Archive | September 2015

Home Again

I read a couple of blog posts tonight about “coming home again” and how it is impossible, and how everyone has done the sophisticated, modern thing and moved far, far away from their “hometown”, shook the dust off their feet, and lost touch with all the people they knew growing up. If I kept following links I could have read several more of these blogs, each one detailing the snapped threads of friendships, the melancholy of knowing you are so much cooler than the people who didn’t move, and the sappy message that home is where your hubby and kiddos are – hubby being someone you met in that far, far away place.

I don’t mean to sound completely sarcastic (Okay, maybe a *little* sarcastic) but as someone who has moved “home” again, I find this attitude cliche. Like most of my generation, I bought into the idea that *the* thing to do was graduate and run – run far, run fast, and don’t look back. Scrape off all those friends and family you grew up with so that you can make a whole new group of super amazing friends who will be as close as family to you…

Um… what?

Not only are those damn hard to find, I can’t help but wonder WHY we’re doing this. We already had friends and family who loved us. We already had a history and roots. So, we dump it all to run somewhere “cool” and start all over and spend years trying to get the same thing WE ALREADY HAD. The answer is simple: we have to get rid of them because they know us too well. How can we become a totally new, totally cool person if we have to drag around the memories of who we were and all the embarrassing, stupid, uncool things we did?

These realizations came to me as we were contemplating the move here last year, and I won’t lie when I say that there is still a part of me that is brainwashed – a tiny part of me that thinks about hiding under the bed when I mumble that I’m back to eating in the same restaurant I ate in since I was a baby, and hanging out with the same people I hung out with in high school – And then I think “Why the **** should I be embarrassed?” I like the spaghetti at that restaurant, so why should I go somewhere else? And yeah, I’m hanging out with those same people because we had fun back then and we have fun now. All the generations who came before us were PROUD to have the same best friend for years, so why the heck shouldn’t I be? Yeah, she knows me – but that’s not as “uncool” and “confining” as TV would have us believe. There’s actually something comforting about it because that means she’s seen me at my stupidest, most uncool, and still talked to me anyway.

That’s not to say I didn’t make some awesome friends in Missouri – many of whom I miss – because I did. And that’s not to say I didn’t love it down there, or would trade my time there for anything, but there is something to be said for being back in south west Iowa. So, to the question “Can you go home again?” I say, “Only if you want to.” Because to do that you have to scrape off the modern concept that success is equal to the miles you get away from your hometown, and you have to accept who you are – not just who you are now, but who you were then – and realize that in truth they’re both pretty cool people.


I thought the eclipse was last night, so I was quite surprised when my uncle knocked on the door and called that the eclipse was going and asked me to bring my camera. It was already eclipsed, so I got some snaps of it from the eclipsed stage and coming out of it. The interesting thing about this is that hubby and I caught a lunar eclipse a couple of years ago – I think it was actually January of 2014 – and I got photos of it going into the eclipse but then my camera battery died (and our truck battery died, too! It was a fun night!) SO this completes my eclipse collection.

Anyway, here’s the 19 shots I got: (if you click the slideshow you can watch it un-eclipse!)

Though I wish I had a larger zoom lens, I am pretty happy with these, and still happy with my Nikon after all these years. The poor thing has been bumped, banged, dropped, knocked off of stuff – the standard lens that came with it sticks from my poor handling of it – and yet it keeps going.

I’m still chugging along at my writing. i got chapter one done and then realized I had not mentioned a key plot element at all, which really would be Katelina’s main concern, so some rewriting is in order. Oh well, it gives me a framework to work with.

Not much else, so I’m signing off. Have a good one!

Jo 🙂

Creative Blogger Award

wpid-wp-1442871682855Waffle Me This has been kind enough to nominate me for the Creative Blogger Award – how cool is that? A huge thank you to him. And to everyone else be sure to go check out his blog which houses a variety of posts from photography to writing to music. (Random style blogs are always my favorite.)

And now for the rules:

The Creative Blogger Award rules are:

1. Display the Creative Blogger Award logo on your blog
2. Nominate up to 10 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs
3. Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important)
4. Pass these rules on to them

And the nominees are:

There’s no questions to answer, and no post topic, so i am going to share some pics with you, including the flooded compost yard I mentioned. I realize it won’t have as much impact since you don’t know what it’s supposed to look like, but it’s crazy in person.

Have a good one!

Jo 🙂

At Least I Wrote a Sentence

NOTE: I wrote this last night but evidently did not post it. So you get it today. I wouldn’t even bother except I went to all the effort to type it, so…

Today it rained. No, it poured. And poured. And poured. All over my sort-of scraped house. Okay, only a piece of the house was sort of scraped – and it’s only sort of because the paint remover I put on did not work so well this time. Either A: it got wet, B: it got too cold C: it sat too long/not long enough or D: it was not applied thick enough. It worked wonders on the test section on the front porch, so I know the stuff works… *sigh*

I spent ALL day working on putting the anthology together. i already complained talked about my lack of accomplishments today over on the paper doll blog where Katelina got a cool coat, so I won’t rehash it. The pics of the flooded compost yard are on hubby’s phone, and he has not shared them with me yet. If he does I might stick them up tomorrow, though I don’t know. Photos and such are sort of a “moment of” thing nowadays. Tomorrow it won’t be relevant anymore because I (and everyone else) will have moved onto something new. It’s a symptom of our instant gratification/digital/globally connected-up-to-the-minute society. We can watch natural disasters all over the world in real time, so who wants to look at flooded compost yards two days after the fact?

I did get a blog award but they are hard to do on the phone so I will catch it tomorrow on the laptop.

Not much else. I wrote my sentence for the day. It’s a method that Juli over on the Williamson Vampires blog is trying. Most word counts for authors are 1,000+ words a day. Some days that is doable, but some days it’s not, and there are those of us (*ahem*me*) who, once they start missing the daily 1,000 word quota, will go “Oh well, I missed it this day, and this day, so why bother at all?” This method’s goal is to write one sentence a day – which there’s really no way not to have time for that – heck, I could text it to myself and there’s my sentence, so it’s pretty do-able –  without being limited to that one sentence. For instance today I wrote 260 words (or 27 sentences). When you look at that in contrast of the 1,000 word a day goal it’s pathetic, but when you look at it with the sentence a day.. Booyah! I rocked that! So it makes me feel a bit better – even if all that happened is the airplane landed and Xandria found out they are not anywhere near California (She’s never been to the U.S. before). I could have gone further but then I got worried – it’s an opening scene and there are a LOT of characters there (8 to be exact) and that felt like a LOT to introduce on page 1 – I usually like to start with just two or three and trickle the rest in slowly, but there’s not another good spot to open. Once they’re at their destination there will be even more characters, and before they leave for their destination there would be a bunch of characters seeing them off, who are not relevant to this book, so the plane seems to be the best starting point. Anyway, I got all concerned about that and started checking out how I had started my previous books. Book 6 starts with a multi-character scene in it, and no one complained that it was too confusing (in fact I got some compliments on its ability to stand alone) so I am going to just go ahead with the plane scene, confused people be damned!

This feels like it’s the length of a book itself so I am ending this here. Have a good one!

Jo 🙂

P.S. Here’s a scary Halloween photo:


Time in a Bottle

That’s the song I’m listening to now. It used to be my parents’ song (before they got divorced) so there is kind of an underlying melancholy to it for me, but it’s still a beautiful song. Don McLean’s entire American Pie album (with the exception of “Everybody Loves Me” and the one about mother nature having it out for him…I forget the name) is also brilliant. In case you can’t guess, I listened to it before Jim Croce.

I was going to write a long blog post, but I’ve lost the thread, and I think I’d rather take a shower and call it a night. So that this is not a complete waste, here’s the Don McLean album I mentioned on YouTube. (I did not upload it).

and here’s a few covers I’ve been working on:

Have a good one!

Jo 🙂

80s Covers

I made it home alive. I even have some fun photos of Tablerock Lake and kittens to share if I get them taken off. Might not be until tomorrow though. I did get the short story finished I have been working on – it clocks in at 9,700+ words. Yeesh. Is it any good? I don’t know. It may well be very boring, but I’ve sent it to my two betas (doesn’t that make it sound professional? That really means Mom and the brother, but hey, why ruin the illusion?) and I’ll see what they say.

In the meantime Lotte Kestner’s version of Mr. Blue (originally by Yazoo in the 80s) has been driving me insane. Over and over again.

The lyrics to this song are amazing – especially the first and last verse:

“The winter sound is crying, like an old man slowly dying,
and the only sound: the wind that fills the trees
Even colder comes the moon
and though it never comes too soon,
the sudden stillness as the rainfall starts to freeze”



“I come to you at night
when all the world is sleeping tight
and lie beside you til the early morning dew
you can’t see me, you can’t hear me
but you feel me when you read the folded letter, she left addressed to you.”

The sad thing is that the original version, while having the same lyrics, loses the feel of them with synthesizers:

But the 80s did that. There’s a bunch of songs that have beautiful, melancholy lyrics smooshesd under synthesizers. Mad World is a prime example.

Here’s the cover:

and here is the original:

Another good example is Running up that Hill by Kate Bush and then Placebo – thankfully – got ahold of it (A lot of people actually redid it, but I think Placebo’s is the best).

Anyway, if you can’t guess I’ve been in a melancholy mood. I mentioned it a couple weeks ago, and it’s still hanging on. (Someone else has written a far better post than me about this condition,) I don’t know. At least I got the story written. Now to get book 8 going…

Have a good one!

Jo 🙂

Last Minute Book Covers

Getting in some last minute work and thought I’d share some of the book covers I’ve been working on lately.

Wasn’t that exciting? The first one is for the Ink Slinger’s Anthology – I need to do an official cover reveal over on my author blog when I get back. I admit I didn’t really wait for it to be fully approved but I figure I’m buying the images and doing it all, so… Not that I think anyone would complain. The Ink Slingers are a nice bunch.

That’s tonight’s excitement. What a boring life I lead, LOL!

Have a good one!

Jo 🙂

Gearing Up

I’ll be gone from Friday until Tuesday (or Wednesday). No, I’m not flying to exotic places, just heading down to southern Missouri for the Route 66 on the Air event and to spend a day hanging out with the sister-in-law (which will be fun). I doubt I’ll be blogging BUT at the same time I don;t want to guarantee I won’t, so…

I can guarantee I won’t be posting on the paper doll blog. I have two done ahead of time – three if you count the one I skipped ahead to (It’s number 73 but I haven’t got 72 colored yet) but it’s not enough to get me through. Oh well. No one will cry for the lapse.

I’ve been working on the cover for the anthology and I liked it earlier but now I don’t know. That happens a lot.

I need to start writing again. I’m a month behind on book 8. Blah blah.

Okay, I’m being boring, so instead of yapping on and on (and on and on like Seth Rollins) here’s a special preview of dress #73.

dress 73

I know, you’re not here to look at paper dolls, but I am hella proud of that one.

And now I bid you all good night and say, “Have a good one!”

Jo 🙂

Feeling Better

I mentioned being in a funk, but a few days break from stuff made me feel better. Where the house painting is concerned we are going to just try to get the bottom done (if it ever stops raining) and then try to save up over the winter to buy some scaffolding (the brother says he can do scaffolding and has done it before when he worked with my cousins at a drywall business) and so work on the top of the house next year. I’ve also caught up on the book covers I was working on – I’ll need to do more work tomorrow, of course, but for now I am caught up. I even have the paper doll dress posted for today – Now to try to do some writing…

As for those days off, we went on a family picnic on Saturday (I think it was. Things run together). Here’s some exciting photos from it:

Yes, I took my big camera! *gasp* My cellphone was actually dead that day and I left it dead. I think getting away from electronics is something we should all do more often. I think we’d be happier – I know I am, except that I miss the ability to “google” things – like who played so-and-so in a movie, or if Willie Nelson is really dead, or what medication I’m allergic to (There is actually a google result for that). I like being able to look up information whenever I want, but I want to break away from facebook and email and all of that crap.

Sadly, it looks like the future only holds more “connectivity”. We gte both Popular Science and Popular mechanics, and both are little more than “look at all these snazzy gadgets that are straight from a sci-fi movie that you know you need to be a sheep. Baaaaaaah.” I just want to scream, “We’ve seen the movie already, and we know how it ends! What is wrong with you?” But I know it won’t do any good. They’re too busy wanting all that cool tech the movie future promises without taking away the lessons. It’s damn terrifying, really.

Enough jabbering. I’m going to post this and then I might go to bed. I was going to write (as I mentioned) but Dad is watching Dr. Who and no way I can write with that on. I need an office. If only there was an extra room.

Have a good one!

Jo 🙂

Dress 63

I generally like to keep the paper dolls separate because they are my hiding place where i have no obligations to reply to comments or be social in any way, but this one was too cool not to share.

Paper Doll Dress a Day

Hello! This blog has been silent for a year or more (since I added Jorick randomly) and I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up that I’m back for an extended period. I’ve been feeling crummy lately and decided that rather than working on the writing I *need* to do, a better use of my time would be to draw paper doll clothes *snick* Actually, drawing usually cheers me up, so we’ll see if it works.

Since the last time I was here we’ve bought a house, moved to Iowa, and started renovating. We have one room completely done (yay!) and ten more to go. Joy.

Enough boring stuff. Today’s dress is for Ethne  (You can get her here). It was just too cool not to use.

Here’s the pin

click for full size then right click and save as click for full size then right click and save as

This one took me a long time for several…

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