A fresh coat of paint and a zombie inspired photo shoot!

How better to start the new year than to slap a new coat of paint on the website and have a zombie inspired photo shoot?

Granted, I’m a little odd by any standard, but I like to start off the New Year by cleaning and freshening up something. This year I might have taken it a little farther than might be considered normal.

It started innocuously enough, really it did. Website updates. The really needed to happen, inside and out. A fresh background, a new header or two in places. A fresh logline. Some pretty new fonts that I FINALLY worked out how to use. A few refinements under the hood to make things work a bit more smoothly. So what if it took a month longer than I expected to get all worked out? It’s all working now and that’s the important part right?

There are still a few blurry book covers here and there and some formats left to tweak. But that will come together yet. And if you happen to run into something that isn’t working, PLEASE let me know and I’ll get it fixed asap!

A fresh coat of paint

Well, one thing leads to another–you know how that goes right? Virtual projects lead to real-world ones, in this case, a couple of them. 

Although we’ve lived in this house for over 18 years now (YIKES, that’s a head trip in and of itself!) the only rooms in the house that have never been painted–including my laundry room and kitchen pantry–yeah, seriously–are my bedroom and bath. The boys’ rooms were painted before we moved in, and one has now had three different paint jobs. So, needless it say, it was time to get rid of the sprayed on builder stuff and have a grown-up bedroom, finally.

So after a day and a half of prep work (seriously, how did we have THAT much stuff in the room? There must have been a pocket dimension or something…) we finally got to painting.

I suppose it is a mark of a great marriage (1) that it took us 10 minutes at Home Depot to pick the color and (2) we were still speaking to each other at the end of the project. Oh, and laughing at each other’s jokes, which when you’ve been married as long as we have, may just be more telling than merely being on speaking terms! The painting took another day and a half. Three different shades of tranquil green. But it is done now, tape peeled off, and painting equipment away.

That is NOT to say we are finished moving back in yet. Nope, uh-huh, not for a while yet. Because One Thing Leads to Another.

It’s a little like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie… If you take everything out of a room to paint it, you have to look at it all. And if you look at it all, you see stuff you don’t need anymore. And if you see stuff you don’t need anymore, you decide to get rid of it…

So, now we’re busily culling and paring down as we bring things back in. It may be another week yet to get through it all, but I finally have my grown up, tidy room!

Great way to start a year!

A zombie inspired photo shoot

All that being said, it seemed like a good time to freshen up my author photos as well. This is where it is amazing to have a professional photographer in the family, or close to in-the-family anyhow. John Trussell is an awesome photographer from the Dallas area and he generously agreed to take some fresh author photos for me.

Aren’t these awesome?

By now, it should be obvious that I can’t be trusted to leave well enough alone, and this was no exception. Since we saw Pride, Prejudice and Zombies I have been talking about how much fun it would be to do a PP&Z inspired photo shoot.

With all the necessary pieces in place: (1) a great ball gown (2) an assortment of scary edged weapons (3)too much encouragement from the available males of the family (4)little to no sanity to speak of, all that was left was a photography with a sense of humor. Enter John.

The dear man humored my wild hare and kept a straight face during the entire insane episode. I can’t lie, it was great fun and I kinda love these pictures. No idea what I’m going to do with them, but who cares? Just too much fun and a great way to start the new year.

So what fun have you indulged in to start off 2017? If you haven’t, what fun are you planning?


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    • Julie on January 7, 2017 at 1:50 am
    • Reply

    A true warrior! 😀

      • Julie on January 7, 2017 at 1:57 am
      • Reply

      Ooops – it went too soon.

    • Julie on January 7, 2017 at 1:50 am
    • Reply

    A true warrior! 😀 – love the painted rooms, too!

    1. Thanks Julie! It was such a hoot getting to do this!

    • Carol hoyt on January 7, 2017 at 8:23 am
    • Reply

    Love the paint colors!
    You definitely need to use the “zombie” pics for any picture blurbs!
    They show your fighting spirit!

    You go girl !!

    1. Thanks Carol! I’m enjoying the new paint for sure. The zombie pics were so much fun!

    • Anji on January 7, 2017 at 10:57 am
    • Reply

    If this was a year ago, I’d be boring you to death with tales of woe regarding the total remodelling of our kitchen! Thankfully, it all got sorted and it looks and works wonderfully well. Unlike you, though, the paint colour was something that took ages, and many sample pots, to decide on. In the end we chose a green very similar to the one in your photo, but a bit paler.

    If it was four years ago, I’d be doing the same about our living room remodelling. The most exciting thing about that was finding blocked up hidden recesses (sadly no hidden gold or other treasure in them!) behind brickwork, once we’d stripped off the old wallpaper. It had been in place for many a year and had many coats of paint over it. As it dated back to when my mother-in-law was still alive, it was time for a change. The house has been is hubby’s family for nearly a century and is over 250 years old. Odd stuff like that keeps turning up whenever we do any major works.

    No major projects planned for this year though (breathes sigh of relief!), but I have got a couple of fun, live, Austen-related events to attend in the next couple of months. One of them even features Mr. Lukis!

    Love all of your photos, especially the “zombie” fighter ones. What a talented chap your photographer is.

    1. The photographer is a great friend of ours. He’s awesome!

      I have to confess, while I love the effects of painting and remodeling, I hate the process! I feel for you Anji!

    • Sheila L. Majczan on January 7, 2017 at 2:46 pm
    • Reply

    Aren’t you ambitious. The days of us painting or papering are long in the past. My husband refuses to listen to decorating needs. The photos of you with a sword are awesome. Hope everything is just as you imagined and wanted!

    1. Thanks, Sheila. It just seemed that it was right to finally finish painting the house interior–only took 18 years! LOL

    • Carole in Canada on January 7, 2017 at 5:28 pm
    • Reply

    Oh yes that photo shoot looked liked such a hoot! Hmmm…I wonder if they could work on the cover of your next Dragon book?!
    Love the colour you picked for your bedroom and bathroom. We have slowly been re-doing one room of the house at time since we moved into my husband’s parent’s home back in 2007. We gutted the living this spring/summer and re-did the entire room with new wood burning fireplace and all! All that is left this winter is the building of custom shelving for the TV, books, and wood! We also have to look for a new area rug(s) though the wood floors my husband installed are gorgeous! We also want to get new living room furniture. We shall see how far we get!

    1. Good luck with all your projects, Carole!

    • Hollis on January 9, 2017 at 9:21 am
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    WE moved into my mother and father’s home and completely redid the place. After it was all done, my older sister slowly went through it and said (somewhat sadly I think) “no, this isn’t mother’s anymore”. Everything had brown paneling and now it is painted in cream, or a lovely blue in the three bedrooms. Bathroom updated, all new wiring, new plumbing and windows (23 of them).

    1. It is amazing how much difference a coat of paint can make in a space. Thanks, Hollis!

    • Hollis on January 9, 2017 at 9:22 am
    • Reply

    of yes, great photos!!!!

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