Tag Archives: work

Hey Stranger

Um, so it feels like forever since I blogged. For some reason, I just can’t seem to come up with anything interesting to write about in terms of me.

Are y’all still here? If so, thank you so much! How’s life been treating y’all?

You know how things just sort of go crazy. You have a set plan in place, a goal in mind that you’re bound and determined to follow and then BLAM! fate throws you a curveball? That’s what it’s been like for me. After the release of Touched by Lightning, I’ve been dodging curveball after curveball. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been ogling sexy men over on Facebook because y’all know that’ll happen no matter what.

But for about three months my creative energy was gone. Oh I tried to write, tried to pretend I was going to have a story finished by April and another finished in May. I even had a spreadsheet with all of my ideas and schedules planned out. Then real life intruded, bold and brash, bullying my muse. Between the EDJ and family crises, my muse was whimpering like a whipped puppy.

Things aren’t better, but they aren’t worse either. I’m starting to finally (slowly) get a handle on things. None of those things that’ve been holding me back have gone away. If anything, they’ve gone from schoolyard bullies to massive giants stomping all over everything, but my muse is fighting back. She wants to write stories with happy endings (and not just of the sexual kind heh). She wants to exert a little control over something even if it’s an imaginary world.

So saying that, I’ve just finished a short story for an upcoming box set called Brought to His Knees. I’m going into this awesome undertaking with ten other authors: A.M. Griffin, Amy Ruttan, Anya Richard, Sabrina York, Sayde Grace, Jennifer Kacey, Felice Fox, Cynthia d’Alba, Tina Donahue and Lynne Silver. I have to say, it’s pretty amazing what eleven determined authors can accomplish and I really think this box set will have something for everyone’s tastes. My contribution to this set is the next story in my Southern Sin series. Don’t worry, we’ll be having a huge book cover reveal and prizes and… you know what? How about y’all follow our Facebook page to find out what’s going on next? We’re having takeovers, giveaways, you name it and we have it 😉

Brought To His Knees

And starting soon, possibly even today (shocker!) I plan to start a series that’s been driving me insane for the last two months. Maybe it has to do with all of the stress that’s built up since January, but I’m going dark and grim with this new series. Oh don’t worry, I still plan to write my shifters in the Cajun Heat series and stories in my Grand Terre world, but a writer’s got to write where the muse allows her, right? 😉

I’m going to try a lot harder to blog more often, but I’m not promising anything because when I do… 😉

So how about y’all? How has everyone been?

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Lovely Friday

I started off this week sick as a dog, but I’m so glad it’s Friday I could almost dance. Almost because this girl does not have the moves like Jagger. Not at all.

Of course because it’s finally the end of the week, it means I’m about to start up yet another week of training. That’s a good thing, right? Learning is always good. If I can keep my eyes open. The only really great thing I can think of to make up for being away from home and my bed a whole week is I get to spend it with my aunt and uncle. I’ve already put in my request for as much kimchee, bulgogi and other Korean dishes as I can possibly think of. Oh yeah, Danica is going to eat well next week.

The worst part of having been sick this week is I didn’t really get to celebrate the release of my erotic menage, Sweetest Taste of Sin. Sure, I posted about it on Twitter and Facebook, but I didn’t do the whole Happy Release Day to me! thing I normally do. So I’m going to do that now.

Yay! Happy Belated Release Day to me!

Okay. Phew, glad that’s over. Well not really. I’m going to post the blurb and buy links as well as my Friday song. *think* I had a few on tap when I started this post but I think it’ll have to be the song that made me think of the title for this short story. Ne-Yo’s “Closer” is such a good dance song and of course it gave me the idea for the book.

And here it is…Sweetest Taste of Sin.

SweetestTasteofSinARe

Logan Guillory finally has what she’s always wanted, a loving, sizzling relationship with J.B. Calhoun. So why can’t she shake her overwhelming need for his twin brother Anthony? Her small town morals tell her it’s not normal to love two men with equal fervor, but not even the risk of damaging her standing in Grand Terre, Louisiana can make her stop wanting to be possessed by them both.

 Anthony ‘Ant’ Calhoun had his eye on Logan long before his brother entered the picture, but now he’s lost his chance, or so he thinks. J.B. has other ideas, which includes sharing Logan’s sensual caresses and big heart with his brother. Torn between overwhelming need and fear of the scandal that might ensue, Ant resists with all his might, but doesn’t stand a chance against the needs of the two people he loves most.

Giving in threatens everything they all hold dear, but who can resist the sweetest taste of sin?

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The Sickness

It had me. I mentioned that last week, I think, but it got worse over the weekend. I medicated myself with cough syrup and had no luck so I carried my sick ass to the doctor on Monday for him to diagnose me with bronchitis and upper respiratory infection.

I’m finally back in the land of the living. Yay. I feel so much better. Life is about to get cray-cray with real life stuff. Mostly EDJ things I have to do like training and the like, but that’s okay. Right? It’s for a good cause. It just means I won’t be around as much until right before Christmas.

I know, don’t cry for me…er Argentina.

And because life is about to be crazy, I don’t have a lot of time to post anything terribly witty or meaningful. So to commemorate my life for the last four days, I picked DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat”. Cause that’s what I’ve been doing. A lot.

Happy Wednesday!

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Commitment

First off, I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day.

I had a lazy weekend for the most part. I did housework, but I also worked on world-building for a series I’m trying to kick off the ground. It’s going to be cool and I can hardly wait to hear what others think about it because oh the hopes I have! It’s amazing what a little excitement means to my overall feelings of optimism. I’m not the optimistic type, in case you didn’t know. I prefer grim, stark reality to wishing and hoping for the best. Reality is me thinking this thing is going to tank hard and I’ll be wearing the imprint of hitting the ground on my face forever.

We’ll see. Right now I’m too caffeine deprived to muster up much enthusiasm for anything but sleep.

But that isn’t even the purpose of today’s post. Nope, today is about commitment. Something I think I might have a little trouble with. You see, I realized today marks seven years I’ve been at my present Evil Day Job. It’s the seventh anniversary of the day I walked through the doors and sat at a desk, not my official date because I started as a temp. Sure, things have changed since that day. I’ve been promoted to a position that has convinced several coworkers that I’m a spy. Which I’m totally not. I don’t have time for that sneaky bullshit. I’m a busy person, y’all.

Yet the more I sit here thinking about my job and the fact that this is the only company I’ve worked at for longer than six years…yeah, I’m feeling the urge to move on. Is it the seven-year itch? Or just a misplaced belief that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? However, just because there’s an urge doesn’t mean I’m going to follow it. That’s where being a “responsible adult” comes into play.

I can’t just pick up and quit my job. I have responsibilities. I want to buy a house, become debt free, put money away for an early retirement. By the way, is 40 too young to retire? I don’t have a chance in hell of retiring that soon, but it’s a dream of mine. Retired at 45! How awesome would that be? I could write full-time, go to conferences…*sigh* Okay, so sometimes I find myself hoping and dreaming of things that’ll never happen. I’m a writer. Go figure.

Anyway, seven years. SEVEN YEARS. Working for one company. I shudder and I try to forget about it. It’s a job, not a lifetime commitment, right? I can leave anytime I want. Right? *whimper* Okay, so it’s probably a good thing I’m not married. I like my freedom a little too much to be tied up that way. Unless Gerard Butler finally decides he’s going to stop being stubborn and see Cajun is the way to go. Then we’ll see.

Meh, that’s enough rambling. I need more coffee.

Happy Monday y’all

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Where In The World Is Danica Avet?

It doesn’t have quite the same ring as Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? does it?

Ah well, I’ll have my own theme song soon enough. As for where I’ve been…have you ever had weeks when the world seems determined to test your sanity? I’ve had about two months of that. As a result, my blog has suffered, my writing has suffered and I’m almost positive I have more gray hair.

I’m trying to get things back on track with group blogs, the personal blog and most importantly my writing. I’m now working 7 days a week. The regular evil day job Monday through Friday and writing on the weekends. If only I could explain the sheer mind-numbness that happens when I get home on a weekday…about all I can do in the evenings is change clothes and flop on the sofa.

But the weekends. Ah, the weekends are mine. I have planz people. Planz that must be completed before I can put my big plan of taking over the world into place.

So that’s where Danica is. Plotting everything other than her next book because she much prefers pantsing. And working at a job that doesn’t appreciate her genius. But I will be bringing you some smexy men and music and laughs. Once I dig my way out of paperwork and headaches.

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Hacksaw to the Bone?

The theme for What’s Playing Wednesdays this month is misunderstood lyrics. You know you’ve done it. Everyone’s done it at least once and we’re going to embrace our silliness (or bad hearing) this month.

Today’s song was one I figured was a no-brainer. It’s obvious they’re saying “Hats off to the bull”. Yet I discovered a coworker completely misunderstood this song. Let me set the stage for you:

It was my boss’ birthday. We went to the golf course for lunch. It’s a nice place and the food is decent. Most of the office is crowded around this table and the coworker who’s my least favorite is seated across from me. I spent most of the lunch chatting with the girls and trying to ignore my boss and his main cohort’s antics (They’re going to hell. Just sayin’). Anyway, somehow we got on the subject of music for the company Christmas party (Which I’m not attending).

The coworker I least like suddenly stops and says, “You listen to that hard stuff. Do you like Chevelle?”

Feeling as though I was about to step into something sticky, I answered in the affirmative. Chevelle is one of those bands whose songs I love, but I’ve never managed to buy their albums. I listen to them when they come on the radio and jam out like there’s no tomorrow, yet I can’t be bothered to buy their music for some reason.

Anyway, he says, “You know that song, Hats Off to the Bull? Well I heard it, really liked it and started looking for it but I could never find it because I thought they were singing “hacksaw to the bone”.”

Hacksaw to the bone…Hats off to the bull…It must be a down the bayou thing. It seemed pretty straight forward to me, but the more I listened to this song and put myself in my Cajun mind…the more I could honestly hear “hacksaw to the bone” which sounds pretty bad ass, doesn’t it?

You be the judge, do you hear hats off to the bull or hacksaw to the bone?

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The Inevitable Let Down

I’m still flying high about my agent and all the other good news that bombarded me in the last week of 2010, but for every high, there’s a low. No, nothing happened. I’m not depressed or anything like that. I’m actually…well, content and happy. Except I can’t maintain that jittery, Chihuahua on crack excitement I felt last week.

Is it possible to have 2 Mondays in one week? That’s what today feels like. At some point, you have to come off your high and doesn’t that just suck? I think I held onto it for a rather long time and through boring and so-not fun things, yet here I am, feeling…eh. I’m happy, but not bouncing off the walls. The high has worn off and now I have to start thinking about what’s going to happen next.

Next will be making promotional items for the three books coming out with Siren. Next will be the arduous editing process for those three books. Next is scheduling a blog tour for each book without saturating the interwebz with my presence. Next is hoping and praying that my agent and I will have marvelous news.

It’s the waiting for the “next” that drives me batty. Yes, I could work on one of the two WIPs I have on the burner and I will, just maybe not today. It’s kind of like when you’ve eaten too much (or exerted yourself too much) to even reach for the remote control two feet away from you, meaning you’re stuck watching an infomercial on…the amazing nail gun, or this really great workout equipment. You know eventually the infomercial will end, or you’ll fall asleep, or you’ll grab that remote, but for the right now? Well…who knew nail guns could do that? You might have to buy one just to see if it’s all that and a bag of chips.

Anyway, the second round of revisions to my agent are in her hands and out of mine for the moment. I’m waiting for things I bought to come in so I can start working on those promotional giveaway items. I’m waiting for edits for Ruby’s story. It’s kind of a limbo, but it’s a limbo I’m kind of relieved to have. I have a feeling the next three months are going to bypass hyper speed and go straight to ludicrous speed.

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Bad Things Happen to Good People

Originally, I was all about posting some stuff about this band called Apocalyptica, but then I had a visit from one of my co-workers. She’s a sweet lady, one of the most positive and upbeat people I’ve ever met. She’s a mess today.

See, she’s had a bad year. A very, very bad year. Back in April, her son became sick and after extensive testing, it was found that he had a brain tumor. He’s three. He was in Children’s Hospital for weeks while the doctors tried to decide how to remove the tumor, what kind of tumor it was, etc. Luckily, it came back as benign and they were able to remove the entire tumor, but it doesn’t end there.

As with most of us middle-class workers, she and her husband work hard to make ends meet. He has two teenage daughters from his first marriage, and they have their little boy. The medical bills alone are staggering. We took up a collection at work for them because we all love her and her husband. They’re the kind of people who will do anything for you, cheer you up and make you laugh, and they’re just generally great, great people.

For about two months, she’s been talking about getting an appraisal on her house (bought maybe 4 years ago) because they want to do improvements. Well, last week, they noticed something that gave them grave concern. They suspected mold. Yesterday she took off of work because an environmental company was coming to check out her house to take samples and the like.

It’s black mold. I’ve never in the four years I’ve worked with her, seen this woman cry, but she just stood in my office and sobbed. Why? Why do these horrible things keep happening to her family? They’re a family of five trying to live in their living and dinning rooms. Her son just had brain surgery and is scheduled for a check-up in a couple of weeks, he’s also supposed to be starting Pre-3 next week at a very good school that requires tuition. Again, why?

I felt inadequate because what is there to say other than “I’m so sorry”? I wish I could just rip down the walls myself, but I can’t. I wish I could hand her a few grand and tell her to pay her insurance deductible and not to worry about it. Instead, all I can do is tell her something my mom has told us after every tragedy our family has gone through: God never gives us more than we can handle. Apparently God thinks my co-worker can handle a lot and she probably can. It’s astonishing what people can do when they have no other choice.

That doesn’t mean it’s any easier. And then you have to look at people who make no effort to be good and decent, who lay about thinking they’re owed something simply because they’re alive, and you wonder why. Why do good people have to suffer? Is it because it makes them better people? My aunt and uncle lost both of their children. BOTH of their children, one at age 4 and the other at 22, yet they’re still the kindest people you’ll ever meet.

What makes some people experience problems that turn them bitter and full of hate, but other people kinder, more loving? I suppose it’s one of the great mysteries of life that we’ll never solve, but that doesn’t stop my need to ask WHY?

I know this isn’t my usual blogging subject and if you were in a wonderful mood, this might’ve even laid you low for a bit and for that I’m sorry. However, I just wanted to get as many people as I could to pray and think positive thoughts for this family. You don’t know them, but they are wonderful people who deserve a rest from trouble.

Now I’m getting off my soapbox and going to do some research on programs that might help them. Y’all have a good day!

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Hello It’s Me

*waves* Y’all remember me, right? Danica Avet. Good to see ya!

I’ve been kind of…gone from social networking lately. I’ve kept up with my Tweets and Facebook updates, but I haven’t really had a chance to keep in touch with y’all lately. I’ve also been a horrible critique partner lately. So sorry! All I can say is, the real world grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go.

First there’s work. This is a good thing because it means I’m earning money, but really, there’s only so much whining and tattle-tailing I can take. No, I’m not an elementary school teacher. It would make sense if I were. No, I’m talking about the grown men who point the finger at their co-workers when I pin them down for doing something wrong.

Me: Why, why, why are there paint cans just sitting on the ground out here?

Foreman: I don’t know. They aren’t mine. Those belong to Harry. He left them there. Or, it might’ve been the painters from MC. Yeah, they left that there.

Me: And?

Foreman: I’ve been busy making money for the company!

Me: You’re gonna end up costing the company money if you don’t pick that paint up and put it where it belongs.

Silence.

And that’s just one instance. Le sigh. That’s been going on since I started in this position, but it was worse over the last three days because I was out in the yard with these guys for that long. Complaining, bitching, and moaning. And men say that’s all women do. *snort*

Then the personal life intruded. I’m not gonna go into the very ill-advised drinking I did Saturday night, but suffice it to say that I’m never ever drinking three bottles of Chardonnay by myself again. *shudder* I was too brain dead and hung over to talk with my interweb friends. I couldn’t even hold a simple conversation with my dog this weekend, much less keep up with the witticisms of my peeps.

Hopefully though, hopefully, things will calm down again. I do like being busy, but really, there’s a limit to how much I can take. I haven’t written in several days, just now sent off a critique I was supposed to have looked at this weekend, and still have three chapters to look at for someone else. These are important things for me to do! So yeah, kind of hoping someone doesn’t pop in my office and say, “Hey, can we talk about that comment you made on that audit you did because I’m almost positive it wasn’t my fault?”

Oy vey.

Can’t wait to catch up with y’all again!

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Don’t Wanna See Dead People

Right. So I was a bit obsessed with the body farm speaker during the Conference last month. I was so intrigued by it, that I mentioned it to my co-workers (who have no idea I write). I talked about the actual body farms, the deer eating dead people thing, and other little tidbits I learned from that workshop. I didn’t realize it would be such a great conversation starter!

One of my co-workers told a story about how when he worked at another shipyard, they lost a welder. The guy was having marital problems and everyone figured he’d just taken off one day.  About three days later, it was discovered that he didn’t run away. They called in divers to look for him in the water. See, the man had fallen between the hull and the dock, knocking himself out on the way to the water. He drowned and was sucked beneath the dock where he wasn’t discovered until one of the divers found him.

This led to a second story from my co-worker who said yet another time, maybe a year or two after the first incident, he was walking to one of the vessels when he saw something strange out the corner of his eye. Yup, you guessed it: another dead body. This one was a guy who’d worked further up the canal and been battered down the waterway until he landed on the job site.

Now, this got me thinking. My job duties include collecting water samples. At least once a month, I haul out my sample pole, my cooler, and head to the ditches and canals at the yard. When I’m not taking water samples, I have to do audits which means I grab a camera and head to those same places (plus other more remote locations on the yards). Most of the time when I’m doing my audits or collecting samples, my main concern is snakes. Indiana Jones and I have a lot in common: we’re both adventurous and we hate snakes. I also keep an eye out for alligators, but I never, ever, ever thought I’d have to look out for dead bodies.

This wasn’t something they ever brought up during the job description discussions we had. You know:

You’ll have to track VOC emissions and air monitoring reports, collect water samples and send them to the labs, organize and set up hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste removal, conduct environmental audits, DEQ inspections, and watch out for dead bodies.

I’m pretty sure I would’ve remembered that part of the discussion. I told the co-worker with the gruesome stories that if I did come across a dead body, they’d have to send out body bags for two bodies instead of one because I’d have a heart attack. Okay, so I might be exaggerating, but it is a scary thought.

I’m not a cop, or a paramedic, or even someone who may occasionally come across a dead body, like a bounty hunter (Stephanie Plum style), or a vampire hunter (Anita Blake style). I’m an environmental assistant. I don’t think body finding is in my contract…you know, the one in my head that I signed but no one else knows about, kind of like the “best friends forever” contract I signed with Kresley Cole and Shelly Laurenston. Uh, probably shouldn’t have mentioned that, huh?

Anyway, this is something I’m keeping in mind from now on. When I enter the inspection scene or the water sample designated area, there are several things to look for:

A. Are there snakes?
B. Are there alligators?
C. Does it meet the environmental compliance regulations?
D. Is there enough water to take a sample?
E. Oh, are there any dead people here?

So what job hazards do you face on a day-to-day basis? If you’re Alice (Resident Evil), I don’t want to hear it, okay? I don’t want to hear you world-saving zombie killers moaning about evil corporations and flesh-eating monsters with viruses. I’m sick of it already. Everyone else though, do you have a dead person at work story you want to share?

Oh! and a special treat! Tomorrow I’m having a guest author. Yes, guest author, Nikki Duncan, will be answering all of those questions you’ve always wanted to ask a published writer. Er…should I apologize for introducing her during a post about dead people? She does write romantic suspense. She probably sees dead people all the time!

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