How I Broke My Brain – By Writing a New Book

I’m starting a new book today! – Hooray! But… to be honest, I’ve been telling myself this for a few weeks.

This month, I’ve come up with a new romance series and the basic plot and characters for 3 new books (to start with.)

Then I decided I should write a different book in a series that I started 4+ years ago. (Yes, yes, I know some of you are waiting for these books – and I am now going to continue, and hopefully finish, The Night Medicine series!)

After doing some research, I was feeling a little stuck on some of the plot points – so I took the time to refill my creative well – and rearrange my brain from contemporary romance to historical – and after a great yoga class, I mentally worked things out! YAY! –> more or less –>

While contemplating the complexities of timeline, multiple main characters, history, politics, & meshing storylines A B C D E F & G through Z, and not forgetting anything in the first Night Medicine book,

I broke my brain. – Yep, I’m broken.

Did you know that writing is really hard?

Like level 3 trillion-gazillion difficulty. — This *might* be part of the reason I haven’t returned to historical fiction. 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤓

That’s not totally true. I generally write what I feel like writing and contemporary romance has been super fun to write, and completely challenging in its own right.

But just because the new book will be my 17th novel, doesn’t mean things get easier. It might even be harder because the pressure and expectations I put on myself to make each book better are extremely high.

However, I do like a challenge. 😊 So – onward and upward! I’m piecing together the broken bits of my brain today and putting it all back in place. Hopefully, this will turn out to be another fantastic page-turning adventure in Old West, Montana and the Blackfoot Nation.

Historical fiction and time travel have been a passion of mine since I was a child. I foresee that I will be lost in this series for a while to come.

If you need me, please visit the years 1860 – 1870. That’s where I’ll be living for the rest of 2019. 😉

Unless, of course, I need some romantic comedy in my life, then I will be in the present time writing sexy, funny things that make me LOL.

#WritersLife #Amwriting #WritersAreTheirOwnBreedofHuman

As always,
Cheers and happy reading

Jody A. Kessler

A Winter Morning in the High Country – Author Ramblings

Author Notes on a Friday morning… With a happy ending!

I’ve been awake since stupid o’clock. This is extra difficult since I stayed up late reading a book (as I often do) and the dogs were off and on awake throughout the night.

Why the 5 a.m. wake up call?

Because today is day 1 of Winter Ski Club – I don’t ski – but kidlet does and he’s been awake sine 4:?? a.m. – super excited, and can hardly contain himself about hitting the slopes for the first time this year. – I always wake up to pack his lunch and help him out the door.

After making sure he has enough food to last him a week, a pair of mittens, extra gloves just in case, hand warmers, a hat, snow suit, snow boots, bottle of water, and thirty warnings about safety – plus a, “Have fun today!” – I thought to myself – “I’m going back to bed and sleeping until I ABSOLUTELY have to get up and go to my DENTIST appointment.” — ugh. — Just what I want to do on my ‘bonus’ free day. I’d much rather be finishing my novel but the dentist appointment was already confirmed and I’M GOING, no matter how much I don’t really want to. – Does anyone really want their teeth scraped and gums prodded?

While snug beneath the covers and desperately trying to shut up my thoughts and sleep – something I’d been attempting since 11 pm last night – the phone rings. It’s John. He’s STILL at the bus stop waiting for the activity bus. He wants me to check with the teacher about where the heck the ski bus is and why it’s so late.

By the way, we have a landline here at my cabin in the middle of the Colorado wilderness… and I currently do not have caller I.D.  — The lack of caller i.d. is a minor inconvenience and an ongoing story of woe and phone company drama for another time, but I throw it in now to say, I have no idea who is calling until I pick up and say, “Hello?”  <— How very eighties of me, I know. Don’t judge. I dislike cell phones anyway. And now you know how backwards and out of date John and I really are. – I’m only partially kidding.

I make the call for him, even though I suspect the bus is late because A: there’s a crazy amount of fresh snow outside and it’s still coming down.

And B: it’s Day 1 of Winter Ski Club. Bonus, the teacher/club organizer is new this year.

But I call anyway, (I don’t send a text to the teacher because no cell phone, remember?) in my dark office, because it’s still stupid o’clock in the morning. I’m half dressed and getting colder by the second because I jumped out of bed to answer the phone which is in the other room. The teacher miraculously answers and says, “she’s on the bus and they are about 3 minutes away from the bus stop.”

Great news! I call John back. He doesn’t answer. – Confession: We actually do own cell phones. Old ones. Flip phones. And we only use them when traveling. Seriously, my phone is about 12 years old, which is why I still try not to send text messages.

I call John one more time, because I JUST spoke to him but he doesn’t answer again. — This is the joy of trying to use a cell phone in my area. Spotty reception at best – in a snowstorm – on his flip phone – in the dark. By this time, it’s now actually starting to get light outside.

And I am really cold by this point and I should put on some pants, and socks, and probably a sweatshirt.

Needless to say, I did not go back to sleep. John arrived about two minutes after I found my pants. Yoga sweatpants, let’s not get too crazy here.

AND>>>> while sitting at my desk doing admin. stuff, while caffeinating my poor sleep deprived brain, and waiting until I have to forge a path to the dentist through the worst snowstorm we’ve had all winter, which will take me over an hour to get there ( because of the weather and road conditions) the phone rings again.

My dental hygienist says hello and asks, “Are you coming to your appointment this morning? You can reschedule if you want to. The roads are terrible. It took me 3 times longer to get to work this morning. Everyone’s canceling due to the weather.”

I process her words slowly – I’m still tired and my one cup of Irish breakfast tea hasn’t really made any difference. – My brain slogs along with the conversation and finally goes something like this; What? Seriously? Yes!! Of course I want stay home and work on my book all day while I watch the snow come down outside my window, and my kid is having a great day at ski club!

I play it cool and politely reschedule my appointment.

Friday for the win! Snow Days aren’t just for kids!!

And now that I’ve shared my Friday notes, I’m off to clear the snow from my solar panels which helps keep our the batteries charged, and then finish writing Catching Kiera – Granite Lake Romance, book 6. – I also need (another) hot cup of tea or the whole pot.

In case you missed it, Detecting Autumn releases next Tuesday. I’m trying not to let my nerves take over, but I am nervous about the upcoming release. I hope you love the new book as much – or more – than I do. Also, I’ll be blogging again on Tuesday with a giveaway and an excerpt from the novel.

I hope you had more sleep than I did, and if you like to ski, I’ve heard that the snow is awesome in Summit County.  – I took a screenshot for you. You can also google, “Ski areas in Summit County Colorado” to find out more. – but notice every ski area says, “powder”! and look at that base (summit depth)! — that’s right, Kidlet is in heaven today!

No matter what you are doing, or where you are, have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Stay warm out there.



Granite Lake Romance

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”  ― Edith Sitwell

Mother’s Day Bliss, Dog Puke, and Plastic – What?

It’s been an amazing week. A near perfect week. I am so grateful for this day and every day. My husband made me French toast for breakfast and cleaned the kitchen. He told me, “Happy Mother’s Day” and bought me some small gifts that I really wanted. In truth, I ordered the presents for myself — but I’m totally okay with this, as they were something I wanted to try out. (I’ll get to this part of my Mother’s Day post in a minute.)

It’s Sunday and hubs has been spending nearly every free minute of his time with me and my son since he returned a couple days ago from a week-long road trip. He didn’t remember Mother’s Day until yesterday evening. He was actually shocked that Mother’s Day had arrived so soon –> Of course, I casually pointed out that Mother’s Day is always near our son’s birthday EVERY YEAR. –> but you know, my hubs’s memory is questionable and we won’t get into the number of his past head injuries.

So he woke up this morning and made me breakfast and this was after taking us to lunch yesterday and out for breakfast the day before (Yes, I’m feeling fluffy around the middle — and yes, I still ate the cinnamon raisin French toast.) And when I thanked him he said, “all the other things we’ve been doing since Friday were for the kidlet and he wanted to do something just for me.” <– Sweet, right?  I love hubby. And I don’t want to go out and do anything special today. For Mother’s Day I need to be home and relax after the BUSY week.

Because sometimes happiness is relaxing at home, knowing I’m cared for, and my needs are met. I have two jobs I love and a supportive family. That is my bliss. And… I picked out an Earth friendly Mother’s Day Present for myself – which for me, is special.

Because… Mother Earth is the source of all life and without our home we’re all screwed. Royally ‘effing screwed. <– That’s the title of my next romance novel, by the way. Totally kidding.

Every plant, animal, our water, air, and soil should be respected and taken care of. This has been on my mind a lot lately and I’ve reading too many devastating stories on the health of our planet and the environment. Having the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mentality engrained into my brain since I was child and taking care of our Mother Earth isn’t anything new. I’ve taken steps to be a more conscious human since I was a little kid, but recently, the “single use plastics” issue has been in the forefront of my concerns.

Here’s a blog post from National Geographic for more information:  Pesky plastic: The true harm of microplastics in the oceans

I made a promise to myself: From now on, I am using less plastic.

So I ask myself again, what can I REALISTICALLY do for the planet that I’m not already doing?

Which sort of leads to the real reason I’m blogging today.

To share the Mother’s Day gift I’m excited about trying.

This is what I bought:

Organic Reusable Food Wraps by Etee

Reusable produce bags (The ones I bought are now out of stock but there’s a wide variety of them on Amazon.)  Similar to these:

If I can make small changes in my daily routine that have less negative impact on our planet, then I’m doing SOMETHING. And all my little somethings will add up over a lifetime. What if we all made one small change every year – and taught our children to live in a similar way and continue our efforts? This could change our world for the better. 🙂

I started this post talking about my “near perfect week” and it has been fantastic, but it’s also been stressful. I don’t want anyone reading this and thinking Jody’s blogging because she leads some perfect fantasy life where all she does is sit around thinking up ways to save the planet. The truth is, I’m tired. I haven’t slept well for a week – or maybe 11 years. And after all the running around and enjoying the birthday celebrations and activities:

Last night, just after midnight I woke to the sound of my dog vomiting. I jumped – literally threw myself out of the bed – grabbed my glasses (so I could see any dog puke on the floor – and NOT step in it) to rush the dog outside before the puke hit the floor, or at least minimize the mess. And I shoved my hundred-and-twenty-pound dog out the door, turned around, and stepped right in cold dog vomit. (I was actually grateful it was on the tile and not the rug.) I limped to the bathroom trying not to dwell on the feeling of slime with hard chunks stuck to my foot and washed up in the bathtub, then returned to the hallway and cleaned up Nugget’s mess on my hands and knees. I eventually climbed back into bed and listened to my son cough and blow his nose because with all the birthday fun, he’s managed to acquire a cold. Yay. Not.

My poor kid feels like utter garbage. — Always keepin’ it real around here.

And I woke up this morning in a decent mood because somehow within the mystery of it all – the positive and happy moments and the less-than-stellar and challenging times that keep me humble – life is wonderfully complex and worth it.

And I just wanted to write this all down before I forgot. (I can’t blame past head injuries, my memory is awful.) Plus I’m excited about using less plastic and wanted to share what I found on Amazon to help me do just that – use less plastic.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend and the coming week, I hope it’s grand, or relaxing, or whatever you need it to be. Happy Mother’s Day to you, your loved ones, and our planet.