Thursday, July 18, 2019

Thursday This n That

I've been watching the game show The Chase lately.  I totally rock it most days.  Some days I can't get the answer out of my mouth in time, but hey, that's fine.  It's not like I'm actually on the show or anything.  And The Beast?  Big, nerdy, teddy-bear even if he is a little growly sometimes.  I love it.  I could totally hang with that dude.

While working on deeper edits for UatB, I found two tiny typos in SU.  Ugh.  They're fixed and uploaded now, but geez.

Got some good news last night, but I don't have the okee doke to share it publicly, even if it was shared on FB - but not 'public', only 'friends'.  Not my page, not my news.

It's been a week of busting my ass this week.  More on that Sunday.

I don't think I drink enough water, especially now that it's hot.  And it is HOT right now.  Blerg.

We spotted a new pair of fawns.  They're noticeably new fawns because they're so tiny compared with the other two sets we have.  So, near as we can figure, eight fawns so far this year.  Yay.

Oak mite bites suck.  They are the itchiest bites I've ever gotten.  Bastards.  I just researched oak mites... You don't want to know.  They're totally gross.  And I am totally itchy just thinking about it.

Years ago, I interviewed for a job in Baltimore.  They offered me the job.  At the time, though, it ultimately wasn't enough in compensation package to make me move from FL.  I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I'd taken that job.  Regional Sales Manager... I sure as hell wouldn't be a hermit, lemme tell ya.  Plus, I'd be city folk.  And then there's the whole living in Baltimore thing... :shudder:  So happy I didn't go that route.

Okay, I think that's all I've got today.  How about you?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


It's Tuesday.  Yeah, I probably don't have to tell y'all that.  You're probably well aware.  Me?  I need a reminder from time to time.

Today the sale ends for Blink of an I and begins for Sleeping Ugly.  SU will be on sale through the end of Monday and the sale for the A Dennis Haggarty Mystery series will begin at midnight PST on Tuesday the 23rd.  That last one paid has advertising attached.  An ad will go out on Friday the 26th.  Fingers crossed.  I'll post more about the SU sale tomorrow on Outside the Box.

I'm back to work on Ugly and the Beast.  I have a page and a half of notes left to input, then I'll start all over again making new notes and fixing other things.  No promises about when it'll be available for publication, but at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  The long, long tunnel.  Actually, it's more like a rat hole, but there's a light.

Yesterday, I finished a book so damn good that I had to buy the sequel.  At full price, which ought to tell you something.  And I started reading it right away, which also ought to tell you something.  I almost never read books in a series back to back, but I couldn't help myself.  It's already delivering on the promise made by the first book.  If you're into fun and snarky urban fantasy, go forth and buy a copy of Necropolis by Shane Simmons.  I haven't been this excited about a new urban fantasy series since I picked up Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire.  There's only two books in this series right now, which will be fine if he wraps it up right.  :fingers crossed:

I'd like new readers to get excited about my books like that.  And, you know, write reviews so other readers can see how excited they are.

Well, I suppose I should get cracking and do something positive this morning.  This stuff isn't going to do itself.  Have a great day and I'll see y'all tomorrow.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 28

Hello again.  Twenty-eight weeks into 2019 now.  Not sure how it got to be this late in the year already.

I'm still not writing or editing.  Maybe I should stop talking about it and just do it, eh?

Still marketing a bunch.  The Project Hermes sale ended and the Blink of an I sale began.  Sold some PH, but no BOIA yet.

I only read one book last week, but it was a big one.  And I DNF'd two books yesterday.  Then I started another one.  I thought it was MG, but oh, hell, noes.  MG doesn't have so many swears.  I don't care about swearing, but that may be a huge niche snafu with this book.  We'll see how it goes.

Last week, I managed 6 out of 7 days with activity.  Lots of walking, and then I also did yardwork on two of the days I walked.  And then the day I didn't count as active was grocery shopping - which I sometimes think pushing a cart full of foodstuffs around Wallyworld ought to count.  Still no weight change, but then again, I haven't really managed to cut back on the amount I'm eating.  I love food.

Speaking of food, I made lemon coconut bread yesterday.  Earlier in the week, I made peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  Hubs is in heaven.

Other than that, not much going on around here.  How are things in your world?

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/13/19

Not much on the reading this week.  It happens sometimes.  Especially when you pick up a thick book and spend the week reading that.  I started my one book of the week last Friday and finished it last night.  Usually books don't take me a week to read but this was like 566 pages.  :shrug:

I downloaded a bunch of new ebooks last week. Let's see... Earlier in the week, there was a mystery and an urban fantasy and a paranormal mystery.  Then yesterday, I went a little crazy and downloaded another mystery, another urban fantasy and a spy thriller.  Add those to the five I already had waiting and I've got eleven unread ebooks.  The oldest one I've had since June 25th, so not that bad.

Books read:

 64) Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag (7/12/19) - Suspense - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Can't believe I'd never read Tami Hoag before.  I'll have to keep an eye out for her books when I hit the thrift stores.  And that's where I got this one for 50c.
No review.  It's got like 750 reviews and 15K ratings.  What more could I add to that?

No DNFs.

Currently reading... Well, since I finished Ashes to Ashes about a half hour before Live PD, I haven't picked out a new book to read yet.  Probably one of the many ebooks I now have waiting.

What did your reading week look like?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday This n That

I probably don't need to remind y'all, but never buy anything with a broken seal, and if it doesn't have a seal, check to make sure it wasn't opened.  (Hopefully, Blue Bell starts putting seals on their ice cream, but if not, you can tell it's been opened when the lid comes off easily.)  First the stupid bitch who thought licking ice cream and then putting it back in the store cooler was a good idea, then the other stupid bitch who gargled with mouthwash, spit it back in the bottle and put it back on the shelf.  I also heard from a fellow shopper that she once bought a pre-made frosting where the seal was broken and it appeared like two fingers had been dragged through the frosting.  Add to that PSA a reminder to check the sell-by dates.  I tell ya, grocery shopping isn't as easy as it used to be.  And people suck.

Yesterday, it was just getting light out when I went to look out the bathroom window and there was a bat sitting on the outside sill.  I jumped, he jumped.  He flew away.  They hang out under the sill in the summer.  I've just never seen one sitting on the sill.  (I leave them alone because they can't get into the house from there.  It's just a nice, dark overhang.)  This one was a little brown bat, but I've also seen big brown bats under there.  Go forth and eat loads of mosquitoes, little dude.

If you missed it - you know, because practically no one carried it - One America News Network will be showing an encore of the Salute to America celebration on Saturday at 1pm Central Time.  Not sure if your service carries OANN, but DirectTV does.

Speaking of DirectTV, apparently they're having contract problems with Nexstar and so some of the local channels are dead to me right now.  For us, it was our Fox station, so no All Star Game for us Tuesday night.  We also lost a channel we never watch, so I'm not really all that ticked about it.  Our CBS station was also listed on the website, but it was fine last I checked.  All I can say is it better stay fine because I'll be wanting to watch that channel this weekend for golf.  Otherwise, meh.

I was weeding the cedar bed and felt something bite me inside my gardening glove.  Well, actually, I thought I'd gotten a piece of stick in there and it was poking me.  But when I looked, it was a bug.  A tick actually.  It got away.  First tick bite of the year, so actually that's not too bad.  Except it's right in the crease of my wrist, so every time I move my right hand, it itches like the dickens.  (Yes, I scrubbed it thoroughly and then slapped antibiotic cream in it after it happened.  Now I'm using Benedryl gel.  And yes, I am keeping an eye on it.)

Okay, that's it for me.  What's the this-n-that in your world?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Long Ago and Far Away

Time is a funny thing.  It doesn't seem like I've been married for 15 years.  It doesn't feel like I moved away from Michigan 18 years ago.  It sure as hell doesn't seem real that I left college 27 years ago.  Twenty-seven years.  :shudder:

Yesterday, a friend of Hubs posted to FB that he was in Marquette.  And I got a case of the jealousies.  I also got all nostalgic.  I wanted to tell him all the places he could go for a good meal and all the places he could stop for a bit of fun.  But I wasn't sure if any of those places were still there. 

So I took to Google Maps.  And there I was, flying over the city.  I was looking for landmarks I remembered.  And for some reason, I couldn't find the malls. 

Hubs told me that after all that time, they were probably razed.  Nobody goes to malls anymore.  And I was all like 'but... but... but... it's a mall'. 

When I was in college, there were two malls in Marquette.  One in the middle of town and the other on the west side.  One had a huge parking lot perfect for doing donuts in the snow and the other had a nightclub I used to frequent.  (That's all I remember about either of them.) 

After some scouring in satellite view, I found them both.  They're much smaller than I remember.  The one with the nightclub appears to be closed except for a govt office and a dollar store - both on the outside.  No more inside stores - which seems silly when you consider how cold it is in Marquette. 

Anyway, my favorite sub shop is still there.  And my favorite used book store.  And another drinking establishment I enjoyed that had a bar shaped like a gondola.  It isn't all gone.  It's just changed.  More chain restaurants and hotels line the highway.  A new Harley-Davidson store near one of the apartments I rented. 

My favorite bar is gone.  It was walking distance from where I lived the summer after I turned 21 and I spent many a lonely night chatting with the bartender and nursing my drinks before wandering back to my apartment.  Good times.

Chances are I will never go back to Marquette.  I'm hell and gone from Michigan now.  If I go back, it'll be to visit family and they all live in the lower peninsula - an eight hour drive from my college stomping grounds. 

But I guess I'll always be there in my memories.  Where it doesn't seem so long ago that I was wandering the streets and freezing my ass off.  And for a little part of me, it'll always be home.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 27

The first week of the last half of the year.  It's all sort of a blur.  But that happens when I have a holiday in the middle of the week.  Wednesday felt like a Thursday (because I turned in my time sheet which I do on Thursdays) and also like a Friday.  Then Thursday felt like a Saturday and I kept having to remind myself 'this is NOT Saturday'.  I kept looking for LivePD.  Then Friday had a whole Monday vibe.  Not sure what yesterday was since I already had Saturday on Thursday.  Brain hurt yet?  Mine does.

Another week of not writing or editing.  At this point, it's almost becoming comfortable.  Which is not good.  I keep telling myself - today I'll work - and then the next day arrives with nothing to show for the day before. 

Got my marketing groove back on for the Project Hermes sale.  Much FB posting occurred.  Not much sales, though.  However, I'm seeing an uptick in page reads for other books.  Maybe people are clicking through the FB link and finding my other books.  One can hope.

I did a fair bit of reading last week.  I'm at 63 books read so far this year.  Way ahead of the curve on my goal to read 90.  I'll probably adjust that as I get closer to 90 and I have a better idea of how the rest of the year is going to go.

On the activity front, I did 5 out of 7 days.  3 days walking, 1 day yard work, and 1 day cleaning.  Let's not discuss weight, shall we?  I've slipped over to the seefood diet.  If I see food, I eat it. 

No baking this week.  It's too freakin' hot.  Although, I am getting a craving for brownies.  Heh, like I need brownies.

I had a bit of fun at the Dollar General last week.  It seems they have a new check verification system in place and for some reason, it doesn't like my checks.  Kinda freaked me out, so I went straight to my bank and made sure I hadn't been hacked or had my identity stolen.  Nope, all is well there.  Did some research and learned it has nothing to do with anything objective - not bank balance or credit rating or anything to do with me personally.  It could be something as simple as checks 'similar to mine' have bounced in the past.  So, basically, I'm being punished for something someone else did.  The BBB has gotten numerous complaints about this check verification company.  As has one of the consumer watchdog sites.  :shrug:  Guess I'm not shopping at the Dollar General anymore.  Lucky for me, I had cash on me that day.  Blerg.

I guess that's about it for me.  What's up in your world?

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/6/19

Good thing I schedule these ahead of time, because with the holiday, my days are totally messed up this week.

I'm sitting at 5 unread ebooks right now - Historical mystery, MG fantasy, UF, suspense, mystery.  No new ebooks this week.  And no new hardcopies either. 

Books read:

 63) Tentacles and Teeth by Ariele Sieling (7/4/19) - YA Post-apocalyptic F*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Found this as a freebie through ENT.
Review: " I'm not quite sure how to categorize this book - YA paranormal dystopian? Post apocalyptic fantasy? New adult adventure with monsters? :shrug: Whatever you call it, it's good stuff. The author has certainly created a new world out of our old one, filled with unimaginable horrors ready to kill any human at a moment's notice. She's also created a group of wonderful characters and a main character I could really get behind. After the end of the book, she said the next one's coming soon. I'll be keeping an eye out for it."

62) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (7/1/19) - Literature - 5 stars.  Not new and not underappreciated.  Picked it up for 50c at the thrift store.
I vaguely remember reading some of this to the Kid, but I think she finished reading it on her own because I didn't remember the end.
No review.

61) Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster (6/30/19) - Courtroom Thriller* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Got this as a freebie after getting an Amazon marketing email for the second book in the series.
Review: "Wow. This is an awesome and thrilling story, fill of twists and turns, so you never quite know if the ground your standing on is solid - kind of like the heroine isn't quite sure. But she's got a job to do and she does it. I was on the edge of my seat, reading like a banshee to see who would win, who was actually the killer, and whether Josie would make it through with her life intact. I was thinking along the lines of her proverbial life, not her actual life, but I should've known better. They didn't call it a thriller for nothing. What a wild ride!"


7/2/19 - Mystery.  Took a chance because it sounded really interesting and I paid 99c for this one.  :shrug:  Started with a weird prologue, but I powered through.  Then I got to the actual book and the dialogue was like nails on a chalkboard. The characters kept calling each other 'babe' and they weren't talking like real people talk.  At least, I hope real people haven't started talking to each other that way.  It's been a while since I heard other couples talk to each other.

Currently reading... I grabbed a suspense paperback I'd picked up late last year.  Started reading it last night, so I didn't get that far in.  So far, so good, but I've never read this author before, so we'll see how it goes.

How did your reading week go?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Thursday This n That

Happy Independence Day!

Project Hermes is on sale starting today.  I thought it was apropos.  Blink would also be apropos - it's on sale next week.

The neighborhood is full of people right now - most of whom I don't recognize.  Friends of weekenders, I assume.  And the new people who've bought homes recently.  I'm looking forward to Labor Day Weekend.  Or rather, the day after.  That's when this place will return to normal.

I have a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence on the wall next to my desk.  It was one of the first things we bought for decor after we moved here.  Kind of a nod to our own freedom as well as to this wonderful country we live in.

The big fireworks show here is set for the 6th.  We're not going.  I don't enjoy fireworks - the loud noises, crowds of people, bugs... :shudder:  More power to you if you do. 

We have the best light show going on outside right now - fireflies.  They're really going all out this year.  So cheerful and pretty, but also quiet.  Last night, it wasn't even dark yet and they were flashing out in the woods.  =oD

Peace and quiet.  It's a wonderful thing.  It's my thing. 

Tonight, I will lay in bed, pretending to be in a thunderstorm rather than cringing over every bang and boom.  Once you realize that you can sleep through thunderstorms, sleeping through fireworks becomes easier.  A couple times in my life, I lived quite close to railroad tracks.  If I can sleep through that, I can sleep through anything. 

We're not doing anything today.  That's freedom, baby.

Have whatever kind of Independence Day you enjoy.  Celebrate your freedom any way you choose*.  Because, hey, that's what being free is all about.

*without infringing on anyone else's freedom, k?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Feeling a Little Bipolar

For the record, I am not actually bipolar.  I'm just crazy.  Ba dump bump.  But seriously, folks.  Lately, I've been swinging from Positive Polly to Negative Nelly like a monkey in the trees.  But not half as much fun, trust me.

Last night, I was ready to write a post thanking you all for your support and then telling you all that I freaking quit.  I was done.  Can't handle this crap for another friggin' day.  Gonna crawl into a hole and pull the dirt in over myself.  Enough already.

I did not write that post.  Instead, I went for a hard-target walk to try and get out of my own head for a minute and gain some perspective.  (Hard-target walk = keeping the same pace regardless of incline.  Did over a mile in 22 minutes.  Hubs was impressed.)

With the muscles in my legs sufficiently burning, and tired enough to sleep like a freakin' lump of dirt, I swung back the other way.  Weeee.  I woke up sufficiently refreshed to not slit my writing wrists.  I'm not promising that I'm refreshed enough to light a fire under my dead ass, but I'm also not done yet. 

Seems like I went through this last week, too.  Which got me to feeling I'm a little bipolar right now.  And thinking you may have noticed it in my recent posts.  I'm up and waving pompoms one minute, down and wallowing in the dirt the next. 

Sorry about that.  But it is life and junk, and I try to be honest here on the blog.  When things suck, I talk about it.  When they don't, I talk about that, too.  Just out here giving one writer's perspective on this stuff.

Anyway, this morning I set up a slew of sales for July, and I'll be looking into some marketing later today.  I'll talk more about that tomorrow on OTB. 

And now, to start the day and get my chores done before I have to call the office.

What are you up to today?  Ever feel a bit bipolar? 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 26

It's halfway through the year and I don't have much to show for it.  And last week didn't help.

I thought it would be the week when I finally had a fire lit under my ass, but no.  I did read a post by another author who's having a tough time of it this year, so yeah, it's a thing, but knowing I'm not alone doesn't help. 

The SCIU sale ended with a whimper.  No more sales, no residual page reads.  So, yeah, 27.11 sales for that sale.  I have to get something set up for July, but I have no clue what. 

I did read a lot.  And some of it was pretty good stuff.

Let's not talk about exercise and weight, eh?  I only did 3 out of 7 days.  Weight still holding at 179.  I know I have to do something different and more of it (or less of it when it comes to eating) if I want to see a change on the scale.  I just can't seem to motivate myself to do what needs to be done.  On the upside, walking the loop seems to be getting a mite easier, so maybe I'll add some mileage to that this week.  You know, something like walk the loop (1.1 miles) and then keep going past the house to start the loop again, then turn around.  :shrug:  Maybe I'll try starting my dancing thing up again.

Eating my elephants has obviously not been happening lately.  I really need to get back in that mindset.

Ugh, the heat has hit SW MO.  With popcorn storms.  But Hubs did manage to get the yard sprayed for ticks.  Yay.  I wish the spray did more for flying biting things, but I'm content if it knocks down the ticks.  Man, a big flying biting thing slipped into the house on Friday.  Looked like a housefly on steroids.  Big, loud, fast, ugly motherfucker.  You should've seen us chasing this damn thing around the house with fly swatters.  Managed to trap it in the office and then managed to get it out into the smoking porch where Hubs dispatched it most heartily.  Turns out it was a black horsefly.  Eww.

Not a lot of baking last week... cuz, heat... but I did get another batch of oatmeal cookies made.  And I made a BBQ pork tenderloin in the crockpot.  It turned out excellent.  I might make pizza today.  Depends on how hot I feel this afternoon.

The baby deer are eating solid food now, and supplementing with milk still.  We've determined we have two sets of twins - one by a white-legged doe and one by a brown-legged doe - and two singles.  So, right now, we're saying six for sure.  Yay! 

And I think that's it for me this week.  How did things go in your week last week?

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 6/29/19

Good morning!  It was a pretty good reading week even if I did have some DNFs.

It was also a good week for picking up some new ebooks.  I got five new ones - a historical mystery, a MG fantasy, an UF, a suspense, and a mystery.  Add that to the two I still have left (mystery and post-apocalyptic UF) to read from before - so seven.

Books read:

 60)  The Predator and the Prey by KC Sivils(6/26/19) - SF Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and kind of underappreciated.  Got this for free off the Book Adrenaline newsletter.
Review: "What an awesome story. Sure, it had some editing and formatting issues, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from an entertaining read. Sullivan kicks ass. The supporting good characters are all interesting, sympathetic people. Of course, the villains are particularly slimy and vile. And of course, it ends well with the central plot wrapped up. There are still threads that need tying up, though. Onward to the sequel!"

59) The Snake by Mickey Spillane (6/23/19) - Hard-boiled Crime - 5 stars.  It's Mickey Spillane.  Duh.  I've had this one for years.  No clue what I paid for it.
No Review.

58) Murder in the Forbidden City by Amanda Roberts (6/22/19) - Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Got this for free off the Book Gorilla newsletter.
Review: "An interesting look into 19th century China and its Imperial Court with what seemed like more updated language for more modern readers. Plus, it had an intriguing mystery with plenty of twists and a whodunnit I didn't see coming. Good stuff. The hint of romance was surprising, but cool. Definitely worth a read. I'm glad I picked this one up. It was a refreshingly different read while still feeding my love of mysteries."


6/24/19 - Mystery.  Could've used a kind editor to stop them from constantly naming characters "Did you hear what I said, Mary?" "Yes, John."  "Well then, Mary, I suggest listen to our friend, Paul."  "I agree with John."  "Oh, shut up, Paul."  I understand that in certain circles, dialogue tags are verboten, but I think they might be preferable to the above.  I tried ignoring it because the premise seemed sound, but I ultimately gave up.  Free.

6/23/19 - Fantasy.  Meh.  The beginning seemed interesting, if too much like a few other fantasies I've read, but then the MC meets a dude on the road who seems to want to give the entire backstory of the world in one sitting.  I got bored and wandered off.  Free.

Currently reading...a courtroom thriller I've had since the 20th.  I haven't read one of these in a while and while this is good, it's not so much thrilling as suspenseful so far.  We'll see if it gets thrilling later.

And that's all for me this week.  How was your reading week?

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Thursday This n That

This weekend is the weekend before Independence Day.  I expect the fireworks to start tonight and continue every night through like the 8th.  Lucky for me I figured out the key to sleeping through fireworks - reminding myself that they are no worse than thunder and I sleep through thunder all the time.  A plus this year - it's been super wet so no worries about some numbnuts starting the neighborhood on fire.

Speaking of wet, yesterday a storm stalled just north and a little west of here.  I'm hearing it dumped like 6 inches of rain in a short period of time.  This explains why my favorite animal shelter was showing pictures this morning of their flooded property.  (The animals are all safe and fine.)

I got a little rant-tastic Tuesday evening (posted to OTB yesterday).  It was actually quite cathartic.  And I'm back to mellow me again.

Tonight is the big park meeting wherein the parks people will be looking for input on whether to keep the park open and continue to maintain it, or shut it down entirely and let it fall to ruin like a couple other parks in the area.  We're still on the fence about whether to go.  On the one hand, we'd like it maintained because people are pigs and without someone monitoring the park, people will trash it and it'll stay trashed.  On the other hand, we're hermits and would rather not mingle with a few dozen of the locals - especially if nothing we say will make any difference.  I'm just hoping that if they close it, they don't lock the gates.  It's a great place to fish and it's the only one around here with a bathroom.  If we go, I'll say something about it during Sunday's update post.

I didn't bother watching 'Dem Debate Day 1' last night.  From what I'm seeing online, it was pretty much what I figured it was going to be - bashing Trump and competing to see who can offer the most free stuff to voters.  I mean, that's pretty much their whole platform - 'Trump Bad.  Get Free Stuff Here.'  Personally, I can't afford these people giving any more free stuff away on my dime.  And if you don't understand that the government has no money of its own, that all their 'free' money is money they took from you, then I can't help you.

Heh, mellow me.

The baby deers are so damn cute.  (Yes, I said 'baby deers' because while fawns are cute, baby deers are cuter.)

Okay, I'm done here.  What's the this n that for you today?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

It's Tuesday

I know, duh, right?

Sorry I'm late today.  I was doing stuffs this morning - spreadsheet stuff and marketing posts mainly - and posting slipped my mind last night.  But I'm here now and that's the important thing.  Even if 'here now' means a post full of randomosity.

The finale for Best Baker in America was last night.  I won't ruin it for those who haven't watched it yet, but I'll just say I'm satisfied with the winner.  Although, I didn't think any of the finalists captured the essence of 'A Birthday Cake for America', the winner did the best of the three.

I'm not sure what's up with the macha powder trend.  It's supposed to be green tea powder.  I tried green tea once and thought it was gross.  Why anyone would want that flavor in a dessert escapes me.

We're seeing fawns.  It's a few weeks earlier than we usually see fawns, so they're all so tiny.  So cute!  I want to snuggle them all up.  This morning the twins and one of the singles was here.  The single was the smallest one.  Weird, because twins typically come out smaller than a single birth.  :shrug:  Cuteness overload, though.

Well, that was quick, but I have five minutes before I have to call the office and the cat is begging for her fish oil.  Thanks for stopping by and I'll try to have something more interesting to talk about tomorrow on Outside the Box (although what that'll be is beyond me right now.)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 25

Well, that week flew by.  Whoosh.

I did manage to finally get my ass in gear and get some editing done.  Not a huge amount, but you don't eat the elephant all at once, you know.  I have three pages worth of edit notes left to go and then I have to go back and fix the big things.  I'd hope to be getting into that by Monday, but things happen and life has other plans sometimes.  Bleh.

I've been working on marketing again, since the SCIU books are all on sale.  The ad did me some good and paid for itself.  Then crickets.  But I still have 3 days left and I'm not giving up without a fight.

I did get a good amount of reading done.  And I finished the book in the 'currently reading' section yesterday afternoon.  Then I started on a Mickey Spillane.

Only four active days out of seven, but I'm okay with that.  The stamina is improving all the time and that's really the big thing.  If I can walk the loop (a mile worth of hills and curves) and then come home and spray the driveway for weeds and not be toast, life is good.  Okay, so I was a wee bit toasty the next day, but not toast the same day.  ;o)

We have now seen four individual fawns.  Two singles (one definitely larger than the other) and a set of twins. 

My hollyhocks are blooming.  The white ones anyway.  Something munched off the buds on the red one that was close to blooming.  :shrug:

No baking this week.  The temps are climbing into the summer range, which makes me not want to turn on the oven. 

The spiders are back and making webs all over the yard again.  Yesterday, I went all yard ninja on their asses - took a broom and went through the whole yard, knocking down webs - so Hubs could mow without getting a web to the face. 

Well, that seems like everything.  If I forgot anything, it probably wasn't that important anyway.  What was up in your week? 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 6/22/19

Hello again, my friends.  Here we are again at the end of another reading week.

I picked up three new ebooks this week - a mystery, a courtroom thriller, and a post-apocalyptic UF.  Still have three ebooks left from before (fantasy, mystery, and SF suspense), so that makes 6.  I looked for more, but nothing else was blowing my skirt up this week.

Books read:

57) Forceful Intent (Porter #1) by RA McGee (6/21/19) - Suspense*.  New to me but not exactly in the parameters I set for 'underappreciated'.  Still, this book should be more appreciated than it is.  Jus' sayin'.  Picked this one up for free off the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Dang, that was good! I'd give it more stars if that were possible. Holy crap. Porter totally kicks butt and gets the job done. If this is indicative of the rest of the series, I'm in for a major treat. Woohoo!"

56) The Big Four by Agatha Christie (6/14/19) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Got this at St. Vinny's for 50c.
No Review.  I mean, when a book's got tens of thousands of ratings and over a thousand reviews, what does it need my review for?  :shrug:

55) Birthright (Cog Chronicles #1) by PM Cole (6/16/19) - Steampunk Paranormal*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Got this for free after seeing an ad in ENT.
Review: "What a fun story! Like steampunk mixed with paranormal and a twist of mythical. So cool! I really enjoyed this. Looking forward to reading the next."


6/18/19 - Humor.  Got this one on a whim for free off Book Gorilla.  Made it about 30% of the way in.  Kept waiting for some kind of plot to kick in.  And then it started head-hopping, which I was okay with until it hopped into the head of a character they hadn't even introduced yet.  I mean, it was quirky and I like quirky.  But I also kinda like knowing where a book might be headed and with whom.

6/16/19 - Cozy Mystery.  I picked this one up on a whim from the thrift store.  It was one of my 6/$1 finds.  Anyway, I tried it.  Quickly discovered that I hate bullet-point lists in novels unless they are directly related to the story, and two in the first few pages are like reading someone else's grocery lists.  Yeah, I've heard some people say that they love their favorite authors so much they'd read their grocery lists, but this was a new-to-me author.  And we never really mean we'd read their grocery lists anyway.  PS.  I also hate when it feels like the author is trying to show me how hipster they are.

Currently reading...  A historical mystery set in China.  I've always enjoyed Pearl Buck and I'm fond of Amy Tan's work, so this seemed like a good fit and something different to read.  So far, so good.

What things did you read this week?  Anything good?

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday This n That

Sitting here, smoking a cigarette and drinking my coffee, wondering why I'm not seeing the usual Wednesday posts at the top of my blogroll when a thought suddenly occurs to me... Oh!  It's Thursday.  Well, crap.  And this was after I knew it was Thursday enough to send my timesheet in to the office.  Derp.

The little gray cells they are wonderful things.  And also sometimes a little stupid.  (Yes, I have been reading Hercule Poirot.)

Yesterday, I was out and about.  While I was at the feed store, I used the last check in my checkbook, so I did what I always do - I scribbled a circle on my left hand to remind me to put new checks in the checkbook when I get home.  My friend who works there gave me a look - cuz like scribbling on one's hand is a bit nuts - so I explained what I was doing.  She thought that was a pretty good idea and I told her it was one of the little tricks I use because I'm brain damaged.  She laughed, because it is a pretty good joke, but then I told her the truth of it.  I don't know why I still feel the need to do that.  25 years is a long time and I should probably let that shit go.

It worked, btw.  I have new checks in my checkbook now.

The SCIU sale is underway.  My ad should be out sometime this morning.  :fingers crossed:

I know we saw our first fawn on the 10th, but a couple days ago, another fawn came scampering into the yard.  (It's mom was already here.)  So tiny.  So cute.  Still, didn't get a pic.  I didn't even think to grab the camera.  Then it and mom were gone.  We were pretty excited.

I never realized how much these blue candles smell like fabric softener sheets until this morning when I couldn't figure out why I was smelling dryer sheets when Hubs wasn't doing laundry and neither of us were wearing fresh out of the drawer clothes.  Derp.  At least it's nice to know the candles are working.

My eat an elephant thing seems to be working.  Or it was until yesterday when instead of eating any of either elephant, I did grocery shopping and marketing, then I read and watched Live PD.  Oh, well, today is another day.

How are the this n thats in your world?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Eating an Elephant, Part 2

Yesterday on Outside the Box, I whined and lamented (again... yeah, I'm sick of me, too) and finished up the post with what has become my new favorite pep phrase - I'm eating the elephant.

If you're not familiar with the phrase, it's an old joke - how do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time.

I'm using that to light a fire under my ass and get stuff done.  Eating an elephant seems like an insurmountable task, but if you eat it one bite at a time, it can be done.  So, that's what I'm doing.

Lemme 'splain. 

I have let things go - both personally and professionally - for a long enough time that catching up feels like an insurmountable task.  So, I'm eating the elephants one bite at a time until the tasks are tackled.

Elephant #1 is obviously the writing/editing thing.  I got back on that over the weekend and I'm making progress.

Elephant #2 is household chores.  Oh, the house isn't a shambles or anything.  All the regular stuff is getting done - dishes, vacuuming, etc.  It's the bigger stuff that I've let slide, like washing the floors and deep dusting (which means actually moving knick-knacks) and scrubbing the counters (you know, when you actually take everything off of them and don't just wipe in front of everything).  Scrubbing the bathroom.  And weeding.  Ugh, let's not think about the weeding yet today.

Anyway, with this new elephant eating idea in mind, I'm actually getting shit done for a change.  Things are getting cleaned, edits are getting input.

Now, to keep eating these elephants until the plates are clean.  Then maybe the weight of everything won't keep squashing me into the floor.

What elephants are you dealing with?

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 24

How did it get to be Sunday again already?  Time flies.

I am currently still in the whining phase and am trying to move into the kicking my own ass phase.  Watch for 'Eating an Elephant' tomorrow on Outside the Box.

Worked on some marketing stuff.  Big SCIU sale coming on Wednesday - if the Big A doesn't screw anything up.

Did a bit of reading.

And some fishing.

And some cleaning.

Which got me to 5 out of 7 days of active.  Saturday's active was cleaning and boy, did my arms get a workout.  Wednesday and Thursday were fishing.  Tuesday was walking.  Sunday was weeding.  I haven't weighed myself lately, so I have no clue if any of the active resulted in lessening the poundage.

I didn't bake anything last week, but the oatmeal cookies are getting low, so I'll probably be doing a batch of something this week.

We saw our first fawn!  Just a fleeting glimpse, so no pics, but yay.

Nothing else really major going on around here.  Stuffs.  The usual.  What's up in your world?

Whoops.  Totally forgot it's Father's Day.  Happy Father's Day to all the good fathers out there in the world!  

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 6/15/19

Hello again.

This week finds me at 6 unread ebooks - suspense, humor, historical mystery, fantasy, mystery, and SF suspense.  The oldest download date is 5/15, so I'm not doing too bad.

I picked up a new ebook despite my oath to not buy anymore until I knocked down the list a little, but it was a new release and I really loved the previous story in this series.  I also jumped that story over the ones I already had on my Kindle (in fact, it's #54 below) because, like I said, I really loved the story setting this novel up.

Books read:

54) Possum Creek Massacre by Cedar Sanderson (6/11/19) - Paranormal Suspense* - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but so new a release it could use some lovin' right now.  Paid full price - $3.49.
Review: " Awesome! Fun! Paranormal suspense, just the way I like it. The characters were great. The premise was different and interesting. The plot was gripping. I can't wait for the next book."

53) Too Far Gone by Allison Brennan (6/9/19) - Suspense - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Snagged a copy at the thrift store for 50c.
Review: "Ms. Brennan nails it again."  
I don't write long (or often any) reviews for bestsellers.  If you love Allison, you don't care about my review.  And if you haven't read her yet, starting at Book #14 in this particular series probably isn't going to be helped by reviews.  My suggestion, if you haven't read her yet, is to start with her very first book Speak No Evil and go from there.

6/12/19 - Romance - It was on older one I'd picked up at the thrift store for like 50c.  By about five pages in, it was irritating me, so I threw it into the pile to go back to the thrift store.   

Currently reading... I picked up the steampunk - at least I think it's a steampunk... historic paranormal mystery? - this week.  I set it down to read Possum Creek Massacre, but then picked it up again when I finished.  It's pretty good so far. Time will tell.  Not sure what's next after this.  Maybe the humor novel.  Or maybe I'll grab a hardcopy book.  

What were you reading this week? 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday This n That

I typically do dishes in the morning.  My mother would shudder in horror.  She hates leaving dishes in the sink.  I, too, hate waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes.  But I hate doing dishes at night even more.  Except when I'm writing.  Taking a break to do dishes is kind of my thing.

Hubs gave me an awesome idea for a novel.  I wrote it on a napkin because, oddly enough, I have no paper by my recliner right now.  I have no clue how to implement this awesome idea, but it's preserved for when I'm ready for it.  It's kind of Project Hermes meets Blink (for the those of you who haven't read those - and why not? - that would be political thriller meets dystopian.)

I was supposed to make french bread pizza yesterday.  Wallyworld had some nice french bread loaves on sale and that would save me from having to make pizza dough. But we went fishing yesterday afternoon and by the time we got home I was tired, so we had salad instead.  Today... today I will make pizza.

Despite having assured us that we would have a week with no rain, we got rain yesterday morning and last night and this morning.  Thanks, weatherpeople.  Bleh.

Paranormal Suspense ought to be a genre category we can use on Amazon.  I just read a really neat one that makes me want to write one.

I got a jury information thingie in the mail.  I have ten days to fill it out and return it or they will... wait for it... make me come in to fill it out.  I expected like a much harsher punishment for ignoring my jury thing - contempt of court or something.  Anyway, once I fill it out, I'll be in the jury pool for the next six months.  This is like the fourth time I've been in the jury pool in six years.  I got picked once, but they cancelled the trial.  We'll see what happens this time.

We saw the first fawn of the year.  Not well enough to get a picture, but we saw it.  We saw mom in the woods and then Hubs thought he saw something smaller and brown near her.  Then when she walked off, we both saw the fawn scrambling to catch up.  So cute!

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Simple Salmon Salad

Looking for a way to get more fish into your diet, but not exactly keen on fish?  Try this:

Simple Salmon Salad

2 frozen salmon fillets
1 can solid white albacore tuna
1/2 cup olive oil mayonaisse
1/4 tsp dill
salt and pepper to taste

Thaw fillets according to package directions.  Preheat oven to 375F.  Bake fillets for 20 minutes or until flesh flakes easily with a fork.  Cool slightly before transferring to sealable container.  Smush with fork while still slightly warm.  Refrigerate until cold.  (I do overnight.)  Drain tuna.  Place in container and smush with fork until fully incorporated with salmon.  Stir in mayo and dill.  Stir in salt and pepper to taste until everything is well combined.  Serve cold on bread, toast, crackers, or eat with a fork. 

Hubs likes his on toast with pickle relish.  He also puts a big dollop of salmon salad on a plate and eats it with crackers. 

Yeah, I know, mayo isn't exactly high up on the 'good for you' list, but if you use the olive oil kind, it's better for you than regular mayo.  Also, albacore tuna is better for you than regular tuna.

So far, Kraft makes the tastiest olive oil mayo I've tried.  I also use Starkist tuna. (Chicken of the Sea was disappointingly mushy.)  I don't use canned salmon because it's a pain in the butt, super salty, and kinda mushy.  Wallyworld has bags of salmon fillets at a fairly reasonable price.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.  I know we do.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 23

Not a lot to report this week.  I fell down on the editing and still no writing. 

Reading on the other hand went through the roof.  Loads of reading.

I only did 4 out of 7 days on the activity front.  My weight went up, but it was shot week, so that was expected.  After the shot it went back down to holding steady at 179.

I went fishing one day.  Caught 7 fish - a bass, three bluegills, two punkinseeds, and one flathead catfish. 

On the baking front, I made oatmeal cookies.  Nothing really new and exciting about that.  I might make pizza today.  We'll see.

It rained a lot.  Yesterday was the first day without rain in a while.  They're saying no rain this week, but they've said that before and it rained every day, so I'm not holding my breath.

And I think that's about it.  I'm sure other stuff happened, but nothing important enough to remember and put here.  How was your week?

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 6/8/19

Hello again!

It was a pretty good reading week, even if everything I read wasn't pretty good.

I've been keeping to my personal mandate about not downloading any more books until I read the ones I've got.  Only one new ebook since last week's wrap-up - a noir crime novel set way in the future (SF crime noir?).  So, I'm at 7 ebooks.  Umm, hardcopies... yeah... I have 16 new ones.  In my defense one of the thrift stores had paperbacks 6/$1.  So, I dropped $2 there.  And $2 at the other place for 4 books.  It's a sickness.

Books read:

52) Mildred in Disguise With Diamonds by Toni Kief (6/7/19) - Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked up as a freebie after seeing it on the Fussy Librarian newsletter.
Review: "Cute and fun mystery. There's a lot to it - twists and turns and surprises - and while some of the stuff being thrown around may not seem to be pertinent, it mostly is. It's a wild ride. Loved Mildred. Loved the cat. Loved the other characters. Good plot, good premise, good amount of humor. Definitely a must read - even if you're not quite a member of the older set yet."

51) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (6/6/19) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  This was part of a bunch of Christie paperbacks I got at St. Vinny's for 50c each.
Review: "I hadn't read this in years, so I really didn't remember much of the story - other than the whodunnit. Still as good as I thought it was back then. Definitely interesting on the re-read to see if I could catch the killer leaving clues, but I still had to wait for Poirot to reveal it all at the end."
Caveat:  According to Goodreads, I read this back in 2017, but I seriously do not remember reading it then.  I originally thought I hadn't read this since before I married Hubs.  Derp.  The little gray cells... sometimes they fail me.  ;o)

50) A Treasury of Great Science Fiction: Vol 1 by Various (6/3/19) - SF Anthology - 3 stars.  Some new to me and some not.  Picked up ages ago at a thrift store.  Probably paid 50c.
No Review.
Suffice it to say calling this 'great science fiction' was subjective.  The first story was good.  The rest?  Meh or bleh.  I skipped several and DNF'd others.  Still, I might keep it for the first story alone.

49) Storm Breather by Arthur King (6/3/19) - Fantasy *# - 3 stars.  New to me and... well, less than 50 reviews, so it counts.  Got this as a freebie from Reading Deals.
No Review.
I thought it was a pretty good story - that could be helped by the use of a really good proofreader - until I got to the end.  GAH!  It just stops!  No resolution of ANYTHING.  Is this a new trend in Fantasy?  Because I don't like it one bit.

48) Death Report by Erik Racker (6/1/19) - Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated in reviews on Amazon.  Snagged this from the ENT Newsletter for free.
Review: "Good read! I liked the back and forth between the villain's and the main character's points of view. Loved the villain and the hero. And the premise that puts them opposite each other. I'll definitely be looking into this series later."

6/6/19 - UF.  It was a pretty good story, good writing, solid editing... and then, about 15-20% of the way in, it went all hippy-dippy, eco-freako on me.  Not your target market here.  NEXT!  Lucky for me, it was free.

Currently reading...  I started on one of the suspense novels I picked up at the thrift store last month.

And that's it for me.  What did you read last week?  Anything good?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Thursday This n That

Gah!  How did it get to be Thursday again already?

I have to go out into the world today.  Except it's raining.  Oh, I have no problems driving in the rain.  I'd just prefer not to. 

I crawled out from under the wrong side of the rock this morning.  Probably because I was in a long, involved dream that I can't remember now.  I just have the feeling that damn dream lasted all night.  (I know it didn't.  They don't do that.)  And thus, that dream made me really tired like I was working all night.

Coffee is the savior of the day.

Yesterday, I went to the park.  The only other people there were far away from where I wanted to be.  Oh, and there are no park hosts for the time being.  Yay.  No one to harass me while I fish.  It was quiet, there was a breeze, and the fish were biting.  Only caught one keeper fish - a 19.5" flathead catfish.  I didn't keep him. 

The other day at the dollar store, I was just grabbing a cart when I noticed an old lady with a cane walking toward the door.  I leaned back out and asked if she needed a cart and since she did, I gave her the one I'd just pulled free.  She seemed really happy.  It only takes a moment to make someone's day.

Same day, I went to Wallyworld.  There was this dude singing as he walked through the aisles with his little family.  Which was kinda cool.  And kinda not.  He was offkey.  

For some reason, my big hydrangea only bloomed on the bottom branches this year.  Weird.

My little hydrangea is out there trying to survive after last year's deer attack left it munched to the ground.  It's up to about 3-4 inches tall now.  Go, little hydrangea. 

Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  Remember it well and hope we never have to do that again.

Now, go forth into your day.  Have a good one if you can and weather through if you can't.  :hugs:

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A Morning Reading Rant

Is there some kind of trend in fantasy fiction these days that I missed where you don't actually end the book? 

I'm not talking about wrapping everything up.  Obviously there needs to be some kind of continuing thread to lead readers to want the next book.  I'm talking about not wrapping anything up so that readers have to read the next book to get any kind of closure.  And with the first book not wrapping anything up, how are they supposed to trust anything will get wrapped up in the second book?

After spending hours upon hours reading a story to get to some kind of end, it's a total let down to reach the final pages and find no real end. 

That's happened twice to me in the last week or so.  And it's making me leery of opening the other new fantasy novels I have on my Kindle.  Who wants to get burned a third time? 

And another thing... it's making me have to leave ratings under 4 stars, which I hate.  I don't actually finish books if I think they're going to be under 4 stars.  But this crap isn't happening until the very end of the books.  Gah!

And it wastes my time.  Since fantasy novels are typically pretty damn long, I could probably read two other books in the time it takes me to read all the way through one of these fantasies-with-no-end books. 


I know the theory is to have people get so wrapped up in the story, they automatically one-click the next book and keep reading.  I get it.  But it's a dirty trick to play on someone.  Give them an ending that makes them want to learn more.  Like every other genre does with their series. 

Don't even get me started on the one I read last week that didn't even have a sequel published yet.  First book doesn't end, and no sequel available?  GAH!

Ack, I hope this is a trend that doesn't leak onto other genres.  I can't imagine getting to the end of a suspense only to discover there is no end and you have to read the next book to find out how they stop the killer.  Or reading a romance that stops in the middle so you don't know if the boy gets the girl until you buy another book. 

Come to think of it, I have seen this in a couple of other genres - but even then, the author has been thoughtful enough to say Part 1, which lets the reader know ahead of time it's not a complete book.  Still cheeses me off, but at least there's a warning there so I know not to buy the book unless and until all the parts are published.

:heavy sigh: 

Oh, I'll keep reading these newly published fantasy novels.  I can't let a couple bad apples spoil the whole bushel of potential fun.  But I swear to god, it's making me want to poke people in the eye.

:end rant:

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 22

Yep, totally forget it was going to be Sunday today until after I'd already been up for a while.  Not an auspicious start to the day.  So, here goes nothing...

Still no writing.  Thinking about writing happened, but no words were put on paper.  I did get some edits inputted, though.  Not a lot, mind you, but it's a start.  I also didn't do much in the way of marketing, but I did set up a sale with advertising for later this month. 

I read a bit, but didn't finish much. 

Gah, what did I do with an entire week? 

I did manage 5 out of 7 days with activity of some sort.  Mostly walking, along with some weeding and cleaning.  No weight loss, but that's expected this week because it's shot time again.  At least that's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it. 

I did make a pizza.  I think I have the crust part down now.  (See below)  I also made BBQ ribs.  Yummers.

The deer are starting to come back un-pregnant.  Should start seeing fawns soon.  :fingers crossed:  A friend up in Michigan already posted pics of a doe with her fawn.  Totally jealous.  But we figured out that does drop their fawns earlier in Michigan than here, probably due to the fact that up there fawns have to be old enough by winter to survive the harshness.  Just educated guesses on our part, but it sounds reasonable.

And I think that's it for me this week.  I feel totally boring, but that's the way life goes sometimes.  What's up in your world?


Pizza Crust

2 tsp quick yeast
¾ cups warm water (separated ¼ and ½ cups)
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 T EV olive oil
¼ - ½ cup flour for dusting
1 T EV olive oil
1 T melted butter

Place yeast in a small bowl.  Add ¼ cup of the water.  Stir to get all the yeast granules wet.  Let sit.  In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt.  Make a well in the center.  Add yeast mixture.  Put remaining water into yeast bowl and stir around to get all the yeasty goodness.  Add to flour well.  Add olive oil to well.  With your fingers, mix wet ingredients into dry from center until totally incorporated.  Knead dough in bowl for 7 minutes, dusting with flour occasionally to keep it from sticking to your hands.  Put 1 T olive oil in the bottom of a clean large bowl, and rub it all over the inside of the bowl.  Place dough ball into oiled bowl, turning to get the ball oiled.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour in a warm place – should double in size.  Turn dough onto lightly floured surface.  Using your hands, push dough (flipping occasionally) into flat, circular shape roughly the size of your pizza pan.  Place onto pan lightly spritzed with cooking spray, pushing until it’s the right size and shape, and has a thicker outer crust band.  Brush crust band with melted butter.  Top with stuff.  Bake in preheated 475F oven until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly in the center.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Satuday Reading Wrap-up - 6/1/19

Well, would ya look at that, it's a brand new month.  Here's what the reading week looked like for me...

I only finished one book, but it was an epic fantasy and kind of long.  Then I started an anthology and those are usually pretty hefty.  Now I'm reading a suspense.  Loads of reading, but not a lot of finishing.

Downloaded five new ebooks - a humorous novel, a historical mystery, a fantasy, and a  mystery.  Plus, I still have a mystery, two fantasies, a suspense, and a steampunk to read in addition to those new books.   Nine total again.  No new hardcopies.

Books read:

46) The Passage of Kings by Anant V. Goswami (5/26/19) - Fantasy*# - 3 stars.  New to me and few reviews.  Picked up for free off the Freebooksy newsletter.
No review.  But if you make me read all the way to the end, I have to leave a ranking.  Yeah, I know, I don't usually finish books under four stars.  It had four stars right until the end, when it didn't actually end.  It had a kind of 'see what happens next in the next book' message.  Nothing got wrapped up even a little, which lost it a star for me.   Even in an ongoing series, you've gotta have some kind of resolution of something.  I had a feeling this was going to happen about 85% of the way through the book when the author started introducing new characters in a different area of the world, but at 85%, you gotta finish the book.  Gah, and even if I was inclined to buy the next book, it ain't out yet.  Pisses me off no end.  Makes me want to go back and delete a star.  (But I won't because I felt bad enough leaving a 3 star ranking.)  Note to authors: Do not piss off readers this way.

5/30/19 - Mystery.  It felt like the author was spending too much time trying to impress me with how snarky they could be.  Oh, I like me some snark, but it's gotta feel natural and this felt forced.

Currently reading...  A SF anthology from the 1950s.  About midway through, I took a break and dipped into the Kindle.  Which is where I DNF'd that book and then picked up one of the suspenses I had left to read.  So far, the suspense is pretty good.

What happened in your reading week?

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thursday This n That

I've said it before... Enough with the weather already.  I'm writing this on Wednesday because we're supposed to get storms again and I want this scheduled in case we lose power.

I have a wild rose bush in one of my gardens.  I bought a trellis and trained the damn thing onto it.  Except now it's so huge that the wind keeps dragging on it and pulling the trellis over.  (And the moles keep undermining the base, which doesn't help.)  So I have to go out and right it.  She's kind of a bitch, that rosebush.  She likes to bite.  Thus, I get little scratches and puncture marks on my hands and arms.  But she's pretty, so I haven't resorted to cutting her back to the ground.  Yet.  If I do, it'll be okay.  Wild roses are notoriously hard to kill.

My cultured roses exploded with blooms this year.  Well, they were all cultured.  Two of them went feral.  The blooms are still pretty and they're still more domesticated than the wild rose, but the flowers are smaller and one of them is getting out of control.  It's all like 'BAM, here I am, taking over your porch'.  I should've taken pics.

It's almost the end of the month.  How'd that happen?  Ugh.  Time is flying by this year.

My Dad's birthday is Sunday.  He would've been 83.  I totally can't think of him as 83.  He died just short of his 66th birthday.  Even then, though, I can't think of him in his 60s.  In my head, he'll always be younger.  The 'before he got sick' version of Dad - pre-Wegener's Disease, pre-kidney failure, pre-dialysis.  I'd say pre-heart problems, but those started when I was 10, and I don't have a lot of memories of my childhood, so more like an '80s version of Dad.  Like this:
Out fishing in like 1985.  I come by the fishing thing honestly.

Right now, I'm reading a SF anthology from the 1950s.  The first story was more like a novella and very good.  The next two... Meh.  I don't often read anthologies for this very reason.  It's hard to rate them as a book when the stories vary so widely.  :shrug:  Still, it's interesting and the shorter stories are what I need right now.

Okay, well, that's about all I can think of this morning and I'm sure you're heard quite enough out of me.  If you're in the stormy areas, hang onto your asses.  If I don't approve your comments in a timely fashion, we dark over here.  If I do, we made it through fine.

What kinds of this-n-thats do you have going on right now?

Thursday morning add-on:  We didn't get the storms they were predicting.  Again.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Starting Up Again is Hard

It's hard getting started and even worse once you stop.

That's pretty much true with anything.  It's hard starting an exercise routine.  It's harder getting back into an exercise routine once you stop.

It's hard enough to get into a writing/editing routine.  Once you stop?  OMG, so hard.

Let's not even think about how difficult it is to start a diet and what happens when you fall off the wagon and start eating all the fat things again.

So, how does one overcome this?

Well, the easy answer is DON'T STOP.  Whatever you're doing, if it's working, don't stop doing it.  But that's the easy answer and we all know the easy answer isn't the most realistic one.  For one reason or another, we all fall apart when it comes to sticking to stuff.

Some people find restarting easier than other people.  Hell, some people make restarting a national sport.  Some of them can even muster the will to stick to doing stuff.  I am not one of those people.  I might be one of the 'national sport' people.  But I keep trying.

Right now, I'm working on getting back into the habits of exercising and editing.  The exercise is going a bit better than the editing.  Both are hard to pick back up again after so long away, though.  Every day, I tell myself I'm going to exercise and edit.  And, most days, I find something else to do. 

I'm not sure what the answer is.  If I had that, I probably wouldn't be in this position.

I think the problem is that when you've stopped for a while, and you go back to whatever it is that needs doing, the whole thing seems insurmountable.  Like climbing a mountain.  It's there and it's huge.  And the longer you stand there looking at it, the huger it becomes.  And you're faced with a choice - take the first step and keep on taking them, or walk away.

Except the mountain will still be there if you walk away.  And you'll still need to get to the top eventually if you want to achieve your goals.

It ain't gonna get any easier. 

So, take the first step.  And keep on taking them.  And if you falter and slip backwards a bit, shrug it off and take another step.

Onward and upward.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 21

Twenty-one weeks into 2019.  How the time do fly.

Still not writing or editing.  Marketing has been taking up a large part of my time this week with the OUAD sale.  I'll talk more about that on Outside the Box.  Probably Wednesday once the sale is over.

I joined 4 new FB marketing groups.  Two have accepted me and two are pending.  We'll see if that helps increase sales.  I'll talk more about that tomorrow on OTB.

The reading went well this week.

The exercise? I was active 6 out of 7 days - walking mostly and some cleaning.  I'm trying to get back to doing the hard 1.1 mile walk more often.  No change in weight, but that's okay.  At least I'm exercising enough to hold the line against all the eating.

Which leads me around to baking, etc.  Sunday, I made a pizza.  Also, this past week, I made a loaf of coconut bread (no recipe this week - it still needs tweaking) and a vat of spaghetti sauce (I don't use a recipe for spaghetti sauce).  The bread's in the fridge and the sauce is in the freezer.  We finally finished that cake, though.  And Hubs is making his way through the cookies.

As far as I can tell, the deer are still pregnant.  We should be seeing them slip away for a bit and then return a bit skinnier shortly.  Fawns to follow.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.  We have nothing planned.  I didn't even remember to buy anything to grill.  But I'll be remembering those who lost their lives in defense of our country and those who have lost their lives since defending our country.  Which is really more important than whether or not we throw some meat on the fire.

Speaking of Memorial Day, the neighborhood is full this weekend.  :cringe:  The start of the summer season is upon us.  So many new people in here and some of them aren't exactly courteous, so I expect loud music, fast moving vehicles, fireworks, and a lack of decorum aplenty.  One gal was walking with a brood of children the other day and one of the boys - about 10-12 years old - decided the road in front of our house would be a good place to hock a loogie.  Gross.  And she didn't even get after him for it.  My mother would've skinned the hide of any of her children if we'd done that.  I don't advocate spitting unless you've been working hard cleaning stalls or shoveling dirt or something that necessitates cleaning out your mouth.

My timesuck game... I finished Level 35 and clicked to go to Level 36 and it was Level 1 all over again, even though it said 36.  I could've kept going and racking up points, but meh.  Been there, done that.  Time to go back to my old game.  Or find a new one.

Or maybe I could get off my butt and actually work.

Anyway, that's my week.  How was yours?

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/25/19

Hello again!  Time for another round of what my reading life is like.

I still have 6 unread ebooks from before and I picked up two new ones yesterday morning while I was on hold (nothing's better than killing time on hold by looking at book newsletters) - a steampunk that sounded interesting and a mystery with an old lady heroine. 

Books read:

45) Ghost of a Chance (Maggie Mulgrew #1) - Cate Dean (5/23/19) - Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me, but has plenty of reviews.
Review: "Fun mystery with a touch of romance and a pinch of the supernatural (a very small pinch, but nonetheless, a pinch)."

44) Twice Shy by Mona Ingram (5/18/19) - Romance*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked up as a freebie off the Ereader News Today newsletter.
Review: "What a nice little romance. Cute and sweet."

43) Crescent Calling by Nicole R. Taylor (5/18/19) - Paranormal Romance* - 5 stars.  New to me but only kinda underappreciated.  Picked up as a freebie off the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: "Fun beginning to what promises to be a neat paranormal series."

No DNFs.

I started reading a fantasy Thursday afternoon after I finished the mystery.  The epilogue was pretty interesting, even if it did hit me in the squick factor.  We'll see what happens from here.

And that's about it for me.  What was on your reading list this week?