April & May Update

Greetings and Salutations!

Yes. Yes. I know I promised an update each month. Unfortunately, last month was here and gone before I knew it. So I am going to squeeze in last month’s update with this month’s update.

April

Life has a fun way of throwing curve balls at you when you least expect it. You can either take these curveballs and cry, laugh, or find some means in between with the hope that the next day will be better. As I struggle to get back into my writing, many days I stare into space wishing the stories would show themselves as the did in the past. It seems that while my love of writing is still there, the struggle is harder thanks to a large time away. These days I am lucky to get one or two paragraphs in before I have nothing else to add.

A while back I had to set aside my love of reading to focus on the reality that was/is my life and the responsibilities it holds. I believe it is time to pull those old favorites back out and delve back in to the many adventures I loved over the years. In this, perhaps, if I’m lucky my ability to watch stories unfold and new characters reveal themselves to me will return.

While I delve back into my beloved adventures, I will be continuing to work at prepping An Unexpected Adventure for it’s relaunch. We are working at providing a pronunciation and definitions page for those hard to pronounce names and words that are scattered throughout the story. We are also working hard at drawing up a map of Katina’s world and adding some illustrations so the readers can get a better feel for her travels. While my team is working on those, I am working on revising Katina’s story; cleaning up rough area’s, clarifying others, and the most fun of all, at the request of a loyal reader, adding a bit more to her story (More on that in the coming months!).

There are few things I am doing differently in this relaunch and one is to focus more on marketing. This is not one of my strong suits, but I am will to take up this challenge mostly for the joy of seeing/hearing someone enjoy a good story. So, in an effort to understand marketing I am studying up and trying not to fry my brain with facts and figures. Let’s hope next month my brain is still intact. Until next time!

May

What in the world happened to April! One minute it’s the beginning of the month and the next its May? Some type of time anomaly must have occurred. Oh wait, nope it’s just life getting in the way of the fun stuff again. Ugh!!

Anyway, my brain is not mush. Yay! I still don’t understand much about marketing, but I’m getting a little closer. The map and illustrations are coming along slowly. I hope to have something to share next month on that. My revisions are also coming along slowly, but I will be launching the e-book version of An Unexpected Adventure soon and, if all goes well, the print copies will be made available shortly thereafter. The print copy will be the only version that has the added features. If you sign up for your free e-book and leave a review on Amazon, you will receive a discount coupon for the printed version. If you would like to sign up for a free copy of the e-book please subscribe to my email list. Restrictions do apply so please be sure to read the requirements listed to be able to receive your free copy.

The launch date for both the e-book and hard copy of An Unexpected Adventure will be posted soon. So watch for that announcement.

I have begun delving back into reading to cue up those creative juices. I struggled with what book or series to start those creative gears turning again. I bounced between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, two writers whose stories I really love to read. I also bounced around the idea of reading the new series of books, The Elminster Series, my family got me and the MythAdventures which I love as well. There are so many stories and beloved characters! It has been so hard to choose where to start. After much thought, I decided on the Icewind Dale Trilogy. These are easy reads for me with exciting adventures, fun friendships, heartwarming characters, and questionable villians. I will share my thoughts on revisiting these tales next month.

Until then, may all your adventures be full of wonder.

Building Memories

Hello everyone!

You are probably wondering why you haven’t seen or heard anything from me. Then again, perhaps you aren’t. It is no secret that my online presence is scarce. This is because I have always felt that my first responsibility is to my family, friends, acquaintances, and work. I feel it is far more important to cultivate in person relations over the impersonal feel of texting or social media platforms. It is far to easy for misunderstandings to happen through impersonal contact.

That said, I also recognize the importance of keeping in touch with those who support my writing through means they prefer. For this, I am truly sorry for not keeping all my supporters up to date. I hope and pray you will forgive my lapse.

Now, for the update. Since I last posted, the doctors found two masses in my body. One of which we found out later turned out to be cancerous. Thankfully, the doc was able to remove it completely and now I must go in for regular checkups to be sure it doesn’t come back. During the long drawn out wait, from the time the masses were discovered and the time they removed the one that caused concern, all I could think about was spending as much time with my family as I could. Wondering what they would do if I was no longer around.

When I was told the mass was indeed cancerous. My thought process changed. My thoughts went back to my father and when he told me he had cancer. He said what he wanted most was to build lasting memories with his loved ones so they would have something to hold on to when he was gone. This got me to thinking that I would like to do the same. Thus began the many brainstorming sessions I had with myself and my family.

We have many things in the works. One of which is the relaunching of An Unexpected Adventure, which will (God willing) be followed by several other books in a series of books that have been waiting for their turn to shine. My kids are working their artistic fingers to the bone to come up with some good illustrations, one of which I will choose for the new cover for An Unexpected Adventure. Watch for the unveiling!

Mid-February I finished the book publishing course I was enrolled in. There is so much involved in the publishing world that it makes my head spin! I am also studying graphic design and marketing (Again so much to it that it makes my head spin!) so I can have a successful book launch. The goal: to launch sometime this year with consecutive launches for the other books over the next couple of years.

I will be posting monthly updates on our progress. I hope you will continue to support not only me but also my family with prayers and encouragement as we continue this crazy adventure of truly understanding the publishing world and what it takes takes for all of us poor introverts to succeed in our memory building goals.

Many blessings to all my current and future supporters!

Watch for my next update in April!

Rambling Thoughts

It has been a while since I posted anything. So many things have happened the last few months. So many changes and different directions being taken. I myself have been immersed in being a grandmother. Watching my granddaughter grow, develop and change has been amazing. I now remember why my house was always a mess despite my best efforts when my kids were little. Phew! This kid can make the biggest mess in the shortest amount of time. This young grandma has trouble keeping up with her sometimes.

Currently I find myself drawn to merely watching her as she makes new discoveries. I love watching the gears in her head turn. Her needs are so simple. Now I am seeing signs of something quite interesting. While her simple needs are met and she is usually happy with this, there are times when even though she has everything she needs she still gets so upset and gets frustrated when she can’t get us to understand what she wants.

How often do we find ourselves doing the same thing? Even though our simple needs are met we crave more. We try to get others to understand what we are looking for but, because we each have a different idea of what would make a person content we do not always understand what the other is saying. This often leads to so many misunderstandings, hurt feelings, anger and possibly even lashing out.

I do not know what the solution is to this. This post is merely the ramblings of a doting grandmother. While I do not know the solution, I can share what what I do know. Through all the years I have lived; I have gone through my fair share of hardships, selfish thoughts and actions, and then putting self aside to serve others. What I found that helps me be content with my family, my surroundings, my co-workers, my friends and acquaintances despite what is going on around me… is my faith. I can’t explain it and I won’t even try. A person’s faith is…. personal. It is something that is solely between the two beings involved. To me it is the very essence of ones relationship with the world’s creator and savior.

I wish there was a way to snap my fingers and make it to where everyone is able to find contentment quickly and easily, but alas that is not something I can do. Each person must find their own contentment. I can not force it on them. That road is rarely an easy one. A person must discover who they are or aren’t and what they especially believe in. Some people go their whole lives unable to find any form of contentment. This concept saddens my heart.

I think Paul said it best in his letter to the saints in Ephesus, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”

I pray that you, who are reading these rambling thoughts from a doting grandmother, can find the contentment that Paul found and that I too have found.

Tough Times

One of the hardest things to do is step back and trust God to take care of things without our personal involvement. I have had to learn this over and over. Each time He patiently teaches me this lesson. I’m sure every time I revisit it, the Good Lord is up there shaking his head saying, “Okay. If you need to learn this again then here we go.”

As I am watching everything that is happening in this country, it is hard not to put my two cents worth in. Then I think, “Why do I need to do that? Does anyone really care about my thoughts or opinions?” Nope. Folks are often to busy worrying about their own thoughts and opinions. So I have to consciously sit back and say, “I know you’ve got this Lord.”

It is hard though. Especially when I see my kids suffering because of bad decisions on someone else’s part. Again, I have to consciously sit back and say, “I know you’ve got this Lord.”

Recently, I have had two people that I am fond of get Covid. One has ended up in the hospital. I find myself gritting my teeth and saying, “You got this Lord?” His response. I get a text from my brother;

“Hey, Sis! Whatcha doing Columbus day weekend?”

“I don’t know. Why?”

Then my brother proceeds to tell me that he is going to be ordained as a pastor that Sunday and that as his first pastoral act he would like to full fill his promise of baptizing my youngest daughter.

Yup. I’m pretty sure God’s got this despite all the craziness that surrounds us right now.

Thank you, Lord.

Squirrelly Blood Pressure

Have you ever sat and watched a squirrel? They are fascinating. From what I have seen they rarely stay in one place very long; bouncing here and there, running from one place to the next, they are simply going going going. That is the way my blood pressure was a couple of months ago. It would go high, then low, then high, then somewhere in the middle, then high again. It was crazy and I felt absolutely terrible. Of course it would have to happen when the Covid19 crisis had just swung into full gear. Doctors weren’t letting patients come in. Everyone was being told to stay home. What was I to do?

My sweet worried husband got me in to be seen with a wonderful doctor who was kind enough to give us the green light to come in. So into the doctors office I go. It was almost like walking into a well regulated ghost town. Never had I seen it so quite in those facilities. The staff was there, of course, and few patients could be seen here or there but the usually bustling building was eerily quiet.

Fast forwarding a month, the medication the doctor prescribed me was wonderful. It took two weeks for my blood pressure numbers to stabilize, but once they did the numbers quit bouncing around all over the place and finally settled down into a nice steady regular set. Unfortunately, while the medication did what it was suppose to do, right from the beginning I developed a most annoying side effect… a dry cough.

Now, normally this wouldn’t bother me. However, when one of the main symptoms of Covid19 is a dry cough it proves to be quite bothersome. The looks I would get when I had to get out to take care of business were not nice ones and yes, I wore a mask. People were not so nice to anyone who had a little cough and understandably so, but still…. come on!

I was very happy when the doctor changed my prescription to something else, but it had its own side effects that my body just wanted to try out it seems. Whew! That was quite the roller coaster the new medication put me on. While it is stabilizing a bit now I don’t think I will lose all the side effects the new medication has to offer.

I do appreciate the medication and its control it has over my squirrelly blood pressure, my hope is to one day rid myself of it. Who has time for twirling beds, nausea, and swollen ankles. Not this gal! I’ve stories to write, hiking to do, and dragons to chase down.

Until next time…

Welcome to my new website!

Hello hello! Its been quite a while since I’ve done blog posts. I remember when I first started trying to build an online presence. I did so through blogging. However, I never really knew what to blog about. So my blog posts ended up being ramblings from the mind of a person who was dealing with sleep deprivation brought on by child rearing, stress, and the desire to write, write, and write some more. Needless to say my blogging never took off.

Then, upon finishing up my first book “An Unexpected Adventure” and publishing it, I needed a website to help promote it. Thus my next attempt at building an online presence began. I built a website with descriptions of myself and my newly printed book as well as a link to purchase it. As time went on I added testimonials from folks who read “An Unexpected Adventure” and a sneak peak into the first few chapters in the hopes of enticing others to try it out. It was a lovely site, but got very little traffic.

Eventually, I caved and started a Facebook page. Once again, I am faced with what am I going to post? Am I going to post every day? Most importantly, why am I doing this? I never did find a good answer to these questions. Facebook to me is psychologically disturbing. Yes, a person can try to offset the negative with positive but ultimately, what is it doing to one psychologically. In my case, it turned me into a mess. So while I do have a Facebook page, I rarely post to it and I try to avoid Facebook as much as possible. It’s crazy, I know. Unfortunately, this is how I am.

Which brings me to now. Here I am, once again, building a website. My previous one has disappeared due to some dissatisfaction with my previous hosting service. I am back to square one with the same questions as before with the most important question being, “Why have a website at all? What is its purpose?”

Over the next few weeks, as I work to rebuild, I hope to discover an answer to these questions. In the meantime, WELCOME! I am so happy you are interested in me and my stories. I hope to see you many more times in the future.

Until next time, may the dragons you encounter be ones of wisdom of kindness…