Friday, June 4, 2010

Now Leaving Moonstone Bay

Now Playing -
My wife is watching The Truth About Cats and Dogs behind me on her computer so I guess... that.

Life - 
Yesterday, when I got home from work and went to make some delicious dinner, I found our propane tank empty and gas stove inoperable. Now, I got that puppy filled around three months ago, and only use it for the one burner on the stove, roughly every other day. I've never had gas appliances before, but $90 for 90 days of operating one stove burner seems prohibitively expensive.  I can't help but think there was either a leak, an improperly filled cylinder or some other sort of shenanigans. Or is it supposed to last for such a short time?

Either way, we said "Forget it" went out and bought a single burner hot plate and had them pull our cylinder. We were pretty unhappy with their service in other areas too, so it wasn't just the propane. Now I have to get used to cooking with cast-iron on an electric burner! 

We also bought dog food today! Between the two, our dogs eat around 10 cups of food a day, so it seems to go really fast. Their food is one area we refuse to skimp on, and still serve them Science Diet dog food. We really do feel that the food keeps their coats shiny, their breath fresher and is pretty healthy for them. It's also spendy. So every time we need food, we use every trick in the book we can get our hands on.
Ludo Will Pout For Food

Step One - Buy in bulk. PetCo offers a 10% discount if you buy at least 200lbs of a brand at once. They don't advertise it, but it's a great deal. 

Step Two - Scour the internet for coupons. Science Diet usually has pretty good coupons available, you just have to hunt for them.

Step Three - Join their club in the right area. Apparently, the PetCo Club card offers different deals depending on where you live. Out here, we get a free shampoo after ten. Big Whoop. Back in Idaho however, they offered a free bag with the purchase of ten, which we are still grandfathered in to out here.

Step Four - Sales - A no brainer, but vital when the difference is $10 a bag.
Using all of these today, we bought six 35lb bags of Science Diet Large Breed dog food. Normally, before tax, this would have cost $239.94 or $1.14 a pound. But today, with everything taken off, it cost us $125.94, or $.60 a pound. That's right baby. We rock. Oh yeah, and that gets us more than halfway towards a free bag, to boot!

The dogs were a little mad that we went to the pet store without us, but their eyes always get so happy when they see that food piled up.

Reviews Of Unusual Size - 


Five Things About...

by Stephen Hunter
 2003, 464 pages, e-book

1 - This is the second book featuring Bob The Nailer, a retired marine sniper. I enjoyed the first, which inspired the film Shooter. This time, Bob teams with a young journalist who wants to uncover the truth behind Bob's father's death.

2 - Bob is a hardcore mother who has the same appeal as Lee Child's Reacher or Daniel Craig's Bond, but he does like to go on and on about the specifics of the guns he's using. Or saw. Or held 15 years ago. Or wanted to hold... You get the idea.

3 - The story is a strong one, though I felt that the ending's big reveal came a little abruptly.

4 -Great, well rounded characters, in both the present day and the past.

5 - Too bad I had trouble keeping what was going on separate. Which I do not believe was the author's fault. The e-book I was reading seemed very strangely formatted, with no indication when I was suddenly in the head of a different character in a different time frame.


by Jack Kilborn
2009, 384 pages, e-book

1 - Jack Kilborn is the pseudonym of Joe Konrath, the creator of the Jack Daniels series of books and e-book advocate. Check out his blog, it's very interesting reading.

 2 -  It doesn't take long for residents of a small town to  start dying in creative ways when a supercharged and ruthless group of killers arrive, looking for someone...

3 - Filled with some nice suspense, some nasty baddies and characters that you'd best not get attached to, Afraid is the perfect outlet for Kilborn's nasty side. 

4 - Like most books, I got annoyed by the child in Afraid but Kilborn does get some nice characterization in there for him.

5 - Aside from the first Percy Jackson, this is the only novel my little nephew has ever read. He's twelve and while I applaud him tackling a book this size, after reading it, I wish he'd chosen a more appropriate book for his age. 


Writing - 

I'm still working on GRAVES, writing up the final couple of chapters before I edit each chapter by character, in an attempt to inject some more specific personalities to 'em.

I have also come to a difficult decision. Moonstone Bay is going to have to fade into my taillights for a while. I'm not leaving it forever, I don't think I could. I love the characters and location too much for that. And that's precisely why I've decided to stop writing it. I don't think my writing is strong enough for a book like The Whispering Ferns yet. I feel like I'm ready to start publishing my writing, but not the Moonstone Bay Mysteries. I want them to be some of my favorite work, not something I look back on in ten years and cringe about. That first book has to be good enough to justify the sequels I have planned. There's pirate treasure to bury, Sasquatches to track, to say nothing of Smith's parents!

So they're going to go on the back burner for a while. I have a few other irons in the fire and it's time to take a hammer to one of them. Maybe one about vampires. They're hot right now, aren't they?


Sherry said...

Nice job on the purchase! That's an amazing deal, really!!

I agree. If it's something that you really like, put The Whispering Ferns on the backburner until you get stronger. I've done that with a comic idea of mine. It's been with me since high school (the end of it, but still counts) that I don't want to work on until I get good at drawing. THEN I'll work on it. And it'll be awesome. But not.

Anonymous said...

Afraid looks interesting.

A few years ago I stopped writing a book because I felt the same you did, that my writing wasn't strong enough for the story. I hope to return to it someday.