Non Update

There’s not a whole lot going on around here right now. I guess you could say I’m resting on my laurels.

Or I’m getting ready for the next big thing.

Kinda wish I knew what it was gonna be!

In the absence of house drama, I’ve been reading. I just finished Chrysalis, the 3rd book about Jeremey Logan by Lincoln Child. I think I’ve talked about this character before. Anyway, it’s not anything highbrow, just a thriller. I used to read a lot of thrillers and horrors, but I really don’t too much anymore. Maybe I need to get back to that. I can remember reading some books through the night because I was too scared to go to sleep.

Mostly I read in the late afternoon. I lay down on the couch and open a book. Out of nowhere, Mayhem will jump up and stuff himself in next to me.

Time to read:

Actually, all my favorite authors are either dead or just lending their name to new authors. Or, handing off characters to other writers. On the whole, I don’t disagree with this practice, but the new authors more often than not fundamentally change the characters. I can’t get with that. Write your own if you’re gonna do that.

Next time I go to the library, I’m gonna get another thriller.

I’ve been working away at my knitting projects.

I have finished the back and both fronts of my sweater:

Up next is the sleeves. Yikes. I’m thinking I might do them at the same time for uniformity. I was thinking of a variation on magic loop, but it might just be better to drag out 2 needles and just do 10-20 rows on one, then the same amount on the other.

While I’ve been avoiding starting the sleeves, I’ve been working on this shawl:

I have 14 more rows before the next part. I did make a grave error a bunch of rows back (I somehow added an extra hole). When I noticed it, I gave myself 4 rows to make another mistake so I could rip it all out and start over. But oddly, all the counts worked out perfectly. I decided that since I had started this over twice already, I could live with an extra hole. Besides, I’m not loving this yarn, so I really just want to finish this and send it into the world!

Guess what? My bricks went on sale! Hurrah! As soon as I discovered this miracle, I went outside to measure off how many bricks I want to get to finish a few projects.


Give or take.

We went out and got 54 bricks at $.25 each. Over the next few days we’ll go back and get more. And I might get some extra because the Hubs has now floated the idea of making a gravel “moat” around the whole house.

I don’t know how many more bricks I’ll need for that. I suppose I can measure it off tomorrow while we’re out there. I have a little over a week til the sale ends… 50 blocks every time I go out?

I think I just discovered what the next big thing is.

Busy Day

The Hubs was called into work today. He was supposed to be gone all day.

I planned a full day of projects.

I picked my jalapeños and sliced them up:

This is about 10 peppers. I roasted them to bring out the smoky flavor of the reds:

I’ll use them on salads, baked potatoes, veggies, eggs, whatever I eat while they last.

While they were roasting, I emptied and cleaned out the guest room. I moved the bed:

It is my hope that one day, after 2 years in packing this will be an actual place for someone to sleep.

But for now, I needed to expose the last wall for paint.

I locked the kittens out, which for some reason really did not sit well with them. I painted the last piece of baseboard with them meowing and reaching under the door.

Once they finally evaporated for a nap I moved all my supplies in there and painted. While I was finishing – actually fighting with getting the roller cover into a baggie in case I need it to touch up, I hear the Hubs calling out for me.


Seems gone all day actually meant gone til noon. Had I known, I would surely not have blocked access to his office with kitty litter pans!

He jumped into a meeting while I cleaned up and then explained his computers at the office were booting him off when he tried to do anything so he came home.

The wall came put pretty good, and now the whole guest room is painted!

I’ll wait til next week, give the paint some time to cure, then set up the bed and move it into the 3 positions I’m considering to see if I can make it work. The room is pretty small, so jamming this queen bed into it is gonna be a challenge. We have discussed putting a sleeper sofa in here instead, but I really don’t want to buy one because we already have this and it’s comfortable.

Unless of course it really doesn’t fit.

But that is a worry for another day.

While I was reading this afternoon, I was excited to have Havoc napping on the back of the couch:

This is actually take 2. She has not quite gotten the hang of couch-back sleeping and rolled off. I was proud of her for giving it another try!

Mayhem was lying next to me being big until I finally gave up and moved. He looked at me like, “finally, are you dense or what?” and then stretched out:

I just started this book “Hotel Nantucket,” I borrowed it without knowing what it was about. It doesn’t suck, but it’s kinda slow. I like reading books set in places I know, so maybe the location part will make up for the rest!

I just finished “Full Wolf Moon” by Lincoln Child. That one I enjoyed. It seems to be a new-ish character, and this is the 2nd book I have read with him in it.

I have given up, for now, on the Jesse Stone books I was reading. Since Robert B. Parker died, other people are writing his characters. I won’t say I’m a purist, but I don’t like some of the “interpretations” of both Spenser and Jesse Stone. The last one I read was so off I didn’t want to finish it. I get he’s dead, but to fundamentally change the behavior of the character is just wrong. I’m not sure why Mike Lupica doesn’t just write his own characters. There are 2-3 more in the series so far that I just won’t read because if you say it’s Jesse Stone, it should BE Jesse Stone. Otherwise, it’s just another small town chief and should be marketed as such. I’ll wait for the next writer.

Tomorrow I am making a run to Home Depot to lay in supplies for the garage and a couple of other projects. I might get some plants. I might not (because I’ll have to plant them). I might buy more paint for the living room, but I might not because I’m not really into finishing it up right now (too many miles of trim).

Guest Hosting (or Shameless Plug)

This is NOT my blog. This is the blog of someone much better at the craft than I. That said, it was her idea I take a moment to announce the publishing of a revised edition of the third part to The Life of Lord Bagrin series on Amazon.

You see, my dear cutie-pie spent a tremendous amount of time, patience and effort going through what I had published myself, and she found, well, a few mistakes. Okay, she couldn’t bear to hear me read her any more of my work with those mistakes still in there. So she offered from the kindness of her heart and her wealth of professional skill to go through my volumes of work and edit them for me.

It began with Part 4: Lord Admiral Commander and to my utter amazement and eternal gratitude, she was willing to go back to the beginning and edit all the others as well. Initially, she sat with three ring binders, filled to overflowing with a print out of a book, and she spent hours marking up and applying Post-it notes (look ’em up, kids) to the pages.

After a while, we realized it would just be easier for her to take a softcopy and mark it up in Word with comments. And so I received marked up versions to go through. The hardest part to this was that I won’t use Microsoft Word since they introduced The Ribbon (yeah, I’m that old and stubborn). So I use LibreOffice almost exclusively for my writing. It’s free and still uses the old-fashioned menu bar.

I Might Use this as my Author Photo!

On the other hand, she is less stodgy, and she has learned to work with the latest Microsoft Office products. Slight problem going back and forth between LibreWriter and Microsoft Word – sometimes they don’t format things quite the same, and it can take hours to find and sort out the differences. Word is particularly stupid about formatting Drop Caps when there’s a double-quote at the beginning of a paragraph.

Anyway, about a year ago now she finished her edit of the third part to the series: Worlds at War. But I’ve been so hung up on working on the new series: The Loop, I haven’t taken the time to apply her edits and then reformat the work for Kindle.

A note about that: while I’m ever so grateful for Amazon Kindle Publishing, their Kindle Create tool is either a wonderful free piece of software for converting your Word documents into Kindle format, or the least maintained piece of software I’ve worked with. From one perspective:

  • It’s free!
  • It automatically converts from Microsoft Word document format
  • It comes with a (brief) list of built-in Themes
  • It’s free!

On the other hand:

  • You cannot add to and have limited editing capability for the built-in themes
  • While you can customize formatting of characters and paragraphs, you cannot create styles from them or copy formatting from one element to another
  • You cannot simply update an existing Kindle Create project with an updated/edited word document, you must start over.
  • These have been outstanding feature requests against the product literally for YEARS!

Then again, did I mention it’s free? What this all means is that every time I want to push/republish corrections to a book, I have to completely start from scratch, going page by page, chapter by chapter, reapplying the custom formatting I want for each element.

Oh boo hoo, right? Well yes. I am whining. But I’m almost as good at writing and publishing these books as I am at whining, so have a look at them. My cutie-pie put in a lot of hard work on them.

Available in Paperback and Kindle format

Oh! Feel free to stop by my own blog, created when I started the series too many years ago and barely updated in all that time:

Books and More Books

Not a whole heck of a lot going on right now. A lot of waiting for the next thing to happen. A lot of stressing over the logistics of the next things.

Been doing a lot of reading. Have you read Jack Carr’s The Terminal List? It was SO good! There are 4 more books in the series, I need to get them read. Now it’s being made into a series… Not sure how I feel about that. What if it gives away the next 4 books before I get to read them?

I found a book by one of my favorite authors at a thrift store a few weeks ago. I had forgotten how much I love this author! It’s called The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille. Another excellent read. And if you like that one, go back and read his book The Charm School. Really great read.

I’ve also been trying some “summer” reads. Normally I don’t go in for “chick lit” but I’ve enjoyed some Mary Kay Andrews books.

And of course, my long-time fave is Robert B Parker. He’s passed now, but a lot of others have been writing his characters. Some of them are making improvements, but some are just awful and I wonder if they have ever even read something he’s written.

I think it’s kind of fitting, as Parker finished a Robert Chandler novel after he died. It’s a nice tribute, and a way to keep beloved characters alive. On the other hand, we worked out that Spenser is at least 83 years old at this point and it’s a little hard to believe he can still do all the things!

I guess characters are just that, timeless, ageless, forever. And that’s not a bad thing.


I finished and blocked my blanket:

Yes, I do know blocking is not my strong suit. It takes a lot of patience I do not possess. Mostly I just try to get it looking good and leave it at that.

I also changed out the knobs on my dresser:

Original Knobs
New Knobs

I like the ones with the color a lot better, the originals blended too much. I know the mismatched thing is very trendy right now and I don’t normally participate in trends (I set them!!), but since this is not a forward facing item I’m doing it.

In other news…

We got invited to a 4th of July BBQ on Sunday. At first I was excited, I mean who wouldn’t be? The popular kids invited us to a thing! Now I’m stressing over what to bring, what to wear (not really), and what to talk about. I’m such a complete social retard. The Hubs says we can make an appearance and then evaporate.

I’m good with that.

But what to bring?