Thursday, September 29, 2011

Being naughty/busy with Harry Potter Party plans...

As such, I'm extending the Bottle Tree Challenge by a week.  I didn't have time to do it myself, though I have the idea!  Been working all day while kids are in school and home sleeping like a fool at night.  And then my son sprang it on me (via Mother in Law) that he wants a birthday party!

Well, I started to plan the birthday party, knowing he's getting the Lego Hogwarts castle and figuring that will make a lovely decoration, and his sister decides she wants to have fun too!

After all, Pumpkin Pasties, Butterbeer, Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, Pumpkin Juice, licorice wands, and dementor pinatas sound like LOADS of fun!  That being said, I'm spending all my off-work time gathering up recipes, ordering frog molds, wands, Professor McGonagall hat to complete my ensamble (just need the brooch now!), and a snitch to send them on a scavenger hunt for...  Oh yeah, and printing off foldable Maurader's Maps for party favors, and the random Wanted Poster for either Harry or Sirius, etc.  Whee!

OK, I'm having too much fun.  For now, I leave you with old Halloween pics to giggle at.  Shuddup.  You know we're awesome!

<<  The boy has since gained glasses AND a kick-ass lightning shaped scar.  Ferreals.  He fell on his face off the monkey bars and got rocks in there.  Rock on, boy!

  The girl now has glasses too, but a little wet-braiding makes her hair poof out just like Hermione's!

  Yeah, we know we're awesome!

  Now get back to work!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Three Sentence Story / Bottle Tree Outline

Wrote this for a Terribleminds flash fiction challenge.  Whole story, three sentences, any topic.  It also is a short version of what I have planned for my own bottle tree challenge for the week.  I did a short version here for Terribleminds as something of an outline for the bigger one.  Trying the outline thing before I begin the big work, for once.  We'll see how that goes.

Sunlight glittering off the colored glass baubles that hung from the old oak tree had been too enticing to wander away from, Morela, the ghost of a young woman, reflected from her cobalt prison.
She looked about herself and while the gleaming rainbow colors were appealing, all she saw was how trapped she was, the darkness of the other spirits trapped in the other baubles around her, and how none of them seemed to crave freedom again.
She, however, could not stand to be trapped, so at night while all the other spirits were resting in the dark warmth, she radiated all the light and energy she had pent up within herself during the day, burst her prison of glass into a hundred pieces, and was free to roam about, happily haunting the living, once more.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Choose a fucking ending. Please. For the love of Pete!

I just watched a movie (Last Night), and am thoroughly irritated with the ending.  I mean, really.

I could handle either direction.  They talked, they didn't talk.  They fought.  They broke up.  They made up and pushed forward.  But for the love of all that is holy, suck it up and give me an ending.

Dragging things out for people to decide for themselves how something ends is a major fucking cop-out.  It's goddamned lazy.  And there's nothing in a good story I hate more.

The rest of the story was solid.  The rest of it was deep, moving, and absolutely felt real.  But they had to leave it on an in breath that was clearly at the beginning of the spoken word, leaving you to decide what happened?

Take some responsibility for your stories, writers!  FINISH.  Maybe some people won't like the ending.  Maybe only a handful will.  But finish.  Writing a work of fiction is not a choose-your-own-adventure for grown ups.  The grown ups want to have resolution.  Give it to them.  Please.

Pete loves you, he doesn't want to have to murder you in your sleep with a baseball bat.  Don't make him.

Flash fiction challenge: 1000 words, Bottle Tree

The bottle tree is your inspiration!  Bottles are usually used on the trees, like this or dangling, to attract and trap spirits.  To keep them away from your home, etc.  Evil spirits, wayward ones, whatever.  Keeps them away from us.  Use it.  Run with it.  Tell me a story.

You have until next Thursday at midnight, just like the last two weeks!  

Cold toes, check!

Definitely beginning to feel like fall, to me.  I don't use a calendar to tell me, I listen to the wind, feel it in my bones, and let that be my compass.

Cold toes I have, and coffee or cocoa sounds great!  I think I'll go with cocoa today.  All the warm without the buzzy head later when I realize that hot drink is all I ended up eating all morning.  Again.

So it's Thursday again, and I have an idea or 18 for another challenge.  I just need to go poking around and find just the right thing to post for the day and I'll get it up.  Even though I'm the only one doing these regularly (so far!), I still enjoy it...  Makes me work, complete a little something, and deadlines are my friend.

I used to call myself a procrastinator, I'd put things off until the last minute, but that's not entirely accurate.  I might put things off a bit, but it's not because I'm lazy.  It's because I'm perfectionistic and want the very first try/draft to be almost the last try.  Most things take a little tweaking, but a little tweak is what I'm after.

I realize this is not in the spirit of the "first draft always sucks" line of thinking most writers subscribe to.  My first drafts may be rough, but I've only written a couple things where I would use the word "suck".  And I'm a pretty harsh self-critic.

Write once, and a little editing and is all it takes.  I want it to be worked out in my head before I begin, so I wait until that happens before starting something.  It's partly why I'm stalled in my book project right now.  I have ideas, but I'm not 100% sure how the ending is going to go.  So I stall and do other little things, like these challenges, while I think it over and jot myself notes.

Just thinking about it makes me tired...  Maybe I'll go back to sleep.  I have an hour and a half before I have to take off for work...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


          This was written for this week's Flash Fiction Challenge:  Spiderweb Spiral.  Exactly 1000 words, according to my trusty word counter.  Sillier than last week's, for sure!  Enjoy!  And you still have until Thursday night to write your own if you want to join me!  :)

          Josephine lurked in the corner under the bench, scowling as the storm rolled in. The stinkbug she just finished was the only thing to happen upon her web all week, and it tasted just as bad as it smelled. But it was food, and she had run out of options. The storm would wash away the web it was stuck in, and she could start fresh when it was over.
          She tucked herself away in a nice dry space and sheltered there as the droplets fell, again and again. At least she was warm and dry. She fell asleep after a while, and thought to herself, “Tomorrow.”
          Day broke bright and cheerful the next day, smells of earthworms that had been drowned out of their holes in the night and wet grass filled her nose. It truly felt like a new beginning, and Josephine set out to find a new hunting ground.
          She had assumed the side of a park bench would be a good place for flies, as the human giants often ate their lunches messily. Their horrid-smelling lunches of flesh and plants. She often wondered if there were humans who appreciated blood as much as she did.
          The bench, as it turned out, was a bad idea when in the middle of the park. No one used it. Perhaps a bench closer to the jungle for the small humans. Not too close, though. If she chose one too close, she would likely be captured by the small ones like her friend Lucy.
          Lucy went away with one of the fat things in a glass prison, and never did come back. Jo had warned her, but the girl never listened. Hatchlings. They think they know it all.
          After an afternoon of scurrying through the grass past the ant armies and buzzing bees, she found her spot and set to work. This time, she chose the arm of the bench instead of the side by the ground. Spilled food would be higher up, she figured, and the flies would be eager to get after it. Ants were too smart to be caught, most times, and they ruled the ground with the crumbs. It was too bad, too. Their diets made them delicious! She might not appreciate the grain and sugary bits the humans dropped, but she sure loved how sweet it made the things that ate them. And ants were much cleaner than flies. Still, one could not be picky all the time.
          As she looked over the arm of the bench, she noticed a shape that was appealing. A perfect place to begin! The center of the spiral was the center of her web, and she worked outward from that spot mindlessly as she thought to herself. How many webs had she made? One every day or three for nearly a year and a half, now. She was getting up there in age, but she was still healthy enough. She would surely make it to fall, though she probably would not wake next spring.
          Where were her children now, and how were they doing on their own this year, she wondered? She had left a good clutch of eggs high in a tree last year, tucked away where the birds could not reach it, and hoped for the best. She would need to find another spot for her new egg sack soon enough, but Josephine figured she had enough time for a few more webs before she must lay.
          The afternoon remained bright, and she reflected on the weather from the previous day. It had darkened and began raining just after her stink bug. She had been in a pretty poor mood after that, and she wondered if it was coincidental. The day before that she had been hopeful and the sky remained bright, and this morning she was ready to start again and it was lovely out. It had been that way as long as she could remember... Her mood and the weather were linked. She was almost sure of it.
          The next day confirmed it in her mind when a sudden storm popped up just after one of the fat small humans used a small tree branch to scrub away the web she spent the whole day building. She was angry enough to bite him, but his mother sighed, wiped his hands with an awful smelling cloth, and took him away before she could. And the storm rolled in just as she grew angry.
          So it was true. Josephine controlled the weather.
          She tried to tell her friends Melanie and Jackson, but they would not listen. They laughed at her. Perhaps she did not have friends after all. She scurried back to her bench, dodging the droplets from the sky that she brought down with her betrayed heart. She hoped her “friends” would be caught up in one of the rivers of water and end up down the stinking storm drains.
          A few days later, she was fat with fruit fly blood, busy building a new web, and she never saw the quiet, curious human approach. Jo noticed the girl with hair the color of sunlight just before fat fingers grasped and plucked her from where she worked.
          No! Not over there! She didn't want to go to the play jungle! Too many loud noises! Too many stomping feet! Other spiders seemed to like it there well enough, but she preferred the quiet. The safe.
          The child let her go after showing a boy what she found, and Josephine was thrilled to be set free. She ran as fast as her eight legs could carry her, back toward her bench, back toward her spiral. But the small humans were too quick and erratic for her to dodge, and as the sole of the shoe came down upon her, she wondered if the world was going to end with her.
          After all, if she wasn't around to fix the weather, what would it do?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sick is stupid.

I really hate being sick.  Takes all the fun out of everything.  And makes my brain not work.  Which means I don't get as much done as I'd like.  I haven't even written one single word for my flash fiction challenge yet.  I've thought about it and have an idea...  But I haven't done anything for it yet.

I fail.  I admit it.  But you know what?  Being sick has its costs.

However, I know I shall prevail.  I excel at procrastination, and I will get this done.  Probably tomorrow.  Day off from the "real job" and all that.  *nod*

Don't worry spiderweb spiral, I'm thinking about you.  <3

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Flash fiction challenge: 1000 words, spiderweb spiral

Something about this photo caught my eye, so I think we should use it for this week's challenge.  Inspiration.  Spirals and spiderwebs, where does this take you?  You have until midnight 9-22 to post on your own blog and link here!  Just for the challenge of it, again.  Will probably keep it that way unless we start having a lot of interest in these.  :)  Off you go then!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This is my reply to my own challenge, 1000 words, inspired by the phrase, "Don't cry over spilled milk."  It's sad, but it's what came to me.

PSA:  This is very sad and involves the death of a child.  It is the story of a grieving mother.

Samantha woke with sharp pain, she grabbed her husband's shoulder and her belly as the pain rose and passed. She practiced keeping her breathing calm and smooth, like they had taught her, as the contractions rose and fell all night. She wanted to stay home for the first several centemeters of labor, so she lounged in the tub while he got their things ready.

When the pains were fast and frequent, Mark put his foot down and said they were going, now, and he called Sam's midwife on their way out the door. Every bump in the road, however small, was a cruelty, causing the usually meek woman to swear violently, but he held her hand and she smiled at him as they drove the short distance.

“We're going to be parents soon,” she sighed happily.

“We already are,” he squeezed her hand in his own.

They checked in and her labor progressed nicely on its own until early morning when they told her she could push when ready. It only took thirty minutes of trying before the midwife caught the baby in the birthing tub and lifted his face out. But something was wrong.

The cord was wrapped thrice about his neck, tightly, and the boy's face was blue. The nurses whisked him to a table across the room, and set to work. The midwife stayed with Sam, calmly assuring her this happens and he will be just fine, while Mark stood watching as they unwrapped the cord and put the breathing mask on his son.

The pediatrician stood and pumped the mask again and again, Sam birthed the placenta and was helped from the water to see her baby. They brought her blankets to cover her nakedness and the world stood still while machines beeped angrily and people in scrubs eclipsed the infant from view.

An eternity passed, and eventually, despite the screaming of the machines, the pediatrician sighed, set the mask aside, and turned to the parents. There was no time of death, he was simply “born still”.

The placenta would be sent away for testing to see if they could find out why it happened. But it didn't matter. No answer would be enough. All that mattered was her beautiful little boy, Seth, and being able to hold him as long as she could before they took him away.

Mark found the camera buried in a bag and took pictures. The staff took pictures, and the tiny boy's parents stared at him as though trying to memorize his features while they still could. But the tears did not come, not even when the nurse came to take him away.

The grief councellor came and gave information about a support group, but they did not care. Sam grew angry when a lactation consultant dropped in and introduced herself.

The woman apologized, “I'm so sorry to hear about your little boy, Mrs. Davis,” and Sam's face softened. “I know how difficult this must be, but I was wondering if you might consider donating to our breastmilk bank for a while.

“I won't ask you to answer me today,” She held up her hand when Samantha began to protest, “I just ask that you read over this, and think about it. I am so sorry for your loss, and I won't bother you any longer.” The woman handed Sam a small glossy trifold paper and excused herself.

She looked it over after the woman left, and she wondered if she really would make a difference if she decided to try. Mark rolled his eyes and shook his head when she mentioned it to him, but the idea took hold, and she asked to tour the NICU before making her decision.

While there, she met one of the mothers. “Tiny as my daugther is, I can't pump enough for her. I'd rather use human milk than formula, but the bank always needs more donors. If you choose to, you would help give these little ones a fighting chance. Help them grow strong. They would be your son's legacy.”

The words stuck with her, and when her milk came in on the third day after her delivery, Sam requested a pump. She pumped as regularly as she would have nursed, and spent more time with her pump than her husband after she returned home.

Seth's funeral was a much larger service than Sam envisioned. Mark set most of it up while she was in the hospital, and he did a wonderful job, but Sam was awkward sitting there, tear-free while her husband was a blubbering mess.

That night, he accused her of being heartless; broken, “You haven't cried, not once. What's wrong with you?” When she had no reply for him, he stormed out of the room. And she sat, alone, with her pump. How could he say she was heartless when she was giving away what should have been her son's? When most people wouldn't even think about it?

When their son should have been nine days old, Mark went back to work. And Samantha, swollen and leaking, packed up the first batch to donate. The bags of milk went into a box with ice packs, and she made the drive alone. She was carrying the box across the parking lot when she tripped on a stone she could not see, and fell. The box squished beneath her weight, and watery milk began to seep out the corners onto the pavement.

Bags burst. Maybe not all of them, but enough.

Sam sat upon the asphalt, defeated, knee scraped and bloody. She simply sat right there, in the middle of the lot, and the tears began to flow at last. Not for the milk that was spilt, but for the boy who would never drink it. For her son. The tears came, and with them came a strange sense of peace. She wasn't broken after all.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger

These are the things I put in my coffee filter this morning.  I was dreaming, the other day, of pumpkin spice creamer and decided, screw that, I'll make pumpkin spice COFFEE.

I have one of those awesome grind & brew coffee makers that take a couple minutes to clean properly before you make a fresh pot (FRESH POTS!) ...  but they make some of the best coffee.  I love that I can set it up the night before and still have just-ground beans in my coffee in the morning when the alarm time hits.

Freshly ground is the only way to go.  If you pre-grind your beans, shame on you!

Also, if you have a burner constantly going under your coffee carafe, shame on you!  Burn your poor innocent coffee?!  I...  I don't know if I can talk to you anymore.  It's much more humane to warm the (thermal) carafe and have the burner turn off, like my lovely machine, or if you have a glass carafe, move into a pre-warmed thermal one.

Your coffee deserves better than to be burned.  No, YOU deserve better than burnt coffee.

Nothing is worse.  Now, go make a pot.  And do it right.  Make me proud.  <3

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I'm admittedly not a change-your-facebook-profile-pic-to-a-flag kind of  person, but it doesn't mean I don't care...  It means I don't buy into the hype that if someone REALLY cares, they'll follow these abstract social protocols.  No, no.

When the planes hit the towers, I was in bed, with my new husband.  It was our one month anniversary from our wedding and we were probably on the naked side more than the clothed side, so when my mother called me, (much earlier than I'd usually be awake, as I worked late) I was irritated.  She sounded odd, told me to turn on my tv.  I asked what station, she said it wouldn't matter.

We got up and moved to the living room, and turned the tv to CNN once we saw what was going on.  They seemed to have the least repetitive view, with constant view of the tower that was smoking while someone reported.  We were watching when the second plane hit, when the second tower fell, followed by the first.  We were watching when the pentagon was hit.  When the plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

We both had to work that night, but nobody was in the stores.  Nobody was out to eat.  I worked at Target, back then, in the little Starbucks area, and my husband was a server at Chiles, I think?  Feels like ages ago.

What I remember is knowing I didn't know anyone there, but not being able to imagine the pain of those who did.  The pain of those who saw it happen.  Saw the bodies falling from the broken windows.  Saw their city in ruin.

As much as it pained me, however, it angered me to see this was being used as an excuse to go to war.  To cause more pain, more hurt for more families.  An excuse.  It was clear then as it is now.  Then to discover we were all lied to.  The powers that be DID know there were threats, and did nothing.  They knew this was coming, they knew it could happen, and they sat idly by.  To go to war?  For that excuse?  I speculate, but I don't know.

And here we are, 10 years later, having the same conversations.  My children (8 and 6) learned about 9-11 at school on Friday.  My son was home sick, actually...  my daughter went, and came home with a full sized flag.  She wants to hang it in her bedroom.  But she didn't understand what they were saying happened, so I pulled up some of those youtube tribute videos set to music for the kids to watch.  I didn't want the ones with the screaming people and close-up views of the jumpers...  I wanted the ones that showed the towers, the pentagon, the scorched mark upon the earth where the plane landed.

They stood behind me at my computer, watching, eyes big.  They weren't born yet, but I remember it, and that was a big thing to them.  Like the JFK assassination was for me, knowing my parents were there.  Like the moon landing.  You can feel the history in certain moments.

In any case, I remember, and I still am sad for the families affected.  But I, for one, will not allow this to take over my life.  We were attacked once, and it was bad.  But how many times have other countries dealt with similar attacks?  How many families did we rend with our bombs?  Our guns?

An eye for an eye, that's what it feels like.  And the world?  It's going blind.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Flash fiction challenge: 1000 words, "Don't cry over spilled milk."

The phrase was uttered at work today, and it stuck with me.  The connotations are many, this could be literal or figurative, after all.  So!  Let's let the phrase sink in and inspire us!  1000 words or less, inspired by the phrase, "Don't cry over spilled milk."  Story, not essay.  We'll start today, September 8th, and you'll have one week to get them to me.  So as long as they're in by midnight (MST) 9-15, they count.

Let's make this first one just a fun self-challenge, and see how that goes!

Let's see...  how to submit.  I think having huge stories in the comments area would take over a bit, so please post on your own blog and link the posting in the comments.  If you don't have a blog or your own site, go ahead and post here!

Happy writing, and calm down, now.  It will be alright.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Today can kiss my shiny white ass.

This morning was a bit of a clusterfuck.  Woke up at 8:35.  Kids should be out the door for school at 8:30.  FAIL!  But, I suppose, the first bell doesn't ring until 8:40, and second is 8:45, so I had time.  10 minutes to get them out the door and down to their classrooms before second bell, when they'd be officially late.

I ran about, screaming like a banshee, trying to get things ready.  Anna had made lunches already, Aaron was still getting dressed (not telling anybody he did not HAVE pants to change into because he's a very modest little boy and would not come out of his room wearing just underwear and a shirt)...  We managed to get out the door, homework folders WITH homework (win!), lunches prepared (win!), and down to the school with 2 minutes to spare before the second bell.

I think they made it.  99.9% sure.  If not, there will be a tardy for the day, but I hope not.  I really hate being late, and I hate my kids being late even more than that.  Phew!  OK, crisis averted.

So here I am, after all that fun, hanging out with my coffee, staring at the computer.  In a feat of miraculous something or other, my husband is actually out of bed before noon (he doesn't start work until 2:30), and is being distracting.

He will never read this, so it's all good!  LOL  He always gets up and puts on some distracting tv show or something on his computer, and I can't focus, and therefore cannot write.  I had big plans this morning, people.  BIG PLANS!  And he goes and wakes up early and ruins them.  Sigh.

Yeah, yeah, I could put headphones on and try and make my music louder than his speakers, but who wants that, really?  I have spent half my writing existence like that, and I'm a grown woman, this is my house, and if I don't want to have to put headphones on to be able to write, I shouldn't have to.  /nod vehemently.

So yeah, foiled again.  Clusterfuck morning.  Maybe I'll be able to get something done later.  Heh.  Yeah right.  Kids get out of school early today, right around the time the hubband leaves for work.  (yes, I said hubband.  Husband, hubby, hubband!)

And thus, my day is filled with coffee, and hopes and dreams that will be thoroughly crushed.

So...  what (always) foils your best intentions?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

If I started hosting flash fiction challenges...

would you be game?  I have people viewing but not many commenting, and that's fine!  I view a lot more than I comment too...  but if I put up some challenges for people to try their hand at, to challenge themselves, would that be something you'd be interested in doing?

I could give copies of my work as prizes, or offer to help edit something for you, or it could simply be a self-challenge thing like NaNoWriMo.

What do you think?  It is a lot more fun than I thought, and I'd be challenging myself as well.  I, of course, would not be up to win anything at all, duh...  but if I'm going to challenge YOU, I may as well step up to the plate myself, eh?  :)

So!  Yes, no, maybe so?  (starting to sound like a country song!)  And would you like editing help on some other work, a copy of something of mine, or would you not need anything for incentive?  :)  I'd be down with whatever!  Or if you have other thoughts for prizes, I'd be interested to hear!

This is a first cup of coffee thought, today.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bony Fingered Limbs, what it really means...

So I bet a few of you are all confuzzled about my bloggy name goodness!  It's something I came up with ages ago, and was used in some poetry to describe the tree in my parent's front yard.  I still lived at home, might even have been in high school still (since I lived there maybe a total of one year past that, split into three different time frames...  before Chicago, after Chicago, and after my lease with friends was up, but before I got married.) ~

Anyway, I was talking about the tree, a Cottonwood that was planted there when the house was built, and grew up with me.  The tree was only a few months older than I was.  We climbed up it happily, and spent many hours in its branches, reading books.  We devised a bucket/basket on a rope to carry our things up and down the branches, since we couldn't really climb up with a backpack on or with things in our hands.  We sat in its branches and watched little blue eggs turn to baby robins, and brought up little water droppers to "help" the mama bird feed them.  Mama didn't even seem to mind much.

The poem that inspired the name isn't my favorite, but here it is:

February Rainstorm

Cold-kissed droplets
pelting down
leaning to the left
flying through
bony fingered limbs.
Flash of lightening
streaks the sky
in bursts of camera bulbs
taking pictures of our
"cruel cold world".
Peering through the
paint-clouded window panes
feeling the damp cold air soak in,
smiles rise from troubled skin
while music in the air,
proclaims loudly,
and 'tis true
"I'm only happy
when it rains.”


I've been looking for a picture of the tree in question, but may have to dig into the old hard copy photograph box to find one.  It died and was replaced by a red leafed maple a few years ago.  Color me sad.

Ah well...  The branches always looked like fingers to me, reaching out to the sky.  My favorite was when it was raining, and the branches were reaching for the drops, streaking in the light of the streetlamp, glistening happily. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Flash fiction challenge.

Wrote this little disturbing blip tonight, quickly, as part of a flash fiction challenge.  100 words or less, subject:  revenge.

So, here goes!  A little dark for my usual style, but it works.

     *          *          *          *          *

     She hid the plastic stick in the bathroom trash bin and stepped into the darkness, floor creaking, threatening to give her away. 
      Dazed, she walked to the kitchen for water and retreated back down the hall toward the bedrooms, but she stepped into his room, not her own.
     She stood over his bed, moonlight glinting off the steel she did not realize was in her hand. She stared blankly, plunged it into his sleeping throat, and redness spread. He gasped and gurgled until, at last, he lay still. “It's all your fault,” she stared down at him.
      Two pink lines.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Miss Anna, mystery lover

I am a water scavenger.  I hunt throughout my house and find the opened-but-not-finished bottles my kids got into today.  And I finish them.  They wake up in the morning with no clue what has happened to the bottle they left out yesterday...  They think the water goblins came in again and took them.  MUAHAHAHAHA!

OK, that sounds so much more interesting than it is.  I only said that because I was thirsty and my bottle was empty.  I put it in the recycling bin and found a couple half-finished bottles on the table.  And took them.  Because walking downstairs to the garage to get a brand new one was too hard.

Yes, I said recycle.  You don't?  Earth hater.  Can't talk to you anymore.  (Or something...)

Anyhoo, I was up and discovered an Encyclopedia Brown book on my counter.  Miss Anna (8) has been at it again.  She finished the first one she found in a day and has moved on.  I'm thinking she likes these mystery books and she likes scary stories, so maybe it's time we move her along to some better things.  If Encyclopedia Brown can be devoured in a day's time, maybe she's ready for bigger stuff.  Things written for older audiences.

I debated Nancy Drew a bit, but a boy always comes to save the day in the end, so I'm not so sure I like that idea creeping into my daughter's just-starting-to-notice-boys brain.  She does not need to be saved by some man.  No thanks.

Ideas, anyone?  I really enjoyed Mary Higgens Clark, Agatha Christie, Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, and John Grisham, but I'm trying to remember how old I was when I began reading them.  I'm sure she can read the words and follow the stories, for the most part...  but I may have to read along with her and be sure there are not any scenes little eyes don't need to read.  Hmm.

I'm not one who subscribes to "intended age ranges" on books, I'll put that out there.  If it catches the kid's attention and makes them find a love of reading (and in my daughter's case, writing as well!), I'm all for it.  As long as we're not talking adult material in the hands of a child, of course.  ;)

I do have my limits.

New month, new sales report...

It's always sad, to me, to see the empty screen on my Amazon sales report.  I know it's a new month, but things were looking so pretty over there from last month!  Between all the different things I have up, UK and US sales (still have yet to sell anything in Germany, but that's ok!), I had 107 sales in the month of August.  Not too shabby for little miss no-name, eh?

But, alas, August disappeared and now it's September, and nothing has been purchased since midnight.  So my screen sits sadly blank, and I compulsively refresh to see that first sale come in.  It's pennies per sale, of course, but the point right now is gaining readers, not getting money.  I have an outside job (which I'll be late for if I don't move my fat arse soon!), that pays the bills and gives us the insurance that is so handy to have...  My kids are little destructiod monsters, it seems, and having insurance really helps when they go and give themselves kidney infections or blow up like little balloons because a mosquito found them to be tasty...

Ellipseses are fun.  Ellipses?  Plural of ellipses is ellipses?  Hmm.  (if you are not familiar, that's the three little periods in a row:  ...  I love them so!)

Anyhoo...  Blank screens are sad.

In other news, I'm starting to offer my works as PDF files, sold through Paypal!  So if you don't have a Kindle, want to put it on your computer, or email the file to your ebook of choice, you can now do so!  I made up a couple little quickie paypal buttons, and just need to figure out where to set them up and how to make them all pretty and shiny and stuff.  :)  Keep your eyes peeled.  For now, I have to run or I'll be late.

That job that pays me for being there is kinda handy, and making them angry with me for being late is not such a great idea.  Off I go then!  Happy Thursday!