Tag Archive | The Casual Rule

How do you grow a vegetable garden?

Beets me! < —  See what I did there.

I thought I’d bring you up to speed on this year’s vegetable garden. Like every backyard farmer, I start off with grand plans. My family will live off the land. The initial investment of vegetables, soil, etc. will be offset by the bounty my garden will produce.

You get the picture. Anyone who has tried backyard farming feels the exact same way… in the beginning.

Buckets filled with fresh-picked green beans. A bounty of tomatoes. So many tomatoes… I’d have to learn how to can them for all the sauce (by the way, it’s sauce… not gravy… I’m not budging on that topic) I’ll make and eventually freeze. Oh, and the zucchini. The plant that produces so much, you’ll only need two to provide enough to feed not only your family, but your entire neighborhood. Mmm, I can smell the zucchini bread. I can just taste the zucchini sautéed in garlic and oil over a plate of linguine. And the cucumbers… cool and refreshing. I had the perfect plan.

My facebook page is always littered with photos of my friend’s vegetable harvests. I was looking forward to doing the same… participate in a little farmer bragging.

So, I prepped the garden. And I worked my ass off, weeding, tilling… the whole she-bang. The sun was hot, the work was hard and tedious… but the end result… the glorious bounty my garden would produce would more than make up for it.

Most home farmers know there’s always one crop that dominates. One plant that produces more than you can possibly handle… but happily accept. Your pride and joy crop.

Here’s mine:

Weeds.

We were hit with a ton of rain over a five-day period in June. A ton. Although I missed some beach/writing time, I found my silver lining… no watering the garden and fighting the mosquitoes that always seem to latch on to the scent of my Sicilian blood.

When the rain finally stopped, I went outside to survey my farm. And this is what I found. Like someone dropped a giant bag of weed seed directly on my vegetable beds. I couldn’t determine what were bean plants and what were plain ol’ weeds. Ends up the bean seeds drowned… not one plant sprouted. Not a single one.

I tried to pull them, but I’m not exaggerating when I say it was a carpet of weeds. I have never seen anything grow so incredibly fast. I can’t get the grass on my front lawn to grow as lush as these weeds had. I couldn’t keep up. I’d pull one and three new weeds would spring up. It proved to be an impossible obstacle to overcome.

beans cukes

Here are my green bean and cucumbers. Awesome, aren’t they?

Okay, let’s move on to my zucchini plants. The one crop I was sure would be my pride and joy and the envy of the neighborhood.

zuc

Yep, there it is in all its glory. I have another one. This is a picture of the healthier plant.

Here’s my cucumber… No, your eyes are not deceiving you; there is an actual cucumber on that plant.

cuke

It’s smaller than a marshmallow. But it’s something. I’m not counting that as a total failure. We’ll say it’s failure-ish… with a tiny sliver of victory.

And lastly, my tomatoes. You know the giant harvest I planned on transforming into gallons of the best homemade sauce (once again… not gravy) ever made.

toma

You may have to squint but they are there, in the midst of the weed jungle. And I managed to produce a few tomatoes. A few the damn chipmunks got to them… bastard vegetable stealing critters… but I picked a good four tiny tomatoes. I guessing it’s a safe bet that I can return the case of canning jars I purchased.

So there you have it… my crop of weeds. Such a proud moment. < — Sarcastic Bitch Comment.

Some of you may remember my husband’s “Glamour Crop” from last year. The watermelon the size of a quarter. Well, he’s at it again… tackling yet another watermelon glamour crop this year.

Here’s a picture of it today:

watermelon

Yes, that is climbing up a very light weight screen from a screen house wall.

Yup, this is going to end well.

I’ll keep you up to date in whether that plant actually produces anything or tears down my screehouse in the coming weeks.


Now on to Business:

 

The Casual Rule:

If you haven’t downloaded a copy of my book The Casual Rule… what are you waiting for? If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download the free Kindle App from Amazon and start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required.

Amazon US link: http://tinyurl.com/osl87fb

Amazon UK link: http://tinyurl.com/nx374jq

Amazon AU link: http://tinyurl.com/ntcasyb

Amazon CA link: http://tinyurl.com/nf3yt56

And many other countries…check out your Amazon links.

Here’s the three newest Blurbs:

Julia Ben 1

Julia Ben 3

Julia Ben 2

As many of you know, I’ve been writing book two to The Casual Rule. (Allie and Marcello… they do make me laugh). I’ll keep you updated on it as I go.


Fanfiction:

My intention was to have A Different Way chapter up weeks ago. What I forgot is how insane the summer can be. My and my husband’s birthdays were in July. Both BIG ONES. That meant family over the course of a few days. Then there’s college visits for my kid. That meant travel and time. BBQs, Birthday parties, Engagement parties… you get the picture, the summer turned into a long unscheduled time-sucker.

That said, I have about half of a new “A Different Way” chapter written… and if all goes according to plan, it should be up within the week. I had to enlist the help of a fanfiction reader for this chapter and she very kindly agreed.


 

End Notes:

If you have read my book and have the opportunity to post a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads… it would be very much appreciated. Reviews are what help Indie Authors get seen.

One more thing… feel free to say “Hi” to my mother in the comments on this blog. She claims she doesn’t read this blog.

Uh-huh… I believe that. < — Sarcastic Daughter Comment.

Hi Mom!

One Last thing and I promise I’m done babbling:

It’s been a very sad week with the passing of Robin Williams. Please seek help if you or someone you know is depressed.

Sometimes we need a reminder…

 

Coming Out of the Author Closet

Publishing a book has been an interesting experience for me. It wasn’t something I saw on my radar…it just happened. I kept my secret author life under wraps from people in my “real-life.”
This was something I did for me…something I didn’t have to share, explain or defend.

The first person I “came out” to was my husband. He would watch me furiously typing on my laptop while we were watching TV together. Whenever he’d ask who I was writing to, I’d answer “No one” and continue on. He’d tease me about my secret internet life, occasionally asking me if I had a virtual boyfriend. He was kidding…at least I hope he was kidding.

Finally, after about two months, I came clean and confessed. I think he figured it out at that point. He knew I was reading fanfiction. I’d bitch and moan about all the awful things my beloved characters were doing. He knew when I read a cheating story by the side-eye he’d get from me after I read it. And he certainly knew when I read a lemon…. You can fill in the blank there.

One day I get the bright idea to write a book. This was an interesting change from fanfiction writing. My characters weren’t based on someone else’s ideas. I wasn’t bound by the personalities already written. These were my characters and mine alone. And I grew to really like them… occasionally wishing they were real so I could hang-out with them. That’s the nice thing about writing your own characters; you can make them anyone you want.

In my imagination they felt real…if they did something funny, I laughed with them. If they felt pain, I felt it. If they did something stupid, I wanted to smack them up side the head. But they were locked inside my head…just for me.

It wasn’t that I was afraid that anyone I let in on my secret wouldn’t support me. My family is awesome. My friends are awesome. They may make fun of me for writing a story that had some snark and smut… but they will always have my back.

My fear was “the blur”. I knew if I told anyone who knows me in “real-life” about publishing my book …and they took the time to read it…most would not distinguish between my own reality and my character’s reality. My characters are fictional… relatable, cool and a lot of fun…but still … fictional. (Not gonna lie…I’m relatable, cool and fun too, but still… real. Every time I step on the scale, I’m reminded how very ‘real’ I am).

My husband encouraged me to share my “Big News”… After all, publishing a novel is a big friggin’ deal (there should be a special candy or wine for such occasions). I was proud of my book. Sure, I had my moments of insecurities …okay, many moments… but I believe I accomplished the end result I was hoping for… a story that makes you smile…mostly.

The first people I confessed to were my mother and sisters. And it pretty much went as expected.

Mom: I love it. It’s so funny. The sex is good too. That husband of yours must be a lucky man.
Me: Please don’t say anymore.

My mother now uses the term “hot-sex” when speaking of my book, frequently. It makes me feel so dirty. Don’t get me wrong, my mother is no “little old lady” but still…she’s my mom…and the term “hot-sex” uttered from my virginal mother of seven’s mouth…Umm…no thank you.

~o0o~

Let’s move on to my sister… here’s the email I got from her:

So…… how do I keep you & your husband out of my head while reading?

Yup, that’s about what I was expecting.

~o0o~

Next…some of my friend’s reactions. I love my friends. They can tease you and it’s okay. … because you know karma is a bitch and one day you’ll get them back.

These are my childhood friends. I’ve know these wonderful ladies since I was seven-years-old. They know too much about me… and I know too much about them. It’s nice having enough dirt on each other to secure lifetime friendships. Oh, the stories we could tell. I’ll save that for another book.

Here’s their reaction when I “Came out of the Author Closet”

Friend 1: What an awesome accomplishment!! I always knew you were a writer, way back in high school, you could always dazzle the teachers with your work, even if you didn’t even start the assignment until an hour before it was due! I have started your book and gotten to chapter 6, I am enjoying your smuttiness!!

Friend 2: Wow. Always knew you had it in you. I’m expecting to lol when I read this – I still remember those great stories from Rivlins class

(Rivlin was our 10th grade English teacher… I don’t think he appreciated my smart-aleck mouth, but he begrudgingly liked my writing. My friends in his other classes would beg him to read my work to their class. I liked to write funny then…I remember a character I wrote named Venetian, a blind prophet (we were reading Greek tragedies at the time)… I created him all because I wanted to write the line “Venetian’s blind.” I thought that line was hysterical.

I tended to write all of our assignments in the hallway on the way to class on the day it was due. And still pulled off A’s. Pissed off my friends. What can I say? I worked better under pressure. If I was still in high school, I’d probably do the same.)

Friend 3: started yesterday afternoon and just finished……..loved it!!!! Who knew you were such a dirty girl!!! LOLOLOL when’s the next one coming out???

Okay, that went better than expected. Although I see them in person in a week. After a few glasses of wine…I’m sure the conversations will be much raunchier.

~o0o~

Everyone naturally assumes that the sex I wrote about was my own. I cannot confirm or deny this assumption.

However, my husband has no issue if my readers choose to believe that the Ben character is based on him.

So, it’s been an interesting experience all around. First publishing a book. Waiting for feedback (which thankfully has been very positive). Then unveiling my secret author-life to a few of my nearest and dearest.

All in all, I’m glad I came-out to my selective few. I cringed and blushed while confessing to the smut portion of my writing… but didn’t hurt a bit.


 

A bit of business:

Here’s a few links to my book, The Casual Rule. If you haven’t already bought it… what are you waiting for? One-click it! It’s the perfect beach read… and if it’s your winter…it’s the perfect sit by the fireplace read. Covers all the bases.

If you have read it and feel so inclined to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, it would be greatly appreciated. (It helps us Indie writers get seen). I’ve taken my magical multicolored gel pens and blank notebooks to the summertime home-office (the beach) and started writing book 2.

Amazon US link: http://tinyurl.com/osl87fb
Amazon UK link: http://tinyurl.com/nx374jq
Amazon AU link: http://tinyurl.com/ntcasyb
Amazon CA link: http://tinyurl.com/nf3yt56
And many other countries…check out your Amazon links.

~o0o~

FSOG Fanfiction:

I updated Fifty Shades- A Different Way last week. Already working on the next chapter. I have to say, I have changed direction on the original intended storyline and I’m enjoying writing this new direction. It’s been a lot of fun (CG’s thought process has made me laugh out loud a few times while writing it) and I know many of you will never look at Jeopardy the same way.

~o0o~

 

How to Find Me:

1- Subscribe to this blog

2- Facebook: I have two accounts:

    A)Friend’ me at AC Netzel (I talk fanfiction snippets among other random thoughts. I’m probably most active here) https://www.facebook.com/netzel.fanfic

    B)Like’ my facebook Author page: Author- AC Netzel
http://tinyurl.com/p5ezdbs

3- Twitter: ACNetzel@ACNetzel

4-Follow’ my stories on the fanfiction site for updates on chapters. ( Netzel- Author) Late Night Thoughts is complete, but Fifty Shades – A Different Way is still updating…and Nighttime Thoughts (the tongue-on-cheek story) will eventually get one more addendum (because I refuse to call it a chapter)

 

Banner

 

The Casual Rule is LIVE!!

The Casual Rule is now  LIVE and Available on Amazon for Kindle.

I no longer have any excuses to avoid housework or writing more fanfiction and blog entries.  Thank you to everyone who has supported me…my fanfiction friends, facebook friends, my Twitter friends, and blog followers.  In a million years, I never thought I’d write a book.  Thank you!!

 

Here’s the link

http://www.amazon.com/The-Casual-Rule-AC-Netzel-ebook/dp/B00KCDTXAS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400155244&sr=8-1&keywords=the+casual+rule

Banner

 

Cover Reveal and Blurb…

Julia Conti is living the dream in New York City. She has a job she loves in publishing and shares an apartment in the Village with her lifelong best friend, Allie. Following a bad break-up, Julia swears off of men and relationships, until she meets Ben Martin, an up and coming author who is smart, sexy and very easy on the eyes. Fueled by their mutual attraction, close working relationship and fear of relationships, Julia and Ben embark on a purely physical affair, following the Casual Rule. As they bring each other further into their lives, their casual status blurs. Can she keep sex and love separate or will feelings take hold and Julia get her heart broken again?

Final Cover 5-10

 

*I’m sure a few of you were hoping for Fabio on the cover, but the daisies won out.  I’m on Goodreads now if you want to find me there …. AC Netzel The Casual Rule, coming May 15, 2014.  Mark it “To-Read” on Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22044745-the-casual-rule