Saturday, November 30, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 11/30/19

Hello again and thanks for stopping by.

It was Thanksgiving week here in America.  Not that it makes a difference.  I don't think it was the reason why I only finished one book this week.  I didn't DNF any either, so that's good, I guess.  I also didn't pick up any new books.  I still have 6 unread new ebooks on my Kindle - mystery, supernatural thriller, paranormal mystery, romance, technothriller and SF.

Books Read:

104) Separation of Power by Vince Flynn (11/29/19) - Political Thriller - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor under appreciated.
No Review.  Because it's Vince and he's gone and his older book sales don't need me and there's some other dude writing his books now.

Currently reading... ?  I finished the Vince Flynn last night, and I haven't picked up a new book yet.

I hope to have a better reading start to December, so stop back by next Saturday.

I also hope your week was amazing - both in reading and in everything else.  :hugs:

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since I haven't gotten any turkey pics this year, here's Hans again from 2017 stopping by to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
(Actually, he stopped by to get some turkey lovin' from those hens who were thoroughly disinterested, but hey, it's a classic Thanksgiving pose, so I'm going with it.)

I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with fun, family, and food.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Mouse Saga

Sunday, Hubs and I spent a couple hours out in the yard raking.  Not long after we came inside, I hear Hubs calling my name.

Me:  "What?"
Him:  "Did you put a sticky trap in the spare room?"
Me:  "There's one in the closet in there."
Him:  "No.  This one."

I walk over there and he's pointing to a trap that is now at the end of the bed.  The trap now has a splotch of fur on it and is chewed on one side.  And there's bits of trap paper in a line from under the closet door to where the trap now rests.

Me:  "We've got a mouse."

And sure enough, when we moved the bottom of the comforter from where it touches the floor, there it was, a tiny mouse staring up at us.

Now, you have to understand some things.  1) That bed has no frame, so its a mattress and box springs on the floor.  2) It's the cat's bed and, as such, it has big, flat, plastic boxes shoved tight along the side as 'stairs', to provide geriatric cat a gentle walk up to sleeping level.

So, there's this mouse, hiding under the comforter, but unable to escape further because the plastic boxes are shoved against the box springs.  And there we are, two grown and capable adults in a small bedroom chock full of furniture and plastic boxes, trying to figure out how to catch one tiny mouse.

Sounds easy.  I mean, the little thing was pretty much trapped, right?  Scoop it into a garbage can and off it goes to the big mouse house in the sky.  The mouse had other plans.  We almost had it when it saw a window of opportunity through the space between Hubs' legs. 

Understand some other things... 1) There is only about 3 feet between the bed and the door.  2)  There is only about 3 feet of space between the bed and the piano.  3) Most of that space is taken up by plastic boxes.  4)  Neither of us are exactly small people.

Hubs jumps, scrambling so the mouse doesn't run up his pantlegs.  I jump, scrambling off where I was laying across plastic boxes.  The mouse?  He runs under the dresser. 

At this point, we're stuffing things around the door so he doesn't get into the rest of the house, and trying to figure out a way to herd the cute, little bastard into an area where we can catch him.  Lucky for us, the dresser sits about 4 inches off the floor.  I can see the mouse.  He can see me.  I take a plastic hanger and herd him toward where Hubs is waiting with an old pillow case.  When the mouse is encouraged out from under the dresser, the idea is to throw the pillow case on top of him and whisk him away. 

Again, the mouse had other ideas.  He sees a new window and shoots out from under the dresser.  And the chase is on.  Under the piano (it's electric and sits on a stand, so no hiding there) across the front of the table where I keep my stereo, into the space between the head of the bed and the bookcase.  Aha!  I have him cornered! 

Nope.  He slips down the little crack between the bookcase and the wall.  He's behind the bookcase now.  I think.  But nope.  Peering down the cracks between the case and wall shows now mouse.  He's UNDER the damn thing.  While I keep an eye on the various routes the mouse could escape through and start de-booking the case, Hubs slips out to get a more effective mouse stopping tool. 

Everything off the bookcase, books and tchotchkes scattered everywhere, I lift the case (it's a two shelfer, so not that big) so Hubs can hit the damn thing with the spade he'd retrieved from the garage.  Carpet be damned, this mouse is gonna be a splat for sure.

The mouse had other ideas.

He runs for it.  Straight across the room and under the dresser again.  Okay, fine.  I get the plastic hanger I've been using as an encouraging tool and herd the damn thing toward the space where Hubs can finally get him.  Except...

Yep, other ideas again.

The mouse, moving exceptionally fast by this time, climbs the candle I was using to keep it from crawling through the space between the door and the plastic box we were using to keep him from crawling under the door.  He climbs the candle, runs across the plastic box and slips down the other side.  Hubs moves the box just in time for us to watch his little furry butt squeeze underneath the door.  Now, the mouse has access to the whole rest of the house.

But we had other ideas.  Hubs whips open the door and there's the mouse, thinking he's gotten away Scot free.  Hubs tries to chase him back into the bedroom with the shovel for easier containment, but the mouse jigs to his right and scampers under the telephone table... right onto the sticky trap I keep there to catch spiders.  And this time, he was stuck but good.

Hubs took stuck mouse and trap outside, and dispatched the little bugger as quickly and painlessly as possible.  At that point, there was nothing else to do with it.  You wanna try peeling a live and bitey mouse off a sticky trap? 

Anyway, such is life in the country.  I thought I'd jammed stuff in all the holes this house has, but there's one somewhere I missed.  Probably the hole where the dryer hose goes down under the house.  If they get in there, more power to them.  As long as they stay out of my cupboards. 

A quick check confirmed there were no signs of mice in my cupboards, by the way.  There is nothing worse than finding mouse poop in with the silverware.  :gag:

The cat, of course, was sleeping elsewhere at the time and was thoroughly unaffected by the whole hoopla.  Mouse running around in her room and she does nothing?  I fired her on the spot.  She yawned at me. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 47

And here we are again.  Forty-seven weeks into 2019 and only 5 weeks to go.  I'll be glad to shake the dust of this year off my boots, lemme tell ya.

Not as spectacular a writing week this week, I'm afraid.  One day I missed entirely and several of the other days were low word count days.  I'm way behind on my NaNo goal.  On the upside, I'm still writing and I'm still feeling good about this story.  Well, mostly.  The self-doubt monster is lurking at my shoulder, whispering mean things in my ear on a daily basis.  One week left to NaNo, but I don't care.  I need to keep this going past the end of November.  Write, write, write.

Last week's big sale was a semi-bust.  I mean, I sold books, but I'm still about $15 short of the ad paying for itself.  Which almost never happens with this venue and this series.  I'm blaming market saturation.  Next ad for this series really needs to go out to a group of subscribers who haven't seen this ad before.  And I'm blaming Facebook with their new rules and algorithms.  The reach of my posts to the groups has been severely truncated.  No reach = no sales.  Stupid FB.

I didn't finish reading more than one book last week, but it was an awesome one.  And I had a really good haul on hardcopies to fill my collections.

Since last weekend was a total bake-o-rama, I didn't do much baking this week.  I had enough ingredients to make one loaf of apple-cranberry bread yesterday and then I had to go to the store.  I'm going to be doing something in pumpkin this week.  Not a pie.  I don't do pie.  Bread probably.  Or cake.

Ah, the store... With Thanksgiving coming up, I did the full-on TGD shopping.  Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce (jellied not whole - I do not do lumps in my cranberry sauce... ew), dinner rolls.  I also got cans of pumpkin for baking, but I forgot the evaporated milk.  Ugh.

Don't even ask about the exercise/activity this week.  I fell down on the job there almost entirely.  Weight = 182.2.  Of course, it was hormone shot week, so the extra couple pounds could be due to that.  Or it could be due to eating and not exercising.  This week, I vow to do better.  There should be some good days to get out in the woods and throw logs.  Plus, we really need to get a move on with the raking.  This was a big year for leaves.  Oof.

The days really blended together these last couple weeks, so I'm not exactly sure what I did this week in the rest of my life.  Stuffs.  I spent the majority of Friday thinking it was Saturday, and the majority of Saturday thinking it was Sunday (with a little morning panicking because I didn't have this post done and ready to publish).  Here's hoping I find a more even keel this week.

What was your week like?  Are you ready for TGD?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 11/23/19

Hello again! Time for the weekly wrap-up of my reading and for you to chime in with what you've been reading.

Early in the week, I found a couple more ebooks to read - a romance and a political thriller. Wednesday, I got notification that the third book in an indie mystery series I love just released, so I scooped that up  Then I hit the thrift store and scored on paperbacks - 10 for $5.  The big deals out of that were a Vince Flynn I've been looking for, an Agatha Christie I don't have, and the last James Herriott.  Then yesterday, I hit another thrift store and got 8 more paperbacks for $1 - including 4 Christies I didn't already own.  SQUEE!  Plus, I saw a neat freebie SF advertised on FB, so I snagged that, too.  Loads of books to read for me!  YAY!

Books read:

103) The Witness Tree by Seth Pevey (11/21/19) - Noir Mystery*#3 - 5 stars.  The series isn't new to me, but since this one was a new release, it's definitely underappreciated.  Mine was the first review at Amazon and at Goodreads.
Review: "I snagged this as soon as I heard it was released, set aside the book I was reading, and dove right in. I inhaled it, it was that awesome. Mr. Pevey knocks another one out of the park. The twists, the turns, the surprises... and through it all, my old friends Felix and Melancon (because they do feel like old friends now) hunting down a mystery and battling the bad guys while battling their own demons. And they win, of course, because I couldn't possibly enjoy a book where the good guys don't win. This is the good stuff, folks.

The worst thing about these books is waiting for the next one. And since this is a new release, now I have to wait for him to write a whole other book, get it edited, and get it published. :heavy sigh:"


11/18/19 - YA SF.  Free.  I'd read other books by this author and loved them.  I suspect, this time, I was too old to connect with the characters.  I wanted to shake the MC and tell her to get over herself.  Time to move on.

11/17/19 - political thriller - picked up from the thrift store for 25c.  Meh.  Someone had recommended the author to me, so I got this book.  She said she hadn't read that one, so I'm not faulting her for it.  It was probably a fine read.  I just couldn't get into it and I don't have time to push through something that's not interesting me.

Currently reading...  Separation of Powers by Vince Flynn.  I don't usually put the titles for books I'm currently reading because I never know if I'm going to finish it.  This one?  Oh, yeah, I'm gonna finish it.  It's Vince Flynn.  Duh.

What has been on your reading plate this week?  Anything yummy?

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thursday This n That

I totally scored at the thrift store yesterday.  Ten books, five bucks.  I snagged the last book in the James Herriott veterinarian series.  I snagged the next book in the Vince Flynn series that I didn't have but need if I want to go on reading them in order.  (Along with a few other Flynns that I already had, but now I have better copies.)  I also got a couple Agatha Christies and a Phyllis Whitney.  Oh, and a Michael Crichton. Plus an additional suspense. 

I also scored a new release! It's the third book in a self-pubbed mystery series I'm fangirling over.  The author actually messaged me to let me know it was out.  Total one-clicker.  I dropped the book I was reading and started this one as soon as I sat down to read again. Woohoo.  So far, so deliciously awesome.

BTW, I'm not a total spaz.  I have lists on which books I have and which ones I need by the authors I collect.  (Okay, maybe that makes me a spaz.)  I just don't carry them with me, so I have to rely on my memory, which sucks on the best of days.  So I buy every book I see by the authors I collect, keep the better copies, and take the others back to the thrift store.  Since I'm only spending like 50c per book, it's not breaking me and several local charities get money and donations.

Last night was pizza sub night again.  It's an addiction.

Speaking of addiction... vanilla ice cream with a dollop of peanut butter stirred into it and then topped with either dark chocolate sauce or caramel sauce.  Love it.

I can't believe Thanksgiving is a week from today.  I don't even have a turkey yet.  Or stuffing.  Or cranberry sauce.  And I gotta buy some pumpkin.  So, basically the whole TGD meal needs to be bought.  Hubs will cook it, of course.  Except dessert.  But the shopping is on me.

I think that's it for me this week.  What have you got to this n that about?

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Discipline is Not My Strong Suit

Okay, yeah, it's NaNo and I should be concentrating on writing.  Except it's also cold enough to go in the woods finally and there's a lot of work to be done there.

So, how does one find the balance?

Lord knows, I haven't found it.  I can either protect the writing and do the writing, or I can get household stuff done.  Not both.  Because by the time I'm done working in the woods or cleaning the house or whatever, I'm either too tired or too sore to sit at the computer, typing away.

Last week, I lost two days of writing because I raked part of the yard.  (Big yard.  Has to be done in sections.)  Last night, I lost the writing because I was working in the woods. 

On the other hand, I wrote every day for the first 13 days of the month and everything non-writing got left behind.  And it's not like I write all day.  I can manage about two hours before my hands start to turn into claws.  But if I use my hands for other stuff, I can't even manage the two hours. 


Anyway, as I said yesterday on Outside the Box, I'm not kicking myself for missed words.  And I'm not kicking myself for missed home projects.  I'll get to one or the other as time and body allows. 

I guess I need to be more disciplined.  But self-discipline has never been my strong suit.  If it was, I'd be a 135-pound goddess with a sparkling house full of healthy foods.  ROFL.

How's the balance in your life? 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 46

Hello again.  It's been a week.  For the most part, a good one, but a little bumpy here and there.

In writing news, I wrote 6587 words.  Would've done more, but I took Thursday and Friday off due to things.  Last night, before I wrote, I sat down and kind of roughed out the next several scenes. Then I got words out before things and then Live PD hit.

Marketing for the OUAD sale kind of fell apart.  The ad's supposed to go live today, though, so I have hope.  Not a lot of hope, but it's there.

Reading went well.  I finished three books, which is cool.  I do love reading so.

Yesterday was a baking extravaganza.  Okay, it was only two things, but after making granola bars and then oatmeal cookies, I was kind of shot for more baking.  I did, however, do a pot roast.  Yummers.  The day before I made a vat of chili.  Before that, I did pork chops and scalloped potatoes.  Today?  Maybe apple cranberry bread or apple cake, if I'm up to peeling and paring apples.  And leftovers.  Lots and lots of leftovers.

After baking, we went into the woods and played for a while.  Fun fun.  I love playing in the woods.  Maybe I'll do more of that today. 

The guy building his house next door got a survey done.  Now we know exactly where our NW pin is - three pins down and from that we can approximate where the 4th one is.  Yay.  We've been guessing for 6 years.  (Yeah, we thought we had a surveyor coming out.  He never showed.  We called again and he said next time he was out this way, he'd do it.  He never showed.  Then in the height of summer, he wanted to do the survey.  Umm, no.)

The leaves are nearly off the trees now and that means raking can begin.  I did the small south yard.  And then I paid for it on Thursday and Friday (and a little on Saturday).  It does look nice afterwards, though.  I love our trees, but cleaning up after them is a pain in the back.

Hunting season started here yesterday.  Keep a positive thought for our deer.

And I think that's about it.  Or at least, that's as much it as I can think of right now.  How was your week?

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 11/16/19

Well, I did better this week with the reading thing.  Three books finished.  And they were all good ones.  Yay.  And only one DNF.  Yay.

I've been scanning through the newsletters, but nothing was really compelling me to download until yesterday when I picked up a supernatural thriller and a paranormal mystery.  Otherwise, I'm down to 3 older unread ebooks - YA something, mystery, paranormal mystery.  :shrug:  I've also got hardcopies if I blow through those.

Book read:

102) Murder, Mayhem, and Bliss by LouLou Harrington (11/14/19) - Mystery* - 5 stars.  Not new or underappreciated.  I bought this because I'd read book 2 earlier in the year and when I saw this for free on the Robin Reads newsletter, I had to get it.
Review: "So much fun! I loved the characters and the plot and the setting and the mystery... Well, everything about this story."
Note: The series is set in Oklahoma, in case, you know, you happen to like stories set in OK.

101) Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean (11/11/19) - Action - 5 stars.  Not new or underappreciated.  I mean, it's Alistair MacLean for pitysakes.  And it was made into a movie with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood.
No Review.
Note:  I never saw the movie, which is weird because I'm into this type of movie, but I'm glad I didn't because if I had, I would've known what was going to happen in the book and I don't think I would've had nearly as much fun reading it if I knew what was coming.  Loads of twists in this one, folks.

100) Epitaph by Karla Brandenburg (11/9/19) - Romantic Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Reading Deals newsletter.
Review: "I loved this book, even though it was totally not what I was expecting when I downloaded it. I was thinking something along the lines of cozy paranormal mystery. And that's probably my mistake. This is totally romantic suspense with a supernatural bent to it. And being a big fan of romantic suspense over the years, lemme tell ya, this gal has got the chops for it. The supernatural just added an extra yummy element. It did turn out a bit spicy on the romance side for my tastes, but I have weird tastes, so I'm not shorting this any stars for it. Like I said, I loved it and I would choose it again.


11/11/19 - Free.  This was the other one I snagged off Amazon's 100 top free thriller list.  Further proving that being on a Top 100 list doesn't necessarily equal being a good book.  In its defense, I probably shouldn't have started this after finishing an action thriller by one of the biggest names in the genre.  Total disappointment after only a few pages.

Currently reading...a political thriller I picked up on the author recommendation of a friend.  (She hadn't read this title, so if it fails, I'm not knocking her.)  So far?  I'm not really getting into the whole first person thing here and the POV character is kind of an ass.  I'll keep going and I'll let you know how it goes next week.

What did you read last week?  Anything good?

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Thursday This n That

I went fishing yesterday.  It was cold, it was windy, and chances were that the fish wouldn't be biting, but I really needed to blow the gunk out of my pipes.  You know the days - when you feel like throat punching the world and so you yell at the cat.  (Kira doesn't care, but it's still not a good thing to do.)  It worked... it usually does... and I came back in a better mood than when I left.  And HAH, the fish were biting.  I only caught one undersized bass, but I was getting loads of bites.

While I was gone, Hubs was raking leaves.  The guys were working on building the house next door and they waved him over to talk about stuffs.  While they were talking, Hubs learned that the one guy's lady is from Michigan.  He didn't remember the town exactly, but it's about an hour north of Detroit.  And when he was telling me what he thought he might've heard, it sounded like a town pretty near to where I grew up.  Not THAT would be totally 'small world'.  This bears further investigation, because if she actually is from there, it would be total old home week.  And if she isn't, it's still pretty small world if a gal from Michigan moves next door to two other people from Michigan in SW MO.  Know what I mean?

Back to yelling at Kira.  That's the thing about cats versus dogs.  You yell at a dog, and they are totally effected by it.  You yell at a cat and they're all like 'you got a problem, it's your problem not mine'.  If Kira could flip me off, she probably would.  On her way back to bed.

Oh, while I was out at the lake, I saw what I thought was an abandoned goose egg laying amidst the detritus from our last big rain.  And I thought 'wow, something that fragile survived all the wind and the rain and everything', so I picked it up to bring home.  Then I noticed it wasn't an egg at all.  It had spots top and bottom like a seed pod of some sort.  And it was empty.  When I shook it, it rattled.  Upon doing some internet research, I learned it was an Ozark Nest Egg gourd.  They only grow around the Ozarks near rivers and streams.  Cool.

My work email has been down all week.  Something about the provider getting hacked or something.  They're routing as much as we can through alternate addys and they're sending stuff through my private email, but because it's down, they aren't getting what they're supposed to be getting - ie most of the spreadsheets I do.  Blerg.  Hackers should be dipped in honey and staked to an ant hill.  They never think about who they might be hurting when they do their crap.  Little guys like me, that's who.  Little companies like my family's business, that's who.  And even if they go after big companies, that shit rolls downhill to the consumers.  The little guys.  :steam:

I saw a great blue heron yesterday.  Beautiful birds.  Not the prettiest of noises.  Anyway, he honked/grunted at me as he flew by.

Okay, that's about enough out of me.  What's up with you?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Apple Cranberry Bread

The other day I made Apple Cranberry Bread and said I couldn't post the recipe because I hadn't typed it up yet.  Derp.  I searched this blog and found where I'd posted it back in 2010.  For some reason, I must've typed it directly into the blog because I had no copy on my hard drive, which is why I thought I'd never typed it up.  Now it's a freakin' file, so I can find it when I need it.  Sheesh.

Anyway, here's the recipe (doubled for two loaf convenience, even though I only made one loaf this time around):

Apple Cranberry Bread
(makes two loaves)

4 eggs
1.5 c. sugar
4 T vegetable oil
3 c. flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Hot Apple Cider drink mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 medium granny smith apples (peeled & chopped into 1" pieces)
2 c. fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray two 8x4" loaf pans thoroughly with fat-free cooking spray.  In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar and oil until smooth and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients.  Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet mixture.  (It will be very thick.)  Stir in apples and cranberries.  Spoon batter into loaf pans.  Bake for 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for ten minutes before tranferring to wire rack or whatever you use for cooling baked goods.  Let cool overnight, slice and serve.

If you don't have the drink mix handy, it's good without it.  It's just better with it.

I need to make some more of this before the rest of the cranberries go funky.  Maybe today.  Or maybe I'll make an Apple Cranberry Crisp.  Also yummy.  We'll see.  Since today is supposed to be colder than a witch's nose, it'd probably be a good day for baking.  Lord knows I won't be going outside.  Brrrr.

Do you bake when it's cold?  

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 45

Only 7 weeks left to 2019.  Whoa.

I am hip deep in NaNoWriMo.  Wrote every day this month - even though the NaNo site thinks I missed a day.  I forgot to update on one of those days and it won't let me go back and change it.  One day, due to a thunderstorm, I only got 133 words out, but I wrote that day, so it counts.  The counter thing here shows the truth of it.  As of last night, I'm at 11446 words for the month, 9341 of those this past week.  The book itself is at 67322 words.  Anyway, I'm really excited about this.  And as long as I can keep away from people online saying things like 'is your fantasy just a regurgitation of other fantasies?' (a general post, not someone speaking specifically to me) which makes me doubt what the hell I'm doing, I'll be fine.

I didn't do much marketing for the dystopian sale.  With FB not showing my posts to many people, it was almost like 'what's the point?'  I have another sale starting Wednesday and running through to the following Tuesday night - the Once Upon a Djinn books are all 99c/99p.  There'll be paid advertising for that one.

Also, not much reading last week.  I blame NaNo.

In baking news, I made another Romanian apple cake.  This time, I remembered that I had a secret ingredient - hot apple cider drink mix.  Add one teaspoon when you put in the cinnamon.  It elevates it to a whole 'nother taste level.  I also made meatball subs.  OMG, so good.  And BBQ pork chops.

It wasn't the best week for activity.  A lot of fishing at the beginning of the week, but few actual calorie burning things.  I did weigh myself earlier in the week - 179.6 - so that's something.  I can't seem to bounce past that number.  Maybe if I stopped making such yummy food.  ;o)

The fishing right now stinks.  Apparently, I missed the 'fall fishing' thing again this year.  It must've been like a week long or something.  I had people tell me they caught loads of bass, but I didn't catch doodley-squat for fish.  And now it's too cold and all the fish have gone deep again.  Bugger it all.

Speaking of cold, we're supposed to maybe have snow tonight.  I could care less if we ever got snow, but since we didn't want to move farther south than we are now, we have to put up with it when it comes.  Oh well. 

And that's about that for me today.  How was your Week 45?

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 11/9/19

Hello.  Welcome to the first Reading Wrap-up since NaNo overtook my life.  I only managed to finish one book this week.  It was a really good one, but it stands alone.

I didn't download anything new this week because I'm not sure when I'll be able to finish the books I already have downloaded.  There are five of them - thriller, 2 mystery, YA SF, and paranormal mystery.  I also have a boatload of hardcopies to read if it comes to that.  Right now, I'm at 99 books read for the year with a goal of 120.  Better step it up somehow or I won't make the goal.  :shrug:  If writing again means I miss the goal, I'm okay with that.

Books read:

99) Trail of the Hana K'ilo by Channing Whitaker (11/5/19) - Mystery*#2 - 5 stars.  Not new to me, because it was a book 2, but definitely underappreciated.  Picked this up at full price $2.99 after reading book 1.
Review: "Another excellent installment of the Skeptic Detective. Okay, so I did want to poke Harlan in the eye for a while there near the beginning, but I love him anyway. And I love Vieve. They'll go a long way together, if they keep their wits. I also loved this mystery and the resolution and the explanations of everything. The setting was neat, too. I'm always interested in Alaska and the author does an excellent job of putting the reader right in the setting. I'm looking forward to more Skeptic Detective mysteries in the future."


11/2/19 - Romance.  Free.  The beginning was creeping me out.  Sure, I get that the author wanted to show that the couple first met when they were kids in elementary school, but the way the hero at 10 was thinking about the heroine at 5 made my skin crawl.  More like a suspense showing a killer's early beginnings than the beginning of a romance novel.  Anyway, I flipped past the backstory and got into the today part of the romance and it all seemed so contrived and flat.

Currently reading... I had it down as a paranormal mystery, but I think, now that I'm halfway through, it's more of a romantic suspense with a supernatural bent to it.  Not really 'paranormal' in as far as it has no paranormal beings (vamps, weres, fairies, genies, etc.) - just the MC with a gift and another character with a gift.  So far, it's pretty good. A little spicier than I expected.  Whoa.

What was on your reading schedule this week?  What stops you from reading as much as you'd like?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thursday This n That

Last night, just after I sat down to write, a thunderstorm rolled in.  So my word count for yesterday was 133 words.  And that was all fixing part of the scene I wrote the day before.

I decided what critter was going to attack the band of intrepid characters and it ended up being one of my own design because nothing fit what I had in my head.  So, I wrote the scene.  Then yesterday, I realized the beastie needed to be beefed up a little in the description and it needed to be gray rather than black.  And it ended up being a battle scene without any battle.  Beasties defeated by cunning.  I thought my solution was rather brilliant at the time.  We'll see if I still feel that way in edits.

For a guy who didn't want his magic or any kind of leadership role, Aryl's pretty good at both.

On the way to go fishing, a little hawk flew across the road in front of me carrying its prey.  Not sure what kind of lunch it would be having, but it was definitely something small and furry.  Too small to be a squirrel, too big to be a mouse, too dark to be a chipmunk and the tail was wrong for a chipmunk anyway.  :shrug:  Eat hearty little hawk.

With the time change, I've been getting up at 4am.  Which is good because the cat expects to be fed at around 4:30 (she used to get fed around 5:30, but time change).  The worst part of it is that getting up at 4 means that by the time it's time to call the office at 8, the coffee is almost gone and I don't want to make another pot just for a twenty minute call.

Speaking of the time change, where is this extra hour of sleep I was supposed to be getting?  Total rip off. 

Can anyone tell me why people vote YES for new taxes?  I wonder if it's because they don't think that whenever they vote for new taxes, they will also be taxed.  Maybe they think the taxes will only hit the other guy.  I mention this because we voted on Tuesday and while we voted against the new tax thing, it passed - by a slim margin, but still.  Blerg.  I guess I shouldn't bitch overly much because some of you out there are paying outrageous amounts in taxes and Missouri is still pretty low.  But I want to keep it that way and apparently others here don't.  Double blerg.

Speaking of which, our property tax bills arrived this week.  Umm, yay?  Most of it goes to pay for our shitty school system, which we never used and never will.  I wouldn't mind helping pay for the education of our youth if the education I was paying for was actually worth something.  Know what I mean?

The bucks have been stopping here.  (Yes, I went there.)  We've got some really gorgeous boys this year.  If only I could get some pics. 

Speaking of pics, I really need to wash my windows.  It's hard to get a good photo when the glass you're shooting through is dirty and has spider webs strung across it.

Wow, I've been kind of chatty this morning.  Thanks for reading this far.  I'll let you go for now so you can get on with your day. 

What's up in your world?

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

NaNo Day Four - Paused for Research

Okay, so I'm writing a fantasy and there are beasties, of course.  But my memory of all things beastie is failing me.  Thus far, I've been leaving myself notes - :insert minor monster here: - when I can't think of the name of something and want to keep writing rather than stop and research.  Last night, however, I hit a spot where just leaving myself a note wasn't possible. 

You see, there's a spot where the intrepid band of good guys gets ambushed by something and there's a battle scene and in order to have a battle scene, you kind of have to know what your characters are up against. 

So, last night, I paused writing to do research.  I got one good scene out before I reached the point where I had to start this scene.  Then I stepped away, grabbed my big book of magical creatures, and got busy scanning through the pages to see if I could find the one that would fit this particular scene.  And I made a list for later of things that could potentially be used for all those notes I left myself. 

By the time I was finished, it was almost time for the season premier of Holiday Baking Championship, so I didn't get back to the book.  But that's okay.  I'm totally not kicking myself for being behind.  I wrote close to 800 words and that ain't bad, considering how many days this year I wrote zero words.

I'll have to do some more research before tonight's writing session.  I have a list but I'm still not certain what would fit.  Something smaller than a human but larger than a dog and semi-intelligent but totally vicious - made more vicious by being shut up in the mists for a thousand years - that hasn't been done to death in other fantasy novels.  And it can't fly.  I already have flying beasties elsewhere.  A dragon (naturally) and some wyverns.  Plus, flying critters would change the battle I'm envisioning.  And nothing too out of the ordinary.  If the average fantasy reader ain't never heard of it, I better have a really really good reason for introducing them to it.

Anyway, I'm having fun with the whole process. 

I know, doing research after the first of November is a no-no.  Maybe if I'd known for sure I was going to dive back into this, I would've done some research in October, but I didn't, so there I am.  And I think as long as you don't fall down the rabbit-hole of research, you can still accomplish your goals.

Right now, I'm about 2K words behind.  And that's okay.

So, how are things with you? 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sunday Update - Week 44

Hello again.

I'm writing again, cuz like it's NaNo time.  So far, I've added 2105 words to this Untitled Fantasy.  Of course that means I'm behind by 1229 words, but I'm okay with that because, hey, I'm writing again.  Sing it with me.  Hey hey, ho ho, this empty page has gotta go.  What I'm doing right now is going through what I've already written and adding stuff during the afternoon, and then I'm adding new words onto the end at night.  Slow going with the adding new words because I'm trying to get a feel for the story again but I expected that.  :shrug: 

You'll notice a ticker here at the upper right corner of the bar.  It shows where I'm at for the day.  There's a ticker on Outside the Box that show where I am overall.  Red means behind in either case.

The Dennis Haggarty sale wrapped up.  Let's not talk about it, okay?  October was a bad bad month for sales for me.  Today begins The Semi-Spectacular Dystopian Sale.  Blink of an I and Unequal are both on sale for only 99c/99p. 

Reading wasn't in the cards last week.  I spent the majority of the week reading through the fantasy so I would be ready to write come Friday morning.  Yesterday, I DNF'd a book and started the sequel to a book I loved the week before.  Oh, and I got some news yesterday - the third book in a series I've really enjoyed is dropping soon.  The author posted the cover and when I asked, he said sometime in the next couple weeks.  Squee.

Since it's NaNo, which means a boatload of writing but also a boatload of procrastination, I cleaned under and behind the stove Friday morning and yesterday morning I baked then I went and did woods work. 

The woods are a total mess since last I stepped into them.  Loads of fallen limbs and dead vines and leaves on the paths.  Yay!  One series of vines we hacked a couple years ago has finally given up the ghost.  And it was one that had a big widow-maker limb hanging off it.  Well, it dropped some and the widow-maker was within reach, so I grabbed the end and started walking away.  The weight of it pulled the rest of the vine free from the tree and it all came crashing down behind me.  Used the limb saw to hack it into manageable pieces and threw them on the wood pile.   It's good to be in the woods again.

As for baking, I made Apple Cranberry Bread.  Since the recipe is in a cookbook, I won't have it available to post here until I take the time to type it up.  It's pretty yummy stuff.  (And it's healthy, too.)

In activity, I did 5 days out of 7.  Cleaning and woods work and walking, with one day fishing.  No weighing this week.  Maybe I'll do it before my shower this morning.

I didn't catch anything worth mentioning during my fishing trip.  Froze my buns nearly off, though.  And got some good exercise as I clambered all over the park looking for where the fish might be biting.

This week, I really need to do some heavy duty cleaning.  I've been in such a malaise about doing anything this year.  Now that I've found my gumption to write, I'm seeing all the other stuff that needs doing. 

Oh, and the stupid time change was last night.  We don't set clocks back until we wake up in the morning.  Not sure about the wisdom of that since I originally got up at 4:30 which was now 3:30.  I made myself go back to bed for an hour, but meh.  I think Trump could win by a landslide if he did an executive order doing away with Daylight Savings Time.  Set the nation free from this travesty!

Well, that's it for me.  I should probably go do some marketing now.  What's been up with you lately?

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 11/2/19

The last week of October and the first wrap-up of November, and I've got nothin'.  And since yesterday was the beginning of NaNoWriMo, I'm not sure how many books I'll be able to read this coming month.  Probably should've thought of that before I upped my reading goal for the year, eh?

I did pick up a couple new ebooks this week - a mystery and a paranormal mystery.  Right now, I have eight unread ebooks.  The oldest is from 10/6.  I'll try to get those read as quickly as possible, but like I said...

Books read:

The only book I read this week was one that isn't even a book yet - the unfinished fantasy I wrote.  I read everything I've written so far.  The hope is to finish it this month.


I didn't try to read anything else, do I didn't end up DNFing anything.

Currently reading... Nothing.  I'm about to start a romance on my Kindle, though.

What was up in your reading world last week?