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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Through The Gate

Those of you who are New Age inclined probably know that 2018 is an 11 year - a "Gateway" year when new opportunities open, blah blah blah. And recently we had a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer (that's up there with Solitary Eclectic Neo-Pagan for wordiness) that, if circumstances were stalling you in the first part of this year - should have kicked you through the gate for the second half of the year. Kinda like a football.



via GIPHY

Friends who have known me for any extended period of time also know that I am (oh boy we finally have a label) a multipotentiate. Which means that every now and then I completely reinvent myself because - I get bored.

I have, in fact, been circling the drain - I mean - circling this subject within myself for probably about a year. Circumstances in the outer life of dealing with feeding and housing myself and my husband, and dealing with issues created by our current state of "medicine" and his chronic health issues - among many other things - have been putting this on the back burner over and over and over during that time. But it's always there, tickling at the back of my brain, trying to get my attention.Sort of like a little kid the first few days of summer vacation..."I'm bored. There's nothing to doooo..." sitting there up to their ears in toys and games. I sympathize - what we're really saying is there isn't anything we WANT to do here because we DID it already.

And just because I'm done with what I'm doing doesn't mean I have a strong clear idea of what I want to do next. I mean, wow, I just moved to LAS VEGAS BABY. So. Much. To. Do. My eyes roll back in my head...

Somehow, the beef with Amazon over the reviews - and maybe the timing with the New Moon yadda yadda - and finally having time and being in a place where all is finally well here. We have great healers caring for the hubby and he is doing well. We are finally in a comfortable place financially - we can eat on a regular basis and everything. There's still stuff we need to sort out, but it's not a 24-7 life and death struggle.

My dissatisfaction... has been bothering me. Like I said, I no longer have this dire struggle going on - literally life and death for one of us. Sit back. Relax. Think of twenty small niggling things that are bugging me like hearing a mosquito buzzing around the room that you can't see. How wasteful is it of me to be worrying about those twenty things now that I am so blessed with a comfy home, food, healthy hubby, and even mostly healed from my big accident in January.

But... bzzzzzz....bzzzzz...bzzzzz...

Well, I finally granted myself the time over the last six weeks or so to play with my mental blocks - and here's what I've come up with.

Leaving - I'm divorcing Amazon.  Read all about it there, if you didn't already.

There is an additional reason here, too. Nothing to do with Amazon but - in essence the State of Nevada punished my husband and I for my royalty income - and are poised to do it again if I should dare to make more than XX dollars (yes, TWO Xs) and at any event expects me to present a detailed report to them for every single penny I make - while allowing me to claim no expenses at all. They also penalize royalties at a considerably higher rate than they would penalize "earned income" (as if I don't do anything to earn royalties). The proofs they require, and the proofs of the proofs, and the proofs of the proofs of the proofs, are ridiculous. I spend hours of time and pages and pages off my printer to prove I only made $1.72 last month. Three different ways. Every month. So that's kind of counter productive. I could be writing - or - something. LOL.

I'm admitting that I've already for all practical purposes stopped writing. If I WANTED to write, I have had time to do it in the last six weeks. Instead, I played games, tinkered with digital art, and watched anime and animal and crime documentaries. And read. Writing anything longer than my over long blog posts feels like too much work. It isn't fun anymore. That could change. And that doesn't mean I might not write...oh, stories for rpg games...

Because the new is - I admit and embrace my gamer self. Yes, it took a long time, but I've been weaned off tabletop into digital land. (not that I wouldn't drop everything if a good tabletop became available but I do live in the tiniest of tiny houses you know). I've been playing with Unity, Blender, Renpy, and ideas and things going on in my mind. But there is a pretty painful learning curve here. I think for once in my life I am going to have to actually pay for and join an actual training program of some sort for games, and digital art for games. I reserve the right to wander off and make short videos with Blender or other programs as well.

I'm continuing to learn Japanese. Wouldn't it be crazy to end up drawing manga backgrounds in Tokyo? Unlikely, but who knows! It can't hurt.

As a reiki healer, I am coming into my own. I'm considering ways to expand that. As it is, there are a good half dozen people who receive distance reiki healing from me almost every day, and I often send energy any place I feel it is needed. It is possible that I will create some sort of small thing where you can donate a buck or two to me, and request reiki and I can help a few people and animals or situations. At any rate, I want to grow and learn and continue to study energy healing of all sorts and share the goodness of that one way and another.

Yeah, I'll continue doing origami. Keeps my hands and mind busy. And it's pretty. Sometimes even useful.

And I kinda think I'm going to end up dancing on Fremont Street. Maybe even for tips. Wouldn't that be a fun little full circle of life?

I haven't really been keeping a blog in...forever. Obviously they don't make any money, and I feel like the time of blogs is over. Having said that, there are a few I read frequently, and they are all over on Wordpress. So in interest of being with a community that is interested in what I am interested in (games, anime, nerdy stuff) I am probably going to by and large move bloggy things over to my Wordpress blog. Or A Wordpress Blog - I might start a new one. New starts, you know. When I get that urge to write a snarky or interesting article or short story, or jump in on a writing challenge, well at the moment Sweek.com is looking pretty cool. Here's my shiny new profile page. 

So, yeah, that's kinda whats happening in my creative life right now. Hope you can cope.

Blessedbe
And thanks for hanging out with me

Summer Foovay

Amazon, You Are Dead To Me

I believe, and this is purely IMHO, that Amazon has reached a tipping point.

Not that tipping point where a hobby becomes a paying profession or a profitable business.

That tipping point where the profitable business becomes a huge, multi-national conglomerate that no longer gives a flying fuck about customer service, or promoting and helping small businesses or independent artists and writers but instead chooses to exploit them at every opportunity, while blocking them from upward mobility or significant growth.

Recently all of my reviews were removed, with no notice, and no explanation. I am now blocked from reviewing. 

Now, personally, I don't really care. But it is annoying. I know that I am an honest reviewer. I tried trading reviews once and the books I got to review were so hideously bad I could barely find anything about them to praise. I mean, really, terrible. Minutes of my life I'll never get back. And that was the end of that - about 3 books in as I recall. A lot of people email me and ask me to review books, and I don't generally do that either because...well... yeah, they are usually pretty bad for the most part. I've gotten a few free books for review, and products, too. I've always posted (if I remember, because I get a lot of books one way or another) that the book or product was free or discounted for review.

I don't KNOW, because Amazon will not tell me, why I was banned. But I THINK it is because I did a glowing review of a book I really loved. The author contacted me and thanked me and said, "Hey, I have a new book, you wanna read it? I'll send you a free one." Well, duh, I said YES. I really liked the new book, too, and I wrote another glowing review. Now, this is actually the second or third time this sequence of events has happened with different authors. So I'm not sure, again, because Amazon won't tell me. But it's the only thing I can think of that could have suddenly triggered this. I haven't asked for or accepted a free product or book (other than the one I just mentioned) in probably nearly a year or more. I have posted a few reviews recently, all good - so I guess they could just hate anyone posting lots of 4 and 5 star reviews. Sorry, I don't bother reviewing (or even finishing) a book I don't think is worth 4 or 5 stars.

But as an Indie writer myself, who sometimes sends someone a free book with a request to review (which is in general ignored) it pisses me off. Because BIG PUBLISHERS can send reviewers free books, and say, please read this and even wine and dine reviewers - and THAT'S OKAY. So what's the difference if an Indie author contacts a reviewer and offers them a free book?

Conspiracy theorist that I am, I am inclined to think that it's a sin for the Indie to do EXACTLY what the big company does...when the big company goes to their friend, Amazon (the other now big company) and whines. But that's just my thoughts.

But this whole thing is just one more brick in the wall.


There's the delivery thing.  Feel free to click on the link if you missed THAT rant. 

Amazon seems to have "progressed" to the WalMart level of finagling it so they can pay people less than poverty wages for doing the lowest and "least important" jobs for them. People who are paid poorly, often act as though they are, well, undervalued?

There was the whole thing where I tried to start a Kickstart campaign, and Kickstart got my Amazon Payment account frozen (which handles payment for my Mechanical Turk jobs) because their software doesn't believe I am a real person. I ended up writing Jeff Bezos over it - and he actually did kick it down to an assistant who apologized and fixed it.

I could go on for quite some time with various little bricks and cracks in the wall (some of which doesn't even have anything to do with Amazon), but basically, Amazon, you are dead to me. I am tired of your sudden arbitrary decisions fucking up my little life of marginal poverty. 

On examination, I realize I have placed all my eggs in Amazon's basket. It was easy at the time, and even advised as the best way to increase your income. And at one point in time, this may have even been true. But it was a bad decision, and I know better. Or at least I ought to by now. (**cough**adult blogs**cough)(**cough**Squidoo**cough)(**cough**coloryourown.com**cough**)

Well, just at is came time to move on from all of those **make millions on the Internet** schemes, it is now time to separate myself from Amazon. I did not make the decision lightly, or overnight. This is the result of a number of days and nights of though, research, meditation and soul searching. 

It's just time.

What this means to anyone who follows me because they like my writing - all 3 of you - HHHH - is that starting tomorrow almost all of my books on Kindle will go on sale for free for the usual five days. Some of them weren't qualified - sorry - but most everything is down to 99 cents right now. Tomorrow I'll post a full list of them with links.

And when that time is up I will unpublish each and every last one of them. Bye bye.

That said;

The vast majority of the sex books under Petit Morte and Randall Fox will go into a graceful and forever retirement. They haven't really made much money for many years and I don't feel they really make much of a contribution to the universe.

The Peritoneal Dialysis book is the only one I really regret - but I want to add a chapter revealing that PD does cause heart failure, and the year James spent in the hospital. After which I will actually make a serious attempt to sell it to a medical publisher who will make my dream come true of a stack of them on the corner of every PD nurses desk, or in dialysis and nephrologists waiting rooms.

The rest of them I'm going to let have a little vacation, while I think about things. They may eventually be republished through one of those POD publishers, like Lulu.com, who sells on Amazon as well as other sites. Some of them are up on Wattpad right now, and others may join them there. I'm looking at some other "share your writing" sites as well. 

So if your interest is in me as a writer - I guess all I can say is grab the books you want NOW - and then (if you want) stay tuned. If you are interested in me as a human... you will be interested in the blog post to follow...

I do realize that Amazon could not possibly care less about losing my piddly little amount of business. This isn't for them - they've already made it clear they aren't interested in talking to me. This is for the peons who share my space in this Universe.

Blessedbe
And thank you for hanging out with me

Summer Foovay


Saturday, June 9, 2018

I will never order from Amazon again

For close to twenty years I have ordered from Amazon almost every single month. Most of those orders totaled $100 or more. The majority of the items were supplements that I cannot easily find near home - or at least not where we were living in small towns in New Mexico.

And then Amazon decided to no longer allow you to chose your carrier. They use their own carriers now. This is apparently whoever is hanging around the distribution center who wants to make a buck and claims to have a car.

This month the first part of our order was chucked into the patio chair and left where anyone could steal it. But it was marked "handed to resident".

The second part, due today, was marked "We tried to deliver your package today, but we didn’t want to leave it unattended" at 1:51 pm. At 1:51 pm, as it happens, I was outside, sitting in the patio chair. No one pulled up in our drive. or drove down our street, or even drove through our trailer park. But they tried real hard to deliver to me, didn't they?

No, they are sitting in an air-conditioned restaurant, scanning packages and laughing as they get paid to sit on their ass and do nothing.

So when I contacted Amazon at 3 pm... and chattted online to the nice but sensitive man who certainly speaks English as a second language and offered to make sure this happens again... really?

He offered me the contact info for the carrier service - then emailed me the links to talk to him, email amazon, or phone Amazon. Like, I didn't already have the information in front of me? He offered to send it out again - with the same carrier. Like I expect it to arrive this time? Maybe they can chuck it on the drive and see who wants to steal it before I get home - and mark it "handed to resident" again? How is someone in India making sure it leaves "in a different vehicle"?

I was about to renew our Prime. I was just waxing how nice it was that there is an Amazon distribution center here in town so almost everything is next day delivery. ROFLMAO.

Well, at least now I live in a real city, so hopefully I can find stores to purchase the supplements we need. Spend a week on the bus going to one store after another to purchase our needs. Walk in the heat. Order direct from the companies and end up with my credit information in ten different websites and hope they actually use a REAL delivery service.

Goodbye Amazon.

EDIT: A P.S. After the delivery was made. From the email I sent to Amazon in reply to their "did we solve your problem" email.

We were planning on leaving at 6 pm on Saturday. I know that I told you, or the person on chat, that we would not be home after 6 pm. However, because we were upset, we had delayed and were considering not going out at all. About 7 pm someone arrived with this order. He did not speak English. He handed the box to my husband and quickly left. He did not make sure he had the right people, since he could not pronounce my first name. Summer. Such a difficult word. No reason for anyone to be able to figure that out. 

Well, we have our order. I do not know what you wish to do about the refund which was already in process. We were supposed to refuse the order, I think, but had no opportunity to do so.

I do appreciate the assurance that we do not have to worry about retaliation. 

Overall, however, I do not think we will order physical goods from Amazon again. There are other ways to purchase these items in which I can either go physically to get them, or have them delivered by an official, legal, bonded service with trained personnel. Since Amazon gives me no choice as to delivery service, and since your delivery service is clearly unsuitable and undependable, I do not see how we can continue to order from Amazon. If I had the ability to insist on ONLY USPS or UPS, I would do so, and continue to order from you. But I do not like this situation where any one might, or might not, show up and deliver. I do not know if these people are screened for a criminal record. It is clear you have people working for you who purposely abuse your own system for their profit. I do not invite strangers into my home, or give out our personal information to anyone who walks by - and this is basically what you are doing. 

If Amazon wants to use their own delivery service, they have a very long way to go to make it a service I would use, and I don't think we are that unusual as customers go. 

I understand you say you use the service "most efficient" - most efficient and cheapest for you, I am sure. But clearly, it is a very inadequate service from a customer viewpoint.

Again, if I simply had the option to chose my delivery service, I would chose a dependable, trusted service and continue to order. I will not order from Amazon as long as I cannot know if I will receive my items. 

Thank you

Summer Foovay
A former customer





Monday, May 14, 2018

WARNING ABOUT SPECIFIC MEDICARE PART D PRESCRIPTION DRUG INSURANCE CARRIERS

OPTUMRX
UNITEDHEALTHCARE GROUP
AARP MEDICARE RX

First you should know these are all apparently the same group although they are listed seperately on the Medicare.gov website.

On the Medicare.gov website you have a page to help you choose your Medicare Part D coverage. You are told to list all the drugs you are on, and then you are shown those companies that claim they will cover each and every one of those drugs.

We did that. We chose a plan covering all five of my husbands medications, United Healthcare Group. They have now denied two of his most important, life saving prescriptions.

He can die fast, or slow. Fast if he has a heart attack from not having his Corlanor. And very very slow and painfully as his bones soften in response to an over production of hormones from his Parathyroid Gland now that they have denied the Hectoral.

File it Under YOU HAVE TO LAUGH

The King of ironic and ridiculous decisions:

UnitedHealth Group company will not approve corlanor because he doesn't have recent clinicals showing he has a heart rate of over 70. THIS IS BECAUSE HE IS ON THE CORLANOR AND IT IS WORKING TO SLOW HIS HEART RATE.

He can't have corlanor. Because it is working.

So, the doctor is going to fight it. But I told him we could win really easily. Take him off the Corlanor. Wait a few days. His heart rate will go back to 120 and then we can prove he has a condition requiring Corlanor. His doctor says this is not even a rational decision. But it is apparently what the insurance company wants us to do - to PROVE he needs the drug by forcing him off of it and making him return to being sick.

United Health Medicare Part D is beyond suck. They claim ON MEDICARES WEBSITE to cover all his drugs. THEY ARE DENYING DRUGS THEY LIST THEMSELVES AS ACCEPTING. Of his five prescriptions they have approved 3 and are fighting us for two life necessary prescriptions. One of which he has been taking for EIGHT YEARS. Being paid for by Humana's Part D Medicare coverage - FOR EIGHT FUCKING YEARS. (This doctor also has taken over the fight for us)

Did you hear that? BOTH DOCTORS HAVE TAKEN ON THE INSURANCE COMPANY FOR HIM. And that's why we are in Las Vegas. I couldn't even get his doctors on the fucking phone in New Mexico.

So everyone who keeps telling me what a mistake it was to move here can suck my dick. We have the BEST team of healers now, doctors AND technicians in the dialysis clinic AND their office staff. What a huge difference. It is so good to work with people who do their jobs and do them as if that is the NORMAL thing to do rather than...well..something they'd rather do manyana.


Please, share the information about these killer insurance companies who are lying on Medicare's own official website about their drug coverage.

There is no complaint process for their misrepresentation, and no penalties for it either (believe me, I've looked). The only way people who are in need of medical care, in need of prescriptions, and on Medicare can find out is for these murderers to deny their meds and then maybe, if you live long enough, you can get a doctor who will stand up to them or get another policy before you die or become too ill to continue to fight.

AVOID THESE COMPANIES. THEY ARE LYING about the drugs that they will cover.

OPTUMRX
UNITEDHEALTHCARE GROUP
AARP MEDICARE RX

We are well enough, I am well enough, to engage in this battle to save my husbands life. You might not be. Your grandmother might not be. So be WARNED before you make a choice and chose badly because of misinformation published on an official government website, Medicare.gov.


Monday, April 23, 2018

The Hamster Wheel

Or - running like hell to stay still...
Okay, we made it through the first week of a doctor or dialysis every day. So far, all the new heart tests are showing marked improvement according to the techs, but Thursday we see the cardio Dr. so he can make it official. So much for Drs and "it can't get better only worse" B.S. We truly are getting so much better medical care here for him - and that was my #1 priority. 
This week is more of the same - doctors, dialysis and I hope tomorrow to get some food help. Every other spare minute is spent at the Turk trying to make enough to feed us. His family was good enough to help out a little last week. 
Oddly enough in the midst of all this I've found a few quiet minutes to spend editing and rewriting on the Serendipity story. I originally thought I would expand it, but it seems quite comfortable with itself at 30K words. OTH I'm only now getting into the last bit and as I recall I rushed it a little to make room for Nano last year and that was where I felt it needed expanding. I hope I can get it on Kindle maybe even this weekend.  
I keep one of the sex books up for free all the time, and that (I think) drives some sales of the other sex books. I really do nothing and they putter along making me $5 a month or so. Well, this week I put the I Am Pagan book up for free - expecting to have to add a sex book - and I Am Pagan has been puttering along surprisingly well. We'll see if it sells any of the books under my name! Paganism and Sex. HHHH  
It does remind me I want to do videos discussing Paganism and related subjects. I need to get a mike so I don't have to shout at this computer. It's also constantly noisy here, and when I am home I often have next to no Internet. We have to get moved next month somehow, so maybe I'll have a better situation for making vids. 
Still taking a photo a day. Still trying to decide how I'm going to keep and share them :P 


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Still alive

(cross-posted from my Patreon page)
Yes, I'm still alive. We went to refill one of hubbys prescriptions - his heart meds - and the new insurance company (that we specifically chose because they said on the Medicare site they covered all his drugs) refused it. This turned into a marathon with a new heart doctor. He's a great guy, but of course, he wants a baseline for his new patient and Medicare apparently will not pay for a doctors visit and a test on the same day, or any two tests on the same day, so we are going to dialysis, to the heart doctors office, to dialysis, to the heart doctor, to dialysis for the next two weeks. Because, hey, we're retired and have nothing better to do with our time.
I've also suffered some sort of relapse in that my back and hips are very painful again - although I'm still walking. Just no more than I have to.
On top of which finances are a little tight. As in choosing whether to buy food or fill prescriptions tight. Normally I could make up all or some of this with earnings from the Mechanical Turk but of course, four to eight hours per day go into riding the bus and sitting at the doctors office. So, clearly this is a good time for our Internet service to drop down to nearly nothing which makes it impossible for me to work from home. I have to get on the bus again and go somewhere I can glom some decent speed free wifi. I knew it was going to be tough this month, but I had hoped I could maybe do some day labor or something. With these doctor appointments, that's not possible.
It's just a difficult month.
It's the Universe testing our resolve before it lets us into the new trailer/RV park and instantly the majority of our financial issues will melt away. Not to mention I won't have quite so many mornings like this when the homeless person holed up in front of our apartment starts to bang and crash things around at 4 a.m. It's cold and windy out and I'm really feeling sorry for anyone sleeping outside. I can't begrudge them the minimal shelter they get from the building here. I also can't sleep while they are banging around right outside my window. I hope they haven't pried anything else off Firefly. I wish I could invite them all to sleep inside her safe and sound, but I can't control people stealing, damaging, or simply using the toilet (I wouldn't blame them - but she isn't hooked up so...eww).
It may seem pretty minimal, but I am taking a photo a day. I haven't decided how I'm going to save/share them but yeah, I am doing a photo a day. After all, I'm in Las Vegas Baby! There is always something interesting going on! I'm really excited about next month. Especially if we can get into the trailer park - there is going to be a big Pagan thing for Beltane at the First Friday Festival, and then the 5th there is a big INDIAN food and culture festival. Hopefully we'll be moved and I can spare $20-$50 bucks for those two super fun things!
We will survive. And at least we are not sleeping out there in the cold and wind.
Blessedbe