I had weird dreams last night, the kind you wake up from saying, “Whew, glad I’m not living in that reality.” And then wake up a little more and realize, “And thank goodness that reality is completely impossible.” My actual reality is pretty nice; it’s raining right now so I’m listening to the pleasant music on my skylight, with Sophie curled up at the foot of the bed.

May was a quiet month for me on the blog, largely because it wasn’t a quiet month at all in reality. Suzanne flew off to the UK at the beginning of the month, leaving me with all the animals. The weather was abysmal — cold and wet, even hail one morning. Sharing a tiny house with three muddy dogs is chaos, even after I resigned myself to all things being dirty, all the time. They are a great tight-knit little pack now, though. Every once in a while Riley would shoot me a helpless look, usually when both puppies were trying to kiss his face at once, but mostly they all behaved really well together. Fortunate, since kicking them outside into the rain was no one’s idea of fun.

I’d been watching plane fares to Florida every day however, and while Suzanne was still away, a single reasonable flight appeared. I say “reasonable” and what I really mean is “two times what I would have wanted to pay last summer.” But “two times” is a lot better than “five times” and I’d seen that, too, recently. (I saw a fare for $2000, was horrified, then thought, “Oh, that must be Business class.” Nope. Economy flight from Arcata to Orlando. OUCH!) Anyway, one round-trip flight, $700, leaving in five days. I grabbed my ticket, then started texting people in Florida to make sure they’d be around.

Suzanne got home, we had a weekend to catch up, and then I jaunted off to Florida. I had such a nice trip. I didn’t bring my computer with me, and I treated it as a real, true, actual vacation. One could argue — somewhat fairly — that I treat a lot of my life as a vacation and that’s… sort of true. But I usually feel guilty about my failures to be a good self-publisher and a dedicated writer. I’m usually trying to squeeze in emails around the corners of my adventures, schedule writing in my mornings, check on the things that I feel like I ought to be checking on. This time, not so much.

I visited my dad and stepmom, had lunch with my niece, went to Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival, had dinner with a few friends from my old writer’s group, visited Megacon for the first time, spent a night on Merritt Island talking writing and publishing with Lynda Haviland, went swimming several times, and ate a ton of incredible food.

A TON of incredible food. Some nice restaurant meals, including an African buffet at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but the highlight in a ten-day blitz of highlights was Christina’s Brazilian cheese bread pizza. I ate seven slices. Not all at once, I spread it out over an evening, but… yeah. Seven! I think Christina would agree that the line in the recipe that claims “fast and easy” is a bald-faced lie, but if you know a person who isn’t GF by choice and who likes pizza, this is the one to try. So, so good.

Before I left I was feeling super-stressed about all I had to do. I’ve been doing some reading and experimenting with BookBub ads, creating the graphics using BookBrush; and I’d decided the Tassamara books needed their covers slightly simplified. That’s seven ebook covers, five print covers, four audiobook covers, and a box set cover. It’s not a trivial job. But I took a step back from my stress and reminded myself that no one on the planet actually cares about any of that except for me and it wasn’t like I had a deadline.


I did have a deadline. I’d scheduled some of my books for free days on Amazon, using my Kindle Unlimited promo opportunities. I was trying to get the covers finalized first, and then run some ads during. Alas, I’d completely forgotten that that was my goal. I only remembered about it when I got an email yesterday from ebook daily, informing me that they’d included Practicing Happiness in their email to subscribers and asking me to share the link on my social media. I didn’t bother to tell them that I’m truly terrible at social media, but I did say I’d share the link on my blog, so! Ebookdaily.com, nice enough to feature Practicing Happiness. A Gift of Grace is also free today, and will be until Sunday. I sort of think I set one of the other books to be free this weekend, too, because my free days expire next week whether or not I’ve used them, but I am not sure and have too much to do to look through each book’s KU information to find out. I’m sure I’ll discover it if I did.

What is the too much to do, you ask? Well, finalizing those covers, updating files, continuing some BookBub experiments, reading some books on marketing, working on the project now tentatively titled A Gift of Touch, doing some editing for a friend, and hanging out with the delightful Sophie Sunshine and her equally delightful friends, the Bearable Care Bear, and Riley D. I don’t have a solid picture of the three of them together, but this is the current background photo on my devices:

Today’s adventure will be taking Sophie to a nearby park for a playdate with her sister, Sage. I hope I remember to take photos because I bet they’re going to be adorable together! I also hope it doesn’t rain. Fingers crossed.