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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Getting Back To It

This Friday afternoon will mark my first day back in the office at my regular job (the one that pays the bills) since Friday, March 20th. For ten weeks I've been able to work from home, something I've considered a privilege. My office is unique in that there are only six people in a lot of space. Technically, we could've stayed working there, but the boss gave us the capability and the option to work from home. I am very lucky to work where I do.

This isn't the first time I've worked from home, but the past couple of times were by choice not necessity. Once was an attempt at advertising sales, the other was an attempt to make money solely as an author. Neither worked out in the long run. Whether it be from age or the different type of work, this time I enjoyed being stuck at home a lot more. Of everyone in my family I'm the only one not suffering cabin fever. I have gone grocery shopping every week the past month (as soon as the store opens on Sunday morning only). Plus we've picked up to-go orders and such, so I haven't been stuck completely at home the entire time.

Since my life will be getting back to a semblance of normal by the weekend, I'm hoping to get back into a writing groove. I've received an order of bags with my logo on them and am considering some other promo items. I really miss going to book events and meeting readers. One of the items I'm considering is a credit card sized magnifier that can be used as a bookmark. I might do a FB or Twitter poll, but feel free to comment below on whether that's something you would pick up (for free) at a book sale or if there are other items you like to see as giveaways on authors' tables.

It's going to take a while for everything to feel "normal" again, or for us to get used to our new normal. I hope all of you have stayed healthy and safe during this pandemic, and I sincerely hope we're on the homestretch. Keep reading and take care.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Thoughts on Hoarding and Other Things

Calico cat named Jessie
It's Thursday afternoon and I'm in my office trying to ignore the television in the living room, just on the other side of the wall. Kid #3 is home from college and is watching Hoarders with kid #4. I've told them my grandmother might have had hoarding tendencies, but there was a very distinct reason. 

I grew up visiting my Nana in El Paso every summer and Christmas break. I clearly remember her saving food scraps to feed the neighbor's livestock. I remember her making every meal from scratch. So many memories of pennies pinched and things that I didn't understand at the time are much clearer now. Nana grew up during the Great Depression. She became the single mother of four children when my mom was eleven, and worked as a nurse at a hospital near her home for as long as I can remember. 

There are so many things we take for granted when we're children. My kids want for nothing that my husband and I can provide and I've always told them so long as there is breath in my body they will never be homeless and never go hungry. In these uncertain times there are so many people without that family safety net that my kids have always known. It's something I was blessed with myself, and I don't know what I would've done without it. So, I'm sitting here thinking about that and how such things, lack of family and security and/or growing up as a child during a depression, might have effected the hoarders on the show.

I'm not a TV watcher myself. I leave that for my husband and drown myself in books instead. This year I've been more determined than ever to record every book I read in order to keep track. I use Goodreads and am always happy to add a friend to my roll if you're interested. Unfortunately, I haven't been adding to any bookstores myself. I'm almost halfway to my desired word-count for the third installment of my Gargoyle Masters series. Kid #2 (a great artist in my opinion) is working on a new cover for Day Shift. I want it to have more of a comicbook feel to it this time. The sequel is done but needs to be edited and covered as well. Hopefully, by the summer I'll have at least one new release. 

On June 15th I will turn 45. My goal is to release Born of the Forbidden: Gargoyle Masters Book III by that week. Technically it will be my twenty-third manuscript to be published since I started this journey in 2008. The first couple of years were very productive, but the knocks from a thieving publisher, the closing of my favorite publisher, and then be completely ignored by my final publisher, really took its toll on my muse. I'm trying to find it again one sentence at a time. So you may be seeing more blog posts as I work out my writing muscles over the next few weeks. I hope you'll join me on this leg of my journey.