Friday, August 30, 2013

Movie Quotes

Let's see if you can guess these...

1) "Live and direct from the First National Bank building... It's Blind Terry Doolittle!"

2) " I tell you one thing that really drives me nuts, is people who think that Jethro Tull is just a person in a band"

3) "That's not fair!"  "Fairs are for tourists, kid."

4)  A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal.

5)  "Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end."

6)  "Oh no, madam. Oh no. You... most of us go through life with blinders on. Knowing only that little station to which we were born. But you madam, have had the... rare privilege of escaping your bonds for just a spell. To see life from an entirely new perspective. How you choose to use that information is entirely up to you."

7)  "My Mama always said you've got to put the past behind you before you can move on."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Things You Should Never Do in the Middle of the Night


2) Comment on anything on Facebook

3) Write blog posts.

4) Drink coffee

And I've done all four since I woke up at 1:30. :smirk: 

On a side note, it's really hard to find the right letters on my keyboard at this time of night - especially when half of them are rubbed off because I type a whole lot.  Typing this post took a whole lot longer than it should've.

Now, if you'll excuse me, those peonies and other plants aren't going to order themselves.  Up to 60% off at Springhill!  I'm so there, man. 

Where's my credit card...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Last Round... Until...

Okay, so we finally got to a stopping point this weekend.  There's nothing left to do...  Until plant ordering season begins again... Until I get the gumption up to go pick out the river rock we want to use to fill the holes in the retaining wall blocks...  Until plants get delivered...  You get the picture.

But until then, we're done.  Here's the last set of pictures:

The Dirt Pile (now gone entirely)

The Rock Pile (not quite finished)

Front Bed w/ Mums Galore

Mums Galore

The Shade Bed (awaiting plants)

The Shade Bed
Where the Irises Used to be - Now a Rock Garden

The Iris's New Bed
Yeah, the irises look scraggly, but they'll perk right up come spring.  And the two bushes there - the left is the crepe myrtle, the right is the lilac - they'll perk up or they won't.  If the move was too great a shock, we'll replace them with just lilacs.  We love lilacs.  Also, I plan on putting heather plants along the concrete and in the corner where the bed meets the garage. 

In the front bed, I have plans for peonies.  In the shade bed, lily of the valley.  All or part of which will have to wait for Spring.

=o)  I can't wait for Spring.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Landscaping Project Pt 2... or What We Did Yesterday

Here we are again... looking at the yardwork... Okay, LANDSCAPING PROJECT...

So we started the day with two piles of stuff:

Pile of Rocks

Pile of Dirt

and a bunch of spots to put the stuff:
Westside Trench

Southside Foundation Sealed

Westside Foundation Sealed

Westside Trench

Northside Trenched

Northside Bed
So we spent the day putting stuff in the spots that were ready to take stuff:

Westside Path over Trench

Our First Flowers
Iris Bed Drainage Path

Path and Filled-in Southside Foundation
Today we'll be moving two bushes from the front yard to the iris bed - a crepe myrtle and a lilac (both of which look like they belong to Charlie Brown) - as well as moving the irises.  Hubs put a second coat of sealant on the westside foundation yesterday afternoon.  If that's dry, we'll begin filling that trench and bed with dirt and that miracle grow you see in the last pic.  And he'll start painting the sealant on the northside, so it'll be dry by the time we're ready to put in the shade bed.

Busy busy bees.  (I wish we were bees - then the damn bugs will leave us alone. They feasted on me yesterday.  Thank goodness for itch creme and stuff.)

Oh, and just because she hasn't had the proper amount of attention lately, here's my fat cat...

And now, I've got work to do.  More pics in the days ahead.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Timesuck That is Yardwork

Okay, so all y'all know that we bought a house and moved back in April.  The house isn't perfect - what house is? - but we knew all it would take was some sweat equity to make our home the way we want it.  The first thing we did was get gutters installed on the north side - where there were no gutters.  (Really helped with that 5.5 inches of rain we got.)

The next big project was digging up the foundation and sealing it - with it's ancillary project of sloping the ground away from the house (thereby creating flower beds) and creating a drainage system to direct the rainwater coming down the hill away from the house, too (thereby creating walking paths).

First order of business - move the azaleas lining the front of the house so they'd be out of the way and wouldn't get crushed by all the activity.  Those went into new beds on the other side of the driveway.  And they're looking pretty okay, considering it's not the right time to transplant shrubbery.

I moved 5 of them here and the other 4 are on the opposite side of that tree.

So, we got the bushes moved.  Then came the digging of trenches - both to clear the foundation and to create a drain so the rain wouldn't drown our foundation.

Next, we ordered retaining wall blocks...

and began putting those in place.
But we couldn't do much more to the front because we were waiting for the foundation to dry out there.  (The 5.5 inches of rain did not help with that.  LOL)

So we worked on the iris bed alongside the driveway...

It's ready for planting.  And since the dirt arrived yesterday, I'll be working on that today while the Hubs puts another coat of sealant on the front and digs out the back foundation so it can dry. There'll be more pics as we get certain aspects of this done.  (If I waited and posted them all at once, we'd be here all day. LOL)

Yes, all of this is a tremendous timesuck.  And I'm getting squat done for writing.  But hey, it'll look awesome when we're done.  Plus, our foundation will be nice and dry from here on out.

What timesucks have you encountered lately? 

PS.  Yes, my house is the color of pumpkin puree.  That will be rectified next year maybe.  Depends on time and finances and how long my husband can bear to look at that color.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reading My Books Like I Didn't Write Them

You may recall back on the 9th, I put the question out there as to what I should be doing now.  All y'all were very helpful.  But I still didn't know what to do.  So, I started working on Djinn 2 - because I thought that would be the easiest.  Umm, easy to get lost reading and forget I was supposed to be editing, maybe.  Blerg.  So, I'm setting that aside for now until I can get a grip on myself and be objective. 

Right now, I'm reading my past manuscripts on my Kindle.  I'm trying to read them like I wasn't the one who wrote them.  I'm trying to be objective.  I'm trying to open my eyes and take in the whole picture instead of the individual words. 

Yeah, I'm trying to see the forest.

First up is Unequal.  I'm about 5 chapters in on the good ol' Kindle.  And I'm starting to read this like I wrote it again.  Not reading and getting lost like I was with Djinn 2, but starting to doubt how I wrote the beginning of the book rather than just reading the damn thing. 

I don't know about you, but when I read another person's book, I like getting lost in it.  Not helpful for fine edits, but excellent for catching the big things.  Know what I mean?  No matter who's book I'm reading, I notice points where I get thrown out of the story, or certain tropes that irritate me, or things that seems... I don't know... off about the story line.  Those are the exact points I want to edit out of my own story.  And those are the things that need more editing than just a misplaced period or a rewording. 

The other day I was reading a book.  It was a good book overall.  But there were whole passages where the characters were just bantering with each other.  The first time was cute - even if it didn't drive the story forward.  By the fourth banter, it was just irritating.  Yeah, I caught that in my own work yesterday. 

That's what I want to catch. 

I don't recall thinking during reading anyone else's books that maybe they brought the characters in too soon, or that they shouldn't have jumped over that plot point to get to this plot point.  Perhaps I'll need to fix that when I rewrite this, but that's a tree - not the forest.

I don't know if any of that made sense.  Maybe I'm just talking to myself via the typed word so I can get it straight in my head.  If so, thanks for following along with my little bit of insanity. 

How about you?  Do you ever try to read your own writing like you weren't the person who wrote it?  Does it help you?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Reader Guilt

I feel bad.  Instead of reading books by people I genuinely care about, like and follow, I'm reading a book by someone I've never heard of. 

In my defense, it was free.

Back before we retired from obtaining money via other people, I had a book budget.  Sure, it was based on how many people bought books from my online used bookstore, so it was never very big, but it was enough to feed my need for new books.  If an author I follow came out with a new book, I'd order it.  If the next book in a series I was reading hit the shelves out there, it was hitting the shelves in my house.


I closed my store when we moved, so there went my bi-monthly deposits.  And since we're living off our savings until one or both of us succeeds in our personal endeavors, I'm down to sneaking a book in with the groceries or keeping myself to $25 a month (if I can swing it) in Kindle purchases.

I know - boo hoo.

I don't mean to bitch.  After all, this was the life we chose.  Out of debt and free from financial encumbrances.  And I really am grateful for every free book I can download.  But I feel guilty when I can't just One-Click on a new release to feed my addiction. 

Anyway, to all the writers our there that I know and love, I really am sorry.  I will get your books eventually.  They're all sitting on my Amazon wishlist.  And I will try to remember to get a review up at Amazon, too.  (I do review most books on Goodreads, but I don't go to Amazon as often as I should.)

Here's just a short list of books I'm waiting to buy (if I can't support my authors with money, I can support them with links):

Warbound by Larry Correia
Cafe Midnight by Silver James
Bone Deep by Debra Webb

Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword - edited by James R. Tuck
Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery - edited by James R. Tuck
Deadly Pursuit by Misty Evans
Pile of Bones by Bailey Cunningham
Last Blood by Kristen Painter
Rubbed Out by Riley Adams
Nightbound by Lynn Viehl

And we won't even get into the books that aren't even released yet... like Seanan McGuire's Chimes at Midnight.  

Okay, now I'm getting the DTs from talking about buying books.  Ah, the life of a book junkie who can't get a fix.  (Lucky for the world that jones'n book junkies don't try to knock over convenience stores to feed the habit, or I'd be so there.  'Cept I'd be holding up the nearest Barnes and Noble using a sharpened bookmark.  "Give me all your books, or I will cut you.")

What about you?  How's your book budget looking these days?  Do you feel guilty when you can't buy an author's new release, or is it just me?

(Lest you think this is a shameless ploy to get free books, it's not.  I want to BUY these myself so the authors I love get a little something in their paychecks from this devoted reader.  This is just me bitching and feeling like a toad.)

Monday, August 12, 2013

20 Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago today - at just after 4am - I gave birth to a baby girl. 

My little princess...

Who grew up into a strong woman...

And though she may have had some bumps in her road, she's finding her own way and walking her own path. 

By this time next month, if all goes well, my darling daughter will be on her way to being a member of the armed forces.  It's not the path we wanted for her, but we couldn't be prouder.

Happy Birthday, Darlin'.  Even though we can't be together today, we hope your day is awesome.  Eat a bite of dream pie for me.  :HUGS:

Friday, August 9, 2013

What To Do

Okay, so I got that rewrite knocked out.  It's done.  And I'm at loose ends.  I have so many books I need to work on that I'm like a cat who has too many toys thrown at it at once.  (Ever take a handful of cat toys and throw them in the air.  When they land, the cat doesn't know which one to chase.)  Of course, there's also the risk that with too many toys, the cat will get bored with them all.  So, following the analogy, I need to pick one toy to bat at, chew on, and kick.

If you've been following along over at my writerly blog A Pound of B.S., you'll see the beginnings of almost every book I've ever written or started writing.  I think the only ones we're missing over there (that I could still work on) at this point at Djinn 2 and Sleeping Ugly.

I'm leaning toward either rewriting Blink of an I again, or finally editing Unequal.  The only problem there is the little voice in my head that says 'dystopian is out'.  Since those are both 'speculative fiction', I could be shooting myself in the ass by spending too much time on them.

I do have two suspenses (Nanotechnology and Fertile Ground) and a mystery (Cut and Dried) I could be working on. 

Or I could go back, take all the mad writer skills I've acquired in the past 9 years and fix an early work like Nature of Fear.

I also have a YA Fantasy I never really got under way, and so many new ideas...

See?  Cat + Toys = Brain Implosion

So, I'm letting you all have a say. 

What do you think I should work on next?  Input would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dun de Dun Dun... DONE

Last night, I finished the rewrite I've been killing myself over for the past 6 weeks.  Those of you who asked to read it back in July should have a copy in your inbox.  If you don't have it and you should, or you decided now that you really do want to read it, let me know either in comments or via email.

It topped out at just over 98K.  I started the rewrite on May 22nd at a really really slow pace.  It took me a month to write the first 20K words.  The last 78K took from 6/25 to 8/7.  6 weeks, seventy-eight thousand words, ten puffy fingers and two ouchy wrists later and it's done.

And now for an action shot of Mittens the Bobcat...

That was her scampering away into the woods on the day we first sighted her.

Monday, August 5, 2013


The other day I was looking at my spam folder, reading the subjects, and I thought 'hey, that sounds a lot liked some kind of f'ed up poem, so here's this morning's installment...

Supplemental insurance doesn't have to cost more.
Lease to own homes are affordable.
See who's checking your credit.
Fruit pill melts away fat - Top doctor thinks so.
Home warranty protection for your family.
Do you like Burger King?
Do you like KFC?
Mortgage rates rising. Get refinanced NOW!
Fast funds - up to 1000 dollars.

The end.


Happy Monday, Everyone!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Not Geek Enough

I keep hearing these nasty little rumors about things that go on at ComiCons.  Girls are getting touched.  Girls are getting harassed.  Girls aren't feeling safe because some of the guys that go to these things are inappropriately touching or ogling them.  All of that needs to be addressed by the proper authorities - as in the convention people and/or the police.  (Seriously.  Someone touches you without your permission, call the cops and charge them with assault.  It might not stick, but it'll make them think twice, now won't it?)

Recently, I read a post about something geek girls can actually do something about.  You see, the new thing is girls getting their 'geek credentials' checked in case they're, you know, not geek enough.  (Naming the superheroes from a particular publisher, getting grilled about their favorite flavor of geekdom, etc.)

I really don't know why the geek girls care if some numbnuts calls her out and says she's not enough of a geek to attend a damn comic book convention.  He wonders why he can't get a date that doesn't need a tire pump and you're worried about what he thinks about you?  Screw him.  Screw anyone who doesn't think you're good enough to be anywhere you damn well want to be.  (Unless it's like you want to trespass on private property - then yeah, you can't be there unless someone says it's okay.)

Apparently, according to the rules, I'm not geek enough.  S'okay.  I was reading comic books before most of these assholes were a gleam in their daddies' eyes.  I was playing Dungeons & Dragons before that.  I spent all four years of high school in marching/symphonic band - two of those as first chair flute, tyvm.  I learned BASIC in high school for petesakes and helped my boyfriend write a... :cough: data collection :cough: program in college, and still remember how to fix a computer using DOS (mostly - it's been a while, but I do have the System floppies if I ever need them).  I hung out on the pre-internet when it was still Bitnet and the WWW was just some nerd's wet dream.  (And no, that nerd was not Al Gore.)  But if some freak who lives in his mother's basement doesn't think I'm geek enough, well, whatever.

If I ever choose to go to a Con, let them try to call me out.  Go ahead.  No skin off my ass.  I've probably forgotten more general nerdiness than they ever possessed.  So there.  =op

So, please, ladies who go to Cons.  If some asshole walks up and wants you to answer a bunch of questions to prove you are enough of a geek to be in the same conference center as him, tell him to go pound sand up his ass, and then go back to what you were doing - enjoying your geekness.  If enough women stand up and say 'enough is enough', this crap will dwindle down to the clueless few who really have no lives of their own to admire, so they have to break down others.

Now, please return to your random geekiness.  I have to go watch MasterChef UK: Professionals*.  (Although I'd probably get cred checked as a foodie, too, because I've never eaten sea urchin or some other such nonsense.)


Oh, and if you haven't seen this yet - go here, read the article "Some Geek Boys Called These Geek Girls 'Fake.' They Certainly Won't Be Making That Mistake Again" and watch the video.  (I wrote this post before I saw that - but yeah.)

*This post was pre-written and scheduled - obviously I'm not watching MCUK:P at 1:30am.  I'm sleeping - because that's what old married-lady geeks do at 1:30 in the freakin' morning.  =op

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Little Game of Spot the Deer

This morning is quiet and gray.  We're supposed to get rain later, but right now, there's a hush in the atmosphere.  And the deer are taking advantage of it by bedding down in the woods behind the house.

See if you can spot the deer in this picture...

It enlarges when you click on it.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

See 'em?  No?

How about now?

They're right there.  In the middle-ish.  Just up from that one tree and over a little.  (You can see now what my husband has to deal with.  It's really hard to describe where in the woods a particular thing is located.  Even harder when he's looking out the different window and he's about 4 inches taller.  From his perspective, leaves and branches might've been blocking what I could plainly see.)

Did you see them that time?  How about now?

A little easier?


Well, here they are!

Mama and fawn.  Excellent camouflage!  My father taught me early to look for certain shapes and lines that seem out of place with the trees.  The color is close to the fallen leaves, but not quite, and the slope of her outline isn't exactly how the landscape slopes.

The real question now is who sees the third deer?  I didn't see it myself until minutes later when it started scratching at its ear with a back leg.

(I apologize for the less than stellar quality of these.  They were taken through a window that desperately needs cleaning - and one that won't get cleaned any time soon because it's about 10-15 feet off the ground.  I don't do ladders and we haven't splurged on a power-sprayer yet.)

Updated: The third deer - outlined in the last picture above.

Scroll between this one and that one.  See it now?  (Yeah, it looks like a kindergartener drew a deer there, but if you look between the two, you can see I didn't just draw one on.)