Tuesday, March 30, 2021

City Folk, Stay Where You Are

Dear City Folk,

Stay where you are.  Seriously.  There's nothing for you out here in rural America except strife and hardship.  

We have ticks and oak mites and chiggers.  We have five different kinds of venomous snakes.  We have black widows and brown recluse spiders.  We have European hornets and mahogany wasps and assassin bugs and assorted other bitey bugs.

We have roosters crowing at all hours during the day.  And coyotes howling at all hours during the night.  One neighbor has guinea hens and those things kick up one heck of a racket - day and sometimes night.  And when the animals aren't making noise, it's so quiet out here it'll drive a city person insane.

There is no Chinese take-out and no pizza delivery.  If you pick up hot food, it'll be cold by the time you get it home.  Hell, you're lucky if you can find a Burger King or a Wendy's within an hour's drive.  For grocery shopping, I have a choice between Walmart and the grocery store that gave me food poisoning.  And most of the restaurants around here are in the health department report with bad marks for cleanliness and food safety.  

Speaking of groceries, the fancy foods you can get in a city aren't for sale here.  Oh, sure, there's a guy with a truck who stops here and there selling seafood, but you have to get there early.  

Bookstores?  Not around here.  Drive an hour maybe.  Same with movie theaters.  And anything cultural.  Symphony?  Opera?  Live comedy?  Forget it.  There's a museum... I hear it has a really large collection of teacups.  

Our power goes out regularly.  I heard tell of a time a few years back where power was out for 10 days because a tree had fallen across the line that ran at the back of some dude's cow pasture and they couldn't find it.  Our phones are pretty good... if you use a landline.  Cell service out here blows.  We regularly get weekenders wandering around with their phones like their dousing for water.  If I have to use mine, I walk out and stand in the middle of the road.

Speaking of roads, ours have no sidewalks, bike paths, etc. and sure as hell no shoulders.  Seriously.  If you break down, get a flat, etc., you better hope no one's coming up behind you.  There's no place to pull over.  Call a tow truck?  Last person I knew who called a tow-truck had a two hour wait.  Triple A?  ROFL.

And there's no such thing as public transportation.  You want a bus?  You'd better enroll in public school because that's the only place you'll find one. Subway?  Only if you want a sandwich.  You thought you hated driving to the airport before?  Here, it's a 90 minute drive to an airport with 8 gates and one piddlin' restaurant.  And there aren't many direct flights anywhere.  Uber?  Umm, no.  Lyft?  Ut uh.  Taxi service?  ROFL.

Hell, we don't even have street names.  We have Farm Roads and Private Roads and Highways.  When I first moved here and had to give someone my address, they thought I lived on FARM ROAD.  No, no.  That's not the name of the road.  It's a Farm Road with either a number after it or a letter.  Farm Road 1122 or Farm Road YY, Private Road Q or Hwy 245.  That's the name.  

Face it, city folk, the learning curve for moving to the sticks is steep and twisted.  You're better off staying where you are.  Trust me on this.


Every Rural Citizen in America

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 13

What a week...  and I'm late again, but at least it's Sunday and not Monday this time...

Monday, I pushed Duke Noble, P.I.: Rumor Has It out into the world.  The initials reviews are good, so yay.  I haven't finished the post-publication checklist on that yet, but I did format it for paperback and I'm waiting on the proof of that so I can make it live, too.  My first paperback through Amazon - not Createspace - so we'll see how it looks.  The process wasn't too bad.

Other than posting about the release, I haven't done any marketing.  We'll see what happens in the coming days.

It was a nice reading week.  It's always easier to read when I don't have writerly stuff going on.  Yesterday, a friend of mine, who was purging her book collection, posted about the books she was letting go and offered them up for basically the cost of shipping.  I picked out 8 - 3 Agatha Christies, 3 Rex Stouts, and two Piers Anthony.  Here's hoping the mail doesn't lose them.  :fingers crossed:  I know Piers Anthony doesn't seem like my usual fare, but I love his Xanth books (well, the early ones anyway) and I hope to start a collection of those.  If you're not familiar with Rex Stout, he writes the Nero Wolfe mysteries.  Anyway, I haz a happy.

In baking news, I did French bread pizza, frittatas, and granola bars last week.  Nothing exciting, but necessary.  I was also going to do a coffee cake, but I ran out of walnuts when I did the granola bars, so those will have to wait.

Guess what?  We went fishing!  Didn't catch anything and only got one bite, but it was fishing.  I had heard weeks ago that they were redoing the place where I fish, and yup, they did.  The parking lot is awesome and so is the boat ramp.  Unfortunately, the took huge chunky rocks and lined the river with them, so it's kind of hard for me to bank fish there.  So, maybe a third of my regular spots are messed up, but in that third is one of my most productive areas.  Drat.  Eh, when the water level goes down, I'll be able to walk around the rocks.  

As for other activities, I did something active 5 days out of 7, with 4 of those days having two activities.  Loads of gardening, yard work, and cleaning.  Yesterday, I was a cleaning fool.  I'd let so much stuff slide, my to-do list is hefty hefty hefty.  I didn't weigh myself at all, though.  

Speaking of gardening, I still haven't started my container garden.  Whoops.  That's on the to-do list for this week.  In other garden news, the peonies, the lilies, the columbines, and the lilies of the valley are all poking their heads up.  The lilac is covered in little green leaves and the beginnings of loads of flower drupes.  The hydrangeas are working on it.  The last remaining azalea has this season to get its act together or it'll be on the wood pile and I'll put a peony in its place.  Let's just say it ain't looking good for that one.

Well, I supposed I ought to get my buns in gear and start the day.  How are things in your neck of the woods?  

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/27/21

Well, here we are again at another Saturday morning where I didn't schedule this ahead of time.  And it was even a good reading week.  Drat.  Luckily, I'd already done the Books Read part and the other parts are easy.  I need more coffee.

The only new book I picked up this week was my own.  I bought an ecopy and I have a paperback proof on its way here.  Should have that in my hot little hands Monday.  Those are for not actual reading reading, but more for scanning through to make sure nothing got messed up in the process. The ebook looks fine to me.  

Books Read:

18) Defending Free Speech By Simpson, et al (3/25/21) - NF Essays - 4 stars.  Not new to me but underappreciated as far as reviews go.  Paid full paperback price - $6.95. This will go on our philosophy shelf for later reference
No review.  

17) Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (3/22/21) - MG Literature - 5 stars.  Surprising enough, I've never read these books before.  Bought a new paperback copy - $4.99
Review: "
Hard to believe I'd never read this one. It's a nice little book and i'm glad I finally took the time to read it."

16) Salt in the Wounds by Mark Richards (3/22/21) - Suspense*# - 5 stars. New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Robin Reads newsletter.  
Review: "
Interesting story with relatable characters, although I did have a problem with the daughter here and there getting away with things I wouldn't allow a 13-yr-old to do. But hey, maybe that's normal in the UK. It was still an awesome suspense and I thoroughly enjoyed it."

No DNFs.

Currently reading...  I'm in the middle of a romance by an author I'd read loads of before.  So far so good.

What did you read last week?

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Thursday This n That

I finally got sleep last night.  Woohoo!  Yay!  Hubs must've also gotten a good night's sleep because he's been sitting behind me reading the news out loud (it's a thing we do).  If he hadn't, he'd be quiet and if I hadn't, I'd be zoned out and ignoring him.  

Unfortunately, none of the news seems to be good.  

I learned last night that Callahan (aka Sour Patch) got adopted at some point during my self-imposed hiatus from looking at dogs.  Yay for him, but I almost cried.  I mean, seriously, there was no chance of my adopting him, but while he was there, I could dream.  

Yesterday, I wrangled the new wild rose onto a trellis.  At one point, the damn thing whipped back at me and hit me in the hand.  Later, I noticed it must've hit me with a thorn right in the thumb knuckle and popped a small blood vessel.  Kind of gross looking, but it's better this morning.  

Also, yesterday, I was clearing the leaves and junk out of the garage bed when something small jumped out at me.  At first my brain said 'grasshopper'.  Then it jumped again and my eyes could see where it landed.  Little bitty, baby, gray tree frog.  Maybe a 1/2 inch long.  So cute.  He was a bugger to catch, but once he jumped onto my glove, he was happy to stay there - even when I was trying to encourage him to jump off into a flower bed I'd already cleaned.  I moved him because I didn't want to accidentally squish him.

Speaking of frogs, the spring peepers are peeping their little brains out right now.  I love spring peepers.  They give me a happy.

I rolled over 40 million in poker last night.

It's time for me to order more bug spray again.  It's too much for me to hope the cold snap wiped out the ticks.  Fingers crossed it hammered the oak mite population, though.  But yeah, Spring.  I love it, but it brings out the bugs.

What's the this-n-that for you today?

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Garden Plans

I know I said I would post this yesterday, but I kind of got wrapped up in my new release.  (Rumor Has It... for sale now - $2.99.)

Okay... so... gardening.  If you've been following along, I've talked about doing some vegetable gardening here at Sanderson Acres.  (Hey, it's more than an acre here, so it counts as plural.)   You know, to help make us more self-reliant and junk. 

The main reason I haven't ventured into growing my own food is... DEER.  Those buggers will eat anything with leaves.  Sure, I have 'deer resistant' flowers and junk, but resistant isn't a guarantee.  Just because a deer doesn't usually eat something doesn't mean it won't in a pinch.  (Or play with it when they're bored.)  And I have yet to find 'deer resistant' food plants.  

So, how does a gal who invites the pesky critters to her yard grow her own food?  

Well, first I looked into fencing.  What a pain in the buns.  All the work of building the fencing turned this lazy gal right the hell off of the whole gardening idea.  And then there was the need for terracing because we live on a hill.  Umm... no.  Not only no, but hell no.

Then I stumbled across the idea of container gardening.  Everything in pots?  Pots we can put on our deck, safely out of the reach of the deer (if not the squirrels and the birds)?  Okay, there's an idea I can get behind.  And we have a huge deck off the south side of our house.  So, I printed off a bunch of stuff on various container ideas.  

At first, I was totally jazzed about this grow-box thing I found that I could make and then put casters on it so we could roll it around the deck to capture the best sun.  Hubs talked me out of that.  We have tons of regular containers... why re-invent the wheel?  

So, over the weekend, I bought a bag of dirt and three seed packets - beefsteak tomatoes, carrots, and lettuce.  Kind of home grown salad.  Yay.  This week, I will use some old egg cartons and start the germination process.  

We have a perfect spot in the garage.  There's a shelf in front of one of the windows - south facing with loads of sunlight.  Hubs will build me a shelf for the other window.  Put some dirt in the egg cups and a seed in each, set them by the window, and wait for them to grow.  Once I get some growth, I'll transplant them into larger containers.  Once all danger of frost is over, put the containers out on the deck.  Voila.

Note: From what I understand, you can't transplant carrots, so those will have to wait a bit to be planted directly into larger containers for outside growth.  Unless I have room on the shelves for a few larger pots.  Hmm.

I also got the wild idea to plant zucchinis in the front rose bed.  Here's the idea...  I have all this space in there.  Two plants could easily grow and stretch themselves under the two rose plants I have.  Between the roses and the fact that the bed is next to the house and the driveway, the deer should leave them alone.  :fingers crossed:  We'll see whether I do that.  I have to do some more research.  For all I know, zucchini and roses are incompatible growers.  If I can't do zucchini there, I'll figure something else out for them.  I've read that you can train zucchini up a trellis.  And then, I'll plant herbs in the rose bed.  Basil, probably.  Maybe dill.  Maybe I'll just transplant some wild chives.  I already have those growing in my iris bed (and all over the yard... LOL)

I'm also playing with the idea of a container full of strawberry plants.  Time will tell.  Those I can't protect from the birds, so it may be a waste of time.  But I would love me some fresh strawberries.  Or blueberries...  :drool:

Anyway, now that my book is done, I have some time to focus on gardening, so that's the plan.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Do you grow any of your own food?  Have you ever tried growing it in a container?  

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Rumor Has It is Live

Cross-posted from Outside the Box:

I did it.  I finally sat myself down and did the formatting and did the uploading and RUMOR HAS IT is live.  It's $2.99 and it's available through Kindle Unlimited for those of you who might have a subscription.  I already sold a book to someone who wasn't me.  Yay.  (I always buy the first book, so I can check how it looks on my actual Kindle.)

Sara Hughes is Dead.

Sara had plans to take her own life. The coroner claims she died in her sleep.  Her daughter fears she was murdered.  Once Duke Noble, P.I. confirms his suspicions, he's hot on the trail of a killer. But with so many likely suspects, who will get nabbed for the crime?  The bully who expects to inherit everything?  The spineless toady with the grasping wife?  The outrageous divorcĂ©e?  Duke's a guy ready to tackle anything the world throws at him, but this time, he's facing something much harder to dodge than bullets and fists… His past.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen.  :hugs:  You guys rock.

Now I have to update the back matter of all my books, which I'll do sometime today.  And I need to format this for paperback printing (and do all the other stuff involved in creating a paperback), which I'll do soon.

I've updated my blogs, including adding a new page to this blog for the series.  Which reminds me that I need to get to work on the next book.  (I'm already planning the cover.  Heh.)  

Anyway, I'm kind of excited right now, can ya tell?  I hope you'll all be excited when you read it, too. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Sunday... err... Monday Update? Week 12

Wow, I totally brainfarted out there yesterday, didn't I?  Last night, I was sitting here playing poker when something flashed in my head like a mental meteorite strike...  "It's Sunday, isn't it?" So, here we are on Monday with the Sunday Update.  Sorry about that.  For some reason, I thought yesterday was Monday.  Don't ask.

Anyway, I have finished all but the formatting and uploading of Rumor Has It.  And I still need to do a Goodreads listing.  I had planned to do all of that yesterday, but yesterday didn't go as planned.  Obviously.  I was so totally not in a place to do anything that required thought.  I printed off my formatting checklist in hopes that eventually my brain would turn over, but like a sad car, it just kept doing that rrr rrr rrr noise.  Of course, as soon as my head hit the pillow the old brain was all like 'Hey!  Hi!  Remember when you did that one thing in 1982... 1975... 1999...?  Let's revisit those events from every possible angle!  And plan a garden!  A think about the cat!  And decide what to do about dinner! Did you remember to do that spreadsheet?  I want a puppy!"

Anyway... the plan is to drink loads of coffee and get to work today.  Except I have to run out for smokes at some point.  My brain, having been up all night, is ready for a nap, so I'd better get this post done before it falls asleep again.

Those of you who are anxiously waiting for Duke, have pity on me.

As for the rest of the week... 

I read a couple pretty good books.  And I'm in the last half of reading another good one.  

I made apple bread again.  

On the activity front, I've started working in the gardens again.  Getting the leaves removed and weeding.  I also took a couple walks.  Weight: 184.6 - down a pound.  

As for gardening, I bought a new peony and planted it yesterday.  I also bought some more hollyhocks which will go in as soon as I clean out the garage bed.  And I bought three packs of vegetable seeds and a bag of dirt to start my container garden.  Hubs went into the garage and found a boatload of old containers I'd kept from all the plants I've planted over the last eight years.  So we're good to go on that.  To start, we'll have a go at tomatoes, lettuce, and carrots.  I'm also going to try planting zucchini in the rosebed.  I'll talk about the plans more tomorrow or something.

During said yardwork, I torqued my wrist or something.  I have craptastic wrists, so it's not surprising or even concerning.  It is however, hard to do anything with my hands when my wrists are being stupid.  I spent a lot of yesterday with my old friends, Aspercreme and Aleve.  I also trotted out my really old friend Ace Bandage.  It's better today.  

I'm sure there are other things that happened, but it's Monday, and I really need to get going today.  (Which is why I generally write this posts on Sunday.  Derp.)  Have a good one.  And if you're inclined, leave a comment.  =o)


Saturday, March 20, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/20/21

Hello there!  It was a pretty dam good reading week... pardon the pun.

I didn't pick up any new ebooks this week, but I did get four paperbacks - suspense, fantasy, literature, and adventure.  I also accidentally one-clicked a NF ebook that I was trying to add to my cart in hardcopy.  Derp.  (Not a cheap mistake, lemme tell ya.)  And I ordered two paperbacks - a NF and a copy of Little House in the Big Woods - which for some reason I have never read.  And I still have 8 unread ebooks waiting on my Kindle.  Woo.

Books Read: 

15) Savaged Illusions: The Complete Series by Jennifer Lyon (3/19/21) - Romance - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but underappreciated as a whole.  Paid full price at the time of release: $3.99.  (It's $6.99 now.)
Review: "I read each of the books in this series separately when they were released and I loved them all. But this set... reading them all the way through from start to finish... is so much more awesome. I loved being able to read Liza and Justice's story from the moment they meet through heartrending parts to the incredible and satisfying climax and the wonderful ending. Okay, I did have to set it aside for a couple days because I had forgotten how intense the story is. But that made it even better. I usually don't buy box sets, especially when I've already read the individual novels, but this was so worth it and so totally worth the re-read."

14) Boulder Dam by Zane Grey (3/17/21) - Adventure - 5 stars.  Not new to me but probably could be more appreciated.  Picked this up at the thrift store for 50c.
Review: "A most excellent story. Not a western per se, but still had a western flair to it. I loved the characters and the plot and the premise. I enjoyed the history of it all and the action. There was also a nice romantic angle, which rounded the book out nicely. Unfortunately, the Epilogue was meh, but it was only a wrap-up and didn't effect the overall awesomeness of the story. It was just not as wow as the rest of the book."
Available in Audio.

No DNFs.

Currently reading... I finished Jen Lyon's book not long before bedtime, so I didn't have time to start anything new.  

What reading things were you up to this week?

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Thursday This n That

Someone spoofed my name (using b.e,_sanderson) and photo last night and sent out messages to some people on my FB friends list.  I got a message from one of them alerting me to it.  I posted something to FB warning people and got a comment from my brother that he'd already reported them.  I tried looking for the numbnuts so I could report them, too, but they were already gone.  Always check the name.  I am B.e. Sanderson (personal) and B.E. Sanderson (author) on Facebook. If there is any difference, it isn't me.  If you're not sure, comment here or email me.  

They also got me on Twitter.  But I haven't actually been on Twitter in more than a year.  If you get contacted by someone looking like me on Twitter, it ain't me.  The only reason I still have a Twitter account is I don't want to chance someone else using B.E. Sanderson on there.  It's mine.

All this spoofing crap... Gah.  People with nothing better to do, I guess.  Grow up and get a life.  Sheesh.

This morning, I listened to a radio broadcast snippet wherein a woman was complaining about deer crossings.  Her feeling was they should move them to lower traffic areas so the deer won't get hit as often.  And the government should move the deer to less populated areas.  Umm... yah.  As someone stated in comments, her vote counts just as much as yours or mine.  

This past week, I have seen three hit deer.  None of them near deer crossing signs.  Those rebel deer.  Shame on them.  I also saw a hit beaver.  Why are there no crossings for those poor little dudes?  ROFL

It's Spring... which means the roads are looking like the aftermath of a war.  Critters are moving around and getting schmucked.  It seems worse this year than usual, at least here.  Keep an eye out for wildlife and slow down, people.  

Last night, there were tornadoes in the area.  This morning, we might see snow.  Stupid weather.

Speaking of tornadoes, the Wireless Alert System sends out alerts to cell phones.  Weather alerts and Amber alerts.  Unfortunately, they keep sending me Amber alerts for St. Louis and Kansas City and St. Joseph.  All of which are hours from here.  Thus, when my cell phone went off during dinner last night, I ignored it.  Once I finished eating, I was over here at the computer, scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw we had been under a tornado warning.  Yep, sure enough, that was what my phone was trying to tell me, but I ignored it because I thought it was another damn Amber alert that didn't apply to me.  Someone really needs to read Boy Who Cried Wolf to the emergency management people.  

Unfortunately, I don't get alerts for the county south of me, which is actually closer to me than most of the alerts for my own county.  Tornado in the middle or the northwest part of the county don't apply because storms there rarely head this way.  :shrug:  I'll keep taking care of myself, thank you very much.  

Okay, I'm running late today, so I suppose I should let you get back to your lives and I'll get back to mine.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Thank You

This morning, a FB friend of mine asked if anyone had heard the new thing where you're not supposed to thank people for doing the things they're expected to do.  And from there, she went off.  And in comments, I went off.  Seems like a perfect subject for today's post.

First off, thank you.  Thank you for being here and reading this today.  I don't really expect you to be here.  And I'm glad when you are - even if you don't comment.  

It occurs to me, maybe there's the crux of the issue.  Expectations.  Perhaps the reason they're trying to get people to stop saying thank you is because they think of all the little things as things we are EXPECTED to do.  If you expect people to do things, then you might not feel as if you should thank them.  

When a waitress brings your dinner, she's expected to do that.  Don't thank her.

When someone holds the door for you, they ought to do that.  Don't thank them.

When your husband takes out the garbage, he's expected to do that.  Don't thank him.

When your wife does the shopping, she's expected to do that.  Don't thank her.

When firemen puts out your burning home, it's what they're supposed to do.  Don't thank them.

When a cop stops a guy from shooting you, well, that's his job and he's expected to do that.  Don't thank him.

Except in each case, there should be some measure of gratitude, so 'thank you' is the least you can do in return.  Yeah, in all of the instances above, those people are expected to do what they did.  Does your expectation makes their job any less important than it was?  Are you less grateful because you expected them to do it?  If the answer is yes, shame on you.

Entitled brats expect others to do things for them without their having to acknowledge the effort.  

Hubs and I thank each other often - for all the little things and for all the big things.  And we don't do it by rote.  We mean it.  So what if taking out the garbage is 'his job'?  I'm grateful he does it.  So what if grocery shopping is 'my job'?  He's grateful I do it.  I could easily take out the trash.  He could easily do the shopping.  (He could... I won't let him, but he could.)

We also don't say 'thank you' because we assume the other person expects it.  Neither of us expects it.  He doesn't stand there tapping his foot waiting for me to thank him for doing the laundry anymore than I'm waiting for him to thank me for doing the dishes.  We just do it.  

All in all, it's pretty nice.  People ought to try it.  

So, once again, I thank you for being here.  I thank you for being my friends.  I thank you for reading my words and enjoying them.  

Now, go out there and say thank you to the people in your lives who do things they're expected to do.  Because there may come a day when they don't do the things you expect of them because they're tired of the world not recognizing the things they do.

And if someone thanks you, don't blush and say 'it's nothing'.  K?

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 11

Whoops.  Way late again today.  At least today I can blame the time change.  Stupid stupid time change.

In editing news, I finished the edits for Duke Noble: Rumor Has It and it's off to readers now.  It tops the scales at 55190 words.  Which is 192 pages of pure story in MS Word (TNR 12 point) pre-formatting.  I'm not rushing my readers.  They'll take as much time as they need.  Once I get it back, figure a week for tweaking and then formatting, and I'll upload it for publication.

I readjusted the cover a bit.  

With new cream colored text.  Woohoo.

Then I made a Coming Soon graphic.  (Look over there ----->)  And I made new banner graphics for FB and MeWe.  

Sixteen books ain't easy to fit on a banner and still have them all legible, lemme tell ya.

Also, I started working on the back cover copy for the book.  LAME.  Lame lame lame lame lame.  When I can produce something that doesn't suck, I'll show it to you.  Today, I'm going to read the backs of all my noir crime books and see if I can't produce something as zippy.

In reading news, I finished the book I was saving for when I got the edits done.  Yay!  It was made of awesome.

In baking news, I made Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake - tweaking a recipe my friend, Silver, posted on her blog last week.  Yummers.  I also did quesadillas and french bread pizza and pot roast.  It was a food filled week.

On the activity front, I spent one day removing leaves from some of my gardens and three days I got walks in.  As for weight, let's just say I stepped on the scale and got right the hell back off of it.  Somehow (perhaps it's all the baking) I'd gained 4 lbs.  Gak.  Then I lost one.  185.6.  I haven't weighed myself since.  

Speaking of gardens, once I removed the leaves, I have hyacinths, crocuses, and daffodils.  Only the hyacinths are flowering yet.  Two peonies are coming up.  Another one is usually later.  And the fourth one died last year.  The lilac has leaf buds.  The Charlie Brown hydrangea is growing up from the ground again.  The irises are doing their thing.  Still waiting on several plants to show me whether the cold snap hurt them.  :fingers crossed:

In general, life is good.

How are things in your world?

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/12/21

 Heh.  It's Saturday, isn't it?  Whoops.  Sorry I'm late...

Not a whole lot went on this week because I was hip-deep in editing my own book and getting it out to readers.  Once I got the edit notes completed, I could finally read a book.  Then I had to input the notes and do other tedious but necessary stuff, so I didn't get a chance to read anything else.

No books acquired this week/

Books Read:

13) Uptown Blues: Herbert and Melacon #5 by Seth Pevey (3/10/21) - Suspense* - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but definitely underappreciated - especially since it's a new release.  I really wish more people would fall in love with this series.  It really deserves more fans.  Picked up after the author contacted me to let me know it was out - full price: $3.99 and worth every penny.
Review: "The worst part of this book was that I finished it and now it's over. Seriously awesome book, people, and if you haven't read the other ones yet, I'm a little sad for you. Because you don't already know and love Felix Herbert and David Melancon. Still, you can read this story without having read the others and not worry about getting lost in the allusions to previous books. Instead you can start reading here and get lost in this story. You can meet and love Andre, which you certainly will. And his story... It's big and it's deep, and it comes to a most wonderful and satisfying conclusion."

No DNFs:

Currently reading... I sent my own book off to readers right before bed last night, so I haven't picked out my next read yet.  I'll start something today.

What was on your reading list this week?

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Thursday This n That

I've been hip deep in editing stuffs this week.  Last night, I finished entering the second round of edits.  Now, I just need to scan through it one more time and then I can send it out to readers.  But first I need to find out if my readers are actually free to read.  Derp.

An author this morning on FB was talking about people who call themselves authors who really shouldn't be calling themselves that.  And my first thought was 'he's talking about me'... which is, of course, impostor syndrome.  You know, where you think you're not really a writer even though you are.  I suspect people who don't encounter this from time to time are the kinds of people he was talking about.  He's right.  You can't just whip a book together and throw it onto the internet and call yourself an author.  This shit takes work.  I've taken two days off in the past three weeks.  Last night, I was editing in my sleep.  If that ain't an author, I don't know what is.

Of course, I also took the eleven days before that off, which is part of what feeds my impostor syndrome.  Maybe I'm not an author.  Maybe I'm just a writer.  And that's okay.  

My thirty day ban on looking at dogs ended yesterday.  Suddenly, I have pooches needing homes in my FB feed again.  I think I need to snooze all those sites again because I'm still kind of obsessing on dogs.  I need to get to a point where I can look at the pictures without yearning to bring one home.  

Someone dumped a litter of puppies in the woods around here.  (Not near here, but I saw it on FB.)  Six little girls about 6 weeks old without their mommy.  They were all wormy and scrawny and tick-bitten.  What kind of monster does that?  The rescue agency will take good care of them and send them off to good homes, but if they hadn't been discovered, they'd be dead.  Asshole.

I finished that book I had been saving as a treat for myself.  Now I haz a sad because it's over.  At least until he writes and publishes the next book.  =o(

Oh, gawd, I just realized... I'm a 50-yr-old fangirl.  

I also realized that reading his books feed my impostor syndrome.  :shrug:  I'll keep reading them and suffer the consequences of not feeling quite good enough with my own writing when I finish them.

I am who I am.  I can only write what I write to the best of my abilities.  Someone out there likes it.  Several someones, in fact.  Just the other day, I had a reader in the UK inhale all of my SCIU books one after the other.  If they didn't like what I wrote, would they do that?  Umm, no.

Be nice if those someones wrote a review every now and then.  

Okay, that's enough out of me again today.  What this-n-thats are on your radar today?

Monday, March 8, 2021

Killing the Crocodile

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." - Ray Bradbury

Personally, I haven't liked Dr. Seuss since I discovered, while doing research into education, that his books were designed to be used as part of the look-say method of teaching reading.  Don't get me started on that.  In as much as I don't like this books, I don't believe any of them should be cancelled.  Especially over something as stupid as social justice.  

In fact, I spent many a happy hour as a child reading his books.  I already knew how to read, so no worries there.  They were just silly and fun.  And who doesn't love the Grinch?  It's an American icon.

Oh, wait, they didn't cancel that one.  Only a few of his books were cancelled.  So what's the big deal, right?  


Cancelling books is today's method of burning them.  It's so much tidier.  None of that smoke and ash, don't ya know.  Burn them or cancel them, they're gone just the same.  Those six books of his will no longer be printed and will disappear digitally.  

Can you smell the smoke?

There are actually people celebrating this.  Writer people celebrating this.  Writers people who, in my opinion, should be the last people on Earth to celebrate censorship of any kind.  They can't be thinking that opening the door to this censorship might mean censorship for them down the road.  They're thinking... if there's thinking there at all... Oh, no, not me.  They'll never come for me.

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." - Winston Churchill

First or last on the menu, the crocodile comes for us all.  Unless he's stopped.  And don't fool yourself.  You don't stop this crocodile by throwing your fellow writers between you and him.  He won't be satiated by eating them.  He'll just keep coming and coming.  

They're trying to cancel To Kill a Mockingbird, too.  And Mark Twain's works.  No calls for burning. That would be bad.  Just calls for cancelling them.  Nothing to see here.  The smoke is colorless and odorless, and it's not even hot, but it kills just the same.  

Mein Kampf is still printed.  It was written by one of the worst people, if not the worst person in history.  Nobody's calling for that to be cancelled.  Hell, I could name a dozen books I wish would never have come into existence.  But you won't see me trying to get those out of libraries, etc.  Because it's not right.  Keep that shit around, if only to make sure you never forget that it exists.  

Every writer should be up in arms over this.  If you value what you do, kill the crocodile - don't help it.  How do you kill it?  Speak up.  Say 'no more of this', not on my watch.  Shine a light on its comings and goings so the world can kill it, too.  Don't allow censorship, not even a little bit - not even when it's something that you wouldn't read or allow your children to read.  Free speech includes the speech we don't like, too.  It's the only way that works.

Because in the end, it comes down to who will decide what stays and what gets cancelled.  And I guarantee it won't be me.  And it won't be you.  In the end, we'll all be screwed.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 9

Nine weeks into 2021: Son of 2020.  You can only whip on someone for so long before they become numb.


The editing is moving along.  Slowly.  I did finish round 1 and start round 2.  Like I said, this current edit pass is being a turd. Eight and a half pages of notes to enter and I'm only about 50% of the way through.  The book will be better for it.  I promise.  But it won't be finished soon.  Blerg.  (I woke up at 2am this morning and started entering notes.  3 pages down.  Woohoo.)

My reading week wasn't all gangbusters.  I only finished one book... because edits of my own book have taken over my brain.  But I'm being good and not reading what I desperately want to read until I finish my peas... as in, eat your damn peas so you can have dessert.

In baking/cooking news, I tried some new recipes this week - chocolate chip muffins, apple bread, and Parmesan-crusted pork chops.  All three of those recipes were good but need tweaking, so I'm not sharing them yet.  I also made granola bars.

On the activity front, I was kinda lazy.  I did do one walk.  And then Hubs and I did the windows in the sunroom, which kind of shut out further activity for me for several days.  Ugh.  Then Hubs and I did yard work yesterday.  Let's not talk about weight this week, eh?

Oh, and I went to Wallyworld, which counts as activity... trust me.  On the way to Wallyworld, I stopped at the feed store and got into a conversation with a semi-new resident of the area.  A self-proclaimed refugee from the Peoples' State of California.  Pretty cool gal.  Before I knew it, like an hour had gone by and I was running way late.  I called Hubs to let him know I wasn't even in the store yet, so he wouldn't worry that I was laying in a ditch somewhere.  

My Amazon order arrived.  Who knew I could be that excited about getting a book I'd already read, a CD I'd already listened to, and a pack of nitrile gardening gloves?  :shrug:  For the record, I'd only listened to the CD (Good Parts by Andy Grammer.) already because Amazon gave it to me in digital form after I bought the CD.  It's on my computer now, so I can breeze through the tunes.  I do love me some Andy Grammer.  There's only one song I don't like and two I can live without.  The rest are 5-star worthy.  Yay.  (If Andy's not ringing a bell, perhaps you'll recognize this song.)

I'm still seeing eagles.  One flew right over the house on Friday.  I expect it won't be too much longer before the start their migration north, but for now, I'm enjoying them.  The deer are still eating us out of house and home.  I expect that to slack off again eventually.  And I'm enjoying them, too, even if I wished I could claim them as dependents on our taxes.  

Other than that, not much going on over here.  How are things with you?

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/6/21

Back around to the Reading Wrap-up and not a whole lot to show for it.  But hey, some weeks are like that.  Especially when I'm editing.

I did pick up three new ebooks this week - a well-known name I've never read before, an unknown suggested by a friend, and the next book in a series I get totally fangirly over. Paranormal mystery, mystery, and suspense, in that order.

Books read:

12) The Bullet Catch by John Gaspard (2/28/21) - Mystery*2 - 5 stars - Since I read the first book last week, it's not new to me, but it could use more reviews.  Paid full price after inhaling the first book - $3.99.
Review: "
A most excellent sequel - as good, if not better, than the first. So, if you liked that, you'll love this. If you haven't read that one yet, you'll probably be okay reading this alone, but reading that one first will give you a richer experience. Awesome books."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... Unfortunately, I've been hip-deep in edits for my own work, so I haven't had time to start a new book.  As soon as this pass is done, I'm jumping right into the suspense I've been waiting for.

What was your reading week like?

Friday, March 5, 2021

Blink Blink

This morning I was awakened at too-damn-early by a strange alarm.  Apparently, my new phone is tied not only to the weather alerts, but the whole damn WEA - Wireless Emergency Alert system.  It was an Amber Alert - which is cool, except it was an alert for St. Louis County... specifically St. Louis the city... which is 300-ish miles from here.  If that dude who took the kid was looking to hide, there is no way in hell he would head here.  He'd stick out like an infected toe.  

You know, they really need to work on some rational method of releasing alerts.  I get alerts for St. Louis, but not for the cities in Arkansas which are way closer and far more likely for me to be able to do anything about them.  Take a weather alert.  I get alerts and sure, they're all for my county, but I'm in the extreme corner of the county and most of the alerts are for locations 30-45 minutes away from here.  But I don't get alerts for the counties to the southwest or south of here because those are in a different state.  Unfortunately, more often than not, the weather is coming from that direction and headed our way.  

I know I'm asking a lot when I ask for rational methods and reasonable ways to address things.  Especially when the government is involved.  But this really shouldn't be that difficult.  The damn phone system sends an alert from the towers.  It can't be based on phone number, because my cell phone number is still CO and I don't get alerts for CO.  Maybe if they sent an alert out only through those towers most likely to be in the area of the actual problem...  Then I would be more likely to receive all the alerts I actually need rather than alerts for places I have no damn connection to.

Of course, all this seems to be handled by FEMA and we all know what a good job they do.  :eyeroll:  These days anything that has 'federal' in its name is a crapshoot.  Oh, who am I kidding?  Any government or governing acronym is iffy.  

Anyway, I'm tired and I'm cranky.  At least I don't have it as bad as a local friend of mine who, after being awakened by the same alert, shut her phone off and then ended up oversleeping, giving her 10 minutes to get her kids ready for school before the bus arrived.  

Oh, and the reason for the Amber Alert was found safe with family members twenty minutes after the alert woke us up.  I feel so much better about being awakened for that alert now.  Not.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Thursday This n That

So, let me see if I have this right...  I, a person who has never owned slaves and hates the idea of slavery of any kind, will be forced based on my skin color to pay reparation money to people... people who have never actually been slaves... based on their skin color, because I am automatically guilty of things my ancestors may or may not have done to their ancestors who may or may not have been slaves.  Makes perfect sense.  :note sarcasm:  While I'm at it, let me whip out some money to pay reparations for the branch of my family tree that split off sometime in the late 1800s and became Nazis after my direct ancestors left Germany.  Makes about as much sense.

Shit like that makes my brain hurt.

We're having some beautiful weather this week.  I hope this doesn't encourage the trees and plants to sprout and bloom and then we have another cold snap.  It did that one year and all the blossoms on my redbud tree died.  That was sad.

I've started following the comedian JP Sears on FB and MeWe.  He's a hoot.  

In other happy news, I was contacted by an author I follow.  He messages me when he has a new book out.  YAY!  I snapped that sucker right up.  Unfortunately, I'm in the middle of edits on my Kindle and I'm trying to be all adult and junk so I can't read his book right yet.  If I weren't being adult, I'd set my editing aside (heh, like I need a reason) and inhale his book.  However, and utnostly, I made promises to get this book done and I will do that before I treat myself.  :dangles carrot:  

Yesterday morning, I was at loose ends - taking a break from editing and not wanting to just sit around - and I mentioned to Hubs that I might go out and finish some yardwork stuff.  He reminded me that we were going to do windows sometime this week and asked if I wanted to put that off until Friday.  Well, nope.  Windows and yardwork... same same.  Something to do that needs doing.  So I started working on the windows while he finished up his work and then he joined me.  I did the insides, he got a ladder and did the outsides.  Took about three hours to do the five windows in the sunroom - inside and out.  (Those are not tilt-in.  Thunderation!)  I'll get through the rest of the house windows by myself today and tomorrow.  

Thunderation... Have you seen the new Geico commercial with Captain Ahab helping a woman find a parking spot?  When he says 'Thunderation!' I about fall over laughing.  Every time.  Too funny.  And so now I've been saying thunderation because it's funny and it makes Hubs laugh.  Gotta find the fun where you can these days.

Okay, that's enough out of me.  What's the this-n-that skinny in your world?

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Wild Violets

 I've been working on a post I'm not sure if I'll ever share, so here's a pretty picture...

Wild violets in the yard... in hopes Spring comes sooner rather than later.  =o)

Monday, March 1, 2021

March the First Random Rantings

The new wall calendar I bought for 2021 kinda sucks.  By some stroke of genius at the company that prints the calendar, all the numbers and holidays are printed in light gray.  Light gray, people.  Can't read the freakin' thing from more than a foot away and even then, I need my glasses.  It's a WALL calendar.  I should be able to read it while it's hanging on the wall three feet away, for pitysakes.  So, in order to be able to read it, I have to go over the dates with a pen before I hang the damn thing on the wall each month.  (Yes, I could sit here and do the whole damn calendar all at once, but I'm lazy.)  (And yes, I could go buy a new calendar, but I already paid for this one and I'm a tightwad.  Also, I wrote on it, so I can't return it.)

The bird of the day is a parrot.  I have mentioned before... I hate parrots.  No, seriously.  I do love birds, and I'd be fine with parrots in the wild if I hadn't lived with a parrot for 3 years... and if the parrot hadn't been owned by a mentally abusive asshole.  I can't even look at an African Gray without the anger that relationship caused bubbling up.  And I left that dude in 1998.  The parrot has become a mental symbol of abuse for me.  I probably should see someone about that.  :shrug:  It's not harshing my ability to live, so I probably won't bother.

Tangentially, the bird's name was Maurice - after the Steve Miller Band song lyric.  Can't listen to that song either anymore.  Thanks, asshole.  You win.  I'm still thinking about you twenty-three years later.  Thinking nasty thoughts, but still there you are.  It will be happy day when I read your obituary*.

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?  Women for putting up with crap like that.  And the significant others who can't seem to stop abusing the people they are supposed to love.  Over the years, I've talked to many women who've been abused.  I don't seek them out, but it seems like once we become friends, the stories come leaking out.  It's a LARGE pool of people, folks.  Way larger than I think the statistics reflect.  Way too large considering that we're all supposed to be nice to each other, now more than ever.  Feh.  

Okay, well, that last part could turn into a full-blown, hours long rant, so I'll stop.  

What's pissing you off today?

*Yes, from time to time, I put his name into the search engines.  Part of me feels safer knowing where he's at - even after all these years.  And part of me is, in fact, waiting for the happy day when I learn he's been hit by a bus.  I cheered when I learned his mom died.  What a piece of work that chick was.  The world is a better place with her gone.