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Archive for February, 2014

Writing Wednesday: Balancing Out

A bit of a weird start to the week. Went to bed early(as in about 8) Sunday night and was up nice and early Monday morning. Got a good bit of writing done before kids were up. Even started to Tuesday’s words that night. I stayed up later that night(you know, 9). And for some reason, fell back asleep after my alarm went off the next morning. It was after 5 when I woke up, and I could already hear the kids up. No writing done in the morning. Then, I didn’t think the boy was going to take a nap that afternoon. He did finally fall asleep a little before 2. I was able to finish my writing for the day before I had to get the girl off the bus. Finished everything on my list by 8:30. But, didn’t start on anything else. This morning I was up early again, worked on two of the WiPs. So, it really all evens out. And our tax return was deposited yesterday, which meant I spent my time(after writing) this morning getting caught up on bills. So, that was fun…or not.

Cordelia has more pressing worries than bills, like trying to save Elijah’s life, since she is convinced he’s innocent. Of course, he’s already been convicted and sentenced to hang. So, she’s ridden out to one of the cattle camps outside town to hopefully find someone who saw what really happened. So, 28 lines(2+26) as Cordelia’s horse nearly unseats her.

I started to slide out of the saddle and had to grab onto the horn to keep from falling. Just as I was losing the battle a hand reached out and grabbed the reins.

“Whoa.” I heard a few other words. Something about the voice seemed familiar, but I couldn’t place it. Then, he was putting a hand on my arm for just a brief second. “You all right, Ma’am?”

I nodded and took control of the reins again. “Yes, thank you. He just got away from me.” I looked down at my savior and thought I must be dreaming. Elijah was still in a cell back in town. My confusion cleared when I realized this was definitely not Elijah. He had the same shape to his face, the same eyes, same hair. But, he was older. His face was harder, there were more lines there. “Daniel?”

His stance shifted, becoming more rigid, his eyes more suspicious. “What do you want?”

“We thought you had died in the war. Do your parents know? Does Elijah? Why didn’t you ever go home?”

“Whoa. Slow down, girl. Who are you anyway?”

That stopped me. He’d been gone for more than six years. Of course he didn’t recognize me. “Cordelia Morton. My pa owned the store in town.”

He shook his head and a grin spread across his face. “Can’t be. You’re just a little girl, not this.”

“I grew up too, Daniel.” Then, I sobered. “Seriously though, do your parents know? I thought it would kill your Ma when you never came home.”

“Pa told me I was no longer welcome here.”

A muscle in his jaw twitched as he clenched it, just like Elijah’s always did. That had me nearly doubling over again. He apparently saw my distress because he reached out for me again. “What’s wrong?”

“Elijah. Haven’t you heard?”

“Heard what? I just met with him the other day. He wanted me to turn the herd around. I don’t have that much pull though.”

I choked on a sob. “He’s in jail. He’s been accused of murder. They’re going to hang him in the morning, Daniel.”

“What?” The single word came out as nearly a growl.

“They said he rode into one of the camps and killed a cowboy. I don’t know which one though.” I suddenly realized how dumb my plan had been. How was I supposed to prove his innocence when I didn’t even know which camp those cowboys had come from. There was more than one rancher herding cattle up here.

“When? When did he do this?”

“He didn’t. I know he didn’t do it. Henry Vickers is trying to set him up, trying to get him out of the way. And destroy me.”

“When did they say he did it?”

I had to close my eyes and try to sort through the last days. Charlotte had drugged me after they brought him in, and the last couple days had melded together. It made it hard to separate them. “Tuesday,” I said. “They said he did it Tuesday.”

He shook his head. “He was with me most of that day. He couldn’t have done this.”


I’ve actually been thinking of rewriting this in third person, or at least adding Elijah’s point-of-view to the story. Since otherwise, Daniel comes in out of the blue. Even though I planned this from almost the beginning(even plotter-me gets new ideas for the story as I write).  Not sure what I’m going to do right now though.

  • Slow Revenge: Work on chapters as I get them back – no
  • Stained Snow: Start edits if I get it back – no
  • Work on each WiP 2.5 hours – 4/7.5 hours. 6155 words so far this week. All 3 WiPs are now up over 10k. Chasing the Ghost still has the most with over 12k. 2 of them have taken over that 10k to get the main characters together, and actually Guarding the Heart isn’t quite there yet. I may be cutting a bit of the set up here because that seems like a long time for a romance. In Flames of Renewal, they were face to face within the first 2k.
  • Read: Catalyst(Jennifer Snyder), The Binding Stone(Lisa Gail Green), and Beyond Shame(Kit Rocha) finished Catalyst this morning(enjoyed it & added #2 to wish list), started The Binding Stone and am 12% through it(ok so far, no strong feelings for it yet though).
  • Knit: Finish Tidewater Lace Scarf – done. Finished this Monday.
  • Crochet: Sly Fox Hat – finished the body of the hat yesterday. Will be working on the ears today.


Crafty Corner: Ladybug & a Scarf

Two crafty posts in as many weeks. It must be a miracle. Or my determination to become more consistent with my posting schedule. And I’ve finished two projects in the last week.

When I posted last week, I was almost finished with the ladybug I was crocheting. I finished it later that day.

view from side

view from side

top view

top view

When I finished that project, I started a scarf pattern I found on lionbrand.com. The Tidewater Lace Scarf actually called for Cotton-Ease yarn, which I do not have any of. I did have a ball of Caron Simply Soft yarn(ok, I have more than 1). I thought that would work nice too. Since You work over the same pattern rows until it reaches a certain length, I wasn’t too worried about gauge. I worked on it for 6 days, a total of about 11.5 hours. It did turn out nice, even though I messed up a couple times on the pattern.


folded over

folded over

laid out

laid out

I’m planning on starting my next project today, this hat. I thought it was really cute when I was browsing through ravelry. Hopefully I’ll have something to show for it when I post next week.

What Do You Want to See?

I’ve been thinking about posting here more often and more consistently. I’m just not sure exactly how I want to do that. So, I thought I would go to my readers and what they want to see here. I’m not planning on doing writing advice or book reviews as I’m not too good at either of them. Seriously, I’m not good with advice of any kind. I’m still going to have my Row80 check-ins every Wednesday(and WiPPet) and Sunday and my Fitness Friday posts. But, I’d like to post on the other weekdays as well. I’d like to try to be more consistent with my Crafty Corner posts as well. I’m thinking either Tuesday or Thursday for those. So, that leaves 2 days that I’d like to post something. The question is: what?

I’ve had a couple ideas:

  • Sharing something I’ve been researching
  • Deeper look into a character(interview, scene from their back story, etc…)
  • ???

That’s really about all I’ve got. There’s not much I’m really an expert on, even if I know a little bit about a lot of things. I’m not much of a photographer, even though I like to take pictures of my kids. I may switch up Fridays between fitness check-ins & posts about my kids. My son alone could probably given enough fuel for those posts ;).

I’ve tried to just do posts of whatever’s on my mind, but I’d like to post about things people want to read. And if I don’t have a plan for what I’m going to do, I tend to not do anything. So any thoughts/ideas are welcome.

Sunday Summary: Productive Week

Even though it got off to a bit of a rough start, and I struggled to get up early most of the days, I had a good week.

Today we went to a Daytona 500 viewing party at Buffalo Wild Wings with the crew and drivers from the racetrack where I worked over the summer. It was my first time there, but the food was pretty good. We had a good time, even though there was a rain delay early in the race and we didn’t win anything in the drawings(went in not expecting to win anything, so there’s that). It was still fun.

  • Slow Revenge: Work on chapters I get back – I have through Chapter 11 back and all are edited
  • Stained Snow: Start edits if I get it back – still don’t have yet
  • Work on each WiP 2.5 hours – Done, Done, and Done. I randomized the order I worked on these each day this week. And I like the results from it. Chasing the Ghost still has the most words(sitting at just over 10k), but it had a pretty good head start since I was working on it first each day for the first 2 weeks of the month. And I tend to write more first thing in the morning. Numbers for this week were: Chasing the Ghost – 3254, Flames of Renewal – 3724, & Guarding the Heart – 4072. Guarding the Heart still has the least total words, but I wrote the most on it this week. I wrote a total of 11048 words this week.
  • Read: Unravel Me(Tehereh Mafi) – finished this on Wednesday. Loved it. Eager to start the last book, but I don’t have it yet. After I finished Unravel Me, I started reading Slow Ride(Kat Morrisey) again. I read an earlier draft of it as CP and she sent me an ARC of it. But, I still wanted to buy it. So, I read it again, finished it yesterday. And I seem to have this talent to be able to forget what I’ve read and get just as sucked in as I did before. Happens with tv and movies sometimes too. That’s why I can rewatch show and movies so many times. I also read Whiskey Rebellion(Liliana Hart) last night. I’ve struggled to stay up until 9 most of the week. Last night I was up until 11:30 reading this book. And instantly went on the computer to add the next book in the series to my wish list. Today I read a few different short stories by Ruth Nestvold
  • Crochet: Ladybug
  • Knit: Tidewater Lace Scarf – I’ve been working on this since Tuesday and have made quite a bit of progress. You’re supposed to repeat the same 8 rows of the pattern until it reaches 30 inches. It’s about 28 inches right now. So just another couple repeats and it will be done.

Goals or next week:

  • Slow Revenge: Work on chapters as I get them back
  • Stained Snow: Start edits if I get it back
  • Work on each WiP 2.5 hours
  • Read: Catalyst(Jennifer Snyder), The Binding Stone(Lisa Gail Green), and Beyond Shame(Kit Rocha)
  • Knit: Finish Tidewater Lace Scarf
  • Crochet: Sly Fox Hat

Fitness Friday: Noticing Trends

One thing I’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks is that when I don’t workout in the morning, everything else falls away too. I don’t fill up my water bottle, so I don’t drink much if any water. I also don’t track my calories, and I tend to say “forget it” and eat crap. Wednesday was one of those days. My legs were sore from Tuesday’s work out, so I decided to take the day off and rest. Thinking I should have at least done a walk on the treadmill, but I didn’t. I didn’t make the best snacking choices that day either. On the days I work out, I seem to do better. Although the tracking still isn’t going well.

  • drink one bottle(24 oz) of water a day: Probably only 3/5 days. About halfway through today’s bottle
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes(between Wii & treadmill)  4/5 days. Worked out for 1/2 hour on the Wii Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and today. I’ve done upper and lower body, flexibility, and core workouts this week.
  • Limit snacks to 1 between meals – Still doing good with this in the morning,and better after lunch though.
  • Track food daily – This was pretty much a complete fail again this week.

Starting weight: 174.8

Last week’s weight: 172.4

This week’s weight: 171.8

This week’s weight loss: .6 pounds. Not a big loss, but it’s back in the right direction.

Total Weight loss: 3 pounds

Writing Wednesday: Rough Start

The week didn’t start too bad. In fact, I was pretty productive on Monday. I had everything crossed off my to-do list by the time we ate dinner. Tuesday morning I struggled getting up. Then, I was about halfway through my writing time on my first WiP and realized the pellet stove was going out. Thought it was empty, but I opened the lid and it was still half full. We’d been having problems with the auger motor, but it had been working all right for the last several weeks. I ended up fighting with it quite a bit before finally unplugging it. When I plugged it back in and started it up, it worked just fine again. I was still able to get everything done by 8 last night. Then, I got up this morning after only a little laying in bed. Turned on my computer and started my coffee. Saw that it was installing update 1 of 8. *sigh* Go and put clean dishes away. Come back. Still installing update 1 of 8. Go stack dirty dishes. Still installing update 1 of 8. Grab my notebook and decide just to write by hand this morning. It never moved past update 1 of 8 for more than 30 minutes. I finally held down the power button and hoped I didn’t screw anything up. I turned it back on and the start menu came right up. Everything seems to be fine. I didn’t get a lot of words written to start the day off. Hopefully I can make up for that later though. I still worked on the WiP for 30 minutes.

For my WiPPet this week, I’m going back to East of Abilene. 17 mostly short paragraphs(2-19 & ignoring the negative). Cordelia’s stepmother is insisting she accepts the marriage proposal from the man she wants Cordelia to marry.

“You don’t understand. You will accept it. You’ve had enough time to get used to the idea of being married. You can’t play at being a little girl anymore.”

“I’m not playing anything. I won’t marry Frederic. I want to marry Elijah.”

“I won’t let you lower yourself to that. You deserve so much more.”

“I thought you loved my Pa. Why can’t you understand I love Elijah? Do you really forget what it felt like?”

“At least your Pa was a respectable man, not a dirt poor farmer.”

“Elijah is a good man. You’d know that if you even tried to know him.”

“I’m not discussing this anymore. Get dressed.” She turned and left the room.

I had to fight back tears as I did just that. I would be with Elijah. I wouldn’t let this happen. I didn’t care if we had to run away together. I would be with him. “I’m going to go talk to Jack.”

“You’re going to stay right here,” Charlotte said, reaching out for my arm.

I pulled away from her though. “I may owe you something for everything you’ve done since Pa died. But, I won’t pay it like this. There’s nothing I owe that’s worth my own freedom, my own life. I’ll be back before your precious Frederic calls on me.”

She called after me but I kept walking out of the house. I was about to step down from the sidewalk when I heard the horses galloping down the street. I turned my head and saw two horses but only one rider. There was something draped over the second horse though. My breath caught in my throat. It couldn’t be.

It wasn’t, I realized. The body on the second horse wasn’t Elijah. He had red hair, a longer body than the boy I loved. And the man on the first horse had to be with the cattle herds. The way he dressed, his saddle, everything was different than those who lived around here.

“I need the sheriff,” the man yelled.

He was already coming down the street though. “What’s going on here?”

“My partner was killed by one of your damn farmers. He came right into our camp and shot him. Said his name was Elijah Caine.”

No. No no no. I stumbled back and saw Jack’s gaze shoot to me. Saw the pity there. Then, I was sitting on the sidewalk, my hands covering my face. It couldn’t be true. He wouldn’t have done something like this. I wouldn’t, I couldn’t believe it. I felt someone draw me up and lead me back to the house. I didn’t even care.

“You said he was a good man?” That was Charlotte. “Good men don’t murder people.”

I’ll probably share one more snippet from this next week, before moving on to something different next month. Now, for this week’s progress so far:

  • Slow Revenge: Work on chapters I get back: I’ve received another 7 chapters back this week. I have all the changes marked in the scrivener file and I made changes to one chapter this morning. It’s been mostly small things so far, so I plan to be caught up on these chapters by the end of the week.
  • Stained Snow: Start edits if I get it back – still nothing.
  • Work on each WiP 2.5 hours – 3.5 hours/7.5 so far. I’ve added 5126 words so far this week between the 3 WiPs.
  • Read: Unravel Me(Tehereh Mafi) – 64% through this. Really enjoying it even if I think Kenji needs his own story.
  • Crochet: Ladybug – finished this on Monday and started my next project, the Tidewater Lace Scarf. I’m about 1/6 of the way through it.

The only thing that will change for the rest of the week is my knitting project.

Crafty Corner: Catching Up

I haven’t done one of these posts for a while, so I decided it was time to catch up on some of the projects I’ve finished recently.

I started this lapghan toward the end of last year. I probably would have finished it then but I ran out o the one color of yarn I needed. I didn’t get a chance to get more of that yarn until the end of January. So,it sat that whole month. I finally finished it earlier this month.  It took me a total of over 75 hours to finish it. Not sure I’ve ever been so happy to finish a project.


While I was waiting to get the yarn I needed for the lapghan, I made this long stocking hat in green and white


And when I finished the lapghan, I made this cowl. The pattern calls itself the “45 minute cowl”. It took me 90 minutes. That doesn’t count the times I had to go back and start over. I somehow got it twisted though. Not sure where I messed it up.


And now, I’m making this ladybug. Not quite finished yet, but I just have to sew on the legs and spots and do the mouth and antennae.


Sunday Summary: Fire & Ice

Last night one of the local fire departments had a “Fire and Ice Ball” as a fundraiser. It was a semi-formal event but only $15 for a couple to get in. I had a couple bridesmaid dresses from weddings I’ve been in and one from my best friend’s wedding six years ago still fit. So, I wore that, did my hair, put make up on(this is all unusual for me – I even painted my nails!), and we went out for the night. A group of us met at a local restaurant, that was only a couple buildings down from where the ball was. There were about 30 of us in the group. The guy sitting beside me was quite a talker. I’m not quite sure how he managed to eat his dinner(and some of his girlfriend’s) since I don’t think he ever stopped talking. And I imagine if I wrote a male character who said “like” as many times as he did in one conversation, people would say it was unrealistic. 🙂

I didn’t drink at dinner, but my husband got me two drinks when we were at the dance. I really don’t drink that much and don’t have a favorite. So, I told him to get me something sweet. I got a pineapple & coconut rum. It was sweet and smooth. Not quite enough to get rid of my inhibitions and actually get out on the dance floor other than for the slow dances. But, I enjoyed sitting back and watching every one else. I like to observe people much more than be in the middle of them. It was a good time, even if I’m dealing with the headache from those 2 drinks today(yes, I am a lightweight).

  • Slow Revenge: Work on as I get chapters back – haven’t received any more chapters yet
  • Stained Snow: Start editing(if I get back from CP) – still waiting on this
  • Work 2.5 hours on each of 3 WiPs – Did this. 7333 words this week. 3883 on Chasing the Ghost, 2282 on Flames of Renewal, and 1160 on Guarding the Heart. That’s the order I’ve been writing them on each day. And the first always seems to get the most words. So, I think I’ll switch up the order each day this week and see if this trend still holds true.
  • Reading: Finish The Teacher’s Vet, Forged(Jennifer Rush), Dark Witch(Nora Roberts), & Frosted(Wendy Sparrow) Done, Done, Done, & Done. In fact, I had all of these read by Wednesday night. So, I also read Once Upon a New Year’s Eve(Kait Nolan) & Dreamsnatcher(Angela Wallace). I only have 2 more books on my list for this month. Then, I’ll start going through my list of free books until I make my list for next month. I currently have 30 free books on my kindle. I have a tendency to download any book that’s on a free promo.
  • Knitting: Finish lapghan – done
  • Crochet: 45 minute cowl – done as well. But, it came out a little twisted. Not sure where I messed up on it.

Goals for next week:

  • Slow Revenge: Work on chapters I get back
  • Stained Snow: Start edits if I get it back
  • Work on each WiP 2.5 hours
  • Read: Unravel Me(Tehereh Mafi)
  • Crochet: Ladybug

Fitness Friday: Backwards

If you’re following this blog, you probably already know about our power issues this week. I couldn’t walk on the treadmill, but I could have still worked out on the Wii. I didn’t. I won’t make excuses for it. I just didn’t do it. I haven’t been drinking as much water as I should, and haven’t done very well at keeping up with tracking calories. I’ve been doing a little better at controlling snacking. I didn’t post last week. My daughter woke up last Friday with some stomach issues and I didn’t weigh myself that morning.

  • drink one bottle(24 oz) of water a day: Probably only 2/5 days
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes(between Wii & treadmill)  2/5 days. I did a 15 minute workout on Monday then another 15 on the treadmill. Yesterday I only worked out for 10 minutes, because my knee was bothering me and even the lower impact flexibility workout was making it hurt. I’m hoping to get back to regular workouts next week.
  • Limit snacks to 1 between meals – Again, I do good in the morning, not so well after lunch though, but I’ve been doing better.
  • Track food daily – This was pretty much a complete fail this week.

Starting weight: 174.8

Last week’s weight: 171.2

This week’s weight: 172.4

This week’s weight loss: +1.2 pounds

Total Weight loss: 2.4 pounds

Writing Wednesday: Still Powerless

Okay, not quite powerless. If you didn’t see my post from yesterday, we lost power to half our house on Monday when a fuse blew in our outside electrical box(not sure if there’s another name for it). Pretty much all the power on one side of the house went out. Refrigerator and our pellet stove still work at least, and we moved our router and modem to the side with power so we have internet again. My husband tried replacing the fuse, but that didn’t work so we need to get a whole new box. We have a guy coming out today to do that, so we should have full power again sometime today. I’ve said it before, but sometimes I really like living in a small town where my husband knows pretty much everyone(and if he hadn’t, my brother-in-law’s an electrician and he probably would have come out to do it, but he doesn’t live in our town so I don’t know if he’d be able to get out here so soon). We even have someone letting us borrow a generator so we can keep running our pellet stove while they’re changing the box and waiting for it to be reconnected.

So, I’ve been stressing about that this week. Some people probably wouldn’t think I was stressed by looking at me because I tend to draw in when I’m stressed/upset instead of lashing out. So, I think I’ll share a happy snippet for this week’s WiPPet. I was going to share another bit of East of Abilene, but I think I’ll share some of what I wrote for Flames of Renewal this morning. This one takes place about 6(ish) months after Flames of Redemption and is Kayla’s uncle’s story. In this scene, Kayla and her uncle are talking about her making an adjustment from fighting fires to investigating them.

“That’s what Adrian said too. You sure you two aren’t related?”

James laughed at that. “Pretty sure. Were you two fighting about this?”

“We were discussing it.” She rubbed a hand over her mouth. “In very loud voices.”

James laughed again. “I swear you two would argue about the color of the sky.”

She cocked her head to one side. “Have you been eavesdropping on our breakfast conversation?”

Kayla and Adrian do like to argue. 🙂

As for my RoW80 progress, things have been a little slower this week. I have no power at my desk, so I’ve been charging my computer at the dining room table(and moving my coffee maker there) and bringing it to the couch to work until it needs charged again, or handwriting words. I seem to struggle when I’m not in my corner of the living room though. This morning was better though. I wrote almost as much this morning as I did the last two days combined. And I still have 1 more WiP to work on or half an hour.

  • Slow Revenge: Work on as I get chapters back – I have through Chapter 4 edited. Waiting for more chapters.
  • Stained Snow: Start editing(if I get back from CP) – don’t have this back yet
  • Work 2.5 hours on each of 3 WiPs – I’ve worked a total of 4/7.5 hours this week. Doing pretty good there. I’ve added 3524 words so far this week. 2007 on Chasing the Ghost, 1277 on Flames of Renewal, and 232 on Guarding the Heart(which I haven’t worked on yet today).
  • Reading: Finish The Teacher’s Vet, Forged(Jennifer Rush), Dark Witch(Nora Roberts), & Frosted(Wendy Sparrow) I finished The Teacher’s Vet Sunday night, read Forged on Monday(it was short), finished Dark Witch last night, and started Frosted this morning.
  • Knitting: Finish lapghan – finished this on Monday
  • Crochet: 45 minute cowl – Plan on starting this today.

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