Thursday, March 31, 2016

This n That Thursday

Today's picture in my bird-a-day calendar is an Atlantic Puffin.  Which is kinda cool.  I prefer everyday birds, but this is good.  The only birds I'm really not fond of are parrots.  Long story, but my parrot dislike probably has its roots in living with a man who owned a parrot.  Three years of hell - from the man, not the parrot (although the parrot did his share).  So, no, I don't like parrots.  Lovebirds are okay.

There were storms in the area again yesterday.  We got like an inch and half of rain in a couple hours.  Whoosh.  But the worst of it missed us entirely.  Again.  There was a band of it northwest of us and another southeast of us, but the whole storm was running northeast.  Sorry about it hitting people in Tulsa, though.  That sucks.

Here's a picture of my front garden:
See the pretty tulips?  Well, this is the only place they exist anymore.  Something came along and bit the heads off of every one of them but the dark orange one nearest the house.  I should've known better than to move tulips out to the edge of the bed.  I'm blaming deer.  Might've been a rabbit.  Whatever it was ate a couple and then spit the others onto the lawn.  At least it left my peonies alone.  And my mums.  Deer resistant plants.  I need to have all deer resistant plants.

I need to put my hummingbird feeder back up for the season.

That's all I got.  What's the this-n-that for you today?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 13 (Tuesday Edition)

Ack.  How did it get to be Tuesday?  Where did Monday go?  Ugh. Okay, since Sunday was Easter, I shifted the Sunday Update to today.  Which I think derailed my schedule.  Or my brain.  Neither is a hard thing to do.

What happened last week?  Well, I was a toad.  I didn't touch my editing work.  I didn't do any new words.  I did some marketing stuff, but that's an ongoing thing, and I didn't do much.

Accidental Death was free Friday and Saturday.  I got about 800 downloads, which netted me 4 new Goodreads ratings, but no reviews.  And residual no sales or page reads so far.  :shrug:

I spent a lot of time cleaning.  The office is super tidy.  I vacuumed the floor, including under all the furniture I could move by myself and along the baseboards.  I dusted everything.  I still need to file that big stack of stuff sitting on top of my printer.  And I need to shred that pile of printed pages.  But for me, this is clean.  I also deep cleaned my bathroom.  I'll spare you the gory details there.  As I said on Thursday, editing is a sure way to make certain I have a clean house.  Clean house = editing avoidance.

I read Dracula for the first time.  As good as I expected it to be.  I mean, it's a classic.  It wouldn't have become a classic if it didn't have something that drew readers in.  (Let's not talk about my dislike for Jane Austen, shall we?)

Easter was quiet.  I made a ham.  We now have loads of leftover ham.

Other than that, not much going on over here.  What have you been up to?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hoppy Bunny Day!

Happy Easter, Everyone!  In celebration, I'd like to share a little bunny story...

Long ago in Michigan, I hired some people to come mow my tragically overgrown lawn.  In the process, they uncovered what they thought were a nest of moles.  I went out to see what they were talking about and found a nest of bunnies.  So, I picked all the bunnies up - because their nest was clearly wrecked - and put them in a shoebox until the mowers were finished. 

Then I took them back outside and rebuilt a nest for them in the same location,
Put them all back inside,
put a large cardboard box with a mama bunny sized doorhole cut into it over the top, and left them alone.

I watched it to make sure the mama came back, and sure enough, she did.
Then I really left them alone until I stopped seeing the mom around the yard. (Mom bunnies stop taking care of their babies pretty early.  I watched to make sure I didn't see her for a few days, and I made sure the babies were eating on their own.)

Now, because I was getting ready to move and because I lived in a populated area where rabbits are likely to either become roadkill or petfood, I decided to move them out to the country where I grew up.  I took the baby bunnies who were now capable of caring for themselves and placed them in a laundry basket.  (Not an easy task with hyper-active baby bunnies, lemme tell ya.)

I drove them out to where I grew up.  I released them into a field that would always and forever be a field, right near where the family dog was buried. 

I hope they lived long lives and made loads of baby bunnies with the local rabbits.  And I like to imagine that our old dog's ghost spent many happy hours chasing them through the long grass.

Happy Bunny Day, Everyone! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

This n That Thursday

I haven't seen a bald eagle in weeks.  I think because it's been unseasonably warm here, they all decided to winter farther north. It makes sense to me. I mean, why stay way south and have to travel all that way home if you don't have to. 

Hubs was out working on the weeding this week.  (I was cleaning inside, just so you don't think I'm a total sloth.)  When I went out to have a smoke break with him, I saw two tree frogs.  One was green and the other was gray.  Both had bright yellow armpits... legpits... underneath their appendages.  I haven't looked them up yet...  Okay, I did it.  They were both Gray Tree Frogs.  I picked them up and put them just out of the yard, so Hubs wouldn't accidentally step on them while he was working.  Very nice frogs.  Didn't pee on my hands or anything, and the gray one didn't want to get off my hand.  He tucked himself into my palm like he was quite happy and would like very much to take a nap, please.  Upon further reading, I'm going to guess the gray colored one was actually a she (because females are larger) and the green colored one was a male.  They change color to camouflage, so size is the best way to tell gender.

I did a deep clean on the office.  Moved furniture to vacuum and everything.  I was rousting chairs around like a teenager.  Man, was that a stupid idea.  Afterwards, I was all like 'oh, ow'.

Editing makes me want to clean the house. 

Apparently there was severe weather in the area last night.  I slept through it all.  And from what I can discern, the worst of it missed us entirely.  Or as we like to say, we're living in the sweet spot.  Fingers crossed this spot stays as sweet to us as it has been so far.

If you've read this far in my ramblings, you get a treat.  Accidental Death will be free tomorrow and Saturday.  Pass it along. 

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

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 12

Well, In Deep Wish is out into the world now.  A huge thanks to everyone who pre-ordered and ordered since it was released.  My big celebration?  I took the rest of the week off.

Oh, and the print copy proof arrived and was approved.  It's available for ordering at Amazon now, if you're into paperbacks instead of ebooks.  Sorry, but I can't afford to make the paperbacks available for wide distribution any longer. 

Yesterday, I received the edits for Fertile Ground.  I looked over the edit letter to get a feel for how much work would be involved.  Then I set a mostly-firm date for release.  Then I got some advice about the date I'd picked and changed my mind.  Now I'm not sure, other than it'll probably be sometime in the week before Labor Day.  I'll let you know what the firm date is when it gets closer.

I really need to work on the cover for FG.  I want it to be as good as the one for Dying Embers, but I totally can't afford that dude again.  So I'm doing it myself.  I'm still playing with it or I'd show it to you.  I like the concept, but something's still not blowing my skirt up.  I think I probably need to spend some moolah.  Meh.  I should probably just get the artist for the genie series to do it.  I dunno. Arrgghh.

Ah, the glamorous life of a writer. 

In non-writerly stuff, my tulips are just about ready to bloom.  And we found a flowering tree just off the yard that hasn't bloomed before.  It's right under where all those horrid grape vines were.  Now that I've decimated those damn things, the little tree can blossom.  Yesterday, I went out and made life even easier for it by trimming back some of the other stuff around it and pulling out a few weedy shrubs.  Not sure what the little tree even is - a fruit tree of some kind... cherry or apple, I think.  Plus, my lilac has real buds on it!  First time since I moved it to a nicer location.  Yay.

Any updates to share this week?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

This n That Thursday

I've been a total derpy-head this week. 

Bluegills have the most awesome defense mechanism - their top fin is pretty much all spikes.  When they're in danger, they spread that fin out - ostensibly so nothing can swallow them whole without getting a monumental sore throat.  This also makes them fun to take off the hook, as they will skewer your hand.  I mention this because Monday's fishing excursion - while loads of fun - has left me with dozens of tiny poke marks on both my hands.  Doesn't hurt, but I thought it was interesting to note.

Yes, we went fishing on Monday.  Partly because both Hubs and I were in total derpy-head status, and since we weren't getting anything important done, we figured it was a good day for fishing.  We caught bluegill, sunfish, rock bass, and one largemouth bass that was an inch too small.  We threw them all back.  I love eating all those types of fish, but they're breeding right now.  We'll keep some when we go fishing after the spawn ends.  Wants lots of babies so there's plenty of fishing in the future. 

I got my first sunburn of the year.  Yay.  Just on the backs of my shoulders where I didn't quite spread the sun block, but still. 

I really need to remember to use my camera more often. 

I'm out of ice cream.  There's still some cherry up in the freezer, but bleh.  That's for Hubs.  I want chocolate. With peanut butter.  And chocolate sauce.  I see a Wallyworld trip in the near future.

What's on your this n that tap for today?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 11

In Deep Wish is almost live.  Pre-order now to get it on your ereader first thing Tuesday. 

Wish in One Hand's ad with Bargain Booksy did pretty well.  Sold some copies of that, got a few new orders for IDW.  WIOH is still 99 cents, if you're interested in snagging a copy and haven't yet. 

I got the print cover for IDW, uploaded it to Createspace, and ordered a proof copy.  That'll be here Wednesday, so if all looks peachy, it'll be available to order soon.

I finished the read-through on Up Wish Creek.  It needs a pinch of something, but that's what edits are for.  I think I might have to change the end entirely and add a little somethin'-somethin' to make for a smoother transition into the next book.  (I have not even begun to think about Once Upon a Djinn #4, so don't ask.)  Today, I'll be looking at background images for the cover for UWC so I can get the artist started on that.

Thursday night I got a book idea right before I went to bed.  SCIU #3.  I started writing it last night.  Not sure if I'm headed in the right direction, but it has begun.  800+ words so far.  No title yet. This one, I think, will be out of the Denver office.  LOL, all D towns so far - Dallas, Detroit, Denver.  Maybe I should move the field office to Salt Lake City, just to stir things up a little.  If you were going to open a field office in the Rocky Mountain region, which city would you pick?  Oh wait, never mind.  I just had an epiphany.  We'll see how it plays out.

I'm trying to ignore the time change this morning, but it ain't working.  Woke up at 6am (7am) and according to my 'puter clock it's a quarter after 8, which means I need to get my buns in gear if I want to hit Wallyworld before 10.  (I avoid crowds if I go before 10.)

I heard about something mildly annoying this week.  It seems Amazon is beginning to tag authors who have their Table of Contents at the ends of their books.  I put mine at the end because, as a reader, I hate having to scroll past the TOC to get to the story.  But having one at the end farques up the Kindle Unlimited page reads, I guess, so those of us who have one at the end seem like we're trying to game the system, which pisses Amazon off.  Sooo, I'll be moving my TOCs and re-uploading books to stay ahead of any potential nastygrams.  I already did Blood Flow

Oh yeah, I changed the cover for Blood Flow.  It looks like this now:
Still not seeing any sales, but I'll keep trying.  Next up might be a title change.  We'll see.

I can't think of anything else to update y'all on, so it's your turn.  What updates do you have?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

This n That Thursday

I thought I couldn't vote in the primaries because I'm registered as an independent, but I discovered this morning that Missouri let's you vote even if you aren't a card carryin' whatever.  So, off to the polls I go next Tuesday. 

I have a Justin Beaver song stuck in my head and I can't get it out.  I've tried several other songs - '65 Love Affair usually does the trick - but nothing seems to kick it out.  That dork is evil. 

A friend of mine sent me a link to 100 pictures of owls.  It was awesome.  I love owls. 

So, the squirrels have pretty much given up on getting into the house, but now they're re-doubling their efforts to raid my feeders and dig up all my bulbs.  Little bastards.  If I keep them off the feeders, they go after the bulbs more strenuously.  One of them figured out how to get the door open on my new feeder.  I found him sitting inside the feeder gorging himself.  Ugh.

The turkeys are in the middle of the season of lurve.  The toms are dancing and strutting.  The girls are clustered in brood flocks.  Last year's chicks are wandering around with a sort of 'what the heck?' demeanor.

I've been washing windows lately.  A few at a time because doing the whole house at once would be insanity.  And interior only because it's still not the right time to get a ladder out and go after the outsides.  Soon.  On the upside, it counts toward my 'do something active every day'.  Man, washing windows really gives my arms a workout. 

Any this n that in your world today?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 10

Sorry I'm late.  I woke up obscenely early and then went back to bed.  I'm on my first cup of coffee after the second sleep now. 

Well, In Deep Wish is up for pre-order at pretty much everywhere - Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Apple.  The links are here.  Huge thanks to the people who've already pre-ordered.  You rock.

Wish in One Hand is on sale for 99 cents (or whatever the equivalent would be in your native land).  Also at wherever you buy books.  The links are also there, but at the bottom of the page.  So you can read the first one before the second one arrives on your ereader. 

Right now, I'm taking some time off from writing or editing (can't ever take off from marketing), and just reading other people's books.  I finally inhaled my BFF JB Lynn's latest - The Hitwoman and The Chubby Cherub.  Man, she delivers.  I loved it.  At the moment, I'm about 1/3 of the way through Compulsion by Allison Brennan.  Totally awesome stuff.  Next up will be either an urban fantasy I picked up on a whim or an urban fantasy I've been meaning to read for years. 

THEN I'll get back to work on Up Wish Creek.  It's not due out until August, but I have until the 19th before my May release comes back from A.W.E. and I can't just do nothing.  I don't have the time for lengthy periods of nothing anymore.

On the 'do something active every day' front, day 60 was Friday.  I missed five days out of the 2nd 30 day period, so not bad.  (Like 9 days total out of 60.)  I'm still hanging with this longer than I've hung with anything else, so it's a win.  I was at the doctor on Tuesday for a shot and made them weigh me.  By their scale, there's a 2 lb difference from what my scale said thirty days ago.  2+ but I'm not freaking or anything.  Like I said before, I'm not in this to drop weight, I'm in this to be more active and I'm winning there.  If you want to point to anything for those 2 lbs, though, point to hormones and point to Easter candy.  Robins Eggs are my downfall.  And Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs.  Easter kills me every time.  I have no willpower against those things. 

Spring is sproinging all over the place here in the Ozarks.  My bulbs are all coming up.  My crocuses and my hyacinths are blooming.  My tulips have buds.  My lilac bush has its first little green leaves.  The robins are singing in the trees.  The mourning doves are hoo-hooing all over.  Bitch squirrel is desperately trying to gain access to her preferred nursery - which is to say inside our eaves. The Sanderson Home for Unwed Squirrel Mothers is CLOSED.  Ya know, I wouldn't really care if she was in there except she is not housebroken, and ewww. Plus, she and her brats chew on everything up in there. 

What's up in your world?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

This n That Thursday

Hubs was watching one of the yearling doe fawns gamboling in the side lot this morning.  Cute stuff from someone not quite old enough to have lost that fawn wonder.  =o)

Today's bird on the Bird of the Day calendar is a greater prairie chicken.  I used to live about a half hour from a place where they'd have huge gathering of these birds.  Never went to see them.  You'd think being the big bird lover I am, I would've made the effort, but prairie chickens don't inspire me enough to drive somewhere to watch them.  Actually, no bird has inspired me enough to travel to where they are.  I'm a lazy birder.  I let the birds come to me.

Speaking of birds, I bought a new feeder and moved the old feeder to the porch.  It's giving me some great shots.

Those were taken from the comfort of my recliner, through the big picture window.  =o)

Did I mention I was a lazy birder?

I read something about Super Lice this morning.  They're resistant to OTC and prescription meds.  If you get lice - heaven forbid - try olive oil.  Something about single-chain fatty acids clogging the louse's breathing holes.  I know it worked for us when we had lice back in '00-'01.  Kill them all and then use a good nit comb to get their little corpses out of your hair.  Gross, but true.

Okay, back to work for me.  What's on your this-n-that radar today?