Jennifer Lyon
Friday, January 16th, 2015
Happy Friday!

Did you all have a good week? Mine’s been good but gone by way too fast. I’m plotting out the rest of CAGED MAGIC and practicing my new resolution to relax and not get so uptight and worried. I’m basically learning a new process of handling stress–we’ll see how it goes :-)

Wednesday, Wizard willingly went to the animal shelter with me, then we both came home depressed. It was so sad to see so many dogs that need homes and care. But we have to make a real decision about commitment and our lifestyle, and we’re still figuring out how much we may or may not travel now that Wizard’s retired. I did learn one thing, it’s probably best to go with a smaller dog. Wizard is not as initially comfortable with bigger dogs as I am. That’s something I’d forgotten since he’s so comfortable about Bailey, Cookie and Corky.  And if we get a dog, he or she will be for both of us, becoming a part of our family.

And for my happy news, the second and final book of The Plus One Chronicles released in Germany yesterday and did very well–breaking into the Amazon bestseller ranks by the end of the day (by the time this blog posts, that could change).
nurbeidir-189x300 Book One Cover

 

Book One NUR BEI DIR (ONLY YOU) Amazon de

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seiteanseite-189x300 Book Two Cover

 

Book Two SEITE AN SEITE (SIDE BY SIDE) Amazon de

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I’m so happy Kat and Sloane have gone international! I’d never have predicted that happening. The first day I released the first book, THE PROPOSITION,  youngest son (BLB) came over and asked me, “How’s the book doing?”

I remember exactly. “Well I just posted it on my Facebook page a couple hours ago and 60 copies have sold on Amazon. I’m thrilled.” We both thought it was really good, but none of us could have predicated the way it took off. And I wasn’t even thinking of international sales then. Actually I didn’t seriously think about it until foreign publishers began contacting me.

I’m hoping that I cab do something similar with  the SAVAGED ILLUSION Series, but there’s no way to really predict what will capture readers, all I can do it try. But it is a story I’m excited about so we shall see. First I have to finish CAGED MAGIC and whatever the publisher will need for EXPOSING THE HEIRESS. One step at a time.

As for the weekend, I think we’re going to see the movie American Sniper and I’ll be working. What are your plans? Whatever they are, I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
Wednesday Worthy

My obsession lately has been… THE DOG WHISPERER. I’ve been watching it on my Kindle Fire any chance I get. And now, I’m bugging the bejeepers out of Wizard to go to the animal shelter so I can practice what I’ve learned.

“Um, is that like practicing witchcraft?” he asked.

I rolled my eyes. “Nope. If I practiced witchcraft, you’d be a toad.”

“Me?” He had the audacity to look shocked. “What did I do?”

“Do I have a French bulldog puppy?”

He tried on an innocent expression. “You were serious about that?”

I glared. “Nice try.”

He laughed in my face. “So is trying to get me to the animal shelter. Practice my ass. You’re tricking me into getting a dog.”

Damn. I went back to watching more episodes of DOG WHISPERER :-)  (And FYI, I’m totally wearing him down! Really! He even said it the other night!)

Now for our Wednesday Worthy Candidate. I’m just jealous of his flat abs, otherwise…eh.

Muscular Young Male Bodybuilder Shirtless Looking Up In The Sky

So what do you think, is he worthy?

 

Monday, January 12th, 2015
Weekend Roundup

GREAT weekend! My only disappointment was that I didn’t get to go to my local RWA chapter meeting, but that was my decision. Because Friday night Wizard was out until just after midnight helping BLB buy his brand new Jeep Wrangler. This is a huge milestone for BLB (youngest son). Wizard was about to bust a gut with pride. He essentially did nothing but be there for a little support while BLB negotiated a great deal. Saturday Wizard headed back out to hang with Middle Son and I stayed home because I had a feeling BLB would come by Saturday to show me his Jeep.

Sure enough, BLB came over :-)  He took me for a ride including out on the dirt trails. Half way though that ordeal, he turned and looked at me.

“Still scared Mom?”

Ummm…  “Not as much as I was a few minutes ago.” I almost always honest with my kids.

He cracked up. “The Jeep is built for this. You know that right?”

“Yep.  And you’re handling it very well.” See I knew that intellectually. BLB doesn’t scare me when he drives, none of the boys do. Wizard and I spent too much time teaching them and we were relentless (they’d tell you that too. We made them drive everywhere). This reaction was all emotional on my part. I was thinking. OMG he has’t even had it 24 hours, and we’re going to get stuck! After all he’s been through, all he’s overcome, there’s a part of me that wants to put him in a bubble and make life easy. That however, is the WORST thing to do so I usually control that reaction. BLB is a tough young man and has his life handled. My job now is to just get out of his way and be proud.

I have the proud thing down, LOL! I’m like that with all my kids. (I’ve never figured out how to be so sure of my writing–it’d be awesome if I had that same confidence there!)

As for the book, I got some real writing done and I’m really enjoying the process and loving watching Linc realize he has to step up and take an emotional risk. Linc, however, isn’t at all happy, particularity when something bad happens to his soul mirror :-) I’m hoping he’ll forgive me if we can ever get to the end. He just needs to hand on for about 200 more pages :-)

This last thing is that I started Silver’s book COWGIRL’S DON’T CRY.! I read about a third so far, and am hooked. I’d have read more but BLB came over on Sunday too to hang out for several hours. But I’m anxious to get back to the book and see what happens.

So how was your weekend?

Friday, January 9th, 2015
Happy Friday!

How did it get to be Friday again? It’s the new year and I thought time might slow down, but nope. Is it just me? So crazy! But on the upside, I’m loving writing right now. It’s just different, freer than it has been in a while. I refuse to think about deadlines, and am just letting the story happen.

Later I’ll get crazed. It’s inevitable because that’s just how I am. I care so much about the readers who have invested in Wing Slayer Hunters and hung in there waiting that I want to give them the story they deserve. But thinking about that now is counterproductive. So I’m just writing, deleting, rewriting and letting the story mature and develop.

And while I have you guys, I wanted to say that I do try to answer the comments, but missed out on Wednesday. When I went to answer, the blog or something was acting up and not posting my answers, then I just didn’t get back to try again. But I always read them comments and always appreciate them!

So this weekend: Tomorrow I’m having lunch with Biker Witch so we can catch up. I’m going to try to make my local RWA meeting on Saturday because Candace Haven is talking about writing a “Fast Draft” something I’m very weak at, and “Revision,” something I’m decent at but can always improve. But it depends how much writing I get done today. And then I’m also going to start reading COWGIRLS DON’T CRY by our own Silver James! I can’t wait!

So what are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
Wednesday Worthy

I’m deep into writing, determined to keep going on CAGED MAGIC.  I’m so deep into multiple story lines, I swear I hear the guys talking to me at night when I’m in that almost awake stage of sleep. So far I’ve managed to keep myself from waking Wizard and saying, “Did you hear that?”  I mean seriously, doesn’t the man live with enough crazy?

Although, since he’s been home full time, I’m noticing that he talks to himself too. So take that Wizard! Crazy is courageous in this house!

And since I really can’t be trusted to blog with all the voices in my head, I’ll move onto Wednesday Worthy.  Today I’m cheating a little bit. Instead of searching out a possible candidate, I saw this picture in my FB Feed and snatched it because it’s Chris Hemsworth. That’s all the reason I need! According to Chris’s FB page, this is from his People Magazine photo shoot.

 

Chris Hemsworth People Magazine

So…I’m finding those arms all kinds of worthy. What about you?

And a bonus Chris-pic just because I’m awesome like that:

chris_hemsworth bonus

 

Monday, January 5th, 2015
Weekend Roundup

Wow a lot has happened! I’m going to put pics here you may have seen on my FB page–feel free to skip ahead.

Okay so first, we woke up New Year’s Eve to snow:

2014-12-31 06.28.21

 

This is what it looked like about 6:30 am. Stunning as we don’t get snow here–ever! So that was exciting and fun. We had a snow day! I had intended to work but we were having too much fun playing like children.

Then New Year’s Day we left for our trip to Solvang. We met our three sons there, along with their girls (one wife and two girl friends). I put a family pic of my personal FB page you can probably see here  if you’re interested. We all went on this wine tasting trip to celebrate BLB’s (youngest son) graduation with his B.A. degree. The trip was a blast, and I owe a special thanks to Special K (CPA Boy’s wife) for organizing it! And to all our sons and their amazing girls for making it work. These are memories we will treasure.

Even better, Bailey Dog joined us! This is him staying in our room while all the kids went to dinner (we were invited, I just wanted to stay in that night). He was showing off his brand new jacket that Middle Son’s girlfriend got him:

Bailey Dog Solvang

Wizard now calls him the “Red Cross” dog, LOL! Bailey was very good on the trip. We took him out for to explore the shops the last day, and stopped at one winery where they graciously allowed Bailey to come in, and we ate lunch on the patio of Cecco Risorante where they also happily allowed Bailey and brought him some water. We always ASK before bringing Bailey in anywhere.

Oh and I can’t forget this special cat, Cleo, we met at another winery the day before that:

2015-01-02 11.52.36

 

2015-01-02 12.05.01

Cleo likes to greet all the customers, and was super friendly as you can see. When I sat down, he crawled up in my lap and cuddled. Don’t tell Bailey though :-) It’s our secret that I have a new friend.

Then Wizard and I went to Santa Barbara where we stayed another night to visit my brother and his lovely wife whom I haven’t seen in years. We never intended for so much time to go by, but that’s what happens in life if we don’t try harder to stay in contact with the ones we love. It was wonderful to them! I wish I’d gotten pictures, but we were so busy visiting, it didn’t occur to me at the time.

And then on the way home, we took the 101 home, and I can’t remember where this was exactly but not too far out of Santa Barbara. It was tricky to snap this pic of the Pacific Ocean while going about 70 miles an hour. It was gorgeous!

101 freeway coming home from Solvang

Compare that to the first pic of snow just a few days earlier, and you can see that Southern California can surprise us once in a while with a little variation in the weather :-)

Now I’m so happy to be home, get back to my routine and work on Linc’s book, CAGED MAGIC! I’m hoping I can write straight through to the end without another interruptions. This poor book has been shuffled aside too many times.

So how was your New Years and weekend?

 

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
Happy New Year!

As we close out another year, I want to take a moment to talk a little bit about 2014.

There were some amazing highs. For instance, Wizard being able to retire, and BLB’s (youngest son) graduation with his B.A. and a few other things. On the professional side of things, I did a little math…. Before I get to that, I need to tell you that I didn’t keep a cumulative total of all my unit sales on the Plus One Chronicles, which includes The Proposition, Possession, Obsession and The Plus One Chronicles Boxed Set. So as this year closed, I took the total money I made off the books (Yeah, I tracked that, LOL, for one thing, the IRS insists on it) and divided it by an averaged price point to get a ball park figure on total unit sales.

I was expecting between 50k and 75k.

Wrong.

I’ve sold WELL over 100K units of The Plus One Chronicles, and that does not include my subsidiary sales to Germany and Brazil this year. I was stunned. That is a career high that covered part of 2013 and 2014.

My career low for 2014? Writing Exposing The Heiress  (Book 3 in the Once A Marine Series by Jennifer Apodaca) triggered serious burnout. Part of it was plain old fatigue and some of it was writing and rewriting that book to fit the changing needs of the publisher (that isn’t a criticism, that’s how publishing works). The book ended up consuming all my time, forcing me to push back all my other projects and causing me to lose momentum with readers. Letting down readers added to my frustration and that fed the burnout.

Burnout sucks. Self doubt sucks. I’m coming out of it now, but it’s been pretty miserable. So how did I get past it? Well I know people have all kinds of solutions; vacations, chocolate, writing exercises, change of scenery, help from friends, etc. But in the end three things really helped me:

1) PASSION

Even when trying to write actually upset my stomach, NOT writing was worse. Which means that my PASSION outweighed the heavy dread and bitter self doubt that kept up a running dialogue in my head. I knew I loved writing and telling the stories of the characters living in my head. The idea of all those voices in my head forever silenced left me unbearably sad. I just had to rediscover my love of telling stories which brings me to:

2) PERSEVERANCE.

Because no matter how burned out I was, I refused to give up. I kept at it, first determined to finish Exposing The Heiress (still need to hear back on the latest version, but that’s another blog), then I set about figuring out what projects I really wanted to write in 2015.  Just because I love writing, doesn’t mean it’s easy and that’s why perseverance matters. Get ready, because this is the ranty part of the blog: Dreaming is easy, but achieving your dreams? It had better be so hard, so challenging that you have moments of doubt. You had better feel like you’re trudging up an impossible hill, in the snow with a pack of demons nipping at your heels while trolls are shooting flaming arrows at you and hyenas are bouncing around, laughing at your efforts.

Why?

Because when you make it to the top? It will be so freaking amazing, even the laughing hyenas, flame-shooting trolls and nipping demons will celebrate. There is nothing like the feeling of achieving a challenging dream. It’s a rush like nothing else with a chaser of pure satisfaction. But to get that, we have to strive hard for something that feels a bit out of our reach.

And if it’s not hard? Then you aren’t dreaming big enough.

Just as important, when that beautiful dream at the very tip of the impossible hill takes an inevitable slide (and it will, because life is full of ups and downs), you know what will save you? Say it with me now,  “PERSEVERANCE.”

Okay now I’ll end that rant and let’s move onto the final thing that’s helping me come back from burnout:

3) SUPPORT. And that’s where all you guys come in. Thank YOU for the constant support! Additionally, I have Wizard, my family, my sister and friends. All of them have been there when I’ve chosen to talk about it. I don’t always do that because I think talking can morph into a habit of complaining that can become a slippery slope. A little venting and problem solving is good, too much weighs us down until we’re trapped in the same place. It’s a fine line, but I couldn’t do this without the supportive people around me.

So there you have a bit about my highs and lows this year. My goals for 2015 are to release CAGED MAGIC in the Wing Slayer Hunter Series and launch my very sexy, Savaged Illusions contemporary series. I’m dying to write that first book. It will be loosely tied to Sloane Michael’s world from The Plus One Chronicles but each book will be a stand alone story with a happy ending. It’s possible I’ll have more releases in 2015, but those two are my focus right now.

Happy New Year

I hope you all have a safe New Year’s Eve and that 2015 rocks for all of us! If you’d like to share some of your highs and lows from 2014, I’d love to hear them!

Oh and FYI, I’m going to be offline doing some family stuff so I won’t post again until Monday.

JenniferLyon.com