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Thursday, December 31, 2015

I'm writing, I'm writing, really

No, really, I am.  I may have been down a rabbit hole or two in the last few days - and today was a payday so we had dumb stuff we had to do, but I have been writing, too.  Now that the dumb stuff is done, we plan to hole up the rest of the weekend.  I plan to do more writing and some drawing and see about having a couple of illustrated kids books ready to publish very early next year!

Drink a toast to the New Year, and be safe and smart tonight!  Happy New Year!

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hey - How did I end up down the rabbit hole today?

Hey!  How did I end up down this rabbit hole?  I was not going there today.  I had a purpose.  I was going to write a short story.  Really.

Laugh if you want, but a few weeks ago in some spare time I actually made up a random table for the short story month so I could roll a 20 sided die on any given day and chose what kind of story - something fanfic, or sex, or another book for Blue Dragonfly series, or wattpad or here or...

And then - I lost the table.

Well, here in a little bit I am making me a new one.  Really.  Sheesh.

With the best of intentions I thought, I have all these odds and ends of stories in various stages from idea nuggets to 3000 words, I wonder if any of them would make a good Amazon Kindle Single selection (with some work, of course).  So I went to look at the requirements for Amazon Singles, and then off to see the top 100 selling Kindle Singles and then I noticed something.

Amazon Kindle Singles don't sell for shit - unless maybe your name is Dean Koontz or Stephen King.  And quite a few of them on the top 100 sellers have one and two star reviews, or half a dozen five star reviews that say the same thing (a pretty sure sign of the - I paid $5 for this review type reviews).  Which is to say that this idea clearly has not caught on.  Well.  Strike that from the list!

Next was a browse through the files I had gathered up to see what was in there.  Talk about down the rabbit hole!  Headfirst.  Some I don't remember at all - some only vaguely.

There is a group of character sketches that I quite like, but it isn't really a story or stories - exactly - but kind of.  Which on a bit of thought, really is the sort of thing that belongs on a Kindle - the sort of thing a traditional publisher would turn up their nose at because it doesn't fit in a genre- but also something that is really "me" as in quite my style with a lot of myself in it.  For a very short while it lived on a blog but I couldn't find the ads to go with it and it was taken down.

I have already done most of the research for the animal part of the next Blue Dragonfly story - but my mind has pulled an absolute blank for story line.

Oh - which reminds me there is some more research I wanted to do at Amazon, too.  I'm gonna count this blog entry as writing today - see you later!

(Turns and dives back into the hole)


Saturday, December 26, 2015

It's Snowing! I'm writing!

It's snowing!  I love snow!  Big, huge fluffy flakes falling so thick and fast that I can't get a photo of them for you because they come out as white streaks.  It is starting to accumulate in patches here and there, so maybe in the morning I can get a photo of a beautiful winter wonderland!

Hubby and I had exactly one errand to run before the predicted winter storm - a trip to the library to return books and get a few new ones.  Those who know me will hardly believe we were in and out in fifteen minutes!  It's true!  I grabbed a couple more true crime books, a horse book, and a couple of novels and was done.  Now here I sit watching lovely snow and knowing we have food, water, electric for heat and gas for cooking, and plenty of books, games, and jigsaw puzzles to hole up and watch it snow for days.

Of course, this is New Mexico and I will be lucky if it actually manages to snow all weekend.  But that's okay, I'll take what I can get.  I much prefer snow that visits for a few days to snow that hangs around for months and gets all dirty and slushy and icy.

Meanwhile, I've been good to my word of writing a short story a day - starting today rather than on Christmas.  I wanted a day off to change gears - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  Today I wrote a simple little 1755 word short story that was submitted to the library at Aywas.  It will be my first book at Aywas if it is accepted - and I'll be pretty much over the moon about it. What can I say - I seem to have a new gaming obsession.  They let me write, and draw, and play, too.  Oh - and hoard pets.  That's important.  And the people are really nice - which is a biggie to me also.

Tomorrow - oh I don't know.  Probably something shorter since I think I will take the day off electronics and be writing by hand.  While gathering up all the old Nanos into a folder, I also gathered a lot of little short story nuggets and bits and bobs and ideas and so on and tossed them in a folder, too.  Who knows what might crawl out of my wicked little brain.

I'll keep you posted.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Nanowrimo 2015 - last post - no, really!

It's done!  Woohoo!  Written through to the finish, complete with epilogue!  The grand total is 72,555 words.  Yes, things slowed down considerably in December as various life things intruded and I wrote a few other bits and bobs and things, did some art, some origami, yadda yadda yadda.

I had a piece of dark chocolate and a shot of Irish Creme.  Big celebration.

Whew!  Time to set it aside and let it marinate now.  My next task today is to go through this computer and the external hard drive which contains at least three older computers brains and gather up all the files and folders named Nano-some year or nother.  I intend to get them all edited, rewritten, and otherwise combobulated this year into something I can stick in a Kindle book and not die of embarrassment over.

That's the plan.

Meanwhile, I had intended to dedicate December to short stories of many kinds.  Some fanfic.  Some short stuff for Wattpad, or here at the blog, or even little Aywas stories, as well as maybe a couple shorts to add to the Blue Dragonfly series as well as to the little sex story books under a pen name.  Instead, I put my shoulder to the wheel and made myself actually completely finish the Nano-novel.  So I am thinking, odd as it seems, that I might start tomorrow (Merry Xmas to you who celebrate) doing the shorts and go on for a full month until Jan. 25th.  I could stand to take it easy and zip out some shorter stuff now that won't go through the second week "I hate this" period.

You don't suppose I'm actually just using it as an excuse to put off the editing period that was previously scheduled for February?  (Do you have any clue how much I hate editing and rewriting my own stuff?)

NAH.

Shorts.  Coloring books.  Editing - there's my next 90 days more or less.  Actually once I start editing I hope I won't stop until they are all done, but who am I kidding?

Have a great holiday

Summer Foovay


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Newflash for HSBC bank - New Mexico is not in Mexico

Every single time I have moved since I had my HSBC account we go through this same rigamarole.  I call to change my address.  They contact me to inform me they cannot verify my new address in MEXICO.  No doubt, this is because I don't live in Mexico, I live in the state of New Mexico in the United States of America. Which, due to experience, I specifically attempt to make clear to them the first time.

And the second.

And the third.

It generally takes four or five emails and then a half dozen or so phone calls taking upwards of 20 minutes each before I speak to someone who is in India (I think, judging from the almost incomprehensible accents), including speaking to a supervisor who will also snottily inform me that I am mistaken, I live in Mexico - and my closest local branch is in Mexico City.

By the way, no matter how very politely you tell them you cannot understand them and ask for another operator, they will hang up on you.  And I have had many who are completely incomprehensible.  Oh yeah -they'll also hang up on you if you start speaking Japanese.  I couldn't resist.

And their new secure email is really fun.  I had to open three tabs, prove who I was three times, make up a new password, verify my email, to get a message to call them.  No, I'm serious.  It's true.  They said they couldn't call my phone either - I'm going to guess because my phone number probably doesn't work if you put the country code in for Mexico first.  Since I am in the United States (and so is my cellphone).

I just checked, and Mexico does not even have a state named New Mexico.

The United States of America, however, does have a state called New Mexico.

But I guess the main office in Buffalo, New York isn't aware of that.  Nor is the call center in...wherever it is.  
I spell every word in the address, usually twice.  I emphasize (now that I know they are idiots) that I live in the United States.  And still - here we go again - "Well, ma'm, I see you live in Mexico"...

New Mexico needs to switch their publicity from "Land of Enchantment" to "yes we are part of the United States - really".

And this time?  I closed the account.

 They made the mistake of calling me back for a "customer satisfaction survey" and I used the last two minutes on my phone (which I keep only so my disabled husband can contact me in an emergency - now he cannot) to suggest they hang a map of the United States on the wall in...wherever.




Friday, December 11, 2015

What? Nanowrimo 2015 STILL?


Funny, Figures, Children, ColorfulDon't I know it is December?  Well, yes, I do.  But the novel isn't done yet!  And from taking it all as a joke, to hating it, I've moved to loving these people too much to leave them hanging like that.  So the novel is now up to almost 60,000 words and I think the end is in sight.  At the very least it is in my head.  Mostly.  Not the VERY end.  


And when I finish?  Well, I'm going to set it aside for a bit and let it marinate.  It is going to need massive rewriting.  I may even name the characters I now love so much.

The other day I was trying to hunt up a particular image that I know exists, somewhere, and during my search I turned up file folders with names like Nanowrimo 2011, Nanowrimo 2012, you get the picture.  They are in various states from unfinished novels to finished and partially edited to - I think one or two have like 20K words and that's it.  So my big plan is, when I finally finish off Tainted Love, I am going to go dredge those poor manuscripts up and get to work on them.  I might even finally publish a new novel or two next year!

It has been years since I had a dozen irons in the fire from Squidoo to porn websites.  Ah...so much more peaceful.  The hubby reminded me yet again this week that he has tried to retire me three or four times now, and can't get it to take.  But maybe I'm finally getting old or something - I would rather spend time with him, or traveling, reading, doing origami, playing video games, than bashing my head on the latest get rich on the Internet quick with your creative work game.  Truthfully, maybe I have learned (finally) that the only people actually getting rich on those are the ones promising to get you rich - while the actual content creators end up with little or nothing for their efforts.

We are far from rich, but we have enough to get along.  After all - we do have the American dream of owning our own home (on wheels), and our own car.

So what I am babbling around about is I am moving away from trying to write whatever will make me money.  The subjects I choose for Nano are inevitably just for the fun of it, or because (like Bloodline) they are in my head bashing down doors to get out.  Time to have some damn fun!  I'm putting them out there, and if you like them and buy them - YAY - and if you don't.  Oh well.

I have yet to find an outlet for selling my art in any significant way that I like.  It may be that I end up doing customs on Aywas for a little extra money - it's fun at least! And ya know - although the arteeeest community makes my head ache - I do live in New Mexico and there are a gazillion open air art markets, galleries and so on.  Maybe I can find a spot to fit in here somewhere. Maybe someplace I can sell origami and jewelry as well as drawings and paintings.  And, of course, there's always drawing, publishing and selling coloring books - maybe through Create Space or something.  The thing is - they will inevitably cost something like ten bucks - which I personally find outrageous.  But maybe other people won't?

I no longer have the Zazzle stores or products that I was even so recently advertising here.  Yep, deleted the whole account.  Zazzle has gone from being rather frustrating to completely impossible to deal with.  I don't need the misery for a whopping $30 or so a year.  And I think that was pretty much the last straw, the last try at dealing with anything like that.  Not worth it. I'm not even an Amazon affiliate any more since they have decided they have to charge a fee if you don't make much.  Basically, they want you to PAY to be an affiliate so you can make a few pennies and then pay them ten times as much for the opportunity.  Whaaaa?  So, yeah, done with that, too.

I did apply for a blogging job...  and of course I can always do a little Mechanical Turk work if I want fun money for games and books... but by and large if you don't see me, I'm writing.  Or drawing.  Or maybe folding.  Or maybe just hanging out with the hubby.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Monday, December 7, 2015

Book Review of Sector C by Phoenix Sullivan

Sector C by Phoenix Sullivan was an excellent read in every way.  I am a former vet tech myself, as well as having worked many years in animal rescue, and various animal care positions.  It is always a relief and a joy to read something written about agriculture and animal business that actually has their facts straight.  So, although that isn't at all the point of the story - it is a welcome part of it for anyone who has some experience in the field.  Ms. Sullivan gives a balanced point-of-view regarding the devastation such a disease could wreck upon our society in so many different ways.  She doesn't shy away from the draconian measures it would take to stop a prion disease, or what the far reaching results would be on our society and economy, as well as for individuals, animals as well as people.

It is that very realism that makes this novel so terrifying.  It really could happen. And this really is what would happen.  And it's scary.  It should be.

Contrast that to the TV series Zoo which I've been watching on Netflix.  It's a great story, very exciting - but sometimes they are way off on their animal (and general science) facts and I find that a bit jarring.  I've actually sat and laughed at a few episodes.  So - not nearly as scary.  I'm surprised, really, given the big names associated with this series, that either no one fact checked, or they decided it didn't really matter because most people are too ignorant to notice.

I was surprised that the reviews and stars given to Sector C on Amazon were not as good as I expected them to be.  Perhaps most people prefer imaginary and easy to understand "science" to the hard cold truth.

Read my full review here

I do not sell reviews, trade them, or accept books for review.  But if I read something and like it - I write a review for it.  

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Friday, December 4, 2015

Checking in from the December of Short Stories

As so often happens, I've been derailed from my best intentions during the first week of the month.  This has to do with bill paying, shopping, and often two clinic appointments for the husband that frequently take up a whole day one way and another.  Just to be sure our week would be full, the husband took a major fall on Wednesday, landing on his head.  (Yes, the parking lot is okay - and after a couple of rough days, so is hubby).  To top that off, we had to take a one day road trip to take care of some business.

I did get a little writing done.  Not as much as I would like.  Knowing this could happen, I had already decided I would probably write on Sunday rather than taking the day off from all electronics as I normally do.  And I am writing a blog post!

I did get a number of origami projects folded as gifts for the wonderful people at the dialysis clinic who do such a fine job of keeping the hubby as healthy as possible, and making a good quality of life available for him.  Because I had short bits of time to kill here and there, I also got some studying done - I am still learning Japanese and probably will be for life.  And I did get a few art projects created for Aywas.  So the week wasn't a total wash.  And it ain't over yet!

And then my email offered up this.  Explore.org teamed up with my beloved Big Cat Rescue to offer a number of live streaming webcams of the cats.  And then I discovered all the other great livestreams of animals and nature this website offers.  OMG.  I could surf and watch all day long.  There is nothing I love more than watching wildlife and domestic animals hanging out doing animal stuff.  Sigh.  What was it I was supposed to be doing?

Oh yeah, writing short stories.  I also watched this fascinating Ted talk, by Ann Morgan: My year reading a book from every country in the world.  Very thought provoking stuff for anyone who reads, or writes, or - breathes.  Yes, I could drop hours and hours watching Ted talks.

My hubby is a TV person - and sees to it that I do watch those shows he thinks I will be interested in.  From King of the Nerds to various other game type shows I have noticed a pattern.  The people who are writers invariably have a wide range of knowledge at their fingertips, and if given time, know how to find more on any given subject.  Any really good writer spends untold hours on research - or as I often call it - down the rabbit hole.  I see an interesting article, and end up researching more and more until ...  I'm down the rabbit hole.  But I also discover a mass of very interesting things that are quite likely to end up in a story someday - if I can figure out how.

So I think I ought to get to count the hours I spend staring at big cat live streams as working - don't you?

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The December of Short Stories

The other day I was updating profiles and this and that on social sites and Amazon and so forth, when I noticed that my children's bookBlue Dragonfly has three - count them - three five star reviews out of three reviews!

In case you don't get why that is a big deal - I do not have the money to purchase five star reviews.  I don't have a publicist to sit and email Amazon reviewers and offer them a free copy to review.  One of these reviews is from a person I know on Facebook - I think - the other two I don't know from Adam.

So.  Real.  Live.  Honest.  Unsolicited. 
Five Star Reviews.

Yeah, I thought it was a pretty big deal myself.  Rather revives my faith in writing books for children.  Blue Dragonfly is the first in a planned series for kids about ten years old, a little older or younger would be fine, too.  Number two in the series, The Weaver, has no reviews.  Awwwww.  The next few books to follow will be out early next year if not sooner.  

The Blue Dragonfly series is a melding of natural history and magic.  And who doesn't love a shape shifter?  Or is he just a crazy old man?  Either way, he sure knows a lot about animals, and people, and things you wouldn't think he should know.  But what can you expect from someone who tells you the first time you meet, "I was a blue dragonfly once.  Once, I was a blue dragonfly."

The Blue Dragonfly books are only 99 cents - or free, of course, on Kindle Unlimited.  If you get a chance, maybe you can give them a look - and a review.  Read them to a kid over the holidays...


The Weaver - Japan

Oh yeah - I almost forgot to tell you why it is the December of Short Stories.  Because, having proven once again to myself that I can easily crank out upwards of 2,000 words per day I plan to spend this month adding short stories to various series I already have going (including the Blue Dragonfly group), zipping out short stories for various websites who publish such, submitting some shorts to Amazon Shorts, and finishing and publishing some works in progress.

Here's a little teaser for the one I worked on today - working title "KIDNAPPED BY CENTAURS!"

“You walk like you were crossing a field to water the horses” Robin hissed at her, under her breath, “Slow down, give that cute little butt of yours a bit of swing.”  Winking, Robin raised her voice to be heard a little better.  “This is my little sister, Fala – isn’t she cute?”  The wealthy merchant looked Fala over from head to toe and shrugged, giving Robin a squeeze with the arm draped over her shoulder.  “I think I like you a lot better” he smirked.
“Oh, give her some time to ripen up” Robin teased, “She’s young yet, but she is learning.  I’ll thank you for one of those flutes of the champaigne, Fala, and a couple of those little finger sandwiches.  Are there any of those with the cheese?  You know I love those!”  Robin subtly moved her eyes to cue Fala which items to hand her from the heavy tray and for once, Fala managed it without losing the balance and chucking food all over the place.  

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay