Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Late Night Books



While looking for free books to read with my Kindle Unlimited Account I ran across a title that had me laughing out loud at two o’clock in the morning. Yes, two. I had gone to bed early and was fast asleep when my head hit the pillow only to wake up four hours later, wide awake with nothing to do but stare at the shadowy figure of the dog snorting on his bed in front of the TV cabinet. By 2:30 I did the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do, I got out of bed and woke up the computer so its screen lights could mess with my brain waves compounding my sleep cycle issues.

Searching for my next book to read is usually an hour long process because I read the reader views as well as the book blurbs Amazon provides. And I won’t lie, I’m a title junky. I’m fascinated by them and envious of those who can write catchy titles. I’ve never been good at titles and back when my husband was a live when I’d create something be it a poem or a painting he was the one who came up with the prefect titles. And he was a picky editor who often got exasperated with my ‘creative’ spelling but that was before Spell-Check and Alexa so if I wanted to write, I needed him. 

Boy, did I get side tracked. The title that had me laughing was, Taken by the Alien Savage, a Sci-Fi Alien Romantic Comedy. It was free but even at that bargain price I couldn’t get myself to download it even though I found the whole premise hysterically funny in the middle of the night. What if I died before the book got deleted from my Kindle? What would the next owner of the device think about me? Granted it wouldn’t be like finding a dildo in a nightstand but I don’t want to die with stuff in the house that would have whoever cleans out my estate telling stories about the "old woman and the crazy stuff she kept." I hear those kinds of stories all the time from the son-I-wish-I-had who is in the business of cleaning out estate houses. And just for the record, if I had a couple of shrunken heads in the house I would at least leave a note attached explaining their presence.

Anyway, add to that weird, sci-fi plot line of that alien romance I’m pretty sure it was also part of a sub-genre of romances for “curvy women” that usually have fat cover girl models hanging all over super alpha guys without an ounce of fat on their bodies. I read a book in that sub-genre when they first came out and even though my body type is more like those protagonists than in normal romances, I really hated the whole idea. If I’m going to live in a heroine's head I want her to be what I am not…kick-ass strong and healthy and/or a breath-takingly beautiful woman with brains. Better yet, a breath-takingly beautiful brainiac with a whistle-worthy body who can attract the eye of a kick-ass strong Navy Seal.  Nothing shallow about me. Remember you heard that here first. 

By the way, did you know that if you ask Alexa to spell ‘dildo’ she spells it d****o? I had to consult my Dictionary of Slangs and Euphemisms to find it and it brought back visions of me yelling at my mother, “How am I supposed to look it up if I can’t spell it?” Alexa does not spell smutty words, I don’t think she spells swear words either but I already know how to spell most of them so I haven’t quizzed the extent of her knowledge in that area. My paperback Dictionary of Slangs and Euphemisms is so old the cover had to be taped back in place and the pages are brown and brittle. I just looked it up on Amazon and one of their sellers has the same edition I own on sale for only $703.85 plus shipping while a newer edition used hardcopy is at the bargain price of $37.00. If I ordered a newer addition, what would the person closing my estate think if they found not one but two copies on my bookshelf? They’d probably throw them both out, not knowing there’s a market for first addition smut. My copy is so worn out, though, that it wouldn’t go for $703.85 and who the heck tacks on $3.85 to a $700 price tag? What’s that all about? A joke? Greed? Inquiring minds want to know!

I just sold a lot of six books on e-Bay for over $200. (Not smut, just to be perfectly clear.) It was a bargain to the guy who bought them because if sold individually they’d net $400-$450. I have about 50 rare-ish books to sell and my backup plan, if I run out of time before I move, was to donate them to the library. In the pre-pandemic days the library sold collectible books online to help them buy new books but they haven’t accepted donated books since the pandemic started. Goodwill is taking books again but it would break my heart to leave my rare books there. Yup, call me a give-away snob.

Who would have ever guessed how far-reaching a pandemic goes, how many areas of our lives it changes. Not being able to sleep at night is a pandemic fall-out for me and it's why I was looking at stupid alien romances in the middle of the night. And then I discovered Keri Beevis who writes psychological thrillers. I'm on her third book full of twists and turns and now I have HER to thank for keeping me up at night saying to myself, just one more chapter! ©

Just to prove I'm not making this sub-genre of romances up.

33 comments:

  1. Another entertaining post that makes me smile. :) Our library won't take book donations either. They have a room for Friends of the Library where volunteers took our used books and sold them to buyers who came in, but now we can't enter the library. The new normal sure is different.

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    1. Ours Friends of the Library did the same thing...had 4-5 great sales a year plus always doing online sales of the better books. I don't mind them getting rare books because they will fall into the right hands eventually. With Goodwill they are more apt to go to the paper recycler.

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  2. Isn't it funny how we think of what's in our home and what "someone" will think if they find it? I have been carrying years of journals around with me for years thinking I'll look through them again. So far, I haven't had the time or patience except for snippets here and there. At some point, I think I need to just burn them. But what kernels of wisdom will I be missing from all the life lessons I learned along the way? Actually, I've often thought anyone finding my journals would think I was always really angry. LOL. They are a perfect place to vent things I'd like to say but don't.

    FWIW, my friend is downsizing and she says she's filled the donation box at the library two days in a row. I haven't been there to confirm this myself, but I know she has more books than Barnes & Noble and is purging them. Of course, if you arrive after her, you're out of luck until they empty the box again. hahaha

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    1. I had my mind all primed to burn my old journals this summer. I was going to take them to my nieces before the pandemic but they had a burn restriction at the time. You're right though, most journals are major vents.

      Oh, I'll have to swing by the library and check out their donation book. I have a box of books that I've been carrying around in the trunk of my car forever. In the past you could get them to bring a bin to fill up at your car instead of using that little slot at the side of the building.

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  3. If you go to the one near the river (is that clear enough...lol), they have a big donation bin in back with a lid that you lift. It's probably the closest to your new home.

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    1. No! The closest library to me just has a slot in a brick wall. Will you leave a comment of with the name of that library? I promise I won't publish it so if you also want to share your Facebook page name for me to friend. If not I understand, I just think at some point we need to meet.

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    2. Thanks Hope. The library you named will probably be my new one. Next time I go down to see the CCC I'll be sure to takes some book to donate.

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  4. Can't help you with old books but does your library have a service where you can borrow e-books on line? Mine in the next county does and for $10.00 a year, I can have any of them delivered free to my Kindle in about a minute. Even best sellers though those usually have to go on hold for a while.

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    1. Yes, our county does have the e-book service but I've never used it. I plan to sign up once I resettle. Right now I'm in tech over-load and also shouldn't be reading as much as I am.

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  5. That book is giving me fits of laughter. Goodness!

    My late friend Ann was a romance novelist for a few of the big publishing houses (Harlequin, for example). They had the final say on titles and cover art. She often hated their decisions which usually worked like clickbait does with online articles. One of her favourite books, with characters she truly loved and who went on to become long-running, was originally titled "Hunter's Heart" when she sent off the manuscript. By the time they published it, they had re-titled it "Hot and Bothered." She was mortified and furious.

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    1. Now I'm the one laughing at the 'Hot and Bothered'. I knew large publishing companies made changes like that and considering the success of the genre, who are we to question their "wisdom" LOL. Now days, on Amazon there are a lot of independent authors who band 4-5 of them together form their own self-publishing houses. I've found that in romance and sc-fi and probably others do it too. So you have to be care if you're shelling out money. Many of them are free books at Kindle and I don't understand how they make money giving them away, but I read that they do. Some do so well that they get noticed by real publishing houses who buy their book rights.

      I put "Hot and Bothered" into Amazon's search engine and got a big laugh. I counted 10 on the first page with that title and there were over 20 pages.

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  6. So between 2013 and 2014 I made some cash by doing (completely honest) reviews of books and softwre I was sent. I thought I had some books that were way out there but this would be at the top of them. I rarely buy books for my kindle unless it's abrand new release of a certain autor that I must have. My reserve list is over and long. Reading too much? I have never heard of such a thing1

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    1. I really like real books that best but I'm trying to only buy real books that I know I'll want to write in the margins and underline. I don't like waiting for books I've decided to buy but the day will come when I have to watch my money more carefully and I can see me doing the library reserves, too.

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  7. How dare they use my photo without paying my royalties!

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    1. Don't try to fool a fooler. I've seen your photos. LOL

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  8. If you every have a mind to check there is a ton of alien smut books out there for the taking! Seems for a while it was quite a popular genre! I always research books on Amazon and Goodreads before I read them too! I usually get my books for free from the library when I can so it's not like I've wasted my money if the book really stinks. Just my time I guess!

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    1. I will have to try an alien romance someday...a curiosity killing the cat thing. I'm still kind of amazed at how many sub-genres of romances there are now days.

      I'm loving the Amazon unlimited. It's $10 a month and I've found some good books. Just counted and I've borrowed 61 books from the program in less than two months.

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  9. I know all about waking up after a few hours and remaining awake for hours. I usually read for a bit while the paracetamol I take to send me back off again kicks in. Still, it’s often daylight before I fall asleep again. Luckily I can stay in bed in the morning, there’s no one and nothing much to get up in a hurry for.

    I now tend to go for books full of humour or lightweight ‘women’s reading’ Very crappy but hey, life’s hard enough.

    translation of WW and HH came up trumps: my two new gardeners, Wiry and Willing, and Handsome Hunk, turned out great. (trumps as in trumps in playing cards.)

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    1. Oh, now I remember WW and HH from a previous post you wrote. Thanks for my refresher course. LOL

      I can't read stuff right now that requires a lot of deep thinking or introspection aka educational or character building. Like you said, life is hard enough now.

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  10. What a great post that I did enjoy I borrow many eaudiobooks from the library

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    1. I wish I could do audio books but I need something that has a higher volume than my Kindle! Someday!

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  11. Siri has no problems spelling d***o. I just tried.

    Re Wednesday's post, my neighbour claimed that she once caught a mouse on the kitchentop, grabbed it with her hand(s), and threw it out the door. I couldn't.

    Libby

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    1. Siri is a woman of the world. LOL

      Not only am I not fast enough to catch a mouse I couldn't pick one up either with my bare hands...dead or alive. Those suckers are fast when you're after them.

      Nice to see you again, Libby.

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  12. I wonder if Alexa knows there is a town in Canada called Dildo. Look it up. It’s in Newfoundland, which doesn’t surprise me as that is the province of unusual town/village names!šŸ˜ And a helluva sense of humour. Love that part of my country!

    Deb

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    1. Thank you for giving me something to laugh about this morning. You'd have to have a sense of humor to live in a town named Dildo. We have fun with a town in Michigan called Hell.

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    2. P.S. Just read Dildo's Wikipedia page...looks like an interesting place and love the history of the word.

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    3. Dadgumit, I got cutoff again. Anyway,my mother and I used to go through the same thing with the how can I look it up if I can spell it. That was really a dumb thing for mothers to do. I don't even think we had phonics back then.

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    4. Yup, there was a period there when phonics wasn't taught which, of course you need to sound out words to look them up. Whole word recognition method of teaching reading along with mild dyslexia screwed me up until my 40s. I still can't spell or sound out words though. My favorite work-around before Alexa was to think of a word that means something similar and look that word's synonyms.

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  13. There is a town in Newfoundland called Dildo. I wonder what the prude would do when addressing her mail to there!

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    1. You'd have to sense of humor to live there, wouldn't you.

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  14. You are funny. I just asked Alexa to spell dildo and she spelled it. She must think we're the kind of people who would use a word like that. Ha!
    I can't tell you how many times I've gotten up in the middle of the night and come in here and fired up the Mac. You have to find something to do when everyone else is asleep. I always wonder if the people who are always telling insomniacs what not to do when they can't sleep have ever had a sleepless night. My big thing is NOT to eat. Anything else goes.

    Taken by the Alien Savage... oh my gosh.

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    1. I just asked Alexa again and she spelled it the same way as before with the ***s. Now I wonder if there is a difference between the Alexa on Kindles and the one in the little home models. I got the prude model!

      Ah, eating in the middle of the night. I, too, usually resist that downfall.

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