Eating fudge and writing: Five minutes of living the dream

Last fall, I changed my schedule at Day Job and now work four ten hour days instead of five eight hour days.  This is exciting because, frankly, who doesn’t like a three day weekend.  I also feel as if I physically need ten hours a day to do my Day Job job duties, but that’s neither here nor there.  There’s no crying at Day Job.  It’s like Fight Club, but with less fighting and more singing and movie trivia.  Anyway.

Today is my flex day.  I’m still in this weird Limbo place between novels, trying to decide which plot idea strikes the most fancy with me, deciding, and then having a bizarre cheese induced nightmare that translates into a new, awesome story idea and just….look, long story short, I’ve got two word documents open and I’m bouncing between novel beginnings, just going with whatever comes to mind.  Two new characters, two new contemporaries (sorry historical fans), and waaaay too many ideas.  Simmer down now (Side note: why am I never wearing pants in my dreams?  Last night’s dream had me wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins t-shirt, striped socks and striped underwear.  Dream Heather realized this was a problem and went to Dream Macy’s clearance rack.  I just…I’m so weird).

Anyway, so, here I am: chilling on the couch.  Typing hilarious bits of sarcasm and a main character named Abby who talks to her cat (“Got no friends: hi five myself!”) and, trust me, it’s not as weird as it sounds.  The Hubs sneaks over to my writer’s nest and hands me a piece of fudge.  Glorious!  Is this what JK Rowling feels like?  iPhone blasting One Direction, wrapped in a down comforter, and wearing yoga pants and an old Army PT shirt, eating chocolate fudge and basking in the glow of a new novel and new characters and new ideas?  (Answer: Noooooo, that’s probably not at all how JK Rowling looks when she writes).  This is the life.  This is living the dream: eating fudge and writing and listing to music.  I am an author.  I am the creator of worlds.

At that point, one of my children walked up to me and shot me in the face with a Nerf dart gun.

And, welcome back to reality, Heather.

I remember the days of my youth when I laid around the house like a slug, just piles and piles of spare time and wallowing in the eternal decision of “should I watch TV?  Or write?  Or watch TV while I write?”  Endless hours of laziness and laying here verses there and playing Sim City on the computer and singing at the top of my lungs to the Lion King soundtrack and, eventually, sitting in my bedroom–lit only by the glow of a lava lamp–listening to NSync as loud as my little boom box could blast, and writing horror short stories about haunted houses because THAT’S what I do and I like it.

I’m not really all that different now.  I’ve exchanged the boom box for an iPhone.  NSync for One Direction (out of my way, teenage girls, I’ve been fan girling since before you were born).  I’m still writing.  And singing.  And generally being weird.  But, before all that happens, I first have to:

  • Wake up early(beat ya again, sunrise!)
  • Eat breakfast and drink coffee because look, people want to live
  • Commute to work (music!)
  • Commence in working
  • Eat lunch
  • Finish working
  • Commute to home (angry music!)
  • Make food for Rowdy Boys
  • Pick up food off floor because Rowdy Boys are uncoordinated and rowdy and boys
  • Bargain with Rowdy Boys to eat dinner and threaten to eat ice cream in front of them if they don’t
  • Watch Rowdy Boys eat vegetables and throw rest of dinner at each other.  Chalk this up as a win.
  • Put Rowdy Boys in bathtub and warn them not to dump water on the floor
  • Mop up water they dumped on the floor
  • Hide in the hallway and eat chocolate
  • Get caught eating chocolate by Older Boy who has managed to sneak out of tub like a ninja
  • Put Older Boy back in tub, yell at Younger Boy for peeing on Older Boy
  • Take Older Boy back out of tub and send him send him to his room to get dressed
  • Take Younger Boy out of tub, dry him off and get him dressed.
  • Drain tub, hang up towels, clean up toys
  • Find Younger Boy’s clothes and discarded diaper in hallway
  • Observe two naked children running through the house
  • Declare first person who pees on the floor is going to be in trouble and corral them back into pajamas
  • Clean up pee off carpet because Younger Boy isn’t potty trained despite ability to pee on command
  • Help Rowdy Boys clean up living room.  Reward them with cheese sticks.
  • Clean up living room again, as in the time it took to fetch cheese sticks, someone has dumped duplos all over the floor
  • Initiate bedtime sequence
  • Fall asleep on Rowdy Boys floor
  • Get woken up by The Hubs.  Take shower and put on pajamas.
  • Sit down to write.
  • Fall asleep on couch.
  • Get woken up by The Hubs.  Brush teeth.
  • Go to bed.

So, yeah, I might not be living the writer’s dream per se.  But it’s not bad.  I mean, I managed to finish three novels with a schedule like this.  Right now, I just need to decide which novel to work on and I’m golden.  I’m set.  Right?  Right.  But first: lunch.  Because adhering to a schedule is very important.

But while lunch cooks?  More One Direction and dancing.  Nothing embarrasses the men in my family more than me singing and dancing to boy band music.  Let the chorus of “awwww, MOM!” begin!

The one where I got sunburn in January

There was a brief, brief moment during our recent vacation where The Hubs and I almost got some great pictures of our cruise ship sailing away from Nassau without us.  Luckily, one of The Hubs qualities is an innate sense of direction.  Even when drunk, his internal radar got us from Senor Frog’s–a bar where even pedestrian’s need designated drivers–and back to the ship before it left.  Did he win a beer chugging competition?  Yes.  Was I in a drunk conga line?  Yes.  Did we pee in a government building?  Yes.

This year’s jaunt to warmer weather was to the Eastern Caribbean.  It was amazing.  The only downside to the cruise was the fact that, from the moment we got to Miami, we turned into the Rip Van Curleys.  I seriously have not slept that much in my life.  Example: From Nassau, we got back on the ship around 2pm.  I don’t actually remember getting back on the ship, but whatever.  We promptly fell asleep.  We slept from 2pm until 9pm.  Puked.  Ordered room service.  Then slept from 11pm until 8:30am.  We literally slept through lunch, dinner, second dinner, and midnight snacks.  This is not getting one’s money’s worth.


nassauWe weren’t actually supposed to go to Nassau.  I mean, we weren’t scheduled to go.  We didn’t illegally cross borders or something and smuggle ourselves into Nassau when no one was looking.  We were supposed to go to Half Moon Cay, but there was a medical emergency onboard and we had to be diverted to Nassau.  As related above, I don’t remember a lot about Nassau.  In fact, the Senor Frog’s Swingers Club photograph here I don’t remember having taken.  But I look happy.  Anyway, while in Nassau, (and this was before Senor Frog’s) we fell in line with a random group of tourists all heading in the same direction, just to see where we’d end up.  The beach.  We ended up at the beach.  Still, this was exciting.  I watched a guy jump off a pier after his Starbuck’s cup.  I stood in some sand.  I drank a yard of beverage at Senor Frog’s, which was what The Hubs won after dominating a beer chugging contest.  A yard.  It’s no wonder I have no recollection of getting back to the ship.

St. Thomas

We went on a shore excursion in St. Thomas, which took us to some nifty historical sites on the island.  It also took us to the shopping district.  And when I say shopping district, what I mean is somehow we ended up going down the wrong street and st. thomasinto the Expensive Jewelry Stores of St. Thomas land.  I stood inside of Tiffany’s for a few minutes, pretending to browse, and I swear the horrified bald man behind the counter could smell the poor on me.  That’s fine, whatev.  We also went to a bar called Magic Ice which, although expensive, was a delightful little ice experience for people not used to cold.  We were bundled up in parkas and mittens and send into a 21 degree ice box, where, we could drink shots at an ice bar (literally carved from ice) and slide down an ice slide.  I heard a guy go down the slide and scream “It’s just like Pittsburgh!”  What’s up, Western Pennsylvania? Of course we’re hanging out in an ice box.  We know cold.  I went down the slide three times.  I also got my picture taken with a pirate at Blackbeard’s castle.  “I want to write about Pirates” I informed The Hubs.

San Juan

San Juan!  San Juan!  You’re amazing!  I loved San Juan.  We ate street vendor food in San Juan. We ran all over not one, but two forts.  Our tour group jay walked in front of a muscular policeman in bicycle shorts.  According to our tour guide, jay walking is legal in San Juan?  I’ll go with that.  We threw caution to the wind and walked back to the port instead of relying on san juanpublic transportation because why?  Because The Hubs can read a map and I can walk fast.  Look, I’m telling you, go to San Juan and eat delicious empanadas and little corn cake things filled with delicious hot cheese.

Our time spent at the forts was fantastic.  I said to The Hubs, “Now I really want to write about Pirates!”  The forts were from the 1500-1600s and were incredible.  From their start to now, the forts were never taken.

I also met a 7 foot tall Canadian.  There’s nothing out of the ordinary about this, I guess, but that’s the guy you want in your tour group because you will never, ever lose him in a crowd.

Grand Turk

After our trip to Half Moon Cay got cancelled and The Hubs and I were really sad because we were supposed to swim with stingrays there, we made ourselves feel better by booking an excursion called the “All Inclusive Beach Excursion.”  It promised food.  Unlimited rum punch.  A beach chair on a private beach and a water trampoline and drinking and sand and whatnot.

So, of course, it rained.

It didn’t just rain, but it poured all day long.  Two things happened because of this: we made friends with the coolest kids on the bus, who were just as sarcastic as we are (and he’s an Army kid just like The Hubs)  I knew we would be friends thegrand turk minute I heard him say, “Rain?  No.  This is liquid sunshine.  I wish it would rain more.”  Second, we took the party from wet beach chairs to wet deck chairs to the bar.  Once at the bar, things got real.  Immediate refills on rum punch.  A bar tender well versed in the art of peer pressure and giving free shots of the strongest rum I’ve had in my life.  A burly British man named Wolf.  This was the place dreams are made.  People kept saying that Kelly and I must be sisters, because we’re so much alike.  Darn right!  We laughed.  We ate pizza.  We caused general mayhem and then ate more pizza.

Our next cruise is already booked for January 2016.


I’m only adding Philly because I’d never been there.  I ate a Philly cheese steak that was life altering.  Delicious.

So, there you have it.  Cruise 2015.  Now that we’re back to real life, I finished editing my next historical novel, “Since April” and got my submission packet ready to go.    And now it’s time reach into the bag of novel ideas and pick out the next book to write.  Pirates?  Paranormal?  Paranormal pirates (nah, it’s been done)?  Back to the Civil War?  Decisions, decisions.  It’s my ongoing battle.  Guess we’ll see which storyline wins out this time….

Finishing my novel and partying like it’s 2012

Happy New Year!!  What’s up 2015?

So, this happened: I finished my next historical novel, Since April!  The stats are in:

  • Finished at 9:05am 12/29/2014
  • 371 pages
  • 108,080 words (pattern power!!)
  • According to Word, my total writing time was 21373 minutes.  Which….is horrifying.

Since April has firmly established itself has my longest novel yet.  There was a lot of plot to jam into it, let me tell you.  I’m casting the suspicious side-eye at an editing time of 21,373 minutes, though, for one specific reason: Pinterest.  It’s a slippery slope with Pinterest.  I go from “Oh, I need to hit up Pinterest really fast just to look up the type of shoes women wore in 1912″ which then turns into, “Hey, look, a recipe for cinnamon crumble cake with homemade vanilla glaze” which then turns into “I totally want to dye my hair that color…where are the bobby pins?”  Then, four hours later, I remember I’m writing a novel.

My hair color is currently burgundy, FYI.

Now I’ve moved on to the weird, purgatory place between novels: I don’t want to start anything new because I really need to edit Since April.  But I’m not doing that either because I really want to start something new.  I seriously don’t know how to function those first few days after finishing a book.  I’ve been wandering around for months plot plot plot plot and complaining to anyone who’ll listen “Look, I really need to finish this because I have too many other ideas to get started on.”  And now I’m done.  And now I’m promptly lost.  Oh, familiar characters.  I’m just not ready to move on.

But, I’ve edited 83 pages which means…..there’s still a hell of a lot of pages left to go.  At least my semicolon abuse is better with this novel.  It’s only taken me three.

Meanwhile, I’m late to the party named 2012.  What’s up, 2012?  The reason for this is that somehow, I’ve just now discovered the boy band One Direction.  Let’s not get into the details of how it took me like, three years and four albums to figure this out; the important thing is that now I’m onboard with this whole Directioner thing and think Harry Styles is the snazziest thing since sliced bread.  My God, that man and his tight black pants.

Here’s how it went down:

  • One Direction was on Graham Norton.  I said, “Hmm, that “Night Changes” song is pretty catchy.”
  • One Direction is available on iTunes.  I said, “Hey, look, “Night Changes” is only $1.29.  And “What Makes You Beautiful” is only $0.69 and I really like the number 69″ (as in 1969, you perverts).
  • One Direction is on YouTube.  I said, “Hey, I’m going to watch the video for “Night Changes” and see what it’s all about.”
  • Chaos.

Next thing you know, I’m downloading the entire album “FOUR” which is freaking awesome and you should totally get it and then….look, the last thing I remember is putting my credit card number into my cell phone and boom.  I’m going to the One Direction concert this summer.

What the…..

I relayed this information to my BFF Sara, who said, “Aren’t you worried about being the oldest person there?”

ACK!!!  SARA!!!  I’m not OLD!!

But then……yeah, the last concert I went to was N Sync.  When I was 18.  And when I was 18, I was willing to have “floor seats” which actually means you’re standing the whole concert so you can see above all the people standing up in front of you.  32 is actually a long way from 18 (still not old) and, look, I’m cheap.  I love Harry Styles as much as the next person (maybe a little more because I have the “ghosts of boy bands past” to guide me in fan girling), but I’m not dropping six hundred bucks to stand and watch a concert and then complain because my head hurts, I can’t hear, and how in the heck did I manage to hurt my back?  No.  I purchased reasonably priced tickets where I can blend in with all the other old people, but not so high up that I’m going to need a Dramamine.  More on that to come.

And now back to editing Since April.  Yay.  I’m so thrilled to go massacre more commas.

Trying to be a reformed Grinch at Christmas

I hate the holidays.

I know.  People are skipping around, being all holly jolly and happy, and baking cookies and ho ho ho-ing and all that crap.  Meanwhile, I’m sitting in a corner with my arms crossed and singing, “You’re a mean one, Heather Curley.”

This year, I’ve made progress towards changing my Grinch-like ways and embracing the happiness that is the Christmas season.  I’m not in holly jolly/red nose reindeer territory yet, but I wrote letters to Santa with my boys.  We went to a Christmas light display and I sang along with the radio to fun 50s Christmas music.  I hung the stockings by the chimney with care.  Picked out a new tree and am doing an advent calendar and made cookies.

christmas cookieCookies.  Mmmmmmm.

My dislike of Christmas is, of course, because I miss my dad so much.  It’s been almost eight years since he died.  Somehow along the way it turned into an “I hate happiness” campaign.  Christmas is happy families.  I don’t have a complete family anymore.  My dad is gone, both sets of grandparents are gone, my Uncle Mike, Aunt Lynda, and Uncle Bill are gone.  Too much change, too much unhappiness.

This year, I’m changing things up and being happy.  I’m being thankful for the things and people I have, not wallowing in the people we’ve lost.  I have my kids, who are excited about Santa, worried he won’t make it down the chimney, and broke three Christmas ornaments the first night we had the tree up.  I have The Hubs, who challenges my patience by wanting to watch Christmas Vacation every day and I loathe that movie.  I have my mother, who told me over lunch this week, “I have the head of a gingerbread boy in the back of the car for you.”  Christmas 2014: Things just got real.

And, despite the fact the above cookie has frosting made with both butter and Crisco (nothing says Christmas like a fat dollop of lard!), my health improved this year.  This time last year, my blood pressure spiked to some ungodly number like 170/100 and then, over the summer, I had my notorious run-in with a 24-hour holter monitor and my doctor’s everything-but-reassuring, “Well, I don’t think you’re having a heart attack.”  Now, despite back pain from a lumpy mattress and my new-found oldness, I’m healthier this year.  Maybe not physically healthier, but mentally healthier.  That goes a long way towards feeling good–inside and out.

Yeah…and the cookies help too.

In the end, it’s important to reflect on what we’re thankful for not only during the holidays, but all year.  It’s like flossing.  You don’t just floss right before you go to the dentist (well, unless you’re me…..), you floss all year round.  My crazy family, my health, and my writing aren’t just important during the holidays, but all year long.  I’m thankful for all the blessings in my life and, while I might name them one by one throughout the year, this Christmas I’ll be naming them ton by ton.  We only get one shot at life.  It’s time to stop being the Grinch in the corner and, instead, start rocking around the Christmas tree with some spiked egg nog, a fattening cookie, and a smile.  Calories consumed in joy don’t count, right?

Special thanks goes to Oscar Health Insurance for the writing inspiration.  Oscar is a health insurance provider for New Jersey and New York residents, and uses technology, data and design to deliver a better healthcare experience. 

Making Goals: It’s My Goal for 2015

Back in a magical time known as the Nineties, I was in elementary school.  I was awkward.  I wore big plastic glasses.  I had a Dorothy Hamill haircut.  And every year, we had goals.  Reading, writing, math, not failing gym class, you know.  Goals.

Now we’re almost in 2015.  Which means….ugh, that means I’ve been out of high school for fifteen years.  Ew.  Moreover, 2015 is The Year.  This is The Year that I’ve been waiting for since I was in the 4th grade and writing stories with my girls Karen and Sara.

This is The Year that my book gets published.

Yes.  Mark your calendars, friends, because on August 4, 2015, my novel Anything You Ask of Me is going to be published by Knox Robinson Publishing, of New York and London.

Ba Zing.

My biggest goal has always been to get published.  I’m not the kind of kid who had goals of running marathons, or climbing mountains, or excelling in sports.  No.  I wanted my name to be on the front cover of a book.  A book I’d written.  As a teenager I had a desk full of “chapter ones” and folders full of story ideas.  But now–it’s happening!  My dad would be so insanely proud.

So, looking ahead, my current goal for 2015 is to come up with some new goals.  Thus far, I’ve come up with:

  1. Remain calm and collected at my book release party, book signings, and other book release….goings on (?)
  2. Finish and edit my next historical, Since April
  3. Get my contemporary paranormal, With Me Now, under contract
  4. Get it together and go to a writer’s conference.

This is a good start.  Blog more should be on this list as well, because obviously I’m suffering from distraction issues these days.  And, probably, pick the next novel idea to work on after Since April, is finished.  In the end, I’m narrowing my goals to two points.  It’s less intimidating that way:

  • Keep writing
  • Stay awesome


I mean, as far as goals go, I’d think a writer’s main goal should always be to keep writing.  I saw a quote on Pinterest today that sums up how writing is for me.  From Arthur Rimbaud:

A thousand dreams within me softly burn

I think every writer, no matter what stage of your writing journey you’re on, should strive for that.  Keep writing. Never stop.  Who cares if it’s a page of scattered thoughts and run on sentences?  It’s a page more than you had before!  I’ve long struggled with that, as I always write with the goal of writing a perfect first draft.  Maybe another goal for 2015 should be the year of sloppy writing, ever pressing towards those magical two words, The End.

Look, writing doesn’t pay my bills.  Day Job pays my bills.  What motivates me though, is that I want to get my character’s stories out.  They buzz through my brain and are never silent.  I’ve always loved the process of writing: the dreaming, the surprises, the creating.  My motivation is the excitement of wondering what the next story will be.

So, here I come 2015.  I’m bringing my go go boots, a monthly planner, and a smile.  Probably some snacks, too.

Lots of snacks.

Many thanks to  for the inspiration!


Welcome to the most fattening time of the year

birthdayOur Thanksgiving turkey wasn’t even finished cooking yet and The Hubs and I were discussing what we wanted to have to eat on Christmas.  Ham?  Meatloaf?  Halushki?

Happy belated Thanksgiving!  I’ve been cooking nonstop for a week.  Literally, an entire week of slaving over the stove.  The Toddler turned three last week.  Three.  How in the world is my baby three?  How is the Preschooler four?  How am I old enough to have a three-year-old and a four (almost five)-year-old?  Wasn’t it just 1997?  I mean, really, if you catch me on an off day, I’d probably say, “No, it was 1997 like, five years ago.”

No, 1997 was seventeen years ago.  Which means, this coming year on my birthday, I’ll be turning……


So, my child turned three this year.  He’s sassy.  Right now he’s sitting to my left, wearing mustache pajamas and eating lollipops.  On Thanksgiving, he opened the front door when my mother got here and, literally, bowed, “Hello.  Welcome to our home.”  I also caught him peeping at me (note the binoculars) when I was trying to write.  Anyhow, I let him pick him pick out the clothes he wanted to wear to his birthday party since, you know, three is  pretty big deal.  He selected a little plaid shirt, which was fine, but when I was putting it on him, I noticed the sleeves seemed a little short.  I said, “buddy, this looks a little small.  It might not fit.”  He said, “Yes it will.”  And it did, albeit with shortish sleeves.  I thought to myself, “Hmm, must be an 18 month shirt that got shoved in the back of the drawer.”

No, it was a 6-12 month shirt.  My three year old wore a 6-12 month shirt to his 3rd birthday party.  A shirt which, interestingly enough, The Preschooler wore in his 9 month pictures.

He’s a little guy.  But he makes up for it being a ball of nonstop energy that climbs up the sides of the washer, jumps off couches, and eats three lollipops at a time.  Knowing this, I’m not a bit surprised I was only in labor with him for four hours.

So that was fun.  I made a tie dye birthday cake, which was not only fun but delicious.  And then I attempted to make pumpkin pie.

I can make a turkey.  I can make bread from scratch.  I can make cakes and cupcakes, and casseroles and brownies and fudge and all kinds of delicious crap.  What I can’t make, is a pie crust.

For whatever reason, this year I decided it’d be fun to make a pumpkin pie.  My mother is typically in charge of making pies because the fact that I work a 40 hour work week gets in the way of me being a stay at home mom and having time to make pies.  This has been detrimental to my crust making abilities.  Martha Stewart’s recipe assured me–assured me–it was easy to make a pie crust.  It’s just fats and flour!  You can do it!

I think things started to go wrong when I realized I didn’t have a pastry cutter in my drawer of kitchen gadgets.  So, yeah, that’s approximately step two, right after “add flour.”  No matter, I’ll use forks.  That’ll work.

No, actually it didn’t.

In an act of desperation, I tried to use a potato masher.  This also didn’t work.

At this point, I was getting mad at myself for two reasons: 1) not being able to mix a pie crust with a fork and 2) forgetting to buy a premade pie crust at the grocery store.  But, whatever, I mixed it with my hands until it looked dough like and then texted a picture of it to my mother.  “Will this still work with little nuggets of butter in it?”

After a long silence, she texted back, “Maybe.”


Well, the pie itself cooked for what, an hour or something.  Then it cooled for three hours.  And it looked like a legitimate pie.

Think with me for a moment, if you will, of the American Civil War, and the nutritionally devoid creation called hardtack.  Hardpie tack is basically just flour and water cooked into little squares of rock solid biscuit.  They last forever.  They are gross.  You probably would enjoy building a fortification made of hardtack more than you would enjoy eating hardtack.  Pack some for your zombie apocalypse bunker.  If you can’t eat them, maybe you can reinforce the walls with them.

Anyway, the pie filling was delicious.  The crust was like hardtack.  Buttery, molar busting hardtack.

The Hubs, bless his soul, ate several slices of pumpkin pie.  I ate my mother’s pecan pie and said, “I’ll use your recipe next year.”

“We use Crisco and milk.  Not butter and water.”  she reported.

Well.  I’m sure I can’t do any worse than I did with the brick like substance I baked.  Nothing says Happy Holidays quite like a lost filling (okay, I’m exaggerating.  No one actually chipped a tooth on the pie crust, but I’m eating it like pudding from now on….you know, just in case).

And now for Christmas.  This will be the first year we’ve had a legit sized Christmas tree.  Up until now, because the boys have been so little, we’ve had a little tiny three foot tree on top of a table to keep it safe from…you know, our children.  This year we bought a brand new 6.5 foot tree and are going to attempt to set it up tonight.  I imagine my next blog post will be stories of the three-year-old scaling the tree and running around the house with the star on his head.  We’re nothing but festive here at my house.

Awkward and charming scheduled a book release party!

Poised and elegant weren’t available that weekend.

Somewhere in that dreamy middle ground between “what should I have for lunch?” and “oh look, only thirty-three years left to go until I can retire” lies my book release.  Book release!  Ah, what better stage to showcase my awkwardness and ability to trip over a completely flat, clear floor, but at party to celebrate my book!

So, here we are in November.  November.  I’ve been working so hard at Day Job that my brain is mush.  An example of this was observed this week when I was chatting with my friend, Susie, at work about her lap top at home.  She was talking about password protection and locks for her personal files and said, “I mean, you never know who’s looking in the window.  Grass man.  Yeti.  Sasquatch.”

I giggled.  “Yeah, you never know when Randy might want to get on your computer.”

She looked at me.  “Huh?”

“Grass man.  Your husband, right?  Is that because he works on the farm?”

“I’m talking about Big Foot.”


Yeah.  It was that kind of week.  If I was a Sim, I’d be wandering around with a red diamond over my head, stomping my foot and refusing to put clothes on.

In lieu of elegance, I’ll be bringing charm and a vintage 60s dress to my official book release party: August 23rd, 2015 in Gettysburg.  Be there!  It’s going to be awesome.

Well, it’s going to be awesome once I figure out what one actually does at a book release party.  I have visions of me sitting at a table, surrounded by stacks of books and a fresh pack of Sharpies; the only people with me being The Hubs and my mother.  No public.  No party.  Just me and the fam.

So, I did what anyone living in 2014 would do: I checked Pinterest.  A lot of what I found were related to book release parties as in, “The new Harry Potter book just came out and I’ve spent 47 hours dressed as a house elf!” or cupcakes with Hunger Games related frosting and sugar sculptures.  This is not what I’m going for, although, blue and gray Civil War festive cupcakes has a certain deliciousness factor to it.  Bayonet bars?  Hardtack hard punch?


photo3I took a break from debating the really difficult questions (should I make cookies for the party?  Would the public eat cookies from a cute, yet clumsy, author in go-go boots?) and rocked it at Harpers Ferry with my guys of the Baltimore Light Artillery.  You know, I want my guys at the book release party.  Awesome Mark and Awesome Jeff?  Hell yeah!  If you won’t buy a book from me, maybe from them?  Equally charming, but also roguish, rakish, and full of southern charm?

Yes.  My guys will be there.  Shock on, gentlemen.  ;)

The release party: booked.  Cover art: finished.  Now I just need to schedule book signings.  Guest blogs.  Reviews.  Debate ordering bookmarks, bags, t-shirts, mugs, pens, socks, umbrellas, whatever.  Figure out what all I’m supposed to do at a release party, other than be charming and try not to spill food on myself.  Do I do these kind of things at the party?  Not the spilling things part (I do that with horrific frequency), but the “swag” part.  Do I have to do a reading (answer: no)?  Do we just hang out?  Do we eat?  Can we drink?

More to come on that.

On the writing front, I’m still plodding along through my historical novel, with two contemporaries waiting in the batter’s box.  Yeah, it’s obviously late and I’m falling back to baseball terms from my childhood obsession with the Cleveland Indians (what’s up 1997?).  Historically, November is the month I write the least, thanks to my inability to focus on National Novel Writing Month and my usual attention span of a flea.  No doubt I’ll bring a notebook with me to the release party, just in case things get dull and I need something to do.  Not that I plan to still be writing this same novel.  But you know.  Just in case.



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