Tag Archives: Real Life

  • 0

Year Three as a Full-Time Author

Tags : 

This journey keeps taking twists and turns. I find it both scary and exciting.

Three years ago I quit my day job so I could go full-time with my writing.

Last year I barely squeaked into the black. I actually made money after all of my expenses. Granted it was only about $100, but I’ll take it!

I had grand plans for this past year. You know, 2020?

Yeah, things didn’t go exactly to plan.

First

I released the last two of my Decker Family Romances in the spring. They did okay. Not as well as I would have liked, but okay.

Second

The plan was to write my YA military sci-fi series.

I started the first book four times, wrote a total of 130k words, and had to scrap them all. Twice. Pure frustration drove me to writing something more soft and fluffy.

Third

I wrote these three sweet and clean romantic comedies for the summer. By this point in the year everyone needed a good laugh, so I obliged. These were not on my radar at the beginning of the year, but they have ended up being my most successful series so far!

I also enjoyed writing my first curvy girl romance. I’m a plus-sized woman, and it was fun to write about a bigger girl.

Fourth

Among all of this romance craziness, I released another Academy story in this anthology. Writing this Snow White retelling was so fun!

Fifth

Christmas is always a good time to release romances, and this year I jumped on the bandwagon. These four books gave me my best months ever on Amazon in November and December! Her Christmas Middle Blocker (another curvy girl romance) is in a collection with eight other books at the moment, but will likely be out soon.

Other milestones

I hit one million page reads in 2020! After I hit one million, I managed to get almost 350k in a month, so that was amazing!

These are some of the highlights of 2020.

Marketing is getting easier, but there are still days that I take a nap instead.

I’ve learned a lot about fulfilling readers expectations, which has really helped my sales.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this endeavor.

I’m glad 2020 is over.

The hubby and I spent the first two weeks of 2021 in a Covid-induced haze, so I’m starting the year a bit late.

I have big plans, but who knows what will happen?


  • 0

The Concrete

Tags : 

It all started Friday at noon. I lured my nephew and his big truck down to our house, then to Home Depot where we picked up a LOT of concrete mix.

Like, this much concrete mix.

The truck wasn’t quite that big, so we had to take it in two loads.

I say we, but honestly the hubby, his brother and dad, and my nephew did all of the heavy lifting. I’m a supervisor. If no one says, “be careful,” who knows what would happen?

While at the Home Depot, I went to reserve a concrete mixer. Because mixing that many bags of concrete by hand would be…silly.

Even my super-helpless, blonde, girl, exterior couldn’t get them to hold a mixer for me for the next day. Apparently it’s policy or something. Whatever. I didn’t like them anyway.

My nephew suggested Diamond Rental, which is literally across the highway. As we waited for the forklift to get to the front of the store to load the first pallet of concrete bags, I got on my phone and reserved a mixer from Diamond Rental for the next day. That was me earning my supervisor position. 🙂

On a side note, they should have had me talk to customer service, because it took almost an hour for a fork lift to get to the front of the store to help us. The hubby looked too competent. His helpless look is ineffective.

After loading up the truck and one SUV with stuff, we drove back and the boys made the pile in the garage.

The next morning dawned bright and early. My brother-in-law and I went to get the concrete mixer. I didn’t have to use my helpless face or anything. They were quick, professional, and polite. Gold star for Diamond Rental.

We did have to take down one side of our fence so we could get the thing in the back yard. It’s okay, I hate the chain link anyway. I did help push it. Sort of. I mean, until the hubby hogged the good holding spots and I left him on his own.

In normal construction fashion, we started an hour late. By the time we got the rebar bent and in place (again, “we” indicates pretty much everyone but me) we’d had the mixer for almost two hours.

I should note that the hubby’s family are all very solid guys. Big. Broad. Basically walls of brick. My nephew is a light weight, and watching him try to help bend rebar against someone 100lbs bigger was super entertaining. I’m sad I didn’t get any pictures. Or better yet, a video.

Notice I didn’t put any fake skeletons in the foundation…

When we fired up the mixer, the first thing I thought was, “How long is this thing going to be on? Our neighbors are going to hate us.” It sounded like, well, a dying machine.

Then after we put a bag of concrete mix and the water in, the drum stopped turning and it sounded worse.

That’s when Diamond Rental lost their gold star, and we found that the gears were stripped. These are deep gears. I’m wondering how the last person who used it did.

I left the boys to meander back and forth while I called to get a replacement. They didn’t have a truck to deliver, so the brother-in-law and I had to drop off the dead one and get another one. Diamond Rental got half of their star back, because they were super fast and once again quite helpful.

By the time we got back, Jon’s dad had spearheaded at least four wheelbarrow loads of concrete mixed with water and poured.

They were happy to see a working machine.

Pouring went pretty smoothly. Nothing interesting happened until they decided we were going to run out.

Supervisor to the rescue!

I took a picture of the bag we needed, jumped in another brother-in-law’s truck, and headed back to Home Depot.

I should note, I drive cars, not trucks. Not big, diesel, rumbling, trucks.

It was nice to be tall, and I feel okay about my barely-in-the-lines parking job.

The cashier at Home Depot was very nice. I held up my picture and said, “I need ten of these as fast as you can get them in my truck.” I smiled—not that you could tell under the mask. She smiled, charged me, called someone up, and the guy was waiting when I pulled in.

One look at me and all of his hopes and dreams of this being a “helping the customer” job shattered into a “I’m lifting these 80lb bags myself, aren’t I?” job.

Sorry, buddy, I can barely reach the bed of the truck.

So he loaded them for me, and as I was pulling away got a call from the hubby.

My first thought was that they were going to want more bags, and I was pretty sure the loader guy wasn’t going to help me this time. Lucky for me, they were just wondering what my ETA was.

After throwing a few rocks in to make up for the three more bags we could have used, we managed to finish!

Finished!

Next: The Shed.


  • 0

A Little Getaway

Tags : 

Last week was our anniversary. Another year has gone by and neither one of us has killed the other, and we still kind of like each other.

To celebrate, we decided to go up to Jackson, Wyoming. The hubby had never been, and it’s been a while for me.

We decided to do this last moment, and when we got there, we figured out why there were no hotel rooms left.

Us and our 40,000 new best friends had decided to come to Jackson the same week! I was lucky to get this horrible picture of me and the antler arch without anyone else in it.

We found 44 out of 50 United States licence plates, if that tells you anything.

Needless to say we kept our distance, wore masks (which are not the most fun for my asthma at high elevation), and were grateful we got a room in a nearby town.

We started at Jenny’s lake and hiked to Hidden Falls. The ferry operator said it was an “easy” hike to the falls. False. I’m pretty out of shape, but going uphill (steep for most of it) for a half a mile is not easy.

Still, it made for some spectacular views!

The next day we explored the other side of the Tetons. This time we rode a chair lift up to the top of the mountain 🙂 However, the chair lift operators didn’t tell us that we were in charge of putting the safety bar down in front of us, so we rode up without it…

I’m not afraid of heights, but even I was nervous. I almost bit the guy’s head off at the top after he yelled at me for not having my mast up…because my hands were sort of fused with anything I could get a hold of. When that got resolved I asked him about the safety bar and he looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “You’re in charge of that, not us.”

Honestly, those guys were the rudest people we met. Good thing the view was worth it! I mean, look at those mountains!

All in all we had a great time! The crowds were annoying, but what can you do?


  • 0

How Are You Handling Lockdown?

Tags : 

The saying “Roll with the Punches” has been around for a long time. It refers to boxing, I think, but now means:

 “When things dont go your way and you adapt to the changes and keep moving ahead instead of flippin out.”  -Urban Dictionary-

Like the picture above, the saying is familiar, but the picture is all wrong. Sort of. I feel like this represents our lives right now.

Most of us have been confined to quarters. Some still go to work, others are working from home. I won’t say which of these is more “lucky” than the other, because it’s not that kind of a situation.

Am I right?

We just got the final say from the state that schools will be shut through the end of the school year.

No one is surprised.

Some people are freaking out.

Others are rolling with the punches.

And there have been a LOT of punches lately.

We’re all tired, bored, stressed out, freaking out, and hyper vigilant all at the same time. I can’t imagine being in the healthcare field right now. Gold stars to every one of you!

Honestly, my daily life hasn’t changed that much. I’m an author. I work from home. The hubby worked from home two days a week, now it’s five days a week. Not going out is annoying, and my extroverted side is crying at the moment, but it’s fine. We’re fine.

However, about a week ago, I went to get ice from the ice maker and…all I got was the sound of the motor. No ice came out.

I knew it had been making ice, so I checked.

The bucket in the door was empty.

There are only two of us. How can there be no ice???

Then I remembered…the hubby had started using a bigger cup, which he always fills with ice. By adding 16oz to the cup he drinks from all the time, he’d run us out of ice.

I might have freaked out a bit.

Because I wanted ice! It’s not that big of a deal, right?

The hubby and I don’t really fight, so it’s not like I got crazy or anything, but I did declare that he’d better stop using so much because I wanted ice too.

He laughed.

I glare at him every time he puts ice in that stupid cup.

He is, of course, taunting me.

He’s a good egg, so I know he’s being good about the whole ice debaucle of April 2020.

However, this got me thinking about how each of us wants to control some aspect of our life. One thing that can be right no matter what.

I’m trying to chill out about those things. Do my best and keep rolling.

Will I freak out again? Probably. Will I be tempted to rage at someone online? Certainly. Will I actually do it?

Naw.

I waited six days (much longer than their estimate) for a pick-up order at the fabric store to be ready, then went I went to pick it up there were like twenty other people there for the same reason. We left. I’ll go back later.

I was tempted to call and complain. I really wanted too. However, I took a moment to think about the fact that there might only be two employees in the store, trying to fulfill who knows how many orders, having to work with the public and get exposed to who knows what.

It’s fine. I’m fine. I have other things I can do.

The next time I start to rage out, I hope I remember that we’re all in the same boat. It feels like it’s sinking at the moment, but we’ll be fine.


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 32 other subscribers

Top Posts & Pages