Week by numbers.

Happy New Year!

I hope yours is off to an amazing start.  I’ve managed to make a bit of progress so far.  Some numbers, you ask?

  • 108 pages edited out of 214 pages (for the Queen sequel).
  • 67,277 words.  In case you’re keeping track, I’ve added about 5,000 words from the rough draft.  Given how much I’ve also cut out, things are exactly about where I thought they would be at this point…which would have the book finish directly next to Book #1 (75K exactly).  Knowing I have some scenes I still need to write, it’s definitely not easy going, but it’s been great to cut things that didn’t work and add in more exciting scenes (ahem air battles ahem).
  • 0 drinks I’ve had so far this year.  This will go out the window tonight, as Hubs and I head out for a fancy French meal, but at least I’ve stayed true to my ‘only drink when reviewing’ plan.  Let’s see how long it lasts!
  • 1, visit to spin class (with another scheduled for Saturday).
  • 20 episodes of Chopped I’ve seen (it’s my new obsession…but really I’m just trying to better understand how to talk about food).
  • 50, meters in the sky I’ll be dining at next Monday, as part of the media launch (lunch?) for Dinner in the Sky (Dubai).
  • 1, excellent concert attended.  Thanks to Coldplay for a perfect intro to 2017.
  • 90, minutes (at least) stood waiting and walking and trying to find a taxi post-concert.  Less learned — going out on New Year’s absolutely requires advance booking for return trips (no matter where in the world you are celebrating)!
  • 1, almost trip to the States that happened to protest P-E Trump’s inauguration.  #notmypresident

What’s going on with you?  Anything you’re looking forward to in 2017?


2017 Reading Challenge.

2017 Reading Challenge

I always love these challenges!  Maybe one year when I’m not working on a novel (or 3), I’ll be able to commit to them.

In case you’re looking for some matches with the above list, might I offer the following?

  • A book by an author who uses a pseudonym.  Look no further than Ann Benjamin (I also publish under my real name, Courtney Brandt).
  • A book involving travel.  While technically Room 702 stays in one place it could count, but Life After Joe is all about a road trip, so I think it definitely ticks the box.
  • A book that’s published in 2017.  The Queen of England: Coronation is definitely coming out next year.  Actual release date: TBD.
  • A book involving a mythical creature, kind of a 2 for 1 with above.  There is a unicorn involved.
  • A steampunk novel.  Yay, this makes the Queen 3 for 3.
  • A book with a title with title that’s a character’s name.  See, Life After Joe.
  • A book set in a hotel.  Room 702 is completely set in a hotel.

And there you have it!  Lots of good choices this year.

Did you complete the challenge in 2016 or another year?

Sunday Sentence.

I was, in my heart, a reader, which really, then, was the beginning of it all, since writers are just readers who need a job.” — Carolynn Carreño, author of the forthcoming cookbook Bowls of Plenty

It’s still Sunday in the States!  My mother in law sent this to me (as part of a larger quote) and it struck a chord with me.  The reference ‘reading’ above is EB White, one of the authors I first fell in love with when I started reading (and haven’t looked back).

Week by numbers.

As we rush to the end of the year…A busy week!

  • 33 pages — I’ve made some great progress in the Queen sequel, including:
    • 1, new subplot introduced.
    • 1, old subplot dispatched of.
  • 63,854, current word count.
  • A few, glasses of personal vintage champagne I tried last night (more on that experience shortly).
  • 1, article published with Matador (ongoing coverage of being an American expat).
  • 1, article published with A Luxury Travel Blog (and I’m working on my next one now).  Sorry, the link is being weird.
  • 1, meeting I had with some of the tourism professionals from Florida.
  • 1, spin class complete (yay!).
  • A lot, of packages that are arriving.  I’m getting to be friends with our Aramex delivery guy.

Also, I loved this skit from SNL.


Action of the day.

Why I haven’t been sharing things we can do to stop Trump on a daily basis I’m not sure, but here’s one to start, and I’m always open to suggestions.

If you want to support Senator Warren’s request to audit President-Elect Trump’s finances for conflicts of interest, the most effective way to be sure your support is noted is to email two administrators, Katherine Siggerud and Timothy Minnelli.

Their email addresses are siggerudk@gao.gov, minellit@gao.gov. There is a third email, congrel@gao.gov, through which they are tracking people who were urging support for an audit.

You can send one email addressed to:
siggerudk@gao.gov, minellit@gao.gov, congrel@gao.gov

Subject line: Re: Audit for President-Elect Trump’s financial concerns

Dear Ms. Siggerud and Mr. Minnelli,

I’m writing in support of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s request for an audit of our incoming President-Elect Trump’s finances, to prohibit conflicts of interest that would prevent him from carrying out the responsibilities of the office without corrupt influence.