1. Cooking. As much as I love to cook, when it comes to making dinner, I drag my feet and pull my hair and don’t even decide what I’m making until it’s time to start making it. So, we eat late most nights. Lol.
2. Blog posts. I don’t think I’m all that interesting, and most of the time my mind goes blank when I sit down to write something. You should hear all the blog posts I write in my head while I’m driving in the car. That’s when I’m brilliant.
3. Calling people. I hate being on the phone. Haaaaate.
4. Getting dressed. Pants suck.
5. Anything crafty. I’m not crafty. So of course I’m gonna drag my feet at making something Or just avoid it entirely.
6. Laundry and/or dishes. I need a maid. So bad.
7. Going to the gym. Even if my back and shoulder weren’t fucked up, I don’t care for the gym anyway.
8. Shopping. I don’t like people much. I hate shopping more social anxiety is real and panic attacks are no fun.
9. Getting dirty or sweaty. It’s a texture thing I guess, but I loathe the feeling of being dirty or sweaty. I immediately have to wash my hands or get in the shower.
10. Watching the news. It’s all so goddamn depressing. No thanks.
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The song this month is one of my favorite from… either middle or high school. I honestly can’t remember, since Bush was popular throughout that time of my life. I spent countless hours listening to Gavin Rossdale croon about things I really had no clue of in my young mind. But teenage angst, and all that… Glycerine remained in heavy rotation on my playlists until I left for the Navy, and now that I remember how much I absolutely loved that album, it will likely be placed back into heavy rotation.
The bell above the door jangled, alerting the diners at Tiffany’s Diner to newcomers. Lindsey glanced up from the worn plastic menu in expectation, but it was just Danny, the owner of the barber shop next door. She sent what she hoped was a good impression of a smile and looked back down at the same food items that had been available since the 90s, when Eileen had bought Momma’s Kitchen from her grandparents. Eileen had named the diner as a nod to a popular song at the time, though most kids who came through had no idea what it meant–just that Tiffany’s Diner had the best breakfast in town.
Tracing the lines of the menu, Lindsey absently noted that her polish had begun to chip. She’d tried to do the manicure, herself, the night before. But dealing with a rambunctious four year old who liked to get his hands into everything usually had her washing her hands–or her son’s–roughly a million times a day.
The smell of bacon, sizzling in the back while Joe sang along to an old Patsy Cline song on the radio, made Lindsey’s stomach rumble–though not in a pleasant way.
It had been two years, five months, and eight days since she’d last seen Kevin. Two years since he’d last held their son. Kissed him goodnight. Held them both close, whispering promises and endearments before disappearing to God only knew where. His deployment had been classified, so even if he cared enough to tell her what caused him to vanish into thin air, by law, he couldn’t.
“Can I get you something, darlin’?” Eileen stood next to the booth, hip leaning against the table behind her. She pulled a pencil from her carrot-red hair, licking the tip before pressing it to the small notepad clutched in her calloused hands.
Her go-to was coffee, but the acrobats performing an interesting version of Cirque du Soleil in her gut insisted on something less acidic. “Can I get a water for now? I’m waiting for someone.”
Eileen cast a blue-eyeshadowed glance toward the door, as if expecting Lindsey’s guest to appear out of thin air. “Sure thing, doll. If you need anything else, gimme a holler, okay?”
Lindsey nodded. “Yes ma’am. Thank you.”
When the large glass of iced water was thunked down in front of her, she gratefully took the straw offered and set it on the table, needing something to do with her hands.
“You and Jared are the most important things in the world to me. I hope you know that.”
Those words had filled her with so much hope at the time. Looking back, she wondered if anything he told her was true. If he’d ever cared about them at all.
The familiar deep, scratchy voice had Lindsey’s head snapping up to look at the man standing in front of her. How did I not hear the goddamn bell? And what do I do? Stand up and hug him? Slap him in the face? Tell him how much he hurt me when he left me alone? Beg him never to go away again?
She’d thought of all that the night before, when Kevin had called her out of the blue asking to meet for coffee. The answers hadn’t magically appeared then, either.
Kevin looked the same. Baby blue eyes, pale skin, short brown hair… same devastating smile. There were a few new lines around his mouth, his chest broader than she remembered, arms more muscular.
Suddenly aware of her mom body, she fidgeted in her seat and crossed her arms over her chest. “Hi. Um, have a seat. I haven’t ordered anything yet. I wanted to wait until you got here.”
The plastic covering the cushion protested as Kevin slid into the booth.”It’s good to see you. You look great.”
Lindsey ran a self conscious hand through her shoulder length blonde hair. “Yeah, you do too.” Clearing her throat, she added, “Look, I don’t want to be rude, and I’ve thought about this since I got your call last night, but…” She heaved a sigh. “I don’t know what you want. Or what you expect. And this is so weird and uncomfortable that I don’t know how to handle it.”
The dimples she’d fallen in love with as a shy twenty-one year old grad student appeared. “There’s my girl–always so blunt. It’s one of the things I love the most about you.”
Her stomach did a flip, though she wasn’t sure if it was because he’d called her “his girl” or if it was from years of pent up anger. She went with the easiest emotion to deal with.
“Don’t call me your girl. You lost that right when you disappeared like a fucking puff of smoke. I know, I know. Classified mission, and all that. You could have written. Or had your captain pass on a message to me. Something. For all I knew, you were dead in a fucking ditch somewhere. And I was home, twiddling my thumbs and waiting on someone who couldn’t be bothered.”
Something in his eyes changed. They went from soft blue to stormy gray, and Lindsey could’ve sworn she’d seen genuine hurt flash through his expression. Steeling herself against the inevitable story he’d have to tell, she swore that she’d stay strong for her son. That she wouldn’t let him back into her life or her bed–because that’s all he’d ever wanted–in order to protect the life she’d built with Jared.
“My name is Lindsey,” she interrupted.
Kevin’s shoulders jerked as though she’d wounded him with the declaration that he wasn’t to use the nickname he’d given her so many years ago. He nodded solemnly. “Lindsey… I probably should’ve asked you to meet me somewhere private so we could really talk, but I wasn’t sure you would meet me anywhere but a public place. So, thank you for agreeing to see me.” He closed his eyes briefly, as though he were searching for the right words. “I wish I could say something that would make these last two years better. To erase the loneliness you felt, or making Jared wonder where I went. Believe me, it hurts my soul to know I caused you pain.”
Lindsey concentrated on breathing in and out in an attempt to keep her blood pressure at bay. She knew he was going to apologize, but hearing the words actually come from his mouth… made her blood boil.
“I wanted to reach out to you so many times, but I couldn’t. I thought about you every single day. Wondered how our son was doing. Wondered if he still looked like you, or if he’d started showing any of my traits. I missed your voice and the sounds of Jared’s laughter when I tickled his feet.” He grabbed a napkin from the shiny silver dispenser on the table and dabbed at his watery eyes. “I missed you so goddamn much, sometimes I felt like I couldn’t breathe. But it wasn’t safe for me to come home. And if anything had happened to you and Jared….”
Lindsey’d fists clenched on the table before she took a deep, calming breath. “I’m trying to be understanding. I thought knew what I was getting into when I started dating someone who worked for the goddamn FBI. But apparently, I was wrong. And you did hurt us. So, how the hell can I trust you, now? Thank you for apologizing, but I just… I don’t think I can forgive you. I won’t keep you from Jared since he’s your son, too. But from now on, I think it’s best if we only see each other when it directly involves him.”
She began to slide out of the booth when he caught her hand, keeping her in place. “I’m out, Linz. I retired.” His brows lowered, his expression pleading. “I left the Bureau. Came home for you and Jared. Please. I love you.”
The noises from the crowded diner seemed to vanish around her as she soaked in his statement. She blinked, staring at the man who’d held her heart since her sixteenth birthday and crushed it so brutally every time he had to go undercover, spending weeks…months…and then years away.
“I… I don’t know.” Lindsey pulled her hand free of his grip and stood, grabbing her purse from the seat. “I’m sorry. I can’t do this right now. I’ll call you… sometime.”
With that, she left the diner, Kevin staring after her.
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So, this post is for our monthly check-in. Updates on goals, whatever’s on our mind, etc. I’ve been hard at work on edits this month, which hasn’t left a lot of time for writing, since my computer decided to update itself in the middle of the night and the two files I had open were both lost. Almost 180k of edits down the drain. I cried and cursed A LOT over that, lemme tell you.
So, my writing goals are being readjusted. I’m good at adapting, thankfully. I have a few other editing projects on the horizon, but I also have to get Detoured expanded and edited in anticipation of releasing the full novel into the wild (April).
I’ve also been accepted into two different Kindle Worlds: Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire & Rescue, and Sable Hunter’s Hell Yeah! I’m super excited to be working with them, and I’ve already got some great ideas for what I want to write.
As for the rest of my life… there’s been some pretty heavy things on my mind, of late. Some of which I can’t share with you, but it’s kept me more down than usual. I’m working my way back to the light, slowly but surely. I’ve been saying a lot of prayers, putting out good vibes, and hoping for the best.
And on that mildly depressing note… I leave you with music. Because music is awesome and makes me smile. Or at the very least, dance around the living room like a crazy person.
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Either I’ve blocked out all the times I’ve been stuck somewhere awful, or I’ve led a charmed(ish) life, because I honestly can’t remember being stuck in a place that would qualify as the “worst.”
Well, unless you count boot camp. That wasn’t all peaches and cream. Granted, if I weren’t so damn broken, I’d go back in a heartbeat. Yeah, you read that right. Being away from my family SUCKED and I was on my own for the first time in my life, so I was a terrified little 19 year old. But there were so many great things about it. Losing all that weight and coming out a size 6 for the first time IN MY LIFE was pretty awesome, too.
What wasn’t awesome? I went in the middle of July, and it was 114 degrees almost every day. Toward the end, it started to get cold, because unlike Texas, Illinois experiences actual seasons with actual snow, but I mostly remember the blazing heat. Even being a Texan can’t get you used to those kind of temperatures. Any time it went past… I forget what the threshold was. Astoundingly high, for people always running and marching in long sleeved utilities, but yeah, any time it went past that threshold, we were on a “red flag day” which meant we weren’t allowed to go outside longer than to just walk to our next school session or to chow. Yeah, it was THAT HOT.
There were also 79 other girls in my compartment (that’s what they call the bay you live in where you sleep on uncomfortable AF bunk beds that could’ve doubled as torture devices. And yes, I can make my bed so tight you can bounce a quarter off it. I just choose not to. Just like I choose to wear black and purple and blood red nail polish… because you can’t while you’re in uniform and I’m still rebelling against that authority, LOL.
Anyway. That’s the worst place I’ve been stuck.Days so hot, you could fry an egg on the concrete, people screaming in your face when you fuck up (and you fuck up a LOT, no matter who you are–it’s part of the process in becoming a Sailor), endless classes that are so boring they could use it to put screaming children to sleep but if you fall asleep you have to do PT as punishment until the instructor gets tired… yeah, that part, I don’t miss so much. And OH GOD THE HAIRCUT. My hair was already short when I got there, but they chopped it more. And it was soooooooo uneven. I’m surprised you can’t see it in my boot camp picture. No, you can’t see it.
Apparently, they’re no longer requiring women to cut their hair when they get to boot camp. They can wear their hair long as long as it stays in regs. To that, I say UNFAIR. And AWESOME.
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This one wasn’t easy for me. I love music. LOOOOOVE. My husband is a musician. My father is a musician. My grandfather is a musician. Hell, my dad used to fall asleep on Willie Nelson’s pool table while my grandfather was jamming in the living room with Willie. He even told me that he used to play guitar with Buddy Holly. So, to say I have music in my blood is putting it mildly.
I’m the black sheep of the family in that I don’t play an instrument (anymore–I played the flute in 6th grade and even made 1st chair), but I do sing. All the time. It kind of drives the hubs a bit crazy, especially since Monkey has developed my love of singing too. As I was trying to think about what songs to put in this list, she was singing in the kitchen while she was doing the dishes.
See? It’s in my blood.
Also, with the exception of #3, you should probably assume that this is just my favorite of the moment. It changes almost hourly.
1.) FAVE SOUNDTRACK
2.) SONG THAT MAKES ME WANT TO DANCE
3.) SONG I LOVE TO SING ALONG WITH - Yeah, I cheated. This is my playlist for songs I love to sing along to. I call it the karaoke playlist, because I’ll likely make a YouTube video of me singing these songs sooner or later.
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The prompt: S/he showed up at his/her door, soaking wet, bruised and covered in glitter.
He showed up at her door, soaking wet, bruised and covered in glitter. Water dripped from his hair, a smirk on his puffy lips.
Sighing, she simply held the door open for him to enter. “You’ve got to stop appearing like this. You know you’re always welcome in my home. You don’t have to be bleeding.”
“But you’re my healer. If I weren’t harmed in some way, you’d wonder what’s wrong with me.” He plopped down onto the couch as she moved to grab herbs from the kitchen cabinet. “Or have nothing to do beyond try to get me into your bedroom.” He winced when his wide grin opened the cut on his mouth.
“Serves you right,” she said, sitting on the ottoman across from him. He automatically spread his legs to allow her to be as close as she could–to work, of course. “First, I’m a healer. Not your healer. Just because you’re the main one prancing through my door every week doesn’t make me yours. And second” –she got a little thrill when he jumped at the sting of the salve she applied to one of his many bruises– “I’ve never attempted to get you into my bed. Judging from the fairy dust all over you, it wouldn’t take much to get you there, even if I wanted you. But Tink and I have an agreement–we don’t mess with each other’s sloppy seconds.”
That’s it for me this week. Want to see what the other bloggers have come up with? Click the links below:
Today’s post involves the top 10 things I’m proud of. When I saw the topic, I have to admit I panicked. I’m not overly proud of much beyond my family and the fact that I’ve managed to write a few books. I think I’m just not overly sentimental… and I can’t always remember things offhand, especially when put under pressure to make a list.
1. My kid. She’s the light of my life and the love of my heart. She drives me up the damn wall on a daily basis, but I’m pretty sure that’s her job (and believe me, she’s good at it). Monkey is so smart and funny and KIND. She always wants to be sure that everyone is included and having a good time, that everyone has enough. But she has to be the boss (okay, that’s me showing in her–I was a bit of a bossypants growing up).
2. My husband. Most of the time I complain about him because we tend to focus on the negative more than the positive. He’s annoying and can be pretty damn rude and there are times when I’d really like to smother him with a pillow. But he’s also generous and he’s taken care of Monkey and me since day one. He’s the general manager of the largest lock shop in Houston and has managed to bring their annual earnings up to… a lot. I don’t know, because when he talks business I tend to tune out (as I’m certain he does when I start talking books. How did I end up with a non-reader?). He works damn hard to provide for us and loves us both at the end of the day despite our antics. lol
3. My books! Somehow I’ve managed to write four (Paige) books and am starting work on the fifth today. How is that even possible??
4. My friends. Yes, I’m absolutely 100% proud of my friends. Strong, wonderful, amazing women who don’t wear capes (that I’m aware of, anyway) but I’d happily bestow the title of SuperWoman on them any day. Teachers, daycare providers, x-ray techs, stay-at-home moms, lawyers, nurses, pet groomers, authors, opera singers… the list of their jobs is wide and varied, but they all go to work and do their jobs, giving more than 100% because that’s what we as women do. And then we come home and do all the mom/wife stuff. Cook, clean, make sure homework is done, clothes are clean for the next day… Several of them pull this stuff off with chronic (hidden) illnesses and unbearable pain. And yet they keep on keepin’ on.
5. Graduating college. I went back to school after I got out of the Navy and was frequently one of the oldest students in every class (if not THE oldest). At 30, I graduated college and became an x-ray tech. As a tech, I was able to teach incoming students some of the skills I’d acquired and hopefully passed on my love of patient care to them as well. I do miss the teaching part of x-ray and the caring for patients part. But I definitely don’t miss the physical aspect wherein I tear a rotator cuff or cause two discs in my back to bulge and press on my spinal cord.
6. Paige Prince Editing. It’s still a fledgling business, but it’s a business nonetheless. I started PPE last year and my client list has grown little by little. It’s still expanding, but I have a few regular clients whom I adore working with and have just signed on that I’m excited to begin editing for.
7. Liz Crowe’s Love Brothers anthology. I had the opportunity to be included with 15 other amazing authors in this fabulous anthology set in Lucasville, Kentucky, the fictional town where a family by the name of Love resides. My contribution also kicked off the series I’m writing with Deelylah Mullin, Mercy General, about a hospital here in Houston.
8. Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire & Rescue Kindle World. I was recently accepted to write in Paige Tyler’s Kindle World and I couldn’t be more excited!! My title with DF&R will release in July.
9. Sable Hunter’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World. I was also recently accepted to write in Sable Hunter’s Kindle World. I’m starting to feel like a legit writer! LOL
10. Finishing this list! I’m only mostly kidding. When I first started the list, I thought, “There’s no way in hell I can think of TEN things I’m proud of!” Like I said, I’m not overly sentimental.
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So, after talking to the lovely and uber-talented Siobhan Muir for all of ten seconds (I told you she’s talented), she helped me come up with what to write today. Thank you Siobhan! *blows kisses* You’re the bestest.
I shivered as I looked out the window. Bright green and purplish lights danced before my eyes, entrancing me with their beauty. Glancing over at my sister, I nearly called out to her to share the vision before me, but decided I should probably let her be. We’d gotten into a screaming match just a few hours earlier, and she was still barely even looking at me.
We’d been trapped in this tiny tin can for far too long, and had all begun to grate on each other’s nerves. My father, Captain Ogden Nash, had grown tired of my complaints that I felt like a tiny fish crammed in too tight a space and banished me to the bow. My fight with Isobel had ensured I’d stay there for quite a while.
I hated traveling so far to begin with, but to have to share the same air as all four of my siblings day in and day out? Unacceptable.
The lights on the horizon were the signal we’d been searching for, however, and my sister–the eldest of the lot, and Father’s favorite… or so I thought, due to Isobel’s status as First Mate after our mother’s death–sounded the alarm that we’d be preparing to land soon.
Jax, Kalvin, and Kaidan, my younger brothers, scrambled to get to their seats, sounding like a herd of wild animals as their little feet pounded against the deck. I, however, remained transfixed on the view out the tiny window. The lights seemed to have a mind of their own–and they almost appeared happy to see us.
“Rivyn!” Kaidan, my youngest brother at only five years of age, bounced in his seat. His gray eyes, so much like our mothers, shone with the kind of excitement only a child was capable of experiencing. Undoubtedly, he couldn’t wait to get out of this tin can, either. “What do you see? Is there land? Water? Can you see any ana… ani… pet things?”
Kaidan sometimes had trouble remembering words when he got too excited, and he was practically vibrating with it.
I looked out again, squinting my eyes to try to get a better view. Nothing moved on the surface. However, I did see small balls of glowing golden… something appear on the surface.
“Father!” I called to the bridge. “Can you see those shiny glowing things?”
“Yes, Rivyn. I do. Though, I can’t tell what they are yet. They’re oddly shaped. Like eggs? Or balls?” Father flipped a switch to slow the ship’s speed. “I guess we’ll find out when we land.”
He was always so damn calm about everything.
As he’d done hundreds of times before, Father set the ship down so smoothly, I barely felt a shift under my feet. He’d been the best ship captain in the entire fleet until Mother’s death, when he retired to care for us. I often wondered if he missed it.
“All right kids,” Father said, unstrapping his lap belt. “The air is primarily oxygen here, so it may feel a bit like breathing through wet clothes, but as long as you don’t do anything too strenuous, you’ll get used to it rather quickly.”
Jax piled his long blue locks on top of his head, securing it with a stick shoved through the base. He’d learned that trick at the last place we visited from a girl he’d liked. Marcy had been so enamored with his naturally azure hair that she rarely had her hands away from it. “Kaidan, do you need help?”
Our smallest, but most stubborn brother held his hands up to hold Jax at bay. “I can do it myself!” He said, scrambling out of his chair and shoving his feet into his tiny little boots.
“It’s so beautiful! Come here Rivyn.” Isobel held a hand out for me to take, always wanting to lead me around everywhere like I was still a child. “You won’t believe the lamps all around us! It’s like they were expecting us!”
We made our way down the ramp side-by-side. The glowing orbs I’d seen from the ship surrounded us, unmoving and somehow obviously not part of the original landscape.
Kalvin, the self-proclaimed scientist of us all, made his way over to one of the circular objects lying on the ground. It was routine to scan the land before setting the ship down, so Kalvin showed no fear as he approached the giant object, pressing his hand to the surface.
“It’s warm!” He said, his voice filled with awe. “And hard.” Kalvin gently tapped the glowing orb with a fingertip. “It almost feels…” He jumped back when the ball shifted toward him. “I barely touched it!”
Father held a hand out and motioned for Kalvin to come back. “Get away from that thing, son. You don’t know what it is.”
Kalvin’s boot crunched against the dirt as he began walking toward our group. “This is going to sound crazy, but I swear it feels like an…”
The earth below us began to shake, knocking Kalvin down with a strangled cry. Father sprang into action, leaping for my brother and grasping his hand before speeding back to our family. Kaidan swiped at his cheeks with the sleeve of his suit, looking determined not to show how scared he was. I touched the top of his head in a comforting gesture before moving to check on Kalvin. I didn’t want Kaidan to think I was babying him.
A loud boom sounded behind me, and I flung myself to the ground in fear that the planet wasn’t as deserted as Father had thought, and we were under attack by the natives. But the only thing hitting me was the dust I’d unsettled floating back down.
I turned to look for the source of the sound, only for my jaw to drop in shock. The glowing orb Kalvin had touched just moments before had a huge crack running through the center, and it was moving.
“Kalvin?” I asked, reaching out to grab whichever younger siblings’ hands I could grasp. “What were you going to say?”
The top of the orb seemed to splinter before our eyes, cracks spiderwebbing their way over the entire surface.
“An egg.” Kalvin gulped a lungful of thick, difficult-to-breathe air. “It felt like an egg.”
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2016 has been an interesting year, that’s for sure. In February, I attended the Coastal Magic Convention in Florida with my writing partner Deelylah. I got to see several of my old friends and meet many new ones.
As far as writing, I re-released STAY, formerly known as Second Chance at Love. I officially announced my second pen name and re-released three of those books after giving them a thorough edit, new covers, and new names. December 15, I was part of an anthology surrounding the world Liz Crowe built in her Love Brothers series, and my story kicked off the Mercy General series I’m co-writing with Deelylah Mullin.
In May, I quit my job to write and edit full time. A few months later, I left the publisher I was editing for and began working for Dreamspinner Press. This is a pretty recent development, but I’m pretty happy at DSP so far.
After… entirely too long promising I was going to start a newsletter, I finally did it. YAY! I’m trying to do the thing where I actually engage readers and try to promote my work. I also hired a PA to help me with that kind of stuff, since I”m horrible at doing anything that asks people to buy things or pay attention to me any longer than a few seconds.
Yesterday, I decided to go through my office and get a little more organized. I printed up some blog stuff, including the schedule for 2017. I’m a visual person, and sometimes just seeing it on my computer isn’t enough for me. I also printed 2016′s schedule just to see how many posts I missed… and I missed more than a few. Not happy about that, especially since one of my goals last year was not to miss any posts. I’m not going to make that same resolution this year, because things happen and God knows I’ve learned that we can’t control circumstances. At all.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia earlier this year, and I have a lot of thoughts about that. First: Well hell. That explains so much. Second: Why the hell wasn’t this diagnosed sooner? I’m on 2 new medications to try to deal with the fibro, but I still have bad days. I’ve been sick quite a bit too, battling the flu for the first time in YEARS. I got my flu shot, but apparently my immune system didn’t care about that.
2016 was a battle of emotion for me. My particular type of bipolar disorder leans toward the depressive phase more than mania, and with countless losses, the worst presidential race in history (with regards to people losing their damn minds and being so heartless to one another if, God forbid, we supported the “wrong candidate”), several personal losses and setbacks, being sick every time I turned around… 2016 wasn’t an easy year, and I’ll be happy to see it go. I’m choosing to be optimistic and say that 2017 will be better. This year may have taken a lot from us, but I still have hope, at least.
Next year’s goals are mostly writing-based. I actually have a firm set of plans in place to write. If all goes well, I’ll have 7 books written, 5 books edited, and all the things done. Extremely ambitious, yes, but working from home allows me time to work on my own books more as well as doing my private edits and working for Dreamspinner.
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