Jennifer Lyon
Monday, November 27th, 2017
Weekend Roundup & Holiday Madness

First, our Thanksgiving was great and zoomed by way too fast. The entire four days was a blur of trying to be everywhere and do everything. I bet a lot of you can relate! Which brings me to my next point:

Holiday Madness. Shopping, wrapping, decorating, blowing the budget, money worries, cooking, cleaning, dealing with misunderstandings…it’s enough to drain any of us. Then add things like work deadlines and no wonder we feel a little bit like:

The Grinch

As for me, I’ve accepted that I can only carve a few hours of writing time out during the season, but I’m going to commit to those few hours. The last few weeks have completely gotten away from me and that’s going to stop (after I take Wizard to a doctor appointment today–that’s the kind of stuff constantly getting in my way this year). It’s okay to prioritize a few hours for the work that I love.

But there’s so much more. And here’s a few of my tips:

  1. Either we manage our stress or it will manage us. So let’s adjust our holiday expectations. A perfectly decorated tree, cookie, or squeaky clean house isn’t as important as our family and friends. I know I’d rather show up and be present with a smile and a plate of the best-I-can-do (or store-bought) cookies, than show up stressed, tired and snappish. So I suggest we let go of a few smaller details to enjoy the people and moments we truly cherish. I rarely remember a clean house, but I do remember a warm smile that makes me feel welcome.
  2. Exercise even if it’s just walking the dog for fifteen minutes. Do whatever helps you relax and breathe.
  3. Forgive ourselves for mistakes. We’re human and we all make mistakes. A simply apology goes a long ways. (An apology that doesn’t include the word “but” in it. I’m sorry I overreacted. Is good a good apology. I’m sorry I overreacted but… Is an excuse not an apology.)
  4. In the same vein: Forgive those around us. Misunderstandings happen, and often there truly is no real malice behind it.  The more we can let it go, the easier it is for us to move onto a better place.
  5. However, we are perfectly within our rights to simply walk away from toxic situations. I know it can be hard to let go of arguments or feeling unjustly attacked, but we’ve all worked hard to build our lives, so let’s live them and refuse to give toxic people the power to ruin more than a brief moment in our day.
  6. Do one thing for others this season: Give a few groceries or $10.00 to a food bank, drop a new toy off at a Toys for Tots location, drop off blankets and a few dollars to a local shelter or rescue, or whatever matters to you. That one gesture will make you a holiday hero to some adult, child or pet out there, and you’ll feel great for having done it.

Okay guys, now it’s your turn. How was your Thanksgiving weekend and do you have any tips you’d like to add for managing holiday stress?

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S., a day many of us gather with family and friends and remember to be thankful. While this has been a challenging year, I have so very much to be thankful for. And topping my list is all of YOU who visit this blog. Thank you, friends, for all your support and friendship this year. I’m truly grateful and honored. You’ve really helped me through a rough time.

I’m always thankful for my family. And in March, we will welcome our first grandson! Wizard and I are ecstatic about becoming grandparents. In addition our middle son is engaged to a wonderful woman and just bought his first house. And Youngest Son has been making extra time to hang out with us on Saturdays and provide a little extra support/reassurance as we adjust to having a foster dog. Which brings me to my last thing for today:

I’m thankful for this girl!

Today (assuming nothing comes up that delays the appointment) we are officially adopting her! Her name is Maggie May Apodaca. For the first time, I’m happy to “fail” at something. A Foster Fail is someone who falls in love with their foster pet and adopts them :-) That’s me! (And Wizard!) This dog has captured our hearts. Trust me, pictures just don’t do her justice. When you see her in person, her sweet, gentle spirit shines through. She’s still a mommy’s girl, but she’s expanding her horizons each day. Maggie fills our days with smiles, laughter, love and companionship.

If you all have a minute, share something you’re thankful for. And to everyone in the U.S. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends, and for everyone outside the states, Happy Wednesday!

P.S. I probably won’t have time to post on Friday, so have a great weekend too!

Monday, November 20th, 2017
Weekend Roundup

What a weekend! It was the typical whirlwind, but all good. Friday, we took Maggie to the vet for a well check and she’s in great shape. She did really well. It was doubly fun as the veterinarian was a romance fan and had read my books :-) She wanted to know when I’ll have more Wing Slayer books out, which made me smile. I’m trying to get my health and life back on track, and I’m making progress! One example is I was notified that my medication was approved for delivery on Tuesday. That’s huge! Wizard and I are a little cautious, but if it shows up and everything is as promised, things are definitely improving with my new doctor!

Saturday we took Maggie to meet middle son’s and fiance’s dog. Jett’s a big loveable sweetheart who wants to play with any dog he meets. Maggie’s reaction was mixed, and poor Jett didn’t understand. I tried to explain to him that girls are complicated :-)

After that, we went to see Middle son and his fiance’s very first house. They just bought it and refused to tell us a thing until they could show us. We love the house! It also has a beautiful yard and it’s great to see them excited and happy. It’s a big milestone, Wizard and I are so proud of them. Once we got home, youngest son was here waiting for us, and by us, I mean Maggie :-) Friday and Saturday were pretty much a nonstop blur.

Sunday was my catch up day and I finally rewrote my first scene the required 1,001 times and sent it to my critique partner to beg for another read. It’s the plot and emotional arc set-up I have to get right before I can revise the rest of the book. I think I’m much closer to the mark now, or at least I hope so. I can’t wait to get back to the computer tomorrow to work on it!

It’s been a good week, a lot of positive rays of light. I am hoping all of you and feeling some of that positive light too.

So how was your weekend?

Friday, November 17th, 2017
Friday Five!

Friday??? Seriously??? Where did the week go? Okay let’s do 5 things about our week!

  1. Not long after our trip to Florida, a very close family member was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. We’ve been shocked, devastated and scared. This week, we got a glimmer of hope for him in a second opinion and a possible treatment option. There’s no predicting how this will turn out, but we are very grateful for this ray of hope. There are so many people in the medical field working to save, extend and improve the quality of lives for people dealing with serious illnesses, and we are thankful. (It has been a brutal year with family health problems, weird how it all happens like that.)
  2. I’m working on SAVAGED DEVOTION when I can, but I can’t begin to predict now when it will be released. Last night, I was working, again, on my opening scene, and two distinct solutions occurred to me like light bulbs going on. I love those moments! Again, I’m both grateful and thankful to feel like my ability to write is returning.
  3. I saw Biker Witch yesterday for lunch and fun! We had prime rib/French dip sandwiches that rocked my world. Or maybe I just really needed some sister time :-)
  4. I’m taking Maggie in for a vet check with the veterinarian my son’s fiance works for. (I took Bailey Dog there a few times too, they are great.) I’m paying for this myself to make sure she’s healthy and adoptable…because obviously I’m stupid in love with her :-) Wizard really likes her too, although Maggie can be a little uncertain and skittish with him when I leave. She’s fine with him when I’m here so it’s getting better.  We just have to believe that she will continue to improve with consistent love and structure. But if the vet finds problems, we have to re-evaluate given that we’re dealing with with serious family health issues, plus mine. I doubt anything serious will come up though.
  5. Do you guys realize Thanksgiving is next week??? Who let the holidays in????

Okay now it’s your turn to share five random things about your week. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

 

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
Wednesday Worthy

Today I’m writing! Wizard will be gone all day, and I’m determined to get some real work done. Maggie is going to help :-)

Now for our Wednesday Worthy Candidate–this is for those of you who don’t like the waxed look.

So what do you think, is he worthy?

Monday, November 13th, 2017
Weekend Roundup

The weekend zoomed by! This week, Wizard and I have to make a decision about foster pup Maggie. But before I get to that, let me tell you about my weekend;

Friday I went to get my hair done, and because I’ve known my hairdresser forever and she works in a small shop, she let me bring Maggie to keep working on Maggie’s socialization skills. Maggie did great! She learned to stay on her blanket, and was really good with two exceptions:

–When she saw herself in the mirror and growled. I cracked ups, then showed her it was fine, and had her stay on her blanket there. She realized Mirror Maggie was okay.

–And second I was getting the color washed out of my hair, and I dropped the leash. Maggie always stays by me, except this time. Some older man came in and Maggie ran to greet him. I was stuck in the shampoo bowl trying to call my dog back, LOL! Sumerlee (my hairdresser) got her, and Maggie was fine. She didn’t bark, just politely greeted the man coming into the shop, then came right back with Sumerlee and laid down on her blanket. I shouldn’t have dropped the leash, that was my bad.

Then on Saturday, it was the Big Test. So you all know that Maggie’s being dealing with some separation anxiety. It’s been improving, but I hoped she’d  be good.  In the morning, I took her to Pet Co to get her some treats, then I stopped by on outdoor outlet center in our town where pets are allowed to walk her on flat ground. She was golden good. She even met another dog with no problems. Then came time for me to leave for my niece’s bridal shower. I was gone for over five hours, and had a great time. But I was nervous when I got home. And…

How did Maggie do?

She did pretty well. Wizard said she once once when I left, he told her to knock it off and come over to him, and she did. She occasionally went to the door to look for me, but no more whining and no distress panting. She spent a lot of time in my office chair, or sitting by Wizard. Otherwise she ate when hungry and was fine. A success!!  Honestly, I still need to dial back some affection and keep leaving the house, but she’s showing steady improvement.

And that was my weekend. Sunday I was sore, tired and managed a couple of hours writing. I’m still wrestling the first chapter of the rewrite which will set the tone for the whole revision. My goal is to conquer it today.

Which all brings me back to Maggie. Wizard and I need to commit–so what do you all think we’ll do? Will we keep her or find her another awesome forever home???

 

So how was your weekend?

Friday, November 10th, 2017
Friday Five

Happy Friday! It’s time to list five random things about your week. Here’s mine:

  1. I’m enjoying walking and playing with Maggie so much, I gave myself a wicked case of shin splints on my right leg :-) It’s improving day by day exactly like shin splints does. Over the weekend, I was running barefoot with Maggie on cement in the backyard, and I definitely brought this on myself.
  2. Still talking about Maggie–I left her with Wizard again yesterday for a couple hours with no crying! Her separation anxiety is improving as her confidence grows. She’s definitely a submissive/timid girl, but she’s really blossoming. We’re all learning.
  3. I working and reworking the first few pages of Savaged Devotions as I mentally replot the whole book and timeline from my critique partner’s awesome suggestions.  Normally I rewrite much faster, but the whole Real Life things keeps getting in the way. However, I’m once again finding myself thinking about the book in any free moment, and that’s both a huge relief, and exciting, at the same time. I had began to wonder where the magic of hearing characters in my head, and feeling the drive to write, had gone. For months, it was only flickers in radio silence. It was frustrating and scary. (Also scary is trying to get my RA meds approved by my new insurance when I’m already late, but I don’t want to dwell on that right now. I’m thinking positive as much as I can.)
  4. This story has haunted me since I saw it on the news Wednesday night. It’s about animal abuse, so feel free to skip this if you want.  But I just can’t shake it off–some asshole poured boiling water in his girlfriend’s dog. That is pure evil and enrages me, and I know all of you feel the same. The one bright spot is that the poor little dog cried out for help–and two 17 year olds were his hero that day. I’m so proud of them! They heard him crying, videoed the jerk, and called the police. I’m really proud of those teenagers! (I can’t believe that asshole who did it is out on bail though.)
  5. This weekend I’m going to my niece’s wedding shower. That’ll be fun to see her, and all the family as well celebrate her upcoming marriage in January.

That’s my Friday Five, now it’s your turn! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

JenniferLyon.com