Living the Dream

The Patreon Dilemma

The Patreon Dilemma

There has been some controversy recently about authors signing up for Patreon. For those who don’t know, Patreon is a site where people can sign up to support creators (not just authors, but photographers and artists, musicians, models… you name it) by pledging them a fixed amount of money every month. Most Patreons start at $1 or $3, and can go all the way up to hundreds of dollars per month.

I’ll be honest, I’ve been considering it for a long time, but I hadn’t taken the plunge because getting a Patreon involves two things: 1. Talking about money, and 2. Swallowing my pride. Let me explain. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream
Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Yes, I was a bad blogger in December. I’m working furiously on the Blowing It prequel which is coming out this month (Jan 2016). Title and cover coming soon! Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream
On a Mission, and a New Preshus

On a Mission, and a New Preshus

I love lamb. Have I ever mentioned that? Delicious, juicy lamb with mint sauce and all the trimmings. Sadly, Americans don’t seem to have got the message that there is more than wool to this wonderful animal, and can I buggery find a decent (and decently-priced) leg of lamb anywhere?

My first plan was to go the full-on smallholder route and raise my own goddamn delicious sheep if I had to (not as insane as it first seems, some of my family rear sheep and I’ve been around ovine husbandry since before I can remember). Sadly, however, AJ seems a bit… reluctant to rear plump, pretty little lambs and then send them off to slaughter just so I can have a decent Sunday roast. *sigh* So, on to Plan B. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream
Christmas Is Coming

Christmas Is Coming

AJ has a rule: no Christmas anything before Thanksgiving. I’ve never had Thanksgiving before, so it struck me as a rather late embargo. My rule is it’s Christmas when I smell Christmas, be that the beginning of October or 24th December (and yes, smelling Christmas in the air is totally a thing). Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream
Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

This is my first Thanksgiving, and I’m going for total immersion, visiting the in-laws and eating them out of house and home. I’ve got my sights set on a whole series of pies AJ’s mom has already made. Heaven.

pies

Wherever you are tomorrow, eat lots, be happy, and take a minute to add up all the things you’re thankful for. It strikes me as a good way of living life.

writing with pride banner

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream
On Living the Crockpot Life #recipes

On Living the Crockpot Life #recipes

I’d never used a crockpot before last month. *gasp* When I moved Stateside, one of the first things I set my sights on was AJ’s. I have issues with the food in America: if it isn’t restaurant quality (and I mean the sort of restaurant where they make stuff from scratch with actual ingredients rather than the sort of restaurant where they serve you plastic food-ish through your car window) then I become a very sick puppy. As I’m mostly pathetic when I’m feeling sick, it’s for the good of everyone (and my bank account) I make my own food.

Enter the crockpot. It promises so many things. Delicious, healthful, simple (cheap!) meals, thrown in early and forgotten about until my stomach’s ready to digest itself. Om-nom-nom. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream
Big Brother Is Here

Big Brother Is Here

Run, the machines are coming. Creepy, insidious little boxes are turning up on dining tables in restaurants across America, and I for one hate them. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream
On Paperwork

On Paperwork

I was going to take my driving test today. AJ’s been grilling me on all the rules of the road, I’ve been zooming around the streets like a local (or better: I actually use my blinker), and I was all psyched up and ready to go. I’d got my social security number, my UK licence, my passport, one piece of mail with my current address on it, and AJ to sign her life away by swearing I lived with her. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream
On Solidarity

On Solidarity

The world woke up this morning to devastating scenes from Paris. I watched them unfold last night with my heart in my mouth. The reports were garbled, bits and pieces of news coming in from Twitter users and the odd reporter who happened to be on the ground as the attacks took place. Stories were published, corrected, and amended in moments. Chaos reigned. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream

The FedEx Debacle

One of the biggest dramas of moving to the U.S., after getting all my paperwork sorted, was what to do with my stuff. I narrowed it down over the months before the move (thank you, eBay!) but I still had rather a lot; yet not enough to make shipping it over cost- or time-effective. So I started looking into sending it by post. I managed to get about fifteen packages shipped over in twos and threes, but in order to send the bulk (and the more expensive items) I needed to have the right customs paperwork or I’d have to pay import duty on the lot. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream
On Remembrance

On Remembrance

Today is Veterans Day in America, where thanks are given to all servicemen past and present. In the UK, 11th November is Remembrance Day, where we commemorate the dead (Memorial Day in the U.S.). Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream

On Working from Home

working-with-laptop-3-1545962I love my job. I’m prefacing with that because I don’t say it enough, but I am quite literally living the dream. I get to write books, see them published, and know people buy them — enough people that I can afford to do this full-time. Long may it last!

Before I quit my job — not because writing was making me a bazillionaire, but because I was so damn sick of the place I couldn’t think, they’d laid off everyone at my level except me and doubled the workload at the same time, and they refused me the only pay rise I’d requested in six years when I was already being paid considerably less than the going rate for my position — I wrote around work. That meant writing until three or even four in the morning, then getting up at seven to be in the office for eight. I did that for two years and at the end of it I was exhausted, and barely managing two novels a year. When I had my hissy fit and quit, a world of time opened up before me. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream

On American Nature

I’m a nature geek — I own it. I was raised by a father whose first response on seeing a new bird was to root out an old identification guide and learn everything about it. I’ve got everything David Attenborough ever filmed on DVD. I drive AJ batty by shrieking “Squirrel!” every time I see one while she’s driving.

American wildlife is so much more exciting than in the UK. At home, I was lucky to see the occasional hedgehog in the garden (not native to North America, sadly), and when a fox set up den nearby and let her cubs play in the driveway, I was in animal heaven. (I wasn’t so good at badger spotting, but that’s another story.) Here, though, there are opossums and raccoons and skunks and coyotes and maybe even a wolf or bear or moose if I go north and rural enough. Last summer, a groundhog in the garden kept me entertained for literally weeks. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream

On Living with a Cat

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Who dares disturb my slumber?

Peeps on Facebook will know this morning my plans to get some work done while AJ was still asleep were foiled by His Nibs, who decided to sit on the table next to me and — slowly and quite deliberately — push everything on it onto the floor, one item at a time.

I’ve not had a cat before. I like cats, but I’ve always lived in a dog house, and the dogs I’ve had haven’t liked cats at all. The closest I’ve come to them is visiting a friend who obviously wears that invisible marker that all cats know reads DOORMAT (his latest rocked up at his house as a stray, promptly found her way to his bedroom, and had kittens in his suitcase). Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream

One-Week Anniversary

A week ago right to this minute, AJ and I were saying our vows 😀

downloadToday, we spent most of the morning in the social security office — talk about coming down to earth with a bump! — trying to get me the magic number that will allow me to open a bank account and get a driving license and generally function in society. We did go the day after I arrived in the country (with the visa I entered on, I’m entitled to an SSN immediately) but apparently the system is old and slow and they needed at least ten days for me to register in it, despite the fact my point of entry was in the same state. Which is… reassuring. Government bureaucracy is the same the world over. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Living the Dream