Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 17

Howdy, Folks.  It's Sunday again.  I know, duh, right? 

Last week...  Hmmm... 

I spent a lot of last week attending to the big sale.  (Numbers at Outside the Box tomorrow.)  I did a little reading of Sleeping Ugly...  Well, actually I did a lot of reading and very little note-taking.  This does not bode well for getting this edited, but it does bode well for readers. 

I didn't read much of anything else.

Speaking of reading, about a week ago, I gave the gal I buy feed from a copy of Blood Flow (now Project Hermes, but I gave her one of the previous paperbacks).  Yesterday, she told me she's loving it.  She said something like "It's... I don't know... frantic.  And I LOVE that."  I hope she leaves a review.  If she doesn't, that's cool.  It's just nice to have another person read it and enjoy it. One of the gals I buy smokes from has a copy of Wish in One Hand and she's loving it, too.  Neither gal has a boatload of time to read, though, so it's slow going.

Finally got the shade bed cleaned last week.  It's so much easier to pull out the winter detritus before the perennials start to grow, but I lazed out and missed that opportunity.  The astilbes (aka false spirea) are getting big.  I can't wait 'til they bloom.  Also, my one little surviving lily of the valley has become 6, and they're starting to bloom.  The irises are going crazy with blooms this year.  But my azaleas are all dead or almost dead.  And one of my butterfly bushes didn't make it.  Which makes me sad.  At last check, one of my new lilies is coming up, though.  You win some, you lose some.  And when you lose some, you try again with something different.

I made cake cookie bars again.  Hubs is totally grooving on these things.  1 box yellow cake mix, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate.  Mix it all together in one bowl, dump it into an 8x10" pan, bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and it's starting to brown a little on the top.  So yummy.  Especially warm with a scoop (or two) of ice cream.

Speaking of ice cream, I found pistachio ice cream at the Wallyworld yesterday.  Mmmm.

Hubs got the lawn sprayed for ticks and then he went around and sprayed the deck and up under the wood siding for termite prevention.  Dirty bastard bugs.  I hope they all die.

Oh, and exercise.  Last week wasn't the best for committed exercising.  I only managed a couple days, but according to my new scale, I have lost about a pound, so it's all good.  And I'm feeling better overall.  Now I just need to stick to it and not fall off the wagon.

 Okay, I think that's it.  Time for coffee and waking up, so I can be ready to face the day and get some stuff done.  What have you been up to?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thursday This n That

Got my shot yesterday.  The world should be safe, from me at least, for the next three months.

My freebie/sale thing is going well.  Except for some reason, Amazon hasn't caught up with the fact that SCIU is now three books.  I wrote the KDP team and they're on it.  I just hope they get it fixed before my ad block goes out tomorrow.  More on the sale thing Monday.

Hubs hates the word 'clever'.

There's a town in Missouri called Clever.  Not sure if he hates that, too. 

I walked into my doctor's office yesterday and found a stranger sitting at Shannon's desk.  Turns out Shannon, who I've depended on to get my scheduling and stuff right, for chats and joking and smiles, no longer works there.  She moved to Kansas.  Ugh.  Why would anyone want to leave here and move to KS? 

All the trees are starting to get leaves.  It's awesome.  I LOVE spring.

Oh, and the trees are filled with all sorts of little birds who're just passing through.  Warblers and finches, mostly.  So pretty and so fun to watch.  We also had a rose-breasted grosbeak stop by the suet yesterday.  I'm in my element.  Did I mention that I love spring?  I love it here, too. 

I've been doing an experiment with my new scale.  I weigh myself a lot now, just to see what fluctuations there could be and then try to figure out why.  The biggest one was I weighed myself and had gained a pound in 24 hours.  Weighed myself the next day and the new pound was gone.  :shrug:  No clue as to why, but it's interesting.  Probably water weight. 

Speaking of weight, I've noticed a lot of people are pronouncing height wrong.  They're saying it with a TH at the end - like HEIGHTH.  It's mostly on TV.  Mostly on home improvement shows.  (I think because those are shows that would naturally use the word height a lot.) 

Speaking of height, I think I'm shrinking.  I used to be 5'8.  I think I'm 5'7 now.  Getting older sucks.

Hubs has this funny thing where he'll say 'speaking of...' and then whatever he says has nothing to do with what he says next.  And then we both laugh. 

We laugh a lot around here. 

What say you today?  Do you love spring?  Do you love where you live?  Do you laugh a lot?  What's a word you hate?  How do you pronounce height?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

It's Not Only About Time

As I was commenting on someone else's blog just now, a thought occurred to me.  It's not just about having the time to write.  I have scads of time.  I'd have more if I budgeted it better.  It's also about having the space in my brain to write new words. 

I'd love to write new words right now.  Like I said, I do have scads of time if I budget for it.  What I don't have is brain space. 

My brain is full of other stuff right now.  It's full of editing and cover art and marketing, along with life stuff and other work stuff, and there isn't space right now to sit down and create a new book. 

Oh, I have the ideas for new books.  I have the basic plots for three more Dennis Haggarty novels and another SCIU floating in the back of my head (and written down in my ideas folder, so I don't forget them entirely).  I also have that gritty urban fantasy thing about the Arthurian legends back there that needs to be written.  But there's no space for them in my head.

I should be thinking about the subsequent Sleeping Ugly novels - which won't be called that, but I can't think of a series titles right now.  I know they're in there.  They'd better be or I'll be screwed.

But I can't.  No room in the head.

And I'm not that good at mentally multi-tasking when it comes to writing.  Years ago, I tried editing one book and writing a new book at the same time.  It worked, but I was totally drained at the end of the experiment.

So, that's me.  Your mileage may vary. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 16

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the weeks of our...

Early Grave went live in the wee hours of Thursday morning, so I didn't write or edit at all last week.  I did some marketing posts, updates, and tweets.  And I updated all the blogs so the cover image links to Amazon.  And I updated the SCIU page over on Outside the Box.  Busy busy. 

Friday I saw on FB that my cover artist is booked through to mid-July, which sent me into a panic because I want to have her skills for the cover of Sleeping Ugly and I had planned on releasing that in August.  I wrote her and asked her when she could squeeze me in, so I can plan for it.  She wrote back and told me she can start my cover in mid-July and have it ready for my release in August.  Whew.  Then I spent Friday night and Saturday morning trying to figure out what I want on the cover.  I totally was not in the place in my head to do that, but I think I finally shook something out of the monkey tree.  We'll see.

I need to get to work on editing Sleeping Ugly so it will be presentable when my editor gets a space in her schedule at the beginning of June.  

I contacted a marketing venue about some advertising next Friday.  Except the form brainfarted.  She hasn't gotten back to me yet.

Release day was a non-event.  I sold one book and that was to myself.  Someone read a few pages.  I assume I know who that is and she's on such a tight schedule, she can only read a few pages at a time.

I went fishing yesterday.  It was also a non-event.  The first place I got a few bites but no fish, and then someone else showed up to fish there, so I went to my go-to spot.  My go-to spot was so packed with cars and their trailers, I couldn't find a place to park, so I went home.

I've been reading right along now that I have a break in work.  Nothing that really blew my skirt up last week, so I'm not going to bother with titles.

As for the 'getting healthier' thing, I've been doing it.  To that end, I bought a new scale.  And promptly discovered my old scale was off.  :shudder:  Stepped on the new scale and freaked out.  Then I made Hubs get on the scale.  Then I made Hubs get on the old scale.  Yep, the old one was off.  Eight pounds off.  Which made me feel a little better because I had NOT gained 8 pounds.  Makes me a little nauseous when I think about what I used to actually weigh, though.  There I was all proud that no matter how much I'd gained, I still hadn't rounded the 200 mark, but that was a lie.  Oh, well.  I'm under 200 now, so that's all that matters.  I also learned that my jammies weigh 3.5 lbs.  Even better.  Weigh naked, folks.

That's it for me right now.  How'd your week go?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday This n That

First off, Early Grave went live last night, shortly after midnight.  I'm now working on updating all the things, but I'm coffee deficient as of yet.  If you see something that's not updated - like the sidebars or what have you - give me time.

Hubs crawled all over the roof cleaning gutters while I walked around on the ground making sure the drainage was correct (adjusting rocks under the downspouts for optimum flow and minimal erosion) and letting him know when the water ran clean.  It's a pain, but if we don't do it, the gutters get clogged and then they run over and make a mess and... Well, we just do it.  And yes, we have gutter screens to keep the majority of the crap out, but they still get crap in them.

He roof crawls because I get vertigo.  Otherwise, I'd love to crawl all over the roof and see the gnarly view we have from up there.

He also mowed the lawn yesterday while I worked on edits.  If I'd been mowing, EG would not have gone live last night, because I would've been too pooped to get anything else done.  He's so awesome.

I am once again under the 'push push push to get the book published, fall apart afterwards' thing.  Nothing's wrong with me, I'm just drained.  But I still have stuffs to do.  Hubs was all like 'now you can take a break' and I was all like 'ROFL'.  There's markety stuffs and updatey stuffs, posts and blogs and tweets, oh, my.  I have to make new bookmarks and postcards.  And there's the paperback formatting and cover creation.  No rest for the writerly.

The birds are sucking down the suet at about a brick a day, and since I make my own suet, that means I'm making a batch about every 4-5 days. The worst piggies are the crows and the jays.  Of course, the squirrels don't help.  I chase them off when I catch them hanging off the suet cage, but I can't be watching that damn thing all day.  I might break down and buy suet this week. 

Okay, that's quite enough out of me again.  What have you got for me?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 15

Mornin' Everyone.

This last week is a total blur right now, but let's see if I can recreate it...

Writing?  Nope.

Editing?  Nope.  I did get the edits back from my editor on time, but I haven't touched them yet.  It's all good.  I have time.  I'm still expecting to release this on Friday.

Marketing?  Oh, hell no.  Thus, my sale for Fertile Ground has been a non-event, and I'm totally not set up for Early Grave's release. 

Reading?  Yeah, I finally did some of that.  I finished two books in the past two days.  I read Silver James' latest, Montana Moon (part of Ella James' Brotherhood Protectors Kindle World series).  It was covered in awesomesauce.  Then I read something I'd picked up on a whim - The Time Hunters by Carl Ashmore.  It was so much fun.  I pulled an old crime novel to read next.  I'm still like 10 books behind on my reading goal, though.  :shrug:

Fishing?  Nope.

Exercising?  Not nearly as much as I needed to do.  I got like two sessions in last week.  And while I'm still doing pretty okay on my whole eating healthy thing, I've been eating a lot more.  The scale is not my friend these days. 

Other work?  Oh, most definitely.  The good news is I got the project done and mailed the kit n kaboodle back to the office on Friday.  Which is what allowed me to read stuff.  Today I'll be free and clear to edit stuff.  I also have a boatload of cleaning to do because when I'm deep in work of one kind or another, the house gets ignored. 

Nothing else major going on around here.  What's going on around there?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thursday This n That

Laying in bed last night I thought of some really awesome things to put in today's this-n-that post.  Bet you can guess what happened to those ideas.  Blerg.

I want to pour myself some more coffee, but I know if I go anywhere near the kitchen the cat will meow at me incessantly to be fed, but it isn't time to feed her yet and I don't want to encourage her bad behavior.  So here I sit with my mug almost empty.  For another twenty-thirty minutes.

I dreamed an entire episode of Grey's Anatomy the other night.  I wasn't in the dream, I was just watching it like it was on TV, but a full-sized, 360 TV.  This is weird because I stopped watching Grey's Anatomy years ago.  I think I had it because of the commercials for that new thing the gal who played Christina Yang in in. 

Technology is awesome.  I read a news story this morning about a woman who'd been murdered in 1981 and they finally identified the body using new DNA technology.  I hope they can finally catch her killer.

My husband took pity on me and brought me coffee.  Kira doesn't bother him in the morning, so he can go in the kitchen any time he wants to.  Lucky duck.

It's supposed to get up to 78F here today.  Time to break out the shorts.  Unfortunately, it's also supposed to be windy, so that shoots out fishing. Not that I really have time for fishing right now.  Busy busy.

The other night we were awakened at 3:30am by the most horrible noises in the backyard.  My guess was that it was either raccoons or foxes making whoopie.  And after a bit of research, the winner is: Foxes gekkering.  From Popular Science: "'s a guttural chattering with occasional yelps and howls, like an ack-ack-ack-ackawoooo-ack-ack-ack. Gekkering is heard amongst adults in aggressive encounters (of which there are many; red foxes are highly territorial) and also amongst young kits playing (or play-fighting)."  It's kinda freaky.

And that's it for me.  Time to feed the cat.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


As you all might've surmised, I'm distracted as hell right now.  And you're probably sick of hearing about my other job, so I won't talk about what I'm doing.  I'd like to talk about being distracted, though. Unfortunately, I'm so distracted I forgot what I was going to talk about. 

My brain is scattered.  Every time I try to pull together what I meant to say, I keep getting derailed and my mind wanders to distracted driving.  Don't drive distracted.  Seriously.  One simple loss of focus while you're behind the wheel of a car can wreck your life and the lives of others.  Don't do it.

More than cell phones can distract you, too.  I didn't have a cell phone when I lost focus and wrecked my car (and my body) back in 1994.  I don't know what distracted me then, but whatever it was, it was sufficient to make me run a red light and BLAMMO. 

Not that cell phones aren't big distractions.  Personally, I don't use mine for anything other than emergency calls.  No internet surfing, no texting, no playing games or watching videos, no apps.  It's a phone.  It makes and receives calls.  That's it.  I don't need the added distractions. 

My brain is distracting enough.  Lately it's like living in Short Attention Span Theater.  When it's not focused on Spreadsheet Land. 

The cat is a big distraction right now as she works on getting over her infection.  A side effect of the new antibiotics is that she's having litterbox problems and I'm cleaning it up.  Ew.  Which means having to shift focus to her when she steps out of the box so the mess is contained rapidly and doesn't visit a large portion of my home.   

Hubs is a distraction as he works on his stuff.

My neverending to-do list is a distraction.  And as a result, the house is a distraction because every time I walk through, I see things that need to be addressed - a dusty shelf, a fuzz bunny, a spot on the floor, schmutz on a counter...  Add in the outside stuff and ARGH.

And there are the writerly things I should be doing.  I do have a book releasing this month after all.  Plus, I have a sale going on that I haven't advertised.  And more sales and free things going on around release day that I haven't scheduled for advertising...

It all kind of makes me want to crawl in a hole. 

So, if I forget to stop by your blog, or I forget to reply to an email, or I totally miss posting a blog of my own, I apologize.  I hope this all evens out later this week.  Then again, Early Grave edits will be back by then and I'll have a whole other thing to shift my focus toward. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 14

Here we are again at the beginning of another week, wrapping up the week before. 

I did some editing stuff at the beginning of the week, but then I got derailed by work stuff.  I'll probably put off working on Sleeping Ugly again until after Early Grave goes live later this month.

The work stuff... Imagine getting a box full of papers no one else has had time to work on since July of last year.  Then take that pile and create spreadsheets out of the majority of the papers in that box.  That's what I'm doing.  Some take longer than others, depending on the amount of information that has to be typed.  I should be done today.  Once this is complete, life should be easier at the office and my work will slow down to its usual trickle. 

Other than work stuff, my week got derailed by a minor bout of food poisoning.  It was partially my fault.  You see, on March 31st, I had purchased a couple bottles of salad dressing up at the local grocery store (instead of Wallyworld), trusting that the food I was buying was safe.  My trust was proven foolhardy Wednesday night.  After I was stricken, and Hubs wasn't, we talked about what I had eaten that he hadn't.  Other than ice cream, which I'd already eaten half of the container worth of, it had to be the Greek dressing I had on my salad at dinner.  I checked the sell-by date - December of 2017.  Ack.  The other dressing, which I'd eaten the day before and not gotten sick off of luckily, was dated January 2018.  Double ack.  I returned the bottles Friday, got my money back and very little satisfaction otherwise.  I won't be shopping there ever again.

I didn't read anything last week either.  I'll be starting Silver James' latest book - Montana Moon - today.

Also in the derailment category, Kira came down with another urinary tract infection, so I had to take her to the vet on Friday.  Well, actually, I had to drive her 30 miles to the vet and leave her there, then pick her up again later in the afternoon.  She's on antibiotics now and doing well. 

Friday was a busy driving day.  One trip north, three trips south for a conservative estimate of 160+ miles on my car.  Saturday was spent recuperating and working on spreadsheets.

Today is more spreadsheets, watching golf, and reading.  What's up with you?

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Thursday This n That

Something I ate last night has me on the ropes this morning.  Nothing hugely bad, but I feel like I should be asking if anyone got the license plate number for the truck that ran me over.  At this point, I'm blaming the salad dressing because it's the only thing I ate that Hubs did not eat.  I tried this new Greek dressing.  Hubs had his standby Catalina.  He's fine and I'm not.  Oh well, better me than him. 

I so totally do not have time for this. 

I saw someone lamenting this morning about the negativity on social media dragging her down.  I agree, it can totally shit out your day.  I suggest she add some positive things to her feed - puppy and kitty adoption success stories, gardening pages with pretty flowers, art sites.  And I advised that she limit her Twitter.  No matter how hard I try, it's almost impossible to find enough positive things on there to balance all the negative.  Bleh.  And yes, find more things to do in the real world.  Spring's a comin', folks.  Take some time to see the burgeoning beauty of it.  And listen to the birds out there singing their love songs.  We have turkeys gobbling theirs this morning.  It's not a pretty song, but it's a love song nonetheless. 

Ah, finding the positive.  It's hard to do when you feel like doodle.  But there's a cardinal singing right there.  I love cardinals.  Did you know they don't have cardinals out west?  I didn't hear a single cardinal the whole time I lived in Utah or Colorado, which made me sad.  I couldn't wait to watch the Masters golf tournament because there were always cardinals in the background.  Now that we're here in MO, we have cardinals again.  Yay! 

And roadrunners, which kind of sound like a sad puppy when they sing their love song. 

Okay, I am feeling better now than when I woke up, so this thing is passing.  I hope.  And I should get going with my day.  I spent 5 hours yesterday on spreadsheet work.  Today should be about the same.  Luckily, spreadsheet stuff can be done sitting right here with minimal activity.  Just my speed right about now.

Have an awesome day, folks, and find something positive out there in the world.  K?

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 13

Hey All.

First off, in honor of the President's proclamation that April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month, Fertile Ground will be priced at 99c for the entire month.

Next, I started reading through Sleeping Ugly to make notes, got wrapped up in the story and didn't make any notes through 11% of the book, started over.

I also have been working on revamping the blurb for FG while I tweak the blurb for Early Grave because I decided I hate FG's blurb.  I rewrote it and then rewrote it again.  And then rewrote it again.  Actually, it was the 6th try that I finally liked and it's up.  (I hope.  I haven't checked this morning.)

Dying Embers will be free for the five days after Early Grave goes live, so if you want to get the three books of the SCIU series for around $4, wait until then.

I haven't been reading again.  I mean, I finished Serpent's Child by DJ Salisbury, and it was coated in awesomesauce.  Then I tried to pick up Lord Jim, but I kept thinking about how I have to get to work on Sleeping Ugly, so I put it down.  Not sure what I'll read next - something I don't have to think about too much, I think.

Oh, yeah, Happy Easter!  Damn near forgot about that.  In fact, I have forgotten about it pretty much.  No cards went out.  No candy was bought.  It's also April Fool's Day, which I don't celebrate at all.  And it's the 14th anniversary of the day I first laid eyes on Hubs.  A good day all around.  In keeping with our better food choices, I'm eschewing ham this year in favor of salmon and shrimp.  :sniffle:  Buh-bye ham.  Totally screwing with the better food choices, I picked up a brownie sampler thing at Walmart.  Soo good.  (because, yes, I have already eaten a goodly portion of it.)

Not much else going on.  It's been raining raining raining here and it's totally anti-motivational.  Can't fish, can't garden, can't walk.  Yuck.

What's up in your world?