Crunch & Noom & Oculus: Oh My!

Crunch, Noom and Oculus are going to be things I (hopefully) mention quite a bit moving forward. For those unfamiliar, Crunch Fitness is a gym franchise and Noom is a habit tracking app. Oculus I’ll explain in a bit. I plan on utilizing all three to attain a healthier self in 2022.

I went to Crunch for two classes this past Saturday morning (with my bestie Amanda reluctantly dragged along) and have been spending about 10 minutes a day on Noom going through lessons and logging food/water/weight.

I’m also saving up to get an Oculus Quest 2. For those unfamiliar, it is a VR (virtual reality) headset and you can play games and exercise with it. I figure, fifteen to twenty minutes a day on the Oculus and the gym twice a week I can get to my healthy goal and then some by my birthday!

I’m coming to the realization that my body is a temple and it’s proving difficult to worship at the altar of creativity if that temple is crumbling. So I’m taking care of my body so that I can have a healthier headspace from which to write more books!

Bye for now!

Hello Cleveland!

I got an e-mail through work notifying me that I won tickets to see TSO (TranSiberian Orchestra) on Thursday 12/30 at 8PM in…Cleveland!

I’ve been listening to their albums every holiday since before I can remember so naturally I said hellz yes and called Amanda to let her know she was road tripping with me. I phrased it as a question but we both knew she was going.

Two and a half hours (one way) later we were at the RocketMortgage FieldHouse in the ‘Champion Suite’. The food? Amazing. The alcohol? Quality (or so I’m told since I don’t drink, lol). The view? Well look at those pics!

A numerous points in the show I found that my mouth was hanging open in awe. That’s how stellar they were. After years of hearing them I thought I knew what to expect but I was so so wrong. They were a million times better in person!

So I got home at 2AM on the 31st and, consequently, rang in 2022 unconscious as I went to bed at 7:30PM after a hugely successful first date. Me and this guy Travis met early afternoon at Dave & Busters and did dinner after that. It was a four hour first date. We just kept talking and laughing and it was amazing.

So I’m hopeful going into 2022 that, come what may, I’m ready to face it!

bye for now!

2022: I’m Looking At You

I’ve got some high expectations for the coming year and while I’m trying not to think about the fact that 2022 could be interpreted as ‘2020 too’ I also respect that to-do lists are guidelines more than hard and fast rules. The reason I say that is because I’ve got quite a lot planned for the coming year:

  • Take one class per 10 week term starting late March (for my master’s degree)
  • Finish edits for Seer and work with my agent to find a Publishing House for it
  • Decide which of my Works In Progress (Ethe (trilogy), Phantasia, Skye(trilogy), Sea & Storm, Why Is Mommy Sad?) get my attention next
  • Resume a regular gym schedule
  • Create and stick to a budget
  • Get my condo to a state where 15-30 minutes of daily maintenance are all that is needed
  • Find a way to promote and raise awareness for The Sword & Shield
  • Be more active in my self-marketing efforts

So like I said, an ambitious list for the coming year but I think it’s attainable. The last thing I need is to set myself up to fail by biting off more than I can chew so I left off a few things that I’d like to do but am not committing to for this upcoming year.

Above all I plan on making the focus of 2022 center around self-improvement. I know I still have growing to do emotionally and part of being an adult is taking ownership of the need to constantly work towards the best version of yourself.

Like they say, grow through what you go through.

See you in the new year and

Bye for now!

Write (Not) My Age & Merry Christmas!

Ready for the Holiday party at work!

I recently discussed a new book(s) idea that has me really excited. I’ve finished the plot outline and character profiles so that I can finally edit Seer. The issue I anticipate having with this story is that, while it will be written for YA, the protagonist is only 13. Normally that would suggest a middle-grade audience and it may very well end up that way but based on the vague ideas I have for it, the subject matter and various sequences of events may be too dark or complex for that age group. That being said, I read The Dark Lord of Derkholm (still a favorite) for a third grade book report when I was eight.

So I know that it’s entirely possible for children as young as middle-grade to grasp the concepts I’ll be weaving into this (possibly) trilogy but I want it to appeal to more than just the young Emma-esque readers of the world. None of this will matter if I can’t get my butt in gear and get these edits done. My plan (as I write this on Tuesday the 14th) is to get a bunch done on Sunday the 19th.

Coming at you live from Monday the 20th and the edits did not happen yesterday. Whoops.

Maybe this year Santa will bring me some motivation, lol.

On the subject of Santa, Christmas is right around the corner! Have you finished your holiday shopping? I have two shelves in my closed dubbed the Present Shelves and that is where I keep birthday and Christmas presents that I buy all year round. So if I see something I know a loved one will like, I don’t wait till right before Christmas, I buy it when I see it. Why risk it no longer being available or me forgetting it? At least, that’s how I feel.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and, if you have gifts you still need to buy, my book is available on Amazon and Audible among other retailers!

Happy Holidays!

Better Made…But Made Better

Amazon.com - Better Made Chocolate Covered Original Potato Chips - Limited Edition - Collectible Tin (Milk Chocolate)
A Midwest Treat

So I love the whole sweet/salty combo and, while I’m still on a weight loss journey, I will buy myself a tin of these every year. The tin should last me till the new year as it doesn’t have much in it and I’m having maybe one chip a day.

That being said, while Better Made is made better than most chips out there, they sometimes mess up the chocolate to chip ratio. With that in mind, my ‘Bonus Mom’ Susanne and I spent Saturday decked out in Christmas clothes, playing season appropriate movies, and making our own chocolate covered chips!

We did a double feature and watched the classics Scrooged as well as Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Making the chocolate chips was a blast and may very well be a new family tradition.

I’m also working on a better made manuscript for Seer. The reason why these edits are so difficult is that they aren’t superficial. I’ve basically got a poorly made, but completed, scarf on my hands. And now I need to go back and make the scarf look nice without unraveling it completely. But I’m gonna do it or die trying!

Bye for now!

Mother Nature Really Went ‘Hold My Beer’

Errant thoughts hold more power than we realize. A careless idea here or there can have very real world consequences. To what, you ask, am I referring?

It’s a matter of snow.

I had a date last Saturday night at the Detroit Zoo’s Wild Lights and passively it occurred to me that a little snowfall would be nice to give me a Winter Wonderland type of feeling. Welp, I don’t know if it was Jack Frost or Mr. Snow or the White Walkers but someone heard me and were more than eager to comply with my wishes.

It was not even close to the worst snowstorm I’ve ever seen but it was for sure one of the heavier November snows.

It has all melted since then but it was beautiful while it lasted.

I have finished the character profiles for my new book idea and just need to outline the story before I can, without reservations, set it aside to resume edits on Seer. My Works in Progress pile is starting to teeter dangerously…

Bye for now!

Thankful & Here We Go Again!

Happy Thanksgiving! - College of Natural Science

This year I have a lot to be thankful for. My family, friends, agent, career, health and so much more. Has it been bumpy at times? Of course. But I’m a Michigander and bumpy roads are nothing new.

I’m also thankful for the muse which I had briefly thought abandoned me but she was just taking a vacation. Now she’s back and waking me up at 3AM with new books. Last Tuesday I was woken from a dead sleep at 3AM-ish with a scene from a new book still fresh in my head down to the costumes and intricate hairstyles.

The goal is to have the character profiles for the key players as well as an overall plot outline for the story by the end of this week so that when I shelf it to finish edits on Seer I will still remember the important aspects by the time I can return to it.

I’m not going to give any details regarding this new project but I will say it has re-lit the spark that keeps my writing alive!

Bye for now!

Adventures at the Selfie Museum!

So don’t get me wrong, I love writing. I love being an author and nothing could convince me to quit pursuing it as a life’s passion. But one of the aspects of life as an author is…marketing.

blech

But, miracle of miracles, for once, in pursuit of promoting myself, I actually managed to have a little fun. I heard about a new place at my local mall called The Detroit Selfie Museum. So me, my bestie Amanda, a box of books, and a bunch of outfits made our way to the mall and spent the following 90 minutes having a blast.

New Author photo? What do you guys think?

Bye for now!

It Doesn’t Take Much

Like all people, authors appreciate…well…appreciation. Validation that the work they put into the world enriched the lives of those around them in some small way. Sometimes I wish I was the kind of author who was fine writing just for myself. Keeping my worlds to myself in Word docs and overflowing notebooks.

But my love language is gift giving. What does that mean? It means I derive joy from bringing joy to others. And as much as I would love to buy presents for all the cool people in the world that has some seriously cost prohibitive factors. So sharing my stories is the next best thing.

This message was in my Facebook Messenger inbox and it was the first thing I saw this morning. It was the best start to my day that I’ve had in a while!

If you’re asking yourself how you can appreciate a beloved author (doesn’t have to be me) there are numerous ways! My personal favorite is by going to Goodreads and Amazon and leaving reviews! That feedback doesn’t just make the author’s day, it also helps promote them with some positive advertising. In addition, Amazon’s algorithm looks at products that have numerous positive reviews and bring those to the forefront of a buyer’s search results.

So if you haven’t already, please please PLEASE take a few minutes to leave a review on The Sword & Shield!

Bye for now!