A Broken Car, a Flooded Basement, a Dead Tree Book, and a New Kitty, But Not in that Order

The last few days have been crazy and weird, good but not all good. Over the weekend, we adopted a new kitten, had a car break down, and our basement flooded. The flood and the car weren’t too bad. The car issue was quickly resolved. The basement flood was not. We still have some very wet carpet.

And it’s still raining, so my whole life feels a little waterlogged at the moment. Drive to work in the rain, listen to the rain all day, drive home in the rain, worry about wet basement when I get home. Rain, rain, rain. I think I need an ark.

The new baby is very sweet. We picked him up from the animal shelter in Indy on Friday. They were overcrowded and having a special. We have been thinking about getting a new cat anyway, so this was a good opportunity.

Here he is.

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His name is Bleu. He is very, very sweet. As I was trying to pet the cat in the cage diagonal from his, he was reaching through the bars for me.

He is  also very, very energetic. He bolts from one side of the house to the other and climbs furniture and jumps on tables and knocks things off. He’s a curious boy and currently gets into everything. We haven’t had a kitten in over a decade, so having him around has required some adjustments.

Sneaker, our grouchy, old lady cat, is not handling his presence very well. She should be used to having another cat around because she lived with Max for so long. Apparently, she does not have the same patience for a baby. We’ve had a lot of literal hissy fits.

In other news, Love and the Dark is now available in print through CreateSpace. Click here if you would like to see and/or order it.

I’ll have some copies available at an upcoming author fair I plan to attend in September. I’ll post a link for that soon.

 

 

 

Stranger Things, Eleven

Minor spoilers ahead!

Stranger Things is a somewhat new Netflix show that we watched really quickly because it was really good.

One of the most interesting characters is Eleven. This is her.

stranger things eleven

Due to her role as a subject of questionable science experiments, she has psychokinetic abilities she can use to toss people around like rag dolls whenever she feels the need. Also due to growing up in a shady lab, she has poor social skills.

She also has a lot of moments in which she longs to be normal, even though she isn’t entirely sure what that entails. Her mix of naivety and violent tendencies makes her interesting to watch throughout the show, but one scene stood out more than the other.

So, she has a bit of a falling out with her newfound friends and she runs off. With no home and no one supporting her, she has to fend for herself, ie eat. She walks into a grocery store, straight to the Eggo waffles (because #corporatesponsorship). A couple of concerned employees, one of them a manager, asks if she needs help.

She glares at him calls him a “mouthbreather” (a term her friends taught her that refers to ignorant people), and she makes off with 4 boxes of waffles, leaving all sorts of chaos on her wake.

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This is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it shows how she really feels about regular humans, or at least regular, adult humans. She’s keenly aware of her superiority and willing to use her powers to get what she wants; God help you if you even look like you might get in her way.

Second, this scene shows that Eleven has the potential to become a very bad person in the future. For the most part, she has acted on the side of good, protecting her friends at all costs. However, if she pops up in the next season, I will be interested to see how her character changes.

Patiently awaiting season 2

Sunday

I think that my blood must be the mosquito equivalent of chocolate cake, or maybe steak. I swear every time I go outside for more than a walk to my car, I get swarmed by the things. The weather is nice, though, when it isn’t broiling. Sunshine is good. Green plants are good.

I am pleased to report that the final AnnaBeth book is off to see the wizard (Lady Editor), and as long as no major problems arise, that book should be ready sometime within the next 2-3 months. It’s the last part of a trilogy, so I’m not going to do a big release thing for it.

I have many tasks ahead to wrap up the trilogy. I’m releasing new editions of the first 2 books at the same time I release the print edition of book 3, so the to-do list involves 3 print covers and 3 rounds of interior formatting. It won’t be fun, but the end result is going to look very cool. That is excellent motivation.

What else. Oh, yes. I decided to release the middle-grade book (kids’ book) I wrote a year or 2 ago. It’s been done for a while, and I’ve been holding it for a few reasons, one of which is that I wanted to write the second book in the series before I released the first.

I had this whole idea that I would release them at the same time and make the first book free. I changed my mind because I don’t think that a free book is as big a draw as it used to be. There are too many. You could seriously pack a Kindle or a Kindle app to the gills and never pay a penny. I might make it free in select places like on the Wattpad app or maybe through my website directly. We’ll see.

So, yeah. I plan to release that one around November 15th. I’m releasing it then for the holiday shopping season and so that I have a nice, long time to get my marketing game together.

Slowly but surely, progress is made.

writer author fiction book

Newness

But not writing newness. I redesigned the cover for Love and the Dark. Wanna see it? Of course you do! Otherwise, you probably would’ve moved on to the next cat video by now instead of continuing to read this nonsense.

So, here’s what the first cover looked like in case you didn’t see it.

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Honestly, it’s not that great of a cover. It’s okay. I’ve definitely seen worse. I’ve seen much, much better. I’ve never been overly fond of it. I think that I reached the end of the book project, and I was ready to be done with it.

Despite my lack of love for this cover, I did attempt to use it for the print edition and then promptly changed my mind. As a front cover, it’s functional, but I couldn’t figure out how to handle the back cover in a way that looked halfway professional. It was bad.

So I proceeded with 4 redesigns. None of those worked. Into the recycle bin they went. Okay, not really. I kept all of them. I’m a digital hoarder. What can I say?

I settled on this one mostly for mood and color.

another dark forest cover

It isn’t live everywhere yet, but it will be soon. The print edition should be out in the next 2 -3 weeks if all goes as planned.

That’s it for now. Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lately

Hey, what’s up? I have pictures of things. Last week, the boy was at Boy Scout camp all week. The girl works all the time and the husband often takes evening naps. That left me with a crazy amount of alone time. Most of that was spent playing Skyrim (ESO online, which is not technically called Skyrim but I call it Skyrim anyway) and hanging out with the animals.

The in-house animal population currently consists of Sneaker the cat and Merlin, the girl’s bearded dragon. There’s also a fish (the Captain) but he’s in my daughter’s room, therefore not in a location to be good company.

I feel bad for Merlin. He hangs out in his cage and sleeps a lot. He really likes snuggles, and I think it makes him sad to be alone so much. Yes, a lizard enjoys snuggles. He curls up like a little, scaly cat, and falls asleep on a person or near a person. It’s pretty much adorable.

Not only does he like snuggles, he enjoys watching trees. I got him out one night to feed him and decided to give him a window seat.

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Then Sneaker came in and started nosing around his chair. She knew he was up there, so she didn’t want to actually jump up onto the chair. I got her a chair of her own and put her on it. This was the scene.

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They hung out in this way for about half an hour. It was strange and funny and made being almost alone a bit more tolerable.

Current writing status: making notes for a book/novella that I should not be writing at this moment because I have other, more important things to write. Writing is the most fun when I feel like I should be working on something else.

Day of Many Words

I hope everyone in the US had a lovely holiday weekend. I did! There was a lot of socializing, which wore me out (#introvert), but it was a good time. After parties on 2 out of 3 days and a 1-day writing retreat, I had no energy left.

The writing retreat (hosted by The Geeky Press in Indy) was really good, long, but good. I was proofreading and I got through about a third of the book (20,000 words). I was pleased with my productivity and pleased with the state of the book. It’s in weirdly good shape for a first draft.

I was also pleased with the fanciness of the place. I took a few pictures. If you click on a picture, I think it should pull up a slideshow.

 

Most of the attendees were female, like all but 2. I then wondered if most authors in general were women and then I thought about the books I read. They’re almost all written by male authors.

I wonder why this is. It isn’t a conscious decision. When I decide whether a book is worth my time, gender is not a factor. I have never put down a book because it was written by a lady.

I will say that I don’t read overly girly books. I prefer fantasy, thriller, horror, that kind of deal. So, that genre preference might be a bit of a factor.

I decided I need to read more books written by women, and I would like to encourage other people to do the same. Ladies can write, too. I’m going to find 3 new lady authors who write the kind of books I want to read, because I should really be more supportive of my own gender and because I need to broaden my horizons.

Recommendations are welcome!

Friday Bloggin

The weather this week has been SO much better, not as much heat, not as much humidity. As much as I like summer, I don’t do very well in the heat.

I had run-ins with wildlife this week. I was bitten on the face by a flying ant (an unprovoked attack, I assure you.) and a pair of baby bunnies fell into the basement window well. Here’s a picture for you to awwww…

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Those 2 characters in the background are part of our zombie gnome collection.

I got the bunnies out using a bucket and I was careful not to touch them but one did jump over me and into my basement. It dashed around and then under a couch. The other one did not escape into the house but he did panic and then bonk his head on the window as he tried to run away. Poor babies! I was glad they weren’t dead this time. We find dead bunnies in there sometimes and that is both sad and disgusting.

We really need to cover that window well with a screen or something.

I finished the read-through of the 2nd AnnaBeth book today. I made some much needed adjustments and changes and hopefully did not screw anything new up in the process. It will get a run through spellcheck and maybe another read-through before I release the 2nd edition of the print book.

Now, the next project is the first read-through of the third and last AnnaBeth book. I hope it’s in good shape. I feel like it might be.

I plan to make a deliciously large dent in that task this weekend while I’m on my one-day writing retreat. That’s right! I am attending a writing function during which other writers will be present. I have never done this before. I’m kind of excited about it.

This is where I’m going –

columbia club

It’s called the Columbia Club and it looks super fancy. I’m actually not sure if I’m fancy enough to be there. I guess we’ll find out! I’ll try to snap a couple of better pictures when I’m there if I can do it without looking overly touristy or like I don’t get out much. I actually don’t get out much, incidentally, but that’s beside the point.

If this goes well, if I get make great leaps and bounds of productivity, I might try to do something similar on my own. I could always hide in the basement for a weekend day and demand that the children and the husband leave me be. Would they actually do it? I do not know.

That’s it for now. Catch ya later.