Friday, July 29, 2016

Baby Raccoons!

I can't think of anything to blog about this morning, so here's a pic of a couple baby raccoons:

They're eating in the deer's corn pan. 

Lately, every morning we see the local mama raccoons bring their babies by for some crunchy corn.  The other night, we had baby raccoons climbing our black cherry tree looking for sweet treats.  They're cute as all get out.  And we're keeping our fingers crossed they never develop an interest in getting into the house, because as cute as raccoons are, they're also very destructive little buggers.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sunday Evening

The summer speeds by so quickly in this neck of the woods. It would be foolish not to take advantage of all summer has to offer and now it's Sunday evening and it's time to write a blog post. So just in case you were wondering this is what Sunday evening in July looks like at my house. 

I weeded this corner flowerbed earlier in the day. 

Drinking wine and eating and peanuts. 

While watching game shows.

Right now the sun is setting, the stars are about to appear and life is good. 

But speaking of game shows...

Do you watch them? What's your favourite? 

PS: Mine is Match Game hosted by Alec Baldwin. Even though he's kind of mean...He makes me laugh. 

That's all I've got!

Friday, July 22, 2016

All I Am Saying is Give Books a Chance

Yesterday, someone posted a link on Facebook to a free book.  Cute cover.  Cute blurb.  One star. 

Curious, I clicked on the link.  I mean, I've never seen a book with only one star before.  What was the problem?  How horrible does a book have to be to only have one star?

So, I get to the Amazon page and it only has one star, but it also only has one review.  It's also only been out for like 5 days.  I read the one review and the guy who reviewed the book is brutal.   I read farther - it's a long review - and the dude is not only brutal but seriously nitpicky.  And a little pretentious, if you ask me.  And it seems like the guy is of the sort who likes to see himself type. 

So, I click over to see the dude's other reviews.  Pretty much every book he's reviewed is one or two stars, with the exception of classics and a few non-fiction books I've never heard of. 

I one-clicked the book.  You know, just to see. And I did have anything waiting to be read right then anyway.  The worst that could happen is I waste an hour reading crap and move on to another book.

Right now, I'm 50% through.  It's a cute book.  Sure, it's not literature.  It wasn't meant to be.  Its one job - in my opinion - is to be entertaining, and it's accomplishing that.  (I wouldn't have read this far if it wasn't entertaining.)  It's not rife with typos or gaping plot holes or sheer stupidity.  I mean, if I was reading this book to edit it, I would make a few suggestions on how to make it better, but all in all, it's pretty good. 

And it's entirely possible that this book is tanking for the author because of one review.  One person's opinion could be changing this book's course.  It could potentially hurt sales once this book is no longer free.  It could be sending the author into a spiral of depression where she doesn't have the will to write another book.  Which would be super sad because she does have a talent for writing an entertaining story.

I guess what I'm saying is to give books a chance.  Even if the star count is low.  Even if the review count is low.  And, if you're inclined to give a book a negative review, think before you do it.  Jus' sayin'.

Finally, the disclaimer stuff... I don't know the author of this book.  Never heard of her before I saw the FB post for her book and I doubt I'll ever run into her.  I may write her a nice email after I'm finished with the book and let her know how much I enjoyed it.  (If she doesn't screw it up in the last 50%, that is.)  Who knows, we may become friends after that.  But right now, as I'm typing this, I don't know her from Eve.  I'm not posting the link or giving the title publicly because of what I said about the reviewer - which, of course, are my opinions - lest he hunt me down and one-star me out of spite. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Mondays

I was forced to open the door in my pajamas this morning. There was no avoiding it because they spotted me through the door before I could run and hide. In my defence, it was before 8:00 am and I wasn't yet hidden away in my office. Darn lawn care companies. Stupid locked gate. Could they tell I wasn't wearing a bra? But so thankful I don't have to do the job myself... 

Mondays. There should be a television show - Monday Morning Mood Swings.

Enough procrastinating! I should be writing. I need to sit my butt in my chair and get to it. Like all the wonderful (and productive) writers who won RITA and GOLDEN HEART awards at this year's annual RWA (Romance Writers Association) conference are probably doing. And just in case you want to check who some fabulous writers and really great books you can go to Heroes and Heartbreakers for a complete list of the winners.

Are summer Mondays the most challenging as far as getting back into routine? Or is it just me? I'm sure it isn't only me. You try and pack so much into the weekends that it takes the rest of the week to recover. That's summer for you. And thank goodness for it. We might not be getting enough sleep but vitamin D levels are soaring.

What are your plans for today?

Friday, July 15, 2016


I don't know if any of you watch the show 'Alone', but we've been kinda hooked on it since I stumbled across it last year.

Ten people left on various points on Vancouver Island - each with enough separation so they will never seen any of the others.  They have survival tools and an emergency phone.  The rest is up to them.  They have to find their own food, make their own shelters, keep themselves safe, and find ways to keep their minds busy.  This last thing seems to be the breaking point for a lot of contestants who otherwise have it under control.

The second season just finished.  The winner was a guy out of Michigan.  (Go Blue.)  He stayed out there 66 days.  66 days in total isolation.

To some that would sound horrible.  They miss their spouses.  They miss their kids.  They miss the outside world in general.

It sounds pretty awesome to Hubs and I.  And, of course, the $500,000 prize at the end sounds awesome, too.  Oh, sure, I'd miss him like the dickens.  And he'd miss me.  But five hundred THOUSAND dollars would go a long way toward soothing the aches of separation.  It's not like it's forever.

Last year, the winner went 56 days.

I think I could do at least that many without human contact.  I'd be like Tom Hanks in Castaway and make a friend to talk to. Wilson!  I'd talk to the critters.  I'd talk to myself.  I do pretty good alone.

Now, if only I were younger and in better shape.  And maybe knew how to build a fire by hand.  I'd totally try out for the show.  Next season they're supposed to be somewhere other than Vancouver Island, but they haven't announced the new locale yet.  I wonder... Will it still be in Canada somewhere?  I'm thinking they'll go east coast of Canada.

What about you?  Could you do an extended stay in total isolation if they offered you $500,000?  All you have to do is outlast 9 other people.  Hell, one of this year's contestants went out the first day.  I could definitely last longer than a day, even with this old, gimpy body of mine. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Character Hobbies

I'm revising a scene in which my characters are playing baseball. This is what I love about writing. My characters can enjoy things that I have absolutely no interest in physically participating in.

Like baseball.

I was forced to play baseball at recess in school for the lack of anything more entertaining to do. Usually we ended up playing this thing called scrub. I don't know if this is a Canadian thing? Or more wide spread? t's what you did if you didn't have enough players to field two teams. (I should also mention that I grew up on a farm outside a very small prairie town lest you be confused by the lack of people.) There were three batters and everyone else covered infield and outfield positions. If you were on base and didn't manage to make it home you were sent out into right field and you kept moving up until you were once again batting.

Two things:

1. I lack even a miniscule amount of athletic prowess.
2. I'm not the least bit competitive.

I loved right field. The ball seldom made it there. I hated any of the infield positions which forced you to come in frequent contact with the ball. Being the pitcher terrified me.  I made sure and threw it nice and slow so they could hit it long and far.

One other thing:

1. I'd rather be chatting.

Which is the reason I was hit with a line drive to the ear while manning third base. Totally not the fault of the batter (who was my brother, by the way). I was chatting to someone the next game over and not paying attention.

My bad.

But my characters enjoy all kinds of things I'd rather take a pass on. Take Grace Bighill, my current heroine. She plays baseball and she knits. I knitted a blanket for my barbie once, but counting has never been my strong suit. It was significantly wider at the bottom than the top. Fortunately Barbie didn't care.

A little snippet from GONE:

From the moment Kevin Hunt threw the ceremonial pitch everybody was giving the hairy eyeball to everyone else. The trash talk escalated. Tempers rose. The tension spread to the restless crowd until it competed with the smell of hotdogs the 4H club were selling from their makeshift cantina. But it wasn’t until the bottom of the eighth inning it all went to shit.

It's summertime and that means baseball. Are you a fan of the game? Would you rather watch or play? What's your sport of choice? And yes, reading counts!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Where do you find inspiration?

Usually when people ask me where I find inspiration, I blurt out, "In the shower" which is a totally truthful answer but doesn't sound all that interesting.

Lately though, I've been inspired my trip to Yellowstone National Park....specifically the Grand Prismatic Spring.

Unfortunately it was quite windy and the steam was blowing in my face so I didn't get the best pictures of this magical spot (we won't talk about how it's bacteria that causes the different colors, lol).

Check out this National Geographic aerial photo to get a better feel for the place. It's amazing!!

Anyway, I went to Yellowstone as a research trip for a book I'm working on. It's something very different for me, but it's something I'm excited about --  sort of a contemporary fantasy novel, tentatively titled Eternal Springs, with a kickass save-the-world heroine). Anyway, I expected to come home with facts, but instead I came back TOTALLY inspired.

I can't stop thinking about the place. I'm even trying to figure out how to decorate my home to resemble the spring!!!

What about you? Where are you finding inspiration in your life? (If you say "the shower" I'll totally understand, lol.)

Monday, July 4, 2016

It's a holiday Monday in the United States!

It was a holiday weekend here in Canada too! We went camping last week but were back home for the weekend as we have no desire to spend the holiday with the multitudes of partiers. We were back in time to grill steaks! We spent the weekend with family, swimming and watching movies.

Buffalo Pound Provincial Park sits on rolling hills once used by First Nations as a hunting ground. It is now home to a captive herd of bison. Nearby Nicolle Flats Interpretive Area gives you a chance to view the resident waterfowl. It's a great place to spend a couple of days!

Back home we swam and ate and enjoyed good company!

And we watched a couple of movies!

Now You See Me

The Outsiders

What are you doing to celebrate the holiday?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Nope. Not Ready. No Way.

I woke up this morning with grainy eyes and too much blood in my caffeine stream.  With mug firmly in hand, I staggered to my computer - which Hubs had so thoughtfully turned on for me - and began my morning routine.  First I load my three main tabs: Blogger Dashboard, Facebook, Gmail.  Then after I take care of anything pressing there, I go to my Amazon reports page. 

Sales occurred while I was sleeping*!  Yay!

So, I open my spreadsheets and realize...  ummm... it's July now.  I am so not ready for it to be July already.  Nope.  Not ready.  No way.

Now, a smart woman would've probably already set everything up so she wouldn't have to deal with formulas on the first of every month.  Yah, not feeling too smart this morning.  If I were more on the ball, I would've done this yesterday so I wouldn't have to deal with it sans coffee.  I am not as 'on the ball' as I'd wish.

Which means, here I am, trying to figure out how last night's sales meld in with everything else.  Should take me about an hour to get all the formulas input on all the worksheets in the two spreadsheets I use for compiling such data. 

Yes, I am a nerd.  Yes, I could put this off until later this morning, but putting things off is what got me into this mess in the first place.  No, I won't spend extra time getting ready for the coming months so this doesn't happen on 8/1.  I know me.  It ain't happenin'.

What about you?  Are you ready for a whole new month? 

*Huge thanks to whoever it was in Australia that bought one of each of my books.