Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 3

Hello and welcome to the end of week 3.  I hope your year is going well so far.

After hitting the ground running at the beginning of the month, I hit a wall running.  Splat.  So, this week, I only got about 3500 new words written on Cinder Ugly and about 25 pages edited in Ugly and the Beast.  But slow progress is better than no progress.

I did some marketing because Accidental Death and Natural Causes are both on sale.  A lot of work for minimal sales.  But minimal sales are better than no sales.  Anyway, this Kindle Countdown Deal lasts through Tuesday night.  Project Hermes goes on sale in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

In reading news, I spent most of the week on a SF paperback.  It was like 580+ pages long.  Good book.  Not what I expected from a third book in this series, since it really didn't tie into the first two too much until like the last quarter, while the second book tied directly into the first.  :shrug:  And it read more like a dystopian than a SF - deep philosophical stuffs going on in there.  I enjoyed it thoroughly, though.  I didn't review it.  Not sure if I can do it justice.

Despite my 'do it anyway' resolve for the year, I didn't do much in activity this week.  I finally finished washing the light fixture globes, which was a necessity.  I vacuumed a bit in prep for washing floors and then I didn't wash the floors.  Like I said above, I hit a wall.  I did lose like a half a pound, though.  181.2.  And I got on the exercise bike for the first time in like a year.  Ten minutes of that and then nada.  The problem with the exercise bike is that it's uncomfortable on my aberrant bone growths.  I expect if I do it more, the ABGs will get used to it.

Still no ice cream.  I'm slowly getting to the point where I don't want it.  I even went to Wallyworld and didn't go into that aisle.  We'll see what happens once the temps rise.  Typically, I eat less ice cream in the winter anyway, so there's the real test.

Yesterday, I rearranged the fridge shelves.  Woohoo.  We'll see how it works for us and if it's a pain, then I'll move the shelves back.  Right now, though, it just seems to make more sense to put the heavy beverages on the bottom shelf for more stability and the leftovers on the top shelf where there's light enough to see what the hell is in the containers.  Why I never thought of this before escapes me.  I guess I've just been putting the milk and juice on the top shelf all my life.  Habit - it's a thing, man.

Okay, that's about enough out of me.  I probably should get myself back in gear.  It's a new day and a new week.  Time to kick the old attitude in the pants and jump start the new attitude again. 

How was your week?

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 1/18/20

Frankly, I hate starting the week with a DNF, let alone two, but here we are again.  I did manage to finish two good books this week, though.

I picked up a few new ebooks - mystery, urban fantasy, medical thriller.  With an urban fantasy leftover from last week's finds.

Books read:

6) A Few Good Men by Sarah A. Hoyt (1/17/20) - SF - 5 stars.  Not new to me since I read the first two books in the series and, as the third book, isn't appreciated nearly enough.  I bought this back in about 2015 at the local used book store.
No review.  Suffice it to say, it was awesome and I didn't have the words to do justice to it.  Still don't.

5) Fatal Justice (Jack Lamburt #1) by John Etzil (1/12/20) - Hard-boiled Crime* - 5 stars.  New to me, but over 100 reviews on Goodreads.  Free off Book Gorilla.
Review: "Now that was awesome. Intense. Fast-paced. Satisfying end. Loved the characters, the premise, and the story. Good stuff here, folks."

DNFs:

1/12/20 - Mystery... Suspense? - free.  Meh.  I had this down as a mystery.  It billed itself as a suspense.  It was missing on both cylinders.  The beginning was suspensey.  The next part was folksy.  The next part was the MC on a plane griping to herself about being jilted.  :shrug: 

1/11/20 - Suspense - free.  Wow.  I think the author was trying too hard to make it gritty, but it was jarring.  And I didn't like the MC.

Currently reading... I finished the SF last night at about 6:30, and then I had stuffs to do, so I haven't started anything yet.

What did you read last week?

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Thursday This n That

Gah.  I can't believe it's Thursday again already.  Time is just whooshing past so far this year.

I saw on FB this morning that one of my favorite K9 officers from Live PD had to have emergency surgery.  Send whatever positive thoughts you can toward Springfield, MO and K9 Lor.  I also learned that Lor and his officer, Craigmyle retired recently.  I'm sad to see them leave the force, but I'm happy for them.  We need more officers like Craigmyle in the world.

Apparently there's some kind of kerfluffle thing going on over at the RWA.  Someone read something in a historical romance written like 20+ years ago that offended her somehow and took to twitter.  Offended people mobbed, things were said, the cry of 'racist' went up... :yawn:  I read a highlighted snippet of what the dustup was about and couldn't see what the problem was.  I guess I'm not woke enough.  And I don't want to be.

You know, I talk a good game about not caring what other people think, but if I explore it deeply, I find I care more than I should.  Maybe it's being a public personality as a writer and junk.  If I weren't a writer, I wouldn't have cause to care.  :shrug: 

In other non-news, I saw the cutest little girl at Wallyworld yesterday.  She was probably, I dunno, 14-16 months?  I waved at her as I was waiting to access the soups - her mom's cart was in the way - and then she started chattering at me.  And showing me everything she had in the cart - her new sippy cups and her vitamins and some other things.  I was smiling and laughing.  I thanked her for making my day brighter, grabbed my soup, and off I went.  Then I ended up behind them in the checkout - cuz I waved her mom in front of me.  (I had a full cart and she didn't.)  There this little girl was chattering away and I couldn't understand more than one word in four.  She seemed to be getting irritated that I wasn't answering her appropriately.  Finally, I told her 'I'm sorry, hon, but I haven't had to speak toddler in a long, long time'.  I mean, my Kid is 26, so I'm totally out of practice.  That seemed to satisfy her, but I was no longer an interesting person with whom to converse. 

I was telling my mom that I'm just about through with all the honey-dos and I wasn't sure what I'd do when they were all done.  She brought up the blanket I was crocheting for my oldest sister that I never finished.  I still have all of it, but I haven't touched it since Colorado.  So, like 7 years.  Yep, Mom's got a long memory for things left undone.  (And pretty much everything else.)   Unfortunately, I don't have the space to work on blankets here like I did there.  No couch where I can lay things out as I'm working.  Laying it all out on the bed would work, but I did that once in CO and it's a pain in the back.  So, the blanket bits stay in their tub.  For now. 

May I still be as sharp as Mom when I reach 79.

And on that note, I'll leave you to your own devices.  Have an awesome day.  Feel free to leave some this-n-thats on your way.  =o)

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Cat-Less Cover

Quicker than expected, because she's so damned awesome, Jessica got me my new cover back already.  So, here it is...
Okay, so there's no beast on the cover.  And I miss the cat.  But the cat isn't really the beast anyway.  And putting the hellbeast on the cover would've been kind of art intensive since he's a figment of my imagination.

Additionally, I got some encouragement toward going ahead with publication sans my Awesome Wonderful Editor.  Still sitting the fence on that one, but I'm leaning farther now.  What I really need to do is finish writing Cinder Ugly, then finish all the edits for Ugly and the Beast.  And then decide what I'm going to do.  That'll give me plenty of time to hash this out with myself.

Part of the fun of life is not knowing what's gonna happen.  Right?



Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 2

Good morning!  I hope it's awesome wherever you are.  And if it's not, I hope it will be awesome soon.

The writing isn't going as gangbusters as I would like, but it is going.  I'm over 10K on Cinder Ugly now.  I'm not sure I like where it's at right now, which isn't helping, but I told myself to get over it.  Write through it.  Get to a place where you do like what's going down on the page and you can always fix the crappy parts later.

I contacted my cover artist and she's removing the cat from Ugly and the Beast's cover.  I'll miss it, but it was necessary.   I should have a new cover that's pretty much the same as the old cover, sans cat, in the next couple weeks.  Woohoo.

Yesterday, I set up sales into the first week of March.  Starting Wednesday with a sale on the Dennis Haggarty Mystery novels and running pretty much through 3/7, there should be something on sale or free from my list.  I'll let you know about the sales as they happen.  I haven't set up any advertising yet.  We'll see what the budget looks like farther down the road.

I also finally sat down with the spreadsheet that details income and outgo for this writing business.  I hadn't updated 2019 since last January's numbers, so I did that and then made a sheet for 2020.  I might talk more about that tomorrow.  It's kind of depressing, which is why I hadn't updated it.

In reading news, it was a pretty good week.  Three books read and a couple DNFs.  I'm ahead on my goal, which is always good.

No baking this week.  I should be making granola bars sometime this week, though.

On the activity front, I did something active 5 out of 7 days.  It was all housework of some kind - washing windows, scrubbing the kitchen sink, cleaning the light fixtures, dusting the ceilings, etc.  I've lost a pound since the beginning of the year.  Unfortunately, when I stepped on the scale after the holidays, I had gained some weight, so I'm now at 181.6.

I've been an entire week without ice cream now and I ate the last of the potato chips this past week, so I won't be buying anymore of those.  Instead of ice cream, I'm eating vanilla yogurt with canned fruit.  It's an okay substitute.  I'm also trying to eat smaller portions of everything else.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Today, I'll be making chili, finishing the light fixture cleaning project, and washing the floors in the sun room.   ( I was just out there and it's too cold to wash floors out there today.)

The bucks are losing their antlers.  We now have one we call Half-Rack and one called No-Rack.  It's that time in the cycle.  As always, we hope to find a dropped antler or two somewhere on the property.  Haven't yet, but there's always hope.

Friday a storm blew through and dumped 3 inches of rain on us.  It also dropped a couple tornadoes within like 90 minutes of here.  Then Saturday, we got nano-hail.  Tiny clear balls of ice dropped on us for a while.  They were bouncing everywhere.  Maybe a half inch of accumulation.  What fun.  I stayed inside for all of it.  Actually, I haven't stepped outside since Wednesday, when I went to Wallyworld.  =oO

Okay, I think that's everything.  How did your second week of 2020 go?


Saturday, January 11, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 1/11/20

Hello again. Thanks for stopping by.

I picked up three new ebooks this week - a mystery, a crime fiction(?), and an urban fantasy.  Of the books I picked up the first week of the year, I have a suspense left.  No new hardcopies.

Books Read:

4) Curtain by Agatha Christie (1/10/20) - Mystery - 5 stars.
No Review.
Note:  This is the last Hercule Poirot she wrote and it made me sad.

3) Cicada Summer by Jeff Dosser (1/9/20) - Supernatural Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Reading Deals newsletter.
Review: "The beginning was not what I expected. I actually swiped the book closed and was ready to move on. But something lured me back for one more try. I'm so glad I turned the page and kept going. This book was an awesome supernatural suspense with the best parts of both genres. And you need the beginning parts to understand what happens later, so don't skip those. Keep reading. It's worth it. I inhaled the rest of this book. Didn't want to put it down. Read straight through with the television on and not even hearing the TV. Good stuff here, folks."
Warning: The regular price for this book is $6.99.  One-click at your own risk.

2) Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine - December 1979 by Various (1/7/20) - Short Stories Mystery - 4 stars.  Picked this up at an 8/$1 sale at the thrift store.
No Review.

DNFs:

1/8/20 - Paranormal Mystery - free.  I started reading this and ran into the 'talking black cat' thing.  Other than realizing this thing has been done to death (and making plans to change my books so I don't put two more TBC books out there), I realized I didn't actually like the MC or her talking cat.  I think the story was supposed to be quirky and fun, but it felt flat.

1/4/20 - Mystery/Suspense - free.  It was billed as a mystery, but read more as a suspense.  The problem was that the MC was too stupid to live and the author kept introducing things like the readers should already know them, and then explaining them after.  Like "Mary so did not want to run into John." with no explanation and I'm all like "John?  Who the hell is John?" then a couple chapters later she drops a hint that John is her ex.  He never shows up, though.  (Names changes to protect the anonymity, of course.)  And the MC kept doing things out of character for who the author presented her as being.  :shrug:  I gave up at about 30% when it all got to be too much for my disbelief to suspend.

Currently reading... I didn't start anything new after I finished Curtain last night.  I was too bummed.  Today, I'll wade into one of the ebooks I downloaded.


That's it for me this week.  What have you been reading?

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Thursday This n That

Not sure how or why, but I slept straight through last night.  I wish I knew how and why so I could repeat that.  

This isn't the reason but...  After seven straight days of doing stuffs, I took yesterday off.  Well, off of everything but writing.  I actually got two pages of new words down on Cinder Ugly.  Yay.  I went with the original version.  The happier version was making me queasy.

I started a book yesterday and it was this close to being a DNF, so much so that I went to Amazon to see what the blurb was because I couldn't figure out why I had even picked it.  After reading the blurb, I decided to give it another try.  And actually, it's pretty good.  A little different, perhaps.  It's a lesson for me to not be so quick to DNF, I guess.  Of course, I could still end up swiping it closed and moving on.  I'll let you know on Saturday.

The bucks are starting to lose their antlers.  One is missing his rack entirely.  Another two only have one antler left.  =o(  On the bright side, in like 5 months the does will all be fat and waiting to drop fawns.

So, part of the 'new year, new resolve' thing is that I'm not buying chips or ice cream anymore.  I ate the last of the chips yesterday.  (Okay, we still have tortilla chips.  I've given myself a pass on those because I don't sit there stuffing them into my face every afternoon.)  We'll see how that resolve goes.  I do love me some chips (potato and corn) and crunchy cheese puffs.  I ran out of ice cream last week.  That one's been hard.  I love ice cream.  But I have managed to not buy it on two Wallyworld trips so far.  Go me.  I'm eating vanilla yogurt over canned fruit instead. 

I did two Wallyworld trips in one week because they're calling for crap weather starting this afternoon and we'd be out of cat food before the weather system moves out late Saturday.  If given the opportunity to avoid driving in crap weather, I'm gonna take it.  And if we don't get the crap weather, it's all good because now the house is stocked up.  Living in the sticks means planning ahead.

Okay, that's it for me this morning.  What's up with you?