Saturday, May 30, 2015
There wasn't a SFF in May, mostly because I wasn't sure what to do next, but now I think I know, and it will come in June. But first, I would really like to increase the membership. If you've read even one of my books, or are planning to, please join! My plan is to do an online Q&A (I'll figure out where/when soon) concerning me as a writer, my books, and pretty much anything else that is applicable for public knowledge. I'll send out the invitations sometime mid-June and then the "event" will happen at the end of the month. I'm willing to do this even with just the few members I have now, but I'd REALLY like more people involved. Join, spread the word, make posters, knock on doors... Anyway, start brewing some questions in your fabulous brains.
P.S. There may or may not be a giveaway involved. :)
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
You know how much I love cars. If you need a reminder, you can go here. Our dear Jimmy has had a bad transmission for a while and we've been waiting for it to take its last breath. Well, yesterday it came close. As we were cruising down the freeway, on our way to my parents' house for Memorial Day fun, the car suddenly felt like it was stalling. Luckily hubby was driving, because I probably would've freaked out. More. We were able to continue, but couldn't excelerate more than 60 mph. We managed to get to our destination and back home again. (About 45 miles each way) We didn't take the freeway home, which meant an extra 50 or so minutes. We don't dare drive more than 50 mph with it right now. Unfortunately, we don't quite have the money to a) fix it, or b) get a new car. We do have a second car, but my in-laws are using it, and it happens to be on the fritz right now as well. Hopefully Jimmy will live on until we can get the money for whatever we decide. And here I was thinking we'd be able to pay off some debts with upcoming money. Hahaha! Silly me!
Saturday, May 23, 2015
In my neck of the woods, there are some fun attractions that are owned by the same company- two water parks and a couple of fun centers that have mini golf, laser tag, etc. Though I've lived in Utah my entire life, I've never been to these particular water parks. A couple of days ago, we scored some season passes at a huge discount that will give us full access to each of these places, as well as free/discounted admittance to other places in the area, like a movie theater, an outdoor play theater, and sporting events. I'm pretty excited to put the pass to use. Summer fun, here I come!
Speaking of summer fun, I have set a goal for myself to finish Foretold by the end of August. I've been a real slacker and I need to get busy. I'm also going to start thinking of another giveaway to do, so stay tuned!
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
I've been trying to think of something to write, but my mind isn't cooperating. If my life were more exciting, I might not have this problem. Then again, if that were the case I might be too busy to write at all. Here's something. I am scrabbling to get the next scene of Samurai Penguin finished before Thursday. I kinda put it off for too long. After this next scene, I'll be taking a little break for a couple months, mostly so I can replenish my scene inventory. Have any of you been keeping up Kuroshiro? Working on this webcomic has got me thinking about other stories I could transform into a webcomic. It takes far more work than I initially thought. Unfortunately, unless I start making more money with my writing, I'll have to keep my regular job, which won't allow me to pursue other webcomics right now. Maybe someday...
Saturday, May 16, 2015
I've tried a few ways to interact with readers, without much success. My giveaways have probably gotten the most participation, understandably, since someone gets free stuff. That's why I enter giveaways. I know I'm still not widely known, so I can't get too bent out of shape, but I also know I have some fans out there. I can usually count on those few to help me out when I want some interaction. So, thanks. You know who you are. With that said, I'm not going to give up on getting people involved. One of these times, I'll come up with something that just might be the exact "something" to get the masses going. I'm hopeful. I mentioned a while ago about wanting to host a little contest involving my books, specifically rewriting or adding to your favorite scene. I haven't worked out all the details yet, but I'm thinking that will be one of my next endeavors. There will be a prize. Most likely an Amazon gift card. So, to prepare, I suggest you start thinking about the scenes you like best, or read the books for the first time. Summertime is the perfect time to pick up a book or two. :)
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
I love trying new things to help me save money. About four months ago I started using an app called Ibotta, which is a rebate opportunity for shopping. I've only used it for groceries so far, but I really like it. They offer rebates for all sorts of things, and more recently they've added produce and generic brand products. It's pretty easy to use. You just use your phone to scan the barcodes of applicable products and then take a picture of your receipt and send it in. So far I've earned about $20 for buying things I normally buy, and the savings add up even more when I use coupons for those products as well. If you have friends who also use the app, you can work together to get bonus savings. I'm not getting anything for writing this. I just really like the app. I like anything that saves me money.
A while ago I mentioned an online snack site that I've been using-- graze.com. If you use this code-- KACIET3TB -- you can get your first and fifth snack box free. Give it a try!
Saturday, May 9, 2015
So tomorrow is Mother's Day here in the U.S. Not everyone is a fan for their own reasons, and that's okay. I for one choose to enjoy it. Not because I'm a mother, (because I'm not) but because there are great examples of motherhood in my life. My own mom is a wonderful person. She is kind and compassionate, funny and beautiful. I literally wouldn't be here without her :) I love her so much. My sister and sisters-in-law are, or will someday be, great mothers as well. I'm so grateful for my niece and nephews. My grandmothers, including those who have passed on, and other family members will always hold a special place in my heart. I can't forget my mother-in-law. She is a great woman and I'm especially grateful to her for raising such a wonderful son.
While all the above is true, there is a small part of me that is sad on Mother's Day. Some of you may know this, and I may have even mentioned it here, but my husband and I have struggled with infertility for the past 5+ years. We don't have a diagnosis to explain the difficulty as of yet, but we continue to hope for a miracle. Adoption is definitely a possibility, though we don't currently have the financial stability to pursue it. It is such a hard thing to explain to those who haven't experienced it. I ache inside, wishing I could utilize the love and caring I have with a family of my own. I try not to feel resentful or jealous of the hundreds of exciting birth announcements or beautiful baby pictures posted on social media. Even though I AM happy for them, it is hard sometimes. I have to rely on my faith and focus on the many blessings I already have. If or when that day finally comes, I have great examples to glean from. I love all the mothers in my life. Happy Mother's Day!
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
My husband is the most wonderful person I know. One of the things I like about him is his geekiness. I've got my own geekiness and they usually compliment each other. There's been one thing, however, that he enjoys, but I just haven't been able to get into. His taste in board/card games. He loves D&D and other tabletop RPGs and also Magic the Gathering. Not my thing. He tried to teach me how to play Magic once, but I was not impressed. (But I was plenty confused.) Well yesterday evening, we invited two of his young cousins over to play some games and he decided to teach them Magic. I sat back and watched, remembering a few things from my own lesson. The boys were really excited about it. Afterward, for some inexplicable reason, I decided to give it another try. I downloaded the app version onto my iPad and went through the tutorials. It still doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I get the gist. I will keep trying and, who knows, I might end up enjoying it. Heck, I thought the same thing about Doctor Who-- another geek thing my husband got me sucked into. The geek is strong with this one.
P.S. We saw Avengers II over the weekend. Excellent. In case you're wondering Captain America is my favorite Avenger.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
I like making stuff, usually food, but also other useful things to save money. I'm not a strict all-natural kind of person (I'd say I'm mild to moderate) but there are a few products I decided to try and make myself. (I will include recipe/instructions at the end) The first was deodorant. I gave up on antiperspirants a while ago because of the added chemicals and such, but it was hard to find something economical that also worked well. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a DIY recipe that I've been using for a few weeks and I give it two thumbs up. The second project was face moisturizer. This was mostly to incorporate some essential oils I've procured that have skin benefits. I made it about a week ago and am still trying to decide if I like it. It works, and I haven't broken out in a rash or anything, but I've yet to conclude if I've noticed much of a difference. Lastly, for now, was nonstick spray. I've bought the cheap stuf for years and have always loathed the sticky residue it leaves behind. Sure, I could have gotten the name brand stuff like Pam, but my need for thriftiness sometimes comes on too strong. So far, the homemade stuff is working great and I've yet to see any residue. All in all, I think I've been successful. If you're an all natural nut or just curious, give them a try!
Deodorant (found on greatist.com)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon essential oils of your choice
Put coconut oil in microwave safe bowl and heat until melted. Mix in essential oils (I used lavender, tea tree, and grapefruit) and then add baking soda and cornstarch. Mix well, getting out lumps. Put in fridge or leave somewhere cool until set. It's possible to put this in an empty deodorant container while still liquid but I didn't have one. I left it in the bowl and apply with my fingers, using a plastic baggy to keep my fingers clean. Smells great, lasts fairly long. If I go out in the evening, I usually reapply.
Face moisturizer (from mycrazyblessedlife.com)
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vitamin E oil
Essential oils (about 5 drops per oil)
Place coconut oil in medium bowl and whip with electric mixer for about 20-30 seconds, or until smooth. Add vitamin E and essential oils (I used tea tree, lavender, and frankensense) and mix again until creamy and blended. Scoop into small container, cover with a lid. Keep at room temperature. Now, this leaves my skin feeling rather oily, though not necessarily in a bad way, so I generally only use it at night. I suppose if I massaged it into to my skin for a while, it would absorb more, but I'm not that patient.
Nonstick Spray (found on Pinterest, can't remember the actual site)
You need a cooking oil of your choice (I used canola) and water. 4 parts water to one part oil. Put in a clean spray bottle that has a "mist" option. Shake well before using. If you spray a hot surface, it may splatter a bit because of the water, but still works great.