Category Archives: On A Personal Note

I’ve been so neglectful…

I know I’ve said this before – it’s cyclical with me. I read constantly. If it’s on my Kindle, I rate the book, but now that I have a library card again, I’m reading a lot of print books. I can’t leave stars to recommend the book. I mean, I could leave a slip of paper with a numerical rating, but…

That’s weird, right?

And when I started this blog, I specifically stated I was going to have reviews for you. But I don’t do them as often as I should. So, here are two. Now, I was supposed to have these up before noon, and I apologize that I didn’t. I actually just finished the second of the two books I agreed to review.

Right up front – let’s agree on the facts. I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of both of these books in exchange for an honest review. And I’ve always been up front that I won’t sugar coat things, and I won’t agree to a minimum number of stars for a book. If you wrote a 1 star book, I’m going to give it a 1 star rating. Reviews are subjective, and personal to each individual reviewer.

My reviews will be in a separate post, of course.

 

 

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Hazel Marie Rossini

So, it’s Wednesday. That’s code for “Work-in-progress Wednesday”, aka What I’m Working on Now…

Truth me told, not much. It’s like I’m still reeling from school, and I’ve no idea what’s going on or where I’m going.

I have a character, as the blog title would suggest. Born 21 February, 1897, she is the fictional depiction of my maternal grandmother , who was also born in 1897. Because I am from a 2nd marriage, my grandmother was almost 80 when I was born, and I didn’t know her too well. By the time I came around, she was old and frail – and she had just lost a husband and already buried her daughter. I don’t want to say she was bitter, but that’s what I remember.

And now that my father is gone, I feel as though there is no connection there any longer – there is no one with whom I can discuss my grandparents. (Which is not true as I have an older half-brother and half-sister who could totes fill me in, were we close.)

But this is still something that bothers me.

So what does any nominally sane person do? Why, they fictionalize their Grandmother, of course. So, there you have it.

Now, characters have backgrounds, and Hazel is still revealing herself, although she is totes going to settle down with an Alfred at some point. I do know she’s hiding something BIG when she comes to town because she calls herself Ellis Bell, but she has not yet revealed the specifics.

Have I mentioned yet where my series will take place? Here. Right here in Springfield, Illinois. I am going to have so much fun digging into the history of my hometown 🙂 Let me be frank  – I am not sure where/how to start researching so TIPS ARE APPRECIATED. But, I suppose the first thing to do is save up the $80 and invest in a library card… I get a half day at work every other Friday in June, July, and August. Guess that’s what I’ll be doing with my time until my husband is off work 🙂

So, that’s what I am working on. I don’t have anything to share about it, though. No words, at least.

What I can also share is that I am still digging my Bullet Journal. I’m 3 weeks and 3 layouts in, and I think I’ve been too fancy pancy about it. I create with words, not doodles and fancy lettering. So when I start August, I am going back to a more minimal approach. As I become more comfortable, I will share pics.

Have I told you what the Bullet Journal is? Well, let me just share these links instead. They give you the best rundown.

Here is the original site. This is Kara, and she might be a genius. Shh. I didn’t tell you that. There are a ton of other sites. Most of them are full of beautiful lettering and doodles and color and… all the things I am not. And it’s spawned a bit of bullet journal envy in me, which is immature and petty, and just so… beneath me. So, I sat my ass down today (I mean, I was at work, so…) and listed why I want the bullet journal:

  1. productivity *
  2. efficiency *
  3. timely assignment completion for school
  4. budget free time
  5. writing goals

* These are also my buzzwords for the year at work. I’m doing pretty good, I think. I hope. oh, now I’m concerned.

Anyway…

I then asked, what do I want to track?

  1. blog posts – when, what, etc… I mean, I am FAILING you guys, and I need to be more productive.
  2. writing goals – will I track chapters or words, though? Not sure yet.
  3. weight loss
  4. habit tracker (this is amazing and helfpul) – here is Kara again, this time guest posting on Bulletjournal.com.
  5. savings goals
  6. daily water consumption
  7. gratitude
  8. No Spend months (although this could just be part of the habit tracker, come to think of it…)
  9. goals – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc…
  10. class assignments
  11. positive quotes (because I’m trying to be more positive and not such a Negative Nancy)
  12. Bills – I have them on a monthly calendar right now.

So, I’m in love with this because I get to customize it 100% to what I want. And it requires some inner reflection – what works, what doesn’t. What should I keep, what can I do differently.

And frankly, I highly recommend it.

Oh, and I’m now on Instagram. @LauraMichaela_Author. So far, it’s BulletJournal and nature photos. #sorrynotsorry

Also! I had this question – do we, as authors, owe it to ourselves to read the stuff that is getting totally slammed in reviews? Is that part of being a better writer – the reading of the bad to see what NOT to do? I would love your opinions…

What are Wednesday’s for??

I’m trying to gain some control in my life. That second quarter of school really threw me for a loop. I’m taking the summer off, and in the next three months, I intend to make some changes, both personal and professional. 

To start, I’m training myself to get to bed at a decent time (no, clearly not tonight). That will, in turn, lead me to getting up earlier so that I can hit the gym in the morning. It’s when my husband goes, and I’d rather go with him than without. 

We skipped the gym tonight, and headed to the park. Since concrete actually bothers my feet, I headed for the trails. So peaceful. 


I’ll have to share from the memorial gardens next. That’s my ‘spot’. 

Professionally, I am hoping to be part of an anthology this fall. 😳😳😳😳

And, I’m trying to develop enough short stories to publish on my Channillo page, so I can earn some actual money. I need money. I’m a broke college student, you know. 

I’m also putting aside the romance, except got the short stories, to concentrate on something closer to home: a cozy mystery series set here in Springfield during Prohibition. We have quite a history, and I need to stop ignoring it! 

To that end, I went to the state library (love living in the capitol!!) and bought a copy of a 1916 street map. For a dollar. One dollar. 2×3, probs. Yes, for reals. 


I’m having fun with this. Squee! 

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day Twenty-Four

Oh, I don’t know what happened. It’s day 24, and I’m slightly ahead of the curve… and I lost ALL will to write. *sigh*

It isn’t even that I got my new book today, which I cannot wait to read. Book Club 09 December so I’m gonna start it 01 December. I’m way behind, clearly as there are already 11 books in the series and I am starting on No 1. But still. C.S. Harris’ What Angels Fear.

CANNOT WAIT.

But no, it really isn’t that.

It’s just that today was a bleh kind of day. It was long, and I am tired, and I’ve not even cracked 1100 words – and of those I have written, I’ll keep about 700. Ugh.

So let me get this over with so that I can get back to those words.

What Attracts You In Love

Oh, let’s see. Sense of humor. Honor. Respect. Affection. Kindness. Intelligence.

Must love dogs. And cats. And little baby bats.

The beard helps, too.

Seriously, I love everything there is about my Husband. Everything.

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day Sixteen

It’s like the blog challenge loves me today. 

Post a photo of yourself. 

Then I realized, I have over 500 photos on my phone, and very few of them are of me. And none of them are on my new laptop. 

So, I’ve moved to my phone for this post. 

Now, this photo is of me and my nephew, Andrew. It was taken just before the death of my father, and might possibly be the last photo taken of me. 

We smiled, but inside, we died. 

  
And then, here is one with me and my daddy. 

  

Happy Sunday

It’s been a lazy, lazy day here in Nopelandia. Either I am not sleeping enough, or the depression has its claws in deep. Right now, I cannot be sure. I’ve that foggy-headed thing going on. And yeah, it’s been like that pretty much since getting the call about my Dad.

Speaking of… It has been almost a month, and it still doesn’t feel real to me. When does i sink in that someone is really gone? When does the depression and anger and pain leave?

And don’t get me started on how this has affected my writing. Slowest writer in the world, right now.

But I’m doing it. Every day, I write at least 500 words. Crap words. Complete and utter crap. But write them I must, so I do.

I just installed the Blogger app on my new Samsung tablet. I had completely forgotten about my blog there. It’s my book review site, but I haven’t used it in 5 years. Oops. So, now I have to remember to do that, lol. No fears, readers  – if it is posted there, it is also going to be posted here. I love Wordpess.com 😉

So, there’s a bit of Catch Up with your favorite non-author. I do hope to be back to regular posting soon. Today has been a big do-nothing day, which means I’ll be up at dawn tomorrow to compensate.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Not There Yet

No, not quite yet. It has been 9 days since we said good-bye. Nine days too many. I find myself uninterested in much of anything. Even food, and I’m a fat girl who likes to eat. I do eat, by the way, but nothing tastes good. Nothing even sounds good.

My step-mom said we just have to Fake It Till We Make it. I try, but it’s too damned hard. I know this isn’t what my father would want. He was so full of life and love. I know I should do better in his memory, but I cannot.

I’m not there yet.

I am, however, writing. Just a smidge. It’s hard. I love writing, but all the joy is gone from it.

Truth be told, the joy is gone from everything. I hope the pain recedes soon. We will bury his ashes next week. Maybe then I can forge ahead.

Until then, I write and pretend it is as joyful today as it was before getting the call. I also pretend it means anything.

All that aside, I do intend to get back to more regular writing. It’s just… I’m not there yet. I appreciate your understanding.

I do, however, have some words to share since it is, once again, #FirstLineFriday and #FiveLineFriday

Stratford Clarion noticed the air of uncertainty hanging over the men in the dining area of White’s the moment he stepped into the room. The already weak sun was obscured further by shuttered windows and hazy clouds of smoke, for which he was grateful. The stirrings of a hangover clawed at his temples, setting his mood to match that of the others present.

Winding his way through the smoke-filled room, he picked up bits of the conversation. No one would meet his eye, but that was nothing new.