Thursday, July 30, 2015

This n That Thursday

Something's wrong with the lottery website so I can't check whether I've already won.  I could use a little good luck.  Not that I've had bad luck - I'm just feeling like a little good luck would be welcome this morning.

I'm a little grumpy today.  Part of it was that Hubs' phone went off at 4:44am with some text message.  By the time we figured out what the hell the noise was and that it wasn't anyone actually calling, we'd lost the window of opportunity to go back to sleep.  And when we finally read the message, it was a crass joke.  Not even a good one.  The only people who text him are his brother's family - and they would never send anything like that.  Plus, they text like once a year and they're all asleep at that time of the night.  So, thanks for interrupting what little sleep we get Mr. Unknown Asshole.  (Had to be a guy. No girl would repeat that joke.)

You know, I probably laughed at that joke 20 years ago when I first heard it.  Hell, I know I told way worse jokes back then.  My sense of humor has changed.  I think it's because I think better of myself than I used to.  I should probably ruminate on that sometime.

I do that.  Ruminate on internal stuff sometimes.  Why do I like this? Why do I hate that? Why am I still going over that conversation I had last year?  Or the one from 10 years ago?  :shrug:

I was out running errands yesterday and one of my stops was a place where I know all the employees, we usually chat up a storm while I'm there, and they're all good people.  One of them was up to her ass in alligators, but she wanted to let me know how much she enjoyed my first book.  Then she said she wanted to read the second book and asked when it would be free.  Yeah, my jaw dropped, too.  Especially since she bought a paperback of the first book and didn't snag that one during its free ebook day.  Maybe she was joking but was too busy to carry the joke off right.  :shrug:

One of my former customers back in Michigan told my old boss (okay, he's my brother, too) how much he enjoyed Dying Embers and to make sure to pass that along to me.  =o)

Maybe if I keep thinking about things like that, my grump will pass.  Not promising anything, but there's hope.

What's on your 'this n that' list today?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 30

Hey all. 

It's been a week.  Stuff happened.  Other stuff was done. 

Stuff happening tends to derail stuff being done.  Know what I mean?  And it's not all stuff I can talk about.  Nothing personally specific to me - close enough so that I'm effected by it but far enough away so blasting it on the internet isn't up to me. 

Other than that, Max hasn't been feeling well again.  Oh, he seems to feel alright, but he's not eating.  I picked up more antibiotics, but they aren't cutting the mustard.  Back to the vet tomorrow.

I'm about 70% of the way through the line edits for Bloodflow. Then I have to input all those changes - both large and small.  I have plenty of time, since this one isn't releasing until November.  Still, I wish I could pick up the pace. 

I should have the final edits back for Wish in One Hand sometime this coming week.

I got the bookmarks ordered for Wish in One Hand.  I'll have those by August 3rd.  I should have the postcards ordered this week.  I should also have the newsletter out on the 1st, but I've been saying I'll work on that for a week now and it hasn't happened. 

Took a couple walks to try and de-stress.  Here's a pretty pic I took on one of them:

How are things in your world?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This n That Thursday

A spider bit me on the back of the knee.  Probably while I was sleeping.  Dirty rotten bastige. On the upside, it's finally over the hump and starting to look like it's healing.  It's been a constant distraction for days, though.  It was really grody for a while there.

Despite all the bugs, I still really love living here.

Bandaids do not adhere well to the back of one's knee.

I still use words like gnarly and grody and cool.  They're fun and I'm not stopping just cuz they're passe.

It's RWA National Conference week.  My FB feed is filled with pics of authors having fun in NYC.  I wish I was with them, but in a way, I don't.  NYC is crowded enough.  Add in all the people from the RWA and I feel like having a panic attack just thinking about it.  Still, I would love to hang out with my friends.  Except for the drinking part. 

Yeah, I don't drink.  Nothing against other people drinking.  To each his own.  I'm just not interested in it anymore.  I probably drank the allotted amount of alcohol for 4 other people earlier in my life and I'm kinda over it.

Near-beer makes brats that are just as good as real beer brats.

I spent this morning paying bills.  I love having all the bills paid for the month, but man, I hate paying them.  Writing those checks and seeing my bank balance shrink?  Bleh.  Still, at least I have the funds to pay all our bills every month.  Always a positive.  I remember those lean years when I didn't and would play the financial roulette of 'Who can I get by without paying this week?  Pay the electric and not buy groceries, or buy groceries and put the electric off 'til next week because they won't start fining me until I'm 15 days late.'  Fun fun.  Or those times in college when I would buy a pack of cigarettes because smokes were cheaper than food and acted as a appetite suppressant.

What's on your 'this m that' list today?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


You know, the very first blog I started back in '06 was called Musings About Writing.  Thought I was pretty unique there - until I saw how many other people were 'musing'.  :shrug;  That became The Writing Spectacle.  Cuz, hey, it's all a spectacle.  And my first book's tentative title at the time was Spectacle.  (Yeah, vague and unspecific title there.  It's now called Fear Itself.)  The blog title stuck and there we are.

Ahem.  That wasn't what I was musing about when I started this post.  And somewhere between YOU and ARE in that paragraph, I lost my train of thought.  Be nice, I haven't had nearly enough coffee yet.

One thing I was musing about first thing this morning, pre-coffee, is how something that ticks me off and made me very ranty, passed pretty much unnoticed in the real world.  Funny how that happens. Some issue that has a limited number of people up in arms one way or the other, really isn't all that important to the rest of the freakin' world. As in, you know, normal people. Kinda puts things in perspective.  Kinda gives me hope that since it really isn't all that important, it will be ignored and perhaps will pass into not even a hiccup in history.  Time will tell.  If only all such nonsensical issues would pass so easily into obscurity.

Of course, there's the other chance - that something big will happen because of it and no one will have noticed until we're all without another little bit of freedom.  Again, time will tell.  Since my underlying passion is what I call 'speculative fiction' - wherein one speculates about the future in novel form - I tend to see the long term possibilities in all their horror and/or glory.

Think Twilight Zone.  The original one with Rod Serling.  That show was awesome and I suckled at it early - which is probably why I am the way I am. 

Of course, I also read books like Fahrenheit 451 and Anthem and Brave New World and Atlas Shrugged and 1984 during my formative years.  If those don't give you some insight into possible futures and make your mind wander down those paths, I don't know what will.

I guess, I could also point to the show Quantum Leap there, too.  One man, jumping around the time thread of his life, fixing things that can be fixed. 

Anyway, point me toward a book, movie, or show that explores the trail mankind could take, and I'm so there.

And now my musings have wandered as far a field as I want to let them this morning.  The coffee's starting to kick in and the brain is turning back into something a little more solidified. So I'll leave you with one last thought from Back to the Future III

The future isn't set in stone and it is what we make of it.  So make yours the best you can.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 29

Hey, I remembered on a Sunday!  I totally rock.

What happened last week?  Let's see...

I rolled out the cover reveal for the ebook version of Wish in One Hand.  Now I just need to complete the edits so I can put it out for pre-order.  So close.  I'll be showing the print version to my newsletter subscribers in the blast I send on August 1st, along with some exclusive stuff - a snippet, a contest for a free book, a chance to read an early ecopy of the book.  So, if you're not a newsletter subscriber, get on that before 8/1.  K?

I downloaded some other new image manipulation software that is supposedly to be comparable to my ancient Microsoft Image Composer.  So totally not.  Bleh.  I'll keep using the old stuff until some future updated Windows makes me stop.

My hardcopy book order arrived.  Ideal by Ayn Rand, Audacious by Mike Shepherd, Sew Deadly by Elizabeth Lynn Casey, and the National Audubon Society's Field Guide to Mushrooms.  Yeah, I'm eclectic.

I made some headway editing Bloodflow this week.  I love this book so much.  And this was the book that frightened me because it's pretty intricate with all the players and the intrigue and the technical stuff.  But it's coming together and should be ready for a November launch. 

Oh, and if you missed the cover reveal, here it is:

What's news in your world?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This n That Thursday

I just heard a strange sound from the living room - like Hubs opened a shaken can of pop.  I'm too lazy to investigate.  By the time I go in there, I'm sure I'll forget to ask.

The way our house is laid out, the office is at the other end of the house from the living room, and my desk is on the far wall.  The phone is on a table at the far end of the living room.  If the phone rings while I'm at my desk, you can be pretty sure I'm probably not going to get there before the answering machine - unless I run. And I don't run.  I figure anyone who cares will leave a message.  Then Hubs' brother calls.  I see his name on the caller ID, but he doesn't leave a message.  I call him right back.  "Why didn't you leave a message?" "I never let a phone ring more than 4 times." "It takes me longer than 4 rings to get across the house." "Then you need to learn to walk faster."  ROFL  Ri-ight.

My crepe myrtle - the one I thought I killed when I transplanted it to a sunnier area?  It's covered in buds and should bloom sometime this week.  I'll try to post pics when I have them.  Oh, and the little hydrangea is full of big leaves.  No flowers this year, but maybe next year.

The dove slaughter I talked about Tuesday?  I found another place covered with feathers. Right in my marigolds. My theory is the falcon knocked the dove down there and then flew underneath the black walnut to eat his lunch.  Head's still there.  Gross.

I really need to weed, but it's so damn hot here right now.  I took Max out for a walk and damn near melted.  Max was happy to get back into the air conditioning, too, let me tell you.

Great Blue Herons make the most godawful noises.  There are a group of them who've set up a rookery in the trees behind my neighbors' house.  Sounds like someone is killing a giant toad over there. 

I went for a walk yesterday to check the river level.  Here's a couple shots to give you an idea how high it is:

Last fall:
Yesterday morning:
Pretty gross, eh?

What this n that do you have today?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 28

Yes, yes, it's Tuesday.  Let's just say I totally didn't realize it was Sunday until I was in bed that night, so I chose to push the update to today.  K?

Last week was spent in furious activity trying to get Wish in One Hand ready for the editor to take a final pass through.  I accomplished this feat Friday afternoon and then I fell apart. 

I read a few books last week.  The First Wives Club - totally not like the movie.  My Sunny Vampire by Stacy McKitrick - fun book I probably should've read ages ago.  Slayride by Dick Francis - okay, but not quite as awesome as I remember his other books being.  If you're keeping track of genres, that's one 'women's fiction', one 'paranormal romance', and one mystery.  I read widely.  I also started a few books and deleted them off my Kindle.  Life's too short for 1) bad editing (typos, misspellings, grammar mistakes - so glaring I only made it a few pages in before I gave up), 2) whiny main characters, 3) long explorations into backstory I couldn't get excited about.

Took the car in for an oil change and while I was there, looked into getting some other routine maintenance done on the old beast.  I've got a 2003 Cavalier and as far as I know, she's never had a tune-up.  She's at the mechanic's right now getting all her plugs, filters, tubes, hoses, tanks, etc. flushed and changed and wiped or whatever.  Plus, she's getting a new serpentine belt.  He did tell me my tires looked good - which is weird because the guy at the tire place last year told me my 3 older tires all had dry rot and needed replacing.  Hmmm. 

Something killed and devoured a mourning dove in the side yard.  I suspect it's the resident, unidentified-raptor we call 'Show Yourself'.  I believe the culprit to be a peregrine, but without photographic evidence, I can't lay claim to that.  (I've seen it. We've heard it.  No pics.)  Anyway, whatever prey animal it was plucked that poor bird clean, ripped the head off, and ate its fill.  The crows took the remainder of the carcass somewhere.  I'm hoping something else comes and carries off the head before I go back out there.  Ah, life in the jungle.

That's about all my sleep-deprived brain can come up with this morning.  What's up in your world?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

This n That Thursday - Flood Edition

I finished all the edit notes for Wish in One Hand last night before bed.  This morning, it feels like someone threw dust in my eyes.  Now I have to input all the notes.  Yay.

We live on a river that's part of a massive river/lake/dam system.  Beaver Lake, White River, Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo, Bull Shoals Lake - the whole thing stretches from one side of the state to almost the other, dipping in and out between Missouri and Arkansas.  It's the result of the White River being dammed up in several places, but it's fed by numerous other rivers, creeks, streams, etc.  In case you hadn't heard, it's been raining pretty hard and steadily for a few days now in these here parts.  Which means flooding.  Beneath the dam that creates Table Rock Lake lies the city of Branson, MO and the city of Hollister, MO.  This morning I read an article about someone in a little town off Bull Shoals Lake complaining that the flooding is ruining his tourism for the summer, and how TRL is being kept way lower than his lake.  Umm, dude, they kinda half to be more careful with that lake and the dam because of all the humans laying in the zone beneath the lake.  Sorry people aren't vacationing where you are, but if TRL's dam goes because they weren't careful with it, guess where the water will eventually end up after it wipes out Branson and Hollister.  That's right, in your backyard.  And it'll make this flooding look skimpy by comparison.  Let the Corps of Engineers do their jobs and hope they can save Labor Day for you.

Reminds me of that scene in Jaws where the mayor is bitching about losing the summer season because of the shark, so he keeps the beaches open and Jaws munches that dude.

Oh, and we're fine here.  I live on a hill and as of yesterday, all the roads from here to Walmart are clear.  The nearby bridge is well above the rising river so no fears there.  North of here?  Everything pretty much sucks, but I learned a while back that pretty much everything I need can be gotten to the south.  Lucky I don't have to go to the county seat - they closed the town a couple days ago because it's on one of those feeder rivers and the river jumped its banks. 

Meanwhile, the west coast is roasting.  I'd send y'all some of this if I could.

Since my brain is pretty much absorbed by the rainfall and the writing, that's all I got for you today.  What do you have for me?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ranty McRanterson

I started to write a post this morning, but it was a long rant that really wouldn't have made much of a difference in the world anyway, so I deleted it.  Then I thought about what else to write about and another ranty topic came to mind.  And another.  Yeah, there's a lot to rant about in the world. 

There's an autistic boy missing from the town just north of where I grew up.  So many things wrong with that story, I could go for hours.

There's a college football player who decked a woman in a bar.

Someone else claimed a racial identity that didn't belong to her.

The lead-in for a news story here read something like 'car pulled from lake is now out'.  :eyeroll:   

And then there was the gal who wrote about how 5-star reviews are all bullshit made up by friends and family of the writer.  I could really go to town on that one.  I mean, how dare she?  Insulting not only my fans but myself - because I write a lot of 5-star reviews...  GAH!

You know, it's really hard to stick to my 2014 promise to not let shit irritate me.  Irritating shit is everywhere and it seems to be getting worse by the day.  I'd stop reading the news, but you know, I'd rather not get blindsided when something stupid happens that might just effect me or mine. 

Ignorance is only bliss because you're not aware of the truck headed right for you.  And it only lasts until the thing runs you over.

So, like I said last week, I'm trying not to talk about stuff.  But it's damn hard.  And I may not live up to that promise.  There's such a wealth of things to rant about.  Poor Hubs has to listen to me rant daily, although sometimes he joins in and we rant together.

Do you rant?  In private or in public? 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 27

The battle of the river dwellers - part two - kept me up again last night.  Last weekend's explosions were pretty bad, but that was just a precursor to last night's festivities.  Natch.  I read until 10:30 when I couldn't keep my eyes open.  Then I went to bed and laid there while the world exploded outside.  Not sure when it finally stopped or I finally fell asleep.  All I know is I am dragging butt today.

On to the update...

I finally got some more editing done.  If you're reading this, editor-darlin', I am trying to get this done and back to you.  (I will email you later this morning after more coffee.) 

I started the week up to my armpits in other people's stuff.  It happens on occasion and I roll with it.  No big deal.  It needed to be done.  We did it.  We'd do it again it the occasion arose.  Still, we're happy to slide back into our chosen roles as hermits.  It did, however, derail my best laid plans.  Which is why I am later than late on this edit deadline. 

My sale and advertising went live on Friday, but not without some minor burps that felt major at the time.  Turns out Kindle Countdown Deals don't start at 8am my time, but at 8am their time (i.e. Pacific Time).  AND there was some fine print at ENT wherein all discounted books advertised have to be at the discounted price by 6am Eastern. So I thought I was well n truly screwed.  Huzzah. When the afternoon ENT newsletter came out, my ad was in there, though.  And all was right with the world.

I'll do some kind of breakdown of the ad's success tomorrow at Outside the Box.  Meanwhile, Accidental Death is still at $1.99 until 8am Pacific, so if you haven't snagged a copy, now would be a good time.  It'll go up to $2.99 after 10am my time.  Tomorrow it will be back to its regular price of $3.99, so you're still getting one hell of a bargain.

So far, several someones in the KU program have read 2212 pages worth of Accidental Death.  Works out to about four and a quarter books.  244 pages have already been read today.  I like to think they either couldn't put it down last night or they had to start reading first thing this morning. Either way, it makes me feel good.  I know several people have mentioned that Accidental Death is hard to put down.  Yay.

In the reading news, I read both JB Lynn's new release (A Woof in Sheep's Clothing) and Silver James' new release (Double Cross: Hard Target Book 1) - and they were both awesome.  I'm currently reading The First Wives Club.  The movie - which I thought was a hoot - is so very loosely based on the book it's almost like a different animal.  I think I'll write a post about that later this week.

My volunteer tomato plant - which I thought I'd killed - appears to be on the road to recovery.  All its wilty leaves were perking up yesterday.  Yay.  We'll see if I actually get any tomatoes to harvest or if the animals eat them all.

I think that's about it for updates from me.  Any updates from you this week?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

This n That Thursday

We have internet service, but no phone service.  Not quite sure how that works, since we have internet through our phone lines.

We have 3 baby wrens hanging around the yard.  What funny little buggers - exploring the porch and learning where to find bugs.  When they chirp to their mommy, they sound like really loud crickets.

I'm supposed to be editing, but it's been such a week I can't seem to muster the will.  In related news, my brain is in edit mode, so I'm correcting the local news station's FB feed, the newspaper ads, the ticker on any given news station...

Since my name is now out there to all my readers, I find there are certain bits of information I can no longer talk about here.  Like, say, I want to tell a story about the people in my neighborhood.  Well, some of them have Dying Embers and/or Accidental Death, and I'm now officially outed as B.E. Sanderson, so that's a wash.  The last thing I need is someone getting their undies in a twist because I wrote down what I thought was a funny story, and they thought I was making fun of them.  :shrug:  The life of a public persona.  I chose this.

Supposedly, this is going to be a banner year for cicadas.  It's been all over the news and papers.  They say the 13-year cicadas AND the 17-year cicadas will both be crawling out of the ground to sprout wings and mate.  And buzz.  So far this year, we've heard ONE cicada.  Whoopee.

I weeded the wild flower bed.  We have daisies - which I totally didn't expect.  Also, there was the one thing that looked kind familiar, so I left it alone last time, but since it didn't have showy flowers, I pulled it this time.  Right after I pulled it, I realized what it was and could've kicked myself.  Loads of tiny tomatoes on it.  I was all like 'crap crap crap'.  I tried to put it back, but I think it's pretty much a goner.  We'll see if it recovers from the shock and whether the tomatoes survive.  Not quite sure how a tomato plant got in my wildflower bed.  Bird poop, I expect.  Bird eats someone else's garden, hangs out in our cedar tree, lets loose, and tada, we have a tomato plant.  Nature is both awesome and a little gross.

What's up in the this-n-that world for you?