Hiding Out

the original cover concepts that no longer match the series lol!

the original cover concepts that no longer match the series lol!

I’ve been offline for several reasons, one of which is that I am working on Patrick, the prequel novel to the Amaranthine series. This one stars Patrick, Katelina’s friend with benefits who is murdered on page 1 of Shades of Gray (the first book in the series). I don’t know why this guy is such a strong character. I’ve always wanted to write him, and then I did a character interview with him and it really clinched it. I HAD to write him – but the original version had some massive time line issues (which I am resolving) and it wasn’t popular with the betas for a few reasons. One of them was style.

At least in my rough drafts, the character determines the style, not me. For instance Patrick didn’t like descriptions, or even scene set up. The scenes tend to start in the middle, with someone speaking or something happening, and then a brief backtrack to explain anything relevant. It would work great for TV or a graphic novel where the “back track” can be done with visual aids, such as the setting and other characters present, but in book form a couple of betas found it “confusing” and “choppy”. He also likes lots of dashes and a lot of italicized thoughts (I’m leaving those), and he doesn’t really like the sex scenes described (which is funny because he’s kind if a slut. I think his slutty-ness embarrasses him). So, part of this rework is to try to smack it closer to the same style as the rest of the series – add some descriptions, scene set ups, deal with the abrupt openings and closings.

Another complaint was the New Adult drama vibe happening – yeah, there’s a girl playing the “guess who my baby’s Dad is?” for the first 3/8 but she’s a catalyst (and the cause of those time line issues) and pretty much the reason a lot of events happening. Not only that, but that’s the area these people are in. Patrick’s 25, but he’s one of those who are still clinging to being 19 – they haven’t quite given up the idea of being a kid yet even though people around them are growing up, and there are younger people folded into the group.

I could go on, but it would mainly just be a long post defending a book no one is attacking at the moment. And if if it was attacked, I think it’s weak for an author – or artist of any kind – to jump up and defend the piece. It stands on its own and doesn’t need the creator to justify it. If it does, then maybe the attacks have some merit.

Okay. I won’t bore you with a lot of nothing (which aside from Patrick and some book covers is what I have done), so I’ll just say “Happy Tuesday” and move on.

Have a good one!

Jo :)

P.S. Some bonus book covers:


Quote Day 5 is postponed because I have a lot to say about it but not much time.

Instead you get a boring update about the upcoming Facebook Week Long Amaranthine Party – a week of giveaways including a set of dolls, a coffee mug, some handmade Halloween cards and I don’t know what else yet. Since it’s not until October I have some time to think of the other prizes and come up with some games. Need to spend some time googling. I know in August I am going to do a “contest” to design the event banner (I have a place holder stuck there now that’s boring) and maybe a quote image design contest in September… we’ll see.

Speaking of handmade cards, I sent two off today to people:


I’m really enjoying card making.

Okay, have to go. Have a good one!

Jo :)

Quote Day 4


Yes, I know my Quote Day Challenge is up, but as I mentioned on day 3, I may go for thirty of them. Or I may not. Who knows?

In the meantime, today’s quote is another nineties’ gem (maybe they had the best lyrics?) from Deep Blue Something on their album “Home”. One thing that sets that album apart from the other stuff I was listening to then, is the band’s sense of humor (One example is the song “Done” – the last song on the cassette tape’s side A – whose  lyrics say “Flip her over man, she is done” – amusing because once that song ended, one did indeed have to “flip ‘er over”) in that vein,  today’s quote is a little silly:

I hear little voices and they say we’re okay.


I had planned out a lengthy, deep discussion on the undertones of this quote, but time and a freezing laptop are not on my side, so you’ll have to imagine it. Pretend it was really compelling and used some big words, just to make me seem extra smart, ha ha!

Other than that I haven’t gotten much done. I primed one of the four drawers hubby made:


and the laundry cabinet


Yesterday was WWE Battleground. My Uncle Junior, and Aunt Carol and Uncle Dave were here, as well as Dad and the rest of us, so we had quite a group. The amusing part was we tried to order a sandwich platter from Caseys (like we did last time) however they said they needed twenty-four hours notice. They don’t need twenty-four hours notice to make sandwiches, or to put toppings in plastic containers (both of which they did for us later), only to cut them up in small pieces and put them on a plate. Weird. Anyway,  I we went up half an hour before the start of the show, bought five sandwiches, got the toppings on the side, then when we got home I cut them up myself. We ended up with more sandwiches and saved five bucks.

the left overs

the left overs

The uncle brought watermelon and then we had a pie from Perkins:

wpid-05.jpgIt was good.

As to the show, it was also good. For a change I didn’t *know* who would win (usually you have a pretty good idea), so it made things more suspenseful. I do think revealing Luke Harper was a mistake. I’d have dragged out the mysterious guy in the hoodie angle a bit longer and then revealed it at Summer Slam or else on Smackdown right before Summer Slam, then at Summer Slam have Roman and Harper duke it out. But that’s me. I was happy with the Divas’ match for once – I am beyond sick of the Bella Twins and Page, so seeing Charlotte win was a nice change. Hopefully they are going to do something more with the Divas division than they have been doing: a bunch of scantily clad women shrieking and jiggling. They have several who can actually put on a better show than looking sexy and having cat fights, and it would be nice to see them utilize that and move a little away from the underwear, bra, wiggle my butt crap. I was glad to see Cena defeat Owens (I hate, hate, hate Owens), and hopefully that means Owens will move on to a new rivalry/story line (though I doubt it), and the end of Lesnar and Rollins fight was one I did not see coming. I knew that Rollins would retain the title, but I assumed he’d do something to get disqualified (like usual), so it was a nice surprise. And the Undertaker is always good.

I leave you now with a cat photo:


You can see Dad over to the side watching WCCW on the WWE channel.

Have a good one!

Jo :)

PS. The hibiscus are blooming!


Nebraska Natural History Museum

photo album

As part of our plan to do “something” each weekend, be it big or small, this weekend we went to the Nebraska Natural history Museum in Lincoln. I’d been there years and years and years ago – my parents took me once or twice and we also went on a school field trip. We’d actually planned to do the Kansas City Zoo, but with temperatures forecast at 97+, an indoor activity seemed better, especially given everyone’s individual health issues and such.

Anyway, it’s a LOT different than it used to be. Or at least than I remember. Oddly, the main things that stick out in my mind were the dinosaur bones (which, though they still have, they seem to be really downplaying now) and the dioramas in the basement. The dioramas stuck with me because of the level of detail in them. I remember one that had coyotes in it with a gravel road and a crushed beer can…that diorama is gone, and the coyote now wanders in a barren rocky landscape. That’s not to say the dioramas aren’t still good because they are, I was just a little disappointed not to see the one I so fondly remembered from the early 80s. (I said it had been a long time since I’d been there).

All the updates to the museum also left us with a problem. We only planned four and a half hours (including the half hour planetarium show) to tour the place. In the 80s that was plenty of time. Now…not so much. We spent two hours on the main floor alone, so in the end I skipped the evolution , and the Darwin display, did not have time to watch the movie in the Native American culture area, and didn’t get to see the African art. I had to do a run through of the other art gallery, didn’t get to read any of the stuff on meteors, and totally missed the discovery activity room (yes, hubby and I enjoy the kiddie learning things), not to mention I barely got to look at the rocks and minerals collection. Boo. Hiss. Boo. But I did get to see the fossils, the Weapons Through Time (got some nice ideas for future vampire battles), and the dioramas I mentioned earlier, so I was happy with that. We also learned about Ashfall State Park, which has a huge excavation going on that we need to go see in person some time (one of our weekend trips maybe?) and the Hyde Observatory, a free observatory, open Saturday nights, in Lincoln where you can go look through their telescopes (which sounds friggin’ awesome) and it’s free, if I didn’t mention that already. (I like free)

Here’s where I have to tell you that the following photos are going to be as boring as usual, and – though we took the good camera – no one charged the Nikon batteries (whoops), so they’re also crummy cellphone pictures. Sadly, if you read this blog at all, you’re used to it.

Anyway, there is a lot of really awesome hands-on things  there now – lots of stuff to touch, and interact with, drawers to open, fur to pet, several activity centers – the plesiosaur was really cool because his head/neck, and then several fossilized fish and other sea things are in the floor covered with thick plexiglass so you walk over them – the pics of that didn’t turn out well. Everyone was very nice, except for one employee at the end who got mad because we had ten minutes to closing and were picking through rocks in the gift shop (again, we had ten minutes until closing, but apparently she wanted to close early), the entrance fee is reasonable, and the displays are really well done (except I do wish the dinos had a bit higher billing, they are kind of crammed in a small room upstairs, off to one side, between the rocks and the evolution display – heck, their room is SMALLER than the evolution display, and being a kid from the 80s I feel they should have at least as much central billing as the elephants do – who have a very large and very cool gallery on the main floor) so I recommend it. Just be sure to allow more time than we did.

And now I have to get to work. WWE Battleground is on in a couple of hours and I need to get this cover done first.

Have a good one!

Jo :)

Quote Day Three

We’re on the third day of the quote a day challenge – which Waffle Me This was kind enough to tag me in. Using song quotes makes it hard – hard to choose which one! I could probably go for a month or more posting a song lyric a day. I’m a music-holic, I admit. I can go without reading (bad to admit for a writer, but there is the truth), without TV, without movies, even without internet, but not without music. In another life I’d have been a musician, but since i have zero talent I shied away from it in this one. Maybe I should have married a musician? Nah. I’m fond of hubby as he is.

In that theme, today’s quote comes from another nineties band who is still kicking around, Gin Blossoms. They’re an under-appreciated band with some great tunes – I like all of their albums, which is a rare thing. Most bands have at least one album I don’t like or else feel “eh” about. This may be for the same reason that reviewers on Slacker got a little snarky – they haven’t changed their sound. As one review says about their newest album “No Chocolate Cake sets its sights on maintaining the band’s audience rather than reclaiming a spot in the mainstream.” Meaning they aren’t trying to get on MTV, they just want to make their current fans happy. And what’s wrong with that? As a writer I constantly hear about making the next book more “mainstream” to capture that audience, to “write what sells” to spend all my time marketing to capture these new readers. Sure, I’d like to keep getting new fans – without some new fans you stagnate as old ones fall off or die – but what’s wrong with working harder to please the ones you already have instead of trying to turn yourself into something else to court new ones?

Which leads me into today’s quote. This one comes from As Long as it Matters:

There’s nothing that I could want
More than to tell you
There’s no more than we’ve already got

And that’s pretty much where i am in life right now. Sure, I’d like to be rich, or I’d like to have a bigger house (we could use more room), or I’d like to be an international best seller, or a thousand other things, but I don’t really NEED any of them to be happy and I don’t need – or want – them enough to do the things necessary to get any of them. I think that’s kind of the test as to whether you *really* need or want something. Are you willing to do what you need to do to get it? No? Then you may kind of want it, but you don’t *want* it because if you did – if you *really* wanted it – you’d be willing to make the sacrifices to get it. I don’t even mean big things like houses or cars or success, but even small things.

This is getting long (I’m on the laptop if you can’t tell) so to wrap things up, we put the table together today (sans the middle leaf):


I’m still painting the pieces of the cart for the laundry room


though a disturbing thing happened when I started the newest can of paint – no paint came out, just this gray dust:


Yeah, I was not happy.

A more cheerful thing is that we got the dutch girls hung up in the kitchen:


my mom made those in the ’80s out of plaster and painted them. She made a bunch of them for the church bazaar and then made my grandparents and herself each a set (I also got one painted pink to match my room). This red pair was Grandma Harris’ and after she passed away I nabbed them. My mother hates them (when trying to decide where to hang them she kept suggesting the inside of cupboards or a barn) but I love them.

And I’m outta here. Gonna do some formatting then I may get some plastic to spread out and start priming the kitchen drawers hubby made a bit back.

Have a good one!

Jo :)

Quote Day 2


It’s day two of my quote challenge. Waffle Me This was awesome enough to tag me to do this – it’s easy to participate. Just post one quote a day, and then challenge other bloggers to do the same. I should do that like I’m supposed to; but I don’t know who to tag. I hit everyone who likes these things last time, I think.

My quotes are going to come from music this time. Yesterday was Soul Asylum, a band I like, and today’s is from a song by Cracker, a band I don’t  like. They’re not *bad*, they just never appealed to me, musically. However their song “Get on With it” has an awesome quote in it:

If you wanna change the world
Shut your mouth and start this minute.

So many people run around talking, and talking, and talking about how terrible the world is, how unfair, how unequal, how other people (or themselves) are being abused, misused, mistreated, etc. etc. but these talkers do absolutely zero to make the world better. When this is pointed out, the usual reply is “I can’t change it by myself!” No, you can’t, but you also don’t need to tackle world hunger in order to make the world better. Try doing something for someone near you – someone you know, someone you don’t. Even just something tiny like mowing an infirm neighbor’s yard – that just made her world a better place. You can’t make the world better for everyone, but you can make it better for someone, so shut up with all the talking, get off your but and do it.

That applies to everything. not just the world in general, but *your* world. Unhappy with your circumstances? You may not be able to just leap up and “fix” everything – heck, some of it may be completely un-“fixable” (like chronic illness or some financial situations) but you can do little things to improve your world. Lonely? Most communities have events of some kind you can go to to meet people, or you can try church, even if you’re not religious. Most churches are pretty friendly, and if you’re not into what they preach let it go in one ear and out another. Volunteer somewhere, get friendly with a co-worker. Heck, make some online friends. Feel bad about yourself? Ask yourself why – what is it that you dislike about yourself so much? Is it “fixable” at all? If so make an effort, even if it’s small, and if it’s not “fixable” (like an amputee can’t regrow arms) then instead work on accepting and “fixing” your attitude. (I use the word fix in lieu of a better one). Basically stop whining and waiting for the universe to fix everything for you, get off your bum, and DO something because no one is going to do it for you – no one is going to change it for you.

And though I dislike that song, I try to take that meaning to heart. Quit saying what you’re gonna do, or what you want done, and just do it.

In other news the handbook formatting is a pain because turns out I didn’t allow for enough bleed – my fault – so I redid the 36 I had done. Then it turned out my page numbering got off so I re-did-for-a-second-time the first 36. I’m now on 50-something. Yay!

In handy-house news there’s some twibbly stuff, but nothing huge. So i leave you with some old photos from my Flickr. One of these days I need to take a month and take off the last year and a half worth of photos I have collected but not edited or uploaded.

Quote a Day Challenge


yeah, it’s been a week or so. I’m bad. I kept meaning to blog, but I had hubby all week. Today he is back to work (thank goodness) and so things can get back to normal-ish. Not that I minded having him around, in fact I had plans for lots few stuff to get done – but he refused to cooperate and mostly things were just a dragged out do-nothing-fest.

Anyway, I’ve been challenged to do the quote challenge (again) by Waffle me This, who has quite an interesting blog, might I add. Since there are a million amazing quotes out there, I’m happy to participate. This time I’m going for quotes from songs.

In the nineties, I was a teenager. Television was full of shows and movies that demonstrated the wonders of eternal fun, excitement and wonder that awaited us. We had only to get a little older, grab some booze, snort some drugs, or go to college, or get married, and we would live in a rush of ecstatic joy and delirious excitement. Luckily the world of music had some bits of wisdom in it, if you knew where to look, which contributed to my well balanced view of adulthood, and left me a lot less shocked, depressed, and horrified as it did some of my contemporaries (some of whom are still scrambling, looking for all the special “amazing adult-y-ness” that does not exist).

Soul Asylum was especially good at this (though they had an annoying habit of having an awesome song, and then adding one really bad line or verse that ruined the whole thing – Tell me When Does Life Begin is a classic example of this) and their album Let Your Dim Light Shine is still one of my favorites. Today’s quote of the day comes from Nothing to Write Home About:

No one told me people could be so cruel,

Nobody told me about any of this in school,

and still nobody understands the things that I don’t understand

Not an upbeat quote at face value, but underneath it is because -while it’s stating a sad fact – it’s also validating that you’re not the only one who feels this way. It’s just part of the adult condition because there IS no adult condition, no adult moment when we all understand, or know, or any of the rest of it, and it’s not just YOU who doesn’t seem to get it, no one does. They just pretend better sometimes.

What can I say, I was deep at fifteen.

I’m supposed to nominate/tag three bloggers, but today I’m cheating and saying if you’re reading this, feel free to do it. It’s a fun challenge.

I did get my Amaranthine handbook done and sent out to newsletter subscribers – wOOt! Now I need to resize the pages to 8×10 (I’m on page 23 of 101) and put it into a PDF to get the paperback ready to go. There’s roughly one person who wants the paperback, but they’re related to me, so it’s worth the effort.

I’ll end this here. I have an award from YesterdayAfter I will be putting up in the next few days, too :)

Have a good one,

Jo :)

PS. Here’s a gallery of random photos from the last week that I didn’t blog. Aren’t you excited?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,552 other followers

%d bloggers like this: