Monday, March 28, 2016

Editing, Reading, & Eating

Woohoo! Vacation day from the day job! Hmm, didn't I write a similar post a few days ago? I think so but oh well. I must need the time off. I'm certainly enjoying it.

Sharing in the cooking duties (when I get so lucky), I cooked biscuits, eggs, and sausage for breakfast and my husband fixed seafood sandwiches for lunch. Yummy! Double my pleasure, a mini marathon of Diagnosis Murder was on a newly added channel to our cable package. I enjoyed an all-day one over the weekend.

As my husband napped after lunch, I relaxed in a therapeutic foam bubble bath while finishing reading my book for this month.

My spirit has been thoroughly fed by this woman's story of overcoming a difficult time in her young marriage through Gods grace and faithfulness. I identified with several areas and am even more encouraged in my own pursuit to be a better wife and Christian woman. Check out my YouTube video about this book.

Before the day is out I'll work on the second round of edits on my manuscript.

As anxious as I am to publish my long awaited (for my readers and myself), it's more important for me to put out a quality product. My new and current readers will appreciate it. Read an excerpt at

I'm also working on a story outline for a novella for based on another character from my first book, Unfinished Business. It's pretty cool being able to take characters from previous stories and give them a story of their own. 

I'll keep you posted every step of the way! Subscribe up top for regular updates.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Writing, Shopping, & Dog Walking

A day off from my day job was just was the doctor ordered. Well...not from my doctor. In fact there wasn't really an order. But I did have to take a day off work to attend a doctor's appointment with my husband. The appointment was in the morning and was over in time for me to actually go to work but I wasn't feeling it. The truth...I've taken on many extra tasks at work and the boatload of meetings over the past couple of weeks have been draining me. So much so that I haven't been able to concentrate on my current writing project for the month and it's almost over! This year is about productivity. If I keep adding distractions to my plate it's going to be the end of the year and the only thing I'll be able to say is that I published my second book. Hmm, that's not such a terrible thing, but it's not my only goal.

And boy was God on my side. After the appointment, my husband and I stopped at a Coney Island near home for a brief breakfast date. He was avoiding carbs, I wasn't. My pancakes were scrumptious! The goodness of God, however, wasn't the pancakes but when my husband dropped me off at the door of our home and drove away! Yeah  baby...that's meant ME time.

Before I could get started writing, though, I had to wash the stack of dishes that had been patiently awaiting for the last couple of days. Then I had to take Pepper, my little black Terrier outside for a walk. She's my son's responsibility during the week so she doesn't get lengthy walks until the weekend. She appreciated the surprise treat. Lastly, I cleared the computer desk off all clutter (a receipt, a broken lead pencil, a medical pamphlet) so I wouldn't have anything to distract me from writing. It doesn't take much.

Once all distractions were cleared, I searched for the latest version of the story I'd been writing. Since I can no longer use my USB drive at work, I have to go through the tedious process of  emailing Word documents back and forth between my work email and personal email. And, no, before you suggest them--I can't access Google docs, OneDrive, or any of the other online document creators at work either! Until another method presents itself, this is it....

In the end, I got a good draft of my story nearly complete. I'm writing a story about a challenging time in my marriage--is that ever not the case??? Seriously, though, there's an insurmountable amount of material when you're writing your life and 100 times more writing about your marriage! I've easily noticed how, even in nonfiction writing, the story you start with isn't always the story you end with. Not only that, while writing one story, material for future stories are unleashed. I'm excited for those and for the shoes I ordered online while writing...distractions are never too far away :)

The day off was well spent so instead of going to a rigorous Zumba class, I treated myself to the movies--the real treat was the popcorn!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

8a.m. Late start to my morning. Usually I'm up by 7 on a Saturday. But as long as my husband and son remained asleep, my morning stood a chance of continuing business as usual. Crossing my fingers.Image result for crossed fingers

Writing or, more specifically, the marketing of my work weighed heavily on my mind before I even peeled the covers off of me. One reason was a boost of encouragement I received from a fellow author/editor who I greatly admire. She doesn't let anything hold her back from accomplishing her goals. She pushes forward and inspires others to do the same. Yesterday, I was inspired. Not just my usual inspiration to write, but inspiration for ACTION!

So my first stop was the computer--after the bathroom, of course. I brought my bitly account to access some shortened links that I created eons ago, and then Hootsuite to schedule some post for the remainder of March. It's National Reading Month so it was perfect timing to market both of my books--the one already published and the upcoming one.

Not including the eventual hour or so disruption from my husband (grooming his locs! and online shopping),  marketing for the month took me about an hour thanks to copy & paste!

With the business of my writing complete (for today, that is), now I have the rest of the day ahead of me,

Hmph, perfect time for my husband and I to do something together but he's made plans with my dad. Seriously, dude?

"You can come?" He says as though I want to spend a portion of my day listening to him and my dad do their "guy" talk, trying unsuccessfully to find a place in the conversation like a novice trying to jump into a double dutch twirling rope. Not so easy.

"That's cool, baby. I'm sure I'll find something to do with my time." I say, hiding the grin spreading on my lips.

I start every weekend with a list of stuff going on. This weekend is no different.

Exercise. I'm always trying to make time for that. Until my husband woke up I was trying to connect with a friend for our weekly mall walking together. Nevertheless, the gym just over a mile away from me is always an option.

Then there's a writers critique meeting at 3pm that I'd love to go. Any other time that would be perfect timing but not today. Near the same time I'm dropping off food for a sorority sister's family repast.

Maybe a movie while enjoying some buttery popcorn. Opps! That'll throw off my weight watchers points off for the day so that's off the table.

Guess I'll do something with this sewing machine I got for Christmas and still haven't done anything with besides threading it. Or read a book. Again it is National Reading Month. Image result for wink
Til Next Tim...L.A.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Snowy Reflections of Author L.A.

I had such a productive day that I wasn't even mad when I came out to my car covered in--not easy to brush off snow, but a thick sheet of ice that took several minutes of window defrosting and aggressive before I could leave. The snowy ride home--45 minutes longer-- gave me ample time to reflect on the moves that I made and what's next.

For the last 7 years that I've been working on my upcoming novel, Reconciliation to Hell, I've been struggling choosing one career field over the other--being an author of novels or exceling within my corporate job. I thought I had to choose. But even when I got discouraged over how long it was taking me to write my second book (just a few years shy of the 10 yrs for the first), I could never, comfortably, choose the corporate life.

That's just my day job." I told myself countless times over the years.  "The steady paycheck to pay the bills until I write the breakthrough novel that's going catapult me to literary stardom."

And that may very well be true. I certainly haven't given up on that dream. However, what I've come to realize as I've been spending a considerable amount of time blogging about fitness, spirituality, relationships--I simply love writing! And as my mentor told me last year, I can incorporate my love for writing within my day job. At first I thought she just meant using my skills in an extracurricular fashion like creating and managing a newsletter for an employee resource group. Well, she did but she also meant for the purpose of developing myself further and connecting with different people in the company. I'm planning to write and network my way into a day job that can bring me the same satisfaction of finishing my novel! How cool is that?

Last week I put the wheels in motion by stepping up into a lead and support position in my office, working more closely with management. Today, I committed some time connecting with people in positions that I'm interested in--corporate communications and employee relations. I read their work histories and educational backgrounds. Many of them had undergraduate degrees in journalism or communications but a couple of them had degrees in business, like me.

Does this mean that I'm any less focused on my literary plans? Not at all. I think I'll always have a book budding inside of me. Though I'm burnt out from novel writing (after only 2 books?), there's been a 3rd novel brewing in my head since last year sometime. I have every intention of writing it, too. Just hopefully after I'm published in a couple of magazines and/or book anthologies.

Plus, I'm still moving fast forward with publishing my novel in the spring. The manuscript is in the final editing stage and I couldn't be more excited. I also read an email the other day that reignited my interest in obtaining an literary agent. Delving into this world of self-publishing, as though it's the only way to be an author, I almost forget that traditional publishing is not only possible but it was my preferred method of being an author.

I'm pursuing greatness in my home life as a wife and mother, in my writing life, and, unapologetically, in my corporate life!

All of this while working to lose 25 lbs this year, caring for my chronically sick husband, and staying on top of my 11 yr old son (he's a Boy Scout and he'll be playing soccer this spring). Whew! I'm tired already.

I didn't even touch on the other productiveness of my day, which started at 4:30 a.m. Check out my lifestyle blog, where I talk regularly about fitness, spirituality, natural hair, and anything in between.

Yours in Writing (and Everything Else),


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

NOT Reading at the Library

It's no secret that I LOVE the library. Just in case you didn't know--I LOVE the library. Ironically, I don't spend nearly as much as I'd like. But when I do... I'd easily lose myself for hours in the columns of thick spined books on every subject one can imagine, wood tables tucked in various corners for the kind of quiet needed for studying, reading, or just relaxing. However, I have one of those husbands who doesn't quite get that about me and an 11 yr old son who'd enjoy that time too much without me home to keep him on task. Therefore, I only go when necessary. Like last week, for example, I went in to check out a book that my book club is reading this month, God Help the Child by Toni Morrison. Just like a kid on a rare stop by the toy store, I wanted to stay longer. That day, I had an even more pressing reason to cut the visit short--my husband's doctors appointment. 

A few days later, I found myself logging onto the library's website. I still don't rember what I was looking for but the first item on the page was an announcement about adult coloring! Stress relief was the only encouragement I needed to make a snap decision to go. It was the same night I'd seen the announcement so it must have been meant to be.

The event was advertised on the site for adults but I should have known it was for the entire family. Good thing my son was with me. Participating in non-electronic fun is just what Dr. Mom ordered for him. He got off to a slow start but by the time we were leaving, he was asking when the next coloring event was taking place.

Check out our masterpieces:

Are we going back? Absolutely!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Weekend Recap of Indie Author L.A.

I didn't want to reschedule the appointment with my friends (my current editor and his wife), but I was backed into the corner of spousal obligation. Out of the blue my husband wanted to go out to Gilbaltar Trade Center after our pre scheduled breakfast date. Gilbraltar is a humongous trade center where sellers of just about everything you can think of (rare coins & stamps, jewelry, Avon, clothing, toys, guns, etc.) gather every Saturday and Sunday.

"Remember we're having company this afternoon." I said gently.

"We'll be back by 2." He assured me. So I text my friend's wife--she's the techy one--and advise her of the time change. I wait to hear back.

Excited about what I may find at the trade center, I decided to make the best of unfolding changes to my day. It's been many years since I've been out to Gilbraltar. I'm sure I've been there, at least once or twice, in my adult life but my strongest memories stem from childhood visits with my parents and older brother. The sharp dressing man that my dad is, I'm sure he was on the hunt for good deals on leather jackets while I was more excited about what I would go home with: books, charms for my bracelets I like to make, and materials for friendship bracelets and key chains.  Guess, I haven't changed much!

We set out in the wrong direction, unaware that the trade center in Taylor, Michigan had merged with the one in Mount Clemens. No biggie, though. We made a pit stop at Denny's for breakfast before heading in the opposite direction. My grand slam breakfast was delicious!

Over the forty minute drive, my husband enjoyed listening to tunes from his cell phone playlist while I enjoyed being on the passenger side, for a change, delving deeper into the one of the three Jessica Fletcher mystery novels that my daughter gave me for Christmas.
Sadly, my son wasn't as entertained as I because we don't one of those cars with built-in Wi-Fi. Poor baby. But he perked up once we made it to the trade center.

It was his first time--at least with me. He could have gone with my dad. In fact, I'm sure he did. My dad took him everywhere. Obviously, it wasn't as exciting for him as it was for me as a child. Kids of my son's generation are used to getting little trinkets in between birthdays and holidays.  I wasn't so fortunate--until those family trips to Gibraltar. Back then I was into friendship, charm bracelets, and Sweet Valley High books! And Gibraltar was chock full of everything my eyes could behold!

Nevertheless, my adult eyes weren't overly impressed. I left with a pair of gloves only because the sellers looked desperate for a sale. My son was happy with some fresh cider and fresh mini donuts.

From there we made a few other stops. Nothing of any significance. Unfortunately, my afternoon plans with my friend didn't work out. Honestly, I was pretty disturbed that I let my husband coerce me into changing my plans. Instead of pouting, though, I sucked it up. Sacrificing is a huge part of marriage. However, I WILL NOT be doing it again when I reschedule my plans so I hope my husband doesn't have anymore plans of disruption up his sleeve :))

Til Next Time,


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Distractions of Writer's Life

Whose days always go according to plan? Nope, not mine either. Once upon a time ago, though, I used to be able to from time to time. But that was before I fell into the role of a caregiver for my husband. Each day carries its own little adventure like a walk through the woods.  Even more so the case since my husband has become ill and needs more of my attention when I get home from work.

I'm blessed that a great part of what I have to do, as far as my writing is concerned, is on the computer and I sit in front of one of those eight hours a day. Only problem is that I'm ethically bound by my conscience and a document only an inch thick but as heavy as box of bricks--business code of conduct--to use that computer for the purposes for which I'm paid.

Luckily that same document does allow some wiggle room for personal use of the computer so I do what I can. On those days when I'm motivated to do more--post a blog, improve the design of my blog, schedule some publicity via Hootsuite, or visit some of the blogs I follow--you know, some of the more consuming activities of this writer's life, I create a mental list of a few things I want to do when I get home.

While I'm making my plans, though, approximately ten  miles away  somebody else is making plans for me too. My husband, bless his heart. Whether it's cooking something in particular for dinner (one day it was fried chicken in addition to the spaghetti that I was in the process of making), picking up something in particular that he may have a taste for (another day it was fixings for a hot fudge sundae), or any given day it could be as simple as watching a few episodes of television shows that he's recorded for my (mainly his) viewing pleasures. The Maury Show is at the top of that list. "You are NOT the father!" LOL! It's not preferred television entertainment but I enjoy watching my husband laugh. Dealing with a chronic illness as he is, moments of sincere laughter are few and far in between.

These detours to what I may have planned for my evening are nothing to get my undies in a bunch about. It happens to the best of us. That's what moments like these--waking up at 5 am on a Saturday morning and catching up on some things all the more appreciated..

Til next time y'all,

Author L.A.