All kinds of thing's were popping up in our yard in the month of February . . . daffodils, pear blossoms, coyotes - whoops! Did I say, coyotes? Um . . . yep, I did. We really thought the coyote family had moved to new stomping grounds, but apparently they told some friends that our sprawling property and heavy underbrush makes an ideal wild dog hostel for traveling coyotes. Having coyotes waltzing around your yard can make you pretty uncomfortable going to get the mail every afternoon. You start to hope that you'll have heavy packages in the mailbox so that you have something to beat them off . . . if necessary.
How do you really know when you've committed to the life of a blogger? Easy. It's that moment when you see a coyote in your backyard and you race to grab your camera because - hey, I can BLOG about this!
Now for the not so novel news:
I published 'The Reluctant Godfather!' I still can't put into words what this feels like . . . it really is beyond words at the moment!
I got in some more beta-reading for some buddies!
Valentine's Day happened. My sweet brother gave me this lovely lady porcupine. Or is she a hedgehog?
Our neighbors and good friends brought over their one year old grandson for a visit. I had heard a lot about him, but I hadn't had a chance to meet him. What a wonderful Valentine's Day gift - and what an amazing way to remember God's love when looking at the little soul who is still making baby sounds and crawling across the floor. What a beautiful little package of love! I wanted to pick him up and squeeze him, but he was shy and I didn't want to crowd him. But I would have loved to have given him a hug!
I did get to touch his perfect little hand and foot! And I got to watch him laugh and play. He did enjoy the cookies I made for Valentine's Day! His grandpa kept sneaking him crumbs when his grandma wasn't looking!
Another successful photo shoot and recording of Walt Disney's 'Little Black Rain Cloud'. I dedicated it to my dear friend, Blessing Counter's, new baby sister 'Sweet Pea'.
Our family took a picnic lunch to the beautiful grounds of a local museum and then toured the museum.
Reached 16 subscribers on my blog and 11 subscribers on my Youtube channel! True to my promise (Hanna - where are you?) I will honor my dare about my Youtube channel. Now that I have reached 10 plus subscribers, I will reread 'The Borrowers' by Mary Norton and possibly reevaluate my negative rating. The book is transferring to my library as we speak! Now, if I could only get 4 more subscribers to my blog, you would all get the dubious treat of seeing me eat a piece of celery slathered with peanut butter . . . Yes, I'm sure you have all been waiting your whole lives to see that.
My beta readers grew from 4 to 5! Again, you guys do such an amazing job and I truly appreciate your friendship, thoroughness and eagle eyes! Thank you so much for your faithful polishing!
My book haul was lamentably small . . . only one book in February . . . but my goodness, what a book!
An Easton Press leather bound edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for a mere $30.00! A thing of beauty and a joy forever! Isn't it wonderful? Don't you just want to hug it and stroke it and stare at it? After arranging it in a place of prominence and honor on your bookcase of course - and after rearranging everything else around it . . . like framing a particularly gorgeous painting.
My monthly book purchases were low because . . . 'cough', I was um . . . forced! That's right, forced, to buy some other necessities.
I read 11 books this month. A far cry for the dazzling array of books I whipped through in January, and some of the 11 books I didn't even finish! I skipped through them.
The best reads of February were 'Susanna Don't You Cry' by Zachary McIntire, 'The Sparrow Found A House' by Jason McIntire, and Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter. I highly recommend all three of these books!
Successfully cut back my blogging schedule to a more realistic pace. My overtaxed brain and weary bones are slightly happier with me.
Got interviewed on my friend's blog 'Once Upon an Ordinary'. Getting interviewed by Kate was such a blast!
Went with my siblings to a local ‘entertainment center’ (I don't know what to call this place exactly - my twin said to describe it as 'the place where you spend money to make a fool of yourself').
Anyway, I played miniature golf for the first time in my life (yes, really), starting with ‘Black-light’ miniature golf – you wander through dark carpeted tunnels with a glow in the dark course, club and golf balls.
There are very few rules to miniature golf – anyone can play. If you make a good shot, gloat as your family cheers. If you make a bad shot, groan while your family mocks you. It’s pretty simple. If only getting the ball to go into the hole was as simple. After being instructed to hold my club . . . like a club . . . I gave an enthusiastic wind up and hit a sign behind me that said ‘Hole One’. Fortunately, it was made out of metal, the club out of industrial plastic. Other than producing a very loud noise and embarrassing myself, I didn’t see any damage.
All in all, I found miniature golf to be pretty boring – I commented later to my Mom that it would have been more fun if we had been getting shot at with rubber pellets while trying to play.
The most interesting part was the ‘water hazards’. The miniature golf course was built around a ‘false mountain’ with large waterfalls pouring at various points into pools. It was an exceptionally windy day (and rather chilly) and sheets of water kept blowing across certain holes, spraying the players with cold water.
My far more athletic brother and twin did some indoor rock climbing . . . and we tried out a Laser Maze. The Laser Maze was the most fun. A dark room no bigger than a bedroom is full of a spiderweb of lasers and contestants have to crawl, jump, shimmy, and basically turn themselves into a human slinky to get to the other the side of the room AND BACK without breaking the lasers. But the BEST part of the day was the ‘Beam Buster’ version of the Laser Maze, where the goal is to break as many laser beams as possible. Contestants race across the room, leaping, kicking (and in my case, screaming) trying to set off as many lasers as possible in a certain amount of time. Great fun!
We finished up the outing by eating copious amounts of garlic rolls and pizza at the center’s restaurant, as well as large cups of frozen yogurt. Happiness is peach frozen yogurt with sprinkles and M&Ms on top!
And now . . . let the humiliation begin!
What I Meant to Get Done In February - but didn't -
1. Create a more professional looking newsletter. No . . . again . . . no!
2. Get up earlier. Still that insomnia thing I'm dealing with . . .
3. Write 2,000 words a day. Uh no . . . I am struggling with major writers block - it feels like an insurmountable mountain. I think I wrote maybe 12,000 words, tops, in February - and it was bad and I probably wouldn't use most of it . . . I'm starting to feel desperate! Somebody send me some inspiration!
4. Get back to my artwork. I did, A LITTLE . . . I got in about two or three days of really good work and then . . . whoosh . . . oh look, there went February!
5. Join Homeschooled Authors.com. I should have submitted the form at the beginning of the month - but nope! - I waited till the last week in February . . .
6. Start exercising more. Um . . . I don't suppose blogging counts?
7. Publish Key to the Chains. Nope - the release date got pushed back - this is the one 'failure' that I actually feel pretty good about. I think it's for the best that this was delayed a little.
Hopes and Plans for March
1. Write 5 blog posts.
2. Reduce my time on social media (Goodreads) to 30 minutes a day. 'weeps'
3. Publish Keys to the Chains
4. Return to a regular writing schedule - 40,000 words in March or bust!! I'm just going to FORCE the words out!
5. Get back to my art. I'm working on some designs for the Zazzle 'store' I am hoping to open sometime in March or possibly April.
6. Join Homeschooled Authors.com
7. Plant morning glories.
8. Post two new songs to my Youtube Channel.
9. Beta read for my friend, Paul.
10. Beta read for my twin! Wahooo!!
11. CREATE A MORE PROFESSIONAL LOOKING NEWSLETTER BEFORE I KEEL OVER FROM SHAME!!!
12. GET OUT OF BED EARLIER!
So how was your January, my faithful followers? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!