Thursday, January 30, 2014

Easing Back In

With the nonfiction book safely in my editor's hands, it's time to get back to the novel. I thought I could jump right back in, but it turns out it's been more of a slow process. I think it's because my brain is fried.

This month has been full of a lot of upheavals for our family, and the stress has taken a toll. In the midst of all of that, I was trying to finish a book. Now that it's done, my brain is yelling at me to just take a break. Play. Read. Watch movies. Be lazy.

Of course, the Should Committee is out in full force.

"You should be writing right now."

"You should quit being lazy and get to work."

"You should turn off the t.v. and do something productive."

I'm telling the Should Committee to take a hike.

The older I get, the more attune I become to what my body (and my brain) is trying to tell me.

And right now, it's telling me to relax.  Refuel. Re-energize.

So that's what I'm doing.

The excitement is slowly returning, and I can't wait until it's time to become immersed again in my fiction.

The moment will come. I will be patient, and I will wait.

Monday, January 27, 2014

It's Done

It's done.

The project that started over a year ago has finally been sent to my editor.

Yes, I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief.

I did it.

*fist pump*

Now it's time to clean my office. Files and books and pens and paper are scattered everywhere. And the cat has claimed a permanent spot on my reading chair!

I can't wait to get back to my novel.

And this saying below is oh-so appropriate. I went through a lot of ups and downs this past year (and this past month has been a doozy!), but I just kept on because I knew God was working with me the whole time.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SNAFUs (The Clean Kind)

There are a lot of SNAFUs when you're writing a book.

(SNAFU is military jargon. The clean version is, 'Situation Normal All Fouled Up.' I'll let you fill in the blanks on what the censored version is.)

I sent in the images to my editor. She sent back a list of images that had problems.

I panicked, got frustrated, and frantically emailed a friend for help. Said friend told me to calm down, that we'd figure it out.

Photos were finished today, sent to editor, and whew, thank goodness, they are okay.

Then comes another SNAFU.

Did a certain POW branch camp (one that was under the jurisdiction of the main POW camp) exist in this town or not?

One record says yes, another says no. The town is so miniscule that finding someone knowledgeable about said camp is like finding a cat who doesn't like its head scratched.

And then there's the indexing, which I haven't even started yet. Here's hoping there won't be any SNAFUs with this one, but I wouldn't be surprised if a few crop up.

Writing a book is like living your life, though. SNAFUs come up all the time. It's how you deal with them, how you react, how you move forward and work through them that matters, not the SNAFUs themselves.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Another Round of Randomness!

I love doing my "random" blog posts because I don't have to think too much. Ha!

1) I can now say that I've completed the rough draft of my non-fiction book on the POW camps in Nebraska during World War II. It's been a whirlwind of a challenge. I'm very glad I decided to tackle it, but I'm also looking forward to turning it in to my publisher!

2) My family's life was thrown a very sharp curve ball last week and we've been struggling to deal with the fall-out. Being thrown into unchartered territory is never fun, but we are strong and we will get through it together.

3) I made it back to the gym on Monday. Hurrah! It's been ages since I went - in fact, it was in September, before I got hit with mono. It felt great to work out again and I hope I can keep a regular schedule this time.

4) We have a new resident at our house - a kitty named LuLu. She is black with white patches on her chest - one even looks like the Batman symbol. She was my stepson's cat, but since he is unable to have her where he's currently living, we decided to take her in until such time as he can care for her again. She is a huge cuddle bug and loves to play with our other cat, Slick. Now my cat, Kathryn, who is old and grouchy, doesn't particularly care for either of the two youngsters. At most, she tolerates them. So she hasn't been too thrilled with the new addition.

I fondly called LuLu my research intern (my other two cats are known as Research Assistants #1 and #2), but now she has been promoted to Research Assistant #3. Here she is goofing off (Slick is looking on).

5) I have to go to an open house this week for my daughter's school for next year. And it's a high school. Yes, she will be a freshman in high school next year. How has this happened? I refuse to believe I am old enough to have a daughter in high school!

6) The novel...ah, the novel. I am chomping at the bit to get back to it. I'm already trying to figure out which novel to write next and I think I'll go back to a novel I previously put aside. It's still a very strong story and with some tweaking, I am quite excited by how it will play out.

7) The next James Bond movie release date has been announced: November 2015. GAH. That is far too long to wait, but wait I must. I think Daniel Craig has reinvigorated the James Bond franchise and I look forward to seeing what he does next.

I'll leave you with this:
(You know you tried it!)

Monday, January 06, 2014

Dream Travel

Because it is SUPER cold here today - so cold that they canceled school - I've been dreaming of heading to a slightly warmer locale. I'm not a tropical gal at all, so Hawaii and anything with beaches doesn't fit my the bill for me (I know, I'm weird).

But I could certainly go for a stay in Italy with my Italian relatives. One of them posts pictures on Facebook all the time of Volpiano in the Piedmont region of northern Italy (where my grandfather's family is from) and the surrounding countryside. It looks absolutely gorgeous. Plus the food! Oh, the food...I would love to be able to have some traditional Italian dishes that I've been enjoying for years that are actually MADE in Italy.

Volpiano, Italy.
Then there's Germany. Since I'm a World War II historian, I naturally want to go here for historical purposes, but it's also a beautiful country. Just today, I connected with an 88-year-old German man who was a POW in Nebraska during WW2. I wish I could hop on a plane and go interview him.

I wouldn't mind England or Scotland or Ireland, either. But I'm not sure that they are much warmer than we are! Of course, I did hear today that it was colder in Colorado than it was in the North Pole. That's a little frightening.

I think I could easily go to the south of France. It's warmer there during the winter, isn't it? That sounds like a good idea to me...

If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Ventures

The new year will bring some exciting new ventures for me!

First, my non-fiction book on the World War II POW camps in Nebraska will be published this year. That's scary and exhilarating and very, very cool. I'm looking forward to that day, especially since I'm still in the midst of editing! But the end is in sight.

Second, I joined a new group blog for historical fiction writers of the twentieth century called The Modern Belles of History. We write Edwardian, World War I, World War II, the 1920s, the 1930s, etc. I'm quite excited. We plan to launch in mid-January, and there are three ways you can follow us:

1) Our blog,
2) Twitter @bellesofhistory
3) Facebook -

And third, look for more reviews on my World War II blog, The Best of World War II. I have a lot of terrific books in my review pile and I can't wait to dive into them.

Do you have any new ventures you're planning to undertake this year?

New Digs

I've got a new home on the web - stop by if you get a chance!