Sunday, January 31, 2016

Marvel or D.C. Comics?

I've been watching a lot of Marvel and D.C. Comics television shows.

Here's an example:

Marvel:

  • Daredevil
  • Jessica Jones
  • Marvel's Agents of Shield
D.C.  Comics:
  • The Flash
  • Arrow
  • Legends of Tomorrow

When I was growing up, I wasn't a fan of these two types of comic books, so my background on the heroes is limited.  But now, there are all these television shows on regular television (like D.C. Comics on the CW) and on Netflix (Marvel, which also shows Agents of Shield on ABC).  It seems to me that the difference between the two comic/science fiction universes is very clearcut.

In D.C. Comics, the super heroes are happy and embrace their superpower for the most part (that is, except for Batman...he's a very dark character with no true superpower).  

Marvel's characters seem darker to me.  They like to hide their powers, using them to almost skirt the law.  They're more like vigilantes to me, compared to the D.C. Comics characters.  They also have more depth to the characters--at least in my opinion.

Others seem to agree with me, adding more:


The second article even goes so far as to say that Marvel is for adults, DC is just become more of an adult line of characters.

Interesting.  I, personally, prefer the Marvel line, but that's not to say the DC line isn't good, because it is.  My husband watches all those shows.  But to me, they seem more like a soap opera for teens.  Marvel's is more like the show Luther (on Netflix--excellent British cop show), where you just don't know what's coming next.

Just my take on the two.

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books



Saturday, January 30, 2016

Music Is Good for a Soul

I've been trying to write an emotionally charged book, but when my day is filled with dealing with dogs and kids' problems, more emotions aren't in my head.  I want to escape problems and emotions.

So how do you get in the mood for something like that?  I listen to music.  LOTS of music.  I've found that love songs or Christian music really lets me get past the day-to-day issues and gives me the ability to write something very touching, but not to the point of sickening.

I also use my MP3, filled with cool songs, when someone's stressing me out.  I can escape all the noise around me and just focus on the words of those songs.  I've found, that when I have a big task to do that I don't like doing, listening to music or talk radio helps a lot.  For example, when I have to clean the house, I get out the MP3 and jam out while cleaning toilets.  It really helps.  I'm tempted to use my MP3 when shopping.  I hate shopping and it would make it go faster.  LOL!

What does music do for you?  How does it affect your day?

Have a great week!
Markee/Sweettale Books

Friday, January 29, 2016

What bugs you in books?

I was reading a fiction book a few years back, happily going along with the plot until whammo--the author spewed out his own personal political beliefs, belittling anyone on the other side of the spectrum (me, actually).  Ticked me off so much, I refused to read the rest.

The author was a friend of mine.  How do I tell him I don't appreciate being belittled in a book, because I don't agree with his politics?  I didn't.  We lost touch.  I don't deal with him any longer, which is really sad.

What bugs you in books?  For me, it's politics, swear words, and sex scenes that aren't warranted--they have no reason to be there except for shock value.  Same with drug scenes and extremely detailed murder scenes.  Not necessary and doesn't propel the plot at all.  Now, if the swear words, for example, show how a character develops, going from a crass beast to an educated human being, then by all means, bring it on.  It shows character arc.  But if it's just to debase the story and pull the reader from the story--forget about it.

Actually, any time there's a scene that doesn't fit, or doesn't go with the plot, is more than annoying.  I, personally, don't like reading a lot of narration.  I don't need a detailed description of every room in a house, especially if the character is just running through to escape a murderer.  Unless it adds to the plot, it doesn't need to be there.

There are exceptions, of course.  I just finished writing a scene that describes how a woman makes the best apple pie, just to show that she's an overachiever.  She goes WAY overboard in this pie, but I limited the description as much as possible, just to get my point across of overachieving.

What about you?  What do you really hate to see in a book?

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Fat Shaming or Fat Acceptance?

So my daughter has been telling me about fat shaming and fat acceptance on forums.  Some heavier people get shamed and made fun of because of their weight.  That's fat shaming.

Fat acceptance is convincing others it's okay to be heavy.  They should be accepted, no matter of their size.  They're entitled to certain things, because thinner people can get the things.  They also believe it's possible to be heavy and healthy, and heavy and athletic.

It seems to me that people should be accepted for whatever they look like, and not be allowed to put others down for their looks.  However, given our society, that happens a lot.  Bullies run rampant.

On the other hand, being overweight isn't healthy.  Heavier people run the risk of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and various other diseases, just because of their weight.

What do you think?  Should heavier people be singled out in any way, or should they just be accepted for what they are?  I'm feeling a future plot coming on.  LOL!

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why Are You Here?

Have you ever wondered why you were put on earth?  I know...that's a deep question.  But I'm working on a book that has an ordinary character do extraordinary things to save the world.  She thought she was nothing, even worrying she'd be put in jail for being a whistleblower.

It got me to wondering...why was I put on earth?  I'm sure everyone has wondered that at one point in their lives.  Is it to tell a story or to take care of others?  Maybe it's to produce some amazing product or even to entertain others?

I honestly believe we all have a mission in life, and we should figure out what it is and fulfill it.  My sister died from cancer at the age of 49.  But before she left us, she made a video that said just that.  'Find your mission and do it.  You're stronger than you think.'  It was an amazing video, short, and to the point.

So what's your mission?  Why are you here?  For me, I think my mission is to tell stories to others.  No, I'm not rich or famous, but if I can reach and entertain just one person with my stories, I've fulfilled my mission.  If I make just one person smile, or rethink something bad they want to do, I've fulfilled my mission.  If I can help just one person in some way, I've done what my sister demanded in her video.

Have you ever thought about it?  I'd be curious to know what you think.

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What Are You Afraid Of?

Fear.  It can consume us, and can hold us back from doing things that would simplify our lives.  Some people make money from fear, like people who write horror novels or make frightful movies.

Even so, different things frighten people.  For example, what might be a risky thrill for one might be a terrifying ordeal to another.  Take, for example, someone who has to get up in front of others to give a speech.  Terrifying or exhilarating?

Some people are also terrified of success, believe it or not.  They feel more comfortable with failure.  I know quite a few people like this.  Take, for example, a writer.  They can cope with failure of a book not making it.  They live in that pool most of the time.  Few books really become breakout novels.  So that's a comfortable feeling for them.

But what if a book truly makes it?  What if they suddenly have fans emailing or stalking them?  What if they had millions added to their checking accounts every month, with talk shows and reporters wanting their statements?  There would be book signings and appearances...all overwhelming for the introverted writer.

Thus, success is a scary undertaking.  Just like winning the lottery, it has too much attached to it for someone to truly want it to happen.

Given that level of fear, what are you afraid of?  Are you terrified to take a risk to make your life change?

I'll be curious to know what you think.

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Monday, January 25, 2016

Have you seen the new calorie counting device yet?

Every year, there's a trade show called the CES (Consumer electronics show) in Las Vegas.  This year, it took place from January 6-9.

There were some pretty impressive new ideas coming out, all demonstrated at the CES.  One of these things is a scanner that can tell you how many calories are in one item, like a piece of bacon, a burger, etc.  It can't be a mix of items, but just one at a time.  It's here: This tiny scanner can tell how many calories are in the food you're holding before you eat it

You might be thinking this is all made up, but think of it this way.  If they can do this now, I suspect that some day, there will be 'smart plates' that estimate the calories, carbs, and fat on your plate.

So, suspend disbelief and imagine they can do this, like a science fiction thing.  Let's say they develop something like this.  Would you use it?

Before you answer, think of this.  Back a few years, we went to a restaurant that indicated the calorie counts for all the items on the menu.  I took a look at that and refused to eat the higher calorie items and didn't like going to the restaurant, because I couldn't eat the good stuff.  I think if people knew what they were eating, calorie-wise, they may rethink what they put into their systems.

So, if you knew what you were eating, would you use it?  What do you think the impact of such an item would have on our society?  If you look at small things and how they affect you, something like a calorie counting plate or even cup would be amazing.  Look at the Fitbit, or the Vivofit.  It seems many people are using them now, trying to get their step count up.

I know I'd get a plate like that.  I'd probably even use it. LOL!

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Alone Again...Naturally

Our kids are now back in college, so I'm alone again during the day, after my husband goes to work.  This is bittersweet to me.  I enjoy laughing with our kids, but sometimes, their drama is overwhelming.  When I'm alone, I get a lot more done, but also get more phone calls from our kids with problems they want fixed, but not by me.  Speaking of frustrating!

I saw this article on lifehack.org about being alone:  Science Says People Who Enjoy Being Alone Are More Likely To Be Successful  They're right to some extent, because being alone gives you time to get things done without someone else interrupting.  But, they don't include the emotions that being alone can create.  Some people can't cope with being alone--it's depressing.  I was like that for years, thinking I needed people around me.  But the more I'm alone, the more I treasure the time.  I've learned to like myself enough to enjoy the quiet time.  I think it's because I'm an introvert and others suck the energy out of me.

How about you?  Do you like being alone or do you prefer having others around you?

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books


Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Luck of an Antelope

Yes, my daughter just told me she has the luck of an antelope.

HUH???

Let's review.  Antelopes have to run in herds because they are hunted by various other animals.  They hae to be really fast or they're dead.  Also, they don't live in North America, unlike the song 'Home on the Range' suggests.  (We have a breed called a pronghorn that does live here and is called an antelope, but really isn't--wikipedia).

So how is that lucky to have to be able to outrun the animals chasing you?  Beats me.  However, if you want to say something isn't lucky, then yes...the luck of an antelope wouldn't be something good.  So I guess my daughter doesn't think she's lucky?

I'm going to use that in a book some day.  Keep an eye out for it.  It'll be our little joke.  LOL!

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books


Friday, January 22, 2016

It's Friday!!! 15 Things You Can Do This Weekend!

Friday is the best day of the week!  The weekend begins and so do all the fun weekend activities.  Not so for you?  You need to live a little!

Here are some things you can do this weekend, and they're not even that expensive (or they're free).

1.  Go to a coffee shop and watch people.  It's hilarious and you get an hour of downtime to realize life is fun.

2.  Watch a game on television.  I know...some of you aren't game-types.  But find one team you can root for.  I seem to like to root for whomever the commentators hate for some reason.  So for that game, I mute the television and provide my own commentary.  It's just fun if there are others watching with you.

3.  Take a walk.  I like to do this and take pictures as I walk.  Some of them can have hidden gems in the pictures, like a dog peeking around the corner.  If you live near a cool place to see, take those pictures, edit them (I use paint.net, a free product), and make a coloring book.  You can even sell them on CreateSpace and make some cash.

4.  Make enough meals for the week so you don't have to cook next week.  That can be a blast, by the way.  Turn on the tunes and jam out while baking.  Don't forget the desserts, too.  This is also the time to try new recipes.  Here are a few that will make your taste buds happy:

Main entrees:Crispy Chicken NuggetsSwedish MeatballsGet the Dish: Olive Garden Lasagna ClassicoChicken Pot Pie Bubble-Up Bake

Breads:The Best Pumpkin BreadHomemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls

Desserts:Mini Pumpkin Pies with Cinnamon Roll Pie CrustCookie Cups Inspired by Dominique Ansel's Cookie Shots

Or, look up something you've had at a restaurant and try to replicate it.  There are so many good recipes online, you can't go wrong.

5.  Walk the mall.  Exercise is good, and there's nothing like retail therapy.  Many malls have an early morning route for walkers.

6.  Go bowling.  This is a fun activity for groups of people, but you can go alone.  At least, when you're alone, you win every time!

7.  Do crafty projects, draw, or color in a coloring book.  If you need coloring books for adults, check out this post:  http://sweettalebooks.blogspot.com/2016/01/adult-coloring-books-beat-stress.html

8.  Plant seeds, or plant trash from plants.  For example, I cut off the bottoms of celery and stick them in dirt.  They grow!  In a few months, I have more celery to eat.  Cool!

9.  Plan your chores for the week, so they're not done all at once.  Actually, you could plan your whole week.  Check out the things I do here:  http://sweettalebooks.blogspot.com/2015/12/tis-seasonof-push-and-shove.html  I have a spreadsheet like that for every week, just to keep myself organized.  It also helps keep depression (like the winter doldrums) away since my time is scheduled.

10. Organize your house.  This is quite an undertaking but when you're done, you'll feel great.  Get rid of clutter.  Work on one room a week, so it's not overwhelming.

11.  Start your spring cleaning early.  Dust and vacuum under furniture, and do everything except things that require the warm weather.

12.  Learn a craft from the olden days.  This could be weaving, candle making, or even wood working.

13.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.  It will change your life for the better.

14.  Go see a movie (or some sort of show).  Enjoy the popcorn for me!

15.  READ A BOOK!!!!  This is very important.  Why?  Books do so much for your brain.  Check out my blog from yesterday.  You'll see why this is will help your life!

Have a wonderful week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Why Should I Read???

I got to thinking...why read a book?  What good does it do if you can just watch the movie?  I remember my mom telling me to read (she was an elementary school teacher) because it was better for you than watching television.  But why?

I turned to the Internet and found these articles:


8 Benefits of Reading (or Ways Reading Makes You Better at Life)
10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day
8 Science-Backed Reasons to Read a (Real) Book
Why To Read: 10 Reasons Why Reading Books Will Save Your Life
12 Scientific Ways Reading Can Actually Improve Your Life
Benefits of Reading: Getting Smart, Thin, Healthy, Happy
6 Science-Backed Reasons To Go Read A Book Right Now
When You Start To Read More, These 10 Things Will Happen


Wow.  As it turns out, reading does this for you:


  • makes you smarter
  • reduces stress
  • creates tranquility
  • improves analytical thinking
  • increases vocabulary
  • improves memory
  • improves writing skills
  • helps prioritize goals
  • mental stimulation
  • increases knowledge
  • improved focus and concentration
  • free entertainment (go to a library and get free books, or get free books online)
  • boosts brain power
  • makes you more empathetic and improves relationships
  • may help fight Alzheimer's disease--enhances memory and keeps your brain young
  • can help you relax
  • before bed, can help you sleep
  • it's a hobby and it's contagious
  • enjoy the arts and improve the world
  • makes you interesting and attractive
  • lets you discover and create yourself
  • makes you want to learn something new
  • people who read are more likely to vote, exercise, and be more cultural
  • puts you in a better mood
  • makes you seem sexier
  • readers are more likely to get ahead in their careers and in life
  • you're more likely to workout longer if reading while exercising
  • encourages life goals
  • helps you feel more connected
  • can help you save cash (cheaper than a movie or other entertainment venues)
  • can ease depression
  • a safe way to escape
  • you'll find a family in the group of readers in the world
  • you'll become part of a global conversation
  • you'll look forward to lines, layovers, and waiting rooms (love this one)
  • you'll become more imaginative and less afraid of being weird (fantastic concept)

Wow.  Reading is a must do after seeing this list!  What a way to improve every facet of your life!

I saw one article where a person read 52 books in a year...that's a book a week.  Here's the article:  How to Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks and Save Yourself $21,000  They saved money by learning the information for a college degree in books instead of going to college.  However, that's not the most important thing I took away from that article.  This guy read those books and said:

'In this guy’s opinion, I learned more about life, success, philosophy, myself, other people, and the world around me in one year of reading then I have in my entire 8-year career in school. I fully enjoyed every single moment of it because not only I was doing something I felt was contributing to my own personal development, but was also allowing me to share valuable information with others that could help them as well.'

Interesting.  Even a book a month would be better than nothing.

So what are you waiting for???  If you want to read a book a week, SweetTale Books has more than 52 fiction books just waiting for you to crack open.  Email me if you're ready to take that challenge.  I'd love to know that you're excited about it!

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

If you could have any job...

I asked our youngest daughter if she could have any job, what would she do?  She's in college right now but isn't too keen on her major.  Actually, she doesn't like any major, but wants that college degree.  If it were up to her, she'd be a secret agent or a pole dancer or something.

So I went to lifehack.org and joined that site.  It's really cool, if you want to embrace life and strive to be good at what you do.  I clicked on this link:  http://www.lifehack.org/348780/30-little-things-to-do-to-become-a-different-you-in-2016 and it said in number 4 to do this workbook to find your passion.  Of course I signed up for the workshop, but asked my daughter what her passion was.  If she could do anything, what would she do?

Now, you have to know the type of person she is.  She's extremely creative and very bright (and I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom).  She had a 4.0 GPA in high school and graduated a year early because she'd fulfilled the requirements.  She has one more year left in college, and has a 3.99 GPA (thanks to one A- in a course her first semester). She's majoring in web design and media development but doesn't ever ever ever want to do any programming or coding...even though she's good at it.  She has no idea what she wants to do in life, even considering joining the military for something to do (and she's REALLY not military material).

So back to the question.  If she could do anything, what would she do?  Brace yourself for this one.  She wants to be a criminal but not do the crime.  So, for example, she wants to break in and make people think she's stolen, but doesn't want to steal anything, just to make them nervous.  She said she just wants to do it for the thrill. Yikes. I guess I'll be keeping an eye on that girl. LOL!

She loves to plot books...but doesn't like writing them.  She spends HOURS creating stories to the songs she listens to, just for fun.  Needless to say, she needs some sort of direction in her life, but it's going to be up to her to find it.

If you could do anything in life that you wanted to do, what would it be?  Don't think money or fame, but what would make you the happiest if you did it?

I'm writing a book right now where one character asks another that exact question.  His response?  To help others up from a bad place.  He wants to help people who get out of jail, or help the homeless, or even serve those who've lost everything.  Did I have that in mind when I started the book?  Not even close.  But that happens to me a lot...the characters tell me what they want to say, in a weird plot development as I write.

So what's your weird plot development for your life?  Have you ever considered just quitting everything and doing something you love to do, regardless of the money or fame?  You have one life and one chance to do that.  What's holding you back?

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hungary and Romania

I can finally report this.  Our daughter just got back from Hungary and Romania, where she and a few other college students and a professor, did a two-week research project in the area of Budapest and Transylvania.  She emailed me every day (she had internet access) until she left on the overnight train from Hungary to Romania.  After that, they were in a remote village with no running water, so the internet wasn't available.

If you ever have the chance to travel abroad, do it.  She found out so much about group dynamics, and how to make a group work together.  She learned more than the average tourist, about how different cultures handle tourists.  To make it in that country, they had to learn some Hungarian, so they took classes in the language and in the history of the area.  But most of all, she realized she can do anything on her own, if she's smart about how to do it.  The experience was invaluable, from learning how to travel to learning how to handle people.  I'm impressed with what she learned, and wish some day, I can do the same, traveling to a foreign country like that.

Every day, I'd check her blog and Instagram to see what pictures she posted.  The girl became a foodie!  The food there is incredible!  For an out-of-the-way destination, I'd choose to see Budapest, at least.  The Danube is gorgeous!

Anyway, I'm glad she's back.  To send a 21-year old overseas was tough, at best, for me.  But now, she has the experience of a lifetime to put on her résumé.  Impressive.

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Monday, January 18, 2016

Winter Doldrums Got Ya Down?

If you're not a snow bunny, or like winter sports, this time of year is tough, at best.  In our part of the world (Green Bay, WI), it's cloudy and the snow just keeps coming and coming and coming.

Now, for me, I like to think positive thoughts this time of year, because I wouldn't be surprised if I suffered from SAD.  That's Seasonal Affective Disorder.  The first winter here, my sister was dying back home in PA.  It was so depressing, snowy, and cloudy, I had a tough time.  I talked to my doctor and she thought I was crazy or something.  That's when I found out about SAD.  I'd never lived in such a place where the sun was a foreign object and it snowed every day.  I can't imagine living in Canada or Alaska.

To counterbalance the feelings of darkness and the cold of the snow, I made a plan.  First, my dad got me a light that simulated sunlight.  It bugged me, so I didn't keep that on much.  Instead, I put 100-watt bulbs in my lamps and kept them on most of the day, simulating sunlight that way.  I also told myself winter was just a cold summer, so I wear shorts around the house, unless I have to go outside.  I play more music and dance more.  I watch shows that are upbeat and funny and pass on the depressing sad stories.  I also tell myself that the day after Christmas (Dec. 26) is the first day of spring.  I also plant indoor plants, getting them ready to move outside when June rolls around (after our last frost chance).  Watching them grow is cool, especially if they have flowers.

People laugh at me, but it works!  I now enjoy winter, because I consider it a passing fancy.  Since spring now starts in December in my head, it makes January and February less depressing to me.  As weird as it sounds, it works for me.

Now, I almost look forward to winter (more than I did, anyway), because I can watch the Packers, dig paths in the snow for our dogs, and enjoy watching the neighbors dig out.  We have new neighbors from South Carolina, and they're experiencing their first winter here.  It reminds us of our first winter, when we had no idea what to expect.

So if you're suffering from the winter doldrums, make yourself a plan.  Turn on your lights, turn up the heat, and put on shorts.  Dance and listen to music.  Enjoy life!  Winter is just a passing phase that'll turn into the warmth of spring and summer.  After December, it's all uphill!

Have a great week,
Markee/SweetTale Books

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Do You Like Series of Books?

I've written quite a few series of books.  Why?  I love the characters or the theme, and don't want to let go.  Ending a series is the toughest thing to do.  It's like losing a friend.  Or, like in the Amazon commercials, I'm in a show hole.  I don't like losing some of my friends in my head, all written in my books.

Do you like reading series of books?  What are your favorites?  Do you like the part of the plot that's carried over from book to book, or do you like the new part of the plot?

Here are a few series of mine:











They're just too much fun for me.  If you like to read series of books, check these out.  Some have the same characters in all the books, and some are standalone books, with a common theme (Timeless Tales and the Scottish Football Romances).

Enjoy!
Markee at SweetTale Books


Saturday, January 16, 2016

What Would You Be?

We've been watching Heroes--the old series, on Netflix.  Everyone on that show seems to have a superpower, and a cool one at that.  If I could have a superpower, what would I have?

Would I be able to heal, given any injury?
Would I be able to fly?
How about being able to read minds?
Or, how about being able to travel through space and time?

I like them all!  But my first superpower wish would be the ability to read minds.  Why?  No one would notice.  I could be stealth.  How cool would that be?

If you could have a superpower, what would you have?

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Friday, January 15, 2016

How about this for a fix for osteoarthritis?

I went to the doctor last week for my diabetes check.  I'm doing okay...need to lose a few pounds, but overall okay.  I mentioned to the guy that my foot hurt and has been in pain since September.  He ordered X-rays right away.  He said it could be a stress fracture, or it could be osteoarthritis.  Either way, it meant a boot.  If it's arthritis, then physical therapy, and a visit to a podiatrist.  I just saw dollar signs during the entire visit.

Turns out, I have osteoarthritis and the beginnings of a bone spur.  Lucky me.  Right on the top of my foot, too.  From what I understand, there's not a lot they can do for it, other than remove the bone spur.

I was thinking about it, though.  What if someone invented a fix for osteoarthritis?  The way I understand it, osteoarthritis is when the cartilage has worn away.  So why can't they put a bag of silicone between the bones, that can be refilled when necessary?  It could be glued to the bones.  OR even put a piece of plastic or silicone between the bones so the bones don't rub together.  I haven't seen anything like that mentioned online, so I don't think it's being done yet.

Think of how much pain would be stopped with something like this.  Hmmm...might have to put that in a book.

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Spelling Answers!

Here are the answers from yesterday.  How did you do?

1.  We have to (chose or choose) to tell the truth.

The answer is choose--rhymes with news.  Present tense.  See http://www.gingersoftware.com/english-online/spelling-book/confusing-words/choose-chose



2.  I flipped a coin and (chose or choose) heads. (past tense)

The answer is chose, rhymes with hose.  Past tense of choose.  See http://www.gingersoftware.com/english-online/spelling-book/confusing-words/choose-chose


3.  Can you (loose or lose) weight?

The answer is lose, and rhymes with news (like choose).  See this:  http://www.gingersoftware.com/english-online/spelling-book/confusing-words/loose-lose or this:  http://grammarist.com/usage/loose-lose/


4.  My clothes are (loose or lose) because I lost weight.

The answer is loose and it rhymes with goose.  See this:  http://www.gingersoftware.com/english-online/spelling-book/confusing-words/loose-lose or this:  http://grammarist.com/usage/loose-lose/


5.  The king sat on the (thrown or throne).

The answer is throne.  That's the big chair for a leader.  See this:  http://the-word-blog.com/2010/01/10/throne-vs-thrown/

6.  The ball was (thrown or throne) to me.

The answer is thrown.  It's the past participle of throw.  See this:  http://the-word-blog.com/2010/01/10/throne-vs-thrown/


So how did you do?  If you didn't know these, commit them to memory.

Have a good one!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Can you spell this?

Here are more words that I find that are misspelled.

Can you answer these questions?

1.  We have to (chose or choose) to tell the truth.

2.  I flipped a coin and (chose or choose) heads. (past tense)

3.  Can you (loose or lose) weight?

4.  My clothes are (loose or lose) because I lost weight.

5.  The king sat on the (thrown or throne).

6.  The ball was (thrown or throne) to me.

Answers, tomorrow.

Have a good one!
Markee/SweetTale Books


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Beer Can Hamburgers

So I went to Walmart the other day.  I know a few of the people who work there, since I go so often.  There's one guy there, that I call 'Mike the Meat Guy.'  I don't really know his last name, but he works in the meat department.  He tells me funny stories and tells me what's on sale that day.  Great guy.  He and my husband even laugh together.

Anyway, he gave me a recipe I HAVE to share.  He said to me, 'have you ever had beer can hamburgers.'  I told him I don't drink--can't stand the taste or the effects, after having an alcoholic uncle.  He said, 'no, you don't understand.'  But this being Wisconsin, a lot of people drink to stay warm, so I assumed he meant that the meat had beer in it.

He described this and I think it'd be delicious.  You don't have to use a beer can, either.  Any can would work.

You make a hamburger patty like normal.  But then, press the can into the thing to make the center thinner than the outsides.  In that impression, add onion, mushrooms, or even cheese--whatever you like on your burgers.

YUM!  And no beer included, so even the kids could eat these!

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Monday, January 11, 2016

Adult Coloring Books--Beat Stress!

Remember back to when you could color and all the weight of the world seemed to disappear?  Each page had a picture in black and white that you could decorate and color to whatever you wanted it to be.

Well, they're back.  And they're not just for kids anymore.  Adult coloring books are selling well on the market.  I've seen them in stores, and they look cool.  There are also some pages online, as well.

Here's one that features my dogs!  Most of the pictures are old shots of Calvin and Hobbes (and our old Border collie named Tasha), and there are a few pictures of another Boston that lives on the west coast.

The cover is a picture of Hobbes.  Isn't he cute???  LOL!


I know the author, and she did a few more:






Check it out and get to coloring.  It's a wonderful way to beat stress!  I just LOVE these things!!!

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's Sunday in January...

January and February (well, actually all winter) are tough months for me.  I hate snow...and I live in Wisconsin.  Go figure.  I'm terrified to drive in it, even though now, I have an all-wheel-drive car.  I don't like the cold and don't like to shovel at all.  I'd rather mow grass.

So I started thinking of the future.  The future is a good thing to think about when faced with something that's not pleasant.  I learned that from one of my characters--Kes, from the Extreme Travel series of my books by Andie Alexander.

Spring will be here before long, and I need to be ready for that.  I'd like to garden more this year, so I need to figure out what to grow and get that ready to go.  The growing season in WI is short, so I start the plants out early inside the house, so by the time June comes around (yes, that's when we can plant), the babies are ready to go outside.

Also, I'd like to fix up my house a bit.  Things need repaired and I'd like to learn how to do it.  How hard can electrical fixes be, after all?  (And if you read about how I was zapped by electricity some time in the future, realize I did it to myself).

As for books, I'm considering publishing a few less books this year, so I can actually write a few new ones.  Last year, I wrote some, but not many, because of my goal of a book a month.  I still have quite a few books on my computer that could be published, and they will, eventually.  But I want to put something new out there.  It's fun to write, because I always surprise myself when I do.  The plots never go as I plan when I first start to write.  It's hilarious and I love it!

So for you, what do you have planned  this year?  If you've never written a book but have one inside your head, go for it.  It's a hoot to do, once you get started.  And, if you write a page a day, in a year, you'll have a book (or more).  Cool idea!

Have a wonderful Sunday!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday, Saturday! Come and Dream With Me!

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head?  They're called ear-worms.  UGH.

Here are some for your listening pleasure, over and over and over again.  This list includes songs about Saturday:  http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-songs-about-saturday/brentottoson

My favorite is probably the one by Chicago (Saturday In the Park) or the one by the Bay City Rollers (Saturday Night).  I'm old, though.

So since it's Saturday, I figured I needed to do something different.  Today, I'm going to dream.  Come along and dream with me.

If I had a few billion spare bucks lying around, what would I do?

I made a quick list of normal things:

  • Fix everything in the house, pay it off, and sell it.
  • Pay off all debts, buy the kids homes and cars so they can be independent elsewhere.
  • Buy a home someplace warm and fun, near some sort of attraction.  I'm thinking the Rockies.
  • Travel every year, at least once a year, to a place no one goes to.  My son wants to see Iceland, and I'm thinking that might be fun.
  • Help someone out.  Find a pet project and help a person up who's fallen.
  • I'd love to have an alpaca farm.  My husband says 'no way' but if I had the cash, I'd do it and hire someone to help me out.
  • Get a publicist for my books.  Hire people to help promote, edit, and publish.
  • Hire people to help with my house's needs--like a gardener, a cleaning service, etc.
Then I'm letting myself dream a bit, and going into the fantasy/sci-fi or unlikely-to-happen categories.
I'm sure there will be more to add to it, but hey...with a few billion extra bucks, it would be fun to just tackle some of these things (on either list.  LOL!).

What about you?  What would your dream list consist of?

Have a great weekend!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Friday, January 8, 2016

Things I Learned from my Dogs




This is our youngest dog, Webster.  Webster is a Frenchton (1/2 Boston terrier, 1/2 French bulldog) with a personality bigger than life.

I've learned a lot from Webster, and his brothers, Calvin and Hobbes. (See them all on www.kookybostons.blogspot.com).

Here's a list:

1.  Sleep often because you don't know when you have to get up in the middle of the night.
2.  Play hard and enjoy life.
3.  Become friends with the person who feeds you--play up to them when they have food.
4.  Give kisses to get kisses.
5.  Don't eat yellow snow (and don't look at the negativity of life).
6.  Find something mindless to do between naps and other activities, like chewing on a bone.
7.  Live life one minute to the next--it becomes more of an adventure if life's not planned.
8.  Be wary of strangers.
9.  Listen to the rules, but be ready to break one, just in case.
10. Love your family.  They're all you've really got in this world.


Great rules, and my dogs follow them all.  Now off to take a nap with my baby dog, Webster.  His favorite place to sleep?  My husband's pillow...spooning my husband's head, and licking his bald spot.  Poor guy...and I'm talking about the dog.  LOL!

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Decluttering...

Have you ever wanted to declutter your life?  That's what I'm thinking for my life.  Time to unsubscribe from all those hundreds of emails I get a day.  Time to clean out the pantry and throw away anything that's out of date.  Time to make my life easier.

I'm doing away with the newsletter, to declutter.  It's usually a repeat of posts, anyway, so why bother? LOL!

Personally, I'd love to become a curmudgeon like this guy:  The Katski Pillar  Can you imagine being on that pillar/mountain with no one bugging you?  Social media would be a thing of the past

But for me, I'd like to be awake there 8 hours a day, sleep 8 hours a day alone, and then mingle with others the last 8 hours, just so I don't lose any 'social graces.'  For me, though, I know that mingling would be done online. LOL!

How about you?  Are you decluttering, at least in your mind?

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Answers from Yesterday!

Here are the answers from yesterday:


1.  My _NIECE_ is a great person. (see http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/niece?s=t)

A.  neece
B.  neice
C.  niece
D.  sister's kid (can't spell it)


2.  The __BRAKES____ on my car went out and it careened down the hill. (see http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/brakes?s=t)

A.  brakes
B.  breaks
C.  braeks
D.  stoppy thingies


3.  Her _GRAMMAR___ was atrocious. (see http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/grammar?s=t)

A.  grammer
B.  grammar
C.  gramier
D.  language thingie


4.  The _SMITHS'_____ house is a place of junk. (shows possession of members of t he household: http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/apostro.asp and http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/PossessivesandAttributives/faq0014.html)

A. Smith's
B. Smiths'
C. Smiths
D. house of the family of Smith


5.  My _DOGS__ are hilarious. (seehttp://www.edufind.com/english-grammar/plural-nouns/)
A. dogs
B. dog's
C. dogs'
D. four-legged pets


6.  We have a _CHIMNEY__ so Santa will have a place to enter our home. (see http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/chimney?s=t)

A. chimley
B. chimmy
C. chimney
D. sticky-up thing on top of our house


7.  _____ car was an eyesore. (see http://www.gingersoftware.com/english-online/spelling-book/confusing-words/their-there-theyre)
A. There
B. Their
C. They're
D. A


8.  Her hands were __TIED__ up in the murder mystery.  (see http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tied?s=t)
A.  tied
B.  tyed
C.  tying
D.  bound


9.  __NOBODY'S__ perfect. (see https://www.pinterest.com/pin/92816442296248002/ -- LOL! and http://bit.ly/1PFSuW6)

A. Nobodies
B. Nobodys
C. Nobody's
D. I'm


10.  We _WERE__ there, in that house. (see http://writingexplained.org/where-were-vs-wear-difference)
A. were
B. where
C. wear
D. needed to be

So how did you do?  Did you get them all right?

If you chose any or all letter 'D' answers, I consider you to be into 'avoidance.'  We've all been there, even me.  So hang in there and don't beat yourself up too badly.


Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Spelling Quiz (not for wimps)

I'm really into spelling this week.  Fill in the following and see how you did...tomorrow:


1.  My ______ is a great person.
A.  neece
B.  neice
C.  niece
D.  sister's kid (can't spell it)


2.  The ______ on my car went out and it careened down the hill.
A.  brakes
B.  breaks
C.  braeks
D.  stoppy thingies


3.  Her ____ was atrocious.
A.  grammer
B.  grammar
C.  gramier
D.  language thingie


4.  The ______ house is a place of junk.
A. Smith's
B. Smiths'
C. Smiths
D. house of the family of Smith


5.  My ______ are hilarious.
A. dogs
B. dog's
C. dogs'
D. four-legged pets


6.  We have a _____ so Santa will have a place to enter our home.
A. chimley
B. chimmy
C. chimney
D. sticky-up thing on top of our house


7.  _____ car was an eyesore.
A. There
B. Their
C. They're
D. A


8.  Her hands were _____ up in the murder mystery.
A.  tied
B.  tyed
C.  tying
D.  bound


9.  ______ perfect.
A. Nobodies
B. Nobodys
C. Nobody's
D. I'm


10.  We ___ there, in that house.
A. were
B. where
C. wear
D. needed to be



OK...go at it.  Write down your answers on a piece of paper or in the comments.  We'll see how you do tomorrow.  And for all those people choosing letter 'D,' ...  well, enough said.  LOL!

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Monday, January 4, 2016

Are you a spelling nit-wit?

Lately, I've been trolling the Internet.  I know.  It's not good, but it's hilarious.  I click on those things like 'see what happened to these celebrities' and stupid things like that, just for fun.

Anyway, I like reading people's posts below the article.  I've concluded the following--people can't spell worth a darn!  They're spelling nit-wits!

I'm not saying I'm perfect, because I make mistakes just like everyone else.  But these are multiple offenders.  It's not just a typo.

Here's an example:  How do you spell the word 'huge'?

I've found these two spellings, over and over again, all over the place:

Hugh
and
Yuge.

It's YUGE, man!  No kidding.

What?  What are these people thinking?  That's a simple word you'd know how to spell in the second grade.

Oh wait.  I know someone who teaches second grade and their spelling is atrocious (they spell 'bizarre' as 'bazaar'--no kidding).  Maybe I should rethink that sentence.  You'd know how to spell huge by...say...graduating high school or college?  LOL!

So are you a spelling nit-wit?  If so, get a spell check.  OR go back to...um...high school.  LOL!

Have a super week!
Markee/SweetTale Books