Coming Home

Yup, yup. The baby is coming home. Her roomie is graduating and moving away. I am glad to have her back because she is a lot of help for me especially when I’m going through all the health issues I’m going through. (Getting old sucks.) I know Rott’s not exactly jumping for joy, but he seems okay with it. And the babies (cats) will be ecstatic. They adore her! I don’t relish sharing my computer or getting used to having another body in the house, but those annoyances are really small to be honest. The pros outweigh the cons in this instance and I’ll get used to having her underfoot again. She is my baby girl after all. (Who will be 23 on May 16! Where does time go?)

I’ve been doing a lot of ads for authors going to GayRomLit lately so I made Winterheart Design a little “commercial” so to speak. When I uploaded it, it couldn’t be seen. Grrrr. Used to be YouTube would email you if the music wasn’t something they had a license for. No more emails apparently. Grrrrr.  I changed up the music and the commercial for Winterheart Design is now live on my YouTube channel. Still…grrrr.

I’m off to a dr’s appointment now so I’ll post my Monday Marcus and skedaddle.

Shirtless in jeans…oh, yum.

Oh, yeah. In case you didn’t see my Facebook page…Loose Id requested the full manuscript of my NFL story. Woot! Now I need to hurry and finish it! Have a great Monday everyone!

One Down More To Go

I finished the expansion and revision of Mating yesterday. I was so glad to have it done! Now, I’ve just got a partial to finish, my Father’s Day story and Fire Storm. I honestly can’t wait to get back to the Darkworld. I’ve missed it while writing all these contemporaries. But Runaways is out now (came out on Friday) and I’m sure Mating won’t be too far behind now that the hard part is done.

Writing has been going smoothly for the most part, if a little slow. Being tired a lot has slowed down the process for me. I’m still doing cover art, videos and now promo graphics for ads. And an occasional website. I’m about to start one for author Tim McGiveny. I’ve been looking at templates for his and I think I’ve got one he’ll like so it’s time for me to have him get his hosting. New websites are always so exciting!

The promo ads are a new thing for me sort of. I’ve done a few in the past but now I’ve put up some samples for GayRomLit. I quickly made some examples of ads in the different sizes yesterday at Ethan Day’s suggestion. He then pimped out the link and thus far I have one bite for creating an ad! Yay!

Nikki (aka Motley) will be coming home soon and to be honest, I’m really glad about that. I could use her help with some things and I missed her this past year while she was living with a roomie. Which reminds me that I was supposed to email her a to do list because she’s going to help me whip my website into shape since I haven’t had the time to do it. My book pages are a mess.

The day job is going really well these days. I have help now (yay!) and it frees me up to do some of the things that got backburnered when we were short staffed. For one, I need to work on cleaning up some stuff in our cemetery software database. Ugh. It’s a nasty task but it needs to be done and until recently, I haven’t had the time.

Another thing I’ve been doing at work is blogging! Yes, blogging. And coordinating the blog. Finding guest bloggers can be daunting when your topic is specific. Every now and then I actually have to write a post myself. Last Friday, I did that while in the midst of an IT emergency…our internet was down! Luckily, it was the carrier so there was nothing for me to fix other than reboot the firewall. The internet was down for only an hour or so but afterward I couldn’t reach the company blog because of a router issue with the carrier. Waiting around for them to fix stuff sucked. But I finally got the blog post up at 5 pm before I went home.

So yeah, been busy. Nothing new there. LOL And now I need to head off to the office where I have a lot of stuff to do today. I’ve got a full plate for sure! First, before I leave, here’s a Marcus!

Oh, yummeh! Have great Monday!

News of the Day

Today’s post is a just a hodge podge of information. I have some stuff to share and no other ideas about what to write because, as usual, Daylight Savings Time just fucks me up.

First of all, I have a new cover! Ellora’s Cave’s artist Syneca did this great cover for Runaways. Originally, Runaways was a short story at Freya’s Bower. There was more to the story but I just wrote one piece of it and submitted it. Now, I’ve got my rights back so I expanded the story as it was meant to be. A nice little M/M/F menage. Very hot stuff. It should be out later this month.

Next stop is my story for the M/M Goodreads group. It’s almost finished but it’s not exactly in my normal voice. It’s a little different and much heavier on the sexual tension than the actual sex. So not my usual way of writing a short story or novella. At any rate, I got myself some beta readers because it’s been awhile since I wrote from a prompt and this isn’t coming out in my normal voice so I need to ensure it all sounds good. I should be done way in advance of the deadline thank God.

And speaking of deadlines, I intend to have Runaways’ sequel, Mating, expanded and to my editor at EC by the end of March. This one stays M/F but it’s getting more to the story and a hefty dose of added sex as well. No cover art as yet. At least, if it goes novella length, it will get a new cover otherwise it gets a Quickie cover which I already have.

I’ve got Kissing Joan Collins and Magic Lessons out right now as well as stand alone versions of Afterburner and Rousing Caine. With Runaways and Mating on the horizon, I’ll be doing some cover ads to help promo the books. I’ve got space on an ad for RWR magazine coming out in April. The Rainbow Romance Writers have a full page ad and I’m one of 9 books in the ad. Kissing Joan Collins is on the same row as A.C. Katt’s Shattered Glass which is a cover I did. So I feel like I get double exposure!

Speaking of covers again, I signed a contract to do covers for MuseItUp Publishing and I’ve got some feelers out with other publishers as well. Hopefully, you’ll all be seeing more of my work in the coming months in new places.

I am signed up to go to the GayRomLit reader’s retreat in Albuquerque, NM in October as an author. It should be a fun time and I’m really looking forward to the break from work and home. I’ll be taking some swag and signing books and I’m definitely going to have some kind of Lords of Aether swag to give out. We want to get ourselves more readers from that retreat.

I’m signed up to judge the Rainbow Awards and will be reading a few books for that over the next few months. I’m also going to do first round judging for OCC’s Orange Rose contest as well. Not sure if I’ll be entering any contests myself this year. I keep thinking about it, but thus far haven’t done it. Maybe the contest the Passionate Plume chapter puts on. I finished really well there last year.

Motley’s coming home to stay soon. Her roomie is graduating so baby’s coming home to mama. 😉 The babies will love it. They miss her horribly especially Rambo. And a welcome home to my friend Hilly who’s back in California after an extended stay in Idaho.

Uhhh. There’s probably more news I could think up, but I’m drawing a blank for the moment so maybe it’s time to stop. Heh. At least, that means it’s now time for a Marcus!

Oh, that is so nice for a Monday morning. A definite pick me up! Now, off you all go and have a great Monday!

 

 

Scaredy Cat

Last night I was out really late, like half the night it seemed. At the emergency vet. Bitty Junior had a problem and we rushed him to the vet. See, Junior has long fur. On Saturday, he stunk to high heaven.  Yesterday, Motley and I attempted to shave him to get rid of his knots and clean him up, thinking he had something stuck in his fur and that’s why he was stinky. Well, he had something stuck in his fur alright. A big ball of poop stuck under his tail. Ewwww!

He seemed to be in a lot of pain and wouldn’t let us clip him. So we got worried and took him to the vet. They sedated him, gave him pain meds and clipped him. He came home with a baboon butt and higher than a kite which translated to him walking around and around and around the coffee table while panting. Since they didn’t seem to find any reason for his problem, Rott figured he was in pain because his fur was being pulled. I imagined what it would be like to have my hair pulled constantly and winced majorly.

So Motley and I spent a serious chunk of time late last night waiting and waiting for them to get Junior’s butt shaved, cleaned up and to determine if there was something really bad going on that was obvious. They had a couple of critical cases come in so Junior’s butt had to take a backseat for a bit. Eventually, they got him taken care of and we got to take him home. His carrier now has a sticker on it that says “Property of Junior.” The vet put it on there. He cried some in the car going there but not so much going home. I guess he was more scared when he was in pain and didn’t know what was happening than after they drugged him and took the pain away.

I’m tired and still a little worried this morning but all that really matters is that Junior seems to be okay. He has to go to his regular vet to ensure that nothing else was going on inside him to cause this problem and Motley’s gonna get him an appointment to be shaved despite the cool weather. Hopefully, he should be just fine.  He sure gave us a scare though! Not sure who was more scared, him or us!

I had a release last Friday. Kissing Joan Collins is out at MLR Press. If you’re into gay rom you may want to read this. It’s my first ever Valentine’s story and I’ll be guest blogging at Vanessa Kelly’s on Valentine’s Day talking about how this story was originally het. Also, I believe MLR is fixing to release Afterburner and Rousing Caine by themselves in digital format. Both were part of anthologies originally. I do believe I will pick up some additional sales because I’m sure there were people who wanted to read these but didn’t want to buy the anthologies. I’m hoping to write a third story for the guys in Afterburner (the second story was Breath of Heaven, my Christmas story.) Inversion is about the stress on the couple’s relationship due to the hoops they have to jump through in the surrogacy program which is exacerbated by a young man who makes a play for Sebastian. I’m hoping to have it for MLR’s Father Day releases and then the three novellas about my pilots can go to print together. Still thinking about a title for that, but have been thinking of Wingmen. Not sure I like it though.

Today, I’ve got another retro Marcus, something I’ve posted in the past.

That photo just makes me sigh. It’s delicious. Tired as I am, I could still stare at that all day long. Oh! I also wanted to tell all of you that I’ve been on a reading binge lately. Lots of Kim Knox who does a delicious Alpha hero worthy of my yummeh Marcus. I’m also in the middle of Jillian Stone’s An Affair With Mr. Kennedy which is a really lovely Victorian romantic suspense by a fellow OCC member. Read these authors if you get the chance!

Have a fantastic Monday!

 

Independent

This Independence Day I’ve come to understand the real meaning of being independent. Rott and I are out from beneath the yoke of being renters. This house is our house and no one can tell us what do with our house or demand entrance. The sense of freedom is amazing. As much as I struggle a bit to pay that loan payment, I derive a huge sense of satisfaction from writing that check and knowing that it pays for the walls around me to belong to me…to us. This is our sanctuary and no one controls what we can and can’t do here. It feels amazing.

Having a landlord feels and is oppressive. We’ve lifted that yoke from our shoulders. When I step out onto my porch with my morning cup of coffee and look at the canyon, I know that the land I’m looking at doesn’t belong to me. Yet, it does in the sense that it is MY view from MY porch. And looking out my windows and not seeing another building which is part of a row of identical buildings is so wonderful it brings tears to my eyes.

I grew up on a street with ranch style houses. Across the street were the pastures of a dairy farm. I lived on that street until I was 26 years old. Being thrust into the apartment and condo environment stifled me and I’ve been living the oppressed renter life way too long. The canyon I drive through now to get home reminds me of the canyons of Laguna Seca near my hometown. It’s like I’ve come full circle without having to go back to my hometown.  What it means to me is something I cannot even put into words, but it is without a doubt, independence.

Another instance of independence in my life is Nikki (aka Motley) who is now 22. She made plans for her 3 week summer break. Plans that didn’t include coming home. Instead, she went to Wisconsin to see a friend from WoW. She made the arrangements with him and his family and didn’t ask me for a dime. She flew there on her own. All I did was drive her to the airport.

Missing her these past 2 weeks has made me aware of her independence and what that means to me as a parent.  Nikki being on her own means that I am alone. Yes, Rott is here and the babies, but that’s different. Nikki is my flesh and blood. The only flesh and blood I am close to. I am not close to my siblings and their children for several reasons and I cannot rely on them to give me a sense of family. However, I do rely on Nikki for that. She is my only child and recognizing her independence means recognizing that one day she could move far away from me. That’s scary. Very, very scary.

I would never ask my child to stay close by because I am afraid to be alone. But the fear is there nonetheless. As independent as I am, I still fear being alone. There are moments I love solitude, but the sense that I am alone in this corner of the world without my only flesh and blood strikes at some deep fears within myself.

I don’t question my independence because of those fears. In some odd way, the fears strengthen my independence. Normally, I don’t think about it except once in awhile. But today is Independence Day so I thought the least I could do is acknowledge my own independence and that of my daughter. I’m so proud of her.  She’s sticking to her guns and working to finish school so she doesn’t have to struggle as I have. Her independence comes from me in many ways and I like to think I’ve not done such a bad job of parenting.

So all you parents of adult children out there, when you’re celebrating Independence Day today, also give yourself a pat on the back for creating and nurturing independence in your kids.  It’s a tough job and part of it is learning to let go and embrace your own sense of being independent.

Before I go, here’s a Marcus to brighten the day for you!

Loving those summer whites! Wishing you all a wonderful American 4th of July Independence Day!