Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 39

I realized something on Thursday.  I went the whole day without thinking about writing or editing and without feeling guilty about not writing or editing.  And when I realized that, I immediately felt guilty about not thinking about it all day.  Not sure what all that means.  Something to ponder for a while.

Needless to say, nothing writerly was accomplished last week.

My reading week was a dud.  One really good book and loads of DNFs.

My activity for the week was also pretty much dudsville.  Of course, my knee giving out the week prior didn't help.  I sucked it up and went for a walk Thursday night.  Lazed out Friday, then walked again on Saturday night.  We'll see what today brings.

I went fishing!  I caught two little bluegills, a channel cat, and a redear sunfish.  I could've brought the cat and the sunfish home, but I wasn't in the mood to clean fish that day.  Off you go fishies.  I'll catch ya next time.

The weather got a bit cooler, so I baked stuff.  Sunday I made granola bars.  Also, I made a chocolate cake from scratch that was to die for.  The cake went well.  The frosting?  Well, I didn't realize I was almost out of powdered sugar when I started the Super Fudgy Frosting recipe, so there I am with all the other ingredients already doing their things and I reach for the powdered sugar.  Recipe calls for 3 cups.  Might've had 1 cup left.  Blerg.  In a frantic mindset, I cobbled together something I hoped would be passing fair.  Needless to say, it was really dark dark chocolate frosting which basically turned into a layer of fudge of top of the cake which actually worked out.  I couldn't replicate the frosting recipe if I tried - a little of this, a little of that, 3/4 of a bag of melted, stale mini-marshmallows - but the cake recipe is below.  AND I also made baked meatballs with were also to die for.  And that recipe is also below.

Not sure what the week ahead will bring.  At this point, I'm wondering if I should change the name of the blog from The Writing Spectacle, you know, since there ain't much writing going on around here.  :shrug:

What was up in your week?


Homemade Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup baker’s cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp instant coffee
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour 9x 13” cake pan.  Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder in large bowl.  Beat in oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.  In a small heat-safe bowl or mug, add hot water to instant coffee.  Stir until coffee granules are totally dissolved.  Stir coffee into cake mixture until totally combined.  Mixture will be wet.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Do not over bake. 

Original recipe said 25-35 minutes. Bake time for my oven was 37 minutes.

Baked Meatballs

1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp minced onion
¼ tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil

In a medium bowl, use your hands to squish all the ingredients together until it forms one big ball.  Pull off chunks and roll into balls approx 1-1.5 inches in diameter (ping-pong ball size).  Once all the meat is rolled into balls, heat oil in frying pan on medium-high.  Brown meatballs.  Preheat oven to 375F.  Put browned meatballs into 8x10” cake pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.

Alternate:  After placing meatballs in baking pan, cover with spaghetti sauce and sprinkle liberally with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.  Bake until bubbly and meatballs are no longer pink in the middle.  Serve over spaghetti noodles.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/28/19

Not a great week for finishing books.  I'm beginning to wonder if I DNF more books after I finish a really good one.  You know, expectations being too high and all that.  Something to ponder.

After despairing of finding any new ebooks to download, I managed to find five on Wednesday - mystery, MG fantasy, urban fantasy, and two paranormal mysteries.  Due to all the DNFs this week, I only have one book left from before - a mystery.

Books read:

90) Kalanon's Rising by Darian Smith (9/22/19) - Fantasy Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and way underappreciated.  99c from the ENT newsletter.
Review:  "Excellent blending of fantasy and mystery. I loved the world building, the characters and their backstory. I also loved the mystery of it all. And the twists that made me doubt that I knew who the villains were. And the ending. I'll definitely be looking forward to reading more."


9/26/19 - marketed as a Mystery, but felt more like Suspense - free.  Opened with a horrible event.  Flash forward two years to something totally unrelated.  Ah, that was back story.  Then the MC got too stupid to live. Close book, move on.

9/24/19 - Historical Mystery - free.  Once two characters have been introduced to each other, they don't need to continually address each other by name.  That and it was really slow to introduce any kind of plot.  The book opened with something, then the next chapter said x-number of years later, but there really didn't seem to be a connection and I got bored.  All in all, meh.

9/23/19 - Romantic Suspense - free.  The opening suspense chapter was so-so and then it led into what felt like a YA chapter.  Jarring to say the least.  And then I didn't care enough to continue.  Show me the hero and/or heroine and the villain right up front.  Hint at the stakes.  Give me some reason to care so I continue.

9/23/19 - Paranormal Romance - free.  Meh.  Started out 50 years in the future and felt more SF than paranormal and not in a good way.  It felt like it was trying too hard to be new and interesting, quirky and fun, but only managed to come out lame.  Bummer.  I had great hopes for this one.

Currently reading... a SF.  I'm afraid this one is going to end up a DNF if it doesn't get on the stick and give me a protagonist soon.  Like 15% in and no one is standing out as the MC.  Hell, I'm not even sure which faction in this space war is the good side yet.  Blerg.

How did your reading week go?  Better than mine, I hope.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Thursday This n That

We got totally splooshed last night.  Rain rain rain.  In copious amounts.  There was some thunder and lightning, too, but mostly rain.  We'll have to wait until daybreak to see what the ol' rain gauge shows for amounts.   (Update 7:50a: 2.6 inches.)

I had planned on going fishing this morning.  Umm, not anymore.  I don't mind fishing in the rain, but I have to be in the mood for it and I am not in the mood this morning.  I did go fishing yesterday and things are starting to bite again.  I caught two little bluegills, a good-sized sunfish, and an okay sized channel cat.  I didn't bring any of them home.  I almost caught a little bass, but it got off and as it swam away, I saw 3-4 others peel away from the ledges and follow it to deeper water.

It got unexpectedly sunny partway through my fishing, so I slathered myself with sun block.  Even after a shower with generous soaping and scrubbing, I still feel like I have sunblock on.  Bleh.  Eh, I guess it's better than turning into a lobster.

We screen our phone calls.  We're getting so many crap calls lately that we don't even bother to check whether it's an actual phone call anymore.  They can leave a message if it's important.  Except when they don't.  Like yesterday when I went to erase the previous day's call log and noticed my doctor's office was in there.  :shrug:  I called them when they opened.  It was just a quick call to change my November appt date because the nurse I prefer to give me my shots will be out of the office on my original appt day.  I love the fact that the office manager remembers I only want Trish to give me shots anymore.  She doesn't hurt me, bruise me, etc.

Seriously, folks, if you call, leave a message.  Unless you're crap, then don't bother - we won't call you back.  We're getting like 10... 12... 15 crap calls a day right now.  All people trying to pimp Medicare supplemental insurance to us.  Ugh.

I just got word of another acquaintance evacuating California for good.  Yay for them!  I'm not sure why any sane person would still live in the People's State of CA.  :shrug:  Oh, I know there are family concerns, and it certainly is a beautiful place (from what I've seen in pics... I've never been there), but as it slowly degrades into a land of higher and higher taxes and lower and lower standards, the scales have got to be tipping in favor of finding other places to live.

By the way, Michigan is a beautiful place and most of my family is still there, but I got the hell out and I'm so glad I don't live there anymore.  I mean, other than missing being able to see my family regularly it was a positive move.  Thank goodness for phone and internet, so we're not totally out of touch.  Tuesday, I talked to my middle sister and my daughter and my mom.  Yay.

Okay, I should probably wander off and do some other stuff this morning.  Have a great day wherever you are!

You know the drill.  Leave your own this n that behind before you go.  ;o)

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Short Attention Span Theater

I always want to spell 'theater' as 'theatre' for some reason.

Hubs and I went to Missouri's equivalent of the DMV yesterday.  We hit the sweet spot.  Only two guys there when we arrived and the wait was short.  By the time we left, the line was out the door.  (In all fairness, it's a very small office, so 'line out the door' meant probably 6-7 people and 3 people at the counter.)  Now, we'll both have Real IDs and be federally compliant.  umm, yay?

I finally saw button bumps on one of the fawns yesterday.  Baby buck!  Yay!

My new pack of sticky notes is screwy.  It has alternating sticky, so when I go to pick them up, they make like an accordion.  Who thought that was a good idea?  And every time I use one, I have to turn the pad so the sticky is always at the top.  Derp.

Hubs also mowed the lawn yesterday afternoon.  To try and thwart the oak mites, he wore a long sleeved shirt and we doused him in Cutter bug repellent.  Poor man.  Sweating and smelling like bug spray.  Not sure if it worked yet because the mites take 4-6 hours to start itching and he's still sleeping.

Yesterday was a busy day.

When I first typed Cutter, I hit the B instead of the C, so it looked like we doused him in Butter.

A while back, I switched us from margarine to real butter.  It really does make a positive difference in the taste of things.

I have a bruise on the top of my foot.  Not sure where that came from. 

This morning is another 'coffee in my coffee' morning, wherein I add instant coffee to my cup of  coffee machine coffee.  It's necessary, trust me.

We have a Black and Decker coffee maker.  It holds up against this hard water better than Mr. Coffee.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope to have a longer attention span and a real post available soon, but this week ain't lookin' good for it.

What fun and exciting things do you have to contribute to Short Attention Span Theater?

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 38

It's Sunday.  I know... I have a flair for stating the obvious.  Here are some other obvious things about the week...

I remember thinking about writing a lot, but I don't remember a lot of writing getting done.  I came up with a new book idea. And an awesome title.  They do not go together. 

The sale wrapped up on Monday.  I talked about it on Wednesday

Did a fair bit of reading last week.  See yesterday's post.

I fell down on the activity thing.  Sunday, Monday and Thursday I walked.  Yesterday I vacuumed.  That was it.  I did get back down to 180lbs, but that was midweek, so who knows what it is now.  It didn't help that my knee had a major pain thing Thursday night... while I was sleeping.  I went to move in my sleep and KERPOW.  Talk about a rude awakening.  I yelped and woke Hubs up, too.  Took most of the rest of the night and the next day to fix itself.  With the help of Aleve and Aspercreme.  Blerg. 

Made a batch of oatmeal cookies.  I meant to make a batch of granola bars, but that hasn't happened yet.  Probably today because unless I miss my guess, Hubs ate the last couple bars last night.  Yeah, he can eat other stuff, but why should he have to when I can whip up a batch lickety-split?

I think we only have two fawns who still have spots now - the tiny twins.  The rest look like mini-does.  And we had two bucks stop in the yard - a yearling and a three or four year old.  The velvet is totally gone from their antlers and the older one is getting a thick neck for the rut.  Ah, the cycle of life.

I took pictures of the bucks.  When I loaded them onto the computer, I realized it was the first time I'd taken pictures since May.  So much for my goal of taking more pictures this year.  Derp.

My sedums are blooming, despite being neglected.  Because of the oak mite invasion this year, my gardens all look horrible, though.  I've been staying out of the yard to avoid bug bites.  Everything needs to be weeded.  Nothing's been watered.  I'm not sure what will survive into next year.  We'll see.

Wow, this has been a slugtastic year.  Nothing published.  Not much written.  Lax gardening.  Little fishing.  I'm already looking forward to 2020 and it's only the end of September like 2019 is a wash.  Better luck next year? 

Okay, that's it for me right now.  What's up with you?

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/21/19

Another fun week of reading.  God, I love books.

I picked up one new ebook this week - a mystery.  Still have five unread ones from last time -  paranormal romance, romantic suspense, historical thriller, mystery, and SF.

Books read:

89) Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie (9/20/19) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  The last of my big Agatha Christie thrift store haul - 17c.
No review.

88) Death in Nostalgia City by Mark S. Bacon (9/18/19) - Mystery *# - 4 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: "Definitely not light-hearted or cozy, but definitely a good mystery. Loads of twists and turns, with a splash of nostalgia thrown in."

87) Accidental Archaeologist by Kathryn Wells (9/14/19) - YA Fantasy*#2 - 5 stars.  This was a Book 2 and definitely underappreciated.  $2.99 - full price.  I picked this one up as part of my 'read six book 2s this year' thing.  I read Book 1 back in January.
Review: "Just as awesome as the first book with more adventure, loads of magical goodness, and tons of fun."

No DNFs.

Currently reading...a fantasy mystery.  Magic, murder, intrigue...  Good stuff so far.

What have you been reading this week?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Thursday This n That

Sleep deprivation... It's real and it's deep, man.  There is not enough coffee on the planet today.  I think I need a java IV.  STAT.

Have you noticed the vape commercials on TV?  "May contain nicotine."  They can't advertise cigarettes on TV, but they can advertise that?  I also saw an ad for something like a nicotine pouch you can put in your mouth.  But they can't advertise chew.  Now, I'm not advocating getting rid of those product ads.  I'm just saying if they can advertise, the others should be able to also.  I find the hypocrisy irritating.

Speaking of commercials, have you noticed they've upped the number of them?  Used to be like 3 maybe four commercials every fifteen minutes.  Now it's like 5-7 every ten or so minutes.  And if it's an old show from back in the fewer commercials days, they chop it up and suck parts out of it to allow for the commercials.  Or suddenly an hour long show is like an hour and fifteen. 

The neighborhood guinea hens amuse me.  The other day I was driving out and saw them all sprawled in one of the neighbor's driveway, sleeping and doing their feathers and just generally chilling out.  They're such funny little things.  Of course, sometimes I have to stop and remind them to get out of the road.  Move along, ladies, before someone squashes you flat.

Which reminds me of a funny thing I've seen around the webs.  It goes something like 'Be decisive.  The road is paved with flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision.' 

Speaking of which, I hit a squirrel a couple days ago.  It came from the other side of the road and stopped in the middle.  Then it gave me this horrified, scared look and proceeded to run in front of my car.  I had hoped it would manage to be in the middle of the car, but one of my wheels must've got it because I could see it in the rearview, laying there in the road.  If it had simply stayed where it was or run back the other way, it would've been fine.  But no.  Stupid suicidal squirrel.  And I know there are millions of squirrels, but I always feel bad when I hit one. 

I also feel bad when I hit butterflies.  Lucky for me, it's fleeting or I'd be driving around feeling bad all the time.

I finally remembered to clean my computer vents.  It's running much quieter now.  Whew.  I so do not need a crash right now.

And on that note, I'll let you get back to your morning coffee.  Bottoms up.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


Randomosity occurs when I don't have enough thoughts to put together a post on a single subject.

They really need to move mornings to later in the day.

Autumn is supposed to start on Monday.  Yesterday, we matched the record high for the date at 95F.  It was like a freakin' sauna out there.  Umm, what the hell?

Hubs is out of cookies again, so I guess there will be some baking this morning.  A man needs his cookies and I like to keep my man's cookie reserves stocked.

Made what I call quesadillas yesterday.  They probably aren't really quesadillas, but that's what I call them.  Whatever they are, they're yummy.  Two tortillas fried in butter until they're crisp.  Put one on a pizza pan for the bottom, layer it with taco stuff - refried beans, taco meat, cheese, olives, etc.  Put the other tortilla on top, cover it with salsa, cheese, etc.  Bake until the cheese is all bubbly.  Cut it into quarters and serve with a side salad.  Last night, I did chicken and mushrooms.  So good.

Yesterday, I was walking up the hill toward the house when I saw a snake in the road ahead.  I approached with caution, sticking to the opposite side of the road, just in case.  Most snakes I come across are friendly.  This was a copperhead.  And it wasn't moving.  But at the time, the morning was a mite chilly, so I wasn't sure if the snake was dead or just cold.  (It wasn't squashed or anything, so it was hard to tell.)  I kicked a black walnut at it.  The walnut hit it and bounced over, but it didn't move.  90% sure it was dead.  If it's there again today, I'll be 100% sure.  Of course, if it's not there, could be it was dead and some animal made off with the carcass.  Crows love dead snakes.  Anyway, it reminded me why I always watch where I'm walking.

My sale ended last night.  I'll think about putting together a wrap-up post on it.

I'm reading an interesting mystery centered around a theme park.  It's got way more casualties than I expected.  Like every time the author got stalled a little, they threw in another disaster.  It's beginning to stretch the boundaries of my disbelief, but I'll keep reading.

We got a spam phone call with a semi-colon in the number.  How do you even get a semi-colon in the phone number??

That's it for my randomosity this morning, I think.  What's going on in your world?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 37

Hello again.

I took myself in hand last Sunday and shoved all my headspace negativity into a big box.  Since then, I've written like 5700 words.  Not a record by any stretch, but they're words on paper moving toward a finished story.  I did not do any editing.  At this point, editing would be antithetical to my purpose - which is to write without being critical.

I did a boatload of marketing.  The SCIU sale is still running until tomorrow night.

Unfortunately, now that I'm writing again, I'm not reading as much.  Only two books finished last week and one of those was finished yesterday afternoon.  If this slowdown keeps up, I may regret upping my reading goal for the year.  Derp.

On the activity front, I only did 3 out of 7 days, and most of that was cleaning.  I went from the 3rd to the 13th without taking a walk, which sucked.  I made myself walk Friday night because I really needed it (and it was finally cool enough to walk without sweating myself into a raisin).  We shall not talk about weight.

We're still battling bugs.  The fleas are fewer, but the oak mites have been voracious little bastards.  Kira gets her next flea treatment tomorrow.  There's nothing we can do about the oak mites except pray for colder weather and limit our time outside.  Which sucks.  My gardens are all totally neglected and pathetic.

Now that I'm writing again, I seem to be less keen on baking.  I guess the baking bug was my brain's way of telling me I needed to create something and be productive.  The writing is happening and the bug's flittered away.  Poor Hubs will have to live without as many home baked things.  And my ass will probably thank me for not shoving carbs down my throat as often.  I'll still make granola bars for Hubs and oatmeal cookies, though, cuz that's how I roll.

Ugh, I just remembered that I have a pork roast sitting in the fridge that I have to cook today.  Not ugh because I don't like port roast, but ugh because I keep forgetting it's in there. (Only two days, so no worries about old pork, but still.)  (Also ugh because thinking about food first thing in the morning grosses me out.)

Okay, that's more than enough from me this week.  How's things with you?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/14/19

Not a whole lot went on in my reading world this week. 

I did snag some new ebooks - historical thriller, mystery, and SF.  I have four left from before - fantasy mystery, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.  No new hardcopies.

Books read:

86) Decision at Delphi by Helen MacInnes (9/10/19) - Suspense.  5 stars.  Not new to me or underappreciated.  50c at the thrift store.
Review: "Started a little slow, but what an awesome book."
Note:  I can't believe I hadn't read Helen MacInnes before recently.  She nails it.  Now, I'm snagging her books whenever I can find them at the thrift stores.

No DNFs.

Currently reading... a YA fantasy.  It's a book 2.  I read the first book back in January and enjoyed it, so when I was looking for a book 2 to read and get after my goal of reading six book 2s this year, I picked that one.  It's pretty fun.

And that's it for me.  Since I'm writing again, I'm not reading as many books, but I am still chugging along.  Still ahead of my new reading goal of 120 for the year.

What was on your reading menu this week?

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Thursday This n That

It's morning.  I forgot to write this yesterday.  I have not had enough coffee yet to adequately interact with other human beings. 

I didn't write anything yesterday, but that's okay.  I did write three days in a row this week, which is something considering how little I've written otherwise.  I had a major plot point jump up and smack me in the face and now I'm thinking about how I'm going to proceed with this.  Which I will do today.

I really need to take the cotton swabs to my computer's vent thingie.  But I have to turn the computer off to do it and I never remember during a time when I don't need my computer on.  Better get it done before the dust and cat hair cause a major computer problem, though.

French bread pizza is an awesome way to have homemade pizza without having to go through all the work of making the dough.  I have no urge to knead when it's this hot out.

When will Summer get the hell out of here already??  It shouldn't be this hot in the middle of September.  Gah.

We now have to make sure we wake up in the middle of the night to take Geriatric Cat to the litter box or there are dire consequences.  It's not that she can't walk to the litter box.  She forgets that she needs to walk over there.  During the day, she meows loudly to remind me that she needs something but I think she isn't quite sure what she needs.  At night?  Silence and she just pees wherever she is.  If I put her in there, she goes fine.  She is in her 80s, though, so we're rolling with it.

A couple days ago, I was at Wallyworld, picking up some more Benedryl gel and there was an older woman standing there staring at all the myriad itch relief creams and gels in apparent utter confusion.  So, I started talking to her about what she might need.  She showed me her arm.  Oak mite bites.  I have become a layman expert on oak mites this year.  I suggested the Benedryl and told her we also use Aloe Vera Gel (100% aloe from over in the cosmetics section).  She grabbed some Calamine instead.  :shrug:  That'll work, too, I guess.  Benedryl and/or aloe works better, in my opinion, but to each his own. 

A short while later, over in the food section, I kept crossing paths with an elderly lady.  And after a while, we'd laugh as we passed.  We finally stopped to talk in the juice section.  She was telling me about her husband who has a form of dementia and how she only ever gets a chance to talk to other people the one day a week she has someone come in to watch her husband so she can grocery shop.  I let her talk because people do kinda need human interaction and she was nice.  Then as we wound down, she apologized for taking up so much of my time and thanked me for listening.  I told her there was no need to apologize.  I wasn't in any hurry and she wasn't bothering anyone.  She needed an ear and I was happy to provide it.  And as she spoke of her once strong, intelligent, active husband turning into a healthy body with no mind, I was reminded again of how much dementia sucks - not just for the person who has it, but for their loved ones.  =o(

And on that depressing note, I'm out of here.  Hug your loved ones.  Exercise your brain every day in any way you can.  And enjoy your life while you have the mind and the body to do so.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


I mentioned my HAPPY mix on yesterday's Outside the Box post, so I thought I'd share it here today.  It's comprised of music from CDs or songs I own that I've downloaded to my computer for easy mixing. 

In no particular order (because I put it on shuffle anyway)...

Keep Your Head Up - Andy Grammer
Fine by Me - Andy Grammer
Lunatic - Andy Grammer
Biggest Man in Los Angeles - Andy Grammer
Good to be Alive (Hallelujah) - Andy Grammer
Honey, I'm Good - Andy Grammer
Back Home - Andy Grammer
Masterpiece - Andy Grammer
Red Eye - Andy Grammer
Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen*
Good Time - Carly Rae Jepsen
Brighter Than the Sun - Colbie Callait
Think Good Thoughts - Colbie Callait
This - Darius Rucker
Comeback Song - Darius Rucker
Southern State of Mind - Darius Rucker
Love Will Do That - Darius Rucker
I Don't Care - Darius Rucker (and Brad Paisley)
You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon
Carry On - Fun
Tonight, Tonight - Hot Chelle Rae
I Like It Like That - Hot Chelle Rae
Radio - Hot Chelle Rae
Downtown Girl - Hot Chelle Rae
I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Kelly Clarkson
Everything - Michael Buble
I've Got the World on a String - Michael Buble
Good Life - One Republic

And that's it for right now.  I have some CDs I haven't loaded yet and a few songs I want to buy that I know I'll add to this, but this'll do me for the time being.

And after building this post Sunday morning and watching the videos I linked to, I was pretty damned happy.  Have fun clicking and listening and watching.  =oD

* The US Olympic Swim Team video of this.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 36

How did it get to be Sunday again already?  Arrgghh.

Let's not talk about writing, shall we?

I have another sale starting Tuesday with advertising going out Thursday.  Dying Embers will be the advertised sale at 99c/99p.  The other two books, Fertile Ground and Early Grave, will be $1.99 (or the UK equivalent) each.  Whether I get much chance to market these on FB will depend on our justice system and how long this jury thing lasts.

Did a fair amount of reading.  Finished 4, DNF'd 3. 

More granola bars were made. 

On the activity front, 6 out of 7 days.  More cleaning and walking.  One day of grocery shopping, which I counted this time around because... well... you try pushing a cart with a 24 pack of water, three big jugs of apple juice, two big jugs of orange juice, and a week's worth of other groceries around Wallyworld.  And the cart didn't want to make right turns.  Ugh.  If that wasn't burning calories, I don't know what would be.

No fishing.  With the holiday weekend, I didn't want to be anywhere near the lake.  And then it was too freakin' hot and I had stuffs to do in the mornings.  =o\

The fawns are losing their spots and growing.  A few are about 2/3 size of the does now.  The other day we had 10 does and 7 fawns in the yard.  It's a bumper crop.  Yay.

I got my files backed up.  If you haven't backed up lately, this might be a reminder.  :poke:

And that's it for me.  Not a whole lot going on in Sandersonville.  How about your ville?

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 9/7/19

First off, since I was creeping pretty damn close to finishing my 2019 goal of 90 books read, I did the math (books read divided by 8 months times twelve) and, allowing for unforeseeable crap, bumped my goal to 120 books.  30 more books in the next four months?  I'm averaging 10 books a month as it is. So, unless I go off the rails, totally do-able.

I managed to find a few books to download this week.  I tell ya, the pickings lately have been slim (i.e. not my taste, doesn't meet my requirements of free/cheap and low review #s).  Anyway, I got a paranormal romance, a romantic suspense, and a fantasy (book 2).  Plus, I still have a fantasy mystery and a mystery left to read.  No new hardcopies this week.  I still have a bunch from my last hauls.

Books read:

85) How to Flunk Magic by Elena Bryce/Stella Wilkinson (9/6/19) - YA Paranormal Romance* - 5 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Free off the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: " Loads of fun in the YA paranormal romance. I can't wait to read the next."
Note: I can't wait, but I'm gonna have to.  It's not in the budget yet.  

84) The Tetradome Run by Spencer Baum (9/3/19) - Dystopian* - 5 stars.  New to me and probably less appreciated than it should be.  Free off the Book Barbarian newsletter.
Review: "Gripping may be an overused adjective to describe books these days, but that's the best word for this book. It was gripping and enthralling. A page-turner, definitely. And assuredly thought-provoking. Kind of Hunger Games meets Running Man in a alternate history/present sort of way. All I know is I inhaled this book and it's not a short book. I just couldn't stop reading it. I read instead of doing anything else I was supposed to do this morning - walk, eat, work... All I'm saying is don't start it unless you've got a lot of time on your hands.

And after all that, I still want more. Gah."

83) From This Moment On by Debra Clopton (9/1/19) - Romance* - 4 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Free thru the Robin Reads newsletter.
No Review.
It was a nice, light read, but not really needing my two cents.

82) I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen (8/30/19) - Suspense - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  50c at the thrift store.
No Review.  If you like Tess, you don't need my review.  If you haven't read Tess, you probably shouldn't start with this book anyway, so a review from me would be pointless.  Go, read Tess.  (Do not go by that TV series.  The books are way better.)


9/6/19 - Suspense.  17c at the thrift store.  Okay, so not technically a DNF.  When I picked this up, I didn't realize it was a collection of short stories set in the author's popular series world.   I have to be in a special kind of mood to read short stories and I prefer, if they're going to be in a world, it's one I'm already familiar with.

9/6/19 - Rabbit, Run by John Updike.  50c at the thrift store.  I only picked this up because I remembered someone recommending it once a long time ago.  It started off kind of interesting in a 'man on the street' kind of way, but I wasn't a fan of the imagery Updike was presenting.  How you describe things sets the tone, right?  So, if you have a chance to describe shingles any way you want, and you choose to say their colors run from 'bruise to dung', it kind of tells the reader 'Beware, crappy sense of life ahead.'  :shrug:  Life's too short.  If you've read it and I'm totally wrong and this book has an awesome sense of life, feel free to change my mind.  The book hasn't gone back to St. Vinny's yet.

8/31/19 - Romance.  17c at the thrift store.  Meh.  The hero was a jerk and the heroine was whiny.  Too bad because I was in the mood for a romance.  And I was lucky enough to have an ebook romance ready to read on my Kindle (See #83).

Currently reading... an old Helen McInnes I picked up at the thrift store a while back.

And that's it for me.  How did your reading week go?

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Thursday This n That

Thursday.  I keep having to remind myself that it is, in fact, Thursday.  These 'Holiday on Monday' weeks really mess me up.  (Not that it's that difficult. LOL)

It's getting to the point where I either need longer arms, a wider desk, or to wear my glasses while I'm at the computer.  Getting old sucks.  A friend of mine wanted to show me something on her phone the other day.  She handed the phone over and I held it out at arm's length.  "Can you read it?" she asked.  "Gimme a minute," I replied.  I should've just gotten my glasses out of my purse, but I'm not used to having to do that yet.  Definitely need longer arms. 

I now have glasses on my desk (for work and bills), in my purse (for reading at the store), next to my chair in the living room (for reading in general), and in my fishing bag (for tying knots).  I can't walk with them on so I need to have them scattered around.  I don't need them for driving - a perk of being farsighted.  I only need them for reading things smaller than say 14-pt font which now need to be held at a scosh farther than arm's length.

The fawns are starting to lose their spots.  :sniffle:  The babies are growing up.

I need to make granola bars today.  Hubs eats one or two a day, so it takes 10-14 days to go through a batch.

Wallyworld was an exercise in irritation yesterday.  There were these two gals shopping together and each of them had their own cart complete with small child.  And they kept stopping to talk, side-by-side so they took up the whole damn aisle.  And it seemed like every time they stopped it was in front of something I needed or they were blocking where I needed to go.  Argh.  Then I got into a checkout line and had this dude behind me who had no concept of personal space.  I hadn't even finished unloading my cart before he decided to start putting his stuff on the conveyor belt.  I tried to be polite - 'Sir?  Can you back up?  I'm not finished unloading my cart yet.'  Instead of 'Back off, Asshole.'  Not easy considering how irritated I already was.  Then in the car on the way home, I said all the things to him and to those two chicks that I really wanted to say in increasing volumes.  Got a lot of it out before I got home so I didn't subject poor Hubs to the worst of it. 

Come to think of it, I was already cranky before I left for the store.  Definitely didn't help.  Don't shop cranky.

Don't shop hungry either.  Jus' sayin'.  Yesterday, the irritation overrode the hunger, so I actually didn't do too bad.  Just ice cream, which I said I was going to stop buying.  And a chicken sandwich so I could take the edge off the hangry. 

With all the walking I'm doing, I'm having to buy new tennis shoes every 4-6 months.  The memory foam gets flat or something and they no longer provide the support I need.  I'd buy more expensive ones, but the ones Mom gets are more expensive and they only last her about 6 months, so what's the point of that?  Wallyworld - $20.  Got this round's new ones yesterday.  They're blue with peach accents.  So stylin'.

Oh, and I picked up corn yesterday.  No weevils!  Yay!

Okay, I've chewed your ears off enough for one day.  What's in your this-n-that world today?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Jury Duty

So, I am supposed to have jury duty next week.  I'm all for jury duty, even if this time isn't the optimum time for me to be pressed into service.  I guess having it now is better than getting assigned to a case in the winter.  The drive up there is all hills and curves, and one I don't look forward to on a nice day.  I sure as hell don't want to drive it in snowy conditions.  Or during the rut.  Watching out for deer in that road is necessary on the best of days.  I'm not interested in dying to do my duty.

I'm not sure how they chose me.  They wouldn't pick me if they knew me.  And I did put 'crime novelist' as my occupation, which should've been a red flag to the defense.  Or to the prosecutor, depending on how they think I'd lean.  Random lottery is my guess. 

I don't expect to make it through the jury selection process.  I'll be watching everything both sides do like a hawk - and making mental notes for fiction research.  I'm pro capital punishment.  I'm anti-parole.  Do the crime, do the time.  But if you're going to put someone away, make sure you have the evidence to back it up.  I'll do my damnedest to not let anything slip by me.

Personally, I'm really judgemental about crime and criminals.  Oh, I'll take a look at all the evidence before I make a determination.  But once I've made my mind up about something, I don't change it.  (Unless, of course, further evidence proves otherwise.  I'm judgemental, not stupid.)

I'm also hard on the law and the judiciary system.  They have a job to do and I expect them to do it.  No excuses.  No cutting corners.  No slick moves. 

I think people get away with too damn much.

Which reminds me of something I hope to bring up to someone up there - the overwhelming number of criminals in this county who get 'suspended sentences'.   And often go on to repeat the crime.  Derp.  I'd really like someone up there to explain that to me. 

I'd also like to meet the Sheriff and thank him for his service.  And maybe the detective who recently moved into my neighborhood.  That'd be cool.  From what I've heard, she's nice, but I really don't get a chance to meet neighbors unless we run into each other while I'm walking. 

I really do appreciate law enforcement.  They do a tough and thankless job.  And it's got to be hard for them to do their jobs while watching criminals get off with a tap on the wrist. 

One thing I found interesting on the jury notification form thingie.  There's a section about attire and it says something about dressing 'suitable to the occasion'.  It's not a freakin' cocktail party.  And what exactly would be suitable to the occasion?  Stripes?  Orange?  A grim reaper costume for murder cases? Hubs and I have been joking about it.  A MAGA hat?  Something from the Warrior12 line? 

Anyway, it does give some examples of appropriate attire - like no shorts or tank tops (which pretty much takes away my standard summer wear) - but it doesn't mention sweat pants.  I'm sorely tempted to show up in my nicest pair of sweats.  I think I'll be a good girl, though, and wear a pair of khakis. 

And maybe an orange shirt.  ;o)

Have you ever done jury duty?  What did you wear? 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 35

Me, just now: "It is Sunday?"

Stuff happened this week.  I got some editing done.  Not nearly enough, but hey, better than nothing.  I did a boatload of marketing.  Not nearly enough, but hey, sold some stuff.

To that end, I wrote a sales update post for tomorrow's Outside the Box.  (Yes, I posted it on Friday by accident, but it's gone from there now.  Read it tomorrow.)

I also set up marketing for an SCIU sale.  Sept 10-16th.  Which ended up being unfortunate in terms of other things on the schedule*.

My reading week was kinda crazypants.

I was active 6 out of 7 days, but it was also shot week and according to the doc's scale, I gained two pounds.  Here's hoping that'll drop off by next week's Update.  Once again, the activity was mostly walking or cleaning.  The 1.6 mile hard-target walk is getting easier, which is awesome.  I did count the one day I spent hefting corn bags around.  Fifty pound sacks of corn is no bag of feathers, lemme tell ya.

Speaking of hefting corn bags, you probably already know about my maize weevil fun.  If not, go read Thursday's post.

In the baking realm, I did a batch of granola bars and an oatmeal cake.  This time, the bars were chocolate chip, almond, raisin.  And this time, I didn't do the topping on the cake.  The plain cake is plenty yummy without the topping.

I also learned I have jury duty coming up on the 11th.  (See above *.)  There's a chance that I'll call the night before to find out it's been cancelled, but with the way my luck is running, I'll not only have jury duty, but it'll last more than one day and shit out my gumption to pimp my sale.  Since I already have an ad paid for on the 12th, I can't reschedule the sale.  Umm, wee.

As for the coming week, I have nothing planned.  If I'd been paying attention, I would've made Blink free tomorrow.  Labor Day... fighting against the Union... that sort of thing.  Better luck next year.

And that's it for this week's Sunday Update.  What's been happening in your world?