The Bucket List

Everyone has one, right? Things you want to do before you die. My husband and I want to see all the MLB ballparks, all 30 of them. We take a vacation every couple of years and see one or two more. This year we hit 3 of them.

Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ballpark), Cleveland Indians (Progressive Field), and Pittsburgh Pirates (PNC Park) This year we managed to get tickets for the ballpark tour for all three parks as well.

The Reds have an awesome park, right on the river. The tour and the Hall of Fame were lots of fun. I love hearing all the inside stories of players, sportscasters, and owners.

We got to go to two games as well. The weather was beautiful and the games were fun. I love seeing and hearing what different teams do during their games.  There was a race with Mr. Redlegs (with moustache), Mr. Red (younger looking version), and Rosie Red.

And don’t forget the Skyline chili. Yummmmm!

 

What’s on your bucket list?


Jill James, romance writer and baseball fan

There’s no place like home.

Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it was a wonderous journey but there is something to be said about sleeping in your own bed after a shower in your own room.

In 14 whirlwind days we drove to Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. We saw ballparks, Halls of Fame, and ate some amazing food, then drove home again.

I love vacations, but I love coming home more. I hope to post some pictures this coming week.


Jill James, romance writer

Romance – sweet or sexy?

My Lake Willowbee Series used to be all one series until I realized it was actually two series set in the same world of the fictional Lake Willowbee, California, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I have four books that are on the sexy side and I have four books on the sweet side with another one coming out in a boxed set this Christmas with the Authors of Main Street.

 

 

The Lake Willowbee Series – 3/5 heat level

Book 1 – Divorce, Interrupted     B005S9ZIN2
Book 2 – Dare To Trust     B007611ZVY
Book 3 – Defend My Love     B00AF3TD8W
Book 4 – The Reluctant Bride     B00KNAXUO0 (Weddings on Main Street)

The Sweet Lake Willowbee Romance Series – 1/5 heat level

Book 1 – Waking Up For Christmas     B01N2VQ4X3 (Christmas at the Inn on Main Street)
Book 2 – Baby Steps and Snowflakes     B077D1456Q (Christmas Babies on Main Street)
Book 3 – Retreat, Interrupted     B07FMBJQ63 (Summer Romance on Main Street)
Book 4 – In My Dreams     B07L355LSP (Christmas Wishes on Main Street)
Book 5 – Sugar Sprinkled Memories     coming soon!

Do you like your romance books sweet, sexy, or a little of both?


Jill James, author of the Lake Willowbee series

Happy Birthday to my son.

I can not believe it has been 29 years since your birth. I still remember you being overdue and going to play minature golf on April 1st and the pains starting and getting to the hospital to be told April Fool’s!! I was just dehydrated. It would be eight more days before you made your appearance.

In every life there are ups and downs, highs and lows, but overall, you have been the ups and the highs of my life.

Happy Birthday!!!


Jill James, mom and writer

The Boys of Summer are Back

At our house, we love baseball season. For quite a few years we had season tickets to the Oakland A’s. We had to give them up when we moved to Reno. It is TOO far to go for a baseball game.

Thankfully, Reno has the AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Reno Aces. We still get baseball! This is our third year with season tickets. There is nothing like Opening Day.

It is fun to watch the up and comers and try to guess who will move on to the Show! The ballpark is clean and smaller than a big league stadium. But, there are sing-alongs, activities between innings, and fireworks every Friday.

Do you like to go to sporting events? Who is your favorite team?


Jill James, romance writer and baseball fan.

Renewing my RWA membership

Another year, another debate in my brain. Do I renew or not? I’ve had lots of friends not renew. They’ve stated monetary reasons, not-for-me reasons, I can get all of the info online for free reasons.

I got out the credit card and renewed once again. I belong for the people. My circle. Romance writers and readers. I need a place where they talk my language and understand my angst over something as simple as a book title or as complicated as running a small business as a one-woman show.

During this weekend of WTF on the RWA forums I mulled seriously over not renewing this year. I hate confrontation, I hate drama, I hate yelling (figuratively, it is online, you know). But, I finally decided, you can’t complain if you aren’t part of the solution. I want to be part of the solution. If you missed all of what is going on, I’m sorry but I can’t summarize what went down. If you participated and commented and explained to all, thank you for helping us to understand why we haven’t all reached happily-ever-after yet.

If you need a summary much better than I could ever do…RWA statement

All I can add is “be the solution, not the problem!”


Jill James, romance writer

No Candy Hearts

I was shocked to see that there will be no candy conversation hearts this year since the company went out of business or sold to someone else (not 100% sure which). Those little hearts were the joy of my childhood. Every Valentine’s Day in the classroom you knew you would get at least one or two of those little boxes along with the perforated, cardboard cards. It wasn’t that they tasted so great, they are actually kind of chalky. They aren’t chocolate after all. But, it was like a sensory memory of joy and friendship, along with the sweet messages imprinted on their colorful surfaces.

Since we are trying so hard to lose weight this year, there will be no luxurious red boxes of chocolates, but I’ll hold on to that joyful memory of candy hearts from a friend.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Jill James

Squish the Boobs

A little reminder to schedule your mammogram today. I’m getting mine done. Not my favorite task to do, but something we have to do. The anticipation and anxiety is worse than the 10 minutes it takes to get it done.

So, don’t forget to schedule yours.

 

 


Jill James, romance writer

If it doesn’t belong to you…

don’t take it. I need to vent, people. At midnight I was on the phone to my bank to cancel a transaction I didn’t do and an hour on hold the next morning to get Barnes & Noble to realize I didn’t order a bunch of movies. Then I spent the day taking my debit card off websites and changing passwords everywhere. Grrrrr! Arghhhh! Now I’ll have to add a new debit card when it arrives and verify to B&N before I can order anything else. Maybe they should have made the POS verify who he was?!!!

My dad told me “if it isn’t yours, don’t pick it up.” It is such an easy concept, everyone should try it. If it’s not yours, don’t take it.

I’ve worked hard for what I have in life, you can’t have it. Simple. Try it sometime.


Jill James, romance writer

Little Moments

This year I want to enjoy the little moments of life. The beauty of the outdoors, the relationships in my life, and getting my body in shape to enjoy the moments of life for a long time to come.

Watching the snow fall for hours as it covered the patio and walls and fences was breath-taking. At midnight it was as bright as a coming twilight with the moonlight glimmering on the white, white snow. We just laid in bed and gazed out the glass door and it was mesmerizing.

Enjoy the moments, Jill

 

2019 – Happy New Year

For years I would do New Year’s Resolution. About February they were dust in the wind. Then my friend gave me a Wishing Pot. Each New Year’s Eve I sit down and open it up and read what my wishes were for the year. Some come true, some don’t, and some happened that weren’t in the Wishing Pot at all.

wish pot

This past New Year’s Eve I got my wish pot off the shelf and opened it up. Imagine my disappointment to find no wishes inside. The wish pot had still been packed away last New Year’s Eve after the move to our new house and it was months later that my office was finally in order and the little pot on a shelf.

 

 

But, now it has new wishes for this coming year. 1 writing-related, 1 health-related, and 1 personal. It is funny how I won’t think about those wishes until it is time to check them next New Year’s Eve. Happy wishes to everyone for 2019 to be all you want and need it to be.

What is your wish for 2019?


Jill James, romance writer

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

Happy New Year 2019

Most times people take this time of year to kick the past year to the curb, glad to see it go. They are looking forward to a bright, shiny new year. Although, I will be glad to greet a new year, 2018 was very good to me. I published 3 books, I tried something new ( Kindle Scout), and best of all, celebrated my first year in my brand-new home.

Look back with fondness and greet the new year with love and a sense of adventure.

Happy New Year to all, Jill James

Our Anniversary–for the house

In our family we celebrate our house anniversary–the day we moved into our house. In our old house, it was St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th. So, no corned beef and cabbage for this Irish family, we had a nice steak dinner.

Today is the first anniversary of our new, built just for us, house. So we are having a nice steak dinner, red potatoes, salad, rolls, and wine to toast our first year here in Reno. Can not believe a whole year has passed since we got the keys and moved from our apartment with several inches of snow on the ground and soooooo cold.

Happy Anniversary to our home.


Do you celebrate in offbeat ways in your family?


Jill James, romance writer

Decisions, decisions.

A writer’s world is full of decisions. Titles, characters, plots, plotting or pantsing, 3rd person POV or 1st. My dilemma at the moment is what to work on next.

I have three W.I.P.s (Works In Progress) at the moment. Do I add to the Time of Zombies series with book 4 (Willa and Danny’s story) or add to Ghost Releasers, Inc. with books 2 and 3? (Andrea and Luke/Donna and Rafe) I’m loving each of these stories and excited to add to each series. But I can’t seem to settle down and just write.

I had really thought to work more on them during Nanowrimo in November and into December here with all the presents shopped and wrapped and decorations done, but it just isn’t happening. I think I will write every December and every December I don’t. So the plans for the new year will be 3 books and several novellas.

Happy writing and reading, Jill.

Christmas ornaments

I love decorating the Christmas tree each year. Last year we were in an apartment getting ready to move into our new house so we didn’t decorate at all. We were in a new house with almost no furniture and didn’t have our decorations(in storage). We drove to see family and didn’t stay home for Christmas Eve and Day.

This year we got out everything we own for the holidays. It was fun to see the family ornaments after missing a year. The little ones of popsicle sticks and foam the kids and grandkid made over the years. The old ones passed down from generation to generation. The ones that represent a person or a place we’ve been. And the new ones we get each year to make the year.

My mother-in-law gets us a new one each year too. They are beautiful crystal and silver and bright. This is this year’s one!

Do the ornaments on your tree have special stories too?

 


Jill James, romance writer

Giving Thanks

Of course, we should give thanks every day for all of the people in our lives, our health, our bountiful riches, but sometimes we need a nudge, a reminder. For me, that is Thanksgiving. A day to sit with family and friends and reflect on all you have received in your life. Give thanks!

From my house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Never Forget

Originally posted September, 10, 2009 on my blog

Sometimes September 11th, 2001 seems like yesterday and sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago.  You find yourself dividing your life into before and after 9/11.

We had just moved into our new house a few months before the event and it added to the disorientation to be in what still seemed a strange house, in a strange neighborhood, and in strange times.

My son was still in elementary school and I spend the early hours unsure whether to send him to school or not.  Sure, we lived in an itty, bitty town so nothing would probably happen but I didn’t want him out of my sight either.  I remember he stayed home 2 or 3 days until the principal called the parents and asked them to please send the children to school so they could get back to normalcy.

Remember the date. Honor the victims. Salute our soldiers.

The best way to remember is to have a family plan for emergencies. Do you have a plan?

Jill James

Autumn is Coming

At least here in Reno, Nevada it is. Looks like in the 80s most of this week and in the 40s first thing in the morning. The trees are starting to turn orange and red. The sky is a vivbrant blue and wispy clouds scutter across the vista.

I love summer but it is awesome to live somewhere with 4 actual seasons. Loving it.

I’ll be putting out my September newsletter as soon as I have my newest book cover, so if you want to be among the first to see it, subscribe to my newsletter. http://eepurl.com/hvtn-/


Jill James, romance writer

Shadow Box Keepsakes

I’m a collector of things, I’ll freely admit that. I love the history of things. I collect porcelain dolls, salt and pepper shakers, and books–lots and lots of books. I also sometimes get in my possession things from those who came before me.

As a kid and teenager I had a purple quilt on my bed. Each square had a state bird, state flower, and state name on it from all 48 states.

You read that right. At the time the quilt was made–by my grandma and her sisters we only had 48 states in the USA.

Along the way, my dad got the quilt and hung it in a window. I can hear the gasps from all the ladies who know what that means. The quilt fell apart, eaten away by the sun. I thought of trying to save it. I’m not that good of a seamtress. I thought of sending it away to get repaired but I feared losing it and it was just too damaged.

So, I decided to try to save just a piece of it. Now that I’m in Nevada it seemed fitting to save the Nevada square. Since the squares are in order of the states joining the union, the Nevada one wasn’t too bad. So I decided to put it in a shadow box for my office.

I’m not always great at the arts and crafts things, but I think it turned out just fine. I added two casino chips to the box, because, hey!! Reno. I attached the quilt square to a canvas and put it in the box. The shadow box is gray and almost matches my desk exactly. I love it!!

shadow box 2


Do you collect old things or always get new?


Jill James, romance writer