I’ve Been Totally Missing Out on This Hogwarts Thing!

(artwork courtesy Mrs. Inman on Flickr Images)

Some weeks you just wish for a mulligan.

I had hoped by this week I’d be reporting in fabulous word counts thanks to Fast Draft and a holiday week where I was determined to hang with #teamsprinty all afternoon!

Would you even believe me if I told you about the week I had?  First day off I go and give myself food poisoning by eating a.) bad tomatoes and/or b.) bad cheese that was in my fridge since before I left for vacation.  Yah, the smart thing would have been to toss that, but we still haven’t gone grocery shopping.  I’m sort of making periodic mini trips and eating a lot of tacos right now…  #headdesk

So on my second day off, you’d think I’d take it easy.  I went to the coffee shop and started working on my WIP.  I did, I wrote a few paragraphs, and then I got hungry.  And I ordered a sandwhich with creamy cheese on it.  Stupid, stupid, stupid!  I immediately felt sick again!

Then it was back to work where I’ve put in extra hours regularly for the last 2 weeks.  But saturday was a new record.  We were Christmas-like busy and had an epic number of life events/sick calls.  It was crazy – peoples parents were admitted to hospitals, others daughters were delivering a baby, someone scratched their cornea, others played phone tag about coming in, and some just didn’t show.  To say I managed a skeleton crew is an understatement!  I worked two hours myself in fine jewelry and then a half hour in juniors, and before I left closed half the department store’s registers to where I was starting to count cross-eyed!

I turned right around to return to work on Sunday and Monday leading new hire training, which I love doing, but was exhausted from all the talking and running around.

So when Tuesday rolled around, I didn’t work on writing.  I didn’t wake up early or exercise.  I slept in.  I read Harry Potter, which has been my wonderful, magical escape each night before bed!  I ate another taco and feasted on dark chocolate while watching reruns of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.  It felt wonderful.

But I’m still motivated by you ROWers to make changes.  Elizabeth Anne Mitchell in particular gave me a good boot with her ROW update last week to make small changes for a bigger impact.  I’m taking her advice this week and setting aside a half hour each day to write.

It’s much easier to fix a page with words on it than a blank one!

A plus side is that I visited a lot of blogs this week!  I loved reading the innovative and inspiring posts you’ve all written.  Below are my recent faves about writing, new book launches you should know about, and my favorite fun reads!

And Don’t Forget:  I’m hosting a book giveaway of 3 e-book copies of Timothy McKinney’s The Power of Happiness.  You can still enter to win by leaving a comment here before Sunday, September 16th at 5pm.  

Posts on Writing:

One of my favorite posts EVER by the amazing and hilarious Jenny Hansen is 3Writer’s Commandments and Avoiding the Dreaded ‘S’ Word.  Hear first hand how Jenny learned to never quit, write her story her way, and finish what she started.  Sounds like useful advice right?  So, READ IT!  She also brings you fantastic links to NYTBS authors’ stories and gives props to the peeps that helped her along her journey.  Love this post.  Love that woman!

Did you all get to read fellow ROWer, Julie Glover’s, post about writing this week?  I’m Awesome!  I’m Awful!  Epiphanies While Editing and ROW80.  We have so ALL BEEN THERE!

I swear I’ve said this before, but if you’re NOT following August McLaughlin’s blog, you’re ridiculous!  She is a favorite blogger of mine and has some of the most well written, introspective, thought provoking posts out there on real stuff!  Check out her recent post, Carving Out Alone Time:  10 Tips for Creative Artists.

Jody Hedlund asked the question What to Do When People Don’t Get Your Story?  Experiencing first hand and sharing a friend’s tale, Hedlund gives you the best of both critique acceptance and staying professional.

Looking for inspiration on the upcoming ROW week?  Rachel Funk Heller blogged about our fear of failure and our fear of success.  She’s making some changes in her life, and inspired me to do the same.  Gr8ful4: Mediocrity, Fear, and Why I’m Giving Up Sugar.

New Book Releases You Have to Check Out:

As it is now Football Season, what better way to get in the mood with a little YA mystery set on a football field?  Tiffany A. White just self published her first novel, Football Sweetheart, and it’s soooo in my queue to read this fall!

Aimee Freeman is looking forward to the start of her senior year.  She knows her best friend Ella has been keeping secrets from her all summer long, but with football season right around the corner, the student trainer decides not to worry about it—they’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the field.

Then Ella goes missing, and Aimee realizes those secrets might be the key to finding her.  As the case unfolds, Aimee discovers more than one person may have wanted to harm Ella.  Was it Ella’s current boyfriend, a social outcast the entire city seems intent on blaming for her disappearance?  Or her ex-boyfriend, the beloved star quarterback who has harassed Ella since their breakup?  The list of potential suspects continues to grow after Aimee reads Ella’s journal, but she must first break her best friend’s secret code to reveal their identities.

Unbeknownst to Aimee, her investigation has not gone unnoticed.  Ella’s abductor is watching and waiting.  Will he decide Aimee needs to be silenced—making her the next target?

Next up is Myndi Shafer’s paranormal YA, Shrilugh.  She’s offering a free copy to anyone who gets the Shrilugh tree tattooed on their body!  Hey, I thought about it…


Nothing can explain to Aydan Fulbert how she survived the savage attack in the woods.  Why her left eye, instead of being blinded by the injuries she’d sustained, had simply turned a shocking shade of silver.  And nothing can explain the fact that she can hear the Stranger speaking in her mind – or that she can answer him back without using her mouth.

Nothing can explain it – unless he’s telling the truth.

Nothing can explain the things the Stranger knows about her – things that she, until just a few hours ago, hadn’t known herself: that she’d healed faster from her injuries than was humanly possible.  That the cruel family she’d been raised by isn’t biologically hers.  That her stepfather is now hell-bent on bringing her to his own form of justice for a crime she didn’t commit.

Nothing can explain it – unless he’s telling the truth.

Nothing can explain why she so easily agreed to go with the Stranger.  Why she didn’t find the notion of another world ludicrous and impossible.  Why she didn’t cut and run the minute he explained where he wanted to take her.

Nothing can explain it – unless she believes he’s telling the truth.

Aydan knows she’s being intentionally naive.  She knows her decision to follow the Stranger is at best, reckless.  At worst, deadly.

…unless he’s telling the truth.

And if you’re craving even more witchy goodness, do seek out Fabio Bueno’s Wicked Sense.  The paranormal romance that just might get famed by the Redhots!  What say you, Fabio?  Be our Valentine?


Witches inhabit our world, organized in covens and hiding behind a shroud of secrecy—the Veil.

Skye’s London coven sends her to Seattle’s Greenwood High to find the Singularity, an unusually gifted witch who may break the Veil and trigger a dangerous new era of witch-hunting. Things get complicated when Skye meets a charming new classmate, Drake. Skye’s job becomes even trickier when she clashes with Jane, an intimidating rival witch.

Drake falls for the mysterious Skye, but odd accidents, potion mix-ups, and the occasional brush with death kind of get in the way of romance. Once he discovers Skye is a witch, he goes to war for her, even though his only weapons are a nice set of abs and a sharp sense of humor.

Fighting off wicked Jane and the other dark forces hell-bent on seizing the Singularity’s immense power, Skye and Drake will risk everything to save the covens.

Going on a date has never been harder.

Just for Fun:

What was your first kiss like?  Myndi Shafer tells the tale of her awkward adolescence in First Kiss, and it’s a good one!  Elements of jealousy, secrets, saliva, and shame all make their way in!

Fans of Ellie Ann Soderstrom’s Tall Tale Tuesdays will love this gorgeous photo blog she shared on What I Did Last Summer.

Adam at Roof Beam Reader is hosting an LGBT Readathon in honor of LGBT Awareness Month!  The Literary Others:  An LGBT Reading Event This event is hosted with only positive, and accepting participants please!  He’s put together an awesome list of book ideas both written by LGBT authors and books with their characters or themes LGBT related.  Thanks Adam!

My lovely literature friend, Jillian, at A Room of One’s Own, turned me onto the Harry Potter Readathon and is loving the series too.  She had a fun conversation with a coworker over the question What is Your Favorite Book?  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

19 responses

  1. I’m supposed to be writing, but had to stop in quickly…I knew you’d love Harrry Potter! Enjoy! So sorry you had a rough week but you always seem to bounce back unscathed. Deciding to set a little time aside each day sounds like the perfect solution for you, Jess. Wishing you well in the process of finding your way.

    1. Now if Hogwarts doesn’t lure me away, we’ll be in good shape!

      “Jess, are you writing? What’s that wand in your hand?!”

  2. What a rough week! Retail can be brutal. Thanks for the shout-out! Here’s hoping you get more writing time the rest of this week. (Hey, I did invite you to work with me at the coffee shop last night! I would have even bought you a “cup of coffee.”)

    1. LOL. Yum! I’ll take you up on that next time!

  3. OMG, I LOVED the Harry Potter series. So fascinating and well done. I mean, who doesn’t want to go visit and play a quick game of Quidditch?

    Anywho, speaking of great posts ~ you did a bang up job with this one!! Thanks for the link and your kind words. You know we have the same reading list, right?

    1. Uh, I just read the first quidditch game and there’s no way you’d find me on the field. I’d be cheering in the crowd though, or doing the snarky commentary over the microphone. I’m good with that!

      Thanks for the blogging compliment, Jenny, coming from you I greatly appreciate it. You have always shared fun and well put together posts, you social media maven you. Always happy when you visit!

  4. I just need a quick quotes quill and I will be great. Hmmm, where did Rita Skeeter get hers? Is it possible to find one that isn’t prone to hyperbole?

    1. I know who she is from the movies but I haven’t met her yet in the books. Many of my favorite characters in this one besides the main 3 are the ghosts. Peeves is a pain, but I kinda like him. LOL

      1. I like the dignity of Sir Nicholas.

  5. Hi Jess, thanks for the pingback, totally made my day. And I can tell you, I can relate to the tummy troubles, changing your diet radically can do that. Hope you feel better and get in the half-hour of writing groove. My suggestion is do it the first thing after getting out of bed, you will be pleasantly surprised. Carry on.

    1. Ooooh sing it, sister! LOL. I’ve got to get up earlier because I know I’m losing productivity time, but I’m on a terrible schedule now. Got in the nasty habit of staying up too late trying to decompress, and now I can’t wake up in the morning. Curse the snooze button!

      Living with a teacher has its perks though, he’s waking me up when he gets up so early.

      Thanks for your post, Rachel! I appreciated your sharing with us.

  6. Wow! What a post, Jess! Loved that you shared so many links. With your busy week, it’s a wonder you accomplished so much! I want to thank you for your cheers on my newest release. It is so appreciated. *smiles*
    Keep up the great work…and don’t get an eye twitch from the ‘Christmas-Busy’ schedule. Lol. Have a wonderful week. ~ Nadja

    1. Thanks Nadja! It’s been lovely getting to know all of you ROWers and I’m so proud of “my team” and their successes! Wishing you much booming success on the sales of your new book! Woohoo!

  7. So many of your posts feel like we’re hanging out with a fabulous friend. Guess we kinda are… 😉 Thanks for the super sweet shout out, Jess. I’m touched that you dig my blog.

    And blech! Food poisoning. Been there, spewed that. I hope you’re taking best care of you and feeling loads better already. Off to check out your links!

    1. “Been there, spewed that.” ROTFL

      Nice August, very nice. I wouldn’t say I’m eating better yet, but pay day is Friday which means a trip to the grocery store! Made my list so I can cook up some enchiladas and try a new recipe for chicken with cranberry-hoisin sauce. Mmmm, that sounds good with wine, doesn’t it?

  8. Thank you for the shout-out, Jess. I’m glad to hear you’re looking forward to a nice wine–you deserve it after this week!

    I find that the small changes stick much better and become a habit. Think through the math of half an hour a day x 365 = 182.5 hours, or slightly more than 4.5 work weeks. Not bad!!

    1. Thanks for inspiring me Elizabeth! I’ve always been a dive right in kind of girl and that didn’t work this round. Your plan gives me hope, so here goes!

  9. Thank you so much for the Football Sweetheart mention, Jess!! I really do appreciate all of your support!

    Oh, and I need to read all of the Harry Potter books… I’m a little embarrassed about this fact.

    1. Well, clearly, you weren’t alone. I had just started too! Loved it though! I’ll be reading Football Sweetheart before football season is over!

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