Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 39


It's early Sunday.  I'm a half-cup of coffee into the day, and I just lit my second cigarette.  The Hubs is still in bed.  Max is still sleeping.  Kira's out on the sun porch worshipping her secondary water bowl.  Life's good, but I'm dragging butt today.

Wednesday, I received my edit letter and marked up copy of BloodFlow. 

Friday, I finished the first draft of Fertile Ground.

I was supposed to work on BloodFlow yesterday, but I wimped out.  I truly dislike editing.  In fact, I think I'll make a list of things I'd rather do than edit.  Look for that on Tuesday.  I will get to work today.  I have until the 16th to get this back to Awesome Wonderful Editor.  Still shooting for a November 24th release date.

Somewhere in there, I dug up the iris beds and replanted all the irises.  They were getting choked.  I also built a new bed in a corner by the garage because I had so many bulbs I couldn't fit them all in the beds I already had.  There are still at least a dozen bulbs in a bucket on the front porch.  Hubs doesn't want anymore beds, but then again, he said that before I made this new one, so we'll see. 

I've come to the realization that when I built my sales spreadsheets, I wasn't thinking ahead.  Right now, when I check my sales data, I have to open four spreadsheets - one for each book and one for the Master Plan.  It's a pain in the buns now with three books.  The 4th book releases next month.  So, I need one sheet for book data and one for the Master Plan - which has all sorts of pretty graphs.  This will be much easier, but building it and populating it with data will be a bear.  :shrug:  I'll get to it in my spare time.  Or when I'm trying to avoid editing.  ;o)  What I really need to do is built a splash page with buttons linking all the sheets together then I would only have one main spreadsheet open and it would work for all sheets.  Unfortunately, I have forgotten how to do that and relearning it would take more time than I'm willing to put forth. 

I read a really awesome book called Vulcan's Kittens by Cedar Sanderson (no relation).  It really refreshed me - being totally different from my own work and by its awesomeness. 

What's up at your place?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

This n That Thursday

Welcome to October!  It's my second favorite month.  Except for the scary stuff.  I don't really do scary stuff, unless it's old movies - which aren't really scary IMO.  Except for the original version of The Fly.  My siblings used to torture me by saying "Help me. Help me." in a tiny, squeaky voice.  :shudder:

On our walk yesterday, we saw a huge black and yellow garden spider.  I'd only ever seen one once before.  This year, I've seen three around here.  It's a banner year for spiders.  And tent worms.  I hate tent worms more than spiders.  :shudder:

You know how sometimes you see someone on TV shoving their gun down the front of their pants?  Yeah, bad idea.  Well, yesterday, I saw a news story of a guy who accidentally shot his own penis.  Darwinism at work.

Still waiting for the bald eagles to arrive. 

I used to have long nails all the time.  Mine grow really fast and I'm not inclined to cut them unless one breaks or they get annoying.  I decided to let them grow again - until one of the two factors came into play.  I'm about at the point of annoyance to whack them all off.  They're pretty and I'm great at opening things right now, but they're making typing interesting.  Problem is, once I cut them, I'll have to get used to typing short-nailed again.  I'll probably wait until after Fertile Ground is finished.  So today or tomorrow.

Finished an awesome book yesterday - Vulcan's Kittens by Cedar Sanderson (no relation).  It's as fun as the title promises.  Not that it's a humorous book.  It's not.  But it's damn good, has an interesting premise, and a unique spin on mythology.  I really needed this book, too.  Just the right break from my own writing to make me feel refreshed.  Yay.

Yesterday when Hubs removed the window AC unit in the garage for winter storage, we found a big brown bat on the window ledge underneath.  Poor baby.  Hubs nudged him off so he wouldn't fly inside, and then I went outside with a box to move Bat Masterson to a safer location for the remainder of the day.  Here's hoping he flew away last night and found better lodgings this morning.

What's on the this n that downlow for you today?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

PDT Beef Mexican Thingies

Yeah, I could call them quesadillas, but I'm not sure that would be right, so PDT (pretty damn tasty) Beef Mexican Thingies seems about right.

2 flour tortillas
1 pkg pre-cooked beef fajita meat
1 pkg shredded cheddar cheese
1 pint sliced fresh mushrooms
1 stick butter
1 can sliced black olives
1 jar salsa

Put a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet on medium high. When the butter is melted, lay a tortilla in the pan until you see it started to get air bubbles. Flip it and let it fry for another 30 seconds or so. Remove to baking sheet.  (I used a pizza pan covered in aluminum foil.) Repeat with other tortilla, but set it aside on a another plate.  In the same skillet, add in about 4 tablespoons more butter. When it's melted, add in the mushrooms.  Saute until slightly browned.  Remove mushrooms to bowl - leaving as much melted butter as possible.  In same skillet, add fajita meat.  Stir it around until the meat is hot.  Place fajita meat onto first tortilla (the one on the baking sheet), such that it forms a nice flat layer.  Top fajita meat with about a third of the bag of cheese.  Liberally sprinkle with black olives.  Liberally top with sauteed mushrooms.  Place second tortilla on top.  Spread about 2 tablespoons of salsa over the top.  Sprinkle with about a third of the bag of cheese.  Bake at 350F until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown.  Remove.  Cut into quarters using a large pizza cutter.  Serve with salsa.

Everything is, of course, to taste.  Use more of anything if you'd like.  Use 4 tortillas with less of the fillings to feed more people.  Use chicken instead of beef if you like, or go vegetarian (if you feel the need) and use more mushrooms.  Try refried beans or sliced tomatoes or whatever.  Put shredded lettuce on the side.  Nix the mushrooms if you hate those.  Play with it and have fun. 

As is, this should probably feed four people.  Hubs and I ate the whole thing last night and we were stuffed for the rest of the night.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 38

Welcome to Sunday Update with your friend, B.E.


Ahem, it's been a slow week writing-wise.  I'm a little stumped and I'm kinda bored.  The book's not boring, but I already know what's going to happen.  This is why I never read the last page of a book first - like some people I know.  :cough:KID:cough:  What I'm stumped on is how I'm going to get to the ending I already know.  I only have a few scenes left.  Maybe I should just shitcan the ending and write something totally new.  Or maybe I should just suck it up and write the damn book - bored or not.

I noticed something the other day that did make me shitcan a part of the cover for Bloodflow.  I was over at my author page and noticed I have a thing for covers with the MC standing with her back to the reader, looking into the cover image.  Three books now and two of them have that.  It was almost three.  I spent an afternoon coming up with a new replacement for the MC on the cover.  Which kinda sucks because I spent a really long time choosing the right image and then erasing the background of the picture she came in, so she looked like she belonged on my cover.  :shrug:  It's not quite perfect yet, so I won't share it with anyone, but soon.  Maybe after I get this book done, I'll finish that cover.

I spent the past two days gardening.  Thanks to an ad in the local paper wherein the landscaping place announced they had mums buy 1 / get 1 free, I now have sore buns from bending over the garden.  Yeah, yeah, I didn't HAVE TO buy ten mums.  But I did have it on the agenda to clean up the bed, move the bulbs, and put something along the house that might discourage the local cats from using that space as a littler box.  Mums were perfect.  I got two each of butter yellow, bright yellow, dark orange, and orangey-red.  Then I got one purple and one maroon to fill in where last year's mums had died.  Then I began replanting the bulbs in a scatter pattern.  It should be pretty come Spring.  Now I have to dig up and separate the iris bulbs because they're getting choked.  Fall planting is fun.  My muscles just aren't used to it.  Aleve to the rescue!  ;o)

I think we might've found the right balance for Max.  He seems to be eating better and is more his happy-go-lucky self.  Of course, I've said this before and had him turn tits-up on me, so I'm trying to be reserved with my hope.

Kira is, as always, the queen of all she sees.

Fall means migration season here in the Ozarks.  It's not in full swing yet - as in the eagles and the sapsuckers haven't returned - but it's pretty neat seeing the casual visitors come back for a little while as they head south.  And we still have at least one hummingbird as of yesterday.  Or maybe he's was just passing through and our hummingbirds are already farther south.  Either way, the feeder stays up until I go a couple weeks without seeing any.  Consider it a way-station for the little guys still on their way.

What's the update from your little corner of the world?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

This n That Thursday

I don't know where the time goes.  Seriously.  No Clue.  It was Sunday.  I remember Sunday.  Now it's Thursday.  I know I did stuff in between, but not the stuff I was supposed to do. 

Someone somewhere here in the Ozarks found a two-headed snake.  I wonder if they realize it's actually conjoined twin snakes?  Two brains equals two individuals. 

Individuals.  I'm big on individuals.  Each one of us is a separate human being - an island unto ourselves.  Yeah, yeah, I've heard the whole 'no man is an island' thing, but I don't agree.  We're all islands and we can build bridges from island to island, but we cannot be absorbed into one big mainland.  Unless we try to become like that two-headed snake.  Jus' sayin'.

I'm working on too little sleep again.  Can ya tell?

I didn't win the lottery again.  Oh, and if I happen to not say that during one of these things, it doesn't mean I won that week.  So don't come looking for gifties.  I don't have any.  ;o)

I was reading an old crime novel last night (Cape Fear by John D. MacDonald).  I love old novels.  It's amazing the things you find in them - like a passage denouncing the education system in the fifties.  I did some research back when I worked for a private school corporation, and from that research, I learned the fifties was about when 'progressive education' gained its foothold on American schools.  Later in the book there was a passage where the teen daughter is talking to her father about things she'd been taught - like in English class her teacher taught them that only bad writers make characters who are totally evil or totally good.  And then father ruminates on how the man who is stalking them is totally evil.  I thought it was kinda brilliant of the author to weave that in there.  I believe there are totally evil people and I try to write them. (It's not as easy as it sounds - especially when the drift has been toward making villains sympathetic in some way.) If that makes me a 'bad writer' in the eyes of some, I can live with that. 

In a good character, something not-so good is considered a character flaw.  So, in an evil character, would something good be a character flaw for them?  Just something to ponder.

Yesterday, I caught part of a show that detailed the last 24 hours of a death row inmate.  Totally engrossing.  Especially the part of the different methods of execution and the part about last meals.  (Texas has done away with letting the condemned order a special last meal.  They get to eat what everyone else is eating.  Aside from losing the interesting information about who ate what, I think it's a good idea.)

What's on the this-n-that in your world today?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 37

Not much progress this week on much of anything.  I mean, I wrote a pretty good scene in Fertile Ground and then couldn't muster the gumption to write more. 

It's that time in the quarter when I'm a roiling ball of hormonal angst.  The time when my daughter would actively avoid being around me.  Hubs is learning.  I feel bad about it, but there really isn't much I can do about it - aside from getting my shot and I'll be doing that this week.  No wait, I take that back.  There is something I can do and usually do when I realize this time is upon me - be aware that I have turned into a total overly-sensitive, raging bitch with no motivation, and then suck it up.  And yes, I have already apologized to Hubs - because that's what good people do when they realize they've turned into a raging bitch.  As for the motivation?  I'll get back to work today.  I have ten days left to finish this book before I get the edits back and have to dive into BloodFlow once more.  I left the villain in a precarious position and the heroine about to swoop in on him.  Now I need to throw in some other twist and some more danger, resolve it all, and wrap it up.

I did some reading this week.  An old hard-boiled detective novel that was cool.  An interesting SF that's the first in a trilogy. It had some bobbles, but ultimately it was a good book.  Then I tried to read a romantic suspense that was a total toad and set me off to the point I wanted to throw my Kindle against the wall.  I calmed down and picked up Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  I'm much better now.

While out walking this week, Hubs and I spotted a snake smushed flat on the side of the road.  It was a Western Pygmy Rattler.  Never so glad to see something dead.  We also saw a little green garden snake smushed on the road.  A little sad, but around here, snakes are not on our 'happy to see you' critters list.

Charlotte the spider has moved on - either to set up a web in a new location or to scout for her winter hiding spot.  I hope it's the latter because if she sets up on the front porch, I will have to hit her with the broom.  Nothing personal, but spiders are also not on the 'happy to see you' critters list.

What updates do you have this time around?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Charlotte the Spider

I talked before about the resident spider - Charlotte - but in the interest of keeping my daughter's pulse from spiking, I'll start with a picture of Max and a warning that she need not scroll down past his picture because there be monsters.

And now we come to Charlotte.  I tried looking up her exact species, but only managed to boil it down to 'standard garden orb weaver'.  :shrug:  Anyway, she's about an inch - inch and a quarter long minus the legs.  And she's doing a wonderful job of eating large bugs.  Yay for Charlotte.

Don't worry - she's outside.  She's just happened to build her wonderful web outside the north window in the sunroom.  And as long as she stays where we can see her and not run into her or have her on us in any way, she gets to live.

Pretty damn creepy, but she's okay out there.  Now the other spiders her size that keep making their orb webs on the front porch, by the garbage can, and between the cars?  They really need to move out into the woods because the first time I walk into one of their webs is the last time they build one.  I admire their bug eating abilities but my niceness only goes so far.