Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving & More...

Happy Thursday One and All!

Also, Happy Thanksgiving! My Thanksgiving is postponed until Sunday. My parents are out of town visiting one of my other siblings and well, we really don't have anywhere else to go. But, please, don't worry about us. We're actually happy to be at home. My Real Life Hero has to work half a day and Eldest has around an hour long online class to do, so we've got plans. I plan on cooking a little something--not a turkey (me and the Offspring can't have turkey without bad results). Sunday, we'll have Thanksgiving with my parents and one of my other siblings, so there you have it, I'm not missing it all together.

I've been working on the Jeannie Averie novel (this is polishing, extra edits--the novel is written). Planning to do more of it in the next few days since Real Life Hero will be off and so I'll have a little more space to work.

Recently, I finished reading a fun novel called Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram. It was cute and fun and emotional. Also, romantic.

Most of my Christmas shopping is done, and I've already started wrapping presents. Someone asked me if I was ready for Christmas and I said, "Always!" I love Christmas.

So, what's your favorite holiday?

Have a great Thanksgiving if that's what you're celebrating this week, and have a great weekend in general!


Have a Thoroughly Terrific Thursday!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

It's A Process...

Happy Tuesday One & All,

Last week I managed (over the course of a whole day) to edit a whole chapter in my Jeannie Averie novel. Considering that I had been laid up in bed at least a good portion of the day with a cold that has gone through my household, I was rather proud of myself. Proud and pleasantly surprised. Besides illness, there has been several things that slowed my writing and editing to pretty much a standstill. Some of it was beyond my control. As to the rest, well, there was a lot going on.

The point is, I really care about my writing, so I try to give 100% when I'm working on it. And while I owe it to my own creativity, I also owe it to you, my readers.

So, if I'm slow getting things out, it's not because I want to make you suffer, it's because these things take time. I know, it's hard to be patient when you're waiting on something (like the last 2 books in the IMMORTAL DREAMS series...I know, I know, I need to get moving on those) but be patient. Sometimes things take longer than originally anticipated (believe, I understand, I wouldn't say patience is my strongest attribute, so I totally get what I'm asking of my readers here!)

In the meantime, I'm reading, editing, and trying to find the breakthroughs on the last 2 Immortal Dreams books so that I can get them to you, my readers.

Currently reading in Fiction:  Enchanted Ever After by Shanna Swendson (Fiction with some Romance)

Recently Finished & Enjoyed:  Awk-Weird by Avery Flynn (Contemporary Romance)

Still working on Non-Fiction:  Purest of All Lilies by Donald H. Calloway, MIC. (Religious Non-Fiction)

Also Working On Reading:  My Japanese Husband Thinks I'm Crazy by Grace Buchele Mineta (semi-autobiographical comic-type book).

What are you reading these days?

Have A Tremendously Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Whoo-Hoo, It's November...

Happy Monday All,

It's November! Texas weather isn't sure if it's supposed to be warm or cold (I say cold, but snow only on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day). We made it through Halloween (not exactly my favorite holiday, although my eldest likes parts of it). As a Catholic, I went to All Saints' Day Holy Mass on Friday (All Saints' Day is November 1st). People have been breaking out all their favorite Fall decorations, food, etc. Folks in the USA are looking towards Thanksgiving to get together with friends and/or family. A sense of anticipation hangs in the air as we get closer to December and the Christmas/Hanukkah season. And, it's my favorite time of the year--Fall/Winter.

For writers, November is the time for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I'm not participating, although on my author Facebook page, I am proposing another challenge for writers who aren't doing NaNoWriMo, if you're wanting to check that out.

This year, for Thanksgiving, the Fam. and I are likely headed for my parents' house. I don't know who else will be there (or we'll be at my sister's house, depending on what my mom says). Christmas will be at my parents' house. And after Christmas I think some other family will be in town. I look forward to my Dad's baking. He's an amazing baker and cook. My mother is, too, but my Dad is more into it. I like to bake, so hopefully I'll get around to doing some of that this year.

I need to finish reading Avery Flynn's Awk-Weird. I love her work. So much fun and light-hearted. I've got a stack of new books (and some older ones) to get to, as well. I finally got my hands on Shanna Swendson's newest Enchanted Inc. book, Enchanted Ever After, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. Non-romance books, I've been reading one by Fr. Donald Calloway, which I have enjoyed another one of his books and his videos. He's an inspiration to me. What's on your TBR (To Be Read) list this Fall/Winter?

It looks like I'll likely make an appearance at BrazCon 2020 (I believe that's on February 15th). I'm hoping to make RWA Nationals 2020 (in San Francisco) but my plans aren't firm on that. My narrator plans to be there, so I'm really trying to get out there so I can introduce him around!

Books 5 and 6 in the series still need to be finished. I know, I'm being incredibly slow. This year has been--well, interesting. I can't go into detail, just know it's in my heart that I want to get back to writing and I'm hoping all the stuff that's gotten in the way goes away. I still have to finish polishing (I've got a good amount of the edits done, just got to do these last details) on my Jeannie Averie novel.

Other than that, we're fighting allergies, sore muscles, and whatever else gets in the way of a perfect day. Life happens and often good and bad exist together on the same day/week/month/year, so just gotta power through the bad and hang onto the good!

Hope all is well on your end, dear reader, and I wish the best of Fall and Winter!

Have A Meritoriously Marvelous Monday!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Birthdays, Blessings, & Fall...

Happy Friday All,

Also, happy Fall, and October, (and I missed September!) It has been busy (although, I think it always is--or mostly is).

October means a lot of things...getting further into Fall, apple cider showing up in the grocery store, people gearing up for Halloween with costumes on sale and pumpkins popping up (and Pumpkin Spice stuff everywhere LOL!) It's quite a month. It's also my birthday month.

No matter what age I'm turning, I enjoy my birthday month. Sure, sometimes it feels weird to enter a new decade (like I did when I turned 30) and such, but every year has good things and bad things and I like to experience each year as it comes. Plus, I just like that there is a special day celebrating the fact I was born and came into existence. Think about it...without a birth day, you wouldn't be born, there would be no day that marks when someone who is uniquely you came into the world. So, although sometimes it's weird to think about turning one age or another, I'm rather fond of my birthday, so for me, it's a Birthday Yay and NOT Birthday Blah.

A friend of mine died in 2013. When we were turning 30 she wasn't keen on it. I decided instead of sitting around thinking how weird it felt to me, I'd have a party. And I did. It's one of the best decisions I could've made in terms of dealing with a new age I wasn't sure what I thought about. I got to hang out with people I care most about and have fun.

I know plenty of people of all different ages. Some are younger than me, and some are older. Sometimes the younger ones seem more upset about turning an age than I did. But if you bemoan being one age or another, then you're wasting precious living time in my opinion. I mean, nobody is happy all the time, but if all you do is sitting around being negative about your age, or being negative about this thing or that, then it's just depressing.

My mother taught me to try and focus on the positive. It's not always easy--I will say there are times I get depressed or unhappy--but I don't like to sit there. I'm always trying to find something positive. Sometimes I just have to get over the negative feelings and that takes a little time.

But instead of dwelling on what age you're turning or thinking "I'm so old, help!" consider this: it's another opportunity for you to experience life. It's another opportunity for you to find something good. It's another opportunity to make someone smile. Or help someone.

For me, it's a real privilege when I can help someone. So, as my birthday fast approaches and a part of me is thinking "How did I get to this age? How weird does this feel!" I'm also thinking about how great it is to have the family and friends I do, and how blessed I am to be able to pray for those who are having a rough time, or just be there for them.

So today, my advice--whether it is your birthday month or not--think about how you can be a blessing to someone. Make the world a better place, just by helping someone have a better day (in a legal, moral, ethical way!)

Here's a joke my high school Junior history teacher told (many moons ago!)

"A mushroom walks into a bar. The bartender says, 'Get out of here, we don't serve your kind!' The mushroom says, 'Why not? I'm a FUNGI."  :-)

Have A Fabulously Funny Friday!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Dreaming Big...

Happy Friday!

It's August...AUGUST! Wow. Is it just me, or does time seem to go faster when you're older? I remember feeling like days were soooo looonnnngggg as a kid...and even as a teen. My birthday always took forever to come (I'm an October baby). Christmas was always a million days away. And summer vacation? Sooooo faaarrr.

Not as much anymore. And I'm not complaining, I'm just sort of fascinated with how that happens. One minute you think something is taking forever, the next minute it seems like it happened in a blink of an eye.

The funny thing is, when you're waiting for a book release or something like that is can seem so long or so far off (well, unless you're the one on a deadline, then it seems too close! LOL). And sometimes the wait is totally worth it and sometimes you build something up in your mind and reality doesn't quite match up.

Either way, finding those moments of anticipation, longing for something...it's always good to have a dream. To have a goal. A purpose.

Growing up, I always wondered what my purpose would be. I went through several ideas--even going so far as contemplating the religious celibate life. I thought of becoming an ornithologist. I never imagined published author would be one of the purposes I'd come to as an adult. But here I am, living out the purpose I thought I'd have when I was a pre-schooler (being a mother) and what I dreamed of as a teen (being married) to something I wasn't sure I would ever accomplish (author, early 20s).

Now my purpose is to continue being wife and mother, and to keep working at the writing.

So, are you living the purpose you thought you'd have as a kid? What dreams do you have? No matter your age, never be afraid to dream big! Whether they come true or not, dreams/goals are a good thing.

Have A Fabulously Fantastic Friday!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Watch The Hands...

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

I've got a question for you: how fast can you touch-type? I'm talking typing on a computer or typewriter keyboard without looking at your hands, and with reasonable accuracy? I haven't checked my times in YEARS, but last time I was tested I was around 80-words-per-minute (wpm).

You think that's impressive? Well, don't. I had an uncle who could type 100 wpm. Yes, you read that right. One-hundred words-per-minute. During the Vietnam War, there was a doctor who told the people who were sending my uncle's unit over to Vietnam not to send him because he needed him to type out prescriptions. Later it was found out that the majority of those in his unit had been killed.  My uncle lived because he could type fast and the doctor needed him. Crazy, huh? I figure it's God's grace there.

Now, touch-typing didn't save my physical life, but it did save me academically. When I was in the sixth grade I was diagnosed with learning disabilities. This was back when learning disabilities were just starting really emerge as a real disability and we hadn't ever really heard of them.

The person in charge of the learning clinic where I went for remediation told my mother to have me learn how to touch-type on the computer (this was in the days of Word Perfect, yes, I'm not kidding. I didn't grow up with Microsoft Word or the internet or cell phones). So, my mother had me learn (in spite of the fact that I hated doing the exercises).

Through typing my handwriting improved. My spelling improved. And some other stuff improved and I started writing.

When I got to high school, I took a Keyboarding class my Freshmen year. I was probably one of the fastest, if not the fastest typist in the class. People would stare and ask how I was so fast. Well, I typed pretty much every day and I didn't have to look at my hands since I had learned where everything was on the keyboard.

I remember people watching my hands and trying to figure out how I did it. Well, it wasn't some magic trick. I learned how to type and to type without looking and typed every day so I got faster and faster. Now, I don't have 100 percent accuracy. I know very few people who do that (in fact, I think my uncle is the only one I know who had either perfect or near perfect accuracy) but it's not bad.

When I went to business school, we had another typing course and I got faster and better because of it. It also helped when I worked in the corporate world.

Nowadays, typing assists with my writing because my fingers can keep up with my brain a lot faster than I can when I'm writing by hand. So when I really have an idea going, I can get it out quickly before I forget if I type it out.

If you're learning how to type and you get frustrated with being slow or making mistakes, remember that even the fastest typists had to learn and it takes time. P.S. I still hate typing courses, even though I know they're a good thing to have around, especially these days. So, despite how they annoy me, I do recommend typing courses if you don't know how to touch-type. It's worth the annoyance and time.

Have A Terrifically Timeless Tuesday!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Hello Again, Mary Poppins...

Happy Friday All,

While some of you may have already seen Mary Poppins Returns when it was in the theaters, I didn't, but it's now up on Netflix for those who are interested (or, I'm sure, available for purchase or rent in other places).

First of all, a little disclaimer: I was never a big fan of the original. I didn't hate it, it just wasn't one I liked watching over and over again. Oh, I liked parts of it really well, but the song Feed The Birds always depressed me with its sort of melancholy music. Now don't get me wrong, Julie Andrews' and Dick Van Dyke, and the rest of the cast's performances were great. It just wasn't my favorite, nor one I wanted to watch over and over again. The end was a bit too bittersweet for me, and I always wondered if Jane and Michael's dad kept being as changed and jolly as he was at the end. Sure, a little cynical for a kid or middle schooler, but I just was never quite sure about it. That said, it's wonderfully innovative (especially for the time it released) and genuinely imaginative. (I always liked Mary Poppins' inside-the-sidewalk-picture dress. So pretty!)

As for the sequel, Mary Poppins Returns....

PROS: The costumes are done very well, as per usual, and there are some fun songs, and things that remind me of some of the best scenes in the original. Emily Blunt does a good job of stepping into Julie Andrews' shoes and taking up the Poppins' mantle. I liked the new character, Jack (lamp lighter) and as per usual, Colin Firth is an excellent actor (Mr. Dawes' nephew). The other actors (beyond Dick Van Dyke, and I think Angela Lansbury) I didn't really know all that well. The bath tub scene was a nice new way of Mary Poppins' magic working and I liked it. I did like that Mary Poppins goes up the banister again. I felt like that little thing and the carpet bag were two things that definitely belonged in any sequel about Mary Poppins.

CONS:  It feels strange having a sequel so many years after the first (much like I felt about the new STAR WARS movies, and the prequels). In some places it felt like it was trying too hard to be as imaginative and exciting as places in the first one (this doesn't include the sliding up the banister or Mary Poppins' carpet bag, as I said, those were things I thought belonged there and I was glad to see them). The thing is, though, in the process of trying so hard to be like the original it lost some of the charm that the original had. The original was charming because it didn't try to be anything but itself. (And of course, it was pretty innovative, which might be an unfair advantage it has over Mary Poppins Returns). One thing I DID miss from the original was the measuring tape. That was one of those little quirks of Mary Poppins that I missed.

OVERALL: It's all right, and if you're a Mary Poppins fan you might even love it. I liked it, I thought there were some nice scenes and some fun aspects, but I don't feel the need to see it again. The first one is charming and innovative. The second didn't necessarily feel innovative, but it had its fun moments.

So on a scale of 1-5 stars, one being the lowest and 5 being the highest, I give it a 3-star. It's in the middle for me. Not my super-favorite, I'm going to gush over it, but not bad, either. I give a lot of credit to Emily Blunt taking on the role, though. An iconic role like that isn't easy to do and she does do it justice in my opinion.

Have A Fabulously Fun Friday!