Monday, February 29, 2016

Behind and Neurotic

Two things are happening right now.  1) I'm so far behind on all the little things.  2) I've turned into a total neurotic.

If you're waiting on IDW postcards, I haven't even created them yet which means I haven't ordered them yet which means they aren't anywhere close to being here so I can mail them.  Couple weeks at the earliest.

If you're hoping for a paperback of IDW, I don't have a page count to give my artist yet, so she hasn't started on the print cover.  End of March, maybe. 

If I was supposed to send you anything else, I totally forgot.  Email me.

If I was supposed to read your book and review it, I'm shooting for this weekend.

If your birthday is coming up and you haven't received anything from me yet, it's either on its way or I'm working on it.  Or it's not and I'm not because I have forgotten.

If you were expecting a blog post, it's around here somewhere.  Bear with me.

I'm hoping to have a couple weeks between uploading this book and receiving my edits back from the editor on Fertile Ground so I can pull my head out of my armpit.

On the neuroses front, I blame my need for my quarterly hormone shot and the impending release day.  None of it is rational.  I know I didn't piss off a bunch of people causing them to not want to talk to me... or did I?  I know this book doesn't suck, that I don't suck, that everything will be okay. I know in my deep sane place that everything is exactly as it was before I began jones'n for hormones. And I will make it through this release in one piece.  I just have to keep reminding myself. 

So, if I'm quiet or not quite as positive as you might expect, it's totally me and not you.  Now, please excuse me while I crawl back under my rock and finish this book. 


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 9

It doesn't feel like Sunday.  Not sure what day it feels like, but not Sunday.  As I approach release day, my sense of time gets all messed up... err, messed up worse than usual.

Anyway, before I begin, I'd like to let y'all know that the Kindle version of Blood Flow is free today and tomorrow - sort of to celebrate Leap Year.  Because, why not?  It's an extra day that only comes around every four years. Doesn't it deserve some lovin', too?  If you haven't snagged your copy, now's your chance. 

This past week... let's see...

I finished the edit notes for In Deep Wish yesterday morning and started the proofreading.  This is the part where I re-read it and try very hard not to re-write the whole damn thing because I want it to be perfect for you and it's never perfect.  This pass is supposed to be JUST for making sure I don't have typos or misplaced commas or irritating shit like that.  I did chapter one last night and have a page of fixes because I couldn't stop myself.  Everything will be fixed and entered and the book will be uploaded for pre-order on Friday if it kills me. 

There is now a Goodreads listing for In Deep Wish.  And in case you missed it, here's the cover I revealed on Friday both at Killer Chicks and at Outside the Box.

I got a note about a couple typos in Blood Flow. Those have been fixed and the fixed copies have been uploaded to Amazon and Createspace. 

I went looking for cover images to send to my artist for Up Wish Creek.  It's not due out until August, but I want to have an idea to send to her so she can get started. I found a couple that will work.  It'll be just Jo again with a purple background.  I'm thinking library in the back this time.  Like the trees with Spanish Moss this time.  And the antiques for Wish in One Hand.

I didn't do anything active on two days last week - Thursday and Saturday.  But Monday, I overdid it gardening, so maybe that balances out a little.

Speaking of gardening, my beds are all uncovered now.  Which was necessary because all my bulbs are coming up and the leaves were getting mutated under the leaf litter.  Two crocuses are already blooming and my hyacinths have buds.  Moving all the bulbs last year seems to have made them all happy.  We'll see who blooms and who doesn't.  The hyacinths didn't bloom at all last year, so at least that's something.

Hubs and I went for a drive yesterday.  The weather was gorgeous and we're both getting a little stir-crazy up in here.  We found some roads we hadn't been down yet, saw some pretty sights, and just relaxed.  Nice way to recharge. 

What's new in your world?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

This n That Thursday

Food for thought: Facebook said something awhile back about how part of their algorithm for determining what you want to see in your feed is based on how long you spend on any given status update. (You know, rather than showing you everything like you freakin' asked.)  Which might be why sometimes FB shows me a whole lot of something I really have no interest in.  I walk away from the computer a lot - to get coffee, to exercise, to go watch TV - and leave my browser open to FB.  So, when you get up from your computer to use the bathroom, watch where you're at in the newsfeed.  Jus' sayin'.

I'm feeling decidedly uninspired lately.  But it's February.  My muse usually goes on vacation about this time of year.  I wish she'd take the self-doubt bitch with her when she goes.  Sheesh. 

I got a call yesterday while I was on the phone with Mom.  The caller ID said it was a local call, so I ended my chat.  I looked through the list of all our neighbors to see who the hell would be calling.  None of them.  So I called the number back, in case it was someone I didn't have on the list.  "Your call cannot be completed as dialed."  Which I took to mean that someone has spoofed a local number to get me to answer the damn phone.  (We're call screeners.  If I don't know you, I don't answer the phone.) 

Michigan is getting slammed with snow.  Mom and the Kid are on opposite sides of the state, but they're both getting more than their fair share.  Mom said she's staying home.  The Kid has class, so I'm not sure what she'll face.  I know it's one she can't miss.  Keep your fingers crossed.

We have no snow.  We were supposed to get some, but then it passed us up entirely.  Livin' in the sweet spot.  Woohoo.

Which reminds me... We uncovered all the garden beds on Monday.  I hated to do it because I'm not convinced that Winter is over, but all my bulbs are coming up and they were getting all mutated under the leaf litter.  I even have the first crocus of Spring.  It's a purple one.  So, all my beds are clear and growing green things - tulips, irises, hyacinths, crocuses, daffodils.  Keep your fingers crossed we don't get another hard freeze.  I would totally have a sad if everything died now.

What's on your 'this n that' parade today?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 8

Well, here's Sunday again.  This last week flew by.  Not sure what was fueling its jets, but here it is.

Thursday, I received my edit notes back from AWE for In Deep Wish, and I sent her Fertile Ground to work her magic on.  I'm still on track with IDW for a March 15th release day, and hope to be on track for a mid-May release of FG.

If you were signed up for my newsletter, it went out Saturday.  Inside was a way to get an early copy of IDW, a teaser first chapter of the book, and a cover reveal.  If you're interested in seeing a copy of the newsletter now, email me at be.sanderson.writer at gmail dot com, and I'll forward you a copy.  If you're not that motivated, I'll post the cover reveal on Friday at Outside the Box.  (If you skip over to OTB now, you'll see a smaller teaser and a teaser of the cover.)

Last Sunday was the final day of my free weekend for Dying Embers.  All in all, it went well.  Seeing residual sales from it, which is always good.  I'll talk about that tomorrow at OTB.

I've got some advertising set up for this week.  My first ever ad with Fussy Librarian (why do my fingers always want to type fuzzy? ugh) will go out on Tuesday for Dying Embers, as will my ad with  Kboards for BloodFlow in their 'Book Discovery' promotion.  Fingers crossed.

On the daily activity front, I did something active every day but Thursday, but I'm good with missing Thursday because I did double duty Wednesday and Friday, and yesterday I was active all over the place - cleaning, exercising, walking, and garden work.  Ugh, I'm bushed today.  On the upside, I had a happy realization when I went to put on my bra.  It hooked on the middle row and I wasn't strangling my ribcage.  Also, the ladies fit in their docking stations better.  I didn't notice before because I usually wear a sports bra. 

I haven't read anything but my own stuff lately.  I feel really bad about that, but I can't seem to muster the urge to open someone else's book right now.  I think my usual February writing malaise has transferred itself to reading - ya know, since I have no time for a  writing malaise anymore.

The Kid's doing well.  The cat's doing well.  Hubs is chugging right along.  How are things in your world?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

This n That Thursday

I can't believe it's already Thursday again. 

Some Vietnamese couple tried to smuggle 4.6 million dollars in counterfeit currency through Detroit Metro airport (DTW on your airport dial).  They said they were planning on burning it to honor the dead.  And it appears like people are believing that load of bunk.  :shrug:  Luckily, the reasons for having counterfeit currency don't matter to the law. (One hopes that statement's true.  These days, one can never tell.)

BTW, I have a special affinity for DTW.  Lord knows I spent enough time flying in and out of there over the years. 

Back at the end of last month we noticed one of the tom turkeys was looking odd.  We thought at first that he was just old.  Then Hubs made a joke about leprosy (sidenote: armadillos can carry leprosy), which got me thinking that maybe Sam wasn't old, he was sick. I went online and looked at dozens of really grody pics of turkey diseases and determined that Sam had LPDV (lymphoproliferative disease virus).  So I sent an email on 2/3 to Missouri DoC asking what to do.  I finally got an answer yesterday.  Not really helpful, which was just as well since poor Sam stopped coming around about two days after I sent the email for help.  We assume Sam went to that big rafter in the sky.  He spent his last day here standing in the sun next to the garage door. I hope he went quietly and not violently. 
They tried telling me it was probably avian pox or some form of dermatitis.  :shrug:  I'm no vet, but that doesn't look like pics of those maladies.  I thanked them and sent them the above pic for their records, just in case. In all fairness, I hadn't sent them a picture at first - their webform didn't allow for it.

Which reminds me.  I shared a neat picture I saw on FB of a sharp-shinned hawk standing on its kill of a starling in the snow.  Then I read the comments and some lady was talking about how she turns the hose on hawks hunting in her yard.  You know me.  I love birds.  All birds.  What she was bragging about was just cruel.  Raptors miss more prey than they catch most days.  Depriving them of food is mean, even if it saves a sparrow or two.  I wonder how she'd feel if I turned a hose on her every time she went to the fridge.  Hmm?

Okay, enough of my bird soapbox.  Any this n that in your world this week?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 7

Let's see...  Week 7...

Well, I got the edit notes entered for Fertile Ground and sent it to my Kindle for further noting before I have to send it to my editor-person.  I have not yet looked at it on the Kindle.  I have until Thursday.

On Thursday, I should be getting In Deep Wish back from my editor-person.  Then I'll be entering her pretty pink edit notes.

Starting yesterday, Dying Embers is free through the end of today. Worldwide.  I'll be doing a breakdown of that tomorrow.  Suffice it to say, as of last night, Dying Embers was #1 in Mystery-Thriller-Suspense/Crime/Serial Killers, #4 in all Crime, #25 in all MST, and #92 in All Kindle free Books.  I hope it translates to actual sales down the road.  I do know that it got some Kindle Unlimited people reading pages yesterday, so that's something.  I've also gotten a new review at Amazon and a new rating at Goodreads.  Win-win.

Accidental Death dropped off Kindle Select on Thursday, so I took it to Draft2Digital for a wider distribution.  Then I got a note saying Apple really prefers not to have competitor links in the books it sells, which was a total DERP moment for me, because I knew that.  So I went into the file to change that and realized there was a bunch of other stuff that needed changing - back matter, formatting to a more professional level, etc.  I did all that and uploaded it everywhere it needs to be.  It's live on Amazon.  I'm waiting for it to be live on Kobo, B&N, and Apple.  Then I'll post the links.

Oh, and I tweaked the cover.  All I really did was take the mauve wash off the black and white image.  It's starker this way. 

I did something active every day last week.  Although, Wednesday was lame with only 8 minutes of exercise and Thursday I only did a 3000 step walk.  (Which for me is a little under 1.5 miles - I have shorter than average steps.)  But those days count because I did something active.

Friday I did our taxes.  It only took two hours because I'd done all the organizing ahead of time. 

Looking ahead, I have to do a newsletter this week.  In it, I'll have the cover for In Deep Wish and a short excerpt.  I'm still aiming for a release date of March 15th.  And hitting it shouldn't be a problem.  I should have it available for pre-order on the 4th.  That should be enough time to fix all the stuff, format all the stuff, etc.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Any updates for you?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

This n That Thursday

I didn't sleep much last night and thus I have only been awake for a short while, which means not enough coffee and a distinct lack of positivity.  I did, however, get another page and a half of edit notes entered somewhere between 2:30am and 3:30am. 

I said it on Facebook and I'll say it again: These pages of edit notes are practicing asexual reproduction.  Every time I work on them and then go back and count what I have left, there's always one more page than I assumed was left.  I thought last night that I had 1.5 pages.  I counted just now - 2.5 pages.  At least I seem to be completing them faster than they're breeding, so I still should be done with these today.  Then I can send them to my Kindle for another read-through to see if I really fixed all the plot flaws or if I just made them worse.

Hubs just read a news headline that Burger King will be adding hotdogs to its permanent menu.

If hamburgers is one word, hotdogs should be one word, too.  Begone with you, squiggly red line!

It's the beginning of turkey love season.  The hens are getting together in large flocks and the toms are following them around, displaying in all their glory.  I'm hoping to see lots of chicks (aka poults) this Spring.

Today's bird of the day - the ostrich.  It says African Ostrich, but are there any other kinds of ostriches??  Yeah, I think we can leave the 'African' off if we want to.

Today is supposed to be the day I start our taxes.  Yeah, it ain't looking good.  More coffee!  Stat!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Do Something Active Every Day

It's day 36 of my 2016 goal to 'do something active every day'. 

Let me back up a minute.  I don't do resolutions anymore.  They suck and I suck at them.  The last couple years, I made goals.  2014 was the year of not letting outside influences get on my nerves.  2015 was the year I only promised to maintain my sanity. 

So here was 2016 staring me in the face and there was my total sedentary life kicking my ass.  I was a toad.  I was lucky if I did anything active a couple times a week.  Sit here and write.  Go into the living room and sit there in front of the TV, reading.  Every rare once in a while, I would go for a walk or do yard work.  And I was slowly turning into Jabba the Hut. 

Now, something I learned a while back - my broken bits hurt more when I'm lazy.  The joints and muscles seize up for no reason.  I throw my back out doing simple shit - like picking a piece of lint off the floor.  Stupid stuff. 

Two plus two = get up off your ass and do something already.

So, I started thing 'do something active' thing.  Like I said, it's day 36.  Out of the previous 35 days, I did something active on 30 of them.   

What active things am I doing?

Well, for the most part, I'm dancing and exercising.  I turn on the Retro Disco satellite music channel (DirecTV) and boogie for x-number of minutes, then I go into the spare room where I run through a series of exercises for x-minutes, then I go back into the living room and dance until I've reached my minutes goal for the day.  I started out at 5 minutes of each part.  I'm up to 25 minutes total - usually 10 dance, 6-8 exercise, 7-9 dance. Then I walk around the house for a couple minutes to cool down.  When the exercises got too easy, I added reps and/or weights.

I also go for walks around the area.  The loop is about 1.25 miles.  Toward the farm is about 1.5 miles out and back.  Toward the other neighborhood can range anywhere from a mile and a half to three miles depending.  Another active thing I do is yard work.  I also count cleaning the house - especially vacuuming.  (I do not count things like dishes and laundry.)  Yesterday, I did 20 minutes of dance/exercise then I vacuumed the office.

How's it working out for me?  Well, I feel better.  The fat on my stomach isn't touching itself anymore.  (Which was both grody and uncomfortable.)  My twinges and aches are less frequent.  And I don't get winded as easily.  Oh and I lost 5 pounds. I started the year at 195 pounds.  On day 30, I weighed myself again. 190. 

Now, let me make one thing perfectly clear.  I did not do this to lose weight.  I hoped it would be a happy side-benefit, but it wasn't my goal. I did this to feel better.  I did this so climbing the hill out back wouldn't make me breathe like a bellows.  And I did it so I wouldn't hurt so often.  All of which, I'm happy to report, are in the win column.

I also did not 'diet'.  I tried to cut down on the size of my portions, but I'm still eating ice cream and mini-candy bars pretty much every day.  I'm still drinking my Mountain Dew (regular, not diet) and my coffee with sugar.  I just try to eat a smaller bowl of ice cream, fewer little candy bars, and less Dew.  Nobody's touching my coffee.

I don't know if this proves anything for anyone else.  It underscores for me what I already knew - I need to be more active or I feel like crap.

Now, over the years, I have tried all sort of things to lose weight and get back to a less lumpy body.  Nothing worked.  Diets totally suck.  I set them up and then I spend the day thinking about food until I drive myself nuts.  And then I cheat.  And then I give up.  Exercise sucks.  I'd push myself until my muscles hurt the next day and then I'd give up.  This.  This light stuff with minimal pressure is working for me. 

Eat less.  Be more active.  Simple. 

And no kicking myself for 'falling off'.  If I want a big bowl of chocolate ice cream with peanut butter and chocolate sauce, I freakin' eat it and don't guilt about it.  I don't exercise more the next day to make up for it.  I just motor along.  And next time, I might have a smaller bowl of ice cream with less peanut butter.  (Not less chocolate sauce.  I could drink that shit straight.)

And now, it's time to exercise - not because I 'have to' but because I want to.  I feel better when I do, and that's what really counts.  =o)

Hope my little story helps anyone who's in a similar position. Remember, your mileage may vary. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Update - Week 6

Not much new to update.  I'm still plogging away at the edit notes for Fertile Ground.  I'm still reading through Up Wish Creek.  I'm still trying to get some sales from somewhere.

To that end, I have an ad going out on The Fussy Librarian on the 23rd.  It's for Dying Embers - because that's the only book I have right now that qualifies with their 'at least 10 reviews' guideline.  :shrug:  I hope to do some other neat stuff soon. 

On the 'do something active' front, I passed Day 30 of the goal.  On Day 30, I did what I had vowed not to do two years ago (when I stopped weighing myself more than once a year).  The results of the weigh-in?  I lost 5 lbs.  This, of course, is NOT in my stated goals.  I started doing this so I'd stop feeling like an old lump of atrophied flesh.  And that goal is working out for me.  I feel way better when I'm not sitting all the time.  For the record, I have not really changed my eating habits.  I am trying to eat smaller portions, but I'm a chow hound so that doesn't always happen.  Also I missed one day last week - Day 31.  I almost missed Friday, too, but then Hubs and I took an afternoon walk of about 1.75 miles. 

I participated in a USC grad student's poll about this blog :waves at the watchers: and they're supposed to take that data and see if my answers match with what I actually record here on the blog.  For the question on why I blog, I put "It amuses me. Networking. Helping others."  Or something like that.  If what I put on here helps others, even through commiseration, it's a win.  It asked what things I don't blog about - politics, sex, religion.  Pretty straightforward, I think.  We'll see if I just skewed his data talking about it.  I don't recall a clause about keeping everything mum.  :shrug: 

I finally have all my tax documents, so that's on the burner for this week.  Would you believe I got 5 1099s from Amazon and one from Createspace?  The Amazon ones came electronically.  The Createspace one was mailed.  I really wish the two of them would get together and make things more congruent between them.  Aren't they all the same company anyway? 

Well, that's about all I got for Week 6.  What was up with you last week?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

This n That Thursday

I was pondering this morning.  1) I'm officially fed up with the election and it's only February. 2) We have nine months until the election. 3) That's like being impregnated by Satan.  You have nine months before you see just what kind of Hell you're in for.  4) Last night, before I had done the month math, we were talking about the election and quoted that poem to Hubs: "What rough beast, it's hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"  Creepy when you put it all together.  I think no matter who wins the presidency, we're all going to lose. How bad it's going to be depends on whose ass ends up in the big chair, and we won't know even then until that ass starts issuing orders.

Why, yes, I am a conspiracy theorist.

Speaking of which, we were at the Wallyworld the other day checking to see if they had any .22 ammo in - which we do whenever we think about it while we're in there.  (If you know ammo, you know why. If not, there's a huge shortage of .22 ammo in the nation.  Can't find the shit hardly anywhere.  It's become like a game of Where's Waldo? locating it.)  Of course, they didn't.  We struck up a conversation with the employee helping us.  Turns out he knows a guy who works in an ammo factory and the story is that there's a government ATF dude who shuts down production when he thinks they've made enough rounds.  I said something like 'I believe it, but then again, I'm a conspiracy theorist' and we all laughed. 

I don't know the Wallyworld guy from Adam, so the above could be an urban legend.  Why, yes, in addition to being a conspiracy theorist, I'm also untrusting. I did a Google search a while back to see if I could find actual info about the missing ammo.  I found nothing.  If the above was true, I would think there'd be internet articles about it.  Then again, the goons who suppress ammo might also suppress the news about it.  If I disappear, the goons have suppressed me, too.  ;o)

Found a flaw in Fertile Ground.  "Why can't you people get it through your head skulls?"  This has been fixed.

I get musey when I wake up at 4am.

Anything to add?  Muse away.