04 June 2018

Month In Numbers

Clockwise from upper left: (1) The coolest gift ever - a Lt Uhura finger puppet!; (2) Courtesy flags; (3) Paperback proof copies from KDP and Ingram Spark; (4) A gloomy day at the marina; (5) Hurricane season starts early with TS Alberto; and (6) Our friend Ted with some of the cute boat kids at the marina.

It's time for the monthly recap in numbers, a collection of odd tidbits that popped into my head as I reflected on the month past. As usual, the month just zipped by. It's hard to believe that 31 days can evaporate so quickly.

If I had to pick one word to characterize May, it would be >>rain<<. Lots and lots of rain. And that can only mean one thing. . .lots and lots of leaks. I had towels and bowls placed strategically around our boat. The bilge pump seemed to run constantly. {One of life's unsolved mysteries continues to be the source of the water draining into the bilge.}

There were a couple of boating milestones during the month - one set of friends splashing their boat after months and months of work on it and getting ready to set off on cruising adventures and another set of friends selling their boat.

On the writing front, I spent a lot of time getting ready for the release of >>Murder at the Marina<< on June 21st and making good progress on the first draft of the next book in the series, >>Bodies in the Boatyard<<.

But enough of all those words, let's get into some numbers:

  • 3,500 - The number of species of mosquitoes. To be honest, I don't really care how many species there are. All I know is that the mosquito population exploded at the marina. Probably due to all of that rain.
  • 8 - How many mosquito bites I got in the space of five minutes. I went to take a shower the other day, noticed two mosquitoes and killed one of them. After I got undressed, a swarm appeared and attacked me. I desperately wanted to run outside to escape, but it's not like this place is clothing optional, nor do I have any desire to run around naked. I got dressed as quick as I could, while fending off the little bloodsucking pests, but eight of them left their mark.
  • 30k - Number of words I wrote. Most were for >>Bodies in the Boatyard<<. The rest were for this blog and my author blog, as well as guest posts for my >>Murder at the Marina<< blog tour.
  • 1 - How many hours I spent with a towel pressed to the side of my head. Here's the problem with writing murder mysteries and thinking up ways to kill people in marinas - sometimes your plots come true. A friend was handing down a foot pump to me from her boat and somehow it landed on top of my head instead of in my hands. I didn't know anything was wrong until she pointed out there was blood dripping down my face. Head injuries bleed a lot. Fortunately, I survived this attempt on my life. 
  • $7.97 - How much I spent on Kindle books.
  •  15 - How many advance reviews/ratings I already have on Goodreads for >>Murder at the Marina<<. Many, many thanks to those people who have taken the time to read and review ARCs (advance reader copies).
  • 1 - The number of catfish friends reported seeing in a puddle in the workyard. The workyard is very far away from the water. There's a theory that it was a walking catfish. Seriously, fish that walk. Who knew such a thing existed?
  • 3 - How many courtesy flags I bought from our friends selling their boat. Now we just have to get this boat off the dock and sail to new and exciting places to use them. {For non-boaters, you fly a courtesy flag of the country you're sailing in, along with your own national flag.}
  • 2223 - The year that Lt. Uhura was born. Did you see that picture above of the awesome Lt. Uhura finger puppet? Who among you wishes they had one of their own? {For people who live under rocks - Lt. Uhura is a Star Trek character. Although, if you live under a rock, chances are you don't have WiFi and aren't reading this blog post.}

In case you missed them, here are some of our favorite posts from last month:

Provisioning for a Voyage | Whaling Ships vs. Modern Sailboats
Flashback Friday | The Time I Accidentally Sent Someone Porn
Little Letters

How did last month go for you? What are you looking forward to next month?

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Murder at the Marina available for pre-order at:

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Amazon (CA)
Amazon (UK)
Barnes & Noble
Apple iBooks
Google Play


  1. Sorry about your head. Yes, heads bleed a lot.
    An Uhura finger puppet. You are too cool.

  2. Well done on the writing front!

    I hear you on all the rain. I was so happy to see blue skies and sunshine again this past weekend.

    I never knew that about the courtesy flags. I learn something new every day. :)

    1. All of that rain was insane. Sure, it's the rainy season, but come on Mother Nature a little too much rain perhaps :-)

  3. Fun Fact! What’s Lt. Uhura’s first name???? Don’t remember - well, that is probably because her first name was never used in the original series. Her official first name was first printed in a 1982 tie-in book, “Star Trek II Biographies.” But apparently the other characters of the series never read that book and I guess after all those years not knowing it in the 60s were too embarrassed to ever ask her. The mystery for the crew was finally solved in the 2009 Star Trek movie when Kirk overheard Spock (who, no doubt, knew all along) in an intimate moment with the Lieutenant whisper, “Nyota,”

    BTW - Nyota means “star” and Uhura means “freedom” in Swahili.

    PS - So glad to know that a foot pump isn’t a good murder weapon.

    1. You are a font of knowledge! Maybe I should name a character Nyota. It's a pretty name.

  4. Sorry about all those mosquitoes and the bump on the head. Yes, heads can bleed a lot. Rather scary.

    We spent the weekend getting the boat ready for next weekend. We have a cruise to another yacht club. Got the boat gassed up, took the isinglass down and put up the screens. Spring lasted for two minutes and now we're into summer. It's hot.

    Have a fabulous day and week. ♥

    1. Fortunately, I knew that head wounds bleed a lot so I didn't get too freaked out by all of the blood dripping down my face. I think I was too worried about whether the blood stains would come out :-)

  5. So sorry about the insect bites! Critters love to munch on me. After a hurricane swept through the Outer Banks I got covered in bites. Fortunately, I discovered that liquid bandage stops the itch. Just reapply as it washes or wears off. Hope that helps. But, oh, in a neat experience, I once got turned into a salt lick by a butterfly! Fond memory. Great fact about Lt. Uhura!

  6. You have more mosquito bites than I do. I'm sad for you, but also happy for me. I'm also sad about you and the hurricanes, but again, happy that I am not there to deal with it. Of course this all reverses about December/January. :-)

  7. One of the universities here is experimenting with releasing male mosquitoes that have been rendered sterile so they will mate and not produce offspring, cutting the population. If only we could do that all over the world with all mosquitoes.

    My hope is that you will get to use your courtesy flags very soon!

    1. Oh, that's really interesting! I wonder how they render them sterile.

  8. Amen on the amount of rain that's fallen... and on the number of mosquitoes. For the first time I can ever remember, Lake Lanier is so full, they're keeping the dam open 24 hours a day, which means the Chattahoochee River is swollen, fast-moving and dangerous. The water areas are closed for swimming and boating, and they expect to remain closed for a couple weeks. (Unless we get MORE rain...)

    My running joke is I must still be attractive, because bugs are drawn to me. Especially mosquitoes. Bug spray? They think of it as a finishing sauce. I read on someone's blog recently that Jean Nate bath splash works well as a mosquito repellent, so since I already had a bottle of it, I gave it a try. My hubby and I were out and about most of the day, and I only got a couple bites. For me, that's unbelievable, so you might want to give it a try, too. Plus, it smells pretty good.

    Congrats on writing 30K words. I am duly impressed. I've only written a single chapter of my book two so far. Other stuff keeps getting in the way. (And I let it.)

    1. I'm going to go with that too - I'm must be attractive which accounts for the bites. LOL :-)

      I'll have to look into Jean Nate. I've tried Avon Skin So Soft before, but it didn't really work.

  9. I must be living under a rock, while having internet... What does that make me? :-) We used to have a mysterious leak putting water in the bilge, the first year we had our boat. It eventually was detected to be a slightly leaking emergency hatch. We encountered so many mysteries on our boat; mostly weird issues that we managed to fix, but wondered forever how they occurred. We never had rain leak in, though.

    Congrats on all the writing (and reading) you did in the month of May. Impressive, Ellen. I honestly think your days must contain 30 hours instead of 24!


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