Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thursday This n That

I had something on my mind to type here but by the time I had opened the page for a new post and written the title, it was gone.  Such is my brain.

I finally got Early Grave done and sent off to AWE.  I have it on the calendar to start working on Sleeping Ugly as soon as EG went off, but I am so not ready to dive into that hot mess yet.  (Then again, I had it on the calendar to send EG to her on the 16th, which proves that the calendar is not set in stone.)

So, I got my oil changed yesterday at the local Kwik Lube.  While I was waiting, I noticed they were having a drawing for a big ol' smoker.  Like 8 interior racks big.  When my car was done, the guy comes in to tell me all about what they did to my car and to take my money.  As he's typing away on the computer, he slides a blank piece of paper toward me and invites me to enter the drawing.  I decline - because what the hell would the two of us do with a smoker that size?  I mean, it says clearly on the box it takes two people to lift it and I can't imagine how I'd even get the dang thing home.  After I decline, he says 'already have one?'  Umm, no.  Then he tells me if he brings another one home, his wife will kill him.  Already has three.  Had six but he left three behind when they moved to AR.  "Wow," says I, "You must really like your smoked meats."  We chat some more and then a lady comes out of a door I had been certain only lead to a storage room.  "They keep you locked up in that tiny room?" says I in a joking tone.  She laughs and says "There are two offices upstairs."  Coulda knocked me over with a pin.  I never dreamed there were stairs behind the door.  Guy leaves the rest of my paperwork to the gal and goes back into the garage.  She passes me a piece of paper and invites me to enter the drawing.  I decline.  She says "Already have too many?"  Apparently smoking meat is a big thing around here.  Who knew?

Living in the Ozarks can be interesting sometimes.   For the most part, because I live in a resort-type area, I run into people here who are from somewhere else.  And then there are the people who are Ozark born and bred.  They're the really fun ones.  Kinda remind me of the Yoopers - laid back and a bit quirky.  I love it.  You just have to watch out for the ones who are so far out and detached from society that they'd as happily shoot you for driving down their road as look at you.  When the sign says 'No trespassing', you'd better take it seriously.

I need to set a book here, but I can't think of how I'd make it work yet.  Maybe I just haven't run into the right inspiration.

Speaking of story ideas, I saw something yesterday on FB that told of a 'contest' where you submit your story ideas to this place (written or not, they don't care) and the people of Canada vote on the ideas and whoever's idea gets the most votes gets a publishing contract.  Hubs had a great idea "A writer who's worked for years in solitude, slaving away at his book, sends the idea off to a company in Canada having a contest.  They steal his idea and publish it without giving him any credit or money, so he drives to Canada and goes on a killing spree at the publishing company."  I think they'd love that concept, don't you?  ;o)

Hubs is a funny guy.  At least, I think he is.  And he thinks I'm funny, too.  I suspect few people outside this house would find us amusing, but we really don't care.  We're a hoot.

My flowers have finally shipped.  They should be here tomorrow.  Which means, I really need to pick up more dirt.  I have one bag, but that's probably not going to be enough.  And I still need more rocks.  I really should have the supply place deliver all of it.  My little stealth pickup can't handle the weight of everything I need.

Well, that ought to be enough this n that today.  What's on your radar?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

To Dos and To Dones

So, anyway, it's Tuesday.  I was a busy gal yesterday and I'm kind of burned out this morning. 

- The sale for the Dennis Haggarty books started, so I spent a bunch of time posting about that on FB. (AD is #11 on the free Noir list this morning and #61 in overall free Crime, so that's something)
- The new cover for Blink is live.
- The name change for Blood Flow is working on it.  The Amazon page already says Project Hermes, but the cover isn't there yet.  Createspace, on the other hand, is giving me fits with the cover, which was built off the cover for Blood Flow, but suddenly it's somehow not the right size even though the book itself hasn't changed.  Derp.
- I bought 5 bags of marble chips for the front walkway and spread those.  Need about 8 more because they ended up being way whiter than the old chips and now it looks weird.  Ten would be ideal.  Plus, I need about 6 bags of river rock, but the store was out and I can't carry that many bags of rock in my stealth pick-up (i.e. my little four-door sedan).
- Worked on spreadsheety stuff
- Edited 29 pages of Early Grave, only 30 to go.

Today, I need to...

- Finish those last 30 pages of inputting edit notes and get started on the major points AWE made in the edit letter, so I can get this to her by the end of the week (or earlier, if I bust my butt).
- Figure out what the hell is up with the cover of PH.
- Do some more marketing stuff for the sale.
- exercise
- Touch base with the office to see if there's anything they need me to do today.
- Do whatever they need.

There are probably more things.  There are always more things.  And I'm tired just thinking about the things I have to do without adding more to the pile.

What's on your lists today?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 11

I keep having to tell myself that this is, in fact, Sunday.  Some little part of my brain refuses to believe it.  But yeah, it's Sunday and here we are again.

I got some editing done.  Not nearly enough, but some.  I'm about halfway through this round now, and I contacted my editor for an extension because this was supposed to be back in her hands by the 16th.  Derp.  Anyway, I'm trying to get my gumption into gear.  Seriously, I am. 

I've been trying to catch up on some reading, too.  I finished 3 books last week.  DJ Salibury's book Sorcery's Child kicked butt.  Then I read one of Kristen Painter's Nocturne Falls books, Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case which rocked.  Finally, I inhaled a book yesterday that I bought on a whim - by a new to me, underappreciated author (first one of those this year).  Sherlock Holmes and the Cult of Cthulhu was totally enthralling.  Three for three on the good books.  Yay!

I've been playing around with some stuff self-publishing endeavor wise.  You'll learn more about that tomorrow on Outside the Box. 

Fishing finally happened.  Once.  And I caught one fish.  A female spotted bass about 13" long.  Under the limit, but man, was she ever fat n feisty.  Pre-spawn is in gear.  Here's hoping I can get out more this week, but I'm not holding my breath.  I have adulty stuff to do.

Last week, out of the blue, I got contacted by a distant cousin - my great-grandfather's brother's grandson.  He'd read a post I did back in 2012 about my grandparents and decided to touch base.  It's pretty cool.  He's already given me some info and pictures I didn't have.  And I'm returning the favor.  =o)

In the exercising realm, I hit the reset on my goal and I'm back to doing something active every day... Well, almost every day.  I hit 5 out of 7 days last week.  Some of those days I did more than one active thing, so it's all good.  Along the same lines, my diet is getting there.  I managed to get all the way through Walmart without buying ice cream.  I'm slowly weaning myself off Mtn. Dew.  (At home, at least.  I still need it when I drive.  It's a thing.)  We had ocean perch for dinner last night.  It was okay, but I still prefer my fresh caught fish or salmon.  Haven't lost any more weight, but that's okay.  I don't do this to lose weight, I do it to get off my dead ass.

Speaking of which, I should go do something this morning instead of writing blogs and hanging out.  Oh, but before I go, don't forget that Accidental Death is going to be free this week and Natural Causes is going to be on sale for 99c.  If you don't have copies, now would be the time to get them. 

Later days, dudes. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mental Meanderings

It's Tuesday?  Already?  What?  Where did Monday go??

Between work stuff and errands, I lost most of yesterday and what wasn't lost passed too quickly.  Hmpfh.  For a while yesterday afternoon, I thought it was Wednesday because I'd already done lots of stuffs.  This does not help with my inability to discern which day it is. 

And the time change sucks, of course.  After months of getting up at 4:30, I'm now getting up at 5.  Which is actually a half hour earlier than I was getting up before.  Bah and argh.  I thought I was handling this one pretty good until I realized that was happening.  No wonder I'm still dragging ass at 8pm... which was 7pm...  when I should be awake and alert until 9pm... which was 8pm... The whole thing gives me a headache.

Okay, something happy... happy... I should think of something positive to say here...  The second day of exercising went better than the first.  I'm not sore as this morning as I was yesterday morning.  I did the 5/5/5 in the morning and then walked in the afternoon.  And I made chicken and vegetable stir-fry for dinner.  That's healthy, right?  I also had a bowl of Strawberry Cheesecake Forever ice cream, which wasn't healthy but so yummy.

Another happy thing...  The cardinals are singing their spring songs now.  And the white-crowned sparrows are singing their little ditties.  Spring is in the air.  This is my favorite season.  I love how everything is coming back to life after drab and dreary winter.

You know, I really do feel better when I think of happy things.  Sure, some stuff sucks, but there are always happy things to find.  Sometimes you might have to look pretty hard, but they're there.

And now I hear Hubs rumbling through his wake up routine.  He's doing a bit better than I am with the time change thing.  Go him. 

Time to start the day. Have an awesome one.  And leave something positive in the comments.  You'll feel better if you do.  =o)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 10

Ten weeks into 2018.  Hmm.  Those went kinda fast, eh? 

Here's the week that was...

I am a naughty monkey.  I have six days to finish this edit on Early Grave and I'm only through four chapters.  This said, though, I'm past all of my distractions :knock on wood: and can set my ass down for extended stretches of time.  You know, good lord willin' and the crick don't rise. 

I also haven't read much.  This is totally on me.  The book I'm reading is fun and interesting - Sorcery's Child by our own DJ Salisbury.  I'm just dragging on reading the way I am on editing.  Maybe the problem is related.  Anyway, I hope to read more regularly between editing stretches this week.

I got some yard work done this week.  Prepping the beds for the most part.  I ordered a bunch of plants - lilies, columbines, sedums, and an ornamental grass thingie.  I also picked up packs of seeds for daisies, black-eyes susies, and marigolds.  I'm gonna sprinkle those all over the bed under the cedars and hope for the best.  The bed gets good morning and late afternoon sun - just no mid-day sun.  Marigolds and daisies already love it there, but I want more.  My irises look amazing, green leaves shooting up all over their beds.  My hollyhocks are coming up nicely.  Life is good here on Sanderson Acres.

Went into the woods a bit because we had a day where it was still cold enough to keep the ticks and snakes at bay.  Got some more deadfall moved and then walked around on the trails.  Now that warmer weather is approaching I need to find another way to be active.  Maybe I'll convince Hubs to let me mow the lawn from time to time.  I'm also looking at the gazelle machine (because Silver suggested it).  Not sure if I'm ready for the expense right now and they look like something I could easily fall off of - because I'm a clod - but we'll see.

Speaking of being active and other healthy things, I'm doing okay on my resolve to eat healthier.  Walmart had pepperoni pizzas in the discount frozen food bin.  Pizza and a sale?  It really tested my willpower and I won.  As of yesterday, I've lost another pound, putting me at 186.

My turf war with the moles* is ongoing.  Those dirty bastards have expanded beyond a simple condo complex and have created a city, complete with highways and byways.  I bought three spinning flower yard ornaments.  We'll see if they work.  The way it's looking, though, I'll need a sea of those things to get the little buggers out of my yard.

I think that's quite enough out of me.  How was your week?

*Could be voles.  I haven't seen one to identify it exactly.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thursday This n That

I wish people would stop passing along old news like it's new news.  I saw something this morning about a stabbing at a high school in PA and I was all like OMG, but I didn't see it in the newsfeed, so I had to go googling.  It happened in 2014.  Yeah, not a lot was made of it then - for whatever reasons - but use that as your lead-in.  "This happened in 2014 and no one splashed it all over the place.  Why?"  Or something.  Bleh.

I have started a quest to eat healthier.  I'm going for a low-LDL / high-HDL cholesterol diet - gotta keep the ticker ticking*, doncha know.  To that end, I've been increasing the amounts of certain foods and decreasing others.  I said a tearful goodbye to all my bestie food friends at the Walmart the other day - fried chicken, frozen pizza, donuts... :sniffle:  I switched out regular peanut M&Ms and bought dark chocolate peanut M&Ms.  I added avocados to the menu, as well as more fish, chicken, nuts, and beans.  I bought some ground turkey before I read that regular ground turkey is less healthy than super-lean beef.  :shrug:  Last night's turkey burger with avocado, lettuce, and tomato was pretty tasty, but that was the last of it.  I tried giving up ice cream.  That lasted two days.  I'll just eat less of that.  Anyway, here's hoping for a lifestyle change because otherwise this will be like every other thing I've tried and fail miserably.  Lucky for me, Hubs is on board.  I'm also trying to exercise more.  Umm, yah.  I really need to get a treadmill, but the expense!  Ack. 

On a side note, 72% cacao chocolate is GROSS.  I took one bite of a bar of that stuff and almost lost it.  Tried eating a fingerful of peanut butter with it.  Nope.  Drank some OJ to get the taste out of my mouth. It helped but...  Blech. I need to chop up the rest of that bar and make cookies with it or something. 

I'm not going total healthy.  Let's not be silly.  Just trying some new things.  I'll keep what works for me and discard the rest.  Then when I go for my yearly physical and the doc badgers me for a cholesterol test, I may just let her poke me this year. 

In case you missed it, I hate doctors.  In general.  There are specific ones that are okay.  The one I have isn't too bad.  We came to an understanding - as long as she doesn't irritate me, I'll keep going to her.  Which is good because she's the closest physician who accepts my insurance.  I would really hate to have to change.  Really.

Yeah, I hate change, too.

Somehow or other people are finding Blood Flow this month and buying it.  Not a lot of people, mind you, but the slight uptick sans advertising or a sale is nice.

Okay, that's it for me.  What have you got?

*No news of my impending doom.  It's just that I'm gonna be 48 and I have a genetic history of heart crap.  I'm already 4 years older than my dad was when he had his first heart attacks.  Don't want to push it.  Know what I mean?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A Morning Rant

I was screwing around on Amazon this morning, trying to find something to add to an order to bring it up to 'free shipping'.  I only need like $5 worth of something.  Anyway, I thought since I'm thinking about spring and gardening, etc., I'd check out what the 'Zon has for plants and stuff.  Which led me to looking at seeds.  Which led me to the idea I've had before that the world has really gone stark-raving mad with its buzz phrases.  And being suckered by the fear-mongering du jour.

You see, people are advertising 'non-GMO' seeds.  Seeds.  Flower seeds.  For planting in one's garden. 

And, unless I miss my guess, the seeds they're selling have been modified genetically in some way over the course of the past few hundred years.  I think Gregor Mendel did it first when he started mucking around with peas.  Or maybe he was the first to document it, because I'm guessing the first dudes who decided they'd rather plant stuff and make it grow than walk around with a club knocking critters upside the head - especially when the critters might fight back - messed around with modifying the organisms they were planting to improve the quality and the quantity of their harvest. 

I know, I know... the anti-GMO crowd doesn't mean THAT.  They only mean stuff that mankind has altered using, you know, modern science.  Like Frankenstein is in his lab somewhere, cooking up evil plants and animals.  Meh.

And for some reason, the public eats up the idea and wants everything to say 'non-GMO' and happily pays extra for the honor of being ripped off.  Unfortunately, it raises the price for all of us.  Umm, thanks for that.  Derp.

I've gotten irritated enough by the idea that I steer away from things that say 'non-GMO', except you almost can't shop for groceries without that shit being plastered on some package of something you need.  Personally, I like my food genetically modified.  If it tastes better, gets in my kitchen cheaper, and makes my life easier overall, I'm all for it.  Genetically modified to resist disease?  Awesome.  Genetically modified to grow twice as big?  Cool.  GM'd to produce twice the yield for half the price?  Woohoo!  While you're at it, gimme a turkey with four legs, so my mom doesn't have to buy extra thighs for Thanksgiving.

And gimme daisies that produce more seeds per bloom, so you can sell me 5000 seeds for only $8.  Oh, you're already doing that and slapping a non-GMO label on them.  Ri-ight.

'Nuff said.