Saturday snapshot fall flowers

West Metro Mommy Reads
Yes, I realize it’s snowing some places already. Just pretend this was from summer. ;) Anyway, I spotted this while I was out and about and it just framed up so nice I thought I’d share it.
The light just hit it in such a neat way, it’s become one of my favorite. Back to the writing desk. Have a good weekend, everyone!
For more Saturday Snapshots, see:

Scheduling, I hate thee… #countdownsale

Frustration banner
Why do I hate scheduling?

Because it never goes off the way I mean it to. That blog post that went up last night about the Countdown Sale? Yeah, it’s too early. It ain’t happening on schedule. Why? I guess Amazon had other ideas. So that was time wasted, and time wasted drives me crazy because I could be doing something constructive, like writing. Instead I’m having to fck with this blog and update you all as to the problem (instead of avoiding the problem to begin with). Why? I wanted the sale to go down at my leisure (as in today [*actually, no. I wanted it to go down yesterday!]), but Select’s programming module only lets you schedule things beginning x amount of days in the future, usually two or three (I think it said) which means you have to get in there x amount of days in advance and set it up for some blind date in the future. (Future authors, listen up!)  Which well, if you have to schedule marketing surrounding it and they need four years in advance notice (I’m only half kidding, there) that makes sense. But you know what? That’s not the way I roll. When I want to get something done, damn it, I want to get it done now when I have the time to screw with it not six weeks from now when storm Pain in the Ass might (or might not) be hitting.

*sigh* Because you might think it takes no time to blog but yes. Yes, it does. (I’ve been working on this blog post for a good hour now. Time well spent? Feh. (Yes, dear Caitlin and Trevor, and Isaac, Ruth, Stacy and Aaron, I hear you. I’m coming…). Frustrating no?

So when I was thought I was setting it to TODAY, the system decided I meant TOMORROW. I don’t know about you but my calendar says it’s the 16th. Somehow the sale date got changed overnight to the 17th. Will it show up tomorrow? I can only hold my breath and wait.


This glitch also adds to the kerfuffle about Select and their lovely way of doing things and why so many people are fed up with it. You can type Select into the search engine and come up with a billion articles on it, I’m not going to add my two cents here. Daddy always said “you’re in their ballpark, you play by their rules” and it so applies here.

Julicoversgr500Anyway, for you all,  again, mea culpa. That last (to borrow another indie author’s term) wasted ink post about the Countdown sale for Murder Upon a Midnight Clear, went out early. The sale is actually TOMORROW, not today.

I think. I hope. (Crossing all fingers and toes and eyes)

Seeking a nest–Snapshot–April 25th

I know, I’ve been quiet lately, folks. I’ve been editing my little fingers off! Yes, those several books I’ve been talking about, they’re all in various stages of edits right now. (Mourning Dove Locket, the next Antique Magic book is on its way, I promise!) I’ve also got some guests scheduled to visit here, soon, so, be on the look out for that. In the meantime, I had my camera out. So it’s time for my

West Metro Mommy Reads
We had a lot of rain here, the other day, not good for taking pictures, of course, but when we stepped out the next morning, we found a little surprise.
This nest. I guess all the rain knocked it out of its tree. It doesn’t look like it’s even been used, so I feel better about that, but pity the little bird who built it. Don’t you know that poor thing went back to the tree, and thought, “Now, where the heck did I put that nest? I know I built it. Am I going crazy? Didn’t I build a nest? Where is it??”
*laughs* Poor thing, but anyway, it’s not something I get to see, much, even though we sometimes seem to have flocks of birds around here, so I couldn’t resist grabbing the camera. (I wonder if it belonged to one of our myriad mourning doves? Herm….muse at work? Possibly!)
  So, that’s my contribution to Saturday Snapshots, this time out. Have a good weekend!

Bad Hair day….sucks

I’ve discussed this topic here before, I have allergies and sometimes it’s hard not to whine about it. I stopped using incense in my rituals years ago when they gave my husband asthma (and I must admit, triggered some in me too). I’ve lost a few family members in recent years, and at the time of their deaths, I burnt candles here at home for them, until one day my husband pulled out the filter on our a/c to find it pitch black. EEEK. I’ve not burned a candle (much) I’ve had to scan ingredient lists for thyme, after I bought a plant and found myself allergic to it. I know to avoid these things. Don’t burn candles, don’t burn incense, don’t use thyme, so it’s no big deal. I just buy cosmetics and stuff without the offending ingredients and avoid incense when I can.

But this past winter put a new, urgent turn on my allergies. I don’t often wear make up often–it’s just something I stopped doing a long time ago except for photos or special occasions. The news stories of all the chemicals found in the stuff puts me off, I must say. If you poke around on my blog you’ll find a post or two about the chemicals in nail polish. One thing I kept doing, though, was coloring my hair. I am Irish at heart, though not (so far as we can find) genetics and I’ve always lamented my dark hair. So I color it. (Yes, I’m owning up to those roots in my author photo, big deal). I’m just too young for those grays!

Medusa by Arnold Bocklin

Medusa by Arnold Bocklin, 1878

Concerned with the odd chemicals, I tried a more natural/organic brand a year ago, and strangely, reacted to it where I had never had a problem with the more well-known store brands. Huh. Weird. So, I went back to the least offensive of the store brands. Lately, my nearby stores stopped stocking my favorite color  (which we thought strange) but checking everywhere I could I couldn’t find any recalls or news about said-color, so I moved a shade darker. Did all the necessary tests and didn’t have a problem….until early January. In early January, I did a touch up (with said darker shade) and no problem for about a week. Then I woke up one morning with an ear itching and around my hairline… and…it got worse over the next couple days until I was squirmy-not comfortable. Through trial and error we deciphered my misery had all the earmarks of reaction to a chemical in the dye called PPD–and the beginnings of an allergic reaction that could potentially kill someone.  In my case, I lucked out in that my reaction wasn’t that bad. I abhor taking medication of any kind for anything (daily allergy pill included) but I downed a quart of Benadryl (no, not actually a quart), and washed (and washed, and washed and washed) with dish detergent and vitamin C (yes, that does actually work! I was skeptical when I read about it but it does) to get the darned color/the chemical out of my hair, and the itching subsided.*phew*  All this after I’d done an allergy test, first before coloring and it came up negative. (The instructions say wait 24-48 hours, after all, not seven days). So I used the color without any worry this might happen. But it did. (and it’s happened to others, including actresses–which I had wondered about). How could I have a reaction after the allergy test came up negative? I’ve not found a mention of this online. Just my luck, I guess.

Hubby teased about shaving my head at one point and I tell ya, I was seriously considering it. That’s how uncomfortable I felt.

I finally cut as much as possible the color out of my hair, and have been sporting what my friend Beth calls a guillotine cut. *cries* For someone like me who’s always loved my long hair, this hurt. I have to cut more as the newly-colored hair grows out until I get rid of all the colored hair, but after this reaction and everything I’ve read about PPDs and such, no more dyeing for me. I’m going to have to embrace the grays. Why? Everything I’ve read said that once you have a reaction to this chemical, you’re predisposed to have it happen again, and it may result in anaphylactic shock and death. EEP! Not something I’m brave enough to court. This sucks, not only for the gray hair but that I’ve been planning to get a tattoo and the articles say those inks can trigger a reaction too. (My first one, years ago, did not. Oh, if I known Raven Queen Publications was on the horizon!!) Anyway, it was a total scare here, and I have to wonder why my gods couldn’t have just …you know, put the idea in my head not to use the stuff again without the cluehammer but it will be for the best. *g* At least it’s spring. I won’t have to worry about ear warmers for a long while. *lol*

*Why not just use commercial color remover or bleach? It’s the hydrogen peroxide that fouled up/didn’t oxidize the PPD mixture fully, we think and why would I want to oxidize it???? (Or I was afraid and didn’t want to risk) And store bought color remover is …you guessed it, more chemicals. Besides, I wanted the color gone without having to re-color my hair again, and color removers seem to remove all color, leaving you having to re-dye your hair. Not what I want. Anyway, that’s my story. be careful, gals, and read those labels!

A pretty winter photo and a test

I’ve been far too quiet here, lately. Sorry about that. I’m revising a new book and that’s taking most of my mind. With that plus Yule right around the bend I fear this poor little blog is getting neglected. I’m testing this blog, too. Trying to get it linked up to my Google+ account. I’m having some technical difficulties there so do bear with me. For now, though, I thought I’d share a little picture with y’all. I went up to North Carolina last month and got a little unexpected surprise when it snowed.



Yes, it was cold, no I hadn’t driven in it in years (and gotta admit, zinging around those mountains in it was a bit scary) but it was pretty. Winter is upon us, I guess… ;)