A New Series in the Making

Yes.  That’s right.  I’m writing a new fiction series.

No.  I’m not going to tell you much about it, yet.  It will be a surprise.

But I will share this: It features a female protagonist.  It’s set in today’s rural West (as in U.S. West), but, unlike Through Better & Worse and To Have & To Hold, it’s NOT a Western Family Saga, and it’s certainly not Modern Western Romance.  It’s got absolutely no profanity and no sex.  It’s got no ‘gruel’ — no gratuitous cruelty, gore, and/or barbarism.

Will you like it?  I think a lot of people will, yes.

Why am I writing it?  Because I need something in my catalog that will appeal to a broader audience than my more literary efforts.

I write good books.  But, unfortunately, what I’ve published doesn’t fit neatly into a genre.  This series will, though.  This series will fit right into one major fiction genre that people love.

More later.

Mystery Cover

 

Blog Gone Live, Again.

So, in 2019, I eradicated (as in completely removed) my blog.  You see, it wasn’t good enough to just stick it in a corner where, supposedly, nobody would find it, even completely locked down.  In fact, even setting up severe restrictions on access still threw issues because, honestly, even GoogleBot doesn’t respect ‘no admittance’ lockdowns unless you actually set things behind an .htaccess prohibition.  And doing that makes some bots just keep bumping against the door.  So, I destroyed it all in one fell swoop–SHIFT-DELETE–off the server …but not before saving years worth of posts, pages, images, etc.  I’ve reinstalled the posts and the images–the public ones, not the private ones.  And, now, there will never be anything in draft form because, guess what?, Google indexes those sitting in draft, as well, posting them to their search engine for the world to see.  Didn’t know that?  Neither did I.  It’s because Google and all the other bots actually eat of anything in a database …which is where a CMS (that’s Content Management System, for those curious) stores everything.

But Now I’m Ba-ack!

And so are all those historic posts of mine.

Shudder at will, my friends.  The self-applied muzzle is off.

Of course, it’s been replaced by an N99 anti-covid mask, but, well, that’s just thanks to a certain little virus that won’t go away and leave us alone.

Anyway, I hope you are all looking forward to me and mine, mine being my sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes touching, sometimes irascible, sometimes downright obnoxious commentaries on life, living, and the state of being.

Coming to you from the North Country.

From out my office window.

Posted after Removing My Blog in 2019

I used to blog extensively. I don’t any more as you can tell by the fact that I closed my blog and put up this flat-file page instead. And, as you can tell by the dates of this flat file ‘blog’, I’ve not got a whole lot to say—at least nothing that is ‘safe’ to say. In truth, since Mom died, I’ve not had much inclination. Death has a way of damping the spirit, especially for a person who doesn’t ‘believe’ in death. I’ve tried, but communicating just doesn’t seem worth the effort, anymore, especially when everybody seems to take exception to any and everything anyone, especially me, says that they think might be offensive to them if they twist the interpretation pretzel-wise, warranted or not.

If I stick to just the facts, Ma’m, things become dry and boring. If I color them up a bit with my dry, sometimes caustic humor, somebody somewhere will take exception. If I go into down-home country talk, that offends one side, and if I go into PhD speak, that offends the other. What’s a gal… er … a person to do? Go about their business and don’t say anything at all, that’s what. Do go vote, though. And vote your conscience, not what others tell you you should think and do. THINK FOR YOURSELF and, remember, everybody out there pushing their perspective more than likely has a selfish agenda that does NOT have your best interests at heart. Follow the money and vote against that highly well-financed clamoring tide.

June 8, 2019

June 8, 2019

So, because I’m back to being the household breadwinner, now, I’ve reopened my graphic art business. So if you need some graphic art work done, I am available again. You can find my business website here: https://www.zentao.com/graphic-art/.

In other news, one of our cats — not old, either — just up and dropped dead. It was the strangest thing and it left me in shock for days. I had just given him a couple of strokes and gotten coffee, went back upstairs to my office, and there was this horrible yowl. I bolted back downstairs, and there he was outstretched in the middle of the great room floor, yowling horribly and just laid out. He expired as I knelt over him, stroking him. Thankfully, it was quick, and Kathy, the vet, says it was probably a heart attack or an annurism. I miss him (Toes, our long-haired polydactyl cat).

Why I Write.

…Because I have to.  It’s a compulsion.  And, no, I’m not an obsessive-compulsive personality.  I am driven, yes.  I am passionate.  I am labelled a ‘high achiever’, though, when measured against the achievements others I know and what they accomplish in the same amount of time, I’m a slacker by comparison.

Someone asked me what genres I actually prefer to write.  I had to think about that, because, I love all the stories I write.  I love the characters, I love their stories.  But, when push comes to shove, when it comes to ‘genre’, I love writing science fiction.  As usual, though, I don’t write formula.  The aliens aren’t the bad guys.  Humans aren’t the heros.  There aren’t any bad guys and good guys, no good against evil.  Because that’s not really how reality works.  It’s all about perspectives.

A Gathering of Rebels, a story so big it took 2 books to tell it.

Changes at Amazon Important to Indie Authors

I predicted it last year. (I shared those predictions with another author who’s a close pal …and with my webmasters’ group. Only.)

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It’s happened …when I predicted it would. (Yes, math still works.)

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What does it mean?

It means that indie authors now really have to treat their vocations as a business or get out of the game. It means calculating in overhead, operating expenses, and COGS. It means pricing their books competitively, not giving them away, nor discounting them, except for planned promotional deals that run days, not weeks, months, or years. It means less ability for indie authors (or the trad published, either) to game the system with cooperative ventures. It means a lot more than that, but it’s not prudent for me to publicly share the rest of what I know, calculated, and project …except, of course, with my inner circle.

Chicken Little is Hollering, and Its Name is NOAA

NOAA keeps posting “Hazardous Weather Outlooks” amd “Winter Weather Advisories” for us here in North Idaho.  Ummm.  Okay.  I keep prepping for what that historically means:

  • four foot dumps of snow with rain immediately after which then collapses standard roofs;
  • wind-driven snow that forms six-foot drifts, visibility zero, wind-chill down to -26°F;
  • ice storms that put an inch-thick coating of frozen ‘slick’ on everything, tearing down power lines and trees….

What are we getting?  Yawn.  Not even something to sneeze at.

I notice the same trend for less obscure places than Idaho, places like Cleveland, OH, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and the Beltway.

“The sky is falling, the sky is falling, we’re going to get a [normal] winter weather event.  Driving will be reduced to IMPOSSIBLE!”

Roll my eyes.  Ah, it’s winter, folks.  Snow, ice, and slick driving conditions are the norm, not something to squawk like a chicken being chased by the neighbor’s dog.

New York gets two inches of white stuff, and, suddenly, it’s grid-lock and accidents galore resulting in highway shutdowns, all of which brings commuter accusations that the highway departments didn’t do their jobs laying down ‘salt’ (magnesium chloride in a lot of cases, which, in case you didn’t know it, is hazardous to living things and to vehicles, all).

Umm, slow down, obey the laws of physics, and don’t be a jackass?

But, no.  Instead, we’ve got the weather people warning of coming disaster when there’s no impending disaster, at all:

  • We’re not going to lose power for eight days mid-winter;
  • we’re not going to be digging out from under an avalanche of white stuff;
  • we’re not going to have to chain up the 4-wheel drive in order to negotiate the county road and highway;
  • our roofs are will not be in danger of collapse;
  • and going outside doesn’t mean a high potential for seared lungs, frozen faces, and frostbitten toes and fingers by sub-zero temperatures coupled with strong, bitter winds.

It’s Chicken Little hollering, is all.

And why? I think it must be because thoroughly modern Millies and Sillies and Willies and Weanies all think they should be able to drive down the road hell bent for their destinations at over posted speed limits like they do when it’s sunny and dry.  (Dumb.)

NOAA, don’t predict what’s actually mild to normal weather as a red alert.  Don’t play to the thoroughly modern Millies and Sillies and Willies and Weanies.  Normal people want to know when real hazards are imminent.  Don’t play to the stupids.  Let them win The Darwin Awards.

I Was Naughty Today …and Nice (I Guess) :D

So I have this friend, and this friend’s website, which I threw together under emergency, “has-to-be-live-now” conditions, custom coding it in, quite literally, hours a few years back, NEEDS to be upgraded. …Because it’s going to fail soon. But this friend is very particular, so it’s very hard to get a semi-solid “this is what I envision” from them. I had a couple of “Dawn” ideas, but nothing I “knew” would gather any sort of approval. So I pulled a “sneaky” based on a mere passing mention that was made of another friend’s site, something I knew was built on bad coding, but that I knew I could hand-code myself if need be.

Now here comes the “sneaky/naughty” part:

First I displayed a site laid out much as the one already in place. After a couple of hours of working through this friend’s critique of it on the phone, I switched to a rough I’d coded on another design scheme, and, as I anticipated, this was definitive “no”. So then I pulled up a raw, stripped version of something I thought might be kinda sorta cool–good for cross compatibility (responsive-to-all-devices/mobile-first) yet allowed for a really professional presence that didn’t get ‘old’ to the eye or the brain. And it worked. This one is a go. …At least so far. We’ll see how this all works out after I get done custom coding it all out, then dressing it with content.  My fingers and toes are all crossed.  This is supposed to be a Christmas present for them to be launched with the advent of the new year. Wish me luck.

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for Readers on Your List.

Looking for that perfect last minute Christmas gift for the readers on your list? …Something that costs under $10 and will delight them?

Here are a few suggestions:

For the who-dun-it fans on your list, here’s a top-rated, realistic series that features a uniquely perceptive lady detective.  Written by crime beat journalist Laura Belgrave, the entire 3 book series will cost you under 10 bucks.


Buy this 3 book series for only $7.98

 

For those on your list who love thrillers, lots of tension, steamy sex….  Michael Allan Scott’s Lance Underphal series is the ticket.  Dark, different, intense.


Buy this 3 book series now for only $5.98

 

And for that animal lover who likes moving stories with feel-good endings?  Meet Warren Jeffries, DVM, and his co-stars, furred, feathered, and human.


Buy Old Hickory Lane for only $5.99

 

Great novels by talented, accomplished authors, all under $10, and all available at Amazon.

Merry Christmas

from Laura, Michael, and E. J.
(…Oh, and from Dawn, too.)