Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Letter

Happy Holidays :

If 2007 was the year of cancer, 2008 was the year of fun. Or as much fun as we could have and still deal with all the residuals from the cancer. I slept a lot this year, but not as much as last year! We played a lot of darts during the first of the year. I brought my first trophy home from Vegas this year, 2nd place in Cricket Doubles. We would have taken first but we played our next to last game at 12:30 pm and didn’t play again until 3AM. So sleep became more important than darts.

During the summer, we quit darts and going out a lot. We bought a new car and talked about going fishing. (We didn’t.) Next year we are heading to Idaho for our summer vacation. I’d like to take a short road trip around the area, like Kentucky. I’ve never seen Kentucky or Alabama.

On our last full day in Vegas we took the plunge and got married. It was a beautiful ceremony in a chapel that had been built around a series of stained glass they had salvaged from a church being torn down in Missouri. So we had some of our Idaho friends as witnesses and a touch of our new home in the chapel to help start our new life. We talked about stopping at the Grand Canyon on our way home and counting the drive as our honeymoon but we ran out of daylight and vacation time.

One of our Idaho friends stopped by on Halloween during one of his trucking runs so we went out to play darts and then to hear a band at a local bar. Going out on Halloween is always interesting but the next morning I sure felt my age.

Work was good for both of us this year. Jim switched companies when they merged and is now a happy member of the SM & P locator team. He really likes his new supervisor and co-workers. And he wasn’t sent out of town all summer like he was last year. I was promoted to senior license coordinator and came really close to being hired by the corporate training department. Although it was a disappointment at the time, later this year when they laid off seven people in that department, I realized it was a blessing. I am editor in chief for Fleet Op’s newsletter and working on that has enriched my workday.

I have had several successes in my writing career (hobby?). I was published in True Experience in October with an essay about losing my hair during chemo. (It’s funny, really!) I also finally got my copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Divorce and Recovery where I wrote The Tool Box under a pen name.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Avoiding writing

It's November and there are a lot of writers out there trying to write the great american novel in 30 days. I'm hiding. Trying my hardest not to write.

Now I'm not doing it conciously. I'm sneakier than that. Like right now. I told myself I was going to write a scene in Paris or Bust. Just one scene, nothing earth shattering like an entire novel. But what am I doing? Updating this blog instead. This weekend was suppose to me my big push to get the other three chapters done before my friday meeting with my writer muse. (She's a real person, really)

So I'm going to cut this a little short and see if I can get started. Just a paragraph. Maybe only a sentence but something that moves the storyline down the road just a little. And then I have two new assignments. One story that I really have to finish. And three chapters due by Friday. Do I know how to procrastinate or not?


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thoughts on

I was reading a blog today about how to be successful at writing. One opinion was you have to make contacts. The other was write the best piece you can, submit carefully, and pray. At my day job, social networking is king. It's who you know and your relationships that get you promoted. However, there is a cavet. You have to be good at what you do as well. Yesterday a new chair was announced for our Diversity Team (which is a big deal). It was a woman who has joked with me that we are the two up and coming's and it's a race to see who gets promoted first. I got the senior level three months before she did. Now we are both on our paths to supervisor. We both are on this D team. She was picked to be a chair. I wasn't.

Now, I know I'm busy. I have a huge project that is coming up in November. I have residuals from the cancer issues. I write and edit the company newsletter. But that's not why they picked Helen. They picked her because she was visable.

She attended the off site events. She marched in the parade, moved the boxes for charity, and cheered on the Pinewood Derby car. She was doing.

Now, my takeaway from this is being involved. Yes, conferences are nice because you meet editors, but are you doing? Are you in a writers group? Are you giving back?

I haven't been as much as I know I should be. I've been letting my distance and my health issues get in the way of what I really want. I goal for the moon then wander around the planet looking for pieces to a spaceship, hoping they will fall into my lap.

The Cheshire Cat gives Alice some advice in her wanderings. When she said she doesn't know which path to take, he tells her if she doesn't know where she is going, either path will do. Sometimes I'm too much like Alice. It doesn't much matter where I end up.

With that I have to go wander the desert for 31 more years to find my path....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The pool has already closed!

Must be a sign that summer is over. And I didn't even get to go. Ok, I went once but that was the night they were doing a swim meet there and the pool was closed. Bummer. I walk down to the park with the dogs and get to look at the cool blue water every day I walk but now, no incentive.

The work newsletter I edit and write for came out this last month on Leadership to rave reviews from the management. I was really excited about the edition although it was a little long.

I never heard back from Women's World on my follow up on my query even with another follow up so I guess that piece is not going to happen. But at least I got a bite on a query. I have a couple essays rolling around in my head that need to get out so I can send them off.

Great news, I got final confirmation that I will have an essay in Chicken Soup for the Divorced and Recovering Soul in Bookstore on my birthday, October 7th this year. I'm so jacked!

But other than that, I'm not writing much. I sent an essay into the Chicken Soup for the Golfers Soul. I've been thinking about my three novels in process. And I'm close to finishing a story with my mentor's help for True Romance.

So that's the scoop from Illinois. I'm planning on walking down to the local festival this afternoon and seeing if they have any pronto pups. I'm craving one bad.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The things we read

Ok, I'm swamped. My writing is stalled, totally. My fantasy job didn't come to pass. My budget is in the toliet. And my arm is swelling bad due to the lymph node removal.

Now, that being said, good things are also happening. We just bought a new car (didn't mention above that the Nissan decided to stop running for a while, got fixed, then something new broke...), had a nice annual review at work, had major woman's mag editor call me on a query I wrote (need to follow up on my followup...) and have been reading some great books!

I have finished Maggie Sefton's complete back list and now am ready to go out and buy Dyer Consequences. It's part of a murder mystery series that I just love. I can identify with her main character, she isn't the babysitter that goes down into the basement when she hears a noise, but she does get herself into some dicey situations.

I won an ARC of More Than This by Margo Candela. Loved it! Her main character, Evelyn, is a poor little rich girl that you really can like! And the leading guy, Alexander, mmmmm, yummy. The situations that these two find themselves in are fun and interesting and keep you reading to the end to see if they ever even meet.... This book will be out in August, 2008. Put it on your must buy list!

I also won a copy of I Shall Not Want, by Juia Spencer-Fleming. More of a traditional mystery with an unconvential love mixed in. Very topical and based in today's world. Still in my currently reading pile.

So the postman has been nice to me, bringing me great summer reading tucked in with those pesky bills.

And here's an opportunity for you to cash in on the free book train.
The Heretics Daughter by Kathleen Kent. It's a story deep in the Salem witch trial period of the other side. I'm hoping to win the ARC so I can read this before it goes on sale in September. And if I do, the ARC will be passed on to a new winner from my blog site. (Wishing us all luck!)

Anyway, I am going to get serious about writing this fine Saturday morning as well as all the cleaning and shopping that needs done, so I'll sign off here. I also have to hit the library for books on CD for my new CD player in the car. Who cares if I drive 2 hours a day if I'm deep into a story.

Happy summer.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

MIA (missing in action) post

I am very sorry it's been this long. March came and went. April it seemed like I was getting ready for the trip to Vegas, and now, I've been recovering. So time (and money) have been my enemy this last couple of months.

The good news is my time has been fruitful. I am deep in the interview process for a job as a training writer. My writing test is being reviewed now and then if I pass that I have one more interview before they make a final decision. I am so jacked. This is the job I was meant to do. Let's hope they agree.

My children's story came back with a thanks, no thanks, again. I need to go research children's magazines to see if I can get it placed it a home. I am in the middle of writing a confession with help from a professional confessor. Of course it's the middle so I'm feeling overwhelmed as ususal. And Hunt Road is stalled as the critique group said I needed to tighten up my first person POV.

And, we got married in Vegas this year, so my name has changed to Cahoon after being with the guy for 8 years this August. So now, I have to change my name in all the bills, bank accounts, etc. It's been a pain. We are trying to clean up our credit so we can buy a house. And put some money away in savings for a down. The nice thing is Jim isn't out of town for weeks like he was last year.

So wedding announcements are addressed and waiting for me to get pics copied and put into the envelopes, then that will be done. I'm working on some book keeping for Jim's old business. And trying to lose some weight and build back some muscle.

So yeah, I'm all over the place with this post. More of a to do list than a post this time. I was going to write about walking in the Koman Race for the Cure, but this is what you get.

Have a great day.... Lynn

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March Madness

So I haven't written in a while. I have been writing this am in my Hunt Road mystery/suspense novel. It's going pretty well although I had to go back through all the chapters and make sure I didn't name the cat twice (I did) and get my desciptions and names for my characters. So I've started a hunt road notebook and maybe that will help me track timelines and the story plot. I'm in a critique group and used the older chapters of Hunt Road for my first critique.

Highlights turned me down for a scholarship. What were they thinking? Oh, well. I have had lots of thanks but no thanks this winter, but maybe spring will be kinder to me. I finally wrote and submitted a story for True Confessions. I have three things out for that group of Trues.

I'm interviewing for Senior this coming week after passing the initial screening, the test, and now finally the interview. This process is overwhelming and I'm losing sleep over facing the board for my grille, but I know I'm going to be ready for whatever they throw at me. (I hope....)

Vegas is three weeks away. I'm stoked. I hope we have fun, win lots of money and throw excellent darts. We have another major dart tourneyment the weekend before we leave too. So maybe we will win some traveling money there. :)

Reading: I finished A Jury of One, Laura Bradford, A Killer Stitch, Maggie Sefton and I'm working on The Survivors Club, Lisa Gardner and A Shop on Bloom Street, Debbie MacComber.
I'm lucky to have such great books right now to read.

Well, I better get going and doing all the stuff I need to on this almost warm spring saturday. Happy Easter to you all.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New Year, New Picture

But I always put a pic from the year before, so what's up with that?

Anyway, this is me during the bad hair days of this Chemo summer with my very pricy (thanks Insurance) wig, that still looked like a wig. Sigh.

So GOOD NEWS - Mammo was clear. Went and got the bone density thing over with and next week is the Oncologist. I'm pretty happy. After Tuesday I will start using the R (remission) and S (survivor) words when it comes to the cancer.

So what else am I doing besides running to the doctor? I have my test for Senior in two weeks so I'm making a study book this weekend. I have to have a 90% to go on to the interview.

I have three lunch dates with hopefully future co-workers in the Corporate Training Department between now and the end of the month.

I have my first Open Doors (newsletter for work) editorial staff meeting next week to do assignments for the first edition out in early March.

Writing, well, I was unable to send Matt and the Kangaroo to Highlights contest since my theme was supposed to be stories in the future. Missed that deadline. So I sent it to Cricket instead.

Other than that zip writing this week. I hope to get some in this weekend along with two walks.

I'm reading the ARC (advanced review copy) of News Blues by Marianne Mancusi. Very fun. Maddy is a character you can relate to and love! It will be on sale in March 2008.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just checking in

I've been a bit freaked lately. I have my mammogram next week. It's been a year almost to the day when I found out that I had breast cancer. So I'll be glad when this week is over and my tests come back clean. We've also been fighting with the budget lately since Jim didn't get his bonus check yet from when he was on layoff. But things seem to be getting better.

My writing is still stalled. I just don't know how to get started and then how to sustain. But I am thinking about writing and I'm doing a lot of reading.

I'm trying to do weight watchers. So we'll see if I can lose some of this weight I've been putting on. I walked on Saturday and then again today. And I went and washed my car today. So I'm trying to be more active.

Reading: Just fininshed, Princess Academy, Shannon Hale. Loved it. Also just finished Sleeping Murder by Agitha Christie.

Writing goals: Finish Hannah by end of February. Write/enter essay for E. Bombeck's contest. I read all her books when I was a kid. and write Matt and the Kangaroo for the Highlights contest. Good news it's only 800 words. Bad news, I have to have it in the mail by Thursday.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

It's a good day. I need to start seeing the good in every day. I worry so much anymore. I wish this was one thing I could get away from. But it's one day at a time I guess.

I've been avoiding my goals. I'm working on the Senior stuff but I put off talking to the other supevisors (fear) but now I've scheduled time with all of them, talked to two, and should be ready to write my letter of intent as well as my leadership accomplishment list on Wednesday for Angie to review and then off to Jason. I'm taking Friday off so it's a four day week for me. :)

I think I do have to get serious about me and my upkeep. That includes working out, eating right and taking care of things like eyebrow duty. I'm going to dye my hair (which is about 3/4 of an inch long now, thanks for asking) today. I invested in some good career clothes that I do like and now I need to look at some boots that are a little more stylish but yet comfortable. I think I can find a casual yet put together style that really fits me. Even at this higher weight.

Writing has been slow lately but I wrote up a ghost story for Fate just need to edit and find a picture of me to send it off with. The pays kind of small but if it gets accepted it's another credit. Other than that, no writing at all.

Reading: Just finished Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton. I really like her Kelly Flynn series. I read one of her's last month too, A Deadly Yarn. I can learn a lot by disecting her books and seeing how she works the story through the characters eyes. I've been very happy with the books.

Also reading Dating is Murder by Harley Jane Kozak. I'm having trouble getting into it. The names are totally throwing me as they are all German or something, the story just had this hidden edge to it like it knows a life I don't know at all. Now, don't get me wrong, I like being brought into a world that is different than mine, but it feels like everyone's talking English but the words all have different meanings.

So different than the Sefton books. I felt like I could be Kelly, if I had gone the Accounting Degree rather than Poly Sci. I think next I'll read the Elizabeth George that my work friend Sarah gave me. Mysteries are so different from each other.