Sometimes Progress Ain’t Progress

I am the biggest fan of the Kindle.  I mean like, it’s my favorite thing on the planet.  I carry it with me everywhere.  The best friend for anyone who loves to read and possibly has a weak back from carrying 3 or more books around at a time, and maybe a little ADHD to boot.  No lie, I will pull that sucker out in a drive-thru line if I’m not moving fast enough.  If you don’t have one already, buy one.  I highly recommend it.

So I love it.  Like I love, love it.

But here’s my one gripe.

They have this new thing now where you can self-publish.  So any Joe Schmo with two pages of written material (or so) and an internet account can go to Amazon, load their two pages, and sell it like it’s a “real book” for say $0.99.

I can’t tell you how many times lately I’ve been duped into buying some book with all these raving reviews only to realize in the first five pages it’s just some watered down version of Twilight with a different setting and the reviews were from a bunch of junior high kids (I can only assume) who, bless their sweet, young hearts, have a different definition of “THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER!  I ABSOLUTELY LOOOOOOVED IT!!!!!’ than I do.

I loved the Twilight love story as much as the next person but please, no one think for one second this was some literary masterpiece.  The writing was weak at best.  Ter-ri-ble.  (Not $0.99 self-published terrible by any stretch, but terrible in its own category.)  Twilight became “TWILIGHT” because of the actual story, not the writing.  The naive damsel in distress with the hero protecting and loving her so devoutly.  Waiting 100+ years just for her.  Fighting over her with another equally hot freak of nature.  What girl doesn’t love that?

But now, because of Amazon’s self-publishing bit, I am inundated by stories of girls who don’t know how powerful or special they are because they’ve spent their whole life somehow believing everyone on the planet is able to read minds or change people’s emotions; or that everyone else has the recurring dream of the mysterious, handsome fellow watching over them until they become “of age” and the guy can finally jump out from behind the bushes and confess his stalker love.

Because none of that would ever have come up in conversation at any point in 18 years for any reason at all.


It really makes it painfully obvious how imperative the editing process is for a writer.  At that point someone could tell you, ‘Hey.  This one’s been done.  Recently.  And the other version is better because at least it wasn’t a knock-off.’

But even if the story passed…..the spelling.  The grammar.  The punctuation.  Ohmygod.  For all that is holy, please someone, help these people for they know not what they do.  It makes me want to stab hot irons into people’s eyeballs when I see some of this stuff.  There isn’t a computer made today that doesn’t have a spellchecker included.  For free!!  Use it.  Please.

I’m not trying to be mean here (ok, maybe a little) but I beg of you self-publishers, have someone who isn’t afraid to give constructive criticism read it over a time or two.  Have more than one person read it over.  Correct all misspellings.  Add or subtract punctuation where needed.  Have your critic(s) list on paper how many ways your story can be compared to Twilight and if that list is 6 or more, try again.  With a new idea.

My Weekend

Happy Monday, everyone!

That sounds awfully bubbly even in my own mind.  I promise, I’m not that perky.  I’m never that perky.

Last week someone in my building was using speaker phone to repeatedly call this number that went to voice mail with this chipper, ‘Hi!  This is Rachael!  I’m not available right now so leave a message and I’ll call you back!!’ that played each time he called.  At one point I hear a guy in another office say, ‘Crystal!  I don’t think Rachael’s available.  You can stop calling her now.’

‘I’m not calling her.  She’s too young to be my friend.  She’s probably in college or around that age.”

‘Now how do you know that?’

‘She’s way too excited about life to be my age, Joe.’

Like I said, I’m not that perky.  So anyway, my weekend!


Friday night my little brother, James, who I talk about a little here came up to stay with me.  This is the first time he’s done this spend-the-night thing since his stroke (or before, really)  so it was kind of a big deal that he stayed at all.  It went really well!

Since this stroke and all is fairly new and he’s still learning this new version of his life, I pay a lot of attention to him, what he says, and what he does.  That probably has a lot to do with the fact that we’re just now getting to know each other as well.  But I’ve noticed that he seems to have a certain level of embarrassment or possibly shame about his current physical condition.  Like he doesn’t want to meet any of my friends, or go anywhere he might see any of his old friends.  He doesn’t like busy restaurants.  In stores he likes to push the cart/buggy so he can rest his arm on the handle and “people can’t tell he’s handicapped”.

The way I look at my brother I see the amazing story he has to tell.  What he’s survived, how it’s changed/saved his life.  To me he’s kind of like a walking miracle, an answer to prayer.  So I guess it surprises me when I see things that make me realize he doesn’t think that way.  Yet.  It’s something I’m going to work on.



I’ve had it in my head for a few weeks now that I would be a grilling queen if I only had a grill so  when a planned beach trip fell through, I decided to take a portion of that money saved and invest in my tiara-ed future.


Ok so it’s not all that impressive in size…  This is my first charcoal grill and it’ll fit about 4 – 6 items on the grill at a time.  Since it’s normally just me I thought this would be plenty big for my needs.  Only $70 at Academy Sports!


James instructed me when you first buy a grill you need to “burn it out” which basically means burn an $8 bag of charcoal with no cooked food to show for it at the end.  Which also means I had to go to the store Saturday to buy another $8 bag of charcoal so we could cook an actual meal.

For those of you inspired by these impressive grill pics to invest in your own charcoal dream, buy two bags of charcoal, save one trip to the store.  You’re welcome.

Second bag purchased, I ended up going grill crazy with the meal.  So we had grilled pork chops, with grilled corn on the cob, and a side of grilled veggies from a foil pack I put together.  The only part of our meal that wasn’t grilled was the sweet tea and trust me, if I could’ve I would’ve.




dead kindle

In sadder news, on Saturday night/Sunday morning my Kindle froze so I couldn’t turn a page in the book I was reading or go to the home screen.  At some point in the night it started a reboot from which it never returned.  *sad face*

Fortunately I have a co-worker whose daughter has never really used her Kindle Touch (that tends to happen when you turn around and buy them an iPad…) and so I’m hoping to buy that one from him this week.

RIP My 1st Kindle.


Hope you all had an excellent weekend too!