Author Archives: saviev

It’s a blur

My apologies for my tardiness this week. I went yesterday morning bright and early to use my Vision benefits for the year before they went hasta-la-bye-bye. SEVERAL hours later…I had, what I hoped, was my temporary lenses in and I was out the door.

Sadly, my eyeballs and I disagree often, and this was no exception…within a few hours, my eyes were glowing red and I couldn’t see much. Removing the lenses didn’t help as my eyes were so  angry that I couldn’t see through glasses a scant few inches from my face. No computer for me.

Today, things are moderately improved, but on the shallow end.

My eyes are still irritated, though now a pink instead of glaring red. I can see, but a lot is blurry. I will have to make a return trip to the ophthalmologist for another round of fun, and hopefully a set of lenses that don’t make me want to scratch my own eyes out. Until then, everything is a blur…so I’m going to cut short. The glare from the computer screen is painful…even as I can’t make much of it out. :/

 

Sav

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Shadows

The holidays are upon us. It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercialism…I just want to take a moment to remember the things that don’t have price tags. The things that now, more and more,  seem to be lost to the shadows.

When I was a little girl…the magic and wonder of watching the house transformed was something I never got used to. One night we would go to bed like the night before, and the next day we’d awaken to a different world. A tree that seemed like it would blow through the ceiling stood tall & proud…flocked, always flocked to look like it had snowed inside, with hundreds of little twinkle lights on it that beckoned. Boxes were buried beneath it, wrapped in colorful paper…but no names…just packages, like great mysteries waiting to be revealed. There was no squabbling over who had more, or whose was bigger…we just knew that somewhere in there was one for each of us. My parents avoided a lot of the sibling chaos this way, and left us to image what could be in each of the packages, regardless of if they were for us or not.

That day, the day of the unveiling, the fireplace was lit for the first time of the season too. Almost before we hit the stairway landing, we could hear it crackle and knew it was “the day.” Funny thing…now that I’m older, I can look back and see that it was actually the same day every year. The perfect memory of it though, is that we didn’t expect it and got surprised every time. I did anyway.

We’d watch as through the days leading up to the holiday different packages would disappear from the stack…with mom or dad to work, or to schools in our pack, or any other number of places…and that too was magical because we got to be an elf for the day and deliver a gift. It was about the giving…not the getting. The simple joy of giving because we could.

I know my mom would say it’s about the reason for the season…and that’s her faith. I don’t diminish it. I only mention all of this to note that there is something that has gone missing from the holidays. The magic of the season, the spirit of generosity for the simple sake of giving…is disappearing, or maybe even gone. It makes me sad. The shadows have claimed a piece that is desperately difficult to reclaim.

In my home, we have packages wrapped without tags…just as my parents did, but more and more…I’d just as soon not have them at all. A grand holiday for me is one where my family is all together and there doesn’t need to be more than that. The world has picked up the pace of crazy to the point that simple things like sitting down to dinner together during the week is impossible. And, having a family vacation is an exercise in planning so far in advance that it seems unreachable. I want to go back and reclaim the simple…pajamas and a book by the fireplace, or matched sweaters and a meal so grand that your belly aches.

For holiday this year I’ve asked for just one thing…Family game night. I want to sit on the floor with finger foods, play games, and laugh my ass off with my family. No phones. No television, No distractions…just us, as we are, with no strings attached wrapped in colorful paper.

I want to see my husband win Pretty, Pretty Princess for the eleventy-billionth time because we girls conspired to make him have to wear the crown and jewels. I want to see the Perfection board blow chunks everywhere because the player was too busy being tickled to get the pieces all in before the time ran out. I want to shut the lights off, and watch the faces around the room as the Cherries Jubilee is lit on fire…because hot brandied cherries over ice cream is AMAZING on a cold night. Most of all…I want to shut off the world for just one night and forget that there are bills to pay, hours to work, and chores to accomplish. I want to leave the dishes in the sink and watch cheesy movies until we fall asleep in a pile.

I want the simple things back…just for one night.

I hope we can accomplish it. Everything else will still be there the next day. Whatever your holiday…this is my wish for you too. Simple joy with no strings. There’s still time…all the holidays are days and weeks away yet. Seek out the shadows and shine a bright light into the darkness. You never know what you’ll find.

Until then…there’s work to be done. If you were playing along with my Crossword Puzzle BlogHop…you have until MIDNIGHT the 5th to get your card in for the drawing. If you’re part of the review roundup going on…thank you for choosing Veil Break or Gravedigger…I hope you enjoyed your selection, and I thank you for the reviews. If you are local to me…we’re moving my daughter out – she’s leaving the nest for her own abode…help is appreciated. The list is longer…but you get the gist.

Thank you for being here.
Thank you for you.

Sav.

 

Leftovers make me happy

November has been manic. Those following along on my Thanksgiving Crossword Bloghop can surely attest as posts have gone into the black hole of cyberspace, and others have come up with missing pieces. No worries…every missing post has been caught up on my personal blog so the puzzlers can finish…but it’s been a busy time making sure everything gets where it needs going. I love doing a big hop and having a great prize…but this might be the last time for the month-long hop with the puzzle, I’m sad to say.

In other news, I got to enjoy a great meal with my immediate family and laugh for a couple of hours on Friday night…a treasure I don’t take lightly or for granted. It is so rare that the 4 of us get to sit down together, someone is always running…so, a meal together is a gift beyond measure. I will have leftovers for a week easily, because I don’t know how to do a family holiday meal small-scale, but I’m pretty sure we won’t hear a complaint. There were enough dishes to give variety for several days, even as leftovers.

As we wrangle our way toward the end of the year, I am blown away by the odd weather pattern that persists too. This year has been so off-kilter that I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. We went from low twenties and snow flurries earlier in the month to 50+ degrees the day after Thanksgiving and the weekend as well. The forecast shows more of the same to come. Weird – just weird. The predictability of the seasons here in the northern Midwest is out the window for 2017. I’m hoping to see some regularity return soon. I like the predictability…but more than that…I want a color filled Autumn again next year. I feel like I got jipped.

November was also, “Mom, I need…” month as my girls made life-change choices. One is moving out, and the other is trying to line up the ducks to return to school, starting college. I honestly never know if the sound of the door is someone coming or going. I can’t decide how I feel about it either.

December is stacking up to be zoo-ish as well. I’ve got a huge stack of ‘to-do’ on the desk, not counting commitments to others. I’ve got 3 editing projects to finish and a blender full of stories that are in pieces. I tried to do Nano, but honestly, the hop had me divided for focus and the story I thought I’d work on, like so many others, is a paper wasteland on my office floor, and every other available surface. I’m also preparing for the next step in my jaw reconstruction. There are 3 or 4 pieces left now, which seems surreal, but they will be wrapping up in rapid fashion as the next surgery happens in December…and great Goddess willing…the whole thing will conclude by the end of January, nearly 2 years after it started.

All in all, things have been crazy, and will continue on that trajectory for the foreseeable future. I’m up to the challenge, just don’t ask me what day it is. It makes the down time sweeter, and personally…leftovers that much tastier as the memory of a family night filled with laughter wafts up with the smells from the plate. Maybe that’s the true magic of leftovers…they are more than reheated sustenance for the system…they are food for the soul.

Holiday blessings to all as we are inundated by the season. Until next time, read something amazing and share with those you love.

Sav.

 

It only grows

It used to be that every other year, we did Thanksgiving with my parents, and the opposite with my in-laws. With my MIL’s passing last year, it hasn’t really had time to shift, but more it became if my sister and her brood would be present or not as they were still on the alternating year plan. Interestingly, this year my parents are taking the holiday to my sister since they cannot get away with school things. As my girls are older, we don’t have that hiccup…only multiple work schedules to navigate.

Which means…it’s just my household doing the holiday together…which is nice on many levels. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I love being with family and laughing…but there’s a perk to keeping the gathering small too. I have no idea how many years are left before there will be plus one’s at the table and it won’t just be us anymore. I can totally enjoy turkey day in my jammies this time instead of having to dress for the travel & company factor this round. We can have our favorites at the table and all the leftovers we can handle. There is a win-win to this scenario.

The challenge is everyone keeps adding to the menu and I think I’m going to need a bigger table soon if we hope to sit at one to eat. I am also wondering if I should make the bird. Our family is not opposed to turkey…I’m happy to make it…but good gracious the sides are getting to be so abundant, that I’m not sure anyone is going to eat turkey anyway. And, just when I think I have the list complete, and most of the ingredients, except the fresh ones, bought and set aside, someone adds another dish to the list. I’m going to be waddling for a week or more…and that’s before seasonal baking.

At this rate also, I’m not sure what NANO WRIMO holds for me. I had thought to use my holiday week to crack out the backlog, but at this rate, I’ll be in the kitchen…likely wearing ingredients and laughing like a maniac. 🙂 see…there was a writer’s reason to mention the holiday odd going on…food & family vs. words? Family wins.

My writing itinerary is getting complicated for 2018. Then again, I’m not sure I’d recognize it any other way. 🙂 manic is me.

What’s your favorite holiday dish? What’s the one you could live without? Enquiring minds want to know…and, s’long as I’m already cooking enough for a battalion, what else can I add to the fun?

Stirring the water

More ages ago than I could accurately quantify, a speaker made the comparative reference to personal growth as ‘all in’ or likened to a stagnant pond. I think about their comments occasionally, using them as a metric for myself, based loosely on the ‘smell factor’ for the scum on the surface.  There is a great body of water I know for the mental imagery as well…if the spring warms faster than the aerators are activated…there is a lovely green, mossy blanket that covers the surface of the water. While pretty – it is clearly out of place.

The same can be true for notions about writer things. I’d much rather have my life pond look like this…colorful, peaceful, but also…scum free.

(Image source unknown. No copyright infringement intended.)

Why do I mention any of this? Well…I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I have a professional career outside of writing and publishing, one that I don’t always enjoy, but never fail to be proud of. The idea with that work is that we are always innovating, always growing, reaching out to serve the customer in new and different ways. For that position, I am also on a short list of folks for a chance to move up and be a deciding factor for a team, a location, a region, and my company. It’s daunting and exciting at the same time. There is no moss growing. There’s no time.

That said, I’ve often been fond of the notion that those who forget history, the past that brought us to this present, are condemned to repeat it. Consequently, I spend a fair amount of time learning, and sharing the past practices as we reach for new, better, or innovative ones to replace them for my non-author me. Interestingly enough, I’ve gotten an opportunity to do it for the writer side of the equation recently…and I’m submerged in the idea of how much publishing has changed.

Moreover, I’m shocked to see how some things have returned to the fore, often with the user none the wiser for the point. The dialogue and discourse of the industry has changed expansively, and divisively. I’m not saying anything new, I realize that…but in learning about where we have come from, to seeing what we’ve become…I understand better the confusion so many are experiencing. The sheer number of charlatan experiences is mind-boggling. And, I don’t believe that it’s on a course to turn away soon.

There’s another adage I know about filling many roles, but mastering none – I think that’s where publishing is right now. With the floodgates open to allow publication of works that have been neither edited, or reviewed, put into the mix by writers who don’t understand or know the history, the market has flooded. And, continues to run over. Unfortunately pooling in places that don’t get stirred.

There are pros and cons to this. Writers who the ‘gatekeepers’ withheld once upon a time until they were better positioned to be published, either by writing education, or storytelling instruction, etc…are out and in the market…and what early bard didn’t have a few bumps in their stories? At the same time…they are in the market without the benefit of firm guidance on those factors, nor the expanded circle that used to be the path. In my head I see a fish on land…

What I mean to point out is this…once upon a time, the work went through so many hands before getting to public consumption, the village worked together. Now, we have individuals who are author, editor, art designer, marketer, publisher, and media rep. How many hats can we wear well? I think it is far fewer than most believe. And, I would argue that running for the sake of running doesn’t eliminate pond scum, it only churns it up to smell as each task takes a turn on the bottom.

I further believe, that just because we are seeing someone do something, doesn’t make it responsible or an accurate practice. I think most of us NEED others in our circle of influence. I think it reveals a large scale problem with publishing right now…One we need to get ahead of and back down before it destroys us all. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the past. Innovation should be moving the bar farther…not bringing it down. We collectively need to be doing better. I think that includes reaching out to others, and clasping the hands of those who reach for us.

That said…we also need to know and understand when in the timeline it is time to regroup and right our own ship before we align with an armada that isn’t where we’re trying to go. At the end, balance is everything. It’s what keeps us moving forward without letting the moss grow. For me, after the recent learning curve, I’m more convinced than ever that I need to take some time to stir the water. The surface may be clear, but I’m not sure what’s lurking underneath. I can’t accept that.

Last – don’t forget about the Crossword puzzle blog hop…there have been hiccups, but I’m loving seeing so many new sites and what they have to offer. Hope you will too. Until next time, read something great, and tell your friends.

Sav

Savie’s Thanksgiving Crossword BlogHop

It’s almost time and I’m busting myself for it to begin. I’m so excited I can’t see straight…honest. Starting November 1st…each day is a new blog with a new clue for the puzzle…here’s all the news you need to know to participate and have a chance to WIN. GOOD LUCK!!

Here’s the board…print it off to fill it in.

 

Savie’s Thanksgiving Bloghop 2017

The answers are all things from Savannah’s books, things she loves, or qualities/attributes she values.

The clue for each answer can be found at the blog listed on the date in November equal to the number. IE: 10 across would be on the 10th, etc.  ***NOTE – on the 1st & 15th there is more than one blog to visit. They are noted on the puzzle & highlighted so you can see where the answer goes. Also, Every 5 days, Savannah will be checking in and giving a clue on her website as well…they are denoted as ‘s’ clues. For those – go to Savannah’s Blog: www.savannahverte.com/blog.***

To be entered to win you must pm your completed crossword to Savannah’s facebook author page (www.facebook.com/authorsavannahverte) or email it to her at savannah@savannahverte.com

NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT CST DECEMBER 5th.

The drawing will be held no later than Friday December 8th & the winner will be contacted.
They then will have 5 days to respond or default & a new winner will be selected.

BLOGSTOPS FOR CLUES:

1*1         Down                   Written Love Reviews

https://www.facebook.com/WrittenLoveReviews/

1*2         Down                   Musings from an Addicted Reader

https://www.facebook.com/Musings-From-An-Addicted-Reader-1452320254989887/

1*3         Across                   Obsessed by Books

https://www.facebook.com/ObsessedbyBooks/

s1            Down                    Savannah

2              Down                    Author Migraine Central

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMigraineCentral/

3              Across                   Turning the Pages

https://pagesofthestory.wordpress.com/blog/

4              Across                   Booked and Loaded

http://bookedandloaded.com/

5              Down                    Karen writes Murder

https://karenwritesmurder.com/

s5            Down                    Savannah

6              Down                    Dena Garrison- Real… Hot… Romance

http://denagarson.net/

7              Across                   Wickedly Innocent Promotions

Http://wickedlyinnocentpromotions.blogspot.com

8              Down                    Clare & Lou’s Mad About Books

http://clareandlousmadaboutbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

9              Across                   Summer’s Smexy Book Reads

https://www.facebook.com/Summers.Smexy.BR/

10           Down                    Ellie’s Witchy Life

https://ellieswitchylife.blogspot.com/

s10         Across                   Savannah

11           Down                    2 Bibliophile’s Guide

http://2bibliophiles.blogspot.com

12           Down                    Dirty Bad Bloggers

https://www.facebook.com/dirtybadbloggers/

13           Across                   Author Mireille Chester

http://mireillechester.blogspot.ca/

14           Down                    Twinsie Talk

https://www.facebook.com/twinsietalk/

15*1      Across                   A Naughty Book Love Affair

https://www.facebook.com/bookerscorner/

15*2      Across                   ILoveBooksAndStuff Blog

https://www.facebook.com/ilovebooksandstuff/

s15         Down                    Savannah

16           Down                    Little Shop of Readers

https://www.facebook.com/LittleShopofReaders/

17           Across                   SydneyGen Reads

https://www.facebook.com/sydneygenreads/

18           Down                    I don’t get Sundays

https://www.facebook.com/idontgetsundays/

19           Across                   Triple A

https://www.facebook.com/TripleABookBlog/

20           Down                    Books 2 Blogs

https://www.facebook.com/Books2Blog/

s20         Across                   Savannah

21           Across                   Those Crazy Book Chicks

https://www.facebook.com/Thosecrazybookchicks

22           Across                   I Smell Sheep

http://www.ismellsheep.com/

23           Across                   Terri Luvs Books

http://www.terriluvsbooks.com/

s23         Down                    Savannah

24           Across                   Read Our Thoughts Book Blogs

https://readourthoughtsbookblog.wordpress.com/

25           Down                    Eskimo Princess

http://eskimoprincess.blogspot.com/

s25         Down                    Savannah

26           Down                    Author Kassie Lane

http://www.authorkassielane.blogspot.com

27           Across                   A Book Lover’s Emporium

https://www.facebook.com/abookloversemporiumbookblog/

28           Across                   Country Reads

http://contryreads.blogspot.com

29           Across                   Barbara’s Book Reviews

http://barbarasbookreviews.blogspot.com

30           Across                   Savannah

 

THE PRIZE…A Library Shelf messenger Bag, a Kindle Fire, and a charm bracelet with charms for all of Savannah’s Books.

Recovery mode

What a year…SERIOUSLY, what a year??!

From the early months when we were hitting the 80’s before spring officially sprang, to the summer of rain and cool breezes… & finally the autumn of record and near record highs… It’s finally temperate, and average for the time of year, and I’m in shell-shock. 42 degrees overnight after sleeping in the upper 50s & low 60s with the windows open is a hard pill to swallow.

But, that’s only one of the whirlwinds I’m trying to wrap my head around. This year has been manic, and exhausting, and exceptional, even as it’s been ominous and scary. I haven’t found solid yet…which is a problem since next year is looking like it’s going to be similar – or worse.  I need to find a way to recover quicker. The weather going wonky just doesn’t work for me…I need something to be stable. 🙂 As if, right?

This week is the week. It has to be. This Saturday marks my final signing event for the year- GLASS CITY AUTHOR EVENT – WOOOOT!!! -so the last time to clear inventory before the crates get tucked onto the shelf for the season, or something like that. It’s not like they get buried. It’s also the final piece on my white board of doom…kind of like the white screen of death, except that everything starts on the board and slowly disappears. The notion that I’m starting November with the board blank is giving me a twitch…but I’m looking for the lining and organizing my thoughts to fill it early.

Jump starts are allowed, aren’t they?

My November Crossword Puzzle Bloghop is nearly finalized and ready…look for the details on that with my post next week. I’m so excited to play…I LOVE WORD GAMES. I can’t wait to see how this format goes. It’s a new one, so there’s bound to be hiccups…but I’m excited. I hope you’re planning to join me.

Honestly, I need a week, or a month… where the fam leaves and I can do the gut and grouse…tough love clean sweep of the house with no witnesses. I think that’s the problem I’ve got finding level. Everything around me goes up for grabs while I’m in the cave, but it keeps swirling once I emerge and I can’t get a clear shot to take it out, and keep it that way. I’d hire a maid, but this is SO MUCH MORE than maid issue…this is borderline hoarder in a couple of rooms that I can’t peek into without getting hives.

I think a track loader starting at the back, shoving it all to the curb would make me feel so much better…I just need the others to stop chaining themselves to the woobies, roller skates that no longer fit, and the lawn ornaments that migrated from other family members houses. Do you think they’d suspect cruise tickets or something?? I mean, I can’t wear this whiplash collar forever…it’s me or the stuff. I’m voting for me.

See you next week – hopefully saner. Til then, read something amazing and thank the author…leave a review.

Sav

 

Jiminy Cricket

“A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep…”

Sounds good, huh? It is too…until you get to this line,

“Whatever you wish for, you keep.”

and you realize that this does not apply to writers. I cannot tell you the sheer number of dreaming moments that quilted so beautifully together, weaving the story just so…that even with intentional waking to jot it down, have become completely lost to me.  I’ve resigned myself to the truth that Jiminy Cricket was not an author. So, I’ll just plan to wake up and get my cussing done with first…I’m certain I will’ve lost something through the sleeping part.

With authorship among the many hats that I wear, I find that lucid dreaming is either my staunch ally, or my dire nemesis. Usually the latter. 2017 was an incredible year, even as it was surreal and exhausting. I made a choice to take on a HUGE production schedule. ((I kept it by the way, much to even my surprise)) And…sadistic fool that I am, 2018 is looking to be equally manic, falling essentially even on the production side, but with additional appearances on the signing/convention side. Don’t worry, I’ve already ordered a new ‘hug-me’ jacket in lime green.

What’s a girl to do?

Well, it seems to me that I need to return to a practice that I’ve sort of scooted away from over the last couple years of crazy: guided meditation for goals. I have purpose when I meditate, usually relaxation, but I’ve not used it for my writing production for a long time now. I think that’s good and bad at the same time and it’s coming full circle. To get bigger, and busier, I need to slow down.

I’m thinking this is step one of my twelve step program to personal growth. Acknowledging the problem:

Since I can’t count on a cricket to get me to the goal…it’s probably up to me. *shrug* Somehow it always has been. 🙂

Til next time, read something awesome!
((OH…and don’t forget about the crossword puzzle blog hop in November…it’s going to be EPIC!!))

 

(don’t) Let it Show…

I’m not a big dog in this race…not even close. There are some that think I’m a big deal though, and well versed too…why? Because I learned one lesson in business young and have never forgotten it – Don’t flinch…and I don’t.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a full-blown tornado ripping though my soul at any given moment.

I did something a week or so ago, something I never thought I’d ever consider doing again…I pitched a literary agent to go back to traditional publishing. I LOVE being an Indie…don’t get me wrong, there’s just something about the idea of traditional backing, and marketing funds, and a few other perks that are tempting…though only recently. I’ll give it to you gospel…I was shaking in my shoes and nearly yerked my lunch before I got to the door. All in all, there are some great things on the horizon though because of that meeting…and I did manage to keep lunch in. So there’s that too. I just have to re-evaluate how I’m going to travel the road I’ve endeavored to take.

I’m fully confident of my abilities to write and be in the public eye at signings or conventions. I love the energy in a signing room…not gonna lie, it’s a hard habit to break and I have a fix every chance I get. That said, I also know my limitations. Public Relations and Marketing are easily my predominant Achilles heel, and the aspect of the business I struggle forward every inch to gain ground. I have to consider that I may need to go hybrid at the least to be able to have that front get the attention it deserves. It scares me more than a little, but I know I need help.

 

I did not make the decision to leave traditional publishing lightly. Any consideration to go back must be as carefully weighed. Whichever way this road goes, one thing will hold true…you won’t see my frenzy if I can help it. Composure will be me, if I have to stand on my own feet to accomplish it.

I LOVE a charity event!

A day late, but recovery from amazing takes time. I spent the lion’s share of the last six days in St. Louis at Penned Con. If you’ve never been…mark your calendars to be there next year for the event’s BIG 5TH!!

I cannot possibly say enough good things about this event or the staff who puts it together. Rick & Amy Miles, with their crew, pull off a phenomenal event bringing authors and readers together for charity…in support of Action for Autism Academy St. Louis. I am still jacked sky-high for the opportunity to stand with them again in the quest. THIS YEAR…with the added monies raised, they topped the 50K mark! KUDOS TO EVERYONE who helped make that happen…as an author, staff member, reader, blogger…whatever the role. You are a hero in my book!


This year, like before, I got to share table space with another of the Bard authors, Jolanthe Aleksander. She’s a rock star! I also got to share this year with the cover model for Book of Mysteries, Eric Jacob. He is such a great sport and, to me, a perfect addition to the event. Between his Care Bear pj’s and his winning ways with the younger attendees…it was a wonderful weekend to spend signing with him.

We raffled off two posters of the cover and had so much fun meeting new to me readers, while spinning the prize wheel with some great author friends from other events who made the trek to the Midwest to be part of the magic. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

Next up is another charity signing…Glass City Author Event in Toledo Ohio. Last year the event raised money for RISE Toledo, a group that supports survivors of human trafficking. This year is to raise money for VetSports…if you’re not booked, I should have my voice back by then and be restocked. Come by and spend Saturday with the authors in Toledo…it’s going to be epic!

If you have copies of my latest releases…bring them with and I’ll sign them for you. No copy? No problem! I’ll have plenty at my table.

See you there!
Sav