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Monday, April 15, 2013

No Such Thing as a Day Off

Today, in the US, it's 'open your veins and bleed for the government' day, otherwise known as tax day. Dutiful citizens that we are, we got them filed before the deadline. But it was close. I don't like to wait until the end, just in case something comes up missing and it takes us half a day to find it.

I haven't blogged in two weeks! That's the longest I've ever gone without blogging. It felt weird. But it was necessary. We got a lot done--and yet we were still short of our goals.

In the past two weeks we:

• Did taxes
• Dug nearly 500 feet of trenches
• Lay water pipes to the future goats and back orchard
• Planted two BIG pecan trees
• Tilled and hoed two full gardens
• Planted one of the two gardens
• Hatched two batches of chicks
• Moved half a dump truck of dirt for the bed of the goat shelter
• Started the skeleton of the shelter
• Cut and burned brush
• Moved some more dirt to low spots
• Buried the trenches back with dirt (back-breaking work, by the way!)

Oh, and when I wasn't working outside, I was designing covers. 

In the past two weeks, I've created five of them. I can't show you most of them since the authors aren't ready for their reveals, but here are a couple I did for James Garcia Jr.. These are for a horror series he's written.

Jimmy was a pleasure to work with. He listened to my ideas and allowed me to go beyond the typical vampire cover. (I get a little tired of the fangs and blood myself.) The first story, Dance on Fire is about a man looking for redemption, even though he believes he's beyond help. The second story, Flash Point is about a daughter returned, who is not what she seems.

And wait until you see the cover I designed for a new story he's releasing next month. It's one of my very favorites. I worked as hard on the back cover as I did on the front. When last I counted, there were 28 layers of art and special effects on that cover.

So all in all, I've been busy.

We still have the goat shelter to finish--and then of course, the goats. I hope the man we're buying them from still has them. I had promised to see him last week, but there was no way we were ready.

Spring has sprung in north Texas. I'm already pulling weeds. Is there signs of spring (or fall) in your neck of the woods? 

And out of curiosity, what's the longest you've ever gone without blogging?


R. Mac Wheeler said...

Love the covers.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Nice covers. You do really great work and if I ever go the self-pub route, you can bet I'll be contacting you. Can't wait to see Jimmy's other cover.

The longest I've gone without blogging? Let's see. Maybe a week. That's usually when I'm on a cruise and have no internet connection. But then, I was out lounging around. You were working your you-know-what off. Hope you didn't injure anything. That's usually what happens to me.

Jennifer Shirk said...

OOh, the covers look fab!!

I think a week or 2 has been the longest. And you're right. When you go that long without blogging, it DOES feel weird. :)

LD Masterson said...

Beautiful covers. You do such great work.

I took a month off last fall that stretched into two. But there was a big natural disaster involved.

Let's see some pics of the new chicks.

Jackie Burris said...

Work much Maria, LOL :-)

You should see our area right now oh Spring has totally sprung and man is it green, growing, flowering and pretty and we have so many outside and inside projects going that not only has my blog posts that need writing and scheduling been neglected but am in sad need of a book fix because since Friday morning last week seems cannot sit down for more than 5 minutes at a stretch as too many things need me on my feet and moving since got waaaaayyyy behind being sick all of March and now that I am better and so hyper it is scary started to catch up and just decided to go with it so all my stuff can get caught up on and blogging and books can just wait for a bit more.

blog hiatus for a month last year, it pretty much killed me to do it but it sure felt good and will do so again this summer when finally get some indoor work done that will mean no Internet for me for awhile except for my smart phone.

COVERS are bootiful, Maria you have an eye that is for sure and cannot wait to see the rest you did! :-)

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: Thanks, hon!

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: I normally take a week off around the Christmas holidays, but this spring was surprisingly busy. Everything needed to be done at once.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: At first, I felt guilty for schlepping off, but as I got busier, the more I thought, eh, maybe I should give up blogging all together. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: Natural disasters trump all. At least you were doing something useful for mankind. I was doing it for goats.

Not the same thing. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: If it's spring in Texas, you know as well as I do that it's like someone turns on a light switch, and boom, it's green all over.

We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but I think the really hard work is done.

Angela Brown said...

Are you sure that was just work and not overkill? Jeez, I'd have to have my body put out to pasture after all that lol!!

Love the cover designs. You are fabulous Book Cover Diva!

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: Aw, thanks!

Re: work
I have to admit, this go round nearly did us both in. LOL. It was a lot more work than we anticipated. I still can't believe we got as much done.

raelynbarclay said...

I'm with Angela! Dang woman.

I so agree the fangs and blood is getting old. Love the covers!

As for, Vegas. We have hot and scorching hot, LOL.

James Garcia Jr. said...

Just in case I haven't thanked you enough...thank you. :) Thanks also for the shout-out. I'm looking forward to cover reveal number three myself.
Have a great week!


Shelley Munro said...

The covers are gorgeous! I've had month long blogging holidays. It's good to have a break some times.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I am so so so so SO!!! Very jealous that you can have nut trees. All we can really have are apple trees. And pear trees. And that's pretty much it

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: There are times when I think we're getting too old for this.

I think I wrenched my back.

Maria Zannini said...

Jimmy: It was a pleasure to work with you (and your family). :o)

I'm so glad you like your covers.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: I have to admit, I've often considered taking a whole month off. Maybe someday.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: I didn't know you couldn't grow nut trees that far north.

I have trouble with apple down here. I have to make sure it's a low-chill apple or it never makes it.

Dru said...

Love the covers.

The longest without blogging, maybe 4 days.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I think i went a month without blogging when I was depressed. I love that you're doing things for "future goats". Makes it sound like your farm is multidimensional. You're scattering feed into the time vortex, and it disappears, eaten by future goats. Then goat milk appears on your table, acquired by future you and sent back.

marlenedotterer said...

We've been pulling weeds for weeks. It starts about February around here.

The covers are gorgeous!

Shirley Wells said...

Wow. Those covers are amazing. I keep trying to decide which is my favourite - but I keep changing my mind. Love them!

I can go weeks without blogging easily. I often forget I have a blog. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: You have stamina! I have a weak will. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: I'm hoping future me learns how to make goat cheese. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Marlene: Just came in from weeding. I let them go too long. Now I'm paying for it. And just think, at least 8 more months of weeding ahead of me. Oy.

Maria Zannini said...

Shirley: Wait until you see the next cover I did for James. The back cover is even more detailed than the front. I really loved the mystery I was able to pull from the various photos.

Gwen Gardner said...

No sign of spring here! It's still snowing every other day.

You two sure are busy. I just started my taxes today. The hubs is self employed, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.

And I love your covers!

Re: blogging - I probably went a month without blogging. That was back when I didn't have a regular schedule. And I plan on taking May off to get some other work done.

Maria Zannini said...

Gwen: Taxes would be a cinch if it weren't for royalties and freelance work. That's where all the headaches start, trying to figure out all my deductions.

Next year, I might take all of April off. It's always the busiest time of year for me. I should know better.

Mike Keyton said...

Tell me, Maria, do you and Greg ever go back to the planet Krypton for the occasional holiday : )

Ref taxes. I don't know what's worse, paying them or the paperwork.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: LOL. Fortunately, our work load isn't like this most of the time. I suspect it will be far less insane once he retires and we don't have to crush everything into one tiny pocket of days.

Lisa said...

Lately, I think a month or so. Not blogging that is... I love the Seeing Ghosts cover!! You did an awesome job on that!! It's on my to read list on goodreads... Jimmy is the one who sent me your way when I asked him who did his cover...

Maria Zannini said...

Lisa: Thanks! I loved building this cover. I'll do a post on some of the steps later in May.