Staring It In the Face

Writers’ angst

I am not as popular as I thought I would be as a writer. Which means that my rank under Amazon’s system is close to the bottom. I don’t know if anyone has read my latest, Kringle in the Night, although I will also in my defense say it’s only been live for a week.

Promotion woes

I don’t know how to promote. I mean, I do, but not in a way where people actually pay attention. Every day? I can’t do that; my conscience won’t subject people to that. Every few days? I think I can do that, and it’s about time for me to do that. In the newsletter? I’ve got to write that today, don’t I?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Writing and my future

I’m torn between quitting writing, writing for myself, and doing this same path with writing and promotion. I think if I get some positive outcomes I can certainly continue with the latter, but I need some good words to continue. Sorry for the bummer, but this is where I am at the moment.

Send good words and thoughts here!

A Writing Day (Hopefully)

I have a project to do today

I will once again be doing NaNoWriMo in November this year, and I will once again be writing one of my Christmas romances (working title: It Takes Two to Kringle). Today, though, I need to work on outlining the book so I have guidelines on what to write come November. The first book (The Kringle Conspiracy) I wrote without an outline, a process known by writers as “pantsing”. I loosely outlined the second book (Kringle in the Night), otherwise known as “plantsing”. I feel like the second book is tighter than the first, thus I will be outlining the new novel as well.

But first, motivate

Photo by Vlad Cheu021ban on

I have been off writing for a little while because life got busy, and now I need to get back to it before NaNo or else I won’t write next Christmas season’s book. But I’m so undermotivated! I don’t know what to do to motivate — I could go out to the cafe, but I don’t know if I feel like it. I could play music on the stereo.

Honestly, though, what’s really stalling me out is feeling overwhelmed by the project at a time where I don’t have much energy.

Breaking the Impasse

If the task of writing an entire outline for a book today is too much, I can break the task down over a couple of days (perhaps five chapters a day) and promise myself a break at the end of those chapters. That way I don’t feel stressed and thus defeated by the task of outlining.

And if I really get into it, maybe I get it all done in one day!

So what are you procrastinating on lately? Let me know in the comments!

I’m Back!

A long hiatus

I’ve taken a hiatus from writing, especially writing this blog, because I have truly been burned out. I’m hoping to get back into the habit before I find myself no longer in the space to write.

What’s been going on.

Not much has been going on — I’ve given and graded midterms, done casualty simulation (moulage) for a major disaster exercise, troweling fake blood on volunteers. I’ve been tired at night and cozy in the early mornings.

I’ve published Kringle in the Night as of a week ago, and I think you should be reading it. A bit of romance, a bit of suspense, and Santa Claus. What more can you ask for? You can find it here.

This is the cover, for anyone who has forgotten:

I should mention I designed the cover to this and to my previous novel, The Kringle Conspiracy, myself.

What to expect from this space in the future

You can expect pretty much the same meanderings as have always been — tomorrow I suspect I will be trying to evoke feelings about fall (available now in the Northern Hemisphere; waiting for six months in the Southern Hemisphere). And I will try to write every day.

See you soon!


Bits and Pieces


I finally got some writing done yesterday! It was about 2k words, which is my typical daily goal. I feel a lot better about my slump and think I might be on the way out of it. Let’s see if I can maintain it.

Just a reminder

The second book in the Kringle series, Kringle in the Night, will be coming out October 1. OMG less than half a month away! Just a little ad:

I’m proud of the cover

This is the book cover. I put it together myself. The picture came from a royalty-free site.

I can’t believe how close it is to opening day. I have to advertise it. Bye!

Progress On My Books

Lots of changes in a novel

I got my second beta reader’s comments for Gaia’s Hands, and she was very thorough and insightful. This means I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Gaia’s Hands has gone through so many changes before, having started as a claustrophobic novel with an anticlimactic ending, then developing into the reader-ready, tense but beautiful journey.

Now it’s getting brushed up, and closer to reality.

Photo by rikka ameboshi on

The updated schedule of releases

My Kringle story of the year, Kringle in the Night, will be released first, on October 1, which I’ve been told is optimal for Christmas releases. That’s the one about the well-traveled Sunshine Rogers, who has found her dream town in Denver, and professor Brent Oberhauser, who’s convinced he needs to move away for his career. Their mutual stubbornness threatens the ruin of their relationship, and it will take love and Santa Magic for them to see the right decision.

Gaia’s Hands will not be released until March 2022. It is not as much fantasy romance but romantic fantasy. Or maybe it’s still fantasy romance. It’s an intense book, the opposite of the Kringle Series In it, Jeanne Beaumont keeps secrets about her “green thumb” which threatens to sabotage her botany experiments. Josh Young wants to share his belief in spirits, which he fears will destroy his budding relationship with Jeanne. When Jeanne faces a worsening set of events geared to drive her from her research, the two join forces with their gifts to face an inferno.

So remember this: Kringle in the Night in October; Gaia’s Hands in March. Both on Amazon Kindle. Just search for my name.

Book covers

Yesterday I spent my morning making a book cover for this year’s Christmas romance, Kringle in the Dark. I can’t draw to save my life, but I can work pretty well with photos and Photoshop, which works fine with the Kringle novels. Get the rights to a picture, tweak the photo, set the photo just right. Make the back cover with cover blurb. Orient the spine title/author verbiage.

Here’s the mockup:

It was a stroke of luck getting the photo to expand to the back cover; I’m not sure I will ever be able to do that again.



I’ve already made the cover. I have to write it.

Doing a lot more thinking about my NaNo project this weekend.

NaNoWriMo starts in little over a week, and I know what my project is going to be, the second story in the Kringle Chronicles (of which The Kringle Conspiracy is the first). 

I write as a plantser, which means I don’t plan everything, but I have a rough outline of what needs to happen each chapter. But I find myself wanting to plan more this weekend — smoothing out the plot, putting in settings.

I think it’s because I have more at stake with this novel. Yes, it’s a holiday romance, yes it’s fluffy, but I know I will release this one next November, and I wasn’t counting on releasing the first one, which I pantsed (i.e. written by the seat of my pants). 

So I’m going to spend my day playing with the story so I feel more comfortable writing book two — on the same day I release book 1. 

Character sheets — Brent and Sunshine

Today I’m going to play with character sheets for the two main characters in the next Kringle book, which I will be working on during NaNo in November.

One of the characters will be Brent Oberhauser. Brent is 29 years old, tall and slender. He would have ash blond hair if he were not shaving his head bald to hide his receding hairline. He has a pale beige complexion and ice blue eyes, and black framed glasses that somewhat conceal his striking good looks. This makes him a light summer in seasonal color analysis. He is a PhD candidate in Medievalist History whose dissertation is titled “Scandal and Secret: The Sex Lives of Clergy in the 1300s”.  He works as a teaching assistant in the history department at University of Colorado-Denver and as a part-time barista at the cafe, which he does in part because of the social aspects.

His father was career Army in Civil Affairs. He spent 20 years in the military and left with the rank of Colonel; he is now a freelance consultant. His mother died when he was seven.

Brent has a somewhat contentious relationship with his father, mostly because of what his father calls his spacy demeanor. In reality, Brent is an idealist who masks his disappointment in humor. He loves music, including EDM and jazz, and he participates in a local medieval reenactment group. He dresses in shirt/tie/sweater and chinos to teach, sweaters and jeans casually, and jeans/t-shirt to work as a barista.

Meanwhile, Sunshine Watson is 5’5″, athletically built, with medium brown skin and black hair; its style tends to change often. Her seasonal color is dark winter. She works as an accountant for Yes, Virginia, a nebulous non-profit funding charitable Christmas works in the Denver area. She attended University of California Berkeley, and traveled for a couple years working as an accountant before moving to Denver. She moved to Denver because she wanted to live near the mountains.  

Sunshine’s Dad —  was career Army, spending 20 years working as a Horizontal Construction Engineer. He retired with rank of captain. He now is a contractor. Sunshine’s mother was an accredited financial counselor working with military personnel. She has been all over the world because of the military, and her parents made sure she was given a broad cultural background.

Sunshine has a sardonic way of looking at things, unless she’s talking about what she’s passionate about, such as travel and world cultures, her family, and justice. She is extremely experiential; she became an accountant to earn money toward her travels. She lives frugally so she can do so; she dresses sharply through sales and an interchangeable, classic wardrobe.