November again.

My character Patty is a bit annoyed with me right now. She's been trapped in the back of a horse trailer for a few weeks now, along with a nervous mare. She made it out of the trailer at one point, only to go back in when I changed my mind about how to start the scene. Ah well, I guess that's how life goes when you're a made-up person.

I wonder if anyone's ever come up with a special theory of relativity with regard to the passage of time, one that says that when you hit around age 50, your sense of the passage of time changes so much that it's like driving off a country lane onto a superhighway. It doesn't seem to me like it should be November already.

We got enough rain a while back to move us down to the 'severe' level of drought, but have since moved back up to 'extreme'. In case you're wondering, the levels are: D0-Abnormally Dry; D1-Moderate; D2-Severe; D3-Extreme; D4-Exceptional. I don't know that we were ever actually in the Exceptional category during the summer, but according to the drought tracking maps, we were very close to it. Burn bans and all, which meant a number of unhappy fireworks sellers since not that many people were buying. No burn ban currently. The weather's mostly been clear, with temps in the fifties and sixties during the days. Very little to complain about, though, compared to what's gone on in the Northeast.

One of the blogs I read regularly is that of Janet Reid, who is a literary agent who works with a lot of mystery fiction. In one recent post, she talked about authors who self-published their work with the thought of using it to get the attention of the big presses. She has Some Hard Numbers to report about what those authors are up against. I'd heard some numbers bandied about with regard to how many copies needed to sell before a big press would take notice of you, but these are magnitudes greater.

The longer I'm in this business, the more I realize that you need to write because you enjoy it and because you really don't have any choice (a writer will understand what that means), and not because you think you're going to get rich. The Hollywood stereotype of the rich author lounging by the pool with cocktail in hand, taking a break from the latest round of book signings and literary parties, is just that, a made-up stereotype. For the vast majority of us, it ain't gonna happen.

Now, about what I've been reading lately...

On the NOOK:

World's Greatest Sleuth!, by Steve Hockensmith.

Holmes on the Range series. Old Red and Big Red are invited to a contest by Big Red's publisher, pitting themselves against the authors of other dime-novel detective stories and a few real detectives for the title World's Greatest Sleuth. Set against the Chicago World's Fair in the Old West days.

Some Agatha Christie:

Poirot's Early Cases
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The Secret Adversary
Three Act Tragedy

In Paper:

The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker, by Robert W. Lang

Oldly enough, an interesting read. I find myself looking at cabinet details with an eye toward how they were made. Though it's always better if there's no one else in the room when you open cabinets to look at how the hinges were installed, lol!

All for now~~


Identity Theft, part two

Sigh. Guess someone thought signing me up for memberships on websites without my permission is a good thing.

Imagine my surprise when I checked that given-out-to-friends-only email address this evening to discover that I apparently have a member page on Facebook. The first email came on Wednesday, and there have been 133 of them, some confirming friend requests, and some remarking about photos that have been posted on the account.

Except, I don't have a Facebook account. I never signed up for one because they're too time intensive to take care of.

If you stumble across this thing, I have nothing to do with it. I did notify Facebook that my email was being used fraudulently, so hopefully it'll be shut down very soon.


Green In The Midst Of Drought Edition

I'm uncertain yet if I like the new posting interface on Blogger. Seems sometimes like the guys who design this stuff tinker with it just because they can, and not because it really needed it. Take, for instance, the new Windows 8 interface--they've apparently done away with the iconic desktop and replaced it with tiles as if it were a tablet computer. Sorry, guys. I think I'll stick with Windows 7 as long as possible. I like my laptop to have its wallpaper and all, not look like a tablet. And the chances that I'll get a tablet computer are pretty remote. I'm a writer. I need a keyboard to work with, not what passes for one on the already small screen a tablet computer provides.

Summer seems to want to hang around a while longer. Don't guess I mind that, since it means it stays warm rather than getting cold sooner. This whole year has been running about two weeks early, as far as the weather and the seasons go, though. Not sure what that will mean for this winter. We're supposed to be heading into an El Nino winter, but they're not certain when it will start, since it seems we're in a pause between the El Nino/La Nina cycle.

We've been in the upper ranges of the drought scale for a while now, with the dividing line between Extreme and Exceptional falling very close to us on a map of the State. Hurricane Isaac (tropical depression by the time it reached us) helped take the edge off that, though I know we need a lot more rain that what we got to bring things back to where they should be. I know there were a lot of places that got flooding and tornadoes and wind damage, so it was awe-inspiring to watch on radar as the core of the storm passed somewhere within 50-100 miles to the east of us, all nice and polite and dropping a rather gentle rain with a light breeze most of the day. We maybe got 1 or 2 inches, spread out so much that the ground had a chance to soak it up as it fell.

Of course, now the grass is growing like crazy, so there's the trade-off of someone having to mow in the humid heat. The trees, though, are already half bare. They've been dropping leaves for a couple of months, slowly at first, then more heavily as the drought got worse. With all the dry grass and brown leaves on the ground, there were times recently when it could have passed for fall, if not for the fact that the thermometer reading was up around 100F.

I promised, right before summer hibernation, that I'd post a list of what I'd been reading recently, so I guess I'll see what I can drag up. There may be some duplication from previous entries, since I can't remember precisely what I've already posted...

In paper:

Deader Homes and Gardens, by Joan Hess. New Claire Malloy. Claire, teenage daughter Caron, and new husband Peter Rosen are crammed with their belongings into Claire's small apartment, and it's more than they can take. With Peter off on police business, Claire searches for the perfect house, and finds it...but is it really available? Claire isn't about to let murder stand in the way of getting her dream home if she can help it. Fun read. Given that much of the series is set in a fictional version of the place I grew up, it's easy to picture places I know when reading these.

On the Nook:

A Man Lay Dead, by Ngaio Marsh. First Inspector Alleyn book. Enjoyed it.

Charles Todd: (not in order)

Ian Rutledge series:
A Cold Treachery
The Kidnapping (Short Story)
The Confession
A Long Shadow
A False Mirror

Bess Crawford series:
An Unmarked Grave

James R. Benn: (not in order)

Billy Boyle WWII series:
A Mortal Terror
Rag and Bone
Evil for Evil
Blood Alone
The First Wave

Margaret Frazer: (not in order)

Dame Frevise Medieval series:

Winter Heart
The Murderer's Tale
The Bishop's Tale
The Outlaw's Tale

Elegy for Eddie, by Jacqueline Winspear.

Currently reading on Nook:

Dear Mr. Holmes, by Steven Hockensmith. Holmes on the Range series, short story collection. Narrator Otto has a wonderful 'voice'. Lots of fun to read.

A lot of these I read long enough ago that the details aren't clear enough to give a synopsis. I enjoyed them, though.

Also currently working on Patty's latest.

Until next time~~


Interstellar Illusions

Compass and Scale Image of NGC 3314
Source: Hubblesite.org

This is one of my favorite Hubble pictures (there are many). The galaxies shown are not actually colliding. They're actually about ten times the distance apart than the distance between the Milky Way and Andromeda, and it's just chance that they've aligned in such a way that we can see the nearer one highlighted by the background one.

It's been a while since I posted last. My apologies. I've done some reading to report on, and lots of thinking about the new book, with some stuff seeming to come together in that direction. We'll see how it goes. Next post will hopefully be soon.

Enjoying what seems to be a normal June, though May was significantly drier than usual.



My publisher just let all us authors know that they've acquired a company that records audio books, so at some point in the future, my books may be available for listening to. There's no schedule, and the voice talent will apparently get to choose which books they want to record, so when and if this happens, I'll let you know.

Website updates may take a bit... I had intended to add mobile accessibility to the site, and discovered that in order to do that, I have to know either Javascript or PHP, so I have a bit of learning to do before I can do what I was wanting. Still intending a simple update in the meantime, but the big stuff will have to wait.

Have done very little recreational reading lately, so I have no list to give you this time around.

Do you enjoy Doctor Who? Here's the preview for the upcoming season, courtesy of the BBC: Preview

Spring has been unusual this year. We've been having April weather in March. The old saying about March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb all took place within the first week. Not that I'm complaining. Except for the pollen part. So many people have had pollen allergies come up a month earlier than usual, and it's been confusing for everyone.

Not much else for the present~~


An odd sort of identity theft...

Over the past month or more, I've been getting spam from a dating website.

At least, I thought it was spam. It ended up directly in my spam folder, and I deleted it unread, just like I tend to do with all the other spam I get. After a while, though, I noticed the subject lines on the emails were not normal spam subject lines. These looked like the type of emails that social network sites send out to notify you when there's activity on your 'page'. Except, I don't have an account with any dating websites--I've been married for 27 years and love my husband dearly, and have no desire to look for someone else.

Then something else occurred to me--the email address these things were being sent to was a private email that not very many people have. Primarily, people whom I've considered my friends.

It's always a bit icky when you realize someone's appropriated your email. Just ask anyone who's had to explain to their email provider that they've been hacked and their email stolen. This had that extra bit of ickiness, though. Someone I know took my email address, and set up an account with this dating website, in essence stealing my identity and planting it in a public place where I have no control over it. I haven't been to the website. I have no idea what's in the profile on the 'page'.

There are enough clues, between the use of the private email and the profile name, which sometimes pops up in the subject lines of emails sent by the site, that I may have a fair idea who did it, and why. Not cool, guys. And very inappropriate, for reasons that you know as well as I do. Proverbs 27:11. Be wise, and delete the account, please, if you haven't already.

There was a previous version of this post, if you read it and wondered what happened to it. Shortly after it was posted, all email activity from the dating site stopped. It could mean the profile was taken down. If so, thank you. It could mean the email address was changed, in which case the profile may still be active. It's also possible my blog is showing up on the profile page, in which case potential suitors were probably quite turned off. I was way more ticked last night. (If this is showing up on the profile page, please point this post out to the site moderators. Maybe they can do something about getting the 'page' taken down.)

In case you're wondering, a Google search showed the site was one of the bigger free dating sites, and the last email I got from them, which I did open and look at, was a newsletter-type thing letting me know where there was 'singles activity'. Well, I'm sure someone's happy to know there's singles activity out there, but since I'm happily settled, it's not me. The only possible reason I can think of to visit the site would be to check that the profile on it has been deleted.


Recent reads...

I had a list around here somewhere of the books I'd read, but it's managed to get buried, so I'll try to remember what was on it...

Cara Black:
Murder on the Palais Royal-- Aimee Leduc's partner is shot and left for dead, and Aimee's being accused.

Charles Todd:
Wings of Fire
Search the Dark
Watchers of Time
Legacy of the Dead
A Fearsome Doubt
A Lonely Death

Inspector Ian Rutledge. Obviously, I'm trying to catch up on the series.

On the Nook:

Steve Hockensmith:
The Black Dove

Rex Stout:
A Family Affair
Too Many Women
Three Men Out

Currently reading:
On paper:
Daphne DuMaurier:
Jamaica Inn

On Nook:
Rex Stout:
The Hand in the Glove

Up Next:

Not sure. I have Death and Judgement by Donna Leon, or another Rex Stout, or half a dozen ebooks by Margret Frazer that I haven't touched yet. Plenty of choices.

I'm planning on doing a redesign on my website, once I can figure out some background art.

Winter has been unusually mild. I'm not complaining. Still have a couple of months to go, so there's plenty of time yet for nasty weather.

Until next time~~~