Zette's Days of Writing

Begun October 1, 1998

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This will include several months of entries. Having trouble with the uploads, so I'll just keep adding to this one!



March 1, 2019

No, not a whole not going on. I'm down to the last bit of work on Devlin 5, but it has slowed way down on me. I just need to push through the last bit and start getting everything updated and then drop #5 into place and be done with all of this.

Yeah, I'm ready to be done with all of it.

Snow and Fog

march 2, 2019

We had a lovely trip to De Soto Wildlife Refuge today. We didn't see much, but there was snow everywhere and it looked pretty. We caught sight of a few eagles on the way out, so that was good.

We were also, quite literally, the only people in the refuge. We know this because we went up and back the same way and never saw a single person except right at the gate as we were heading in. That was really odd. And nice because we could stop, back up, check things out and not worry about someone racing through. In th spring/summer/fall there are people in a hurry to get to the lake to fish and they're really not intereted in seeing a few deer, turkey, or even eagles and hawks.

But that's it for the day. I had a bit of writing done early, so that helped. Now back to work.

Snow, snow

March 3, 2019

Should I be surprised that I'm starting to not feel well? This seems a common theme for my birthday the last few years. I used to think it was because I got too excited about getting ready to go somewhere. But I'm not doing that this year, and I'm still not feeling well.

I hope it doesn't linger around for long. This is annoying


March 4, 2019

Yeah, still feeling lousy. Thank you so much.

I am trying not to be annoyed.

Let it...

March 5, 2019

Okay, fine. If we're going to have bad weather over the weekend, then just bring it on. I'm ready for it.

By ready, I mean I plan never to go farther than the front door to look out, of course.

Ancient Coral

March 6, 2019

The first four Devlin novels are all updated! The 5th is ready to go up on my birthday -- so I think I've got this handled. I'm amazed. I didn't think I was going to really get it all done in time.

Feeling better tonight. Still a touch of crud hanging on, but I'm not so absolutely exhausted as I had been for a few days. Dinner didn't entirely agree with me, but I survived it.

So one more day until my birthday. I think there's a good chance I'll survive to see it. LOL

cute new bear

March 7, 2019

Ah, the night before the big day. The weather is looking really iffy for the whole weekend, so I'm thinking not a trip to anywhere this year -- and that's fine. I'll get some bird food and lure the little beasts to me instead!

We have cupcakes and icecream for tomorrow. We have shows to watch when Russ gets home. I'm thinking all looks well!

Danish Alps State Park

march 8, 2019

Had a lovely evening! It was almost dark when Russ got home, but we still ran out to Danish Alps just to look around. It was a nice little ride. Then we went to our Greek place for a nice simple dinner -- and Russ gave me a pretty ring for my birthday! I LOVE IT!

We went to Lowes and picked up birdfood and a few more things, and then to Best Buy to get a new printer. Home to watch the first of a new course on the Scientific Wonder of Birds and then the next Castle episode.

I started by new sf novel, Retrieval, earlier in the day. Devlin 5 is published (at least on Smashwords -- getting to Amazon tomorrow).

All in all, a really lovely day!


March 9, 2019

Rain, ice, snow -- not the best of weather. Flooded streets and messy cars, that's for sure.

And for some reason I hit a bad patch of insomnia. I think I might have had too much sweet stuff on my birthday. I'm avoiding it today! But I haven't had much sleep and I'm really just dragging along here. I didn't get hardly anything done today.

Time to head off to bed early for a change. Get back to work on stuff tomorrow.


march 10, 2019

First, I don't know when I'll get this uploaded. A change to the computer and now nothing wants to go up. I'll figure it out.

Second -- had a lovely ride today! We saw turkeys out in the snow. I think they were more than ready for spring from the looks of things.

Writing is writing. I'm getting places with Sleeper Awake, at least.

Mr. Lion

march 11, 2019

Quiet day. I am trying to get a focus on the new novel, but it's not moving very well. That's Retrieval, which I think will be a fun story to write if I can just get some clear path through the story.

The snow is melting away here. The yard lion is nearly uncovered. I hope to have a good run at the birds this year. I'd like to have a few new nice pictures to play with!

Bacon Creek Park

march 12, 2019

Oh my! What a lovely night for a drive! There was fog everywhere and some of it very thick. I got so many great pictures! I love it!

Really put me in a better mood, too. And a picture I posted on Facebook is getting all kinds of nice notice.

Maybe I should give up the writing stuff and stick to cameras.

Ha. Like that's going to happen.

Tea Bears

March 13, 2019

Still foggy out there. Most of the snow has melted. That was really a short winter, at least as far as the white stuff goes. It was cold enough, though!

So, that writing stuff. Right. That's got to pick up soon, right? I mean it's going okay, but it seems so dull lately! Ugh. Even fun story stuff is just kind of blah. Yeah, I know. I go through this often. I know that and I'm just pushing on through.

But it could be a little more fun, ya' know.

House Sparrow

March 14, 2019

Still haven't fixed the upload. I'll get it. I think I know what the problem is.

We had rain today, which means we have far less snow. But we also got birds back! My house sparrows came around and started in on all the food that had been buried beneath the snow. They looked like happy little guys.

The window is right beside my computer. I hope to move a bird feeder right up to it and get some shots. That should be fun.

Almost Spring

March 15, 2019

Saw some nice spring clouds today. It's heading our way! I'm looking forward to spring storms, flowers, more birds. I want to put some flowers in pots out by my window and see if I can get some butterflies there this year. Why not? Would make some nice pictures.

And I can't wait for things to start showing up Danish Alps State Park. I got to some wonderful pictures last year!

Yes, lots of things to look forward to now that spring is virutally here!


March 16, 2019

I really didn't expect flooding this year. We didn't seem to have much snow and the rain wasn't that bad ... so I just thought it must be the same for everyone else. That's not the case. We went out looking today and it's pretty bad, even in the few areas we drove past.

It's worse south and in about half of Nebraska and a lot of Iowa. Bridges out everywhere. Towns under water.


march 17, 2019

In the happy world, a bunch of different birds showed up at my feeder spot today. Cardinals, house sparrows, house finches, European Collared Doves, Dark-eyed juncos ... lovely, really.

On the bad side, flooding seems to be getting worse in areas. Not near me. We're doing fine here. But it is awful to see happen.


march 18, 2019

We took another ride out tonight and checked out the flooding. We are much luckier up here in the northern part of the state. It's awful to the south.

We are coming out of it, though. I don't expect anything worse to happen unless there is a major rain event. The snow is gone, and spring is really on the way. I'm having good thoughts.

Eurasian Collared Dove

March 19, 2019

My lovely birds are all showing back up again. It's been nice to see them. I have to rearrange things for pictures, but over all, it's looking nice.

Writing is writing. I have three projects and they move forward a little bit at time -- but they do move. I need to not push so hard sometimes. The stories are there. I'll do fine.

I want this to stay fun.


March 20, 2019

We took another long ride out to see the flooding. The water is going down. In our area, most of it is in fields, so that's good. It still looks bad to the south, though.

We started a class on Black Holes tonight -- the instructor is great! And it's really got me thinking about how plain my sf universe is. I'll work on that, I think. This guy also has another course on space in general (I think) which I am going to want to see.

So many great things to learn!


march 21, 2019

Quiet night.

I've fallen behind on my Latin. I hope to get back to it soon. I miss the work with it. It's been interesing to see so much Latin pop up lately -- stuff that was always there, but is only now apparent. I want to be able to read more of it.

Stories are stories. I feel like I'm about to make a break through on the work -- but it is not quite there yet. I'll get it yet!


March 22, 2019

I have just come to realize that Cherryh's Cyteen is not in ebook format. ACK! I'll be reading it in about two weeks or so. In hardbound. I can do this, right? I've not gotten so used to ebooks that I can't real a print book.

Not a real problem because I do read print books all the time, just usually history stuff. The problem is that I read a bit of an ebook every night before I go to sleep. I'll have to read something else -- but it can't be the next Cherryh book. So, maybe a Latin book? That might work.


March 23, 2019

We went for a ride out into the countryside, avoiding most gravel roads, and just checked things out. There were some lovely hawks around. It was fun.

It's still very brown, but in a few days there will be green stuff again. yay! I'm looking forward to it. I want to put out some flowers this year, and get a few more things for the birds. It's going to be a nice year for pictures.

I hope. I've had some good stuff so far, so I have to think it's going to keep going well. I've gotten a lot of 'likes' on some of my photos online. That's been fun.

canada geese

March 24, 2019

We went to the Danish Alps State Park! We haven't been there since the spring melt, rain, and floods. There is still a lot of ice on the lake, but we saw several kinds of waterfowl! It was wonderful! I am so looking forward to it being a spring stopover again and I hope I get a chance to see all the fun stuff.

Working away on other things. And we're still watching Castles. Almost through season six again! We don't have far to go now!


March 25, 2019

I had a visitor on the porch today. I'm pretty sure it was a female downy woodpecker -- poor little girl. She couldn't figure out how to fly back out the way she got in, but I finally got her out the door. Dog was going nuts inside the house.

The weather is really starting to warm up -- but it's going to cool back down this coming weekend, of course. I won't complain. I know that summer is coming and that's bound to be unpleasant, especially if it's damp/humid like it is now. You just can't win in this area, can you?


March 26, 2019

I am truly back into the Latin stuff tonight and enjoying it. I did a bunch of little word translations and didn't get stopped by many of them. I'm having great fun with it again!

I am about three chapters short of finishing up Sleeper Awake. I've got a few small things that I need to consider, but I like what I have in the story. I'm having fun with it. Shadows of Cairo is going well, too. Retrieval not so much, but I have faith it will catch on soon.

Things are looking good!


March 27, 2019

A lot of birds have been showing back up! It was lovely to see them all out there around Mr. Lion. I hope to get some good shots this year, though I have to do some rearranging of the feeder and stuff.

Slow writing, though. Really slow writing. I need to find my brain.

The boys helping

March 28, 2019

Okay, I admit it. I just haven't felt much like writing lately. I'm not sure why. I have at least two really fun new novels going. The editing has been wonderful. I'm having fun when I do write -- but just getting to it seems increasingly difficult.

And I'm not sure why I'm writing this here since I still have trouble getting anything posted. But here we are, filing away the thoughts of my days.

Ah well.

Only 8 months until NaNo. There's a thought to worry me about writing!


March 29, 2019

We did a silly thing today! We drove to Norfolk to buy a few boxes of Laser Discs. Yes, really. We have working machines, we've always enjoyed watching them, and why not?

We hit some snow on the way. That was funny. Nothing serious, but fun.

We stopped in Wayne to eat at our favorite oriental place ... and it was under new management! Oh no!

Oh yes. Oh wow. Best stuff I've had in quite a while. It was wonderful! So now we're going to have to drive to Wayne quite often (about 50 miles?) to eat there.

The discs did not come with a list, but they look good so far!


march 30, 2019

It's anothre one of those -- end of the month? It can't be. No.

But here it is with just one more day to go. How odd.

It's going to be another fast month, isn't it? Just rush on through. Gah.

Danish Alps State Park

March 31, 2019

We went out to Danish Alps today. Some of the waterfowl were back! Yay! I can't wait to see more of them there -- though that's only going to happen if the weather doesn't dry up soon. The road was not great.

But the birds! They were wonderful! I hope we can get back soon!


April 1, 2019

Okay. Very funny April Fools Day joke. Nice snow.

I really am ready for spring now, Mother Nature. Real spring with green stuff and little birds.

Russ and I are watching a little series (13 episodes) on Amazon Prime called Endgame. Really worth watch. I love it. I'm sorry it didn't go more than that, but then a lot of shows I like were that short. Chinese Detective comes to mind.

We're into season 7 of Castle. Again. We'll be done by the end of April, I bet. Then we get to choose something else to watch each night. I told Russ we should pick something shorter. He pointed out that we don't have another single series as long as Castle, so that's not a problem.

And I don't think we'll watch the entire series two times in a row like we did Castle.

Mr. Lion in the Snow

April 2, 2019

I need Russ to figure out the firewall on the new computer protection stuff so I can maybe post this at some point. Seems like it would be nice to me.

Snow was pretty thick this morning, but it did melt. Yay!

I think I am basically done with Sleeper Awake. I hope so.

Trying to move forward, but nothing is working well for me on the story front. I need to get my focus back again, right? We've all seen this before.


April 3, 2019

Doctor's appointment today -- which meant no sleep the night before. I have that problem. It's odd because it doesn't matter if I am going somewhere fun or somewhere I don't want to go -- if I know I'm going the next day, just forget the idea of sleeping more than an hour or two.

The appointment went fine except for drawing blood. They could not get it done. Two different people and a couple really painful pokes. They finallly sent me on to the Blood Lab itself and they didn't have any trouble. I was so pleased!

Won't know anything until the lab work is done, of course. But at least they got the blood.


April 4, 2018

The weather is cool, but the snow is actually gone now. Just as well. I am ready for spring to come along and bring my birds back to the feeders and some green back to the world.

Writing is okay. Not very fast and no strong push on any story -- but still okay. I get the feeling that this is going to be a slow year for stuff, but maybe it will pick up soon. Who knows?

Mr. Lion

April 5, 2019

I can't say that the writing is going badly. The numbers are there, but the feeling is not quite as good as I would like. I am not making the connections I need to make for these stories to work.

Even The Shadows of Cairo, despite having a good outline, seems to be lacking in ... something. I'm not sure what. Yesterday I started the rewrite of Raventower 3 and I hope I can figure out what it is about that story that I'm just not connecting with, too. It's good off the start, but there are things ... ugh.

Sometimes being a writer is more frustration than it's worth.



April 6, 2019

Lovely ride! Out into the country side -- still a bit muddy and barren just about everywhere! And then we went to Danish Alps State Park and there were ducks! The spring migrations are starting finally!

It was rainy, though. Nice clouds. I love spring and summer clouds. They're great for photography.

No, I'm not avoiding the writing. Of course not.

Blue winged Teals

April 7, 2019

The weather still clings to doing okay. Spring is here -- just not as warm as I would like it to be. Oh, I'll be complaining about the heat soon, you know. Lots of heat and bad weather. But right now, I would just like the spring warmth and a few flashy storms -- no bad things, just pretty stuff.

I have set Retrieval aside until I get Shadows of Cairo finished. This is a purposeful choice to try and focus better on the one story and the edits. I am going to work my way back out of this annoying little rut, just like I always do.


April 8, 2019

A few little leaves on my lilac bushes! Yay! And an absolutely lovely sunset tonight. Have to love this kind of weather! Could be a bit warmer still, but it's not bad.

I can't decide what is wrong with Shadows. I like the MC. I like the story. I think maybe I got one incident that is too much like the previous problem in it and I'll need to figure that out -- but honestly, the outline is good and I should have it done by now.

Oh well. If I finished it then I woul dhave to try to write something else. Maybe that's the problem. I don't want to get done.


April 9, 2019

We had an incredibly windy day. That was about the most you could say for it. Windy, cold, windy.

I am maybe getting an idea for another set of characters, though no plot to go with them. That's helpful, isn't it?

Canada Geese

April 10, 2019

Not much of a day here. Quiet midweek stuff. We're still watching shows each night. It has kind of messed up our usual routines, but it's nice to just sit down and watch stuff for awhile. Right now we're doing half hour classes on Geology followed by Castle (almost through season 8) and a series on Amazon called Endgame which is short, but fascinating. Love the characters.

Writing is writing. I'll get somwhere with it one of these days. Really.

The gang

April 11, 2019

The cats were all cute today. That's all.

Writing away. Want to do better. Kind of thinking it's not going to happen soon, but writing anyway.


april 12, 2019

This is just not one of my strongest months. I should look back and see if all my Aprils are like this. Is it the change in weather? It might be. I just don't know, but it almost makes sense. The weather is changing, I'm unsettled -- birds are everywhere.

We went to Wayne for dinner again. They kind of messed up the food, but it was still good. Fun ride, too, on a Friday evening. Despite that we had some snow this morning -- not much -- the weather was still good. I like spring, mostly. I hope it doesn't get too hot too soon!

Stone State Park

April 13, 2019

The ride today took us into Stone Park for the first time this year. It's closed for the winter and probably hadn't been open more than a week, given the weather. It was lovely, but bleak. More water around than usual, though. It's been a wet spring.

The rewrite of Raventower 3 is going okay, but I'm still not feeling the link to it that I should have. That might be nothing more than the change in seasons and I'll get everything kicked into place soon. The other stuff -- Retrieval has gone quiet and Shadows is moving along but not too fast. Still, it's moving so no complaints.

I'm getting there. Somewhere.


April 14, 2019

Russ bought me amathyst and citrine crystals -- they are so lovely! I have them on the desk where I can see them all the time. As long as the cats aren't in the way.

Write. Write some more. Edit. Edit again. Lucky that I enjoy writing or this would be horrible, wouldn't it? But the stories are still fun, even when they are driving me insane.

Well, why not? Writing shouldn't be calm, at least not all the time, right?


april 15, 2019

A number of bird were back at Danish Alps tonight. That was fun, though it was getting a bit too dark when we got there. Herons, ducks, cormorants -- oh, it was lovely! I would like to have a few hours to just sit out there, though. Maybe Russ and I can work that out one of these days.

Actually, I'd like to have a little trailer and camp there. That would be fun, just for a few days. Get away from everything, but not be so far away that it would be a problem to get me out of there if need be.

Would I get any more writing done if I didn't have internet? Probably not if there were birds and things to photograph.


April 16, 2019

Well, today's news could be a problem. The place where Russ works has sold and their corporate office is in Atlanta. Ack.

Just ack.

I don't think I have a brain cell left to work with now. Not that this means an immediate change for anything, and it might be that Russ stays here and keeps up the work. But we'll just have to see what happens.


A few years without a crisis would be nice. Okay, not a crisis yet. Just go along as though things are the same as always.

I could use a best seling book about now, though.

Boy's day

April 17, 2019

Today is the boy's day. We had treats, played with toys -- and they were really uncooperative for their yearly picture. I had to really mess with it to get anything useable.

But they were cute guys, as usual.

Other than that -- much the same. Saw a lovely cardinal in my yard today, too. Spring! Yay!

Tree swallows

April 18, 2019

What a great day at Danish Alps State Park! All kinds of water fowl and it was lovely. I hope we can go back again soon because the migrations don't last long.

The good thing is that it's not far away. We can run out after Russ gets off work now that it's not dark by that time.

It is just so much fun!

House Finch

April 19, 2019

More birds at my feeder. I think the Dark-eyed juncos are gone now. They are a winter bird in this area, and they seemed to have hung around a little longer than usual.

I am working at finishing Shadows of Cairo. It has a good feel, though I am giong to have to work with the setting. Raventower 3 -- I started the final rewrite on April 4, and it's going better than I had hoped. I'm not certain what clicked in this time, but it's moving along well enough.



april 20, 2019

I'm ill. I hope it's just the flu and not the problem I had last year coming back. Ugh.

Russ bought me a huge plot bunny. Her name is Musette. I hope she has lots of great ideas.

Danish Alps

April 21, 2019

Lovely try out to the lake tonight, even though I'm not feeling great. It was wonderful, though. So many lovely birds to see! It made me feel better just to be out there.

Still not completely well, though. I really don't want to have those same problems as last year. This is annoying.


April 22, 2019

We are starting to see a lot more green out there in the world. Bits of grass are popping up, along with a few leaves on trees. The weather has been iffy, though. People are still getting snow storms far too close to us. I would like that to pass, thank you. We have had at least one thunderstorm, so that's a sign of spring/summer.

Writing is going along fine. Nothing spectacular, except that I am making good progress on Raventower 3. I'm still not certain it's the story I should have written -- but I kind of like it. That counts, right?

We watch the last of the Castle episodes tonight. For the second time. Eek!


April 23, 2019

Egrets at Danish Alps!

I love egrets. It was so nice to see them out there. They won't last long. Normally we only see them at Squaw Creek (now Loess Bluffs) Wildlife Refuge and sometimes in a pond here and there.

Loess Bluffs and De Soto wildlife refuges both got hit badly by the flooding this year. I don't know when either of them will be open and we'll be able to go there again.

So Danish Alps is a real joy right now. And far closer than either of the others.

The Boys

April 24, 2019

We are going through Castle withdrawl, but it had to be done. We could not sit down and watch them again for a third time.

Well, we could. We could be tempted to, even -- but we have a large DVD collection, and it is time to move on.

We're on our second run of Endgame (Canadian series, not Marvel movie), and we'll be past that soon, too. Between the two shows, though, I have come up with two characters and something of a plot for a new story. I am not even playing with the outline until I get Shadows of Cairo done, though.

So, there we are. We are still watching one half hour class a night. The Nature of Earth is the current one.

I am reading Cyteen by CJ Cherryh in the print edition. Hard to get used to it, but there is no ebook version.

Fun stuff, though.


April 25, 2019

Yes, Danish Alps again!

I got some really lucky shots today. Egrets! It was wonderful!

Also some great clouds and birds and water everywhere. Not a sign of ice and snow for a while. I need, probably, to start walking a bit. I hardly move at all during the day and I know what's causing trouble. So, I am going to try to work myself up to it, right? I'd like to go places this spring/summer. Walk on trails. See things.

Sounds like a plan to me.

I'd even like to just spend an afternoon at Danish Alps, sitting at one of the tables and writing and taking pictures. Sounds wonderful to me.

Old cameras

April 26, 2019

I have a new camera. It arrived today -- Canon SX70. It is kind of hard to get used to becaue of some really basic changes -- they hid the ISO, for one thing. However, I think I'm going to like it.

I wanted a new lens for the DSLR. In fact, I wanted two new lenses -- a better telephoto and a good macro. I couldn't afford them, so this is a compromise.

And yes, we took it out to Danish Alps. I need to understand the controls a bit better, but it's doing well.

White-Throated Sparrow

April 27, 2019

I am already getting a better feel for the camera and I am happy with it. I'm going to spend about a week with only it and see how I do.

The Topaz Labs programs really help. They have with the other cameras, too, so it's not like this one is any worse or better than them in the basics.

It's a distraction, of course. That's alright. Both novels are moving along fine right now. I'm still having some stomach problems, but I'm determined to get past it all and have fun if I can. Doesn't sound too bad, right?

Another sign of spring

April 28, 2019

Tonight we started a short series from BBC Scotland called The Omega Factor. It was filmed back in the 70's and as long as you treat it as a period piece, it holds up very well.

It's about a man with special powers and the people who work with and against him. Only 12 episodes, but that's alright.

I am trying to finish Cyteen before the end of the month. Then I'll be reading Cherryh books on the Nook for about 20 books before I need to pull out the print versions for a few.

Should be fun.

Annoyed Robin

April 29, 2019

The car is in for repairs again. Ack. I hope it isn't as bad as the last time, which wasn't all that long ago.

One day left to the end of the month. Reading, reading, reading....


April 30, 2019

A nice evening. A ride to the lake -- plenty to see there, even in the rain. Dinner at our Mexican place and we'll see if it kills me more not. And then reading.

By the end of the day I finished Cyteen, Brief Cases by Butcher, and The Phantom Atlas on the Nook. I think that's a record for me.

I also started Regenisis by Cherryh, the sequel to Cyteen. It was written much later. I'm curious how it goes because I don't remember. That's fun, you know, that you can enjoy some books all over again.


May 1, 2019

We had a quiet day. I played more with my new camera. I am really kind of impressed. I think this is going to work out well in the long run.

I admit that I have a problem with the T4i -- it's heavy. Not so bad to carry, but it hurts my thumb and wrist when I'm holding it to take pictures. I'm going to use it more with that lovely wide angle lens and a tripod, which I should have been doing before this anyway.

But there we are. I'm getting good pictures. Can't complain about that.

Greater Scaup

May 2, 2019

Yes, we went to Danish Alps State Park again today. You'd think the place is huge considering the number of pictures I get there, but it's not very big at all. There also hasn't been as much waterfowl as there were last year, but it's still nice to see them.

I need to do a page dedicated to the place. I have thousands of pictures already, from all seasons. That sounds like a good project.

I need projects, right?


May 3, 2019

Writing report:

I am still writing.

Really, what more could I say that I haven't said already? Except for one thing -- Raventower & Merriweather 3 seems to finally be falling into place. It's been a difficult rewrite/edit -- but I like the story. I didn't before this, so that's a big step forward.

And that makes me happy.

Stream with Heron

May 4, 2019

We had a lovely ride out through the Iowa countryside, including Stone State Park, today. It was really pretty, with everything starting to turn green again. It seems as though winter was too long this year. Really, just too long -- how can we still be worried about snow in May? But it's happening in a lot of places.

We had a storm tonight, in fact -- just rain and a bit of a rainbow. That's always nice.

I know I won't be so happy when summer gets here, but a bit warmer wouldn't be unwelcome right now.

Canada Geese

May 5, 2019

Yes, back again to Danish Alps State Park. Russ has been wonderful about it. We both know the spring migrations won't last for long. And today there were little baby geesies! Yay!

All the pictures I've posted lately have been with the new camera. Yes, I tinker with the pictures in various programs -- usually either Lightroom or a set of Topaz Labs programs. Depends on the mood I'm in, and whether the pictures need any thing at all. Sometimes just a touch more color and a bit of sharpness can do wonders.

Still working on Raventower 3 and Shadows of Cairo. The second one is taking a step back -- I don't work on it quite as much as I do the other. I want the Raventower novel done. I need to start thinking about a cover, too.

Always something more.


May 6, 2019

Wet. Cold. Warm. Wet cold, wet cold -- ugh.

Odd spring, that's all. And you just know it's going to be snowing one day and 105f the next.

That's all. I'm done snarling about the weather. For today, at least.

Blue Winged Teals

May 7, 2019

Just a quick trip to the park today. Have I mentioned that we have pelicans? They won't stick around, but it's nice to see them again.

I am working on my zoo pictures and having a lot of fun with them -- but there are over 10,700 of them and I really didn't consider that this would be my life's work. Still -- lots of nice pictures and I'm having fun.

Good to do something with the pictures, right?


May 8, 2019

Let the Raventower book just keep moving along. Let me find the little things I need to add in. Let it not stop here so close to the end with some unfixable plot problem.

Is that too much to ask for? I don't think it is.

Still, I dn't quite trust it. This book has fought me for too long already. I want it done.


May 9, 2019

The lilacs are getting ready to bloom. No frost or bad storms now, okay? They don't last long, so just a little time for the flowers to bloom and I can enjoy that lovely scent.

We took a ride out into the country tonight. That was nice again, though the dirt roads make me nervous since they're still so wet. There are still some fields flooded, too. What a mess.

I used a new function on my camera tonight -- panorama. It worked really well. I'm going to have fun with that one!

sleepy boys

May 10, 2019

Amusing night. A friend who was visiting from out of town left his phone at the house. Russ knew where he was staying, so we drove over there to give it to him. He wasn't there -- because, of course, at that time he was at our house looking for his phone.

He finally got hold of Russ on another phone and we delivered the phone half way between the two places. It looked like a drug pay off in the Perkin's parking lot.

Life is amusing some days, isn't it?


May 11, 2019

Back to the lake again today. I'm really happy with the pictures I've been getting there.

Playing with the zoo pictures has been fun, too. I'm amaze with how good some of these pictures are.

Even the writing is still moving along just fine. I'm going to have to start thinking about what to work on next, though. I have two or three choices for the rewrite/edit -- and if I get Shadows of Cairo done, then I'll get back to work on the sf book I started. Retrieval has a nice potential. I just need other things out of the way first.

Heron and Geese

May 12, 2019

I really didn't expect to see much out at the lake today, but it turned out to be a really good day for stuff. It was cool enough that not many people were around, so the wildlife wasn't flighty. I got osme excellent pictures.

Three chapters left on Raventower 3. Almost up to 100k on the book. All is going well. I hope that I can pull it all together at the end.


May 13, 2019

Russ and I are watching a class that is a tour of ancient sites in Greece and Turkey -- and it's great. We both agreed that we'd love to really go to those sites. I hadn't ever thought about such things before this -- but if I were younger....

There's an odd thought and one I'll have to consider for a while.

Two chapters left on the Raventower book. It's over 100k. The other two are over 130k, but this is probably still long enough. I might add a bit more, but it won't be another 30k I'm sure.

Happy to be almost done.

Still wondering about that cover art, though.


May 14, 2019

I apparently have a cold. Yeah, this is annoying. More than annoying because my throat is scritchy and I'm feverish -- and all I want to do is finish the Raventower book.

Not going to happen tonight.

In fact, I think I'll just go off to bed early and hope for the best.


May 15, 2019

I finished the major rewrite/edit of Raventower 3 today. I'm still going to be jabbing at it for a few days, but it is mostly done. I need a cover. I have an idea. We'll see if it works.

But yay, a major bit of work done.

I've also finished reading Regenisis and I wish there was another one in that series!

Next it's the Foreigner series. That should be fun!

What am I going to rewrite/edit next? I don't know. As soon as I'm done with this one I'll be focusing on Shadows of Cairo, though. And from there I have Retrieval just sitting there staring at me.

Time to get back to work.


May 16, 2019

It is so nice to have a wildlife photography place so close. Danish Alps has been really nice for this spring, especially since my usual other places are all underwater still. I hope they survive.

I think Raventower 3 is working. I hope so.

I am hoping to get through this one and get it posted so I can feel like I've accomplished something this year. This book has just been hanging out there and I couldn't decide if I even liked it -- but I do. A lot more than I thought I would.

But it is a slow book to work with and get done.


May 17, 2019

One of those days where I am really not getting anything done at all. Feeling a bit off and annoyed -- and I just want to get things finished and out of the way.

On the good side, we're working on a flyer for some of my books to give out at conventions. That's a good plan right?

But I want to finish Raventower 3 -- and I need to get this one done first.

Ah well. I'll get everything done! All the things!


May 18, 2019

The pelicans were lovely at Danish Alps today, but so was the lone turtle I saw out there on a fallen branch. I really enjoyed just getting out and walking a little distance getting shots of things.

A shame the weather has been either hotter than hell or wet. That's how it seems this spring. And we really don't need wet. Not pleasant stuff, really.

Working on things still. I'll either get something done or I'll be in this cycle forever.

I'm kind of betting on he 'forever' part.

Mr. Lion

May 19, 2019

Yes, yes. Get things done. Yes.

Write this, edit that, fix the flyer, think about other things for conventions. Do this. Do that.

I think it's all starting to get to me.


May 20, 2019

I had two hard drives suddenly stop showing up on the computer. Two drives I need. I realized they were in the toaster -- a system to use internal hard drives and switch them out as needed -- and we guessed that was the real problem.

We were right.

But you know, I didn't need that kind of worry. About 20,000 photos ... among other things had just disappeared.

Ugh. Working now, though. We replaced the base. All is well.


May 21, 2019


Rain, rain, rain. All the rain. Rain everwhere. And more Rain.



May 22, 2019

Not rain.

That's the best part of today, at least. We sent out flyers last night, but I don't think they're going to get to the place in time. At least we tried! And now I can focus back on writing and editing -- but my brain is not focusing that well.


May 23, 2019

Back out to Danish Alps State Park again today. I do love that place. It's only about half an hour from home and there's not much to it at all, so it's a quick drive through, a few pictures, and we can head back home. We often take the back roads out of the place, though, and that adds to the time.

We did have some rain. That made it a better day to be there, though. Not many people around and all the water fowl kind of calm. Nice for pictures!


May 24, 2019

Danish Alps.

Then off to Wayne, NE for dinner at The Magic Wok, which is just wonderful food. Russ got off work a bit early so it made a nice night to make a run like that.

Yes, we are silly sometimes. It's fun!


May 25, 2019

We took a lovely ride out into the Iowa countryside today rather than a trip to Danish Alps. We saw some lovely hawks, a lot of green stuff everywhere, and a few little creeks and streams, one of which had a bit of a a 'rapids' in it and sounded wonderful. I even got a video of that one.

We kept heading up north-bound roads to avoid the worst of the sunset. Some of the dirt roads out that way are still pretty rough from the rains.

Writing is slow, slow, slow. I am getting toward the last of Raventower 3, but it seems to be dragging along. I just want it done and to move on to ... something. I'm not sure what my next rewrite will be.

Red winged black bird

May 26, 2019

Yes, back again to Danish Alps. Lots of little goslings today, and everyone more cooperative than we expected. Lots of people camping and out on the lake, too. I wish they would stay out of the smaller ponds and leave those for the waterfowl, but at least we get to see a few things.

We also noted at least one of the smaller streams in the area is far higher again. We didn't have so much rain, but other places have -- and it's showing.

What a strange spring it has been -- and it's inching up to summer already.


May 27, 2019

We didn't get much rain yesterday and today, but other places must have. The small creek on the way to Danish Alps was very high. I also heard that they're letting more water out from Gavins Point Dam again. We just can't seem to dry out in this area!

I am oh so close to being done with Raventower 3. I need to decide what story to rewrite next and my brain is not focusing on anything now. That's annoying.

But close to done with one. That counts!

High and Muddy

may 28, 2019

Yes, people are starting to worry more about flooding again. Not that anything has dried out. I think things are supposed to improve as we go into June -- which probably means that we're going to have a drought now.

I am working a bit on zoo pictures again now that I'm down to the last of Raventower 3. Doing that gives me a chance to step away from the words and think about the story, looking for problems. It's going well, I think. I'll have the book done on time. The new covers are done for the other two Raventowers, too. Almost there!

The Boys

May 29, 2019

The last major edit of Raventower & Merriweather 3: Missing is done.

I will run the book through Word's grammar checker tomorrow and then either publish then or the next day.


From the zoo pics

May 30, 2019

I thought going through the Word grammar part would be quick. It took hours. I had severa names that were not consistent, for instance. That was really annoying!

But it is done.

I need the ISBN stuff and that's it.

Publishing tomorrow, I think.

Canada Geese

May 31, 2019

This is it. I will have the book published tonight -- Raventower & Merriweather 3: Missing will finally be out of my hands.

What to work on next, though? I don't know. I am not really drawn to anything much at all. That's bad. I do have some first draft stuff to work on, though.

We went out to the lake. The pelicans were really great today. Then we went and looked at some of the flooding. This has been an odd few years.

Raventower 3 is out!

June 1, 2019

There. Done with it!

Now on to something new.

We had an odd day, though. We headed for DeSoto intending to just look around the building area, which was the only part open. But when we got there, it was closed at the front gate. So we took the long way home, up through Wayne to have dinner at our favorite Chinese place.

And it was closed.

Lovely drive, though. Everything is so green!


June 2, 2019

Russ figured out the problem with the uploads. I am going to post this and just keep adding to it for a while. I'll sort it all out later.

I am having trouble focusing on the idea of writing things. This is really annoying now that the Raventowers are out of the way. I think I'm going to start several outlines and see what I can get from there.

Rewrite? I don't know yet. I just don't. I was hoping for something in sf, but I think the fantasy stuff is calling to me more.

We'll see.

I'm going to see if I can upload this.