Sunday, March 22, 2020

I'm not dead yet

Well. A lot has happened since I last posted anything.

I missed IWSG thanks to the demise of my double-u key, which threw me for a loop for a while. I have since discovered that replacing the double-u with the q can help spell check and auto-correct. It’s a pain in the ass though and very time consuming but it works. Mostly. If this was a desk top I’d have already bought a new keyboard but replacing the keyboard on a laptop isn’t so easy, not to mention I’d be without! However, I’ve found a work around as far as writing goes. Gaming however, is a different story, especially for the games I play, all of which need the double-u key to move forward. Assigning a different key isn’t very practical, especially in combat situations, so I haven’t been playing 7 Days to Die (insert sad sigh), or anything except scrabble on FB, and way too much of that lately.

I’ve read a few more books, bringing my total to 9 plus the 2 I’m currently reading (The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith and A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor). I’ve watched Lock & Key (recommended), Riverdale (on season 3), Sabrina (didn’t like the first episode of season 3 but did like episode 2, convincing me to keep watching), and am still watching The Americans. Oh, and I’ve started The October Faction which I’m finding fun.

Of course, the biggest news is Covid-19. I’m not going to say much about our government’s response, except to say it was lacking and still is imo, and that I wish Trump would shut up and let the experts explain things so they don’t have to correct him later. I am going to comment on all the morons who are buying a lifetime supply of whatever they can. I have not been able to buy toilet paper because the shelves have been empty. Nor could I buy cat litter. Of any kind. Personally? I’d like to see all these hoarders put on an island with NO toilet paper! No. Not an island. Cuz then they’d have the ocean to wash their bums off. Seriously. WTF? These are the people that ruin it for everyone else and they are of every ilk, selfish little shitbags thinking only of themselves. In times of crisis some people rise to the occasion. Others turn into the assholes we love to hate on tv.

Thanks to the virus, I’ve been laid off as the shop has gone to appointments only. My sister is primarily working from home as a teacher remotely while our roommate is still going in to Lowe’s every day. I think the only ones happy about this are all the dogs who get to have their people home.

I will be participating in Jemi Fraser’s blog tour for her new book, Dancing with Dementia, so do come back for that on the 31st. I’ll try to participate in next month’s IWSG but boy, it takes a long time to write anything without that one key.

If there are any other authors needing some extra love (I feel horrible for anyone trying to release a new book right now), please contact me. I’m happy to host a guest post, promo, or whatever I can do to help.

Now. Tell me how things are in your neck of the woods. Got hoarders?

A delicious brunch I had in January

Bruno having snuck up on bed unnoticed

Stay well!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Train to Somewhere - a picture of inspiration
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 

February 5 question - Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

The awesome co-hosts for the The awesome co-hosts for the February 5 posting of the IWSG are Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson!

This picture, which I think I saw on Elephant Child's blog, inspired a story called THE TRAIN TO SOMEWHERE, and yes, I did finish it! It is currently resting and awaiting revisions.

In other news I'm happy to say that I'm doing better in the reading department. I've finsiuhed four whole books since January 1st!

The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martin
The Ten Thousand Doors to January by Alix E. Harrow
and City of Bones by Martha Wells

I LOVED A Memory Called Empire.
I almost loved (but liked a lot!) The Ten Thousand Doors to January.
I enjoyed City of Bones.
And I learned a lot from reading The First Salute.*

I'm currently reading The Water Dancer and Artificial Condition, watching The Americans and Watchmen, and playing 7 Days to Die with my brother.  

Now, tell me, have you ever been inspired by a photo or painting in some way?

* This book was about the Revolutionary War and boy, we Americans were so lucky because, really, the Brits should've been able to defeat us. But luck and British complacency along with some help from the Dutch and then the French finally came together, resulting in a win for George and his rag tag army.


Sunday, January 12, 2020


The Armchair Squid has given me this lovely award (I do love sunshine!) and I urge anyone who would like to take it and run with the questions he asked. Click the pic to see Squid's original post and the 'rules' for the award (I'm afraid I'm not much of a rule follower but if you are, there they are for you), and by all means nominated someone else you think would enjoy it.

Squid's questions...

  1. If you could live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose and why?
  2. If you could learn to be an expert at something without putting in the work, what would it be?
  3. If you could learn a new language instantly, which would you choose and why?
  4. If you could give $1 million to any charity, which would you choose?
  5. When was your Robert Frost moment a la "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."?  The poem (read it here) says you can't go back and that is true.  "Way leads on to way" and so forth.  But if you could, would you?  What is the difference you think it would have made?
  6. Time travel: where would you go and when?  Why?
  7. Who would you want on your fictional character bowling team?  You get to pick four.
  8. What would you want for your last meal?
  9. What's your favorite song?
  10. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  11. If you came over to my home and I offered you a drink, what would you want me to serve you?  

1. This is a tough question for a person who is all too aware of how even the most minute changes in the past can affect the future. Given that I would want to affect the time-line the least, I'd probably choose to re-live my last year working at the vet where I used to work. There are things I'd do differently and in doing so I might have been able to save the life of my dear, sweet, still missed Evie Bean, one of the best cats I ever had. But to be honest, there are a lot of places in my life where a different action would've made things better so it's pretty hard to choose one. Not to mention the after effects. 
2. Languages. I would love to be able to speak more than English and the smattering of Spanish I still remember. I'd choose to be fluent in Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese. Or I'll just take a download of the top 20 most spoken languages. 
3. See above, lol
4. I'd split it between the Sierra Club, Animal Shelters, and the ACLU
5. see #1 and my worry for screwing up time
6. Again, there's that whole changing the past, but, if I could go with the guarantee of being unable to affect anything, I'd probably choose 1805. I like the clothes. What can I say? But. if there was no guarantee then I would choose to go into the future, maybe 200 years from now, see if we've gotten into space and what we've found.
7. That's easy: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, and John Turturo.
8.  Steak, salad, Tiramisu, and a nice glass or two of Sancerre.
9. Oh, that's impossible to answer; I have too many favorite songs. But if there's one thing I can listen to over and over and not get sick of it might be Mozart's Requiem.
10. Introvert for sure. My days are filled with way too much peopling.
11. I'd love a nice glass of Sancerre as stated in #8 but I'd happily take a Squid mix :)

Much thanks to the Squid. Good questions!

Now it's your turn to answer one of the questions above...

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

where did it all begin?
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
Each we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

The question is optional!

January 8 question - What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?

The awesome co-hosts for the The awesome co-hosts for the January 8 posting of the IWSG are T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff!

 My grandfather was a writer, so maybe it was destiny (or DNA) all along, but at any rate, I started telling stories as a kid to my sister when we were in bed at night. I'd offer three titles, she'd pick one, and I'd make up a story on the spot. The first story I remember writing down (with pen and paper, mind you) was called Happy Birthday, Cathy, in which a girl celebrates her birthday at an amusement park and foolishly stands up on the Ferris Wheel and...yup, dies. Mama's last words, sobbed in anguish: "Happy Birthday, Cathy." I think I was around 10 or 11 when I wrote it, and I have no idea why I wrote such a tragic story! By 9th grade I was regularly writing short stories in notebooks, some of which I still have. I should also mention that I had some great teachers who encouraged me (Mr. Wallace, Mr. Elliott, and Mr. Bouchard) and a great friend (Mary) I used to write with (in person if you can imagine such a thing, lol) almost weekly. I'm not sure if I "knew" I wanted to write, I just started doing it and never stopped. And that's where it all began.

How did your journey begin?

In other news, I will now report the dismal tally of books read in 2019

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr*
2. Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin
3. The Rule of One by Ashley and Leslie Saunders
4. Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams
5. A Symphony of EchoesJodi  Taylor Chronicles of St. Mary's*
6. A Second Chance – Jodi  Taylor Chronicles of St. Mary's*
7. Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman*
8. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
9. Cut and Run by Mary Burton
10. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neall Hurston*
11. Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs*
12. Ancillary Justice by Anne Lecke*
13. Ancillary Sword by Anne Lecke*
14. Ancillary Mercy by Anne Lecke*
15. The Light between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth
16. Cold Waters by Debbie Herbert
17. Cress by Marissa Meyers*
18. Winter by Marissa Meyers*
19. All Systems Red: Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells*
20. In the Dark by Loreth Anne White
21. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

* means I really liked the book and recommend it. 

I'm still currently reading The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (the story is good but I don't love any of the characters *sigh*), The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman (American history, a bit dry but also witty) and A memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. I'm enjoying the last the most even though I started it after the other two. Finally, I'm looking forward to reading The Ten Thousand Doors to January by Alix E. Harrow, which I got for Christmas.

Oh, and I say dismal because that's barely two books a month and one less book than I read last year. On the other hand if I can finish the three books I've got going I'll be ahead of the game, or at least, ahead of my last year's game. Anyway, those are the stats, sad as they are.

Last but not least, I am querying so cross your fingers and toes for me!