Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday This n That

I heard yesterday that the local fugitive, let's call him Mr. Stabber, has this neat trick where he lays in the road to get people to stop so he can... I don't know, rob them, steal their cars, hurt them?  Anyway, I'm letting the world know right now that henceforth I will be running over anyone laying in the road in front of my car.  I am not interested in stopping and potentially getting myself harmed or killed, tyvm.  I will try to not roll over anything crucial to his life - you know, avoid the head and the chest areas - but I can't make any promises.  I'll also try to slow down enough so the impact is lessened, but not slow enough he can chase me on foot if I manage to miss him entirely.  Afterwards, I will stop at a safe distance and call 911 from my cell phone.  If he gets up and tries to come at me, I will run him over again. 

I'll still swerve for turtles, though.  If it's safe.  I feel bad for turtles, but I'm not willing to risk my life for them.

This is really a strange world we live in, ain't it?  Where men going about lying in roads for nefarious purposes.  Actually, in a related note, two people in the area have been killed recently because they were either lying in the road or sitting in the road late at night.  I assume drunk or stoned.  Possibly suicide by motor vehicle.  Stupid either way.  I feel really bad for their families and for the poor people who hit them.  They didn't ask to be the instrument of those morons' deaths.

I think anyone who wants to tear down a public statue is welcome to do so, provided they pay for the statue in advance and clean up after themselves when they're through.  And that the money they pay goes back to the people who paid for the statue to begin with - i.e. the taxpayers in most instances.  If it's on private property, tough luck.  Perhaps the owner would be willing to sell it.  As always, if it doesn't belong to you, though, don't touch it.  Whether you like it or not, whether it offends you, whether it hurts your sensibilities or your feelings or melts your special snowflake. 

Earlier this week, I was shaking rugs and one of them snapped back and hit me in the back of the hand.  Hurts like the dickens and now I have a bruise there.  Oh, the weird ways I injure myself.  LOL

Last night, we had a fourth fawn in the yard.  It was quite exciting as we thought we only had three fawns this year.  But the light doe, the one who was still pregnant when all the other gals had birthed, brought her little bitty baby to see us.  Yay!

What's on your this n that today?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ramping Up

Wish Hits the Fan is almost here.  I'm setting the release date as September 15th.  It's a Friday, so you can snag a copy and have something to read over the weekend. 

I have the cover now, so I'll do a big reveal tomorrow on Outside the Box.  By then I'll have a Goodreads listing up and afterwards, I'll splash the cover all over the place.  Right now, though, I'm giving some ARC readers a day to be the first people to see the cover.  (And I have to write the blurb, which is always a blast.)

So, anyway, I'm ramping up.  The rush of blood and excitement is upon me.  Formatting to be done, final touches and proofing to be completed, marketing stuff to put in place.  Woohoo.

This is the final book in the arc for Once Upon a Djinn.  If it ain't wrapped up here, it ain't gettin' wrapped up, if you catch my drift.  I'm still playing with the idea of writing more genie stories - with and without Jo - but time will tell. 

Anyway, I'm excited.  I hope you are, too.  And hey, if you were waiting to read these books until the storyline was complete, wait no longer.  It's a four book series, and this is book four.  Tada!

I can't wait for you guys to see the cover.  It's so pretty.  And I've been playing this morning making graphics for the series.  They're all so pretty together.  Squee!

By this time next month, I should be either a basketcase or comatose.  LOL

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 32

Thirty-two?  That doesn't sound right, but that's what the internet says, so it must be true.  Then again, the internet has also starting saying a week begins on Monday, which is just wrong. 


Last week.  I really should try to write these posts when I'm actually able to brain. 

Writing stuff:  Well, actually it's more like editing stuff.  Writerly, to be sure, but not writing writing.  Deadline is tomorrow to have this back to JC.  I'm actually pretty close to being done with my work.  I have six crutch words left to weed through.  Let's not go into how many I had to start with.  Maybe I'll write that post for tomorrow's Outside the Box. 

Reading stuff:  I read two 'Cat Who' books last week.  I needed the total escapism in those. 

Other than fishing, I really can't remember too much of what happened last week.  Things happened and overwrote the data. 

Yesterday I remember pretty well.  I did all the 'like' weeding and decided I needed to get the hell out of the house.  Hubs had to go get feed, so I begged him to let me get the feed instead, which he graciously consented to.  (It wasn't that hard.  He's more of a hermit than I am.)  So, off I went. 

One of my stops was the local gas station for a beverage and gasoline.  While I was pumping gas, I noticed a state trooper standing outside the store, talking to one of the employees.  I thought maybe they'd been jacked or maybe someone did a drive off without paying.  Nope.  He was there because there's a fugitive on the loose around here.  Yay.  Not.  And the guy's been hiding in the woods around here since Monday when he stabbed / assaulted a couple people.  Apparently, he's a real woodsman type psycho, so he's been hard to find.  "Well, ain't that awesome," says the little woman who can't run and is frequently alone.  All fishing is suspended until buttwart gets apprehended. 

Then I went to town.  My first stop was the bookstore, because they aren't generally open when I'm in town, but I knew her new hours included Saturday from 10-5.  I would hit town around ten.  Yay.  Except when I got there, the store was still closed.  Argh.  So frustrating. 

I left there and drove out to a thrift store I hadn't tried yet.  I thought it was a Salvation Army.  Nope.  St. Vinny's.  It was nice and clean and the people seemed pleasant.  I got a couple books, which always makes me happy.  And I chatted with a woman there who loves books and genealogy.  So in my wheelhouse.  I ended up giving her a bookmark with all my books on it and she said she'd look them up.  Yay.

Then I hit Wallyworld, where the first thing I put in the cart was pepper spray.  (See above.)  Did minimal shopping otherwise there.  Picked up lunch at the KFC and the feed at the local feedstore, then went home.  Heh, you should've seen my little Cavalier all loaded with 300 lbs of feed.  I tell ya, taking those hills was interesting.  She's not used to carrying much more than me and sometimes Hubs & me.  Poor Cally.

The rest of the day was divided between weeding crutch words and talking with the Kid on the phone for her birfday.

Well, thanks for reading all the way through that.  Not much else happened.  How was your week?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 8/12/17

First off and totally unrelated to fishing... Today is the Kid's 24th birthday.  Here she is 23 years ago on birthday #1...
Such a happy baby.

Anyway, you're not here for that.  You're here for the Fishing Report, so here goes...

The water level on TRL is down to acceptable levels - somewhere between winter pool and summer pool.  However, due to the heat, most of the bigger fish have moved deep.  And the ones that are shallower aren't hungry. 

Since my encounter with Barney Fife, I've been a little loath to go to the park.  I detest confrontation.  I also detest parking by the bathrooms and walking with all my gear to the spot where I hike down to the spot where I can fish.  There are easier places to fish where I don't feel like I'm being monitored.

Lucky for me, it's been cloudy in the mornings.  I went out over the weekend to my go-to spot.  Caught a bunch of little bluegills.  Went back Monday.  Caught four little 'gills right off the ledges.  I did see a school of big bass in what I referred to as 'the grotto' at low lake levels.  They weren't biting.

Thursday, I sucked it up and went to the park.  I parked in the official spots by the beach and tried fishing there for a bit.  Nada.  I walked around to the cove near the boat ramp.  Nada.  I did see some big bass right in front of me in about 3 ft of water off the chunk rock.  They weren't biting.  I also got hung up on a submerged tree.  Broke the whole rig right the hell off and for the next ten minutes watched the bobber bobbing there while I tried to fish.  Then I figured it was irritating the hell out of me, so I went in after it.  Heh, it was deeper than I thought.  I ended up soaked to the hips, but I got my junk back. 

After that, I went to the go-to again.  Nothing was biting, but the sun was out and it was nice, so I put on some sun block and laid on the rocks, letting my clothing dry while I watched my bobber float downstream. 

That's it for me.  I have another editing push this weekend, so probably no fishing.  We'll see.  Meanwhile, have a great week!

Friday, August 11, 2017

This n That... On a Friday

I totally brainfarted out this week.  I didn't post blogs.  I didn't comment on blogs I usually comment on.  I'm not sure exactly what happened there.  I could throw out a lot of excuses, but none of them are true.  :shrug:

When I was fishing yesterday, I startled a great blue heron and then a green heron, but as I got closer to where I wanted to fish I noticed a bird that wasn't really interested in flying away.  It just stood there with its neck stretched up, kind of swaying.  I thought it was a bittern.  I've never actually been in close proximity to a bittern before, so I wasn't sure.  Oh, it was a bittern, but not the one I thought it was.  It was a Least Bittern.  The American Bittern is way bigger.  Funny little bugger.  It did eventually fly away, but I had to get within six-seven feet of it.  They stop and sway as a defense mechanism - trying to look like the reeds and marsh grasses they live in.  With their coloration, I could totally see a predator getting fooled.

I really need to stop trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with people.  It's like trying to teach a pig to dance.  Frustrating and irritating. And people wonder why I fish.  LOL

I've been reading a lot of Lillian Jackson Braun's 'The Cat Who' books.  They're not overly taxing.  They don't distract me from what I'm writing.  Easy stuff, people.  No clue what I'll do when I've read them all.  Start reading through my Andre Norton collection?  I got a whole box of her books at a yard sale years ago and never read them.  (Same thing with the Cat books - bought a box of them at a yard sale and dragged them here.)

I'm really fed up with The Food Network.  I mean, I'm still watching The Food Network Star - there's one episode left - but that's about it.  The only reason I'm still watching that is Jason.  He's awesome. 

Okay, that's about it for me today.  The coffee isn't doing its job this morning, and I've got adult stuff to do today.  Plus, I'm weeding crutch words out of my manuscript right now and that taxes my bwains.  (Bwains!  Bwains!)  But, the editing is due back to JC on Monday, so this will be over soon.  Until the next round.  LOL

Later days, dudes.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Update - Week Something or Other

I really don't feel like looking up the week # right now, so there ya go.

Anyway, here's how the week played out, even if it does feel like some of this happened weeks ago.

I finished the first draft of Sleeping Ugly.  It weighs in at 53231 words.  Way short, I know, but trust me when I tell you I have a lot to go back and fill in on this one.

I've been working on the edits for Wish Hits the Fan.  Right this moment, I'm on pg 86 of the line by line stuff.  I plan on being to like pg 125 by the end of the day.  We'll see if those plans work out.  I should be farther along, but I took a few days off because I am a toad.  And, I guess, I work best when the deadline is like staring me in the face.  :shrug:  I'd like to have this part done by Wednesday so I can use the remaining days before my deadline to take care of the other issues.  Of course, next Sunday could see me working like a maniac, drinking tons of coffee and freaking out to get the whole thing done by the 14th. 

Still waiting on the final cover for WHTF.  When I get it, you'll see it.

I read a book last week.  Jennifer Lyon's Savaged Vows.  Finished it last night, as a matter of fact.  My review on Goodreads is up but it's super lame.  This was a book with loads of feels and I haven't sorted them all out yet.  When I do... if I ever do... I'll post a better review.

Got some fishing done, too.  Nothing like fresh caught bass for dinner.  Mmm.

Sent out the Kid's birthday package.  She'll be 24 this month.  Ugh.  Sometimes I don't feel old enough to have a 24-year-old.  Not today.  Today I feel like I could be her grandmother.

That's it for me.  What happened in your world last week?  Looking forward to anything this week?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 8/5/17

Hello again and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

I'm kind of scatterbrained this morning, but let's see if I can rebuild the week.

Tuesday - I went out early - about 7am - and got to the ledges in the park.  It was raining, which was awesome.  I tried lured at first, but nothing.  Then I switched to worm & bobber.  Caught a 15.25" spotted bass (weighed in at 1lb 12oz) and a small bluegill.  Then nothing.  Took the bass home, cleaned it, and ate it.  Awesome.

Thursday - Went out about the same time to the same place.  It was a bright, shiny day, but where I fish is in the shade first thing in the morning, so it was all good.  Caught two small bluegills and saw a little mink.  Then I got Barney Fifed*.  If you're not familiar, it's when someone in a position of authority (usually a police officer, but not always) throws their weight around unnecessarily and acts bigger than they need to in order to prove their point.  It seems it's against park rules for people to park in official camping spots unless they're paying campers.  I always figured if it's empty and it says 'Available' (as opposed to 'Reserved'), I could park there - as long as I was prepared to move should an actual camper come along.  Anyway, a 'park host' told me I had to move my car and I said Okay.  Then he explained all the huge fines I could incur should I get caught by an actual park ranger.  And I said I'd move, again.  Then he told me how he was ex-law enforcement.  Then he told me how much the actual ranger loves to write tickets.  All while I'm packing up to move and hiking up the steep hill.  True, I did continue to talk - explaining my thinking and why I was parked there and making conversation.  Perhaps he thought I was trying to argue.  Then I get up to my car, and he's parked his little golf cart right behind it, as if I might try to flee.  I don't know.  I was kind of upset about the whole thing until I realized I'd gotten Barney Fifed.  Now I can look at the dude for what he is - someone who's feeling the pinch of having responsibility with little actual authority.  And for the record, I won't be parking in camping spots now that I know it's verboten.  The additional exercise will be good for me.

Anyway, I could've parked elsewhere in the park and hiked back to where I had been fishing, but I was down to one worm, so I left to get worms.  Then I decided to try a different spot.  Ain't no thing but a chicken wing.

Friday - it was cloudy and kind of cool, so I went to my old go-to spot.  The lake level is almost normal now, so the ledges over there are dry and the parking lot is dry and there's even some shoreline so I don't have to stand in the parking lot and try to cast past the trees.  Nothing was biting along the creek area, so I went to the ledges.  I caught so many bluegill, I lost count.  None of them were keeper sized, but they kept me hopping for a couple hours. 

That afternoon, I grabbed Hubs and we went back out to the go-to spot with a saw and a rake and a garbage bag.  He sawed up a pine tree that had fallen across the entrance to the ledges (during that tornado back in April), so it would be easier for me to get back there.  We hacked up some particular heinous thorny vines in the way.  Then we walked the shoreline picking up garbage.  It was a lovely afternoon.  We got outdoors, got some exercise, and helped make that beautiful spot cleaner.

Well, that's it for me.  Get outside if you can sometime this week.  If you see trash, pick it up.  If you bring it in, take it out.  That sort of thing.  See ya next week.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday This n That

I finished the first draft of Sleeping Ugly last night.  I'm pretty sure I'll have to rewrite the ending.  In fact, I'm positive.  It's lame.  Lame lame lame.

Lame words are better than no words.  And done is better than not done.

By my calculations, if I keep working on my edit notes at the pace I set yesterday (which was when I still thought I had a book to finish writing), I should have the line by line stuff done in 7 days, which will leave me time to work on some notes and the eradication of crutch words. 

I was one hot mama yesterday.  I did the banking, mailed packages, hit Walmart for groceries, picked up critter feed, did the dishes, edited 29 pages while making semi-homemade spaghetti sauce, made dinner, and wrote 3K words.  Go me.

I'm really tired today.  Not sure how certain people :cough:Silver:cough: do what they do every day.  Must be drinking better coffee than I am.  ;o)

My hummingbirds are little assholes.  To each other.  They never bother me.  But you know those pictures of hummingbirds gathered a feeder eating together.  Not here.  They don't share food.  One will actually sit on a branch of the nearby redbud to guard her spot.  If any other hummingbird tries to drink, she attacks them.  Of course, while she's chasing one away, another will sneak in for a quick drink.  Sometimes it a male guarding the feeder, but usually it's a female.  Vicious little buggers.  Fun to watch, though.

Our wild rabbits like to lay in the food pan while they're eating.  It's pretty funny.  Yesterday, there was one laying in the pan when Hubs went down to feed the critters.  He was all like "You're gonna have to move if you don't want to be covered in corn."  It finally hopped away, but it was hilarious.

Well, that's it for me.  What's on tap for you today?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It's August?

I'm really not quite sure where July went.  It seems like just yesterday I was bitching about the fireworks.  (Wait, that was yesterday.  They're still shooting them off here.) 

Anyway, I think I lost July because I was so focused on getting Sleepy Ugly done by the 31st.  I missed that deadline by probably a couple days.  It's all good, though.  I got the edits back from JC and from her edit notes, it sounds like Wish Hits the Fan was pretty clean.  We'll see when I dive in today.  I've decided to try finishing the first draft of SU while I'm working on edits for WHTF.  It might be crazypants, but it's not like I haven't done this before.  I can do it again.  Sure, I'm older and a little more scattered...

I remember July being hot.  I spent a lot more time indoors than out.  All my gardens need to be weeded bad.  It's hard to see the actual wanted plants between all the unwanted ones.  :shrug:  Better Homes and Gardens will not be visiting my place any time soon.  Like ever.

But July is gone.  Time to look ahead. 

I have to get the edits back to JC on the 14th.  I need to finish writing SU - sometime this week, I'm really close.  I need to think about some kind of marketing plan for the end of the month so people will be excited about WHTF.  The Kid's turning 24 this month.  I'll be getting the finished cover for WHTF and setting up a Goodreads page. 

Busy busy.  Don't talk to me about September.  Not yet.

How was your July?  How's August looking for you? 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 30

Good morning. It's morning and I'm still waiting for the coffee to kick in.  Bear with me.

Writing - I laid down 12695 words last week.  It should've been over 14K, but I took Friday off.  As of last night, Sleeping Ugly is sitting at 43833 words.  Everything feels rushed right now.  Natch, because I'm trying to get this on paper before I get distracted with the edits for Wish Hits the Fan.  Which I don't actually think I'm going to get 100% of this first draft done by then, so I really need to chill out.

I received the preview of the cover for Wish Hits the Fan.  It's so shiny and pretty.  It has Jo.  It has a magical swirl.  It's red this time.  And that's all I can tell you until she gets it all finished up. 

Reading - I started Jennifer Lyon's Savaged Vows.  It's awesome.  It's also harshing my ability to sleep, so I had to set it aside for a few days.  Maybe after Monday I'll be able to take some time and finish it.

Fishing - See yesterday's post.

Yesterday we saw a doe leading three fawns out of the woods.  I suspect we have our first set of triplets.  Whitetail does do have triplets about 15-20% of the time, so it's not outside the realm of possibility.  They're not identical fawns, though, which is why I'm not totally certain.  Two look alike and the third one is a bit bigger.  Still possible, though.  How exciting.

We have a little baby raccoon visiting the yard all by itself.  I'm pretty sure they aren't supposed to leave their moms this early, so it makes me kind of sad, but it's eating and it looks healthy, so we're keeping our fingers crossed.

Okay, time for me to infuse some more coffee into my system and wake up a little.  Have an awesome day everyone. 

How are things in your world?  Anything to update?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 7/28/17

Welcome back to the Saturday Fishing Report.

I went fishing a lot last week.  Mainly, I just needed to get out of the house, get some fresh air and exercise, and flush the system.  I didn't expect great things.  It was too hot for one thing.  Bleh. 

Anyway, Monday and Wednesday were pretty much the same - hot and sunny with a little wind.  I was catching bait fish.  Loads of baby bluegills and punkinseeds and sunfish - if I used a small enough hook.  Otherwise, they were just stealing my bait.  I did have an interesting thing happen on Wednesday, though.  As I was reeling in to check whether I had any bait left on my hook, a big bass tried to eat my bobber.  He blew up out from underneath a ledge.  Needless to say, he did not eat my bobber and I did not catch him.

So, I went back to the same place on Thursday armed with bobber colored lures.  I used an orange, yellow, and white stick bobber.   Anyway, I did some fancy lure work out there on the ledges.  The little fish were chasing them, but no big fish.  Then it started to rain.  It's hard to do lure work in the rain because I don't want to keep opening the tackle box to change lures - especially since I hide my cell phone in there to keep it dry, and opening the box defeats that purpose.  So, I went to worm and bobber again.  The first fish I caught was hanging out in a hole in the ledges (lucky I know where it is from when the lake level was really low).  I got the bait dangling right over that hole and WHAM.  A big bluegill.  I'm guessing about 9".  (I have to guess.  He wriggled off the hook, flopped down the bank, and made his escape.)  Then I caught two little punkinseeds.  Then the rain started to come down harder, so I moved my gear and myself to underneath a tree.  Threw out and sat on a log watching my bobber.  Caught two big gills there and got those on the stringer.  Moved down a little when the rain lightened up and caught another big gill.

Oh, I nearly forgot!  I was throwing out on the lake side of some bushes where I'd been getting some bites when suddenly my bobber disappeared.  I set the hook and began reeling.  And reeling.  And reeling.  Whatever it was, it was big!  When I finally got it close to the surface, it was a big ol' turtle.  Probably 10-12" worth of it.  I dragged it up on shore, grabbed the pliers, and went to work getting the hook out of its mouth.  Which would've been easier if it wasn't hissing and snapping and jerking its head back into its shell.  I finally managed to pull its head out and got a firm but gentle hold on its neck.  Popped the hook out easily enough.  (Turtles don't have a lot of soft tissue around their mouths, so hooks don't go deep.)   Anyway, it was a big ol' eastern river cooter.  I picked it up, said hello and put it back in the water.  It swam off like a bat out of hell, never - I hope - to be caught again.

Anyway, I fished there some more until I had to use the bathroom.  Lucky for me, the park is open.  I stopped in there but I didn't stay because the park is full of campers.  I went to my old go-to spot.  Good thing I did, too, because I wasn't out there ten minutes when a jet ski approached.  My first thought was: asshole.  My second thought as he got closer was: I wonder if he's going to ask for directions.  Turns out the second was correct and not the first.  He shut the ski off and shouted the name of a nearby town.  Well, he was hell and gone from there and headed in the wrong direction.  I got him turned around, told him where he was and how to get back to where he wanted to be.  Of course, it's raining and his map was soaked to the point of near-disintegration, but I managed to find the piece that showed where we were and where he needed to be.  Off he went, spraying water out the back of his infernal machine right at where I'd been standing only seconds before.  (I moved because I know those damn things shoot water out the back.)  He yelled an apology and off he went.  I hope he made it back.  :sigh:  Tourists.

I did catch one more fish to bring home.  Unfortunately, I also caught a sycamore and after popped my gear off in a tree I didn't feel like re-rigging.  I went home instead.  Cleaned the four fish and they're in the freezer. 

That's it for me this week.  Have a fun week and I'll see ya next Saturday.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thursday This n That

I have two notepads on my desk that I'll probably never write in.  They're too pretty.

It's been hot and grody here, but I've been going fishing anyway.  I need to get out of the house and away from this computer, if only for a couple sweaty hours.  I go out, I sweat, I drink a lot of water, and I come home.  It's better than sitting here and slowly expanding.  Be nice to catch something bigger than bait, though.

I've been having some really craptastic nights of sleep lately.  Not sure what's up in my head, but as soon as it hits the pillow, it starts attacking me.  As I wrote in yesterday's post, it was attacking my writing.  Last night, it was attacking my parenting skills.  Fun, fun. 

The deer we refer to as 'the skinny twins' (aka Oliver and Annie - because we suspect they're orphans) are not so skinny anymore.  Yay.  They're still not fat deer, but they're on the road to recovery. They're almost up to the same size as the yearlings we call the 'not-so skinny twins'.  Each set, btw, has one doe and one buck. 

We have three fawns this year.  A set of twins and a single.  We suspect they're all from the two mature twin does who hang around here. 

I have two things that aren't crossed off on my last to-do list.  They're the same things that never got crossed off my last to-do list.  Dusting and sending out a new newsletter.  My motivation to do either is about equal. 

The mice in the garage discovered the bag of sunflower seeds.  So Hubs put the seeds in a tub, but the tub was cracked.  He repaired it with Gorilla tape.  The mice have been chewing through the Gorilla tape.  So I put a bunch more traps out there, baited with peanut butter and sunflower seeds.  The mice have stolen all the sunflower seeds without snapping the traps.  Except for one.  The last one must've had the seed stuck on there better because it got the mouse.  Next time I'm at Wallyworld, I'm buying a new tub.  And maybe a different bait.  Do they sell sunflower butter?

And I'm spent.  What's up in your this n that world today?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Stuff n Junk

Stuff n Junk is sort of like This n That, but it's Tuesday. 

I'm totally scatterbrained right now.  I could blame writing, but I don't think it's that.  I could blame the heat and humidity which seems to be sapping my energy for anything but laying around.  All I know is things are scattered.  I thought I had a blog post written and scheduled for yesterday, but no.  I have a note on my desk - PAY BILLS - which I wrote on Sunday but have not done.  I really need to get my head out of my armpit.

Are there Spanish-language songs in the Top 40 right now?  Two of my 'hits from today' radio stations intermittently play Spanish-language songs.  It's really confusing because I don't speak Spanish and when I land on those songs it makes me wonder if 1) the radio stations changed their format in which case I would need to find new stations for those car buttons or 2) I accidentally screwed something up and landed on a Spanish-language station by mistake (we have plenty of those around here) OR 3) the gremlin who lives in my dashboard has changed my button sets again (it happens about twice a year - I'm driving down the road and my buttons are all set to stations I know damn well I didn't set them to, and it ain't Hubs doing it either).

It's tourist season here.  Part of tourist season means reading about unnecessary accidents happening to foolhardy people.  A teenage girl seriously injured when she flew off the tube she was riding on that was being dragged behind a boat (that was probably going way too fast).  A teenage boy who rolled the golf cart he was driving on a road (who was too young to drive a car on a road and how the hell do you roll a golf cart???).  The two people who were injured when their boat's gas tank blew up (who weren't paying attention to the fact that they'd spilled gas when they refueled and who were also keeping empty gas cans on their boat... Boom.)   I just try to stay out of their way when I'm out and about.  I hope they don't act like this in their everyday lives, but I suspect wherever they live they're a real treat for their neighbors. 

I keep reminding myself that tourists are the reason the park stays open.  We almost lost the park a couple years ago when the Army Corps of Engineers decided not enough people were visiting it and closed it.  Lucky for me, the state took it over and reopened it.  I love that park.  I can fish elsewhere, but that's the only place with bathrooms, so not having it open seriously puts a crimp in my day.

Okay, that's it for me.  Any stuff and junk you want to share?  Any comments on my stuff and junk?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 29

Hello again.  There you are.  Here I am.  Thanks for stopping by my little hermitage.  :waves:

Last week...

Well, I wrote a bunch of words.  Then I deleted a bunch of words.  Then I rewrote a bunch of words.  All told, on this manuscript which last worked on in April of 2013, I've added over 17K words.  About 14K of those in the last week.  I'd been averaging about 2K a day until Friday when I got into a meh spot and couldn't work my way past it.  A thousand words later, I gave up and went to the notebook to try and ferret out what wasn't working.  I think I hit on it.  Saturday went way better.  And I'm ready to write the next scene tonight, so it's all good. As of last night, I was at 31K. I still hope to have this first draft done by the end of the month.

Still haven't been reading much.  This sometimes happens when I'm focused on writing new words.  I'll jump back into reading soon.  On the bright side, I was way ahead on my reading goal for the year anyway.

It's been so hot here.  Ugh.  The heat index yesterday for here was 103F.  I went out in the morning to get groceries and then I didn't leave the house again.  Everything I have to do outside right now is getting done in the mornings or at dusk, or it's not getting done.  (And the only stuff I'm doing at dusk is watering the gardens.  My poor plants.  =o\)

I'm also trying to do inside things first thing in the morning.  I did some housework last week and I was a sweaty mess before 8am.  Yuck.  And that's with the AC.  Gross.

The deer are all doing well despite the heat.  They've got plenty of food and water.  The fawns are frisky.  The two thinner twins are fattening up.  They all have their lovely nut-brown summer coats.  It's awesome.

That's it for me.  What's it for you?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 7/22/17

Hello again.  Welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report. 

It's hotter than blue-billy blazes outside.  Which means the water temps are around 85F.  Which means the good fish are either down deep or they aren't hungry.  Which means I'm not bringing home stringers full to fillet and put in the fridge.

I went out Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday this past week.  The park is open and the campers were minimal, so I managed to get to my favorite place in the park to fish - the ledges.  And since the water level was super low last year, I know approximately where all the underwater obstructions are right there. 

Still did really catch myself anything major.  One keeper bluegill - 8.5", 8oz.  He's filleted and in the freezer with the others until I'm ready for a fish fry.  I got skunked Tuesday.  Wednesday and Friday, I caught about a half dozen little panfish each day and that one keeper on Wednesday. 

The really fun thing while I was out was fish and bird watching.  It was like being inside my own private aquarium / aviary.  So many fish of all different sizes.  And the birds!  So fun.

Speaking of watching fish, a curious thing happened both on Tuesday and on Wednesday between 9:30 and 10:00am.  I was standing on the ledges watching my bobber when a school of bass swam by.  They were only a couple feet deep and only a couple feet off the water's edge.  And they totally weren't interested in my worm, which kind of stank, but what're ya gonna do?  Hubs is perplexed because big fish shouldn't be that shallow in this heat, but there they were.  Tuesday there were about a half dozen of them.  Wednesday they doubled in number.  And the biggest was a whopper.  Oh, man, what I wouldn't have given to hook into that guy.  Get in my belly.  Here's hoping no one else catches him before I do.  ;o)

I didn't see the school on Friday because I left earlier than they usually swim by.  It was scorching hot by 9:30 and even the little fish had stopped biting.  Bleh. 

I'm not even going to suggest you try to get outside.  It's gross hot right now.  Monday, though.  Monday it's supposed to get down into the upper 80s again.  Cold snap!  LOL

Have a great week, folks.  See ya next time.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday This n That

Got a new 5-star review for Blood Flow.  Yay!

I went out fishing on Tuesday and yesterday - in my favorite spot in the park.  First off, YAY! I got to be in my favorite spot in the park after almost 3 months.  I had to wait for the park to reopen after the flood and then I had to wait for all the campers to depart, but I got to the ledges.  Second, while I was there, on both days, I saw a school of bass swimming about a foot off the ledges.  Slowly making their way south both times.  The first time, they ignored my bait entirely.  The second time, they got to my bait turned around and went back.  In the school is the hugest bass I've ever seen that wasn't on TV.  It was cool and disappointing all at the same time.  I'd really like to catch that big ol' bugger.

Between the clear water and my polarized sunglasses, I can see all the fish.  Big ones, little ones, itty-bitty ones.  It's like my own private visit to an aquarium. 

It's also like a visit to an aviary out there.  So many birds.  I had a kingfisher swoop down toward my bobber right in front of me.  He must've thought it was something he could eat and then realized his mistake at the last minute.  =o)

I really need to cut my fingernails.  They're pretty long right now and it's making typing a bit of a pain in the buns.  So many typos.  Ugh. Back when I cared, I used to paint my nails - they've always been easy to grow and maintain.  Now they're just an easy way to open packages and I guess they'd be handy for self-defense if it ever came to that.  Still, off they go.

I rolled over 25K words last night.  Of course, that was after deleting everything I'd done the night before.  Three steps forward, one step back.  It's the Writer Tango!

That's it for me.  What this n that items do you have to share?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 28

Okay, so I messed up last week and it said Week 47 and no one noticed, including me.  It's fixed now.  Week 27 there, Week 28 here.  Yay.

So, for the past week...

I didn't know what the hell I was going to write as of my post on Thursday.  As usual, I no sooner say something like that and I resolved it.  That night, I went back to a book I'd started in 2013, read the 51 pages I'd written and got to work.  Wrote 3 more pages on it before I figured out something - I had taken a wrong turn at about pg 45.  I gave myself a good talking to and brainstormed with myself for a while.  Then I deleted back to pg 45 and started forward again on a better path.  As of last night I'm up to pg 61 and 16699 words.  It's all good, baby.  (And I didn't really delete those pages.  Snipped and in a file.  I rarely delete anything substantial.)

What book was it?  Oh, that.  Sleeping Ugly.  It's about a gal on the rise toward becoming a supermodel when she does something that gets her cursed.  Every morning she wakes up ugly.  She gets prettier over the course of the day, but midnight hits and BAM - ugly.  Then the one night stand she was with that night shows up, and he's cursed, too.  Yep, ugly - from sunset to sunrise.  Together they have to figure out who cursed them and why and how to get rid of the curse.  Which would be hard enough by itself except the police are looking at her as a suspect in the disappearance of her estranged brother.

I'm pretty excited.

I haven't really done much else this past week.  Fished some.  Did some yard work.  Watered the gardens.  Shopped for groceries.

I finished the anthology I was working on - Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense.  It had some really good stories in it.  And some dogs that I didn't finish reading.  And one or two meh pieces I read all the way through but meh.  Up next?  No clue.  I'm writing again, so that takes precedence.

Oh, and I got copies of Natural Causes.  They look awesome.  I should be announcing a contest for one of those soon.  Speaking of contests, you can enter to win a free copy of Up Wish Creek thru Goodreads starting tomorrow.  It'll be open until the end of the month, so you have plenty of time.

That's about it for me today.  What's up in your world.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 7/15/17

Hello again and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.  This week is less about my fishing and more about fishing related things I've heard or seen in the news.

First, me.  I went out Monday morning. The park was packed, so I moved north to a boat ramp area on the main lake.  Didn't catch a thing.  I did have a nice conversation with a couple who were pulling their boat in for the morning, though.

Thursday morning.  It was hot and sunny.  I went to the park and fished in the cove where I caught that 12.5" smallmouth.  Nothing was biting.  Had a nice chat with an older gentleman who was camping with his grandchildren.  Then I moved to my go-to area.  My favorite spot was full sun, so I moved over to the cove there, too.  Tiny fish were stripping my worms like crazy without even moving the bobber, so I went deeper and farther out.  They were moving my bobber out there, but I wasn't sealing the deal until I went with a small hook.  Caught 4 tiny bluegills, so it wasn't a skunker day.

Now for other news...

While I was chatting with those nice folks on Monday, the gentleman happened to mention how he was doing 70 (mph, I assume) up the lake coming back when he saw a large log floating in the middle of the lake.  He told me the story in relation to the fact that there is still a lot of junk floating in the lake, despite the fact that the water is coming down.  I really didn't think much about it until I saw a news story yesterday - an angler had taken his wife and daughter out for some late fishing when they were struck by another boat.  The other boat had two tournament contestants zooming back to make weigh-in.  Both the stationary boat with the family and the tournament boat had their safety lights on, so it wasn't like the tournament boat couldn't see - plus it happened just before 9pm and since it's still light here at 9pm, I'm guessing this lake in TX (west of here) is still light at 9pm.  But I assume, the tournment boat driver was so intent on making it back for the weigh-in, he didn't pay attention to the lake in front of him.  Anyway, the father was killed and the mother was injured.  The tournament guys were thrown into the water, but they're fine.  The 10-yr old daughter was the only one uninjured and sensible enough to call 911. 

Which brings me around to my point.  Slow the fuck down.  It's not the International Speedway out there.  There are no lanes.  People drive their boats all over in all directions, and sometimes they park right in the middle of the lake.  Plus, there might be floating logs in the way. 

Also, this morning, I saw a news story about two heinous assholes stealing fishing gear over the 4th of July weekend.  They recovered like 100+ fishing poles, 50+ tackle boxes, and assorted fish finders.  WTF?   We've had occasional reports of gear thefts here.  If it doesn't belong to you, don't touch it.  Derp.

Now, I carry gear in my car.  Two poles and a tackle box.  One pole and the tackle box go with me.  The backup pole stays in the car.  It's worthless.  It's a 5.5" pole from the 1970s with a beat up old Daiwa spincaster on it.  The bale doesn't close on its own.  You have to hold the line against the pole when you cast or it falls all over the ground.  But I know how to work it, so it works for me as a backup.  Don't break into my car to steal it.  No one will pay you anything for it. 

And that's it for me for now.  Go, get out in the world sometime this week - some morning if it's too hot otherwise.  See ya next time.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thursday This n That

I have absolutely no idea what to write next.

I saw one of those things on FB this morning 'If you could spend the rest of your life on the beach, who would you spend it with?'  My first thought was 'Hubs'.  Second thought? 'Ew, the rest of my life on a beach?'  I hate sand.  It gets into EVERYTHING and it seems like no matter how hard you try, you can't get rid of it all.  I think this stems from when my daughter was young and would come home from school covered in sand because the dips there would let her sit in the sand box at recess and cover herself with sand and then I'd have to deal with it when I got home from work.

Because we've arrived at the hot part of summer, Hubs and I are tag-teaming when we mow the lawn.  He does some, then I do some, until we're done.  It's good exercise, but I really hate our lawn mower.  :shrug:  When it dies eventually somewhere down the road, I'm buying a cheap ass light lawn mower without all the fancy shit.  I miss the days of not having to hold that bar to keep it running and that other bar to engage the thing that's supposed to make it easier to push but just ends up stalling out the mower on hills.  (And our yard is about a third of an acre and all hill, so you can imagine.)

Hubs spoils me by bringing the coffee pot into the office and topping off my mug whenever it gets low.  Sometimes I notice my cup is getting low, but rather than get up off my buns, I wait for him.  =oO

I'm reading this huge anthology of mystery and suspense short stories (650 pages worth).  So far, the stories are pretty good except for a couple.  The Stephen King one was boring,  And another one by some gal I'd never heard of started off bashing cops, so I skipped it.  I mean, I did start reading it, but the whole time I couldn't stop thinking about the bashing cops thing, so I DNF'd it and moved on.  Life's too short.  And that review by the little girl I talked about in another post?  I read one of the stories she mentioned.  It was a good story, but yeah, not for 11-12 year old girls.

I skidded past sunrise writing this post, but I really do want to go fishing this morning.  Now I have to wait until the sun gets a smidgen higher so it's not right in my eyes while I'm driving.  I hate that, too.  ;o)

Okay, that's it for me.  Any comments?  What have you got on your this n that list today?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Prime Day

Last week as I was driving down to Wallyworld, I listened to a couple radio announcers bantering back and forth about Amazon Prime.  The guy was saying how he'd signed up for Prime under their '30 days Free' campaign and then, because he didn't cancel before the 30 days were up, he got charged $120 for the whole year.  And now he can't cancel because he can't remember his password. 

The gal was telling him all the awesome things he could do with his Prime account.  None of which, he assured her, he would ever actually use.  Free two-day shipping, which was the reason he signed up in the first place, was pointless for him.  He told her he doesn't spend $120 a year on shipping for Amazon, so it wasn't worth it.  And he rarely ever needs anything inside of 2 days. 

Why he ever signed up for it in the first place?  I missed that part.  And I'm not sure what the resolution ended up being because I got bored and changed the station.

Today is Amazon Prime day.  Apparently, if you're paying for Prime (or sign up for their free 30 days promotion right now), today you'll have access to all kinds of discounts and sales and special offers.  I'm with the radio dude.  I have no use for it.  Right now, I have everything I want or need, so even browsing their sales and what have ya wouldn't do me any good. 

I heard other stores are also supposed to be having sales extravaganzas today, so check your favorites and see what they have.  You might find some deals elsewhere without a Prime membership.  If you're into that thing.   

I used to be.  Believe me.  I'd see a sale and I was SO there.  Even if I didn't need what was being sold.  Even if I didn't really have the money.  (That's what credit cards were for, doncha know.)  I reined all that in years ago.  Now, if I don't need it, I don't get it.  And if I don't have the money, I don't get it even if I think I need it.  Which is probably why I'm driving a 2003 Cavalier.

Okay, I have to admit, I'm still pretty sale-driven when it comes to food.  I probably didn't really need that packet of single serve coffee things, but it was marked down 20% in the clearance area, and I do love me some flavored coffee.  Hazelnut.  Yum. 

Hello.  My name is B.E. and I have a shopping problem.  It's been years since my last binge shopping trip...

Which is why I'm avoiding shopping today.  So, if you're a Prime member, have at it.  If you're not and you want to still catch the sales, sign up for the 30-day thing - just remember to cancel unless you want to be billed like that radio dude.  I heard today is supposed to be the biggest shopping day next to Black Friday.  I'll be here, sitting in my cabin.

Speaking of sales, what's the best deal you ever got on anything?  I found this awesome dress once for $3.  It looked like nothing on the hanger, but when I put it on, I was a goddess.  I loved that dress.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 27

Hey All.  My eyes are full of grit and I'm kind of brain fried.  And the coffee is working its magic sloooow this morning.  But here we are...

After a few days of marathon editing, the end is in sight.  As of the time of this posting, I have 5 pages of edit notes spanning the last 72 manuscript pages left to go.  Considering I wound up with 19 pages of edit notes, I'm gonna say it's a definite possibility I will be finished by tonight.  I don't think there's anything major left to do.  Could be wrong.  Like I said, I'm brain fried.

In other news, the paperback copies of Up Wish Creek arrived.  I was going to set up a Goodreads contest, but I discovered I never set up a paperback page for that book.  That has to be done first and right now, it's on a back burner.  Monday, I'll do that and set one up for Natural Causes.  Then I'll set up a contest for UWC.  Once the NC copies arrive, there'll be a contest for one of those, too.

Speaking of contests, Deb Salisbury will have a copy of Blood Flow headed her way once she confirms her address via besanderson at gmail dot com.  It's a copy with the original cover, which I still think is totally cool.  I just had to change it to match the ebook cover, which I changed to be more 'in line' with what readers are expecting to see on a political suspense cover these days.  Anyway, congratulations Deb!
New Cover
Original Cover

I didn't do any reading last week because of the looming deadline thing.  I fully expect to be reading tomorrow.  First up, Silver James' latest Harlequin - Claiming the Cowgirl's Baby.

I managed one good morning of fishing.

And lastly, not but leastly, we saw the first fawn of the year last Sunday.  Since then, we've seen two others - twins.  Here's the single:
That's not the back of her mother, btw.  Mom's off to the right.  That's her older sister - a 2016 model.

Well, that's it for me this week.  Whazzup with you?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 7/8/17

Welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

Well, it was another hot and wet week in the Ozarks.  The spawn is over and the lake level is holding steady at about 920-921ft. 

I really only got one good day fishing.  I went out twice, but the first time was a bust and I didn't even get the rods out of the car.  I went out Monday.  The park was open, but it was packed, and I was too chicken to try any other places for fear they were also packed with holiday weekenders.  Plus, I got a late start, so going anywhere else would've put me that much more past the time of good morning fishing.

Then I went to the park on Thursday morning.  It was about 50% less packed than Monday.  I tried a couple spots on the creek side.  Got a few bites, but those were worm-stealing panfish.  Then I went over to the lake side, where all the campers were.  I found a camper-free spot in a cove, parked the car, and fished from the parking spot.  Sat right on my car.  It was kind of awesome.  Caught three little punkinseeds and one 12.5" smallmouth.  I also managed to attract what felt like every kid in the park.  They'd ask 'did you catch anything?' as they walked or rode their bikes past me.  Sometimes they stopped for longer conversation periods.  When several of them stopped after I'd put the smallmouth back, I told them about it.  One boy who seemed about 10 years old informed me that largemouth only have to be 8" to keep.  I set him straight - nicely, of course.  All bass have to be 15" on this lake. No exceptions.  He looked embarrassed and a little shocked.  Poor kid.  Some adult somewhere must've steered him wrong.

Which brings me around to an important point.  Kids look to the adults for guidance in anything.  In this case, the legality of keeping the fish they just caught.  He didn't just pull the number 8 out of the sky.  Somehow or other, he learned from someone that was the size of a keeper largemouth.  Shame on them.  Shame on them if they steered him wrong and shame on them if they told him 8" was okay because they were ignorant of the fishing laws in this area.  (I don't think 8" is a keeper bass in any area, but I could be wrong.  Except rock bass, maybe, and those aren't really bass anyway.)  And shame on them if they allowed him to keep a too small fish because they didn't want him to feel bad about throwing it back.  Before you go fishing in a strange area, learn the rules.  Teach kids the rules.  And obey the rules in front of children, so they learn to be upstanding fishermen, too. 

Well, that's it for me today.  Have a great week and spend some time outdoors if you can.  Also, take a kid fishing if you can.  Kids and fishing go great together.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Thursday This n That

I love it when Kira walks into a room we've just left and meows like she's been abandoned.  We're in the next room, silly.  Now that we're back to our regular places, she's laying on the floor next to me purring. 

I spent a large chunk of yesterday making edit notes.  Halfway through now and 9 pages worth of notes.  To be done and entered by Sunday night.  Realizing that, I started working on entering the notes last night.  Two hours, two pages worth of notes finished.  This weekend might be a marathon.  This morning, though, I'm probably going fishing.

Yesterday was a weird day.  It would pour rain for an hour and then be totally sunny for 30-45 minutes.  Then it would pour again.  Then sun again.  Off and on, all afternoon.  The sun sparkling off the raindrops on the cedar tree was beautiful, though.

I saw someone on FB this morning saying something about how someone in a hotel fitness room had snotted off to him about him showing of his 'macho-ness'.  Dude was working out in a place designed for working out, for petesakes.  I'm constantly amazed at the rude shit people say to perfect strangers in public.  Maybe I was just raised better.  :shrug:

Okay, enough of this falderal and ballyhoo.  I'm off to drown some worms.  What's up with you?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day

This copy of the Declaration of Independence is hanging on my office wall.  All I have to do is look to the right and there it is, reminding me of our freedom every day. 

Happy Independence Day. Celebrate your freedoms, today and every day.

Personally, I have work to do today, if I want any chance of getting this manuscript to my editor on time.  Isn't it a wonderful thing?  I'm free to write and to work and to publish my books.  I'm free to work on a holiday if I choose to do so.  No one's going to stop me.  No one's even going to try.  And that's freakin' awesome.   Yay for the U.S. of A.!

What are you up to today? 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 26

Here we are at halfway through the year.  Time flies, eh? 

Okay, so for the halfway week of the year, here's how it went down...

I'm motoring my way through the edit notes on the 2nd draft of Wish Hits the Fan.  Oh my god, it's so bad.  Well, not bad, per se.  The story is still awesome.  The writing?  Definitely needs a lot of work before any other human sets eyes upon it.  Not sure exactly where I'm at in it - since I'm working off the Kindle and I don't remember the last percent number and I'm too lazy to walk across the house - but I'm getting there.  Plan is to have these notes done and input into the manuscript, so I can send this off to JC on the 9th.  Still on target for a September release, good lord willin' and the creek don't rise.

I ordered copies of Up Wish Creek and they've shipped.  I also have proof copies coming of the new Blood Flow cover and of the print copy of Natural Causes.  Once those get approved, they'll be available for sale and I'll order copies.  Why I'm doing this when I haven't sold a print copy in a long freakin' time?  I'll write about that tomorrow on Outside the Box

Not sure what's up next for actual writing.  I should be finishing Early Grave, but the current social climate in America is making that an uncomfortable proposition.  And I'm a coward.  I mean, I should be able to write about whatever I damn well please, but the people on the other side are scary and I don't want them visiting my house.  Know what I mean? 

I did some fishing last week.  It's getting too hot and too summer-peopley to be out for too long.  If you read yesterday's Fishing Report, I did go out and I did drive by the park.  It was still closed.  The bait shop gal told me the opening was planned for noon.  Ugh.  I fished elsewhere for an hour.  But the river traffic was annoying and the fish weren't biting anyway. 

I've been reading stories from Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense.  It's a big anthology of short stories, so it's taking a while.  I think I'm about a third of the way through.  It's been a good break from longer stories and loads of fun.  I read a story, wander off and do other stuff, then read another story.  All without having to maintain the thread of a whole book in my head.

Well, I think that's about it.  Enjoy your Independence Day holiday if you're here, enjoy Canada Day if you're up there, and otherwise, enjoy your week. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Satuday Fishing Report - 7/1/17

Hey all.  Welcome back to the Saturday Fishing Report.

I managed to get out to the lake three times last week.  First thing in the morning because it gets up near 10am and it's too hot for the fish to bite.  And for me to stand out there in the sun.  Whoof. 

Sunday - got out early and went to my 'main lake' spot.  The water level has decreased sufficiently so that I can get back by the ledges and still be able to cast without hooking trees.  The ledges are, of course, still underwater, though.  Saw a lot of fish jumping but the water temp is driving the bigguns into deeper water than I can cast to and the ones that are in shallow aren't interested in worms.  Did catch a nice, fat 8.5" bluegill.  He's in the freezer.

Tuesday - went to my old go-to spot.  The water is almost out of the parking lot now, so fishing there is a little iffy because there aren't many spots to cast past the trees.  The ledges there are beginning to open up, though, so I tried that.  First thing in the morning there is hard because it's full sun.  Little fish stole my worms and I was getting hot, so I moved to the cove side where there was still mostly shade.  Caught a 17" channel cat.  Funny thing about that... I'd never caught a catfish before, so I had to call Hubs on the cellphone and ask him which parts were the ouchie parts.  Once that was settled, I couldn't find a place to pop the stringer through its mouth, so I let it go.  After I put it back, I thought of several ways I could've kept him.  Oh well, live and learn.

Thursday - Back to the cove at the go-to spot.  Got out there about quarter to eight, but the fish weren't biting.  Well, fish big enough to actually get on my hook weren't biting.  Little fish were hammering the hell out of my bait and stealing the worms.  I did that until a little after nine and then I packed all the stuff back in the car.  Then I grabbed a garbage bag and started cleaning.  Some dipstick camper person had left a pile of trash in one of the old parking spots.  I picked all that up.  Then some other dipshits - or maybe the same one - had left fireworks trash all over the ledges.  I picked all that up.  Then I walked the water's edge in the parking lot and picked all that garbage up - including the top to someone's bikini.  (I don't want to know.)  Filled a big black plastic bag with the detritus of inconsiderate morons.  I don't want to think about how trashed the parks will be after this holiday weekend because people, in general, are pigs.

In happier news, there's a rumor floating around that the park will be open starting today.  Yay!  I miss the park.  I haven't been in there since the day before the big rain.  April 28th was the last time I was in there.  Of course, it'll probably be crawling with people this weekend, but I am sorely tempted.  Tune in next week to see if I braved the crowds to get into my park.

Until then, have a great week and an enjoyable holiday.  And I hope y'all get to spend some time outdoors.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thursday This n That

I have been a total slug since the beginning of April.  I'm trying to rectify that now.  To that end, I actually ordered paperbacks for Up Wish Creek (which was slugness from last fall) and I built a paperback edition and cover finally for Natural Causes, AND I rebuilt the paperback cover for Blood Flow (because it no longer matches the ebook cover).  I'll probably have some kind of giveaway for all three of those sometime soon. 

Speaking of Blood Flow, it's going on sale tomorrow through the 7th - all of Independence Day week because what else do you do with a political thriller?  It's a Kindle Countdown Deal, but it'll be 99c through the whole week.  US only because I totally forgot to set the deal for the UK until just now and now it's too late.  Not that they really give a rip about our Independence Day anyway.  Maybe I'll pick a week the UK people like and have a sale then. 

Speaking of building a paperback edition, I spent a considerable amount of time and brain energy trying to figure out which page was the right page.  (It shows up left on my Word because it doesn't allow for the blank inside cover.  Derp.)  What a brainfart.  It's not like I hadn't done this 7 times before.  Sheesh.

My best 'in real life' friend's husband is having open heart surgery tomorrow.  Send positive energy winging up to Kansas City tomorrow.  K?  He's one of the good guys and we need to keep as many of those around as long as possible.  They're in short supply.

You hear about so many crappy relationships out there in the world.  I'm really lucky that I and my closest married friends all have good relationships.  You know who you are.  Give yourselves hugs for me.

I ran across a review of the book I'm reading that was posted by a 7th grade girl.  It was sad - she basically gave the book a one-star review because she didn't realize that an anthology of mystery and suspense had death in it, and the two stories she read were confusing.  I inhaled these types of stories at that age.  Of course, I'm me and I've always been this way.  Maybe she picked it up thinking it would be mysteries and suspense about stolen things instead of dead things.  She really should've gone with Nancy Drew or something. 

Okay, that's it for me.  What's on your this n that radar today?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Any Questions?

I would usually put a post like this up at Outside the Box, but since I do have followers here who don't follow there, I'm putting it here today and there tomorrow. 

You see, I'm working on the final book in the Once Upon a Djinn series.  And I want to wrap everything up, if I can.  (Not that I'll never write another genie book, but I want all the questions from books 1-3 answered in #4 so readers can leave feeling satisfied.)  To that end, I was wondering what burning questions readers would like to see answered in this final book. 

Now, yes, the book is already written.  All the way through.  And I finished the first edit pass last night.  But I might've missed something.  I don't think I did, but there's always the chance I'm wrong.  This is your chance to tell me what you're dying to know. 

Yep, there's always still a chance I won't have wrapped something up to your satisfaction.  Them's the chances we take when we read a book, don't ya know.  But I'm trying. 

To help, here are a few things I know for certain I have addressed...

- Zeke's disappearance in book 3.
- the cliffhanger at the end of book 3.
- the mysterious glimpse Jo was given into the future in book 2.
- the ultimatum the other supernaturals gave Jo in book 3.
- what happens with Reggie?
- the disappearance of Hans

Anything else?  I'm sure whatever we don't catch now, JC will catch when she gets her hands on WHTF.  But I want to know what you're thinking. 

If you have any non-genie related questions, you can ask them now, too, if you want to.  I'll answer what I can.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 25

Hello again.  Let's jump right into it.

Writerly stuff:  I'm up to pg 158 on the editing phase for Wish Hits the Fan.  Only 38 pages left to go.  Yes, this one is a tad shorter, but action packed.  Also, my sale and marketing venture wrapped up.  It did not go as well as I'd hoped, but better than it could've gone.  Cover stuff is going well.  I got the new cover for In Deep Wish and it sounds like my artist and I are on the same page for the cover of Wish Hits the Fan

Readerly stuff:  I spent a lot of the week not reading.  BUT, I did snag a new book from Jennifer Lyon and inhaled it.  Savaged Dreams was amazing.  I also finished another Cat Who mystery last Sunday.  Those bring me up to a total of 48 book so far this year out of the 70 book goal.  15 books ahead of schedule.  I'll probably end up raising my goal, but for right now, since I don't know what the coming months will bring, I'm leaving it alone.  Right now I'm reading a honker of an anthology - mystery and suspense stories from the masters.  That should keep me busy for a while.

It's been too hot to fish.  I did go out once last week.  Tried several different spots and only caught one little bluegill. 

So, the lack of fishing and the lack of walking (because of the heat) has begun the slow slide into atrophied lump status.  I tried dance-exercising last week to make up the difference and after 5 minutes I quit.  Then I swept the floors, so it wasn't a total loss.

Made what I call quesadillas last week.  They are totally not quesadillas, but I call them that.  (It's probably more like a tostada.)  Fry two tortillas until they're golden.  Set them aside.  Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning/water.  Sinner until the liquid is gone.  Put one tortilla on a pizza pan, sprinkle it with cheese, spread the beef all over it.  Put the other tortilla on top, sprinkle cheese all over it.  Put it in the oven until the cheese is all melty.  Serve with salsa and sour cream.  Sometimes I put sliced olives in it.  Sometimes I saute mushrooms with the beef.  Sometimes I use chicken.  This time I put enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkled more cheese before I baked it.    Anyway, they're pretty awesome.  And it usually makes enough for two meals for us - if we aren't piggish about it.

Well, I think that's it for me.  Anything up with you?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday This n That

First off...
I said I'd give you the cover when I had the cover, and there it is.  It's uploading to Amazon as I type this.  I still need to put it up everywhere else the old cover is posted.  Should be done by the end of the day. 

A former employer approached me with an interesting business proposition yesterday.  A non-writing business proposition.  I'm considering it.  Expectation is that it would take 10-20 hours a week.  During regular business hours, so it wouldn't really interfere with my writing - which I do at night for the most part.  Weighing the pros and cons now.  I should make my decision one way or the other by the end of the weekend.  I'll let you know after I let them know.

So, yesterday, some dipshit attacked an off-duty police officer at Bishop International Airport in Flint, MI.  He was reportedly shouting 'allahu akbar'.  In Flint, MI.  For those of you who don't know, I grew up in a little farming community outside Flint.  I mean, Flint sucks and it has for most of my life.  I grew up knowing to stay the hell out of Flint proper because it was such a hole.  But Islamic terrorists haven't been on the radar there.  At least not for me.  Murder?  Yep.  Robbery?  Oh most certainly.  Rape, etc.?  Definitely.  But Islamic terrorism?  Wait, what?  No way.  I mean, Bishop is only an 'international' airport because it has some flights into Canada.  (I think that's it.  It may have flights to Mexico and the Caribbean by now.  I haven't actually been to Bishop since 2001.)  Of course, Flint is only about 90 minutes out of Dearborn, which has a huge - and so far low-key - Muslim population, so it probably shouldn't be as surprising as it was to me.  It's just that I wouldn't have expected to hear about this shit there.  Hell, it's only about 30 minutes from my mom.  =o\

The world, she is a changin'.  In scary, weird, asinine, unexpected ways.  I don't know about you, but it kinda makes me want to dig a bunker and become heavily armed.

But I have books to write and promises to keep and miles to go before I... Well, you get the picture.

To that end, I'm at pg 131 in my edits.  Even with the business proposition looming in my head.  Even with a phone call from the Kid last night.  Even with the world spiraling into a craptastic mess.  I'm still working.  Finally.  You have no idea - okay, maybe you do - what a relief that is.  And I'll keep working as long as the world lets me.  Cuz this is America.  And fuck those who would make it NOT America.  Am I right or am I right?

That's it for me today.  How's about you?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 24

Here we are again.  Which is definitely better than the alternative.  ;o)

Last week... Let's see...

In the realm of writerly stuff, I'm up to pg63 on my edits for Wish Hits the Fan.  I plan to hit the thing hard the rest of this month and maybe get something not-sucktastic to my editor by the end of the month.  :fingers crossed: 

Also, since the post where I said I had lost the will to market, I did marketing stuff.  My genie books are free or cheap thru tomorrow night, with an ad going out today, so I've been hitting the FB status updates hard.  I even went to Twitter for the first time in months.  :gasp:  (My author page on FB updates to Twitter automatically, but I felt I should probably visit the site.  And I was reminded why I don't go there*.)

To that end, I have given away 54 copies of WIOH and sold 2 copies each of IDW and UWC - as of this morning, pre-advertising.  (Which is more books than I sold all of last month, so I'm pleased.)

I read three books last week and I'm most of the way through a fourth.  I read a scifi, a fantasy, and a mystery.  I'm currently reading a paranormal romance. 

I spent yesterday morning scrubbing the burner pans from my stove.  I lead such an exciting life. 

Fishing has been super sporadic lately, which means I only went out once last week.  I'd set a reward system up for editing, but with the way things are going, I have to fish when I can if I want to fish at all.  I guess I'll just have to kick my own ass into gear without the carrot. 

The deer all seem to have had their babies, but we haven't seen any of the fawns yet.  Thus begins Fawn Watch 2017. 

Fledgling birds are everywhere.  So cute.  I don't know if you know this but fledgling titmice make this really high-pitched noise when they're begging for food that sets my teeth on edge like fingernails on a chalkboard.  I can forgive it, though.  Cuz they're cute. 

Oh, and I spent the majority of the past three days watching the US Open golf tournament.  So much golf that I'm seeing putting in my sleep.  LOL, luckily today's the last day.

Well, that enough out of me already.  How's about you?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 6/17/17

Hello again, and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

Not a lot to report from last week.  The lake level is going down for the most part.  Not sure what last night's rain is going to do to it, but it's headed in the right direction.  Or something. 

Right now, the lake level is at such a point where the places I can reach are just close enough to the trees that I spend more time hung up in branches and on deadfall than actually catching fish.  Plus, the sun was out a lot last week.  Plus, it's getting hot out.  Plus, the summer people are here.  So, I only went out once last week. 

Tuesday.  I went out early to avoid people.  Sure enough there was a dude in an SUV parked in the middle of where I wanted to fish.  So, I walked through the trees to try the river side rather than the parking lot.  First cast was a clusterfudge.  Hooked it left smack dab into the root ball of a fallen pine.  Broke the line and watched my bobber float away.  As I was re-rigging, the dude drove away, so I gathered up my gear and went to my go-to spot.  Caught two little punkinseeds, but nothing bigger was biting.  Tried casting in a couple different spots and got hung up on an underwater tree a couple times.  Good news is I got that bobber back AND I got the bobber that had floated away earlier.  But the sun was getting higher and my shade went away, so I drove around the backside of the area, hoping to fish in the cove.  First cast, right into a cedar.  Lost that whole rig - last seen still hanging in the tree.  And when it broke free, the line shot back at me and became a horrible tangle.  Having already depleted my stores of patience, I packed up and went home.

I had planned on going out Thursday morning, but that fell through.  I thought about going out Friday, but thunderstorms rolled in, and when they rolled out they left clear skies with tons of humidity behind.  Thunderstorms again this morning, and I'm just not motivated.  We'll see what next week brings.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thursday This n That

This morning I was reading a news story about a car dealership in Michigan that had offered a panhandler a job.  The panhandler laughed at them and told them he makes more money than any of them.  Something to think about when you see them with their signs.

Yesterday I went to a new-to-me thrift store that benefits a local animal shelter.  I won't be going back.  I hadn't been there before because it looked hard to pull into and hard to pull out of.  It was.  I got there right when the doors opened.  At the counter stood a man putting on his deodorant*.  I mean, I'm appreciative of anyone who wears deodorant, but no.  Just no.  The place smelled of mildew.  The books, what little they had, were in the basement down a narrow stairwell, and were two to three times more expensive than my usual thrift store.  I did find some books, though.  When I went to check out, I noticed a bullet-hole in the front window.  I said, "Is that a bullet hole or a stone chip?"  They said "It's a bullet hole. This used to be a pawn shop."  Like that explained it all.  Then the gal was all like "was that you that parked over there?"  Yep, it looked like a perfectly normal place to park in their dirt lot.  "Don't park there.  People like to whip through the parking lot to turn around and we've had a lot of people hit backing out of those spots."  Ummmm.  Ri-ight. 

The reason I was looking for a new thrift store is because my regular thrift store was snotty to me the last time I stopped in. (And had been snotty in the past.)  Plus, their 'new management' jacked up all the prices.  I'm not ever going to be a premier donor or shopper at these places, but I do donate stuff regularly and I do shop regularly.  Driving away small customers like me seems unwise.  But maybe that's just me.  Next try?  The Salvation Army location.  I just want someplace that'll take my donations and offer me stuff to buy without any irritations.

Anyway, back to the books.  I found some really cool stuff - a mystery/suspense anthology with a lot of awesome older crime novelists, a SF anthology with a lot of awesome older SF novelists, an Agatha Christie in the same edition as the one my mom had on her shelf when I was growing up (which I, oddly, never read), a fantasy paperback in a series I've been reading but haven't bought that one yet, a paperback UF by an author I've been meaning to read, and a mystery novel by Isaac Asimov.  I didn't even know Asimov wrote any mysteries. Oh, and a Nero Wolfe I hadn't read yet.  In hardcover.  Score.

Okay, I think that's just about enough out of me for this morning.  What have you got?

*Lest you think, 'well, maybe he was homeless', he was later telling me about his two houses and his 20 acres of land.  He has a full-time job and volunteers there on his day off.  And I saw the brand-new SUV he got out of when he arrived.  Plus, I'm pretty sure the place has a bathroom where he could've applied his toiletries.  :shudder:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Spontaneous Generation

If you're not familiar with the theory of spontaneous generation, it's something they came up with centuries ago to explain the presence of something when there's no possible other way for it to have come about.  So, say, you've got a bin full of grain and you think it's pretty secure, but one day you open the bin and it's full of mice.  They must have spontaneously generated.  Right?

Of course, upon further inspection the theory was disproved.  Mice got into the bin because mice can get into anything with like a 1/2" wide gap.  And if there isn't one, they'll make one.

This theory always fascinated me.  Things don't just poof into existence.  Derp.

This morning, though, I'd almost be willing to subscribe to the theory.  In the past four years, we have plugged every hole possible in this house to keep the mice out.  Every. Hole. Possible.  And yet, this morning, there was a mouse on the sticky trap* next to the fridge.  Hubs dispatched it

So, now we're trying to find how the damn thing got in.  All of the steel wool I have stuffed into all the exiting holes appears to be in place.  Except for that spot next to the dishwasher, which I'll reinforce after I've had more coffee. 

I've come to terms with mice in the walls.  And in the garage.  Even the thought of mice running around in the house doesn't really squib me out.  It's when they get into the cupboards and you never know if they've run around licking the silverware or whether they've used the dishtowels as a litterbox that gives me the heebies-jeebies.  They need to not be in the house if I can ever use my utensils and stuff without washing everything beforehand every single time.  Thus, they need to get gone.  Seriously. 

Never mind about the cat.  She's useless.  She's like that stupid commercial where the bank is being robbed and the uniformed guy says "I'm not a security guard, I'm a security monitor.  I only tell you when the bank is being robbed.  :pause: The bank is being robbed."  She's a vermin monitor.  She'll point it out, but she rarely does anything about it.  She might pounce on a baby cricket, but that's where her effort ends.  She did visit the bedroom in the middle of the night last night, but since she doesn't speak English, we didn't even get the message that there was a mouse in the house.  Like I said.  Useless.  "You've got claws.  You've got fangs.  Kill the damn thing already, or let me sleep."  :eyeroll:

Anyway, since I know spontaneous generation is so not a thing, I guess I need to search for possible entry points I missed over the past 4 years.  With mice, it's sort of 'where there's a will there's a way' and I will probably never totally mouse-proof my house.  Ten years from now, I'll be sitting here scratching my head and looking for their latest access point, I'm sure.

For now, though, when I'm caffeine and nicotine deficient, I'm leaning toward spontaneous generation.  Poof! there's a mouse.  


*I keep sticky traps all over the house to catch brown recluse spiders.  I do not use sticky traps for mice.  Snap traps are best. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Homemade Suet

I had some people ask for my suet recipe, so I'm putting it alone here - in case anyone missed it on Sunday. 

Homemade Suet

1 1/2c shortening
3/4c peanut butter
1T honey

Let the shortening melt on low.  When it's clear, add the PB and stir until well incorporated. Stir in honey.  Turn up the heat until the mixture just boils then take it off the heat and let it set.  Meanwhile, in a big heat resistant bowl, mix together...

1 1/2c corn meal
1/3c chopped nut topping
1/3c raisins
1/2c flour
1 c sunflower seeds (bird feed quality)
1c chopped corn feed

When the wet mixture is still pretty warm, but not boiling hot, dump it into the dry mixture.  Stir thoroughly.  Pour into suet molds (I saved all the store bought ones and washed them out so I'd have molds to dump my homemade into.).  Should fill 3 store bought plastic thingies.  Put them on a tray and slide them into the freezer.  Once they're frozen, slide them into a big baggie and use them straight from the freezer.  Birds don't care if it's frozen.  But here's the kicker, once they warm up, they keep their shape and don't fall apart all over the porch underneath the feeder.  (Which is what happened with the last two batches of suet I made.  The first batch was too dry and it crumbled all over, the second batch was too wet and it splopped all over.) Fair warning, though, these do get a little gooey above 80F.  Not drippy - just soft.

If your suet seems too runny before you pour it into the molds, add in some more flour.  If it seems too dry, up the amount of shortening.  (You can mix more in without boiling it.  The boiling helps get rid of the air in it and helps it harden, though, so not too much more pre-boiled.)  Play with it.  Add in cranberries instead of raisins.  Or wild bird seed mix instead of sunflower seeds.  You could even get fancy and buy dried mealworms to add in.  Just remember as with all recipes, if you delete a dry ingredient, add in another dry ingredient to keep the balance.  And remember, as with all recipes, your mileage may vary.

This week, I'm going to make more suet but substitute a wild bird seed mix for the chopped nuts.  I'm also going to try boiling just the shortening and then adding the PB after I take it off the heat.  (Sometimes the PB scalds to the bottom of the pan which is messy and makes the suet smell like burnt PB.)

Good luck!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 23

Hello again.  I'm kind of mush for brains right now, but let's see what I can rebuild from last week.

I did some writerly stuff.  Still not willing to talk about it.  It's like trying to approach a deer.  Don't make any sudden movements or it'll run away.

I read 5 books last week.  Three mysteries, a paranormal suspense, and an old western.  The paranormal suspense was Silver James' latest Nightrider novel - Night Fire.  So much awesome.  One of the mysteries was a newer novel by Laura Bradford - Death in Advertising.  The other two mysteries were part of 'The Cat Who' series.  And the old western was a Zane Grey.

I made my own suet.  Here's the recipe...

1 1/2c shortening
3/4c peanut butter
1T honey

Let the shortening melt on low.  When it's clear, add the PB and stir until well incorporated. Stir in honey.  Turn up the heat until the mixture just boils then take it off the heat and let it set.  Meanwhile, in a big heat resistant bowl, mix together...

1 1/2c corn meal
1/3c chopped nut topping
1/3c raisins
1/2c flour
1 c sunflower seeds (bird feed quality)
1c chopped corn feed

When the wet mixture is still pretty warm, but not boiling hot, dump it into the dry mixture.  Stir thoroughly.  Pour into suet molds (I saved all the store bought ones and washed them out so I'd have molds to dump my homemade into.).  Should fill 3 store bought plastic thingies.  Put them on a tray and slide them into the freezer.  Once they're frozen, slide them into a big baggie and use them straight from the freezer.  Birds don't care if it's frozen.  But here's the kicker, once they warm up, they keep their shape and don't fall apart all over the porch underneath the feeder.  (Which is what happened with the last two batches of suet I made.  The first batch was too dry and it crumbled all over, the second batch was too wet and it splopped all over.) Although, they do get a little gooey above 80F.

If your suet seems too runny, add in some more flour.  If it seems too dry, up the amount of shortening.  (You can mix more in without boiling it.  The boiling helps get rid of the air in it and helps it harden, though, so not too much more pre-boiled.)  Play with it.  Add in cranberries instead of raisins.  Or wild bird seed mix instead of sunflower seeds.  You could even get fancy and buy dried mealworms to add in.  Just remember as with all recipes, if you delete a dry ingredient, add in another dry ingredient to keep the balance.  And remember, as with all recipes, your mileage may vary.

The deer are starting to fawn.  Some of them look post-pregnant, some of them are still fat-pregnant.

Well, I think that's it for me right now.  I have to get my buns in gear and hit the Wallyworld before it gets too busy and the temps get too hot.  What's up in your world?