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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Word of 2019

I usually try to pick a word of the year. It's something to remind me of my goals and what I hope to accomplish. For 2019 my word is Sustain. As in sustain all the good habits I've been working to build over the past year or two.

While it's all well and good to choose a word, remembering what that word is so that I can use it to encourage and inspire myself is another issue. I've tried writing it in my planner, but once I'm past that section, I rarely go backward. I've tried writing it on a Post-it note, but that doesn't seem to work real well for me either. This year, I had an epiphany. My Silhouette Cameo cuts vinyl. I decided to cut my word out of temporary vinyl and put it on my wall. Right in the middle of my kanban board.

It was amazingly easy to do and I'm so happy with the result. Now my word is in my face every time I walk out of my office. Just like my kanban board with its tasks.

I used washi tape to outline my kanban board sections, but the lines are crooked. I'm toying with the idea now of cutting my lines out of vinyl, too. With transfer tape, I'd have a better chance of creating nice, straight lines. I think.

The only thing stopping me is the location of my cutting machine isn't conducive to using those big long rolls of vinyl. Well, and maybe the fact that I'm a little bit nervous that I'd mess up anyway.

Maybe I'll use a ruler and replace my washi tape with more washi.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Color Coded

As I was writing Wicked Intention, the second book in the Paladin League series, I realized I had a lot to keep track of. Since I had such good luck keeping track of To Do items with my kanban board, I decided I needed to get another set of Post-it notes (larger and with lines) and use them to try to keep everything balanced.

I'm seriously short on wall space because my desk takes up one entire wall, my bookcase and lateral filing cabinet take up another, the third wall is basically windows, and the fourth wall has the closet door, the entrance to the room itself, and my kanban board. After considering my options, I decided to use the front of my lateral filing cabinet.

I color coded by whose Point of View (POV) I'm in and by timeline. I'm not sure I chose the best colors, though, because I don't immediately remember what's what when I glance over. I have to think about it first.

The thing that is sort of cool is that when I took this picture, my story was pretty balanced between my hero and heroine's POV. Cool. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

It's Ryder's Turn

***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!! If you haven't read Wicked Obsession yet and don't like spoilers, stop here!***

Now let's put Ryder under the microscope. It took a little while for me to understand Langley, but Ryder was right up front from the moment I started thinking about Wicked Obsession. Front the start, he didn't think he was good enough for Langley.

The college thing was really a huge deal for him. I hope the fact that he thinks about it several times over the course of the book shows just how much this impacted his behavior. His father was determined that his three boys would have a better life than he'd had and that meant they all needed to go to college. His two older brothers both did this, but while Ryder tried, it wasn't his thing.

He finished his first year and then dropped out to join the army. When he'd go home to visit his parents, all he'd hear was how proud his dad was of his other sons. But Ryder wasn't around when his dad did a ton of bragging about him and how he was Special Forces. His father is as proud as can be, but has never told Ryder this, so yeah, he believes even his father doesn't think he's good enough.

And then he meets Langley who not only came from an affluent background, but graduated from college with honors (See Langley and perfectionism in an earlier post). She's also lived all over the world, speaks a dozen languages either fluently or mostly fluently and he's like, yeah, as soon as she figures out that I'm not good enough, she's out of here.

But Ryder doesn't see Langley as clearly as he should. She's not a princess like he believes for much of the book. His friends see this easily. Finn and Griff both try to get him to understand that his view of her is skewed. She's tough and smart, but Ryder is stuck on her being a delicate princess.

It's actually his image of her that's interfering with reality. He also hasn't asked her a lot of questions about the nitty gritty of how she was raised. Aside from the bodyguards who were necessary for her protection, Langley wasn't spoiled by her parents. As she says several times in the book, she has more in common with the children of ambassadors from other countries than any other group of people.

By the end of Wicked Obsession, Ryder finally understands that Langley isn't this princess he's been thinking she was, but a strong woman who will do whatever it takes. Like participate in a shootout with the bad guys.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Jarved Nine Collection

***This post may contain affiliate links. Should you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.*** 

The Jarved Nine Collection has been released! This contains Ravyn's Flight, Eternal Nights, and The Troll Bridge. Buying the collection saves 40% over buying each title individually!

These are Science Fiction Romance stories set on the alien planet of Jarved Nine. The heroes are Special Ops and there's action, adventure, suspense, and romance!

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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Let's Talk About Langley (She Won't Mind)

***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!! If you haven't read Wicked Obsession yet and don't like spoilers, stop here!***

Now that Wicked Obsession has been out for oh, about 2.5 months, I wanted to talk a little bit about Langley.

There were two big influences in her life that shaped who she is today. The first, of course, was being the daughter of an ambassador and being cautioned about causing issues by making people feel uncomfortable or causing a scene or doing anything else that might reflect badly on her or her family or her country.

Because of how young she was when her parents began to tell her this, it's second nature to never show what she feels and to conceal anger or hurt with politeness. It's also a facet of her perfectionism and how detail oriented she is.

Just in case you've been wondering, she's working on this. People don't change overnight, but now that she's aware of how potentially destructive it can be to a relationship, she's stopping, taking a step back, and making new decisions. I wanted to highlight this more in the epilogue, but there was so many other things to address and space was limited, so I'm afraid this didn't get called out as much as I would have liked.

The second big event that changed her behavior was the attempted rape when she was 13. Because of that, she hates being weak or even perceived of as weak. You might have noticed throughout Wicked Obsession how she kept commenting on how she didn't want to be weak. It's why she wanted to have training to be able to defend herself. She's the one who convinced her father to get her some advanced self-defense training. It's why she never balked when Ryder added to her training. She never wanted to be in a situation where she was helpless.

You can also imagine that when Ryder grabbed her out of that shack in Puerto Jardin and she believed he was a mercenary, that she felt fear. That part of the reason why she whacked him in the head with the rock and escaped was that she was afraid of being assaulted before this (believed) mercenary ransomed her back to her father. It's a pretty big deal that she trusts Ryder absolutely when the story takes place. She doesn't trust easily.

I hope you found this a little bit interesting. In the future, I'll take a look at Ryder and talk about how I saw him and some of his issues.