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It's Raining Puppies and Other Updates

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, so I thought I would do a check-in of sorts to let you guys know how things are looking so far this year. As usual, there have already been a few curveballs thrown in the mix. Granted, one of them is my own doing - should have known from the last play how much work goes into it…

Life in a small town is definitely never boring, that’s for sure. But first, writing updates. 

I’m still working hard at getting “The Whitehall Affair” edited. I had it in my mind that I would publish in March and I still may be able to keep that goal. I’m nearly done with another round of editing. Once I’m finished, I’ll re-upload it to AutoCrit and see how it looks. If it’s at a point that I’m happy with, I’ll start to work on formatting for e-book and paperback. I’m really hoping I can finish by the end of this weekend so I can set a date and start all the promotions for the launch. 

I wish I could be more organized with releases. Mainly to set a date months in advance and stick to it. But after 39 years on this earth, I know that’s not how I operate - even when I try. If I set it in advance (before editing), I usually underestimate how much time I have to work on things and they don’t get done. However, if I give myself the freedom to finish when I finish, it usually comes together fairly quickly and then I can set a release date about three to four weeks in advance. Which is what I plan to do. I’m shooting for end of March at this point.

At this point in time, I’m going to keep the re-release of “A Walk Among Goddesses” on the back burner. What I thought would be just some editing is looking more like a re-write. (Technically still editing since I’m not really changing the story much, but… really heavy editing.)

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to work on “Apparition in the Attic” as much as I want. But I’m hoping once I get “The Whitehall Affair” ready, I can focus more on that. Or I might end up editing “Queen of the Wood.” Either way, I do plan to get some significant work done on the Lincoln County Chronicles in the somewhat near future. 

The reason why everything has slowed down is pretty much the same story every time. Life is getting in the way. I’ve taken on a new paid writing project that will start soon, working on a non-fiction book for a cousin of a friend. I need the money and it shouldn’t be too terribly difficult to fit in. I’m also still doing all my ESL classes - added a Tues/Thurs class that starts at 3:30 a.m. my time, making those days utter insanity. I’m also working on another writing project with a friend in town that could lead to a VERY big project for me. I’m incredibly eager to talk about it publicly, but for the time being, I’m keeping it under wraps. It’s not a sure deal just yet. And even if it does get the green light, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be kept on to finish it out.

Definitely stay tuned for that one.

Outside of work, I’m doing another play with the local community theatre group. I have fewer lines than the last one I did, but I’m playing two characters and both have a couple of lengthy monologues. It’s a bit more difficult than the last play I did, simply because I wasn’t working full-time until the last two weeks before opening night with that one. And now, I’m juggling even more work and responsibilities. But it’s been a blast so far and I’m slowly but surely getting my lines down. Just need to push myself a bit more to focus on it in my free time.

In my personal life, I’ve taken in a friend’s teen daughter. Obviously, I’m not getting into the whys and all, but it’s been an adjustment. I’ve been living on my own since July, so I’m slowly getting back into a headspace where I’m used to sharing my space again. But I am grateful to have her around because… I got puppies. 

Or, well, they’re bigger than your normal puppies.

Living in a rural area, it’s unfortunately too common to have people dump dogs on properties out in the country. My grandparents have never bought a dog in my lifetime despite always having several, simply because they get so many just showing up on their farm. Currently, they have one mostly outdoor dog and three farm cats. It’s about all they can handle. Their neighbors (the folks who bought the house I grew up in) currently have about seven dogs, most of them dumped. They’re trying to find homes for a few of them. So when a couple of puppies showed up over the weekend, they just couldn’t handle it. My grandmother contacted me, asking if I was interested since she knew I was thinking about getting another dog. She only meant for me to take one, but being who I am, I saw one photo and decided that I would take both and nurse them back to health. 

I may have also been slightly pushed into it by my friends, who happened to be over at my house for the Super Bowl when I got the text. Don't worry. They aren't leaving me out to dry. They've both helped me with getting them to vet and bathtime, which is definitely a four-person gig. (Two to wash, one to distract Pippin, and one to entertain the other puppy.)

They are Anatolian Pyrenees  (at least the vet is confident that’s what they are - there could be other breeds in there, too, but those are the most visible and dominant). Meaning they will be very big, very floofy dogs. Possibly too big for both of them to stay with me in my little two-bedroom house in town, but that’s something I’m currently trying not to think about. They’re about five months old. I’ve named them Poppy and Violet. They are the sweetest dogs and getting better every day. We just finished their de-worming treatments and are now focusing on getting their skin better (both have mange). I’m also working on getting Pippin comfortable with them so they can come into the main part of the house. They get a lot of outdoor time in my (thankfully) large, fenced-in backyard since they are puppies, and we’re now seeing that puppy energy come in the more comfortable and healthier that they get. 

Thankfully, I didn’t need to train them with potty time. They already are pretty good at holding it in until I let them out (about four to five times a day). When they can’t, they go to the pee pads that I leave out in the kitchen and garage.

I’ve started working with them on sit and down, and next week, we’re going to begin leash training since they’re both getting too big for me to carry from the car to the clinic when we go to the vet (Poppy is currently at 37 pounds and Violet is 31 pounds). I’ve got a pretty regimented schedule for yard and food time, which my friend’s daughter has been a blessing in helping me with. I keep them in the garage when I’m gone and let them decide if they want to stay in the garage or come into the kitchen when I’m home. We’re still not at the point where I can let them into Pippin’s space in the living room all willy-nilly, but we’re making progress there, so I think it’ll be soon. They accidentally got into the living room this morning and Pippin was cool with it for about five minutes before he started barking. 

The most important part is that Poppy and Violet are getting more comfortable with me. I’m hoping if I can train them well, it won’t be out of the realm of possibility that they both stay. I’m already super attached to them. Sheesh. My first venture into fostering, and I’m already at the point where I want to keep them forever. Might as well, seeing how much money I’m dropping for all their treatments, shots, spaying, toys, and food. (Lawd, my dog food bill is going to go WAY up…) 

Anywho, I suppose that’s about where life is right now. Hectic. Constantly in motion and all that. Maybe I can weasel my way into a one-week staycation with my newspaper boss just to get a bit of rest in…

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1 Comment

I'm in the same boat where I hate setting deadlines for myself, because I tend to underestimate how much time I need for editing. I wanted my current project done by March, but life (and motivation) has other plans, so it's nice not to have somebody at your back hounding you about it. A friend of mine has already announced tentative publication dates for four different projects, some of which aren't even started! I don't know how she does it.

Those dogs are gorgeous! I think most people fosterfail their first time. XD I found my cat Jade when she was only a day old, and even though I thought to myself, "I'm going to try fostering with this one..."…

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