Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/31/16

The last fishing report of the year and there's not much to report.  I got skunked every time I went out this past week.  Bank fishing is off for now, I guess.  We might try the boat if the weather is nice and see how that goes.  I will probably still bank fish whenever I can, but my expectations are low. 

Since I don't have any good fishing to report, I'd like to talk about gear. 

First off, my 'go bag' as Hubs calls it. 

In addition to my tackle box, which I'll get to in a minute, I carry a bag of stuff with me when I go fishing.  It's actually a book bag, but since I don't generally carry books around and if I did I have a nicer bag to use, I have altered the purpose.  It's just a burgundy tote with a little interior pocket - which makes it perfect for my purposes.  Inside I keep 1) a waterproof baggie with my fishing license, a travel size packet of tissues, a roll of antacids, and a tube of lip balm, 2) two hand towels for wiping worm and fish gunk off my hands, 3) a pair of gloves in case it gets cold, 4) a rubberized glove for touching really grody stuff, 5) a garbage bag for carry my fish to the car, 6) a smaller plastic grocery bag for garbage.  That stuff stays in the bag so I can grab it and go (hence the term 'go bag').  Before I leave I put my driver's license and $3 in the little pocket, so I don't have to carry my purse and leave it unprotected in my car.  That way I'm driving legal and can buy worms at $2.90/dz.  I also add in a bottle of water and the container of worms.

Next, I carry my tackle box.  It's a small tackle box.  One tray with like 7 slots for lures and things and a bottom part for other stuffs like a knife, a stringer, bobbers, hand sanitizer*, etc.  In the slots, there are 6 small ones and one long one.  The long slot is for pre-rigged hooks.  I affixed foam rubber on either side to keep the hooks untangled and the line lays in the middle.  I also keep a boxed Rapala top water lure in there to hold down the line so it doesn't get tangled in there.  The smaller slots are as follows: 1) pre-rigged artificials, 2) small lures and jigheads, 3) sinkers and swivels, 4) a crankbait lure, 5) two rattletrap lures, 6) spinner baits and buzzbaits, my little measuring tape, leaders.  Simple stuff.

The only other things I carry are my pretty pink Signature rod and reel combo.  I keep another rod and reel in the car in case of emergencies.  I don't want to get out there again, have my reel die, and have to drive all the way home.  Now, I just have to walk back to the car.  (And if I'm fishing a ways away from the car, I carry both rods.)

That's it for me.  Fishing made simple for the less than competent angler. 

Any questions?

*I carry hand sanitizer to disinfect wounds, not for general hand cleaning.  Like if I put a hook in my finger or a testy bluegill spears my hands with its spiny dorsal fins.  Anything bleeding is doused, so worm dirt and gunk doesn't get into the wound.  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday This n That

We were watching something on the Cooking Channel when someone said something about falafel.  Both Hubs and I were like 'what the hell is falafel anyway?" So I typed into Google "what the hell is falafel?" and came up with a bunch of sites whose subjects were actually 'what the hell is falafel?' Apparently we weren't the only ones who were thinking that.  For the record, it's chickpeas and/or fava beans ground up, shaped into a ball or a patty and deep fried.

When I read the description of falafel to Hubs, he said, "So it goes well with a nice Chianti?"

Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans.

Not to be indelicate... Okay, it probably is indelicate, but I'm not good at delicate... A lot of celebrities are dropping over at the end of this year.  It's like they're all rushing to get a tax break before the end of 2016. WTF?

Yes, a lot of celebrities have died in 2016, but that is no reason to cast such venomous aspersions on 2016.  Yes, a lot of people didn't get what they wanted in 2016 and now Trump is president.  Also, no reason to hate 2016.  Some of the people saying things like '2016 was the worst year ever' and 'I wish 2016 would just die' probably had pretty okay years.  They're alive.  They have internet access, so they aren't broke.  They're wearing clothing and sitting under a roof.  They're eating.  They live in a country where they can say what they want and write things without fear of reprisal (for the most part) or fear they will come to great bodily harm for their opinions (from the government, at least).  Perspective, people.  And like a friend of mine said on Facebook, do you really want to carry all that negativity into the new year?  Try looking at the positives in your life as you head into 2017. 

To borrow from that friend... Tell me something good that happened to you in 2016.  It can be something small like 'I caught my first walleye in 2016. It was 22" and 4lbs. And it tasted awesome.'  Or it can be something like 'My daughter successfully completed a year of college.' And give me one good thing you want to make happen in 2017.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 51

Since yesterday was Christmas, I decided to bump the update to today.  Here's how week 51 shook out...

I'm up to page 105 out of 130 on the read-through of Early Grave.  I should have that done soon and be able to start writing on it again.  (Unless it works out like Wish Hits the Fan worked out and I get stuck where I left off.)

I'm up to 30% done on the first edits for Natural Causes.  Pages and pages of hand-written notes that will need to be entered.  I am trying to have this done by the end of the year, so I can input those and then talk to my editor about how her schedule is looking.

Reading?  Not really.  I'm stopped at about 100 pages into Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien.  I paused so I could focus on writerly things, and partly because I hit a boring patch where the author is describing every little piece of a ship.  :yawn:  Yeah, I probably won't reach my Goodreads goal this year.

The fishing was meh this past week.  No keepers. 

Christmas was nice.  Quiet.  I talked to Mom on the phone and then later the Kid on the phone.  I made a ham, which turned out okay.  Not the best ham I ever made, but okay.  Dessert was a black forest cake which was the bomb. 

Oh, yeah, I put all my books on sale the 22nd through the 27th.  99 cents (or .99p in the UK) each for any of my seven titles.  I saw a little uptick in sales.  But I didn't give myself any time to get advertising, so not great.  It's still going on, though, in case anyone got a shiny new Kindle they want to load with fun books for not much cash. 

Well, that's it for me.  How was your second to last week of 2017?  Did you have a nice holiday?  What's up in your world?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/24/16

It's Christmas Eve and welcome to the fishing report for less than competent anglers.  Here's how the previous week shook out.

Saturday - Started the day out at 54F and cloudy with a good wind.  First thing, I went to the spot where I caught that walleye.  Got some good bites, but didn't manage to land a ding-dang thing.  Still on the worms.  I was out for two hours, but the temperature was dropping rapidly, so I beat feet home.

Tuesday - Cajoled Hubs into going out with me in the afternoon.  It was a lovely, surprisingly warm day for December 20th.  There was a spot I'd been wanting to try again because it seems like it would be perfect for fish to hang out at.  Unfortunately, the lake is down about 8 ft and what seemed like perfect habitat before is now just a gentle slope toward the main channel.  Needless to say, we got no bites there.  So, we moved to an old standby locale that is currently so dry we finally have bank accessibility to some standing trees that would normally be under water.  Both Hubs and I were doing the worm thing again.  He caught a 12" smallmouth.  I caught a 13" largemouth.  No keepers, but at least we didn't get skunked.

Wednesday - Got skunked.  It was still lovely and warm for this time of year.  Cloudy.  Just enough wind to give the water a little ripple and give the bait a bit of drift.  One good bite was all I got.  Oh well.  I did find an awesome lure while I was out there and I picked up about a hundred yards of line.  Seriously, people, pick up line whenever you can.  Line, hooks, swivels, sinkers... That stuff is hard on wildlife.  Note: most of the line I picked up was from where people had gotten snagged when the water level was way higher, so it wasn't a 'lazy fisherman dropped it on purpose' kind of thing.  It's part of the hazards of fishing.  But as a fisherman who ought to value the areas where you fish, pick it up when you can.  K?

That's it for me this past week.   But I do want to talk about some of the fishing gear we got for each other as presents this year. 

A Yamamoto Senko artificial bait kit.  It has 6 different colors in two different sizes (4" and 5") in a nice plastic case.  Roland Martin swears by them, I guess.  I know the reviews on these things are through the roof, so we thought we'd try them.  Later.  When we can get the boat out again. I'll let you know if they live up to the hype.

We also got a kit of bullet weights and one of hooks.  We got some beads, too.  And o-rings (to keep the bait on the hook when you rig 'wacky').  I got a little booklet thing on tying knots, too, because I am not that great at it.  And I picked up a soft sided tackle 'box' with plastic cases, so we now have something specifically dedicated to bass fishing.

All of it should help bring those bass into the boat.  For now, though, I'll still be using worms.

I'm not going to tell you to drown worms this week.  It's too cold.  And it's Christmas tomorrow.  You'll probably want to spend that with your family.  Me?  I'll try to get out today while it's nice. 

Happy Holidays, fishermen.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Book Sale!

Hey, Everyone!

Just in time for Christmas, and extended for a little after-Christmas Kindle filling, all of my books are priced at 99c in the US and .99p in the UK.  Now through Tuesday night!

Like crime?  Try Dying Embers, Fertile Ground, or Accidental Death.

Like political thrillers?  Give Blood Flow a whirl.

Into paranormal fun?  Check out the Once Upon a Djinn books: Wish in One Hand, In Deep Wish, and Up Wish Creek.

Something for pretty much everyone on your list, I think.  And some fun things for you, too.

I hope you all have the happiest of holidays!



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday This n That

Starting today, all my books are on sale for 99c/.99p.  Go here for the US list and here for the UK list.  (Scroll down.  The covers across the top show regular prices but the list below has the sale prices.  Not sure why.)  They'll be on sale until late Tuesday (12/27) night.  That way, if you still need a few things for prezzies, you can order cheap AND if you want some books after the holiday, you can order cheap.

I have a sticky note on my desk telling me to PAY BILLS today.  Blerg.

I went shopping for Christmas dinner a couple days ago.  I wanted to make something different this year instead of the traditional ham, but everything I looked at was either not available, blowing my skirt up, or was too damned expensive.  So, ham it is.  Mom's making kielbasa.  I could've done that, but in order to do it right, I need Vernor's ginger ale, and I can't get that here, so I don't want to chance it. 

I need to go back to the store.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for dessert when I went the other day.  I think I'll do a black forest cake.  It's easy.  You make a chocolate cake.  You take a can or two of cherry pie filling and spread it all over the cake.  Then you take a tub of whipped cream and spread it all over the cherries.  Voila!  I think I'll leave the cherries and the whipped cream in separate bowls this time, though.  So I can refrigerate them without throwing the whole cake in the fridge. (I don't have a boatload of space in there.) We'll see how that goes.  Part of the yummyness of BFC is having the cherries kind of soak into the cake.

I'm kind of disappointed in one of my Christmas gifts to myself.  The Peterson's Guide to Freshwater Fish has really small pictures and most of the fish are tiny tiny baitfish I really could give a crap less about.  I swear there are like a bazillion different kinds of darters.  Who cares?  I mean, if I approached fish like I approach birds, that would be kind of cool, but I don't want to find and identify fish as a hobby, I want to catch them and eat them.

That's it for me.  What's it for you?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 50

Okay.  Here we are.  Another week on the books for 2016.  Two weeks left until 2017.  I keep seeing people saying how 2017 is going to be awesome and it occurs to me that 2017 will be just like 2016 unless the individual does something to make it different.  Don't just wish for a better year.  Make it so.  Jus' sayin'.

That said, I am not in the process of making anything different. I did not write or edit anything this past week and the coming week ain't looking good neither. 

I read two books last week.  First off, I finished a book I started 42 years ago or so.  You see, when I was about four, I decided I wanted to write a book.  So, I got some paper and my mom's copy of Robinson Crusoe. And I began writing Robinson Crusoe - as in copying it word for word.  I think I made it about 2 paragraphs in.  I read the rest of the book for the first time last week.  I also read Mickey Spillane's The Deep.  Awesome stuff.  My new favorite Spillane novel.  So good.

I spent some time helping Hubs tidy up the neighborhood well house.  One day, we cut down trees together, then I pulled weeds while he cut the tree bits into manageable pieces.  Another day, we insulated the place.  Good thing, too, because it got down to like 5F last night.  It was ass-kicking work, but it's done and we don't have to worry about it anymore. 

All of my Christmas gifts have arrived - either here or to their intended recipients.  (We're pretty sure.  Hubs has to call his mom to make sure she got hers.)  Seems like everyone's happy with their gifts.  I know we're happy with ours.  Hubs and I gave each other fishing stuff.  It's basically all for bass.  Yamamoto Senko artificial baits, hooks, sinkers, etc.  I also got us a knot-tying guide (more for me than him) and a copy of Petersen's Guide to Freshwater Fish.  It's pretty awesome, even if they did pluralize bass to basses.  (I just googled it and it's acceptable, but it's weird - like pluralizing moose to mooses.) 

I fished a little last week, but not a lot.  It's too freakin' cold.  Oh well.  Spring isn't that far off.  ;o)

How were things in your world last week? 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/17/16

Welcome to this week's fishing report for the less than competent angler.  (Maybe I should start saying 'from' instead of 'for'. LOL)

Sunday - It had warmed up to 48F that morning, and I was jones'n to fish. so off I went.  Got to the lake at 8am.  The lake level is about 908 (feet above sea level) when normal pool is 915.  Everywhere I have fished previously this year is way above where I can now fish.  It's surreal.  Anyway, I went to a creek that feeds into the main lake and fished off chunky rock banks.  Set the worm about 5-6' deep and cast as far as I could.  Two-three casts and I landed a 15" bass.  Problem was I wasn't certain enough of my tape measure.  And I'd hate to get fined for having a too small fish.  So, I threw it back.  Not an easy decision, but one I can live with.  Unfortunately, it was the only fish I caught.  I tried another place - mainly because I wanted to see what it looked like 2ft lower than the last time I was there.  I got to places I never would've tried to go when the lake level was higher.  Cool.  I also found some fishing gear left by previous unlucky anglers.  The lake takes and the lake bestows.  (Still haven't found any of the lures I know were ours, but it all works out.)

Monday - Went out from 11am - 1:30pm.  Air temp was around 45F, I think.  Slight breeze.  Cloudy/partly cloudy.  At the spot where I caught the walleye.  Working with worms again.  Nothing was biting, but I did find some more gear.  And then I went home because I was freezing my ever lovin' patootie off.

Note:  There was a guy who put his boat in shortly after I got there.  He waved.  I waved.  He didn't take his boat far and I could see him fishing along the opposite side of the creek mouth.  Right near there is a huge home that has a 4 slip boat thing on the creek.  This guy was casting toward the structure, I assume, when all of a sudden I heard "goddamn sunuvabitch... f---" shouted at the top of his lungs.  I looked over - to see what the heck - and realized he must've cast his lure into the boat building.  Well, at least he wasn't sinking.  I went back to fishing.  After another ten minutes or so, when he was about 20ft past the boat building, I hear the same expletives shouted out over the area.  Must've snagged a rock or an underwater tree that time. (It's cliffy, so it does echo, but he had to have been shouting, too.)  Listen, fishing is supposed to be enjoyable and relaxing.  If it isn't, please stop.  Or at least keep your unhappy displeasure at decibels only you can hear.  The rest of the world doesn't need to experience you.  And before you say it, yes, I swear like a sailor.  Usually under my breath.  Never that loud in public.  There could be kids around.  Or people with more sensitive sensibilities.  Keep it PG out there in the world, folks.

Tuesday - I was driving myself nuts, so I went fishing from about 2:15pm until about 4:30pm.  It was cold and getting colder.  It was windy as hell.  And it did its job - which was to get me out of my own head for a couple hours.  I went to three different spots in the same general locale.  Spent a lot of time hanging up on underwater detritus at the first spot.  Finally got out of the wind a little at the second spot, but nothing was biting there either.  Went to a third spot where I have caught bass in the past.  Into the wind again and like I said, it was getting colder.  I tried walking that whole creek bank and something was stealing my worms, but no real hits.  Gave up and went home. 

The rest of the week was too damn cold to fish and I had other stuff I needed to do anyway.  Life intrudes as much as the weather.

This week I won't tell you to go drown some worms.  I'm not that cruel.  I might try to get out this morning, but only because we're in a weird spot where it's 54 degrees first thing and will drop throughout the day from here.   It might be my last chance to fish comfortably for a while.  ;o)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday This n That

Facebook has changed things around again and it's totally irritating me this morning.  Every time I get used to this damn thing, they change it.  And not for the better, I might add.  Ugh.  Quit fixing what ain't broken.  Better yet, fix what you broke the last time instead of breaking it worse. 

Winter has arrived.  Well, not O-fficially, but the cold shtuff has gotten here.  And it's only going to get worse from here.  Buckle up your overcoats, folks, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

My Christmas presents are starting to arrive - the ones I sent and the ones I'm receiving.  Ho-de-ho-de-ho.  Mom sent use warm fleecy jackets.  I got myself some awesome new slippers.  Hubs and I ordered up a bunch of fishing gear and it's arriving in like 3-5 different packages.  I got an awesome t-shirt from a friend.  (Yes, I opened Christmas gifts when they arrive.  Why wait for the 25th?)

The deer and the turkeys are really appreciating the food we put out.  So are the birds.  Corn for the back.  Sunflower seeds and suet for the front.  Everybody eats.  They get water, too.  Every day or until it freezes over again.  All the critters are appreciating that - even the neighbor's cats. 

I ordered myself a new Bird A Day calendar.  Should be here Saturday.  Today's bird?  Snow geese.  Yay!

I have Holly Jolly Christmas stuck in my head. And that's okay with me.  I woke up with a song I hate in my head this morning and HJC knocked it right out of there. 

What's on your this n that list today?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 49

Three weeks left in 2016.  I saw someone on FB having a total meltdown about 2016, basically shouting about what a horrible year it had been because of the election results and how they wanted to burn the whole damn year to the ground.  Sad.  Apparently, this person still has fingers to type, a computer to type on, utilities (electricity, internet) to get their messages out to the world, and friends to commiserate with them.  And the freedom to bitch loudly in public.  I'd venture 'the whole damn year' wasn't nearly worth burning to the ground for her. 

Yesterday, one of my readers whose had a rough year totalled her car.  She will be fine.  Her arm is broken and she's bruised up.  And she still has a better attitude than that other person.

Okay, so for me last week...

I'm still in that place where I can't figure out how to get Wish Hits the Fan into any kind of groove.  I might switch over to working on Early Grave and see if Ned can't speak to me.  So, yeah, no writing this week.  And no editing.  And no marketing. 

I did some woods work.  The top half of a dead tree snapped and fell in the woods just off the house sometime since the last time I was working in the woods.  I got some of that sawed up and dragged to the brush pile.

Friday, Hubs and I woke up, made coffee, and did our morning things.  Then the water pretty much died down to a trickle.  No, the pipes weren't frozen.  No water line breaks.  Called around - apologizing for the earliness of the call along the way - and discovered the six homes on the well were all in the same spot.  Hubs and two other residents went to the well house.  No freeze there either.  Something was wrong with the pump.  He got on the horn, got someone out here, and we had water again by 10am.  He's the man.  It was a capacitor, btw. 

In the course of dealing with the well, he noticed that the well house hadn't been really cleaned up around in forever, so he and I took some initiative.  We spent a couple hours out there hacking back the forest, pulling weeds, and raking.  It looks good outside now.  Next up, the inside.  Because ew.

I went fishing Sunday - Tuesday.  Hubs caught a crappie, but that was it for all three outings. 

Made a batch of cake cookies.  Yum.

And I 'repaired' my keyboard.  I don't know about you, but I wear off certain letter way before the keyboard is dead.  So, I found some white out - in pen form - and re-wrote the letters on certain keys.  It looks like hell, but at least I can see where the keys are now.  Culprits: WERTASDFC

What's been up in your worlds?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/10/16

It's gotten cold here in SW MO, which should mean the fish are biting.  It's definitely been a better week than it was thru any of the weeks of November, but nothing to jump up and down about.

Sunday - I went out late morning.  Fished from about 9:30am to around 1pm.  I was in the same spot where I've been fishing previously - tributary to the main lake off a feeder creek - for about an hour.  Then I got concerned about some questionable people in the area, so I left.  I went to some ledges off a bend in the main lake.  It was cold.  It was dreary.  And nothing was biting.  Not that I didn't give it the ol' college try.  I went from fishing in deep water off ledges to down by some standing trunks in the deeper water, back to the ledges, then down the gently sloping 'beach'. 

Monday - I wanted to go afternoon fishing, but I got a later start than I planned.  I fished from about 4pm to 5pm (sunset).  Cold and cloudy with a bit of wind.  I froze my buns off and caught one 5" bluegill. 

Tuesday - Hubs wanted to go afternoon fishing.  We got out a little earlier and fished from 3-5pm.  We both froze our buns off.  Hubs caught one 10.25" crappie.  I caught a 5-6" bluegill who swallowed the hook.  I read somewhere the best way to handle that is to cut the line as close as you can and let the fish go.  Supposedly the hook will dissolve or degrade or disintegrate on its own.  Not sure if that's true, but I do know it definitely would've died if I tried to pull it out.  We brought the crappie home and I filleted Roscoe.  (Yes, I name the fish I catch.  Unless there's a lot of them.  The walleye was Rex.)

Wednesday & Thursday - it was too freakin' cold for me to stand on the shore drowning worms.  Not that I didn't think about it Thursday afternoon.  It looked so perfect outside, but man, that wind'll get ya.

Friday - I wanted to go, but life intervened and by the time all that was attended to, I was too tired to fish.

Tip:  When fishing in 'freeze your nose off' weather, there are these things called 'Hot Hands'.  They're little pouches filled with what feels like sand that, when shaken, cause a chemical reaction and warm up.  Keep one in your pocket and warm up whatever hand you're not holding your rod with.  I think I paid under $2 for a pack of four at Wal-mart.  Worth the investment.  Although, they don't last 10 hrs like they think they do.

Also, sometime this past week, Hubs and I did some online shopping for each other's xmas gifts.  We researched fishing stuff and then ordered a variety pack of Yamamoto Shenko baits.  6 colors, two sizes of what are supposed to be the best artificial worm thingies on the market.  We also ordered hooks, sinkers, o-rings*, etc.  So we're outfitted for some major bass fishing when the time comes. 

*The o-ring things are to hold the bait on the hook when you're rigged 'wacky worm' style.  I now know what that is.  Perhaps soon I won't be able to bill myself as a 'less than competent angler' anymore.  

As always, have an awesome week and go drown some worms.  But dress warm.  Baby, it's cold out there.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thursday This n That

This year's Christmas presents for Hubs and I are joint presents - fishing gear.  We spent yesterday morning looking at stuff on Amazon and picking out what we figured would be a good mix of stuff to catch bass.  Should be fun this Spring.   

Right now, I'm reading Robinson Crusoe.  Or as I put it to Hubs last night, "I'm finally finishing Robinson Crusoe after 42 years."  This is the book I picked up when I was about 4 and started 'writing' it by copying the words down on a piece of paper.  So I read probably a paragraph worth back then... well, 'read' as much as a four year old can read anything.  I can't wait to see how it turns out.  ;o)

Back in October when I was reading up a storm, I adjusted my Goodreads goal to 90 books.  Then November hit and I read like one book.  I'm pretty behind now.  I've read 79 books.  I don't think I'll make it to 90, but I made a rule that I can adjust my goal up but never down.  Cuz that's cheating.  We'll see where I end up.

Yes, I believe that cheating on yourself is still cheating. 

Way back when, in another life when I was a younger me, I had a best friend.  We were thick as thieves, Mags and I.  Then life happened.  And we drifted apart.  Long story short, I haven't seen or spoken to her in like 27-28 years or something.  I started looking for her pretty much as soon as the internet was born.  Not every day or anything - I'm not a psycho - but like whenever the idea struck me.  I found her Facebook page last night.  I sent her a message and a friend request*.  Now, we'll see if she replies.  If so, cool.  If not, oh well.  At least I found her.  She's alive and she looks happy in the pics she's posted.  That's the most important thing I wanted to know. 

*Ever see that Sonic commercial where the two guys who star in those things are sitting in a car next to two guys who look similar to them, and they want to make friends, but the blond guy gets all weird?  Yeah, in retrospect, I think that's probably how my message reads.  Total loon.  :shrug: 

What's on your this n that today?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I Trust My Instincts.

I have this spot I like to fish.  It's where I caught that walleye and that keeper bass.  It's kind of out of the way.  Secluded.  The closest homes are across the river.  No one comes down there unless they are specifically there for fishing or putting their boats in to fish elsewhere.

Or to make trouble.

Hubs and I were there the other day when we heard what I thought was someone stuck trying to put their boat in.  Turns out it was someone trying to get their truck back where they really shouldn't be parking.  The hooting and the hollering was enough to encourage us to find another spot to fish. 

They were still there the next time I went.  They had managed to get their truck backed in under the trees where it wasn't very visible - unless you already knew where they went in.  They were still hooting and hollering like a bunch of drunks and it was early in the morning.  But there were cars in the parking area, and I was far enough away to not be really worried.  One by one, the other cars left as their owners brought their boats in for the morning.  And I was alone with the extras from Deliverance*.  I left.  I didn't think it was wise to be stick around near anyone that intent on hiding their vehicle.

Now, it's entirely possible that those people were fine.  They might not have bothered me.  Hell, they probably didn't even know I was there, so they weren't going to mess with me.  I didn't want to take that chance.  I'm a 46-yr old woman who can't run, out in a place where, if someone did hear me scream, people wouldn't reach me in time to stop whatever was making me scream. 

It's also entirely possible that, because of the books I write and the books I read and the shows I watch, that I am overly sensitive to such events.  :shrug:  Better overly sensitive than a statistic or a name on a flyer.  Know what I mean?

I clutch my purse tighter in some situations.  I cross the street to avoid potential problems.  I know basic self-defense.  I have a plan if I can't avoid nasty events.   And I know what items on or around my person can be used as weapons at all times. 

I trust my instincts.  They've kept me alive this long.  I've never been robbed, assaulted, raped, abducted, or murdered.  :knock wood:  Even living in Flint for a period of time.  Even driving the streets of Detroit for a period of time.  Stay alert.  Stay vigilant.  Keep your eyes and your ears open all the time.  It cuts the likelihood of bad things down considerably.  Yeah, bad stuff could still happen to me and you can't protect against everything, but I do my best. 

This is the world we live in.  I keep reading snippets of news here and there that crime is actually down.  Personally, I don't see it.  The news is filled with crimes happening to regular people on a daily basis.  Here in the back of beyond and in the nearby cities and across the nation/world.  Hell, last year, within a week of each other, two people were murdered in two of the little towns out here.  The local papers have reports every week of robberies and assaults, and the occasional rape.  Out here. 

Statistics can be manipulated.  So can the news, but I'll trust the things I see on the news before I trust the statistics that say crime is down.  And I'll keep trusting my instincts.

How's the crime where you live?  Do you have a plan?

*This is based on the look of their truck and the sounds they were making.  I never actually saw the people.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 48

Wow.  The year's almost over.  Where did 2016 go?  Never mind.  Don't answer that.

Okay, so last week...

Last Sunday I did indeed finish the first draft of Natural Causes.  It ended up just under 60K words.  Not quite sure I like the ending.  I left a couple things hanging because I was thinking of the next book, but I don't want this to be that kind of series.  I want everything wrapped up.  And if there is a next book, it will be its own book - not a continuation of something from this book.  The only thing about this book leftover from Accidental Death are people.  And a little of how those people are dealing with the events of AD.  Fixing NC won't be that hard.  I can do this.  Thank goodness for edits.

I did a little work on Fear Itself.  Very little.  I think I got like 10 pages edited.  I need to get the rest of the world out of my head or this thing will never get publishable.

I also read through Wish Hits the Fan (OUAD #4) and when I reached the end of what I'd already written, I realized I have no idea where I was planning to go next.  I have the beginning.  I have the near the end part.  The path from here to there?  No clue.  I've been trying to think about it while I'm out driving, but I haven't come up with anything yet.

In reading news, I finished Silver James' Rescue Moon.  Freakin' awesome.  Really, if you aren't reading her Moonstruck books, you're missing out.  And while this isn't officially a Moonstruck book, it has all the elements of her Wolves, so it's the unofficial Moonstruck book.  Also, I started a book I'd received through a Goodreads contest.  I'd loved all the author's other books, so I was totally jazzed.  And then I was totally disappointed.  Instead of being a fun read like her others, it felt like I was being schooled in the horrors of a cause.  One of my previously favorite authors did this with a new series years ago and it soured me on all her other books, which totally sucked.  I'm not a fan of fiction that stuffs a cause down my throat.  Oddly, this author and that author turned me off with the same cause.  And it's not even a cause I disagree with.  I just don't like being preached to in my fiction.  I don't even care if there's a message woven into the fiction, as long as the story isn't all about the message.  Know what I mean?

Okay, enough of that rant.  I dropped that book and picked up Thomas Harris' The Red Dragon.  So far, so good.

As always, I went fishing.  If you want news about that, see the Fishing Report.  Aside from the fishing report, though, let me just say that I spent yesterday morning freezing my ass off and getting freaked out by some apparent Deliverance wannabes. After I moved to a less-windy, less-scary locale, I was more comfortable, but I didn't catch anything.

I put up my Christmas tree last Monday.  I went minimal on the ornaments this year and didn't splash too many other decorations around.  It's pretty without being a pain to take down after New Year's.  Got a start on my Christmas cards and my Christmas shopping.  I'll finish up the cards today and the rest of my 'out of state' shopping. 

That's it for me.  What was up in your world last week?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 12/3/16

Welcome back to the fishing report for less than competent anglers.  Here's the updates from last week...

Saturday - After spending Friday on the boat, I wanted to try some things from the bank in that same locale.  I spent from about 9am to around noon standing in the cold fog at various points and not getting any bites.  Supposedly the fish are coming in shallower, but I'm still not seeing it.  They seem to be off worms almost entirely.  And they aren't interested in any of my lures at the moment.  It's probably me because I did see one dude in a boat catching fish at one of my other spots.  Which is frustrating as hell, but that's fishing.

Tuesday - I decided to do some afternoon fishing.  There was a good mix of clouds/sun and the air temp was in the low 60s, which was great for me but I was doubtful how it would be for the fish.  I went to a main tributary where a feeder creek comes in.  Tried my crankbait lure that looks like a shad for a little while off the ledges.  Nothing. Threw a worm in at the same spot.  Zilch.  Moved north about 100 feet to where the incoming creek makes a point with the river.  Kept the worm on and threw out "as far as I can throw and as deep as I can go".  I was getting some interesting bites once the breeze and the current brought my bobber in about 15-20' off shore, but not sealing the deal.  Then something took the bobber straight down.  I set the hook and started reeling.  I thought I had a bass on and I kept waiting for it to jump, but it didn't.  Then I was like 'did I catch a freakin' stick?', but it was fighting a little, so I kept reeling.  The drag was whining at that point, so I kept tension and reeled slower.  When I could finally see it, I thought 'is that a sucker? what the hell am I going to do with a sucker?'  When it got within a foot or two of shore, I changed that to 'oh, holy shit, it's a walleye.'  No net.  On a pre-rigged hook with regular fishing line.  I got it right up against the rock I was fishing off, reached down, and got a firm hold of the line above the hook to pick that dude up out of the water.  Then I was kinda freaking out a little.  I got it laid out on a flat rock and measured so I was sure it was longer than the 18" minimum length for this lake.  I don't remember getting the hook out, but I do remember getting that bad devil on the stringer.  Those teeth are a little scary.
Anyway, once I settled down a little, I measured it again.  22 inches.  Weighed it at home.  4 pounds.  (I need to buy a more exact scale.)  In the same spot, I also caught a 14" largemouth.  Perhaps my fishing drought is over.  :fingers crossed:
One last thing.  I was talking with a guy out there.  He'd just come in on his 17" Bassmaster boat.  He says the crappie are biting good on shad in the coves and he showed me the six 10.5 - 11.5" ones he'd caught that day.  Next time we're out in the boat we'll have to try the coves.

Thursday - Midday fishing in the same spot where I caught the walleye.  Hubs came with this time.  We started out about noon and fished until 4pm using worms only.  It was about 53F out with no clouds and no wind, which is probably why I didn't have the same results.  We did catch a couple largemouth bass - Hubs was 13" and mine was around 10".  If there hadn't been a length limit I would've definitely taken that 10" home.  What a fat hog.  Stumpy.  Short with heft.  It was just nice to be out and to catch a couple bass. 

That's all for me.  See ya next week.  Until then, have a great week and go drown some worms.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday This n That

Walleye face in your face.  (Read more about the fish on Saturday's Fishing Report.)  Let's just say he was yummy cooked in butter with a little salt & pepper.

That's Hubs' hand.  Because I'm a better picture taker (it's my camera, so naturally) and because walleye teeth scare me a little. 

For the record, I don't actually know that fish was a 'him' - from what I just read, it's nearly impossible to tell a walleye's gender outside of spawning season (when the boys are dropping milt and the girls are dropping eggs.)

Since I finished writing the first draft of Natural Causes, I picked back up on editing Fear Itself.  I really do love this book. 

I made turkey soup yesterday.  Today, I should be making turkey pot pie*.  With any luck, that should use up the last of the turkey for this year. 

Somehow I totally blanked out on yesterday being the last day of November.  Happy first day of the last month of the year.  :hugs:

That's it for my this n that.  How about yours?

*If I don't go fishing this afternoon.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 47

It was Thanksgiving Week.  And I have turkey-nesia, which means I don't remember anything before I ate a boatload of bird.  LOL

Okay, not really.  Sunday - Wednesday is pretty much a blur, though.  Let me see if I can rebuild... No, that would take too long.  Lemme see if I can sum up.

In writing news, I wrote 15K words last week.  4200 of that was last night because I was on a roll.  I finished the climax scene and am on the downward slope toward the end.  Right now it's about 58K words, so probably around 60K when I get done.  Then there's the stuff I have to add in because I changed some things at the end, and there's the stuff I have to add in because I rushed through several scenes, and there's a little bit I have to delete because while it helped me write the story, it needs to go before you read the story.  I get all that done and I can send it off to the editor.  Editing begins in January maybe?  February?  :shrug:  I'm not pushing myself too hard this time so I can avoid burnout.

I did some fishing stuff.  If you're interested in that, go to yesterday's Fishing Report.

Let's not talk about football, shall we? 

Since I was jamming on my own book, I didn't read anything. I do have Silver's latest book - Rescue Moon - but I haven't started it yet.  Maybe today.  We'll see how the writing goes and whether I have the room in my brain for another person's book.

Fidel Castro died and I am overjoyed.  Yeah, yeah, I've heard that you're not supposed to be happy when someone dies.  Screw that.  He was a monster.  I'm with all the Cubans in Miami who were dancing in the streets at the news.  So, that's one down.  Next!   If you have a problem with my happiness in this instance, please go away.  Quietly.

Thanksgiving was a good day.  Hubs made an amazing turkey and stuffing, and I ate like a pig.  I also took that day off writing.  I don't remember what I did, but it wasn't work related. 

This week I learned that the Common Loon passes through here on its way to wherever it winters.  I thought I heard one the other day, but I was sure we didn't have loons here.  When I got home from the lake, I applied the Google-fu and found out that it was a loon I heard.  Since then, I've seen two.  They're in their winter plumage now, so not as striking as their usual outfit, but still pretty cool.

Early in the week, I got home from fishing and Hubs starts telling me about this weird bird he saw walking through the yard.  He tried to get a picture, but couldn't.  Later that day, the bird was in the front yard.  It was a black vulture, on foot because, I assume, one of its wings was injured.  It wasn't holding its wings weird, but when it tried to flap up to sit on the fence, one wing kind of had a hitch to it.  We haven't seen it since.  I hope it got better.  Most likely something ate it.  Nature can be a mean bitch.

Okay, that's it for me right now.  What's up in your world?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/26/16

Welcome back to the fishing report for less than competent anglers.

Sunday - I tried a little afternoon fishing from a rocky bank sloping sharply into 15-20' of water.  Did about 45 minutes of lure casting with no luck.  Switched to worms set 5-6' deep.  Something grabbed my worm about 4' off the shore and took it down.  When I set the hook, I caught an underwater ledge and lost my rig - bobber, leader, hook and worm.  So, I set up with a Rappala top water to try and get my bobber back.  Hooked the bobber first cast.  Bobber was still hooked to ledge. So, in an effort to not lose both the Rappala and the bobber, I rolled up my sweatpants and waded in.  63F water does not make for an enjoyable dip, but I got my lure back.  In the process the bobber broke, though.  Then, because I was wet from the knees down, and cold, I packed up and went home.

Monday - a.m. - Lovely cold morning with some scattered clouds and fog down by the water. I arrived at a locale off the deep water, main lake with plenty of ledges for the fish to shelter near.  I set myself up with a yellow buzzbait with a yellow artificial worm.  Cast, retrieve.  Cast, retrieve.  Cast... freakin' reel button pushes all the way inside the reel... can't retrieve by reeling.  I managed to get my lure back by pulling the line in hand over hand.  Got that all cleaned up and headed home because I only had the one rod/reel with me.  My new red Shakespeare reel is dead.  Hubs put my old pink reel back on because he fixed it.
Monday - p.m. - Hubs was in the mood for fishing, so we went out together to a spot with rocky banks sloping to gravel in a creek that feeds into a tributary of the lake.  Hubs was working a spoon and I was working that shad crankbait.  The spoon got hooked on an underwater ledge and was lost.  The crankbait hooked on a log, which I managed to drag to the bank.  Then it got hooked on a rock, which Hubs managed to free.  I switched to worms, he switched to a white diver.  After a while, we moved farther into the creek.  I caught a 7-8" bass (large or spotted - it was hard to tell).  A lot of action at 6-7' deep with the worm, but after I saw a huge snapping turtle surface near my bobber, I suspect reptile interference instead of fish.

Tuesday - I did the afternoon fishing thing again.  It was totally overcast with a little wind and in the mid-60s.  Back at the place where Hubs and I fished the day before.  Saw some nice fish jumping.  Caught two little bluegills about 6' deep off the ledges. Then it started to rain in earnest and I wasn't in the mood to get drenched.

Friday - We took the boat out. We went back to the same place we'd visited the last time.  No luck.  But we did have a lovely day on the water.  I was jigging a nightcrawler.  Hubs was casting with lures.  I think we just timed it wrong or picked the wrong place.  Funny thing, though.  At one spot, I thought I got snagged on a log or something, so I was panicking a little because we were trolling and getting snagged while the boat is moving scares me.  Hubs stopped the boat and took the pole so he could try and get it unsnagged.  Except when he reeled, it wasn't hung up on anything and both ends of my worm were gone.  Later I had a similar thing happen, but instead of panicking, I reeled.  The line was taut and pulling hard and then suddenly the line shook from one side to the other and went slack.  Umm, yeah, I had a fish on that time and probably the other time, too.  There's a reason I say this is the fishing report for less than competent anglers.  Better luck next time.

Until then, have a great week and go drown some worms.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving This n That

Turkey dinner Thanksgiving 2014
Yesterday our yard was filled with turkeys - hens, toms, jakes... two rafters worth.  We will not be eating any of our wild turkeys today. 

A group of turkeys is called a rafter.

I love pumpkin pie, but I hate nutmeg, so I turn down offers of pumpkin pie from most people and I don't buy pumpkin pie.  I also suck at pie crust, so I usually make a pumpkin cheesecake.  This year I lazed out, though, so we're having a store-bought cherry pie.

I also suck at roasting a turkey, which is why Hubs cooks Thanksgiving Dinner every year.  He rocks the turkey, man.  He'll be in the kitchen today while I am reading or writing or watching TV.  Of course, since he cooks the big bird, I will do the clean-up. It's the least I can do.

Hubs and I were talking last night and we decided we're both extremely thankful for each other.  And we're thankful for our decision to move here. 

I had four relatives on the Mayflower.  A married couple with their daughter, and a single man on the ship who later married the daughter.  So, I'm like American royalty or something.  Right?  LOL

I love the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special, especially the end when Snoopy and Woodstock are eating together.  There's Woodstock gobbling down his turkey feast and a piece of pumpkin pie that's bigger than he is.  =o)

Some dude in Wisconsin bagged an eight-point DOE this year.  Yeah, I guess like 1 out of 100,000 does grows antlers because of an excess amount of testosterone.  Who knew?

Anything on your this n that for today?

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!  And if you're not in the states, Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Easy-Peasy Popovers

Yesterday morning's fishing trip was a total bust - as in I busted my reel on the third cast and had to come home.  Faced with that, I decided to spend my morning baking instead.  I pulled out a recipe I've had for years but never tried - popovers.  So easy.  So yummy.  The recipe makes 8.  We scarfed down 5 right off the bat.

So, just in time for Thanksgiving, I present...

Easy-Peasy Popovers

3T butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400F.

Melt the butter in the microwave (30-45 seconds). Lightly brush melted butter into 8 muffin cups in a 12 cup tin (you should have lots of butter left). Beat eggs until light and frothy.  Warm milk in the microwave (30 seconds to take the cold off).  Add warmed milk to eggs and beat until well-combined. Add flour, salt, and remaining melted butter.  Beat until smooth.  Heat empty, prepared muffin tin in oven for 5 minutes.  Remove with care (it's hot) and equally distribute batter into prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm with butter and jam.  Or try them cold with chicken salad in the middle. 

These will rise well above the edges of the muffin tin, which is pretty cool.  And they'll have a lovely empty pocket inside for the spreading of jam or the stuffing of good savory stuff.  I had a thought about filling them like cream puffs even.  OMG, so good.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 46

Not much happening in the writing sphere lately, as you've probably guessed from previous posts.  Natural Causes is stilling rolling along.  I'm at 43K words now - up about 5300 from last Sunday. 

Not much going on in reading either.  I did read one book last week - JB Lynn's latest installment of the Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman series - The Hitwoman Plays Chaperone (#16).  It was awesome as usual.

Fishing is still slow as you could see from yesterday's Fishing Report.  After listening to a few professional fishing reports, the consensus is that because of the weird warm temps, the fish are still deep - which means no fishies from the shore.  Here's hoping yesterday and today's cold snap will drive them into shallower water.

I added to my lovely bruise collection when I tried to stop myself from doing a faceplant into a pile of loose rocks - you know, after tripping over a loose rock.  Lucky for me a fallen log was right there to catch me, but when my hip slammed into the log, it created a lovely bruise.  Just call me Grace.

I did some woods work yesterday.  I took out a couple small trees (carolina buckthorns) so other small trees could thrive - a red oak and a small tree I thought was a royal paulownia (but after looking for a link to show you what I mean, I'm not sure what it is - it ain't a catalpa.)  I also took down a dead cedar and began sawing up a tree that had broken in half and dropped it's top half on some other nice smaller trees.  

Other than that, I'm not quite sure where my week went.  Another blurry week added on to a blurry year.

What's up in your world?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/19/16

Hey all and welcome back to the fishing report for less than competent anglers.  I'm gonna do things a little different this week and try to go trip by trip.

Saturday:   Hubs and I took the boat out.  It's one of those no-frills 15' flat bottom bass boats with a smallish motor.  It's also got a trolling thing and a low-end fish finder thingie.  Anyway, it was 42 degrees F when we put in at the lake and putted over to one of the tributaries.  The water was 62 degrees F.  We went about 2/3rds of the way down to where the creek is stopped at the road.  Mostly what we were doing was getting used to the boat and the depths and the trolling.  My set up was my largest hook (#2, I think) with a big, fat Canadian nightcrawler.  (That's what they sell down here.)  No bobber.  I put on a medium sized teardrop sinker and dropped it over the side.  I let it sink until the line went slack (meaning it was on the bottom), then I reeled it up about a foot.  When we started, I think we were in about 9 feet of water.  As we trolled/drifted, the water got deeper and at about 15 feet deep, I got my first hits.  At about 20 feet, when the water was 63 degrees F, I caught my first fish - a 13" largemouth.  Then we drifted to the other side of the creek.  No hits deeper.  On the other side, I caught my second fish - a 14" largemouth in about 22 feet of water.  (Both fish went back, of course. Dang it.)  Throughout the morning, we went from deeper to shallower.  Hubs had a bass on a white diver lure, but it got off.  I had another bass on my worm, but it threw the hook about 4 feet from the boat.  Nothing was biting by shortly after noon, so we called it a day.  A successful trip all the way around.  We're getting the hang of the boat and locating where the fish are.  Right now, they're hanging out in 15-23 feet of water to either side of the main creek channel.  Which totally explains why I haven't been catching anything from the bank.  I can't cast out far enough or go that deep with a bobber.

Tuesday:  Bank fishing again.  This time I went to a spot on the main channel of TRL in hopes that maybe the last of the cool weather and the morning fog would've driven the bass in shallower.  It did.  I saw a lot of fish.  Didn't catch a danged one, but they were out there.  Bass of all sizes - largemouth and spots mostly, but I did see one smallmouth.  One big hog of a largemouth jumped right next to my bobber which was about 4' from the boat dock.  Dang it.  I also saw several schools of 9-13" silver fish feeding along the rocks in the shallows.  Research later told me those were gizzard shad (aka skipjacks).  There were also tons of 3-4" bluegills in the shallows and a boatload of turtles.  I was back to worms again, but since those weren't working, I tried my two spinner baits, my silver/yellow rattletrap(?), a jighead with a blue/gray sparkle grub.  Nope to it all.  I spoke with an old-timer who was on his way out from the docks.  He said the fish in the main channel are biting at 28-36' deep, so right at that spot, I was screwed anyway.  Best I can do is like 7' deep with a bobber.

Wednesday: Bank fishing.  Another cool and foggy morning. Another morning of not catching fish. I started out fishing around a cove off a creek that feeds into a tributary of the main lake.  Recently, Hubs and I discovered a function of the MDC website where it shows exactly where the state has placed what they call 'fish enhancers' - hardwood branches, evergreen trees, etc.  One of them happens to be in that cove.  I tried all of the lures I'd tried previously with no success.  I also tried a fake crawfish.  Still nope.  Went back to worms and got some serious bites, but no fish.  I am suspicious those bites might've been turtles.  I fished there from about 8am to 9:15am.  Then I went elsewhere.  Back to the ledges off the main body of TLR.  Back to my old standby spot.  I saw a ton of bass jumping.  I saw a ton of bass in the water.  I saw something BIG that I couldn't identify moving through the shallows.  But caught zip. And my pretty pink reel died, which seriously harshed my morning considering I only had the one pole with me.  It would cast out, but then it wouldn't reel back in without some serious juju moves.  I gave up and went home around 10:15am.

Thursday: No fishing, but I did pick up a new reel at Wallyworld.  It's a Shakespeare to replace my other Shakespeare - albeit not the same model.  And this one is red, which kinda goes with my pink rod but not quite.  Fashion faux pas but the fish won't care.  I also picked up several new lures, more hooks, more sinkers... Stuffs for fishing.

Friday:  The weather was totally gross - which is supposed to be good for fishing, right?  So I went to the place where I had good luck earlier in the year when the weather was gross.  This was another spot where a stream comes into a tributary to the main lake.  This spot is filled with old dead trees.  Perfect bass locale, right?  I tried the new lures - a red rattletrap that is painted to look like a crawdad, a diver made to look like a baby shad, and a white buzzbait.  I tried old lures.  I tried nightcrawlers.  The only things I got was wind-blown and cold.  (The temp started out at 68F and fell to 56F in the course of an hour with gusts to 50-60 mph. It was harsh out there.)  I went home, drank cocoa, ate soup for breakfast, and warmed up.  Then I went back out.  Tried a different locale, fishing the main channel of a tributary, with worms set about 7' deep then a couple different lures.  Yeah, still nothing. 

When exactly am I supposed to start experiencing all this awesome 'fall fishing' I keep hearing about?  BTW, the new reel is like butter.  And Hubs managed to fix the old reel so we now have a backup.  Woo.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thursday This n That

I was so prepared to sit a jury this week that yesterday I was at a total loss for things to do.  I'd already done the grocery shopping.  I had every post this week but this one written and scheduled.  The house was pretty clean.  And I don't write during the day, so there I was.  At a loss. So I wrote this post and then went fishing. 

A shrew's heart beats 1300 times a minute when it's excited or nervous.  Can you imagine?  It's like a furry little hummingbird.  You know, that is venomous and eats meat.

Which reminds me.  There was this hokey old horror movie called "Killer Shrews".  They were man-sized and were either played by guys in bad costumes or dogs in bad costumes.  It starred that guy who played the sheriff on the original Dukes of Hazzard.  Totally horrible old movie that's worth watching for the laugh factor.

It's been freaking hot here for a November in Missouri.  It's totally harshing my fishing, but it's nice not to be freezing my hiney off.  This coming weekend, though, right back down to chilly-cold.  I hate roller coaster weather.  I'm writing this in warm clothes, but I'll probably be in shorts by the end of the day and back bundled up in sweats and fleecies on Friday.  Make up your freakin' mind, Mother Nature.  Sheesh.

Okay, well, that's all I've got for today.  The sun's starting to come up and I need to get moving.

What's on your this n that radar today?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


I have no illusions that anything I say here will affect anything anyone thinks or believes or how anyone acts, but, I'm in a Quixotic mood, so here goes...

The world would be a better place if...

... People minded their own business.
... People kept their hands to themselves
... Everyone remembered the maxim 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all'
... We all understood that the smallest minority on Earth is the individual and behaved accordingly.
... Individuals embraced ML King's idea of judging a man by the content of his character not the color of his skin
... We remembered the other maxim 'sticks and stone can break your bones, but words can never hurt you'
... The media stopped trying to stir everything up
... People stopped letting the media stir them up.
... We embraced the idea of private property, and my mother's maxim of 'if it doesn't belong to you, don't touch it'

There are others, but I think that's all I've got for right now.  Anything to add?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 45

Well, as we all know, the big news this week was that the US elected a new president.  And then the US populace devolved into a weird, whiny-baby, bunch of freaks.  (Okay, not the WHOLE populace... it just feels that way in the media - both social and regular.)  And I spent a large portion of the week (and the weeks leading up to Tuesday) hiding posts and comments on Facebook, unfollowing, unfriending and blocking on FB and Twitter (or whatever the Twitter equivalent is.)  Then I see this meme about 'I won't unfollow or unfriend or restrict you for your political beliefs because I am not an asshole'.  Well, then I guess I'm an asshole.  If maintaining my sanity makes me an asshole.  If recognizing that someone is blatantly irrational and not wanting that in my life makes me an asshole.  If realizing that particularly people are not enriching my life and are in fact doing the opposite makes me an asshole.  If avoiding virulence and viciousness makes me an asshole.  If all of that is how certain people feel about my actions, and want to believe I'm an asshole, I can live with that.  Personally, I blocked anyone I thought was an asshole, unfriended the slightly less-so, unfollowed a few boobs, and hid the annoying posts from the mostly friendly people.  (All of which I do on any given day anyway.  It was just more prevalent recently.)

Other than that, I wrote about 5500 words.  Got to lay some good stuff down in the way of foreshadowing.  Added in some facts and conjecture.  Overall made the mystery deeper and richer.  Poor Dennis.  Someone asked last week if the heroine from Accidental Death is in Natural Causes.  The short answer is 'yes'.  So is Dennis' partner.

I had a sale for Blood Flow Monday-Wednesday.  As I whined about on Wednesday at Outside the Box, it didn't go as well as I thought it would.  I think maybe I need to rewrite the blurb.  And maybe change the title.  Maybe at the beginning of next year.

For fishing updates, see my Saturday Fishing Report.  The only thing not on it was the fishing trip Hubs and I took yesterday.  We got the boat out for the first time this Fall.  It was awesome.  More details will be in next Saturday's Fishing Report.

Fall has... well... fallen here, finally.  But it's supposed to get back up into the seventies this week, so it's not all the way here yet.

Oh, and before I forget, I am supposed to have jury duty starting Wednesday.  I have to call Tuesday night to see if I actually have to be there or if it's been cancelled.  I wouldn't mind being on a jury, but I hate the drive up to the county seat.  Especially considering it's deer season and I have to be there early, which makes driving these hills and curves a bit more dangerous than usual.  Thankfully, due to the time change, at least it will be light out when I leave.  Here's hoping if I do sit a jury, it doesn't last too long.  That would totally harsh my fishing.

That's it for me right now, I think.  What about you?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/12/16

Welcome back to the weekly fishing report for less than competent anglers.  Since I am a less than competent angler, I might not be using the right terminology.  :shrug:  Sorry.

The fish are still biting sporadically on worms, which, by necessity, has encouraged me to try some lure fishing.  I'm still not good at it - as evidenced by the lack of bites.  Hubs outfitted my tackle box with some top-water lures, since we'd heard that the bass are biting on top-water first thing in the morning.  I have a Rapala that looks like a 3" skinny minnow and has a small spoon that gives it a little dive, but nothing overly deep.  I also have two spinner baits - one totally white with what looks like a hula skirt and one without a skirt that's neon yellow.  I also have a lure that looks like a fatter fish that's silver and yellow/green.  That one is deeper, but I tried it, too.  Also, I tried some artificial grub things with a weighted head in sparkly gray & blue, and sparkly white with a yellow head.

I tried them all at varying speeds and different jerk rates, but nada.

Hubs went with me on election day.  He was using lures that looked like fish, ones that look like crawdads, spinners, spoons, etc.  Caught a small spotted bass, but still nothing major.  He did have something big chase one lure in a cove, but it didn't bite.

We need to be in a boat, but since we aren't doing that right now, we're not really catching anything of note.

I did catch a nice bluegill on a worm.  I had to go with the next to smallest hook in my box because they were stripping the worms off bigger hooks.  On the upside, I got to try out my new fillet knife.  It was like butter.  That fish is now filleted and in the freezer.  I also caught a small bass and some okay pumpkinseeds - again with worms.  All of those are back in the lake.

Out again today.  I'll let you know how that goes next week.  Until then, have a great week and go drown some worms.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thursday This n That

I was watching Worst Cooks in America last night and they were doing a wrap-up kind of thing where they had clips of the worst in categories.  I was totally amazed by the woman who didn't know how to use a knife.  She tried cutting with the protective sleeve on first.  Then she tried cutting with the dull side of the knife.  It was tragic.  How did that poor woman ever eat before she got on that show? Or was it all make believe for the viewers?

Yes, I am a bit cynical.

No. I won't talk about the election.  I have my reasons.  I did see someone get crazy-ass mad at a writer for posting something lighthearted on their Facebook wall.  Something like 'I don't want to talk about the election so tell me if you like grape jelly or strawberry jelly'.  (Not that, but something as innocuous.)  And this other person totally went OFF.  It was bizarre.  And a little scary.  And I didn't know the crazy person, but I totally blocked them.  Don't need anymore cray-cray.  Had enough when I was younger.

So, anyway, I went for a walk yesterday to get away from the post-election crazy.  It was awesome.  I didn't take the fishing poles, but I walked along the lake in a place I'd never walked before.  Kind of not the smartest plan I ever had because the rocky shore was totally unstable, and just about every step felt like I would start a slide that would tumble me into the water.  But it was AWESOME.  Here's where I was...
That's all usually underwater up to the vegetation line, but the lake level is so low this year.  I don't know if you can tell, but that's all big rocks.  I can't wait to fish there in the boat when the water level rises.  Basstravaganza!

This time change is killing me.  I've been up before 4 every morning since it changed.  Sleep later, my ass.  Damn Ben Franklin for thinking of this.  Damn whoever it was that implemented it during WWI.  Damn Congress for not getting rid of it a long time ago.

I need more coffee.  Always. 

How's the this n that for you this week?  And, please, no election stuff.  I've had more than my fill.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

That's Offensive

I read the subject for a blog post that got me thinking again.  It was something about writing books in such a way that they'd be inoffensive.  (I didn't read the post, so it might not have been about what I was thinking it was about from that subject.) 


I don't write books to purposefully be offensive.  I also wouldn't write books to purposefully be inoffensive.  I write books hoping readers will be entertained, and that they'll take something away to make them think (maybe).  If, in the course of that book, someone finds something to be offended about?  Well, that's on them. 

The only person who can offend you is you.  Know what ah mean, Vern?

All sorts of stuff offends me.  That new commercial for something called V.I. Poo?  (I thought it was a spoofy commercial, but it's not.)  That offends me.  The rise of people vomiting on TV shows and in movies?  Yup.  Offensive. That all sorts of things are now 'X-treme' offends me. I'm waiting for someone to die on live TV, and the thought of that offends me. I take it all as a slow slide into America's version of the Fall of the Roman Empire. 

But that's me.  When I run across something I find offensive, I change the channels, or Hide the post on FB, or unfollow on Twitter. 

A while back, I had an editor ask me to correct something in Accidental Death.  One character uses the word 'spic' to refer to Hispanics, and she thought that might be offensive to some readers.  Well, of course, it's offensive.  He's an offensive kind of character.  I didn't put it in there to offend people.  I put it in there to be true to the character he was.  Needless to say, I left it. 

In Wish in One Hand, I refer to Renee the receptionist as 'plump'.  And I was asked to change that, too.  I guess I never realized that plump is now offensive.  I'm plump and I'm not offended, but that's me, too.

Anyway, different strokes for different folks.  My point is that various people can be offended by various things and there's no way of knowing what will offend someone at any given point in time.  Scrubbing your manuscript so that you won't offend people seems like a waste of time and as if it would water down the writing.  But that's also me. 

So, I'll leave you with these words from Shakespeare...

“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.”

Which just goes to show that even Shakespeare was concerned with offending people.  LOL, I wonder if that can be counted as the world's first disclaimer.  ;o)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 44

Back again for another week in review. 

First off, I hammered down another 8500 or so words last week.  I had hoped to be around 37K by the end of the weekend, but I'm at 32.5K this morning and I don't see me cranking 4500 words out today.  Still, pretty happy with the progress.

Tomorrow, I will finally let the cat out of the bag about what I'm working on.  I think it's old enough now it can survive being public. Risky for me at this stage, but I hate not talking about it.

For fishing news, see yesterday's Fishing Report.  (I'm actually writing this Saturday night, because I might go fishing again in the morning.)

I didn't read anything this past week because my head was all up in my WIP.

Part of my time was wrapped up in Hubs' car.  It has some kind of weird battery drain on the new battery we put into it in January.  We took it to the shop - they can't find anything wrong with the alternator, there's no weird shorts or grounds or whatever.  They said it had to be the battery.  He took the battery back to the store.  They ran a check on it and they couldn't find anything wrong either.  So, we're letting the car sit.  Next time he tries to start it and the battery is dead, we're yanking that puppy out, taking it there in my car, and I'm going to pitch a hissy.  He will have a new battery by the time I walk out and we will not be paying for it.  (I told Hubs to tell them they DID NOT want his wife coming down there.  LOL) 

Another big part of the week was raking leaves.  Whoof.  I swear there are more leaves this year... then Hubs laughs at me.  Well, there could be more leaves this year.  But he's probably right that it just feels like there are more leaves.

So, what was up in your worlds last week?

Oh, and before I forget... god, I'm so bad at marketing sometimes... Blood Flow will be on sale Monday through Wednesday.  You know, the political thriller on sale for Election Day and all that.  It'll be 99cents for the duration of the Kindle Countdown Deal.  Not sure of the exact start and stop times - check your local listings.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/5/16

Here we are again at the new fishing report for less than competent anglers. 

First, let me explain something really quick.  I try really hard to maintain some level of privacy online, which is why I don't talk about exact fishing spots.  Last week, I said I was on the quiet side of Table Rock Lake. That's about all you'll get.  I don't imagine that the fishing reports I give are going to matter much from exact spot to exact spot.  Rocky ledges are rocky ledges.  Pebbled beaches are pebbled beaches.  Coves are coves.  The fish don't have a map and don't care about the names we humans give to locales.

Okay, so here's the deal.  The fish still aren't biting much, but they're out there.  Okay, let me rephrase that... Keeper fish still aren't biting much.  The little worm-stealing bastards are still out there and still stripping your worms if you aren't careful.  And sometimes if you are careful.  I have to reel pretty fast through the shallows or the baby panfish will strip those worms right the hell off the hook.  I caught one of those Thursday afternoon - a pretty little green sunfish about 3 inches long - as I was reeling in.  Nice to catch something, but ultimately pointless. 

So, anyway, I did some evening fishing.  The weather was cloudy and mid to low 70s with a little wind.  Got to my spot about 3pm and packed it in about 5:30pm.  Caught the little sunfish, a 5" bluegill, and a 13" spotted bass.  Seems like where I was fishing has some kind of underwater drop off when you move from right to left along the shore.  Left is ledges (which is why this is called Table Rock) and to the right is rocky beach.  Where the two meet, the bed must drop down because as soon as the wind took my bobber past that drop, I got bites.  And it's where I caught that bass.   Which wasn't easy, lemme tell ya.  I must've gone through a dozen nightcrawlers to catch that one fish. 

I also did a bit of morning fishing earlier in the week.  Got out about sunrise on a clear, cloudless morning - no fog.  Started out at a beach type area with lots of sand and small pebbles that's totally underwater when the lake level is normal (which is about 4 feet higher than now.)  Nothing was biting at all there, so I moved west until I reached where the beach ended and the ledges began.  I fished as deep as I could go and as far as I could throw.  Nothing was biting there until the rig got closer to the rocks.  I caught a 9 inch spotted bass about 3 feet off the ledges and about 6 feet down.  I think it also helped that right about then, the wind picked up, but I can't say that for certain.  Well, about the time I caught that bass, I had to use the bathroom, and there is no bathroom where I was fishing, so I moved on.  Did my thing and went back to fishing at that same place I always go - where I was on Thursday.  The wind was gone by the time I threw back in and I didn't catch a single thing, but, man, was it pretty out.

Oh, yeah, and on Thursday, I tried some lure fishing.  As I said last week, I totally suck at lure fishing.  And I still suck, but if you don't keep trying things, you'll always suck at them. 

I'm planning to go out again today.  If the fog isn't too bad. It's still dark out, but I can see pea soup glowing under the street light.  This week the temperatures are dropping, so it should be better fishing.  :fingers crossed:

Have a great week next week and, if you get a chance, go drown some worms.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thursday This n That

I've been answering political polls on the phone lately.  Okay, so the first one, I picked up the phone and shouted WHAT? because that same number had come up on our caller ID three times that day.  But the young man was very nice and just doing his job and clearly sounded terrified.  Live poll takers this year must be really taking some shit.  There's a job I definitely would not want. 

Speaking of political crap, I stopped using Pandora until after next Tuesday.  I don't mind the ads for the most part.  When I'm in the groove, I can easily ignore them.  But the political ads on Pandora are obnoxious and throw me right the hell out of my writing.  I got the same one three times during a two hour writing session.  That's when I closed the damn website and went to the CDs I have ripped onto my computer.  Yesterday, I loaded a couple more CDs and built a playlist.  Works for me.

My playlist for this WIP: Foo Fighters, Bush, Lit, Blink 182, Stone Sour, Better Than Ezra, All American Rejects, Breaking Benjamin, Evanescence, Fuel.  For some reason, I like harsh music when I'm writing about murder.  I pick 'angry girl' music for dystopian and pop/folk (Mumford and Sons, Lumineers, etc.) when I do urban fantasy.

A couple of days ago, we noticed buzzards hanging out off the edge of the yard again.  After we pinpointed their activity, I went down.  Within about twenty feet I could tell by the smell what was so attractive to the vultures.  I tucked my shirt up over my mouth and proceeded.  It was a raccoon.  We assume it was the raccoon we'd seen out during the day last week.  He had been moving slow, but after I did some research into daytime raccoon sightings and symptoms for the major diseases, I wasn't worried.  Raccoons do sometimes come out during the day and raccoons with rabies or distemper lose their appetites.  This bugger was munching away at the deer corn.  He also wasn't staggering or drooling.  So, not a big deal.  But he must've had something wrong because we have a dead raccoon.  The vulture activity is over now, which I guess means the carcass is gone. Ah, life in the woods.

What's on your this n that radar today?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month.  This is the month we celebrate writing and one way we do that is by cranking out at least 50,000 words in 30 days.  It's a madcap race filled with daily sprints to reach the marathon end.  I've done this off and on plenty of times over the years.  Sometimes I did it officially at the website created by the NaNoWriMo people.  Sometimes I did it unofficially because I was already in the middle of a book and just wanted to use the month to get a boatload of words out.

That last thing is me this year.  I'll be doing daily sprints to get this book I'm working on finished by the end of November.  If that means another 50K words, then it does.  If it means 40K or 60K, well it is what it is.  As long as the first draft is done by 12/1/16, I'll be happy.

I was sitting here this morning trying to figure out which of my books was a NaNo novel.  Officially, the only one y'all would be familiar with is Fertile Ground.  Unofficially, I'm fairly certain that Wish in One Hand in its first incarnation was a NaNo novel.  (It's original incarnation is a totally different book, btw.)  I wrote In Deep Wish in what I called HoHoWriMo, because I was jammed in November, so I pushed the 50K in 30 days to December. 

If you've never done it, I totally recommend it.  It's a freeing kind of thing.  In order to accomplish that many words in that short a time, you have to just write.  No editing.  No overthinking.  Put the words down on paper.  You can always edit them when you're finished.  But, like I've said before, you can't edit what you haven't written, so get writing.  LOL

If you're not a writer, I still recommend it.  Open a file and start typing.  Don't worry about structure.  Don't worry about plot.  Hell, don't even worry too much about getting all the bits right.  Just write.  You might surprise yourself.

Or to paraphrase a bit from The Carpenters... "Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to read.  Just write.  Write a book."

And on that note, I'll leave you with this starting point for my current work in progress.  I am sitting at 26772 as of this moment.  A finished first draft for me is usually 60-75K.  We'll see how many words it takes to do this story justice and whether I'll be sitting here on December 1st with a completed novel.  :fingers crossed:

Are you doing NaNo this year? If so, good luck!  You can do it!  Have you ever done NaNo?  Would you consider it if you were in the right place for it?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 43

So, here we are again.  Week 43.  Time's really flying by toward the end of this year.  Whoa.

I wrote about 7K new words this past week.  Not really burning up the keyboard, but making progress.  Still not quite ready to talk about it. 

In other book news, I'll be having a Kindle Countdown Deal for Wish in One Hand Thursday - Saturday, with some advertising going out on Bargain Booksy on Friday.  It'll be 99 cents all three days.

Started the raking project for Fall 2016.  I swear that oak tree grew twice as many leaves this year as last year. 

Speaking of raking, while I was out yesterday morning, I raked some leaves toward the big pile and a little gray furry critter scurried out between my feet.  It ran around in terrified little circles.  At first I thought it was a mole, and I was inclined to send it to its maker, but I couldn't bring myself to smash its little head, so I herded it toward an area I wouldn't be raking in yet and it hid under that side of the big pile of leaves.  Later, I did some research and found it was a shrew.  That's the first time I've seen one of those alive.  The other ones I've seen were dead and covered in Max slobber.

Speaking of Max, he'll be gone one year this coming Friday.  =o(

Did a lot of fishing this past week.  Didn't catch a ding-dang thing.  Which reminds me, I started doing a fishing report on Saturdays.  The maiden post is here.  I didn't catch anything, but the weather was beautiful and Hubs came with me sometimes, so it was all good.  I saw bunches of migrating unidentifiable waterfowl.  And I happened upon some mink tracks in the sand - which was pretty cool.

I didn't do much reading.  The only thing of note is that I started Jennifer Lyon's Savaged Surrender.  It has characters from her Plus One Chronicles, so I can't wait to really get into that.  The problem is, I'm really into my WIP right now, so that story is kind of making it hard to read other stories. 

Yesterday, on a whim, I made a chocolate cake (Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge box mix, so don't be too impressed.)  Then, after dinner yesterday, I made homemade peanut butter frosting without a recipe.  Haven't had any yet, so don't be impressed there either.  I'm just happy it set.

That's it for me.  What's up with you?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saturday Fishing Report

Okay, so I'm trying something new here.  And, no, it's not about writing.  It's about where I go and what I do to clear my head so I can write.

First off, I am not in any way, shape, or form, an experienced fisherman.  I fished some with my father when I was a kid.  I fished a little bit more when I was a teen.  And then I didn't go fishing for 25 years.  Now that we live in Missouri and there are bodies of water everywhere around me, I caught the fishing bug.  I get out as often as I can in pretty much any kind of weather.  Right now, I only fish from the shores.  So, if any of this sounds interesting or pertinent to you, come along.  If not, I'll be back to regular writing stuff Sunday thru Friday on this blog, on Outside the Box, and at Killer Chicks.

Oh, and in case you're new here, I'm a chick fisherman.  (The terms 'fisherwoman' and 'fisherperson' irritate me.)  I know there aren't a lot of us out there.  Or at least, there aren't a lot of us being public about fishing, so here I am.

Okay, so for my maiden fishing post, here's the dealie-bob...

I went out several times this past week, both alone and with Hubs.  We didn't catch much of anything.  Hubs was using all kinds of lures, and I was using nightcrawlers like I always do.  (I am a total novice when it comes to lures, etc.)  He didn't catch anything of note anywhere we went.  I caught a few undersized bass - largemouths and spotteds.

I watched a fishing report this morning -  He said pretty much what I had expected (and Hubs had already told me), the water is too warm for too much activity in the bass realm.  I expect this is the same for panfish, since catching those has dropped off precipitously.  The fish are also being finicky about what they bite and they're being obnoxious about sending one of their number out to get caught while the others swim away.  Thus, I catch one small bass and nothing else bites until I go somewhere else.  In a boat, this wouldn't be a big deal.  Bank fishing, it's a real pain in the butt. 

This week, I caught three largemouth bass - two 9" and one 11".  As I've mentioned before, the bass here have to be at least 15" before you can keep them, so nothing to bring home.  I also caught several 5-7" bluegills.  There's no length requirements on panfish, but we don't bring them home if they're less than 7" because they're a pain in the butt to clean for the amount you get to eat.  Mostly what's biting right now, on the quiet end of Table Rock and its tributaries, is little panfish too small to hook.  Worm thieves.

I think, with this type of fishing, patience is the key.  And you need to have a lot of worms.  On the bright side, the weather has been gorgeous.  The birds are migrating, so there are new species to watch as you babysit your bobber.  And it's been quiet, so if you're not set on catching a stringerfull, you'll still have a lovely time.

In things I've heard talking to other fishermen, one guy caught a limit of crappie using a blue and white 1/16 oz. fishing up in a creek that drains into the lake.  Which pretty much confirms what the dude in the video said - they're in there up the creeks.  Kinda makes me wonder if I go to a couple spots I haven't fished yet if I could catch a few this morning...  Hmmmm.

Oh, and if you're into watching fishing, the FLW is having a tournament this coming week here on Table Rock.  It's over in the Branson area.  The weather this week is supposed to be warm and sunny, so my heart goes out to those guys as they try to get some fish in their boats.  It ain't gonna be easy this week, guys.  Sorry.

That's all for now.  Might be more of the same next week, if the weather keeps up the way it has.  Tune back in and see.  Thanks!