Monday, December 28, 2020

Monday Check In

No post this week. I will be back with a new post next Monday, 1/4. 

Instead I'm leaving you with a wish for a safe, happy, and healthy 2021.



Monday, December 21, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related: I didn't do anything writing related last week. Even though we aren't having anyone come for Christmas, I am still doing holiday baking and wrapping gifts. I've decided to take the rest of the year off from writing and start fresh on Monday, January 4th.

Motivational Quote:  I saw this on Pinterest - "Don't be busy, be productive." I feel like right now all I am is busy and not seeming to get much crossed off my To Do list.

What I'm Reading: I started reading Disorderly Conduct by Rebecca Zanetti last night. I like her Deep Ops series so I thought I'd give this Ebook a try. 

Random Things: Christmas doesn't really seem very festive this year. While we are baking and bought gifts (thank goodness for online shopping) and wrapping them, we aren't having anyone come to celebrate the holiday. Covid-19 cases are increasing daily in our area and with an elderly mother living with me, we didn't want to take any unnecessary risks. Instead we've made arrangements with the people we normally buy gifts for to have me go to their homes the weekend after Christmas, ring the doorbell (while wearing a mask of course) and leave the gifts and their cookie platter on the porch. I'll wait by my car to make sure someone opens the door and takes the gifts inside before moving on to the next family. 

Random Photo:

Mrs. Green likes that there will be no presents under the Christmas tree this year. It's her new favorite place to take a nap or watch the comings and goings of her humans.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related: I didn't work on any writing this week. I used the time to finish making my holiday cards because I wanted to get them in the mail this weekend.

Motivational Quote:  "Throughout your life you will have to set your own priorities, make your own decisions. They won't always be the best or brightest ones, but that's how you learn." ~ Meredith Vieira

What I'm Reading:  I started reading Brighter Than The Sun by Maya Banks on Friday. This is the eleventh book in the KGI series.  

Random Things: This is the first year that I've done all of my holiday gift shopping online with the exception of 2 gift cards for local businesses. I really liked the convenience of it. I may continue to do the bulk of my holiday gift shopping online in the future.


Monday, December 7, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related: I only managed to write 5 pages last week. I started telecommuting for my day job this week due to the overwhelming rise in Covid-19 cases in my area. I ended up working longer hours than I do when I'm actually in the office. I'm going to start setting a timer so that I can keep better track of time so that I don't end up starting a project that can't be stopped in the middle of when it's quitting time. 

Motivational Quote: "It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can." ~ Sidney Smith   I know I'm repeating this quote for the 3rd week in a row, but after how little writing I accomplished last week, I feel like it's very apropos. 

What I'm Reading: I'm reading Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean. It's the 3rd book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series. I loved the first book in the series and liked the second book as well, but I'm really struggling with this last one. I'm finding myself looking for something, anything, else to read instead of picking Daring and the Duke up. 

Random Things:  I should have started making my holiday cards at least a week or so ago, but I've been procrastinating. I couldn't decide what designs I wanted to use so that may have been part of reason while I've been putting it off. I finally decided this last weekend to make just 2 separate designs instead of multiple designs this year. Now to actually make them.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Monday Check in

Last week...

Writing Related: I did not get as much writing done as I had hoped last week. We only had 2 people over for Thanksgiving dinner instead of our usual 12 to 15 people, but the prep work took more time than I expected. 

Motivational Quote: "It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can." ~ Sidney Smith     I'm repeating the motivational quote from last week. I think it should be my new mantra.

What I'm Reading: I'm about half way through Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday. It's the second book in the Matchmaker Bay series. I loved the first book in the series, Mermaid Inn. I'm kind of not liking Paradise Cove as much, but I can't really put my finger on why.

Random Things:  My uncle set up a Zoom meeting on Thanksgiving evening with my mom and all of her siblings. Most of her siblings live down south. With the pandemic and travel restrictions, no one has been able to (or willing to) travel. It was nice for my mom to be able to visit with her brother and sisters without anyone putting themselves or others at risk.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related:  I didn't get quite as much accomplished as I have the last two weeks. I have Friday off for the Thanksgiving holiday so I hope to spend most of that day writing.

Motivational Quote: "It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can." ~ Sidney Smith

What I'm Reading: I started reading Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas Saturday night. This is the first book I've read by this author. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet even though I'm about 90 pages into the story. The story is told from about 4 characters' point of view (POV) with each chapter in a different POV. 

Random Things: My mom and I started our holiday shopping yesterday. Like most people, we are going to try to do the majority of our shopping online this year. I'm not sure how I feel about not going to stores yet. It's nice not having to deal with crowds and trying to find a parking space, but it also seems to take away a bit of the holiday spirit to shop on a store's website. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related: Another good week. I feel like I'm on a roll. I'm also rethinking the title of the first book in the series. I have to make a decision soon so I have time to have the cover changed by my designer and still have time to get everything put together and ready to go so that when January 4th arrives, I'll just have to hit the "publish" button.

Motivational Quote: Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. ~ Robert Collier.  I really like this quote so I'm repeating it this week.

What I'm Reading: I started Thick As Thieves by Sandra Brown last night. I'm only a chapter or so into the story so I'm undecided how I feel about it. I really enjoy some of her books, but at the same time there have been some of them that I haven't finished. 

Random Things: I started making my holiday cards this past Saturday. I usually make a different card for each person on my list, about twenty people total. This year I'm only making two different cards so some people will get one and some people will get the other one. This will make getting the cards done a lot quicker because I can do all the cutting, stamping, and coloring for both types assembly line style.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related -- Had another good week. Not as good as last week, but I still feel like I got a significant amount done.

Motivational Quote: Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. ~ Robert Collier

What I'm Reading: I started reading All Scot and Bothered by Kerrigan Byrne. This the second book in the Devil You Know series. I love Ms. Byrne's books. I own quite a few of them.

Random Things:  We've been having a stretch of beautiful, sunny, warm weather the last 5 days or so. It's been in the mid 60's to mid 70's. I'm enjoying the weather because all too soon we'll be back to 40 degree weather and colder. I've been working in the garden to get it ready for the winter. I found a few late blooming flowers including a wayward daisy and a miniature sunflower. 


 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related -- I had a very productive week last week. Probably the best week I've had in a long time. I'm should be able to get a lot accomplished this week as well. I do have one appointment that will take up my writing time this coming Friday, but other than that I should be able to work on my current manuscript as planned.

Motivational Quote: "Other days, other ways" ~ French Proverb.  I think this is going to be my new mantra. If something does crop up that eats into my writing time, then I'll find another way/time to get things done instead.

What I'm Reading: I started Wonton Terror by Vivien Chien last Friday night. It's the 4th book in the Noodle Shop mystery series. 

Random Things:  I can't believe it's November already. The pandemic and everything related to it (changes in how my job is done, trying to grocery shop, not being able to visit with family members, etc) seems to have lasted forever (I swear the month of May was much longer than 31 days), yet the year itself has flown by.

 

 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related -- I had a really good week despite losing two days of writing time due to appointments and working late. I'm going to try really hard to get this manuscript finished by the end of October. It seems very doable right now.

Motivational Quote: "The best way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." ~ Walt Disney

What I'm Reading: I started reading Butterfly Bayou by Lexi Blake last night. This is the first book I've read by this author. 

Random Things: Last week I wrote that I was fighting the urge to bake cookies. I lost the battle. I made a small batch (2 dozen) of chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. I took a half dozen into work, dropped off the other half dozen to one of my sisters, and my mom and I split the remaining dozen. We ate the last couple of cookies last night with a cup of tea while we were watching television. My "share" lasted a whole week which is a big win for me.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related -- I had a pretty good week compared to recent weeks. I feel like I can finally see the end of the editing/rewriting tunnel. 

Motivational Quote: "Trust that still, small voice that says, 'This might work and I'll try it.'" ~ Diane Mariechild

What I'm Reading: I'll be starting How Lulu Lost Her Mind by Rachel Gibson tonight. 

Random Things: I'm fighting the urge to bake cookies. The problem with baking cookies is then I want to eat them. And not just one or two. Every time I walk by the container, the cookies call to me and I find it nearly impossible to leave the kitchen without one in hand. 



Monday, October 12, 2020

Monday Check In

 Last week...

Writing Related -- My local city hall is still not taking appointments. I don't want to wait much longer to be able to file a DBA so I printed off the required forms, filled them out, and will drop them in the mail on my way to work this morning. Now I wish I hadn't waited to try and do it in person, but you know what they say about hindsight,

Motivational Quote:  "One day or day one. It's your decision." ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading: I started reading Can't Stop Loving You by Miranda Laisson this past weekend. It's the first book in the Spikonos Brothers series. 

Random Things: I don't watch a lot of television, but I'm missing the start of the usual fall television season. When I do want to watch TV, there's not usually a lot on worth watching right now. I've started watching the Aurora Teagarden mystery series on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel. They are running shows from previous seasons right now so I've been watching those. The new season's premier episode will be on Sunday, 10/18.



Monday, October 5, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related -- I figured out the scene that was giving me so much trouble last week. This week I'm going to call and find out if our city hall is accepting in person appointments. If so, I will schedule an appointment to file my DBA. If it isn't, I can do it by mail, but it states on the website that it takes at least 90 days (or longer now due to Covid-19) for applications to be processed by mail which is why I'm hoping I can do it in person. The website even recommends you do it in person, of course this was before the pandemic.

Motivational Quote: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." ~ Mark Twain

What I'm Reading: I started A Coldwater Warm Hearts Wedding by Lexi Eddings yesterday. It's the second book in the series. I read the first book last week. I borrowed the second book when I picked up a couple of books for my mom on Friday that she had requested from the library.

Random Things:  I'm going to try and work on making my holiday cards on Saturday afternoons so that I can get a few done at a time instead of trying to get them all made in a week in December. Not sure how many I'll get done before December, but I'm going to try and get at least half of them done. This week I have to make two birthday cards for birthdays that are coming up this weekend. 

Random Photo: 

                      Celebrated the beginning of fall with an apple cider doughnut.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related -- I started out well, then hit a wall. I have a scene I need to rewrite/rework and am struggling with it. I've tried writing it from one character's point of view, but I think I need to try it from the other character's point of view. 

Motivational Quote: "Don't be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart." ~ Roy T. Bennett

What I'm Reading:  I started Coldwater Warm Hearts Club by Lexi Eddings last night. It was shelved in the contemporary romance section at the library, but I think it's more women's fiction than romance. I am enjoying it though. I've never read anything by this author before. I came across the book while I was perusing the shelves waiting for my mom. 

Random Things:  I tacked up calendar pages for October and November on the wall to help me keep track of things both writing and non-writing related as we move through the last part of year. I used push pins. Wow, were they hard to push into the wall! I was able to get just enough of the point into the wall to hold the papers. That's it. If this tracking system works and I end up doing it throughout 2021, I'm going to need to invest in a cork board to tack the pages to instead.



Monday, September 21, 2020

Monday Check In

Last week...

Writing Related -- I had hoped to get quite a bit done last week, but it didn't work out that way. I had a terrible migraine Wednesday that came on as I was driving home from work so I ended laying down for a couple of hours until the worst of it passed, then tried to play catch up and do everything that should have been done while I was laying down. Friday, I ran errands for my mom so no writing done.

Motivational Quote: (I'm repeating last week's quote.)  "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work." ~ Colin Powell 

What I'm Reading: I started Seconds to Live by Melinda Leigh Sunday before I went to bed. This is the third book in the Scarlet Falls series. I thought the first book, Hour of Need, was okay. I couldn't finish the second book, Minutes to Kill. It was really dark and dealt with human trafficking. 

Random Things: It was finally cool enough in my area to do some baking. (Who wants to bake when it's 80 degrees or more?) I made sour cream blueberry muffins. Here's a photo of one. (I put them away before I thought to take a picture. The photo is of the one I had for lunch with a cup of tea.)



 

 


Monday, September 14, 2020

Changes

 As I mentioned in last Friday's post, I've been thinking about no longer blogging. At the same time, I've been doing it so long I don't really want to just stop doing it. After thinking about it for the last couple of weeks, I've decided I will only post every Monday. 

The post may be more along the lines of my former What's Up Wednesday posts at least for a while. I'm going to do this new format/posting schedule for the time being. I may decide to stop blogging altogether at the end of the year. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, September 11, 2020

This I know for sure...

As I mentioned in Wednesday's post. I'm thinking about no longer blogging. I'm not sure yet. It can sometimes take some time to come up with a topic then do the writing for Monday posts. Sometimes I even have a problem coming up with Friday posts that I think will be interesting. I've been told numerous times over the past few years that as a writer blogging is not a good way to utilize your time. I've been doing it since 2011 so part of me is hesitant to let my blog go. I need to make a decision one way or the other.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

 This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress):  I only did about 5 pages of new material last week. I took my normal writing time to really take a look at where I am and where I want to be. I've been going back and forth on whether I want to continue blogging. If it's worth putting my time and effort into. 

Quote of the Week:  "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work." ~ Colin Powell

What I'm Reading:  I started reading The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard on Monday afternoon. This is the first book I've read by this author and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. 

Random Thoughts:  I harvested the lone cucumber I grew this summer. We had no female flowers on any of the squash plants and only 2 female flowers on the cucumber plant. One grew quite well, the other only grew to about two inches or so and then withered away. The plants themselves grew like crazy. It was disappointing that there were only male flowers though.

Random Photo of the Week:

                                 Mrs. Green like to pretend she is the TV remote.


Monday, August 31, 2020

Vacation Time

I'll be taking a staycation starting today though Labor Day to celebrate (or should I say mourn) the unofficial end of summer. During that time I won't be doing any blog posts. I will be back with a new What's Up Wednesday post on September 9th. 



Friday, August 28, 2020

This I know for sure...

My female cat, Mrs. Green, loves to sit or lay on the windowsill and look out the window, especially when the window is open. She also sits on the sill of our big picture window in the living room. I can always tell when she's been looking out that window because it doesn't open and the glass is always full of little tiny nose prints no matter how often I wipe the glass down. 



Wednesday, August 26, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): Still working on rewriting the ending. I've added sixteen more new pages. I had a couple of things crop up after work last week that took up some of my writing time. I'm hoping to get more done this week. 

Quote of the Week: "We define ourselves by our actions. With each decision, we tell ourselves and the world who we are." ~ Bill Watterson

What I'm Reading: I started reading What I've Done by Melinda Leigh on Monday. This is the fourth book in the Morgan Dane series. There are only two more books in the series before I'm caught up to what the author has written. I'm hoping she continues to write more books in the series.

Random Thoughts:  I really need it to cool down for a week or so. I'm about two months behind in working on my temperature blanket because it's way too hot to crochet with the blanket over your lap. 

Random Photo of the Week:

                I came across this quote and really liked it so I thought I'd share it here.

 

 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Revisions

As you know I've been working on revisions for two manuscripts for a while. If I'm completely honest, it's taken me longer than it ever should have. I did three drafts for each manuscript and then sent them out to beta readers and am now working on revisions based on their feedback. I'm hoping the 4th draft will be the last.

A lot of writers prefer the revision/editing/rewriting process over writing the initial first draft. I'm the exact opposite. I find the revision/editing process to tortuous. The cartoon below depicts perfectly what I'm thinking and feeling as I'm working on revisions/editing. After a few minutes of angst, I make the necessary changes. Although I hate the process, I'm the first one to admit the changes always make the story better.


Friday, August 21, 2020

This I know for sure...

 I included the quote below in my Wednesday, 8/19 post.

"...habit is overcome by habit." ~ Erasmus

I'm trying to replace bad habits with good, or should I say better, habits. I will admit it's hard. I read or heard somewhere that it takes 21 days to make something a habit. I would say it takes much longer than that. 

I've been trying to make it a habit to exercise at least 5 days a week since last October and some weeks, I still struggle to get those 5 days in. 

I seem to do better if I do the things that I'm trying to make into a habit as part of a daily routine. For example I've started filling our water pitcher every evening around 7:30pm even if it's only had 1 glass taken out of it. By making it part of my evening housework routine, we never have an empty water pitcher anymore. 

It's harder to make something a habit if I don't do it daily because I'll push it off to the next day or the next day and then if something unexpected comes up that steals the time I allotted for it, then it doesn't get done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): Still working on rewriting the ending. I've added twenty new pages. I feel like it's much better, but the book is going to be much longer than the 325 pages that it was originally. 

Quote of the Week: "...habit is overcome by habit." ~ Erasmus

What I'm Reading: I started reading Bones Don't Lie by Melinda Leigh on Sunday. This is the third book in the Morgan Dane series. I'm really enjoying the series.

Random Thoughts: I found a four new cookie recipes that I'm looking forward to trying. Now, I just need it to cool down out of the 80's so I can put the oven on.

Random Photo of the Week:

                        I scolded Somebody and he went and sat in the corner.


Monday, August 17, 2020

Finding My Way

I like to read my horoscope a couple of times a week to see if it relates to what's happening in my life at the time. I'm not sure how much I believe in astrology, but it can be interesting when it seems to relate to what I'm feeling at a certain time. It also can be way off base.

Anyway, I checked my horoscope in the local newspaper one day last week and this is what it said: "You're becoming profoundly aware of what you really want in life. Things are occurring that make it hard to avoid that fact."

When I read that, my whole self sat up and took notice because that was exactly how I was feeling. I have become more aware of what I want in life especially lately. I don't know if it's because I had a birthday a few months ago or it's the pandemic, or maybe it's because my two co-workers are always talking about retiring. One is 61 so she is getting close to retirement, but the other is only 41. He wants to retire at 50 or 55 at the latest. 

For the last ten years or so, I've found myself thinking there has to be more to life than getting up, going to work, coming home from work, making dinner, doing housework, having an hour or so to relax, then off to bed to get up and do it all over again day after day after year after year. 

Even though I've been feeling that way for a while, I haven't really done anything about it. Just kept on living what one friend calls "a life of quiet desperation." 

I've been working much harder on my writing lately than I have in the past. I don't know if it's because of those reasons I listed above or that I'm back to my old self at last after the devastating loss of a loved one 6 years ago that led to depression, anxiety, and the loss of will to do anything but just get through the day much less write. 

It's been a long road back with a few setbacks along the way, but I finally feel like I can see the future. I don't want to spend it living in quiet desperation any longer.

Friday, August 14, 2020

This I know for sure...

I last posted about my container gardening efforts on July 17th so I thought I'd give you an update. The plants are growing like crazy. This is the first time that I've tried growing vegetables where the squirrels haven't dug them up or bothered them at all. 

Unfortunately despite having a lot of blossoms, we don't have any squash or cucumbers. All of the blossoms have been male and, of course, female blossoms are the ones that bear the actual vegetable. 

We rarely see bees and this summer I haven't seen a single one so I watched a YouTube video on how to hand pollinate the blossoms. But until we have female blossoms, I can't try to hand pollinate to see if it will work.

I'm not sure why we haven't had any female blossoms. I don't know if it's because there aren't any bees around or if it's a fluke or what. I'm thinking Mother Nature is conspiring to keep me from actually being able to grow my own vegetables. 😀

Here's what the plants look like now -


I had to remove some of the older dying leaves from the squash plant that show in the photo below before I took the above picture.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

 This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress):  I only managed 13 pages of new material for the ending I'm rewriting. One of my siblings had laptop issues and needed to drop it off to a repair shop to be looked at. She doesn't drive due to medical issues so I took her to drop it off on Monday and we went back and picked it up on Friday so I lost writing time on those 2 days. 

Quote of the Week: "Procrastination is not your friend." ~ Unknown  I'm repeating last week's quote because I really need to keep it front and center lately.

What I'm Reading: I started reading Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien on Sunday. This is the third book in the Noodle Shop mystery series. 

Random Thoughts: I really need to go to the library. I'm running out of books to read. I'm so glad our library is back open, but right now it is open limited hours and not at all on the weekends. With my schedule and the limited operating hours, I don't think I can fit a trip in to go to the library until 8/21 which seems soooo far away. 

Random Photo of the Week:

                          This is my new mantra for life. 😊



Monday, August 10, 2020

Podcasts

 I have a twenty five minute commute one way to the day job. I'm not complaining because I know people who have commutes twice that long and more.  

I usually listen to the radio during my drive to the office especially in the mornings so I can keep track of the traffic reports - if there are any construction slow downs or accidents that cause traffic to back up somewhere along my route. On the way home, I usually listen to classical music to help decompress and it helps me think about the current manuscript I'm working on. 

One of my writer friends mentioned she listens to podcasts during her commute. She mentioned the podcast by K.M. Weiland, the Fated Mates podcast, and Joanna Penn's podcast as the ones she listens to most often. I'm going to check these out.

Do you listen to podcasts? What ones would you recommend? They don't necessarily have to be writing related, just ones you enjoy.



Friday, August 7, 2020

This I know for sure...

Mondays are my least favorite day of the week. I've never been a fan of Mondays even when I was a kid. Not so much because I have to go to work. I go to work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday too and I don't hate those days. In fact Wednesday is my favorite day of the week.

I think it's because it signals the end of being able to control my own time for the next five days. I have responsibilities that have to be handled during the week whether that be appointments, errands, check ins with family members that need help quite a bit, and of course going to work, that I don't have to do on the weekends. Despite still having things to do on the weekends like grocery shopping and housework, I feel a sense of freedom that I don't have during the week. Mondays signal the end of that freedom even if it's just for the short term.


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): I'm still working on the ending. I've pretty much chucked the ending I had and am rewriting the last 75 pages or so from scratch.

Quote of the Week: "Procrastination is not your friend." ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading: I'm reading Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien. This is the second book in the Noodle Shop mystery series.

Random Thoughts:  I haven't worked on my temperature blanket for about a month. It's just been too hot to sit with a blanket over your lap while you're trying to work on it. I am still keeping track of each day's temperature though. It's supposed to be cooler this week so I'm hoping I'll be able to work on it a bit so I'm not quite so far behind the current date.

Random Photo of the Week:


                                          Not a photo, but it describes me perfectly.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Bipods and Tripods and More, Oh My

I've been researching sniper rifles for my next manuscript. While I realize there are many different types, makes, and models of sniper rifles, I didn't realize there were so many different types of bipods and tripods that can attach to a rifle.

The most popular bipod is the Harris bipod. The military has relied on this bipod for years. It's durable, lightweight, and the legs can be flipped into position with one hand in less than two seconds. It is also very rare that the Harris bipod will break. I can see why the military chooses this type.

The most popular tripod is made by the Really Right Stuff brand. This tripod is used mainly in competitive shooting sports but is also popular with photographers because it can be used with photography equipment.

There are also different types of scopes or gun sights from your every day scope to high end scopes that are infared or thermal. It was like going down a rabbit hole, I started reading about one type which led to another, and another, and another. When I glanced at the clock it was two hours later and I feel like I only scratched the surface of the information available.

While I didn't think it would take as much time as it did, I'm glad I took the time to really research this material so I know that the information regarding sniper rifle and its accessories (for lack of a better term) my character will use will be as accurate as I can make it.

Friday, July 31, 2020

This I know for sure...

My family has too many birthdays in July. I know birthdays aren't exactly planned, but I wish some of them were a little more spaced out. One of my older sisters has a birthday on 7/25. I have birthdays for nieces and nephews on 7/27, 7/28, 7/30, and 8/1. That is just too many birthdays in a row. 😀


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): I worked on a better ending last week. Some of my beta readers didn't like part of the ending the way it was written so I decided to rework it. I plotted out the revised ending, did some writing of it in long hand, and then transcribed that on to the laptop.

Quote of the Week: It's never to late to be what you might have been." ~ George Eliot

What I'm Reading: I started "Fallen" by Rebecca Zanetti this past weekend. It's the second book in the Deep Ops series. I didn't realize this book had human trafficking as part of the story. I try to stay away from books with this subject matter. So far though, it has been portrayed in a broad brush stroke kind of way which I appreciate. I hope that continues to be the case or I may have to set the book aside and not finish it.

Random Thoughts: It's the end of July and my squash plants are starting to get blossoms. While I've been able to keep the squirrels from digging in the plants (so far), I don't think we'll get much in the way of vegetables since it's pretty late in the season and we're just now getting blossoms. I also haven't seen any bees around this summer to do pollination.

Random Photo of the Week:

In keeping with last week's picture, this is Mrs. Green looking for her share of chicken McNuggets.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Apologies

No post today. I'll be back on Wednesday with my usual "What's Up Wednesday" post information.

Friday, July 24, 2020

This I know for sure...

I wear a mask whenever I go out. I also have to wear a mask at work when we have clients in the office. Since I plan on wearing a mask for some time, I'm going to purchase material this weekend to make fall and winter themed masks. I figure if I'm going to be wearing a mask, I might as well have fun with it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week: 

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I wrote 20 pages of new material for the book I'm revising. The new pages helped smooth out a transition from one scene to another. 

Quote of the Week: "The secret to getting ahead is getting started." ~ Mark Twain

What I'm Reading: I'm currently reading "Death by Dumpling" by Vivian Chien. It's the first book in the Noodle Shop mystery series. I should finish the book this evening.

Random Thoughts: My vegetable plants are doing well. I haven't harvested anything yet, but at least the squirrels are leaving them alone...so far.

Random Photo of the Week:

  I'm a Minion fan so I had to go get a Happy Meal so I could get the Minion toys in them.
 

Monday, July 20, 2020

What Happens When You Procrastinate

One of the things I'd planned on doing in the first quarter of the year was to get a DBA (Doing Business As) to use for anything I self-published. I procrastinated going to the county office building to file the paperwork and pay the necessary fee because I was waiting for the worst of the winter weather to be over. The office building is located in the heart of the business district where I live which doesn't allow parking on the streets and the parking garages aren't really within walking distance in terrible weather.

The Covid-19 Pandemic shut everything down in my state in mid-March so that put my plan on hold. We are now in the final phase of re-opening, but some of the county offices are still closed to the public. They are tentatively going to start allowing people into the buildings within the next couple of weeks by appointment only.

Now my goal is to get the DBA paperwork filed as soon as I can get an appointment. I'm hoping to have it taken care of by the end of August at the latest so I can plan my release schedule. One of the good things to come out of my procrastination is that by the time I'm able to get the DBA, I should have nearly three books completed so I'll be able to release them pretty quickly one after the other.

Friday, July 17, 2020

This I know for sure...

The squash and cucumber plants my nephew gave me are doing well. I have some tiny blossoms on all three plants though they haven't flowered yet. The squirrels haven't tried to dig up the plants or bury things in the planters either. Well so far anyway.


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I had a bunch of things pop up last week that killed my writing time. I only managed to edit about 12 pages all week. This week should be quieter with things back to normal (fingers crossed).

Quote of the Week: "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." ~ Henry Ford

What I'm Reading: I'm currently reading "Hidden" by Rebecca Zanetti. It's pretty good. I'm finding hard to put down.

Random Thoughts:  We were in the early phase of having a drought due to lack of rain. Well, we got so much rain on Saturday that we are no longer in danger of having a drought and now have a higher than normal average of rain for this point in July. There was a lot of flooding along local roadways, but luckily not too many people needed rescuing. 

Random Photo of the Week:
         We've had Somebody for five years now. It's hard to believe he was ever this tiny.



Monday, July 13, 2020

Half Year Review

With everything that's been happening with Covid-19 and such, this year seems to be dragging on and on and on. Personally April and May seemed to last forever, but June sped on by so it's hard to believe we're already half way through 2020.

I did a six month goal check in last week with myself. I'm not doing too badly. I'm where I should be in most cases.

I'm only a little behind in a couple of goals:

1.) I wanted to lose the 5 pounds I put on over the 2019 Christmas holidays and lose 5 more pounds by summer. Well, I haven't done either of those things yet. I guess the good thing is my weight has been holding steady, just not at the weight I want to be at. To be honest, I haven't been really strict with my eating plan either. I eat a healthy breakfast (usually yogurt with fruit and granola or oatmeal with fruit and nuts or one scrambled egg with cheese in a tortilla wrap) and eat a healthy snack type lunch (usually fruit and cottage cheese or fruit and hummus with celery or pepper strips). Since it's usually about 3:00pm when I'm eating lunch, I try to keep it light as we usually eat dinner between 6:00 and 6:30pm. It's the dinners that aren't so healthy, especially in the really hot, humid weather we've been having. Since it's usually too hot to cook, we've been having a lot of turkey and Swiss cheese sandwiches, different pasta salads, paninis and tossed salads. We've been eating a lot of popsicles and fudgsicles and frozen fruit bars as well.

2.) I wanted to have my next book plotted by the end of this month and start writing it in August. I need to finish the last few revisions suggested by beta readers on the current book I'm working on. I'm thinking it will take me the rest of this month to do that. I still hope to squeeze in the plotting of the third book, but I may have to push that to August and start the writing in September.

With a little more discipline (and maybe a few less fudgsicles), I should be back on track when I do my quarterly goal self check in in October.

Friday, July 10, 2020

This I know for sure...

I came across this quote and couldn't believe how appropriate it is right now.

"In these times, you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you wake in the morning." ~ Carl Sandburg

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): No writing related work done last week. I'm back in editing mode this week. 

Quote of the Week: "Time is the coin of your life. You determine how it will be spent. Do not allow others to spend it for you." ~ Carl Sandburg

What I'm Reading: I started "A Bad Day for Sunshine" by Darynda Jones Sunday evening. I haven't had a lot of time to read this week, so I'm not very far into the book. I enjoyed her Charley Davidson series so I have high hopes for this new series.

Random Thoughts:  I look forward to summer all winter long and then when summer gets here with it's high 80 to 90 degree weather and humidity, I look forward to cooler weather. Too bad there's no place in the US where it's about 75 degrees with little to no humidity year round. 

Random Photo of the Week:


The container garden that I wasn't going to do this year now has flowers as well as the vegetable plants from my nephew.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Happy 4th of July

I'm a little early, but since I don't do posts on Saturdays, I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July. There will be no post on Monday, 7/6 but I will be back with a new What's Up Wednesday post on 7/8.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I did 22 more pages last week. I will not be doing any work on my WIP this week. My mom's birthday was yesterday so we spend Monday and Tuesday doing things she wanted to do. I have one last appointment for my hand after work today. My nephew is stopping by tomorrow to bring my mom a new rosebush for her birthday. We are going to stay on the porch while he plants it in the yard. This way we'll be able to visit with him, but maintain social distance. 

Quote of the Week: "Keep the promises you make to yourself" ~ from a Dove Promises chocolate wrapper

What I'm Reading: I started reading "Cross Her Heart" by Melinda Leigh Monday night. This is the first book I've read by Ms. Leigh. I'm not very far into it yet, but I'm liking it so far.

Random Thoughts: My mom and I went to our local library last Friday. I can't tell you how much I missed going to the library. The library is limiting the number of items you can take out to 5 books per member. That was hard because we both usually get out between 8 and 10 books each. I had to decide which book I wanted to read more than another. I do understand the limit though as they are putting every book that is returned into a quarantine room for three days before it's checked back in and available for someone else to borrow. Our library is pretty busy so I can't imagine how many books are going into quarantine on a daily basis even with the limit of 5 books per member.

Random Photo of the Week:

I planted some old unlabeled seeds in a tiny clay pot I had just to see what would happen. It's actually growing. I just don't know what I'm growing.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Social Media

I signed up to take a course on how to best use social media as an author without constantly posting "buy my book" on various social media platforms over and over which is sure to annoy any followers one may have. I'm already on Facebook and Twitter, though I don't do too much on Twitter.

The course consists of 12 lessons and lasts about 2 weeks. It will cover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I use Pinterest, but not for anything writing related so it will be interesting to see the lesson(s) on that. There also a few lessons on basic graphic design and web design for very beginners.

I'm looking forward to the classes and hope that I'll learn a few things I can use.

Friday, June 26, 2020

This I know for sure...

I had decided that I wasn't going to do any container gardening this summer. I didn't want to have to fight off the squirrels. They like to dig up my flowers and either dig holes in my vegetable planters or they take a bite out of whatever vegetable happens to be growing and then leave it there still hanging on the vine.

My nephew stopped by on Wednesday and brought me a planter with three extra plants he didn't have room for in his vegetable garden. So I am now the owner of one summer squash plant, one acorn squash plant, and one cucumber plant.


I'm not sure how successful I'll be in getting anything to grow that the squirrels won't take a bite out of but I'm going to give it a try again this year, I guess.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I did about 20 more pages last week. I'm looking at it as "slow and steady wins the race."

Quote of the Week: "Don't sit down and wait for opportunities to come. Get up and make them!" ~ Madam C.J. Walker

What I'm Reading: I will be starting "The Book Charmer" by Karen Hawkins tonight. It's the first book in the Dove Pond series. 

Random Thoughts:  I have been crocheting since I was a young teen, but this pattern I'm working on now is making me feel like a beginner. I've had to frog it back 5 times now, but I'm refusing to give up on it.

Random Photo of the Week:

                             When your cat doesn't want you to take his picture.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Writing Back Cover Copy

I have a hard time writing the description of the book that would show on the back cover (known as the blurb). I think writing the blurb is harder than writing the the book. You're taking a 350 page novel (about 87,500 words) and summarizing it down to two, maybe three paragraphs consisting of no more than 200 words and trying to include enough information to make a reader want to buy the book. (The 200 word limit is the rule of thumb, or so I'm told.)

The funny thing about my struggle with writing a blurb is that I have no problem writing a description of my book(s) in a single sentence (sometimes know as an elevator pitch). You would think that would be harder than writing a description consisting of a few paragraphs.

I took a free webinar last Thursday given by Bryan Cohen on writing book descriptions that was very informative. He discussed setting up a process and then gave an example going through each step in the process. While I don't think I'll be able to whip off a blurb in no time flat, I do feel like I have the tools to make writing one a bit easier.

Friday, June 19, 2020

This I know for sure...

I never learned to sew, not for lack of trying by my mother. My mom taught all of my sisters and myself how to sew. For some reason, I could never get anything I tried to make to come out right.

I can't even blame my lack of sewing skills on my mom's teaching since one of my older sisters made her own wedding gown with help from my mom. My youngest sister made cute dresses and other clothing for her girls when they were little. She also continues to make beautiful quilts, table runners, tree skirts, and such. 

I tried to blame my poor sewing on my mom's sewing machine. Every time I would try to use it, I always either broke the needle or had bobbin issues that resulted in giant knot messes of thread and material.

Her sewing machine died just after the pandemic started. It's probably a good 40 years old so I guess it was about due to stop working. I was able to purchase my mom a new machine before they became hard to find in stock. She doesn't like it as much as her old one. It's too different. I told her she doesn't like it because it's so much more modern and will just take some time to get used to.

We decided to get used to it together. My mom is giving me sewing lessons again. Hopefully, I'll actually acquire the skill the second time around.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I only did about 20 more pages last week. I had an unscheduled appointment for my hand injury and my mom had an appointment later in the week. 

Quote of the Week: "Keep going. Everything you need will come to you at the perfect time." ~ Unknown. 

What I'm Reading: I started reading "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" by Amanda Quick on Monday night. It takes place in 1930's LA/Hollywood. I'm not too far into it right now, but it's been interesting so far.

Random Thoughts: I'm making my first amigurumi item. Even though I've been crocheting since my early teen years, I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I had to frog my project back 5 times before I got the pattern working right. I'm hoping I've got the hang of it now so I won't have to keep undoing parts and redoing them.

Random Photo of the Week:

                             Somebody likes to check out my card making supplies.
 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Cliff Hangers

How do you feel about books that end in the middle of the story that require you to buy the next book and the next book after that to be able to read the complete story?

I don't mind them, but I feel there should be some type of warning or statement on at least the first book (if not on all of them) so the reader/buyer is aware that the book he/she is purchasing is not the complete novel but is part of a serialized or installment novel.

This happened to me recently. I bought a book by an author I read regularly. There was no indication that this book was the first installment of the story and would be continued in two additional books. As far as I am aware this is the author's first serialized/installment novel so I didn't expect it or know to be aware that some of the author's books are written this way.

I couldn't help feeling like I was duped because I paid the same price for this book that I pay for regular books that contain the complete story. So in order to read the whole story, I will have to pay three times the normal price of one book. I don't think it would have bothered me as much if I had known going in that I was only buying an installment and not a complete book. Though to be honest, I probably wouldn't have purchased it and would have tried to borrow it from the library instead due to the cost of buying all three installments at $7.99 each.

Friday, June 12, 2020

This I know for sure...

I've had some enlightening conversations regarding the race relations lately. These conversations were with friends who are both white and people of color. Some of the conversations were eye opening in both good and bad ways. I hope these conversations will continue both in my own circle of friends and in the world at large.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): I managed to get 30 pages done last week which isn't as much as I'd hoped, but a lot more than I'd been able to accomplish the previous two weeks.

Quote of the Week: "Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you." ~ Unknown  I'm repeating the quote from last week because I need the reminder.

What I'm Reading: I started reading "Dead Girl Running" by Christina Dodd last night. 
 
Random Thoughts: I'm getting pretty good at typing with only 3 fingers on my left hand. I feel like my speed is picking up though I still seem to make quite a few typing errors. According to my physician, it will be about another month before I can use my index finger. 


Random Photo of the Week:

                                       Mrs. Green posing for her close up.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Blazing A Trail


Well, I'm not really blazing a trail, but I sure feel like it. Previously I wasn't able to get a lot accomplished due to my hand injury.

Now that I don't have to keep my left hand above my heart 24/7 and my first two fingers are no longer taped together, it's a lot easier to type. My index finger is still bandaged and I have to wear a plastic guard over it to protect it. It's also supposed to help keep me from bumping what's left of the tip and causing further damage to the wound.

Now that I have three fingers to type with on my left hand, I'm able to type much faster than before. I still make quite a few typos, but less than when I was mostly hunting and pecking with my right hand. I've gotten more accomplished in the last few days than in the last two weeks since I injured myself.

Friday, June 5, 2020

This I know for sure...

While our local library isn't yet open to the public, they have started doing curbside pick up of items. You can either call or email them with a list of the items you would like to borrow and your library card number. They will put your items together and check them out on your card, then call you to let you know your items are ready for pick up. You schedule a time to come get them, then call the library when you arrive. A library staff person will place your items on a table inside the vestibule area. Once the person goes back inside the library, you can then go into the vestibule and pick up your items.

I've missed being able to go to the library so I'm thrilled that we are able to borrow materials again.  I've requested a few books and am eagerly waiting for the call stating I can schedule a time to go pick them up.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work in Progress): No writing work done last week due to my hand injury. I went to the doctor's on Monday to have the wound examined. My fingers no longer need to be taped together for stabilization and my hand no longer has to be kept above my heart 24/7. The wound is still heavily bandaged, but I should be able to type with at least the last two fingers on my left hand. I'm hoping to get some writing related stuff done this week. I'm not sure how much I'll get accomplished, but getting even a few pages done will be better than nothing.

Quote of the Week: "Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you." ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading: I'm still reading "Mine Until Moonrise" by Jennifer Bernard. I'm enjoying it, but haven't had a lot of time to read.

Random Thoughts: I received my new phone. It's all set up and everything was able to be transferred from my pld phone without any issues. I like being having a phone that actually works properly and doesn't overheat. I guess I shouldn't have complained about getting a new one. 

Random Photo of the Week:

                     Somebody and Mrs. Green sharing a spot in the windowsill.