Today’s Project… Painting

I need to preface this with the fact that I don’t normally paint. If I do, it is almost always something small like the faces on my nutcrackers or something like that. I have done a few projects over the years, but I’ve never felt like I was very good at it. When I took pictures of BG in her pointe costume so I could use it as reference for the cake, I fell in love with the entire shot. It just would not let me go and next thing I know, I need to try and paint it, even though that isn’t really my thing.

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Thank You Gift Completed

As is so often the case when I work with a project like this, the finished piece is a little different that what I originally pictured. The pictures also NEVER do the finished piece justice, especially when it comes to stones that have any kind of flash in them, and this one is full of flash.

Detail Wire Wrapped Fire Opal Pendant
Detail Wire Wrapped Fire Opal Pendant

I am so thrilled to have this piece done. It really has been a long time coming, but it needed to wait until now so it could be the perfect thank you gift to an amazing friend. It is more than worth the time and seriously achy fingers. It’s been WAY too long since I’ve done any kind of jewelry work and those calluses I’d built up are long gone.

Detail Wire Wrapped Fire Opal Pendant
Detail Wire Wrapped Fire Opal Pendant

This is definitely inspiring me to get back into my studio and do something with all those lonely stones just sitting in the dark. Maybe next time I’ll get my torch out and play with some fire.

And One More Time!

After not being able to work on that pendant yesterday and complaining rather loudly to Hubby, I realized that I was going to be way too frustrated by the time he got home to just borrow his reading glasses to work on it. That and he would need to take them with him when he went to work today so I broke down and we went and picked me up a pair after he got home so I don’t have to worry about stealing his. *Sigh* He and the kids could not let it go without at least a dozen “granny glasses” comments, so it is official. I have “granny glasses”. At least I can see to do what I need to do and I’ll be trying it again today.

It’s funny. I tried to see if it made a difference in what I can read, thinking maybe things really hadn’t been as clear as I’d believed. Uh, no. Not even close. I cannot read with those suckers on. I can see the individual lines of the tiny wires I need to see, but forget trying to wear them for anything else, so I guess I don’t feel quite so bad. Lots of jewelers need to use loupes and magnifiers to see some of that tiny detail work, so I shouldn’t be so upset that I need a little help as well.

An Unexpected Turn Availability

I am posting this for an easy share as it is a single link to all the various platforms An Unexpected Turn is available on.

Even if it isn’t a genre (women’s fiction/family life) you normally read, maybe you have a friend that does and you’d be willing to slide this under their nose or at least share the link (or this post) with others. If you are amazing enough to read it, please leave a review! Every tiny bit helps me to get this out there.

Please take a few to check it out. The blurb is below.

“When I take a good look at my reflection, I’m surprised that the face looking back at me in the mirror doesn’t look different than the one I’ve seen staring back at me for the last 27 years. I see the same brown hair and brown eyes, the same heart-shaped face, the same upturned nose. I feel like I should look different. That my face should show the upheaval and the weight of the last day, that it should somehow show how much has happened, how the course of my life has changed, but everything is still the same.”

Life is rarely ever predictable. It is rarely even kind. But… sometimes… just sometimes, those unexpected turns that throw you into the chaos and upheaval of loss lead you to the exact place you need to be.

This is a story about love, but it isn’t a romance. It is about holding on when it would be easier to let go, about fighting for those that can’t fight for themselves. It is about finding and creating family through the unpredictable, beautiful mess that is life.

 

 

An Unexpected Turn: Book Birthday!

I am officially live on Amazon with the Kindle version! Happy Book Birthday to me! Please take a few to check it out. The blurb is below. Even if it isn’t a genre you normally read, maybe you have a friend that does and you’d be willing to slide this under their nose. If you are amazing enough to read it, please leave a review! Every tiny bit helps me to get this out there.

Other versions are slowly going live and a paperback version will be available soon! I’ll be keeping track and adding links on my AUT page.

 

Author: TJ Fox (ME!!)
Book Name: An Unexpected Turn
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Family Life
Rating: Excellent/Favorite (because of course it is!)

5+stars

Blurb: “When I take a good look at my reflection, I’m surprised that the face looking back at me in the mirror doesn’t look different than the one I’ve seen staring back at me for the last 27 years. I see the same brown hair and brown eyes, the same heart-shaped face, the same upturned nose. I feel like I should look different. That my face should show the upheaval and the weight of the last day, that it should somehow show how much has happened, how the course of my life has changed, but everything is still the same.”

Life is rarely ever predictable. It is rarely even kind. But… sometimes… just sometimes, those unexpected turns that throw you into the chaos and upheaval of loss lead you to the exact place you need to be.

This is a story about love, but it isn’t a romance. It is about holding on when it would be easier to let go, about fighting for those that can’t fight for themselves. It is about finding and creating family through the unpredictable, beautiful mess that is life.

Back to Crazy

As has been the pattern since I started my book project, everything is hitting all at once again. I got my final round of edits back from my editor the night before a family outing to celebrate MC’s birthday (not on the actual day). I still have the actual day to work on, which means making a batch of Death By Chocolate, again, along with fixing a massive pile of chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. That pretty much wipes out any time I’d have to work on edits that day. I also have  MC’s appointment to get stitches out and his post-surgery check up later in the week along with a couple of other appointments.

So, I’m over the moon excited about getting my edits back, but beyond frustrated that I’m going to have very little time to actually sit down and work on them this week. I WILL make time to work on them though because this pushes me really close to being ready to work on the cover design and being done. I’m so close!

I’m trying really hard to stay focused on those things and not the fact that this is birthday #17 for MC. When the hell did that happen?! Or the fact that I’ll be adding another year to my age only a week later. But hey! Great birthday present, though!

 

 

Today’s Procrastination Project

Yes. I am STILL procrastinating on my edits. The BS with Amazon did not help with that, though I did get my account back last night (finally). So, instead of working on what I SHOULD be working on, I played.

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Don’t Wanna!

I apparently can’t get my head into my book today even though I KNOW I should be finishing up on my edits. Instead, I’m finding way too many distractions in music. Apparently I’m grooving instead of writing today. These are just a few in the current rotation.

 

 

Santa “Nutcracker” Project

That crazy kick in the butt from my creative muse? It was another nutcracker project. My amazingly wonderful cousin collects santas. I had considered buying her one this year, but could never find one that I really liked. After decorating this year and pulling out my giant nutcrackers I made last year I got to thinking… “If I can do massive, why not do a smaller one?”

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Book Editing – Revisions Part 1.5

I just finished up the final edits from my editor for this round. I still have another full read through I need to do to make sure all my changes work and that I didn’t break anything. I’m still feeling a little iffy at the moment because this ended up being such a choppy, broken up process with some rather big time gaps between when I was able to sit down and work that I’m not sure it all works like I think it should. At one point, I started second guessing the way I was writing certain things (more of a stylistic thing than anything), even going so far as to change how I was doing it, only to realize I was being stupid and had to go back and fix it.

There were so many parts moved around, added and removed that I’m worried I missed something and broke something in the timeline (a huge peeve of mine is to have those kinds of things messed up even if it is a tiny little element). That is one of my biggest reasons for the additional read through, but I’m worried that I’ve looked at this so much that I’ll still miss something. It is a little frustrating because I was so incredibly conscious of this as I was writing originally, I KNOW I didn’t miss anything. Now, I’m just not sure. Hopefully my read through will make me feel better about it.

Hubby is on standby ready to do yet another read for me. Can I just say how crazy awesome he is that he is willing to do this for me even though he kinda hates to read? I’m even more grateful because he is most likely going to be the only one putting eyes on this besides me before it goes back to my editor this time since my other beta reader is in no position to be able to read again with her still unable to return to her home after the fires. It makes me nervous, but I have to work with what I have.

Once I do finish and Hubby has added his dime to the mix, it goes back for another round, so I’ve still got lots of work ahead, but I’m almost over this bump.

Craft Project Sneak Peak

I finished that craft project my crazy muse demanded I work on. I’m only giving a sneak peak because it is a gift and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Pictures of the finished project will come after the gift has been received. That said, I’m really pleased with how this turned out as, because as usual, I’ve never done this before. Kinda. I had really hoped that once I got this out of my system I’d be ready to get back to edits, but… now I feel like I spent the last two days doing hard labor, which I really didn’t. I think I’m going to just take today and the weekend to veg and get back to it on Monday.

Furry Chair Thief & Revisions Update

The kids are FINALLY back to school today after an extended Thanksgiving break thanks to a couple of snow days. Yay, right? Nope. They still get out early because that is what was already scheduled. Don’t get me wrong. I love having my kids home. It was especially nice because Hubby worked from home as well. The problem is that Hubby worked from home as well.

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Repost: Giant Nutcrackers How To

I figured now would be a perfect time to repost this in case anyone is feeling ambitious this season!

Oodles of hours, multiple trips to both the hardware store and the craft store later and my life size giant nutcrackers are done! Continue reading “Repost: Giant Nutcrackers How To”

Book Editing – Revisions Part 1

I had a nearly three hour call with my editor last week. It was majorly productive, but it left me at a point where I have a LOT of work ahead of me. I’m grateful because I know that this process will make this better when it is all said and done, but… it is still a lot. It’s a little ridiculous how not prepared for that I was. I KNOW on every level that this isn’t an easy process just from what I’ve read about it from authors I read, but it still came as a surprise just how much work I have left to do.

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More Chaos? Sure, Why Not?

And again, everything seems to be hitting at once. At least this time it is all good stuff. Mostly. Hubby’s annual bake sale at work is coming up so I am starting on all the baking for that today. I don’t think I’m doing anything new this time, but I’ll be sure to repost any recipes.

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Book Update: October 2018

It looks as though my editor has started work on my manuscript. Yes, I got kinda stupid and giddy there when I first found out. It will probably still be a few weeks before I get the first round of feedback from him, so I have spent some time working to get some random To Do list things taken care of. I now have a Twitter account (@TJFoxAuthor), though I will most likely just post from here to that account.

All the other stuff was just some long overdue background things that needed to get done with my hosting service for my other domains. I’m hoping to get my Shades site up in a different format and intend to use it more as a portfolio site as opposed to a shop. At least for now. If I decide to do any kind of selling again, I’ll figure something out then. That is the next big project on my To Do list but has to wait until all my stuff gets moved around and that is on my host, thank goodness!

So, big steps, slow steps and baby steps. I can’t start cover work until the editing is done so that one is hanging out in limbo at the moment, but I’m still crazy excited that things are moving.

Semi-Repurposed Rain Gauge

A couple of weeks ago I had ordered a new rain gauge online. The day it was supposed to show up, I get an email saying I needed to authorize a change and that I’d be lucky if I saw the thing by the end of September. I had thought when I saw it and the ones like it that there was zero reason why I couldn’t make my own other than needing the right materials, so I just decided to cancel the order and figure out a way to make my own.

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Done, Done, Done and DONE!!

I. AM. DONE! Not mostly. Not kinda. But done. What was really just supposed to be a kinda big, but not major project of moving stuff from one space in my house to another turned into this crazy, spider web of smaller projects that kept spiraling out to pick up other small projects along the way. It was kind of hellish and hard and tiring and a shit ton of work, but I ADORE the end results and I’m so stinkin’ pooped, I want to sit and not move for a month.

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