A Quiet Return


It has been far too long since I last posted anything that was not a reblog.  We are talking months, if not a year at the very least for original content from me on this little corner of the internet.  For that, I am very sorry for so much silence.

silence-telling

There is a good reason for so much silence.  For the last two years, I have given my time to earning my degree.  It has been rough and very little of it has been easy, but it has definitely been well worth it.  So many papers and projects filled my head driving out most of my writing desire that didn’t pertain to that subject of the month.

I will be returning to writing, especially my novels in waiting and the resubmit of Black Friday for relaunch.  First things first, though, I have to see how my work schedule will be once my externship is done at the end of the month.

For those in the know, my Wal-Mart was one of the six that was closed in April of this year.  In my store, there really were massive plumbing issues which required the store to be closed so they could fix them.  What few did know was how badly it really was.

keep-closed

Here is what I know about that subject.  My store (located at Admiral and Memorial in Tulsa, OK) was built on the side of a hill.  Not a very intelligent idea in my opinion and, more than likely, contributed to the issues.  Inspections showed completely clogged pipes, pipes that were too small, and in places caved in or crushed.  Actual digging found worse and as they did repairs, more breakage occurred.  At this time, it is a hot mess inside that building while they work hard on getting everything back to code and ready for us to come back and open the store.

Speaking of opening the store, the earliest projection is around Halloween.  I cannot wait.  That store is where I belong for now and I miss it.  Where I am now (21st and Yale) is nice and is busy even for a Neighborhood Market, but it isn’t the same.  The busiest days are slow compared to what I’ve seen since 2008.  Also, there isn’t room for advancement.  But, returning to my old store will give that opportunity.  Maybe not immediately, but it will be there.  I am ready to step up and put all I have learned and experienced since 1992 to use so it can be fine tuned and ready for my own business when more important issues are properly handled and put away.

Sometime, just after I am back at Admiral, I’ll have probably one of the biggest accomplishments of my life happening.  November 20th, at 6:30 PM, I will be receiving my Associate degree in Business Administration.  I am ready for this moment.woman-door

For now, I am going to work my way through this month with the Tulsa chapter of SCORE.  There are a lot of workshops to attend and learn from as well as some work around the office they’ll have me do.  Not a lot of room for writing or even drawing this month alone, but I am sure I’ll figure something out on the days when I won’t have quite so much to do.

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Happy New Year…


More to celebrate coming soon.  :D

In with the old, out with the new!  Err… wait a minute… In with the new, out with the old!  Yeah.  Yeah!  That’s it.

Anyway, I haven’t posted much of anything during 2014.  It has been a year of trials and tests and all of them college related.  But, as of midnight, I have 10 months left until I graduate.  This is the biggest accomplishment I’ve done this year.

All those goals I set last year never came to be.  Any attempt at writing just went sour and I fell deeper and deeper into a funk which still hangs over me.  The good part is I am back on my normal medication with proper doctor care.  Still stressed and overwhelmed with everything but I push through on those things I can.  This means my drawing and writing are suffering, but the 3.8 GPA is well worth it.

The re-release of Black Friday book 1 is on hold as is writing Black Friday 2.  Test of Ascension is beginning to creep into my mind as well as a revision on a naughty Christmas tale I did for NaNo 2013 which would smooth out the story and make it more fun and, well, naughty.  Way of the Comet is starting to smolder in my brain once again, so who knows how much will get done before it dies out again.  One section, I am sure for now, will be completely removed before I resume writing.  As for the short story compilation, ideas are whirling around in my head which makes it hard to decide what to write let alone continue one of the stories which had to be set aside a while back.

There is where I get overwhelmed.  So much that is starting to come back and I am at a loss of what to do first.  Yeah.

As for school, I am doing well.  January will be Marketing and Advertising.  This is a subject I want to learn more about and put some to use for my writing and art until I can get my restaurant open.  I just finished Word Processing 1.  (yawn)  Sleeper course to me because there was little I didn’t know about MS Word.  Future classes of Word Processing may be more challenging, but that one was barely worth crawling out of bed for at best.  It was the easiest A I ever made.

That was my year.  The studying made the lack of writing and drawing worth it so it evened out.  Just think, soon, I will have a degree in business and my own business to manage and see flourish.

Will 2015 see more posts and and writing?  I don’t know, but, I do intend on trying.

Happy New Year Everyone!

fireworks1

#writemotivation August Wrap-up and September Goals


The last week and a half has been crazy.  Between trying to find out what is going on with my pay checks and making sure Colin behaves in school, I’m lucky to have a few minutes to breathe.

I’ve had time to write, to be honest, but I have not been able to focus on writing very much.  I can sit here at my desk and open the file to resume the story and that’s as far as it gets.  My concentration is next to nil.  There is so much on my mind, the character’s aren’t heard clearly, if at all.  That’s why I’ve been more editing what I have now to get to know the story and the characters better before putting them through a blizzard deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.

Really, it is worrisome when you haven’t written any business when you are living on commission.  Thankfully, I’ll have something tomorrow, one way or another, even if it won’t get me near bonus.  Cross your fingers, I’ll have more to write before the end of next week.

With all of this weighing heavily on my mind, I have to say that my son, mom, Dave, and the cats have given me much to smile about and keep up a positive attitude.  A few people at work know what’s going on and they are right there helping me keep positive and work harder.  They are even going so far as helping me finesse my presentation and ‘paint the picture’ for our clients to understand the need for life insurance.

I can ‘paint a picture’ with my writing, but when it comes to speaking to strangers, those same words run and hide.  Sad as it sounds, it is very true.  It is also why I am seeking a part-time job as well.

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/

1) Write two chapters to Black Friday 2. (Two chapters a month sound reasonable enough to keep this one around)

I did manage to complete this one.  When I had to stop writing for the night, I thought I had only a partial chapter.  Looking at it now, no more needed to be said.  Definitely completed.

2) Work on Dark Crystal contest submission

I gave up on this one.  I could not come up with anything that could fit within the theme, let alone within the word count required.  I may try a normal fan fic on my own time later.

3) Word on edits/revisions for the last half of SoNL

I did manage to work through one full chapter.  Consider this one done!

4) Keep trying to exercise twice a week

Yes, I have been exercising.  Not quite as much as I should, but this is all a good start.  Those who have met me know I am not in the greatest shape.

5) Work on edits for Black Friday for republication.

Would five chapters be good enough to consider checking this one off?  I did, though I started off seeking out character names and frequency then opened my red pens and made the pages bleed.  >.<

6) Study the craft of writing.

Done, done, done!  Still reading on the craft, too.

7) Get art and items prepared for August Elks Swap in Pryor.

No way I can afford to make it to the Swap and Shop any time soon.  I have to take care of other bills first.  Maybe sometime this winter.

For the month August, I did well.  Only two things could not be completed but nothing says I can’t come back to them later.  I’m of myself for getting this much done with as crazy as this new job is and how much time it hordes.

No one said being an independent contractor would be easy.  *sigh*

Now, for September!

I’m keeping the goals simple.  I need to write as much business as I can so I can pull out of my financial hole and get my medical bills paid off.

1) Keep writing in Black Friday 2 (anything so long as it moves the story)

I’ve managed to get a little bit more written, but mostly I’ve gone back through what I already had to make a few corrections.  I’m also going to add to this editing on Black Friday.

2) Do revisions on SoNL

I’ve done another page.  I’m lucky to have this much done.

3) Keep walking.

Adding more exercise to this one.  Not just walking, which has been increasing little by little, but I’m going to add a short cardio workout a couple times a week.  Nutritionist’s orders!  😀

#writemotivation Mondays


I know I updated just Saturday night.  But, may as well set things up for this last week of August.

As you know, work is kicking my but settling down into a routine which will allow me to get more writing done.  On top of insurance, I’m considering a part-time job to help beef up the day job.

Will a second job cut into my writing time?  No, not really.  I found a work from home sales job that isn’t difficult or requires me to spend a lot of time keeping track of product and sales numbers.

The product is one I can back up.  An old friend of mine from way back is selling the same thing and uses it.  So far, no bad side effects plus she’s done rather well since starting back in April.  The company is legit and back up their product as well.

So, alternative income to consider to help get all my bills caught up and savings building for a real vacation, new vehicle, and a house some day soon.

I won’t re-post my goals in this post.  Nothing has changed except for more reading done on studying the craft.

Once I get this post done, I’m pulling out my copy of Black Friday and an empty journal, then I’m going to go through to gather all the named characters and figure out their relation to my main three (Karina, Nick, and Marcus) and figure out which are my secondaries.  After that, the red pen of death will be coming out to bleed all over those beautiful printed pages and make notes in the rest of the journal.

We’ll see how much more is done come Wednesday.  🙂

With my mornings starting so early thanks to school, I now have a little extra time to sink into a story and write.

How has your month gone so far?

#writemotivation Late Update Week 3


I know this is awesomely late this week.  The way things are looking, I am going to have to keep my lists short until I can balance my new job, writing, and home.  As it sits now, work and home are cutting deep into my writing time.

Selling insurance is not very easy to do.  We have several no cost items to help us get into the door, but once inside, getting people to go through the whole presentation becomes the challenge.  Most just want the no cost stuff (it isn’t free.  Huge difference), and don’t want anything more.  But, I do get several who will allow me to show them what we have to offer to help fill in the gaps in their existing insurance.

Mostly, I need to work on my presentation so I am asking for anyone who lives in NE OK to volunteer to sit through a full presentation.  Who knows, you find what I show worth buying, but there is no pressure to buy.  I only show the need for buying that first policy or getting additional insurance.

If I am to succeed, I have to practice, practice, practice.  Anyone with kids or a mortgage, please, let me practice with you.

Other than work, I have three restaurant reviews to go over.  One is a brand new place right around the corner from my apartment and the other two are very well established.

On to the goal check!

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/

1) Write two chapters to “Black Friday 2″. (Two chapters a month sound reasonable enough to keep this one around)

I have written part of chapter 12.  This one is coming from Nick and Nahana’s POV and what they see while gathering wood in the building storm.  So, YAY, progress!

2) Work on “Dark Crystal” contest submission

Still a no-go on this one.  Barely times for my other WIP, so I’m crossing this off for now.  We’ll see how things look come NaNo time.

3) Word on edits/revisions for the last half of SoNL

I have started on this one.  Only a few paragraphs into the second half of the book.

4) Keep trying to exercise twice a week

There is a lot of walking involved in this job, so, this is a definite yes.  Not to mention, I walk Colin part way, most days, to school.

5) Work on edits for “Black Friday” for republication.

Nothing done on this one, yet.

6) Study the craft of writing.

Been reading up on it this week!

7) Get art and items prepared for August Elks Swap in Pryor.

It’ll be, at the very earliest, November before I can get to an Elk Swap Meet.  Bills come first, then my little hobby items can be stocked up.  I’ll let you know when I have soaps and lotions ready for sale, or sampling.

#writemotivation Week 3 and 4 Update


Adam W. Cooper Class of 2013
Adam W. Cooper Class of 2013

This post is coming extra late.  There is no doubt about it, I flaked on it this week.   But, I don’t regret it.

It wasn’t my normal week this past week.  Last Saturday, mom and I were on the road to Searcy, AR, and enjoyed an overnight stay.  Our reason for being there?  We were picking up my oldest son, Adam, and bringing him home for a visit.  A week vacation was what he needed.

Personally, I needed some time with the child I haven’t seen in over six years.  To say I missed him would have been a huge understatement.  Adam has never left my mind.

Why wasn’t he living with me, you ask?  His grandmother thoughtfully (/sarcasm) took him away after I had Colin and finally got the idea through to his dad, I did not want him around.  Adam could stay, but Rick had to go.  Judy, Adam’s grandmother on his dad’s side, took him away and never encouraged him to keep contact whether by phone, visiting while we were living in town or via letter (email or written).  I had to do all the calling, visiting, and writing.

After I moved, well, that cut everything down to phone calls and chats over gmail talk or whatever.  Not fun.  So, he has very little to connect to me except not being there.

So, a whole week with him was the best thing.  With him being 18, he didn’t have to do what his grandparents said when they automatically tried to shoot down any ideas of him coming to OK with excuses of him needing to work.  They forget, I have a lot of training in management and was working toward a degree in business.  (I will complete those courses one day)  Even related, they can’t make him work without a vacation.  😉

Happy birthday to my baby boy, Colin, for surviving 9 years on this planet.
Happy birthday to my baby boy, Colin, for surviving 9 years on this planet.

Anyway…he enjoyed his time here without worrying about someone invading his privacy or needing him to do whatever chore around the house or office.  While we didn’t do much, it was fun.  Adam’s visit was the best birthday gift he could have received.

Best thing, we could connect.  I’m still mom.  Not Candace or the egg donor.

Due to weather and wanting to get to know my boy again, I didn’t focus on my goals like I should have.  There’s still a few days left for the month, so something will be done.

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/

Goal Check

1) Focus on Black Friday 2. Get at least two chapters written.

I barely even glanced at this one though I did consider what was going to happen next after Takesha’s chapters.  There will be three primary speakers in this book, and probably the POV changing to make them fit better, though this does seem to work so far and gets the ground work started.   The speakers are, Karina (the primary narrator), Takesha (Kartina’s second and apprentice), and Karina’s mother (I’ve forgotten her name but I’ll update as soon as I remember or find it).

Nick and Marcus may contribute, but I’m not sure just yet.  If/when I change the POV, they’ll have more of a focus since they are main support characters in this book.  One or the other need to fill in the period when Karina was knocked out after discovering Mikey, Joe and his sisters.

2) Pass the second half of the State Exam.

Done, done, doooonnnne!

3)  Get at least 10K on a submission for the Dark Crystal prequel for a contest for Dark Crystal.

I’m about to give up on this one.  I have tried several times and I can’t think of anything.  It is such a wonderful contest idea and I draw a blank.  All I can think of is the MC, Jena flittering about in the night finding strange things and encountering the Skeksis while they are doing experiments on other gelfings they’ve ‘invited’ into the Dark Crystal Castle.  That’s all I have and I am unable to expand on that premise to get even 1000 words, let alone 10,000 words.  It’s very frustrating.

4) Exercise twice a week. (I mean it this time!)

This one was easily done.  Lots of swimming and a good bit of walking done last week.

5) Work on revising and editing Black Friday, the original book. 

Well…I haven’t done anything on this one.  I barely cracked open the book to start counting the characters and gauge their importance to the story.

Did do so good on the goals this month.  I know, bad girl.  This is not what a writer does.  A writer writes and tells stories, not stare at blank pages then go play games on Facebook.

Between the stress of starting a new job, the weather, and my eldest visiting, I’ve not done very well at all.  You all have permission to come over and smack my hands for doing so poorly.

#writemotivation Week 2 Update


1714201*hangs head in shame*

I’ve been a bad little writer this week.  I haven’t touched my goals though the few things I have done are working toward two of the goals.  Honest!

Last week was also filled with appointments along with the normal Thursday fun-filled therapy sessions.  Between those and the heat, I felt wiped and not very inspired.

Colin had a visit with the surgeon who stitched up his foot.  There is a lot of what she calls isotropic growth, which means the scars building too much tissue and the oil rubbing isn’t helping as much as it should.  He has been prescribed a compression sock and massage therapy to help break up that excess tissue before it becomes permanent and affects the development of his foot and his walking/running later on.

Dave also had his doctor appointment the same day, after we sat at the place to get Colin fitted for the sock.  His went well.  He has maintained weight since the last visit which is good.  But, he has to talk to his other doctor to get the ball rolling for his gastric surgery and the options he has.

That was Monday.  On Tuesday, I went into the office and filled out the paperwork to get me listed on their payroll and went through a sample presentation.  There is a script I need to learn.  Only three paragraphs, to be honest, and the rest we can adjust to our own wording.  Also went over the rules and fun stuff.  All of that was being done while my laptop downloaded and installed the app which I’ll be using in the field and can customize to the people I’ll be talking with.

hangingaround__awritersfantasycopyWednesday, Colin has his first massage therapy session and we went over everything.  I was given instructions on how to use the stuff they gave us to work on his scars.  It’s barely been a week and we can see improvement already.

Thursday was normal, out all day with the normal therapy.  Friday, I was back at the office, Colin came with me because we had another appointment for him.  I didn’t get the script to go over on Tuesday and I forgot Wednesday until it was too late to catch anyone in the office.  Allison, one of the other agents, helped me out and gave a rough idea of what I’ll be doing over the next two weeks.

Everyone there is so nice and friendly.  They want to help all the newbies so they can succeed.  That vibe is just so strong there, I can’t help but to feel more confident in myself.

Anyway, on to what this post is about.  😀

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/

1) Focus on Black Friday 2. Get at least two chapters written.

Nothing new written, yet.  I’ve backtracked some to gather pertinent information about who the named characters are and when they entered the story.  I’m also making sure I know what the general make up of the current group is so I can keep things balanced when I bring in the next group.  There will be many more, enough to make the resort into a small community with others coming and going, possibly taking some of the group with them.

Where they are now and the need to keep warm will cause some problems eventually.  Fires cause smoke and someone is bound to notice a thin plume of smoke rising, or several plumes, before the weather turns warm.

2) Pass the second half of the State Exam.

Done, done, doooonnnne!

3)  Get at least 10K on a submission for the Dark Crystal prequel for a contest for Dark Crystal.

I haven’t written a single word on this, yet.  *sigh*  I know what I want to write but I just cannot come up with a way to start the stinkin’ story.

4) Exercise twice a week. (I mean it this time!)

So far, yes, this one has been achieved.

5) Work on revising and editing Black Friday, the original book. 

This one is occupying my time.  I am, more or less, rereading the story to make notes of not just the characters and who has a name and who doesn’t, but events that happen.  Some of the timing is off, in my opinion, and needs to be adjusted to feel more realistic.  I also want to make certain scene less obvious since, as they sit now, they aren’t really needed in the story, but other spots could use more attention; such as when the main characters are under attack early on, the first hunt and a bit more life event happening while Karina is raising Nick and the rest of her young.  There’s also other things which need some explaining and making the ‘other side’ have more of a presence instead of the few times they are given.  Really, the bad guys actively try to go after Karina’s people, which is another reason why they are dying out.

Really, if anyone has read the book, the final fight scene is just pure drivel.  It needs to be redone in a huge way.  I’ll excerpt that chapter out to anyone who wants to give it a look and offer advice.

In the work I have done, I can see some of the influences from my favorite and most read authors,  I spotted some Piers Anthony and Jean M. Auel, and even a flicker of Anne McCaffrey.

This week, I have a few posts to make; one book review and two more interviews.  I enjoyed the interview with Hanna Gray Gordon from the NaNo group and it took a while to come up with the questions.  I just may do others.  There’s four different blogs these posts go to, so there’s plenty of people to see them.

I hope your week has gone well!