Talkin’ Books: August 27, 2014

Books Finished:
White Heat (?) by Jill Shalvis

Kindle Books In Progress:
Red, White, & Blue: The Complete Firefighter Collection by Jill Shalvis
Death, The Devil and The Goldfish by Andrew Buckley
Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

Print Books in Progress:
Innocent Blood by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell

Comic Books:
The Sandman Overture #3
Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International
Harley Quinn #8
Batman Eternal #11

Oh look! I got caught up on a few comic books this week, finally!

I have to say, as odd as The Sandman Overture series is, it’s definitely growing on me. Gaiman pretty much defies genre, but I suppose literary fantasy would probably define it best. Three books in, I’m finally feeling less disoriented and more comfortable in the world he’s created, and more like I have at least as much inkling of what’s going on as the characters do (which is to say…sort of, but not much). It’s pretty fascinating, really, and the artwork is amazing as well.

Harley Quinn is, as always, an adorably violent imp and I get entirely too much pleasure out of watching her smash people with that huge mallet of hers. Yes, I realize that says more about me than her. And yes, hers is another comic book I really enjoy for the artwork just as much as the stories. The comic-con issue was sort of…meh – I think it made her look more scatterbrained than normal, but the regular issue was fun. I have another waiting, and there’s yet another one out this week, so better keep up!

I only had time for one Batman Eternal, which is bad because I’m really behind on that weekly series, but thankfully even after so much time away I was still able to jump right back into the story. And there was still a conspicuous lack of…Batman in the issue. I mean, he was there, but he just doesn’t seem all that prominent for a comic in which he’s supposed to be the lead character, you know? I kind of want to rush through the rest just to see if it persists. I have a lot of writing to do over the long holiday weekend, but maybe I can spare a few hours to get caught up on his story…

I also finished the second book in the Shalvis collection, which I think was White Heat (and is available singularly if you want to look it up). So I’m working on the third, Blue Flame – so far, so fun, as all Jill’s books are. Her latest Lucky Harbor book came out yesterday (It’s In His Kiss), and shameless addict that I am, I grabbed a copy for my kindle right away. So that’s waiting for me to inhale as well.

I also bought a few more books this week by Lia London (who I’ve been meaning to read for awhile now), Minnie Lahongrais, and Glenn Starkey, my two housemates at Black Wolf Print. So those are all on the TBR list now as well, and they all sound really good. Plenty to keep me busy for awhile!

Obviously I need to finish Innocent Blood as well. I’m getting my late night writing habit reset, but once I get that done I should be able to head to bed a little earlier so I have more time with the print books on my nightstand. I have a huge stack of them…just as well hubby’s actually been reading books on his kindle for awhile now (I know! Shocking!)…gives me a little time to catch up with the print pile.

I may need a reading vacation one of these days though. You know. Strictly in the interest of not letting the TBR piles get *too* out of hand…


 

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Monday Musings: On Alter-Egos, Black Wolf Print & New Projects…

Alters

My middle name is Marie.

So sometime in 2015, when you start seeing announcements for a new book from a new indie publishing house called Black Wolf Print with the name J.M. DeBree on the cover, you’ll know that it is indeed one of my stories. Why the initials? Because it will be totally, completely, utterly different than anything I’ve ever written before, in a genre I never thought I’d ever write in.

Yes, dear readers…I’m entering the world of Kid Lit., by special request.

I’ll admit, my first reaction when asked if I’d ever considered writing a children’s book was something along the lines of, “Have you read any of my other books?” My alter-egos and I don’t exactly write much of anything that’s really suitable for…well, anyone under at least 18 (and that’s pushing it in some cases). But I thought about it, and considered possible plots, and stories I could create a series around (because writing just one book in any genre seems kind of silly), and at the end of the day, I had an idea for a full series that I was actually kind of excited about. A fun side project that could really stretch me as a writer, because it will require me to learn & use some methods and skills that will hopefully carry over into my other projects.

So I said yes to fellow author & entrepreneur Edward Medina, and joined Glenn Starkey and Minnie Lahongrais as one of the first three (four, counting Edward) authors for Black Wolf Print. A web site is coming, but you can “like” the FB page for now to keep up with things as they progress.

As for the new project – the series is called The Stone Scavengers, and the first book in the series will be The Time Stone. Sydney Pointer is our young heroine at just 10 years old, and one day she meets a strange old man in a diner who gives her a list of stone talismans to find, along with clues that will lead her to the first stone. Each book in the series will chronicle her search for another stone, and in the end, the stones will grant her access to a treasure…of sorts.

Sydney’s answer to “how I spent my summer vacation” will never be boring again.

A project like this requires quite a bit more plotting and planning than I normally do, which scares me a little as I tend to lose interest in a project if I know too much about it before I start writing. So my plan is to get all the plotting done for the first book, finish off all the drafts I’m currently working on by October 31st, and then write The Time Stone in one fell swoop during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November.

It’s a great plan, aside from the fact that I have four drafts currently in motion, and to finish all of them by Oct. 31st will require some serious discipline and focus on my part. I’ll need to write at NaNo speeds every weekday for the next two months to make it, and I can’t generally handle that every day throughout the year given my day job and other responsibilities, but I’m going to make a valiant effort. We shall see.

So I have a busy fall lined up, and some fun new things in the works. I will still be working on drafts under my main names to publish under Brazen Snake Books as well next year, and I have a sci-fi project started that I really, really want to dig back into next January.

Between now and November, while I’m frantically trying to finish up a handful of drafts, I’ll be doing a lot of reading too…specifically authors who write kids in Sydney’s age range so I can get a feel for what’s out there. So if you have any suggestions for books that center around main characters aged 10 (or around there), that are written in 3rd person (I won’t get past the first chapter in 1st, so no point in wasting time), by all means, let me know!


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Serial Story: Under His Wing, Part 33

This story is presented weekly in draft
(unedited) form. Each installment is available for one week until the
next is posted. Miss one? Email me, and I’ll hook you up. Enjoy!


Dunning Manor, Book 1

Under His Wing
Part 33

When Peter entered the clearing, Katie had been watching the woods, trying to catch a glimpse of Thomas and whoever was out there. She realized her mistake as soon as a hand had clamped over her mouth and another around her waist, his familiar scent making her nauseous as he picked her up and carried her toward the pole.

“I’m a little disappointed,” he said, his head next to hers as he set her down with her back to the pole. It was just a few steps in front of the trigger for the pulley system, and she struggled to maintain balance as he pulled her backward.

“You go to all the trouble of setting a new scene for me, and then give me the instructions two hours early. You didn’t think I’d come right away? You honestly thought I wouldn’t see that you were setting me up for some kind of trap?” He clicked his tongue in her ear. “Shame on you, Katie. I thought you were smarter than that.”

He stepped on the trigger and the ropes came up, snugging her body tight against his and securing them both to the pole. His chin rested on her shoulder, and she struggled to turn her head away, but he held her steady, his palm pressing her lips against her teeth.

“I thought it would be romantic if we burned together, you and me, arm in arm. And I even hired your friend Sarah to take pictures, though I suspect your new friend might have ruined that. Which is why I hid a cell phone nearby, streaming this whole event live on the internet as we speak.”

Katie tried to scream, to make any sound at all, but the only thing she could manage was a low gurgling sound in her throat. Where was Thomas? And why hadn’t she remembered to put the amulet back on?

“I’m betting you have a lighter, don’t you?” Peter wiggled the hand that was trapped under the ropes over her left jeans pocket. “Not there, which is good. It would have been more awkward to reach that.”

Then suddenly she could breathe as he released the hold he had on her mouth and reached down over the ropes, wiggling two fingers into her right front pocket where she’d stowed the lighter he was looking for.

“Thomas! Thomas help!” She screamed his name as loud as she could, knowing he’d come for her. She felt the heat of a flame by her right hand as Peter flicked the lighter on, and knew they didn’t have much time.

“You can’t light the pile,” she pointed out, relieved at the realization. “If you drop the lighter, it’ll go out.”

He nodded, his chin moving against her shoulder. “True. But like I said, I came out early. I made a few modifications to your set-up…one of which was a fuse. Ready to bake, baby?”

She looked down at the flame and watched in horror as his hand rotated out of sight. There was a pop and a sizzle behind them as Thomas came crashing out of the trees, his eyes wide as he took in the scene and the wood below Katie’s feet started to crackle.


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Serial Story: MacKenzie Saves the World, Part 22

This serial story is presented in draft (unedited) format. Each new installment will replace
the one before. If you get behind, email me and I’ll hook you up with the missing chapters!


“Fight Water with Fire” – Part 22

MacKenzie’s heart beat faster as she made her way through the dark, cozy warren that made up the tax lein offices Josh had inherited. Lush green carpet muffled her footsteps as she peered into the glass and dark wood interior walls at people hastily packing cardboard boxes with all their personal possessions – and maybe a stapler or two.

The documents she’d read hadn’t said anything about firing people, only restructuring the company. But it looked as though a good percentage of the staff was packing up to leave permanently. That couldn’t be a good sign.

She took a left down another short hall where more people were packing up, and then a right into the lobby where two desks faced each other on either side of two massive wooden doors with Taylor, the family name, embossed in the center of each.

One of the desks was in the process of being cleaned out by a younger, distraught-looking woman who didn’t even glance MacKenzie’s way. At the other desk sat an older lady with a stern expression who peered over thin reading glasses at MacKenzie.

“Can I help you?” The words were cordial enough, but it was all Kenzie to could do not to shiver and rub her arms at the sub-zero tone.

She forced herself to move closer, and smile politely. “I need to speak with Josh Taylor, please.”

“He’s not here. And as you can see…” the woman nodded pointedly at the girl who’d almost finished packing.

“We’re a little busy today. I can make you an appointment for next week if you’d like, but he may not be able to keep it.”

“I’ll just catch up with him later,” Kenzie said, watching the other woman pick up her box of things and walk out. “It kind of looks like you’re closing down, actually. Why’s everyone leaving?”

The secretary frowned, giving her a closer look. “What did you say your name was, again?”

Kenzie thought about playing coy, but it was pretty clear that this woman had already guessed that she wasn’t just any old customer, and it must be a good sign that she wasn’t packing up like so many others.

“I’m MacKenzie Jones. Nice to meet you.” She held out her hand, a little surprised when the other woman shook it and actually gave her a small smile.

“He mentioned you might stop by. He also said to tell you he was going to Taste the World, and you could catch up with him there, if you want.”

Kenzie nodded. “I’ll head over there now, thank you. I appreciate it.” She turned to go, only getting a few steps before the woman spoke again.

“You’re a very lucky woman, you know. When a man basically turns his whole life upside down for you, you know he’s a keeper.”

Kenzie half-turned to meet the woman’s earnest stare. “I didn’t want him to do it for me though. I wanted him to do it for him.”

That actually earned her a laugh. “Honey, no man would make such an expensive change without some serious soul-searching. Sometimes they just need a good hard shove in the right direction, and you gave him that. He wouldn’t have acted on it if he didn’t think it was the right thing to do.”

Kenzie managed to nod before she walked out, making her way back through the warren to the front desk, and on into the parking lot. Sliding behind the wheel, she just sat for a few moments, watching people flow in and out of the building like so many ants.

From the looks of it, Josh was loosing over half his staff, though she wasn’t sure whether he’d fired them, or if they were leaving voluntarily. The documents he’d given her were basically a blueprint for turning the company into the antithesis of what his dad had built over the years. And now that she thought about it, his secretary was right. It was really kind of asinine to think he’d do something that would cause so much upheaval and profit loss to so many just because of…her.

She had to find Josh.

It took fifteen minutes to get to the mall, and she made it in ten, parking in front of Andrea’s shop. Taste the World wouldn’t open for another hour, but she knew someone would be in the back, baking. She took out her keys and walked to the front door, her nose wrinkling instinctively at the smell of something burning.

Cupping one hand against the glass, she peered inside, panic rising in her throat when she saw smoke billowing out of the kitchen over the pass-through window to the front counter.


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Talkin’ Books: August 20, 2014

Books Finished:
None

Kindle Books In Progress:
Red, White, & Blue: The Complete Firefighter Collection by Jill Shalvis
Death, The Devil and The Goldfish by Andrew Buckley
Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

Print Books in Progress:
Innocent Blood by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell

Comic Books:
None

Okay, so I did finish the first book in the Red, White & Blue collection, and I’m working on the second. But I’m afraid that’s about all I have to report, aside from a few more chapters down on Innocent Blood.

Why, you ask? Well, remember that big housekeeping/organizational project I was talking about a couple weeks ago? If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know I completely gutted my office and installed an old restaurant booth as a writing “desk”. Not only that, but I got rid of a bunch of other office furniture, so that room is now open, bright, and comfortable to work in.

Which is what I’ve been doing late nights ever since I got it done. But I didn’t move my comic book rack back there, so I haven’t been reaching for a comic book before or after I write as I used to occasionally, and I’m actually working, so I’m not heading to bed early enough to do any reading before I sleep.

It’s actually kind of problematic. I think in order to be a good writer, one must also be an avid reader…and I feel like I’m not getting nearly enough reading time in on my meager lunch hours.

But it’s also important to get a good nightly work habit established, because I’m way behind on the writing schedule this year, and I need to get some things finished and move on. I just need to build some reading time into my nightly routine as well. One thing at a time…

So…little to report this week, and there are new comics waiting at the shop for me, so I really need to get caught up on my regulars before I head out there this Saturday. Hopefully next week’s report will be far more robust…


 

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Monday Musings: On Long Distance, Cell Phones & Changing Communication Methods…

One of the major things on my to-do list last week was to schedule a hair cut. You’d think this would be an easy enough task, but my stylist has a cell phone with a long distance number, which actually adds a level of complexity that most people wouldn’t even consider.

See, when I moved out of my parents house around 15 years ago, and got my own landline, I never bothered to have long distance service put on it. It was an extra expense, and while I did have one friend who lived out of town that I called occasionally, I never needed it otherwise, so it was cheaper to just use a pre-paid phone card. When I got married, my husband had no need for long distance either, so we left it off at the new house too. Keeps our landline bill at around $32 a month.

Yes, I’m a bad relative. I never call my out of town relatives (my parents, sister, and in-laws all live here in town), and now virtually everyone has email and/or facebook (and my grandma writes actual hand-written letters). Businesses generally have a toll-free number to call, or better yet, an email address. So I still have no real need for long distance phone service. The salon my stylist used to work at always had someone there to answer the phone and make appointments, so I could just call the salon.

Not so this new salon. You must leave a message, and if you are lucky enough to catch someone, they can’t make an appt. for another stylist. So the best way to make any appt. is to get a hold of your stylist directly…and mine has a long distance cell number. I don’t think many people even think in terms of “long distance calling” anymore, do they? Since cell service generally comes with unlimited calling everywhere?

You see my problem. I do have a Google Voice number for IP calls, but they still cost money so I…don’t. And considering the rumblings on Google trying to fold Voice into hangouts, I’m hesitant to give that number out for much, though it is handy for free texting via my cell-with-no-voice-service. My family *loves* the fact that I can text now. It is pretty darn convenient at times…

I finally did get a hold of my stylist Friday at the salon, and miraculously, she had time to fit me in on Saturday. I reminded her once again that I can’t call her cell, and then it occurred to me that I *could* text her…and asked if that would be okay. She said yes, so now next time I need a haircut, I’ll text for an appointment. Crazy how times change…

I told my husband it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get by without a mobile number – even my bank wants a mobile number to text confirmation codes and web site pins to before they’ll even let you get into your accounts (I complained before I was able to get texts, and they came up with a way for us luddites to get one through our landlines, but it’s still a pain in the butt). Thing is, it isn’t difficult at all for him, because while he may work in tech, he doesn’t do anything online but surf, shop & play games, so he doesn’t run into the issue.

Interestingly though, it’s been easier for me to sort of “keep up” with the changing way that people communicate just by getting a cell phone – even though I don’t have voice service. A tablet is too unwieldy to carry in a pocket, so it’s still not optimal for “always on” communication. But I can take my cell out of its case and put it in my pocket, and get texts from my family or FB messages from people who need to contact me in “real time” (like people who are dropping by to pick things up that I’m giving away or selling, or publishing contacts) while still being free to move about and do whatever. People can contact me through FB messenger (the app everyone loves to hate – I happen to love it) even if they aren’t friends with me on FB, and it doesn’t get shunted off into some “others” folder like it does on the web site, it just comes straight to me, which is handy.

In any case, I’m slowly being lured into the cell phone culture, but my husband’s main point against getting full cell service is well made – it’s extraordinarily rare for me to actually talk on the phone. Last week was an exception, as one of my dogs was very ill and I had lots of conversations with the vet’s office (he’s much better now, thanks – and my wallet is much lighter), but otherwise, I use the phone pretty much once a week to chat with my mom. Other than that, I really have no need of actual phone service. So it would be stupid of me to pay for a service I’ll use so rarely – especially when I refuse to give up my landline (in case of major, catastrophic emergency…the landline works even when the power is out!).

But the idea of unlimited messaging to go with my data access is rather alluring. Even though I really don’t text all that much either. Honestly, I don’t *need* anything more than what I have right now, which is 4g data access and free texing/FB messaging. But the gadgety goodness aspect of it all is getting harder to resist…much to my poor hubby’s chagrin.


 

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Monday Musings: On Stories, Concerts, & Speechlessness…

NewBooth

It’s 5 minutes to 1am, and I am about done for. Physically, mentally…it’s been a busy, trying weekend all the way around and I still have a load of laundry to take out of the dryer, and another one to dry before I sleep. So if I ramble a bit more than normal, well…you should be used to that, actually.

It all started Friday night, when I made a last minute decision that hubby and I should move the couch we were giving away out of the basement and into the garage ourselves, rather than having strangers come in to get it. The couch weighs a million pounds (you think I jest…but seriously, it’s an old couch from the 70′s, with a solid metal frame for the sleeper part), and we wrestled it all the way across the basement and up a flight of stairs. Neither of us being professional furniture movers, we knew it was going to hurt the next day, just not really how *much*, or where.

Of course this put me into “superwoman” mode, and while I’d previously decided to leave the office cleaning/reorganizing until a less-busy time, I decided to go ahead and start on Saturday. As you can see from the photo above, I managed to get everything taken out, two tables and a chair sold on our local FB rummage page, and the new writing booth put into place. Unfortunately, my living room & dining room are still covered in old office remnants that need to be gone through and either tossed or put in a new home.

In any case, I spent a lot of time waiting on people to come get stuff this weekend too – that couch and the other office furniture. Last weekend, I bought my writing booth off the rummage sale, and had it delivered. A few weeks ago, I freecycled some old aquariums I had sitting around. And you know what the one common thing I noticed with all but one of the people who stopped by for one reason or another?

They all wanted to tell me a story.

We use stories to relate to each other, so really, what they wanted to do was connect. And for the most part, I enjoyed listening, though I did wonder how many of them would be so talkative if they’d known I’m a writer. Not that I’d tell anyone else’s story without obscuring names, places, etc.

As if the office project wasn’t enough this weekend, hubby and I also managed to squeeze in two concerts at the county fair going on this week. Train on Saturday night, which was incredibly popular and thus crazy-full of people, and Adelita’s Way and Pop Evil on Sunday night, which was…decidedly less popular, but the better of the two, IMO. Part of it is the acoustics at our local entertainment arena – they’ve always sucked, and they still do, so unless you sit in the “sweet spot”, it’s nearly impossible to hear the vocals of any band.

In any case, I was once again interested in the different demographics for each concert as well as the personalities of the performers, but that will have to be a post all on its own. Suffice it to say, communication is a fascinating thing, and so is relatability.

Last but certainly not least, I was struck nearly speechless this weekend, which as you might imagine, doesn’t happen to me all that often. Words are an interesting thing, really. Sometimes you just skim them and maybe something catches your eye that makes you want to read deeper, and sometimes not. Too often not, actually.

But sometimes you read something that speaks to something in you personally in a way that you really can’t put into words. Or you could, rather, if you gave it a lot of time and effort, but to do so feels like it would cheapen that sense of deep meaning you got from it. I read something that hit me like that this weekend – a poem written by a writer friend that really struck just the right chord with me to resonate so deeply I didn’t even want to really analyze it further, I just wanted to let it…be what it was, without comment. Even now, I really don’t want to tell you anything else about it, because I don’t want to fall into analytical mode and somehow lose the way it makes me feel in lieu of actual, coherent thought.

So, since it’s a public FB post, I’ll simply link to it, and perhaps you’ll get the same feeling of depth that I did (and if not, I’m betting you’ll still enjoy it).

The Unsmashed Pumpkin by Ford Forkum

Now it’s 2am, and I have to be up at 6am. So off to bed I go.


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Talkin’ Books: August 6, 2014

Books Finished:
Kindle Books In Progress:
Print Books in Progress:

Comic Books:
None

No, I didn’t get any comic books read this week either, dang it. I’ve been in a focus, focus, focus mood lately, and while that means I have actually gone to bed earlier a few nights to read more on Innocent Blood (awesome, excellent, fabulous, etc), I haven’t managed to get any comic books read.

I did, however, get to the comic book store, so I have the latest Sandman Overture, two Harley Quinns and a few Batman Eternals staring longingly from the magazine rack. Soon, my pretties. Soon.

I kind of got sidetracked last week when Jill Shalvis announced a special of three of her earlier books in one – the Red, White & Blue collection you see up there (not linked, because it’s not available anymore, though the individual Firefighter collection books are). One of my favorite authors, I sort of dropped everything to start reading that, and I’m working on the first novel now. After that, I’ll get back to Death, The Devil & the Goldfish, because…well, just because. It’s funny, and woman cannot live on romance alone (though we sure like to try at times).

I’ve taken on yet another huge housekeeping/organizational project that will keep me busy for the next few weeks, and our county fair starts this weekend, and there’s an exhibit at the art museum that I want to see that’s leaving in just a few weeks, so lots going on. But never too much for reading, and once I get the new project done, I think I’ll have a better spot for my comic book reading too. It’s gonna be really fun. Pics when it’s done.


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Monday Musings: On Want, Regret, & Recovery…

As I mentioned on FB last week, I’ve had a good pout going on recently. Why? The same reason anyone pouts, really.

I want something I can’t have.

Yes, I know “can’t” is a relative term, but quibbling the semantics would take awhile and far more details than I have any intention of giving out, so just assume I’ve done all the math and angsting over real & opportunity cost and the things I control vs. what I don’t (you know me…I over-analyze everything), and know that “can’t” is reasonably accurate in this instance.

Pouting, of course, isn’t terribly conducive to actually getting things that need to be done, done. And while I think sometimes we need to just acknowledge the fact that we’re sad/annoyed/upset by something, keeping that mindset for any length of time tends to spill over to those around us – and not in a good way. We act differently. Treat people differently. Jeopardize good relationships. It’s a very destructive place to be, mentally speaking.

Naturally, there are lots of things I can’t have, so it’s not like I get everything I want all the time. Most of those things, I just let go, without issue. The things I pout about though – those are the things that I really feel like I might regret either doing or not doing, whichever suits. In my case, I tend to regret “not doing/getting” more often, simply because I’m really not much of a risk taker, so I tend to err on the side of caution more often than not. For all that caution though, I don’t really have many actual regrets. I tend to look back on my actions and know that at that exact point in my life, with the knowledge that I had, the choice I made was the right one for where I ended up. But I can never see that when I’m trying desperately to find any which way I can to make something that just won’t work…work. Reality TV has nothing on the drama that sometimes goes on in my head.

It gets a little chaotic. And stupid, to put it bluntly.

So how do I escape such destructive mental acrobatics? The first thing I do is admit that the desire for whatever it is I want isn’t going to just go away. It’s there, it’s real, and I need to learn to live with it (or duck tape it and lock it in a dusty back room, in any case). It’s sort of giving in, but it frees up that energy I’ve been spending fighting it for other things, like the next step, which is keeping mentally busy.

The more I want something I can’t have, the more I obsess over it (which is just not healthy no matter how you spin it). So the second thing I do is bury myself in projects at work, and more projects at home (organizing, writing, cleaning, crochet, etc), to the point where it crowds out everything else. It’s less about running from whatever’s bugging me and more about letting my subconscious figure out how to deal with it while I get on with my life. It’s not like the subject doesn’t still pop up in the brain all too often, it’s just more manageable when my head is full of other things, because I’m not obsessing (over that, anyways). Eventually things quiet down again (as much as they ever do, anyways), and I’m able to manage the “want” far better once I’ve throttled it’s presence in my head. Much like any problem, I guess – stop thinking so hard about it, and the answer will generally present itself.

I also find it’s important to get more physical exercise. Exercise raises endorphin levels in the brain among other things, and while the advice to exercise more is trite, it’s also true. A friend of mine is “nagging” me by request for a week with daily emails to ask if I’ve worked out yet. I have to do at least some sort of workout every single day now. And it’s definitely helping – my mind is clearer, my focus better, and my attitude is a lot more positive as well.

Last but certainly not least is to focus on what I do have, and what I’m already happy with. Maybe I can’t have everything I want, but I can have a smaller part, and there’s no reason not to focus on/enjoy that, rather than focusing on wanting more. I have a very bad habit of getting caught up in the “all or nothing” mentality, and so often in life, that’s just an unnecessary restriction. It’s actually the root cause of a lot of unease…if I can let go of that and just live in the moment, I can avoid a lot of angst.

Easier said than done, of course, but still true.

Needless to say, my head is in a much better place than it was just a few days ago, thank goodness. I’m optimistic for the week…


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Talkin’ Books: July 30, 2014

Books Finished:
Dare to Desire by Carly Phillips

Kindle Books In Progress:
Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl
Death, The Devil and The Goldfish by Andrew Buckley
Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

Print Books in Progress:
Innocent Blood by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell

Comic Books:
None

The week before last, I thought I’d have a ton of time to read, and then my little cleaning/organizing project pretty well sucked up all the available time and energy. I did sneak in a little reading every night before bed (a day without reading is…well, a very sad day indeed), but I only got a couple chapters done on Innocent Blood every night, and the chapters are short. Still, phenomenal vampire treatment, and I’m loving it very much, but I haven’t had much time to read before bed this week, so I’m getting more done on my lunchtime books than that one now. It’s a cycle.

I did finish Dare to Desire the week before last, and I think it was almost better than the first one. Good conflict, and good reasons for the heroine to do what she did (and the hero as well – no TSTL characters, yay!).

I picked up Fanning the Flames for .99 cents, and it’s a short(er) story, so I’m in the midst of that at the moment. Still not sure if it’s pulling me into the series that it’s supposed to be pulling me into, but some of that is personal bias, the subject matter and timing all kind of working against it. That is to say, had I read it a year ago, I’d be loving it, and if I read it later, I’ll probably enjoy it then too. Sometimes timing is everything, even for books. Dahl is a great writer though, and I normally love her stories, so we’ll see.

Death, The Devil and The Goldfish is just completely, absurdly wonderful, and my husband agrees (he read it while traveling last week). I’m still working on it, but seriously, just go get a copy. It’s crazy in a completely wonderful sort of way.

Tatterdemon is still on hold, but fall is coming (really? already?) and I’m feeling the pull again. So soon.

And no comic books this week, dang it – I just haven’t made the time. But next week for sure…the next issues of Harley Quinn and Sandman Overture should be waiting at the comic shop for me this weekend – woohoo!


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