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.