Happy Super Bowl Sunday! I know I keep promising I’ll post more regularly and yet….
Puppy is growing, and I really would like to take her to get trained, because clearly just spending every minute with her isn’t enough to get her to do what I want. But our infection rates are still pretty high here in San Antonio, so I hesitate.
She’s currently taking up most of the couch beside me.
We’ve always watched a lot of TV, so 2020 didn’t change that for us. We have most of the streaming services. Our cellphone pays for Netflix, Spotify pays for Hulu, we pay for CBS and Disney, and we bought new phones so we have Apple for a year.
There have been a lot of fun shows.
We watched For All Mankind on Apple, which is an alternate history for the space race. Russia got to the moon first, had the first woman in space, and the US is racing to catch up. It’s really interesting, but this season is REALLY sad. We’re looking forward the new season starts next month.
We really enjoyed The Mandalorian, especially the second season. But we are big Star Wars geeks anyway.
We’re also watching WandaVision. I’m seeing a lot of criticism of it, but I’m loving it. It’s refreshing to see the Avengers outside of their group. Wanda and Vision were never my favorites, but this is fun and twisty, with lots of neat Easter eggs.
Bridgerton was wonderful, beautiful and romantic, and not too angsty, just what I needed at the beginning of this year.
We have made it about halfway through 30 Rock but I’ve started rewatching Schitt’s Creek. I thought Schitt’s Creek was pretty brilliant in their character arcs, plus, best romance on television. I actually found some fabric on Spoonflower and made myself a little zipper pouch, and want to do a mask.
Lovecraft Country was really weird but really awesome. Super creepy and wild. I wish for another season, but I don’t know if it would be necessary.
We’re watching The Stand, but it doesn’t compare to the series from the 1990s. You just don’t get to know the characters well enough. We have the DVD from the 1990s series so we’re going to rewatch to compare the two. I thought Harold was perfectly cast, and Skarsgard, but didn’t really care for the casting for the rest of it. And, while I’m not easily scandalized, I thought it went over the top with the nudity and profanity.
We also watched Star Trek: Discovery, which we really liked.
Another one we watched is The Expanse (yes we watch a lot of sci-fi!) I’m not liking it as much this season because the crew is all separated. I liked the visit to Earth, which hasn’t played much of a role in the series. I would have liked to see more Bobbie, the Martian soldier, though.
I think the new Ted Danson show, Mr. Mayor, or something, is cute and funny. I like workplace comedies, and Holly Hunter is surprisingly funny.
I enjoy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, but haven’t watched the new season. The last episode last year gutted me.
So what have you been watching lately?
So it finally happened—I finally have a new release, my first since April. I never would have thought, all those YEARS that I wanted to just stay home, that I would NOT be more productive in that time. I didn’t even sew as much as I thought I would. I lost my elderly dog, and a few months later adopted a little puppy.
I wanted to give you a little background on my new book. My parents inherited some land out in the country, between the towns of Seguin and San Marcos. On one of the back roads, there’s this little campground, with like ten cabins, some that look like teepees, some that are on stilts overlooking Geronimo Creek. We are not really outdoor people, but have always been charmed by it.
I was surprised, then, to see one of the ladies I worked with post pictures from it on Facebook, saying it was one of her favorite getaways.
Thus, my story was born. It’s been percolating in my head for a couple of years, and I thought it might be the thing to write, kind of a low-stakes, low-stress romance that gave my friend the happy ending she deserves.
Here’s the blurb:
Lori Cervantes would say she was pretty content with her life. But when her favorite getaway, a campground on the San Marcos River, is put up for sale, she begins to rethink her dreams. She’d brought her kids to the family-owned place after her divorce, and they’d spent countless weekends in the cabins, floating the river, sitting by the fire. But now the owners are retiring, and it may never be the same. Because of that, she is determined to spend as much time there as possible to soak up final memories, even if it means helping the owners’ eldest son fix up the place for the sale.
Justin Langston is glad his parents are finally retiring so they’ll have time for themselves after running the campground for decades. He couldn’t be happier to see the place go. The place was a drag on him when he was a kid. Not when they first bought it, when only the family had enjoyed it, but when they turned it into a business that ate up every weekend of his life until he left home. He’s working on a long list of tasks when a guest shows up despite her reservation being canceled—and insists on staying.
Maybe if she hadn’t been a cute single woman, he might have put up more of a fight. But now she’s here, willing to work, and helping him see the campground anew through her eyes. The more they work, the more appealing the place becomes.
The more appealing she becomes.
But his parents deserve to retire, and Lori deserves to be happy.
How can he make all of their dreams come true—including his?
And here’s where you can find it!
I hope you check it out and enjoy it!
I don't think it's an exaggeration to say this year has been nuts, But while everyone can list all the horrible things this year, I have been thinking of the blessings.
My husband has been working from home since the end of March. Now, we have been married 33 years, and I'd, at that point, only been retired 10 months. I was NOT sure how it was going to work.
I love it. For the first few months, he worked out of our son's old bedroom, on an old computer desk, you know, the pressboard kind that used to be like $100. He used a kitchen chair. He hated it. Over the summer he decided he was miserable in there, and moved to this other room off our kitchen, one which we mostly use for storage. But he cleaned it up very nice, bought new office furniture, which I will use for sewing when he goes back to work, and he's much more comfortable.
Anyway, back to me loving him working from home. No more commute, so he walks into his office with his coffee at 8:30, walks out at 5:30, and we eat lunch together nearly every day. (Okay, the lunch thing has been a challenge lately--getting kinda bored with sandwiches and such.) But while some days having a rigid schedule is hard for me, most days I just love it.
Another blessing is that it is THIS year instead of LAST year. My brother had 2 strokes in December 2018, and was in the hospital and rehabilitation for three months. We would not have been able to visit him over that time, and that would have been so challenging.
Another is that I've been able to see my family. We've all been very careful, but I've been able to see my parents and brothers at least a couple of times a month over the past few months.
And lastly, I've gotten to know my neighbors. Like I said, I'd been retired 10 months when this all started, but most people were working. Now everyone is outside, working in their yards, eager to see other people.
I hope you're able to find blessings in your year!
I said I was going to blog every week and I've fallen down on that--on most of my goals. I got some stickers on Etsy with tasks for my planner, and the last few weeks I've fallen down on those goals. And then last week I planned to start writing 2000 words a day and not one day did I make it. I feel like I wasted those stickers!!
Well, for the past almost two weeks, the above picture is the reason why. This is Daisy, she's 10 weeks old. She's very good and sweet but it has been a LONG time since I've had a puppy and she's a LOT of work. Until I was able to get a pheromone spray for her, she wasn't sleeping, and neither was I. MAN, I understand why young women have babies, because I could not function. I've been playing a lot of Candy Crush because it takes little brain, and one hand (since the other hand is full of puppy.)
This week will be more productive, as Daisy is getting a little more independent. I was actually able to sew today!
I hope everyone is well, and safe. Crazy crazy year!
Since March, I’ve watched The Office beginning to end once, and Parks and Rec twice. Both of them, I thought, had perfect endings.
How I Met Your Mother….did not. HATED the last episode, didn't care for the last season. They really messed up on that.
Friday Night Lights—perfect. Angel, too. Wow, that last season was so intense, and the last words, “Personally, I always wanted to slay a dragon.”
I remain distressed by Rise of Skywalker, the last Star Wars movie. I won’t go into all the reasons, but I loved Last Jedi. LOVED LOVED LOVED. And all that I loved from that movie was stripped away in the last movie. Rose, the idea that the force was in everyone…there weren’t even cute animals in the last one.
Look, I get it, endings are hard. (Especially when your star dies before you make the movie.) Every book I’ve had, I’ve struggled with the ending. Sometimes they come together well in advance. The first book I ever wrote (and never published because NO CONFLICT) had the BEST epilogue. Y’all, I based that book on a real place, and every time I drive by that place I think of that ending. It was HAPPY.
But sometimes it’s harder to bring the threads together. Sometimes it’s harder to resolve the conflicts, to make the hero or heroine make up for their transgressions.
In the book I’m writing now, I know the ending. Getting there is a struggle, but I know what the big gesture will be. That’s unusual for me, but I have been writing this book for MONTHS now.
Huh. Maybe that’s the key. Maybe the longer I write the book, the more real the ending becomes in my head. That’s something I haven’t thought about before, because that first book took me YEARS to write. Maybe I need the characters to congeal a little more before I give them a happy ending. Something to consider.
Well. I didn't plan to have a revelation in this post, lol. I meant to ask what shows/series/books YOU were satisfied with, and which disappointed you.
Maybe y'all are too young to know the relationship between the ketchup and anticipation--it was an old commercial, before squeeze bottles.
One of the things Covid has disrupted is the habit I have of looking forward to things.
Retirement had already disrupted that to some extent, because when I was teaching, it was a big coping mechanism, but then I mostly looked forward to things being over, like the high-stress performances.
ANYWAY. This year we haven't celebrated any birthdays, not Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day or Fourth of July, not my SIL's 50th birthday or my parents' 40th anniversary. There haven't been new movies to count down to, or the new TV season, all the things I used to anticipate.
I have compensated, I guess, with ordering stuff through the mail and looking forward to getting packages. And I'm looking forward to fall, because at least THAT should be predictable this year. My husband has a vacation week every month for the rest of the year, so I'm looking forward to that, even if it only means we'll be able to take little road trips, or go pick up lunch, just something different.
What are you looking forward to?
Escape….what is taking you out of the stresses of the world these days?
I’m reading Revolution-era romance.
I’m watching Hamilton, The Mandalorian, and Parks and Rec pretty much on repeat.
I’m playing a ton of phone games, too many, if I’m honest.
I’m buying fabric like it’s going out of style. I went to JoAnn’s twice last week, to a quilt store yesterday, and I had two mail orders this week.
I’m even cross-stitching and crocheting again.
And I’m writing a fun little stand-alone novella with a spunky heroine with grown kids. I love her. I’m writing the next book in my series also, but I’m playing with this book, too.
How are you getting through?
So I’ve been retired from teaching just over a year, and….it hasn’t exactly been what I expected.
All my life I wanted to be a full-time writer, and I practiced summer after summer. But as I got closer to the end of my teaching careers, my priorities changed. Already I was worried that my mom was, you know, getting more tired when we’d go on our shopping trips, so I decided one day a week was going to be time spend hanging out with her.
Then just before Christmas my last year teaching, my brother had a stroke and wasn't able to drive anymore, and he had physical therapy. So when his wife, also a teacher, went back to work, I started taking him to therapy, and breakfast, lol. Then when therapy ended we started going to the gym twice a week, and breakfast. I love doing it, and I’m glad that I’m free to spend time with him, but it wasn't something I expected, and I just had a hard time finding a writing rhythm.
Then the Covid, and my husband has been working home since the end of March. It has taken me until this past month to get used to it, and I’ve decided not to push myself just writing 500 words a day, on each of two stories. And then this week, I’ve started taking an online marketing course so I can get more serious about the business side of my writing.
I have a planner, which I actually love using. I started the year with a board of all the tasks I want to achieve, and while I fell way behind the second quarter, I no longer feel unfocused. We’ll see how it all works out. I’m halfway through Book Three of my Broken Wheel book and probably a third of the way through a novella I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I’ll keep you posted!
Y'all. I don't mean to just post on weeks I have a new release. I actually didn't intend to release Road Signs until January, but then I remembered it's a Thanksgiving book.
Tomorrow will be stressful, but then I NEVER have to worry about a Veterans Day program again. The kids totally flubbed the steps on the stage when we went to practice on Friday, but I was beyond stressed at that point. We came back and practiced in the gym and they did just fine. Anyhow, it is what it is.
Five more days until vacation. I can do this. I think.
1) Survive Veterans Day Program. I usually take the afternoon off, but I'm not doing that this year. We have to get started on Christmas!
2) Work on historical novella
3) go to arts and crafts shop with Mom and Baby Brother
4) Work on print books
5) Work on adding books to Books + Main
6) Work on a quilt
7) Work on adding products to my Etsy shop
8) Work on getting rights back to my last Carina Press novella
Wish me luck!
A place for me to keep you updated on a more regular basis!