Monthly Archives: September 2015

Fall allergies

We had a very windy couple of days a little over a week ago and that was all it took to trigger my worst fall in years. I am coughing and wheezing, sneezing and nose-blowing as if I have the worst cold in the world, and it is so clearly allergies that I want to scream. The main culprit at this point is ragweed, but the beginning of the mold season is upon us here in the north as the leaves begin to turn and the gardens are getting turned. With all the vaunted excellence of modern medical research, why hasn’t anyone come up with a cure for allergies????

And I’m not alone. I run into others at the tissue displays in the drug stores and groceries. We compare notes on which does the least damage.One thing most of us are settled on is “No lotion!” There is nothing worse than getting a rash on top of a reddened nose from tissue overuse. When I’m allergic at this level, even normally benign irritants become major insults to my well-being.

The most annoying thing about being allergic is that my creativity node is clearly as clogged as the rest of my head. The only idea I could come up with on a night I tried to write involved an angry lawn gnome on top of a pile of garbage. Trust me, it goes downhill from there.

Kindle has Ascension of Peary!

It is September 18 and Ascension of Peary is live in the kindle store! I hope all my friends and fans will give it a try and tell their young relatives and neighbors about this cool new story. Who wouldn’t want to read a coming-of-age tale in a world with some magic, intrigue, witches and wizards, demons, and a 17-year-old or two running around making the world safe?

There are battles, murders, chase scenes, gypsies, conspiracies, and more magic than you can shake a stick at. Nonstop action abounds as Peary finds her way through a maze of interlocking incidents to reach the emperor. And then the fun really begins! Don’t wait! Rush to Amazon and acquire your very own copy!

And remember, my first young fan says this book is “AWESOME!”

Ascension of Peary revisited

It occurs to me that I haven’t really categorized Ascension of Peary or who it is aimed at in any way for my readers. I call it a mid-grade/YA hybrid, since it is aimed at those between 6th and 12th grades, and I know the latter are targeted by YA these days. It is a fantasy, a coming-of-age story, with epic dimensions since it involves a conspiracy against the emperor of a vast empire. The tools of war tend to be swords and magic, with the latter usually prevailing. Since the heroine is a 17-year-old girl and her skill is magical, that certainly colors the nature of the battles.

There are witches and wizards, demons and scholars, lords and ladies, and everyday people, something for everyone. My younger beta readers (at the lower end of the age group) are very excited about it and one reports that it is “Awesome!” If you know of any younger folk in the age groups mentioned who love fantasy, I sincerely hope that you will offer this book to them. I even know some adults who like it!

Big Papi––Newest member of the 500 HR club!

I haven’t written much about my Red Sox lately, but today is a RED LETTER DAY!!!! Big Papi, one of the greatest hitters of all time, has hit his 500th home run and is one of only 27 players in the history of baseball in America to reach that august level. It is a wonderful feat, and I am giddy with it.

After my moaning earlier in the summer, it is wonderful that this has occurred, and in fact the Red Sox have been playing giant-killers lately. As all of the teams still in contention come through Fenway Park, the Red Sox have played the spoiler role, beating up on teams that need a win, scoring at will. all of the things we expected earlier in the summer. They have been a delight to watch without the stress of being in contention.

So I write this post to have a record of my seeing of this great feat, in this strangest of all seasons, and as fall begins to hint at descending on us in the great green (for now) north.

The paperback is now available but the ebook must wait another week!

Go figure. The paperback is now available but the ebook was placed on presale and I am bound by that date, 9/18. I am talking, of course, about Ascension of Peary. All of this indie publishing is new to me, and it seems to have taken on an aura of unreality. I wanted the books to be available on the same day, but amazon waits for no man or woman. It cautioned me to upload the manuscript to CreateSpace a full ten days before the requested date for publication. I did so, and the only problem was the one logo in the book, the publisher’s imprint. It was, I was told solemnly, less than 200 dpi. No assurances could be made that it would print properly. I was advised to upload a more dense image. Bullpucky. The image was more than 300 dpi, their standard, and the fact that they claimed it was less than 200 dpi probably had something to do with the fact that the logo is the outline of letters. Here:logo on transparentIt is a transparency and a .png file, which apparently causes them fits.  But as you can see, it’s plenty dense.

Then I had to wait for the proof. And wait. I ordered it 2-day on a Friday night, and they told me it was shipped on Saturday, 2-day, as I had requested it. Sunday and Monday didn’t count because of the holiday. The way I figure it, I should have had it Wednesday, but I got it Thursday late. I reviewed it three times as they advised, and approved it very late Thursday night or very early this morning. They assured me it would take them 3-5 business days to build the page for the book.

So how did it go live in less than two hours? A friend tells me she has ordered it in England, but of course that doesn’t show up on my dashboard yet. I feel as if I’m in a terrible limbo, and I’ve read nothing about this from other writers. Or else I’ve ignored it. I’m sure I’ll find some site where all this is explained in precise detail; why couldn’t I find it anywhere before?

Murphy’s Law is in full force and effect. I will wallow in uncertainty and then misery as the book doesn’t sell. Such is life. Then I will sit down and write the bejeezus out of the two books currently on my plate. I have no idea which will inspire me the most, but something will happen, I will write again, and try this silly process again until I get it right.

Ascension of Peary

My first book, Ascension of Peary, has been up loaded to KDP and is available here for pre-sale. The actual date of availability is September 18. CreateSpace and I are working on getting the paperback ready, and I expect to get my proof in the next few days. Once I tell them it’s all hunky-dory, they will push buttons, and fire up their gizmo, and start preparing the book, I have asked them to make it available on September 18 also, but your guess is as good as mine whether it will be available before that date or not. It will in all likelihood be available on that date, since I doubt they will screw up the proof at all.

I am still writing. I actually have a few in progress right now. The two most likely contenders for next book are: Fantastical Trips, which I had as my cover page for the first year of this blog, and nearly threw away in disgust this past June; and a prequel to Ascension of Peary which occurs some thirty five years before that book in an entirely different part of the empire. I haven’t named the second book yet, or rather it has two names, neither of which is suitable for the book as it is developing.

Fantastical Trips is being completely rewritten, which is a good thing. It bore too many of the hallmarks of a first novel, weak characterization, sloppy story-telling, amateur writing, and unappealing dialogue. Having made it through the process with Ascension of Peary, I have learned a lot more about the craft and the inadvisability to try only editing as a cure for Fantastical Trips’ numerous ailments. Only a fresh start seems to offer what this manuscript needs. I’m only ten thousand words into it, but the characters are already more lively and interesting than they ever were in the prior iteration. Rather than rushing into the primary conflict in the story, and rushing to its conclusion, I am taking the time to develop the world and its inhabitants through action and dialogue. No guaranties, but it already reads more smoothly, and is more entertaining. Whether that’s enough remains to be seen.

The prequel to Ascension does not involve any of the characters from Ascension unless there is a brief appearance of the third emperor’s son at some point in the latter reaches of this tale. That remains a possibility. Instead, I’m giving the origin story of some individuals who will show up in the sequel to Ascension, so that they don’t appear suddenly out of whole cloth when I write the sequel.

So in some sense, I have three books in progress, with the two sequels already planned and partially written for Fantastical Trips also waiting in the background. This ignores the steampunk murder mystery I have partially written and almost completely figured out which will see the light of day someday. I expect to be busy, which means I will likely not be blogging quite so much.  But, dear readers, I will do my best to keep you apprised of my works in process as they come to the fore.

I hope you read Ascension of Peary. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on it and whether you want more. Advice will be gratefully accepted as each volume comes to its own publication date. I honestly don’t care whether you buy or borrow the book or books, but I hope you find them entertaining enough that you want to have your own copy. I also hope you will recognize the target audiences for my work, generally between twelve and eighteen, and will offer it to those you know in that age group. I should add that a precocious nine year old boy has been reading some of The Ascension of Peary and has been delighted by it. He is always asking for more, and he will shortly have his own copy.