wednesday stew—a random collection of unrelated miscellany


What are your time-sucks? At one time I would have said Facebook and the cool people probably say things like SnapChat and Instagram and whatever other new and hip social media that’s out there that I have no clue exists. Well it’s none of those for me. Internet recipe hunting and homeschool book selecting are right up there for me—the vortex of book researching is deep, man. But lately my black hole of time loss is counted cross stitch. I’m always like One more row, just one more row, then I’ll stop... I can stop any time I want... but just one more row. I mean it. I’ll go halfway then stop. Maybe I’ll just finish this row. I can stop whenever I want.

Is cross stitching dorky? Perhaps. But not as badly as it could be because this is a Storm Trooper! (I have no empirical evidence that this makes cross stitching any less dorky. It’s more of a hunch.) Cross stitching is very meditative, like knitting or actually meditating, but in the end you have a STORM TROOPER. Hold your envy at bay—you can also aspire to the same heights of coolness. I believe in you. You can find this pattern and many others on Etsy. Beware: Etsy is also a time-suck.

grocery shopping service

There is just a little bit of truth in my joke (haha!) that I don’t really ever want to leave my house which is why I LOVE my local grocery shopping service. Feeding this family is never-ending. They are relentless. All of them; Steve (not his real name) included. The amount of time I spend shopping for food, planning meals, running out for the thing I forgot, running out for the thing we ran out of ALREADY, ARE YOU SERIOUS? and preparing snacks and meals is staggering. These people need to settle it down. But they won’t and that is why I love, love, love the grocery shopping service. I’ve mentioned it before because I love, love, love it. You create this nice little profile with a shopping list and then every time you want groceries you visit your nice little shopping list and click off the things you want and someone gets them for you and brings them to your car. What?! It’s true! Look:

I DO announce my arrival and a nice disembodied voice asks me my name. She’s always so nice.


It even works in the rain. I love it beyond measure.

writing discipline

Those 2 words together are very funny! So, I need to write some character sketches for my novel-in-progress. That’s my self-imposed task for this week. When you’re a writer you have to impose tasks on yourself. The thing is you can easily blow yourself off and nothing really bad happens. Like you don’t get a verbal warning or a written warning or fired. No one yells at you or tells you to clear out your desk. You must gather up all your willpower and just do the work. Do the work, man. It does not do itself. You must make it a priority. If you want to be productive, if you want to publish books, you must DO THE WORK. Who am I talking to? You? Is it you? I think I’ll just go do one more row on the Storm Trooper. Really, I will. I will! Just one! Gawd, get off my back!

enormous cans of tomatoes

So, my tenant works at the local food pantry and sometimes they acquire items they can’t give out for one reason or another. Such as the cans are enormous and who in the world could use up this quantity of crushed tomatoes? That’s a very specific example but here’s how I know. She sent me a text, “I have some big cans of tomatoes—do you want some?” I texted back, “Sure. I can always use tomatoes.” Now, when you hear the phrase big cans of tomatoes, do you think of 7lb cans? Neither did I. Now, when you hear the word some, do you think of a dozen? Neither did I. And yet I have a dozen 7lb cans of crushed tomatoes in my back hall. I’ve cooked up several giant batches of sauce and I’ve given a few cans away but it seems as though they are multiplying. If you want a can, or 5, please message me. Please.

These are ridiculously enormous.

These are ridiculously enormous.

You get out there and have a happy Wednesday, now, you hear?

Find my novels, THE MOSQUITO HOURS and TALKING UNDERWATER, online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And don’t forget your local independent bookstore! I’m curious about something: would you like to stay up-to-date on news about my books as well as have my latest blog posts conveniently delivered to your inbox? Then subscribe to my newsletter! Click on that little box right over there on the right. See how easy I made that for you? (You’re welcome.)