The Abbreviated Adventures of Data Wizard

It was a dark and muggy night in the land of Ohio. As Data Wizard and I settled down for the evening, we heard thumping and shuffling echo through the halls of Gnarly Castle. The little ones were asleep and Tasha was in her crate. So that meant another troublemaker hunted for our precious food stores.

I gave him a nudge with my elbow, “Better go check it out.”

Data Wizard grumbled, but rallied himself to confront the knave who dared to break curfew. He walked into the darkness of the galley, toward the only source of light. Then Data Wizard raised both arms and blasted an incantation.

“BEGONE FOUL TEENAGERdataWizard

HAUNT NOT MY REFRIGERATOR…

AND SHUT OFF THY COMPUTER ‘TIL DAWN!”

This proved utterly ineffective, earning only a harsh glare from our 17 year old Wizard-In-Training. ‘D’ looked into the half-opened fridge, back at his father, then went upstairs, stuffing a hot dog ‘n bun into his mouth.

Data Wizard returned to me and proclaimed, “Rejoice! For the chicken dinner leftovers will survive another day!”

“We lost another hot dog, didn’t we.”

-FIN

May Update

So it’s been…ouch, a year since I last posted anything. Bad writer. Bad! 365 lashes with a wet noodle for me. Since last May, I made it through July and November’s Nanowrimo with my sanity intact. I won’t be able to do any nano’s this year however. I have a lot of plans for 2015 and hopefully, I won’t be too far off schedule.

What else is going on…ah yes. We lost our sweet saint bernard last summer. She was almost nine and we raised her from puppyhood. Losing her devastated us and we never thought we’d ever open our hearts to another dog. Never say never, right? We recently fell in love with an adorable bullmastiff puppy with fawn coloring and big brown eyes.

Tasha the bullmastiff puppy, 10 weeks

Tasha the bullmastiff puppy, 10 weeks

We went through a ton of names for her. Nina, Rose, Duchess, Chewie, Sniffer (my daughter’s idea which was vetoed right away.)

Then I suggested ‘Tasha’.

My hubby wasn’t too sure at first. He scrunched up his nose, “Tasha? As in Lt. Tasha Yar Chief of Security in Next Gen?”

I lit up, “EXACTLY!”

Our eldest, ‘D’, said, “We named our home network Enterprise. I don’t see why not.” If you haven’t guessed already, we’re a Trekkie kind of family. So Tasha stuck and she’s responding well to it. Everyone wants a turn carrying and cuddling the pup. But that habit won’t last for very long. We expect her to grow for the next 16 month and she’ll end up around 100 to 120 lbs.

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past year. Hopefully, it won’t take so long for another post. Until then… LLAP \\//

Nanowrimo Recovery

This April’s camp didn’t turn out so bad. I rushed the last three days, but finished with five words extra.

It was tempting to dive into editing the day after. Heck, my inner editor was chomping at the bit. But I held back a few days. Some distance is necessary for me before editing and rewriting.

Thankfully there were a slew of chores on my ‘Must Do Before Summer Hits’ List. I spent that time cleaning the basement and reorganizing closets. Crushing the little spiders under my shoes as they fled from their cobwebs. Might have enjoyed that a little too much.

I also bought ‘Write. Publish. Repeat.’ by Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant (and David Wright). I’m slowly and carefully going through it. I tend to blast through books, but I take extra care when reading craft books. I have other books about self-publishing and so far they all share the same statements.

“Get yourself an editor.”
“Get a good cover.”
“Have a promotion plan in place.”
“OH and get an editor. Have you found an editor yet? Why the the hell haven’t you?”

They all agree on those bits. How to acquire such things vary. Especially, the promo plan. It’s frustrating enough to give me a migraine. Blog tours work, but not for some authors. GoodReads works well for testing ads, but don’t expect a good return on investment. Bookbub is the bomb, but only for 150 page novels with four star ratings and that is if there’s room at the inn. And no, they don’t have a stable. ARGH!

The only piece of promo advice that made any sense to me was to put out another book, then another, and another. So I’ll take that tidbit and roll with it for now. Cause I got a lot of books in me that need to be written and very little time for marketing.

A couple of new things about self-publishing does give me pause. Whenever I’ve been able to catch up on indie news, it feels like what was standard practice has been negated by some temperamental algorithm and wiped a large number of books. So the potential of losing income because of knee-jerk reactions doesn’t sit well with me.

Not that I’ll let that deter me from writing. If anything, it makes me want to roll up my sleeves and work twice as hard. On that note, I see that my inner editor is sharpening her machete and grinning madly, I better let her out to hack away at my novel.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

April’s Camp Nano: Week One

Day one: I had my list and ready to go.

New keyboard and mouse… Check!

Cup of black tea… Check!

Bottle of caffeinated soda for back up… Check!

Tylenol…. (sigh) Check!

I thought that I’d be off and writing like a shot at six in the mornin’. Nope. I heard my alarm, glanced at the time, then hit the snooze. I felt incredibly guilty that I didn’t start writing until eleven. I blew most of the morning, either asleep or doing chores. Once I did get my butt in the chair, I got right to work and a few hours later emerged with 1700 less. LESS! Sure, I was deleting the occasional sentence, notes and stuff, but I didn’t think my first day would be in the negative territory.

I was too embarrassed to put my word count for the cabin.

Obviously I forgot to do something important. My editor was roaming free and fighting against the whole point of NaNoWriMo. So first thing I did the next morning was lock up that editor (don’ worry, she’s comfortable) and put my nose to the grindstone.

It’s day six, and I’ve almost made up for the loss. Still kicking myself over it, but the words are chugging along fine now.

Here’s hoping I can make to the finish line!

To Camp We Go

Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up.

This will be my second time. The last Camp was in July 2013 and it was awesome. I was extremely productive, extremely focused, and extremely burned out by the end of it all.  Idiot me decided to set my word count goal at 90000. I thought, ‘Sure why not. I’ve been working on this manuscript for a while… add 50k and it’s all good.’

I was wrong, wrong, wrong. My hands hurt, my head hurt, and I had to put myself on caffiene detox again. Despite what I put myself through, I still looked forward to joining November’s NaNoWriMo… this time with a more sustainable level of writing.

Then life happened. Hubby got a new job and we moved. So last November was spent mostly getting the kids settled into their new home and shoveling snow. It’s hard to believe in Oct I stood with other moms as we (secretly) admired a cherry red hot rod that purred like a puma. Then November comes around and I’m outside chucking snow as it piles around, eying the neighbor’s snow thrower with undisguised lust.

To say that I’m ready for Spring is an understatement. So until the weather decides whether it wants to be rainy or snowy, I’m concentrating on April’s Camp and with the kids comfortable at school now, maybe this month will be productive too.

Are you planning to join Camp NaNoWriMo this year? And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s Alive!

And so here is my first blog post: I’m a wife, stay at home mom of five, and aspiring writer.  Those are the basics.

Some specifics: Army brat, born and raised. My family was stationed in a lot of areas, from California to Georgia and as far as Germany (or better known then Katterbach, West Germany). Yeah, I’m that old and remember driving by the Berlin Wall, intact and covered in graffiti. Living in the land of The Brothers Grim, castles, fortresses, and pastoral villages greatly influenced my imagination and writing style. My family moved several times after that, but my fondest childhood memories belong to Aurach, a quiet little town among rolling green hills.

Another place that influences me to this day is the state where I was born and where I finished my childhood. California. I spent the last four years of high school in the Bay area. I loved San Francisco, with the high rises and eclectic mixture of cultures. I loved watching the ocean waves from the docks in Pacifica. Me ‘n my girls would explore Fisherman’s Wharf on Sunday afternoons and I definitely can pin point my addiction of Ghiradelli chocolate to those carefree teen days. No matter where I may move, I’m a California Girl at heart.

At this point, I’ve gone from the hot and dry desert of New Mexico to wet and green Ohio. Only that’s not quite right, is it? Thank you, Polar Vortex. While my time and energies have been limited for the past few months, I have been reading a lot of craft books and took a look at IndieRecon in Feb, which was quite an eye opener. I hope to get some proper writing in this year and possibly publish the year after.

We’ll see…