A Breakup Letter

Dear Winter,

I know just a few short months ago, I professed my love for you.  Well, maybe.  I might not have gone that far.  True, I do appreciate you, especially around Christmastime.  But Christmas is over, Winter.  It’s been over for a while, now.  I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I think the time has come for us to part ways.

It’s true, we did have some good times together.  We had a great Christmas, and you know, snow can be fun and all for a few hours.  I like scarves and jackets for about a month or so.  But I have needs, Winter.  I need sunlight. I need warmth.  I need flowers.  I’m a girl.  I love flowers.  I know you’re just being yourself and I can’t fault you for that, but I need more than you can give me.

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here, Winter.  You know a part of me will always love you.  I was born in the middle of a snow storm, after all.  We will always have a special place in each others’ lives, and I can’t forget that.  But you and I, we’re just too different.  You’re bland and cold and you really like brown and white and gray.  I like adventures and colors and blue skies.

You’ve also become kind of clingy.  I hate to call you out online like this, but I need space!  I need freedom.  Thanks to you, I have no social life.  With all your snow and freezing rain, I can’t even get out of the house to go buy groceries!  Face it, Winter, you’re smothering me.

For example, I can never dress the way I want to around you.  This is a real problem for me.  Yeah, jeans and jackets do have a certain element of style, but after Christmas, I want to wear shorts and skirts and sandals.  You know me, Winter.  I hate shoes.  And yet, you force me to wear them.

So don’t you see, Winter?  It’s not that I don’t appreciate you as a season.  It’s just that you and I, we don’t work well together longterm.  I never said I wanted a commitment, but you seem determined to hang on to a relationship that ran its course on December 26.  I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to remind me of how I’ll be pining for you and talking about how much I love you in about eight months.  But you forget, Winter, I always say that my affection for you is temporary.  I love you, but only until Christmas.  After that, I can barely tolerate you.  I’m sorry to be so harsh, but it’s how I feel.

I want you to be happy, Winter.  But I also need me to be happy, and as long as we’re together, I don’t see that happening for either one of us.  It’s time for you to leave and head on down to the southern hemisphere where you belong.  I’m sure they’ll be glad to see you down there.  In the mean time, I’ll be happily running back into the arms of Spring and Summer.



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One Day More

I just read on the Weather Channel that although we (as in all of North Texas) are under a freezing rain advisory until tomorrow at 6 PM (yay), the following days should be all sun and highs in the upper sixties!

I can not even begin to tell you how much I hope that that’s true.  With Texas weather, you can never really know.  I’ve seen days where Texas decided we needed tornadoes in December.  No, Texas.  No one ever needs tornadoes.  Especially in December.

However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t prefer thunderstorms to whatever the heck we’ve had for the past week.  It’s been gray and foggy and drizzly and COLD every single day, and as much as I don’t want to admit it, it’s getting to me.  I’m not sure I’d go all the way to say I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, but it did used to bring me down a lot.  Now, I’m older (and on anti-anxiety medication), so maybe that’s helping a little.

But even if it’s not affecting me mentally, it’s starting to get to me physically.  I’ve had almost no energy this past week, and although I’ve been keeping up with the new book, somehow forcing myself to punch out words on this blog has been a nightmare!  That’s not to say I don’t love you!  I do!  That’s why I want to keep writing here as often as I can!

There have been times in the last few days I honestly thought I was getting sick, and part of me almost wanted to.  That at least would have explained the no energy and the overall feeling of yuckiness.  Last week, I was convinced I was getting sick because of how achey I felt and because of all the pressure in my sinuses.  But you know what?  I think I’m as healthy as a horse.  I really think it’s just the weather.  I got a text from my best friend yesterday.  She’s an accountant and she’s right in the middle of busy season.  She told me the all the stress combined with the weather was about to put her over the edge.  Now, being an author is not NEARLY as stressful as being an accountant (not yet, at least…), but I could totally empathize.  I told her I wasn’t sad or stressed, but I just felt sick.

I guess thinking about it, it could be a mental thing.  Just because it’s not affecting my mood, doesn’t mean my brain can’t send out some weird signal to the rest of my body saying, “Okay, you’re not sad or grouchy.  But you need to react to this weather somehow.  I know.  I’ll make you feel like crap.”  The brain is a really fascinating thing.

And now for some other things that have been on my mind recently but I haven’t mentioned because I’ve been too busy griping about how cold and gray it is even though we actually really don’t have it all that bad down here.

1) I really wish people of the world would STOP posting their injuries on Facebook.  It’s gross.  I’m sorry you busted up your knee skiing and I’m sorry you were stupid and you accidentally sliced your finger open on a wine bottle, but I really do not need to see pictures.  Just stop.  Please, stop.

2) You know what musical I really hate?  Annie.  Seriously, it is the worst musical ever.  The Disney remake is only tolerable because of it’s adult cast (Kathy Bates, Victor Garber, Audra McDonald, Kristen Chenowith).  The reason I’m bringing this up is because for some reason, people around the office where I work have decided they need to start singing “The sun’ll come out… tomorrow…” like, pretty much every day since the cold and gray first started.  It’s not bad enough that I have to endure this awful weather, now I have to suck it up while you sing one of the most annoying songs in musical theater history?

3) I mentioned before that my sister and I had a pretty good chuckle over JK Rowling announcing that she regrets Ron and Hermione ending up together.  I guess the reason it was funny to us was because we never really cared all that much about if they got together or no.  To be honest, I was still too sad after JK killed off all my favorite characters to care about who got married in the end.  Still, I knew a lot of people were really upset about it.  A few of my friends, in fact, were just beside themselves.  I really didn’t get it.  Then, completely out of the blue, my sister texts me, “Oh my gosh.  Do you know what I just saw on Twitter?  Someone just wrote, ‘For those of you who don’t understand why we’re all upset about Ron and Hermione, imagine what it would be like if Suzanne Collins suddenly said she regretted having Katniss and Peeta end up together?'”  Oh boy, that did it.  That would not be funny at all.  I think I’d be heartbroken.  I wouldn’t know what to believe in anymore.  I love Katniss and Peeta!!!  So, to all you Ron and Hermione fans out there, I, as an Everlark fan, apologize from the bottom of my heart.  I can’t imagine what that might feel like.  The good news is that they’re still canon and unless JK wants to write us more books, there’s nothing she can do about it.

Honestly though, I want more books about the Four Founders or the Marauders or the Weasleys.  Or all of the above.

4) 93 people have either reviewed or marked Cemetery Tours as to-read on GoodReads!  My goal for the end of February is to get that number up to 100!    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18470430-cemetery-tours

5) I finished Chapter 25 of the sequel last night.  I’m loving it, guys.  I really hope readers love it also.  Cemetery Tours is 28 chapters long, but I know that the sequel will be a little longer.  However, the sequel is just at 60,000 words and CT was something like 78,000.  We’ll see, though.

Again, stay warm.  Find a good book.  Light a fire.

Just Dropping In

Today is another cold, gray day.  I personally believe that should be as valid an excuse as any for me to not do anything today.  I know, I just wrote about my bad case of “The Don’ts” just yesterday, but to be totally honest, I still have them.  I took a long nap this afternoon, immediately felt guilty about being so unproductive, but then stepped outside and realized that this awful weather is just not even worth being conscious for.  Having recently consumed chocolate, however, I am feeling much better.  It’s just like in Harry Potter.  Chocolate cures everything… even Dementor attacks!  

It’s weird.  Usually I can always think of something to say on this blog, but the only things I’ve really been thinking about in the last few days have been how cold it is and getting the manuscript for the second book finished.  Perhaps that’s a sign that that’s what I really need to be doing.  I don’t want to waste your time with a pointless blog post, but I also don’t want to not blog today.  It’s getting to the point where it feels weird not to post something.  It’s almost like being absent from school.  

I have ideas of what I could write.  Last night, I was about to go on a rampage because of a gross and crude comment some guy that I don’t even know made on Facebook.  But then I thought about it and realized I don’t want this blog to be a place where I go and complain.  The world is full of enough people complaining, picking fights, arguing, and putting each other down.  It’s especially bad on the Internet and it gets really discouraging after a while.  I don’t want to help spawn more hatred and negativity.  One of these days, when I feel like being funny, I’ll make a humorous list of things that annoy me, but today, I really just want to work on my book.  So I think that’s what I’m going to go do.

Fare thee well, people.  Enjoy this beautiful picture of books and flowers that is sadly not mine.  


Is It Summer Yet?

Today was my favorite kind of winter day; the kind where I can run around town in shorts and a T-shirt.  

Real winter with snow and icicles and gray skies is great for about a month, and fall is great for about three months before that, but unless it is September 1 – December 26, I do not like the cold.  When asked that age old question, “Would you rather be hot or cold?” my answer is always “Hot.”  I’ve heard the “But you can always add layers” argument a million times, but the thing is, I can tolerate the heat.  I mean, yeah, I’ve been overheated to the point of dehydration before and it’s no fun at all, but I hate being cold so much more than anything that heat’s managed to do to me so far.  It’s probably because I grew up in Texas where a “chilly” day is like, 75 degrees.  

Last night, I was working on a sequel and I got write a scene I particularly enjoyed and actually longed to experience myself.  I’m not going to tell you about it since, you know, it’s a secret, but I can tell you it involved kayaking and I love kayaking and I wish it was summer so I could be outside all the time and hiking and kayaking and swimming.  That would also work a lot better if I wasn’t an adult with grown up responsibilities.  Oh well.  Hopefully someday, I’ll find a way around that.  


In other news, the #Plague is still running rampant throughout my sister’s old high school.  Needless to say, I did not end up attending their show.  I hate it because I’ve been looking forward to seeing it for so long, but I just can’t risk it.  It’s all over the local news here how 676 students and dozens of staff members are sick with it.  Yeah, that is a big NO THANK YOU.  

Also, Cemetery Tours ended up selling TEN copies in the last few days!  Oh my goodness!  That might not be a lot for a mainstream author, but for an indie, it is HUGE and I thank you all so much!  It’s also up to twenty-two exceedingly positive reviews on Amazon, so I really can’t thank all of you enough.  85 people have either added it or marked it as “Too-Read” on GoodReads, so I’m hoping that in the next month, we can raise that number up to 100.  In the meantime, I will be working furiously on finishing the sequel and getting it out there.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as the first one!  

Thank you all again and have a great weekend.  

And stay healthy.    


Look at this.  Just look at this! 




I don’t want to be the coldest I’ve been in three years!!!  

At least it’s not going to snow or ice or anything, or else we’d have another Ice-Apocolypse situation on our hands.  Texans can’t handle this.  We just can’t.  We are not designed for cold.

Want to know something about the human body?  Whenever the brain thinks the body might be in danger of freezing, it sends out a message to the body to stop the flow of blood to our non-vital extremities (fingers, hands, toes, feet, nose, ears, etc…) in order to warm and preserve our important body parts, like the lungs and the liver.  That’s why, when we get cold, our fingers and toes get numb.  

Well, when Texans (or at least when I) go outside and it’s even a little itty bitty bit cold, our extremities go numb almost immediately.  

Our brains equate the cold with death.  

Okay yeah, that’s a little extreme, but seriously.  My brain gets very melodramatic when it detects temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  It has absolutely no faith in my body’s ability to survive in cold.  I will have even less inclination than usual to drag myself out of bed tomorrow morning.  Monday.  Ugh.  Gross.      

The good news is… Cemetery Tours got another great review.  



Sadly, reviews will not keep me warm at night, but they do make me happy, which means, my fellow Texans, that it is possible to be cold and happy at the same time.  


Update on Being Iced In in Texas

Nothing much has changed since yesterday.  It was my sister’s birthday (in case you missed the blog post… https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/a-personal-message-to-my-sister-on-her-birthday/) and also the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, but we tend to celebrate the former with a little more enthusiasm.  

I actually had a nightmare about the ice last night.  I dreamt that it got so cold that the base of my home froze over and the entire house slid down the hill and my laptop broke.  My cats were okay, though, so that’s good.  

Speaking of laptops, I finished Chapter 16 of the Cemetery Tours sequel.  I really want to release the name and make a Pinterest board for it (because that’s just how serious and professional I am), but I have to wait until it’s finished and I have the name registered.  Well technically, I don’t have to, but I want to.  It just seems more official that way.  

Also, North Texas is under a freezing fog advisory.  What the heck is a freezing fog advisory?  It sounds like something that Moses would have brought with him to Egypt along with the locusts and the darkness and such.  Or maybe something that the Gamemakers would put in the Arena during the Hunger Games.  Whatever it is, it’s here and I don’t like it.  

I can’t deny it though, it has been kind of nice having an excuse to do absolutely nothing.  I really enjoy getting the chance to curl up in a blanket, light a winter candle, and read or write or watch a movie I haven’t seen in a while.  It’s been good for my parents too, especially my mom, who has two jobs and works six days a week.  I’d love it, more than anything, if she could quit at least one of them.  The other, she says, she’d still do for fun, even if she didn’t need to.  

One thing I can say about being snowed in is that you save a lot of money.  No eating out, no grocery store, no gasoline spent, and sadly, no Christmas shopping, which I guess can wait, but I so love getting out and enjoying lights and music and hot chocolate!  I also really want to go Christmas light watching.  Good thing I still have 18 days to enjoy the season!  

Well, I’m gonna go work a little bit more on CT2 (That’s Cemetery Tours 2).  Talk to y’all later!  Stay warm!  I know I am!!!


Well, it’s here.  That big winter storm that North Texans have been dreading for days hit with full force last night around midnight.

Before I get into that, though, here are a few scenes from the hours leading up to the Ice Storm of the New Century.


For the first time in my life, I went to the grocery store… and there were NO shopping carts available. THAT is how many people flocked to the store to prepare for the Winter Apocalypse.


Bread is essential for the iced in Texan.


North Texans preparing for the end of the world.

Later that evening, we still hadn’t seen any ice, or freezing rain, or even rain for that matter, and I was beginning to wonder if maybe it was going to miss us.  Around ten o’clock, however, the rain started.  It was just rain at first, but it was a downpour.  The streets outside were flooded, but not frozen.  Not yet, anyway.

About two hours later, that rain turned into ice pellets.  It started collecting in the streets and grass almost immediately.  Our power surged a few times, but fortunately, it never completely failed *knock on wood*.  Our neighbors across the street, however, were no so luck.

Around one in the morning, I was writing and watching a movie, when all of a sudden, I heard a tremendous BOOM!  At first I thought it was thunder, so I ran to the window to see if there was any lightening outside.  There was no lightening, but the entire neighborhood on the other side of the street was completely dark.  No power whatsoever.  After watching for a few moments to see if the power would come back, a spark appeared on top of one of the transformers.  I thought that it was the power trying to come back on.  But then, the entire thing exploded in a blinding flash of light and another ground-shaking BOOM!  I’m not gonna lie.  It just about scared me to death.  It was like watching fireworks go off right across the street.  Sparks were raining down into our neighbor’s yard and onto the street.  Fortunately, it was so damp that nothing ignited or anything, but for a moment, I really thought I was going to have to call the fire department.

A friend of mine who lives in that neighborhood informs me that they still don’t have power.  Been there.  No fun.


This was the radar last night at 2:15. That’s a lot of purple.

This morning, the world outside is white.  Not the good kind though.  It’s not the playing outside, building snowmen, crunching snow beneath your feet kind of white.  It’s the slippery, fall flat on your face, so cold that you don’t even leave footprints when you walk kind of white.  It’s pure ICE.  Seriously, it’s like walking on a giant ice skating rink.  I didn’t even have to kick the ice off my shoes when I came back inside from walking around.






My poor car… 😦



This is Ice Warrior Jacqueline Smith, signing out.  Stay warm, troops.