Wednesday, September 26, 2018

#WriterWednesday - September 26th 2018

HTTP vs. HTTPS – why is this important? You might want to read the post to find out, especially if you have a website.

By the way, I'm currently taking auditions for a narrator for "Where's Noodles?" on ACX. Auditions will be remaining open until Friday (Septmber 28th 2018). If you're reading this, and you're a female narrator who accepts short projects with royalty share contracts, there's still time to look up the project on ACX and submit your audition. I just thought I'd mention that.

So... There's just a little over a month to go until it's time for NaNoWriMo. But what is NaNoWriMo, and why bother with it?

Whether you're participating in NaNoWriMo this year or not, check out this advice on staying motivated (even when it's hard). In fact, that's good advice for staying motivated with other things besides writing too. Also, here's a great post that gives an example of how a new schedule can make you super productive.

Of course, if one of those things you're trying to get done is writing a story, you'll need some characters to go in it. So, here's a detailed character profile you can fill out if you like.

Speaking of characters: if you have a lot of similar characters in your story, do you know how to make them easy for your readers to tell apart? Not sure? This post entitled "One of these things is not like the other" may help you with some ideas for creating believable differences between your characters.

Don't forget: your characters will need to eat, so here are some tips on creating fantasy food, for those who want to feed their characters in a fantasy world. After all, you want us to believe these are real people, right? Plus, wouldn't it be fun to make up some recipes for your world, and share them with your fans?

You'll obviously want to make your plot believable too, so check out these 7 clever strategies for harnessing coincidences in fiction, and help your readers accept your story's coincidences.

Make sure you do your research when choosing a setting too, so you can get it right.

…Authors, fear not, the ‘business’ of story-telling is limitless…

Is it children you write for? Are you writing a picture book, a chapter book, or a middle grade novel? If you planned to write a picture book, but it's not working too well, ask yourself, is your picture book really a chapter book? If you planned something shorter, but it wants to be longer, go with it, unless you have a reason you can't, in which case you may have a lot of work ahead of you to make it work the way you need it to.

But, what if your novel is boring? Then use one of the methods in the post I just linked to for ideas on how to change that.

What does the 'perfect' ending to a story look like? Well, you won't know that until you write it, because the perfect ending to a story will only be revealed when the rest of the story is written, and may change from the first draft to the final one. So just write the first draft, and worry about whether the ending is right later, when you're working on revisions.

Speaking of revising your story: you may want to bear in mind these easy writing skills for becoming a better writer.

On the other hand, if you write poetry, here's a post about the types of rhymes in poetry, which you may find worth reading.

Regardless of what you write, or even if writing is your art form of choice, check out these 5 reasons this is the best time to be a creator. Add to that the sheer pleasure of creating whatever it is you create, and perhaps that will clear away any doubts you might have had about whether you should bother. Don't give up your creative dreams too easily. It doesn't matter if you're an artist, a writer, or whatever. Draw, paint, make music or movies, write. Whatever makes you happy. Then share it with the world, because you can, and because art - in any form - should be shared!

Next, here's some advice on how to maintain your motivation on a large writing project.

If you're having trouble getting your writing time in, here's what one author does, and recommends you do, when you can't focus, but need to write anyway.

Mind you, sometimes it's OK to take a break from writing. In fact, here are 12 reasons it's OK to put writing aside for a minute.

But, if you're thinking of quitting: is this why you want to quit? Because, if it is, you really shouldn't quit. It's hard, but you'll get through it. Just keep writing. After all, rejection doesn't justify your decision to quit writing.

If you think you might have writers' block, this might be why you feel blocked, and how to fix it.

Next, here's a post that talks about eBook pricing when you're self-published, and how you should remember your books are worth as much as those by traditionally published authors - assuming you've done what you should to produce a high quality book (such as making sure it's properly edited, has a good cover, etc).

However you price your books, Amazon has now created an easy way to move your books from CreateSpace to KDP Print. So, if you've been publishing your paperbacks via CreateSpace, and your books aren't already moved, this is how to move your books from CreateSpace to KDP - the quick and easy way. I went ahead and moved mine using this method last week, and it really is as simple as the post I just linked to insists. All 53 of my titles were moved in less than five minutes.

In other Amazon related news: Amazon released Amazon Advertising recently, which may also help you in getting your creative creations seen by the world.

Speaking of marketing: this next post explains why you need to do a SWOT analysis. At least, you do if you want to improve book sales.

Finally, if you're getting requests from other writers or bloggers to do guest posts on your blog, here's the email pitching etiquette you should be looking for before you agree to let someone have a posting slot on your blog. The article I just linked to could also serve as advice for anyone wishing to request guest posting slots from others. If the latter applies to you, make sure you check the person's blog for any spacific submission guidelines first too.

Monday, September 24, 2018

#MondayMotivation And #Inspiration - September 2018 Edition

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
~Albert Einstein

It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.
~Maurice Switzer

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
~Aristotle

Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.
~John Lennon

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly.
~Langston Hughes

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
~Bertrand Russell

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Of Breaks From Neighbours, The #Autumn Equinox, And The Rest Of My Week

The nasty neighbour was away last weekend. We were able to walk around and do things without anyone complaining about it, and Lilie and I were able to play ball without someone banging to say we were being too noisy. It was wonderful! It sounded like the other neighbours were also enjoying the freedom to do things without suffering abusive language for doing them. Shame she had to come back.

I made the most of the peace while we knew she was away on the weekend to get some boxes packed, especially since I was actually feeling reasonably good healthwise for the first time in what feels like forever. We would have been done with packing what can be packed ahead of time by now, but a combination of reluctance to do much because of the neighbour's banging and shouting, and my health issues, means we've not been getting the packing done as quickly as planned.

By the way, I got a letter from the doctors about my blood test. I guess they made my test a priority because of how bad I've been or something, because I got the letter from the doctor this past Thursday, which was only a week after I had the blood test done. I didn't expect to hear anything from them unless things were bad, and certainly not that quickly. Usually it takes at least twice that if you have your test done at the doctors surgery instead of going to the hospital. But it was good news. My HB levels are up at 13.3 or 133. My levels haven't been that good in forever. That's actually in the normal range, which proves my issues have been because of the bleeding, since the shot is still doing its thing. The hospital said for them to be checked every month. However, since the results were good, the shot is keeping me from bleeding, and I'm on iron tablets, they're saying for me to wait three months before having it checked again, unless I start feeling really bad in the meantime, the shot stops working, etc. I'm sure my veins are pleased to hear that. In theory, that means I'll not be getting checked again until after surgery. Speaking of which: still no surgery date. No surprise there, but it would have been nice.

Anyway, on Tuesday Kelly and I took Lilie in to town, and we had lunch while we were there. We went to a cafe called "Cafe Mocha" that hasn't been there all that long. The guy who owns it is the guy who owned one of the other local cafes when we first moved down here. He sold the cafe to go do something else, but is apparently now back in the business of owning and running a cafe, since he recently opened this one. Kelly stopped there for a cup of coffee one day, and when he realized it was the same guy - since he recognized him - he knew we had to go eat there. He's an excellent cook. The person who now owns the cafe he sold isn't. Anyway, we enjoyed our lunch, and Lilie enjoyed being in the middle of town where there were a lot of people for her to try and get attention from, most of whom were only too happy to give her the attention she craved.

On Friday evening, nasty neighbour was being a real pain. It kind of felt like she was trying to make up for being gone last weekend or something, because she was in full on complaining and banging mode. So, when there was a knock at our door at 9:30pm, we very nearly ignored it, assuming it was her, and not really feeling like a face to face meeting with her. Good thing we did answer it though, because it wasn't her. It was a gas man come to turn our gas off. There was a leak elsewhere in the building, so he needed to turn off all the gas to the building while it was being fixed. His van disappeared from outside shortly before midnight, but our gas was still off at that point, meaning we had no hot water or heating. At that point, we weren't sure if he'd fixed the issue but figured we'd be sleeping so could make do with it left off for the night, or if he hadn't been able to fix the issue. He'd made sure we had his card before he left, so we figured we'd wait until noon the following day - which was yesterday - and call them if we'd heard nothing. It was only a little before that when we got our gas turned back on. Apparently the guy had managed to do a temporary fix before he left Friday night, and someone was meant to come in early Saturday to turn our gas on - I guess he'd assumed we'd be asleep by the time he was done - but it took until shortly before noon for them to realize nobody had. Like I said, he was only able to do a temporary fix Friday night. Turns out a lot of the piping will need to be replaced, which means someone will be coming out "probably next week" to turn the gas back off and do that.

This weekend is the Autumn Equinox... Just in case you've been hiding under a rock somewhere and didn't know. Specifically, the Northern Hemisphere marked the autumnal equinox on Saturday September 22nd 2018, at exactly 9:54pm EDT (or, Sunday September 23rd 2018, at exactly 2:54am BST, for those of us in the UK). Thought I'd mention that bit of information, in case you're interested. Either way, regardless of whether you consider the equinox to be the start or midpoint of the season - something opinions differ on - there's no doubt that Autumn has now officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere. The cooler temperatures are proof of this. Not that it's been cold. It's just been cooler than the Summer was, which is a very good thing in my opinion. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't get a really cold Winter again this year. We've already started having storms. Not really bad ones like in some areas though, thankfully. We could do without the devostation storms sometimes leave in their path - which our area has luckily managed to avoid so far - but I am glad for the cooler temperatures. Plus, I have to admit, I do enjoy listening to storms. Lucky temperatures haven't gotten too cold yet though, or we'd have been sharing the little electric heater we have with Joshua (it won't keep the whole place warm, but it would keep him warm, and we could go hang out in with him for a bit to warm up too). There's been a bit of a nip in the air a few mornings, but nothing more than that yet.

Friday, September 21, 2018

#FurkidFriday: Lilie The #Westie Gets Groomed, And Plays Ball - #Photos

Hi everyone. This is Lilie the Westie.

Yes... Again! I have lots to say, after all. Can I help it if I have lots more to say than the squeaky things in cages? Besides, I'm super cute, so I'm sure you don't mind hearing from me again, right?

Exactly! That's what I thought.

So, I went to that groomer place a couple of weeks ago - on September 4th - and the humans took a photo of me afterwards. I thought you'd like to see it. So, here you go:


Aren't I just so adorable?

Also, since you can never have too many photos of me, here are a couple of photos Mummy took with her talking camera thing on her phone while we were playing with my jingly ball this past Saturday:


Lots of licks,
Lilie

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

#WriterWednesday: #Quotes About #Writing - September 2018 #WednesdayWisdom

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
~Jane Yolen

Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.
~Philip José Farmer

Inspiration comes and goes, creativity is the result of practice.
~ Phil Cousineau

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
~Louis L'Amour

You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
~Octavia E. Butler

I think it’s fairly common for writers to be afflicted with two simultaneous yet contradictory delusions – the burning certainty that we’re unique geniuses and the constant fear that we’re witless frauds who are speeding toward epic failure.
~Scott Lynch

It was all in my head and now all I had to do was figure out a way to get it down on paper.
~Ann Patchett

Monday, September 17, 2018

#MusicMonday: Dixie Chicks - Tonight the heartache's on me

My favourite song by The Dixie Chicks is "Tonight The Heartache's On Me" - it's a song I've liked since I was in my teens. So, here it is for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

#Ocean Views, #SelfCare, #Space Littering, #Roleplaying, #AmWatching, And Medical Mutterings




The above photos were taken on the evening of August 21st 2018, looking out to sea towards France.

They tell me - and I'm sure I've mentioned this on here before - that, from the part of the coast we live on, you can just about see a part of the French coast if you look in the right direction on a day when conditions are perfect. I don't know what part of the French coast it is, and you can only just see it, but the day those photos were taken appears to have been one of those days.

You'll see it best in the second photo, I believe.

I'm sure it's nothing special to look at from this distance, and you probably wouldn't know that was what it was if you didn't know to look, since I understand it's more a blob in the distance than anything. But I figured I'd get Kelly to take photos to show you anyhow, since he happened to look out of the window and say he could see it.

***~~~***

All this month, Annette is posting self care activities on her blog.

We're already half way through the month, but head on over and check them out, especially if you're like me and could do with devoting more time and energy to self care. They're simple activities, but it's the little things that make the difference sometimes.

***~~~***

in a post in March, I mentioned concerns about space littering.

Apparently I'm not the only one with concerns about it. At least, not if this article on the quest to conquer Earth's space junk problem is anything to go by.

I'm pleased to see it, and hope they figure out a good solution to tackle the space littering problem.

***~~~***

Kelly, Dad and I are considering starting up roleplaying again. When things calm down, obviously. We're not about to start doing it with me constantly in and out of hospital like I have been. Not to mention being unsure of when my surgery will happen. But we've been talking about it, and discussing various races we might want to have to play something different. Like how I expressed an interest in playing a Dhampir. Nothing's been decided for sure yet though.

Speaking of roleplaying: I'd caught bits and pieces from when Kelly was watching the clips from Critical Roll doing their roleplaying sessions, but only recently got in to watching it properly myself.

As much as I'd like to watch it all from the start of their first campaign, I'm not going to try and catch up with every episode they've ever done, since their previous campaign lasted for more than 100 episodes. I don't remember exactly how many episodes without looking it up, but it was somewhere between 100 and 200. But I've been working on catching up with the episodes from their second campaign. They only started this campaign at the start of 2018, so there are only a little over 30 of those to watch... I think they recorded episode 34 this past week... I'm now on episode six. I would have been further along, but I haven't had the time to devote to watching them between health issues and other stuff. If it was a regular sort of series, I'd start fromepisode1 of campaign 1. But you don't miss much if you just skip to the second campaign with this kind of thing, since it's new characters in each campaign. If I have time in the future, I might go back and watch the episodes from their first campaign. We'll see.

I've also watched the two episodes of "Trinket's Honey Heist" that they've done. If you'd like to check those out as a taster, you can find episode 1 here and find episode 2 here.

If you're going to watch any of the episodes, clear some time, because the episodes are around three to four hours long. Yeah... I know. They're not exactly short episodes, since they're an entire roleplaying session. That's why I've still got a lot to catch up on, and why I say I haven't had the time to devote to them.

Oh, and... Just so you're aware: WARNING! Strong language used throughout.

***~~~***

I recently watched "Ready Player One" - a movie I'd been really wanting to see. I'd read the book for it, and loved it, so was eager to see if the movie was as good. Kelly had heard part of the book while I was listening to it, so he kind of wanted to see it too. Anyway, we watched it last weekend. I'm meant to be doing review posts for movie reviews, but I don't see much point in doing an actual review post to review just one movie, so here's my review for it:

Ready Player One (2018 movie):
As a movie in its own right, it was really great. As a representation of the book, it kinda sucked. Had I not read the book before watching it, I probably wouldn't have any complaints. I mean, it was an action-packed movie, with great characters, and even a few touching scenes. But it was like they essentially took the basic idea of the book, grabbed the characters from it, and threw pretty much everything else out of the window. If I was rating the movie based on how well they brought the book to the screen, it would get a low rating. However, I try to rate movies based on how good they are by themselves, even if I've read the book they're based on, so my rating is based on that alone, and both Kelly and I did really enjoy it. With that in mind, I give this movie four out of five stars.

***~~~***

Things went smoothly when I went for my blood test this past Thursday. My veins were even feeling co-operative, so getting blood was quick, and only required me to be stabbed with a needle once, which I was glad about.

If my bloods are bad, they'll get in touch soon to say so. Otherwise I'll have to call and ask if I want to find out the results.

I figure, since it takes a couple of weeks for them to come back anyhow, I'll just ask when I go for my next shot in a couple of weeks. Assuming they haven't contacted me in the meantime, I mean. After all, it will be almost time for that appointment by the time I could call them, and waiting an extra few days won't hurt if the numbers aren't bad enough for them to contact me. Plus, it's that or spend who knows how long on the phone waiting to talk to a receptionist. Much easier to just ask while I'm there, and have the attention of the nurse, while she has my file in front of her.

Also, it's now been three months since I was put on the three to six month waiting list for surgery. That means I officially should hear something about a surgery date very soon... Like in the next couple of months. Officially, I should be going in for surgery any time between now and mid December, assuming they keep to the timeframe they gave me. I hope they do. Cross your fingers for me, and maybe your toes too...

Friday, September 14, 2018

#FurkidFriday: Lilie The #Westie Goes Out Visiting

Hi everyone. This is Lilie the Westie again.

So... Mummy disappeared to that hospital place again a few weeks back. I know she told you about it. I also know she doesn't like going there, so don't know why she goes so much. If she hates it so much, I can't understand why she doesn't just stay home. Daddy says she's going there to get better, but she still seems like Mummy to me, both before and after she goes, so that comment just doesn't make sense. The humans say I shouldn't worry about it, so I won't.

Anyway, I didn't mind too much, because Daddy stayed with me. I mean, I missed Mummy a bit, because she's good to play with, and more likely to hand out treats than Daddy is. But Daddy was there, so it was OK. Only then Daddy said he had to go see someone called a doctor (I'm told that's what you humans call vets) and I couldn't go with him. So I was a bit worried about what would happen to me. I can't stay by myself, and they hadn't booked me in to the doggy daycare place I heard them talk about a couple of times before. Like I said, I was worried. Not very worried mind, since I try not to let things bother me. But I couldn't help being just a little bit worried.

It turned out OK though, so I'm glad I didn't waste too much time being worried about things. That would have seriously cut in to my playtime, and there never seems to be enough of that as it is!

Anyway, the humans called Lorna and Andy came to get me. I've seen them before. They're nice. They brought me here from my Furmama's house, and took us out to lunch. Plus they come visiting sometimes, and like giving me attention when they do.

I got to ride in their car, which I've done before, and go see their house and garden, which I haven't done before. We spent lots of time out in the garden. Plus, Andy and the human pups that live in the house next to theirs took me and their dog for walkies. She's a Wolfhound, I think, and her name is Merida, or something like that. We both loved it. She's fun to play with - I don't even care that she's loads bigger than me - and so were the human pups and Andy.

After I stayed with them for a while, I got another car ride, and came home, where Daddy was waiting for me. Later, before bed time, Mummy came back home too. It was a great day!

They said they loved having me visit, so I hope that means I get to visit again some time. I was a very good girl, and - as I said - they loved having me visit, so I don't see any reason why they won't let me. Maybe next time Mummy and Daddy can come too? That would be even better!

Lots of licks,
Lilie

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

#WriterWednesday - September 12th 2018

In case you missed Lilie's post from this past Friday: "Where's Noodles?" is now available in paperback. Check out Lilie's post for more details about the book, as well as purchase links.

That's the only news I have regarding my own books this week.

So, as November draws ever closer, thoughts of many of the writers I know are turning to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and whether or not they're going to participate in it this year. Who should participate in NaNoWriMo anyhow? The answer is: anyone. You don't have to be writing a full length novel to participate. For example, I've created personal NaNoWriMo challenges to finish up some short stories I'd started working on in the past, some people use it to get in the habit of journaling regularly, etc. I won't be participating in any way this year though. I was going to set a NaNoWriMo challenge for myself based around completing the first draft of my partially written pirate adventure story. But with everything I'm dealing with at the moment, all the times I've been in and out of hospital, and not knowing when I'll be going in for surgery for sure right now, I decided not to. I'll just keep working on it in bits and pieces as and when I can. How about you? have you decided yet if you'll be participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

No matter whether you're participating in NaNoWriMo or not, here's a post about sloppy writing habits, and what - if anything - you should do about them.

Regardless of if you have sloppy writing habits, there are a few things you need to consider when creating or fleshing out the world the characters in your books inhabit. For example, weather is a central component in worldbuilding, and economy needs to be considered too. They're things you may not think too much about, but they really do matter, whether you make comments about them obvious in your story, or just have them in mind while writing a particular scene.

Speaking of the economy: here are 5 questions readers and writers should be asking about Brexit. Though, unfortunately, not the answers to most of them. Any theories?

OK... Moving on...

So, is your book ready for editing? If you've only done a single draft, chances are the answer is no. However, if you've done a couple of revisions, including the final revision, you may be ready to arrange editing. Yes, you need to do that final revision even if you're paying for someone else to edit too. It's essential if you're self-editing, but still advised if you're hiring an editor. Even the best of us can miss things sometimes. Those pesky typo fairies are sneaky little devils, after all! If your story is ready for editing though, here are some novel editing mistakes to avoid, which can apply to any kind of editing. I'm not sure I'd personally call number five a mistake to avoid. A good idea to do, but not really something essential. The rest is great advice though.

Of course, you have to write the book first. Speaking of which: can you write a story if someone else has already written it? Basically, yes. You obviously don't want to be writing the exact same story. At least, not unless you want to be dealing with legal issues. But there are only so many plots out there, and way more books than plots. The key is to take the idea and make it your own. If it's too similar to another story, work on it until it isn't. After all, if you can dream it, you can realize it.

Always remember: small moments make your story big.

Next, here's some advice new authors should avoid.

Speaking of writing advice: there's more to the advice on killing your darlings than you might first think. It doesn't only apply to getting rid of characters, but to other parts of your writing too. It can even apply to non-fiction writers. See the post I just linked to for more on this.

Halloween is right around the corner, so it's an appropriate time of year to be discussing how to create a monster. Not that monsters in stories are exclusively for this time of year. Still, monsters are people too! Well... Sort of. Either way, regardless of the genre you write in, if you're writing about monsters, and plan to create your own, the post I just linked to is a great one to start you off.

No matter what you write about though, if you're struggling to fit everything in to your day, you may wish to check out this post on how to do everything, written by an author who's also a doctor.

You can't do everything all the time though. Sometimes you need to take a break. That's OK. Take your break if you need one, and stop punishing yourself for taking breaks.

By the way, are you someone who works from home? Then take a look at this post full of advice on how to be productive and work from home. It's a great post. Shame there's no advice in it on how to get people to accept that writing is a real job, and when you work from home, they should respect that and not expect you to be happy to wait around all day for them. It mentions that you need to set those boundaries and tell people you're working, but doesn't mention how to get them to accept it's the case, and avoid situations like I had the other day when I lost most of my day to someone who didn't see why they had to be on time since we weren't planning on going out anywhere anyhow. I have the same problem with the person in question every single time, no matter how many times I try to explain that I need them to give a time and stick to it. As I said on Facebook while waiting for the person, just because I'm home most of the time, doesn't mean I'm available all the time. I work from home, and have things to do. After all, working hard doesn't always "look" hard, but that doesn't mean hard work isn't happening.

Anyway, I'm going to end today's post with a great quote on writing. So, here you go:

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self
~Cyril Connolly

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Medical Mutterings - September 11th 2018

PTMI ALERT! This post contains mention of vomit and blood. You have been warned.

Apparently there's a virus going around in our area. Naturally, we got it. Kelly especially. He was throwing up, and only managing to eat a bit of soup, which he didn't keep much of down, and was only really eating because he figured he should be eating something. I was feeling really sick, and I got really feverish, but I wasn't physically throwing up. Mind you, I'm pretty good at not throwing up even when I feel really sick. Kelly had a bit of the fever too, but my fever was worse than his. I spent those days eating nothing but toast though, because I couldn't be bothered with anything else, and felt sick enough that I'm not sure I'd have kept more than that down. To be honest, it's mainly my love of toast that had me managing to eat that. That's often the case when I don't feel well. A nice piece of buttered toast. Chips (as in fries) are another thing you can get me to eat if I'm not feeling well.

Anyway, my "couple of hours" at the hospital on August 28th turned in to an entire day spent at the hospital. I did half expect it, because I know what our hospitals are like. But, when I was seen quickly on arrival, I'd hoped that would mean I'd be out of there quickly, which would have made a nice change. No such luck!

First it took about half an hour for them to get a vein to co-operate. My veins are rebelling against all the needles - not that I blame them - and they either couldn't find one, or found one but sticking needles in it did nothing (mostly I didn't even bleed from their attempts). When they did finally find a working vein, it was in my wrist, of course. The right one at that. Having the line in your wrist isn't fun, and since I'm very right handed it makes things awkward for me. But at least it was only going to be there a couple of hours. Or, so I thought.

I was there for an iron transfusion, but the doctor came up with this great idea about testing my blood first. Except he forgot to tell the labs it was urgent, so an hour wait turned in to three, since it was only after an hour and a half he realized and fixed his mistake. He never actually admitted the mistake to me, but I heard him talking to one of the nurses who had called the labs for him. He just told me there was a delay. I didn't bother telling him I'd heard his conversation so knew that about fifteen minutes before he decided to come tell me. Anyway, then my bloods came back, and he said they were good (though wouldn't give me the numbers) but that there's a margin of error due to how recently I had a blood transfusion, so he should do the iron transfusion anyway to be safe. I managed to resist the urge to call him a total idiot for not just doing the transfusion in the first place, but only just. Bearing in mind, this was the same idiot doctor who sent me home on that Wednesday, despite my bloods being low enough for a transfusion at the time. He even actually remembered having seen me and sent me home that day, and told me so.

So... By this time I'd been at the hospital for a little over three and a half hours, and he hadn't signed off on the stuff to come from the pharmacy, which meant I still had to wait for that to happen, which took another two hours. I still don't understand why he bothered waiting for the test results if he knew it would be best to give me the transfusion anyhow. But there you go.

It should have taken about 20 minutes for it to be fed in to me. But my arm was already in pain by the time they were starting, so they decided to feed it in slowly. When the pain increased enough that I was in tears from it, they decided to slow it down more to see if that would help. It didn't. Normally they would have looked for another vein and tried again, but with me being so hard to get a line in to, they didn't want to mess about with it, so I ended up with two hours of pain while the stuff slowly dripped in to my arm. Honestly, I wished I'd managed to hide the pain, because the 20 minutes of it would have been a lot less to deal with... At least it would have been over with more quickly.

What didn't help was that it was a hot day - not the extremely hot days we've had throughout the Summer, but reasonably warm, made worse by hospitals insisting on keeping all windows closed - and I was still a little feverish. They said not, because my temperature was low, but I couldn't get them to accept that the low end of the normal range is too low for my temperature (my temperature normally runs between 36.9 and 37.6, but was down at 36.0) or that my temperature drops when I'm not well, even as I feel hot to the touch. Of course, it's also possible hot flashes were happening thanks to the sideeffects of the shot, which were making things worse. One of the nurses could see I was uncomfortably hot though, so she got me a fan, which helped some. But another nurse came and took it away, because apparently it wasn't fair to the other patients for me to be having it on. Never mind the fact the other patients were almost as disappointed as me when it was taken away. I know this for a fact, because - unlike the nurse who stole the fan - I actually talked to them. Plus, the nurse who brought me a fan had asked them if it was OK before putting it on.

Anyway, between feeling so hot, and dealing with the pain, I was feeling incredibly sick again. So sick I hardly touched my dinner, despite knowing from previous hospital trips that the meal in question is actually one of the meals they do that are pretty good (for hospital food). It was cheese and potato pie, if you're wondering. Thankfully, once they got the thing out of my wrist, and I was out of the hot ward, I started to feel a little better. Although, my arm hurt so badly I actually took painkillers for it when I got home, and it was painful enough that I continued to take painkillers for several days afterwards. Actually, I was on painkillers for a little over a week, and it was still hurting a bit for a few days afterwards. In fact, it still hurts a little now. The lingering pain didn't entirely come as a surprise though, since that's happened before. It still wasn't very fun though, especially since my constant need to keep using that arm kept aggrivating it, and is likely at least partially responsible for it still hurting now.

My only other medical treatment in the past couple of weeks has been my shot, which I had this past Friday (September 7th). So far it's still doing its job, which is nice. My next shot is scheduled for October 5th at 11:20am. In the meantime, the doctor will be rechecking my bloods, since they're supposed to be keeping a close eye on those. Actually, they should have been anyhow, but there you go. I've got an appointment for this coming Thursday (September 13th) at 11:50am to have blood taken for this month's recheck.

By the way, I had them weigh me while I was there for the shot, and discovered I'd lost 1.6 kilos (that's about 3.5 lbs). I actually found this kind of funny, considering I'd been making no attempt at all to try and lose weight in the past four weeks. I'd been eating whatever I wanted, and not really worrying about exercise. I mean, I was feeling really bad for most of that time, so exercise and healthy eating really weren't high on my priorities. If months like the one I had are what I need to lose weight, I think I'd rather stay as I am though. Not that I don't want to lose some weight. I do. But... Well, I think you get my point. I need to figure out a more enjoyable way to lose weight, I think. *wink*

As for Kelly:

We were a bit concerned about some pain and bleeding Kelly was having from his head while dealing with the virus thing. He wondered if he'd accidentally pulled some of the stitches out, so half expected to be told it wasn't as healed as it should have been when he went back to them on September 3rd. But it was all good news. The wound is healing nicely - though he has to still be careful not to be rough with doing things to his head for a few weeks - and the cyst doesn't appear to have been anything to worry about. They said it was just a benign cyst, which is gone now, and shouldn't be causing any more problems. Like I said, he just has to be careful around the wound area for a few weeks while it finishes healing.

Monday, September 10, 2018

#MusicMonday: Kenny Rogers - Ruby (don't take your love to town)

Kenny Rogers is a great singer, and "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" is a good song. So, that's the one I thought I'd share with you this week. Here it is... Enjoy!

Sunday, September 09, 2018

#Fantasy #BookRelease - "War of Nytefall: Lost" by @cyallowitz - #Vampires

Glory to the Princess General!
~Cover Art by Alison Hunt

As the Vampire Civil War of Windemere rages on in the shadows, a mysterious girl appears to deliver mayhem to both sides.

Rumors of old-world vampires disappearing and mortals being attacked by an army of humanoid monsters have reached Clyde’s ears. Still learning how to rule the city of Nytefall as a strong, but fair leader instead of a vicious warlord, the former thief assumes he has rogue agents on his hands. Instead, his people stumble upon Lost, a teenage Dawn Fang looking for her father and aided by a decrepit bunny that might be an animated corpse. Bounding from one side of the Vampire Civil War to another, this carefree girl will turn out to be more trouble than she looks as all of the demons of her past emerge to get what they have been promised. Yet, her chaotic actions are nothing compared to the secret of her creation, which will change the very fabric of the Dawn Fangs’ world.

It is time for the womb-born to be revealed.

Book Excerpt: Lair of the Thief
The four-story building looks no different than those around it, except for the window shutters being on the inside. A winged hound statue sits on the flat roof and leans over the eave, its eyes locked with a matching piece across the street. Clyde stares up at the red-eyed decoration while blindly waving to those who excitedly greet him. Licking his lips, he kneels in front of the door and picks the lock in a few seconds. He still pushes it open as carefully as possible in case there is a chain, which he snaps with a simple flick of his finger. The vampire slips inside and nearly bumps into a pile of bags that are leaking silver coins. Closing the door behind him, Clyde is amazed at all of the treasure that is left in the hallway and rooms. A bedroom to his right is filled with jeweled armor that nobody would wear for battle, the metal visibly fatigued from having so many gems fused to its surface. Moving without a sound, he takes in the sight of jewelry hanging from hooks and goblets meticulously stacked to the ceiling. He stops at the entrance to what used to be a bathroom and has now been turned into a storage place for a ten-foot tall fountain that once stood in a Gaian courtyard. Heading for the second floor, Clyde can see that the nearby kitchen has been left untouched by the widespread hording as well as uncleaned. A sniff of the air tells him that the mess is recent and is a combination of chocolate and hot sauce. Unnerved by the unfamiliar pairing, he moves with more caution and keeps his right fist ready to strike.
Reaching the third floor, Clyde hears the tinkling of coins falling and makes his way to the end of the hallway. He is about to enter the room when it finally dawns on him that he probably should have knocked before entering the house. The former thief scratches his head and turns towards the stairs only to look back at the door. With a shrug, Clyde creates an illusion of a loud bang at the front door and leans against the wall. It is only when he glances at the floor that he spots discarded clothes on the rug, including a hydra-skin jacket. Before he can hide or move for the stairs, the door opens and Mab walks out. Muttering curses, the brown-haired Dawn Fang is completely naked and fails to notice her old partner until she is halfway through with putting on her underwear. Neither of the vampires are sure of how much time has passed as they stare at each other in horror and discomfort. Clyde regains his senses and opens his mouth to talk, but he is immediately blinded by a clawed swipe to the face. He slumps to the floor as the burglar gathers her clothes and rushes back into the room, the door slamming hard enough to knock over several teetering piles of treasure throughout the house.
“What the hell, Mab!?”
“Don’t barge into my house!”
“First of all, I broke in. Second of all, are you bathing in coins?”
“I was counting my latest haul.”
“Why were you naked?”
“It’s hot in here!”
“Then open a window.”
“And let a burglar sneak in?”

Get War of Nytefall: Lost on Amazon for $2.99! or Get War of Nytefall: Lost on Amazon UK for £2.33!




Add it to your Goodreads To-Read Lists!




*****

Start the adventure from the beginning with War of Nytefall: Loyalty!

~Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Interested in more Windemere? Then don't forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz's first series: Legends of Windemere

~All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

About the Author:
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Friday, September 07, 2018

#FurkidFriday: #Pet Themed #ChildrensBook "Where's Noodles?" Now In #Paperback! #Animals #Dogs #Westies #KidLit #Mystery

Hi everyone. This is Lilie the Westie.

Guess what?

The story Mummy wrote about me - which, you may remember, is called "Where's Noodles?" - is now available in a paper version. We all think it looks great, and hope anyone who buys it agrees. Mummy wouldn't let me eat it to see if it tastes as good as it looks though. She's no fun sometimes.

Anyway, in case you don't remember what the book is all about, here are the details:


Noodles is a strange red creature with a squeaker in his tummy, who just happens to be the favourite toy of a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie. At least, he is now, since the bushytailed squirrel and cuddly triceratops fell apart while she was playing with them – totally not her fault, by the way!

Now noodles is missing.

Lilie’s sure she left Noodles on the living room floor when she went walkies. But when she comes home and goes to fetch him so they can have a nap together, Noodles isn’t there.

Where’s Noodles? Is he somewhere else, or is he lost forever?

If you want to buy your very own paper version of the book, Mummy says you can buy it from Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, and other Amazon sites.

She says I should tell you that you'll soon be able to buy it from other places too, like Barnes & Noble, the Book Depository, and Indie Bound. I don't know what any of those places are, but it's nice to have a choice, isn't it?

No matter where it's from, if you do buy a copy, I hope you'll tell your friends all about it. Mummy says it has something called a Goodreads page where you can do that kind of thing. But she says you can post reviews and tell people about it in other places too. It would be really great if you do, because then more people will hear about my book.

If you like those eBook things better, you can find out where to get one of those in this post of mine from the start of August. Or, if you like those audio book things, be patient, because Mummy is going to make one of those happen as soon as she can.

Lots of licks,
Lilie

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

#WriterWednesday - September 5th 2018

I was interviewed over on Don's blog this past Friday (August 31st 2018) as part of his 2018 Author Interview series. You can read my interview here.

Also, my "Zeena Dragon Fae" series was featured over on Sally's blog in her Monday edition of her cafe and bookstore posts, which Sally kindly did to help announce the fact they're available in audio now.

By the way, last week's post had already gone live before I saw this, but I got an eMail from CreateSpace that mentioned the merging of CreateSpace and KDP, that stated the following:

In a few weeks, we’ll start automatically moving your CreateSpace books to KDP. Your books will remain available for sale throughout the move and you’ll continue to earn royalties.

My thoughts on reading this echoed my thoughts on reading something along the same lines in an eMail a friend, and fellow author, Alex, sent to me the day before informing me of the merge - in case I wasn't aware of it - which were along the lines of, "Thank God! I don't have to do the work." I was seriously dreading having to deal with moving all my titles, so I'm extremely relieved they're doing it for me. I'm not entirely enthusiastic about having to deal with stuff on Amazon directly, but at least they've added the features I was concerned they wouldn't, like the ability to have your books for sale in places other than Amazon, for example, among other things. Plus, as already mentioned, I'm extremely relieved they're moving my books for me. At least I only have to deal with adding each new title in the future, especially since I was able to finish sorting the setup for the paperback version of "Where's Noodles?" before they started messing with things, which Lilie and I will soon be announcing the availability of. Luckily, this doesn't matter for the audio books I have in production, since they're via ACX, which is a different part of Amazon's publishing services, so I can keep working on getting those sorted, and maybe even see about starting to take auditions for a narrator for Lilie's book soon.

Anyway, if you'd rather move your book(s) yourself - assuming you still can, and CreateSpace hasn't started moving yours already - here's how to switch from CreateSpace to KDP Print. Whether you do it yourself, or wait for them to do it for you, like I'm doing, you should probably check your book(s) settings after the move is done. They should be fine, but it doesn't hurt to check things out, tjust to be sure.

You can see more from the eMail CreateSpace sent in this post, along with some comments on it by the post's author. Also, here's another post about the fact CreateSpace and KDP are merging, in case you haven't heard enough about that yet.

Regardless of whether or not the CreateSpace and KDP merger matters to you, or how you may feel about it, if you write and publish books, chances are you'll want to market them. At least, you will if you want to sell any. If you do any of that marketing via Facebook, you may wish to take a look at this short post about the changes in Facebook ad targeting.

Also, if you're on YouTube, you may wish to check out these 4 useful tips to promote a book on YouTube more effectively.

Where ever you market your books though, publish and promote them without apology. If you've produced the best product you can, promote it. If you feel you could do better, do so before trying to market and sell it. Don't rush it out and then apologize for doing so.

Next, here's a post about how to market your book - when you hate marketing, and one about some ways to get reviews for your book (since having reviews can sometimes help in your marketing efforts).

Another thing that can help generate interest in your book is to share teasers. So, check out this post on how to tempt readers with a sample of your writing, for some ideas on how to get started with sharing teasers for your book.

Of course, since you have to write the book first, here's an interesting post that discusses some ways creative writers can use AI to their advantage.

This next post is a great one that lists 12 things they don't tell you about being a writer. Plus, here's one that lists 12 things writing experts almost never tell aspiring creatives, and another that discusses 4 misconceptions about writing a novel.

Next, here's a great post on why you need to accept some of your stories are being written for the future you, which could be why your draft is taking longer to finish than you expected it to.

Speaking of deadlines: making the best use of your time depends on what works for you, and you're not the only one who has to juggle writing tasks with other things. If multi-tasking is the only way to make it work, do it. Most of the time, where there's a will, there's a way. I say, "Most of the time," because I do appreciate that sometimes life really does get in the way.

Remember though: stop taking your writing so seriously! Seriously... Sometimes it's OK to just have fun with it. In fact, here are some fumblerules of writing. After all, what you create is less important than the fact you created it. Plus, sometimes it's the small things that inspire us the most.

With that in mind, here are 13 ways to challenge yourself as a creative human this month, 4 random skills that are surprisingly useful for aspiring writers, and 10 fun idea-generating activities and story starters.

Now,let's discuss some ways to add wordplay to your writing, the best ways to use metaphors and other literary devices, spacific dialogue tags, and the use of creative grammar.

Speaking of wordplay and such, here are 10 reasons storytellers should dabble in poetry for those who don't already do so, or 10 reasons it's good you're dabbling in poetry if you already are.

Oh, and... Here's what to do when someone has already written your book.

Regardless of what you write, should you ask for feedback on your novel while you're still writing it? The short answer is probably not. At least, not until you've finished the first draft.

Speaking of the writing of your first draft: bear in mind, it's OK to write out of order sometimes, especially if you're stuck on a certain scene, but know what you want/need to write for another. Hey, whatever works, right? The main thing is to get that first draft written, whatever it takes.

Finally, when you've finished writing your book, here are some things to consider if you want to write a sequel.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

#Poetry #BookRelease - "The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems" by K. Morris @drewdog2060_


Title: The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems.
Genre: Poetry.
Release date: 3 September 2018.

Book description: A collection of 44 poems encompassing the passing of the years, nature, man’s place in the world and politics.

“Summer” By K Morris

“Summer unlocks
Youthful passion.
Now ‘tis the fashion
For short frocks
And tiny socks.

Some girls barefoot go,
For of a summer’s day,
They little know
That winter snow
Is on its way”.

Biography:
I was born in Liverpool (UK) on 6 January 1969. I lost the majority of my eyesight at 18-months-old due to a blood clot. I am a braille user and have happy memories of leafing through “The Oxford Book of English Verse” and other poetry collections in the school library. (I attended The Royal School for the Blind, followed by Saint Vincent’s School for the Blind, both of which still exist and are located in Liverpool). I read history and politics at University College Swansea and graduated with a BA (joint hons) and a MA in political theory. During my time at Swansea I participated in the student’s sailing club and have pleasant memories of swimming in the sea when the boat capsized! In 1994 I moved to London where I now live and work. I began writing poetry seriously in 2012. Much of my poetry is inspired by the environment. I am lucky enough to live close to an historic park in the Upper Norwood/Crystal Palace area (a suburb of London). Being visually impaired I use Job Access with Speech or JAWS software which converts text into speech and braille enabling me to use a standard Windows computer or laptop.





Book Links:

Amazon.com  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1LBMV/

Amazon.co.uk https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GD1LBMV/

 

 

Author’s links:
Author’s website - https://newauthoronline.com
Author’s Twitter - https://twitter.com/drewdog2060_
A podcast of poet Kevin Morris discussing (and reading from) “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems - http://worldpoetry.ca/?p=13500 
 


   

Monday, September 03, 2018

#MusicMonday: Donny Osmond - Puppy Love

I love all Donny Osmond's music... Such a wonderful voice... But "Puppy Love" is one of my all time favourites. So, here it is. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Tori's August 2018 #Book #Reviews - #AmReading

It's time to take a look at what I read in August.

As with the previous posts like this one, if you want to know more about the book, or the author, click on whichever it is you want to learn more about, and it will take you to the appropriate page on Goodreads. Clicking on my rating should take you to my actual Goodreads review for the book in question.

Don't forget: the format I've reviewed may not be the format I read. Also, please remember that I read across multiple genres and age ranges, so you should always check if a book is suitable for the intended reader, especially when children are involved. Sometimes reading the book's description on its Goodreads page will be enough for this, but other times you may need to check elsewhere to figure out the genre and/or recommended reading level.

OK... On to the reviews!

Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2)Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was just as awesome as the first. At least, it was right up until the cliffhanger ending. I adore the worldbuilding, think the plot concept is a great one, consider the characters to be well-rounded and realistic, and basically love everything about the book. Except the way it ended. Things were just left too much upin the air, and I hate when that happens. Yeah, yeah. I know. This is part of a series. Blah, blah, blah. I get that. But there's leaving things open for the next book, and then there's ending on an abrupt cliffhanger. This book felt more like the latter, hence my only giving it four stars, despite loving everything else about it.

Happiness is a CollageHappiness is a Collage by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
his is a well-written collection of stories, which provide a fascinating look in to Indian culture for those not familiar with it, while also just being enjoyable stories in general. As is always the case with collections of stories, there were some I liked more than others. They were all great stories in their own way though, so I was able to find something to like and enjoy about them all.
*NOTE: I was given a free advanced copy of this book by the author. This has in no way influenced my opinion of the book, nor the contents of my review.

What's in a Name? Volume 1What's in a Name? Volume 1 by Sally Cronin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm fascinated by the meanings of names, as well as the concious and subconcious associations we atatch to them, so I love the whole idea behind this book. I liked some of the stories more than others, but they were an enjoyable collection of stories in general, and all well-written.
*NOTE: I was given a free copy of this book by the author. This has in no way influenced my opinion of the book, nor the contents of my review.

Hacker (Star Minds Lone Wolves)Hacker by Barbara G. Tarn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I actually think this was my favourite of the books in this particular Star Minds mini-series so far. Jes-syd is a great character, and I enjoyed reading his story.

Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, #1)Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a weird and kind of creepy story. I didn't think it was totally amazing, but I did really enjoy it, and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Tommy Nightmare (The Paranormals, #2)Tommy Nightmare by J.L. Bryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a great continuation of the series, and I love how the plot and characters are developing. Like with the first book, I really enjoyed it, but didn't find it totally amazing. The ending was a bit too sudden for my liking though.

Alexander Death (The Paranormals, #3)Alexander Death by J.L. Bryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
While there were things I liked about this book, there were also things that made it my least favourite in the series. It was great getting to learn more about the paranormals, and how things came to be the way they are. On the other hand, I felt like half the book was taken up with people manipulating other people in to having sex, and quite frankly wanted to get on with the actual story. Excellent ending though.

Jenny Plague-Bringer (The Paranormals, #4)Jenny Plague-Bringer by J.L. Bryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
At first, the way the shifting back and forth between present day and their past lives was handled was easy enough to follow. But it got confusing later in the book, when it would happen mid chapter. In fact, even the author seemed to sometimes become confused, since there were a few times the names - which were already pretty similar to start with - were used incorrectly. Despite that, this was actually my favourite book in the series, and I loved the way it ended. Had it not been for that confusion with the past lives thing, I probably would have given it the full five stars.

Girl at SeaGirl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For the most part, this was a great read. My only issue is that I found all the secrecy about the mission annoying. I can understand her not being told details until they were at sea, but think that whole secrecy thing was dragged out too long.

Twice Bitten (Argeneau #27)Twice Bitten by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent addition to the series. Perfect for fans of paranormal romance.

Puddin' (Dumplin', #2)Puddin' by Julie Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a great read, with a fantastic message about being yourself, and being happy with who that person is. But I have to confess, I didn't enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed Dumplin'. It took me a while to figure out why I should care about Callie's parts of the story, so at first I felt like I was being pulled out of the story every time it was her chapter. I just wanted to know what happened next with Millie. It did all come together nicely in the end, and I am glad I read it. I just didn't have that "WOW" feeling I had after reading Dumplin'.

Sheepfarmer's Daughter (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #1)Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a great read. It has an exciting plot, and a great cast of characters. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

Divided Allegiance (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #2)Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This one was better than the first one, with an action-filled plot that keeps you guessing.

Oath of Gold (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #3)Oath of Gold by Elizabeth Moon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An exciting and action-packed story, and a fantastic addition to the series.

Pixie ShoesPixie Shoes by Rachel Ellyn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a delightful and extremely adorable little tale! The characters are sweet and charming, and the story is just beautiful.