Writing again

New month, new doings.

Non-fiction reading, new adventures, and other departures from the usual routine.

Books first

You Are Not So Smart David McRaney. It’s a phenomenal primer on a ton of psychological concepts and logical fallacies that trip up everyone. (I especially like the one that makes people immediately think, “well, not everyone–I bet I’m immune,” when reading the previous sentence.)

It was a tough read, not because it was technical — far from it. It’s adapted from a blog, so the tone is easygoing, congenial, and friendly. No, it was tough because it is written in second person present. You do this. You think that.

Gawdingus, I LOATHE second person present unless it’s a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Exception, that. Otherwise, it’s a total pain to slog through.  <shudder> If it hadn’t been so damned interesting and if I wasn’t such a stubborn cuss, I would have dropped it like a hot rock after five grating chapters out of forty-eight.

I finished it, and I’m glad. The brain programming tripwires are easier to avoid after getting reminders of their existence. I would recommend it to everyone struggling with family members and friends who insist on unbelievable things.

It won’t make dealing with them any easier, but it will make their positions less bewildering. (and it does suggest coping strategies. Strategy is good.)

Craving: Why We Can’t Seem To Get Enough Omar Manejwala. I hoped this would make a good partner book to You Are Not So Smart, but alas, no. It failed to live up to my hopes in all possible ways.

This is probably an excellent book–the author is clearly knowledgeable, the topic is complex, and every chapter is packed with points worth deep examination (among them the blurry zone between desire and addiction and  which coping mechanisms work)  but it was too busy being dignified to ever be enjoyable.

Worse, like YANSS it was written in 2nd person present, and its tone flirted with condescension when it wasn’t aloof and snotty.  <flops and twitches>  Only sheer annoyance and talking back to the pages got me through it. And I didn’t come away with a single epiphany or even a gee-whiz moment. So disappoint.

Archangel’s Heart Nalini Singh. Fiction recovery book! Latest in a growing series in a contemporary alternate-reality. Angels are real, and archangels, and vampires, and they’ve all co-existed together throughout history. It’s (occasionally steamy) romance, although this one is less explicit than most others. I love the world, the characters and the unfolding history are lovely.

Yeah, that’s it on books. I was busy with other Other Things.


NCIS marathon continues. The rest of the television lineup: Victoria, Madame Secretary, Expanse (woo, it’s BACK!) Gotham, Supergirl, Supernatural, and current NCIS, which I probably won’t keep past the ed of this season unless there are big writing changes.  And Spouseman & I will be giving Riverdale a try as a together-watch as soon as we finish working through Mozart In The Jungle.

Otter Things

Coloring!  Spouseman got me The Sweary Coloring Book for Christmas, my friend Deb donated colored pencils to the cause, and I finally tackled it this weekend. I colored the cover first, and completed two interior pages. The drawings are pretty simple, so it isn’t a technically challenging exercise. It is soothing, though, and it keeps me off Facebook.

I would have colored more, but I learned the cramp way my hand muscles are out-of-shape.  WAY out of shape. Given practice I should be able to work my way up to a page per sitting.

Concert! (Do you like the exclamation points? I’m feeling emphatic for some reason.)  Instead of seeing Resident Evil The Final Chapter or whatever it’s being called–as was tentatively planned — Spouseman & I  went to watch Northwest Symphony  Orchestra play Tchaikovsky, Borodin, and Strauss. It’s our local music organization, and we started picking up season tickets a few years ago when they moved into our area.

Live classical music got much more fun once I stopped stressing about dressing for concerts and made my peace with the reality that I will nod off. It’s a problem with large shifts in psychological arousal. Make me sit still in a darkened room, and I will have to “sleep.”  Fighting the drowsiness until I lose consciousness is uncomfortable and stressful, plus when I lose (and I will lose)  I will drop into true sleep. But if I let myself just drowse off, I will come back alert and energized in less than five minutes.

Stealth snoozing. It worked. Spouseman and I had a wonderful time.

That’s all the all there is until next time.



By K. M. Herkes

Author, gardener, and cat wrangler.

2 replies on “New month, new doings.”

“I would recommend it to everyone struggling with family members and friends who insist on unbelievable things.”
Like the one and only member of our 4-person family who urinates standing up, INSISTING he put the seat down, with no alternate explanation of how it is now up?
Can it help me understand that? 🙂

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