Office Update

I’m making slow but steady progress in my quest to redo my office.  I’m cleaning out stuff that should have been cleaned out ages–even decades–ago.

Example. I had over twenty years worth of old Romance Writers Report magazines that I mean to go through, tear out articles I wanted or wanted to save because I’d finaled in a contest or something. That project was at least four years old with no progress. There were also six years worth of RWA national conference handouts in spiral notebooks. I had these stacked in the hall outside my office.

It took a couple of weeks, but I tossed it all.

I have plans for that space in the hall, so I needed to start clearing.

Step 1: done.



Thursday Thoughts: On Being Essential

My day job is working for a beverage distributor. According to the Department of Homeland Security and the governor of my state, I am essential. My employer takes this seriously. Not because they can make money, but because we are a business-to-business industry; we help other business stay in business. (My internal editor is cringing at all the “businesses” in this paragraph!) My company has donated to a bartender relief fund.  When ventilators were donated to my state from another, Jet Blue provided air transportation  and my employer donated the ground transportation.

My employer takes the safety of its employees seriously. We have been given masks. Hand sanitizer–we’ve even made our own. Our temperatures are taken every morning before we enter the building. Social distancing is strictly enforced. People have been hired to do nothing but walk through the office and wipe down the surfaces with sanitizer several times a day.

My particular team has the option of working from home. Several of my co-workers have taken advantage of this.  I have not. Other than my hours being changed, my routine hasn’t been drastically altered. And yeah, I like getting out at 4:30 instead of 5:30. If and when I have to start working from home, I’m afraid I will never want to leave my house again.  It’s the downfall of being an introvert.

I order in food when I can, and am as generous as I can be when tipping delivery people. I want my favorite restaurants to stay in business.

The toughest part of being essential has been talking to restaurant and bar owners who have been forced to “pause”. Some of them will be okay. Others are scared they will lose everything. Some cry. Others curse. All I can do is listen and assure them I will work with them once the state is off pause. We want them to stay in business.

I’m not a health care professional or a first responder. I don’t work directly with the public. But I’m proud of what I do to keep the economy going.

Book Review: Karen Robards-BAIT

Image credit: tieury / 123RF Stock Photo

Karen Robards is a master at writing romantic suspense, and her 2004 release Bait is no exception. The heroine is an advertising exec going after a big account. The hero is an FBI agent tracking a serial killer.

The story includes:

  • a mistaken identity
  • a secret identity
  • a great supporting cast (including a secondary romance and Hawaiian shirts)
  • the world’s most obnoxious dog
  • a great apartment for the heroine

I’m a sucker for secret identity heroes. Bait gives the trope an interesting twist.

Four out of five stars.



Size Matters

I like to cook. I like new recipes. Sometimes, though, the recipes I newly discover are older recipes, and call for things I can no longer find. Particularly when it comes to sizes.

Whatever happened to four-ounce packages of cream cheese? I distinctly remember peeling back the foil on a small block of Philly. Perfectly sized for a recipe. Now I have to hope I can cut an eight-ounce block exactly in half. And what do I do with the other half? Bagels?

Remember when sour cream came in one cup (eight-ounce) containers? Maybe it still does somewhere, but not at my supermarket. A recipe calls for one cup. Yes, I can measure it out, but then what do I do with the remaining eight ounces? Tacos? Baked potatoes?

My husband would prefer I purchase milk a gallon at a time. But it goes bad. And it takes up too much space in the refrigerator. So I buy half-gallons. If the store carried quarts, as they did in my younger days, that’s what he would get.

Dairy, like produce, tends to go bad after a while. Smaller sizes would be helpful.



Book Review: Karen Robards-Superstition

Image credit: tieury / 123RF Stock Photo

This year I am going to review my six favorite Karen Robards books. My sister gifted me with my first one many years ago. When I first joined my local RWA chapter, I learned about another one (which I will review later) that had my colleagues gaga.

Since then, I’ve read most of Robards’ single title romantic suspense novels. I love her stories. My favorite is Superstition. Take an ambitious TV new reporter, a psychic who is blocked, a chief of police with a shady background, a couple of uncooperative ghosts, a haunted house, set them on Pawley’s Island right before tourist season is about to begin and watch this story unfold. Suspense. Twists. Turns. A couple of chilling moments. Superstition has it all. One of the things I like about this story is how deeply embedded the character backstories are embedded in the plot.

Five stars.