Friday, June 18, 2021

Out in the World

 It's always a problem when I switch from my PC desktop to the MacBook.  I'm getting weird messages about needing something for me to access the file I seem to be working on which happens to be BUT KNOT FOR ME.  I was afraid to do anything that would mess it up, so I saved it to a thumb drive and am working from that.  The MacBook updated to a new version of the operating system and made it so i have to figure out how to do common things like deal with photos all over again.

I like the keyboard, but the touch pad is difficult, but I got around that by adding a mouse.  Also miss having backspace and delete keys.  Mac only has delete and it works like backspace.  Enough complaining, I'll figure it out.

I'm on the MacBook because I finally made it to Chicago with the hopes of dealing with a toilet that needs to be replaced.  The plumber came yesterday and said I need to replace the flooring before I do the toilet and I should go with ceramic tile.  The building is 120 years old.  I don't think the toilet is that old, but it is at least 70 years old and very large.  Whatever replaces it will have a different footprint.  The good news is that it isn't the only toilet in the place and the other one is a lot newer.  I know because I replaced it not too long ago.  But it's a whole new challenge now dealing with the floor.

Another problem with the Mac is where to put it to work.  I had it on a table, but quickly realized it was hurting my wrist, so the laptop is in my lap now.

I'm happy to report there were no incidences on my flight.  It seems every day there is a report of another unruly passenger.  The big change is that beverage service is back.  No more little bag with a small bag of water and an antiseptic wipe as I got on the plane.  Someone behind me asked for a beer, but flight attendant said they weren't serving alcohol.  It seems like a good move with all the reports of truly passengers.  

The last time I was in Chicago was literally days before everything shut down and I thought I'd be coming back to pre shut down mode since Chicago supposedly opened everything up on June 11.  Well, not quite. I went to a restaurant that required masks and a bakery that still had no tables, marks on the floor for distancing and masks required.  Outside it was a mixed bag of massless and masked. I haven't gone to the local Trader Joe's yet, but expect they'll still be requiring masks, too.

It seems like people are confused about what's what and hesitant.  But I did see of bunch of massless UChicago students jog by after a run.  I guess some things never change.

In L.A., a bar started having dancing again at one minute after midnight on Tuesday when all the restrictions were lifted.  No masks required.

Meanwhile once I get past fighting with the Mac want to work rewriting BUT KNOW FOR ME.  August is fast approaching and the release of ONE FOR THE HOOKS.  It's getting some nice reviews which I will post when I'm on a friendlier computer.  ON THE HOOK is an Amazon special for the month and HOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING will be an Amazon special for June 30.  

As for the Writer for Hire series.  Since Veronica lives in the 120 year old building, I think I'll make the toilet/floor replacement part of the next book.  No experience wasted.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

This Week

             Hey, things have gotten pretty much back to normal around my house. No more strangers breaking windows and jumping through backyards like last week. 

            No, I’ve talked to some of the neighbors, and all seems well.           

            Except that summer has finally arrived in L.A., and it’s hot outside. And dry. Which isn’t a good thing. 

             I’ve just been doing my regular stuff, like writing and editing and obeying my dogs. Plus, I’m eagerly anticipating the official publication of my next book, HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE, the first in my new Shelter of Secrets miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. It’s scheduled to come out in August but I’ve already received my author’s copies, so I’m excited. 

            That’s not all I’m anticipating. I’ve another Harlequin Romantic Suspense book being published later this year, plus a mystery in February 2022 with Crooked Lane. Fun! I’m glad I’m a writer. 

            And in fact, I’d better get back to my writing now. I’m under a deadline, with more to come. 

            A very good thing.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Baby Shark Do Do Do

 I have said more than once that I wanted to be able to write anywhere, under any circumstances.  This is really a test.  I am on my laptop as my 4-year-old is watching Baby Shark Goes to Space on the TV.  After a year of not seeing him much and when I did it was at a distance, everything has changed.  He's changed. He was a chubby cheeked toddler, now he's a little boy.  Then it was more about keeping him out of trouble, now it's all about listening to him and talking to him.  It is so nice to get to know him.  And to share all my toys with him.  Even he said  have a lot of toys.  HIs favorite is something I used in a Molly book-- what we call the pinchy winchy.  It a long plastic thing with a claw on the end that opens and closes.  Molly used it to deal with something yucky.  Jakey uses it to grab everything. 

I have begun the rewrite of BUT KNOT FOR ME and was horrified to realize that the beginning was awful.  But I came up with a new start that I'm happy with.  I have to make changes in what the characters say and do at the beginning as I got to know them as I wrote the draft.   

A lot of the story has to do with another retreat going on as Casey puts on hers.  It is led by  a charismatic guru type which led me do a lot of research on those change your life/fix your life type events and the people who lead them.  They are all good talkers and it made me wonder about the line between being someone who connects with people and being a con man.  It also fascinated me how people are willing to pay a lot of money to spend a weekend of being pushed to the edge with little sleep and nourishment.

Self-help is an over a billion dollar business with no oversight.  The research gave me a lot to wonder about.  I read about smart, successful people who paid $10,000 dollars for a weekend that was really abuse with people dying and being injured.  

Baby shark is sill singing in the background and the pinchy winchy has made several swipes at my hair, but I was able to write this.  Am I deluding myself that it makes sense?


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Reality...

 

One night last week, after I’d returned from my trip but my husband hadn’t, he called to let me know he’d received a call from a neighbor two houses away who’d heard a window being broken in the house behind him, then saw a person in the backyards who’d apparently attempted to get into the other house. That person had next gotten into that now-calling neighbor’s yard, then over the fence of the house between ours. But no one knew where he was now.

In our backyard?

 I immediately turned on all the backyard lights. Our terrain is such that we have to look down into the yard. I saw no movement. 

Where had the person gone? 

And I did have to open a door into the side yard before I went to bed, to let the dogs out. I turned on the light and looked outside before allowing my pups to go into their dog run. I even held a knife—not that I figured I’d use it. But if someone was there, I’d hopefully scare them off. 

Fortunately, I didn’t see anyone. And my pups remained just fine. Oh, and me, too. 

When my husband returned home he scanned the footage from our security cameras and didn’t see anyone, either.   

And what was this? It sounded like something I’d write, but not reality. I hoped. Maybe I will use it in a story someday. But it was rather unnerving. 

Since then, I’ve talked to people about it but still have no idea who it was or where they went, although we had a gate left ajar that could be a result of that person—or, our just leaving a gate ajar. Same thing regarding a door into a shed. 

I certainly hope whoever it was got scared enough not to try it again.