Feeling Accomplished

As y’all may or may not know, I’m a big fan of day-planners and to-do lists.  This week, my to-do list was jammed packed of so many things that I needed to get done.  Including but not limited to: Adopt parakeets, go to the bank, mail books, take kitty to vet, finish short story, pick the new Cemetery Tours cover designs, and go grocery shopping.

I am proud to say that I managed to check off most items on my list this week!  Some items will never fully be complete, such as: keep reading, clean out stuff that I don’t use/need anymore, become better at marketing, etc…  But as for the urgent stuff, the stuff that I needed to get done this week, well, I’m feeling fairly accomplished.

After two months of thinking to myself, “I’m never going to think of a story that can fit into 3000 words in time to enter it into this contest…”  And yet, last week, inspiration struck.  Last night, I submitted  my short story, 2300 words, to the Texas Authors Short Story Contest.  I have no idea of the story is anywhere near good enough, mostly because I’m such a novelist.  I’m not all that great at short stories.  I’m too wordy and I love character development more than just about anything.  I’m really happy with my story though.  I’m not sure it will win anything or if it will even make it into the Texas Shorts anthology, but if it does, awesome and if not, I’ll share the story here on my blog!

Speaking of short stories, I’m going to try to get the next Boy Band story out next week so stay tuned. 😉

I also found out yesterday that the North Texas Book Festival is going to be participating in North Texas Giving Day in Denton.  I got to attend my first Festival this past April (https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/north-texas-book-festival/) and I loved it so much!  It was one of my very favorite events to date.  So on September 17, I volunteered to help represent them, talk about the festival, and try to get donations to support literacy and libraries in North Texas!  I’m so excited!  Then the next days, September 18 and 19 are Indievengeance Day and then the next weekend, I have TWO events with the Colony Library!  September and October are both going to be CRAZY busy but it will be awesome!  I can’t wait!

As for After Death, I’m going to get working on adding it to GoodReads, but mostly, I need to focus on getting it all revised and ready for publication in October!  That and I need to start really getting ready for the next Boy Band book as well!

Okay, so I will always have a heck of a lot of stuff that I need to get done.  But you know what?  I’m okay with that.

Happy Friday, y’all!


Long Weekend

This past weekend has been a long one, and not necessarily in the good sense.  It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t the best either.  For one thing, I’ve been feeling a little under the weather (even though the weather outside now is GLORIOUS!  Finally it’s feeling like spring!).  For another (and this is the big stressor), my sweet almost 21-year-old kitty has not been feeling her best, so I’ve pretty much been on round-the-clock nurse duty.  She’s doing okay.  I honestly thought she might not make it through the weekend, but she’s still happy, still purring, and most importantly, still eating and drinking.  So yeah, she’s been my number one priority these last few days. 





She’s my girl and she’s been my friend for a long time!    

On the book front, however, I am pleased to report that I have made quite a bit of progress.  I went through and did sort of a quick edit/format/spell-check and it’s ready for my editor and beta readers.  In doing all that, I got to reread and refresh and I am so happy to say that I love this book.  I love it just as much as I love the first one, maybe even more because there’s some new scenery and new characters and the old characters are already established so it was more fun to write!  If you enjoyed Cemetery Tours, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this one.  I’m in the process of assigning its ISBN, but I still need to know a few things, like publication date, how many words the final copy has, etc…  Right now, it’s at 73,000 but that is always subject to change.  I do need to get back in touch with my cover designer, but he’s currently in Kentucky filming at the site of the sinkhole that swallowed up all those Corvettes (my uncles were in mourning for days…).  

Finally, A Platform of Sorts was nominated once again for the Liebster Award!  I’m so honored, and I will try to get around to nominating and doing all the facts, but Jazzy and the new book are, again, my first and second priorities.  Thank you to my friend Diana at http://brilliantlynovel.wordpress.com for nominating me!  I’m honored!  🙂  


I also took a trip to the library for research for my next book.  If all goes according to plan (I’ve learned that nothing is set in stone when it comes to writing), my next book will be either a stand-alone novel or the first in a trilogy.  I’m thinking it will be the former though.  I guess we’ll all find out!  And hey, I’d rather have too many ideas to choose from than no clue at all!  

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  

Also, if you’ve read Cemetery Tours, it only needs ONE MORE REVIEW to break 30 on Amazon!  It’s been stuck at 29 for a few weeks now, so if you’d like to stop by and write like, two or three sentences on why it’s a good book (or an awful book, but honestly, I’d prefer the former), I’d be eternally in your debt.  Thank you all!  

Peace out.  

The Hardships of Being a Domestic Pet

As I have mentioned before, I have two cats.  I love my kitties.  At 25, I am already a certified Old Cat Lady.  As much as I love my two girls, however, they are both very different and do not love each other.


This is Jazzle.  She’s been a pet since before she was born.  Her mother, our dearly departed Basil, was abandoned at our veterinarian’s office by her former owners.  Around that time, she knew my mother was in the market for a new cat, so she called her up to see if she wanted to stop by and see these other two cats that she had.  Mom wasn’t interested in them, but as she was leaving, she noticed Basil reaching her paw out through her cage to her.

“What’s her story?” my mom asked.

The vet proceeded to tell her that she was a young cat, no older than a year or two, and that she had been left there.  She was also expecting a litter of kittens.

My mom knew instantly that she wanted Basil.  She also knew that, at age five, I had never been around a kitten.  Both of our other cats had been old when I was born.  So she told the vet to call us when the kittens were born and we’d come pick one out.  We actually ended up with two kittens.  My grandmother came along and decided she just had to have the little orange kitten.  We named him Rusty.  I, however, had my heart set on a baby girl kitten, and as it turned out, there was only one.  A tiny little blue tortie, the runt of the litter.  I immediately claimed her as mine and christened her Jasmine after Princess Jasmine in Aladdin.  Over the years her name has evolved from Jasmine to Baby Jaz to Jazzie and finally, to Jazzle thanks to Sheldon and his beloved Zazzle on The Big Bang Theory.

Jazzle is now nineteen years old, so we basically do everything we can to keep her happy.  This includes feeding her whatever she wants and giving her glasses of ice water to drink.

jazzle cup

Case in point.

Since she has been a pet all of her life, Jazzle is a pretty happy, unspoiled little kitty.  She sleeps, she eats, she gets brushed, and then she sleeps some more.

Midnight, however, has not always been a pet.  I don’t know her story before she showed up in our backyard one fall evening.  All we know is that she had been fixed, so it’s safe to assume that at one point she was a pet or going to be one, and she didn’t have any diseases when we adopted her, so she’d probably been vaccinated before.  However, when she found us, she was underfed and terrified of humans.  She didn’t let me pet her until about a year and a half later.


This is Midnight.  Yes, she is missing a leg.  And yes, my dad calls her “Tripod.”  And “Wobbles.”  And “Tub.”  But that’s because he thinks she’s fat, not because she has three legs.

I’m not sure what Midnight expected when she first came to live with us, but I don’t think she was expecting there to be so much she had to put up with.

For example, I don’t let her drink dirty water from where the ceiling leaks.  She is forced to drink out of the clean, sterling silver bowl that we put down for her.

Then we don’t let her play with electric wires or get behind the washing machine even though every time she tries, she gets stuck and realizes that she hates it and she gets dirt and dust all over her meticulously clean fur.

Occasionally, she also has to share her chair.  She doesn’t like this at all.

Then, of course, we let other people into the house sometime and she doesn’t approve of that either.  The last time that happened, we locked her up in my room, much to her dismay, and she decided to punish me by refusing to take her pills for about three hours.

Then there’s the vet.  Whenever my mom or I have the audacity to take her to the vet, we hear about it.  For the rest of the day.  And then, of course, she refuses to take her pills, probably because she knows they came from the vet.

The latest egregious sin we have committed involved leaving her alone overnight and allowing my friend to come in and feed her and try to give her pills at 7 when she is accustomed to taking them at 8:30.  That’s pretty much a triple whammy for her.  She doesn’t like being left alone unless she’s trying to sleep, she doesn’t like other people, and she really doesn’t like not being on her schedule.  She flat out refused to take the pills and she didn’t eat a darn thing that my friend left for her, opting instead to devour the entire bowl full of dry food that we had put down before we left.

But at least we had fun on our trip.  And she’s happy that we’re back.  And maybe, just maybe, she’ll forgive me by the time 8:30 rolls around.