Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 20

Welcome to the Sunday Update, wherein I talk about all the stuffs that happened (or lack thereof) in my previous week.

I started out the week gangbusters on the writing and then life happened.  I did get about 4800 words out over 4 days.  Not my fastest, but it was something. Shroudlands 2 is now just over 16000 words.  

No editing.  No marketing.  And very little reading (hence the absence of a Reading Wrap-up again this week.)   The only baking I did was a batch of zucchini bread early in the week.  Coincidentally, that was the only day I got any exercise.  

We set up an appointment to get my brakes done on Friday.  Hubs followed me out in the Jeepster, we dropped off Cally Cavalier, and went home.  They figured about 5-6 hours.  It only took 4.  Yay.  We loaded back into the Jeepster and headed down the road to pick up my babycar.  Suddenly, there was a thunk and a clunk and the power steering on the Jeepster went out.  Now, there is NOWHERE to pull over here.  These highways do not have shoulders.  They have deep, jagged ditches and drop offs.  He wrestled with the car as we headed toward town.  The temp gauge shot right the hell up and we continued to limp along.  Another thunk and clunk. I saw something fly out from under the back of the Jeep.  Still moving, still overheating, he coaxed that old beast another couple miles until we reached the bank parking lot - the first safe place to stop, really.  We parked it and I went into the bank to make some calls.  The mechanic has no towing.  They have no one who can come get me to at least pick up Cally.  On the verge of calling for a tow, a nice man who'd overheard my saga says he can drive us to the mechanic.  Yay.  Long story shortened a bit, we got the car, we had the Jeep towed home, and all is well.  A pulley thing fell off (most likely due to a loose bolt), dropping the serpentine belt onto the highway.  We found the belt laying alongside the highway and picked it up.  We never did find the pulley thing.  It probably rolled into a ditch somewhere along the way.  Hubs can replace the pulley thing himself and the belt is fine.  Thankfully none of this was as bad as it could've been.  

On an additional note, I have to take the car back to get a slight adjustment on the rear passenger brake cuz it makes a noise when the brakes are applied.  But only after the car has been driven for more than ten miles.  (I know this because we took the car back yesterday and it wasn't making the noise by the time we got to the mechanic, so we told them never mind and left, but it started up again by the time we'd gotten to our gas station for a fill-up* and smokes.  Derp.)

No, I am not interested in getting a new car.  We'll drive Cally and the Jeepster until they fall apart.  

Anyway, this past week also saw my birthday and our anniversary.  Birth-iversary or Anni-birthday, however you want to look at it.  We had cheesecake as a special thing on the anniversary (which doubled as birthday cake) and then bacon cheeseburgers for the special thing on my birthday.  Other than that, they were just regular days.  

And that's about it for my super-exciting life.  How was your week?

*Gas was $3.99 here yesterday.  $40 to fill my car, which still had about a third of a tank.  I've never spent $40 to fill any tank of any car I've ever owned.  =o\

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Thursday This n That

I was reading about the Milgram experiment again this morning.  I find psychological stuff fascinating.  One thing I hadn't known about the experiment before was that Milgram had polled both psych students and colleagues beforehand about what they thought the results might be, and few of them guessed the truth.  In retrospect, and knowing what we know now, it's unsurprising to me that a majority of people would follow authority even against their own consciences.  

Just now, I was at a friend's blog talking about POV choices, and it reminded me of a tense-choice I made years ago.  I had originally written Wish in One Hand in third person with a totally different general storyline.  A whole novel, shitcanned in favor of a tense change.  In case you're not a writer, that's a LOT of work in the dumper there.  I think the first draft of that was like 236 pages.  Useless and doomed to sit forever in the labyrinth of my folder system.  

I took yesterday off.  Of like everything.  I watched TV and I ate.  Bacon cheeseburgers with french fries cooked in bacon grease and store-bought cheesecake.  Yum.

Oh, we did make the decision to bite the bullet, raid the savings, and schedule a full brake job on old Cally Cavalier.  In this super-hilly country, it's definitely necessary.  That's set for tomorrow.  I drop the car off in the morning and pick it up in the afternoon.  Time to dust off The Jeepster for a little shuttling work.  Thank goodness for the second vehicle or I'd be stuck sitting at either the shop or the bar down the highway a piece for 5-6 hours.  It's too far out in the middle of nowhere to walk anywhere else.  I could take a book, but sitting for that long on questionable seats would wreck me.

Cross your fingers for me.  This is an untried mechanic for us.  I mean, he came highly recommended by a guy who knows him and knows vehicles (a retired truck mechanic actually), but there's always a concern when dealing with any new [professional, doncha know.

I'll be sitting here tomorrow like a worried mama who's baby is in the hospital.  I've had Cally for 19 years now.  

I joked with Hubs yesterday that I'm going to name the new brakes Rover.  Cuz I could've used that money to get a dog.  We laughed and laughed.  LOL, I kill me.  And he might if I keep joking that way.  Ba dump bump... ting.

And on that note... What's on your this-n-that list today?

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Brain Clutter

They're doing that thing again where you list the states you've lived in and visited.  Someone was all like "I'm not putting that info out there for the hackers".  I'm ambivalent.  If the hackers haven't already seen this about me, well, that's how it goes.  Anyway, I made a map.  Red dots are where I've lived and blue dots are where I've visited.  (The placement of the dots is random and don't indicate exactly where I was in any given state.)

Six states lived in (MI gets two dots because I lived in each peninsula at some time or another.  Not every Michigander can say that, doncha know.)  I'm done moving around and pretty much done traveling.  I might still drop into OK, but only because it's so close to here it wouldn't be a haul.  For as much as I'm in AR, that dot ought to be like purple or something.  LOL

In further interest of putting things out there the hackers could always play with, today is my anniversary.  18 years of wedded bliss.  And no, that is not sarcasm.  I love Hubs more today than the day we married and I'll love him more tomorrow.  No matter the ups or the downs, we remain strong together.  Oh, and tomorrow is my birthday.  I joke that I made him marry me the day before my birthday so he would never forget one or the other.  I'm 52.  If the hackers don't already have that info, I'd be totally surprised.

I saw something on FB.  2022 is as far from 1970 as 1970 is from 1918.  Let that sink in.  

Some days I feel old.  Some days I feel like a kid.  Either way, the prevailing thought is 'there's no way I can be x years old'.  But I am.  I finally bit the bullet and listed 'gray' as my hair color on my fishing license.  The ol' DL still says 'brown', but it really is more than 50% gray now.  I figure when the gal at the DMV tells me my hair is gray, I'll put it on my driver's license.  Since MO licenses last for like 9 years, that'll happen next time.  LOL

Something struck me the other day.  The longer you live, the more memories you have to clutter up your brain.  Yeah, it's obvious, but I hadn't really thought about it.  No wonder I can't get to sleep.  The ol' brain is constantly flipping through the memories - on random.  Mom's got 30 years on me, so I'm not sure how she ever sleeps.  Imagine how many more memories her brain has.  Sheesh.

And on that note, I'll let you get back to your regularly scheduled lives.  Lord knows, I've got a bunch of stuff to do today... that'll probably turn into stuff I need to do tomorrow.  LOL

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 19

Mornin' Everyone.  Let's just jump right into the week, okay?

I had a good writing week, if a bit strange for me.  Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I wrote on SCIU4 - 2770 words.  Friday and Saturday, I shifted gears and worked on Shroudlands2 - 3188 words.  Right now, I have to go where the inspiration takes me.  And right now, the inspiration is following reader input.  But I'll try and talk about that more tomorrow.

I didn't read anything else all week until yesterday when I went ahead and picked up a suspense novel I've been chomping to read.  If I'm writing fantasy, a suspense shouldn't harsh my groove.  Yes, being a writer is weird.

In baking news, I did a lemon oil cake with strawberry frosting.  I also did a batch of granola bars.  Expect the baking to slack off now that the weather is decidedly warmer.  Although, I do plan to make a batch of zucchini bread today.  Hubs does love his granola bars and zucchini bread for breakfast.

On the activity front, I managed 4 days worth.  Tuesday I sprayed weeds in the driveway, which was a haul.  Wednesday, I took a short walk in the woods.  Thursday, I did a BIG grocery trip.  Friday, I mowed the lawn for an hour.  (Hubs did the rest - which took another 3 hours.  We have a push mower and a big lawn.)

Speaking of spraying weeds... it only worked a little.  I needed more vinegar in the vinegar, dish soap, Epsom salts, water mix.  Hubs redid the driveway yesterday using mostly vinegar in his big sprayer on wheels.  (I used the pump sprayer.)  By afternoon, there was visible Weed-mageddon going on out there, so yay.  

As for the grocery trip, it was BIG.  I went in and got all the non-perishable stuff and took it out to the car.  Then I went back in and got all the meats, cheeses, produce, and frozen stuff.  We're good for at least a month now.  One trip saves gas.  We won't talk about the fundage I dropped.  Let's just say it wasn't pretty.  It was all stuff we needed, but ouch.

I did buy a lottery ticket this week.  Won $10.  Woohoo.  In other gambling news, I won another tournament.  202 people started and I was the last man standing.  The whole thing lasted 101 minutes.  

The bunnies are back for the Spring.  There's one in the yard right now.  Yay!  Also, the deer have reached maximum fat pregnant, so we should be seeing the mass drop toward their hips and then a sudden thinning as they bring fawns into the world.  We won't see fawns until late June, if things run along previous years' schedules.  We did have two yearling bucks laying in the front yard the other day, though.  How cool is that?

The weather here has been weird.  Too hot for right now and storms that are predicted but pass us and dump all over other people.  We're predicted to have a nasty one today.  Here's hoping it also goes elsewhere.  

Not sure what's on tap for the week ahead.  More writing.  I have to get back to the neverending weeding.  I should also probably get some cleaning done.  Otherwise, the possibilities are end... Okay, not endless, but there are possibilities.  ;o)

How was your week?  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Thursday This n That

Sorry about yesterday's post.  I was doing some research and it lead me to believe that having that post out there in the world was not in my best interests.  Am I paranoid?  Yeah, probably.  But just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean someone's not out to get me.  ;o)  And these days, one can never be too careful.  Am I right or am I right?

The postal service lost another one of my paychecks.  Wouldn't ya know it, though? The day the office mailed me a new one, it arrived.  It had been folded and mutilated, but it got here.  Let's see if the replacement check arrives.  

I follow a place called Wild Heart Ranch.  Those people are doing some amazing things rehabilitating wildlife.  They got in this bald eagle who'd been grounded for quire some time due to an old broken wing.  He was dirty and his feathers were bedraggled.  On a happy note, he wasn't emaciated.  He must've been finding enough to eat on the ground to keep him going.  This morning, they posted a picture of him in his huge flight cage.  He's all clean and his feathers have grown out and he's FLYING.  I'm not sure if he'll be 100% release-able but there's hope for him now.  Yay.  (If they don't think he'll succeed in the wild, they'll transfer him to somewhere where he can be an ambassador animal and live out his life in captive health and happiness.)

When I was a teen, I read a book about a wildlife rehabber.  And I SO wanted to be one.  A friend asked me recently if I thought about becoming one now.  I'm too old, gimpy, and crotchety, and too set in my ways to attempt a task of that magnitude at this stage of my life.  Hell, I can't manage a house pet right now, let alone a slew of wild and helpless critters.  

As an aside, that book about the wildlife rehabber was non-fiction, and it held some widely popular if utterly wrong ideas.  Like 'never feed birds peanut butter'.  I went years believing if I fed birds peanut butter, it would kill them.  I was horrified when my daughter's school made pinecones with PB and seeds.  Derp.  I know better now.  And hey, it was written in the '80s,  Maybe she truly believed what she was saying was true.  One would think, though, that if she was rehabbing animals, she'd know from experience that her belief was false.  :shrug:

Yesterday, I made granola bars, but since I hadn't been shopping yet, I didn't quite have all the right ingredients.  I made do.  Not enough walnuts?  Chop up some mixed nuts and throw that in.  I bought the wrong kind of oats, too.  Rolled instead of quick.  Eh, they're tasty, if slightly more crumbly than an actual bar.  Hubs doesn't care, so it's all good.  Such is life in this make-do world we're living in.

Okay, I should probably get my buns in gear.  Today is Wallyworld day and I still have stuff to do before that happens.  Hasta la bye-bye.  And have a great day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

If you were here earlier, there was no post.  No post at all.  A complete figment of your imagination.  And if you thought you commented, I do appreciate the effort, but you were imagining that, too.  Sorry.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, awesome.  You're probably better off that way.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 18

Good morning.  And Happy Mother's Day!

The week started out gangbusters and then fell apart.  I did write for 5 straight days and the book is over 10K now, so I'm not kicking myself.  Much.  It is what it is and I have a clue where it goes from here.  Basically, I need to kick myself in the butt and slap that ol' self-doubt down.

I didn't do much reading.  Finished one book last Saturday.  I did acquire a bunch of books, but I haven't been reading them because I'm trying to keep my brain on my own story.  Eh, like that's working.  Blerg.

No baking.  Hubs is still working on the last batch of granola bars and of zucchini bread, so it's all good.

I got some activity in.  Not a lot, but it was something.  I spent a couple hours weeding and moving rocks one day.  Another day, I washed the kitchen floor.  Yesterday, Hubs and I walked the loop, which added 1.1 miles to my total and rolled me over 15 miles for the year.  

Speaking of walking the loop, we were on a riverwatch mission.  We've gotten so much rain recently that the lake has jumped about 11ft, so we thought it would be a good idea to see how the waterfront neighbors were all fairing.  The water's still a few feet from any of the houses, so it's all good.  It's supposed to be dry all week.  Whew.  Too much more and that one house is going to be flooded again.  And after all the work they put into remodeling it after the 2017 flood, too.  Bummer.  We got to see a couple kids fishing from their yard, in their yard, which was kinda cool.

We have free movies this weekend, so we've been partaking of that.  And golf.  Right now, we have the channel for that and I can watch foreign golf, senior's golf, and regular golf all day Thursday thru Sunday if I want to.  Eh, it's quiet and non-taxing to the brain.

Anyway, that's about it for me.  I hope you all have a nice Mother's Day with the ones you love.  I'll be calling my Mom shortly and later Hubs will call his Mom.  It's all good.

How was your week?

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 5/7/22

Hey, All.  Sorry I'm late.  I forgot it was Saturday.  Anyway, here's how my reading week went:

I picked up 5 new ebooks on Sunday - paranormal mystery, romance, UF, cozy mystery and suspense.  One of them I've really been looking forward to, but alas, I'm writing again and trying to keep my head in my own world, so I'm staying out of other people's worlds.  Maybe once this book of mine gets rolling, I can dip my toes into reading again.

Books Read:

27) Cry From the Grave by Carolyn Mahoney (4/30/22) - Suspense* - 4 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Free off Reading Deals newsletter.
No review.  

No DNFs.

Currently reading... nada.

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

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Thursday This n That

I didn't get out of bed until 7. Deal with it.

Well, that was another fun night.  2.6 inches of rain.  Lightning and thunder abounded.  I got up around 2 a.m. and watched the radar until I was sure nothing swirly was headed this way.  The worst of it dissipated before it got here, leaving us with just loads of water.  The wet weather stream at the back of the property is a roaring creek right now.  And there are flood warnings all over the place.  

On a side note, I love living on a hill.  In times like these having a house right on the lake is a liability I'm glad I don't have to deal with.  

For some reason, I was a whole week ahead yesterday. Yep, thought it was the 2nd Wednesday. Derp.

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of my Dad's passing. I think to think he's somewhere catching fishing with his dad. (His dad died when he was ten, so he never really got the chance to go fishing with him. Dad always seemed to regret that.)

I so did not want to write last night, but I kicked my own ass and got over 1700 words out.

Did anyone else get the email that Amazon will no longer be supporting MOBI files in its 'Send to Kindle'? Weird. Thankfully, the only files I send to my Kindle are Word documents. But how does that work for authors who send MOBI files to their readers? :shrug:

Okay, today is a short this-n-that, but I'm running late, so I'd better get my buns moving. See ya in the funny papers.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Sometimes I Don't Post

Sorry.  I woke up late and that put me behind for the rest of the morning.  

Anyway, sometimes I just have nothing to say.  Sometimes I have loads to say, but none of it is suitable for the public.  Occasionally, I feel like whatever I have to say will bore the everlovin' crap out of you.  If you get here and you don't see a post, it's due to one of the aforementioned reasons.  

I mean, I would like to have something to offer you every morning.  Especially as it's all part of my 'new month, new attitude' thing right now.  But sometimes having you arrive to nothing is better than you arriving to find me whining or ranting or just being boring.  Like this morning.  Derp.

For now, we survived last night's storms.  More are due tonight.  Yay.... Spring in the Ozarks.  That might be another reason why you don't see a post - power outages.  If I ain't got power, I can't get online to post.  Act of Nature stuff.  

If I'm dead, I'll try to have someone stop in here to let y'all know.  Otherwise, I'm fine.  I've been sicker than a dog and still managed to stop by here.  

:shrug:  And that's why sometimes I don't post.  

How are things in your world?

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 17

May Day! May Day! May Day!  No, seriously... it's May Day.  The first day of my favorite month when loads of happy things are anniversarized and a few unpleasant things are remembered.  With Momentous May underway, thus begins a renewed commitment to pull my head out of my ass, shake off this gloom and doom cloud that been hovering over my damn head, and get myself back on track.  New day, new month, new attitude.  Or something.  Don't harsh my buzz, man.

With this in mind, I'm not going to talk about last week at all today.  It's gone.  Ba-bye.  The new year starts today.  Who's with me?  

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/30/22

Howdy.  Here's my reading week in review...

I only picked up one new ebook this week, which is unfortunate because the DNFs mean I'm currently reading my last unread ebook.  Better get on the stick about that, eh?  No new hardcopies, even though I did stop at my go-to spot for old paperbacks.  Their stock was pathetic.  I blame winter and the fact that the summer people weren't here to make donations.  Here's hoping next time is better.

Books Read:

26) Grimstone by Brad Magnarella (4/27/22) - UF*# - 5 stars. new to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Book Barbarian newsletter.
Review: "
Interesting and exciting."
Note: Unfortunately, I wasn't in a wordy mood when I wrote that review.  It's really deserved more than that, but the time has passed and with it, the excitement I felt when I finished.
Available in Audio

25) Letter from the Dead by Jack Gatland (4/24/22) - Suspense* - 5 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  I snagged this for free after seeing it talked about in the Crime Fiction Addicts group on FB.
Review: " 
Excellent! Loads of twists and turns, filled with believable and sympathetic characters, excellent writing, just enough description to give a an idea of the setting without getting bogged down. And while the threads on the main story were tied up by the end, there's just enough of a tease to make any reader anxious to buy the next book. Plus, although Declan is a battered hero, he isn't broken. Well done."
Available in Audio.


4/29/22 - free - crime noir.  It was trying too hard to be noir, which made it kitschy but not in a good way.

4/27/22 - free - SF.  Gah, needed editing.  And a much finer hand with the info-dumping.  And to stop trying to check all the social justice boxes.  Strike three, you're out.

4/25/22 - cozy mystery - free.  It was like the author decided there wasn't a trope they didn't like and threw them all at the book, at once, in great handfuls.  Add in a TSTL heroine and an improbable storyline, and I moved along.

Currently reading... another suspense recommended by the Crime Fiction Addicts.  Wish me luck.

What was on your reading plate last week?  

Friday, April 29, 2022

2022 - Books Read

Hello!  Welcome to the list of all the books I've read so far this year.  It's in order so the most recent one is at the top.  * means ebook and # means it's both new to me and underappreciated (as in it has less than 50 Goodreads reviews).  Feel free to follow along.

New for this year: When I know it's in audio format, I'll add an exclamation point (!).  Oh, and I never mentioned this before, but if the book is in a series, I don't usually put the series title.  This post would take on behemoth proportions if I did that, too.  Sometimes, I'll put a number indicating where the book is in the series, if it's not the first.  

Oh, and my goal for 2022 is 75 books, same as last year.  Here's hoping I make it this year.

27) Cry From the Grave by Carolyn Mahoney (4/30/22) - Suspense*
26) Grimstone by Brad Magnarella (4/27/22) - UF*#
25) Letter from the Dead by Jack Gatland (4/24/22) - Suspense*
24) Witchy Reservations by Stephanie Damore (4/22/21) - Paranormal Mystery*
23) Space Murder by NL Haverstock (4/20/22) - SF Mystery*
22) The Golden Gate by Alistair MacLean (4/19/22) - Thriller
21) The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (4/14/22) - Literature*
20) A Brazen Curiosity by Lynn Messina (4/10/22) - Historical Mystery*
19) Magical, Murderous Cupcakes by Skylar Starx (4/6/22) - Paranormal Mystery*#
18) Murder in Cherry Hills by Paige Sleuth (4/5/22) - Cozy Mystery*
17) Rebel Tribe by Ramy Vance / Michael Anderle (3/27/22) - SF*#
16) The Redemption Man by James Carver (3/25/22) - Suspense*#
15) The Breaking Point by Daphne du Maurier (3/21/22) - Suspense/Short stories
14) Song of Shroud and Storm by B.E. Sanderson (3/20/22) - Epic Fantasy*#
13) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (3/12/22) - Literature
12) Dark is the Grave by T.G. Reid (3/7/22) - Suspense*
11) A Spell in the Country by Heide Goody, Iain Grant (3/4/22) - Paranormal Mystery*
10) True Blue Murder by Elise M. Stone (3/2/22) - Cozy Mystery*#
9) Once Upon a Crime by Mona Marple (1/23/22) - Cozy Mystery*
8) Faking It with the Demon by Rhiannon Hartley (1/22/22) - Paranormal Romance*#
7) The Side Hustle by Colin Conway (1/20/22) - Suspense*
6) The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss (1/18/22) - Cozy Mystery*
5) The Preacher's First Murder by KP Gresham (1/12/22) - Mystery*#
4) Murder in White Lace by Karen Sue Walker (1/11/22) - Mystery*
3) The Light of Western Stars by Zane Grey (1/9/22) - Western!
2) Never Say Duke by Erica Ridley (1/4/22) - Regency Romance*
1) Black's Beach Shuffle by Corey Lynn Fayman (1/2/22) - Noir Crime*#

Tuesday, April 26, 2022


Sorry I've been absent a lot from the interwebs lately.  I have a decided lack of gumption and I think my bookstraps are broke.  

In happier news, Elon Musk did it.  He bought Twitter.  Now, I'm not an Elon Musk fan, per se, because he's been a little free with the government subsidies over the years, but if he can turn this wholesale censorship thing around, I might revise my opinion.  Let's say I'm guardedly optimistic.  I might be able to dust off the old Twitter password and give it a whirl in the coming days.  It's probably been 4-5 years since I was on there. (My FB page posts to Twitter automatically, but I haven't actually been in there.)

I peopled too much yesterday.  First there was a flurry of emails with the pay-job.  Then after dinner, I noticed the neighbor out in their yard and I needed to chat with them about the possibility of rehoming some of my scads of irises.  They'll be happy to take them.  Yay.  But yeah, all that stuff is tiring to a hermit.

I keep forgetting that the people who moved into the new house next door have actually lived here longer than I have, so I have a tendency to offer bits of 'wisdom' about the neighborhood.  (The dude actually grew up here in the house behind ours.  And this house once belonged to his grandparents.  Derp.)  And then afterwards, I feel like a stoop.  Hopefully, they take it with the good-intent it is offered and don't think I think they're idiots.  I'm just a social retard.  I'll settle for 'that weird but nice old lady next door'.

The other day, a name from my past popped into my head.  He was the neuro-psychologist assigned to my case.  I wonder if he'd appreciate an email.  I never did thank him for all the work he did.

I might splurge today and buy dirt.  It's a little late to start a container garden, but I could try.  It was a lot of work last year for very little in the way of edible fruits of my labor.  Still, it gave me something to do and the illusion of productivity.  Sometimes it's all about the illusion, baby.  I'm also playing with the idea of putting veggies in my flower garden.  About the only things that survived the move are the peonies.  And, of course, irises.  Scads, I tell you.

Well, time to toddle off.  Feel free to drop anything from your own scattered brain in the comments.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Sunday Update - Week ???

Not sure what week it was.  Hey, I'm lucky I remembered it was Sunday.  Needless to say, my gumption has flat dried up, along with my will.  I really need to pull myself up by my own bootstraps and get over it.

I got about 1400 words out on the 4th SCIU book, so that's something.  It's a scene out of order, but a writer's gotta do what a writer's gotta do. 

In reading news, I finished 3 books and DNF'd another.  

On the baking front, I made granola bars, pizza, and super-fudgy brownies (recipe below).  

As for activity, I did some weeding and yard work, but nothing much.  Weight is, of course, back up a little at 182.0  You can't eat brownies and sit on your ass all day and expect to lose weight.  Jus' sayin'.  

It's April in the Ozarks, so that means wind and rain.  As such, we brought little Elmer the elm into the sun porch.  He's getting so big (for varying definitions of big) and he now has little branches with lots of leaves, but his root base isn't very deep or sturdy, so wind is not his friend right now.  Cecil and Cedric (the twin cedars) are short enough to weather all this, so they're still on the deck.  Not sure when we'll go ahead and try putting all of them in the ground.  I worry the deer will eat them, but at some point, I have to stop being a helicopter gardener and let them go.  

Yesterday, in the shower, I got water in my ear and now I can't hear good on my right side.  Unfortunately, Hubs sits to my right, so there's a lot of 'huh?' going on this morning.  

Oops, got distracted and never posted this... Sorry...  How was your week?


Saturday, April 23, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/23/22

Hello!  How are y'all on the fine day?  Okay, since I'm writing this Friday night, I'm only guessing that it'll be a fine day.  Just roll with it.

I did pick up a few new ebooks this week, which was good because I was getting low.  So, now I have a suspense, a cozy mystery, an urban fantasy, a science fiction, and a crime noir.  Yay.

Books Read: 

24) Witchy Reservations by Stephanie Damore (4/22/21) - Paranormal Mystery* - 5 stars. New to me, but not underappreciated.  Free of the Book Gorilla newsletter.
Review: "
Fun story! I really enjoyed the premise, the mystery, and the whodunnit. Plus the characters are awesome."

23) Space Murder by NL Haverstock (4/20/22) - SF Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Free off the Book Doggy newsletter.
Review: "
I inhaled this book! It's full of twists and turns, action and adventure, thoroughly likable characters, an interesting premise, and an intriguing mystery. Loved it all, especially Liz and Pox."
Available in Audio.

22) The Golden Gate by Alistair MacLean (4/19/22) - Thriller - 5 stars. Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  Picked up from a thrift store for 50c back in March 2021.
Review: "
Excellent story. I do have to admit, though, that sometimes the details and explanations got a little tedious for me. I'm a plot driven reader, though, so your mileage may vary, which is why I didn't subtract any stars."
Available in Audio


4/21/22 - free - cozy mystery.  I made it about halfway through this one before the MC, who was supposed to have this awesome background in crime, started doing things that were too stupid to live.  And there didn't seem to be any real progressive in the clue department.  Like four surreptitious suspect interviews in a row yielded nada.  I kept thinking 'well, that was pointless' and so I gave up.

Currently reading... I finished that paranormal mystery at quarter to nine, and nine is my bedtime, so no time to start anything new.  

What was on your reading list last week?

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Hackety Hack, Don't Talk Back

It's that time of year when the rising sun comes through the sun porch windows and jabs us both in the eyes.  This happens for about a month in both spring and fall, but I discovered a hack for that.  I drag the plastic shelving unit in front of the window and I've draped a black piece of cloth over the unit, so no sun can come through.  Once the sun rises to a certain point during the morning, I put the unit back in the corner where it belongs.  

Sometimes life hacks are useful.  Sometimes not.  Like the hack the previous owners of this house came up with for filling old nail holes.  They used caulk instead of spackle, thus resulting in unsightly, lumpy goo.  I hacked that by covering it with my cute, little grocery bag holder.  To fix it right, I would've had to tear up the wall to get the caulk out.  

Every day, Hubs prints scads of things that he looks at, fiddles with, and then discards.  These have become our stack of scratch paper.  Sure, he could simply print on the opposite sides, thus saving paper, but I hate doing that.  Which side is the correct side?  I invariably get the sides mixed up without making some kind of mark on the old side.  What a pain in the ass.  So, we print new stuff on new paper and use old paper for scratch.  And I take some of the old paper, cut it into strips, and make grocery list paper to hang on the fridge.  

There's a hack there, too, by the way.  I took an old refrigerator magnet from some pizza place in CO (which I obviously no longer need) and a small binder clip.  The magnet and the grocery list strips go into the binder clip and Voila! I have paper on the fridge to write grocery lists upon.  When I run out, I only need to cut more strips.  Saves me from having to buy magnetic grocery list thingies.

I save all sorts of containers.  You never know when one of them will come in handy.  I'm lucky that I have lots of cupboard space with which to store them, so our house doesn't look like an episode of Hoarders.  If I think it may someday be useful, I save it.  Oh, I don't save every single thing.  If I've already got one or two of a certain container, I let the others go into the garbage.  Last year, my coffee container collection was quite useful in creating my garden.  This year, thanks to my friend who moved, I have scads of old actual planters (that she had hoarded) to use.

Every once in a while, my hack doesn't work out.  I tried making a spool out of container lids and a aluminum foil tube for our property line string.  It would've been awesome if the glue had held.  But no.  :shrug:  Oh, well, it was worth a shot.  No harm done.

I'm always coming up with crazy stuff.  Years ago, I got the wild idea to attach beads to my fishing line, just above the hook.  You know, to attract fishies to my worm.  I went into the craft section of Wallyworld, got a bag each of red and pearl beads.  The red ones are awesome and do seem to coax fish over when the water is murky.  The pearl ones have holes that are too small to fit over a pre-lined hook, so not so convenient.  They were only like a buck a bag, so totally worth a shot.

You do what you can with what you've got.  I'm currently using a plastic paint tray as a water receptacle at the end of one of our gutter spouts.  The water coming out of that spout was making a ravine.  Now the water comes out into the pan and hits the side so it disperse some of its energy before spilling onto the ground.  It has really helped stop the erosion over there.  Plus, the smaller critters enjoy using it as a watering hole and a birdbath.  Which makes it fun to watch, especially when the cardinals get in and splash around.  Win win win.

These days, especially, hacks are a necessary thing.  Saving money, substituting for when what you really want is unavailable, making do... making life as easy as you can make it these days.

Any hacks you've come up with the make your life easier?

Monday, April 18, 2022

Monday Update - Week Something or Other

Due to yesterday being a holiday, I postponed the usual Sunday Update to today.  Hence, the Monday Update.  And frankly, I'm too meh to go look up the week #.  Considering how boring I'm about to be, I'm not sure why I'm bothering with an update, but you came here for a post, so a post I shall present.

I didn't do anything writerly last week.  Which calls to mind a scene from History of the World Part I, wherein Mel Brooks' character is applying for unemployment as a stand-up philosopher.  "Did you bullshit last week?" (If you haven't seen the movie, it's comedy gold, folks.)  

In reading news, I did finish a couple books, but for the most part, the week was wasted on DNFs.

On the baking front, I did a chocolate oil cake with super fudgy frosting.  It was totally necessary.  I also did a batch of biscuits and a batch of cake cookies.  

Of course, there wasn't much activity either.  I did some yard work one day.  I haven't weighed myself yet this month.  I don't expect any good can come of that.

My last blood-related aunt passed away this past week.  Mom's little sister.  She was 79.  Her memorial is this coming weekend, but it'll be in Michigan, so I won't be there except in spirit.  She was a good person.  In a way, she was like a hummingbird.  Always moving, always active.  I don't remember her ever being still.  May she rest in peace.  My thoughts go out to her six kids and their kids.  And, of course, to my mom who has now lost both of her younger siblings.  Getting old blows.

Yesterday was Easter.  We didn't do anything special other than a special dinner.  The store didn't have the kind of ham I wanted, so we went with steak and shrimp along with a side of cheesy-chive mashed potatoes.  It all turned out really good.

And that's about all I can think of from last week.  Meh, meh, and more meh.  

Anyhoo, on that note, I'll leave it to you to comment and tell me about your week.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!  If you don't celebrate, Hoppy Bunny Day.  

Unimpressed Cottontail Rabbit, Colorado 3/20/2012

If you're not into holidays or bunnies, here a picture of some pretty daffodils from the same week:

Either way, have a great day.

(Due to the holiday, Sunday Update will be on Monday this week.)

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/16/22

Good morning!  Not the best of reading weeks, what with all the DNFs, but not totally a bust.

I picked up a couple new ebooks this week - a paranormal mystery and a suspense.  I still have two unread ebooks from before - a SF mystery and a cozy mystery.

Books Read:

21) The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (4/14/22) - Literature* - 5 stars.  I'd never read this before, but it being what it is, it wasn't 'new' to me.  And I've read other Dumas works.  I picked this up from Amazon for free.
No review.  I'd only add that the version of this I read was not the one the link goes to.  The version I downloaded disappeared from Amazon - probably because half the 'book' was another copy of the book most likely thrown up there to scam the KU system out of page-read money.  Shame on them.  And it makes me glad I couldn't link to that version.   

20) A Brazen Curiosity by Lynn Messina (4/10/22) - Historical Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me but plenty of reviews.  Free off the Reading Deals newsletter.
Review: "What a delightful story and a fun mystery. I loved the interplay between Bea and the Duke. I thoroughly enjoyed the other characters, the setting, and the plot. It was great to see how Bea grew from a mousy, little nothing into a strong character. And I totally had no clue who the murderer was. Awesome."


4/13/22 - Romance - free.  The premise seemed probably enough until the characters were introduced, and then nope.  I didn't see how the hero and the heroine would ever mesh enough to make a believable love story.  Even with 'opposites attract' there has to be something.  Plus, I counted several other different tropes in the first few pages.  All it needed was a secret baby thrown in to complete the set.  It's romance... Pick a theme and stick with it.  Two, maybe could work.  More than that, the writing has to be excellent to pull it off and this wasn't.  (And as you can probably guess, I was getting irritated by four DNFs in a row.)

4/13/22 - UF - free.  Present tense.  Gah.  I tried.  Really I did, because sometimes present tense can work in UF.  But I rarely like present tense and it was beginning to irritate me.  Life's too short.

4/13/22 - Romance - free.  I got the immediate sense I was going to spend the book being preached to about environmental issues.  Thus, I didn't find myself liking the main characters.  C'est la vie.

4/13/22 - Mystery - free.  Pretense tense.  Not only no, but hell, no.  To me, present tense just doesn't lend itself to the mystery genre.  

Currently reading... an old political thriller by Alistair McLean.

What was on your reading list last week?

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Thursday This n That

Facebook was actually useful this morning...

- Here's a pdf booklet on the care of wildlife so veterinarians can keep them alive while waiting on transfer to a rehabber.  (Never keep wildlife yourself.  Just keep them alive and as healthy as you can, but get them to someone who knows how to care for them ASAP.)  I saved it down because I never know when I might have to use the information.  I don't even know where there's a rehabber within 3 hours of here or whether any of my local vets take wildlife.  

- And here's the link to the YouTube videos of a child piano prodigy performing.  Definitely inspiring.  

I sat down to read a book last night and ended up DNF'ing 4 in a row.  I hate when that happens.

Trying to maintain a positive attitude is not an easy thing these days.  So, if you don't see me here or at your blogs, it's because I'm in a negative place and don't want to spread it around.  Negativity is a social disease, doncha know.  And penicillin don't help.

We had a death in the family.  It wasn't totally unexpected... I mean, the first part was kinda unexpected, but after that, we had a timeframe, so the very end wasn't a surprise.  It wasn't anyone close close to me.  I mean, I loved her and I remember her fondly, but it's not a deep hurt.  More like an 'aw, damn'.  Our moms and sibs and the kids are all fine and all that.  Sympathy cards have been purchased, flowers will be sent.  It kind of put me in a frame of mind to think about certain things, though.  Like not letting things, no matter how bad they may have been or may seem, keep you from communicating with the people who matter.  Unfortunately, it's a two-way street and both parties have to be on board with staying in touch.  But, yeah, dead is too late to repair the rift.  

We got like 2.3 inches of rain over the past few days.  Sploosh.  April showers bring May flowers.  And Mayflowers bring pilgrims. LOL

Amazon keeps trying to get me to sign up for Amazon Business.  Like that would be a thing for me.  Sure, I'm a business, but I don't really need business type stuff.  I'm down to the point where my expenses are almost nil.  Some printing costs - paper, ink.  Both of which I get at Wallyworld so I don't have to worry about shipping costs or time.  

Speaking of shipping, I ordered pesticide for the start of Tick-ma-geddon 2022.  The stuff was supposed to arrive from GA on Monday.  The tracking finally updated and it's headed this way from the hub in KS, but still no delivery date.  :shrug:  Why it went from GA to KS, passing MO entirely only to come back east, I have no clue.  The logistics is a nightmare.  Seems like a waste of fuel to me.  Eh, if I ran the world, it would've dropped into St Louis and then come here.  Like shipments out of TX always go past us into Kansas City and then come back south.  One would think if those dropped into Little Rock and then continued up, it would be so much more efficient.  :shrug:

And that's all I have to say about that.  I suppose I should get to doing something productive this morning.  But first! more coffee!

What say you on this fine morning?

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Spring is Here

 Here's a Spring-y picture for you.  (Taken with my cellphone while out on one of my walks.)

There's nothing quite like a redbud tree to announce Spring.  So pretty.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 14

Hello again.  We're 14 weeks into this bad devil called 2022.  Things are exponentially worse than they were on 1/1/20 and the crap seems to be picking up speed as we roll merrily along toward the dark and fiery pits.  Yippee and weeee.  Keep your hands inside the ride at all times.  

Okay, so writing last week was pathetic.  I mean, I wrote, which is better than some weeks, but only 663 words and the result was not good.  And now I'm in a slump.  

No editing or marketing either.  

I read two books and most of a third.  I also made some small progress on The Three Musketeers.  Long book, but I'm determined.

Not much happened in the baking sphere either.  Cake cookies and then scalloped potatoes with cheese and ham.  

On the activity front, I did one walk.  And yesterday, I deep cleaned my bathroom.  Well, most of my bathroom.  I lost gumption before I did the floor, and the light bar over my bathroom counter still needs to be washed.  But man, my shower sparkles.  By the way, if you've never used Invisible Glass, it really took the gunk off my old bathroom tiles.  (I'm pretty sure what I used it for was 'off label', but hey, it worked and no harm done.)  Oh, and since I have been unable to find Soft Scrub in any variety but Bleach, which I can't use because it eats my hands, I picked up a container of my old-old standby Barkeeper's Friend.  Awesome stuff.  It just requires more elbow grease than Soft Scrub.  Needless to say, I am a bit worn out today.

Has anyone seen Spic and Span in the dry form anywhere lately?  I used to love that stuff.  But I digress...

I started out last week by doing our taxes.  That is sure to drain the life right out of you.  So maybe that's why my week was so unproductive.  Did the taxes, sent them in, and by the end of the week, the state refund was in.  Wow.  Go, Missouri.  

I've been cutting Hubs hair.  I mean, I've done my own for years, so why not?  I did that on Monday after I got back from grocery shopping.  This time looks pretty good.  (Last time, was passable, but he had like a divot on the side there until it grew out.)  Thank goodness for the clippers I bought years ago to use on Max the cat.  Anyway, there's 18 bucks we're not spending every 6 weeks.  Yay.

Elmer the elm tree has lots of leaves and is getting baby branches.  So are Cecil and Cedric the cedars.  

And that's about all there is for me.  I lead such an exciting life.  Even more so now that gas prices are too high to warrant going anywhere.  How was your week?

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/9/22

Here we are again at the Saturday Reading Wrap-up!  Woohoo!  

I managed to find 6 new-to-me ebooks to download this week - mystery, urban fantasy, two romances, a science fiction mystery, and a cozy mystery.  I still have a historical mystery left from my last download binge.

Books Read:

19) Magical, Murderous Cupcakes by Skylar Starx (4/6/22) - Paranormal Mystery*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the Robin Reads newsletter.
Review: "
Fun and interesting, little paranormal mystery, filled with twists and turns."

18) Murder in Cherry Hills by Paige Sleuth (4/5/22) - Cozy Mystery* - 4 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  Free off the Book Doggy newsletter.
Review: "
Light, quick, easy read perfect for escaping your day. If you're looking for something deeper or something with a lot of twists, this probably isn't for you."


4/7/22 - free - romance.  It was supposed to be quirky and fun.  And it tried REALLY hard to be those.  Way too hard.  Like obviously hard.  And it failed to be either.

Currently reading... I'm still working my way through Three Musketeers, but as you can tell, I'm sticking other books in between spurts of that.  Which is part of the reason why I'm only 30% through.  

I'm currently 1 book behind schedule, but that's no biggie.  What was on your reading list this week?  How are things going for you reading-wise this year?

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Thursday This n That

Yesterday, I was getting ready to copy a snippet of SSS to share on someone's blog and noticed a typo.  It's okay.  I fixed it in all iterations of the book and uploaded them all.  But seriously.... After all the times I went through this manuscript... :pulls out Harakiri knife:  

Is it still called Harakiri or is it Seppuku now?  Asking for a friend.

We voted on Tuesday.  Two different 'raise your taxes to pay for things we don't need' issues.  We, of course, voted no.  And both of them, of course, passed.  One raised the sales tax.  The other raised the property tax.  yay.  With most everything outside our control getting more expensive, I can't fathom why people would actively vote for a increase in expenditures we can control.  Derp.  There was also a school board member thing.  We didn't vote for anyone because we didn't think any of them had a clue.  The incumbents lost, so that says something about people around here recognizing something is wrong, but from what we read about the two who got in, it'll be more of the same.  I hope I'm wrong.

A 93c head of lettuce is now $1.78.

In happier news, my peonies are coming up.  Unfortunately, they seem to be the only plants that survived being out of the ground for an extended period of time.  Mums... columbine... lariopes... all appear to be dead.  :shrug:

Wait, I was supposed to be doing 'happier news' there.  Umm...  Elmer the elm tree is starting to make branches, so he's not just a stick with leaves anymore.  And the baby cedars - Cecil and Cedric - are coming along nicely.  

The deer are starting to show their pregnancies.  Yay, fawns!  

I've been following a wildlife rescue in Oklahoma - Wild Heart Ranch.  (If you don't do FB, here's their website.)  They're pretty awesome.  And they're fighting the good fight.  Helping animals that can't help themselves - hurt animals, orphaned animals - and then releasing them back into the wild.  They got a baby beaver in the other day.  It's black.  =oO  Definitely not your normal beaver color.  And they have this crow they raised and then released who is amazing.  She's a free crow, but she doesn't want to leave, and she even helps out around the place.  (When she's not stealing things and leaving them on the roof. LOL)

I actually did some writing last night.  It pretty much sucks, but I have permission to do that.  It'll all work out in the end.

And before I start down the unhappier road again, I'll let you go.  What's on your this n that radar today?

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 13

The thirteenth week... I guess I never noticed before it has April Fool's Day in it.  :cue spooky music:  Ahem... Anyway...

There was writing, but not a lot of it.  1796 words.  Woohoo.  Then I hit a patch of 'why bother?' and skidded out, went in a ditch, and hit the proverbial tree.  I did spent some time working on a marketing thing, which also went in the ditch.  The only thing productive I actually accomplished this week was getting SSS into print format, uploading it, and ordering the proof copy.  That should be here like Friday.  I think.  If the mails are running the way they should and Amazon doesn't fuck something up.

I finished reading two books last week.  And then I started The Three Musketeers, which is slow going, but good.  It's a big book.  :shrug:

On the baking front, I did granola bars, cake cookies, and zucchini bread. Nothing new or exciting, but yummy.

In activity news, I was active 4 out of 7 days.  Wandering the yard, working in the woods, doing a hard target walk, and deep cleaning the fridge.  (And if you think cleaning the fridge isn't active, you've obviously found an easier way to do it than I have.)  I'm up to 13 miles walked for the year.  Weight: 177.6 - so eating less and getting more active is working.  Imagine that.

Speaking of cleaning the fridge... I actually started out yesterday with the idea of deep cleaning the whole kitchen.  In determining the plan, I realized that I couldn't do the floors until I did everything above the floors... natch... and that goes for counters, too.  Well, one of the things above the floor that desperately needed a cleaning was the fridge, so I filled the sink and dove in.  I moved everything out of the door and onto the shelves inside the fridge, then took out all the little shelvey things.  Closed the door and washed those.  Then I washed the inside of the door.  Dried the shelves and put them back.  Refilled those with all their stuffs.  Did the same with the drawers.  Then the big, heavy, glass shelves.  Moving everything around inside the fridge and then putting it back as I went.  In the end, nothing was out of the fridge for very long and the damn thing is clean.  Then I did the outside of the fridge.  Of course, by the time I got done with all that, I was pooped.  I didn't do the freezer, but it's pretty clean anyway.  Today, I'll finish the kitchen or die trying.  *

I also cleaned the coffee maker yesterday.  This new maker beeps when the coffee is done.  And when it needs cleaning, it beeps before the coffee is done, so that's how I know to clean it.  About once a month.  Which is what the specs for this thing say anyway.  

It must be Spring because I'm starting to see bunnies when I'm out walking.  Yay.

Okay, it's time again to take myself in hand.  I've been letting everything get to me and when everything is getting to me, I have a tendency to let the things I need to do slide.  Housework, yardwork, work-work, etc.  I've started cleaning, so that's something.  Now I need to get back to writerly pursuits as well.  Today.  Now.  Alright, maybe not NOW.  It's early and I'm gonna need a lot more coffee before I do anything productive.  

What did your week look like?  How's things?  

* I did our taxes instead.  Now I don't feel like doing anything.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 4/2/22

 Sorry... woke up late and realized I hadn't set up my post for this morning...  Here goes...

I didn't get any new books this week.  I still have four unread ebooks left and a house full of hardcopies I could read.  Although, I am jones'n to pick up some old paperbacks.  It's an addiction.

Books Read:

17) Rebel Tribe by Ramy Vance / Michael Anderle (3/27/22) - SF*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Enthralling story with an interesting and different premise. Plus, I loved the characters. Jaeger and Toner were the stars, of course, but Occy was an unexpected favorite. Great book and loads of fun!"

16) The Redemption Man by James Carver (3/25/22) - Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the ENT newsletter.
Review: "
Interesting and thrilling suspense with the kind of hard-hitting hero I appreciate. It took a little supernatural bent there toward the end, which I assume is a lead-in for subsequent novels. I didn't expect it, but it was okay. All in all, an enjoyable read. Good guys win, bad guys lose. It's all good."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... The Three Musketeers.  I've never read this classic before, so I figured it was about time.  It's slow going, but it's enjoyable.

What was on your reading list this week?

Friday, April 1, 2022

April 1st... No Foolin'

I've only been up for an hour, don't expect great things from me.  

I don't do pranks.  Or practical jokes.  Which I don't think are 'practical' anyway.  And they're usually mean.  So no.

I did see something cute in the April Fools category this morning, though.  A woman saved all her Amazon boxes and then left them sitting outside her front door for when her husband got home.  I guess so he'd think she ordered all that stuff.  I hope he was good-natured enough to not go off on her for her spending.  That right there would be ground for divorce.  Hubs would look at all those boxes and ask if we won the lottery.  LOL

For my part, today is the 18th anniversary of the day I saw Hubs in person for the first time.  Monday is the 9th anniversary of the day we moved into this house.  It's a nice time of year for us.  We certainly don't need pranks to harsh that.

What about you?  Do you prank?  Are you hiding from pranks today?

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Thursday This n That

I swear to god whoever's sneaking into our house at night and beating us in our sleep needs to stop. (This is not really happening.  It just feels like it.)

I taught Hubs how to make cake cookies last night.  He had a sweet tooth thing going on and I told him to go make cookies.  I ended up doing most of the work (which is not much work anyway), but now he knows how for future reference.  (Considering the fact that I am a total control-freak in the kitchen, this was a bigger deal than you think.)  I made them BIG because it was necessary.  And as soon as they were cool enough for the chocolate chips to not burn our mouths, we ate some.  Yay.  Warm chocolate chip cookies are da bomb.  

I'm also a control-freak in my car.  His car? Nope.  My car?  I'm in control, baby.

It might snow today.  And that's just about enough of that already.  Sheesh.

We've had a red-shouldered hawk hanging out around the yard lately.  I've named him Rufus.  Yesterday, I saw Beauregard in the woods.  (He's our resident broad-winged hawk.)  Luckily, I think they have different prey.  Unfortunately, I fear Beau might be prey in Rufus's eyes.  Hope not, but nature's a witch sometimes.

Did I tell you someone hit a beaver on the highway the other day?  There's a wet-weather creek right there leading to the lake, about 3/4 of a mile away, and for some reason the beavers cross the highway at that point.  No clue why.  I just know this is the second beaver that's been hit right there since we moved here.

My brother traps beavers in Michigan.  He provides a service for people whose land is being ruined by the pesky buggers and he takes the skinned carcasses to a raptor rehabilitator.  He also makes maple syrup.  This is probably a busy time for the maple thing and according to this, nearing the end of beaver season.  Plus, he works a 'full-time and then some' job.  Bro's a busy dude.  If more people had his drive, this world would be a better place all the way around.

We're a pretty industrious family.  Stop laughing.  I can be industrious.  =op  (I'm not, but I can be.)

I quit watching Grey's Anatomy cold turkey.  I'm not even sure why I liked it.  Don't even get me started on the dysfunctional relationships it regularly portrays as normal and good.  It's certainly addictive, though, which is why I had to stop cold turkey.  Like football.  I'm not a 'wean myself off' kind of person.  It's really hard to not walk in the living room right now and turn on the TV to watch it.  But I'm pushing through.

Speaking of dysfunctional relationships, I have had more than my fair share.  I was talking to Mom about it yesterday.  One in particular was especially nasty and I was telling her I still have nightmares.  They're only about once a year now, but they're always bad.  And no, he never hit me.  He just tormented me mentally and emotionally to the point where I thought about killing myself to get away from him.  And THAT was the point at which I realized I needed to get the hell away from him.  And I still tried to stay.  It took one more week of being treated like crap to put some starch in my spine and I was outta there.  Whew.  Did I learn?  Nope.  Fell into a similar relationship about 2 years later.  Eventually, I did learn, though, and I'm with Hubs.  Who is awesome, by the way.  

Wow, I was a little wordy there, wasn't I?  Got anything to share with me this morning?

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Nope, Still Not Dead

I had great hopes for yesterday.  The plan was to hit the ground running and get some marketing done.  Ummm... I woke up feeling like I'd hit the ground alright.  Splat.  I did manage to get the bills paid and the dishes done.  Other than that, I was toast for the day.  Still not 100% this morning.

I tried writing some marketing copy.  One shouldn't try to do that running at less than 50%.  It felt like I was trying to sell the latest in toilet-scrubbing technology on late night TV, so I shut it down and then went to flop in the recliner.  This morning? It isn't TOTALLY awful.  I still feel like a huckster.  Maybe that's what people want in their marketing these days, though.  

Announcing the first in a new series by novelist B.E. Sanderson.  Combining her skill at writing suspense, mystery, and paranormal with her love of all things magical and marvelous, the epic fantasy, Shroudlands: Song of Storm and Shroud is now available at a variety of fine retailers.  Follow Aryl as he learns to wield the magic inside him, as he faces both his fears and his doubts, and as he fights to save his homeland from the evils escaping the Shrouds.  A wild ride for teens and teens-at-heart. Get your copy today.

:shrug:  I suck at marketing.  Unless you think that's awesome, and then I just suffer from a lack of confidence.  

Selling books is awesome.  Not selling books is the opposite of awesome.  (Yeah, I'm a wordsmith today, aren't I?  Don't pick on me this morning.  I'm beginning to think this is Feel Like Crap, Round Two.*)  What I mean, if you couldn't parse that from the awesome/not awesome thing, is that when my books sell, I feel like I could take on the world.  And when they don't, I feel like I can't do any damn thing.  

Anyway, I'm going to crawl back to my recliner.  I just wanted to pop in and give you a glimpse into the glamorous life of this writer.  Whoopee.  And, of course, to prove I'm not dead.

How are things in your life these days?

*Stomach, not respiratory, so no worries about 'rona in any of its many variants.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 12

 :blink blink:  Sunday, huh?  

Well, the big news for last week was that I finished the proofing for SSS and published it.  It's now available at the major retailers and a few of the smaller ones.  Here's the universal link for them what want it.   I still haven't formatted for print yet.  I'll work on that today.

In other news, I did something I don't usually do.  I started the sequel.  I'm 5650 words into Shroudlands 2 now.  It'd probably be more but my wrists were killing me last night, so I only got about 700 words out.  That's what I get for making buns earlier in the day.  But a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do, eh?

I didn't do any marketing, really.  Shame on me.  I hate marketing more than editing, if that tells you anything.  I sold 3 copies of SSS, and one of those was to me.  I also had someone buy a copy of WIOH, so that was something unexpected.  I'll try to get some marketing posts created and posted to social media tomorrow.

In reading news, as soon as the book was uploaded, I went back to reading and I completed 2 books last week.  Yay.

On the baking front, I didn't bake anything until yesterday, when I made a batch of buns.  I made 12 smaller buns than I did last did, which gave me leftover dough.  I used that to make cinnamon rolls.  Not sure bun dough is exactly right for cinnamon rolls.  They're super soft.  But they taste good and that's the most important thing.  

As for activity, I only had two active days.  Both walks.  But I am up to just over 11 miles for the year.  Weight: 179.8

I discovered yesterday that all five of my peonies survived their garage experience.  New buds are poking up from the spots where I planted them.  Yay.  No news yet on the mums or the columbine.  I'm seriously thinking about putting vegetables in the rest of the bed.  We'll see.  

Lumpy the doe is looking kinda of thick around the middle.  I hope she carries twins to term and that they survive the birth.  We didn't see her with any babies last year and she's such a good mom.  

Monday, I won a sizable poker tournament.  1st out of 225.  Prior to that, I'd only won the small tourneys - a couple of 6-people sized ones.  So, I got that going for me.  Yesterday, I finished 12th out of like 550 people in a poker tournament.   I'm finishing in the money on a regular basis now.  Thanks, stupid Obama for making online real-money poker illegal.  Turd.  I could never do this in person.  I have no poker face.  And I say insulting things to my competitors.  But here, they can't hear me, so it's no big thing.  Oh, and I think you can't smoke at casinos anymore.  Not smoking would totally harsh my game.

And I'll leave you with this for your entertainment... Spirits by The Strumbellas.  (Because I woke up with it in my head.)

What was your week like?

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/26/22

Hello again.  It was a busy week for me professionally, with the formatting and publication of my latest book, which Goodreads in all its infinite wisdom added to my book goal.  With as much time as I put in on that thing, I'm leaving it.  I read it like 6 times for pitysakes.  

I did pick up a slew of new-to-me ebooks this week.  Yay.  I still have 5 left - SF, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Historical Mystery, and Romance.  

Books Read:

16) The Redemption Man by James Carver (3/25/22) - Suspense*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Picked up for free from the ENT newsletter.
Review: "Interesting and thrilling suspense with the kind of hard-hitting hero I appreciate. It took a little supernatural bent there toward the end, which I assume is a lead-in for subsequent novels. I didn't expect it, but it was okay. All in all, an enjoyable read. Good guys win, bad guys lose. It's all good."

15) The Breaking Point by Daphne du Maurier (3/21/22) - Suspense/Short stories - 4 stars.  The author isn't new to me, natch, but I hadn't read this one before.  It's not underappreciated.  I picked this up in 2019 from one of the thrift store for like 50c.
Review: "Fairly interesting group of short stories. Some of them were quite good. Others were just weird. A few were weird and good. Definitely different from some of her more well known works."

14) Song of Shroud and Storm by B.E. Sanderson (3/20/22) - Epic Fantasy*# - My own book, so not rated or reviewed.  I bought a copy like I always do - $4.99.

No DNFs.

Currently reading...  I got caught up in writing and other stuff, so I didn't start another book yesterday.

What did you read last week?  What'cha reading now?  Looking forward to anything?

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Thursday This n That

I won a poker tournament this week.  Wanna see?

First out of 225.  Yay.  I hit final table with the least amount of money.  The two guys with the most amount went out like third and fifth.  When we got to heads-up, the other guy had like 3.7 million to my 800K.  We went back and forth for about 20 minutes.  Then when I had like 2/3rds of the chips, he went all in and I made a flush.  Woohoo.

In other news, my book went live at Amazon on Wednesday.  Yesterday, it went live on Apple, Kobo, B&N and some other places.  Click here for the universal link.  So pretty.

I spent most of yesterday being a toad.  Today, I'll get back to work.  The voices in my head are having a war about which book to do and they're bombarding me with scenes.  One side is throwing scenes for SCIU #4.  The other side is chucking bits of Shroudlands #2.  Gah.  Not sure who'll win yet, but the battle is fierce.

There's a big black dog running loose in the area.  He's gorgeous.  A black lab mix of some kind.  I swear if I see him out by the highway again, I'm coaxing him into my car and bringing him home.  I'll look for his owners.  Honest I will.  Stop laughing... I'll do it.  Okay, maybe not super hard...  But his coat is clean and shiny, so someone has to own him.  If I see him hit on the highway, though, I'm going to be very sad and extremely pissed.  I think I will call him Rochester.  Of Jane Eyre, not Jack Benny.  

I do have a affinity for Rochester of Jack Benny fame, though.  Have had one since I was a little girl.  I was also super fond of Jimmy Durante.  Ha chatta cha.  And Lou Costello.  Can't watch the old Abbott and Costello movies anymore.  I still love Lou, but Bud pisses me right the hell off.  

There are tiny red buds on my redbud tree.  And itty-bitty leaves on my lilac.  It's supposed to get cold again tonight.  If it freezes and kills my tiny buds, I'm going to have a sad.

This winter has been really weird.  Hot and cold, hot and cold.  Blerg.

Okay, time to toddle off.  Have a great day.  And feel free to drop whatever comments you may before you leave.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Things I Remember Fondly

 As I was laying in bed not sleeping last night, I came up with a list of things I remember fondly...

- not laying in bed for hours thinking

- size ten jeans

- wearing jeans

- drinking

- $1.78 gasoline

- eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it

- running

- typing anything without feeling the psychotic urge to edit it

- putting 'brown' down as my hair color

- surviving on four hours of sleep

- sleeping

- having a dog

- my smokin' hot bod

- the excitement of release day

- wearing makeup

- going for long drives

- eating out

- my best friend from high school

- my childhood dog

- a whole day without something hurting

- the vocal range I had when I was younger

- enthusiasm 

Yeah, I didn't actually get to sleep until after midnight and I was up at 6, so I'm not the cheeriest person this morning.  Eh, stuff happens.  

What are some things you remember fondly?

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 11

Well, here we are again.  Another Sunday in 2022.  Almost exactly two years from the start of this crap.  Two years ago last week was when I was out in the pouring rain amidst the lunatic fringe, trying to find toilet paper, and I locked my keys in my car.  Two years ago this coming week was the circus of trying to get Owl from up there to down here.  Blerg.

Anyway, that was then and this is now.  

I finished inputting my beta notes on Monday.  Since then, I've spent every day this week going through SSS with a fine-toothed comb and really trying to catch every little thing.  110K words worth of every little thing.  I'm up to page 219 out of 377 now.  158 pages left to go.  I did 81 pages yesterday, with brief breaks for food, baking, and a walk.  Nothing else much is getting accomplished, but hey, the book is nearer to publication every day.

I also wrote like 4000 words on SCIU 4 early in the week before I started pushing to get SSS done.  And I reworked my blurb yesterday morning.  Busy busy busy.  I tried editing and writing on the same day, and I am totally not up to that speed yet.  I'll keep trying, though.  Just not this week because I want... no, I need to get this done.

In reading news, I finished one book last Saturday and read most of another book before I leapt into the deep proofreading on Tuesday.  I'll read when this manuscript is published.

On the baking/cooking front, I made a roast chicken, pizza, my version of Mexican pizza, and yesterday I did an Applesauce Coffee Cake.  Yum.

In activity news, I did something active 5 out of 7 days.  Mostly it was walking.  I put over 4 miles on my legs this week, which is about half of what I've done so far this year.  Woohoo.  No weight check.  The scale and I aren't friends these days.

That's about it.  Time for me to get back to proofing.  I proof from early morning until lunch and then I veg until about 3 then it's back to proofing until dinner.  I eat then I proof.  Then I take a break for a walk.  Then I proof until about an hour before bed.  I'll be so happy when this is over and the book is published.  

How was your week?

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 3/19/22

Not much to talk about this week because I'm back to work on my manuscript.  Proofreading for the most part, but it's taking a lot of my time.  And it's keeping my Kindle occupied.  Needless to say, I'm two books behind on my reading goal.  

No new books this week.

Books Read:

13) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (3/12/22) - Literature - 5 stars.  In no way was this new to me or underappreciated.  No clue where I picked up this copy.  I didn't find the exact edition I was reading on Goodreads, so I picked the edition I used to have.  Not sure where that went or when.  =o\
Review: "
I haven't read this in ages - although when I was younger, I read at least once a year - and I still love it as much as I ever did."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... a short story collection by Daphne du Maurier that I picked up in 2019 at one of the thrift stores (the year I started keeping track of my book purchases).  I made it about 2/3 of the way through before I got sucked into the proofreading vortex.

What did your reading week look like?

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Thursday This n That

Since the weather is nice, I went out into the garage to move my baby trees out onto the deck.  Elmer, the elm tree I planted from a seed last year, has loads of little leaves.  He's just a stick with green popping out all over it right now, but it looks like he might be trying to make branches in a few spots, too.  Yay.  I was inordinately happy to see Elmer had lived.  Also, the twins - the two tiny cedar transplants - are alive, too.  They have new growth, too!  Yay.  I will move them back in if the weather turns nasty.  

I've been trying to write AND edit on the same days.  Two different books, of course, but yah, it ain't easy.  I think I just need to get into the swing of it again.  I only edited yesterday.  Well, actually proofreading, but I'm still making notes and tweaking things.  My beta readers did most excellent jobs, but I'm finding things we all missed.  This tells me that the book was gripping engaging enough to pull readers past missed words here and there, so it's all good.

After seeing damn near everyone using gripping in their title info, I'm beginning to hate the word.  Not everything is gripping, damn it.

We have a red-shouldered hawk that's been hanging out in our woods.  Here's a photo of it.

I believe I shall call him Rufus.  No, I don't know for sure it's a dude hawk.  Not sure how to differentiate gender on that species.

Hey.  Wanna see a picture of my naked buns?

I call it my gratuitous bun pic.  :gigglesnort:  I need to make more of those.  They're pretty tasty.  I'm also thinking I can take that dough and use half for buns and the other half for cinnamon rolls.  We'll see.

I need to get a fishing license for this year.

Someone came walking up the hill yesterday.  He went straight up my across-the-road neighbor's driveway, up onto their porch, and stood there.  I never saw him knock.  Then he left.  Not sure what was going on there.  I think I might know who he was - his property butts up to that neighbor's on one side - but I'm not 100% sure.  I've only seen the dude with his wife and alone he doesn't quite look the same.

Isn't it weird how sometimes you can see someone out of their usual context and you don't recognize them?  Or it that just me?  In Colorado, I used to hit the thrift store regularly and I got chatty with the owner.  Once day a gal comes up to me in the store and starts talking to me like she knows me, and I had no idea who she was.  Basically, I made small talk with her for like ten minutes without knowing how she knew me.  After she walked away, Owl whispered in my ear that she was the owner of the thrift store.  ROFL

If I ever ran into any of you, I would be totally clueless - mainly because I've only seen pictures and have never met any of you in real life.  

And on that note, I'll let you go.  Feel free to drop your this-n-thats in the comments.  The more the merrier.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Today is Another Day

Yesterday on Outside the Box, I talked about getting myself back into the right mindset to work.  I had big plans for yesterday and it started out pretty good.  I got the edit notes completed first thing and then sent it to my Kindle for final proofing.  Then I planned on sitting down to write the blurb.  

Unfortunately, I then made the mistake of turning on the TV.  Watched an hour's worth of Grey's Anatomy while I wrestled with myself about whether to go grocery shopping.  I finally sucked it up and went to Wallyworld.  If that doesn't drain the gumption out of you, I don't what does.  

Gumptionless, I continued the slide back into my old routine by eating lunch and then sitting down for poker.  While I was waiting for a tournament to commence, I did start my blurb, though, so not a total loss.  And after I finished the tournament (17th out of like 275, by the way), I finished the blurb.  I haven't looked at it again.  It most likely sucks. 

Last night was a lost cause.  I planned to write.  Really, I did.  But we dined late and then there were things on TV to watch.  

I'm not kicking myself.  Today is another day.  A fresh time to get back to work.  If I fall down, I need to get back up again and not kick myself until I can't get up.  Lord knows, the world is kicking us all enough that we don't need to do it to ourselves, too.  

So, today I will hit that blurb again.  And I had a dream last night that gave me some additional insight into Justice Served - and :gasp: I got up and wrote it down.  So, I've got that going for me.  Onward and upward.

And here's a little inspiration for y'all... Harber Row - Shine On

Keep shining, folks.