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Hallee Bridgeman Posts

30 Days of Bloggity Bloggness: Day 1

In an effort for everyone to get to know me a little better, I thought I’d do this 30 Days of Bloggity Bloggness that I stole from my friend, Angela.

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts

I am Hallee Bridgeman.  I am married to Gregg and I’m a mother of three kids (Kaylee, 15; Scott, 5; Johnathan [Jeb], 3).  I live in small town Kentucky and L-O-V-E living here.  This July we’ll have been here for 5 years.  Gregg and I came through here on our honeymoon and I told him I wanted to live here.  He moved us 5 years later.

I am a Christian.  That should be apparent in everything I do and everything I say.  I believe that Christians should strive to be “set apart” – different from the world around them, and always heaven-minded.  It makes me seem odd even to my Christian friends.  In everything I do, watch, read, or listen to, I ask myself two questions: Does it glorify God?  Does it not glorify evil?  If the answer is “no” to either question, I don’t do it, read it, listen to it, or watch it.

I have another blog — Hallee the Homemaker.  At that blog I talk about everything homemaker-ish, from being a wife or mother to cleaning with vinegar to how to make homemade mayonnaise, and anything and everything in between.

This blog is new for me.  I don’t know yet if my audience will be other readers, other writers, or just a mix of the two, so I’m not entirely certain what this blog will be like.  While we’re figuring that out, I’ll be doing this Bloggity Bloggness!

Now for my recent picture:

Gregg & Hallee in Kuwait

And 15 interesting facts about me:

  1. I was very nearly born in a helicopter over Nurnberg, Germany.
  2. I am an Army brat, my husband is an Army brat, and I am a National Guard wife.  I LOVE our nation’s military.
  3. I have a broken tailbone.  It’s been almost 4 years since I broke it, and the most recent x-rays show it still broken.  This complicates being a writer and blogger because of the sitting for long times.
  4. I follow a Levitical diet — meaning, if it is disallowed by the Book Leviticus in the Bible, I don’t eat it.  This includes pork and most seafood (we only consume fish that has both fins and scales.)  We also try very hard to focus on a natural diet – I grind my own wheat to make my own bread and pasta, I make almost everything from scratch, we prefer local meats, we try to purchase local or organic produce, etc.
  5. Few things bring me more pleasure than feeding friends and family good food that they enjoy.  Throwing dinner parties is one of my favorite things to do.
  6. I love to travel.  My most recent excursions included Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Kuwait.
  7. I love the change in seasons.  If I could, I’d redecorate my house for every season.  I think that’s why I love Kentucky so much — 4 textbook perfect seasons.
  8. I ran an office for a commercial general contractor for 12 years.  I am incredibly interested in architecture and engineering because of it.
  9. I am terrified of heights.  I get terrible vertigo just looking out of the window of a tall building.  I could not watch the scene in the most recent Mission Impossible that had Tom Cruise climbing the outside of the tallest building in the world.  I had a mini panic attack in the movie trying to watch it.
  10. I love movies.  It makes it hard sometimes, because our standards are so high about what we’ll watch (see my introduction).  My husband and I both love to go to the movies as a date and have been known to come out of one movie and buy tickets to another right away.  One year, we took a long weekend and went to New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi.  During that long weekend, we saw four war movies.  It was awesome.  Band of Brothers is one of my favorite productions of all time.
  11. The Jewel Trilogy was originally written as a contemporary romance series.  I re-wrote it for a Christian audience when Harlequin asked me for the full manuscript.
  12. My husband calls me a “coffee snob”.  I love good, rich, fresh ground, whole bean coffee.  The funny thing about that is that I grew up on instant coffee, and LOVE having instant Tasters Choice at my parents’ house.
  13. I dress almost exclusively in skirts and dresses.  That is less of a modesty/religious issue and more of a broken tailbone/pants hurt issue.  But, because of other factors in my life, most people assume I don’t wear pants for religious reasons.
  14. I am a huge World War II buff.  I love that time period and post-war recovery in American history.
  15. I hate having to sleep.  It annoys me to lose that productive time during a 24-hour period.  I try to function on as little sleep as possible and usually am out of bed about 5AM.

That concludes Day 1 of Bloggity Bloggness!  I intentionally haven’t read ahead to see what I need to blog about every day, so tomorrow should be a surprise for both of us!
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


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Short Cuts

I have a hard time reconciling the amount of time it takes to network online.  I did it at the launching of my Hallee the Homemaker blog when Jeb was a nursing baby, so it was a forced down time.  It also happened to be my computer time with Gregg while he was in Afghanistan.  Around noon my time, he’d be in his room getting ready for bed.  So, we’d talk and I’d network.

Now, though, I’m sitting with the boys running around fighting with light sabers, bread is rising, laundry is washing, and a turkey is cooking in the roaster.  I have to force this time on the computer — because there are so many other things around me that require my attention.

Wednesday morning, Gregg was getting dressed for work.  He opened his dresser drawer and said, “I seem to be out of white T-shirts.”

That stopped me.  How could he be out of white T-shirts?  I looked, and sure enough, there were none there.  I went down to the laundry room to see if I’d left a basket of laundry unfolded, and did not find anything.  Further inspection revealed that the boys were out of white socks.  They have a dozen pair of socks a piece – easy – and had none clean?  I was horrified.

It got me looking around.  The refrigerator is quite empty.  Not that there’s no food in there, but usually, my fridge is so full you have to dig through it to find anything.  Right now, half the shelves are empty.  I haven’t done any serious produce/dairy grocery shopping in over a week.  I keep putting it off, thinking that I’ll go the next time I’m out.

This morning, the boys ate cold (organic) cereal for breakfast, Gregg had a smoothie, and Kaylee ate an apple and a protein bar.  I don’t even know what I had on the menu for breakfast.

I realized I hadn’t tended to my sourdough starter in a couple of days and it was totally ruined.  I had to dump it out.

These things are very minor and may not seem like big deals, but they are huge deals to me.  This household runs like clockwork.  It is important to me that it does – and the reasons for that are twofold.  One, it’s my job.  It is.  I’m Hallee the Homemaker, and running this home is my job.  Two, I function better with order.  I like schedules, I thrive with lists, and I need to get done the things that I need to get done one the days I’m supposed to be getting them done.

It’s not like I’m only working on networking and books and ignoring my children and my house, but I’m taking shortcuts.  I have bread going in a bread machine right now.  I made it for the first time in the machine a few weeks ago and asked the family what they thought of it.  “It’s really good, but it’s not ‘Mommy Bread’,” — which is what they’ve titled my Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread.  “This bread works, but ‘Mommy Bread’ is so much better.”  I thought, okay — I’ll just not make this bread anymore and I’ll stick with the original ‘Mommy Bread.’  And yet, this morning, when I saw the heel of bread that was left, and I thought about all of the things I needed to do today, I threw all of the ingredients into the bread machine and hit ‘go’.

I’m doing laundry, folding laundry, ironing laundry, putting laundry away — but when I go to put a load of clothes in, I’m not washing the white T-shirts and white socks that get washed in bleach, because that load takes much longer to fold.  So, I skip it and put in a different load, thinking that tomorrow I’ll have more time.

For hours and hours a day, I’m building characters, scenes, and developing  story lines in three 75,000 word novels that will release over the next three months, all while trying to build a web presence as someone other than the person to go to when you need to know how to make homemade fabric softener.  I’m also working the homemaking blog and trying to maintain that web presence.  I LOVE it.  I totally love this new focus on my life.

Obviously, though, something needs to change.

I realized, when I looked at that empty drawer where the white T-shirts go, that I need to revamp my schedule.  I need to recreate it so that this new venture will fit and that my home will continue to run as dependably as a clock.  So that my family still gets homemade, fresh ingredients, whole food; so that my family can open a drawer and count on socks being clean and folded and put away; so that I can open the fridge and know that I have all of the ingredients I need to make whatever dish I want to make; so that someone can pop in out of the blue and I don’t have to be embarrassed by the mess the boys made in my living room.  So that I can still write, blog, and network.

I believe God has me doing this right now for a reason.  If He has me doing it, He’ll have a way for me to do it.

I intend to pay attention next week – write down what works in the schedule and what doesn’t.  Then I’ll make it official, print it out, and stick to it.  I used to do this – work a full time job with extracurricular activities and associations and run my home.  I’m just out of that juggling practice.

I look forward to putting it all into motion and sharing with you what works – so that we can help each other, teach each other, and lift each other up!
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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Six Sentence Sunday: Remove Your Hand…or Else

She could never take him on in a game of cards.  Every cruel thought in her imagination seared right through her sapphire eyes and bored into his, which he struggled to keep impassive.  Still, she maintained her cool façade, something he deeply admired amidst his mirth.  Tony carefully bit down on the inside of his lip to keep himself from laughing at her next words.  “I don’t play those games, Mr. Viscolli.  Remove your hand, or else I’ll remove it.”

 

Want to read more?  Sapphire Ice will publish this month!  Check back soon for dates!

What is Six Sentence Sunday?

1) pick a project – a current Work in Progress, contracted work or even something readers can buy if you’re published

2) pick six sentences

3) post ‘em on Sunday

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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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The Things I’ve Learned This Week

This week was my first full week totally focused on this new venture as an “official” novelist. I’m working on my trilogy, focusing this week on the first one (Sapphire Ice) and the third one (Topaz Heat). Sapphire publishes this month. I’ve been working on final edits, getting feedback from a set of beta readers, writing the blurb, and working with the cover artist. Gregg has been researching how to publish it and all of the details and nuances involved within that big giant convoluted world (he sends me technical articles in emails titled, “Stuff I Read So That You Don’t Have To” — and when I skim through them I’m reminded of how much I love and adore my husband), and tweaking this blog.

On Topaz, I’ve been filling in the holes after the first draft, re-writing chapters, and fluffing out thoughts and feelings in scenes.  I could do that all day long, really.  I love writing.

I’ve also been trying to create a web presence as Hallee Bridgeman, Novelist, as opposed to Hallee the Homemaker. Which requires reading and commenting on author blogs as opposed to homemaker blogs, working the Facebook and Twitter scene as Hallee Bridgeman instead of Hallee the Homemaker, and learning how Google+ operates.

I’ve learned a few things this week:

  1. This is a full time job.  So are parenting and my homemaking duties coupled with our natural, home prepared, non-processed diet.  Sleep is quickly becoming a luxury.
  2. Social networking is a massive mega time sucking machine. I think I’m spending 4 hours a day just doing that, and it probably isn’t enough. But, it’s all I can afford at this time.
  3. My tailbone is still broken, which makes the all of this sitting and working difficult.  And painful.  Which makes me have to get up often.  Which pleases the children and does aid in the whole homemaking aspect of my day.
  4. No matter how much time I spend on the computer, my family still generates the same amount of laundry every.single.day.  It’s like a disease or something.
  5. My cover artist, Debi Warford, is the most amazing woman on the planet. She took what we wanted and gave us exactly what we wanted even better than we knew we wanted it.
  6. Blurb writing pretty much sucks.
  7. My Klout score has become something of a fascination to me. I’m still not sure what that’s all about.
  8. Strangely, I like Google+ way better than Facebook.  And, I get annoyed when I have to go get on Facebook off of Google+.  I still couldn’t sit down and tell you why, I just know it’s so.
  9. I no longer have any real time to play on Pinterest.  I really miss it.  I may need to pour a fresh cup of coffee, grab a muffin, and spend some time there one day this weekend.
  10. I am suddenly extremely nervous — like, a bride on her wedding day nervous.  In a way, I want to back out, and in a way I can’t wait for this book to publish.

What’s your week been like?

Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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Reading Without Editing

Wednesday and Thursday last week, I re-read Topaz Heat — book 3 of the Jewel Trilogy.  I’d finished the rough draft of it several weeks ago and just tabled it, because I felt like “something” was missing – I just couldn’t really get a grasp on what that “something” was.

So, I made a .pdf of it, emailed it to my reader, and just read.  I did that so that I wouldn’t have the ability  to get caught up line-editing, thereby losing the flow of the story.  I kept a notebook close by and made notes of major changes, inconsistencies, or thoughts as I wrote.

What I found out was that it’s a terrific story.  Whatever I thought was missing when I wrote it didn’t stand out to me when I read it.

I even cried at the end.  Silly to be emotionally caught up in a story I crafted, but it happened.

I have a few pages of notebook thoughts to incorporate, then the book will be officially done — ready to be edited and added to the Jewel lineup.  This is the final step we need to complete and then we will be ready to announce release dates for all three books!

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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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The Beginning of the Beginning

I am excited to finally be starting my writing blog. For those of you who don’t already know me from my Hallee the Homemaker blog, I’m Hallee Bridgeman. I live in small town Kentucky with my husband, Gregg and our three kids: Kaylee, who is 15; Scott, who is 5; and Johnathan (Jeb) who is 3.

I title myself as a homemaker, but before accomplishing my daily homemaking duties, I spend my mornings blogging and writing.

I started writing romance novels when Kaylee was about 2 years old. I wrote, very roughly, ten novels in a short amount of time. I didn’t do anything with them, though. I’d just write a book, save the file, and start a new book.

A few years ago, Gregg encouraged me to pull them out and dust them off and start working on them again. Several of my books are suspenseful, and post-9-11 would need to be changed to accomodate our world, terrorism, and the addition of Homeland Security to our nation’s government. With two little boys taking time and sleep away from me, I decided to start working on a timeless trilogy I’d written – my Jewel trilogy.

I started with book one – Sapphire Ice. I read it, edited it, fixed it, and sent it to Gregg who read it, edited it, fixed it. With a synopsis, cover letter, and prayer, I mailed it off to a popular New York publisher.

The second it was gone, I felt a STRONG conviction. This book was a typical conventional romance — full of bad language, premarital sex, and financial greed. I could not stand up in my church, holding a published copy, and proudly claim that I had written that book. I also knew that if I was embarassed about the book and could not proudly claim it among my brothers and sisters in Christ, then I should not have written it in the first place.

I also know how Satan tempts, and I knew that this company would want to publish my book. I immediately re-wrote the book, making Tony, the male lead, a Christian motivated by God’s love. It only took a couple of weeks, but when I was finished, the book was ten times better than the original version.

When I went to my mailbox one day and saw the envelope from the publishing company there, I knew what the letter inside said. They loved my book and wanted to read the whole thing.

Standing on my convictions, I sent them the revised version with a letter thanking them for their interest and asking them to foward it to their inspirational division. In reply from the inspirational department, I was told that the book was wonderful, but too edgy for their market.

I decided to wait until I finished re-writing the other two books in the series — Emerald Fire and Topaz Heat — before continuing to market the books.

In the meantime, I saw something interesting happening in the publishing world. E-books became more than a fad and became a major force in the market. Amazon is the largest book seller in America, and online stores like it sell books electronically by the millions. Major New York publishers are going to exclusively e-books or are printing much less than they used to. Technology has made print-on-demand inexpensive and easy to market. Even grandmothers have computers with internet access and Kindles and other e-book readers.

Watching this happen in just the last 2 years, and knowing that the publishers are scrambling to find their niche in the e-book world, as well as watching professional writers I knew make a success with self-publishing, I decided to go that route rather than going through the process and rigamoral of traditional publishing.

So, that is my journey. The Jewels will be published each month this summer — June, July, and August.

I am happy you’re joining me here and pray my books are a blessing to you. I welcome and encourage your feedback.

In Christ,

Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!



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