s I said in my last post, I'm always interested in learning. I'm just as interested in trying. I'll try most things at least once to see if it's something I'll like. For instance, I rode in a roller coaster once. Didn't like it, and I wouldn't do it again. I tried sushi. Never again. I took a painting class, and one was enough. And the list goes on.
There are so many things I want to try in the coming year, and hopefully, it'll be a much safer and open year so I'll have the opportunities!
I want to
test-drive a Porsche.
take a ride on the Orient Express.
take a ride in a hot air balloon.
go to an observatory
sleep out under the stars
go back to Las Vegas
learn to shoot a bow & arrow
go back to Biltmore House
Will I do all of these things in 2021? Probably not, but it's fun thinking and planning. And there are plenty of other things on the list that I will, most likely, get to do.
I'm always interested in learning new things. I don't think I'll ever get enough of learning. Sometimes, when I'm doing research for a book, I'll learn how to do something, and it's like an ah-ha moment for me. Like "that's how you do that!" I love it.
I take a lot of online classes and watch a lot of Youtube videos to teach myself new things. This year, I learned how to use a new graphics program, and I've been using it non-stop now. I've also continued my Spanish studies, and I started learning Danish because I'm fascinated by Danish culture. And I learned even more about building websites, SEO, and affiliate advertising.
There's another graphics program I want to learn, and I've already found the class for it that I can start next year. I want to start a small garden on my back porch so I'll need to take a class on that. I want to learn more about the fascinating city I live in (Charleston, SC), and I've become fascinated even more with astronomy since I started writing for RedShirtsAlwaysDie.com. So I'll probably take a class on that, too. A beginner's class!
Is there anything you're hoping to learn next year?
Some of these might not be able to happen, depending on restrictions in different cities, but here goes anyway.
And we're off on another quick blogging challenge! I like doing these when I feel like I've been in a blogging rut. Today, the challenge is something I've accomplished that I'm proud of. This one is an easy one for me as I've recently had an essay published in the New York Times!
I can remember years ago when I first started writing, I dreamed of seeing my name in what I called "the big leagues." The New York Times is the big leagues to me, and I made it. I'm not kidding myself that I've "made it." But I am proud of this accomplishment as it's always better to be moving forward than backward!
'm sure if you've been following me a while you've noticed that I'm bouncing around a lot with the things I write, especially in the past two years or so. Once upon a time, I focused solely on writing fiction, but I reached a point where I was having to force the words, and I wasn't enjoying it anymore. Writing was a chore.
Enter articles. I could write several of these a week and still my goal of writing every day. Along with those, I began to write essays and short stories, and I got more involved with writing posts about television and movies for sites like Movie Pilot (now defunct), Hidden Remote, and now Red Shirts Always Die. It was refreshing not to have to worry about plot holes and characterization.
Recently, my first fiction novella in 2 1/2 years released, and I'm working on a second one now. I'm back in the groove of fiction writing, but I don't know when I'll return to full-length novels. Right now, I'm enjoying writing various things, and I don't have to force any of the words. Writers write, and that's what I'm doing.
I wrote all of this to say, if you're a writer, write whatever you feel like writing. Don't push yourself to write what just isn't in you. I did that for too long, and I almost stepped away from writing altogether. I'm glad, instead, I decided to spread the words I write out over a multitude of avenues.
I shared the news a few months ago about my becoming a contributor to Red Shirts Always Die which is a division of Fansided.com that is dedicated to all things Star Trek. Well, I was recently invited to become a co-expert on the site as well as a contributor.
This will give me more opportunities to write for the site as well as giving me a say in the type of content that gets posted. I'm really excited about this because writing for this site has been nothing but a pleasure. It's a great creative outlet and has even spurred me on to writing science fiction short stories as well as novels.
I hope you'll visit the site, especially if you're a Star Trek fan. We'll keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings with Star Trek, and we'll share trivia, opinions, blasts from the past, theories, and so much more. If you're like I am and can't get enough of this franchise, stop by!
Now available for pre-order! https://amzn.to/3iQSVy2 This is my first book in quite a while so I hope you enjoy it! And a special thanks to all of my readers who have sent emails to me over the past 2 1/2 years asking when my next book would be released.
Noah flicked a glance over his shoulder to watch Ainsley walk toward a row of low-hanging shelves that still looked too high for her to reach. “Do you need me to get something for you?”
“No, no. I have it.” Standing on tiptoe, she used her fingertips to move a large basket closer to the edge of the shelf.
Things didn’t look like they were going her way. The basket tipped, and Noah ran toward her just as what looked like hundreds of strings of lights dropped on top of her head, draped her body, and cascaded to her feet. He skidded to a stop. “Are you okay?”
She peeked out through a row of lights. “So I guess I didn’t have it.”
He burst out laughing and walked closer. “Let me see if I can get you out of these.”
“I think I can…” She pushed her arm through a hole only to have another bunch of green wires fell on top of it. “If I can just get this right here…” Another poke caused a similar tumble of string.
Still laughing, Noah began to peel away the lines, unwrapping her like a chocolate bar. “Just stay still.”
“Ow! Something’s caught in my hair.” Ainsley tried to pull away from the pain.
“Wait. Don’t move.” His fingers dove into the silkiness of her blonde strands and dislocated her hair from the plug. “How many strings of lights does this place need?”
“A bunch. There’s another basket up there.” She peeled two strings apart that were tapping against her cheek. “Oh, this is ridiculous.”
Noah didn’t disagree, but he couldn’t deny he enjoyed being this close to her. The slight flush to her cheeks and the brightness of her eyes tripped up his concentration, and his fingers fumbled in the lights, causing one to smack the back of her head. “Sorry. Sorry. These things are all tangled.”
“Yeah. I noticed. What if you just lift the entire batch, and I’ll try to step out from underneath?”
“They’re not all in order, and I doubt they’re going to go at one time, but we’ll give it a shot.” Noah squatted and gathered as many of the strings as he could and began to ease them up her body. But the thickness of the strands proved more tenacious. The more he pushed, the more they slipped.
“Okay. You’re right. I’ll just stand here, and you can unwrap me.” She rolled her eyes. “This is going to take forever.”
Noah stood. His gaze meeting hers. “I’ll go as fast as I can.”
She looked back at him, and for a long second, neither one of them spoke. His gaze dropped to her lips then he quickly looked away.
“Right. I’ll get started.”
By the time Making Christmas Magic releases on November 2nd, it will have been two and a half years since my last book release. So I had my fingers crossed when I started submitting this book to reviewers. I'm happy to say that the first review brought a HUGE smile to my face! And I appreciate Heidi Lynn so much for such a quick turnaround time!
On October 15th, Making Christmas Magic will be available for pre-order! Then you'll have it in your ebook reader on November 2nd!
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!