New Writing Prompt & NaNoWriMo Update

I had to chuckle when I chose the photo I’d use for today’s post. “My Plan.”

I make a lot of plans. From day-to-day and from year-to-year. Sometimes, those plans go off smooth as butter. Other time, I can almost picture Life ROTF (rolling on the floor laughing) at me. This NaNoWriMo has gone similarly to most years past, but I’m determined to finish at least one book. And maybe get a good start on another.

For now, I’m happy to be through half of the editing process – even though I’ve realized I may have to add a few thousand more words to the story. That’s okay too. It’ll still be within the word count I chose at the beginning. Of course, I could be wrong. It might be a tad longer. Time will tell.

Now for the writing prompt…

I guess I expected the book I bought to be a little different than it is. Kind of more fiction related than ‘real life.’ So, I may change that one of these days. 

Lately, after I read Aria’s bedtime story and lights are out, she begs for another one. And so… I’ve been making up short stories on the spot. Usually, they are about Princess Aria, Princess Mama, and Queen Grandma. Last night, because the windchills have been too cold to enjoy our snow, Princess Aria dumped a bunch of flour on the kitchen floor and she, Princess Mama, and Queen Grandma had fun playing in the pretend snow.

When we reached ‘the end,’ Queen Grandma issued a warning that Princess Aria was NOT allowed to REALLY dump flour on the floor in the kitchen – except in the story. 🙂

I’m thinking something like that – with no planning or plotting – could be a fun blog thing. But only after NaNoWriMo is over. Does it sound like something you would enjoy reading? Let me know in the comments below.

For now though, I’ll go with the book’s suggestions. This week, it says to list three realistic goals I’d like to achieve in my lifetime.

  1. Through nutrition and exercise, find the energy I had as a teenager. I’ve got too much I want to do and enjoy to let hypothyroidism keep me from it anymore.
  2. Write at least 100 books (not counting the ones I’ve already done), some under a pen name or two because romance isn’t my only favorite genre.
  3.  Earn enough from my writing that I can have a small indoor exercise pool AND a greenhouse. I love the idea of working out in warm water and growing all (or at least most) of the produce for my household – year round.

I’ve used this song on my blog before, most likely when thinking about goals. I just think it’s a great reminder that life is short and getting shorter all the time.

What about you? In addition to opinions on the spur of the moment stories, what are some of your goals in life?

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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Updates and Some News

So…

I mentioned, a post or two ago, that I’d have some news some might love – but others would not. And I’ll get to that in a minute. First, the updates.

The 2019 National Novel Writing Month kicks off at midnight tomorrow night – and I plan on joining in. Again. While the pain issue is getting better, it’s not entirely gone. Mostly because I have a hard time staying away from the computer. But, for the most part, I’m keeping my hands off the keyboard and mouse. Which means most, if not all, of this year’s projects will be dictated.

Those projects include finishing several stories – and maybe writing two new novellas. If I do what I’d like, I’ll have the first drafts for seven or eight stories finished by December first. That will be a lot of editing once the pinched nerve is healed, but I don’t mind. 🙂

Second, I’ve decided that enough readers don’t care for my paranormal/fantasy stories, so I’ve put them back under the pen name JJ Belding. Most have new covers and titles. Taking some advice from someone who knows more than me, some have been split up. One story just went live again today. The original title, The Ripple, was a poor choice for a paranormal romance. Now, it’s Wyatt’s Second Chance. Click on the cover to check it out (it’s an affiliate link – click here to learn what those are, if you don’t already know).

And I’m still plugging away at the Trim Healthy Mama – and having fun with chaffles. This was one of my best experiments – recreating a favorite dessert.

 

This one is called the Wonder Bread chaffle.  Thank you to Sui Generis for coming up with this! Mine didn’t look as pretty as hers but it made three chaffles. I saved one to use in place of the pasta in lasagna for supper (yum – worked perfectly), but topped these two with a serving (10 carbs) of sugar free cherry pie filling, and some heavy cream whipped with a tablespoon of Pyure and a couple of twists of pink sea salt. This was my lunch, totally in line with the Trim Health Mama plan, and oh so good!

And now, the news I’ve been putting off…

I gave it eighteen months, but have pulled my books from all stores but Amazon. Well, except for six from the Coach’s Boys series back into Kindle Unlimited – and those will go in as soon as the final library service takes them down. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it had to be made. 

So to everyone who isn’t an Amazon customer, I apologize. But I will remind you that there are free Kindle reading apps (click here) for most devices. And I hope you enjoy my stories enough to check them out. 🙂

I almost forgot! Over the next three days, you can pick up three of my books for free. Just click on Kristy K. James to take you to my Amazon author pages. 

The Secret Admirer (ends tonight at midnight)
Erin’s Christmas Wish (November 6-7, 2019)
A Prince on the Run (November 7-8, 2019)

Okay. I’m about typed out. It’s time to spend some quality time with my heating pad again – and then see how much dictation I can get done before I get on with the rest of my day. 🙂

Cartoon photo credit: Pixabay

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A Bird in the Hand…

…is a much better saying than ‘A Bird in the Van.’ But that’s exactly what happened tonight. When I realized how much ibuprofen I’ve taken in the past month or so, I decided it was time to find a different way to deal with the pain. So, after lots of research, and finding that CBD isolate won’t cause any sort of high, I decided to get some. And lo and behold, it does work. Even my daughter has taken it for a headache and shoulder pain (from doing too much wall washing).

So anyway…

I realized I was all but out a few hours ago so it was time for a trip to town to get more. No way would I be able to sleep without it. Opening the door, I wound up kind of screaming and jumping back into the grass when something darted across the floor – and it was bigger than a mouse. First, I considered just walking to town (not seriously), then told my daughter I was going back into the house to change from my open-toed shoes to sneakers. I also start to say we’re getting traps – but tell her I’m afraid to say what kind. She asks, “Rat?” I say, “Shut up. I didn’t want to even say the word.”

And then Aria shouts, “It’s a bird! It’s a bird! I LOVE it!” (and she kind of wanted to keep it – not!)

Apparently, the little sucker was hiding under the dash and when I opened the door, it scared it so it zoomed between the seats. I was almost weak with relief – until I realized there was white stuff on the seats, steering wheel, and dash.

Long story short, the bird is out. Most of the white has been scrubbed out. And tomorrow, we’re getting a bottle of Lysol because cleaning it with alcohol doesn’t feel like enough. Oh. And we have a new rule. When carrying groceries in, the doors are to be closed between trips!

Quick update … I believe I’m about three scenes from being finished with the rough draft of the first book in the new series. And if you read the latest Sweetheart Sunday post, you can imagine that it’s pretty rough.

Since this song mentions birds right off the bat, and it’s also a love song, it seems like a very appropriate choice for tonight. Besides, I love The Carpenters. 🙂

Photo credit: Pixabay

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Sweetheart Sunday 10/20/19

Keeping it super short today. I’ve actually found something that may be helping – as long as I avoid typing. So first, I’m going to share a song that kind of reminds me of Riley and Margo – the couple in the first book of my new series. Fortunately, I also happen to love the song so it’s found a spot near the top of the book’s playlist.

I also wanted to share a few examples of why I can’t wait for this pinched nerve to go away! Dictating will probably be something I turn to more and more though because it allows me to ‘write’ faster. The problem is, I need to find a program a tad more accurate than Google Docs and Word. 

Still, I hope you’ll all be as amused as I am when I read through each day’s dictation and find things like these. There would be more, but I’ve been trying to do the one finger typing thing to fix the worst of each mess – after getting it all into a writing program.

Sam paragraph and it hurt, shemale, as she sat parked at The Falls. she couldn’t stay alone, she Nails (I can’t even begin to guess what I said that resulted in this mess)

But I do Carrie Ann is Liam’s father. (Presumably, Carrie Ann is a female father – though there is no character named Carrie Ann in the story)

If I get to come home in 2 days, Riley said hurdley unable to contain his Joy. (hurdley??? And who is Joy? I’m thinking Margo might be a little jealous. 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

See you next time – with some news that may make some of you happy. And others … not so much.

 

 

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Will Patton … and a Would You Rather

A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine enjoying audible books. It took a while for me to get used to the digital versions, which I almost always prefer now. I say ‘almost’ because I still miss turning pages. I also miss being able to underline and make notes in the margins of work-related books, yes, I know I could do at least some of that in Kindle books – but I can’t leaf through the pages to find the notes as easily as I could in a paperback novel. But I quickly realized Kindles are handier, offer more choices (if you have a well-stocked library), and are lighter.

Now though, I’ve come to love audible books. Of course, it depends on the narrator. Daniela Acitelli, narrator for the Coach’s Boys series, my very favorite is Alas, Babylon – a book I’ve read countless times since receiving an old copy when I was a teenager. Thank God for print-on-demand because I’ve worn out two copies. By the way, that was an affiliate link – and there will be a few more in this post. Click here to discover what affiliate links are. 

Anyway, I didn’t know what I was missing until I got the audible version – narrated by Will Patton. I loved him in Armageddon, Gone in Sixty Seconds, and Remember the Titans. His voice is great, rating right up there with James Earl Jones and Sam Elliot. I could listen to all three of them read just about anything.

While I’ve never read anything by Mr. Burke, there is an excerpt from a book, narrated by – you guessed it – Will Patton. 🙂

But why did I decide audible books were great?

Because of Hotel Transylvania, Chipwrecked, and Shark Tale. Weird, right? But I listened to those cartoons so many times on the video player in the van that it hit me one day, I was actually enjoying the story lines. 

I’m very grateful for that new addiction now. I’m spending so much time with ice packs and the heating pad, listening to stories helps alleviate the boredom. I also love to listen to audible books when I’m cleaning or cooking. So yeah, I’m sold. 

Speaking of, did you know I’ve got ten audible books available? If you like the digital copies, you might just love those. 

Anyway, since typing requires some quality time with the heating pad (pinched nerve, pinched nerve, go away – and don’t ever come back another day!), I’ll get to the other part of this post…. 

Would You Rather… Write and have a best-selling book published – or star in a blockbuster movie?

After two years in drama in junior high school, it was very clear that acting is not one of my abilities. Writing, however, is. So the answer to that question is easy. Of course, I wouldn’t mind writing a blockbuster movie either. 

What about you? Write or act? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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Good intentions…

The road to ‘you know where’ is paved with them. My planner and kanban board are filled with them too. But, for a change, I’m determined to start accomplishing my goals. You know … as opposed to just writing them down and then kind of ‘forgetting’ they’re there.
 

I was doing really good too. But all of the sitting at my desk and typing, determined to meet those goals, must have been a big shock to my usual ‘procrastinating self’ because I wound up with the second pinched nerve I’ve ever had.

Honestly? I’d have been thrilled to never have another one but, what can I say. It’s here and it’s pretty tenacious. It is getting better though. As long as I don’t do anything to aggravate it. Like typing this blog post. Or handwriting notes for something I’ll explain in a minute.

First, do you like my ‘board?’ Some people would say I have a hard time drawing a straight line with a ruler, and it’s kind of true. So my kanban boards will never look as nice as some. But I’m okay with it. It’s not even a board. Just pink poster paper. And smaller than most any you’ll ever see. I discovered last year that the bigger the board, the more likely I am to never look at it. In fact, over that 90-day period, I only managed to move one task to the bottom of the board.

This time, though I started the last quarter of 2019 two weeks early, I’ve already finished four tasks – and would have done more but for that pesky nerve.

But…

Is it possible it’s not  a pesky nerve after all? Because, after a few days of zero productivity – and for the first time in more than two years! – I’ve turned my attention back to dictation. And … I’ve dictated more than 3,000 words in the new book!!! And it only took a couple of hours. I expect my speed (and comfort level) to increase dramatically. In fact, if it takes as long for this nerve to go back to normal (and I REALLY hope it’s a LOT quicker this time), I could have at least two books in the series dictated and ready to edit.

So maybe, sometimes, what feels like a setback is actually a blessing in disguise. That’s how I’m choosing to look at this one anyway. I’ll still be posting on Facebook, and dictating (hopefully) a couple of blog posts a week. But after this, I’m not going to be doing much typing until I can do so without needing my heating pad. 🙂

Any suggestions for getting rid of a pinched nerve fast? Share them in the comments’ section below. Please. Seriously, I want to be rid of this as quickly as possible.

In looking for a song that fits with my frame of mind tonight, this one seemed perfect. Aria thought the Shrek (affiliate link – learn more about them here) version was even more perfect so…

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Sweetheart Saturday – Series Inspiration

While the first book in my new series has nothing to do with most of my favorite movies, sometimes, I need a big dose of romance to put me in the mood … to write. 

And when I do, I usually turn to the same movies. Well, when I say the ‘same,’ I actually mean maybe a dozen that I never get tired of. Something about them just makes me feel all sappy and warm inside.

The trailers for the following movies have heroes that make me swoon…

Without question, Two Weeks Notice will always have a place in the top ten… (first of four affiliate links, click here for more information)

And My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend might even edge that one out – but only by a hair…

While You Were Sleeping? Yeah, buddy!

But the one I’ve been drawn to the most – for the past couple of years is – Letters to Juliet. And after I post this, since I’ve only got about 300 more words to meet today’s writing goal, I think I’m going to watch it. Again. Shh. We won’t tell anyone it’s the fourth time this year, right? 🙂

So what romantic movies make you swoon? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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This WYR Could Work in a Story…

Football?!

Did Kristy K. James really post a photo of a sports game – football?! – on her blog, you might be asking.

Why yes. Yes, I did. But not because I’ve developed a love for sports. I’d still rather watch dust settle or paint dry than watch grown men fighting over one ball or another. I’m going to say a big ‘I’m sorry’ to my mother, aunts, sister, sister-in-law, various female cousins and friends, readers, and visitors to my website who do love football, baseball, golf, and any other game there might be. Sports just isn’t my thing. Reading and good movies are. 

However, the WYR (Would You Rather) made me wonder something – so I paid a visit to my BFF (Google) to find out the exact definition of ‘blindside,’ and whether it is usually always bad, or if it can sometimes be a good thing.

Dictionary.com defines it as: Sportsto tackle, hit, or attack (an opponent) from the blind side: The quarterback was blindsided and had the ball knocked out of his hand. Informal. to attack critically where a person is vulnerable, uninformed, etc…

Those definitions are definitely not a good thing. But then I was reminded of one of my favorite movies – The Blind Side (affiliate link – click here to learn more). In that instance, in my opinion anyway, Michael Oher is blindsided by Leigh Anne Touhy and because of it, his life changes. Dramatically. For the better.

So what is today’s Would You Rather?

Would you rather get blindsided at work or in love? 

Given the way the past few months have gone, and the way the future is looking, if being blindsided is a good thing, I’d want it to be my for my career. If it’s a bad thing, I don’t know. I’ve had all the bad things I want to deal with for a while. But life is changing and right now, I need to focus on my writing. So that’s my answer.

Which would you choose? Work or love? And why, if you want to share. Let me know in the comments below.

Oh yeah. About the story possibilities? I realized I already have a character in the new series who gets blindsided by love. Or an old love. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen. 🙂

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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Lazy Days and… I’m SO excited!

The writing prompt today is: How do you like to spend lazy days?

That’s kind of a loaded question for me and all I can say is … it depends on the day. Some days, I love spending with family and friends. Other days, I want to just read, lose myself in a good movie or two, or binge watch a favorite series on Netflix. Of course, I might want to catch up on sleep instead. Or take a long, leisurely drive. 

What about you? How do you like to spend lazy days? Let me know in the comments below.

Now… What, exactly, am I so excited about?

If you read my last post, you’ll know that I’ve fallen in love with the new keto craze – chaffles. The problem is, I’m doing Trim Healthy Mama (affiliate link – click here to learn more). It is a lower carb diet, and depending on the type of meal I’m eating, I can enjoy plenty of butter or cheese. But I was afraid as much as I was getting into chaffles, I’d be getting way too much fat, and I don’t want to risk that.

Then I remembered a video I saw by Lindsey Murphy…

And then I made another batch of Nili’s Baking Blend (an almost clone of the Trim Healthy Mama baking blend – another affiliate link.)…

And it worked. The THM-i-fied Diet Doctor rolls produce a fabulous low fat/low carb chaffle substitute!

How did they turn out? 

Wonderful! 

They turned out wonderful! So wonderful, in fact, you can tell I was eating one while the other one and a half cooked in my cute little Dash waffle maker. The flavor and texture are surprisingly perfect. They’re soft, like fresh bread, though if you wanted them crispier, you could just cook them longer. 

I still have to play around with the exact amount to use for each waffle/chaffle/bread/bun substitute. Each one takes about four minutes to cook. When I used too much dough, I had to hold the lid down with a folded towel so figuring out the exact amount to use is a priority.

I’ll be making a full batch of these tonight and storing them in the fridge. I can have guilt free sandwiches now. I experimented with these ones. Just butter. Butter and Crazy Richard’s peanut butter. And butter,  peanut butter, and sugar free raspberry preserves. Sooooo good! 

 

I might also see if I can turn them into desserts. For now, I’m just going to enjoy them as sandwiches. Gotta get stuff to make hot ham and American cheese, turkey and swiss, and roast beef and provolone! Oh! And one of my favorites … BLTs. Actually, I might have everything I need for the BLTs.

Um… I gotta go. 🙂

Photo credit (woman standing on dock overlooking lake): Pixabay

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The #Chaffle Train – and a WYR

The chaffle what?

I know. The term confused me for a minute too. Kind of like Bennifer, Brangelina, or other portmanteaus like breathalyzer (breath & analyzer), mimsy (miserable & flimsy), and bodacious (bold & audacious).

Little did I know, when I first saw the word, that it might have a positive impact on my life. Diet and energy-wise anyway. Maybe I’ll make up my own word there – ‘dinergy.’ Or not.

‘Chaffles’ – or chaffel-like foods – have been around since the first time someone threw brownie batter into a waffle maker because they were too impatient to preheat the oven. The first instance of the word though, as near as I can find, was in 2015 when Seabirds Kitchen in Southern California coined the term. Back then, it was a combination of churros, and waffles, and ice cream, and other yummy stuff.

Definitely not Trim Healthy Mama friendly. Fortunately, plenty of keto dieters have come up with recipes that are something I can add to my meal plans. In fact, I made four different kinds today.

First, I want to explain that a single egg, with a couple of scant tablespoons of low carb flour, an eighth cup or so of low fat mozzarella cheese, and various seasonings makes two chaffles in my Dash mini waffle maker (affiliate link – read about those here). So while it looks like a boatload of food, it’s really not that much. But it is all protein – and very filling!

Here are a couple of photos of tonight’s breakfast for supper. That’s a salad fork beside the ‘waffle chaffles,’ so you can see they’re not huge. But I was so stuffed I couldn’t finish the sandwich.

By the way, a keto chaffle is the portmanteau of cheese and waffle.

Anyway, enough about that. Time for some fun – another WYR (Would You Rather)…

Would you rather give up your favorite food for a year – or give up candy forever?

Appropriate question now that I’m back on my diet, isn’t it? 🙂

I guess I’d have to say I’d rather give up my favorite food. Because I have so many, choosing one to not eat for 365 days wouldn’t be too hard. And it would beat giving up all candy. Because even though I’m hoping to permanently cut sugar from my diet, there are still yummy healthier candies to be bought and made.

What about you? Let me know in the comments below. Which one would you choose to give up?

Photo credit: Pixabay.

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