Food on Friday, September 18, 2020

By popular demand since I blew working Wednesday.

This week I made ravioli that was meh, and a pork chop recipe that was meh, and a chicken au jus (lemon and white wine) that was fabulous. There was also a very good ham sandwich but since that consisted of slapping a slab of ham on onion bun, I don’t think it counts as making something.

Also, thank you all for my birthday wishes which were incredibly cheering. I did have a lovely day, which included sitting in the yard and watching the sun through the trees in absolutely perfect weather while listening to the sound of oars on the lake, and talking to Mollie and my brother Jack and laughing a lot. An excellent day.

What did you cook (okay, or drink) this week?

This is a Good Book Thursday, September 17, 2020

This week I read my first Jojo Moyes novel and reread a Carl Hiaasen (because that guy never disappoints) and started The Literature Book: Big Ideas Explained. Yeah, I know I have degrees in literature, it’s still good to get an overview again. There’s a whole series, so I bought the ones on Movies, Religion, and Science (things I do not have degrees in), plus the Heads Up books on Sociology and Psychology (other things I do not have degrees in).

And yes, I know I forgot Working Wednesday. Well, I just realized I forgot it. The days start to run together and I lose track. Can I interest you in Working Friday? ARGH.


Yes, I know it’s late. I had computer problems. As in, my laptop turned into a brick, but everything is fine now, so moving on . . . HWSWA on Theme and Unity is up now.

Next week is rewriting, then working with an editor, and then just a general ramble about being a writer. Good to know we have a plan, isn’t it? Now if we could just FOLLOW it.

Happiness is a New Story

We cover how happy-making it is to find a great book on Thursdays, but it’s also pretty joyful to find a brand new TV series (well, new to me) that makes us want to binge the whole thing. For me, the newest is The Art of Crime, a French series (with subtitles) about a detective and an art historian working on art-related mysteries. They’re both a little bit nuts, although in different ways, and, by the end of the second season, co-dependent on each other as they chase down bad guys in gorgeous French settings–she works in the Louvre so there’s that eye candy plus the roofs of Paris and twisty little streets–set against beautiful works of art. There are two seasons on Amazon (you need a subscription to MHz) and a third season I can’t find anywhere, and it was just renewed for a fourth, so there’s more happy in store for the future. (Where the hell is the third season? It dropping in 2019, it should be on Amazon by now. Grrrrr.)

So what made you happy this week?

Working Wednesday, September 9, 2020

I have a list of things to do, crucial things, and I don’t seem to be doing any of them. Like a disconnect between my logical brain and my confused body. (What day is it? Did I already do that? Am I out of Diet Coke ALREADY?). I’m hoping it’s just quarantine brain and not senility.

Tell me what you accomplished this week. Inspire me.

HWSWA: Setting

The HWSWA post on Setting is up.

So here’s a question, no here’s two questions:

1. Should we keep going in October or have we accomplished all we needed to by updating the old posts (which I still haven’t linked to because . . . dizzy.)
2. If we keep going, what the hell would we do?

Maybe I’ll just start doing questionable again. The real problem is that I think we’re all so exhausted by the insanity around us, the new normal that isn’t normal, plus those of us in the US have an insane moron telling us to vote twice and that people who die in battle are losers, so we’re a little worried about an election in eight weeks, that it’s hard to care about anything, certainly about whether or not a prologue is the sign of the apocalypse. Argh.

Also I just woke up which is not a good time for me to attempt coherent thought.

The HWSWA post is up! It’s on Setting! I haven’t read it since the chat but it did have good stuff in it!

Argh. Next week is about revising Theme and Unity.

Rating Romance, a Personal System

I’ve been reading a lot of romance lately, and the results have been mixed. Sometimes I get a third of the way through and everything is just annoying, so I flip to the end and then bail. Sometimes the book is so good that I race through it and then start it again. More often, it’s good enough to finish, but when I’m done, I think, “I’ll never read that one again.” Then they just stack up on my Kindle. Reader kindling. (Sorry.). While my laptop was silent this weekend, I started thinking about a personal rating system, probably not useful for anyone else but a way to identify the authors I was going to go back to and the authors I was going to metaphorically throw things at, and it seemed to me that the same things kept triggering me, points at which my brain flashed “OH, that was great” or “One more of those and I’m setting this book on digital fire.” Flash points, if you will, the reading experience temperature at which the reader ignites with glee or rage.

I figured a ten-point system. All books start out with 100 points, the C of the book ratings, the books I finish but never read again. Books get plus ten if they do something magnificently. Minus ten would be a novel that does something so annoying I want to burn it in my back yard. Plus and minus five would be things that are nice surprises or annoying but not complete deal-breakers on their own. Plus and minus one are small pleasures and small annoyances that I could absolutely overlook as long as they don’t mount up (nibbled to death by ducks). Continue reading

This is a Good Book Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020

Best book I read this week: Crosstalk by Connie Willis. Loved it, even with the quirky relatives (that whole “elderly people are just so cute” is not my fave trope, but it worked here because (spoiler) they turn out to be not that damn cute). Hyperbole and a Half made me think while I was laughing. Skinny Dip was like visiting an old friend (yes, it’s a multiple re-read). Several BookBub romances that didn’t make the cut. The instructions to my new toaster oven. The week has just been packed.

What did you read this week?