Good News!

March 2nd, 2023

As many of you know, I have been impatiently waiting for the official reversion for My Forbidden Desire.  Well, today my wonderful agent forwarded it to me which means that I now officially control all the books in the My Immortals series! Yippeee!!!

I have started the uploading process but it will be a few days before I can pull the trigger and upload everywhere. I have to contact Amazon because for whatever reason, I can’t connect all the books as a series, so they will have to fix that. At the same time I do that I will cleverly send them the reversions for My Wicked Enemy and My Forbidden Desire, and then all the ducks should be in a row.

Celebrate with me!

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February News

February 5th, 2023

Happy 2023: No Unicorns

I hope everyone is having a lovely, safe, and healthy 2023. Here at Jewel HQ we’re doing OK. It rained yesterday but no atmospheric rivers. We had some visiting cows from the neighbor but I got that sorted. I am disappointed that the mysterious hoof prints we found were left by cows not unicorns. Normally, you’d be able to tell straight away but the ground is so wet that their feet sink 3-4 inches deep in places so you can’t see the cloven part. I was hoping it was unicorns. Alas.

Reversion?

Nope. I still do not have a reversion for My Forbidden Desire. There’s really nothing I can do but continue to wait and hope my agent can sweet talk them into sending it. The eBook is no longer for sale on Amazon so I keep hoping this means they’ll send the reversion but no luck so far.

The WIP

Bound in Smoke is going really, really well. At long last I don’t feel like I’m fighting the words. It’s such a relief. See below

Sleep and Sleep Deprivation

Many years ago when my son was a toddler, I had a horrific commute that meant–no lie–I went to bed at 11:00PM or 12:00 and was up at 2:30AM. Eventually I moved on to a job without the commute and with a 6 week break between jobs. For that six weeks I did nothing but sleep late, get up, take a nap or two, and go to bed. Then all of a sudden it was like a switch flipped in my head and the world was different. I realized it was because I wasn’t exhausted anymore. Sleep deprivation is pernicious. You think you’re fine, just tired, but you’re not.

Fast forward several years to about 2019ish when I started struggling with the writing. There were a lot of reasons. Stress, caring for ill-family, unexpected and tragic deaths of people who were too young to die but did. No surprise, I was also not sleeping well. For a year after my mom passed away, the slightest sound at night would bring me wide awake in case my my mother had fallen again. She used to wander at night or fall out of bed, or she was having night terrors and needed calming. The sleep troubles continued, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back to sleep for 2-3 hours. But I thought I was OK. I really did.

About nine-months ago or so, I decided to do something about my sleep issues. Since I get up on my dad’s schedule, I’m up at 5:00 AM every day. I started going to bed at 6:30 or 7:00 PM so I’d have time to read or what have you before I really had to sleep in order to get at least 8 hours, if not 9 hours. But the deal was, the minute my eyes started drooping, all devices went off and it was lights out no matter what time it was.

And I started sleeping through the night. No more waking up in the middle of the night unable to fall back asleep–or only very rarely. After a bit, the writing was less of a struggle. Then two or three months ago, I had that same sensation that a switch had flipped in my head and the world was different. And the writing came back completely. The way I plot and how ideas happen in the writing, all of it back.

I’m sure it was a combination of things, working through grief, recovering from a long period of sleep disturbed by my ill mother, working on stress management, but it was getting 7-9 hours of regular, uninterrupted sleep that was the major breakthrough.

What a relief.

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January News

January 14th, 2023

Carolyn Jewel: Water Engineer?

I live in Northern California which is currently being hit by a series of atmospheric rivers and high winds. So far we have some downed trees, but no damage that needs to be addressed on an emergency basis. Most of the back roads are closed due to flooding, so going anywhere means taking the long way. We haven’t lost any power here, but it’s really, really, really wet. I’ve had to dig some trenches to divert water off the driveway into the field and away from the neighbors below us.

Alas, I don’t think I could have had a career as a water engineer. One of my trenches forged its own U-turn channel right back onto the driveway! Talk about humiliating. Sheesh! I extended the trench and that seems to have solved the issue.

Reversions

Still waiting, but we’re getting close. I have been in contact with my agent and she is monitoring this for me. I did notice that the eBook for My Forbidden Desire has been taken down from Amazon, so I am hopeful they’ve processed the reversion and I will have it in hand shortly. Fingers crossed!

Bound In Smoke

The manuscript has passed the 70K word mark which is typically the stage where the story is done. The rest of the words come from polishing and fixing. So, that’s good news!

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Wishing Everyone a Delightful and Happy Gregorian New Year

January 1st, 2023

A very Happy New Year to all who observe the Gregorian calendar.

On New Year’s Eve here at Jewel HQ, yours truly went to bed at 6:30PM and snuggled up with the dogs and cats while I horrified myself watching episodes of Hoarders and reading the news. The neighbors were shooting off guns and fireworks starting at 8:00PM. I was too tired to stay up until midnight. I get up at 5:00AM and midnight is just waaaayyy past my bedtime. I had some time off while my son was here and I was staying up later than my usual to hang out with him so my sleep schedule got a little out of whack.

Caught in the Southwest Disaster

My son ended up being here extra days because his return flight to Seattle was on Southwest and got cancelled. He wisely came and got me up as soon as he got the cancellation text and I was able to book him a flight out of the local airport on Friday. The local airport is a 30 minute drive from us (instead of an hour plus to Oakland) but it doesn’t accommodate jets, only commuter style prop planes. Most of the flights were REALLY expensive, but there was one that didn’t make me want to cry. He had to call work and let them know he was stuck here for additional days, but he was back in Seattle on Friday. To be honest, I think it’s possible that considering the cost and time of getting to Oakland Airport (which I prefer over SFO) the higher flight cost of the local airport can come close to a wash. You also don’t have to factor in the possibility of TSA line delays. I think in future, I will be more carefully considering flights out of there.

2022: A Review

tl:dr: could have been way worse. Wasn’t great.

2023: Predictions?

None. I just hope it’s better than 2022. Okay, I have one prediction. I will put out the revised versions of the first two My Immortals books before the end of February. I say that because if my publisher continues to stonewall me, I won’t have the last reversion until end of January and I need time to get ducks in a row so Amazon doesn’t give me grief. Sending them the reversion in advance has helped with other books. I also expect to complete Bound in Smoke and have it out this year. Once again, I am re-covering Scandal. Amazon gives me grief over the cover I love and the current cover just doesn’t work as well as I’d hoped. Stay tuned for that cover reveal.

In the meantime, have a wonderful New Year.

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Happy Holidays

December 25th, 2022

Happy Holidays to All!

Whatever you celebrate or observer, may your days be wonderful and full of joy.

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Reversion Updates

December 24th, 2022

A Reversion Update

I am steaming mad at this point. Hachette has told me they won’t get around to reverting My Forbidden Desire until the end of January. That answer is not acceptable. My agent’s office is closed until January 3, so there’s nothing I can do but wait. I expect my agent to get an immediate reversion, but I will say I’m disappointed that despite my reminder to them it wasn’t taken care of before they closed for the holidays and I had to email Hachette myself. Anyway. I can’t republish without the reversion in hand, so here I am.

Traditional publishers have a long tradition of treating authors badly and this is just yet another example of that.

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Miscellaneous Updates etc etc etc

December 18th, 2022

Reversions

December 17 was the official reversion date for My Forbidden Desire. I hope to have the reversion in hand soon. It will take a few days to get the various vendors on notice about the reversion before I start uploading the two reverted books . . .

Social Media

Many of you may have noticed how bad I am at Facebook. I apologize for this, but I’m there and I post on my Author page and on my Reader Group page. Both those will be somewhat more interesting places for a bit once the reversion comes through and I start uploading. Technically, I’m on Insta, but I almost never post because I do not allow Facebook and its related entities on my phone. I may or may not have a Pinterest account at this point since that company persists in informing me that I am some kind of bot and won’t let me login. ::shrug:: Whatever.

The one social media app I was good at and actually enjoyed was Twitter, which I joined in 2007. Sadly, recent events there have led me to deactivate my Twitter account. I simply cannot personally justify being present on what the app has become. I also cannot justify the security risk given all the talk about forcing users to share data and personally identifying information without the ability to opt out.

You can find me at Counter Social (@cjewel) or on Mastodon (@cjewel). Mostly you’ll find weather reports and pet news, but some writing news as well. Regarding the two, I think I like Counter Social better. I get more friendly post engagement there (which is not to imply that there is unfriendly engagement. There hasn’t been at either site), but there are more people and organizations I want to follow on Mastodon. And, Mastodon has #Mosstodon which is an ongoing thread of pictures of moss, many of which are absolutely stunning.

I was in mourning over Twitter turning into a cesspool, but I’m over it now. I hope those who remain there stay safe and/or are able to find safe and welcoming alternatives. Mastodon is currently somewhat absorbed in conflating “Not Twitter!” with being safe for all voices, and that will prove to be untrue because people are imperfect and flawed and some of them are trash. However, I have far more hope that, at the right mastodon server, there will be progress. Counter Social is very aggressive about bringing down the hammer. For the interested, Counter Social is a fork of Mastodon but not a part of the Mastodon federation of servers.

Holidays!

My son will soon arrive for a visit. I haven’t seen him in two years! I have some time off to spend with him. May everyone’s holiday season be wonderful and joyous.

 

Here is a picture your your enjoyment:

close up of a bouquet of calendula. There are two colors of flow They are either orange, and shades of yellow. They are about the size of the average palm and have narrow petals with an oval tip. The orange ones have a dark center while the yellow ones have a yellow center. There are some water drops on the petals because I'd just put them in the vase. They are very cheerful!

Orange and yellow Calendula. Photo by Yours Truly.

 

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Happy December!

December 2nd, 2022

Greetings from Northern California where the weather has turned colder and wetter, though in no way wet enough to relieve the drought. Nevertheless, there has been some rain and the grass is slowly turning greener. I’ve planted wildflowers in several places and they seem to be germinating which is really exciting. I tried last year and nothing . . . except nine months later three or four surprises in one of the flowerbeds. This is why this time around I bought a rototiller and carefully prepped the soil per directions.

I say this all the time, but Bound in Smoke is going really well. As blog readers know, a couple of months ago I abandoned the attempt to make this series a My Immortals spin off. It just wasn’t working. At all. I have some thoughts about why. Oddly enough this decision happened in part while I was preparing the first two books in the My Immortals series for re-publication later this month after book 2 reverts to me in ::consults calendar:: 15 days. That work went really well. Pure editing and fixing that put me in a much better frame of mind about everything writing related. When I was done and had sent the books off for formatting, I spent some time thing thinking about my recent creative struggles and how this editing work was like the old writing me.

Long story short, and leaving out some details I’m not prepared to talk about yet, I asked myself what I would write if the WIP could be anything. And that’s when I decided that the series would not be in the My Immortals world. And once I made that decision, along with this other event, everything changed for the better. Bound In Smoke is about to hit 70K words which is essentially a done story, but more importantly, now all the usual-for-me plot developments are landing on the pages, and I have to say it feels good.

Assuming there are no further publisher shenanigans, expect to see the re-released first two books in the My Immortals series late this year or early next. It will take a bit to proactively send the reversions to the various vendors so there’s no misunderstandings about who has the rights.

I hope everyone enjoys the holiday period. Let me know how you’re doing.

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Thanksgiving Wishes to All

November 24th, 2022

May everyone who celebrates the US Thanksgiving holiday have a safe and wonderful day.

 

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My Immortals Update

October 29th, 2022

I have completed the revisions, cleaning up for My Wicked Enemy and My Forbidden Desire. I’ve sent the relevant files off to be formatted so that now off my plate!

Now it’s back to work on Bound in Smoke, which went a bit on the back burner while I finished up these two projects.

I hope everyone is doing well.

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