Animals, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, Gardening, Life, Nature, Reading, Thinking, Writing

A Quick Check In

It is cool and raining her this morning. I want to still be in bed asleep but apparently the power blipped out at one point because Essie came and got me directly. So we are up. Or rather I am. The kids are all asleep in the living room. I am tired and sore from all the yard work I did. The weather makes me want to curl up with a book but I still have stuff that I need to get done. Like an article and my classwork. I desperately don’t want to do either.

My mind is blank this morning. I sit here and look around the room and listen to the rain not thinking about anything. I find myself drifting around mentally. And noticing that I have a headache coming on. I think it is due to the weather. Yesterday was beautiful. I am glad that I was able to be outside.

I suppose that I should try to get the writing done. This will be a very short blog entry for today. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Books, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, History, Life, Love, Photography, Reading, the World, Thinking, Writing

A Day For Me

The sun is out in earnest this morning. And it will have a time of it warming things up. It was almost cold enough for frost this morning. That being said it is supposed to warm up quite a bit for the next few days so I may uncover the plants in the memorial garden and pull out the ones I brought in. I am hoping the nights stay as warm as they say or warmer. I don’t want to bring them all in and out everyday.

Today is 9/11. It feels like a somber day for those of us that were alive when the 9/11 bombings happened here in the U.S. It seems as though we have gone from outside enemies to inside enemies since then. With no end in sight. I had to unfollow a fellow blogger this morning because of the posts they were writing. They were getting angrier and angrier. Anyone that did not do and think as that person did would incur the wrath of God because that person was right. I don’t need to see that on my feed. That type of thinking is part of the problem. It certainly is NOT part of the solution.

It feels weird not watching the clock to see how much time I have before I need to get ready to go. A good weird. I got a bunch of stuff done last night after I got home so that will be less I have to do today. I do need to see if I can get the mower going today. If not I may ask for help from our neighbors across the street.

I feel like I want to work on my writing today. I got inspired by a documentary on Amazon last night about the controversial Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark. I had all three books as well as the on based on the movie (thanks Mom!). I really love the art and the content. For those who have never read the books they are a collection of scary stories and folktales from all over. This type of book is what got my love for horror started. Just sitting around telling stories to each other in the dark (or with just a flashlight). I still have my first collection that I convinced my parents to buy me (they were still married so I had to be in the single digits with my age). It was at the local bookstore in Ferndale, Michigan called “Paperback Books Unlimited.” This place was a staple of my childhood. I snuck a peek at my first Fangoria Magazine there as well. My parents tried to take me there as often as they could. I just dug the book out of my shelves. It was printed in 1973 so I had to be around 5 or 6 years old. Some Things Strange and Sinister edited by Joan Kahn is the book.

I have always loved short stories because they are small bites that you can snack on if you aren’t in the mood for a full novel (or don’t have the time). It has been a long time since I last wrote a short story. The last one I sent out into the world was college and was a runner up in a contest. They were only going to print the winners but they liked mine so much they made and exception. I still have the copy of the magazine. I have a few done that I need to polish and get out there. But, again, I need to get myself a copy of WordPerfect. Everything is digital now. Very few places will accept hard copy sent through the mail. So I need a reliable program that I can edit and send my work on. That may be something I save up for. I need to make sure bills get paid and Moose has a vet appointment coming up.

Ok, I see that I have talked quite a bit. I will wrap this up and share a few photos. I hope you have a great day! Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Books, Creativity, Emotions, Life, Reading, Thinking, Writing

Trying Something New

This morning I am a bit short for time as I have an interview in less than an hour.  I am trying to focus on this and my mind is all over the place so I apologize if this is erratic.  I finally talked to my writer friend about his translated book.  I explained about a few mistakes and he asked for more.  As it turns out his publishing company hired a translator and he was beyond angry when he heard about the mistakes.  He contacted his lawyer and they are talking with the publisher to get it sorted.  Meanwhile he has pulled that book off of Amazon and is going to look through his other books that they translated and published.  I’m glad I was able to help.

I got everything laid out for the interview last night.  I am going for clean casual.  If I go dressy it will be too much.  I will look like I am trying too hard.  So I went for plain but nice jeans and shirt.  I will wear my nice high tops as well.  It is a casual setting so I am hoping this works.  It will be an interesting interview at any rate.  No hand shakes.  Not sure if we will talk in a room or outside.

And there goes my thoughts….  I should have everything together.  I don’t know if Chris is happy I’m going back to work or not.  I have been keeping the house up pretty well.  But since work is close I don’t think it will be difficult to continue that.  I’ve written down the days and times for the meetings I cover for the paper.  I’m hoping that won’t be a problem.  I have no idea what job I would get as there seem to be a lot of openings.  I’m sure the whole back to school thing is going on.  I know colleges are opening but I’m not sure what they have decided for grade schools and high schools.

I see by the clock I need to wrap this up.  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Dogs, Emotions, family, Gardening, Learning, Life, Nature, Reading, Thinking, Writing

Busy to Keep Anxiety at Bay

No rain yesterday but it was nice enough to work outside some.  I primarily took care of stuff around the house.  No word from the vet yet.  I will call the finish paying the bill and see if there is any word.  I rushed in and did my classwork. I thought I had a few more days but it was due at like 2:30 am yesterday so I got everything written and handed in.  I also got my peer reviews done.  I had intended to start the next class last night but I was just so tired that I was sure I wouldn’t retain any of the information.  I may try it this morning.  But I may not.  Essie keeps coming in to see me.  She wants me to follow her and I do but I don’t know what else she wants.  She hasn’t eaten again.  This is becoming a regular thing.  Just like before the surgery.

I am starting to feel overwhelmed again.  I am trying not to panic.  There is so much here that I should have done but don’t.  Things I said I would do but haven’t.  I tried book reviewing and it’s just not working for me.  I can’t seem to find the words or the words I fins aren’t good enough.  Aren’t sophisticated enough.

I have a meeting tonight via Zoom.  I have an alarm set to remind me.  With everything going on in my head I know I will forget.  Once Chris gets up I will go get groceries.  I wanted someone to be home so the house wasn’t shut up.  It is just too hot for that right now.

My mind is a total blank right now.  There is nothing.  I try to pick  topic to rite about and gone.  Like someone hit the delete button on everything.  Stella has come to be with us.  She is laying out in hallway just outside my office door so she can get the cool breeze coming through.  I’m going to wrap this up.  I can’t focus when I am this anxious.  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Books, Creativity, Emotions, family, Friends, Life, Reading, Writing

Reading Leads to Writing

I did get some writing done on one of my stories yesterday.  I am rereading a series that I have not read in many years, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.  I had forgotten how her words and stories flow carrying the reader from the past to present and back again effortlessly.  It gave me some more creative juice to use on my own work.  So for now during the day I will read Anne Rice and at night I seem to got to H.P. Lovecraft on my Kindle.  Both authors have a lot to teach with their writing.  Both can tell a good story (it may take Lovecraft more words to do it sometimes).  Rice paints her worlds and characters with a loving and lavish brush to make them come to life.  I can lose myself in either author’s stories.

Today’s goal is to be able to work more on one or both of my stories.  I have to say that I am having an easier time with the one that has horror in it.  I am not very adept at the straight fiction anymore.  It is easier to lose myself to the supernatural.  Which is evidenced by my library, lol.  I have limited straight fiction.  Looking at my book shelves I am tempted to reorganize them and have a section of the classics.  That would include such works as King Solomon’s Mines (one of my favorites), Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz (I am trying to get all the books) and other such gems from the past.  I have things divided into topics such as horror, mystery, research, children’s books, creativity and writing… you get the idea.  Other shelves are dedicated to specific authors like Anne Rice and Stephen King.  I do have to say that I love my library.  There are only a handful of books that I have not read in all of them.  Most of them have been read more than once.  Sometimes for pleasure, sometimes for examination and sometimes for a bit of both.  Right now the Vampire Chronicles are a bit of both.

I find myself drawn to different books and I am remembering when I received them.  I have the Chronicles of Narnia that Mom bought me when I was going on the road trip with my Grandma Morin for the summer.  She bought me the whole series to take with as well as a beach towel, a deck of cards (I still have those as well), sunscreen and a few other goodies.  I have A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle that Dad got me (with a loving note from him written on the inside) because I loved reading it in the school library.  There is a book of love letters that Chris got me for an anniversary present (the same on he had flowers delivered to my work and I cried my eyes out).  I even have Dad’s copy of the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe (Dad memorized The Raven while he was on a ship in the Navy and that was the first thing I learned to read… and I still have the children’s book we read it from).  Sooo many memories on these shelves!

Goodness I have gone on!  Sorry about that!  I will stop here because I could go on endlessly!  lol.  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Books, Dogs, family, Life, Reading, Travel

Tell Sleep I Miss It…

I am so overwhelmingly tired right now.  Pretty sure I didn’t fall asleep before 2am.  Essie wanted to get up around 8am.  But of course I was awake and trying to go back to sleep since 6am again.  Moose was all about staying in bed.  Every time I tried to get up he draped his head across me to keep me laying down.

Chris and I did a little road trip and acquired two used AC units for the house.  One is still in the bed of the truck (I told Chris he can put it in his office as I prefer to keep my window open in mine) but the other is in the bedroom.  With the fan going it cools the room right down.  We need to lengthen the felt cover that is over the window.  Even with the blinds down it gets bright in there when the sun is out.

I got my latest reading material in the mail yesterday.  The debut novel The Bright Lands by John Fram.  It’s a mystery set in a small Texas town.  It reminds me of Christopher Rice and some of his early novels so I thought why not.  Even though I am still reading the other book I am going to start this one.

I got another box from Amazon yesterday.  Amazon UK to be exact.  It contained a 3-in-1 nail gun (it does nails, staples and little U shaped thingys) as well as cardboard letters.  What is this for? you might ask.  I know I did because I never ordered it.  I got ahold of someone from Amazon once we had gotten settled in (we were gone most of the day so the kids needed to be fed dinner, groceries needed to be unloaded and put away and the AC units switched out).  I was told that I could keep it. So I have a new tool in my arsenal.

I can’t keep my eyes open.  I’m going to wrap this up and then curl up with the book outside.  Thanks for reading!  I hope you have a great day!  Stay safe!

Animals, Books, Cooking/Baking, Dogs, Emotions, family, Holiday, Life, Nature, Photography, Reading, the World, Writing

Ahhhh… This Is What It Feels Like to Relax

Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day.  I got bills paid but when I tried to do the “free” car payment online it was $50 more than if I just sucked it up and dealt with traffic.  So I loaded up Moose and Stella and we went to the bank.  With Moose all but in my lap and Stella peering around my shoulder from the back seat the teller and I chatted for a bit about the times and dogs (it was video drive thru and there was no one behind me).  Once we got home (much swearing and the use of my phrase “damn tourists” repeated ad nauseum) we settled outside.  No I lie.  I wanted to bake the cupcakes for the kids birthdays before it got too hot (the one ac unit can’t keep up with all the heat and humidity this week).  Once those were done and cooling I did some thing unusual.  I grabbed my Minion quilt, my bag of books and writing, my camera bag and a few other things and we headed outside.  I laid out my quilt in the shade and set up shop.  Stella came and sat right next to me until I started to read my latest book The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma then she laid down beside me.  Moose and Essie were in and out.  As the sun moved so did we and we moved across the whole yard by the day’s end.  The kids spent most of the time out with me despite the heat (it didn’t feel so hot laying in the shade).  It was a relaxing day had by all.

I got some cool photos (I will download them from the camera and put some in this post) yesterday as well.  I found myself playing with the light.  I think I paid more attention to it because we were in the shade most of the time.  Especially when sunset neared.  The lighting got really cool then.

The only downside to yesterday was the loud music and fireworks.  The music I could deal with.  When the fireworks started they were sparse so Essie was going around the yard barking at them (she does this when the locals are shooting too close to the house).  But as the displays ramped up (we seemed to have them on all sides) Stella started to really freak out.  Essie and Moose were uneasy but coping because I had background noises going and I was nonplussed with the noise.  Stella began pacing around the house, a sure sign that she is freaking out.  So I pulled out the anxiety meds and snuck them into a cupcake for each.  That seemed to help but Stella would wake up (I decided to hunker in bed and read so we’d all be together) with some of the louder fireworks and just stare to make sure all was ok.  Things wrapped up around midnight or so.

I got a few books yesterday.  Well one is actually a pamphlet but you get the idea.  The pamphlet and one books are on Michigan butterflies.  We have so many different varieties this year I wanted to know more.  So I can sit outside with my bird book and butterfly books and see what we have this year.  The third book is actually a memoir.  It is part of my learning about the surfing culture books that I have on my Amazon list.  It looks so good and I really want to start it but I am making myself finish The Fishermen first.  I am halfway done and it is a very good book.  I get lost in the story (and it’s in Nigeria) every time I pick up the book.  But I really really want to read the new one!  Barbarian Days A Surfing Life by William Finnegan looks so good!  And I have a first novel coming in a few weeks from a new writer I discovered John Fram.  So I will be busy reading.  I am hoping this will compel me to get more writing done.  We’ll see.  It seems to have worked today!  This is a long one!

I will stop for now and download some of the photos from yesterday.  Thanks so much for reading this long post!  Have a great day and stay safe!

Animals, Books, Life, Movies, Reading

Coffee and Werewolves

I hate it when you just get up and someone who has been up for a while expects you to fully function with no coffee right off the bat.  Anyone who knows me understands this.  Or atleast I thought they did.  I am not a morning person but I get up early out of necessity.  Sigh…. oh well.  Another side issue is that even after one cup of java I am still not awake.  So hang on while I get my second.

Yesterday I received my copy of The Howling by Gary Brandner.  I had been looking at getting it for awhile.  It is the novel that the movie of the same name is based on.  I plowed through it in a few hours.  I LOVE this book!  It is a straight forward and uncomplicated werewolf novel.  No side romances with other supernatural creatures.  Just a what-would-happen-if-there-were-werewolves slice of life.  No complicated descriptions.  No hidden meanings.  It was so refreshing to read!  And if someone picks apart things like silver bullets (you cannot use silver as a bullet because among other things it is too soft) then that means they are missing the story and not enjoying it.  The book was written in 1977.  There are two more books in the series and I think I might get them soon.  I have watched most of the movies based (at times in name only) on the trilogy and I have preferred some and not others.  But I am really excited to find the books.  Incase you’ve not read the book or watched the movie the basic story is a couple moves for 6 months to a small community in California to help their relationship (in the novel she is recovering from a rape that is vividly described so fair warning).  The town is quiet and unassuming.  The husband falls in lust with one of the locals and gets turned into a werewolf.  The wife keeps hearing howling at night and does some investigating on her own.  While doing that she meets and befriends an ex-nun who believes there is a werewolf living in the town.  Together they unravel the mysteries of the town.  It is quite good.

Oh geez… I have a butterfly that is stuck in the house.  I am going to wrap this up and try a rescue before it gets stuck somewhere.  Thanks for reading!  Have a great day and stay safe!

Books, Emotions, Life, Photography, Reading, Thinking, Writing

Gone Grey

Another day has dawned but then gone grey.  Storms and rain went through yesterday afternoon and last night.  It is cooler out.  I’m glad I got the backyard mowed the other day.  I will probably get the weed whip out today to clean up the hard to reach spots.

I need to figure out where things are going.  Both inside and out.  As I clean things in the house I find that my office is being over run as all my stuff is being dumped in there.  I have no space for what people are giving me.  I don’t want to put things under the house but that is what might need to happen.  I can’t put too much in the garage since the fix hasn’t been completed.  What is in there now can be pulled out in short order if necessary.  But something needs to give.  So maybe that will be what I try to accomplish today.  To get the big stuff that is just taking up room boxed or bagged up and put under the house.  Hopefully I can secure everything so that the animals don’t eat any of it.

I am still staring at a pile of books I need to review and post on various medias.  I don’t feel that I am up to snuff with reviewing books.  I don’t have anything current to compare various pieces to.  I have my old standbys.  Half the time I don’t know who someone is referring to.  There are some international authors I would like to read but haven’t.  The reviews I’ve sent out have been forgotten about but various editors for various reasons.  I feel like it doesn’t matter.  The frustrating part is that I think the reviews are good.  Those should be published.  Yet they sit.  Yes I could publish them myself but… it hardly  seems worth it.

I didn’t take any pictures yesterday nor did I download any.  I did receive my book on the camera yesterday.  But I spent the day reading Terry Pratchett’s Guards, Guards.  I started another of his novels yesterday afternoon once I finished the first.

I guess I should wrap this up and try to get something accomplished.  Thanks for reading.  I hope you have a great day and stay safe.

Animals, Books, Dogs, family, Life, Nature, Photography, Reading

Functioning in the Heat

I feel slightly better today but my whole body hurts.  I didn’t really do much yesterday.  I did get some chores done.  I got as much done as I could so that I only have one big one today and that is to mow the backyard.  Temperatures are supposed to soar today with storms tonight.  I want to keep up on the lawn as best I can this year.

I’ve kept the AC on all night to try to combat the heat that is coming today for the dogs.  Stella has already gone out and sprawled on the deck.  Essie and Moose are still inside.  I have gotten in the habit of watering the plants outside at night.  The constant sun dries out the dirt quickly.  By the time evening rolls around everyone looks a little droopy.

I did start reading a new book yesterday.  I finished Stephen King’s On Writing again so since Chris recently got it to round out the Terry Pratchett collection (I think we have just about all of the Disc World books in actual book form, I know Chris has them all in digital copy).  So I have started reading Guards, Guards which is the first book in the Watch series.  I always enjoy Pratchett because his satire is so well done and the stories are so fun.  We introduced Mom to him a few years ago (I don’t remember which book we loaned her) and now she has all the books as well.

I see that Stella has come in and stretched out in front of the AC, belly first.  I think that will be happening a lot today for all of us.  I still need to download all the pictures on to this laptop from my camera.  It will make it so much easier to share on here than doing the transfer to the phone and back.  I am supposed to be getting my Nikon D3500 For Dummies today so hopefully that will get me moving.  I want to learn about all the different tools I have in my kit (there are filters I have as well as other lenses that I honestly have no idea how to use… I can’t get them to fit on the camera and there were no instructions with the kit sooooo).

All three dogs are now outside.  I think I will follow their lead.  Let me just download a few photos from yesterday and the day before (I got a fun action shot of Stella).  Poop.  The camera battery is too low.  So I guess I will share some older pictures and charge the camera battery.  Have a great day and thanks for reading!  Stay safe!