• Things I Wouldn’t Hate To Do

    I had this idea to make a map of places to visit in the United States that are the “capitol” of something or have a unique attraction, but I couldn’t think of what to call it. I talked this list up for over a week and still couldn’t come up with a name. When I was explaining this list to my younger son while washing dishes last night I said, it’s essentially a list of things I wouldn’t hate to do. That garnered me an odd look (trust me, I’m used that) but it got me to thinking about bucket lists… I have this thing about “bucket lists”: they rub…

  • Faro: the Wild West’s king of card games

    Faro was the most popular gambling games of the Wild West. According to gamblingsites.com Faro was more popular than all the other games combined in 1882; and Gather Together Games mentions an 1882 police gazette report stating that Faro was the most bet upon game in the United States with the most money bet and lost than all the other games combined. Pretty impressive. Why was it so popular? It was an “even” game and easy to learn. If everyone played fairly the odds winning were almost even. Much better odds than other card games. Of course both the dealers (“bankers”) and the players (“punters”) cheated, so there’s that. Faro…

  • Just Call Me Frank

    As many of you know, I dropped my oldest off at college a couple of weeks ago. I have to give a shoutout to UW Madison for their absolutely awesome system for getting the students moved in and the parents shipped on out. Smooth. Very, very smooth and painless. Who needs heartburn on top of heartache when you’re sending your younglings off to spread their wings? No one, that’s who and UW delivers. SO–we were driving in to Verona where I stayed with family and it’s only fitting to note that we saw the Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile. Why is this fitting, you ask? First off, we love the darn…

  • Crawling Through the Doggie Door

    When I was pregnant with our oldest, back in 2003, I was a pinch-hitter for N’s dog sitter. The dog sitter just started a day job, and N wanted me to come in the middle of the day to check in on her pack. And we’re talking pack–there were five dogs ranging from a geriatric Great Dane mix to a pair of Beagles. She dropped off the spare set of keys with me and off they went on vacation. I’ve been to her house plenty of times (Fort Knox, home-slice style), so I was well aware of the intricate order in which I had to gain entry. But I stood…

  • Pareidolia

    pareidolia: the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern. I loved this word so much that I decide to make a separate place for it to live. I encountered it on Instagram of all places. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the post to link to–I don’t think it’s one of the word of the day posts, either. I’ll update this when I come across it. Here’s a link to hilarious examples of pareidolia, enjoy! I bet you thought I was going to post images in toast 😉

  • When Nail Stamping, Chaos, and Perspective collide

    My regular readers know that I love, love, love emojis. There’s something happy and funny about them. But I happened to miss National Emoji Day this year–I’m not really sure I knew it was even a thing but isn’t everything a “thing” these days? Missing it just didn’t sit well with me because I’ve been moderately “checked out,” but come to find out that feeling ran deeper than not sitting well with me. I come across these odd “Days” or celebrations, such as National Talk Like a Pirate Day–Chief found that when the boys were in middle school and we were having a pirate conversation. Others I find by association:…

  • My WIP feels like Bessie the mule

    I had this novel written in my head for months. I had a good idea of what I wanted to happen and where I wanted it to go. Then I had some personal setbacks that slowed my progress. When I tried to return to the MS, the characters told me they had other plans. As did my Ego. My Ego kept telling me that I was doing it all wrong because this wasn’t the same process as Charlie and Annabelle’s story. It was also taking much longer. Irony: no one but me really knows how long it took the write The Reluctant Bandit, yet I still run that comparison. As…

  • Pinkerton

    I love that today’s word of the day is Pinkerton! I’m currently plotting out my third book in the Lawlessness & the Law series featuring Travis, the U.S. Marshall. His heroine is a Pinkerton agent and isn’t what Travis expects her to be or judges her as. She’s also a strong woman, not to be controlled. Travis is her complete opposite–he was the controlled and exacting character introduced in The Reluctant Bandit, Book 1 Lawlessness & the Law. He’s instrumental in helping Charlie and Annabelle in Book 1 as well as Charlie’s brother, Jimmy, in Book 2. Soon to be released. Book 3 of the series has an enemies to…

  • 1878 Hinton Handbook map of Arizona mines, telegraphs

    Scene idea, abandoned towns, and the telegraph

    In The Reluctant Bandit, Wanted posters aren’t giving Sheriff O’Donnell the answers he’s looking for or needs. He has to find a different way to procure information that’s quick. Enter the telegraph. It may seem odd or somewhat implausible that the telegraph would make its way into a vast and sparsely populated expanse such as the Arizona territory, but it did. It was a boon for both the military as well as for the territory’s growing economy. Mail could take months to arrive but with the telegraph there were instant or nearly instant responses. The news could change by the time a piece of mail arrived. In many cases it…

  • Pirate Saga, continued…

    I went back for a checkup and K said to me, “Oh, I have something from L for you.” She handed me a piece of paper, which is the image above. Lol. Unfortunately, K said I was “too quick” walking from my car to the office that she didn’t have time to put on an eye patch (see parts I and II for the full story/explanations). I have to go back next week to take Chia for an eyeglass adjustment. Guess who’s getting little packets of Pirate’s Booty? Yup. The whole office. I feel like Rip Taylor bringing in snack bags of Pirate’s Booty. Arrggh, a bag for you and…

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