Posted in Uncategorized

Snowmageddon 2021

Living in East Texas, we don’t typically see much snow accumulation. We usually see an ice storm or two and temps that dip into the 20’s or upper teens. This results in a day or so off from work, maybe a power outage or two, and then nlife goes back to normal. Being so far south, Texas doesn’t have the infrastructure to handle these major changes in temperatures for extended periods of time. Nor does it prepare to treat the roads for excessive ice and snow accumulation. They don’t have snow plows here. We don’t usually need them. This week is definitely different though.

Valentine’s Day was normal but we had the “Winter Weather Advisory” coming through on the phone and weather apps. People went out and got the usual inclement weather supplies. I know we did. We stocked up on fuel for our kerosene heater, batteries, and even left the water trickling to ensure that pipes weren’t freezing and bursting. We’ve had enough plumbing issues. Also, keep in mind we had the usual spring temps in the 70’s last week. Honestly, I bought gear for walking and then got stuck by rain and this mess. So, the weather here is just crazy. Now, Monday, we had about 7-9 inches of snow on the ground. So much so that we ended up having to go rescue our tenacious little chihuahua who got stuck trying to go do the usual potty routine. Pip was smart and stayed by the porch where a roof covers so the depth wasn’t too bad for him. Under the porch was a good option too.

Warming My Car Up

Living in Texas for going on 20 years (give or take a few), I’ve never seen it like this. We lost power for about 11 hours. Many people have it far worse though. I know people who have been days with no power, have pipes bursting, and are running out of firewood for fireplaces or alternative fuel for other heaters. Last I heard, 5 in our area have lost their lives due to the extreme cold that we’re ill-equipped to deal with. We’ve had sub-zero temperatures that broke records.

My mom came and asked me if I would be okay driving my Dad to town to see if we could get more kerosene. Why? Well, the fact is, I spent time driving in these type of conditions when I worked for a transportation company. I was sent to Wisconsin for about eight weeks to supplement their crew. So, I have more experience driving in it than my Dad who is a native Texan. So, I bundled up like I used to when I grew up in Kentucky and trudged out to my little SUV. I didn’t have anything to clean the ice off my windshield though so it took a while to warm up enough so we could drive. Dad took a broom to the windows to speed up the process. And off we went. I didn’t scare him too badly but it was definitely slow going.

Our goal was to pick up some additional supplies for food, drinks, and kerosene for heating. Most stores were shut down. (Understandable, given the road conditions.) There was no kerosene to be found at any of our stops. I wanted to take the time to fill my car up too. I was at half a tank and I didn’t want to run the tank dry if we got stuck and had to wait for a tow. Only one of the 5 gas stations in town had gas to buy. Our local grocery store was packed and Dad said the shelves were looking awfully barren. We made it home before dark, but we had issues getting back into the driveway. I managed to maneuver into the bottom of the drive and get out of the main road. Getting back up the hill into my usual parking spot wasn’t going to happen though.

I count us very blessed right now. We still have power and so we have electric heaters to knock the chill off the house. I was able to get a hot bath this morning without feelilng like I was going to catch my death of a cold in the process. For now, I’ll accept a nap under three blankets, snuggles with my pup, and a good book to read to keep warm when I need to. And I’ll wear actual slippers and fuzzy socks instead of my flip-flops. I’ll try not to complain and I’m keeping busy with planning, journaling, and working on things while the electric is still on. We may lose it again at any minute thanks to… well let’s not talk about that right now. I keep my devices charged, my favorite candle burning for the moment, and I’m frequently checking on my pup here in his little bed beside me (which is fluffy and warm) to make sure his blanket is all tucked in to conserve heat as well. We will get through this week. It will likely be back to the 60’s and 70’s next week and life will resume.

In the meantime, I’m making plans for some exciting things. I’m cleaning up categories here on the blog and planning some awesome content. I’m also looking at coordinating a YouTube channel to go along with this that will have more interactive content as well. I want to do some documenting of various changes in my life. I also want to interact more with other aspiring authors, artists, and readers. So, I may invite some friends for some productivity sessions where you can write with us live and ask questions. I think sometimes, things come across better when you can hear and see the person trying to communicate them. I also need to get over the block I have with getting myself on camera. So keep an eye out for that soon, I’ll be announcing the details for everyone and I want to kick it off with some sort of giveaway. We’ll see what I come up with.

Keeping things productive even in the midst of this Snowpocalypse. But seriously y’all. Pray for Texas right now. We aren’t cut out for this kind of weather. We’ll get through it but, I’m praying that we can do it without anymore lives being lost.

Keep your chin up and tell me in the comments what your favorite way to warm up on a cold winter day is.

Posted in The Writer's Life

Happy Galentine’s Day…

Today, I’m going to address the elephant in the room. It’s Valentine’s Day again. This is a hard holiday for a lot of people. People who hope to find a partner in life. People who are going through break-ups, divorce, or learning hard truths about the people they call their significant other. And I know this well because I’ve been in all those categories at one point or another. Currently, I’m single. And while I am ready to mingle, apparently the pool of available singles aren’t all that into people like me. And that’s okay!

Ladies, I think this is one time, I’m grateful for the pandemic limiting options. Restaurant services will be more limited than usual thanks to the holiday. This is a time when, being in public, you’re hyper-aware of all the couples that surround you. Your social media feeds will have “Our Story” posts, or “Look what I got!” posts. Meanwhile, we’re over here in our leggings and sweaters while huddled up on the bed/couch with a blanket, fuzzy socks, our favorite drinks, snacks, and a Netflix binge or book. Book boyfriends are a real thing for the avid readers out there. I’m counting myself lucky that I get to create my own. 🙂 Though I would not mind a Warren or Nathan in my life. (Thank you Elicia Hyder.) And don’t get me started on those Winchester brothers. (Have mercy!) The point is, it is okay to find something to distract ourselves for the next few days.

That being said, I want to tell you a few things.

My Funny Valentine
  1. Never doubt that you are an amazing person. (Unless of course you’re killing people for sport or some other crazy thing like that.) You don’t need a holiday to recognize your own worth or to celebrate your own version of self-love.
  2. You don’t need permission to buy yourself fresh flowers or chocolates. Indulge once in a while, I promise it’s okay and it will do you a world of good. Besides, buying it yourself, you get what you really like.
  3. It is perfectly acceptable to take a break from social media. I often wish that Facebook and other sites had options for excluding politics and “look at my kid” posts. I love keeping up with my friends. I’m happy for those who have found their person in life. But, it can get overwhelming seeing all the lovey dovey posts. Not to mention the insane amount of engagements and “in a relationship” status changes that will happen this weekend. So, I will take that break and just focus on something other than what everyone else is doing.
  4. Yes, your beloved pet counts as your Valentine. I know Pip does. That unconditional love is something you can’t replace with a human being. It is the closest thing to the love God has for us on earth.

I’ve been blessed with a few amazing friends in life. Among them, I’m the only one who remains single at this point. My best friend of 27 years and her husband sent me an awesome Valentine’s Day surprise ahead of the hooplah. She knows I love my tea and sent me a lovely Tea Forte sampler to try out. Which will go amazing with my new flamingo mug she sent earlier. In fact, as I am typing this I’m enjoying the Raspberry Ganache tea and it is delicious.

Let me tell ya, there were plenty of years that I wished we didn’t live so far away now. I would definitely have been happy to spend Valentine’s Day at a dinner party or tea party we put together with board games and conversation over the years. So, don’t overlook opportunities to help a friend who may need a pick-me-up as well.

I know the feeling of wanting to have someone to share life with. I’ve also learned that you have to build a life you love while you’re open to that happening. The way our world is now, people have awkward notions of what relationships are and how to be in them. Sometimes being on your own is the best thing for us. It allows us to focus on our own growth and find our passions. Finding real love is a rare thing. I’m convinced of that now. Maybe we’ll get lucky. But maybe we won’t. The key is figuring out how to find your own happiness in any situation.

So for all of us who are struggling with our relationship status while the world is celebrating couples, I wish you Happy Valentines Day. Journal those feelings and let them out. Take a deep breath, look yourself in the mirror and tell your reflection all the things you love about yourself. Take that hot bath, go for a walk/run, do some yoga, or whatever you do to move and feel good. Treat yourself to a mani-pedi or a massage. Remember that you are worth the time and effort it takes to love yourself and no perfect partner is going to fill a void you’re creating for yourself.

Comment and tell me what you’re doing for your solo Valentines Day experience. Maybe you’ll give me and other single readers some ideas for next year.

Posted in book news, Marketing, The Currents, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writing & Publishing

January Recap & February Goals…

From the writer’s desk.

I always said that I wanted this blog to be a window into my corner of the world. So, this year, I’m trying something a bit different with the blog. Along with various articles, I’m going to share some of my process in creative living. I’m big on motivation and inspiration here, but I admit that there is also another side to this way of living and that includes setting realistic goals and getting the work done.

January was a month of resets for me. It didn’t quite feel like the fresh start it normally does. This is perhaps because there were still some big things looming over the newness of it all. There was, for many, still a great deal of anxiety and unclear direction with how to deal with life. The world has changed and it seems that there will never be a sense of normal again. It has me questioning what will be normal as I figure out my own next steps. I didn’t hit all my goals for January. However, I did make some hefty progress and get a sense of direction that I desperately needed.

Work on the new series is coming along nicely. I’m about to the stage where I can start developing the cover art and deciding when to release it to the public. Before I do that, I’m going to make some changes in my process and try to use feedback from pre-release readers to make it better. More on that later though.

In the meantime, I’ve started a sale over on Amazon for the ebooks of the Slauson Cove Series. You can find it here on my Amazon Author Page. And be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Mewe if you would like to get the play by play on promotions. Ebooks are on sale for $4.99 right now through February 14, 2021 at Midnight.

I’m still learning how to navigate all the promotion parts that Amazon has. But, hiring a PA to handle that side of the business isn’t in the budget. So, I’ll flounder about until it is an option and figure it out as I go.

February feels a bit different for me. I’m full of ideas, optimism, and looking into virtual options to interact more with readers and other writers. The idea of a YouTube channel hasn’t left my brain yet. I am just not that comfortable on camera and I am too critical of myself when I edit. So, I think that if I do it (at all) it will be more of a vlog and livestream option to involve myself in building a virtual community to talk about creative things, life, and maybe review some products. Thinking in terms of write-a-longs, maybe a virtual writer’s retreat could be an option. We’ll just see. I’m brainstorming that still.

Also on the list for February is:

  • get some merch together for Slauson Cove to offer online
  • get stock in for signed copies you can order through my website
  • I also need to get a PO Box or mailbox somewhere so that I can send and receive packages easier.
  • Book more in-person events for the year to promote books
  • Get new signage and business cards in for those events
  • And of course, sell some books, get some new reviews, and do some promotion for the work out there.
  • Finish my 2nd draft for the new series and create some promo & teasers for that.
  • Also start outlining for a personal development book that I’ve had an idea for.

Yep, it’s a busy and short month to get it all done in. I also still have course work to finish. We’ll see if I can tick those boxes off this month. Right now I’m motivated. It is keeping that momentum going that gets tricky.

Do you have any tips and tricks for helping to stay motivated?