Monday Musings – Shit’s Gettin’ Real Now!


We knew we shouldn’t do it. we told ourselves not to get cocky. But we did it anyway. Every day of dry ground, warm temps and sunshine was like an extra french fry in the bag…a thirteenth brownie in the box…a gift from the weather gods. Alas, just when we thought we had this icy thing called “Winter” licked, it whipped around and bit us right in the ass.

So, old man Winter…day after day of ridiculously frigid temps and snow up to my knees isn’t enough? No trash pickup for days didn’t do it for you? Kids out of school for weeks isn’t torture enough? Dogs piddling in the house rather than face your icy, menacing breath? You didn’t think that was enough torture? No. Now I hear you’re extending the abuse for several more days. Well…I’ve had it. I’m done. I’m just not going to participate anymore. As of right now, it’s Spring.

I don’t see your snowy beard or feel your icy breath. You are green and warm and little birdies are singing.

You can’t break me.

I’ll just dive right into the delusions that help me make a living.

So there.

Shit’s real now, isn’t it?  Yeah, I see you quaking in your boots. But those boots are dry, dammit! And flowers are growing out of them.

Such pretty flowers…

Sigh…

 

Monday Musings – The 100


Holy mother of flipping God! Have any of you been watching The 100, post apocalyptic adventure series?  I found the show when I was looking for apocalyptic series fare because I LOVE end of the world stories. Then my ADD kicked in and I promptly forgot about The 100 until my oldest daughter told me I had to start watching it. I have to tell you, I haven’t been so riveted (sweaty palms and all) to a show since the early seasons of 24. This series is amazing. The characters are fleshed out and real and the plot lines are terrifyingly fun. The villains are so delightfully villainous that you would happily pinch their heads off given half the chance. The heroes are multi-faceted. Everybody is flawed but most have so much strength of character you can’t help rooting for them and when they get gacked (yes…unfortunately a few of them do…sigh) you feel as if you’ve lost one of your own children. Yes, the action is sometimes slightly implausible, but the show is so good that I’ve been willing, so far, to overlook the silliness in favor of cheering for the outcome.

I highly recommend this series and I hope it goes on for a very long time. Oh, and that the writers don’t get stupid around season 3 or 4 like they usually do and start killing off all the characters or go off in some really strange direction. Unless and until that happens, I’ll be a loyal viewer. I haven’t had this much fun watching TV for years. And I’m loving every minute of it!

I’m Thankful that I never have to watch St. Vincent again…


I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always as thankful as I should be. Life happens, the world turns, and I’m always right there in the middle of all of it trying to pull it into some kind of order. My Type A personality is great for getting things done…but not so much for stepping back, indulging on introspection, and remembering what I’m thankful for. So I’ve strapped my butt in my chair and removed all mental and physical objects that might remind me of the dozens of tasks I still need to get done today…and I’m going to take the time to smell the turkey…erm…or something like that.  So, here goes:

I’m thankful that…

My loved ones, flesh and fur, are healthy and happy.

My computer still works, my car still runs, and my physical form remains in working order.

I never have to relive this year’s crop of bad and truly horrifying movies. Gah, Hollywood…just gah!

I discovered the A Cappella group, Pentatonix.

There’s another season of Walking Dead. Whoop, whoop!

I was able to keep my fingers firmly in my ears through all discussion of how gluten, and all my favorite things which contain the stuff, is bad…erm…lalalalalalala.

Christmas is still a month away.

I have no full length mirrors in my house.

The people who’ve read my books haven’t sued me for wasting their time.

I have a blog so I can expose the world to the drivel that is my mind.

That’s all I’ve got right now. Aren’t you glad? hehehe Happy Thanksgiving everybody! May your day be filled with lots of yummy stuff and a soft couch to catch you when you pass out from overeating!

 

Declan Sands writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms.  Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Declan is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

 

 

 

 

Surviving the Holidays


Do you struggle with the hustle and bustle of the Fall and Winter holidays? Feel alone? Worry about the cost…in money and emotions…of jumping on the holiday treadmill? There’s so much pressure to celebrate–to love and be loved–during this time of year…it can all be a bit overwhelming. Though the spirit is pure, hope shines, and intentions are good, all the pressure to cherish the season can have exactly the opposite effect, turning you into a gloomy grumpus who just wants to huddle in a corner and sulk.

Company coming? That means days to weeks of preparation, cleaning, shopping and cooking. And the cost!  Parties to attend? It could mean too much to drink and/or the presence of some unexpected romantic tension when old loves or lovers intrude.  Gift giving? Don’t even get me started on that!

A lot of people suffer depression this time of year. Maybe they lost a loved one around the holidays…it’s not uncommon. Maybe they don’t have anyone to share the season of love with.   Or maybe they just think it’s much ado about nothing. Whatever the reason, it can be hard to deal with the almost frantic frivolity of the season. Feeling the pressure to enjoy the holidays, too many of us force emotions we don’t feel and/or overcompensate by doing too much.

So how do you cope if you’re not really feeling it…or even if you love the season but it exhausts you with its demands? The answer is simple…but maybe not easy.

Give yourself permission not to partake.

Wow. That sounds easy doesn’t it? It’s not. Telling people no who think they’re doing you a favor by forcing you to become involved can be really hard. They might even get mad at you. So be it. Explain why you don’t want to be included. Be kind. Know that they are probably pushing because they care about you. And rest assured that they’ll get over it.

But let’s be clear here. I’m not suggesting you hide in your room, slurping gruel in front of a meager fire, Scrooge-like. Don’t turn yourself into an outcast. And don’t neglect the people who love you. Just simplify. Meet friends at a favorite restaurant instead of cooking. Make simple, well thought out gifts instead of buying expensive stuff they’ll probably never use. Accept your emotions and look for positives. Approach the season in your own way, doing only what you think is right and fair. And I can almost promise that you’ll enjoy the holidays a whole lot more this year.

So get on out there and create your own celebration! Or stay in and read a great book by the fire. It’s totally up to you!

 

Sometimes going home is clarifying. Sometimes it’s just plain deadly!

Adam travels to Candlelight, Indiana to visit his parents for Christmas. When he arrives he discovers somebody has killed a man and dumped him in the manger of the living crèche at the local church. Unfortunately, all signs lead back to Adam’s father as the murderer. A Sheriff with a grudge and a small town more interested in gossip than reality, convince Adam that it will be up to him and the gang to clear his father’s name.

Susan, The Romance Reviews: “Declan Sands writes a beautiful, festive tale of family secrets and emotions, coupled with vivid descriptions of what Christmas is like in a small town where everybody knows everybody else. Once again the author weaves a spell of mystery, intrigue, romance, sex and friendship, all interspersed with wit and humor. This is a wonderful treat for the festive season of family bonding, friendship and danger beneath the surface of a small town and a definite must read, especially, if like me, you’ve read the rest of the series. Definitely well worth it.”

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GTMQEKS

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Hoaley-Night-Hoale-Construction-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00GTMQEKS

Amazon.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hoaley-Night-Hoale-Construction-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00GTMQEKS

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/oh-hoaley-night-declan-sands/1117542756?ean=2940148961826

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-ohhoaleynight-1352639-149.html

Kobo Books: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/oh-hoaley-night

Monday Musings – This Thing Called Dieting


I’m fat. Not grossly fat. Like 2 seats in an airplane fat. But fatter than I should be for my height.

When I look in the mirror I see a round person staring back at me. Cheekbones are still there but they’re struggling mightily to be seen under the squish. Am I unhealthy? That depends on where you look for input. Some studies say that people with a little squish are better off than skin and bones types. I’m definitely not skin and bones but I don’t think I’m obese either. I have middle of the road squish. Still, it really doesn’t matter how fat I am if my clothes don’t fit or I feel like a beach ball rolling around the house. When the way I look gets in the way of my life, it’s probably time to do something about it.

I’m basically a very motivated person. If I set my mind to something, I generally put my nose to the grindstone and keep it there until I get the task done. (Or I have no nose left hehehe) So why is losing and keeping weight off so hard? Too much Estrogen? Slow metabolism? Squirrel storing fat for Winter? (My own personal favorite) Or just plain over eating? I’m probably like most of you. I don’t overeat on a regular basis. I have days when I eat everything that crosses under my nose (ooh, mouse, yum) and though I have great intentions, my energy output is sporadic.

Here’s the real issue though. I’m a food addict. I love food. I love the look of it, the taste of it, the smell of it. I love the feelings it gives me when I eat, the memories of family and fun it induces. Sigh… I just love food. But unlike other addictions, you can’t give food up. You can’t avoid it. All you can do is eat bland, tasteless, ishy stuff you would never touch if you had a choice. And you can only eat it in serving sizes as big as your little finger. Yum, sign me up. Add to that little bit of torture the fact that you also need to exercise, thus burning away the tidbit of food your diet allows you to consume and making you so hungry that, yes, even that mouse looks good.

In addition, your routines get all screwed up. You can’t enjoy that glass of wine at night anymore. Popcorn at the movies? A distant memory. And a visit home is pure torture, because your always skinny sister, niece and nephew-in-law can eat pretty much anything they want without ever gaining weight. I hate their guts.

Sigh… No wonder this dieting crap is so hard.

Do I ever wish I was a zombie, able to eat and eat and eat and never gain weight? Yes. Do I HATE people who can eat whatever they want and not battle their weight. Oh mama do I!

Yesterday I tried to eat my fingers with a little salt. I don’t know how much longer I can hold on.

But I’m trying…

Pray for me.

Monday Musings – Here we go Again!


Farmer’s Almanac is predicting another bitter Winter season.

Really?

What have we done to piss you off, Mama Nature? Whatever it is, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do it. I’ll never do it again. blah, blah, blah.

Last year was our first year living in the hilly landscape of Southern Indiana and I really thought all the hills and trees were pretty.

Gawd I’m stupid.

Our driveway is like a roller coaster ride at a major amusement park. It starts with a short flat spot to throw you off and then, as you clear the curve in the drive surrounded by trees, plunges downward at a breathtaking rate that heads right toward our pond. It’s so steep I barely resist the urge to fling up my hands and scream.

Add in a good patch of ice or two and you’ll quickly find yourself swimming with the fishes wearing a ton of steel as a skirt and circular, rubber shoes.

Not good. I don’t think that’s what aficionados of ice fishing had in mind. I really don’t.

So, last year, DH and I spent lots of quality time together climbing our sheer drop called a driveway and flinging salt on the near vertical surface to avoid the whole swimming with the fishes thing. Our new neighbors who, for whatever reason have decided they like us, kept calling to make sure we weren’t packing up the kitchen and preparing to move to Saint Lucia.

We weren’t. Gawd we’re stupid.

 

We’d been duped. When we moved farther South we really thought Winters would be slightly milder. When Winter arrived with a roar in our little neck of the woods, we convinced ourselves the whole cold, icy Winter thing was a fluke…a rarity. In fact we were repeatedly assured by our neighbors that was the case. But they flippin’ lied. The only question is whether they all got together ahead of time and came up with the lie for grins, or if they just pulled it right out of their butts, all spur of the moment like.

So here we go again.

This year I’m gonna do it. As I plunge downward toward the icy, fish-filled water below, I’m flinging up my hands and screaming. I might as well entertain myself as I die.