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So far, I've been writing on my own schedule. Don't get me wrong, I usually write a book fairly quickly (although not as fast as I used to "pre-plague"). Elspeth Barclay book 3 is nearing completion, and after checking in with my editor, I am now writing to finish rather than just writing to find my way through the story.

The inspiration

That means I need a title! Ugh. Here's a hint. Elle breaks her own rules and calls out to the spirit world. The spirit that answers isn't the one she expected. Nevertheless, she helps the spirit find what Elle believes is closure, except this spirit isn't finished. What more does it want from her?

I've been back and forth through the story as it unfolds, cleaning up some of the mess along the way, redirecting the characters to the main road, but there's still a lot of mess to address. Then, of course, there's the grammatical pass that needs to be done, and the readability pass... all of those fun things that go into producing a book--and that's before it goes to the editor. She's going to want a "pre-final" version that she can then point out the flaws in. The more mistakes she sees when she gets it, the better the chance she'll miss a potentially bigger mistake. So, yeah, I need to make it as near perfect as I can before I send it to her.

Right now, the expected release date is sometime in April, but more on that later. I have a deadline to meet now! Anyone else looking forward to the new book? 

I have a knack for liking products that apparently aren't all that popular with the rest of the world. I can't tell you how many times I've thrown myself into going "all in" with a product, only to have it disappear off the shelves. It's happened with cereal it’s happened with deodorant. It's happened with hair products. It's happened with perfume. I get it. Trends change. Products change. There's always something "new and better," except when it ISN'T new and better. It's just different. 

The latest product I have to now give up is my coffee.

I've never been a big coffee drinker. That is, until I found one I actually liked. Yes, I was a casual coffee drinker, and I occasionally tried a cup of tea when it was cold outside to help me warm up. Most of my life, I was a Coca-Cola drinker. That was my caffeine fix. Then I stopped drinking carbonated beverages for a number of reasons. It's only been the last maybe ten years that I actually drink coffee every day. That's coming to an end.

When I got a Keurig type brewer--actually, the Big Guy got it as an anniversary gift at work--I bought some of the flavored coffees that I like, and I discovered a new one. Gloria Jean's Mudslide. Medium roast. Hints of chocolate and vanilla without being all cafe mocha. I was a convert! Drank it for years, but then they stopped making it in K-cups. So I bought it in bags - ground or beans to grind. Somewhere in the back of my head, I knew this was going to be another one of those "it's going to disappear" things. Here's the thing. In my quest to lose poundage, I've been told coffee is a good thing to give up. I don't know why, but okay. Also in the back of my mind, I told myself when I can't buy my Mudslide anymore, I'll quit the coffee. Then they raised the price and lowered the volume (no longer a pound) you get for that price. Maybe time to rethink the "when."

About a month ago, I got a coupon in my email for coffee, so I went to order more. I'm on my last not-a-pound. Guess what? Mudslide wasn't available. I checked my order history, and the picture of the product that goes with the order is a placeholder box. Part of me mourned the loss of my favorite coffee, and part of me said "ok, the time has come." Then a funny thing happened. I got a survey about my "recent purchase" of Mudslide. "How did you like your order?" HAHAHA. What timing. Yes, I told them it was my favorite coffee but why were they tormenting me when I can't buy it anymore? Needless to say, they haven't followed up to my comment.

So now I'm working my way through the last of my coffee. I have some other flavors to tide me over, also, but I'm not planning to replenish the supply once it's gone. All those authors and coffee memes will poke me with a sense of sadness that I can no longer drink my beverage of choice. I guess we'll see how it affects my weight loss journey!

Do you have a product that you loved that is no longer available?

Update on the weight journey: the Big Guy bought me a treat. He likes to do that, even when I tell him not to. The result was some backsliding, but a minor hiccup. Still tracking calories. Holding the line and determined to move the needle down. “Just say no.”

You know what I haven't done in a while? Give away a book, just because. Lots of people got ebook readers for Christmas, and the "stuff my kindle" event showed that people are looking for new things to read. 

Are you missing one of my books in your collection? As a thank you for being a reader and for joining me here on my blog, I'm giving away one book each to three lucky winners simply by asking for it. 

Know someone who might like my books? Share this post with them so they have a chance to win, too! And did you know you can also gift books -- ebooks and paperbacks -- to friends and family at most sellers? If you need help figuring out how, leave me a comment including which bookseller you want to gift from and I'll send you a link to their gifting instructions.

Update on the weight journey: No more binges since the Christmas cookie fiasco. Still tracking calories, still in calorie deficit. Down one more pound. Non-scale victory? I'm wearing jeans instead of my "soft pants" (as Dear Husband calls them). 

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