Friday, January 16, 2015

Celebrate: Down Time & Freebies


My husband's a musician/singer who works in hotels.  He and a bunch of his musician friends have been laid off along with other staff as the hotels go into snooze mode for the winter.  It's been tough to keep a job in the past few years for obvious reasons, but we carry on.  

Instead of moaning about it, we're planning to do some home improvement projects in the next few months, like enclosing our balconies, cleaning out closets, throwing away boxes of junk, and replacing our old water tank. 

This week, I'm celebrating free time that can be used any way you want!  If you're facing employment challenges or waiting to hear from an agent or publication, consider it a time for DIY projects or simply lounge around and enjoy the quiet life!


What do you do when life unexpectedly gives you some down time?


My kind and wonderful co-hosts are:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Celebrate The Small Things Sign-Up Linky:



Grab the Linky html-code here:


EDIT - There were typos in a few of the links. I visited every site and changed broken links. All fixed now!! :)
2nd EDIT - OK, had to go in again and change a few more addresses from "http" to "www" b/c apparently this linky doesn't like "http." Go figure. Crossing my fingers every link works now. 


Foxy's Friday Freebies!

Foxy has been nosing around the net
When she finds great FREE STUFF, she'll feature it on Fridays Freebies posts -
  • Free short stories, novellas, and novels
  • Giveaways for books and swag
  • Free services for authors


Here are Foxy's suggestions for Jan 16, 2015:

Free eBook of Your Choice – Bish Denham is offering a signed copy of Anansi and Company or A Lizard’s Tale to two winners. Go to Carol Kilgore’s Contest Page and enter. (ends Jan 31)


One of Two Free Novels – win either From the Fifteenth District (literary collection) by Mavis Gallant or The City of Blood (mystery) by Frederique Molay. Fill out the entry form on France Book Tours blog. (ends Feb 1)


Free Kindle Copy of Historical Novel – win The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham by Tony Riches by commenting and leaving your email on Unusual Historicals blog



Free Fantasy Novel - Win a print copy of Burned by Flames by Jeaniene Frost. Just leave a comment on the Wicked Scribes blog. (ends Jan 27)


Free Easy-Reader/Chapter Book Children’s Book – Win a hardback print copy of Hissy Fitz by Patrick Jennings (Egmont Publishing). Fill out an entry form on The Children’s Book Review blog. (ends Feb 8)


Free YA Post-Apocolytpic Horror eBook – Win The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris via Rafflecopter on My Book Addiction blog. (ends Jan 26)



$20 Amazon Gift Card – Win an Amazon gift card to celebrate the release of Raven—Chronicles of Steele (Steampunk) by Pauline Creeden via Rafflecopter on My Book Addition blog. (ends Jan 22)

Free First Page Critiques by Dianne Salerni (author of The Eighth Day series, HarperCollins 2014) and Marcy Hatch (author of West of Paradise, WiDo 2014). Get the email address from their blogs. Openings available for February and March!


For Foxy's other Freebies, go to the Freebie page.

If anyone has a FREE short story (for download or online at a free ezine), novella, novel, special giveaway, or author service, please let Foxy know so she can plug you here!  Write to: laura.6eg(at)gmail.com


 Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is put your name on the linky list on Lexa's Blog, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)

54 comments:

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Free time - what a concept! Actually I love painting and that gets first dibs. Then of course, I am reading that home repairs manual I received for Christmas. I have plans and it will assist me nicely in my madness.

Enjoy that time, Lexa!

T.F. Walsh said...

So sorry to hear about your husband. But tackling projects at home sounds like a great way to use the time. I so need to do that at place too. When my hubby was laid off, he had all these grand plans to do things around the house... alas, let's just say none of them got done:)

dolorah said...

At least something good is coming of being unemployed. I should be writing lots and lots. Ahem; starting tomorrow!! I keep getting distracted by good books to read.

Suzanne Furness said...

Hope the free time allows you to get all those DIY projects completed. Happy Friday, Lexa.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm sorry to hear this. When I'm between things or tackling a difficult situation, I tend to throw myself into work--resume writing for day jobs and writing and submitting for publication. I also do a lot of cleaning, as if I'm renewing myself for the next step of life.

Kate Larkindale said...

We've been doing those DIY things here over the summer break. The latest project has been making our son's bed into a bunk so he has more space in his room. So far, a success! But he hasn't been here to sleep in it yet….

Hope your husband gets back to work soon. Downtime is great, but no fun if you're having to worry about where the next mortgage payment will come from.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

There are two different linky tools being used. I have the newest one from your site, but it doesn't allow access to all blogs... just some.

I went to one blog that has another linky and was able to access the blogs I cannot access from my linky.

That's clear as mud, right?(smile)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bummer he's laid off for the winter, but at least you're handling it in a positive manner.
Free time? I'd play my guitar even more.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sorry your husband is laid off. But you have a great attitude toward it and hopefully with all get some extra time together.

I'm laid off too. I'm very busy looking for a job. It's as busy as going to one, but I'm also working on cleaning out my basement. At least at night I mostly relax.

Cherdo said...

I love your attitude; hubby is laid off for a spell but you are using it positively. Moaning and groaning doesn't help anyone.

When I find unexpected free time, I find a project to pour myself into. Then I celebrate the lack of distractions because I do like to hyperfocus on something.

Have a great weekend!

Peaches D. Ledwidge said...

Accept what you cannot change with a cheerful heart. Good for you.

Free time calls for writing.

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

oh man, that sucks, but I love your attitude. This has happened with me in my family and we react exactly the same: trying to focus on a home project that won't cost money, like organizing a room. Unexpected down time is all about attitude, so using it as a time to relax and regroup can turn out to be good. :)

Carole Anne Carr said...

Free time? I'd have a break from writing my children's books and read other's work more. Managed one novella today, a great improvement.

Kim Graff said...

Free is nice. I try to appreciate it whenever I can with a good book (though cleaning tends to end up being the main thing).

The City of Blood looks really interesting, I'll have to check out the giveaway :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Wise way to approach a negative. Hope you get a lot done!

I totally forgot I joined the small things. Next week I will remember. (I'm a little slow on the uptake!)

Bish Denham said...

When I have free time I like to spend it reading... :) Thanks for featuring my books in Foxy's Friday Freebies, Lexa! I appreciate it.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Good Idea, Lexa, to fill the wait time.

shelly said...

Staying busy keeps you worry free.

Marilyn Parel said...

Yea for down time. Love the pic.

Chrys Fey said...

I like that you're staying positive. When I have downtime, I do a lot of reading. ;)

Birgit said...

being laid off is one tough thing but glad you are doing the best with the extra time. I always find it funny that when we have free time we wish for it to be more busy and when we are busy, we wish we had more free time to do things we want to do. I love to create cards, watch movies and read and I make time for that!

Georgina Morales said...

I just took a three week break for the holidays and it felt like godsent. Now I'm much more relaxed and actually itching to write. Funny how setting your mind free works, right?

Sharon M. Himsl said...

Neat your husband is musician/singer. Oh...the sounds that come from your house :) I like your creative use of down time and positive attitude. Kind of do the same at my house...tackle undone projects and sometimes make major decisions (like our recent move!)

messymimi said...

Down time = reading time. There's always a book/magazine/newspaper/blog post within reach!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Clean closets in your free time. That's exactly what I need to do. Then maybe I can find all the things that are missing. :)
Thanks for all the free stuff. Will have to take a look.
Have a super weekend, Lexa.

Stephen Hayes said...

I don't know that I have down time. I'm fortunate in that I have the ability to pretty much do what I want. Laziness is my biggest problem.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks for the visit, with an invalid husband it will be good to think about positive things, Lexa.

Pat Esden said...

Last spring, my husband had some down time and put a fresh coat of paint on most of the walls and ceilings in our house. Now we're closed by snow and cold, and really enjoying have a nicer place to spend our time.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Well, today I am updating the look of my blog, something I haven't done for a couple years! It's not that I had unexpected free time but that I've been really tired all week so I'm just taking time off my regularly scheduled programming to do something a little different.

Lara Lacombe said...

Good luck on your home improvement projects! That's a great use of free time :)

mshatch said...

These days I'm working a lot so my free time is scarce. I am however looking forward to 2 weeks in April and plan on doing as little as possible!

PlanetKimberly said...

I'm glad you are being productive in spite of your husband's job situation. As far as home improvement, we had to replace 2 water heaters in seven years. I recently heard about tankless water heaters. They may not be a bad way to go. Good luck on your endeavors!

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Sorry about the job situation, but it sounds like you're going to get a lot done. That's always satisfying. Free time... wow, what's that?? Seriously, though, every once in a while I'll make some time to sit down and watch a movie. I find it gets my mind off my gripes and helps me recharge.

L.G. Keltner said...

Times can be tough, but the home improvement projects should be exciting. I remember both my parents lost their jobs at the same time when I was 11. They sure got a lot done around the house that summer!

Cathy Keaton said...

It's good to see you're making the most out of a hard situation. That's what proves how tough you are! Good luck with your home improvement projects. :)

DMS said...

Love the positive spin that you and your husband put on things! Much better to look at all the great things that can be done with the extra time. :) I hope the tourist season starts again soon, but until then- happy house projects.

Look at all those giveaways! :)
~Jess

Julia said...

I'm self-employed, too, so I empathise with the enforced downtime. It's hard to take my eye off the bank balance, but the less work I have on, the tidier the house.

Kim Lajevardi said...

Sorry that you and your hubby have to go through the unemployment stress, but Yay! for free time. I hope you both accomplish a lot during the (cross my fingers) short downtime I hope he has.

Shah Wharton said...

Always good to spin less than brilliant news and to search out the positive. Good for you Lexa. Enjoy your free time together. Me? I'm not good outside of free time. When I HAVE to go out, I'm NOT happy. :)

shahwharton.com

Kelley said...

Free time is good. I personally have no idea what it is, but good for you!
And yay snow! We have had none this year.
Which is ok... ;)

Loni Townsend said...

When I get free time (like today) I play catch up with blogs and do some writing whenever possible.

Hope your home improvements go well!

Winter Moon said...

It's sad that he's been laid off, but the free time is a wonderfully positive way of looking at things.

I hope you manage to get lots done! :)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Layoffs are hard on everyone. We've been there. It's only up from here, Lexa. Don't stop believing. You've got a terrific attitude.

Carol Kilgore said...

I appreciate your mentioning the contest on my website. Thank you! Bish's books are awesome :)

Have fun with your projects! We do that kind of thing, too.

Annie said...

What a great attitude! I do much the same thing when I'm sick; I try to think of it less as "sick time" and more as "reading time." Loafing on the sofa and drinking tea isn't so bad. :)

Vanessa Morgan said...

I'm a workaholic, so when something unexpected happens, I immediately go to the next point on my to-do-list.

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

Hi Lexa,
Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for an award. Please stop by my blog, dhdunne.blogspot.com to find out more. Congratulations!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Free time and Foxy Freebies! Great combo!

Crystal Collier said...

Unexpected down time? I totally read. And sleep. And do chores. And play with kids. I'll take more of that "down time" now, please?

Stephanie Faris said...

Apparently I go into overload mode. Something like that happened to us in 2011 and I discovered Elance and freelance writing. Two years later, I realized I was making more doing that part-time than I was making at my full-time job...so I quit and became a full-time writer. It's interesting...sometimes something like that gives us just the push we need to do something we might not have otherwise had teh courage to do.

LD Masterson said...

Like most people, I have a do list. I usually also have an overdue list. Unexpected free time goes to one or the other.

Good luck on your projects.

Heather Holden said...

That's a shame about your husband getting laid off. Good luck with all those home improvement projects you two plan to do, though! I doubt I could ever be that productive with my downtime, LOL.

Shell Flower said...

Free time is magical if you can roll with it. Good job having the right attitude about making the most of down time. Honestly, I've been working way too hard for way too long and could use some free time, but I am grateful to be quite gainfully employed, I guess :) Have fun while you can... and WRITE!!!

Jocelyn Rish said...

I didn't know your husband was a musician - very cool! Although I'm sorry to hear that employment is so tough right now. Hoping it improves soon - after he finishes the projects for you. :-)

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