Life in progress


#JusJoJan the 23rd/23 – Broad strokes

The prompt word for January 23rd is “paintbrush.” Thanks go to Paula for the colourful prompt!

When we paint our woes with broad brushstrokes, we don’t really convey everything we’re living.

Ugh, I have so much to do!

It tells a story, but the behind-the-scenes to-do list is not anyone has time to hear about. They have their own to-dos.

Ack! Everything hurts!

It might not be accurate, but it conveys the message better than an inventory of all our aches and pains. And just about everyone can agree that aches and pains are all-consuming when we have them.

But when we paint our accomplishments and happiness, it’s usually more defined.

When was the last time anyone said to you Everything is wonderful! And when they did, could you relate? If not, ask yourself why not?

Because there’s almost always something we didn’t get around to doing. There’s almost always a discomfort or pain somewhere.

But if you take the reverse, when there’s so much to do, isn’t there something you’ve accomplished somewhere along the way?

When everything hurts, is there not usually something that doesn’t?

We let the negative keep us from painting our happiness in broad brushstrokes, but the positive rarely gets in the way of the broad strokes of our woes.

Let’s change that. Right now.

Repeat after me:

Everything is wonderful!

And let’s do that every day.


This hopefully uplifting post is brought to you by Just Jot it January and Paula! Please be sure to check out Paula’s blog here!

For Just Jot it January, click the following link to see how you, too, can join in! It’s fun!


#JusJoJan the 17th/23 – Hyphens

Our prompt word of the day today is “hyphenated.” Thanks today go to Sally for the great prompt!

As an editor, I spend most of my days fixing hyphens or looking up hyphens … did you know hyphenated words (and non-hyphenated words) are in the dictionary? If you’re ever not sure, have a look.

A lot of the time it depends how you’re using the words. You and someone else can walk side by side beside side-by-side windows, for instance.

Ah, I love the English language.

Much easier than trying to figure out French.

No matter how much they told me to allons-y at school.


This hyphenateful post is brought to you by Just Jot it January and Sally! Please be sure to check out Sally’s blog here!

For Just Jot it January, click the following link to see how you, too, can join in! It’s fun!


#SoCS – Loudness

I love loud music. I always have. I remember doing everything in my power as a teenager to simulate quadraphonics. My parents had one of those stereos that was a piece of furniture–a turntable, radio and 8-track built into a cabinet. It allowed an extra pair of speakers to be plugged into it, so I’d do that, then arrange them around the level of my waist somewhere when I was laying on my back on the floor with my head as close to the middle of the stereo as possible and I’d be surrounded by sound.

What sound, you ask? If you’ve never listened to the album “Equinox” by Styx with a pair of headphones, you need to do that. ASAP. Or, better yet, find a stereo that’s a piece of furniture with a turntable(!!!) and do what I did. There’s nothing that can compare to vinyl. NOTHING!

Okay, there is one thing. And it’s actually even better. And louder. A live concert. I luuurve concerts.

Lately, they’re the only time I get to listen to loud music anymore, because I never get time alone in my house. I made a new year’s resolution to spend a weekend alone in my house, ohhh … three years ago. (I checked on my blog because everything is on my blog. Except it feels longer than that. Like, two years longer than that. It still hasn’t happened.)

I attribute the lack of loud music to my sleep apnea.

How is that, you ask?

Well, let me tell you.

When I listen to loud music, I sing loud. It used to be that even if I couldn’t do so in my house, I could listen and sing in the car. Except I haven’t had a stereo in my car (that plays CDs or anything else) since the end of 2015 when I traded in my minivan for a 2000 Toyota.

Singing, I believe, strengthened the muscles in my throat. Since they’ve gone to the dogs, I stop breathing when I sleep on my back.

So yeah.

Rock on, dudes.

With headphones!!

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley!

This rocking post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Click the following link to find all the other loud posts in the comments, and join in! It’s fun!


#SoCS – Celebrate the little things

The thing about anniversaries is, if you think about them too much, you’ll realize how much time has passed and not only that, how old you’re getting. A milestone is just that–a marker to indicate how many miles you’ve gone. And a reminder of the toll they’ve taken on you.

But it’s not all necessarily bad. (Keep in mind I’m typing as I think, so this could easily go wonky on me.) With the miles come experience. Experience is golden in that if you let it, it provides an excellent teacher. On the other hand, if you let it, experience can provide you with bitterness. Because, let’s face it, not all experiences are positive, and not everyone can find the good in a negative experience. It could be said that some have no positives … unless you really REALLY dig deep.

My question is, if we celebrate a little every day the little things that happen, no matter how small or positive or even negative, does it make the bigger celebrations less like milestones? Yeah, probably not. (See my “wonky” disclaimer above.)

Little things I’m celebrating today?

I’ve been clumsy. I almost dropped Alex’s $750 feeding pump (but didn’t!), and somehow I managed to get butter in the dog biscuit box and dog biscuit crumbs on my toast. Honestly? Not as good as marmalade.

The positive in this? I get to tell you about it. And hopefully in the telling there won’t be a third thing. …who am I kidding? There’s always a third thing. But it likely won’t be falling down the stairs and throwing my laptop over my shoulder in the process (the last majorly clumsy thing I did), because I learned to pay attention to what I’m doing when I come down the stairs.

Something to celebrate!

Me and my buddy Winston, taken five minutes ago. I really need to go on a celery diet.

SoCS badge by Pamela, at

This wonky post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday, which is officially celebrating its fifth anniversary today! Click the link to find all the other participants’ posts in the comments, and join in. It’s fun!


My Final Random Jot of #JusJoJan 2019

Aaaand, it’s a wrap! The year that was January 2019 is but hours away from its completion here in my corner of the world. Will February be better? I damned well hope so. Having said that, my mother is still in the hospital with pneumonia. I believe it’s going to take her a while to recover from this. I just spoke to her on the phone: she can hardly breathe.

I’m not sure I have a favorite part of this month, other than you all here. All of you who helped me make Just Jot it January a success for the fifth year in a row. I appreciate everyone who linked up to the prompt, even once. And of course a special thanks goes to all of you who helped choose this year’s prompts! I couldn’t have done it without you. 🙂

I had a lot to be grateful for last year. Career-wise, I had my July Bookbub Featured Deal that had me give away 25K copies of The Magician’s Curse. I signed up for it thinking I’d have no chance whatsoever getting it. Bookbub deals are like the lottery. I was flabbergasted when I got the acceptance email!

However, it could have been a disaster: if there’s one piece of advice I’d give anyone submitting for a deal, it’s to make sure it’s not your only book, especially if you’re giving it away. Had The Magician’s Blood not been ready to publish, I’d never have made my money back. Bookbub deals are expensive! But so very worth it.

One other piece of advice for anyone thinking of having thousands of strangers read your book? When it’s free, some will pick it up and read and review it even though it’s not a genre they enjoy. Not everyone is nice, unfortunately, so make sure you’re wearing your thickest of skins when you read what people have to say. Having said that, I do appreciate (almost) all my reviews! Even the negative ones. The exception being from those who didn’t even read the whole thing before giving it one star.

I’m grateful that everyone in my family survived 2018, all of them healthy except that little bit at the end. And even that was temporary.

And that’s pretty much it.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the participation badge and an opportunity to leave links in the comments. More details about that in tomorrow’s post.

Until then, stay warm if you’re in the northern hemisphere and cool if you’re Down Under.


It’s never too late to participate in Just Jot it January! Click the following link to find out how, and see all the other participants’ links in the comment section. It’s fun!


Blogging – #JusJoJan Jot #3

I started this blog in July of 2012 with one post and absolutely no idea what I was doing. That post has one view, which was me accidentally logging myself out and looking at it. It didn’t matter, really, what I wrote: no one was ever going to see it anyway. I was no one. I’d tried Googling my own name and found nothing.

Then, in January of 2013, I decided to try again. I looked around WordPress and followed a few people, some of whom followed me back. I commented on a couple of blogs but really got nothing in return until I found HarsH ReaLiTy, a blog hosted by Jason Cushman, AKA Opinionated Man. I followed his lead, had a post reblogged by him, and that was it. I’d arrived.

Since then, I’ve done everything I can to help out others with their quest to get their blogs noticed. I suppose in a way it helps me to fill the desire to be of assistance, but more than that, it allows me to share with other people the joy that the communities here can bring. Blogging is different from other social media in that we can connect on WordPress on a deeper level than with the sound byte that exists on Facebook, Twitter, and other such places where scrolling makes it far too easy to ignore lengthy text. Original text.

I’ve made real friends here. People I care about and who I know genuinely care about me. I feel more comfortable meeting bloggers in person than anyone I might encounter on other social media sites because I feel I can get to know bloggers better.

So yeah, blogging has changed my life. I feel connected to the world in a way I never would have.

And I can find myself on Google now, too.

This post is part of Just Jot it January! Click the following link to see how you, too, can join in and find an amazing community of bloggers!



Buy Indie Books!

Create your own awesome design at for free!


This Black Friday, as traditional publishers are throwing millions of dollars into advertising, a lot of us indie authors are finding ourselves swept under the proverbial rug.

So to give us all a boost, I’d like to propose that if you’re a self-published, independent author, drop a link (Amazon only, please) and a sentence or two about one of your novels in the comments here, especially if it’s on sale today.

And if you’re a reader and you love to escape into the magical world of books, consider buying indie! Find the links (mine included) in the comments.

And don’t forget to please share this post!

Thank you, from the bottom of my little writer’s heart. ❤



Kobo – A Better Way to Buy E-Books

At the risk of bringing the ire of ‘Zon upon myself, I’d like to enlighten you on how much better the Kobo experience is, no matter where you are in the world.

Yes, I might be a tad biased since Kobo is a Canadian company, but having dealt with them longer than I’ve been publishing books, I can honestly say I’ve always had a great relationship with them, any time I’ve needed to contact them.

They’re an organization of human beings who care about what they do. This is their mission statement, copied from their career page:

Our Mission

We are a company built by booklovers for booklovers. We believe people should be able to read anywhere in the world, on any device, and in any language.

With a growing catalogue of millions of titles in 97 languages, Kobo is a truly global eReading service for booklovers of all kinds, in every part of the world.

Things you might not know about Rakuten Kobo:

  • You can buy Kobo e-readers and e-books in Walmart
  • Their five million titles are available in 190 countries
  • They give points when you buy, which you can accumulate to get free books
  • Membership is free
  • Their reading app is free, so you can read on any device
  • Their interface is very simple, making it easy to get a book at the click of a button
  • Rakuten owns Overdrive, so most books that are available on Kobo can be requested from your local library
  • They’re good to their authors!!

I could go on and on about what’s wrong with Amazon right now, but I won’t. What I will tell you is that more and more I’m seeing authors go wide (removing their titles from KDP Select, which demands exclusivity to Amazon), and moving to Kobo, among other e-book retailers.

I’m not being paid to post this article–I’m writing it because I truly believe in Kobo and what they do.

If you love reading, and you enjoy being able to grab your favorite author’s novels at the click of a button, why not sign up with Kobo?

CLICK HERE to check it out!


One-Liner Wednesday – Words of Wisdom

A road not taken will forever remain a mystery.

A cold lake not swum in will prevent a cold.

If you would like to participate in this prompt, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post, and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, like Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a pingback from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!


#SoCS – Precious Words

One for the record books–the day I was a full hour and fifteen minutes late starting on my own prompt.

A few times today (yesterday) I actually sat down to write this, but I got distracted. Pulled away, or at the very least had the feeling that if I started, I wouldn’t be able to finish.

Which is my most-used excuse for not writing fiction.

So I’m sitting here now, in the wee hours of Sunday morning with my cup of peppermint tea, waiting for the Tylenol to kick in. And now, I will close my eyes and type.

How are our words precious?

They have such power. Our voices–the way we communicate, whether by voice itself or by written word–have the power to affect so much. So many others. It’s not the words themselves, but the way we choose to use them. Our expressions, our tone, our gestures … our voice.

Writers starting out are often confused over what we refer to as authorial voice. As an editor, I can see a writer’s voice as plain as day. It’s much like we speak. Because our thoughts drive both our speech and the way we write, they come out very similar in structure.

And those inner voices … Those, if we really pay attention to them, show the real us, if only to ourselves. Can you imagine if we said everything we thought? Ha! My stream of consciousness just went haywire. If only I could type as fast as I think.

But maybe I overthink things like this because I have such a passion for words. They have the potential for such beauty and such ugliness, all of which drive the human spirit–create our experiences of others and even ourselves. They can inspire us and they can scar us. Lift us up or drive us into the pit of despair.

Words are precious.

If we could all use them both wisely and with kindness and empathy, the world could be without conflict.

And I’d be out of a job.

(Because without conflict, a story is boring. 😛 )

SoCS badge by Pamela, at

This extremely late and utterly rambling post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the link to find all the entries in the comments. And join in!