I’ve been working on this enormous genre post for you, where we interviewed all sorts of people and we have all but one person in, so it will go up soon. Phew.
A word about fictional marriages in our work. The general rule of thumb is, if there is more than a ten year difference and when the two characters first met, one of them was a child, it’s a no. Grooming is an ugly thing.
So no, Arabella – Cornelius/Lenora/Augustine will never happen. We consider that creepy. Derek and Julie had only 6 years and we are making them jump through all sorts of hoops just to have their first kiss. If that happens. #CasuallyEvilWriter, #HowToMessWith Fandom.
If the two characters met as adults and they have a significant age difference but decide to be together, it’s not a problem. A large age gap may add additional difficulties to a marriage, but may is the key word here. There are plenty of real world couples with significant age difference that made it work. That’s what being an adult means – you are able to make decisions regarding who you would like to spend your time with. 🙂
Also, just because a character is unattached doesn’t mean he will be attached. This is not the Bachelor. For that you would have to wait until we… oops, just almost said too much. So um, Bachelor. Interesting show. ::whistles:: Kid 1 made us watch the latest season.
One time Gordon’s aunt didn’t like the direction the conversation was going and so she said, out of nowhere, “One time I was frying cubed steak and a big gob of grease flew up and landed on me.”
Look at that big gob of grease flying. Wooo!
In completely unrelated subjects, during the pandemic I have been forced to attend to my own personal grooming needs, and I broke down and bought a wax station like you see in salons. I love it with unholy love. Apparently, I have zero problems ripping hair out of my face by myself.
So for our discussion today, what did you start doing during the pandemic that you plan on keep doing after restrictions and lockdowns are over?
Family video chats!
I know Catalina grew into her new role, so I’m curious how adult Arabella would change. But in addition to the age gap being icky, Cornelius and Augustine are completely wrong for her, personality wise. I don’t know what type of partner she would need, but if you decide to write her story, I know they’ll be awesome together!
Also, House Andrews-flavored Bachelor sounds wild.
I kind of like the idea of Cornelius / Titania. They both know what a psycho her brother was and when they met it was obvious she hated what both their families were doing to him.
Ms. Kim says
Agreed on Augustine and Cornelius being completely wrong for her even if they were the same age. Personally, I’m rather interested in a certain character she met in Emerald Blaze who seemed to be a closet badass with secrets, given the final battle ????
My thoughts exactly. Will he join House Baylor, though??? Food for thought.
Jocelyn Malone says
This may be one that sticks around for us, too, at least with our more literally physically distant relatives. No one made the time before, but the group family chat seemed to really please a lot of folks now that they’ve tried it.
I love your evil alluding. ????????
Also, thanks in advance for the enormous genre post! I’m sure it’ll be great! ????
Ms. Kim says
I love you so much, even when you are casually evil. I’ll probably continue cutting my own hair, it’s curly and I never straighten it anymore so no one will know how badly I mess it up
Same here, that’s money I will be saving from now on. I wear it in a braid so who cares how the layers come out.
(Even though they come out fine. But my hair isn’t curly, only frizzy. My husband has curly hair and it’s so much harder to cut!)
Jenn K says
In case you may be curious to try out a version of the “curly girl method,” I discovered at 46 that my frizzy hair was actually wavy. Nice to have options.
Moderator R says
Ahahahaha. Another at home waxer here. When you know, you know ????. (I’m not that good at cleaning all the wax off though).
Also, home haircuts forever now. I was reaching 70s levels with my hair. By the end of last year, I could almost sit on it. And I swear I get my own layers better than I’ve ever managed to explain to a hairdresser. Thank the gods for pro scissors and Youtube!
???????????? To you for being able to layer your own hair! Mine would definitely look like a hack job! ????????
Hi Mod R!
Try using baby oil or a basic mineral oil on a washcloth. It will wipe the wax off or help wipe it off anyway. Keep that washcloth as the dedicated one for that job though.
Moderator R says
I should have specified, removing the wax off of my tools (especially the bowl lid and wax spatula thing).
My skin is fairly easy, I use baby powder first so it comes off in one go. …Mostly ????. Will definitely try the oil cloth, thank you!
Oh! Acetone. Pour onto a section of wax strip big enough for the job and scrub. Works on floors, tools, cupboards…but it may take the finish off of anything painted.
Moderator R says
???? Why did I never think of Acetone? Thank you so much!
Stacie McClellan says
You can also try putting them in the freezer briefly. Should come right off.
Acetone has some issues, which is why most nail polish remover is now ethyl acetate. Mostly related to drying/defatting your skin, but you probably don’t want acetone on you routinely
Rub the area with oil. Douse some cotton, apply to area, rub. Only do after you’re done cause wax doesn’t stick to oily skin. Wipe dry after or wash face to get rid of excess oil. Plain old vegetable/cooking oil works.
Also you can warm cream or honey wax back up by placing a strip over it and giving it some rapid rubbing. If you’re having trouble with excess wax.
So what brand wax remover do you recommend?
Has anyone tried laser hair removal at home? I bought a device but haven’t yet gotten around to trying it.
I tried two different at home hair removal devices and neither one worked. I returned the first one, but felt so guilty after being duped into buying the 2nd one that I never returned it and sent it off to Goodwill. If you give it a go, be careful because that sucker gets hot!
Necia Bulloch says
I tried the Trio laser hair remover. It worked however I will say 1) I’m really almost hairless in general – I used it on my armpits and it took me 6-8 sessions two weeks apart to see smooth results. I also previously had my yoo-hoo lasered 8 years ago and used it on some really patchy regrow that. Cleared it right up after one session but again – it was extremely light hair regrowth. I’ve been using it on my teenagers armpits (she’s much hairier in general) and after six sessions we’re starting to see noticeable reduction. So – I think it can work if you are dedicated. Just my experience.
Tasha A says
Without question I would end up taking off all of my eyebrows.
Susie Q. says
I stopped blow-drying my hair unless I was going somewhere. I discovered that letting my hair dry naturally actually looks better and scrunching it when it gets damp encourages wavy hair I didn’tknow I had.
I’m a fairly devoted sugar-er. The easy clean up is one of the things I like. (Also, at least for me, it sticks to skin less and hair better than wax?)
Homemade bagels. My husband started making bagels, likes his better, and will continue to make them (no objections from the rest of us – they are good).
I made bagels during the pandemic too. They were so good!
I started baking proper bread, which I love. I am experimenting with different breads, seasoning etc. I have gotten quite good at beer bread, especially over a charcoal fire. We camp a lot and my friend and I have been practicing every time we camp.
Moderator R says
Charcoal fire beer bread ????. Sounds amazing!
I was politely invited to stop making my bricks. I mean, bread loaves. The family was worried I would drop one and kill a cat or break a toe.
My family called my baking efforts “bricks” too. That was with a bread machine! By the time I made my first edible loaf, I had a stack of bricks as tall as my shoulder, held together by the glue that resulted when my dad turned off the machine mid-cycle by accidentally hitting it with the dog’s ball.
My sister adopted a sour-dough started during the pandemic. She named it “George” and gave spin-offs to all her friends and family. I’ve had “George XIII” in my fridge for a year. No edible bread resulted.
Maddox Grey says
I started writing a book almost ten years ago that I abandoned because…life. I picked it up again right before the pandemic and then really dove back into it during 2020. It definitely helped keep me sane during that time. And I’ve managed to stick with it! I’m publishing it later this year! I definitely went through old posts on this website to dig for publishing/writing advice, lol.
That’s awesome, good luck for your book launch 🙂
Congratulations. That made 2020 a very productive year for you. And you took hints from the best,
That’s fantastic, congrats!
La Crimson Femme says
Colouring my own hair vivid colours
Me too. Mine is purple now! ????
Violet and wild orchid for me. Or as the box says in French, “orchide sauvage “.
Nancy Gilliland says
Blue for me, bright Royal blue. Originally done by accident but love it now.
What color were you going for? ☺
My eyes want to translate the French into “Savage Orchid” but I guess that would be slightly bloodstained, not violet
No more restaurants for us. I finally mastered a good pizza dough, I can bake just about anything and my husband is a master cook. Any type of Asian, European or North/Central/South American cuisine is doable. It is all a matter of finding ingredients!
What I started doing during the pandemic that I will continue doing: tinting my eyebrows and eyelashes. I still occasionally have my eyebrows waxed though. My eyelashes are naturally long (such a curse, I know ????) so doing myself is challenging…wax on eyelashes is not fun. Lol.
Love your slice-of-life posts. And the snippets (of course!). Looking forward to the interview.
Novie Trump says
Nice! Where do you find your dye? I keep looking for it but am being told it cannot be legally sold in my state and haven’t been able to find any online?
Video doctor appointments for simple reasons. So convenient! No dealing with parking or waiting rooms or long walks through hospital corridors with no wayfinding.
Yes!!! Virtual visits are a lovely option whenever practical. It’s also cheaper and so much easier to schedule because you can get by without trying to find a babysitter or haul the kids to the office or contort the schedule for Dad to watch them. Viva la video visits!
Aman Sidhu says
My partner is 13 years younger than I am. It’s the best relationship of my life to be fair we met when he was 27. I would be creeped out in real life had I met him as a kid I think ????.
Three things: (1) Completely ridiculous, over-the-top baking to the point where I made myself a Spanische Windtorte *and* a 9 layer, burnt honey Medovik last month for my birthday. (2) Writing fiction for fun. I’m a lawyer, so I write for work, but it uses different mental muscles to write fiction. I’ve taken a few classes, which were fun. Finally, (3) I’ve been walking most mornings while listening to audiobooks, neither of which I used to do. So, I think I’m going to try to keep those things up post-COVID.
Listening to audiobooks and the Heaving Bosoms podcast is the only way I get anything done around the house or go shopping willingly.
Thank you for the podcast recommendation! I’ve just started listening to them (I know, late to the party) and love to hear what other people enjoy. Audiobooks have made my walks much more enjoyable!
I love Heaving Bosoms!! I think that podcast has brought me the most joy during the pandemic.
I also use it to bribe myself to do things like cleaning. Though I have learned that if I listen to it while I work out I will need to take breaks because it makes me laugh too hard…
In addition to Heaving Bosoms, I also listen to Smart Podcast Trashy Books.
Yes! I love both of them!
HB makes me literally laugh out loud, sometimes in the most inappropriate places.
That sounds so great! All that.
Cooking all meals including snacks, cutting my own hair, my husband’s hair, self grooming – NONE of that will continue. I still have lopsided hair and my poor husband looks like someone used a shredder on his head. I will be using my e-library card and kindle more though, less dead tree books for me. Ooh and gardening. Sans tomatoes.
This is really boring lol but I plan to keep up with my sort of framework meal planning to minimize trips for groceries.,. Before pandemic, I would go more often and spend more money. I also started Weight Watchers using their app. Following points. I love it so much. Finally, something worked for me and it’s something I want to keep!
Thanks for your notes on Arabella.,. I’m glad to read your thoughts/direction/position on that topic. ☺️????
Cheryl M says
Not wearing makeup except for special occasions, and letting my hair grow out. The makeup was hard to get used to, after having done it daily for j don’t know how many years for school and work. I’ve had the hair longer before, and quite honestly it’s easier longer than needing to style it daily.
I tried letting my hair grow out, but discovered I can’t stand it any longer than collar length. A pity too, as it was nice not having to spend the money!
Esthetician here, if you need advice on any of those self grooming habits I’m happy to help.
I started exercising for the first time in years a few months ago. And I stopped worrying about taking days off if I need them.
Would you pls recommend a brand of home waxing ststem?
Kathy Disken says
Stopped coloring my hair. It is finally all grey. Loving it.
ps- loving your books
Shannon B. says
Me too! If I ever color it again it will be a wild color like blue or purple. Mine isn’t fully grey but it’s there to see now. ????
At 72, I am almost completely white. I am currently rocking pink stripes.
(To be honest, I was doing that before the pandemic, but have started again.)
????????????????????. I want some of those. I hv red hair. I’m 67.
My natural red has completed faded to blonde or white. I never wanted to be a blonde so I am thinking of adding subtle purple streaks to the underneath hair so the color would be peek-a-boo. As I am 53, I am concerned about looking like I am trying too hard to be cool when I’m not.
During Covid, I have embraced my Kindle instead of paper books. It makes it so easy to read when I walk on my treadmill, which has been a life saver since my sister passed away last July.
Hmm I’m 50 and didn’t worry about looking like I’m trying too hard to be cool. Maybe folks are secretly laughing at my violet and wild orchid hair? I say go for it! Especially if it’s subtle, you can try it and see how you like it. The dye fades out in a couple months, so it’s not really permanent. I think the advantage to being 50 is that I care a whole lot less about what people think of me, I do a lot more to please myself.
Last November I started swimming in the cold Pacific Ocean off of Vancouver Island. It’s a challenge to get up at 5:30 am to go throw myself into water that is between 8-11° c, but very rewarding and the health benefits are numerous.????????♀️????
That is incredible! If you don’t mind me asking, what type of wetsuit (5mm neoprene) do you use? Open water swimming for me before 60 degrees is hypothermia inducing
No wetsuits, just bathing suits. Some people wear neoprene gloves and booties. We swim/bob/dunk between 2-20 minutes depending on the how we feel or how interesting the conversation is.
“Rescuing” grocery store house plants. It is something I didn’t know I needed until I started doing it. They’re harder to kill than nursery plants, so we’re well matched.
On-line restaurant ordering and curbside pickup! No more noisy, crowded eating. Works especially well when traveling in the camper (mobile isolation unit) and we’re parked in a nearby parking lot.
We have family movie night a couple times a month but during lock down we finally got a projector and we watch movies outside now. Not really a year round thing but we love it. I also built a table for my laundry room and did a mosaic tile thing on a small table. Neither look like they are supposed to but I had fun doing it. Kept out the ????.
Side note: But they are gonna kiss right???? Because… Because… Please????????
Moderator R says
We need Julie + Derek Kissy Face!
Patricia Schlorke says
Didn’t it almost happen in Blood Heir when Julie was in the tub peeling off her dead skin? I know they got interrupted by one of Derek’s people.
Big Mike says
I agree! Julie climbed out of the bathtub nude in front of an alpha werewolf and she does not want to be kissed by him?
So true. I’ve been team Derek from the beginning.
Ginni Carter says
Admit it, probably half the reason you agreed to be a mod is to advocate for Team Metal Rose.
And the other half is Roman.
Moderator R says
Undying love for House Andrews and the BDH.
???? I will admit to nothing else, certainly not to all the Kissy Face questions I asked all of last year ????.
Megan W says
Ah, Roman. Such an interesting cutie, with secrets galore (I would love to read his back story). Who is good enough for Roman? Definitely no one we’ve met so far…
I’ve restarted sewing again. It went by the wayside for all the knitting I do, but I’ve started again. Quilting for now, but I will start making clothes again. I’m just not happy with what I can buy.
Of course, it doesn’t help that I have a friend that has a yarn/fabric/embroidery/everything else shop. She’ll order in anything I want. Very dangerous for my budget (but fun!).
I’ve sewed stuff before, but never really got into sewing. Then the pandemic hit and I got into mask masking. I made A LOT of masks. And, in making A LOT of masks, I became a fabric collector which means that now I need to sew more items. Lately I’ve been into making tote bags and bucket hats.
I would just like to point out that Augustine does have some younger siblings who have never actually shown up in a book yet.
If we end up getting an Arabella series, my money is on a marriage to a House Jiang scion first, and someone currently unknown second. But her with a member of House Montgomery would make some sense as well.
OMG, his family would just love that!
Face waxing was NOT my first thought!!! hahahahaha
I am now a dab hand with a pair of hair clippers. I do my husband’s hair (which is easy — just zip through with a 1/4″ guard and then do around the ears & nape) and even give my eccentric millionaire handyman ex-husband (every woman should have one) a fairly respectable fade. (He won’t let me trim his Gandalf beard, though.)
As for age differences, I lost an online friend because I criticized Leonardo DiCaprio’s apparent age cut-off of 25 for a female companion. My argument was that there’s an inherent power differential between a 40-something movie star and a very much younger starlet/actress/model who is not famous. By contrast, Holland Taylor and Sarah Paulson are more than 30 years apart but no one could possibly claim there was any power differential between them.
I had no idea Holland Taylor and Sarah Paulson were together. Is their shipper name Hollah?
If they stopped being your friend because you criticized Leonardo DiCaprio, then they weren’t really your friend. (Unless you did it in a super mean way, but based off your post here, that doesn’t seem like the case.)
I am now very sad that I do not have a “eccentric millionaire handyman” ex-husband. I have a regular ole one. ????
Vanilla latte from my own machine. That’s going to hold on for a long time.
Thanks for delivering your Final Word on Cornelius and Arabella. That there are more than zero folks who want it to happen is disturbing.
Moving on, I began making small batches of jam during the pandemic. It’s a fun and delicious hobby that I plan on continuing. I like gifting them to family.
Dee Anne says
Pandemic changes…I stopped dying my hair. Turns out I LOVE my gray hair! Who would have thought??
Gray hair is classy, just look at how often people include it on their dress-wardrobe :). It looks good with everything!
Kathleen Bylsma says
I got three belly laughs out of this post. Thanks so much!
You asked what will be kept from this time of Covid. I am only wearing sweatpants for the rest of my life— the softer the better.
My husband bought waxing stuff for his ears, but he keeps trying to threaten me with it…
I started playing tin whistle and went creazy about it! 😀
Im almost a proffesional by now (now im not) and everyone loves my concerts(no they dont) <3 have already two of them and collection will grow 😀
Have a lovely day ^^
Door dash gelato from a local place. I kind of wish we hadn’t discovered that one. ????????♀️
Diane Wilson says
Working at home will continue, although not by choice; the company decided it ha other uses for the space my group was in. So ordering out for lunch will continue, too. We’ve been keeping our favorite Turkish restaurant in business during the pandemic.
No makeup, unless there’s a good reason. I’m good with this change! Hair was colored before (blue on the longer part) and that continues.
No more piano lessons over video. In person is really better.
Other than that, no changes that I can think of. We’re boring; what can I say?
Sandy Farmer says
Making homemade crackers. So many seeds to add, so many spices available, so much yummy. Yes, it is a pain in the tushi to bake crackers. The results are better for me and taste amazing. https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/crunchy-crackers-recipe
Two words: Rosemary Crackers
Cooking. I’ve never had any interest, though I LOVE eating. And I’ve never learned properly. Per-covid I was more of an assembler of meals. I could heat up leftovers or prepackaged foods with awesome quickness. Now I have bookmarked quite a few recipes, learned about velveting chicken (a true game changer), and mastered my Instapot!
We started doing the occasional family game via Zoom/other app. So we’re from Michigan and we all earned euchre (and taught the in-laws and next generation). There’s an app where you can group-play euchre, so we’ll all be on PCs or laptops with Zoom and a phone or tablet with the euchre app. That way we can trashtalk while playing the game.
Pinochle with my kids on line for our family. Not the same as in person but still much fun. 🙂
My pandemic activity: yoga. Tried it for something to do during shutdown, after I had purged all file cabinets and burned enough papers that hubs was starting to think he married a pyromaniac, and a year later am still going strong. (With the yoga, not the burning.) Never in a million years would I have guessed that this is something I’d love to do!
Deborah St.Laurent says
Me too! I started with private lessons (high risk here) and love it. Love getting stronger and being able to do more activities. Just out-danced my daughter this past weekend. ????
Patricia Schlorke says
You were channeling your inner Adam Pierce with all that burning. ????????????????
Cutting my husband’s hair is something I started doing during the pandemic. Apparently, I have a knack for it and he likes his hair better when I cut it. Now I will be stuck doing it until the end of days, sigh. Not my favourite thing to do, it makes me too nervous ????
I bought a waxer too!!!! I love it… I swear my husband screams for me every time I use it. He cringes and his toes curl. It’s pretty funny!!!
Bryan Monson says
Pandemic Persistent Pursuits?
Kayaking and Rock Tumbling/Polishing for fun.
Offering Zoom Office Hours as an alternative to in-person meetings for work.
Carina M Paredes says
I started gardening and hybridizing plants during the pandemic and I think I have found what I want to do with my life. One of the best things to come out of the pandemic. I have to look on the bright side.
In other news, the pandemic was hard because I lost my grandma, my uncle and my husband’s cousin and my husband’s godfather. All but my grandma died because of covid.
Moderator R says
I am so sorry for your losses ????.
Hope the plants bring back the happy.
+1 Plants are healing in so many ways. Hope they help you get through your grief.
Family Zoom Meetings and a hybrid format of working at home (I love it) alas some days I will have to go to campus (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) for meetings and assisting faculty/staff/students.
But I really like the silence (excluding Thing 2 and critter underfoot) of home.
School. I started school during the pandemic and when I’m done I hope I never do this again!
Honestly, because I worked every day during the pandemic, my life has not felt like it changed dramatically.
I’ve been a lot less social and I can’t decide if that is a good or bad thing.
Working from home permanently (no more 3 hour commute on a train) and not wearing a bra!
Working from home on a high bred schedule. BUT, I have found I can’t work without a bra on. I am home alone, but working …. I must have all the underwear on.
As a happily single person I appreciate seeing characters that can be fulfilled and “complete” without having to be in a relationship. I mean I accept that that is the genre, but not everybody is an incomplete person without a significant other.
As for Cornelius, I had a friend who’s wife died unexpectedly and two years later someone asked me if he was dating yet. My answer was that Dale would never cheat on his wife, and until he is not married to Karen any more in his heart and mind, he isn’t going to be dating.
That will take as long as it takes, maybe the rest of his life, maybe not.
wait, does anyone remember how old arabella was when she met stephen? curious if this means he’s not in the list of possible love interests, lol
Moderator R says
Arabella is around 19 when she meets Stephen Jiang in Emerald Blazes. Stephen is 24 ????.
I’m not confirming anything, btw ????
oh, thank you! also no worries lol i wouldn’t take an age clarification as a confirmation for being a love interest, i was just curious whether he still qualified to be on the possible love interests list, that’s all, and i’m personally glad he is ^^ would personally LOVE if their 2nd meeting is when arabella is 24 and stephen is 28-29, but obviously this is just wishful thinking until arabella’s book comes out and i adjust to what the canon is 😛
Good to know Stephan’s age for some reason I was assuming he was in his mid 30’s and when any of the BDH made relationship suggestions I just went EWWWW in my head.
Yeah, me too! Now the shipping makes more sense to me. I’m still Team Michael though. I think Stephen would make a perfect Leftover character (like the hot guy not picked in k-dramas). He needs to be smitten with Arabella.
I’m fond of Michael for this too. They both are terrifying and powerful in their own way, which for some reason I like for them as a couple.
Thank you for not confirming that they could be a couple. 🙂
Just kept working, bingo fanatics don’t stay home!
Pam Emanuel says
You are my absolute FAVORITE ‘evil’ author
Valerie in CA says
Funny, my friend made me watch last seasons Bachelor with her. I nearly sacrificed myself by purposefully choking on popcorn. Now, to each his own. I’m not judging. I am just stating I did not like it.
As to age differences . I could not agree with you more. I recently got into a *private* heated discussion with a new author about it. She doesn’t see the problem of her main female character, aged 12 falling in love with main male character aged 28. And the cover photo was, to say the least, disturbing. I understand adult things will happen when she is an adult. It was just….no. It just reeks to me of exploration ( and again this is me). The child needs to grow and decide what they want. That informed, intelligent decision does not arrive at an early age. It’s ok in adulthood if there is an age gap. Some of the genre I read is immortals. Lately the females are thousands of years older than their mates. I like that.
No. Just, no.
Not only is that completely wrong, that’s illegal. I don’t care if they’re older, but not as a child. That would make me stop buying anything by that author. Hard pass.
Is the cover actually a child and an adult or are they older on the cover? I can’t imagine someone not saying no to that.
Couldnt agree more. I find it disturbing. I may be a prude but no. Just no.
Lynn L says
Pandemic new habits: Zooming with friends and bookclubs. Curbside groceries; I don’t miss grocery shopping AT ALL. Watching church live streamed when I don’t go. Home pedicures.
We started a family book club that will continue. Especially since we’re all over the country. It’s been amazing. Only girls allowed — my sister, sisters-in-law, and my nieces. I’m planning on choosing Clean Sweep or Burn for Me when it’s my turn to pick the book. 🙂
Also, I let my hair go gray. It went gray in stripes, so it ended up kind of cool. Also, I see my hairdresser at her house (at a huge discount) and she’s going to continue that, so that’s what I’m going to do. Massive savings!
See, I had a kind of Rogue from X-Men streak going, but it was in the middle of the side instead of at the temples like Rogue. Rogue’s I liked. Mine just looked odd having a streak in the middle of the side. So I’ve been coloring my hair until the gray evens out around my entire head.
Just occurred to me the next time the color is fading to see if I have a gray streak on the back of my head. I do not need to be called a skunk or Pepe LePue.
“If that happens.”
You’re killing me Smalls.
During the pandemic I spent loads of time with my teen-age daughter. I intend to keep spending as much time as possible with her. She is an amazing person!
Audrey Jane says
Things I’ll continue from the pandemic: No jeans for me!! It’s to the point where my 2 year old calls jeans “daddy pants” and anything sweatpant-like are called “mama pants” hahahaha. Also, grocery drive up! I felt weird using it before, like I was inconveniencing someone else, but the stores I go to, they’re always so kind and in a good mood (or at least faking it), so I don’t feel bad anymore.
Also, I love that your books are not bachelor-like where everyone has to match up! I don’t really ship Arabella with anyone, but I actually like that for her character right now.
Julia Lowther says
Before the pandemic, I was teaching jewelry making classes at 7-8 different venues in and around Seattle, WA. That all stopped cold, of course, and about a month into the lockdown, another jewelry teacher and good friend suggested we start teaching jewelry classes online. I won’t go back! I’m loving having my own studio and tools to work with, and not having to lug stuff hither and yon, or endure hours in Puget Sound traffic. My students can see demos better (jewelry is small…), and they get a recording to watch later, so everyone wins :). I miss the hugs at the end of class (a LOT), but now I get to have students from Maui and Toronto and all over the Continental US and even the UK, which is awesome! I had always wanted to make my jewelry classes more accessible to students living in remote areas, but apparently it required a global pandemic to help me do that ;p.
Donna A says
Technically speaking it’s NOT doing something for myself that I’ve begun during lockdown and will be keeping up. Online grocery shopping – I love it so much!
I live in central London and don’t drive – the small ‘metro’ and ‘local’ stores charge more than their big counterparts as well as having minimal choice AND don’t honour the offers from their adverts.
So I’d have to get a tube or bus to a Lidl or Asda several miles away, or walk the 2.4km to my slightly bigger Sainsbury’s (and sometimes lazily get the bus back!) just to get a proper shop in.
But now instead of pulling my trolley full of heavy tins, laundry detergent, rice etc, on and off of public transport across London, I get to sit on the sofa, choose from a larger selection of goods and then unpack it on my doorstep every fortnight. It’s awesome!
I started doing my own nails! Think full salon- nail drill, sns/dip powders, uv lamp and gel polishes- I even have an entire nail station. The pandemic has been rough for me and this has turned into my therapy honestly lmao
My family’s go to phrase when the conversation gets uncomfortable is, “Look!” Wait for them to look, “That car has black tires.”
Heehee. Good one.
Grocery pickup! I am really saving $ this way despite the fees because I do less impulse buying. Plus I really hate dealing with the aisle pileups and screaming kids.
This may be random, but I have really enjoyed re-reading the whole published Ilona Andrews collection during the pandemic and looked through your online short story/snippets the other day to see if there was anything I haven’t read for a while and could revisit. This got me thinking of a short story you posted on the blog years ago written by kid 1 or 2 (I think) and that I really enjoyed reading it but it’s been so long I can’t remember much about it and would love a re-read. If I haven’t totally lost my mind and confused author blog posts, is her short story available anywhere?
Technomancer is what springs to mind or something, I remember this too
I agree on the idea of someone drastically older dating a person they first met as a child being generally creepy.
There are, however, exceptions to every rule.
My grandmother was 19 when she first realized she had a huge crush on my grandfather. He, being a very respectable and proper gentleman, was having no part in that as he was 32 years older than her (you read that right— he wasn’t 32 years old, he was 32 years OLDER THAN HER) and viewed her as a little girl regardless of her being, technically, an adult.
She married someone else who was about her age, but he died tragically after just over one year. My mother was born three days after Granny’s first husband died.
When my mother was five, making my grandmother a young widow with a child, she had occasion to meet up again with the man I always knew as my grandfather. Now she did not seem like a little girl to him anymore, motherhood and grief having matured her, but he still would never have pursued her.
She never exactly said this, but my impression was that she chased him until she caught him.
I think she still shocked his modesty, but the idea of taking care of her and her little girl (who he adored) proved too much of a temptation and they were married until his death 26 years later.
Some things are meant to be, however unlikely or uncomfortable it makes us.
I don’t know about “meant to be” but I think we have to allow young women some agency. If one wants to chase after an older guy, whose business is it to tell her not to do it? You can say your piece once, but then you need to back off and let her live her life. For the record, I think it’s a bad idea; older guys tend to condescend way too much. But not my business.
I do agree in general about the idea of the older partner having too much power and being condescending to the younger— but I know that isn’t always true because I knew my grandparents. 🙂
In case I hid the lead in my original post: my Granny was kind of a bad ass.
She spoke her mind and she refused to hold her tongue (neither of which was encouraged for women born in 1918). I never heard my grandfather ever try to rein her in or stifle her in any way. He was a quiet, kind, and peaceful sort of person. I think she knew instinctively that she really needed that. She ran too hot and she needed a partner who didn’t get agitated or upset easily. He was like a rock and she was the wild river that flowed around him but always crashed back to him when she needed safe harbor.
It actually was a beautiful relationship to see and the two of them together gave our family roots and wings— especially since my brothers and I were the only grandchildren either of them had and we lived in the same house with them (the one my grandfather built with his own hands where my parents still live).
That makes a lot of sense (on both sides) and I’m glad they got their HEA.
Your grandmother was obviously mature at that age (which isn’t always the case), but I also think that times change and 19 for your grandmother was probably “older” than 19 now (if that makes any sense, I can’t figure out how to say what I’m thinking). ????
I absolutely know what you mean!
Back then 19 was considered old enough to marry and be a parent. Nowadays if someone wants to marry at 19 we would all be worried that it was way too young.
boba tea…..I now make it with chai tea on ice and I have little individual packets of boba pearls to microwave & pour in.
I am letting my gray show and am not dyeing it anymore.
It would be fun for Arabella to join one of those speed dating things. NEXT!
I would love a book about Augustine because the way you’ve written him is super intriguing to me. Would love to know more about his story! Though I have to say I definitely haven’t pictured him with any of the currently existing characters (certainly not Arabella, for reasons you’ve mentioned).
As for the pandemic? My eating out decreased soooo much, and I plan to keep it that way. Most of it was getting fast food for lunches at work. When we moved to wfh I was able to make fresh food for lunch (I really dislike leftovers) and it has helped a ton. I’m thankful that my work is only going back to hybrid office work. So for my one day a week I can have my eating out with the coworkers, and the rest I can eat healthier (and cheaper) at home!
I am converting all of the kids art projects collected over the years and family pictures into picture books. There are some old pictures in horrible frames that have special people in them but I don’t want them to grace my walls. I love the art my kids created but in cardboard boxes in the garage they are getting destroyed and unappreciated. This is a new mission in life for me and I am really enjoying it:)
I gave up my office at work and have made my home office my main landing pad. My boss is cool and just cares if the work gets done.
I’ll go in a couple times a month but I’ll hotel while I’m there. All my physical files, research books and bound agreements are at home now.
So much nicer to work from home (I’m single and childless living alone). It also makes helping my mom a lot easier when I don’t have to explain why I need to disappear for a couple of hours to take her to the dr.
Korean Dramas! and Cannabis (legal in my state)
Ginni Carter says
K-Pop and Cannabis together are a real trip.
Not a thing. Except for haircuts, visiting friends, eating out and going to the lab to work, life went on as usual. I found I hate online shopping (except books), I hate cutting my own hair even tho I don’t s..k at it, I have come to despise picking up takeout and am so happy to be vaccinated and eating in restaurants again. I can’t wait to go overseas again. But probably not until next summer. Things are still too iffy from the point of view of quarantines.
Colleen C. says
Pedicures. As you know, we wear sandals for most of the year here in Texas and I was getting pedis once a month. When that stopped over the last year my nails started looking much healthier. It’s a pain but I am now doing my own pedis!
Ooh also, trying to bring in momentum to House IA multiverse here, but something about that sentence “for that you will have to wait until..” had me thinking. What if its Jack (the edge!). The wait is for Jack to show up on HL world in search of a serum monster needing to be neutralized, because summoning is actually magically bringing in alien life. (Feeble but probable connection established). And ta da! Although I don’t think those personalities work smoothly together, more opportunity for clash and bangs! I wanna be at a party where all IA characters can feasibly exist. Innkeeper is that for me.
I started growing house plants in a serious way, now up to 85 plants + DIY indoor glass greenhouse cabinets… it’s meditation & nerding out at the same time. Had plans on learning culinary skills, that did not happen but I gain a lot of weight. 😉
Cooking. Every single meal. We used to eat out constantly and it has lost all its appeal.
I stopped feeling guilty for sometimes having life interfere with my 9-5.
I am fortunate to love my job, but if I need to get my hours in at midnight occasionally that’s just how it’s gonna be.
Anne H says
Well…it’s not something that I started but something I stoped. I stoped coloring my hair and let it grow out to white/silver. I will never go back to coloring.
Amy Ann says
I was almost there but chickened out a couple of days ago and went back to the color. I am hybrid WFH and office and since I started going to the office a couple of days a week, I felt the need to color. I’m the oldest person in the office (although most people think I’m 10 years younger) and I feel the need to disguise that (to avoid age bias). I may change my mind though because I found I have lovely white hair.
I started reading cozy romance novels mostly. They weren’t my top genre but they’ve become my number 1 go to. Our lives got a bit more hectic and we’ve had a whole lot of bumps and bruises during the pandemic. I needed the feel good so that I could let my brain and emotions relax into a predictable pattern.
If I had time I would like to learn how to knit or crochet. Maybe next year or the year after once things settle for us.
Weeding. I don’t like doing it, but I love not having someone else doing it.
I spend bazillions of dollars on certain “weeds” (common milkweed, butterfly weed, whorled milkweed, hoary vervain, goldenrod, joe pye weed, bergamot) and treasure my volunteers (daisy fleabane, prairie coreopsis, white sweet clover). It makes me completely insane when the yard guys, despite being begged repeatedly to please JUST MOW and leave the beds alone, go through and rip out things I’ve nursed along for months.
Now I use a weedwhacker and push mower between the beds and take care of things myself. Out with the invasives! Hooray for pollinator plants!
I’m managing my fields for this now. I just mow paths, and then mow the whole deal down sometime between December and April. It would make my ag professors keel over, but from an environmental perspective it’s outstanding, and my easy keepers do much better on it.
May I say that I hate my chin hairs (that seem to be multiplying???) with the fire of a thousand suns?
Okay, it’s not the fire of a thousand suns, because I’m just lazier than that, but yeesh. For this I sugar. Though, um, wearing a mask when I’m out might have sugaring less frequently.
Pam Chesbro says
I have chronic pain in my bad back. I have started having groceries delivered to my door including all the heavy stuff delivered into a roll around cart. It’s delightful. I save a fortune on impulse buys.
Working from home.
I changed jobs so I could keep working from home. My previous company wanted us back in the office before vaccines were even readily available.
And in changing jobs I have found a job I am really loving, and co-workers I enjoy collaborating with…plus double the vacation time I used to have.
Jennifer Howard says
I started making cheese, butter and yogurt ????
At the start of the pandemic up here (New England) last year, butter and cheese prices soared, but milk was still reasonably priced. It was just me and the dogs (husband was overseas and College Minion was at college) and I needed something to occupy myself with.
So, 18 mths later, I now make soft cheese, hard cheese, butter and yogurt fairly often.
I hv a confession. I. Hv. Never. Watched. The Batchelor. I. Will. Never. Watch. The Batchelor. (I erased half this message so I don’t get into “trouble”). How can it be that this ridiculous show has been on for 25 seasons? What do I not know?
Sorry to get off topic. I’m so confused about this.
Ginni Carter says
I have to agree with you.
Moderator R says
No need to be sorry ☺️. I am in the same boat!
Its been on for 25 years!?!?! Now I’m just horrified. Why?
Caressa Roberts says
My nails. I learned to do my own dip nails. I also have a wax station that I use as well.
M.S. Linsenmayer says
I always had issues with mortal/ immortal relationships, for much the same reason. To that 300 year old vampire over there, the 20 something hot young necromancer is a child, really. The only way to make this work is for the immortal to emotionally and mentally develop more slowly, which in its own way is kind of scary, too.
I will say I loved the way Kate and Curran developed, as it took several books and a real friendship to form before anything else did 🙂
Ginni Carter says
I read one once where the immortal dude was letting the 20 something run his security because she had become so competent in the 6 months of training she had done. I just blinked a bit and put the book down.
I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed the heck out of a few books like this, but what the heck?* Since it’s frequently a (much) older immortal man and a young (mortal or recently mortal) woman, is the idea that it just takes men that long to attain some degree of emotional maturity?
* I’ve been approached by a number of significantly younger men and… so far, just no (with one exception that didn’t work out, but I was at least into. I’m not saying that wasn’t an example of some of the same things, though!)
Pandemic habits. I, um, bought a horse. And on Sunday another one arrived. This is my life now <3
You win. Best. Pandemic. Habit. EVER.
I agree! Best life change I’ve heard so far. From this post and from regular life.
Jackie H says
Ordering groceries online is the best thing ever. So much easier to meal plan and stay on budget by preventing impulse grocery purchases. I also upped my baking game by mastering making croissants from scratch. Now I can make them and freeze them to bake when I have a craving instead of going out to buy them at a bakery.
Michele G says
I’m reading all the excellent things people have done during lock down, and feeling guilty. Then I remembered, I got a new job after walking away from a nightmare ????????♀️.
Also Zoom with friends, not needing make up, no expensive shoes/ clothes, catching up on music & online theatre ❤️
Online theater is the best. Our local theaters finally opened and I got to go to a live performance. A week later I caught a cool. Not COVID, a cold. I miss theaters so much.
Laura Martinez says
I let my grey come out. It looks great.
Laura Martinez says
I forgot. I learned to make the best sourdough bread. I bake every two weeks now, and I accept no substitutions. I have become a sourdough snob.
I too bought a wax station, there is something just so satisfying using it and I started roller skating, or attempting to roller skate, falls have happened and inclines are not my friend.
Habit from the pandemic times that I will keep: turning off the tv news programs when it gets to be too much. Less acid indigestion and anxiety over things I cannot fix. Also turning off my phone for the same reason.
Fun programs on tv: Jeopardy!, The Chase, $100,000 Pyramid, and Make It!, which is an amazing showcase of craft/artistic talent.
Regarding Derek and Julie…. I was thinking about this the other day on one of my walks. Derek’s mad that Julie left, and Julie’s mad that Derek didn’t come after her, but they each really needed the time apart so that they could each “become” in their own way. If they had stayed together in Atlanta, I think it would have been hard for Derek in particular to ever see Julie as anything other than too young (and maybe also too much akin to a sister, given the complexity and closeness of Derek’s ties to her parents). He’s an honorable guy, and they met when she was only 12. That’s bound to have some repressive weight. And if he couldn’t ever see her as anything other than too young or too sisterly, that would have hurt Julie, who never saw Derek as a brother and always had feelings for him. Her love might have turned to bitterness. She’s not really bitter right now. She’s mad, and her feelings are a bit hurt. But she still loves him.
Hopefully Julie will come to realize all that, and hopefully Derek will come to realize that Julie, too, needed to put some distance between herself and her identity as a child…as Kate’s child. It’s not a rejection of Kate and Curran or a rejection of Derek. It’s just normal separation that’s part of the maturation process. But that separation might have been harder for her to achieve if she had stayed in Atlanta. She needed the physical distance. (I have a friend who graduated from high school with me. He was accepted to a very small school and a much larger state university. He chose to go to the state university. When I asked him why, his comment was that in a small setting, who you are on Day 1 is sometimes who you have to be the whole time, whereas a larger setting with more people offers more options for exploration and reinvention. I totally understood what he was saying, and I think it may apply for Julie and Derek as well.) Also, since their lives have diverged so dramatically over the last 8 years (with neither of them even remotely aware of what has been going on with the other), it gives them now an opportunity to come together almost as strangers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. They have the benefit of that childhood connection and what they meant to each other then. In a very real way, they were partners before, and that’s a strong foundation for a future relationship. For a MARRIAGE. But now they also have the benefit of getting to know one another as “new” people.
Judy Schultheis says
Aye, this. The age difference between Derek and Julie wasn’t six years, though – according to ages mentioned in a couple of different places, more like four and a half or five years. Still pretty wide for when they started, but it had greatly narrowed, relatively speaking, by the time she left.
I agree with you that the separation was necessary! My husband and I were high school sweethearts, never dated anyone else and only broke up for 2 weeks when we were 19, happily married until he died at 50. However, we did not go to college together and I think that’s why we survived. We had our own experiences, jobs, friends, etc that contributed to our growth as people and allowed us time to mature without the insanity of hormones and early adulthood to push us into conflict. Not to say we didn’t have conflict only seeing each other every few months but that’s another story;). Love him still, miss him everyday.
Nancy C. says
Because of the pandemic I switched to mostly online shopping. If it’s not groceries, I just buy it over the Internet.
I would also visit the library more often, before Covid, but nowadays I do most of my reading on my Kindle
Homeschooling my youngest. She is special needs and has a learning disability. School was always a stressful time, and she never seemed to learn much of anything. After a year of homeschooling her stress level is down. Her reading comprehension is much improved and she’s a happier child.
This is so awesome. Some kids had a really hard time without school, and some thrived. I hope parents pay attention to which is which.
Not on topic, but I just wanted to say that I love that picture of a working writer. Still makes me laugh.
Moderator R says
It’s the absolute best. So realistic too 😀
Noel Goudreau says
THANK YOU for not doing the creepy thing with your characters!
I liked Anne Bishop’s Courtyard books so I went back and looked up some of her older series. The age difference (adult male meeting interest as a child) is a serious problem for me in the Black Jewels books. It’s really skeevy.
I wish I could say I have some good pandemic habits to carry forward but I’ve only developed bad habits…
Ginni Carter says
There are a lot of things that are hard to stomach in that series, but I still think it’s a good read.
+1. Me too – not my cup of tea. It was a rare Did Not Finish for me. Only got about 1/3 through the first book in the Black Jewels series. On the other hand, I did really enjoy her Others series
So I appreciate House Andrews rule of thumb for relationships ????
The first book was a tough read, but in no way could Daemon ever have a hand in grooming since he met her for a couple of weeks at 12 and then not again until many years later.
I,too, have embraced my gray. And cutting my own hair pretty successfully. I need external motivation to exercise so joined a Pacer Virtual Adventure Challenge for a pretty, shiny medal. Now I’m addicted to getting the medals and have branched into the Conqueror Virtual Challenges too. So. Many. Medals. And my heart is happy because of the exercising (stationary bike) and the gathering of bling. 🙂
If Julie spent 9 months physically, but 4 years mentally in a magically induced coma doesn’t that make Julie and Derek mentally only 2-3 years apart experience wise?
Also pandemic sourdough bread. I have my own sourdough starter and have successfully baked loaves and rounds. But boy it takes a lot of flour to keep an active starter ready!
On starter: I’ve had luck keeping mine in the fridge and feeding it once a week, then feeding it up to size the day before baking. Really cuts down on the discard!
Nuff respect on the age-gap position! Power imbalance due to large age gaps between partners in sexual relationships is still a significant factor in women’s ability to negotiate access to reproductive health services and avoiding gender based violence.
Moderator R says
I like you ????.
Speaking as a former Women Shelter employee, this is very much spot on.
+1. When you are the younger person it’s too easy to follow, rather than develop into a full, self defined human being. In many cases. A couple of things to watch out for. If all their former relationships are with significantly younger people, move on. If they are divorced and have no idea why that’s so, move on.
Mary Cruickshank Peed says
I can’t think of anything I particularly started. I seem to have stopped cleaning my house and I’m trying to get back to that…
I’d love to see Augustine gobsmacked by a very intelligent woman who is in no way conventionaly beautiful. Just gobsmacked. It’s obvious that physical looks are important to him… So I would like it to be a conflict for him… And then for him to notice that she’s really beautiful he just didn’t notice at first. (I have a friend who very earnestly told me how beautiful his wife is. He just didn’t notice at first)
Ginni Carter says
Like”ferrets invading vía dryer vents gobsmacked”
I always thought of Augustine’s image as a power thing (you know, like a power suit) and not necessarily as beauty being important to him, but I would love to read his story to find out! ????
Fostering Boston terriers. We were planning to do start fostering once we retired in a few years but since we were stuck at home and the rescue we got our dogs from desperately needed foster homes, we decided to take the plunge.
Curbside pickups, grocery delivery, and outdoor movie nights with a projector! Nothing beats convenience and allowing me to continue being anti-social. ????
Chelley Roberts says
Oddly enough… I may keep doing my own trims if I keep growing my hair out. It falls to mid-butt now. I found a tutorial where you essentially make a pony tail at your forehead, flatten the hair out vertically like a fin and cut it at an angle. Simple and uncomplicated.
1. Cutting mine and my whole family’s hair.
2. Grocery pick up. With 4 little kiddos grocery pickup is soooo nice.
Let my hair grow out for the first time since the kiddos were born. Plan to keep it around chest length.
*in Oliver Twist voice* please sir, I want some Derek-Julie kissy face
Derick and Julie already have had their first kiss. Derick just doesn’t know it.
In Magic Stars, she kissed him when he was passed out.
“She’d cried and then kissed his lips gently, because he was asleep and he would never know.”
It’s not a first kiss if it’s not shared.
I started making my own lotions, chapstick, face serums. I did a ton of research because the last thing I needed was to make something that would blow up a petri dish. And I am too lazy to pull my lotion out of a refrigerator several times a day. Meaning there are preservatives in there.
I have very fine straight hair. I decided to perm it. I have been wanting beach waves for a while but finding someone who perms hair has been difficult. I researched the heck out of that too. I grew up in the late 80s/early 90s. Spent years getting the spiral perm; plenty of hours in the chair. I knew the basics. I found this stuff called olaplex, and put that in the perm. Between that and only using 20 rods, my hair survived it. I figured being stuck in the house was a perfect time to try it.
I am going to keep up with the chapstick, lotions, and serums. My face has never looked better. I have eczema and the ingredients I have added are helping keep that at bay. If you all are ever interested, there is a channel on YouTube from the Soap Queen. Instead of water, I use aloe vera water as my base. The lotion is a bit more expensive than the lotions at the store (aloe vera water isn’t cheap), but it is amazing on my skin. Living in Colorado, one needs moisturizer (and chapstick).
Ista in Sydney says
Thanks for the youtube rec.. atopic dermatitis all my life and i’ve been thinking of dabbling
Because of how “country” we live, nothing really changed with covid. I still work as an ICU nurse, my husband still works from home. I still stop every 2 weeks for groceries but still hoard TP, paper towels, canned goods, and vinegar for cleaning…We watch movies or TV series on blu ray, sit by the fire, do yard work and take care of the chickens..all which is the same…. I still Skype farther away family and friends from Dunkin Donut parking lot using their wifi cause ours via satelliteis spotty at best.
I have though watched covid kill more patients of mine, slowly and horribly, in the last year than in the 30 years previous work life. It was more than enough for me to take the last month off from work, and still have 2 more yet to go before I contemplate going back.
Thank you for all you do. I hope your time off is wonderful.
What I’ll keep doing : Not helping people when they are moving in to somewhere. I got tendonitis in my shoulder in November last year when I helped my grandma, and it still hurt occasionally :/ heavy lifting is definitely not for me????
I wonder why all protagonist have to find someone (tall, strong, reliable, with dry humour, alpha type….) I would be fine with Arabella being single ???? But I totally want to see how she interacts with the aquakinetic who plays in her favourite drama ????
During the pandemic I started doing my own nails (dipping) and got pretty good at it except I had a heavy hand with the drill and seriously damaged my own nail beds, so rather than going back to the salon (nails have grown out now and are healthy) I’m going to do the glue on nails…it works for me and I’m not drilling into my nails as I obviously can’t be trusted with a drill…..=)
However, I did have my first pedicure in 2 yrs…..my toes needed professional help!
So for self grooming, I stopped dying my hair, so I am sporting very glowing white hair right now. My Dad was glowing white at 40, but said his three heathen kids caused it. I also started walking ( no gym time)about 5 miles a day, I love it. I love when you tease ???? us with hints, evilly good!!
I have a wax station too, but I bought mine before the pandemic, because I am furry. ???? I love it! Pulling out those hairs and seeing them in the wax is a most satisfying thing.
Donating blood. Sadly I haven’t been as good about walking regularly and I need to pick that up again…
Ellen Solensky says
My favorite salon professional came to my home to trim my hair. I will continue as long as she is willing. A bit more money, worth it.
Decided yo retire because even during lockdowns i have had to go into work.
Personal services reopened a couple weeks ago here after 1.5 year of them being closed.
I got my eyebrows threaded. They look so good! I forgot that it hurts but it’s rather quick and it was worth it.
Walking or hiking every day, unless the weather is truly hideous or I’m deathly ill or injured. I miss very few days, but those days I really miss it.
Also, I learned to Zoom, and I can do it if absolutely necessary. I don’t miss Zoom when it doesn’t happen.
As for the rest of the post – lol!
And the vegetable garden. That’s new. I really like growing our own food.
LOVE the hints. Can’t wait for future posts.
I already made bread, but I jumped onto the sourdough wagon – but most SPECIFICALLY for pancakes. O.M.G. do soudough pancakes beat the HECK out of regular pancakes. I’m still working on a decent sourdough loaf – but it’s worth keeping the starter going JUST for the pancakes.
I started eating more vegetables. I thought I was eating “enough” before, but when I started to add more to my meals, I found that I was losing weight. So I kept eating more veggies and now I’m down 20 lbs. Veggies and morning walks are my jam now.
It would be nice to see Agustine end up with someone, but not Arabella. Someone his own age. He has younger siblings, though…
Rolling out of bed and commuting 20 feet to my office and working in my jammies with a pupper keeping my toes warm. Best working situation ever. Now I know why so many authors have dogs.
I started using Libby to check out books and audiobooks. That is how I found the Innkeeper series! I will continue using Libby and reading your books. ????
I got a Vitamix for my 60th birthday. I have acquired a fondness for smoothies and hummus. The hummus is amazing.
Akeru Joyden says
What did I start doing during the pandemic… well, due to being essential government, I worked while everyone except my coworkers stayed at home so that the meat industry would be able to feed everyone. I stopped being able to shop locally, because the stores closed way way early so I was forced to shop online for nearly everything because I was working multiple shifts each day. I’m still working multiple shifts while people are still at home. I’m still not able to shop after I get off work…
I’m still tired, stressed, and I passed crabby a year ago… currently, I am working multiple shifts at multiple locations! I walked in my door from work twenty minutes ago and Alexa started my reminder to go to bed so that I can get 8 hours of sleep (usually) but I have to go in 2 hours earlier than usual tomorrow…
When urban fantasy started to hit big one of my favorite authors that had a 19-yr old get together with a 400-500yr old supernatural, I thought it worked. I was about 25 then.
Well into my 30s and after hearing about all these child abuse cases, 19 all of the sudden seemed so young, and just couldn’t return to those books. “Grooming”, at least to make the 19yr old a more efficient killer (and better lover) started to be very uncomfortable. So…no.
To answer the question: Online grocery shopping. Being an actual millennial, one would think I would have jumped on that bandwagon sooner, but there you go.
Marie S says
Thanks for the snippet. Can’t wait for the book.
I started to make my own yoghurt; so much better than store bought. I made bread for the first time – no knead bread. Will continue to make it intermittently only as it is so addictive.
I have learned so much by listening to Chef Aj’s daily YouTube interviews and love Rich Roll too.
Julie kissed Derek in Magic Stars when he was unconscious. Wonder if he ever had an inkling about that. ????
Teena D says
Do not wax your bikini line by yourself. Yes there is a story and lets just say thank goodness my roommate was a nurse and home at the time.????
NOTHING!!! When this whole ugly thing is over I’m going to stop cutting hair (my own, my husband’s, the dog’s…) I’m going to stop doing my own pedicures. I’m going to stop forcing others to pick out my groceries. I’m going to stop waiting for routine medical care because I’m afraid of medical offices.
I can’t think of a single thing that I’m going to continue doing.
Pandemic activity: cocktails! I have learned so much about the construction of a good cocktail and the types of spirits that I like and don’t, I will have a hard time ordering a cocktail at a bar because of this.
My husband is 12 years younger than I am. What can I say, he’s my soulmate.
Sydney Girl says
Mine is 6 years younger than me, and we met when he was 20 and we were both at university. He makes me laugh so much. We’ve been together 24 years and he still makes me laugh every day.
Lisa Pepper says
Not much changed in my life during the pandemic. I always preferred cooking at home to going out, and a perfect day is spent reading. I plan to keep telling people to get out of my personal space, though….
Making sushi. It was a special treat before the pandemic, but I can make it at home for much cheaper. My quality may not be the best, but I enjoy it and love the art and cutesy things you can do with the presentation.
Carysa Locke says
Okay, I am SO CURIOUS about The Bachelor references. Is this inspiration going to appear in HL? Or something else? If anyone on this planet can make me interested in something Bachelor-esque, it’s going to be you guys!
I see a distinct lack of Stephen in that post, but that might be wishful thinking on my part 🙂
I have actually loved zooming with my parents. They live very far away and the pandemic convinced them to adopt the tech. Additionally, since I’ve been fortunate to be able to do my job from home, I’ve had a lot more practice time on my harp. I make a point to lean a new piece once a week.
Susan J says
What am I going to keep doing? I’m going to continue to pay attention to my porch plants. I wondered why I couldn’t keep a tomato plant for more than a couple of months. It’s because I always burst out the door like a nervous racehorse to run to work and came back after it was dark. Watering was erratic, to say the least. This year I had a tomato plant last and bear fruit until November. Amazing things can happen when you pay attention to your plants and, I don’t know, water them every day?
Arabella – Cornelius/Lenora/Augustine
There are people that ship this?????? My mind is just saying YUCK on repeat…
Also– To answer the question, baking! I started doing it as a hobby with a lack of better things to do being stuck at home all the time and absolutely not wanting to spend another minute in front of the computer.
I’ve had to dial back a bit in the spirit of not getting diabetes, but its been a fun process and I plan on continuing to bake for family and friends.
Moderator R says
There are more ships in the BDH than are dreamt of in any philosophy :D.
I must admit my favourite was the presumed conjugal visits Grandma Frieda has with Adam Pierce bwahahaha.
Whaaaaat? ???? Good ol’, everybody loves her, Grandma Frida and nasty punk-*** Adam Pierce? I think she would tan his hide and then anyone else’s who thought that! ????
…now I’m imagining Grandma Frieda topping Adam Pierce, and I need brain bleach.
BWAH HAHAHA! I wish I was the one to think of it! What an awesome idea ????
During the pandemic, I started painting my own nails using dip powder. I love it! I never used to get my nails done and hated going to nail salons because they would always comment on how short my nails were. The amount of dip powder I now own is embarrassing, but I change my nails every week and it’s fun! ????????
We do family game night once a month. California, Texas and Pennsylvania.
I love staying more in touch and playing board games over zoom with my overseas friends and family! That’s going to stay.
Patricia Schlorke says
What did I do during the pandemic and will not stop doing? Strength training using a resistance band, and stretching after that. Cardio doesn’t do a lot for me. I have a lot of muscle build up, and my abdominal area, in places, are finally getting flatter and stronger. ????
I still go grocery shopping. To me it’s fun.
I still work from home. I worked from home long before the pandemic hit, so that was nothing new.
Still coming out here to read all the interesting posts and comments. ????
Menopause struck and after 3 months of hot flashes (I had a hand held fan in every room) I decided to up my soy intake and go back a few decades and make my own soy milk and tofu again. Abracadabra presto hot flashes problem solved. So every two weeks I have a kitchen day to stock up on things. I make soy milk, tofu, vegan soy yogurt, muffins and a crock pot soup / stew meal. From the soy pulp (okara) I make vegan okara “meatballs”, okara gnocchi, okara granola and okara brownies / cookies. I hardly go to the grocery store anymore except to buy the basics and I get my veggies from the outdoor fruit stand. That’ll stay around ????. I got rid of 23 lbs too. I don’t say lost as it implies I want to find it again ????
Marie S says
That’s amazing. Do you have a tofu recipe you could share?
I just spent three days putting away 50 lbs of free peaches. Peaches in light syrup, peach applesauce, peach jam (ultra smooth), peach ginger jam, peach ginger orange jam and dried peaches. I had forgotten how much work but also how much fun it is. Note to self – yes, the chinois is as much of an upperbody workout as I remeber it being. However, thank goodness I have all the tools. Best of all, peaches for the winter.
I may get back to small batch canning. Nothing this big, but man, I had forgotten how nice it is to put stuff away for yourself.
Patricia Schlorke says
So that’s where Kate got her “peachy” comment when someone asked how she was doing. ????????
Faith LaBarbera says
I started using nail wraps. They’re cheaper than going to the salon, so I’m sticking with them. With the Salon/Spa being closed and my stylist of over 20 years leaving said Salon (I cried), I decided to use Overtone Blue for Brown Hair. I had to do something…so it’s very blue and I get a lot of compliments. My daughter keeps saying…but it’s NOT a Natural color…how about Blonde???? Maybe Blonde with a layer of Fuschias pink underneath. Grins…I finally have hit a point where I don’t feel like I have to conform:)
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you Ilona Andrews for the post.
Using MyChart app to talk with mother’s doctors. Also I have white coat hypertension so the streamlined Covid protocols helped me a lot with this. I actually only had a slightly elevated blood pressure by end of my physical visit whereas before I would be in stroke territory.
On personal side I started cutting my own hair. Mother informed me I looked like a shaggy unkept dog when it got shoulder length and I had pulled back in ponytail. ????. So I cut my hair all over 2 inch length. (Because less than 1.5 inches, hair stands straight up. The farm animals don’t care and it had grown out before my next Mother interaction. Whew. ). Now she says I look bald. ????. Since I hate going to beauty salons and I like my look…. ????
Judy E Schultheis says
I’m going to continue the exercising I started. I’m tired of my firstborn explaining to me that I’m old. I’d like to get back into contra dancing, but I don’t know anybody who’d want to go with me, and going by myself wasn’t at all fun when I tried it a few years back.
I’ll be old when I’m 80, and probably still in pretty good shape physically as well. Any mental issues are unlikely to hit till I’m well into my 90s at the very least.
I love contra dancing! Would love to find a contra community in my area. If I were in your area I would definitely go with you. ♥️
Baking and home haircuts seem to be a common theme here. I do have a twist on both, though.
Not only have I been cutting my husband’s hair, he’s been cutting _my_ curly shoulder-length hair successfully.
I was already baking bread and pizza dough, but the pandemic has led to multiple joint baking projects. Last week we made cinnamon rolls from scratch that turned out really well. (I think that’s the first time I’ve had cream cheese frosting that I liked.) We’ll see how well some of them taste after a week in the freezer.
What brand of wax station. Also, definitely evil. But we love it.
The Covid appliance, a rice cooker. Love using it. It has three components that need to be cleaned after each use, I do not love that, but the rice is superb.
Did anyone else squeal out loud at work at the thought of Derek and Julie’s first kiss?? only me? okies.
Retired during the Pandemic – plan to stay that way
Thank you for the Arabella comment. Also the “not everyone needs to hook up” comment. 54 yr old lifelong bachelor here. ???? Not against it, just managed to avoid what would have been a couple (no pun intended) bad choices.
My new thing: drinking better wine on more than just special occasions without making myself somehow “earn” it. Cheers!
Tracey J says
I have never been into girly things, so I’ve been ponytail- and- go for most of my life. Last summer I was working such long hours, I tried to get a cousin to braid my hair but she didn’t know how, so I went to YouTube, bought some hair extensions and did it myself. I really enjoyed not having to fuss with it every morning, so I’m getting ready to do it again during my busy season – this time in black to red ombre. $15 for a hairstyle that would cost minimum $200? Sold!
Age differences in the real world… One of my boyfriends is almost 10 years older than me. I met him while in my twenties, when I was in college. My other boyfriend is 14 years older than I am. I met him after being with my first boyfriend for over a decade. I’ve been with the one for 21 years and the other for 9 years now. I love them both!
As for habits I picked up during the pandemic that I enjoy… Watercolor painting. I want to keep doing that.
Family chats, too. Those actually started soon after my dad died – about 6 months before the pandemic. But they were such life savers during.
The thing I developed last year after visiting ER with what we thought was a heart attack, was self caring. I’m even brutal about it now. My kiddos only have one mami and I am needed. Also, I love to read so much…so yeah. Want to keep on living.
Thanks for pointing out that characters do not HAVE to have a significant other! Case in point: I’ve been rereading the whole KD series (and loving it all over again), and Ghastek and Rowena have a steady platonic-work relationship. BUT they clearly value that connection, regardless of other people’s opinions/assumptions/expectations of romance. I have a theory that Ghastek and Rowena fall under the aromantic-asexual umbrella, although that’s my own opinion.
Learned how to make gnocchi this pandemic, yum!
Deborah Parker says
I am happy to read this. Another author I read wrote one of her books in a series where the main romantic couple always skeeved me out simply because when the male protagonist met the female protagonist she was a child. Not a preadolescent, but she was in her mid-teens and he was in his early 30s. He watched her grow up as a child of his culture. To top it all off he was the controlling factor of that culture, he was the leader. I just never got over that, I could never psychologically come to terms with it. To this day the eeewwww factor of that book remains high for me.
Teasers! ^_^ I have to say that the previous post made me wonder if Michael from the Office of Records might be in the running, he’s a memorable character that could quickly become interesting. There could be some unique benefits to being tied to the Office of Records that could be good for Arabella’s unique situation too. There’s also the water mage from before ^_^. So fun!!
During COVID I started dressing for myself a little more both for looks and comfort 🙂 and I decided I like my hair shorter than I thought, I hope those thins will continue on :).
Started ordering in more often to support our local restaurants. Also started doing a cardio dance fitness routine every morning, which has been awesome.
I finally got a bluetooth headset because my son calls and we talk for hours and I hated holding the phone up. When he used to visit every two weeks, we never talked because my husband, his father, would never allow us to talk to each other and sit and listen to what we wanted to say. So I will keep the bluetooth gizmo and talk to my son. And everyone else, of course.
The only other new thing I have done during the pandemic is fight cancer. I will continue that fight, too.
Carrie Bartkowiak says
Kick cancer’s ass, you beautiful warrior!
If there was only one thing I could remove from this world, it would be cancer.
I hope that your cancer goes into remission ????
I started watching k-dramas and don’t ever plan on stopping. Started with Crash Landing On You and LOVED it, I’ve watched it twice. Recently watched Live Up To Your Name and that’s the latest one I’ve loved. There are a lot of bad ones out there and I’ve left some unfinished but when it’s good, it’s so much fun.
Haha the Bachelor, a show I’ve watched on and off for years. I got back into it due to quarantine. We watched Clare/Tayshia’s season and also Matt James. My sister met Matt James pre-Bachelor a few times, he stopped by her old place of work because he was her former coworker’s cousin. My sister said he made her entire department (all straight women) turn their heads whenever he came by. I haven’t really watched the latest season but now that we’re getting to the ending, I’ll check in with the last few episodes. It’s such a problematic show (cue diverse casting/Chris Harrison/contestants’ racist past controversy) so I hope you don’t actually write anything remotely related to it haha. But it makes for some great mindless stupid TV.
Not. A. Fan.
Umm.. keep using mask when going outside maybe?????????
I’ve mostly stopped eating breakfast. As I use to every day and missed if I couldn’t have it. I’m reading late and getting up late too. I do like energy drinks blueV is the best. I don’t drink coffee. I will have breakfast but maybe twice a week
Keeping: making my own chocolate chip cookie dough. I found a few great recipes and keep a stash in the fridge/freezer for cookie emergencies.
Doing my own nails will probably stay in my routine. And gardening a few hours each week, too.
I hope I can keep telecommuting. I’m mostly in the office but the one day at home helps me to catch up on projects.
Crystal T says
Going make-up free in public. I never left the house without at least eyeliner and mascara and brow tint. (I’m a ginger.). The fog from the mask kept smearing my eye makeup. Turns out that at 43 I don’t really care about random people’s opinion about how I look. I still wear makeup when I want to, but it’s not mandatory for a wick house exit anymore.
Elizabeth Jensen says
I started painting after during the pandemic, after a 20 year break. Feels so good to be creative in that way again. Can’t use my favorite oils though, since i don’t have a workroom on my own, but acrylics are fine too.
And painting roses instead of being stuck in traffic when going to and from work is nice too.
I started watercolor for the first time! It’s a STEEP learning curve but I love it.
Bread making. I learn how to make artisan bread via YouTube. Now we have fresh loaf of bread every Saturday and Sunday!
I will actually get local takeout more. I felt somewhat pressured to always cook nutritious family meals blah, blah, blah. The idea of supporting local businesses and also not doing dishes really works for us!
Kathryn L Moran says
I learned to crochet during the pandemic. I am now addicted to yarn, but am trying not to go broke buying it. I am also trying not to outstrip my yarn storage. So far, so good, but it’s a slippery slope. I keep planning projects and then planning more. I can’t crochet as fast as my enthusiasm for new projects races ahead. I am currently trying to learn how to do cable crossovers. This feels like my passion for reading only substitute yarn for books. I am hesitant to combine the two habits, because listening to books while I crochet means I could possibly never get anything done or going anywhere or move much and that would be a problem.
Carrie Bartkowiak says
You know, they make slow-walking under-the-desk treadmills that authors use. I bet you could (with some entertaining learning curves) come to crochet, listen to audiobooks, AND exercise at the same time. 🙂
Ms. Kim says
Listening to Great Courses! History of English language was fascinating. But so much I have to mentally unpack. I keep re-listening to different discs. Then History of Tudor and Stewart Monarchs. Just love this new learning experience.
Amanda Carter says
Cdramas, I started watching one last August and got hooked. They are TV perfection for me. As close to reading a book as TV can get. I have watched some Kdramas and am just starting Jdramas but the Chinese dramas are still my favorite. I started them when in a reading slump (a pandemic is the worst time to be in a reading slump). I enjoy the modern dramas but the historical costume dramas are really my favorite. I have 68 dramas on my plan to watch list (and it will just continue to grow). Currently deciding between Ancient Love Poetry and The Legend of Fu Yao. By the way I know you have mentioned Cdramas on this blog before so I give you credit as being one of the sources that helped me go in that direction. Thank You!
Living in the woods. Okay, that preceded the pandemic, but my cottage in the woods was the best pandemic gift I could give myself, and I’ve loved it every day.
Spinning. My output varies depending on what’s up (I’ve mostly been spinning flax is last bit.) I don’t do many custom colorways while I’m fostering kittens (my Gremlins are so good, and I can lay out roving to dye and they’ll look and not touch.) And sure, I was spinning before, but I picked up a new wheel, and started trading with knitting friends, and it’s been great.
Working from home as much as possible. I’m teaching next semester, so will hopefully be on campus twice a week (looks at delta and delta+ hard)… and I’m going to keep it to that. But it’s more than just the WFH – I’ve really re-thought a lot about productivity, and how I use my time, and how much office time ends up being wasted. At least at home I can waste time doing things for me!
I’ve recently picked up a Roland stage piano. Once upon a time, I was a serious pianist. (I also wrote both piano and symphonic music…) I don’t think classic piano is what I’m wanting now, but every since I’ve moved here, music has been bubbling out of me. So I’m trying to set myself up for both writing it down, and maybe recording some of it (in a totally low key hobbyist sort of way.) I made a joking comment about fleshing out a bunch of the ridiculous stuff I sing to my cats and recording them, and got a lot of support from friends. It could be a fun exercise, but also is likely to further degrade my already beleaguered dignity.
Carrie Bartkowiak says
To h*ll with dignity…enjoy your creativity. It’s the only life you’ve got.
(That we know of, anyway.)
Well, I’m going forward with it a bit (as I’m getting the midi controller and such set up, and figure out what I need to get decent vocal recordings – I have a nice mic, but the acoustics in my house aren’t great). We’ll see!
Wow! I want to be you when I grow up. That all sounds incredible.
I’m really loving my current life. Getting here was a process, though? (I mean, time was I was a married software engineer with a lovely house on an acre in a good school district.) If my ex weren’t such an outrageous ass, I probably would be there still, if likely having also moved into academia. (There were also supposed to be kids…)
Homeschooling our kids. Never would have done this if not for the pandemic!
I work in health care, so hide my head under a cap at work and wear scrubs all day. I let my hair go silver, grew out all the layers, and stopped shaving my legs. My husband has no problems with any of it and I am never going back. Saves me lots of time, energy, and money at the salon. Whoo hoo!
There is now a Rabbit Hutch which has rabbits. The kids still don’t fully understand the farm to table aspect of the equation. The health protein is staying.
It seems that big gob of flying grease worked like a charm. Lol.
Derek and Julie, yay! And super excited about the genre post!
On a completely separate note, do you have stats/analytics on your reader demographic, specifically with re. to age groups? I’d be curious to know..
Nancy Pollan says
Dog grooming. First couple were disastrous, but now my muts look pretty good.
S Atilano says
May I recommend an at home IPL hair removal device in lieu of wax? Armpits, legs, bikini line, and chin are all hair free after (except for those single stubborn ones) about 6 months of home treatment sessions – about 3 weeks apart.
During confinement, I started reading in ebook format. My baby luv offered me a Kobo. I’ve read all the KD books, Innkeeper, The Edge, Hidden Legacy, Kinsmen, Alphas, Ryder, all KD World and the shorts stories…I’m planning on continuing to read and read even more and reread and reread. Thanks.
“#CasuallyEvilWriter, #HowToMessWithFandom” ????????????
I will never straighten my hair again.I had started highlighting my hair rather than one color process thinking I might let my hair go grey. Used the pandemic to take the plunge. Best decision ever.
Pandemic activities: I don’t wash my hair every day anymore. I always wondered why I had such frizzy hair. Now I know. My hair would start to look nice in the evening, then the next day I’d wash it and back to limp frizzyness. It’s a thing. Now I wait a couple days between washes and my hair is much happier and growing like crazy. Also I got a wood bristled brush to help move the oils down the strands, be gentler on the hair, etc. Also I brush my hair more. Like before bed, or before a shower. To protect it from breakage. I may have grown a bit hair obsessed. Oh dear. I guess this is what happens when you spend too much time with only short furry friends for company. Apparently.
I’m writing again. Somehow, pre-pandemic — with 3 kids under 5 and working from home — I didn’t have time. With all of those kids home and picking up a second job during the pandemic, I somehow found the time (read: the desperation) to start writing again. And now it’s something I refuse to let go of again.
Re: Derek & Julie.
I ship them. Hard. But more than wanting them together, I want them both *happy*. There will be great big ugly sobs if Derek becomes a “bad guy” (uh, relative to Kate & Co).
I’m sure if that happens it’ll be the right creative choice and a good story etc, but I will probably need therapy.
Playing D&D online.
Raelene Gorlinsky says
I started wearing a face mask during the pandemic. I continue to do so now in any public place or crowded outdoor space; I will probably do so the rest of my life. I have not had a cold or the flu since wearing a mask, and I feel so much safer.
R Mangum says
Ordering groceries!!! I’m physically disabled and had a hard time getting groceries. I love it!!
I am in Seattle and grocery delivery has been a thing here for a long time. I am so happy it became a nation wide thing for those where delivery service enhances their accessibility.
Also grocery delivery forces you to stay on budget and avoid too many impulse buys
Re the pendemic – In a totally bizarre life episode, I had retired to take care of my husband in June 2019. His health rather deteriorated and by 2020, he was bedbound with visits from home health folks about the only ‘incoming.” That meant we were really already having voluntary restrictions and lockdowns just because of his needs. It was not pretty, it was not fun, but we got to spend the last 2 years of his life together very closely, without a lot of the interruptions of what we thought as regular life. And yes, it was a blessing.
Oooh, evil hinting! I’m so excited.
I tell you what I am NOT doing – I am never, ever, EVER attending another funeral by Zoom. (Frankly, I don’t want any more funerals – period!) TOO MANY over the last year and a half. None directly from Covid, but I’m betting over half were from Covid-related stress and reaction to the whole mess. 10 is too many for that short a period!!!
Sorry, I had to get that off my chest.
There’s 15 years between my husband and I… but I was 27 when we met and started dating. It’s also my second marriage, so I definitely knew what I was getting into, and how to stand up for myself if I needed to (luckily not a skill required with my current husband. We’re pretty chill and respectful of each other). If I had been 17 my mother would have committed violence. It was still a close thing.
I too love doing the waxing myself. Except underarms. It’s an awful thing, don’t do it. I have to say, the pandemic didn’t really change much for me. I’ve been doing my own grooming all my life, except cutting my hair, which I’ve also done myself for ten years now (no more saying take off an inch and losing six…) I did buy myself a rowing machine, and might buy myself a treadmill this winter. Before I’d either exercise outside or not at all, turns out I like exercise machines too. I’ve never had any before, but starting the summer not suffering because I hadn’t slacked off all winter was glorious.
Lizabeth Borrell-deMaio says
I will continue to make sourdough bread, although not as frequently as before, maybe once or twice a month versus 1-2x a week.
Cutting my own hair
Leave my gray hair be unless I turn it colors not found in natural hair.
I went through cancer treatment during the pandemic and learned many challenges that people go through first hand. I hope to take the knowledge and do something app wise with it.
Thank you for clarifying the whole age difference thing. I keep reminding folk but I think some people forget the age difference.
We put our oldest daughter in remote schooling and while being a teacher is NOT my cup of tea we are seriously considering keeping it up for another year or two as she requires a medical IEP to attend school in person and God Almighty not having to argue about twits over why thing- simple- easy- no extra cost things- to literally keep my child alive are needed has been glorious. Things like if child has breathing issues give meds to her hands. She can take herself. Her health has as a result gotten MUCH better then its been at any point since she started attending school. She also doesn’t feel weird or like she’s a burden because her teachers are required by law to not kill her doing something like make her touch feathers or a live bird or something else ridiculous that shouldn’t be a thing. Why does she NEED to touch a bird anyway? So, we will likely keep up remote schooling as her teachers are far more common sense and she is safer and healthier as a result.
Any chance Arabella n Michael get together?
I am so with you on the age difference upon first meeting and one being a child at that time!
I don’t know what it is, but I’ve never liked Derek being with Julie and hope it never comes to fruition. She’s a like a little sister to Derek to me…
I learned how to do box braids to do my young adult daughter’s hair when the pandemic hit. I will not be continuing with that, it’s back to the hairdresser for her lol.
I started gardening during the lockdown, and in part it was motivated by IA!
In the innkeeper series, Caldenia starts growing tomatoes, and every time I read that section ( I’ve read that multiple times) , I wanted to grow tomatoes and wear a hat!
I have grown several types of tomatoes and my family loves them! And I am knitting my own sunhat!
Thanks Ilona Andrews❤️
I always wanted for Arabella to find a new character to fall in love with. Someone exciting and interesting and not yet in the books. It feels good to revisit the old and familiar in books you love but it will get tiresome without new aspects to it. Although I have complete faith in House Andrews’ writing capabilities and look forward to Arabellas triology! 🙂
Couponing! I lost my job and took up couponing to help make ends meet while I was job hunting. I still coupon even though I’m back at work and don’t “have” to do it. It’s fun.
Spending time with the animals at night. Every night about 10 pm, we all pile on the guest bed and snuggle while I read for an hour before bed. Three pit bulls and three cats gets a bit crowded sometimes, but it’s a great way to wind down at the end of the day.
Sleep. I was notoriously bad at shortchanging my sleep, but realized while I was out of work that getting adequate sleep was pretty fantastic, actually, so I make sure I get adequate sleep.
Oh, and finishing all my half-finished projects, both craft projects and around the house. It’s nice to feel that “work well done” feeling.
Robert I. Katz says
I’ve taken up making pickles, and my own hot sauce from peppers that I grow myself.
Aparajita Mukherjee says
Hi. Big (read Ultra+Max+Pro)fan.
I really like Michael.
Can we have Arabella and Michael…? Pretty please
Breanna Parker says
Baking bread, it’s soothing yet not perfect.
Carolyn C. says
My 87 year old mother came to live with us in April 2020, as she was not coping well with the pandemic isolation. We all decided it was working well to have her here, so she is staying. We did have to get a bigger house, so mid-pandemic we sold three houses and bought one big one.
I may try to keep wearing my mask in public, particularly during cold and flu season. I loved not getting a cold last year!
#casuallyevilwriter … ripping hair out of her face … what’s your stance on bikini waxes … So genres …
Don’t get it, them, especially in conjunction to IA
GENRES are a marketing ploy developed in response to the change in an author’s ability to be noticed and their work sought without the oversight of the publishing industry taking their enormous percentage for in essence saying “Trust this Author”
Weres or Witches or Aliens’ (oh my)
Far Future, science fiction
Near Future, para fiction/fantasy
whatever you enjoy most IF you want a different take but KEEP the fun the fantasy the story the surprise the nerves the eye popping gut busting brain twisting enjoyable difference
‘Trust This Author’ Ilona Andrews
‘Clean Sweep’ Witches (sorta) Vampires (kinda) and Aliens in one story, don’t puzzle just read
‘A Mere Formality’ a poker game of a sci-fi short, where exactly what sexual favors and positions are listed to gain time for a winning bluff …
‘Of Swine and Roses’ a totally satisfying short story about a girl, a pig, and the Worst Date ever.
Formality, started me Swine and Roses delighted me and INNKEEPER
Clean Sweep convinced me
Ilona Andrews, I buy … genres not so much
disclaimer: I don’t write. I don’t make my living by it. I don’t see the benefit as I lost authors shopping for books as stores moved them into genres, Dick Francis (now deceased) an author was shelved with Black Beauty and ilk. One guess why …
IF anyone cares read ‘Straight’ … I inherited my brother’s life. Inherited his desk his business his gadgets his enemies his horses and his mistress. , … and it nearly killed me.
‘Nuff said, no ranting about genres
Keeping it positive, they said women had no higher brain intellect they said women can’t write they have said all sorts of things the world is flat, the time has come the walrus said …
My comment went I know not where
Moderator R says
It just came in! The long ones get caught sometimes 🙂
Jo Ann says
Seems to me Arabella is developing more and more depths to her personality. Personally I’m wondering about the “younger brother” of that certain character that Arabella met in Emerald Blaze. Wonder how a meeting of those two characters would turn out.
Now I realize that the Baylor girls are central to this series but Leon is also developing into a notable asset to this group. I like the way his character is developing and look forward to his every appearance.
I look forward to the next installment. At the advanced age of 77 I really hope it doesn’t get too delayed.
Working from home and relocating that home to the beach. 🙂
The thing I started doing in quarantine that I will continue doing after: online grocery ordering. So convenient to order online, set a time to pick it up, and then park my happy butt in a parking space at the dedicated time while someone else puts my groceries into the back of my car. Why did I never do this before?
Kristel Payen says
I started reading your books… and have no intent to stop….
Grocery pick up! I am not a shopper! BTW you go girl! #lipwax
Thank you for your ethics and awareness regarding age differences. You clearly understand the ick factor in those situations, one which will lead to me putting down a book.
Note that I have never put down any of your books, even when sleep deprived!
I’ve stopped wearing makeup. I’m 55 and I’ve decided I am what I am and if no one likes it too bad for them. This saves a lot of time when I’m getting ready for work. I frequently work 12 hour days, 3:00 am to 3:30 pm, and I relish that extra 5 minutes of sleep that I can get by not applying makeup. I still put some on if I’m getting dressed up, which is almost never. When you think about it, men don’t bother with makeup and we women are okay with them not covering up their flaws or trying to contour their faces. Why do we women feel the need to use so much of our time altering our appearance?
The family group chats were winners. My cousins and grandma are all hilarious people. I started growing some of my own produce, and a lot of herbs. I refuse to wear blue jeans any more, I started the Mind diet (under supervision of a doctor and dietitian) and feel better physically. Lots of good things.
I fully plan on continuing to wear a mask. People are gross, and I’ve had way fewer colds than usual since lockdown. It also keeps my face warm in winter, and filters out pollen in spring! And I don’t have to worry about glaring at strangers (thanks rbf!).
Well I separated from my husband. So I am going to continue that. And I am dying my hair vivid fantasy colors.
I am very much in agreement with your decision on age gaps and marriages.
Uncomfortable bras. I switched to bustiers. Makes my days so much more comfortable. Anyhow, I don’t understand why seeing a nipple through a shirt is such a big deal for women but not men. So, I will keep my comfy bustier even if I have to go to the office 1-2 a week now.
Love all your books. I have listened to the o es I have several times. Patiently, or truthfully inpatiently awaiting additional books in the Hidden Legacy Series.
Hope all is well with you and your family.
Loom knitting. I was taught to knit and crochet as a child, but I could never get into doing it for fun. For some reason, having to involve both hands stressed me out. I got a loom from one of my kids for Mother’s Day, decided to give it a shot, and have enjoyed it so far, despite my perfectionist tendencies.