Thursday, February 14, 2019

Thursday This n That

It's Valentine's Day.  Yeah, flair for stating the obvious, right?  I'm kinda meh about the holiday.  I mean, Hubs and I show each other how much we love each other every day.  And I've had some heinously bad Valentine's Days in the distant past.  And today?  I'm on the downslope of this cold and Hubs is on the upslope.  I look like I have leprosy of the nose and he's hacking up a lung.  How romantic is that?  ;o)

I got dumped on Valentine's Day 1992, which lead to a rebound relationship which was one of the worst mistakes I ever made.  But the Kid came out of it, which was good in the long run.  Not easy, but good.  She's my KD-Kitten.  (I can hear her cringing from here.)

Tomorrow will be Half-Price Candy Day!  Unfortunately, I'm on a no-candy diet.

Speaking of diets, I lost two pounds on the Viral Diet.  Get a cold, lose weight!  For FREE! Eat less because everything tastes weird and burn calories sneezing and coughing!  Get yours today! (No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Your mileage may vary.)  :gigglesnort:

I have to go shopping today.  We're out of a bunch of stuff and I really shouldn't put it off another day. 

Hubs did offer to go shopping for me.  The thought of him doing the shopping sends me into spasms.  Not that he couldn't do it, but the control-freak in me can't let him.  What if he bought the wrong stuff???  Gah.

Well, that's it for me.  Have a nice Valentine's Day with your special someone, be they spouse, partner, significant other, kid, furbaby, book boyfriend...  ;o)



Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Derailed

Yesterday, I wrote a big long post whining about my cold, but I figured no one wants to hear me whine, so I deleted it.  Everybody gets colds.  Life goes on.  Yada yada.

But it's hard to think, let alone create, when you have a cold.  Thus, my newly-refueled writing engine has been derailed since this started on Saturday.  Derp.  I can hear it, laying there in the ditch, chugging pathetically as it tries to turn the wheels, but there's nothing I can do about it.  :pauses to blow nose for the six-billionth time:

I should still be on track to have this thing finished by the end of the month.  Barring any other unforeseen difficulties.  I feel better now than I did when I went to bed last night, so I'm crossing my :pauses to sneeze: fingers I'm on the downslope of this crap and can get back to writing tonight or tomorrow. 

Wherever you are out there, don't get this.  My middle sis in Michigan had this last week.  (We joked that she gave it to me over the phone.)  Remember, Purell is your friend.  But if you do get it, chicken soup, vitamin C, and a boatload of tissues.

Peace out. :sneeze sneeze: :cough: :makes baby-elephant sound while blowing nose:

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 6

Well, hello!  Fancy meeting you here.

This past week, I got back to writing on a project that will be published eventually.  The plan is to get 'er done this month, edit etc.  And hopefully have it to my editor by the end of March.  So, maybe May/June?  Depends on fast I can get this sucker on the page and how much editing I have to do afterwards.  The writing hasn't gone super fast, so I only got out like 5K last week, but I wrote on 5 out of the seven days, so I'm calling it a win.

The big Once Upon a Djinn sale wrapped up last night.  Friday night, the ad was paid for.  Everything else is gravy.  And the ad for SU last month finally paid for itself in page reads, so that's gravy, too.  Not a lot of gravy in either case, but better than nothing.

I spent a lot of last week making ads and posting to FB Groups.  And keeping track of it all in a spreadsheet.  I'll talk more about that tomorrow on Outside the Box.

I did some reading.  Finished two books and made good headway into a third.

Didn't give a rat's ass about the Super Bowl, but I did make homemade pizza on Sunday.  It was awesome, but it was a lot of work.  Then later in the week, I made homemade turkey pot pie.  Awesome, but again, a lot of work.  I called a moratorium on baking for a little while.  Lucky for Hubs, we still had pumpkin pie bread in the freezer.  It's defrosted now and he's happy.

On the activity front, I did something active 5 out of 7 days.  I counted kneading the pizza dough because if that isn't active, I don't know what is.  Ugh.  Stepped on the scale and was down to 179.6 pounds.  Not a huge step down, but it's nice to see that 9 again.

Yesterday, we did the last carpet - our bedroom.  Carpet cleaning is now done for the next 6... 8... 12 months.  Yay.  I counted that, too, because moving furniture and vacuuming is definitely active.  (Hubs does the actual carpet cleaning.  What, he needs activity, too.)

Well, that seems to be it for me.  What's going on in your world?



Saturday, February 9, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 2/9/19

Not much reading this week.  I'm writing again, so reading tends to fall away.

I did download two new books - an underappreciated 2nd book mystery (where I've already read the first) and a romantic suspense set in India.

And here goes the short list:

 12) Dial P for Poison by Zara Keane (2/8/19) - Cozy Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  I knew that going in, but it sounded like it would be fun so I snatched it up anyway.  Got this on a freebie day.
Review: "Super cute and so much fun!"

11) Agent of Enchantment (Dark Fae FBI #1) by CN Crawford (2/7/19) - Paranormal Suspense* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Got this for 99c back in December.
Review: "Oooo, so good! An awesome suspense wrapped upped in a gritty urban fantasy with an undercurrent of potential romance skimming along beneath. Three great tastes that taste great together. ;o) With an end that didn't feel so much a cliffhanger as an awesome hook that makes me want to read more. Gimme gimme gimme."

No DNFs.

----------------------

Haven't decided what to read next.  My Kindle needed a recharge last night and then I needed to write and THEN, of course, Live PD was on.  Maybe I'll start that zombie apocalypse.  Haven't done one of those in a while.  Or maybe I'll find a paperback to read.

Something occurred to me the other day so I thought I'd put in a short disclaimer.  I don't get books because people have sent them to me and want me to review them.  No one has asked yet, but I'd rather they didn't.  I choose books that interest me, and I never know on any given day what kinds of books that will be.  So, asking me to review a book would be a waste of time.  I might be interested, I might not.  I might be interested now, but by the time I get around to looking for a book to read, I might not be into that genre.  I might not be interested now, but something might spark me later.  I never know ahead of time.  :shrug:

Also, I could've sworn some of these new-to-me books were underappreciated when I downloaded them, but since I didn't get to them that quick, they have since become more appreciated.  Good for them.  I'll keep sprinkling my fairy dust and reading new things.

Anyway...

I hope you all had a good reading week last week.  Here's to a good week ahead!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Thursday This n That

This is as warm as it's going to get today.  From here, the temperature drops.  I hate it when that happens.

I have an urge to make bread.  But not just any bread - interesting bread.  I have a couple recipes that look promising.  One is focaccia. The other is an Italian herb bread.  We'll see.

Spellcheck wanted me to replace focaccia with Iaccoca.  How long ago was he even famous enough to be a word in spellcheck?  I'd bet most people under a certain age don't even know who that was.  Huh, google says he's still alive.  Whoda thunk it?  As an aside, I'm not a fan of Chrysler.  I had one once.  Can't remember the model - it was an obscure one.  Biggest piece of crap I ever drove - followed closely by the Oldsmobile Achieva.  Don't get me started on that one.

I really need to paint new letters on my keyboard.  But if I paint new letters on it, I'll have to wait for it to dry before I can use it.  Not sure I can wait that long.  I should do it right before I go do something else for a while.  Yeah.  That sounds smart.

My spice rack is horribly out of date and most of the letters have rubbed off that, too.  I started a relabeling project last year.  Umm...  One of the containers has no letters at all and I don't remember what was in it.  Can't tell by the smell.  Time to toss it and start over. I learned the hard way not to put onion powder in my spice rack.  It turned into one big cylindrical brick.  I guess it has to stay in the container I buy it in.  By the way, who the hell uses Coriander? And why does it come standard with every spice rack?

I don't understand crate training for dogs.  None of the dogs I've ever had were crate trained and they seemed fine.  Happy.  Chill.  Our family dog would wander the house at night, checking on us all, then he'd pick a bed to sleep by.  By day, when we were all at school or work, he would protect the house.  Never had one break in while he was alive.  After he passed, the house was robbed.  Coincidence?  Don't think so.  It was the same with my two dogs when I had my own home.  Okay, so one time the Rott-n-Lab chewed up my cell phone while I was sleeping (and I awakened to the sounds of crunching), but hey, stuff happens.

Well, that's enough out of me for one day.  What kinds of this n that are on your radar today?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Required Reading?

The other day I read an article about some books being suspended from the curriculum due to parents' concerns.  I saw the list of books and personally, I can't think why any of them were in the curriculum to begin with.

No, I've never read any of them.  I'd never even heard of 4 out of the seven.  One of them we had in the house for a while because it was required for one of Hubs long-ago college courses.  I got rid of it years ago because meh.  All of this brings me back around to wondering why they were in the curriculum in the first place.

Some are talking about it like it's a book ban.  I think it's more along the lines of someone wasn't paying attention to what the educators were using as material and once the parents pointed out what their children were being forced to read (yeah, forced, because it was a case of read it or get an F), the district stopped to actually think about what was being read in their classrooms.

Long ago when I worked for a private school system, I brought a required-reading book to the attention of the president of the company because I thought it probably wasn't the message the company wanted for their customers' children to read.  I never did hear whether he agreed, but even if he had taken it out of the curriculum, it wasn't a ban.  It was a choice about what the school syystem wanted to be stuffed into a kid's brain under their watch.

And as I always say, be careful what you put in your brain because once it's in there, you can't get it back out again.  Think about when you have no choice but to read something and it's stuck in your head forever.  Think also about impressionable young minds being forced to read something you, as a parent, would never allow to be put in there, if you had any choice in the matter.

The book I brought to the attention of my boss was required reading for a grade.  If I had read the book first, I would've said 'hell, no', but instead, it was brought to my attention by the heart-rending sobs coming from my daughter's bedroom.  I read the book then.  And it was horrible.  Yeah, I cried, too.  It was that kind of book and totally inappropriate for the school's mission and for impressionable children's brains.  Maybe if she was 14 like the kids at the school in Texas, I would've told her to read it if she wanted to.  But to be wary.  (Which were pretty much my instructions for her reading anything past a certain age.  She was inhaling books faster than I could keep up with.)

One argument being made in the article I read was that the kids were probably going to read the books anyway.  Probably already had read the books, in fact.  And if you tell a kid they can't read a book, they're going to hunt it down and read it while their parents aren't looking.  Possibly true.  Doubt it when looking at the titles on the list.  They don't really seem like books the average kid would waste their free time reading.  And it's really not an argument for what is and isn't in a government funded school's curriculum (or even a private school's curriculum). 

These are educators.  Their mission is to educate.  Any book in a curriculum should be put there with that purpose in mind.  Of course, some educators see their mission as to inculcate rather than educate, and they choose reading material to further that agenda.  Sad, but true.  Somewhere, someone has to watch what is being used to educate and determine whether its purpose is to educate or to inculcate.  In this case, the watchers the parents.  It probably should've been the administrators, too, but in the end, the parents are the first line of defense.

And maybe the parents and administrators should be looking at the educators and their reasons for choosing certain books to put into their curriculum.  For instance, why Old Yeller and not Big Red?  They're both dog and boy stories.  One with a positive, hopeful message.  The other?  Hopeless and sad.  Hell, even Where the Red Fern Grows is better than Old Yeller.  Come on.  I guess there it comes down to your general philosophy of life.  Personally, I prefer to give children positive and hopeful messages.  There's plenty of time later - after they've got a good basis and their armor is thick - to expose them to the other crap.

Jus' sayin'.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 5

It's February!  How did that happen?

Anyway, I did stuff last week...

I'm finally back to writing, albeit in fits and starts.  As of last night when I scheduled this post, Evil Space Bunnies was at 8.5K.  Ron and Marcy are in the thick of it.  Stuff's happening.

The Once Upon a Djinn sale starts today (US and in the UK), so I've been busy working up to that marketing spree.  An acquaintance of mine will be putting it in her newsletter today.  I have an ad in Bargain Booksy on Tuesday for Wish in One Hand.  And I'll be pimping the FB groups throughout.  Oh, and I made a new banner for my Once Upon a Djinn FB page.  (If you haven't already followed it, shuffle on over.)

February means my spot with my cover artist came up.  This spot is for Cinder Ugly.  She gave me the option of putting it off, but I know if I put it off, it'll never get done, so I'm doing it.  Maybe that'll light a fire under my ass to write the damn books.  You know, once I'm done with ESB.

Reading was slow.  

Let's not talk about exercising and weight, shall we?  We walked the loop on Friday and I was so out of shape that I spent yesterday sore as hell.  I'm not letting that stop me, but I think I need to go back to babysteps until I'm back into shape enough to do the loop.  That last hill to the house is a killer.

Sore or not, I spent about an hour in the woods yesterday.  Mostly I was sawing dead limbs off cedar trees.  There's something wonderful about the smell of freshly sawed cedar.  Of course, most of the work was at the bottom of the hill and when I was done, I had to trudge back up the hill.  Ugh.  Then I had the bright idea to go for a walk. 

We were supposed to do the bedroom carpet yesterday, but by executive decision, I called it off.  It'll either happen today or next weekend.  If my leg muscles aren't so damn sore.

Thursday, Hubs made Thanksgiving Dinner - turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce.  Yummers.  But it totally messed up my time continuum.  You have a holiday dinner when it isn't a holiday and see how you fare.  =op

The Super Bowl is tonight, I guess.  I'm not watching.  I quit football cold turkey back in the sumemr of 2017 and haven't looked back.  I won't even sneak a peek for the commercials - because those will be on TV sooner or later.  Some of them are already on YouTube.  Someone did a poll and like 60+% of those polled don't care about the Super Bowl this year.  That's the free market at work there, folks.  You piss off enough customers and your income goes down.  Tada.

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