Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What the heck happened to my light strings...?

You know, my red/white/blue fairy lights in my office. That I love so much. :0)

These ones:

Are now down to this small section:

Everything else is completely dark.

Now I can't think that every single bulb blew. And this didn't start happening until I added that third stand--which was not the same brand as the first two.

So I'm thinking two things. My little fuses in each strand blew and I shouldn't mix and match strands because the voltage or wattage could be different.

And I have two choices. Either buy enough of the same lights to fit the space I want covered. Or remove the third strand and then go through the painstaking process of testing the bulbs in the remaining strands--after changing the fuses if possible.

Argh. Tough choice. Time is money, but those suckers aren't that cheap.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The 100 Things Challenge...

This week's purge includes a spool holder and vases.

 I don't sew enough anymore to keep this.

Who doesn't have a collection of vases in the closet?? There were three others I'd already hauled to the garage before remembering to get the photographic evidence. I will keep one just so's we have one. DD did bring home a bouquet from a student just the other day. But we don't have enough of those in our lives to warrant storing six vases. Bye bye!

On a quick side two was approved overnight for physical copies--woo hoo!!! I have a ordered a singer author copy of each to make sure they look okay still. If they do, I will order a batch of each for my conference. Keep your fingers crossed please.

Have a great week. Mine is looking up, now that the first hurdle of the book issue has been jumped.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Free Romance Novels...

Get some free romance novels...

I'm participating in the promo...they are not all male/male romances, so take a look if you're so inclined.

And now for an update...I heard back from KDP and I spent almost an hour on the phone with a lovely, patient gentleman named Christopher who helped me (hopefully) get the book accepted for print so that I can order copies for my conference.

The bleed issue--that my cover graphics (back and front cover images) weren't long enough for when the book gets trimmed was insane. The cover template I was sent--by KDP--was 2475 pixels high. After two print proofs with issues, I made those graphics 2510 pixels high (35 additional pixels) and there was still an issue on the back end. They could see it, but it never shows up on the screens and views that I have access to. That's a problem.

But, as I said, Christopher walked me through an alternative method and reviewed it on his end and said there is now 99.9% that it will be accepted this time. *cross your fingers please*

The other issue was with pagination. The main book is numbered and the excerpt of the second book is numbered although not continuously--why would it be?? According to the notes in my files, this could be an issue and cause a print delay.


My print proofs arrived within days of ordering with nary an issue as far as the page numbering was concerned. *sigh*

BUT-- I just need print books right now, so I deleted the page numbers of the excerpt and re-uploaded the manuscript.

Please, please, please...let that work. I will have an email within twenty-four hours.

Now to get book two sorted... Wish me luck and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What the heck, KDP???

As you know, I'm going to a conference in October. You also know I've been trying to get physical copies of my books to have available...

It took three tries to get everything sorted for book one...the third print proof copy looked great. I was happy with it. So I clicked the "go live" button within my Kindle Direct Publishing account and upon review by Amazon I have two issues to resolve...

But, but, but... my print proof looked great. There were no issues with the cover or the numbering within the book, so how is there now a problem??

I sent a query to Kindle/Amazon and they are going to research and get back to me by end-of-day Friday.

Time is of the essence now for getting the physical copies ordered.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Have a great rest of your week.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The 100 Things Challenge...

Into the giveaway box this week goes an assortment of tablecloths, table runners and curtains/sheers.

I'm counting this collectively as the third thing.

Hope you had a lovely weekend. I had a good time at writers group and even more lovely time at the meeting after the meeting even though we were missing a couple of peeps.

Have a great week--see you Wednesday.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Is it October yet?


I need more in person hockey friends because so much has happened in the hockey world that I'm really excited about and have no one to squee with or at or to.

First things first, my favorite STARS player, Tyler Seguin, signed an 8-year contract extension--much to every Stars fan's relief. He took a little less than he's definitely worth, but has still become the highest paid player on the team.

The team announced the extension with a Super Mario video spoof. Here's the link, if you're so inclined:

In trade news, the NHL's top rated defenseman, Erik Karlsson was traded from the Ottawa Senators to the San Jose Sharks. Karlsson's trade had been speculated about for months and months and months. Not continuously, but the rumors heated up on a rather cyclical basis. But it's done now and the teams in contention, the Sharks, the Stars and the Golden Knights, can now focus on training camp, pre-season play, and their respective opening nights.

One kind-of-funny thing though...several months ago, amid accusations of harassment toward Karlsson's wife, a teammate of his was traded to the Sharks before being subsequently traded on the same day to the Florida Panthers.

And the last but not least hockey news...the trade of Max Pacioretty from the Montreal Canadiens to the Vegas Golden Knights. I didn't know anything about Max but his name before this week, but after reading several articles about the guy, I really like him and look forward to seeing him take his place on my second favorite team.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The pumpkin cheesecake was a success...


Because my oven doesn't work properly, I couldn't use it to bake the walnut crust in a large enough pie pan, soooo...

I had to get a little creative.

Meaning I had to split the recipe in half and bake the thing in an Anchor Hocking glass bowl that fit in my countertop convection oven.

Here's the finished product.

I originally worked on this last Thursday as a bake test because of the oven situation as I wanted to make it for when my friends came over.

Here's my first piece...

...or what's left of it. :0)

What I discovered was that my walnut crust was a little bitter, not so much as to be rendered inedible, but if you eat walnuts, you know how they taste. So yeah. The pumpkin cheesecake part was delicious. The Stevia used as sweetener also leaves a bit of aftertaste, but what are you gonna do if you're trying to avoid sugars/calories/carbs and have a penchant for sweets?

Anyway, a friend suggested I serve it more like a parfait with the crust more of a crumble and with a berry on top for color and presentation.

So my guests were served this:

Everyone thought it was delicious, so I think I'll be making this on a fairly regular basis for my own benefit. The recipe is here, if you're interested.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The 100 Things Challenge

I had a great weekend. How about you?

My writer friends came over for a day of sprinting (writing in sprints, not running). In between, as we are wont to do, we chatted.

One friend said she enjoyed coming to my house because she liked that I put my stuff out to be enjoyed even though it's not what one might call "decorator approved," if you will.

For example...

The kitchen wall with my decorative Christmas dishes that stay in place all year round rather than hiding them away in a closet.

Or the fall paper chain that DD and I put together several autumns ago, but that still loops across my front window.

Now, my office, which I shared a few weeks ago is a mish mash of my collections and fandom treasures and is another story altogether. I keep that kind of thing contained mostly to my personal space. :0)

As conversations wound around, another friend mentioned a 1000 item giveaway challenge that she and her husband had embarked upon. I'm not a minimalist by any means as my office can attest to, but I know I have a lot of stuff that I never use anymore. I've been meaning to go through closets and cabinets and the garage and start downsizing if you will.

I didn't find anything about the 1000 thing except for radio stations giving away money (yes, please!) but I did come across a blog about 100 things. So using that as a framework, I'm going to challenge myself to get rid of 100 things in however long it takes.

Also, the original challenge from Dave Bruno is to get down to 100 things, but that's unlikely for me at the moment. So instead, we'll just get rid of 100 things for now. And maybe, someday, I'll try for 100 more.

So my challenge is to clean out a drawer or a closet or a shelf in a closet or whatever at some point during the week and move it to the Goodwill pile in the garage or to throw it out. Hopefully, most of the stuff will be in good enough condition to give away rather than needing to be thrown away.

I'll report here with a picture at some point and we'll see how things go.

One of my first challenges is the baker's rack in the garage that holds a lot of appliances and bake ware and other random kitchen items. There are a couple of things on the floor I'd like to get off of the floor. So finding space for those items is number one.

The top shelf is now mostly clear. Since I don't eat cereal anymore, I'm passing along all my Tupperware cereal keepers as well as a produce/salad spinner.

What about you? Are you up for getting rid of a thing or two you don't use??

Friday, September 7, 2018

What's a fan supposed to think...?

Today I'm lamenting...

Last weekend news broke that Nate Schmidt, defenseman for the Vegas Golden Knights, has been suspended for the first 20 games of the hockey season for violating policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Of course, you never want to see this kind of story, but when it's about a player you really like--whose jersey is the first-ever authentic sports jersey you've ever owned and bought for yourself--it's a blow. You think, "no way, not this guy."

Even once you've read all the articles and you hear arguments from both sides, it's still hard to know what the truth really is.

Based on the little I've read on the NHL's testing policy (very sparse), it stands to reason that we don't hear about hockey players testing positive for anything. But are there really no NHL players using any kind of drugs? There are between 700 and 1000 players in the league at any given time. The whole thing begs a few questions... Why this guy? Why now? Why a player who appears to be well-liked across the board?

This just makes me really sad.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Didja Miss Me?

So I missed a couple of blog posts because I was traveling both blog post days. I left Friday and returned Monday from a visit to Omaha to see my family. I have a new niece that I wanted to see. She's just about six months old now and a pretty happy baby.
I missed regular exercise and my standard food. I ate a lot of food that I shouldn’t have, but oh well. I was visiting kin!!

On Saturday we went to a safari park and saw some cool creatures including some bison, some bears, some elk, some prairie dogs and some hummingbirds.

 (all pictures taken by my brother)

It was a good visit but I am glad to be home and on back to a normal schedule with my standard boring menu/eating habits.

Also, my brown-eyed girl got to make the trip with me, so here she is with my nephew (baby's brother) and me at the safari park.

A good time was had by all!!