Monday, July 6, 2015

Question of the Month

Today I'm joining the Question of the Month. This blog hop idea started with Michael G. D'Agostino, a blogging friend from Australia. He runs a very entertaining blog, A Life Examined. The blog is entertaining because Michael shares his interesting adventures with humor and insight. My life seems so bland compared to what he gets up to. For the hop, Michael posts a question and you share your answers and explain them a bit. You can join the hop by signing onto the list here. This month's question:

"What are three things you would do tomorrow if fear wasn't stopping you?"

This is a difficult question for me. Money keeps me from doing things more than fear. At this point in my life, nearly all my fears involve worrying about my loved ones.

1. I would skydive. I'm not terrified of heights but they make me very uncomfortable. But the views and peace of falling through a clear sky sounds like something wonderful.

2. I would really like to do some cave diving though I'm not a great swimmer. I would likely be terrified to be in the deep dark, but how cool would it be to see things that few people ever have.

3. I would put myself 'out there' more as a writer. I don't pursue enough opportunities that might improve my marketing. It's a kind of fear, perhaps lack of confidence.

"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace." Amelia Earhart

Thanks to all the well-wishes last weekend. My daughter did arrive safely though it took two hours from landing until she and her friends made it through customs. Not unexpected as they were flying in from the Middle East during the holiday weekend. Lots of family fun, food, games and a little bit of wine made the weekend speed by. Hope you all had a safe holiday.

Plans for the month are to finish the first draft of that WIP I've been working on a way too slow pace. I need to get it done because August is filled with lots of other things. More on that later this month. For this week on the home front, I would be happy if it would just not rain more than once.

Do you have some fears you wish you could overcome? Do you know Michael at A Life Examined? Did you do anything fun or exciting this past weekend? Do you have plans or goals for July?

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Day

I try to never wish my life away but I've been longing for July 3rd for a while now. My regular readers know my daughter won a grant from the rulers of Oman to do a 6 week long intensive language study in Arabic. She's had a lovely time, greatly improved her language skills and had a close look at a truly peaceful Muslim culture. That doesn't mean I wasn't nervous about her being in the Middle East. But today she's flying into Washington DC.

I'm dreading the traffic issues around the nation's capitol this holiday weekend but it's worth it to have her home. We'll be combining a July 4th family gathering with a celebration of my daughter's return and her 21st birthday which actually occurred while she was in Oman. We may consume some wine.

Like many Americans, I spent a lot of the 4th being grateful for what we have in this country. It's not perfect in many, many ways but it's so much better than a lot of other places. I'm grateful for the people who work to keep the USA the place it is. I'm grateful that we don't have to all agree with each other and can have civil discourse about our differences. I love this country. I really enjoy watching the bald eagle that circles over our property some days.

"It has gone so far that we must now be a free, independent state or a conquered country." Abraham Clark, signer of the Declaration of Independence
I'm glad we went with the free, independent state idea.

Today, July 3rd, starts the Dog Days of summer. Lots of heat and humidity. My kind of weather though it's not for everyone. It has to improve over June when our local area had rain 23 out of 30 days. I actually had trouble with my pool's PH balance because we had so much acid rain.

Hope you have a safe and happy July 4th. If you're not in USA, be happy for us anyway. Do you have special plans for the holiday weekend? Does this holiday fill you with gratitude or is it all about the fireworks? Love or hate the Dog Days?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG: July Version

It's the first day of July and the first Wednesday of the month. That means IWSG bloghop posting. If you're a stranger to this bloghop. IWSG was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, writer of bestselling space opera and a leader in the blogging community. On the first Wednesday of every month, participants share their current insecurity or share how they're beating insecurity this month. You can sign up on the list at IWSG website and find a list of participants. It's fun and you'll meet a lot of knowledgeable writers.

I received my IWSG tee-shirt two days ago. It's really nice. Along with my A to Z Challenge tee-shirt, I can proudly show the world that I'm a writer and a blogger.

My insecurities this month are the usual for the summer months and July is worse than normal. When I was teaching school, summer was the time I had the chance to be a full-time mom. Then when I started writing full time, summer was the time my kids were home from college and I could spend time with them. I don't want to be inside or even on the porch or deck writing. I want to hang out with my children. I want to be outside in the sun. I want to float in the pool on a raft with my daughter and talk about everything and nothing. But I'm already behind on my WIP. I wanted to have the first draft done by the end of June. I'm about 3/5ths done. And there are FOUR family events going on this month, so that will be more time away from the computer.

Happy Canada Day to our friends to the north. I read this quote somewhere.
"Canada is a country that works better in practice than in theory." Stephanie Dion, Canadian politician

Keep a thing 7 years and you will find a use for it. Gaelic proverb

Did you share your insecurity today? Have you gotten your tee-shirt yet? If you're Canadian, can you explain that quote? Would you keep something for 7 years if you weren't using it?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Piles and Lists

Today I'm posting at the IWSG site and telling everyone the secret to getting published. And don't forget that Wednesday is the monthly blog post for IWSG. There is still time for you to join in by signing onto the list.

Due to the recent plumbing issues, the ceiling in my office needs painted. The damage was slight but my husband will not stand for one small water spot on any of our ceilings. Since I had to move my desk for him to take care of it, I decided it would be a great time to shampoo the carpet. But back to moving my desk.

There were piles and piles of loose papers that I've kept for one reason or another. A big stack of them are my notes from the writer's conference I attended back in May.

I also had a small collection of pages I've torn from various writing magazines like Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers. An article about Metadata. Another on using Goodreads in your marketing plan and another about creating loglines and blurbs. Then there's a stray page with some fitness ideas on it. When I was teaching I collected those by the dozens.

All that loose paper makes it a challenge to move my desks. There there are the written lists and a stack of business cards I collected at the aforementioned conference. People I want to stay in touch with.

I realized all this stuff fell into the category of things I intend to do someday. But I'm busy on my WIP so I keep stacking those things up. But like the realization that it was a good time to shampoo the carpet in my office, I realize this isn't the best time to indulge in those things. Write first, catch up later.

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst." William Penn

Do you collect articles and make lists of things you intend to study further or use at some time? Do you ever rearrange your writing space? Do you have a list of things you want to work on that have to do with writing but aren't writing?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Finally

Still waiting for that plumber. Everything cleaned up but one bathroom out of use until he gets here. It's not a job I would want, but plumbers are really in demand and make good money. Probably because we become so desperate for their help, we're willing to pay anything. He promises to be here Saturday, nine days after our first call.

Last week, Spacerguy honored me with the Creative Blogger Award. Thanks Spacerguy. It means a lot when someone with such a cool blog recognizes me this way. Spacerguy blogs about Star Trek and other things sci-fi related. His posts are always interesting.

The rules:

1. Thank the award-giver.
2.Share 5 facts about yourself
3.Nominate 10-20 bloggers for the award.
4. Pass on the rules.

So many of my friends are on blog hiatus for the summer or have been named by one of my other friends for this award, that I'm not passing it on at this time. I reserve the right to name you all at a later date.

Five things about me you might not know. (This part always makes me think I'm a boring person.)

1. I have an incredible green thumb. If I plant it, it grows and grows and grows. Don't know why.
2. Though I have degrees in Health and Physical education with a science minor, my true academic love was always math. Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, they all just made sense to me.
3. There are 3 bars in our small town. If my husband and I go into any one of them, one of our former students buys us a drink. Whether we want it or not.
4. I named my boys, David Michael, Michael James and James David. Good old fashioned Biblical names and if I had to yell at them, I knew I'd get at least part of the name right. Except for when I called them by the dog's name.
5. My family never went on vacation when I was growing up. I was eighteen the first time I went to the beach with a friend.

Do you know Spacerguy? How long have you waited for a plumber or repairman? How old were you when you first saw the ocean? Ever call your kids by the wrong name or have your parents do that to you? Don't you love math? It's so logical.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Keep on Swimming

I've been busy this week in many ways. If you haven't had a chance yet, stop by the IWSG site for a great craft article by Jessica Page Morrell on Crutch Words. Also today I wrote a quick post at the A to Z Challenge blog about making sure people know who you are.

Here in the Northeastern States, we've been getting rained on every day for nearly two weeks. I love summer but the weeds are starting to think we're living in a rain forest. Everything is dripping wet all the time and part of my yard looks like a swamp. I even found a lost crayfish in my pool one day. He was alive when I rescued him but I don't know if he made it after I pulled him out and put him back in the swamp.

Beyond all that, we had a plumbing issue in one of the upstairs bathrooms. You know what that means. Water dripping through the first floor ceiling and then all the way into the basement since no one was home at the time of the disaster. Still dealing with that.

But I had lunch with a friend yesterday from my teaching days. We see each other a few times per year and catch up. She's older than me and listened to all my woes as my children were growing up. I love that woman. So that was a high point.

Keep on Swimming
My writing is going well and I love my characters. My children are having good years. Two sons have been promoted at work with better money and good benefits. My daughter is having a great time and Oman. The elite language program only picks 30 college students from across the country to participate and she's at the top of the group in Oman. Her Omani instructors ask her to speak at one of the universities because she is so fluent and able to do questions and answers.

Kelley in Oman

Some days the swamp, the dripping ceiling and the wet carpet try to get me down, I feel like I'm swimming upriver. Then I think of all the wonderful things in my life and I know better. I'm floating on a raft in a warm swimming pool and life is grand.

Did you visit Jessica's post on IWSG? Is your name visible on your blog? What bad luck hit you lately? What are you grateful for recently?

Monday, June 22, 2015

CassaSeries and On IWSG

Three wonderful things are happening today. Over at the IWSG site, Jessica Page Morrell is our guest. If you haven't heard of her and you're a writer, you probably should have. She's sharing some expertise today on words we overuse. I hope you'll stop by.

Today is also the day you can purchase your very own IWSG tee-shirt. Designed for our members
by the incredibly talented Retro Jeremy Hawkins, this is a must-have for all insecure writers. I already ordered mine and might have to get another one. Isn't it lovely.

Today is also the exciting release of CassaSeries, all three space adventures by Alex J. Cavanaugh in one package and for one low price. 

By Alex J. Cavanaugh 
ISBN 9781939844118
Price - $5.99 eBook boxed set
Science fiction/adventure (FIC028010) and science fiction/space opera (FIC028030)

The Amazon Best-Selling Series!

CassaStar - Few options remain for Byron. Slated to train as a Cosbolt pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth to his instructor, Bassa. As war brews on the edge of space, Bassa must make a decision that could decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission destined to stretch their abilities to the limit?

CassaFire - Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters behind him, the detection of alien ruins sends him to the planet of Tgren. Forced to train a Tgren named Athee and deal with an eager young scientist, he feels invaded. Tensions mount as the ruins reveal a potential weapon, plunging him further into the chaos. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

CassaStorm - Commanding the base on Tgren, Byron watches as a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the planet. When the war hits Tgren, it triggers nightmares in his son. The ancient alien ship begins transmitting a deadly code and the probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago returns. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

Find it here:

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

I'm sure you're seeing CassaSeries in a lot of places today. More than ten? Do you know Jessica Morrell? Do you have any of her books on your reference shelf? Do you like to buy book series in bundles?