Category Archives: Observations

Outlander Obsession

I don’t normally review books on this blog and I’m not necessarily reviewing a book or a series of books here. I’m really just having a discussion now that I’m almost caught up.

I’m “reading” the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. When I say “reading”, I really mean listening and I’m not sure that I could actually sit down and read these books if I was turning pages. I just don’t have the time to put into it. They are big. Huge. I would place these books in the category of fucking gigantic. I’ve spent so much time listening to these books that I refer to them as Scarlett’s British Mommy. The narrator is British and I let it play while I’m doing housework or playing with her so she hears quite a bit of it. I really hope that when she starts talking, she says things like “I ken” and “Aye”. That would be fantastic. To make my point about the size of these books (I have no idea how many pages they are but they are quite frankly in the George R.R. Martin realm), below is the running time for each audio book.

  1. Outlander – 32 Hours and 43 Minutes
  2. Dragon Fly in Amber – 39 Hours and 28 Minutes
  3. Voyager – 43 Hours and 51 Minutes
  4. Drums of Autumn – 44 Hours and 54 Minutes
  5. The Fiery Cross – 55 Hours and 30 Minutes
  6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes – (This thing downloaded in 7 parts) – 57 Hours and 46 Minutes
  7. An Echo in the Bone – 45 Hours and 54 Minutes
  8. Written in my Own Heart’s Blood44 Hours and 55 Minutes

Which means that after completing all 8 books, I will have spent 15 days and 2 hours listening to these books and that doesn’t even count the Lord John Grey Books. Who are we kidding? I’m going to listen to those too.

I’m not complaining. I’m truly not.

These books are a strange mix of history, romance, sci-fi, and melodrama. Nothing can happen for hours upon hours on end and then, BOOM! Jamie is thought to be dead, Claire is accused of being a rebel spy, and Jem gets kidnapped by some idiot who thinks Brianna and Roger have a stash of gold. And that’s the book I just finished. That doesn’t even count the time Jamie fought a bear with his bare hands. Or the time that Roger survived a hanging. Or when the house burned down because a jar of ether exploded. What was that, you might ask. That’s right. Claire concocted some ether and it blew up.

I LOVE THESE BOOKS! Love. Love. Love. I can’t even really explain why. I asked Ross if he would dress up as Jamie Fraser for Halloween with a kilt and everything…he declined. Too bad. Maybe next year.

Disney Bliss!

I know its been a while since my last blog. For that I apologize. All I can say is that I was ridiculously busy with work, edits for Black Dalliances (#5 in the Blushing Death Series), my trip to Disney, RT, and GRADUATION!

A view from my seat at Graduation!


Since so much has gone on in the last few weeks (or six but who’s counting???), I’ll start with Disney this week…as each story should.

We drove from Tampa to Orlando because I had to be in Tampa on business for a day, then the rest of the weekend was mine. By the time we got to Orlando and checked in, Ross and I decided to have a low key afternoon. And as two thirty-something adults with no children the only thing we could do was miniature golf. Yep, I said it, miniature golf. There were lizards EVERYWHERE.

The Infamous Lizard
The Infamous Lizard

I realize its Florida and practically a swamp so I shouldn’t be surprised by lizards at every turn. I even thought they were cute until one crawled across my flip-flopped foot and that was it for me. No more lizards. Anyway, we tied the first game even though Ross tried to cheat and claimed he “miscounted”. Riiiiiight.

During the second game, I was kicking his ASS until about the 6th or 7th hole. That’s when my epic meltdown commenced. If there was a rock in that course, I hit it, got stuck behind it, or bounce back off of it. He beat me by a lot that second game. We stopped counting.

The next day, we went to Disney’s MAGIC KINGDOM which might be my favorite place on the planet. 20140412_090010

I don’t say this lightly because I love a lot of places; the Columbus Zoo, Barcelona, my house, and NYC. Anyway, when we entered, they gave us our tickets and then took our digital fingerprints. DIGITAL FINGERPRINTS! We walked away from the entry kiosk and Ross said, “Should I be afraid that I just got bio-screened by Disney?”

I said, “Of course, how else can Disney take over the world?”

Ross made yet another reference to skynet, and we went into the park.

I’m not going to lie. I did run around the Magic Kingdom like a 6 yr old on crack. I’m not ashamed.

The best thing that Disney ever did was create the Disney Experience App. I could track wait times, change my fast pass options, and make reservations. I was kind of addicted. In fact, I didn’t actually delete it. While I’m sitting at my desk, sometimes I like to check the wait times on Peter Pan’s flight just to make my day better.

I bought a pair of Maleficent ears (the last pair in the park…might I add). You may ask why and all I have to say to you is why not? I also bought a pair of the Queen of hearts ears. Again…why not?


Ross rode Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, even though he doesn’t like roller coasters, which made me very proud. We went into every gift shop because secretly, I love gift shops. We rode It’s a Small World which is a psychedelic nightmare. Whatever they were smoking, snorting, sniffing, or ingesting when they thought up that monstrosity, can’t be healthy for you.

I got my picture taken with the white rabbit and I stood in line to do it. Then I made Ross take the picture with me. HA!

He asked, “Are we really standing in line for the White Rabbit?”

I said, “Hell yeah, we are. I love minor secondary characters.”


On day two, we went to Animal Kingdom. The highlight was the 20 minute safari ride which if the animals are participating, they get really close. I might be a little jaded about this park living in Columbus. I thought this was going to be a great big thing and it ended up being kinda meh. Columbus has a great zoo (of which I am a member) and animal park in The Wilds so I see better exhibits all the time.  Especially with the new exhibit. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed.

But I digress.

I bought another pair of ears at the Animal Kingdom. Again, because why not? I looked damned cute in them too.


I managed to get Ross on Expedition Everest which is the absolute highlight of this trip. He’s going to be so mad at me but it’s funny. Really…REALLY…funny.

So, as i mentioned, Ross doesn’ t like roller coasters. By the time we were ready for our fast pass, it was lunch time, I was hot and hangry and was willing to skip it. Let it be known that I GAVE HIM AN OUT!

He said, “No. We’re here and if I don’t go on this I’ll never hear the end of it.”

In truth, he was right. I would have hounded him relentlessly for eternity. He knows me so well.

We skipped the the front of the line, which was both a good thing and a bad thing. He didn’t have time to talk himself out of it but he also didn’t have time to prepare. We stood next in line to get in the car and I reached over to rub his back for reassurance. He jumped away from me and said, “Don’t touch me! Just don’t.”

I just giggled and said, “Ok.”

He screamed the entire ride. At some point it goes backwards, it stops to go down the big hill. This is where Ross LOST HIS SHIT! From that point on he buried his head in my shoulder and screamed at the top of his lungs while I giggled like a little girl.

I’ve given you a link to relive Ross’s torture.

When we got off of this ride, Ross was panting and clutching his chest.

I said, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m okay.”

“Your heart racing?”

“Yeah,” he huffed.

“Adrenaline is racing through you?”


“That’s why people go on roller coasters,” I laughed.

“Adrenaline sucks!”  he said and then we got some lunch.

Stupid Sh#@!

This weeks post is all about stupid shit that I either don’t have time for, or just can’t believe.

#1 – Really????? Racism in plain text. 

20140326_131659 (2)

This picture was taken on Ross’s way back from Chicago in Indiana. Really? I guess subtle isn’t an option.

#2 – I got this email last night from Romantic Times for the convention in May.

Your video has been declined by the hotel for the follow content:
Suzanne Sabol’s Blushing Death Series at 19 seconds has the back of a girl wearing very small underwear.

Please resubmit your video by 4/4/14 to:

using the following specs:GUIDELINES

  • Video must be PG 13. (Sexually explicit materials will not be accepted)
  • Video should not be longer than 2 minutes. If it is longer than 2 minutes you will be charged double. No video will be accepted if it is longer than 4 minutes.
  • Space is limited and will be reserved on a first come, first served basis. Limit of 4 videos per person.

This was the picture they deemed unsuitable:

sensual woman




Please notice the section in red. She is wearing very small underwear! Hey! At least she’s wearing underwear. There were other pictures I wanted to use and didn’t so count yourself lucky.


On the plus side, I am officially one month from graduation and I just want to take a nap. Next weekend I will be at Disney World and will be live tweeting, especially pictures of Ross’s pouting face as he tries to pretend he’s not having a good time. Like this one.





And yes, I’m pretty sure he’s going to take AND wear that stupid Hawaiian shirt. Vacation is the only time I let him wear it. Follow the madness next weekend @suzannemsabol with #Disneypalooza

Meeting Agenda

Here was the agenda for my meeting today…NO JOKE!

I)       OSU Email is the preferred service.
A)     Checking you email
1)      If you have your OSU email forwarded to another account always check your SPAM/Junk folder.  There are no excuses for missing an email because it was in your SPAM/Junk Folder.
2)      Employees of the University (GRA, GTA, GAA, or fellows) need to check your email at least once a day, Monday through Friday.

In addition to checking your email please read the email thoroughly.  If there is an attachment you might want to consider opening it and reading it.
B)      Responding to an email is just as important as reading it.
1)When there is a question posed to you in the course of an email please respond
2) If something is asked of you, please make sure that you reply to this email.
3) In certain circumstances an email will be sent to you directly from the Graduate School asking for your response. Under that scenario please respond immediately and copy Darla and me.
II)     Deadlines
A)     Graduate School and Registrar-Their deadlines are beyond our control.  If you miss their deadlines we will do anything for you
B)      Internal Deadlines- These are written in places like the Graduate Handbook.  We also send reminders concerning due dates.  When you fail to meet these deadlines you may think that you are in the clear, but in reality they will be taken into consideration for things like funding.
III)   Registration
A)     The windows to register open months prior to the start of the next term.
B)      Please register when your window opens.  If you are waiting for your TA assignment then please register immediately after you receive the assignment.
C)      When registering for Independent Study, remember to register for the correct course (5193=MA/MS, 7193=pre-candidacy PhD, and 8999=post-candidacy PhD).  A failure to register for the correct class post-AU13 leads to your Independent Study Proposal and Update being marked as incomplete.  This harkens back to reading your email.
IV)   Degree Requirements
A)     Know them, they are located in the handbook
V)     Excuses
A) Do not make them. They are usually ridiculous, without merit, and no one wants to hear them.

New Year’s Resolutions

I know it’s been a while and quite frankly I suck as a blogger. My life is not interesting enough to share because I’m too much of a hermit when compared to normal people. So, in order to start the year off right, my first blog of the year will be about my new year’s resolutions. You can bet that blogging more will be on it! HA!

1. I will read the books I have instead of buying more.

Unless, I absolutely need it.  I mean there are some series that you have to buy to keep up with. I may have 50 free books I’ve gotten from conferences and events, but I need to read the new Kim Harrison and the new Ilona Andrews. I just have to. No one would blame me for that. Their release dates are already on my calendar. I can’t just ignore the little pop-up on my email. That would be rude. Sheesh!

2. I will not disparage myself with self-deprecating statements.

Ugh! This is going to be a hard one. I’ve lived the last 35 years thinking horrible things about myself and verbalizing them in a funny, snarky way. I’m good at it. They come out of my mouth without thinking. Changing the way I think about myself could prove to be almost impossible with all the ingrained low self esteem I’ve been carrying around since puberty. However, my husband has been given permission to call me out on my bullshit if I slip up. Oh, this should be fun! Does anyone know a good divorce attorney????

3. I will blog on a regular basis.

I am bogged down with school, work, and writing but I have to make time for a regular blog every week. I know all of you have been completely starving for my words of wisdom and funny anecdotes. Who am I to deprive you?

4. I will learn the cello.

This one may be more complicated since I don’t actually own a cello but I thought I’d give it a go. You have to toss in a throw away resolution or there’s too much pressure.

5. I will exercise on a regular basis.

I HATE EXERCISING! HATE! HATE! HATE! I don’t think I can get my point across enough. I don’t like to sweat. I don’t particularly like to exert myself in a physical way. I only really believe you should run if someone’s chasing you. And, I don’t want to spend my entire life in a gym because I would have to work out 2 hours a day, 7 days a week just to make a dent. (Wait, does that count as a disparaging remark? Shit. I don’t even know. I didn’t say it. It was in writing so I feel like it doesn’t count. So there!)

6. I will graduate with my master’s from OSU.

This one’s in the bag. I already filed for graduation for spring semester 2014 so I’m really just including this one to pad my record. LOL!

So that’s it, kiddies. I would include be nice to my fellow man and some shit like that but that’s simply impossible and sets me up for failure.  This is going to be a great year! Happy 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weird SPAM

I usually get spam messages from french porn sights. Why? I have no idea. And yes, I did put them through google translate to find out what they said because that’s how I roll.

Today, I got this one…

Submitted on 2013/11/19 at 4:47 am

Hello there, I discovered your blog by means of Google at the same time as searching for a comparable matter,
your website got here up, it appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

Hello there, simply become aware of your weblog via Google, and located that it is
really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels.
I will be grateful if you happen to proceed this
in future. Numerous other folks will likely be benefited out
of your writing. Cheers!

What the hell does that even mean?
Why are there two messages in one?
How is my site comparable to some beauty site?
Why are they watching out for Brussels?
There are words missing. Important words that complete sentences. Why would you leave those out?
I’m so confused.

Twilight Saga is My Shame

I’ll admit it.

I read all of the Twilight books and I read them more than once. Which I really shouldn’t say out loud let alone in print. My urban fantasy comrades may disown me for such a confession.  

I can NOT, however, be held responsible for my actions. I was young (older than I should have been but that’s not the point) and duped into submission by the promise of lusty vampires and awesome werewolves. If you’ve read my books, you know…that’s kinda my thing. Plus, who doesn’t love a little sappy romance, even if her vampires do sparkle.  

That one I had a hard time getting over. Seriously, even in Seattle, there’s light that would reflect off of sparkly skin. Rainy is not a logical explanation for being able to go out in the day. The explanation doesn’t have to be rooted in science but…come on! I think I would notice some dude, in say a mall, or restaurant, or SCHOOL under the florescents and his skin sparkled. I just would. Anyway, I digress.

I went with my friend to watch the first movie back when it came out. After that, I was done. I didn’t go see another one. I couldn’t take Kristen Stewart’s sappy inexpressive face. Did anyone else notice that she never closes her mouth. Is she not capable of breathing through her nose? Does her jaw not line up? Are her teeth too big for her face? I don’t know. But I couldn’t stop staring at her with the exact same expression throughout the entire movie with her mouth gaping open. I was positive she had to eaten a bug or two during filming. It’s just not possible that she didn’t. This is an example. Actually, I had a hard time finding a picture with her mouth closed. kristen-stewart

So, I went about my life blissfully happy that i’d missed the last four installments of the twilight movie SAGA (and I use that word flippantly). Until, that is, this weekend. I was cleaning and decided I wanted some background noise so I turned on the television. I should have just plugged in my phone to the speakers and listened to a book. That would have been better for my IQ. Anyway, the television turns on and Breaking Dawn Part 1 is on showtime (I think) so I leave it on, knowing I won’t want to pay attention. I needed to clean. My house was disgusting…even to me which is saying something.

I really should have just plugged in my phone.

I ended up watching the whole f’ing thing. Again, staring at her open mouth. I was fixated like a fly in a spider web by the incredible inadequacy of her acting – of everyone’s acting really. Whoever the casting director was, should be banned from Hollywood. Kristen Stewart may be the worst of the bunch. Her acting is like a train wreck, slow, painful, and I’m unable to look away. There’s an actual facebook page dedicated to Kristen Stewart’s horrible acting and her never closing her mouth. Google is a wonderful thing!

So, I get through this entire movie, and then it ends in the middle. Now, I was prepared for this since I read the books and had heard from my friend how angry she was when she saw it. That did not, however, stop me from going to the redbox and renting Part 2. I have no excuse, other than i can’t leave something unfinished. My husband had to take a book away from me once. Even though I hated every word on the page, I wouldn’t stop reading it. “It might get better,” I’d said. I have a problem. Unfortunately, there’s no group for me. I just couldn’t stop in the middle of the story. So, yes. I paid $1.28 to rent Breaking Dawn Part 2. I watched it and it was just as horrible as I thought it would be. I actually kinda wished that they’d made the movie about the Russian Chick from Alaska and the Revolutionary dude instead. I was much more interested in their story than the one I was watching.

I redeem myself by also having rented the Avengers which is an awesome movie. I don’t think its enough though.

Even in the trailer, you can tell it isn’t going to be good. Maybe next weekend will be better… SIGH 

The Greatest Store EVER!

Last night was the first Saturday of the month, a.k.a. Gallery Hop in the Short North here in Columbus. We had dinner at Knead which is fantastic. I do have to mention that right next door to Knead is a restaurant named Deep Wood. I swear to God, that’s a true statement. So if you’re walking North on High Street, you’ll pass a sign overhead that reads Knead and then the next sign is Deep Wood. Knead Deep Wood! Ha! I couldn’t make that shit up.

Anyway. After dinner, Ross and I headed up to the Short North to look around all the Art Galleries. It was hot as hell last night which meant I was sweating like it was August. It isn’t August. It’s October! I refuse to wear shorts in October simply out of principle. It didn’t help that I was wearing my riding boots and jeans. Yeah, I was hot as hell and no one had their air conditioning on. Stupid global warming.

So, Ross and I (indicated by this cute little avatar) 20843744 managed to make the circuit around. He still says I can’t have a puppy even though we passed two boutique pet shops and an adoption event on the street. We also passed a group of singing Hari Krishnas’ who were very excited to be there. There was also a group of three guys in clown costumes who were obviously in some sort of band but God only knows what they were playing. We crossed the street when we got to the Clown Band.

The only place Ross wanted to go was the Big Fun Toy Store. It was like stepping back in time and I’m not sure its a good thing. They had an entire wall of Care Bears and My Little Pony. Not to mention the cases of Star Wars figurines and G.I. Joes. They actually had a Serpentor on his little Cobra hover bike. I would like to say that I got out unscathed and that I was a grown up enough to not purchase anything but I can’t.

Purchase #1

Funshine Bear
Funshine Bear

That’s right, be jealous! I am now in possession of a Funshine Bear. It will keep my Goodluck Bear and Share Bear company. Don’t judge.

Purchase #2

Garbage Pail Kids
Garbage Pail Kids

Garbage Pail Kids! Are you fucking kidding me? My mom was so mad at me. For some reason, when I was little, I decided that I had to stick these all over my dresser. Yeah, they don’t come off.  But I digress. This package still has the stick of gum in it. I won’t tell you how much I spent on the GPK’s because Ross just this minute had a small stroke when I told him. I’d managed to pay last night without him hovering over my shoulder. It doesn’t even matter. Both were totally worth it.

God, I love Columbus!


Am I the only one not concerned with fame?

I don’t care that you’re famous.

If you’re an ass, you’re just a famous ass and I don’t have time to deal with that.

If you have fans (and don’t get me wrong, I’m totally jealous), but at least pay attention to them and don’t treat them like their shit. If they want to take a picture with you, smile and say “sure, that would be great!” Also, don’t hide who you are. If you started out as self-published, acknowledge it and embrace it. Be proud of where you came from. Yes, now you have a very VERY lucrative publishing contract but own up. You started out as fan-fiction, stole someone else’s characters and wrote a very subpar set of novels that the general masses adore. Own it!

Maybe its me but I can’t respect a person who doesn’t acknowledge who and what they are, the work they’ve done, and tries to be something they’re not.

As an author, I strive to be better every day, to make my characters as real for my readers as I can. I’m not going to lie. I’ve written some shit in my day, unabashed shit but I know that and acknowledge it. I learn from it and and develop not only as an author but as a person taking the good with the bad. I feel that most of us who are in the business for a while want to be proud of our work and we understand that rejection, development, and tears are all part of the process. If you catapult to stardom without the benefit of failure, you lose something. You lose the ability to be humble, thankful, and grow.

I realize this is a little late considering that RT was in April but better late than never…right?

WordPress and the Static Page

All i want is to have the blog show up on the blog page! Why is this so difficult? I know I created the blog page first and the static site second but I just want it to show up on the blog page in addition to the widget at the edge of the page.


I have requested help from a friend and she thinks I’m nuts. The following conversation has transpired between me and said friend:

i hate websites
1:08 PM
i hate wordpress
1:30 PM
I think I’m decent at wordpress
Do you need help?
i have a blog and i’m turning wordpress into a static page to move my website over but i can’t move the pre existing blog over to the blog header page
what format?
i have no idea
I have to go to a meeting in a few
What is your website now?
logon is XXXXXXX password is XXXXXXX, play around if you wish.
my current website is so i’m trying to move all that crap over to wordpress and make it better
On wordpress?
1:38 PM
Where is the old blog?
1:41 PM
1:42 PM
Am I missing something? When I go to the wordpress site and click on “Blog”, I see 5 posts
Are you trying to get them so they appear on the body of the page and not just as links in the sidebar?
1:44 PM
because that list of 5 posts should be on every page
2:30 PM
i might cry
on a better note, the meeting was fairly uneventful
2:39 PM
That list is on every page?
I feel like youre hallucinating these issues
2:45 PM
no, its a widget
it posts on every page
This is the conversation I just had and we are now both frustrated! *SIGH*
And yes, i really do talk like that.