Category Archives: Friends & Family

Three Things Thursday

Hi from Puerto Vallarta! It’s been a lovely, very hot vacation. Except for yesterday. Yesterday was no bueno. Yesterday, my Fitbit said I walked less than 500 steps. All those steps were the 18 steps round trip from my bed to the bathroom. Yeah. It was that kind of day. Today is moderately better. I have already gone more than 5 times as far! Gooooo me!

Anyway – your three things are three (times two) pictures from Mexico. None of the pictures are from yesterday. You’re welcome.

View from the room

BANANA tree outside our rooms

Beachside beers in Puerto Vallarta

Lovecraftian sculpture (one of many)

Another of several gorgeous boardwalk sculptures. So many plot bunnies hopping around in my brain now…

 

(BTW – if you’re going to be sick in a foreign country, I absolutely recommend having the Beer Guy along. He took such great care of me yesterday.)

(I mean, you can’t have the beer guy every time any of you are traveling. I need him from time to time. Someone has to reach the stuff on the top shelf.)

Beach feet!

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,

Three Things Thursday: The Intern Edition

 

  1. A couple weeks ago, the Beer Guy and I got a new intern. We’d been toying with the idea for a while, and then I accidentally wandered onto the Humane Society’s website, and three days later Rupurrt Giles joined the family.

    New intern is photogenically representing the interests of the beer guy AND the author in one handy photo.

     

  2. The other cats are slowly getting used to the intruder. At this point, it appears that one of the biggest problems they’re having with him involves a Twitter account takeover.

    He’s settling right in, though. He chases the bigger cats, climbs all over the things he’s not supposed to climb on, and is getting really good at making a general nuisance of himself. Keyboards are one of Giles’s aka Ctrl-Z’s favorite places to settle.

    His typing skills could use some work.

    Of course, kittening is exhausting, and Giles spends a lot of time resting up for the next round of speeding through the house at top speed and chasing his own tail.

  3. The best part of this all, though, is watching Bean and Giles get on. Alvie was delighted beyond measure at the new surprise kitten when I brought him home last Friday (after nine – 9! – days apart) and has had a blast playing with the kitten.

    They are perfect for each other. So much energy and so much joy.

    It was nice to have Giles now since over the weekend, Mr. Fish (Alvie’s betta) died after only 18 months in residence. We had a funeral on Monday and Alvie delivered a stirring eulogy: “You were a good fish, Mr. Fish. I’m sorry you’re dead.”

    Fish burial under the eclipse shadows.

Hashtag Blessed

 

I was nervous all day. I tried to convince my author group that I was probably going to die. (Spoiler: I did not die.)

The Beer Guy and I sat at home and had dinner before heading on over to the bookstore, and I spent the last 30 minutes before we left bouncing around our home, trying to practice reading without hyperventilating, and freaking out about the possibility that I would mispronounce “geas.” (My PSM’s sage advice: “It’s not ever really used so no one will know.” She also helped me figure out how to correctly pronounce it, because she is aces.)

My other pre-reading activity:

A glass of white while practicing reading.

At one point, it occurred to me that I read aloud almost every evening. Sure, maybe it’s to my five-year-old, but that counts, right? I decided to pretend I was reading to a bunch of children, and that actually really helped.

The Beer Guy and I got to the bookstore about 20 minutes before I was due to go on, and Elisa, who is one of the nicest humans in the world, helped me get set up and gave me more wine (and a bottle of water) to calm myself.

MY BOOKS! ON DISPLAY!

The room filled up with friends (thank you all so much), Elisa introduced me, and then it was go time. I’d picked out three selections. One from The Cardinal Gate to introduce Eleanor, and two from The Waning Moon.

It wasn’t until about 30 seconds into my reading that I realized that Eleanor swears like a motherfucking sailor. I mean, I knew she wasn’t avoiding the cursing, but until I had to read out loud in front of a roomful of people, I had no idea how many times she says fuck on a single page.

This is my “what? another motherfucking swear word?” face

I think it went well. I tripped over a couple words (but not geas!), but everyone laughed when they were supposed to laugh and no one fell asleep or wandered off. After I was done reading, there were questions. A fair few! And good questions!

My captive audience mingling while I was signing…

And then it was time for signing. I signed a dozen or so books, got to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in a while, and apparently had a great time.

A few of us headed down the street to celebrate me surviving my first public reading with pink champagne (courtesy The Beer Guy, who really knows me well), snacks, and excellent conversation. The five people who joined me are five of my favorite Portlanders (I have ten favorite Portlanders…only half could make it), and it was so nice to see them all together.

A regret I often have is that I don’t take enough pics of my friends when we gather together…

It was an amazing evening, and I’m so glad I did it! I am so lucky to have so many wonderful friends who gave up their time and money to come listen, ask questions, buy books, and spend time celebrating with me. One friend brought me the perfect tote bag:

So appropriate, because my uterus hates me AND my author group has termed itself the “illuterati”

My friend and fellow illuterati author Mel Sterling brought me flowers, gave me amazing advice, took some nice photos, and asked good questions.

At the end of last evening, I posted this on my Facebook author page:

And for everyone who insisted on photos and video – you have The Beer Guy to thank for that. He’s the one who uploaded everything to FB last night. He also calmed me down, carried all the heavy books, made the reservations for the post-signing drinks, and procured the bottle of champagne. There is no way I could’ve done any of this without him. I really am #blessedAF