It’s winter outside the writing cave and while I’m hard at work on books for a new series as well as books for some not-so-new series, I take time every day to spend a little time watching these faces outside my window.
It seems the previous owners of our house were deer feeders and the first year we were here, the deer let us know they expected we should keep up the tradition. At least twice a day I get that niggling sense I’m being watched, twitch the curtains aside and see these faces outside my window.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Witch or Treat
It’s All Hallows’ Eve, and these witches are getting wild!
Just in time for Halloween, some of your favorite authors have teamed up to bring you more than 600 pages of mystery, magic, and mayhem.
Whether it’s a trick or a treat, these witchy tales will surely get you in a spooky state of mind!
The Case of the Exploding Luck Pumpkin
Cats, Bats, and Talking Hats
One Spell of a Night
‘Tis the Season to be Creepy
The Supernatural Life of a Superhero Wife
The Mystery of the Halloween Mask
How to Date a Witch
Hexing the Ex
Costumes and Cauldrons
Harper Grant and the Poisoned Pumpkin Pie
Witches & Stitches
GoB (Game of Bones)
Bubble, Bubble, Here Comes Trouble
A Dark Root Samhain
Meet the other authors
Mailerlite MYSTERY signup: http://www.subscribepage.com/n2p3g5
Mailerlite FANTASY signup: http://www.subscribepage.com/d5q1h8
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/nikkihaverstock
Amanda A. Allen
We happened to be out shopping last weekend and I ran into a sweet deal (half price, I mean, you don’t pass that up) on the exact model of computer I’ve been wanting. I’d had my old one for 5 years or so and it wasn’t new when I bought it, so I figured it was about time and pulled the trigger. Woohoo. It’s a good thing, right?
I swore I would go home, do my writing for the day and then pop that puppy out of the box and give it a test run. That lasted all of two minutes because that’s about how fast I ripped into the box once we carried it inside. Forgot Windows 10 would probably require an extensive number of updates. Whoosh, there go a couple hours. It’s a good thing, right?
By the time that was done, it was after supper, so I figured I might as well just keep going. Fast forward to 2:00 am when I’m still loading programs and pulling personal files off the extension drive where I keep them. How did I amass this many files? Okay, well, one day of writing lost. Not so bad, I can make that up easy. It’s a good thing, right?
And then…I noticed the colors looked a bit washed out. More than a bit, actually. The graphics card is way better than the one in my last computer…heck, it’s High Def capable, everything should look better than on my dinosaur. Cue hours of fiddling with the graphics settings and monitor calibration and the search for a hidden tickbox that amped up the ability to produce true blacks. Hours? No, days actually. But hey, it’s a new computer, once I get all the settings right, I’ll love it. It’s a good thing, right?
A week later, I’ve made up the lost day of work and managed to get back on track, finally polished up the color settings, and fired up Photoshop to whip up a new Facebook header. Uh oh. Photoshop is running slooooow. How much RAM does this thing have? A couple Gs less than my old computer because I’d added a bunch to that one. The new RAM comes tomorrow, it shouldn’t take me long to install it. It’s a good thing, right?
In the end, it is a good thing. I do love the new computer and look forward to writing many books on it. The whites are nice and bright, the blacks are deep and dark. All the colors in between are vibrant and true, but it taught me a lesson still. All the time I was trying to figure out whether I could make things look like what I was used to, I kept thinking about how flimsy a thing perception actually is.
What if what I was seeing now was better and all those years, the colors of my world had been just a little skewed…slightly off center? How was I supposed to know which was right? New vs. old. What needed adjusting the most? The computer (or world as I see it) or my eyes? It’s these kinds of questions that keep a person up at night. It’s a good thing, right? And hey, since I’m up anyway, I might as well write.
In honor of Gustavia’s favorite day, here are 13 things in random order and of no particular importance whatsoever.
1. I just (not even five minutes ago) finished reading Lauren Graham’s new memoir, I’m talking as Fast as I Can. Loved it and found out some interesting parallels…no, I’m not an actor and I’ve never been to Hollywood, but it turns out we both learned to read before starting Kindergarten. And, apparently, by the same method. Our mothers read to us nightly and we just sort of absorbed the ability. I, however, did not skip forward a grade, even though it was an option, because I went to a one-room schoolhouse until third grade. My teacher just let me do whatever assignments I wanted from any of the grades he was teaching at the time. Messed me up when we changed schools, but it was a great experience.
2. As a mom, I turned around and passed the tradition along to my daughter and co-author Erin Lynn. She was reading at three and I maintain that the gift of reading was the single most important thing I ever gave her. Sometimes I wish I’d given her my weird feet, too.
3. I have weird feet. Do you care? Probably not. Moving on.
4. The weirdest job I’ve ever had involved sitting in front of a pool in a mall waiting for someone to ask me questions about it. In and of itself, there’s nothing strange about the job but, you haven’t heard the whole story. First, I never met my employer. NEVER. And they never met me. I could have been the love child of Bozo the clown and Professor McGonagall with one tooth and a penchant for wearing tutus over my clothes. They would have never known. Second, the mall they sent me to was deserted. Not just by people, but half the stores were already closed. The only people I ever saw were a group of elderly mall walkers. I called in to work from a pay phone and called out when I left. I never saw anyone checking to see if I was there or not. Thankfully, there was still a Waldenbooks left and they had a lovely cart of bargain books for me to spend my pool tending money on. I worked there for three months and never gave out a single pamphlet.
5. I was a Navy wife for five years.
6. Estelle in the Psychic Seasons books is a combination of my two grandmothers with a hint of my husband’s mother thrown in for good measure. All my favorite grandmotherly ladies rolled into one.
7. I once bought a scratch ticket on Friday the 13th and my change at the grocery store came back $6.66. I thought it might be a sign I was going to hell, but I won $50. I think I’ll go to the store today and try my luck again. Maybe I’ll trip over a black cat on the way.
8. The town I grew up in was smaller than Ponderosa Pines. It had a population of under 300 and for one reason or another, I’d visited every house that existed in the entire town by the time I graduated high school. It’s hard to explain to my grandsons that I could knock on any door and ask for help or a drink of water because I would know the person who lived there.
9. I’ve lived in five different states and visited twenty-six altogether. I’m half Canadian.
10. Now we live 3/4 of a mile down a back road in the country and have mutant tractor mice in our yard. That’s what my husband calls them because they keep building nests in the engine of our lawn tractor. Costly nests if you forget to check for them and run the tractor.
11. My dad is psychic. Not like Kat, but he has his moments.
12. My husband has had a few psychic flashes, too. His mom was up the ladder to their attic and he had a vision of her falling. Without questioning it, he dashed to her rescue and caught her as she fell.
13. This was fun.
I like antique stores. I really do. Because every once in awhile, you find something so freaking weird it just defies explanation.
<--Like this thing. It's a mold of a girl's head. Or a doll, maybe--since there's hair. Pretty big doll, too. Life sized. My head would have fit in that mold almost. And no, I didn't try it to make sure. But I'll forgive you for thinking I might have done it.
I’ll just out myself right here for thinking one doll is sweet–a room full of them is flat out creepy. The eyes follow you. I swear they do.
And can I also tell you that I was tempted to buy it? I could plant pumpkins and put one in that mold to grow. One of those white varieties. How creepy would that be come Halloween?