Category Archives: Aggressive Happiness

Book Review: Shameless Begging

Hey readers…quick request. If you read either The Cardinal Gate or The Waning Moon, can you pretty, pretty please go post a review for them? I don’t care if you didn’t love them. (If your last name is Cissell, though, you can’t leave a review.)

It doesn’t have to be much. Just pick a title (This book was aces!) or (I liked it alright) or (Meh), a star-ranking, and a couple sentences that make it sound like you actually read the book. (If you didn’t read it, don’t review it. That’s weird.)

You can set up an anonymous name and I’ll never know who you are. I promise you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t like it. I’ve heard a lot of negative things about my books (and more than enough positive things to balance it), but reviews are really awesome to help indie authors like me gain traction.

I really appreciate everyone who’s supported me by buying, downloading, and reading…and I’d appreciate you so extra hard if you’d review.

(Pssstttt…I’m gonna be doing a HYUGENORMOUS giveaway involving three signed paperbacks and a few other fun goodies as soon as The Cardinal Gate gets to 50 reviews…we’ve a ways to go, though, so don’t hold your breath.)

In the meantime, I’m trucking along with writing and editing and eating regularly and sleeping and watching too many murder shows late at night when it’s windy and the branches scrape the house and things get blown into the doors. Still working on getting to my ideal state, but I’m feeling a little better about it today.

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Monday Brain Dump

It’s been a ridiculous week. I have a lot of thoughts in my head. I’m not gonna share all of them, but I’ve got some stuff for you.

You all know my kiddo was in the ER for a head injury Wednesday. We went for a followup visit Saturday and he is AOK – just needs to try to take it easy for a few more days. Limited screen time (I think, all told, we’ve had <45 minutes total for the whole Friday-Monday morning time), limited running, zero falling down and whacking his head any more.

Peak bruising was Saturday morning…it’s starting to fade to yellow, although it’s still spreading.

Friday, I took the Beer Guy to the airport for his 2.5 week trip to Belgium. I already miss him like crazy. (As does the Bean who was super disappointed that the Beer Guy didn’t make it home for waffles and bacon Sunday morning…”Mom, he loves waffles and bacon. Why didn’t he come back for breakfast? It’s because you didn’t buy enough bacon for everyone, isn’t it?” Yep…totes my fault on that one, kid.) So when I picked Bean up from kindergarten on Friday, I said I’d take him anywhere he wanted to go for dinner.

AB: “Oooh – Pizza Fino is good!”

Me: “Okay, let’s go there.”

AB: “But Atomic is even better. Can we go there? The Beer Guy will be so jealous because he loves it and we can take a picture and send it to him and he will miss us.”

Me: “Interesting motivation, but sure. Let’s go there.”

As we approach Atomic Pizza, Bean says, “Mom. I don’t really want the Beer Guy to be jealous. Let’s go to Lucky Lab. He won’t be sad that he missed that.”

Truer words, kids…

Lucky Lab dinner date. I don’t really like that place, either, but I’d said he could pick.

Saturday late afternoon/evening we got to have a play date. Well, Bean played with his BFF (and eventual roommate – he’s planning on moving into their basement when he graduates from high school) and I got to hang with my good friends and former neighbors who were gracious enough to have a kid the exact right age for play dates.

Yesterday was a mellow day. Bean was wiped out and needed a break (and I needed to finish up my editing project for a client so that I’d be ready to start edits on The Ruby Blade when it comes back this week). We putzed around the house, did lego projects, messed with the kitten, and had a pretty quiet (activity wise, definitely not volume wise) day.

We kept watching the sky for rain, and it came in fits and starts, but not quite what I was hoping.

I stayed up too late Saturday and Sunday (Friday, I was asleep on the couch by 9, dragged myself to bed about 10, and then woke up at 1:30 am and was awake for 2.5 hours…dammit.) but still don’t feel too exhausted.

I got the final cover for The Ruby Blade and will be doing an exclusive cover reveal preview for all newsletter subscribers in a couple weeks – so if you want to see before everyone else, sign up for the newsletter (check the sidebar).

tiny sneak peek

This week is all about writing and editing and reading (and work, of course) for me. I have a milestone on book 4 I really want to hit. I also want to – now that I’m starting to feel a little better physically – start moving again on the regular.

But mostly, I want to snuggle my Bean up tonight and tomorrow night before he heads back to his dad’s for 5 days.

Rainy Days and Mondays…

Family Friday

Tonight, my baby (I AM NOT A BABY) comes home for five nights in a row. That’s never enough – I hate that Wednesday morning I’ll drop him off at kindergarten and won’t see him again until the following Monday after school – but I love my long stretches with my boy. In a month, we’re switching the schedule to eliminate the mid-week transition and I’ll get him for week-long stretches at a time (of course, this also means he’ll be gone for week-long stretches at a time, which is a major bummer…sigh). I would give almost anything to have him more. The sticky, cotton-candy kisses I got last night at back-to-school night are everything.

 

My other local family, the beer guy, is on his way to Belgium, which is his very favorite country, right now. He told me he’s eventually coming back, although for some reason, I had the return date wrong in my head (and on my calendar), and even though he kept correcting me, I still couldn’t remember the right date. I think I finally have it now, which means I’ll show up to the airport on the right day to pick him up and not leave him stranded for 24 hours. One of my favorite things to do when he’s traveling is to sky-stalk him with the Flight Aware app. He’s currently (as of this very second) flying over the flyover state of Nebraska. (Sorry, Nebraskans – but I’m from the flyover state of South Dakota…it’s just how it goes.)

One of my biggest challenges when I’m sans beer guy is to remember to eat and sleep. Yes, I know that sounds dumb, but it’s my biggest challenge. So I’m putting it out here that I will eat and sleep on the regular for the next few weeks. That means no skipping meals, no having “fruit salad” for dinner, and going to bed and to sleep at a decent hour every night.

This will NOT be me. Most of the time.

Fortunately, I have a lot to keep me busy. I’m wrapping up an editing project this weekend, just in time to get The Ruby Blade back from my editor to do revisions. I have a Raj chapter to write, I’m deep in Eleanor book 4, and I’ve started outline books 1-3 of my new series. Plus, all that kid time with the world’s best kid and future leader of a unicorn cult.

GAH! That bump!

 

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September 2017 – Goals

Every once in a while, I like to pretend I’m going to resurrect my habit of setting (and achieving) monthly goals. This is one of those months. I’ll try to remember to report back. I’ve got a busy fucking month ahead of me, and I need to be clear about what I’m doing. So, my goals, in mostly chronological order are:

  1. Pick my son up from his very last day of preschool ever. Take a picture. Don’t cry. (9/1)
  2. Finish all my last pre-editor edits on The Ruby Blade and get that sucker to my editor. (9/2)
  3. Drink champagne. (9/2)
  4. Make an apple pie with the Bean, because he wants to make one for the beer guy’s parents who are visiting. (9/3)
  5. Drop my boy off at his first day of Kindergarten. Take pictures. Don’t cry. (9/5)
  6. Edit a book for a new client (early Sept)
  7. Get my skin checked to make sure there’s no suspicious activity (9/11)
  8. Meet with new personal trainer and get new workout schedule set up (9/12)
  9. Write 45K words on Eleanor #4 (sekrit goal is 60K – which is 15K/week and my current average, but see all busy-ness)
  10. Write 2 chapters on my Raj novella
  11. Survive the beer guy’s 2.5 week trip to Belgium (I mean, obviously, I’ll survive, but, you know…)
  12. Keep on top of my day job stuff
  13. Write outlines for the first three books in my new series coming out about this time next year and conspire with my cover artist
  14. Turn around my article edits SUPAH FAST
  15. Write 4 chapters on SUPER SEKRIT PROJECT
  16. Actually sleep? I guess?
  17. Start meditating in the mornings again, which means
  18. Start getting up at 5:30 am again, which means
  19. In bed & asleep by 10:45 on school nights
  20. I really want a 20th goal, but couldn’t think of one, so how about a picture of a cat? (I also really want to show you a picture of my arm at the Nexplanon insertion site, because it’s HORRIFIC, but I won’t do that, either.)

ls,

Motivation Monday

Today is a very high-anxiety day. Chest-crushing anxiety. (I don’t know why. That happens a lot.)

Thanks to last week, in which I hit 85% of my exercise goals, I know the proper ways to start treating this anxiety.

I have my swim stuff in my bag (and, unlike last week, I packed a comb, flip flops, am charging my swim watch, and brought my goggles instead of the Bean’s). Tomorrow, I will run. Wednesday, I will yoga. Thursday, I will run. Friday, I will swim. And Saturday, I will run.

If I hit 5 of those, I’ll be happy. Even if I don’t get to my time/distance goals on each one, I’ll still be happy to get out there. (Friday, I didn’t hit my swimming goal, and was extremely frustrated until I remembered that it was my first time in the pool in a year and swimming 500 yards was better than all the swims I haven’t done. Some is better than none. I should probably get that tattooed on the backs of my hands and my forehead or something.)

Other things I am doing in the way of self-care include:

  1. Eating healthy and regular meals
  2. Getting back into the habit of meditating
  3. Reframing my life into positive “I am” statements.  (“I am a runner” NOT “I used to run more.” “I am an author” NOT “I write but still have to have a day job.”

Since I have trips planned to Mexico (October) and Spain (March), I also need to really dig into my Spanish refreshers again. I minored in Spanish in college, but haven’t kept up the practice. I could probably skate by with my limited skills and the fact that people everywhere speak English, but I’d rather make the effort – and since Bean didn’t get into the dual-language school, I want to start doing more Spanish at home so he at least has a shot at a foreign language while his brains are still malleable.

(Speaking of brains, I was texting with my PSM this morning and we decided that it was monumentally unfair that one person could have both a defective brain and a defective reproductive system. You should really only have to be stuck with one of those. Although, I guess since she and I are both graced with both breath-taking beauty and dazzling intelligence [well at least one of us is…], maybe this is the trade-off?)

I’ll leave you with a picture of my adorable Bean who’s been at the coast with grandma since Thursday.