Short and Sweet

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

Going to be a short post this week, but no less important for the length.

Why is that, you say?

Because it’s a beautiful day outside and I owe it to myself to get out there in it.

And that’s an important part to remember while you’re in the middle of grinding.

Taking the time to get out there and enjoy the world is Never a waste of time. Sometimes it’s THE most important thing that you can do.

And it’s what I’m going to go do right about now…

Don’t forget the sun screen!

See you on Thursday!

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Five-Thing Thursday: August 4th

Welcome, everyone to another Installment of Five Thing Thursday!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: How the heck is it August already? Is it just me, or is this year sailing by?

Thing #2: If I had half of the energy that my dogs do when I let them out after dinner…

Thing #3: You don’t have to do all the things all at once. I need to hear this more, so might be that you do as well.

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: Flame of Olympus by Seven Kingdoms

Thing #5: Adding a bit of color to your day-to-day life is worth the effort.

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What am  I reading this week?

Wit’ch Fire by James Clemens

The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

Yeah, I’ve fallen off the wagon and haven’t been getting as much sleep lately as I should have done. I plan on changing that. And New Zealand men are taking on South Africa – That’s always a good match. With any luck, I’ll find someone who has streamed it somewhere.

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Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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Practice is Where the Play Happens

As happens every now and again, the subject of drafting and editing came up in my channels. The discussion is always a mixed bag of “Eh, it’s ok” and “I don’t mind it” and “Ah, I want to poke my eyes out”

Someone even compared it to practicing the scales (they were a musician) and that got me to thinking.

Me, I love drafting and editing – for different reasons. I love drafting, because the possibilities are endless – even with an outline.

Editing? That’s a chance to further bridge the gap between what was in my head and what’s on the page. It’s also a time to polish and…I was going to use perfect here, but I’m going to use Finish because “Perfect” isn’t something I’m ever going to reach.

Both are opportunities to learn and grow. Drafting can be compared (loosely) to practicing the scales, while Editing can be compared to rehearsing.

In both places (drafting more so than editing–unless you’re willing to really dig into the work) there lies the opportunity to play. To go off in an unexpected direction just to see what’s there.

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it won’t. To be sure, the phrase “What the hell, what if I try this…” has been the site of some truly catastrophic failure, but the seeds of truly Awesome things have been sown in those fields as well.

Practice is important. After all, you have to know what the rules are before you can break them.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

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Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: July 28th.

Welcome, everyone to another Installment of Five Thing Thursday!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: Time is a slippery thing.

Thing #2: “What the hell, what if I try this?” has been the site of some colossal failures, but the seeds of awesome have also been sown in those fields.

Thing #3: It is worth it to take a step outside your comfort zone, every now and then.

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: The Eye of the Storm by Arch Enemy

Thing #5: There are times when I’ll look at my notes for something and have no idea what I’d meant at the time.

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What am  I reading this week?

Wit’ch Fire by James Clemens

The Bloodless Assassin by Celine Jeanjean

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

This week, I’ve been focused on sleep and reading before bed, to establish a bit of a wind-down period. so far, so good.

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Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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Old and New

I know I mentioned this before, but this month, I turned 52. It was during that introspective time, that I started looking at what I was doing with my own time.

I’m always on the lookout for new things to try, but I’m also liable to drop back into the comfort of something I’m already familiar with.

Sometimes this isn’t the best choice – I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to get when I open Twitter, but I still do it. Though I’m making an effort to cut back on that.

Sometimes it’s a great choice. Sometimes you’re in a space where you need to know exactly how things turn out and just enjoy the ride.

And other times, you may find something unexpected – if enough time has gone past.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it here before – though I can’t remember when – I had re-started listening to the audiobook version of “World War Z” by Max Brooks. I was in a zombie place and had listened to it before, but just enough time had passed for me to be a different person and I picked up on something.

Different from the movie, the book is told in a series of interviews from the points of view of many different people all around the world. One particular story came from South Africa, and there was this line in the story there to give a little bit of detail to the character:

“The Springboks were trouncing the All Blacks – again!”

The first time I’d listened to the book, that line went in one ear and out the other.

Between readings (over the space of a year, maybe) I’d started getting really interested in Rugby. When that line came around again, I knew exactly who the Springboks and the All Blacks were.

Even now, several years again since that reading, I can still remember the pleasant shock of recognition. I was driving and I heard that line and the word “Bullshit!” exploded from my lips and I laughed.

(Needless to say, I’m a fan of the New Zealand All Blacks.)

More recently, I’ve started re-listening to The Fellowship of the Ring, and I’m enjoying the experience. I can’t help keeping my memories from the movies running alongside the text, noting what cot cut, or moved. Add in the amount of time that’s gone by since I’ve seen or read either, I’m a different person and am – in a sense – experiencing it again, not quite for the first time, but with a newer set of eyes (which makes almost no sense, seeings how the mileage on my peepers includes TWO changes of prescription).

Now I’m not saying that you need to drop everything and go back and re-read, re-watch, re-play everything. It’s good for there to be a balance between the old and the new. There’s also Risk involved. Some things don’t age well and experiencing them now, may tarnish the memories you’ve got of them.

I won’t go into detail, but the original Ghostbusters is a good example for me.

So keep your eyes ahead for the next new and enjoyable thing (Wheel of Time season 2, anyone?) while leaving room in your pockets for some old and comfortable favorites as you go.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: July 21st.

Welcome, everyone to another Installment of Five Thing Thursday!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: Habits weren’t formed overnight. It’s important to remember that they won’t be broken down in that time.

Thing #2: That shouldn’t keep you from doing the work to make the changes you need to make.

Thing #3: Celebrate even the small victories. Every time

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: Saints of Los Angeles by Motley Crue

Thing #5: Do that thing. Will you make it? You’ll never know unless you give it a shot.

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What am  I reading this week?

The Bared Blade by Kelly McCullough

The Bloodless Assassin by Celine Jeanjean

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

The return to work has hit me pretty hard. I slipped off the sleep pattern (Big surprise, right?) so I’m working on that, looking forward to the weekend. Got it in mind to get some grilling done and, weather permitting, getting a bonfire going.

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Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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Six Month Review – July 2022

I turned 52 this week!

You’ve probably read it before on the Blog, here that it’s not the age that matters (It’s the mileage, right?). Typically, what’ll happen is that I’ll get really introspective around this time along with the time around the end of the year.

The way it shakes out, I’ve got a six-month window between reflection periods – though I am beginning to suspect that I might need to do it more often, we’ll see.

So if I do this twice a year, every year, what made this year noteworthy?

First: It required a shift in thinking. When I sat down the day before my birthday and asked myself what I wanted to see in the next six months, I slipped into this huge negative-fest.

I’d started a list (because I love lists) and after about 10 minutes of brainstorming, I went back and read it.

Everything began with “Don’t” or “Stop” or something like that. The entire list was this massive look back, focusing on how I’d screwed up on this, or failed to do that as well as I’d wanted, let myself slide (in a bad way) on this other thing.

To be sure, there were things to recognize and celebrate in those past six months, but they were buried under all that negativity.

I recognized that needed to look at things differently. I resisted the urge to simply crumple up that list and start again, because, despite the negativity, I wasn’t wrong. There are things that I wanted to improve upon, but I wasn’t going to make much progress starting off from a place of negativity.

Instead, I re-wrote the list, focusing on the positive – what I wanted to achieve, or see more of in the next six months.

In the end, it turned out to be a shorter list overall, because I could gather “You F-ed up X, Y, and Z” into “You want to develop A.”

Now the list was shorter but, overall, I took up more space on the page in outlining what I thought I needed to do to get there.

This turned out to be a much better exercise and I finished (well, as much as it is possible to really be “Finished” with something like that) up feeling much better about the coming months.

Even as I type this, there’s a part of me that finds this familiar, like I’ve talked about this before.

Maybe I have, but it’s clearly something I’ve forgotten, and I’m glad for the reminder.

So here’s to the next six months, and seeing what we can reach.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: July 14th

Welcome, everyone to another Installment of Five Thing Thursday!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: Last Weekend, the Welsh Men’s Rugby team beat South Africa in South Africa for the very first time.

Thing #2: It should be mentioned that the Welsh Woman’s team beat the South Africans back in 2008.

Thing #3: If you’re interested in Music – singing, in particular – check out the Voice Hacks Podcast. There is much more to being a vocalist than meets the eye (or ear).

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: Bucket List by Grave Digger

Thing #5: Oh, and it’s my Birthday today!! If you enjoyed any of my stories, please consider leaving a review.

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What am  I reading this week?

The Bared Blade by Kelly McCullough

The Bloodless Assassin by Celine Jeanjean

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I’ve got some time off work that I’m in the middle of and, as is my habit at this time of the year, I plan on setting some time aside to reflect and do a bit of planning for the rest of the year ahead.

I’ve also been taking deliberate time out of the day to just sit and breathe mindfully for a few minutes. Slow, deep breathing. It shoves the world off my shoulders a bit.

Oh, and I’ll be supporting Wales over South Africa this Saturday. Here’s hoping they can take the three match series (Tied at 1 a piece at the minute).

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Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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Easing into it

Life has been pretty heavy this past week and some change. So much so, that I’d had to pull back into complete self-care mode. I’d missed a couple of post here – which is pretty rare, and I hadn’t been doing much in the way of writing.

This made the part of me that demands that I be a machine and get stuff done no matter what, feel guilty about that, but we had a long talk and came to an understanding:

Without balance, none of us functions well, and all you can do is all you can do. Sometimes that means that all you can do is get by and see what the next day brings.

And that’s the way it went for a time, but I’m coming out of that place. I’ve been writing again and that feels good. I’ve gotten Thursday’s post up on time and, despite this post going up later than usual, it’s here. I’m not back to where I was, but I’m feeling the difference. I might even get out there for a walk today.

I’m calling that a win.

Here’s to an even better tomorrow.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

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Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: July 7th.

Welcome, everyone to another Installment of Five Thing Thursday!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: I’ve been quiet here on the Blog for a couple of weeks. Life has been particularly heavy, but now I’m back. Thanks for sticking with me.

Thing #2: I wrote for the first time in about a week (give or take) It felt good.

Thing #3: You are not a machine. Even on a day-to-day level, what you’re capable of doing will vary. That’s part of being a human

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: Death Wish by Striker

Thing #5: You wouldn’t think that you’d miss having hot water during the Summer….

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What am  I reading this week?

The Bared Blade by Kelly McCullough

The Bloodless Assassin by Celine Jeanjean

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I’ve been getting more reading done, though not on the kindle. I’m in a cycle where I need to feel the book in my hands or something.

I’ve also been taking deliberate time out of the day to just sit and breathe mindfully for a few minutes. Slow, deep breathing. It shoves the world off my shoulders a bit.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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