Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 48

Wow.  The year's almost over.  Where did 2016 go?  Never mind.  Don't answer that.

Okay, so last week...

Last Sunday I did indeed finish the first draft of Natural Causes.  It ended up just under 60K words.  Not quite sure I like the ending.  I left a couple things hanging because I was thinking of the next book, but I don't want this to be that kind of series.  I want everything wrapped up.  And if there is a next book, it will be its own book - not a continuation of something from this book.  The only thing about this book leftover from Accidental Death are people.  And a little of how those people are dealing with the events of AD.  Fixing NC won't be that hard.  I can do this.  Thank goodness for edits.

I did a little work on Fear Itself.  Very little.  I think I got like 10 pages edited.  I need to get the rest of the world out of my head or this thing will never get publishable.

I also read through Wish Hits the Fan (OUAD #4) and when I reached the end of what I'd already written, I realized I have no idea where I was planning to go next.  I have the beginning.  I have the near the end part.  The path from here to there?  No clue.  I've been trying to think about it while I'm out driving, but I haven't come up with anything yet.

In reading news, I finished Silver James' Rescue Moon.  Freakin' awesome.  Really, if you aren't reading her Moonstruck books, you're missing out.  And while this isn't officially a Moonstruck book, it has all the elements of her Wolves, so it's the unofficial Moonstruck book.  Also, I started a book I'd received through a Goodreads contest.  I'd loved all the author's other books, so I was totally jazzed.  And then I was totally disappointed.  Instead of being a fun read like her others, it felt like I was being schooled in the horrors of a cause.  One of my previously favorite authors did this with a new series years ago and it soured me on all her other books, which totally sucked.  I'm not a fan of fiction that stuffs a cause down my throat.  Oddly, this author and that author turned me off with the same cause.  And it's not even a cause I disagree with.  I just don't like being preached to in my fiction.  I don't even care if there's a message woven into the fiction, as long as the story isn't all about the message.  Know what I mean?

Okay, enough of that rant.  I dropped that book and picked up Thomas Harris' The Red Dragon.  So far, so good.

As always, I went fishing.  If you want news about that, see the Fishing Report.  Aside from the fishing report, though, let me just say that I spent yesterday morning freezing my ass off and getting freaked out by some apparent Deliverance wannabes. After I moved to a less-windy, less-scary locale, I was more comfortable, but I didn't catch anything.

I put up my Christmas tree last Monday.  I went minimal on the ornaments this year and didn't splash too many other decorations around.  It's pretty without being a pain to take down after New Year's.  Got a start on my Christmas cards and my Christmas shopping.  I'll finish up the cards today and the rest of my 'out of state' shopping. 

That's it for me.  What was up in your world last week?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/3/16

Welcome back to the fishing report for less than competent anglers.  Here's the updates from last week...

Saturday - After spending Friday on the boat, I wanted to try some things from the bank in that same locale.  I spent from about 9am to around noon standing in the cold fog at various points and not getting any bites.  Supposedly the fish are coming in shallower, but I'm still not seeing it.  They seem to be off worms almost entirely.  And they aren't interested in any of my lures at the moment.  It's probably me because I did see one dude in a boat catching fish at one of my other spots.  Which is frustrating as hell, but that's fishing.

Tuesday - I decided to do some afternoon fishing.  There was a good mix of clouds/sun and the air temp was in the low 60s, which was great for me but I was doubtful how it would be for the fish.  I went to a main tributary where a feeder creek comes in.  Tried my crankbait lure that looks like a shad for a little while off the ledges.  Nothing. Threw a worm in at the same spot.  Zilch.  Moved north about 100 feet to where the incoming creek makes a point with the river.  Kept the worm on and threw out "as far as I can throw and as deep as I can go".  I was getting some interesting bites once the breeze and the current brought my bobber in about 15-20' off shore, but not sealing the deal.  Then something took the bobber straight down.  I set the hook and started reeling.  I thought I had a bass on and I kept waiting for it to jump, but it didn't.  Then I was like 'did I catch a freakin' stick?', but it was fighting a little, so I kept reeling.  The drag was whining at that point, so I kept tension and reeled slower.  When I could finally see it, I thought 'is that a sucker? what the hell am I going to do with a sucker?'  When it got within a foot or two of shore, I changed that to 'oh, holy shit, it's a walleye.'  No net.  On a pre-rigged hook with regular fishing line.  I got it right up against the rock I was fishing off, reached down, and got a firm hold of the line above the hook to pick that dude up out of the water.  Then I was kinda freaking out a little.  I got it laid out on a flat rock and measured so I was sure it was longer than the 18" minimum length for this lake.  I don't remember getting the hook out, but I do remember getting that bad devil on the stringer.  Those teeth are a little scary.
Anyway, once I settled down a little, I measured it again.  22 inches.  Weighed it at home.  4 pounds.  (I need to buy a more exact scale.)  In the same spot, I also caught a 14" largemouth.  Perhaps my fishing drought is over.  :fingers crossed:
One last thing.  I was talking with a guy out there.  He'd just come in on his 17" Bassmaster boat.  He says the crappie are biting good on shad in the coves and he showed me the six 10.5 - 11.5" ones he'd caught that day.  Next time we're out in the boat we'll have to try the coves.


Thursday - Midday fishing in the same spot where I caught the walleye.  Hubs came with this time.  We started out about noon and fished until 4pm using worms only.  It was about 53F out with no clouds and no wind, which is probably why I didn't have the same results.  We did catch a couple largemouth bass - Hubs was 13" and mine was around 10".  If there hadn't been a length limit I would've definitely taken that 10" home.  What a fat hog.  Stumpy.  Short with heft.  It was just nice to be out and to catch a couple bass. 

That's all for me.  See ya next week.  Until then, have a great week and go drown some worms.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday This n That

Walleye face in your face.  (Read more about the fish on Saturday's Fishing Report.)  Let's just say he was yummy cooked in butter with a little salt & pepper.

That's Hubs' hand.  Because I'm a better picture taker (it's my camera, so naturally) and because walleye teeth scare me a little. 

For the record, I don't actually know that fish was a 'him' - from what I just read, it's nearly impossible to tell a walleye's gender outside of spawning season (when the boys are dropping milt and the girls are dropping eggs.)

Since I finished writing the first draft of Natural Causes, I picked back up on editing Fear Itself.  I really do love this book. 

I made turkey soup yesterday.  Today, I should be making turkey pot pie*.  With any luck, that should use up the last of the turkey for this year. 

Somehow I totally blanked out on yesterday being the last day of November.  Happy first day of the last month of the year.  :hugs:

That's it for my this n that.  How about yours?

*If I don't go fishing this afternoon.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 47

It was Thanksgiving Week.  And I have turkey-nesia, which means I don't remember anything before I ate a boatload of bird.  LOL

Okay, not really.  Sunday - Wednesday is pretty much a blur, though.  Let me see if I can rebuild... No, that would take too long.  Lemme see if I can sum up.

In writing news, I wrote 15K words last week.  4200 of that was last night because I was on a roll.  I finished the climax scene and am on the downward slope toward the end.  Right now it's about 58K words, so probably around 60K when I get done.  Then there's the stuff I have to add in because I changed some things at the end, and there's the stuff I have to add in because I rushed through several scenes, and there's a little bit I have to delete because while it helped me write the story, it needs to go before you read the story.  I get all that done and I can send it off to the editor.  Editing begins in January maybe?  February?  :shrug:  I'm not pushing myself too hard this time so I can avoid burnout.

I did some fishing stuff.  If you're interested in that, go to yesterday's Fishing Report.

Let's not talk about football, shall we? 

Since I was jamming on my own book, I didn't read anything. I do have Silver's latest book - Rescue Moon - but I haven't started it yet.  Maybe today.  We'll see how the writing goes and whether I have the room in my brain for another person's book.

Fidel Castro died and I am overjoyed.  Yeah, yeah, I've heard that you're not supposed to be happy when someone dies.  Screw that.  He was a monster.  I'm with all the Cubans in Miami who were dancing in the streets at the news.  So, that's one down.  Next!   If you have a problem with my happiness in this instance, please go away.  Quietly.

Thanksgiving was a good day.  Hubs made an amazing turkey and stuffing, and I ate like a pig.  I also took that day off writing.  I don't remember what I did, but it wasn't work related. 

This week I learned that the Common Loon passes through here on its way to wherever it winters.  I thought I heard one the other day, but I was sure we didn't have loons here.  When I got home from the lake, I applied the Google-fu and found out that it was a loon I heard.  Since then, I've seen two.  They're in their winter plumage now, so not as striking as their usual outfit, but still pretty cool.

Early in the week, I got home from fishing and Hubs starts telling me about this weird bird he saw walking through the yard.  He tried to get a picture, but couldn't.  Later that day, the bird was in the front yard.  It was a black vulture, on foot because, I assume, one of its wings was injured.  It wasn't holding its wings weird, but when it tried to flap up to sit on the fence, one wing kind of had a hitch to it.  We haven't seen it since.  I hope it got better.  Most likely something ate it.  Nature can be a mean bitch.

Okay, that's it for me right now.  What's up in your world?




Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/26/16

Welcome back to the fishing report for less than competent anglers.

Sunday - I tried a little afternoon fishing from a rocky bank sloping sharply into 15-20' of water.  Did about 45 minutes of lure casting with no luck.  Switched to worms set 5-6' deep.  Something grabbed my worm about 4' off the shore and took it down.  When I set the hook, I caught an underwater ledge and lost my rig - bobber, leader, hook and worm.  So, I set up with a Rappala top water to try and get my bobber back.  Hooked the bobber first cast.  Bobber was still hooked to ledge. So, in an effort to not lose both the Rappala and the bobber, I rolled up my sweatpants and waded in.  63F water does not make for an enjoyable dip, but I got my lure back.  In the process the bobber broke, though.  Then, because I was wet from the knees down, and cold, I packed up and went home.

Monday - a.m. - Lovely cold morning with some scattered clouds and fog down by the water. I arrived at a locale off the deep water, main lake with plenty of ledges for the fish to shelter near.  I set myself up with a yellow buzzbait with a yellow artificial worm.  Cast, retrieve.  Cast, retrieve.  Cast... freakin' reel button pushes all the way inside the reel... can't retrieve by reeling.  I managed to get my lure back by pulling the line in hand over hand.  Got that all cleaned up and headed home because I only had the one rod/reel with me.  My new red Shakespeare reel is dead.  Hubs put my old pink reel back on because he fixed it.
Monday - p.m. - Hubs was in the mood for fishing, so we went out together to a spot with rocky banks sloping to gravel in a creek that feeds into a tributary of the lake.  Hubs was working a spoon and I was working that shad crankbait.  The spoon got hooked on an underwater ledge and was lost.  The crankbait hooked on a log, which I managed to drag to the bank.  Then it got hooked on a rock, which Hubs managed to free.  I switched to worms, he switched to a white diver.  After a while, we moved farther into the creek.  I caught a 7-8" bass (large or spotted - it was hard to tell).  A lot of action at 6-7' deep with the worm, but after I saw a huge snapping turtle surface near my bobber, I suspect reptile interference instead of fish.

Tuesday - I did the afternoon fishing thing again.  It was totally overcast with a little wind and in the mid-60s.  Back at the place where Hubs and I fished the day before.  Saw some nice fish jumping.  Caught two little bluegills about 6' deep off the ledges. Then it started to rain in earnest and I wasn't in the mood to get drenched.

Friday - We took the boat out. We went back to the same place we'd visited the last time.  No luck.  But we did have a lovely day on the water.  I was jigging a nightcrawler.  Hubs was casting with lures.  I think we just timed it wrong or picked the wrong place.  Funny thing, though.  At one spot, I thought I got snagged on a log or something, so I was panicking a little because we were trolling and getting snagged while the boat is moving scares me.  Hubs stopped the boat and took the pole so he could try and get it unsnagged.  Except when he reeled, it wasn't hung up on anything and both ends of my worm were gone.  Later I had a similar thing happen, but instead of panicking, I reeled.  The line was taut and pulling hard and then suddenly the line shook from one side to the other and went slack.  Umm, yeah, I had a fish on that time and probably the other time, too.  There's a reason I say this is the fishing report for less than competent anglers.  Better luck next time.

Until then, have a great week and go drown some worms.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving This n That

Turkey dinner Thanksgiving 2014
Yesterday our yard was filled with turkeys - hens, toms, jakes... two rafters worth.  We will not be eating any of our wild turkeys today. 

A group of turkeys is called a rafter.

I love pumpkin pie, but I hate nutmeg, so I turn down offers of pumpkin pie from most people and I don't buy pumpkin pie.  I also suck at pie crust, so I usually make a pumpkin cheesecake.  This year I lazed out, though, so we're having a store-bought cherry pie.

I also suck at roasting a turkey, which is why Hubs cooks Thanksgiving Dinner every year.  He rocks the turkey, man.  He'll be in the kitchen today while I am reading or writing or watching TV.  Of course, since he cooks the big bird, I will do the clean-up. It's the least I can do.

Hubs and I were talking last night and we decided we're both extremely thankful for each other.  And we're thankful for our decision to move here. 

I had four relatives on the Mayflower.  A married couple with their daughter, and a single man on the ship who later married the daughter.  So, I'm like American royalty or something.  Right?  LOL

I love the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special, especially the end when Snoopy and Woodstock are eating together.  There's Woodstock gobbling down his turkey feast and a piece of pumpkin pie that's bigger than he is.  =o)

Some dude in Wisconsin bagged an eight-point DOE this year.  Yeah, I guess like 1 out of 100,000 does grows antlers because of an excess amount of testosterone.  Who knew?

Anything on your this n that for today?

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!  And if you're not in the states, Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Easy-Peasy Popovers

Yesterday morning's fishing trip was a total bust - as in I busted my reel on the third cast and had to come home.  Faced with that, I decided to spend my morning baking instead.  I pulled out a recipe I've had for years but never tried - popovers.  So easy.  So yummy.  The recipe makes 8.  We scarfed down 5 right off the bat.

So, just in time for Thanksgiving, I present...

Easy-Peasy Popovers

3T butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400F.

Melt the butter in the microwave (30-45 seconds). Lightly brush melted butter into 8 muffin cups in a 12 cup tin (you should have lots of butter left). Beat eggs until light and frothy.  Warm milk in the microwave (30 seconds to take the cold off).  Add warmed milk to eggs and beat until well-combined. Add flour, salt, and remaining melted butter.  Beat until smooth.  Heat empty, prepared muffin tin in oven for 5 minutes.  Remove with care (it's hot) and equally distribute batter into prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm with butter and jam.  Or try them cold with chicken salad in the middle. 

These will rise well above the edges of the muffin tin, which is pretty cool.  And they'll have a lovely empty pocket inside for the spreading of jam or the stuffing of good savory stuff.  I had a thought about filling them like cream puffs even.  OMG, so good.