Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It's Almost Here!

Another month and Wish Hits the Fan will be available for everyone to read.  :muppetflail:

Until then, all I can give you is the cover...

And the blurb...

You’d think being a genie would be easy-peasy.  But when you’re Jo Mayweather, ain’t nothing so simple.  Sure, she defeated the Efreet at the big warehouse blowup, but those bastards left a surprise for her amongst the cages.  Now she’s got to figure out why the hell the Efreet would be messing with creating a deadly species, who they’re afraid of, and why the gods themselves are running.  With the deities on a break, it’s up to Jo to gather the genies and save the world.  But who’s going to save her? 

And a snippet from the beginning...

What in the name of Uncle Hank is it now?
I gazed around the dilapidated warehouse as if seeing it for the first time.  Cages hung from chains all around the open expanse.  They had been filled with genies for the most part.  Others held vampires and lycanthropes and members of a myriad of species across the supernatural realm.  Almost all of them were empty now, their prisoners set free by myself and my merry band of djinn allies.  The final few left occupied housed Efreet—sort of the anti-us, if you will—awaiting whatever punishment they deserved for being the heinous bastards they were. 
“Come on, Jo.”
Jo.  That was me.  Josephine Eugenia Mayweather to be more precise.  I guess I was kind of shell-shocked, waiting for the fact I was needed elsewhere to sink in.  Not much more than an hour had passed since my friends had kicked Efreet ass in this shitty New York City warehouse. And while they were at it, I got to battle my own father in a melodramatic kind of freakish family reunion.  My compatriots had won.  I’d won. 
It was over.
Over?  I’d have to allow myself a good chuckle later.  It wouldn’t be over until I was taking the big dirt nap.  And being a djinn meant few things were able to put me six feet under.

As you see, it picks up where Up Wish Creek left off.  Of course, if you haven't read Up Wish Creek, maybe you don't see.  But you can rectify that in plenty of time before September 15th, so have at it. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Crutch Words... The Invasion

Hi All.  I know I've talked about crutch words before.  Well, here we go again.  With data.

This is the list of crutch words I've compiled for my own work.  The numbers are how many I had when I started weeding / how many I had left.  I skipped the * ones (unless JC says something on the next pass about them - like they're really irritating).

that 572/162
like 314/110
said 283/132
think 132/44
thought 156/48
though 39*
knew 92/38
know 233/82
wonder 31*
still 110/29
took 32/12
now 48*
realize 29/11
which 103/47
tilted head 15/6
shook head 50/25
by the time 5/4
shrug 15/10
felt 44/18
look 139/29

These are the ones I have to do today so I can get this out to JC:
really 88
seem 42
just 75
even 138

I compiled this from words my editor has pointed out over the course of several books and ones I've noticed on my own. She points them out or I notice them, they go on the list.

It's taken working over the course of 4 days to weed these out of a 63K manuscript.  Of course, by weeding, I mean deleting, rewording, replacing, etc..  And I didn't eradicate the entirety of any word because that would just be weird.

As always, I hope I've made this better.  JC will let me know if I screwed anything up on her next pass.  :fingers crossed:

As a reader, what words really stand out and irritate you after you've seen them over and over?

Last bit, I might be sending out ARCs of this to select people.  If you're interested, let me know in the comments. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Stylistic Choices

If you've read my books, you might notice a few things I do that aren't exactly kosher grammatically.  These are, for the most part, stylistic choices I've made.

I don't capitalize the word god unless it's in dialogue and the person saying the word means the Christian GOD.  Likewise, I don't capitalize the word titan - even though it seems other people do.  If the gods don't get to be proper nouns, neither do the titans. 

I capitalize Efreet.  That was a choice I made a couple years ago.  Not exactly sure what I was thinking at the time, but it was there in Wish in One Hand and so it has to be like that for the rest of the books to maintain continuity.

I don't capitalize djinn or genies or brethren.  Much the same way we don't capitalize man, human, or people.  But I do capitalize it when I refer to them as the Many.  It's more how some of the genies think of their race than anything.  Which is probably why I capitalize Efreet.

I don't use the word 'whom'.  A fact which my editor will attest to and one which she ribs me about on occasion.  I don't use it in speech, and my writing style is more conversational then formal, so I don't use it.  And I won't unless a character speaks that way. 

Sometimes, in the djinn books, I slip into present tense.  I do it on purpose.  Jo's telling these stories to you through me, so when she says stuff like "I know better than to keep my eyes open during a teleport" it's because, for her, it still happens.  

Since my style is conversational, you'll find me writing things the way I would say them or the way I would imagine a character would say them.  And if it's dialogue, all bets are off.  People say things in the weirdest ways sometimes.  'I could care less' comes to mind.  Yeah, 'I couldn't care less' is the proper way to say it.  I say it the other way.  In dialogue, I use whichever way the character would say it.

Oh, I also make mistakes.  My editor catches those and I fix them.  Occasionally, I miss one or two.  Otherwise, those things you might think of as mistakes were put there or left there intentionally.  I still want my editor to keep pointing them out, though.  I can't expect her to know a mistake from a not-mistake.  She's not a mind-reader for petesakes.

Anyway, I hopes that helps readers get to know me and my books better.  Style happens and sometimes you just have to roll with it.  ;o)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Reading Articles on How to Sell Books... or Not.

I just saw a link to another one of those articles 'how to make money self-publishing books' or something.  Supposedly it was advice from 3 authors who are supporting their families on their book sales income. 

I didn't click it.

The last time I read one of those articles, the advice was comprised of things I've already done, things I can't afford, and things I already knew about but am not willing to do.

I'm not talking about unethical things.  Just things like writing to spec (where you write what someone else tells you to write), joining organizations, going to conferences, etc.  Luckily, I've never seen one where the people are advocating unethical things.  I'd totally block anyone who linked to that kind of article.

Anyway, I'm sure there are things I could do to sell more books.  I'm on the 'write more books' plan.  I'm also on the plan where I recognize my books are not for everyone.  (Which is rationalizing, I think, but I'm okay with that.) 

Back when I first published Dying Embers, I did a lot more stuff.  I got active on a couple forums.  I paid for more advertising.  I pimped my book to anyone who would listen and they were all excited for me because it was my first book.  Now?

I stopped going to the forums because the more I got to know the people on them, the less I liked being on them.  Too much in-fighting and snottiness.  It got harder and harder to talk to the people I wanted to reach without getting caught up.  Bleh.

I stopped advertising so much because I don't have the money.

And I stopped pimping my book in public because I noticed somewhere around the 3rd book that the people I was chatting the books up with weren't so excited anymore.  "Oh, you published another book?  :yawn:" or "I haven't had time to read the last two books you published." 

I've heard that having books in a series sells more books.  Umm, yeah.  That hasn't worked for me.  We'll see what publishing the final book in the Once Upon a Djinn series does for sales of all of them.  Fingers crossed and all that. 

I heard that having a newsletter helps.  Umm, about that.  I have like 13 subscribers.  I haven't put out a new newsletter since last year, and no one seems to have noticed.  Probably because everything in a newsletter is also on my blogs and my FB page.  I'll put one out next month to announce the publication of Wish Hits the Fan

I've had giveaways because those are supposed to increase sales.  Nope.  They're also supposed to garner reviews, but out of all the books I've given away to strangers, I got one review.  (I'm not counting friends or regular blog visitors who've won my books.  You guys rock.)

It occurs to me this far through writing this post that it may sound like I'm whining.  I'm not.  I'm just explaining things.  Writing them out so I get the big picture and so anyone new to the biz gets the big picture from my perspective.  Your mileage my vary, of course.  Obviously, since other people are selling books. 

I'm also not depressed about it.  It is what it is.  

And yes, I know other people are in a worse boat than I am.  It's all relative.  This is my journey. 

Today, my journey will have to be about editing and writing.  I gave myself a rather tight deadline on turning WHTF around to JC.  And I still need to finish SU.  And right now the weather is gorgeous so I'm fighting the urge to go fishing. 

What are you up to today?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Pink Sticky Notes

I have sticky notes all over my desk right now.  Each one has a little piece of plot or something I need to remember to weave into the story on it. 

'When's Josh's funeral? Jeni needs to be there' is one of them.  Another says 'Rose shows up @ Gus' house early the next morning'.

The others have spoilers, or I'd share them, too.

Their pinkness isn't a thing.  Or rather it's an unintentional thing.  Pink just happened to be the color I grabbed when I went into the sticky-note receptacle.  It fits, though.  I think Jeni would appreciate the pink. 

I write the stickies when I get a flash of insight - during the day, when I'm trying to sleep, in the middle of the night... Whenever I think of something I want to do but I'm not in a position to actually do it. 

I usually toss them once I've put the idea into the book.  This last one will probably sit here until the end because it's basically the end of the book, jotted out in tiny writing on a little pink square. The others?  I haven't tossed them yet because I'm lazy.

Maybe it's my subconscious wanting to be surrounded by good ideas and proof I'm working again.  ;o)

Anyway, sometime today I have to decide if I'm going to set Sleeping Ugly aside to focus on the edits for Wish Hits the Fan or whether I'm going to do the edits during the day and write new words at night.  I've done it before, but I'm not as crazy as I used to be.  I'm so close to the end of SU I might just go for it.  Final climax and denouement.  How long those will take?  You got me.  Another 10K maybe?  We'll see. 

This is an ugly little draft right now.  Just thinking about editing it makes me want to hide. 

Anyway, time to take my coffee and my sticky notes and create worlds.  Have an awesome day everyone.

And tell me.... Do you use sticky notes?  I'm so glad Romy invented them. 

Bonus points if you got that last silly bit there. 

And yes, I know some dudes at 3M actually invented them.

Friday, July 28, 2017

A Little Update

Not much to talk about today other than to tease you with things I can't share yet.

1)  I got the preview of the cover for Wish Hits the Fan last night.  It's just what I was envisioning.  It's gorgeous.  But I can't share it yet because it isn't complete.  I gave her the go-ahead and she'll finish it and I'll show it to you then.

2)  Sleeping Ugly is moving right along.  I'm up to almost 42K now and moving into the big reveals as far as the mystery aspects of it go.  It's pretty rough and definitely a dirty draft.  If time and finances work out, I hope to have this in your hands by the end of the year.  I also hope to have this first draft finished by the end of the month, but I don't know if that's gonna happen or its just a pipe dream.  This story ended up to be way more involved than I thought it would.  I'll do the best I can do, but I'm getting the edits back for WHTF on the 31st, so that takes precedence. 

Other than that, there's nothing new.  Staying focused on Sleeping Ugly

Any questions?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Monster in My Head

There's a monster that lives in my brain.  At night, after a long but productive day, it comes out and whispers evil things to me.  It tells me that I suck.  It tells me that no one will ever want to read what I've written.  It hints that everything I write has been written before.  That I'm unoriginal.  That I'm a hack.  Sell-out.  Loser.

The monster's been pretty dormant lately, but last night it crawled out and had a party in my skull.  All the vile, nasty, cruel things it could've said, it did.  And it didn't just stick to writing.  It preyed on every aspect of my life where I fear I might not have been good enough. 

In hindsight it was quite interesting from a psychological perspective.  Last night, it was just a pain in the ass. 

I tried denying the things it said.  I tried rational arguments.  I tried shouting all the things I know are true over the top of its lies.  None of that worked.  In the end, I just let it play itself out and it must've eventually run out of things to say because at some point I fell asleep. 

This morning, there are no lasting side effects except I didn't get enough sleep.  Bring on the coffee.

Before the monster woke up, I figured out the next scene in Sleeping Ugly and came in here to write it down.  Looking at the chicken scratch on a sticky-note now, the idea still works, so that's a win.  It's all a win if I don't take anything the monster says to heart. 

The monster is there.  It will always be there.  Over the years, I've learned I can't kill it.  I can only accept that it exists, ignore it, and forge ahead.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Scammers and Thieves

I know, I already talked about this on Monday, but since then, another issue has come to my attention.  Several friends* discovered that their books had been stolen in their entirety and listed as being published by a scam publisher - under their name with their copyrighted cover art and everything, but with none of the monies coming to the author.  As far as I know it's only on iBooks, and Apple is being cooperative, but the loss for some authors is totaling in the thousands.

These shitheads take the books, list them for a dollar less than the authors are selling them anywhere else, and rake in the bucks. 

Short answer: If you see a book for free or for cheaper than it ought to be - even on a reputable website - check to make sure you're getting a legal and legitimate copy.  Otherwise, it's stealing.  All of my books say Sold by Amazon, with no actual publisher data, except for paperbacks which list Createspace.  I am the publisher, so if you see anything otherwise, it's a scam and I'm not getting a penny.  Hell, I only sell through Amazon right now, so if you see my books listed ANYWHERE else, it's a scam.  They're thieves and they're part of the reason I have to scrape and scrounge to publish books. 

Having said that, though, not all writers publish exclusively to Amazon, so keep your wits about you when you're shopping.  Cheaper may seem like better, but it's not.  It's screwing your favorite authors and putting money in some heinous asshole's pocket instead.

Better more powerful people than me are on this one, but as soon as they nix one, another crops up.  Like publishing books wasn't hard enough.  Sheesh.

And if you're a writer facing all this bullshit, keep your head up.  Fight the good fight when you can and cover your ass when you can't.  :hugs:

*As far as I can tell, none of my books are listed on iBooks.  Yet.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Introducing Jeni Braxxon

Hey All! 

On a whim this morning, I'm going to introduce you to my current heroine - Jeni Braxxon.  She stars in Sleeping Ugly, a paranormal mystery of sorts. 

Now, I'm still peeling back Jeni's layers, so some of this might be subject to change...

It was morning and I was ugly.
Near as I can figure it, I pissed in the wrong witch’s pool at some point.  All I know is one night I went to Spanky’s, drank a lot, danced a lot, and went home with the first available hottie.  The next morning, I woke up cursed.
And ugly.  Did I mention ugly?
Not the best outcome for a twenty-two year old fashion model, let me tell you.  I had a photoshoot the following week.  I had an agent who kept promising me the cover of Vogue if I kept going the way I was.  Sure, twenty-two is a bit old for a modeling career to take off, but I had hopes.  It had to take off.  It wasn’t like I had skills to do anything else.  Even on a good day, I’m not fit for fast food or retail sales.  Like this, I’m not fit for even that. 
Who wants to buy food or clothes from a hag?
I spent the first twenty-four hours of my ugliness trapped inside my apartment with the drapes drawn and the door closed.  After the initial shock of seeing myself, I threw towels over all the mirrors.  It was like someone was sitting shiva in there.  Until I tried to get ready for bed. 
With nothing to do and nowhere to go, I opted for an early bedtime.  Brushing your teeth is an interesting experience when you can’t see yourself.  So I sucked it up and pulled the towel down.  Prepped for a glimpse of gruesome, I got the second shock of the day when a nearly normal me stared back.  Other than looking like I had the roughest day of my young life, I was me again. 
Chalking it all up to the worst hangover ever, I swore off booze and went to bed, confident in my beauty.  I didn’t remember falling asleep.  I don’t even remember dreaming.  I closed my eyes in the dark one minute and opened them the next in the soft light of dawn.
I wish I could say I felt a tingle or a twitch.  Even a burning sensation in my nether regions would’ve been preferable, because it would’ve provided a warning.  Nope.  I got nothing.
Except ugly.  Overnight ugly.
At first I totally doubted my sanity.  Nobody gets ugly overnight.  Then again, no one gets pretty throughout the day either.  Either a person is always pretty or they’re always ugly. 
Psychotic break now or one earlier in my life—neither option made me feel any better about myself.  Of course, the only other answer seemed just as crazy.  Magic isn’t real.  Curses don’t happen in real life…
Unless they do.

I hope to have the first draft done by the end of the month and then in my editor's hands sometime after Wish Hits the Fan goes live in September.  (Or whenever JC gets the final edits to me, if that's feasible at the time.)  We'll see.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Cheaters and Liars and Scammers

Not a happy subject for a Monday morning, but I'd like to take a moment to address something I heard about this weekend.  People are out there cheating and lying and scamming their ways onto the bestseller lists at Amazon.  Apparently, there are 'services' that guarantee they'll have hundreds of people 'read' your book in Kindle Unlimited (for one low price, of course).  This shoots your book up the bestseller lists, which presumably gets you more sales.  This also gets you paid for page reads in KU.  But they aren't actually reading the books.  And those people who buy the books based on their list number are getting kind of pissed because they got scammed into buying a less-than-stellar book.

David Gaughran, author of Let's Get Digital (the self-publishing bible in my opinion), talked all about it on his blog, and FB, and through his Twitter page.  He also gives ways you can combat this crap, if you're motivated.

Personally, I'm too tired and sad to mount a battle against this.  As if there weren't enough hurdles to making sales in this business anyway, here's another one. 

Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you I haven't been tempted to do some pretty unethical things to get sales.  Tempted, yes.  Like I'm always tempted to eat watermelon.  But like eating watermelon, the aftereffects of being unethical are BAD.  Karmically bad.  Metaphysically bad.  Soul cramps, if you will.  So, I don't do it.  I won't do it. I will never pay someone to commit fraud to give me a leg up.  Make book on that.

If I never sell another book because I refuse to be unethical and an asshole, so be it.  At least I'll be able to live with myself and sleep at night.  (Or if I'm not sleeping, it's not because I have soul cramps.)

Anyway, I guess there will always be people who have no problem being unethical.  Cheaters and liars and scammers.  If you're a reader, be on the lookout for books that come out of nowhere to land on the bestseller lists.  I guess there's a way to tell what the book's previous ranking was before it hit #1 (the Movers and Shakers lists?), and if you see a book suddenly jump from the hundred thousands to the single digits, be wary.

Meanwhile, I'll be sitting over here writing quality books without any scammy crap to get in your way.  I don't load unrelated back matter for more page reads.  I don't spam.  I don't pay people to read my books or to review my books.  I don't use services to give me a leg up.  I just write books that I hope readers will enjoy.

On a happier end note, Sleeping Ugly is moving right along.  Just under 3K written yesterday which left me at 19699 words so far.  I hope to have this first draft done by the end of the month.  Totally doable, if I don't fall off the wagon.

Oh, and before I forget, there's a Goodreads Giveaway starting this morning and running through the 31st.  One winner will receive a paperback copy of Up Wish Creek for their very own.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

At the Editor, Time for Stats

Hey Everyone!  Since I got Wish Hits the Fan off to the editor last night, I thought it might be fun to run down some stats for you.

So, Wish Hits the Fan (Once Upon a Djinn #4) is currently sitting at 62990 words (or 62969 in .doc form - why that's different I'll never know) and 222 pages.  This is, of course, the third draft of the book, so let's back up a bit.

The first draft of the book was only 47859 and 179 pages.  I finished that on February 25th of this year.

The second draft was 58339 words and 205 pages.  I finished that on June 26th.

Then, because I had dragged my feet all of the month of May, which put me behind so that I didn't get the 2nd draft done until the end of June, I beat myself with a stick and cranked through to get the 3rd draft done today.

It wasn't due to her until tomorrow, so we're starting the clock then.  JC has promised me a 3 week turnaround.  So, July 31st?  Fingers crossed it doesn't have too much wrong with it, so I can turn it back in to her quick.  I'm still looking at September, but the quicker I get it done, the earlier in September this will be in your hands.  Yay!

Now, one of these days I'm going to have to keep track of the hours I actually put in on one of these things.  I know for the past few days, I started working on the edits around 7am.  And I usually finished up around 8pm, on average.  BUT, and it's a big but, I don't work straight through.  I work for a while, break, work some more, break, call my mom/go fishing, work some more, do chores, work... you get the idea.  All told, though, it took me about an hour to enter a page worth of edit notes, and there were 19 of those to change the 2nd draft into the 3rd draft.  And, it took me about an hour to make a page of edit notes.  So, figure about 38 hours over the course of about two weeks.

Ugh, it felt like more, but unless I missed something somewhere, that's it.  Plot holes fixed, typos eradicated to the best of my ability, continuity issues smoothed. 

All I know is that when I finished last night, I felt like a deflated balloon.  And tired.  Now I can rest... a little... before I jump into my next project.  What that will be... your guess is as good as mine.  I had a wonderful idea for a new book when I was trying to nap yesterday afternoon, but it was gone by the time I got up.  D'oh.

Doncha hate when that happens?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Why Publish in Print?

You know, I wish I had the answer.  I still publish in print, despite the fact that I haven't sold a print copy of a book in over a year.  In fact, the print copy of Natural Causes should be available soon - good lord willin' and the crick don't rise.  (And the reason it's months after the ebook release is exactly the fact that I haven't sold many print books and it ain't cheap getting these without anything to show for the expense.)

I guess part of the reason why I publish in hardcopy is because I like print books.  I especially like holding a print copy of my books in my hands.  I like petting them and smelling them and thumbing through them.  It's a thing.

Another part of it is that I read somewhere that having a print copy available - even if buyers choose ebooks instead - adds legitimacy to the book.  :shrug: I'm not sure if that's true, but I do know that with sales off the way they are, I'm willing to try. 

Another part of it that offering free copies of print books is supposed to help with sales and reviews.  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  If they actually read the book and want to read more of my stuff, they can find all the books in the back of either print of ecopies of my books.  And if they actually read the book they received free, they could possibly write a review.  (Umm, except for that one gal who got a copy free through Goodreads and put it up for sale almost immediately as a New, Signed copy.  Good luck unloading that, lady.)

In truth, I'm not sure what having paper copies of my books actually does for me.  Other than the expense of copies and shipping, it doesn't hurt to try.  Who knows, maybe the wiser heads are right and they really do help.  Either way, I have physical proof I wrote books for after I'm dead, right? 

What do you think? 

And, if you want a copy of the version of Blood Flow with the original cover say "pick me" in the comments.  I'll draw a name or two at the end of the week.  

Friday, June 30, 2017

Independence Week Book Sale!

Hi all!  Just thought I'd let you know that Blood Flow is on sale today through the 7th for only 99c.  You know, because it's a political suspense and what better time to have a sale than around Independence Day? 

Agent Randi Kruz knows Project Hermes is killing people. But the government won’t allow anything to hamper their plans for microchipping the populace. Despite numerous threats against her, she has to uncover the truth before anyone else dies. Locating the madmen responsible will be difficult. Stopping them might be impossible.

From the reviews...

"...BloodFlow is a taut medical/political thriller that rides the edge of reality in today's tense political climate. There's murder, villainous politicians, and heroic investigators and doctors...." 

"This is a very good book! With technology advances I can see this happening someday. Nanotechnology is great, but it can be deadly if misused and controlled by evil. Great book!"

"Very real story. It was well written and the three main characters were terrific. It is scary in that this could so easily be happening today...."

"... It’s a scary scenario which I can definitely see happening in the future. The main characters were solid, their voices clear and their dialogue sound. Their interactions with each other & the other characters were realistic and believeable....I found it an absorbing read and I’m happy to recommend it to y’all."

It's got a 5-star rating on Amazon (3 reviews) and a 4.75-star rating on Goodreads (4 ratings, 2 reviews).  

Now's your chance to give it a whirl.    

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Any Questions?

I would usually put a post like this up at Outside the Box, but since I do have followers at The Writing Spectacle who don't follow here, I'm putting it there yesterday and here today.   If you've already read it / commented on it there, you can ignore this.  Unless you have further ideas, then have at it.

You see, I'm working on the final book in the Once Upon a Djinn series.  And I want to wrap everything up, if I can.  (Not that I'll never write another genie book, but I want all the questions from books 1-3 answered in #4 so readers can leave feeling satisfied.)  To that end, I was wondering what burning questions readers would like to see answered in this final book.

Now, yes, the book is already written.  All the way through.  And I finished the first edit pass last night.  But I might've missed something.  I don't think I did, but there's always the chance I'm wrong.  This is your chance to tell me what you're dying to know.

Yep, there's always still a chance I won't have wrapped something up to your satisfaction.  Them's the chances we take when we read a book, don't ya know.  But I'm trying.

To help, here are a few things I know for certain I have addressed...

- Zeke's disappearance in book 3.
- the cliffhanger at the end of book 3.
- the mysterious glimpse Jo was given into the future in book 2.
- the ultimatum the other supernaturals gave Jo in book 3.
- what happens with Reggie?
- the disappearance of Hans

Anything else?  I'm sure whatever we don't catch now, JC will catch when she gets her hands on WHTF.  But I want to know what you're thinking.

If you have any non-genie related questions, you can ask them now, too, if you want to.  I'll answer what I can.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Robbery in the Back of Beyond

I was out and about in the world yesterday... Okay, I was out fishing... when I stopped at my favorite bait shop.  It's a little place in the middle of nowhere, near the entrance to a state park.  The two gals that work there are nice, salt of the earth people.  And I chat with them when I'm there. 

The older of the two ladies was working.  And we happened to get on the topic of crime. 

You see, I had picked up a box of worms ($3) and a beverage.  I asked her if the beverage was under $2 because I only had a five with me.  After she assured me I was fine, I explained that I never carry more than my driver's license and a little cash because I don't feel safe leaving my purse in the car while I'm fishing.  She nodded her head and told me she understood because her home had recently been broken into.

In a tiny town in the back of beyond, her home where she'd lived for 30 years without ever worrying about locking her doors had been robbed.

The thieves didn't get much.  She doesn't have much.  She works in a goddamn bait store for petesakes.  They took mostly things she wasn't attached to - which she will still have to pay money to replace - and a few items that were irreplaceable.  Heirlooms.  Memories.  The ring her husband, who had since passed on, purchased for her 50 years ago.  An item that had been her grandmother's.  (She's easily in her 70s, so you can imagine how old that was.)  A dish full of candy that she keeps on a counter for when her grandchildren visit. 

I'd say it was a sign of the times, and perhaps it is, but my family's home was broken into back in 1976.  We lived in the middle of nowhere, too.  Farther away from other people than my acquaintance here.  And of all the things those assholes back then took, the things I think my mother misses most are the heirlooms. 

I think the impetus was the same in either case - things the thieves could turn into money for drugs.  Little things.  Unimportant items in the scheme of things.  But extremely important things to the individuals who owned them. 

Now, I do know some people who insist that if drugs were legalized, crimes of this nature would cease.  I don't agree.  Whether the drugs cost $100 or $20, the people doing the drugs would still need money to pay for them, and since doing drugs leads to an inability to do quality, dependable work, which leads to unemployment, then the drug users would still need to steal to fund their habit.  :shrug:

I don't know.  I know this incident makes me sad.  She's a lovely person, minding her own business, and working to supplement whatever income she has (I assume).  And these silly, stupid motherfuckers break into her house to take her belongings.  

On the upside, she relayed the whole story to me without an ounce of feeling sorry for herself and without the rage I know I'd be feeling.  Like I said, she's a nice person.  I'd be ranting to anyone who would listen.  I'd want blood. 

I left, wishing her luck in the apprehension of the robbers and offering a hope that she gets her stuff back.  We both knew that's unlikely.  They never caught the people who robbed us back in 1976.  The police here aren't any better or worse than those back then, but the obstacles are the same.  Petty crime, small items...

And I came home glad I live here instead of there - even if it's only a few miles difference.  Oh, I know it could easily happen here.  Which is why we lock our doors even when we're home, even if we're just going into the back yard.  Always.  Sad that we have to do that because other people can't keep their hands to themselves.  =o\

Friday, June 23, 2017

And Other Stuff

I said I'd post the new cover of In Deep Wish when I got it, and I did - just not here yet.  So here it is...
It looks even better when you see them all together:

(Yes, it's off center.  That's because it the banner for my Once Upon a Djinn page on FB.)

If you like what you see and you're in the market for a cover artist, those are by the most wonderful Jessica Allain of Enchanted Whispers.  I can't wait to see the next one, which will be red and that's all I can tell you about that right now.

In further news, I got a note from my editor yesterday saying she wouldn't be able to get to Wish Hits the Fan until July 10th because she's in the middle of edits for another customer. Yay for her!  She rocks as an editor and I'm totally excited she's getting more business.  And a little Yay for me, too.  Now I have 10 more days to get this sucker into a less craptastic state.  Still looking at a September launch date. 

Which made me almost laze out last night, but I slapped myself around and edited another 15 pages.  I'll still have this pass done by the end of the weekend.  And I'll use the extra time for polishing, so it's as clean as I can make it before JC gets it. 

And that's it for me.  For now.