Life

A Couple of Housekeeping Things

First of all, there’s a typo at the end of Hunt the Stars that says book two is coming out in July 2023. That’s wrong! Eclipse the Moon is out in July 2022, aka THIS YEAR! The ebooks are getting updated, but the print books are just going to be wrong until the next printing, so let your friends know. You only have to wait five-ish months, not a year and a half.

Secondly, a reader let me know that the Australian pricing of the Kindle book dropped from $20+ to a much more reasonable $12.99. I don’t know what was going on there, but I’m happy it’s fixed. Hopefully it was fixed before preorders were charged. 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻

Thank you all for the release week love! I’m so happy people are reading and enjoying HTS. Launching a book is always a little stressful, and a new series makes it even more so, but you all made this week fun!

Today I’m hunkered down in the office with a space heater because we had an ice storm roll through last night. Everyone is having flashbacks to Snowpocalypse, but so far, it looks like the power grid isn’t going to have another meltdown, so let’s hope it stays that way.

A view out my back door, showing deck, trees, and green onions (still alive!) all coated in a layer of ice.

The ice is much prettier when you don’t have to worry about driving on it, lol. And look at those green onions, still trying to hold on despite the fact that it’s February. The tall stalks next to them were basil that got a little out of control. Mr M already has tomatoes started, so soon it’ll be time to clear everything out for the new season.

But maybe we’ll wait until the ice melts. ;)

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

A pecan pie in a red, ruffled, ceramic pie pan.

We’re having a very relaxed Christmas, just me and Mr. M, so we’re spending the day playing video games in our pajamas. Our factory in Satisfactory is reaching epic proportions. 🎉

I didn’t really do any holiday baking this year, but I did make a pecan pie in my new pie pan because I didn’t want next Thanksgiving to be the trial run. :) Overall, it turned out okay, but I need to work on the crust edges a bit. The ruffled pan makes for pretty edges, but I made them a little too thick. Overall, though, it cooked beautifully, so win!

I hope your holiday (or your Saturday) was excellent, and I wish you all the best for the New Year. I’ll probably be scarce for the next week or so, but as soon as January hits, we’ll only be ONE MONTH from the release of Hunt the Stars, so expect some more promo. :)

Happy holidays!

A Weekend of Zombies and Peopling

Yesterday, my bff invited me to an outdoor dance class to learn part of the iconic zombie dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller for spooky season. In case you need a reminder, here it is (jump to about 8:28 if it doesn’t start there automatically):

Now, I am not a dancer. I’m not remotely a dancer. I have decent rhythm thanks to a lot of high school band, but I’ve got zero moves. That being said, I still like to occasionally throw myself into silliness, and I’m old enough to own that I’m terrible and I just don’t care.

So I ripped up an old t-shirt for that real zombie look and headed out to muddle my way through a dance routine.

It. Was. A. BLAST!

I remain absolutely terrible, but I got most of the moves in the right order, if not with the right amount of finesse. But I figure a zombie would lumber rather than shimmy, so I was just going for that truly authentic zombie experience. 😂

There’s a video, which will never, ever see the light of day because it’s hilarious, but here’s a photo of me in my five-minute zombie finery:

A photo of me in a ripped up t-shirt, pretending to be a zombie on a rooftop parking garage downtown with a tall blue glass building behind me.

After I finished being a zombie, Mr M and I had an outdoor cul-de-sac potluck where I had to remember how to make small talk. It was nice to meet all of the neighbors we haven’t had a chance to yet (mostly because I am a hermit at the best of times and the pandemic wasn’t exactly that), but I am now done with people for a while, lol. I forgot how draining socializing can be, even when it’s fun.

How about you? Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Office Organization

Yesterday, we built IKEA shelves for our office closet, which before was kind of a black hole of disorganization. I can ignore messy clutter for a long, LONG, L-O-N-G time, but there comes a point when my brain’s like NOPE and it has to be fixed.

That was this weekend.

Unfortunately, starting any project like this means taking everything out of the closet, spreading the clutter all over the rest of the room (and bathroom, in this case, since it’s the closest other room with space to stack boxes).

And every project leads to seventeen more. Because our office is really just a bedroom, it had a clothes rod and shelf that had to come out. Then we found there wasn’t any wall paint behind the shelf because it’d been there since the house was built, so I had to go find the painting stuff and hastily patch it up.

Then we realized we were going to have to build the shelf frames in the closet because they wouldn’t clear the door.

But, we were victorious… mostly. 😂 We still need some pretty boxes to organize things, so most of the stuff hasn’t been put away yet, but the main pieces are in. Behold!

A picture of the new shelves and drawers in our office closet, still mostly empty.
Still mostly empty, but getting there!

Some of the shelves were out of stock, so we have to wait for a restock. The project is really only half done, but we made a lot of progress in a single day. So much so, in fact, that I’m sore today from all the lifting and carrying and bending and twisting.

Oh, and before I fell into an organizational hole, I absolutely devoured T. Kingfisher’s Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine. A forger, an assassin, a fallen paladin, and a scholar go on a not entirely voluntary quest to save their city from destruction by clockwork warriors. It’s a delight! I’m now reading Swordheart, which is set in the same world, and I’m enjoying it just as much. If you missed these when they came out, check out a sample!

And let me know if you’ve read anything fantastic lately. Or tackled any organizational projects of your own. We can celebrate/commiserate together. :)

Copyedits, Plumbing, and Scorpions

It’s been a week in the Mihalik household and it’s only Wednesday. In the best news, I turned in copyedits for Hunt the Stars yesterday, which means it’s continuing to inch ever closer to becoming a real book. To that point, I saw a sample of the interior layout this morning, and it’s looking really good! As a hint, let me just say that I will still need my metallic Sharpies for signings. :)

In less great news, last week our kitchen sink decided that it was done being a sink and wanted to try life as a tiny pool filled with icky drain water. Despite our best efforts (and a 25′ plumbing snake), we were unable to fix it over the weekend, so we called in the pros.

Kind of.

Our normal plumber was busy, but he recommended another company. They were… adequate…ish.

Yesterday, the plumber came out and started working, but after an hour or so, he decided that he needed a longer snake, which he didn’t have, so he’d have to come back.

So today he arrives with his snake and an extension he can hook on to make it longer. So far, so good. He runs 65′ of snake into the pipe, which is probably only 30′ from the sewer clean-out opening, but it doesn’t make it through. So he attaches the next part and keeps going.

Finally, we see the snake in the clean-out, but it doesn’t really look like it has anything on it, and water still isn’t draining. So the plumber decides to pull it back through with a bigger head on it. Still seems reasonable.

Only, he somehow manages to disconnect the two lines, so one gets stuck in the pipe without either end attached or accessible.

The plumber puts in a panicked call to his boss, they confer for a while, and he finally manages to fish it out. But then he’s spooked and refuses to try again, so he puts everything under the sink back together and tries running water.

It drains!

He doesn’t know how or why, but he charges us and skips off on his merry way. We let him go and considered it a sunk cost. Hopefully the drain will continue to work, but if not, we’re hiring someone else. 🤷🏻‍♀️

And, finally, to add insult to injury this week, while I was cooking bacon last night, a scorpion crawled out of the vent hood and fell onto the stovetop. By the time I safely moved the pan without dumping lava-hot grease everywhere, the scorpion had disappeared.

And lest you think I imagined the whole thing, it was Mr. M who pointed it out in the first place. He erroneously claimed it was a lizard, which is why I was trying to move the pan away to save its life. When we both saw Mr. Scorpion chilling on the stove, we switched from rescue to murder and started scrambling for appropriate murder equipment, but the scorpion had vanished.

Today, the scorpion is still missing. I’ve named him Phil and I hope to never see him again.

So that’s how my week is going. 😅 How about you?