Road Trip Weekend

My weekend of miniature road trips began last Thursday.  I drove out to Denison (around Lake Texoma) to meet a friend for a celebration of art and wine.  All the stores and art galleries stayed open and had wine and refreshments set out for visitors.  I had no idea what to expect, I just knew there would be art and wine.  That was good enough for me.  

I arrived at Denison’s Main Street about thirty minutes early, so I decided to park my car and walk around a bit.  As I strolled, I remembered that I had been baptized in a church in Denison, so I called my mom to find out which one.  Denison is a pretty small town, after all.  It was probably within driving distance.  She told me I was looking for St. Luke’s Episcopal.  I typed the name into my GPS and lo and behold, the church was exactly one street over from where I stood.  

It wasn’t open, and I’d forgotten my camera battery at home (dumb!), but I did get a few pictures on my iPhone. 

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I hope to go back sometime to visit when the church is open.  Maybe I can even attend a service there.  It’s such a cool and apparently historic building!  

After my quick trip to the place of my spiritual rebirth, I headed back into town and explored a few of the stores until my friend joined me.  

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One of the stores I stopped in was called The Book Rack, a huge independent book store that sells both new and used books.  I got to talking to the two ladies working there, and, long story short, they want Cemetery Tours for their store!  I’m so excited!  They also offered to have me come back sometime in the summer to do a book signing!  I really hope that happens, because that would just be so cool!  

After finally meeting up with my friend, we perused a few more galleries and stores.  I ended up with three new books, one from The Book Rack and two antique books to add to my collection.  I met several artists and witnessed some incredible works.  I didn’t sample any wine, sadly, as I had a long drive home, but that’s alright.  My friend and I also stopped in a huge antique store.  We are both big believers in ghosts, so we had a fun time exploring and searching for spirits amidst the artifacts. 

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Around that time, we began to hear thunder rumbling in the distance, so I decided to head out before the weather got too hazardous.  I did get some pictures of the small town sunset, though.

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Saturday was another busy day.  I was up uncharacteristically early, 7 AM, to help with my friends’ yard sale.  It was fun, but oh my goodness, I am so sunburned.  I didn’t even think to put on sunscreen!  It’s still March and it was so early!  Alas, two days later, my poor skin is still simmering.  Lesson learned. 

I also spent some time planting sunflower seeds.  Unfortunately, the next day, I went out to water them and discovered several little holes where an animal (okay, a SQUIRREL) had dug up the seeds and left behind their empty shells!  How are you supposed to protect your poor baby seeds from squirrels?!  I’m going to have to get clever, I think.  

Later Saturday, however, my best friend texted me and asked, “How do you feel about the lake?” 

There is only one appropriate response when a friend asks you to go to the lake, and that response is “Yes.”  So, we drove out to the lake. 

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As much fun as I had, however, yesterday, everything caught up with me.  I slept 12 hours straight before finally dragging my achey, sunburned self out of bed.  Then, I really didn’t do anything except watch Catching Fire and color.  It was pretty nice.  

Today, however, I am very ready to hit the ground running.  I’ve received my first copy of my rough draft from one of my beta readers, so I need to go over her notes.  I also need to get back to writing the new manuscript.  Then, of course, there are emails to answer, reviews to post, and goals to set.  I’ll tell you this much, the life of an indie author is NEVER boring!  

I hope you all are having a fantastic Monday and last day of March!  Beware of April Foolers!  

 

 

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Monday Report

Hello, everyone.  It’s the start of a new week.  It’s also very cold.  I’m sure it’s also very cold where you live, unless you’re a lucky duck Australian, in which case, I envy you a great deal.

I feel like I have a lot to talk about, but nothing so pressing that I’d dedicate an entire post to it, so I figured I’d give you a few tidbits of what’s been floating around in my mind all weekend.

1) I saw Catching Fire for the fourth time this weekend.  I’m relatively open about my outstanding nerdiness, but in case you’re new to the blog, I’ll say it again.  I am a huge geek, and one of my favorite things to geek out over is The Hunger Games.

I could go on and on about everything that I love about the books, and the movies, for that matter (Jennifer Lawrence!), but I won’t because I would literally be typing until my fingers fell off.  So, I’ll try to stick to the point I originally set out to make.

*WARNING: Possible Spoilers Ahead*

As with any franchise I find myself fawning over, I desperately want to know more about the other characters and what was going on behind the scenes of Katniss’ point of view.  One of the reasons I love the movies so much is that they give us a glimpse at the other characters and what they’re doing while Katniss is in the arena.  The books are told entirely from her perspective, so we only get what we’re told her shown through her experience, but in the movies, we get to see a little more, like the game makers who control what happens in the Arena during the games.  I LOVED seeing how they did that!  I also really love any scene with President Snow.  Seriously, he gets the best lines in the entire franchise!

“Hope.  It is the only thing stronger than fear.”

“Because of her, they all pose a threat.  Because of her, they all think they’re invincible.”

And that moment at the end of the first one where he just turns and walks away all dark and creepy?  Or how about in the second one when he realizes that Plutarch has deceived him?  I LOVE THOSE MOMENTS.

Speaking of Plutarch, he’s who I’d really want a separate book about.  Well, him, Haymitch, and the tributes like Johanna and Finnick who were in on the plot to break Katniss out of the Arena during the Second Quarter Quell.  How long had they been communicating?  How did they get the others in on it?  I am DYING to know.  I’m also dying to know more about Finnick and Annie and their love story.  All we got from Finnick in Mockingjay was, “She crept up on me.”

Seriously?  That’s it?  NO!  That is NOT COOL, Suzanne Collins!

2) Today, one of my coworkers at my job that’s not writing came into where I was filing and handed me an envelope.  Then she said something like, “It’s your 10.60” (I don’t remember the actual number).  For some reason, I really thought it was money, so I got really excited.  But then I opened it and realized it was just a bunch of tax crap.  I have finally and begrudgingly come to accept that people will not just walk up to me and give me money.  That is not the way life works.

3) I also went to the post office today to renew my P.O. Box, so that was fun.  And $30.  But hey, it made me feel like a real responsible adult, which you know, really isn’t that great a feeling, but everyone seems to think it’s something to which we should all aspire, so whatever.

4) Cemetery Tours received another amazing review from Paul Ruddock at http://echoesofthepen.com.  Thank you so much, Paul!  Your review almost brought tears to my eyes!

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5) Last night, as I was writing, I was watching The Walking Dead (again), and I’m beginning to think that maybe I really just can’t handle that show.  I always feel like I end up writing about the horrific experiences I’ve had while trying to enjoy a show while simultaneously ignoring my natural instincts to avoid all things zombie.  I’ve finally reached the point where I’m almost totally immune to blood and guts (though there’s still one scene in the second one that just… ugh…).  I’m still NOT okay with puke, but that’s something I’ve lived with my entire life and will probably never overcome.  Last night, however, I discovered that there is one thing in the zombie universe (or probably any sort of disgusting universe) that I absolutely can not handle.

Maggots.

Oh my gosh.  I don’t know how I never noticed them before, but there is one scene with a corpse in a tent and its nasty forehead is crawling with MAGGOTS.  One even falls off his forehead and onto his ear where it wriggles around until it finds its way back to the flesh.

EWWWWWW.

Now, I’ve always been pretty girly, but I usually can watch just about anything (except puke) and not get grossed out.  Those maggots grossed me out so much that I thought I was going to gag.  I even had a minor meltdown on Twitter because it was 2 AM and I had no one else to talk to.

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So yeah, you get the picture.  It was horrible.  Thankfully, my brain spared me further trauma in my dreams.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate.  I actually dreamt that my friend became a plastic surgeon and decided that I needed plastic surgery to make my hands more feminine (they’re kind of manly) and so she cut up my hands and wrists, but I kept telling her I didn’t have health insurance, so instead of stitching me up, she just put band-aids on my wounds!  I was so scared that my hand was going to fall off, but she assured me that probably wouldn’t happen.

But at least I didn’t dream about maggots.

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Have a good week, y’all!

A Personal Message to My Sister on Her Birthday

I am so grateful that you made it to 19 without being selected for the Hunger Games. As you can guess, this comes as a huge weight off of my shoulders, as, due to our seven year age difference, I would not have been able to volunteer for you had your name been drawn at the Reaping. I’m not sure either one of us would have actually survived in the arena, but maybe we could have at least made it past the bloodbath at the Cornucopia. Hopefully, we won’t have to worry about the Games much longer now that the Revolution is in full swing. Regardless, I am happy to have you alive and safe. See you in District 13!

Happy Birthday And May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.

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Back before even I was old enough for the Reaping.

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You were always such a happy kid.

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Even as you got older, you never let the Capitol or the Peacemakers stop you from doing the things you love… be it reading…

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Singing…

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Or eating. Had to enjoy those meals when we could, considering how lousy the districts are treated.

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You’ve always been so beautiful, inside and out…

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Which I’m sure is why you were voted “Most Likely to Get Sponsors for the Hunger Games” at school.

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That time we went shopping for homes in District 12.

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That time we went to District 4 and you had a thing with that cute sailor… What was his name? Billy? Oh well, it doesn’t matter. Anything Goes! 😉

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Then there was the time you snuck into the Capitol and stole Effie Trinket’s wig…

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And you discovered that the Capitol has been breeding a new kind of Mutt Plant! I think I’d take a swarm of Tracker Jackers over whatever the heck that is.

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We’ve had a lot of fun these past nineteen years, but I think the best is still yet to come! Happy Birthday, KJ! I love you!

My First Trip to Lubbock or Seven Hours in a Movie Theater or OMG There is Snow Everywhere

I wish I had been updating throughout this entire weekend.  It probably would have been a lot funnier as it was happening.  As it is, however, I have about an hour and a half to kill sitting here in the airport, so I’ll try to recap everything to the best of my comic abilities.  

My sister and I have been planning to see “Catching Fire” at midnight since the first movie came out.  She is a freshman in college and we both agreed that it didn’t matter where she ended… one of us would fly out to the other so we could see the movie together.  She ended up at Texas Tech in Lubbock, so as soon as movie tickets went on sale, I bought two tickets and booked my flight to Lubbock. 

Now, my parents love Lubbock.  Every time they visit my sister, they come home absolutely raving about it.  Me, I’d never been, but the way my parents made it sound, Lubbock was just paradise on Earth and I would just love it so much and places like Scotland and the Gulf Shores would pale in comparison.  Naturally, I was eager to visit this exotic piece of Texas Heaven.  

I was so excited when I finally arrived at the airport on Thursday afternoon.  Not only would I get to see my sister, but we were going to see “Catching Fire!”  THE cinematic event of the season!  Also my favorite book of The Hunger Games trilogy.  My optimism didn’t waver one bit when my dad warned me that Lubbock was expecting snow storms over the weekend and that I needed to pack boots. 

Now here’s the thing about me.  I believe in packing the absolute least I need to get by.  Boots take up a lot of space in a suitcase and they are a nuisance to wear through airport security.  After insisting over and over to my dad (by the way, I get my stubborn side from him) that I would be fine, he relented and I went about my happy little way, sure that I would not actually need boots.   

Almost as soon as I made it through security, I noticed that my flight was delayed.  Again, not a big deal.  Flights get delayed all the time.  I don’t think I’ve ever taken a plane that actually left when it was supposed to.  Heck, the plane I’m supposed to be taking in an hour is delayed.  Hence the blog post.  And actually I’ll be home when I actually get to post this.  I’m just writing it at the airport.  

For the record, I just tried to take a selfie with my laptop to prove that I’m at the airport, but I just ended up looking really stupid.  I’m trusting you all to just take my word for it. 

So back to Thursday.  Plane’s delayed, but I wasn’t worried, or even fazed by it.  I was in too good a mood.  Finally boarded the plane, the flight attendants tell us to buckle seat belts and turn off electronics.  Check.  Okay.  Got it.   

We pull back from the gate.  

Then we stop.  

Okay, again, no big deal.  They were probably just checking something or communicating with the control tower.  

 But then twenty minutes passed, and I began to wonder.  Finally, the Captain came over the speaker and announced, “Uh, hello ladies and gentlemen.  You might be wondering why we haven’t moved.  We’re experiencing some technical problems.  We’ve discovered we have no steering.  We will know in a few minutes if it can be fixed so we will either be headed back to the gate or on our way to Lubbock.”

 Okay.  Not cool.  

 I don’t know if I’ve ever told you all this, but I am a very nervous flyer.  I think it has something to do with my control issues.  Or you know, the fact that there is absolutely NOTHING between the plane and the ground after it takes off.  I hate turbulence, I hate that feeling you get when your ears pop, and I hate being closed in tiny little places and knowing I can’t get out.  I love traveling, but I’ve got to tell you that the only thing I like about flying is LANDING.  

 So, Mr. Captain, you’re trying to tell me, an already anxious passenger, that you might not be able to steer the plane?  Oh, that’s awesome.  

 However, I knew that the Captain would never knowingly endanger the lives of his crew, his passengers, or himself, so I knew that he wouldn’t take off unless he was absolutely 100% certain that the plane would land safely in Lubbock.  And we did.  Twenty minutes after we were supposed to.  

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Lubbock! Very flat.

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Pretty sunsets though.

 The reason that was an issue was because I had a shuttle waiting to take me to my hotel.  Well, apparently shuttles don’t like sitting around and waiting on planes that are almost half an hour late, because mine left.  While I waited for my bags, my mom called the hotel for me to let them know I’d finally arrived and that I still needed a shuttle.  The lady said that she would have sent the shuttle that was supposed to get me back to the airport, but it was stuck in traffic.

 Wait a minute, what?  There’s traffic in Lubbock?  Hey Mom, where’s your magical land with no traffic?  

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Stranded in Lubbock. Making sure to stay inside because it is COLD.

 Anyway, to make up for the lack of shuttle, the hotel called a cab for me.  They told me to look for a checkered cab.  Now that right there confused me.  I’d actually never ridden in a taxi cab, but weren’t they all checkered?  Well, it turns out that Checkered Cab is a company!  I found that out only after I ran over to a not-Checkered-but-still-checkered cab and asked if they had been sent by La Quinta.  The driver was very nice and honest and he told me that no, he hadn’t been, but he would love to take me since A) I was in no way dressed for the frigid Lubbock weather and B) I wouldn’t have to wait around.  I told him thank you, but I thought it was best to wait for the cab that was scheduled for me.  I didn’t tell him that the real reason I wanted to wait around was because the hotel was paying for the other cab and I’m a poor writer up to her ears in student-loan debt. 

 Well, the Checkered Cab finally came and I made it to my hotel.  My sister came to pick me up and we went to Chili’s.  There, they got my order wrong, but one of the waiters who worked there actually looked like Finnick Odair, so I didn’t mind all that much.  After we ate, we hightailed it over to the movie theater for Catching Fire!  

 We arrived at exactly 8:00.  Four hours to midnight!  But, as anyone who has ever attended a midnight premiere knows, if you want good seats, you’ve got to get there early.  

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Movie Theater!

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May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.

 Well, we got there early, alright.  Unfortunately, we went to the wrong theater!!!  Apparently, Lubbock has more than one movie theater!  Who knew?!  

 Well, we finally made it to the RIGHT theater, and still managed to get a pretty decent spot in the line for seats.  For those of you sane people who’ve never waited four hours to see a movie at midnight, it’s a very interesting endeavor.  You’d think it would be long and boring, but you’re so excited and everyone around you is so excited that you kind of feed off each other.  There’s an unspoken sense of camaraderie.  You don’t know these people, but you know automatically that you share at least one similar interest, in this case, The Hunger Games.  Books are powerful.  I bonded with a few of my closest friends over books.  

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This is the RIGHT movie theater.

 One of my favorite moments while we were still waiting in the hall was when a few guys walked by, glanced at all of us in line, and said, “Oh, are y’all waiting for the Hunger Games?  Harry Potter dies in the end.”  I don’t know why, but he cracked me up.  

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Camped out in the hallway.

 When the doors to the theater were finally opened to us, my sister and I bolted for the best seats in the house.  We settled ourselves down to top row, middle of the theater seats and prepared ourselves for the beginning of the revolution.  

 Two hours later, we were ready.  The lights began to dim, the screen went black…

 And then a lady and two men walked to the front of the theater.

 “Hey guys, we’re sorry to have to tell you this, but we’re experiencing some technical difficulties.  This movie is showing on a lot of screens right now, so it will take just a few more minutes to get yours up and going.  It will probably start around 12:45, but you won’t have any previews.”

 Well, it just so happened, my sister and I didn’t have to wait for Catching Fire for the revolution.  We got to experience an uprising right there in the theater.  My sister was ticked off because she had an 8 AM class.  The people in front of us were ticked off because we were among the first people in line for the movie, yet we’d be the last to see it.  We should have been the FIRST theater to get the movie!  A few of them started angry-tweeting Cinemark, which, I have to admit, while childish, was kind of funny.  I was pretty much just flabbergasted.  Had I brought the Delay Curse with me or something?  What was the deal?!  

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This is the movie theater screen while we were waiting for the movie to start.
Illusion that movie theaters still use those cool old movie reels: Shattered.

 Well, naturally, I forgot about everything as soon as the movie actually started.  Catching Fire might actually be one of the best movies ever.  Seriously, I am pretty hard to please when it comes to movie adaptations of books that I love (I hate the third Harry Potter movie.  I’m even more resentful of the fact that Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book!), but Catching Fire was PERFECT.  I found myself reading the book in my head throughout the entire movie.  I loved it.  I loved everything.  I loved all the new cast members and I especially loved the returning characters.  I actually cried during Effie’s final scene.  There was nothing I did not love about that movie.  My sister and I are already planning to see it again on Wednesday when she comes home for Thanksgiving.  

 Okay, it is now the day after I began writing this post.  I was planning on having it finished and up as soon as I got home from the airport, but I was so tired that I crashed right after I ate dinner.  

 I’m sure I’ll write another post about how much I loved Catching Fire at a later date, but at the moment, I’m still overwhelmed by how amazing it was.  

 Anyway, the rest of the weekend was absolutely frigid.  I knew it was supposed to get colder, but I had no idea that it would be freezing.  The temperature must have dropped at least twenty or so degrees while we were in the movie.  I even took a picture of the world to remind myself how cold it was.

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Are you serious?

 I finally got into bed around four in the morning.  The next morning, I was rudely awakened by a strange noise blaring throughout the entire hotel.  After the noise didn’t stop, I stepped out into the hall to discover that the fire alarm had been triggered and that the hotel staff were signaling everyone to gather down in the lobby.  Since I was still in my pajamas, I ran back into my room, pulled on a sweatshirt, and grabbed my phone and my computer (obviously the most valuable in my possession) and ran down to the lobby wearing my pajamas, totally barefoot, and clutching my computer like a treasured stuffed animal.  I also still had my night guard in.

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Fancy hotel elevator.

 Well, needless to say, there was no fire.  Everything was totally fine.  It was a heck of a way to wake up, however, after such an amazing movie.   

The rest of the weekend was, to put it lightly, COLD. 

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That’s the view out of my sister’s windshield. It’s frozen over. That is all ICE.

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You can see the cold in the air.

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TGFS – Thank God For Starbucks!

However, it was still enjoyable.  My sister and I saw a lot of her professors and a few classmates perform in a local theatrical production of Les Miserables.  Simply fantastic.  

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Before the play started, my sister and I walked around and looked at Christmas trees!

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We also had lunch with my friend Rachel and her wonderful husband, Steve.  Rachel is my oldest friend and just so wonderfully delightful.  We’ve been friends since we were 3.  She’s actually one of my sister’s teachers also and is in the process of earning her PHD.  God bless her soul.   

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My sister and I also made a stop at Barnes and Noble, where I almost always have more fun than I should. 

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I love this cover of Dracula! Isn’t it beautiful? It makes me wish I didn’t already own it so I could buy this one!

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Look! I found my book!

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That’s me!

The rest of our weekend was spent trying to stay warm…

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And when that didn’t work, we decided to just embrace the arctic chill and went out to play in the snow.  As much as I complain about the snow, I secretly love it.  I don’t like driving in it and I don’t like being cold, but there is something magical about snow, especially when you live in Texas.  

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Finally mastered the art of the snow ball.

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Then I got on a frosty airplane and went home.

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The end.

 

In Other Exciting News…

I’m happy to share the latest review of Cemetery Tours:

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As well as the totally thrilling news that Cemetery Tours is OFFICIALLY available on BarnesandNoble.com!!!

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cemetery-tours-jacqueline-e-smith/1117000854?ean=9780989673402&itm=1&usri=9780989673402&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10%3A1&r=1%2C+1 

Pretty neat!  

Anyway, I’m still hard at work editing and working on the sequel.  I’m going to see my cover designer tonight, so hopefully I’ll have a verdict on the cover image that I really, really, really, REALLY want.  I’m going to do a book exchange with another author, so that is exciting too! 

Also… IN LESS THAN A WEEK I WILL HAVE SEEN CATCHING FIRE!  I CAN’T WAIT!!!

Just Rolling Along

It’s a new week, and as usual, I am still learning, still writing, and still single.  

That last one was a joke.  Sort of.  

Anyway, as you all probably know, I like to keep this blog updated, even when I don’t have all that much to say, so here it goes.  

1.  I think I’ve found an image for cover of the Cemetery Tours sequel.  I’m still waiting for approval from my graphic designer, but I’m super excited about it.  I hope he likes it.    

2.  Upon finding said image, I have determined that I need to find cover designs for every single book I have in my head.  Needless to say, I wasted  spent a LOT of time on Shutterstock.com last night.  

3.  I’m still making progress on the CT sequel.  I’m halfway through chapter 12.  Hoping to finish first draft by the end of 2013, but I think I’ve already mentioned that.  

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My manuscript and my cat.

4.  Cemetery Tours is up to 8 reviews on Amazon, and 8 ratings (All 5 star!) and 3 reviews on GoodReads.  Here’s the latest from Amazon!  

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5.  I’m editing a book this week!  It’s important in this line of work to lend a helping hand.  Always be willing to read, edit, review fellow authors!  It’s a great way to build friendships, develop new skills, and network!  

6.  There’s an event on Facebook going on this month that is designed specifically for helping independent business owners/artists/whomever has a “like” page to meet other people and build their following.  It’s great!  This is the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/607484369298466/626990287347874/?notif_t=like

Thanks to this group, Cemetery Tours has gained 23 “likers” in one day!  

https://www.facebook.com/CemeteryTours 

7.  IN EXACTLY TEN DAYS I WILL BE GETTING READY FOR THE MIDNIGHT PREMIERE OF CATCHING FIRE!!!  

Weekend of Productivity!

Unlike the majority of my weekends, which are usually spent on Pinterest, in pajamas, and full of chocolate, this past weekend, I actually did stuff!

1.  I created the Cemetery Tours FREE Halloween Giveaway!  I’ve posted about it before, but I really, really want word to spread and for as many people as possible to take advantage of it, so I’ll be posting it a lot.

https://www.facebook.com/events/655080944513741/

RSVP and SHARE!  Especially if you have a KINDLE!

2.  I finished another one of the books I bought last week at Indievengeance Day.  It’s a book of short stories; Sandcastle and Other Stories by Justin Bog.  It was excellent.  Holy cow.  I cannot say enough good things about this book.

Here’s my review on Goodreads:   https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/739995778

Basically, I say all the same stuff there as I do here.  It’s fantastic.  Read it.

3.  Cemetery Tours received two brand spanking new reviews!  That’s not actually anything I did, but I was super excited about them and they definitely inspired me to work more, not only on the Cemetery Tours sequel, but also on the two other works I have going at the moment.

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I was particularly proud of this one.  I was so thrilled that Ms. Britten mentioned that Michael (my protagonist) is NOT broody.  I’ve got to be honest.  I hate broody male protagonist.  Seriously, I want to smack them upside the head.  Man up and get over it!

Anyway, yeah, that review was AWESOME.  Thank you, Ms. Britten, wherever you are!  🙂

4.  Meg Cabot, aka my writing IDOL, accepted my friend request on GoodReads!  I kind of feel like Sheldon Cooper in that episode where he begins playing Words with Friends with Stephen Hawking!

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5.  Got another picture, this time from North Carolina!

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6.  I finally bought my tickets to the CATCHING FIRE MIDNIGHT PREMIERE!

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I’ve decided that from now until the premiere, I’m going to run up to random people, show them my phone, and whisper, “It starts at midnight!”

7.  I’ve already mentioned that I made progress on my writing, but I also began reading another one of the books that I bought last weekend.  Confronting the Demon by Ciara Ballintyne.  Review to follow shortly.  🙂

Anyway, that was my weekend.  I’m actually pretty proud of myself.  The only thing I didn’t get done was straightening up around the house, but seriously, with all this other stuff, I’d much rather devote 110% to reading and writing and my book than to tidying up around the house, especially when I’m the only one who sees the mess.  Do I care?  No.  Will I ever care?  Not until I find a creature living under the piles of clothes lying around.

Hope everyone is having a good Monday!

Brainspill

I’ll be honest.  This is probably going to be the most random entry I’ve ever posted.  I have nothing really profound to say today, at least, nothing profound or interesting enough to dedicate an entire post to.  Instead, I have a lot of random little tidbits that I would like to share.

1.  9 Days until Cemetery Tours!!!!

2.  I made two GoodReads accounts!   I hope you check them out!

This is my personal account: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/23774843-jackie-smith

This is Wind Trail Publishing’s account: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/23775775-wind-trail-publishing

3.  I’ve been handing out a lot of post cards and business cards about the book and about the company recently, and a few people have wondered wether it’s wind as in “the wind is blowing across the meadow” or wind as in “the winding pathway.”  I guess technically, it could be either, but it is OFFICIALLY wind as in “the wind is blowing across the meadow.”  When I came up with the name, I knew I wanted something that was symbolic for directions, pathways, all that deep stuff, but I also wanted it to mean something to me.  I love being outside and hiking and discovering new places, and for some reason, Wind Trail just fit.

4.  I really love the quote, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~ Sylvia Plath.  I’ve been thinking about my path and my decision a lot recently.  While most of my thoughts have been positive and exciting, I can’t deny there is always that sliver of concern that I’ve made a horrible mistake or that I’ve wasted time.  I think with anything like this, that kind of fear is unavoidable.  You’re alway going to wonder.  But to overcome those doubts, you have to trust in yourself, your talents, and most importantly, in your book.  If I wasn’t proud of my book and excited for people to read it, I don’t think there’s any way I could have done all that I’ve done.  There will be negativity on this road, but you can’t dwell on it.  You can acknowledge it, you can even cry about it, but in the end, do NOT let it drag you down!  You just have to face it and move on.  Whenever I get down, I channel my writing idol, Meg Cabot.  She is always so bright and happy and optimistic and awesome.

5.  This doesn’t have anything to do with writing, but I participated in my first 5K yesterday!  I walked most of the way, but I did manage to sprint across the finish line!  It felt so good, and it was also for a good cause!

http://www.heroesforchildren.org

6.  I watched Now You See Me yesterday.  I really loved the characters, the story, and the magic.  I just wish I could have seen more of the Four Horsemen and less police work.  But I’ve got to say, characters like Jesse Eisenberg’s and Woody Harrelson’s are the reason I love writing so much.  The smart-ass, complex, crafty characters as my absolute favorite in the world, and I hope one day, I’m talented and smart enough to write characters like them.

7.  I also got hooked on a new reality show last night.  Now, I love Duck Dynasty.  In fact, it’s probably my favorite show on television right now.  But other than that, I’m not really into reality TV.  I mean, Hoarders and My Strange Addiction are really interesting, but reality shows are more my mom and my sister’s thing.  However, I accidentally caught a few minutes of Bad Ink last night.  Oh my goodness, that show is addictive.  It’s fascinating to see what people will actually put on their bodies!  As a sheltered southern girl who spent the first eighteen years of her life in private school, I haven’t been exposed to too many tattoos or wild party animals, so the show was extra intriguing to me!  I’ve never been to a place like Vegas!  Yeah, I grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, but that’s nothing compared to Sin City!!!  I also really love the two main guys, Dirk and Ruckus.  They are really hilarious and cool.  I especially love Ruckus and his dog.

8.  I think the most exciting thing that happened was that THERE’S A NEW SINGLE OUT FOR CATCHING FIRE!  It’s called “Atlas” by Coldplay.  I was so excited for a new Hunger Games song that I bought it without even listening to it.  It’s fantastic.  I first read all the books back when the first movie came out.  While I was reading, I actually bought the soundtrack and listened to it.  I think it made the whole reading experience even better, if that’s possible.  I LOVE THE HUNGER GAMES!

9.  I really, really, really, really want to read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

10.  Whenever I make lists like this, I can never think of a Number 10.  It’s actually a huge problem and I’m afraid no one is going to take me seriously.  Oh well.