This week I’m struggling to keep all balls in the air. I finally shipped out the artwork that was bound for the Paper Museum and it arrived, just barely. Apparently that urban myth about writing “fragile” on boxes is true. It seems to anger certain shipping companies enough that they run it over with the truck just to see how skilled you are at using bubble wrap and tape. But that’s another tale for another day. It got there intact in time for the installation, and thus can be crossed off The List.

Other things on The List:

Make a Facebook page for my new “Author” venture. I can finally announce here that my first novel is set to be released sometime this winter. Details are forthcoming. Believe me, I’ll be shouting the release date from the rooftops (but not in an annoying way—more in a here’s-how-you-can-score-a-free-copy way). Where is said Author page? I’m so glad you asked because it’s right here. Thanks for showing it some love!

Free story! Along with the new Author page, I had to dig up a favorite story of mine that will soon be a free giveaway/download that subscribers to my upcoming newsletter will receive. (It’s a fun story—it won the Family Circle fiction award a few years ago and several people in my family thought it was about them. It wasn’t. It was, however, about a fake wedding.)

Aforementioned newsletter about writing. It’s coming, I swear. It’ll be about my (mis)adventures in writing. I think.

turks-capNovella that will also be a free download and prequel to the book that has launched this capital-L List. Turns out, it’s REALLY HARD to write a prequel to story that begins when two people meet. I’m making this happen. But it’s hard, folks. Seriously hard. (But I’m not complaining. We Aries people love a good challenge, and any day I’m asked to write is a good day.)

[I did take a moment to pause and appreciate the native Turk’s Cap lilies that mysteriously appeared in my yard. Thanks, birds! But back to The List.]

Chapter 1 of Book #2. Did I mention this novel was pitched and accepted as a series? Yep, Book #2 Chapter 1 will be included as end matter in Book #1 (Formerly called My Big Easy Fix). Four weeks and counting until the deadline for all elements that will be published this winter.

New title for that upcoming novel. In the editing phase, my publishers have decided the book is not actually “chick lit” and needs a more serious title than what I’d proposed originally. Now I’ve got to put my thinking cap on and have some bourbon and think of some titles that include the word “bayou.” Are there already too many titles that use the word “bayou”? How about “burn”? This could be harder than it seems. (Suggestions are welcome. I’ll thank you on the acknowledgements page and buy you your favorite adult beverage.)

Meanwhile, life in the campground has slowed down a little. Today my schedule included washing the government vehicle and rescuing a lizard trapped in the light fixture. As a bonus, I learned that a ranger hat is perfect for catching blue-tailed skinks that fall from the ceiling. I also learned that “Tetons” are Spanish for “ta-tas.” Think about that next time you drive through the Grand Tetons. (And yeah, that’s why the Spanish settlers named them so—exactly as you thought.) Today is my Friday, but there’s no rest for the wicked. Tomorrow is a Designated Writing Day that probably needs a slight intermission to allow for grocery shopping and kitchen cleaning. Wednesday will be part time work at my second job, and—you guessed it—more writing.

So…balls in the air, but they feel more like flaming batons.  I’m also doing job searches over breakfast, since my park job is seasonal and ends in October. Know anyone who needs a writer for the winter? I’m just getting myself warmed up.