One Goal Down

…and time for another! More on that below. This week was kind of a lull for the kitchen work, as we’re waiting for our granite countertop. That is due to be installed Wednesday, and our friend who works at the granite supplier sent us photos of ours being cut. The plumber is then due on Friday to finish up the sink, garbage disposal, and dishwasher. Can’t wait!

This is a short entry, because I have some family stuff going on today–a cookout at my brother’s, in celebration of not only Labor Day, but also our dad’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!

SM24What I’ve been reading: I finished Bad Beat, the novel in Smith’s Monthly #24 by Dean Wesley Smith. This is a Cold Poker Gang novel, about a group of retired cops in Vegas who get together to play poker and solve cold cases. I love these because the characters are so likeable and real. This series has somewhat of a cozy mystery feel, with an older protagonist, a hobby aspect (poker), and a sweet romance brewing between the two main characters. Also, there is no profanity. But it has a few notable aspects that make it definitely not a cozy: the characters are not amateurs, but experienced detectives; and while the murders occur off-page, our heroes discover some really grisly scenes and wind up tracking down some super creepy serial killers. What makes them especially exciting is that it’s always a decades-old case brings them in, but there’s always a connection to a current case that has the cops stumped (or that they haven’t found yet), where lives are in peril. If you like mysteries, I highly recommend these!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: As you can see from the title, my main goal has been accomplished, and the 25 scenes I needed to revise in my WIP are now done. It took longer than I anticipated, but it’s done! Now it’s time for the fun part: writing the rest of it! But that’s going to get off to a slow start, as I expect to be doing work in the kitchen this week. Also, it’s been months since I wrote new material, so that will get off to a slow start anyway. So I’m shooting for 2000 words this week–that’s 500 words/day for four days, leaving me time to do a little review and planning first.

What about you–accomplished any goals lately? How are you doing on those you’re still working on? If you’re in the U.S., what are you doing for Labor Day? Read any good books lately? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Visible Progress

Kitchen RangeA lot of visible progress on the kitchen this week! Cabinets went in on Monday, and were finished by Wednesday. That night, DH and I hung the light fixtures–a pendant light over the sink, and a flexible track light in the middle. That was DH’s idea, and it¬†looks really cool!

On Thursday, he and my dad installed the range, and put the dishwasher in place, though it will be another three weeks before we can use that. When I got home from work, he and I put the microwave up, then cooked our first meal in the new oven. I have never used a convection oven before, and wow–25 degrees cooler, and 1/3 less time to cook the food! Very nice. ūüôā

Kitchen FridgeOn Friday, DH and my dad hung the under-cabinet lighting and finished some other electrical stuff. Saturday, I met with my writer friends for the first time in two months (we all were out of town at different times last month), which was fun as always. While I was there, a friend of ours who’s a carpenter came over and helped DH with the window and door trim. It looks great! I will paint it sometime this week. They also moved the fridge in, so now I need to clean it and put food in! Getting our old fridge out of the dining room will be soooo nice. DH will be happy to put that in the garage, as it will hold a lot more beer than the one he has out there now. ūüôā

SM24What I’ve been reading: Not much time this week, but I always read a little before bed. This week, it was the short stories in Smith’s Monthly #24, by Dean Wesley Smith, plus I started the novel. A couple of the stories were really creepy-weird, one was really funny-weird, and then there was a Poker Boy superhero story, which are always entertaining. And the novel is shaping up to be good, too. I really love the Cold Poker Gang mysteries. More on that next week.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: As you might guess from above, not much writing got done this week. Monday was a bad fatigue day, so I mostly watched TV in the evening, and did a little revision. Tuesday, we had an out-of-town friend over and went out to dinner, so just a little revising after that. Wednesday was installing the lights, no revising. Thursday, the microwave, and no revising. Friday and Saturday, just a little. I think I got 1-1/2 scenes done, so better than nothing. I would like to get more done this week, but not counting on it. Even two scenes would be good!

What about you–what’s going on in your life right now? Are you ever too busy to read? How are you doing on whatever goals you might be working toward, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

A Crazy Few Weeks

The last few weeks have been crazy-busy around here! And all good stuff. Most of that is due to the kitchen remodel, which is on schedule, so that’s good. My daughter also turned 21 a couple weeks ago (I, know,¬† ūüėĮ ) so we had a little party for her–a bit of a challenge without a kitchen, but workable with our party room in the back garage. A good time was had by all, and though it wasn’t a barf-day for my daughter, it was for her friend who came home with her!

More craziness came from their house, which we own and rent to them and two other kids. We contacted our Realtor to put it up for sale, figuring it could take a while for the right buyer to come along. WRONG! We had an offer the very next day! It was a lowball amount, but they eventually came up to a price that will give us a tidy profit, and is still a fair price for them, considering the rent the place brings in. Our daughter and her friends met the buyers when they looked at the house, and said they seemed like they’d be very nice landlords. Best of all, we don’t have to worry about renting it for next year–that’s now the buyer’s responsibility.

Kitchen tileSo back to the kitchen. My evenings have been taken up with trips to Lowe’s, and also doing some of the work. Last week, I painted the few sections of the walls that wouldn’t be hidden by cabinets or backsplash. This past week has been tiling. DH did 90% of that, but the remaining 10% was a bear. We thought we’d save some time and get the all-in-one grout that doesn’t need any mix-ins or sealer. But this stuff hardens much faster, and doesn’t just wipe off with a wet sponge–it needed to be scraped. If we were to do this over, we’d definitely use traditional grout! In any case, it’s done now, and looks great! DH got the appliances today (which are currently sitting in my garage), and the cabinets go in tomorrow. Progress!

SandAndStormWhat I’ve been reading: I dug into a fantasy this past week, Sand and Storm, by Patty Jansen. While the characters drew me in with how well-developed they were, the worldbuilding in this book was the real star. Many, rich cultures and all the politics of their interactions and their histories… yet it wasn’t an info-dump bore, but deftly worked into the story. The book did end on a cliffhanger, with little resolved, which I know is common in fantasy but still not my fave. However, it was such a good book I went and preordered the sequel, which is due out in a month. This author is pretty prolific, so I’m confident¬†she’ll¬†deliver. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy fantasy!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: Judging from all that’s gone on, you might guess that not much has been done on the writing front. And two weeks ago, you’d have been right. But last week, I finally powered through the last (I hope) sloppily-written, PITA to revise scene, plus two others. This week, three more scenes revised. Things are still busy this week, as I expect to be putting stuff away in the new kitchen cabinets, but I’m still going to shoot for 3-4 more scenes revised. A big bonus would be to finish all seven remaining.

What about you–any crazy busy-ness in your life? Here’s hoping it’s all good! Or maybe you’re lucky enough to be enjoying a more settled summer. Either way, what have you been up to? And how are you doing on whatever goals you have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

 

A Whole Lotta Free Ebooks!

If you’re looking for some great Fantasy and Science Fiction reads, check ’em out here – dozens of books, all free! If you haven’t read Time’s Enemy, Book One of my Saturn Society series, this is a great time to give it a try. ūüėÄ

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Distractions are Back

Beartooth Highway

His favorite part of the trip was Beartooth Highway

My husband’s been on a long-haul motorcycle ride vacation out west. (And no, that’s not the distraction the title’s referring to, LOL.) He’d planned to be away for almost three weeks, but plans changed with one of his companions, and he returned a week early.

Which was fine with me. ūüôā I realized, while he was gone, that a few days of him away is a “vacation,” as my mom calls it, but more is just too quiet. It gives me even more respect and gratitude to military spouses–something I would not be good at being. The important thing (besides his safe return) was that he had a great time and saw some really awesome (literally) parts of the country.

What the kitchen looked like a week ago

What the kitchen looked like a week ago

His plan was to start the kitchen remodel as soon as he got back. THAT has been the distraction–and thank goodness, a good one!

I had the kitchen already packed up before he returned. He slept most of the day, but the day after that, he jumped right in, with the help of a few friends.

On the left, you can get an idea of what the kitchen looked like before. It’s very small–this photo was taken from the opposite corner, which as you can see, is not very far away.

Kitchen gutted

The kitchen when I arrived home from work on Tuesday

It would have been great to enlarge the kitchen, but the back wall backs up to the bathroom, and the other side backs up to a staircase. The other two walls are exterior. So opening up the kitchen would require an addition, which was definitely not in our budget. So we decided to keep it small, but maximize the space and make it very nice.

The other big problem with this kitchen is¬†that everything is old and worn out, and its layout was very inefficient–see the dumb, wasted space between the stove and dishwasher? And no storage over the stove or refrigerator? That ¬†will all change. And let’s not¬†even start on the oh-so-seventies floor or cabinets–ugh.

This can’t happen too soon, and my DH agreed. He and two friends dug into it on Tuesday. My DH does not waste any time. ūüėÄ After everything was removed, we found some good news, and some bad. The bad was that we had a lot of old, galvanized pipes that were rusting and needed to be replaced. Fortunately, the plumber is a friend, and charged us about half his normal rate. The good news was that my husband expected to need to replace the subfloor–but it turned out to be in great shape, with no damage at all!

We had the plumbing for the sink moved to beneath the window on Friday, along with the bad pipes replaced. Now, DH and an electrician friend are rewiring the whole kitchen, because like many things in our¬†1950s house, the electric was never completely updated, or done right. With the new kitchen, I’ll be able to use the microwave and an electric skillet at the same time without throwing a breaker. ūüôā Next up, flooring!

It sounds like DH is doing all the work, right? He is, but that work includes many trips to Lowe’s, where I go with him to pick out stuff or to simply help load/unload. And he has had questions while installing the electric, so those are the distractions. But they’re distractions I don’t mind.

Friends_FortuneWhat I’ve been reading: Friends and Fortune Cookies, by Elizabeth Bemis. This is the book I mentioned a while back, when I read another by her, Love and Oreos. Liz was one of my very first critique partners many years ago, and while I’d never read Love at all, I did read and critique a very early incarnation of Friends. It was fun to read the published book and spot little things I remembered from way back then. These included the main characters, their names, and their professions, as well as the main premise of the story: the couple had been friends for most of their lives, but whenever their relationship started to progress to something more, they always screwed it up. There were, of course, a lot of differences in the published book. The main one was that there was a lot more conflict between the hero and heroine, and more baggage preventing them from easily getting their HEA (happily ever after), which made it an enjoyable read. So if you enjoy contemporary romance, grab this one for sure! If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, it’s free.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: As you can guess from the rest of this post, I did not accomplish much at all with my writing. The distractions are part of the problem, but the other is that I’m revising a book I wrote half of during NaNoWriMo 2013, and it was written very sloppily. Some of the scenes just need a bit of touch up here and there, but the one I’m working on now needs a lot of fill-in, so it’s a bunch of not-much-fun fixup work, and going very slowly. If I get this scene finished this week, I’ll be happy with that. Anything else is a bonus.

What about you–have you had any distractions lately? What have you been reading, and what do you normally like? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to ¬†hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Land Ho

I missed blogging last week for a (in my opinion) very good reason: I was in Tennessee, looking at land. Our first scouting trip for our anticipated move sometime in the next few years. My husband was out of town on another trip, so I went with a friend who lived in the area for many years.

We looked at ten properties, and most were quite beautiful. I also learned a lot.

Too steep

Our car is at the bottom of that hill – and I’m only halfway up!

My husband has this fantasy of being able to go hunting on his own land, for which he needs (preferably) at least 40 acres. That means living out in the country, which I’m fine with to an extent, so that’s where I focused my efforts in looking at land. Closer in to Knoxville means out of our budget on something that size (and very few options to begin with).

But the main thing I learned is you can’t get a feel for distance, as in drive time, from maps. Not even Google Earth and Street View. You can see that the roads are curvy, but you can’t really see how curvy–or how narrow. Some of them were downright scary, going up into the mountains.

Too Steep

Pretty, isn’t it? But what’s not in the picture is the¬†litter from neighbors who made this their 4-wheelin’ playground.

The other thing maps don’t do justice is the grade. Some of these places were up¬†in the mountains, and although I could see that on Google, I couldn’t get a sense of how steep some of them were. Definitely not something to drive a Camaro up! So those properties are out.

But the biggest thing I learned is that I just don’t want to live out that far. A half-hour drive or more to restaurants, shopping, and health care is a big no–I’m talking it was a twenty-minute drive to the nearest carryout from most of these properties. So we’re going to have to re-evaluate what we want–perhaps a much smaller, closer-in lot that still has a country-like setting, and a separate property for him to hunt on. I have already found some very promising lots online, so I see another trip in the near future. The best part about this one? I had a great time with my friend, and some fun times with¬†her friends in the area. So it was also a much-needed vacation!

I returned home to more excitement: we’re getting ready to begin work on our kitchen remodel! So I have tons of packing to do. Luckily, we have a good friend who works at a restaurant, and has supplied us with a plethora of boxes. I have about half packed up now, and DH is going to start demolition in a few days, so I need to hurry and get it done.

What I’ve been reading: I’m only halfway through the novel I’m currently reading, so I’ll discuss it next week, along with how our kitchen remodel is coming along!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: Last week, I knew I would be traveling and wouldn’t have much chance to write, so I set my goals low: 2 scenes edited. I made that goal, and set a higher goal for editing this week. But between packing and headaches (literal), not as much got accomplished. Part of the problem is this editing stuff just isn’t much fun–I want to get back to new writing. But I need to get through it first. So this week’s goal is one scene per day, for a total of seven.

What about you–ever find something to be much different than you expected? Do you have any big distractions going on in your life? (Hoping they’re good ones!) How are you doing on whatever goals you may have, whether writing or not? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Frustrating

This has been one of those weeks with very little progress, as far as the writing goes. No life rolls or anything like that either, just no time and/or energy for it. And that’s with my adrenal fatigue being better¬†lately.

For example, DH and I went out for dinner for our date night, as we do every week. We did our usual: go to a bar and grab something to eat, play trivia, and hang with friends. It was a good time. But I don’t get home from work until around 6, and barely had time to change clothes and do my after work routine before we left. We didn’t get home until after 10, and by then, I was too wiped out to write. I know, writing is just sitting at a computer and making stuff up, but that takes mental energy, and my fatigue is mental as well as physical.

The day after that, we finally got in all the rent checks from our apartments, so I had a good couple hours’ worth of paperwork to do in preparing the deposits. And after that was done, I had food prep to do, as I’m doing a cooking day today. This was also a work day, so by the time that was finished, it was again 10PM, and I was beat.

Yesterday was Saturday, and you’d think I’d be able to come up with some time to write. But noooooo, I had errands to run, some of which DH couldn’t do or he would have. Then I had to finish a few food prep things I didn’t do the night before. After that, I had two loads of laundry to do–normally, I do that on Sunday, but I’m cooking today so that won’t work. Then I spent about an hour doing my weekly Home Blessing, and just general tidy up because we had friends over for dinner. We had a great time (and some great food, which DH fixed), but by the time I’d cleaned up and our guests left, it was–you guessed it–10PM and tired.

I forced myself to spend 15 minutes or so writing, but it wasn’t fun or easy, because I was so tired. So this week, instead of the ten scenes I’d hoped to edit and fix? I got one and a half done. So frustrating!

StarNomadWhat I’ve been reading: I did have time to read, as that’s something I can do when I’m tired–it doesn’t take much mental energy to enjoy someone else’s creative work. This week I read Star Nomad, by Lindsay Buroker. I’ve been meaning to try her books for some time now, and this one’s the first by her I’ve read. It was a really good, fun, science fiction adventure. If you like Firefly, this is a must-read, because it really reminded me of that (though not in a rip-off sort of way).

I also finished a very long, nonfiction history book by my friend from high school, the one who gave me a copy of “my” yearbook for my birthday. He has not been able to find a publisher for it, and I’ll grant that it’s a niche topic (military aviation history), but it was very well-written and mostly kept my interest. I say “mostly” because it went into exhaustive detail–but I am not the primary audience for this book, and I believe those who are, will love this level of detail. I’ve been reading this book on my treadmill for the past six months, and I only use the treadmill when the weather’s too cold, hot, or rainy to walk the dog, so it’s taken a while. I am trying to get him to self-publish it, though he has a bit more work to do for that (finding pictures and getting permission for them, getting a Foreword written by someone known in the field, etc.).

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: As noted above, I didn’t even come close to meeting my goals last week. And this week doesn’t look to be much better, as I have a lot going on. So I’m going to shoot for getting one scene fixed/revised. Anything more than that will be a big win.

What about you–do you get frustrated when you don’t have the time (or energy) to do the things you want? What’s the one thing you don’t sacrifice? Have you read any good books lately? And whether or not you’re participating in ROW80, how are you doing on whatever goals you may have? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Victory!

Finally, I’ve been able to sleep this week. Or when I didn’t, it wasn’t because of noisy birds. The sparrow trap did its job. I’m not sure if we caught Mr. Noisy or not, but he stopped hanging out in the space between our house and the neighbors once we set it out–mainly ¬†because he was hitting on the chicks in the trap. I thought we got him Wednesday, but my husband said the male in the trap didn’t sound like Mr. Noisy. After a few days of that, we stopped putting the trap out, and he¬†seems to have stayed away.¬†I think I heard him a street over while walking the dog–fine with me!

smithsmonthly20What I’ve been reading: Smith’s Monthly #20 by Dean Wesley Smith. This was a short one for me, as the novel in it was one I’d already read in serial form, so I skipped it. But the stories were good as always. It amazes me how he writes this much every month, usually all the stories to fill the magazine plus a novel. And that’s usually not all he writes. He does this on top of being the CFO of¬†a publishing company and owning that plus three retail stores. All this at the age most people think of retirement! His blog is a great learning resource for any writer.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I’ve had a couple other victories–one is that Time’s Dilemma released this week! If you’ve thought about giving the Saturn Society a try, this is a great one to start with. My publisher decided to call it Book 3, because some of the events overlap with Book 2 and Time’s Best Friend, which they are now calling Book 4, so I guess that makes sense. But this one is not only standalone, it’s about 1/3 the length of the other Saturn Society novels, so not as big a time commitment to try it out. It’s¬†on sale at all retailers for $0.99 through July 7th, and you can get it for $1.00 on Smashwords throughout July. More info and buy links are here.

My other victory is that I got more done on my next WIP than I expected–definitely a win! Which brings us to ROW80. Monday begins Round 3. My primary goal for that is to finish the rough draft of this WIP, which will be Saturn Society Book 5 and returns to Tony and Violet, the characters featured in Book 1 and 2. I have Book 5 about half-written, but finishing will be no easy task, as what I have is a mess. So I’m going back through and fixing what’s there. I’ve gone through 11 scenes so far, and would like to go through another ten this week (yes, this is going to be another long one).

What about you–have you had any victories lately, whether big or small? What have you been reading? If you’re doing ROW80, what are your main goals for the Round? Or heck, even if you’re not participating, what kind of goals are you working toward, whether writing-related or not? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

We Interrupt this Week for a Special Announcement!

Time’s Dilemma is now available in ebook form at all the major retailers!

Did you enjoy Time’s Fugitive, and want to get to know Florie better? What about that strange, good-looking guy who showed up at her House just as all the craziness was going down? Or maybe you enjoyed Time’s Best Friend, and want to know more about what happened in 1939? Well, wonder no more–it’s all here!

And for those who haven’t yet read the other Saturn Society books, this one is a great place to start. My publisher decided to label it Book Three of the series, but it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone story. It’s also shorter than the other books, so it’s a great intro to the Society that won’t require¬†a big investment in your time.

Want to know more? Just click Buy Now below. Time’s Dilemma is¬†available for 99 cents for a limited time, to grab your copy soon!

Buy Now

Buy This Book Online

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,

Time’s Dilemma

A Saturn Society Short Novel

Never Tell

Time traveler Florie LeBeau follows the laws of the Saturn Society that protect people with her gift, but the handsome stranger who arrives at her Cumberland Gap farmhouse from the eighteenth century defies every one. From his very presence, two hundred years past his time, to the things he knows about her, everything about Zeke Allen breaks the rules–the rules of time travel, and the rules protecting Florie’s heart.

Never Change the Past

Florence might not know Zeke Allen, but he knows her… loves her… and knows she’ll play a key part in the war that will soon involve her United States. But her four-years-older self swore him to secrecy, for Zeke revealing his knowledge could change things‚ÄĒwith devastating consequences.¬†

And Never, Ever Fall in Love

Though drawn to the captivating frontiersman, Florie denies her longing for him, as the Society forbids involvement with those from other times. But Zeke pushes her boundaries, determined to win her love, for he must ensure her visit to his time four years hence, or else it could cost her country their war, Florie her future, and both of their hearts.

Gain entry into the Saturn Society and meet the men and women who can cross time itself to follow their hearts into thrilling adventure and sensual romance today!

 

Available in ebook at major retailers – print coming soon!

This Means War

This has been a good week for me, but a tired one.¬†Not because I’ve had more to do than usual, but because I’ve not gotten enough sleep. And the number one thing to do to treat Adrenal Fatigue is–duh!–get a decent amount of sleep. This is tougher for us than for people with normal, healthy adrenal function, because part of our problem is that we don’t make enough cortisol–and what we do get, comes later in the day than for most people.

That means we’re really, really not morning people. Going to bed early doesn’t help, because we can’t go to sleep early. I also can’t take naps.

So earlier this spring, when the sparrows¬†started congregating near my bedroom window, it¬†became a problem when they’d wake me up at the crack of dawn.

I put some bird spikes on the wires close to the house, and that kept them off of those. But they were still partying in the tree. So I put a plastic owl up beside the bushes beneath my window, and that scared them all away.

Well,  all except for one tenacious, male sparrow. Of course, this little cretin has the loudest, most obnoxious chirp of them all. And once he sits somewhere and gets going, he Never. Shuts. Up.

He even wakes my husband up. “God, I’m going to shoot that thing,” DH said after a week of this. He borrowed a pellet gun from a friend and almost got him once, but otherwise, Mr. Noisy has been elusive.

I tried a different route: a sparrow trap. I found this link with instructions on how to make my own. The hardware mesh cost me about $10 – much less than buying one!

I also read up on sparrows. Turns out gardeners and birders alike really hate these little pests. The House Sparrow (a.k.a. HOSP) is a non-native, invasive species that competes with native bluebirds and purple martins for nest space. Not only are bluebirds and martins appealing to the birders, gardeners love them because they are insectivores.

A Bird Party! All sparrows welcome.

A Bird Party! All sparrows welcome.

Sparrows, OTOH, eat stuff from gardens. And they¬†are the Russian Mafia of birds: if someone’s living in a house they want, they’ll take it by whatever means necessary. They don’t just run off the other birds, they kill them and destroy their eggs.

Which explains why I never see them in my neighborhood, even though they’re indigenous to this area. The place is overrun with sparrows. Both the federal government and all 50 states consider sparrows a nuisance animal (along with pigeons, starlings, coyotes, feral hogs, and Asian carp).

I made¬†my trap and set it out last night with some nice, fluffy bread and a cup of water. In the morning, there were five sparrows inside! Unfortunately,¬†not Mr. Noisy. But now we’re at war. Between my trap and DH’s pellet gun, we should be able to get some¬†decent sleep soon.

What I’ve been reading: I beta-read a science fiction novel for a writer friend and enjoyed it very much. I’ll share more about it once it’s released.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: My main goal for this week was to begin working on my next WIP, which is already half-written, but is a mess. I’ve gone through and fixed three scenes, which was what I hoped to get done. This week, I want to go through five. ROW80 Round Two ended this past Thursday, so it’s also time for a recap on quarterly goals.

My main objective was to do everything I needed to get Time’s Dilemma ready for publication. It releases Tuesday and is already up for preorder, so that’s a goal accomplished! I also wanted to start work on the next WIP, that’s done too (barely).

ROW80 Round Three¬†officially¬†starts on July 4th, so I’ll be back on the 3rd with Third Quarter goals.

What about you–what problem have you tackled lately? Did you know those cute, little sparrows were an introduced species, and a nuisance? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.