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Things I Don’t Understand

Things I Don’t Understand

That’s probably not a good blog post title, because there are a million things I don’t understand. Let’s narrow this topic down to books, writing, and authors.

By the way, I use writers more than authors. The word authors sounds pretentious to me. Like someone in a silk blouse with a limp bow declaring, “I am an auteur,” in a haughty voice. Well, la di da.

Anyway, back to the topic. Amazon sent me a recommendation for a book to read the other day. It was a book on writing by a woman who had only written one book – the book on writing. Okay. She had never written a novel, but she knew all about how NOT to do it. Sometimes, the perspective from an outsider looking in is a good one and can yield some insightful recommendations. However, in my humble opinion, writing is different. It’s like someone on the ground telling a trapeze artist how to feel for the wire and how to anticipate his partner. You kinda/sorta have to have walked a little in the moccasins of a writer in order to understand the process.

The other day I happened onto an essay written by a woman who wanted to tell all her fellow authors that she was, well, better than they were. She had a more literary mind. Her prose was superlative because it harkened back to the giants of yesteryear. She had schooled herself to appreciate the finer points of language and the classics. She knew form and function.

She had written one book.

In case you were wondering – they were two separate people. Writers who are evidently above the fray. All of us other hoi polloi writers, down in the trenches, can’t compare.

Rolling my eyes, shaking my head, while muttering two words under my breath (and they aren’t happy birthday). 🙂

Snippets on a Friday – and a Southern Belle Type Mini-Rant

Snippets on a Friday – and a Southern Belle Type Mini-Rant

I ran across another author blog where said author demanded that people contribute to Patreon with the following words: “This is a tough business and it’s difficult for creators to get paid what they deserve. If you want us to create more – and work less at jobs that pay the bills – then show your appreciation for our creative abilities.”

I almost threw my mouse at the monitor. Good grief, what an entitled twit. I don’t wish ill on anyone, but I do hope that she re-evaluates her Patreon blurb or even having Patreon. I hate the idea of writers using Patreon. It’s like a tin cup waved in front of your face, but the waver isn’t blind or homeless or disadvantaged.

A website, if you build it well, must have security, a good host, and lots of built in safeguards. None of those things are free and some of them aren’t cheap. Yet I don’t expect anyone to pay for my website or subsidize me as I work at my career. I dislike Patron so much that it immediately turns me off when I see it on an author’s website. 

How do you feel about Patreon?

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Aquafaba is the liquid produced when you cook chickpeas. I never paid any attention to it when I used chickpeas – or garbanzo beans – I simply drained it and that was it.

Did you know that you can whip it and it has the consistency and look of whipped cream? I learned that little trick from a cooking show. The only downside – if you want vegan whipped cream (and coconut milk is another way) – is that you have to whip it for a long time. The best tool is a stand mixer. I don’t have one, only a portable mixer.

Have you made aquafaba whipped cream?

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Stanley is adding to the repertoire of words he knows. Since we exercise first thing in the morning – which means he gets his Kong treat stuffed with Kong peanut butter – he now knows the word GYM. He also knows OFFICE, WORK, PLAY, OUTSIDE, BYE-BYE, DINNER, TOY, BONE, TIME, HERE, MOVE, BED, and GARAGE and matches appropriate action to those words. The funniest one is TIME. When I say, “Well, Stanley, it’s TIME,” he’ll run and jump up on me because that means it’s time for his treat – the Oravet dental bone he loves. 

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Thank heavens for the internet. I have a problem with one of my Roombas – Pedro is acting wonky. I’ve tried to fix him, but have been unable to repair the problem. However, after only about a minute of looking I found the answer on YouTube. So, this weekend I’ll be fixing both Roombas. It’s a case of dust getting into the gears, so it wouldn’t hurt to do both.

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My son is moving to a new, bigger apartment in the same complex next week. It’s in a lovely area of town with very little crime or turnover. He’s had his current apartment for fifteen years, so this is a big deal for him. He doesn’t like change, but he’s ready for a slightly larger apartment. I haven’t done anything but advise and even that was minimal. Sometimes, mothers should be seen and not heard. 🙂

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Have a lovely, safe Daylight Savings Time weekend.

The Weirdness of Me, Part ?

The Weirdness of Me, Part ?

When I finish a major book I go into several different modes. The first is the Oh my gosh my brain is tired do I really have to do anything intelligent for a little while? Television features prominently in that mode.

Then I segue into the organizational mode. I plot out the next year. I figure out what I want to write, where it fits into my overall plan, and current contracts, and get the whole schedule worked out.

I have an idea for a new book and a novella that I really want to write.

The last stage, prior to beginning a new project is the Clean everything you can think of, even those things that really don’t matter. This might be thought of as the most dangerous stage. If I get too involve in cleaning I can revert to the Exhaustion or the Planning mode.

I’m currently in the Cleaning Mode, heaven help me.

I’ve been going through all the draft posts I have up on my blog. There are currently 97 draft posts. I doubt that I will publish more than ten of those. I get a wild idea and write it, but between the idea and its execution I’ll change my mind. Plus, I constantly edit myself. There are things happening in our world that make me sick to my stomach. I’m terrified at the precedent they set, yet you don’t come here for political or cultural speak. I like to think that this is a mini-oasis from the world around us.

I found a bunch of posts referencing Flash the Wonder Pooch. That’s how long some of them have been there. I was so blessed to have him in my life. I wish he could have been healthier. I certainly tried to make him happy. I think he and Lord Stanley would have been great buddies.

I’ve cleaned my office, which mainly consists of asking myself these questions: Why did you put this here? Why didn’t you put this up? Or why did you buy two dozen of these? (I confess to having a pack rat mentality that I’m trying to stop.)

The top of my desk looks great and I congratulate myself whenever I walk into my office.

I’ve even cleaned the pantry, the refrigerator, and the cupboards. I am edging toward the master bedroom closet, but that is a scary, scary place.

How about you? When you finish something major do you have a routine you follow? What does your master bedroom closet look like? (Mine is kinda/sorta a disaster.)

 

 

The Strangeness of Me

The Strangeness of Me

I am sitting here on a Monday morning staring at my messy desk. Sunday was the epitome of lazy. I finished my personal taxes and sent everything off to my CPA, who’s currently working on my LLC taxes. Other than that, I didn’t do diddly squat. Nothing. Nada. I couldn’t even be bothered to make a list of everything I had to do. Stanley and I napped and played, napped and watched TV, then napped again.

I felt like a slug.

But back to this morning. I looked at the To Love a Duchess audio CD set (my copy) and finally opened it. I’d never opened a set before. There they were, all those CDs read by an actor.

I have to confess that audio CDs drive me batty. I don’t like the actors changing voices and pretending to be different characters. I’d rather hear a computer read a book to me. When it’s MY book it’s even weirder. It doesn’t sound at all like I heard it in my head. I’m not only disoriented. I’m disturbed. Go figure.

I sat here imagining the actor reading my book. He had to become as familiar with my work as I am. It’s one thing to line edit. Or to be a proof editor. You’re looking at the words arranged in a sentence. Or the story cohesion. But reading it aloud, putting emphasis on each character makes you, well, intimate with the work.

It was the oddest sensation just holding those CDs and knowing that this actor and I had a weird and tenuous bond.

I won’t listen to his rendition of my book. As I said audio CDs drive me batty. I don’t want to know how he sounds as the hero. Or what kind of voice he uses for the heroine. Nope.

I couldn’t help but wonder, however, as he’s reading, if he has any particular thoughts of his own. Things like: crap, if I’d only studied engineering I wouldn’t have to read romance novels for a living. 🙂

 

 

Once More Into the Breach, Y’all

Once More Into the Breach, Y’all

I’ve always maintained that I’m not a programmer, developer, or coder. I haven’t a clue what I’m doing in the back end of my website and prefer to NEVER go there. I don’t DO PhP and I don’t mess with CSS, either. (I was really proud of myself when I finally got HTML, but wouldn’t you know, I hardly deal with HTML.)

I use the Genesis framework for WordPress to run my website. Genesis makes everything easier for coders, developers, and programmers and is very security conscious. If you’re not a coder, developer, or programmer you’re pretty much lost. My website has stayed the same for years because, well, I’m pretty much lost. However, I just discovered that I could change from the Genesis framework and Genesis child themes and go to something a heck of a lot more user friendly.

Color me thrilled.

I finished the book on Christmas night, so it has been put away for awhile to percolate. I don’t touch it during this time. My mind, however, is still thinking about it so I will be making notes to make sure I said certain things, or that character issues are spelled out, that descriptions are adequate, that sort of thing. January 15th I will start the final read of the book on my Kindle. I’ve already had the computer read it to me, so that’s done.

All of that frees me up to screw up my website to my heart’s content.

So, if you see things that look weird or broken, don’t panic. That’s just me messing everything up and hopefully having a wonderful time doing it. 🙂