Red pen edits and dog sitting

Greetings you awesome blog followers!

I just got my manuscript back from time spent in the hands of my awesome beta reader and let’s just say the red ink was flowing. But it’s a good thing for the story and the writer. Some of the best responses are “what did this mean?” or “that came out of the blue” or “who is this talking about?” will give me the chance to look with fresh eyes at what I wrote.

I was told my writing skills have improved since my last book which is great to hear. The red pen noted discrepancies, inconsistencies, and just plain old punctuation and grammar errors that eyes too familiar with the story can miss.

So…it’s time to put the writer cap on and dive into this story with new eyes and fresh motivation. The history this tale delves into is fascinating, and curiously enough, quite timely in certain aspects. My fictional humans are living in a tempestuous and challenging time. Gotta get it right!

20161002_1741211For the past four days we’ve been baby sitting Millie’s brother Jake.

These two German Shepherds eat a lot, play rowdy with each other, forget they are not lap dogs, love ice cubes, and whine in exactly the same way. It’s been good for her to have another canine to patrol the acre with, to bark at the neighbor dogs with, and all the other dog stuff.

She has enjoyed it and rather than him being the alpha (which is his nature) Millie has shown Jake 20161002_1745131how to live in our house. He has mellowed since his arrival, learned he has to sit to come in the house, and is sleeping later. Hey, she lives with adults.

He is a handsome fella, with a deep powerful bark, and lots of energy. I’m pretty sure she will miss him when he leaves today.

Hope he can come over for play dates.

Is there a special dog breed your family loves? We are GSD people.

Cheers!

-N

Advertisements

Productive authoring!

This has been one of my most productive writing days in a while. I really knocked it out of the park today. Characters talking, acting up, being bad, and essentially being real fictional humans. Got that?!

My two big rewrites are done, bam!

And if I do say so myself – I did a great job on them. It’s cool being a writer and getting so wrapped up in the story you start talking back to your characters. Twice I actually said out loud “Oh no you are not going to say that!” It was glorious.

I don’t know how others do their editing but mine is done with written notes and post its on a printed manuscript. This is rev#3.

flame-edits

I have two scenes that need elaborating, but other than those most of the edits I have to finish are grammar and punctuation. Hope my beta readers are ready for this story.

Tomorrow night hubby and I have two tickets to see Cabaret at Centennial Hall on the University of Arizona campus. Its a Broadway touring show and I am very excited to experience it up close.

We will be very busy next weekend with a big yard sale, and at the same time babysitting Millie’s brother Jake. It will be interesting since Jake is a big, gorgeous, alpha German Shepherd. His temperament is very different from Miss Millie who has been raised by two adults. I hope the siblings get on okay, since she is a bit intimidated by him. Damn, most people are intimidated by Jake even though he is a very nice boy.

Sometime in the next few weeks I will have some wonderful news to share but not yet. Patience.

Time for a glass of good wine.

Cheers!

-N

I’m back!

It’s such a thrill when people you don’t even know start commenting on your work. I published an excerpt from my book “Blame It On Whiskey” to my author page on Facebook and the comments have been so wonderful. To hear from people who have connected with my characters and enjoyed the fictional world I created is amazing.

As my last blog post indicated I have been sort of out of communication while my daughter was here with my soon to be grandson. I consider him my grandson already and introduced him as such. Boy did he keep us going, but it was great fun. I had my DVD’s rearranged (evidently I didn’t set them up right) and all the glass lids and pans were moved so he could play with the metal pans. You had to watch where you walked because some of those toys are painful on bare feet! Most of the house was toddler-proofed prior to his arrival, but you never know what he can get into or is interested in until the little human occupies the space.

He and Millie became buddies, lots of puppy kisses between them, and Millie was extremely happy to clean up the post meal droppings around the high chair! After I dropped them at the airport Monday and came home the house was quiet. No Disney Junior or Sprout blaring from the TV, no big humans tracking the movements of the little human, no little voice calling out and babbling at the top of his lungs.

It was different. I miss him.

The monsoon season is upon us in Southern Arizona thank goodness. Our location in Catalina AZ just north of Tucson, higher in elevation, and next to the Santa Catalina mountains means we are cooler and get great storms. Woke up this morning to a wet yard and signs of some wind during the night. The storm didn’t wake me since that stuff works like Ambien on me, as long as the wind isn’t too strong.

Now back to my next book, current book marketing, some plot development for future work, more blogging, wine, chocolate and music.

Cheers!

-N

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01CXRU1QA

Blame it on Whiskey KDP file

Learning as I go

This whole self-publishing and self-marketing thing is a world I’m trying to fit into. Searching and researching what others have to say, what they’ve done and what’s worked takes lots of time. I know I will grow with this as I work at it and find success. It is a challenge I am enjoying, but it often feels I am spending a lot of time and thought delving into this process and not on actual writing.

I’ve run an Amazon price promotion on my eBook and once the print book is out on Amazon I am planning a promotion that links print purchase with a eBook discount. What have been your experiences with these types of promotions?

So…time to jump back into my current work in progress. Time to happily wallow in my fictional world with some side trips to my blog.

My twitter peeps have been terrific in following me, and my word press blog followers are adorbs. Just loving the idea humans want to read what I write in this computer letter.

I’ve shared in previous blog posts about my sweet Millie and how she stays with me while I’m working. Sometimes she will get up, come over and nudge me for a head rub, then lay back down. Here is a candid photo my hubby took of us today.

It’s us doing what we do. me and millieGosh I love that dog.

She is so pretty, smart and still very playful. A funny thing about her is she loves water, especially sprinklers and when we use the sprayer on the hose. She bites at it, barks at it, and runs through the water getting soaked. She does the same thing when it rains. Our last GSD didn’t like the water at all.

Her 1st birthday is in June so I’m thinking we need to have a party! What do you think? Will you join us for a blog party?

A question for you writers and authors out there. What do you do with your notes, print-outs and book proofs when you are finished with them? Do you keep everything together or just hold onto a few things. Do you only save the computer files? Just curious what you feel is necessary to hold on to.

Cheers!

-N

That dog

Millie has figured out a way to distract me.

She is eight months old and has come into her own as a guard dog. She still is a little chicken shit as far as really protecting, she hides behind me. She has her big bad German Shepherd bark on and will go at it if someone pulls up to the house or comes to the gate. If they come into the yard then she runs up on the porch or around the house, still barking.

What she’s started pulling is barking and waiting for me to come find out what she is barking at. I will be working or doing laundry and I will hear her bark. This isn’t the full on warning bark that she does but a sharp loud couple of barks. I walk into the room and find her sitting there grinning at me like “Haha you came when I called!”

Ok, dilemma here. How do I react? I am the alpha human when Chuck isn’t here.

I definitely know the aggressive sounding bark, that one is easy to pick up on and it’s accompanied by hair standing up and that defensive posture. I gotta say it is very impressive.

With this other bark, it’s as if she is showing me that she is doing her job and waiting for the “Atta girl.”

We are still working on the jumping up on people bad behavior. She just isn’t getting it because everything is play with her and if she did that to an older person Millie is big enough to knock someone down.

Can you say “lawsuit?”

She is a very pretty dog, loving and loyal, but I will enjoy her even more when she is out of this puppy stage.

20151201_204822

Cheers!

-N

 

 

 

 

Brain dead

My brain is resisting the focus I need to do some writing. As soon as I sit down at the computer all the crazy stuff that keeps me awake at night flitters away. I have a notebook next to the bed but I forget to write in it. Ugh! I’ve been doing lots of webinars about writing, reading writing helps online and the more I do the more my brain screams “Not gonna do it!”

The TV is on and Chuck is watching the Arizona Wildcats play Washington. He is also on his tablet and his phone. I’m not sure which thing he is the most attentive to. The game is going back and forth but he’s not really yelling at the refs through the TV so who knows where his brain is.

I have an office full of banker boxes so I can start packing books for storage. I don’t know if I can work in here without books. They are my friends. Do you know how many character names I have gotten from looking at those books? I may have to keep some of them nearby just in case.

I have to clear it out so we can sell the house.

I’ve mentioned that I am a member of two different wine clubs. I just got my shipment of twelve bottles from one of them (I’m a happy girl) and in two weeks I will be getting eight bottles from the other. Anybody wanna party?? I like dry, full bodied reds with a deep color. When I first started drinking wines I wanted semi-dry whites. To me now any sweet or semi-dry wine tastes like cough syrup.

My palate has really evolved.

I was watching Valerie Bertinelli’s cooking show this morning and it was enlightening. She cooks like I do and it would be fun to cook with her. My hubby says I am good at taking a group of unrelated things and making a meal out of them.  I’m looking to try my hand at minestrone soup. I love it and would like to develop my own recipe. I have a great tuna casserole recipe my husband loves and he’s not much of a casserole guy. My fiery pasta dish is a favorite of his.

I love my dog but German Shepherds shed, a lot. I have this little vacuum I keep in the kitchen to run every day to pick up dog hair. Needless to say our clothes always have hairs. It is gonna be bad when it warms up. The undercoat is like bunny fur and comes out in clumps.

Well I managed to give you readers something. Now to try to work on my story.

Cheers!

-N

She’s a baby

My puppy Millie is a lot of work for me. I expected this and am doing my best but she requires constant watching. I am trying to read her behavior to know when she is doing the potty walk. She puts everything in her mouth and I am regularly fishing out all kinds of stuff out of her mouth when I see her chewing.

She also has strange sleeping hours. Last night for the first time she didn’t wake me at 2am. We were, however, up at 6am which is a bit more normal. Thank goodness for strong coffee.

Just like with a human baby I get things done when she is asleep. I crate her when I shower and don’t ever just relax. I find myself watching for her and being aware of where she is.

The good part is she loves being with me, follows me around and she is starting to get the potty training idea. She is fun to play with and is so beautiful. Her German Shepherd ears are starting to lift which make her look so cute with one flopped over and one standing up.

Puppies are cute but I am looking forward to the ease of having a mature trained dog.

-N

Right hand butt wiping

I’ve been out of commission for the last two weeks after surgery on my right hand. Typing is easier now and I can use all my digits but the hand is still a little sore and if there are mistakes you will understand. I hope.

This surgery changed some everyday things for me. I am mostly ambidextrous(sometimes shockingly so) but there are some things that took a bit of practice to acquire the left hand skills-teeth brushing and butt wiping weirdness.

Five days after surgery I managed to sprain my right wrist! My hand surgery was healing very well and I had begun using my hand and the bandage was off. I was getting a carton of Silk from the refrigerator with my left hand and it slipped. So what do I do? I reached up with my right hand and caught it, awkwardly. I felt the pain in my entire hand and wrist and knew I was hurt.  Back to square one.

But now things are improving and I am back to my blog.

I am tolerating the heat here in southern Arizona thanks to a hurricane. Dolores sent some moisture that cooled things from 110 to 92 with 40-60% humidity. This is not a dry heat. We are halfway through the hottest time. I would rather deal with extreme cold than extreme hot. I am heat intolerant. I’ve actually managed to get nauseous and sick in the time it takes for the car a/c to cool down after coming from the house.

No writing has happened since my surgery either and I am ready to get back to my routine. Get up-coffee-breakfast-exercise-blogging/writing-finish the day productively and start again. I will be getting my German Shepherd puppy this weekend. Her name is Millie and I look forward to her companionship. My last shepherd loved going places with me. We walked the trails of Catalina State Park together. I look forward to Millie and I having the same wonderful experiences. I know she is going to be beautiful.

I’ve had two beta readers give me some great input on my historical story and I am excited to use their advice to improve the writing. Interestingly, in their varied comments, they mentioned the same scene that needed clarification. Waiting to hear from three more.

Time to head out. Oh I am getting rid of DISH. Not that I don’t like them but TV wastes too much time and I tend to watch things I don’t care about. Will just have internet as a substitute.

Saving money and brain cells.

-N

Dogs and humans

Miss MacyThis is Miss Macy my first German Shepherd puppy.

Last weekend I went to see my sister and for the first time to meet my puppy. She was three weeks old and so amazingly precious. It doesn’t matter what age a person is when we see a puppy our hearts turn to applesauce and we can’t help but fall in love. While we were there my sister’s granddaughter came over and she had same reaction as I when she got near the puppies. You just can’t avoid it.

My dog, when full grown, will be a big beautiful German Shepherd female. I’ve had this breed before and I love them. There are lot’s of humans who don’t like the breed, or don’t want such a big dog, but to me they are the best. Because I am getting a puppy I know I will watch her grow and remember the adorable little puppy in my heart.

I think this is why so many people like small dogs (or as I so affectionately refer to them-coyote bait.) They never stop looking like a puppy. I am not fond of little dogs and I know lots of folks have them because they work well in small dwellings. Ok if that is what works for you. I have no need to keep my dog in a purse or spend tons of money on puppy bling.

I have always loved my pets, but they are that-pets. I wouldn’t spend money on a pet at the expense of a human in my family needing care. But I do whatever I can to take the best care of my pet. They are part of the family and like all members of the family they have their place, their job and my attention.

One of my biggest “pet” peeves are the stupid humans who insist on harming their dogs with their idiocy. For example it is 105 degrees outside and some moron in an electric wheel chair decides to go to the convenience store around the corner and proceeds to haul their dog along. Ok, said moron would never sit butt down on the asphalt road or concrete side walk because it is 120 degrees, but moron thinks nothing of taking a dog with him/her, expecting this poor animal to endure the burning of its pads and the radiant heat off the ground roasting it’s insides. I’ve actually gotten into yelling matches with people I see doing this crap.

If you can’t stand for two minutes barefoot then it’s too hot for your dog!

On my Facebook page I berate my followers regularly with posts about leaving animals in the heat or cold, warning I will break a window if I see an animal in a hot car or I will call animal control if I think an animal is being abused. If you can’t keep yourself warm on a cold night without a heater, coat and shelter why the hell do you think your dog can! Ranchers bring cattle and horses into shelter when the weather turns to protect them.

I would more than do this for a human child, so as one given the heart to look after another species why wouldn’t I do the same for them. It is the responsibility of humans to look after the other life on this planet. If we have been given the care of a dog, cat, horse, snake, chickens, cows, etc. we must do the best job we can. If you know yourself and you know you will suck at it and maybe cause more harm then don’t do it! Give the care to someone who will do a better job.

Off soap box,

-N