Friday, May 31, 2019

This I know for sure...

I received a recall notice on my vehicle, but it stated that no fix has been identified yet so don't take your car back to your dealership right now. Once a fix is in place, a notice will be sent out and to make an appointment to have the issue taken care of at that time.

Since I had to have my car inspected before the end of this month and my car was already at the dealership, I asked if the technician could check to see if my car was one of the ones that is affected by the recall. Not only is it affected, but I was told the dealership could not release my car back to me because it's unsafe to drive. They have provided me with a vehicle for an indeterminate amount of time because they have no idea when GM will let them know when a fix for the recall will be issued.

While I'm not thrilled that I have no idea when I'll get my car back, I am thankful they gave me a vehicle to use in the meantime. One thing that really bothers me about all this is the initial notice from GM stating not to take your car to your dealership for the recall at this time. What if I hadn't asked the technician to check my car? Because of the recall issue, I could have had an accident causing serious injury to myself and/or others if I had waited like GM instructed. It makes me hesitant to get another GM vehicle once my current lease is up.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I wrote another transitional scene that was needed to make a character's motivation more clear. I have a couple more scenes that I want to either write new or beef up before I go back to working on finishing the writing of the last 100 pages or so.

Quote of the Week: "LIfe grants nothing to us mortals without hard work." ~ Horace

What I'm Reading: I started reading Caught Bread Handed by Ellie Alexander. This is the 4th book in the author's Bakeshop mystery series. I've already borrowed the next book in the series, Fudge and Jury to read after I finish this book.

Random Thoughts: With yesterday being Memorial Day, I had the day off and really enjoyed the long weekend. Is it a bad thing that I'm already counting the days to my next long weekend in July?

Random Photo of the Week:

This is what I usually look like when I'm leaving the library. I always leave with more books than I planned on borrowing.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Happy Memorial Day

         As you celebrate today, please take a moment to remember our service members.

Friday, May 24, 2019

This I know for sure...

For the Memorial Day holiday, I have been invited to a couple of picnics, an open house family reunion type gathering, and to come see my nephew and his wife's new home who live an hour and a half away.

So what am I doing? Mainly staying home. I sent my regrets at being unable to attend either of the picnics, will make a short appearance to the family gathering, and will be going to see the new house after work today.

I have been looking forward to this long holiday weekend all month with the hope/plans of using the time to get caught up on things I can't seem to get to. I also want to be able to just sit and relax, maybe read a book.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I wrote two transitional scenes that were needed to make the story flow better. They didn't add a lot to the total page count, but I think they improved the story.

Quote of the Week:  "Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail." ~ Oprah Winfrey

What I'm Reading: I started reading Murder By The Book by Lauren Elliott last night. This is the first book in the Beyond The Page Bookstore mystery series. I haven't read anything by this author before, but am a big fan of the cozy mystery genre.

Random Thoughts: I read Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins over this past weekend. The book stirred up a lot of controversy when it was first released, actually even before that, due to the content of the book. It deals with being female and overweight and how that weight affects three women's lives. I have been overweight at times in my life (like most women) and found myself identifying with some of the things the women feel and are subjected to because of their weight. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone.

Random Photo of the Week:

                                    The cats sharing the window and bird watching. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

(Almost) Summer Treat

According to the calendar, summer doesn't start until June 21st. Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial start of summer. Since it was 83 degrees and a tiny bit humid yesterday and the temperature is forecast to be in the 70's today, I thought I'd share a fun summer treat a friend made for my birthday last year.

Strawberry Ice Cream Pops

6 ounces of hulled strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups milk
1 (3.4 oz) package of vanilla Jello instant pudding
**Popsicle Ice Cream Molds

Blend the sugar, water, and strawberries in a blender until smooth and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the milk and pudding mix together until well mixed and thickened.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the pudding mixture into the popsicle molds. Divide the strawberry mixture among the molds, followed by the remainder of the pudding mixture. Insert the plastic sticks attached the mold covers and put in the freezer. Freeze until solid, then enjoy.

**I don't have popsicle ice cream molds so I use Dixie cups, covered with plastic wrap (held on to the cups with rubber bands), and insert popsicle sticks you can buy at any craft store thru the plastic wrap.

Friday, May 17, 2019

This I know for sure...

As a writer I know how important reviews are to authors. The more reviews a book has, the more likely other readers will choose to read it as well. Also, Amazon will list it as an "also bought" suggestion when someone purchases a book in the same genre which may help get sales.

Despite the above, I'm always hesitant about leaving a review for a book I've read if I liked the book, but didn't think it was anything special. And I never leave a bad review even if I couldn't finish the book. I just delete it from my Goodreads account without any acknowledgement that it was even on my reading list. As an author, I feel like I shouldn't leave a review unless I can give it 4 or 5 stars.

How do you feel about leaving reviews for books or any item you've purchased? Do you only post "good" reviews or do you post negative ones as well? I'm interested to know.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): Not a too bad week. I managed to revise 20 pages even though I had two appointments after work last week.

Quote of the Week: "Because reading is one of the joys of life, and once you begin, you can't stop, and you've got so many stories to look forward to." ~ Benedict Cumberbatch

What I'm Reading: I started reading Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen on Sunday evening. This is the latest book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series. 

Random Thoughts: Brooklynaire is an ebook which is fine. I don't have a problem with ebooks, but the earlier books in the series were published by Berkley where as this latest installment in the series wasn't. I have the three earlier books in paperback format. While Brooklynaire is available in paperback format, I hated the idea of paying $15.00 for it so chose to purchase the ebook. The only bad thing about it is that I can't put it on my bookshelf with the other books.

Random Photo of the Week:
I managed to peel an apple keeping the entire peel in one piece. 
My mom can do this all the time, but for me, it's a rare feat.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mother's Day

I realize I'm a day late...
                        If you're a mom, I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.
  And that you spent some quality time with your mom and/or the mother figures in your life.

Friday, May 10, 2019

This I know for sure...

My mom taught my sisters and I how to knit when we were young girls. I never really did a lot of it. Prior to knitting the little sweater piece for my niece's baby shower, I hadn't knitted anything in years. I've always preferred to crochet.
                                   (Here's a picture of the baby shower card.)

After knitting the piece for the baby shower card, I came across a knitting pattern for a blanket that's done in panels. I read the instructions and it seemed easy enough. And I figured if I ran into problems, my mom could help me. I bought the yarn and size needles I needed and started the blanket.

The cream colored panels aren't too hard. I will admit the first panel took me a little bit to get the hang of the pattern. My mom had to rip it back a few times when I goofed it up, but once I had half of the first panel done, it got easier.
                                      (Picture of one of the cream colored panels.)

Right now, I'm working on a panel that calls for different colored triangles. This panel is hard. I completely messed up the first colored triangle and ripped it all the way back to the beginning not once, but twice. So far, I've had to get help from my mom on every triangle I've finished (all 5 of them) up to this point. I hope they get easier the more of them I do.
                                       (Picture of the colored panel I'm working on.)

I will say crocheting is a whole lot easier than knitting, but I'm determined to finish the blanket...though it may take me the rest of the year to complete it at the rate I'm going.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): Had a really good week last week. I revised/edited 67 pages. I'm nearly finished with the pages I have written and will be writing new material to finish the book soon. I think I'll have about 100 pages to write to finish the book. The nice thing is is that book will have already been revised except for those last 100 pages.

Quote of the Week:  "The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day..." ~ Gloria Steinem

What I'm Reading: I'm still reading On Thin Icing by Ellie Alexander. I haven't had a lot of time to read and when I tried to read before going to bed last week, I ended up falling asleep after only a few pages.

Random Thoughts: This past Monday, it was finally warm enough to be able to open the windows for the first time this spring. It was a one day event though. Yesterday and today it's been rainy and in the 50's.

Random Photo of the Week:

                           Somebody likes to spend rainy days cuddling with a friend.


Monday, May 6, 2019

Self Sabotage

My first novel was published about the same time as a fellow author's. We were both published through the same small press and became acquainted through their online authors' informational loop. Since that time, she has published multiple books. Some through the same small press, some through a major NY publishing house, and some she has self-published.

I often find myself wondering if I would have as many books published or have her level of success if I didn't sabotage myself by taking so long to complete a manuscript, or by letting family members interrupt or take over my designated writing time completely, or by spending that time doing other things I deemed more important at the time than getting words on the page.

I don't begrudge the author mentioned above her accolades or her success. She deserves both. But, if I'm completely honest, I can't help feeling the slightest twinge of jealousy. I'm told it's natural to feel this way, that it's part of human nature, but I don't like the feeling.

Taking an honest and realistic look at where I'm at allows me to set aside that feeling. I do take full responsibility for my stalled writing career. I could blame it on having an unbelievably high stress job with the worst manager imaginable who has serious anger management issues where the slightest thing would set her off so everyone always felt like they were walking on eggshells waiting for the inevitable daily explosion to come, but I won't.

It's true I was so anxiety ridden and stressed out for the three years I worked for that company that trying to write seemed all but impossible. I suffered from insomnia and was barely able to concentrate on anything other than what I might have to face when I returned to the office the next day. But I finally decided the money and perks weren't worth it any longer.

I found a new job (the one I have now) in a small office that is virtually stress free, with supportive co-workers and an owner who makes sure everyone feels appreciated for what they do. While the commute time is about double that of my old job and I'm making a little less money and have none of the perks I had before, I'm so much happier. I no longer have insomnia or anxiety issues.

As my mom gets older, I want to be able to be home with her every day, to be there for her in whatever capacity she might need me. Being able to work full-time as a writer and meet my financial responsibilities from my writing income would allow me to do that. Yet I've had my current job for just under two years and I still haven't managed to complete a manuscript in that time. I need to take a hard look at why that is.

Friday, May 3, 2019

This I know for sure...

I'm thrilled that it's May and winter is over for the next six months or so, but at the same time I'm staring at my calendar and saying it can't be May already.

I'm about two months behind where I should be at this point to meet my goals. To try and get back on track, I've decided that for this month I'm going to let all of the other writing related things I've been trying to work on (i.e. looking into self publishing and all it entails) go and focus solely on getting the revisions and edits for Spellbound completed. I'm going to have it polished as much as it can be and out to beta readers by June 1st.

I also still have to come up with a different title since I'm not as enamored with Spellbound as I originally was.

If I don't get back on track soon, it'll be yet another year that I failed to meet my writing goals and I'm determined that won't happen this year.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): No writing last week. My cold developed into a sinus infection. Even though I was on antibotics, I felt like crap all week and spent nearly all of my non-day job hours sleeping. I finally started feeling better on Sunday. I'm hoping to get a lot of revisions/edits done this week to make up for the zero progress of the last two weeks.

Quote of the Week: "A writer is a world trapped in a person." ~ Victor Hugo.  I love this quote.

What I'm Reading:  I started reading On Thin Icing by Ellie Alexander this past Monday. It's the third book in the Bakeshop mystery series. 

Random Thoughts:  According to the calendar it's been spring for a while now. Just this past weekend, it's finally starting to look like spring in my neighborhood. Flowers are starting to grow, no blossoms yet though. And the trees are starting to show the tiniest of leaves. Unfortunately the two trees in our front yard are still bare. They seem to the first ones to lose their leaves in the fall and the last ones to bud in the spring.

Random Photo of the Week:

                      Mrs. Green likes to keep me company while I'm knitting.