May Day Monday

*muppet flail* How can it be May? Where is Spring?!? I just turned off the heater–AGAIN–yesterday. Whee! Been a wild ride and May is supposed to be our crazy weather month. At leasat we got some rain last week. Every drop helps.

Writing. There was a very tiny little bit. I did manage an Honorable Mention on the Thursday Threads flash fiction challenge last week. Sadly, the snippet–which will appear on Wedneday Words this week, was set in Ariel’s book. Yeah. Iffy has spring fever. Or maybe hayfever. Anyway, I’ve basically been piddling around with CROSSFIRE and I need to get over that $h!+ like right now! No excuses. Just do it. Yada yada. Getting back into the swing of writing is sooo not like getting back on a bicycle. Or maybe it is, if you wobble around a lot.

Sports is a mixed bag. There was supposed to be a Stormy soccer game Saturday but it was canceled due to all the rain last week. That was good because Only and Stormy ran the Run to Remember Memorial 5K and the Kid’s Run on Saturday morning. They both ran their personal bests, shaving something like 10 secends off ther times from last year. So proud of them! My OSU Cowgirls split 2-1 with Texas Tech. Cowgirls run-ruled the first game 10-1 in the 6th inning, lost the second 4-3 in extra innings (after leading 3-0) and then run-ruled the third game 8-0 in the 5th. Go figure. The same with my Cards. They started out the season like gang-busters but they are skidding right now. Gives me a big ol’ sad. 😟

Books is a better topic. I got into Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series mode. I love her humor and the way she portrays her shifters. I took a break in the middle to listen to Ilona Andrew’s newly released dramatized version of MAGIC BITES, the first book in her Kate Daniels series. Big fan of this wife and husband writing team and their various series. The dramatized version was interesting but since I could get it from Hoopla to listen free, I didn’t spend an Audible credit. I might eventually. We’ll see. The dramatized version seems shorter and I noticed that it was adapated by someone other than the Gordons (Ilona and Andrew). Anyway, back to the Pride with glee and giggles. I’m only 6 books behind on my reading challenge now. The way I go through this series, I’ll be caught up and ahead in no time.

There’s not much else going on ’round here. Today is Wallyworld and then LG and I will likely hit the tag agency to get his tag updated on the new truck. I need to BICHOK all week. My royalty revenues are sucking big time and I sort of like eating, as do the critters. Luckily, this will be a cheaper week (though it’s hard to tell due to freaking inflation! Thanks, Joe 🙄 ) because I restocked all the critter foods last week. Soccer was moved to this coming Saturday so no siren test and no Alvarado’s Mexican for lunch. That gives me a big ol’ sad too! It’s been 3 months. Thanks, soccer. (Kidding. A little, anyway.) And, once again, the best intentions of actually writing. We’ll see. At least the weather is supposed to be more May-like. How’s life in your world?

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Friday Sinema: Cat and Dog

Here. Have something short, cute, and heartwarming on this last Friday of April. There’s just something “special” about a Golden Retriever. 😉 Have a great weekend!

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Thursday Thoughts – Universal Dream

Y’all may or may not know but when I save an email from the Universe, I set it up as blog post. Sometimes, the message is pertinent right then and there (ie. for the next Thursday Thoughts post). Sometimes, I like the message but it’s not exactly apropos to current life events, thoughts, or musings. I go through them until one pops out at me and says “MUSE ME!” Out of curiosity, I went to the very last page of drafts to see what was the oldest message. This is it, from 2016.

Never compromise a dream, Silver.

Do what you must. The fears, beasts, and mountains before you are part of the plan; stepping-stones to a promised land; to a time and place that is so much closer than even you suspect.

Don’t let your eyes deceive, Silver, for even as you read these words, your ship swiftly approaches.

The Universe

And, Silver, there’s not a dry eye on board. They are so proud.

Way back when, this was relevant. And it still is. Dreams and aspirations are important. They get us out of bed in the morning. They keep us moving foreward even when we are tired and discouraged and ready to throw in the towel*. I’m still at the computer. I still have stories to tell. I’ve slowed down since 2016. Age. Covid. Other health stuffs. But I’m still here kicking and doing what I can to keep the dream alive and hoping my ship comes in soon. What are you dreaming about these days?

*Who knows where that phrase came from? 🙋🏼‍♀️ Boxing. When a manager wanted to end a boxing match before there was a knockout, he’d grab “sweat” towel and throw it into the ring to stop the fight. Just in case inquiring minds wanted to know.

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Wednesday Words: Look Who’s Talking

New words! I’ve manage at least some every day. Today’s snippet originated from 250 words based on the #ThursdayThreads prompt of **”What did you say?”** As the following shows, hearing and listening can be two totally different animals. Good news! I am getting ever closer to typing THE END on CROSSFIRE. True story. The mark of a newbie writer is actually submitting a manuscript with “The End” typed in at the end. Or, if they came from a journalistic background the every useful -30-, which was (no clue if still in use) the clue to the editor that your story was complete. Anyway, one of the first writing conferences I attended, an editor and an agent in one of the classes BOTH said, do not do this! So now, I metaphorically type it when I’m done with the first draft because we all know that the dang book is NEVER completely done. 😉 Anyway, the snippet is toward the end of the book and not exactly a spoiler–not if you’ve read any of my books. LOLOL
Kin stared for a stunned moment. “What did you say?”

Glowering, Meg said, “You heard me.” She so was not in the mood for whatever bug he had all up in his brain. That said, he did look perplexed by her statement.

He continued staring at her before saying in a very deliberate voice, “Aye, lass, I heard you but I’m not listening to a word of it.”

And didn’t that just get her back up. Who did he think he was? “Oh? Really? So what I say isn’t important?”

“Now you’re not listenin’ t’ me.”

Her face acquired a pinched look that almost made him laugh. Being a smart Wolf, he refrained from teasing his mate at this particular moment. “Answer me this then. Why are ya goin’ t’Scotland?”

“To see my dad and assure him I’m fine.”

“Ya’ve talked t’him on the phone and done the zoomie thing on the computer. He knows yer fine.”

“Chatting on the computer is not the same as being face-to-face in person. He’ll want to see for himself.”

Since the Major-general was human, that was probably true. Still…he had questions. “And why would ya be stayin’ there?”

She noticed his accent was getting thicker. She’d learned that could mean a number of things—that he was angry, worried, amused, or afraid he was losing an argument. Admittedly, it currently could be any one of those things. Or all of them. She rolled her lips between her teeth and pressed them together, closed her eyes, and inhaled deeply—all actions designed to settle herself.

Schooling her voice to a high degree of patience, she explained. “I no longer have a place in the US. I gave up my apartment and put all my stuff in storage before I left for Ukraine. I am not going to my mother’s house in Beverly Hills. Until I find a job and get some funds, I can live at Dad’s place in Edinburgh.”

“Ya can, can ya? And it never occurred to ya that you’d be comin’ home with me?”

She blinked at his tone of voice—quiet, gruff, and with a hint of menace. “Come home with you?”

“Aye, Meg, with me.”


As she looked genuinely confused, he threw up his hands in frustration. “Because yer m’mate and mates live t’gether. Yeah?”

She blinked rapidly and a part of his brain wondered if that was some sort of feminine Morse code. He made a mental note to ask Duke.

Her mouth curved into a perfect circle and one word came out in breathy acknowledgment.

“Oh.” That quick, all was right in her world. She stepped toward him and he immediately enfolded her into his arms. “Home,” she murmured against his chest.

“Aye, lass. Home.”
There you have it. Now I’m off to add more words! Question of the day: are men and women really from different planets when it comes to communication?

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Tuesday Treats & Titles: Repeat Favorites

The good news is, I’m writing again. Slowly but daily. This is good. Eventually, I’ll have a new title to promote with real recipes. Though, all things considered, sometimes times these “off topic” posts can be interesting–at least when y’all respond. There are times they break my brain as I try to come up with something that might be entertaining. So, repeats. Who else rereads favorite books and series? 🙋🏼‍♀️

In my case, I’ll marathon a series every time there’s a new release. Considering my brain resembles the meme over there on the right, I need reminders of plot, characters, and settings. Then there are times I simply reread a series for a variety of reasons–nothing else has caught my attention, something popped up that reminded me of a series and I get an urge…and there are others but hey, boring.

Curently, I’m listening to Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series. Why? I’ll try to make the story short. I had an Audible coupon. It was about to expire. I kept searching for a book to buy but nothing jumped out. Then I tumbled onto MY KIND OF TOWN, an off-shoot short novel by Laurenston based in her Pride world. I’d read quite awhile ago and with the coupon it was only 65 cents. Hey, bargain. So I listened to it after finishing Kim Harrison’s DEAD WITCH WALKING. First time for me. But that’s a different story. Anyway, after finishing up TOWN yesterday, I decided to meander through the Pride series. Laurenston always makes me laugh.

Now to the treats portion of this post. I’m a sucker for Hint of Lime Tostitos. Ymmers! I try not to snack on them because I’ll eat the whole bag, saving them as a side with burgers or other sandwiches. But…over the weekend, I was hungry, it was long time until dinner so I started rooting around. And I decided to make cheese nachos with shredded fiesta cheese and those Lime Tostitos. Chips on a plate, cheese all over the top, about 20 seconds in the microwave. Should I confess that I fixed seconds? Oh, yeah. They were that yummy!

So that’s today’s discussion. What book/series do you reread–especially if it’s on a yearly basis? And do you experiment with “odd” snacks? If so, what did you make?

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Springing Into Monday

I swear that Mother Nature needs an intervention. Tornadoes Wednesday night and 25 degree wind chill on Saturday. Seriously?!? The bi-polar weather pretty much squashed my wisteria vine. There were 3 blossom bracts on several vines that are close to 60 years old and reach over 50 feet in the air, using a couple of ancient golden oak trees as supports. I’m still waiting to see if the honeysuckle blooms. I did have ONE daffodil that bloomed on my birthday. All the other clumps were bare. Ah well.

In other news this was mostly a downer sports week. Both my teams are in slumps. In better news, Stormy’s team won their soccer game on that very cold Saturday. It was so cold Jake got under the blanket with me. LOL

My new glasses arrived Tuesday and I picked them up on Wednesday. I can read my phone without a magnifying glass which is a huge YAY! My far vision is a bit sharper–it had been corrected by the surgery to 20/25 or 20/50 depending. That’s in the right eye. I can read most of the fine print on the TV screen now. My problem is the middle vision, which hasn’t been corrected. I’ve spent the past several days trying to find the sweet spot for my computer monitor. I’ve tried working this week and do have some new words to show for it but doing so is a literal pain in the neck. I’ve found the right heightso that I can see top to bottom through the bificals. The problem is that the optimum distance between monitor and eyes is 12″ or less for me. My desk and keyboard aren’t designed for up-close like that. It’ll take some more fiddling but I am adding new words every day, which is my goal.

I’m still in a reading slump. I finished off the Wright Pallas cat series. I’m currently listening to Kim Harrison’s DEAD WITCH WALKING. It was quite the tongue-wagger when it first released back in the day. I have no idea why I didn’t read it back then. I didn’t for whatevre reason. It’s not bad. Not sure I’ll continue after I’m done with the first.

Apparently, Pete is having an internal debate about whether to be a house cat or remain a garage cat with occaisional sleep-ins. The boys (Boone and Jake) are used to seeing him in the house and ignore him. Loki still isn’t quite sure what Pete is. That’s mainly because Loki isn’t quite sure if he’s  dog or a cat. I have hopes that Pete can teach Loki how to cat. We’ll see. When Pete is inside, my bed is his sanctuary.

And that pretty much sums up my life for last week and the weekend. I’m hoping this week is more productive. I have laundry to do at some point and a trip to Wallyworld. And then words. And desk adjustments. LOL I’ll get that figured out sooner or later. After my next cup of coffee, maybe. 😉 What about y’all? Anything good happen? Anything not so good? We’re an equal opportunity celebrate or commisserate zone.

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Friday Sinama: Maths

Math was NEVER my subject. In fact, my college calculas professor accused me of cheating because I had the write answer but “everything between it and the formula is against all analytical logic.” That’s a direct quote. So he made me work a problem “out loud” as he watched. I indeed achieved the right answer while leaving him standing there scratching his head and wondering if he shoul make the sign of the cross to ward him from my evil. He passed me “for the good of the math department.” I was a government/history major/psychology minor. I had to have one hard-core math class and statistics. Luckily, after taking an Incomplete in the statistics class taught by a math department professor, the college got smart and got their computer guy to teach statistics to non-math majors. I enjolyed the heck out of that class. Anyway, I’m much better at Southern Math. What about y’all? Oh, have an great weekend!

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Light Bulb

I was really hoping the new glasses would be a cure-all. They are and they aren’t. I have to accept that there’s been serious deterioration in my vision due to the damage to the optic nerve by the glaucoma. While the right eye isn’t nearly as bad as the left, there are still “holes.” Add in the shift from near vision, which I had my whole life, to far vision which is a whole new ballgame, I get a little off balance and dizzy as I try to shift from up to down. I’m also having to play with the monitor to get distance adjusted. Luckily, both my desk monitor and my laptop (which I seldom use) are touch screen so it’s easy to adjust. I can actually read my phone now so that’s a win! It’s just that “middle” distance for the computer work. I’ll get it figured out. Meanwhile, I’m back to work. No, really. Maybe not as steady as I’d hoped but new words! Every day! So, when the following popped up in my inbox yesterday, I “got it.”

What if suddenly, Silver, in a flash of fire and light, you got “it”!

And among other things, you suddenly understood, without a doubt, the creative power of your word.

Do you think you’d ever again utter, “it’s hard,” “it’s not working,” “something’s wrong with me,” or “I don’t know”?

You got “it”!
The Universe

P.S. Nope, Silver, you wouldn’t, not once, ever again.

As a writer, that “got it” moment is all important! There are lots of ways it happens. That perfect plot twist that’s been eluding you? Got it! The secret the MC has been hoarding all this time and it’s suddenly revealed and now all his/her actions make sense? Got it! The end-of-chapter hook line or the more important end-of-book final line? Got it! Sometimes, you might be halfway through the darn first draft before the perfect opening hits you. Yup. We all yell, “Got it! But why didn’t I figure that out sooner?!?!” A writer’s brain is a miraculous and terrifying place. Trust me, readers. Y’all just want to enjoy the final product.

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Wednesday Words: Nothing Good

Today is Wednesday so there are words. NEW words! Yay! I even got an honerable mention for the original 250 words based on this Thursday Threads prompt: *There was nothing good left.* Tosay is also April 19th. It’a an anniversay of the Murrah Federal Building bombing. It’s been 28 years. Those of us who were won’t ever forget. FYI, this snppet is from Moonstruck Mafia. Hope you enjoy.
The door clicked behind her but Maura ignored the skitter of unease that skittered up her spine. A high-backed leather chair was drawn up in front of the desk. Head high, she strode to it and sat stiffly, her gaze sharply focused on the man behind the desk. She had glimpsed him in various courtrooms and in the hallways of the courthouse but sitting here, within six feet of him? A handsome man, Brian O’Hara was in his late sixties. His cronies called him Brian Boru after an Irish king and the tribute fit since he was the king of Boston’s Irish mob.
He smiled at her, and his eyes lit with merriment. He sat there behind the elegant, antique desk looking benign and grandfatherly, which made him all the more terrifying.

“I don’t believe I ever suspected that Assistant District Attorney Maura Brannigan twould be sittin’ across m’desk from me.”

She didn’t return his smile. “And here I believed that eventually, you’d be sitting in a courtroom at the defense table while I sat at the prosecutor’s.”

“Life is funny that way.” He leaned back and studied her before his gaze focused on the tall man leaning a shoulder against the office door. “She’s sharp, Ronan.”

“Aye, Bri, she is.”

Maura kept her poker face firmly in place. The DA had once admitted that her’s was the best in the office. Not in the mood for small talk, she got right to the point. “You’re the one who wanted to see me, Mr. O’Hara. Why am I here?”

“And blunt too.”

When she glanced back, Ronan’s face matched her own. “Aye, that too.”

Brian’s expression turned shrewd, all pretense of good nature fleeing. “Would ya like to be DA, Maura Brannigan?”

For a split second, her composure shattered. Then reason—and reality—returned. “No.”

“And why not?”

“For the same reason I turned in my resignation.”

“And that would be?”

“There was nothing good left. Not anymore.”

“Fine then. Call me if ya change yer mind.”

“I won’t.”

He laughed. “Ya have yer hands full for sure, boyo.”

“Aye,” Ronan agreed.

The twinkle in his eyes made her want to snarl. Instead, she swiveled back around and eyed the old mobster. “I know Declan Donahue is your attorney.” Brian raised a brow but said nothing. “He’s good.” She waited a moment before continuing.. “I’m better. And I find that I’m in need of a job.”
There you have it. Good news is, I get to pick up my glasses this morning. Yay! That means I’ll be back at work this afternoon. t least I hope I will. I’m ready to finish CROSSFIRE and get back to Boston, and all the other settings where the characters have been jammering at me. LOL Happy Hump Day!

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Tuesday Treats & Titles: Formats

I tried my first audio book on a long road trip. One, I cant read in the car–even when I’m not driving. And I’ve been an ebook fan for…gosh….15 years? Not too long after they first came. A close friend gave me a first edition for Christmas. I now have a Kindle Fire but it’s been several years since I opened it. As my eyesight began to deteroiate, I went pretty much exclusively with autdio books. Sadly, not every book I want to “read” is available in audio. Onely one of mine is available and that’s because the publsiher had a deal with a start-up auiod book production cojmpany. If I win the lotterly, ALL my self-pubs will be released in audio.

Once I get my new prescription glasses, I have hopes that I’ll be able to read without watery eyes and for longer than about 5 minutes at a time. I’m really looking foward to their arrival to see how it works out. Does that mean I’ll give up audio? Oh heck no! I can listen in the car as I run errand. I can listen as I cook and do KP, and laundry. But if I can see a book and/or my Kindle, I’ll be able to read some of those books on my list that aren’t available yet.

The other reason I like auiod books? I can sanck and drink while I’m listening! No greasy fingerprints on page or screen. No dribbled drink. I mean, I can munch Cheetos! Or I could if there were any in the house. I refuse to buy a bag (or 10) or the giant plastic “barrel” of the cheese balls. I pop those things like there’s no tomorrow. Ooh! And movie theatre butter popcorn! I can munch that with an audio book.

Now I’m hungry. And I’m headed to Wallyworld today. Yeah, yeah, but Real Life raised it’s head yesterday so I didn’t make my grocery run. Today. And I’m betting there’s a display of those blasted cheese balls right there where I walk in. Gah!

So, what title am I currently listening to? Suzanna Wrights WHNE HE”S TORN (Olympic Pride #5). It’s the new release I did the marathon relisten to catch up with the Pallas Cats and assorted other characters. This one is about Deke, a Pallas Cat pride enforcer, and Bailey, a black mamba shifter, who is the family-by-choise sister of the pride’s alpha female. (Havana is a Tasmanian Devil.) Fun times.

So, today’s poll:

1.. Favorite book format?
2. Catnip/crack snack attack food?
3. What are you currently reading?

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