Sunday, December 13, 2015

And the Winners Are...

Today is the day I got to draw for winners of the free copies of Fightball: Dying of Suck by Kris Wehrmeister

It was done with minimal technology. I wrote all the names on slips of paper, wadded them up, and threw them on top of my current crochet project.

Over the course of an hour I blindly reached for a crumpled bit and unfolded. I did this three times, because...three winners.

Since I use blogger as opposed to the wildly popular and evidently more user friendly WordPress, I have no idea how to get in touch with two of those winners.

They'll have to find me. Or perhaps I'll have the author track them down, she is the one who has to mail those crisp copies out.

In the meantime, I will simply type randomness as I consider my next attempt to locate and inform the winners.

I crocheted a briefcase for the grandson. (He will not be required to carry it in public.)

I wrote a fiction on the other blog. Elsetime & Otherwhen (pssst...I don't do the funny, I leave that up to Kris, I do the weird.)

I wrapped Christmas presents.

I need to get on the tree thing, I only have one so far this year. That is unacceptable, this is what Christmas at my house is supposed to look like.

I need to find a way to notify the winners.

I need Kris to reply to my twitter message.

I suppose a nice person would get on with the posting of the winners' names.

Wonder what's for dinner tonight. I think I forgot to get something out of the freezer.

Ok, enough of that.

The winners are:

Angela of A Work in Progress

Kim of Glimpse from a Distance


Patricia Lynne at Patricia Lynne, Independent Author

So winners, be excited! (Especially the part where I twitter found you, bwahahaha!)

Once you've received that extra special prize, READ IT and laugh out loud!

Then make sure you mosey on over to Amazon and leave a review.

In the meantime I better go rummage through the freezer...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

FIGHTBALL: Dying of Suck (a review)

I'm here at the Rants doing a book review. Or is it book report? The feeling of impending doom is the same….

I have the honor of attempting a riveting review for a book I am in love with.

That book?

I’ve been a fan of Kris at her blog, Pretty All True for about five years. During that time I have laughed, snorted, giggled, and chuckled as she wrote about her two very independent and totally opposite in personality daughters.

Fightball is an entire book filled with those interactions. From Maj and her BOLD LETTERED tirades to Kallan and her unstoppable imagination tinged with edgy mischievousness.

There is also the supporting cast, Mark, the husband who has the wit to choose his battles wisely, and the dogs, Persie, the Labrador, and Jack, the insane Lakeland Terrier.

I’m on my third reading of Fightball. I was lucky enough to have received an ARC copy, so I could identify typos and such. However, I was too wrapped up in snort-laughing to have accomplished that task. Good thing she had more observant readers.

Of course I ordered the actual ebook! And if you're looking for a laugh a minute you should too. Or…you could win a copy by commenting on this review.

Yes, three lucky people will win their very own copy of Fightball! It will be accomplished with the high tech method of writing names on paper and a blind draw. 

You can find Kris at these popular sites;
Her Blog, Pretty All True
PrettyallTrue on Twitter
Pretty All True on Facebook
Her Amazon author page. 

And don't forget you can find FIGHTBALL: Dying of Suck on Amazon.

So let’s get with the commenting people!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nano Rant

I'm taking a few minutes from the Nanowrimo insanity to Rant about the experience.

For those not in the loop, nanowrimo stands for NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth. That's where all the writers in the universe jump into the crazy pool and attempt to crank out 50,000 words in 30 days. Those days being November 1st through 30th.

Maybe not all writers. Just those of us who need the kick in the behind to create a good, daily, writing habit.

Wait, not that either. That's me, I needed the butt kick.

So I sat with the laptop and looked at the blank page and said, "Hmmmm."

Okay, so I planned, kinda. I'm not much of a planner though. I'm what is called a pantser. That means I start a story with no clue where I'm going.

Actually I usually know how it starts. And where I want it to end. It's the getting there that is a mystery to me.

I wasn't disappointed. I started with the crazy idea of using some flash fiction I'd written over on the other blog, Elsetime & Otherwhen. I picked some random stories with completely unrelated characters and threw them together in an adventure.

And those that know me, know that there is likely magic, monsters, and probably some strange twists along the way.

About those twists.

I have been regularly surprised at some of the stuff these characters are up to. I start thinking about what's next and all the sudden these strange happenings fall out of my fingers and onto the page.


I also had a full set of characters. Characters that I didn't know very well. It's that flash fiction thing, they only existed in about 500 words or less.

Probably explains some of the surprises. Now that they have more time they aren't shy about letting me know more about them. Like these new characters they meet along the way.


I'm just getting to know you guys and you throw more characters at me??

And I found that I'd be creating an entire new world. Which needed flora, fauna, and a map.

I need a map.

Oh dear.

Don't get me wrong, I'm having fun.

I've attempted Nanowrimo twice before and halfway through I failed. Never finished.

This time I'm going to reach that 50,000 words.

The characters said so.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Nano Time

It's November.

This year that means I'm participating in NaNoWriMo. That is National Novel Writing Month.

The target; 50,000 words. that's 1,672 words a day in November.

I've attempted it before, but never managed to "win". Winning isn't the real point. the real point is simply writing daily.

That has been my downfall. What with working the hours I used to work, sitting down and being creative was just more than I could handle.

This year I am purposefully unemployed. And I am going to get 50,000 words.

Now that challenge being accepted, don't believe for a minute that means I'll have an actual book written. What I'll have is 50,000 words of absolute chaos.

It will be chaos because this story keeps changing itself as I go. (Stubborn characters)

It will be chaos because I am purposely ignoring my inner editor. That is going amazingly well so far. My story is happily full of typos, unnecessary words, and a plot that is so full of holes it wouldn't catch bowling balls.

And a win!

Maybe, if I can stand to look at it, I will attempt to edit after the first of the years.

After editing, I might, for a short time have a story of about 30,000 words. Then when someone else goes through it, there might just maybe be enough left to work into a novelette.

It okay, that would be more than I've had before.

So, I have the iPod fired up and coffee. I'm good to go.

Monday, October 26, 2015

By the Way, I Need a Bigger Crock

I've been doing a good job of keeping myself busy. Mostly.

I may have found cabbage on sale and started another batch of sauerkraut.

I did some from the garden this year and it is not enough! Had to have more. I enjoy canning and otherwise preserving my own foods. This way, I know exactly what is in each jar.

I've been busy with yarn.
Crochet was always my go to, but I've been working on improving my knitting skills as well. I'm down to the finishing touches on the knit jacket.

Which means get those cords sewn on the rest of the way. (Sewing will never be my friend.) You can see I made a hat to match. There are a pair of mittens(or oven mitts). Those are likely to be unraveled and a new pair that are less large made. I also have started working on a matching purse. Yes, I know. I'm somewhat insane. But they made me buy way too much yarn!

Working on "scoodie's" for the grandkids. Have two done, but need to find orange yarn for the youngest. She loves orange.  How do I not have orange yarn?

Have the pink one for the middle kid. Her favorite color, or so I'm told.
And was able to modify the pattern into a kinda spiderman design for the boy. 
I may have some other patterns to play around with as well.

In other stuff, I signed up to do Nanowrimo. Again. (I may have mentioned that before.)
The big kick off is this weekend. Just maybe, I'm ready for it this year. Maybe.
As long as I keep writing.

I have managed to do some flash fiction over at the other blog, and have been working on a couple odd short stories that I keep hidden in the Scrivener.
Even doing the random rant here keeps me writing. So, wish me luck!

At least as the word count insanity ensues, I'll have yarn. Yarn is therapeutic. 
Wonder if that is tax deductible?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Been keeping myself entertained.

I've managed to write some stuff. You are more than welcome, in fact encouraged to check out the other blog, Elsetime & Otherwhen where I hide write the weird stuff I see in my head and relate the stories those voices keep telling me.

And for reasons I can't explain, I have begun crocheting Christmas presents. I have attempted this in the past.
It has never gone well. I clearly remember wrapping up half finished projects for my family. Strangely those projects never did get finished.

Whatever. That was fifty (OMG) yes, fifty years ago.
Things are different now.  I'm old.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Ping is in the Air! (and some writing prompt sites)

I love that sound. The sound of a mason jar sealing.
I was gifted about 30 pounds of apples by our neighbor. That resulted in 7 quarts and 1 pint of apples put up for future baking and 14 half pints of applesauce.
And this scary pot of peelings and scraps.

Why do I save peels and scraps?
To make apple peel jelly  of course!
Why use up the apple meat for jelly when I can simmer the scraps? Should end up with about 10 or so half pints of jelly.
But, since I'm out of sugar right now, I decided to sit here at the keyboard instead.

While I'm here, I'll share some writing prompt sites.

My friends Stephanie and Amanda have created a place for writers. Our Write Side

You want to check this place out, if you haven't already. I may have mentioned it here and there.
They offer writer's services, tips and tricks, a forum for writerly chat, and several writing prompts every week.
One of my favorites is Professor Stephanie's  Master Class Monday I've participated in this prompt on different sites and in different forms for a couple of years.
On Thursday, enter The Darkroom where Tara will offer a picture prompt.
Stephanie also handles Fractured Fridays which show up on, wait for it...
And next week, Amanda will fire up the Coldly Calculating prompt. I may have done one of these before as well.

I also signed up for Yeah Write. Haven't jumped in, yet. They accept fiction, memoir, poetry, and micro fiction. There are loose prompts and not so loose word counts for each one, due on different days. There will be voting.  I'm interested in the micro fiction. I love having to watch my words.

There is one more site I've been exploring and taking the occasional shot at. # 7Words operated by an old school friend of my daughter's. I'll be following her on the twitters momentarily. (We're already FB friends.)
Ok. Followed.

Now that I have all that out of the way, maybe I'll go grab a prompt. And write something for the other blog, that twisted place I put the stuff that doesn't quite go here, Elsetime & Otherwhen.

By the way, I can be found on twitter @2old2tap (I joined twitter umpteen years ago to win a contest on an iPod game I played. TapTapRevenge. I was the second oldest tapper, most players were 18 to 22 year old guys, hence the handle.)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Another Day in Paradise

Yep.  I have been lax in the writing and posting thing.

Sometimes things just get away from me.


I have been jotting notes for the Nanowrimo coming up in November. Scribbling random ideas for other stories as the whoosh through my head.

Also working on that jacket I showed the first few pieces of in a prior post. It's coming along, just a few more finishing touches.
The pattern had me buy a carload of yarn. Much of which is left. So I will likely have mittens, a hat, and a scarf to match. And maybe a purse as well. 

Last week was spent working on my car.  I was drafted to help the husband install front struts and wheel bearings.  It only took two and a half days to screw up the right side.  We will be attending to that this week.  The left side only took five hours.  We learned a lot on the first side. And remarkably have spent less than half of what it would have cost to have done.
If you don't count the four fingernails I destroyed in the learning.

I also had the opportunity to read an advance copy of a book from one of my favorite people. I will have more on that later. Though I can say I giggle-snorted through the whole thing.  WIN!

Will have more to show and tell later!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I've Been to the My Write Side Cafe!

I have a new place to connect with writers!

My writing friend Stephanie Ayers has just launched a forum for writers to interact, get support and find the services they need to take that next step with their words. With her partner in crime, Scorpio Scribe (aka A.L. Mabry) they've produced  My Write Side Cafe,

It's part of her website My Write Side. While snooping browsing about her place I found some interesting construction going on.
There is a button for upcoming writing prompts.
Another one for contests.
Lots of info and services for writers.
Places to find that bit of inspiration and writerly wisdom to keep us plugging away.

I've signed up.
I'd love to see you there!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Canning and Baking and Yarn, Oh My!

Spent the day in the kitchen, which I enjoy much more since I'm not spending a million hours a week in a restaurant kitchen. 
The new neighbor gave us permission to gather grapes and apples. Yesterday I canned 16 jars of concord grape jelly. 
Today I sliced the apples and made crisp. 
While that was baking I gathered up the wild grapes that grow in the tiny woods behind the house. Wild grape jelly is awesome!


Summer is winding down and with the mildly cooler weather (less than 90 degrees and lack of high humidity) I am more inclined to go outside. 
The locusts and tree frogs fill the evening with a symphony of sound. Like they're hurrying to get the tunes out before the season changes. 
The zinnias are still blooming and attracting tons of Monarch butterflies. I need to find a place to plant milkweed. Then they can breed here as well. 

The vegetable garden is pretty done for the year. The overload of rain really took its toll. And the fact that I was still working a million hours during planting season didn't help. I'm looking forward to next spring already. 

Also looking forward (not really) to getting out and finding a new job. A couple craft stores are hiring, which sounds wonderful. As long as I don't take advantage of any employee discounts that might eat a potential paycheck. 

Speaking of yarn...time to pick up the knitting.

Hope there was no expectation of profound thoughts. Cause I'm far too relaxed to be profound. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Random Writing Resources and Babbling

I finally finished the crocheting that shawl I've been working on for a year. Now it's time to attach the 70 beads.

So I decided to write instead.

As I've stated before, there has been very little fiction writing happening. Which is the reason I'm hanging out here.

I do have a lot of half thought out ideas. And a work in chaos that is nagging me to return.

In the meantime, I have found a few writer's resources to explore.

If you follow me on the Twitters, you are aware that Thursday evening becomes twittersanity night on my stream. I engage in a few writer chats over a two (or so) hour period.

At 8 pm EST I am chatting it up with the StoryDam crew. We have a topic each week related to writing. All writers are welcome! Just use the StoryDam hashtag and jump in.

Then, at 9 pm EST I generally join the 10 Minute Novelist chat. Another fun way to connect with writers. That hashtag is 10MinNovelists. They also have a facebook page. here.

There are a load of twitter chats for writers. Put your favorites in the comments, I'd love to check them out!

As I was muddling around on the social medias, my writing friend Stephanie from My Write Side posted an article spotlighting a few resources. Take a look, you might find something just for you. She also has another project in the works for writers looking to connect. I'm excited to see what she's going to offer.

And I just signed up for a newsletter from  They offered this list of writing prompts.

For those newbies with a few thousand words that need a place to go, One Story is looking for submissions. (I need to round up some words and try to organize them.)

If you are inclined to see what I'm up to here, or on the fiction blog, Elsetime & Otherwhen, you can like either or both on facebook (bats eyelashes.) I haven't been working them to the extent I should, so any input would be great.

Well, I've randomly ranted long enough, so I should probably find some beads...or words.

Write on!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Don't All Writers Hoard Yarn?

Here I am again at the Rants.

With nothing to really rant about.

Well...there is the fact that I haven't been writing my fiction regularly.  Sometimes it just doesn't come together.
So Elsetime & Otherwhen has been kinda idle.
And the Wattpad story, Renewal, has been on hold too long.
I have been working up an outline for a Nanowrimo project.
I will be submitting myself to the insanity that is nano.
Fingers crossed for a first time actual completion of 50,000 words that may or may not make sense.

So I haven't been totally unproductive.

Doing stuff around the house.

Indulging in my yarn love.

I've been working on a broomstick crochet shawl for over a year that is finally close to completion,
Embedded image permalink

And because I can't stand to do only one project at a time, I started knitting a jacket.
That may or may not be done before next spring.
Here is the little bit I have so far.
Embedded image permalink

Yes, that is multiple patterns and colors. It's a free pattern at

The link takes you to the free pattern page, the jacket is the second one listed.

Hopefully that's how the jacket will look. Except for a couple of colors changes where my local yarn hoarder's store didn't have what was asked for. And I'm all about instant gratification. So I picked what looked good for me.
I'm easy to keep happy if I have yarn and a new project.

Now off to maybe raid the new neighbor's grape vines and apple trees.
(It's okay, I have permission.  Really.)

Monday, August 31, 2015

So Many Things to Do, So Much Life

It's been a long couple of weeks.

Two weeks ago was the loss of my long time fur friend, which I wrote about here.

Last week was a crisis of the extended family which I will not write about. It's not my story, but did have an impact on my immediate family.

But now I have hauled my butt back to the keyboard.

I need to get back to my story,  Renewal, that I've been writing on
I need to keep working on my random flash fiction stories on the other blog Elsetime and Otherwhen.

And I need to get back to the things I'm trying to accomplish around this house.

I did manage, in my time away from working, to reorganize my kitchen.

Get my Christmas horde semi-controlled.

My project now is to go through the gazillion pictures scattered around this house. They have been tossed into boxes, haphazardly slipped into albums, and many are still in the envelopes from which ever photo service was used to develop them.

Pictures of Christmases past. Many of my parents with my daughter. Some pictures from the distant past of relatives gone long before I was born.

I call it my ancestral archeology.

There are still farmer's market to browse, since the garden was not at its best this year. I've been able to get some canning and freezing done, but not as much as I'd wanted.

Although, I did succeed at sauerkraut this year!

And of course my long love affair with yarn. I'm trying very, very hard to use up the yarn stash before I buy new yarn.
(No, no I'm not.  I already have new yarn plans.)

So...enough boring life. Off to elsetime. To write stories of otherwhen.

Monday, August 24, 2015

History Avalanche

I'm spending some days in the upstairs of this old house. The one I grew up in, and returned to live about 6 years ago.

There are tons of pictures to be sorted. Some of my mother's family, some of my husband's family, my family, and so much more.

I wrote about the stoppage of time in 1952 here when my grandmother, Minnie, died. I wasn't around until 1956, so I never had the opportunity to know her. Except through my Daddy's recollections. Those came only occaisionally.

But I have a treasure trove of pictures, letters, and insane stacks of household bills from the late 20's until her passing.  A suitcase full of postcards she collected from 189? until shortly before she died.

There are also a few letters and a lot of pictures from my grandfather's side as well. As I am a geneaology freak, I have plans for these. Many of them have names and dates. Some of them are of people I'll never be able to identify. Maybe.

I have a fascination for these things that should have been garbage seventy years ago. Bits of paper with ancient information. Fragile pieces of wood pulp once held by hands long turned to dust.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Not as Much of a Blubbering Mess

She graces the button of this blog. Cat, Herself, Mistress of All She Surveys. She will continue to do so.

This was not the best week. As my Facebook and Twitter friends know, that final trip to the vet had to be made a couple days ago. It sucked.

Today is better.

Today I can remember her with smiles. She was a bitchy kitty. The other two cats that I share space with were constantly on guard. Had Herself had it her way, she'd have been an only cat. Only in her last days did she allow Sir to groom her. And then only for a minute before she growled and sent him on his way.

 Little Wee was always waiting for the ambush that chased her from my lap, the table, pretty much any place that she was settled.  Lap sharing was not big on the Mistresses list of things to tolerate.

This is Wee and Sir. Wee is somewhat camera shy.

 Ocassionally, there was a truce called, usually on chilly days when a lap was what the weatherman called for.

And Catnip parties were always a free for all.

 Though as a rule, she made it clear who was TopCat.

There is a dog also. She was very tolerant of Gizmo. Mostly just ignoring him.

This morning Sir spent time luxuriating in my empty lap. That was good. Wee still awaits ambush, but she's beginning to relax some. Gizmo just knows something is wrong, in his dogly way he's trying figure out how to fix it. Mostly by barking at every imagined bump, thump, or breath someone takes.

There is still an empty space in the house. And empty spot where she would curl in my lap and demand her daily belly rub, head tucked into the crook of my arm.

As Sir and Wee get used to her absence, I have no doubt they will fill those spaces.

But, She will always be in my heart.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Rants ARE Alive and Mostly Well

Well, is this not the saddest thing ever.  I haven't been here in a year and a half.  Hopefully I can get back more often.

Things have changed, the restaurant that had begun to be more pain than pleasure is now a thing of the past Tennis' Ramble Inn closed its doors for good on May 31st. It was a wild weekend. Too many hours worked, so many customers in mourning. We had a great thirty years. But it was time to end.

Due to that ending, I am temporarily unemployed.  And. I. Love. It. It's been thirty-two years since I've been out of a job, and that was only a month. Yes, I will have to find some form of employment, but not for a little while. I plan on looking in September.

This summer is mine!

It has been only two and half months since I've worked, there was the selling of equipment and gutting of a building to be done before it was all over.

So how have I gone from seventy hour work weeks to too much time on my hands?

The first week was spent luxuriating in sleeping in every morning. Until 5:30 am.

Hey, that was sleeping in, I'd been getting up around 4:00 am for years.  It has stretched to about 6:30 now, with the occaisional 7:00.

The hardest part was figuring out what to do. I had a gagillion plans. Including getting back to writing.  The other blog, Elsetime & Otherwhen has seen a little action. But it took some time to get back in the swing. There are a few new stories on the other blog.  And I've been putting some of my older stories (edited a little) onto WattPad.  I'm even working on completing one of my never ending works in progress.

I had to get a scheduling app, I wanted to get so much done I ended up overwhelming myself and accomplishing nothing. I ended up with Schedule Planner Pro for my Kindle.  It has issues now and then, but suffices for my purposes.

I set aside time each day to write. I schedule my daily "chores", things the husband was doing since I was at work ten to twelve hours a day. Each day is scheduled a "big project", rearranging the living room, harvesting crops from the garden. We pulled the fish tanks out of storage and got them up and running again. I needed to organize the Christmas tree hoarde, So much more to do,

I have been doing more at home cooking. Even baking bread! And the kitchen has been organized better. One thing done on the list,

For the first time since we moved back to the family home, I've had time to pick enough of the wild raspberries to make jam.  The Best Crop of Peas ever has already been picked, shelled, blanched, and frozen. Corn and green beans are coming along. And why would anyone ever plant more than one zucchini? That's all I have, but it's making more than I know what to do with.

That is likely enough Rant for today.  But as things progress, I'll be back.

Or you can find me on twitter @2old2tap
And Pinterest, same handle.
I'm here and there on the internets, See you there.