Category Archives: Life

Arts Goggle 2018

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Guess who’s going to be hosted by a local bookstore this weekend? Arts Goggle is an annual local celebration of all things eclectic that takes place in the Near SouthSide and Magnolia districts of Fort Worth. I’ve been a couple of times and sampled a spinach grilled cheese, deep friend whole okra, considered a ride in a pedicab, got instructions on how to make my own terrarium, and listened to some live music. One year there was a booth where you could screenprint your own t-shirt, and there’s been a graffiti wall where you could spray paint to your heart’s content.

For the second year, Leaves Book and Tea Shop is having an event where they’ll be hosting local authors and I was accepted to participate! I’m taking three titles with me – Drowned History, Only a Rogue Knows, and The Search for Sam – and will have them for sale at the shop all day. Not only that, but I will be in the shop from 4-6 PM to sign books, meet people and generally have a massive internal panic attack. I wonder if they’d let me bring a glass of wine or a flask. Either would be suitable.

So if you’re local, mark it on your calendar! October 20th from 4-6 PM at Leaves, and I’ve placed the address below just in case:

120 St Louis Ave
Fort Worth, Texas 76104

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October is shaping up to be another September!

And I might have just committed to writing a book set in the early 1930’s.

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Becca DEFINITELY Don’t Fly

Downtown Charlotte

I hate flying, as we have established. This probably goes a way toward explaining why I was sitting at my gate on Sunday getting hammered, but the rest of the trip was fantastic.

The conference itself was wonderful. I learned a lot, got to pet strange cats, and loaded myself with free swag that included a laser pointer and a mini lint roller. Cat conferences rock. I don’t know which part was better, my in-room jacuzzi or seeing a dear friend from Chicago for the first time in 10 years.

The jacuzzi in question

After the draining experience of taking two rather bumpy flights and a cab ride that probably shaved another five years off my life followed by a trek from the convention center to my hotel, I did not feel like going out for dinner. I used Uber Eats for the first time and discovered an amazing restaurant called Teriyaki Madness that was so delicious I ended up ordering it every night. It’s always nice eating in a hotel room because you don’t have to do the dishes and in my case I got to eat my dinner on the couch (yes, my room had a couch) without feline assistance.

Downtown Charlotte at night
My hotel was only about 2 blocks from the conference so after my last session I collected my things, checked out, and took my first-ever Lyft to the airport. Let me tell you, that was an excellent experience. The guy was friendly, drove fast but not terrifyingly so, and it cost about half what the cab ride did, even with tip.
A Cosmo at Gate 24

Technically you aren’t supposed to leave the bar with alcohol but I gave the bartender a good tip and went to my gate to drink. Three hours after we were supposed to take off, we re-boarded and I started having a slightly tipsy anxiety attack. I was convinced we were going to die but I honestly didn’t care as much. At least until we started to land and the booze wore off.

Then, after everything, I managed to get sick. Someone was coughing on the plane and I have a terrible immune system so I ended up coming home from work early yesterday and going to the doctor. She said it’s a virus, so much like the terrifying plane ride I just have to ride it out. The clouds do look pretty from above though.

The view from my last flight

September Forever

I was on the plane having a minor panic attack over the turbulence and weighing the options of spending $7 on a tiny cocktail when it occurred to me that last year I was at my conference when Every Rogue’s Heart blew up.

I say blew up, because I’d never had anything I’ve been involved with come close to reaching this level of success. I watched it climb the entire time I was at SWVS (the annual conference I have attended for the last eight or so years) and I spent my downtime in my hotel room working on Book One of the Night Lodge series feeling pretty damn good about life.

This month I released The Search For Sam and it has also done better than I could have hoped. I’m sure a lot of the success of ERH can be attributed to the amazing women I was working with, so for a book that I wrote alone, promoted and published on my own to reach the top 100 in 20th Century Historical when I’m such a new author is amazing.

It’s only fitting I guess that my success has come in the same month as last year’s amazingness, and I fully intend on continuing to spend my downtime in my fancy hotel suite finishing A Christmas Reunion. This year is a different conference that takes place in a different state so I had some downtime in airports as well to work on things.

On the subject of Night Lodge, I plan to release the first book next summer. I’m hoping to release a new book around this time next year, this one closer in time to Drowned History so hopefully this upward momentum continues! It would be amazing to break the Top 50 next time.

Becca Don’t Fly

As we speak I am sitting at a boarding gate waiting for my plane to start the terrifying process of boarding that will lead to the equally terrifying process of getting on multiple planes today. I do not fly well.

Years ago, I enjoyed flying. We are talking decades at this point. It was cool to be up in the air going super fast and seeing the clouds from above. Way cooler than being stuck on a Greyhound bus with my cousins.

Then…anxiety.

When I was 14, I went to Italy for an exchange trip. It was my first overseas trip and I was looking forward to it. It was a long flight, so I brought a nice thick Stephen King book along with me. It got dark partway through the flight and I started reading The Langoliers. In retrospect this was a bad idea.

We just happened to be over the ocean in the middle of the night, making it a dark, wide expanse, when I read the bit about there being nothing under the plane in the book. Instant panic attack. I was anxious the entire rest of the flight and I still haven’t recovered.

I’m focusing on my destination, which is an amazing opportunity for me. I’ve wanted to go to this conference for almost fifteen years and I’m sure once I get there I’ll be fine. However, two planes are involved and I am not here for it.

Training Journal – Happy Independence Day!

 

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In the spirit of the goofy Snapchat pictures from yesterday, here’s one from last year. His beard is much more epic now. Today I decided to break with my tradition of the last few years and do a 10K instead of my usual 5K. I feel like I’ve progressed past the point of doing 5Ks anymore, unless that’s the only option (Christmas Day 5K, part two of the NYE Double). As Charlotte said “it takes us longer to get there than to actually run the race.”

I’ve really gotten into running in different cities and there was a 10K in The Colony, so I decided it was time to expand my horizons. I also decided it was time to expand my husband’s horizons and was super excited when he agreed to do the 1 mile fun run!

You see, my husband is disabled. For the last couple of years, extended physical activity has caused him pain due to degenerative disc disease in his back that is compressing his sciatic nerve. He’s on a ton of medication, and as I’m sure you can understand, it takes a toll on his mental health. I was hoping that getting him out and doing a 1 mile walk would make him feel as good about himself as running does for me. I am happy to say that it was a success! I stood at the finish line and watched him come over it while I waited for the 10K to start, and saw him get his medal. I’m so proud of him!img_3832

As for my own race, I was woefully underprepared for it. Since my arthritis has gotten worse in my hands, I’ve been trying to find a new medication and now that I’ve got the pain under control, I’m finally able to start running again. Unfortunately, it’s been since the Military Miles half marathon since I’ve gone running, or even to the gym.

Much like my last two races, it was hot. Extremely hot, and the sun was in my face. Oh, and I found out when we got there that I was out of sunscreen. I won’t be surprised if I have a sunburn. Ugh. In spite of the heat, the course was nice. We went around the lake and through some trails, and even though I had to go extremely slowly once I got hot I enjoyed the run. The medal doesn’t hurt either, and it’s super cute and petite. I’d love to do this race again next year when I’m a little better prepared, and maybe Eli could do the 5K. I’ve already got him halfway convinced to do the 5K on Thanksgiving while I do the 10K.

img_3827I’m so glad he and I could share the experience! He put his medal on the Saints Row IV cardboard standee we have in our place, and I put mine on the rack. Next stop is the Hell’s Half Acre 25K on Saturday, which blessedly takes place at 10:00 PM. It’ll still be hot, but as Eli pointed out, it’ll be getting cooler as I go on instead of hotter, and there won’t be any evil sun to shine in my face. I’ll keep you updated, of course!

The Migraine That Ate My Day

I swear, the worst feeling in the world is that I’ve wasted my day off. The other day at work was crazy, and I was looking forward to having the day off the next day. I planned to go to the gym and do my swim-spin-run combo, finish the outline for my winter project, and maybe start working on the second draft of my current project. Oh, and watch Donnie Darko, which was just put on Netflix and which I haven’t seen in almost 10 years.

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Unfortunately, my brain had a different plan for me.

I’ve dealt with migraine headaches since I was 5 years old and was actually hospitalized because they were so severe the docs thought I had a brain tumor. Turns out it was just migraines! They were much worse when I was younger, to the point where I used to have to carry an Imitrex injectable with me to class because I couldn’t commute back home if I had a migraine. Oh, then there was the time my ex-husband and the choir director had to carry me back to the bus in Mexico because I had one so bad I was getting shutter vision! Good times.

So when I woke up at 3:30 this morning with a migraine bad enough for me to feel nauseous, I knew the day had gone sideways. It was one of those migraines where every time your head throbs it feels like an ice pick stabbing through your skull, and I resigned myself to taking one of my Fiorinal and laying down on an ice pack. Then I tried to go back to sleep in the vain hope I could get up and run. That was a big old “nope” because my head hurt so badly that I couldn’t sleep. The bottle says 1 to 2 capsules of Fiorinal so I took a second one and got a fresh ice pack about an hour later. Luckily, my freezer is filled with ice packs for just such an occasion.

Finally, around 8:00 I was able to concentrate enough to be bored by Twitter but my headache still wouldn’t let me write. I did the rational thing and downloaded a crossword puzzle app on my phone and proceeded to blow through a number of easy puzzles. It was enjoyable, and another round of medication, a meal, eleven hours and a forbidden Dr. Pepper later, the headache was starting to fade. I did another crossword and sat down to work on my outline, certain that if I was able to finish it my day off wouldn’t be completely wasted…only to find that I’d already finished it and don’t remember anything about it.

donnie darko laughing

Thanks a lot, brain.