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Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

Just Jot It January: Day 18 – “Revolt”

“We’d better hurry this up before the little ones revolt.”

Connor laughed at the comment from his brother, Callum. His daughter, Kaelin, was one of the ones who looked about ready to take up arms against the adults keeping them from opening the presents. He couldn’t stop laughing as the image took hold in his mind. Ames looked at him from their position at his side and shook their head.

Connor’s parents walked into the living room finally. Good, everyone was here. They could get things started. The kids started to settle down in front of the tree, and his oldest nephew, Tyler, grabbed the first gift to hand out to one of his cousins.

Connor settled back with his arm around Ames. He always enjoyed this, seeing the joy on the kids’ faces, even when things got a bit chaotic. Which it always did with seven kids ripping into presents. Nine now, but the two youngest could barely hold their heads up, let alone open their own gifts.

Ames stroked a hand down his arm, and he leaned into their touch. Yes, he had a lot to celebrate this year, so he was just going to sit back and enjoy.


Today’s Just Jot It January prompt was ‘Revolt’ brought to us by Sandra. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with this one. Until the first line popped into my head and made me think of Christmas mornings. Even with just six kids(from 6-14 in our case), it gets a little crazy. Especially when my nieces and nephew tend to be loud. I’m not being biased about my own kids, everyone mentions how quiet they are. This will probably happen after(or maybe at) the end of Flames of Knowledge. Which I’m just about finished plotting. I won’t actually start writing it until April, when I’ll hopefully be finished with all the drafts I’ve left hanging.

I finished one of those drafts yesterday, the one I started for this past NaNoWriMo, Green Hills & Smoky Fields(which will actually be the series title). So, I’m working on one that’s been giving me fits(By the Gun) since I started it until the end of the month. Then, I’ll pick up one of the others, and if I finish it before the end of next month, I’ll pick By the Gun up again.

Fiction Friday: Christmas in Triplicate

I wrote up this story over the last week, using a prompt from one of the patreon pages I subscribe to. There were three words to use somehow in the story. Jeremiah, Silas, and Corrin seemed to think it fit them perfectly, so I started writing them. Three words, three characters, and three scenes. I put it up on my Patreon page yesterday. I’m going to share the beginning of it here, but you can read the rest if you subscribe for as little as $1 a month.


Jeremiah ran a finger over the round ‘E’ key and glanced back over his shoulder. The shopkeeper had barely taken his eyes off him since he’d stepped in here. He brushed off whatever the man’s opinion of him might be and turned back to the item in front of him.

This was not something Corrin put on her list to him and Silas. No, that consisted of mostly books. Notebooks, too. She wasn’t even the reason he’d stopped in her. He’d seen an antique model fire truck in the shop window he was sure his grandfather would like. This vintage typewriter had caught his attention when he stepped inside.

Corrin was the only one he still had to buy for. His grandfather never expected anything, but Jeremiah still tried to pick something up for him if it caught his eye. It had been Corrin who had been nearly impossible to buy for this year. Even harder than his niece, and she couldn’t even tell him what she wanted yet.

He smiled as he thought of little Doreen, just over a year old and already giving his sister and brother-in-law a run for their money.

It was great.

He slid his finger over to the ‘R’ key and down to the ‘F’ but resisted the urge to press down on any of them; he didn’t need to get an even dirtier look from the shopkeeper. Yes, she would like this. It wasn’t their first Christmas together—last year they’d all agreed to get stuff they needed for the new house—but he wanted to make it the best one. For both of the people he loved.

With a sigh, he headed up to the counter. His steps felt heavy. He should have gone home and gotten some sleep, but he was nearly out of time. He figured he’d stop in on his way there. The exhaustion weighed down on him now.

“What can I help you with, young man?” The shopkeeper’s voice sounded tight and a bit disdainful. Jeremiah wondered if it would change the old man’s opinion of him to know he’d just come off a twenty-four hour shift at the fire station.

It didn’t matter. Jeremiah forced some cheerfulness into his voice. “I wondered about the old typewriter over there. How much do you want for it?”

The man made a sound almost like he had a hairball caught in his throat. His sister had given them a kitten over the summer—a stray she’d taken in had kittens and her husband insisted they couldn’t keep all of them—and it made that same noise.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Contrast”

Silas dumped a little more sugar than the recipe called for into the bowl. He was a scientist after all. He liked to experiment. And really, could something be too sweet? He laughed to himself a little as he reached for the week, mixing the sugar into the cranberries he’d already mashed up. He watched the contrast of the white mixing in with the red until they were all one.

With his finger, he tasted some of it and grinned. “Yep,” he murmured. “Just sweet enough.”

“Of course you are,” Corrin said, coming up behind him and wrapping an arm around his waist.

He grinned before bringing her hand up to his mouth and kissing her palm. “I think you’ve got that mixed up, Cor. You’re the sweet one around here.”

He could feel her tension as she stayed pressed against him, knew she was nervous about today. He wanted to throttle her father for ever making her doubt she’d be welcome–they would be–around her own family.

He turned toward her and pressed his lips to hers. When she pulled back, she was grinning. “That does taste sweet. What are you making?”

“Cranberry glaze for the chocolate cake I baked and frosted earlier. Think that will pay my entry into your family’s Christmas?”

Her face fell, and he knew the joke hadn’t hit its mark. He gathered her into his arms again. “I’m kidding. If anyone says a word, I won’t let them have even a sliver of the cake.”

She let out a soft huff of laughter, though it might have been closer to a sob. They’d been together, all three of them, for over a year and a half now. Eventually her father, and some other extended family members, would have to accept this was a forever situation.

“Jeremiah should be home anytime,” she said. “I thought he would have been already.”

“He called me while you were in writing. He decided to stop at Kayla and Adrian’s on his way home.”

“We’re going to be seeing them tomorrow before we head over to your parents’. Why’s he stop now.”

“Something about last minute gifts he needed to wrap without us seeing. You know how he is.”

“Sweet,” she said, smiling at him. He liked seeing that smile. It was better than the pinched, worried look whenever her father made a comment about their non-traditional relationship. “Just like you. I’m going to get a shower and change before he gets here.”

He watched her moved off toward the bathroom, swallowed the urge to follow her, and turned back to his preparations. She usually wanted to be alone to compose herself before they headed to see her family. And he needed to finish up this cake and have it ready to go before they needed to head out.

And if any of her family gave her a hard time, he’d do more than not allow them a piece of his cake. They’d been through enough to be together. It was time her family accepted them just as they were.

If they couldn’t, maybe they didn’t deserve a place in Corrin’s life anymore.


Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “contrast”. This is part of a Christmas short I started writing this week using a prompt from a Patreon I subscribe to. Cranberries is part of that prompt(I worked one of the other words into another scene–with Jeremiah–) and still have one more word to work in, which will probably be in a scene from Corrin’s POV. I’m hoping to have it up on my Patreon page sometime in the coming week.

Sunday Summary: Christmas Edition

I didn’t plan to be up writing this so early. Usually I stay in bed until the kids are up on Christmas morning. Well, I suppose  I was. Because at 3:30(maybe a little before), I hear “Santa came!” Yeah, my kids are early risers, but this is early even for them! This was after the girl nearly caught ‘Santa’ filling the stockings last night at 9:45 because I was sure she’d fallen asleep by then. Anyway, I figured I should probably come out just to make sure they didn’t start sneaking peeks at the presents. I needed to take more medicine anyway since I can’t get this stupid cough to go away. Sick on Christmas…it’s basically a family tradition.

Santa did come!

Santa did come!

Friday, while the kids were still in school, the husband and I went and got a few things at the store(I needed stuff to make cookies still), and stocking stuffers. I made some snickerdoodles and M&M cookies. Yesterday we had breakfast with some friends then went to see my husband’s grandma. Then, later in the afternoon we stopped and got pizza on the way to my mother-in-law’s. The kids got presents there, and I got some cash and a gift card to barnes & noble. Now to decide whether to use it online or actually in the store(I tend to have trouble ever finding what I’m looking for in there.

"I wanted this!" What the boy said for pretty much everything he opened.

“I wanted this!” What the boy said for pretty much everything he opened.

wearing their new school spirit sweatshirts together

wearing their new school spirit sweatshirts together

We’ll be going to my mom’s later this afternoon. I’m trying to hold the kids off from waking Daddy and opening presents until at least 6. Another hour now. So, I’ll get to my wrap-up of the week.

  • Write: 12500 words – 8032/12500 words. Not even close to what I’d hoped. But, I slowed down a bit this week. Going to keep the goal low for next week, too then hopefully get it back up there after the new year.
    • Defending the Heart – 1059 words – Something was wrong. Piers could sense it just as much as he knew the waitress had seen more to his flirting than had been there. Not that he’d ever minded flirting with a pretty woman, or even taking one home. But, he had trouble thinking about anyone else when Xavier was around.
    • Crash and Burn – 1121 words – “We all heard it, cousin.” Brann saw Adrian’s wife, Kayla, hovering in the doorway, glancing down the road, too. Jeremiah was her little brother, so he figured she was probably worried about him, too. He couldn’t think about any of that right now, though. All he could think of was that Jaya could be in danger, and she was unprotected right now.
    • Not Meant to Be – 1583 words – She glanced over at Toby then. Okay, there was one cop she would enjoy existing. But, as far as she could tell, he was the exception to the rule. And even that was probably being unfair. Still, she couldn’t completely dispel the thoughts and bad feelings.
    • Stay a Little Longer – 2622 words – Terrall didn’t bother responding to that. He didn’t plan to get into trouble. But, he wasn’t going to regret doing what was needed to keep Jess safe.
    • In the Moonlight – 1217 words – Had one of those other shadows been her father? What would he have done to her. There was another sharp scream, and I was sure the echo of a gunshot, then…nothing. I dropped my hands and looked around. There was nothing up here except for a bunch of old trunks and chests.
  • Edit: Let It Begin – finish pre-revisions & start revisions – I finished the pre-revisions. Setting aside revisions until next year.
  • Plot: Loving the Devil – Plot summary & start Story Toolkit – got the plot summary done. Setting aside the rest of it until next year
  • Side Projects – add 2000 words – 2155/2000 words
    • Midas Daughter – Because marrying a pretty, and wealthy, girl would be such a hardship for him. Especially when his father was pressing him on that exact issue. It was time to settle down, to ensure the Adair line continued, and on and on. He usually stopped listening. Why would he want to settle himself down with only one woman when he could have his pick of them? *Oh, James, you are just such a gem. *gag*
    • Dance with the Devil – 553 words – I barely listened as Bull and Icarus gave us some final instructions. We already knew what they wanted us to do. And I was too distracted by Hawk’s presence next to me, his hand resting at the small of my back, just under the bottom of my vest. 
    • Snow White Twist – 559 words – “There is nothing in the many rules that says I must marry a man. Not one reference. So, Tarian, princess of [xx], will you be my queen once I’m on my throne?” *I still need to give both their kingdoms names.
    • Patrick & Sarah – 277 words – But, she thought she’d seen his lips turn up. She blinked and the look was gone. She must have only imagined it. Sarah sighed and scrubbed a little harder at the stain. She couldn’t believe she’d think it of her son for even a moment. Lord, she was a horrible mother to think it. *yeah, you didn’t imagine anything, but just live in that denial, Sarah.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 238 words – And maybe even have a chance to see Haiwee once again. Now, that made him smile.
    • Roman – 254 words – They were going to send her to a group home. After everything she’s been through, they were going to just drop her there. She refused to go. Any option where there were other kids, she said she’d just run away from if they tried to make her go.” Cristine glanced back at Tereza, who was still eyeing them warily. Roman thought she looked pretty likely to run right now. “It only took me a few to realize what the problem was. I told her we didn’t have any other kids at home, and we were certified as foster parents already.” She smiled at him then.
    • Dougal & Shae – 147 words – “Then, why won’t he give me a straight answer?”He saw the brother roll his eyes. “Maybe because you’re being abrasive right now. You know what Dad says.”She snorted. “Which of his many sayings are you referencing? The list is probably endless by now.”
  • Listen: Winter – I’ve listened to most of this and loving it. And a friend sent me the audible of Stars Above to start once I finish. Woohoo!
  • Read: Finish Ink or Treat(Eliza Madison), Status Update(Annabeth Albert), Breaking Through(Juliana Haygert), Night Watch(Suzanne Brockman), Touching Fate(Brenda Drake), The Family Simon(Juliana Stone), Going Deep(Cari Quinn), Serpentine(Cindy Pon), & Assassin’s Heart(Sarah Ahiers) – I finished Ink or Treat(really enjoyed), Status Update(loved), and Night Watch(enjoyed). I really enjoyed Breaking Through. Couldn’t get into Touching Fate. I only read the last of the three books in the The Family Simon set(I’d read the first two separately but the set was free so I grabbed it for the third book only) and enjoyed it. I enjoyed Going Deep. Started Serpentine but it wasn’t drawing me in, so I set it aside. Haven’t started Assassin’s Heart yet.
  • Crochet: Grumpy Octopus Coffee Cup Cozy – finished this on Friday. It’s a little big to fit around my coffee cup, though.wp-1482659536582.jpg
  • A to Z Posts: Plot – haven’t made any more progress on these

Not a bad week overall, even if I didn’t get to everything I had planned. Even though RoW80 is on break this week, I’m still putting my goals for next week here.

  • Write: 5000 words
  • Side Projects: Add 2000 words
  • Listen: Finish Winter & Stars Above
  • Read: Finish Assassin’s Heart(Sarah Ahiers), Kiss Me Like This(Bella Andre), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot(Liliana Hart), Labyrinth Lost(Zoraida Cordova), The Seduction Hypothesis(Delphine Dryden), Cutting Edge(Allison Brennan), He’s So Fine(Jill Shalvis), The Hawk(Monica McCarty), & Law Man(Kristen Ashley)
  • Crochet: Charmed Cloche

Writing Wednesday: Slowing Down

Monday was a pretty good day of writing. I mostly just hit my goals for each of my projects. I went a little over on Crash and Burn, which was good. Then, I started working on Stay a Little Longer, and as usual when Erik comes on the page, he kind of took over. I swear he thinks every story is his. 😉 Anyway, I wrote more than twice my goal on that one. I was hoping for a repeat yesterday, but…that didn’t happen. Started out good with In the Moonlight. Then, I got to Crash and Burn, and…the words just weren’t coming. I got some, but by the time I took the kids down to the bus and came back inside, I’d lost all motivation. And decided to read instead. Part of that was because it was cold in the house, and I really didn’t feel like sitting at the desk. But, I think I’m going to take a sort of break until the new year. I’ll still write, but I think I’ll just work on one story each day and then only in the morning until around 7(unless the words are really flowing). I’m usually at the computer by 5, so that still gives me around 2 hours. The kids go to school through Friday this week, but they’re off all next week and the following Monday, and this coming Monday we’re having Christmas with my husband’s stepmom and siblings, so I think this will fit better until all the holiday stuff is over.

He can sleep anywhere, even in the middle of his sister's Christmas concert.

He can sleep anywhere, even in the middle of his sister’s Christmas concert.

We did finally get our Christmas tree up on Sunday, so we’re just about ready for Christmas. I still need to get some stocking stuffers and should bake some cookies, so hopefully I can get to that this week. Other than that, and wrapping the last of the presents, I believe I’m ready.

Pup wasn't sure what to make of this thing we put up in the living room ;)

Pup wasn’t sure what to make of this thing we put up in the living room 😉


The boy's letter to Santa he wrote at school. Thankfully the teacher included a translation

The boy’s letter to Santa he wrote at school. Thankfully the teacher included a translation

But, for now, it’s Wednesday, which means it’s WiPPet time! You can check out the other snippets from here. And if you want to join us, just post a snippet of a current work in progress that somehow corresponds to the date(and we’re pretty flexible about the math we use to get that). I’m working on Defending the Heart today, so you get some more of Piers and Xavier this week. I have 9 paragraphs(21-12) today:

It had always been this way. Hot and fast, and he’d never been able to hold anything back. That may have scared him more than anything else. He’d worried he and Piers would flash and burn out, and he would have ruined everything for no reason.
He closed his eyes and just reveled in the feel of Piers against him. He wanted to savor it. So bad. But, what if someone walked in? What if someone saw them. What if…Piers nipped at his lip and all those thoughts fled from his mind.
He had to touch him. He knew it might be smart to keep his hands to himself, but he had to touch Piers. Had to feel him against his fingertips, under his tongue. Otherwise, he might just burst apart.
Xavier’s hands skimmed under Piers’ shirt and he shuddered at the feel of that warm skin. He felt almost as toned as he always had, though it may have gone slightly soft. There was definitely still plenty of muscle there, though. Xavier wanted to see all of it. But, part of his mind was thankfully still aware they were down in the office. In their place of business. It didn’t keep him from thrusting his tongue into Piers’ mouth again, though.
Piers groaned now and broke his mouth away before pressing it to Xavier’s throat. “I want you. So bad, X, it makes me want to forget the promises I made to myself.”
Xavier pulled one hand from under Piers’ shirt, threading the fingers into the other man’s hair. The other hand slid further up until it rested over Piers’ heart. “I’m still in here. You can’t tell me otherwise.”
Piers closed his eyes and rested his forehead against Xavier’s. “I won’t try to,” he said. “But, we can’t do this.”
“We are doing it. We’ve been trying not to since March, and it hasn’t done any good. And my apartment is right up those steps.”
He could feel Piers trying to shut everything down and erect that wall between them. He felt like something heavy had laid on his chest, though. He was afraid if Piers did that, the weight would completely crush him.

No one walking into the office(well, the others that work there anyway) would be surprised to see this. They’ve all seen it coming, so that’s not quite what Xavier is worrying about.

This round of RoW80 ends tomorrow, so I’ll be doing my wrap-up post then, but for today, I’m still going to do my mid-week check-in(I’ll probably do one next week, too, even though it’s during the break).


  • Write: 12500 words – HAHA. HA. HAHAHA. Yeah, not even close. 5207/12500. I don’t think I’ll even reach 10k for the week. But, I suppose we’ll see.
  • Edit: Let It Begin – finish pre-revisions & start revisions – finished pre-revisions, but didn’t start actual revisions yet. Going to set this one aside until next year.
  • Plot: Loving the Devil – Plot summary & start Story Toolkit – I got the short summary(one sentence) written and the medium summary(1 paragraph) about half done. I am going to try to finish it this week, but I won’t start the Toolkit until next month.
  • Side Projects – add 2000 words – 430/2000 words. Really don’t think I’ll meet this goal this week, either.
  • Listen: Winter – I’m getting close to halfway in this, I think.
  • Read: Finish Ink or Treat(Eliza Madison), Status Update(Annabeth Albert), Breaking Through(Juliana Haygert), Night Watch(Suzanne Brockman), Touching Fate(Brenda Drake), The Family Simon(Juliana Stone), Going Deep(Cari Quinn), Serpentine(Cindy Pon), & Assassin’s Heart(Sarah Ahiers) – I finished Ink or Treat(really enjoyed), Status Update(loved), and Night Watch(enjoyed). My kindle was charging yesterday(which was why I read Night Watch before Breaking Through), but I started Breaking Through last night. Planning on doing a lot of reading the next two weeks(well, week & a half now). In fact, these just came in yesterday: wp-1482321184537.jpg I love book mail! I may actually not get to any of these until next month, but still!!
  • Crochet: Grumpy Octopus Coffee Cup Cozy – I’ve made some progress on this.
  • A to Z Posts: Plot – no more progress since last week.


Sunday Summary: Almost Christmas

Less than a week until Christmas. We have our tree up and…yeah, that’s about it. I have most of the shopping done(have to get a gift card for nephew and figure out what we’re doing for parents). But, we haven’t even made cookies yet. Kids only have school Monday and Tuesday, so maybe we’ll make some on Wednesday. Hopefully they’ll turn out better than last year’s when the dough was too sticky to even roll out. Or maybe we’ll make different cookies(I prefer my mom’s M&M cookie recipe to sugar cookies anyway). Our festivities will start Thursday and last through Saturday. At least we’ve got things set up now wehere we aren’t rushing from place to place in one day. We spend Christmas Eve with my MIL, Christmas day at my mom’s, and the next day we’ll be at my step-MIL’s. Having it spread out like that helps so much.

It started snowing Friday night. When I went to bed, there was barely more than a dusting of snow on the porch. By the time I got up, there were several inches(I’m never good at estimating how much, but it was about as high as the top of my snow boots when I went out to shovel). Of course, it’s supposed to be almost 60 degrees by the middle of the week, so it will probably all be gone by Christmas.

finally getting to play in the snow.

finally getting to play in the snow.

this was last Sunday. Big difference.

this was last Sunday. Big difference.

This week has been pretty good. Word count isn’t especially high, but that’s all right. Still getting things done.

  • Love Who You Love – 5000 words – 5073/5000. Was doing pretty good on this until Friday. Just wasn’t feeling it that morning, but still managed to add 586 words. The day before that I’d gotten 1258. Hoping I can get past whatever the problem was tomorrow morning.
  • Chasing the Ghost – finish polishing – got this done Wednesday and started some pre-revision stuff on Flames of Retribution. So glad to be back with my firefighters. Hoping to at least finish the pre-revision stuff this week & maybe even start first round of revisions.
  • Come Back Down – get to 7000 words – 7464/7000 words. Yesterday I only wrote 422 words. Today I got just past the 7000 mark, but words were flowing. I ended up adding 947. Next month I’m planning to up my weekend goal from 1000 to 2000. If they keep coming like today’s words, that shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Read: Word loss Diet – 70% – finished this Friday and the book, which basically ended at 70%. I did add quite a few words to my search & destroy list, though some of the tone of the book irritated me.
  • Read: Bloodlore (Krista Walsh), Sparks Fly (Mari Carr), Fey Touched(Erin Zarro), Unbreak Me(Lexi Ryan), Only Mine (Susan Mallery) – I finished all of these. Even if a couple of them brought me close to tears(I’m a very emotional reader, so this isn’t really a surprise). And Fey Touched is the second book I’ve read in the last few months with a major character with my name. Not a problem really(I did enjoy the story), I just find it funny when I only know 1 or 2 other Fallons in real life. And I read a summary for another book with a Fallon in it. Maybe the name’s becoming more popular?
  • Crochet: Twist’N Shout Hat – finished this Thursdaywp-1450615817240.jpg
  • Loom: Hat – haven’t picked this back up yet. I might get some work done on it today.

Lots of blue today. Hoping there will be even more by the end of the round.

Goals for next week:

  • Love Who You Love: get to 9000 words(taking Christmas off)
  • Flames of Retribution: finish pre-revision steps
  • Come Back Down – get to 8000 words
  • Read: Writing about Villains – 45%
  • Read: Upside Down(Lia Riley), All Played Out(Cora Carmack), Part-time Cowboy(Maisey Yates), & A Kiss at Midnight(Eloisa James)
  • Loom: Hat

Photo Friday: Christmas Fun

We have two of our Christmases(three actually, but the first was earlier this month) done for this year. One more to go tomorrow. On Wednesday, we went to my MiL’s for our Christmas with her. We had pizza for our Christmas Eve dinner then opened presents.

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When we got home, the kids found Santa’s elves had snuck into the house again and left them each a new pair of pajamas. They put them on and we read The Night Before Christmas. Actually this year the girl read it to us, instead of me reading it.

In the morning, the girl was awake at 5:30, but the boy wasn’t. So, I told her to go in her room and read one of her new books until he got up. Which was about half an hour later. And she’d finished another 3 chapters. They didn’t get a whole lot, but Santa was a little mean and even wrapped some of the candy in their stockings(was trying to make it last longer than 10 minutes). The boy got a new bike and the girl a Kindle Fire, which didn’t leave a lot of money in the budget for other gifts. But, they didn’t seem too upset that they each only had a couple things under the tree. We’ve always kept things small at home, though. They also got gifts from “grandma carol”(husband’s stepmom’s stepmom who lives next to us, but is in Florida for the winter). And the girl got each of us a gift from the Christmas shop at school.

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After they were done, we had doughnuts for breakfast and got ready to go down to my mom’s. This was about 6:30 and we didn’t have to be there until 10:30. So, we wasted some time and didn’t leave until 9:30. The first thing we did on getting there, of course, was dig into the sticky rolls my mom makes every year(this may sound familiar for anyone who’s read Flames of Redemption).

one half gone batch of sticky rolls

one half gone batch of sticky rolls

Once my oldest sister got there, we went downstairs to open presents. I don’t know why, but the clashing voices of 6 kids(aged 3-11) and the adults really triggers my anxiety. A few times I thought I’d lose it. I actually had to go upstairs to get control of it again.

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We have nothing to do today, but tomorrow we have our Christmas with my husband’s stepmom and his siblings. Then, our Christmases will be over and it will be time to recharge after all the socialness of the last days.

Writing Wednesday: Merry Christmas

Getting this post started early again. It’s Monday afternoon, and I’m through almost everything for Tuesday. It’s been a pretty good week. Other than the sugar cookie disaster Monday afternoon. I mixed up some dough in the morning and stuck it in the fridge to chill until the kids got home so they could cut out the cookies. Not sure if I didn’t put enough flour into the dough(although I followed the recipe), or if I screwed something else up. But, the dough was so sticky, I could barely even roll it out. And when we tried to move the cookies they did cut out onto a cookie sheet, it didn’t work. So, we scrapped the dough. I had made some Magic Peanut Butter Middles earlier in the day though. So, I guess those will be what we leave for Santa.

I got Flames of Redemption back from the proofreader Sunday evening. And got through all the edits on Monday. And got the extra things added(dedication, acknowledgements, etc). Release date has been set for January 6, 2015, and it’s available for pre-order now on Kindle. And it’s uploaded to the other sites as well.

We went and saw my husband’s grandma last night. It was funny watching the kids interact with the little Pomeranian(I think) over there. They’re used to bigger dogs. Never seem to know what to do with, and are slightly afraid of, smaller ones. Yet, they go right up to my dad’s Great Pyrenees. Even funnier, they opened their cards from her on the way home, and we hear “I got a dollar!” I look back. “No, you got $20.” Then, my husband says “I’ll trade you one for that.” Apparently, we need to work more on understanding the value of money. 🙂

This afternoon we’re going over to my MiL’s. Having pizza and opening presents. Thursday, after we open gifts at home, we’ll go to my mom’s. 6 kids, eight adults. It gets interesting…an usually more chaotic and loud than my nerves can handle. So, after we open gifts, I usually seek at least some time to myself. Usually we have ham for lunch. Apparently this year, we’re having tacos. So much for tradition. 😉 At least my mom’s still making sticky rolls in the morning. Then we’re having Christmas with my husband’s stepmom and siblings on Saturday. Since we have four different Christmases to go to, I’m glad they’re at least spread out. There were a couple years where we’d go from my mom’s to his mom’s and it felt like we were constantly running. This works out so much better.

It’s Wednesday, so I have another snippet from Scars and All for you all. 14 paragraphs(1+2+2+4+1+4) from Chapter 7. Doren’s father comes to the garage.

There was a heavy sigh from behind him, but he ignored it, not saying another word until the office door was closed. “Seriously, Dad, what are you doing here? You haven’t showed your face here since I took over. I know you’ve been taking your truck to that place in [xx]. Mom still comes here.”
His father didn’t make eye contact with him, glancing around the room then focusing his gaze out the one small window in the office. “I got my reasons. You’ve done good with this place though. You should be proud of that. Didn’t get your business sense from me.”
“I know what I got from you, Dad. I got the build that made me a good linebacker in high school and college. Now, that’s gone, so we have nothing. What do you want?”
Doren saw his father blink quickly, and the color drained from his face. His gaze didn’t leave the window though. “You got more than that from me. You got my bullheadedness, as your mother hasn’t stopped telling me since you left the picnic yesterday. She told me I needed to apologize.”
Now, it made more sense. “I see. Why? You didn’t do anything. You didn’t say one single word to me in the time I was there. Instead you sent Susan over to see if I was drinking. I don’t drink, Dad. Not if I’m going to be driving anywhere. You should know that.” These last words were said in a whisper. This was the longest conversation they’d had in six years.
His father’s gaze finally swung to him, but only for a moment. He still couldn’t stand to look at him. “If you’d ever believed in me, you’d know that.”
His father’s face had paled, but now color flooded back in. “You have no idea what I believe, Doren. I wasn’t worried about you driving. I was worried you’ve slowly been killing yourself. I thought you’d stay longer.”
“And deal with all the judgmental looks? Why would I want to do that?”
“Talk to them then,” he cried. “Talk to somebody. I can see all the pain you’re carrying. I-” He broke off, shoving his hands in his pockets and turning away. “You’re as impossible to talk to as you’ve ever been. I came here to apologize for the way I acted yesterday.”
“It’s fine, Dad,” he said, his voice thick. What had his father been about to say? “Go back to work. I’ll let Mom know you came and talked to me. You won’t be in the doghouse with her.”
He shook his head. “I know how you feel about me, Dad, and I have to get back to work. There’s no point rehashing it.”
His father hesitated a moment then turned and left the office. But, Doren thought he heard him mutter, “You don’t know anything.”
Doren dropped into his chair once he was alone. Would they ever be on the same page again? They’d only ever had football and cars in common. Doren could barely be in the room when football was on anymore. He’d loved it at one time, and now…well, even thinking about it depressed him. And his father refused to talk cars to him anymore. Hell, his father hardly talked to him at all.

I actually thought they were going to figure things out when I started writing this scene. These two just weren’t being cooperative about that one.

  • Stained by Ashes(follow-up to Stained Snow) – Read Through – Finished this. Just have to compile all my notes & maybe start first round of revisions next week. Also, still looking for beta readers for Stained Snow.
  • Patrick’s Story – Character Work – I have all 3 of the back stories written. just need to put everything into my story tracker.
  • Read: Reaper’s Rhythm(Clare Davidson), How to Bring Your Love Life Back From the Dead(Wendy Sparrow), Clockwork Angel(Cassandra Clare), & Whiskey Beach(Nora Roberts) – Finished reading Reaper’s Rhythm last night. Enjoyed it. Also started How to Bring Your Love Life Back From the Dead. Only 12% into it.
  • Knit: Finish Sock Monkey Hat – finished this Tuesday. IMG_0365
  • Crochet: Baby Bear Hat – got this started. Have the body of the hat done. It certainly wouldn’t have fit either of my kids’ heads even as newborns. Of course, their heads were consistently in the 90-95 percentile. Still, it looks really small.

And I just remembered since it’s the end of the round, I should evaluate how I’ve done overall this round.


  • Flames of Justice(Flames 2.5) – finish 1st draft
    I did add 3597 words to this.
  • Chasing the Ghost(Gilbert, CO 4) – finish 1st draft
    Added 30,172 words to this one. About halfway through now. I’ll be picking it back up in January.
  • Guarding the Heart(BC Secruity 1) – finish 1st draft
    Didn’t get to this one at all.

I also wrote the first draft of Scars and All in November.


  • Healing the Heart(Gilbert, CO 2) – send to CP
    It’s ready to go, but I’m still waiting until I get The Choice back from her.
  • Stained Snow(Stained 1) – revise again send to betas
    It’s revised but still looking for betas.
  • Stained by Ashes(Stained 2) – 1st read through
    Did that this week and just need to compile notes and stick in scenes I want to add.

Also edited Flames of Redemption when I got it back from the beta reader.


  • The Hunt(fantasy project) – outline
  • Pirates idea – outline
    nope. Have been doing a little research toward it though.
  • Nolan’s story(Flames 4) – outline
    Started this, then decided to outline Callum’s story first, which will be Flames 4. Nolan’s will now be Flames 5.

Also outlined the first book in a new series, At Her Hands and started outlining a novella for my Gilbert, Co series.


  • listen to 3 books – listened to 8 books. That’s not counting me relistening to the Chronos Files series by Rysa Walker. I’ve listened to the first book, Timebound, 3 times and still chuckle over the same things.
  • Read 26 books(would be 30, but I’ve already read 4 this month) I’ve read 43 books so far this round.
  • Read 3 craft/research books – I read 2: Rise of the Machines(Kristen Lamb) & How to Write Dazzling dialogue(James Scott Bell). Also reading The Wars of The Barbary Pirates for some research.


  • Knit 6 projects I’ve finished 5. IMG_0365 IMG_0328 IMG_0295 IMG_0268 IMG_0232
  • Crochet 6 projects
    Finished 7 projects. IMG_0355 IMG_0361 IMG_0302 IMG_0299 IMG_0269 IMG_0236 IMG_0225

I didn’t get everything I’d planned done, but I did write over 120,000 words during the round. So very good progress. I hope everyone who celebrates has a Merry Christmas!

Photo Friday: Christmas Is Coming

So, I finally decided to get our Christmas tree out on Monday so we could decorate. We’ve had the same tree for the last 8 years. Our first Christmas together we went and bought a fiber optic tree, so we wouldn’t have to mess with lights. The biggest pain is getting it in and out of the closet. Currently, the box is in the boy’s closet. As well as all the bags and boxes of clothes the kids have outgrown. Yeah, I really need to do something about all of those. Especially since the tote with all the ornaments(since my MIL gets the kids and my husband at least 2 new ones every year) was under all those boxes and bags. After I got the tree set up, I let the kids mostly decorate it themselves.



The boy even put some of the hooks on himself.


I put the John Deere balls on the tree and the angels around the top of the tree(the one in the front is for my FiL)


And, of course, our tree topper:


Then, Wednesday night, we had the kids’ Christmas party at the fire station. The boy was very unsure when Santa came in but ended up giving him knuckles and ringing his bell.

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But, he only wanted to sit on Mrs. Clause’s lap.


Still, he was pretty happy with his new monster trucks, and the girl her tea set.

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I wasn’t really in the Christmas decorating spirit, but the kids wanted the tree up. So, I put on some Trans-Siberian Orchestra and got it done. What about you? Do you do much decorating? What are your decorating traditions? What’s on top of your tree?

Sunday Summary: Keeping the Pace

I managed to keep up my pace from earlier in the week, and stayed pretty well ahead. In fact, I got through edits on Flames of Redemption Thursday night with just a few little things to search through for on Friday.

Yesterday, we had my niece’s birthday party. It went well. I expected some comments since it was the first time in about 8 years my family had seen me without glasses. NOT ONE WORD. I guess my family isn’t quite as observant as I gave them credit for. After the party, we had Christmas with my dad and stepmom. He’d already called the other week to see what gift cards we wanted. Now, I have money to spend at Amazon. Still debating between getting the new Kindle touch(touchscreen would be nice for reading through my WiPs for editing) or just buying a bunch of books(since I already have about 80 on my to read list).

  • Flames of Redemption: Finish edits – As I said, DONE! Added about 850 words to it during this round of edits. I still have to proofread and line up the cover.
  • At Her Hands – Character Work – DONE!! Will be fleshing out the plot this next week.
  • Read: Falling for Autumn(Heather Topham Wood), Vanilla on Top(C.J. Ellisson), & Violet Midnight(Allie Burke) – finished all of these. I didn’t really feel too connected with the characters in Violet Midnight, but overall I enjoyed it. Then, I read Rise of Orion(Rachel O’Laughlin) and…dead. I’m dead after reading it. The next morning, I was still reeling.
  • Crochet: Finish Owl
  • Crochet: Flower Hot Pad – finished this Saturday morning. Messed up a bit. The petals are supposed to be folded over, and when I was doing the edging one came unfolded and I didn’t realize it.IMG_0302

I love being able to cross everything off the list!

Next week’s goals:

  • Flames of Redemption – line up cover art
  • At Her Hands – finish outline
  • Read: In the Land of the Long White Cloud(Sarah Lark) & Catching Jordan(Miranda Kenneally)
  • Knit: Polarspun Baby Hat


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