Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday This n That

Sometimes I like to share books on Facebook that I haven't read and probably won't purchase, because they look interesting to me and I think some of my friends might enjoy them. And invariably someone will say 'tell me what you think of it when you're done' and I feel bad because I never really intended on buying it.  Not because I don't want to but because the budget does not allow for me to buy all the books I'd like to.  So, instead of buying books I can't afford to, I share them on FB as a way of supporting the author so they can keep on writing and maybe someday I'll be in a position to buy their books. 

Despite my love of birds, I really don't like parrots.  It's a long story, but suffice it to say I lived with one for nearly 3 years and that was quite enough thank you very much.  I only mention this because today's bird of the day is parrots - again.  For the second time this week.  The last one, I had to put a sticky note over the bird's face because it was creeping me out.

I really need to cut my hair.  I'm starting to look like a sheepdog.

Today's the last day of November.  I'm sure all y'all probably knew that, because you're on the ball and stuff, but it came as a total surprise to me.

I know tomorrow is the first of December, but I am totally not ready to think about Christmas.  Ho Ho NOT.  Maybe it's the fact that it hasn't gotten cold here yet.  It's been in the sixties for the most part.  Hell, I was out fishing the other afternoon in a t-shirt.  Gorgeous day.  And so not 'put me in the holiday mood' weather.

I just noticed that in my pen/pencil cup is an NMU pencil, unsharpened and probably 26 years old.  I think it's the only thing left I purchased while I was in college.  The t-shirt wore out.  The mugs got broken.  But I still have my pencil.

Well, that's it for me.  What have you got for me this morning?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

PSA and Rant

If you're a writer... hell, if you're in any kind of business where you present marketing materials to the world... proofread your stuff before it hits the public eye. 

It goes without saying that your books should be proofread.  Over the course of 65 to 150 thousand words, though, you're bound to miss something here or there.  With those words, do the very best you can. 

In a marketing materials, generally the shorter the better.  But let's say, for the sake of argument, you're putting out a blurb of like 250-500 words.  Surely, you can proofread that to perfection.  Surely.  And if you can't, then get someone else to do it.  Get several someones.  Something.

I just read such a blurb for a person trying to sell their book on how to sell books.  Not a damn comma in the whole thing.  And there should've been.  Trust me.

I've seen ads in the local paper.  Maybe 20 words?  With misspellings.  Now, sure, these aren't for writing services, but still.  You're touting your restaurant as being an upscale alternative in the area?  Then make your ad look like you gave a damn.  If you spell Wednesday like Wensday it looks like you don't care.  How can I then trust you to care whether my fork is spotless or whether your employees wash their hands?  :shudder:

Hell, I've seen misspellings and typos in the damn news.  Argh.

These are things that ought to be proofread to within an inch of their existences.  But no.  And people are getting paid to write that stuff, which really offends the hell out of me.

Yes, yes.  This pot is calling the kettle tarnished.  If you consider these blog posts as marketing materials, that is.  I've warned y'all before.  I don't proofread the blog, for the most part.  If I see an error, I fix it, but other than that, blog posts are on their own.  Non-marketing FB posts are on their own, too.  Sometimes, I'm just a person, jotting my thoughts down for the world to see. 

My blog posts probably make my editor cringe sometimes.  I can almost imagine her up there shouting "COMMAS, B.E., COMMAS".  :shrug: 

This has been a Public Service Announcement... that sort of turned into a rant.  :shrug:  Do the world a favor and proofread your marketing materials.  Please. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 47

Well, here we are again with another Sunday which means another Sunday Update. 

I haven't written a stitch.  I know I was all jazzed about DH3 and everything, but the jazz ran out and now I'm stuck with the thought that maybe I should spend December editing instead of writing, so I can hit my production schedule this year.  Yeah, yeah, I'm one of those writers who can't seem to write when I'm not enthused.  Not necessarily the best business plan, lemme tell ya.

I had a sale this week (still having it thru today) and although the advertising didn't pay for itself yet, I'm seeing sales. Here's hoping a bunch of people picked up the books for Kindle Unlimited and haven't started them yet, so I'll see a cascade of page reads over the next couple of weeks.

I did read a lot this week, but it was all one book.  I'm slowly making my way through The Wishsong of Shannara.  And remembering why I stopped reading the Shannara books after this one.  I mean, it is kind of a let down after Elfstones, in my opinion.  And then there's the thing with Allanon, who is my favorite character out of the first three Shannara books.  I'll probably finish it this week and move on to one of the books waiting on my Kindle. 

Fishing was kind of a bust this past week.  The weather wasn't right or something.  Too windy... too sunny... too warm or not warm enough... I dunno.

We had Thanksgiving, of course, which is just the two of so not really a big hoopla.  Hubs made an amazing turkey, naturally.  I made an amazing pumpkin cheesecake.  We were both very thankful for each other and the life we have together.  I talked to the Kid and to Mom, so it's all good.   I have a boatload of turkey leftovers, so today I'll be making a pot pie.  Next week, I'll be making soup or fricassee or something.

I busted a hump on the work stuff this past week.  Loads of spreadsheets to rework.  Also all good.

That's it for me today.  How was your last week?

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/25/17

Hello again and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

Well, it's a report.  Not much to report, though.  I went out twice last week.  Caught doodley-squat.  Unless you count a little green sunfish - one each time.  They're little fighters and they're super pretty, but neither of them was big enough to eat.

I tried a whole bunch of different lures, as well as my stand-by worms.  I did different retrieve rates.  I jiggled.  I shimmied.  I set the worm at all different depths.  Nada.  And I could SEE the fish jumping, so I know they're in there.  :shrug:

From the other local fishing reports, I'm not the only one having a rough time finding fish.  Oh, sure, they're catching more than I am, but they're in boats and can fish at depths I don't have access to.  And they're still not catching the fish one would typically find at this time of year. 

I am enjoying the lovely weather, though.  Except for the wind.  The wind is a bit nasty.  It almost took my hat yesterday, but I caught it before it went in the lake.  I might've gone in after it.  I love that hat and I don't think I could find another one like it after all these years.

Well, here's hoping the fishing is better next week.  I'm not holding my breath, though. 

Have an awesome week, whatever you're doing.  See ya next time.  =o)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's Hans the Turkey to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.  May your plates and your hearts be full today.  And may your stomachs not be so full as to make you regret how full your plates were.  ;o)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thursday This n That - Two Days Early

Since Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US, I decided to move the this-n-that post to today. 

I just got faked out by the cat.  She was sitting in the corner acting like something was totally interesting and looking all over like it was getting ready to attack her (or she was getting ready to attack it).  Total kwazy kat.  So, we both go over there, turn on the big light, and look - thinking perhaps it was a spider or a cricket.  Nothing.  Hubs goes on about his business, as do I.  A minute later, we look and the cat is gone.  He guessed she went to the bedroom when we weren't looking.  I posited she was pointing out a rip in the fabric of time and space, and that's where she went.  He's probably right, but my answer was more fun.

The above is probably why some people believe cats can see ghosts, btw.  Crazy-ass animals.  LOL

Despite my assertion that I would not be raking leaves this year, I did rake leaves.  Hubs mulched most of them, but I needed the exercise, so I raked them to where he was mulching them.  Now we have nothing more to rake, which kaputs my outdoor exercise routine.  Guess I'll just have to start raking the trails in the woods again.  I've got to do something - my ever-widening ass is getting out of hand again.

Despite my assertion that fishing is exercise, it's not really exercise.  Not since the lake came back up anyway.  Last year I had the opportunity to walk all over the place and fish.  Now, not so much.  Stand here, sit there, walk a little. 

Crap.  I just remembered something I was supposed to do yesterday that I didn't.  You see, I had a bunch of spreadsheet come in that needed work and I was wrapped up in that, so I didn't get the thing I was supposed to do yesterday done.  No excuse, but I really better go do that. 

What's on your this n that today?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 46

It's Sunday.  I have coffee. 

I did write a little this past week.  Not much and nothing to jump up & down about, but it's words.

I sent a book off to my editor.  She'll have it back to me on Dec 15th.  Working with that timeline and expected workload with this book, I'm setting a tentative release date as February 12th.  Could be sooner, but probably not.  Could be later, but I don't anticipate by much.

Meanwhile, I have Early Grave to edit and Sleeping Ugly to edit and this Dennis Haggarty Mystery to write.  There's my 2018 in a nutshell.

I spent some time trying to think of a title for DH3.  In keeping with the theme of the previous two books, I have the following ideas: Malice Aforethought, Self-Inflicted Wounds, Involuntary Manslaughter, Apparent Suicide, and Malicious Intent.  I know.  Meh.  Self-Inflicted Wounds gives me an awesome idea of where the story might go.  Malicious Intent sounds the best, I think.  It may be none of those.  As I'm doing my genealogy, I'm paying special attention to Death Records to see if any of them give me title ideas.  So far, no.  Bronchial pneumonia, nephritis, or 'run over by a wagon' just don't have the right rings to them.

This week I have a sale on Dying Embers and Fertile Ground - 99c or .99p each (I remembered to add in the UK this time).  They'll go on sale the 21st and be back to $2.99 on  Monday the 27th.  I also snagged some advertising, so we'll see how that goes.

I did some fishing, but it was unproductive.  Nice mental breaks, but no fish worth mentioning.

Did some reading, but only finished one book - The Boomerang Clue by Agatha Christie.  Fun book.  Right now, I'm in the middle of The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks.  I read this years ago, but I don't remember much of it, so it's like reading a new book. 

This past week was filled with trying to tackle my to-do list, upon which are many many cleaning tasks.  And as I get one done, I find another I need to do, so it's like the perpetually growing to-do list.  But sooner or later, it will all get done. 

This year, Hubs is mulching the leaves instead of us raking them.  So at least there's not that on my list.  He's about half done.  I'd help, but I hate the lawn mower and the feeling is mutual. 

That's about it for me today.  What's up in your world?  Did any of you release a book this week?  :hint hint, nudge nudge: :cough:deb:cough:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/18/17

Good morning and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

It was a busy week.  I was mistaken about the fall fishing starting.  Either that or it ended without my noticing.  The temperatures took a turn for the warmer and the fish are confused, just like last year.  Still, I had to keep trying.

I went out five times this past week, and didn't really have anything to show for it.  Little bluegills not worth bringing home.  I did, however, spend some time getting used to fishing with lures.  Big lures, little lures, deep divers, topwaters, whopper ploppers (or whatever they're called).  The works.

You see, I'd picked up some new lures at Walmart.  Two to a pack for $3.  I got a hit on this one that was silver and gold with a black stripe.  Long and skinny like a pike minnow.  Good thing I had two, though, because I lost that one pretty quick when it dove and got hung up on the rocks.  I also got a hit on a fat black and white thing with a pink throat and a longer bill.  (Hubs lost that one a day later.)  One of the whopper ploppers attracted the attention of a big bass who blew up from underneath it, but I didn't seal the deal.  I didn't know whether to stop reeling or keep reeling.  I stopped.  Hubs said stopping was the right idea, but then I should've jiggled it to let the bass think it was still alive.  Live and learn.

Then I was at Walmart again.  Still had lures on sale, so I bought some to replace the lost ones and a bunch more because buying lures is a sickness.  They're so sparkly.  I only spent $20 for 11 lures, though, so it's all good. 

Anyway, it's all good because I was out at the lake and the area is beautiful, and I'm learning.  Sooner or later, I will catch a fish on a lure.  Guaranteed.  Or I won't and I'll be okay with that, too.  ;o)

See y'all next week, hopefully with some stories of the fat hogs I brought home. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday This n That

Where did the week go?  I totally missed posting Tuesday and Wednesday, but it was like those days just blipped by.  Derp. 

I spent most of Tuesday working on spreadsheet stuff for the other jobby-doodle thing.  Wrote my first 'if/then' statement in 20 years.  Too bad I didn't remember how to do it and it was a bigger chore than it should have been.  If e6 is greater than X, then subtract X from E6 and multiply the answer by .05 and multiply that answer by .1, return the answer in the cell.  If it isn't greater, than return an answer of zero.  Which looks like this: If (E6>X, ((E6-X)*.05)*.1),0).  With X changing for different conditions, depending on a set of parameters.  I finally came up with that right answer while attempting to take a nap.  Needless to say, I never got my nap.  Got the spreadsheet done, though.  Yay.

My to-do list is pathetic.  Eleven items and only 3 have been crossed off.  And I made the damn list on Monday.  I made suet, I dusted the office, and I swept the floors.  Today, I have to vacuum and do some spot cleaning on the carpet.  I need to pick a nice warmish day to do the windows.  And I really have to clean the fridge before Thanksgiving... gah, before I put the frozen turkey in it, so this morning because I'm buying the turkey today. 

It's really foggy here this morning.  So, the trip to Wallyworld will be put off until the fog clears.  It's dangerous enough driving around here on a nice day, with all the crazy drivers out there, without the fog adding to it.

Speaking of crazy drivers, we've really been noticing the number of people who are driving off one side of the road or the other this year.  Two or three times a week there's something in the news about someone driving off the right side of the road, striking a tree or a ditch or a culvert, or crossing over and driving off the left side of the road, striking a tree or rolling over or something.  Seriously, is it that difficult to stay between the yellow line and the white line?  Seems to be so.  I blame distracted driving. 

I'm this close to picking a special project for my editor to attack.  I'm just having a tough time choosing between two manuscripts.  Both are awesome and both have their own special traits to move them to the honored spot, but I have to pick one.  Which one will go first?  I still haven't decided, but I promised her I'd get her something today, so I better pick soon. 

Okay, that's enough out of me.  If I sit here, I'll never get anything done.  Later days, dudes. 

What's up in your world?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 45

Well, once again it's Sunday.  Another week flying by without a great deal to show for it.  But, even so, it wasn't like there was nothing to show for it, so here goes...

I actually sat down with my handy dandy red pen and notebook, and wrote words last night.  Writing by hand is kind of a bear, so it wasn't a lot of words, but it's a start.  I really need to think of a title for this, but right now, it's Dennis Haggarty #3.  I'm pretty pleased with what I put down on paper.  We'll get that transferred to the computer sometime soon and then type in earnest.

As for the above, I have the beginning and the general gist, but I have no clue where the path will lead, who the killer will be, or how Dennis will stop him/her/it.

In reading news, I finished Silver James' The Sound of Silence.  It was wicked awesome!  And I read the 7th book in SL Viehl's StarDoc series - Plague of Memory.  It was the last of my unread books in that 10 book series.  Now that I'm reading them in order, the 8th book should make more sense.  I remember being really confused when I started that one - because there are things that happen in #6 and #7 that are kind of game changers. 

I went fishing 6 times last week - over 5 days.  And I went yesterday.  Nothing to really brag about.  Hopefully I'll catch something big soon.  Another 22" walleye like last November would be awesome.

We had a fox in the yard.  In case you don't follow me on FB (or don't do FB), here are the two pictures that turned out:

We also had turkeys in the yard for the first time in months.  A rafter of 8 hens has been stopping by for corn and acorns. 

In other nature news, firearm deer hunting season started yesterday.  Keep your fingers crossed our deer make it through without becoming someone's dinner.  And for the record, I have no problems with hunting - as long as it's done responsibly and legally.  Poachers should have a special place reserved for them in hell.  Jus' sayin'.

I also got my shot last week, so I should be sane for another 3 months.  (For varying definitions of sane. LOL)

And that's about it for me this week.  How's things with you?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/11/17

Good morning and welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.  I did kind of a bare-bones report this week.

Saturday -morning by myself at the go-to spot.  5 little bluegills and one little green sunfish.  Nothing to crow about.

Sunday - afternoon with Hubs at the go-to spot - We each caught a couple bluegills.  Hubs caught a couple spotted bass too small to keep and I caught one 10" spotted bass.  It was a gorgeous day, though.

Monday - it was cold and rainy all day, so I stayed home.

Tuesday - morning by myself at the park - caught 3 8-9" bluegills and one little green sunfish.  Kept 2 of the bluegills.  The first bluegill was easily 8" but as I was reeling it in, I noticed a sizeable bass chasing it, so I threw it back and concentrated on catching the bass.  Lures, fake little fishes, worms... to no avail.

Wednesday - morning by myself at the go-to spot.  It was blustery and cold with the wind coming out of the north, which made casting pretty gnarly.  I did manage to catch a 13" spotted bass who was hanging out in a minor cove about 6' from shore and about 3' deep.  I also caught a couple small bluegills.  Froze my buns off, but it was a good morning.

Wednesday - afternoon with Hubs at the go-to.  We didn't catch a ding-dang thing except one little bluegill, but Hubs did go wading and retrieve two of my lost bobbers (one with rig intact) and a lure he lost.  It was a gorgeous afternoon and we had fun, so it's all good.

Thursday - I had adulty stuff to do.

Friday - I was going to go out in the morning.  I mean, it was gorgeous looking out.  Then I checked the temperature.  32F.  Umm, no.  I love to fish, but I am not prepared to actually freeze yet this year. Now, if it had been 40F+...  ;o)

That's it for me for last week.  I hope you all have an awesome week to come.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday This n That

The geese are really on the move now.  We hear flocks of honkers on a daily basis.  Sometimes I even get to see them.  A small flock of Canada Geese was paddling its way up the lake the other day when I noticed one of them looked really weird.  As in white.  It was a single snow goose swimming along with the Canada ones.  Too cool.

I won ten dollars in last night's Show Me Cash lottery drawing.  Only spent $7, so I'm ahead by $3 this time.  (Behind by a whole bunch if you go cumulative on me.)

My record of falling once per year got shot yesterday when I was out at the lake and the rock I'd stepped on to walk across from one spot to the other, a rock I had walked on previously at least a dozen times, decided it no longer wanted to be where it was and slid out from under me.  No injuries this time.  I'm getting better at falling.  I guess if you do it enough, you're bound to get better at it.  Sorry Hubs had to see that one.  Poor guy worries enough about my graceless ass when he has to see the aftermath.  Personally, I think that rock had it in for me.  Hell, he'd used that rock to walk across a few times himself.  I'm glad it was me and not him that ended up getting dumped on the ass.  And I'm glad I didn't fall further to the right or I would've ended up in the river.  Whew.

My local favorite park is officially in winter mode.  Very few campers.  No on-site hosts.  No running water either, which limits me to the non-flush bathroom, but hey, better than no bathroom.  Anyway, I was the only one in the whole park the other day.  It was awesome. 

The time change has me totally messed up again.  I managed to make it all the way to 8:45pm last night (formerly 9:45, which is way past my bedtime) but I woke up at 4am this morning.  I stayed in bed for another thirty minutes, but still...  Blech.

Speaking of time change, animals don't get it.  So, to that end, Kira kitty is now being fed at 6am and 6pm because trying to feed her an hour later than she expects ain't happening.  Back when I was in CO, I remember someone telling me how hard it was to shift the cows at the feed lot over to the time change feeding schedule.  One hundred thousand cows.  All expecting to be fed an hour earlier than the silly humans were feeding them.  Wouldn't it have been easier to adjust the feeding schedule than try to adjust all those cows?  Jus' sayin'.

What's on the this n that radar for you today?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Pretty Picture Day

I wrote a big long rant for this morning's post, but I ran out of steam, and once I got it out, I figured it wasn't worth posting.  It's not like my rant is going to change anything and it would, most likely, piss a bunch of people off.

Here's a pretty picture instead...
(Snowy Egret.  Taken by me at Yuma Lake, Yuma, CO. August 2012)

Have an awesome day.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sunday Update - Week... Time Change

It's the morning after the time change and I don't really care what week it is.  Stupid people messing with the social constructs.  Blerg.

Anyway, here's the week that was...

I didn't do any writing.  I thought about it, but I did not do it.  I got a box with copies of Wish Hits the Fan in it, though.  So pretty.  I need to do some kind of contest or something.

I didn't do too much reading last week.  I got through another Cat Who mystery and then I started Silver James' new release, The Sound of Silence.  I'm about 88% of the way through that.  It's AWESOME.  Naturally.  I'll probably finish it up today and then write the reviews.  I have a few books in the hopper for next week, but...

I signed up for again.  So, for the next month, I'll be swinging from the family trees.  I already made some awesome discoveries.  Like determining whether great-great grandpa Sam really did kill himself.  (Yes... and no.  He jumped out a window, broke a bunch of stuff, and then died of pneumonia in a hospital a couple weeks later.)  And I finally figured out where 3x great grandma Minnie is buried.  Yay.  That one's been a burr in my side for a while now.  I also discovered last night that Dad's one cousin who'd come to the family reunions my dad organized died last month.  I remember him.  He was nice. 

The weather has gotten warmer again.  It's freakin' November for petesakes. 

Okay, I think that's it for me this week.  I hope all y'all had a nice week and have an awesome week to come.  =o)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 11/4/17

Good morning!  And welcome to the Saturday Fishing Report.

Monday afternoon from 2-5pm.  I talked Hubs into going out with me.  We went to the go-to spot.  He caught the first fish.  A little green sunfish.  And the second fish.  A little spotted bass.  Then he switched from worms to lures and caught the third fish - a spotted bass a hair shy of 15". After he threw it back, I finally started catching.  Three little bluegills and a punkinseed.  Then he caught another little spotted bass.  And I caught a 13" spotted bass.  Two more little bluegills for me and another one for him rounded out the afternoon and since we were both freezing our buns off by then, we went home.  As Hubs proclaimed on the way home, fall fishing has begun.

Wednesday morning from 9-11:30am.  Back to the go-to spot by myself.  Not as cold or as windy.   I tried some different things.  Got bites on fake bait, but nothing was really taking it.  They were hitting worms, but soft-mouthing them like a passel of underwater retrievers.  Over the course of about 15 worms, I did manage to catch two small bluegills and a large stick.  Right after the stick, I thought I got hung up on another stick.  Except this one was fighting me.  Landed a 13.5" spotted bass. 

And now I probably should get dressed and go out to the lake.  It's cool and overcast. 

Have an awesome day and a wonderful week.  See ya next time.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thursday This n That

The bucks are beginning to tussle for breeding rights.  We've already seen two with snapped antlers.  And we had two others sparring in the yard a couple days ago.  Ah, Fall when the testosterone flows and the courting begins.  I'm hoping it all leads to a bumper crop of fawns next Spring.

Yes, I know, I'm probably not supposed to capitalize the seasons.  My editor would poke me with a pointy stick.  But she has no power here on the blog.  Bwa ha ha.  I can run amok!  Amok, amok, amok.

It's morning and I didn't sleep for shit last night which is making me loopy.  Amok, amok, amok.

The darkness at 7am is making me unmotivated.  But I still would rather not have a time change this Sunday at butt-early in the morning.  I never change my clocks before bed.  It's one last sleep before my schedule gets screwed royally.

I saw a supposed news story yesterday where the CEO of Nike was listed as Isaac P. Freely.  I.P. Freely.  Get it? 

Amok, amok, amok.

If you didn't get it, you probably had a more refined childhood than I did.  And a better class of friends.

Okay, time to wind down the amok and get on with my day.  This spreadsheet won't build itself.  What's up with you?