The end is the beginning is the middle

End of November, end of NaNoWriMo. I didn’t win this year, but I got a nice solid 30k written, so I’m pretty happy with that. Even better, my son did it with me this year and got just over 43k. My daughter did YWP for the first time, and wrote 257 words to start a story, too. So amazed at them both.

Tomorrow, December begins, and with it, the next year of my life. We’ll see if I manage to be any more organized and energetic this time around!

And the middle? Well, I’m roughly in the middle of Treachery of Doubt, and I’m going to keep working on it so everyone can follow Sabra et al. on further adventures.

So I’m grateful for words written, more to come, fresh starts, and most of all, wonderful children. What are you grateful for this last day of November?

Cover reveal for Bodyguard of Lies

Bodyguard of Lies cover
Isn’t that pretty?

Bodyguard is going to have two sequels, Treachery of Doubt and Shadows of Truth, in which we follow the further adventures of Sabra, Gareth, Cinn, and various friends and foes (some old and some new).

Oh, and I’m working on getting Bodyguard up for sale with all the usual suspects: Amazon Barnes & NobleKobo.

What are you grateful for this Monday?

Other people’s children 

I’m sitting and waiting for my daughter’s Brownies meeting to be over. Nearby are the younger siblings of some of the children — making enough noise to disrupt the meetings, not listening to their mothers, acting up …

We’ve all been there. Feeling mortified because surely everyone else’s children listen better and are better behaved. Surely others have figured out this parenting gig.

And every now and then (currently now), I see that not only am I not the only one struggling with this, but also in the grand scheme of things, my kids are pretty darned good.  Yes, I feel a little guilty for someone else’s difficult time making me feel better, but that’s human, too.

What are you grateful for today?

The end of DST

Oh, and how I wish it were a permanent end! Yes, I’m one of those people who complains about it every spring. But in the fall? I love that first week, week and a half, after we switch back when I can actually wake up in the light again. Getting up while it’s still dark is just inhumane (one of many reasons I like summer and weekends). The trade-off, of course, is that it gets dark sooner in the evening. I can live with that.

What are you grateful for today?

Nineteen and counting

Nineteen years ago today, I walked around with a huge smile on my face (Well, it was more of floating around, really), telling everyone who would listen that I had met the most wonderful man the night before at the Halloween party.

Today, I woke up next to him, and I still think he’s the most wonderful man in the world.

The night we met.

The night we met.

What are you grateful for today?

Doe a deer

This weekend, I saw two deer nibbling at the apples still on the tree. I don’t know where the rest of the herd is, but at least a couple of them are around and doing fine. (I’m guessing it’s just been such a mild fall that they had plenty to eat elsewhere so hadn’t gotten this far yet.)

What are you grateful for today?

Apples and trees

Today’s post is both a bit of gratitude, and a bit of “What’s actually going on?”

The branches sagging to the ground.

The branches sagging to the ground.

I’ve posted pictures before of the apple tree in back, weighted down with apple blossoms. We’ve picked apples from it once or twice, but we don’t usually get most of them — we have all kinds of wildlife, from blue jays and robins to deer. So when I really looked at the tree last week and saw how weighed down it was by apples, I was quite surprised.

However, never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I took the kids out to pick apples this weekend. We got several quarts of apples, and the tree still looks untouched.

Look at how many there are!

Look at how many there are!

What we've picked so far

What we’ve picked so far

Sliced apple

Sliced apple

I started off with applesauce. I’ll do apple butter as well, maybe a couple of apple pies (although the girl doesn’t like them), and some apple compost jelly (made with the peels and cores)… the possibilities are almost endless.

But I do wonder why I haven’t seen the deer around at all, much less why they haven’t lightened the tree as they usually do.

Some of what's still left on the tree

Some of what’s still left on the tree

What are you grateful for this week?

Sunny Monday

So my loving family has once more exposed me to germs that my “reactive airways” took exception to, leaving me battling bronchitis and sinusitis, and all the tiredness and other such issues that go with them. And I poured every bit of focus and energy I had into meeting a work deadline (very interesting book, although I never would’ve picked up a book on phytochemistry at random). Which means I owe you, my loyal readers, an apology because I didn’t blog last week (aside from the serial post that was pre-scheduled), and I didn’t get out the second issue of the newsletter out for September. No, I have no thought of catching up. I’ll just try to do better going forward.

This starts with — I went to the doctor on Friday and got a ton of prescriptions (okay, it only feels that way), and I’m all focused on “Is this one every four hours, every six hours, twice a day, or once a day?” The breathing’s getting better, which means I am able to have two coherent thoughts in a row about something other than “Must meet this deadline.” Thus, modern medicine is once again what I’m grateful for this week. (And the freedom to nap during the day when I need to.)

What are you grateful for this week?

EDIT: Stay tuned Wednesday for a guest post by Julia Knight, whose first book, Swords and Scoundrels, releases tomorrow!

An hour to myself!

I’ve been on the go since I got up at 6 — kids’ lunches, daughter to bus stop, groceries, laundry (5 or 6 loads, I lost track), a pot of beans, cleaning kitchen, copyediting, reviewing feedback, daughter from bus stop, dinner, daughter’s badges on her Brownie sash, drive to Brownies…

And now, I get my reward: an hour to sit here and read or write or poke at social media or just stare into space without anybody demanding some of my time.

What are you grateful for today?

Monday’s over

Some days, it’s easiest to be grateful when they’ve finished because tomorrow’s a fresh start, and maybe not as bad. But to be fair, there were little things to be grateful about through the day:

  • I mailed off a book my mom asked me to send her back.
  • While at the post office, I grabbed another sheet of Nevada stamps.
  • My friend David was worried about losing sight in his good eye, but unlike his other eye, this should be fixed with routine cataract surgery. (Okay, this is not a little thing. This is huge!)
  • The leader of my daughter’s new Brownie troop is friendly and upbeat and seems to have a fun year planned out for the girls.
  • I’m not too late to register my daughter for a class, even if I don’t like the bureaucratic hoops I have to jump through. (Yeah, I’m trying to put a positive spin on this, but there’s still a lot of resentment.)
  • I sent my newsletter out on time—I think without missing text this time around.

I’m sure there’s more to be grateful for. There always is.

What are you grateful for this week?