Tag Archives: journey

Olympics

It’s Olympics season! Are you an Olympic Couch Athlete? What’s that you ask? It’s a person who sits watching the Olympics and thinks…”I could do that.” Many moons ago, in my younger days, I was an Olympic Couch Athlete. Nowadays, while my brain may dream of attempting the impossible, my body is saying…”don’t even think about it.” lol

I am, what I like to call…athletically challenged and not normally a sports watcher. But the Olympics is a whole different story. These athletes have worked their hineys off to get to the top of the podium. They are part of an elite group of people at the top of their game. They are bravely and boldly reaching for their dream with the eyes of the world watching them with bated breath. Whether their goal is to win the gold or achieve their personal best while representing their country, they should be watched, supported, applauded, and celebrated.

I wish reading was an Olympic sport…I could soooooo be a top contender! lol

Until next week…Good Luck to the Athletes of the World and Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

 

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NY – kill me know

I just realized I missed posting yesterday. I spent the evening trying to wrap a WIP that’s coming due SOON. Because being left to finish my task is simply not part of the agenda around here, I spend the last of the evening fighting with the youngest about college. hooray.

I have covers to reveal yet, and things to share, but as I’m running late…here’s a little piece of the WIP. It’s unedited and I’m sorry ’bout that. Crossing my everythings that next week posting goes smoother.

love & light

From Black Guard
(the counterpoint story to Rogue)

I know it was fortunate that I was fighting alongside the king that moment. The Demspay war was well into its sixth or seventh century then.  Only Tonnemar could defend so many. He risked everything to become that day, exposing himself as a true Dragon before the entire host of opponents on the battlefield. Not only that, but in Dragon form, his mark was easily seen. He was not only a true Dragon, but he was the King. He might as well have painted a target on his back. But, even knowing the risks, he did not hesitate. As I and a handful of others watched on, he laid waste to scores of opponents, clearing a path for our escape. How many of us were saved from the killing blows that could easily have come by our compromised positions, I never stopped to count then. Today, I count one, me.

 

NYNE – one day at a time

Still working away on the New Year – New Everything. Some days are an exquisite disaster, and others…well, others are just exquisite. The last couple of them have been a mishmash as I’m trying to get work done on several fronts and gather all my little ducks to get the annual, early year pain called taxes accomplished and into the rear-view. One day at a time…but soon it will be over and the ‘ounce’ of pain will be assessed and done.

Today has been erratic at best. As many of you may have heard, the reader-writer community lost a bright light. Kelly Langford was the embodiment of everything that makes writers want to keep writing. As a reader, she was quick with a smile, and always laughing, even when things looked bleak. I remember meeting her years ago in New Orleans at a signing and being confused when she asked me for my favorite color. I did not know then that she was a wiz with a crochet hook. I learned fast.

Over the years since, she’s gifted me with several items that I look at now, and debate if I can bring myself to use them again. My fingerless gloves so I could type in my basement office and keep my hands warm, an adorable matching scarf so I could step out in style, and most recently an expandable produce bag for the market so I could see where the squishables were. All practical, and all in my favorite lime green. All now staring at me from the shelf, a vivid reminder that they are the last physical pieces that will arrive from her. Sad is a word that doesn’t have near enough letters or depth of meaning to convey how deeply the community will feel this loss for ages to come.

To Whitney her daughter (my bracelet is by the things mom made me) I cannot convey how treasured the memories of the two of you at events and online will become…and stay. I look forward to hearing about how you soar and become all that you’ve dreamt of. This isn’t for today, it’s for always. To Kelly’s son…make mama proud. She’s still watching.

I could go on at length, but as we all grieve, it’s too raw, too soon, and I don’t want it to be too much. I only ask for a moment of silence if you please for a soul I hope is now at peace. Fly high sweets.

On other fronts, because today’s low can’t hold the train, What’s Up and coming? There are still lots of things to reveal, and this Monday is no different. I have yet another cover for you to oooo and ahhhh over. 🙂

Coming in March will be a small, short run set called Magic Rising. In it will be the counterpoint story to Rogue, titled Black Guard. It is Ciannait’s story for the same window we walked with Asa. Once that’s out…and Rogue will be out for an additional stint in Dark Rising, coming May 1st…I’ll be releasing the continuation of the tales.

Excited? I know several of you are…you haven’t let me hear the end of it. 🙂

So, without further ado…here is the set cover for Magic Rising.

(I might be a bit partial…but how could I not? Uhhhhm Hello?? Dragon.)

NYNE 4th and 48

I suppose I could have counted to make sure there were actually 52 Mondays in 2018. Since we began on a Monday, there could well be 53, but who’s counting?

I am.

This year has mountains of possibility, and an equal share of obstacles. I’m still working on the realignment, but I’m keeping up…so far. I know what I’m doing is good for me, and in the interest of preventing a repeat, but man is it overwhelming too. I know the gym, and the cursed treadmill, are for the good. I do. I also know that I’m full of plans before I go, and exhausted afterward, making my progress on the things I NEED to work on writer-wise exceedingly frustrating. It’s a lot like running in Jell-O…messy and lacking yardage.  (No, I’m not going to elaborate on experience to justify the comparison. Just take my word for it) 🙂

I will persevere though. I will. Quit has never really been in my vocabulary. I’m not willing to give it page-space now. Essentially, the sum of the parts right now is I’m pushing, while trying not to push myself beyond the threshold of what I should, and spending way more time than I’m used to on the tasks that up to now have been thoughtless to get through. Now, I plan more, and I was a planner before…each day, each activity, leaving room to allow myself to fall short of where I want to be. It’s aggravating to know that a month or two ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice, I’d have pushed through to the end, no matter the hours or insanity…which is how I got where I landed. I’m learning…and soon enough, I will again be where I can push to the end, without pushing beyond myself.

I will.

This isn’t NYNE whiner edition though…I’m not going to do that. This was my update on the path to success, and the last one of its kind, I hope. Barring a major curve…I am putting my head down and charging. The Rhino in me is restless.

As promised, it’s still January, which means you get to see another cover. This week is the re-mastered cover for The Custos Book 3 – Book of Mysteries. I’m in mad love with the changes. The original cover, while striking, felt too clean and polished for the set. Like it needed to have that same shadow feel to fit in with the others…and now, it does. See for yourself.

Original.

 

Reworked.

The images are still the same, but the twilight feel to the cemetery and Ramsby (Cover model Eric Jacob) on the cover waiting and watching for anything is more to the vision of it I had when that part of the story was written, and the overall series of light vs. dark and what lies between. I am so pleased with the revision and the effect.

In other news, Amazon finally acquiesced and price matched. Book of Time – The Custos book 1 is now permafree & on all channels, the big four and probably a few others you haven’t heard of. Book of Revelations, book 4 in the series, ((and possibly Book of Prophesy, book 5 & the last,)) will be out this year. If you haven’t started the journey, why not? Now is a great time as the first novella that introduces you to the world of White Diamond & The Custos…is FREE. Take it for a spin on your favorite E-reader. (Then of course, tell me what you think. It’s a bumpy introduction, but the two worlds that are colliding kind of are too.)

Next week I’ll be sharing another cover or two…from an upcoming set, or my solo work from a set…who knows what it will be – there are a lot to choose from, so stay tuned or check back for the next reveal on the 29th.

Have a great week. Read something amazing. And, as always, tell your friends.

Sav

In case you missed the others being shown in their updated statuses, here are the three Custos series books together. 🙂

 

 

 

New Year – New Everything Part the Third

The year is flying. It’s only the 15th and this is already the 3rd part in the NYNE posts. GOSH!

I was going to post over the weekend and have it pop up this morning, but life happens. An electrical fire at the daughter’s apartment had us doing rewiring work, sure…the apartment people should…but since they are already upping her rent 1 month in, and we have the ability and pieces…why give them cause to raise it further? It didn’t take long…just details. A lot like writing work is…details: They make or break the job being done.

Then there was the ongoing writing work that I’m not happy with and trying to wrap since the first of several deadlines is approaching. Those pesky things will sneak up and bop you on the head if you don’t keep at it…so, I’m keeping at it. I did a re-read of the other part of one story, to make sure I have the nuances and details straight in my head. It’s been awhile since I wrote or reviewed the first part, so again, DETAILS…they matter.

Next up is a not so new thing. A year ago I got a promotion. I became the compliance chairman for my state, which has a lot of responsibilities for managing federal reporting for a number of locations. This position was supposed to rotate to someone new for this year, but as things go, that person is no longer available, and thus I am likely retaining the job. Which translates to some two-step shuffle to my signing schedule if I can’t finesse the details early. I’m hopeful, even as the realist in me knows what is probably going to happen. 😦

All this as I’m waiting to hear on another promotion that will translate to a cross-country move. Until there is more to know, it’s a waiting game…one my recent personal challenges are making difficult to remain calm for. An answer, either way, would be good in the short course instead of the long, but we all know how that works…or doesn’t when you’re waiting. Watched pot & alla that.

So…I have lots of things in transition, and more that haven’t entered the fray of my crazy yet. I have managed to finally get the added bits into something of a routine, though they effectively manage to throw my regularly scheduled writing work for a loop several times a week. I’m still morphing. I’ll get there…hopefully before I crash & burn.

Last…as promised….here’s the next Custos Series updated cover. Book of Change, book 2, got the logo like book one, and a minor tweak to make the cover image fit the scene from the book more precisely. I’m tickled. Can you spot it?

The Book of Mysteries updated cover will be revealed next week and I hope you love it as much as I do. It feels more like it belongs with the first two and I cannot wait to see what books 4 & 5 look like, now that we have the logo and a clear sense of where the series is headed before it wraps up.

Enjoy the week. I for one will be indoors mostly I think. The snow has been falling all day and the roads are a map of ice-covered thoroughfares. Not good for prolonged travel, so I’m not. If I don’t have to be out, I won’t be…but maybe that means I’ll get ahead, or at least back on track in my word-work. It could happen.

Til next week, read something good and tell a friend!

Sav

 

New Year – New Everything continues

2018 is going to be full of changes for me, as previously mentioned. Some of it I’m planning and some things will happen as they happen. 🙂

One new thing is that my titles are going wide. It’s a HUGE learning curve for me and I have no real idea what I’m doing, but I’m going to learn as I go and hopefully, like with other things, be better for the adventure. With this, one thing that needed to happen was to get The Custos series covers adjusted so it is easier to know which one comes next. For the next couple weeks, I’ll reveal each of them in turn.

This week is Book of Time, which isn’t much different, just has the series logo identifier added…but, by Mysteries I’m excited to share the new wash over with you. I feel like the cover finally goes with the others better. I hope you’ll agree.

Once we get these shared, I’ll start sharing the new stuff. I’m doing my last 2 boxsets this spring and can’t wait to share them with you. One, coming in March is going to be a fun PNR set called Magic Rising. That set has a single cover that I hope you’ll enjoy.

After that is Once Upon a Twisted Time…a collection of re-imagined fairy tales that you know, with twists you might not see coming. My contribution is based on The Twelve Dancing Princesses and is called Twelve. I’ll reveal my individual cover soon, but here’s the overall for you to gaze upon.

Next on the crazy train of ’18 for me is a regrowth of my street team, The Zapatistas. This group is who gets to see new covers first, helps with promotion of my work and shares back with me sites, events, and other places where my work would be a good fit, but hasn’t been found yet. Do you have a few minutes each week to share my work and get the 411 early?

If you’re interested in joining my Street Team and getting the sneak peeks at what’s coming before everyone else…you can do so HERE. We’d love to add you to the group. My VPA Jennifer runs the group and keeps everything tracking, so there’s no inventing the wheel going on…just sharing and sharing.

More New Year – New Everything to come in the weeks ahead. Thanks for sticking around for the journey. Til next time, read something great & share with your friends!

Sav

 

 

 

Only up from here

WOW! 2018 came in with a gut punch.

Around here, temps are hovering in the double-digit sub-zeros with wind chills colder than that. I know this is not unique to my area, the entire country is BRISK today. Some more so than they are used to baring. Welcome to the new year.

I have to admit, I was ready for 2017 to be done. Being a very private person I’ll skip the specifics but, there were too many hurdles in the last months for my liking. The last few days frosted everything, and while I don’t want to go into copious detail…I’ve added treadmill stress test to my ‘been there, done that, bought the t-shirt’ list. Once was enough. I’m not going back, which means change must happen.

2018 was scheduled to be another year of my normal crazy…that has to shift a bit. I’m working to put pieces in play to keep the year mostly on track with the new additions to the agenda that were not by choice. Only time will reveal if I can manage it. I can’t say yet if the writing schedule will have to give, the publishing one, or if things can titrate out to work…I just don’t know. I guess this is the fair warning shot. We’ll learn together.

So, as we all embark on this new year…I hope you have great goals and plans to make it the best one yet. I myself believe after the last few weeks and months that there is no where else to go for me but up. Join me, won’t you?

I’ll keep you posted on new projects and news as it’s available. Until then, stay warm, read something great…and share with friends and family!

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.

 

Time to Get Lost in the Words

My day started at 3:45 this morning. Seriously, there is not enough coffee in the world that would make getting ready for a long day at this time of the morning ok.

At 5:15, mom, dad, my son, and I boarded the shuttle from the hotel to the VA hospital. Dad is having surgery. Agent Orange is a gift from the government that just keeps on giving.

The tic tic tic of the second hand making its usual circuit around the clock face seems to be louder than usual. I have brought my laptop, my handy dandy thumb drive, a pad of paper, and numerous books for research…and if the words don’t flow through the tips of my fingers, I have my lovely kindle to help pass the time.

Oh oh ooooooh…the working title (subject to change) of my fairytale retelling is….Breathe Me to Life. I’ll let you try to guess which fairytale it’s based on.

If you have a mind to…prayers and petitions to whichever deity  you choose would be most appreciated.

Until next week…Happy Reading! 

~Jolanthe~

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