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 Ancestry.com).  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

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.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursday This n That

Yesterday, I had a message on my machine from my doctor's office "...I need you to call us as soon as possible" and no reason why.  So I, of course, began the freak out process.  Whatever could it be?  It's not time for my shot.  I haven't had any tests lately.  Was it something to do with my last bill?  Did they stop taking my insurance?  Argh.  I picked up the phone right then and called.  It was to reschedule my appointment in November.  I told her she could've said that on the machine, and she reminded me of HIPAA.  I get HIPAA rules and everything, but I signed that paper saying they could leave a message and another paper saying Hubs can have access to everything.  They know it's just the two of us here - it's not that big an office and I make myself hard to forget (in a friendly way).  Ugh.  I bet next time it'll be the same dealie-bob, even though I told her she could leave more details.  I guess it's just one more thing I'll have to get over.

I mentioned before that I had a business proposition in the works.  Nothing major.  Like I'm not getting a non-writing, outside the house job or anything.  My family owns a business up in Michigan and my brother offered me an opportunity.  I didn't take it as is.  I have too much writing and life stuff to commit to anything so involved.  But I did agree to a modified version.  It'll make me a little scratch and help Mom out tons, with only some spreadsheet work here and there.  As the scratch accumulates, I'll have money for covers and editing, so look out world.  LOL

The great thing about Kindle Unlimited is that I got to watch someone read the entire Once Upon a Djinn series over the course of two days.  Tuesday they started reading WIOH and I watched the graph for that rise, then IDW, then UWC.  They finished WHTF last night.  Which was totally cool. 

I saw a bald eagle yesterday!  I hope this means the migration for them has begun.  We do have the occasional sighting throughout the year, but when they've migrated to here for the winter, we see tons.  Yay!

The cat is doing better.  No barfing since Tuesday and she actually ate a little dry food this morning.  (She's been eating wet, but less than usual.)  Whatever upset her tummy must be over.  :fingers crossed:

Well, that's it for me.  Have at it yourself in the comments. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tell Me Something Good

Yesterday was a wash.  I woke up late - which is to say around 6 - and frittered away the first two hours on nothing.  Then I remembered that I'd better pay bills or they wouldn't make it to where they needed to be on time.  After paying bills, I did my Monday morning phone call with Mom, which involved some businessy things wherein not a whole lot got accomplished but we did manage to figure out what questions to ask so we can accomplish something soon.  (Part of that business venture thing I mentioned a while back.)  Then I went to Wallyworld and KFC - because sometimes you just need some fried chicken, ya know. 

The rest of the day?  Got me.  I read stuff.  I watched stuff on TV.  Nothing really got accomplished.

This morning I was awakened at quarter after 3 by the sound of Kira puking.  Fun fun.  I still have to clean the carpet.  For now, there are towels over the offending spots so we don't accidentally step on anything.  Yeah, I know, ew, but I am not scrubbing the carpet this early on too little caffeine.  She did this Sunday morning while I was fishing, too.  Both bedroom carpets.  Hubs cleaned up and laid towels.  I scrubbed the carpet when I got home because ew.  This morning, she only got the office carpet, but in several places.  Why on the carpet when like half the house is hard floor, I'll never know.

Not sure what Kira's problem is - and no, she never gets any fried chicken.  I learned that one the hard way years ago.  I'll monitor her today and see if she needs to visit the vet tomorrow.  I dread taking her to the vet.  She's agoraphobic and she gets motion sick.  More ew on top of kitty angst.  Driving down the road listening to mournful meows punctuated by barfing.  yay

I really should invest in that carpet cleaner I saw on sale.  If it's still on sale. 

As you can see, I'm not really Perky Polly this morning.  But that's life.  I probably should go back to bed.  I just don't want to lay back down only to be awakened by the sickening wet cough again. 

Tell me something good.  Maybe if I go back to bed, I can awaken to your good things and start this week over. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 38

Well, it's that time again.  Sunday. 

Wish Hits the Fan is out in the world, so I spent some time doing marketing stuff for that.

I got back to writing on Early Grave finally.  Only about 3K more words on it so far, but I think I have the thread picked up again, so it's all good. 

Read two books last week - another Cat Who book and a SF.  I also picked up a couple more free books by new to me authors on Amazon, but I went with a classic instead - The Time Machine by HG Wells.  I can't believe I'd never read it. 

The weather's been too unseasonably hot to go fishing much.  I'm still sticking to places I can get to easily and where I can sit.  That means baking on the rocks and I'm totally not into that.  Plus, the fish are still deep.  Maybe I'll go see if I can drown some worms today.  I need to flush the brain pipes.

The fawns have all lost their spots.  They're like little 'mini-me' versions of the does.  We also saw a buck we hadn't seen.  We're guessing he's a two-year old.  We still have the two yearling bucks - Sym and Oliver.  (Sym because his antlers are symmetrical and Oliver because he was a scrawny orphan.)  They both look good.  We also still have the Sisters - older twin does who travel together.  And we have a scattering of other does.  Haven't seen any of the older bucks yet, but the rut will be starting and they'll stop by to check out the ladies.

Well, that's about it for me.  How was your week?


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 9/23/17

Hi All and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report, such as it is.  The weather took a major turn toward the hot and the fish are still deeper than I can go from the bank.

Having said that, though, I did go out on Tuesday morning.  I fished for a couple hours.  Caught 4 bluegills, one green sunfish, and two small spotted bass.  Nothing big enough to keep, but it was better than getting skunked. 

I'm seeing scads of bait fish and small panfish along the ledges.  I'm also seeing a boatload of turtles - all makes and models.  I'd also like to say it's been a banner year for seeing snakes in the water.  I'm thinking it all has something to do with the flood, but I don't know that for certain. 

Checking out the local fishing reports tells me what I suspect - the fish are deep and they really aren't that interested in the food I'm presenting them because the lake is filled with shad and the bass are gorging themselves on those.

I may go out today because I'm getting cabin fever.  I don't expect to catch anything of note, but like I've said before that's not the only goal of my fishing excursions.  Sure, I'd like to catch fish to bring home and eat, but if I don't, it ain't no thing. 

Well, that's it for me.  I hope y'all have an awesome week and get out into nature at some point.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday This n That

The other night, I was trying to figure out what to read next.  I'd just given up on the time-travel romance and I couldn't decide.  So, I downloaded some free, new-to-me books.  But reading on the Kindle wasn't blowing my skirt up.  I keep meaning to read some more of that Andre Norton collection I bought years ago, but I never know which ones are parts of series or even what order they're in or anything.  This lead me to a bibliography of everything she'd ever written.  Holy crap, the woman was prolific.  I printed the list out and sat down at my bookcase.  It took me about a half hour to sort through them all and get them in some semblance of order.  I sorted them by series and publication date.  Then I picked up the earliest 'single title' - Huon of the Horn.  But it's a historical with SF/F elements and I wasn't in the mood.  Next up in the single titles was Dread Companion - a straight SF.  So far, so weird.  It makes me wonder if Andre was smoking something.  We'll see if I stick with it.

One thing I did discover, though, is that most of this collection is comprised of first edition paperbacks.  Way cool.  I think a couple might be rare.  Even cooler.

I did this same thing earlier this year with my collection of Mickey Spillanes.  And wouldn't you know it, I don't have all of them or even all of any particular series.  Same with the Andre Nortons.  Ack.

The problem with collecting old books... well, one of them anyway... is that I'm not quite sure in my head which ones I have or which ones I need, so I end up buying by author name and hoping I'm not duplicating.  Unfortunately, this is how I ended up with two old copies of The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles.  Which I discovered when I reorganized my bookshelves a while back.

Oh, well.  They're books.  And they're old.  And I love them.

Heh, I didn't start out to make this an all 'book collecting' edition of this-n-that, but there it is.  Anything you want to add?  Do you collect books by any particular authors? 



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cold Turkey

I quit football cold turkey this year.

I can't watch it anymore.  I can't watch a game where I don't respect the players or their institutions.

It's not just the whole kneeling for the national anthem thing - although that's part of it.  It's the outright criminals who have played and are allowed to play.  The wife beaters and the animal abusers and the thieves and the addicts... Ugh.  It's the universities that are so leftist I want to gag.  It's the college athletes I loved who go pro and turn into thugs.  It's the cheaters who are allowed to get away with it and the fans who celebrate the cheating...  Anything to win, right?

Meh.  I'm done.

That first weekend of college ball, which has always been my favorite, was hard.  Me, the gal who would jump between several games all day long on Saturdays and watch the U of M games with abandon, didn't watch a minute of any of it.  And I got a little twitchy.  This was the third weekend and it does get better.  Although, missing Sunday night's Packer game was still hard.

Like any addiction, I didn't expect quitting to be easy.  I still look at the scores sometimes, but I'm weaning myself off that stuff, too.  (Although, seeing that OU had beaten the crap out of the Buckeyes did brighten my day.)  I still follow the Packers on FB, because it's the PACKERS for petesakes.  And the Packers organization hasn't done anything to make me want to gag - as far as I know.* I still wear my U of M sweatshirts.  Think of those as hearkening back to the days of Bo, when the university didn't suck and football was pure.  Kind of an 'in memorium' thing.

I don't know if I'll ever go back to being a rabid fan of football again.  Maybe someday if it ever gets back to where it was.  I don't see that happening.  For now, I'll say no and find something else to do with my fall weekends.  Let's hope I'm over the whole thing before this year's bowl games, or I may need a rubber room and a pile of chocolate to combat the DTs.  ;o)

Update: Yeah, the Packers are out, too.  Bastards.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 37

Hi there.  Another week has rolled by.  Here's what happened...

Wish Hits the Fan is now live and available for your enjoyment.  Wish in One Hand is still free thru tomorrow.  In Deep Wish and Up Wish Creek are still 99c/.99p thru Thursday.  The hope is that people who picked up WIOH for free will want to purchase the other books shortly thereafter.  Anyway, the books have been selling together over the weekend so far, which is good.  And the ads seem to be doing their jobs and paying for themselves.  One more ad will go out tomorrow and Tuesday.  WIOH actually hit #34 on the Amazon free Paranormal/Urban Fantasy list Friday - an obscenely hard to reach list, btw.  So, it's a win.

I haven't done much of anything else with regard to writing or writerly pursuits - just marketing.

Still waiting on my paperback proof for WHTF.  I paid extra to get it here Friday.  It shipped Thursday.  Not sure what the hell, but if I don't see it tomorrow, I'm contacting Createspace.  Seriously.  

I went fishing once last week.  Caught some panfish, but nothing worth writing about, hence no Saturday Fishing Report.  This coming week ain't looking any better.  Hot and sunny.  Bleh.

The reading has been going pretty good.  I actually read 5 books last week.  Three of those were by 'new to me' authors.  One had no stars on Amazon =o(.  Well, it has one review now.  It was pretty awesome, so if you're interested in YA paranormal, check out Bewitch Me by Amelia Blake.  Also, if you're into those kinds of books, Caught in Between by Allison L. Perry was amazing, too. 

Bow season started here on Friday.  Crossing fingers none of our deer get culled. 

Well, that's about all I have to say this morning.  I hope you all had an awesome week and will have a great week ahead of you.  :hugs: 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Release Day is Finally Here!

Cross posted with Outside the Box...

When I first started writing the first genie book (Djinn-ocide... which would eventually become Wish Hits the Fan) back in September of 2009, I really had no idea where it would go.  I thought maybe I could make a series out of it someday and maybe it would land me an agent and a publishing contract.

LOL, well, we all know where that last part of the vision went, don't we?

I self-published Wish in One Hand in August of 2015.  A little over two years later, the fourth and final book in the Once Upon a Djinn series is available for the general public to read.  Yay!

I'm super stoked that all the books are together.  And I really I hope you all enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Here they are...

Wish in One Hand

In Deep Wish

Up Wish Creek

Wish Hits the Fan

Not quite sure what's up next.  I'm going to enjoy this for a little while, I think.  All four books together.  Finally.

Whew.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday This n That

I read something in the news the other morning that said you shouldn't read news in the morning. 

Okay, now that I've let that sink in for a moment, because it sounds like a Steven Wright bit and I like Steven Wright, I'll admit that it's probably a good idea to not read the news in the morning.  Especially right now when everything is so farqued up.

Speaking of farqued up, last night I had someone try to school me in the intricacies of FB in a most condescending way.  I almost replied back and then I remembered my personal pledge to not engage.  And then I remembered that life is too short and she'd been kind of irritating me for a while.  So I AllisonAnderson'd* her. 

Allison Anderson was a neighbor of mine a long time ago.  She was a drunk who would come home after she closed out the bar and turn her stereo all the way up, thereby waking me up and making it impossible to go back to sleep.  (I suspect she often passed out with her stereo on.)  She would also crank her stereo up and leave in the middle of the day when I was trying to write.  And she'd mow her lawn at midnight.  And stand on her front lawn screaming obscenities at her parents who lived across the street. It was her friends who left their motorhome running in her driveway** so that my house filled up with carbon monoxide that one day. Yeah, her.  So, since I couldn't kill her like I wanted to, I pretended she had ceased to exist.  In my head, I walled her away.  No more interactions of any kind.  And then we moved, which was awesome.  And then I heard she'd overdosed and died one night. 

Speaking of horrible people who died, I had a nightmare about an old ex of mine and the next day I learned that his mother was dead.  And I celebrated.  When I told my mother, she said something like 'we shouldn't celebrate when people die' and then she laughed because she knows what I went through with Mama Frankenstein and the monster she created. Seeing the ex's obituary would be icing on the cake, but no such luck yet.

Yes, I am bloodthirsty.  No, I have not based any characters on him.  Don't bother looking.  He ain't there.

Oh, and before I forget, Wish in One Hand is free now through the 18th.  In Deep Wish is .99 here and in the UK through the 21st.  So is Up Wish Creek.  Throw in Wish Hits the Fan (releasing tomorrow) and you can get the entire series for under $5.

What's up with you today?

*I refer to the maneuver of ignoring someone so completely it's like they're dead to me as the 'AllisonAnderson'.

** Yes, I did use the motorhome thing in Accidental Death. If you get that close to being snuffed out, you might as well use it in your writing, eh?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Trying Something Fun

Okay, so you all probably know I've been committing myself to reading books by people I'm unfamiliar with and then, if I like the books, I review the books.  I do it here and there throughout the year, and I mark the books on my Reading List with a # so you can see which ones they were.

Over the weekend, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to read.  Scads of hardcopy books on the shelves, scads of downloaded books on the Kindles and nothing was perking my interest.  So, I got an idea.

I went to the Top 100 Free book lists.  First I went to the Top 100 Free of all books, but nothing was blowing my skirt up.  Then I went to the Top 100 Free Paranormal.  I scanned down the list looking for covers and titles that sounded interesting.  When I found one, I went to the page for that book and read the blurb.  If it sounded like something I wanted to read, I downloaded it.  I picked up one right away.

During this process, though, I got a better idea.  Find books with few or no reviews and read those.  That was a little harder because often the covers or titles or whatever didn't thrill me enough to click through.  But I found two. 

The first one I read didn't have any reviews at all at Amazon and the one review it had at Goodreads was 'I liked it'.  Which is sad because it was a fun book. 

You know, it occurs to me this morning, I don't even bother reviewing books on Amazon by current popular authors anymore.  They have thousands of reviews.  Neither they nor their readers need mine.  Unpopular and unknown authors need reviews. 

So, here's my challenge to you all.  Find a book with 10 or fewer reviews that you think you might enjoy.  Read it.  And if you like it, review it.  (I say 'if you like it' because we're doing this to help authors who may be struggling and bad reviews don't help.  And in these cases, bad reviews aren't really helping readers either.  They're already not buying these books, why give them another reason?)

And just in case someone stops buy who needs clarification, I am not advocating giving good reviews to bad books.  Or books you haven't read or anything.  Read it, like it, review it.  Personally, I don't finish books I don't like and I don't review books I haven't finished.

Easy peasy.  You find a book you like and maybe you get a new author to read, and you give them a boost because maybe they're so down about the lack of reviews they're contemplating not writing any more books.  Win win.

Just a thought.  Anyone in on this?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Update - Week What?

Hey, Everyone.  Thanks for stopping by. 

It's Sunday morning and I'm caffeine deprived.  But let's see if I can rebuild the week anyway...

I haven't done any writing or editing this past week because I was preparing for Wish Hits the Fan's book launch and all that.  I did get the book loaded for pre-order and all that.  I was really working up a storm on pre-release stuff.  Then Thursday hit and I fell apart and I still haven't gotten back to work.  Today.

I read three books last week - Silver James' Assassin's Moon, Night Without End by Alistair MacLean, and Postmortem by Patricia Cornwall.  All very exciting books. 

Fishing was bleh.  But still very necessary.  Unfortunately, I think fishing on Thursday was what derailed me. 

The fawns are losing their spots and the bucks are losing their velvet and all of the deer are losing their summer coats.  Fall is here even though it's not really yet. 

After dealing with Kira's allergies for years, I decided to tackle them.  I ordered some stuff from Vetericyn - ear wash and eye wash.  (She gets itchy eyes and ears.)  It only arrived a couple days ago, but it already seems to be helping.  I had bought some wound care stuff of theirs years ago for Max and it worked like a dream.  Why I didn't get this other stuff earlier is beyond me.  (Maybe because it ain't cheap, but then again, trips to the vet for eye goo that never really worked well wasn't cheap either.) 

Postcards for the Once Upon a Djinn series arrived.  The first batch went out yesterday.  The next batch will go out later - because some of them are to people in FL and with Irma... Well, we'll see what happens.  I also handed out my first one of these and the gal at the feed store was suitably impressed.  (I already know she's a reader, so she gets swag when I stop there.)  I told her and I'll tell you, if you haven't already bought these books, don't buy them now.  Wait until the 15th, when they'll all be on sale and available.  You can get all 4 books for under $5 then.

Of course, if you want to get them now so you can start reading, they're still pretty inexpensive at $2.99 ea. 

Today I have to finish updating the back matter for AD, NC, and BF.  Then I have to upload WHTF to Createspace.  Then I have to futz with UWC.  And I have some advertising I have to get in by Tuesday for a Friday newsletter.  Address more postcards.  And finally, tonight, I plan to get back to work on Early Grave.

Ugh, I need more coffee.

What's up in your world?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 9/9/17

Hello all, and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.  Sorry it's been light, but it's summer fishing from the bank, so you really can't expect too much.  All the fish are dining deeper than I can get to with my rig.

Tuesday - Went out to the main lake near a public boat ramp around 8:30a.  It was overcast and slightly windy and cool.  I almost caught a turtle, but other than that, nada.  I did try out my new camp stool.  Yep, it's a stool.  If you're looking for something light and cheap to sit on, Wallyworld's got 'em for like $9.  Holds up to around 225lbs.  The only issue is if you sit on it for long enough, the bars on either side of the seat pressing into your butt can cause discomfort. 

Thursday - Back out to my go-to spot at around 8am.  It was sunny and cool.  After about an hour it got warm enough to chuck the jacket and the sweatshirt.  Then I had to slather on the sunblock because those ledges are perfect for gathering sunlight.  I caught one little bluegill.  And lost a worm on a Texas rig when it got hooked up on the rocks. 

After I left the go-to spot, I stopped by the park.  The new hosts are there.  I chatted with the gal, welcomed her to the area, and thanked her.  She seemed nice.  Then again, Barney Fife seemed nice when I did the same thing with him at the beginning.  :shrug:  I'll tell ya one thing, the bathroom was WAY cleaner with her around then with those guys.  Not that it was gross, but it needed to be wiped down and all the dead bugs needed to be swept out on a regular basis.  Ew. 

Then I drove around the park.  Only two camping spots were being used in the entire park.  But several were marked reserved.  I grouse about people being in the park, but I recognize that I need them in the park or they'll close the park again.  And I would have a sad.  Fingers crossed the rest of the weekends this season are banner for them in there.

That's it for me today.  Get outside this week sometime if you can and I'll see ya next week. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thursday This n That

Today's bird of the day is a toucan.  I having a feeling that I'll be quietly craving Froot Loops (tm) all day.

I saw a quote this morning that said something along the lines of 'the mistakes you never made are the ones you regret the most'.  I call bullshit on that one.  I don't have any regrets about not moving to Australia - a goal of mine back when I was like 16.  That would've been a HUGE mistake.  And I have absolutely no regrets about never getting into drugs.  Oh, sure, I tried pot when I was in college.  Regret that seriously since its effects on me were extreme technicolor yawning.  Massive, major, 'I will never ever forget that' ralphing. So much so that even a brain injury could not wipe that memory away.  Fun, fun.

This lead, of course, to a conversation in which Hubs and I tried to figure out once again why people do drugs.  Which reminded me a Robin Williams bit from his 'Live at the Met' show.  "Cocaine.  Anything that makes you paranoid and impotent, give me more of that."  I seriously don't get it.  Well, maybe a little.  I was a serious drinker once upon a time, and looking back, I figured out I was drinking so heavily because I was trying to blank out from everything.  I got over it.  Maybe if people spent more time using their brains instead of trying to blank them out, they'd be better off.  :shrug:

Unfortunately, this conversation also led to me mentioning that Lewis Carroll had to be doing some serious drugs when he wrote Alice in Wonderland, which led to me thinking of that silly song from the Disney movie about the momraths.  And now it's stuck in my head.

The fall bird migration has begun here in the Ozarks and we're seeing the travelers in the yard.  So far, mainly warblers.  Yesterday we had a cerulean warbler and two yellow-rumped warblers.  So pretty.  And so small.  You really have to be paying attention to see those buggers.

It's also gotten cooler this week.  Yay!  I'm actually wearing socks and sweatpants this morning.  And a sweatshirt!  =o)

What's up in your this-n-that world today?

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 35

Helloooo.

The coffee is strong this morning and the nicotine is flowing.  And I think I actually slept last night, which is weird as hell.  But enough about that.

Edits for Wish Hits the Fan are done.  Today is for formatting.  If I get it done, I may upload today.  Definitely uploading tomorrow at the latest.  Which means I will be outside the ten day window for setting books to 'pre-order' on Amazon.  Yay!  Then I can forget about it - well, except for marketing and junk - and get back to writing Early Grave again.

Last week, I read The Great Escape (yes, the one the movie is based on) and it was most excellent.  I cried, of course.  Then I read The Black Fawn by Jim Kjelgaard (the author of Big Red) and it was also most excellent.  And I cried.  Then my edits came back and I stopped reading to get this done.  Next up on my reading to-do list is Silver James' Assassin's Moon.  Squee!

I went fishing a little.

In case anyone wants an update on my ankle, it's still there.  The bruising is gone.  It's still a little twingy from time to time.  Thanks to you all for your concern last week.  I'm still taking it easy.  Well, as easy as I can take anything.

Along those lines, we got the weeding done for the year.  Any weeds grow and they get a reprieve until spring.  I really do hate weeding.  But I really do love how nice the yard looks when we're done.  So I guess we'll keep doing it.

We now have 5 fawns in the herd.  This last one arrived with a couple dark colored does and it has almost no spots left.  Wherever they came from, they're ready for fall.

And we lost a baby raccoon this week.  It died of unknown causes in our back yard.  I suspect snake bite, because it didn't actually look sick or injured.  Of course, I didn't do a full on investigation.  Hubs buried it for me while I was out shopping.

Well, I guess that's it for me.  What it for you?

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 9/2/17

Welcome once again to the Saturday Fishing Report. 

It was a super sunny week last week, which for me means less than optimal fishing.  I've heard from various local fishing reports that the fish are still pretty deep - well, too deep for bank fishing anyway.  Oh, well.  Part of the lure of fishing - pardon the pun - is being outside in nature letting the wind and the sun and the rain or whatever clear my head.

My ankle's still not 100% so I'm limited to where I can go.  1) not too far a walk from the car and 2) someplace with natural seating of some kind.  Luckily, my go-to spot covers those.  Unluckily, it's also an east facing rock ledge, so when it's sunny, I bake.

I went out to the go-to spot around 8am on Tuesday.  It was a cool morning and there was a nice breeze.  I slathered SPF 50 on and sat on the ledges drowning worms.  Nothing was biting except for the little worm-stealers. 

Hubs and I went out Thursday afternoon from 3-6pm.  I caught a 12" spotted bass on a worm.  He caught a little bitty spot on a lure.  The fish was only about 2" bigger than the lure LOL. He also caught a little bluegill and I caught a little spot.  It was a gorgeous day, so it's all good.

Since it's now Labor Day Weekend, we'll be staying home for the duration. 

Oh, and the next time I go out, I don't need to worry so much about going someplace with natural seating, since Hubs convinced me to buy a little camp stool.  It's lightweight and seems durable.  It also has a strap to carry it over my shoulder, too, so while it is one more thing to carry in addition to my pole, my tackle box, and my go-bag, it's shouldn't be that big a deal. 

In other happy news, the Barney Fife park host was supposedly being moved to another park this past week.  Fingers crossed he's really gone.  Then I can fish in peace again.  I still won't be parking where I was, but now I won't be jumping every time I hear the golf cart making its rounds.  I heard he was rousting other people, too.  Told one gal she couldn't even use the picnic tables in the park unless she was a paying camper.  That's just nuts.  There's nothing anywhere to indicate that's a thing.  I think he was just a sad man who felt better when he was pushing people around.  Or maybe pushing women around made him feel important.  :shrug:  Buh-bye to you, dorkbutt.

Well, that's it for me.  Not sure what next week will bring.  I'm on deadline with my writing again, so I have to focus on that.  And there's the holiday.  Campers... ew.   Get out and about in nature if you get a chance.  See ya next week.  =o)


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday This n That

My computer's starting to make weird noises when I have certain web pages open.  Not sure what that's all about.  Too much of a load, I guess.  :shrug:

We had a new group of dark colored deer show up in the yard a couple days ago.  They all appear to have shed their summer coats already and the fawn traveling with them has no spots.  =oO

In case you missed it, a couple weeks ago I had a run-in with the park host wherein he went all Barney Fife on me.  I have since learned that other locals have also had run-ins with that particular park host.  And I also learned he is being moved out of this park to another park for the remainder of the season.  The move was supposed to be yesterday, so we'll see.  He really needs to find somewhere more suited to his personality.  We're way laid back here and I don't think he had the temperament.

Yesterday when Hubs and I were finishing weeding, he called me over to where he was working to look at a snake.  It was a little bitty baby snake.  He wasn't sure if it was an earthworm snake or something else.  I almost picked it up... and then I noticed the shape of its head.  And then I saw the pattern in its skin.  So I grabbed a stick and waved it in front of the little snake's face.  It made like it was going to strike and hissed and junk.  Baby rattler.  Too small to have a rattle yet - maybe four or five inches.  I've settled on baby pygmy rattler based on size and pattern.  Timber rattler babies are bigger. 

I also saw a baby five-lined skink (they're so cute!), a big toad, and a large wolf spider. 

In case you were wondering, I really do love nature.

What this n that do you have for me today?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Start Thinking

Yesterday on Outside the Box, I did a post with regard to writing that encouraged you to stop thinking.  Today, though, I thought I needed to do an opposite post in regard to living to encourage people to start thinking.

And I'm sure this doesn't apply to you, but here it is anyway.

You've got that big melon on your shoulders for a reason, and it's for more than keeping your ears at an attractive distance from each other.  Think. 

When presented with something online that seems in the least bit hinky... Think.

When presented with something that seems perfectly rational... Think.

Consider everything from every aspect.  Always.

It's a lot of work, I know.  Sometimes it's easier to simply accept what people are telling you.  But it's worth the work. 

Years ago, I had a close friend call me in a tizzy asking me to find out if something she'd received in her email, from a trusted source no less, was true.  I did some research and found a bunch of sites proclaiming the truth of what she'd been told.  And a bunch of sites denouncing it as bunk.  In the end, I figured out it was, in fact, bunk.  And I eased her mind.  (No, she did not have internet, so she couldn't have done the google-fu herself.)  Lucky for her, she was already doubtful enough to contact me.  She was thinking.

I have people tell me things all the time that sound suspicious.  'If you see a bobcat during the day, it must have rabies.'  Umm, no.  But I did the work and confirmed the truth.  'You've got fire ants in your tree.'  I didn't need to do research to debunk that one.  'There's a black panther living in these parts.'  Unless and until I see it, it's a myth.  'I had a mountain lion in my yard. Here's a picture of it's footprint in the mud.'  Umm, that's a canine track.  See the claw marks...

Anyway, those are simple examples, but I don't want to get into some of the HUGEly stupid political/social things I've heard recently.  And people are passing them around like a cold in a Kindergarten classroom.  Think. 

Because, really, we have enough ignorance in the world already.
 


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 34

Wow, that week went by fast.  And in a total blur.

I wrote about 6000 new words on Early Grave last week.  It was like pulling teeth.  You know the writing is hard when I manage less than a 1K a day average.  But I think I'm on track again.  EG now sits at just over 41K words.

I didn't do anything else writerly.

In reading, I finished that Australian romance.  It was pretty good.  I also read the next book in The Cat Who series.  It was okay, but she's starting to make Qwill's opinions on 'issues' more apparent, and in my opinion, they didn't really have anything to do with the story.  More like she threw them in there to check some virtue signaling boxes.  I hate that.  I'll try one more book and see if it gets better.  If not, I'm done with this series.  Not sure what I'm going to read next.

My fall from back on the 18th has given me some spectacular bruises, and my ankle still hurts, but I'm getting around okay, so it's all good.  I even went fishing once and did some yardwork.  Mom suggested that perhaps I should've gone to a doctor to have it checked.  My answer?  Why?  Pay a bunch of money for x-rays to have her tell me it's a sprain?  Pay her more money for the awesome advice of keeping it elevated and staying off it.  And doctors can't do anything if I broke the HO.  So, that's that.  If it gets worse, I'll suck it up and go see the doc.

Like I said, I did some yardwork.  The moles or voles or whatever the hell they are did a number on my gravel path.  They made a big mound right in the middle of it.  So, I raked all the rock away, dug around a bit, and smoothed it all out again.  On the plus side, it gave me a chance to pull all the weeds in there, too.  I have no illusions I chased the critter away, but I'm disinclined to try more drastic mole/vole measures at this time.  Maybe I'll shell out the money for those sonic things down the road.

Yesterday, Hubs applied Tick-mageddon III for the year.  Once it's dried, I'll finish weeding the gardens and he'll weed the driveway.  Maybe today.  Probably tomorrow.  We'll see.

Okay, that the update from me.  How's about you?


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 8/26/17

Welcome back to the Saturday Fishing Report.

Sorry I missed last week's report, but there wasn't a boatload to report anyway.  I did do some fishing, but I didn't catch anything worth talking about.  I did find a big largemouth dead on the shore.  Not very long dead, but in rigor and starting to just barely smell.  I moved it from where it was under a bunch of shoreline bushes to an open area where the vultures could get to it easier.  In the process I discovered what killed it.  It had swallowed a lure and, I'm guessing, choked to death.  I retrieved the lure.

Then Friday before last, I slipped on some loose gravel at the edge of a creek and deposited myself on my ass.  Messed up my ankle, made lovely bruises, totally trashed the interior of my tackle box which required quite a bit of untangled and reorganizing.  Anyway, the messed up ankle made it less than ideal to fish for a while, so I only got out once last week.

Thursday - Went out around 8am to my spot on the main lake.  It's an easier walk and I don't have to play mountain goat to get there.  Unfortunately, nothing was biting there and I had to use the facilities, so I thought I'd try the park.  I used the bathroom and drove around the park looking for a place to park where I wouldn't have to walk a mile on my messed up ankle.  Nope.  So I drove to my go-to spot.  Walked down to the ledges without difficulty, found a spot to sit, and cast out.  Lucky for me it was a cool day because those ledges are east facing and full sun first thing in the morning.  I still got pretty hot and sweaty, though, and for only three 5-6" bluegills.  Still, better than getting skunked.

I can't wait for fall fishing to commence.  I want to try that lure I pulled out of the largemouth.

Anyway, that's it for me.  Better luck next week, I guess.  Now that the weather is turning cooler, try to enjoy the out-of-doors, eh?  Your spirit will thank you.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday This n That

Because I forgot to post yesterday, I thought you wouldn't mind a Friday this n that for a change.

Actually, not much has gotten done this week.  I blame the eclipse. 

Yesterday, I saw a female cerulean warbler in my redbud tree. 

I also went fishing for the first time since my fall last week. 

People, as a whole, are silly nincompoops.  (Not specific individuals, but people.)  And I'm trying to laugh at them.  Which is good because if I did what I really wanted to do, I'd be in jail and they'd still be silly nincompoops.

I keep hearing people say the word height with a th sound at the end.  For some reason, it's irritating me.  It's HITE not HEIGHTH.  Then again, tons of people say ASHPHALT instead of ASPHALT.  And OFFEN instead of OFTEN.  :shrug:

There really isn't anything as peaceful and recharging as sitting on the edge of a body of water with no one else around.  Quiet, calm, still.  The sun on you, the breeze ruffling your hair, birds singing in the distance.  Ahhh.

Of course, then you have to go back and reconnect with the world which reminds you that the world is nuts.  Ah, well.

Okay, that's it.  I'm done this-n-thating today.  What this-n-thating do you have to do?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Eclipse

I posted on FB about 10-12 days ago that I was officially sick of hearing about the eclipse.  I mean, come on.  They started hyping it up over a month ago.  It's not like Haley's comet, either.  There'll be another one in 2024.  (Which they are already hyping.  Ugh.)

I remember, back in 1979, doing the whole pinhole thing for school.  At that work making the damn thing and I didn't see anything.  Or at least I thought I didn't.  I think I was expecting something more than the changing of a circle of light on the back of a box.  Perhaps my 8-9 year old self had hoped of the projector being more like a projector and showing me a movie or something on the inside of a box.  :shrug:  I found it all so very anticlimactic. 

So when they started talking about the 2017 eclipse, I was all like 'meh'. 


I didn't actually 'see' the eclipse yesterday.  I wasn't planning on doing anything, but Hubs thought it would be cool to make a pinhole projector, so we did and we went outside to try to out and junk.  Once again, it was :yawn:  I mean, it was fun doing that with Hubs, but the actual spectacle was boring.  Then a little while later, when the sky started to get this weird semi-dusk look to it, we went back outside to try the pinhole thing again. 

And something kind of cool happened.  The concrete slab out in front of the porch was covered in these little fingernail moons.  I took some pics of them.  It was way better than the entire pinhole thing - then and now. 

I guess those people who were in the 'path of totality' and had those glasses got to see something really neat.  I guess I'd have to see it to get excited about it.  Maybe in 7 years I'll foot the bill for those glasses things.  I'm still not driving hundreds of miles to get into the path of it, though. 

Personally, I get more excited about rainbows.  You never know where one is going to be and then bam, there it is.  So pretty. 

Anyway, did you see the eclipse?  Was it everything you hoped it would be? 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Heterotopic Ossification

I know this isn't my usual blog fare.  I just felt the need to write this and leave it here for anyone who might be searching the webs for heterotopic ossification (HO) - because there really wasn't a whole lot out there from a personal perspective the last time I checked.  If it isn't your bag, come back another day.

First off, pretty much everything I have to say is anecdotal.  I'm not a doctor or a medical professional of any kind.  I'm also not a researcher.  I'm just someone who's lived with HO for 23 years.

Now, what is heterotopic ossification?  Well, HO (or as some might call it myocitis ossificans) means bone that has grown where bone doesn't usually grow.  Or, to put it simply, bone grows inside muscle and connective tissue.  It usually happens when you combine a significant soft-tissue injury with brain damage of some kind.  In my case, I had broken my thigh and banged my head.  The head injury caused me to grow bone inside my thigh muscles, my butt muscles, and a little through the spot where the leg meets the hip.  It's pretty gnarly-looking on x-rays but otherwise no one know just by looking at me.

There isn't a lot out there from a personal perspective because the majority of the people who have HO incurred a significant enough brain injury to make it hard to communicate in any kind of cogent way.  Me?  I got lucky.  I came back from it.  Few do.

But this isn't about that.

Last I knew, HO happens in about 25% of the head injury cases.  Of the people I went to therapy with back in 1994, only one other client had HO.  He was young man who'd been shot in the head and the arm.  The arm, of course, became filled with aberrant bone.  To the point where he couldn't straighten his arm from the 90 degree angle it was frozen in. 

Once it's there, it's there.  I have heard about certain surgeries to remove the aberrant bone, but I think that also involves removing a fair bit of muscle.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.  I guess, if your HO is bad enough to the point where you can't function, losing some muscle wouldn't be so bad.  In my case, I was able to work around it.  One leg doesn't bend as far as the other and it never will, but I can live with that.

If your medical professionals catch it soon enough, there is a drug that can be administered to stop the bone growth.  If I remember correctly, it was called didronel.  Not sure if they're still prescribing it for HO.  Unfortunately, by the time you know enough about what's happening to you or your loved one, it's too late to ask about didronel. Personally, the medical professionals on my case in the hospital had no clue about HO, so nothing was done.  They assumed my frozen leg muscles were simple contraction and attempted to stretch the muscle free.  Which resulted in stretching my tendons instead.  When I finally got a doctor on my case who knew about HO, the stretching stopped and he gave me a therapy plan I could work with.

My symptoms were, from what I was told, heat and pain at the site where it was growing.  Chalked up to a potential infection and my broken bits, I assume. 

As I said, once it's there, it's there.  When the process stops and the aberrant bone is in place, it's yours for the rest of your life.  And no more will grow.  It's like other bone at this point.  Which means it's possible to break it.  A fact I learned the hard way only last year when I fell and landed on the butt cheek that's filled with HO bone.

When HO bone breaks, it's like any other broken bone.  Hurts like hell, makes you a little lightheaded and nauseous, creates glorious bruises... that kind of thing.  And there really isn't anything you can do about it.  I did read one place that they recommended splinting the affected bone, elevation, etc.  Not an easy thing to do when the bone you've broken is inside your butt muscle, let me tell you.  Also, like any other bone break, you'll be able to tell the weather with it.  I recommend Aleve and ice packs or heating pads, depending on the severity of your pain. 

I never got it x-rayed so I don't know if they can actually tell whether HO bone has broken.  I know I broke some because I felt the crack and the grinding when it shifted against itself.  (Plus, the symptoms.)  You can always check with your medical provider if you think you've broken your HO.  I don't go to medical providers about my HO anymore because over the course of two decades, I've gotten too many blank stares when I mention I have HO.  Like I said at the beginning of this, there's not a lot out there about it.  Which means it's not that high on the training radar.  I got lucky when I found a doctor who not only knew about it, but knew how to approach a therapy plan for someone who had it.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask - even if it's months after this was posted. 

(Any errors in this post are mine and mine alone.  If you want information from a professional, consult with your physician, neurologist, orthopedic specialist, physiatrist, etc.)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 33

Time again for another weekly update.  Yay!

My newsletter went out last night, in case you missed it.  If you did miss it and want a copy, let me know.  I'll forward mine over to you.  Or check your spam box.  It might be in there.

I sent Wish Hits the Fan off to JC last Monday.  Then I didn't do anything else of a writerly nature, unless you count some marketing stuff. I'm still trying to decide what to do next.  To write new words or to edit something I've already written, that is the question. 

I did a fair bit of reading.  Okay, it was only two books, but they each took a while.  First off, there was Bradbury's Illustrated Man, which is a collection of short stories.  Not my favorite Bradbury.  Then I re-read Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.  I read it once before about 15-16 years ago.  After all that time, I didn't actually remember any of the story but who dun it.  Still, a pretty good mystery.  Right now, I'm reading an Australian romance.  Not simply a romance set in Oz, but one written and published in the Great Southern Land.  It's pretty neat so far.  I love that I can get books from other places. 

Fishing happened.  I didn't put out a fishing report because frankly it wasn't that interesting.  I only caught a couple bluegills and a little bass over the four trips out.  And I fell on my ass, so I'm still smarting from that little bit of gracefulness.  You should see the bruises.  They're glorious.  I did find a dead largemouth. It was a keeper, too, which made me especially sad.  It had choked on a big lure.  I retrieved the lure and set the fish out where the vultures could get to it.  Waste not, want not. 

Somehow or other my email address has gotten on some kind of porn spam list.  Luckily, Gmail shoves all that crap into the spam folder for me.  Unfortunately, if real mail ends up in my spam folder right now, it's screwed because trying to search for a real piece of mail in all that vulgar crap takes more effort than I have the will to expend right now.  It's getting deleted in one fell swoop.  Thus, if you've sent me mail and I haven't responded, try again or leave a comment here on the blog that you sent me something and I'll try to catch it before it gets shitcanned.

Oh, I saw an eagle on Thursday morning.  It was hanging out with a bunch of vultures eating a dead fish (not the big largemouth I found - a different one) on the shoreline.  My initial thought was 'oh, look, a vulture with a white tail', but then my brain kicked in and I realized what it really was.  It really needs to keep better company.

Well, that's it for me.  Do you have anything to update this week?  How's things in your world?


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. 

Anyhooway...

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!