Sunday, October 31, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 43

 Hi there!  I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning and I'm jacked up on coffee!  Yay!  And now it's time to wrap-up last week and look forward to next, so let's do this thing...

I didn't get any writing done, but that's okay because I'm not in a writing place right now.  What's not okay is that I didn't get much other writerly stuff done either.  Half a page of edit notes entered and a few hours of attempting to get things ready to load in Draft 2 Digital, at which point I got frustrated and went into the woods to make firewood.  I'll attempt the D2D thing again today.  And I'll talk more about that tomorrow on Outside the Box.

I did manage to get some reading done this week.  Yay!

In baking news, I made To Die For Coffee Cake - with the Butter Pecan cake mix as originally and most beautifully intended*.  Yummers.  (Recipe here.)

As for activity... Like I said above, I made firewood yesterday.  I also threw logs and dragged logs, all of which made up for 4 of my 5 active days this week.  The other day was devoted to unclogging the drain in our kitchen sink.  Yes, that counts.  Unfortunately, I gained two pounds.  I blame the cake.  And the ice cream.  Or rather the 'frozen dairy dessert' I bought at the Dollar General.  Weight: 181.6

I would've been more active, but the weather wasn't cooperating this week.  Splooshy splooshy rain for three days.  Yeah, I could've done something inside, but after working outside, riding the exercise bike is boring.

Oh, while we were out throwing logs, etc., we saw Chester Chipmunk running around in the woods gathering food for the coming winter.  So cute!  Yesterday, he actually came right up to where Hubs was working on reorganizing under the house and watched for a while before Hubs got too close and even then, Chester didn't run far away.  Such a good little critter.  I may have to take some birdseed down to where he's gathering and give him a nice treat.

One of the bigger bucks wandered through, lookin' for lurve.  I didn't get a good look at the rack, but he was built like a brick shithouse.  The girls aren't quite ready for him yet, though.  They can't be bothered with romance and prefer to just eat.  

In other news, I received an interesting letter via email.  I'm sure the sender thought they were being helpful.  However, unsolicited advice from strangers rarely goes off well.  (If you're here reading this blog and seeing my advice, it falls under the 'you asked for it' category.  I would never invade your space and send you an email with advice unless you asked for it.)  I spent some time thinking about how to reply - when I should've been sleeping - and ultimately deleted the email unanswered.  No good can come of engaging.  As for taking the advice, I can only say that at this point, to follow the advice I was given, I would need a big bag of moolah for new cover art and rebranding and a big marketing thing.  If you're a wealthy philanthropist, donations are always welcome via PayPal**.

Oh, crap, I just realized it's Halloween.  Happy Halloween!  I was supposed to do some marketing things this week to take advantage of the holiday, but I crapped out on that.  I also don't really celebrate since I don't have a kid anymore.  (I still have Owl, she's just not a kid.)  I thought about buying a pumpkin, but more for baking purposes than decor for the day.  If you're into Halloween and/or have kids and grandkids, have fun tonight!

And on that note, I'll let you go enjoy your day.  Time for me to try and hit the D2D thing again.  Maybe I'll have better luck and more patience.  ;o)

How was your last week?

*to borrow a phrase from The Philadelphia Story.

** totally kidding there... I probably still wouldn't make the changes, even if I won a cool million in the lottery.  But if you ARE a wealthy philanthropist, I wouldn't mind having a silent and anonymous benefactor of my arts.  ROFL

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 10/30/21

Hi there!  Finally a week worthy of your visit!  

I didn't get any new ebooks this week, but I did swing by the thrift store.  Got a Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker omnibus and an Agatha Christie I didn't already have.  Yay.  I still have four unread ebooks leftover from before - a suspense, a mystery, and two romances.

Anyway, I'm so glad to be reading again.  Yay!

Books Read:

54) The French Fraud by Myrtle Morse, Ruby Loren (10/29/21) - Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and at fifty Goodreads reviews, it just meets my criteria for underappreciated.  Picked up free from Reading Deals.
Review: "Cute and twisty mystery with plenty of fun stuff and interesting characters."

53) Centaur Aisle (Xanth #4) by Piers Anthony (10/26/21) - Fantasy - 5 stars.  Neither new to me not underappreciated.  Saw in the book rack at Dollar General for $3 amd just had to snap it up.
Review: "Just as awesome as I remembered it."

52) Canyons of Night by Jayne Castle (10/23/21) - Paranormal Romance* - 5 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  I was given a copy of this by a friend.
Review: "This was a pretty good book. Probably would've been better if I'd read the preceding books, but I can't fault it for that. I enjoyed the characters and the premise was interesting. The plot was solid and I enjoyed the romance. All in all, worthy of five stars."


10/27/21 - free - mystery.   The book started out okay.  A little reminiscent of a show I watched on Masterpiece Mystery, but passable.  Then I got a several paragraph dissertation on how awesome the prisons were in European Country vs how awful actual punishment was elsewhere and moved on to the next book.  Unfortunately, I had already also downloaded the sequel which I no longer have any interest in reading.  Bummer.

10/27/21 - free - mystery.  OMG, seriously.  I was trying really hard to wade through this, because it had a solid premise and some good writing.  The hard part had to do with the MC's strange affectation of breaking into Hispanic slang even though he was a white dude with a Wonder Bread last name.  I tried, but after he did something profoundly stupid and then claimed to be a Law & Order addict, I had to shut the book.  Come on, man.  If you ever really watched L&O, you'd know what you were doing was stupid.  Writer shoulda known better.  Meh.

Currently reading... After I finished the mystery, I dove into one of my the Douglas Adams omnibus.  I might only read one book in it before moving on to something else.  First up, the book that began it all - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Hopefully, it's as awesome as I remember.

What was on your reading plate this past week?  Looking forward to anything awesome?

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Thursday This n That

 I woke up this morning to a dead coffee maker.  Poor Hubs was making coffee by boiling water in the teakettle and then pouring it over the grounds in the machine.  He had about a half a pot ready for me when I woke up.  Then I went into the storage closet and pulled out the backup machine.  Yes, I have a backup coffee maker.  It's an older one that wasn't quite dead when I bought the new one, so I tucked it away for emergency usage.  So, we have coffee and the world is still safe.  You're welcome.

I will be going out and picking up a new coffee maker today.  Because the backup could die without warning and no one wants that.  I drink coffee and smoke cigarettes for your protection.  Again, you're welcome.

I also have instant.  For larger emergencies.

So, I finally heard back from Amazon about my missing page reads.  They're still not paying me for those, but Amazon assured me my account is in good standing.  Umm... yeah.  So, because they (or their bots) decided someone was using KU to... what, fake read books?... I'm screwed.  I'll talk more about that tomorrow.

It's totally splooshy here.  Big band of rain stretching from the Gulf to Canada and it's sort of stalled, so it's wet wet wet here.  I'll need to find something else to do rather than throw logs for a while I guess.

I did do some edit notes yesterday.  A half page worth.  Which sounds pathetic until you realize on that half page were a couple of things that needed to be changed in the whole book.  Find and replace is a wonder, but each instance had to be carefully reviewed and reworded to make it work.  One of them was the hair color of an important secondary character.  And there was another character with the same hair color, so I had to make sure I was changing the right person's hair.  Blerg.  The other was how the mages address each other.  Yeah, still sounds easy when I type it out, but it wasn't.  What it was was tiring and tedious.

My luck has truly sucked lately.  My poker account went from 330mil to 120mil.  And I'm not doing anything different.  Just getting a heapin' helpin' of bad luck.  Thankfully, it seems to only be in the poker.  Not that my luck is awesome elsewhere, but at least it's not bad.  :knock on wood:

I had a dream the other night that made me totally not want a dog.  Something about two little yappy dogs and my entire house covered in urine and feces.  :shudder:  But I'm over it.  I want a dog again.  I like the looks of this one.  Or this one.  Or this one.  Or this cat.  

And that's about enough out of me this morning.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

News Bits and Other Junk

So, Cambridge University and the University of Florida have come together to sift through books and authors determining which ones might need a trigger warning.  Cuz, ya know, people shouldn't have to read things that upset them in any way.  Even if they're getting upset over things no one got upset about 10...20...100 years ago. Hell, some of these things are things no one got upset about prior to last year's election cycle.  And by the way, it's censorship, but they're not going to let that stop them.  Writers everywhere should be pitching a bitch, but it's crickets out there for the most part.  =o\

Hey, did you hear the latest thing about Fauci and the puppies?  Spoiler alert, it's not cute or nice.  I find it funny that all the people who have no problem whatsoever with what Fauci and his policies are doing to human beings are suddenly upset and surprised that his actions resulted in puppies being used as lab animals.  Beagle puppies, if I read it right.  Look out, Fauci, John Wick is coming for your ass now.

In happier news, I read a headline that talked about how quarterback Tom Brady tossed the game ball to a 9-yr-old cancer survivor he'd recognized in the stands.  That's nice.  Not a fan of Brady, but it's still a nice story.

In other news, a police K9 was shot over the weekend.  In the head.  It's okay, though, because the bullet glanced off the skull and didn't enter the brain.  Poor dog's skull got cracked, which has to hurt like hell, but he's expected to make a full recovery.  Last report had him out of the hospital and recovering at home.  Good dog.  I don't remember what happened to the suspect.  Hopefully, they lit him up and he's dead now.  If not, I hope they prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.

In my own news, I moved the entire pile of cast off limbs to the big brush pile this weekend.  While I was doing that I saw a tiny frog.  I tried to catch it and move it to a safer locale, but he disappeared into the limbs.  Here's hoping he hung on while I was dragging the limbs down to the pile and didn't get trod upon.

Hubs took a break from sawing firewood to reorganize the room under the house.  He built a shelfy-thing on which to lay lumber and stuff.  I haven't been under there since he finished, but I bet it looks nice.  

Note: Do not watch any of the Final Destination movies right before you help your spouse cut lumber.  The whine of the circular saw as it's approaching your unprotected fleshy bits will freak you out.  A little.  I obviously trust Hubs with my life, and he's the most careful and safety-conscious man alive, so I wasn't really worried.  But yeah, I shouldn't have watched any of that movie that morning.  LOL

How were things in your world this weekend?  Got any news to share?

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 42

Forty-two weeks in... ten weeks of 2021 left.  Blerg.  Oh, well.  I guess I'll start shifting my hopes that 2022 will be better.

In writerly news, I did start working on those edit notes.  Don't get excited.  I only did two pages so far and it's making me want to rewrite the beginning.  Don't get excited there either because I always feel this way when I start editing and I rarely rewrite the beginning due to it.

 I really should set up some kind of freebie/sale thing for this week, what with Halloween fast approaching and junk.  We'll see.  I'd hate to set up a sale and have my internet be all Mr. Poopyhead on me.

Speaking of internet, it's been fine so far this weekend.  We'll see what it's like tomorrow morning when we really need it.  We're still playing with the idea of satellite internet in place of or in addition to DSL.  

On the reading front, I finally finished the anthology and I also read another book.  So, I'm only like 8 books behind now.  I also picked up a paperback I've been casually looking for when I'm out and about.  It was surprising to find it in the Dollar General book rack, but yay.  I started reading it last night.

I didn't do a whole lot of baking this week.  A thing of baked spaghetti and a batch of granola bars.  

Not much baking because I've been in the woods every day, except yesterday.  Only a couple hours each day, but it kind of makes me not want to do anything else.  We're dragging logs up out of the woods and sawing them into firewood.  Then we stack the wood.  We've got quite a goodly amount after 6 days, which is cool.  When we get a wood stove, we'll have the fuel all ready to go.  And it's awesome exercise.  Nothing quite like getting some productive exercise going on.  I mean, I can walk/bike a hundred miles and go nowhere or I can make firewood and end up with something.  I'd rather have something to show for it when I'm done.

With the internet being a bastard all week, I spent a lot of time watching TV.  Funny since there really isn't anything on - even though we have free movie channels right now, too.  We're debating getting rid of the TV altogether.  Can we do it?  :shrug:  I certainly wouldn't miss the $114 for Direct TV every month.  And I can live without the reruns, which are about all I'm watching these days anyway.  

Ahem... anyway, the deer are fine.  They're getting ready for the rut, so we're not seeing them in large groups right now and they're not eating as much corn.  This is cyclical, so we're not worried or anything.  They'll be back.  They always are.  We are starting to see glimpses of the larger bucks as they wander through looking for the gals to love on.

The chipmunk has moved out of the flower bed and now seems to be inhabiting the wood pile.  We've seen him and another one chasing each other around it.  We're only removing the big logs we can get to easily, so no worries for them in their winter accommodations. 

Oh, before I forget, when I was on the phone with CenturyLink, I got a customer service rep who sounded EXACTLY like Martin Short doing Franck in Father of the Bride (the Steve Martin one).  I about fell out of my chair trying not to laugh.  Seriously.  I was slapping my leg and holding it all in.  I wrote a note so Hubs would know why I was acting so weird.  And then after I hung up, all the laughter came out at once in this sort of weird cackle.  I don't know if the dude actually sounded like that or he was doing the accent to sort of break up his day, but if it was the latter, he did a most excellent job and he stayed in character for the whole conversation.  Goid one, phone dude!  Made a horrible task almost enjoyable for me.

Anyway, that was my week.  How was yours?

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 10/23/21

Gah, I almost forgot that it's Saturday morning and I actually have things to talk about on the Reading wrap-up.

I picked up 1 paperback (which I already had) and a set of home improvement books this week.  The home improvement books are for Hubs, but I might read them at some point.  No new ebooks yet.  I still have the 9 I had from before, although I'm currently reading of those.

Books Read:

51) A Brief Darkness (Alfred Hitchcock anthology) by various (10/21/21) - Mystery Short Stories - 4 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Bought from the thrift store for $1.
Review: "
This has some pretty interesting stories overall, but it wasn't my favorite of these anthologies."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... a paranormal romance.  It's like the third book in a series that I hadn't read before, but a friend gave it to me, so I'm jumping on in.  So far, so good - even with not quite knowing what's going on with this world due to jumping in late.

What was on your reading plate this past week?

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday This n That

I have had exceptionally slow internet for the most part of this week.  Like dial-up slow and worse.  When I do have internet, I'm trying to hit the high spots.  Alas, the blogs haven't been one of them.  Sorry about that.  CenturyLink dude was all like 'suck it'. Okay, that wasn't what he actually said, but that's what it boiled down to.  According to him, there's nothing wrong with our internet, so they refuse to send anyone out.  He kept talking about the DSL slowing down 'during peak times'.  I told him 'I don't know where you're at, but this started at 4 o'clock in the morning and we live in the middle of nowhere, so it's not a peak time here'.  We're looking at options.  Probably Hughes Net satellite internet.  Let's hope that doesn't suck, too.

Hubs is reading me reviews from Hughes Net right now.  It doesn't look good.  =o\

Aside from that, we've been throwing logs all week.  Woods work is extremely cathartic when you're frustrated as hell.  And sawing cedar smells good.  

I saw a teeny-tiny frog a couple days ago.  No clue what kind.  Brown.  And about the size of my pinky nail.  Itty Bitty Brown Frog... Ittibitticus brownius if you want to get technical.  LOL

The other day I went to the thrift store.  Picked up a framed mirror about ten inches long by 4 inches wide. Perfect for a spot in my bathroom where I wasn't sure what would work.  I also got another Vince Flynn novel that I already had.  (It's becoming a running gag now.)  And a set of home improvement books for free.  Cha-Ching.  Hubs was pleased with those.  And they had a new manager, which is awesome.  The last dude was the one who jacked up all the prices on everything.  I bet sales dumped and that's why he's gone.  Anyway, the new dude is way friendlier.  He's from Indianapolis and he has family in Michigan, which is cool.  

The thrift store is hiring.  I mean, they're always looking for volunteers, but this is for pay.  When I asked the oddly-haired (no hair should be that color) girl at the counter about the job, she leaned in and lowered her voice to let me know it was for... the back... which means moving furniture and stuff.  Like she was trying to warn me off.  ROFL.  If she only knew what I'd been doing all of September and part of August.  I have half a mind to go apply and get the job just to show that girl what an old lady can do.  I think it would be kinda fun working a thrift store.  But I'd have to get used to listening to Christian music all day.  It's hard enough to ignore while I'm shopping.  I wouldn't mind if it was GOOD, but it's rarely good.

Okay, time to see if this post will actually save and post.  Have a great day, if you can see this.  I'll be watching TV and throwing logs.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 41

 It's Sunday.  I'm still low on caffeine, but it's loading.  

I finally finished the edit notes.  30 pages worth for roughly 97K words.  So, like a page of notes per 3200 words.  The date at the top of the first page is 7/12.  Three months... but not really 3 whole months because I took all that time off to help a friend.  I plan on starting to input those pages today.  We'll see how that goes.  

After I finished the notes, I got back to reading.  I'm still on that anthology of mystery/suspense stories, but I'm making progress.

In baking news, I made corn bread.  That's because I did a vat of chili and corn bread just sounded yummy.  I also made a batch of scalloped potatoes.

On the activity front, I did active stuff 4 out of 7 days.  Mostly woods work - cutting up limbs and trees and tromping through the woods.  Some weeding.  Weight: 178.2

As to the woods work stuff, we took down the tippy cedar tree last week and Hubs decided he was going to cut it into firewood.  For when we have a woodstove.  That led to cutting up other sizeable deadfall into firewood.  So, while he was sawing, I was dragging because I can't saw well.  At least I couldn't saw the size he's sawing.  Or even the smaller stuff.  Then I stopped at the building supply place and picked up a new bow saw.  Yay, it wasn't me.  It was the saw.  I can saw again.  Best $9 I've spent in a while.  Woohoo.  So, yesterday, I was sawing small stuff while he was sawing big stuff.  We're such the little lumberjacks.  We now have a couple of pallets with firewood stacked on it.  Not quite cords worth, but one has cedar and the other has 'unknown' wood.  (Because most of the time, we don't know which tree the deadfall came from.)

Yesterday, while we were sawing I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.  Two chipmunks were chasing each other all over the pile of deadfall.  So cute.  And yay, Chester's got a friend!

And the bucks are starting to tussle.  We saw Sonny and another young buck racking antlers the other day.  And down in the woods, you can see from the messed up leaf litter where there was a big tussle.  Soon, the rut will begin and then next spring, more babies!  Yay!

Let's see... Oh, I had a monitor problem on Friday.  I was checking out an online map when suddenly the whole screen shifted to a slight shade of blue.  It was legible, but irritating.  I tried several different things to no avail.  Hubs finally talked me into driving down to Wallyworld and buying a new monitor.  It's a 22" monstrosity.  And it's very bright.  As someone on FB pointed out, I can change the brightness.  As soon as I figure out how, I probably will.  Or I'll just get over it.  One other sticking point is that the base is too big to fit on my dictionaries, so it's a tad too low.  I think that's what gave me a neck ache last night.  :shrug:  This too shall pass or I'll figure out a fix.  

I've been torturing myself by looking at dogs and cats again.  I found a puppy I want.  And a kitten.  Still not getting either one and definitely not both, although that would be awesome.  (And a pain in the butt, but still awesome.)

And that's all I have to say about that.  What's up in your world?

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 10/16/21

Okay, so I don't have too much to talk about this week.  Again.  But I'm here, so let's do this.

I didn't pick up any new books this week.  I didn't finish any books this week.  I also didn't DNF any books, to that's good.  On a more positive note, I did finish making my edit notes for Untitled Fantasy, so I'll have more time to read now.  To that end, I did read several more short stories in the anthology I'm reading.  I'm about halfway through that sucker.  Should finish it today or tomorrow.  Then I'll get to reading some of the many ebooks I have waiting.

To that end, I have 4 mysteries, 2 suspenses, 2 romances, and a paranormal ready to go on my Kindle - all acquired between July 12th and August 20th.  Yep, I've been a bad reader for the past couple months.  I'm like 9 books behind in my reading goal.  Not sure if I'll make that up, but I can try.

How's your reading going?  

Friday, October 15, 2021

Am I Blue

I had great plans for this morning, but as I was checking out a map to see where exactly the tornado warning was in relation to me (it wasn't headed my way, btw), my monitor screen suddenly acquired a blue cast to it.  I've spent the past hour trying to make it not be blue, so there goes my train getting all derailed and junk.  

Of course, I haven't succeeded.  The monitor company isn't even supporting this model anymore and it's not even that damn old.  I tried to find somewhere else to get the damn manual so I can at least try to see if I can fix it myself.  Oh, it's out there, but it keeps getting hung up and I keep having to re-prove I'm not a damn robot.  

Luckily, it's not the computer.  I plugged in my old computer which, due to my being lazy, is still sitting underneath my new computer (year old is to new), and it's blue, too.

Hubs told me to just go buy a new monitor.  Feh.  Not until all other options are exhausted.

Unfortunately, I'm exhausted already.  And trying to see everything in a slight blue tint isn't helping.

I so did not need this today.

To end on a positive note, the edit notes for Untitled Fantasy are almost done.  I was at like 95% last night but it was bedtime and I wasn't in the mood to stay up, even to finish that little bit.  I'll get it today and then start entering the changes.  On this bluish screen, if I have to.  =op

How's your morning going?

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Thursday This n That

I'm at 80% on making edit notes on this book.  The end is near.

I keep finding old metal things on my property.  I have a horseshoe, part of a pitchfork, a piece from a saddle buckle,  part of a hitching post.  It's like a little museum of rusty things.  I also have a totally rusted set of pliers I found at the lake that looks as old as the things I've dug up out of the ground or found in the woods, which amuses me greatly.

Why is it 'set of' with pliers when there's only one?  I tried typing 'found a pliers' but that was just wrong, man.  

Hubs sawed up the cedar that tipped over. Every bit of it but like 4 ft of the stump are now stacked on pallets under the house drying for when we have a woodstove.  Now we're dragging other limbs and trees up and he's sawing those up, too.  Excellent exercise.  We're taking a few days off, though.  It's raining and we need the break.  Cuz we're old and junk.  Teehee.

Woodstove should be one word.  Jus' sayin'.

"Coffee is a potable plant." - Hubs

I only had two in-person friends.  One of them moved away.  The other retired from where I always saw her.  Yesterday, I ran into the latter friend.  It was nice seeing her again.  I just happened to pull into a parking spot across from where she was talking with another friend of hers.  She waved like mad and I waved, and then I walked over and chatted with her.  Like old times.  But yeah, that's about the extent of me hanging out with people these days.

The person my friend was chatting with... well, I didn't know her... but she was all like 'you must know my dad, everyone knows my dad' and I was all like 'Nope, I don't know anyone.  I'm a hermit.'  

I'm making chili today.  I bought the stuff and was going to make it yesterday, but by the time I recovered from the shopping, I was tuckered out.  I was also going to make pizza this week, but I forgot the damn mozzarella.  Dollar General, here I come.  But not today.  Cuz rain.  

For years, I've heard about the movie 'The Big Lebowski'.  I tried to watch it yesterday.  Nope.  Not for me.  :shrug:  I did catch a weird little thing - cuz we have free pay movie channels right now - called "Pieces of April' that was strange but nice.  I also watched a movie called The Quartet that was nice.

Okay, well, that' probably enough out of me this morning.  Have a great day wherever you are. Drop a comment if the mood strikes you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

It's a Strange Place Out There

 The world has become such a strange place.  Maybe it was always strange and the internet helps everyone see just how strange, but I don't think so.  The internet's been around long enough now that we should've seen the strangeness years ago.  Nope, this is newer and stranger than ever before.

For instance, this morning I saw a dude commenting on an underwater photo of a kingfisher diving, saying the pic was contrived and disgusting and he was near to vomiting.  I'm not sure if he was objecting to the fact that it was probably taken in a closed setting and not in nature.  Or if he thought someone was drowning that poor bird.  Maybe he was pro-fishy.  Maybe he objected to the fact that the bird missed its meal and would go hungry.  Who the hell knows with people these days?  

I'm guessing based on his geographical location and the overwhelming number of leftists there that he objected to the bird be objectified.  Or something. 

It hurts my brain to try and figure out what's in other people's heads.

Perhaps he was just uninformed.  Kingfishers eat fish.  They have to dive underwater to do this.  It's actually pretty neat to watch and no birds are harmed in the diving.  If the birds are lucky, fish are harmed, but they're fish.  And birds gotta eat.  And those fish probably eat other smaller fish who in turn eat smaller life forms.  Generally, fish aren't herbivores.  

Whatever the reason, this gentleman felt the need to express his disgust to the world.  As if the world gives a great goddamn about it.  'Oh no, some random dude hates that picture, let's take it down.'

I hope the page posting the picture doesn't take it down.  I hope the photographer they credited doesn't experience a shitstorm over it.  It was a beautiful picture.  (I can't share it here, I don't have permission.)  But that's the world we live in now, where anyone can express outrage for no real reason and a shitstorm will follow.

Also, at any time and for any reason, he or she or you or me could get our internet presence blocked or deleted or banned.  Hell, I got a ban from Blogger because they said I violated some rule I hadn't violated and then I had to beg for my blog back.  There wasn't even a 'pardon me, but we believe you might've' message beforehand.  Just BAM and it was gone.  

Any of them can do this to you.  If I disappear one day, you'll know why.  I said or did something someone found offensive.  :shrug:  

I miss the old days when people weren't so damn offendsensitive.  

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sunday Update - Week 40

Well, that week flew by.  Let's see if I can rebuild it.

I didn't do any writing, but I have been back at making edit notes on Untitled Fantasy.  If I remember right, I'm at 61% now.  I don't even want to think about how many pages worth of notes that is.  Lots.  Lots and lots.  I'd like to have these done and input by the end of the month, then do another pass through and have it ready to send to other human beings by Thanksgiving.  We'll see how that works out.

I still haven't done any marketing, but by some happy quirk, someone bought the entire genie series in ebook and someone bought a ebook copy of Up Wish Creek, then someone read Blink of an I all the way through in Kindle Unlimited.  It was the best sales week I had in a long time.  Sad, but true.

As for reading, I'm still working my way through A Brief Darkness - an Alfred Hitchcock anthology.  So far, I've only DNF'd one story.  The beginning left me meh.

In baking news, I made zucchini bread and oatmeal butterscotch cookies.  The cookies were just made with my regular recipe, substituting butterscotch chips for the raisins.  Hubs approves.

On the activity front, I did something active 5 out of 7 days.  Sunday was a flurry of cleaning, after which I took apart my container garden.  Tuesday was vacuuming the entire house.  The rest was outside stuff.  I haven't weighed myself since last Sunday, but the scale was kind.  Weight: 179.4.  That's down 2.2 lbs from the beginning of the year and down 7.6 lbs from my highest in June.  Yay.

Yes, I took apart my container garden.  It was time.  Well, time for everything but the two biggest tomato plants - one still has tomatoes and the other still had flowers that might turn into tomatoes.  Everything else edible got pulled.  I thought the deer might like the plants, but they ignored the pile of greenery.  :shrug:  I repotted my elm tree - Elmer - and my two little cedars.  We'll see how they overwinter.  

In regular garden news, I redid what I refer to as 'the cedar bed'.  I dug the whole thing up, set aside the iris bulbs and threw everything else out.  Then I leveled it out, covered it in pine mulch, and stuck a bird bath in the center.  Except we put seed in the bird bath instead of water.  The birds are enjoying it muchly.  And the squirrels are SOL for now.

We also took down tippy tree.  Last December, a cedar tree just off the yard began slowly falling over.  When it fell far enough to lean against the next cedar, it stopped.  But it was harshing the growth of the other cedar and making us leery of walking anywhere near it.  So, Hubs and I took matters into our own hands,  He used a saw and an axe to whack it off the stump, then we pulled the damn thing down because it wouldn't fall on its own.  Since then, Hubs has been cutting it into manageable lengths for burning in a wood stove.  By the time we get one of those, it should be seasoned enough to burn.  I helped with some of the stacking.  

Note:  peanut butter removes cedar sap from your skin when soap and water won't.  Smear it on, let it set for a few seconds, wash it off.  Then wash the peanut butter residue off with soap and water.  Easy peasy.

I did a bunch of other honey-dos this week, catching back up with the things I'd let slide while I was otherwise occupied.  I only have two things left on my to-do list - thoroughly cleaning the kitchen counters and then washing the kitchen floor.  Then I can start my front flower bed project - wherein I dig the whole thing up, set aside the plants I want to keep, and then redirt and replant.  By the time I'm done with that, it should be time to get into the woods again for my usual winter woodswork.  Yay.

How are things in your neck of the woods?  

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Thursday This n That

It's 3:30am and I've been up for an hour.  I might try going back to bed after I type this post.

Getting older sucks.  But it's better than the alternative.

I make my own sweet tea.  But I commit sacrilege by putting sucralose in it instead of sugar.  And no, sweet tea is not just tea with sweetener in it.  It's a wonderful, magical beverage.  (Psst... The secret is baking soda.)

I lied.  I'm going back to bed now and I'll finish this when I wake up again.

It's now 7:30.  Which is over an hour longer than I planned to sleep, but it makes up for the hour I was up, I guess. And then some.

There's a picture making it's way through my FB feed.  It shows through a magnifying glass a tiny daisy growing up through the cracks with blurred people walking around above it.  It says 'Stand up for what you believe in, even if means standing alone.'  FB has chosen to hide this photo 'due to sensitive content' and says it might show 'violent or graphic content'.  Maybe they watched 'Day of the Triphids too many times.  Or Little Shop of Horrors and it scared the crap out of them.  :shrug:  Maybe the idea of standing alone IS too violent for sensitive types these days.  Or maybe they just don't want people to stand up for stuff.

A FB friend of mine just got back from another 30-day ban.  We call him Army Sci-Fi guy around the house.  He's pretty much on point most of the time.  Anyway, to make sure people still get to see him even if FB decides to eliminate him, he offered his blog for folks.  So now I follow that, too.  Whether you do FB or not, I suggest you subscribe to his blog.

This morning when Hubs finally got a chance to feed the deer (sorry, deer, I overslept) there were 17 of them standing around waiting for corn.  They don't play nice when there are only a few.  They play even worse when that many show up.  Don't let anyone fool you, deer are not the soft, fluffy, gentle creatures of Disney fame.  They can be mighty nasty when they want to be.

As a person who once got her arms shredded by a rabbit (long story), they aren't always very nice either.  

Okay, it's almost 8 now, so I should probably get this posted.  Got any this-n-that for me today?

Tuesday, October 5, 2021


So apparently Facebook went down yesterday for about six hours.  I noticed because as I play poker, I like to scroll through the feed when I'm not in a hand and when I tried, I got a note from my browser that there was no Facebook.  I shrugged and went on with my day.  I totally forgot about it until later when I clicked my link and in my feed people were talking about the outage.  Some people are joking that Facebook banned itself.  Others are joking that this outage was due to some whistleblower and Zuck needed to shut down to delete stuffs.  

Last night I made a dish for dinner using chicken, onions, baby potatoes, and mushrooms sauteed in butter with salt, pepper, and basil.  Dished it up and drizzled BBQ sauce over it.  Pretty yummy stuff there.  Hubs has been off chicken lately, but he said it was good, so there's a win.  Yay.

We're at that point in the year where I have no idea what to wear.  Too hot, too cold, too hot, too cold.  Shorts and then sweats and back to shorts.  Put on a sweater, take it off.  

I'm up to almost 300 million in poker now.  When you're playing with 20 mil at a whack, it's easier to go up quickly.  There's also the chance you'll go down just as quickly if you aren't careful... and lucky.  Like I was at 200 million and went down to 91 million over the course of a day.  And it took a couple weeks to get back to 200 mil.  :shrug:  Yesterday, I jumped from 245 to 298 thanks to a couple good hands and some other minor wins.  Waxed a couple of people when I went all-in with pocket aces.  That netted me 37 mil.  Got another 10 mil with a flush on the river.  I was third on the leader board for the week for that buy-in level last I checked.  Go, me.

My arms are still pretty much toast from the work I did.  This makes reading hard.  Holding up a book or an ereader for any length of time exacerbates the ouchy.  Typing for too long is also a no-no.  This is the excuse I'm using for not writing again yet.

Yes, mousing is also hard, but I try to limit that when I play poker.  And I don't play for too long at a stretch.  Play a little, take a break.  I think this might be the key to getting back to writing/editing.  Do a little, take a break.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  We'll give that a whirl today.  Maybe.

I cleaned my bathroom.  This is notable because I haven't done it in months.  Because reasons.  Now it's so pretty!  Makes me not want to take a shower in there and mess it up.  

I really need to cut my hair.  This, too, will mess up my bathroom with hair bits which I will have to vacuum up.  Which reminds me... I have to shave my legs, too.  Blerg.  Too much information?  LOL

And on that note, I'm going to wander off.  Got anything random to add?

Monday, October 4, 2021

Great at Writing, Bad at Communicating

You'd think, as a writer, I'd be better at communicating with other human beings.  Umm, no.  I'm actually quite bad at it.  

You see, while being a writer is all about successfully communicating ideas, with writing there's the whole editing process to help us do that successfully.  Put the words down on paper (physical or digital) and then go back and rewrite them and rewrite them and rewrite them until the meaning is clear.

In person, you have one shot.  Sometimes you might have time to think it through and edit it in your head before it comes out of your mouth.  Other times?  Not so much.  

As a writer, you also have the benefit of other people editing your stuff before it pops out into the real world.  Beta readers and actual editors can catch your words when they don't make sense or their meaning isn't quite what you wanted to convey.  I don't have that when I'm face to face with another human being.  And my internal editor, the one who's supposed to be catching things before they come out of my mouth, is incompetent.

I'm especially bad at communicating when I'm tired.  And if the person I'm communicating with is also tired, the results can be bad.

The other day, the last day of helping my friend, we got a late start.  About two hours in, I walked up to her and asked her to tell me what needed to be done because we didn't have a lot of time and I didn't want to be there too late because I hate driving in the dark.  And I was already pretty tired at that point, which is never good for driving in the dark.  I later learned that she took that to mean I didn't want to be there at all, with maybe a side dish of 'screw you' and a sprinkling of 'fuck off'.  When really all it meant was 'we have a lot to do and we're burning daylight, so help me help you get this done so we're not here into the wee hours'.  She didn't tell me this.  She made a snide comment to Hubs, who told me about it a couple days later when I was verbally pondering whether she'd been pissed at me or her husband or the general situation.  Turns out, she was pissed at me.  Huh.

Having a resting bitch face doesn't help.  I often look pissed when I'm really just thinking.  And not thinking about anything really.  Once I was at the corner store, pondering whether I was going to buy lottery tickers and which ones I was going to buy, when the cashier made a comment about how bad my day must be going.  It kind of startled me and then I started laughing.  I explained 'resting bitch face' and what I'd really been thinking about.  She laughed, too.  

As a writer, I can work around all that.  There's no misunderstanding about whether my characters are mad or sad or whatever.  (At least I hope there's no misunderstanding.)  As a person, I'm pretty much screwed.  Lucky for me, Hubs can tell from some other subtle clues or something whether I'm actually mad or whether I'm just lost in thought.

I think I'm not the only writer like this.  We're basically a bunch of awkward teens trying to make their ways in a world that they don't understand and that doesn't understand them.  Or something.  We spend the majority of our time in our heads, hanging out with people who don't exist that we can make do whatever we want.  The interaction with those fictional people pretty much ruins us for interacting with actual humans.

How are you at interacting with real people?  I hope, for your sake, you're not as bad at it as I am.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Sunday Update - Week ???

First off, let me start by saying I am totally derailed and scatterbrained.  Six weeks of putting my... well, everything on hold and helping someone else has me sitting and wondering how to start resuming my life again.  I'm not bitching.  I did what I wanted to do.  Just hindsight is 20/20 and I maybe might've done things differently if I'd been able to see then what I know now.

I'm still pondering how to get back into the writing/editing groove again.  I might start with a short story and see how that goes.  I might jump right back into editing Untitled Fantasy, which I have committed to finishing by the end of the year.  I know I need to get back into the marketing groove again soon.  Sales have been abysmal.

If you stopped by yesterday, you know that I'm 6 books behind in my reading goal.  With 50 out of 75 books read, though, I think I can still manage to win by the end of the year.  25 books in three months should be easy-peasy.

Last Sunday, I baked granola bars and made chocolate/butterscotch chip cake cookies in bar form.

On the activity front, I spent 3 days finishing up the Friend Project.  And one day Hubs and I took a wander.  The other days were pudding and I had the dumb.  On Friday, I tried going out and beginning to dig up the cedar bed, but then I heard thunder, so I quit that.  I resumed that on Saturday, but my body only put up with it for about an hour.  Weight: 180.0

Speaking of the cedar bed, my friends gave me several bags of mulch and a big terracotta bowl thingie.  So, I'm going to dig up the bed, lay down the mulch, and stick the bowl in the middle as a kind of 'on the ground' birdbath thing.  They also gave me two bags of potting soil which I'm going to use in my container garden.

Speaking of the container garden...  It's pretty much over for the season. BUT I have to start planning for next year and there are certain things that can be planted in the fall for harvest late this year or for overwintering.  I'm thinking about potatoes and carrots.  Maybe onions.  I still have two tiny tomatoes growing and once they turn red, I'll eat them.  Everything else needs to be pulled out and the greens fed to the deer.  Maybe I'll get to that today.

Since I've been busy elsewhere, my household chores have been neglected.  Oh, Hubs was a big help keeping the dishes clean and making sure the laundry was done - in addition to helping out over there.  I'm talking dusting and vacuuming and cleaning my bathroom.  That's on the list for this week.

So much to do, so little energy to do it.  I'm still sore from the ordeal.  But I'll get there and be back in fighting form soon.  I hope.

How did your week go?

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 10/2/21

Hey there!  I don't have much to talk about yet, but I thought it would be a good idea - and a step toward normalcy - to post a Saturday Reading Wrap-up today.

Since last we met, I did pick up 5 hardcopy books, three of which I already had.  I'm trying to complete my Vince Flynn collection, but I can never remember which ones I don't have and I don't carry the list with me, so more often than not, I end up getting the same titles over and over.  Derp.  Other than those, I picked up a  copy of The House of Seven Gables, which I didn't have yet, and an old Hitchcock mystery anthology.  As for ebooks, I have 9 left unread - which I obtained between July 12th and August 20th.  

Stopping by Goodreads this morning, I see that I am 6 books behind schedule.  50 books read out of my goal of 75.  Reading 25 books in the next 3 months shouldn't be unreachable.

No books read.

Also no DNFs.

Currently reading... that Hitchcock anthology.  I got through one story yesterday and started another.  It's not much, but it's reading again, which is good.

How are things in your readerly life?