Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 13

Hello again.  Fancy meeting you here.  Grab some coffee and pull up a chair.

Once again, no writing or editing was accomplished.

I did a bunch of marketing, but the results were piddlin'.  Still, this was a better March than last year, so I'm counting that as a win.

I read some, but not nearly as much as one would assume considering how little of anything else I did.

As for activity, I did something 5 out of 7 days - cleaning, fishing, gardening, walking.  But I've been eating like a cow, so I'm not stepping on the scale.  Doughnuts AND fried chicken last week.  We took a kind of long walk (for me) on Friday.  Man, am I out of shape.  Ugh.  I really need to get back to where I was last fall when I was walking 4-5 times a week.  And I need to restart the dance-exercise thingie.  One good thing that happened is I actually wore one of the smaller sports bras I bought last month and it didn't strangle my ribs.  Yay.

As for gardening, I got some pleasant surprises last week.  First, my anemones are blooming.  I thought the bulbs were DOA, but then some of them started to get leaves.  This year, I have blooms, too.  Yay.  Then I saw that the lilies the deer ate last year are all coming up.  Double yay.  And my pathetic Charlie Brown hydrangea is coming up.  Three out of four columbines came back.  And the peonies look amazing.  But I think my one hardy mum plant that I've had since the first fall we were here is giving up on me.  My fall replanting of the irises seems to have worked out well, though.  They're real troopers.  Oh, and my lilac is full of little leaves and tiny flower bud clusters are visible.  Yay.

Went fishing twice last week.  Caught a few little bluegills.  Nothing major.  But it's always nice to be at the lake.

Hit the St. Vinny's to drop off a box of books and CDs I no longer wanted.  While I was there, I picked up a bunch of books - mostly Agatha Christie.  Score.

Speaking of books, a while back I read and reviewed a book I'd really enjoyed with total lamentation that no others books were out yet.  Yesterday, the author contacted me to let me know Book 2 was releasing that evening, so I told him to send me a link when it was live.  He did and I one-clicked it.   Cannot wait to read it.

I've had a real urge to cook lately.  Must be the cooler temperatures or something.  Last week, I made a batch of cake cookies and a batch of big, buttery biscuits.  I also did a meatloaf and a BBQ pork roast.   Today or tomorrow, we're doing leftover day.  LOL

And that's about it for me. What was going on in your world last week?  Looking forward to anything this week?

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/30/19

Last wrap-up for the month of March.  Let's see what happened...

I still have ten unread ebooks on the Kindle, so I haven't downloaded anything new.  But I stopped by St. Vinny's yesterday and came home with a bunch of Agatha Christie paperbacks, a couple Phyllis Whitney hardcovers, and a paperback of John Updike's Rabbit, Run - a book I've been meaning to read since college.

Books Read:

25) Life with Father / Life with Mother by Clarence Day (3/27/19) - Memoir - 3 stars.  This was a thrift store find, so I think I paid 50c.
I didn't bother reviewing it, but I did finish it.  I was expecting it to be at least 4 stars until the end when I discovered I had stopped liking the both Father and Mother.  I hope they were both long passed before this was published because it didn't paint them in a favorable light.  Might've all been true, but bleh.  If you're a fan of the movie, don't bother reading this.  There really wasn't much about the book that was in the movie.

DNF 3/29/19 - Political Thriller.  Got it as a freebie.  I started it Thursday morning but I just couldn't get into it.  I gave up last night.  I might try again some other day, but with as many books as I have to read, chances are I'll never get back to this.

Currently reading a British suspense novel I've had on my Kindle since the beginning of last month.  I didn't make it that far in before Live PD came on, but so far, so good.

What did you read last week?  Anything good?  Anything new?

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thursday This n That

I'm too old for dissenting opinions.  I mean, people can certainly have them, but I'm tired of looking at / hearing them.  Scrolling down the FB feed, I hide them and block them.  I spent a lot of time in my younger years having debates and poking people with pointy sticks to try and make them see things my way or to try and see things their way.  I'm so over it.  Meh.

The other day I was talking with a younger friend of mine about dating and relationships.  She told me that some numbnuts told her (an unsolicited opinion, btw) the reason she didn't have a boyfriend was that she was too lazy to look for one.  :eyeroll:  Fortunately, my friend's with me - it's better to be alone than be with the wrong person.  I spent enough years with the wrong people to have learned that one the hard way, lemme tell ya.  Lucky for me, I've been with the right one for almost 15 years now.  My friend wants what we have and she's not settling for anything less.  Go her.

Yesterday, the whole area filled up with smoke.  Again.  This time we didn't bother blaming the neighbors. (Tons of them regularly burn leaves and/or trash.)  It was obviously not from around here.  Sure enough, it was out-of-state smoke.  Two controlled burns in AR.  It's like an annual Spring thing.  They burn down there, it gets smoky up here.  I joked with Hubs we could probably hang strips of salmon on the porch and they'd be smoked by morning.

It's time to spray for ticks again.  While the spray we use doesn't kill snakes, it does make them feel weird, so they avoid it.  Win-win.  Particularly good since we had what I believe was a smallish cottonmouth (as in not huge, but still probably over two-foot long) on the deck earlier in the week.  He'd seen it the day before, poking its head out from a hole in the wood siding, and the next day it came out to sun itself on the deck.  We weren't sure what kind of snake it was, not until it started to strike at us with its white mouth open.  We kept it from going back in the hole and Hubs has since stuffed the hole with steel wool.  Unfortunately, this means no more woods time for me until fall.  =o(

I've started watching a couple game shows - America Says and Common Knowledge.  They're a hoot.  If you get the Game Show Network, they start at 4pm Central and run 'til 5.  It's a nice break from the bullshit.

Speaking of hoots, I watched a video yesterday of a dad trying to get his toddler to try ketchup on her fries.  When she solemnly shook her head no, like the thought of anything on her sacred fries was disgusting, I about fell apart.  "Try it.  It'll change your life," he says.  ROFL.  She finally tries it and she has such a look of utter contentment.  Ketchup on fries... it's deep and it's real.

Sometimes the only thing keeping me from going all apeshit on the world is funny videos of puppies, kitties, and kids.

What say you this week?

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Blathering on in a Meandering Sort of Way

At a loss for what to talk about today, I first attempted a post that turned into a rant, so I deleted it.  No one wants to hear me rant.  I don't even want to hear me rant.

Then I thought maybe I could post a picture.  I went into my photo files and almost got lost down that rabbit hole, but I didn't find anything that really excited me for a morning post.  I mean, I looked at some old pictures of me.  Man, was I ever that skinny?  I looked like someone had starved me for months.  And other pictures with that eighties hair??  Holy cow.  I thought I had a photo of me at work.  Sort of a retrospective kind of thing.  But I discovered those aren't digitized and I don't feel like going through the albums to find it, then scan it and all that junk. 

I also looked at some art shots I've taken.  Good stuff, but not really in the mood for artsy today. 

So, here's this post.  It's about nothing.  Not in the Seinfeld way, either.  (And by the way, what is it about Seinfeld?  Seriously.  I mean, I've known a couple people who were totally obsessed with that show, which is why I have seen every episode multiple times.  Even so, I don't get it.) 

This is just me, blathering on in a meandering sort of way, so you don't feel like your stop here was totally wasted.  Or maybe you do feel that way.  Sorry about that.

What's up with you?

And here's one of the art shots I took years ago and then played with so it looked like a painting...

Just a little family walking past my house on their way to the parade.  All those redheads, I had to take a picture.  So cute.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 12

Here we are at Week 12.  Seems a little much considering.  Twelve weeks into 2019 already?  :shudder:

Anyway, here's how my week went.

I didn't do any writing or editing.  I just can't seem to muster the will to work.  The Kindle and the notebook and the red pen are sitting next to my recliner, but meh.

I've been doing some FB marketing because Project Hermes is on sale through Thursday night.  I don't have any fundage right now for advertising, so I'm doing it all myself.  With expected results.  I have a sale on the SCIU books starting on the 3rd, and no advertising for that either yet.  We'll see if I can't scare up something. 

I didn't get a whole lot of reading done, but two books isn't too bad.  And the book I'm reading now is a slow read.  Enjoyable, but slow.

Only two days of activity this past week.  Monday I went fishing in the morning and then did garden work in the afternoon.  Which landed me with a squonky spot in my neck/shoulder and pretty much crapped out activity for a few days.  Friday, it was better so we went for a walk around the loop. Ugh, I am so out of shape again that the loop was a killer.  Need to get back to doing that walk 3-4 times a week.  Oh, and my weight is hovering between 177 and 178.  I started the year at 180, went up two pounds from there, and since then the overall trend has been downward, so I can't complain.

Oh, and while I was gardening, I found the first tick of the year.  Which means my time in the woods is almost at an end.  Guess I'll have to find something else to do until autumn.

One of the days last week, I made peanut butter cookies.  Must've been Sunday because I couldn't have done it with my neck screwed up.  Anyway, they taste good, but I must've done something wrong because they were too wet and sticky to accept the crosshatching.  Only one looks right.  I found a different recipe, so I'm going to try again later this week. 

I did a thrift store run yesterday.  I wanted to look for a spring jacket.  A stroke of luck to find when I got there that all coats and jackets were 25% off.  I found a really nice canvas jacket.  And I picked up two books - a paperback and a hardcover.  $3.75 out the door.  I already had a copy of the paperback.  I always buy Vince Flynn's novels when I see them, but more often then not, I find I already have it.  Derp.  I keep the better copy and donate the worse one.  The hardcover was an old copy of My Friend Flicka.  Can't wait to read it.

Okay, well, I think that about wraps it up for me today.  How did the world revolve in your world last week?

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-Up - 3/23/19

Gah!  It's Saturday again, isn't it?  Totally forgot to finish and schedule this.  Derp.

The week got off to a slow start reading-wise.  I started Taken last Saturday, but then I didn't read it for a few days.  I finished that book Thursday morning and then inhaled a whole other book by Thursday evening.

I still have a bunch of ebooks left to read and I picked up one new book this week - a SF.  So, I'm at eleven books to read again.  Only 2 left from February, though, so I'm not doing as bad as I'd thought.

Books read:

24) All Those Lies by Emmy Ellis (3/21/19) - Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated on Amazon, if not on Goodreads.  Got this during a freebie advertised on Ereader News Today.
Review: "Wow. That was creepy and dark and disturbing. And so good. Can't say anymore without giving away spoilers, but man. This one's gonna stick with me for a while. Not for the weak of stomach or the faint of heart. Inhaled this in an afternoon - it was just that good."

23) Taken (Rune Witch #1) by Victoria DeLuis (3/21/19) - Urban Fantasy* - 4 stars.  New to me and underappreciated on Amazon, if not on Goodreads.  Got this during a freebie advertised on the Free Kindle Books FB group.
Review: "Cute with an enjoyable premise and likeable characters, but way shorter than I thought it would be."

DNFs - Nope

Currently reading: All Those Lies was so intense, I needed something lighter so I picked up an old book - Life with Father / Life with Mother by Clarence Day.  (Life with Father was made into a movie ages ago.  If you haven't seen it, it's a hoot.)

What did you read last week?  Anything good?  

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Thursday This n That

You know, I realized something the other day.  I am so over vampires.  Pretty much over werewolves, too, except for a specific author.  Still okay with other paranormals, though.  It's just when I see 'vampires' in the detail for a book, I keep scrolling.  Meh.  I guess they're okay as a tertiary character - vampires make an appearance in Wish Hits the Fan, for instance, but they are only present because reasons.  And none of them are core characters or even minor characters with a chance at their own story.  I thought about doing a side story with the Rusalka, but never with the vamps.

You know how sometimes it seems like as soon as you buy something, you see it on sale somewhere?  I think it's working in my favor right now.  It seems like as soon as I have a a Kindle Countdown Deal set up for one of my books, someone buys a copy at full price.  I feel bad for that person, whoever they are.  The universe is cruel sometimes.

I can't believe it's Thursday already.  Not sure where the rest of the week went. 

I bought some votive candles the other day in a few nice scents - hazelnut, vanilla, and a blue one I can't figure out.  They don't last very long, but they were cheap.  A side-happy about them is the cupboard where I keep them smells lovely right now.

Tick season has arrived.  I found one when I was cleaning leaves out of the gardens.  Ticks love leaf litter, doncha know.  Anyway, I saw it crawling along a dead leaf, so I got it and squashed it.  It made me sad - seeing it, not killing it - because it means my time in the woods is drawing to a close until autumn.  =o(

Which reminds me, I need to order more pesticide so Hubs can spray the yard.  Tick-mageddon 2019. Yay.

Speaking of ticks, we had a possum in the yard the other day.  Yay!  Possums eat tons of ticks.  So do turkeys, and we're seeing a bunch of those.  Turkey lovin' is in the air once more.  The main rafter of about 15 hens is back and the two dominant toms are following them everywhere - all puffed up and in the mood for romance.  Too bad for them the girls aren't quite ready for romance yet. 

Okay, that's enough out of me this morning.  You got anything to share?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Reviewer's Guilt

Sometimes I can go weeks without getting any new books.  Lately, though, I've been one-clicking a lot and that's a bad thing.  And my inbox is filled with Amazon emails of unread books*.  And it's making me kind of antsy.

Now, some of you will laugh.  Why?  Because I have a grand total of eleven unread ebooks on my Kindle (recent downloads - we won't talk about older downloads that will probably never get read.)  In the scheme of things, eleven isn't really such a big number.  I'm sure there are people out there with hundreds of unread books on their Kindles, and they're downloading more every day.  But numbers like that defeats my purpose.

What's the purpose?  Well, I'm trying to snag new-to-me underappreciated books, read them, and review them to kind of help out the authors.  And when I take forever to read a book, then it takes forever for those reviews to show up.  Every review helps an author (despite what I said yesterday), but I think it might be a 'the sooner the better' kind of thing - especially when it's a new release. 

Sure, my downloading the book helped its ranking at the time.  So, there's that.  I certainly hope my reviews are helping, too. 

Okay, so I'm not the best reviewer.  I wish I wrote better reviews - full of specifics about the story and about my personal reactions to the story.  Sometimes, though, the best I can manage is 'cute story' or 'squee, I loved this so much'.  At least the majority of my Amazon reviews say 'verified' - certainly all the ebook reviews do since I only get ebooks from Amazon.  And nobody's paid me to download their books and write reviews. 

Anyway, having all these books to read and not reading them very fast is certainly a quandary for me.  I promise to get to them as soon as I can.  And I'm trying to read them in the order I downloaded them, so people don't have to wait any longer than necessary for reviews.  (Not that any of these authors are actually waiting on me.  Except in the grander scheme where they know they sold a book and might be wondering 'what the hell is taking so long?')

I guess I could call this 'reviewer's guilt'.  :shrug:  Maybe it's just me.  Anyone else feel this way?  How bad is your TBR pile?  Did you laugh at me and my piddlin' 11 books?

*I keep the Amazon email in my inbox until I've started the book, so I can keep track of them.  Otherwise, I might have ordered a book that never made it to my Kindle - it's happened before - and I'd never remember to go looking for it.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 11

Around again to another weekly update.  Any week you can walk away from is a good week.

I'm not writing anything at this time because I'm editing.  I haven't exactly made it very far on that either, but I'm trying to get some semblance of gumption going.

No marketing this past week either.  I don't have any sales planned until early next month, so there really isn't much to get all rah-rah about.  I have books.  They're out there.  I hope people will buy them.  I did have someone buy a copy of Blink last week, which I assume came about because they'd picked up Unequal during the freebie last month, read it, and loved it enough to slap down $4.99 for Blink.  And that's what freebies are all about.

Last week was pre-shot week (got the shot Friday), so we won't talk about weight.  I always gain weight in the days leading up to my shot.  Maybe I'll have better news next week, when the hormonal weight has dropped off again.

It wasn't a great week for being active either.  I really only got the body moving on Friday when I began cleaning up the garden beds.  Then Saturday, I got about an hour of woods work done before I tweaked an ankle.  It's fine, but I didn't want to push my luck.

Speaking of gardens, for the first time, one of my half-dozen anemones is blooming.  It's dark purple.  I'm calling it a major win, since I thought all those bulbs were dead.  I also have hyacinths trying to bloom, but they got shocked by the hard freeze we had, so they're kind of pathetic.  Also pathetic are my 2 remaining crocus plants and my few daffodils.  The irises are doing well, though.  The lilac has tiny leaves coming out.  The big hydrangea has leaf buds and the little hydrangea lost all its leaves over winter but has one tiny shoot. The peonies are up and so are the columbines.  The older sedums are pushing through the leaves.  No word on the new ones, but if they survived the winter, I'll be moving them to a better bed.

Last week, I made a vat of chili and a bigger vat of spaghetti sauce.  I have a freezer full of leftovers now.  I also made a batch of brownies (which are all gone) and a batch of cake cookies.

Another win for the week was that I found Russel Stover Maple Cream Eggs - two for a dollar.  OMG, so good.  I only bought two - one for me and one for Hubs.  Should've bought more, but lord knows, my butt doesn't need them.  Will power.  Must have will power.

And that's it for me.  What have you been up to lately?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/16/19

Not much reading happened this past week.  I finished one book and then got sucked into editing - which means my Kindle is tied up right now.  I meant to pick up a paperback, but nothing sounded interesting.  Until yesterday, when I just grabbed an old romance.  I inhaled it in a few hours.

Books obtained:  I picked up a couple of ebook cozy mysteries that sound fun.

eBooks left to read:  I still have the eight left from before - a thriller, 2 suspense, and 4 paranormal.

Books read:

22) Valley of the Butterflies by Anne Shore (3/15/19) - Romance - 5 stars.  New to me, but old enough that it's probably less appreciated now than when it came out.
Review: " Great story, although I do admit I kind of wanted to pinch the heroine a little there at the beginning. But that's how the tension got started and moved the story along, so I went with it. And it all worked out with a happy ending, of course."

21) Death on Tyneside by Eileen Thornton (3/10/19) - Mystery*2 - 5 stars.  Not new to me and not necessarily underappreciated, but it is a second book and I said I would read more second books this year.  Got this one for free after seeing an ad on the Kindle/ Book Club FB group.
Review: "Ooo, I really enjoyed this one. Even more than the first."

DNFs: Nope

Currently reading:  Your guess is as good as mine. I have a bunch of stuff that sounds good, but not a single one of them is jumping to the front of the pack screaming 'read me, read me'.

What wonderful things have you read this past week?  Anything you're looking forward to?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday This n That

The bird of the day is the belted kingfisher.  I love these birds.  They keep me company at the lake and make me laugh with their funny little calls and their diving for fish.

So, FB was down for most of the day yesterday, which was weird.  I immediately thought of all the people who had planned marketing bursts for yesterday and I thanked my lucky stars that my sale was over. 

I'm eternally grateful the general populace can't see the sticky notes on my desk.  There's one there now to remind me of a plot point I want to fix later in UatB.  If anyone else read it without context, I'd probably be put in a loony-bin. 

Where I lived in CO got hammered with snow yesterday.  I admit I giggled.  There might be a half-dozen people I knew left there that I feel bad for.  The rest of the people I knew?  It's karma. 

Yes, I am petty and spiteful.  And I hold grudges.  It's not keeping me up at night or anything, but I don't forget or forgive being wronged.  (Okay, maybe sometimes it keeps me up at night.  Never can tell what the brain will focus on when I'm trying to fall asleep.)

I'm out of vanilla ice cream, but I still have brownies left.  Gah.  Speaking of ice cream, Wallyworld has something called Salted Caramel Chocolate Crunch that is the bomb.  Chocolate caramel ice cream with a caramel ribbon and crunchy chocolate-covered honey bits.  OMG.

The cardinals know Spring is coming.  We're hearing the males singing their songs of love.  The mourning doves are also cooing for a mate.  I can't wait until it's warm enough to hear the frogs again.  Spring Peepers are the best harbingers of Spring.

I can't wait until we start seeing the deer getting fat with babies.  Should be in the next few weeks.  Yay.

It's super windy here this morning.  Bleh.

Okay, that's it for me.  What are your this n thats today?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Brownies Are Always Good

I wrote an especially long rant this morning and then discarded it.  Since I don't want that kind of negativity on my blog today, here's my recipe for...

Basic Fudgy Brownies

3/4 cup butter or margarine (1 and ½ sticks)
3/4 cup unsweetened baker’s cocoa
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease sides and bottom of 8 x 10" baking pan.  Gently melt butter in medium saucepan.  Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder until well combined.  In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until light and frothy.  Add cocoa/butter mixture and stir to combine.  Sift flour over the mixture and gently fold in until just combined.  Bake on the center rack for 30 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Serve warm after 10 minutes, or cool completely before cutting to store.

I made these over the weekend.  I used real butter, which lemme tell ya, makes way better brownies than margarine. Moist and gooey and mmmmm.

They're good by themselves or with ice cream - room temperature or warm.  I've never had them cold, but I don't like cold chocolate.  One of these days, I'll cover it all in hot fudge, but I never seem to have hot fudge and brownies in the house at the same time.

I adapted this like twenty years ago from a recipe that used an 8x8" pan - which I didn't have then and don't have now.  I use a glass 8x10" cake pan.  I also calculated the measurements to make this in a 9x13" pan, but I can't find them now.  And I don't feel like doing the math.  Basically, 8x10 is 80 inches and 9x13 is 117 inches.  Work from there.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 10

Hello again.  This post is way later than usual because 1) I forget to schedule it, 2) I slept in for a change, 3) Daylight Savings Time began last night, so it's really just after 6am.

I did some pretty good work writing last week. I did just under 7K words over the course of the week.  And last night I finished the first draft.  It's sitting at a little over 54K words.  I have loads of editing to do, so that number will definitely rise. 

I also did a boatload of FB marketing for the Natural Causes sale.  I wish I could say I sold a bunch, but umm, no.  I probably would've done better if I wasn't promoting a Book 2 with only 2 Amazon reviews.  If you read indie author books, please review them.  Your reviews help with sales, they help with marketing, etc. The sale's still going on until Tuesday.

In reading news, I managed to finish two books last week - both of them on Friday.  I'm also most of the way through another.

For the active thing, I only got off my butt two days last week.  Wednesday and Thursday I went into the woods, raking trails and throwing some logs around.  About an hour each time.  It doesn't show on the scale, but it was good to get out there and the more I'm out there, the easier it is.  Climbing the hill afterwards isn't nearly the trial it used to be.

Yesterday, I made brownies.  Just my 'basic fudgy brownie' recipe, but oh, so good.  Which probably doesn't help with the whole weight loss thing.  :shrug:  Sometimes a girl just needs brownies.  I ate one, Hubs ate one.  Ten left.  Woohoo.

This coming week, I'll start the editing process on UatB.  And I'll do some of the cleaning I neglected while I was working.

Well, I can't think of anything else to say.  How was your last week?

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/9/19

Time again to wrap-up what went on in my reading life for the week.  Let's see...

I was down to five unread recent ebooks.  Time to get some more!  I downloaded 4 books.  They're all paranormals of one form or another.  So, I'm now at 9 unread newish ebooks.

Also, Tuesday, picked up Silver James' new paperback at the Wallyworld.  Squee!  We won't discuss the number of unread hardcopy books I have.  It's massive.  But I'm a book hoarder, so it's no big surprise there.  And the hardcopy books are all of an age where no one is really expecting a review, so no big rush.

Books read:

 20) Empire's Scion by BC Kellogg (3/8/19) - SF*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked this up for free off the Book Barbarian newsletter.
Review: "Wow. That was a really good story. Interesting premises. Intriguing plot. Awesome characterization. I loved Lees. I loved his crews. I especially loved the 'cat'. I'll have to hunt down the sequel when I'm ready for another SF."

19) Billionaire Country by Silver James (3/8/19) - Romance - 5 stars.  Definitely not new to me, but always underappreciated in my opinion.  Paid regular price minus the Wallyworld discount.
Review: "SQUEE! I snagged a copy from the Wallyworld on Tuesday (got the last copy! woohoo) when it came out, but I was too wrapped up to start it then. I opened it this morning and inhaled it all. So good! I loved Zoe and Tucker and little Bugtussle. Filled with awesome. The only bad thing about reading these books is waiting for the next one to come out."


3/2/19 - urban fantasy.  I was having problems with massive head-hopping (POV changes).  Then the author said something totally off the wall regarding heights and measurements...  something easily edited with a little research - or common sense.  It was a small thing, but combined with the other stuff, it made me move on to the next book.

Not sure what I'm reading next.  I read finished two books yesterday - I set Empire's Scion down to read Billionaire Country and then finished it afterwards - then decided to focus on writing for the rest of the evening.  (Psst... after I scheduled this for this morning, I picked up a book 2 mystery.  Heh.)

What kinds of reading escapades were you up to last week?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Thursday This n That

Clock changing time again this Sunday.  Yeah, it's stupid.  Yeah, it's pointless.  But hey, it's our governmental geniuses at work.  The smart President hoping for re-election would win in a landslide if he used one of his executive orders to do away with the time changing travesty once and for all.

I watch so many real life cop shows.  I can automatically tell when people on those are lying or fake crying or faking injuries.  Or faking that they can't understand English.  It's sad how many people out there are bald-faced liars.  Does give me a lot of fodder for writing, though.

Speaking of which, Natural Causes is on sale, in case you missed any of the many places I notified people about it.

I love how all the commercials say that shipping is free.  Sure, it's free.  If you spend more than like $50.  Do you know how much cat food I'd have to order to reach $50?  I guess I could order food and litter and maybe find some other stuff, but I'd be like a freakin' prepper in here.  There's only so much space available for all that stuff.

I saw my best in-person fan the other day.  She's the cashier at my feed store. It had been long enough that we were talking and joking and laughing for like ever when another customer got in line behind me and I hadn't even given her my feed order yet.  I offered to let him go in front of me, but he was cool.  So, I finally finished up and went out to let the guys load my order.  While I was waiting, the other customer came out to get his feed loaded.  He looks at me and says "She told me you were an author."  I love her so much for doing that.  So, I talked with him a bit and then gave him one of my marketing materials - the postcard with my first 12 books.  Turns out his wife has always wanted to write a book but has never had the time.  I hope she gives it a try and finds she really does have the time to reach her dream.

I really need some new marketing materials, but I am so full-up with older stuff, I'm running out of space to put everything.  And I can't bear to throw anything out, so don't even suggest that.

What's on your this n that list today?

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Psychology Stuff

I was reading an article this morning about The Milgram Experiment.  If you're not familiar with the name - and I wasn't - it's the psychological experiment wherein the subject is asked to shock his supposed fellow subject if said subject gets the answers to a series of questions wrong.  With increasing shocks for each wrong answer.  Up to what is supposed to be a hazardous level of electric shock.  100% of subjects shocked their fellow man up to the second highest setting.  Like 67% went all the way to the top. 

I'd first heard about this experiment probably in HS Psychology class, and if not then, any of my college level courses.  (I was a Psych major for 3 semesters.)

Psychology stuff interests the hell out of me.  Always has.  Studying it, not applying it - which was why I changed majors my Sophomore year.  The thought of actually applying psychology in a doctor/patient setting began to give me the willies.  I did change from Clinical Psych as a major to Behavioral Psych first, but even that step down didn't thrill me.  I ended up moving to Speech/Communications and shifting Psych to a minor (because who wants to lose all those credits?)

I ended up taking the big Psych 101, then Child Psych, Behavioral Psych, the Psychology of Sexual Behavior, and one called 'Causes and Control of Aggression'.  All very interesting stuff.  Well, CCA was interesting but I had a shit for a prof, so it wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be.  Still, I learned stuff. 

And looking back over the past 15 years of writing... Gah, it's been 15 years since I started what would become my first finished novel... a lot of what I learned in those courses has been helpful.  I mean, with my memory problems, I wouldn't be able to pass a test on any of the information I learned back 1988-1992 - like I didn't remember it was called 'The Milgram Experiment' and it was done by Stanley Milgram back in the '60s - but it's all still in there. 

Everything in there can be used to enrich the writing.  Art, Philosophy, Mythology.  It ain't just the English courses that are important.  In fact, my English 101 was pretty much a pat on the head course and did me no damn good.  English 201 kicked my ass and made me a better writer, but it wasn't the most important course to my eventual writing career.  The most important courses were probably the Psych ones. 

Learning about what makes the human mind tick.  Interesting stuff.

What about you?  Ever take a Psych class?  What do you think were the most important subjects for you?

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 9

Last week was kind of lame and uninteresting. Bear with me if you like and I'll try to make it worth your while.

I didn't do any writing last week until Saturday.  I told myself I was stuck on where to go next, but then I kicked my own ass because knowing where the story is going ain't my style.  My style is more: Sit your ass down and start writing and you'll find the way.  So that's what I did yesterday.

I did set up some sales for this month and next.  Natural Causes will be on sale starting Wednesday and going through the following Tuesday night.  This is for all the people who read Accidental Death but haven't made the move to read the second book in the series.  Someday I hope to write at least one more book for Dennis Haggarty.  For now, though, there's just the two.  There will also be a sale on the SCIU books at the beginning of next month.

I really need to set up marketing for the SCIU sale, but the funds aren't there at this time.

It was a weird reading week.  I read two and DNF'd three.

The activity thing was going pretty good at the beginning of the week.  Then it kinda flopped.  So, 4 out of 7 days.  I haven't weighed myself in a few days, but the last time I did, I was at 177.0, so down 3.4 for the year.  (I got down to 175.8 during the viral outbreak, but I knew I'd gain some of that back so it doesn't count toward my overall weight loss.)

One downside to losing weight is that my clothes don't fit right anymore.  I'm constantly pulling my pants up everywhere I go.  Every stinking pair.  And I didn't keep any of my thinner clothes because I figured I'd never be that size again.  However, if I try buying the next size smaller, they're still too tight.  Stuck in the limbo region of weight loss.  Meh.  Just as well.  I don't want to buy new clothes at this point.

We've been having a bit of yo-yo weather here.  Up down up down... sunny, rainy, windy, snowy.  Blerg.  This is not making me want to be active, lemme tell ya.  And the weather dudes are saying it supposed to start snowing any minute.  Umm, yah. 

Okay, that's enough out of me.  Time to drink some coffee, smoke some cigarettes, and wake the hell up.  What have you been up to lately?

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/2/19

It's time again for another reading wrap-up.  I wish I could've read more, but the DNFs put me behind.

Books Obtained: None this week.  I did get two suspenses that I forgot to mention last week.

Recently obtained ebooks left to read: a mystery, a SF, a paranormal suspense, and a thriller.

Books Read:

18) The Holly House Mystery (Inspector Chance #1.5) by John Bainbridge (3/1/19) - Mystery*2 - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but an underappreciated 2nd book.  Heard about the sale on this one from the FB Group 'Mystery & Thriller Publicity and Book Club'.  99c.
Review: " First off, I didn't realize this was a novella until about 3/4 of the way through, which was kind of disappointing. Other than that, it was a truly enjoyable story that I wished would've been longer."

17) The Glass Flame by Phyllis Whitney (2/28/19) - Romantic Suspense - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Picked this up at the thrift store last week for 50c.
Review: "I thought I'd read this one years ago, but I didn't remember any of it reading it this time. This is the kind of Phyllis Whitney novel that made me a fan of hers."


3/1/19 -  I started a romantic suspense that I snagged on a whim.  It was well-written and the story itself held my interest.  Unfortunately, by like 10%, I didn't like the MC.  Can't really get past that unless there's a glimmer of some redeeming qualities there somewhere.  Didn't see any. 

2/24/19 - Tried reading the MG urban fantasy again.  I guess the previous DNF of this was telling me something.  It wasn't just that I wasn't in the mood.  The dialogue was wooden and the plot seemed formulaic.  :shrug:

2/23/19 - I DNF'd the zombie book.  I got to a point where I determined there was no way I could give it more than 3 stars.  It was exciting.  It could've been so much better than it was.  But there were too many flaws - editing flaws, proofreading flaws, things left hanging- and then it got all weird on me.  I hung on longer than I would've because I really did want to see what would happen, but eventually, while trying to sleep last Saturday, I realized I was just spinning my wheels.  I have too many books to read to waste time like that.  =o(

Currently Reading: 
I started what the author is calling an 'urban fantasy mystery'.  So far, so good.

What have you been reading lately?