Sunday, June 18, 2017

Honestly?

Well, so much for being all fired up about getting back to the current novel. Didn’t look at it all week. The only thing I did get done was I wrote a poem and submitted it to a poetry contest.

My back is doing much better. For anyone out there with back problems who has not tried a chiropractor, you really need to make an appointment. Amazing how months and months of back pain are gone after two adjustments. I just need to heed my own advice, though, and go back as soon as the pain starts up again, instead of thinking it will get better on its own.

Other than that I have no idea where the week went again. Umm, nope, I got nothin. I am just lazy.

Hubby and I drove to Milwaukee on Friday, went to a Brewers game and then came home yesterday. Only gone about 28 hours, so that really didn’t cut into my writing time.

This coming week, to be honest, I got a feeling that it will be more of the same. Just being honest. I am thinking about heading to Minnesota on Friday to see my friend there who is having some medical issues. I work late tomorrow. A family friend passed away last night, so I have to squeeze the funeral in whenever that is. 

I will give it my best effort to write at least a little on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Let’s see if I can get that much done. 
(I hadn't been to Miller Park in Milwaukee before. It's pretty cool.) 

Oops, I just remembered two other things. Yesterday, on our way home, we stopped at my favorite used book store and I found two books I've been wanting to read forever. "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed and "On Writing" by Stephen King. As if I have time for reading besides. . .  but I'm gonna try. 

Also, just as my back is doing better, my daughter's went 'out' yesterday. We were going to go to her house for Father's Day for supper, already, but went a few hours earlier so we could help her clean her house. The poor thing walks around just as croaked as I do when my back is 'out'. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Productive week and a backache

I’m gonna have to make this post short as I am heading to my daughter’s this morning to meet the new grand-puppy.  

My back has been giving me an immense amount of grief all week. One of the perks of that is that I can’t do anything else around the house except lay out in the sun during the day and write on my novel during the night (especially the middle of the night when I can’t get comfortable in bed). Odd how my old, creaky office chair is more comfortable than my bed. The problem is that I can’t easily get out of either one of them. Chiropractor here I come.

With all this office chair time, you’d think I would have gotten more written, but at 2,328 words this week, I won’t complain. That’s the most I’ve written in months.

I also got another potential cover for my novel from my publisher this week. I definitely like this one the best. I think it captures the protagonist’s heart. 

Wish me luck with my back and my writing this week. Maybe now that the writing plug has been uncorked, I can write even when I’m not in pain.


Hoping that you have a productive week as well, while enjoying the summer weather. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Not Beating Myself Up

Once again I had a totally unproductive week. Sometimes I think I should just take the summer off, and I would, except that I have nothing to show for the last six months, so rewarding myself with a vacation would be rewarding my bad behavior. Oh, I know, I shouldn’t beat myself up over this.

I did have a good day today. Spent, remarkably, with my brother. Because he is 16 years older than me, we’ve just never done much together other than the obligatory family gatherings. Today was a family gathering too, but the two of us drove down to it together, and without Mom there as the buffer, it was just the two of us for most of the day.

He told me some stories from his wild youth that I had never heard. It was a good day. Now, I’m scanning old pictures of him, ones I’m sure he hasn’t seen in forever, and no one has ever seen. Good for me he doesn’t have internet, so that when I post these pictures on my other blog on Tuesday in honor of his birthday, he’ll never know.

The only thing that happened in the writing world is that I got three rough drafts of covers for “Where the Sky meets the Sand”. I attached a rough draft of a potential blurb about the book at the end so you can get a feel for what it’s about.


An American businesswoman with a secret past. An African boy without a home. Two missionaries with more than one mission to accomplish. Will all of their wishes come true where the sky meets the sand on the African plain? 
“Where the Sky Meets the Sand” tells the story of Jenny Neumeyer and Ole, a homeless boy she befriends while she and her husband are on vacation in Kenya. This encounter leads her to confront a secret she has kept buried for 14 years. As she comes to terms with her past, two missionaries to Africa discover Ole and are determined to lead him home. Along the way, they realize that the boy is not the only one who is lost.
Jenny, her husband, and the missionaries all discover that their faith in God is what will see them through. 

I like the third cover the best, but would like to have a picture of the woman Jenny included somewhere. We’ll see what the design team comes up.

And this week in my world? Not going to make any promises at all. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Getting my Mojo back

I apologize for posting this so late. We just got home from my daughter’s house. Last week she pulled back the nasty carpet in her living room and discovered that the hardwood floors hiding there were in much better shape than she could have imagined. She spent the rest of the week cleaning and refinishing the floors and was anxious for us to come see. They had just finished putting down the last coat of poly shortly before we got there. 
 Shouldn’t it be illegal to cover up something so beautiful with carpeting. Makes me crazy. 

Anyway, we had just gotten home from camping, jumped in the car and ran to her house. Camping was wonderful, cold and rainy, but that’s why we don’t tent-camp. The popup has its limitations, and taking it down in a mist wasn’t the funniest thing. Nor was putting it up in more rain when we got home – we better have a clear day soon so it can dry out inside. 
The good news is that with the less than optimal weather this weekend, we spent our evenings holed up in the camper, the hubby reading and me? Working on my WIP. Finally. Friday and Saturday night I read through the 38,000 words I had already written, as it has been so long that I forgot where I was with it. Then I wrote 747 words this morning. I know, not record-breaking or anything, but I was pretty pleased with myself.

I have a few things going on a couple evenings this week, but I hope that my mojo has returned, that I can write at least another thousand words this week.

I also got my first draft of the interior design of my novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”. If anyone would like to read a copy of it, so that you can be ready with a review of it as soon as it is available on Amazon, send me your email address and I will send it to you.

It seems like forever ago (October!) that it was accepted for publication. I don’t know how authors wait 18 months to two years to have a copy of their book in their hands. I’ve already kind of lost my excitement over it. Talk about needing some mojo. I’ll really need to get my act together to start promoting this baby.

Right now, just waiting for the cover design and a release date. Then I will turn into marketing queen (or demon, we’ll have to see). 

Have a great week, everyone, and a safe upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Important Stuff

Well, so much for getting back in action. I just noticed that I didn’t post here last week. I was hit with some medical issues, nothing serious, but enough to derail me, as if I was actually back on track.

I can’t say it was a productive week, but I actually did bring up my work-in-progress and read a few chapters. I also bought a memoir of the Viet Nam war, the era my novel is set in, for research. So, not leaps and bounds, but forward movement.

I have two doctor’s appointments this week, as well as the full work schedule, so I don’t plan on doing much extra. We are also going camping next weekend – super excited, cannot wait. The forecast is for rain on Saturday, but, hey, maybe then I can sit inside the camper and write!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers, fathers who take over for mothers, and all you kids who drive us nuts but love us anyway. And remember what is important in life. 
 My sister and I in the  camper with Mom, many, many years ago.
Where Hubby and I are going camping next weekend. Of all the gifts my parents gave me, the love of camping was one of the best. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Mixed Bag of a Week

 Crossing the Chippewa River, above, and a cool picture of Dino, the Wonder Dog, below.
Here I am still dragging my butt on getting back to a writing schedule. Yet another snag blew in last week.

We were supposed to bury Mom on Friday, but my sister’s mother-in-law passed away Monday night, so her funeral was Friday. I really feel sorry for my sister and her family. Losing two grandmas in a couple of months. Uf-da.

So we moved my mom’s burial back to tomorrow. I was planning on working the day job all day and just taking a long lunch break to join the family at the cemetery. Thursday morning, I found out my boss was taking Monday off, so I said, well, cool, then I won’t be here either. Once in a while things work out.

I am still working on lots of stuff for the nonprofit, though. I updated our donor list and have been reviewing the changes my daughter and son have been making to our business plan and our volunteer handbook. I’m so proud of both my kids, but sometimes I don’t know if it’s so good that they inherited my tenacious spirit.

The other good thing, Hubby, the dog and I took a much-needed ride yesterday. Found a new campground, and I came home and made reservations for it in August. I cannot wait to go camping this summer. Hopefully, I will drag my sister away some weekend for some sister-time too.

Lots to look forward to and lots of work to get goin’ on. No promises on the writing front, but I’ll get back in the saddle eventually.
 Wishing everyone else a productive week. 
I thought I should include a picture of the granmas. My mom is on the right. This picture was taken in 2012, at the wedding of their great-granddaughter. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Starting from Scratch

Well, my goodness, it has been a long time since I posted here. I returned from Kenya on April 12 and hoped to hit the ground running, getting right back into the swing of things. I don’t know why I thought that would happen.

Anyway, moving on. Since it has been a while, I thought that I would start from scratch with this blog and answer a few questions first.

What is this blog about? I write another blog, The Dino Chronicles, which tells about the journey of my life. On the other hand, this blog is intended to share my writing journey. I include other goals, like getting in shape and working on our nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers, but overall, this is where I chart the course of my writing career.

What do you write? I write a little bit of everything – poetry, memoir, fiction. I’ve published three books – two devotionals and one memoir. All three books are for the Christian market, but I think that anyone would enjoy reading the memoir as it tells the story of my first trip to Kenya. I’d like to do a second edition with a new epilogue explaining how that trip changed my life, but I think what I should do is publish a whole new memoir of my subsequent trips. Maybe someday. Right now, my first novel, which takes place in Kenya, is in the process of being published. As soon as it is available, you will get sick of me pushing it on you. So just get a copy right away, write a review of it on Amazon, tell six friends about it, buy each of them their own copy, and once the book has sold 20,000 copies, I will leave everyone alone.

What’s the name of this upcoming novel? Oh, sorry. “Where the Sky Meets the Sand.” I had hoped it would be out be now, but life got in the way, for both myself and my publisher. You’ll be the first to know when it comes out.  

So what are your current writing goals? Nothing for right now, except getting that novel out. I am working on my second novel, have it about half written. It takes place in Wisconsin in the mid-1970s, so I’ve done a lot of research on that era and the ethnic groups who are involved. Only other writers understand this, but the main character is so engrained in my brain, that I don’t think I can put off for much longer telling his entire story. He is a very tortured soul and I want to make everything right in his life, or at least in his world. No title for it yet. I have to wait until I’ve finished a thing before a title comes to me.

You mentioned a nonprofit. What’s that all about? In 2013, during my second trip to Africa and my daughter’s third trip, she and I started forming our own nonprofit organization, Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. Even though we have been at it for four years, we are still tweaking our purpose. The plan is geared towards providing self-sufficiency, but there are a lot of questions as to how we are going to continue to do that, if we are going to branch out to other geographical areas, and just lots of other what’s and how’s. We are always looking for help, so follow us on Facebook for more information and message us if you want to get involved. We are also starting to plan our next trip and love taking new people along to show them the country we have fallen in love with.

I think that’s enough for now. Maybe by next week I will have my head on straight and can outline some concrete goals. For now, I am still just taking it a day at a time.

One last thing of note, this coming Friday we plan on burying Mom. I’ll also be closing out her bank account. Maybe I’ll have more closure then and be able to move on. Unfortunately, the boxes of her stuff in the other room are another story, but enough of that. 

I need to get something done today. 
(Looks beautiful, but this place is called Hell's Gate for a reason. I had to hike, crawl, slide and climb to get to this overlook. Kind of like life, I guess.)