Thursday, August 27, 2015

This n That Thursday

We got notification of what KU would pay per page on the 15th and I saw something this morning about the Big 5 now looking at getting into KU.  Nothing about anyone printing a retraction of their gloom and doom, 'Amazon is evil' statements from earlier this summer.  Hmph.  Does anyone ever admit to being wrong anymore?

The internet is a wonderful place.  Still, before things like FB and Twitter, I wouldn't have had even an nth of a chance to know the political and life philosophies of those around me.  (Cuz, ya know, the whole 'things you don't talk about in polite society' was adhered to more back then.)  Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

I'm supposed to have an ad up at a place called Goodkindles sometime today.  I'll let ya know how that pans out.

I went for a walk the other morning.  The river is receding, leaving the people on waterfront properties with extremely dead backyards.  Grass does not do well underwater.  And the smoke I keep smelling in the air is apparently from the people down there burning all the detritus that washed up.  Here's how it looks down there now:
Here's how it looked last month:

Watched a really neat episode of Nova last night about Siberian Tigers.  Cool stuff.  If you happen to see it on again, watch it.  The shots of those big beautiful cats are amazing.

What's the this n that skinny in your world?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Book Awards: A Flashing Beacon of What NOT to Read

Back when I first began trying to get published, I never thought about winning an award.  Years before, I learned that most books that had 'award winner' on them weren't books I enjoyed anyway.  (Unless they'd won the award decades before, when the award still meant something good.)

I think it started with the Newberry Award.  I mean, I knew if the book had 'Newberry Award Winner' on it, the likelihood was that I wouldn't like it.  And not because it's an award for kids' fiction. (I read MG, YA, NA, Adult.  I don't care, as long as the story is good.) The philosophies put forth in those books was at best 'meh' and at worst made my skin crawl.  And you know, it really didn't wreck my world to avoid them.  Of course, I didn't think about what would happen when my daughter got old enough to be introduced to those books.

Flash back to the summer of 2003.  My daughter was enrolled in the summer school program at the private school system where I worked.  It was a good program and she was around bright children all day.  (Or so I thought, but we won't go into all that.)  One weekend, I'm in the living room, sitting on the couch reading, when I hear the most heartbreaking, parental-soul-wrenching wailing coming from the Kid's room.  I jump up and run in there because I figure she's injured herself horribly.  Nope.  She was reading the required book for summer school.  A Newberry Award winner.  I promptly read it myself and was horrified at the ending.  I cried buckets, too, but more because my darling 9-yr old daughter with her positive sense of life had been subjected to this piece of shit where the basic message seemed to be 'don't want more than you have or want anything for yourself because someone will die'.  Needless to say, I got to work that Monday, marched the book into my boss' office and explained to him why this particular book wasn't in keeping with the school's stated philosophy.  He read it and pulled it off the 'mandatory reading' list - effective immediately.

And before any of you cry 'censorship', please note the book wasn't banned - it was just no longer mandatory reading.  Choose it or don't.   I guarantee my daughter would've put the damn book down long before she got to the tragic part if she hadn't HAD TO read it for school. 

I haven't read an award winning book that didn't suck since the '80s - when SF awards still meant good reading and they were the last to hold that distinction. (I used to inhale those old anthologies of award winning SF.)  Newberry, Pulitzer, National Book Award, Hugo... all had become crap with a message to shove down your throat.  Yay, just what I want from my leisure time.  And let's face it, 90% of reading is leisure time. (Mine anyway - your mileage may vary.)  If I want to learn something, I do research.  If I want a message, I'll get one through the news or on the net whether I want one or not.  (Heh, like I ever want a message.)  I'm 45 years old and my philosophy is set.  No amount of 'award-winning' fiction is going to change it.  When I pick up fiction, I want to be entertained.  If I take something positive away from the entertainment, cool.  If I take something negative away, I'm generally pissed off.  :cough:PayItForward:cough:

So, this past weekend the Hugo awards were held. I bought two books last night from among the authors who 'lost'.  I would've bought more, but, you know, fundage.

Anyway, I expected the results from those awards. They underscored my belief that award-winning books are best avoided.  I'll stick to sales ranks and following my gut when I shell out my stingy book budget.  And maybe I'll add in 'books that lost' because those were probably better than what won to begin with.

No, I never considered whether my fiction would win any awards, so I never aspired to any of them.  And considering what those awards have come to mean, I really don't want one.  I want to entertain my readers.  If they come away with a better view of the world or a better understanding of it, awesome.  It's not my goal, but it would be cool.  Maybe in the future, should book awards come to mean what they were meant to - good fiction - I would reconsider, but right now?  Nope.  For me, awards have become a flashing beacon of what NOT to read.  And I certainly don't want any of my books on a list like that.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Update - Week 33

Ah, there are the week numbers again.  Last week was the 33rd week of 2015.  I know because I looked it up.  =op

Anyway, 33rd week. 3rd book released.  Wish in One Hand is now available for purchase for Kindle and in print.  I'll do some kind of numbers post over at Outside the Box tomorrow.  If I remember.

It's Sunday morning.  It's pouring rain with bangers and boomers.  I didn't sleep well.  All of that boils down to a less than chipper me this morning.  My woo won't hoo.

Now that the temperatures have been cooler, Hubs and I have been taking walks in the evening.  I'm sure he has to feel like he's on some kind of nature walk every time because I point out everything.  The other day I saw a tiny, furry caterpillar that looked like shimmering molten metal as it undulated over the concrete.  Last night, I saw a tiny, furry caterpillar with black tufts along its side and a russet stripe down the middle.  Neither of them were more than a half inch long.  I notice shit like that.    I also saw a beetle that was hinged between the thorax and the abdomen such that it looked like one of those crazy buses with the accordion middle for easier turning.

I also saw a bobcat on her way out on her dusk hunting trip.  First bobcat we've seen in almost two years.  Cool.

Speaking of noticing things, I found two flaws in the second chapter of WIOH.  Those are fixed in the e-version now.  Missed an 'a' and referred to Omar's sanctuary as a box when it's actually a lamp.  (It originally was a hollow bead on an old necklace, so I'm not sure how 'box' ever came into play.) That's one of the great things about self-publishing. Find a flaw, fix it.  No muss, no fuss.  Cuz let's face it.  In a 100K word novel, you can't catch everything. Not on the tenth pass.  Not on the hundredth.  :shrug:

For some reason, the new growth on my forsythia keeps dying.  Have to look into that.

What's going on in your world?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

This n That Thursday

Yesterday evening as we were headed home from our walk, something jogged across the road about 30 yards in front of us. Since we were walking into the setting sun, it wasn't the easiest thing to see. Coyote?  Nope, ears weren't pointed, nose wasn't pointed. Although, it was about that size. Dog? Nope. Wrong gait. Local cat? Too big.  Plus, it had a short tail.  Yes, it was a bobcat.  Dusk is when they head out from their daytime snoozing spot for the evening's hunting.  We hope it was Mittens.  Or maybe Whiskers. 

I'm re-reading the first in a series I love - StarDoc by S.L. Viehl (you might know her better as PaperbackWriter).  When I went to Goodreads to put it in my 'Currently Reading', I noticed some one and two star reviews.  Maybe it's just me, but it always irks me to see low-star reviews on a book I love.  Were they even reading the same thing I was?  Anyway, this just goes to show that everyone has their own tastes.

I saw an article about a little girl with a robotic hand throwing out the first pitch at an Orioles game.  That little girl kicks ass.

Didn't win the lottery.  I guess I'll just have to keep writing and hoping someone somewhere will buy my books.

Speaking of which, the Mad Genius Club had a really awesome article called "When is an indie author doing well?"  I commented, of course.  Thinking about it now, I'll be satisfied if I can average 2 books a day per title. I was there until Wish came out, but it's early yet.  I'll probably do a sale and some advertising over Labor Day Weekend or something.

What's up with the this n that in your world?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

It's alive. It's Alive. It's ALIVE!

Bwa ha ha. 


In case you hadn't heard, today is release day for Wish in One Hand

So pretty.

And here are all of my books together.  Yay!

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd have one book published, let alone three. 

Thanks to everyone who helped make all of this possible.  :hugs:

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Update - T-2

Two days until Wish in One Hand is available for public consumption.  Stop by Outside the Box tomorrow for a look at the road that brought my novel - originally called Djinnocide - to this point.

I am inordinately irritated at the time of writing this by some numbnuts who tweeted something snarky about other suspense writers, as well as by the people who retweeted his oh-so witty comment.  Bah and feh.  I write suspense.  My readers seem to think I'm good at it.  That's all I really need to worry about so, Mr. RapierWit, f-off.

I saw a vireo earlier this week.  (It's a bird.)

Hubs kindly executed Tick-mageddon 3 this past week.  Hopefully, the juice will also kill whatever little bugs have been biting the crap out of me lately.  I swear, I'm going nuts itching.

I saw a coyote this week, too.  He was crossing the highway.  Made it through safe, which is always good.

I ordered and received my proof copy of the paperback for WIOH on Friday.  The cover looks amazing.  I flipped through the inside like I always do - looking for anything squonky.  Something seemed off, so I flipped through until it hit me.  No page numbers.  Well, derp.  So, I fixed the file, converted it to PDF, and uploaded it.  Right after I clicked 'Review my Files', I realized I had forgotten to put a section break at the end of the book so the blank page, the About the Author, and the page with my other books on it didn't also have page numbers.  Too late to take it back.  Yesterday, I got the approval for the wrong file, uploaded the fixed file, and also got approval for that.  The new proof has been ordered and should arrive Wednesday.  If all is well with that, WIOH will be available in for purchase in paperback for them what wants that format.

Related to the above, I opted not to go with extended distribution this time around.  I make pennies through those other channels, I only ever sold one book through one of them anyway, and that one channel has been a little concerning lately.  If you purchased a paperback of mine through any other place but Amazon, please contact me, because I never got paid for it.  (Except for the one person I contacted early on about her purchase of Dying Embers.  I did eventually get paid for that, like 3 months later.)

Now that WIOH is in the system, I took two whole days off writing related stuff (other than marketing).  I read a couple books and started another.  It's nice to read other people's words for a change.  I was supposed to get back to work yesterday, but that didn't happen.  I'll do it today.  I kinda have to get rolling.  My editor is expecting Bloodflow in September.  I have pages of my own edit notes to input and I know some of them are pretty intensive.  Wish me luck.

How are things in your world?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

This n That Thursday

Sorry I missed y'all last week.  Busy busy and all that rot.  (How's that for differing accents in one paragraph? LOL)

Okay, so Wish in One Hand is available for pre-order - which is part of the reason I missed posting this n that last week.  I was hip-deep in edits.  But now I'm not.  I'm free!  I'm free!  Until this weekend, when I will rebegin the process with Bloodflow.

I have two winning lottery tickets from last week sitting on my computer.  A dollar each - which explains why there's no rush to cash them in.  I did venture forth from the cave yesterday, but I forgot the tickets.  :shrug:  Maybe today.

The state of Arkansas has decided now would be a good time to chip seal the highway I take to Walmart.  They just JUST repaved the damn thing last year.  It was smooth and lovely.  Now it's a tragic pain in the ass.  Hubs assures me this is normal.  Re-pave one year, chip seal and asphalt the next year, give it a slurry or something every few years after that.  It helps the road last longer.  Whatevs man.  All I know is my beautiful road that I could go 55 down (Yeah, 55... that's the ticket.) is now a 15 mile stretch of 15 mph gravel road.  They better get it back to smooth again soon.  Dammit.

I saw a baby roadrunner this week.  He was with his mom.  She'd run a little, he'd follow, and when she'd stop, he'd stop next to her and wiggle his wings for her to feed him.  He may have even been beeping, but I was watching from inside the house.

I think I'm forgetting something.  Like I was supposed to send somebody something.  If I was supposed to send you something, let me know.  I'm such a scatterbrain right now.  (Oh, I hear you laughing out there.  Shush.)

What's the this n that skinny where you are?