Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm Packin'

Double meaning on that title. Got the cover for my contemporary western for The Wild Rose Press ebook due out next year which brought the title to mind, and I'm packing to move so...

I really hate packing. It doesn't matter if I'm going away for two days or two months, it's an excruciating process for me. This pack is worse (worse than excruciating?) because it's three trips rolled into one. I'm packing for a drive to Arizona for a three week Christmas vacation AND for an additional three weeks there while my husband flies back to Minnesota AND packing as much as we can bring on this drive for the permanent move. I'll miss out on the final pack that he'll undertake on his own, but still! Poor me.

Normally, I'm this over organized, obnoxiously detailed person, but for some reason if you put a suitcase in front of me, I fall apart. Each item becomes a major decision on whether to bring it. Packing is the one area of my life I procrastinate. I'm the person who has her Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving and in the mail the first week of December. You'd think for a major move like this, with only four days until we leave, I'd be standing at the door, bags packed. I wish.

So today, I'm really going to get serious about packing. I'll stop standing over the empty suitcases and boxes and actually put something in them. I'll get past the staging area, quit tripping over all the piles of maybes, definites and what-are-these, and actually put them in a box.

But first I'll have another cup of coffee, write a bit on my book and think on it a while.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Party With a Purpose

Tonight is the first holiday party. This is the annual HAMA (Holiday And Member Appreciation) party. The club is called StMinneSomePlace in Paradise Parrotheads. Don't know what a Parrothead is? Ever heard of Jimmy Buffett? Those of us that like his music are called Parrotheads. My husband and I first hooked up with the club when we moved to Minnesota. We were having an awful time making friends, and we happened on an article on the Internet. And so began our base of friends.

Parrotheads like to party, sing Buffett songs, act perfectly silly and some are given to wearing outlandish get-ups. But our motto is "party with a purpose" which means whenever we gather, one or more charities benefit. Even tonight's party, which is meant to thank all the members with gifts and fun, will have a thread of charity. We'll be collecting tots for toys, food for the food bank and probably something else I'm not even aware of.

We've booked a good portion of a hotel. Many of us will spend the night - always recommended when there are margaritas flowing freely. There will be food, music and merchandise. Mostly there will be lots of fun and silliness. But behind it all will be the idea of charity. It's that time of year. With the Parrotheads, it's year-round, I'm proud to say.

If you're starting your holiday partying this weekend, have fun and be safe. And if you can, give to someone who isn't so lucky to be able to party.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blogging on Thanksgiving

I really am, just like I do every 24th of the month over at The Roses of Prose (TROP). Click on the link below.

So I thought today, I'd blog about my blog.

I'm not often given over to straight out promo, but that's what this is. And I'm blogging it. 

All month The Roses of Prose ladies (of which I am one) have been blogging about what they're thankful for. Considering tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I'm blogging, I'll be thankful just to have someone stop by. And for stopping by and leaving a comment, you could win the very first ever copy of Tattoos, Leather and Studs, my e-novelette. I'm really excited. It releases officially on December 4th from Melange Books. So if you don't win, and you like the excerpt (read it tomorrow on TROP), you can get your copy by going to www.melange-books.com.

Here's the teaser:

Rachael suspects her date, Jason, is a drug dealer, and she’s torn between her attraction for this hot bad boy and running for safety. But a famous rock star vying for her attention and spiked champagne pose far more trouble. On a blind date she’ll never forget, Rachael learns first impressions can lead her down a dangerous path and straight into the arms of love.

So come on over between the turkey and the pie or at halftime of one of the football games.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ending the Year With a Bang

This year is ending in a flurry of activity and I'm having trouble keeping up. On the editing job side, I'm winding up one book and starting two new ones - deadlines loom. On the writing side, I'm editing 2 books at once and those release dates are crowding me. Argh - more deadlines looming. If it sounds like I'm complaining, well, I'm not really. How can I complain about having great work like editing and I certainly am not complaining about having a couple of more books published. I love this! But I am whining a bit about not enough hours in the day. I've got to fit in marketing for the new releases and still try to get my current book written and ready for a conference in April. Yikes!

This is the time of year I absolutely love. As Thanksgiving approaches and I'm looking forward to Christmas and the New Year festivities, my spirits always soar. But it does seem a bit crowded with activity right now. We are also most likely moving across country between Christmas and New Year's Eve. We should know by tomorrow if our offer on a new home has been accepted. It's looking really good. So how is that going to come together along with a trip to visit family for the holidays? I have NO idea. That deadline is looming with no clear plan on how to accomplish it right now.

In the crunch of deadlines, both personal and professional, I've given up a few things I really enjoy like yoga and sleep. My back is aching and my eyes are puffy. Rusty lays at my feet sending me doggy telepathy requests for attention. I have to tune him out. Just let me get this book edited and maybe I'll squeeze in a walk.

All right - back to my edits. And yes, I'd like some cheese with  my whine! Otherwise, I'll forget lunch.

P.S. Going crazy, happily busy, but going crazy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Christmas - Really?!

I know, I know, we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet. I practically boo any neighbors who put up their lights before Thanksgiving. I don't care if they're trying to get the job done before the snows fly. And department stores are the worst offenders.

But I did think about Christmas and decided since it's a great time of year (one of my favorites) that I should do some planning on my gift giving right now. So I decided to have a drawing, a gift giving, on my web site:

I Love Christmas Drawing
My favorite time of year is filled with one of my favorite activities – gift giving. So from me to you – a Virtual Basket of Goodies will be given to one person from my Announce Only Newsletter Group and one person from my Author Facebook Page. I’ll have the drawing for both on December 22, the first day of winter. And like all good gifts, you won’t know what’s in your Virtual Basket of Goodies until you open it, but there will be several great items.

Double your chances of winning – make sure you’re part of both my Announce Only Newsletter Group and my Author Facebook Page.

Go to my Author Page and click on like
my Announce Only Newsletter

You can contact me at brenda@brendawhiteside.com if you have questions. Have fun and good luck!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Are You Ever So Happy You Cry?

I have something to get off my mind. I spend my days writing fiction, but right now I'd like to write something real that happened to me.

So...are you ever so happy you cry? I did just today. I've gone through a scary time, and I don't mean the Halloween kind of scary. Last month, the pathology from a mole on my arm came back positive for melanoma. And the doctor added to that lovely piece of news, that it was in the second layer of skin which causes additional concern. I discovered how I react to this kind of news. Don't we all ask ourselves "how would I react"? Thankful I wasn't alone when I got this news, I collapsed in a crying fit of fear huddled in my husband's arms.  I stayed there for most of the next couple of days. I spent a great deal of time on the telephone during those days, too - family, dermatologist, oncologist, surgeon and ophthalmologist. That last one puzzled me. Did you know you can have moles on the backside of your eyes? The overall doctor speak I got was my original biopsy pointed to a good resolution, but to be sure they needed to remove more of my arm and a lymph node.

As positive as I tried to stay, I still broke down in fearful tears at any given time during the day. I told as few people as I could. It seemed the fewer who knew, the less real my cancer. And I didn't want to talk about it anymore than I had to. I'm no good at nurse-maiding others (ask my poor husband), and I certainly didn't relish that role for myself. I made all the appointments with the various doctors and went on a holding pattern for the surgery. At times I was angry with myself for being so scared. But try as I might, no matter how many times I told myself - "I'll be okay, I"ll be okay" - dread would wash over me and I'd cry.

One evening, a few days before my surgery, I was staring at the television in an attempt to forget for awhile, and a calmness starting somewhere in the vicinity of my head settled in me and spread like a warm elixir throughout my body. I would be okay. No matter what the results of the surgery, I would be okay. I don't know where the feeling came from or why, but it was damn near euphoric. I felt near elated for the next twenty four hours. As the surgery grew closer and for the four days after waiting for the results, I was anxious. As much as I felt I'd be okay, I needed to hear it from the doctor. And I did. They found nothing else.

And so I cried off and on all that day with tears of relief. That was three days ago. Today, out of the blue, I cried again. This time with joy. I've had several friends and family members succumb to cancer in the last few years. The C word is very scary. I never used it for myself. I always said melanoma. Just didn't sound as scary as cancer. Melanoma has an 86% cure rate. I'm very happy to be in the 86%.

This whole episode started with a routine dermatology visit. Having been raised in Arizona with all that sun, I like to have my skin checked every couple of years. My word of advice for the day - you do the same. If there is something to find, find it early.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Some Chapters Are Like That

Chapter Eight, day four. I can't labor over it today. I should have had this chapter done on Monday. It's like walking in knee-deep mud or running in sand. I can see exactly where I'm heading, but try as I might, I can't get there fast enough. So by the time I had the guts to look at it today, oh well, evening is here and a beer fest with German food is calling me. Gorgeous fall evening with friends should clear my head. I leave my hero/heroin in suspended animation (and it's not even a paranormal adventure).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This Crazy Blogging Thing

I've spent the morning researching blogging. It's the kind of research that makes my skin crawl and convinces me I have the condition called Restless Leg Syndrome. I THINK I managed to link my Amazon and GoodReads author pages to this, Discover Yourself, blog. And so I discovered I really don't like this kind of techie business.

I'm done for today. I really have to get back to book one in my Lacy Dahl series, to be renamed when I figure out just what I want to call them. Lacy is the heroine in book one, and the next two books will result from her adventure of discovery. Funny story before I dive back in - my hero, and her soon to be love interest was named Lance Meadowlark. My son's name is Lance and for some reason this hero felt like a Lance - until I got to the love scene. Then the ick factor exploded. I didn't characterize my hero as my son, but I could not write a love scene using my son's name. Lance became Chance.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

August is a Blurrrrrr

What a month! I made it through a move that was difficult (an understatement). I joined a group blog, Roses of Prose, which I know will be fun once I'm settled and caught up. Poor Rusty tore his ACL and had to have surgery. He's doing better but still hobbling around on 3 legs. My editing jobs fell behind because of the move and now I'm buggy eyed from reading and trying to make deadlines.

But hey - good news heaped on me and took away some of the stress. I'll have four books in varying lengths released between November and January. I'm psyched! Excited! Thankful! Hop over to my web site for more information.

In the meantime, don't forget about my novel that is available right now, Sleeping with the Lights On. I'd love it if you'd order straight from the publisher Buy Link but it's available wherever fun and entertaining books are sold in both print and e-book formats.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm Blogging! I'm Blogging!

It's isn't like I haven't been blogging. I guest on other author's blogs all the time and will continue to do so. I'll list those dates here or you can always go to my web site for the latest appearance dates. And I'm on Facebook almost daily, talking to the world or whoever will listen. And whoever will talk back. That's what's fun about Facebook.

But now I've joined a group blog "The Roses of Prose". I'm sharing time with some heavy hitters - real award winning authors. These first couple of weeks of August we'll be introducing ourselves and after that let the blogging begin. The topics will be as varied as the authors are varied and they're located all over the world. Should be fun, sassy, serious, funny and above all entertaining. My days to blog are the 9th and 24th of every month. Hope you come by and visit and leave me a comment.

And if you haven't "liked" me on Facebook, I hope you do soon. I'm getting near the 1001 mark and if you're there you could win a night at the movies (a dvd of Chocolat, a chocolate treat and popcorn). www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor