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A couple of months ago, I cleverly locked myself out of the house…while frying hash browns and not fully dressed (yep, I’m awesome). For the sake of modesty, I donned a filthy jacket my husband had left in the garage, and made a panic run to my neighbor (who wasn’t home). I was hurrying home again before I realized I could just flip the breakers in the garage, the stove would lose power, and my house and dogs wouldn’t go up in smoke. That done, I pestered another neighbor, who generously let me use her phone, a shirt, and even drove me around trying to find the neighbor who has my spare key. It was a full three hours before I got back into my house, during which time I rediscovered the joys of outdoor lavatories and drinking straight from the hose (only one of those is a joke). πŸ˜›

Why—you may ask—didn’t we have a spare key hidden? Oh, we did. Somebody, however, used it and didn’t put it back. Naturally, there is some disagreement as to who the culprit is. But the real problem is my extreme absentmindedness (that word reminds me of fabulously-long German words like Backpfeifengesicht or Kummerspeck). I am turning into that lady who accidentally burns her house down! They wouldn’t put me in an old folks home before I turn 50, right? At least this kind of humiliation makes for excellent writing fodder. πŸ™‚

 

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Hoarding & Remodeling

Please tell me someone else out there has been embarrassed in front of your contractor. Today my shame was hoarding of the under-the-sink variety. Apparently, I have acquired sufficient hair gel, lotion, and Proactiv for the end of time. I know this because I just filled 220190507_105744 black garbage bags with my hoarding and even as they threatened to burst, there was still a fourth of the under-the-sink contents to go! I hadn’t realized I would need to empty it out in order to get new countertops, so I was unraveling my hoard at panic pace while the contractor kindly removed the under-the-sink contents from my other bathroom. And I know there’s no orderly way to put my hoard back once the contractor’s done (there’s a reason dragons keep their hoards in an untidy pile!), but what other option do I have? Move? Yeah, okay, guess I’ll do that. πŸ˜€

Finding the good

Now that we’ve embarked on our eighth month of things going badly, I realize I have to change my focus. I need to ferret out the blessings in each day and see the good in my life so the misfortunes don’t overwhelm me. For instance, the sun was shining today, my husband bought us tickets to see Wicked, and olives taste good (even when you accidentally open a can of black beans first). πŸ˜€ I would say no one bled or cried or puked today, but that just wouldn’t be true. My daughter has found comfort in the series Milo Murphy’s Law (which is pretty funny; thank you Weird Al). We all need to see that someone else is struggling like we are, that we’re not alone. So, to whomever needs to hear it: I’m struggling. But don’t worry, I have olives and sunshine! πŸ™‚20190331_223614

Escapism is beautiful

My exuberance over the end of 2018 may have been premature. It seems troubles from last year have simply combined with new sorrows. It was silly to expect otherwise. Perhaps I’ve been reading too many happily-ever-after stories where gnarly problems are crowned with an aw-worthy end. Or maybe my HEA is just a little slow in coming. Either way, it’s time for some high-quality escapism to dry my tears: it’s time to write! I’m currently working on Book 3 of The Winged and hope to publish it before the end of the year. In the meantime, I’ve decided to make Elissa Blue free for a while on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. So if you need some escapism, too, now you can get it for free! πŸ™‚elissa blue free kindle nook kobo

Though there were some lovely moments of 2018 (2 new puppies, Lexi Monarch published, and teaching seminary), I am so glad it’s over! 2018 was one of the hardest years of my life. Each time something new would go wrong, my daughter and I comforted each other with: “Well, this is great writing fodder.” :/ Hopefully, 2019 will be a better year—filled with great books (read and written). Happy New Year!IMG_1794

It’s here! It’s here! LexLexi Monarch cover snipi Monarch: Book Two of The Winged is here! Okay, it’s been out for a bit on Amazon, but NOW is when it shows up in other places like Barnes and Noble or your local bookstore. Lexi Monarch is now available through Ingram, so if your school or library or bookstore would like a copy they can order it through them.

Now, if you haven’t already read Elissa Blue: Book One of The Winged, I highly recommend you do so before you read Lexi Monarch. Even though each book has a different main character, there’s plenty of overlap and SPOILERS! Elissa Blue is also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram. Happy reading! πŸ˜€

It’s been a perfectly atrocious couple of months in the Perry household. Random horridness has pelted us from every direction. I guess everyone gets their turn in the trial storms of life, but I sure hope ours is over soon!

In far better news, Lexi Monarch: Book Two of The Winged Lexi Monarch cover snipcomes out October 13th! It’s available now for pre-order on Amazon.com. Though it has a different central character, there’s plenty of overlap with Elissa Blue. So if you’ve been wondering how your favorite characters have been doing, wonder no more! Click here to order your copy today: Lexi Monarch: Book Two of the Winged

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Gutenberg Castle in Balzers, Liechtenstein

In July, I took a trip I’ve been dreaming about most of my life: I went to Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. Despite the heat wave and lack of air conditioning, it was still an incredible adventure. We sped along the Autobahn, toured Mozart’s house, saw where they filmed the Sound of Music, made out like bandits at a Birkenstock outlet, and saw LOTS of castles. The Winged series is set in an old stone castle, so I was eager to see how accurate my descriptions were. In general, the castles were colder, damper, and rougher to the touch than I had expected. Their imposing facades reminded me that they were built for war, not fairy tales. Despite that, I’ve happily gone right back to writing my fairy story set in a castle (reality be danged!).

 

Summer Break Delusions

I’m always so delighted when school is out. I foresee hours every day of uninterrupted writing, no alarm clocks, and lounging in a hammock with a good book. Yet reality never seems to follow the daydream. Here I am one day in, operating on 4 hours of sleep, quickly approaching midnight and trying to decide if I will sacrifice writing, exercise or sleep. I think I shall choose secret option D where I borrow a time turner from J.K. Rowling and miraculously accomplish it all! Alas, I am a muggle, and a sleep-deprived one at that. Zzzzzzz

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Stephanie Black (right) introducing Janette Rallison (left)

I feel like I’ve been backstage at a rock stars of writing concert! I got to meet most of my favorite living authors: Shannon Hale (yes, I’m counting our five-minute walk into the conference together, even if I only said five words #fangirlingsohard), Janette Rallison (so nice!), Stephanie Black (hilarious), and Dan Wells (awesome singer). 20180504_123923I am now so chock full of writing tips that I’m not sure I can write. πŸ˜€ Seriously though, it was humbling to discover how many writers carefully construct their stories (the plotters). My stories are like a movie in my head and I never know how they’re going to end (I’m a “pantser” as in writing “by the seat of my pants”). Even more humbling was discovering partway through the first day that my name badge had flipped over and the back side said “special.” Doh!