Sunday, June 30, 2024

Sunday Update 6/30/24

Yay, I remembered to do this on a Sunday for a change!  :muppetflail: You have to celebrate the little successes, doncha know.

Not much to talk about in the writing sphere.  I wrote two days out of seven for 1866 words.  Tomorrow, Ju-Lo-Wri-Mo starts, so I better get over that shit in a hurry and set my ass down here to work every day.  Again, Ju-Lo-Wri-Mo is about 'no expectations' other than to write every day.  I had said something about no editing, but as Silver (who's also participating) pointed out, she's editing, too.  Like I said, no expectations.  This month is to do whatever you want to do as long as you're writing every day.  My problem is I sometimes use editing to avoid writing, so no editing for me.  Basically, Silver and I are using this month to get back into writing since we've both been on our own hiatuses for long enough that it's hard to find the groove again.  If you need this, too, join in.  It doesn't matter what you write.  It doesn't matter how many words you put down.  It doesn't matter if you get to the end of anything in the next 31 days.  Personally, I'm planning on working on the next Duke Noble for those days.  If I get stuck, though, I'll happily jump over to any of the other unfinished books I have.  Or I'll hit something totally new.  

In reading, I finished an ebook and I'm almost finished with the 866 page omnibus of Hercule Poirot stories.  I also picked up 12 new hardcopy books yesterday and a book I ordered from Amazon arrived in the mail.  So yay.  

Not much baking this week, other than I made a pan of chicken enchiladas.  We ate them for dinner one night and I have enough leftovers for two more hearty meals and one lunch.  Today, I'm planning on making apple crisp.  

On the weight/activity front, I did 4 days out of 7.  Weight: 170.4.  Yeah, I'm gaining since I stopped work.  I expected this to happen, so I'm not berating myself for it.  I need to get back to eating smaller portions and increasing my activity.  To that end, I'm going to try to start walking in the mornings.  (It's too damn hot to walk any other time of day.)  I also still have a lot of garden work to do which can also only be done in the mornings.  We'll see.  

The fawns are here.  They're all so tiny and cute.  We've seen like 3 single fawns, but yesterday, I actually saw a verified set of twins, so yay.

I'm still not fishing.  It's too damn hot to fish.  And, like I said, I'm busy with other stuff first thing in the morning which is the most likely time for fish to be biting this time of year.  Oh, well.  There'll be plenty of time to fish this Fall.

My gardens are pathetic right now.  Aside from the neglect they've suffered, we had a hard rain the other morning that knocked my new tomato plants over.  I need to cage those suckers, but that's a task for another day.  The coneflowers I bought look tragic.  They may be at the end of their growing season, which is part of it.  The other part is the deer have discovered them and have gotten over their fear of NEW THING, and they're munching on the plants now.  Derp.

Well, I think that's it for me today.  If I missed anything that you have a burning desire to get on update on, let me know.  Have a great day!  And feel free to leave a comment letting me know how your week went.  

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Saturday Reading Wrap-Up 6/29/24

Saturday Reading Wrap-up?  Well, if it wasn't broken before, why fix it now?  So here we go...

Not a lot of action on picking up new books this week, but I did get a new ebook - the first one this year :gasp: - so that's something.  I also discovered that one of the ebooks I bought last year never made it to my Kindle.  I'm working on fixing that because I still want to read it and I did pay money for it, dammit.

Books Read:

7) Perfect Pending by Lucia Ashta (6/25/24) - paranormal romance* - 4 stars - new to me but not underappreciated.  Picked up for free last year from a freebie list on Amazon.
Review: "Good story. A little too explicit here and there for me to be able to give it 5 stars, but your mileage may vary."


6/24/24 - free - paranormal romance - it just didn't blow my skirt up and that was obviously in the first few paragraphs.  Blerg. (This was sitting on my Kindle from July of last year, which makes me sad.)

6/24/24 - free - cozy mystery - it was the second book in a series when I never read the first, so I'm not sure if it really was this book's fault, but the allusion to all the different things that happened in the first - not a recap but hinting at it all - definitely turned me off.  Needless to say, I am not inclined to go looking for the first book so I can read this one.  (This was sitting on my Kindle from July of last year, too.)

Currently Reading...  A compendium of Hercule Poirot stories.  861 pages of it.  I've been reading this for well over a week now and I'm almost done.  I needed a break midweek, though, so I tried reading some other stuff, too.

What's on your reading wrap-up this week?

Friday, June 28, 2024

Friday This n That

Yep, forgot to post yesterday.  Yep, forgot it was Thursday, too.  I'm all messed up in the timeline.  Derp.

In my defense, yesterday morning, I went outside to mow.  I was all prepared to get 'er done.  Mowed for like 20-30 minutes and was too pooped to continue.  I am a pathetic loser.  (And one, big, atrophied muscle.)

Night before last, I wrote 1122 words - which is the most I've done in one sitting since June of 2022.  Go, me.  Woo.  At least that muscle is recovering from its atrophy.

At my day-job, I typed a lot, but it was all short spurts - messages, emails, etc.  Every rare once in a while, I would type instructions - especially at the end there when I wanted to leave procedures for the next person who had to do my job.  I increased my typing speed by a lot, but only in short spurts.  Oh, and I can also take dictation of a sort.  They'd talk, I'd type while they were talking, and it ended up pretty much word for word.  (Sometimes, I'd edit what they were saying while I was typing because people don't always explain things in a linear fashion and they umm a lot.)

Accidental Death is now only 99c.  Have at it.

Project Hermes will be free starting July 4th for 5 days.  Have at that, too.

Just now, I was watching a doe and her itty-bitty fawn.  OMG, so tiny.  Nature is a beautiful thing, ya know.  And then you see her licking its butt and like... ew.

There's a photo being passed around on FB that supposedly shows a coyote with a deceased dog in its mouth.  Looks like a Jack Russell.  I guess the photo is some kind of warning about wildlife and your pets.  It doesn't look real to me.  Like where the coyote is holding the dog and the way the dog is hanging there, the physics are off.  Unless the dog was dead before the coyote picked it up and rigor mortis had already set in.  In which case, the coyote most likely found the dog carcass and is carrying it off, and didn't actually kill the dog.  I'm not exactly sure a coyote of that size could kill a Jack Russell of that size.  Jack Russells are pretty feisty.  Sure, it could happen, but I'm suspicious.  Anyway, look at everything you see online with a critical eye.

And yeah, be careful letting your pets out where wildlife can munch on them.  A gal who used to live here had her cat snatched right off her porch by a bobcat.  Or at least that's what she said.  I'm suspicious of that, too, because she wasn't always the most honest person.  It's believable, though.  We have bobcats and they wouldn't hesitate to much a house cat if they could.

And that's about enough out of me today.  Have you got any this n that to share today?

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The Boiling Frog Who Jumped Away

This post was written a few years ago and never published.  It's more of a cautionary tale than anything.  I talk about this stuff so maybe someone else can take my experiences and help themselves out of a similar situation.


I'd like to start off by saying that never in my life have I ever been struck in anger.  But abuse doesn't necessarily have to take that form.

Sometimes I wish he had hit me.  From the time I was old enough to be interested in boys, I knew to never put up with anyone hitting me.  If he'd hit me, I would've gotten the hell out of there immediately.  But he never hit me.  Never hurt me... Not with his fists.  

When we first met, he was charming.  He treated me like an equal. He cherished me.  He loved me like I was supposed to be loved.  And then I moved in with him.  

Even then, it didn't happen all at once.  If he had treated me like shit right off the bat, I would've packed my stuff up and left him.  It happened little bit by little bit.  An unkind word here, a quiet dressing-down there.  By the time I realized where I was, it seemed like it was too late to leave.

You've all heard the story of how to boil a frog...  If you put a frog in hot water, it'll jump right out.  But if you put a frog in cold water and bring that water to boiling, you can easily boil it.  It doesn't realize the water is heating up.  It doesn't try to get away.  It just sits there until it dies.

He never came right out and called me ugly or stupid or fat.  He implied it.  He played on my own fears.  Are you sure you really want to wear THAT dress?  I can't believe you embarrassed me like that.  Don't touch that.  Don't do that.  Stay away from that.  

An example...  When we first met, he was almost computer illiterate and I was working a job in computer training and consulting.  I trained him on how to use his computer better and more efficiently.  I spent hours setting up a database for his business and inputting all the data he'd been keeping in a Word document.  But after I was done with that, I was no longer allowed to touch his computer because I might screw something up.

When I tried to read a book, he sulked and made life unbearable, so I stopped reading.  Reading, you see, took my attention away from him.  Even when he didn't need or want my attention.  

If I tried to be with my friends, he sulked and made life unbearable to the point I no longer saw my friends.  Until I had no friends.  Hell, he didn't want me to be around his friends either.  And heaven forbid, I had something to do with my family.  If he went, he was sullen.  If he didn't go, I came home to sullen.  

This was, of course, not the case when we were with his family.  He was so loving and attentive around them.  He morphed back into the man I first met.  I was beautiful and smart and he loved me.  He was that way around strangers, too.  Suddenly, he was the man I fell in love with again.

Except the man I fell in love with was an illusion.  

One night about two and half years in, we had one hell of a fight.  I don't remember what start it.  Maybe I tried to stand up for myself.  Again, he never hit me.  The words and accusations he threw were far worse.  So vile and disgusting, I won't repeat them here.  I was ready to leave him then.  The next day, he came to me on his proverbial knees, apologized with some excuse or other, and suggested we go into couples therapy.  I was all for it.  Maybe I'd get the man I fell in love with back.  Maybe a therapist would finally show him that not everything was my fault all the time.  

Therapy never happened.  It was just another trick of his to make me stay.

Another 6 months down the road, everything was happy on the surface and we talked about buying a house.  He went and looked at houses without me.  He picked the house without me.  He bought the house in his name.  He picked out all the furniture.  And we moved into his house.  He didn't want me to meet the neighbors.  He didn't want me to walk around the neighborhood.  We'd moved into a pretty cage.  I swear if he could've he would've fix it so I didn't work, so I'd never have to leave my cage.

Shortly thereafter, I was away at a sales conference in a dinner meeting and all I could think about was not wanting to go home.  After the meeting, I would have to head for the airport for my red-eye flight back to him.  I prayed for the plane to crash so I wouldn't have to go home.  That's when I finally woke up.  I would rather die than go back to that man.  So, why die?  Why not just get the hell out of that hellacious relationship?

Still, I didn't immediately go.  I'd just been tired that night.  It wasn't really as bad as I was thinking, was it?  A couple days after I got home, I invited my parents over for dinner to see the new house and stuff.  He was working when they came over.  It was always better to see my family when he wasn't home.  Unfortunately, when he got home and heard they'd been over, he blew up.  How dare I invite people over to HIS house when he wasn't home?  

The camel's back finally broke.  I told him I was leaving.  I spent the night in Owl's room and the next morning, before he woke up, I took her out of there.  We went to breakfast and then to my parent's house where I asked if they wouldn't mind watching Owl so I could go move my stuff and whether it would be okay if we stayed with them for a while.

When I got back to his house, he was waiting for me.  He didn't believe me the night before when I said I was leaving.  He still only thought this was some kind of game I was playing, looking for concessions or sympathy or something.  I set him straight, then started packing my stuff and moving it to my car.  After the first trip to the folks', when I got back, all my stuff was in the hall and he was gone.  Whew.  

Then the calls started.  Every night, him trying to get me to come 'home', so nice and so apologetic.  Eventually, I told him if he didn't stop calling, we were getting the phone number changed.  He stopped calling.  Then he happened to see me out and about and decided to follow me.  It was like a lame car chase in a bad movie.  Rushing down the freeway with him yelling out the window and scaring the holy shit out of me.  I drove straight to the state police post and sat in their parking lot until I was sure he was gone.  I never saw him again.

Dad didn't understand why I left him and kept encouraging me to patch things up.  After all, I'd been with him for three years.  The guy's friends and family didn't understand why I would do such a thing.  I was certainly a horrible person for hurting him so bad.  None of them ever knew what went on behind closed doors.  No one ever saw because the marks he left weren't visible and I never told them what was happening to me.  I was ashamed I'd let myself get into that situation.  I always thought of myself as a strong woman.  I was the first person to advocate for abused women to get the hell away from their abusers--to wonder why the hell they stayed.  And there I was in an abusive relationship myself.  For three years.  I felt like a fool. 

And even after I knew I was being abused, it wasn't 'real abuse' because he never physically harmed me.  He rubbed my soul raw, he flayed away at my sense of worth and of self until I lay in tatters. On the inside.  I was his pretty doll to dress up in sexy clothes and show off at parties.  And as long as I kept my mouth shut and toed the line, he was happy.  

Now, after reading all that, one would think I would never let that happen again.  Sorry to disappoint, but I did it again.  Not quite to the same extent, but I got Mental Abuser 2.0 a few years after I ditched the original version.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  Lucky for me, after I got out of that relationship, I spent a year learning how to be alone and like it.  And then I found Hubs.  Twenty years of awesome... you know, once I understood that Hubs was a good man and stopped cringing every time I thought he might be mad at me.  And learning it was okay if he was mad, because he still wouldn't treat me like shit.  

I didn't write this for sympathy or for pats on the back.  It happened.  I survived it.  It's done for me.  I wrote this because there are far too many people out there living through the same situations I lived through.  I want them to know they can get out.  I want them to understand that they don't deserve to be treated poorly by anyone - especially by someone who is supposed to love you.  Being alone is better than being with someone like that.  Really, it is.  

And abuse is abuse - even if you can't see the marks it leaves.  

(I don't mention Owl much in this, not because she wasn't part of it but because we'd be here all day if I included my thoughts and feelings about her in all this.  I tried to hide as much of it from her as I could.  No child should be exposed to that stuff.)

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Sunday Update 6/22/24

Okee dokie, I ate something yesterday that left me feeling gross this morning, so this might not be the most awesome of Sunday Updates...

First things first - because it always comes first... writing.  I wrote twice this past week for a total of 1684 words.  I had intended to write more, but I didn't.  The first writing session left me with an ouchy hand the next day, and being the big baby that I can be sometimes, I put off writing again for several days.  The next session wasn't nearly as hard on my hands, so yay.  But I really need to get myself into the writing groove, so that every night I am sitting here for at least a half hour, banging away at the keyboard.

Another writerly thing is that I set Sleeping Ugly up with a three day freebie deal.  Friday - Saturday - Sunday.  Which means today is the last day and if you haven't taken advantage of this, then your time is running out.  I've moved 42 books as of this morning.  Small beans in the scheme of things, but considering I'm only reaching people through Facebook groups designed for this type of marketing AND considering those 42 books are more books than I moved all of last year and a good part of '22, I'll take it.  Maybe those freebies will encourage people to buy the other two books in the series.  Maybe it'll get me a new review or two.  I have hopes.

To that end, I'll be running freebies and sales a lot over the next three months, just to make something happen.  Keep following this page or follow me on Facebook for up to date info on that jazz.

In reading news, I've been reading the same book all week - Poirot's Casebook.  It's a boatload of short stories by Agatha Christie, all involving Hercule.  It's pretty awesome, but I've read like 350 pages so far and I've only reached in the middle of the volume.

I was active 5 our of 7 days this week.  Cleaning mostly, but I did get a walk in.  I did what I call Loop +, which means walking the entire neighbor circle, plus the little short road.  That makes it 1.1 miles and puts me at 24.4 miles for the year so far.  My calf muscles are still protesting that walk.  I didn't weigh myself this week.  Mostly because I've been eating like a horse, so I don't expect to see a downward change and I don't want to see an upward change. LOL

In baking news, I made Parmesan-encrusted pork chops.  Then I got a wild hair and made brownies one night.  Both of those... so good.    It's really getting too hot here to bake a lot, which is why I try to do it in the morning, but sometimes a gal just has to have brownies.  Warm, with ice cream.  

Other than that?  I'm sure other stuff occurred, but my brain is toast today.  

How are things in your world?

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Saturday Snippet

Saturday Snippet... Hmm... sounds like a plan... But what to share?  Would you want a snip of something I'm currently working on?  

“You don’t even care that your brother is lying in a ditch somewhere.”  The voice coming over the phone line wasn’t an unwelcome one, but Duke Noble’s head was pounding after a night on the town and the shrillness of the tone was one he could’ve done without.

 “He’s not lying in a ditch somewhere, Mother.  He’s probably on a three-day bender,” Duke said as he tucked the receiver against his shoulder and lit another cigarette.

“But he hasn’t been in his apartment in weeks.”

“I’m sure you’re exaggerating.”

“There’s dust all over everything and the food in his refrigerator has spoiled.”

Duke sat up.  “What were you doing in Harry’s apartment, Mother?”

“I was worried.  And it wasn’t as if I was breaking and entering.  He gave me a key, after all.  I thought I’d just pop over and check on him.”

The thought of what his mother could’ve encountered upon entering Harry’s apartment almost made Duke spit his coffee across the room.  Harry was a died-in-the-wool bachelor and more than something of a lady’s man.  On any given day, all sorts of individual ladies could be found in various states of undress in his brother’s abode.

Or would you rather have something older?

A cute and fluffy bunny hopped across the meadow toward me.  His shiny button eyes twinkled and his tiny velvet nose wrinkled.  Next thing I knew, the little bastard whipped out a laser pistol and shot me in the ankle.  “That’s the last donation the ASPCA gets from me,” I thought.

Looking back, that’s how this whole thing got started.  One minute I’m enjoying a beautiful summer day, the next, I’m running for my life.  It was as if the whole species  of lagomorphs suddenly decided they’d had enough of being darling, and decided it was high time they took over the job of King of the Forest.

It wasn’t until much later I found out about the space ship.

(Everything is, of course, unedited. So cut me some slack.)

Do you guys need a lead in for these things - like what it's from or some kind of basis for the scene?  In the case of both of these, they're the beginnings of their Chapter Ones, so they really should already give you an idea.  :shrug:

Friday, June 21, 2024

Freebie Friday

Hi Everyone. It's morning here and you know what that means? Well, beside the fact that I am a half-awake troll, mainlining coffee and fending off overactive kitties? It means SLEEPING UGLY is free starting today.

Looks aren’t everything… And curses aren’t real… Yeah, right.

(Go here: )

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Thursday This n That

You ever see one of those math problems on FB where it's like this picture plus this picture equals this amount and you get several lines of that with different pictures and then you have to figure out the ultimate answer using pictures?  I'm usually okay at those, but I saw one this morning on a whole 'nother level and it hurt my brain.

I heard from my MIL yesterday.  The bank contacted her about the check that was stolen out of Owl's mailbox at Christmas.  Sounds like they've caught someone and are moving forward with prosecution.  Yay.  I took all the information and sent it to Owl, in case she doesn't already have it, and I'll give it to my mom this morning.  I hope they throw the book and her/him/them.  Stealing little old ladies' Christmas checks... how low can you go?

I took a new pic of The Boyz...

You can really see Sawyer's markings in this one.  They both have such interesting markings.  And even though they're both tabbies, Sawyer's tabby is more brown-gray and Finn's is more gray-gray.  Totally brothers from another mother.

We've seen at least two fawns now.  Yay.

I actually got some words written last week, but the next day, my hand hurt so bad that I'm shying away from writing.  I need to suck it up.  My hands will get over it if I make them get over it.  So there.  I'll get some writing done today, you can guaran-damn-tee it.

I also walked the loop yesterday for the first time in over a year.  It took me 28 minutes instead of the usual 25.  I expected it to take longer because I really was taking it slower.  It felt good to do it, but I am paying for it a little this morning.  Gah, atrophy sucks.

Okay, that's probably enough out of me this morning.  Have an awesome day wherever you are and feel free to leave some of your this-n-thats behind before you go.  =o)

Wednesday, June 19, 2024


It's Wednesday.  In my recent-past life, Wednesday was meeting day.  Not for me, but for everyone else in the office.  I got a bye to not attend because someone had to answer the phones.  Yay.  I hate meetings anyway, so it was all good, baby.

In my other job - the spreadsheety thing I've been doing for like 20 years for the family business (aka pay-job) - Wednesdays are the days I have to get my timesheet to the office so they can mail me a check on Thursday morning.  Yay.  (Don't get too excited. It's not enough to live on. LOL)

Otherwise, Wednesdays don't have a purpose that's any different from any other day.  I'd like to change that.  (See yesterday's post.)  

Maybe Wednesday is a good day to talk about writing...

First off, I'm probably not the first person anyone should come to for writing advice.  Any advice I give take with a grain of salt.  If it seems sound and it works for you, take it.  If not, that's fine, too.  After all, it's not like I'm flashing my Bestselling Author card.  I don't have one.  I only have the 'been in the trenches for twenty years' pin.  It's around here somewhere... probably hiding underneath a pile of unfinished manuscripts.  

But enough about that.  It's all sound and fury signifying nothing.  I write books.  Sometimes I dabble in short stories, but that's rare.  My brain isn't wired for short.  I always have something more I want to say or another twist to throw at my characters.  To paraphrase Sir Mix-a-lot, I write big books and I cannot lie. A thing my readers can't deny. When a book pops into my little bitty head with a round plot in my face, I get sprung.  (All apologies for that. I couldn't help myself.)

I write big books.  You may right short stories.  You could write limericks on the subway wall for all I care.  Are you writing?  Awesome.  If you've got words burning in your head to get out, then let's do this.  To that end, Silver and I are pushing each other next month.  We're calling it Ju-Lo-Wri-Mo and basically we are going to write something every day.  Word counts are optional.  We'll probably tell each other the amounts, but it won't really matter as long as we can say 'I wrote today', we'll win.  Feel free to join along.

This has been somewhat of a rambling post.  Sorry about that.  My brain still needs some rewiring after a couple years of shunting my focus elsewhere.  Give me time.  

What say you?  If you're a writer, what do you write?  If you're a reader, what's your go-to thing to read?  If you're neither, feel free to pull up a chair and watch the weirdness.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Blogging Suggestions?

 I'm hoping, at some point, to have regularly scheduled blog posts on various weekdays.  Sunday will be the Update, of course.  (When I remember.)  Thursdays will still be This n That posts.  I'm open to suggestions on the other days.  Having themes might make it easier for me to think of things to talk about.  :shrug:

Old Movie Monday?  Wicked Wednesday - for crime posts?  Freaky Friday - for weirdness posts?  Would Topical Tuesday be too lame?  I could do Fantasy Friday, too - and talk about fantastical things.  I dunno.  Should I devote a day to writerly topics?  Readerly topics?  In the past I've done fishing reports and also reading wrap-ups on Saturdays, but I stopped each of those because I wasn't fishing that much or reading that much.  

Anyway, I'm open to suggestions.  Have at it.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Monday Update

Apparently, I'm not quite into the swing of being 'retired' again because I totally forgot to post yesterday.  Bear with me.  I'm workin' on it.

So, last week was my first full week of being back to being a private citizen / hermit again.  Here's what happened:

I wrote words!  Not every day, but I did manage to write twice for a total of 1733 words.  Not great but not horribly shabby either.  I learned that I am totally not up to any kind of marathon writing yet.  My hands start to be little, whiny babies at about 800 words right now.  That amounts to about a half hour of continuous typing.  I'm hoping that, by the end of July, I can be back to a sustained 60-90 minutes at a time. 

The story my brain wanted to work on was Duke Noble's.  I ended up restarting the next book in the series.  Right now, it's called Thicker than Water.  Once before, I started this story, and I may end up using some of what I wrote previously.  But since I got stuck, I probably needed to just jumpstart this sucker.  We'll see.  

I'm also working on getting back into the swing of reading.  I finished a Sherlock Holmes compilation and started a Hercule Poirot one.  Right now, I'm feeling mysterious... what can I say?  

On the activity front, I did something active 5 out of 7 days.  I'm not back to walking yet. There's so much other stuff I'm behind on that walking seems unproductive.  Instead, I spent time either cleaning or gardening.  Weight: 166.4

Cleaning is more exercise than you'd think.  And man, am I not used to doing it anymore.  I found muscles I forgot I had.  Oof.  It's not like Hubs wasn't doing it and doing a good job at it, but I'm a control freak sometimes, so as soon as I could take that job back, I did.  He's still doing dishes, but only because he gets to them before I think about it.  I did dishes once since I've been back and oh my aching back, I'd forgotten how much doing dishes hurts.  Oh well.  The job needs to shift back over to my list and get off of Hubs' list.  Jus' sayin'.

Gardening was mostly weeding and digging up beds because they are in such a state.  My poor shade bed... the astilbes are down from 6 to three and those were getting choked out.  I thought my two coral bells were toast, but one of them send out shoots and there are two little bitty live shoots from that.  The other variety is gone.  The lily-of-the-valley that was doing so good is left with one shoot that the deer have munched.  On a positive note, the tomatoes I planted a few weeks ago appear to be growing right along.  No signs on flowers yet, but I have hopes.

I made homemade cinnamon rolls on Friday.  I have had such a craving for cinnamon rolls like you wouldn't believe.  But I can't ever seem to find a recipe that makes me want to dive in.  Cinnamon rolls are such a pain in the butt to make, after all.  What I ended up doing it modifying my recipe for Tasty Buns.  I made the dough per the recipe, but then instead of making buns, I rolled it out into a rectangle, covered it in a butter/brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, and made cinnamon rolls.  They turned out super yummy.  The recipe ended up producing two pie pans worth or about 14.  Mmmmm.

Okay, I think I've bent your ear (bent your eyes???) for long enough.  Go forth and have an awesome day.  I'll try to remember to be back tomorrow.  How are things in your life?

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Thursday This n That

 Yay!  Thursday this n that!

We saw the first fawn of the year yesterday.  And it was Lumpy's!  Yay!  (If you don't know about Lumpy, she's a doe with a huge lump on her jaw.  It comes and goes.  And the first time we saw it was fall of 2019, so it's obviously not effecting her life or her ability to raise babies.)  In previous years, she always had twins, but she's getting up there, so I'm not surprised she's only having singles now.

I'm still decompressing after being gainfully employed.  Thankfully, the thoughts of what I have to do at work in the morning have stopped hitting me every night.  

Hubs had jury duty yesterday.  I had planned on going into town with him and then just dinking around until he was done.  But they don't allow cell phones inside the judicial center, so we nixed that idea and I stayed home.  He didn't get picked to sit the jury.  He called about 11:30 and told me he was coming home, but first he was stopping at the Chinese restaurant.  We'd already planned for this, but I left it up to him because I wasn't sure if he'd feel like stopping after the rigmarole. He was home by 1 and we ate Chinese for lunch and then again for dinner.  We'll have it for lunch today, too.  That ought to quiet my Chinese cravings for a while. LOL

I haven't gone fishing yet.  Soon.

Tuesday, I went to the thrift store.  I only found two books, but it was still a good trip.  One book was a collection of Hercule Poirot mysteries and the other was a 'junior' collection of Sherlock Holmes from 1956.  I'm reading the Sherlock Holmes now.  It's been a long time since I sat down with Sherlock, so it's all good.  One thing that strikes me about this book is that it totally is not dumber-down for the younger people.  Hell, the first story talked about Holmes' cocaine addiction.  You couldn't get away with that today in anything targeting a younger market.   The stories are also chock full of hard words, just the way they were originally written.  Actually, I'm not exactly sure what makes this a junior edition, but it says that on the spine, so there ya go.

I do love the wonderous swirl of words by some of the old time writers. 

Okay, that's it for me right now.  Have a great day!

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Checking Things

 Part of getting back to writing... a big part of it... is the business side.  To that end, I went into Amazon and was scrolling through my books, checking to see where they're all at with reviews, ratings, etc.  I immediately noticed that one of my books had more than it did the last time I looked, so I zipped over to see if any new reviews were left or it was just those silly ratings*.  Sure enough, there was a new review.  But it wasn't actually a review of the book.  It was someone saying that the file must be corrupt because it's blank when they open it.  

So, I went in to see if everything was okay with IDW.  Looks okay to me.  Nothing especially hinky.  :shrug:  Oh, well.  I re-uploaded the book anyway, just in case.  Last night, I got the idea to check whether this person was a Verified Purchase.  Nope.  Then I went into the person's profile and it appears as if they have only done a few reviews - several of them were bad and those were due to some technical issue with the book.  I went into one of those and from what I can gather, the person is using the Kindle for iPad app.  Therein probably lies the problem.  

Unfortunately, authors have no control over whether our books are available or work right on anything but the Kindle.  In those cases, the reader should probably contact Amazon customer support and work it out there.  Leaving poor reviews - or even taking a star off a good review - does the author a disservice.  Those stars are our lifelines to sales.  The more we have, the better our books do.  And conversely, the fewer stars the poor the sales.  

I thought I'd leave a little note saying, ever so nicely, that the issue is with the app, but I can't find where I can reply to reviews.  Maybe that's an ebay thing and not an Amazon thing.  :shrug:

And yes, I do remember that I'm not supposed to address reviews, but I hate having incorrect and potentially sales-damaging information out there.  

Anyway, I'm getting back in the swing of things.  Checking things out and working to rebuild my writing career.  It's not going to be easy.  I'm not sure if I can ever get where I was with the old books.  I guess the only thing to do is write new books.  To that end, I'll be doing a NaNoWriMo type thing in July.  Fingers crossed.

* Don't get me started on Amazon 'ratings' where any old Joe with an opinion can click one star without repercussions and there's no way for the author to even know the whys and the whats of it.  Feh.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Home at Last

In an unexpected turn of events, my last day was yesterday instead of today.  I was pretty much done with everything, so it's totally understandable.  All in all, the two years of day-job was an interesting experience.  I learned lots, talked to a bunch of people, made some friends, exponentially increased my typing speed...  I'd say more but I'm under a confidentiality agreement.  Which is why I rarely talked about work for the last two years, and since work ate pretty much all of my waking hours, it meant I wasn't blogging.  

Anyway, that's done.  I'll miss my guys.  I'll miss my customers.  But I'm ready to close the chapter and move back into the book of my life.  

Needless to say, Hubs is happy I'm home.  It remains to be seen whether the kitties are happy.  Right now, it's like any other morning.  They'll be confused when I don't leave the house around 8. 

So, what'll I do today?  Anything I want.  Read.  Write.  Walk.  Play toys with the kitties. The possibilities are endless. But I'll probably grocery shopping so I don't have to do it tomorrow.   ;o)

What's on your agenda for the day?

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Words! On Paper!

 For the first time in a long time, I sat down last night with my red pen (found one!) and my notebook (that's been sitting by my chair untouched since I started a day-job) and...

I wrote words!

It wasn't a huge amount of words, but I filled a page with genuine fiction.

You see, I had a funny little germ of an idea the night before (also something that hasn't happened in a while) and I thought I'd noodle around with it. I sat my butt in my comfy recliner and started to write.  By the bottom of the page, my hand was pretty tired... damned atrophy... but I have the beginnings of a story.  Yay.

It's weird.  It's entirely possible no one will ever read it.  Then again, it might be good and if it is, I might know of a place who may be interested in it.  If they're not, it'll be a short story to sell on Amazon.  

But that's a long ways off.  The important thing is I WROTE WORDS!


Oh, and something else that hasn't happened in a long time... I lay in bed last night thinking about the story and what to write next. I should've gotten up and written in down because it's most likely in tatters of memory now.  :shrug:  No matter.  I was thinking about stories and writing.  Also YAY.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Where to Begin?

I've been trying to decide how to start the journey back to writing.  One thought I had was to just grab my notebook and red pen*, and free write.  Let the ideas flow out of my fingers and onto the page where only I can see them and they can just BE.  In the past, I've done this whenever I'm stuck.  I write until I find a way through the mess in my head.  Basically transferring the mess from my head onto a page.  It works for me.  And if not writing for two years isn't stuck, I don't know what is.

The other thought I had was to pick an unfinished story and just start writing on it again.  But without getting down on myself for mistakes.  This would be a full-on 'give yourself permission to suck' - which is another way I've gotten myself out of an inability to write.  There have been numerous times in the past where I've been so focused on writing a story that would SELL that I couldn't write anything.  Time to suck with wild abandon and not care who knows it.  Suck away, my friend.

I may do a combination of both.  We'll see how it goes.  Either way may break something free.  Fingers crossed.  I will write again.  First, though, I should probably see if any of my red pens still have ink in them.  ;o)

What do you do when you're stuck?

* I always write in my notebooks with red ink.  I started doing it years ago to get rid of the fear of someone marking my writing up, pointing out all the mistakes, in red.  And I got to where I just like it.  

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Sunday Update 6/2/24

It's been a while since I did one of these.  Don't expect me to catch up. LOL

Almost two years ago, I went and got me one of those payin' job things.  Last Tuesday, I gave my two-weeks notice - which basically amounted to nine days worth of work.  Friday the 7th is my last day. Think of it as me retiring again.  Think of it as me shrugging, if you're so inclined.  In reality, it's just time for me to come home and get back to being me again - writer, fisherman, gardener, kitty mommy, housewife - without day-job distractions.  (I was going to say without any outside distractions, but the world being what it is means plenty of outside distractions.  Blerg.)

The first thing I need to do, which I'm already starting to do, is get back into a writerly mindset.  This means taking care of the business side of writing, refilling the well by reading, and then actually sitting my ass down in this chair and writing.  For the business side, I delisted all my books from Draft 2 Digital and am taking them back to Kindle Select so I can drum up some page reads.  As single novels or series are marked as delisted, I'm enrolling them in KDP.  I did this a while ago with Song of Storm and Shroud.  Last week, I did it for Blink of an I and for the SCIU series.  I'll be doing some marketing for those in the coming days/weeks, as time and money allow. 

I've also been reading.  I finally set a Goodreads goal for 2024 - 35 books.  I think I can do that in the next seven months.  I've already read 4, so I'm off to a good start.  

The actual sitting down and writing will come.  I'll make it happen starting later this month.  The plan is to start small.  In the beginning, I'll be in my chair with a pen and my notebook, jotting down ideas and writing little sentences and paragraphs about nothing in particular.  I'd like to do some kind of JulNoWriMo - July Novel Writing Month - wherein I set myself a goal and write toward that end on a single novel.  I don't think I'll be able to do 50K in a month yet, so I'm not even going to try.  Maybe 30K.  Maybe only 15K.  The point will be to write every day so that the atrophied writing muscles get back into shape.  I'll talk more about that as the time approaches.

In non-writing, I have 6 tomato plants I'll be nurturing and all of my gardens need care after two years of neglect, I have a lake full of fish waiting to ignore my worm, and Sawyer needs a motherly influence to curb his less-than-stellar behavior.  

I'm ready to begin.  5 more days of the day-job to weather through and then I'm home.  I feel good.  I feel strong.  I'm ready to pass out lollipop, kick ass, and write books... and I'm ALL out of lollipops.  ;o)

How are things in your world lately?