#ROW80 – Fumbling Into December

4My Holiday Fails (so far)
* The pumpkin roll cracked and crumbled, not because it was too dry but because it was too moist.
* I forgot to set up my children’s advent trees in time, but they are done now.
* I forgot to schedule the time to make my friend’s pet carrier (present for her hedgehog).
* I didn’t get enough lights for restringing my two deer.
*I haven’t finished decorating.

Honestly?  Could be worse.

Despite all those fails I am on track with most holiday things.  The baking is on time.  The outdoors is decorated.  Tree and village are up and lit each night.  I only have the decoration repairs and one box of decorations to go to be done.  And I paused writing this post to place the picture card order so we can pick it up while out grocery shopping tomorrow.  Oh, this year’s card picture is just insanity (we can’t do normal).

And my therapist is trying to help me have less to worry about and is encouraging me to add even more to my schedule… Or maybe she’s trying to break me?  No, I’ll stick with her trying to lighten my mind by giving me tasks to work on (because I do have small freak outs about these tasks when I’m having down days).

But how am I doing on my goals?

#1) Finish and submit HALLMARK
I promoted the anthology this is in at the end of the week!  See my posts announcing it, the soundtrack, and my favorite Hallmark holiday movies.  Once the story is released on its own (later on, date TBA) I’ll do another announcement and probably one promotion post about all the CW/Superhero actors that keep showing up in these.

#2) Edit PET
It is in Scrivner.  I also separated it by chapter.  AND!!! I have made my reading for notes checklist for senses and themes.  The goal for next week is starting to read for edits.

#3) Writing Business on Saturdays
Blog on Saturday: I missed last week because I was busy catching up on holiday stuff. The tree was supposed to be done Friday, but I only got it put together.  The kids and I trimmed it Saturday when I would have been writing this.  (And time with them is obviously more important.)
Send 3 Submissions: If I have time after I make the list for fudge making supplies, I’ll do this.  However, it is almost dinner and then game (Savage Worlds) time.  I might have this slip through the cracks once more.  Not that many places are open to submission this time of year.

#4) Take care of myself
Cardio 4 times a week –  4/4
Yoga 2 times a week – 2/2
Toning/Strengthening Videos 6 times a week – 4/6 – I actually have decided Saturdays I only do running or toning.  That means this should be “/5” and will be updated next week.
Drink at least 2 sports bottle of water a day – Plant Nanny has been ensuring at least this. Usually more.
Vitamins daily- Maybe I should get back to this, at least with vitamin D.  I’ve been forgetting and too busy to do that.

#5) Stay caught up on comics
I am so far behind. I need to start taking comics with me when I go places to read and catch up.  I’m 50-ish issues behind… And the annual of KLAUS comes out this week!!!

So, this week I have to set up my router extension, read PET (at least start reading it) and take edit notes, survive 3 appointments for 3 different family members, make various types of fudge, send holiday cards, finish decorating, attend a band concert for my trombone playing daughter, make my friend’s hedgehog’s present (which I hope to deliver the 11th with her surprise batch of fudge), and start wrapping presents.  I think I’m forgetting something…

What’s been your least successful goal this round?
What holiday treats are you making and sharing with others?
Are you surviving the holidays?

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My Favorite Hallmark Christmas Movies

a winter holiday 2017-001Anyone that’s been following my blog lately knows I had a codename for ROCKING CHRISTMAS WISHES while it was in progress.  (The codename thing standard practice for me, for various reasons.)  In this case, the codename was HALLMARK.  What did that mean?  Well it referenced not only my addiction, but also my inspiration while writing.  That would be those holiday movies Hallmark Channel airs (on both channels… or is it three now?  I don’t get Hallmark Drama, sadly so I don’t know).

#1- The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Can I start by admitting I love Henry Winkler?  That right there made this movie a must watch for me when I first ran across it.  But as I watched the story unfold, it was just so fun.  One problem after another presents itself.  And yes, they fall in love too fast.  Yes, they solve everything nicely, quickly, and neatly.  But, there’s no unnecessary drama and no characters that are the ones making themselves miserable.  There are so many warm fuzzies and funny moments.  It has so many plot elements we see in the holiday movies all rolled up into one, in a super enjoyable package.  This one is on my DVR for repeated viewing.

So what’s this one about?  A single mom is stressed out and wants Christmas over.  On the bright side, her favorite uncle is coming to spend it with her, her adorable son, and her super stuffy boyfriend.  On his way to her, the uncle meets a world traveler that ends up stranded as snow cancels his connecting flight.

#2- Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle
I love my holiday magic and stranger in town changes everything stories.  And I know people say that sequels are never as good as originals, but this one (and the second in the Brendan Fraser THE MUMMY series) beats the original!  How many are in this series?  Depends.  This is the second one with Doris Roberts as the star.  But there is a third movie with Robert Morrow, where he’s “Mr. Miracle.”

The low down on this movie is simple.  He’s trying to have a real Christmas while his father/boss/owner of the department store is trying to avoid it at all costs.  She’s looking after her enlisted brother’s son (because he’s off fighting in the war) and trying to have a career.  Mrs. Miracle shows up and mixes them all together for a happy ending, eventually.

#3- A Princess for Christmas
I wanted to put Christmas in Connecticut on the list here, but it seems Hallmark has stopped showing the Barbara Stanwick classic.  So I picked the movie that is terrible (scripting is stilted and sudden jumps in character development), but somehow it worms its sappy, sweet way into your heart.  Unless I watch this, it isn’t Hallmark Christmas movie season.  Plus, the actress of Lena Luthor of Supergirl is the main character!

The plot is simple.  The Jules takes her niece and nephew, who are under her care because her sister and brother-in-law died, to her brother-in-law’s family’s castle.  Her brother-in-law had been cut off for marrying a commoner and, now that he and his wife are dead, his father wants to connect with the grandkids.  Dreary castle gets new life and holiday spirit from the Americans!

Honorable Mention: Help for the Holidays
To be honest, this isn’t one of my favorites.  But I felt it bared mentioning because the plot is definitely the closest to my story ROCKING CHRISTMAS WISHES.  This movie stars Summer Glau (I know her from being in that too-soon-canceled, awesome sci-fi show FIREFLY).  She’s an elf sent to help a family find their Christmas spirit once more.

I do have other favorites from other channels and there are also my DVD standbys too.  However, if I started listing those, we’d be here all day!

So, please tell me.  What’s your favorite holiday movie?
What’s your favorite Hallmark holiday movie?
What’s your favorite holiday story?

Interested in WINTER ANTHOLOGY 2017?
Print $18.99 * Ebook $4.99
Please Note:
“Rocking Christmas Wishes” will be released as a stand-alone ebook at a later date, for less than the above.  If you want to buy a copy to just support my writing, that might be the one you should wait for.

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“Rocking Christmas Wishes” Soundtrack

  When I chose to write a story based on a rock band I decided there had to be some music involved!  Here are the real songs, in the order they appear in and why I picked them.

Track 1- Ozzy Osbourne “Crazy Train”

Ok, I know this isn’t very Christmas like.  But this is the first song officially played in the story.  I chose it after doing some research and finding out this is a hard song to play and something that would be impressive.

Track 2- Trans-Siberian Orchestra “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo”

When I think of rock and roll Christmas music, this is the gold standard for me.  Man, to this day I remember holiday shopping at the mall and passing by the Warner Brothers Store and this playing on the multi-monitor display in the center of the store.  Heck, I have the DVD and the CD, so I kind of couldn’t avoid putting it in here.  

Track 3- Radiohead “Creep”

Okay, not so Christmasy once again.  This time, I wanted a song that could explain La’s and Kris’ relationship. While often categorized as a song about stalking, I felt it reflected his “specialness” (being Santa) in contrast to her generally feeling like an outsider.  

Track 4- “Silent Night”

She plays this song twice in the story.  The first time is by herself after everything has gone wrong.  The second time, isn’t as sad (not spoilering).  I just wanted a traditional holiday staple, which was slow to reflect these moments where things got quiet.

So there you have it!  The four songs of “Rocking Christmas Wishes,” one of the stories is A Winter Holiday 2017.

a winter holiday 2017-001

Print $18.99
Ebook $4.99

Which was your favorite song on my list?
What’s your favorite Christmas carol?
How about favorite rock song?

***Please Note: That “Rocking Christmas Wishes” will be released as a stand-alone ebook at a later date, for less than the above.  If you want to buy a copy to just support my writing, that might be the one you should wait for.***

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New Release: WINTER ANTHOLOGY 2017

a winter holiday 2017-001.jpgText messages send Halia on a quest.

Can he capture wondrous enchantment?

An unusual stranger captivates Gina’s heart.

Time travel via Victorian mistletoe.

Will Sara Anne find a daddy by Christmas?

A rip-roaring ride through a Hawaiian Christmas.

Never Was Mrs. Claus Rocks!

What happened on your best New Year’s Eve?

Follow your heart, trust your instincts.

How does Emlyn Goode celebrate Christmas? Food, friends… and murder.

The incredible talents of Eddie Edwards, Leigh Podgorski, E.B. Sullivan, Debbie De Louise, Jeannie Sharpe, Justin Herzog, Gloria Weber, A.F. Weeks, A.A. Schenna, and Susan Lynn Solomon combine in this holiday anthology. Be prepared to experience the winter holidays as you never have before, with tales that will make you laugh, cry, and remember what the spirit of these holidays is all about.

Print $18.99
Ebook $4.99

***Please Note: That “Rocking Christmas Wishes” will be released as a stand-alone ebook at a later date, for less than the above.  If you want to buy a copy to just support my writing, that might be the one you should wait for.***

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#RoW80 Check-In: Better

4I really don’t know what to say about this past week.  Compared to the three before it, this week was closer to “routine.”  It wasn’t routine, but close.  And the next two weeks don’t promise to be routine either, but I think they’ll be better than those three weeks of chaos.  But I won’t know for sure until we get there.

…And that’s all I got.  Nothing mind-blowing or special.  But not every week has to be that way.  So… Onto the goals!

#1) Finish and submit HALLMARK
I’ll be promoting this November 27th through December 1st.

#2) Edit PET
I made getting this into Scrivner my goal for next week.  A small goal due to the kids’ five day weekend.

#3) Writing Business on Saturdays
Blog on Saturday: Bam!  Here it is!
Send 3 Submissions: I actually did it before I started this blog.  3/3

#4) Take care of myself
Cardio 4 times a week –  4/4
Yoga 2 times a week – 2/2
Toning/Strengthening Videos 6 times a week – 4/6 – I had an appointment after yoga on Monday, so I skipped that one and we had lots of running around to do Wednesday so I skipped it after yoga.
Drink at least 2 sports bottle of water a day – Four days ago I started using an app called Plant Nanny that expects me to drink 99 oz of water a day.  I have succeeded 3 of those 4 days.
Vitamins daily- Not so much daily, but more like as needed.  I really should get back to daily.

#5) Stay caught up on comics
I have 42 comics I need to read.  I should note that is not counting my Halloween Comic Fest, the vintage CLOAK AND DAGGERs, or the ones my husband has in his reading area.  So probably closer to 50. I need to get to reading before next week’s 10+ comic purchase.

So, that’s it.  I’m not sure if I’ll post next week.  I put blog post or 3 queries, because the holiday weekend.  We’ll see what happens.  If not, see you again for the ROCKING CHRISTMAS WISHES promotions.

Do you have any apps to help you have good habits?
Would you rather have 1 more hour a day or 1 more day a week?
(^That’s what I need to catch up on my comics!)

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