May 2017’s Reads of a Pedometer Geek

This pedometer geek hasn’t written much in the past month or so. Well, at least, not here on my blog. I have shared a post or two of others’ writings, but that is about it. I’d like to claim that it is due to the fact that I have really lived up to my pedometer geek status, but unfortunately, that isn’t true. On the other hand, May was an excellent writing month as several of my haiku and/or senryu and  my poems (yeah, I still can’t distinguish the nuances between the two forms.) have been accepted into journals and anthologies. To see three of the haiku/senryu, check out Mike Rehling’s Failed Haiku on WordPress for June. He does an excellent job with his monthly online journal, reading thousands of entries each month, and not just because he included some of mine, but I digress.

My step totals were down a bit from the previous month, and in actuality they were the lowest of 2017. In May this pedometer geek only managed 257,389 steps on the pedometer. Of these, 104,770 steps were aerobic steps (obtained on all but three days), but the goal of 10,000 steps was only managed a third of the time. The goal of a thousand miles throughout the year is now reduced to 532 miles with 86 miles logged throughout the month.

On the other hand, this pedometer geek reader made some progress on the two Bookcrossing challenges in which I am participating. As to the pages-read challenge, which is a yearly challenge, 4,588 pages were read throughout the month bringing the yearly total to 20,819 pages toward the goal of 40,000 pages.

The other Bookcrossing challenge is the quarterly SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge and twelve books were chosen for the challenge. At the beginning of the month, only one of these books had been read. At the end of the month three more of these books were completed. With a month to go on this challenge, it will be a stretch to finish the last eight books chosen; however, it is still possible.

Of the sixteen books read, all but one of them were fiction. Six of the books were part of one series, and two of these were actually novellas. Another novel finished up another series. The nonfiction was a memoir. Various genres were read, and some with a blend of genres. From suspense to romance to YA to urban fantasy as well as mainstream novels, it was a diverse month of reading material. Six of the authors were new to this reader, and nine of the books were read in an e-book format.

In May, the following books were read:

Spider’s Revenge by Jennifer Estep

Forever in Love by Leeanna Morgan

Rescue by Anita Shreve

Wrath of Magic by Simone Pond

By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

Widow’s Web by Jennifer Estep

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate   *

The Confession of Stella Moon by Shelley Day

Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard  *

Neighborhood Watch by Cammie McGovern

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

Good Guys Love Dogs by Inglath Cooper

Kiss of Venom by Jennifer Estep

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi  *

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Thread of Death  by Jennifer Estep

While each of these could be discussed, they won’t be. Only the memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, is truly notable for the story of the young neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi, who wrote about his diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer just as he was finishing up his training. Switching from his role as physician to one of patient makes for an incredibly poignant read, and is definitely worth being read by all, but especially by anyone in the medical field; it is highly recommended.

Several of the books,  Wrath of Magic and Beyond the Rising Tide, were extensively reviewed on my review site Wondering about any of the other books, just ask.

Now, this pedometer geek has a few books to read to finish up the SIY challenge as well as writing some poems, which may be submitted. And, of course, put more steps on the pedometer. So, later…

* The asterisked titles are SIY books


Posted in blog, book blog,, Failed Haiku, haiku, New Year's resolutions, pedometer geek, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

World Hypertension Day – May 17

Sharing this as the information is of value to anyone who battles high blood pressure or wants to avoid having to take medications for it. Thanks drugopinions for posting it in the first place. As a pharmacist myself, I saw way too many people who had to take multiple medications just to control their blood pressure.


It’s World Hypertension Day.  Last year, I talked about how important it is to know your numbers and what they mean. Check out last year’s post here. This year, I want to highlight few simple things you can do to help reduce blood pressure without medications.  The Mayo Clinic has nicely outlined 10 things you can do.

View original post

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I ink, therefore I am: A short story

Mara B., a friend of mine through the now defunct Red Room writers’ site (which I still miss, but I digress), suggested that she’d like to read a short-short of an event described in a poem I penned a couple years ago. That she believed it could be just as, if not more effective, as flash fiction. Frankly, she is the person I consider a master of the genre, describing in exquisite, tight prose a person or event. I finally present it now, with trepidation. I only hope that I have succeeded in my attempt.


Waiting in the Auckland airport for our return flight home, I was sitting by myself minding our luggage as Rob was briefly away.

A few seats down sat a dark-haired, twenty-something male sporting a tattoo that completely covered his left bicep. An obviously new tattoo as the ink was black and clearly delineated with a greasy ointment. The fact was he was picking at it as if it were itchy and irritated, too, yet there was a satisfied expression being manifested by his body language.

As a general rule, I am not particularly impressed with tattoos as there is little that I would want engraved upon my person permanently, but I have to admit that this tattoo caught my eye with its Maori-like swirls, yet also reminiscent of a Celtic knot.

To look or not? To speak or not? I chose to look; I chose to speak. “Fresh ink?” I asked, and he nodded, shoving his sleeve of his white t-shirt up to his shoulder, showing it off further.

“It’s the souvenir of my trip,” the dark brown-eyed youth said. The pride in his voice was obvious, and smiling, he allowed me a closer look. I could see that it was not his only inking as there was a small, less visible tattoo on the skin of wrist, but this one was the one upon which I was focused.

“Very cool, truly nice,” I said, and it was true. I could believe it was the souvenir of his trip as this tattoo would have been really expensive. Moreover, it was the kind of tattoo I could understand as I had traveled this land for two weeks. I realized the power of the land of the Maori with their ritual tattooing, each one designed by the village chief to symbolize both paternal and maternal families, their haka, a war-like dance even performed by the national rugby team, the fairness-for-all doctrine that ruled throughout the country, and the pride of every citizen who had even one drop of Maori blood, to change a person. I know the marks are invisible, but I too was ritually tattooed, never to forget this land and its people.



Posted in blog, flash fiction, pedometer geek, short story, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Million Mile Month: Results and More

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

This pedometer geek has started a few blogs with the quote above because this year this pedometer geek has decided to walk a thousand miles (as challenged by one of my British bookcrossing friends, Callyc). Never have I considered my mileage, nor tracked it; it has always been the goal of putting on 10,000 steps or more daily on my pedometer. Sometimes I succeed; most times I fail, however, that doesn’t mean I intend to quit any time soon.

In April, I once again participated in the Million Mile Month for the third time (and have the t-shirts to prove it, but I digress). For those unfamiliar with the Million Mile Month (MMM), all the runners or walkers challenge themselves individually to tackle a movement goal, which adds to the collective total to achieve a million miles during the month of April. This pedometer geek set my goal at MMM at eighty miles, yet planned on walking one hundred miles. Actually, I managed 100.89 miles throughout the month of April, but more important than that, all of those people who signed up for MMM challenge managed to run, walk, swim, etc. 1,315,410 miles. As a community, 88,963,729 calories were burned and there were 17,057,017 minutes of activity. (See for more information)

Despite having managed my goal of one hundred miles, this pedometer geek still fell a bit short of the overall goal of 10,000 steps every day. Twenty days the goal was accomplished. The total number of steps for the month was 290,980 with 131,986 aerobic steps. As far as the goal of 1000 miles, it is now reduced to a little more than 619 miles to go before the end of the year.

On the other hand, this pedometer geek’s reading time was way up. Having taken a part-time job helping with Early Voting during a special primary election, there was plenty of time to read despite my duties (and far too few areas to put steps on my pedometer although not for lack of trying). As such, this pedometer geek reader managed to read sixteen different books throughout the month. While most of them were fairly light reading material (romances, mostly), there were some books of substance (literary novels and nonfiction) in the mix. Twelve of the books were read in an e-book format. Eleven of the authors were new to this reader.

With the beginning of another quarter, a set of books were chosen for the Bookcrossing SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge. Twelve books were chosen, but only one was completed during the month, leaving a huge deficit for the remaining two months of the challenge. The Bookcrossing yearly pages-read challenge is coming along nicely with a total of 16,231 pages read of the 40,000 page goal.

In April the following books were read:

Return to Love by Christine Kingsley

Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither by Sara Baume

Love’s Funny That Way by Pamela Burford

Blindsided by Jami Davenport

Skating on Thin Ice by Jami Davenport

Last First Kiss by Lia Riley

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold *

Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep

Banished Love by Ramona Flightner

Craving for Love by Violet Vaughn

Lease on Love by Violet Vaughn

I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers

Rush for Love by Violet Vaughn

Love Life by Lexy Timms

From Glowing Embers by Emilie Richards

Man and Boy by Tony Parsons

The only book that will be discussed is Sue Klebold’s book, A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy.  Written by the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two boys involved in the Columbine shooting, it is an eye-opening account of what the Klebold family went through before, during, and after the shootings at the school. This reader found it both sad and chilling reading. Sad for the fact that the family received so much hate mail, sad for the fact that it was suicidal depression that drove Dylan to commit these atrocities, sad for the fact that the mother couldn’t feel like she could grieve for her own child’s death while also grieving and guilt-ridden for those who lives who had either been lost or affected, and sad that ultimately, despite his role in the shootings, that she still loved him. Chilling for the fact that she didn’t recognize how deep his depression went, chilling for the fact that she was as shocked by his actions as everyone else, chilling for the 20/20 hindsight of the facts, chilling for reliving the event through her words, and chilling because these events keep happening. This wasn’t an easy read by any stretch of the imagination, yet it is a book that should be read. It is a look into the heart and mind of a mother who works tirelessly to prevent other suicides and other events of this nature. It was easy enough to imagine any teen, even one of my children, becoming so depressed that the only way out might be suicide, or so involved with another youth that he/she might be willing to go along without considering the consequences to themselves, their friends, and their families.

Lia Riley’s First Last Kiss has been reviewed on my review site: If interested in knowing about any of the other books, please leave a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you. Now, back to putting  some steps on my pedometer.





Posted in blog, book blog,, books, Million Mile Month, MMM, pedometer geek, SIY challenge, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Million Mile Month: Nearing the end

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

For the Million Mile Month this pedometer geek chose a goal to complete eighty miles in April, but secretly I hoped to make one hundred miles. Having completed the original goal the other day, I have five days to make it to one hundred. As mentioned in previous posts, this pedometer geek also challenged myself to one thousand miles over the course of 2017.

Globally, the Million Mile Month participants have surpassed the million miles and are currently closing in on two million miles. It’s not to late to join, and help make the goal. It’s only five days!

Now, I’m off to hit the treadmill; this pedometer geek has to put a few more steps on my pedometer if I’m to reach a hundred miles.

Posted in Million Mile Month, MMM, pedometer geek, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Act Before You Think

Words of wisdom. Write, just write.

Eva Lesko Natiello

6996044925_6b81f103c0_b photo by Steven Worster

On a Facebook writers group I’m a member of, someone started a discussion by asking who among us were Indies, who were traditionally published, and who were “authors in waiting.” I suspected the term “author in waiting” to be someone with a completed manuscript who was waiting to either secure a literary agent, or a publishing deal. Tons of writers chimed in with their status. Most people stuck to one of those three options, or a soon-to-be-added fourth: hybrid author (someone who has both traditionally published and self-published).

Tucked into the litany of responses was this comment: I am contemplating writing a novel.

That slowed my rapid scrolling to a dead stop.

I immediately  thought about all the things that one should carefully consider before doing: (continue reading)

View original post

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Journey of a 1000 Miles (Part 2)…

…starts with a single step.

Continuing with the goal of walking 1000 miles throughout the year (once again, thank you, Caroline C for the challenge), this pedometer geek did not slack off in March. Following up February’s success of averaging over 10,000 steps every day (and only one day when the goal was not met completely), this pedometer geek managed to get at least 10,000 steps every single day in March, totaling 319,319 steps for the month. Of those, 185,372 steps were aerobic steps, most of which were obtained on the treadmill (and sometimes as late as 11:00PM).

In fact, up until yesterday, April 2, 2017, the last forty-seven days the goal of 10,000 steps or more was managed. Yesterday, this pedometer geek spent the better part of the day traveling six hours to the first birthday party of my youngest grandson, MJ, but I digress. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and I will have to work harder to make up for the difference.

In regards to the miles walked in the past three months, this pedometer geek completed more than 278 miles of the 1000 miles so I am pleased with the progress so far. If it continues, the challenge will be met.

One of the greatest advantages to spending time on the treadmill is that it is possible to multitask and read. Although this pedometer geek reader has not mentioned the books being read or the challenges undertaken in recent posts (and for those who may have read last year’s previous posts), over the past quarter more than forty books were read, fourteen of which were read in March. As in the past, this reader chose two challenges through The first is the yearly pages-read challenge; the other is the SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge.

For the pages-read challenge, 40,000 pages was chosen to be read throughout the year. Through the first quarter of 2017,  approximately 31%  or about 13,000 pages were read.

For the SIY challenge, twelve particular books were chosen to be read. Not only was the challenge completed, but it was completed about two weeks early. Early enough to be able to read another book that would have been included in the second quarter’s SIY.

While this reader has not listed what has been read recently, just for something different, here following are the books read in March:

 Thaw by Satya Robin

 The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley

 Vanishing Games by Roger Hobbs  *

 Circling the Sun by Paula McLain  *

 Going for Kona by Pamela Fagan Hutchins   *

 Die Like an Eagle by Donna Andrews

 Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

 My Fair Princess by Vanessa Kelly

 Exodus of Magic (Mysterium Chronicles #1) by Simone Pond

 The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

 Accompanying Alice by Terese Ramin

 Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo by Heather Wardell

 Thumbsucker by Walter Kirn

 River of Magic (Mysterium Chronicles #2) by Simone Pond

A quick rundown of the books: half of the books were read in an e-book format, which is more easily done at higher speeds on the treadmill; two were mysteries; three were mainstream novels; two would be categorized as suspense or thrillers; two were historical novels; two would be categorized as either romance or chick-lit; and two would be classified as urban fantasy. Eight of the authors were new to this reader. Three novels were reviewed on, and a fourth one will be soon, probably within in a day of this post. Overall, a diverse set of reads that included a book published in 1919 to several published in the last month. An asterisk indicates that it was a SIY book.

But enough about what I have read, what books have you found interesting lately? Suggestions are always welcome.

As April is the Million Mile Marathon month (see previous posts for more information on the event), this pedometer geek has jumped on the bandwagon once again, this time with a stated goal of eighty miles to complete during the month (and an unstated goal of 100 or more miles). Will it be accomplished? Time will tell.

Posted in blog,, books, Million Mile Month, MMM, pedometer geek, SIY challenge, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments