Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 16

 Hello again.  Sixteen weeks into 2021.  The weirdness continues and we're holding our own.

I got back to work on writing Friday night.  Duke Noble 2 is on its way.  Between Friday night and last night, I got out just over 3200 words.  Yay.  Already has a twist.  Heh.

I really need to do some marketing and have a sale.  I'll see what I can do this week to make that happen.

In other writerly news, I received the last proofs and now all of my books are available in paperback form.  In addition to the Kindle form.  I'm still waiting on the author copies of RHI, but those should be here tomorrow.  :fingers crossed:  I have at least two people who want to buy a copy.  Maybe a third, but I haven't talked to her yet and I probably won't see her for another couple weeks.  

It wasn't a great reading week. Only finished one book.  And the Zane Grey I was reading got set aside for another time because I just wasn't into it.  I picked up a fantasy instead.

In baking news, I got a wild hair and created my own recipe.  Chocolate Walnut Upside-Down Cake.  It was awesome.  So I posted the recipe on FB.  Except I forgot to put down something when I wrote the recipe - mini chocolate chips.  Oops.  I bet it's still good without them.  (corrected recipe below.)  I also did a batch of granola bars.  And it's not baking, but I made a vat of beef stew yesterday.

On the activity front, I did something 5 out of 7 days - skipping Friday and Saturday.  The weather was chilly and wet, so I used that as an excuse.  the other 5 days, I walked, did gardening, did some windows, went shopping, and went fishing.  Weight: 185.2 - up 4/10ths of a pound.

When I was fishing I caught 3 little bluegills and a little green sunfish.  None of them were keepers.  

If you want gardening news, go over here.  

Hubs found an antler in the yard!  Eight years we've been looking for antlers and suddenly there it was.  It was only a spike, but hey, it's a start.  It's long past when deer drop antlers.  We're thinking a squirrel found it in the woods and was dragging it somewhere to eat when it dropped it where Hubs found it.  It's in the garage for now.  I'll clean it up and put it in the house eventually.

From the sounds of it, Hubs is killing a mouse in the garage as I type this.  Must've got one in the trap and it didn't die.  I hope it was the one chewing in the wall for the past hour or so.  It was driving me crazy.  (Update:  It was a mouse, but it wasn't caught.  It was running around.  He didn't get it.  Drat.)

Other than that, not much going on around here.  Hanging in there.  Watching the country I love circle the drain faster and faster.  Not much I can do about it.

Oh, I went to Wallyworld earlier in the week.  About thirty percent of the people weren't wearing masks.  So I took mine off.  Freedom!  I still stayed as far away from people as possible - it's ingrained in me now more than ever.  If I get the crud, you can say I told you so.  If I don't... neener neener boo boo.  

Okay, now that's really enough out of me.  How was your week?

Recipe:

Chocolate Walnut Upside Down Cake

1 stick butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 1/3 cups chopped walnuts

-------

2 cups white sugar

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup baking cocoa powder

2 cups water

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp white vinegar

1/3 bag mini chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350F (175C).  While oven is preheating, put the stick of butter in a 9x13" cake pan (sliced for quicker melting) and place the pan in the oven.  Remove as soon as the butter is melted.  Stir in brown sugar until combined.  Stir in walnuts until all nuts are coated and then make sure they're evenly placed.  Set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl, sift together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  Add water, oil, and vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Stir in vinegar until smooth.  Pour batter over the nut mixture in the pan.  Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.  Overnight is best.  (If you don't let it cool, the still-warm cake falls apart.  Trust me on this.)

 


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/17/21

Well, it wasn't an exciting week in reading, but here goes...

No new books.

Books Read:

25) The Sound of Murder by Rex Stout (4/11/21) - Hard-boiled crime - 5 stars.  Not new to me but so old that it's underappreciated.  (Plus, it's not a Nero Wolfe.) - picked up in a group lot from a friend.
Review: "Wow. That was a twisty, turny, 'keep you guessing' book if ever there was one. Alphabet Hicks is a heck of a hero and I wish I'd discovered him years ago. Now I'll have to go searching to see if Stout wrote any others and finding them to snag as my own. FUN."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... and here we come to why I only finished one book this week.  I'm reading a non-fiction ebook and it's taking me a while.  I also started a Zane Grey to give my brain a break when it's overflowing with NF.  I rarely read two books concurrently and this particular NF is very thought provoking so it's taking a lot of attention.

What's on your reading list for last week?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thursday This n That

Videos of police lip-syncing and dancing... I think they're awesome.  Those guys do so much for us and their jobs are so stressful, they deserve to have a little fun.  Every one I see makes me smile.  (I watched a new one yesterday morning where the lip-syncing was so horrendous it should've been a crime, but it was still fun to watch.)

I took pictures using my phone for the first time.  They didn't turn out too bad.  

This is of the new boulders they put at my favorite fishing spot and in the foreground is the approximate location where I fell on my ass.  (I took the pics so Hubs could see what they did to the place.  Note: I am not happy.)  You might not be able to tell, but some of those gray rocks are 2-3ft across/high.  

I have static in my phone.  Sometimes.  I thought it had cleared up and then I was talking to someone and it started back up again.  I really need to call CenturyLink.  But I hate calling them.  I really wish someone else in my neighborhood would make the call, but they don't.  It seems like I'm the only one who ever bothers.

By the way... if you ever talk to me on the phone or in person, I have this thing I do where I stop and start and pause a lot.  It's because my brain is searching frantically for the next word.  And sometimes, in its haste to get a word out, it inserts whatever word it came up with, even if it's the wrong word.  The longer I talk, the worse it gets.  Hubs and Mom are used to it.  To everyone else, I probably sound like a moron.  This is partly why I rarely get into long conversations.  

There's a new gal at the bank.  Okay, she's been there for a few months now.  Anyway, I took my RHI proof with me to the bank to show my BFF and happened to take the time to chat with the new gal.  Turns out she's a voracious reader and wants a copy of Duke, too.  Yay.  

Speaking of copies, Amazon said I'd have my author copies between the 14th and the 16th.  I got a shipment notification from the Big-A last night.  They sent one book and it won't be here until the 20th.  The other 4 books I ordered?  Who the hell knows?  I have three books already spoken for.  Dammit.   (Okay, I just looked at it again and NOW it says they sent 4 books.  Derp.  Where's the 5th?)  I wonder what they would've done if I'd ordered 100 books.  *

Anyway, I probably should go start my morning.  Hubs already has laundry going and I feel like a slug.  More coffee!  Stat!

What up in your world?

*Okay, I think I figured it out.  There are two shipment notifications.  One for one book and one for four books.  They shipped them all, but in two different packages.  Maybe.  I guess I'll find out Tuesday.  :eyeroll:


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Randomosity

When I can't think of a long enough thing to make a whole post, you get this... randomosity.

Yesterday, I learned of something disconcerting.  A friend of mine had been throw in Facebook jail.  Her only recourse was to appeal the decision, which she did only to be told that they're awfully busy right now and might not have time to get to her.  So, she's off FB for the foreseeable future.  And she doesn't post anything controversial.  Guys without their shirts on.  Funny cat/dog pics.  Goofy memes about coffee.  They didn't even tell her why, other than to spout the standard 'violated community standards' crap.  Gah, I am so pissed I can't see straight.  Anyway, they didn't touch her author page (show your support and go like it if you're on FB), but she can't touch it either.  She can't even log onto FB to look at stuff.  Bastards.

I went out fishing yesterday and the first thing I did, before I even got a worm in the water, was to fall on my ass.  In their infinite wisdom, they put huge rocks all along the river/creek, so now, in order to bank fish in my favorite spots, I have to traverse some iffy terrain.  Loose rocks underfoot... fell on my ass.  Unfortunately, I fell with my left leg underneath me, so it got bent all the way to my ass - something it hasn't done in 27 years.  And something popped.  It hurt like hell and I think I screamed.  So, there I sat wondering if I'd well and truly screwed myself.  After a time, I figured I'd better get up and see if I could walk to the car.  It didn't hurt anymore, but sometimes that happens.  I got up.  And stood there, still not hurting. Then I wiggled my leg.  Still not hurting.  Then I bent my leg back and forth.  Lo and behold, my leg bent like it used to.  Something must've broken loose.  Old scar tissue?  Anyway, it still bends.  I ache all over this morning, but it still bends like it did before my accident.  Happy accidents do sometimes happen.

Oh, I caught three fish afterwards.  Then I went to a different place, walked all over there and caught one fish.  

Oh and I accidentally kicked up a flock of teals.  And their were osprey at the other place. I love it here.

In case you're not following my new blog about gardening, I now have zucchini seedlings coming up.

Yesterday, Lumpy's son - the yearling buck - was playing by himself,  Tilting his head like was going to fight another buck and jumpy all around.  So cute.

The trees here are filled with tweeting birdies.  Loads of them.  But I haven't laid eyes on any of them and their songs aren't such that I can say I've heard them before, so the birds remain unidentified.  Might be finches.  Did I mention I love it here?

Okay, off you go to your own regularly scheduled lives.  I'll be back again tomorrow with a similar post.  Although, now that I've written this, I have to come up with more random things to say.  I bet I can do it.  ;o)

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Word Manipulation

"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words." - Philip K. Dick

"We don't want to use past definitions of infrastructure." - Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

Inside of one generation humans won't have any other definition of certain words than the definitions now provided for them by leftists.  Kids today are being taught the new definitions.  Old definitions... the ones we've used forever... are being scrubbed out of existence.  Even the dictionaries are changing their definitions so words don't mean what they used to anymore.  

As a human being, this makes me sad.  As a writer, this pisses me off.  But I don't have the words this morning to convey what I want to say.  Other than to remind the world that 1984 was a cautionary tale, not a how-to guide.

:wanders off:

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 15

Gak.  Sorry I'm late here, folks.  I didn't finish this last night and then I got distracted this morning...

Well, we started out the week with Easter, which was just another day here at Sanderson Acres.  I didn't even make a special dinner.  Just threw a Stouffer's Grandma's Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bake in the oven and called it good.  

I didn't do any writing or editing this week, but I did format four books for print, get the two I'd done entirely myself uploaded, and get the proofs ordered.  And I contacted my cover artist for the other two books, got the paperback covers, uploaded those books and ordered proofs.  Then the proofs for the first two came in and I approved those for sale on Amazon.  The other two proofs should be here this coming week.

I really should set up some marketing for the paperbacks of Blink of an I and Unequal.  But I haven't.

I had a great reading week.  Right now, I'm on a Rex Stout - one that isn't a Nero Wolfe.  I never knew he'd written that many books.  I have a lot of work to do on that collection now.

No baking.  Maybe I'll make something with walnuts tomorrow.  I had a walnut windfall, so we're chock-full of those buggers.

In gardening news, stuff happened.  And I created a new blog to talk about that, so I'll let you go over there and see some stuff.  Including pictures!  Woohoo.  

On the activity front, I did something every day but one.  Some days I did more than one active thing.  All told, I walked almost 4 miles.  And did some garden stuff.  And went fishing, which was a bust, but I did gardening that day, too, so it's all good.  Weight: 184.8 still.  Better than up, though, right?

Speaking of garden stuff, my flower gardens are coming along.  Most of them were untouched by the deep freeze.  Unfortunately, my roses took a big hit and I had to cut them way back to remove all the dead stuff.  And I think my crepe myrtle is mostly dead.  Which is a bummer.  It has new leaves at the very base and not even a leaf bud anywhere else.  =o(

Since I'm late, I'll just leave ya there.  I can't think of anything else I did last week anyway.  How were things in your world?

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/10/21

 Hello again!  It was a good reading week here.

I picked up one new ebook - a suspense.  And I received 9 old paperbacks from a friend who was weeding down her collection - 3 Agatha Christies, 4 Rex Stouts, and 2 Piers Anthony.  Squee.

Books Read:

24) Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie (4/9/21) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Paid a box lot price which included shipping.
Review: "Ooo, that was a good one."

23) Ogre, Ogre by Piers Anthony (4/7/21) - Fantasy - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Paid a box lot price which included shipping.
Review: "I repeatedly read this way way back when I was a teenager. I haven't read it since, until now. While some of the puns weren't quite as funny as when I was younger, it's still a pretty awesome book. And it now has a treasured place on my bookshelf."

22) The Case of the Perambulating Hatrack by Cedar Sanderson (4/3/21) - Paranormal Noir Mystery* - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but a new release so probably underappreciated at this moment.  Paid full price when Cedar let it be known that it was live on Amazon.
Review: "So much fun! A perfect blend of old P.I. noir and new urban fantasy. If Spillane and Butcher had a love-child, it would be Solly. Who would've guessed I could fall in love with an orc? Oh, I loved all the other characters, too. (Nettle was my favorite after Solly.) I loved the plot and the mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed the world-building. Definitely different in a totally good way. I can't wait to read another one of these."

No DNFs.

Currently reading...  Not sure what I'll pick up next.  Maybe the NF title I one-clicked by accident.  Maybe a Rex Stout.  Tune in next week to find out.  ;o)

What was on your reading list for last week?