CowpuncherACS4x6As I somewhat explained during last week’s blog post, March has been a strange month for trying to get anything ordinary done. Accomplishments did happen, but not all of the ones I expected.

Since March 1, I have:

  • Transported people and supplies to and from a Walk to Emmaus. Our Pecos River Valley Walk to Emmaus is a wonderful spiritual retreat specifically designed to bring people into a closer relationship with God. My husband and I had the privilege of going on a walk last year and it was phenomenal.
  • Finished the last of my official duties for P.E.O. After three years of serving as one of my local chapter’s officers, I decided that I needed a break from duty. Consequently I’ll spend this year simply being a member of the educational organization and enjoying the perks of less responsibility.
  • Made arrangements to attend and sell artwork at AggieCon 45. I go to this sci-fi convention almost every year to meet with old friends and attend panels. This year AggieCon is being held at the College Station Hilton from April 4-6.
  • Been off work for 3 days while sick with a bad sinus infection. Thank heavens for chicken noodle soup and antibiotics!
  • Washed about 25 loads of laundry. It’s amazing how quickly dirt clothes accumulate when I’m sick!
  • Buried a friend. For those of you who haven’t read last week’s post about Jake, I highly recommend it.
  • Finished final preparations on the Musings anthology manuscript and sent it to my editor for critique. She has been a bit swamped lately, so I am doubly excited that she’ll have a chance to look at the book this week.
  • Cooked a few meals. I cooked ham, green beans, and sweet corn for Jake’s family while salsa chicken over seasoned rice and my signature spaghetti were served at our house. Thank goodness for the existence of takeout. My husband and I ate lots of burgers and sub sandwiches when I was ill.
  • Began the spring cleanup of our front field–I mean lawn. Weeds have been popping up since the end of January. I’ve pulled up about half of them, so I have a long way to go before our lawn actually looks like a lawn. I wonder if rocking in the side yard and the backyard is a viable financial for this year. It would certainly save us a lot of work in the long run.
  • Wrote over 3700 words on Dreamdrifter. I finally introduced my main characters to some of Lauraisha’s family! I am so happy! I have had some of those characters stuck in my head since I was 16. It is so nice to finally see them interacting on the page!
  • Photographed, edited, and uploaded event photos for a client. Our small town’s high school baseball and softball teams received a financial boost from one of my photography clients and so I was hired to photograph the event for marketing purposes. The occasion turned out to be a win for everyone I think.
  • Prepared my annual income and expense reports for tax purposes. One of the few things I do not enjoy about being self-employed is the exorbitant amount of state and federal taxes that I must pay. About 30 percent of my net income goes to our nation’s government and a little more than 8 percent of my gross income goes to my state and local governments. In a word, ouch.


In reading, I have:

  • Finished the Biblical book of Hebrews. This book gives a very good explanation of why Jesus Christ’s life, sacrificial death, and resurrection fulfills and eclipses the ancient Jewish law set down by Moses and the prophets. As much as I enjoy its teachings, I don’t recommend reading Hebrews without reading the five books of the Torah (the Old Testament books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) and at least the New Testament book of John first. Otherwise the book of Hebrews will not make as much sense.
  • Begun From the Indie Side anthology. I saw a mention about this book on Hugh Howey’s blog the other day and just had to read it. I’ve finished three short stories so far and I have to say that the quality of writing is quite good. Some indie authors have really impressed me lately. I am quite curious to see where the indie movement will go in the next few years and how writers and readers as a whole community will adapt to it.
  • Begun The Crystal Shard by R. A. Salvatore. I can thank Ian and Jake for getting me interested in this particular book. Ian has been touting the character of Drizzt for many years and Jake thought that I write like Salvatore, so of course I had to give the book a try. So far the book does drag a little in certain places, but I think that is more from the fact that I prefer a third person limited narration over a third person omniscient point-of-view in my stories over any other reason. I think my writing is faster-paced than this book, but I think Salvatore’s and my intense level of world-building are very close. I’ll see if other readers agree once you read Musings and Skinshifter.


In gaming, I have:

  • Played Minecraft. I am playing a specific game map on peaceful mode so that I can build a stellar house without worrying about creepers blowing up my work every two days. Is that cheating? Probably, but it is also the most relaxing game I’ve played in a long time. Right now, I need a time to relax.


All in all it has been a busy month so far, but not necessarily in the way of work. Considering the circumstances, I am proud of the work that I did accomplish—especially since most of it occurred in the last week.

During this week and next, I hope to add over 3000 words to the current word count of Dreamdrifter and to finish preparing for my upcoming trip to College Station for AggieCon. I hope to see all of you there!

Until our next meeting, may we each rewrite our world for the better!


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia C. Cooke and/or Alycia Christine Sears at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!