Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Update - Week ? (Near the End Somewhere)

Hi All.  I'm running more than a little late this morning.  And the coffee isn't doing its job, so my brain currently has too much blood and not enough caffeine.  Bear with me.

Writing?  Uhhh...

Editing?  Umm, well, yah...

Reading?  I started a couple books I didn't finish.  Right now, I'm reading Water for Elephants.  Not exactly like the movie.  Well-written, but it's kind of bumming me out.  It starts out with the hero at 93, a widower, and in a nursing home, and the story flashes from him really old to back to his younger years before and during the circus.  It's just sad.  I don't envision any scenario where this is going to end anywhere but with him dead.  He's ninety-freakin'-three, for petesakes.  There's no future in that.  It would've been better if she'd just told the story of his early life without the old man falling apart, lonely and unhappy in a nursing home.  Nursing homes suck.  'Nuff said.

Fishing was a bust for the most part. 

This morning, Hubs got up late and there were like eleven deer in the yard waiting for him to bring them food.  It was pretty funny.  Now the food's all gone and there are stragglers coming in.  Sorry, folks, you snooze you lose.  Come back for the dinner seating.

I got my first Christmas prezzie.  Fudge made by Trappist monks in KY.  And the Kid got her Christmas box.  It's all good.

My Christmas cards went out.  If you were expecting one, it should be there soon.  If you don't get it, let me know.  If you wanted one, but I've never sent you one before, you should've said something sooner.  ;o)

Okay, that's it for me.  :wanders off in search of more coffee and perhaps a donut:

What's up with you?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/9/17

Hello again and welcome to the Saturday Fishing report... such as it is.

I went fishing three times last week.  Spent about 6-7 hours out there total.  Caught one fish.  It was a 5-6" bluegill and I threw it back. 

I have been seeing that other people in the area are catching fish, but they're in boats and going 30' deep or something.  :shrug:  What can I say?  It's gotten cold and the fish went deep.  The area skipped fall fishing entirely or it was so short a window that I missed it.  No big walleyes for me this year, I guess.

I have been getting more experience throwing lures, though.  And my arms are getting used to the constant throw and reel and jig, so that's something.  However, with only a few weeks left, my goal of catching a fish on a lure this year is probably not going to come to fruition.  Next year, maybe.

The days were beautiful here, if a mite cold.  Boy, howdy, that wind on Wednesday afternoon was a pisser, lemme tell ya.  We stuck to a sheltered cove for the most part that day.  Out of the wind, but also out of the fish.  I did catch the bluegill that day so it wasn't a total skunky-monkey. 

The resident kingfisher at my go-to spot has been a constant companion.  His scattergun, rapidfire call is a welcome noise.  And seeing him swoop and dive is always fun.  Sometimes he sits in a tree behind me.  I think he might be hoping I'll scare some scad to the surface where he can snack on them.  Hasn't happened yet, but we both can hope. 

Well, that's it for me.  Not sure what this week will bring.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a bit warmer, so I might go drown some worms for a couple hours.  We'll see.  Hell, if I get the jones'n, I might go out today and freeze my ass off.  Who knows. 

Have an awesome next week, and if you do venture outside, bundle up. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday This n That

I just exercised in... I had to think about it for a minute, but... a year and a half.  Committed exercise - dancing, calisthenics, cool down.  Ten minutes total and I'm kinda pooped.  And that's what I get for not doing this a few times a week like I used to.  Bleh.  Have to do something to put a halt to my ever-widening ass.  And I am not at all interested in changing my eating habits, so exercise it is.  On a different activity note, I still walk all over the lakeshore carrying at least 5 pounds worth of gear (sometimes more) and I do not get winded like I did before I started increasing my activity, so that's a win.

I still have not cut my hair.  Hubs says he kind of likes it longer, but he might just be saying that to save me the trouble.  I at least need a trim.  The shaggy dog look is not a good one for me.

I started doing Christmas cards yesterday.  Got two done and then realized I didn't have the current address for my aunt, so I called Mom, but Mom had business work for me and I got distracted doing that.  Needless to say I am no further along on the cards than I was before I called her.  If you're expecting a card, it'll get there before Christmas, but how much before, I don't know.

Today's bird of the day is something called a white-breasted woodswallow.  They're kind of cute.  From the other side of the world, of course, but still.

We have a flock of Canada geese at the lake with one snow goose in it.  I've seen them several times now, so I'm guessing the snow goose is there to stay. 

Now that it's getting darker earlier, I feel like I live in a fishbowl.  You see, my chair is in front of the big picture window, and I turn on the living room lights before I feel inclined to shut the curtains.  I like looking outside for as long as possible, but I also like to see to read and stuff.  Thus, anyone walking, biking, or driving past the house can see everything and they all seem to feel the need to look in my windows.  I feel like shouting 'take a picture, it'll last longer' at them.  (I say it in the house where they can't hear me.)  I don't know why they all stare, but we really aren't that interesting.  I'm usually sitting there reading while we both watch TV.  :yawn:  I guess some people's lives are less interesting than ours or something.  Either that or they're just profoundly nosy. 

Okay, that's it.  Time to make the suet.  The birds are voracious right now and going through a brick a day or so.  What's up with you?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Consider the Source

I read a news story this morning about a thirteen year old girl in California who killed herself because, in her words, 'they called me ugly'.  WTF?  Seriously, WTF?

:climbs the soapbox:

When did we get to the point where we allowed the words of others to have such an effect on our lives?  I mean, sure, when I was younger, I got picked on.  I got called every name but white, and while it certainly didn't make me happy, it didn't drive me to thoughts of suicide.  (Other things might've but that's a story for another time.)

Then I grew up.  And I came to the understanding that the words out of other people's mouths only have as much value as you allow them to have.  Or, as my mom put it, 'consider the source'.  If someone you don't know or don't like, calls you a name, then the name is meaningless.  If someone you do know and like calls you a name, think about whether the name fits and if it doesn't, then the value of that person ought to decrease in your eyes - not the value of yourself.  If it does fit, and you don't like it, work on changing that about yourself. 

I went 'round and 'round with the Kid over this point.  Because, you see, sometimes it has nothing to do with what a parent might say when the world is pushing everyone to take every word of every other person into account.  She would come home crying because some little dipshit said something nasty to her, and I'd try to explain to her that they were wrong and they were dipshits and she really needed to ignore them.  But I couldn't fight the culture that told her the opposite all day every day.  So I yanked her out of that culture and homeschooled her.  It didn't solve the problem - which was ultimately her perception of the value of valueless people - but it did give her a break so she could thrive without their interference. 

The thirteen year old girl wasn't the first such news story and it won't be the last.  A week or two ago, it was a ten year old.  Before that?  Hundreds around the nation.  And what goes unreported are the thousands who live with that crap every day, thinking about how worthless and ugly and stupid and whatever they are because some dipshits told them so.  Dipshits.  They're letting their lives be ruined by what amounts to nothing more than dipshits. 

I won't get into the kids who, because of the above, kill others.  They are dipshits, too.  It's like a fucking disease - dipshitenza.  Where you spend so much time thinking about what the dipshits have done to you that you become one, too.  Or something. 

All I know is it pisses me off.  It's been pissing me off for years.  And there's not a damn thing I can do about it, except take to this blog every once in a while and rant.  I can't change the culture. 

But it does need to change.  Maybe if we all decide we really don't give a rat's furry white ass what other people think, we can make it change little by little.  Teach your children not to put so damn much stock in what other people have to say and think.  Teach them to consider the source. 

And when the culture overrides your wisdom, and your children are beaten bloody by the words of others, hold them tight and hope they can weather the storm long enough to grow out of it.

:climbs down off the soapbox:

'Nuff said.  Until next time when stuff has to be said again.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 48

A week has already gone by?  How'd that happen?

So, I made the decision to edit Early Grave instead of tearing myself up trying to write DH3 when it just wasn't coming.  But... BUT... I haven't done that either.  I did email the book to my Kindle.  I did download it.  I did get my handy-dandy notebook and set it next to my chair with my Kindle.  But I only read the first paragraph (which I hated) and then, when I actually wanted to buckle down and tackle more, my Kindle decided to update itself, which took until bedtime.  And I remembered that my editor will have Blink back to me mid-month, which doesn't give me a lot of time to complete a run-through of Early Grave.  Blerg.

It's not that I didn't do any work.  I started building next year's sales spreadsheets.  Wee.

I read some stuff.  I finished Wishsong of Shannara.  Yeah, it wasn't great.  The end was =op.  After the epic story and everything, the ending just wasn't worthy.  Harrumph.  Anyway, that's that.  I need to find a copy of Sword of Shannara and see how that goes, but I suspect it will also be as I remember - i.e. not as good as Elfstones.  I also read a spy thriller / hard boiled crime novel.  It was the 41st book in a series I'd never read before.  Pretty awesome stuff, so much so that I may have to find the other 40 books.  Then I read a medical thriller about 2/3rds of the way through, but it irritated me at that point so I DNF'd it.  Not sure what's next.

I went thrift storing.  Picked up about a dozen books, one of which was that medical thriller.  I also got some mysteries, a couple literatures for my collection, a few suspenses, a historical about Stonehenge, and a literary.  The literary was Water for Elephants.  I enjoyed the movie, so we'll see if I like the book.

Yesterday afternoon I got a wild hair and decided to scrub the front porch.  It was covered with dirt and bird poop and schmutz from the suet, so it needed a good deep scrubbing.  Thus, I am sore today.  But the porch looks nice.

And I fished.  Which might be another reason why I'm sore this morning.  I did a lot of walking and carrying my gear around yesterday morning.  :shrug:  It's better than being a chair tuber*, though.

Okay, that's the update for that week.  What's your update?

*Nope.  Doesn't have the same ring as couch potato.  Drat.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report

Hello again and thank you for sticking with the Saturday Fishing Report through these dry weeks of nothing much.  This, unfortunately, is another one of those weeks.

I went out a couple mornings last week and caught nothing.  Hubs and I went out a couple afternoons last week and caught a couple panfish and one spotted bass - and that was right at or near sunset.  He almost caught what we suspect was a 15-20 lb catfish, but it tangled the line in some submerged brush or something and Hubs had to snap it off.

Of course, there's more to fishing than fish.  Part of the reason I go fishing is to enjoy nature.  To that end, I saw a beaver this past week.  It was just making its way down the lake near the shore.  Last early spring, before the floods, I found a really awesome piece of chewed beaver wood about a mile south of where I saw that beaver.  Maybe it was his.  ;o)

I also saw a couple bald eagles.  One of them was diving and swooping at the fish in the lake, which was really cool.  Another one passed right over me - maybe 30 feet up. 

Now that the water level is down a bit, I'm seeing tons of tracks along the shoreline - deer, raccoon, heron, etc.  I keep my eyes peeled for mink or bobcat tracks.

Yesterday morning when I went out, it was kind of foggy.  Then it got really foggy right down at the lake.  It's a surreal experience, standing on the shoreline watching a bobber in the fog.  It hangs there as if suspended in mid-air - gray above, gray below, with no discernible horizon.  The lake itself was like glass, so there weren't even any ripples to break the solid gray plain.  Like I said, surreal.

And that's it for the fishing report.  Sorry there weren't more actual fish in it.  They're predicting a cold snap here, so I'm not sure how much I'll be willing to freeze my buns off next week.  We'll see.  Until then, I hope you all have an awesome week ahead and can get out to enjoy nature a little. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday This n That

Sometimes I like to share books on Facebook that I haven't read and probably won't purchase, because they look interesting to me and I think some of my friends might enjoy them. And invariably someone will say 'tell me what you think of it when you're done' and I feel bad because I never really intended on buying it.  Not because I don't want to but because the budget does not allow for me to buy all the books I'd like to.  So, instead of buying books I can't afford to, I share them on FB as a way of supporting the author so they can keep on writing and maybe someday I'll be in a position to buy their books. 

Despite my love of birds, I really don't like parrots.  It's a long story, but suffice it to say I lived with one for nearly 3 years and that was quite enough thank you very much.  I only mention this because today's bird of the day is parrots - again.  For the second time this week.  The last one, I had to put a sticky note over the bird's face because it was creeping me out.

I really need to cut my hair.  I'm starting to look like a sheepdog.

Today's the last day of November.  I'm sure all y'all probably knew that, because you're on the ball and stuff, but it came as a total surprise to me.

I know tomorrow is the first of December, but I am totally not ready to think about Christmas.  Ho Ho NOT.  Maybe it's the fact that it hasn't gotten cold here yet.  It's been in the sixties for the most part.  Hell, I was out fishing the other afternoon in a t-shirt.  Gorgeous day.  And so not 'put me in the holiday mood' weather.

I just noticed that in my pen/pencil cup is an NMU pencil, unsharpened and probably 26 years old.  I think it's the only thing left I purchased while I was in college.  The t-shirt wore out.  The mugs got broken.  But I still have my pencil.

Well, that's it for me.  What have you got for me this morning?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

PSA and Rant

If you're a writer... hell, if you're in any kind of business where you present marketing materials to the world... proofread your stuff before it hits the public eye. 

It goes without saying that your books should be proofread.  Over the course of 65 to 150 thousand words, though, you're bound to miss something here or there.  With those words, do the very best you can. 

In a marketing materials, generally the shorter the better.  But let's say, for the sake of argument, you're putting out a blurb of like 250-500 words.  Surely, you can proofread that to perfection.  Surely.  And if you can't, then get someone else to do it.  Get several someones.  Something.

I just read such a blurb for a person trying to sell their book on how to sell books.  Not a damn comma in the whole thing.  And there should've been.  Trust me.

I've seen ads in the local paper.  Maybe 20 words?  With misspellings.  Now, sure, these aren't for writing services, but still.  You're touting your restaurant as being an upscale alternative in the area?  Then make your ad look like you gave a damn.  If you spell Wednesday like Wensday it looks like you don't care.  How can I then trust you to care whether my fork is spotless or whether your employees wash their hands?  :shudder:

Hell, I've seen misspellings and typos in the damn news.  Argh.

These are things that ought to be proofread to within an inch of their existences.  But no.  And people are getting paid to write that stuff, which really offends the hell out of me.

Yes, yes.  This pot is calling the kettle tarnished.  If you consider these blog posts as marketing materials, that is.  I've warned y'all before.  I don't proofread the blog, for the most part.  If I see an error, I fix it, but other than that, blog posts are on their own.  Non-marketing FB posts are on their own, too.  Sometimes, I'm just a person, jotting my thoughts down for the world to see. 

My blog posts probably make my editor cringe sometimes.  I can almost imagine her up there shouting "COMMAS, B.E., COMMAS".  :shrug: 

This has been a Public Service Announcement... that sort of turned into a rant.  :shrug:  Do the world a favor and proofread your marketing materials.  Please. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 47

Well, here we are again with another Sunday which means another Sunday Update. 

I haven't written a stitch.  I know I was all jazzed about DH3 and everything, but the jazz ran out and now I'm stuck with the thought that maybe I should spend December editing instead of writing, so I can hit my production schedule this year.  Yeah, yeah, I'm one of those writers who can't seem to write when I'm not enthused.  Not necessarily the best business plan, lemme tell ya.

I had a sale this week (still having it thru today) and although the advertising didn't pay for itself yet, I'm seeing sales. Here's hoping a bunch of people picked up the books for Kindle Unlimited and haven't started them yet, so I'll see a cascade of page reads over the next couple of weeks.

I did read a lot this week, but it was all one book.  I'm slowly making my way through The Wishsong of Shannara.  And remembering why I stopped reading the Shannara books after this one.  I mean, it is kind of a let down after Elfstones, in my opinion.  And then there's the thing with Allanon, who is my favorite character out of the first three Shannara books.  I'll probably finish it this week and move on to one of the books waiting on my Kindle. 

Fishing was kind of a bust this past week.  The weather wasn't right or something.  Too windy... too sunny... too warm or not warm enough... I dunno.

We had Thanksgiving, of course, which is just the two of so not really a big hoopla.  Hubs made an amazing turkey, naturally.  I made an amazing pumpkin cheesecake.  We were both very thankful for each other and the life we have together.  I talked to the Kid and to Mom, so it's all good.   I have a boatload of turkey leftovers, so today I'll be making a pot pie.  Next week, I'll be making soup or fricassee or something.

I busted a hump on the work stuff this past week.  Loads of spreadsheets to rework.  Also all good.

That's it for me today.  How was your last week?

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/25/17

Hello again and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

Well, it's a report.  Not much to report, though.  I went out twice last week.  Caught doodley-squat.  Unless you count a little green sunfish - one each time.  They're little fighters and they're super pretty, but neither of them was big enough to eat.

I tried a whole bunch of different lures, as well as my stand-by worms.  I did different retrieve rates.  I jiggled.  I shimmied.  I set the worm at all different depths.  Nada.  And I could SEE the fish jumping, so I know they're in there.  :shrug:

From the other local fishing reports, I'm not the only one having a rough time finding fish.  Oh, sure, they're catching more than I am, but they're in boats and can fish at depths I don't have access to.  And they're still not catching the fish one would typically find at this time of year. 

I am enjoying the lovely weather, though.  Except for the wind.  The wind is a bit nasty.  It almost took my hat yesterday, but I caught it before it went in the lake.  I might've gone in after it.  I love that hat and I don't think I could find another one like it after all these years.

Well, here's hoping the fishing is better next week.  I'm not holding my breath, though. 

Have an awesome week, whatever you're doing.  See ya next time.  =o)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's Hans the Turkey to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.  May your plates and your hearts be full today.  And may your stomachs not be so full as to make you regret how full your plates were.  ;o)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thursday This n That - Two Days Early

Since Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US, I decided to move the this-n-that post to today. 

I just got faked out by the cat.  She was sitting in the corner acting like something was totally interesting and looking all over like it was getting ready to attack her (or she was getting ready to attack it).  Total kwazy kat.  So, we both go over there, turn on the big light, and look - thinking perhaps it was a spider or a cricket.  Nothing.  Hubs goes on about his business, as do I.  A minute later, we look and the cat is gone.  He guessed she went to the bedroom when we weren't looking.  I posited she was pointing out a rip in the fabric of time and space, and that's where she went.  He's probably right, but my answer was more fun.

The above is probably why some people believe cats can see ghosts, btw.  Crazy-ass animals.  LOL

Despite my assertion that I would not be raking leaves this year, I did rake leaves.  Hubs mulched most of them, but I needed the exercise, so I raked them to where he was mulching them.  Now we have nothing more to rake, which kaputs my outdoor exercise routine.  Guess I'll just have to start raking the trails in the woods again.  I've got to do something - my ever-widening ass is getting out of hand again.

Despite my assertion that fishing is exercise, it's not really exercise.  Not since the lake came back up anyway.  Last year I had the opportunity to walk all over the place and fish.  Now, not so much.  Stand here, sit there, walk a little. 

Crap.  I just remembered something I was supposed to do yesterday that I didn't.  You see, I had a bunch of spreadsheet come in that needed work and I was wrapped up in that, so I didn't get the thing I was supposed to do yesterday done.  No excuse, but I really better go do that. 

What's on your this n that today?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 46

It's Sunday.  I have coffee. 

I did write a little this past week.  Not much and nothing to jump up & down about, but it's words.

I sent a book off to my editor.  She'll have it back to me on Dec 15th.  Working with that timeline and expected workload with this book, I'm setting a tentative release date as February 12th.  Could be sooner, but probably not.  Could be later, but I don't anticipate by much.

Meanwhile, I have Early Grave to edit and Sleeping Ugly to edit and this Dennis Haggarty Mystery to write.  There's my 2018 in a nutshell.

I spent some time trying to think of a title for DH3.  In keeping with the theme of the previous two books, I have the following ideas: Malice Aforethought, Self-Inflicted Wounds, Involuntary Manslaughter, Apparent Suicide, and Malicious Intent.  I know.  Meh.  Self-Inflicted Wounds gives me an awesome idea of where the story might go.  Malicious Intent sounds the best, I think.  It may be none of those.  As I'm doing my genealogy, I'm paying special attention to Death Records to see if any of them give me title ideas.  So far, no.  Bronchial pneumonia, nephritis, or 'run over by a wagon' just don't have the right rings to them.

This week I have a sale on Dying Embers and Fertile Ground - 99c or .99p each (I remembered to add in the UK this time).  They'll go on sale the 21st and be back to $2.99 on  Monday the 27th.  I also snagged some advertising, so we'll see how that goes.

I did some fishing, but it was unproductive.  Nice mental breaks, but no fish worth mentioning.

Did some reading, but only finished one book - The Boomerang Clue by Agatha Christie.  Fun book.  Right now, I'm in the middle of The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks.  I read this years ago, but I don't remember much of it, so it's like reading a new book. 

This past week was filled with trying to tackle my to-do list, upon which are many many cleaning tasks.  And as I get one done, I find another I need to do, so it's like the perpetually growing to-do list.  But sooner or later, it will all get done. 

This year, Hubs is mulching the leaves instead of us raking them.  So at least there's not that on my list.  He's about half done.  I'd help, but I hate the lawn mower and the feeling is mutual. 

That's about it for me today.  What's up in your world?  Did any of you release a book this week?  :hint hint, nudge nudge: :cough:deb:cough:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/18/17

Good morning and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

It was a busy week.  I was mistaken about the fall fishing starting.  Either that or it ended without my noticing.  The temperatures took a turn for the warmer and the fish are confused, just like last year.  Still, I had to keep trying.

I went out five times this past week, and didn't really have anything to show for it.  Little bluegills not worth bringing home.  I did, however, spend some time getting used to fishing with lures.  Big lures, little lures, deep divers, topwaters, whopper ploppers (or whatever they're called).  The works.

You see, I'd picked up some new lures at Walmart.  Two to a pack for $3.  I got a hit on this one that was silver and gold with a black stripe.  Long and skinny like a pike minnow.  Good thing I had two, though, because I lost that one pretty quick when it dove and got hung up on the rocks.  I also got a hit on a fat black and white thing with a pink throat and a longer bill.  (Hubs lost that one a day later.)  One of the whopper ploppers attracted the attention of a big bass who blew up from underneath it, but I didn't seal the deal.  I didn't know whether to stop reeling or keep reeling.  I stopped.  Hubs said stopping was the right idea, but then I should've jiggled it to let the bass think it was still alive.  Live and learn.

Then I was at Walmart again.  Still had lures on sale, so I bought some to replace the lost ones and a bunch more because buying lures is a sickness.  They're so sparkly.  I only spent $20 for 11 lures, though, so it's all good. 

Anyway, it's all good because I was out at the lake and the area is beautiful, and I'm learning.  Sooner or later, I will catch a fish on a lure.  Guaranteed.  Or I won't and I'll be okay with that, too.  ;o)

See y'all next week, hopefully with some stories of the fat hogs I brought home. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday This n That

Where did the week go?  I totally missed posting Tuesday and Wednesday, but it was like those days just blipped by.  Derp. 

I spent most of Tuesday working on spreadsheet stuff for the other jobby-doodle thing.  Wrote my first 'if/then' statement in 20 years.  Too bad I didn't remember how to do it and it was a bigger chore than it should have been.  If e6 is greater than X, then subtract X from E6 and multiply the answer by .05 and multiply that answer by .1, return the answer in the cell.  If it isn't greater, than return an answer of zero.  Which looks like this: If (E6>X, ((E6-X)*.05)*.1),0).  With X changing for different conditions, depending on a set of parameters.  I finally came up with that right answer while attempting to take a nap.  Needless to say, I never got my nap.  Got the spreadsheet done, though.  Yay.

My to-do list is pathetic.  Eleven items and only 3 have been crossed off.  And I made the damn list on Monday.  I made suet, I dusted the office, and I swept the floors.  Today, I have to vacuum and do some spot cleaning on the carpet.  I need to pick a nice warmish day to do the windows.  And I really have to clean the fridge before Thanksgiving... gah, before I put the frozen turkey in it, so this morning because I'm buying the turkey today. 

It's really foggy here this morning.  So, the trip to Wallyworld will be put off until the fog clears.  It's dangerous enough driving around here on a nice day, with all the crazy drivers out there, without the fog adding to it.

Speaking of crazy drivers, we've really been noticing the number of people who are driving off one side of the road or the other this year.  Two or three times a week there's something in the news about someone driving off the right side of the road, striking a tree or a ditch or a culvert, or crossing over and driving off the left side of the road, striking a tree or rolling over or something.  Seriously, is it that difficult to stay between the yellow line and the white line?  Seems to be so.  I blame distracted driving. 

I'm this close to picking a special project for my editor to attack.  I'm just having a tough time choosing between two manuscripts.  Both are awesome and both have their own special traits to move them to the honored spot, but I have to pick one.  Which one will go first?  I still haven't decided, but I promised her I'd get her something today, so I better pick soon. 

Okay, that's enough out of me.  If I sit here, I'll never get anything done.  Later days, dudes. 

What's up in your world?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 45

Well, once again it's Sunday.  Another week flying by without a great deal to show for it.  But, even so, it wasn't like there was nothing to show for it, so here goes...

I actually sat down with my handy dandy red pen and notebook, and wrote words last night.  Writing by hand is kind of a bear, so it wasn't a lot of words, but it's a start.  I really need to think of a title for this, but right now, it's Dennis Haggarty #3.  I'm pretty pleased with what I put down on paper.  We'll get that transferred to the computer sometime soon and then type in earnest.

As for the above, I have the beginning and the general gist, but I have no clue where the path will lead, who the killer will be, or how Dennis will stop him/her/it.

In reading news, I finished Silver James' The Sound of Silence.  It was wicked awesome!  And I read the 7th book in SL Viehl's StarDoc series - Plague of Memory.  It was the last of my unread books in that 10 book series.  Now that I'm reading them in order, the 8th book should make more sense.  I remember being really confused when I started that one - because there are things that happen in #6 and #7 that are kind of game changers. 

I went fishing 6 times last week - over 5 days.  And I went yesterday.  Nothing to really brag about.  Hopefully I'll catch something big soon.  Another 22" walleye like last November would be awesome.

We had a fox in the yard.  In case you don't follow me on FB (or don't do FB), here are the two pictures that turned out:

We also had turkeys in the yard for the first time in months.  A rafter of 8 hens has been stopping by for corn and acorns. 

In other nature news, firearm deer hunting season started yesterday.  Keep your fingers crossed our deer make it through without becoming someone's dinner.  And for the record, I have no problems with hunting - as long as it's done responsibly and legally.  Poachers should have a special place reserved for them in hell.  Jus' sayin'.

I also got my shot last week, so I should be sane for another 3 months.  (For varying definitions of sane. LOL)

And that's about it for me this week.  How's things with you?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/11/17

Good morning and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.  I did kind of a bare-bones report this week.

Saturday -morning by myself at the go-to spot.  5 little bluegills and one little green sunfish.  Nothing to crow about.

Sunday - afternoon with Hubs at the go-to spot - We each caught a couple bluegills.  Hubs caught a couple spotted bass too small to keep and I caught one 10" spotted bass.  It was a gorgeous day, though.

Monday - it was cold and rainy all day, so I stayed home.

Tuesday - morning by myself at the park - caught 3 8-9" bluegills and one little green sunfish.  Kept 2 of the bluegills.  The first bluegill was easily 8" but as I was reeling it in, I noticed a sizeable bass chasing it, so I threw it back and concentrated on catching the bass.  Lures, fake little fishes, worms... to no avail.

Wednesday - morning by myself at the go-to spot.  It was blustery and cold with the wind coming out of the north, which made casting pretty gnarly.  I did manage to catch a 13" spotted bass who was hanging out in a minor cove about 6' from shore and about 3' deep.  I also caught a couple small bluegills.  Froze my buns off, but it was a good morning.

Wednesday - afternoon with Hubs at the go-to.  We didn't catch a ding-dang thing except one little bluegill, but Hubs did go wading and retrieve two of my lost bobbers (one with rig intact) and a lure he lost.  It was a gorgeous afternoon and we had fun, so it's all good.

Thursday - I had adulty stuff to do.

Friday - I was going to go out in the morning.  I mean, it was gorgeous looking out.  Then I checked the temperature.  32F.  Umm, no.  I love to fish, but I am not prepared to actually freeze yet this year. Now, if it had been 40F+...  ;o)

That's it for me for last week.  I hope you all have an awesome week to come.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday This n That

The geese are really on the move now.  We hear flocks of honkers on a daily basis.  Sometimes I even get to see them.  A small flock of Canada Geese was paddling its way up the lake the other day when I noticed one of them looked really weird.  As in white.  It was a single snow goose swimming along with the Canada ones.  Too cool.

I won ten dollars in last night's Show Me Cash lottery drawing.  Only spent $7, so I'm ahead by $3 this time.  (Behind by a whole bunch if you go cumulative on me.)

My record of falling once per year got shot yesterday when I was out at the lake and the rock I'd stepped on to walk across from one spot to the other, a rock I had walked on previously at least a dozen times, decided it no longer wanted to be where it was and slid out from under me.  No injuries this time.  I'm getting better at falling.  I guess if you do it enough, you're bound to get better at it.  Sorry Hubs had to see that one.  Poor guy worries enough about my graceless ass when he has to see the aftermath.  Personally, I think that rock had it in for me.  Hell, he'd used that rock to walk across a few times himself.  I'm glad it was me and not him that ended up getting dumped on the ass.  And I'm glad I didn't fall further to the right or I would've ended up in the river.  Whew.

My local favorite park is officially in winter mode.  Very few campers.  No on-site hosts.  No running water either, which limits me to the non-flush bathroom, but hey, better than no bathroom.  Anyway, I was the only one in the whole park the other day.  It was awesome. 

The time change has me totally messed up again.  I managed to make it all the way to 8:45pm last night (formerly 9:45, which is way past my bedtime) but I woke up at 4am this morning.  I stayed in bed for another thirty minutes, but still...  Blech.

Speaking of time change, animals don't get it.  So, to that end, Kira kitty is now being fed at 6am and 6pm because trying to feed her an hour later than she expects ain't happening.  Back when I was in CO, I remember someone telling me how hard it was to shift the cows at the feed lot over to the time change feeding schedule.  One hundred thousand cows.  All expecting to be fed an hour earlier than the silly humans were feeding them.  Wouldn't it have been easier to adjust the feeding schedule than try to adjust all those cows?  Jus' sayin'.

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

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Pretty Picture Day

I wrote a big long rant for this morning's post, but I ran out of steam, and once I got it out, I figured it wasn't worth posting.  It's not like my rant is going to change anything and it would, most likely, piss a bunch of people off.

Here's a pretty picture instead...
(Snowy Egret.  Taken by me at Yuma Lake, Yuma, CO. August 2012)

Have an awesome day.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sunday Update - Week... Time Change

It's the morning after the time change and I don't really care what week it is.  Stupid people messing with the social constructs.  Blerg.

Anyway, here's the week that was...

I didn't do any writing.  I thought about it, but I did not do it.  I got a box with copies of Wish Hits the Fan in it, though.  So pretty.  I need to do some kind of contest or something.

I didn't do too much reading last week.  I got through another Cat Who mystery and then I started Silver James' new release, The Sound of Silence.  I'm about 88% of the way through that.  It's AWESOME.  Naturally.  I'll probably finish it up today and then write the reviews.  I have a few books in the hopper for next week, but...

I signed up for again.  So, for the next month, I'll be swinging from the family trees.  I already made some awesome discoveries.  Like determining whether great-great grandpa Sam really did kill himself.  (Yes... and no.  He jumped out a window, broke a bunch of stuff, and then died of pneumonia in a hospital a couple weeks later.)  And I finally figured out where 3x great grandma Minnie is buried.  Yay.  That one's been a burr in my side for a while now.  I also discovered last night that Dad's one cousin who'd come to the family reunions my dad organized died last month.  I remember him.  He was nice. 

The weather has gotten warmer again.  It's freakin' November for petesakes. 

Okay, I think that's it for me this week.  I hope all y'all had a nice week and have an awesome week to come.  =o)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/4/17

Good morning!  And welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

Monday afternoon from 2-5pm.  I talked Hubs into going out with me.  We went to the go-to spot.  He caught the first fish.  A little green sunfish.  And the second fish.  A little spotted bass.  Then he switched from worms to lures and caught the third fish - a spotted bass a hair shy of 15". After he threw it back, I finally started catching.  Three little bluegills and a punkinseed.  Then he caught another little spotted bass.  And I caught a 13" spotted bass.  Two more little bluegills for me and another one for him rounded out the afternoon and since we were both freezing our buns off by then, we went home.  As Hubs proclaimed on the way home, fall fishing has begun.

Wednesday morning from 9-11:30am.  Back to the go-to spot by myself.  Not as cold or as windy.   I tried some different things.  Got bites on fake bait, but nothing was really taking it.  They were hitting worms, but soft-mouthing them like a passel of underwater retrievers.  Over the course of about 15 worms, I did manage to catch two small bluegills and a large stick.  Right after the stick, I thought I got hung up on another stick.  Except this one was fighting me.  Landed a 13.5" spotted bass. 

And now I probably should get dressed and go out to the lake.  It's cool and overcast. 

Have an awesome day and a wonderful week.  See ya next time.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thursday This n That

The bucks are beginning to tussle for breeding rights.  We've already seen two with snapped antlers.  And we had two others sparring in the yard a couple days ago.  Ah, Fall when the testosterone flows and the courting begins.  I'm hoping it all leads to a bumper crop of fawns next Spring.

Yes, I know, I'm probably not supposed to capitalize the seasons.  My editor would poke me with a pointy stick.  But she has no power here on the blog.  Bwa ha ha.  I can run amok!  Amok, amok, amok.

It's morning and I didn't sleep for shit last night which is making me loopy.  Amok, amok, amok.

The darkness at 7am is making me unmotivated.  But I still would rather not have a time change this Sunday at butt-early in the morning.  I never change my clocks before bed.  It's one last sleep before my schedule gets screwed royally.

I saw a supposed news story yesterday where the CEO of Nike was listed as Isaac P. Freely.  I.P. Freely.  Get it? 

Amok, amok, amok.

If you didn't get it, you probably had a more refined childhood than I did.  And a better class of friends.

Okay, time to wind down the amok and get on with my day.  This spreadsheet won't build itself.  What's up with you?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

So, It's Halloween

There are no decorations on my lawn.  There is no pumpkin in the window.  There are no fun-sized, hermetically sealed Snickers in my house ready to pass out to hopeful children.  Hell, there are no hopeful children in my neighborhood.  Well, the neighbor's grandkids are here most days, but if they're hoping for candy, they'd better be driving somewhere else.  If their mom was smart, she took them to one of the area 'trunk n treat' events over the weekend and they've already scored.

Halloween isn't what it used to be.

I don't remember my childhood for the most part, but I imagine Halloweens filled with children running from house to house getting goodies.  It was dark and cold.  (I grew up in Michigan, folks.)  But it wasn't scary.  It was fun. 

And then we'd go home and Dad would inspect all our candy for issues.  We weren't allowed toeat any of it until he pronounced it safe.  Yeah, it was the '70s, but even then, there were rumors of candy-tampering.  Razor blades in apples.  Pins in candybars.  I don't know if Dad ever found anything hinky.  I do know we wouldn't have been allowed to eat anything homemade unless we could tell him exactly which person put it into our bag.  And if he didn't know the person, it went into the trash.  Better safe than sorry. 

I passed out candy when we lived in town.  We never got very many kids by the house - the golf course subdivision gave out better candy than any neighborhood we resided in.  Still, we got plenty.  And most of them were good kids.  A few turds, but nothing to ruin the entire holiday. 

Not sure what it looks like out there in Halloween land these days.  Certain costumes you can't wear because someone somewhere might be offended.  (I have an old picture of some family kids in their Halloween finest.  One cousin is dressed as Aunt Jemima - complete with blackface.  Hey, it was the '40s, when no one really got their undies in a wad.)  Trick or treating is held in broad daylight so no kid gets lost in the dark or gets stolen or gets... whatever'd.  There are these 'trunk or treat' things, where kids can march from car to car, getting stuff thrown in their bags.  What fun that must be. 

I don't know.  I guess the world we live in makes it this way.  I don't have any kids of an age to care about Halloween anymore.  Mine's 24 and she's off doing her thing.  And I'm kind of glad because Halloween this new way makes me sad. 

So, for me, today is just another day - only with more scary movies on TV.

Do you have any plans for tonight?  Or did you do your Halloween thing over the weekend?  What's your favorite go-to treat for Halloween?  Mine's always been Snickers, btw.  =o)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 43

Wow, that week went by fast.  Blerg.

First off, the new keyboard is a little crazymaking.  The backspace key and the home key are too close together so I find myself wanting to backspace, hitting the home, and disappearing letters I did not want to disappear.  Miss left and I get a line of \\\\, miss right and whoosh, letters are gone.  Argh.  This too shall pass as I get used to this damn thing, but writing with it is a challenge right now.

Speaking of which, I did write last night.  I'm this close to THE END.  Have to wrap up the climax and do the denouement.  I should have this done by the end of the month, which was my 'drop dead' date. 

I'm going to treat myself by doing genealogy in November, I think.  I don't deserve a break, but I think I need one.  Make it NaNoChillMo or something.  I might edit, but I'm not promising anything.

In reading news, I finished the 2nd Sleepy Hollow book and inhaled the 3rd one right after.  Cliffhanger on the 2nd, doncha know.  Impressive books.  Super fun to read.  Totally gripping.  I also read a Mickey Spillane.  Awesome stuff.  Natch.

Fishing was a non-issue last week.  I had personal things going on that precluded me going too far from the phone for too long.  It all wrapped up by Thursday night, so I went Friday morning, but the fish weren't biting and I was freezing my ever-widening ass off, so I left.

Oh, before I forget, I have a sale starting tomorrow.  Get the Dennis Haggarty Mysteries for 99c each tomorrow through Friday.  (Crap, I forgot to set the UK Countdown.)  Just kind of one of those SURPRISE sales that I didn't plan for until the last minute.  So it'll be a mostly unadvertised sale, since it's too late to get any ads.  =oO

Got our notice from the insurance company that they're jacking up our rates again.  Awesome.  NOT.  Our health insurance now accounts for almost 50% of our entire yearly budget.  Arghle.  I'd like to find the many politicians who did this and hold their heads in the septic tank until they make it stop.

On a less-irritating note, the big oak has dropped so many acorns that my driveway has a weird pattern to it now.  So many little round balls.  Everywhere.  Hubs keeps sweeping them off the concrete, but the gravel part is a sea of acorns.  So's the grass, but it's less noticeable there.  I'd pick them up and leave the piles for the deer, but they're so glutted with acorns, they no longer care.

Speaking of deer, we got a new buck in the yard yesterday.  We're calling him Snap, because one side of his rack is snapped off.  So, we have Oliver (the skinny orphan), Sym (the symmetrical racked one), Six (duh), and Snap.  No sign of the bigger bucks we saw last year.  And we have about 9 does and girl fawns.   Oh, and I almost forgot about the button buck.  So five bucks and nine does/girl fawns.  Not a bad herd.

And I'm spent.  What's up in your world?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 10/28/17

Hello and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

Not much to say this week.  Because of life stuff, I only went out once.  It was 42F and windy as hell.  I tried worms and lures, but nothing was biting.  After about 90 minutes, I went home.

Hubs laughed and called me a 'die hard fisherman' when I headed out.  We both knew I wouldn't catch anything, but that really wasn't the point.  I needed to get out and sit by the lake for a while.  Rejuvenation.  He understands that, which was why he didn't try to discourage me.  It was the first chance I'd had to get out all week and I was taking it.

And I do feel rejuvenated today.  Yay!

That's it for me this week.  Who knows what the coming week will bring.  Warmer temperatures maybe.  But too much warmer.  I want the water to get cool, so fall fishing can begin and I can start catching keepers again.  I need fish in my belly.  ;o)

If you get a chance, get outside some time this week.  And not just for trick-or-treating. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Substance Abuse Prevention

Yesterday the President rolled out something about drug abuse prevention.  Admirable.  Scrolling though the newsfeed about it, I saw people bitching.  Expected.  One person in particular struck me as particularly stupid when they said something about alcohol abuse and opioid abuse not being the same thing.  Well, I guess if you think mandarin oranges and navel oranges aren't the same things, then you might be able to make a case there.  From my perspective, an orange is an orange is an orange.  Substance abuse is substance abuse is... you get the picture.

It doesn't matter what substance you're abusing, the root is the same - trying to blank out reality. 

Trump's thing, like I said, is admirable.  Foolhardy perhaps, but admirable.  Why foolhardy?  Because you can't get people to stop trying to blank out by telling them to not do drugs or drink.  Somehow, somewhere in their existence, they've been told that reality is bad and they've discovered that there are remedies for that.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I don't think most people take their first drink or smoke their first joint or snort their first line because they're looking for the blank-out.  Maybe they start because someone told them it would make them feel awesome or relax them or help them beat stress.  Hell, that's why I started smoking - to combat stress.  It's probably also why I started drinking, but I started drinking way before I started smoking and I can't remember back that far.  All I remember is that I drank, a lot, and more when I was under duress. 

I tried pot because my pothead friends made it seem awesome. It wasn't.  At all.  Huge bouts of technicolor yawning both times.  Twice was more than enough to make me stop.  It never made me stop drinking, though.  Weird.  And so stupid.

The first time I got totally drunk, I was 16.  Drunk and sick like a dog who's eaten rancid garbage.  Didn't stop me.  Maybe because for a time before that, I was totally awesome.  Bright and shiny and outgoing and popular.  Well, popular until the big sick.  Then I was only popular to one boy who kept me company in the dark of my friend's bedroom.  (Nothing happened. I think.)

It wasn't the first time I drank.  It was just the first time I got blotto.  I think the first time I drank alcohol had to do with a particularly pissy day at school and my father's limited stash of booze.  Vodka, maybe?  A little dribble in the bottom of a glass with some OJ.  I thought it would make the day less bad.  It probably did. 

I might've been thirteen.  Thirteen and totally unequipped to deal with what was bothering me on any real level.  And so it started.  20+ years of trying to whitewash things I was unable to deal with.  Drink and forget about whatever was bothering me.  Tada.  It didn't make the problems go away.  It never does.  It just made me forget about them for a while.  Sometimes, it caused more problems in the aftermath - like the night when I got dumped and decided to drink until it didn't hurt anymore.  I got alcohol poisoning and was sick for 3 days - on top of being heartbroken.  Weee.

This is, of course, all anecdotal.  Still, I expect the stories of so many others aren't that different.  All trying to escape reality like reality is at fault for all our problems.  And if we can just escape it or avoid it, everything will be fine. 

That's what we need to fight - the mindset that leads to wanting to blank out which leads to substance abuse.  I'm not sure it's possible in this day and age.  :shrug:  I changed my own mindset long before I quit drinking.  I no longer needed to get drunk, but I still drank.  One or two a night.  I just petered off over the course of years until I realized I didn't need it anymore and then I realized I actually didn't want it anymore. 

So, while wanting to fight the cycle of substance abuse is admirable, it's foolhardy to think we can stop it with slogans or initiatives or laws.  Stop it with a change in philosophy and culture.  Stop it by showing your children that alcohol and drugs aren't necessary and that life is awesome without them, and that we can solve our problems without artificial help.   If we can do that, maybe someday we can reverse the tide. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thursday This n That

Due to circumstances, I have been kind of absent - both mentally and digitally - lately.  I hope to clear this all up by next week.

The books I've been reading have made it so I will never look at the Headless Horseman the same way ever again.  And there are images of him everywhere right now.  :shudder:  If you want a spooky, but fun, read for Halloween, snap up the Sleepy Hollow books by Richard Gleaves. 

Someone.... I think it was Silver... asked on their blog yesterday what our fears are.  I had a tough time coming up with something.  I mean, my go-to answer has been 'moths' for years, but as I was sitting there trying to think of what scares me, I realized that my efforts to scrub away the moth fear have been successful.  I mean, I still don't want them on me when I'm unprepared, but I can look at them and touch them without going all 'super ninja warrior dance party'.  I'm not afraid of heights - but I do get vertigo (which sucks).  I'm not afraid of spiders.  I'm not afraid of the dark.  I still cannot have anything over my face when I'm sleeping - so I guess, fear of suffocation?  :shrug:  I'm not fearless by any stretch of the imagination, but I think I'm done with phobias for the most part.

I am not a patient person.  I hate waiting.  For anything.  I was bad before I started writing, but all those years of waiting on queries and submissions almost killed the last of the patience I had.  I want it and I want it now.  I will wait for stuff, if I have to, but I don't have to like it.

The above makes Christmas interesting.  When Hubs asks me what I want for Christmas, the answer is always nothing.  I don't need anything and whatever I want, I get without having to wait for December 25th.  (And if I needed anything, I wouldn't wait for it either.) 

Speaking of Christmas, what the hell?  All the stores I go to already have Christmas crap out - and have for a week or two at least.  The state of MO is already selling Christmas scratch off lottery tickets.  It gets earlier every year.  It's Christmas, people.  DECEMBER.  Or at least wait until after Thanksgiving for petesakes.  Before Halloween?  NO.

I haven't bought any Halloween candy this year and I probably won't.  We never get kids stopping by the house, but I used to buy it for Hubs and I.  This year?  Nah.  We have plenty of goodies in the house without the big bowl of candybars on the dining room table.  Maybe when they have the after-Halloween candy discounts.  I can't resist those sales.  Candycandycandy.

Okay, that's more than enough out of me.  What have you got for me?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 42

Ten weeks left in the year and time for another Sunday Update.

I bought a new keyboard this week.  The HP keyboard I was using had its letters rubbed off way too quick and the spacebar was sticking.  Bleh.  I bought the cheapest keyboard Wallyworld carries to replace it. Other than a very slight wobble, it's working fine.  And my only gripe is that the backspace key is slightly farther right than my old keyboard, so when I go to backspace I often hit the \ instead.  I'll get used to it.

I tried to write yesterday.  I opened Early Grave and stared at the last few paragraphs.  I made a slight edit.  Then I stared at it some more.  I stared at it several times throughout the day.  I closed it down before bed.  Bleh.

I'm reading the second book in a series where I loved the first book, and I'm loving this one, too.  Sleepy Hollow: Bridge of Bones (Jason Crane #2) by Richard Gleaves.  It's a paranormal YA with suspense and horror, I guess.  Edge of my seat here, people.  If you're looking for something in the Halloween spirit to read, definitely pick these books up.  (I think the third book just released.)  I also read the second book in a SF series and a literary novel.  I raised my reading goal to 90 books earlier this month and I'm already at 76 for the year, so it's all good.  Of course, if I was writing more, I'd be reading less, so I'm not sure how happy I should be about all the reading time I have.  =o\

Fishing was unproductive this week, but the area is so pretty.  I love Fall almost as much as I love Spring. 

Yesterday, I saw a yellow-bellied sapsucker.  They're back for the winter!  Yay! 

I'm debating contacting my editor and making an inquiry into getting one of my older books edited.  I mean, I've edited it to the point where it was once in the query machine, so it's not a hot mess.  But it's not publication ready either.  It's not a typical book based on what I've put out so far. Then again, neither was Blood Flow and I went ahead with that.  (To good reviews, but poor sales.)  So, do I go ahead with that and maybe have something for readers sooner or do I plod ahead with one of my newer books in the hopes it will be ready sometime next Spring?  :shrug:

And that's it for me today.  What's up in your worlds?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 10/21/17

Hey All, and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.  Sorry I didn't post last week, but there really wasn't much to talk about.  Caught some bluegills a couple times and got skunked once.  Woohoo. 

Anyway, here we are again.  I went fishing several times this past week with more of the same.  Even though the air temps are dropping the water is still too warm to accomplish much from the shore. 

I have been trying lures and fake baits again.  Once this past week, I got what I thought was a bite, but since I didn't seal the deal, I can't be sure.  I do know that I scared the crap out of a big bass who was hanging out in a hole in the ledges.  He shot out of there so fast he didn't bother to take the under-ledge route and went over the top in about 8" of water.  Off into the deeper water.  Bummer.  I want to say he was about 18".  I guess he didn't appreciate the chartreuse worm I dangled in his hidey-hole. 

Here's a picture I took of the spot June 2016 when the water level was about the same:
He was hiding in the lower hole and zoomed out over that rock.

Yesterday afternoon, I went out to the go-to spot in the afternoon.  It was gloriously cloudy when I left home, but in the ten minutes it took me to get to the spot, the sun had come out.  Which was okay.  It was still pretty good and the wind was making delicious waves upon the water.  I only caught two bluegills, but I had a good time.  An osprey carrying a 7-8" bluegill flew right over the top of me, which was cool. 

A curious thing happened while I was out there that doesn't have anything to do with fishing but a great deal to do with using public lands.  As I was sitting on the ledges fishing, a couple arrived on their utility vehicle (heavy duty golf cart?).  They apologized for bothering me and then the gal tells me she's almost finished with her fire pit and the flat shelf rocks there are just perfect.  Then they proceed to load about a dozen large (12-24" diameter, 2-3" thick) rocks onto their vehicle and drive away, just as happy as clams.

Umm, steal much?

Public lands are just that - public.  Which means they are for everyone.  Not a single individual's personal use.  Part of what makes these places so pretty are all the rocks.  And now, instead of everyone getting to enjoy those rocks, they're sitting in her backyard somewhere.  I wonder if she'll let me visit them, you know since they belong to me and everyone else who pays taxes and stuff.  People like that are as bad as the ones who leave trash all over the place, in my opinion.  Respect the land, people.  Leave it like you found it, unless you're doing something to improve it.  (Cleaning up after numbnuts, cutting deadfall out of the way, moving flood detritus, etc.)  And 'public' doesn't mean you can do anything you want with it.  Technically, that land belongs to the Army Corps of Engineers, and if they think people are misusing the area, they will close it down.  Which would be a shame and seriously piss me off.

'Nuff said.  Get out sometime this week, if you can, and enjoy the Fall. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday This n That

I have a new idea.  Every time I think about eating when it isn't time to eat, I need to get up and clean something.  We'll see if I implement this today.  Either I'll have an incredibly clean house, or because I hate cleaning so much, I'll stop thinking about eating just to avoid it.  ;o)

Computer glitches irritate the crap out of me, especially when they aren't on my end and I can't do anything about them.  And I need to go figure out Google Chrome because it's giving someone else an error and I need to learn how to explain over the phone how to fix it when I have no experience with Google Chrome.  Why do computer/software companies have to make everything so damn difficult in their quest to make everything 'easy'?  Argh.

Right now, I'm reading a novel by Anne Morrow Lindbergh - Charles Lindbergh's wife.  Yeah, I didn't know she wrote fiction either.  Apparently at least 3 books, because the one I'm reading mentions two others on the cover.  I'm about halfway through this one. So far, it's pretty good.  Well written, definitely.  She really puts me in the character, if you know what I mean.  I hope it all comes together and ends well.  It would suck if this doesn't end well, since she's gotten me kind of attached to the main character.

Thinking about the above, I realized that I like reading unexpected books.  A novel by a famous aviator, a novel by a famous jockey, a mystery by a man known for SF.  And I have a novel by Winston Churchill I keep meaning to read.  By the way, if you haven't read it, Willie the Shoe's (Bill Shoemaker) novel is pretty good.  I don't have it anymore and I don't remember the title, but it shouldn't be hard to find.  Have you ever read a novel by someone you wouldn't have expected to write fiction?  It kinda tickles me.

I need a new keyboard again.  This HP one's letters rubbed off way fast.  And the space bar keeps sticking.  Bleh.  Oh, and I have to pick up a new mouse for Hubs.  His right click button only works intermittently.  Oh well, at least they aren't major purchases.  But still...

What's on your this n that radar today?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Yesterday's Negatives and Positives.

You ever have one of those mornings where it feels like someone was beating you with a big stick while you slept?  Yeah, it's one of those mornings for me.  And I didn't do anything yesterday that would warrant feeling like I'd been thrashed.

I think maybe it's the sudden drop in temperatures here combined with how totally discombobulated my body is from past thrashings.  It was 87 on Saturday and 66 on Sunday.  Bleh.  That's sure to make me feel like I've been run over by a subcompact. 

Part of it could be that I spent the majority of yesterday hunched over either my keyboard or a book.  Hunched over is not a good way to treat your body.

Oh, I did take a walk yesterday.  Which could be part of it, too, since I'm out of shape after the 7 weeks of not walking. 

On a positive note, I am so happy the temps are finally dropping.  We're still a bit above normal for this time of year, but it's way better than in the upper eighties.  I feel so much better in cooler temperatures - once my body acclimates.  Plus, lower temperatures make for better fishing.

Also, I'm happy to have spent yesterday hunched over my keyboard.  I wasn't writing, but I was working and it feels good to be productive at something - especially when the writing isn't cooperating.  And hunched over a book is always a good place to be. 

Lastly, the walk was gorgeous.  The day was cool.  The trees are starting to turn.  The birds are flitting all over and a breeze was blowing, making neat shadows on the ground.  So we walked farther than I probably should've.  :shrug:  I'd do it again and my damn ankle can just get over it.

See?  Negatives and Positives.  It's all how you look at it.  I'm still achy, but now I'm happier about the reasons. 

What are some negatives and positives for you today?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 41

Hidey-ho.  It's Sunday again.  And I'm like where did the week go?

It sure as hell didn't go to much writing.  Early Grave is stalled again - this time at 56237.  I just can't seem to get this ball rolling again.  And then yesterday a little voice in my head said, "You should've written this from Lynn's POV, not Ned's".  And I ran screaming.  After I came back, I had a mental debate with myself and considered the idea from various angles.  The decision?  It's in Ned's POV and it's staying there.  I mean, I'll put more Lynn in and everything, but the main POV in this has to be Ned's or if doesn't work.  Plus, rewriting this whole damn book would take a NaNoWriMo level of effort and I'd really like to conserve those for new books.

Speaking of NaNo... I don't know if I'm going to do anything for it this year.  I have other things I should be concentrating on next month.

Reading... I've been reading one book and I'm not done yet.  Maybe today.  It's a 400+ page SF and it's taking time.

I didn't do a fishing report yesterday because there really wasn't much to talk about.  Caught some little panfish, but nothing to blow your skirt up.

In other work, I got the direction I needed to do those spreadsheets right.  (At least I hope I got them right.  The big boss will tell me if I didn't.)  It's not hard, just a little laborious.  It'll all go faster once I get some of this stuff automatized in my head.

I'm getting the genealogy bug again.  I did a little googling, but I'm not ready to commit to a month of it (which is what I have to do once I pay for  I did find the actual name for my mom's great aunt's twin sister who died at birth, so that's something.  And where first cousin twice removed Fred is buried.  I wish I could read German, so I could access all those records to complete Dad's side of the tree.  Bleh.

I've been picking up acorns for the deer.  So many acorns this year.  Oberon - the fairy oak in my front yard - is dumping them by the bucketful all over the yard.  I predict dozens of seedlings in my gardens next spring.  Ugh.  Anyway, it's good exercise.  Or something.  I guess.

Okay, that's it for me.  Not sure what this week will hold.  What's up with you?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday This n That

I made what I thought was incredibly witty joke about Hurricane Ophelia headed for the Moors yesterday morning.  I laughed.  Hubs laughed.  Then I realized I had made a critical error in my Shakespeare.  Desdemona not Ophelia.  Derp.  Thankfully, I caught myself before I posted the wit online.  In my defense, I had only had one cup of coffee.  One should not attempt Shakespearean jokes when one is caffeine deficient.  (In his defense, Hubs was also low on coffee and also he laughs at most of my jokes - even when he isn't listening.)

Laughter really does make a marriage better.  Even when stuff gets bad, we can usually find something to laugh about.  (Good laughter - not at each other's expense.  Ever.)  Thirteen and a half years and going strong.

I saw a pair of birds while I was out at the lake on Tuesday.  They flew over me making an unholy racket similar to that of a Great Blue Heron.  Gull shaped silhouette with gull coloring against the gray sky, but about the size of an Osprey (larger than typical gull wingspan).  Still not sure what the hell they were.  :shrug:

I read a book earlier this year that I really loved, but I didn't have it in the budget to buy the sequel.  Joy of joys, the author put book two as free yesterday.  Huzzah!  And I feel really bad about not paying for it, so I'll be chatting it up after I read it.  Fingers crossed it's as good as the first book.

If you've ever tried my cake cookie recipe, try this... Make the recipe according to directions (box cake mix, 2 eggs, 1.2 cup veg oil, whatever additions you like).  Stir it all together and then instead of making drop cookies, smush it all into the bottom of a greased 8x10" pan.  Bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through in the center.  Cut into bars.  I used chocolate cake and peanut butter chips.  OMG, so good served warm with ice cream. 

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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


DNF... Did Not Finish.  Which is pretty sad, if you ask me.  I hate not finishing books - especially ones I paid for.  Bleh.

I'm pretty good about finishing the books I start.  I think that's because I'm pretty good at picking the books I grab to read.  But every once in a while, I start a book I can't or won't finish.

Sometimes it's only a page or two in.  And, most of the time, it's not because those pages didn't grab me.  Usually it's because the author has done something to irritate me in the first couple pages.  If you're already annoying me so close to the beginning, it doesn't bode well for my enjoyment of the rest of the book.  The other day I started a book and in the first few paragraphs I was like 'nope, don't want to be preached at for 400+ pages.'

Sometimes it's farther in.  That might be for various reasons - I learn something annoying that I can't get past, there are so many editing errors my brain is starting to hurt, I've discovered the main character is too stupid to live... Those kinds of things.  I DNF'd a book yesterday that was gripping and well written and the MC was smart, but the author had ratched up the squick factor so high, it was stop reading or have those scenes imprinted on my brain for all eternity.  Which was too bad because, like I said, it was a very gripping story.  :shrug:

There are books over the past 43 years I probably should not have finished for that exact reason.  They're in my head and they always will be.  (And movies I should've never watched.  :shudder:)

Anyway, I've DNF'd more books this month that usual and it's early in October yet.  That comes from trying new things, I guess.  I'm not going to stop trying new authors and new books, though.  I'll just chalk it up to being the price I pay for expanding my horizons.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, you'll almost never see exactly which books I DNF'd.  I don't review them.  And if I've already said I was reading it in Goodreads, I'll usually delete the book from my library so it doesn't look like I've DNF'd it.  Whoever the author is, they don't need that kind of negative press from me.  Chances are good that whatever made me put the book down wouldn't be the same experience for other readers. 

What makes you put a book down?  Have you had any of those recently?  (No identifying stuff about the books, please.  We're just chatting about the act of DNF'ing.)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 40?

Are there really only 12 weeks left in the year?  No, really, I have no clue.  And I'm too lazy to look it up.  If so, then wow.

Okay, last week...  Hmm...

Well, here's the thing.  I have writer's block - or as I like to call it, a case of the squirms.  I finally admitted that to myself a couple days ago.  I can't see my way through the end of this damn book.  Which pretty much means I screwed something up in the storyline somewhere along the way.  I went back and snipped some lame stuff, but that didn't help.  I thought about jumping to another story, but as long as Early Grave site there 90% finished, my brain refuses to think about anything else.  Finish this or you get nothing.  Ugh.  This will pass.  It always does.  I may just sit down and force myself to write the most outlandish ending I can think of, pages of totally weird crap, and explode my way out of the block.  We'll see.

I read three books last week.  I read another Cat Who book.  It was okay, but I'm at the point where I'm missing installments and I got a little lost with this one, having skipped one.  Oh well.  Also, Silver James' The Cowboy's Christmas Proposition released and I inhaled it.  And then I picked up a new-to-me, under appreciated author in a SF/F vein.  The Defender of Rebel Falls by Erik Christensen.  It was really interesting.  FYI, though, I had a slight formatting issue on my Kindle Fire, but it was fine on my old Kindle.  It might've been my device. Download at your own risk.

Fishing happened.  And I scored an awesome rig at the thrift store.  Nice pole with an Abu Garcia reel for only $11.25.  Yesterday, Hubs swapped my baitcaster onto the new pole and put the new/old reel on my old pole.  (The old pole needs a repair, but I have to score some superglue first.)

I went for a walk.  Not usually a task worthy of updating, but I haven't gone for a walk since I screwed up my ankle 7 weeks ago.  We didn't go super far, but it worked, so it's all good.

Sunday, I wanted to make a cake for Hubs, but he didn't want a cake, and after some thought, I didn't feel like cake either, so I made cake mix cookies.  Except I was too lazy to make them as drop cookies.  I smushed the batter into an 8x10" pan and turned out a batch of bar cookies... brownies... something.  They were awesome.  Devil's Food cake with peanut butter chips.  Warm with ice cream.  OMG. I also made spaghetti with a sauce worthy of writing it down.  Banner food week, I guess.

Okay, I think that's it.  There could've been other stuff, but I'm brain dead.  What's new with you?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 10/7/17

Hello and welcome once again to the Saturday Fishing Report brought to you today by Folgers* and Misty*.  Later this morning I might be sponsored by donuts.

Started the week out last Sunday.  Fishing in the morning.  Caught a couple little bluegills, but it was hard going. 

Tuesday - Caught 3 bluegills and a punkinseed.  All of them around 5-6".  This was the largest punkinseed I've caught here.  I had despaired of ever catching a punkinseed larger than bait, but the bigger ones have to be out there somewhere.  The 5" wasn't big enough to eat, but there's hope.

Wednesday - Caught 2 bluegills and a green sunfish.  Again, all 5-6".  If you've never seen a green sunfish, they're kind of what you might imagine happening if a perch, a bluegill, and a punkinseed had babies.  Pretty fish and good fighters.  Can't wait to catch one large enough to eat.  Last year I caught a 9" one, but I didn't know what it was at the time and I didn't want to keep something under the length limit, so I put it back.  After I got home, I looked it up online and wanted to kick myself. 

The lake water is still pretty warm and most of the bigger fish are deep.  And the ones that aren't deep aren't interested in my worms or my lures.  But I'll keep trying.

Oh!  Almost forgot.  I did go back to the thrift store and buy that rod/reel.  It was $15, but they had a 25% off sale, so I got it for $11.25.  The rod is a Southbend Eclipse and the reel is an Abu Garcia Cardinal ProMax3.  Score!  Spent time trying them out this morning and they work like a dream.  Double Score!

See ya next week.  In the meantime, get outside for a while.  Go for a drive.  Sit by a lake.  Soak up the sun.  Walk around your yard.  Something. 

*I am in no way endorsed by these brands, but without them I could not continue to be a functioning human being.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thursday This n That

I discovered the show 'Forged in Fire' recently.  I'd seen commercials for it and I thought it would be stupid, but then one day when nothing else was on, I thought I'd give it a whirl.  I love it.  "This blade will keel."  Hehehe.  The new episode on Tuesday Night - the international competition - was awesome.  Four people from different countries competing against each other to make blades and win $10K.  And they were competing while being good people.  I get so sick of competition shows where the competitors are assholes to each other.

I finally sat through most of Jurassic World last night.  I'd watched part of it before and I thought it was lame.  But I thought I'd give it a whirl - because nothing else was on.  Yep, it was still lame.  Velociraptors with cameras strapped to their heads?  Why not sea bass with lasers ala Austin Powers?  I was rooting for the dinosaurs to eat most of the characters.  I liked the one tech geek with the plastic dinosaurs on his desk and the black guy assistant to the hero.  I know the tech geek lived and I hope the other dude lived, too.  Everyone else deserved to get munched upon for they are crunchy and good even without ketchup.  I had hoped BD Wong's helicopter would get eaten by the big fish-dino, but no such luck - thus setting up the chance at another sequel that should never ever be made.  Dr. Crichton had to be spinning in his grave over this one.

I was out at the lake the other day when this young dude stumbled upon me, much to his surprise.  He recovered well, but as he was attempting to make unnecessary small talk, he happened to say 'the lake is really low right now'.  I couldn't help myself - I scoffed aloud.  (I have a bad habit of scoffing aloud.)  After he shot me a look, I explained the reality of it - the lake is normal right now at 916, low was earlier in the year when it was 906 - which probably didn't help my case.  Then he said 'oh yeah, it was really low last summer' - which didn't help his case.  If he knew it was way lower last year, why did he say it was low now???  :eyeroll: Uncle Hank preserve me from inane small talk.

Another time I was at the lake and a couple of older women rolled up in their all terrain vehicle.  They asked how the fishing was going and I told them I'd caught a few little bluegills.  One of them said 'well, that's something', to which I replied 'yeah, it's better than getting skunked'.  Then the lady said "And there's less stink."  And we all laughed.  That kind of small talk I can deal with.

I run across some odd people.  About two months ago, I arrived at the bait shop and parked beside a car that looked as if it had been in some kind of major roll over accident.  Inside, a heavyset, grungy looking dude was chatting with my bait gal.  I walked back and got my worms.  When I took them to the register, the dude said goodbye and left, at which point my gal thanks me profusely for showing up when I did.  I didn't think anything of it until later.  Anyway, dude gets into his craptastic car with the shattered windshield and drives off.  I thanked my lucky stars he went the opposite direction from where I was going.  I realized later that bait gal was thanking me for my presence because it encouraged the dude to leave.  Flash forward to today.  I'm driving home from fishing and I see the dude driving toward me!  The car looked exactly the same!  Shattered windshield, missing bumpers, doors caved in.  :shudder:  How he hasn't been stopped and ticketed and had that piece of crap towed away is beyond me.

Okay, you've stuck with me this long and I thank you, but I'll let you get back to your day.  Have an awesome one!  And tell me what little this-n-thats you have for me.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Problem of Basic Philosophy

I really had intended to post yesterday.  Then I woke up and read the news. 

I'm still kind of stalled.  There are things I could say.  I could rant and rail and shriek.  I could wave my arms.  I was silent yesterday.  Pissed, but silent.  Because as angry as I am, there is nothing I can do.  There's not really anything any of us can do.

In no time at all, there were people screaming about outlawing guns.  (And apparently, according to a famous woman, silencers because silencers kill more people somehow.)  Yeah, that's worked so well in places where there is already anti-gun legislation.  Anyone sufficiently motivated to slaughter other people really isn't going to give a rat's furry white ass about the legality of acquiring weapons.  And if all guns were suddenly disappeared from the planet, they would build bombs out of common household items and slaughter people that way.  Or knives.  Or sticks and rocks.  Their bare hands... You get the drift.

It's not a problem of weapons.  It's a problem of basic philosophy.

And that's a problem that took decades to create, so it will take decades to fix.  If there was actually any kind of impetus to fix the problem, that is.  I don't honestly think there is. 

I certainly don't know how to do it.  I'm sure y'all don't know the answer either.  We all live our lives to the best of our abilities.  We've raised our children as well as we could.  We live lives of obeying the laws, keeping our hands to ourselves, and valuing our fellow man - sometimes even when he's being a shithead.  We're nice to strangers, or if we can't be nice, we're civil.  

How to convey that kind of philosophy to the growing number of shitheads and whackadoodles escapes me.

The only other way to stop things like this from happening is to live in a total police state where everything we do and everything we say is watched, and everything is outlawed but the things the state deems 'safe'.  I'm not willing to go there.

Actually, for the foreseeable future, I'm not willing to go anywhere.  No cities.  No crowds of people beyond what I encounter at Wallyworld - and even then, I'm constantly vigilant.  No freeways.  No airplanes.  No parks.  No monuments.  If you want to see us, you'll have to come here because we sure as hell aren't going there.  And if we want to see the sights, we have the internet.  With some of the technology out there, we can walk around pretty much anyplace we'd like to see without leaving the comfort and safety of our home.

Yes, the writer has gone full hermit.  See you around the interwebs - because the outside world has a profusion of bad philosophy and I want to live.

Stay safe out there, my friends.  :hugs:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 39

It's Sunday again.  I have not had enough coffee.  I always say I'm going to write these posts Saturday night, but I never do and so here you are again having to deal with me on too little caffeine and not enough sleep.  Oh, joy.

Heh, be glad you're out there and not actually here. 

Anywhohahway, I did some writing last week.  About 5K words worth.  Then I hit a snag where the lead up to the climax was super duper lame and I'd written myself into 'the corner of no return' and I couldn't see my way to the climax.  I've been trying to write notes to myself to jiggle something loose.  I think I might've figured it out so I can write tonight.  It's lame, too, but at least I can get words on the page.  I can fix lame later.

Not much writerly happened otherwise. 

I read some stuff.  The Time Machine by HG Wells and The Cat Who Tailed a Thief by Lillian Jackson Braun.  Then I started a couple books and put them down because meh.  I picked up an old paperback by Phyllis Whitney I'd recently bought and was looking forward to reading, only to find the first ten pages are missing.  Argh.  I grabbed a Terry Brooks I'd snagged at the thrift store only to find it was the third book and it started poorly.  So, last night I grabbed another Cat Who - even though I just finished a Cat Who because when you're in a reading slump, read something familiar.  And wouldn't you know it, I've reached the point in my collection where I'm missing installments, so this one started and I was immediately lost in the bits and bobs of things from books I haven't read yet.  Bleh.

Mid-week I got the brilliant idea to sweep the driveway and pick up acorns along the way.  After about 30-45 minutes, I ended up with a leafless one-third of the driveway and about a quarter ice cream tub worth of acorns.  I piled the acorns down at the back of the yard for the deer.  Took less than five minutes for one deer to Hoover that pile right up.  Not so much as a thank you.  Hmph. At least I got some exercise and I did make one deer very happy.

Speaking of exercise, I really need to start back on my 'do something active every day' thing because this summer saw a gradual enlarging of this writer.  I'm about halfway back to my top weight (before I lost that 14 lbs) and I really need to reverse the slide.  I blame the ankle thing and the chocolate Twinkies.  To the 'do something active' thing, I deep cleaned the bathroom yesterday and the acorn thing the other day.  I went fishing, too, but that was mostly sitting on rocks watching a bobber.  I need to get up and move for it to count.

Okay, that's more than enough out of me for now.  How about you?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 9/30/17

Good morning and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report. 

This last week of September had temperatures start out hot and then fall almost into line with the averages for this time of year.  We're still running above normal, but it's something.  The water, naturally, is still warm.  And the water is still filled with baitfish for the larger fish to eat.  I walked by a little cove in the rocks yesterday and hundreds of little bluegills freaked out.  The bass are eating good and don't want my measly worms and my fake food. 

Having said that, though, here's how my week shook out...

Sunday - got out early.  Checked the park, but it was full of people, so I went to a spot on the main lake.  Caught one 8" 6oz bluegill I kept, a smaller bluegill, and a little punkinseed, and a whole lot of sun.  Thank goodness for 50 spf or I'd be a crispy critter.

Wednesday - went out a little later in the morning to the park.  Nobody there and I found a place to park that shouldn't get the authorities khakis in a wad.  I ended up on my favorite ledges.  Yay.  I caught two big bluegills - 8" 6oz and 8.5" 7oz.  I also caught a little green sunfish.

Friday - Nice cool morning, so off I went.  Some clouds, too, which is always nice.  Didn't catch a damn thing.  But I saw an osprey.  And I found some gal's smartphone.  I eventually got it returned to her, so it's all good. 

As an aside, how does a gal with ratty clothes, the nastiest set of teeth I've seen in a while, and a crap-ass pickup truck that took 5 times before it started afford a brand new Samsung Galaxy phone?   And when she came to pick up her phone from me, she was holding another smart phone.  Ummmm.  I guess it's all about priorities.  :shrug:

As another aside, I saw a really awesome fishing pole at the thrift store this week.  $15.  It wasn't in the budget, so I put it back.  Which brings me around to a point I want to make - that doesn't have anything to do with financial choices, btw.  If you want to fish, but you can't afford to fish, check out your local thrift stores.  I've gotten two rod/reel combos at mine for under $5.  This one here had a whole bunch of soft fake baits available.  Sometimes they have tackle boxes and lures.  Sometimes you can find coolers and nets and floats and lifejackets.  It's all a matter of keeping your eyes peeled.

And that's it for me this week.  If you can, get out and enjoy the cooler weather before it turns into cold weather.  ;o)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Reading Round-Up

Thanks to my friend, Silver James, for suggesting I do a sort of end of the month round up about the new-to-me/underappreciated books I've read.

September I read two books that qualified.

Bewitch Me by Amelia Blake (9/10/17) - YA Paranormal*#
The blurb:
"A messed-up magic spell, three clueless witches, and a six-thousand-year-old demon. What could possibly go wrong?

My name is Emily Fairchild and in all my sixteen years I never imagined that magic was real. That is until my best friend discovered a mysterious notebook filled with runes and magic spells, and the most popular girl in school turned out to be a real-life witch.

As a result of a horrible magical accident, we’re now stuck with a six-thousand-year-old demon who acts like a twelve year old with a really bad attitude and is trapped in our dimension.

And somehow it’s all my fault. So, until we figure out how to get rid of him, I have to babysit a demon who now lives in my room, reads my diary, eats all my food, and stalks blonde underwear models online.

How did my life ever get so complicated?"

I gave it 5 stars.

My review: Fun read, even if the little sister, Chloe, was so annoying I wanted someone to turn her into a frog. Or a dung beetle. Or whatever. But I liked the other characters and it was nice to escape into this book for a while. I can't wait to see what happens to the gang next.


Caught In Between by Allison L. Perry (9/14/17) - YA Paranormal*#
The blurb:
"She’s not like the others…

Sixteen-year-old Sadie is a vampire who faints at the sight of blood, trips over her own feet, and can only, at best, be called cute.

As the imperfect middle child in a perfect vampire family, she struggles to fit into a world where she is different from everyone else.

Forced to follow her parents’ wishes by attending University, the local finishing school for graceful young vampires, she soon becomes the laughingstock of her oh-so-perfect class. But when the most popular boy on campus comes to her rescue and calls her “beautiful,” Sadie becomes the target of a group of mean girls who rule the school.

Plagued by a series of embarrassing failures, Sadie is kicked out of University and must face reality: she doesn’t belong with vampires. And when a mysterious elder vampire seeks her out with vague and cryptic conversation, she’s even more convinced that something is amiss.

With no other acceptable choice for her future, Sadie must convince her traditional vampire parents to let her do something unheard of for vampires her age. But questions continue to plague her. Is she truly a vampire? Or is she something else?"

I gave it 5 stars.

My review: This was totally awesome. I could really step into Sadie's shoes - even though she's a vampire - and remember what it was like to be different from the other teens. Sure, Sadie's got some problems unique to being a different kind of vampire - like being allergic to blood - but it was easy to feel a sort of camaraderie with her. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of this series and more from this author.

Both books were free at the time I snagged them, but always check prices before you buy.  I was really glad I downloaded and read both of these.  So much fun!  I have a couple of SF/Dystopian books I've downloaded for next month.  We'll see how that goes.

Now here's the point where you get to talk.  Have you read anything new-to-you lately?  Tell me about it.