A New Year Cometh

Here we are, on the cusp of a new year. We all have things we didn’t get done in 2018, things we never even got around to doing. Will those go on your 2019 resolutions list? Or did they turn out to be not as important as you thought?

I’ve found that making resolutions rarely works for me. It might for a day or three, or maybe even a week, if it’s something I’m serious about. So I make goals, instead. It might be in the same spirit as resolutions, but it sounds better, at least to me

New author goals include: publishing and selling Tilt; writing Spin, the final volume in The Flying Ponies trilogy; selling more copies of Lift; researching and starting a new novel (more on that later); and learning as much as I can about writing.

I’d also like to ride my pony, BJ, more and take my Jeep Cherokee to the sand dunes more often and go trail riding. And, of course, spend as much time with my family as I can.

Whatever your resolutions are, I wish you well with them. I wish a blessed New Year on you as well. May 2019 be amazing!

Shade Tree Mechanics; or, Putting My Jeep Back Together.

So back on January 4th, someone pulled out in front of me and we had a fender bender. We elected to put my XJ, Bernadette (named after a character on The Big Bang Theory), back together ourselves. It took nearly two months to get the insurance money, so we had to wait to buy the parts, and then wait for the time to do it.

Today was the day! My hubby and I took off the busted fender and front end, and put her back together again. He did most of the work; I’m pretty good with a screwdriver, lol, and holding parts in place. Now the old girl needs paint, and her 3″ lift. After that she’ll be ready to hit the sand dunes and the trails.

Here are a few pictures during the process, and what she looks like now. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

A Summer of Jeeping Starts Now!

One of the best parts about the weather turning warm in May is getting our 1995 Jeep Wrangler (a YJ in Jeep terms) Shifty, back on the road. Last Sunday we as a family took his soft top off and headed a few miles north of our town to the next, where we got ice cream. Well, I got sherbet, which I was informed is “not ice cream.” I’m okay with that. It tasted amazing!

If you follow me across my social media, you know that my 1999 Jeep Cherokee (an XJ) was smashed up in an accident on January 4th. Bernadette is in my author photo with me at the back of my YA novel, Lift. I love my Jeep. We are fixing her front end ourselves; this Saturday we intend to replace the bad parts with her new ones. Once that is done, in June we are taking her to my hubby’s younger brother’s place where she is getting a 3″ lift kit installed. This will make it easier for her to navigate trails and the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.

And, you know, it will make her tough(er) 😏😎

So let the summer start, because this Jeepin’ family is ready!!

Slippery When Snowy, or, Jeeps are Tough

Here in west Michigan, we are in the thralls of a real winter. That means our roads, if not full of snow, are sheets of ice. Yesterday morning, on my way to work at the library, a person pulled out directly in front of me. My Jeep’s left front met her Buick’s right rear. Not the way either of us intended to begin our mornings. 

The person said they didn’t see me and pulled out, catching a glimpse of my Jeep as they committed to going. Neither of us were hurt, but now my beloved Bernadette will look as she does until spring, when we can get a new front clip and fender on her. I am quite happy and relieved that she is drivable, though.

In short, beware pulling out onto a slippery winter road. The snow banks are high at the ends of several local roads here, marring visibility. It’s best to go slowly, and please, for every other drivers’ sake, put your phone away. Nothing is so important that it can’t wait when you are driving on icy and snowy roads. We would all like to make it safely to spring! And no, the person who pulled out in front of me was not on their phone. 

As a point of interest, this the second Jeep Cherokee I’ve owned and been in a front-end crash with. Both took it like champs, but my dark blue one never drove again. That was a much more serious accident, and a blog post for another day. I suggest driving a Jeep, though. Subarus are not the only safe vehicle in a crash, and Jeeps are just plain cooler. 

SPRING FEVER

I think it’s finally spring here in west Michigan. The birds have been returning, led by the robins and geese. A random snow shower might still pop up uninvited; Michigan can be, after all, quite tempestuous. But the grass is greening up, the horses are finally shedding their heavy winter coats, and the ORV park out at Silver Lake opened this month.

Which means it’s difficult to concentrate on not only my work at the library, but also on my book, Lift. First in the Flying Ponies series, it’s sitting on my old desk in my office at home, waiting for me to complete its editing. I know I need to buckle down and get to it, but the warm weather keeps calling me outside. Our kids are taking lambs to the county fair this year, and last night we worked on building their pen. No editing was accomplished.

I don’t actually mind editing. I know whatever I do now will only strengthen the story. My first reader gave it a good review, and also pointed out some things that need fixing, which is what a first reader should do. I have a plan of action to fix what’s broken. Now it’s just a matter of getting down to it.

The first story in the Pentallian Chronicles is coming along. The rewrite is much better than my first attempt at telling the story. And I’ve started making notes and finding character pictures for a future story (more on that in a future post). Unfortunately, none of that is helping get Lift edited. So it sits on my desk, half of it highlighted, the other half waiting. The highlighting is to help me make sure all of the various plot threads make it all the way through the book, and don’t suddenly drop off or stop. So far, everything looks good.

But the sun still calls, and the dunes are beckoning, as are the trails. My horse needs brushing to get all his winter fuzz off. There are so many other things I’d really rather be doing than sitting at good old Wellington (my desk) and pouring over a manuscript. Still, it has to be done. I have to find the motivation. The Flying Ponies deserve a chance to shine. Their story should be told.

So in the end, the dunes and trails will have to wait. My XJ and my horse can chill in the sun a little longer. And once Lift is done and sent off to my publisher, then I too can go play in the sunshine.