Haven’t Been Writing Lately

I put all writing on hold after I finished the first draft of Daisy’s book. That was close to the end of May. I’ve been having to clean up a lot of non-writing related stuff.

This is what I’ve been up to:

Making a family friend’s life story into a book.

I have been working on a paperback for a family friend. This is a book about his life, and he has a ton of pictures. All I can say is that formatting a paperback with a lot of pictures is a nightmare. Typing the text in from the pages of the binder and scanning the pictures into the computer were easier. I broke down and hired out for the formatting, and she had trouble, too. We went through about three rounds of “does this work?” before we came up with something that passes for a proof paperback copy. The cover artist I usually work with has been gone, so I’ve had to deal with this cover myself, and I’m currently on the third round. This morning, I got another “rejected” email. (I’ve been messing with making this cover on and off for two months.) This time it was the text being too close to the ISBN thing on the bottom right of the back cover. I hate making paperback wraparound covers. I’d rather just do the ebook cover on the front and the generic back cover, but since this book is uniquely special, I’m hoping to make this work. I think I finally have it. If not, I guess we’re stuck with a generic back cover.

I have no intention of being the publisher of this book. This is just to give this family friend a physical copy of the book so he can see it and point out anything else he wants to add or delete from it. My plan is to help him create his own D2D account where I will upload the files for him. From there, he can go directly into his dashboard to order any author copies and handle the copyright and tax stuff himself. There is no way I want to be a publisher for other people. I have enough problems managing my own work. I don’t want to take on someone else’s.

Teaching my deaf kid to drive.

I’m in Montana, and you need 50 total hours in the car before you can go to the DMV for a license. Now, I don’t know if this is only for those under 18, but all of my kids were under 18 when then got their licenses, and I had to tally up those hours for all of them. Fifty hours doesn’t sound like a lot, but by the time you’re done, you feel like you’ve been in sitting in that car forever. This is the last kid I’ve had to do this with, thankfully. Since he’s deaf, it’s been more of a challenge. I can’t just scream out if something goes wrong. I have to rely on hand signals or taking control of the wheel. Some things happen within seconds. Even with a hearing kid, this part of parenting is stressful. I held off on doing the bulk of the driving with him until school was out so I could put in some 2-3 hour chunks of time for the drives. He did take the class at the deaf school, but nothing really prepares you for driving like doing lots of driving. My goal is to get him a driver’s license by the time school starts.

One thing I did successfully accomplish getting done was the Google AI audiobooks.

I finished getting the AI audiobooks put up on Google, but it’s going to be SLOW going on Kobo. I have almost 100 romances, so this is not something that takes a day or two. Kobo requires a chapter to be uploaded at a time, and this looks like it’ll take about 2 or 3 hours per book. I’m waiting until I get back to writing so I can upload them while I’m typing away. Google took the epub file, let you edit the text, and converted the whole book pretty much right away. I could get a book done in 15-20 minutes. I got to say, I’m very impressed with Google Play’s system for making AI audiobooks. I was unable to get Eye of the Beholder or the Virginia Series up on Google Play because I signed contracts with a narrator at ACX back in 2020. Those books are locked in over there, meaning they can only be on Audible and iTunes. All of the other books are on Google Play and will (eventually) be on Kobo.

Radish is going to take forever.

I was working on getting my backlist up on Radish (again with almost 100 romances in my catalogue), but that is also time consuming because I have to break the book up into 1500-2500 word episodes. I had fun with it, but it takes up so much time that I had to cut back on it. Plus, something about the site bugs my eyes. I don’t know if it’s switching from the internet screen to my Word document screen, but when I finish uploading the episodes that make up the entire book (typically 20-30 episodes), my eyes get worn out.

Working on Daisy’s book.

The editor got it done, and it’s back to me. I haven’t had time to format it yet. I have no idea when this will be ready.

Making the most of the time with the kiddos.

I’ve been taking time out to walk with my kids since it’s summer and we can take advantage of the parks. I have a treadmill, but I prefer to be outside. I like the change in scenery. My oldest will be 20 in August, but he’s going to the local community college and working at a fast food place. My second is 18, has graduated high school, and has a full-time welding job. His goal is to save up the money to get his teaching degree in high school history. To cut on expenses for these kids, my husband and I agreed to let them stay here so they don’t have to rent. The third (that’s my deaf kid) will be a senior next year, and the fourth will be a junior. Anyway, I’ve been putting some of the “writing time” on hold to spend time with the kids because once they do move out, I don’t want to look back and say, “I wish I had spent that time with them when they were still here.” I heard that a lot from my father-in-law when he mentioned his own kids. I might not get everything right in this life, but this is one area I want to get right. I also spend time with my husband, but he doesn’t like to go for walks as much as the rest of us do. Plus, a lot of his time is spent helping his mom out now that his dad is gone.

Which brings me to another topic. I think each spouse needs to know how to manage and run a home in the event the other spouse dies. In my case, I pretty much run things. My husband was in South Korea for two years, and I’ve had to do everything myself. That was good training grounds. I know I’ll be okay if he dies. I think he’ll be okay if I go before him. But his mom is at a total loss. Her dad used to make all the decisions for her. Then her husband came along and did the same thing. This has been to her detriment. She panics over a lot of things that shouldn’t be major issues. As a result, her health has gone down, and it’s looking like she won’t be able to live on her own for long. I’m just the in-law, so I can’t intervene. All I can do is watch while her two sons pick up the slack. Anyway, it’s been eye opening on how important it is for both the husband and wife to know how to manage life if you have to be on your own.

When will I get back to writing again?

I wish I knew. I thought I’d be able to get back to things this week since I am officially done from my “writing break”, but there’s more stuff that keeps popping up. Then there’s the question of if it’s even worth it to write anything with inflation skyrocketing the way it is. Will people even want to buy books when they are struggling to buy groceries and gas? I can’t make all of my books free. I have bills to pay, too, and I need to put a price tag on my books to do that. Plus, I pay for edits and covers. It’s not even free for me to make books. I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem like there’s much of a reason to get back to it. I might just finish up Heiress of Misfortune and be done with it. That way I will have completed all of the series that I started. Everything will be wrapped up. There will be no loose ends. I hate loose ends.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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36 Responses to Haven’t Been Writing Lately

  1. Well, every now and then you need to break from writing. I’m glad you’re making the most of your time away from writing. Good luck with the driving instructions. I didn’t get my license till 25, and it w

  2. Well, the rest of my comment got cut off. Darn it. Anyway, getting my license was difficult, and I can’t be sure being on the spectrum didn’t have a hand in that. Disability always requires a little extra effort to get over a mountain, but with patience and repeated work, I know your kid will get their license. Stay safe and I hope for good news!

    • You’re right about a disability requiring more effort. I’m sure that’s true with so many things. He failed his first driving test, so we’re working on the troublesome areas. At least he is willing to keep at it, but he was crying all the way home after that test. My mother-in-law lost all of her hearing, and she’s afraid to get out there and do anything now. I don’t want my son to fall into that trap. It’s too easy to let fear hold you back. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for you to get your license, but I applaud you for keeping at it. How we handle tough situations says a lot about our character. 🙂

      • If it helps, let him know I failed the first time too, and I was probably a lot older than he is now. And since then, a lot of good stuff has come my way. I’m sure it’ll be the same for him.

        • Knowing someone else failed the first time did help him feel better. I’m glad good things have come your way since then!

          • Thanks. I hope more good things are on the way.

            • He failed the second time. This time, it was parallel parking. He did okay on the other stuff he got wrong the first time. I haven’t parallel parked in 31 years, so I’m not sure how to help him. I’ve watched You Tube videos. It sounds simple enough, but for some reason, I’m not “getting” it. They did teach him that at his school. He has the general idea. I’m going to do my best this month, and we’ll give the third test a try in August. If he fails again, I’ll ask the school if they can further help him. What I’d like to most teach him is how important it is to keep trying for something you really want, so I don’t want him to give up. I’m sure with him being deaf, he’ll face some more challenging situations, and some of those times, he’ll have to be his own advocate.

  3. Maria Lipscomb says:

    Sorry to hear your dissolution
    Please finish the series you have already. waiting for your next books. I keep track of all your series. Maybe in the future cut down on the number of stories in each series, or incorporate a short story of each character you plan to expand on in the end of each book
    Just a thought
    You are one of my favorite authors I follow
    ML

    • Thanks. 🙂

      Right now, I plan to finish Heiress of Misfortune. That will wrap up the Marriage by Necessity Series. Daisy’s book finishes up the Husbands for the Larson Sisters Series. So that would be it for the stuff I currently have undone.

      I’m really not sure what to do after this. I’m praying about it.

  4. gramto2 says:

    Ethan’s story is one of my favorites. When Nelly marries Val and they name their son Ethan, I wonder and that is a loose end for me. Does an American boy become the Earl 100 years after the first Ethan? I have reread all your stories several times on Scribd. I don’t think you have mentioned Scribd on your blogs or posts. Is it a viable way to sell your stories? Susanne

    • Regarding the titles and nobility, my understanding is that the boy can be in America and inherit the title. I don’t plan to write a book about the second Ethan, but if I were to do it, I would have him move to England but keep the other kids in America. Having a title would compel him to make the move.

      The original Ethan and his friend Christopher are my two favorite Regency characters. I thought that would change as I added more characters, but it hasn’t. 🙂

      I just started mentioning Scribd when I have a new release. I have been slowly adding Scribd links to the books. You’re right about it being a viable way. Even if people just use the subscription program, Scribd will pay me after someone reads a book beyond a certain point. It has the most author friendly plan out there.

      • gramto2 says:

        I also wonder how Val and his father ended up in America, though I realize a lot of world history happened. Val would be the Earl before little Ethan would. Imagine Nelly in England.

        • When I wrote the book, I didn’t go that deep into it. I just knew I wanted to connect up either Ethan or Christopher with the Larson family. I had this in mind since about 2014. I was just waiting for the timelines to work out. My original hope was for one of Dave and Mary’s kids to marry someone who came through Ethan or Christopher’s line. In the end, I thought people would miss it if I went with Christopher because Christopher had no title. That’s why I chose Ethan. Since I needed to go with a man (because of the title thing), I had to pick a Larson woman. When I went down his family tree, the only Larson family that matched up for being ready for marriage was Tom and Jessica’s daughters. So Dave and Mary’s daughters were out of the question. They were too young.

          The reason Val and his father ended up in America was so that I could marry Val off to Nelly. That was the only reason. 😀

      • gramto2 says:

        Does Scribd pay again when I reread the book? I have you books saved on Scribd and have reread them several times.

        • I believe the subscription program in Scribd pays the author the first time the author is read. After that, I’m sure the author doesn’t get anything. That is fine with me. If a person were to buy a book, the author would make the money from the sale of the book, and the reader would be able to read it as much as they want. So, to me, the subscription Scribd model works the same way. Authors are paid as if the book sold the first time someone reads it. Since the author was already paid, I see no reason why the same person can’t reread it as much as they want.

          I hope that made sense. 🙂 Some of this stuff does get confusing.

  5. gramto2 says:

    Also, I would like real books of your work, and checking into used book prices of your work, I think some resell for more than the original price? And you do not profit from this. I read ebooks from libraries and Scribd , etc., but when I want to buy a real book it is too expensive. To own real books of all your regencies (my favorites) would cost a lot. Susanne

    • Amazon’s paperbacks used to be good quality, but over the past three years, their quality went way down. They’ll mess up the cover so it looks like someone put the cover into the printer an angle. What is left is a thin line along the top or bottom that shouldn’t be there. Other authors have also reported damaged copies coming to them. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to even give those paperback copies to someone. I’m making paperbacks through Draft2Digital now, and those are way better quality, but they also cost more. That, however, doesn’t stop people from buying a copy and reselling it. Retailers allow people to do this, so I have no control over it.

      There’s a lot of things I’m not happy about, but I’m not a big enough author to make any changes.

  6. Erica R says:

    Say it isn’t so! Reading good historical romance fiction is my entertainment budget. I think your books are worth every penny I spend. Honestly, I would pay more. I have a few multiple books of other authors, but none a complete set like I have of yours. I think your writing is wonderful, and there are many many of your books that I love to read over and over. Some authors just seem to know how to put words in the correct order that you don’t want to put the book down. You build a terrific story with great characters, that I wish they were really real so I could meet them! You make me want to jump into their worlds.
    I fully understand needing a break and I agree about the importance of family. I will pray that the writing bug will bite again soon. I don’t even need the pretty covers. You could sell me a word document of one of your stories and I would love it. The visualization of the story, for me, comes from your words.
    I can relate to a lot of what is in this post. I also have a son learning to drive but it is not going smoothly. This is something I think we will put on hold until he feels more comfortable behind the wheel. Aggressive drivers make him very nervous and I feel he needs more confidence behind the wheel before getting a license. Luckily he will live on campus when you goes to college this fall so driving can wait.
    Speaking from experience, as a person who lost a spouse, I totally agree about sharing and understanding all the aspects of running a family life. Luckily my husband and I shared enough of each others strengths that we would both have been be ok if we had to go it alone. It may not be the way life was suppose to go, but I think I’ve done ok. (I do wish he was here for the driving lessons though:) I hope your mother-in-law can find her inner strength.
    Thanks for sharing what is going on in your life. I do enjoy reading your blog.
    Have a happy and fun summer, and thanks for writing.

    • You know, I thought of you when I wrote the end of this post. 🙂

      I want to at least write that next series with Secret Admirer and Midnight Wedding in it. That is the Marriage by Obligation Series. I just worry that I won’t have enough time to finish it. I try not to be a doom and gloomer, but the way things are going does have me worried. For my average writing time on a book, I would need until the end of the year to complete Midnight Wedding, The Earl’s Jilted Bride, and Worth the Risk. My youngest son has decided to go to school to take wood shop and automobile courses, so I won’t have to homeschool him. That frees up my time once the school year hits.

      I’m almost done with Secret Admirer. I think I’m only about 15,000 words from finishing Secret Admirer. So if I were to condense the series to the three remaining books, I might realistically pull off finishing this series. Then I would just take a look at what is happening in the country to decide if to keep going or not.

      My current aim is to focus on getting Heiress of Misfortune done. I think I have another 15,000 words to go in there, too. Secret Admirer is not as long, but the story doesn’t require as much to tell it.

      Definitely pray about the writing bug. I’d like to get it back. The non-writing stuff of dealing with books sucks. I wish I could just write and not worry about the rest of it.

      There are a lot of aggressive drivers out there. I didn’t even realize it until I was teaching my kids to drive. It gets to you after a while. One time a guy was yelling at my hearing kid because he wasn’t moving close enough to the car in front of him at the drive thru. I got out of the car and yelled that he needed to give my kid a break since he was just learning to drive. Well, that didn’t make things calm down. I made myself get back into the car before it got really bad, and I don’t jump out of the car like that anymore, but it frighten me at how quickly I acted without thinking. I’m glad my deaf kid can’t hear people when they yell or honk. It’ll save him some grief.

      I can understand taking a break from the driving and why your son isn’t all that eager about it. It does take a lot of practice to build up that confidence. What is your son getting his degree in? Or is he waiting to figure it out? Sometimes it’s hard to know what to major in. I went into Psychology only because I had no idea what else I wanted to do. Well, I really wanted to be a wife and mother and write books in my spare time, but there was no man at the time to give me the MRS degree, so I just kept doing my years until I got the Bachelors.

      I’m glad you were able to adjust after your husband died. It has to be rough without your spouse’s emotional support. Having to deal with the day-to-day tasks the spouse did is another layer to it. Right now, the plan is for her to live with my brother-in-law and his family this winter. That might be for the best since they don’t have the cold and ice like they do up here in Montana. I’d like for her to be able to keep living in the house since that’s what she really wants to do. But I guess we’ll see how things are next spring and if my husband and his brother think she’s able to live by herself for at least part of the year.

      • Erica R says:

        It warms my heart that you thought of me:) I’m glad there is at least two more books to look forward too. I’m an optimist so with that in mind, I will keep my hopes up that there will be more exciting adventures in the future. Fingers crossed for the Marriage by Obligation series, but you must do what is best for you.
        Off the subject for a minute, It was mentioned in earlier comments about Nelly’s husband being a direct descendent of Ethans, but at the time I thought Christopher would have been funnier. First he had no title, and Ethan’s direct descendent should be sitting in the House of Lords doing his national duty, and the idea of a great great great (no sure how many) grandson of Christopher’s coming to America looking for an easy life and having to learn to muck out stalls would have been hysterical! He could have said it was in his “blood” to do that kind of work.:))
        It is amazing how aggravating drivers on the road can be. My biggest pet peeve is when a car cuts in front of me on a highway and thinks my safe driving distance was a spot left open just for them. My son is majoring in Biology. He has talked about becoming a forensic pathologist or the local coroner. I’m sure that can change, but it will probably be something in the sciences. He definitely has a science brain.
        I love that you mentioned the ambition of being a wife and mother. That was my ambition also. I was so thankful to find the right man because that career would not have worked out without him. I also got my Bachelors and am happy I did, but would not have been happy going into an office every day. I wish I had your talent for writing. I have tried over the years but it’s just not there. I did an outline for a children’s book year ago, which I really love, but just have not put it all together. Maybe someday.
        The thing I miss the most, is talking to my husband. What I did today or to tell him something funny that happened with the kids or just debate world news. He was the smartest person I’ve ever met and a very quick wit. Really miss the conversation.
        Your mother in law is very lucky to have such caring children. It’s a real blessing.
        Thanks for listening. I’m sure your son will be an excellent driver.
        Happy summer and thanks for writing.

        • I’m laughing my head off right now. I never even considered doing a joke like that with Christopher’s offspring, but it would have been hilarious. I did have it in mind to choose either Ethan or Christopher’s line to marry someone in the Larson family. I was afraid no one would put the dots together on a “Robinson”, but I figured they would on “Lord Edon”. But if Christopher had been given a title, then it would have been funny to see his descendant mucking out stalls. I don’t remember for sure, but I think Val is Ethan’s great-grandson. I worked out the timeline when I wrote Nelly’s book, but I didn’t save it. Some authors have binders full of their characters’ information and detailed plots. I don’t work that way. I pretty much scribble on old sheets of paper then throw them out when I’m done.

          Around here, people cut other people off all the time. I just assume people will get in front of me, so I leave a lot of room between me and the car in front of me these days. It’s very annoying that they do it. They act like the rules of the road don’t apply to them. The older I get, the less like to drive. I will shop at 7-8am to skip the rush, or if it is busy, I’ll pick a route that isn’t so hectic if I can.

          That’s really awesome about your son. It sounds like he’ll end up in a good career. How exciting for him, and I bet you’re proud of him. 🙂

          It’s good your husband was on board with you being a wife and mom at home. I think kids benefit a lot from having mom there with them. I know some women have to work, but I feel blessed that I got to be home with mine. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. I can see how you miss talking to your husband. I would miss talking to mine. I can manage through the other aspects of being without him, but that companionship would be the hardest thing to go without.

          Children’s books sound hard to me. You have to condense a story into a short form and make it something children will enjoy. Maybe some day you can get that book put together. I think it’s a gift when people can come up with ideas that appeal to children. Even when my kids were little, I’d start explaining something then see that glazed look in their eyes that told me I was delivering too much information. When they became teens, they could finally understand me. LOL My dad was the same way. He didn’t know how to break things down so kids could understand it, and I don’t, either.

          I am going to give the Marriage by Obligation Series a go and see if I can make it work.

          • Erica R says:

            I am very lucky that my husband was totally fine with my being a stay at home mom. It was great.
            I have just started the Google play. I think I have figured out how to buy audiobooks. I will start listening to one tonight. The voice does not sound bad. Some of the descriptions seem a little odd. Does Google create those? I really like Travis in The Accidental Mail Order Bride and they call him “ugly” I don’t think so.
            I hope this is a very successful venture. I look forward to my book. Thanks for writing.

            • I had to look The Accidental Mail Order Bride book up on Google Play. That was my subtitle for the book. Google didn’t put it in. Google doesn’t allow authors to check off keywords in helping to describe a book, so I use that space to help readers find the kind of romance they’re looking for. I guess I could have gone for “scarred hero” as a description, but sometimes people think that means emotional scars, so I opted to say “ugly”. I wasn’t sure what other word would have fit there. Though, I did put in “scarred heroine” when I uploaded The Bride Price, and she had physical scars similar to Travis’. It must have been the mood I was in when I uploaded the books. I’ll go in and change it. I think “scarred hero” sounds better.

              I picked the voice that sounded best to me. I like a slower pace when I listen to books. Some people like to speed things up. I prefer more pauses and time to reflect on what’s being said. I know it takes some time to get used to the sound of an AI voice. I pretty much don’t even think of it anymore, but I’ve been listening to AI since 2010, I think. Since I spend so much time writing, I like to relax my eyes when it comes to “read”. By the way, I appreciate your willingness to check Google Play out. I think Apple allows AI audiobooks, but I don’t have a way to upload AI audiobooks there.

              • Erica R says:

                I like a slower pace also when listening to a book.I agree totally with reflection. The Google play app was easy to get up and running and I already have a gmail account so I just had to sign in. I have never tried Google Play so I am very interested in giving it a try. I have bought 7 of my favorite books of yours so far. I could never decide on just one:) I really love listening to a book at bedtime. Many of my books are Agatha Christie. I love those, but being crime dramas sometimes I would have a bad dream and I think it was because of that.
                I have already listened to A Bride for Tom and enjoyed it very much. The AI voice is much better than I thought it would be. It can’t put as much emotion into some scenes or words that a human can, but it was fine. The Accidental Mail Order Bride is up next. The only problem is that I sometimes fall asleep right when it’s getting to a good part! Lucky it’s so easy to go back. Thanks for writing.

                • My mom loved Agatha Christie. I grew up on the movies based off of those books.

                  I hadn’t tried Google Play up until authors were allowed to create AI audiobooks over there. I’m very happy with them. On the Kindle, I used to fall asleep while listening the book, and I’d keep scrolling back to pick up where I left off. After you do this enough, the AI feature goes wonky, so it ends up rushing through all of the speech. The Google AI breaks the books up into chapters, so I can go back to a chapter that I’m looking for, and so far, I haven’t run into any issues where the AI ends up going wonky like the Kindle’s text-to-speech feature did. That’s a huge relief. I’m glad to hear you’re finding the AI voice okay. I know it’ll never be as good as a human voice, but as long as it’s doable, that’s enough. 🙂

                  Like you, I love listening to books at bedtime. It’s the best way to relax at the end of the day.

          • Erica R says:

            Excited for the Marriage by Obligation Series. Hope the stars all line up for you. I know the juggling act can get overwhelming at times, with family, work and just life in general. Stay well.

  7. There’s nothing so rewarding as spending time with family. I’ve started taking off from editing on weekends and just editing at lunch and in the evenings on weekdays. (Unless I have a critical deadline!)

    When I “cut back” due to financial reasons, books are not one of the things I cut back on. I HAVE to have books to read. I’m not sure if all readers feel that way, but I have to read multiple times every single day. I would rather opt for a cheaper meal than give up my books. So maybe this crazy world won’t affect reading as much as we fear. Fingers crossed!

    • You definitely need to make time for family. The years pass too fast, and at the end, I think you’re more concerned about your loved ones than how many books you wrote. The same is true for editing. Life is too short, and the people around us are too important. I thought my kids would be “too grown up” to be seen with their mom in public when they reached high school, but to my surprise, they are more than willing to walk at the park with me. We even play games together. I think it’s all of those years of spending time with them that built it up. I know they will leave and get married, which is God’s way, but I plan to enjoy the time while it’s here.

      I don’t cut back on books, and I will pay for gas to get to the parks where I love to walk. But I have learned to cut back in other areas, esp. the eating out thing. That really does get expensive when you add it up between six people. I didn’t realize how much until I took a closer look at the budget.

  8. I’m so glad you get to take time with your boys. Enjoy every moment. It goes by way too quickly. I officially have an empty nest and it is weird not having my kids around.
    I feel for your MIL and your husband. My aunt went through the same thing when her husband died. She called my mother in a panic because she was afraid to open her mail…she didn’t know what to do with it once it was opened. She didn’t know how to do much of anything other than go shopping. She’d lived a very sheltered life and now in her seventies, she’s at a complete loss.
    I’d hate to see you stop writing but only because I know how much you love it. You have so many stories in your head and heart. It makes sense to stop if you aren’t enjoying it but if it makes sense financially to stop I hope you keep writing for yourself. You know my favorite books of yours are the ones you did for your own enjoyment.

    • I imagine it is weird without the kids around. You get so used to them. I don’t even remember what it was like before they came along. I’m sure it was quiet, but that’s about as far as my memory takes me to.

      My husband’s mom also panics about the mail. She worries about emails, too. There are so many scams now that she worries if something is legitimate or not, so he has to go through some of them to see if it’s safe. The other son manages her bank account, so I think he gives her so much a month. Otherwise, she’ll overspend because she’s not sure what is in the account. Is your aunt able to live on her own? It’s looking like my MIL will have to end up in a retirement home. My BIL is pushing for it. She plans to spend the winter with him and his family, so that will give him a better idea if she really needs it or not. I think she’s okay (just overwhelmed), but who knows? I’m not an expert when it comes to elderly care.

      I’m going to try my hand at the Marriage by Obligation Series and see how things go. Depending on how that works (or doesn’t), I’ll proceed from there. I got those pretty covers for them, and I do have the story ideas in place, and those ideas appeal to me. The books I did for my enjoyment are those that I never regretted writing. They don’t sell that much, but I love listening to them again and again. I think these in the Marriage by Obligation Series would be the same way. I really enjoyed Daisy’s book. I’ll miss the Larson girls, but I only gave Tom and Jessica four. I enjoy the Heiress one a lot, too, though it’s taken me this long to figure out how to wrap things up. I started that one in November but kept getting stumped. Books don’t usually take that long for me to do. Anyway, it’s nice to hear that you enjoy the ones that I was most excited about. 😀 Thank you for letting me know.

  9. You are right about being ready to take over if something happens to your spouse. I have figured out the tax stuff, but my husband never told me about the life insurance policies. I knew about Brad’s but did not know about an additional life insurance policy on me and what he had on Andrew. It’s been a learning curve. Make sure, women, you know about these items before your husband loses his grip on the financial world. I’m doing fine, but I sure wish my husband had shown me everything before his mind dulled and he ended up in a nursing home. He has fourth-stage cancer in his legs. God bless.

    • My husband and I decided years ago that when he dies, I’m not going to get the pension from the military. It would be one more thing I’d have to deal with, and I don’t want it hanging over my head. Funeral homes will contact the military for you and make sure the government knows not to send any more payments. The funeral home charges a fee, but I’m going to pay it to avoid the headache of having to go through the hoops myself. When I was in college close to a military base, I heard horror stories about how military wives got into financial messes because their husbands died and the wives didn’t know how to deal with the military pay and benefits. I don’t want that hanging over my head. I have enough to deal with already.

      However, the book thing will be a problem if I die before my husband does. I did write up a couple of pages on options he could use (keep them published or remove the books). Then listed out all of my accounts with passwords and where all of my books were at. Then I gave him the accountant information. All of it took days to work on, but I feel better knowing it’s there for him. I figure if I find out in advance I’m going to die, I’ll just unpublish everything myself. It is a lot of work to keep these books out there, esp. with tracking the income and taxes. Then Amazon will send an email about once a year or so and tell me to prove my copyright on one of my books. I doubt he’ll want to juggle all of that.

      We have no life insurance policies, but I probably would if I had autistic children who needed the support.

      It’s looking like my mother-in-law will have to go to a retirement home. My brother-in-law thinks she’s unable to look after herself. We do our best, but we can’t be there all the time with her, and, quite frankly, she’s not in as good position as you are. I hadn’t realized it, but having friends really is a key factor in things, too. So much goes into play with one’s life, and we don’t even realize it. Anyway, she’s going to spend the winter with brother-in-law and his family. Then he’ll be able to see what’s going on himself, and he and my husband will have to decide what to do. It’s times like this I wish we were dealing with my mom. Since this isn’t my mom, I have no say in any of this.

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