Monday, September 19, 2016

Saying Goodbye to the Lake

The lake on a cloudy afternoon, just before leaving. 
Moving day is finally upon us. I have both dreaded and looked forward to this day, in almost equal measure. Looked forward, because I am excited about the new house. It's nice to be moving back to civilization, to have access to amenities like parks and museums, and (let's be honest) fast food. Shopping trips will no longer take the better part of an afternoon. Take out won't be cold by the time we get it home.  Internet is lightning fast, and we can get a decent cable tv package. The new house is spacious, with a bedroom for everyone, and even a sun porch for me to write and work. Yay for no longer camping out at the dining room table!

But it's sad to be leaving the lake, with its easy pace of life and beautiful surroundings. I'll miss the owl who lives up near the mailbox, and the bobcat who sometimes runs across the road, just past the gate. There's the fox that drives the dog crazy, and the hawks who nested in the 50 foot oak near the house. There's the lake itself, of course. How I'll miss the sunrises! And our neighbor, the world champion barefoot water skier- we'll miss seeing her zoom around the lake, pulled by a speedboat. We always know it's finally warm enough to swim when she sheds her winter wet suit that she wears to practice. And our neighbor who rehabilitates horses- we'll miss seeing them swim behind his little rickety boat, pulled on a lead to strengthen weak muscles.

But ultimately, whether we want it or not, change happens. So we might as well make the best of it, while at the same time trying to honor our time at the lake. We can only hope the next inhabitants of this serene little hideaway are half as happy there as we were.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Chrysalis



I stepped on the scale today and almost cried. I've shed 45 pounds over this last year, you guys. 45 pounds. My toddler weighs less than that. When I pick her up, I realize I used to carry that much weight, plus some, around with me all the time. Really it's more like having a toddler attached to me at all times, plus a ten pound bag of potatoes. I've been lugging that around for a couple of years now. It's been miserable.


I don't talk about my struggles to be healthier much, but after I switched from teaching to writing, I went from standing and walking a lot at my job, to sitting and pounding keys all day. My weight ballooned, and quite frankly I've been physically miserable the last few years. I still have a ways to go to get to where I want to be, but wow is it amazing to not be out of breath all the time. To keep up with my daughter. To take long walks and wear jeans four sizes smaller than what I was wearing. To show some skin again. (It's summer in Florida, folks. If you're not showing skin, you really look like a tourist.)


I can even pinpoint that moment when I'd had enough. I was sitting in the hospital, hooked up to a machine helping me breathe, and had just found out I had pneumonia in my left lung. My heart monitor, which was set for a regular sized person's resting heart rate, kept going off after I'd so much as move around. I asked the nurse if that was normal, and she sighed and adjusted the heart monitor so that it was at least ten points higher before it went off. "With bigger people, the heart has to work harder," she explained. And I realized how seriously my weight was affecting my health.


I went on a ruthless mission to control portion sizes, and began to cut out sugary sodas (okay, so I do still have the occasional coke. But it's a single small can now, every few days, rather than the 40 ounce big gulp I used to chug pretty much daily.) I couldn't even walk the half mile it takes to get to the gate across the farm and back. Now I can do it in 15-20 sweaty minutes. I still have so far to go, you guys, but I am so pleased with how far I've come. I honestly could care less about my appearance at this point. It's just all about feeling better, and maybe that's why it's been working so far.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hello Again!

I can't believe it's been almost a year, a whole year, since I posted. To say I've let this blog get defunct is an understatement. Well, granted, I posted last in 2015, but still. It's been almost a year since I posted anything of substance. There have been huge changes in my day to day life, which partially accounts for my silence here. But it's deeper than that. I've been in the midst of a creative and personal rebirth. I've been working on my health, which I've sadly neglected since I switched to this writer thing. I've been reconnecting to my community, and trying to take a broader, more holistic approach to my online life. It's easy to hide behind  my keyboard and forget there's a real world out there, a world that's full of light and life and mischief, and that keeping connected to that world makes me a stronger storyteller.

One thing I've been doing differently is my work with CQ. I've been doing acquisitions and marketing for them, and have a hand's on role in establishing their line of contemporary fiction. It's super exciting, and dovetails nicely with my own creative efforts, which have centered around the contemporary romance I'm working on. It's called Bright Stars, Broken Compass, and it's fair to say I'm in the hone stretch with it now. I am in a really good groove with this manuscript now, and hope to be finished in a matter of weeks, rather than months. I've got insight into the characters, and seem to be more channeling their stories now, rather than writing. It's been a long time since I felt such "flow", when writing. It's nice.

But by far the biggest changes have been on the home front. Emma's gotten really big. She's almost three now, and it's a real joy to have her at home with me, instead of in day care, which was the case with my oldest two. There's a definite difference between daycare kids and stay-at-home kids. Emma's not as sick as the oldest two were, for one. But there's no support for teaching her school readiness. It's just us, trying to teach her hand washing, sharing, and the like, without being exposed to other children learning the same things. So I guess both methods have their merits. But she'll definitely be going to pre-K, and we've even talked about part time daycare soon. Time will tell, as it does with most things. Anyway, it's good to be back, and this time I promise not to neglect my little online journal here. :)


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Win a Signed Paperback!

Hello book lovers and coffee drinkers! It's time for a giveaway!


Up for grabs for U.S, readers is a signed paperback, seasonal coffee, and mug for your drinking and reading pleasure. It's pretty easy to enter- just share word about the contest and sale for entries.

A sale? What sale, you ask? Well, Gifts of the Blood has been picked up for another BookBub promotion, this time for free. And it's the last time Gifts of the Blood will be free for a very long time. So make sure to grab a copy while you can, free on Amazon for a limited time. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway [divider]

Gifts of the Blood, by Vicki Keire - cover

Gifts of the Blood

A dying brother. A young man with golden planes of light on his back. A blind chess wizard. An insane angelic kidnapper in flamboyant red leather. A town with more secrets than stoplights. A cat that talks to spirits. Waking up with eyes the color of moonlight. Before her world tilts towards impossible, Caspia Chastain thinks the only strange thing about her is that she sometimes draws the future. Only her brother Logan, fighting his cancer diagnosis, knows what she can do. When she draws a man surrounded by brilliant light, dark wings, and frightening symbols, she can only hope the vision won’t come true. But when a stranger named Ethan appears, determined to protect Caspia and her brother from dangers he won’t explain, she’s not sure what to think. Strangers almost never come to Whitfield. They certainly don’t follow her around, frightening her one moment and treating her like glass the next. And they certainly don’t look exactly like the subject of her most violent drawing. Ethan’i’el can’t deny the pull he feels towards this mortal with untapped gifts. Although he has come to guard her dying brother’s soul from the Dark forces that would claim it, he realizes Logan’s death will shatter her. Even worse, Ethan’i’el knows that choosing life with a mortal means eternal banishment from the Light and eventual descent into the Dark and madness. Soon Caspia finds herself in the middle of a war between Dark and Light forces, where both Chastain siblings are targets. When she turns to her self-appointed guardian for help, Ethan must choose between devotion to the Light and an attraction that has already altered his world forever.

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