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.