Happiness is Good Book Thursdays

I’ve been having a stretch of time here where everything keeps happening at once and I’m behind on everything else, running around like a crazy person, and then three AM Saturday morning, I checked the blog for pending comments and finally read the comments to GBT,and I got a warm feeling all over because the people here are just so smart and kind and well-read that it made me really happy. So thank you all very much.

What made you happy this week?

116 thoughts on “Happiness is Good Book Thursdays

  1. The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon tshirt that I bought from Redbubble arrived. It’s everything I hoped for.

    Also, my Christmas tree is twinkling in the corner of my eye. It’s a regular 6ft artificial tree, on a slight lean, with every decoration the kids have ever made or been given in every colour and more than 200 lights. No style, all sparkle and heart.

    1. I looked that up when Liz Danger wore it, and found that it really existed. But I had decided some years back that I had already maxed out on T-shirts and I stopped accumulating more. I haven’t managed that, quite, with print books, though.

      1. All of Liz’s t-shirts are real, most of them on Redbubble. I think the only one that wasn’t was the Wile E.Coyote mug shot t-shirt she wore when George arrested her. That was on Amazon.

    2. I have this tshirt too and it makes me happy. I bought it on sale last year with a bunch of muppet Christmas carol shirts. 🙂

      1. I don’t think so. To my knowledge, she doesn’t sell merchandise. She did do a book box with a subscription service once or twice. The shirt I bought was from Tee Public, where anyone can upload a design and the parent company will print it on demand. I assume mine came from a fan who couldn’t buy what they want. Ilona Andrews had someone do this years ago and they were happy to promote it. Of course they have their own online merch shop now…

  2. Jenny – I think this site is a reflection of the culture you’ve promoted. The comments here are knowledgeable and kind – and the empathy that comes through in the discussion threads is like nothing else I’ve seen online. There’s a reason why we all come back here and that’s because we’ve created a broad extended family. It makes me happy to come here and check on everyone, sharing their joys and commiserating with their sorrows. Thanks for creating this space for us.

      1. In many different directions. One of the joys of this blog is hearing from different people in different places who all have a common bond.

    1. Well put, Nancy, and you have encapsulated the draw of this site for me. It’s a welcome relief from all the sniping, anger, and misinformation on the net.

  3. Your choice of topic name successfully boggled my mind. There was a definite double-take and a “Wait-what?!”

    Hot cocoa makes me happy. Lots of things do, but I just finished a Swiss Miss HC, so yeah.

  4. I’m happy for the internet’s existence.

    In particular, Shass, I found some information that might help you with Swedish talking books, so please go back and look at my very belated comment to you on that that I made on Saturday on the Thursday topic.

  5. My daughter and family came around early for Sunday night dinner; my SIL and grandson packed books and my daughter helped me be brutal with the stuff that I still haven’t unpacked from the move in January. They’ve offered to bring food next week too.

    The house I’m moving to is smaller than my current house (which is also smaller than the house I lived in for 14 years), so again I need to downsize further. I’m shedding books, which is hard.

    Three moves in 16 months is taking its toll, but it’s helped by love and kindness.

  6. Argh definitely makes me happy. This is the first place I come, and I check back when I need a boost. I’ve been struggling with happiness lately for a lot of reasons, but this is my happy place for sure.

    Happiness is having all my gifts ready to go (except the few I’m waiting to arrive from various places online, but at least they’re ordered, and then I just have to re-mail them out). Happiness is good friends and good (if expensive) workmen.

    Right now it is 53 degrees out, which is (for me at least) very happy on December 10th in upstate NY. Not so happy, later we’re going to get hit by a major rain storm which is going to change over to a major snow storm bringing 6-8 inches. Sigh. Still, I suppose it will make the “I want a white Christmas” people happy, so that’s something.

    1. Don’t knock the snow (the rain can bugger off though, that’s just too dangerous), we are still in the grip of a snow drought. We usually have 2-3 feet by now and we have just a skiff. It’s also supposed to be +7/45 on Wednesday so what we do have is going to melt and run off because the ground is frozen. Good for keeping the yard clean but not so great for, oh, keeping the bush green and helping to prevent wildfires. We do not need another summer like this one.

      1. We’re getting the rain instead of snow, so it still helps drought. And I don’t have to shovel it. On the other hand, snow does insulate the house when it gets cold, and we need it to get cold (much as I don’t enjoy it) to kill off bugs and such.

        1. Yeah, we were getting a bit of a handle on the pine beetles and this warm weather is not going to help.

  7. Happiness was having Hanukkah dinner last night with all my kids and a couple of friends. We lit candles, had an excellent dinner (yes, brisket and latkes), and everyone was gone by 8pm!

    Happiness is having friends who have the same bedtime.

  8. I almost forgot: Another happy thing was discovering that two relevant books are newish to Kindle Unlimited: Bet Me and Agnes and the Hitman. (As I understand it, since rights have not reverted, the author/s have no control over how the publishers market these.) Both are still absurdly overpriced to buy, but if, like me, you subscribe to KU, there is an easy way to borrow them. My public library no longer has Agnes, and I don’t think I ever read it. (This is not a general recommendation for KU. You have to have a lot of reading time or a very poor local public library to justify the subscription cost.)

    1. I’m so glad you are going to get to read Agnes. I have it on audiobook and relisten to it all the time.

    2. Patrick I finally got started with using Hoopla for my library and it has a lot of older books they apparently didn’t want to keep in print. Also I think most libraries do inter library loan …

      1. Debbie, yes, if I had put at the top of my list finding Agnes to borrow or to buy used at a reasonable price, I’m sure I could have managed long ago. KU just makes it more convenient for me. I do turn to ILL, although sparingly. I use it sometimes when looking for a specific book, for instance chosen by my local book club that I don’t want to buy, or one I want for research on something I’m writing. A disadvantage is that ILL books for me have a shorter loan period because of only one renewal allowed, and also sometimes I draw a blank even with the local ILL network. I’ve also had pretty good success with just requesting that my library buy something I’m interested in, if it’s in print. But I try not to abuse that option. I’ve been using Hoopla and Cloud (a similar app offered by libraries) for a few years now. Hoopla also has a lot of audio and audiovisual material, although not the most intuitive interface for finding it. There is also a “BingePass” that allows access to many, though not all, Great Courses in video format.

    3. I did not know that. Thank you, Patrick.

      And yes, authors have no control over any of that including the ridiculous prices unless we self-publish.

  9. Yesterday a special town meeting was held to allow the Select Board to borrow money to replenish accounts emptied by road repairs (we had epic floods this past July).

    Recent town meetings have been long, ignoring Robert’s Rules of Order, and full of criticisms of individuals.

    Yesterday’s meeting amazed me. The school gym was full, and everyone wanted to support the town. Okaying each measure of the town warrant went quickly.

    Chuckle — I was the only one who voted against the allocation. The palm-size computerized voting clickers didn’t work, so after 300+ people yelled “Aye!” I spouted out my tiny “Nay!” Democracy is a very good thing.

    1. I once employed a very long town meeting working out a satisfying murder plot involving my least favorite citizen and town board member.

  10. Argh definitely makes me happy and Good Book Thursday especially so. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has become a lynchpin for my week. Even my husband knows to ask: “What happened on Good Book Thursday? Did you get any new books?” I fret regularly about what would happen if Jenny you get bored of us and shut this down. Okay enough catastrophizing.

    The other thing that made me happy this week is that we hosted our annual Christmas party last night in person for the first time since 2019. It’s a lot more work than zoom but way more satisfying. Although my poor husband fell ill yesterday and spend the party in the bedroom with his headphones on. Still, we were both happy to see people again.

    1. My husband asks about gbt too, but for tv recommendations.

      And during the pandemic thus community kept me afloat when I felt so very alone in my beliefs. Internet friends are a wonderful thing.

    2. I don’t think I’ll ever shut this blog down, so no worries there. We’re coming up on a twenty year anniversary in a couple of years. If I kept it going through a bad ten-year bout of depression, I can keep putting up Working Wednesdays, Good Book Thursdays, and Happiness Sundays without a problem.

      I have been thinking about what happens to it after I die. Mollie won’t want to run it. And it does require somebody who’s willing to kick butt if somebody starts personal attacks. I have an idea of somebody but she has enough on her plate. On the other hand, I’m not dead yet. Not even sick. Everything is fine, no worries.

      1. Don’t die, Jenny!

        But if you ever did decide to die, say in 50 years or so, I do hope your Talent Succession Plan of that somebody who has enough on her plate is willing to say yes. If not, I bet there are a number of us here who would volunteer for the task.

  11. Happiness is surprises. The newest Studio Ghibli movie, the Boy and the Heron is actually available at my local movie theater. I haven’t been to the theater in almost 10 years and we are going to the matinee today! I really didn’t think that we would get it and I would have to wait for it to pop up somewhere on streaming.

    Also, I took some mental health days off and am feeling better. Sorry for going full rant on Wednesday. I was so mad. Anyway, I am mostly caught up on Christmas. Some major cleaning still to do, but I don’t feel so far behind. And I am going to try making kimchi for the first time today.

      1. I just read that this movie has opened at the #1 box office slot for US movie theaters. Which is cool, no?

    1. Ooohhh you must tell us how it is. I wanted to see it at TIFF and all the tickets were snapped up in a nanosecond.

        1. Thank you. I felt pretty enraged. But it wears off and then I worry that I am embarrassing myself.

      1. It was beautiful, of course and I bam glad I saw it. There was a lot going on and I am not sure I understood it. Not a warm, fuzzy one. I would probably watch it again sometime, but it’s not my all time favorite of his.

  12. The local author who asked me to assess her book took my rather negative feedback extremely well, which was a huge relief (and I’m resolved not to do any similar jobs in future). Plus I did my Christmas shopping, found a photo for this year’s card and printed it, and have just chosen and edited twelve colourful photographs of daisies to make tree ornaments with for my remaining presents.

  13. I’m scaling down books, which is painful, but my favorite used bookstore will take them, and they now have a free books cart that they put out on the sidewalk on nice days, and by the door in winter, so any books they don’t think will sell will go on that cart instead of coming back to me or going into the dumpster.

    Hearing that was such a relief, and also gave me big warm fuzzies, reminding me why this is my favorite place to go for books. They have this whole book lover’s culture that’s so deeply integrated into their store organization, and shelves layered 3 deep with rows of books. Which I am not allowed to browse until I complete at least one more book purge.

    1. That is a wonderful bookstore to have in your area and to be able to give books a new home. I am glad books can avoid going into the dumpster there. Good luck with purging your excess books to go elsewhere where they can be enjoyed! Taf

    2. We have several free to dump and free to take libraries around Edinburgh – the closest one to me is a box on a fence near an old police box on Leith Walk.

      Some supermarkets (Tesco) have shelves for donating and taking too. These appeared when COVID closed the libraries and charity shops but seem to have taken root.

      I would love a second hand bookshop which was organised and have shelves 3 layers deep – madly jealous.

  14. I figured out what holiday cookies I want to make on what day, the few presents I need to deal with are here and just need wrapping, and I just managed to drag the (unassembled) tree up from the basement by myself, so that can go up later today. All happy things.

    Friends used to do a Christmas Eve dinner but stopped because of Covid. I feel ungrateful that I am irritated -they just sent invites for this year. It’s a longish drive, it doesn’t start until 7 so we start dinner 8 or later, served in courses so it takes a while, and then my hosts are ready to relax and socialize while I am ready to go home. Don’t feel I can decline but will try to rise to the occasion. Sorry for the less than happy. I am making sure everyone in my life feels free to decline invitations from me, though!

    I thought I had preordered “Paladin’s Faith” by apparent not, so super excited to find out from GBT that it was released. And that people are liking it.

      1. We did RSVP with the caveat of “as long as it’s good weather”. At least twice it has been horrible, and that would be the straw this year.

        Thank you all for making me not feel so grinchy about my lack of enthusiasm.

  15. I am happy because the vet says both cats are healthy and well. The elder cat was showing less interest in the chipmunks this summer, and I thought her sight was going bad. It turns out she is just maturing, and knows she can’t get out to pursue the little rodents. At the same time, she is chasing her tail, and playing with toys, more. Cats!

    I am also happy that the raccoon runs off as soon as I open the back door and step out. I figured out there are two black opossums that come to the patio. I thought there was just one greedy one who kept coming back! I took photos of all the opossums I saw one night, and then analyzed them, to come to that conclusion. There’s just one grey one. The pale part of the ear tips helped with identification. They are so cute. It pleases me to see them.

    My new Driver’s License will arrive, soon. It was an easy process this time, and went very quickly. It will be my second Real ID.

    1. Jan Kindwoman, Thank you. It’s good to know that I will be showing my maturation when I no longer want to chase rodents but want to chase my tail instead.

  16. We feed birds twice a day, front and back yards, and my favorite birds of all are crows, which fly over every morning from the shopping center a few miles northeast of here, which replaced wooded areas maybe 10 or 15 years ago. The clever crows just began roosting in the trees parked at the edge of adjacent parking lots, where you can hear them chattering to one another when you go to mail something at the UPS store in the evening.

    Every few days we put out three or four microwaved frozen chicken nuggets along with the seed on the tallest set of stumps. Crows can spy them from above, and always come by to grab them and snack on a peanut or two from the nearby bird stumps.

    This past week we had the tail end of a roast chicken that we’d eaten our fill of, and I didn’t feel like making a soup from the carcase. So day before yesterday I pulled off all the chicken meat bits from the bones, chopped them up nicely, and put out a feast of chicken bits. The first crow that arrived, instead of just eating his fill and leaving, perched on the highest branch in the yard and yelled up at the sky in this very annunciatory way “awkk! Awkk! AWKK!!” until a few more glided down onto other branches, until they all made a beeline for the feast and gobbled it up among them.

    I think it was Crow Thanksgiving, and I for one was very very thankful for it. 🙂

    1. P.S. The above is NOT to imply that I’m not echoing everyone’s comments above about being grateful for Good Book Thursdays in particular, and this whole website in general. I loved Jenny’s books fairly early, starting with “Welcome to Temptation” and looking into her other books led me to read more, and eventually to find this site. Now, it’s like I feel like I know DOZENS of you almost as well as I know most people I know in physical life. And a chance to get book suggestions and to crow about the books I’ve been loving? That’s the icing on the top. 🙂

  17. We had our annual neighbor latke dinner on Friday. One of the (adult) kids seemed so much happier after struggling with depression, apparently because she is now writing. She is well into a second draft of a book which apparently involves some kind of world building but, per her mom, almost no plot. She asked for readers and I offered up my copious free time (ha!) Mulling whether to suggest this website and some books as resources to her— would love suggestions that focus on how to plot. It’s a big happy that she’s doing better—she is one of my back up kids and I’m one of her back up moms.

    Work is still going well with some big successes. That’s making me really happy even if overwhelmed. The not so happy is that as a result I have done almost no holiday prep. And still have bulbs to plant.

    DD seems to be recovering from what I really think is her annual emotional crash in winter due to seasonal affective disorder. Then she ups her exercise and calms down. It’s a happy that she is doing better. But the crashes are ugly and I wish she would start a sunlamp in September so the crashes didn’t happen…

    The other not so happy is mom is still entangled with the SDS (sketchy dog sitter.) I will report back if there are major developments. It’s scary to think she is spending time with someone who may well have inflicted serious injuries on another old frail person. But mom’s denial is really amazing —I tried to persuade her not to go to court with SDS (don’t want her being driven by her or around her if SDS gets upset ) and said that if the prosecutor saw her there they might decide SDS has latched on to another old frail person and be tougher on SDS . Mom said “ that’s how you see me? Wow.”
    She is 86, shuffles with a cane and needs help getting up if she falls. So yeah. I just said “that’s how they would see you”. Deborah Blake there absolutely is a book here but I’m afraid it’s a manual on how to handle aging badly .

    1. I don’t know if they’re archived here, Debbie, but Jenny’s done loads of posts on how to write fiction, including plotting/pacing. I made myself a how-to manual that’s mostly Jenny plus bits from Arghers and elsewhere.

      1. Oh – they’re there! I went to the Argh home page and there are a load of relevant topics, such as Writing: Plot & Structure, listed in the RH column. I highly recommend Jenny on writing fiction, assuming your friend wants to write stories rather than Literature (which has different priorities nowadays).

          1. There are essays on the JennyCrusie.com website, too, under Non-Fiction.
            The best beginner book I found (long ago) was Making a Good Script Great. it was for screenwriting, but it hit the basics of story-telling in the same way as a novel.

          2. Making A Good Script Great is a brilliant resource. It’s been in print for more than 35 years, and it gets the whole structure thing down with such clarity.

    2. Wellbutrin helped me with SAD, pretty much fixed it for me. The low dose (150mg) didn’t even affect my writing, which mental-health drugs often do.

        1. My daughter is totally opposed to taking medications . The exercise does work for her and so does the light — the trouble is she forgets to use them in the summer when she isn’t depressed and then wham.

          1. Do check if she is vitamin D deficient… I was and I got very dark during the winter months. Now one little vitamin pill daily during the winter and I’m fine

        2. Just one: Hallucinations. Always right after I wake up when I’m in that zone between fast asleep and completely awake.
          Some of them were hilarious.

  18. I had my second ADHD evaluation and it went really well, the lady was lovely and I have fairly high hopes it went well. I have to wait around at least a few weeks, but asked if it could be speeded up since I get fired next month, and she said she’d try.
    I have seen a lot of good theater lately and went to Dickens Fair, which I enjoyed. I got a few people’s presents made, so that’s good too. I’m enjoying Hallmark Christmas. My friends are being lovely about this stuff.

    On the other news side, I’m back at work and not allowed to go on medical leave for depression issues again, and I’ve been put on Depression Drug 2, which I don’t want to be on but feel stuck doing so because of the “trying not to get fired” issue. So far nothing bad’s happened after a day, but they put me on super small dose to start out. I was told my HMO won’t write me any letter asking for accommodations, and since what’s required to pause my firing is (a) diagnosis of disability and (b) a doctor signing off on accommodations, this is….really bad. Now, I heard this from a doctor I saw once before she quits (I’m still stuck having to find a regular psychiatrist and have to jump through more hoops on that, thanks HMO), and it might vary from person to person and I can’t really get anywhere on the topic without diagnosis, a psychiatrist, and talking to my PCP again at the end of the month…but that scares me. My union guy is super swamped with strikes and I haven’t heard back in weeks. My situation isn’t on fire until January so that’s not a big deal right now, but you wonder.

    So, right now, sitting in limbo. Which is better than having the anvil fall, but still.

    1. I prescribe watching some Loony Tunes cartoons. It is far better to watch an anvil fall on the head of Wile E, Coyote (Super Genius) than to wait for it to fall on your own. Seriously, these things saved my sanity the first time I had pneumonia.

  19. Good book Thursday is a highlight of my week even though I don’t post very often. I’ve gotten so many great recommendations from that discussion and it’s so interesting to see everyone’s different tastes and being so agreeable about the differences.

    I did look at the big Audible sale and I saw that there were re-recordings of nearly all of Heyer’s books from 2021 and 2022. They were the unabridged versions too! I hate abridged books with a passion and for a while that covered a good many of the Heyer books. I was able to snatch up quite a few at 2.99. Made me very happy! I do wish more of the Crusie books were available as unabridged. Perhaps there will be another re-recording sprint.

    I’m hoping to finish up all the final grading and close out the semester in a few days. Right now, it is a race to the finish and no time for fun reading, alas. I’ll have a break in Dec to break out the books I have stored up, but I also need to finish the final chapter of the dissertation so that will keep me busy. I’ll be very happy when it is done!

    Jenny, I don’t know if you posted anything about Rocky Start on pre-order but Kobo sent me a notice since I bought the Liz Danger books. The synopsis and the cover are there so I did the pre-order.

    1. The Rocky Start stuff is Bob’s domain; he was posting the cover there to see what it looked like in thumbnail on a white background, but I know he wanted the pre-orders up, too.

      Thank you for pre-ordering!

      1. Hearing (reading) about pre-orders sent me scurrying to Amazon. I just got an email confirmation:

        Amazon
        Pre-order Confirmation
        Hi Gary,
        Thank you for shopping with us. Your item will be automatically delivered on release day and we’ll send a confirmation when your item has been released. You will not be charged until your item is released.* All Kindle content purchased will be stored in your Kindle library on Amazon.com. To view your order or make changes to it, please visit Your Orders.
        Details
        Order #D01-#######-#######
        Placed on Sunday, December 10, 2023
        Your estimated release date:
        Friday, June 21, 2024

        1. Just to stay in the real world, we’re about a third of the way through the second book now.

          But at my back, I always hear, publication’s winged chariot drawing near . . .

          ARGH.

          1. Will be pre-ordering asap! Nothing but good times ahead (and love the sly reference to Andrew Marvell).

  20. The ArghInk community is amazing. I agree with others that this speaks volumes about the caring and compassionate environment Jenny has created.

    Kitchen reno is in final stages. New fridge is in place – happy that it’s out of the dining room. The counter’s also in which makes cooking dinner much easier. Water is expected to be hooked up this week so no more running up and down the stairs to wash dishes, fill pots, etc.

    DH and I went to an evening Christmas market and I ran into a former colleague. Quick chat but it was nice to see her. She remarked that I looked “great and retirement obviously agrees with me”. Not the first person to tell me this – apparently work stressed me out.

    I went to yoga and walked over 10k steps most days this week. Slowly getting into an exercise regime.

    1. Some years ago I got a similar reaction when, after retiring, I ran into a former colleague. He said I looked a lot less stressed out. Since at the time I was in the waiting room for blood extraction for routine tests and unhappy about the time it was taking to get seen, that may have said a lot!

      1. The above also put me in mind of the most mind-boggling case of former colleagues meeting that I’ve known. I and my mother were (from separate homes) visiting my aunt, in my mother’s home town, where my mother had not lived since getting married almost fifty years earlier. My mother made a trip to the drugstore with my aunt or another relative, while I stayed at my aunt’s. She came back and reported that in the drugstore a former coworker from her then-job had RECOGNIZED her, asking if she was not so-and-so, using her maiden name. My mother for her part had not, needless to say, recognized her coworker from way back then. To hear my mother tell it, they had not even been especially close colleagues. The coworker must have had amazing powers.

  21. Happiness is ArghInk. 🙂

    Work happy: a client has been reassigned off my roster and onto somebody else’s. (Have been asking for this since mid-2021.) My January has suddenly morphed from ‘eldritch horror of deadlines’ to ‘merry & bright.’

    Writing happy: finished first draft of the historical novella, which took me what felt like forever. Creative brain kept running off after delightful historical-trivia squirrels and management brain had to whip it into shape because of word count limit. I basically had to wait to sit down to write until I had a fully-formed scene in mind that actually continued the central story instead of…squirrel!! Argh.

    Garden happy: front yard is basically clean and ready for winter. A hummingbird strafed me when I was out there this morning. Two of them are outside the back door yelling at each other right now.

  22. Happy I got Pixie’s walk in before that major storm Deborah mentioned rolled in. The temps here should, barely, stay above freezing so we shouldn’t get any snow.

    I’m happy that I am on week three of my too-much-to-do period. The last two weeks of December are going to be much less stressful.

    Only project left for today is to convince Pixie that yes she does have to go outside in the rain before we turn in. Poor Pixie.

  23. Hannelore, out 4 month old kitten is making everyone in the house happy: my husband, my 15 year old Siamese, who walks through the house crying something that I translate as “Where is SHE. She’s a baby. She could get hurt. Somebody needs to watch her all the time”. Actually, my husband says this a lot too. And Dmitri the 2 year old Russian blue thinks she is the best toy EVER, since he is no longer allowed outside and needs more entertainment. Two weeks ago I saw 3 adult coyotes in back of my yard perusing the hill for snacks. So kitties are no longer allowed to go further outside then my second story deck where they are safe. Hannah herself spends 4 to 6 hours everyday zinging around the house and is into everything. The two most common things said are “That is so cute. I wish I had the camera” and “”What do you suppose that crash was?” – my orchid plant, the laundry basket stuff on the Victorian washstand, stuff knocked off the buffet, the painting set on the upstairs table. But she is really cute.

    1. I hear bumps and crashes in the night, and my cats are well beyond kittenhood. It’s usually nothing serious, thank goodness. Coyotes are definitely a threat. What a sweet Siamese you have.

  24. I mentioned on GBT re-reading the Wearing the Cape series? Sometimes Harmon has fabulous characters:

    “I believe in three things:
    the necessity for absolute social equality between human beings,
    the power of music and poetry to foment social change, and
    jello shots. Lots and lots of jello shots.”
    – Cecelia “CeeCee” Tyler, aka Nightingale

    Harmon, Marion G.. Team-Ups and Crossovers (Wearing the Cape Book 6) (p. 312). Kindle Edition.

    1. “So what exactly makes good pulled pork anyway?” Hope asked as I navigated the car around clumps of roaming, bathing-suit-clad tourists to get into a cramped parking spot.

      CeeCee shrugged. “I tend to just suspend my veganism to support local businesses, so I’m really the wrong person to ask.”

      “…What?”

      I rolled my eyes. “CeeCee here is vegan except when being not-vegan will simultaneously benefit the local proletariat and also get her schwasted.” I explained. “But to answer your woefully Yankee-ass question, it’s the tenderness of the meat and whatever secret is in the sauce. Good pulled pork is juicy, falls apart on the fork, and melts in your mouth like a meaty rich snowflake.”

      Harmon, Marion G.. Team-Ups and Crossovers (Wearing the Cape Book 6) (p. 312). Kindle Edition. [Emphasis added by me.] Fabulous characters.

  25. I’m happy for everyone else’s happy here (and especially Jennifer’s getting a second medical opinion that sounds much better than the earlier one), and I’m happy for my diabetic cat getting his blood glucose back under control (probably because I figured out he was sneaking the other cats’ kibble, and put a stop to it, as well as increasing his insulin), and recovering the joy of writing, where ideas come from all directions and make me laugh.

    I’ve now got not just one but TWO secret projects in the works, and I swear, I’m writing the bulk of the second one in my phone’s note-keeping app, because I keep thinking of entire scenes that I need to write RIGHT NOW, no waiting to get to the desktop, just grab my phone and capture as much of it as possible. It’s kind of weird too, because I’m a VERY linear writer — I create an outline, and while I may rearrange the outline as I go and figure out more stuff, I write the actual scenes in the order they’re set out in the (revised) outline as I come to them. But with this story, I wrote the first two chapters all in one fell swoop before starting the outtline, and I’m writing the occasional random scene without even knowing where in the book it belongs. It’s very weird, after more than ten years of having a process that worked for me, to be drawn to a different process.

    Or maybe it’s all just procrastination, as should be doing the final proofreading (and synopsis and cover copy) for a book due January 1, but really due this coming weekend, because I have other commitments the rest of the month.

    Writing is hard, but when it’s coming together, it’s just So. Much. Fun.

  26. I preordered Rocky Start, that’s definitely going to be a good book and a happy.

    I loved the 60th anniversary Doctor Who specials, and I’m so glad everything worked out for 10/14 and Donna. And the new guy has panache.

    My eyes are healing well and I’m down to 2 eye drops from 4. I’m not loving reading glasses but they are working for now.

    Jasmine the dog has been demanding that we go to bed about 7 so I’m tucked up under the covers with my iPad and a plan to read Bookshops and Bonedust for half an hour or so.

    1. Ncuti Gatwa, the new Doctor, was previously in the Netflix show “Sex Education”, which was a lot of fun too. He’s a joy to watch and nice to see him doing so well in his career after what sound like some big challenges.

      1. Same. Asa Butterworth (?) of the same show is in a truly heinous Christmas movie. I turned it off in the middle because I was so mad. I like him too and would like to see more of him. Just not like that.

        Of course the actress who plays Maeve seems to have made it big. She was in Barbie and Death on the Nile. I like her too.

        1. Emma Mackey is great! I hope she’ll thrive. Previously, she was mixed up quite often with Margo Robbie and her having a part in Barbie seemed like a nod to that to me.

          It’s such a pity we don’t get to see Doctor Who here on the continent.

          I’ve had a look at the trailer of Asa Buterworth’s xmas movie and yes, it doesn’t look proming. Oh well, I used to love xmas, but I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about anymore: Hot Toy really captured the frenzy imho.

  27. I am happy that I got all the Christmas gifts that need to be mailed wrapped, packaged and mailed! Usually I don’t get everything done until the middle of Dec but this year it went better.

    Jessie, I envy you the 15 year old cat liking the 4 month old kitten. My 14 year old cat absolutely detests the 6 month old kitten, who tries very hard to get him to play. Every once in a while I find them on the same perch but it doesn’t last long. And speaking of things that go bump in the night, last night I was awakened by the sound of a crash coming from the living room. When I investigated, I found my small, artificial Christmas tree on its side and the kitten pretending that nothing had happened. He had tried to chew one of the artificial berries off of it and pulled the whole thing down. I found the berry (split open) near the fallen tree. I may have to put the tree away for this year if he goes after the berries again.

    1. Hannelore was very cautious with both Lindy and Dmitri. Except to make sure they did not attack her, I did not try to do anything to introduce her or make them accept her. I did however play with her with the string and the laser light toy where they could see her playing. The progression went from her playing by herself, one of the others also trying to play with the toy, then starting to tentatively play together. Part of the problem is that when she gets started playing, she goes wild and it is like asking a 75 years old to play nonstop with a three year old for two hours. The old guy finds it less than charming. The younger cat thinks she is great. It was almost a month before both cats were mostly comfortable with her. Deborah talked once about integrating her cats and I remember having some great advice.

      As your younger cat becomes less hyper, your old guy may be more tolerant. Also I have had to put most breakables in cupboards where they are safe.

  28. Arghink is definitely my happy place. Especially since I can read the blogposts & comments during dead times at work. It is entertainment that doesn’t involve calorie intake. And I have grown fond of all the commenters.

    Of course, I have been amazed at Jenny since I read the first book of hers that I read. I can’t remember which one it was but it was pretty far along in her career. So there was this wonderful backlog of books & then this great community surrounding her blog.

    And I’ve learned so much about writing.

  29. I’m happy because I’m so closed to being on holiday. I’ve handed in the new book, handed in the copy edit of the previous book, and done my last school visit for the year. One online talk plus one mentorship meeting to go, and then I’m done.
    I am SO READY to stop doing stuff.

  30. I’m happy because when I went to my sister’s house today for our annual latke fest I remembered to bring an old cotton shirt and ancient apron with me. That way when I finished frying all 55 pancakes I changed my shirt and no longer smelled like aging oil. My jeans might still smell somewhat funky, but they are farther from my nose and therefore harder to smell. I am now so full I can hardly move, but a good time was had by all.

  31. Just home from DH’s birthday Christmas Market visit and dinner at Cactus Club. He is a very happy man. We took the youngest back to the market for a walk around. She is such a delight. We bought many stocking stuffers. Santa’s helper elf.

    Argh people are the best. Thanks Jenny.

  32. I’ve been enjoying Melissa McShane’s Company of Strangers 6 book series. I haven’t finished it yet, but I trust the rather slow-burn romance will work out well in the last book, as well as all the other threads of their adventures.
    The romance is subplot, the fantasy adventures are the primary storyline; there are elements of horror in some of those but they haven’t triggered my “I hate horror” reflex yet.

    I also really enjoyed reading the Tor original fantasy story by C.L.Polk, at https://www.tor.com/2023/12/08/ivy-angelica-bay-c-l-polk/#
    Not a romance, but sweet, as well as the villain getting their comeuppance.

  33. Something whose outcome makes me happy: I ordered soup from Amazon, 24 15-ounce cans of Healthy Choice Vegetable Beef soup. What arrived last night was 24 cans of Healthy Choice Country Vegetable soup. Now, I have no beef with that soup. [snicker] I already had 19 cans of it (the Country Vegetable) on the shelf. That’s why I wanted the beef soup.

    I tried their automated customer service and had to request a hoo-mon. The good news is that they said to keep the soup I got be mistake and they’ll send the correct soup by Saturday.

    I’m blaming Christmas for the confusion, and won’t be ordering anything else from Amazon until mid-January.

    Except books. Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett have put a fourth Miroslava Holmes book in circulation, so I just bought that. A Diogenes Club for the Czar

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