Thursday, February 23, 2017

Big Endings, Big Beginnings - I Am Pagan

My next book, I Am Pagan, is very nearly done.  I think.  I hope to finish it up in time for Friday's solar eclipse - a time for big endings and big beginnings. Ending the writing and grooming, beginning the sales part of the cycle.  Hoping readers will find something of value in my words. The bulk of I am Pagan is made up of articles I created for my website of the same name, that was online in the early part of this century. That was fun to say! And true, too.  The essays were basically answers to questions I was asked over and over by people interested in the fact that I was Pagan.  The section on holidays was for general information for other Pagans, since at that time there actually wasn't as much on the web as there is today.  That gradually grew into a place to plug my ecards and later physical greeting cards for pagan holidays.  But I'm not doing that anymore.  Again, there are now far more resources and talented people working in that field.

One of the hardest things in the world for me is focusing my pinball brain, but I have finally (temporarily) convinced myself to concentrate on my writing.  When I can finally afford a new graphics program and the computer to run it, I will return to digital art and probably use it largely to illustrate books and create covers.

Because most of the material in I Am Pagan was written a decade ago, I've also updated, rewritten, and added a number of new articles and essays.  It is still largely a memoir of my own journey to Paganism, with hopefully some good information thrown in for my fellow Pagans or those interested in their own explorations.

I am going to also add some invocations and blessings that I created myself that I use on almost a daily basis. Maybe they will work for and suit someone else as well. I'm not much of a poet, but I may also include a couple of pagan oriented poems I've written - just to make you glad I don't pretend I'm much of a poet!

In other big achievements - today I submitted my 10,000th hit on Amazon's Mechanical Turk.  I'm not entirely sure if that means I'm a good worker, or I'm a total idiot with more time than brains. The MTurk is not for everybody, but it works well for me.  I can sit down and work on hits when and if I have the time.  They generally pay in a timely manner.  True, I earn about one dollar an hour if I am lucky, but I am able to work sitting here at my desk at home with one eye on the husband.  I can do a few hits while the laundry soaks or dinner cooks or while I am waiting for something else. If James is not well or I have other obligations, no one penalizes me for not working for a few days or weeks. There's none of this work your ass off and you'll make millions off ads bullshit that so far in my experience has translated into work your ass off and make a few pennies before the company you are working for figures out how to screw you out of everything you have done completely. The freelance work I've done, writing and art, has been fun but simply not dependable enough and, like everything else, I have had to turn down jobs when James was sick that were then gone forever, client and all.  So, it works for me and that couple of bucks here and there has more than once bought a prescription or a meal or some other necessity that came up at the end of the month.

In beginnings - in a few days my first advertising campaign on Amazon will begin for A Layman's Guide to Peritoneal Dialysis.   It's just a few bucks for just a few days, but maybe it will give me an idea of how that will go.  So far I've been disappointed in how many copies of that have sold. When the campaign is over, the book will probably be down for a day or two as I add a few pages to qualify it to be printed as a paperback. After which I'm afraid I'm simply going to have to raise the price to pay for the advertising to get it the distribution I want it to have.  I have some other ideas about promoting it, but I have to get over my mental hurdles first!

Bits and bobs of the next Mr. Odon Ata book are written, and it will probably be my next task.  I hope to do some advertising for that series next month.

Baby steps to home hemodialysis are going forward.  Still largely in the decision making and planning stages.  Hubby has not felt very good this week, so we haven't been getting out and about.  We have three months to get ready to start training, so there's no need to rush.

You know it is a week for endings when the heater we bought only four months ago - or less - dies overnight, the water hose that brings water into the RV explodes, and the hubby gets on a physical low all in the same day. I think we're going to lay low until the eclipse is through - and then stride out into our new beginnings with the confidence of The Fool...


Summer Foovay

Friday, February 17, 2017

Home Hemodialysis?

The last few weeks have been a little hectic with one thing and another, but we got some very good news.  I simply didn't want to share it prematurely - might jinx it!

Hubby and I have been accepted to be trained for home hemodialysis.  It is going to mean even more big lifestyle changes.  However, we won't be able to even start training until this summer due to constraints at the clinic and other hurdles that have to be overcome first.  Still, we are very excited and hopeful.  Home hemodialysis has been proven in studies to be better for patients than in clinic hemodialysis for a number of reasons. But, like peritoneal dialysis, it is not the best solution for every end stage renal disease patient.

So maybe my next non-fiction will be about living with home hemodialysis!

I have decided that it would be worth it to add a few more pages to Layman's Guide to Peritoneal Dialysis Kindle book.  so that the book would be large enough for Amazon to accept it to publish as a paperback, so that is also in the works.  I keep thinking it's going to take off soon - considering that every other book about peritoneal dialysis is meant for the medical professional or students and costs fifty times as much.  I feel there really is a need and a niche for this little book for kidney patients, their caretakers, family and friends - as well as medical professionals such as nurses who need a quick overview of peritoneal dialysis they can work into their busy schedule rather than another monster text book.

Most of this week I have spent editing and poking at the current work in progress, I Am Pagan.  Based off the articles that used to be up on my website of the same name it is a personal story of being Pagan.  There is plenty of information in there for people interested in paganism, but it isn't meant to be a guide to follow exactly or an encyclopedia of paganism.  It is simply one person's journey and thoughts on being pagan.  I have read through it and decided I'd like to expand and add some newer material.  After all, most of it was written (holy crap!) almost fifteen years ago now.

Wow - excuse me while I faint.

I keep saying I'm going to work on some fiction, but keep being drawn into various appointments, meetings, medical research and other obligations.  I did get a blog post up on Niume last night about the frogs and toads of my local Chihuahua desert.  Here's a link if you are interested - click here. Okay, it isn't fiction - but writing Ms. Eatsalot and Mr. Odon Ata got me to thinking about frogs and toads and how delightful it was to find them out on the Chihuahua desert!

Hopefully, I will spend the next few months getting a number of works in progress finished, polished and published, so that I will be able to spend the summer learning to perform home hemodialysis and making those adjustments in lifestyle that will undoubtedly be called for.  Thank you, dear readers, for your time!


Summer Foovay

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Snow Moon

Last night was a rare and wonderful series of events.  A full moon (named the Snow Moon or the Hunger Moon), a penumbral lunar eclipse (our planet stole a bit of the suns light from the moon for a while), and a close pass by a comet.  So did you get to see any of them?

The numerology and astrology experts agreed this would be an auspicious moon for us creative types, and they were quite right.  I spent the day meditating, walking, sitting up in one of my favorite trees, and journaling.  Jotting down ideas is more like it.

Just what I need!  More ideas for books to write!  I could probably sit down and write at my utmost speed of about 2000 words per hour for the rest of this year non-stop and still have ideas and notes floating around to write up someday!

Some of the ideas have to do with promoting some of the books that are out, and some of the ideas to write about probably aren't going to go any 50,000 words, so they may be added as essays to I Am Pagan or perhaps a story for Wattpad, while others will be regretfully laid on the back burner to make room for the edit and rewrite of a WIP.

I seem to be drawing coyotes.  No, not with pencil and paper - although that will probably happen, too.  I am so blessed to be seeing one member of another of the coyote family that lives down in the reclaimation area at least once a week or so for the last month. Yes, of course they made an appearance for the Snow Moon.  Add to that all the coyotes that seem to pop up in my Flickr feed, or Facebook feed and I think there is a trend here.  I believe Joey Coyote wishes I would get on with the edit and rewrite of A Coyote, A Tanuki and a Kitsune.  It's maybe halfway done, and I looked at the ending and decided it's either not much of an ending or there is going to have to be a sequel.  And, well, I do kind of have an idea for a sequel that is quite off the subject of the three main characters and is actually going to draw in characters from other books - if they ever get written.  Another thing I could spend a year on.

Where can I purchase a few more hours in the day?  No, I don't really want them, I'm tired enough at the end of a day as it is.

I hope you got to watch the lunar eclipse, or caught a glimpse of that pretty comet.  In the end it was still too sunny in New Mexico to watch the lunar eclipse - so I watched the live feed from Slooh Observatory on the Chromebook while sitting outside on a blanket!  I did get out about 1 am and look for the comet.  By then I had learned you were not likely to see it with the naked eye and my little birding binoculars weren't much help either.  Sigh.  Well, I bet there are some very pretty photos of it up on the Internet today!   Maybe I'll go find one for this blog post...

Down the rabbit hole she goes...


Summer Foovay

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mystical Nature Books for Children 10 years old and up

I am proud to say that I have finally finished Book Three of the Odon Ata series for children 10 years old and up.  Over a year ago I stalled out trying to decide what animal Mr. Ata should claim to have been next and where the story arc goes from Book Two.  I had to shove some mental blocks out of the way and deal with some major real life issues before the next step in the story became clear.

In 2017 I hit the ground running, publishing my book on Peritoneal Dialysis for Laymen, and following it closely with Book Three of the Odon Ata series for children, Mrs. Eatsalot and Mr. Odon Ata.  I also have two short Works In Progress in process, built with the essays written for my old websites, I am Pagan, and Pearlie the Psychic Kitty.  They should be out soon, followed shortly by Book Four of the Mr. Odon Ata series!  Believe it or not, I actually have a plot and events for Book Four already - but knowing me, things could change so I'm not telling yet!

One of the things that makes me so proud of this series is that Book One, Blue Dragonfly and Mr. Odon Ata  has three, yes THREE five star reviews.  In fact, every review of it is a five star review.  I think I know who one of the reviewers is, the other two are total strangers to me.  I never did the trade a review thing, or free books, or buy a review on Fiverr.  I don't have a hot shot publisher or publicist getting reviews for me - so these are three honest five star reviews.  On one book, the second children's book I've ever written.

The first children's book I wrote, The Fox and the Rabbit has only one review - but again, five stars.

Because I put everything up for free in November, as I usually do during Nanowrimo, none of these are currently eligible for a five days of freebie deal.  When they are, I'll put them up and certainly let you know!

The Odon Ata series was formerly named the Blue Dragonfly series, however I discovered there was a children's publisher of that name and I did not want to cause confusion.

Right now I'm just thrilled I have an actual trilogy!

Ms.Eatsalot introduces a new character, Mrs. Brown.  She is a senior citizen who has traveled the world and collected a postcard from every place and event she's seen.  Her home is wallpapered in those postcards!  While Tom is helping Mrs. Brown out around the yard and garden he is introduced to an immense toad that Mrs. Brown calls Ms. Eatsalot.  I wonder if Mr. Odon Ata has ever been a toad?  Hmmm...


Summer Foovay

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Thank You Note To A Theif

Burglar clip art Not often one says thank you to a thief.  But I want to thank the person who stole our little Mifi from my husbands hospital room a couple of weeks ago.

Yeah, we had to go a couple of weeks without Internet.  It wasn't pleasant or pretty.  My husband is retired and still recovering from serious illness and pretty much spends most of his day watching TV, movies, playing games, and all of that on the Internet.  Because I don't like to leave him alone for any period of time, or not be at his beck and call if he needs me, I work from home - on the Internet.  I both do little jobs at the Mechanical Turk, and I write and publish and therefore have to promote constantly my little books because I don't have an advertising budget yet.  So you put a hitch in our getalong, that's for sure.

We have had worse weeks in the last year or so. I read some real live hard copy books I had picked up free or cheap, did some writing and editing on my computer, and we both watched DVDs and played games that don't require Internet. I also walked up to this place or that and used a little public wifi to work at the Turk and do a minimum of business and keeping in touch.

The first day I did that, hubby walked up with me and contacted the Internet provider to report the theft and have the service shut down.  Mainly I wanted to make sure if you were frantically uploading or downloading child porn or something that we ruined your fun, and made it clear it was not us doing it.

And then he went off researching some way that we could get a better internet connection.  I know I wrote earlier, kind of laughingly but it's true, about how I needed a car to get good Internet.  The problem is our house is on wheels and we do move it every other day to take him to dialysis and doctors and hospital and so on. We had pretty much given up on finding a solution until you stole our modem out of my husband's hospital room. My dear brilliant husband started with our idea that maybe a satellite provider could put the dish in the yard - not on the RV - and thus conquer the moving vehicle issue.  He did, in fact, find a provider who had a solution.

Forgive me for not going into detail, but as you can see, we have had quite a time here in Las Cruces, with people stealing anything that isn't nailed down.  And if they can pry it up, it ain't nailed down. I don't want to invite anyone over to steal my new Internet, eh?

It is more expensive, but I am hoping that the upside will be I will have a more dependable and faster connection and thus I will be able to do a lot more work and earn enough to make up the difference.  We had to wait a couple weeks for installation.  We survived.

Then - as if that wasn't great enough - our former wifi providers contacted us and asked if, as long time customers, we would like a one time free replacement of the portable wifi modem!  Yes, yes we would.

So, you see, we now have better, faster, more dependable Internet when we are home - enabling me to do more work and earn a bit more money.  And we are going to soon have our portable wifi back as well - enabling my husband to have wifi when he is in the dialysis clinic, or at a doctors, or in the hospital (although we will be a lot more careful about letting people know about how we do it.  Too bad, my husband is always ready to tell people how we have nice, inexpensive, go anywhere wifi and help them to get it for themselves.  He didn't actually mean for you to help yourself to OUR modem).  I'll also be able to go back to working on that wifi while he is in dialysis.

Thank you, thief.  You got a day or so of free Internet before my husband was well enough to get to a public wifi hotspot.   And now we have much better Internet.  Thank you!

By the way - that wifi you stole costs about $10 to $15 a month, and you can buy a modem for under $100 on eBay.  I mean, you work in a hospital, so if you need Internet that desperately, I am thinking you could probably afford to have your very own wifi, too. We manage it on disability which is probably less than half of what you earn.

Or, keep stealing from the patients and their families.  In the long run, that will probably end up costing you more.  I doubt you believe it now - but you will eventually.

Karma works,


Summer Foovay

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Everything happens for a reason. I do believe that. Sometimes it is quite some time before we learn what the reason was, sometimes we never do because it simply isn’t important for our own lives.

Poor dear hubby was back in the hospital this weekend. The good thing is we got a diagnoses of the back pain – acute pancreatic. The bad news is the allopathic treatment consists of fluids – which he cannot have because he is a dialysis patient – and pain killers which they don’t give poor people on general principles. I do not know how people manage to get addicted to pain killers, or even get pain killers at all, since the many doctors who have cared for my husband refuse to give him any pain killers for the several chronic sources of constant pain that he clearly suffers from. But that’s another rant.

They bailed us out on Saturday since they weren’t going to do anything for him anyway – and the pain had gone away by then. We gathered up our stuff and left, but when we got home we discovered we had left the Mifi behind in the room.

Never ceases to amaze me that when a patient is waiting in ER for a room it takes all night long, over 8 hours, to clean a room. When a patient leaves a room during the day and leaves anything behind, be it a library book or a wireless modem, it’s gone in 30 minutes.

Of course, that mifi IS our Internet. So here we are with no Internet. I cannot work, and the hubby is deprived of most of the forms of entertainment that keep him occupied and happy. Pooey.

As soon as we could we found a nearby dab of public Internet (thank you so much Mountain View Co-op) and he emailed the provider to cut the modem off and report it stolen. I was a little worried that someone finding a working wifi modem would be busily uploading or downloading all sorts of stuff he’d rather not have show up on his home system. My dear husband and Internet expert type person then set to getting information on another source of Internet, although we knew that it would be the first of the month before we could afford to pay for anything.

We had discussed satellite. Now that we have a nice, fenced lot I am thinking we could plant a satellite dish and get better Internet without the fact that we move the RV being a problem as it was for the cable Internet provider. So the hubby was looking into that, but discovered we had to have the provider call us back on a phone. He set up the phone call and then made one last check of his email before we headed back to the RV to get the call.

Which was when he discovered the Mifi provider had emailed to offer us a one-time free replacement of the modem, as we are long term customers of theirs! Naturally, we said yes. We haven’t heard anything back from them, but expect it to take a few days at least for the modem to be shipped. Still! YAY!

We skipped happily home, thinking we would just tell the satellite provider thanks but no thanks when they called. But we got home, and they called, and they had a couple of really sweet deals. For the last year we have been limping along with Internet that often is not on at all, or is intermittent, or is slower than dial-up, which makes it very difficult for me to work at the Turk, let alone upload a new book or download information. Never mind what it does to the hubby’s games and streaming movies. The result is that we are now going to have actual good, speedy Internet at the lot when we are home starting the end of the month, plus we are still going to have our Mifi whenever it gets back. The overall cost won’t be too bad, given the overall gain. I will be glad when it warms up and the electric bill goes down some.

One week or so – we can do this. He gets limited wifi at the clinic, and we can both walk up to the Co-op when the weather isn’t too bad. In fact, I’ll be posting this from there. At least the absolute necessities will be doable, and in the end we will have much better Internet access.

I hope to have two or three little books to upload and publish by then! Most definitely Ms. Eatsalot – the third book of the Blue Dragonfly series – will be ready. I am thinking about changing the name of the series, though. There is a publisher of children’s books named Blue Dragonfly and I don’t want to create confusion. Maybe redo covers, too, with the new series name. Make them easier to find. Getting ready to do a very little bit of advertising – all I can afford – since there will finally be three in the series. Far as I am concerned, this series can go on forever, but three is a nice number. While you’re reading those three, I can write one or two more.

I am reading old fairy tales and loving them. I so much want to create illustrated versions on the Kindle for children of all ages. The old fairy tales don’t pull all their punches like the Disney-esque ones we are familiar with now. I sat and laughed my head off this morning when I read that the King Lion, if the offender was young and plump and likely to continue to do bad things, simply ate him for lunch or dinner. Problem solved. Disney would die. Oh wait – no one dies in Disneyland.

Hope all is well in your world. Thank you for spending a few minutes in mine.


Summer Foovay

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Hubby has been back in the hospital. Acute Peritonitus. Treatment is fluids which he can't have because of dialysis and pain killers which are not allowed for poor people with physical pain only rich self indulgent junkies. Meanwhile our mifi was stolen at the hospital so we no longer have internet. We will try and get something by next month. Until then, think of all the writing I'll get done.

Every time I think things are getting better...

Blessed be

Summer Foovay