Road Trip

I love a good road trip. Heck, I love a bad road trip.

Old school map.

I have fond memories from childhood of being stuffed in a car with my family, driving insane distances to view something amazing, and then stop at every odd road side attraction. So of course I wish to pass that on to my kids. But you first must prepare for a road trip. You can’t just hop in the car and go– that causes chaos.

Everyone knows to grab a map, cash, and clothes. But there are other things that are just as important for a long trek in the car. So he goes,

Road Trip Packing List

  • Popcorn– That’s right you heard me, popcorn. Not the store bought stuff on the chip aisle. Don’t get the microwave kind either unless you have a fancy SUV that comes with its own tiny microwave.  I’m talking about that really good popcorn at the local gourmet shop. Now, hold on. Here you can buy 2lbs of buttered popped corn for $10. 2Lbs of popcorn is the size of a toddler. That’s a lot of popcorn. It will last my family of four through an entire one week road trip. Granted when you get home you’ll be finding popcorn for weeks but it’s worth it.
  • Paper towels– You should know this. If you spend 6 hours or more in a car you will need paper towels. Especially if you have popcorn.
  • Red solo cups– They don’t have to be red. Solo cups make the perfect holder for popcorn. It allows you to eat it without getting your hands dirty. Genius! It also makes a great holder for small treasures you find along the way like shells, rocks, and gold doubloons.
  • Playlist/tunes– Every trips deserves its own playlist. I still take a few CDs’s along but most of the time I play mp3’s.  My favorite playlists for traveling are: Spring Break, Summer, and Road Trip. They have tunes specific for the season or long driving sessions. Yes, Radar Love is included. 🙂 Sometime I will make a list geared to the city. New Orleans would have a totally different list of music than Memphis.

    How am I old enough for a teen driver?

  • Reading material– I love to read so I take 2 or 3 paperbacks as well as my kindle. Hubby claims the kindle causes a glare 😦 I also tailor my reading to the trip. This last trip was to North Carolina so I had a handful of mysteries set in the Outer Banks.
  • Toys– That’s right. Take toys. I have teenagers but I still take playing cards, coloring books, and crosswords along for the ride. The girls each took books to read and have a phone but you never know…
  • Towels– It dosesn’t matter where you go. Take a towel. I have one kid who will “accidentally” fall in any bit of water they find. It pays to be prepared.
  • First-aid kit– Again, I have that one child who always needs a bandage or an x-ray.
  • Kites– This is specific to the trip we took. But if you are heading to the beach or an area with open spaces a kite is fun and relaxing. It ended up being too windy to fly our kites but we had them.

Make new friends.

 

Road trips are a great way to bond with the wee ones. It’s an adventure where all sorts of things can go wrong 🙂

What do you take on a road trip?

-CK

 

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What do you read?

I recently read an article about female writers are on the decline. With the current push for diverse books I’m a tad skeptical. I admit, most of the books I read are cozy mystery books. That genre seems to be mainly female authors and protagonists. Not always.

This year I have read 19: 2 books were written by men and 17 were by women, including 1 by a wife/husband team.

So I decided to take a look a the books I read in 2017.

In 2017 I read 96 books 🙂

Authors:

female- 66

male- 28

both authored same book- 1

Yes, I realize I my math doesn’t add up. I missed a book somewhere. It’s safe to say it was probably written by a woman.

Because I’m avoiding my WIP, let’s go one step further and look at the genres I read. This should be interesting.

Genres:

mystery- 38

fantasy/sci-fi- 11

non-fiction- 11

fiction- 7

YA- 21

children/middle grade- 6

romance- 1

WOW! I actually thought I read more fantasy than that. Well, YA is fantasy…mostly. Only 1 romance! Yeah, I don’t read romance.

And yes, I’m still missing a book somewhere… **sigh**

Anyway. For even more fun let’s see how these books were published.

Publication:

traditional- 75

indie- 21

That time my math works!

What does all this mean? It means I read a lot of books by and about women knee deep in dead bodies!

Take away:

I don’t know if there is a decline in women writer’s. I don’t have a problem finding new books by female authors. When choosing a book, I don’t look at gender or skin color of the writer or protagonist. I didn’t break down race because I’m pretty sure it’s overwhelmingly white.  And I would have to think really hard about each book and that’s too much work this morning.  If you went with me to the book store/library, you would see me walk down the aisles, picking books up to gaze at the cover and title. I might look at the author but I can guarantee I never read the back blurb. I apologize to all the authors. I know how hard those back blurbs are to write.

So, my reading isn’t very diverse. I lean toward southern mysteries centering around a female protagonist. If you happen to know about a mystery featuring a non-white protagonist let me know.

All this talk of books makes me want to go to the library.

Catch you later,

-CK

 

 

Down The TBR Hole #3

Down the TBR Hole

This meme was started by Lost in a Story (not sure why the link is odd)

Here are the rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I have a serious book problem. My Goodreads TBR is out of hand because I love the giveaways. I’m also easily disractedby new books.

Product Details

Fish Nets The Second Guppy Anthology by Ramona DeFelice Long

I own this on my kindle. I’ve read one or two stories. I need to finish it. The stories are mysteries by Sisters in Crime members.

 

 

Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlise

I’ve read several in this series but never the first book. *sigh* I should do that soon. I enjoy the characters and the setting. There’s no reason for this to still be on my TBR!

 

Guilty by David Baldacci

I tried to read this and didn’t make it past the first chapter. The way the southern accent is written drove me mad!

 

 

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Seriously! Look at that cover. And the title. Hold on…*tap,tap,tap*… My library has this and I just put it on hold. This book looks like all kinds of fun!

 

In Times Like These by Nathan Van Coops

This is a time-travel story with lots of great reviews! It’s also free on kindle. *tap,tap,tap* just what I needed another book on my kindle 🙂

 

 

The Take Away

I deleted 1 book from my Goodreads list.

Placed 2 books on my IGTIBID List. (I’ll get to it before I die)

I need to finish reading 1 book and Ireserved 1 from the library with hopes of reading it before Valentine’s Day!

That brings my Goodreads TBR shelf to 941 books!

-CK

Read the Books You Have

If you’ve read this blog for long, you know I have a problem with books. I love to read. A few years ago (2014) I bought a paperwhite kindle. In the years since I have aquired around 537 books . Those are only the books I haven’t read. That’s a lot of books. There’s also around 20 books on my bookshelf I need to read!

Most of these books were free or spur of the moment purchases. Some I started and hated. A few are classics I know I will never read.

I’m going to look at the 5 oldest books on my Kindle. Then decide if it’s a book I will read. Then I will chose one to read this month. Similar to the TBR hole.

The Books:

Water Dance: The Story of a Were-Mermaid (The Sisterhood of the Ring Book 1) by [Greenstein, Jay]

Water Dance: The Story of a Were-Mermaid (The Sisterhood of the Ring Book 1) By Jay Greenstein

Aug. 2014, It was free and there is a mermaid. It was actually one of the 4 books I purchased when I bought my kindle. The blurb sounds familair, I think I may have started reading it but didn’t finish.

The Summer I Learned to Dive by [McCrimmon, Shannon]

The Summer I Learned to Dive by Shannon McCrimmon

Sept. 2014, This sounds like a YA book. It has pretty good reviews. I don’t know why I haven’t read it. I do see a theme with these books. Do you?

Secret Adversary by [Christie, Agatha]

Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

Sept. 2014, Somethinf I’ve learned about these public domain books. The formatting can be crap. The formatting is weird in this one. There dosne’t seem to be page breaks between sections. The pages just run into each other. I haven’t read this and I’m leaning to just deleting all of the public domain books I have. *sigh*

 

The Turn of the Screw by [James, Henry]

Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Oct. 2014, Another public domain book. Flipping through the first few pages the formatting looks okay.  I think I tried to read this once and gave up. I should probably keep these. I need a book with an ugly/boring cover for a reading challenge.

Too Close to Home (Women of Justice Book #1): A Novel by [Eason, Lynette]

Too Close to Home (Women of Justice Book #1): A Novel by Lynette Eason

Nov. 2014, I read book 3 in this series which is why I bought book 1. There tend to be full of tension and suspense.

 

Take Away:

Delete: 2 books deleted- they were free so it’s okay.

TBR: 1 book moved to the top of my TBR list, Too Close to Home

That brings the grand total of unread books on my Kindle to 537!

-CK

 

All That Jazz

Center A trumpet playing gorilla.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’m still working through wrist issues. I’m finished with physical therapy and no longer have limitations on activities. I’m hoping to get back on schedule with my writing.

While I was recovering, my hubby and I watched the 10 part series Jazz by Ken Burns. That’s two hours per episode- it took a while to finish but was well worth the time.

I love Jazz. I don’t know when or where that love came form. Growing up with day trips to New Orleans, Jazz was always there. Every winter, Jazz bands played at Mardi Gras in downtown Mobile. Once in high school a boy took me to the Saenger Theater to see/hear Dizzy Gillespie play. My hubby plays the trumpet. Jazz has always surrounded me.

The documentary fascinated me. Granted the finer points of music composition and jargon was beyond me, but the music was infectious. Louis Armstrong was heavily featured (of course) but Ella Fitzgerald was not (so sad).

A few highlights:

  • Louis Armstrong is considered one of the founding fathers of jazz.
  • Jazz is a truly American musical form, New Orleans.
  • Jazz can be divided into many categories: Swing, Dixie, Be-Bop, Fusion, Avant Garde …
  • Jazz changes with the times and reflects current events.
  • Like other music forms some of the most famous musicians died from drugs.

If you love music give the series a try.

Bear with me, my spell check is not working.

-CK

 

 

Still Here

Wish I was here.

It’s been a difficult summer. I had wrist surgery at the start of June. My right arm has been in a cast or splint the entire summer. I am in physical therapy. Ouch!

I’m trying to get back into writing. This is the first real typing I’ve done all summer 😉 I have read 15 books so far.

There you go. I’m alive. I’m healing. I’m reading.

Have a good summer,

-CK

 

2017 Goal Check May 18

Awesome title, right?

Chaos has fried my brain. This week involved 1 graduation party, a trip to the beach, graduation, band concert, a birthday party, and a trip to the doctor. I’m tired. I’ve achieved next to nothing. But only one week left of school.

I injured my wrist 9 (?) years ago in a heroic attempt to save my youngest from falling while roller skating. I should have let her fall, she would have bounced. I did not. I’ve been dealing with this injury, very painful, ever since. I finally agreed to surgery, early June. I will spend most of the summer in a hard cast on my right arm 😦  After the doctor poked, pulled, and twisted my wrist into painful positions I spent the rest of the day curled up in my chair watching Call the Midwife reruns.

Now I have a tighter deadline to finish edits to Camouflage. I need to finish as much as I can before surgery. Sigh.

Let’s look at the bright side.

Things I can’t do with a cast:

  • clean the bathroom or kitchen
  • sweep or vacuum
  • chop vegetables
  • brush and dry my hair at the same time

I know there are more and some of these I will be able to do one handed with a little practice. But I promise you, I will try my hardest to avoid the first two for as long as possible.

On with the goals:

  • Write 200,000 words.
     The total is still 11,903. No new progress.
  • Edit 600 pages.
    No new progress.  312 pages.
  • Walk 2,600,000 steps. I’m sorry, but this is not happening. I give up. Dropped.
  • Read 80 books.  I am still reading The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. This book is huge. I’m about 53% through it. I’m reading every day. I find myself highlighting sections of it. 29/80 books read.
  • Find the shipwreck at Ft. Morgan. Summer goal.
  • Complete devotional. I am now two lessons behind.
  • Deep Cleaning. Nada!
  • Submissions. Yes! I made two submissions this week. So I did do something!

There you go. A not so stellar week, but one filled with life milestones.

How did your week go?

-CK