Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bath Safety Month and a plug

January is Bath Safety Month. But, you say, shouldn’t every month be safe in the bathroom? Yes, of course. So what should we do this month? Install grab bars? Get new rugs that don’t slip? Get new bath mats for the tub?

How about if your bathroom is already perfectly safe? Here’s a suggestion. Light a candle, get together some chocolate and maybe wine or Scotch, fill a tub with warm, scented water, lower yourself in, and read a scary bathroom story. I happen to have one handy!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

National Thank You Month

January is National Thank You Month. I suppose this is appropriate, falling after the gifting holidays as it does. Aside from thanking friends and relatives for the gifts you received, there are other ways to put this month’s activity into practice.

This site has some suggestions.

I noticed some people on Facebook last year posting what they were grateful for each day. I’m not sure I could come up with 365, but it’s a great exercise.

The second suggestion on the site is what our family does every year at the Thanksgiving table. There are usually more than the normal number of people, so it takes a while. The ones at the end are hurrying so the food won’t get any colder and everyone is jealous of the person who goes first because he or she says everything that everyone else wants to say and we all have to think of something else.

The last one on that list is to do something nice for someone. That’s one that we could all do every day. In fact, I’ve made this my goal for a few years now. My thinking is that there’s not much I can do about the world’s problems. We should try, for certain, but on a daily basis, my actions don’t change the world. I can make someone’s day better, though. If I can get a grumpy grocery clerk to smile when I tell her I like her haircut, it makes the day better for both of us. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this. Some day I’d rather someone else made it a goal to cheer me up. But, ultimately, the only actions I control are my own. So cheering up another person is the only option that is always open to me.

Have a good month!

photo from

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Vacay for me today!

I’m going to sort of cheat on my blog today. I’m guest blogging at Susan Schreyer’s place, Writing Horses, so I’m just going to point you over there. My topic is Where Do Ideas Come From? I’ve written on this before, but this is a brand new version, with new pictures. Come on over!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What's Next?


I’m stealing thunder from my posts that I’ll make on my goal-keeping sites tomorrow, but I think this can go here as well. I did a 2013 recap last week, so it’s fitting I do some goal setting for 2014 this week. Here goes!

*CHOKE, SMOKE, BROKE - promote and sell
*SMOKE & BROKE - put out audio books
*STROKE - start writing
*DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE - promote and sell
*sketch out a sequel to ICE (DEATH ON THE TREK) write first draft
*EINE KLEINE MURDER - promote and sell
*REQUIEM FOR RED - (sequel to EINE) finish rewrite
*FAT CAT AT LARGE - finish Janet Cantrell web page (pub date is Sept 2014)
            August: Hold a Fat Cat Story contest for free copy (copies? mugs? totes?)
*FAT CAT 2 - proposal by Feb 1st, manuscript by June 15th
*FAT CAT 3 - proposal by Nov 1st
*short stories - get more than 6 published (submit 1/month)

There are some short stories in the works. The Austin Mystery Writers are working on an anthology that I’ll contribute two stories to. Then we’ll get edits and seek a publisher. I have these mostly finished.

I’m slated to write a story for a Memphis Noir anthology. I haven’t started that yet. I would really like to work in a trip to Memphis first.

I contributed a story for an anthology that will be out in 2014:
            PRINCE FLOUNDER AND THE FISHERMAN, requested for Grimm Futures

I’d also like to put out another short story collection, or maybe two, one mystery, one dark fantasy (or horror, whichever you prefer).

Send out rewards to my Street Team in January.

One more thing: a children’s book for Sam