Friday Funny 1/28/2022

It’s been a very cold week here in Wisconsin. Even taking the Littles outside to play on the snow mound isn’t much fun. But my kids have adapted a little, though it provides a hilarious scenario this week. 

Emma has been asking Me to play hide and seek in the house with her. I finally had to break the news to her that there aren’t a lot of places for Daddy to hide inside the house. So we decided to play Hide A Stuffy. She picked a stuffed animal and we took turns hiding that for the seeker to find. It usually ended up playing Hot/Cold for her to find it. Or she would beg for hints. 

This week her and Jackson played it together without Dad. I’m listening as she keeps adding more stuffies for Jackson to hide at the same time (they got up to 7 or 8 before the game broke down.) 

Now, Jackson doesn’t quite understand how Hide and Seek works yet. He’s the kid you can call his name and he’ll tell you he’s “over here”. So he hides the stuffed animals. Then proceeds to tell Emma things like, ”I hid it over here.” While pointing to a cabinet or behind a box. Sometimes he would just tell her what room it was in, and I had hope for those rounds. 

Every time he’d tell her exactly where something was, Emma would yell at him he isn’t supposed to tell her. I overheard an exchange that went something like this.

E: Ok, Jackson, you have to give me a hint.

J: I hid them here in Teta’s room. (As he leads her into their big brother’s room.)

E:  (moments later, yelling) I SAID DON’T TELL ME WHERE IT IS.

J:(sits on the couch) I need a break. Can you put in Paw Patrol… or Blaze. I changed my mind. Blaze. 

Until next week folks…

Weekly Writerly Review 1/24/2022

This past week started off strong, and then stalled out on me. I did manage over 4k words for the week. I got some editing done on my short story collection as well as added some words to a different project I’m working on. A couple of blog posts got added into the mix.

I went through a few of the latest submissions for Spring Into SciFi 2022 so I am almost caught up on those at this time. Still excited for this year’s edition and the other two collections planned for June. Trying to find traction for the Kaleidoscope project in attracting talent, but it’s still early. I’m sure it will work out in the end.

I grabbed up a MG fantasy beta read from an email list I am in, because I hope it will help me with my own MG stuff. We’ll see. They want it turned around by the end of the month or so. I have to get cracking on that tonight.

My oldest had a couple basketball games this week. I love watching him on the court or the football field. I can tell that it is his zen, the place the feels the most at peace and centered. The littles have had trouble with their “listening ears” this week. It’s frustrating but we have more good days than bad days. I keep telling myself they are only 5 and 3. We’ll get there.

Until next week. Keep reading and writing folks…

Friday Funny 1/21/2022

This week’s Friday Funny comes courtesy of my youngest, and is a three-parter.

Samurai Jack Wannabe

Jackson and I were home just the two of us on Monday. Older sis and bro were at school, mom was at work. Typical Monday in our house actually once Emma started 5 day a week Kindergarten. I had a cup with sweet tea flavored water in the living room while he was taking his nap. I had not finished all of it, but no big deal. I am working in the kitchen fixing dinner while he is in the living room, having woken up from nap by this point. He comes running into the kitchen super excited, and our exchange went like this.

Jackson: “I finished your soda daddy”
Me: “What soda?”
J: “Your soda in the living room.”
M: “I didn’t have soda, I had tea buddy.”
J: “I drank your soda.” giggles maniacally and runs off.
Jokes on him. It wasn’t soda, no matter how much he thinks he pulled a fast one.

Part two is – Mom and Dad spent 20 minutes trying to find the thermometer to make sure whether Emma had a fever or not. We knew we had just used it a night or two before for Jackson when he wasn’t feeling well. Couldn’t find it at all.

Fast forward to a couple nights later, I’ve got the kids helping me pick up their toys and things from the living room. I send Jackson behind the recliner to get this old time tea pot looking thing and some other toys he left there (He likes to hide behind the recliner when he thinks he’s going to get in trouble for something, like swiping someone’s phone or a toy from his sister). I pick up the tea pot when he set it down, it rattles like something is inside it. I pop off the lid. Look what was inside.

He also managed to stick a small container of aquafor in there as well. I get the items out and show him that Mommy was looking for the thermometer.

He responds: “I put it in there. I’m a good hider.”

The things this kid comes up with.

Part 3 involves my new coat I got for Christmas. I had it hanging on a hook by the back door in the kitchen. Emma and Jackson managed to pull it down, and then they ran around claiming they were Daddy. They like to quote me as saying, “We’re eating dinner and going straight to bed.” This is their chant as they run around in my coat. Jackson eventually ended up with the coat, much to Emma’s dismay.

A little blurry because he wouldn’t stand still to take a picture. So this one is on the run.

Stay tuned next week for another edition of Friday Funny, or as I should have called it, “Funny Shit My Kids Did This Week.”

Weekly Writerly Review 1/17/2022

This past week was not as strong on the writing front as previous week as I returned to the day job. I managed a couple thousand words across a few projects. Hoping to get my routine back on track with the minor adjustments to my schedule.

My query for “Sibling Rivalry – Children of Nature and Time 1” was rejected right away with a form letter. I haven’t sent any more yet, but I have a short list of agents I want to query. I’m struggling with the potential I see in it; and wanting this story in my hands now. I’ll see how I feel by next week about it.

Tales of Ezrahn – Volume 1 is coming along. Just over 40k words. I’m thinking about launching the website for the realm and subsequent books, but I feel like I need to get more of the world ready for publication before I do so.

I’m trying to decide what to do about a couple of other projects I have sitting. I’ve got demon hunters, and Family Heritage book 4, my Bible of Mars tale, and subsequent Ezrahn tales. I don’t know what I’m going to go with honestly.

I didn’t do much reading, but I picked up a beta reading project for a friend in a writing group. I got some more of the Spring Into SciFi 2022 submissions read – I’m almost caught up to the current list. Shaping up to be a good selection so far. Only a couple that just don’t fit the vibe I’m going for with my publications. I also started going through this parenting book my wife got me to help us with our toddler. Jackson can be a handful at times and this book is supposed to help us deal with his behaviors by addressing the problem proactively. I’m a few chapters in, and it has potential. It has a fair amount of homework involved, but if will help us with him, and actually all three kids, then I am game.

Until next week, keep reading and writing folks…

Book Review – Advocatus by A. R. Turner

Hilarious Debut…

This debut novel from author A. R. Turner is funny from cover to cover, even though it could make you think.

Felix is a rookie lawyer ready to strike out on his own and make a name for himself. The problem he has though, is one last case – defending an evil magical warlord against a laundry list of charges.

The plea – Innocent of course.

Felix then embarks on a journey through cases riddled with psychic frogs, goblins, and time traveling wizards. All the while, something is brewing in the world. A court case unlike the halls of law and order have ever seen.

The case? Humanity vs. The Balance of Nature. The judge? Habeus, God of Justice in all his deific glory. Sounds simple enough right?

There’s just one problem. If Felix loses this case, it’s not just over for him, but for all of humanity as well. No pressure at all.

My Rating : 5 stars

I can’t wait to see what A. R. Turner does with this realm in the future.

Friday Funny 1/14/2022

This week was a fun one. My 5-year-old daughter, Emma, has a Youtube channel where she has done some cooking shows because she loves being in the kitchen. If you guys would go subscribe to her channel it would mean the world to her. We share all the comments with her because it is a passion project for her.

So, her little brother, Jackson, has tried to get into the kitchen in the past. As a newly minted 3-year-old, he has really begun to assert himself with Emma. Really since she started 5 day a week kindergarten and he had more time to himself. Earlier in the week, we needed to crack eggs for scrambled eggs to do Breakfast for Dinner. Just him, myself, and my wife were home. He wanted to help Mommy in the kitchen, so she set him up with a small bowl to crack eggs into. We did this for Emma when she first started because of shell pieces. Well, he must have cracked over a dozen eggs and only had one or two tiny pieces of shell. 

Selecting his next victim
Adding to the big bowl

My wife took some video and I snapped a couple pictures. We asked him if he was going to do a cooking show like Emma, and he enthusiastically said yes. Then my wife tried to get him to do an intro, “Hi it’s me Jackson, and I’m cooking in the kitchen.” 

His response, “Can’t do it.” As he continues cracking eggs like a pro, he starts waving at the camera and says. “I’m Jackson, Cooking in the Kitchen.” Then goes back to cracking eggs. He wouldn’t repeat it, so the video shot isn’t as polished as Emma’s. It is very Jackson though.

Weekly Writerly Review 1/10/2022

Last week was a good week. I finished a great novel and wrote a review for it. Shoutout to Trudie Skies for her book “The 13th Hour-Book One of The Cruel Gods”. Great book with detailed world building and beautifully flawed characters. No cookie cutter cardboard Mary Sues here. I’m anxiously following Twitter for news of book 2. 

I’ve begun to finally compile and expand the short stories I wrote for my high fantasy realm, “Ezrahn”. One of these stories appeared last year in the Depths of Love anthology. I’m also trying to figure out how much of my world building I want to put into a website of sorts. Maybe after I have this collection and start the “Favored” books I have plotted as well. 

I’ve also begun plotting the next phase of the Collective world. It will definitely be a “Case Files” type of presentation and hopefully have stories spanning their entire history and dealing with historical objects, like Excalibur and the Holy Grail, and mythical creatures, like Bigfoot and mermaids. I’m also hopeful to drag a few other faces into participating because there are some author friends I’d love to collaborate with. 

I returned to my day job however so it might slow me down a little. I’m hoping with my new laptop though I’ll be able to continue working in the evenings when my kids go to bed. 

Until next week folks, keep writing and reading.

Book Review – The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies

Amazing Worldbuilding and Beautifully Flawed Characters

5 Stars

I’m going to try to keep this review spoilers free.

Trudie builds a world as unique as they come in my recent memory. She constructs the City of Chime, a central realm connected to the 12 God ruled realms via a gate near its central clock tower. Each domain, and its associated Deific ruler, share traits and unique abilities: from skin color and mannerisms, to magical abilities. I won’t detail them all, but I am particularly fond of the Diviner with their control of Time itself, and the Ember’s just general personality regarding taking pleasure in life – besides, who wouldn’t want to be able to throw fireballs.

The story centers around a Vesper named Kayl and her friends, the Godless, as they try to protect the downtrodden citizens of Chime’s underbelly from the wrath of their tithe demanding Gods. When the aether that powers Chime begins to fluctuate out of control. the Godless are dragged into something far bigger than they anticipated.

A richly detailed, unique world coupled with deep characters who are realistic in their strengths and weaknesses. This is the start of a great series and I’m definitely eager to for the next book to be released.