn to keep my suggestions to myself. J

I expect Ghostly Liaison will be back in the stores before the end of the month. Yay!

So… Do you find you forget things if you don’t write them down? Do you always remember to write them down, though? I’ve got pads of paper all over the house (and my purse), so there really is no excuse for me except…laziness! J

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday Reads...Isn't

My reading has slowed down. Again. So I don’t have any book to report this week. Wish I could blame it on my writing, but I can’t.

Speaking of writing… For you writers out there, when you’re going over the book you got back from your editor, do you find yourself unable to go any farther when you reach a comment on a line or sentence that makes you wonder how to fix it? Apparently, I do.

Luckily, I have a daughter who can give me a second opinion, or at least some guidance. Unluckily, she’s not always available, so I have to wait for her response.

Thus, my editing has been a slooooow process.

You’d think with all that waiting I’d have more read. Uhhh… nope.

I’m such a slacker.

Happy Reading!


Monday, September 11, 2017

Pictures from Dragon Con

Ahhh, lookee here. I remembered! Yay!! I'm gonna start with the good stuff--our photos WITH celebrities (the "our" being my daughter and me).

This is a picture of a picture, so quality sucks. But that's us with Nathan Fillion! He's so nice. And always introduces himself ("Hi, I'm Nathan") as if we didn't know! Got to shake his hand, too.

Another picture of a picture. Can you believe how tall Zachary Levi is? 6'3" (I had to look that up). By the way, he liked my shirt!!

My daughter told John Barrowman to do whatever. He needed more info and she couldn't be more specific, so this is what we ended up doing. He's so much fun!

Brett Dalton was my favorite star on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (and I told him, too!). I was heart broken when they made him a bad guy (which he had no prior knowledge would happen). I almost thought about doing the photo op with him, but taking a selfie was cheaper, and way more personal (got to interact with him longer). I may do this more (selfies) next year.

The next few photos were taken of people in cosplay that I really liked (and managed to be close enough to ask for a photo).

If you watched American Horror Story - Freak Show, then you know who this character is. I did watch the series and I thought this woman did a wonderful job in her costume!

My daughter took this photo. I think it's How to Train Your Dragon, but I just thought it was a neat costume.

Any NCIS fans here? People in line thought she was the real thing, but no, she wasn't Pauley Perrette. Pretty darn close, though. I got a "I Saw Abby" button after I snapped her photo.

The next photos are from the panels I attended. And I attended a lot of panels. Unfortunately, I wasn't always that close to take pictures and some of my pictures look more blurry as you enlarge them.

This is Jewel Staite (and the floating head of the moderator). Best shot I got of her, and it's kind of cool looking, too. If you don't know her, she played Kayley on Firefly/Serenity.

My seat, while closer than usual, was behind the microphones (or maybe cameras), so poor Lesley-Ann Brandt is kind of obliterated. That's Tricia Helfer beside her. They both star in Lucifer.

I went to two Nathan Fillion panels. This photo was from the Con Man panel. I never watched Con Man, but now I want to. I'm in luck, SyFy picked up the series. Now I just have to record them. :)

Casper Van Diem was with Nathan during the Con Man panel, running around getting questions. He's such a hoot! I want to watch the series even more, now.

No Dragon Con is complete without going to at least one Buffy panel. This one included Julie Benz (Darla), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), and Carla Kramer (Glory).

This is from the John Cusack panel. That's him on the right. With the hat. Which he never took off. Ned Bellamy is on the left. They're apparently very good friends. That guy in the middle was the moderator. Unfortunately, the panel kind of sucked. Not a lot of interaction with the audience. And the answers were dull and straight-forward. No embellishments! Guess they didn't realize we wanted STORIES! Oh well...

One of the best panels: John Barrowman. You just never know what this guy is gonna do. This time he came out in his Wonder Woman costume (told his assistants he wanted bling--they gave him bling. That costume shone!).
He even shook his booty for us! Oh, and in case you want to see that costume up close, just look at the next picture (which I got from his Facebook page).

 Snazzy, huh?

This is the panel for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I was early in line, got in the front row, but they made me sit along the wall! I was so mad. So it's really hard to tell that that's Mallory Jansen, Brett Dalton, and Elizabeth Henstridge, since they never looked my way.

Managed to get the same position in line for Zachary Levi as I did for the S.H.I.E.L.D. panel and landed way better seats (4th row center). Does this guy have long legs or what?

Mash up panel of Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow: Josh Segarra  (Arrow), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (LOT), John Barrowman (both shows-laughing at something), Kevin Alejandro (Arrow), and Neil McDonough (both shows).

Monday panels tend to have less fans attending (since a lot of people have left). But I still thought the celebrities would appear. This was from the Guests of Flash panel, but Katie Cassidy and John Wesley Shipp were no shows. Matt Letscher told us to remember who managed to make it to the panel. He made the panel fun all by himself, too.

Here's a photo of my lanyard. I got the dragon pins at Hard Rock (we get them every year, as they're dated). Of course, I included my own button, hoping people might ask me about it. Not yet, but maybe some day!

Would you believe that the Dayton Dragons actually won the first round of the Midwest League playoffs! Shocked us, too. Then they won the first game of the semi-finals in Ft .Wayne. Unfortunately, they lost last night at home (why can't we watch a winning game???), so tonight is the deciding game (at home). If they win, they're on to the finals. If they lose, it's bye-bye. Let's go Dragons!!!

Sunday football went well. Steelers squeaked by. Looks like Cleveland might actually have a team this year! And the Rams demolished the Colts (yay!!!!). I'm thinking the Rams might actually have a team this year, too. Haha!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Happy Monday!!


Friday, September 8, 2017

Due To Technical Difficulties Beyond My Control

We lost our power at 9:30 last night (came back on at midnight, but I was in bed by then). Of course, if I had remembered I was going to post something (the disadvantage of taking a break, I guess--you forget you're blogging!), I would have had something ready long before then. But I like it when I can use excuses other than being lazy or forgetful, you know?

And, technically, there were OTHER reasons, too, but I can't get into them just yet.

So... No Dragon Con pictures today. But it's listed on my TO DO list (now), so there will be pictures on Monday.

I am working on the edits to Ghostly Interlude, and I have gotten the manuscripts ready for Ghostly LiaisonMy Sunny Vampire, and Bite Me, I'm Yours for re-release (so I'm not a TOTAL slacker). As soon as I get the covers to them I'll be back in business.

Because I really hate seeing that those books aren't for sale right now. **heavy sigh**

Wednesday we watched the Dayton Dragons play in the first playoff game of the Midwest League Series in I don't know HOW long (best of 3 in the first round). They lost that game and with the next two on the road, we didn't hold out much hope. But alas! They won last night so now there IS hope. I'd love to see them get into the second round.

Heck, I'd love to see them win the whole thing!

Tonight is football night (high school variety). And of course it won't be warm. Gotta make sure to take blankets! There's also football on Saturday (OSU) and Sunday (Steelers), but I can watch them from the comfort of my home (well, except for the Steelers--we'll have to go to B-dubs for that).

But what's with this weather??? I'm not ready for fall yet. Are you?

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wednesday Reads and I'm Back!

That’s right, I’m back. Dragon Con was great, I survived the panel I was on, and now life can go back to normal.

Does that mean my reading will pick up? Hmmm… I don’t know. I do know my writing will. I got the edits back on Ghostly Interlude, so I’ll be working on that this week. Surprisingly, my editor didn’t have a lot of issues with my story. Whew!

Here’s what I read the past week:

Book #49

Dates read: August 24-September 5
Title: “Tyranny”
Year of publication: 2016
Author: Gemma Brocato
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Goddesses of Delphi #1
# of Pages: 182
Paper or plastic: Nook book
How obtained: Purchased for free at B&N
Blurb from book: Immortal librarian Clio has existed for thousands of years. Her purpose—to influence and inspire mortals. Now as one has inspired her, a battle is mounting between the Muses and a god who care little for the plight of man. A hostile takeover is imminent at Olympus Enterprises.
    History professor Jax Callahan is battling his own uncertainties. His previous employer’s refusal to heed his warnings results in a tragic loss of life. Blaming himself, he no longer believes he can make a difference.
    Tyranny will stop at nothing to appease her father and succeed in taking over Olympus and the world. To save mankind, Clio must reveal herself as a Muse to Jax, the man she’s fallen in love with. Facing the end of humanity as they know it, she must convince him to trust in the magic of what if. Because failure spells doom for everyone.
My thoughts: I liked Clio and Jax, but there was a part of the storyline that really irked me. I’ll blame it on my lack of knowledge regarding Greek mythology. If you’re into that stuff, and love romance, the storyline probably won’t irk you. And this e-book is still free for Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (B&N), if that makes a difference.

I know it’s way after the eclipse, but I wanted to share the picture I took, right about the time it was covered the most.
You can see the moon shapes through the holes of the colandar! Pretty cool, huh?

I’ll share my Dragon Con pics on Friday.

So… Did you do anything fun over the weekend?

Happy Reading!