May 30, 2014

What I'm Reading

Sad to say, last week was another one of those weeks where I didn't get much reading done. I was too busy doing other things. But I did manage to sneak a little in.

Electronic Books

Once again there was no progress on The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian, Mr. Love by Sally Mason, or Dark Love by Claudy Conn. It's been so long since I've opened any of these books that I'm almost considering taking them off the list altogether. However, I'm hoping to start adding a ride on the stationary bike to my daily routine, and reading while I'm riding makes it seem less like exercise and more like . . . reading.

Again progress was made on the Darlings of Paranormal Romance anthology. Did I claim that A Grave Exchange, by Tara Rose was why I suffered through the less professional stories? While it was a refreshing change from the others, it wasn't the best story in the collection. That honour goes to Tuesday's Child, by Dale Mayer.

All I can say is - wow. In fact, this book impressed me so much that I looked it up and sure enough, it's available as a stand alone for a Free Download.

"What she doesn’t want…is exactly what he needs.
Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can’t control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she’s tapped into a killer–or rather, his victims. Each woman’s murder, blow-by-blow, ravages her mind until their death releases her back to her body. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her?

Detective Brandt Sutherland only trusts hard evidence, yet Sam’s visions offer clues he needs to catch a killer. The more he learns about her incredible abilities, however, the clearer it becomes that Sam’s visions have put her in the killer’s line of fire. Now Brandt must save her from something he cannot see or understand…and risk losing his heart in the process.
As danger and desire collide, passion raises the stakes in a game Sam and Brandt don’t dare lose."

It made me happy I've stuck with Darlings and even happier that I could retain a copy even if I delete the rest of the collection. :-)

I also read the next offering in the collection, Virgin Moon, by Ally Thomas. At only 72 pages it's more of a novella than a novel, the story of a vampire and a virgin werewolf finding true love at first sight. There's a lot more to it than that, but that's the bare bones of the plot. While I didn't mind the fact the point of view alternated between Emily (the werewolf) and Vincent (the vampire), I didn't think it was necessary to announce it at the beginning of each chapter.

Tree Books

Again I didn't get back to Hunting the Corrigan's Blood by Holly Lisle. I actually had intended to take it out onto the deck with me at one point, but then I got distracted and, well, you know how it goes. ;-)


I read three or four more stories from Sword and Sorceress V. Slow and steady wins the race with this book it seems.

And there was no progress on Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint. It's sitting on the dining room table waiting for me, but the only time I'm there is at breakfast, when I use that time for making out my daily to do list.

May 28, 2014

And So It Continues . . .

Last week I rearranged some of the furniture in my office so that I could move the cabinet I wanted my new printer to sit on. If you missed the post, you can find it HERE.

I guess the hubby decided if I'd go to all the trouble of clearing out the closet, I must be serious about the whole reading nook thing. So Saturday he spent the day putting up the strapping for the shelves, which is not as simple as it sounds. Each piece had to be cut individually because the walls in the closet are not square. They're not out by a lot, just enough to make it a pain in the butt.

But first things first. First there were still a few items in the closet to get rid of:

That's Julius in the plastic box on the desk, just in case you were wondering. :-) But sorry cats, everything had to go, shelves, desk, even that weird wooden trim.

Next up, the end pieces for the shelves and the strapping to hold the shelves up. If I was a more persnickety sort of person, I probably would have stripped the groady wall paper off before the hubby put the strapping up, but A) the walls were going to be painted and hidden behind books, and B) the paper appeared to have taken root in the walls - it would have taken forever to strip it off.

The following day it was my turn to play in the closet; namely, painting:

Okay, in this next picture it looks much shinier than it is because the paint's still wet:

You may be wondering about my colour choice. Actually, some people have questioned my sanity regarding my colour choice. My desk is black, my filing cabinets are black - heck, even my printer and computer are black. Plus, don't forget that most of that space will be covered in books and a padded seat. AND this is going to be my Science Fiction Space, and I fully intend to stick glow in the dark stars on the ceiling in there. :-)

And this is pretty much what it looked like when I was finished (please excuse the smudges on the camera lens):

The cats have been boycotting my office so far. Part of it is because of the paint smell, I'm sure, but the other part is because they're miffed at me for getting rid of "their" desk and bin. But I'll make it up to them. Not only will I be willing to share the seat in my nook, I spent yesterday under my desk rearranging the cords and plugs from my two heavy duty power bars. With the cords out of the way there's room for cat bed under the desk - the ultimate cave for one of them.

Hopefully by next week I'll have some shelves up in there, if not shelves with books on them. Stay tuned!

May 26, 2014

Montgolfier Monday

montgolfier ~ balloon using fire for propulsion

Happy Memorial Day to my American Friends! I hope wherever you are the weather is what you want it to be and you're all enjoying your holiday weekend.

My weekend was sunny, but it didn't really start to warm up until late Sunday afternoon. While it was nice if you were in the sun and sheltered from the breeze, the breeze itself was freezing. Which means it was too cold to have the windows open on Saturday.

The neighbor who's been feeding Daphne has predicted that the eggs will be hatching in about a week. Daphne comes to visit our pool every day where she has a blast flapping around while she has her bath and then drying off on the side of the pool before heading back to the nest. While I don't expect her to bring her babies to the pool, I have high hopes that she'll bring them over to the pond for a visit.

By rearranging the office to get rid of the superfluous furniture, the hubby realized I was serious in my desire to create a reading nook. So he spent his Saturday putting up the strapping for me, and I spent Sunday painting the inside of the closet. After months of talking about it, it's nice to actually be working on it, however the work is going much slower than I had anticipated. You can expect a full report on my Wildcard Wednesday, with pictures. ;-)

I've used up all my green yarn making hexagons, so now I have to figure out the pattern I want to have them in for my throw. There's three shades of green plus a soft yellow. I'll be joining them using black yarn in either a scallop join or a braided join. Whichever I'm able to master the easiest.

Once that's done I'll be at loose ends again (no pun intended) as far as a television craft goes. I promised a baby quilt for my daughter to give to a friend - maybe I should go through my material stash to see if I have any I could use to embroider on.

Last week I started writing a brand new story that's a bit of a departure for me. Not only is it a young adult romance, it's from the male point of view. The real challenge for this story is keeping it to short story length. I keep coming up with thoughts on how to make it longer, but I really want to stay with the original idea, which was just a nice, straightforward, young romance.

On deck for the week will be finishing my reading nook, and maybe getting some work done on Lucky Dog. For some reason, that book just doesn't want to seem to write itself. ;-)

May 23, 2014

What I'm Reading

Despite the fact I had a lot of other stuff going on, I managed a fair bit of reading last week. And I've found a new way of keeping track of what I'm reading too. I add it to the bottom of my daily to-do list so I don't forget (which I tend to do).

Electronic Books

Once again there was no progress on The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian, Mr. Love by Sally Mason, or Dark Love by Claudy Conn, but again progress was made on the Darlings of Paranormal Romance anthology.

I read the fifth story/novel/novella, entitled A Grave Exchange, by Tara Rose. This is why I suffered through the . . . shall we say, less professional stories. To get to one like this that was thoroughly enjoyable. It was about a centuries old vampire who finds his soul mate and was way too short. :-)

I also read The Early Girl Gets the Blood Wolf, by Michele Bardsley. This short story is part of her Broken Hearts series, but it's still enjoyable on its own. I believe it's still free on Smashwords, so get it while you can!

Tree Books

Again I didn't get back to Hunting the Corrigan's Blood by Holly Lisle. I meant to, I honestly did, but I just didn't have time.

I was in dire need of some mind candy on the weekend, so while I was cleaning out one of the bookcases in my office, I picked up Million-Dollar Nanny, by Jacqueline Diamond. I enjoyed this rather sweet romance about a socialite who loses all her money and ends up working as nanny for her handsome neighbor. I think the thing I liked best about her was that although she was ill-equipped for situation she now found herself in, she never lost her optimism, no matter what was thrown at her.


Although this has been one of my more consistent reads, I only managed a couple more stories from Sword and Sorceress V.

I'm afraid there was only a little, tiny bit of progress on Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint. What can I say? Apparently I'm rather fickle when it comes to my books. ;-)

May 21, 2014

Just The Beginning . . .

As I mentioned in Monday's post, I got a new printer last week. And as I may also have mentioned, I want to turn the closet in my office, which I currently call my printing alcove, into a reading nook. If you need/want to take a closer look, just click on the picture to make it bigger. Here's a picture of how things looked when I started:

At the back of the closet is the black cabinet I keep my office supplies in, and sitting on top of it is an incredibly heavy colour laser printer. With a bunch of junk piled beside it. To the left of this is a small desk, on top of which is a plastic bin the cats like to sleep in, and in front of that is my old ink jet printer.

The first step in creating my reading nook is to clear out the furniture. See that bookcase against the wall behind my desk? That's where the black cabinet needed to go. My first task was to clear everything off the book case that wasn't a book (i.e. breakable). Because I have laminate flooring in my office, it was easy to just slide the bookcase to where I wanted it, which in this case was in front of my desk. What's not shown in the picture is the chair that used to be in that spot.

Not exactly inspiring, is it? The bookcase is too tall to really "fit" there. And too narrow. And it just looks out of place. And yes, that is a pillow under my desk for a cat to sleep on.

Now . . . many, many years ago, when I had far fewer books, my husband (who can be pretty handy when he wants to be) made me a pair of bookcases for the office I had at the time, which was across the hall from the one I have now. One was for paperback books and one was for hardbacks. The beauty of these bookcases is there is very little wasted space as they are only seven inches deep, about half the depth of commercial bookcases.

Like I said, though, this was years ago. The paperback bookcase is in the dining room now and is slowing filling with CDs. And it's covered in plants. The hardback one ended up upstairs in the guest room. This bookcase is wider than the one I tried in front of my desk, but it is shorter and less deep.

Of course the first thing one must do before moving bookcases up and down stairs, is unload all the books out of them:

Here's the picture of the new bookcase in front of my desk, filled with all the books from the old one:

Alrighty then. The bookcase situation was taken care of. Next was moving the black cabinet into place on the wall where the bookcase was. My hubby took care of the laser printer (and by take care of I mean he risked life and limb by moving it into the room across the hall). So then I unloaded the bottom half of the cabinet (which was 90% paper) and it should have been a simple matter of sliding the cabinet into place, right? Wrong:

It may not be obvious from the picture, but I couldn't get it past the filing cabinet. And you know what that meant, it meant I had to move the filing cabinet out of the way. And to do that, I had to at least clear off the top of the filing cabinet first before I could slide it away.

I hope you're impressed by the stack of paper products on the desk and the pile of binders on top of the ink jet printer. And I might point out that that wasn't the entire contents of that black cabinet. ;-)

It took most of the day, but finally the black cabinet was in place and I could unpack my new printer. The picture really doesn't do it justice. And you can't really see it clearly, but there's a cat in that plastic bin on the desk that's still in the closet. It's not the usual cat though, this one is Taz, the patriarch of my cat family. Usually it's Julius in there, but he doesn't like change so he hasn't been in my office since Friday.

And today I spent considerable time cleaning up my desk area so I could take a picture of what my work space looks like now.

Be impressed while you can, I'm sure it won't look like this for long. But the nice thing about the bookcase in front of my desk - it hides the mess on the other side. There's a box of stuff for charity, a box of books I'm getting rid of, and various other assorted "things" that don't have a home yet. There was also a big box of paper that did not go back into the storage cabinet, and that's all finding a new home with my artistic writing buddy who has grandkids that can use it for drawing on or writing on or whatever their little hearts desire. :-)

The next step in the nook process will be getting rid of the desk in the closet (sorry Taz!), unloading the stuff on the shelf in the top, and then we can commence with the building of shelves.

May 19, 2014

Malaxate Monday

malaxate ~ to soften by kneading, rubbing or mixing with a liquid

Happy Victoria Day to my fellow Canadians! And condolences to my American friends 'cause you'll have to wait for your holiday weekend. :-D

So . . . I got a new printer last week. Now you might be wondering why this is such a big deal, people get printers all the time, right? Except getting this printer meant shuffling some furniture around in my office, including changing out a couple of book cases. The fact that this little project took the entire weekend means it's worthy of a post of its own, so I'll use it for the subject of my Wildcard Wednesday. And just to make it worth your while, there'll be pictures.

Daphne and Donald (and their nest full of eggs) are doing well, despite the drop in temperature lately. Daphne's been pretty much glued to her nest, so my neighbor has taken to feeding her. The irony of this is this is the same neighbour who chides me every year for doing the same thing. So ha on her! :-)

We've passed the mid-point in the month of May. Aren't we supposed to be complaining about being too hot by now? Despite the fact we had sun yesterday (first time in almost a week) it was still cold enough for a coat, and this morning the heat was coming on. The rest of the week it's supposed to be around 14 C, which is mid 50s F.

Yesterday (among other things) I went on a baking marathon. Baking was on my to-do list almost every day last week, and what stirred me to finally get around to it was the expectation of a friend from out of town coming to visit. The friend never showed up, but I'm still glad I got the baking done. Before lunch I did a double batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (one for the hubby and one for the daughter); 36 mini banana muffins (12 of which had chocolate chips in them); 36 mini cheese muffins; and then later in the afternoon I did two dozen chocolate cupcakes and even iced them. What can I say, I was on a roll! LOL

It's been in my head for a while now to bake mini muffins and freeze them so I'll have a variety and can thaw out just a few at a time, like if I need to take something to a coffee date or have someone drop by unexpected. The key to being a good hostess is to be prepared. ;-)

Last week I not only got both the installments for Earth posted, as promised, but I got a wee bit of other writing done as well. I've been playing around with a horror short story and actually got some work done on it. Go me!

This week's challenge will include finishing this story, working on Lucky Dog and catching up on my email.

Congratulations to Maureen, Alex, and Wendy, the winners of An Elemental Water from the Goodreads giveaway. I think it's my best Elemental book yet, so I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

May 16, 2014

What I'm Reading

I didn't get as much reading in as I would have liked, but I was pretty busy last week. I did manage to buy a couple more tree books though. They're currently sitting on my desk, waiting to be placed in the "to be read" line-up. ;-)

Don't forget to check out this week's free story, Five Starving Cats and a Dead Dog, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I'm pretty sure I've read this one before in an anthology, but it didn't take anything away from it.

And there's also Necromancy in Naat , by Clark Ashton Smith. I thought zombies had only been around since the 60's, with Night of the Living Dead, but apparently I was wrong. This zombie story is from a 1936 edition of Weird Tales.

Electronic Books

Once again there was no progress on The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian, Mr. Love by Sally Mason, or Dark Love by Claudy Conn, but again progress was made on the Darlings of Paranormal Romance anthology.

This is actually an anthology of novels, and I finished the western werewolf one, Waking Up Dead, by Catherine Wolffe, which appears to be part of a series. When I said last week that it was better than I expected, I meant the story idea itself, even though it read like fan fiction for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer. It was a little rough around the edges and badly in need of editing, or at the very least proof reading. While I could overlook glaring spelling errors such as "Liken" for "Lycan" as the author's take on the werewolves themselves, other spelling mistakes, like using "suave" for "salve" really set my teeth on edge. And imagine my surprise when I got to the end of this novel and found out this is an award-winning author. Seriously? What was the award for, inventive spelling?

Tree Books

Again I didn't get back to Hunting the Corrigan's Blood by Holly Lisle. It's now on the floor beside my chair, but once again I just wasn't in the mood for science fiction.


I'm finished with Sword and Sorceress IV, and I'm about three stories into Sword and Sorceress V.

I'm afraid there was no progress on Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint, last week either. I have it on the dining room table, the theory being that I'll read while I eat. But I haven't been eating at the table lately.

What can I say? It was just one of those weeks. :-)

May 14, 2014

The Grand Finale . . .

'Tis the season of grand finales. Television finales, that is. It's the time of year when you don't dare miss an episode of your favourite show or you might miss an important lead up to the grand finale, which will probably be a cliff hanger.

What is up with all the cliff-hangers this month? I mean, yeah, I understand the networks do this because they want to keep your interest until the show comes back for the new season, but still. Maybe they should just trust that their show is good enough to sustain the audience and keep them loyal. I mean, I'd have watched Castle next season because I love the show. I didn't need the end of season cliff-hanger this week. (No spoilers here!)

I'm not a fan of cliff-hangers. Not in books and definitely not in television programs. I can't count the number of times I watched a television show that ended its season on a cliff-hanger and then never returned. Gone. Vanished. Irritating as all get out. There's been a bunch of shows I was attached to that ended like that, although the only one I can think of at the moment is Peter Benchley's Amazon.

And what's with these short seasons?? Yes, technically there are 13 weeks to a season. But we're talking calendar seasons here, not television seasons. I have a boxed set of Lost in Space (yes, I am a dork) and the first season is 29 episodes long. I watched the season finale of The Returned last weekend. It was episode number 8 and they're calling it a season. Really?

I watch a lot of shows on Showcase, and what irritates the crap out of me is the way it starts a new show, sucks you into that little universe, and then 10-13 weeks later it's gone. No repeat season. Sometimes it will reappear a year later with new episodes, sometimes it never returns. A year is a long time to wait for new episodes of a show that's become a favourite. I've actually forgotten about a show until it makes its return for another season.

Does anyone else miss the anticipation in the fall when the new season of a show would start, run for around 20 weeks, then you'd get repeats throughout the spring where you had a chance to catch up on episodes you missed? And then would come the summer where the networks would test a show over the course of six to eight weeks. If the ratings were good, it might end up in the Fall line-up for the following year. Nowadays we don't even get the repeat season, which is really irritating to those of us who don't/can't watch shows online. We've got On Demand, but it doesn't show everything.

I'm not even going to go into the Space Channel's lame attempt to keep Dr. Who fans interested by running repeat episodes of the last three doctors. They seem to do that every time there's been a long wait for new episodes so we've seen them all before. And before that. And before that. A better idea would be to show some of the early Dr. Who episodes. You know, the ones with Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker.

Maybe those network executives should put me in charge of programming. Yeah, that's the ticket. Add an all Dr. Who channel and ban all reality TV.

Sounds like a plan to me!

May 12, 2014

Madarosis Monday

madarosis ~ loss of eyelashes or eyebrows

How was everyone's weekend? Even if you're not a mother yourself, you probably have one and I hope you showed her a little appreciation because after all, if it weren't for her you wouldn't be sitting here reading this.

I had my Mother's Day on Saturday. My daughter and I had a day together of shopping and talking and drinking Chai Frappuccinos. She introduced me to Greek food for lunch and then we hit Chapters, which for you non-Canadians is a humungous bookstore. The selection was a little overwhelming, but we managed to spend a buck or two there. ;-)

Speaking of mothers . . . Remember my ducky friends, Daphne and Donald? Apparently they're going to be parents. A neighbour startled them when she went to throw something into the big cement fireplace she has at the back of her yard. They flew off, leaving their eight eggs behind, but they've since come back and I've seen Daphne still consorting with the drakes that have been hanging around our pool.

For those of you who're curious (or not, as the case may be,LOL), I thought you might want an update on my little gourd seedling:

As you can see, not only is it flourishing in its tiny little pot, I have a second one sprouting as well. I really must get those planted in a bigger pot. It's still a bit too chilly for them to be outside on their own - we've even debated about leaving my deck plant outside at night. My deck plant is a beautiful pot of red, yellow, and orange petunias and I'd hate to lose them to the cold. However, petunias are generally cold tolerant, so cross your fingers for me.

If the word for the previous week was struggle, the word for this past week would have to be difficult. You know, I started out trying to be optimistic, but gave up around Wednesday. Wednesday was another one of those days where I didn't bother to make out a list because I had a lot on the go. I had an appointment in the morning, so I decided since I'd have the car anyway I might as well move my lunch date from Thursday to Wednesday. It worked out well for both of us. We had lunch, we had tea, we got some writing done in the tea shop . . . . It wasn't until later that it hit the fan.

I'm sure no one wants the gory details, but whatever I was hit with late Wednesday night lasted well into Thursday. But there are two good things about it. One, I was able to spend most of the day reading (unlike the previous weekend where I wasn't even able to do that); and two, I see my doctor tomorrow and I'm not leaving until we come up with a plan for dealing with it. I lost three out of seven days to health issues last week, and life is just too short for this crap.

So this week I've got some catching up to do. I made some foolish promise about posting two installments of Earth this week (to make up for the one I missed), so the first one will be up tomorrow. *knock wood*

The writing of it will be a tad tricky, time-wise because when I made that promise I totally forgot that the hubby and I will be going out of town today to see when his hip over-haul will be. However, I may not be able to use that time for writing, but I'll bet I can sneak some reading in while we're in the waiting room. ;-)

I ran out of the green yarn I was using to crochet hexagons on the weekend, so I'm hoping we have time to make a pit stop at Michael's so I can get some more. This started out to be another scrap afghan, but I really like the greens so now I'm thinking of staying with those shades and making it a throw for my book nook.

In the meantime, because I fall asleep if I have to sit in front of the TV without anything to do (and no, I can't write in front of the TV - it's too distracting) I've started a round, ripple crochet afghan using a fuzzy, variegated orange and white yarn I got from my mother-in-law. I've just gotten to the part where it starts to ripple, so I'll post a picture of it when I'm a little further along. I have to check my stash, but I think I might have some white that matches that yarn so maybe I'll throw in the odd white stripe as well.

Are you on Goodreads? There's only a few days left to enter the giveaway for one of three paperback copies of An Elemental Water.

You gotta enter to win. So enter now, and good luck to you!

May 9, 2014

What I'm Reading

You're not going to believe this, but I actually got a fair amount of reading in last week. Be still my heart! Of course it helped that I spent almost half of the last week under the weather, even though part of that time I couldn't even focus on the television, let alone a book.

I read another online story last week, Game Testing, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. If you're a fan of role playing games, D&D in particular, you don't want to miss this story. But you need to hurry because it's only available until Monday when it's changed to a new story.

Electronic Books

Once again there was no progress on The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian, Mr. Love by Sally Mason, or Dark Love by Claudy Conn, but progress was made on the Darlings of Paranormal Romance anthology.

I finally started that werewolf story and it's much better than I expected. And not only does it have werewolves, it has vampires as well. It's set in the old West during the tail end of the American Revolution, which seems like an odd choice for a werewolf story but it works. I didn't get as far as I would have liked in the story, 'cause even though I set aside time for reading, when I went to turn George on his battery was dead. *sigh* I really have to stay on top of keeping him charged up.

Tree Books

I finished Dreamwalker, by Kathleen Dante. It was totally yummy. The main characters, Damon and Rory, were strong and independent, so seeing them get together and learning to trust each other was a treat.

Again, I didn't get back to Hunting the Corrigan's Blood by Holly Lisle. It's now on the floor beside my chair, but once again I just wasn't in the mood for science fiction.


I'm almost finished Sword and Sorceress IV , just a couple of stories to go and then it's on to the next one.

Reading Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint, has been putting me in a artsy mood lately. Probably because the book itself centers around an artist. But it's not painting, so much, I'm in the mood for, it's something different . . . like a collage, or papier mâché.

I was at a book sale last weekend, but kept my purchases to a minimum. One of the treasures I had my eye on was a beautifully bound set of Harvard classics which could have been mine for a measly $10.00. But while they would have looked pretty in the book case in my guest room, the chances of me ever finding the time to read them was slim to none, so I gave them a pass.

I make no such promises of restraint when it comes to my visit to Chapters this weekend.

May 8, 2014

Sorry Folks

Due to the re-emergence of my illness from the weekend, there will be no installment of Earth today. I'd like to be able to say I'd get it done later today, but it's just not going to happen.

If nothing else takes me by surprise, I'll try and get two installments up next week. Cross your fingers. :-D

May 7, 2014

On Piercings . . .

Are your ears pierced?

I was sitting at my desk procrastinating working and found a pair of earrings in a small dish of jewelry and on a whim I put them in the pierced holes in my ears. It's been a while I've had earrings in so I had to work at it a bit, and I had to wonder when I got out of the habit of wearing earrings. I have a great collection of earrings - I used to really love them, the funkier the better. Now weeks can go by before I remember to put them in.

Getting your ears pierced was a really big deal when I was a teenager. My father refused to give me permission (which meant he wouldn't pay for it) so I ended up going to the doctor to get them done. This was many years ago and the studs the doctor used looked like Frankenstein bolts. When the healing period was over, my father had to use two pairs of pliers to get them out. I had these tiny gold hoops called "keepers" ready, but try as I might, I could not get those suckers in. I'd start feeding one into the new hole in my ear, but instead of going through to the other side it'd go down into my ear lobe.

Nevertheless, I survived, and the holes in my ears survived to this day. The second time I got my ears pierced was many years later. This time I went to a hair salon and the studs that were used were much prettier than the previous ones. But pretty is as pretty does, and these ones kept getting infected. I received a set of gold studs as a gift and discovered that these were the only earrings the new piercings would tolerate. So naturally I lost one of them.

Despite the fact I keep forgetting to wear earrings, I've never regretted getting my ears pierced. But I've also never had the urge to get anything else pierced. Have you seen the things people have been getting pierced these days? Go ahead and put "piercing images" into a Google search. I double-dog dare you!

And what about the people who put the plugs in their ears? I believe it's called gauging. It's where a series of progressing larger rings are inserted into the ear lobe to stretch it to however large you want the hole in your lobe. Some of them are huge! And I'd seen it done on the face as well, right below the lower lip so you can actually see the person's teeth in their mouth. And speaking of mouths . . . when did it become fashionable to have your tongue split?

I'm not even going to go into all the crap that can be inserted under your skin to give you a three-dimensional tattoo or horns on your head. Be brave, check out This Link to see a few examples of what I'm talking about.

What were these people thinking?

May 5, 2014

Microseismograph Monday

microseismograph ~ instrument for recording small or distant earthquakes

Did anyone local hear/feel that loud boom around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday? Apparently a meteor struck somewhere to the north of us. You can read up about it HERE. I think my favourite explanation is, it being May the 4th, it was the Millennium Falcon firing off a salute as it flew by. ;-)

If I could sum up last week in one word, that word would be struggle.

It was actually a good week to test out the ability of my daily lists to help me get things done even when I didn't feel like doing anything. Tuesday and Wednesday had the added bonus of being stormy, but I made out my daily to-do lists and item by item I forced myself to get things done, if for no other reason than so I could have the fleeting satisfaction of crossing them off my list.

Thursday, however, I fell off the list wagon completely and didn't get one item crossed off. Friday was another day though, and things actually started to pick up. I had high hopes for the weekend, until . . .

Late Friday night I was hit with a severe IBS attack which lasted right through until Sunday. I pulled myself together just long enough on Saturday to attended the St. Peter's book sale, but most of the weekend was spent in my jammies, curled up in the recliner. Good thing I hadn't planned on getting anything specific done.

I'm starting out this week with the belief I'm going to do better. After all, it can't be worse than last week, right? *knock wood* And maybe by believing I'm going to have a good week I'll actually have one for a change. :-)

The one thing that was not getting crossed off my list most days last week was writing. And by writing I mean something other than blog posts and emails. I actually did get some other writing done on Friday, and it felt good. I want to feel that this week.

So cross your fingers for me - I have a feeling I'm going to need all the help I can get. :-D

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You gotta enter to win. So enter now, and good luck to you!

May 2, 2014

What I'm Reading

I know you can't tell by the last few posts, but I am an avid reader, honestly!

It wasn't on my list, but I couldn't resist a creepy little story that came up in my Facebook feed this week, Over the River, by P. Schuyler Miller, via Weird Tales Magazine. It was billed as a vampire story, but to me he seemed more like a zombie. Go ahead and give it a read and decide for yourself. :-)

Electronic Books

Once again there was no progress on The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian, Mr. Love by Sally Mason, Dark Love by Claudy Conn, or the Darlings of Paranormal Romance anthology.

Poor George. I've been neglecting him terribly lately. If I don't make some progress on my electronic books this week I might be forced to go back to the stationary bike. My Kindle was perfect for when I was riding the bike, only I haven't ridden in ages. So how's this for incentive? If I don't start reading my e-books on my own, then I'm going to start riding the bike again so I'll read them while exercising. :-)

Tree Books

No progress on Dreamwalker, by Kathleen Dante this week. To be honest, it got buried in the stack beside my chair and I sort of forgot about it.

And again I didn't get back to Hunting the Corrigan's Blood by Holly Lisle. It's actually on the top of the stack beside my chair, but I just wasn't in the mood for science fiction.


Still plugging away with Sword and Sorceress IV and still enjoying it thoroughly.

The one book I did seem to make time for was Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint. I managed another couple of chapters on the weekend and then a little bit here and there during the week.

My goal of trying to read at least one chapter from each of the books I have on the go was kind of a bust. While it might work for my tree books, it's a bit of a pain in the butt when it comes to the electronic books. With the e-books I need to just pick one and finish it, then go on to the next one.

And no starting a new book until I get the others finished!