Updates and My New WIP

It’s been a busy 2018 so far.

The good news is that all that busy-ness has produced some real results! Here’s what I’ve been up to in the last few months:

Isabella Alden Blog

I manage a website dedicated to sharing the life and written works of Christian author Isabella Alden. With weekly blog posts and daily updates on Facebook, it keeps me pretty busy!

But this year we (my techie friend Susan and I) made a few changes to the website we’re pretty proud of:

  1. We made Isabella’s website ad-free. No more distracting ads for heaven-knows-what kinds of products!
  2. We added a Privacy Policy page to the website, so visitors will know exactly how we do or do not collect or use their data when they explore the site.
  3. We arranged to publish Isabella’s Free Reads through BookFunnel. This is a big development for us. Every month we publish one of Isabella’s novels or short stories for free on the site; but in the past, we published those Free Reads only in Adobe PDF format. We now publish them in PDF, mobi, and e-pub formats, and distribute them through BookFunnel. It took a lot of work hours to get to this point, but we think it was worth it!

My WIP

I’ve been hard at work on my own novel, too!

Back in January I shared my “word of the year” with you . . .

Finish

. . . and pledged to finish at least one writing project of my own.

I’m pleased to report that it looks like I’m going to meet my goal!

My current work-in-progress is coming along nicely. So far, I’ve written

77,739 words!

That’s almost a complete book! Of course, I still have plenty of work to do to complete my novel, but I’m happy with my progress so far.

In my next post I’ll share my novel’s title and cover, so stay tuned!

All-in-all, 2018 is turning out to be a very productive year, and I couldn’t be happier.

How’s your year going so far?

 

A Free Read for Your Week

We’re expecting snow in Denver tonight. You may think that’s not a remarkable occurrence in Denver at this time of year, and normally I’d agree with you.

But this winter has been unusually dry for us. We’ve had precious little rain or snowfall, here in Denver and up in the high country where ski resorts rely on fresh snowfall.

It’s such an unusual weather pattern for us; in fact, I’ve been doing my daily walks in 60 to 70 degree weather . . . in March! It’s a little crazy!

Tonight we’re expecting snow, and tomorrow I intend to enjoy all the things that naturally go with a wintry day. I’ve already promised myself that if I’m good and get all my chores done (that includes writing at least 500 words on my current work-in-progress), I get to do what I love to do most on a snow day:

Curl up on the couch with a good book.

Pinterest

Sounds good, right? I’ve already got my afternoon planned, and I know what I’ll need:

  • A soft blanket to cover my legs
  • A freshly brewed cup of cinnamon apple spice tea
  • A dog or two to cuddle with
  • A great read

Pinterest 02

And I’ve already selected the book I’m going to read: Promise of Peppermint by Valerie Comer.

Valerie is one of my favorite authors; I never miss her books. If you haven’t read any of Valerie’s novels, you’re in luck, because right now you can read Promise of Peppermint for free!

Free Read

All you have to do is click here or on the pink graphic above to go to Valerie’s website. Just sign-up for her monthly newsletter, and you’ll get a link to download Promise of Peppermint.

It’s a great way to read one of Valerie’s books for free and decide if she’s an author you’d like to read in the future. And if you decide her style of writing isn’t for you, just unsubscribe from the newsletter.

Easy-peasy.

I hope your Monday is a great one. Stay warm . . . and enjoy the book!

(P. S. I’m a fan of Valerie’s Christian romances, but I don’t know Valerie and I don’t get any compensation for recommending her books. I just like sharing my favorite authors and books with you.)

 

Taking Control of Clutter . . . Again

In my spare time (IS there such a thing???) this week I’ve been cleaning up the clutter in my garage.

I’ve done it before (actually, I’ve done it several times before) but the clutter keeps coming back. It starts out small. Usually, when I’m in a hurry, I will set something down on the workbench “just until I have time to put it away.”

Garage clutter
I take comfort in knowing my garage does not look quite this bad. Still, it’s bad enough.

Of course, I never get around to putting the item where it belongs. And since it looks so lonely out of place by itself, I end up putting other things with it, until I have a jumbled pile of items begging for a home. Even worse, I’ve lost track of what’s in the pile.

Is it any wonder I can’t find what I’m looking for?

I’ve read enough about this syndrome to know I’m not alone. Clutter is rampant in American garages just like mine.

Einstein Quote

And it’s rampant on American desks, too. Desks like mine.

This is another area where I can show my true colors as a Pile Person. I have piles for everything on my desk, and each pile is important. At least, I think they’re all important. But since I haven’t looked through any of the piles in months, I can’t be sure, because I don’t remember what’s in those piles.

Here’s an example. One pile consists of ten 3.25″ disks. They’re all clearly labeled, so I know they contain information I’m going to need someday. Although neither my PC nor laptop read 3.25″ disks, I still hang on to them, even though the documents they contain are lost forever because I can’t access them because I can’t read the disks. It’s a vicious cycle.

Messy Desk in my Head

I don’t know why I tend to collect things in piles. I will probably have to invest in a minimum of seven to ten therapy sessions to figure it out.

But I can say that when I get the urge to go through my clutter—as I did this week in the garage—and sort and organize and discard, I feel great!

Clutter Fairy

In fact, I felt so great I immediately rewarded myself with a bowl of ice cream and the words, “You deserve it.”  Maybe ice cream and the chance to strut around the house like a winner is sufficient encouragement to make me tackle all that clutter on my desk.

Or maybe not.

Some Love for My Home Town

Every day I thank God that I live in Denver, Colorado. I love everything about the city, from its great year-round weather to its beautiful scenery. I even featured part of the downtown skyline on the cover of my novel, Ask Me Again (that’s the “cash register” building in the background on the left, as seen from Washington Park).

Cover for Social Media01

Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks Denver is downright awesome. Today U.S. News and World Report released their annual list of the best places to live, and Denver drew the Number 1 spot! You can read the article here.

I’ve always been a little partial to the place myself, and I love taking advantage of all the city has to offer. Just last weekend I was in my usual center seat at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts when they presented A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, the 2014 Tony winner for Best Musical. Here’s a performance of one of my favorite scenes from the play:

I had such a good time and laughed a lot! I hope you get a chance to see a production of this clever, music-filled romp about love, murder, and the British aristocracy.

And please come visit Denver and see for yourself how great a place it is to live. There’s always room for more!

More Gifts for Book Lovers

I love getting catalogs in the mail, especially at Christmas time. Often, catalogs have items that I haven’t found anywhere else, or they spark a gift-giving idea I wouldn’t have been able to come up with on my own.

Since I’m a book lover, most of my friends and loved ones are, too (birds of a feather, you know), so I was glad to find these gifts that are perfect for writers and/or readers, and still fit my budget.

I found these nightshirts in a catalog from Catalog Favorites (you can click on any of the images to be taken to their website):

Nightshirt Dont Bug Me

Nightshirt

I found these socks at CatalogFavorites.com. I saw them on Amazon, too, where they have more color options:

Book Socks

And since we can never have too many tee shirts in our wardrobes, these book-themed shirts are on Amazon, too:

Tee Shirt Bibliophile

Tee Shirt Buy Books

Tee Shirt Emotionally Crippled

Tee Shirt Jane Austen Quote

Tee Shirt

As I was putting this post together, I realized that I wouldn’t mind getting one of these book-themed gifts myself. Hopefully, whoever drew my name for Secret Santa is paying attention (hint!).

Happy shopping, everyone!

p.s. I should mention that I’m not an affiliate of Amazon or Catalog Favorites.