Jennifer Lyon

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Sunday, January 31st, 2021
Weekend Roundup

There’s not much to roundup this weekend. We mostly stayed home and kept things quiet for Maggie. So here’s the boring highlights:

–The day before the surgery, Maggie got worse. Like a little scary-to-me worse. So while while it’s not fun to watch her frustration at the cone, or annoyance at being limited, we’re very grateful she came through to surgery so well and is recovering.

–Through a fluke of events, we had 10 cans of food for Maggie that we now can’t use. Wizard took them to the animal shelter, and they were so grateful, we now want to buy extra just to take to them. Somehow we got out of the habit of donating to them. We are big believers in animal shelters. I like rescues too but animal shelters are often front line and help more animals that a lot of the public realizes.

–Maggie ran in her kennel at bedtime the first night home, but her hard plastic cone makes a terrible noise against the side of the kennels and scared her. So she slept in her bed on the floor in our room. She stayed quiet and calm where we put her so that’s fine…but will she ever go back to sleeping in her kennel??? I hope so, but right now, this is the best thing for her to stay calm and feel safe.

–BLB and daughter-in-law came by yesterday. Daughter-in-law is the one who works at the vet and Maggie ADORES her. So after surgery, they keep the dogs in a kennel for recovery. Maggie didn’t care when anyone came in that room, but when daughter-in-law came in she cried and freaked out with her “I know you and love you” cries. Seriously Maggie LOVES her. Maggie was all over her when they came over. She loves BLB too. We truly appreciate how lucky we are to have a family member working at our vet’s office, and that Maggie adores her.

–Fun fact: I was taking Maggie on a “banned” small walk around the corner right when BLB and daughter-in-law drove up. I was quite literally busted doing the thing I’d been told not to do :-)  But daughter-in-law understood that Maggie is used to a lot of activity and struggling with the typical (not serious) post surgery issues, and I thought a walk to the corner and back might help. And it did :-) It also helped her just seeing more people she loved. After that, she ate really well and rested.

–I worked and reworked a scene. it’s not great progress, but all things considered, I’ll take it.

That’s it for me, how was your weekend?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020
Making Mistakes Is Rarely Fatal

So yesterday, my formatters sent me all my electronic files for SAVAGED DEVOTION, and I checked each one and approved them. My formatter uploaded the Apple file to publish in a few days (I can’t as I don’t have a Mac), and the remaining files are in my book folder waiting for me to upload to the other retailers. So far so good.

Then today, I began checking the draft of the print version and right there on the copyright pages was a Big Ugly Obvious Mistake. It had the wrong year.  This is entirely my fault. I sent the wrong information and I missed the error in every file I checked until the very last one. But hey, at least I caught it…eventually.

I hate making mistakes, and worse, I hate causing others extra work to fix it. So it’s not a great feeling, but it’s rarely fatal. It’s just a mistake. In fact, I can guarantee that despite two different editors who worked on this book, some errors will get through in the published versions. Typos and other things slip through all our best efforts.

I want a perfect book, but that’s an impossible standard. And it’s exactly the kind of thinking that freezes me creatively. The truth is readers don’t usually love books for their error free perfection, but they adore them for their characters and story. Readers are wonderfully forgiving of authors being fallible if they write a compelling story.

Mistakes are Rarely Fatal.

What I try to do when I make a mistake is this:

  1. First, own the mistake. All mistakes in the books are mine. All of them.
  2. When it causes my team extra work, I try to always claim the mistake, ask them to fix it and to charge me. My editors, formatter and cover artists are valuable professionals and work as hard as I do. And they deserve to make a living as much as I do.
  3. Let it go. It’s okay to be fallible.
  4. Believe in myself and my ability to create imperfectly wonderful stories :-)

So that’s my thought for the day. Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Crazy, Randoms Songs That Get Stuck In My Head.

A few of the weird and random songs that get stuck in my head.

  1. Put the Lime in the Coconut
  2. Who Let The Dogs Out.
  3. A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh from The Lion Sleeps Tonight
  4. We Are The Champions
  5. YMCA

There’s a ton more, but those came to mind when I wrote the blog. Now it’s your turn to share songs that get stuck in your head.

Monday, October 14th, 2019
Weekend Roundup

I clearly have a big mouth. Just because I indicated on Friday’s blog that life has slowed the insane pace enough to be more manageable–the new garage door opener stopped working after two months. Wizard knew pretty quick why–they don’t make many openers for the older non-roll up doors, at least not ones we can get shipped to California.

When it comes to regulations, California is on drugs. This probably sounds blasphemous (sorry!), but California looked at God’s 10 Commandments and said, “Amateur. Somebody hold my GCB, non-fat, non-GMO, non-discriminatory, non-peanut-allergy, latte heated by solar energy, served in my environmentally-friendly cup with a fully degradable sippy straw, and watch this.  I will make a thousand commandments of stupidity in a single day. We shall create a no- business-can-survive economy, where the only product easily available is cannabis to ease the stress of life being impossible when you can’t buy and sell anything.

But…umm…perhaps I got off topic?

So we bought the expensive garage door opener that supposedly worked with the old style doors. I knew full well there was only a 50-50 chance of it working, particularly with a two car-garage door that’s been slightly warped by time. But while I mentioned that to Wizard, I could also see he was trying to solve the problem without spend a painful amount of money on new doors (we have a three car garage). Saturday, Wizard hooked it up, pressed the button and OMG, have you ever seen a metal railings push up and twist? I screamed, “Stop!” He did, but it had twisted enough that…well long story short (Ha! Too late for that!), we’re going to get estimates this week for the roll up doors. And just be grateful California allows us to buy roll up doors, instead of hanging a plant-based, gender-neutral tarp rescued from a garbage dump and in need of a forever home over the garage opening.

Oops, is my sarcasm showing?

But the rest of the weekend was good. We went to Special K’s for her birthday. It was a nice evening, and she went to a lot work cooking ribs for her own birthday :-)

Yesterday, I dropped by Youngest Son and Fiance’s house in the afternoon. They’ve painted everything inside of their house except the bedrooms,  and put up pictures. They’ve worked so hard making their house into a home, and I love seeing how happy they are after waiting years to start their life together. Their wedding is just a few weeks away.

So that was the rambling version of my weekend :-) How was your weekend?

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
Happy (Early) 4th of July!

I wanted to wish all those in the U.S. a Happy (and Safe!) 4th of July tomorrow. To all those outside the states, Happy Early Thursday :-)

So originally I asked Maggie if she wanted to pose for a 4th of July picture and write a post. She declined because she is not a fan of the holiday. Well not that’s not entirely true, she loves BBQs, parties, and all the fun stuff, but like many of her canine friends, she is afraid of fireworks. She doesn’t really trust humans to use good judgement, and I have to say, she’s not wrong in that some humans are careless and downright foolish. Wizard and I staying home with Maggie. We’ll make ribs and peach pie, and hang out in the pool.

If you’re celebrating, what are you doing?

And please, Maggie asks that everyone remember their pets on what she has proclaimed to be the scariest holiday of the year.

Monday, October 1st, 2018
Weekend Roundup

Saturday, Youngest Son came by and stayed most of the day. He wanted to know more about my surgery, and I thought maybe he had reservations, which I would have listened to. However he was very supportive and encouraging. He wants me to do it,  get through the recovery and return to a healthier, more active life. Since he’s my most methodical son, and least likely to jump into anything, I was very relieved. He’d clearly done his own research too, which was also nice to know. In addition to all that, Youngest took us up into the burned out hills in his Jeep. I walk in there everyday, but he went deeper than I go, and this is the first time Wizard was able to see it way back there at all. We got an up close view of isolated homes and ranches that were saved by firefighters. I know I’ve said it dozens of times, but the work they did was nothing short of miraculous.

So back to our drive, we crested one hill, and saw a couple dozen white box things in a cleared area, and we weren’t sure what they were–until bees starting flying around the Jeep. Obviously, they were to housing for honeybees, so Youngest turned the Jeep around and we left :-) Thankfully the bees didn’t follow.

All of us are getting super excited for Middle Son’s wedding this weekend! As a bonus, I get to see Baby Slayer quite a lot around the wedding festivities too. Let’s just cross our fingers that the storm that is arriving this week clears out by Sunday, or the beach wedding is going to get interesting :-)

Speaking of the storm that’s supposed to dump some significant rain midweek, the city representatives were going door to door in our area over the weekend, warning us that we are now in a flood zone after the fires. We’ve also had two recorded phone calls from the country warning of the same thing. Sigh…so we’re on alert, and we will evacuate if we get the order. This isn’t a surprise, we knew it would happen if rains showed up. The good news is that the city/county have been working hard, using both big earth movers and k-rails to direct any runoff into the natural creek bed that leads away from homes. They are doing everything they can, and we appreciate that. This is just life in Southern CA, we get fires and mudslides.

Some of you may have seen on my FB page that Maggie wasn’t feeling well yesterday. As I’m writing this Sunday evening, she seems better and has eaten a little plain chicken and rice. If’ she’s not completely better by today, I’ll run her into the vet. For sure, I’m going to reschedule her second set of vaccines for another week or two out to give her more time between shots. My future daughter in law who works at a veterinary office is giving me advice so we can make sure Maggie will be fine :-)

That was my weekend, how was yours?

Monday, April 10th, 2017
Living the Dream

Warning: This email was written while under the influence of antibiotics, insomnia, wild joy, soul-shuddering fear and the usual amount of Jen-Crazy. Proceed at your own risk.

I have moments where I’m think, “Wow I’m living the dream.”

And then there are other moments, where I’m pretty sure I’m chasing the dream through the bowels of hell.

So Friday afternoon, I was cleaning our old leather couches–

**And let me just ask this: Do hellhounds come in at night and shed old filth, muck and digested bone marrow on my furniture while I’m sleeping? Because ewww….there was some serious dirt on my couches. So freaking embarrassing. But alas, those couches and clean now–yes sir they are, and if any grubby hellhounds try to smear their disgusting grime on them again, I will squirt them with my trusty cleaner and poof their butts right back to the underworld. Just saying…**

–Right so back to the subject of living the dream. While cleaning the couches, my phone dinged letting me know I had a new email. If my phone dings, that means Siri knows this is likely an email I want to read. Siri is clever like that. So I stripped off my hazmat suit (just kidding, people, I don’t live in a toxic waste dump…come on…)  all right I put down my cleaning rag and pulled up the email.

It’s was from my editor.

I’m like…holy cow (I cleaned that up for you. I don’t want to say holy f-ing sh*t on my blog, that would be rude). Why was I freaking out? It was too soon!! I’d just turned in the book a few days ago. So…this can’t be good. I had this happen once before and it’s not a memory I want to relive. Nope, in that case, my first two chapters were so confusing, she stopped reading the book and sent it back for me to fix so she could understand it.

I felt sick. Not like, oh, crap, I have a sinus infection sick. This was stomach sinking, career-ending, where’s the vodka sick. I broke out in a sweat and closed the email.

That’s right, I was scared of an email. I’d rather tackle dirty couches!

Except I had to know. I lasted about 22 seconds and opened the email again. Then I shut one eye, squinted with the other and mentally prepared for a death-blow to my career. It began with Dear Jennifer.

Hmm, well that’s better than Dear Author Wannabe, right? Although she often calls me Jen, so Jennifer… so formal. Hmm…Is she quitting?

OMG is my editor dumping me!! Where is the freaking vodka??? Wait, I don’t drink vodka. Crap. Is now a good time to start drinking vodka? It really seems like the perfect time for vodka.

Oh for the love of chocolate, read the damn email, Jen.

Great now I’m hearing voices. I’m definitely skipping the vodka because while I can tolerate voices in my head, I draw the line at drunk voices. So I began to read. The first paragraph was about…I dunno. There were a bunch of words that weren’t about my book. Which seems kind of rude when it really should be all ABOUT MY FREAKING BOOK because Hello?? Author dying here??

So I got through that real long first paragraph stuffed with words and punctuation and none of it about my book.

Whew, okay no hate in paragraph number one. So on to paragraph number two. It began like this:

“First off, I gotta tell you. Wow. Seriously, wow. This book is so, so good.”

Wait, what?

OMG she’s not dumping me and she doesn’t hate my book!! She gushed for a while, right down to the ending of the book.

After that, she went into “editor mode” and outlined revisions. The first half of the book needs some work, but the second half she couldn’t stop reading. For me, it’s all great news. I’m thrilled with her reaction and agree with her revisions that–if I can pull off–will make the book stronger.

And so on Friday afternoon, I was living the dream. That feeling is so addictive that I will chase this dream through the really bad days of insomnia and despair, fighting the voices of doubt in my head, working until I ache, to achieve those few magical moments when I realize the book is working, that I have hit the mark and given the characters the story they deserve.

For me, that is living the dream. Dreams aren’t easy, but they are worth the struggle.

Okay if you happened to make it through the whole blog–how was your weekend?

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