Also, This Week’s Update

About my week…

So, I figure doing two different posts for Father’s Day would be best, so this is the actual update.  Sunday I thought I had allergies, but Monday I figured out quickly that I actually had a cold.  Colds suck.  They sound so simple, but they suck so much!  So, needless to say, I barely got anything done besides work and rest.

I did, however, finish Stacie Marie Brown‘s Fire in the Darkness, book two of her Darkness series.  It is addictive, and sad, and made me gasp in places.  It is New Adult, I believe, because it does have one sex scene, but it’s still a very good read, and I will be getting the next book tonight.  And Audible narration?  A life saver.  I don’t like to use it, but when your dog wants to play, or you need to cook, but you’ve just gotten to a good part?  Life saver.

So, if you read my last post about my Father’s Day Adventure, you know that I spent the day at Cumberland Falls in Corbin, Kentucky.  Here’s some pictures and videos, and make sure that if you ever pass through Kentucky that you come and see it!

Oh, and the job interview?  Didn’t get the job.  Oh well, on to the next one.

About my writing…

Needless to say, I barely got any writing done this week, which puts me about 10,000 words behind.  I did, however, finish chapter three, finally, and have started on chapter four pretty strong.  Since this chapter should require less research, I’m hoping it will fly by.

Even though I am way behind on my word count, I am very happy with how everything else has turned out so far.  My three chapters are all at over 3,000 words, which thrills me.  I’m even having to bump scenes to the next chapter, which helps make sure the next chapter will make count.

Also, I’ve started seriously looking at cover photos, and I think I’ve decided on the one for Dragon’s Flame.  The problem is that she’s a brunette, but it’s so perfect that it looks like Riley is going brunette.  It works though, cause Rose’s cover photo, which I picked out before I even invented her cause it’s such an awesome pic, features a dirty blond, so Rose is now a blond.  The other problem is that there’s fog, which will interfere with the picture that will be involved, so hopefully I’ll be able to cut it all out correctly!

SOTD Teaser

I kept my emotions contained until I reached Erent’s room and shut the door. The I proceeded to release my anger in an immature, but non-destructive fashion. I punched the mattress, screamed into the pillows, and paced back and forth, mumbling to myself. Finally I exhausted myself and I sat on the bed. I knew Rose wasn’t home anymore. During my fit I had seen her car drive off, so I knew it was safe to go downstairs. But now that I had calmed down, I was embarrassed by my behavior; I was too old for temper tantrums like that. So I stayed upstairs and entertained myself with movies and social media.

Erent came by a couple of times to check on me, knocking on the door. I ignored him, not ready to talk about what happened. The second time he knocked, he let know they were leaving for the night, just like the night before. My eyes flew to the clock, surprised by how late it was. I stayed silent, and waited for their SUV to leave, just like last night.

I watched their headlights disappeared, then I opened my door. I went downstairs and poked around in the kitchen, thankful to find leftovers from the pizza they had bought for dinner. I ate two slices as I went out the front door to my car. I unlocked it, then took the boxes and packing tape out and brought them inside. I took the immediate right into the hallway, but I passed the doors to Carl’s room and the basement, and headed straight to the one room I hadn’t touched-my dad’s.

Happy Father’s Day!

So, first off, Happy Father’s Day!  I am a daddy’s girl, so this is an important day for me, so I spent it with my dad and two of my sisters on an adventure to Cumberland Falls in Corbin, Kentucky!  This location is important, because not only is Corbin my dad’s birth place, Cumberland Falls is where he collects all his information for his work in biology journals on green salamanders!

My dad is an almost retired biology professor at Eastern Kentucky University.  He has his Doctorate in Herpetology, which is the study of reptiles and amphibians, but his true love is the green salamanders at Cumberland Falls.  He does NOT collect them, or disturb their nature environment.  He observes them, takes notes and pictures, and he does this every couple of weeks year round.

He has always been very encouraging when it comes to his daughters and science.  My dad never hesitated to say no when we wanted to come on his hikes with him, or when we would want to experiment in his lab (under supervision and with limited supplies, of course).

Here he is, in his true element, teaching.

Green Salamander

An unexpected Seal Salamander

This has been a busy week…

About my week…

So, as the title suggests, this week has been busy!  I believe by now you all have a pretty good understanding of what I’m dealing with on a weekly basis (work, family, etc.), but I’ve had increasing overtime come up at work, I got rid of volleyball, but I still have husband’s softball to spend energy on, or more specifically a 55 pound pit bull/boxer mix to hold back.  She slowly gets better each week, but a two year old puppy is still a two year old puppy.  The real problem is that she’s mouthy, which is a boxer trait, and it wouldn’t be a huge deal except that her puppy play bites have pit bull jaw muscles behind them, which makes a play bite seem not so playful to the receiver, or their parents.  She doesn’t understand that what she considers play can hurt people, and that’s been our real difficulty.  Can I get an “amen”?

I also had a job interview this week that, in my opinion, went incredibly well, so I am really hoping to get a call this week.  Fast food is not meant to be a life long job, but with everyone wanting job experience, but not wanting to let someone earn some, or they want a degree that I don’t have because it’s still in process, there aren’t many other choices out there.

About my writing…

So, at this point I am five thousand words behind.  I knew I was going to end up behind, but I hate that it’s gotten this bad.  Some scenes have been more difficult than planned, but they’re scenes that shouldn’t be hard, because they’re not emotional, or painful, but then again they are delicate.  It’s something I’m discovering about writing, that even easy scenes are not always easy.

I have also been planning on how to handle the actual publishing itself.  Not the way I’m publishing-it will still be independently through Create Space and Ebook, but I keep hearing about covers and formatting, things some people are convinced will or will not sell.  I keep thinking maybe I should spend that $300 I don’t have, but then I read books by authors who don’t use special formatting, and I don’t even notice.  Now, covers I get, and while making my own covers started as an attempt to save $100 dollars, I have found I really kind of enjoy it.  I love that I can create something like that and I get to keep my rights to it as well.  And while my early covers are not the best, I am excited about continuing to learn and grow and get better.

What about you?  Do you notice the difference better professional formatting and normal?  Did you even know there was a difference?  Do you think that it affects your reading experience?

SOTD Teaser

As everyone filed in, filled their plates, and sat down, I noticed that Rose took one of the seats furthest from me. I guess she was still bitter. Erent, of course, took the seat right next to me. I tried to excuse his clinginess as him trying to be a gentleman. I mean, he was the one who had been sent to talk to me, and had failed at convincing me to stay home.  Maybe he was just making sure I was comfortable, if only to schmooze me into selling them the house. He was definitely easy on the eyes, and under different circumstances I would be happy to flirt a little, but not was not the time or the place, not when there were to many secrets still left to discover.

We ate in silence until Erent broke it. “So, Riley, what did you think of everything?”

“Well, I was impressed by all of it,” I praised, and I was being honest. All I could do was a little fancy knife and stake work; these guys used real weapons, real moves that weren’t used in a self-defense class or learned off of YouTube. “It makes me want to know where I can sign up for classes.”

Erent chuckled while Carl groaned and said, “This was what I was worried about!”

“Well, that would be difficult anyway, because most of this wasn’t learned in a class room,” Erent explained. “Katherine spent a couple hundred years traveling the world and learned most of these moves along the way. Carl taught us a few, along with taking shooting lessons, and your mom and dad helped. Victor taught me how to use the axe himself.”

“Carl’s family has been dealing with the paranormal for generations,” Katherine continued. “He and Victor went to school together, and in high school, when Carl was starting to learn the “family trade”, your dad couldn’t be kept away.”

“We joined after he and Esther met in college and they had made their way back here,” Rose piped in. “She and Katherine were my inspiration.”

It was so weird to hear this secret history of my parents. To remember my sweet, soft-spoken mom, and the relaxed, affectionate jester my dad had been before she had died, and to realize they had been talented killers.

“Oh my gosh, do you remember when we had followed those weres to that playground?” Rose asked.

“Yes! It was a few months after they had found out they were having you, Riley, and Victor made this comment right before we went in…”

“’Oh great, now I’ll have to worry about bullies and beasts when I take my daughter to the park!’” Katherine giggled.

Suddenly everyone was sharing their favorite memories of my parents, and I kept quiet, trying to let them have their moment. But slowly the conversation became more and more about Dad, and the bitterness I had been trying to hold back kept getting stronger and stronger.

Starting June a Little Behind…

About my week…

This week has been a long one.  There were a couple days that I didn’t even have a chance to write at all!  My full-time job, husband, and my always energetic puppy keep me very busy.  We had a volleyball double header as well as a softball double header, which I brought the Grems to, and that by itself is an adventure!

Like during softball, I always thought Gremlin was getting upset by her daddy being in the field because she missed him.  Friday, I discovered that she just really wanted the ball!  She didn’t care one bit whether husband was on the field or not!  There were less kids this time, so we got to sit in the bleachers, and she’d follow the ball to the pitcher, then to the batter, then she would try to chase it out in the field, but she was on a leash, so she would just yank me around instead!  Oh, but she was tired when we got home!

I was too, and ended up taking a three and a half hour nap Saturday!

Ugh, I feel like there was more I wanted to write this week, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it is.

About my writing…

So, Dragon’s Flame should be at 11, 550 words.  It is only at 9,495 words today.  I knew I was probably going to get behind, but I had hoped it wouldn’t be this soon, or by this much.  And since this scene is going to require research, I probably won’t be able to get caught up this week.  It’s a little disheartening, but the story itself is going so well, I’m very excited about how it’s going to end up.

I am also being plagued with another story idea.  It’s one based on a popular myth, the story of King Arthur and Camelot, but with a modern twist.  It’s probably because I’ve been watching  the Merlin series on Netflix again.  It’s not something I would write until both of my current series were finished, so maybe by then I would feel more confident in my abilities to do such a story justice, but I’m terrified of toying with something with such a diverse and complicated background.

I am also kind of depressed by the lack of reviews I have/don’t have for my books.  I know people are reading them, or at least turning the pages, because I’ve been receiving stats on Kindle Unlimited.  I’m not even receiving bad reviews, just no reviews at all.  I have no idea if anyone liked Taken as much as I did, if I should continue writing at all, if I’m good, or if I’m bad.  Reviews are how you get noticed on Amazon, so they are very important, and I hate resorting to begging, but that’s not working either.  I have advertised that I’ll give out free copies to any one who will guarantee a review, but no takers.  I’ve read articles, listened to podcasts, and nothing.

SOTD Teaser

Sorry, almost forgot!  And I noticed I didn’t get one put one last week’s due to being out and about, so here’s a little longer one to make up for it!

I passed over the computer desk to study the massive collection of books. They seemed to be organized by topic, then author, and each book was marked with a removable tag with numbers similar to the Dewey Decimal System. Some were journals, some history books, and some looked so old I was afraid to pull them off their shelf to look inside. The only books I saw that looked modern were small, independent books that looked like works of fiction. Considering my earlier conversation with Katherine, maybe they only appeared that way. Resisting the temptation to grab one and give away my investigation, I walked away from the books and back to the computer.

It was surprisingly easy to break into. My dad’s account had not been deleted, and after only a couple tries I was able to crack it open using my name and birth date. Most of the items on the Desktop were folders, and I wasn’t sure I had time to search through them all. I had prepared for this, and I pulled out the jump drive I had brought with me, sticking it into one of the USB ports and copying everything I could onto it. The hard part was the waiting, hoping for all of it to download before they got home. Luckily, they had only been gone a couple hours, so I was sure I had plenty of time.

It took about two hours to get everything I knew I wanted onto the drive. I spent the time reading one of the indie books I had noticed earlier. This one was fictional, but it had a storyline about demons and fae, and I got sucked in quickly. Once I realized the drive had finished, I pulled it out and logged out the the account, then shut the computer down, leaving it as I had found it. I took one last look around the room, to make sure it looked exactly the same as when I had entered. Then I went upstairs to examine my plunder.