Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Bathing the Cat

Nope, that's not a euphemism for something writerly.  Yesterday, I bathed the cat.  It's not as horrific as it sounds.  Kira is a really good kitty.  Usually, she just sits there and serenades me with the saddest of kitty songs.  Yesterday, she only meowed a couple times and then settled in for the bath.  She even let me lay her on her side so I could scrub her tummy.  And she only tried one half-hearted escape.  Of course, she's old and less uppity than she used to be. 

Getting her dry is always interesting.  She has a thick undercoat and isn't a big fan of the blow dryer.  But by bedtime she was totally dry.  Now she's all soft and fluffy and smells really nice.

And I am totally counting that as my exercise for yesterday.  You kneel over the bathtub for a half hour using only your stomach and back to hold yourself upright and see if your muscles aren't screaming.  It's like planking.  (I think.  I'm not exactly sure what planking is.)

Now, Max... he was a pain to bathe - literally.  The second time I bathed him he put up a real fight (the first time he was too weak to bother) and I ended up with my forearms crisscrossed with scratches.  Try bathing a cat with one hand bunched in its scruff and only the other hand for soaping and rinsing.  It was like bathing the Tasmanian Devil.  He was also fond of trying to climb the shower curtain.  But slowly, over time, he got over it.  By his last few baths, he was also just serenading me with very few escape attempts.  And he liked to bury his head in my cleavage.  :shrug:  I guess he felt safe there.

Bathing dogs was so much easier.  Back in the day, we'd take the dog outside (in the summer only), turn on the hose and go at it.  I think we used dish soap.  Of course, I know better now.  Inside, in the tub, with real pet shampoo.  You know, if I had a dog.  Kira has Hartz shampoo with conditioner. 

Anyhoo, I wish this had been a more interesting post, but I couldn't think of anything else to talk about this morning.  And I couldn't make an analogy between cat bathing and writing. Maybe 'cat bathing is like editing - it's a pain, but it has to get done, so we do it' and 'it's always better once it's done'.

How do pet baths go at your house? 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 30

Mornin', Folks.  I totally forgot to write this up last night and schedule it, so you're getting 'first thing in the morning, not enough coffee to think or type' me.  Hi.

I already said I started Cinder Ugly.  And I did write some more words on it this week.  But it was kind of patheticful.  I need to stop thinking about whether the beginning works and just keep forging ahead.  I can fix the beginning later, but I can't fix blank pages.

I'm marketing my little fingers off.  Today and tomorrow are the final days of July Sales Month and AD and NC are still on sale.  There'll be some kind of sale next month, but I'm not sure what.  A 4th anniversary of Wish in One Hand maybe.  As for how this all went, I'll be doing a post on OTB about it - maybe Wednesday, but probably Friday.

As for reading, I read two books and DNF'd three.  Then I spent the rest of the week reading a paperback thriller by a well known SF author.  I decided this morning to DNF that.  I can't tell where it's going and I don't have any characters I care enough about to keep reading.  200+ pages in and all that time wasted, but I guess it better than wasting time reading the other 300+ pages.

I tried Pinterest this week and I've been pinning like crazy.  But I have no followers, so basically I'm amusing myself.  I also tried Parler.  Meh.  And I've been more active on MeWe, which may be the way to go once I gain followers there.  I'm working on it.

On the baking front, I went a little crazy.  I made oatmeal cookies, oatmeal muffins, and granola bars.  All winners.  The granola bar recipe is below - underneath the asterisks.  I'd post the muffin recipe, but I haven't typed it up yet and it's too early to do it now.

In activity news, I did 5 our of 7 days.  Four days of 'hard target walk*' in a row and then the fifth day I did the loop+ walk.  Last Sunday and yesterday were days off.  The weight didn't change, of course, because I still am not decreasing my food intake.  Food is so good, though.  Wah.

I can't think of anything else to say about last week.  How did your week go?

* Hard target walk - wherein I walk straight out on the paved road at the same pace regardless of incline until I can't walk any farther, then I walk back at the same pace.  Each time, I try to go a bit farther than the last.  I did 1.4 miles in 25 minutes the last time.  The goal is to reach the farm - .8 miles away - and then make that a regular walk.  Hubs goes all the way out to the highway, which is 1.2 miles out, 2.4 round trip.  I'm not that ambitious.  Oh, and the walk I call loop+ is 1.1 miles during which I have an approx. 100 foot change in elevation** - up and down and up again.  It's a corker and I can't do that at one pace.

** Just discovered that by using Google Maps, and their walking direction thingie, you can see both distance and elevation changes of the walk you're taking.


Yummy and Easy Chewy Granola Bars

3 cups quick oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, golden raisins, etc.)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 T butter (melted)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 9x13" pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together oats, coconut, walnuts, and fruit until well combined. Stir in melted butter. add condensed milk and stir (with your hands works best) until thoroughly combined. Dump into prepared pan. Wash hands and spray them with cooking spray. Press mixture evenly in pan until flat. Bake 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars. Cool until you can safely handle them, then move to cooling rack or paper towels and cool completely before serving or storing.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/27/19

Not an overly exciting week in reading, but some things were read, some things were DNF'd, and I'm 18 books ahead on my Goodreads goal for the year.

No new books downloaded and no new hardcopies bought.  Right now, I'm down to 4 unread ebooks on my Kindle - mystery, paranormal mystery, and 2 UF.  The paranormal stuff will probably have to wait until I'm done writing CU.

Books Read:

68) Fairy Tales Can Come True by Silver James (7/21/19) - Romance* - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but definitely underappreciated.  Snagged this at full price after seeing the cover on Pinterest.  $2.99
Review:  "I couldn't believe there was a Silver James story I hadn't read, so when I stumbled across this while drinking my morning coffee, I had to snatch it up. And read it quick. Well, inhale it, really. Ms. James never fails. I loved this story. I loved Alex and Deke. And I'm so glad they finally realized that they are perfect for each other. So much awesome."

67) Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie (7/20/19) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Got this during my Agatha Christie haul at St. Vinny's back in March.  50c.
No Review.


7/23/19 - Paranormal Mystery.  Free.  I try to never read the genre I'm writing while I'm first drafting.  In my defense, I thought this was a straight cozy when I started it.  Then the witchy stuff and the talking cat came in...  Umm, yeah.  I tapped the book shut so fast my head swam.  It seemed pretty good, so I'll save it for after I'm done with new words.

7/22/19 - Spy Thriller.  Free.  The writing was stilted and kind of lame.  Things I've read in the past have set the bar pretty high for this genre.  This one wasn't even close to the bar.

7/22/19 - Listed as a mystery, but between the blurb and the opening scene, it sounded more like suspense.  Free.  Meh.  I tried to get into it, but I just couldn't.   Which was disappointing because the premise sounded good.

Currently reading...  A political/medical thriller by a well-known SF author. 

That's it for me.  What have you been reading?

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Thursday This n That

Had a total brainfart on Tuesday, so no post.  Sorry.  Brainfarted about this, too, until like 5am today.  Blerg.

I wish it was winter.  I have a need to throw some logs around, saw some things, knock over a few dead trees.  Stupid ticks and snakes.

The last time I went to the store, I bought a big thing of oatmeal because I thought we were out of oatmeal.  Go to put it in the cupboard and there, right in plain sight, is a big thing of oatmeal.  So, it's an oat extravaganza here.  I made oatmeal muffins and oatmeal raisin cookies.  Next up, oatmeal cake.  And after I get some condensed milk, 'easy' granola bars.  I can also make bar cookies using oatmeal and jam.  Oat-straordinary! Oat-stravaganza!

Oddly enough, Hubs does not like oatmeal when made for breakfast.  In baked goods, though?  Bring it on!

Hubs and I took a hard-target walk together last night.  Usually he takes his and I take mine, prompting some to ask why we don't walk together.  1) His legs are longer, so while our pace is about the same, he has to cut back a little to not outdistance me.  2) He walks farther, so he has to cut his walk in half for me.  3)  He likes the route out to the highway and I prefer to walk 'the loop'.  But last night was nice for a bit of a change.

I have no idea where I'm going with Cinder Ugly and knowing that is making it hard for me to just sit here and write with wild abandon.  I need to get over it.

I picked up a book by a well-known SF author last month at the thrift store.  When I sat down to read it, it was not SF.  It's a... well, I guess you could call it a political/medical thriller.  So far, so good. 

FB is making some changes that are not making me happy.  Read tomorrow's Outside the Box.

With RWA going on right now, it's pretty quiet around the blogosphere.  I hope them what are out there are having fun.  You couldn't drag me into NYC right now or maybe ever again.  Cities... :shudder:

Okay, that's it for me today.  What's going on with you these days?

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 29

Hello again!  Thanks for staying with me all those boring weeks when I had nothing much to report.  I hoped it would pay off, and maybe it has.

This past week, I tugged my head out of my orifice and got back to work.  I finally am almost finished with those edits from March.  I still have the deeper ones to hammer out, but that's okay.  Plenty of time.  Plenty of time.  I also got back to writing!  I sat down and plunked down 1200 words Friday night.  Cinder Ugly has a beginning!  I'm not sure if it's the right beginning, but it's there and I'm running with it.

I've also been trying to keep up with marketing.  I finished up the Blink sale with no sales.  Kind of expected that.  Started the SU sale and sold a couple books.  Go me.  That sale ends Monday and the Dennis Haggarty sale starts Tuesday.  Paid advertising will hit inboxes on Friday.  :fingers crossed:  I need a good end to the month and a good start for next month. 

My reading week was kind of lopsided - had 3 DNFs in a row to start the week and then read two awesome books.  Then I picked up a paperback Agatha Christie.  Life is good.

On the activity front, I did 7 out of 7 days!  And that was with the big heatwave.  I managed two of what I call 'hard target' walks before it hit and the other days were my regular walk and/or cleaning and yard work.  Still not doing well on the decreasing eating thing, so no weight loss to report.  I'm trying to be better about that, though, so we'll see what next week brings.

The problem with being outside at this time of year are the bug bites.  Of which I have plenty.  Oak mites... :shudder:  Once you've had oak mite bites, mosquitoes are so milquetoast.   I'd never run afoul of oak mites before I moved here.  Then again, I never lived in a place with big oak trees.  Oberon the Fairy Oak is dropping those suckers like crazy. 

No baking this week.  It is too hot to bake.  I did turn the oven on for French bread pizza, but I don't think that counts. Nothing really homemade there - store-bought bread, jarred sauce, pre-made toppings.  So good, though.  And yesterday, I did chicken enchiladas.  Also, so good.

No fishing again.  Even if I was inclined to go out in this heat, the fish would not be biting off the shore.  They're all deep and trying to beat the heat, too.

Yesterday, I signed up with Pinterest.  Yeah, like I need another timesuck, but I've heard it can help with marketing, so there I am.  Follow me here.   If you're on Pinterest, let me know.  (Not you, Silver.  I already found you.)  Anyway, I got all my covers up with links to their Amazon pages, and then I did a few other things.  Nothing groundbreaking or major. 

Okay, I think that's my week in a nutshell.  What did your week look like?

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/20/19

It was an interesting reading week for me last week.  Three DNFs started the whole thing off, and meh, but then I read a really cool urban fantasy which led me to snag the sequel.  I inhaled it, too.

No new unread ebooks.  I bought that one, but like I said, I inhaled it.  So, right now, I have seven unread ebooks waiting - suspense, mystery, two urban fantasy, two paranormal mystery, and a spy thriller.

Books Read:

66) Epitaph: The Necromancer Thanotography #2 by Shane Simmons (7/18/19) - UF *#2 - 5 stars.  Not exactly new to me, since I read the first book, but definitely underappreciated.  Paid full price - $4.99.
Review:  "Gah! I should've realized this story would end up being a trilogy. And just my luck, the third book isn't out yet. I don't regret a moment of reading this, though. And I'll just wait patiently for the next book... It is out yet? How about now? Umm, what about now?

Seriously, this book delivers on the promise of the first book. Fun and snarky. I love Rip and the other characters. The premise is awesome. It's filled with twists - some you see coming and others you don't. Either way, this book is exciting and thrilling and I can't wait for the third book."

65) Necropolis: The Necromancer Thanotography #1 by Shane Simmons (7/15/19) - UF *# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated in a major way.  Snagged for free off the Freebooksy newsletter.
Review: "Wow. That was the best urban fantasy I've read in a long time. Couldn't put it down for long - food, sleep, other things necessary to existence, but that was it. Inhaled it in a day. Kind of a wee bit reminiscent of Butcher's Dresden files - back at the beginning of that series - but with a style all its own. The end, though? I can't even begin to... Argh. As soon as I finished it, I scrambled to find the sequel - and paid full price for it. (If you know me, you know that means a ton.) Broke chick readin' here. Anyway, I have to know what happens. Like now. Or as soon as my Kindle recharges. (Which also means a lot since I rarely read sequels back to back.) Here's hoping the next one is as awesome as this one."


7/14/19 - Supposedly an MG fantasy.  Free.  So not an MG.  It starts out with a bunch of cursing on the first page and then drops an F-bomb.  It wasn't the swearing that bothered me, or even the fact that it was misrepresented as MG.  It was the fact that the swearing seemed thrown in for effect.  I hate that.  I was going to keep trudging along in hopes it got better, but once I thought about it more, I decided against it.  Life's too short.

7/13/19 - Mystery. Paid 99c.   The author dropped a huge lump of backstory in the 2nd chapter without much warning and jumped out of it without some kind of segue.  Plus, the story and the MC were irritating me.

7/13/19 - Alternate History Paranormal Mystery.  Free.  Umm... yah.  I thought it would be quirky and fun, but it was lame.

Currently reading...  After the awesome urban fantasies, it was time to cleanse my palate again, so I started reading another Agatha Christie.  (I still have three others left unread from that thrift store haul back in March.)  Once that's done, I'm going to suck down some suspense/thriller/mystery for a while, so I can write my own paranormal with a fresh mind.

What's been on your reading plate this week? 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Thursday This n That

I've been watching the game show The Chase lately.  I totally rock it most days.  Some days I can't get the answer out of my mouth in time, but hey, that's fine.  It's not like I'm actually on the show or anything.  And The Beast?  Big, nerdy, teddy-bear even if he is a little growly sometimes.  I love it.  I could totally hang with that dude.

While working on deeper edits for UatB, I found two tiny typos in SU.  Ugh.  They're fixed and uploaded now, but geez.

Got some good news last night, but I don't have the okee doke to share it publicly, even if it was shared on FB - but not 'public', only 'friends'.  Not my page, not my news.

It's been a week of busting my ass this week.  More on that Sunday.

I don't think I drink enough water, especially now that it's hot.  And it is HOT right now.  Blerg.

We spotted a new pair of fawns.  They're noticeably new fawns because they're so tiny compared with the other two sets we have.  So, near as we can figure, eight fawns so far this year.  Yay.

Oak mite bites suck.  They are the itchiest bites I've ever gotten.  Bastards.  I just researched oak mites... You don't want to know.  They're totally gross.  And I am totally itchy just thinking about it.

Years ago, I interviewed for a job in Baltimore.  They offered me the job.  At the time, though, it ultimately wasn't enough in compensation package to make me move from FL.  I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I'd taken that job.  Regional Sales Manager... I sure as hell wouldn't be a hermit, lemme tell ya.  Plus, I'd be city folk.  And then there's the whole living in Baltimore thing... :shudder:  So happy I didn't go that route.

Okay, I think that's all I've got today.  How about you?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


It's Tuesday.  Yeah, I probably don't have to tell y'all that.  You're probably well aware.  Me?  I need a reminder from time to time.

Today the sale ends for Blink of an I and begins for Sleeping Ugly.  SU will be on sale through the end of Monday and the sale for the A Dennis Haggarty Mystery series will begin at midnight PST on Tuesday the 23rd.  That last one paid has advertising attached.  An ad will go out on Friday the 26th.  Fingers crossed.  I'll post more about the SU sale tomorrow on Outside the Box.

I'm back to work on Ugly and the Beast.  I have a page and a half of notes left to input, then I'll start all over again making new notes and fixing other things.  No promises about when it'll be available for publication, but at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  The long, long tunnel.  Actually, it's more like a rat hole, but there's a light.

Yesterday, I finished a book so damn good that I had to buy the sequel.  At full price, which ought to tell you something.  And I started reading it right away, which also ought to tell you something.  I almost never read books in a series back to back, but I couldn't help myself.  It's already delivering on the promise made by the first book.  If you're into fun and snarky urban fantasy, go forth and buy a copy of Necropolis by Shane Simmons.  I haven't been this excited about a new urban fantasy series since I picked up Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire.  There's only two books in this series right now, which will be fine if he wraps it up right.  :fingers crossed:

I'd like new readers to get excited about my books like that.  And, you know, write reviews so other readers can see how excited they are.

Well, I suppose I should get cracking and do something positive this morning.  This stuff isn't going to do itself.  Have a great day and I'll see y'all tomorrow.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 28

Hello again.  Twenty-eight weeks into 2019 now.  Not sure how it got to be this late in the year already.

I'm still not writing or editing.  Maybe I should stop talking about it and just do it, eh?

Still marketing a bunch.  The Project Hermes sale ended and the Blink of an I sale began.  Sold some PH, but no BOIA yet.

I only read one book last week, but it was a big one.  And I DNF'd two books yesterday.  Then I started another one.  I thought it was MG, but oh, hell, noes.  MG doesn't have so many swears.  I don't care about swearing, but that may be a huge niche snafu with this book.  We'll see how it goes.

Last week, I managed 6 out of 7 days with activity.  Lots of walking, and then I also did yardwork on two of the days I walked.  And then the day I didn't count as active was grocery shopping - which I sometimes think pushing a cart full of foodstuffs around Wallyworld ought to count.  Still no weight change, but then again, I haven't really managed to cut back on the amount I'm eating.  I love food.

Speaking of food, I made lemon coconut bread yesterday.  Earlier in the week, I made peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  Hubs is in heaven.

Other than that, not much going on around here.  How are things in your world?

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/13/19

Not much on the reading this week.  It happens sometimes.  Especially when you pick up a thick book and spend the week reading that.  I started my one book of the week last Friday and finished it last night.  Usually books don't take me a week to read but this was like 566 pages.  :shrug:

I downloaded a bunch of new ebooks last week. Let's see... Earlier in the week, there was a mystery and an urban fantasy and a paranormal mystery.  Then yesterday, I went a little crazy and downloaded another mystery, another urban fantasy and a spy thriller.  Add those to the five I already had waiting and I've got eleven unread ebooks.  The oldest one I've had since June 25th, so not that bad.

Books read:

 64) Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag (7/12/19) - Suspense - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Can't believe I'd never read Tami Hoag before.  I'll have to keep an eye out for her books when I hit the thrift stores.  And that's where I got this one for 50c.
No review.  It's got like 750 reviews and 15K ratings.  What more could I add to that?

No DNFs.

Currently reading... Well, since I finished Ashes to Ashes about a half hour before Live PD, I haven't picked out a new book to read yet.  Probably one of the many ebooks I now have waiting.

What did your reading week look like?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday This n That

I probably don't need to remind y'all, but never buy anything with a broken seal, and if it doesn't have a seal, check to make sure it wasn't opened.  (Hopefully, Blue Bell starts putting seals on their ice cream, but if not, you can tell it's been opened when the lid comes off easily.)  First the stupid bitch who thought licking ice cream and then putting it back in the store cooler was a good idea, then the other stupid bitch who gargled with mouthwash, spit it back in the bottle and put it back on the shelf.  I also heard from a fellow shopper that she once bought a pre-made frosting where the seal was broken and it appeared like two fingers had been dragged through the frosting.  Add to that PSA a reminder to check the sell-by dates.  I tell ya, grocery shopping isn't as easy as it used to be.  And people suck.

Yesterday, it was just getting light out when I went to look out the bathroom window and there was a bat sitting on the outside sill.  I jumped, he jumped.  He flew away.  They hang out under the sill in the summer.  I've just never seen one sitting on the sill.  (I leave them alone because they can't get into the house from there.  It's just a nice, dark overhang.)  This one was a little brown bat, but I've also seen big brown bats under there.  Go forth and eat loads of mosquitoes, little dude.

If you missed it - you know, because practically no one carried it - One America News Network will be showing an encore of the Salute to America celebration on Saturday at 1pm Central Time.  Not sure if your service carries OANN, but DirectTV does.

Speaking of DirectTV, apparently they're having contract problems with Nexstar and so some of the local channels are dead to me right now.  For us, it was our Fox station, so no All Star Game for us Tuesday night.  We also lost a channel we never watch, so I'm not really all that ticked about it.  Our CBS station was also listed on the website, but it was fine last I checked.  All I can say is it better stay fine because I'll be wanting to watch that channel this weekend for golf.  Otherwise, meh.

I was weeding the cedar bed and felt something bite me inside my gardening glove.  Well, actually, I thought I'd gotten a piece of stick in there and it was poking me.  But when I looked, it was a bug.  A tick actually.  It got away.  First tick bite of the year, so actually that's not too bad.  Except it's right in the crease of my wrist, so every time I move my right hand, it itches like the dickens.  (Yes, I scrubbed it thoroughly and then slapped antibiotic cream in it after it happened.  Now I'm using Benedryl gel.  And yes, I am keeping an eye on it.)

Okay, that's it for me.  What's the this-n-that in your world?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Long Ago and Far Away

Time is a funny thing.  It doesn't seem like I've been married for 15 years.  It doesn't feel like I moved away from Michigan 18 years ago.  It sure as hell doesn't seem real that I left college 27 years ago.  Twenty-seven years.  :shudder:

Yesterday, a friend of Hubs posted to FB that he was in Marquette.  And I got a case of the jealousies.  I also got all nostalgic.  I wanted to tell him all the places he could go for a good meal and all the places he could stop for a bit of fun.  But I wasn't sure if any of those places were still there. 

So I took to Google Maps.  And there I was, flying over the city.  I was looking for landmarks I remembered.  And for some reason, I couldn't find the malls. 

Hubs told me that after all that time, they were probably razed.  Nobody goes to malls anymore.  And I was all like 'but... but... but... it's a mall'. 

When I was in college, there were two malls in Marquette.  One in the middle of town and the other on the west side.  One had a huge parking lot perfect for doing donuts in the snow and the other had a nightclub I used to frequent.  (That's all I remember about either of them.) 

After some scouring in satellite view, I found them both.  They're much smaller than I remember.  The one with the nightclub appears to be closed except for a govt office and a dollar store - both on the outside.  No more inside stores - which seems silly when you consider how cold it is in Marquette. 

Anyway, my favorite sub shop is still there.  And my favorite used book store.  And another drinking establishment I enjoyed that had a bar shaped like a gondola.  It isn't all gone.  It's just changed.  More chain restaurants and hotels line the highway.  A new Harley-Davidson store near one of the apartments I rented. 

My favorite bar is gone.  It was walking distance from where I lived the summer after I turned 21 and I spent many a lonely night chatting with the bartender and nursing my drinks before wandering back to my apartment.  Good times.

Chances are I will never go back to Marquette.  I'm hell and gone from Michigan now.  If I go back, it'll be to visit family and they all live in the lower peninsula - an eight hour drive from my college stomping grounds. 

But I guess I'll always be there in my memories.  Where it doesn't seem so long ago that I was wandering the streets and freezing my ass off.  And for a little part of me, it'll always be home.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 27

The first week of the last half of the year.  It's all sort of a blur.  But that happens when I have a holiday in the middle of the week.  Wednesday felt like a Thursday (because I turned in my time sheet which I do on Thursdays) and also like a Friday.  Then Thursday felt like a Saturday and I kept having to remind myself 'this is NOT Saturday'.  I kept looking for LivePD.  Then Friday had a whole Monday vibe.  Not sure what yesterday was since I already had Saturday on Thursday.  Brain hurt yet?  Mine does.

Another week of not writing or editing.  At this point, it's almost becoming comfortable.  Which is not good.  I keep telling myself - today I'll work - and then the next day arrives with nothing to show for the day before. 

Got my marketing groove back on for the Project Hermes sale.  Much FB posting occurred.  Not much sales, though.  However, I'm seeing an uptick in page reads for other books.  Maybe people are clicking through the FB link and finding my other books.  One can hope.

I did a fair bit of reading last week.  I'm at 63 books read so far this year.  Way ahead of the curve on my goal to read 90.  I'll probably adjust that as I get closer to 90 and I have a better idea of how the rest of the year is going to go.

On the activity front, I did 5 out of 7 days.  3 days walking, 1 day yard work, and 1 day cleaning.  Let's not discuss weight, shall we?  I've slipped over to the seefood diet.  If I see food, I eat it. 

No baking this week.  It's too freakin' hot.  Although, I am getting a craving for brownies.  Heh, like I need brownies.

I had a bit of fun at the Dollar General last week.  It seems they have a new check verification system in place and for some reason, it doesn't like my checks.  Kinda freaked me out, so I went straight to my bank and made sure I hadn't been hacked or had my identity stolen.  Nope, all is well there.  Did some research and learned it has nothing to do with anything objective - not bank balance or credit rating or anything to do with me personally.  It could be something as simple as checks 'similar to mine' have bounced in the past.  So, basically, I'm being punished for something someone else did.  The BBB has gotten numerous complaints about this check verification company.  As has one of the consumer watchdog sites.  :shrug:  Guess I'm not shopping at the Dollar General anymore.  Lucky for me, I had cash on me that day.  Blerg.

I guess that's about it for me.  What's up in your world?

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/6/19

Good thing I schedule these ahead of time, because with the holiday, my days are totally messed up this week.

I'm sitting at 5 unread ebooks right now - Historical mystery, MG fantasy, UF, suspense, mystery.  No new ebooks this week.  And no new hardcopies either. 

Books read:

 63) Tentacles and Teeth by Ariele Sieling (7/4/19) - YA Post-apocalyptic F*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Found this as a freebie through ENT.
Review: " I'm not quite sure how to categorize this book - YA paranormal dystopian? Post apocalyptic fantasy? New adult adventure with monsters? :shrug: Whatever you call it, it's good stuff. The author has certainly created a new world out of our old one, filled with unimaginable horrors ready to kill any human at a moment's notice. She's also created a group of wonderful characters and a main character I could really get behind. After the end of the book, she said the next one's coming soon. I'll be keeping an eye out for it."

62) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (7/1/19) - Literature - 5 stars.  Not new and not underappreciated.  Picked it up for 50c at the thrift store.
I vaguely remember reading some of this to the Kid, but I think she finished reading it on her own because I didn't remember the end.
No review.

61) Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster (6/30/19) - Courtroom Thriller* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Got this as a freebie after getting an Amazon marketing email for the second book in the series.
Review: "Wow. This is an awesome and thrilling story, fill of twists and turns, so you never quite know if the ground your standing on is solid - kind of like the heroine isn't quite sure. But she's got a job to do and she does it. I was on the edge of my seat, reading like a banshee to see who would win, who was actually the killer, and whether Josie would make it through with her life intact. I was thinking along the lines of her proverbial life, not her actual life, but I should've known better. They didn't call it a thriller for nothing. What a wild ride!"


7/2/19 - Mystery.  Took a chance because it sounded really interesting and I paid 99c for this one.  :shrug:  Started with a weird prologue, but I powered through.  Then I got to the actual book and the dialogue was like nails on a chalkboard. The characters kept calling each other 'babe' and they weren't talking like real people talk.  At least, I hope real people haven't started talking to each other that way.  It's been a while since I heard other couples talk to each other.

Currently reading... I grabbed a suspense paperback I'd picked up late last year.  Started reading it last night, so I didn't get that far in.  So far, so good, but I've never read this author before, so we'll see how it goes.

How did your reading week go?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Thursday This n That

Happy Independence Day!

Project Hermes is on sale starting today.  I thought it was apropos.  Blink would also be apropos - it's on sale next week.

The neighborhood is full of people right now - most of whom I don't recognize.  Friends of weekenders, I assume.  And the new people who've bought homes recently.  I'm looking forward to Labor Day Weekend.  Or rather, the day after.  That's when this place will return to normal.

I have a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence on the wall next to my desk.  It was one of the first things we bought for decor after we moved here.  Kind of a nod to our own freedom as well as to this wonderful country we live in.

The big fireworks show here is set for the 6th.  We're not going.  I don't enjoy fireworks - the loud noises, crowds of people, bugs... :shudder:  More power to you if you do. 

We have the best light show going on outside right now - fireflies.  They're really going all out this year.  So cheerful and pretty, but also quiet.  Last night, it wasn't even dark yet and they were flashing out in the woods.  =oD

Peace and quiet.  It's a wonderful thing.  It's my thing. 

Tonight, I will lay in bed, pretending to be in a thunderstorm rather than cringing over every bang and boom.  Once you realize that you can sleep through thunderstorms, sleeping through fireworks becomes easier.  A couple times in my life, I lived quite close to railroad tracks.  If I can sleep through that, I can sleep through anything. 

We're not doing anything today.  That's freedom, baby.

Have whatever kind of Independence Day you enjoy.  Celebrate your freedom any way you choose*.  Because, hey, that's what being free is all about.

*without infringing on anyone else's freedom, k?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Feeling a Little Bipolar

For the record, I am not actually bipolar.  I'm just crazy.  Ba dump bump.  But seriously, folks.  Lately, I've been swinging from Positive Polly to Negative Nelly like a monkey in the trees.  But not half as much fun, trust me.

Last night, I was ready to write a post thanking you all for your support and then telling you all that I freaking quit.  I was done.  Can't handle this crap for another friggin' day.  Gonna crawl into a hole and pull the dirt in over myself.  Enough already.

I did not write that post.  Instead, I went for a hard-target walk to try and get out of my own head for a minute and gain some perspective.  (Hard-target walk = keeping the same pace regardless of incline.  Did over a mile in 22 minutes.  Hubs was impressed.)

With the muscles in my legs sufficiently burning, and tired enough to sleep like a freakin' lump of dirt, I swung back the other way.  Weeee.  I woke up sufficiently refreshed to not slit my writing wrists.  I'm not promising that I'm refreshed enough to light a fire under my dead ass, but I'm also not done yet. 

Seems like I went through this last week, too.  Which got me to feeling I'm a little bipolar right now.  And thinking you may have noticed it in my recent posts.  I'm up and waving pompoms one minute, down and wallowing in the dirt the next. 

Sorry about that.  But it is life and junk, and I try to be honest here on the blog.  When things suck, I talk about it.  When they don't, I talk about that, too.  Just out here giving one writer's perspective on this stuff.

Anyway, this morning I set up a slew of sales for July, and I'll be looking into some marketing later today.  I'll talk more about that tomorrow on OTB. 

And now, to start the day and get my chores done before I have to call the office.

What are you up to today?  Ever feel a bit bipolar?