Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Tag: life blather (Page 1 of 5)

… to blog, I guess.

I’ve been thinking and praying a lot over the question of whether to continue my blog, and suddenly I’ve been flooded with ideas for stuff I want to blog about. So I guess there’s my answer.

So instead of doing anything drastic like eliminating my author blog or putting it on indefinite hiatus, I’m just going to relax and give myself permission to only post when I have both the time and the energy as well as something to say that’s worth spending those resources on.

It’s the first two things that are the most difficult to come by, of course. Or rather, the problem is that when I think of something I want to write a post about–which actually occurs pretty frequently–I don’t have the time or the mental energy to do it at that moment. I’ve tried jotting down notes about what I want to say for times when I do have more free time, but that just hasn’t been working. By the time I finally sit down to write the post, I read over my notes and just can’t get back my train of thought. So I still need to figure out what to do about that. But it’s not something I’m going to stress myself out over.

There will still be greater changes coming. My web hosting account expires this year and I hate my current host, so I won’t be renewing with them. And since my past experiences with other inexpensive web hosts haven’t really been much better, and I can’t afford a better quality of hosting services, I’m just going to move my site to, which has everything I need at this point for free.

At that point I may probably will go ahead and separate out my blog from my author site. I think part of what I struggle with here is that much of what I want to write about isn’t the sort of things one might expect or want to read from a paranormal romance and dark fantasy author, and that’s hanging me up. So when the time comes I will probably cease having an “author blog” and just set up a static author website with a link to my personal blog, which is a separate entity.

Where to host this personal blog (which will really still be this here blog, just with a different name at a new location) is the big question. The simplest thing would just be to make my LiveJournal my main blog, seeing as how I’ve been cross-posting there this whole time and everything is already archived there, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about cross-posting from another platform. LJ has its drawbacks, though, not the least of which is the difficulty of commenting for non-members (or their willingness to do so).

I had long been a proponent of Blogger/Blogspot–that was the first blog engine I ever used, back when it was a wee startup run out of Ev Williams’ garage, and I stayed loyal to it for much longer than common sense dictated (I’m even at this moment wearing a Blogger hoodie I received as a reward for my loyalty after Google bought them out)–but the fact that Google treats it like a forgotten step-child and the customer service is terrible to non-existent has cured me of said loyalty. Still, I’ve already got this old blog archived there, so starting that up again is an option.

I think the most attractive option is moving it to its own url on By now I’m used to the WordPress interface, they make commenting pretty easy for everybody, and they also make it really simple for other users to follow you, which would make it easier to build the community I long for. Of course, I would still have to work out the problem of cross-posting to LJ for the benefit of the small community I’ve already established there.

Also there’s the problem of LiveJournal constantly getting hacked by angry Russians who take the whole site down for long stretches of time. So….

At any rate, these are the things I will be pondering as I gear up to move this site. In the meantime, you can expect posting here to continue, albeit sporadically.

What about you guys? Do you have a vote as to where I should park my blog? This isn’t necessarily a democracy, but feedback will definitely help my decision, and I always love to hear from my readers. So leave a comment and give me your two cents!

To blog or not to blog?

Well, when I said I was going to get back to a regular blogging pattern this month, I guess I kind of underestimated how many other demands would be placed on my time. It’s been a pretty hectic couple of weeks. On the bright side, things are starting to settle down, and it’s looking like I’ll get to take that long Memorial Day weekend like I was hoping.

Of course, when you’re a freelancer, “things settling down” usually is code for “I have no more work lined up so I’d better start hustling to find some before this latest infusion of money runs out.” Incidentally, if you need to have a book critiqued, edited or formatted, my schedule’s wide open after the holiday.


I’m kind of at a crossroads as far as this blog goes. I’m writing this book about self-publishing, and yesterday I was writing about author platforms and how all you really need is a mailing list and a website where you can have people sign up to it. You don’t really need a blog, although it does have certain advantages, the biggest of which are that it gives people a reason to keep coming back to your site and it keeps your website relevant to the search engines.

And I stopped and asked myself: do I really need this blog?

And then I answered myself: I’m not sure.

Really, those last two reasons I mentioned are the main reasons I’ve been concerned about carving out time to update this space. But really, the only things I’m getting out of it at this point are guilt and stress. I’m certainly not getting a ton of traffic or a grounded community of loyal readers. I get a little interaction, but only from people I already interact with regularly on Facebook. For that matter, anyone who really cares about what’s going on in my life follows me on Facebook or Twitter and are kept fully abreast of how things are going, and anyone who cares about my writing and when I will finally get around to finishing and publishing another book is presumably signed up to my mailing list.

So exactly what purpose is this here blog serving in my life at this point?

I’m going to be pondering that question over the next few days, and what the alternatives are. I’m pretty sure I don’t actually know how not to be a blogger, at least long-term, so we’re probably not looking at a complete shut-down. At the very least, I may leave a link to the archives on a static author website, and update it sporadically when I’ve got news or just need to get something off my chest. But as far as spending the time and energy to blog on a regular basis, that time and energy would probably be better spent on my writing and publishing blog, where it’s a little more crucial to get some traffic flowing.

So, that’s on my mind. What say you, readers? If there’s anyone who would really miss it if I stopped blogging here regularly, now’s your time to speak up.

Catching Up and Looking Forward

As you might have guessed, April turned into a pretty hectic month. In order to keep up with things (and to keep my sanity), I had to put the blog on the back burner for a while.

But it’s a new month, and I’m turning over a new leaf; although, so far, the freelance editing & publishing biz is continuing to bring in a steady flow of work (incidentally, I’ve still got openings for May), which, while it’s something to be grateful for, it’s not leaving me a lot of room for non-paying projects.

Unfortunately, I had not only back-burnered both this blog and my nascent writing and publishing blog, but also any real attempt at trying to make any progress on my current novel. That simply cannot stand. I’ve got to make the novel a priority again, but in order to do so, something’s got to give, which is why, though I fully intend to start blogging consistently again, it’s going to be at a slower pace. So while I’m in the throes of drafting my novel, I’ll be aiming to post here at least once a week, as well as once a week at the other blog, although if work stays busy it may turn out to be twice a month over there.

And what about that novel? I’m talking about Ghost of a Chance, the sequel to Restless Spirits that I’ve already been writing off and on for the last six months or so. That might sound like it should be close to done, but I’m sorry to tell you otherwise. The short version is that I tried to pants it (seeing as how i pantsed Restless Spirits and that turned out just fine, albeit it’s also the only book I’ve ever successfully written without an outline) and it totally went off the rails. So I’ve had to go back to the drawing board and start over from the beginning with an outline.

Trouble is, finding time to sit and think about the story as a whole and break it down into a working outline has been harder than finding time to sit down and just write. I’ve got act one sorted out and pieced together, but there’s still a lot more to go.

It’s growing. #outlining #amwriting #RestlessSpirits2

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on May 1, 2015 at 12:56pm PDT

I think another part of the problem is that there’s a murder mystery aspect to this one that keeps psyching me out. I’m not really big into the mystery genre, so I’m kind of afraid of botching it. It’s the B plot, but it’s integral to the main plot, so I can’t scrap it. I guess I’ll just have to muscle through and hope it doesn’t suck.

At any rate, this is setting my publishing schedule way, way behind. The first attempted draft isn’t a total loss, though. I should be able to salvage quite a few of those scenes, so that’s good news.

Besides getting my writing and blogging back on track, my other goals for the month of May include making more time for fun. These last few weeks I’ve been so bogged down with stuff I have to do or need to do that there hasn’t been nearly enough of doing stuff I simply want to do, which hasn’t made life very enjoyable. So I’m trying to work in more breaks just to play or doodle or daydream and just enjoy life. To that end, I’m also planning (read: hoping to be able) to take a long weekend around Memorial Day. It would be super-awesome if we could fit in a camping trip that weekend, but that’s not looking likely; still, if I have anything to say about it, that weekend is going to be devoted to fun and relaxation and to not even one iota of productivity.

I was also going to talk about the stuff I’ve been into during my scant amounts of free time lately, but this is already getting pretty long, so I’ll save that for next week’s post.

In the mean time, what about you guys? What have I missed? What are your plans for the merry month of May? Tell me all about it in the comments!

A quick update from infirmity land

I was feeling kind of hermity in the week leading up to my birthday. It wasn’t so much the getting older, but I got some bad news that kind of threw me for a loop and, well, the getting older part wasn’t helping. But then I had a long weekend, which was productive as far as spring cleaning goes, and a nice Easter, and a lovely birthday spent over-eating on cheap sushi and Chinese food followed by makeup shopping with my mom, and I was feeling well sorted and kind of gung-ho about digging back into everything today.

And then I managed to hurt myself in my sleep. Not just sleep in the wrong position, wake up with a crick in your neck hurt, but actually managing to severely strain a muscle hard enough to wake yourself up with the pain while turning over. And now just sitting here propped up with a heating pad and holding my head just so to avoid mind-numbing pain is using up quite a lot of my energy, and I’m back to not feeling so great about this whole getting older experience.

I haven’t done my bullet journal yet for the week, but I’ve still got two book critiques on my plate, and a freelance blog post, and a bunch of client e-mails that I’m trying to psych myself up to answer. I’d hoped to get some walking in this week, and to make more progress on the spring cleaning, but as much as it hurts to move right now I’m thinking those things are going to have to wait.

At least there isn’t any pressing yard work that needs to be done. There is no big loss without some small gain…

So how are you guys doing this week? Better than I am, I hope.

In which I darn near break a finger and then overschedule myself for the next four days.

Last week I only managed to accomplish about half of my weekly list, but considering that the week began with a broken toilet seat, ended with a funeral, and had a tornado in the middle, I’m fairly impressed with myself for getting that much done.

Seriously, y’all, what a week. I really needed the whole weekend to recover from it, but we had all that tornado debris to deal with, plus the lawn was overdue to be mowed. I had wanted to get that all done on Saturday, but it rained that morning so we decided to give it another day for everything to dry, so at least I got to spend some time vegging on Saturday, and also to finally touch up my henna job.

So yesterday we got out there and piled up most of the fallen limbs, and I got the front yard mowed. But first I made the colossally dumb decision to  try and move an entire downed tree out of the way all by myself, and ended up smashing my right middle finger between the tree and the metal flower bed border. It didn’t break, thankfully, but it scraped off the entire top layer of skin, left a deep cut on my knuckle, and now what skin is left on top of my finger is a lovely shade of dark purple. I also ended up with a nasty bruise on my knee from banging it into the sharp end of a broken limb, and every muscle in my body feels like I put it through a week of boot camp. Even so, they’re predicting more rain (and possibly storms) for later this week, so I’ve got to get back out there this afternoon and finish things up.

When I wasn’t busy abusing myself with storm debris, though, I managed to crochet this colorful pair of springtime wrist warmers and this bunting necklace:

This weekend's #crochet output.

A photo posted by Jean Bauhaus (@jmbauhaus) on Mar 30, 2015 at 9:12am PDT

The necklace looks white in the pic, but it’s actually off-white with gold thread running through it. Here’s the pin that inspired it, and also the pin for the wrist warmer pattern.

Moving on to this week’s bullet list: it’s a pretty long list, what with adding the unfinished half of last week’s list to everything I’d hoped to accomplish this week, so I’ll just give you the highlights. I’m still working on two client critiques, and I still need to launch my Publishing School blog, as well as write two more posts for this blog for the week. I also need to place an ad for Midnight Snacks and my mailing list in Dominion of the Damned because that’s going on sale next week. I’ve got several inquiries and quote requests on Fiverr that I need to respond to today, and after lunch I need to finish cleaning up and mow the back yard. And I still need to finish outlining Ghost of a Chance so I can get back to writing it.

I also want to get my spring cleaning done this week. And it’s going to (hopefully) be a short week, because I’m planning to give myself a four-day weekend for Easter and my birthday. The plan is to take off Good Friday and spend it and Saturday cleaning, so that I can kick off my 42nd year with a clean house. Sunday will hopefully be spent resting and eating Easter candy, and Monday will be spent celebrating the fact that I survived another year on this planet. I’m hoping this involves both lunch and shopping with my mom and a date night that includes sushi and sake.

Word of the Week: “Surrender” — I’m still working on not needing to be in complete control of my life, but letting go and trusting in God’s plan instead of trying to wrestle my life into submission to my own ideas of what it should look like. I’ve come a long way in this regard, but sometimes I still need a reminder to just relax and trust.

Verse of the Week: Acts 17:28 – “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” A reminder that the only identity that truly matters is my identity in Christ.

How about you, dear reader? What’s on your slate for this week, and was your weekend restful or eventful? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Cancer sucks. So do tornadoes.

Yesterday, I opened up my laptop to be greeted with the news that a family member of a family member lost her battle with melanoma. As a writer, words are usually my strong suit, but in this instance I’m kind of at a loss. There’s really nothing you can say that feels adequate. “Cancer sucks” only scratches the surface.

I knew this brave lady from kids’ birthday parties, but I’m sad and ashamed to say that I never got to know her well because I was always too shy to have a real conversation with her. The last time I saw her was in November at my great niece’s third birthday, where she was anxiously awaiting the results of a liver biopsy. She asked my mother to pray with her, and they stepped aside to pray while the cake was being served. Not long after, she and her husband excused themselves to leave, and on the way out the door she stopped and patted me on the shoulder. I was extremely touched that she felt enough familial warmth toward me to do that, despite my quiet tendencies, and I resolved to make more of an effort to talk to her at the next birthday party.

Except there won’t be any more birthday parties, at least not with her in attendance. She received her test results, and her diagnosis, later that week. Now, just five months later, she’s gone.

Our hearts and prayers go out to her husband and kids. As much as it pained me to watch from a distance as things took a bad turn, I can only imagine how hard all of this is, and has been, and will continue to be for them. If you’re the praying type, please remember the Rohde family as they go through this.


As if that wasn’t enough to ruin a day, yesterday evening we got hit with a tornadic thunderstorm. Once the tornado sirens started blasting, I shoved the cats (and the turtle) in a pet carrier and placed them in a central hallway, then held Pete, ready to dash for cover as I kept one eye on the TV weather coverage and another on the skies.

In true Okie fashion (which is funny considering how much of his formative years he spent in California), Matt kept going outside to see if he could see anything. Thankfully, the rain arrived and forced him back inside mere minutes before a gust of wind blew the tops of a couple of dead trees down into the yard right where he’d been standing.

Other than the tree parts scattered all over our back yard, we didn’t sustain any damage, thank goodness. Sand Springs, a suburb to the northwest of us, was hit the hardest, and the funnel cloud stayed about a mile north of us as it moved through Tulsa.

Last year, Oklahoma mostly got a break from the really scary storms, like after that awful spring of 2013 nature said, “Okay, Oklahoma, I’mma lay off you guys for a while.” But I guess we’re back on the hit list. I really hope last night wasn’t just a sneak preview of how the rest of this season’s going to go.

Local folks, how badly were you hit? Did you take cover when you heard the sirens, or head outside like my husband?

Quick look at this week’s goals (March 16-22, 2015)

I’m still racing deadlines this week, so posting here is probably going to be sporadic, if it gets done at all. My only real goal this week is to finish this client’s book copy edit, and to make good headway on a couple of manuscript critiques. I also need to get on the stick and take care of some financial paperwork I keep putting off.

I’m also trying this week to get back into the habit of walking at least three days a week. Although, looking at the weather forecast, it looks like we’ve got some more rain and a few more chilly days on the way, so this might not’ve been the best week to start. At any rate, today the weather is gorgeous and I kicked it off with a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood this morning, so at least that’s a start.

Word of the Week: Focus. Because deadlines.

Verse of the Week: Joshua 1:9 (emphasis mine) – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

What about you guys? Anything big on your agenda this week? Tell us about your goals in the comments!

Let me tell you about how ridiculous this day is. should not be blogging right now. I should be editing my client’s book. But my client’s book (and all the edits I’ve done on it so far) live on Google Docs, which for the last couple of days has refused to let me access it. After sitting here fighting with it for literally the last two hours, I’ve managed to get it to let me download a copy (which will hopefully have all my edits and editing notes saved), and right now I’m downloading Apache OpenOffice, which I will attempt to install and run. I’m not actually sure this computer has enough available RAM to run it, which is why I didn’t just do that in the first place. At any rate, hopefully it will run and all of my edits and notes from GD will carry over and I can get back to work. Otherwise, all of my current freelance work will be stuck on hold until Google Docs gets its act together, which is not really an option, because deadlines.

And that’s just part of the utter ridiculousness of this day, which started out with yet more plumbing issues, because this house has the crappiest pipes (no pun intended) of any house I’ve ever inhabited. So instead of walking around the neighborhood for a nice, invigorating and calming session of exercise and prayer like I’d planned, I ended up instead walking all over Home Depot with Matt looking for a toilet auger (after I hiked all the way to the back to use their restroom because ours was unusable).

Thankfully, the auger did the trick, so at least we can use our bathroom now. But it’s now almost 3:30 PM and I haven’t actually accomplished anything useful. Which might not be so bad if I wasn’t already looking at a hectic week and an overflowing work load.

And oh, good! The bulb on my bedside lamp just burned out, and I’m not sure we have any light bulbs in stock. It just gets better and better.

Here at last is some (tentative) good news, though — OpenOffice started up just fine and the book file has all of my changes and notes. I’m hesitant to officially declare it as good news because it remains to be seen whether it will let me do my work without crashing. I really need to step away from this infuriating devil-machine for a little while before I find that out.

“But what about your goals for this week?” you might be asking. This week, my goals are simple, as there is really only one goal: to get through this week with my sanity and peace intact. So far, today I’ve already bungled that goal. Hopefully the rest of the week will be better.

By the way, this may be the only blog post I end up having time for this week. We’ll just have to play it by ear.

How about you, dear reader? Any big stuff to accomplish this week? Anything going on where you could use some cheering on? PLEASE tell me your Monday is going better than mine. If not, let it all out in the comments, where I promise virtual hugs and pats on the back and there, there’s.

Writing and Other Goals for March 2 – 7, 2015

Bullet journal

Trying to start March off right.

I’m adding a few new elements to my bullet journal this week. One of those elements is a weekly To Do list, because the monthly list alone isn’t cutting it. The weekly list is going in the far-left column of my weekly 2-page spread, the rest of which will be taken up by daily lists.

I’m trying to keep this week’s list simple. I have a lot of editing to get through, and that’s going to have to be my main focus. But I also can’t neglect my writing, and I really need to vacuum and do some laundry this week. So these are the big rocks that will take up most of my time jar:

  • Daily devotions
  • 30 minutes a day writing GHOST
  • Vaccuum the house
  • Do laundry
  • Finish the Fiverr critique
  • Edit 1/4th of one of my clients’ book projects
  • Stretch and move daily

And these are the pebbles:

  • 2 or 3 blog posts
  • Re-enroll Dominion of the Damned and Midnight Snacks in KDP select
  • 15 minutes a day reading Story by Robert McKee
  • Tea & Creativity sessions

I also added a Word of the Week and a Verse of the Week at the top of the spread. The WotW is a reminder of what I want to stay focused on throughout the week–sort of a weekly theme to guide everything.

This week’s word is “Health.” I have NOT been making good choices lately and I’m feeling the results of it. With so much on my plate, I’ve really got no choice but to take better care of myself, which includes eating right and getting exercise so I’ll have more energy and be able to think more clearly. This might mean I have to get my husband to hide all of the breakfast pastries we’ve been stocking up on lately because winter makes us lose all good sense when it comes to food. I might also have to hide all that instant Pho from myself, because while that stuff might be gluten-free, it’s definitely not low glycemic. At any rate, this is why “stretching and moving” is designated as a big rock this week.

The verse of the week is Ephesians 6:7 (NASB): “With good will render service as to the Lord, and not to men.” This is to remind me to be thankful for the work I have and to maintain a good attitude about it while doing the best job I possibly can for my clients. This is something I try to apply all the time, but when my plate begins to overflow and I start to get overwhelmed and stressed, it’s good to have a reminder.

So that’s the general shape of my week to come, God willing. What about you guys? Any big projects hanging over your head and making you twitchy? I’d love to hear about your goals and plans for this week, both big and small. Share them in the comments!

Weekly Goal Follow-up: Feb 23-27, 2015

Well, I got my wish to get out of the house this week. The sun came out on Tuesday and cabin fever got the better of both of us, so we went out on a lunch date to a Thai buffet we’d been wanting to check out (JK’s Thai Buffet in Broken Arrow; not a big selection, but what they had was definitely worth the trip), then stopped by Krispy Kreme to take advantage of their free donut giveaway (and, in what was probably an unwise move, picked out a dozen to munch on over the next few days). Then Wednesday, after our semi-weekly Sprouts run, we paid an impromptu visit to Oklahoma Joe’s to try out some of their bbq sandwiches for lunch. Afterwards, we swung by our favorite used book store, where I picked up a good grammar reference book along with a Jennifer Crusie paperback and a Steampunk novel.

By the time we got done with our weekly Aldi & Walmart run on Thursday, I was ready to not leave home again for at least a week. Which is a good thing considering we’re in the process of getting snowed in again as I type this.

In other news, I finally did our taxes this week, and I don’t want to talk about how that turned out. I’m just glad I can finally check off that square in my bullet journal. As for the rest of this week’s goals, here’s how those turned out:

  • Daily prayer time
  • Daily novel writing

I didn’t manage to write every day, but I added over 1,100 words, which is a big improvement over last week, and I outlined the next several scenes to keep things on track.

  • The critique and editing gigs that filled up my Fiverr queue over the weekend, plus a sample edit for a potential direct client.

I’m taking a break from the last of these as I write this. I’m hoping to get it done before I shut down this evening, but I may have to end up working tomorrow to clear it off my plate so I can start in on book editing projects next week.

  • Write & post two more blog posts
  • Finish reading Let’s Get Digital
  • Update the descriptions on various Fiverr gigs
  • Add some features & static content to this website

Nah. I barely managed time to blog, let alone add anything extra.

  • Make a pot of chicken soup from scratch

Hah, no. Partly because my husband keeps cooking hearty casseroles and partly because I’ve got all this instant pho stocked up from last week’s trip to the Asian market. Maybe I’ll finally make it tomorrow, though.

  • Get out of the house for something other than groceries

See above.

So it hasn’t been a terribly unproductive week, but it could’ve been better, particularly on the noveling front. At any rate, it was enough to tire my brain out, so I’m looking forward to a weekend of vegging out with another Gilmore Girls marathon.

How was your week? Any big weekend plans, or would that require shoveling snow?

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