Wednesday, October 21, 2020

When Are We?


When are we?  Where are we?  And why is it so hard to keep track? 

Because things are so much the same these days, only different. 

I started pondering this blog yesterday.  I knew about it, of course, but was reminded to begin writing it at the exercise group I go to a couple of mornings a week--in a park, socially distanced, and all wearing masks.  One of my fellow exercisers happened to mention what to me was the obvious: it's hard to keep track of time these days. 

Which reminded me.  Oh, yeah, it was Tuesday, which meant the next day was Wednesday, the day I blog weekly here at Killer Hobbies. Hey, I'd better think about what to say!  Which I did, so here I am. 

Anyway, the same stuff continues forward.  I plan, and I write. Now, I'm ensconced in the Alaskan mystery. Wish I could go there for more research--one of the reasons I came up with the idea in the first place--but not willing to take any chances just yet. 

One thing new this week was that we celebrated our younger dog Cari's fourth birthday.  She didn't know about that.  She still acts like a demanding, snuggly puppy.

And Mystie, our older one?  She'll turn 13 by the end of the year.  She doesn't act like a puppy, but she does act as if she's in charge, telling us what to do when, like feed her, take her out, give her treats, take a walk, open the front door so she can watch for fun outside the gate... well, she's always done that.  But now she's more adamant. 

I'll be Zooming later today--watching a local meeting happen about some proposed development in our neighborhood.  Unfortunately, that's nothing new.  I don't mind development done right, but when it decreases parking and increases traffic significantly... well, I may wind up putting my 2 cents worth in if given a chance. 

Anyway, Happy National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, everyone!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Cat Stories

 I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel like the days are flipping by so quickly.  Already October is half over.  I need more hours in the day. My editor sent me her notes on ONE FOR THE HOOKS. Even though she was just suggesting tweaks, I am going through the whole manuscript, rewriting here and there.

I am working on two other books at the same time. I started out devoting different days to different books, but I got so wrapped up in ONE FOR THE HOOKS, I have given it consecutive days.  

The two cat girls seem to be okay without their older brother Spyderman. And now that they’ve been with us for about six months, it feels different with them.  It seems different for them as well.  They have relaxed, realizing this is there home.

I didn’t know but Buttercup belong to a cat hoarder before she was taken in by a shelter where my son and his wife adopted her.  She’s a beautiful long hair cat with butterscotch and white markings.  Apparently, she shared a home with 50 cats.  That was all years ago, but I’m sure she is still learning to appreciate just sharing food and cat boxes with one other cat.

She took a long time to make up to me and still is a bit skittish.  She seems to be ruled by furniture.  If I sit on the couch, she always comes up to cuddle.  But if I’m sitting somewhere else, she walks by with barely a notice.

Kitten aka Kona has decided that I’m her human and my lap belongs to her.  She’s taken to sitting on the kitchen table in the morning when I’m  having my coffee and then when she feels like, climbing into my lap.  She is big on butting her head against my arm and eventually she moves around until her head is on my shoulder.

She hangs out in the room where I write, jumping in my lap when the mood strikes her.

She is the only cat we’ve had that I knew as a kitten.  She’d belonged to one of my daughter in law’s students.  I’m not sure of the details, but I think it was one of those situations where they thought a kitten was like a cute toy and then changed their mind.  

We took care of all of my son’s cats when they traveled.  It was usually no problem except the first time we had to take care of Kitten.  She was tiny, small enough to hold in one hand. One night when we came over to their condo townhouse we couldn’t find her.  We freaked out, thinking we’d somehow lost her.  We checked and rechecked, the garage and each of the two floors.  Thinking she must have slipped out, my husband went out into the alley looking for her.  A bunch of stoners were hanging out there smoking grass as he went around calling out “here kitty, kitty.”  Needless to say, he got some strange looks.

Meanwhile I was inside looking for her and then she suddenly appeared. Apparently, she had a way of hiding under the couch where no one could see her and then reappearing when she felt like it.  These days there’s no chance of that because she gotten kind of round around the middle and wouldn’t be able to hide that well.

I am always amazed when I look down at her as she sits on my lap rubbing her cat hair into my clothes that I am not sneezing.  I used to be terribly allergic to cats.  My eyes would tear until I couldn’t see and my nose would run.  And then when I was 17 working as a nanny for the owners of a summer resort in Michigan I found out my allergy was gone. They had a cat who used to sit on my chest at night and I had no reaction.

It never came back. I can get a face full of fur and not be bothered at all.   


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Busy On and Offline

For the past couple of weeks I've described things going on in my writing online first, then offline the next week.

 Now I'm combining them here since there's been even more of both.

 First, I delightfully got together with some good friends yesterday whom I hadn't seen in ages.  We hooked up near a bookstore, but of course we didn't literally hook up.  Masks, social distancing... we were very good!  It was wonderful to see them, and I bought a couple copies of a book written by one of them that just came out. 

Today I'll be getting together with some other friends whom I lunch with once a month locally.  Only lately, we just hold a Facebook get-together at the time we used to actually get together physically. 

Then there's my Harlequin connection.  I have a new Harlequin Romantic Suspense miniseries starting in July next year--the Shelter of Secrets series.  The first book will be called Her Undercover Refuge. It's about--yes, a very special undercover shelter where animals are saved, and so are humans in danger. Those humans, in protective custody and given new identities, are purported to be homeless people given somewhere to stay if they help take care of the rescued animals. I've written two manuscripts and the details for having a cover created for the first one are being managed now. 

And yes, I'm working on another Colton book for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.  Then there's that Alaskan mystery book.  And I finished and sent the proposal for another mystery series idea.

Meanwhile, my dogs love their usual walks and keep putting their noses on the drawer where we keep their leashes.  They continue to give us other orders, too. 

Plus there are video calls with family in Indiana and visits sometimes with our other son who lives within driving distance... Lots of good stuff in times that remain bad.


Friday, October 9, 2020


 I mentioned last week that I’d sent off the manuscript of ONE FOR THE HOOKS.  The usual process is that my editor writes a letter with her comments and suggestion or changes. It usually takes quite a while to get her notes, but This time it only took a week.   I got her comments yesterday just as we were leaving for the Raleigh Durham airport.

I was relieved that she liked the manuscript a lot.  Her comments were mostly for tweaks or to explain things more.  Nothing that I had a problem with.  

The trip to Durham was short and extremely busy.  We got my brother’s place emptied and had contractors over to get estimates on things like carpeting and painting.  We found out selling his car is kind of weird.  Because we are from out of state, I have to sell it to a resident of North Carolina.  It’s crazy, but that’s he rule.  His car is a 2007 Toyota and it has 7000 miles on it.  That’s not a typo.  It’s 7000 miles. I’d consider keeping it, but it’s a stick shift.

In the midst of going through the stuff, I found out that my brother and some other people invented some computer things and have a patent on it. There was a plaque from IBM congratulating them.   I met some neighbors who had known him and they gave me a little more insight in his life.

I have lots of nice memories of him.  We always got along.  The memories mean more than any stuff I could have kept.

I really like the area where his place is. His dining room looks out on a forest and when we drove away the last time, there were a bunch of deer across the street.  That rural feeling and yet it is a short drive to Duke University and the University of North Carolina.  There are stores galore nearby, too.

The time we weren’t dealing with his place, I was busy working on other writing projects.  Somehow the peace of the hotel room stirred my imagination and I got the plot for the next Yarn Retreat book and ways that I want to change the manuscript I’m working on for the second Writer for Hire book.

Everybody asks how it was to fly.  Just tonight I heard on the news that the way the air circulates on a plane makes it as if the person in the middle seat was actually 12 feet away.  Nice to know since all the planes we flew on were more crowded than when we went in early June.  Everybody was wearing masks and the flight attendants handed out a bag with a small bottle of water, a packet with a cleaning towelette and a package of cookies as we got on.  We changed planes in Dallas both ways and the airport was crowded.  LAX was pretty quiet as was Raleigh Durham, though both had more things open than when I flew in June.

I’m glad to be home, but want to go to Chicago.  I have some repairs I have to do and October is my favorite month there.  The crazy thing is that I wake up at 8:00 give or take a few minutes either way, local time wherever I am.  I don’t seem to get jet lag.  It’s like I am wherever I am.
No complaints about it.  It makes travel so much easier.