Making it Through

Yesterday was a bit of a rough day.  I won’t go into details.  All I will say is that I’m glad it’s over and I’m hoping that everything will work out for the best.

Today is already turning out to be a better day.  The weather is finally feeling cool and crisp, One Direction released a new song (YAY!), and I’m really beginning to feel like the holidays are on their way.  I’m so ready.  I’m ready for Christmas lights and hot chocolate and Christmas sweaters and the smell of fresh balsam and firewood.

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I’m ready for my family and friends to get together for Thanksgiving and Yuletide festivities.

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I’m ready for parades and good food and drink and laughter.

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I’m ready for Christmas music and snowflakes and winter’s chill.

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I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.  Trust me, I’m excited for Thanksgiving as well.  It brings just as much warmth and joy and laughter with it as its December counterpart.  But after yesterday, I need this dose of holiday cheer.  I’m ready.  I’m so ready.


Hi, friends!  Today’s post is not going to be a long one because I have a few projects that need to be finished by tomorrow.  That being said, the new manuscript is in the hands of one editor and flying off to the second this afternoon.  Yay!  So excited!

So, instead of a lengthy post, please enjoy some pictures of the snow that fell yesterday morning.  Expecting more tomorrow.  Oh joy.

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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!

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.


I connected with English author Tinsley Collins over GoodReads.  He saw that I had written a ghost story and wondered if I might be interested in doing a review exchange.  I gladly accepted, being a big reader (and obviously, a huge paranormal fan).  Also, when you’re in the independent author business, you never turn down a chance for a good review!  Even if it isn’t a positive review, as long as it’s well thought out and constructive, it’s a good review.  

Mr. Collins wrote me a very good and positive review for Cemetery Tours, and I was very happy to reciprocate.  His book, Seance, is awesome.  I enjoyed it so much that I will be buying a copy for my own collection (I have a section in my personal library for authors that I know/fellow indie authors) on Friday as soon as I get my next paycheck.  The main story takes place in a little London-based bookshop.  Although I have never been to London, I am very much in love with the idea of the city, so it was easy for me to imagine and enjoy not only the story, but the scene and the characters as well.  I imagined Theo as sort of a Tom Hiddleston, and honestly, who doesn’t love Tom Hiddleston?  The story kept me guessing and engaged right up until the very shocking end.  I think I actually gasped out loud.  

I’ve never considered myself a very good “reviewer,” just because I ramble and I don’t think I’m very good at formal writing.  I’m much more of a conversationalist writer.  But, for what it’s worth, here is the review that I posted on Amazon and intend to post on GoodReads when it goes up.  

      “At first glance, Seance was right up my alley: a young man working in a London based old and rare book store meets a shy young woman asking if he had any books on ghosts, spiritualism, or seances. London, ghosts, and romance? I’m already sold.
      But it turns out that Seance, the second novel by author Tinsley Collins, is so much more than your typical paranormal romance. Yes, it tells the story of the skeptical and offbeat Theo, who, despite his quiet charm, has never fully found his place in the world or with people, and his strange connection with the equally awkward and timid Lucy, an avid believer in the paranormal. But it also follows the journal of Mary Bulstrode and her life as a new bride in the late 1800s.
      These two lonely souls, set a century apart, connect in a beautiful and poignant way that will leave readers breathless, haunted, and eagerly absorbing ever riveting detail, from first encounter to heart-stopping last goodbye. Seance has it all, ladies and gentleman; true love, deep mystery, eccentric and profound characters, ruthless murder, and lost souls, desperately seeking comfort, peace, and simply, someone to hold.” 

It has a pretty neat cover also.  Check it out.



I think the coolest thing about it is that Mr. Collins’ daughter designed it!  Isn’t it awesome?  

If you’d like to order Seance, you can find it here:éance-Tinsley-Collins/dp/1910105058/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392070062&sr=8-1&keywords=seance+tinsley+collins

or here:éance-Tinsley-Collins/dp/1910105058/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392070857&sr=8-1&keywords=seance+tinsley+collins

or here:

Happy Monday, everyone!  We’re expecting snow… again.  


As promised…






This temperature is unacceptable.




Apparently, we have critters living in our tree.



Yes, I said critters. I’m from Texas.




Falling snow is actually really difficult to photograph.




Today wasn’t a total drag, however.  I don’t know if I told y’all this, but I was selected as rising country music star Jessie Lee Cates’ fan of the month!  I’ll post more about it tomorrow!  So excited!  She’s awesome.  If you’re a country music fan, go check her out right now!

Snow and Sequels

Well, I’m snowed in.

Of course, in Texas, “snowed in” means “there’s half an inch of snow on the ground but the last time I tried to venture out in these conditions, I ended up driving my car into a pole.”  Okay, so most of us probably don’t drive our cars into a pole (though I actually did), but I’ve already read half a dozen news reports and Facebook statuses from friends who have had very, very close encounters in this weather, so I really just don’t want to chance it.

I thought about taking a walk down to the park (which I actually walk around quite a lot when the weather is, you know, pleasant) and taking pictures of the snow, but after I discovered that I can feel the cold radiating through the windows, I remembered how much I really hate being cold and decided to spend the day with my blanket and kitty and of course, all you lovely people instead.  Why anyone willingly ventures to places with snow for vacation is beyond me.  Ski trip?  Only if by “ski” you mean “water skiing.” You know, where it’s WARM.  And there’s sand and palm trees.

I guess I should be grateful.  I have friends in other parts of the country who have it a lot, a LOT worse.  To all of you, I will say a prayer and I will continue to be thankful that I am not where you are.  There’s this joke amongst Texans that every time we have extreme weather, we have to tell everyone about it, even though those of us who live here are already quite aware of those conditions.  The funny thing about that joke is it’s absolutely true.  We genuinely believe that everyone needs to know just how cold it is here, even though we are definitely not the coldest spot in the country.  And of course, we all freak out every time there’s even a little bit of ice on the ground.

True story.

Oh NO!  I just stepped outside to check the mail.  IT’S SNOWING AGAIN.  THE FLAKES ARE HUGE.

And of course, I couldn’t resist.  I stepped outside to take a few pictures.  I’ll probably post them later because right now, my fingers are too numb to edit.  There is something beautiful and peaceful about watching snow fall.  It’s like being inside a water globe.  That still doesn’t mean I like it or anything.

Okay.  Part of me does like snow.  I just don’t like the cold or the now being able to go anywhere part.

Moving on to stuff that is actually relevant to this writing blog…

I’ve officially been with WordPress for one year!  They sent me a little anniversary note and everything!


How sweet!  I’ll admit it, I’m actually really proud of myself for keeping up with this blog for that long.  This is, I think, the third blog that I’ve had and it’s the only one to which I’ve really committed.  Well, I was pretty good with my photography blog too, but then I used up all my space and yeah.  That was that.

Cemetery Tours also got another great review, this time on


I’ve also finished chapter 24 of the sequel.  Chapter 25 is going to be FUN.  I can’t wait to get started.  Cemetery Tours is 28 chapters long, and I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking the sequel will be a few chapters longer.  I’m great with that.  I just hope people like it.  I was thinking about it last night, and I suddenly realized that I’m a little scared to publish it.  Cemetery Tours has gotten so many kind words and now for some reason, I’m afraid people are going to read the sequel and think, “Oh man, this sucks.  It’s not nearly as good as the first one.”  Hopefully, my editors will be able to tell me if something isn’t working.  I like the book.  I hope readers like it too.

Well, I’m off to go finish one of the books that I’m reading/editing/reviewing and then it’s write, write, write!  If you’re thinking about becoming an author, be forewarned: you never get days off.  Even when you’re snowed in, you always have something you can be doing.  Your brain never takes a break.  It’s not a bad thing, because I genuinely enjoy every moment of what I do.  I’m just saying, it’s hard to turn that “writer” part of your brain off.  In fact, I’m not sure it’s even possible.  It might just be the way we’re programmed.

Stay warm, everybody!  I’m currently in two layers of clothes AND a blanket.  I wish I had hot chocolate.

Forgot to Mention…

That there is STILL ice on the ground.  Not on the roads, thankfully, but it’s still in the grass and on buildings.  

Yesterday, my dad and I flew out to Lubbock, and as usual, I was looking out the window, because for some reason, I’m convinced that the plane can’t crash as long as I’m watching.  Anyway, I noticed a lot of white stuff scattered around on the ground, and my first thought was, “Woah.  Was there a giant sand storm?”  

That’s right.  When you live in Texas, you see white on the ground and you automatically assume it’s sand.  You never stop to think that it could be ice, even though you’ve just been through Icemageddon a week earlier.  It was a strange phenomenon.  

That’s all.  Good night! 

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… 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.