BATMAN ALMOST DIED & Amsterdam, IWSG

Pretty cool title, right? And accurate. Because Batman did almost die while white water rafting. But we’ll get to that in a bit (same with the ‘dam) 😊

Colorado Springs was awesome!! Seriously, props to Batman for his domestic pick. When he suggested Colorado, I thought the city would be Boulder or Denver, so I was surprised when he selected Springs/Manitou. There was more to do than I realized, and I actually enjoyed every part of my time there (except for when I thought I’d lose my fiancé on the river gorge and when I was halfway up the sky-ride at the Cheyenne zoo because HOLY SHIT AM I AFRAID OF HEIGHTS.)

But I’m here! Writing this! I did NOT fall out of the sky-ride like my gruesome imagination had me believing, and the plane ride home—although a little bumpy—did not interfere with any incoming hurricanes, so, second crisis avoided.

Because this is also an IWSG posting day (woop!) and I don’t want to take up too much time, I’ll post some pics of our adventures out in the mid-west, so you can get an idea of the awesome time that was had:

Because it’s in the title (and how could I not tell you?!?), yes, there was a moment when I thought Batman might die ☹

The heroic man that he is attempted to grab one of the other girls who’d fallen out of the raft, and in doing so, he fell out himself. People fall out of rafts all the time, right? It shouldn’t be a big deal. And it wasn’t. Except that we were going through one of the crrrrraaaaazzzzyyyy dangerous rapids and we were told over and over again: if you fall out, either swim to the shore or get your ass back on the boat. ASAP. The girl had already reached the shore, but when Batman went overboard, the boys in the front dove to get him. They’re a little thinner and Batman is a big guy, so they weren’t able to pull him in right away (and you’re supposed to get the swimmer in immediately). So, when it took more than a minute to pull him in with the guide barking to “Get him in! Get him in now!” and Batman struggling to get into the raft while the rapids are crashing around large, rocks, I thought, okay, I might be newly single.

THANK GOD they pulled him in in time, and besides a bloody lip, he was fine.

Other the near-death thing, rafting was so much fun! I would highly recommend it and definitely do it again!

Writing Life:

Like I said last week (or is it two weeks ago?) I’ve been going HAM on RTD. Which. Is. Awesome. The map for the rest of the story is starting to become less fuzzy, and I’m excited every time I sit down to write it. I could go on and on about how thrilled I am, but that could take forever and today is IWSG  day😊

Insecure Writer Support Group Option Question:

If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

So, there are a *bunch* of places I’d love to travel to because the pictures of them look fucking fabulous. Parts of England and Ireland, New Zealand, and across Europe look amazing, but there’s no one spot I’ve been dying to go write. However…

I’ve traveled to Amsterdam twice, and there’s a magic there. Yes, the coffeehouses do help with the mystical effect, but Amsterdam in the Netherlands is a storybook place. Beautiful. Enchanting. Old-world and definitely the desired backdrop for all my future writing projects. Batman and I have discussed it, and if we were ever able to swing it legally/financially, we’d move to the dam in a heartbeat.

A heartbeat.

If you’ve never gone, I suggest you go! Who knows? Maybe you’ll see me writing the next great something while drinking coffee on a cafe sidewalk one day. Like I said, it’s magical. Anything can happen 🙂

What about you? What’s the backdrop for your next creative project? Or, where have you really wanted to travel to?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

Have a great day and survive Dorian!

(Off to write more RTD…)

Two Years in the Making

Sooo… I thought I scheduled this post correctly last Wednesday. It appears I did not. Well lucky for you you get TWO posts from me this week. Woop! Stayed tuned and Survive Dorian like Batman and I will be doing!

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(Intended to post on 8/28)

I can’t believe I missed last week. I mean, I can, because I’m telling you about it now, but I’m a little surprised at myself for being such a slackass. In my defense, I had a half-formed post all ready to go about how I’d scratched off my beauty-mark on my upper lip and now I don’t have my cute Marilyn freckle to distract from—what my band teacher called—very thin lips. Also, in my defense, I’ve been going ham on RTD. 😊

As much action as I pack into my sci-fi series, I’m not a fan of writing it. I’ll say it. Not a fan. A necessary evil, writing fighting/action scenes (for me) takes longer, I’m never certain it’s sounding right, and as exciting as all the action is, it’s not my favorite. I prefer the dialogue parts. The ones that delve into the plot. The ‘story within the story’ and I’ve finally reached a part where everything is calming down for a hot minute, so I’m in my sweet spot. I think I’ve written more in the last two weeks than I have over the course of starting the thing. Maybe. Close to it at least. And I still feel *so* far from the ending. I’m like hovering in the middle, but that’s okay, because like I said: sweet spot. Of course, this just means I’m approaching another full action scene/sequence, but it’s the last book in the series. Story kind of demands it.

THIS WEEK (today, when you’re mostly likely reading this) Batman and I will be in Colorado Springs! Woop! It’s only been two years in the making and one year in the immediate planning and we’re going to see things and do things and I’m hoping I won’t fall out of the raft. But we’ll see. If we’re friends on FB (and we should be!) I’ll post some pics of our adventures in the mid-west so you can follow along with the shenanigans. 😊 If we’re not friends on FB (why are we not friends??) you can expect a way cool post next week that will *mostly* consist of pictures since I’ll be recouping hard from the day before – aka the day we get back.

I’ll try to be smart with social media and update Instagram. But don’t hold your breath.

Enjoy your week!

Maybe There is Hope After All

So, I’m an idiot.

I’m not Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny—or anywhere close to it—but I *guess* I should’ve realized the reason my air conditioning wasn’t blowing is because I had the main knob turned down to the lowest setting. You know, the knob that basically indicates how much air should be blowing out? Yeah.  That one. That sucker was on the basically-off setting while I had each vent and the circulation BLASTING. Batman got into my car to take it to Napa (to charge the AC unit) and before we even left the driveway, he turned the knob and there was instant cooling relief. And then he made a face as if to ask, really?

Like I said – I’m an idiot.

The door-handle is still detached, and I’d still prefer to travel via unicorn, but at least I know I won’t drop dead of heat exhaustion at a McDonalds drive-in (like I did nearly a week ago) since I now know which knob to turn. Mind you, I’ve only had Georgie for ten years, but you know how things randomly change in cars. Don’t they? No? Shut up.

Batman and I booked our wedding photographer 😊

I was smart with that. Read the contract three times to make sure I wasn’t agreeing to be turned into a human centipede (you never know), and maybe only so much intelligence can be used per person in a short amount of time. Or maybe I just have my stupid days/weeks/months. Whatever. At least I used my smarts accordingly with nabbing our photographer. We’re about to nail down our florist next, so after that, all the *main* wedding components will be done, and Batman and I can reward ourselves for all this adulting with our trip to Colorado Springs! 😊

Two weeks and we’ll be walking through Garden of the Gods and checking out Manitou Springs and going white water rafting which I am both excited and terrified for. Believe me,  I want to go. I was the one who signed us up. But I also have no upper arm strength and I’m slightly awkward and definitely non-athletic, unlike Batman who used to be a tri-athlete (true!) So, if I suddenly stop blogging early September, you’ll know the excursion didn’t go so well, and Batman will probably be in hiding somewhere after killing the guide that let me die. (Most likely true!)

Non-wedding/car/Co trip stuff: I’m on my third Jenn Bennett book. The first one I read, Anatomical Shape of a Heart, was good, not great (for me, at least). I liked it, finished it, but didn’t grab for her next book. In fact, I forgot her name until I read Alex, Approximately and I still didn’t realize it was the same author. Well, you know how when you think about a story a lot, you realize how much you liked it? I went back to see who wrote Alex, Approximately and started another book by the author – Starry Eyes. I only NOW realize it’s the same author of  Anatomical Shape of a Heart. Huh. I guess I do like her stuff after all. What I’m saying is it took me a while to be a fan of hers. Maybe all my “non” fans are people who haven’t read a lot of my stuff, or even know that I write. Maybe there is hope after all. 😊

Had to get in my little bit of writing-related news in. Happy Hump day to all of you!

P.S. Look what I sent Batman the other day:

He is so going to love being married to me.

IWSG and the Forefront of Inconvenience

Remember last week when everything was breaking? Everything wasn’t done.

My car door-handle broke off.

I was leaving work, and using my obvious She-Hulk strength, I opened the door and the thing came off in my hand. Literally snapped right off. For a second I stood there, holding it. Staring at it in disbelief. Yes, I know I drive a piece of crap circa 2005, and yes, I’m surprised she hasn’t joined the other flying cars in the sky. But really? The door-handle? The driver’s seat door-handle? You know what this means. This means that every time I have to get into my car, I either have to climb in through the back seat or from the passenger side. Every time until it’s fixed, and it usually takes me a hot minute to fix things that aren’t at the forefront of importance.

This is at the forefront of inconvenience, which is different, and which I usually slack on. If I’m inconvenienced for a few seconds, I’ll glower and whine and as soon as it’s right as rain (aka I’m back in the driver’s seat and ready for take-off) I’ll forget about it until the next time I’m glowering and whining. Plus, I have about a *thousand* other essential things I enjoy more that I should be doing, like writing this post about not fixing my broken car door-handle. I’m sure I’ll get around to it soonish—or until it slips from inconvenience to importance, because of, you know, like, safety issues. Have to make a quick get away if the zombies are on me, and they won’t stop so I can let myself in through the passenger seat. Zombies (rapists, murders, aliens) aren’t polite like that.

Also, I think the air-conditioning is going. Maybe I should just get a new car and be done with it. Or find a unicorn and commute the old way. That would work too.

Okay, that’s enough of real-life nonsense. Onto the IWSG option question:

Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about, or an ending you never saw coming?

HA. I’d love that positive and belated response to a submission. When’s that coming? I should probably enter more things though…might up my odds a bit.

Let’s see…I think I’m really only surprised in my writing by my characters. I’m a panster, so I have no idea what’s coming most of the time, and when one of my characters is like, “aha! You thought it was this way, but it’s not! MUAHAHAHA!” My jaw drops and I’m like, “touché, character!”

Honestly, that’s what I love about being a panster. I tried the whole outlining thing and it DID. NOT. WORK. But giving my characters the reins and following their lead, I’m constantly surprised by where their stories take me, because, it’s never what I plan nor expect. So you (the reader) and me (the writer) are both surprised. (Ultimate Win-Win.) 😊

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

P.S. In case you don’t believe me about the door-handle:

I’m Having Pants Issues

It started last week when I couldn’t find my jeans because I’d hung them over a chair (it was raining and the ends were wet) and I forgot and grabbed—what I thought—were the correct jeans. I realized in the car—and far too into the journey—that no, they were NOT the right pair. I’d grabbed the ones I’d discarded to the floor for “emergencies” except I forgot my “emergencies” pair had become my “throw out” pair because the inner thigh material rubbed and there were holes. Awesome.

So, I headed to work in my throw away pants and prayed to God that no one would pay extra attention to my terrible fashion more than usual. Thankfully, everyone kept their probably crude comments to themselves, and I made as few trips to the bathroom and break-room as possible. The jean mix-up spurred the ongoing pursuit of finding black pants in my size, but like most weekends and sports I try, I failed. ☹ But, I did buy one pair of normal blue jeans that I thought fit and looked pretty good in in the Walmart dressing room. I tried them on again and TIGHT.

VERY TIGHT.

WTF did I eat this weekend?

Deciding not to break in my new pair, I reached again for what I thought was my normal, main set of jeans. Instead—yet again—I got my other “emergencies” pair that is wwaaaaaayyyy too big and gives me gap-butt. I am not rocking the pants situation recently. So, if you see me out in the wild, please know I do have clothes that actually fit me and I’m sure they’re on my floor somewhere. Hopefully.

Also—I got a new phone! 😊

Just in time too, because I just finished paying of the other one! Go figure. Batman said he’d tried calling a few times and it never reached me. Also, the thing wouldn’t hold a charge. And my car charger broke. And my garage door opener broke. And the flies have been attacking me (that has nothing to do with the others, but it’s true and I feel like you should know in case I suddenly disappear or have a striking resemblance to Jeff Goldbloom circa 1986). Basically, all the things are happening and I can’t even get the right pants on. It’s been tough.

How’s it been going with you? Are you able to dress yourself? Any devices stop working? Are the flies attacking you too? Tell me everything.

Oh, How the Tables Have Turned

Aaaaaaand I’m writing this Tuesday night again. Meh. Obviously, I can’t get my shit together on Sunday/Monday and plan ahead. You know, like I normally do. I don’t know what it is about July but I’m off my game with my blogging. Except…I’m super ON MY GAME WITH RTD 😊 😊 😊

Don’t know what that is? You can leave now. Kidding. RTD is Return to Dellapalania, the fifth and final book of my super popular series, Arizal Wars. I feel like it’s going to be a saga since I’ve been writing it since last November and I am STILL NOT DONE. I only emphasize/shout that because normally I can crank out a first draft (even this series) within that time frame. Typically…6-10 months. Usually. But this is the final book which has to bring everything back together which means more stuff happening, which means more writing. A lot more writing. I’m also planning a wedding too, so there’s that. 😊

Now, since I’m a panster, it’s pretty safe to assume I’m not entirely sure when I’ve hit the middle of my WIP, but I think I’m there. I *think* I’ve just tipped past the half-way point because I’ve got a better idea of what needs to happen instead of letting my characters go wild. They’ve been doing their own important things, but now I have to step in and make sure it all comes together. So, yes, I will still be pansting, but the barely-there lines are becoming sharper, and the WIP has now given me an outline. Oh, how the tables have turned.

Haven’t spoken much about writing here since I save that for Patreon, and this is more of my “I went to jury duty/am planning a wedding/things are happening in my life” sort of place. But writing is still a huge part of it, and I didn’t want you thinking I jumped ship on the whole thing and am now dead inside. (I’m not. Not yet. I have a wedding to plan 😊)

What about you? Any jury duty/wedding planning/things happening on your end?

Guess Who Was Called First

To be honest, I had plenty of time to write this post after coming home from jury duty yesterday. Instead, I watched episodes of Parks &Rec and wrote a lot of RTD. (#sorrynotsorry)

I can’t talk about much about jury duty, (because, you know, the government is probably reading this) but I will say this: it was my second time being called, the parking was much better this go-around, and YES I GOT CALLED BACK. ☹

The first time I went, I sat in this big room and read the entire Goblet of Fire. There was a break for lunch, and that was it. Throughout the day, names were called and people left and at around five o’clock, we were all dismissed. But yesterday, they called lists. TWO lists. For TWO different trials. And guess who was called first on list number two?

I didn’t get chosen. Let’s just make that clear. I am not a juror and THANK GOD because I didn’t want to be, but I did have to go to the back and be asked a bunch of questions and it was like being on the very boring version of My Cousin Vinny. (I don’t watch a lot of law shows. This is pretty much all I’m pulling from). There was a lot of legal jargon from some not so attractive people, and at one point I almost fell asleep. But, I made it out, UN-JURORED and all is well in the universe again.

Anyway, I meant to write this post when I had some time, but it’s Tuesday night, and Appa is sleeping and farting next to me, so I’m going to go ahead and end it here. There’s not much more to tell, and the dog’s gas is bordering hazardous. At this point, it’s a safety thing.

Have a great Wednesday!

P.S. Have you ever been called for jury duty? Did you get called to the back??