Frankie's Wining Room

Drinking wine while writing, reading, crafting, and whining



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.

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When do you know your story is ready?

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

So, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is really great for writers in any stage of their development. I missed last month because of the whole move. OMW. We’re in Montana now. It’s great here. Love it. But, for the love of PETE, I am DONE moving! Gah!

This is a blog hop, so, when you’re done here, click on the Linky link and go visit some of of the other authors’ posts. This month’s question:

October 4 Question: When do you know your story is ready?

I never know when my story is ready. I’ve gotten to the point where I throw it out there after I’ve completed the 3rd draft. And then, my poor baby is on its own.

I still, to this day, itch to edit some of my previous books. Did you know that Whiskey Witches was edited (29) times? Completely revised. Edited by multiple editors throughout the years. And yet, there are still reviews out there that state I didn’t care about editing one bit, that I cared so little about my book that I didn’t even give it to an editor. (29) times.

(29) times and it’s still ripped by readers who don’t understand the narrative.

That was the book where I had to sit down and decide. You know, really think about it. After (29) edits (those were just the major ones, not the proofreads and copy edits), if I still can’t please my readers, maybe I need to stop trying to please every single one of them. Maybe, I need to just craft the best damned story I can, give it one major edit, a copy edit, a line edit, and a proofread (by as many proofers as I can gather together), and then let my story go into the world.

Because, guess what? It’s going to be eaten alive whether I have (3) edit rounds or (29) edit rounds. It’s going to happen.

So, when do I know? I don’t. I just let it go.

The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!
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Insecure Writer: 1st Writing Piece

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It’s time for another group posting of the IWSG: Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

IWSG is the brainchild of our noble Ninja Captain and leader Alex J. Cavanaugh!

Our hashtag is @IWSG

The awesome co-hosts today are:

Tamara Narayan, Tonja Drecker, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Lauren @ Pensuasion, Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders! 

Please stop by and thank them for their time.

What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

Well, my first piece of writing as an aspiring writer was an epic fantasy piece called…Shoot. What did I call it? I don’t remember. It was on a planet called Matar and was about Belltear. I was in high school at the time. I was taking a typing class and two English classes and that story made it into every single essay I wrote. Even if it didn’t fit. At all.

I still have that story. I was seriously going to publish it. I’m really glad I didn’t.

Hunter and Piper’s story was written after that. Again, I’m really glad I didn’t publish that trilogy either. It was awful.

Both of those trilogies are in boxes (that get moved to every single house every single time and they’re HEAVY!) collecting dust. Thank goodness!

Then, I got really, really serious and wrote The Dustman. Oh, man. Good story. Ugh. It was not well told. My craft has really grown. But, uh, yeah. There were quite a few.

Next month’s question: 

September – How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Think You Couldn’t Possibly Lose Your Amazon Publishing Account? Think Again.

Update: She did get books back up and they are currently for sale! That was pretty frelling scary, though. If you haven’t read her books, you should. Grab a copy now.

This is particularly terrifying and something we all need to watch out for. This could potentially ruin an author’s career.

The Active Voice

There’s this indie author I know a little bit from the forum. Her name is Pauline Creeden, and she’s an ordinary midlister, like so many of us. I remember PMing her some time ago and gushing about how particularly beautiful one of her book covers is — the one for Chronicles of Steele: Raven.collection Here, I’ll include an image. Gorgeous, eh?

Anyway, today I tuned in to Kboards and noticed that Pauline had started a thread. It contained what’s surely the worst news possible for an indie author: Amazon had closed her publishing account. All her ebooks had been taken off sale. Permanently. Here’s the email she got from Amazon:

We are reaching out to you because we have detected that borrows for your books are originating from systematically generated accounts. While we support the legitimate efforts of our publishers to promote their books, attempting to manipulate…

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Blood Moon Magick is available NOW!

It’s been a long time in coming–or so it seems–but Blood Moon Magick is finally released for public consumption!

1.2 Whiskey Witches

Detective Paige Whiskey has a lot on her plate. A gate to Hell is permanently seared into her soul and she has no way of controlling it. She let a psychotic serial killing demon free in exchange for Dexx’s life. Her sister is about to have a baby and a whole world of crazy has opened in the Whiskey household. And, if that wasn’t enough, she and Dexx are trying to figure out their relationship.

They’re about to discover a world that has been hidden from the Whiskeys. A world of shapeshifters, werewolves, and vampires. A world that was hidden to end a bloody war. A war between shifters and witches.

Paige has to make a decision. Solve this murder and start a war? Or ignore it and keep her family safe?

But when Dexx is bitten, all everything changes. War? Or love?

If that’s not enough, listen to what readers have to say!

5-Stars – Just wow! These stories just get richer as they go. By Stilwatrsqaw

5-Stars – I love Whiskey Witches and the second book in the series in even better than the first! It reminded me of the Buffy gang for some reason. Now that Dexx was bitten I really really can’t wait for book 3! I absolutely LOVE this series! – By BookLover
And! In preparation of the next book, I’ve added a lot of fun tidbits on the website, including previews, insights, and character pages!
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Want to learn the latest information as it becomes available? Join the mailing list!

Dream Killers is FREE and Discounted This Week!

DreamKillers FREEDAYS

Episode 1 Graveyard Dreams FREE June 6-7
My name’s River, and I’m a dream killer.

The Sea of Dreams spat me out without any memories of who was or where I came from. I’ve spent years traveling Dreamland in our gypsy caravan, searching for clues. All I’ve discovered is that the all-powerful elders are collecting people like me—Dreamlanders who don’t fit in.

Then I met a man who sails the Sea of Dreams, the one place all Dreamlanders fear. One touch of those ocean waves could shred the soul. Yet, he’s like me. He can hear the water’s whispers, touch her waves, and watch her dreams. My answers are out there—on his ship, on that sea.

Somewhere out there is the graveyard of dreams.

Episode 2 Eyes of Stars FREE June 8 – 9
We’re under attack. The elders and their runners are grabbing as many people with unique gifts as they can to determine why Dreamland requires them. Why give birth to a basher with the ability to create? Why allow a cleaner the gift of healing? What is her design? Her intent?
They’re not the only ones looking to use these specially gifted individuals. The mechanics and their army of hunters are capturing them as well, but with a different intent. They unleashed a virus, a virus of dreamers. Yes. Dreamers are attacking Dreamlanders.
Dreamland has sent a savior, a mechanic capable of healing anything and anyone, one who’s stronger than any master mechanic we’ve ever seen. She didn’t do this to save Dreamlanders or your precious land of dreams. No. She sent us a cure to save me.
She needs me. I don’t want to know why.

Episode 3 Captain Tightpants ON SALE $.99 June 10-11
Everything is better than ever. The graveyard is healing. The creatures are propagating and assisting the trapped dreamers. It seems as though my job is done.

Seems so. That is until the dreamer trapped in my net shows up with strange stories about unicorns roaming around Denver. Our fold of reality is melting in Earth’s. When Cable, the riverboat captain, steals the net, intent on destroying my dreamer to power his boat, Dreamland reveals a new secret.

I know who I am, and it’s not at all what I thought

Cover Reveal for Devices of War Book 3

We’ve all seen the original cover for Book 3 floating around with the working title. Well, here’s the final cover with the official title!

WhispersoftheskyborneThe world has changed. The Great Families are no longer in power. Queen Nix of the Hands of Tarot has been stripped of her title and incarcerated. The League of Cities has been formed to provide a new line of defense to the smaller tribal nations.

Not without consequences, though. Another of the original Great Families has been destroyed. As the new leaders rise from the ashes, a new threat comes to light; something no one saw coming, something that had been lurking under the surface of their society for generations.

The Skyborne. As they discover just how deep the Skyborne’s influences are, they realize the war they thought they’d been fighting . . . . . . wasn’t the real one.

Pre-order now

Amazon / Whistling Book Press

Get book 1 and book 2

Meet the Author:

SM “Frankie” Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Jack the Bird. Jack has refused to let her to take up the piano again, but is warming to the guitar. It might help that Frankie has learned more than two strings. She’s added a few more Arabic words to her vocabulary, but don’t invite her into conversation yet—unless, of course, you’re willing to have a very . . . slow . . . conversation.

She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.

She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!

Find out more about her at:

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