Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thursday This n That

I've said it before... Enough with the weather already.  I'm writing this on Wednesday because we're supposed to get storms again and I want this scheduled in case we lose power.

I have a wild rose bush in one of my gardens.  I bought a trellis and trained the damn thing onto it.  Except now it's so huge that the wind keeps dragging on it and pulling the trellis over.  (And the moles keep undermining the base, which doesn't help.)  So I have to go out and right it.  She's kind of a bitch, that rosebush.  She likes to bite.  Thus, I get little scratches and puncture marks on my hands and arms.  But she's pretty, so I haven't resorted to cutting her back to the ground.  Yet.  If I do, it'll be okay.  Wild roses are notoriously hard to kill.

My cultured roses exploded with blooms this year.  Well, they were all cultured.  Two of them went feral.  The blooms are still pretty and they're still more domesticated than the wild rose, but the flowers are smaller and one of them is getting out of control.  It's all like 'BAM, here I am, taking over your porch'.  I should've taken pics.

It's almost the end of the month.  How'd that happen?  Ugh.  Time is flying by this year.

My Dad's birthday is Sunday.  He would've been 83.  I totally can't think of him as 83.  He died just short of his 66th birthday.  Even then, though, I can't think of him in his 60s.  In my head, he'll always be younger.  The 'before he got sick' version of Dad - pre-Wegener's Disease, pre-kidney failure, pre-dialysis.  I'd say pre-heart problems, but those started when I was 10, and I don't have a lot of memories of my childhood, so more like an '80s version of Dad.  Like this:
Out fishing in like 1985.  I come by the fishing thing honestly.

Right now, I'm reading a SF anthology from the 1950s.  The first story was more like a novella and very good.  The next two... Meh.  I don't often read anthologies for this very reason.  It's hard to rate them as a book when the stories vary so widely.  :shrug:  Still, it's interesting and the shorter stories are what I need right now.

Okay, well, that's about all I can think of this morning and I'm sure you're heard quite enough out of me.  If you're in the stormy areas, hang onto your asses.  If I don't approve your comments in a timely fashion, we dark over here.  If I do, we made it through fine.

What kinds of this-n-thats do you have going on right now?

Thursday morning add-on:  We didn't get the storms they were predicting.  Again.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Starting Up Again is Hard

It's hard getting started and even worse once you stop.

That's pretty much true with anything.  It's hard starting an exercise routine.  It's harder getting back into an exercise routine once you stop.

It's hard enough to get into a writing/editing routine.  Once you stop?  OMG, so hard.

Let's not even think about how difficult it is to start a diet and what happens when you fall off the wagon and start eating all the fat things again.

So, how does one overcome this?

Well, the easy answer is DON'T STOP.  Whatever you're doing, if it's working, don't stop doing it.  But that's the easy answer and we all know the easy answer isn't the most realistic one.  For one reason or another, we all fall apart when it comes to sticking to stuff.

Some people find restarting easier than other people.  Hell, some people make restarting a national sport.  Some of them can even muster the will to stick to doing stuff.  I am not one of those people.  I might be one of the 'national sport' people.  But I keep trying.

Right now, I'm working on getting back into the habits of exercising and editing.  The exercise is going a bit better than the editing.  Both are hard to pick back up again after so long away, though.  Every day, I tell myself I'm going to exercise and edit.  And, most days, I find something else to do. 

I'm not sure what the answer is.  If I had that, I probably wouldn't be in this position.

I think the problem is that when you've stopped for a while, and you go back to whatever it is that needs doing, the whole thing seems insurmountable.  Like climbing a mountain.  It's there and it's huge.  And the longer you stand there looking at it, the huger it becomes.  And you're faced with a choice - take the first step and keep on taking them, or walk away.

Except the mountain will still be there if you walk away.  And you'll still need to get to the top eventually if you want to achieve your goals.

It ain't gonna get any easier. 

So, take the first step.  And keep on taking them.  And if you falter and slip backwards a bit, shrug it off and take another step.

Onward and upward.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 21

Twenty-one weeks into 2019.  How the time do fly.

Still not writing or editing.  Marketing has been taking up a large part of my time this week with the OUAD sale.  I'll talk more about that on Outside the Box.  Probably Wednesday once the sale is over.

I joined 4 new FB marketing groups.  Two have accepted me and two are pending.  We'll see if that helps increase sales.  I'll talk more about that tomorrow on OTB.

The reading went well this week.

The exercise? I was active 6 out of 7 days - walking mostly and some cleaning.  I'm trying to get back to doing the hard 1.1 mile walk more often.  No change in weight, but that's okay.  At least I'm exercising enough to hold the line against all the eating.

Which leads me around to baking, etc.  Sunday, I made a pizza.  Also, this past week, I made a loaf of coconut bread (no recipe this week - it still needs tweaking) and a vat of spaghetti sauce (I don't use a recipe for spaghetti sauce).  The bread's in the fridge and the sauce is in the freezer.  We finally finished that cake, though.  And Hubs is making his way through the cookies.

As far as I can tell, the deer are still pregnant.  We should be seeing them slip away for a bit and then return a bit skinnier shortly.  Fawns to follow.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.  We have nothing planned.  I didn't even remember to buy anything to grill.  But I'll be remembering those who lost their lives in defense of our country and those who have lost their lives since defending our country.  Which is really more important than whether or not we throw some meat on the fire.

Speaking of Memorial Day, the neighborhood is full this weekend.  :cringe:  The start of the summer season is upon us.  So many new people in here and some of them aren't exactly courteous, so I expect loud music, fast moving vehicles, fireworks, and a lack of decorum aplenty.  One gal was walking with a brood of children the other day and one of the boys - about 10-12 years old - decided the road in front of our house would be a good place to hock a loogie.  Gross.  And she didn't even get after him for it.  My mother would've skinned the hide of any of her children if we'd done that.  I don't advocate spitting unless you've been working hard cleaning stalls or shoveling dirt or something that necessitates cleaning out your mouth.

My timesuck game... I finished Level 35 and clicked to go to Level 36 and it was Level 1 all over again, even though it said 36.  I could've kept going and racking up points, but meh.  Been there, done that.  Time to go back to my old game.  Or find a new one.

Or maybe I could get off my butt and actually work.

Anyway, that's my week.  How was yours?

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/25/19

Hello again!  Time for another round of what my reading life is like.

I still have 6 unread ebooks from before and I picked up two new ones yesterday morning while I was on hold (nothing's better than killing time on hold by looking at book newsletters) - a steampunk that sounded interesting and a mystery with an old lady heroine. 

Books read:

45) Ghost of a Chance (Maggie Mulgrew #1) - Cate Dean (5/23/19) - Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me, but has plenty of reviews.
Review: "Fun mystery with a touch of romance and a pinch of the supernatural (a very small pinch, but nonetheless, a pinch)."

44) Twice Shy by Mona Ingram (5/18/19) - Romance*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked up as a freebie off the Ereader News Today newsletter.
Review: "What a nice little romance. Cute and sweet."

43) Crescent Calling by Nicole R. Taylor (5/18/19) - Paranormal Romance* - 5 stars.  New to me but only kinda underappreciated.  Picked up as a freebie off the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: "Fun beginning to what promises to be a neat paranormal series."

No DNFs.

I started reading a fantasy Thursday afternoon after I finished the mystery.  The epilogue was pretty interesting, even if it did hit me in the squick factor.  We'll see what happens from here.

And that's about it for me.  What was on your reading list this week?

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thursday This n That

If you're seeing reports of tornado damage in Missouri, it's not us.  We'll have to wait until the sun comes up to find out exactly how bad it is in Jefferson City, Golden City, etc.  I read one report that was saying Jeff City last night was similar to 2011 Joplin.  :shudder:  I didn't even hear wind here, so my guess is that the line of storms missed us entirely again.  :knocks on wood:

Enough with the storms already.  It's getting like the boy who cried wolf for me.  The weather people keep freaking out about storms headed our way and we prepare and the storm misses us.  Feels like every damn day.  Last night, we knew the storms were headed this way, but prep?  Meh.  We went to bed.  I hope none of the people up north had the same idea because the Jeff City tornado went through about 11:30 pm.

Day Three of the OUAD sale.  My ad should be going out later.  And the good news is I've already sold 4 complete sets (3 US and 1 UK) from my FB blasts, so better rankings are in place which should help the ad. 

I feel like making coconut bread today.  Don't know why.  Maybe because we're down to one piece of birthiversary cake and these days I get jumpy when the baked goods are low.  There's probably some kind of psychological thing going on there.  :shrug: 

And there's my life in a nutshell... storms, book sales, and baking.  I'd go fishing, but with all the storms we've had, the lake is probably an unholy mess with all sorts of crap floating around.  And the lake level is rising, making my go-to spots harder to fish from. 

Speaking of fishing, we get a lot of tournaments on the lake, and usually it's not a big deal, but Hubs was reading the local angler forum a couple days ago and it seems like some of the 'professional fishermen' are being assholes out there.  Harassing locals for being 'in their spots' and blowing by people in their big ass boats at 'too damned fast' - which then make big wakes which upsets boats, erodes the shorelines, and stuff.  And people wonder why I get all 'I hate tourists'.  If you're going someplace and disturbing the locals who are just trying to live their lives, is it any wonder those locals hate you? 

Okay, that's about enough out of me today.  What's out there in your world?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Big Djinn Sale

Today's the start of the big sale for the Once Upon a Djinn books.  Buy 'em all, buy any you might've missed, give 'em as gifts, sprinkle that stuff everywhere...  At 99c each, you get hours of fun for under $4.  They're also all in the KU program if that's the way you get your reading material.  Over 1500 pages if you read them all straight through.  Which is the best way to get the whole story.  Jus' sayin'.

You know, I'm really proud of this series.  I had no idea where it was going to go when I started it.  In fact, I wasn't even planning it as a series.  I wrote Wish In One Hand thinking it was going to be a one-shot.  But you guys were clamoring for more when you finished reading it, so I developed it into a series. 

And it took me on a wild ride, lemme tell ya. 

Then I had figured it was going to be a trilogy.  Hah, fooled me.  There was still too much left unanswered by the end of the third book.  Bingo-bango, presto-chango... the fourth and definitely final book.  A quadrilogy, if you will.  Complete story arc from start to finish.

Yeah, I know, some things didn't turn out the way a few of you hoped, but it's a happy ending for Jo, which was the goal.  I mean, each book has a happy-ish ending, but the end of the series as a whole is happy for Jo.  (Can't say 'happily ever after' because that implies a romantic happy ending and I don't do romance.)

Anyway, thanks to all of you who've read and reviewed these books.  You guys rock.  And I hope those of you who haven't read them take this opportunity to give them a whirl.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 20

Well, I'm 49 now.   We didn't do anything special for either the birthday or the anniversary.  Except I made cake, which you'll see more about later in this post. 

No writing again this week.  No editing either.

The only marketing thing I did was setting up a sale and advertising for the genie books.  The sale will run the 21st through the 27th in the US and the UK.  All four of the Once Upon a Djinn books will be 99c/99p each.  (So under $4 for the series. A $12 savings.) The ad will go out on the 23rd in Bargain Booksy and show Wish in One Hand only.

I did some reading.

I got more active this past week with some hard-target walks, some yard work, and some cleaning.  Still sitting right around 179lbs.  Probably because I can't stop baking and then eating what I bake.

Speaking of which, the baking thing is still ongoing.  This week, I made another batch of Oatmeal Walnut Caramel Chip cookies and I made a chocolate peanut butter marble cake (see below) for our Birthiversary.  Used the Super Fudgy frosting (see below) I had leftover from the last cake.  I had planned on making pizza, but after the cake project, I was pretty wiped out and sick of washing baking implements.  With the temperatures now getting into the 80s and the AC kicking on regularly, I expect the baking thing will come to a close shortly.

We had some more stormy weather.  Once again, they were calling for way worse than we actually got.  (I'm writing this Saturday evening, so if you don't see me after this post, they were right about this next storm.) 

And that's probably it for me.  Other stuff probably happened, but I can't think of it right now, so it must not have been that major.  Have a great week everyone.  Oh, and how did the world treat you last week?


Chocolate/Peanut Butter Marble Cake

Chocolate Cake Batter:

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup margarine
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons baker’s cocoa powder

In a saucepan, combine margarine and oil.  Heat on low until butter is melted.  Stir in cocoa powder.  Remove from heat.  In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar and baking soda.  Make a well in the center.  Pour in cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.  With an electric mixer, beat the milk, vanilla and eggs into the mixture until just combined.

Peanut Butter Cake Batter:

1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup butter (softened)
1/3 cup milk

In a large bowl, cream together peanut butter, margarine and brown sugar until well combined and smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.  Mix until smooth.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.  Alternating, gradually beat flour mixture and milk into wet mixture until just combined.

Marbling Your Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9x13” cake pan.  Pour half of the peanut butter batter into the pan.  Pour chocolate batter over the top of the peanut butter batter.  With a large spoon, add remaining peanut butter batter by dollops over the chocolate batter.  Using a standard butter knife, cut strips lengthwise and width-wise through the batter to ‘marble’.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Super Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

1 stick butter (1/2/ cup)
1 cup baker's cocoa (divided 1/3 c and 2/3 c)
3 cups confectioners' sugar
heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
In medium saucepan, melt margarine. Once melted, stir in 1/3 cup of bakers cocoa until smooth and un-lumpy. In large bowl, sift together confectioners' sugar and remaining 2/3 cocoa. With mixer on low, combine melted mixture to dry mixture until thoroughly combined. Beat in vanilla. Beat in whipping cream by tablespoonfuls* until you achieve the consistency you desire. (Should be stiff peaks, but easily spreadable.) If you like a sweeter frosting, add more sugar at the beginning and more cream at the end.
Makes enough frosting to put a thick layer on a 9x13" cake.
*I poured in a little, beat it, poured in more, beat it... until I got what I wanted.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/18/19

Well, hello there.  Thanks for stopping by the Reading Wrap-up this week.  It probably won't be as interesting as last week, but here goes nothing...

I picked up two new ebooks this week - a mystery and a suspense.  So, that makes nine ebooks to read - eight once I finish this one.  The oldest two date back to April 18th, so I'm not doing too bad on keeping up.  The two left from April are an UF (my current read) and a romance (up next).  I should finish those this week.  :fingers crossed:

Books read:

42) Silversword by Phyllis Whitney (5/16/19) - Romantic Suspense - 4 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Paid 50c at St. Vinny's.
Review: "Pretty good, but I like her earlier stuff better."

41) Husk by D.P. Prior (5/15/19) - Western SF/UF*# - 4 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked up for free through Freebooksy.
Review: "Very well-written and gripping read. It's like a Western on another planet with demons. Which I thought was really cool. Definitely a different read. My only issue was where the author chose to go with MC at the end. Despite his flaws, I would've liked a happier outlook for Jeb. Maybe it'll all be redeemed in subsequent books, but I was left feeling a little bummed."

No DNFs.  Woohoo.

Currently reading... the UF leftover from April.  Although, as I'm reading it, I think it might be more paranormal mystery/romance than UF.  :shrug:  Either way, it's been a fun read so far.

What about you?  Read anything good last week?  Anything good on the horizon?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thursday This n That

Life with an old cat means celebrating when she poops*. 

I'll be 49 on Saturday.  Who woulda thunk I'd make it to 49?  I sure as hell didn't when I was younger.  Hell, I didn't think I'd make 30.  So, woohoo.  No prezzies this year.  I'm going to try something different as a birfday dessert - brownies with peanut butter and chocolate frosting.

I just finished a total genre-bending book.  A Western set on another planet with demon hunters.  I think before I read it, I was calling it a SF with a F twist, but it really read more like a Western than anything else, so I'm running with that as the main genre.  Good stuff with a less than satisfying end. 

Lately, I've been playing this online word game.  It's totally addictive.  I've made it as far as level 31.  I could probably go farther, but it resets every time I shut it down, so I have to start over from the beginning.  :shrug:

Yesterday, I was talking with a gal from the next neighborhood over and she told me she'd killed a packrat.  Here's hoping it was our packrat.  Probably wasn't.  Still, ours hasn't returned since I put the peppermint oil down.  :fingers crossed:

Speaking of local goings-on, some numbnuts broke into my favorite convenience store.  Backed his pickup truck up and pulled the front doors right the hell off so he could steal the ATM machine.  They finally caught him, but sheesh.  Some people.  They have new doors, but the building was damaged in such a way, they could probably easy be pulled off, too.  I hope they string the guy up by his thumbs.

Did you see the news story about the old guy who told a woman on a bus that she ought to try to be nicer and so she pushed him off the bus?  He died and she's charged with murder of an elderly person.  Maybe she should've taken his advice.  I'm thinking there's a lot of people who should take his advice, eh?

And on that note, I'm out of here.  Have a great day, folks, and try to avoid them what can't be nice. 

*Which she does almost every day.  It's the days she doesn't that worry us.  And then I break out the vegetable oil (a tablespoon worth in her wet food) and stand by the litterbox rooting for her.  But she turned 16 last week, so it's kind of expected.  I don't even want to think about what I'll be like when I'm 80.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Nothing Tuesday

I'm up to my passel in spreadsheets this morning, so I don't have a whole lot of time or branpower to spare on blogging right now.  Need about a tanker-truck's worth of coffee because the brain don't want to brain much at all.

I was going to give y'all my new focaccia bread recipe, but it needs some tweaking before I offer it up to the blogiverse.  Hubs loves it, but I'm not quite satisfied.  I can make it better.  But not today.  My hands need recovery time before I knead again.  Plus we still have 4 more pieces of the last batch.  It makes great sandwiches.  Yesterday morning I made breakfast sandwiches and then we had chicken salad focaccia sandwiches for dinner.  Good stuffs.

So, basically, I got nothing today.  What's up with you?

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 19

Hello again.  Welcome to another Sunday Update.  Oh, and Happy Mother's Day.

Still no writing.  And this week ain't lookin' good neither.  Editing?  Umm...

I did do some marketing, cuz like Blink is on sale and junk.  I also set up a sale and advertising for the genie books later this month.  Fingers crossed that keeps my May from tanking entirely because so far, May has tanked.

Reading this week was interesting.  I DNF'd like 4 books.  Bleh.  I finished three good ones, though, so it wasn't a total wash.

I was active 5 out of 7 days last week.  The scale said I was at 178.4.  Not great, but I'll take it.  And as long I remember that the scale used to say 194, it's all good.  Now that summer's coming, I'll be eating more fruit and salad.  Right now, though, I'm less worried about what I'm eating than whether I'm moving my body more often than walking from the office to the living room and back.  In positive news, I ran into someone I hadn't seen in a while and she asked me if I'd lost weight, so that's a good thing.

Part of the activity last week was fishing.  They opened the park for the summer.  Yay!  Unfortunately, they closed off one part of it because of the rising lake level.  But it meant more walking while carrying fishing equipment which upped my activity level a bit.  Sometimes fishing is just standing in a spot and casting.  Not exactly a calorie burning thing.  Oh, and I actually caught some fish.  Didn't keep any, but it was nice to get a few on the line.

Speaking of the rising lake level, it rained damned near every day this past week.  The week ahead looks drier.  That'll be nice.

No baking occurred.  Whew, I think my baking-spree has come to an end.  Maybe.  Who knows when the mad baker will strike again.  Probably after I go to the store and pick up more pizza sauce.  Or when Hubs runs out of cookies.

The deer are getting fatter by the day.  I can't wait for fawns!

And I think that's it.  If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.  In the meantime, how was your week?

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/11/19

Not the best of weeks for finishing books.  But I did knock down some of the unread books on my Kindle, so I guess that's a good thing.  ANd I did finish three, so not the worst week either.

I picked up 4 new ebooks this week - a paranormal romantic suspense, a fantasy, a fantasy suspense, and a mystery.  So I was back at 10 unread ebooks.  Except I read one already.  Then I DNF'd one.  Eight left to read.  I also stopped by the thrift store and got 4 paperbacks - a romantic suspense (Allison Brennan), a suspense (Helen McInnes), a kid's lit (The Secret Garden), and an old writing book (How to Write and Speak Effective English 1966) for my collection.

Books Read:

40) Crash & Burn by Silver James (5/10/19) - Paranormal Romantic Suspense* - 5 stars.  Not new to me, and a new release of sorts so definitely not appreciated yet.  Mine was the first review on Goodreads.  I hope there are tons more to follow.  Paid the limited time release price of $1.99
Review: " I read this when it first came out, and it was awesome then. This new version is awesome to the next degree. I love Derek and Kit so much, and I'm so glad Ms. James got a chance to expand on their story. Took it to a whole other level. SQUEE!"

39) Singing in the Shrouds by Ngaio Marsh (5/9/19) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Got this at the thrift store for 50c.
Review: "I've loved every Roderick Alleyn novel I've stumbled across so far. This is no exception."

38) The Devil's Pets by Alex Siegel (5/5/19) - UF*# - 5-stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked this up for free off the Reading Deals newsletter.
Review: " Wow, that was totally awesome. Urban fantasy meets serial killer thriller. Definitely not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach, but totally badass. I'd say more, but then I'd be dropping spoilers and I hate that. Suffice it to say, it was a wild ride."


5/10/19 - ?.  Despite being billed as a historical suspense/thriller, it hopped between back then and today - neither of which were either suspenseful or thrilling.  The first 10% seemed like all backstory and I wasn't in the mood to wade through it all to get to the suspenseful and thrilling part.  DNF'ing this one was too bad because I was really looking forward to this one based on the blurb.  Bummer.  Paid $0.

5/7/19 - SF.  Meh.  I was kind of into it and then some things occurred and I realized I didn't really care what was going to happen anymore. It did read like several other books I've already read all mushed together.  Not the author's intent, I'm sure, but that's the way it goes sometimes.  Paid $0.

5/6/19 - Chick Lit Suspense.  If you're going to write in present tense, don't litter it with so many flashbacks.  The tense changes were giving me whiplash.  Paid: $0.

5/6/19 - Suspense.  Ugh.  Does everything have to have a brand name?  I don't care which device he was recording the witness statement on, what type of shoes he was wearing, what kind of tea she drank...  I'm with Joe Friday - just the facts.  And how could anyone write "...he left the scene, his head shaking like a top heavy blancmange*."?  Let alone leave it in the final draft.  Someone should've flicked the author in the back of the head during editing.  My editor would throttle me soundly for even trying to keep a line like that.  I tried to keep going but when I got to that line, I shook my head and gave up.  Paid: $0

Currently reading...  I started a historical suspense last night.  Not far enough into it to know whether it'll be a keeper yet.  (ETA: It wasn't.  I DNF'd it and forgot to update this part before it went live.)

What things did you read last week?  I hope not as many DNFs crossed your reading paths as did mine. 

* it's a French dessert, by the way.  If I didn't watch cooking shows, I would never have had a clue what the hell the author was trying to say there.  And, I still have no clue how a top heavy one would shake.  It put me in mind of a shivering chihuahua and that's not a look you want for the MC of a suspense novel.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Thursday This n That

Rain rain rain... Ugh.  Lusty month of May my aunt's fanny.  Drippy month of May is more like it.  Almost 6 inches already this month.  Blerg.

And according to last night's radar, we've got another round of crap headed our way today.  Oh, joy.

The other day while I was out for a walk, I saw a turtle.  Not unusual as all that, except the turtles I usually see are box turtles.  I think this one was a cooter, but I've never seen a cooter outside the water, so you got me.  I think it was laying eggs about 8 feet off the road where the neighbor's yard meets the woods.  Or it was about to lay eggs.  All I know is it was sitting over a hole filled with water.  I may have disturbed it because it was gone when I walked back.  Either I disturbed it or it wasn't laying eggs after all and decided it wanted to take a walk, too.  Or the ground is so wet here, she didn't want to lay eggs in a flooded hole.

I've been trying to walk more often, but with all this rain, it's kind of hard to get out there.  I should use the exercise bike... or as I called it the other day, the coat holder... more often.  Or at all.  Yeah, we aren't exactly exercise equipment people.  Not sure what I was thinking when I bought it.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie crumbled over vanilla ice cream with caramel drizzled over it all.  Jus' sayin'.

I kind of collect old writing books, I guess.  At this point, I only have three.  And that was after buying one at the thrift store last week.  Three makes a collection, right?

It's hard work trying to find new to me, underappreciated authors to read and write reviews about.  It's become kind of a mission.  I know good books are out there because I've found a bunch of them.  Some weeks, though, are better than others.  And if I get disheartened, I can always go back to an old favorite author and refresh myself.

That's all I've got for you today.  What have you got for me?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Oh. It's Tuesday...

I slept late today, which means I didn't get up until quarter after five instead of quarter after four.  And I'm kind of brain dead this morning.  As in, it took me a bit of time to remember it was Tuesday.

As in sitting here wondering where the post I wrote yesterday didn't post this morning.  Umm, because I didn't write it.  I wrote some stuff for Saturday's reading wrap-up, but not an actual whole post.

As in discovering we had another thunderstorm last night.  Apparently it was a humdinger.  Totally missed it.  Thankfully, Hubs was monitoring it, so no worries about getting sucked up and dropped into Oz.

As in brainfarting out that I have a sale starting today.  I need to get started on marketing for that sometime soon.  After more coffee.

Thank goodness Hubs made me coffee or this morning would be a total wash.

In my defense, I took a forced-march walk after dinner last night.  One mile, twenty-two minutes. Probably tired me out enough to sleep like a rock and fog up my head.  Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.  Now I need to find a way to lift the fog. 

The coffee must be working because I just remembered I have a spreadsheet I need to do this morning.  I'm slowly getting there... and I just remembered I can't complete said spreadsheet because some data got left out and I need that before I can finish the darn thing.

Brain fog.  It's real, man.

Need more coffee.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 18

Where did the week go?  Wasn't it just Sunday like yesterday?  Gah.

So here we are at the beginning of another week.  Let's see what happened in the week that flew by...

I didn't do any writing or editing.  Or marketing for that matter.  An unscheduled week off, if you will.  I really need to pull myself together this week.

What I did do was a bunch of reading.  Sure, it was only three books, but those two SF novels weren't quickie-reads.

This was the week where the Spring rains splooshed the hell out of us.  We got like 4.5 inches during the week and the lake level went up 4 feet.  It's not quite totally floody yet, though, so it's all good.

I went fishing on Friday and while there was water into the park's parking lot, I still managed to park and fish.  Didn't catch anything, but it was nice to be in the park again.

Oh, yeah, they opened the park on Wednesday.  The new park hosts seem nice.  He's British (didn't meet her other than to wave at her) and they have two cute, fluffy dogs.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm trying to be super good and obey all the weird rules so I don't get rousted again.  I parked in an approved spot and humped all my gear around to my fishing spots.  Sure enough, one of them drove down to where I was fishing to check me out. 

With all the rain, I had to go out and snip off a bunch of flowers to put in vases.  It was either that or let the flowers rot on the ground.  I have vases full of irises and peonies now.  So pretty.

In the baking arena, I made a pizza.  Homemade pizza crust really is da bomb.  Then I put pepperoni and mushrooms all over it, with extra sauce.  Yummers.  And I made another batch of cookies.  Hubs does love his cookies. 

I had to drive up and get my new plates and license on Monday.  It all went easy-peasy.  Which makes me feel bad for people who have to wait in long lines at their license office.  Here it's the local county clerk's office.  Hubs was pretty sure that since I was going on Monday morning, they'd be slammed and I'd be stuck waiting, but nope.  Yay.

Not much in the way of activity this week.  I only managed 3 days out of 7, but the weight is holding steady at 179.4, so I'm not getting after myself too hard.  Maybe I should, though. 

That's it for me this week.  How did your Week 18 go?

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/4/19

Welcome to the first reading wrap-up of May.  I hope this month is as much fun as the last.

Let's see how the week went...

I downloaded one new ebook, but I didn't get any new hardcopies.  So, I'm at 10 unread ebooks right now.  Three SF, four suspense, a romance, an UF, and an epic F.  But hey, only one of those is left from March, so I'm doing okay.  I went through kind of a SF buying spree there for a bit (read two of those this week and I still have three left).

Books read:

37) By Dawn's Early Light by Jason Fuesting (5/3/19) - SF*# - 5 stars.  Snagged this at full price based on the recommendation of someone I know and trust to give me good reads.
Review: "Action packed SF with characters I could really care about and ideas I could get behind. Can't wait to see what's next for Eric and the crew."

36) Flaming Tree by Phyllis A Whitney (5/1/19) - Romantic Suspense - 5 stars.  Picked this hardcover up at St. Vinny's for 50c.
No review. 
Apparently I read this 3 years ago, but as I was reading it this time, I had only a vague feeling I'd read it before - like decades before.  Since it was only three years, the whole thing was a little disconcerting. 

35) Ronin (Col Sec Thriller #1) by Jan Domagala (4/29/19) - SF*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked this up as a freebie after seeing it on the 'Kindle Krazy! Authors Actively Seeking Readers' FB group.
Review: "Interesting story. Thrilling read. Awesome characters. Perfect? Nope. But still a damn fine book."

No DNFs.

I'm currently reading...  Oh, I don't know what's next.  I finished the SF last night, plugged my Kindle in for the night, and watched Live PD.  I was too tired to pick out another book before bed.

And that's about it for me.  What kinds of things did you read last week?  Do you go through genre spurts or do you usually stick to one genre anyway?  

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Thursday This n That

We spent a large part of Tuesday prepping for the big storm.  It was pretty wild there for a bit, but the things we prepped were not needed.  I hope they're never needed, but it's nice to have everything in place in case the big, bad wolf ever does blow the house down.  I suspect this prepping comes from 9 years of living in Kansas-lite (ie eastern CO) where tornadoes were a very real possibility.  Here?  Not so much, but even a slim chance isn't one I want to take.  One funny thing - my prep kit from CO still had snack bars in it.  Snack bars that had expired in 2012.  Eww.  So, I guess I need to pick up some emergency rations for the kit.  Other than that, we're good.

I hung oranges out yesterday.  Here's hoping the orioles come before the ants do.  ;o)

I read something this morning about how a series based on a popular book series somehow made one of the central characters different than they were written.  Made him more SJW* acceptable, I guess.  This.  This is why I don't want any of my books made into movies or television shows.  Reminds me of a time when an author friend was in talks to have her series made into a TV show and they wanted to change a couple characters and make them a lesbian couple.  If she'd wanted them to be lesbians, she would've written them that way in the first place.  I know as a reader this sudden change of a character's persona would totally piss me off.  So, as a writer, I'll be happy to have Hollywood keep their damn hands off my stories. (Not that there's any risk of them touching my books any time soon. LOL)

For the past week or so, I've been intending to make pizza but stuff keeps derailing my intentions.  Mainly, the afternoon passes and I forget to make the dough until it's too late to make the dough and have dinner ready on time.  Derp.

Hubs and I drove out to the lake to take a look around and see how the water level is doing.  The lake's up two feet since the storms and still rising.  The water's brown and detritus is starting to float down it.  I still should've brought the fishing poles, but it's just as well I didn't because my back was feeling a little squonky.  But the park appears to be open.  I mean, the gates were open and the park host RV was there but the 'closed for season' signs were still up.  We drove around in there and then back out again.  I can't wait until I can fish in there again.

It's that time of year again when the turtles are moving around and finding themselves sitting in the road.  Please try not to hit them.  On our drive to the lake, we saw someone had hit a big ol' snapping turtle.  Come on, people, it's not like something that big is that hard to see and all you had to do was drive so it was centered under your car and slow down a little.  If I'm on a road where I can safely stop, I'll do so and get them out of the road.  Poor buggers don't know any better.  All they're looking for is a warm sunny spot and the soft shoulders on road are perfect to lay their eggs.  Give 'em a break.

The eagles have migrated north, but now the summer birds are arriving.  =o)

Oh, well, I guess I should go do something else for a while.  Have a great day.  And if you're inclined, drop a comment with whatever this-n-thats might be on your radar.

*SJW = Social Justice Warrior