Month: January 2018 (page 2 of 2)

TGIF

This week has been beyond busy. But I’ve gotten a great deal done. I started a new series of posts over at According to Hoyt. I’ve had a couple of posts published over at Victory Girls – and there will be another one later today or tomorrow. then there were my two posts at Mad Genius Club. I’ve managed to check formatting and get updates prepared for about half my books. Those will be uploaded over the next week to 10 days. That also includes new print editions for some of them. Writing has even happened, not quite as much as I’d have liked but, hopefully, I’ll make up some time over the weekend.

Whew! No wonder I’ve been feeling like I’m meeting myself coming and going.

But the good news is I’m almost finished with Light Magic. If everything goes as planned — and yes, I did just knock on wood — I will finish either Sunday or Monday. Then it will be off to beta readers and, if all goes according to plan, it will be published by the end of the month. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I’m doing my best to stay warm. The temps dropped dramatically yesterday and we’ve had wind gusts up to 40 mph. I’m a Southern girl. I want my warmish — at least — weather back. I’d much prefer sitting out on the back porch working than inside with all the distractions.

Oh well, time to get back to work.

Later!

History: Helping Understand Today

I have a guest post up at According to Hoyt this today. When I sat down to write it, I did so with one purpose in mind — to explain why I’d chosen State and Revolution by Vladimir Lenin as the next book to review for the blog. I’ll admit, part of it was because I couldn’t take starting another long book review on yet another book about the 2016 presidential election. Clinton’s What Happened about did me in. That meant I needed something I could tie to current events and yet wouldn’t drive me to even more drink.

I chose State and Revolution because there are too few people who have read, much less understand, the underlying documents for the forms of government they so strongly promote. I guarantee you, most of those promoting socialism have never really studied it. They have turned a blind eye to how their so-called utopian state actually exists in real life.

I’ll admit, I was one of those who didn’t fully understand the reality of life under the Soviet Regime until I spent time behind the Iron Curtain. My post on ATH discusses some of that.

Another reason I leaned in the direction of looking at something that could be viewed as an important historical document is because of what’s been happening in our country the last few years. We see history being rewritten — or relegated to being viewed only behind proverbial closed doors — because it doesn’t meet modern day sensibilities. Dallas has removed monuments and renamed schools that had been named for men who played key roles in making Dallas the city it is today.

Why? Why are their names being essentially erased from the roles? Because, before they came to Dallas, they served in the Confederate Army. Some owned slaves. That, in today’s atmosphere, is enough to erase all the good they might have done later. Slavery is abhorrent. But it was legal at the time these men lived. After the Civil War, they became leading citizens of Dallas. Yet, good deeds are being hidden from our children because of something these men did, something legal at the time, that we now condemn.

This isn’t unique to Dallas. We are seeing it all around the country.

This rewriting of history — or hiding of it — isn’t wise. It devalues contributions made by men and women, at least some of whom changed their opinions on slavery after the Civil War. It also leads us down the path of repeating history because we don’t remember it. History isn’t meant to be comfortable or even easy. It is meant to be something for us to learn from and how can we do it when we forget?

Related to that is another question: how can we learn from history if we don’t study it?

Okay, I’m climbing down from my soapbox now.

Until later!

Light Magic – Snippet 3

(This is from the rough draft of Light Magic. There may be — and probably are — misspellings, grammar issues and more that will be corrected in the editing phase. You can find Snippet 1 here and Snippet 2 here. Of course, the usual disclaimers apply.)

Welcome home?

What the hell was she talking about?

“Someone had better start explaining or I’m out of here.” To put action to words, I dug out my wallet and tossed a twenty onto the table. That should more than cover the cost of my pancakes and coffee.

“Meg, please.”

Surprisingly, it was Annie who spoke and not one of the others. As I turned to her, she struggled to her feet. Ignoring the others, she stepped around her father-in-law and moved to my side. For the first time, I realized she wore what could only be considered a power suit, albeit it one designed for a very pregnant woman, and heels that made my feet hurt. How in the world could she stand wearing them, much less wearing them when it looked like she could give birth at any moment?

“Give them the chance to explain.” I must have looked like I was about to bolt because she continued. “I know you have no reason to trust any of us, but I promise these are three of the best people I’ve ever known. I trust them with my life and with the life of my son. Even with the life of this little one.” She smiled and lightly rested a hand on her swollen belly. “If they say they knew your mother, they did.”

I ran a hand over my face. She asked a lot, especially since I knew her no more than I did those she urged me to trust. Still, Mom’s words echoed in the back of my mind. For whatever reason, she’d wanted me to come here. Two of the first people I’d met claimed to have known her. I saw no way they could have faked the picture in the yearbook, even if it was only a digital representation of a single page. They’d have had to know I was coming and they didn’t. They couldn’t have.

And yet Miss Peggy had, so maybe I as wrong. What in the world was going on?

I felt their eyes on me as I moved away from the table. I needed to pace but there wasn’t room in the café to do so. Instead, I walked behind the counter and poured myself a glass of water from the pitcher on the back counter. I wasn’t thirsty but it gave me something to do while I tried to figure out how to respond.

When I turned, the others had returned to their seats at the table. Serena Duchamp sat where I had not long ago. She appeared relaxed even though I caught a hint of concern in her eyes. Judge Caldwell glanced at his watch and I wondered if he had stopped in for breakfast with his family before court. When he pulled out his phone and sent a quick text to someone, I figured I had my answer. He might not have court, but he had something set that morning and it appeared he was postponing it. Whether that was good or not, I had no idea.

“Look, I don’t know any of you and I can’t figure out how you know who I am, how you knew my mother or how you knew I’d be coming to town.” I drained my glass and set it on the counter. “I’m tired and hungry and I want some answers. So, let’s start with this. How did you know to look for me?” I leaned against the counter and glanced from Miss Peggy to Miss Serena.

And when in the world did I start thinking of women older than me a “Miss” anything? Mom hadn’t raised me to address them in such a manner.

“Meg, it seems there is a great deal we need to discuss.” Miss Serena spoke with a soft drawl. “But I knew you would be coming because your mother contacted me a week before her death. She told me about her illness and why she hadn’t said anything to you about it. She knew you wouldn’t understand, but she didn’t want to be a burden to you. I offered to go to Maxon’s Mill but she refused. She reminded me she’d never had been one to ask for help and she wasn’t going to start now.”

I swallowed hard as tears once again burned my eyes. That sounded exactly like my mother. Damn her. Why hadn’t she said anything to me? I should have been there with her. I would have been with her. But she hadn’t let me. Why?

“Meg, your mother had one favor to ask of me. She said she was leaving you a letter telling you to come see me and she asked me to do whatever I could to help you.”

I gritted my teeth and fought the urge to curse long and loud. I had a feeling Miss Peggy might hit me up the side of the head with a skillet for being rude and I really did not want to think about what Miss Serena might do, not when I’d already seen how powerful she was. For all I knew, she’d turn me into a toad or something just to make the point that I needed to respect my elders. Since I had no love for toads and didn’t believe in the Frog Prince, I decided not to chance it.

“That doesn’t explain how she,” I nodded at Miss Peggy, “knew I’d be coming to town.” Much less how she knew it would be now.

Annie’s chuckle distracted me and I glanced at her in time to see her blue eyes dancing with amused understanding. Then she once again slowly stood, one hand cupping her swollen belly and the other reaching for her purse and briefcase. As she did, the judge climbed to his feet and angled his chair out of her way.

“Ladies, I have clients this morning, but my conference room is open if you’d prefer talking there.” Annie nodded to the group of people clustered around the front door and I could have sworn there were more there than there had been a few minutes earlier.

“I need to get to court. My bailiff has texted twice now to tell me the defense attorneys are getting restless.” Judge Caldwell smiled at his daughter-in-law, his eyes twinkling in mischief, and I wondered if she might not be one of those defense attorneys. “Meg, after you’ve talked with Miss Serena, you might want to stop by Annie’s office. Her grandfather practiced law here for years and I know for a fact he represented your mother on at least one occasion. Some of the answers you’re looking for might be in the files there.”

I swallowed hard and nodded. Before I could say anything, Annie slipped a business card into my hand and gave me directions to her office. Then, after welcoming me to town and saying she hoped to see me again soon, she left the café, the judge following close behind. Even as I considered leaving with them, the door closed and I heard the lock once more sliding into place. When I glanced back at Miss Serena, she smiled and motioned for me to sit down. I blew out a breath and nodded. Best to deal with this now, before anything else happened.

“Meg, I won’t ask you to trust me.” Miss Serena folded her hands on the tabletop. “I won’t even say I understand how you feel right now because I don’t. I can’t. But I can promise to answer your questions, at least those I know the answers to. However, Annie was right about one thing. This isn’t the best place to do so.”

The look she gave Miss Peggy spoke volumes. Whatever she had to say to me, she did not want it becoming fodder for the local grapevine. Well, that made two of us.

“Answer me one thing.” One very important thing. “How did you know my mother?”

I’m not sure what I expected. It was too much to hope that I’d wake and realize the last few weeks had never happened, that it had all been a bad dream. But that wasn’t going to happen. It couldn’t happen. Nothing could erase those terrible weeks, no matter how hard I prayed. All I could do was wait and hope whatever Serena Duchamp said answered at least some of the many questions currently running through my head.

“As Peggy said, your mother was a couple of years behind Bob Caldwell in school. Her family was one of the most conservative, for lack of a better word, ones in town. When your mother started showing signs of being an Other, they tried to cure her. When that didn’t work, they kicked her out of the house and told her not to come back. They weren’t going to have someone like that living under their roof and eating their food. I learned what happened when my daughter, who was in her class, came home and told me. I reached out and offered to let Faith stay with us and I offered to teach her, if she wanted. She stayed with me for four years before leaving Mossy Creek.”

I slid down the side of the counter to sit on the tile floor. Without realizing what I’d done, I drew my knees up and wrapped my arms around my legs. Then I lowered my head until my forehead rested on my knees. As I did, I remembered the one time I asked Mom about my grandparents. She seemed so sad as she told me they were dead. I’d never asked again because I didn’t want to upset her. I’d been maybe five or six at the time.

A gentle hand brushed over the top of my head. When I looked up, tears burned my eyes and emotion clogged my throat. How horrible it must have been for Mom to find herself cut off from her family simply because of what she was. The one thing I learned about Mossy Creek in the research I’d done before coming here was that it had been one of the first places in the country where the Others had officially come out. Even before then, most everyone in town knew about them and few seemed to have objected.

But that hadn’t helped Mom, here or in Maxon’s Mill.

I swallowed and pressed the heels of my hands to my eyes. When I looked up a moment later, Miss Serena knelt in front of me. Compassion filled her expression. Then, as if understanding I needed to know more, she gently helped me to my feet and guided me back to the table. Gone were the coffee mugs and my plate. Instead, a single glass of water and a second glass with what looked like a healthy jolt of bourbon in it had replaced them. Miss Serena pressed the bourbon into my hand and then reached for the glass of water. She waited, giving me time to gather my thoughts. The only problem was I wasn’t sure I wanted to gather them, much less ask any of the questions battering around in my head.

God, Mom, why didn’t you tell me?

“Her parents, are they still alive?”

And what would I do if they were?

“They are, but they don’t live here any longer.” She reached over and rested her hand on mine. A warmth seemed to spread from it, moving up my arm and then through the rest of me. As it did, some of my tension eased. “They moved back East ten years or so ago and rarely come back.”

One day, I might want to meet them but, for now, I felt empty. They had kicked their daughter out for being different. The woman sitting across from me supposedly gave her a home and training. Then, for whatever reason, Mom had left Mossy Creek and, not long after that, I’d been born. I had no idea if she had any other relatives still living in the area and I didn’t care. Not now and probably not ever. They, like my father’s family – whoever he might be – had made the choice not to be part of our lives. I wouldn’t betray my mother’s memory by reaching out to them now.

“So why, after all this time, did Mom want me to come here?”

“I have my suspicions but we can find out if you will come home with me.” Miss Serena shook her head before I could protest. “Meg, your mother did things her own way. She always did, just as she always kept her own counsel.”

That certainly described Mom.

“When we spoke, she told me about her letter to you. She also said I would receive a letter as well and she asked me not to open it until you arrived. I got that letter yesterday and I kept my word. I haven’t opened it. It is waiting for the two of us.”

I tossed back the bourbon, wincing slightly at the burn. Then I remembered I hadn’t eaten more than a few bites. It probably hadn’t been a very smart move on my part to drink the three fingers of very good liquor on an empty stomach. But, damn it, I needed the drink almost as much as I needed answers.

“All right.” I’d come this far. I might as well finish what I’d started. Something stopped me nonetheless. “If you don’t mind, I’ll meet you there. I think I’d better do as the judge suggested and stop by Annie’s office first.”

For a moment, Miss Serena didn’t say anything. Then she nodded. To my surprise, approval shone in her eyes as she looked at me. Interesting.

“Then I’ll be waiting for you.” She smiled and reached over to grasp my hand. “Annie will give you directions to my home. It’s not far. Did your mother give you my phone number?”

I shook my head. There were a number of things my mother hadn’t given me, or so I was learning. Miss Serena’s phone number was just one of them.

Before either of us could ask, Janny appeared and quickly scribbled something on a page from her order pad. Then she handed it to me. I couldn’t help but smile to see she’d made sure I had not only Miss Serena’s number but the café’s, her personal number as well as her mother’s.

“Thanks.” I folded the single sheet of paper and slipped it into my wallet. “Miss Serena, I shouldn’t be too long.”

“You take as long as you need, Meg.” She smiled, understanding reflected in her eyes.

“I’ll see you soon.”

Assuming I didn’t get on my bike and ride straight out of town.

***

Check in at Mad Genius Club for my post on reading, expanding genres and what writers should learn from what their readers say.

Those pesky facts

I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry right now. I’ve haven’t been a fan of main stream media for a long time. Oh, there are still some good reporters out there but they are being silenced more and more, especially on the national level, by corporate offices more concerned with their own political agendas than they are about reporting the facts. That bias has been ringing loud and clear over the last couple of days. All you have to do is look at the coverage of Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury, or NBC’s tweet, now deleted, supporting Oprah as “Our Future President.

Now, NBC is facing a great deal of backlash for the above tweet and, as noted, it has been taken down. But, as you know, the Internet is forever. How much do you want to bet that if anyone is held responsible for this going out, it will be some poor intern or low level employee who, if the truth were known, was only doing what they’d been told. Sure, they might not have been specifically instructed to phrase the tweet that way but they knew their job was to do whatever they could to push the liberal agenda to find someone, anyone the American public could embrace as president? It didn’t matter who as long as it wasn’t Trump.

As for Fire and Fury, what can I say? The book is poorly edited, poorly proofread and poorly fact checked. There are a number of articles out there already about some of the problems. These problems range from having the wrong date — by years — for Speaker John Boehner’s retirement to talking about Steve Bannon’s “pubic” appearances instead of “public” appearances. After having read HRC’s book, What Happened,I felt sure there couldn’t be a book about the election that was more poorly written. After reading some of the excerpts, not to mention the introduction, to Fire and Fury, I was wrong. Whether I decide to go full snark on the book in a new series of posts waits to be seen. I’ve already told several of my friends that I would need help from them if I did — help not only to keep me from killing my liver, not to mention my brain, by reading the book but help snarking it. Yes, preliminary reviews — those coming from people who have actually read the book and taken time to check its so-called facts — are enough to tell me this isn’t something I want to tackle alone.

But this need to assassinate someone’s character simply because they don’t fit the accepted mold of political correctness isn’t limited to our political scene. The WorldCom ConCom has done their best, whether they meant to or not, to do so with author Jon del Arroz. There’s already been a lot written about it. I’ll simply refer you to Jason Cordova’s post about it over at Mad Genius Club.

The last bit of lunacy that I’ve dealt with this morning is a suggestion from a psychologist that we do away with “best friends” in our schools. You see, by having best friends, our children are being exclusive instead of inclusive and we are risking the emotional health and stability of our wee little ones. The recommendation for what should replace all those best friends are “close friends”. Of course, the author of the article that led to my post over at Victory Girls doesn’t seem to understand that “close friends” doesn’t stop the dreaded exclusivity she is so concerned about. It simply widens the circle a little. There will still be popular kids and cliques and outcasts, band geeks and jocks. You get the picture.

Hopefully, I can step away from the idiocy for a bit and get some fiction written. At least there, I’m sure I’ve done my homework and my facts have been checked.

On minimum wage issues, writing and more

First things first, I have a post up at Victory Girls about the impact of the new minimum wage laws on franchisee holders and, as a result, on their employees. One of the things that has always bothered me when it comes to mandatory wage increases is that too many people don’t consider the impact those increases will have. They don’t think about how it means a rise in cost to the consumers. They don’t think about how, if the employer can’t pass the increased costs on to their customers, they have to find other ways to recover their losses. Businesses have to operate at a large enough profit to not only put money back into the business to improve facilities, etc., but to pay the franchisee/owner. Sure, employees making more is great and I’m all for it but not at the risk of businesses closing down.

In this particular case, franchisees for Tim Horton’s and Subway are being caught between a rock — the government — and a hard place — corporate ownership. Subway franchisees aren’t allowed to change menu prices. That comes down from headquarters. So, when their costs go up, they are limited in what they can do to recover the cost. That’s especially true for those franchises where corporate mandates not only the price of their goods but also where they can buy supplies. It means the franchisee can’t save by shopping around for a supplier that can get him the same or better goods at a lower cost.

So what is a franchisee to do? As I noted in the VG blog post, they either lay off employees, close their doors or start cutting benefits. That’s especially true when corporate not only refuses to let them raise menu prices but actually requires them to lower menu prices even as their operating costs increase.

On a different note, work is progressing on Light Magic. More on that next week.

Finally, I finished up my series of posts on HRC’s book, What Happened, over at According to Hoyt. Next week, I’ll start a new book, , by Vladimir Lenin. I gave a lot of thought to what to write about next and discussed it with Sarah, as well as a couple of others. I decided on State and Revolution for a couple of reasons. The first is simple. We need to understand the foundation of the enemy and this book is one of those founding “documents” that started the Soviet Union/Russia of today. For another, there are simply too many folks walking around who don’t understand what communism or socialism really are. If I can help burst the bubble for even one person where those “isms” are concerned, I’ll have accomplished my goal.

I’ll be honest. I’m not sure the first post will actually be about the book. It may be some background, setting up why I feel it is so important we not buy into the propaganda preached to us by the media, Barry Sanders and others, including the Democratic Party. Unlike my friend Nicki, I didn’t grow up in Russia. But I have been there and I know others besides Nicki who have spent much of their lives there. I also know men who spent a great deal of their government/military careers dealing with the Russians. No, I’m not going to get into the Russia connection allegations from the last election. I am, however, going to talk about what life is like for those in Russia and in those countries that fell under Russian control after World War II.

But, for now, I am going to get back to Light Magic. Until later!

When actions impact brand

No, this isn’t about the current kerfuffle over WorldCon. If you want an excellent take on it, check out Jason Cordova’s post over at Mad Genius Club. This has to do with how a Hollywood persona’s dramatic tweets proving her deep-seated Trump Derangement Syndrome have ruined a show for my mother and myself. Oh, and there’s a bit of speculation about how the revelations about Harvey Weinstein would have impacted the same show had it been filmed even a month later than it is.

The show I’m talking about is one of my mother’s favorites, and one of the few “reality shows” I don’t run screaming from the room when it comes on — Project Runway. Well, to be specific, Project Runway All-Stars. The new season started last night and I found myself distracted 1) by my frustration with the “host” of the show and 2) wondering how things might have been different if it had been filmed later than it had been. Finally, Mom (my dear, 86-year-old conservative mother) realized I was biting my tongue about something and asked why. I thought for a second and then answered honestly, surprised when she agreed with me. You see, she usually doesn’t pay attention to what’s going on with the Hollyweird crowd but, as I’ve discovered over the last 14 months, it’s hard to ignore them when they are all over the media — and social media — putting their Trump Derangement Syndrome on full display.

Let’s start with the least objectionable about the show last night. One of the “judges” is Georgina Chapman. Chapman, for those of you who don’t recognize the name, is big in fashion and is also the soon-to-be (if not already) former Mrs. Harvey Weinstein. When the allegations of sexual misconduct first hit the news, Weinstein trumpeted not only how they were false but how his wife stood by him. Well, that lasted only so long and, if I remember correctly, back in November she said she wanted a divorce.

So that begs the question of whether Lifetime TV and the producers of Project Runway All-Stars would have had her back as a judge if the series started filming in December or later. One the one hand, I can see them doing just that. After all, they could paint her as the wronged woman, maybe not in the same ay as the women Weinstein allegedly assaulted or threatened or whose careers he supposedly tried to ruin when they wouldn’t play ball with him. But, on the other hand, there have been a number of people, many of them women, wondering how Chapman didn’t know what her husband had been up to, especially since it seems like his actions were one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood.

Whether this is an issue Lifetime and the show discusses as the season progresses, we’ll just have to wait and see.

But the real distraction for me was Alyssa Milano, the Heidi Klum-wannabe who acts as host for the show. I’ve never been a fan of Milano but her anti-Trump tweets have been so far over the top, I want to reach through the screen and smack her. Like so many from Hollyweird who kept their mouths shut when men like Weinstein were allegedly assaulting one woman after another, she took to social media to condemn Trump for his “assaults” against women. If you look at her Twitter feed, you’d think she was a political pundit instead of a second-rate actress. As with Rosie, Chelsea Handler and others, she seems to be letting the President live rent free in her brain and it isn’t a pretty sight

One of her least offensive tweets came in response to Trump relaxing the regs to allow some off-shore drilling.

Of course, what she doesn’t do is discuss the regulations that will be placed on drilling or the fact that by opening it up like this, it will help lower our dependence on foreign oil. Oh no, the real complaint is that he undid something the great Obama put into place. (Full disclaimer: I worry about off-shore drilling because of potential oil spills, etc., but you have to look at the whole picture and not just the worst case scenario.)

But here is the real indicator of what Milano is like and, to be honest, in a lot of ways she has turned a caricature — but then, so has much of Hollywood. It’s hard to take any of them seriously — as a person or as an artist in their field — when you see tweets like this:

This “specialness” is just too much. And it is too distracting. This sort of histrionics guarantees that people seeing her on the screen won’t look at her work because they will be distracted by her actions on Twitter and in other social media venues.

I’m not saying she shouldn’t be allowed to speak her mind. Unlike WorldCon, I don’t believe in muzzling people until they actually, you know, break the law. However, I don’t have to listen to her and it is my option to turn off any show she is associated with. Which is what will happen with PR All-Stars. Neither Mom nor I could get past the distractions of Miss High-and-Mighty, I-Know-More-About-Politics-Than-You, Trump-Is-Evil Milano.

So, we are taking our advertising dollars and walking elsewhere. There are consequences to actions and Milano’s constant whining about the President means that at least this household will be turning off her show.

 

Remember that plan?

Yep, the New Year has started off with a bang — including a reminder that real life can and will strike when you least expect it. That’s why there was no blog post yesterday. I won’t bore you with the details. Just know Mama Bear was out in full force and, thankfully, everyone is all right. 

Basically, work didn’t happen yesterday. There was too much distraction and too many things that had to be handled. But work had commenced on a lot of things the day before. Writing happened and so did the start of the redesign of all my books for print release.

Myrtle the Evil Muse is reveling in the New Year as well, hitting me with new plot ideas almost quicker than I can make notes. I probably should tell her to be quiet but after the last few months, I actually welcome her return.

For those of you who follow Mad Genius Club, part of my time has also been spent helping update the site. There are some exciting changes going on over there as well, including the addition of some new bloggers to our lineup: Jonathan LaForce, Alma Boykin and Margaret Ball.

I’m finishing up my series of posts on HRC’s book, What Happened, over at According to Hoyt today. A new series will start up next week — assuming I have recovered enough from this one. VBEG.

I’ll be back later with another post. Maybe by then my brain will be working. In the meantime, do me a favor and go leave a review for a book you’ve read. It doesn’t have to be one of mine. Your reviews are the best gift you can give a writer.

Until later!

A New Year, a New Plan

I’ll admit it. I took the last couple of weeks to take a long, hard look at not only my writing schedule but blogging and a few other things. I won’t bore you with all the details. The bottom line is this: blogging will continue and will be on a set schedule (which is always open to change due to life). I’ll be continuing writing at According to Hoyt as well as Victory Girls. Best of all, the time off has given me the time to recharge the creative juices, so to speak. Writing is happening again — thankfully — and I don’t feel like I’m just going through the motions. The new year has brought a new dedication.

No, this wasn’t a case of writer’s block. It was a case of “OMG, I’m tired and there is so much to do.” Because I’m stubborn, I didn’t recognize that I’d let myself get so overextended. It wasn’t until I forced myself to take a step back and examine what was going on, my mindset and more that I realized what happened. That meant I had to make some decisions, not all of them easy. But they’ve been made and implemented and life is good.

Light Magic is well on its way and should go live at the end of the month. The next book in the series is half-written and fully plotted. There are a couple of short stories/novellas planned as well. The only hiccup in the series is the next installment of Skeletons in the Closet. I know I’m late on it but the novels have taken the characters in a different direction than I initially planned. So I’ve had to reconsider where Skeletons 2 will go. I think I’ve figured it out. Next month, I’ll put pen to paper — metaphorically speaking — and see what happens.

Next up after Light Magic will be Victory from Ashes, the next volume in the Honor and Duty series. Also planned for this year are the final book in the Sword of the Gods series a novella in the Nocturnal Lives universe and at least one other short story. But, for the next month, when I’m not working on Light Magic, I will be working on getting print versions out for all my books. This will include some rebranding of at least one series. I need to practice what I preach and re-examine my keywords, etc., on Amazon and see what can be done to help my older books continue selling.

So, it is back to work. I’ll be back tomorrow — if not sooner — with another post. Here’s hoping you had a wonderful holiday season and that this New Year brings you health, happiness and some fun.

Until later!

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