Frankie's Wining Room

Drinking wine while writing, reading, crafting, and whining

I Have a Partner

Okay. So. After doing an analysis of a few articles and books (so many books!) on how to find a balancing act, I know–I know that the best thing to do is to create a plan.

That was…last week? I’m checking the date. Yeah. Last week. I don’t have a plan yet, but I do have a partner.

My husband and I have determined that we need to get healthier. And not for the zombie appocalypse, though, there is still that, but because we’re both starting to feel old and we’re much too young for that. Early 40’s is too soon to start feeling old.

So! The challenge for both of us to come up with fun, healthy meals. The first one was a salad after our workout. That’s good! Except that our salads were about the size of Texas. However, it’s a step in the right direction.

I also have some Mealenders because, for some reason, as soon as I finish eating, I’m starving again. This darned body.

So…work out–when we can–and eat healthy–as a challenge. So far, that’s…our plan.

This is going to be…great.

My Workouts For the Week

Remember how I said I was going to work out starting on Monday?

Right. Well, Pronoun exploded on Monday and my work-out time was devoted to coming up with a plan to transition off of Pronoun because I was one of the many who utilized them to get around some of Amazon’s more whimsical, I’m-a-2-year-old-and-am-going-to-change-the-rules-and-penalize-you ways.

So…*sigh*…that took up most of Monday and Tuesday. There’s still more work to do because…Amazon is being Amazon. By the end of Tuesday, my hands were a cramped mess. My shoulders, back, neck, and arms were frelled. I couldn’t even make my fingers move. 

So, on Wednesday, I forced myself to go workout and I’m glad I did. I got muscles moving again and the plan is to go again today after the hubby wakes up. He didn’t get off work until 3:30am. So…I’ve still got a moment.

I’m a little crabby about the Pronoun and Amazon thing, but it’ll work out. Sales are still doing okay even through all of this. I’m still a small fish in a big pond, however, I was shown that I’m a bigger fish than I thought. So…yay and GAH! at the same time. Workout girl set.

Alright, about that workout.

I’m over 40 now. YAY and BOO! I’m glad I’ve survived to this point. There have been more than a few times when I didn’t think I’d make it. But my body is starting to let me know that I really should have made better decisions earlier on in life. You know, during those times when I was pushing it balls-to-the-wall and getting nowhere fast, but I wasn’t going to quit because…quitting is for quitters. *sigh* Yeah.

So…the best thing for women over 40 is plenty of cardio. Great.

I hate it.

The YMCA has a few machines to try so we don’t have to be stuck with the same thing over and over.

There’s the ellipticle. Looks awesome, but my heart rate LEAPS when I get on that thing! If I want to NOT die of a heart attack, I should build up to that thing.

There’s the tredmill. Kill me now, ohgodohgod. I hate the treadmill.

Then there’s the Skill Mill. It’s a treadmill, but in a canoe shape. It’s supposedly easier–less stomping–but really builds up the calves. Look. My calves look like a half a slab of beef as it is. From my knee to my feet, it’s nothing but calves. I don’t need to build that up. I need to get them pared down so that they’re not splitting my shins in half! I don’t care what they look like. My personality is sexy as hell, but they tear my shins up whenever I go for a walk, and that’s unacceptable. How in the HECK am I going to survive the zombie appocalypse if my calves are killing me in the first quarter mile?

So, I’m stuck with the bike. Well, not stuck with. The bike is fine and it doesn’t kill me. It kills my husband, so I doubt we’ll be able to do too many of those together. But I can get my heartrate up without dying the next day. My husband couldn’t get off the bike and walk down the stairs afterwards, though.

And then it’s circuit training. Here’s where the YMCA is a little wah-wah-wah. There are only so many machines and most of them deal with the upper body. I’ve gone four times now and I’m bored. Bored-bored-bored-bored. However, due to where we live, this is the best bang for the buck. We could go to the bigger rec center, but we’re we’d be spending over a hundred bucks per person per month. Yeah. I need to get over the boredom.

The trick is to move the shoulders and pecs without overworking them. Yeah, yeah. I need to tone to look nice, but I really need is just loosen up the muscles while getting healthy.

So, I do two sets of 10 reps at a really low weight when I’m working my shoulders, paying attention to my form so that I’m working the right muscles and not doing more damage to my shoulders–like I normally do. I’m not going to not workout my shoulders. I’ve had way too many friends (mostly authors) who refuse to workout their shoulders because they’ll just hurt themselves or make their hands worse. That’s…just as bad as over-doing it. Just be careful.

So far, I’m doing okay. I make sure not to push myself too hard, which… I look like a pansy. I know it. I’m supposed to be working out to get fit, but I don’t care. I don’t want to DIE, and I have HOURS and HOURS of work to do after I’m done working out. So…no. I’m not going to fall into the guilt-trip to workout harder.

The Y has quite a few classes. I seriously need to take one of those to alleviate the boredom.

Today? Cardio. *sigh* If I can talk myself into going. I have a few deadlines creaping up my toosh, so it could be easy to talk myself out of it. But! I’m not going to! I’m going to work out and feel amazing.

Wait. What about sex. That’s an exercise. Right? I mean…it is!


An Author’s Superpower

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Originally posted as a guest post

Authors have a superpower that oftentimes gets overlooked. They write stories that touch the hearts and minds of people. They have the ability to shift a reader’s perception, a way of thinking, or the way they feel about a topic.

That might seem common-sense, and it is, but when you talk to authors about their stories, it’s amazing to see how many don’t realize the power they hold in their hands.

I was helping a fellow author edit her book the other day, and she was discussing a topic that was very important, but she feared it was controversial. So, instead of dealing with it, she pushed it under the rug and felt as though the character handled it poorly. It felt really immature to me.

So, I mentioned that to her, and she told me why she handled it this way. She didn’t want to upset people.

Okay. Great. Understood.

However, here’s the thing. As a reader, you’ve invited me into your mind, your heart, and your soul–if my writing is good enough to penetrate all those layers. I show you, through my characters, how you could handle a situation. I allow you, the reader, to experience things you’ve never lived through. I allow you, the reader, to take charge of your life, to say what you always wanted to, but felt powerless to do utter out loud. I allow you to fight back, to stand up, to take charge. I allow you to dole out the hard love.

And then, if I’m good enough, I empower you, the reader, to do that.

That’s a pretty incredible super power, if you ask me.

The big crisis in Whiskey Witches is something that we all see happening, but no one really talks about, and that’s custody battles. The “losing parent” is always seen as a bad guy, and if the mother loses her kid, she…did something unspeakably horrible.

But what isn’t talked about is all the horrible, emotional, brutally horrific things that happen outside the courtroom. The winner isn’t always the “good guy.” Sometimes–a lot of times–they’re just the bigger bully. And the loser is shamed into silence. When we don’t talk about an issue, we empower the other side.

Now, some parents lose their kids for very valid reasons. They do. They are the reason there are custody battles in the Courts of Law in the first place. But…not all do deserve that, and none of them talk about it, and it hurts like hell. These parents often lose visitation rights–though they could push it through the courts, it harder on the kids and then the kids don’t want to see the other parent, so it’s a lose-lose situation. They lose phone call privileges, hugs, kisses, I love yous, calls on your birthday, the ability to talk to them on their birthday. They lose holidays–or are bullied into “having the holiday that’s easier to deal with” because that’s always a great idea.

We authors have the superpower to discuss hard-line topics like this in a safe place. Fiction. The setting is fake. The characters are fake.

But the lessons are real. There’s real power in a book. Even a fiction one.

The Workout Plan

I’ve been SUCKING at the work-out plan since I’ve started this full-time writing gig. And I gotta say? I hurt! Since I started, I’ve written 92k in words that count, and about that in blogs and website content in an attempt to drum up business. I’ve also edited 571,105 words. Yeah. That’s no joke. And if you’ve recieved an edit from me, there were a lot of written words and notes in there as well.

My shoulders, back, arms, and hands are in constant pain and I’m not going to the massage therapist every week. I can’t afford that.

So…I need to work out.

have the videos, but when when I saw I’m going to work out here, I get talked out of it. That’s me talking myself out of it. Sometimes, I even get the DVD plugged in and the TV turned on and then I’m like, “Nope. I have to hit __ deadline.” I then turn it all off and get back to work.

I’m super awesome.

So, I’ve got a schedule now. I’m going to the YMCA down the road. This could be an issue when it’s snowy like today, but I have snow tires, a truck, and 4WD. There’s no excuses unless it’s a blizzard. I start it…on Monday. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Teaming Up with Alivia Patton as Hattie Hunt!

FB Ad 10The Whiskey-verse has blown up! There are so many stories and so much going on that I’ve opened up two more series and accepted the help of two other authors.

The first one is the Shadow Sisterhood, the paranormal romance. I started this one because I wanted to write a different people and different mythos in every single book. The paranormal world is just so immense that I couldn’t contain them in Whiskey Witches.

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Now, there are some people who are concerned that the writing quality will slag, but I really think that Alivia’s assistance has brought a heightened, emotional quality to the stories. I can create worlds and fabulous characters but, guys, I really suck at the romance part. Alivia still has a warm, squishy, lovey heart and that, along with some kick-ass writing abilities, is what she brings to the table.

I think you’re gonna love it! Stay tuned and keep your eye on! That’s the site that’s getting updated the quickest.

What’s in a Name Week 2

OWM! I’m such a slacker! Here’s my Week 2 update…a week late.Rose stared out the window and sighed. The smell of the salt-sea air was refreshing, the light of the sun dancing upon the lapping waves relaxing.

She loved to vacation here. For the last three years, they’d come to the same place for two weeks.

And every year, she dreamed of meeting someone who would dazzle her with poetry and sweep her off her feet. She wanted to meet someone who saw the same amazingness in the world around her as she did, who could see the dazzling wonder of a grain of sand, or the brilliant struggle of the newly hatched sea turtles clambering out to sea.

One day. One day.

Would it be today?

What’s In a Name Sample 1

I may only get one sample in for this week’s challenge because, frankly, things got away from me. Though, if you got to see the list, you’d see why and how, but…anywho’s! I’m excited to participate in this challenge as I think it’s a really neat one!

The smell of warm apples ripening on the trees in the heat of the highnoon, Northern Californian sun calmed Sarah to the ends of her toes. It didn’t matter what happened in the real world. As soon as she came back here to her parents’ place, everything was right with her world. She was grounded just walking through the lines and lines of apple trees. How many years had she and her brother spent running through here?

A lot.

Why had she decided to leave?

For money and independence.

And what had that indepence gotten her?

A one-bedroom apartment that cost twice as much as it was worth, a cat who owned her, and an empty fridge.

She should think about returning home. The jobs might be fewer here, but…it just felt better here. She felt like a better person here.

POV Writing Challenge Week 3 Post 2

OMW. I’m late. Okay. Well, here we go. Deep 3rd and we’ve got some very…interesting characters to choose from.



Photo owned and copyrighted by Katie Johnson. Photo credit:


Tooma stood unsteadily on her dainty, wooden feet. Another toy convention. She didn’t mind, however, because it meant she could be out in the world.

And this year, the convention had a magnificent view. Just look at that city. It was amazing. All those buildings. All those people.

All that life.

A choked sob startled. She jerked and looked around. She’d invoked fear before. Lots of times in her three hundred years of “life”. The little girl’s pale blonde hair was pulled back in two matching braids and she clung to the lapels of her coat so tight her knuckles had turned white. She pressed her fingertips to the glass, her breath fanning across the pane in shallow puffs.

Tooma should find the child’s mother, but to do that, she’d have to talk to the girl. Not a good idea. Wooden dolls weren’t supposed to talk, for one thing. Even with today’s advancements. Plastic toys could talk. Wooden ones typically didn’t.

But the girl was panicking and no one was paying attention. Looking around, she carefully walked toward the nearest table and took a large sheet that had been left on the floor. If she stumbled, she would create an earthquake. Just another part of her curse.

Never anger a witch. Ever. Their form of karmic retribution was unforgivable.

With the sheet in hand, Tooma draped it around the girl, pressing her wooden hands along the girl’s coat-covered arms. “It’ll be okay,” she whispered in a child-like voice that hadn’t changed in over three centuries. “Deep breaths, little one.”

The girl jerked, trying to look back.

If she saw Tooma’s wooden face, the panic would turn into screams and then Tooma would probably fall…

And there would be another earthquake. Would she never learn?

“Shh.” Tooma shook her head and hung her head in self-kicking defeat. She should never have gone there. She should never have tried to help this girl. “I’m just trying to help. Use the sheet to blanket out all other senses.”

The girl slipped through Tooma’s hands and stared up at her face, the girl’s blue eyes wide. The girl stopped breathing.

Tooma froze. What would she do if the girl screamed? Run? Like she always did?

“You’re…” The girl’s voice came out in a wispy breath of a whisper. “You’re real.”

Blog Roll:

Frankie’s Wining Room

Katie Rene Johnson

K.S. King

Shannon Writes Things

Corrie Lavina Knight Edits

POV Writing Challenge Week 3 Post 1

OMW. I’m late. Okay. Well, here we go. Deep 3rd and we’ve got some very…interesting characters to choose from.




Photo owned and copyrighted by Katie Johnson. Photo credit:

Emma’s hands shook. The toys were staring at her. She felt their eyes on the back of her neck. Their eyes felt like spiders crawling up her skin. Momma didn’t understand. She was trying to help Emma overcome her fear of toys, but…

Emma shushed the sob that threatened to come out. Big girls didn’t cry. That’s what Momma said. But…the toys…they were right behind her. Tables and tables of them. All in rows. The loud talking of everyone exclaiming over them didn’t help. It made it worse! The walls closed in on her her, tightening around her chest like a doll trying to kill her.

She stumbled and caught herself on the glass.

Cold glass. The chill ran up her arm and through her shoulders. It pushed away the choke hold like magic. She pressed her forehead against the window. A big city. Lots of big buildings. She breathed in the chill from the window and tried to calm herself. Momma wasn’t helping to make this better. Not at all. She was making it worse. She was going to bring some of those toys home with them. They would be in the car, in their house.

They’d be in Emma’s room.

She needed to find a way out of there. And fast. Before the toys tried to kill her again.

And succeeded this time.

Blog Roll:

Frankie’s Wining Room

Katie Rene Johnson

K.S. King

Shannon Writes Things

Corrie Lavina Knight Edits

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