Aug 25, 2014

Maelid Monday

maelid ~ apple-nymph

So . . . I got up yesterday morning, looked at my "to-do" list, and wanted to crawl right back into bed and stay there. Or run away from home. Either would have done it for me. :-)

So I decided to rebel. I ignored my list. It wasn't exactly a day off, I still did things like make a proper dinner (which I only seem to do on Sundays or if we have company) and the laundry, and I baked a cake from a recipe my sister phoned to have me look up for her (to say she's not internet savy would be like saying a cat doesn't like to sleep).

But I didn't cut the lawns or do the vacuuming. And while it felt good to ignore these two rather important things from my list of things I really didn't want to do, I know I'm going to have to do them eventually. And it's probably going to be when I feel like doing them even less than I felt like doing them yesterday.

Sometimes it really sucks being a grownup with all the responsibilities a grownup has.

Remember the nagging thing I have going on with my friend Jamie? I have to say it's working really well for me. I've been getting lots of words in on Lucky Dog - it's over 60,000 words now. In some ways it's like a mini NaNo, I have to get the words in no matter what. And like NaNo I think a lot of what I'm writing is garbage, so I'm starting to think the reason I get obsessive about adding to it is to avoid having to edit it. :-)

So our lovely cooler weather turned into hot and muggy weather. We had a couple of days of rain, a couple of days of just being overcast, and a lot of humidity. This week - who knows? It's supposed to be cooler, but they've been wrong before. And honestly, it's not the temperature that concerns me, it's the humidity. Humidity and I just don't get along. But then does anyone like it when it's humid?

Did everyone watch the new episode of Dr. Who on the weekend? It was the first episode with the new Doctor. I had a friend try and phone me as a joke right before the episode started. She was going to give me some trumped up story about a computer emergency just to see what kind of reaction she got. Well, the joke was on her. I heard the phone ring and ignored it, letting the machine pick it up. I figured if it was important they'd leave a message. There was no message, so I didn't give it another thought. After all, the Doctor was on!

I think Peter Capaldi will do very well in the role, although I wasn't impressed with the changes that were made to the opening sequence. I could live with the updates made when Dr. Who was first brought back with Christopher Eccelston, after all there's been a lot of improvements to film making since the show last aired. But they've gone too far with this new one:

Nope. Not happy with all those clock gears at all!

This week I'm hoping to settle into a routine of sorts. The hubby did all right going into the office for half days last week, and went for the whole day on Friday. This week he's going to start with the half days and then play it by ear.

The doctor warned him that he'd get to the point where he'd start feeling good enough that he'd start slacking on all the precautions he's supposed to take, and I think he's reached that stage. He's been forgetting to use his cane, trying to bend when he shouldn't . . . He needs to be more careful 'cause a relapse would keep him chained to the house again. And if that happens I'll have to have help digging the hole in the backyard to bury his body in. ;-)

I finished the baby sweater I was working on, but not the bonnet and booties, so I don't have a picture yet. The yarn I used was white with a bit of blue and green in it, so when I went to do the finishing I thought I'd use yellow as a contrast. I should have gone with white. The yellow isn't as bright as the blue or green and it looks a little off. At least to me it does. But it is what it is and it didn't look too bad when I added the ribbon.

My goals for the week . . . get the booties and bonnet done before my appointment with the nutritionist (which I think is Thursday), get some of the editing work done that I have piling up, many more words on Lucky Dog, and maybe even relax a bit on the deck with a good book, weather permitting.

I lead such an exciting life, don't I? ;-)

Aug 22, 2014

What I'm Reading

Whoops! I almost forgot about my books post this week.

Hey, I've been busy. So busy that I didn't get a whole lot of reading done at all, so late as it is, this isn't going to be much of a post. ;-)

Electronic Books

No electronic reading to speak of. Normally that would mean I haven't been riding the exercise bike, but in this case that's not true. I did ride, I just didn't read from George. I read a paperback instead. :-)

Tree Books

No progress to report on Hunting the Corrigan's Blood by Holly Lisle. Don't even ask. ;-)

No progress on Water For Elephants, by Sara Gruen either. I suspect those elephants are going to get mighty thirsty before I get back to them.

I had to buy myself a new journal last week - I'm still in shock that I used up the old one so fast - and of course that meant a trip to Coles, which is part of the Chapters/Indigo book chain. Yes, I know there are other places to buy journals, but they're not as pretty as the ones in Coles. :-)

Anyway. I couldn't go to Coles and not even look at the books . . . and sitting on the shelf, all by itself, was a copy of the latest book in the Lynsay Sands Argeneau Vampires series. As you know (if you know me at all) if I was ever to be bitten by a vampire, I would want it to be one of Lynsay Sands vampires. :-)

The book was Vampire Most Wanted, which is number 20 in the series, I believe. And it was every bit as yummy as the rest of the series. This one centered around Basha Argeneau, who went through a trauma as a child that separated her from her family and left her on the run from them for centuries. She's found by the uber hot Marcus Notte, who turns out to be her life mate. But the path to true love is never easy, especially if you're a rogue vampire and your life mate is an enforcer sent to track you down.

Re-Reads Yeah, I'm pretty much coming up empty here. The book migration ground to a halt, so no old books have been tempting me, and I haven't even really had time to so much as glance at the two I had on the go.

Seriously. One day I will be organized so that I have time for all the things I want to get done in a day.

One day . . . ;-)

Aug 21, 2014

Earth - Chapter Thirty-six

This serial is presented in draft form and will be updated each Thursday. Your comments are always welcome!

Ch 1 ~ Ch 2 ~ Ch 3 ~ Ch 4 ~ Ch 5 ~ Ch 6 ~ Ch 7 ~ Ch 8 ~ Ch 9 ~ Ch 10 ~ Ch 11 ~ Ch 12 ~ Ch 13 ~
Ch 14 ~ Ch 15 ~ Ch 16 ~ Ch 17 ~ Ch 18 ~ Ch 19 ~ Ch 20 ~ Ch 21 ~ Ch 22 ~ Ch 23 ~ Ch 24 ~
Ch 25 ~ Ch 26 ~ Ch 27 ~ Ch 28 ~ Ch29 ~ Ch 30 ~ Ch 31 ~ Ch 32 ~ Ch 33 ~ Ch 34 ~ Ch 35 ~

The closer she got to the end of her shift in the mine, the twitchier Chloe became. She couldn't shake the feeling that someone was watching her, although that would be impossible in here. Or at least it should be. Glancing surreptitiously around, she saw she wasn't the only one who seemed ill at ease. Farley kept adjusting and readjusting his light, Wayland would stop every few minutes to check his progress, shake his head, and carry on.

The position of the new vein allowed for drift mining and Gannon had authorized a new adit, even though it meant drilling ventilation shafts every few hundred feet. The tunnel snaked its way into the side of the hill, following the ore. The vein was thicker here than the end further into the mine, which is why they were coming at it from this side.

"Damn cheap bastard," Martin muttered.

"I presume you mean the mine master?" Chloe asked with a grin.

"Sure, he'll authorize a new adit, but he won't make it wide enough so's we can bring in the heavy equipment to make our lives easier."

"We're not paid for easy," she pointed out.

"That's for damn sure!" Farley said with a snort.

"Anyone else feel that?" Spenser asked suddenly.

"Feel what?" Martin asked. He signalled everyone to stop what they were doing. As crew chief these workers were his responsibility and if even one of them was feeling like something was off . . .

"Sorry, boss. I just got this feeling. It's like . . ."

"Like a feeling of impending doom?" Wayland asked in a sotto voice.

Chloe mock punched him in the arm. "I thought I was the only one feeling this way," she admitted.

"Gather 'round people," Martin ordered. "I've been feeling like something's off since we stopped for our lunch break. Anyone else?"

There were nods and murmurs of agreement from the rest of the crew, most admitting they didn't say anything because like Chloe they thought they were alone in feeling so.

"I thought it was just new mine jitters," Farley said. "Same's I get every time we start a new one."

"Yeah, but this time it felt different," Spenser said. "Almost like --"

That was as far as he got before the sound of an explosion filled the small space. Shoring timbers cracked as the ceiling of the mine collapsed. In the confined space there was no place to run, even if they'd had time. A cascading shower of rocks slammed into the small group.

Chloe acted on instinct, pushing upwards and outwards with her mind to keep the worst of it from crushing them. She made the protective bubble as large as she was able and could only hope that it encompassed everyone.

The rumbling and shaking seemed to go on forever but in reality couldn't have been more than a few minutes. As the dust began to settle, Chloe started to let go of the bubble, but quickly firmed it up again when the rock began to shift without her support.

Martin coughed, then asked, "Sound off. Is everyone all right?"

One by one the crew sounded off, from oldest to youngest. They reported assorted scrapes and bruises, and Spenser thought his arm might be broken. Only two voices were missing, Wayland and his partner Pavric.

"Feel around people, they got to be here somewhere." It was dark as sin. The only one wearing a light on their miner's hat had been Farley and he lost it in the collapse. Everyone else depended on the lights strung along the tunnel, lights that were broken during the cave-in.

"Got one here," Harlan said after a few precious moments passed. "Can't tell which one, but he's breathing."

"Can you tell how badly he's hurt?"

There was another pause. "Arms and legs seem sound, but the side of his head's wet. Probably got hit by a rock."

"Got the other one over here," Farley called out. "Least ways I found his boots. Rest of him seems to be under a shoring timber and a whole mess of rock."

Chloe felt tears prick at the corners of her eyes. If only she'd been faster, better able to control her gift, they might have been able to make it out of the danger zone, if not the adit itself.

"All right, everyone," Martin said. "We all know the risks of the job, and some of us have even been here before. The only thing we can do is sit tight until they dig us out."

"What happened?" Harlan asked. "Was that an explosion I heard or just the noise from the support beams giving way from a tremor?"

"Sounded like an explosion to me, before all hell broke loose," Spenser put in.

"Now stop that right now," Martin said. "No sense speculating before we know the facts. It'll fall to Gannon to figure this out."

"Gannon," Harlan scoffed. "Did you see the substandard timber he used for shoring? He's probably the reason we're in this mess."

"Stop talking." Martin snapped. "You're wasting air. This space is small enough without you using up all its air with this crap."



Chloe wondered if there was anything to what Harlan said. It would be just like Gannon to use less than quality material, just to save a few dollars. He probably didn't waste the money doing a land survey on this side of the mine either. It might have told him that the area wasn't stable enough for drift mining.

Keeping the protective bubble steady, she reached out with her senses to see how bad the cave-in was. Her heart sank when she realized just how far back the collapsed tunnel went. There was no way their air was going to last until the rescue crew reached them.

Aug 20, 2014

On Flicking Your Bic and The Most Dangerous Time of the Year . . .

So . . . it's that time of year again. If you're a parent it's the most wonderful time of the year:

But even if you're not a parent you can still take advantage of all the wonderful bargains of office supplies school supplies going on right now.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I have a bit of an office supply addiction:

Just so you know, that's just the tip of the iceberg. That I also have drawers full of paper, small notebooks, pencils, pens, and let's not forget the mecca of office supplies . . . stick notes. :-)

This is the time of year I avoid office supply stores, like Staples, like the plague. As well as dollar stores and certain sections of department stores. Walmart has been particularly dangerous with its ten cent packages of paper and exercise books. The last time I saw a sale like that I bought enough lined paper to see my daughter through high school and university, and I just discovered a couple of unopened packages of that paper in an upstairs closet a couple of days ago.

So while it may be the most wonderful time of the year, it's also the most dangerous time of year for people who have an office supply addiction, like me.

Now, you're probably wondering what that has to do with "flicking your bic." Well, I'll tell you.

One of the commercials I've been seeing a lot lately is for Bic pens. Papermate has been running them too, but the Bic ones stick in my head because of the catchphrase "flick my Bic" which actually has nothing to do with pens. I'd forgotten the phrase actually referred to Bic lighters.

And the really ironic part is, I don't even like Bic pens. A long time ago I bought a bulk supply of them from a discount store, and by the time I got around to using them most of them had dried up. So the bargain wasn't such a bargain after all. But the catch phrase sticks in my head anyway and makes me want to go buy some pens. Just not Bics. :-)

Aug 18, 2014

Mycophagous Monday

mycophagous ~ eating fungus

It's after 1 a.m. as I write this, and I can barely keep my eyes open. It was a lonnggg week.

I don't recall it starting that way, but about Wednesday my time started shrinking and my to-do list kept growing. But the amazing thing is that I got almost everything done - even cutting the lawns, which took me three or four days. Not to do the actual cutting, but to co-ordinate my time with the weather.

It's been pretty cold in our neck of the woods, unseasonably so. And when I'm finding it cold, you know it's cold. We're talking wearing long pants and socks, and switching to flannel sleep pants at night. But that's not the weather that was keeping me from my lawn cutting. That would be the vast amount of rain, or the threat of rain, we got last week.

In case you were wondering, I got the lawns cut Sunday. Which is today as I write this, but yesterday as you read this. It was overcast, and cool enough that I didn't feel like lying down and dying afterwards. And I did the entire yard, front and back, on one tank of gas. Go me!

Saturday (amongst other things) there was an anniversary party for my in-laws. It was their 60th, quite the milestone. They rented one of the local halls and had an open house, followed by a dinner for just the immediate family. There were friends and relatives from all over drifting in and out during the open house, although the pouring rain put a bit of a damper on things towards the end. But we saw people we hadn't seen in years.

In other news . . . I'm happy to report I made some progress on the nook last week. I've brought three or four loads of hardback books down from upstairs using my trusty basket, and the books are not only catalogued, they're on a shelf in the nook. AND I'm starting to think I'm going to have room for all of them, including all my Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey collections. :-)

So . . . as I was shelving the above mentioned books, I of course had to climb into my nook. The nook that Taz has been sleeping in. And even though I used the side he wasn't, I ended up covered in cat hair. So after I cleaned myself off, I decided to clean out the cat hair on his side of the nook. I ended up with enough hair to build a new cat. And here I though shedding season was over!

In the craft department, I finished the main part of the baby sweater I was working on, I just need to add the trim. Once I decide what colour to make the trim. The yarn is mostly white, with a bit of blue and green and the odd spot of pink. I have both yellow and green to choose from, although I'm leaning towards the yellow - the green doesn't quite match the green in the sweater. And then I have to do the bonnet and booties and my set will be done and I can post a picture.

I'm also happy to report that I'm making good progress on Lucky Dog. There might be hope of having it ready for Christmas after all. :-)

This week is going to be . . . interesting. The hubby has transitioned pretty much away from the walker totally and is using a cane now, and has decided he wants to try working at his office instead of from home. Hmm.

I'm still determined to come up with a workable daily routine. I don't think I realized how much my routine meant to me until I had all this extra stuff messing it up. I'm pretty sure I've got a handle on which of my daily tasks are best done at what times now, and that, I think, makes all the difference. Let's hear it for a workable routine! ;-)

Aug 15, 2014

What I'm Reading

In a perfect world I'd be able to sit outside in a lounge chair sipping lemonade and reading to my heart's content. But the world is far from perfect and circumstances seem determined to keep me from reading as much as I'd like. :-)

Electronic Books

The book I had the hubby pick out that I talked about last week? Lost it. It might have helped if I remembered what it was called, or who wrote it, or if I hadn't decided to update the books on my Kindle . . . Anyway, it got lost in the shuffle.

But I did remember to take George with me to the doctor's office where I got to read for more than an hour. I started reading Thirteen, a collection of crime stories by a group called the Mesdames of Mayhem. I'm enjoying it more than I expected - not only are the stories cleverly done, there's a good deal of humour to them as well.

Tree Books

One of these days I'm going to just sit down and finish Hunting the Corrigan's Blood by Holly Lisle. It's like out of sight out of mind - right now it's out of sight in the piles of books in my office. ;-)

One of the perks of having writing friends is when they give you their books to read before they're published. My friend Deborah Lean passed me a book she'd written, asking for my opinion. It was a departure from her usual crime dramas, this one was more of a contemporary slice of life. I'm not really sure how I'd categorize it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the fact it was a BIG book. ;-)

Needless to say, I never did get back to Water For Elephants, by Sara Gruen. *sigh* Did I mention I don't seem to be able to make as much time for reading as I'd like lately?


Sisters in Fantasy, is another book that I started and then promptly misplaced. I think one of the problems with it is that I like to read anthologies one story at a time and the first couple of stories were rather long. I just don't have the time to commit to long stories right now.

I've been slowly but surely moving the hardback Science Fiction and Fantasy books into my nook. I'm starting to think I just might have room for them all after all. :-)

But I'm rediscovering old favourites and it's getting really, really hard to resist them. Like . . . Michael Moorcock's Elric Saga, or Roger Zelazny's Amber series.

I think I'm ready for that lounge chair any time now. ;-)

Aug 14, 2014

Earth - Chapter Thirty-five

This serial is presented in draft form and will be updated each Thursday. Your comments are always welcome!

Ch 1 ~ Ch 2 ~ Ch 3 ~ Ch 4 ~ Ch 5 ~ Ch 6 ~ Ch 7 ~ Ch 8 ~ Ch 9 ~ Ch 10 ~ Ch 11 ~ Ch 12 ~ Ch 13 ~
Ch 14 ~ Ch 15 ~ Ch 16 ~ Ch 17 ~ Ch 18 ~ Ch 19 ~ Ch 20 ~ Ch 21 ~ Ch 22 ~ Ch 23 ~ Ch 24 ~
Ch 25 ~ Ch 26 ~ Ch 27 ~ Ch 28 ~ Ch29 ~ Ch 30 ~ Ch 31 ~ Ch 32 ~ Ch 33 ~ Ch 34 ~

Zephryn woke with a frown on his face. He knew Chloe had a shift in the mine today, but he'd hoped to see her before she left, maybe have the opportunity to talk with her . . . It was important that she know what happened between them meant something. It wasn't just a result of the passion blossoms or trying to trigger her tespiro.

He found another set of clothes, similar to the ones he'd been wearing the day before, folded neatly on the chair. Chloe? Or Granny? It didn't matter, he appreciated the gesture. He'd have to ask Chloe about a cleaning processor when she returned, he was accumulating quite the pile of soiled clothing. There was one on the ship, but it was a little hard to reach right now.

Just thinking about her brought a smile to his face. He couldn't wait for his friend Ravi to meet her. He was going to love her.

His smile dimmed a little. That was assuming Chloe would want to leave here with him. It would be a tight squeeze, but there would be room for her mother on the scout ship as well. Surely with all the medical knowledge aboard the Valkyrie there would be a cure for her mother.

Slowly he sat down on the bed again. But here Chloe had friends, her work at the mine, all the earth an elemental could want . . . If she came with him, all she'd have was . . . him.

"You're thinking too much, boy." Granny's voice came from the doorway.

He looked up, startled. "How --"

She snorted. "I could see it on your face. Already worrying about the future, ain't ya?" Shaking her head, she turned from the door and headed towards the kitchen. "I made tea. Might as well drink it while it's hot."

With a resigned sigh, Zephryn got up to follow her. Just as well she'd interrupted before his thoughts started circling like a ship on a tight orbit. This is what happened when he was left with too much time on his hands and too little to do.

"First off," Granny said without any preamble as he sat down at the table. "Chloe was right. That weren't no natural mine collapse. There were explosives went missing from the stores warehouse, and traces of them were found in the debris."

"Do you find out who set them off? Or why?"

"No, more's the pity. Someone was very careful to cover their tracks. I don't like it." The old woman shook her head. "I don't like it at all."

"You said before about someone testing Chloe . . . how likely is that?"

"About as likely as someone wanting to do the girl harm."

He stared at her. "Are you saying you think it was an accident? That whoever set off the explosion didn't know we were in there?"

"I'm saying I don't know! There ain't none of it makes sense." She rubbed her forehead and took a deep breath. "We've got a bit of a problem."

"Just one?" He reached for one of the steaming biscuits on the plate in the center of the table. They were already buttered and seemed to just melt in his mouth.

"It's Tierra. I can't seemed to wake her."

Zephryn looked at her in alarm. She didn't have to tell him how bad that was. "What happened?"

"It's been coming on gradual like. She's been sleeping longer, awake less often and for shorter periods of time. Chloe mentioned it to me just before you crashed here."

"What can we do for her?"

For the first time since he'd met her, Granny looked uncertain. "The best thing would be to get her off world and into a proper medical facility, if it's not already too late. Barring that . . . I just don't know."

Chloe was going to be beside herself. "Do you think Gannon's doctor might be able help?" he asked slowly. He hated to think what Gannon might want in return, but this was Chloe's mother they were talking about and he knew she'd do anything for her.

"I'm not altogether sure he's not the reason she's like she is." She pinned him with her intense stare. "She's not better, she's not worse, she just won't wake up. I can't find anything wrong with her. This is not part of the lung sickness."

"Do you think Gannon would have his doctor give her something? Like what, poison?"

"I believe that man is capable of anything."

"But why? What could he hope to gain?"

"Why Chloe of course. He knows her mother is her weakness. If he can control her mother's health, he can control Chloe."

"There's a stasis pod on my ship," Zephryn said slowly. "If we can get her there . . . at least she'd have a chance . . ."

"I was hoping you'd say that," Granny said, her relief evident. "But such a thing will need to be carefully co-ordinated. If Gannon were to catch us . . ."

From what they'd told him of the man, if Gannon caught them, they'd end up dead. And Chloe worse than dead. "How long will you need to get organized?"

"Two, maybe three days." The old woman rose from the table.

"So I guess it falls to me to tell Chloe what's happening." This was not what he was hoping to greet Chloe with when she got home. On the other hand, the sooner they were off this world, the better off they'd all be.

"Knew you'd turn out to be good for something, boy."