Happy 2020!

Howdy, howdy!  Welcome to 2020!  I hope you all have a wonderful year and even better decade!  The 2010s were a weird decade for me.  My mother passed away (don’t be sorry, I’m not), I finished my BA at SMU, got my MFA from Stonecoast, got published a couple of times, earned a LOT of rejections, lost some pups, got a new one, and the list goes on.  Ultimately, it seems like there were more ups than downs, and that’s all one can really hope for.  It’s all I want out of 2020 as well, both the year and the decade.  Anyway, since it’s the 1st, I’m just going to list my goals for the year.  I suppose I should have some kind of 10 year plan, but I don’t.  I never think that far ahead, at least not seriously.  So, you’re stuck with my plan for the year like usual.

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My 2020 goals in no particular order:

1. Finish revising DS1.  I plan on getting back to this today.  The only major change I’m looking at making is changing the tense of the story from past to present because it just reads better that way.  This goal is my priority for this year.  Hopefully, it will only take me a few months.  After I look at it, I’ll set a realistic deadline and share it with people who can hold me accountable.

2. Read 30 books.  I’ll definitely read 12 new/recently released books for the monthly book reviews (yeah, that’s still going to be a thing).  That leaves 18 books.  I’m planning on 8-10 of those being books from my “to re-read” list and the rest being books that are new to me, but not necessarily new.  At least that’s the plan.  We’ll see how it goes.

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Maybe I will start with Harry Potter. After I read some books my secret Santa sent me for the Pseudopod book exchange.

3. Keep submitting.  This will be my third year of consistent submissions.  At least two stories every week (or the equivalent if I get sick and miss some weeks like last year).  I’ve gotten about 210 rejections for my short stories since I started keeping track in 2014, plus 101 rejections from agents for G&G, so I’d say I’m doing pretty well.  The few acceptances I’ve earned make it not so discouraging.  All of my acceptances so far have been for semi-pro level payment and I’ve received positive feedback on rejections from pro level markets, so hopefully 2020 will be the year of my first pro level acceptance.  A girl can wish, right?

4. Query 100 agents (or fewer if I find one).  Once I finish the revisions to DS1, the plan is to query agents.  It’s drastically different from G&G, so I’ll have to go through the process of finding agents with a taste for this particular genre.  But at least this time I’ll have had some experience and know where to start my search.  I dread writing the query letter, though.  It’s harder to write than a novel.

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Except I’m not a lady and I have no stash yet, but one day it will be glorious.

5. Crochet.  Yes, my new hobby is still a thing.  I’m getting pretty far along with my first project (the unfinished hat doesn’t count).  And I already have like 10 free patterns saved to try and 20 paid patterns in my favorites on Ravelry to buy when/if I decide to do them.  But it’s just a hobby and will have to be done after my writing and revising each day.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  I’ll make it work.  Eventually.

Those are my goals for the year.  I’ll add new writing goals once I finish my revisions.  And I’m not even going to say anything about trying to be more social because we all know it’s not going to happen.  What about your goals?  Any plans you want to share for your 2020?  As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

Less Screen Time: Pros and Cons

Howdy, howdy!  How is everyone doing this December?  Are you ready for whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating?  We aren’t planning on doing anything this year, so we’re pretty much prepared.  Anyway, I haven’t been doing much aside from reading and crocheting.  That means I don’t have much to talk about.  But it also means I’ve been away from the computer more often than usual.  It makes for a weird combination of good and bad.  So, I thought I would take a chance to ramble about some of the pros and cons I’ve noticed about being away from the screen.

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Pro 1: Less social media drama.  Don’t get me wrong, I love lurking and seeing how everyone I know is doing, but I really like not getting sucked down all the flame war rabbit holes.  I still scroll through everything on a daily basis, but I find myself reading fewer comments because I’d rather go play with yarn than watch people argue.  It just seems like a better use of my time.

Con 1: Less socializing.  I don’t socialize enough as it is, but being away from the computer means that I don’t respond to Facebook messages right away.  I rarely respond to texts right away anymore, unless it’s important.  It’s just not as easy to multitask when my computer is in my room and I’m in the dining room.  So, sorry if I haven’t messaged you enough or in a timely manner.  I’m being worse than usual about it.

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Pro 2: Yarn doesn’t judge me when I curse at it.  Try it.  You can say anything you want to yarn and the worst it will do is tangle itself up, which just results in more colorful language.  Say the wrong thing online and someone’s going to blow up at you whether you were talking to them or not.  Yarn is good.  Yarn doesn’t judge.  Be like yarn.

Con 2: Yarn won’t help you with stupid things.  As good a listener as yarn is, it won’t offer unhelpful solutions when you need a laugh.  That’s what my Interwebz friends are for, to send me stupid memes and GIFs when I’m in a funk.

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And sometimes yarn curses back.

Pro 3: Finding new communities to be part of and learning people you already know are in those communities.  I’ve joined a few crochet and fiber arts groups only to discover people I already know are in them!  It’s actually kind of cool to join a group and realize you already have friends there.  Plus, it’s nice to have places to go and ask beginner questions and get a lot of feedback.

Con 3: The groups are online.  In other words, I join them and stalk them for a few minutes, then go back to the dining room.

Ultimately, I’m still on my computer a lot, but being away from it seems to be helping my mental health.  I don’t know if it’s just being away from the negativity of social media or if it’s doing something with my hands or a combination of the two, but I feel better (not as depressed and anxious as usual).  So, I think less screen time is good, but I still need it to socialize.

What are your thoughts on screen time and social media breaks and all that good stuff?  Feel free to leave your comments or thoughts here or on my social media pages!

December Goals: 2019

Hello, hello!  It’s the last month of 2019 and I haven’t really accomplished much the last few months.  I’m not really looking to do much this month either.  Shame on me, I know.  But it’s true.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m not going to be able to shake the writing blahs any time soon.  But I still have some goals that I intend to work on.  And I haven’t shared a goal post in a while, so that’s what I’m doing now.  Sorry that I have nothing better to ramble about.

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So, here are those goals in no particular order:

1. Keep submitting to two places each week.  I fell behind on this when I was sick earlier this year, but I caught up and have no plans to give up now.  I’ve gathered a lot of rejections, mostly form, but with some really nice personal ones sprinkled throughout.  You know about the acceptances if you stalk me at all.  It’s been a really good year submission-wise.

2. Read 2 more books.  I know I originally wanted to read 30 books this year, but I think I’m going to top out around 27.  I just finished number 25.  If I hadn’t gotten sick, I probably could’ve squeezed in a few extra.  But honestly, I’ll be happy if I only get through 26.

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Zombies need sweaters too.

3. Crocheting.  I was stupid and chose a big ambitious project as a newbie.  There’s no way I’m finishing it this year, but I want to get a big chunk of it done, so in January I can switch my main focus back to writing like I should’ve done a long time ago.  I have to remind myself that crocheting is just supposed to be a hobby.

4. Being more social.  I went to SMU’s Celebration of Lights with Dad and some friends.  We even have another holiday thing planned with them.  But I also really need to text and Facebook message some people because I have been hermitting really bad.  Like worse than usual.  I blame the crochet because it doesn’t involve the computer, so I can’t multitask when I’m doing it.  But really, I’m just enjoying my own company.

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5. Get in a festive mood.  It’s hard.  I can’t get into Christmas music.  I’m not in the mood to look at lights.  I thought going to SMU’s thing would help, but it didn’t do much for me.  Maybe the holiday party will help.  Or maybe I’m just a Grinch.  But I have eggnog, so I’m a happy Grinch.

What about you?  Do you have any December goals?  Are you already filled with the holiday spirit or are you struggling too?  As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

Thanksgiving: 2019

Howdy, howdy!  How is everyone doing this week?  November is speeding along, much like the rest of this year.  I have no idea where the time went.  I’m still stuck in April or May.  Is it just me?  Yeah?  Okay then.  But Thanksgiving is only eight days away, so I thought it would be a good time to make a list of things I’m thankful for this year.  I know I should probably do this closer to Thanksgiving, but next week is my book review post.  Anyway, in no particular order, here are five things I’m thankful for this year.

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We’ll get a new picture of us eventually.

1. Dad.  I know it’s sappy, but I am thankful for him.  He does everything for me.  Even the gross stuff no one wants to know about.  And I don’t say thanks enough.  Mostly because I don’t really know how to express myself well (my social skills suck, even with family).  But I know he’s reading this.  So, you are appreciated.  Even if you’re a dick sometimes.  That’s as sappy as I get.

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Replace cleaning the house with writing and it’s me!

2. Tunisian/Afghan crochet hooks.  They’re super long and designed for a special type of crochet, but I just use them for regular crochet so far.  My discovery of these earlier this year has allowed me to be creative in a whole new way.  And they prove my hands can still do cool things if I set my mind to it.  I’m not entirely useless after all!

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Unless the title has nothing to do with the book and you’re just disappointed.

3. NetGalley.  I’m not usually thankful for specific websites, but I admit that this one is pretty cool.  I’ve been able to read a bunch of books that I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise.  I even found a couple of authors that I’m still following.  Plus, it gives me something to blog about each month, which is super helpful.

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Or maybe because I already know too much.  My friends are crazy.  Don’t deny it.

4. Friends.  Again, sappy.  But it’s true.  Especially the ones who randomly check in on me even when I’m in full hermit mode and being a shit friend myself.  You know who you are.  You’re all appreciated.  And sorry I am such a hermit.  I try not to be, but it never works out.

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5.  The Interwebz.  It’s where all my friends live.  But really, because it simultaneously lets me stalk people and keep up with their lives while helping limit my need to use the phone or leave the house.  Need to activate that card? Do it online!  Want to buy something?  There’s a website for that.  It’s basically an introvert’s dream.  But never read the comments.

What about you?  What are you thankful for this year?  It can be small or large.  Serious or funny.  Or anything in between.  Feel free to share your lists and thoughts here or on my social media pages!

Halloween Movies

Howdy, howdy!  Since Halloween is only a week and a day away (wow!), I thought I would take the chance to share some of my favorite Halloween-ish movies with you.  I’m not really a movie person, so you’ll notice that they’re all super old (like 1995 or older) and none of them are scary.  Don’t get me wrong.  Scary movies are fine, but I’d rather be laughing at something meant to be stupid/funny than rolling my eyes at people who keep making stupid choices and dying.  If I’m going to spend time watching something, I want to be entertained.  Anyway, here are five movies/specials I enjoy around this time of year.  In no particular order.

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1. Hocus Pocus.  It’s funny and a good waste of an hour and a half.  Granted, I haven’t watched it in about ten years, but my tastes haven’t changed that much.  I’m just too lazy to record it when it’s on.  If it were on Netflix or Hulu, I’d rewatch it in a heartbeat.  Alas, if I want it commercial-free, I’d have to pay and I’m too cheap to do that for something I’ve already seen.  But it’s cute and a little creepy if you have your mind in the gutter.  If you haven’t seen it, find it.

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2. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  I know it’s only a TV special, but I’m still counting it.  Dad and I watch it every year and probably will until they decide to stop airing it or until we die.  Whichever comes first.  I mean, who doesn’t love Peanuts?  I don’t care what anyone says, the “I got a rock” bit is never not funny.  It’s a half hour out of your life.  Sit down and watch it.

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3. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure.  I haven’t seen this one since I was a kid because they decided to stop airing it.  I don’t know why.  It’s one of the few TV specials that I still think about every year, but I haven’t been able to find it (crap quality bootleg versions don’t count).  Although, Google says Amazon Prime has it.  I don’t have have that particular service, nor do I want it, but if you do, go check it out.  It’s a half hour of giggles.

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4. Casper.  I know, I know.  It’s a dorky choice, but I enjoy it.  Yes, I realize it’s a childhood nostalgia trap where the movie might actually suck, but I don’t care.  I’d still watch it again if I could find it.  It’s been a while (10+ years) since I’ve seen it all the way through.  And since it appears Starz currently has it, I won’t be catching it any time soon.  But it’s a fun waste of two hours.  Especially if you’re into ’90s teen dramedies.

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5. The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Or pretty much any Tim Burton film.  Beetlejuice, The Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands.  The list goes on and on.  But if you grew up in the ’90s, The Nightmare Before Christmas is probably the one you have a soft spot for.  After all, we liked it before it was cool.

What about you?  What are some of your favorite Halloween movies?  Do you prefer old or new?  Funny or scary?  Feel free to share your list here or on my social media pages!

Things I’d Rather Be Doing Than Blogging

Howdy, howdy! As I’m writing this on Tuesday, it’s a warm (mid-80s), dreary day in October.  Not unusual for north Texas around this time of year.  But it has me feeling blah and lazy.  It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling to come up with topics for my blog each week, so I thought I would take the chance to let you know what I would rather be doing.  Some of which I will probably indulge in after I finish this post.  Please forgive me if it’s a little shorter than usual, but I’m really lacking motivation.  Without further ado, here are three things I’d rather be doing at this exact moment.

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I mean, Christmas is coming up.  Or my birthday.  Size XL.  Just saying.

1. Binge watching anime that I’ve fallen behind on.  I was watching a new episode of Fruits Basket as it came out each week and now I’m suddenly nine episodes behind.  I don’t even remember what initially interrupted my watching streak.  It wasn’t that I got bored with the show, I know that much.  Plus I have at least ten shows in my queue that I either want to watch or rewatch.  No idea why I haven’t made time for anime, but on days like this, watching it is all I really feel like doing.

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2. Crocheting.  Yeah.  That hobby I talked about trying months ago is still a thing I’m working on.  I don’t have any finished products yet, but I’m really enjoying doing something with my hands.  And seeing the progress I’m making is really cool.  It’s a creative outlet that’s so different from writing.  I’ve always been a super harsh judge of my writing.  Mistakes and shitty storylines that I have to keep reworking are annoying as all get out.  But with crochet, I see errors and loose stitches and I’m still at a point where I can overlook them and see my improvement.  It’s still fun.  And if I ever finish anything, I’ll be sure to share it (warts and all) here.

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3. Reading.  I’m currently trying to finish up a book to review.  I have one more chapter left.  But I also have a bunch of books I want to start when I’m done, including one to review next month.  So many choices, so little time.  If I’m honest, I should read the next review book and get ahead a little, but I’ll probably pick something fun that I’ve been wanting to read for a while.  Maybe a cozy.  Maybe not.  If you follow me on GoodReads, you’ll find out when I decide.

That’s enough blogging today.  I think I’m going to go finish reading that book real quick, then get in some crocheting before other things distract me.  What about you?  What would you rather be doing on gloomy work days?  Would you like to snuggle up with a good book and a glass of something yummy?  Or maybe you’d rather go for a jog?  Whatever you decide, tell me about it.  Feel free to share your lists or thoughts here or on my social media pages!

Candy Nopes

Howdy, howdy!  Since it’s October, the great Candy Corn debate has started up again.  If you’ve been on any social media platforms, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  The passive aggressive memes about there being two types of people in the world (Candy Corn lovers vs. Candy Corn haters).  The more aggressive memes that claim the best way to eat Candy Corn is to throw it in the trash.  You see similar memes around most holidays with various foodstuffs.  Well, since I have nothing else to ramble about and I’ve pretty much exhausted favorite candies/chocolates in past posts, I thought I’d share my top five candy nopes.  Also known as candies I’m just not a fan of.

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Or just don’t buy it in the first place.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Candy Corn.  I’ll be honest and say I’m not a fan.  Would I throw them away?  Probably not.  But I wouldn’t buy them for myself.  I’ll eat them if they’re there, but they’re always disappointing.  They just taste like sugar and they have a weird waxy texture that ends  with an unappetizing grittiness.  They’re not bad, but they aren’t good either.  There are other things I’d rather put in my mouth.

2. Peeps.  These are typically debated around Easter, but Halloween versions exist, so I’ll say it now: I don’t like Peeps.  To be fair, I don’t really like marshmallows, so they didn’t stand much of a chance in the first place.  Sure, s’mores are okay.  And I wouldn’t turn down hot chocolate with marshmallows.  But if I’m eating a marshmallow, there needs to be chocolate with it.  Or something to make them taste interesting.  Peeps don’t meet that requirement.

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Halloween Peeps on parfaits?  Maybe.

3. Mounds and Almond Joys.  I like the flavor of coconut and small amounts of toasted, shredded coconut is fine.  But a mouthful of shredded coconut makes me feel like I’m chewing on a clod of moist hair.  I don’t know why it brings that image to mind.  I know it’s completely different, but I can’t do it.  It’s my one texture thing.  I can do slimy and pretty much anything else, but not hairy type stuff.  Make fun of me all you want.  I’ll just be over here not having to pick moist coconut flesh from between my teeth.

4. SweeTarts and Smarties.  Actually, pretty much any sugar flavored chalk is a no from me.  This includes the heart candy you see around Valentine’s day.  It’s not bad, but it’s not my cup of tea.  I do like the chewy version of SweeTarts, though.

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M&M.  But it still applies.

5. Peanut M&Ms.  Sorry, not sorry.  I love peanut butter in my chocolate, but not peanuts.  I’m iffy on almonds too.  Nuts in my chocolate are great if there’s a good chocolate to nut ratio, but companies rarely get it right.  And yes, I heard it as I was typing it.  Get your mind out of the gutter.

So, what are your candy nopes?  Feel free to share your lists and comments here or on my social media pages!

Year-End Reading List

Hello, hello!  It’s the beginning of October and I have nothing useful to ramble about.  Confession: this year has been far less productive than I had hoped.  But I have been continually submitting despite not writing as regularly as I should.  I’ve written a few short pieces, am slowly revising one of my novels so I can start the agent hunt again, and have read pretty much every day that I wasn’t sick this year.  It’s nowhere near what I should have accomplished, but that’s life.  It’s my own fault.  I’ve decided that over the next three months, I will stop procrastinating and hit the revision as hard as I can, so that I can submit to agents again starting in January.  I will keep submitting my short pieces every Monday.  And I’ll keep reading, which brings me to the point of this post.  Here’s my planned year-end reading list in no particular order.

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As usual, I plan to read at least two books each month, one for my book reviews and one for fun.  I currently only have one of the book review choices picked out, so here is that one and my three “for fun” books.  I might try to squeeze a couple of others in if I have time.

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1. Black Rock Bay by Brianna Labuskes.  This will be October’s book review.  I was missing Maine and looking for something a little darker than a cozy, so I picked this one up from NetGalley.  Here’s the synopsis from GoodReads (where you can also find links to preorder it):

Detective Mia Hart never planned to return home. One terrifying summer night, Mia lost two of her closest friends to suicide. Scarred and broken, she fled St. Lucy’s, a small island off the coast of Maine.

Now fifteen years later, when the body of a journalist is fished out of the bay near St. Lucy’s cliffs, Mia is forced to help with the case—and face all she’s been running from. As she approaches the island, the wintery winds of Black Rock Bay usher Mia home again.

When Mia digs into the reporter’s death, she finds he left behind a written clue: It wasn’t suicide. Mia soon discovers it’s her own tragic past he was referring to. Now, as she tries to untangle a web of lies, Mia realizes that solving this case means becoming the next pawn in someone’s blood-chilling game of truth or die.

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2. The Missing Ones by Edwin Hill.  This is the second in his Hester Thursby mystery series.  I reviewed the first one here, and enjoyed it enough that I’m looking forward to this one.  It’s another one that seems to be on the darker side, but it actually falls in the cozy realm.  Also, I had no idea it was going to be set in Maine, so that’s just a bonus.  Here’s the GoodReads synopsis:

Hester Thursby has given up using her research skills to trace people who don’t want to be found. A traumatic case a few months ago unearthed a string of violent crimes, and left Hester riddled with self-doubt and guilt. Caring for a four-year-old is responsibility enough in a world filled with terrors Hester never could have imagined before.

Finisterre Island, off the coast of Maine, is ruggedly beautiful and remote—the kind of place tourists love to visit, though rarely for long. But not everyone who comes to the island is welcome. A dilapidated Victorian house has become home to a group of squatters and junkies, and strangers have a habit of bringing trouble with them. A young boy disappeared during the summer, and though he was found safely, the incident stirred suspicion among locals. Now another child is missing. Summoned to the island by a cryptic text, Hester discovers a community cleaning up from a devastating storm—and uncovers a murder.

Soon Hester begins to connect the crime and the missing children. And as she untangles the secrets at the center of the small community, she finds grudges and loyalties that run deep, poised to converge with a force that will once again shake her convictions about the very nature of right and wrong…

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3. The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss.  The third and final tale of the women in the Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.  I fell in love with them from book one.  What’s not to love about the daughters of a bunch of villains and madmen running around saving the day?  Here’s the GoodReads synopsis:

Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club… especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucinda van Helsing, Mary Jekyll and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished— and so has their friend and employer Sherlock Holmes!

As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends—and save the Empire? Find out in the final installment of the fantastic and memorable Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.

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4. Wonton Terror by Vivien Chien.  It’s the fourth in her Noodle Shop Mystery series.  A true cozy series.  It’s just a fun bunch of books and I enjoy them.  Here’s the GoodReads synopsis:

The Asian community is kicking off summer with the return of its popular Cleveland Night Market festivities, and Lana Lee is excited to represent the Ho-Lee Noodle House booth with her favorite chef, Peter Huang. Lana is confident that the evening marks the beginning of a great season to come. Not only is she looking forward to the warm temperatures, but her birthday is only weeks away, her handsome boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau, is planning a romantic get-away. Life couldn’t be better.

But before she can get too accustomed to the idea of a carefree summer, an explosion involving a nearby food truck, Wonton on Wheels, kills one of the proprietors and injures several others in the nearby vicinity.

When the authorities discover that this was no accident, the family members of the dead man become the number-one suspects in a front-page murder story. Lana and her best friend, Megan Riley, fall back into detective mode. But as they uncover family secrets of abuse and angry costumers, Lana’s own family drama raises its head. Will Lana be able to juggle everything the universe is throwing at her, or has she jumped from the frying pan to the fire? 

What about you?  What’s on your year-end reading list?  Feel free to share your list here or on my social media pages!

5 Assumptions People Make About Me That Aren’t True

Hello, hello!  How is everyone this bright and beautiful (or dark and gloomy depending on where you are) Wednesday?  So, August and September are usually time for my yearly check ups with my specialists (pulmonologist and neurologist) and whatever doctors they randomly decide I need to see.  I dread these appointments for various reasons, but mostly because hospital staff are the worst when it comes to making assumptions about me.  And it got me thinking about the most common assumptions people in general make (even my friends to some extent, at least in the beginning).  Anyway, I thought I’d share the first five that popped into my mind.

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Pretty much.

1. That I have to be on some kind of prescription medication.  This is the one that gets doctors and nurses the most.  They ask if I take any meds and poise themselves to take notes, then when I say no, their faces always do this weird cross between awed and unbelieving.  Like, chill.  I take Aspirin if my pain levels go above my normal pain threshold for too long.  I take Benadryl and Zyrtec for seasonal allergies as needed.  But no, I don’t have any prescription drugs I take on a regular basis.  And they always act like that’s an impossible answer.  People can be cripple and still be relatively healthy.  It’s a thing.

2. That I’m mentally disabled (or whatever the current term is).  The majority of people I meet make this assumption.  Even doctors.  Hell, even some of my professors over the years obviously thought I was mentally disabled until the results of our first test or essay of the semester came in.  It’s weird and sometimes annoying.

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Pick one or the other.

3. That I’m a democrat.  This is mostly assumed by my friends.  I’m a disabled woman with a questionable sexuality, so I must be a democrat.  But I’m not.  Nor am I a republican.  I don’t believe all the issues can fit neatly in either box, so I take each issue separately and find my own opinion on it regardless of a political label.  Some of my thoughts lean left and some lean right.  Then, I keep my opinions to myself.

4. That I’m a devout believer in some kind of god.  And then people have the audacity to look upset when I tell them I’m not.  If I’m being honest, I’m agnostic leaning atheist.  I don’t deny the possibility of a higher being, but it’s really low on my list of “how everything came into being.”

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5. That it’s perfectly acceptable to touch me without asking first.  This is mostly limited to doctors, nurses, and strangers.  I mean, I get it’s your job to take my blood pressure or check my range of motion or whatever, but I break easily.  Communication is key.  And it has gotten to the point where I repeatedly tell doctors and nurses that Dad has to do everything just to avoid grabby hands.  Strangers mostly just like touching my arm or shoulder or stuff like that, which is fine, but still a little weird when they do it with that “poor thing” look in their eyes.  I never realized this was awkward until I met a guy at an anime convention who asked if he could love on me for a minute (just rubbing my arm and hugging me).  It was one of the strangest questions I’ve ever been asked, but the consent part made the whole experience much less awkward than someone randomly hugging me.

What about you?  What kind of assumptions do people make about you?  Feel free to share your lists or stories here or on my social media pages!

A Reverse Bucket List

Howdy, howdy!  We’ve all heard of bucket lists, those lists of must-dos before we die.  Some of you probably even have a list hidden away somewhere (or out in full view for everyone to see).  I don’t.  It’s not really my thing.  But did you know that reverse bucket lists exist?  Apparently, people also make lists of things they’ll never do before they die.  These lists seem to be mostly for people who have no idea what to blog about that day, week, month, whatever.  People like me!  So, even though I don’t like saying I’ll never do something (because who knows what the future will bring), I thought I’d share a list of ten things I can confidently say I’ll probably never do.

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1. Bungee jumping.  Why, you ask?  Aside from the fact that I physically can’t, I don’t think I would even if I could.  Something about falling toward the ground only to snap back up again and continue the up and down bit until gravity wins just isn’t appealing to me.

2. Going vegan.  I could probably do vegetarian for a day or two, but I like cheese too much to go full vegan.  And no, nut cheese is not cheese, it’s just someone’s attempt at making veganism fun with bad innuendo.

3. Skydiving.  Mostly because I can’t, but also because I have this thing about being suspended in the air without a firm foundation underneath me, so I wouldn’t even want to get on the plane.  If I could get past that, I might try this one.  But cripple privilege means I don’t even have to worry about being asked to try.

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4. Mountain/rock climbing.  I’d honestly try this if I could, but I don’t know of any wheelchair friendly mountains or cliffs.  So, yeah.  I’m fairly confident in saying I won’t be doing this.

5. Giving up coffee.  I don’t drink it often (once a week maybe), but I wouldn’t give it up.  Especially if it has booze in it.

6. Off-roading.  The roads have enough bumps around here.  Why would I intentionally go looking for worse ones?  No, thank you.  You can keep your whiplash for yourself.

7. Getting super hungover drunk… again.  Once was enough for me to learn my lesson.  I don’t remember much of that night.  It was just before my mother died and Dad and I got loaded with some of her family.  Dad’s a bad influence.  I’ll blame him.

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8. Finishing all of the books o my to-be-read list.  It’s just not possible, especially since I keep adding new ones.  Unless all the writers in the world stop writing, my list will keep growing.  There’s no way to stop it.  It’s a dilemma every reader must face and accept.  You will never catch up.

9. Seeing all the places I want to see.  I can’t fly and cruises are expensive, so I won’t be seeing a lot of places.  Add to that the fact that much of the world isn’t wheelchair friendly (stupid stairs), and there’s even more I won’t see.  But that’s what books and TV are for!

10. Giving up dessert. Just nope.

What about you?  Do you have a list of things you’ll never do?  Is it as ridiculous as some of mine?  Is it full of profound introspection?  Feel free to share it here or on my social media pages!