You might be surprised to know that I do the majority of my first draft away from my desk or computer. I use an Alphasmart Neo 2 for drafting, and I love the comfortable keyboard AND the fact that there is no internet and thus no distractions. I keep the Alphasmart, my printed progress, and … Continue reading My Mobile Writing Set Up
I saw this cute toy at Walmart, and I just couldn't resist. He walks and does little barks and whines and was all of $5, so of COURSE I got him for my husband! Tundra isn't entirely sure what to make of him and sniffed his tush but seemed confused. So cute! That's my ridiculous … Continue reading I Couldn’t Resist
I finally got to see my novel in print! There are some issues with this proof, so I resubmitted with corrections, and now the paperback is live! You can find it here on Amazon. I took photos: These two are for my god kids, and they live in Canada. I didn't list this book widely … Continue reading Paperback Proofs!
Our flooring in our house is... rough. It's not even a proper floor. It's pine subfloor that someone varnished and tried to pass off as flooring. It's awful. It's driving splinters into our feet. I was looking at replacing it in January, and the estimated cost was going to be ~$3000. I checked now, and … Continue reading New Rugs!
Now that 'Still Water' is out, I'm starting to draft the following novel, 'Murky Water'. You know what that means! Fresh Kanban Board! Here's what it looks like empty: And then filled in for Murky Water: I expect the draft to be somewhere between 75,000 and 110,000 words - it's pretty hard at this stage … Continue reading Updating My Kanban Board
IT'S LIVE! You can buy it HERE as an e-book for $4.99 or as a paperback (soon!) for $14.99. A quick blurb: Danita Morgan is starting over. New town, new school, new everything. A chance to walk away from a relationship gone sour and the restraining orders filed against her.Her new neighborhood is made up … Continue reading “Still Water” is Live!
We've all heard the story. So and so was laughed at and discouraged from following their dreams, but they succeeded and now they've proven their naysayers wrong! Neener, neener, look at me now. We know this story. This is not my story. Literally NO ONE has discouraged me from trying to write and publish a … Continue reading Naysayers or not?
I have many issues. I'm disabled. I'm mentally ill. I have a ton of anxiety. You know what I don't have an issue with? Trying new things. I'm talking about the kind of self confidence that, when faced with a new hobby or a steep learning curve, allows me to throw myself at my goal … Continue reading That Art on Your Parents’ Fridge? It Matters
Last night, at around 2am, the air conditioning failed. There's not much you can do at that time of night except work on a fine set of nerves, so I turned it all off, opened the windows, and went to bed. I popped awake at ~8:30am and closed up the house to preserve the cool. … Continue reading Dable Heating and Cooling – 10/10 Do Recommend!
Med changes are never, ever fun. Right now we're titrating me OFF of Olanzapine and adding in Latuda. The Olanzapine was causing excessive weight gain and elevated blood sugars, and that was Not Cool. We knew it might, but I'd been struggling so much that when it was offered as an option that ALMOST ALWAYS … Continue reading Bipolar Is a Dramatic Disorder
One of my bipolar medications has a possible side effect of causing diabetes and excessive weight gain. My psych doctor added Metformin to my list of meds to try and slow down my weight gain... and, 'lo! I have energy! I'm not crashing all the time! I don't need a caffeine IV drip! I've been … Continue reading Can’t Win for Losing
I'm reaching the end of the revision process, which means I'm writing the front and back matter for my novel. This includes the Dedication section, and I chose three people to include there. Unfortunately, they've all passed so I won't ever be able to press my book into their hands and tell them that I … Continue reading Dedications
This winter, we received an unusual New Year's card. One from our Japanese exchange student who we had not spoken to since 2000 or so. It had a return address, so I sat down and scratched my head and swore and wrote her a long letter... in Japanese. I had help for a few things, … Continue reading Crossing My Fingers and Casting a Hope to the Wind!
In 2013, I herniated my L4 disc and bulged my L5. It was, hands down, the most painful thing that has ever happened to me. Lately, I've been having pain in my hip/butt area. I had a wellness exam coming up, so I waited for that. Today was that appointment. It's very painful if I'm … Continue reading Again?
No photos, ya'll, so you'll just have to believe me. I had a friend planning to come and visit us at our house for the first time ever on Saturday. Super exciting, and I was stoked. And then I looked around the house. It was... cluttered is a polite term for it. Every surface was … Continue reading In Which We Cleaned for Three Days
Yeah, that's me. For my first book I'm publishing, I had an artist named Ina Wong do the illustration, and she did some amazing work. You can find her Instagram here, and she has my cover up. Here's a screen capture of her page showing my work. It's all amazing, so you should definitely go … Continue reading That Prolonged Squeeing Sound You Hear?
You're looking at this thinking, 'Renee, DuoLingo has been out for FOREVER, how did you miss it?' Here's the thing. I didn't miss it. I tried it out with great excitement when it first started and was singularly unimpressed. I dropped it as 'no good' and moved on. But websites aren't static. And just because … Continue reading So I Might Have Discovered DuoLingo
Today is the 12 year anniversary of my first date with my husband, the day we met each other. We'd talked back and forth through Messenger and things looked promising, so I had him over for dinner. We had tacos (spice like I like them!), and they made him so miserable because they just did … Continue reading 12 Years~!
If you've talked about books with me, you KNOW that when I say 'My Favorite Author', I'm always referring to Auryn Hadley. Her books are amazing, interactions with her are always positive, she writes SO QUICKLY, and her information on writing and publishing is a huge help that she doesn't owe writers at all. She … Continue reading My Favorite Author Has a Patreon!
A while back, I won a drawing for a free mystery item from author R. J. Blain. They were giving out copies of damaged, proof books, books with old covers, that type of thing. I was stoked, and then life distracted, and I forgot. R. J. Blain writes a variety of fiction, including under the … Continue reading R. J. Blain – Author Gift!
Thank you to all of the AMAZING people who donated to our GoFundMe to help my parents' finish fixing their roof. The original roofer fell through, and my parents were out a lot of money with no roof to show for it. It was an old tin roof, and we have photos of the house … Continue reading My Parents’ Roof Is Done!
So, I've already sent my book once to my amazing proofreaders, and got feedback that needed to be addressed. Then a beta reader who had been unable to read my novel up to that point called, gave feedback, and helped me hash out some issues. So my book went back to revisions... revision #4 this … Continue reading Back to the Proofreaders
We've had some crazy weather lately. Our last frost is supposed to be ~April 28th, but we have had two frosts since, one LAST WEEK. Wisconsin, we need to discuss your weather. It's lovely out today though, and I slept in. I had the window open and the fan blowing nice warm air in, and … Continue reading Is it Spring?
Today is a holiday, and there will be no post. I'm hoping your day is going well, and I'll see you on Wednesday!
It's Friday, and it's time for some plant pictures to finish out my week. I posted before that my tomato plants got hit by the last frost thanks to some VILE CREATURE lifting up my cover and then sleeping on top of them. I didn't tear them out, but I did buy new plants and … Continue reading A Chill Garden Update
I'm ramping up to publishing, and I plan to use the program Vellum for formatting my novel. It's one of the best in the field, and it allows you to preview your novel on different kinds of e-readers and devices. It provide a professional level product, which is the goal. Doing my own formatting is … Continue reading Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth
I'm going to preface that I don't sell soap. I make soap for my own entertainment and use. There are TONS of awesome soap makers out there, and one of my high school classmates makes soap now too. You can find her here. Anywho, there was a sale a loooong while back on scents and … Continue reading Making Melt and Pour Soap
I wanted to try painting watercolors from tubes, so I went and snagged all of my mom's watercolors and those of mine I left at her house. Hers... say watercolor on one side and tempra on the other so I don't know what, exactly, to think. I pulled the whites because lead - also because … Continue reading Watercolors?
We had a freeze during which some vile creature dug under my covers and allowed some of my tomatoes to freeze. These photos are BEFORE that freeze, but the only plants that died were the tomatoes. This is my Dog Deterrent. Tundra has figured out that food comes out of the dirt and has been … Continue reading Belated Garden Update
I'm still plugging along on my novel's final revisions, and it amazes me all the depth my proof readers help me create and the problems they catch for me to repair. Every draft becomes richer and better realized until I hit publish at which point it stops growing. Or does it? JRR Tolkien was prone … Continue reading A Novel Is a Living Document
The weather changed here, and suddenly we were expecting a frost. I was like 'I've got this', and I pulled out the clear table clothes I ordered, the plastic hoops, garden stakes, and a hole punch. I trundled outside and carefully covered up all of my plants during the warmest part of the day. I … Continue reading Oh, Wisconsin
My novel is turned in! My brains are spaghetti, but I got it all turned in to my proof readers., and responses are positive so far. I got a call from a beta reader that was a huge help and very encouraging too. Before I turned it in, I reread and proofed it one more … Continue reading Novel Turned In!
I had my second Covid shot last Thursday! It was the pfizer one. The guy who did the shot... was not a nurse. He moved the needle while it was in my arm, and I have a quarter sized bruise there. Sore arm the first day. The second day, I spiked a fever of ~100, … Continue reading 2nd Covid Shot Done!
I went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, so I have student loans. When I first got SSDI, I received a lump payment and used it to clear all my credit cards, set up an emergency fund, and paid my smallest student loan off. That loan was directly through the University when I had a … Continue reading Second Student Loan Paid!
I sometimes spend time browsing our local Facebook buy/sell/trades, and in 2019 or so, I found an ad for a greenhouse, in box, never opened. Of course I bought it. I think it was ~$50. At the time, the woman I bought it from said they'd bought it for her mom three years ago, and … Continue reading A Greenhouse and a Surprise!
Tundra, you are VERY LUCKY that you're cute and we like you. We called the repair shop, but they're still looking for a seat. UGH.
I have a variety of plants in my closet right now. Most of them are seedlings, but a few are larger potted plants such as my sequoia, my coffee, or my tea plants. I have the grow light high enough that they can get light, but it was making my seedlings kinda leggy. So I … Continue reading A Second Grow Light!
We have been working on paying off my student loans. I had three - two that are consolidated into a federal loan and one through a private company. The federal loan ones are $24,000 and $9,000. You can't separate payments out for them, and they're in forbearance due to the Covid situation, so we focused … Continue reading Smallest Student Loan Paid Off!
I'm looking at releasing my novel, 'Still Water', in July of this year, and while that's super exciting and all there's a lot going on on the back end side of things right now. I am in final stages of revision before it goes to proof readers, but these are more technical things on my … Continue reading Book Release Back End – A Brief (And Expensive!) Checklist
So, the release date for my novel has been moved from June 15th to July 15th due to work due date conflicts, but I'm still puttering along with it. Here you can see my progress with no spoilers: You can see on the right that I've revised 7 of 15 chapters, and on the left … Continue reading My Cover Mock Up!
If you know me at all personally, you know that I manage our budget and have quite a system for it. I use the You Need a Budget website: It has a monthly subscription fee but lets me manage my budget so, SO easily. I manually input everything, manually split out pay checks into categories, … Continue reading Let’s Talk Money and Managing Debt Repayment