Writing News – Jan. 21, 2019

So, last week, I ended up with three days off, and I spent most of that time catching up with housekeeping and some other projects that had been neglected of late due to my work schedule.  One of these projects was me cleaning out my huge amount of email.

One of the emails I received while I was offline was a notification of things happening over on Kindle Direct Publishing.  I moved to them when they merged with Create Space.  I was initially told all my published work would be seamlessly moved over and would be available from Amazon just like before.

Well, this new email made this all a lie.  Apparently, the site has changed publishing applications so everything from CreateSpace is no longer compatible.  Of course.  Knew something like this was going to happen.  So, I started with the ebook I had been making before I went offline.  The program for this is not that user friendly, and I got frustruated with it after working on it for several hours.  I decided to leave it alone and go back to it on my next day off.

As luck would have it, I worked one day and was off again yesterday.  I managed to figure out the issue I’d been having with the ebook creator program and completed the ebook – finally.  It’s now available of Amazon. Yay me.  Anyway, I began work on the release of the novel the ebook is for: Crimson Knight.

First off, neither of the programs used to create the print version of my novel is user friendly.  The book cover creator program also forces you to use templates that are quite limited.  I tried to use my old cover and found no option for that – if anyone finds it please let me know!  After I finally got the cover made, I turned to the program used to actually create the book – you have to upload your manuscript initially and then do some other things before it will accept your book for publishing.

I am now having formatting issues from hell.  My own manuscript is great, but it looks awful on KDPs previewer even after I’ve followed the guidelines for saving, formatting, sizing etc.  I messed with it for hours before giving up and saving it for my next day off.  That should be Sunday, and I’ll let you know what happens when it does.  Wish me luck.

That’s it for this post, folks.  I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

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Update Jan. 17, 2019 – for lack of a better title…

My life has been like a rushing river, throwing me all over the place, bashing me against obstacles and pushing me along before I can even catch my breath, much less get my bearings.

I was working at Taco Bell in Lufkin from February 2018 until September of the same year when I was asked to be the caregiver for a good friend of mine with terminal cancer.   She didn’t want to go to a hospice, but she didn’t want a stranger living in her house either.  So, with some experience caring for someone at the end of their life, I agreed.  I quit my job, moved in with her and her hubby, and I took care of her 24/7 until she passed away in late August.

I have never sat vigil with someone who was passing away.  My late aunt in law passed away in the hospital after I cared for her for the last six months of her life so, I wasn’t in the room during her final 24 hours.  I sat with my friend, her husband and her best friend for her final hours.  None of us, least of all her I’m sure, expected her to go so soon or so quickly.  Even then, the hours seemed so long as we all sat with her.  Her husband held her hand, and her best friend sat with him on her bed.  I stayed on the couch and simply watched, the pain growing even as I tried to understand.  It wasn’t until she was pronounced and the funeral home was called that her passing became more tangible.  I had to leave the room and call my son – I needed to hear him and express my sorrow to someone who would be able to handle it.  The others had enough pain of their own, they didn’t need mine.  Even now, months later, I am still not sure it wasn’t a dream – a horrible nightmare.  I just have to look at her Facebook page, now a memorial to her, to know it all happened.  It doesn’t stop me from missing her…

I started work in October for a company called Super Bargain helping set up and stock the new store they were opening in the town over from where I was living.  The store was open by Thanksgiving, and I was asked to move to Cleveland to work in the store there – the company owned three stores by then – while another store was being readied in Beaumont.  I got a car, and I moved.  I started work at the Beaumont store doing set up and stocking just before Christmas.  I am still commuting back and forth six days a week.  I am away from home for 14 hours a day.  Three hours a day, I am either winding down for the night or I’m getting ready for the day – I take 1 1/2 hours in the morning and evening for this.  I have one day off a week.

All of this leaves very little time for me to do anything and yet, I’ve decided I need to try.  I am tired of not getting things done, of not enjoying my hobbies.  My writing is falling behind as well though I must admit I am finding it hard to want to write.  After all this time of trying and working, I’m not really seeing the point of continuing.  Crimson Knight has been available in paperback since about 1999, and I have only sold one copy.  That’s pretty pathetic.  Please, don’t innudate me with marketing advice – I have plenty of that but very little of the very important component – ready cash.  It takes money to make money after all….

I have tried finding someone to be with, to date.  I had thought a former lover might be someone to be serious with, but despite his words to the contrary, his actions tell me he’s not interested.  So, I guess I’ll try the dating sites again.  I found him, maybe I’ll find someone else, someone who is interested in a relationship.  We’ll see.

Anyway, you’re now caught up on my life, such as it is.  I shall endeavor to write a bit more often, but you know how things are.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver – you never know what’s out there!

Deja Dead – Kathy Reichs

My copy of this lovely book was a hardback I checked out from the local library nearly a week ago.  It was printed by Scribner which is a trademark of Simon and Schuster Inc.  It was copyrighted in 1997 by Kathleen J. Reichs.  It’s the first of her books starring Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The television series called Bones was loosely based on the book series written by Kathy Reichs.

Before I go on, I want to tell you what  forensic anthropology is – for those of you who don’t know.

Generally speaking forensic anthropology is the examination of human skeletal remains for law enforcement agencies to help with the recovery of human remains, determine the identity of unidentified human remains, interpret trauma, and estimate time since death. … Anthropology alone is the study of man.

A coroner does something similar : The coroner’s jurisdiction is limited to determining who the deceased was and how, when and where they came by their death. When the death is suspected to have been either sudden with unknown cause, violent, or unnatural, the coroner decides whether to hold a post-mortem examination and, if necessary, an inquest.

Now that I’ve helped define the difference between the two jobs and thus, have shown the two can assist each other without repeating things, I’ll go on with my review.  If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below, and I’ll answer as best I can.

Now, Dr. Temperance (Tempe to her friends) Brennan has been in Canada for a year working for the Laboratoire de Medecine Legal in the province of Quebec, but she hasn’t been involved in anything major until she’s called out the the site of a body dump.  The body has been skillfully dismembered and wrapped in plastic trash bags before being buried.  The torso has been disfigured horribly.  This is only the first as Temperance becomes involved in what turns out to be a string of similar deaths.

Making life difficult for our heroine is Luc Claudel, a Homicide Investigator who seems to have it in for her.  His partner, Michel Charbonneau, tries to assist.  Temperance does get some added assistance from Andrew Ryan, another investigator who caught one of the cases she has managed to link to the one she was called out on.  It doesn’t help Temperance goes investigating on her own and draws the attention of the murderer!

Mingled in with the investigation is Temperance’s relationship with her close friend from grad school, Gabriel (Gabby) Macaulay.  Gabby is busy with a research study involving the local prostitutes, and she comes to Temperance full of fear for a man who is stalking her.  Gabby’s state of mind is erratic even as she tries to take care of herself despite Temperance’s objections and repeated offers of help.

The story flows like a river from one end to the other.  At times, it becomes tumultuous with action and suspense before smoothing out again, but it never wavers or runs off in different directions leaving sidelines to bottom out.

Characters are well developed, even the secondary ones, and I actually cared about them – even got mad at Claudel for how he was treating our heroine!

I highly recommend this book for those of you who like murder mysteries!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Heeere’s Billy!

Yep, I’m back.  I am having to log on at the local library since I still don’t have internet service out in the boonies where I’m living.  Still, I’m able to post again.

The bad news to this is I’m only able to come to the library because the friend I was caring for has passed on.  It’s good for her since she’s no longer in pain, but it’s bad for me because I am no longer employed.  I’m not taking her loss well either so forgive me if I’m not as upbeat as I have been in the past.  She was a good friend, a good person, and I miss her a lot.

I do have some good news, of sorts.  I’ve been using CreateSpace, the self publishing platform of Amazon, for my print books, and they’ve been merged with Kindle. This means I can set up  both print and ebooks on the same platform now which will save me a lot of time.  All of my print books have already been moved, and I’m in the process of creating ebooks now.  It’s a lot more time consuming and work intensive than I thought!  I’m not very good at it either, not with the visual aspect of it, but I’m learning as I go along.  The only downside to this, that I’ve seen so far, is when I publish the ebook, I can’t go back and fix it later when I decide I really don’t like the look.  I’ll have to talk to Kindle about it to learn more about the process before I go further.

I’ll be posting the links to the ebooks as they come live, but you can also find them on Amazon by their titles.  All of my books are available in print form.

I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Personal Update – 18 July, 2018

I actually had to check to see which month we were in. 🙂

Lots of things going on in my life right now.

Didn’t get the dental surgery I was supposed to get.  The dental surgeon not being there was the biggest reason, but the official reason is my jaw isn’t strong enough yet to handle the bigger pins.  This means waiting until November just to be reevaluated!  It bites, but I don’t want the pins to come out this time so, I’m doing everything I’m told for once.

I quit my job.  I wasn’t all that happy in it to begin with – was having to make myself go, which says a lot right there.

My dearest friend, Sandra, is dying of Stage 4 Cervical cancer which has spread in the form of tumors all over her abdomen and neck.  She’s barely eating because of the tumors pressing on her colon and stomach.  She’s lost a lot of weight, has a nurse coming in at least once a week to check on her and make sure she has what she needs.  The doctors have given up trying to “cure” her and are just trying to make her comfortable as she nears the end.  They had given her a year, but in the few short months since they stopped all treatment, she’s gone downhill fast.  The nurse and her husband, Claude, who is also a friend of mine, don’t think she’ll make it to Thanksgiving.  I agree.

Since I told them I left my job, they’ve asked me to move in and be Sandra’s sitter.  She needs someone to be with her when Claude is at work, and the lady who was originally supposed to do it has not worked out.  I have applied to the hospice where she is registered for care, to see about being paid to be her sitter, but I’d do it for free simply because she needs me.  She’s the type of friend, and person, I’d do anything for.

They don’t have internet at their house since they live in a rural area, not yet anyway, so after this post, I won’t be online for a while.  This means no more posts from me for a bit.  I’ll do my best to get back on whenever I can, but Sandra is my main focus.

I’ll write blogs on paper and save them up for when I get back 😀  Then, you’ll see so many posts from me you’ll wish I would go offline again. lol

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver.  Anyone seen my car?

Quickie Update

I am writing this now instead of tomorrow because I’ll be either passed out or severely out of it from drugs and pain.

Quick thing first:  I learned something new today.  No matter what color it is, curry sauce is always spicy!!

Now, on to the main event:

I am getting my implants in tomorrow.  These are going to be bigger than the first set, and there will be only four instead of six.  This should give you some idea of how big these things are going to be.  Physically, they won’t be that big, but then, my jaw isn’t that big either!

I will be put out this time, and there will be a major need for painkillers after. Ugh!  I am super nervous about the whole thing.  I’m really hoping it works this time too!  I was disappointed in a major way when the original six didn’t stay in.  So, we’ll see.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!  Maybe a demon killing knife wouldn’t hurt either. 🙂

The Steel Kiss – Jeffery Deaver

My copy of this book is a trade paperback printed in 2016 by Hachette Book Group.  The Copyright of 2016 is held by Gunner Publications LLC.  This story was originally published in hardback and ebook by Grand Central Publishing in 2016.

As usual, Mr. Deaver does not fail to put in some plot twists. One is very ingenuous as it’s in what he doesn’t say 🙂  I can’t say more without giving away the story so, I won’t.  The story is a real attention grabber as well because it makes you think: what if?

The story is about a man who is using remote access to cloud based “brains” to kill people from afar.  This same man also uses a ball peen hammer for close up work.  Lincoln Rhyme, our fearless quadraplegic detective, has retired from police work to teach and persue more “civilian” work.  Detective Amelia Sachs, his lover and partner, is not happy about that but is working out of police headquarters despite him.  Lincoln takes on an intern as he accepts a job helping a family whose father and sole provider is killed by what appears to be a faulty escalator at a local mall.  Detective Sachs is hunting for a killer who crushes people’s heads in and whose unusual physical attributes still don’t help her find him.  The action revs up almost from the get go and runs almost full throttle all the way to the end!!  I read this one in one sitting as well!!

Love Mr. Deaver’s work!!  Can’t you tell? 😀

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves crime books and whodunits!  Still, don’t take my word for it.  Get a copy from your local library and try it out for yourself!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!  Maybe you should get a tattoo to keep from being possessed. 😀