Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Year-End Wrap Up

Hmmm...  This might be kind of boring, but I like to go back over the year for myself and set everything in my head.  Out with the old year, in with the new, eh?

January:  I started out the month editing furiously on Blink of an I and got that off to the editor for her second round of edits.  Then I started editing Early Grave.  We also spent a lot of time working in the woods.

February: Sent Early Grave off to the editor and got Blink back for final edits.  Got about halfway on the woods project.  Watched the Olympics.  Got derailed by a life thing, but managed to get Blink published on time.  I finally finished reading the first book of 2018 - Shogun.  What a beast.  Oh, and I started my 'eat healthier, get more active thing' this month.

March:  Seems like this month started out kind of boring.  I was working on edits for Early Grave.  And I cleared the garden beds of all the leaf litter.  I notice that this was the month I ordered a bunch of plants for the gardens.  It was also the month I started posting my weight to the blog.  186 pounds.  And I began weaning myself off Mtn Dew.  Got the gardens planted and got Early Grave back to the editor.

April:  There was Easter, which we celebrated with salmon and scallops instead of ham because of the eat healthier thing.  This was the month I got food poisoning.  And did a boatload of pay-job work.  Early Grave was published to the sound of crickets.

May:  I spent a lot of time gardening and editing Sleeping Ugly so I could send it to the editor for Round 1.  This month also so an epic heatwave for the month of May.  I turned 48 and we celebrated 14 years of marriage.

June:  I got Sleeping Ugly to the editor.  Yay.  I was supposed to use June as a NaNo type month and get SU#2 written.  This did not happen.  I started my Saturday Reading Wrap-Up series.  We had company for the first time.  That was cool.  It was also a huge cleaning month - because company. Both the exercising and the eating right were rolling along.  Down to 182 pounds.

July:  Got SU back from the editor, so there was loads of editing going on.  I got 'em done (barely) and turned it back around to her.  Which was good because I got with the cover artist for SU, too.  Saw the first fawn of the year.  Yay.  We were stuck in a drought which crapped out my gardens.  This was also the month of the grain bug invasion.

August: Another month where I was supposed to be writing UatB.  Did not happen.  The Kid turned 25.  SU went live.  And I worked on Unequal to get it ready for AWE.  The summer drought ended.  Down to 180.4 pounds.

September:  Got Unequal to the editor.  Committed myself to finished UatB.  Umm, no.  I transferred all my paperbacks from Createspace to Amazon.  Down to 179.6 pounds.

October:  Got UEQ back from the editor and worked on edits.  Did some fishing and created a retaining wall for the cedar bed.  I replanted the iris beds.  I got down to 178 pounds and then by the end of the month, went back up to 180.

November:  Finally got the edits done for UEQ and sent it off to the editor.  Wrote some more words on UatB, but still didn't finish it.  We did a boatload of raking.  And there was Thanksgiving.  I stopped weighing myself.

December:  UEQ went live.  Other than that, the month was mostly prepping for Christmas and getting ready for 2019.  Oh, and I'm finishing the year at 179.6 pounds.  So, that's about 7 pounds lost for the year.

All in all, it wasn't a terrible year.  I got four books published, like I wanted to.  Lost some weight, which was good.  Got healthier.  I never did finish Ugly and the Beast.  Here's hoping that actually happens in 2019.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 52

It's the last Update of the year. End of week, end of month, end of year.  Ugh.

Not much went on.  Not much ever goes on in the last week of the year.  Maybe some frantic dashes to get the year wrapped up, but I was pretty on the ball earlier in the month, so no frenzy for me.  Just coasting.

I did have a sale this past week.  It ends tonight at midnight.  Dying Embers, Fertile Ground, and Early Grave all went on sale.  Between the paid ads and the FB group posts, I've had some good movement.  The ads haven't paid for themselves yet, but I expect page reads to take care of that over the next week or so.  Suffice it to say, the sale made this the best December I've had yet for sales.

I've written wrap-up posts for both The Writing Spectacle and Outside the Box for tomorrow.

I only finished one book before the wrap-up and finished another book on Saturday. They were both kind of long. Interesting but not fast reads.

There was, of course, Christmas.  Which was pretty much like any other day here.  Except for the Christmas music/movies and the food.  The London Broil turned out okay.  It was much better as leftovers.  The twice-baked potatoes were awesome.  As was the Black Forest cake.

I made a pork roast on Friday that was to die for.  And Saturday was vat of spaghetti day.  Always a fan favorite.  Today, we eat leftovers.

Plans for the week ahead?  I have some spreadsheet work to do.  And some more wrap-up stuff.  And I really need to sit down and make some goals for 2019 - both personally and professionally.  I know I plan to get back on track with my exercise/activity goal.  Maybe lose some more poundage.

And hey, yesterday, Dying Embers went over 1000 copies sold!   That's over 4 years, but it's still a win.

See ya next week for the first Update of 2019.

What was going on in your life for the last week of 2018?

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 12/29/18

It's the last reading wrap-up of the year.  I think next Saturday I'll do a wrap-up of all the wrap-ups.

Anyway, I did a lot of reading, but not a lot of finishing books.  The bio-thriller was a page-turner, but it's a long book, so it took me longer to read.  Same with the romantic suspense - which I finished after this posted, but I added it here rather than to next year's first post.

I went a little crazy and picked up a slew of new ebooks this week - a paranormal romance, two urban fantasies, a regular fantasy, a paranormal mystery, a historical mystery, a fantasy mystery, a farm mystery... Someone really needed to stop me somewhere along the way.  On the bright side, I should have a lot of fun things to read in the new year.

 95) Fly Away Home by Genevieve Davis (12/29/18) - Romantic Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free when I picked it up. 
Review: "Enthralling book. It started out like a suspense, then shifted to a romance, then more suspense, then more romance. The romance angle gets wrapped up by the end, but the suspense thread still has so much more to go when you reach the last page. Which is when you find out more of the story will be told in the next book. Kind of an ARGH moment, but the book still deserves 5 stars.

It's not always an easy story to experience. The author really delves into the depths of domestic abuse with the glimpses of the heroine's backstory. But I think the author did the subject justice and created the right sense of it all while showing how the MC can become a strong, independent woman. Definitely worth a read.

And as soon as my budget opens up again, I'll go looking for book 2. Gotta see what happens and if what I think is coming actually is. Gah"

Note: There is no Book 2 yet.  Argh.

 94) Ebola Cell by RJ Spears and Scott Spears (12/26/18) - Bio-Thriller*# - 5 stars.  New to me and new overall, so it's super underappreciated right now.  Hopefully that will change because it says at the end that if they get enough interest in this book, then they'll release a sequel.  Ugh.  Paid full price - $3.99.  It was worth it.
Review: "Excellent book. Scary in an 'it could easily happen' sort of way and full of twists I didn't see coming, Awesome resolution to the crisis and a satisfying end to this story. Whether it's the end of Frank's story remains to be seen, I guess."

DNF - UF? (12/26/18) - I didn't make it very far in.  Paid 99c.  It was supposed to be urban fantasy, but the beginning was more like a wildlife documentary - complete with shades of 'nature good humanity bad'.  Bleh.  Not really into that crap.  

I'm currently reading a romance that leans toward the romantic suspense, kind of like a Harlequin Intrigue, but self-published.  I'd hoped to have it finished last night, but while it's exciting, it's not a fast read.  I'll have it finished as my last book of the year, though, meeting my updated goal of 95 books for 2018.  Finished it before 8am, so I added it to this post.  Goal met.  Yay!

I decided not to start a big, meaty book for the new year because I downloaded so many other books that I don't want to have to wait to read.  Maybe I'll save the meaty for later in the year.

What good things did you read?

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Thursday This n That

First off, deconstructed Black Forest Cake:  1 box chocolate cake mix, two cans cherry pie filling, two tubs of whipped cream.  Step 1: Make the cake.  Step 2:  Dump the contents of both cans of pie filling into a bowl, seal it, and put it in the fridge.  Step 3: Once the cake is cool and the cherries are cold, put everything on the counter and let everyone have at it.  I recommend a square of cake then cherries then whipped cream.  ;o)

Tuesday was an eating day.  From about 7:30am until 3pm, I ate everything.  Then I laid around like a slob.  I finally ate a bowl of cereal around 6 because I didn't want to go to bed without dinner.  I should've just gone to bed without dinner.

We did take a walk after the 3 o'clock cake.  It was a must.

I started writing this Tuesday night, absolutely certain the next day was Thursday, which continued into Wednesday morning when I began finishing this post up so I could publish it.  Luckily, I figured out which day it was before this went live.  Holidays mess me up something fierce.

On Christmas morning, I was absolutely certain it was Sunday.  As such, I almost forgot to call my mom because I never call her on Sundays.  Derp.

The kinglets are back.  I saw a ruby-crowned kinglet and a golden-crowned kinglet together.  I think they were scuffling over turf.  They're so CUTE.

Any this n thats today?  Did you get anything neat from Santa? 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Holiday Wishes and Discounted Books

It's Christmas Eve - yes, I have a flair for stating the obvious - and I do wish you all the merriest of days today and tomorrow.

But I also have a sale starting today.  All the books in the SCIU series are discounted from now until Sunday night. 

Dying Embers is only 99c.  Fertile Ground and Early Grave are $1.99 each.  Get all three books for under $5. 

I started the sale today so anyone who wanted to give a quick gift could do so.  It's going through Sunday so anyone who got a gift card or an ereader could use those gifts to get themselves something fun without breaking the bank.

And I do hope you all have a wonderful set of holidays and a glorious 2019.  May the universe hold you all gently now and for all time. 


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 51

One more week to go and then it's the new year.  :panics:


So anyway, Unequal launched last Sunday.  For some reason, Amazon has the pub date as 12/15, but I guarantee it was not live then.  I was still running around like a chicken with my head cut off on the 15th.

The rest of the week was devoted to reading, watching TV, and spreadsheets.  I worked on back matter a little.  Did a little marketing.

I did some woods stuff.

But I mostly vegetated.  I expect more of the same this coming week.  Except I have a sale starting tomorrow, so more marketing.

And I have to go get my shot on Wednesday.  Yay!

And, of course, there's Christmas.  I'll be making a London Broil.  Fingers crossed it turns out good.  I might do twice baked potatoes.  And I'll be doing the Black Forest cake thing.  We'll eat like pigs and then laze around in a food coma.  (Needless to say, I will not be letting them weigh me on Wednesday.  Blerg.)

Hubs and I no longer exchange gifts, so other than having a special dinner, Christmas is another day. Might listen to some Christmas music.  Might watch a Christmas movie or two. 

So, what's been up with you?  What'll you be up to this week?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 12/22/18

Hello again.  With Unequal out there in the world, I had more time for reading this week.

I picked up one new ebook.  A romance that looked interesting.  No new hardcopies.

93) Murder and the Wanton Bride by Brett Halliday (12/21/18) - Hard-boiled Crime - 5 stars.  Not new to me but if you look at the # of Goodreads reviews for this edition, it seems way underappreciated.  I've owned this one for years, but hadn't read it.
Review: "Another awesome Mike Shayne."

92) Blame the Mistletoe by Dani Collins (12/20/18) - Romance* - 4 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Free when I downloaded it a couple weeks ago.
Review: "Cute little romance. A little sexier in spots than my taste, but the story was good and the characters were awesome. I was actually hoping it was longer. The story ended at like 53% so I was expecting more story and then it was over. Everything was pretty much wrapped up in the end, but I wanted more."

91) Hand in Glove (Roderick Alleyn #22) by Ngaio Marsh (12/18/18) - Mystery - 4 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Picked up during one of my thrift store binges.  Maybe 50c.
Review: "Interesting whodunnit. Not my amongst my favorites, but enjoyable."

No DNFs.

I have two books left to read by the end of the year.  I think I'll get that done before too long and then I'll start something meaty I won't finish until after 1/1.  I'm thinking The Agony and The Ecstasy.  We'll see.

What did you read last week?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Thursday This n That

I finally figured out what we're having for Christmas dinner.  I found a recipe for doing a London Broil in the slow cooker and Wallyworld just happened to have London Broil on sale.  I'll throw that sucker together on Christmas morning and forget about it until we're ready to eat. 

I'm also doing a deconstructed Black Forest Cake.  This means I'll be baking a chocolate cake and there'll be cherry pie filling and whipped cream available for toppings. 

Yes, I am lazy.  Why do you ask?

By the way, Hubs is an enabler.  He told me he didn't want me to have to work hard on dinner this Christmas.  So I'm not gonna.

Every year I do a bunch of Christmas cards to hand deliver to people I know around the area.  My friend at the bank.  The gal at the post office.  The gal at the feed store.  It's just fun.  It makes me happy and it seems to bring a little joy to them, too.  Unfortunately, when I did Christmas cards for mailing, there were four people I forgot and it's a little late to send them cards now.  Maybe they'll get 'after Christmas' cards. 

We have a little yearling buck with a split right ear.  We also have an adult buck with a split right ear.  Coincidence or genetics?

I really need a haircut.

My new Unequal postcards shipped.  I should have them sometime next week.  They're mostly for handing out because I don't have a paperback to show people this time around.

I don't know about the rest of you, but my launch days are always super anti-climactic.  Woohoo, I released a book!  :a couple woohoos echo back: then :crickets:

Strangely enough, I scheduled marketing for Dying Embers and sales for DE picked up.  The strange thing there is the ads haven't gone out yet.  :cue Twilight Zone music:

Speaking of old stuff on TV, we watched Psycho yesterday.  I hadn't seen it all the way through in decades.  It's pretty good, but I tried to watch it from the perspective of someone who might've seen it when it first hit theaters - before the spoilers got out.  If you look at it that way, it's freakin' brilliant.  The whole way through you'd be sitting there thinking Norman's mother was the psycho and then when the sheriff tells you the mother has been dead for 10 years...  :shiver:  Like I said, brilliant.

And on that note, I'll let you wander off to do whatever it is you do on a Thursday.  Have a great day and if you feel like it, drop some comments before you go.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I Don't Understand

I don't understand...

Bacon Soap.  Yes, that says SOAP not SOUP.  Why would anyone want to smell like bacon all day?  Or any other food for that matter?  I mean, I have vanilla scented body spray, but every time I use it, I'm hungry all day.  ALL DAY.  Walking around in a cloud of bacon would drive me insane.  And everywhere you go, you'd be making other people hungry, too.  People drooling and groaning... It'd be like a zombie apocalypse out there.

And old book perfume.  I love old books, but I don't understand the need to smell like them.

Are pants with JUICY across the ass a thing anymore? Because I never understood that.

I saw an author the other day whose marketing plan was a list of reasons NOT to buy his book.  I didn't read the list.  Maybe I would've understood the thinking behind it if I had.  Reverse psychology, perhaps?

Apparently, vantage point is one word in Canada.  I don't understand why it's two words here and one word there.  Then again, there are a lot of words I think should be one word, but they aren't.  I can't think of any at the moment and I don't understand that either.  Why is it every time I want examples for something, my brain refuses to give them to me?

Some punctuation rules. Some of them seem illogical.  Here anyway.  Occasionally, you see the same punctuation with different rules in the UK.  Their rules seem more logical, so I use theirs.  Sometimes.

I got contacted the other day by a toxic person I'd cut ties with years ago.  They were asking for publishing help.  Sent me their manuscript and everything.  I don't understand the thinking behind that.  Deleted the email and blocked the addy.  (Which I'd already done years ago, but they came at me from another addy.)

There are lot of other things I don't understand, but if I keep going, we'll be here all day and it'll start to get political or cultural or whatever.  I'm not in the mood and you probably aren't either.  And that's something I can totally understand.  ;o)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Release Day!

Unequal is out in the world now.  $2.99 for a limited time.  Get yours today.  =o)

We are all the same.  Equal.
In a world where being different is against the law, Rue Logan lives in fear of being branded Unequal and getting disappeared like so many others.  The Department of Equalization had other plans for her life, but she couldn’t let that stop her.  Now, she works her assigned job as a janitor by day and prowls the hospital’s corridors at night, saving lives.  

Until she’s caught.

On the run from the DOE, Rue finds others like her, Unequals working in secret to achieve their goals and live their lives.  But their leader has a mission of his own.  With war brewing, both sides need her skills to help them win.  Torn between her own deeply held beliefs and her desire to save the people she’s come to love, Rue must find a way to stop the conflict before any more lives are lost.  Even if it means uncovering secrets and lies that could break her world apart.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 50

Two more weeks to go before we put 2018 behind us.

My week was devoted to getting Unequal ready to publish.  Yesterday, I finished the last of the editing/polishing.  Did a couple hours in the morning and then worked from 2pm to 7pm with a short break for dinner, but I got it done.  Today will be formatting and uploading so it will be live tomorrow.  As promised.  (Unless Amazon delays it for some reason.  I have no control over that.)  I'm sure things aren't perfect.  They never are.  As I told Hubs last night, I could probably pick up any of my published novels and find things I would want to change, but at some point, I have to say 'enough'.

If there's anything in there that doesn't make sense or is flawed for some reason, the fault is entirely mine.  AWE tries to whip me into shape, but she doesn't always succeed.

Got the Goodreads listing up.  Go forth and Want to Read it, if you're so inclined.

I finished reading one book at the start of the week.  Didn't even bother to start anything else.

I got out in the woods and did some trail raking for about an hour.

Yesterday, during my morning break, I ran down to Wallyworld and picked up our Christmas present to ourselves - a carpet cleaner.  Walmart on the Saturday before the Saturday before Christmas is an interesting experience.  Especially since I did not get there as early as I usually do.  Whoa, Nelly.  It was very peopley out there.  But the cleaner we wanted was on sale, so I braved the peopley.  Our carpets will be cleaned by the end of the year.  (We both promised to not clean carpets until our work was done.)

Let's not even talk about activity or exercising.

Last night, after I had finished the typo-checking, and after a pot of coffee, I was WIRED.  Holy cow.  You coulda put me on a treadmill and powered Des Moines with the energy.  Then I crashed, which was good because I really needed sleep.

The plan for the rest of the year is to enter a vegetative state.  Unfortunately, I have spreadsheets to do and marketing stuff and a sale coming up and...  I'll vegetate sporadically.

How are things in your world?  Ready for the end of the year?  Ready for Christmas?  Ready to read Unequal?  ;o)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 12/15/18

Well, folks, it was a dry week for reading.  I've been too busy trying to get Unequal ready for publication to sit down with a book.  And when I'm not doing that, I don't want to look at other people's words.

No new books were bought or downloaded.

And here's the one book I finished last week...

90) The Stone Bull by Phyllis A. Whitney (12/9/18) - Romantic Suspense - 3 stars.  Neither new to me, nor underappreciated.  Picked this up at St. Vinny's for $1.
Review: "Not as good as I remembered it being. But I was a teenager then. Back then, this was one of my favorites. Now? Meh."
I know I don't typically finish 3 star books, but I couldn't remember how it ended, so I slogged through.  

No DNFs either.

As soon as I get Unequal out into the world, I'll get back to reading again.  I'm hoping for Monday, but it'll probably be Wednesday.  Then I'll have the rest of the year to read someone else's words for a change.

What did you read last week?  Anything good?

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thursday This n That

Mentally, I am a crispy critter right now.

The new keyboard that company sent me to replace the one where the letters rubbed off in a month?  It was worse.  The T key worked intermittently and the B key kept getting stuck.  And the letter were rubbing off!  I used it a whole week.  And I'm not even writing a book right now.  I unplugged it and threw it on the floor.  Then I went into my stash of old keyboards, found the Lenovo one I loved (that the letters have rubbed off of, too, but it took over a year) and I'm using that.  I bought some paint in the craft section of Wallyworld to touch up the letters on it.  Never again with VicTsing or whatever the hell that thing was.  I told Hubs to do with it what he would - stomp on it, hit it with a hammer...He took it to the garage.  Later, I went out there and stomped on it.  It's sitting out with this morning's trash.

Speaking of the craft section at Wallyworld.  The gals who work in there are awesome.  I am not a crafting type person, but every time I step in there, they're so helpful and cheerful.  I told her I was looking for craft paint and she led me to a whole section of the stuff, then she helped me pick out which one would be best on the hardened plastic of a keyboard.  Especially helpful since I didn't have my glasses to read the darn bottles.  Then she said, 'if it doesn't work, try putting clear nail polish over the paint'.  Gah, I wish I'd thought of that years ago.

Later in the bread aisle, I struck up a conversation with a gal who might've been 10-15 years older than me.  (We were both looking for cocoa - which they'd moved to across from the bread.)  She was a hoot.  We both were cracking it up.  Then for some reason we got serious and she said something about it being a shame she can't be anywhere and not be afraid of people, and how she feels silly but she worries about people breaking into her car or following her home.  I showed her the pepper spray I carry in my pocket at all times.  It is a shame, but it isn't silly.  This is the world we live in now.  Where even in the back of nowhere you have to watch your ass. 

I spent some time clearing trails in the woods yesterday.  It's a lot of work, but it's good for me and it makes nice places to walk without fear of stepping in a hole or on a snake.

It's supposed to rain from now through Saturday.  Bad for being outside, but great for keeping my butt in this chair.  4 days. 

Speaking of which, I should probably wrap this up and get my buns in gear.  Drop your this n this or any comments.  I'll be around here somewhere.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Kicking My Own Butt

There are times when the lazy and the procrastination get out of hand and I need to kick my own butt.  I spent yesterday morning whining about how much I had to do and how unmotivated I was.  Then I kicked my own ass and got to work.

I had three major projects to complete this week.

1)  Finish editing Unequal so I can get it published on Sunday for a Monday release.
2)  A packet of work arrived from the pay-job.
3)  Creating and manipulating spreadsheets for 2019

A fourth project arrived in the email yesterday, which was another set of spreadsheets to do.

Right now, the fourth project takes precedence because no one else gets paid until I complete it.  I'll get that done this morning.  After that, it breaks down like this:

Finish #2 this morning and get the line edits done for #1 before bed tonight.  The rest of the week, keep working on #1 and do some #3 as time and brain power allows.  Usually it's better for me to do spreadsheets in the morning and do writerly work later in the day or at night when my brain is better suited to it. 

And I still have to find time for Christmas cards.  Some people might get them late.  Sorry.

So, yeah, yesterday.  I was watching House reruns when it hit me that I really needed to get off my ass.  So, when the episode I was watching finished, I turned the damn TV off (yes, another House was starting and the patient was played by James Earl Jones, but I pulled my big girl panties up and hit the OFF button), had a cigarette out on the back deck, made a pot of coffee and got to work.  About 2pm.  I worked until 7 with a brief break for dinner at 5.  Then I vegged for an hour and went to bed.  From 2-4 I worked on pay-job stuff, from 4-7 I edited.

I didn't get nearly as much done as I would've hoped, but looking back, I made some significant headway. 

And now, I really need to step away from the internet.  #4 is calling my name.

Have a great day, folks.  I'll try to check in from time to time.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 49

Wow, 2019 is rushing up at us fast.  But let's focus on the rest of 2018, shall we?  Best not to poke the sleeping dragon, eh?

I'm still slogging through the final edits for Unequal.  Big ol' bear that it is.  As of yesterday, I have 120 pages left of the pink ink edits to do, then I have to hit a few niggles, then I have to read through it again and format it.  One week left to go before my self-imposed deadline hits.  And I will hit it.  Damn it.

I set up a sale for the SCIU series that will go from the 24th thru the 30th, and advertising for Dying Embers will go out on the 26th.  I went with Bargain Booksy again and I'm trying Book Adrenaline this time, too.  We'll see how it goes.  DE will be 99c, FG and EG will be $1.99.

No marketing planned for Unequal yet.  I'm not entirely sure how to work advertising on a new release - what with it having no reviews yet and junk.  Some places will let you if one of your other books has X number of reviews, but my books don't necessarily meet their numbers.  :shrug:

Worked on the blurb for UEQ.  Still have to set up the Goodreads listing and junk.  

I did a bunch of reading.

Got the Kid's Christmas package in the mail.  Still haven't done Christmas cards.  It's on the schedule for today.  Maybe.

Worked on pay-job spreadsheets for 2019.  Not quite done, but I'm making headway.  I need to finish those and then do my own sales spreadsheets before the end of the year. 

Ugh, I am so not ready for the end of the year.

In other news, we got the leaves raked back into the woods. Plus, I got some woods work done.  Moved some deadfall and pushed a dead cedar over.  Yay. I bought a salt block for the deer, which they are LOVING.  The storm we were supposed to get never happened.  We didn't even get flurries.  I assume this is because we spent all that time getting prepared for the storm.  Meh.

And that's about it for me.  What's new in you world?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 12/8/18

Welcome again to another Reading Wrap-up.  I sincerely hope you enjoy these things, because I do enjoy doing them.

I picked up two ebooks this week - a holiday romance and an urban fantasy.  No new hardcopies (I still have the bunch I bought the week before plus all the others I own but haven't read yet.)

89) Mr, Smith and the Roach by JJ DiBenedetto (12/6/18) - Hard-boiled SF Crime*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked this up for 99c after seeing it in a FB book group post. 
Review:  " I'm having a tough time categorizing this genre, so I'm just going with Hard-boiled SF Crime. SF Crime Noir? Whatever it is, it's awesome. Great mystery. Great plot. Awesome premise. I love John Smith. I love Sam. (Who would've thought I'd love a cockroach, eh?) I can't wait until the next book comes out next year. Hopefully early next year, but I know how it goes."

88) Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn (12/5/18) - Political Thriller - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Picked up this paperback for a fifty cents at St. Vinny's.
Review: (Original from June 2012) "Soooo satisfying. With Vince, you always know who the bad guys are and the good guys always kick the shit out of them - you just don't know how it's all going to come down and whose death you're going to end up cheering for. As with all of Mr. Flynn's novels, the tension rachets up until it's almost unbearable, and you're flipping pages to see what happens, only to have to go back and re-read because in your hurry to find out what happens, you flipped past some key element. (At least this happens to me when I'm reading a Mitch Rapp novel.)

12/5/18: Still as awesome as the first time I read it. And enough time had passed I'd forgotten the details, so it was almost like a new book."

87) High Profile (Jesse Stone #6) by Robert B. Parker (12/1/18) - Crime - 3 stars.  New to me, but appreciated way more than I would've thought it would be.  :shrug:  Must be due to the celebrity of the author.  Picked it up this hardcover at St. Vinny's for a dollar.
No review.
I didn't leave a review because he's so famous and there are already so many reviews for this, I didn't think mine would add anything worthwhile to the total.  Having said that, though, I had a feeling that the great Robert B. Parker pretty much phoned this one in.  I kept waiting for it to be better than it was, which is why I finished what ended up being only a 3-star read.  Probably not the best choice for my first foray into Parker's novels, which is sad.  I'll try some of his earlier books someday and see if they're any better.



I really need to focus more on my editing than on reading, but I'm not doing too bad a job accomplishing both right now.  I did start a re-read on Phyllis A. Whitney's Stone Bull last night. 

And I'm 6 books away from my last goal of the year.  89/95.  Totally doable.   I've also surpassed my goal of reading at least one book (on average) a month by a new-to-me, underappreciated author.  So, yay.

Read anything noteworthy last week?  How are you doing on your reading goals?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Thursday This n That

We finally got all the leaves pushed back into the woods.  Not sure how many hours it took to rake all the leaves into piles, but it took like 5 hours (over 4 days) to move the piles.  That last hour on Tuesday was a full on, 'gonna get this done today' extravaganza which left us both sore.  But it's done.  Yay.

I love Vince Flynn.  If you're into political thrillers with tons of action where the good guys always win and justice is done, pick them up.  American Assassin (not the first written, but the first in Mitch Rapp's timeline) was made into a movie, but it was made after Vince died, and I'm not sure what Hollywood would do to it without Vince there to rein them in, so I'm staying away from it.  If you want to try Vince without getting sucked into Mitch Rapp's world, try Term Limits.  It was AWESOME.  I just finished reading Transfer of Power (first written, but not first in timeline) last night for the second time.  Sometimes I just need to read about good guys kicking terrorist ass and Vince delivers.  Someone else is writing Mitch Rapp books now, but I probably won't read those.  =o(

I'd scan a cute picture for you, but my scanner is currently occupied with holding my 'to be filed' pile.

It's the last month of the year, which means I need to start thinking about next year's spreadsheets - both my book ones and the pay-job ones.  I'm not ready to think about next year.  At all.

Kira got her last meds last night.  Fingers crossed it was sufficient to keep the UTI at bay for a while.

And that's it for me today.  How about you?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Short Attention Span Theater

Since my attention span is short, I thought I'd offer you what I like to call 'Short Attention Span Theater'.

I am mere pennies away from hitting the $3K mark for sales since I started this in 2015.

Yesterday, someone bought all four books in the Once Upon a Djinn series.  In paperback.  Yay.  And thank you to whoever you are.

The cat's UTI seems to be all gone, but she still has two days left on the meds.

She's still trying to spit them at me.

Still haven't attempted the Christmas cards.

Yesterday, while someone was buying my books, I was out raking leaves.  I'm sore today.

They're predicting a winter storm for Friday.  Supposed to get 4-8 inches.  Of snow.  Gah.

The other day I was frying up some ham to go with breakfast and a tiny piece of it jumped out of the pan and landed on my arm.  Not pleasant.

Speaking of burns, I was watching a baking competition and on one episode, a woman grabbed a pan without a potholder, burning her hand pretty good.  She stood there, holding it and waiting for a medic.  There was a sink RIGHT THERE.  Get that bitch under cold water.  Sheesh.

I burn myself a lot when I'm cooking. Remember the time I forgot that a burner had been on and I put my hand right on top of it.  Yup.

Another bird ditched into the picture window.  A chickadee this time.  He wasn't broken, just stunned.  I held him and kept him warm until he felt well enough to fly away.

I hate that birds keep flying into that window, but I do enjoy holding them.  Except when they poop on my hand.  :shrug:

I've noticed that as it gets closer to Christmas, more of my spam has to do with package deliveries I'm not getting and online orders I didn't make.

Any short things to add?

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 48

Well, would ya look at that... It's the last month of the year.  Where the hell did 2018 go?  Bleh.

No new words this week.  And I got the editing back early, but I didn't make much use of that time.  I'm still planning on having this release on or around the 17th, though, so it's all good.  Edits, formatting, upload.  No prob.  Heh.

The sale on AD ended last Sunday.  It went pretty well, for varying definitions of well.  I cleared the cost of the ad and made a little scratch over that.   Saw some more page reads throughout the week and a couple additional sales.  Saved my November from totally sucking.  Let's see if we can save December. 

My reading week kind of sucked.  I DNF'd two books.  The third book was really good, but it took me a while to read.  Here's hoping this week will be better.

Thursday blew apart.

Friday night we had whopper storms blow through.  Didn't effect us that much other than a short power outage.

I made a meatloaf.  That was pretty good.  And we had loads of leftovers.  I love me some leftover meatloaf.  And I made a turkey pot pie.  Always a fan favorite.  Again, loads of leftovers, but hey, I do love leftovers.

With everything going on, I managed to get the Christmas tree up and the house decorated.  And the holiday shopping is done for another year.  All I have to do now is box up the Kid's stuff and ship it to her.  And do those x-mas cards.

We also got a lot of raking done.

And that's about it.  How was your week?

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-Up - 12/1/18

Hello again.  Not a great week for actually finishing books.

Great week for buying books, though.  I went to the local St. Vinny's and discovered they'd gotten a bunch of book donations in.  Someone donated a whole bunch of Vince Flynn novels, which I scooped up.  (Only bought 2 that I already had, so that's a win.)  Got a Bradbury hardcover and a Robert Parker hardcover.  Found another awesome Phyllis Whitney.  Picked up an old copy of Life with Father/Life with Mother by Clarence Day.  (If you've never seen the movie Life with Father, it's a hoot.)  And a Tolkien. Oh, and Follett's big thick historical sequel - Winter of the World.

I also downloaded one new ebook.  It's a quirky thing that Amazon is listing as hard-boiled crime, but it's got some SF/F elements, so we'll see.

Now, onto my less than stellar reading week...

86) A Matter of Love and Death by Caron Albright (11/30/18) - Historical Cozy Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  $2.99.
Review: "Cute! Fun mystery with a bit of romance and plenty of interesting historical bits. Mostly about Australia, of course, but that's part of the allure. I loved Jack and Frances, and all the characters. Definitely worth a read."

DNF 11/27/18 - Paranormal Cozy Mystery.  99c.  Meh.  I couldn't connect with the MC and it had some premise problems I couldn't get past.  Then she added a new character who didn't make any sense to me. 

DNF 11/26/18 - Thriller.  Picked this up on a whim while it was free, so no great loss.  Other than time spent.  Dropped it at about 40%.  I made more allowances for this one than I usually would because it was a translation from another language.  After a while, though, enough was enough.  It was interesting, but at the rate it was going, I realized I wasn't going to be able to give it more than 3 stars, and that's my limit for continuing.  I think I'll stick to England and her colonies from now on.


I'm currently reading Robert Parker's High Profile.  Oddly enough, I've never read Parker before.  In fact, I thought I'd bought a Raymond Chandler until I went back and looked.  It's a Jesse Stone one.  I've watched a few of the TV movies, so it's no big deal that I'm starting with book #6.  Except I keep picturing the MC as Tom Selleck.  :shrug:

And that's my reading week.  What did yours look like?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thursday Was a Day

I'm posting here instead of Outside the Box because yesterday was a day.

I started the morning off by checking a thing, which wasn't done when I assumed it would be done, which made me wonder if the undone thing would totally harsh my life.  Wait for said business to open.  Call.  Spend a half hour on the phone listening to the same song in a continuous loop.  Finally get a person, only to be told the thing could take up to 7 days to get done, but not to worry, their system shows it's done, so it's all good.  But check back after 7 days if doesn't show as done on my end.  Derp.

So, I decided to go do some Christmas shopping.  Retail therapy, doncha know. Wallyworld was a zoo, but it's all good.  Got my last person bought for, so I can pack it up and ship it in plenty of time.  Yay.  Oh, and before I went to Wallyworld, I stopped at St. Vinny's.  They recently received a whole bunch of book donations.  I went a tad crazy.

I was feeling pretty good about it, though.  Until I got home.

It seemed Kira's recurring UTI decided to pick yesterday while I was gone to start up again.  I called my new vet and learned they are closing the practice.  Like today's their last day.  They're retiring, which is awesome for them, but totally sucks for me.  I call my old vet and the office gal is out to lunch.  The gal tells me to call back at 1pm.  Which I do.  The office gal tells me the vet can't take my word for Kira having a UTI and just give me meds.  They need me to drop Kira off and leave her there, maybe overnight - depends on whether she gives them a sample on her own before they close at 5.  Get dressed for being out of the house again, pack the cat in her carrier and off I go.

Seeing as Kira never pees in public (which is anywhere outside her enclosed litterbox), I expected she'd be staying overnight.  I get out of my clothes.  Again.  Settle in.  Finally eat lunch at 2:15.  But I still keep the phone nearby - just in case.  And I don't take my usual nap.

4:15... the phone rings.  It's the vet.  Well, wouldn't you know it?  She DOES have a UTI.  Imagine that.  And I can come get her.  Okee doke.  They close at 5.  They're a half hour away.  And I have to get dressed again.

Zip down, get Kira and her meds, back home at about 5:20 (perhaps I bent a few speed limits here and there - on the straightaways).  Give Kira her meds and she spits about a third of the dose all over me.  Then she won't eat her food because everything tastes funny.  I try putting some fish oil on it.  Nope.  Fine, I'll wait.  New food at 6pm.  That's okay, maybe, if she has to.

So, that was about 180 miles on the car and I was totally bushed.  No edits last night.  We'll see what today brings.

On the bright side, I got a bunch of books.  And on one of the trips, the sun broke through the dismal gray clouds just in time to highlight a bald eagle.  So majestic.

How was your day?

Edited to add:  This was supposed to go live on Friday but I screwed up.  Thus the confusion in the post and comments. 

Thursday This n That

Totally forgot to post on Tuesday.  In my defense, I can't seem to grasp what day it is lately.  It's like every day is Monday since last Wednesday, which was Friday.  Bleh.

I got my edits back early.  On Monday, of all days.  Heh.  Started them on Tuesday.  (Which was another Monday.)  As far as I can tell, at this time, with what I've seen so far, I should be able to get this out to the world on or before the 17th of December.  Which means I really have to write that damned blurb.

In case you haven't heard, postage stamps are going up to 55c in January.  Get your forever stamps now and avoid the price hike.  Price hikes suck.  When you think about it, though, getting an envelope anywhere in this huge country of ours for only 55c is pretty damn cheap.  I picked up a 100 roll.  Should last me through to this time next year.

So, you may have heard about the numbnuts who's calling Tolkien a racist.  When I first heard about it, I thought maybe it was because Tolkien didn't write a lot of black characters (or any... it's been decades since I read any Tolkien).  Nope.  It's because of the orcs.  Apparently creating an entire evil race makes you a racist.  :shrug:  Anyway, the aforementioned numbnuts is an author few have heard of who recently published a collection of short stories with one of them being a rip-off... ahem, parody.... of Tolkien.  Yep, pretty much using the whole thing to drum up sales.  Big surprise.  Bleh.

Got most of my Christmas shopping done.  Don't feel bad.  I only have three people to buy for - Mom, his Mom, and the Kid.  I only have the Kid left and she prefers a check.  I still send her a box of goodies, though.  And a check.

Now I have to start thinking about Christmas cards.  I am so not in the mood.

I suppose I ought to think about decorating the house, too.  Meh.  Early Thanksgiving really threw me off this year.

Okay, that more than enough out of me.  How's about you?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 47

Well, we're creeping down to the end of the year.  Let's try and wrap this sucker up with a bang, eh?

Okay, that was thinking ahead.  There weren't many bangs around here this past week.

I didn't do much writing.  For some reason, Ugly and the Beast is being a beast.  And since my brain can't seem to make it work, it's trying to tempt me with other ideas.  Bad brain.  No.  I have one week left before my edits come back for Unequal.  I don't think I can do 30K words in a week - not with the way my muse is acting - so my hope that I would have this book done by the 1st is hopeless.  :shrug:

The one big bang I had last week was the sale - which is still going on thru 11:59 tonight (PST).  It wasn't over the top, but it did pay for the ad, so it's all good.  Well, better than it has been.  And I'm getting page reads now, so there's hope I'll actually net above the ad cost this time.  And Accidental Death reached #28 in Hard-boiled mystery for a while there.  

I read some stuff.

Hubs and I moved a lot of leaves.  There are four big piles in the back yard, ready to move into the woods.  Then it rained.  Then it was Thanksgiving and the day after recovery from Thanksgiving.  We'll get to 'em eventually. 

While we were out walking last week, I heard a rustling in the woods just off the road.  Too much for a squirrel, so I looked hard for movement and saw a little armadillo collecting leaves for its den.  Must've been this year's litter - about 2/3rd size.  So cute.  And now that the neighborhood critter-killer has passed on to his next existence, we're seeing more of the little armored buggers.  I hope this one stays out of the road.  I see too many hit armadillos around here.

Thanksgiving happened.  It was like any other day, but with turkey.  And eating dinner at like 11:30am.  Then we laid around feeling fat for the rest of the day. 

I spent most of Friday making turkey soup.  Ended up with 2 containers of broth and three of turkey noodle soup.  I also made beef stew on Tuesday.  We're set for hot and hearty meals for a while.

I love my new crockpot, btw.  It's nice to have one that actually controls its temperature correctly.

Speaking of controlling temperatures, the main burner on my stove went wonky.  It's on high, no matter what.  Stupid burner.  I cannot afford to have the stove take a shit right now.  Lucky for me I have three other burners.  I'll just have to use the back big burner instead of the front one.  Bleh.

Oh, finally, the exercise/activity/weight thing.  I sucked it up and weighed myself after weeks of being a slug.  I'm holding steady at 180.  Up two pounds from the bottom, but still down fourteen, so I'm not going to flagellate myself.

And that's it for me.  What happened in your world last week?

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 11/24/18

Surprisingly, I didn't get a whole lot of reading done this week.  Especially considering I didn't really do much of anything else either.  Total toad week. 

I did pick up one new book on a whim.  A freebie international thriller - set in Paris and written by a French author who's trying to drum up readers here in the states. Sounded interesting, so I'm giving it a whirl.  Probably next week.  We'll see.

Anyway, here goes...

85) Purrfect Murder (Hazel Hart #1) by Louise Lynn (11/23/18) - Cozy Mystery - 5 stars.  New to me, but not necessarily underappreciated.  This was the book I picked up with my magic $1 Amazon credit.
Review: " Cute and fun. Just what I needed."

84) The Affair of the Mutilated Mink by James Anderson (11/17/18) - Mystery - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Picked up during the thrift store sale 6/$1.
Review: "Very twisty-turny. A little far-fetched, but a fun ride all the way through. Could've knocked me over with a toothpick when the whodunit was revealed. Fun!"

DNF - 11/18/18 - Western ebook.  I picked this one up on sale for 99c.  The premise sounded good and the 'look inside' was okay - all backstory in the beginning, but easy to skim past without missing anything crucial.  And I was looking for something different, so why not a Western that needed some lovin'.  I could be its first review...  Umm...  No.  Wow.  The editing... Actually, I don't think this went through an editor's hands.  So many errors.  Allusive when he meant elusive.  Federalized when he was referring to the Mexican Federales.  Revenge instead of avenge.  All in the first few percents.  If he did have an editor, they need to be slapped and he deserves a refund.  There was other stuff that turned me off, too, so I gave up trying.

DNF - 11/23/18 - Romance paperback.  Got this from a thrift store a while back.  I was struggling with this early on, but I wanted to see what happened.  By about halfway, I decided I'd had enough.  Obnoxious hero, snotty heroine.  Interesting little side plots, but not enough to overcome my dislike of the MCs.

I started the international thriller last night.  Fingers crossed.

What was on your reading list last week?  Anything good?  Anything new?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Tuesday This n That

Since Thursday is Thanksgiving, I figured I'd post the 'this-n-that' today instead.

I spend entirely too much time playing WordRage these days.  It's addictive.  You have two minutes to make as many words as you can out of letters that make up one bigger word.  And you have to get a set number of points at each level or it's Game Over, man.  Anyway, it's more fun than it sounds.  And it reminds me of these handouts the teachers used to give us in elementary school - make as many words as you can out of a single word like Thanksgiving or Christmas or Halloween.  :shrug:  Hey, it gets my brain moving.

I have become a slug.  I really need to get back to the exercise routine.  For some reason or other, I fell off the wagon, landed on my face, and just laid there.  And now it's Thanksgiving week, so there's that to use as a rationalization for not being active.  Bleh.

With the weather getting cold, I picked up some new thermal socks.  Dickies are the best, even if they don't fit right.  And I bought this one pair of super soft and floofy socks with rubber dots on the bottoms so I don't go skating across the hard floors.  They're awesome.  I need a few more pairs of those.  Hell, I want to buy pairs of those for everyone I know so they can have super soft and floofy socks, too.

Speaking of thermal socks, why the hell can't they make women's thermal socks like men's thermal socks?  The only women's ones I can find are too damn tight with nubby shit on the soles so they hurt my feet when I walk.  Dickies needs to make their men's socks in women's sizes.  Jus' sayin'.


I got some postcards out yesterday.  They should be to their recipients shortly.

Gah, I need to start thinking about Christmas cards. 

Speaking of Christmas, I'm anti-Christmas until after Thanksgiving.  Once Turkey Day is over, bring it on.  Except this year TGD is early.  I'm not sure I'm ready for putting up the tree on November 23rd.  I might have to push it all to next week.  But before the 1st because that's when edits are due back.

And year end is coming.  :panics:

That's it for me.  I'm going to go hide in a hole until thoughts of 2019 go away.  What's up with you?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 46


I finally got back to work on Ugly and the Beast.  Got that sticky segue done between chapter 2 and chapter 3 (which is now chapter 4).  Then I added some more words onto the end.  Then I realized I'd painted myself into a corner.  I figured out what I'm going to have to do - wash away some of that paint so I can reach a better path.  Not a huge wordcount week, but it's progress.

Set up a new sale and some marketing for next week.  Accidental Death will be on sale starting tomorrow.  Wednesday, I have a BargainBooksy ad going out.   (At least I think I do.  They haven't contacted me to tell me NO and refund my money, so I'm assuming it's a go.)

Talked to my local face-to-face fan.  She thinks I should write a medical suspense.  She loves medical suspenses.  I told her about Unequal, which is kind of medical and a little suspensey, but mostly dystopian.  I'll think about the whole 'write a medical suspense' thing.

I read a bunch.

Hubs has been raking the yard and I haven't been helping.  I felt kind of bad about it.  Then again, it's good exercise for him.  Gets him out of the house and away from the computer, too.  Fresh air and all that.  Yeah, yeah, I need all those things, too, which is why actually helped him yesterday.  We aren't done, but we do have a boat-ton of trees and the leaves that go with them.

We're all set for Thanksgiving this week.  The turkey's in the freezer... have to take that out today.  Got the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, the gravy... I should probably make biscuits, since I didn't buy rolls.  I shopped enough on Friday so I shouldn't have to go to the store until after the weekend after Black Friday.  Go me.

I still haven't mailed postcards, so if you were looking for one, sorry.  Tomorrow.  They'll go out tomorrow.  It's only a day away.

And that's about it for me.  What's up with you?

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 11/17/18

With the edits finished for Unequal, I opened the throttle on reading.  Then I got back to writing my next book, so not quite as many books as if I'd only been reading, but still...

Downloaded a few new books - a cute paranormal mystery, a Western, and a historical mystery set in Australia.  Didn't buy any additional hardcopies.

Here's my reading week...

83) The Reckoning by Kerry Watts (11/16/18) - Suspense*# - 4 stars - New to me and underappreciated.  Bought at full price to cash in on that awesome $1 credit. $2.99
Review: "I think this was a really exceptional story, worthy of 5 stars. The characters were sympathetic, the suspense was gripping, I was hooked throughout. The only problem was, and I really hate to even mention it, the punctuation. In a lot of places, I had to go back and re-read passages to figure out what the author was trying to say. Oh, it was worth the effort. At no point did those flaws make me want to set the book aside. After a while, my brain started putting the punctuation in for me, so I had fewer stumbles. But if you're a stickler, you're going to want to skip this book. And that would be a shame because you'd miss out on a great story."

82) Peril at End House by Agatha Christie (11/13/18) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Definitely not new to me and not at all underappreciated.  Picked this one up at the thrift store with other books - 6/$1.
Review: "Good one! I hadn't read this Christie before, but it'll definitely rank in my favorite Poirot's from now on."

81) Discarded (Dumpstermancer #1) by Michael J. Allen (11/11/18) - UF*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.   Bought at full price to cash in on that awesome $1 credit.  $3.99.
Review: "Awesome book. A little weird, but awesome. Definitely not your every day urban fantasy. Smart and interesting with a different sort of premise. Took a little bit to get into it, but once I was sucked in, I inhaled it. Of course, there was a cliffhanger... Not a fan of those. But the rest of the book made up for that one little irritation. Now I'll have to go find the next book and wishlist it for my next buying day."
Additional Note: Apparently, book 2 doesn't exist yet.  Argh.

80) The Golden Unicorn by Phyllis A. Whitney (11/10/18) - Romantic Suspense - 5 stars.  Definitely not new to me or underappreciated. Thrift store find. 3/$1
Review: "As good as I remembered it."

Right now, I'm reading a mystery set in 1930s England.  It's one of the paperbacks I picked up at the thrift store sale.  The unknown to me author.  So far, so good.

What did your reading week look like?  Anything good?  Pick up anything new?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Thursday This n That

Welcome gentle friends.  And not-so-gentle ones.  Just make sure you pet the kitty gently or she'll go all fur and fangs on your ass.


Anyway, I'm reading a pretty good book right now.  I mean, the story's good.  Gripping.  Suspenseful.  Good backstory and side story.  Unfortunately, the punctuation makes me kind of want to poke out my eyes, but the story is good enough to make me keep reading, so there's that.  And that's even making allowances for a difference in how people do things between that country and this one.

We got actual snow yesterday.  Just a dusting, but this is the first snow that stuck.  The flitters we got a couple days ago melted when it hit the ground.  Lucky for me, I'd already finished my errands and was warm in my recliner when the flakes started drifting down.

I should probably go to Wallyworld today.  If the roads are okay.  Meh.

I got the segue thing done after chapter 2 and what used to be chapter 3.  And I'm pretty pleased with it.  Probably needs some fleshing out, but the bones are there and I can move forward again.

That pumpkin pie bread I talked about the other day is to die for.  It really does get better the longer it sits.  I've got one loaf in the fridge... well, a couple slices of it anyway... and the other in the freezer.  So good.

The yellow-bellied sapsuckers have returned!  They're a winter resident here, so I always miss them when they leave in the spring and look forward to their return.  Yay!

Man, the birds are really going through the suet this week.  With the drop in temps, they're needing the extra fat in their diets.  Eat on, little buds, we've got more where that came from.

Had to do some business correspondence this week, with people I'm not related to, and I didn't do anything tragically stupid.  Well, except for saying I was CC'ing someone and then forgetting to CC them.  Derp.  I've become such a hermit, I'm not sure I know how to talk to people anymore.  Not in a formal, business setting.  I usually just let it fly and then wonder later if I've put my foot in my mouth.  I'm sure I inadvertently piss people off on a regular basis.

Okay, so I'm done here this morning.  What's up where you're at?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Saga of a Missing Mousetrap and Deconstruction

So, early yesterday morning, Hubs and I were sitting in the office when we heard the telltale snap of a mouse getting thwacked in a trap out in the garage.  Once he'd had his coffee and had sufficiently woken up to start the days chores, he went out there.

No mouse.  No trap.

The hunt began.

The mouse, with trap attached, had gotten up under the wooden deck/ramp thingie out in the garage.  With no way to reach it, we kind of shrugged and decided to tackle it later.  It wasn't going anywhere.

After lunch, Hubs decided to take the deck/ramp thingie apart.  I mean, we've been here five and a half years and have never seen what's under there anyway, so it was a worthy project, even if there wasn't a mouse who was going to stink up the place eventually.

So, he went to work pulling up boards and sheets of particle board.  We found a bunch of Max's missing kitty toys under the ramp part.  But no mouse.  Under the deck part, we found more kitty toys and the original wooden step from the house into the garage.  But no mouse.

And no holes for it to have escaped into the walls of the garage.

And no trap, so it was still dragging that damn thing.

We searched everywhere.  Not under the jeep.  No under the boat.  Not under the work bench, in the bathroom, behind the tools, beneath the mower...

Beside the deck/ramp thingie is a wooden platform.  It has slats with holes that things fall through to land beneath.  (Don't look at me, I didn't make the damn thing.  Hubs didn't either.)  I shined a flashlight through the holes and lit on the trap.  Gnarly.  Didn't see the mouse, though, so it was all good.

Except once started, Hubs wanted to finish the project and get it all cleaned underneath that thing, too.  More pried boards.  OMG, the loads of dust, junk, and mouse poop underneath it all.  :gag:  And the trap.  With the mouse still attached.

Near as we can figure it, the mouse, having realized it had no way to escape underneath the deck/ramp thingie, had ventured back out into the garage, climbed the platform and fallen through the slats.

Hubs dispatched the mouse and cleaned up all the gunk and detritus from however many years that thing had been there (at least 6 years - just before we moved here - but no more than 17, when the garage was added on).  Wearing a filter mask, so he didn't breathe mouse poop dust.  (He didn't want me even out there during this, and I was OK with that.)

By then, it was dinner time, so he put it back together just enough so neither of us would kill ourselves stepping into the garage, and left the rest of it for today.  Yeah, four hours worth of it*.

Today, Hubs will put it all back together with additional wood to block the holes the mouse originally used to get up underneath there.

Ah, life in the wilds of SWMO.

*Hubs spent four hours on it.  I was in the living room reading and watching reruns of House and Criminal Minds.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 45

Another week gone by.  :waves:

I spent most of the week editing my brains out.  Finally, Friday evening, I gave up and sent Unequal back to the AWE.  I believe I said something like 'I can no longer deal with this unholy thing', because at that point, it was an unholy thing to me.  Waiting for its head to spin around 'unholy thing'.  But that's just me.  I do love this book, even if I wanted to throw holy water at it and chant in Latin.  Hopefully, AWE won't want to drive a stake through my heart for sending it back to her.

Saturday was a day off.  I do need to get back to working on UatB.  I'm hoping putting some massive distance between it and my brain will shake something loose, and I'll be able to look at it objectively again.

Blink of an I is currently on sale.  Through Tuesday night.  Not seeing any bites, even though I have been posting in FB groups.  Maybe people just don't want a thought-provoking, meaty book right now.  :shrug:  This does not give me great hopes for the launch of Unequal.  Oh, well.  It's going to be out in the world whether anyone wants it or not.  So there.  =op

Speaking of Unequal, my editor likes it.  Despite all the pink, she really did have nice things to say about it.  And I fixed most of the pink, so the next edit letter shouldn't be so long.  :fingers crossed:

I got some reading done, despite the edits.  I'll probably read more this week.  I have a boatload of choices.

My postcards came in.  Ahead of schedule.  I'll get some of them out to certain persons this week.

Regular firearms deer season started yesterday morning.  I'll be wearing orange in the woods for the next ten days.  Here's hoping none of my deer get got.

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.  Picked up the bird and it's in the freezer until Hubs is ready to thaw it.

When I woke up yesterday, it was 17 degrees F.  Yuck.  That should tamp down the last of the bugs, though, and make the snakes go to their winter lodgings for the next few months.  Time for me to play in the woods.

I also baked a new recipe yesterday - Pumpkin Pie Bread.  Super yummy.  Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Pie Bread

3 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash ground cloves
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
¾ cup evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray two 9x5” bread pans with cooking spray – sides and bottoms.  Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, mix together sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin.  Add dry mixture to wet by thirds, alternating with evaporated milk, stirring each time until just combined.  When everything is together in one batter, pour evenly into the pans.  Bake at 350F for 65-75 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool slightly in pans so the loaves come out clean, then turn out of pans.  Slice and serve.  It’s awesome right out of the oven, but even better the next day.

And that's it for me.  Here's to a quieter upcoming week. 

What's been up with you?