10 Delightful Things about Autumn

Autumn has truly hit her stride here in my neck of the woods and, since I’ve started tweeting about #DailyDelights, I’ve been more observant, and more often notice things that I enjoy.

So, in no particular order, are ten things I find Delightful about Autumn.

#1 – The briskness of the air. After the long stretch of Summer, the bit of tooth in the Autumn air is really nice.

#2 – The Colors. Autumn is in full bloom and, from my window, I can see the greens, reds, golds, yellows, and browns of the leaves.

#3 – The smell of Autumn. Like Spring, Autumn has a distinctive smell that you just cant find at any other time of the year.

#4 – Unexpectedly warm days. Where I’m at, you can get several days of cool weather, then out of the blue, you get a clear blue sky and temps 20 degrees warmer for a day, maybe two, before things settle back down again.

#5 – Falling Leaves. The rustle of them as the wind blows, watching a handful or more get swept away. I find it delightful whether I’m watching them from my porch, or if they’re falling around me while I’m out walking.

#6 – Autumn is when the Apple Cider and Doughnuts come out. I don’t think this needs any elaboration.

#7 – Autumn is when it starts to get cool enough to break out the thicker and comfier clothing. I have a very comfortable hoodie that I exclusively wear indoors. And don’t get me started on thick socks

#8 – Warm days and cool nights. I find the dichotomy between the warmer days and cooler nights delightful.

#9 – Spooky Season. Again, I don’t think this one needs any explanation. You’re either riding the same wavelength I am, or you’re not.

#10 – Soups and Chili – while still providing opportunities for grilling. Autumn foods aren’t just restricted to cider and doughnuts. This is the time of year where we start thinking about soups and chili – Warming foods that are just a bit out of place during the summer months. The same with some of the darker beers. Stouts and porters, for me, are best enjoyed when it’s cooler. And Grilling on those increasingly rare warm days is just *Chef’s kiss*

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: October 21st.

Welcome, everyone to another installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: As I am keeping track of #DailyDelights, I am surprised by how many of them relate to my sense of smell.

Thing #2: Inspiration is where it finds you.

Thing #3: Time is a construct. Don’t let things like “Too Old, Too Young” get in your way.

Thing #4: What’s playing on the Mental Jukebox right now? Believe in Love by The Scorpions

Thing #5: You are the author of your own life story. You can start a new page at any time.

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What am  I reading this week?

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

Assassin’s Orbit by John Appel

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I got a good couple of days of walking in over the weekend – close to 12 miles over the course of those two days. That was fun. I’m making an effort to do more things that are fun.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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A Line in the Sand

I spent the majority of Today writing (Author’s Note: I was drafting this on Thursday). I was looking forward to it. I had planned for it: I had the day off work and I could spend that time doing what I wanted, and I wanted to get some writing done.

Needless to say, at the end of it all, I felt guilty for spending so much time writing that I wasn’t going to be able to do some of the other things that I’d wanted to do.

Let me say that again: I felt guilty for doing what I wanted to do. Something that was Fun, to the point where I lost track of time – which is a major component of Fun – I’ll get to that in another Blog Post.

So here I am: It’s Thursday evening. All of my chores are done. I spent the majority of the day writing, and I’m here on my porch, my bare feet on the sun-warmed cement. I’ve got a beer so good that it’s even good warm, and I’m watching the sun set behind what may turn out to be a doozy of a storm swirling in.

It’s quiet at the moment and, if this was one of my friends posting about this, I’d call it a day well spent.

Myself? Guilt.

So I ask you (and myself) gentle reader, the following questions:

What kind of sense does that make?

What is the difference between such a day being recorded by either them, or me?

After careful consideration, I’ve decided that the answer to both questions is the same:

None.

There is a mindset that we must be able to do ALL THE THINGS, during any given day and, if we can’t, then that’s the result of some kind of failure on our part.

Failure to plan

Lack of discipline

Laziness

Now I freely confess that I have been guilty of all three – we all have at one point or another.

But not today.

Yet I still try to reach some unobtainable level of productivity, of efficiency.

And here I am, “Wasting Time” watching the sun set, and…

I. CALL. BULLSHIT.

From this day forward, I will *Not* feel guilty about spending time on Writing, or any other Fun activity, when it encroaches on other stuff I thought it would be nice to do.

From this time forward, there will be no “guilty” Pleasure, or “minor” Delight.

There *Will* be more Fun – and I do realize that this will take a bit of thought and self reflection (Again, more on that in another post).

I also realize that this will be a thing in progress. It will be something that I will have to work on, something that will take time to turn into a habit, to set it into the core of who I am.

Much like watching the sun set, I believe that this, too, will be time well spent. 

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: October 14th.

Welcome, everyone to another installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: #DailyDelights is starting to show results. I’m more “There” more often during the day. What’s more, other folk are starting to respond when a particular Daily Delight strikes them

Thing #2: I think this bears repeating: There is no such thing as a “minor” delight.

Thing #3: I have today off work and I’m going to spend a good chunk of it writing and hanging out with my doggos.

Thing #4: What’s playing on the Mental Jukebox right now? Empty Eyes by Seven Kingdoms

Thing #5: Take time to have fun. This may take more thought than you might think.

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What am  I reading this week?

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

Assassin’s Orbit by John Appel

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I’ve started walking again during the downtime. I don’t think I’ll be able to do it during the work week. There’s simply not enough time in the day, but I’ll be out there on the weekends – with all of the wonderful Fall colors.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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Daily Delight

Today I want to talk about an idea that I came across while listening to The Happiness Lab Podcast with Dr. Laurie Santos.

The idea is a simple one: Find one thing each day that delights you.

The “Rules” are equally simple: If it delights you, it counts. There’s no sliding scale. There is no such thing as a “Minor” delight.

Do this as often as you can.

I’ve found that doing this has made me just a bit more present during the day. I’m on the lookout for delightful things and – as it turns out, to no one’s surprise at all – the Wisdom of Dave Robison holds true: You find what you’re looking for.

What is today’s Daily Delight, you ask?

The smell of woodsmoke.

I caught a trace of it on the wind this morning, and I always take an extra moment to enjoy.

As long as I remember to do it, I’ll post my Daily Delights on Twitter under the hashtag #DailyDelights.

Feel free to add yours – or not – but give this one thing a try for a few days and see where it takes you.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: October 7th.

Welcome, everyone to another installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: Take the time over the next week to try and spot at least one thing that delights you each day. It doesn’t have to be major. I’ll go first: Sinking a ball of paper in the recycling bin from across the room.

Thing #2: There is no such thing as a “minor” delight.

Thing #3: I came up with the entry for Thing #1 on Monday and I am discouraged to say that it Immediately fell off the radar. I aim to correct that trajectory right away.

Thing #4: What’s playing on the Mental Jukebox right now? The Best is Yet to Come by Accept

Thing #5: I’ve got the next five days off (counting the weekend) and I have never been more ready for some downtime.

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What am  I reading this week?

Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

Assassin’s Orbit by John Appel

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I am going to take this weekend to get my feet back under me, so to speak. I’ve been in survival mode and that can wear you down pretty quick. I’m going to take this next few days to refocus.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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Self-Care

I’ve said it before here, but there are times where I’m not just talking to you, Reader. Sometimes I use this platform for myself.

This past fortnight has been a mess. Developments at the day job have kept me in complete Emergency/Damage control mode 100% of the time and things on the home front have turned toward prep for winter – which, this year has meant A LOT of backbreaking work (over 400 bales of hay stacked by hand, floor to rafters, over 3 days), planning (When is it going to rain? How long is it going to rain for? Can we get a load in between somewhere), stress (Did anything get wet? Is that dust or mold?), etc.

My brain is like a bowl of oatmeal. Cold oatmeal.

All of this means that I’ve got very little left in the tank for anything other than popping a few ibuprophen and trying to unwind before going back to Emergency mode day job.

I haven’t written much for the past two weeks. At all.

And – and this is me talking directly to myself now – THAT IS OK.

You’re misspelling every other word as you compose this. You’ve got a good chunk of rest coming up this week. Take the time to get your feet back underneath you.

It will be ok.

Rest – you’ve earned a break.

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Five-Thing Thursday: September 30th.

Welcome, everyone to another installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: This past weekend, Sara Cox became the first female referee to oversee a European Premiereship Rugby Match. Well done! And I hope there’s more to come.

Thing #2: Yesterday I hosted my friends JeanRabe and Donald J Bingle on their Love-Height Case Files blog tour. Check it out here.

Thing #3: This past week has included apple cider and doughnuts from the local cider mill and I am all here for it.

Thing #4: What’s playing on the Mental Jukebox right now? Healed by Metal by Grave Digger

Thing #5: If I’m in a hurry, or am not 100% focused, I will always capitalize the first two letters of any sentence.

###

What am  I reading this week?

Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

Assassin’s Orbit by John Appel

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

Not much relaxing going on the the moment. day job is a shambles and fall is a pretty busy farm season. It’ll all be over soon (I hope).

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

Posted in 5-Thing Thursday | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Love-Height Case File Blog Tour!

Hey there, Everyone!

This week, I’ve got the great pleasure to host my friends, Jean Rabe and Donald J Bingle!

If you’ve been following them on Twitter (This is a good idea. You can find them @donaldjbingle and @jeanerabe then you know that they’ve got a new book out, called: The Love-Haight Case Files, Book 2: Fighting for Other-Than-Human Rights.

Have a look at this cover:

To help celebrate, I am pleased to say that I have been given the opportunity to host an excerpt from The Love-Haight Case Files, Book 2: Fighting for Other-Than-Human Rights

So, without further ado, here’s the excerpt!

They ate lunch at Fog Harbor Fish House on Pier 39. Or rather Evelyn ate and Thomas watched her. She ordered the salmon club salad topped with lemon vinaigrette and lemon ranch. Thomas would have selected the shrimp brochette with garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables, and drawn butter; he’d had that several times during his living years and thought the flavors amazing.

It looked like Evelyn was enjoying her meal; he could see it in her eyes. Thomas missed eating, missed many of the things that death denied him—taste, scent, touch. He wished he could touch Evelyn. The sun coming in through the window caused her face to practically glow, and the smattering of freckles across her cheeks gave her a youthful appearance.

Murphy had chattered about how much she’d loved Nathaniel Jackson. Thomas more than understood being in love, as the object of his affection sat across the table, spearing pieces of salmon on her fork. He’d just never admitted his feelings to Evelyn when he’d been alive—hadn’t realized the depth of his affection then. Still hadn’t told her. He once wondered if his love of the law had tethered him to the earth after his murder, kept his spirit from drifting to wherever most spirits went. Now he was pretty sure it was Evelyn who held him here. Thomas sensed she felt something for him, too … not that they could do anything about it.

“I thought the nixie would have been more … I dunno … broken up about Nathaniel Jackson’s death. She cried a little, talking about him, but not the all-consuming grief I thought a fiancé should show.” Evelyn set her fork down and sipped her iced tea, looking over the rim of the glass at him. “Maybe nixies just don’t demonstrate emotions like—” She glanced out the window to watch a gull hovering. “I need to research nixies. I’m curious if they’re all so talkative. God, I can’t imagine that anyone could put up with all her blathering. Maybe that’s what she and Jackson argued about … her talking so much.”

“I know a little about nixies,” Thomas said, drawing her attention back. “Pete pulled up the Wikipedia entry last night during one of his World of Warcraft breaks.” Thomas relied on the gargoyle to operate the computer; ghost fingers couldn’t manage the keys, and he’d not found any voice-activated software that worked well enough.

“So, nixies—” She went back to eating her salad.

“They’re called water people, nixies and Rusalkas, and they look similar. The latter have Slavonic origins. A girl who drowns becomes a Rusalka, and her sole aim is to drown others. Might be why the detectives listed Murphy as a Rusalka in the booking file, and maybe why they think she drowned Jackson.”

“Maybe. But they have some sort of evidence to charge her, right? Otherwise, it’s all circumstantial. What else?”

“Nixies trace to Ireland and Germany. They’re not known for harming people and have been helpful to fishermen from time to time. Some have even married humans. Like Murphy was going to marry Nathaniel Jackson.”

Evelyn fixed him with the stare she used in court. “So … what else, Thomas? There’s something else. Spit it out.”

“Nixies are said to dance on the surface of the water if someone just drowned or is going to drown soon.”

“And Murphy was seen dancing.”

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About Jean

USA Today best-seller, Jean Rabe’s impressive writing career spans decades, starting as a newspaper reporter and bureau chief.
From there she went on to become the director of RPGA, a co-editor with Martin H. Greenberg for DAW books, and, most notably, Rabe is an award-winning author of more than forty science fiction/fantasy and murder mystery thrillers.
She writes mysteries and fantasies, because life is too short to be limited to one genre–and she does it with dogs tangled at her feet, because life is too short not to be covered in fur.
Find out more about her at www.jeanrabe.com, on social media, or sign-up for her newsletter here: https://jeanrabe.com/sign-up-for-my-newsletter/

About Donald

Donald J. Bingle is the author of eight books and more than sixty shorter works in the horror, thriller, science fiction, mystery, fantasy, steampunk, romance, comedy, and memoir genres, including the Dick Thornby Thriller series (Net Impact; Wet Work; Flash Drive), Frame Shop, a murder mystery set in a suburban writers’ group, Forced Conversion, a near future scifi thriller, GREENSWORD, a darkly comedic eco-thriller and (with Jean Rabe) The Love-Haight Case Files, Books 1 & 2, a paranormal urban fantasy series about two lawyers who represent the legal rights of supernatural creatures in a magic-filled San Francisco. He also edited Familiar Spirits, an anthology of ghost stories. More on Don and his writing can be found at www.donaldjbingle.com and on social media. Sign-up for his newsletter here: https://www.donaldjbingle.com/newsletter-sign-up

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Huge thanks to Jean and Donald for stopping by this week. The Love-Haight Case Files, Book 2: Fighting for Other-Than-Human Rights is out right now!

Check it Out on Amazon: http://mybook.to/LoveHaightBk2

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One Bale at a Time

I am 51 years old.

Over the course of two days, I have stacked nearly 300 bales of hay.

By hand.

For those of you not familiar, these are square bales – close to 3 or 3.5 feet long maybe a foot and a half wide (Yes, I know that’s not a square, but that’s what we call em out here). And they’re heavy – I’ve got some of them in there that are over 60 lbs.

If you’re unfamiliar with storing baled hay, 300 bales might be a bit hard to picture. But it’s a lot when you’re shifting it by hand.

What’s my point here? The point is that you can’t look at 300 bales of hay and think about moving it all at once.

You move it one (or two) bales at a time.

It occurred to me (when I was done – there’s no room for developing blog post ideas when you’re in the Hay-Hauling zone) that this was similar to writing.

How do you stack/store 300 bales of hay (and I’ve got another 100+ to move in the next week)? One (or two) bales at a time.

It’s the same with writing. You can’t look at the idea for a book, or even a short story and think I’m going to do this all at once. Like the hay, it’s too big.

How do you get it done?

One (or two) lines at a time.

Myself, I like ot keep a running number in my head. How many bales to go? How many words to go? But I keep that in its own compartment. My main focus is what’s directly in front of me. It’s not 150 bales to go, it’s these two, right here. You can move two bales.

It’s not 100,000 words, it’s this line right here. then the next.

As you’re stacking – in the zone, if you will – you’re not thinking of anything other than Where the next bale is going to go, how you’re going to get it there, and where your feet are (You do not want to get your boots caught up in Baling twine when you’re 8 feet off a cement floor).

It’s the same thing with writing. There’s this one line, then the next. How are you getting it there? Where does it take the story? How are you going to get there? And is your footing good?

Regardless of what you do: Writing, composing music, painting, coding, etc. That’s how you get it done. One bit a time until it’s done. Remember there’s fun in it for you to find, if you let it come.

As for stacking hay? Let me paraphrase Dorothy Parker: I don’t like staking hay – I like having stacked hay.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Posted in Writing | Tagged | Leave a comment