Birthday Bragging

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing this week? I can’t believe we’re already in the down swing of January. Next week is my end of the month book review. Time just isn’t going to slow down anymore. But I’ve been writing. Still only a quarter of what I used to write, but it’s been steady and it’s getting easier to start each time, so hopefully I can work my way back up soon. Aside from that, I have nothing writerly to talk about. So, I thought I’d share my birthday swag with you.

Food and sharp things, you perverts.

For my birthday meal, Dad made a pastrami and smoked mac-n-cheese! Yum… And when I say he made a pastrami, it started out as a brisket. He corned the beef, then did the magic that makes it into a pastrami. I don’t know the technical details. It’s magic! And it includes smoking it for around 20 hours. With his new smoker, he should’ve been able to set it and mostly forget it, but the fan/billows thing decided it didn’t want to work properly, so he didn’t get much sleep that night since he had to check on it periodically. I don’t have any pictures, but there are five more bags worth of meat in the freezer (a couple of meals each). The mac-n-cheese had four different cheeses, totaling about two pounds. A panko breadcrumb topping. Some beer. Such cheesy. Much yum. You can be jealous. It’s okay.

Then, a couple of days ago, I got a box from Enza in the mail. It was the New Years in Kamakura box from Sakuraco! There’s a lovely set of chopsticks and a bunch of snacks and some tea. It’s from Japan, so of course all the labels are in Japanese. I know a little of the language, but not that much. I didn’t keep up with my studies (ごめんなさい, 先生). Luckily, a booklet is included that tells you what everything is, tells you a bit about the region everything comes from, and is very specific about how to make the tea. As of the time I’m writing this, I haven’t had a chance to try anything, but I’m looking forward to it!

Borrowed from the website.

Yesterday, a package arrived from the Ukraine. Dad got me my first axe! See, at least one person reads my posts. He started looking after he read this one. It’s beautiful and heavy and sharp. He bought it from ValhallaWorld on Etsy. Don’t be fooled by the cheaper versions. If you look closely at those shops, you’ll see the telltale signs of imposters. All of the descriptions are the same and slightly wonky. It’s weird. But my new axe is excellent. Now, I just have to figure out where I want Dad to hang it!

So, I had a lovely birthday week. Thank you again to Dad and Enza and everyone who sent me birthday love! I’m old. I know. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

A to Z of Me

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing this week? Things here are good. I’ve been writing and all of that fun stuff. Fingers crossed that I can keep it up! But, I’m not really here to talk about that right now. It’s my birthday tomorrow (actually today when this goes live), so I thought I’d do another “getting to know me” type post. Instead of 36 random facts about me, I decided to look for one of those A to Z questionnaire things. They’re shorter and I don’t have to think as much. I randomly found this one during a Google search, so here we go.

A… If you were an ANIMAL, what would you be?

Probably some kind of fish. One of those ugly deep sea fish with the little light lure thing on its head. An anglerfish, I think. That might be cool.

B… BOOKS: What’s on your reading list?

Right now, just the book for January’s review post and one I ended up with to review in mid-February. Otherwise, my list is mostly the same as the last time I posted about it, but I’m slowly chipping away at it and randomly adding new stuff. I’m sure I’ll run out of stuff to talk about and share a list soon enough.

C… COMPULSIVE about anything?

Far too many things. I have a few weird rituals that I do repeatedly throughout the week, mostly when I’m in my lift for an extended period of time. It’s stupid and does nothing, but it makes me feel slightly better.

D… DREAMS: Do you… dream in color? remember your dreams? keep a dream journal?

I don’t journal at all. And it’s rare for me to remember my dreams. They’re either super mundane or straight up nightmares, nothing in between. Almost always from my own perspective and in color.

E… EATING: What’s your usual snack?

I don’t really eat snacks unless Dad and I are having a lazy day. I guess chocolate mostly. I’ll have a piece before bed if that counts as snacking. Chips if we have them. Once in a while, popcorn. Or whatever leftovers are in the fridge.

F… A Few of your FAVOURITE Things?

Food. Animals. Books. I could go on, but you just asked for a few.

G… GIGGLES! What (or who) makes you laugh? Do you have a good sense of humor?

I basically have the sense of humor of a 12-years-old boy. It’s not hard to make me laugh. Dad jokes, puns, innuendo. I’m not picky with my humor. It ranges from actually funny to completely inappropriate.

H… Major HOT Button:

I don’t really have any. I know I should probably care about stuff more, but the truth is that people are going to think what they want regardless of what I say. The only reason I ever debate anything with people is because I’m bored, but then I just get annoyed, so I don’t see the point in it.

I… I am:

A cripple. A writer. My father’s daughter. And much more.

J… JOBS: What do you do? What have you done? What would you like to do?

I’m a writer. That’s about it.

K… Also KNOWN As: Aliases? Screen names? A non de plume perhaps?

Cyn, because my old screen name was cynicalcripple and my friends were too lazy to type it out. Sak or Sakura for basically the same reason. I also have a pen name, but I haven’t published anything using it yet. When I do, you’ll know.

L… I LOVE:

Dad. Jen. Danielle. Heather. And some other people.

M… How do you feel about MEETING people? Do it all the time? Rarely? Parties or 1-on-1?

Please don’t make me. I’m not good with people. If I have to, I prefer email or text.

N… What’s the story of your NAME? Were you named after anyone? Do you go by a nickname? Any aliases?

I was named after Sean Connery and Nichelle Nichols.

O… OBSERVANT: What’s around you right now? What do you see?

My desk and armoires and sticky notes and tins of peppermint bark. Darkness outside my window. I have the front camera on, so I see the vans and trailer and truck. The heat is currently on. I can’t really smell anything because allergies suck. My ventilator is whooshing. I’m too lazy to keep listing things.

Old picture, but similar set up.

P… Who are the special PEOPLE in your life?

Just Dad, really.

Q… Any Little QUIRKs About Yourself?

I have a lot of quirks, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head. What quirks do I have?

R… What do you like to do for RECREATION?

I read books or manga. I watch anime. And I play mindless games while blasting music as loud as it will go. I’m not an exciting person.

S… Do You SING in the Shower? In the car? For your friends?

I try to only sing when I’m alone or the music drowns me out. Sometimes I slip up. Ah well.

T… What’s at the Top of your TO DO list?

Writing. Need to get back into a rhythm.

U… Any UNUSUAL Experiences?

Far too many to talk about here. Maybe in a different post. But I did have a woman sing a full on gospel version of happy birthday to me in a dance club bathroom, then she told me I was beautiful and if anyone told me different she would slit their throat. I stopped letting my sister drag me into public bathrooms after that.

V… VEGAS, Vienna, Venice, Vladivostok: How far have you travelled? What’s your favourite City?

None of those places. I do remember stopping in or near Verona, New York. Pretty sure that was the place with the awesome La Quinta. I’ve been all over the eastern side of the U.S. and up into Canada. I’m partial to the northeast.

W… WINTER, Spring, Summer, Fall: What’s your favorite season? What makes it special?

I live in Texas. We get summer and a couple of weeks of winter. Summer is better.

X… EXes: They are ex for a very good reason.

I wouldn’t know. Don’t have any.

Y… Any secret/deep YEARNINGS?

Unless you count milkshakes as secret desires, no. Not really. I’m good.

Z… ZERO to ZENITH: Where are you in your life? Still growing? On an upward (or downward) curve? Just skating along?

Pretty much just skating along right now. I think that’s what most people are trying to do thanks to COVID. Hopefully things will eventually get better.

Out of Order

Howdy, howdy! It’s the first Wednesday of a new year. How is everyone doing so far? Is 2022 going to be your year? I basically just want to survive it without getting sick, same as the last two years. But I also want to start being productive again. I failed hard in 2021 with everything except reading and blogging. It’s officially time to suck it up and get back on track. I started writing again this week. I’m not diving back into my old standards, but I’m going to work my way up to them. Same schedule, just starting out with a lower word count. But as I was writing words this week, it got me thinking about my writing system.

I started working on one of the stories I began last year and gave up on. I always knew the beginning and I know the ending, my problem is connecting the two. But what I really noticed when I opened the file is that I never wrote the ending out. I couldn’t. I can’t. The idea of writing a story out of order makes my eye twitch. I don’t mean a story has to be linear. I have no problem jumping around timelines. But I have to start at the beginning and work my way to the end. Writing random scenes and pasting them together makes me feel icky. It’s kind of ridiculous.

One of the stories I gave up on last year flips back and forth between the present and the past. In my head, I had every present scene plotted out, but I didn’t write them down because I couldn’t work out the past bits that alternated with them. I don’t know why I’m like this. It’s not like it’s difficult to skip around and insert scenes wherever I want. I use Word. All I have to do is move the cursor. It’s not like I’m writing this stuff out by hand or even using a typewriter. I should be capable of doing this.

So many other writers I know actually enjoy writing scenes and putting them together like a puzzle. It sounds so freeing. Don’t know what to write? Skip ahead! Or go back to something else you skipped. Easy peasy. But no. I have to make my life difficult. Am I worried I’ll forget to include something? Nah. I’d be one of those people who put a giant boldly colored note to “insert scene here” or something. I’m probably just super anal. Definitely. I like control and order when I write, maybe some organized chaos. But not sheer mayhem.

What about you? Do you have to write a story in a certain order or do you jump all around? Were you one, then you became the other? Or do you mix it up and write both ways? Do you have any advice for becoming someone who can work out of order? As usual, feel free to leave your thoughts or comments or questions here or on my social media pages!

Thoughts on A HISTORY OF WILD PLACES

Howdy, howdy! It’s the last Wednesday of the last month of 2021. Can you believe that? Are you ready for next year? That means this is my last book review and blog post in general for the year. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I’ve never maintained a blog this long, so wootwoot! But I digress. You’re here for a book review. I couldn’t find anything that I really wanted to read on NetGalley, so I bought a book that came out earlier this month and decided to review it. A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw was released from Atria Books (an imprint of Simon and Schuster) on December 7th. Let’s get on with the review!

Interesting cover that makes more sense after you read it.

A History of Wild Places follows Travis Wren, a man with the ability to glean the memories of others from items they’ve touched, as he searches for a missing woman, Maggie St. James. The problem is that he goes missing too. Fast forward a couple of years and Theo, a member of a commune in the woods, finds Travis’s truck abandoned. Theo becomes obsessed with his find, which forces him, his wife Calla, and her sister Bee to question everything they’ve known their whole lives. It’s unsafe to leave the commune, but they discover staying might be worse. As they search for answers, their whole world crumbles around them. Is it really worth finding the truth?

To be totally honest, I went into this book expecting to be underwhelmed by the plot. Based on Ernshaw’s other books, I figured this one would be predictable as well. It was. But it was more disappointing than I reckoned it would be. I was hoping Travis’s power would have a bigger role, but it ended up being a kind of afterthought used to make the big reveal feel more impressive. And as for the big twist, it was predictable and pretty far-fetched. I know there are people who are susceptible to that kind of thing, but I didn’t believe Bee would be one of them. In my head, I tried telling myself it was magic or fantasy or whatever. But it just felt like an easy out.

But not really.

I did love the characters though. Bee was my favorite. A strong-willed, wild individual. The whole blindness thing was great until it went poof. Like, why can’t the disabled character actually be disabled? Yes, it was expected, but it was still disappointing when it actually happened. Magic, I guess! (Yes, that was a tiny spoiler. Sorry.) Calla had the most growth as a human being, so it was nice to see her progression. Theo waffled back and forth a lot, which became annoying, but he finally sucked it up and did what he needed to do. Levi was a pretty standard cult leader. He could’ve been better.

I’m not overly fond of stories that change POV a lot, but I thought it was a really good choice for this one. I also liked that it was limited to three characters. Things can get confusing with too many POVs. There were times when I kind of wanted to jump inside Levi’s head just to see how he justified his actions, but it wasn’t really necessary.

Me during the POV shifts

But what I really chose this book for was Ernshaw’s writing style. It’s lyrical and peaceful and just lovely. Despite the darker material, the writing always makes me feel warm and cozy. This book was no exception.

Ultimately, I enjoyed A History of Wild Places, but not for the usual reasons. I will definitely keep an eye out for more work by Ernshaw, because I love her writing style, but I’ll always be wary of the predictability of the stories themselves.

starstarstarstar outlinestar outline

Overall, I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. It’s not my favorite book by Ernshaw, but it’s not bad. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something with a fairy tale feeling. But not something I’d avidly encourage you to read.

End of Year Rant

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing? Are you ready for the coming year? Things here are annoying, so I thought I would vent a little. It’s nothing super important or life and death or anything. It’s just irksome. The government is involved, so of course everything is taking way longer than it should and it’s all a giant hassle when it should be easy peasy. They’ve had years to streamline the process, but they have not. Just like with everything else they’re involved in. Things shouldn’t be this complicated. But anyway…

Some backstory. Dad started collecting social security this year. Well, according to a lawyer we went to when we made our wills (he specializes in cripple stuff), since I’m cripple, I should’ve been eligible to receive some benefits when Dad started collecting. We knew this, but we didn’t know what all we would have to do when the time came. So, when the SSA said we needed to complete a form for me to receive the benefits, we searched high and low on the website for it, but couldn’t find anything. Ugh. We called on July 23rd to find out what to do. Long story short, I would need to set up a phone meeting and answer some questions (no mention of a form), but there were no appointments available at that time. They would be in touch.

Fast forward to October when Dad starts receiving his benefits. We still haven’t heard anything about my appointment, though we have been calling at least once a month to make sure no one has forgotten. The nice SSA people all assured me it was just a matter of waiting, but that I won’t be penalized because they know I’ve been in touch and trying my best to move things along. The waiting game continues until Dad gets a super weird letter and calls them again himself in November. The lady he talks to thinks the wait is ridiculous as well and puts him in touch with a woman who sends our issue up to her bosses.

Are we, though?

At this point, Thanksgiving is upon us along with the rest of the holidays. More waiting. Then, yesterday I get an email from an ssa.gov email address that contains the correct national phone number to call back, so I open it. My appointment has been scheduled! For February… at like 9 in the morning despite my requests for an afternoon appointment. Whatever. I will make it work. And I will call today to confirm that the appointment is legit, that they have my correct contact info, and who I should call in the event that no one calls me.

Again…

But seriously. Why has it taken over six months just for an appointment? And there’s no guarantee that the appointment will be the end of this process. It probably won’t be, because at that point, they’re probably going to give me trouble about keeping my Medicaid, which will start another cycle of drama. I’m dreading that one even more than this whole mess. Why do they make everything so complicated? Ugh. Wish us luck. I’ll be back next week with my regularly scheduled book review. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and stories here or on my social media pages!

Things I Should’ve Done Today

Howdy, howdy! What’s everyone been up to lately? Things have been quiet here. I was supposed to be productive today. But I wasn’t. What’s new there? Instead, I listened to loud music while Dad ran an errand. I played stupid games. And I wasted time being social. Kind of. The minion and one of his spawn came by to drop something off for Dad. I mostly listened to them ramble. That’s as social as I get. But it was good seeing them after so long. Stupid plague. Nothing else got done.

I mostly should’ve been preparing to write this post. I didn’t have anything lined up to write about anyway, but I probably could’ve come up with something better to ramble about if it weren’t already so late. Or I would’ve kept procrastinating and written this anyway. At least I can blame it on the minion this week.

The other thing I really should’ve done is read. I’m reading two books and they’re both pretty long. I need to get through about 20 pages a day of the book I’ll be reviewing this month in order to finish it in time. I built in a couple of lazy days just in case, but I should try to get it done anyway. It takes me about an hour. The other book is my pre-bedtime read. I try to get at least half an hour in each night. I’ll at least do that tonight.

I should probably also have written an email and scheduled a video chat, but they can wait. It’s just for my jailbird sister. I keep putting off scheduling the video chat because I have better ways to waste my time. But at least Dad can join in this time (if I have to suffer, so do you). I also need to write emails to a couple of other people, but it’s nothing time sensitive or even important. I should just check in with some people who aren’t on social media.

There are probably things I’m forgetting, but it doesn’t really matter. Today was supposed to be a blog day and reading day. Instead, it was a people-ing kind of day. But I’m going to leave this kind of short and go catch up on reading. What were you supposed to do today? Did you do it? As always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments here or on my social media pages!

A Year of Reading

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing? I spent far too much time trying to fix something unfixable before I realized it was Amazon’s fault, so it’s late and I’m cranky. In other words, this post is just going to be a lazy one. It’s a recap of what I’ve read this year, plus the last two I plan on finishing. It’s pretty much what you would expect from a reading list from me.

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. It’s still my favorite of the series.

2. One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon. You can see my review here.

3. Take Joy by Jane Yolen. It was a nice little craft book, but nothing spectacular.

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. A little more rambling than I remembered, but still in my top three HP books.

5. The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey. You can see my review here.

6. Dark Shadow by Danielle Rose. A good series.

7. Vasilisa by Julie Mathison. You can see my review here.

8. Dark Descent by Danielle Rose. A good series.

9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. Probably in the bottom three of my favorite HP books.

10. Down World by Rebecca Phelps. You can see my review here.

11. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Somewhere in the middle of my favorite HP books.

12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. Probably my least favorite HP book.

13. Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur. You can see my review here.

14. Dark Power by Danielle Rose. A good series.

15. Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan. You can see my review here.

16. Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien. I love this cozy mystery series.

17. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. I was super disappointed by this one.

18. Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert. A little description heavy, but a cute cozy series.

19. Walking Through Needles by Heather Levy. You can see my review here.

20. Watch Her by Edwin Hill. The series is on the darker end of the cozy spectrum and worth checking out.

21. Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron. You can see my review here.

22. A Crafter Hooks a Killer by Holly Quinn. A cute series, but nothing special.

23. Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts. You can see my review here.

24. Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw. A lovely read, if a bit predictable.

25. A Time to Swill by Sherry Harris. Another cute series.

26. Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran. Beautiful illustrations, but the fairy tale retelling was just meh.

27. The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher. You can see my review here.

28. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I freaking loved this book and I have no idea why. It’s not my usual genre, but it gave me all the feels and I can’t get over how much I enjoyed it.

29. The Christmas Dress by Courtney Cole. You can see my review here.

30. Murder Always Barks Twice by Jennifer Hawkins. Another super cute cozy series and it features a corgi.

31. Storm the Earth by Rebecca Kim Wells. I probably should’ve re-read the first book in this duology, but things eventually came back to me. Definitely recommend it.

32. Flying Angels by Danielle Steel. You can see my review here.

33. Midnight Spells Murder by Mary Angela. It’s not a bad cozy series, but not great.

34. Currently Reading: Shackled Fates by Thilde Kold Holdt. I am in love with this trilogy so far.

35. Currently Reading: A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw. I couldn’t find a book I wanted to review this month, so I decided to buy Ernshaw’s newest book and review it later this month.

End of Year Stuff

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing? Can you believe it’s already December? The year just slipped right on by. I’m still stuck somewhere back in March. But seriously, it wasn’t a very good year productivity-wise, as you very well know if you’ve been stalking me. I don’t really know what happened. I just got lazy and everything spiraled out of control. But I really need to get back on track for next year, so I’m just going to ramble a bit about my goals for this month. They aren’t much, but hopefully enough to get me back on track for being productive in 2022.

1. Read two books. This is pretty much the only thing I’ve kept up with this year. My goal was to read 35 books and I just started my 34th of the year. As long as I can finish that one and pick/finish a book to review by the end of the month, I’ll at least have my reading goal done. It shouldn’t be a problem.

2. Research publishing companies and how to query them. I’ve given up on finding an agent for the current book I was sending out, but I do want to try some publishers before I decide to put it away for a while. I just don’t know how different the querying process is for publishers vs. agents. So, I’ll have to do some Googling and/or pester people for advice.

3. Read through the current novel-in-progress. It’s already fully outlined and ready to be written (I believe it’s about halfway done, maybe a little less), so I need to at least finish the first draft. It’s the sequel to the novel I was querying, so I think I just got a bit discouraged and disgusted with the whole thing. But I still love these books and want to work on them, so hopefully I can drop back into that world and finish the draft. We’ll see how I feel after I re-read what I have.

4. Write words. It doesn’t have to be good words or even a lot of words, but I do need to get back in the habit of sitting here, opening a document, and writing something at least four days a week (five if you count blogging). I’m not even going to worry if it’s all part of the same story. Just practice for getting back into the novel-in-progress. When I start that, I’ll decide whether to focus on a specific word count or just time staring at the screen. And whether I want to establish a daily goal or weekly one.

That’s my plan for December. Nothing too demanding or exhausting. Just something to hopefully set me up for a better writing year in 2022. Forcing myself has failed miserably this year, so maybe easing myself into it will work better. But I really need to start trying again. Being lazy is only an excuse for so long before people start accusing you of being depressed. What about you? What are your plans for the last month of 2021? Are you wrapping up current goals or starting to plan for next year? As always, feel free to share your thoughts or questions here or on my social media pages!

Thoughts on FLYING ANGELS

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing today? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving over here, so happy Turkey Day/Friendsgiving/whatever to those who celebrate and happy Thursday to those who don’t! But today it’s book review time. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone this month, but I wanted something safe. Something that was bound to be decent at least. So, I went with Danielle Steel’s new book, Flying Angels. It was released on November 23rd from Delacorte Press (an imprint of Random House). As usual, I must thank them and NetGalley for allowing me access to an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. So, let’s do the thing.

Not a bad cover.

Flying Angels follows a group of young women who end up becoming nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron during World War II. They come from all walks of life and have encountered various struggles along the way, but in the war, they’re all the same. They’re just nurses trying to keep the young men from the frontlines and themselves alive. Death doesn’t discriminate. They all have to learn that one way or another.

So, I thought I was safe with a Danielle Steel novel. She’s a prolific writer with fans all over the world. She must be good, right? There must be a reason she’s so popular, right? Even if the genre isn’t my usual cup of tea, at least the writing must be passable, right? Wrong. I was wrong on all counts. And the sad part is, I probably really would’ve liked the book if it didn’t read like an outline of a story. I know it’s hard to balance showing and telling, but this book was ninety percent telling. Personally, I hate that. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but I’m not a fan. You can tell me a hundred times how selfless and wonderful a person is, but if you don’t show me, I just don’t care.

Me to every single character.

Speaking of selfless and wonderful, no one in this entire book had flaws except inconsequential rich people. They were just there to show how much better their daughters were than them. I mean, we’re told the characters grow and are changed by the end, but how? They were perfect to begin with, so they had nothing to learn. Even the deaths of family and friends can’t make these people bitter or angry. It’s friggin’ annoying. Like, I know they aren’t real people in the first place, but I at least want characters who have human qualities.

Also, I despise third person omniscient POVs. They’re rarely done well and the narrator hops around people’s thoughts and feelings until everything becomes muddled. It’s especially confusing when most of the characters are she/her. Learn to use names or at least change paragraphs when you’re hopping around people’s heads. I know this is just a pet peeve of mine. Some people really like this POV. I’d rather be closer to the main characters.

Every time a random thought showed up that had nothing to do with one of the main characters.

Aside from everything else I hated about this book, the writing was repetitive and bland. In the first twenty pages, the same five tidbits were repeated at least fifty times each. It could’ve been edited down to three pages and still conveyed the exact same message. Better yet, there could’ve been a few scenes showing me these things instead of just telling me. But enough ranting.

Ultimately, I hated Flying Angels. I loved the premise, but the execution was horrible. If I never read another Danielle Steel book in my life, I won’t care. Maybe her other books are better. Maybe this was an anomaly. Don’t know and don’t care. People like her. I’m just not one of them.

starstar outlinestar outlinestar outlinestar outline

Overall, I gave it 1 out of 5 stars. Mostly because you can’t give zero star ratings on most websites. If you are a fan, by all means read it. Enjoy what you enjoy. If you’re not already a fan, maybe try something else by her first.

November Thanks

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing today? I’m still struggling with productivity and all of that. And I have no idea what to ramble about in these posts, since I can’t complain about current writing problems. Can’t have problems if you’re avoiding it. But, since it’s November, I guess I should write about things I’m thankful for. Thanksgiving is next week, but so is my book review post. It’s now or never, I guess. I know most people announce one thing a day for the entire month, but I’m too lazy for that. So, in no particular order, here are thirty things I’m thankful for at the moment.

1. Dad. Of course he starts off the list. This should be no surprise to anyone. He takes care of me, annoys me, and cooks me good food. What else do I need?

2. Little sis (Jenae). Chosen family is the best. You’re always there to listen and commiserate and just be random together. Love you, sis.

3. Danielle. For much the same reasons as Jen. Hugs!

4. Stonecoasters. We might not talk often, but they’re there when I need them.

5. Old Interwebz (Yahoo chat) friends. I still can’t believe I’ve known most of you like 15 years and you still keep me around. You’re weirdos and I love it.

6. Borden’s eggnog. Because eggnog. What else is there to explain?

7. Ghirardelli peppermint bark. See above.

8. Books. I just like reading, but I can also say they’re for work and not be lying. They don’t even have to be boring books. I can read all the genres and say I’m studying tropes and character development and all that jazz.

9. Medical technology. Wheelchairs and ventilators and patient lifts and suctions and pretty much everything that makes my life possible. They’re all great. It’s a pain in the ass to get them through the government (or absurdly expensive out of pocket), but life would suck without them.

10. Music. What would life be without it?

11. Anime. I liked it before it was cool.

12. X-men. Just heard Disney’s rebooting the ’90s cartoon and I’m cautiously excited. If it comes to fruition, I guess we have to get Disney+ in 2023.

13. Bats. They’re adorable.

14. Wombats. They’re adorable and poop cubes.

15. Octopuses. They’re just awesome in general.

16. Let’s make this easy and say most animals. I just like animals.

17. Computers. I wouldn’t have most of my friends without computers.

18. Grocery deliveries. Sure, it’s not ideal, especially when the packer doesn’t read your requests or has zero idea how to pick produce, but it’s made pandemic life easier. It means Dad doesn’t have to go to the store as often.

19. Doctor visits via webcam. I despise the trip to UT Southwestern, so these “telehealth” visits have been awesome. I don’t get to go to a restaurant afterwards, but with Covid, I don’t know if I’d want to stop anywhere anyway. I also like not having to get up early just to get there on time.

20. Pretty people. I know I’m not supposed to objectify people and all that, but whatever. I don’t harass people or make inappropriate comments to strangers. But I can still look. Cripples can be creepers too! I’m only creepy sometimes. I swear.

Animated people count as people. Artist: Lorinell

21. The fact that my friends accept my creepy side. You know who you are.

22. Spiked coffee. I haven’t had one in a while, but like knowing it’s an option.

23. British murder mysteries. They can be weird, but tend to be enjoyable.

24. All things rainbow. Contrary to popular opinion, my love of rainbow stuff has nothing to do with the LGBTQ+ scene (that’s just a happy bonus). I just like ridiculously colorful things.

25. Notebooks. I don’t use them, but love having them. It’s weird.

26. Boxes and baskets. Decorative storage. It’s another one of my weird likes because I don’t actually need them.

27. Cheese. That needs no explanation.

28. Pasta, bread, carbs. Again, no explanation needed.

29. Seafood. Actually, food in general.

30. That November only has 30 days, because I’m totally out of things I’m thankful for at the moment. I’m sure there are things hiding in the back of my brain, but they aren’t helping me out.

What are you thankful for? As always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments here or on my social media pages!