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I Guess I Didn’t Notice

I Guess I Didn’t Notice

This news slid right by me and I had no idea.

The other day I was curious about a review in Romantic Times, only to find out that the magazine and website had gone belly up 2018.

When I first started out Romantic Times was very kind to me. They featured some of my books as their favorites and I won a bunch of career choice awards or best book awards, that sort of thing. In later years, however, we parted ways. I wasn’t all that enamored of the magazine, their reviews, or the direction they were taking the magazine/website.

I think the fact that I didn’t know they went out of business is indicative of how little I still relied on them. Still, I feel a little bad that I didn’t know.

How about you? Did you read Romantic Times?

Trust and the Writer

Trust and the Writer

I had a thought last night – as I am wont to when I can’t sleep – about trust, books, and the writer/reader compact.

The book I was reading was the last in a long series. I have a feeling where it’s going and I won’t be surprised if the writer goes there. In the previous book she began to change the heroine’s character. Not subtly, but in giant leaps and bounds.

I think reading a series is a little like having a relationship with someone. When it’s over the breakup is tough. You have to get along without this person now. You have to go it alone.

When the writer pulls the rug out from under the reader it’s kinda/sorta a betrayal of trust. It’s like being told that your beloved cheated on you. I don’t know how you get past that.

I almost don’t want to finish this book, even though the series has been enjoyable, for the most part. The character shift disturbs me, however, because it almost forewarns of the upcoming denouement of the heroine.

How do you feel when a series ends? What do you think when a writer does something that you think is out of character? Yes, it’s her creation, but doesn’t she owe something to the readership? Let me know what you think.

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.)