A Quilt in the Works, A Sock, and What I Hate About Writing

I am currently cutting out fabric for a baby quilt, one of my nieces is preggers.  I said, we need to use orange, no, my niece doesn’t like orange at all.  Grr.  Whatever happened to the days when a quilt was presented and the mama was happy with it?  Go figure.

I am also knitting a pair of socks….again.

The yarn is neon berry, it is by Regia, the yarn is part of the fluormania yarns.  It is freaking bright.  Ainsley gets this pair, she loves bright colors.  So, after this pair is finished, then I have two more pairs to knit.

I am sick of sock knitting.  I need mittens for myself, and a new hat.

I realized what I hate about writing, the editing portion of it.  Ugh!  Hate it.  I had to go through book three and I finally finished going through it.  I am waiting for book 2 to come back from the editor.

My editor said it should be ready, either Wednesday, or Thursday.  I am excited to see it but, it means that I have to go through it and fix what she suggested.  Not a happy camper about it but, this is part and parcel of writing.

 

When the Mood to Write Strikes

I was about to go to sleep last night when my brain decided to fix the current problem my heroine was in.  So, I was forced to walk downstairs, boot up my computer, and write.  I looked up and realized it was already 4 am.  I was worn out.  I headed to bed and just when I was getting comfortable, the cat, my only cat left, decided to voice her discontent.  No idea what was wrong but, she is loud, piercingly loud.

She woke up my hubby who had to be at work in the morning.  So, I had to apologize to him and to the dogs.  I fell asleep and just when I was really getting comfy, the cat started her bitching again, this time when the husband was getting ready for work.  I was tired, he apologized to me for waking me up.  We were even at this point because of the cat.  I told him, don’t worry, the cat woke me up.

I came downstairs, did my morning ritual, made breakfast, and checked my email.  I fell asleep on the couch, in front of the tv.  I woke up and decided to go get lunch.  I came home, dealt with the mail and put the dogs out.  Now, I am sitting here thinking of my book and what my heroine is going to do next.

She is a hot mess.  Trying to work through her problems is proving to be interesting.  I find that knitting helps me to get through her problems as well as my own.  Funny, isn’t it?

I am trying to finish this series so, I can start writing two other series that are on my computer.  I am finding ideas pop up at the weirdest hours.  Apparently from what I have read, this is normal for pantz-ers.  I have to get my computer and jot down notes on those ideas to save for later.  I also have my low tech character notebook.  I would be lost without it.

I have knitting patterns in between the characters, it tells you how much knitting and writing go together for me.  I even thought about putting some knitting patterns in the books but, then I thought, no.  Not going to happen.

Who knows one of these days, one of my sock patterns might appear on here.  Be forewarned, I use simple patterns for my socks and charts.  If you can’t follow a chart, then don’t try my patterns.  I would rather use a chart than words, it is easier once you get the hang of it.

I believe in trying on the socks, too.  So, put that foot in the sock and use your toes as measurement points.  I have places on my foot that I remember as to where to stop for the toe portion on the socks.  For size 7 socks, I know to stop at the start of the ball of the foot.  Size 7.5 socks, I work up to the start of my little toe, above the little toe for size 8 and my own size, 8.5, midway to the second to last toe.

I am working on size 4 socks for my great niece, Ainsley. Pictures will follow later.  The yarn is neon and I prefer to knit on it in low light.  It is crazy bright.

 

 

 

Book 2 off to the Editor

This morning I sent book 2 off to my editor.  I am so happy that it is going early.  Hopefully, she will get it taken care of quickly and then I can get it out to the public quicker than we expected.

I am still working on knitting items for people.  Loads of items.  I have two hand warmers in progress, one pair of socks, and a hat for someone else and then I am going to knit myself a hat.  I donated mine to a less fortunate child.

I figured I could make myself another one.

Handwarmers for Michele.

 

Ainsley’s hat

Socks for Maribeth.

The top of Ainsley’s hat.  It is a pony tail hat.

I am trying to do a challenge this year.  My goal is to use up as much yarn as I can.  I am going to challenge myself to use up a tub of yarn a month, if I can.  Notice I said, if I can.

Now, I am trying to work on book 7.  Since I have been sick, I haven’t written a thing.  I have several other books in the works, too.  It is a crazy thing this writing that I am doing.  I find I love it.

One of my many nieces, is pregnant with her first child, we found out it is a boy.  I suggested how neat it would be to make a quilt for the baby.  I asked one of my other sisters to go in on the project with me.  It is turning into a major deal.  I just wanted to do one simple quilt not all of this other crap my sister volunteered me for.  Excuse me, how did this happen?  When are either one of us going to find the time?  I have a book to finish and to heap this other crap on me.  Uh, no.

I have learned to say no, and it feels good.  Say it with me, No!

The neatest thing happened the other day, my dog, Percy, aka Destructor, took something that wasn’t his, I asked him to bring it back and he listened for once and brought it back to me.  I was in shock.  He normally doesn’t listen, he walks or runs off.  Never again will I get another terrier.  Not my kind of dog.  I love my corgi, he is the best dog.  He is always happy and he has this one smile, it melts my heart to see it.  He was diagnosed with lymphoma back in October and that broke my heart.  He is on prednisone to keep the inflammation down and he wasn’t feeling all that well, I had to take him to the vet, he has a stronger dose and it is working, he gave me that old smile last night.  It lightened up my heart just seeing it.  I know he is feeling better.

I was going through book 3, before it goes to my beta readers and I was cracking up at some of it.  I can’t tell you how weird it is to read a book that I wrote and realize that some of these things are truly amazing.  How did I think of that, is my main question.  Apparently, I did.  See, things of this nature stun me at times.

I took a poll with one of my sisters for the different names of the male appendage, and she said she liked all three of my names for the thing.  So, I thanked her.  I couldn’t ask the sister older than her without laughing out loud or starting to snicker.   Isn’t it funny how I can ask one sister and not the other.  Now, I would never ask any of my way older sisters about that item.  My oldest sister would have a freaking heart attack, the second oldest would tell me I should be writing about that in the first place, and the third oldest would look at me funny, she still thinks I am four, and I don’t want to blow her mind.  Although, I told her my age at Christmas and she blinked.  Amazing how time flies and your little sister is 47.  Yep, that is my age.

I have earned that age and I am not ashamed to say that I am 47.  I have the gray hairs and my body feels it at times, the left knee in particular.  I would love to color my hair back to my dark golden brown but, I know as soon as I do, the weather will warm back up and in the pool I go, funky orange hair will be the result.  I did that one time, and well, I didn’t like funky burnt orange, it wasn’t attractive.

I had an interesting conversation with one of my oldest friends, she said that she wants to find the kind of love my husband and I have.  I thought that was incredibly sweet.  It takes a lot of hard work and communication to keep a marriage going.  Sometimes, easy sailing, other times, it takes a lot.  It isn’t easy but, it is well worth it.  My hubby is my rock, the man keeps me sane, I get crazy and he is there to hold it all together.  When he gets crazy, I am there to hold it together.

Although, I don’t do well on cruises, after 3 days, all bets are off and I get bat shit crazy!  I can’t deal with being on a ship that long.  We no longer go on cruises, we fly to our destination.  It would take a lot of booze for me to be on a cruise ship for more than 3 days.  I would have to be hammered the rest of the days to even cope.

Last night I made sour cream chicken enchiladas verdes.  So simple and so tasty.

I took 6 chicken breasts, boiled them in salted water with pepper.  Pulled them out of the water when they were done, and shredded them.

I bought two jars of Herdez salsa verde mild, one tub of sour cream 16 ounces, 20 fresh tortillas, and a block of colby jack cheese.  Shred the cheese, I used a box grater.  Half of the cheese goes into the filling mixture.

I mixed one jar of the salsa with the sour cream and some of the colby jack cheese, and the shredded chicken breasts.

I took a large pan, and started the tortilla rolling process, take one tortilla, spoon some of mixture in, roll, place the seam down in the pan, move on to the next one in the same way until your pan is full.  Take jar of salsa number two pour over the top, and take the remaining shredded colby jack cheese and place over the top of that.  Cover with aluminium foil and bake in a 350F oven for one hour.

Uncover and  serve with Spanish rice and refried beans.  It will feed a lot of people.  In my case, I froze some for hubby’s lunches with my seal a meal.

This recipe can also be used for ground beef enchiladas, use corn tortillas, dip them in hot water before filling and rolling.  The beef sauce can be used with ground beef,  taco seasoning and red salsa, same cheese can be used.  Sour cream can be used in the filling as well.  Be creative, use whatever works for you.

I love to cook and I haven’t had the time, lately.  I took the time this weekend.

I am planning on making pot roast in the crock pot tonight.  I need to get on that as soon as I can today.

 

That Moment When Realization Hits….

First off, Hubby gave me the flu.  I have been spraying Lysol around our home since he started to feel craptastic.  Yes, that is a word, in my dictionary, at least.  Well, I used a whole can of Lysol on the home and then I went out and bought three more cans.  One for upstairs, one for the family room, where we gather and one for the downstairs half bath.  Short of spraying him down, which today I considered, I didn’t, yet.

I even found Lysol laundry solution.  That stuff is amazing, although, had I read, corrosive, on the back of the bottle when I bought it, maybe I would have rethunk that idea.  I have to say, I have been using it, and now half of the bottle is gone.  I have been on a frenzied tear with the stuff.  I didn’t want the flu and sure enough, I have the flu.  Grr!

Well, since I am out of sorts, I have been knitting.  One pair of hand warmers, one ponytail hat, and now, a pair of socks on the needles.  I have nothing else to do and writing isn’t top on my list while I am miserable.

The ponytail hat is really cute and it goes to my great niece, Ainsley.  She is a firecracker.  That girl is something else.  She alternates her time between tennis and soccer.  I don’t know how my niece, her momma, keeps up with all three of her kiddos.

The hand warmers go to my niece, Michele, she needed them.  I was shocked that she doesn’t own mittens or gloves.  Trust me, when I say that after having to get out of the warm car, open and close the gate, my hands were blocks of ice.  I can’t even begin to imagine how her hands must feel without hand warmers.

Then the socks go to my youngest niece, Maribeth.  She is a teenager and the whole eye roll and attitude, sucks.  I was the same way and my sister can’t figure out how her child is just like I was.  Wait until she hits seventeen…she has no idea.  I was horrible at seventeen.  I can admit that now, all of these years later.

I am currently writing book seven.  I know what is going to happen, I just have to start feeling better to write it.  Book six, took something out of me, I found myself bawling when I was writing a certain scene in the book, my character was going through some seriously emotional stuff and I was so in the zone, I was feeling her misery.  I had some trouble with it, too.  I found I couldn’t write anymore about it.  It is shorter in length than some of the others but, her story was told.

Book seven will end the series for the girls in the Tumbling Green series, and a new series will start with the youngest character in the family.  Also, I have plans for two other series, completely different and more modern.  Funny how that happens.

I guess I am truly a pantzer, ideas come to me at the weirdest times and I even dream about these ideas.  I woke up one morning and had to write down the ideas that were pouring out of me.  It is really strange how that works out.

More books will be coming out this year, I have three going to my editor this year.  One goes in February.  I am still stunned and awed by the fact that I wrote a book, and then wrote several more books, I can’t believe I finally found my passion and it took me more than thirty years to do just that.  Never stop trying to find what inspires you, always keep going to find it, when you do, you will be surprised at how it doesn’t even feel like work.

 

Sock Knitting is my Muse, it Seems

I realized several days ago, as I was knitting myself a pair of socks, knitting is my muse.  I was sitting in my favorite spot, knitting the heel turn, when I realized, knitting was helping me create my book, in my head.

I finished the socks, they are nice, by the way, and I started to work on book 7.  I am now knitting a hat with the leftover sock yarn for one of my many nieces.  This hat is going to Miss. Ainsley, she is a mess.

Tonight, the writing bug has hit and hard.  I was about to go to bed, when the idea popped into my head.  Oh, great.  Yes, I am up and working on several chapters, and the story is flowing out of me.  I had even closed my computer for the night, went to use the bathroom and I came back to even more ideas coming out of my brain.  So, sleep is going to have to wait while all of these ideas have to be written down.

I realized that I haven’t posted on here for a while, Christmas kept me busy and then the cold hit, I hate the cold.  I knit one sock in one day because of the cold.  Then the other sock, I took a week to finish.

I must have been stressed out since the sock fits very well, almost tight.  Stressed out knitter, tighter stitches, relaxed knitter, looser stitches.

For Christmas, I was the pie baker, I am sick of baking pies, at this point.  Several Dixie Pecan pies were made, several sugar pies were made.  I am going to have to deal with several bags of lemons my sister gave me from her tree, and you guessed it, pie.  I am thinking of a sour cream lemon and a lemon meringue pie.  I just have to find the time and the gumption for this pie endeavor.

Now, back to the book.

Trouble

I finally finished writing book 6 of the Tumbling Green series.  It took some doing since it had been giving me trouble.  I couldn’t get past a huge writer’s block until a couple of days ago.  I finished writing it this morning.

I am writing book 7 of the series, this will be the last book.  I have plans to write another series with the last child in the lineup.

I am currently knitting a glove for myself.  It is coming back to me on how to knit them.  Mittens are easy, I have done many pairs.  Gloves are another story.

So, my first glove is kind of wonky looking but, I don’t care, they will be warm, that is all that matters.  As one quilter said, “Only God is perfect, leave your mistakes in.”, I think this quote is wonderful.  Besides which, only the person who made them will know they aren’t perfect.  We are our own worst critics.

We celebrated a nice Christmas yesterday.  Hopefully, everyone had a nice Christmas.

I am hoping 2018 will be a much better year for us all.

Happy New Year to each and everyone of you.

 

The Amazing Things that Shape Us

Today at lunch my husband suggested that I write on my blog about the many things of interest that have happened to me over the years.  I didn’t realize that someone else would find them interesting.

My parents had always stated to honk when seeing a flock of turkey vultures chowing on a meal on the side of the road, we call them buzzards around here, anyway.  They always said to honk because if when scared things would happen.  They weren’t lying.  I have this innate sense of purpose when I see a flock of buzzards chowing on a carcass in the middle of the road, on the side of the road, etc.  I honk.

Well, apparently, not all parents have this knowledge and have never shared this with their children.

Case in point, one day I was driving down the road minding my own business, when what do I see?  Yep, you guessed it, a flock of buzzards working on a particularly large carcass on the side of the road, the Jeep convertible, a Wrangler, I think, didn’t honk, it was full of teenagers, and they were chatting, or doing whatever they were doing, just not honking.  They scared one of the buzzards and as my mouth dropped open in the O position, I knew in that precise moment why my parents had said to honk.  This big bird, scared out of it’s little mind, dropped it’s load of copious amounts of bird poo all over this group of teenagers, his foot hit their windshield edge at the top and that little instance of contact started a chain of events which caused me to stop and stare.  I admit it, I didn’t want any part of that situation. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the smell of being covered in poo, not to mention, it being buzzard poo.

The Jeep full of teenagers, swerved, this way and that, as they panicked.  I stared in wonder at the horrors before me and realized my parents had saved me from that horrible fate by teaching me to honk at the big birds.  Everyone else on the road behind me, never honked, they stopped next to and behind me as we all watched a Jeep full of teenagers swerving across two lanes of traffic, hit the median and come to a full and complete stop on the median.  They all stared at one another in  horror.

I admit, it struck me as funny, and I started laughing because it was absolutely hilarious to see.  This Jeep swerving ahead of me, teenagers covered in stinking bird poo, all because they didn’t know to honk.

As I drove past, I honked my horn at the birds who had gone back to chowing on their carcass, and those kids looked at me, when they saw the birds fly off from me honking my horn.  I could see the amazement in their eyes at this one simple gesture.

I bet they all honk at those birds from that day forward, when they see them.

 

For Once No Socks on my Needles

I am not knitting at the moment.  My right hand is shot.  I am taking a break from a marathon session of professional knitting.  I finished all but one pair of socks from the annual sock list.  The last pair can wait.

I am writing on book 6 once again and it took an unexpected turn.  I just find it amazing how this happens.  I was writing along and boom, it happened.  I had to stop and think about what was going on.  Last night, before bed, it came to me.  I was going to write the next pages but, my computer had to update.  I hate waiting.  I have no patience whatsoever, that is why I took up knitting, it is my exercise in patience.

That opened up a whole new can of worms for me.  I found a love of yarn, particularly sock yarn.  So, I decided to paint sock yarns and fiber to spin into sock yarn.  That was my old job, now my new job, and passion is writing.  Regency romances for now and as luck would have it, I dream about writing.

I had to get up the other day and write down what I had dreamt, it promises to be a really good series.  So, that makes about 3 or 4 series I will be writing after I finish my Tumbling Green series.  Who knew at the age of 47 I would finally find my niche?  It has taken me almost 30 years to figure this all out.

I have been able to write for years but, I didn’t have the life experience behind me to write really well.  I think, with age, my writing has become what it is.  I hope you, the reader, enjoy it and can lose yourself in my book(s).

I find myself laughing and crying with my characters as I write their stories.  Some of the time, I find myself giggling and other times, I am quite miffed at the stupidity that happens but, it is part of my characters’ stories.

I often find myself asking, why would he do that, or why would she do that?  Well, they do that because they have their own foibles.  It is all part and parcel of my stories.

In other news, I will be baking kolaches this weekend with two of my sisters.  I think it is going to be a tradition for us.  We get together, pool our resources and bake my Czech Moravian grandmother’s recipe of kolaches.  The recipe isn’t complete, it involves experience of baking to make the pastries.  My parents made sure that we all knew how to make them.  The recipe is very labor intensive.

My grandma’s sugar cookie recipe is so huge that it takes a 5 pound bag of flour to be able to roll them out and cut them.  I haven’t made it in years.  It feeds a crowd of people.

We have been trying to teach the younger generation how to play 42 in dominoes.  It has been very trying with my youngest niece, she isn’t interested in the game, which is a shame since my Aunt Cecily taught me and my sisters, and several nieces how to play the game.  She would cuss in Czech when we didn’t do something she didn’t like.  She and my Aunts would tell each other dirty jokes in Czech and then laugh and laugh.  When we were old enough to understand their dirty jokes, it would lose something in the translation and we would all stare at them like they were off.

We have a rich history in my family and I am trying to pass this knowledge as much as I can since I am the youngest in my family.  I have been trying to get some of my younger nieces involved with family tradition and I guess being in their 20’s they don’t realize how important it is to keep the traditions alive.  They also don’t realize that family is everything.  Family has your back when no one else does.

I have found that statement to be very true lately.  On the weekends, we have been trying to help my oldest sister get her home finished.  My oldest niece was injured in a life changing accident and now, we as a family, have been trying to help fix the house so, it will accommodate my oldest niece’s wheelchair.  It is a long drawn out process and it is crazy hard to deal with at times.  At least, she has a positive attitude.  I am hoping that and we are all praying she will be able to walk, again.  The doctors have informed her it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year before the swelling goes down.  Spinal cord injuries are not diagnosed like other injuries.

I find when I am writing that I imagine some of the strange conversations I have had with my sisters and the back and forth bickering, laughing, joking, serious talks, come out in my writing.

Being the youngest of 8 kids has its perks and sometimes, it is a big pain in the butt.  One sister can’t seem to get past that I am not 7 years old, anymore.  I think when I handed her my business card with my first published book on it, she realized, hey, she isn’t that little girl she used to know.  The little girl grew up and now she writes romances.

I am in the process of getting out Christmas cards and well, I ran out of stamps.  I went to the local postal place, they are out of stamps.  I guess everyone is trying to get their Christmas cards out, too.  I refuse to head to the post office, it is a pain in the butt to go down there and fight the crowds.  If I don’t have to go, then I am not going to go.

Now, back to writing book 6.  I wanted to update this blog before I get involved in the book.  I am still here, I just haven’t had much time to sit down and write.

 

Woo Hoo! A Book Giveaway

If you want to win a signed copy of my book, The Duke’s Dangerous Darling, then click on the link on the side of my blog.  It will take you to goodreads where you can sign up to try to win a book.

Thanks!

Of All The Rotten Luck…

Patsy’s Birthday Socks

As you can see, one pair of socks, done.

On another note, my wireless program died on my laptop.  I’m being forced to post on my cellphone until my hubby can fix the problem.

I have the worst luck with laptops.  I’m on my second one in about 4 years.  My first one died a horrible death…it burned down it’s motherboard one day.  My 2nd one was immersed in water courtesy of a certain little whiney calico who likes to drink water out of glasses.  Hubby soaked it in alcohol to dry out the water.   Now, this whole wireless thing…grrr!

So, here I sit typing and posting on my itty bitty cellphone keyboard.

Want to win a free copy of The Duke’s Dangerous Darling?  Hubby is going to do a contest on Good Reads.  I will let you know when it will be.

In other news…

I started knitting another pair of socks.  I’m trying to finish up my knitting list for the year.

Each year, my family signs up on the sock list, and when I have the time, I knit them each a pair of socks.

After socks are done, I have plans to knit myself some wool gloves.

I want to sew myself some pajama pants and I have several quilts to finish and get to their owners.

I’m also obsessed with Opal Sock Yarn.   I have been for years.   It wears like iron and has a great hand.