Tag: building

Another Year is Ending

It seems like only a month or two ago and I was working out the word of the year for 2018. Now it’s time to introduce the word for 2019.

Where has the time gone?

And so much has happened for me this year. It’s crazy! And unbelievable.

But choosing Metamorphosis for my theme word last year turned out to be more accurate than I’d planned.

Remember how I was going to change my brand and my focus.

It all started with hiring a designer to help all my posts have a certain look.


I joined Novel Academy, mostly for the weekly live classes.

Then I went to the Deep Thinker’s Writing Retreat. And while I was there, I messed up the story I was working on. Because the SEQ’s for the characters revealed more story background than I could reveal in a 30,000-word novella.

I released my second book to Kindle Worlds in March. Then Kindle Worlds announced they would be closing in July. What? I had planned three more novellas to release in that world for the year.

So much for those plans.

Thankfully, the owner of the First Street Church Kindle World decided to open her own publishing company. I was SO thrilled about this.

I wrote the story for the July 3 release that wasn’t going to happen now that Amazon had closed Kindle Worlds. I submitted the manuscript to the new press, and it come out at the same time my first two novellas re-released.


August was a busy month for me. Those three novellas came out, and a short story I’d written for a summer romance anthology with my first publisher, Roane Publshing, also released.

I ran a contest and found a few new subscribers for my newsletter. I also tried a different method of finding an Advance Review Team, and of the twenty-two books I gave away, nine people reviewed ONE SULTRY DAY.

My sister and I visited our brother in New York City over Labor Day weekend. When I got home, I was hard at work at the contracted novella for Sweet Promise Press (to release April 2019).

At the end of the month, my husband and I attended a marriage seminar in Florida. It was hot and wonderful.

While I was there, my publisher, Roane Publishing, notified us that they were closing their doors after seven years.

This ripped my heart out.

Half of my published works disappeared the next week.

This was NOT the metamorphosis of my brand I had in mind last December when I was coming up with that word.

Strangely, my remaining works were all Christian. It was like someone else DID have a big plan.


While I was working on the romantic comedy and outlining two novellas to write for National Novel Writing Month, an idea for a Bible study book gelled. I outlined that, too, and wrote some of it while on vacation with my husband.

After the big closing announcement (two in one year? Really, God?), it was difficult to focus on anything. But I did. And I determined that 2019 will be a building year for me.

I’m going to build my newsletter list. I’m going to build my new brand as a Christian writer. And one of the ways I’m going to do it is by expanding the REFLECTIONS FROM A PONDERING HEART into a series. (More on that later.)

I struggled to write 50,000 words in 30 days for National Novel Writing Month. But I did finally manage it.

Then it was December. I had to rewrite the romantic comedy, beef up my character motivations and figure out how to make it funnier without losing the serious essence that is my trademark.

I spent a week in Hawaii. So this post was written early.

Based on the clues I’ve given, what do you think my word will be for 2019?

Do you pick a theme verse or a theme word each year? If so, what will yours be?

New Office: Assembly required

Environment matters. Nature versus nurture aside, we know successful work can be promoted by the proper surroundings.

My sons had the music cranked while they worked on homework. I prefer the sound of silence while I’m concentrating.

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to optimal work space.

As a writer, I spend most of my time working at home. I love this, but I have to admit the cramped quarters of my old office inhibited me.

newoffice2

Now I have a big, beautiful new office. And everyone knows a new office needs a new desk.

Is my clever title beginning to make a little more sense now? Did you really think I was going to talk about setting up my office space?

My husband loves to build things. “If I won the lottery, I’d quit my job and work on a construction crew.”

Yep, that’s what he says. Unfortunately, my husband has the worst luck when it comes to home improvement projects.

He may love to build – but it doesn’t come easily.

Thus, the reason my two sons found themselves assembling my lovely 71 x 71 inch L-shaped desk this past weekend. Hubs was wrestling with water hoses for the washing machine and converting circular dryer vent pipe to fit the oval-shaped ductwork.

Meanwhile, I was unloading boxes (mainly shelving books and sorting items into the donation bags and boxes).

“Those two need supervision,” my husband told me.

Of course, who am I to supervise the construction of anything? Well, a lemon meringue pie maybe.

My youngest son had the assembly manual. (Yes, it required a manual to convert two heavy boxes of boards into this lovely desk.) My oldest son lined up the parts and wielded the tools.

It’s amazing how manufacturers have learned to label all the boards (A-K for my desk) and include pictures of even the smallest screw. I’m convinced the poor sap who spends his days writing the assembly instructions has the most boring writing job in the world.

My oldest son predicted the desk construction project would take five hours. He’s learned to estimate high after watching how things don’t come together for his father.

Each time I stepped into the doorway (the entire floor of the office had been requisitioned for organizing the parts and equipment), I smiled. They were working together – and getting it done.

These sons of mine argue about everything. Mostly, it isn’t because they disagree. It’s because they like to rile each other up and cause friction.

It doesn’t help that they both think they know everything. (You remember that, right? Between 14 and 25, you didn’t need any help because you had all the answers. Or maybe that was just me – and my sons.)

There were some debates early on in the building process. When my husband sought me out as an overseer, he had just stopped them from assembling things backward.

It's a beauty! Those Hughson boys can assemble a desk, I tell you.
It’s a beauty! Those Hughson boys can assemble a desk, I tell you.

After the first hour, most of the criticism went to the manual writer. I learned this when I mentioned I might review my desk at the online retailer. After all, I really liked it.

“Make sure you mention the manual was written by an idiot.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure that won’t make it into any review I write.

Someone had to take the fall for the difficulty my genius sons faced in assembling this central figure in my new work space.

I’m not surprised it was the beleaguered manual writer.

What’s one feature you love or would change about your work space? Any thoughts on assembly instructions?