Writing & Renovating, Part 1

Ron & I bought my dream house. His nightmare house. But my dream house. We recently moved to PA and decided to buy a home in the historic area in Easton. A large stone facade colonial caught our eye. Upon our first walk-through, we made the horrendous mistake of walking in through the kitchen. Dated doesn’t really begin to cover it, but we shall start there. Dated. Laundry room smack dab in the kitchen. Galley style with an island and header that made this could be open room into a tight, dark, cave.

Once we moved farther in, the dining room, foyer, and huge living room sold me. As in right away. So, we’ve been living in the house for a couple of months now and ready to start renovating it. Now, don’t go getting excited about this being a cool do-it-yourself thing. The house is over 100 years old. There are major renovations to be made. But here I will chronicle the journey. Below is the list of stuff we are planning to do. It will change and get updated as projects get started and finished.

Also, I’ll post pictures here so you can see the journey as it happens. I’ll also add the pictures to a board on Pinterest if you’d like to follow there as well!

First steps:

Add a laundry room that isn’t in the middle of the kitchen.

Replace the over 40-year-old boiler and water heater that may not survive another Northern winter.

Remove the wallpaper in E & A’s bedrooms and paint whatever colors they choose.

Landscaping overhaul in the backyard and trim back in the front yard.

Reconfigure the entryway into the basement so we can put our extra refrigerator and deep freezer by removing first floor half bath.

Build a tool bench in the workshop in the basement.

Storage room in the basement.

Reclaim the garage for parking actual cars and not boxes.

Finish adding the railing to the front porch steps.

Next projects:

Redo the third-floor full bathroom and add custom cabinetry and counter area to the landing for linens and storage.

Rip out laminate flooring in A’s bedroom and put down hardwood to match the rest of the house.

Finish the unfinished area in her extra closet with painted beadboard and shelving and closet rack.

Refinish the doors leading to the back patio.

Convert the fireplace to gas.

Add a built-in gas grill on the patio.

Refinish the front door and the trim surrounding it.

Move the mail slot into the front door.

Find an antique door knocker and install on the front door where the original was removed years ago.

Big projects to come:

New entryway into the kitchen from the dining room as a part of the kitchen remodel.

Complete kitchen Remodel.

Add new half bath on the first floor where original entry to basement and back stairway originally were.

Add a retrofit AC to the house.

Renovate the second-floor guest bathroom.

Renovate the master bathroom.

Complete the basement kitchen with appliances currently in the kitchen.

Make basement half bath into a full bath.

Renovate the basement to include space for game room/bonus room for the kids.

Pipe Dream Projects:

Add a second story to garage and exterior entrance for loft office space.

Add a second story ( possibly covered) patio off the master bedroom .

Finish the unfished area of the third floor to include a window bank and closet creating a sixth bedroom.

Photo Gallery:

Our very old new house!

Our very old new house!

Laundry Room Demolition and Build:

Before shot of the back stairway and basement entry in the kitchen.

Before shot of the back stairway and basement entry in the kitchen.

Second floor landing before laundry room creation.

Second floor landing before laundry room creation.

Back stairway from kitchen to second floor complete with chair lift, dated carpeting, and handrail for accessibility. Soon to be laundry room and half bath!

Back stairway from kitchen to second floor complete with chair lift, dated carpeting, and handrail for accessibility. Soon to be laundry room and half bath!

Chair lift gone and almost forgotten.

Chair lift gone and almost forgotten.

Getting ready for demolition.

Getting ready for demolition.

Who needs walls?

Who needs walls?

Delayed Penalty Cover Reveal!

My good writer friend, Sophia Henry, has recently gotten the green light to share the cover of her upcoming release, Delayed Penalty, and I, for one, think it’s FANTASTIC!

 

See for yourself ladies & gents…

 

Delayed Penalty_Henry2

The cover is fabulous, right? Now that you’ve had your fill of that eye candy cover, check out the heart that is in this upcoming release from Random House/Flirt:

She closed her heart long ago. He just wants to open her mind. For fans of Toni Aleo and Sawyer Bennett, the debut of Sophia Henry’s red-hot Detroit Pilots series introduces a hockey team full of complicated men who fight for love.

Auden Berezin is used to losing people: her father, her mother, her first love. Now, just when she believes those childhood wounds are finally healing, she loses something else: the soccer scholarship that was her ticket to college. Scrambling to earn tuition money, she’s relieved to find a gig translating for a Russian minor-league hockey player. Until she realizes that he’s the same dangerously sexy jerk who propositioned her at the bar the night before.

Equal parts muscle and scar tissue, Aleksandr Varenkov knows about trauma. Maybe that’s what draws him to Auden. He also lost his family too young, and he channeled the pain into his passions: first hockey, then vodka and women. But all that seems to just melt away the instant he kisses Auden and feels a jolt of desire as sudden and surprising as a hard check on the ice.

After everything she’s been through, Auden can’t bring herself to trust any man, let alone a hot-headed puck jockey with a bad reputation. Aleksandr just hopes she’ll give him a chance—long enough to prove he’s finally met the one who makes him want to change.

Want more? I thought you might. I know I sure did, so here’s the info you need to pre-order Delayed Penalty:

Preorder on Amazon

Preorder on B&N

Preorder on KOBO

And on September 1, 2015 you & I can all be reading Delayed Penalty together!

Wanna know more about Sophia? Of course you do! She’s kinda fantastic!

Sophia Henry Author PicSophia Henry, a proud Detroit native, fell in love with reading, writing, and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to North Carolina, where she spends her time writing books featuring hockey-playing heroes, chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts with her husband.

Connect with her here, here, here, here, & there…

Website: www.SophiaHenry.com

Twitterwww.twitter.com/SophiaHenry313

                                                                                  Facebook: www.facebook.com/SophiaHenryAuthor

                                                                                 Instagram: www.instagram.com/sophiahenry313

                                                                                 Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/sophiahenry313

Oh, and before you go, Sophia’s offering up a Rafflecopter Giveaway. Yup. Told ya she was pretty cool. Click below to enter into the drawing.

Cover Reveal Rafflecopter Giveaway (from the Author)

$25 Amazon GC and a Pilots Hockey/Sophia Henry Prize Pack

It’s Dema Day aka Release Day!

I’ve been talking about it for months and the day has finally arrived!

Betrayed is available for purchase through Amazon as of today and by the end of the week, will be available through B&N Nook Books and Kobo.

For a peek at the first chapter, click here.

BetrayedA witch in hiding yearns for something more. Something exciting. The King of Darkness wants her. Only her.

In 1700’s New Jersey, Delila Dewsberry holds all of her secrets close to heart; the man who seduces her while she sleeps, her magical abilities, the fact that she lives a loveless marriage. That is until the devil from her dreams walks into reality and claims her for his very own. A tryst leads to more. Much more.

Lies. Secrets. Betrayal.

And one very revenge-focused half-witch, half-devil who plans to undo them all. Will trusting the devil she knows be her undoing? Or will his betrayal save them?

 

 

Winter in the South

I was raised in NJ. Northeastern NJ. Snow was a problem there in the winter. Like the kind of problem where it made the news that people were trying to find new and creative places to put it. Snow drifts were an issue. The pushed off piles of the white stuff that plows created gave people extra work as their driveways and cars that had previously been dug out became packed in once again. Which made it a race in the mornings to get showered and ready for work, school, whatever BEFORE the plows came through. And god-forbid if they ran early then there would a bunch of sassy Jersey Girls standing in the middle of a freshly paved road flashing a middle finger in the drivers rearview. I’m not saying it was nice, I’m saying what is was.

Now, being I moved to Long Island, in my early twenties, I can attest that the Jersey Girl Salute was common there too. But the worst was the plow drivers who plowed the lot of the place I worked. I think they made it a game to try to block every car into their parking space. They’d show up firmly after 9am when everyone had already slipped into a maybe legit spot because no one could see through the snow to find where spots began and ended and then they’d go through making sure that the plow was angled to push the snow up behind cars. Fun times. I took to keeping not only my scraper, but most importantly a shovel in the backseat of my car.

And then Ron and I moved to NC. Year after year we smiled when the whole state would stop in anticipation of the few flakes of white stuff that threatened to fall from the skies. The funniest thing is the further West we moved into the state, the less snow we got. Instead we learned to fear the weatherman’s threats of ice. This year, my kids already had two ice days (there wasn’t any snow) and two days with 2-hour delays. There’s another winter storm on the horizon and they are already doing everything possible to make it true. A day of snow would make their entire year. The other day we got enough of a dusting that my mini me made the world’s smallest snowman.

This mom is holding out hope that the winter weather is short-lived. Something about getting older and the cold doesn’t work for me. So, Spring can show up any time it would like at this point. I’m about done with winter.

What are your favorite winter memories? Mine could’ve been snow forts, snowball fights at college, dancing in the snow in the parking lot of my HS winter Formal (or driving home in the snow with my date), snow angels, sledding, that one time I thought I should learn how to ski the week after getting my belly button pierced, the snow drifts taller than me, the year in middle school when we had a blizzard and had so many make ups days that not only did we lose most of our spring break and hit the max last day of school in June, but also had to go to school on Saturdays to make up for the lost time and we essentially goofed off all day because no one wanted to be there, but nope, getting plowed in at work every day is my favorite.

My favorite NC snow/ice story is the year we moved from our apartment into our first house and had an ice storm. Ron’s car had a flat tire and my new driveway was a sharp downward hill.  Ron and Steve (aka Stink) were stuck in the sleet changing a tire at the apartment complex while I stood there under an umbrella laughing too hard to be useful because Murphy’s law. And then trying to clear a path down the driveway so no one died while carrying the couch from hell. Again I was in charge of laughing while my two engineering men debated the merits of kitty litter vs a bucket brigade of hot water.

Alright, I can be convinced that some snow might be fun after all even if it means I get nothing accomplished for days on end.

Cheers,

Single devil tail Jeni

 

 

 

Note: I wrote this two weeks ago & held off on posting because I was on a mission to find some good snowy Jeni pix throughout the years. Turns out, I’ve always hated snow and not many pictures exist. So, enjoy these few…

Evernote Snapshot 2Evernote Snapshot 20Snow shots

Evernote Snapshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evernote Snapshot 20150308 185320But as you can see by the huge age gap, I much prefer the warm weather. And every day I thank my lucky stars that neither my brother, nor my dad had a camera on the top of the slope that one time I went skiing. I mean seriously it was one of my finer Jeni moments. Complete with needing to stop the ski lift because I needed my kid brother to help me get back on my two feet, but was laughing so hard it was damn near impossible. Yeah, I stick to ski lodges from now on where there is a roaring fireplace and hot chocolate. 🙂

 

 

So, to further entertain you, here are some lovely old gems of me in the summer which is my favorite time of year. There were much too many to choose from so I randomly picked… Roller skates, my first pool, and jelly shoes. Fun times.

 

Evernote Snapshot0 Evernote Snapshot 2015

Evernote Snapshot 185320

 

 

 

 

Missing

I woke up this morning missing my mom. It’s been over a year since she passed, but still I have these moments where I just miss her more than what’s manageable. For whatever reason, today was one of those days and it takes me by surprise every single time, knocking the breath from my lungs and making the weight of the world feel heavier than usual.

On a day like this, I would typically wallow (yeah, I am prone to wallowing for a day, then I’m a boot-strap girl-as in pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with life), but I’ve been busy as can be with the Book Fair at the elementary school all week and I’m so behind on my word count that maybe it’s gone negative on me while I slept, so today wasn’t the day for a well deserved wallowing.

Instead I managed to pull my overtired (because yesterday was an over 12 hr day of volunteering kind of day), wallowy ass out of bed and got on with life and boy was it worth the effort.

Besides getting to enjoy my last full day of book fair with my favorite co-chair and partner in crime, Kim, I also got to have a fabulous lunch at my favorite place with her and her wonderful parents, then a double date night for me with my two favorite guys. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long while as I did today. It just goes to show that even on the hardest days, the best things can come to light. And now I’m off to snuggle with my mini me for a little bit while we read her newest books.

Hope everyone has a memorable weekend!

Cheers,

Single devil tail Jeni

My haunted clock and other things that wake me up at 2am

I’m no stranger to burning the midnight oil. As I know we’ve discussed, I used to be a card carrying night owl (and still can be given the right motivation which cannot, I repeat cannot, include my pj’s because once those come out, all bets are off.), but in the last few years I’ve slowly transitioned into what is commonly referred to as a morning personv(Oh the horror!).

Of course then there are days like today (yup, I’m writing this at 4am with an hour and a half of day already under my belt), that my body takes this “being a morning person” thing too far. Did I mention the 2:30 wake up? Oh, no? In my state of tire, I must have forgotten. However, I’m up and my brain is working at a pace that is too fast for 4am, but too slow for real thoughts to be worth anything, so I bring you my list of things that wake me up…

1. My haunted clock. It never fails. Seriously, it was quieter than a cemetery all day yesterday, but did it miss the 2:45 chime? Nope. Why? Because even though my clock is freakishly haunted, it likes me to know that I’m not alone at the wee hours of the morning when normal people are sleeping. So yeah, she and I have been marking the 15 minute intervals since 2:45. Funny thing is, I spent my childhood sleeping through this clock before it was haunted and stubborn about when it felt like chiming… Ah, how the times change…  See what I did there? Clock. Times. Note to self, my sense of humor might still be snoring…

2-Ron. Not only is he a bonafide cover hog (as in every time he rolls over he takes more cover with him), he’s taken to talking in his sleep. Now, I’m the first to admit that if you talk to me as I’m drifting off to sleep, I can hold a perfectly grand conversation with you and not remember it in the morning, but this is different. This is middle of the night, I just rolled over and stole your covers, and now I’m gonna gloat about it kind of talking–only it sounds like gibberish to me. It could be I’ve listened to too much loud music over the years and no longer hear as well as I once did, but whatevs. See, if it was all “how do I love thee?” stuff, that’d be cool, but this is more “haha, your covers are mine,” which is not cool. Until it is because it’s winter and now I have no covers.

3-I’m cold. Now this can refer back to #2 since Ron steals my covers ALL THE TIME, but it’s also due to my body and I being at war over what should be considered “normal.” So here’s the deal, when I get cold and my muscles decide to act like rebellious children and run amuck. As in, shivering begets something that almost looks like full on tremors which my muscles decides means should be cramping (as in I just ran a marathon without ever warming up or practicing) which gets annoyingly painful. Oh, and sleep erasing. Because have you ever woken up with a charlie horse in your leg, foot, arm, anything? Imagine a full body charlie horse and now you get what I’m talking about.  I’ve been known to keep a separate twin sized blanket on my half of the bed so that when Ron inevitably steals my covers, I still have something cozy and warm, but I’m pretty sure it’s buried in my closet which didn’t help me tonight in the least. So instead, I added insult to injury and attempted to reclaim my covers from iron grip Ron and make my shoulder ache too. Fun times.

4-My brain. My brain likes to  think of something really cool that should go in that book I’m writing in the middle of the night. Translation: My muse has a damn sick sense of humor. Case in point, last night was working on Novella 3 aka Revealed and had a “SQUIRREL!” kind of moment while IM’ing (is that still a thing or am I totally dating myself here?) the amazing Reagan Phillips about a potential joint venture. Of course my brain was all, OMG, I TOTALLY have an idea for a short I’ve been tossing around that is PERFECT for that. Must write the first few thoughts down now. (Being creative can be tiring I tell you.) So not to piss off said vindictive muse, I jotted down a few notes/lines and then my eyes decided they were too tired to look at my laptop any longer and they turned on a repeat of Brooklyn 99. And I promptly fell asleep muttering about how much I love Terry Crews. But seriously, who doesn’t? Right?

5-Max. I love my dog. I waited 14 long years to get him( which means I wore Ron down after 14 years. Although now that I think about it, it may have been more of him giving my dying mom something she wanted too). I may have dreamed about Max longer than I dreamed about having my children–Ron will vouch for this, just ask him-oh, wait he’s over here stealing my covers and muttering something. But Max (who brings himself to bed at 10, but not a moment before unless I call him sooner) has itchy skin. We know he’s allergic to a bunch of food stuff, but we’re pretty sure that, like the majority of us living in this house, he’s allergic to “outside.” Unlike the rest of us, he doesn’t take a daily dose of allergy meds. (Maybe he should?) So sometimes at like 2:30 in the morning,  I wake up to the sounds of him chewing on himself alternating with scratching. Have you ever listened to a 65 pound dog scratch and shake? It’s not quiet. Typically I can shush him and we both roll over and doze back off, but not tonight.  Yup, he was my first reason for waking up at 2:30 this morning.

6-The kids. I love those little people, but I also love my sleep. Not only does sleep make my body feel less like a ninety year old woman, but it’s also like the universe’s way of saying, “Way to go Jeni. Good job keeping everyone in your house alive today. Why don’t you take a few hours off.” To which I’m all sleepy-talking, “Aww, Universe you say the damned sexiest things,” as I nod off into the sleepy abyss that awaits. But since they were little (and I mean before a year old for both-I do know how lucky I am with this BTW’s), my kids have slept through the night unless they were sick, had a nightmare, or had to use the bathroom. If you haven’t gathered by now, I can be a bit of a light sleeper. Thankfully, if it’s just a potty run, I’m back counting Alexander Skarsgards in no time. The good news is so far this morning, I haven’t heard from either kiddo, so the first 5 have just been an inconvenient trifecta (although doesn’t that refer to 3 things and not 5? I don’t know- please forgive my sleepy brain.)

Damn clock just chimed again. Looks like it’s a little ahead of schedule.  Or it’s now taken to mocking me at odd times too. That might be it. So tell me, what keeps you up at night? And how do you get back to sleep?

 

Reagan Phillips has a new book coming out & I can’t wait!

A good writer friend of mine has a book coming out this May. I’ve read it and loved it, so she offered up a sneak peek that I could share with you, my readers. Check out her website http://reaganphillips.me/ for more information.

SmashwordsWhen Nashville homicide detective Mitch Kilpatrick defies department orders to investigate a string of small town murders, his singular goal is to catch a serial killer. That is until his investigation leads to Lacy Andrews, an uninhibited and sexy-as-sin bartender who’s keeping secrets of her own. 

Confident and alluring, Lacy is everything Mitch’s pride rejects, but that won’t stop him from getting her in his bed, especially when he learns she’s sworn off cops for good. Winning her over proves the perfect challenge until her secretive past connects with his current case and she becomes an unwilling pawn.

Confronted with repeating past mistakes, will Mitch push Lacy away to keep her secret hidden, or expose her to solve the most important case of his career?

 

Except

She was letting this man get to her. Down deep, under her skin. Why?

Her gaze dropped to his mouth and the way he sucked in his lower lip and bit down. His body shifted closer, his knee pressed into the seam between he knees until she had no choice but to open to him and the rounded bone pushed on her inner thigh. He smelled of beer and the strong spice of aftershave, a heady mix of masculinity that left her wondering how a man like Mitch would taste. How his hands would feel on her bare skin. Soft and gentle after all that hard talk? Or would his touch be as rough and grating as his personality?

His eyes sparked, dark and dangerous though the sultry smile on his lips stayed playful. “You were planning to at least kiss me goodnight?”

Her body felt electrified. Confused. Like the cells beneath her skin were running in all directions and pulling her apart from the inside. “I may have thought about kissing you.” Her gaze hovered on his mouth and the delicious way his lips curved up into one side of his cheek in a half grin.

“Then it’s only fair to tell you kissing wasn’t exactly how I pictured the night ending.” His Adam’s apple jumped in his throat, hollowing out the base of his neck.

She fought the sudden need to run her tongue along the rim of his concaved flesh. To taste him. To feel his heat under her tongue.

God, she was about to lose herself and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do to stop it.

 

Confess, Book 1 of the Blue Line Series will be available May 19th wherever ebooks are sold.

 Cheers!

Just Jeni

 

That February holiday we won’t name…

#realromance 2I write romances. Paranormal romances. They are dark at times, humorous at others, and completely a work of fiction. However, it never stops people from assuming that since I write “love” that I have anything other than a regular viewpoint on the topic. Which gives me a case of the giggles, because seriously, in my house, love is remembering to buy Ron’s coffee when I go to the grocery store or him staying up late to let the dog out one last time before bed so that I can go to sleep since I tend to wake up anywhere between 5 and 6 am while he sleeps in until 7. Or him calling me on his drive to work to let me know he hung the kids’ carpool number on the fridge in the garage so I’d have it for the afternoon since he got them the day before.

So while everyone else is talking about the rat race of one-up-manship that has become February 14th, I thought we could offer up some #realromance this year. After 15 years of not killing one another, I think I might have a little knowledge in this area since I challenge Ron’s idea of romance regularly. Frankly, we fell in love based on the fact that he was quiet and I wasn’t. He was taller than me in a major way (super important to the 16-yr old version of myself who still loves to wear tall shoes even though I’m almost 5’9″). On the surface that might not sound like a lot to go on, but it was for us. He liked Beavis, I was all about Daria. He liked something I can only call “hard rock” music and I listened to anything other than that. He liked action movies and I liked chick flicks. He read non-fiction, I broke out in hives with every nonfiction tome that neared me. He drove a stick, I was all automatic (although I learned).  Two people more different were never had and not much has changed since then–although he’s more flexible because of me and I can actually make a plan and stick to it because of him.

So here’s my Feb 14th game plan:

-Buy a card. I’m a writer people. I buy written things as gifts for holidays. Valentine’s is no exception. Ask my friends, I send cards off and on all year round for absolutely no reason other than a show of love. So cards equal love in my crazy brain.

-Compromise on the movie we will inevitably rent from iTunes since we never plan ahead for a sitter (I mean that takes some planning and we both are so busy that holidays sneak up on us. Kinda like the year we both forgot our anniversary.) I’ll be compromising because he likely wants to see some action flick and I want to desperately see Dracula Untold which has a 22% on rotten tomatoes which means I’ll be watching whatever action flick he wants to see. This is real life people.

-Try not to fall asleep during above mentioned movie (because I’ve been known to do that. Like last night for example. And the night before that. Hence Ron’s insistence on setting a sleep timer on the tv. He’s not wrong, but don’t tell him I said that. I’ll never hear the end of it you do.)

-I’ll cook something. Maybe not dinner. Maybe not anything fancy, but something. He likes my cooking, but I’ve been on deadlines for like forever the last couple of months and haven’t been cooking as much as I typically do.

-Let him sleep in. Just because one of us has to be up with the kids, doesn’t mean the other can’t sleep in. He’s so good about keeping them alive while I work, that I owe him the extra hours of sleep he can manage.

 

Pretty sure his game plan will look similar. In previous years it’s included, but isn’t limited to:

-Running out that morning for a card because his writer wife has a thing about giving and receiving greeting cards. Find a funny one and buy that fill it out in the car then remember that she also likes sentimental cards. Go back into said store, wade through all the other guys looking for a last minute card and grab one with lots of writing that starts with “my darling wife” or “the love of my life.” That will do. Ask the kid at the counter for a pen so he can fill it out before he leaves the store because he won’t be coming back in-not even for the Almond milk said wife asked him to get that he completely forgot about.

-Remember not to send flowers because while said wife loves to look at flowers, as they slowly die on the kitchen counter or worse, her office desk, she becomes a red-faced sneezing monster and there ain’t anything sexy about that. Nothing at all. Like zip. Zilch. Zero.

-Offer to take the wife out to lunch (possibly with the kids) since neither of them planned a sitter or anything for a grown-up outing let alone made dinner reservations. Then wonder to himself if she still remembers the year they both forgot their anniversary and laugh because it was awesome that she actually forgot something for once, because she can still pick out what she calls his “Monday tie” from the year they first were married. Then wonder if she’ll forget Valentine’s day; ’cause that would make his life exponentially easier.

-Offer to trade her a back rub for watching the movie of his choice. Not only does it always work, but it also puts her to sleep so she can get some rest because his night owl wife has been snatched by body snatchers or something–he can’t remember, but she sure grumbles about it a lot while she waits for her first cup of coffee to brew in the morning. Again, not anywhere near sexy, but kinda adorable in that I-can’t-believe-I’ve-loved-this-crazy-woman-for-almost-20-years sorta way.

 

See, real life romance. No fairy tales. No magic. No creepy cupids. Just real life. Real romance.

 

What are your plans for Feb 14th?

Cheers!
Just Jeni

Resolutions? Who needs ’em?

Alright, truth be told this girl might need a resolution or twenty–I’m not gonna lie. But, this year has already gotten off to a rocking start. Novellas are coming together. Beta reads and edits are happening (simultaneously which is way out of my control-freak wheelhouse). Feedback has been good thus far and did I mention covers? Yeah, one is ready minus the cover material which I solemnly swear will happen before the book comes out on April 13th (EKKK!  That’s less than 3 months away my friends!), and the second one is in the capable hands of the designer as I type this.

So yeah, when it comes to resolutions this year, I sorta decided against the whole thing. In all honesty, I’m too busy working with a non-fiction writing friend and my own stuff these days that I don’t have time to set myself up for the head-smacking, doh-ensuing realization that I forgot to keep up with my resolutions. Again. Trust me on this, I’m a pro at forgetting them completely.

Maybe it’s because while I make plans, the universe laughs. And by laughs, I mean a full-on belly laugh complete with snorting and hiccups. I can be that amusing-just ask Ron (who we can now safely talk about since he has stopped reading by now! lol)

Alas, I refuse to leave you empty handed when it comes to resolutions this year since I feel it’s my duty to  suffer succeed along with you all, so let’s take a moment and think of all the fabulous things I should resolve to do better or stop doing in general…

DO BETTER

~Blog – Ooooo, that’s a good one… I should really do that more often. I also should start that newsletter I’ve been planning to do since there will be books out pretty soon. Besides I like the idea of giving stuff away.

~Drink more coffee –  I know you don’t think it’s possible for me to safely consume more coffee than I already do, but keeping in mind it’s all decaf (and mostly water which we should drink a lot of, right?). I think this is a challenge I can totally get behind. Have you seen my twitter feed lately? #coffeeporn is going to become I thing. I believe.

~More long walks – Max has been nosing his leash since the temps dipped below sweltering here with that sad look in his beautiful big eyes. The look that says, “Seriously, you’re sitting your butt in your office AGAIN? There are bunnies, birds, and squirrels to be chased and none of them will come in our backyard anymore since ‘the incident.’ ”  Yeah, I might owe my big guy more leash time… he does put up with my crazy self. Incidentally, he also believes my shoulder is best when almost disconnected from the rest of my body, but pretty sure now I’m just being picky.

 

STOP DOING

~Volunteering for everything – pretty sure this will require me breaking both of my arms and legs, but I’ll commit to the effort of saying no. As Tracy Poole CONSTANTLY reminds me, I should say, “I’m so flattered you thought of me, but no thank you.” Although, she says is with a straight face and really nicely. I kinda sputter, struggle to get the ‘nnnn’ part of ‘no’ out,  and take it back at the first chance I get. I’ll work on it… lol

~Lunches alone – As a writer who ignores her dog’s pleas for long walks in the sun to write, it’s true that I often forget that other people exist and are social. But, I can already say I’m making strides on this front. The amazing Tara Goodfellow at Athena Consulting and I have begun weekly lunches. Not only is she super fabulous as a friend, but she’s an amazing asset for those looking to change careers, head back to school (or go for the first time), or looking to try out life coach sessions. She’s the best. And since she’s a friend, a get all the inspiration she offers wrapped up in a lunch date!

Hey, not too shabby even though it’s like 22 days late. But really, who’s counting? So, tell me what some of your do’s and don’t’s are for the year.

In the meantime-

Cheers!

Single devil tail Jeni

 

 

And then there were five…

All epic tales of intrigue start with the infamous, ‘Once upon a time’ and this is just as worthy, but I’ll save you the overused opening.

Last week I turned 35 and unlike the other 34 birthdays under my belt, I did something I’ve been thinking about for a while now – something dramatic and possibly life-changing.  Steps have been taken. Things have been put into motion. Research has been done. Decisions have been made. And I’m excited.

You will notice some new changes to the website. They are to reflect the five new novellas that are underway. Yup, five. You read it right. I also went back to make original hair color only leaving a few hot pink peek-a-boo streaks in memory of my mom. But most importantly I’ve been writing my cold little fingers off. Firstly it’s good to actually type when coming up with five new book ideas even if they are novellas and secondly, it’s darn cold here in the South and Ron is against burning money to stay warm or something. Therefore I have been left to my own devices to keep my cold fingers warm and typing keeps them fit and slender as well. Too bad it doesn’t work on the rest of me.

So, I’m off to have some decaf and write more words. But be on the lookout for some new changes coming soon.

Cheers!

Single devil tail Jeni