Fiendish Friday: Constraints

I think of you often. Yes, you, all of you. I’ll be reading a book or driving about and something will cross my mind and I think I should totally post about that, readers would find it funny.

But then the constraining naysayer kicks in. Maybe you shouldn’t tell them that. What if someone reads that posts and misconstrues it? Gulp. What if that friend who never reads your blog picks today to read it? Gulp. What if that funny little post unleashes a shit storm? Gulp.

That’s me swallowing all the things I decide not to say. I do it in real life too. Say only that which is kind and helpful. Swallow down that which is cranky, snippy, or dismissive, that which might hurt.

But sometimes I have the mad urge to just say all the things I never say.

“hey mother fucker don’t flip me off in front of my kid because you decided to break the law and I almost hit you.”

“Don’t you have anything more important to do than spend all day bitching about politics on Facebook. Go out and and make actual change in the world.”

“I don’t care what you think about how we are running the coop; you would never take any real responsibility while you were here, caused nothing but issues with vendors, and then you left to put your daughter in private school. Don’t call and explain how much we are ruining everything.”

Actually I see a trend here. The one I really want to shout, every time I turn around,


Next week a feel good rant, I promise. Or at least one that will make you laugh.


Wednesday Words 8.2

Greetings and Salutations!

I finished editing my spy novel last week. So I took a bit of time off writing this week and handled some other things.

I did decide to try to come up with something for the anthology. It’s supposed to be a scary/spooky type story which is not my usual but I’m trying for the stretch. Can’t grow if you don’t stretch.

I actually got an idea last night, that might work. Maybe. I pitched it to the hubs and he wasn’t all that sure. shrug.

I am off to 4 days in Portland with the in laws. Record breaking heat here we come.

Book Review: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

You know why I picked up this book. Who could walk by that and not stop. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer.

I grew up in the late 70s, early 80s and listened to my dad complain about how something was practically to Timbuktu or so far in the middle of no where it might as well be Timbuktu. Ok, Dad was not a history buff. Then again I’m guessing unless you took African history in college, cough – don’t bother raising your hands, you don’t know that while Europe was struggling through the dark ages of oppression and ignorance, The University of Sancore in Timbuktu was the premier location of higher learning in the Middle Eastern and African worlds.  Physics, Chemistry, and Math highlighted their program. The real deal.

All of that learning had been preserved in manuscripts, as well as religious discussions, poetry, and literature. When Timbuktu was over run, 16th century, the manuscripts were buried to keep them safe. Eventually, with Mali in a somewhat settled political position in the 1980s, librarians began to seek out the manuscripts from families all over the desert. Much of the work was done by one man who was smart enough not to roll up in a gov’t SUV and flash a bunch of cash, like previous librarians did. He traveled local style on camels and in boats. He offered exchanges for the manuscripts and kept his promises to restore and preserve the works. He built schools and mosques, bought goats and cows for the villages.

All this work was almost for naught. Over 380 thousand manuscripts were in 25 libraries in Timbuktu when Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb steam rolled into Mali and decided to make it the new base of their operation. I’m not going to give away how the story goes from there.

For the most part, Librarians was a very enjoyable read. I found the 60 plus pages explaining how the AQIM came to have it’s particular set up rather tedious. I’m not sure it was really all that necessary. The other 160 pages were a great read however. A true testament to how far men will go to save books, knowledge, their historical greatness.

℘℘℘℘ – Four pages. With the exception of the boring part, it was a great read and I had a hard time putting it down. I wonder if all that was included to lengthen the book as it’s quite short by some standards. It would have been better with a tighter less tedious explanation. But you can skip that part when you read this. smiles.

Sunday Sup: Curried Chicken Salad

One last recipe from “dumb and fat” with a few modifications.

Curried Chicken Salad

Mix 1 heaping teaspoon curry paste (I used mild, but totally your call), 1 tbsp Mango Chutney, and 1/4 c greek plain yogurt. Stir, stir, stir.

Add one can drained chunk chicken (12 oz, or left over chicken chopped, whatever you got on hand).

Add a chopped celery stick, 4 dried apricots chopped, and a handful of slivered almonds.

Stir, stir, stir.

You can serve this nicely on a bed of fresh spinach but mine was all bad when I pulled the bag out, so I ate it with Almond crackers. Very tasty.


Fiendish Friday: Keep your hands to my back

One of the things I started doing for myself when I began teaching at the coop this past year was to get a massage, every three weeks, if I can get it on the books. It’s ridiculously indulgent. But we all need something ridiculously indulgent in our lives. Better this than a pan full of brownies.

I don’t like change. When I find a provider I like, I go with them every time. I will rearrange my schedule to make any openings they have in their schedule rather than take what easily works for me. I’m loyal like that.

So I started with one I really liked. She was awesome. But after a few months it got really hard to book with her. She was popular and her availability and mine just didn’t gel. So I switched and the new one was even better.  Yay! I was happy. Life was massage good. Then she moved to Texas. Texas. Seriously. The same month my hair dresser moved to Texas. WTF? (I am not moving to Texas) Before she left she gave me a couple of names. I checked on them. One has availability that will almost never work for me. The other was male.

So I went back to the first therapist I liked. She has now canceled the morning of the appt three times in a row. I guess I know why her schedule is so open these days.

So I am about to do the unthinkable, see a male therapist. gulp.


wednesday words 7.26

Thanks in large part to a baby sitter who didn’t go away for the summer this year, I am done editing my spy novel. Woot!

Next steps:

Oral read through with the hubs. I do this with every novel. It’s pain staking and time consuming but I know from experience it’s worth every minute.

But that means: new projects!! First up is to take a left over scene from that murder mystery I wrote and then hated a few years back and work it up into a fun short for the convention that’s coming up.

But Dan Alatorre is putting together an anthology, a scary/spooky/creepy anthology he wants to publish October 1st. Ouch. I told I would tell him yes or no by Friday. I need a new idea and a story written and edited by end of August to make that time line. Essentially working both shorts at the same time with the same due date.

Realistically I manage to scrape together 5 hours a week to write.

Is that really enough time?? What say you dear readers?

Book Review: My (Not So) Perfect Life

Creme Caramel for the brain. Sometimes you just want to indulge. You want a bit more than vanilla pudding but you don’t want to be confronted with things that make you angry or think. Laughing, I feel like I should do a whole rating system on indulgence reading. My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella, I waited months to get my hands on it and then breezed through in mere hours.

In one of my all time favorite themes, the main character is trying to find her way in the world hampered by society which sees her one way, her family, which wants her to be another thing, and her own desperate desire to be who she wants to be, which she thinks needs to be more than she is. Did that make sense? I hope so. It’s one of my favorite themes, the struggle to find oneself and then be oneself. I explore it in all my own novels. I explore it in all my own lives. LOL

The main character is fun, witty, and pretty savvy when it comes to her chosen profession but doesn’t apply any of that knowledge to her own life. She’s in marketing and branding and demonstrates amazing ability to figure out what people want and how they think in work related matters but is incapable of looking at those around her and applying the same.  I suppose we all have our blind spots.

There’s a nice dash of stop judging people by their outsides and pay attention to their insides. Things are rarely what they seem. And in case you miss it a character or twenty really pounds that home in dialogue. smiles.

℘℘℘℘℘ – Five Pages. Fast, fun read. I rarely dislike anything Kinsella writes.