Tati’s Checkup: 12.19.2011

naughtyOrNice

Feels like it’s been so long since I’ve last checked in with an update. How about I start by getting some of the not-so-good things out? Unfortunately it’s a list:

The Bad:

  • I haven’t finished a single of my works in progress since WAY OUT OF CONTROL.  Yup, I’ve been a bad, bad writer. Please forgive me, Santa!
  • I’ve been feeling so guilty and upset about not finishing anything, that I’ve avoided the blog and social networking for the most part, because it’d meant I’d have to admit that nothing’s been completed.
  • This has not been a good year for the spirit – two deaths in the family, mild case of depression, and work deadlines up the wazoo hasn’t get me climb out of the glums.
  • My website got hacked. It got it back up again, but I’m still in the process of cleaning up some of the mess in the background.

The Good:

TC_TheSummoning_smaller

I may not have completed anything in a while, but I have been writing. I have several works in various stages of progress. All of the premises feel exciting to me and I’m struggling with staying focused on just one at a time, but I’m working on disciplining myself.

Spent some good quality time with some great writerly friends in person. It’s so therapeutic and motivating to talk with others who have or who are going through similar ups and downs. Don’t know why I don’t do this more often.

My paranormal novella THE SUMMONING, was nominated for Best Erotic PNR – Angels and Demons 2011 at The Romance Reviews last month. It didn’t come in first place, but I’m still stoked just for even receiving the nomination. Thanks for all of your votes!

I finally finished the revamped website / blog design, too. Hopefully this color scheme is easier on the eyes than the white text on black background. What do you think?

The Work In Progress:

I still have those same FIVE manuscripts in various stages of progress. I’m setting myself a goal to finish at least one of them by the end of this month, and I’m letting you all know so you can help keep me accountable. Threaten to spank me, bite me, or pull my hair if I don’t.

On second thought, don’t – I might like that.

Tati’s Weekly Checkup: 08.08.2011 & Giveaway!

The Good:

My third book, sci-fi novella WAY OUT OF CONTROL, comes out next week on August 15, 2011. It stars a bi-racial cop, a female doctor who’s cautious of men, a crazy science experiment, and sexual tension so intense, it’s borderline dangerous. My most explosive story yet!

You can learn more about this story on the book’s page. If you’ve already read the excerpt, you may want to take another look at it as I’ve just updated it with the final, edited version which includes a brand new, sexy flashback scene.

The Bad …

… is far outweighed by the good this week, so let’s skip this section, shall we?

The Work In Progress:

Oh my goodness, my muse has been all over the place, and so at this exact moment in time I have … *pauses to count* FIVE (that’s 5 ya’ll) manuscripts in various phases of in-completion. I’m setting myself a goal to finish at least one of them by the end of this month, and I’m letting you all know so you can help keep me accountable.

The Appreciated & The Giveaway:

Exactly one year ago, I became a published author. Nervous, a little sheepish, and worried about never finding any readers or support. I’m still just as nervous and sheepish, heh, but I no longer agonize about whether or not anyone cares to read any of my work.

Thanks to you.

thank-you

Without you reading my books, visiting my blog (even you quiet lurkers), leaving supportive comments and sending me emails to personally tell me how much you enjoyed my stories, I might have lost the courage and motivation to continue to pursue publishing.

So in effort to show my appreciation to my supporters, I’m going to giveaway a free digital copy of WAY OUT OF CONTROL to two people who have read one of my books and share their review of it by 7pm central on Saturday, August 13, 2011. Enter by leaving a review for SAY MY NAME at Amazon.com, SAY MY NAME on Barnes and Noble’s website, or  THE SUMMONING on Amazon.com. If you’ve read both of my books or would like to share your review on more than one website, each review posted will count as a separate entry. Winners will be announced by 6pm Sunday, August 14, 2011.

(If you haven’t read any of my books yet, there’ll be a chance for you to win WAY OUT OF CONTROL in a different contest next week, so stay tuned!)

Tati’s Weekly Checkup: 7.18.11

Girl Cave
The Good:

  • I took the full first week of July off for vacation, and had a BLAST! We threw a BBQ party, celebrated my oldest’s 7th birthday, visited a waterpark and my favorite museum – Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. If you’ve never visited, I highly recommend it. It is a very interactive museum with plenty of things to learn, see and do for everyone.
  • Small home renovations in various stages of completion. The guest bathroom on our first floor and the master bathroom have been redecorated, including new paint, new accessories and lovely new light fixtures. We’re working on a full master bedroom makeover now, and making a few small changes to the family room. There’s just something I find so reinvigorating about improving the space I live, work and play in.
  • One renovation in particular resulted in me finally getting my private home office. We already had a shared office on the first floor, but I needed a place where I could kick everyone out, close the door and have my work meetings in quiet and write in solitude. It was a long time coming, but I finally got it. I LOVE my Girl Cave! Thanks to my wonderful hubby for setting it up for me!

The Bad:

  • My vacation ended. And even though I worked overtime to make sure my plate was cleared before I left for vacation, when I returned to work there was piles of stuff I needed to catch up on. This is the start of week 3 of July and I still feel like I’m playing catch-up.

The Cool:

The boys and I got new skates! I love to skate – on roller skates, roller blades, ice skates, but I hadn’t had wheels on my feet in over a decade and my boys had never skated. But last week we remedied that, and now we have  family activity that I’m happy to say builds muscle, burns calories and is a lot of fun.

Also, I’ve been playing around a little bit with the new Google+.  I think it will really grow on me. If you’re on and looking for more circle buddies, feel free to add me. Or let me know if you still need an invite.

The Work In Progress:

The final line edits on my next book, WAY OUT OF CONTROL,  are done, meaning it’ll be soon be ready to hit the virtual shelves. I have a tentative release date of August 1st, so it’s coming soon!

And speaking of renovations, the hubby and I hit a bit of  a stumbling block with the new look for my website, so it is still a work in progress. We’re almost done though, I just need to make up my mind on how I want a couple of things to look. If all goes well, it should be live by next week’s update …

Tati’s Weekly Checkup: 06.28.11

The Good:

  • A new review for THE SUMMONING has been posted at The Romance Studio. Yay, I like it when people read my
    Boy with Great-GrandmaR work and share their thoughts on it. 😀
  • We went up to Michigan this weekend to visit my husband’s relatives, something we don’t do often enough. It was great to have the kids spend time and bond with the family. I was quite pleased to see my grandmother-in-law up and about, looking happy and healthy, as well as able to chase after my little boys!

The Bad:

  • My father-in-law’s cancer returned. Fortunately, the doctors believe they removed most of the tumor during the surgery last week, and  he is recovering quite well.  Still, it’ scary, worrisome, expensive and draining. Hopefully the cancer stays gone this time …

The Unnerving:

The 6-year-old is trying to understand procreation. LOTS of questions from him recently about babies, pregnancies and gender.

  1. “Does a man and a woman have to be married in order to make a baby?”
  2. “How does a cat get kittens? Do cats get married?”
  3. “If two ladies get married, can they make a baby?”
  4. “How does a baby get out of the mommy’s belly? Does it break through her belly like a baby chicken breaks through the egg shell, and then the doctor glues her belly back together?”

*sighs* As if I didn’t have enough grey hairs already.

The Cool:

My husband and I are taking customers for our website and design services again. We had an especially fun time working with our latest client on her blog/website. Danielle Monsch and her husband were a pleasure to work with, and we are delighted with how the site turned out:

If you or someone you know are looking for an affordable and uniquely customized website or WordPress design, just let me know.

The Work In Progress:

The hubby and I are working to create a new look for our web design site and to slightly alter the layout of this one (I’m beginning to have enough of all the white text on black background, and want to change that up a bit). Both designs are still very much under construction, but hopefully at least one will be done in a week or so.

The revisions and major edits for WAY OUT OF CONTROL have been completed. Now the book just has to go through final line edits and then it’ll get a release date. I suspect it’ll be released by the end of July / early August, so I’ll have to start preparing for promotion soon (plus I have a contest or 2 in mind, so stay tuned! ).

As to the other works in progress I have, I’m going back and forth between three of them. I’ve really been an Indecisive Daisy lately, with my ideas and attention-span wavering all over the place. I’ve decided to quit fighting it for a while and just go wherever my creative juices float me to on a daily basis. Eventually, something will prevail and get done, right?

Tati’s Weekly Checkup: 06.06.11

Gardening

The Good:

  • So far so good with the new job. I have a great team with some really interesting projects lined up, and a lot of autonomy and flexibility about how I get my work done. And I’m finally in the part of the organization I’ve wanted to join for years. I’m an excited gal!
  • I’ve been having a lot of fun getting some therapeutic gaming time in, and sharing it with Fly Girl Gamers. I was most recently over there reviewing the anime Ouran High Host Club.
  • The lovely weather has also played a big part in brightening up my mood. It’s hard not to have a smile stuck on my face while teaching my sons how to hop on a  pogo stick, or gardening with my family.

The Bad:

  • Still having minor chest pains that come and go, ever since the ER trip. I’ve been taking it easy, not stressing too much about writing, making sure to get some fun game time and taking long family walks in the in the evenings after work. There’s a few more stressors in my life that I’m working to alleviate, so if all of this is just the physical manifestation of the anxiety I’d been keeping bottled up, I’m optimistic that I’ll remedy all of this soon.
  • Our beloved television died. Just started randomly displaying oddly colored blotches right over the images on the screen. There’s an emotional and financial attachment to a nice TV set.

The Cool:

  • The new television is better than the old! With features like SMART TV (Internet TV) and 3D viewing options, we’re not missing the old one a bit and were able to get rid of our pricey cable subscription. Best of all we got it for quite a bargain, and I love getting a good deal.

The Work In Progress:

Right now I’m working with my editor on revisions for WAY OUT OF CONTROL. We have a deadline to get all major editing done by the end of the month, so I’ve been focusing on that. Once that task’s done, I have another novella in the works that I need to heavily revise before I submit it for potential publication. So although it seems as if I’m moving slower than a turtle on the writing front, at least there some progress happening.

Tati’s Weekly Checkup: 05.02.11

The Good:

  • I’ve got a new job! After weeks of painful weighing of pros and cons, I chose to take the new opportunity. It’s at the same parent company but a different segment. New team, new role, new office, new projects and new technology. I’m excited, and can’t wait to start.

The Bad:

  • Transitioning my current role responsibilities will be a bit tedious. There’s a lot of information I will need to pass onto my peers, and it’ll be a bit sad as I’ll be leaving the friends I’ve made, and a good boss, behind.
  • Family Drama. *sighs* I’ll spare the details and just say that you know how it goes sometimes. At least the drama is with the extended family and not in my house.

The Cool:

  • My parents celebrated 32 years of marriage this weekend, proving that with work, love and patience, marriage can work. Love you mom and dad!

The Work In Progress:

My work in progress, HEATED EXCHANGE, is slow coming. I’ve got a few hundred words written, but sadly, that is all. Hopefully this week will be much more productive on the fiction-side of things. I’m feeling optimistic about that though because I think I’m finally understanding why I’m in a slump – I’m being overly critical of myself and fear that what I’m writing these days is crap. I’ve rejected pretty much every page I’ve written since I finished writing WAY OUT OF CONTROL, and I’ve got to stop doing that. It’s better to have less than perfect words on a page than no words. A crappy story can be improved – there’s no fixing blank pages.

At least that’s what I’m about to start telling myself.

So here’s to this week looking up! *raises my mug of coffee*

Tati’s Weekly Checkup: 04.11.11

The Good:

  • I thoroughly enjoyed my time off the week before last. Seriously – I feel like someone hit my reboot button. Highlights included visiting a museum, taking the kids to an indoor amusement park, spending time with visiting family and friends, and getting a lot of relaxation in.
  • Watched the first 3 seasons of Bones – cool show! Makes we wonder what else I’m missing due to my lack of TV surfing. But thanks to Netflix, Hulu.com and DVDs, I’ll eventually get to check out all the good ones at my own time and pace. Scheduled TV is for suckers.

The Bad:

  • Came back to work with a shipload of stuff to do and a few fires to put out. (But that’s not too bad – I much prefer work to be hella busy than hella boring)
  • Watching my younger brother suffer with trying to find a job. It’s still rough out there and the competition can be fierce – I wish him luck in finding something soon, as he has several young children to take care of.

The Cool:

The Work In Progress:

I’ve tentatively titled the novella I’m currently working on HEATED EXCHANGE, and it is a paranormal romance which tackles the battle of the sexes in a magical, funny, sensual way.

So far I’m finding it a great outlet to express my thoughts on the problems with relationships between men and women while being entertaining (instead of complaining or preaching).

This story has some elements that make it a little more challenging (and interesting!) to write than anything I’ve tackled before,  but I don’t want to give away more details just yet. So stay tuned for more info!

Tati’s Weekly Checkup: 3.29.11

The Bad:

  • Last week was a rough one. Migraines every day, from the moment I opened my eyes in the mornings until I managed to fall asleep each night. Not sure if it was from the lack of good sleep, mental exhaustion, something else or all of the above, but it wasn’t pretty. A vacation is very much needed.

The Good:

  • I’m on vacation this week! 😀 (NOTE: I’m a low maintenance kind of gal. I define “vacation” as not working the 8 to 5 and getting to read, write, play games and watch movies all day, and catching up on some much needed shopping and cleaning. Actually going somewhere is considered an unnecessary bonus.)

The Cool:

  • Sizzling Hot Books wrote up a nice review for THE SUMMONING.
  • Almost forgot – for those of you who already read THE SUMMONING, there’s an open discussion thread on the LSB forums (don’t click if you haven’t read the book – there are spoilers!).  ** Thanks CCDreams for *initiating the discussion!*

The Work In Progress:

I’m in the early stages of a paranormal story which is still unnamed. It’s nothing like the other 2 stories I recently pushed aside – this one has a totally different atmosphere and a contemporary, albeit somewhat fantastical, setting and plot. What I’m liking most about this project is the outlet it provides for me to illuminate some serious concerns I’ve been harboring about male/female relationships in an amusing way. Will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Tati’s Weekly Checkup: 3.22.11

Woops, so I’m a little late in doing a weekly update. Let’s consider this a 2-week and a day late update then, shall we?

The Good:

  • Work has kept me crazy busy. Now, normally I wouldn’t necessarily call this a good thing, but I’m recognizing that it indeed is. 1) It means that I’m obviously of value at work, heh. And 2) I haven’t had much time or energy to sulk over my slowed writing progress, which I’ll discuss later.
  • Taxes are done, filed, accepted and processed. Refunds have even been received. May not sound like much to get worked up about to you, but when your taxes start looking as messy as ours do, you’d do a big whoop when they’re all finished, too.
  • Remember how much I loved the first Dragon Age? We bought the special collector’s edition of Dragon Age II! I’m very excited – I hope I find it as entertaining as I did the first one.

The Bad:

  • … I won’t be able to play any games any time soon. Like – probably not until mid-April at the earliest. I really want to finish up a couple of projects I’m working on before I let myself get sucked into a 40+ hour game. Plus it’s a single player game, and the husband is hogging it up anyway.
  • I still haven’t won the lottery or figured out how to travel back in time. *sighs* Yet, somehow I still manage. 😉

The Funny:

Our 6 year-old son loves babies. Last week he was asking if he could ever get his own baby some day.
His father tells him, “Sure. If you meet a girl you like, fall in love and marry her, then maybe you can have a baby together some day.”
Our son’s face wrinkles with worry at this news, and he says “But what if I can’t get a girl to love me back? I really, really smell horrible when I poop and I don’t know if any girls would like that.”
While my husband cracks up at this, I say to the poor boy “You smell as bad as your daddy?”
The boy shakes his head. “I smell really horrible, but not quite as horrible as daddy.”
I nod. “Exactly. And see – I sill love your daddy, anyways. So I’m sure someday you’ll find a special girl who will love you too.”
He said okay, but I got the feeling he was only halfway convinced.

*laughs* If women really held to such high olfactory standards when looking for a mate, there would hardly be a married man on the planet. Heh.

The Work In Progress:

Book cover design ideas for my next upcoming title, WAY OUT OF CONTROL, have been sent to the Art Director. Now I just wait to see what they come up with based on my ideas. So far I have been far from disappointed, and so I have high hopes that it will be lovely.

I now have abandoned (or at least temporarily separated from) not 1, but 2 writing projects.  Weeks have gone by now since I’ve made progress on either story. Sure I could try to blame part of this on how mentally drained I’ve been lately, but I’m not accepting that as a valid excuse. If I was truly vibing with either story right now, I know I’d make the time.

So I’m putting both manuscripts aside for now and am starting on a brand new one that is yet to be named. Once I’ve fleshed out the idea a little more, I’ll talk more about it. Hopefully I won’t change my mind and switch stories again by next week’s update.

Tati’s Weekly Checkup: 03.07.11

The Good:

  • Last week my second published work THE SUMMONING was released, check it out if you haven’t yet.  Here’s a big ** THANK YOU** to those of you who already grabbed it! I’d love to hear what you think of it.
  • I signed a new publishing contract for my sci-fi novella WAY OUT OF CONTROL.

The Bad:

  • It snowed over the weekend. The kind that sticks. *sniffs* I’m tired of winter and am looking for spring to get here already.
  • The time machine hasn’t been invented yet. At this point, it doesn’t even need to travel back in time – I’ll settle for one that just pauses it.

The Funny (well, kind of …):

Went in for my annual checkup, and the first thing the nurse does is weight me. She jots down the number on her clipboard, shaking her head slightly as we go into the exam room. As I roll up my sleeve she grabs the extra-large blood pressure band without really looking at me. When she tries to wrap it around my arm she quickly notices that it is way, way too big for my puny bicep and looks puzzled as she switches to the normal band. I laugh at her and say, “Confusing, I know. The majority of that weight is all right here,” while slapping my ass.

She laughs and nods her head because, well, my ass is rather obvious. *sighs* But I’m working on it. 😉

The Cool:

Received an especially nice fan letter last week. That I even have a fan in the first place is amazing enough in itself, but this particular exchange was especially cool. She wrote not only to tell me that she enjoys my work, but to ask if I would mind if she drew a picture depicting one of my scenes. She drew the goblin from SAY MY NAME in livestream channel, which I joined for a bit.

What a feeling to know that my work inspired someone in that way!

The Work In Progress:

I abandoned (at least for now) the project I was working on: ABDUCTED. I was seriously blocked on that story and just wasn’t making a lot of progress.

Instead, I pulled out the draft of a sci-fi / space romance I started a year called PURSUED, dusted it off and began revising it. I’m about a quarter of the way done with it and hope to finish it by the end of the week.