Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday's writing related ramblings - April 29th 2015

It's been a busy week!

***

The coupons to get a discount on some of my books are still valid today, and will be for a few more days!

You can find the details of which books are on sale, as well as the coupon codes you need to use to get the discount, by reading last week's "Wednesday's writing related ramblings" post.

The coupons are only valid until May 1st 2015 though, so hurry, because that's only a few days away!

***

I did a guest post on Friday, which I posted about on Saturday.

If you missed it, you might want to go check it out... Especially if you're a fan of the "Kero's World" books, since that's what it's about.

***

As I mentioned in my post this past Sunday, I'm this week's guest author on http://ritaleechapman.com!

This means that for this week only, you can read my interview with Rita Lee Chapman on her website, because I'm her author of the week.

If you want to do so, go to http://ritaleechapman.com/guest-authors and take a look.

But, remember... The interview is only up for a few more days, and will be coming down on the weekend, so if you want to read it, then you need to do it now!

***

Did you see yesterday's post?

If you did, then you'll already know about my latest release: a book called "Home Squeak Home" that tells the story of our gerbils becoming part of our family. If you didn't, then you know about it now, because I just told you.

The story is a semi-fictionalized account, which is told from their point of view, with some changes; one to make the book more child friendly, and the other to make sure I don't get in trouble for using names so obviously taken from JRR Tolkien's books. The first change is that it's a little boy named Matthew who brings them home, rather than an adult, and the second is that Bilbo and Baggins are called Sooty and Scamp in the story.

If you're interested in hearing more about the writing of "Home Squeak Home" - and missed seeing it when I posted about it yesterday - you might want to check out my guest post from yesterday.

Anyway, some people were able to get copies of the book early, but now everyone can grab copies. Well, everyone who wants to, that is!

***

As I mentioned at the start of the month, April is NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month).

Many poets were challenging themselves to write a poem a day to celebrate; in fact, that's the general idea, and what most poets who acknowledged NaPoWriMo actually tried to do, I believe. But I only challenged myself to do a poem a week.

I wasn't just being difficult, or trying to make my challenge stand out from the crowd or anything. I just knew a poem a day wasn't going to happen, and wanted to set myself a goal I had a chance of succeeding in completing. I mean, what's the point of setting yourself a writing goal you know you can't reach? All that does is set you up for disappointment when you don't reach the goal.

So, my challenge was to write four poems in April... I wrote seven!

***

See... I told you it's been a busy week!

In fact, it's been quite a busy month, despite the fact I'm not quite as far along with my "Zeena Dragon Fae" books as I'd hoped to be by this point in the year; they are coming along nicely though.

But, I'll tell you about that next week, and keep the writing related links I originally planned to post today to share next week too, because I think I've given you enough to check out this week, and this post is starting to get quite long.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Guest post: writing Home Squeak Home

I did a guest post on Kevin's blog today.

Kevin is a fellow blind author, who you will be hearing more about in a few days, because he'll be doing a guest post of his own on this very blog at the start of May.

But, for now, let's get back to my own guest post...

My guest post is all about how I came to write "Home Squeak Home" so sort of follows on from the guest post I did at the end of last week, which I posted about on Saturday.

To read the post, go to http://newauthoronline.com/2015/04/28/writing-home-squeak-home-a-guest-post-by-author-victoria-zigler/

Home Squeak Home - officially released today!

"Moving to a new home can be a scary experience; especially if you’re very small. That’s how it is for Sooty and Scamp; a pair of gerbils chosen by a little boy named Matthew to be the ones to leave the pet shop and their other two brothers to go home with him.

Most people agree that getting a new pet is an exciting experience for any child; or adult, for that matter. But have you ever stopped to wonder how the pet feels during this time? This is the story of two little gerbils, and how they learned to adjust after a little boy took them home. The story is based on the behaviour of a pair of real gerbils, and events are shown from their point of view."

That's the synopsis for my latest book, which is officially released today!

As I've mentioned in previous posts about this book: the gerbils in this story are our own gerbils, Bilbo and Baggins, but I changed their names for the story as I'm not sure where I'd stand on copyright with names so obviously taken from "The Hobbit" and "The Lord Of The Rings" by JRR Tolkien, and I don't want to get in trouble for using them. Better safe than sorry, right? Anyway, for the purpose of this story, Bilbo is Sooty, and Baggins is Scamp.

The book is already available from Smashwords in all formats they offer, as well as from Barnes & Noble, the iBook store, and a couple of other ebook retailers who carry my books; or will be soon, if it isn't yet.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday's random mutterings - April 27th 2015

When the day is warm, but a cold breeze blows in from the ocean, the result is often mist:


Although, some people say it's not a result of the weather, but instead is a result of sea fairies, water sprites, or some type of water spirit. Nobody seems quite certain.

Either way, we took those photos about two weeks ago... I'll let you decide for yourself what caused the mist that rolled in thickly from the ocean that evening.

***

I arranged with Iggy that he'd hold on to my Christmas gift until I was moved, so there was no chance of it getting lost. As it turned out, we took a long time to move, and there would have been plenty of time for him to get it to me. But we didn't know that at the time.

Anyway, it arrived almost two weeks ago, but I forgot to get photos of it in time to post about it last week, so I'm doing so now.

Here it is:
Or, "here they are" I should say!

Of course, there had to be a lion... Iggy knows how much I love lions, and wish I could have one of my very own as a pet!

Anyway, I've named the lion "Baby" after Ayla's lion in Jean M Auel's "Earth's Children" series of books, and named the elephant "Babar" after Babar the king of the elephants, in the books and TV series of the same name (I've never read the books, but used to love watching the TV series; it was one of my favourites).

Thanks for my new animal friends, Iggy! :)

***

Around the same time, I also got this card from Rita, to thank me for remembering her birthday last month:


So, thanks to you too, Rita! :)

***

It was World Book Day on April 23rd.

Did you know?

I only realized the following morning, but since I spent a lot of Thursday reading anyway - which is normal for me - I didn't really miss out on celebrating it, and probably wouldn't have done anything different than what I did, anyway... Except maybe post a message on Twitter and Facebook mentioning it.

***

I got my appointment to go back to the dentist to have the other wisdom tooth out.

The appointment - which they told me would be in "a couple of weeks" - is for June 17th 2015.

*Sigh*

Luckily, the tooth they're taking out then isn't really bugging me as a rule, and is mostly just supposed to be coming out before it starts causing problems (like the other wisdom tooth did).

But... Seriously? That's what they call a couple of weeks?

Also... By the time this appointment rolls around, I'll have spent six months dealing with the same issue.

I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous! It should NOT take six months to pull out three teeth!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I'm Rita Lee Chapman's returning author of the week

I'm this week's guest author on http://ritaleechapman.com!

This means that for this week only, you can read my interview with Rita Lee Chapman on her website, because I'm her author of the week.

If you want to do so, go to http://ritaleechapman.com/guest-authors and take a look.

But, remember... The interview is only up for a week, so if you want to read it, then you need to do it now!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Furkid Friday - April 24th 2015

Hellooo everyone!

This is Baggins - the cutest and bounciest gerbil ever - and I have the most amazing news in the history of amazing news... It's almost time for mine and Bilbo's book to be officially released!

See... I told you it was amazing news!

The book is called "Home Squeak Home" and tells the story of the exciting adventure that was our move from the place the humans call "petstore" to live with these humans we have; as dictated to the Mummy human by Bilbo and myself, of course, since we couldn't rely on her to manage it without our help. I mean, she's a great writer and all that, but I bet she'd have forgotten some important points of the story if we hadn't been telling her what to write; she can be quite the scatterbrain sometimes, after all.

Of course, she also had to get our permission to do the changes needed, since we had to change a couple of things; for a start, we had to use different names, because we're named after this little guy called a hobbit, who went on an amazing adventure with a bunch of dwarves, and a wizard... I don't know all the details, because I got bored of listening to the story; it's too long for me. But, it's still us in the "Home Squeak Home" story... Honest!

Anyway, the official day for the book to be available is this coming Tuesday, which is April 28th... There will be a proper bloggy post announcement thingy about it from the Mummy human on the day, but I'm so excited that I had to tell you now! I love adventures, and I love that we have our very own book, and will be famous!

Bilbo's not as keen on adventures as me, but he is excited about the book; says it's the kind of story he could really get his teeth in to.

Squeak soon,
Baggins

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday's writing related ramblings: special anniversary edition - April 22nd 2015

Three years ago today, I published my first book on Smashwords.

The book was "Mr. Pumpkin-Head And Other Poems" and to celebrate its third birthday, I'm offering it at just 30% of its regular price. Simply go to the Smashwords page for "Mr. Pumpkin-Head And Other Poems, add it to your cart, and enter coupon code QC34R at checkout.

But... That's not all!

I'm also offering the following three books at half price:

Cubby And The Beanstalk (with coupon code ZT39U).
Goodies For Grandmother (with coupon code JZ55B).
Snowball The Oddball Kobold (with coupon code TK39H).

All coupons are valid until May 1st 2015.

Please note that these coupons are exclusively for use on Smashwords, and will not work on any other retailer's website. However, since Smashwords offers so many formats - and I make my books available in all that they offer - they will work for you regardless of your prefered method of reading ebooks, whether it be with a Kindle, with a Nook, with some other sort of eReader, or on the computer.

Feel free to share these coupon codes with your family, friends, book loving pets, neighbours, random people you meet on the street... Anyone, really!

Before I end this post, I'd like to thank everyone who's supported me over the past three years by buying my books, and by leaving reviews and spreading the word about them. You're amazing people, and I appreciate everything you've done to help support me as an author!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday's random mutterings - April 20th 2015


The above photo of the boats on the ocean was taken looking out of our living room window on Easter Monday.

***

We've had some beautiful weather lately!

Some days it's been warm enough that I'm very grateful for the fact there's always at least a slight breeze coming in from the ocean, since I don't do well with a lot of heat, and we don't have air conditioning (few places do over here).

I'm not 100% certain on temperatures, but I think it's been hovering around the low 20s C (lo 70s F). That's just on average though; some days it's been a bit cooler, other days it's been warmer. It's the days it's been warmer that I've been grateful for the sea breeze!

***

This past Wednesday was my appointment to go to the hospital to see the dentist.

My anemia didn't cause any problems - even though my iron level was quite low, according to the blood test they did last month - so that was a good thing, and meant I didn't end up staying in hospital.

The only real complication we had was that the wisdom tooth on the same side as the tooth I spent four months in pain from had the start of an infection again. It was that tooth getting infected (probably because of how it was broken) that caused the swelling, that caused the irritation, that caused the problem with the tooth I had to have out.

Anyway, infected teeth don't take well to the stuff they use to numb the area, so we had quite a job numbing it enough that the dentist could pull it out. He actually almost gave up, but finally got it numbed enough, and pulled it out. When he finally could pull it out, I nearly swallowed it, but he luckily caught it just in time.

The only other issue was that I couldn't keep the gauze stuff in my mouth for as long as they'd have liked me to. From the moment it went in my mouth, I was gagging and wretching (and almost bit the dentist's fingers while he was attempting to adjust it). So I had to take it out sooner than you're really supposed to, and they just had me sit quietly for a while, and made sure the bleeding appeared to have stopped before they let me leave (luckily, my body was being co-operative, and I stopped bleeding quite quickly).

They gave us some gauze to take home in case it started to bleed again, and told us to call or go to A&E (ER) if it started to bleed too much, or if I was feeling really dizzy or anything. But it was fine. I felt a tiny bit dizzy, but not enough that I was concerned. I spent the evening laying on the bed with a book anyway, and was fine by the following morning.

I'll get an appointment soon to go back and have the wisdom tooth on the other side out. I could have made the appointment while I was there, but it was a hot day, and - of course - they had the heat on at the hospital, so I just wanted out of there to where there was a chance of feeling some of the breeze from the ocean. That's why I wasn't too concerned about the tiny bit of dizziness... I think at least part of it was caused by the heat.

***

Book Riot has some great articles about books and reading, as well as book reviews and such.

If you're a big book lover, you may want to check it out!

***

A little something for the Terry Pratchett fans among my readers...

It seems there's to be another Discworld book, which Terry Pratchett managed to finnish last Summer.

Check out the post about it for more details.

I'll be grabbing a copy, that's for sure!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Furkid Friday - April 17th 2015

Hi humans, rodents, and everyone else. This is Jasper the degu.

I arranged a new blankie for our nesting box:



My "blankie" was supposed to be our hammocks, but I decided I wanted them in our nesting box. The Mummy human says I can keep my blankie for now. She can't put it back on the hooks anyway, because I damaged the corners pulling it off, so she says I might as well. The humans are arranging replacements for the hammocks.

Meanwhile, my brother, Jenks, has a project of his own.

The humans got us a cargo net style climbing toy, and Jenks has been hard at work destroying it. He's finally made some real progress:


I'm not sure if the humans have any plans for when he succeeds in destroying the last of it.

Anyway, here's Jacob on our wheel:


While Joshua and I have some cuddle time:


That's all for today.

Squeak soon,
Jasper

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday's writing related ramblings - April 15th 2015

It's a shame my laptop no longer holds its charge well enough that I can use it for more than a few minutes without it being plugged in, or I could have made the most of the little over three hours I spent on trains last Thursday going to and from London (the trip is a little over an hour and a half each way).

It's times like that my lack of sight is frustrating, because I would have had pen and paper as an option if I could still see; and I'd have used the option, as I've done on train rides many times in the past... I always used to have pen and paper with me, and have written while on trains (and busses) so many times I couldn't begin to count them. I actually often miss being able to do so.

However, since neither the laptop nor pen and paper were an option, I got no writing done on Thursday... I took my Kindle and read instead, and was too tired to do much of anything when I got home.

Thursday was fun though, so I'm not complaining!

Besides, I got my poem for this week written for my personal NaPoWriMo challenge, and did some work on the "Zeena Dragon Fae" books too. So I achieved this week's writing goals, which is all that matters. :)

***

Are you new to writing? Or, perhaps, you've been writing for ages, but are only now thinking about publishing?

Either way, here's how to thrive as an indipendant author; in case you were thinking of going down that route.

***

Got an eReader that's not a Kindle? Check out the listings on this site; you may just find your next great read! A couple of the authors have paperback versions of their books listed too.

Also, if you're an author and you've got a book you want listed on the site, which is available in formats other than mobi, on sites other than Amazon, you're in luck! Simply follow these instructions and you'll soon have your very own listing.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cafe In The Crypt & The Sherlock Holmes Museum (LBE & FD)

Last Thursday (April 9th 2015) Kelly and I went up to London for the day.

We got a train up to Charing Cross, where we met up with author, writer, and world creator - not to mention, friend of mine - Barb, who we had lunch with at Cafe In The Crypt at St Martins In The Field.

Here are some photos Kelly took while we were in the cafe:


And here's a photo of me and Barb that was taken just outside the cafe:


Barb brought me a couple of gifts...

These beautiful necklaces, which she made a while back, when she used to make jewelry:


And some French chocolate:


Fantastic gifts, I think... Thanks again, Barb! :)

After we'd had lunch on Thursday, we headed to The Sherlock Holmes museum and Barb took a photo of Kelly and me outside it before she left us to join the long line to get in. Here's the photo:


These are our tickets to enter the museum:
We still have them, which is lucky, because we wouldn't have gotten photos otherwise, since we didn't think to take photos of them at the time; the photos of the tickets were taken at home the day after our trip up to London.

Anyway, since only a limited number of people could go in at once, this nice police man was in charge of making sure only a certain number of people went inside at once:


After a bit of a wait - though, not as long a wait as we were told to expect - we went inside.

First stop, Sherlock Holmes' study:



Where I took a seat on his sofa...
(Yes, it was OK to do so; the woman supervising us told me to sit on any of the chairs I wanted; I only sat on the sofa though).

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would have likely had a similar study in which to sit and write the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Though I dare say he wouldn't have been as concerned as us about whether or not his presence disturbed anything in it, and I bet his wasn't as tidy either; at least, not for very long. It would be great to have a study like that where I could work on my writing!

Anyway, the next stop was Sherlock Holmes' bedroom:


Where I stood for a while...
...Talking to the woman who was supervising us.

While Kelly got shots of some of the other things there were to see...

Like the things in Dr. Watson's room:


Some letters to Sherlock holmes:


And some Sherlock Holmes themed waxworks:


Then I got to try on some hats:


Before we headed to the gift shop, where I got my very own Sherlock Bear:


After that, we got a taxi from near Baker Street station back to Charing Cross station to go home, which took us past Trafalgar Square, so we grabbed a photo of Nelson's Column and three of the lions while we were waiting in traffic:


OK, we actually did the photo because I wanted one of the lions; I admit it... I'm obsessed with lions!

I'd have liked to stop and go see the lions, but we weren't sure how easy it would be to get a taxi afterwards, and didn't want to have to pay the one we had to wait for us - nor did we want to have to walk from there to Charing Cross, since we'd have probably managed to get lost. Should have thought about it when we still had Barb with us, since she'd have probably known the way. Actually, I'm positive she would have, since the cafe wasn't far from where the lions were, so I'm kicking myself for not thinking about it at the time. But I didn't, so I didn't get to make friends with the lions... Maybe another time?

Anyway, that was our day out in London, which was exhausting but fun!

Oh, and.. Yes.. I did get my hair cut; in case you noticed, and were going to ask. I had it done a week before these photos were taken.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Furkid Friday - April 10th 2015

Um... Hi again, everyone. It's me, Skye the rat.

Like my sister, Star, told you last week, I like this new place we live in. But, you know what? The thing I liked most of everything that happened with this moving thing was that my sister showed everyone that she really does love me, which made me feel really good!

You see, for the first little while after we moved, I was too scared to do more than quickly poke my nose out of our wooden house. So, Star was bringing me nibbles. She would grab some from the bowls, and run all the way down to bring it to me; she'd leave it in the doorway of the house, so I could just grab it and duck back inside while she ran back for more. Which just goes to show... My sister might be a real bully sometimes, but she does love me!

Anyway...

The humans have been playing with that flashy thing again, so here's a new photo of me:


Star just loves to pose for the camera, so here are a couple of new photos of her too:


Squeak soon,
Skye