30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 30

Wow! We made it through all 30 days of the writing challenge. And it was fun!

30. One thing you’re excited for

My new book!

Love Can’t Conquer releases in four days. You can preorder it now, even. I’m really excited about this one, which will be the first in a series. Hunky urban park ranger plus an ex-addict trying to climb out of a deep hole. Angst. True love. Coffee. What’s not to love?


I have a bunch of other releases in the works too.

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 29

29. The night of your 21st birthday

Just after midnight the day I turned 21, I went to Safeway and bought beer. They didn’t card me, which was disappointing. And I couldn’t buy hard liquor because this was in Oregon, where you could buy wine and beer in grocery stores but had to buy hard liquor in special OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission) stores. I think that may still be the case, but I’m not sure.

That night, friends and I visited a couple of bars with live music (blues, as I recall). I didn’t get drunk, but did try a grasshopper for the first time.

And that’s it. Not very thrilling.

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 28

28. The word or phrase you use constantly.

In person, I say these things a lot:

  • Have I answered all your questions?
  • It’s in the syllabus
  • Do your job
  • Do your homework/the dishes/your laundry, etc

In writing, I find that each book has at least one overused word. Well, my editors find that, actually. In the current book, the word is slightly.

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 27

27. What you wore today

That sounds like a question a creepy caller would ask. Okay. Today I don’t have to go into the office. I do have to do the laundry and pack for a trip, plus I need to walk soon. I’m dressed accordingly: in my least favorite black walking shorts and an oversized red T-shirt from a trip to Alaska. And reading glasses. I never used to wear glasses at all, but I started needing reading glasses a few years ago. I find them annoying. I’m constantly taking them on and off (which means they get fingerprinty quickly). I bought several pairs, which I keep in strategic places. One at work, one by my laptop, one in the family room next to my reading spot, one at my bedside, and one in my purse. I’m constantly digging for that last one.

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 26

26. Things you’d say to an ex

I don’t have an ex. My husband was pretty much my first boyfriend. I also try really, really hard not to harbor bitterness toward others. I’m not always successful, but I do believe that kind of anger only hurts the person who nurtures it in her heart. Anyway, I guess it would depend on why we broke up. Was it amicable? Did it devastate me? Mostly, I guess I’d say something like, “I hope life’s treating you well.” And then I’d move on.

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 25

25. Four weird traits you have

  1. I always arrive at airports early. Way early. Obsessively so. It doesn’t help that all the airports are 100 miles from me, with unpredictable traffic in between. I stress about it. And I like hanging out in airports–they’re often good places to work–so I’d rather just be really early and not worry. My husband and I argue about this.
  2. I cannot roll my r’s. I’ve tried (in multiple languages) but can’t do it. One of my language profs said it’s a speech impediment–one that doesn’t show if I stick to English.
  3. I can’t hold up three fingers like this:
    An adult female hand holding three fingers in the air spread apart, (with clipping path)
    An adult female hand holding three fingers in the air spread apart, (with clipping path)

    Not with either hand. My thumb and pinky just don’t work that way. My dad can’t do it either, so it’s probably some weird genetic thing.

  4. All allergy medicines and decongestants–even the non-drowsy ones–zonk me out. I can’t take any of them unless I’m prepared to be a semi-conscious zombie for the next day or so. Which sucks, because I live in Allergy Central. But hey, I’ll never need a prescription to sleeping pills as long as I can have allergy meds nearby.

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 23

23. A family member you dislike

That’s awful. I can honestly say I like all my family members. A lot. So instead, I’ll write about a family member’s annoying habit.

I do almost all my writing while sitting at the kitchen table. I have a study, but I prefer the kitchen because then I’m not so cut off from my family. I can endure a fair amount of noise and chaos, and the TV in the adjacent family room rarely bothers me.

In the evenings, my husband often sits in the family room, watching TV or playing video games. And periodically he’ll say a thing. Like, “Remember I’ll be home late Thursday.” Which interrupts me, but okay. I respond. He goes back to whatever. And just as I’m getting back to work, he’ll say another thing. Like, “And I have an appointment Wednesday morning.” I respond. Another long pause. I get back to work. Then, “I think we should refinance the house.”

It makes me want to strangle him.

Sometimes I just glare. “Are you done yet?” I demand. Spit it all out at once, you know? I was once on a deadline, writing the last chapter of a book, and I threatened to stab him if he kept interrupting like that. He and the kids thought that was hilarious.

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 22

22. Your morning routine

This varies depending on the day of the week and time of the year. A typical academic weekday morning looks like this:

  • Wake up when husband’s alarm goes off at 6:30.
  • Try to go back to sleep, but fail.
  • Get up at 7:30
  • Shower, etc.
  • Head downstairs
  • Start up laptop
  • Brew tea if it’s cold, pour water or iced tea if it’s warm
  • Grab banana and vitamins
  • Eat while checking email and social media
  • Defuse whatever disasters developed overnight
  • Make and pack lunch
  • Put on shoes (and coat, if it’s cold), grab phone, keys, purse, and whatever needs to be dragged to work
  • Drive to work

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 21

21. Your zodiac/horoscope and whether you think it fits you.

I don’t believe in this. I’m an Aries born in the Chinese year of the ram, so, you know, double sheep.

Here are the supposed traits of ram people:

  • Strengths gentle, softhearted, considerate, attractive, hardworking, persistent, thrift

  • Weaknesses indecisive, timid, vain, pessimistic, moody, weak-willed

Only a couple of those apply to me.

Here what this site says about Aries:

Persons born in Aries ascendant will have a certain amount of independent thinking and reasoning faculty. The persons borne under the Aries horoscope are capable people. They may not be strict followers of convention. They are lovers of scientific thought and philosophy; have their own ideas of right and wrong and are strongly bent upon educational pursuits. As the Ram rules them, Aries Horoscope persons are rather stubborn but often frank, impulsive and courageous.

Aries are more gossipers than practical. They sometimes, require a certain amount of cajolery and sycophancy to raise them to action.

They are often pioneers in a field. As Mars is the lord of Aries, they will be martial in spirit. Their constitution will be hot, and they are occasionally subject to hot complaints, piles and the likes, and must avoid enterprises involving any serious risks.

Aries love beauty, art and elegance. The diseases Aries suffer from will be mostly those of the head and unpleasant sightseeing may often lead to mental affliction and derangement of brain. Their built will be slender and females generally possess fairly perfect contours. One peculiarity is craning the neck.

That’s closer, although hardly spot-on. I guess maybe I ought to avoid unpleasant sightseeing. I don’t want my brain deranged.