Good morning all. Once again we are at Lake Cumberland for the weekend. My daughter’s little dog is blind and is terrified of the boat, so since I don’t swim, we said we would stay with Zoe. Plus we love the peace and quiet here.
I was supposed to do this blog yesterday, but by the time I finished all I had to do, plus throw my rags in a bag, then sit still as a stone on the I75 due to rush hour traffic, we did not get here till late and I just deflated like a blow up doll.
I love it when I am with family. We have such a good time when we are together. After all, family is what it’s about, and with the world going to Hell in a hand basket, we need to stick together.
Okay, so much for preaching. I hope y’all have been able to get some work done this week. I am going to try and work on THE STONE KILLER some, but it is a two hour trip to any large super market. That’s fun. But then, it is Saturday and all country people go to town on Saturday. So, that is my day. So much for relaxing amid the peace and quiet. I just realized. Today is the first of the month, so it is bill paying day. Lordy, I love when your plan works out. Ha.
Y’all take it easy if you can. I hope you have a Blessed day and we’ll talk later.
Every December, my niece, my sister, and I help where I can, collect money, and buy gifts for the children and parents at the Domestic Violence Center. Christmas time seems to be the worse time of year for domestic violence. Not that any part of the year is better than the other. Domestic violence should never be allowed. But back to the subject. Most of December was spent shopping for the center, wrapping the gifts and making sure each new name added, and there are a lot of folks, are not left out. Once wrapped, the presents are placed in a bag with each child’s name listed. Then the day of the center’s Christmas party the bags are delivered for Santa to give to the children that night. This year, we had to make three trips to deliver everything because there were so many. My focus was not on anything other than helping, decorating the house, and putting up our tree. Then making pies for Christmas dinner. My writing took back seat to all the other activities. So FOR LOVE OF HANNAH was not worked on at all.
The New Year came in quietly for sister and I. We stayed up until midnight to watch the ball drop in Times Square but didn’t get to see it because they focused on the crowd. Oh well, maybe next year. So the first week of January, I returned to rewriting and editing FOR LOVE OF HANNAH. Everything has gone fairly well, but I still have those last twenty pages to finish. Tomorrow at the latest it will be completed.
Next comes the rewrite of the synopsis and the decision of whether or not to submit to an agent. I have self-published four novels, but I am lousy at marketing. I need a partner who is great at marketing. Each book has received five-star reviews, CREATING KATHRYN CROWN, A CIRCLE OF MURDERS, THE STONE KILLER, and THE HANGMAN. I am leaning toward submitting to an agent as it was an agent who told me the rest of the story wasn’t as suspenseful as the first two chapters. Hopefully, I have rectified that problem with the rewrite. I will submit to that agent again before returning to self-publishing. Nothing ventured, nothing gain, I say.
My next project will be to complete TO CATCH A DREAM, then THE SNATCHER, the third book in the Jonas Black series. A new story jumped into my head the other day and I jotted down a brief outline, RIPPLES. That book will be cooking in my brain for a time before being put to paper. Wish me luck, everyone.
Have a great weekend and stay safe. Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.
Our Thanksgiving Day was a reflection of what a lot of people experienced across the country, delicious food and drink. Too much for anyone to consume at one sitting, but try we all did, overeating until I was uncomfortable and tired from helping sister prepare the meal. Then after dinner, you all know how it is, comes the cleanup. By that time you’re not in the mood to do much of anything let alone fill a dishwasher or scrub a pot, platter or carving board. But it has to be done. No one wants to face the next day with a sink full of dirty dishes, pots or pans. So, as a good sister, I cleaned up the kitchen. I have to say, it was nice having family around me this year. By not living close to sisters, many holidays, I spent alone or with a couple of friends. The day after we lazed around recouping from too much food, and pumpkin pie. I do love pumpkin pie.
Last night, of course my pups had to go out around 3:00 a.m. The rain was blowing across the back porch and drenching everything. JoJo and Titan hurried off the deck and peed then rushed back inside so I could dry the poor babies off, me included. Then we went back to bed, the pups went to sleep, while I fought with Stanley my big Ragdoll cat. Lately, every morning around 3:30 or 4:00 he decides he wants a drink of water from the bathroom faucet. To wake me up, he bangs the shower doors against each other. The sound is loud enough to wake me, but not break the glass in the doors. I have a spray bottle and use it on him. After a couple of times getting hit with a shot of water, he’ll settle down in his bed, and I go back to sleep. It isn’t that the fur babies don’t have water available; two bowls of fresh are in the bathroom day and night. Stanley happens to like running water from the spigot, and during the daylight hours that’s where he gets a drink. Yes, all my animals are spoiled, and it’s my fault and my sister’s.
This past year has been a lesson for me in writing my novel. When you rush to complete a book, sometimes you have to do a LOT of rewriting. Such was the case with FOR LOVE OF HANNAH. I wrote like a manic for several months to finish the story. First, after I sent the book to literary agents, and post-editing the manuscript numerous times line by line myself and with the aid of three editing program, I discovered numerous mistakes. So I did another round of edits. One agent was kind enough to tell me what kept her from representing my book. The suspense was not consistent throughout the story. I pulled the submissions from any agency I hadn’t heard from and did a review of the events in the novel. All the necessary suspense was there, but all grouped together and not spread throughout the storyline. I did a lot of rearranging and adding to the plot. The book has gone from a little over 82,000 words to almost 88,000. And, I’m not done yet. As sister says, the book will be completed when the story is as well written as I can make it. Keep an eye out FOR LOVE OF HANNAH, TO CATCH A DREAM and THE SNATCHER in 2020. Check out my published novels on amazon.com.
Well, back to work. Everyone have a great week and stay safe. Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.
I received feedback from a literary agent I submitted FOR LOVE OF HANNAH to hoping to obtain representation. I kept reading her rejection over and and over. Then I reviewed HANNAH again. She was right. The order in which I had the events in my novel made the storyline drag. There has always been something about the book I felt was out of whack. She pointed out the flaws within a few words, “The rest of the book doesn’t grip me like the first two chapters. So, FOR LOVE OF HANNAH is undergoing a rewrite. I am rearranging all the different things which happen to my character to keep the reader guessing. Anyway, I hope so. I know I am much happier with how the story is flowing and I believe my readers will like the changes. So, if you get a rejection letter from an agent and they state why they are turning down the book, pay attention to what they have to say. Take their advice to heart and do a rewrite. I have been working like mad on the rewrite is why I haven’t posted a blog lately. Bear with me folks; I’m a workaholic, and my novels are my main priority.
there has been frost the last two mornings. Today out near the pond, the ground looked as if
it was covered with snow, it was so white with frost. Sister and I both are dreading when winter
arrives full blast with zero temperatures and the fluffy white stuff. Or the heavy wet type which downs power line
and breaks tree limbs. And no, I won’t
move to Florida. Been there, done that,
and will not go back. Too much humidity,
bugs, and heat.
was surprised when my niece came over yesterday and picked all the remaining
tomatoes on the vines. They’re green but
will ripen if placed in a window. Or we
can chop them all and make a green tomato relish. Personally, I love fried green tomatoes.
I checked the weather forcast for the week ahead. Some days the high will be in the low fifties and chilly at night. Time to put the down comforter back on the bed.
a new week lies before us. Everyone have
a great time and stay safe. Remember,
NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.
I have perused every sentence in my novel, FOR LOVE OF HANNAH, checking each word to be as sure as I can everything is correct, utilizing three editing programs, which don’t agree about the same correction. That’s been fun and frustrating. Question for all three, can’t you agree when to use a comma? And why haven’t you been coded to know, IT’S means IT IS? No, they can’t manage to do it for some unknown reason. I have done the best I can to produce a clean, error-free manuscript. I am declaring Hannah at last finished. Now, I am praying hard, to find an agent who will believe in my writing as much as I do. I don’t claim to be the best, but I am far from being the worst writer. Pray, I succeed in my quest. To all those individuals who are praying for the same thing, my prayers for your success are with you.
Rain, at last, arrived here today. It has been dry for the last couple of weeks. Sister has had to water the garden several times. But those tomato plants keep on producing big juicy red and yellow tomatoes. The yellow ones are milder and not as acidic. The beefsteak tomatoes are delicious. Soon, the garden will die and winter will arrive. We have four more days of hot weather predicted before cooler temperatures blow in. On the news tonight it appears as if winter has already arrived in Montana. I hope we have a mild one this year, but doubt that will happen. Oh well, you can’t control the weather.
I bumped the back of my left hand last week and also had a cut on the wrist. Last Friday, when I awoke, my left hand was badly swollen, hot and red. I went to the doctor and found out I had cellulitis of the hand. I’m on an antibiotic, and my hand is much better. My left fingers were swollen, and it was difficult to use them, so no typing except with my right hand. All is better, thank you. I was going to post a picture, but, believe me, you don’t want to see it.
new week lies ahead. Everyone have a
great one and stay safe. Remember, NEVER
GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.
Sister made her salsa the other day. All morning she cleaned various types of peppers, onions, and other vegetables which go into the mix. She was smart this year and purchased a 102-ounce can of diced tomatoes to use instead of having to peel those we’d picked and then chop them. It worked out great. That afternoon, she cooked everything in a large pot until it had thickened. She had to boil the jars and lids in another container to sterilize them. After all that, she filled the jars while I put the lids on for her. Once that is done, the filled jars have to be put in boiling water for fifteen minutes, taken out of the water and we wait to see if the lids pop to indicate the salsa is good to store. Otherwise, that jar will go in the fridge to be eaten. Of course, it’s all to be eaten, but not immediately. After all that work, Sister had eight pints and four half-pints of salsa. As for me, that’s too much work for such a little outcome. The grocery store sells a large variety of salsa. That works for me. But, fresh garden grown tomatoes are wonderful.
last few mornings here in Ohio have been cool.
The trees are changing more each day. The red and yellow leaves are carried by the breeze
all over the yard and porch. Even the
air smells different. Yesterday the
temperature remained low enough we turned off the air conditioning and opened
the doors and window to let the fresh air inside. Tonight the low is sixty-one and tomorrow
night, fifty-one. Crazy.
far, and thank you, God, the fur babies all seem to be in good shape. Well, except Pyewacket. He eats too fast and sometimes upchucks,
which he did at five o’clock this morning.
I’m a light sleeper so heard him immediately and got out of bed to clean
up the mess before going back to bed. My
poor baby. Sister says that what happens
when you have a bunch of children, human or fur babies. I love them just as much as if they were
human. They are my children, and I take
good care of each one, and I’m very protective of them.
Thank God, I’m coming to the end of editing FOR LOVE OF HANNAH. I’ve not progressed as fast as I wanted due to unavoidable interruptions, vet visits, and doctor visits, but I am coming to the end of the book. I am ready to go to work on THE SNATCHER or TO CATCH A DREAM, probably will work on DREAM as I’m working out all the details out on THE SNATCHER. Whatever works is what I will do.
Last year was not a good one for me health-wise. That is all behind me, again thank God. I also promised my friends at the Colorado Police Department another painting, which I haven’t done. The canvas is primed and on my easel ready to go. On breaks from writing, I will work on keeping my promise to my friends at the CSPD. I have a strong urge to start painting again.
Time to get back to work. Everyone have a great week and weekend. Stay safe and healthy. Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER.
at four o’clock Stanley received his last shots for his upper respiratory infection. Dr. Akers says he should be fine. Jodie Akers is a great vet and cares about
the animals she treats. Pyewacket is
also doing well. I needed to give him
his insulin shot, but he was nowhere to be found. The rascal was hiding under the bed. He
finally came out of hiding to eat, and I gave him his shot. So now I’m happy. He does get tired of getting
stuck with a needle, poor baby. I would
too. All the rest of my fur babies
appear to be doing well this evening. Thank you, Lord.
am glad this week is over, and Saturday is here. Between running the cat to the vet and me going
to therapy for my back, I have been on the go all week. I hurt my back last year, and it hasn’t been
the same since. Now the doctors tell me
my low back is a mess. I know it gives
me a lot of pain to the point I have to take pills at night so that I can
sleep. I’m thinking of trying the CBD
oil. I’ve heard it helps with inflammation
and pain. I’ll let you know what I find
out. My problem is, I am always having
to lift objects which do not help my back.
The lifting can’t be avoided if I want the litter box cleaned and the
dirty litter taken out, plus other things which have to be done. I have trouble standing for a long time. But I do like a clean house. Oh well, I will persevere.
night Sister and I ate a goodly portion of that two-pound tomato. It was wonderful. Tomorrow, she is going to make salsa with a
lot of the rest we have on the kitchen table.
That should be good. There are
still so many green ones still on the plants and beginning to ripen. Also, the green beans are still producing will
have to be picked soon. Sister blanches
them and puts them in the freezer, so we have fresh green beans all
trees have started to change colors a little here. The mornings are cool, and you can tell fall
is rushing our way. I hope winter will
not be too harsh this year. Ohio is
known for its cold winters. I do love
Colorado with its low humidity.
have about fifty more pages to read over slowly and with care searching for
errors in FOR LOVE OF HANNAH, and I am calling it finished. I have worked hard to find the errors in my
manuscript, and since I don’t have Beta readers, all I can do is try my best
and pray it is enough. Say a prayer for
me and wish me luck.
I’m going to bed early and hopefully to sleep.
Everyone have a great weekend and stay safe. Remember, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER
Like I said before, the pups got their rabies shots which will last them three years. JoJo is doing much better. The itching has greatly decreased, and the hives are all gone. Pyewacket is on antibiotics for his upper respiratory infection, his ears are clean, and Dr. Ackers upped his insulin by one unit, and he is doing great. But, boy is it fun getting that liquid antibiotic down his throat. He doesn’t like it, but doesn’t try to scratch or bite me. He is one good cat. If you could have seen him last September, most people would have put him down. I couldn’t. He would look at me and cry as if sensing I was contemplating that very thing. I had to give him every chance to get well, and he has bounced back, and now weighs fifteen pounds and is my big black wonderful cat.
vet gave Stanley two antibiotic shots which are supposed to take care of his
upper respiratory problem. But, he is still sneezing and this morning
threw up multiple times. If he is not
better by Monday, back to the vet he goes.
night was rough. My poor puppy Titan,
for some unknown reason, developed a severe case of diarrhea. I was up taking him outside every forty-five
minutes. To stop his runs, I gave the
pup three doses of Pepto Bismol. So I
didn’t get much sleep until six–forty-five this morning and then only until
nine-thirty, but the Pepto seems to have stopped the diarrhea. I did take a nap this afternoon.
would not believe the number of tomatoes on those plants. Sister is going to
have to do a lot of canning or make salsa out of them because there are a lot
more ready to be picked and they are delicious. Between the tomatoes and the green beans,
sister has been busy.
I worked on FOR LOVE OF HANNAH some more this afternoon. How in the hell I missed the mistakes I am
still finding is beyond me. You would
think these blasted editing programs would catch more of the errors, but no,
they skip right over them. Why am I paying
for these three services, Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and Ginger, if they can’t catch all the mistakes? I guess the answer is simply because they can’t. Whoever created the programs can’t write code
to catch every mistake. Oh well, I’ll
keep editing line by line and do the best I can.
have a great Sunday and stay safe. Remember,
NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER no matter how hard things get.