Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's THAT Time of Year Again

Yes, yes it is.  You all know what I'm talking about.

Time to change the calendars and psych ourselves up for remembering to write 2015 instead of 2014.

Time to rethink life habits and either set goals or resolutions for the upcoming year.  Many of these are the same year after year, not necessarily because we've failed but because we want to do better.

Time to look back and reflect on the past year: everything we've accomplished; everything we've lost; everything we've gained; the good, the bad, and the ugly.  And time to look forward into out hopes and dreams, even if the only hope we have is for the next year to be better than the one ending.  (This is why January is named after the god Janus; he had two faces - one looking forward, one looking back and was the god of gateways.)

Judging by some of the statuses I've seen on Facebook, a lot of us have had a rough time of it in 2014 and are not sad to see it go.  Divorces and deaths balances out the births and the other good things that happened I guess; although it honestly doesn't feel like it sometimes, does it?  But the best we can do is exactly that, our best.  Weather the worst life has to throw at us and treasure the good.

My own year was full of ups and downs, just like everyone else's.  Was it a good year or a bad year?  I don't really know if I'd say it was either way.  I know that it's ending happier than it began, and for that much I am grateful.

I am like everyone else, thinking about what changes I can make in the new year to make my life better.  Some things I have no choice about.  Like tightening up on my diet in order to better control my diabetes and lose weight.  A few months ago while I was off work, my blood sugar went all wonky and the Endocrinologist put me on a second medicine.  I was not happy about that, and it bummer me out for a few days.  Especially since I have to pay $60 for it even though it's covered by my health insurance.  But the foot doctor returned me back to work for 4 hours a day even though the tear in my tendon has not healed and he's decided that surgery is the next step.  Those few hours were enough to start my blood sugars evening out, even though my foot doesn't like it one bit.

The surgery isn't scheduled yet, but will be near the end of January or the beginning of February.  It all depends on when my husband will be able to go back to work.  He's been off because he tweaked something in his shoulder.  He now knows exactly how the cortisone shots to my foot feel as he's had one now.  Thankfully, it seems to be helping him more than they did me.

Although I have not seen stellar sales for Ring of Fire, which is 99cents for the next three days, it has been released and I have sold a few.  I'm a little nervous as I await those customer reviews as the second book isn't like the first one, even though it's the same characters.  Our characters were changed by the events surrounding Angela's kidnapping in the first novel, so it was logical to change the feel of their world.  We get to see more of Craig's family, even meet his imprisoned brother.  So of course, one of my goals for the new year is to sell more books (as always) and finish/release the third one in the series.

And of course, the best way to increase my reader base, is to be smarter on social media.  I've been very lackadaisical about it.  I don't Tweet enough, even though I like Twitter.  And I don't get on Google+ enough either, even though I like it better than Facebook.  So I do have to come up with some kind of strategy for my favorite outlets.  I know I need to write out some kind of blog posting schedule and plan, for both this blog and Broads of a Feather.  I may post only every other week, but my posts have been getting later and later each week!  I don't feel too bad because my partner has been having the same problem.

So far all I've done is think about it, and I really need to start writing things down.  It will be more 'real' that way and I'll be able to hold myself more accountable.  I've been thinking about doing an email list, but I haven't made my mind up yet.  Would any of you be interesting in receiving periodic emails from me, letting you know when I've updated my blog and updates on books?

I also have some research to be doing.  I need to read up on writing non-fiction and biographies.  I should be able to figure it out, after all I'm a smart enough girl when it comes to the written world.  I'm no Stephen King (yet) but I'm not exactly a hack either!

Whatever your plans are for ringing in the New Year. be safe and have fun!  We want to be able to hang out together in the future!  There is still so much left for us to do!

even past the bend

2014 ~ Soon to be a distant memory...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

It's a Busy Time

My poor car...some of that deer hair is still in that crack...
I have been on the busy side since I last posted.  Honest.  I'm not always sure what I was doing, but I was doing something.

First, we hit a deer with my car,  That always adds excitement to our lives.  We had just left my in-laws and were going to run some errands when a deer comes flying out of the woods.  Turns out a hunter was coming down the mountain on his four-wheeler and most likely spooked the deer.  And let me tell you, those John Deere commercials aren't kidding when they say "Nothing runs like a deer."

There's about $2000 dollars worth of damage to the car.  It could have been worse.  When we pulled over and checked the damage, we could hear a hissing noise and thought for sure our radiator had been punctured...that would have been all bad.  Instead the grill hit the air conditioning unit, which since it is winter, isn't an immediate problem.

Snow adds its own element to life...
And yes, winter is coming in with a roar.  Even though winter doesn't start until December 21 (or 1st if you go by the meteorological calendar) we had our first decent snow the day before Thanksgiving.  While we didn't get as much as the Buffalo area did the week before, my area did receive more snow that originally forecasted.  But then it was a storm known as a nor'easter, which means anything can happen.  They're difficult to predict.  So our few inches turned into almost a foot, over in some places.

I accompanied my husband to his physical therapy that day, and it was only just started when we left.  Since we were already out, we decided to run a few errands before going home.  Big mistake.  Once we were done, my hubby was tired of dealing with town traffic and decided to take a short cut around.  It would have been alright if we hadn't met an oncoming car when and where we did.  Both of us moved over trying to make sure the other vehicle had enough room, and the road on our side was too steep and we slid right off and over a bank.  So our pretty truck has a boo-boo too.  :(

And they're predicting another big storm for next week.  Oh yay.

Somewhere in the midst of that, I was able to finish the proofing of my second novel and release it for publication.  I released the Kindle version first, then changed some formatting for the paperback version...and while I was working on the needed online proofing for that...I discovered and embarrassing mistake in the chapter numbering...it went from 38 to 40!!!  Oops!  So I changed that and uploaded a new file for Kindle.  But not until after 4 people had bought it :/

work - not for the faint of heart lol
And then - yes there's more - I returned to work part time this week.  Only four hours a day.  It's been interesting.  I had won a job bid shortly before I was put on medical leave, and since my supervisor hasn't gotten back to me, I'm going to guess that I lost it.  But they haven't put me back on my old job either.  One day I was sent to pick meat...which is exactly what it sounds like.  I stood at a conveyor belt and picked out three different types of meat and put them in bins.  The next  I got stuck doing dry ice.  Walked from one side of the room scooping dry ice into bins of meat as I went, then walked back to turn around and start all over.  And of course, no matter how hard I tried, I managed to get some whiffs of the dangerous fumes.  I haven't breathed right since.  I'd like to blame my current cold or whatever it is on going back to working in 40 degree F weather, but I was already battling something before I started back,  I can't seem to shake this soar throat.

My foot isn't liking it.  But I'm able to tolerate the increase in pain so far.  It hasn't skyrocketed all the way back to what it used to be.  So that much is good; it must mean the tear has mended somewhat.  I have another week before I see the doctor again, but I might call him just to give him a mid-appointment update.  Maybe on Monday.  Maybe it'll even out.  But if he thinks I'm still headed for surgery, I think I ought to tell him we'd best be getting it done before the end of the year when the insurance deductions reset.

Next week, I have three days I have to be in the Valley for doctor's appointments.  One for mom, and two for me.  One is a regular check up for my diabetes and thyroid.  The other one is with the Ear, Nose, Throat doctor to find out what is going on with my sore throat.  Mom's is with the kidney specialist, routine checkup stuff.  My Mom has stage three kidney disease, but at the least it's holding at that stage and not getting any worse.

I plan on enjoying the rest of my weekend by hanging with my hubby and maybe puttering with my third novel.  It can be hard to write with him home, especially if he's on the Xbox because he can be loud.  Sometimes I'll take the laptop into the bedroom, but sometimes I like being with him and just sit there and do something else.  Like write this blog.  Mildly easier, but I've been working on it for a few days.  Any typos are completely his fault ;)

Everyone have a good weekend.  :)

2014 - Winding down with a bang