Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Lady Justice Update... Finally

I figure it is about time to update all my lovely readers on how LJ is going.  Ready?

  • That paper edit is rolling along.

Life keeps getting in the way, and keeps pausing this edit round.  But I have been making headway on it!  Many pages are nice and red with my scribbled notes.  The beginning needs an overhaul.  Some moments are just too perfect to touch.  And I am finally seeing this for what it is: The sequel to my debut novel.

I will be honest.  Part of me dragging my feet so long on this book is because...well...it is a daunting task.  I love Millie.  And Reed.  And the world I created for them.  Continuing it onward, throwing things in their path and hoping it all will indeed work out in the end, it is scary.  PN is my first every published novel.  It was my debut.  Now, I have to go on.  And on.  And even though I grow with every word I write, I am still that nervous little lady afraid to let these words out into the world.

But they will be let out!

  • So when will this paper edit be over?

That is such a good question.  I wanted to be done with it some time ago.  But I am far from the best juggler on Earth, and I have too many things up in the air.  My kiddo starting school.  Two weddings I photographed and need to edit.  Friends visiting.  Sleeping.  I guess I can cut down on my sleep.  I do honestly need to set an end date for this paper edit.  Otherwise I will never move forward.  So, with all my other life activities in mind, I am aiming for September 21.  I know that is a ways off... but I have to balance.

It will happen.

  • When will you get to see the cover?

Soon!  Very very soon!  Again, I keep dragging my feet.  But I think it is gorgeous, and I need to just get it out there for all you to see.  I will reveal the LJ cover Friday, September 6.  Keep your eyes out!

  • Will this be a trilogy?

I have been asked that.  And I will finally answer it.  The answer is: No.  Prison Nation and Lady Justice will be it.  I know trilogies are the best, and I love trilogies.  But unless something changes in the future, this set will be a duology and nothing more.  I adore Millie and everything she has taught me.  Her story feels complete, to me.  And once I hit the publish button on LJ, I will move on to other worlds and characters, knowing Millie is good to go in her own duology.

  • And the biggest question: When will LJ publish?

That I cannot fully answer still.  I am still strongly aiming for a release in 2013.  Once any other updates happen, I will for sure hurry over here to post away.

I hate how much I have had to push this book back.  How wishy-washy I have seemed with it.  But I have been making adjustments in my life, and things will change.  I love to write.  I need to write.  And I hope to never have such a long drought of no words again.  Just you wait.


I really do want to thank all you amazing readers.  Your nonstop questions about the state of LJ are the main things that kept this fire under my bum.  I want to get this out there, for you.  And your patience as I keep pushing dates around, falling off the radar, then scrambling to get back to where I should be means the world.  I have the best readers ever!

That is it, for now.  Make sure to come back for that cover reveal in a week.  And as always...

Happy Writing!





Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two Weeks Later...

Well.  Do I need to say anything?

I meant to write a new post as soon as I was home from the wedding.  Then I got busy with sorting photos.  Cleaning up the home (as always).  Spending time with friends.  Going to school nights for my soon-to-be Kindergartner.  And what happened?  I never posted.

Nearly two weeks later... I am back.  Hello.

Needless to say, my goal of a post a day this month screeched to a stop-and-go adventure.  But I am back, and that is what honestly matters.

First off:  I have to say a huge congrats to my sister-in-law and her NEW HUSBAND!  I love them both, to pieces.  And I love that I got to be there for their big day.  It was awesome.  It was totally them.  And boy, it was worth the trip.  Now I have their wedding on my "edit this NOW" list, and I love reliving the moments with every photo edit.


Aren't they gorgeous?

This weekend I am shooting another wedding, for a dear old friend of mine.  As much as I love weddings, I am looking forward to this being my last of the season.  I have been to four weddings this summer.  This will be the second one I am photographing.  After many awesome kisses, I do's, and dancing the night away, I am ready to settle back into my normal routine of editing, writing, and selected social interaction.

I think I am turning into a social recluse.  That isn't bad, right?

Second off:  It is my birthday this weekend.  Yay!  I am pretty excited to spend some much needed time with just the hubby.  I already have my paper edit of LJ set aside and ready to come along for the trip, before I dive into wedding photo mania the next day.

And lastly: I know all of you have been biting at the bit for a LJ update.  I promise that tomorrow there will be one.  So come back for that.

On this note, I am off to instigate tidy time (toys... everywhere...) and hope for a smidge of me-time tonight to watch good old Merlin before bedtime calls.  I am addicted to that show.



Happy Writing!



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Packing and Wedding Time

This will be a super duper short post today.  I am in the mad frenzy of packing and getting ready for this weekend.  Once my hubby is off work today, off we go to see see family, get purdy, and celebrate a wedding.  That's right!  My second to youngest sister-in-law is tying the knot.  I am so excited for her, and her soon to be husband!

Boy, this summer is the summer of weddings.

So at this moment I am taking a slight breather, then off I go to pack.  Clean.  Sort.  Go over everything I just packed in the hopes that I didn't forget anything.  Get the car in line for the ferry, and hope it isn't overloaded.  Go go go!

Thank goodness my kiddos are being snagged for a day at the fair.  (Yay!)

Want to know the item not being packed, not being left at home, but being set right on my seat for the trip?
My paper edit.

Oh yes.  What a better time to work on it than when on the road.  Here's to hoping I can get some good progress done!  I am aiming that in at least a week I will do the cover reveal.  It is about time!  And to top it all off: I get to go to Powells this weekend.  Yes, a bookstore.  But not just any bookstore.  I miss Powells...

Needless to say, my blog posts will most likely be nonexistent over the next few days.  I aimed for a post a day this month... sometimes that just doesn't happen.  If I get a chance I will steal away to say hello.  But if not, I will post away for you all next week!

Now then, time to get back to work!



Do you have any fun weekend plans?  Do share!

Happy Writing!






Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Anniversary


I meant to post yesterday.  It was my best intention to.  But it was a busy day, for good reason.  
Yesterday was our 8 year wedding anniversary.  I spent the day taking care of the kiddos, running errands (which included helping my kiddos enter art into the county fair for the first time!), cleaning home, then prepping for a date night with my hubby.

8 years.  Wow.

It can be amazing how fast time flies.  It feels like only yesterday I was falling in love with a spiky haired, crazy young man who managed to always make me smile.  Now time has flown.  We have two amazing kiddos.  We have moved around.  We have struggled.  We have watched each other succeed.  And 8 years later, here we are.  I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

Happy Anniversary, my love.  (Posted a day late, but every day counts!)

On the note of time flying:
Have you ever noticed the speeding of time?  

How one minute your kiddo is a new born baby, and the next he is starting school.
How you sit down to read just for a minute and hours later you finally look up from the pages.
How you intend to just check the internet only to find you have burned your entire evening away.

Time is one of those fleeting things that we are always trying to control, yet can never even get close enough to touch.  Just when you think you have a slight grip on time, it speeds away.  We can't control it.  We can't be its master.  But we can for sure enjoy the ride.

And boy, is it worth it.




Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy Birthday To The Hubby

Just stopping by real quick to say hello, reassure you all that I do still exist, and of course to wish a very very very very happy birthday to my best friend, the daddy of my kiddos, my dear hubby.  

Happy Birthday to YOU, hubby dear!

Last night we had a group of friends over for a game night.  We ate lots of food.  We laughed until our abs felt as if we had zapped with them with a zillion lightning bolts, and we gamed.  Oh, we gamed.  I love card and board games.  And more than that, I love great company.  We were celebrating my hubby's soon to be birthday.  But honestly, it was just the initial excuse to start a weekly game night of awesomeness.

As we were battling our way through Munchkin, my friends kept teasing me.  I hadn't realized it, but I kept muttering about how this would be an awesome story line.  How that would be a great moment, a funny twist, an epic battle.  They declared that I don't have an off switch for my creating.  And I have to agree.

I love creating too much.

Now today is nearly done.  My hubby has been stuffed with brownies.  We have battled each other on the Wii.  We have laughed, we have gamed.  He is a year older, more handsome and amazing than ever (and yes, I love to gush about this man of mine.)  So wish him a happy birthday.  He deserves it.

Now, time for me to giggle more at my Munchkin story lines before hitting the sack.
What a day!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Letting It Begin (A Lady Justice Update!)

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”  ― Tiffany Madison

I have been using a ton of things in my life as an excuse lately.  (My photo backlog.  The fact that we moved, then moved again.  The fact that my computer is dying.  My kids wanting summer fun.  Netflix...)  It was getting to the point that I was wondering if I would ever write again.  Would I ever allow the excuses to take a break so I could finish LJ?  So I could finally work on editing one of my other waiting manuscripts?  So I can just...write?

Amazing how excuses end up making your decisions.
But I have finally had enough of it.

LJ is already behind schedule.  I had hoped to have it out for all you waiting readers at the beginning of this summer.  Then we decided to move.  Things got bumped back.  And bumped again, and again.  I can honestly say that at this time, I don't have a set release date.  I am still aiming for 2013.  It can happen.  It WILL happen.  But first, I have to finish it.

And to finish it, I have to let it begin.
Go away excuses.  I am done with you.

Last night I met up with my awesome writing buddy Keary Taylor, via Skype, and we did an editing night.  She is currently working on editing The Eve, book three in The Eden Trilogy.  (Oh my, and can I say how excited I am for it to be done??)  As for me, I finally cracked open my LJ (Lady Justice, the sequel to Prison Nation) paper edit, blew the metaphorically dust off the pages, and dug right in.

That's right.  I am back to work on LJ.
*cheers to self*

My thoughts so far?  It still needs work.  Lots of it.  But that is the point of editing.  I read through about 20 pages of the book last night, and am aiming to work on it every night from now on.  Even if it is just one chapter.  I am not letting the excuses rule me anymore.  There is something here that I want to share with the world, something that holds promise and that people want.  And it will never get into all of your waiting hands if I keep finding reasons to stay away.

Honestly, why would I want to stay away?  I love this world too much.
(And by the way, I just love the quote I found for today's post.  How appropriate is that?  *wink*)

My coming goals:
* Finish this paper edit in a week.  It is possible.  I can do it.

My challenge to you:
* Find something you have been making excuses for, and let it begin.  The only way to move forward is to move forward.  You can do it.

The red has begun...




Thursday, August 8, 2013

Forgetful Me and Bookish Hints

I did it again.  Missed a post.  
I swear this isn't going to become the new "thing."

Yesterday was a crazy busy day for me.  A good one.  But still a busy one.  It was the final day of the Summer Reading Program for my kiddos, and we went to watch Roberto the Magnificent juggle and perform for us.  Then it was on to eating cupcakes.  After that, we went to the park for a few hours.  (Yes... hours...) then back home in time to make dinner.  As I was laying on the couch relaxing, ready for the day to wind down and bedtime to come, I realized I had fifteen minutes to get to my church for Mutual.  I was recently called as the 2nd Counselor for the Young Women, and every week we do Mutual (Youth Group) for the teens.  My bad... away I hurried.  Then after THAT, I stopped by my Dad's to day hi... and managed to leave there about 2 hours later.  Needless to say, by the time I came home I was more than ready for bed.  And I conked.

Phew!

It is amazing how busy a day can get, without you even planning for it to go that way.  I had intentions for the day.  I was going to fold my still waiting laundry.  I was going to work on the last photo session I have in my backlog (that is, until new ones come along...)  I was going to start reading a new book.  I was going to do many things.  But instead, I got to watch my kids laugh and run around and discover.  I think that was a very good game change.

Still, I learned something.  Don't let the busy get you down.  It is pretty easy that, when life does get crazy, for you to go a little crazy too.  Things aren't getting done.  Kids are running amok.  There are a million things to juggle and only one of you.  But there is always that moment of calm, that moment that let's you know: It is all good.  Your other projects can be done tomorrow.  It is all good.

Enjoy the crazy.  It could be gone before you know it.

On a total, unrelated note:  I was scrolling through Facebook, as I tend to always be doing.  A friend of mine posted a funny little picture quote.  It made me laugh.  It made me conspire.  It made me think about my coming NaNoWriMo 2013 project.  And boy did it make me bite at the bit.

I know all of you are still waiting for that update on LJ.  But for now, I am going to tease you with this picture quote, and this slight hint at my coming project.  Enjoy!



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Making Mistakes

I woke up this morning and the first thing that hit me was: I didn't write a post yesterday.
Now, I could beat myself up about it.  I could overly apologize, write two posts to make up for my missing one, I could let it get me down and landslide me into not posting today.  Or tomorrow.  Or the rest of the month.  I could do a lot of things.

Want to know what I am doing?
I am writing today's post.

It really got me thinking about mistakes.  We makes mistakes every day.  As part of the human species, it is inevitable that we will indeed screw up.  And it is easy to do.  The hard thing?  Coming back from that mistake.  Too often we let one hiccup in our life, in our day, disrupt everything else coming our way.  I openly admit I am a huge culprit of that.

I didn't turn in my homework and got a fail.  I might as well not turn it in next time either.
I didn't wash the dishes before I went to bed.  I might as well let them sit tomorrow too.
I didn't call my friend back.  I might as well wait until they call me again.
I said something mean that really hurt someone.  I might as well avoid that person until it blows over.
I surfed Facebook instead of editing my book.  I might as well surf some more.
I didn't write my blog post for the day.  I might as well stop all together.

So so many things.

But is this really what our lives are meant to boil down to?  Making mistakes, and letting that mistake rule our next mistake?  It is a vicious circle.  And it can be very, very hard to break free from.  But it is possible.  It is always possible to rise above anything that has happened.  Anything.  To make the best of a situation, and move forward instead of spinning aimlessly.  

We are all meant for greatness.  It is a fact.
So let's move forward and achieve it.

How am I doing it today?
I am catching up on laundry even though I was supposed to do it yesterday.  I am texting back my friend even though I didn't yesterday.  I am smiling more.  I am moving more.  I am writing a post... even though I missed doing it yesterday.  

Don't let your mistakes make your decisions.  Let your mistakes drive your decisions.

And... go.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Only Writing For Myself

We all start writing because we love it.  Simple as that.  We love the feel of words spilling out of us.  We love the creation of worlds, of love stories, of wars and epic battles and comedic breaks.  We can't NOT write, because writing makes us happy.

Then we start to write more.

We start to look for feedback on our pieces.  We begin to tinker with that idea of "maybe this could be an actual book."  We gather feedback.  Criticism.  Advice and requests and praises.  And with all that, with all the newly molded dreams and goals in mind, we change.  We adjust why we write, without even realizing it.  We start to form phrases, paragraphs, chapters and books based on the feedback.  The readers' desire.  The demand.  We love writing.  Because it makes us happy.  And now, we strive to make others happy as well.

So where is the line drawn?
Where do you keep yourself writing just for yourself, while still writing for the readers who love you?
Do you let bad reviews get you down?  Do you let good reviews change the path of a story?  Do you write a piece you do not fully feel, just because someone begged it out of you?  Do you say yes, or no?

Or do you kindly with a world full of appreciation say Thank You then continue what you are doing, imperfect amazing you?  Because you are amazing.  Because you have something to share with the world, whether they realized it or not.  Because that, that writing thing alone, is what makes you happy?

I am writing for myself.  I keep all the words of others in mind.  I let them help me grow, become a better writer, fuel my revenge fire, keep me going on my lowest days.  I love the fact that the words I craft manage to bring joy to another's day.  Yet in the end, I am writing for one reason and one alone: It makes me happy.

And that is all the reason I need.


“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”  ― Cyril Connolly




A Day for a White Wedding

“Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.” 
― David Levithan, The Lover's Dictionary

What a day!
Technically it is the 4th of August.  But being as I am still awake, and my day then hasn't actually ended, I am counting this as my post for the 3rd.  As soon as I write this post I am going to hit the sack.  But I couldn't let myself go without rambling for a small bit.

Today I had the chance of attending the wedding of two amazing people.  I have known the groom since he was just a little tyke.  He is pretty much a little brother in my eyes, and seeing this big day come for him was such a joy.  And let me tell you:  His bride... she is a keeper.  More than a keeper.

I had the chance to do their engagement session last fall.  It was by far one of my favorite photo sessions I did all last year and the time I got to spend with them and my camera was a blast.  Still, I have to admit I was happy to be able to be just a guest at their wedding.  I had my boys there, and my hubby.  Friends.  Food.  Gorgeous weather.  While I did snap a few photos here and there, I was able to just enjoy the time.  Hours later, and we finally decided to go home after my kiddos had danced the night away.  It was great!

Weddings are an addicting thing.  They are so full of love.  So full of endless hope for the future, skies open to galaxies open to an eternity right before your eyes.  You watch as two people commit to one another.  Make promises to one another.  And by the end, a new family is created.  A new duo is released to the world.  Powerful.  Ready for the adventure.  And madly, madly in love.

I would love to write endless love stories.  I believe love is the one thing I could never tire of.  Maybe there is a love story up my sleeve.  One full of vows and white weddings and dreams more grand than the sun.  Or maybe that is just how my head is.  Loving life and all the kisses and hugs and sparks is hides away.  Weddings just pull it out of me more than ever.

They are the inspiration of all great love stories.
They are the end goal of all great dreamers.
They are the start with no end.

And I love it all.

Congratulations to Adam and Katie!  You two are a match made beyond heaven, and I cannot wait to see the stories you create together.




Friday, August 2, 2013

Have You Read With Your Kid Today?

I always looked forward to the day that I would get to pass on my bookish love to my own children.  I would hoard my old books, some of which were very much so falling apart, for the sole purpose of passing them on.  Stacks of Amelia Bedelia.  Scatterings of the Boxcar Children, American Girl.  Collections of poetry and fairy tales.  I kept it all.

Then I hit that point where I wondered: Will my kids even like to read?  This was an honest fear in my life.  The one thing, the one hobby that I love without a doubt is reading.  What if my kids hated it?  My husband isn't a reader.  I was used to that.  But how would I handle it if my children could care less about books?

Yes.  This was something I honestly stressed about.

But fear not.  My oldest son, who is now a little over 5-years-old and prepping to start Kindergarten in less than a month (Ah!) is exactly what I always hoped for.  He is a book fanatic.  He is already reading (quite well I must add), already writing, and already creating his own little stories.  He blows me away with his passion for the written word.  And his little brother, who is now 3, is quickly following suit.

I love this.
I adore this.

The public library here does a reading program for children called Dig Into Reading.  A few weeks ago I signed my oldest up, and he has ran with it.  He records his time spent with books (listening to books, reading books, looking through books...) and as he hits certain goals he gets little prizes.  After only three days in, he had already hit the 90 minutes goal and happily left the library with an arm full of goodies.  Today he hit the 180 goal and is nearly to the 270, along with finishing the special challenges list.  And he is still asking for more.

The best part?  He wakes me up nearly every morning with:
"Hey Mom!  Know what we should do today?  Read more books!"

How can I argue with that?

I love reading with my kids.  I love seeing their excitement as a story unfolds before their eyes.  I love relearning the joys of a book.  I love watching as they grow, as they learn, as they fall in love with books.  My fear was unfounded.  There was no way my babies could NOT love books.

So now I ask you:  Have you read with you kid today?

If you haven't, what is stopping you?  On average, it takes about 5 minutes to read a simple children's book.  Put down your work.  Step away from your computer.  Pause your movie.  And take 5 minutes to open a world up to your child.  It is a small amount of time, but boy does it make a monumental difference.  You don't have to be an amazing reader.  You just have to be an amazing parent.  The art and love of books is a dying thing.  We can't let this happen.  If you have't read with your kid yet today, do it.

And if you have... do it some more. 
That is what I am off to do!

This is what happens when I tell my 5-year-old "Pick whatever books you want."


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hello Stranger

Hello there.  Jenni here.
Believe it!

My oh my, it has been a long time since I last sat down and blogged.  Saying life has been crazy is an understatement.  And a bit of an overstatement.  Needless to say: I have missed this blog.  So today, while I was wasting time on Facebook, waiting for a photo session to export from Lightroom, and feeling the urge to peruse Pinterest, I made a decision.  I decided to stumble over here instead.

Miss me?
I have missed you!

Today is the first day of a new month.  An amazing month.  I might be prejudiced to this month, but within August there is my birthday, my husband's birthday, our anniversary of when we started dating 9 years ago, our 8 year wedding anniversary... Not to mention lots of sunshine.  I do love the sunshine.  So, I figured that to celebrate this month, to kick myself back into the blogging world, and just to get back in touch with all you wonderful people, I will do a post a day.

That's right.  For the next 31 days, you will hear from me.  Daily.
I feel like I should post a disclaimer on the coming quality of posts...

I am not going to update you on the state of LJ today.  I am not going to mention that I haven't picked up my paper edit or finalized my cover.  I am not going to talk about it at all.  Right now.  *cries softly to self*
In my office.  Messy hair and bookish-like

Okay, in all honesty: What with the chaos of moving across a state, living in a Winnebago for a month and a half, moving into our apartment, trying to settle in...  Trying to help my boys have summer fun.  Trying to hack away at photo backlog so that it is gone before the weddings I am booked to do in a few weeks happen...  Trying to find a way to balance everything has toppled, badly.

Not to mention, I have gotten lazy.
Dang you Netflix with your infinite TV show selections (I am now, officially, a Whovian.  Oh Number 10...)  Dang you Pinterest and how you are a time consuming black hole of awesomeness.  Dang you sleep...

Things are changing though.  I can feel it.  It is an itch under my skin, to get back to what I know makes me happy.  And I am hoping that posting daily for the next month will be the first step in those changes.  I have already made the announcement about my photography break.  I am mostly moved into this home of mine.  I am wanting to write.  I am dying to write.  So here I am.  Writing.

Miss me?

How have you been?  What would you like to hear about from my neck of the woods?  Do share!

Happy Writing!



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