Advertising is never lost on me. The title of this post is supposed to mean Christmas, but I still see the dad rolling on a cart in Staples when school is back in session. LOL.
We are getting in the spirit of thing at our new house. We have more decorations than we need, and we've kept some questionable ones that won't make it another year. My husband has decided that the lights we've had for twenty years are no longer making the cut. The outside lights we've had for five or six years are also leaving after this year.
I've been volunteering at the community club with the tree lighting festival and the Christmas parade. The only Christmas parade I've ever been to was in Ellsworth, Maine. I remember a group of women, possibly nurses who did a dance to a Christmas song and featured folding chairs. It was clever and amusing. Considering it was twenty years ago, nice job ladies.
In the writing world, I finished my book that I wrote for an editor, but she passed on it on the day that I finished my first draft. Talk about timing. Now, I'm in editing mode. I'm working on both that book and one that I wrote a bunch of years ago and need to polish it up for publication. You have that to look forward to in 2024. After that, I still have two more of the middle grade books I wrote to edit. I'm sensing a theme.
If you haven't already read my short Christmas story. You can find it here. It's great for when you're standing in line at the checkout or the return line at Walmart.
I wish all the best for you this holiday season. We all deserve a little peace and joy.
It's fall in the south...they'd probably tell you that it's winter, since it's 43 degrees at noon. At the end of October, it was eighty degrees. Today, not so much.
We are putting in a cement pond (swimming pool) right now. They're out there digging a big hole behind our house. It's exciting and terrifying. Our friends who have a pool make keeping it clean look easy, so hopefully we'll be successful too. We don't think they'll put water in it until it is a consistent 65 degrees or warmer. My thought to have a polar dip on January 1, will have to wait until next year.
I've been writing away on my fiction book. I published a New Hampshire picture book this month and released my "7 Steps to Overcoming Anxiety" book and "Annie Get Your Gun" is available in paperback or on Kindle or in Kindle Unlimited. So many options.
There's more editing and creating to be done, which I'll dive into this month. I'm not doing NaNo, which is National Novel Writing Month, where writers write 50,000 words in the month of November. I will continue to output 500 words or more a day until I've finished this novel.
I actually began my newsletter, but it's still sitting on my computer half finished. I'm not sure which is more important, showing up in your inbox or finishing the next book for you to read. I'll let you decide.
The glamourous life of being an author
Ya'll should know how exciting it is to be an author. I love when I hear someone read my book or I see someone reading in Kindle Unlimited. Good reviews are the life blood of an author's career. The more positive reviews, the more Amazon will show the book to more people.
I love the meme to the side. I just rewatched the movie. I love to be in the pirate universe. I have three books in a trilogy of middle grade pirate adventures. They're completed and ready for me to do something with them. I'm getting more excited about sharing these with the world.
As far as projects I have in pipes, Annie Get Your Gun is now out in paperback and kindle versions. Check out the cover done by Covers by Karen.
Emptynest Decluttering is out in paperback and on kindle. Next, I'll be putting my book about beating anxiety out this month. It will be a small, pocket-sized paperback. All three of those books are still on Kindle Vella, if that's your mode of reading.
I'm working on a picture book about New Hampshire and a few other activity books.
Personally, I've started working at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine as a standardized patient. I did the same thing back in Maine for a school there. It's acting and helping future doctors learn bedside manner. It's part time, but it gets me out of the house and meeting new people. Speaking of that, I have met new people through the crochet and sewing groups I am now a part of. I'm getting old sewing projects done and crocheting hats and scarves for school children in the area.
Thank you for all of your support.
It's been a long two months. August escaped my grasp and boom, were in September. I'd been taking care of my dad for the last seven months multiple times a day. So, when he passed in mid-July, my life was thrown into a tizzy. We had a service for him here in South Carolina and then another one in Maine, his final resting place. My husband, son and I spent a month traveling up the east coast for most of August. We saw friends in Maine, saw relatives and played at camp. (In Maine, camp is another word for house on the lake. Sometimes there's no running water, but in our case we have all the amenities of home, except a dishwasher.)
When we arrived back in South Carolina, it was nice to be home, but I have the itch to travel again after one week.
I have gotten back into writing after a brief hiatus to take care of Mom and Dad. I'm working on the project I mentioned a few months ago, but haven't said exactly what it is. I've started chapter 4.
I'm also attempting to organize my office, which is a lovely catch all for my projects. I might get to work on those later, but right now I have a plan to write and publish more. Annie Get Your Gun is completely up on Kindle Vella. Since it has been a month, I can now release it as a full paperback and kindle novel. I'm working on that presently. My book on anxiety is also heading to the Amazon store near you. That will be released as a kindle book and possibly a paperback, but it will be tiny, like the one about Emptynest Decluttering.
My second Civil War activity book will be released this week, hopefully. It's a word search and number search book. It follows the cryptogram book I created two months ago.
We're trying to get to know our new community. We stopped by the local library and visited an open house at the community center. Later watch for pictures from the balloon festival and the Farm Show. Those are two separate events we'll attend over Labor Day weekend. I hope you're getting out there to enjoy the last gasps of summer for some of you and the breathable weather for those in the south.
It's July! Summer! Heat! Swimming!
It's also a time for patriotism and cookouts. It's very odd to be in the south where my garden is already producing food and if I don't water them every day, they die. I hear it's the opposite in Maine. Most people are replanting their veggies because the first set of seeds drowned.
I have summer goals for my writing. I plan to get my pirate books edited and submitted to agents. I also have a few puzzle books up my sleeves.
My golf crossword and number search book is up and ready for purchase. It would make a great gift.
Our country is great. If you listen to the media, you might think that we don't have all of our eggs in the same basket or even the same chicken coop, but we are all Americans and need to take are of our citizens. We as Americans need to show respect and pride. Let's not beat down our neighbors. We are entitled to our own opinions, but be aware that not everyone thinks the same way you do and that's okay. Let's just not shove our beliefs down everyone's throat. Just like in fiction some people love horror and others love sweet contemporary romance. Not everyone is going to agree on what to read.
If you like to read contemporary steamyish romance, try out my books. There are more coming and don't forget Annie Get Your Gun on Kindle Vella. New episodes drop three times a week.
Bacon. It's a staple of the American diet. We are enjoying life in the South, but wishing we had a place to cool off, like a pool. I'll probably whine about that until it happens.
We also bought a Blackstone grill. I had heard all the rage, watched videos and liked the idea of the flames being contained, not flying around willy-nilly. We have almost perfected the Smashburger, including grilling onions and potatoes and carrots.
For my daughter's 27th birthday, we had a cookout at our house. This never happens. My sister and her husband are the grill masters. But, my daughter said she wanted steak and salad for her birthday. First thing I did? I turned to YouTube to some grilling channels I trust to learn how to cook a steak on the griddle.
The key to a great griddle steak I found out is bacon grease. Yup. I even discovered you can buy it at Costco. No need, I had bacon in the fridge. I cooked that up and saved the drippings for later.
I also found my temperature thermometer so we could check the internal temp of the steaks.
I left the steaks in my husband and son's capable hands and they came out perfect, from well done to medium, every had just want the wanted and it was tender and juicy with tons of flavor.
We are by no means grill aficionados, but we can make a mean steak on a griddle, which can't be done at my sister's house on their grill. The bacon grease sear can't be achieved at their house.
How does all this apply to writing and reading? Only in that the grass is not always greener down the street or over the septic tank as Erma Bombeck used to say. I mentioned last month that I might have some good news for this month. Well, I do. I can't tell you what it is because I don't want to jink it, but it's exciting and something I've wanted since I started writing a long time ago. The grass might be greener at someone else's house, but right now I'm watering my lawn. (No offense to my friends out west.) It gives me hope.
In addition to my super secret project, I have published a few books. One is a golf word search and number search book and the other is a picture book of lighthouses from all over the world. That one has no words and is great to use as a conversation starter for someone with dementia or someone who has had a stroke.
One more thing, if you're a Civil War fan and a smarty pants, check out my Civil War Cryptogram Book.
I have three books up on Kindle Vella right now. Two are non-fiction and Annie Get Your Gun, a fun dive into the world of competitive shooting. The non-fiction books are Emptynest Decluttering and 7 Ways to Overcome Anxiety.
The decluttering book will be available on Kindle this month, if you're waiting for that medium.
Until next month, happy grilling and find a cool place to dunk yourself when it's hot. If you want to know the grill channels I'm watching on YouTube drop me a line.
It hasn't been a warm or dry spring in South Carolina. I have been reminded on more than one occasion that it's warmer than Maine.
Now, the temperatures are in the eighties and I might be roasting. I know...suck it up.
The other thing consuming my life is taking care of my dad and giving support to my mom. Taking care of our parents is a hard thing to do. It's a role reversal. I have great sympathy and admiration for those who do it. Taking care of my dad is taking over, which I know, I signed up for. My escapes are shopping once in a while. (I have found some great stores around here. Check out Under The Carolina Moon in South Carolina. It's a fun store to search through.) And, writing.
I'm working on two books at the same time with similar dangers. I'm hoping to have exciting news to tell in my next note or two. I'll leave it at that. Just know that they are different and fun. Gotta love spunky heroines.
I am editing another non-fiction book for Kindle Vella and will start editing "The Long Arm of the Law", which I'll release on Vella before I publish it on Amazon. "Annie Get Your Gun" and "Empty nester decluttering are both still available on Vella. Eventually, they will find their way to the Kindle program and paperback at Amazon.com.
The best thing about May is the Maine Romance Writers Retreat, held in Portland, Maine every year, except plague years. It's great to hangout with friends and fellow authors. We all have different paths, experiences and passions. I can't promise that a little trouble might be found, but a lot of learning will happen, too. I'm having a sale on my writing cards book before and after the retreat. I hope you'll check it out. It makes a great gift for the writer in your life.
I hope you're doing well as we blaze into summer. May can be considered summer, right? Even though the people around me won't open their pools until the pollen is completely gone.
You can reach me at AuthorMichelleLibby@gmail.com with any feedback, comments or if you want to join my newsletter that I will be starting, soon. How soon? Soon, soon.
If you're from the great white north or you live in the very brown desert, it's exciting to see the green of spring. The fresh green grass, the unfurling of light green leaves, and the smell of fresh cut grass all create the delight of spring. In South Carolina, where I am now, spring has been here for a while. Our grass is very long, since we sold our lawnmower before we left Maine. We'll see how the weedwhacker handles the tufts of grass we have.
It's been a busy month with publishing. I put "Annie Get Your Gun", a romance that takes place in the world of competitive shooting, up on Kindle Vella. The story is serialized, with three episodes being released each week.
I also put up the non-fiction book "Empty Nest Decluttering: 11 ways to downsize a lifetime of stuff. " Both books will eventually be release through Amazon KDP program later in the year, but for now, this is my experiment to see how they do in this format. The first three episodes are free to read, and you only pay a small amount in tokens to read the rest of the episodes.
Let me know how you feel about the platform and reading a book in this format. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I have also been publishing activity books and puzzle books. This past month, I released an "Animal Activity Book for Adults" with many different kinds of puzzles like word searches, sudoku, coloring pages and more.
Most recently, I published "Cryptograms: Civil War Facts and Trivia." If you like cyphers and word puzzles, this book is for you. It also helps if you like the Civil War. :)
I also started writing a new book series. I'm calling it the Weather Girl Series. My heroines are all meteorologists. It's fun already. So many projects and so much grass to weed whack.
February is the month of love, even if you don't celebrate Valentine's Day, every business celebrates the candy, flowers, roses (for those who want to break the bank) and cards. Maybe this year, we should encourage the men to buy us romance novels. They celebrate love every day. The characters in the books overcome obstacles and give people the chance to find their happily ever after.
When people ask why read that trash? I understand that they've never read a romance book. They just make assumptions based on what some people think or thought back in the 1980s.
Romance teaches women how to recognize a hero. The men in romance have flaws, don't we all, but they are good to the women they love. The drama from everyday life can disappear between the pages of a novel. It's escapism at its best.
So, this month, instead of spending a week's wage on roses, pick up a romance novel or order one from Amazon. Mine can all be found there. But, there are millions of books with happily ever afters to choose from.
I hope you are all well. If you haven't joined my Facebook page for Author Michelle Libby, you can do that and/or join me at Amuck in America on Facebook or the new website www.AmuckinAmerica.com.
Welcome to another year. This year will be exciting for us. We are in our new house, not living in the RV fulltime anymore. We even have a dump sticker for our county. That freaks me out a little, it seems so permanent.
I'm working on editing new books. One will be put up on Kindle Vella, a serialized story format. I'm looking forward to using the new platform. I hope you'll enjoy it, too.
Getting settled and scheduling a new routine in a new place is tough. We don't always know where things are. We were living in a little over 130 square feet, now we have 2150 square feet. We have lost phones, keys, water bottles, and jackets.
I have published many low/medium content books. If you're looking to travel and are interested in creating a vision board, I have a great new clip art vision board travel book. You can buy that here. I have also created a series of books for adults with dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. This are great conversation starters for caregivers. Many of the pictures are from my travels over the last two years.
I'm looking forward to releasing more romance novels this year. My computer is tired of storing them. :)
About the author
Michelle Libby writes about love, sex, life and happily ever afters, while keeping up with her adult children and finding new projects to fall in love with. Have you seen the coloring books? How about the RV?