Friday, March 28, 2014

Dear Anonymous... Kiss my Bumper Sticker, Pleeeeze!

This is a rant, of course, to all of you out there who not only stop by and leave a comment--some are nice, of course--and then tell me to come by and check out your blog. I know your name is not "Anonymous". Whenever any of us bloggers sees this "Anonymous" it's a red flag that you have no Blogger id. Got it?

If you think you are being clever by leaving a comment and you do not have any other name other than "Anonymous", you're wasting your time. Please don't bother leaving a comment. My spammer works really well, it comes to my email, and it never sees the light of day on my blog unless I okay it. It will not be published unless I press "publish" after reading it in my email.

In most cases the one who has posted has left their blog's link in hopes to have you come over to check it out. The posts are usually ads for something. Are you getting paid for being annoying? Because that's all you are. You're not only "Anonymous" but "Annoying". Possibly this is what should come up--"Annoying" instead of "Anonymous" whenever you leave a comment.

This morning, just out of curiosity, I went to check this one out since it had Dr. Oz's name linked to it--yeah, I really didn't think that Dr. Oz had come to read my blog and left a nice message--so I had to find out where it came from. Sure thing it was a link to an ad for weight loss help. The Carcinia Cabogia sort of tipped me off since I've heard about it on radio ads a lot lately. I knew that Dr. Oz wouldn't have time to come an read my blog, so I wasn't fooled in the least bit.

Right. So, if you are one of these ANNOYING NON-HUMANS who are leaving these messages on my blogs,
STOP IT! 
I normally hit delete as soon as I see it in my mail box w/o opening it up. Compredre? Don't waste my time or yours.

In other things:
I've a little bit of carpal tunnel going on, and I'm about to finish up this Mother of all Granny Afghans. I hope this weekend so I can hunker down on the edits of this fourth book. I've had one beta reader say that the ending was a bit blah. I may have to have some input by any of you. I'll post it. But later on.

Ciao,


Saturday, March 22, 2014

SPRING FEVER

Yep. I've got Spring Fever. You know when you can't wait until you feel a warm breeze, instead of an icy cold one, or the thought of not having to wear a winter coat, or maybe looking out your window and NOT SEEING ANY FRIGGING SNOW!

Yesterday we did have a 50 degree reading. That was nice. And my husband and I went and climbed on top of one of the remaining snow drifts in the yard. It is still at least 3 feet deep, I kid you not! There are still piles of it in our driveway, and in parking lots in town and along the ditches. I've pinpointed the date on which we will no longer see any bit of snow and that will be April 8th. We'll see if I'm correct. I've said all winter long it won't be until April when you won't see this snow on the ground. We've got some cold days still, with 30's for highs and lows down under the freezing point. But it will happen. We've been seeing all sorts of spring heralding birds in our yard or flying overhead. The sandhill cranes came through a few days ago, and they like to head back to Kansas or Nebraska to the larger birding/wildlife areas where no one is allowed inside--not even "dog walkers" or people who would disturb the nesting areas.

I'm still trying to finish this huge granny square afghan. I need to finish it because the yard work will take me outside and I won't have time for much else. I needn't tell you that this winter was extremely hard on all of us. And a body wanted "comfort food" in excess. Even my husband tells me he knows he will have a hard time getting back into shape. Me, I'm thinking of going back on the Adtkin's diet. I lost a lot of weight fast the last time I did this. I saw the pounds just drop off in a matter of over-night. That was years ago, before they had the snack bars and frozen foods.

And my edits are just sitting there waiting for me to get back to them. I'm blaming Spring Fever on not being able to attend to this. I've got the crochet bug bad, I guess. Every new pattern (well, every other) I see I want to try. It's crazy.

This one was something I found and wanted the pattern. Well they didn't offer it. Instead the crafter offered a lucky winner to win a free pattern. Screw that. I've crocheted since I was a teenager, I could see how this pattern went together. It's pretty straight forward.


It begins with your magic circle (chain 4, slip stitch in first chain, and chain 3-counts as first double crochet in the first row). You make 16 dc's in the magic circle (remember that the first ch-3 is one dc). Row 2 is ch 3, then 3 dcs after this, chain 5. you make four dc's chain 5 around, and join with a slip stitch. Row 3: ch 3, dc in each dc, then in the chain 5 you made on last row, make 2 dc's, chain 4 this time, 2 dcs in the chain, dc in each dc--around. You're going to do this through the fifth row, same pattern, only you reduce the chains until you get to row 5, and you have only 2 chains at the corner. Easy. I worked on this with a really thin green yarn and used a size F hook. I'm actually going to keep going on the square, as there wasn't that much yarn left on this ball, and thought I'd just make it as however large as I can.

Since I'm going to make this a quick post I'll direct any of you who are into crocheting to this page. If you have not signed up to Laying It All Out, and you'd like to, go for it. You will find lots of free patterns, some you can down load as ebooks and such. It's what had had me going cross-eyed lately, with all the great patterns. More than I'll have time to work on in whatever's left of my lifetime.

Well, I should go to work on those edits. I'll have to try and get something done today on that!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday Is For Crochetters

Hi, ladies. If you are one of my many lurkers, or regular visitors, who like to crochet, or are a beginner and want something interesting to work on, well, I've got some patterns for you today!

I learned to crochet from my aunt, when it was in my teens. My mother had passed away and my aunt would have me over for a week and she would show me how to crochet and sew. I've become quite the nut about crocheting patterns, again. I used to sell a number of things I made (not just crocheted things, but pop bottles I would paint on, and other crafts) back in the 90's. I made a little money with my crafts, but the crafting trend wore off, and a lot of these cheaper products came in from 3rd world countries, and people quit buying things from crafters. As a result crafters lost places to sell their items. I went into my writing full-time. Right now, I'm needing a break from working on writing exclusively. I've lost all my patterns, so I've been on the look out for places to find some free ones. And I've found it! It's called "Laying It All Out" and if you want to subscribe, it's free! You'll get emails with gobs of crochet patterns, and even knitting every day. Sometimes you might get more than one, and you'll have more patterns than you can shake a size H hook at!

Anyway, I'd like to try and start posting about CROCHETING once a week--if I can keep this up--post about crocheting, bring you links to patterns, and other bloggers who have tutorials, that you might like, and up-dates on what I'm working on, of course.

TODAY I've got some links for you and these are FREE patterns! Some of them you'll have to find the links to what you want to look at, but again, it's FREE.

First up: A Flower Scrubbie over on Vallieskids Blog. Very easy, and a great idea for cotton yarn projects if you have some left overs especially. Actually, if you don't want to use it as a dish cloth--they're way too pretty and I must admit the cotton yarn is a bit expensive to use on something you scrub dishes with, but you could use them as nice little coasters. The pattern is so easy!

Next: Best Crocheted Head Bands--there's a number of them here, I'm sure you'll go hit on every one of them to check it out! I know I will!! Head bands are in, now. I'm not sure why they went out of style, but if you like wearing them, or you have a little girl who wears them, you'll have something cute to make for her. Here's a sample of them:
Anthropology knock-off Headband

Butterfly-bobby pins

Happy-day headband

And may I direct you over to another crochet blogger. I was amazed to find so many of you out there! This is Heidi Bears blog. She does a lot of Hexagons, and here she shows how to join them using the hook. It's a complicated maneuver, and I have done this, back when I used to crochet a lot, and needed to see how it was done.

Okay, I think I've given you all something to work on today.

Lorelei's tip of the week: Trying to follow patterns is difficult, and if you loose your place that can be frustrating. Use a Sticky Note to mark where you are in the pattern. I suggest using a large one, cut it in half and use it to block off the sections you don't want to look at. I happen to be dyslexic and so this is the best way I know how to keep my eyes focused on where I'm at!

Oh, and THIS is what I'm working on today, at least for a few hours this morning while I enjoy a cup of Maxwell House International cafe'--hazelnut. I'll admit the picture wasn't clear because she used variegated yarn. If I can figure out how to post a picture of what I'm doing, I will. I'm not good at this technology stuff and have no fancy digital camera to use, so be patient. I'm working on it.

Happy Crocheting everyone!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Facts, Ma'am

With March comes change... or so it is supposed to be that way. At least the temperatures are starting to go up, instead of down!

My week:
On Sunday night I woke with a bunch of ideas for two books--one was actually for the 8th book of the Sabrina Strong series (don't hate me). I had to get up and make notes, and since we weren't scheduled to work Monday, I sat at the kitchen table, made myself a cup of hot chocolate (with milk), and made some verbal notes (it was around 2:30 am).

The next day I wasn't able to work on much. Oh... yeah. Time (effing) change.

Monday was a go-to-town day. We did a bunch of things, including take check to pay on the truck, and then got the oil changed in it. We went to a few other places. At the end of the day I kept thinking it was like a preview of what it would be like when I retire from having to go to a job. I would know how to fill my day up with things I want to do. So, I sat and crocheted that afternoon thinking about it. It didn't help that we ran into my husband's brother and his wife and learned that she had quit working in her job for the school district (she is my age), I was quite jealous. Wish I could just up and quit like that. She's too young to take retirement, but probably had enough of a pension. Or something else is going on that wasn't mentioned. She has no real hobbies. Not even gardening. I think she doesn't like to get dirty, and she definitely isn't a camper at all. What she does to fill up her time, I haven't a clue. Maybe she's taking time to be with her aging mother. That's a possibility. Boy, the wrong people get all the breaks. If I were to retire today, I'd have lots to do.

On Wednesday it snowed. We didn't drive that day. NIU has been in Spring Break. So, we only took 3 runs, and put Wednesday up because we knew it would snow and just didn't want to deal with it. After the thaw on Monday, the ground was too soft to plow, and then the sun melted most of it, anyhow.

Thursday we drove. Six hours driving a bus is no picnic. And My husband has decided he can't do it any more. He has back issues. The run he had to do is not forgiving in giving you breaks. You have to keep on driving it until you get back to the student center (an hour run).

Today we didn't work again. We had to run to town, came back and I go my computer back into my office. It's been warmer in here and so it only takes a couple of heaters to get it up to 60+ in here.

I'm not putting pressure on myself this year. I've got the two books I'm working on. One is in edits, and the other one I'm still writing. Now that I've got my office back, I should be able to get something done, eventually. No noise, and I'm closed off from the world in here.

I'm still trying to get my speakers to work. I have no idea how I did it last time. Too many things to plug in and it says "speaker out" but I have no idea why it doesn't work. I got it to work last time by reconfiguring it. Maybe by luck I'll do it again. *shrugs*

Last year was different. I was super busy.  My publisher kept pushing back the release of my third book, I got the "edits" which may have been done by his 5-year old, and when the actual book came out I found errors in it.  Thank goodness he quit the business! I had to quickly go through each book, and especially the third one, make corrections and put them out as an Indie, and I was working on book 4, plus 2 other books!

This year I'm not pushing myself at all. I've got two books I'm working on. Edits on # 4 SS book is mid-way, and now I've got the privacy of my office, I'll settle in and work again on that.

Dhampir Legacy is still in works. I work on it as I can. The last two weeks I've been trying to write one scene where snakes are involved, but for some reason it just wasn't coming, and so during my wakefulness back on Sunday night, I realized I needed to interrupt this scene with a new one, and so that one came and I wrote it. It involves a minor character, but I need to tie up those loose ends on that.

I need a year off from doing very much writing. That might be why I've  turned to crocheting. I hope to do a little more gardening too. Need to loose some winter fat BAD!

Those are the facts. Hope your week went well.



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Due to Circumstances Beyond Our Control...

I was without Internet for a few days, and so, I wasn't around... in case anyone wondered, asked, or even missed me?

It actually made it easy for me to get something done for a change.

Edits on Vampire Caprice is still in progress. I will be sending a section of chapters to my second beta reader to go over them. Meanwhile I have been using the saved PDF's from Grammarly. I'm finding that in some cases it's not fool proof, and it doesn't know French at all. But when it catches something, it's a good thing I had it. I will go through it using these various editing devices, and then my last editing will be me doing a find & replace, or whatever, when I'm ready. After that, I read through it TWICE. So, that being said, it might be April when I've got this bad boy out. It is a long book. 343 pages, as a matter of fact.

Meanwhile work on Dhampir Legacy is suspended until I have finished with Caprice, or, I'm letting the manuscript sit a while between readings.

Work on my large afghan (granny square), is coming along. I have placed a number of the squares out on a sheet on the floor to see how I want it, and where I want the colors. It also lets me see what colors I still need to make before I go ahead with stitching them together. And a friend is having a June baby, and I want to crochet a baby blanket for the bundle for her shower. So, I'm busy.

Despite the fact that it is March, we still have snow--piles that have been here since January, in fact--and are expecting more. But the weather prediction is for 40's coming in soon. Could we actually see some melting and thawing soon? We were discussing that perhaps we should bet on our last snow event, or the last day we see snow on the ground. I'm going with April 8th--on the snow sticking around. March 25th for the last snow flying.

So, there you have my updates. I'll be posting irregularly until further notice.

COME ON SPRING!

Customer Reviews... Good, Bad, and Best!

I always cringe when I see a new review has come up on my books. I'm never sure what they will say. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised,...