Category Archives: Gin, Cheese & Other Necessities

Three Things Thursday – Themeless Edition

  1. This has been a hard week towards the end of a hard month, towards the end of a hard quarter, at the end of a hard year. I’m so, so glad it’s solstice and we can start welcoming back the sun. Between stress, and injury, and disappointments, the lack of sunlight is hitting me harder than usual this year.
  2. The Cardinal Gate is on sale for the rest of the year for $0.99. It’s a perfect gateway book into the world of Eleanor Morgan (see what I did there?). It’s on sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Nook), iBooks, and Kobo!
  3. I have some big, giant plans for 2018. HYUGE. I’ll be blogging about those a little more over the next week, but things are gonna be epic in 2018. (If, by epic, you mean that I have extreme goals like “eat food on the regular” and “maybe don’t get all your water intake strained through coffee beans” and “it doesn’t matter how many memes are out there, wine isn’t really a serving of fruit.”)

    This is apparently *GASP* not true.

     

2018 – The Year of #mefirst

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!

 

SaveSave

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

Meh. And also blah. With a side of blech. (And way too much TMI)

I’ve been so, so good at staying dairy free. SO GOOD! And on those rare occasions when I’ve broken down and had a cheese item, I’ve doubled-up on the lactaid. The result? My stomach has been much more pleased with me the last few months.

Enter Saturday: I was out and about much of the day. I had a tattoo consult, and an eye doctor appointment, and other random stuff. I stopped for lunch at about one, and even though I texted the Beer Guy that I would cheerfully kill someone for a melted cheese food item, I had no intention of following through (with either the murder or the cheese).

Instead, I ordered a meat pasty. (I literally just typed “cheese pasty” and had to go delete. I am obsessed with cheese.) It was delicious. I felt a little off that evening, but attributed it to having skipped breakfast (mostly) and it being several hours since my 100% cheese-free lunch. The beer guy & I went out to eat, and I ordered my wrap sans dairy, but continued to feel not quite right.

The next morning (yesterday), I woke up and was miserable. I told the beer guy that I felt like I’d eaten cheese, but couldn’t figure out how that’d happened. After all, I’d been so careful. And then I looked up the menu for the place I’d gotten my pasty to prove how careful I was. Second listed ingredient on the menu item I ordered? FUCKING SWISS CHEESE. How I missed that when ordering is beyond me.

So yeah. Yesterday was a barrel of fun. It’s really depressing that cheese–the one food item to which I have devoted more time and energy (and money; I have a lot of cheese making apparati)–has betrayed me this way.

 

ANYWAY – finally my stomach ache went away, and I was all yay! AND THEN THERE WAS FURTHER BETRAYAL.

My left ovary tried to kill me. It was so evil that, after a vicodin, I decided it needed a name. I googled “evil name generator” and the first name on the list was Cat.

As you may or may not know, Cat is also the name of my PSM. Obviously, I texted her immediately to know I’d named my evil left ovary after her. (I’m not sure if she hasn’t responded because of the time difference or because she’s just backing away from our friendship slowly or because she hasn’t seen it yet.)

(I also texted her that I was planning on becoming a vicodin addict, which is probably no longer true as I had a really hard time falling asleep last night, but also couldn’t get out of bed to do anything else.)

So, long and extremely TMI story short – my body hates me and wants me to die. My left ovary is named Cat. Cheese is my best frenemy. I’m probably going to name my right ovary Xyla. The jury’s still out on what I’m going to name my uterus.

My goal for this week is to remain cheese free and be as active as Amy-ly possible, whilst also getting at least 12-15K words down. I need to finish this rewrite by the end of the month so The Ruby Blade can get to my editor in *gulp*   six weeks. That sounds like such a long time, but it really, really isn’t. (PS, if you would like to give me a great deal of money to stay home and write, I would appreciate it!)

Indian khanda sword…

Three Things Thursday: Too tired for anything but .gifs (hard g, duh)

1. You guys. I am so tired today. I didn’t stay up late last night and I stayed in bed longer today. Just tired.

WHHHHYYYY am I so sleepy?

How I felt 30 minutes ago

Current status

 

2. I’m still struggling to find balance in my new routine. I want to fit in exercise, writing, editing, spending time with the beer guy and the Bean, and keeping the house in the kind of shape that I wouldn’t be embarrassed if someone randomly dropped by. So far I am succeeding in doing exactly zero of those things.

Desired state of balance

Acceptable state of balance (still a little wobbly)

Current situation

 

3. It’s all a little crazy-making. Surprisingly, though, not the crazy making of having all the time in the world to write, edit, keep house, exercise, and spend time with my loved ones. I have some mild anxiety about my book schedule, but it’s not as all-consuming as the anxiety over the winter months was. (Partially because of the sun and partially because of the paycheck.) But still…

Me: 85% of the time

Legit question

Do not try to make me feel better this way…maybe just send a martini and a time machine.

 

Thank you, Harry! (Although, I’m a Ravenclaw…)