An Interesting Book

Hi Everyone,

I’m reading an interesting book right now, DIGITAL DETOX. the author describes technological addiction and the effects it has on a person’s ability to function. Here’s one danger: becoming an avid procrastinator.

Technology puts a myriad of distractions at our fingertips. It’s no wonder many tech addicts have a tendency to procrastinate. Our gadgets provide us with countless opportunities to be blissfully unproductive.

And here’s the book on Amazon.com, in case you want to check it out for yourself:

Digital Detox: The Ultimate Guide To Beating Technology Addiction, Cultivating Mindfulness, and Enjoying More Creativity, Inspiration, And Balance In Your Life! by [Damon Zahariades]

Interambling

It’s a beautiful, semi-sunny afternoon here and I have a short while to write before I head off to make supper for the folks at the Villa. Our landscape is lush and green after several heavy rains this last week; the crops look beautiful at this moment and the sloughs have some water in them again. Wrens nesting in the yard greet us with bursts of song as we step out the door.

I was looking at the various prompt words this morning and have decided to do a “conflation” — which was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day yesterday. A conflation is a blend or fusing. So I’m going to interfuse the various prompt words with a rambling account of life at our house. So this will be an inter-rambling. (“Rambleflation” just didn’t cut it.)

Life has changed  for me in the past week, as I’ve left the comfort of my office chair and well situated PC keyboard for a more nomadic life with a laptop at the table. And this setup is not ergonomic, but hopefully will only be for a season.

Sue’s Jibber Jabber prompt word for today is TRIP. Unfortunately for me, some microscopic organisms — aka “mites” have hitched a ride into the house on our cat and decided that
a) — the location where they hopped off seemed promising re: settlement. (This being my vinyl office chair where the cats love to curl up when I’m not in it. (I’ve mentioned this issue before.)

b) My flesh tastes about as good as any other. (A fact the mosquitoes have already established.) A tiny nip now and then seems to satisfy them. It doesn’t satisfy me, however.

Merriam-Webster’s word for today is STALWART, and I’m not, when it comes to getting bitten. Summer is hard on me in that respect; mosquito and other bug bites never used to cause me the grief they do now.

As I said, they are microscopic. I feel a tiny itch and see nothing, but a dot soon shows up and swells into a red lump. A few days ago I was typing on my computer and felt that tiny itch on my hand. I looked down and, sure enough, a red spot was appearing. Must have had my hand on the chair and the thing migrated. Hubby either never gets bitten or doesn’t react, but I’m allergic to bug bites, mosquito bites, etc., and get big red lumps. I’m apt to get a bite around my thighs at the edge of the chair.

Thankfully the rest of the house is okay — Thanks much, Mr Vacuum, or whoever invented said device. But a small colony of mites must have established itself in the folded seams of the vinyl of my chair at one point. I’ve liberally sprayed the whole area several times, blocked the cats’ access to my desk chair and vacated, leaving the critters to starve. I’ve set up my laptop  in the dining room for the duration, but it’s not quite so easy, nor comfortable, to ensconce myself and write to my heat’s content.

On to a better subject. Being a lover of history, I was very tempted when I saw these books offered as Book Cave special this morning: ANGLO-SAXON KINGDOMS. These days when I’m very tempted, I put the books on my wish list — though I fear I’ll never live long enough to make it to the end!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is ALMOST — a word that suits almost every circumstance. For example, “It’s almost time for me to leave for work.”

And the Word of the Day prompt is READY, an equally multi-purpose word. Once I put in the links, this post will be ready to publish.

 

One Cop Making a Difference

Dear friends, especially American friends,

Every day Pocket offers me a number of news articles, or headlines, to tempt me to read the latest news and views. Well, I just read an article that I wholeheartedly applaud and want to pass on the link, in case you’re interested.

These days we’re inclined to shake our heads when we read the news and wonder how things will ever right themselves again. But here’s one man offering a sensible idea about policing, a clear explanation as to why the current system isn’t working well, and how to improve it. An idea he’s put into practice on his own beat. You can read it here: Washington Post Article

What he’s suggesting is much like the policing that Nicholas Rhea writes about in his Constable series, the community involvement practiced by English bobbies for generations. I’ve read several Constable books now and highly recommend them if you want some simple, relaxing reading. And now it’s great to hear that an American city cop is using this system, too — and it works!

Now here’s another thought about making a difference:

Kennedy quote.
Image by Mylene 2401 at Pixabay

 

 

Books, Mystery + History

I see that Sue at JibberJabber has posted this writing prompt for today: BOOKS

Oh, yes. Ask me about books! 🙂

And this afternoon some author sent an e-mail notice that there’s going to be a SALE of MYSTERY BOOKS this weekend Here’s the scoop.

Just lately I read an article about the “rules” for writing mystery books. I wish I could remember them all, but a few were:
— The victim was someone not well liked. (Which definitely makes sense. There has to be some motive.)
— The one who solves the crime, or sleuth, must be an amateur, not a regular law officer assigned to the case. (Otherwise the story falls into the category of police procedural.)
— There may be animals, but they never get hurt. And you almost never see children in a mystery story.
It doesn’t say there should be a handsome single detective handling the case, or a grouchy middle-aged not–interested-in-silly-details type, but those seem to be the police options you find in mysteries.

Another important rule I could mention is: DO THE RESEARCH!

I know, this is one of my favorite beefs. But I just read two mysteries set in England, written by American authors. Do you know where I’m going with this?

Reading the reviews on Amazon for the one book gave hubby and me a chuckle, especially the reviewer who said, “We do not put cream in our tea and a Scotsman does not have an Irish accent!” This was from a review of the first book in the Helen Lightholder  mystery series. Setting your book in 1942 rural England means a lot of research. Please don’t skimp on this.

During the war years, a young, seemingly able-bodied man in England (who could hop over a fence easily) would never have said, “Especially with this war going on, I haven’t been able to find work.” He supposedly had a heart defect that kept him out of the army, but there was employment for all. And he’d have been questioned constantly about why he wasn’t in uniform. The writer just hasn’t gotten the atmosphere in England during those years.

I got a kick out of how the detective shows Helen her aunt’s obit, then says, “I’ll get you a copy.” And he comes back a few minutes later with the copy. Ha! These young squirts who write books nowadays! (This led Hubby and me into a discussion of mimeograph machines and Gestetner copiers. Remember those?)

Another reviewer, this time of the first book in the Lacey Doyle series: “The author’s knowledge of the world and how it works is abysmal. Her knowledge of England and the English is even worse.” I have to agree.

These writers are both good at their craft, but must have thought they could wing it re: situation. Sadly, most reviewers said they weren’t going to read the next book in the series, mainly for this reason.

One story I read, set in the late 1800s was loaded with anachronisms both in behavior and in language. In one place a male character asks our single heroine, “So what do you do for work?” (What’s the chances, in that era? Women’s employment options were very limited.) And she answers, “I’m into relationships.” In 1890? Groan!

Any genre, any era. If you don’t want one- and two-star reviews, writers, please do the research. Understand the era. Or have someone read over your manuscript who does know that history or place and/or setting.

Still Learning…

This is the book of verses I published a year ago;
at present it’s only available as an e-book, but I hope to do a print version soon.
Meanwhile, I’m learning how to set up an Amazon book “block”

Though Christmas is long past, I read this book last month and thought it was terrific. One of those home and family feel-good stories about a widow who learns to accept the unusual when a stray pooch, a grouchy neighbor and a run-away granddaughter show up on her property. The routine of her life and her current plans are blown to pieces and she finds something far better.
The URL I’ve embedded in this block is for Amazon.com.