Week by numbers.

Wrapping up a few things before heading home!

  • ~750, days since I was last in the United States.  At least that is what I calculated my trips apart as.  Given the current state of the world, this feels about right.  What’s funny is how my internal clock went off approximately 1 week ago, and I’ve been really ready to go ever since.  I don’t imagine I’ll want to stay, as I love my life here in Dubai.
  • 1, second draft sent to my editor of The Queen #3.  In this edit, I did my best to really ‘read’ the book.  I took out as much extra as I could, and stumbled on a scene that needed to be added.
  • 5, Michelin stars in my future next week, and…
  • 4, tasting menus.  I am delight.
  • 30, degree difference between Dubai and London. I am excited to not step outside and immediately regret my decisions.
  • 6,362, words I’m into my next manuscript.  With a dead zone between finishing editing Queen #3 and leaving for vacation, I decided to get a leg up on next year’s book.  My hope is to hit 10K before we leave, but 8K seems a bit more realistic.
  • Moderate, success I’ve had keeping with my intermittent fasting.  Some days are definitely better than others, but I’ve been keeping to a schedule as much as possible.  Even if I don’t hit 13 hours, I do try for 11-12 whenever possible. I think I’ve lost weight, but am not entirely positive.
  • ???, I need to calculate which countries I’ve been to for my customs form, and should probably get this in order before we leave on Tuesday.

We leave on Tuesday, so I’m not sure what, if any regularity I’ll be posting between July 17th – August 3rd.

What have you been up to?

Week by Numbers.

I’m coming out the other side from finishing up the second draft of the Queen #3.  The book is due to the editor next month, and I got in the zone and then neglected everything else.  Oh well, it’s done and I think I’ve done right by the characters.

  • Less than 3, weeks, until we go home!  Even though the country is currently an absolute dumpster fire, I am excited to see friends and family (and Target).
  • Almost 2, weeks, that I’ve been intermittent fasting.  I’m using the Zero app, and while I don’t think my weight loss has been especially pronounced, it has made me think much more about eating and the processes that go with it.
  • 1, visit to the Dubai Eye studios — I was on the radio last Thursday, it was my second visit and it’s always such a blast.
  • 3, reviews The Queen of England: Grand Tour has finally achieved.  Five is the next goal, and then I can put a few marketing plans into place.  Hustling ain’t easy.  If you like an author and want to support them, make their day by leaving a review — I can’t stress how important this is.
  • 1, massive going away party going on tomorrow.  It will be the end of an era as our last South African friend departs Dubai.  Being an expat means a constant changes, but ultimately, you have to be happy for people making the right choices for them.  We’ll be sending off Barbara in style!
  • 17, minutes.  I’m currently working on our ‘year in review’ video we make every year to share.  From Australia last summer to now, there’s certainly been a lot of adventures.  Suggestions are welcome for music.
  • Second and third, 15th wedding anniversary happening in the next week.  Hubs and I have had a few wedding dates, so the remainder of the anniversaries takes place in the coming days.  I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since the Vegas vow renewal.

In addition to the big brunch tomorrow, I’ve got a virtual friend flying in this weekend — we’ve never met, but she was the photographer behind two of my book covers.  It actually isn’t the most random connection we’ve had come through and stay with us.  I’ll be playing tour guide for a day or two.

What are you up to this weekend?


Week by numbers.

Hi gang — it’s been a bit since I’ve done one of these, so let’s have an update, shall we?

  • 1, acceptance, to the Google Local Guides event in San Fransisco later in the year.  I really can’t believe I’ll be one of 150 flown in from around the globe.
  • 20 year, high school reunion, that I’m now going to attend!  The travel gods have smiled on me, and because of the timing of above, I’ll be able to go to the Brookwood Class of 1998 reunion (go Broncos!).
  • 23%, through Book #3, which I am currently completing the second draft of, before I send the manuscript to my editor next month.  Given some upcoming travel this year, I’m actually happy to get a bit ahead of the game.
  • 1, ridiculously annoying summer cold I have that refuses to stop.  I’ve taken antibiotics and everything, but I’m still not 100%.
  • 2, hours I was on the radio last week, in the studio with Dubai 103.8 chatting about food.
  • 10, years in the making, that I finally received an acceptance to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2019.  As an author, this has been a major goal of mine, and I think (!) I’m finally going to make it into the program.
  • 4 weeks, 3 days until we go home!  It’s been two years, and I’m more than ready!
  • All, the episodes of Masterchef Australia we’re watching.  I love how nice everyone is to each other versus the American version.  Plus, it’s reminding me of our trip to Oz last summer.
  • 1, voiceover ad I recorded.  SHARE IT.

Brunch tomorrow, then pasta night with friends on Saturday.  What are you up to this weekend?


Week by numbers.

It’s been awhile, yes?  I’ve been busy!

  • Saturday, the last day I had protein.  I’ve KNOCKED ON MY ASS by a flu/infection/food poisoning thing and it’s been brutal.  I haven’t had much of an appetite for days, and realized this morning that I haven’t had meat in awhile.  I kind of wish I had weighed myself on Sunday just to see how much weight I’ve lost with an appetite level at zero.
  • 3, trips to the clinic (only one of which actually worked out — yesterday was not a good day, y’all).
  • 4, different IVs I was on to infuse some medicine into my system, and, no, other than a good night’s sleep, I haven’t seen much of an improvement in my symptoms.
  • 34, 129, words I’m into my new Heist novel, my manuscript for 2018.  So far, so good, but I think I’m going to be short a few words in the rough draft.  Here’s hoping an inspirational storyline hits me soon.
  • 1, great book I read while illin.’
  • 1, legit terrible book I read (review forthcoming).
  • 1, book I’m reading for research for the Heist that I’m not particularly loving.
  • 1, week until we go to Zanzibar!
  • 38, officially years of age (my birthday was on March 17th).

Week by numbers.

Yes, it’s been awhile, but I’ve been busy! (I promise!)

The Queen #2 is done — like, complete and total final draft.  It’s off to the formatters.

  • 73,997, words.  I ended up cutting about 1,000 words from what I thought was the final draft to the real final.  I’m actually quite happy with this.  Basically, there is something great about reading on my Kindle and how that impacts the real experience of the book.
  • 224, pages, in case you were wondering.
  • 0, covers I’ve decided on.
  • 0, dates I’ve decided on for actually publishing the book.
  • 10,000AED, I managed to save after negotiating our rent yesterday.  Another year in Villa Hooks.
  • 1, dozen free chocolate covered strawberries I received (promotional).
  • 1, panel I’ll be speaking on this evening at NYUAD.
  • 1, pitch I’m working on for a NatGeo children’s show (no, I don’t have kids).
  • 1, article I’ve had accepted for Lonely Planet.
  • 1, article I’m hoping to place with USA Today (keep those fingers crossed).
  • 1, manuscript I need to start working on.
  • 1, fan fiction I’ll probably end up writing instead.
  • 1, book treatment I am actively avoiding.

Week by numbers.

Hey gang!  I’ve been busy so far this year, and here’s some reasons why…

  • 1, cold I’ve managed to get.  For someone who rarely gets sick, I’m not quite sure what’s going on and basically pretending like it’s not happening.
  • 1, gym we’ve joined!  Hello, cliches for a new year, but this was long overdue.  Even with my cold, I made it to two classes this week with plans for another at the weekend.
  • 169, pages on the (almost) final draft of The Queen 2 edited. There will still be a final ‘final’ polish and a few story ideas I need to double check, but I’m hopeful to be finished by the end of the month so I can start writing 2018’s book.
  • 0, National Championships won by my beloved UGA.  We were so close, but I’m very proud of how the Dawgs finished the season. (Don’t ask Hubs, he’s still pretty broken up over the results).
  • 1, article accepted by Lonely Planet.  Let the pitching continue!
  • 10:00PM, time I went to bed on NYE.  Yes, adulting!
  • ~5,000, words (almost) fan fiction written in the past two weeks.  My muse was on FIRE and it’s been fun!  I’m not really sure the why of it, but I’m not complaining.
Gif related and unrelated to amount of fan fiction.

I hope your 2018 is off to an amazing (flu free) start!

Week by numbers.

I mean, a week can be any amount of time, can’t it?

  • 70,928, total number of words for the completed (!) first draft of the final book of my Queen of England trilogy.  This is an increase from the rough draft which finished at 65,697.
  • 20, pages cut from the original document.  So, I cut quite a bit and added more back in (and I’m not quite done yet).
  • 1, spin off novel I came up with while editing.  It might make a better novella than novel, I’m not quite sure yet.
  • 1, draft of Queen 2 received back from my editor (no, I haven’t actually opened it just yet).
  • 3, attempts at some Bookstagram photos, that I’ll be posting at some point in the next week on my Instagram.
  • 1, new episode of What’s Cooking UAE you can find me on.
  • 0, plans I have as of now for NYE.  (Officially, 37 is old).