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Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

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Shih Tzu

Where, Oh Where, Is A Cat When You Need One?

mouse

Wow. I literally slept for over 18 hours last night! With pulling 12-hour shifts and editing two books over the past two weeks (reviews coming! Whee!!!) life has been busy enough… but then I had a mouse invasion. EUU!!!  And don’t let that “Oh, so sweet and innocent” face fool you… Hantavirus is a huge threat around here, so allowing any little four-legged pests of the rodent variety to hang around is absolutely verboten.

Living in the country around here comes with foxes, coyotes, and the occasional wolf, not to mention snakes that are definitely on the ‘unfriendly’  side – but the little four-legged star of Ratitouille truly isn’t someone you want in your kitchen.

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Image property of Pixar Movies

So, out with  the scrub brush, mop, broom, and a bucket filled with hot water and Lysol, and there is Leiah, on her knees, pulling everything out of the cabinets, ripping out shelf liner, rubbing, scrubbing, and generally working up a sweat with face mask firmly in place! One cabinet down, and on to the next to let the last one dry. Wow. I had no idea how much dross got pushed to the back of the lower cabinets! (Oh, and a little hint? No. Mice do NOT like mothballs . . . but putting mothballs out behind the cabinets in a dish? Uh, not my smartest move! Choke! Choke! Gag!) stinkHey, at least my mousetraps are the ‘no kill’ kind! Of course, you should have seen me the other night when I heard one scratching around and took the trap outside to release its inhabitant by the creek . . . sucker jumped straight up, smacked me on the nose, and then took off through the brush – while I landed on my backside with a THUMP and a Shriek!! Yep. Nothing like embarrassing yourself in the back yard in your underwear!! At least my closest neighbor can’t see into the back yard. . . . though since my housemate came flying out the back door to see if a coyote jumped on me, I will never live it down . . . Oy! LOL

Then, of course, the dishwasher went ‘kapluey’ and refused to drain water. (Yes, BEFORE I could put my pots and pans I keep in a lower cabinet in to run a scrub cycle on!) As it is a good 20 years old, I can’t say I am surprised, but now that I have the lower cabinets cleaned (thank goodness they didn’t get into the upper ones!), and every single item in them either cleaned (what fun scrubbing all the pots and pans! Can we all say whee?) at least that part is taken care of. Good, right?

Weelll, not so much. I got under the sink on Saturday to finish up by cleaning under there, and so I could pull the hose on the washer and move it out into the kitchen floor and clean the cabinet and around the washer cutout, as well as repairing the washer.

Ahwwwww, MAN!!! Yep. You guessed it. Leak city – as in, a leak from an unseen opening in the caulk around the back of the sink. Ugh. Rotten wood, the floor broke through when I leaned my weight on it . . . can I not get a break? Sigh.

argh

Fine! BE that way!!! 

So, I showered. Crawled in a hot tub with a book and a bottle of YellowTail Merlot and a bar of chocolate, and soaked away the aches from being on my knees for three days. Then I crawled in bed and slept and slept and slept! Ah, the joys of being single and owning a dog door and an automatic-waterer/feeder for the dogs! Hey, I don’t do it often, but since my furry babies slept with me pretty much the whole time, they didn’t complain!

dogpile

This weekend I will have to remove the sink and dish washer and rip out the cabinet and floor underneath it. Scrub, rebuild the cabinet, (or maybe I will run down to the Habitat for Humanity resale shop. I bet they will have a usable cabinet down there. . .) paint on sealer, paint on paint (see how I did that? lol) and rip the washer out into the middle of the kitchen and fix that.

And here all I had planned for next weekend was to catch up on my reading and build myself a new headboard. Then start a matching quilt and couch cover! Oh, here’s the pattern. Well, part of it anyway.

 

This is more the middle part, but you get the idea. I found that middle fabric and fell in love with it! The quilt will follow the theme, the couch in my room will get a yellow or blue upholstery with pillows in the floral, and the walls will be repainted once I figure out what color. I already have new curtains in fuchsia I picked up on sale, so something that works with that. As for the floors? Meh. I will try to spend some time this winter making old-fashioned braided rugs from scraps and old, colorful shirts I pick up at Goodwill, but after having male dogs? Yeah, you get it. Shih Tzu and “go outside go potty” don’t exactly mix!

oops

I have managed to read a couple of good books as well, usually right before bedtime. I will post those as well. Right now I have to make myself another mug of tea and start getting ready for work.

How have your adventures in daily life been coming along?

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I Have O.C.D… by Sharon Cummings

Aww! My Koda, the Shih Tzu I rescued from the shelter, is learning that I won’t hurt him (slowly) —- he is sooo cute. And this is truly “Obsessive Creativity Disorder” – but well worth the time in my opinion! Thanks for sharing, Sharon!

kodao copy

Abstract Art by Sharon Cummings

ShitzFBColorful Shih Tzu Dog Art

Mixed Media

2015

Everyone who knows me is well aware of how quickly I process. I think fast. I drive fast. And I paint even faster. When I work with acrylics, my work goes in a furious fashion. It’s all over in a matter of minutes usually. There are the huge beasts that require many hours, but the majority of my work is a race to the finish line. It’s just how I roll.

People have the mistaken idea that digital work is easy. It’s true that running something through a filter does not take much effort. But this little cutie took me over 5 hours to create. It is collage work and bit by tiny bit I form the image using one of my original paintings. Cutting and pasting….cutting and pasting….trimming….adding….tweaking…..It’s maddening in a way. Kind of like O.C.D. (which I have been clinically diagnosed with)…

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Only January 8 And Already SO Tired of Winter!

Blech. Bitter cold, snow, slick roads (I don’t get on em, but you should hear my housemate rant . . . “Hey, Jackass! Just because you have 4-wheel-drive doesn’t mean that you won’t slide over the side – that shit don’t work on ICE!) That sort of thing. As for me, I rarely leave the house, but of course, the last time I did I managed to pick up he latest bronchial bug that is going around. Hack, hack, wheeezze! Again. Blech. It isn’t even pretty any more, as the sun came out for a couple of days and the foot or so of snow melted off into blotches here and there, leaving nothing but mud (now frozen mud, but still) in it’s place. There was some light snow tonight, so if I squint just right it looks like we have the pretty stuff again.

Why did I go out in the first place, you ask? Well, HiJinx and I went over to the shelter to check out a white Boxer. She and I both thought maybe another white Boxer would be a good addition – someone for her to play and cuddle with. She was so adorable – solid white, still had her long, natural tail, and only about 40 lbs. So, we got there, I met her, she was sweet and adorable . . . and then she met HiJinx. Oy. What a beeyotch! She turned into this vicious attack dog. Well, the heck with THAT! So much for YOU sharing couch space at my house!! Pft. Ya don’t know what you could of had there, Cujo. Premium food, handmade cookies, tons of cuddles and toys, and the wonderful, sweet and adorable HiJinx to play with! Too bad, so sad sucker . . .

Of course, as we are leaving, who do we see but Coda . . . apparently he is the third dog some woman has brought to the shelter when she got bored with them. Is that not the Cutest face! He is 400-lbs of personality in a 10-lb body, and HiJinx is having a ball with him. Of course, she used to play with 4-lb Peanut, so little is no problem for her. So, two little dogs instead of one big Boxer, but lap dogs are OK to. Coda is apparently a Shih Tzu. I looked them up, and found this description:

James Mumsford, an American teacher and composer, perhaps described the Shih Tzu best: “Nobody knows how the ancient eunuchs managed to mix together: a dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man, a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, a dash of teddy bear, and, for the rest, dogs of Tibetan and Chinese origin.”

Yep, that seems to be Coda right down to his DNA. He is sleeping on the back of my chair right now, all curled up.

Of course, for those of you who remember, I rescued Scooter from the needle a few weeks back. It as been a rough road to hoe with him. He apparently suffers from Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome, a type of social aggression behaviour that is, literally, sweet-and-adorable one minute, rip your face off the next. And let me tell you – he does go for the face. It normally can’t be fixed (most require euthanasia, they are just too dangerous to allow to live). Can you believe something that adorable looking could be a teeth-wielding psychopath? Things weren’t looking all that great for a while, but apparently, with Coda here, someone his own size, he is starting to mellow out. I am not saying he is perfect, but my bites are healing up . . . and he adores the ground Linda walks on. Apparently, a J&H dog will bond rabidly with one person, and consider any other in the household a threat. He still has the occasional ‘ugly face’ (i.e. – here are my teeth, come over here and let me show you how sharp they are!) moments, but he pretty much has me trained – don’t come into his space and he won’t rip my leg off. He has actually been coming up and sitting in my lap, and occasionally sleeping on the bed with me (when Linda is at work) so hopefully we are making progress?

jinxballinmouthJinx is doing great with the whole thing. She still gets the boatload of the attention – and still would rather curl on the couch with G’Kar the cat rather than either pup . . . but that’s OK too as she plays with the new additions until everyone collapses!

As for book reviews? Nope. Haven’t done any. Between feeling like something scraped off the bottom of a troll’s foot and a couple of projects I am behind on, everything else has ground to a sad, wheezing stop. Hopefully, by February it will be better.

 

Bring on the CHOCOLATE!!! Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic Cover Reveal!

 

Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic!

TREASURES_cover treasures_coverreveal_stockchocolate_comingsoon

OH, yummy! Now I am going to have to go make rich, gooey DARK Chocolate cupcakes, then find my athame and have a party! Yippee, skippee, Rah Rah YUM!!!!

 

Biography

Meghan Ciana Doidge is an award-winning writer based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She has a penchant for bloody love stories, superheroes, and the supernatural. She also has a thing for chocolate, potatoes, and sock yarn.

Novels – After The Virus, Spirit Binder, Time Walker, Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic – Dowser #1, Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic – Dowser #2, Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic – Dowser #3

Novellas/Shorts – Love Lies Bleeding and The Graveyard Kiss

WARNING: author has been known to manipulate characters with chocolate, sex, and fantastical plotting. Readers beware http://author.to/meghancianadoidge

 Linkscupcake

Blog, www.madebymeghan.ca

Twitter, @mcdoidge

Facebook, Meghan Ciana Doidge

NEW RELEASE MAILING LIST

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

meg

Mark Your Calendar! Thursday Is Cupcake Day!

dowserbanner
Check out the first two. Like chocolate, you won’t be able to resist the third!

I can hardly wait! going to go back and give the first two a quick read so that I am prepared for the next!!

And don’t forget Meghan’s other wonderful books! These are new covers for the Dowser series, but her other works have great covers as well, and you can even see the old-style cover for Cupcakes below.

doidge
Click for Meghan’s Goodreads page!

Review: Influential Magic by Deanna Chase

influenc
The cover is what caught my eye first – beautiful!
I look forward to the next.

I first came across Deanna Chase in 2012 with her book Haunted on Bourbon Street. The book, featuring Jade Calhoun, was set in New Orleans and features Jade, an empath, and a creative and interesting group of friends, including a couple of strip club owners, a coven, and couple of ghosts with very different agendas. Since then, I happily enjoyed both Witches of Bourbon Street and Demons of Bourbon Street. There are still two more (that I know of) in the series that I have already purchased and are sitting in my TBR pile waiting for their turn. And I am very much looking forward to them.

Influential Magic is also set in New Orleans, and is the first in a series subtitled Crescent City Fae. This new series stars Willow Rhoswen, owner of The Fated Cupcake and part-time vampire hunter for the Void. Oh, and she is also a faery – complete with wings and flight capabilities. Well, when she isn’t around vampires, whose walking death drains her earth magic, and thus her life force. A very uncomfortable position to be in when your evil faery auntie, who is also the Director of the Void policing agency partners you with a vampire in order to investigate dastardly deeds by the local vampire corporation. Especially when that vampire happens to be your ‘used-to-be-human’ boyfriend. A boyfriend, who suddenly dumped you with a quick text message (jerk!), then turns up later turned – literally.

What happens to Willow in this volume of the Crescent City series is a neat bit of creative urban fantasy, but it also carries an undercurrent of politics and xenophobia which reflects what is happening in this world, this reality, even now. I am, admittedly, not a ‘vampire groupie’ as so many are these days. Been there, done that, would really like for that whole ‘cold, dead, walking corpses’ to be over already. I mean, come on – have you ever felt a real corpse? Gross. I couldn’t imagine kissing cold, dead lips, much less getting down and dirty with other parts! However, in Chase’s alternate universe, her vampires are, though still cold and walking dead, much more ‘real’ people than others in the genre, with lives and families whom they love – even if they are still overwhelmingly entitled, making them both vicious and brutally efficient killers when crossed.

Overall, I really liked Willow. She takes a lot of damage, both physically and emotionally in this first book, and overall she handles it well. I did find her rather naïve at times, railing against those who would take care of issues in a vigilante fashion, while openly acknowledging that the governmental agencies are deeply corrupt. At the same time, I honestly admired her for understanding the siren song of power and how it can so easily corrupt.

The fantasy storyline is creative, well written, and believable as an alternative reality of a world which evolved under magical conditions, while still aligning closely with our own. There is a bit of a triangle aspect, between Willow and David, the vamp ex boyfriend and Talisen, her childhood friend and mentor who is another faery. The triangle seems to correct itself at the end, and I honestly hope that the concept doesn’t carry on through the other books, as I find those sorts of story lines to be crutches for poor story development. However, the Shih Tzu that turns into a wolf? Awesome! And I hope that Willow will be spending more time in her bakery, creating magically infused cupcakes, and more time with her best friend, Phoebe, a witch. There were a lot of ends left free, leaving room for a great deal of really good story development as we learn more about Willow, her skills, and her family and friends. And having listened to the Audible Edition, narrated by Gabra Zackman, one of my favorite narrators of all time, there was a whole other level of enjoyment that I was able to gain from the book.  And right now, Influential Magic is only $1.99 for the Audible Edition! What’s not to like? Especially when it is also text-to-speech enabled for the Kindle edition. I prefer the Audible editions, as I can download them onto my Zune and pop it into my pocket while I am doing other things, but having it in both editions means I can read it any way I wish. Cool…

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