Fictioneering (Plus 3 Tidbits of Halloween Flash!)

Thanks to our nearly miraculous fixed wireless unlimited internet (which continues to work beautifully even through the worst weather conditions), I’ve been spending way more time playing around with short fiction lately than I have writing Book 3 of the Space Between series. This is not an effective way to get Book 3 out into the world, I realize, but now that I can do online research again without worrying about data limits, I haven’t been able to resist making a few submissions. Though I haven’t submitted any poetry yet, since mid-August I’ve sent a short story and some flash fiction to various publications, and when I woke up this morning I was gobsmacked to find the first acceptance in […]

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BOO!

Oh, the horror! Happy Halloween, Everybody! And a big Happy Birthday to two terrific Halloweeners, C.J. and G.A. (you know who you are)! See you back here in a couple of weeks . . . 👻🦇

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My Old Poems: Finding Gold Nuggets and . . . um . . . Not

It’s been about three months now since our rural household was blessed with a modern convenience that we thought we’d never see again: unlimited internet. And wow, what a difference. Three giddy months of streaming music and movies, of actually using the smart features of our smart TV. Of me leaving my email and browser open as long as I like just because I can. Of Glen making the choice some days to work from home. It’s been life-changing. But one thing I still haven’t done—even though I promised myself I’d get back in the saddle right away—is make any poetry submissions. And for heaven’s sakes, why not? How hard could it be to get some poems together and send […]

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My Grandmother's Cinnamon Icebox Cookies: A Recipe

One day last week I’d planned to bake the Sour Cream Chocolate Loaf Cake from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts. (What a terrific book! A former sister-in-law gave me my copy for Christmas of 1980, and it’s had a lot of use. Read more about it here on Amazon.) It’s a delicious, undemanding cake that wouldn’t have been much trouble to make once I got home from running errands in town. Showing unusual forethought, I’d even set out the required quantity of butter to soften before I left the house that morning. But when I returned home that afternoon and was putting away the groceries, I realized I’d forgotten to buy the sour cream. Well, crud. Now what? […]

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Fresh Hell and Lots of It

The past two months have been almost as interesting for Glen and me as the Fortean curses and “interesting times” I wished upon loathsome people in my last post: • In late August our 10-year-old Australian Shepherd Lucy came through some sudden and very delicate surgery on her neck. Her spinal cord was severely kinked between two of her cervical vertebrae, probably the result of a kink in her genes. Frankly, she made it off the operating table only because her veterinary neurosurgeon has steady hands and thirty-five years’ experience with complex procedures. So far her recovery is progressing as expected. Here she is the day after I brought her home, still groggy from the pain meds and about to […]

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Fates Suitable for the Truly Loathsome

There have been times when I have loathed someone so thoroughly that simply wishing them in Hell seems too good for them. Typically this applies to people I loathe in a more impersonal fashion, people I haven’t actually met, like various politicians I won’t name. Having the leisure to consider their detestable qualities at arm’s length means my temper is cooler and I’m levelheaded enough to think of more unusual fates to wish upon them. A few years ago I came up with some Fortean curses that seemed just the ticket and wrote them down in the form of a sort of hybrid poem. First, though, a bit of explanation. For those who may not know, the term Fortean comes […]

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The Procrastinatrix Strikes Again

Hi, my name is Susan, and I’m a procrastinator. Yeah. Still. That first sentence is how I opened “Would Procrastinatrix Sound Sexier?”, my fourth blog post from way back in May 2016. (Read it here.) And guess what’s changed since then? Not a thing. Just ask Glen. He’ll carry on at great length about it. He’s a little frustrated with me. Why? Well . . . A few weeks ago I had it on my calendar to enroll in Medicare. Our insurance agent had cautioned me not to wait until the last minute, because complications could arise. Other people had told me the same thing, warning me that it was prudent to begin the process two months before my birthday. […]

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The Colonoscopy Diaries: Part 1

Hey, we’re gearing up for some fun out here in the country! (Fun in the Buns? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) Glen is scheduled for his colonoscopy in a few days and mine comes in late October. And we both managed to arrange them for our birthday months! It’s truly one of the most thoughtful gifts we can give ourselves, but I think my reluctance to open mine (open my GIFT. Geez, where is your mind??) is understandable. Glen, on the other hand, always rips the giftwrap off his with a brisk, “let’s get this over with” attitude. In doing a little probing around online I learned that the colonoscopy as we know it today has been around for only […]

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Ageism and the "E" Word

So the other Sunday morning Glen and I were watching an episode of North Woods Law. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s one of the reality shows about game wardens on the Animal Planet network, and is set primarily in Maine. (The other is Lone Star Law, which is set, of course, in Texas.) We enjoy watching scofflaws trying to lie and weasel their way out of hunting violations, keeping undersized/oversized/too many fish, boating while intoxicated, illegal camping and all the other things they can do to flout the fish and game regulations. Both shows are entertaining, sometimes shocking and always informative. And kind of frightening. There are some seriously disturbed people on our public lands and waters. Due […]

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About the Writing (Mostly)

Since I’ve not blogged about it recently, today I thought I’d share a couple of writing-related items. First, here’s what’s happening with the Space Between fantasy series. Of the (at least) three books planned for the series, so far two have been published. The Space Between: The Prophecy of Faeries was released September 12, 2017, and The Realm Below: The Rise of Tanipestis followed on January 22, 2019. Somebody pinch me, because I must be dreaming. If you’d asked me a few years ago, I would’ve said that’s two more books than I ever thought I’d see on my own bookshelf, let alone anyone else’s. (Yes, people are reading the books, which is thrilling beyond description. A huge thank-you to […]

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The Big(gest) Bang

I hope everyone is well and happy and that my U.S. readers are celebrating a wonderful Fourth of July with family and friends! Of course it wouldn’t be the Fourth without fireworks, would it? I enjoy them, but you won’t catch me handling them. Even sparklers kind of scare me, so I’m happy to leave incendiary devices in the hands of the professionals. You know, people like your hotshot neighbor with the umpteen cars, the go-fast boat and the ginormous house. Or your judgment-challenged husband. Yes, I’m speaking of one particular July 4th that none of us in this family will ever forget. Long before Glen and I moved to the honest-to-goodness country four years ago, we had moved outside […]

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Hummus: A Recipe

Every six or eight months I get a craving for hummus, and when that happens, nothing less than instant satisfaction will do. Luckily, I came up with a great recipe for it some years ago, and I’m sharing it with you today (in case you’re the sort of person who develops sudden urges for hummus, too). This one came about in much the same way my recipe for vichyssoise did: I’d sampled so many bland, indifferent versions of hummus that I decided I should probably devise my own. Unlike the perfect vichyssoise I’d eaten at La Louisiane in San Antonio as a child, though, I didn’t have a perfect hummus in mind to base my attempt on. For all I […]

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