Sunday, February 5, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 5

 Another exciting week in the life of B.E. Sanderson.  Just kidding... there's no excitement here.

Monday and Tuesday were snow days.  I made it to work the other three days.  Side roads were crap, but the highway was dry, so once I made it out of here I was good until I had to turn onto the road for the office.  And then reverse that when I left.  I'm a Michigan girl, though, so it's no big deal.

I ran errands yesterday.  Dollar General in the morning and then because of a snafu, Wallyworld in the afternoon.  I did meet a funny dude at the Walmart.  He was chatting with the greeter I like and she invited me into the conversation.  I think he might've been a Vietnam Vet.  He was the right age range.  But he also could've lost his legs some other way.  Dude was hilarious and I thanked him for giving me a chuckle before I walked off to shop.  Later, I saw him in the store and he was flying down the aisle in his wheelchair.  I called him a speed demon and he laughed.  Cool guy.

I forgot to post my reading wrap-up yesterday.  There was only one book on it, so I'll leave it for next weekend.  

On the weight/activity scale, the only activity I got was throwing salt in the parking lot.  Weight: 159.4

The cold from hell is still lingering in the house.  Hubs' cough is still present, although it does sound better this morning.  I bought some better cough syrup and cold pills, which he used as soon as I got home.  All my symptoms are almost gone, but now I have this smidgen of a headache.  Yip-pee.

Oh, the snafu.  I picked up a new phone card for Hubs' Tracfone.  No biggie, right?  Well, it wouldn't upload.  I don't know if all y'all have heard about the 3G sunset - wherein 3G devices will no longer work as of some indeterminate date - but apparently Hubs' phone was 3G and his date had passed.  So I ran down to Wallyworld and got him a new phone.   I attempted to set it up last night, but it wouldn't let me do it online, so today I have to call Tracfone and see if I can get them to get his info from the old phone to the new phone.  I am a dinosaur.

Everything else here is pretty much the same. SOS... SSDD... if you're old enough to remember those.  How are things in your world?

Friday, February 3, 2023

2023 - Books Read

It's that time again.  If you didn't already know it, I log every book I read throughout the year.  I've beem doing it since 2007. This is that post for 2023.  I start it when I finish the first book of the year and I keep moving it as I go along.  And there are links to all of these posts on the left side, underneath the books I've written.  

* = ebook
# = new to me and underappreciated (which means I haven't read this author before and it has less than 50 reviews on Goodreads)
if there's a number there, it's the book's place in a series (I do this if I remember, but I usually don't)

The book list is newest first, but they're numbered, so you can kinda guess that.  Last year, I had a goal of 75 books and I only got to 72.  This year, I'm going with a 50 book goal (because I'm now working full time.)  Feel free to play along.

Anyway, let's get this party started...

8) The Road to Paradise Island by Victoria Holt (2/6/23) - Historical Romantic Suspense
7) Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams (1/31/23) - Cozy Mystery
6) Three Men Out (Nero Wolfe) by Rex Stout (1/20/23) - Crime
5) Domino by Phyllis A. Whitney (1/17/23) - Romantic Suspense
4) Spinsters in Jeopardy by Ngaio Marsh (1/14/23) - Mystery
3) Kill Shot by Vince Flynn (1/8/23) - Political Thriller
2) What Lies Beneath by Adam Croft (1/2/23) - Suspense*
1) Snowflakes and Sparks by Sophia-Leigh Robbins (1/1/23) - Romance*
0) The Cat Who Came for Christmas by Silver James (1/1/23) - Holiday Paranomal*

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Thursday This n That

 Mmm, coffee.

It's February. I suppose I ought to change my calendar.  Only a day late, so go me.

Between the weather and the crud, there were only two people at work yesterday - me and another dude.  Nice and quiet, just the way ol' hermit me likes it.  And I get along with the dude, so the few interactions we had were pleasant. Mostly, it was me in my office doing my things and him in his doing his things.

Driving home yesterday was interesting.  When they plowed the highway, they left large piles of ice at the entrances to all the side roads.  And it got just warm enough to make snowcones out of it. So, I had a pile of soft ice to get through to get onto the highway and another to get through to get off the highway.  Lucky for me, I know how to handle shit like that.  And thankfully, the highway was free of other drivers.  A little fish-tailing was involved and I was in the wrong lane for a smidgen there.  We'll see how doing it in reverse works this morning.

Michigander me thinks all of this is piddlin'.  I've driven through way worse.  Of course, it's been 20+ years, but it's like riding a bike.  I don't understand how some people forget how to drive in snow from one winter to the next.  

Hubs with the crud means I've been taking on some of his chores.  Like feeding the deer.  They don't know me, so they freak when they see it's me and not him.  But after a couple days, they aren't running away anymore, so that's good.  I also took over garbage duty.  I rolled the polycart up to the road last night, which was fun since everything is covered in a thick layer of packed ice pellets. Tiny steps.  And hey, I didn't fall.  :knocks on wood:

I made an apple-cranberry crisp this week.  Unfortunately, I had no vanilla ice cream and the roads were too bad for a run to the store.  Lucky for me, I had a bowl of whipped cream in the back of the fridge.  Yum.  You definitely need something creamy to balance the tart of the cranberries.

Okay, I should probably start getting ready for work and junk.  Have a great day, everyone.  

Monday, January 30, 2023

Let's Be Honest

Yesterday morning, when the house was quiet and I was keeping to the office to let Hubs sleep, I cracked open once of my unfinished books and started reading it.  Oh, it had a few first draft type problems, but all in all, it was pretty damn good.  

I had hoped that by reading through it, it would spark some kind of creative spark.  Okay, so I hoped for a bonfire, but I would've settled for a spark.  The only urge I felt, unfortunately, was the urge to edit.  And that wasn't even that strong.  No more of an urge than I get reading work I didn't write.  

It's been about ten months since I published my last book.  It's been over 6 months since I wrote anything creative.  From time to time, thinking about my writing has been a knife in my spleen.  Putting words onto paper had been my joy.  

I was going to say 'my passion', but I couldn't have been that passionate about it, if I gave it up.  I see other writers talking about the passion driving them to write more and be better, and how this has lead them to making enough money to live on (or at least to make their financial lives better).  

I don't think I've ever had that kind of passion about anything.  I love putting words down.  I love people reading those words.  I love having people pay me money for it.  But is it my passion?  :shrug:  Like I said, it couldn't been that passion-provoking, if I could give it up so easily.

Yeah, the choice to get a job instead of write was not the easiest in the world, but in retrospect, it wasn't that damn hard either.  If it was my passion, shouldn't it have been harder to give up?  But let's face facts - the writing was not making any money.  I made like $1350 that first year and every year afterward has been less.  My total sales figure since February of 2015 is just under $4K.  I can't even bear to think about how much money and time I spent to make that pittance.  I'm like $11K in the hole net.

Finally, enough was enough.  Continue to throw good money after bad, while Hubs works himself into an early grave to keep us from going bankrupt?  Or go get a damn job?  See, not that hard a choice after all.

Sure, somewhere in the back of my head, I thought I would work and write.  That was obviously a pipe dream.  My brain isn't wired like that, I guess.  I hit work and my left brain wrestled my right brain to the floor, pushed its face in the dirt, and shouted, "My turn, Bitch!" Shortly after which, ol' right brain crawled into a corner, whimpered for a while, and then slipped into a coma.  

I don't think I could write anything creative now if my life depended on it.  I write loads of stuff at work - mostly emails and letters.  No creativity involved.  Occasionally, I write marketing stuff and maybe put a little flair into that.  But that's rote stuff.  I could burp out marketing copy in my sleep.  Write such that characters come alive?  Not a chance in hell.  I was reading about Aryl and Lyra and the gang, and I know where their supposed to go and what they ought to be doing.  It should've been easy to start typing again, but I can't make the words come.  

Will I ever write again?  I have no clue.  I've never been very good at looking into the future.  For now, all I can say is that I can't write while I work, and I need to work for who knows how long...  Three years?  Five years?  Ten?  In nine years, I can take early social security (if there's any left by then).  Will anyone want to read what I write by then?  Will Aryl and Lyra wait?  Will Duke?  Will the SCIU gang and Dennis Haggarty even be relevant then?  Or will there be something new I can try my hand at, leaving all my unfinished books unfinished forever?  Time will tell.  

I'm such a stubborn cuss, I can't actually admit defeat here.  So, it's not goodbye to my stories.  It's just 'so long for now'.  And I'll still be here at the blog for anyone who still wants to come around.  

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sunday Update - Week 4

 Fair warning: I don't have a whole lot to talk about today, so this might be boring.

I spent last week laid up for the most part with a head cold.  I'm still not 100% over it.  It's lingering.  And now Hubs has it.   Weee. 

Sick or not, things had to be done, so I ran errands yesterday.  Walmart was Walmart.  I picked up necessities and stuff to combat this cold.  Then I stopped at the feed store and picked up supplies for the critters.  I got home and unloaded the groceries.  Hubs unloaded the feed.  Then we spent the rest of the day laying around.  

A brief thought on Robitussin Honey... not worth the extra money you pay for better tasting cough syrup.  And yeah, that's the only reason I bought it.  I took some last night to try and kick the last of this stuff in the ass.  Now I have medicine head like you wouldn't believe.  I could've gotten the same for about $5 less a bottle. 

If you checked in yesterday, you saw I didn't read much last week.  I got about 138 pages into a book that I DNF'd.  One would think that since I was home and sick, I would've been reading a lot.  Nope.  Wearing glasses was not an option.  They sat on the bridge of my nose, weighing on my sinuses and making me sneeze.  Which was part of the fun during that short span I was at the office.  

Don't even ask about activity.  Bleh.  However, being sick has reduced my weight.  Weight: 160.0.  Yep, lost about 4 pounds in 10 days.  I do not recommend this as a weight loss plan, though.  I expect that I'll go back up again after this.  We'll see.  On a brighter note, I learned yesterday that despite my lack of activity, I can still heft around a 40 pounds bag of birdseed.  Go me.

I worked about 20 hours last week.  Monday, half of Tuesday, and Friday.  Friday was playing catch-up for the days I missed.  And there are still things left undone which are running around in my head like a hamster on crack.

The big snowstorm they predicted last week ended up dumping about 2-4 inches of the white stuff.  So, totally not the 4-8 or 6-12 they'd predicted days earlier.  It was mostly gone by the time I went to work on Friday. Yay.  

My month of Ancestry ended on Wednesday.  I learned a lot this time around - mostly about people closer in the tree.  Cousins and whatnot.  The best part was talking to Mom and hearing her stories about people.  (Might not have been the best part of her... me rattling on endlessly about genealogy.)  I got to hear about the guy who worked as a clown, marketing cookies in the metropolitan Detroit area.  And the great aunt my grandmother hated, who apparently stunk.  And how my grandfather built the addition on the house she grew up in.  (I googled the address, so I could see it, and then we talked about her growing up there.)  Dudes, if you still have older people in your family that you can talk to about this stuff, do it now before it's too late.  I don't have my dad to talk to and I lost all his stories.  Thank goodness, Mom remembers his stuff as well as her own.  Also, thank goodness Mom's memory is still as sharp as a chef's knife.  

Okay, I think that's about it.  Maybe this post wasn't as boring as I thought it would be when I started.  And the medicine head is going away, too.  Yay.  Have a great day everyone.  I need to hit the Dollar General today because, wouldn't you know it, I forgot to buy Kleenex.  Derp.

How was your week?

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 1/27/23

This wasn't the most exciting week in reading.  In fact, I spent most of the week reading a book that I DNF'd yesterday.  

I got one new used paperback last Saturday.  It's a romantic suspense by an author I love.  I got another paperback new from Amazon (which I just discovered I actually read before - derp).  No new ebooks.

Books Read:



1/27/23 - paranormal... horror... I can never tell with Anne Rice.  Okay, so I DNF'd Tales of a Body Thief.  I had read it years ago, but as I was reading it this time, I wasn't quite as impressed as I remembered.  Lestat is whiny.  And by the time I reached page 138 or something, he was approaching too stupid to live.  I suppose when you've got a character who basically can't die and you're tasked with writing another book about him, you have to go somewhere.  :shrug:  I couldn't take it anymore so I closed the book and slipped it back on the shelf.  I'll keep it, but I don't think I'll read it again.  I need to buy The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned to complete the set and read those again.

Currently reading... a cute little cozy I picked up to round out my last Amazon order.  Apparently, I've read this before, but I don't remember it so whatever. LOL

What was on your reading plate this week?

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Thursday This n That

Well, the big news of the week is this head cold from hell I managed to come down with on Saturday.  All sneezing and some coughing, but no fever.  I worked Monday, but only worked half a day on Tuesday and took all of yesterday off.  You know if I'm taking time off work, it's gotta be bad.  I've blown my nose so much that it and the space between it and my upper lip look like raw meat. I've gone through three boxes of tissue and a roll of toilet paper.  Between coughing and sneezing, I think I've pulled every little muscle in my rib cage.  I slept ten hours last night and I'm weak as a kitten.  I could probably sleep another ten hours.  I just wrote the office that I'm not going in again.  

The other day, I discovered a good channel on Direct TV that I didn't know we had - COZI TV.  It's got reruns of old shows - like Quincy ME, and Emergency! I accidentally scrolled too far up and ended up in the shopping channels, and it was nestled right in there with another good channel that runs old western shows and movies.  Anyway, they'll be running a marathon of Emergency all day Saturday.  Yay.  Ah, nostalgia.  I had a serious little girl crush on Randolph Mantooth.

My soap arrived.  I thought it was 16 bars, but it was only 8.  (I went back and checked.  My fault.)  $22 for 8 bars of soap.  Cringe.  But it's necessary to my existence, so I pay it.  Pre-'rona, this was easy to find on store shelves.  Now?  Nope.  

Okay, that's about as much as I can think of right now.  I'm going back to bed.  Blerg.