Tuesday, December 31, 2013
When I think back on 2013, I can see struggles and successes. My husband and I have had financial hardships for almost our entire marriage, but this last year was especially difficult. We had job disasters, unexpected troubles with home and cars, increasing health insurance payments that we pay ourselves, and other personal things that I won't get into. However, the good things have a way of outshining the bad, at least when I let them. Our second nephew was born in Jan. I can't believe he'll be a year old in a few weeks! My youngest brother got married to a great girl. I've self-published three books and have been able to put many hours into writing, I got a new job that, despite being terribly monotonous, allows me to work from home. I'm not sad to say goodbye the 2013. I have high hopes for the coming year and can't wait to get started. I don't really like to use the words "new year's resolutions". They are often associated with failure. I do, however, like the word goals.
Today's Topic: Goals for 2014
10. Make stuff to sell on my etsy shop. I still have my hourglass pendants that I plan to add, but I think I want to do crocheted scarves too. And maybe headbands.
9. Try something new. This isn't a specific thing. Just something I've never done before.
8. Experiment with new and unique recipes. I love to cook and my husband is adventurous when it comes to food. I think I can put those two things together. It might be a disaster, but trying could be fun.
7. Get in better shape. I'm not overweight, but I'm not super healthy either. Exercising has not been high on my priority list in a long time. We have a treadmill that needs to see more action. I can do it.
6. Paint and draw more. I love to art. It is second only to writing on my list of favorite activities. But I haven't sat down with my oil paints in a long time.
5. Play the piano more often. Like #6, playing the piano is another activity I love, but have neglected. My parents gave me their piano when I got married. I used to play everyday. Now I go months without touching it. If I want to keep the talent I've worked so hard for, I need to keep working on it.
4. Keep my home cleaner. I have never been a tidy or organized person. And since I'm home most of the time, I have no excuses. (though I try to blame Pinterest and Netflix)
3. Have family/friends over for dinner once in a while. Our condo is not large and, as I mentioned in #4, not very tidy. But I think it would be fun to do some dinner parties.
2. Be nicer. That's not to say I'm not already a nice person. I like to think I'm very nice. But I don't normally go out of my way to go the extra mile. We've lived in our condo for 4 years and I don't know very many of our neighbors. People move in and out all the time, so it's hard to keep track, but I've never gone to door of a new family/person and welcomed them to the neighborhood. That's something I think I can work on.
1. Finish writing at least two more books throughout the year. I'm hoping to have book 2 of my Vessel series done and ready for April. I'm not sure what the other book will be at the moment. Something awesome, probably.
I want to thank all of you who have purchased my books, who have let me know how much you like them, and those who keep coming back for more. Have a safe New Year's Eve and a great New Year!!
Feel free to add any of your goals for the new year in the comments.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
I have some cash from Christmas and I'm about to go on a hunt for some cute new boots. I really like boots. I have about 6 pairs already, but I think I can fit a few more in my closet. I have a coupon for Burlington Coat Factory for 20% off one item. (Wahoo!) They usually have some nice boots. I'm crossing my fingers. I also plan to stop at a local thrift store for some tops. I adore thrift stores. We have a ton of them in Utah. Seriously, who could pass up decent clothing at such cheap prices? If you couldn't tell, this is a rambling post. I didn't plan anything because all I'm thinking about is new boots.
My giveaway is over and I've sent emails to the winners. I was planning to pick three winners, but since only four people entered, they all get to be winners. I'm just nice like that. Thanks for entering!
There are only a few more days to use the discount code for my paperbacks on createspace.com. The individual links can be found here. And the ebook of Soulless will soon be enrolled in Kindle's Select program which will include some free download days in the future.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
It's over already. How does it go by so fast? Nevertheless, we had a great Christmas. I love giving gifts to loved ones. My husband really liked the shirts I made and I also gave him a Tardis towel (the Tardis is from Doctor Who) and some treats. He gave me some lovely scarves, wordsearch/puzzle books, and some adorable penguin slipper socks. From other family members I got more lovely scarves (I love scarves, by the way), dark chocolate, gift cards, a homemade tote bag, Despicable Me 2, a book, and a bit of cash that will hopefully result in some new boots. The best part was, of course, spending time with family.
Now comes the fun task of putting all the decorations away. We don't have much. Since we live in a condo, we don't do Christmas lights outside. Our tree is small and easy to take down. The few decorations are mostly stuffed penguins that normally reside in one of the spare bedrooms. It shouldn't take too long, but I might wait a couple more days. I like looking at them all.
So, I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to make bread. Well, I did, and it was delicious! Everyone loved it. I got the recipe on Pinterest. I was kind of nervous about making it, especially since I'd never made this particular recipe before. But it was so easy and so tasty. Here's the link.
The giveaway ends Friday night. Please enter!
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
It's Christmas Eve. No top ten list today. I have a bunch of stuff to do before tomorrow. (Finish a couple of presents, make bread, drink hot chocolate, go to a party at Grandma's house, eat yummy food, etc.) I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a Merry Christmas! I would very much appreciate it if you would return the favor by entering my giveaway. It would be an awesome gift from you to me, and hopefully you will be one of the winners! Have fun and be safe!
(If you can't see the giveaway because you're on your phone, scroll to the bottom and see if there's an option to view the web version, otherwise come back on a computer.)
Saturday, December 21, 2013
My husband is not a fan of surprises. Which is funny, because he loves being the surpriser for other people. He just doesn't like being on the receiving end. Christmas time is hard for him. When he was growing up, he would "snoop" as much as possible to find out what he was getting or else it would cause him stressful anxiety. He says he's much better now, but still doesn't like the stress of not knowing. I put a sign on one of our extra rooms informing him that he could not enter because I was working on some gifts for him. He grumbled and I knew he was stressing. So I gave him a hint. I'm customizing a couple of t-shirts with hand-painted pictures, but I won't tell him what the pictures will be. I finished them yesterday and got them wrapped up. I hope he likes them, but I hope even more that he'll survive until Christmas morning!
I'm starting my Christmas Week Giveaway a day early. It starts at midnight tonight and ends Friday at midnight. The prizes are digital copies of my books. The three winners can pick either The Bride, Taela, or Soulless. Someday I will do a giveaway for signed paperbacks, but with the craziness of the holidays, I decided not to do it this time around. (And I need more participation before I go through the extra work and expense of mailing.) If you already own all my ebooks, you can always spread the word to your friends. :)
FYI: If you can't see the giveaway entry thing on your phone, scroll to the bottom to see if there is an option to view the web version. Otherwise you'll have to enter from a computer/laptop.
Here's an update about the discount code for my paperbacks. I just learned that the code is only usable on my createspace sites. I'm sorry that I said before that it could be used on amazon. The clarification was not very clear. Click on the book title for each book's individual site. The Bride. Taela. Soulless. The discount is available until the end of the year! XVQSED3A
Thursday, December 19, 2013
I love Christmas! I may have mentioned that already. Since getting married, we've traded off which family we spend the major holidays with. This year, my husband's family gets Christmas Day. We'll spend Christmas Eve at my grandma's. We usually eat dinner and play some games, sometimes a movie gets thrown in. We'll open our gifts from grandma and let her open gifts from us. Afterward, my immediate family will go to my parents' house to exchange sibling gifts. Since we won't be there on a Christmas we'll give my parents their gifts as well.
In the morning, husband and I will exchange gifts and eat breakfast. Husband requested crepes. I'm also bringing homemade bread to the in-law's, so I'll be finishing that up as well. At the big party, we will have lunch and open more gifts and play some games. It looks to be a fun-filled couple of days! Luckily all my family lives fairly close, so I get to see them almost as much as I want. I hope all of you have a great Christmas, or a fun whatever holiday you celebrate. Remember to enter my giveaway starting Sunday night at midnight!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Is Christmas really next week?! There's still a few things I need to get done, which would be easier if I had a car. In the meantime, I'll probably watch a few holiday movies...
Today's Topic: My Favorite Christmas-Related Movies
10. The Nightmare Before Christmas- 1993. Mostly because it reminds me of Disneyland during Christmas time.
9. Mickey's Christmas Carol- 1983. Classic story with my favorite Disney characters? Yes, please!
8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer- 1964 (stop motion animation) I've loved this one since I was little.
7. Home Alone- 1990. Makes me think that if I'd been left home at the age of 8, I probably would've hid under my bed and cried the whole time.
6. It's A Wonderful Life- 1946. Sure, it's kind of depressing, but everything turns out all right in the end.
5. While You Were Sleeping- 1995. I love this movie even when it's not Christmas time.
4. You've Got Mail- 1998. Ditto.
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas- 1966. A classic, even if it's not really movie length.
2. Elf- 2003. I don't usually like Will Ferrell movies, but this one is so sweet and fun.
1. A Christmas Story- 1983. I watch this one every year, sometimes more than once depending on if a network is doing a marathon of it.
I've mentioned before that I'm going to do another giveaway during the week of Christmas. It will start Sunday night (12/22) at midnight and go till Friday night (12/27). The prizes will either be more digital copies of my books or signed paperbacks. Or both. Still not sure. I hope you'll come back and enter!!
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Today's post is my 103rd. It's kind of funny. I created this blog a few years ago just as a way to jot down some thoughts and stuff. I wasn't consistent and after a while I stopped posting. Then this past summer I published my first book and I wanted a way to share my writing experiences. I thought about doing a blog and then remembered I already had one. After revamping it a bit, I've been posting on a regular basis and it's been a lot of fun. Sure, there are days when I have no idea what I want to write, but it's good for me to think on my toes sometimes. I could have used today's post to continue my list of ABC characters, but I'm not really feeling it right now. I'm going to put that on the back burner and use Saturday for something else for a while. For today, I thought I'd reveal some of my more popular posts over the past 6+ months.
Thoughts and Other Mind Spew- Nov. 2. The popularity of this one has surprised me. I actually thought most people would think it was stupid. I guess they could still think that after reading it.
New Book News- Oct. 3. This one was my first tiny glimpse of Soulless, and was pretty short.
Cover Reveal for Taela- July 29. This one was probably the most viewed. The process for choosing the cover was interactive, so maybe that's why more people came back for the reveal.
The Bride, Chapter One- June 5. Pretty obvious, first chance to read a bit of my first book.
Something New- June 5. My very first post.
I have a fairly consistent audience, I think, and I really appreciate those of you who keep coming back, as well as those of you who are here for the first time. Sometimes I ramble, sometimes I complain, but no matter what, I just love to write!
Thursday, December 12, 2013
I had an idea the other day to make a cute ABC book that features all sorts of geeky characters (like from Star Wars, LOTR, video games, Harry Potter, and many others). I doubt I'd be able to publish and distribute this publicly, but I want to make one for our own future children. I've done about 8 so far, simplifying the characters to make them cutesy, and it's been a lot of fun. Here are just a few.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I'll be continuing my Christmas-themed lists for all of December. One of the best parts of the season is the music. There are so many great songs. I've provided links to some because I'm cool like that.
Today's Topic: My Favorite Christmas Music
10. Belleau Wood by Garth Brooks. I am NOT a fan of country music, but the first time I heard this song I bawled like a baby. Here's a YouTube link.
9. Pretty much anything by Mannheim Steamroller. I could probably do a separate list just for these geniuses.
8. Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant. Mary, mother of Jesus, played such an important role and this song about her is beautiful. Link
7. O Holy Night. Probably most versions, though I tend to stay away from pop stars.
6. The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. I adore these pieces, as well as the ballet.
5. Handel's Messiah. My favorite is For Unto Us A Child Is Born
4. Wizards in Winter by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I know it doesn't have much to do with the true spirit of Christmas, but it's just so cool. I've heard it live. Here's a link that includes a fun light show.
3. Pat-a-Pan. I'm not really sure why I like this one so much. I just do. The King's Singers' version is good, as is Mannheim Steamroller's.
2. Christmas Dream by Perry Como. Not well known, I'm sure. And I suppose unless you're me, who has some unique tastes in music, you'll think it's lame. I love it. Link
1. Silent Night. You can never go wrong with this beloved classic.
One honorable mention is It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, though my favorite version comes with a twist. My dad will, at almost any time during the year, start singing "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Cheetos". Usually when he's about to eat some. Love you, Dad!
My giveaway went pretty well, though I'm still not getting as much participation as I'd like. I'm sure it's mostly my own fault for not spreading the word enough. Anyway, the winners have been chosen and their prizes were emailed! I had planned to only have two winners, but since only three people entered, I thought three winners was much better. Congrats to Katrina, Rachael, and Sarah! I want to do another giveaway during the week of Christmas. I hope all of you who read my blog will enter!
Friday, December 6, 2013
Yay for books! In honor of today's release of Soulless, I've done some redecorating. If you haven't guessed, orange is my favorite color. Anyway, welcome to the "party". There's a lovely giveaway going on with several ways to enter, so get going! It ends Sunday night. (Giveaway has ended)
Soulless is available as an ebook and paperback on amazon right now. The discount code is still in effect for all my paperbacks on amazon, so use it while it's here. (
Any and all of my books are great gifts to give your favorite bookworm. Order soon to get them in time for Christmas! I really appreciate the support I've received and hope this next year will bring more books and more eager fans. Keep reading!
**If you're using a phone to view this and can't see the giveaway thing, scroll to the bottom of the blog. There should be an option to view the full web version. If that doesn't work, you'll have to come back on a computer/laptop. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Yeah, so I wasn't really sure what I wanted to write today. My thoughts are on Christmas preparation and getting Soulless ready for Saturday and trying to figure out how I'm going to ship my hourglasses when I don't have a car to get them to the post office and about a dozen other things. The trouble with the hourglasses is that I know how much postage will be and I could buy the stamps I need, but if no one ends up buying them I'll have wasted money on stamps. I could also go to the post office each time an order comes in and pay for postage one at a time, but we only have one car at the moment and Husband uses it to get to work. I don't really want to have to go back and forth to the post office anyway, so I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to make it all work. I know some people buy and print their own postage at home, but our printer is on the fritz. Poor me! I guess another option is to just put the hourglasses on my shop and see what happens.
Husband and I had a spontaneous date night yesterday. I had the car so I could babysit my adorable niece. After I picked Husband up from work, we decided to go out to eat and see Frozen. The movie was good, though Tangled is still my newest favorite.
I'm working hard on the second book in my Vessel series. I'm aiming to be done by the end of December so I can get it to my editor in January.
I ate an apple for breakfast.
I hope my lameness doesn't keep you from coming back on Saturday for Soulless Day!
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The Christmas season is in full swing and I love it! It's my favorite holiday with some of my favorite traditions. (Snow is not one of them.)
Today's Topic: My Favorite Things About Christmas
10. Decorations. Nothing outlandish or gaudy, just simple things. I have a small porcelain nativity scene that I inherited from my grandma that I love!
9. Lights on houses and buildings. Again, something simple. I'm not a fan of the people who are apparently trying to guide wayward airplanes home.
8. Christmas music. The classics like Perry Como and Bing Crosby, hymns, Handel's Messiah, instrumental. Nothing ruins a beautiful song like a pop star. There are some exceptions, but not many.
7. Fun holiday movies. This is where I don't mind the commercialism as much. Elf is hilarious.
6. Finding gifts for loved ones. I'm not a fan of going out to stores nowadays so I do most of my shopping online. I enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone special.
5. Treats. I like giving them as much as getting them. Yummy!
4. Helping others. I regularly participate in things like Secret Santa and food drives. There are so many people who are in need and I think everyone deserves some joy during this time of the year.
3. Spending time with family. I like to do this any chance I get, but Christmastime is special.
2. Making new traditions with my husband. This will be our fourth Christmas together and we really haven't come up with traditions yet. We're still in the testing phase. I hope once we have children we'll be able to come up with some fun and memorable things.
1. Remembering the true reason we celebrate. As I've grown up I've tried to separate myself from the commercialism that has taken over Christmas and focus more on the celebration of the birth of my Savior.
Small reminder that Saturday is the release day of Soulless! If you haven't taken the opportunity to read the prologue and chapter one, go to the link on my previous post. I've also changed my mind about waiting till Sat. to give out the discount code. I'm going to give it NOW! You can use this when you buy the paperbacks of The Bride and Taela (and Soulless on Sat.) on amazon. It should also work on all the European amazon sites as well. It will be available to use till the end of December. Here it is- XVQSED3A