Friday, June 23, 2017

In My Own Backyard

It was bad enough when they extended the hill in the yard behind us and built a monster house on it, but now the house is becoming a diva. Well, sort of anyway.

The occupants probably have no idea that there house is featured in HOOKING FOR TROUBLE and that it was the murder house in the book. When they first moved in, we were grateful that they seemed quiet and weren’t throwing wild parties every weekend. My son was convinced some rapper was going to buy it and have his entourage there all the time. I’m glad he was wrong.

Then came the first notice on our door handle that they were going to be filming at the house. We’ve gotten them before for houses in the area. They give the hours the filming is going to take place, what’s filming and a number to call if there’s a problem. To be honest, I didn’t even notice anything.

Then it happened again. I know somewhat how it works. You can put your house on a list that it is available to be used as a location. They pay quite well, though you have to vacate your house and hope that it looks the same when you return.

The second time, we did hear someone shouting “action” a few times and I could see some activity through our trees since that yard is higher than ours.

A few days ago, a guy came to the door. He was going around the area to notify they were going to be filming once again. He gave me the name of a TV show. I don’t remember what it was other than I think it started with an H. He wanted me to sign something that said I didn’t mind. My antenna went up for that and I refused. He just marked down my name and our address.

I was assured there would be no crew parking on our street. No, but the nearby cross street is barely driveable because of trucks parked on both sides of it. And then the construction began. The best I can tell is that they built a large weird looking cabana in the backyard that shows above the fence. There seem to be lots of blue tarps over something. It’s been going on for a couple of days now. We haven’t been home the last couple of evening, so I don’t know if they have been filming in the yard at night. By the time we got home, everything was pitch dark and deserted.

Tonight the house is lit up, but the cabana is dark and quiet. Are they going to light up the backyard and have an orgy going on in the cabana?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Journaling With the Cricut

After finishing this editing round of Altered to Death, I decided to set it aside for a day to come back to it with fresh eyes for another pass. Since I've either been working on the book or at the golf course the last few weeks, I was going to take the day off and do so crafting. (I'm also on a mini break from my part time job because of a stress fracture requiring me to wear a boot/air cast...hard to get around with it on.)

I had a page that needed some journaling and wanted to change up from handwriting it so I used the write function on the Cricut Explore Air. I've used it in the past and loved it. My original idea for this post was to give some nontechnical instructions (ex. click on the icon that looks like bread with jelly) on how to use the function. Well, I've had to make a slight change in plans as Cricut just released a Beta version of their design program and I stumbled it through it today. Once the program is out of beta mode, and I've practiced on it some more, I'll give some pointers. It took me awhile to figure out how to move the text to the area where I wanted it to write (hint: instead of "grabbing" and moving like in the prior version, there is a section on top stating where the image or text is located, the inches needed to be changed to move the item.) Of course, now that I figured it out it might change.

While I like the look of the journaling, and the relative ease of using the function, it does take a long time for the text to write. It took about fifteen minutes to complete the journaling box. The first time I used it I panicked a little when I saw it skipping letters in words and going to the beginning of a sentence without completing the previous one, but upon watching the Cricut do it's thing, I discovered that is the way the Cricut does the writing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

And Yes, a Trip

I just spent a long weekend in Minneapolis/St. Paul.  That was because some close family members were throwing parties to celebrate a milestone anniversary, and that meant all other close family members would be there too, including our sons, d-i-l, and grandsons.

And as a wonderful sideline, my mysteries are being published by Midnight Ink--with offices located in the nearby town of Woodbury--and I'd been invited to stop in and see people there.

So was I going to let a little thing like a fractured patella stop me?  No way! 

Of course it helps that my husband is a dear when it comes to doing everything that I'm currently unable to do.

One problem is that I'm unable to bend that knee, or the leg attached to it, and I'm wearing a brace constantly to ensure my good behavior.  That's a bit difficult on airplanes, though I managed. 

Then, the hotel room we stayed in was labeled for handicap use.  It did have wider spaces than the other rooms we saw, plus there were bars along the walls to help me maneuver around.  The shower wasn't exactly fixed for handicap use except for those bars, but I managed there, too.

I was able to get in and out of our rental car just fine, and the venues for all the parties also worked out.  Fun to see everyone and participate in the festivities!

Then, at the offices of Llewellyn Worldwide, which owns Midnight Ink, I had a great time visiting with my editor, meeting others I'd only met previously while working with them online, and meeting even more people on the staff as well.  They worked out a meet-and-greet where I was able to talk to a whole group of people about who I am, what I write, why I write it, and more, plus I answered their questions about me.  Then I signed copies of my books for some of them.  I got a tour of the very nice offices as well.

Now I'm back home with my pups, who were well cared for by our usual pet-sitter.  And I'm looking forward to a time soon when I can return to as normal a life as I can and do more stuff myself.   But it's great that, even with these issues, I can still travel and have fun... plus I'm able to sit at my computer and write.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Signing in the Northwoods

All the blood tests and the CAT scan came back negative for residual infection, so I’m good for the knee replacement – but I don’t want to undergo the surgery until I can’t bear the pain and complications to my life anymore.  So on Friday I’m going to a clinic to be fitted for a brace to see if that makes life more bearable for a while longer.

Friday evening we drove up to Remer, a little town about a hundred and eighty miles north of the Cities.  It rained a little and then it didn’t rain and then it rained some more, and the trip was further complicated by our attempts to avoid road repairs, so we left here around four-thirty and got there around ten.  The trip was to help Remer celebrate books.  Their little library – made from the old railroad depot, marked by a caboose (those suckers were big!) – was a beautifully remodeled and very pleasant hundred-year-old place with lots of volunteers.  I bought twenty dollars worth of tickets to a drawing for a queen-size quilt featuring bears, plus one book from each of the other four authors and we still made a profit. 

Oddly, Remer also celebrates Bigfoot, the legendary hairy creature whose presence is claimed in various states of the U.S.  I say “oddly,” because I thought the hairy creature who haunts the northwoods of Minnesota is the Wendigo, a pale hairy creature told of by our Native American (Anishinaabe - Chippewa and Ojibwe) tribes up there.  It has a light shining in its forehead and anyone who sees it is shortly to die.  Funny how almost every culture in the world tells of a large hairy creature roaming its wild places.  Lots of sightings over hundreds of years, but as far as I know no one has ever found the bones of even one.

Anyway, I bought a book from John Schreiber, C.S. Yelle, Margo Hansen, and Terry Oliver Mejdrich, each wildly different in theme from the others (seek their web sites) and had some extremely pleasant  fellow authors to talk with between customers. 

And my own book, Tying the Knot, progresses slowly – but it progresses.