Saturday, April 30, 2011
Hopefully having 3 days off I might be able to get something done. But probably not. However, I'm going to try and make a valiant effort in getting a couple more chapters read through, tweaked or whatever needs to be done on second book. I have to continue making posts to help rev up interest over on my publisher's site, too. So, there's that to do.
And a week from this coming Monday I am going to be on Patricia's Vampire Notes blog. I'll be doing a give away, so stay tuned, tell your friends, etc. Don't worry, I will remind you.
It's windier today, but warm, however we are to get some storms later. Speaking of that, I do feel for those people down south who have been devastated by the destructive forces of the many, many tornadoes which ripped through that part of the country. My husband's cousin lives down there, right near the town that was leveled. We don't know if she and her husband and horses and dogs are okay as yet. The power, etc is out.
I do plan on a couple of posts. One I hope to do with a meteorologist student about his storm chasing, thought it would really be interesting to hear about his experience. Also, I have a Sumiko Reads to put up, and just have not had the time to work on it because of all the extra cleaning I've had to do around here when we got home. I just don't have the time. But I will work on those, or hope to have them up soon. I don't know about the storm chaser, since finals week is coming up, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Tomorrow is May 1st. Maybe we'll begin to have better weather around here soon. My husband begins his summer park job of mowing at Afton on Monday. I know he is very happy to get off the bus, and if there was some way I could afford to not drive this summer I would.
This is the kiss--they kissed twice. I missed it both times they showed it on TV. Oh well. Got the picture of it. I sure hope that they have a wonderful life. I think they prepared for this in those 8 years of getting to know one another.
On that note, have a great day everyone!
Friday, April 29, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
We now have 9 drawers. I once had only 3. Oh! I'll be able to fill them with different things, keeping everything in their own place. Very nice! The cupboards up and below will have more space and I'll be able to actually keep things down below the sink too. Before--yish! No way! This is an old house and the mice inhabited it quite well before we came and we figured out how to keep them down in the basement--that's all I'm saying, just in case I've got some animal activists here checking me out. Hey, it's not illegal to kill mice!
I don't have photos, but believe me, this went from something that you wouldn't let anyone see, to something we will definitely celebrate once it's all finished. Going to have a list of things we'll need, and will try and finagle a new refrigerator out of the deal. We will already get a stove, so we'll see if the fridge might be a thing we can ask for.
The other worker is a retired painter. My husband had said to him, "Figures, you retire from painting and now you'll do more painting." And he had done some patching here and there, so I know he'll be busy painting soon.
Meanwhile, I've been busy with my next book. I'm reading--when I can--a chapter a night. I've had the green light from my publisher that they can take it. But my editor (Yolanda), is a tad busy (with other novels), and I told her that I'm not quite finished with it. She's doing a wonderful job with my posts, when I send them to her, over at Frogen Yozurt. She has a knack for this stuff, and it always looks good once she's done with it.
Also, I'm into Angelology. I've gotta tell you, I'm engrossed in this story. It reads to me something like what Historian did. Only Historian was far more intricately woven. However the writing is comparable. Very good. Once I'm finished I will have a little review, but I would recommend this whole heartily. If you have been thinking of buying this one, do so. I think it will not disappoint you. I'm about half way and the story is told in 3rd person, and then in another section because of the different POV, it is told in 1st person. I'm really impressed with Trussoni's writing.
Well, here I will leave you. I do have a post coming up with Sumiko's reads, but I just have not had time to work on it, so do forgive. I think I'll work it up for this weekend.
Oh, and I'll be up watching the Royal Wedding on Friday morning--since I'll be up anyway at the time the networks will be showing it at 3 a.m.
Tah for now!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
DeKalb County Forest Preserve staff has designated forest, prairie and wetland management areas in all forest preserves. Altogether about 300 acres are managed with controlled burns. Our prairie landscape and soils were shaped by fire and fire helps preserve DeKalb County’s natural resource areas. Fire is the most efficient and economical tool available for managing natural plant communities.
Without fire, non-native plants can gain a foothold and force out native plants. Fire recycles nutrients back into the soil and makes a favorable place for the native Illinois grasses and flowers to flourish. Big bluestem, blazing star, pale purple coneflower, shooting star,sedges, prairie cord grass and hundreds of other forest, prairie and wetland plants keep their buds safely beneath the soil surface protected from fire.
Animals too are adaptive to fire, temporarily leaving areas, flying away or entering their underground burrows. Some areas are burned and other nearby areas left unburned for wildlife to move to. Spring burning ends early before birds begin nesting. E.P.A. permits are obtained and County Sheriff’s office notified, as well as neighbors close to controlled burn sites. Safety and planning before and during burns is key to successful burn management; safety preparations, firebreak establishment, humidity, wind direction and speed, smoke management, burn crew communication, plant community knowledge and burn cycles are all considered before beginning a burn.
Burns begin in March, end in April.
The picture to the right is of the wetlands that is due south of our house, you can see the barn in the background, and our house sits right behind it.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
I'm giving out an award today folks, so you'd better come and see if you're on this list . . . because you might be. And if you are. Pick it up here!
Last week, James Garcia Jr. (known by all as Jimmy), happened to give out an award, and I realized my name was down. I don't often get awards, and if any of you don't know, but I'm busy and so can't actually get to these things right away. I've got a house that is in a quiet chaotic state because of the I-don't-have-a-kitchen state. But generally speaking this takes me a whole lot of time from all the things I have to do in my day. Aside from having two jobs (yes, I'm part of the management team here at Afton Forest Preserve and our season has just begun and the phone is beginning to ring with people wanting shelter rentals and I also help my husband--who is #1 park manager--clean the park. A nasty job of cleaning garbage up and outhouses), I also have 2 WIP's--one is nearly done, however. I also take care of more than one blog--Muse is only one. I also have to make regular posts at Frogenyozert, and my other personal blogs which are mentioned here and one over on Word Press as well.
Added to this my own house duties which sometime accumulate on the weekends. So, obviously I have to get up pretty early to do stuff.
Now this award is called the Liebster Blog. I'm not sure who comes up with these awards, but this one was given to me. I understand that it is supposed to go to those bloggers who have less than 300 followers, and someone you feel has made some sort of contribution to blogging. Well I picked these 5 because mainly I like these chick's blogs. So without further ado, here they are, and I encourage all of you to go check these lady's blogs out because they are nice folks, and have great blogs.
The Blogger Formally Known As
There you have it. I've come to know all of these ladies through their blogs. They truly have contributed to my blogging world, for sure. And I couldn't see if all were under 300 followers as I'm unable to see the follower list any more--not sure why--but I think these five ladies do deserve it.
Have a wonderful day all of you!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Last night's fare was chili out of a can. Now, let me say this so you know, my husband is a cook. He's missed his calling, he could have been a chef. If he is impressed with something that comes out of a can, then it must be good. Wolf Texas Chili. It was fabulous! A little heat, but not something you need the fire extinguisher for. We added shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top.
Tonight's fare is a deli herbed chicken from our local grocery store and a salad. Salas will be served in a Styrofoam bowl, but we'll eat our chicken on regular plates. Washing them in the bathroom sink is a challenge, but I have a system of how to get the job done. I just think of it as a little better than camping. I pour the dirty dishwater down the toilet. It's how you are supposed to do it if you are at a camping in a national forest that has something like a disposal area for dumping "gray" water--not on the ground!
I was told by a woman about my age who rides my bus once or twice a week that if a marriage can survive a kitchen make over, it can survive anything. I wanted to say, we've survived plenty more than that. This is nothing, really. We have been wanting this kitchen redone for too long. It's like looking at an ugly black spot on the rug and you just want it gone. Only this was a whole room.
But I digress.
I've begun reading Angelology. I like to sit under my brand new floor lamp and read after supper. It's my reading hour from 7-8p.m. I'm enjoying this book, so far. I want to say that Trussoni is an excellent writer, and I feel like I'm there with her characters. I don't want to ruin the plot or anything, but if you have not picked this book up and think you want to, I've a feeling she isn't going to let you down. But I'll get back to you on this.
I've also begun reading Dead In The Family, and this is one of Harris' more somber books. She does a good job in getting you up to speed, slowly through about two or three chapters. It was about a year ago I read the last one. I read this on my bus when time allows (while waiting for trains, or for my leave time from student center). At this book, she and Eric are a couple. She was wounded, almost died in last book. She's recouping in the beginning of this one from the Fae War, and Eric explains why he couldn't come to her rescue--because he was tied up with silver ropes by one of the head vampires. I think I'm going to like this because already Sookie wants to kill a vampire because of this, which surprises the hell out of Eric.
My third book's plot has been at a stand still so far, only because I wanted something dramatic to happen, something that puts Sabrina's life at risk, more so than it has so far in this book, because my villain realizes that Sabrina has been able to thwart her earlier efforts. So, I've been allowing my mind to turn over the things a little at a time. I don't like to rush into a scene any more and write it and decide I don't like the way it came out and have to rewrite it. I'd rather consider the possibilities and come to some understanding with my villain--what would they do, and how exactly would they do it, and what would happen if they foiled again?
I've been in contact with the superintendent of DeKalb County Forest Preserve, asking him for some information and pictures of a prairie burn. I hope to put this up for you all to see and read. If you recall, last week we had a fire out at Afton, and had to call the fire department to get it out. It started up from a burn that wasn't quite out, or something happened and it caught again. Many people wonder why we burn the dead prairie grasses, and I just wanted to post something on this for those of you who aren't familiar with controlled burns of replanted prairies. it is basically to keep invasive non-native plants to take a foot hold, and to put nutrients back. I just feel that it would be an interesting post.
I'm also looking to give out the Liebster award. I need to find two more fellow blogers with less than 300 followers. My problem is I CAN'T SEE THE FOLLOWERS! I can't even see my own followers. I'm not sure why this is happening.
But, I'll be doing that on the weekend too. It is nearly dinner time. By the time I am done with the few dishes I'll have, I'm going to be pooped. Driving a bus is stressful--even when things go well, it's still stressful and it takes a lot out of me any more. So, add to that the way we have to go about our daily routine without a kitchen. So, as I've stated, if I seem to be not around, this is why. I've got very little time when I get home and I just run out of energy, once I do get settled. Not only that, I've begun getting calls for shelter rentals and I have to call these people back and do that part of my forest preserve job (my second, or third hat I wear around here).
Tomorrow I will post Bumper Sticker of The Week. Very short and sweet, unless something monumental happens around here.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Who hasn't been stuck in traffic and with nothing better to do you look at the bumper of the car or truck in front of you? Hopefully there's some reading material, because for me my day gets really tedious driving this bus around and around for 7 hours a day.
You see a variety of stickers, they might be political, like old signs from an election campaign. Sport teams are a popular one. Sometimes they spout off religious or belief systems. You have your fish people and you have your Darwin people, of course that aren't really bumper stickers but permanent. There was a bumper sticker I saw the other day that proclaimed: “Planned Parenthood Is Really Planned Barrenhood”. I'm not sure what the point was of that one, if they are trying to make people mad at them who don't agree or what.
However there are the usual ones that don't offend, and get you to chuckling. There are the risque ones as well. I'm not sure what the little boy with the mean face peeing is all about, but that one really annoys me.
There's even those stick people in the windows of vans and such where you can see how many kids and pets they have. Those are fun.
My favorite one of the week goes to the blond chick in a yellow Jeep. She had other stickers, but this one was fresh:
“Silly Boy, Jeeps Are For Girls”
Do you have a favorite one? Share it!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I just finished the Fever Books by Karen Moning. As the friend who recommended them to me said - they are crack. Fevercrack.
I bought the sample of the first book: Darkfever - on my kindle and read it and immediately downloaded the book. Let's see . . . that would have been on Thursday, and I finished the last book late last night. Yes, just like that. Although, given that I read them all on my kindle I'm really not sure how long they are. The five books are really all one book - which is why reading it in one big gulp is so easy. Each book from 1-4 ends on a giant and evil cliffhanger. So you get that urgency to read the next one right away. Friend described them as "dark urban fantasy" - dark because bad things happen. And they do. I cried a lot during the 4th book. Of course, that could just be my general emotional state but I cried and I read and kept going. So, Mac Lane is a sweet southern girl. She grew up in a small town in Georgia and never had any ambitions to leave but her older sister Alina was more ambitions and when she got into Temple University in Dublin she left for the great big world and was murdered. Mac is not convinced that the local authorities really did all they could to find her killers so she goes to Dublin and gets embroiled in things that she never imagined existed. The five books are about her figuring out who she really is, what the truth really is - and all the fallout from that.
The books are: Darkfever:
MacKayla Lane's life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words she's your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman.Or so she thinks... until something extraordinary happens.When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death-a cryptic message on Mac's cell phone—Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister's killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed—a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae .. .Bloodfever:Mackayla Lane's ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland's shores and was plunged into a dark, deadly realm unlike any she ever imagined. In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year old book of the blackest magic imaginable that holds the key to power over both the worlds of Fae and Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by two deadly and irresistible men:V'lane, the insatiable Fae, who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman; and the very-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious.FaefeverWhen MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister's journal, she is stunned by Alina's desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister's killer is close. But evil is closer. And Suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.Mac's quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V'lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind and soul.Dreamfever:MacKayla Lane lies naked on the cold stone floor of a church, at the mercy of the erotic Fae master she once swore to kill. Far from home, unable to control her sexual hungers, MacKayla is now fully under the Lord Master's spell. In the New York Times bestselling author Kare Marie Moning's stunning new novel, the walls between human and Fae worlds have come crashing down. And as Mac fights for survival on Dublin's battle-scarred streets, she will embark on the darkest-and most erotically charged-adventure of her life.Shadowfever:MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister's murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals that have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.
What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief, while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King that contains the power to create and destroy worlds.
Author's website: Karen Moning
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
No. This time his bus was not on fire. Although, that has happened once, or twice. Anyway, there was some hose that just blew and I mean it blew, and all the—whatever the heck it was—went all over the engine and that's where the smoke came from. The whole episode put us back several minutes getting back to base. And then, to top it all off, I miss-placed our keys. I thought I'd handed them to my husband.
Nope. I didn't. Where were they? They weren't in my purse—which is where I always keep them (why does he have me carry them? Duh, I've got the big honking purse, of course). Well, after checking everywhere, I pull off my coat and find they were in the pocket of my sweatshirt. Talk about having a senior moment!
So, yesterday ended like that. But today, the sun was out. The sun always makes you happy in the Spring. The temperature was going to be in the 50's and no rain!
I had been reading a Tony Hillerman book I'd bought in 2001. I began reading it and didn't remember it. I have several of his books, and I remembered each one, but not this one. I may not have read it. I finished it last night and it had me thinking about the southwest and while driving to the student center to begin my day I superimposed places I've been in the southwest, like Gallop N.M., over the drab DeKalb, Illinois town. It sort of had me pulled away for a short while. Like I was there.
Hillerman's novels of police procedural mysteries on the Navajo Reservations was always interesting to me. Helps me get reacquainted with Native American thought a little bit. I have other non-fiction books on this too. But this was a good start.
So, this was the beginning of my week. I hope to get through the rest without too much mishap.
Speaking of which, here is my line up for the week here on my blog.
Sumiko's Reads is a new one, and I think will be very interesting. She's actually found a series more addictive than candy. She has discovered Karen Moning novels, which she calls “Fevercrack”. Tune in tomorrow to find out why this series pulled her in. I also plan on posting each of these dark fantasy book's description along with the book covers. Should be good, a post you won't want to miss!
Meanwhile, I'm awaiting an article in the NIU paper, the Northern Star to come out. Have been for months, actually. Tony Martin, an English major, has been my passenger for the whole year, and when I learned that he wrote for the Star, I had to approach him about my book. He was enthusiast. So enthusiast, he bought my book, telling me he would read it over Spring Break. I know that the article will be out soon, because he asked me a question on Monday for it. This is not going to be an interview, but a review. Tony reviews mostly bands, or albums for the paper. He is quite honest. He has not told me if he liked my book or not. I'm a bit nervous. Hopefully I'll at least have 4 stars from his review. I will post this when it comes out, or at least the link to it, of course.
And, just in case you have not heard, I will be on Fangtastic Books blog on April 10th. There is going to be a contest for an eBook of Vampire Ascending, so if you are up for this, you will want to come by. I will have the link posted on the tenth.
Well, that's all for now. Thanks for stopping by and listening to me muttering to myself. Hope you all have a great week, and stop by throughout the week for more updates, and fun stuff.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Okay, so you've met your hot vampire, and have made plans for him/her to come home with you after a date. You're nervous. You're wondering how the night will go, and what you need to know about vampires in general.
Well, there's a few things that you must be aware of, and also to prepare for your special night-time visitor. After all, you've got a vampire, and they are a bit different from the regular folk you're used to dating.
First of all make sure you have put all religious symbols away—including not wearing a crucifixes yourself. Doing so might just insult or infuriate them. You don't want them to vanish, after all, you've gone to so much trouble, and have taken the first steps, so make sure your house is vampire friendly.
No need to put away or cover any mirrors, however. Vampires do have a reflection, and don't mind them at all.
Also, please know ahead of time if you plan on being their blood host or not. If not, you'd better have a bottle or two of their favorite drink around for your guest, and can be purchased at Tremayne's Outlets and on-line. Warm the bottle in the microwave. Thirty seconds usually is best. A nice way to present it is a wine glass and the bottle on a tray. Allow the vampire to choose if they want to drink from the bottle, or have it in the glass. Be aware, however that if you pour it for them, it shows them that you are fully prepared to be a willing host, and thus your pouring the blood for them, indicates you intend to go “all the way” with them.
If the visit is merely social, do not shake the vampire's hand, or he/she will assume that this is all about touchy-feely. Again, don't presume that the vampire is not going to give in to his nature, simply because he/she acts quite charming and docile. A vampire can put a whammy on you faster than you can count their fangs. Make sure you know the rules of vampire etiquette before hand. Looking straight into a vampire's eyes will invite them to put a thrall on you. So, unless this is more than a social visit, and you fully plan on giving yourself to your vampire, make sure and lower your eyes to some other point on their face, don't touch them, and also don't allow them to walk behind you. Allowing a vampire to walk behind you would be the third indication that you don't mind being hunted.
Remember that vampires were once human too. And they usually have memories of that life before. If they feel comfortable with talking about their human life, then allow them to talk about it, but whatever you do, don't push them into explaining how they had been turned. Unless they bring it up themselves, that is.
If you plan on having your vampire guest stay the night, make sure he/she will have a dark place to stay during the day while you are out. Most vampires do need to sleep—some more than others—and you will need to prepare a room that either is windowless, or where you have thoroughly blocked out all light and especially sunlight from coming through. And yes, they prefer sleeping in beds.
So, good luck and have fun. Remember to be a responsible vampire host!