Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 2/29/20

Hello again!  It was an okay week for reading.  Nothing really bonza or anything, but okay.

I have two unread ebooks left from earlier in the month.  I guess it's time to start scanning the newsletters for free books again.   No new hardcopies, but I have tons to keep me busy if I can't find any ebooks to wow me.

Books read:

20) Love & Order by Elsie Davis (2/23/20) - Romance*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked this one up for free off the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: "A sweet little romance that hits all the right notes - kids, a dog, cookies... with a hot hero and a lovable heroine. It's all good stuff right there."
Note: Listed on Amazon in the Christian Romance category, but religion didn't come into this one at all, so I'm not sure how they hit that list.  :shrug:

19) The Twisted Thing by Mickey Spillane (2/22/20) - Hard-boiled Crime - 5 stars.  Mickey Spillane is my crack.  I've had this one for years, so no clue what I paid for it or where I got it.  I've got the unread Spillane on rationing, so I have a chance at not running out before I find more old paperbacks of his.
No review.  It's Mickey.  You either get him or you don't and nothing I say will change anyone's minds.


2/26/20 - suspense - free.  The mystery was fairly interesting and there was a good amount of suspense, but when the author threw yet another plot twist at me, after a host of others that all seemed unrelated to the central plot, I'd had enough.  Maybe they'll tie it all together in the last 40%, but I couldn't see how without a huge info-dump or a series of major cliffhangers.  Kind of irritated it took me until 60% in to realize I'd been slapped around enough on this one.  

2/22/20 - YA fantasy - free.  Started out okay, but it tripped one of my pet peeves.  Close book, move on.

Currently reading...  Lord God Made Them All - the last of the James Herriot books.  I'll be sad when it's over.

What have you been reading lately?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Thursday This n That

I saw someone on FB talking about fake meat - like BK's 'impossible' burger.  Sorry, I don't do fake meat.  And it's seems a bit hypocritical to me that BK is pushing their fake meat burgers as if meat is bad when meat is what made them rich.  Just sayin'.

I dated a vegetarian once... as in one date.  He took me to McDonalds.  He ordered a Big Mac with no meat.  It was just special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.  It was kind of sad looking without the two all-beef patties.  I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed my all meat quarter pounder.  Too each their own.  (And no, I didn't refuse him another date because he was a vegetarian, although that was reason enough... no future there... and not even because he took me to McD's as a date when I was old enough to know what a real date was... but because he kissed like a gagging goldfish. Ew.)  I also had a really good friend once who was vegan.  She couldn't eat meat.  Couldn't even handle if chicken broth had been used in a dish.  Except every once in a while, she had me sneak her a coney dog for lunch.  I never understood that.

Today's bird of the day is a loon.  I love loons.  I rarely see one, but hearing them out at the lake makes me happy.  They're only passing through, though.  Loons aren't year-round visitors here.  I guess that makes it extra special when I hear one.

I have thirteen pages left to edit, which I will get done today.  You know, if those 13 pages don't end up being like 30.  ;o)

Tonight, I'll be using my new Foreman grill for the first time.  Burger night!  Yay! 

Does dry creamer ever go bad?  Yeah, it's got a 'best by' date on it, but they put those on everything now whether they're necessary or not.  Sometimes I think the date is simply on there to sell more stuff.  I did toss a mostly full bottle of Western salad dressing yesterday.  The date was in January and I had a really bad experience with past-date salad dressing.   Lucky for us, we haven't had salad since last year.

The other day I saw a book advertised on FB that sounded really interesting, so I hopped on over to Amazon for further investigation.  It had plenty of good reviews and like 4 really bad ones.  Three of those were hammering it for being a conservative leaning novel, which the readers should've seen from looking at the blurb, so I assume they bought it in order to bitch about it.  The 4th bad review was all about the really poor formatting and editing.  I didn't end up getting the book, because it's not in the budget right now, but I hope by the time I have the funds, they've fixed the formatting/editing issues. 

Last night, I saw someone lamenting in a book group about getting taken by an unethical 'paid review' service.  He paid $100 for 3 reviews and the reviews were very badly written and didn't seem like they were for the books they were supposed to be for.  He tried to get his money back and was told to basically suck it.  First off, if you're trying to do business with someone who is, on their face, unethical in their business practices, you can't possibly expect them to be ethical with you.  Second, the guy had better hope Amazon doesn't find out he's paying for reviews because then poorly written ones will be the least of his worries.  I get that reviews are insanely hard to get, and the lure of paying a bunch of money to get reviews is a sweet song.  But it's the siren, folks.  Don't do it.

And that's all I've got right now.  What's up with you?

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A Fishing Story (Or Fighting With the Weather Gods)

I haven't gone fishing much this year.  The weather's been gross or it's too cold or whatever.  Yesterday morning it looked perfect - mostly cloudy with occasional sun poking through the clouds and warm for February 24th - so off I went.

I got to the boat ramp where I like to fish about 9am.  On any given day, I am alone at any of my favorite spots.  There might be cars in the parking lot with boat trailers attached, but those guys are all out on the lake.  I see them from time to time as they pull out of the lake and more arrive to put in, but still pretty full of solitude.  Yesterday, the place was empty.  Yay.

So, I get my gear out of the car, head for a good spot, put a worm on the hook, and cast out toward what we call The Point - where the creek enters the river.  There's a little wind blowing toward the shore, so not optimum for a good long cast, which is what you really need to get past the rocks to deeper water where the fish are hanging out right now.  No big deal.  I simply moved over to The Ledges - rock formations along the river where the water is easily 8 feet deep right off the edges, dropping to 30 feet shortly thereafter.  The Ledges also have awesome places to sit, which works for me.

Anyway, I was sitting in my favorite spot, trying some different things to no avail when it starts to sprinkle.  No big deal   Like I said, it was pretty warm.  And I was dressed for a bit of sprinkle activity.  I looked up at the sky and it seemed like this drizzle activity might be short. 

Then it started to sprinkle more.  I debated packing up and heading for the car.  But it had been so long since I went fishing, and I REALLY needed to go fishing.  I arranged my stuff so it would get the minimum amount of wetness and stood up so I would present the smallest space for rain to hit.  Shortly thereafter, the drizzle stopped.  Cool. 

I wiped off the rock, put a towel down, and resumed my relaxed and casual enjoyment of fishing. 

Then it started to sprinkle again.  Eh, I was already a little wet, so I kept fishing. Then I heard a rush of sound from down the river.  I stared off in the distance and sure enough, it was raining really hard about a half mile south of me.  But the wind wasn't coming from that direction. 

Except the wind I was feeling was not coming from the same direction as the upper level wind moving the clouds.  In less than a minute, the rain started coming down in earnest.  I shrugged and angled myself so my jacket would deflect most of the rain from my legs. 

It started to rain a little harder, almost as if some demented god from my books was thoroughly against my fishing that day.  I looked up at the sky and said 'Oh, come ON, I'm just trying to fish here.'  No sooner were the words out of my mouth than those demented weather gods decided to show me who was in charge.  The sky opened up and dumped a bucket.  I quickly became drenched.

But I wasn't going to let the weather win.  Screw you, I'm fishing here.

Then the spot where I was sitting, on the downslope of a rock DUH, became a tiny creek, soaking the only dry spot left on my person - my butt - thoroughly.  

And I started laughing.  And laughing.  And laughing.  If there was anyone on or near the lake at that point, I must've sounded like a crazy woman.  Sitting on the river bank, rod in hand, in the rain.  Laughing like a maniac. 

Not long after, the rain let up.  Since I wasn't getting any bites, I picked up my stuff and moved to the creek side.  It started raining again over there, but I was already soaked, so it didn't matter.  Unfortunately, the fish weren't biting over there either.  Finally, I gave up and headed for home. 

As I was driving west to loop east and get back to the house, I saw copious amounts of blue sky off in the distance.  I could've turned back and resumed fishing.  Except now I was cold and wet and I had to use the bathroom.  Plus, once I'm on my way home, I might as well go home.  I wasn't home twenty minutes when the sky was totally clear of clouds and crap. 

I could've gone back out, but the urge was lost.  And the fish weren't biting anyway.  Better luck next time.  When it's warmer. And a little drier.  ;o)

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 8

Eight weeks into the new year.  I'll admit my resolve fell down already, but I kicked my own butt and I'm back on track again.  Mostly.

I haven't written any new words, but I'm editing along nicely again.  I worked through about 90 pages of line by line edits.  Almost made myself cry at one point - the story not the editing.  Jeni's nieces and nephews are too damn cute to have had such a shitty dad.  Anyway, I've got about 45 pages left to go and then a quick read through to make sure I didn't leave any huge errors. 

I finished out the marketing for the Once Upon a Djinn series with 8 sales - 2 each - and no page reads yet.  Oh well.  I tried.  Once I get some new books out into the world, maybe sales will improve.

My reading week was pretty good.  I finished three and only DNF'd one, and I ended the week yesterday with an awesome Mickey Spillane.  (Awesome Mickey Spillane is redundant.)

On the activity front, I did 4 out of 7 days - three days straight of the yard expansion project and then 3 days off with a mile or so walk yesterday and kneading rolls.  Yeah, kneading counts as exercise when you do it for 8 minutes straight.  I was burning calories like crazy there, folks.  Upper body workout like you wouldn't believe.  Anyway...  I'm back at 179.0 again.  Roller coaster time.  Wee.

Speaking of rolls, I was trying a new recipe yesterday.  Iranian Barbari rolls.  It sounded easy.  Umm...  It was more effort than it was worth, so let's not talk about that, k?  Earlier in the week I made oatmeal cookies, though, and that recipe always works.  Yay.  Today, I'm thinking maybe a chocolate cake is necessary.  We'll see.  I was going to make more applesauce bread, but Hubs has been eating the applesauce straight, so there isn't enough left for bread.  Next time I hit the Wallyworld, I'm gonna buy an economy size vat of applesauce.

The yard expansion project is as finished as it's going to get until Spring.  Hubs did the last of the clearing crap out on Wednesday.  It looks pretty good.  Barren, but good.  Now green things can grow.  There about 6-8 little trees - 3-5' tall - growing in the new yard area.  Once those leaf-out, we'll see which ones get to stay and whether any of them can go.  They might all stay.  We'll see.  The most satisfying part was getting the vines off all those trees.  A couple poor sycamores were being killed by those damn vines.  No more.  Fingers crossed the sycamores recover.  I like sycamores.

It's been too cold to go fishing, which is driving me nuts.  I need to sit by the lake and drown worms for my sanity.

Alright, I've said more than enough for one Sunday.  How are things with you?

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 2/22/20

Hello again.  Welcome to my Saturday Reading Wrap-up, where I talk about the books I've read or tried to read in the past week and what new things I've bought for the days ahead.

Not a bad week this week with some fun reads and only one dud.

I picked up 3 new ebooks this week - a YA adventure, a mystery, and a romantic suspense (already read that last one).  No new hardcopies this week, for which my shelves thank me.

Books Read:

18) Death on the Danube by Jennifer Alderson (2/20/20) - Mystery*# - 4 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Got for free from the Reading Deals newsletter.
Review: "A fun little mystery with loads of interesting information about Budapest, if you're into travel and stuff."
Note:  It was a bit too much travel stuff for me, so I flipped past it, but I think many readers would enjoy the details.  And it wasn't as if the writer was throwing details in because she didn't want to waste research (we've all read those books).  It was just more info than I was looking for at that time in a mystery.  

17) Fighting for Elena by Silver James (2/19/20) - Romantic Suspense* - 5 stars.  Not new to me and a new release so not much appreciation yet, but it'll get there.  Paid full price - $3.99.
Review: "Wow. What an amazing story. I loved Pops and Elena - separately and together. And of course, I love Joy. And it was awesome having characters from Silver's other series swoop in to save the day. Cuz the Wolves are like that. =o)"

16) Never Date a Siren by Byrd Nash (2/15/20) - Paranormal*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked up for free off the Book Barbarian newsletter.
Review: "Fun! I loved the world. I loved the premise. I loved the characters. I'm so glad I picked this book up."


2/16/20 - biography.  50c hardcover at the thrift store.  I thought it would be interesting, but the writing was poor and the story didn't flow well.  Plus, it sounded a bit preachy.  I like to think if the subject had still been alive, he wouldn't have wanted his biography to come off that way.  =o(

Currently reading... A plucked one of my unread Mickey Spillane 'Mike Hammer' paperbacks off the shelf.  Love me some Mike Hammer.

What was on your reading list this week?  Anything good?  Got anything you're looking forward to?

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Thursday This n That

I had a really great idea for the beginning of this post, but by the time I got over here, it was gone.  This is the story of my life.  LOL

Saturday, I ordered a new Foreman Grill and a pastry cutter from Amazon.  My Foreman is getting too old to clean well enough to feel safe about cooking on it and I don't own a pastry cutter (silly, I know, considering how much baking I do).  Anyway, Amazon tracking said the package would be delivered Thursday or Friday of this week.  When I checked tracking on Wednesday, It said it would be delivered that day, but it wasn't showing 'out for delivery'.  It was showing that it's here in the area - in Hollister, so about 75 minutes from here* - so I was thinking Thursday.  Then Hubs reminded me it has to go through our local post office.  That adds a day usually.  So Friday.  48+ hours to get a package about 40 miles.  Woohoo.  (Update: My mistake... it actually arrived yesterday afternoon, but it came UPS, which explains why it was here on time.)

*Google maps says 52 minutes but I've never made that drive in less than an hour and a quarter.  And people wonder why I don't visit Branson more often.  (Well, distance plus it's all peopley there.)

Speaking of that, people are amazed about a lot of places around here I've never been to.  Harrison, Rogers, Bentonville, Joplin...  I've never even been in Springfield proper.  Only to the airport, which is on the west side of the city, so I never have to actually cross into the real city to get to it.  Cities... blerg.  They're so peopley.  I can't imagine the lure of being in a space with all those people.  And don't get me started on traffic.  Here there's a traffic glut if 5 cars are at the four way stop at the same time or if I have 3 cars behind me when I'm on the highway.  (In cases of people behind me, I often pull off somewhere and let them pass just to get away from them.)

For the past 7 years, I've talked about going down to Beebe, AR to visit the graves of my great-great-great? grandparents (Mom's Dad's Dad's Mother's parents).  I've also talked about visiting her great grandfather's (her Dad's Dad's Dad) grave over in Coffeyville, KS.  They're each only about 125 miles from here, but I can't seem to muster the will for traveling anymore.  And poor grandpa Frank is laying over in KS all by himself after a horrible accident where he was smushed between two trains.  (The grisly part of genealogy is learning the gruesome ways our ancestors died.)  His wife took the kids, remarried and moved down to OK where I lost track of her, but I know none of them are buried near Frank.  =o(

My new Foreman Grill is the kind with removable cook plates for easier cleaning.  They can be put in the dishwasher, but I'll wash them by hand so they last longer.  All I know is when I did the pre-use wash, it was easy peasy.  Cleaning the old one was a pain in the buns.  I love the cautionary bits in the instructions - make sure plates are completely cooled before removing.  Umm, duh.

And that's more than enough out of me today.  What's up with you?

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

I'm Too Old for This Crap

I wrote a big, long, ranty post the other day.  It's still sitting in my drafts, but I think now that I will never post it.  When I was young, I was willing to debate and argue and try to persuade people to see reason.  Now?  I'm too old. 

I keep seeing stuff about looking at things from other viewpoints.  I've seen a variety of other viewpoints ad nauseum, and I didn't like the view.  And really, after spending a lot of time considering the viewpoints of others, I can spot where they're coming from a mile away.  Why exactly would I want to see that again?  Been there, done that.

Trying to convince others is tiresome.  Oh, I give full points to those that are still out there fighting the good fight, trying to change things, but I am so tired of it.  The chance of changing someone else's mind is so slim, especially these days, that I don't see the purpose of expending so much effort for so little reward. 

Oh, there's always a chance I'll change my mind about something - if presented with facts and logic and reason that I can independently verify.  The problem is there's so little of those things floating around in any argument contrary to what I know that the chance is super slim.  These days it's all about feelings and assertions we're all supposed to just accept on faith.  That's not how I work. 

It's like this gal who used to live here.  She was big on going around telling people stuff that just wasn't true.  But believable because she spoke with such authority and she was older so it might seem like she knew what she was saying, you know, if you're someone who doesn't rely on facts and proof.  And I spent some time refuting the things she said when someone else would bring it to my attention. (She stopped trying to talk to me, but I still heard about it.)  Tiring stuff, but I hate lies and now that she's moved on, it's so much quieter here. 

And then there's the 'news'.  So much misinformation is being spread around under the guise of truth when it's not truth.  And it's getting tough to know who's got the facts and who doesn't. 

Anyway, these days I'm most likely to just walk away when someone starts spouting crap.  In real life, it means ignoring them and not associating with them anymore.  Online, it's unfollow, unfriend, block.  Life is too short to spend my time trying to parse the good stuff they might have to offer from the bad stuff they are passing along like a venereal disease.  I give a little more leeway to people I've known for a long time, but even then, when the crap piles high enough for me to continue to see the good in them, it's time to walk away.  Which makes me kind of sad, but in the long run, my mental health is better for it.  So's my blood pressure. 

How about you?  Still fighting the good fight or are you tired, too? 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 7

It's Sunday morning and here I am typing the Sunday Update post because, yeah, I forgot to write it out and schedule it.  This does not bode well for the week.

No writing.  I'm up to page 75 in editing on Ugly and the Beast.  I start the week with the best of intentions, but then... piffle.

I did my marketing thing for the OUAD sale.  8 sales - 2 of each book.  Yay.   The sale is still ongoing, so fingers crossed I sell some more books before it ends.  And then get some page reads afterwards.

Not a banner reading week.  I finished two old paperbacks but actually finishing an ebook was a bust until late yesterday afternoon.  That was a fun one. 

I made another loaf of applesauce bread.  That stuff is awesome.  Then for Valentine's Day, I made a pineapple upside-down cake from scratch.  I thought the cake was too dense, but Hubs declared it a winner.  I'm still going to tweak the recipe before I post it, though.  If you want the easy way, put a sliced up stick of butter in your 9x13" cake pan and put the pan in the oven while the oven is preheating.  When the butter is melted, take the pan out and stir in 2/3rds cups of brown sugar until it's all wet and gooey.  Then stir in one can of pineapple - crushed or tidbits works best for me - making sure the pineapple and the goo are evenly distributed.  Pour your yellow box cake batter - made according to box directions - evenly over the pineappley goodness.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Voila!  You're supposed to turn the whole cake over to serve, but what a pain.  I leave mine in the pan and flip over the pieces as I serve them.  The effect is the same.  :shrug:

It was a pretty good week for activity - 5 out of 7 days - with most of it being outside 'woods work'.  But I gained a pound back - 180.6.  :shrug:  Probably the bread and the cake. 

Speaking of woods work, Hubs and I decided to expand our yard to the south - a previously untouched portion of woods and overgrown old yard.  What a mess.  Seriously.  The property owner before us had no issue with throwing garbage in the woods.  We got all that picked up except for a pile of white tile I discovered under the weeds and behind a rose bush.  Ugh, rose bushes.  They're everywhere over there, so it was quite the battle.  I was going to try taming them back and leaving them, but they were so aggressive they had to die.  And we also have these wild bushes all over that propagate by shoots.  They pull right up out of the ground, but when you pull one the runner leads to the next one and the next one and... I probably pulled a few dozen up over there.  We're leaving the trees that have grown up over there since we bought this place.  Once they have leaves again, I'll figure out what they are and whether they get to stay.  And of course, we already know which ones are cedars.  Those stay.  We also have various vines to battle - Virginia creeper, climbing rose, and wild grape. And this one vine with ouchy spikes and spade shaped leaves of mottled green.  That last one is nasty.  Oh, and somewhere in there is poison ivy.  I think I already killed most of it in previous summers, but I won't know for sure until it leafs out. 

Anyway, that's my life right now.  This is a whole new week with new possibilities.  I hope to make the best of it.  Like I said, I start the week with the best of intentions.  Then again, my father always said 'intentions are for shit'.  :shrug:

How did your week go?  Do anything interesting?  Bake anything good?  Accomplish anything worthwhile?  Talk to me, people.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 2/15/20

Hello.  Sorry I'm late.  I forgot to finish this and schedule it last night. 

Welcome to the Saturday Reading Wrap-up.  If you've been here before, you know how this goes.  If you're new, this is where I wrap-up all the book stuffs from the week before.  (For a complete list of all the books I've read this year, go here.)

It was a DNF-o-rama for me this week - every day a new DNF until I picked up an Agatha Christie to cleanse my reading palate.  Then another DNF.  But despite the depressing nature of DNFs, I did pick up some new ebooks - romance, SF, fantasy.  There's always hope.

Books read:

15) The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie (2/13/20) - Mystery Short Stories - 5 stars.  Picked up at the thrift store 8/$1 last November.
No review.  You all know how I feel about Christie.

14) The Hungry Gun by Steve Thurman (2/8/20) - Western# - 5 stars.  Never heard of the author or the book, and apparently neither has pretty much anyone else.
Review: "An excellent western I picked up at the thrift store. I'm a little sad that it was so unheard of that I had to make a Goodreads listing for it, because it deserves more people to love it. It's filled with plenty of twists and turns, romance and excitement, and a mystery to thrill even the biggest mystery fans like myself. The revelations at the end... I never saw those last pieces of the puzzle until they fell into place."


2/13/20 - UF - free.  From the start, I got the distinct feeling that I was too old and square for this book and the more I read, the older and squarer I felt.  Anyway, it had a very hip (do they even use the word 'hip' anymore?) and trendy feel to it that made me feel every inch of the fifty that's creeping up on me.  Don't need more of that.  Bleh. 

2/11/20 - mystery that I picked up for 25c at the thrift store.  It sounded cute, but it was meh.  Into the pile to go to St. Vinny's it went.

2/10/20 - thriller with a strange semi-supernatural bent.  free.  Yeah, it was thrilling and probably would've made a good story without the added supernatural thing, which just made it weird.

2/9/20 - uf/sf/f... huh? - free.  It started off pretty good with shady govt characters chasing a girl who had strange powers and then it got weird and ended up on another planet where there were dragons and wizards and magic.   It felt like the author was trying too hard to make everything different, but making cows bigger and different colors of the rainbow doesn't really make it different or make me feel like I'm somewhere magical.  Maybe magically delicious.

2/8/20 - mystery - free.  Gah.  You do not need to name each character every time you refer to them - in dialogue or otherwise.  And the characters were all juvenile and annoying.  I gave up after only a few pages.

Currently reading... a cute paranormal.  I can't exactly put my finger on the genre, and I think it's like what they call 'New Adult' since the MC is college aged, but it's a fun story, so I don't really mind not being able to pigeonhole it.  

How was your reading luck this week? 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Thursday This n That

Under the heading of things I did not need to know, I heard on TV the other day that koala poop smells lovely.  Apparently, it's all the eucalyptus they eat.  I would think that would make it smell like cough drops - cue the ewww - but that's me.

In college, I took a class called The Psychology of Sexual Behavior.  It was taught by a woman who looked like she ought to be home baking cookies for the grandkids, which made talking about sexual subjects kind of weird.  Anyway, the only things I remember from the class were the factoids she would drop at the beginning of class - like a sperm whale's penis is twelve feet long and three feet in diameter at the base.  =oO

The hardest part about quitting ice cream is that I have the urge to make chocolate cake but chocolate cake without ice cream is just wrong.  It's been 39 days since I last ate ice cream and I only miss it a little.  Sometimes.  A lot when I'm having a rough day.

Yesterday, I had to run a quick errand and on the drive, I got a sudden craving for chocolate.  Would you believe the dollar store has already changed over to Easter candy?  Those unromantic bastards.  Anyway, I snagged a Russell Stover Maple Cream egg and assorted non-holiday chocolates.  I inhaled the egg when I got home.  So fluffy!  Yum! 

I also picked up a Dr. Pepper, which I hadn't had in years.  I also haven't had a carbonated soda in months.  I might've drank a third of it.  It was interesting.  Definitely burpy.  And I definitely don't miss it.

Okay, I think I've chewed your ears enough today.  What's on your mind?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

DNFs Abound This Year

I'm not having the best year so far choosing new ebooks to read.  I've DNF'd over half the new ebooks I've tried to read.  I mean, they sounded really great or I wouldn't have chosen them.  Right?  But when the rubber meets the road, there's been something that made me stop reading them. 

This week, the lead reason seems to be that the story is just weird.  Don't get me wrong - I like weird - but these were jarringly so.  Like one I tried recently - it was an urban fantasy... no, a science fiction... no, a fantasy... All genres I enjoy, but the only part that worked was the UF, which the author discarded after the first chapter. 

I DNF'd a book last night that I had great hopes for.  It was a billed as a thriller and it started out really well, but then the author started throwing in supernatural elements, which I really didn't mind at first but then it got bizarre.  Suspension of disbelief broken.  Close book, move on.  =o\

Then there have been the books with editing issues.  Some of those I can read past without a problem, but sometimes they slap me upside the face so hard I can't forgive them.  Not every bit of dialogue needs a tag and not every character has to be named every time you mention them.  Come on, guys.

Reading those makes me fear ever trying to publish without an editor backing me up.  On the other hand recognizing those flaws are helping me edit my own work.  So I guess they were good for something.

I'm not giving up on my mission to try new authors with few reviews.  I've found some amazing books that way.  And the amazing books I find help ease the pain of the others.  Like I said in last week's Reading Wrap-up - any week I finish at least one good book is a good week.  The others I'll just have to wade through to get to the good books.

I downloaded three new ebooks last night.  Here's hoping at least one of them is a good one.

How's your reading year going?  Finding some good stuffs or getting lots of clunkers?

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 6

Another week on the books for 2020.  I wish I could say I had accomplished more.

Let's not talk about writing, shall we?  Or editing.  Or marketing.  Basically, I was either a toad and did nothing, or my efforts were for naught. 

I did a bit of reading last week.  Finished two good books and DNF'd three not-so-good books.  I picked up a boatload of new books - both ebook and hardcopy - so yay.

On the activity front, I did active stuffs 4 out of 7 days, so not really that bad, but I feel like I should've done more.  On the upside, I'm at 179.6 lbs and that's 3 pounds down from the start of the year.  I think that's because I've cut ice cream and chips from my diet, and added fruit and yogurt.  This was a week where I actually expected to gain or hold steady because it was shot week.  :shrug:  I'll take a loss however it came.

I made more granola bars this week.  It's a regular thing now, so no big woohoo.  The applesauce bread I made last week is gone, so I will probably make some more of that after I get to the store and buy more applesauce.

I went fishing last Sunday.  Didn't get a single bite.  Of course, I expected that would happen.  It's too cold to fish and the fish aren't biting anywhere I can reach them anyway.  Still, it was nice to be at the lake for a while instead of sitting here.

Speaking of weather, we were supposed to get hammered on Wednesday, but only got a dusting.  I think the system dropped all its snow in Oklahoma - sorry, Okies - and didn't have much left for me.  Oh, shucky-darns.  ;o)

Not sure what the week ahead will bring.  I need to spend some time giving myself a stern talking to again.  Here's hoping I have better and more interesting things to talk about next Sunday.

How was your week? 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 2/8/20

Hello.  Welcome to the Saturday Reading Wrap-up.  If you've been here before, you know how this goes.  If you're new, this is where I wrap-up all the book stuffs from the week before.  (For a complete list of all the books I've read this year, go here.)

It wasn't the best reading week with the DNFs (they always give me a sad), but hey, any week I finish at least one good book is a good week and this week I finished two.

This past week, I picked up a slew of new ebooks - 2 mysteries, fantasy, suspense, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, thriller.  Woohoo.  And I'm caught up with last month's ebooks.  Also woohoo.  Then yesterday, I was in town with time to waste, so I stopped by the thrift store.  Picked up 4 paperbacks and 2 hardcovers - two westerns, a mystery, two biographies, and a suspense.  So much to read... YAY!

Books Read:

 13) Blood in the Sand by Kelly Clayton (2/6/20) - Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated as far as reviews go.  Picked up for free after seeing a friend recommend it on FB.
Review: "Neat murder mystery with plenty of twists and turns with a little romance for added seasoning. Quite an enjoyable read."

12) The Christmas Cookie Shop by Ginny Baird (2/4/20) - Romance* - 5 stars. New to me and could probably use more reviews, but not totally underappreciated.  Free off the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Such a cute little holiday romance! I loved it."


2/5/20 - paranormal romance - free.  I liked the premise and the writing wasn't bad, but I started to dislike the heroine about two paragraphs into meeting her and I wanted the very likeable hero to run the hell away from her.

2/3/20 - suspense - Picked up during the thrift store's end of year 8/$1 sale.  I seriously wanted to like this book because I like the author, but try as I might, I couldn't.  Stopped 135 pages in, which shows you how much I tried.  But life's too short to force myself to finish books I'm not enjoying.

2/1/20 - mystery - 25c at the thrift store.  Meh.  It just wasn't doing it for me.  I totally wasn't feeling the mystery.  At all.

Currently reading... a paperback western from 1966 I picked up at the thrift store yesterday.  I needed something to read while I was waiting for my shot appt and I was between reading stuff at home, so I grabbed one of the books I'd just purchased and started reading in the doctor's office. 

What happened in your reading life last week?

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Thursday This n That

The worst part about working on a truck farm was picking the jalapenos.  Every tiny papercut, every hangnail, every little scrape burned like the dickens.  And for godsakes, don't rub your eyes!

Yeah, I've had a lot of different jobs throughout my lengthy employment history. Picking vegetables, mucking stalls, executive secretary to the president of a multi-state private school corporation.  I'm a jack of all trades.  LOL

Gimpy buck seems to be like 95% now.  I think the problem was he had an abscess on his leg which was making it all swollen and gross and hurty, but then it burst, so now he's on the mend.  Lucky buck.

Yeah, I watch a lot of vet shows.  I love Dr. Pol.  He's my kind of guy.

If a veterinarian can diagnose and treat a wide variety of species for a wide variety of ailments, why can't doctors treat one species for a variety of ailments? Jus' sayin'.

The other day I gazed at the weather forecast and noted that Wednesday was supposed to be craptastic.  I had a doctor's appt on Wednesday.  (Okay, it's really a nurse's appt.  I don't see the doctor very often.)  I called to get it moved to later in the week and they told me my appt actually wasn't until next Wednesday.  But I'm sitting here staring at the card they wrote out for me that says 2/5/20.  (Okay, it really says 2/5/19, but it was written in November, so the year thing was an easy mistake.)  Neither of us was sure how that happened, but we did get my appt moved to tomorrow. 

I'm doing pretty good at remembering to write 20 in the date instead of 19.  I've only screwed up once and then I only got the 1 out before I remembered and changed it to a 2. 

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

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Commercial Rant

If I hadn't been using TurboTax since like 1998 (when I first got a computer), I would stop using them now just because of their stupid and annoying commercials.  Yeah, it's free (if your taxes are simple), we get it.  Do you think the people who use your free edition are so stupid they need to be told it's free over and over and over again, ad nauseum?  How insulting.

There's a commercial out there, not sure who it's for, where there's a pilot and at first you only see his face.  Then the camera pans back and he's sitting on the john.  Umm, gross. 

Speaking of gross, if you can't do it on TV with people, don't use cartoon bears.  I'm looking at you Charmin.  Although it does remind me of a crass joke involving a bear and a bunny relieving themselves in the woods from back when I told crass jokes on a regular basis.

No, I haven't seen any of the 'Super Bowl Commercials' yet.  If I happen across them when I don't have the TV muted and I'm not doing my standard 'read during commercials' thing, I'll try and make note of them.

Gah, I can't believe the number of commercials out there with obnoxious music (sometimes I'm already reading and forget to hit mute).  Does that stuff really sell burgers or school clothes or what have you? 

Don't get me started on political ads.  Fortunately, so far, I've only really been exposed to them when I'm watching the local channels.  And that's rare, so not really a big deal. 

Also, don't get me started on what I like to call 'the dishwasher bitch' commercial.  I hate that kid.  If that was my kid, she'd be washing dishes by hand until her 18th birthday.  Snotty little brat.  I will never buy Cascade again.

The big elephant in the pistachio commercials is alternately amusing and annoying. 

The new Gieco commercials riffing off the old commercials are amusing me.  I love the raccoons and the woodchucks.  I love the woodchucks so much, I keep riffing off the 'Hey! You woodchucks!  Stop chucking my wood' thing.  "Hey, you woodpeckers!  Stop pecking my wood!" and that sort of stuff.  And of course, the raccoon with his 'STOP!  I think I saw half a cheesesteak back there."  I think he's my spirit animal.  ROFL

On the other hand, I'm sick of Flo at Progressive.  Jamie still kills me.  

Yes, I do watch too much TV.

What commercials annoy you?  Any you particularly enjoy?

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 5

It's Groundhog Day.  Woohoo!  Okay, not really.  It's a day for us because of some personal stuff, but it's not really a big deal otherwise.  The rodent doesn't really do anything for me. 

Anyway, here's the skinny on my week...

No writing was accomplished.  No editing either.  Not the best end to a month when that started out gangbusters.  I hope to get back on track this month. 

In marketing stuffs, the Project Hermes sale ended.  I had one person on FB tell me they got the book, but I never saw a sale and the rankings never changed, so not sure what was up with that.  I did get a new ranking on Goodreads - 4 stars - so maybe the sale went through a pirate site :sadface:.  I also had Blink of an I set for free Wednesday thru Friday.  That went well enough that it got me into the top 100 rankings in Post Apocalyptic and in Dystopian, so I extended the freebie through today and its rankings continue to rise.  I hoping it will sit high enough to get noticed by the Kindle Unlimited crowd and I'll see some page reads.  Then yesterday, Sleeping Ugly went on sale.  I haven't seen anything from that yet.

I read some stuff, but it wasn't a banner week in reading.  One old favorite and one new awesome UF, with a couple DNFs and a couple days where I didn't read at all. 

Yesterday, I got a wild hair and went recipe hunting.  I found a recipe for something called Spiced Applesauce Bread.  Way too many spices, but the base recipe was sound, so I tweaked it to suit my tastes.  It turned out really yummy and it was super easy to make.  Recipe below.

On the activity front, I wasn't really active.  I managed the first two days of the week and then the last two days, but the three in the middle was mostly me sitting on my butt.  The upside to the week was I'm now at 180.4 lbs.  Down 2.2 from the beginning of the year.  If I lose 2 pounds a month this year, I'll be sitting pretty by the end.  Umm, not expecting that to happen, but it could.  Anyway, I did get back to walking the loop again.  Ugh, I let myself get out of shape enough that it was hard taking that hill.  Woof.

Other than that, nothing much going on here at Sanderson Acres.  What's up in your world?


Cinnamon Applesauce Bread

1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1 ¼ cups applesauce
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F.  Use cooking spray to lightly coat 9x5” loaf pan.  In a large bowl, blend together sugar, oil, eggs, milk, and applesauce until well combined.  In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Add dry mixture by thirds to wet mixture, each time stirring until smooth.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.  Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 2/1/20

Look at that... a whole new month for reading.  But let's finish up last month, first, shall we?

I didn't pick up any new books this week and I only have two unread ebooks left - romance and paranormal romance - so I better get on that this week.  I'm 6 books ahead on my goal as of last night.

Books read:

11) Legally Undead by Margo Bond Collins (1/31/20) - UF - 5 stars.  New to me, but no necessarily underappreciated with over 100 reviews on Amazon.  Picked up for free off the Freebooksy newsletter. 
Review: "Wow! This is a pretty awesome urban fantasy with some seriously unexpected twists and turns."
Note: Available in audiobook.

10) The Integral Trees by Larry Niven (1/27/20) - SF - 5 stars.  An old favorite I've been looking for in paperback for a while now.  I finally found it at one of my go-to thrift stores for 25c.
Review: "I checked this out from the library numerous times as a teenager, but hadn't read it since. It's as good as I remembered. Better even, because I understood more of the science behind it."


1/30/20 - Free - Mystery.  The beginning was all backstory for the two main characters, neither of whom I liked, and I got tired of slogging through it to get the mystery started.

1/30/20 - Free - Medical Thriller.  Too much description/explanation.  If it's going to be a thriller, don't drag it down with heavy exposition.  And the dialogue was wooden.  If I hadn't been bogged down and it was thrilling, I probably wouldn't have notice the wooden dialogue so much. 

Currently reading...  I finished that urban fantasy at about 7:30 last night, so I didn't pick up anything to read yet.   

What did you read last week?