Category Archives: Writing

Got Caught Up In The Bargain Cave! (With A Sexy Lumberjack!) … Sort of.

I’m over here doing some online shopping for a camping trip. A task, which my husband has left to me, cause, well… y’all… I like to shop. If ever there were any doubt…

I’m on Bass Pro’s website, already got those fancy mosquito repellent candles in my cart, when I see in huge, red letters… BARGAIN CAVE.

A bargain, you say?! A whole cave full of them?! For me? Why, yes, that sounds lovely! I think I’ll check that out! <Me, to the computer> As if it could hear me. (Although, honestly, conspiracy theorists unite! *fist bump* Cause, well, it can hear me! It’s listening to us all!)

Anyway, I ventured into the cave! Whether this was my first mistake or not, I have no idea. I’ve been online shopping for an hour. It could well be just one mistake in a long line! Anyhoo, I have since put in batteries I’m not sure we even need, a flannel shirt-jacket cause I think my husband would make a sexy lumberjack, and about 72 various coffee mugs. (Okay, I admit, that last part is a bit of an exaggeration.) And as much as I want to see my sexy lumberjack drinking his coffee out of a manly looking mug with a grizzly bear on it… I took the jacket and the mugs out of the cart. Cause, well, I don’t actually need them. (Neither does my husband, who now, I will never get to have lumberjack fantasies about!) Maybe I should put that one back in the cart after all, eh? Give him an axe, a beard, sexy flannel jacket… manly coffee mug…… See! Now we’re back where we started!

Anyway, next thing I know, I’m looking at flashlights, and they’re trying to sale me a $200 bargain flashlight! $200! They promised me bargains… and see, I know that thing was listed for like, $295, so technically, it’s a bargain. But ya girl is over here looking for a $20 flashlight at best. Y’all done lured me down into this cave, on the premise I’d get bargains… and all I got was a lot of batteries, a lumberjack fantasy going nowhere, and coffee mugs that won’t fit in my kitchen cabinet, cause well, I buy too many of those things as it is!

Then there are the deals that are so good I don’t want to pass them up. A $12 tent? Why, yes! Give me that! Except… we have two tents as it is! We don’t need another one. We sho don’t need a three person tent with two big ol’ adults and a giant dog!

And this, my friends, is what online shopping looks like in our house. Wish me luck as I dive back in! Cause I’m not finished yet. I’m not even halfway into the bargain cave, and I already tried to convince myself to just put the camo duffel bag into my cart and buy it. And for what reason, I have no idea. I don’t need a camo duffle bag! I’m not trying to blend in when I’m camping, sho not trying to do it when I’m hiking, I don’t want to get shot by a hunter who thinks I’m a deer. There are posted signs for that! Wear bright colors! Hunters abound! And I don’t hunt, (I’m a bleeding heart if there ever was one) so I sure don’t need it for that. I own one camo shirt, and it came from Old Navy. I ain’t even about that camo life, and I’m trying to snap up a big ole’ camo duffle like I need it for something.

What I actually need… is to behave myself when I’m shopping. But… that’s unlikely, so, who knows what’ll happen next!

My Best Laid Plans… Went Up In Smoke…

I had plans to be productive today. Really, really productive. I was going to get up early, I was going to work, I was going to reorganize my closet, and I was going to workout. — I. Had. Plans. — But you know what they say… the best laid plans and all that…

When my alarm went off this morning, I realized fairly quickly that I did not feel well. There’s nothing I despise quite like sinus problems and post-nasal drip… Because, well, it makes me feel awful. But there I was, post-nasal drip from hell, absolute misery. So naturally, I went back to sleep.

After several more hours in bed, I did finally climb out of it. While I slept, just so y’all know, my dog stole my flip flops, which I found, thankfully unharmed, in two different rooms of the house. Anyway, besides taking Pepper out, eating lunch, & checking the mail… I haven’t done anything except sit on my couch, in, as I said earlier, absolute misery.

I thought about working out anyway, powering through it and all that nonsense. But then I thought about the strength it would take me to do 160 pushups alone, not including the cardio workout or the 150 crunches… And well, I think it would kill me… So, that’s doubtful! 😂

Work. Well, I may attempt to write later. I’m roughly 20,000 words into my fourth novel. But honestly, even that’s doubtful. Y’all know I love to read, but even when I thought about doing that an hour or so ago, I was like, no. Too much effort. So while I like to entertain the idea, I can’t imagine actually doing so. Even now writing this, I’m getting a headache, which I didn’t have before I started this. Soooo… 👀

The closet… Well, that’ll still be there when I feel better. It’ll still be an unorganized mess, but it’ll be there.

So what will I do with the rest of my day? I have no idea. I’ve been meaning to rent the movie Kong: Skull Island… As I’ve recently gotten into the whole Godzilla, Kong movie world… But my husband hasn’t seen it yet and if I watch it without him he’ll probably be disappointed. Sooooo, maybe I’ll rent something else. Maybe take a nap. I don’t know. It won’t be much, because I have zero energy for anything at all. My nose is dry. My eyes are itchy. My throat aches. My head feels three times bigger than it’s actual size. It also hurts now. And to add to that, and TMI warning… All I can smell and taste is mucus. 👀 See, I told ya… Absolute misery.

Missed y’all, btw. This is my first post in ages. ❤️ See ya soon! 😊

Just Another Tuesday!

The past four or so days have been really busy around my house. So, today, for the first time in days, I had a normal day. I slept in a little, I got some writing done, and I managed a nice workout. Long overdue, all of it, and it’s been nice. ❤️

My fingers are itching to get at the keyboard, not this one, I’m typing this on my phone while cooling down from that workout I mentioned. My laptop is charging in the corner, just waiting for me to get back to Justin and Lynsey. Things are heating up for them! 😊

I’d stick around and chat, but besides writing and editing, I have a million other things to do, too. Will you see all soon!

Heather.

A Rainy Writing Day…

It’s a rain, rain, rainy day! Seriously, it has rained all day. Still raining. It’s one thirty in the afternoon, I have work to do, but I’m tossing out a quick blog post first. (Insert thumbs up here!)

I’m sitting at my desk. Which is actually the bar in my kitchen. Sometimes it’s my couch, but today it’s the bar. I have a, well, what I’m actually about to say I’m sure will offend many, but I have a nice, big coffee mug full of water. — Yeah, I drink water out of coffee mugs. I just like the way it tastes out of coffee mugs. I know plenty people would say that water tastes like water no matter what you drink it out of, but I would argue the opposite. What you drink beverages out of changes the way they taste. And I will die on this hill! (With my coffee mug of water!) 😉

I have nine chapters left on this out of order edit I started about a month and a half ago. If you’re wondering why it has taken this long, well I’m writing my third book, too. I write for a couple days, edit for a couple, back and forth we go. I like to break up the monotony of doing the same thing day in and day out. Plus, I feel like my work is better when I get little breaks from it and come back. Whether I’m writing or editing.

I’m almost there. I can see the finish line. Plus, when I started this out of order edit, novel number three was at roughly 15,000 words. We’re now at 50,000! Woo-hoo! 😀 Makin’ progress.

A lot has been accomplished in the last month and a half. As much as I could have done? Probably not. No, definitely not. But, hey, we’ll get it.

I’m going to jump back in now, edit, and listen to the rain coming down outside my window.

Hope you all have a splendid day! – Heather.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Happiness!

A little bit about my day…

I went to the grocery store, came home, did some laundry, edited four chapters of my manuscript, and that’s about it.

If you want a few more specifics, I bought new wax melts for the wax warmer, a lovely beach scent. I fed the birds, uncovered the flowers so they could get some sun, ate some chocolate chip cookies, and took a shower.

I have a little bit of a headache from sitting in front of the computer for hours, so I’m going to relax and watch something on tv. Don’t know what yet. We’ll see. Oh, and I’m making grilled cheese sandwiches and French fries for dinner. I’ve been wanting it all day! But we were out of sliced cheese, hence my run to the grocery store. But I have american and colby jack now, and I’m about to make grilled cheese magic happen!

Heather. ❤️

In Editing News…

I’ve been editing today.

I just did a chapter that used to be one of my worst ones. No joke. It has seen some of the largest edits over the last year (with the exception of chapter 1) and when I pulled it up I fully expected to wrestle with it some more. No matter what I did, that chapter never seemed to come together right.

Well, apparently, and to my great surprise, I only needed to make six minor changes!

It’s a fantastic read now! I didn’t realize I’d finally accomplished that feat and I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief right now. The last several edits were much more successful than I realized. I once thought, I’mma have to scrap the whole chapter; it’s never going to improve. And yet, here we are, and chapter 15 is good to go.

Now keep your fingers crossed because Chapter 16 is closely tied to it and saw a lot of reworks along with it. Hopefully when I get to it, as this edit round is out of order, it will be a pleasant surprise too! ❤️

If not, well, par for the course… 😂 At least now I know it’s possible. All hope is not lost! 😉

A Glimpse Into What Comes Next…

I did a little writing, did a little reading, did a little exercising, did a little watching TV…. You get the gist. It’s been a regular ol day around here.

I can’t say as I have much to blog about. I’m not feeling the least bit inspired. Nothing is coming to me. Nothing at all.

I did get some really good stuff written today though. Which I always feel like is more important. I like blogging, and it’s good fun. I enjoy interacting with everyone out in the world. But my heart is with the characters I’ve created, in the world I’ve built, with the stories I’m telling. So when it comes to pouring my energy into something, if I stumble around here a bit, it’s not the end of the world, so long as I’m still standing upright when I flip my laptop open to work on the current manuscripts.

Also. Random piece of info you may or may not care about… I have a plan that spans a lot of books and a lot of years. Ya girl is going hard! 😘 Anyway, this first series I’m working on, my Sweetgum Valley Series, will have 12 or so books. After that, well I’ve already been tossing around an idea for the next series that will come after it. Sweetgum Valley is a fictional town set in the North Ga Mountains. When I was ruminating on where I’d go next, I thought, I think I’ll stick closer to home next time with a fictional coastal town, set along Georgia’s coast. We have a ways to go before getting there, but it’s in the back of my mind, and someday we’ll see it come to life!

Heather. ❤️

What You Don’t See… The Emotions.

I’m still working on an out of order edit for book one. I just edited Chapters 18 & 23. I went through each chapter twice. Both had a handful of changes that I made. Nothing wild and crazy. The wild and crazy edits are over. I completed those months ago. (Thank God!)

But after two hours of staring at my computer screen, I have headache. That, and it’s late and I’m tired. Also, chapter 23 is one of the more emotionally draining chapters. 22, 23, & 24, actually. So, that didn’t help either.

A lot of people may not realize that as writers, a lot of the time, most of us, really pour ourselves into what we do. Tough stuff hits hard. We feel as we write, and that’s rough.

For instance, my second book. Writing that was incredibly emotionally draining some days. Bits and pieces of Charley’s story are torn straight from the fabric of my own life. I lived it. I understand it in a way that makes it twice as painful than if I’d never known personally what the journey is like. — I won’t spoil that, because I don’t want to spoil her story before people get to read about it someday, but there are moments in it, where I felt the punch that was packed, because I’d been there, done that. I knew the struggle intimately. And there’s no way to write it without part of me bleeding onto those pages.

Anna’s story was hard, too. In different ways. It’s titled Forgiving Anna, not so much because someone else has to forgive her, but because she has to come to terms with forgiving herself. And if you’ve ever been there, I don’t have to tell you how painful it is to forgive yourself for making mistakes that have devastating consequences. It’s one of the hardest things to do. I know what that’s like. I know what it feels like. And that gets poured straight onto those pages as they’re written. And then cultivated as they’re edited.

I’m also the type of person who feels everything. I break down sobbing listening to songs, watching tv shows, reading sad or heartfelt stories. I feel it all, and those feelings end up on the pages.

It gets a little less draining with each edit, but stuff still packs a punch, even then.

That’s not to say I write sad books. I don’t. They’re romance novels slap full of love, witty banter, sexual tension, and even a laugh here or there. But my whole purpose is to write real, relatable characters. And real life is messy. Full of tough, dark moments. But what I love about life, is that no matter how dark, there is light in that darkness. There is happiness to be found. Love wins, it conquers all. And things may get ugly sometimes, painful and sad. We live through things that mess us up and get in our way, break us and tear us down, but we get back up, and we keep on going. We find love, we find happiness, and we find joy again. It doesn’t beat us. And those are the stories that I choose to tell.

My characters, they’re like us. Their stories are like ours. They make mistakes. They get hurt. They deal with loss. Some of them are bitter and angry. Some of them are afraid. Some of them have lost people they loved. Some are addicts. Some don’t have loving families. Some have come face to face with sexual assault or domestic abuse. Some have been in prison. Some have been to war. Some just have messed up families. Some are completely alone, on their own. Others have felt the sting of rejection, what it’s like to never be good enough, to never live up to the expectations their loved ones have of them. — They’re like us.

But just like us, they find happiness. They have hope. They find love. They laugh, and they smile, and they live.

And those are the stories that I tell. That is the point that I make. That even in the dark, or after it, there is light, because there is love. And yeah, it’s in romance form here, but these people have friends and family, too. There is a whole lot of love and whole lot of beating the odds in my books, and that’s because I think it’s so incredibly important to remind people… there is light in the darkness. There are good times after the bad. Hold on. You will love again. You will laugh again. You will know happiness again.

So when I write these books, I have to feel all these things. Process them and wade into the deep end. But it’s worth it.

It’s so worth it.

Anyway, I’m going to call it a night. Hope you all have a fantastic day!

Heather.

It’s My Birthday… And I Bought Myself A Milkshake!

I turned 29 years old today. Can y’all believe that? I feel so old. I’m almost 30! Whaaaat?

Wanna know what I did? Woke up and went shopping. As if I don’t shop enough already, I used my birthday as an excuse to do more shopping.

I bought a pair of jeans at T.J. Maxx. Really, I love that store. I could live in it. I’d be quite content there.

I’m kind of funny about my jeans. So it was a stroke of luck, or rather, a blessing from above, take it how you will, that I found them. I don’t really care for extra stretchy denim. I know most people love it. But I am just not one of those people. I prefer that tougher denim, the kind that was more popular back in the 90s, and has a little less stretch in it, a little less give until you wear them for a few hours. I don’t really know how to describe it. (Some author I am, right?) Maybe y’all know what I’m talking about, maybe y’all don’t, I don’t know.

Anyway, when I come across that kind of denim, in a pair of jeans that fit me just right, I snatch em up. More than one pair if I can. I found a pair about a month ago and I absolutely love them. But they only had the one pair. It’s a brand I wear a lot of, and the jeans are actually from like two seasons ago. 2018, I believe. So they aren’t just hanging out on the shelves everywhere. I’ve been popping into the store about once a week hoping to find more, but it’s been nothing but stretchy denim. A lot of new arrivals and stuff, but stretchy.

I was looking around today, and on a whim, because I rarely check out the clearance section. I probably should, that’s the smart thing to do, but I just never do. It’s no where near my section of clothing, so I just never think about it. Anyway, low and behold, but what did I find… one pair of the same exact jeans I bought a month ago. For… half the price!

Can you say Happy Birthday to me? I sho did!

That’s all I bought though. I looked at purses and kitchen stuff, but in the end I left with only the jeans.

I did go by the Cookout and get a chocolate syrup milkshake, which I’ve never had. It tasted like my childhood, by the way. Fitting, given it’s my birthday and all. It’s like when I was a kid and I’d ask my mom for a glass of chocolate milk with the Hershey’s syrup? It tasted just like that, in milkshake form. Delicious!

Also, a little tidbit completely irrelevant to the rest of this post, I worked yesterday, and we have gone from 30,000 words to 35,000 on novel number three! (For anyone curious, that’s a total of about 140 actual book pages.) Woo-hoo! Progress! (Don’t remind me that I’ve still got 50,000 words to go, just don’t remind me.)

Will see y’all later!

Heather!

Book Updates! Sweetgum Valley Series

I think I’m going to try and finish making my book cover this week. I think.

I’ve also been contemplating a title change for the first book. I haven’t found anything else that fits though, so we’ll see how that goes. Maybe. It’s a maybe.

This past week I worked on an out of order edit, (still working on it ) meaning I’m jumping around randomly, editing chapters out of order. It helps because I tend to stay focused on just the chapter in front of me, rather than the book as a whole. A line by line, paragraph by paragraph look at it.

Book 2. It’s hanging out in ‘haven’t touched it in weeks, still requires multiple edits’ land. It’s only had one so far, and that’s not nearly enough.

In between stuff for the other books, I’m writing book 3. It’s at 30,000 words, roughly 1/3 of the way there.

I have a million other things to do as well, but my primary goals for the moment are to completely finish edits on book 1, format it, finish the cover, and write book 3.

I plan to publish the first book around late spring, early summer. And the second around late fall, early winter. We will see if I manage to keep this timeline. I’m sure going to try though. 😊

— Somewhere in there before I publish, I’ll start working on sending out monthly newsletters. It’s not as high up on the priority chain as getting book 1 complete. It’s coming though! —

Just thought I’d share a quick update.

Heather! ❤️