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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Peritoneal Dialysis for patients and caretakers is now available in print!

I am proud to announce that today Peritoneal Dialysis for patients, caretakers, friends, family and medical professionals  is now officially available in print!

If you prefer to read on the Kindle, Peritoneal Dialysis for patients, caretakers, friends, family and medical professionals is still available in digital form as well. I gave the digital copy a pretty new cover because I also tweaked the title a little bit.

I am not very happy with the price I had to put on the print version in order to make anything at all in royalties on it.  I wish I could simply put a stack of these in every nephrologists' and dialysis clinic waiting room, free for the taking.  But my work does have value, and I have a kidney patient of my own who has medical needs that cost money and keep me from working an outside job.  In an ideal world, some medical publishing company would be on the phone to me right now offering to either purchase the rights to the little book or pay me royalties and sell it for next to nothing to doctors and clinics because they can print in bulk.

Maybe someday I will win the lottery and be able to print a few million and hand them out like I would like!

Meanwhile, I'm doing the best I can with what I've got!

For some reason Amazon has not linked the print and digital versions, but I've emailed them about it and hopefully they'll get that corrected soon.  I also just noticed that it does not seem to be available for Canada, Australia, or India for some reason.

Its funny how, even though it is self published and print on demand, I got that little thrill when I got the email last night that the print version was available and then saw the page on Amazon.  Isn't that kind of silly?

So yay for me, this is one of those little works in progress that has been on my list for some time and now it is done.  All over with but the shouting, bragging, and whatever else I can think of to publicize it.

Now to pick the next project to finish.  Maybe I'll conquer the last few levels on Horse Planet!

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Links to Peritoneal Dialysis book print version:

Peritoneal Dialysis: for patients, caretakers, friends, family, and medical professionals - U.S.A.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

OOoo - shiney!

I have a refrigerator magnet that says "I was ready to take on the world today until I saw something sparkly".  That's me through and through.  Of course, it's because I'm a multipotentiate.

So I had a plethora of interesting jobs, and then the hubby got a great job and retired me (or tried to) twenty years ago.

Bored Now.

Then I started looking for a way to make money on the Internet.  Oh, my, I laugh until my sides hurt.

I sold some of my handmade jewelry and artwork on eBay.  A few collectibles.  What a PITA.

I taught myself webdesign and designed websites that sold porn, and shared my own art as clipart as well as my stories and articles.  Okay, that was fun, but didn't make much.  And Bush got in office and hubby started having nightmares about the men in black with big fucking guns coming to take me away for slinging porn.  So I got out of that altogether.

Well, mostly.  I got a job-ish writing porn stories on commission.  That was fun for a little while but I got to feeling like a hack and writing was losing all it's fun for me.  But I had rights to some of my stories yet, so those are out on Kindle now.  Of all this journey, they still make the most money.

At one point I had 12 blogs on various subjects, several that came up #1 in Google searches and I got a dab of money now and then for ads or endorsements.

Then we went on the road for a bit and my webhost thought that would be a good time to sell themselves to someone who did something to the servers and literally broke every single website and blog I owned overnight.  BAM. So much for that little residual income.

I wandered around New Mexico and worked a few outside the house jobs and then  hubby got too sick for me to be gone all day.

At this point I think I can say I've given publishing on Kindle a good stab.  Mostly I've discovered that porn sells even if you don't make any effort at all!  Carefully crafted novels - TANK.  Well, unless you have the money for advertising, a publicity firm, or a big fanfic following. I'm too much of a bitchy introvert for all that.  Not to mention, a man.  Not that I'm gonna quit or anything.  As mentioned in yesterday's post, I'd write if I had to do it using my own blood on tree bark so... may as well polish it up now and then and either stick it on Wattpad or a blog or Kindle.  Still making up my mind on that.

Still learning Japanese.  Oy Vey! Really hard.  Still doing a little origami which is fun but leaves me with a bunch of little paper sculptures I can't give away. Still draw and color a little bit, but the technology to do digital art is gone, and replacement is out of my price range for something that is, face it, a hobby.  I've learned my lesson about putting art on the Internet - great way to work really hard on something so you can give it away and have others claim it as their own and sell it. I did a little commission work.  It was fun.  Can't get commissions.

I earn the most at the Mechanical Turk - sometimes I make $5 in a day!  No, really, I get excited about it. Face it, I get pretty excited about the $5 a month I get from my Kindle books.

And now there's this tickle at the back of my brain.  Games.  Video games for PC, game consoles, Android, Phones...  I mean I never thought of myself as a gamer.  At least, I was deep into D&D and AD&D when it was tabletop, but I was completely disappointed in the early computer versions.  But now I, who always thought I was the anti-gamer, spend a few hours a day happily playing silly games of one form or another on the PC or mostly my Kindle Fire.

Hmmm...I wonder how hard it is to make one of these...and how much you make off them?

So, I've been looking it up today.  Basically, I'd say it's like anything else.  What you put in, is what you get out.  But wouldn't it be FUN to make games? And...maybe I'll make a penny or two.  I am kicking myself - we nearly bought a game a few years ago that I used to play and love that got basically abandoned by the developers (which happens to a LOT of games) but at the time I didn't have the confidence that I would be able to learn to code it.  I should have done it.  Hell, I taught myself to code webpages, didn't I? Well, hindsight and all that and really, who knows if it would actually have been a good idea.

Game Dev... my next title?  What the hell else am I doing with my time?

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Friday, March 24, 2017

Tweaking the Tanuki

A few days ago I started serializing "A Kitsune, A Coyote, and a Tanuki walk into a bar..." on Wattpad.  I like seralizing.  It keeps me writing - or in this case - rewriting.  And rereading.

I hate rereading my own work.  I always decide it sucks.  However, I am attempting to mature as a writer here and apply many of the terrific ideas and methods and principles I've been reading about for the last couple of years.  So this is the first time I'm rewriting (and serializing) and editing with those in mind.

The main reason I'm doing it now is because I really like this group of kids (they're 15, well, more or less) and I really like the town (Locoweed) and plan to write quite a few stories of varying length and subject matter set there.  I also sort of loved this novel when I first wrote it.  Then I reread it and decided it wasn't DONE, that the great denoument scene almost certainly demanded a sequel and besides, there were more things I wanted to get in - or get the kids into.  Several other stories I have as WIP are either already set in Locoweed, or would work beautifully as, what would I call them, pre-spin offs?  They are written, but they could easily be drawn into affairs in Locoweed and would fit right in.

Welcome to Locoweed, I love it here, hope you do, too.

Well, it's true.  That does mean I have some organizing and note making to do so that there is consistency through out the stories and novels to come.  It's kind of like building a D&D campaign - NPCs, locations, and a world framework have to be in place.

And then I got to picking on the poor kids - the kitsune, coyote, and tanuki in the story.  In the beginning the tanuki girl was the main character, but as characters will do - the kitsune and coyote have come demanding their fair share of time and words.  Not to mention the mysterious wolf.  So they're being fleshed out and growing.

I've concluded Wattpad, for all that I have almost no readers there, is a good spot to do this ongoing development.  Publishing bits will keep me going, even if no one reads them.  Once they're out there, I'm sort of obligated to them.  Or at least I feel that way.

Someday I'll get back on to I am Pagan and finish it, too.  Just a little bit to go - but it's mainly a matter of reformatting the mess Shaxpir made of my formatting.  Not one of my favorite things.  And I'm kind of mad about it to tell you the truth.  It means a lot of going back and forth and back and forth from original webpage to wrecked manuscript that I thought was nearly done.  It is not fun.  And it is redoing something I thought I had already done.  I hate doing that.

A big chunk of the 4th Mr. Odon Ata book also was sucked into oblivion by Shaxpir.  The books of the series are well reviewed, but rarely sell and I can barely even give them away.  Unless I win the lottery and can pay a publicity firm a few thousand to pump them, they never will sell.  And even then...

I've been reading some other kids books for the same age group.  They seem to tear along at a chase movie pace from start to finish.  One explosive event after another, flash, flash, run, run, boom, boom, boom.  It's like the book version of the Fast and the Furious movies, only the movies have the occasional slightly slower scene to at least pretend there is some plot beyond oh look at the fast cars go. I like watching fast cars go fast, I'm not knocking the movies, okay?  Still, it makes me feel like my pokey little books with nice animal stories and kind people are going to go straight into the wastebin if sold to kids who expect non-stop action.  Is there an audience for Mr. Odon Ata?

Personally, I have some problems that cause me to much prefer peace and quiet and slow build up.  I have a feeling there are kids out there who would probably do better with a little slower, quieter pace as well.  But are there?  And do they buy ebooks?

That and the fact that my Kindle income is now about $5.00 a month - most of which comes from sales of "How to eat pussy" has got me having a little existential crisis.

Why do I write books?  I wrote before I had any hope of being published.  I write stuff that I know will never be published.  I ramble for hours on blog posts I know no one reads.  I write because - I write.

With that said...

Publishing ebooks is a royal pain in the ass.  Going through it to make $5 a month?  Not worth it.

Publishing for free online?  Don't I deserve to be paid for my work?  And the website owners - they are making money from ads and sharing MY work.  (They work, too, to create the platform, I know that I used to own websites,too).  Somehow that kind of squicks me.  I mean, we could REALLY use the money.  REALLY.

Here's my life.  I have an external harddrive crammed with writing.  I have piles of sketchbooks full of drawings.  When I die, chuck them all in the fire with me, because no one gives a flying fuck about me, or my creations. Or they want them for free.

I have to buy a hamburger if I want to eat one, right?  Ten minutes later it will be, for all practical purposes, gone forever.  And it probably wasn't all the unique, special, or the individual creation of someone who spent weeks thinking about it. You can't re-eat a hamburger either.  Or share it when you're done.  (Well, I guess you could, but..ew)

But people will buy a hamburger.  And want their novels or artwork for free.

Yeah, never ending pet peeve of mine.

So why do I write?  Because I do.  But to make some money?  I need to start spending more time at the Mechanical Turk.  We really need the money.

And yet, I still spent an hour today making notes for plots and subplots for the Kitsuni, Tanuki and Coyote book.

Face it.  I live in my own little world.  LOL.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What I'm Watching Now


For someone who didn’t even own a TV for a good many years, I’ve gotten hooked on a good many shows in my old age.  I blame it on the hubby, who was a TV baby and could watch 24-7 if he didn’t have to sleep now and then. 

I blame Crunchyroll for introducing me to K(orean) Drama and J(apanese) Drama.  Oh yeah, Crunchyroll.  Well, I started for the nice free streaming legal anime, became a premium member and the rest is history.  I try really hard to blame that on some friends and family who introduced me to anime, but since it was literally years before it took root and became a big part of my life I don’t think I can really point at them and say “they did it”.  But maybe I will anyway.

So right now what I’m watching is:

American TV: I love crime shows, and the hubby is adept at finding them for me.  We keep up regularly with NCIS, NCIS:New Orleans, Bones, Castle, and Sherlock Holmes. He loves fantasy and action, so he’s drawn me into The Magicians and we recently finished The Dollhouse on Netflix because, hey, anything associated with Joss Whedon. Speaking of Netflix, I have to admit to being a huge fan of Orange is the new Black, and Sens8. 

I really loved Sens8 and can’t wait to see where they are going with this.  I’ve even considered fanfic, but I want to wait until we know more about the world and why Whispers is chasing them.  Is it just hatred of the different?

Now and then I dip into the various reality/contest show things - like Shark Tank.  I like Shark Tank.  I love seeing people making their dreams come true. And the brilliant ideas! The business talk is interesting.  Makes me wish I had a brilliant product idea.  

I also like The Voice, The X Factor, America's Got Talent and Dancing With The Stars.  But since hubby doesn't like to watch them and I don't watch much by myself I generally get my fix by watching the "best of" on YouTube once a month or so. So many amazing, talented people in the world.  Hubby drags me off for a little bit of professional wrestling (I like Asuka), and Steve Austin's Broken Skull Ranch. 

Sports for me is motor sports.  Since they ruined NASCAR (What was wrong with my Daddy's NASCAR anyway?) I've become a big rally fan.  World Championship Rally.  Now those guys (and a few women, too) still have balls.  And they cuss in a multitude of languages.  HHHH

K-Drama, J-Drama, and even a Chinese cop show.  The Chinese cop show is When A Snail Falls in Love.  It is the story of a tiny and creepy smart female profiler who is put into a very physical major crimes team.  The Captain is determined to get her off the team, and has a ready made excuse since she did not pass the physical qualification test.  It was interesting to see the differences, the country was pretty, I got a kick out of the English spoken when more than one Asian country is represented (it’s like Common in D&D – everyone speaks it, sort of).  The story is an interesting twist as well.  The profiler is good, but not infallible, and is viewed in differing ways by the different team members from amazing to “the weakest link”. Here in the U.S., although the profiler is often seen as a bit crazy (and this poor girl in Snail is called “a monster” several times), they also get universal adulation and are never wrong.  I thoroughly enjoyed the show and hope there is a second season.

J-Drama – The one I am watching most right now I chose almost at random.  It’s a cop show – Scientific Task Force.  I’m three episodes in and still a bit indecisive about it.  I started in order to have something to test my Japanese language skills.  They test it all right – they speak so fast I’m hopelessly lost most of the time.  The premise is a forensic team of four, all of whom are more than a little odd, and one conventional Captain who has to keep them together and working and prove they have value or the Chief is going to disband them.  I’m not entirely sure if this is a cop show, a drama, or a comedy at this point, the team members are so far out there.  But it’s kind of like a train wreck, I can’t stop watching it.

K-Drama – Hubby watched Goblin, the Lonely and Great God, with me.  Coffee Prince was the first K-drama I ever watched and I fell in love with everything about it.  The leading man in Coffee Prince is also the leading man in Goblin, so I was willing to give it a chance just for that.  It is what hubby and I call “potato chip” – you can’t stop watching.  We even fell in love with the theme music.  We finished it up a few days ago.  I’m ready to watch it again. The fantasy themes of goblin, God, and Grim Reaper interaction was intriguing and amusing.  The actors and actresses were all excellent in their roles.  And the FEELS!  Go watch it.

If you like the action and cliff hangers of K-drama, you have got to check out Voice.  I’m not sure how much I can tell you without getting into spoilers.  There is a cop who has lost his wife and nearly thrown his life away for it.  A voice profiler (that’s a new one on me) who has studied in The States and specializes in getting cops to the scene of the crime in the Golden Time – the period of time from the first contact at 911 and when a victim is actually killed – by getting clues from sounds she can hear on the call.  It’s different.  It’s intriguing.  The only thing you might not like is it assumes you have a 90 minute attention span, and THEN it leaves you on a cliffhanger so you end up watching the next one, and the next one… Aw, I don’t need sleep, do I?

No affiliation, but I do recommend DramaFever.com – it’s where I get my fix.

Anime – oh anime.  I started this season trying to watch too many simulcasts and lost my mind.  I’m now down to only March Comes In Like A Lion, Blue Exorcist, and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.  And I wasn’t even going to watch that last one! A good many are marked for marathons later. 

+Then I watched the Crunchyroll Academy episode about Mecha and realized I might actually LIKE Mecha.  They mentioned Gargantua of the Verduous Planet and I loved that show.  So I figured, what the hell, and started marathoning GUNDAM: Iron Blooded Orphans.  Surprise, yes I do like it.  Okay, there’s lots of robots fighting – but by the time the robots fight I actually care about who wins.  In between there is a lot of interesting character development, and plots.  And plots and plots.  And even some larger themes about business and politics and oppression. 

March Comes In Like A Lion is probably categorized as a sports anime, but it seems to me more like a Slice of Life in that the protagonist is really learning about life and questioning how he got to this point.  Rei Kiriyama lost his father as a young boy.  Before he died, shogi (a board game similar to chess) was the only thing the two of them did together – so Rei learned to be very good at it. After his father’s death he was taken in by a “shogi family” who traditionally played the game at professional level.  Rei was able to become a pro while he was still in middle school and used that as a way to create an independent life.  At first, it seems like it was simply that he didn’t want to be a burden, an orphan on charity, but as the series goes on it appears it’s something much more complex than that.  Rei is realizing he never actually enjoyed shogi, at least not in the way some of his impassioned fellow players do, but now he is stuck in this competitive sport and there seems to be no way to go but forward.  He is deeply lonely, deeply sad, and doesn’t even realize it when there are people reaching out to him who do care.  It’s very interesting on several levels.  I hope we can look forward to several seasons of it.

Blue Exorcist is more of a fun thing.  Fighting, demons, the son of the devil – but it has it’s own depths as well.  Two brothers who need to work out their own relationship – especially when one was raised from birth to be an exorcist, and the other is the son of the devil.  (So adopted, yes) The son of the devil who has been raised with humans and trained with exorcists needs to (I can’t help it) tame his demons.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid snuck up on me in the middle of the night when I was looking for something short, sweet, entertaining, that might make me laugh.  Before that I was looking at it, rolling my eyes, and going – ugh, Moe.  Dragon Maids.  Ow.  Please. 

Well, I was wrong.  Sure, there’s plenty of silliness and bouncing boobies, but there’s actually a story here.  A rather sweet, mysterious, intriguing story that has sucked me in.


So there you go – that’s most of what I am watching right at this moment. Subject to change by whim in any other moment.  

I'm open to suggestions, too.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Monday, March 20, 2017

Dandelions for Ostara - and a Merry Ostara for all!

"beauty in the blades". (11266079626)I
I hope you are having a beautiful and inspiring Ostara!  I stepped in here for a moment and Blogger offered me new layouts to oogle.  I can never resist looking so of course, I did.  And fell in love with this new look - hope you like it!

I could not resist the very spring like look, let alone Dandelions.  Because I am very well known for loving dandelions.  I haven't seen a lot of them here in New Mexico, and when the first few started coming up in my new little yard I did a happy dance.  I talked to them and told them how thrilled I was for them.  And now I have a couple that are two feet high - I kid you not.  And they've spread all over the yard.  Looking around me, I don't see anyone desperately lawn proud (if you are, you shouldn't be in New Mexico) so I don't think anyone is going to notice, let alone mind, that I have a bumper crop of sunny yellow flowers carpeting my lot.  And I couldn't be happier about it!

Ostara, or the first day of spring as some of you might think of it, is the Spring Equinox.  Day and night are exactly equal.  It is a time for new starts, and for balance.

I gained a considerable amount of weight this winter, so much of my new starts are fitness related.  Starting to ride the bike more.  Starting to do yoga again.

The garden is started.  There are sunflowers and morning glories coming up along the fence.  I've been and drooled over flowers and plants at the garden centers and purchased the big kiddie swimming pool that will be the base for my raised bed for vegetables.  Nothing too ambitious this year.  I'm trying to make sure I don't spend more setting up the garden than it saves me in food purchases.  The flowers are pure indulgence.  I dearly love to travel, but that does sort of inhibit gardening - something else I love - so I'm going to make the best of settling down.

Cause - you know - that's what I do.  Make the best of things.

In the last week hubby got four new prescriptions.  Now we're hashing out a routine.  One should raise his blood pressure during dialysis - since his nosediving blood pressure has been a major problem.  One is supposed to maybe slow down his heart rate.  My high octane model has been horrifying medical personnel with his 100+ beats per minute (but in perfect rhythm though) for years.  Maybe we an finally do something about that so the medical professionals can relax a little.  Saw the cardiologist and discussed some things.  We will be going forward with the diffibulator - waiting for a date and time on that.  It's a problem because we cannot take hubby off the clotting med for any period of time without him clotting the fistula closed, so we'll have to get around that.  Took him to the ER Saturday (two months without a hospital visit, almost).  He was in horrible pain and having trouble swallowing.  Turns out he has a bone spur in his neck.  They gave him muscle relaxants and a few pain pills.  I've been giggling at him because the muscle relaxants make him...well... VERY relaxed.  But he's feeling better, and has been getting good dialysis so all in all things are still looking up a bit.

I have not made as much progress as I would like on the WIPs I'm trying to finish up and get published.  I started posting one of them on Wattpad - A Kitsune, A Coyote, and a Tanuki walk into a bar... has one chapter up there.  Got to tinkering with characters and motivations and now I'm not sure if I want to share it or rewrite it first.

The I am Pagan book is nearly done.  However, Shaxpir did something completely bizarre with the format and I'm having to reformat it completely in Word.  I cancelled my Shaxpir subscription and they shut it down even though I had just paid them.  I thought, you know, I'd have the service I paid for until the end of the month.  So I lost a lot of writing.  Yeah, I know, I could just PAY them and access it again.  Because everything I've written in Shaxpir I've had to reformat in word, I've concluded I may as well write it in word.  But I did get some good ideas about filing and keeping track of some things.

Hope you are having a wonderful Ostara with lots of eggs and bunnies!

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I'm a multipotentialite!

Who knew?  One more label - and I'm not into labels but I think I may grasp this one with both hands and have it tattooed on my forehead.

By which you can tell I am one of those multipotentialites who has more than once been disparaged and insulted and put down over having more than one interest, more than one focus, more than one "thing" in life.  I've had more than one career - and every career I've had has prepared me in some way for what I consider my number one job of taking care of my husband now.  

And taking care of my husband, and all my other careers, has made it possible for me to have experiences and wisdom to write and share. 

So, watch this!  And understand.


Friday, March 10, 2017

The Games I Play - What I'm Playing Now

gamer girl icon photo: Gamer Icon GamerIcon.jpgI’ve come around to enjoying video games almost as slowly as I came around to using a computer to write – and I am now every bit as hooked on playing games as I am on writing on my computer.  I was playing D&D back when you got a box with three magazine sized “books” and one set of dice. Due to necessity I became a game master, due to the love of it, I stayed one for many years. However, I hesitate to call myself a gamer. It seems to me that most “gamers” are those who play MMORPG or games with a ton of fighting and a bit of strategy.  I am less about fighting and more about beautiful graphics, strategy, and simple relaxation.  Plus I love animals, so I tend towards a lot of Sim games that involve some sort of animal theme, raising them, breeding, etc.  So with that said, here is my list of games I am currently playing.  If you play any of them feel free to friend me or whatever if that is a thing. If you have suggestions of others I might like, I’m good with that!

Games I play online


Aywas (aywas.com) – although I play it much less now than I once did, I dip in now and then and read the news, admire new and custom pets, and adventure for a bit.  I fell in love with the game originally because of the fighting system in the adventures – very much like the fighting system of old fashioned D&D.  Paced reasonably for us oldsters who don’t have the reaction time or desire to simply pound the keyboard a million times a second. Aywas also has a great variety of pets, which is always increasing, and the opportunity to design and color your own custom pets or have them done for you.  There is also a breeding system.  However, it is all very large, complex, and ever growing and I admit to a certain amount of overwhelm.  I feel like you could devote your whole life, all your waking hours, to learning the ins and outs of all the game features – only I have a real world life that demands my attention. Another thing I like about it is that it does not require you to have a top of the line gaming computer in order to run, or to pick up a daily bonus or send gifts, etc. 

Speaking of which – Fishworld on Facebook. Another game I used to play for hours on end, that I now only drop in on once every few days.  They kept “improving” it and eventually it became impossible to get it to open and play on my old computer.  It would open on the new computer but only sometimes play due to our slow Internet.  Now that we have been able to improve our internet, it does open and play – but I’ve had something like two years away from daily play.  There is some lingering resentment in my heart for the developers having improved the game until, well, poor people can’t play for fun. On top of having found other games to occupy the limited time block I allow for playing around.  

An oldie but goody on Facebook, Fantasy Kingdoms, is stirring around a bit and acting like they might come back.  If they do, then I’ll be there!

Games I play on the desktop computer


Recently, I downloaded Shadowverse.  I’m not very good at it yet, but I do enjoy it.  It has had the side effect of being a bit similar to Evilibrium, which I used to play on the Kindle and I’ve also started playing Evilibrium again! It is a card game/fight game/adventure role playing game that actually sort of reminds me of Magic the Gathering in building decks, or having them auto built, or bought prebuilt. And yes, the graphics are gorgeous.  It runs on Steam, which I downloaded to run:

Glass Masquerade. This game is a hedonistic feast for the artist in me.  Pretty music.  Pretty (and pretty difficult) puzzles.  Pretty graphics altogether with a sort of steampunk like flair to my eye.  But, yes, basically, it is jigsaw puzzles with a little story wrapped around them.  I actually was nearly finished and stopped playing because…I didn’t want to be finished.  But I’m going to go back, there’s no doubt.

Speaking of Steam, I’ve been eyeballing several of the mmorpg available.  Keeping in mind I’m a newbie and beautiful graphics is a requirement – any suggestions where to start?

Horse Planet is a beloved oldie which I’ve played almost all the way through and yes, stopped because I didn’t want to be done.  However, I’m actually trying to finish up a few games because I have this habit of stopping a level or two before the end and I feel like I really ought to overcome it. In Horse Planet you chose your horse, have a bit of customization you can do, and then compete in jumping, cross country and trail riding through increasingly difficult courses.  Beautiful graphics and they really endeared themselves to me by basing the American part of the competitions in the desert Southwest so it’s almost like riding around here at home. I like the way the horse handles – I’ve quit many “riding” games because moving the horse is incredibly awkward and difficult.  The horses colorations and movements are realistic, and I appreciate the pintos and app color patterns. I've quit many a horse game because the movement or conformation was so deformed it gave me the shudders - no such problem on this game.

Bejeweled is a long standing favorite that is one of the first things I put on a new device of any sort, if it is available.  I’ve been known to play Bejeweled while talking on the phone, or anything else that doesn’t quite take my entire brain. It’s mindless, and pretty.  My kind of game. I can play for hours if I don’t get interrupted by some dumb thing like eating or going to the bathroom.

On the Kindle


Okay, brace yourself…I do most of my gaming on the Kindle Fire.

Hungry Shark Evolution is one of my all time favorite games.  In fact, I’m in the top 1% of players worldwide.  Shocking, isn’t it?  Amazing how relaxing it is to swim around eating people, crushing subs and boats, chomping helicopters and planes while sitting around in a doctor’s waiting room.  Evil grin. The graphics are pretty.  And they donate to Oceana, an organization that is involved in saving sharks and other denizens of the oceans.

I have downloaded it’s sister game, Hungry Shark World, however I find the new way of moving the sharks there difficult, and it pretty near crashes my Kindle and takes up so much memory that I had to remove several games and books to get it on there.  And then didn’t like it.  Well, the graphics are cool but I don’t like to PLAY so… I’m considering that it might be better on a different device when it becomes available.

Horse Haven is another old favorite that I’ve quit and come back to a couple of times as they went through changes that were not compatible with the devices I was on.  Still, I keep coming back – even though I have to start over every time.  I was actually up to over 250 days without a miss before our modem was stolen. My barns are all at the ultimate size, same for storerooms, and I’m working on having one of each and everyone one of the 55 horse breeds available on the game.  It is basically a sim/breeding game that includes a bit of “steeplechasing” competition as well. Again, the horse movements and colors are mostly pretty realistic although the breeding system is a bit bizarre.  The horses move and look good, except for the thoroughbred, which they made taller by simply adding some length to the upper part of the leg - causing the movement to give me that ick factor.  I try not to look. It's one of 55, and the drafts and ponies look great!

DragonSoul was a great favorite until the modem was stolen, and the game was sold to another company.  It seems now like the fun and laughter is slowly being drained out of it. The graphics are good and the fighting is actually funny, as are all the little quotes. The designers used to have a blast poking fun at all the game and fantasy tropes, but the new group doesn’t seem to get it.  I’ve gone from an all time high of five accounts on five servers, down to two that I barely manage to keep going.  I am really only staying because I have people I like in my guilds and I’d feel bad if I left. 

Eternium: Mage and Minions has made a big comeback with me.  I loved it and played every day, bought monthly gem packages and all that – and then an update came…(isn’t that always the way?)  The monsters were pumped up – the heros were not.  My formerly heroic fighter was suddenly being trampled by bosses she had already beaten three times or more.  Doesn’t help that she was one level away from having finished the game.  I wrote the admins, and quit playing. 

A few months after that, it became available to put on the computer, and the hubby downloaded it for me.  Because my first love of the game was – of course – the beautiful and detailed graphics.  It looks awesome on the big screen, I must say.  And the update has been updated.  The heros are heroic again!  They also added two entire new layers of levels.  Yesterday my heroic fighter finished the last stage of what is now only the “normal” game.  Now she’s got two more times to go through on Heroic and Legendary!  It is easier for me to play on the Kindle – so I’m back to a daily visit on the Kindle – and occasional visits on the computer just to drool at the pretty graphics. 

One thing I particularly appreciate about Mage and Minions, and Hungry Shark Evolution is that these games will play even without an internet connection.  This is a plus if you carry your Kindle everywhere like I do.

I recently added Bubble Witch Saga3 which I used to play on Facebook. For me, it hits that sweet spot of being something simple I can play to kill a few minutes, without trying to get the daily bonus or share gifts or any other sort of obligation to be there every day. A characteristic it shares with another Kindle favorite, Fishdom. While Bubble Witch is the typical bubble popping game, Fishdom is the typical match 3 game.  I’m very fond of both game types but these two are my current favorites.

Another game type that I am very fond of is Mahjongg – which is pretty obvious when you check out the many Mahjongg games on any device that I own.  But the king is Mahjong Journey which has kept me playing daily for over a year.  I may cuss some of the variations, but even then I keep playing knowing that I’ll like the next set of tiles better.  Right?

I mentioned Evilibrium, which I doubt I am any where near mastering but I do enjoy piddling around with it now and then.

I recently started playing Cat Story again.  It’s one of those sims where you build a village and then industries and blah blah blah.  I’m very near the end of it, so I’ve returned as part of that – I’m going to actually finish some games – thing.

I love hidden object games.  Hubby and I like to play them together, and they have made many a wait in an ER or clinic easier to bear.  Normally I shy away from those that require you to be online to play, but I did recently start playing Midnight Castle.  Yes, the graphics got to me.  Pretty.

PetWorld FREE isn’t really all that free.  It is if you only want the small animals that come with the first level of the game – you have to buy each animal on your way up, like dogs and cats.  That said, it isn’t expensive – a buck or two – and it isn’t like you can’t enjoy the game even if you don’t buy them.  Being the animal lover that I am, I get a warm fuzzy feeling feeding, watering, cleaning up, and adopting out pets.  What can I say?  I love the little noises the hamsters and guinea pigs make.  It’s sort of endless, mindless, and slow.  You’ve got to be someone who actually likes pets and sim games to get anything out of it. 

A new addition is Jewel Star, which is the closest I’ve found so far to Bejeweled for the Kindle.  I haven’t played it a lot yet, but it is proving itself as another one that is perfect for killing a few minutes waiting, when his name might be called any second so that I have to slam the Kindle shut and go be whatever and not get back for an hour or two. 

Old-games.com provided a few new (old) games that hubby installed on the computer for me, but I haven’t had time to get into them yet.  I’ll let you know if any of them become a favorite, and if I ever actually finish Cat Story, Horse Planet, and Mage and Minions, among others.  If you have a favorite game you think I would like – do please share!

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay



Thursday, March 9, 2017

World Kidney Day

Today is World Kidney Day!  The theme this year is prevention of kidney disease through prevention of obesity. People who are obese are at 83% increased risk of kidney disease.

My husband has kidney disease caused by congenital factors - nothing he could have controlled.  Only 9% of kidney patients have this condition.

Most of the rest of the patients on dialysis may have been able to prevent their condition from advancing to ESRD.  Kidney disease is preventable, but it is not curable.  

The message is - monitor your diet and get out and move!  Take a walk, hike, ride a bike, swim, participate in a sport you like, do yoga, but whatever you do - get out and move!

You don't want to end up here, where literally everything in our life revolves around dialysis and getting adequate care for my husband.

Especially since our government here in the U.S. is attempting to make all forms of health care out of reach of 98% of the population.

And besides, it really does feel good to be healthy and active and eat well.  It might be an adjustment, but you will be glad that you made it.

How much can watching your diet help?  My husband was told he would be on dialysis by age 22.  We went vegetarian and watched his diet closely - and he was not on dialysis until he was 50.  It can make that much of a difference even for someone whose kidney damage was permanent and irreversible.

Go forth and be well!  Take a walk for me today, okay?

You can learn more about risk factors, prevention, and also some advocacy things you can do to try and help to spread the availability of treatment for CKD and ESRD here and here.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Squeaky Wheel In The Dialysis Clinic

The staff at my husbands hemodialysis clinic heartily hate me.  It was made abundantly clear when one of the techs stood in the waiting room and yelled at me in front of half a dozen patients and caretakers - and every word out of his mouth was a lie.  My guess is he was simply having a pretty bad day, caused by their running very late that day, and he needed to vent on somebody.

However, the attitude of the hemodialysis clinic - and I am sure it is probably shared by most hemodialysis clinic - is that everything that goes wrong is the patient's fault, or their caretakers fault.  No matter what it is.

Mistakes have been made.  Their first reaction to any mistake they have made is to deny, lie, and try to put us on the defensive.  It's very mentally and emotionally manipulative.  They have made every possible effort to separate me from having any part of my husband's care.  This is because it is really easy to put a man who is passive, who is already slightly mentally confused, into an big, uncomfortable chair he cannot get out of, hook his arteries up to a machine, drag the tubes across his chest so he is pinned down, tell him not to move, lay him back in the chair so he is at knee height to everyone, then gather half a dozen nurses and techs around him to yell at him about how his wife is causing all of his problems and if he would just agree to anything they say and let them "do their job" then all would be well.

See?  Classic power abusive behavior.

Meanwhile, the wife (me, that is) would be happy if they simply would do their job.  Then I wouldn't have to call the ESRD network and complain "all the time".

In that last few weeks, however, his care and treatments have markedly improved.  Some of that is because the fistula was finally treated in December and is now working well.  Some of that is because his wife complains all the time.

The ESRD network called to follow up with us on our complaints the other day.  It seems that because we complained that he was not receiving his full prescribed treatment, there was a review of the records.  And guess what, he was not receiving his full prescribed treatment (I know).  The clinics excuse was that the schedule was for four hours in the chair - and they felt this superseded his doctors prescription for 4 hours and 15 minutes of treatment.  The ESRD network corrected this, and there are now new procedures in place in the clinic to make sure patients get their full prescribed treatment, whether it fits into the clinics schedule slot or not.  One thing that really irked me about this was the posters hanging all over the clinic saying "you must make sure you get all of your full treatments or you will feel bad and be in the hospital" and by golly, that's true. But if you want your full treatment, you not only need to show up, you need to check the settings on the machine, you need to stay in touch with your doctor, and you need to make damn sure they are actually giving you a full treatment!  But we complained to the ESRD network, and that has now been corrected.

The other major problem we were having was with his fistula not working properly.  Instead of informing the doctor, or sending us to have it checked out or corrected, we were told to go home after a very poor treatment and watch his fluids, and maybe next time it will work better.  As if a clot, stenosis, and thrombosis might magically clear up on their own.  Guess what, they got worse, and worse, and worse and his treatments were worse and worse and worse until he ended up in the hospital.  THEN and ONLY THEN did the fistula get examined and corrected and poof no more problems.  That could have been done weeks earlier and saved my husband a great deal of suffering. Life threatening suffering, given his heart condition.  You got it, I complained - and had in fact been complaining for weeks. The ESRD network now informs me that there are new procedures and policies in place that will require techs, nurses, and the clinic to inform a DOCTOR when the access is not working properly, and not allowing a full treatment so that the situation can be addressed before it reaches a critical, life threatening stage.

Yes, there have been petty retaliations - such as the ass chewing I got in front of God and everybody which was totally undeserved.  I was accused of "always bringing him late" when, in fact, we have in seven years of dialysis missed two appointments, and been late maybe twice. And what caused that? They moved our appointment up by thirty minutes - and because we are usually thirty minutes early - everyone thought someone else must have told us and no one told us.  So we thought we were still on time, on the day we were a few minutes late.  Only then were we informed our appointment time had been changed.  And even then - we had only been late once.  For an appointment time that was moved up thirty minutes without telling us.  Yes, we are normally thirty minutes early.

Because certain staff members clearly harbor ill will towards us, my husband does not allow certain people to do his treatments.  Only one of the RNs will even speak to me (she is new).  I no longer am allowed any contact with the nephrologist, nor are my questions and concerns passed to her. In fact, in general if I walk up to the desk or ring the bell of the door to the clinic, once they see who it is, they simply turn around and walk off - ignoring me. The ESRD Network has advised me to go to the State Health Department over the no contact with the doctor "rule", as it is ILLEGAL to refuse us access to our doctor.  But I really like his doctor, and I'm not sure who is creating this obstruction.  It is ridiculously cumbersome to have him write down questions for the few minutes he sees her in clinic every two weeks -if he isn't asleep or surrounded by techs and nurses stabbing him, get the answer, pass it to me, if I have additional questions, write them down, ask her in two weeks, get the answer, pass it to me...

Does sound a little bit like a conspiracy to separate the caretakers from the patient who is at a physical and mental disadvantage though, doesn't it? Oh, and the new excuse for why I cannot be in the back area to see the doctor is that I might overhear private medical information for another patient.  But it's okay for his doctor to discuss his condition with him, with techs, nurses, and a patient maybe three feet to either side of him.  Because that's really private, isn't it?

But - the reason I sat down to write and share this article is to express my gratitude that at least some of the truly life threatening problems were addressed.  Not only for my husband, but because there are now new procedures and policies in place, for patients with less active advocates as well.  Thank you to the ESRD network for addressing these issues, and to the clinic for answering them.  I want to share with other in clinic dialysis patients that you can get action on your problems with your clinic, and that it benefits all of us when you do.

Even if they do hate me now.  This isn't a popularity contest, this is a medical clinic and appropriate treatment should be the norm, not something done reluctantly when forced by a squeaky wheel.

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What I Am Reading Now

My discretionary budget for books is quite small these days.  I read a lot of freebies on the kindle, but there have been a few books of late that I actually pony up real dollars for.

I have read the entire Play to Live series by D. Rus and loved every single one of them 1-7.  Those familiar to anime are no doubt well aware of the genre devoted to being transported to the world of your favorite mmorpg game.  This is the first book series that I have run onto that is of the same genre.  Overall, I would call it a near future science fiction based on the concept that players who play a role playing game available in total immersion modules become drawn entirely into that world.  Anyone who has played a good role playing game knows that you don't need total immersion to be drawn in to the point of sometimes feeling like the game world is more real and important to you than the real world.  In D. Rus' world that becomes a reality. Players consciousnesses are moved entirely to the game server, while their bodies lapse into a coma and eventually die.  Once the phenomenon becomes known there are laws enacted to prevent it from happening, but of course, laws can be circumvented by a clever hacker or a black market chip.  People facing problems with the law, others with a looming death from disease, and soldiers disabled in the wars are drawn to the idea of living a full life in the game world. In anime, most of the attention from then on focuses on events in the game world - but D. Rus does a masterful job of real science fiction in extrapolating the reaction of the real world to this phenomena.  Criminals flee. Other people, inconvenient to their governments, are forced to digitize, and then enslaved. Slave trade in the game world begins to flourish. America - well, we start trying to figure out how to put gold in Fort Knox by somehow transporting it out of the game world.  D. Rus is Russian, and it is quite interesting as an American to see how the world view both differs, and agrees with my own. The books are well translated, so that there are only rare occasions of "huh?" where an idiom is used or a historical event referenced that is not common knowledge to those not in Russia.  For the most part these are very small, or explained in notes - which are easy to access with the Kindle. The game follows one particular player, Max, from his purposeful immersion and digitization through his in game career, and the real life consequences.  I don't want to spoil it by giving out too many details, but this series is not just for gamers - it is for anyone who loves near future science fiction and playing with ideas. I was really sorry to read the last of them, and will most likely reach for D. Rus' other series in the near future.

In something completely different, I was also reading the Tubby Dubonnet series by Tony Dunbar.  This series follows a lawyer in New Orleans, and his motley crew of friends and family through a series of mysteries and murders set against the backdrop of the Big Easy.  From Mardi Gras to government corruption, conspiracies and Katrina, Tubby is so thoroughly human you feel like you know him.  You will love his friends, and hate the bad guys and be satisfied when they get their comuppance.  A little bit noir, a little bizarre, these books actually remind me a bit of Joeseph Wambaugh's work where cops were only human, and criminals were too - only they were a bit more prone to bad decision making. I was sad to read the last of these this month and hope there are more to come.

Some months ago I decided I was not going to take free books to review any more - because I really have a hard time with saying "Wow, I hated this" to another author.  If I do dislike something, I always like to chalk it up to personal taste.  But when I can't even think of anything at all nice enough to say to put in a review - well, I feel bad.  If you have ever read my reviews on Amazon, you know I very rarely post a negative review.  I had a run of books offered to me that I did not care for, and I simply did not want to continue.  I never set out to be a reviewer.  When I read something I really like, then yeah, I like to share that book with others who might like it and I post a review.  Kind of like I am doing right here.  

But I relented last month and accepted two books to review.  I'm really glad I did because one of them - Dead Lemons by Finn Bell was in my humble opinion, an excellent read!  I reviewed it here on Amazon but I am not done raving about it yet.  Hurt people, damaged people, are great protagonists but so many authors fall into the trap of feeling sorry for their character, and letting their character feel sorry for themselves.  As someone who has had a bit of an unfortunate start in life, and has more than once got up and dusted her pants off and got back on the horse - I have a limited amount of patience and sympathy for someone who whines, whines, whines for page after page.  I want to slap them.  In Dead Lemons the protagonist tells you, don't feel sorry for me.  I fucked up.  I know it.  I screwed my life up and now I'm paralyzed and in a wheelchair and learning to cope with it.  Yay!  With the help of some very good people, and through falling into involvement with some very bad people, the protagonist - also coincidentally named Finn Bell - makes peace with himself and creates a new life with purpose. Mr. Bell is in New Zealand, and skillfully weaves the character and history of New Zealand into the story, giving an additional layer of intrigue.  I am looking forward to reading every word that flows from this talented pen in the future!

Non-fiction is one of my loves and I have a never ending pile of them in my wish list that I try to buy one at a time each month.  Last month I acquired Kirsten Lamb's Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World.  I've read it cover to cover (so to speak - its on my Kindle), bookmarked, highlighted, and read it again.  Followed her on every social media and joined the WANA writers group. If you are a writer NOW and plan on a career in the future, I highly recommend you read this book.  Of the many books on writing, self publishing and promotions I have read in the last year or ten, this is one of the best.  Get it!

Right now, I am picking at POWER-Surviving and Thriving after Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi.  I have to say picking at it, because I can only read one essay at a time, wait a few days to a week, and read the next.  She is spot on so far for the events of my first marriage, and although the relationship was different, the manipulations used by my mother as well.  So I read a little and have to put it down and have nightmares and daymares for a few days while my mind goes - yes, Yes, YES and absorbs yet again the concept that there are other victims out there, I was not unique and alone, and there are people who know what happened, who would believe me if I told them.  That what happened to me was wrong, and was abuse even if I don't have broken bones for it.  A broken mind and spirit can be at least as hard if not harder to heal.  I'm working on it.  It is a never ending work in progress.

The local Goodwill store had a book sale and I toddled out under a stack of Dean Koontz books - but you know I am a Dean Koontz fan and these paperbacks no doubt have hundreds of reviews up at Amazon, so I see no need to say much more than that.  Same for the Marcia Mueller books I have already finished and released.  

I did a search for some free kindle books under 'turtle' thinking that my next Odon Ata book might feature a turtle.  In a roundabout way what I ended up doing was reading several books by Albert Bigelow Paine called the Hollow Tree Stories.  They are a bit like the book Wind in the Willows with anthropomorphic animals telling their stories and sharing friendship.  They are gentle and lovely and I like them very much.  They give me the kind of feel I hope to capture in the Mr. Odon Ata series.  These books are in the public domain, so keep searching until you find the free version!

While looking for more children's books that might be similar to the type of work I want to do I ran on to, purchased, and read The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick.  There are children and animals, but The Secret Zoo is more of a rollicking, non-stop adventure that I read all in one gulp.  In my brain I see it making a terrific movie, sort of like Night In The Museum - only it's in the zoo.  There's a little element of Through the Looking Glass,too as the kids find their way into a very different world that is connected to our own.  It was a lot of fun, but Mr. Odon Ata is a much quieter sort of experience so I don't know that we would share an audience.  

I hope you enjoyed my little list and reviews of what I'm reading now.  With luck I've introduced you to a new author or series you will enjoy, or maybe pointed you in the direction of a good non-fiction that will help you out with something. I have linked most of them to their page on Amazon, but that is for your convenience.  I am not an affiliate.   

Blessedbe

Summer Foovay