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Astronaut woman on planet's surface

Cursed Planet: GALCOM Universe Book 3

Who knew ghosts could exist in heavy gravity? Hope Delgado, the galaxy’s only alien ghost expert, confronts her toughest challenge on S.C. Kangjun’s latest mission.

The local aliens, 49ers, blame the humans for a ghost.  And they hide a deadly secret.  A secret they will kill to protect.

Hope must make a desperate last stand against the aliens and the ghosts—if she fails, her friends will die.

A science fiction novel of deep space thrills and adventures.

Available now! Pick your favorite eReader flavor for a copy!

Next up in the series is Last Stand.

A mermaid by a coral reef

Here Be Merfolk

The call of the deep rings ever in our ears, from myth and legend to crime and mystery. Sea-people, mer and monster, immortals and reluctant heroes feature in this sea-worthy bundle.

This a bundle featuring novels and short stories by such writers as Alan Dean Foster, Debbie Mumford, and of course me.  My story is Dark, From the Sea.

Available from your favorite booksellers.

Cover shows a hand with a digital key hovering over it

 

Digital Minimalism: Reduce Clutter  on Your Computer Now

f you feel constantly overwhelmed by the amount of files…if you waste time looking for files you know you saved somewhere…

You’re not alone.  I’ve been there.

Between a full time day job with mounds of paperwork every day and indie publishing, I was drowning in files.  Not only couldn’t I find files  I’d saved, it was like walking into a cluttered room.  I was miserable and stressed out.

There had to be a better way!

I’m not a productivity expert.  But in this book, I’m going to share with you what I did to get my files in order and stop being overwhelmed.

Available from your favorite booksellers.

Superstars Writing Conference


 

Guest panelists at Superstars
Let’s see if I can get most of the names: Left- Rebecca Moesta, Eric Flint, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, Donald Maass (pronounced Mah-s), Dave Farland, Beth Meecham, Seanan McGuire, and Kevin J. Anderson.

I had the pleasure of attending my first Superstars Writing Seminar this year.  It was in Colorado Springs, so I got to visit my uncle who lives there.  It was a very different experience from any other conference I’ve been to, including work conferences.  We were told right from the start to go out to eat together…to look for a group of people from the conference and join them.  When I first arrived, the person who came in with me put it out on Facebook that we were eating in the restaurant, and next thing we know, the table was full!

Superstars is a writing conference for more advanced level writers.  It is generally on the business side of writing, though they had a craft fest this year as well.  Off to my adventures.

Adventures in the high altitude

The first two nights, by the time I got to the end of the day, it was like I was drunk.  I was staggering around and tripping over everything.  The first night, I took off my shoes in my hotel room, stumbled over them every single time I walked back and forth.  So I put them in a corner, out of the way.

And lost them!

The next morning, I could not find my shoes!  The altitude addled my brain.  My first thought was that someone had stolen them.  Then I sort of worked into the realization that no one had gotten into the room, so the shoes were in here.  But where?   I finally found them in the corner.  The carpet was a very dark green, so my black shoes were actually very well camouflaged (pesky shoes were trying to go Army on me).

Garden of the Gods Tour

I went up a day or so early because I wanted to go on the Garden of the Gods tour.  Kevin got a bunch of drivers together and we carpooled out.  The sky was a clear blue, with the sun creating wonderful shadows on the rocks.  It was also very windy and cold.  We meandered on the paths, stopping to take a picture at an intersection that also was a wind tunnel.  These were some of the incredibly beautiful rock formations (the rock was much more reddish-orange than the photo shows).

Rock with three pillars

Craft Fest

My first actual day of the conference was a Craft Fest, which was in its second year, I believe.  This was an addition to the regular conference.  We all attended two workshops, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  I did Kevin J. Anderson/Rebecca Moesta’s workshop on World Building in the morning and Jeffrey , commercial fiction in the morning.  I wished I had the WB workshop much earlier–I was scared off fantasy because all I heard was that to build a world you needed a three ring binder, some tabs, and had to answer tons and tons of questions.  This was a much simpler variation.

I picked the commercial fiction because it was Jeffrey Deaver and I thought I could get something out of it even though I’m indie.  In hindsight, I should have picked one that was more flexible for the indie side, so maybe something more craft focused.  For the record, he spends 8 months writing an outline before he does the book and spends thousands to get it edited before it goes to the publisher.

The Conference Itself

By the time the conference started, I was enough over the altitude sickness and time zone difference that I was no longer a zombie.  The conference was split into traditional and indie, like with workshops on what agents and editors look for in your opening and guerrilla marketing.  I really found the workshops on Amazon useful. I’d heard some of the basic principles, but not really explained well–and especially not for fiction writers.  It was also at a much higher level than what I’ve been seeing,  I promptly decided I wasn’t going to attend the Philadelphia book marketing conference in November because it was too basic and too focused on non-fiction.

The VIP Dinner

I signed up late for the VIP Dinner because of the additional cost, but I’m glad I did.  I sat with Mark Leslie Lefebvre (Draft2Digital) and Tara Cremin (Kobo), which was my first pick.  Did we talk marketing or coming trends?  No.  We talked ghosts!  It was a lot of fun.

The restaurant also went way, way out of the way to accommodate diners with food allergies and sensitivities.  I’m gluten and dairy free and I had a really hard time on a cruise.  The cruise often couldn’t figure out what to do for desert, so their default was fruit.  I expected that here.  But the restaurant actually had deserts that worked with the food sensitivities.  So I was seriously impressed.

I’m already signed up for the next one.  If you’re interested, use the referral code LADAMS (discounts for me, but you get a referral code too).  There’s a very good payment plan, especially if you sign up very early for it.

 

 

On Hiatus this week and next


I’m going to be on hiatus from the blog this week and next–but it’s for a good reason I’m going to post here later.

Interview for Here Be Merfolk Bundle


A.L. Butcher just posted up an interview with me on her blog.  I used to watch actor David Hedison do interviews (his were always in person) and it was pretty cool to see, so it’s fun for me to think about what I want to say.  Anyway, drop in and have a loook.

Tootsie Roll Connection to Marines


A fun bit of history from Harvey Stanbrough:

How Tootsie Rolls Accidentally Saved Marines During the Korean War

Digital Minimalism: Reduce Clutter on Your Computer Now


Cover shows a hand with a digital key hovering over it

If you feel constantly overwhelmed by the amount of files…if you waste time looking for files you know you saved somewhere…

You’re not alone.  I’ve been there.

Between a full time day job with mounds of paperwork every day and indie publishing, I was drowning in files.  Not only couldn’t I find files  I’d saved, it was like walking into a cluttered room.  I was miserable and stressed out.

There had to be a better way!

I’m not a productivity expert.  But in this book, I’m going to share with you what I did to get my files in order and stop being overwhelmed.

Available from your favorite booksellers.

Respecting the Readers


About ten years ago (has it really been that long?), I did actor David Hedison’s website.  The other person and I who managed it were very cautious about our approach.  We knew that we represented him with the site and we didn’t want do anything that would change his image.  So we stayed professional.  It was about the acting and the shows he’d been in.

Cut to today.

I went through my Facebook friends and unfollowed a bunch of writers.  The reason was pretty simple: They didn’t respect me as a reader.

There are a lot of ways a writer can land in this area.  One is a writer being nasty in public to the people buying the books.  I haven’t seen this with writers myself, though I’ve heard stories.  I have seen it with actors who blast a show they were on, the people associated with it, and by association, the people who like the show.

Another did happen to me.  There’s a fantasy trilogy I really liked.  It used to be a periodic reread for me.  One day I commented on my blog about the major storytelling technique I liked about the story.  The writer came on the blog and said she was revising that major storytelling technique in the books because she’d learned a lot since then and what she’d done was a newbie mistake.  It was, well, insulting.  I liked how she used this technique, and it was the reason this story was a periodic reread–and she was revising it to be “better”?  I haven’t reread the books since or gotten any new ones.

Still another happened a few months back.  I was on a entrepreneur coaching site for women.  It was a site that was supposed to be friendly and encouraging.  The owner had recently come out with a non-fiction book.  As a teaching lesson for the members, she called one star reviewers “haters.”  I’ve done one star reviews.  Reviews are not to stroke writer egos–they’re a reader’s opinion about the book. Writers should never get involved in that part of the process.  I objected politely and pointed out that someone in the group could have given it a one star review (I did not review the book.  Glad I didn’t.  It wasn’t a five star book).  The owner told me it was her group and she could do what she wanted; she’d intended the “hater” comment as friendly and encouraging for the members.  The group no longer felt friendly and encouraging so I self-edited.  What she didn’t know was that I’d been playing around with the idea of using her coaching services.  She lost that business because she didn’t respect her audience–only the ones who gave her glowing reviews.  If someone asked me for a recommendation for a coach, it wouldn’t be to her.

Then there’s the fourth one, and it’s gotten me on two writers.  It’s politics.  Hands down, the worst thing for writers, because you alienate half your audience!  There’s an award winning science fiction writer.  I signed up on Facebook to follow him thinking I would get pearls of wisdom because he teaches on writing.  Instead, it was in your politics.  As in, “if you don’t agree with me, I’m going to ban you!”  I unfollowed him because I couldn’t deal with his nastiness.  Saw a story of his in SF&F Magazine.  Passed it by.

The second writer (some of you will know who I’m talking about) wrote in one of her books to writers to stay away from openly being political because of the impact on readers.  Then she broke own rules and veered into a couple of political posts, one on her blog and several on Facebook.  She didn’t say much, but what she did say was enough to leave a bad taste for me.  It was an instant turn off because she was nasty and she assumed everyone agreed with her opinion.  She’s a fantastic, award-winning writer, produces a lot of new books, and I haven’t touched a book of hers since those comments.

Disrespecting your readers = just bad all around.

Here Be Merfolk


Cover for Dark From the Sea pulled out from the bundle

 

The call of the deep rings ever in our ears, from myth and legend to crime and mystery. Sea-people, mer and monster, immortals and reluctant heroes feature in this sea-worthy bundle.

Table of Contents
1. “The Women of Whale Rock” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
2. “We, the Ocean” by Alexandra Brandt
3. “Oshenerth” by Alan Dean Foster
4. “Deep Dreaming” by Debbie Mumford
5. “Dolphin Knight” by Robert Jeschonek
6. “On Desperate Seas” by Kate MacLeod
7. “Fate’s Door” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
8. “The Murky Depths” by Linda Jordan
9. “Dark, From the Sea” by Linda Maye Adams
10. “Ondine” by Brenda Carre

Available from your favorite booksellers.

Scientifically Impossible Places


I’ve seen #5 in several movies, and I believe the TV series MacGyver.  The last one (#1) I could easily see turning up in a thriller, or maybe on a distant planet.

Good, Bad, or Just Opinion?


We live in an environment now where everyone has the ability to put their opinion out in the public eye.  They blog about it, they can Tweet, or even post it on Facebook.  Yet, instead of having access to more diverse opinions, a lot of people are in a bubble.

If that person didn’t like a book, the book was bad.

If that person didn’t like a movie, the movie was bad.

Not, “I didn’t like it.”

So much of books is very subjective.  I’ve had best sellers that I’ve enjoyed and others have hated (The Da Vinci Code).  And I’ve been happy to put down a critically acclaimed best seller because I thought it was boring.  That book was Cold Mountain.  The chapters were too long for this reader, and every time I saw the formatting of the dialogue, I kept thinking the characters were communicating telepathically!

I’ve also had books that I read at a different point in my life and now it’s not the same. When I was a kid, I read All Quiet on the Western Front.  There was one line in that book that was too much for me at the time.  I read it again as an adult, and after Desert Storm.  Found the line.  It didn’t carry the same weight.

Our opinions change, all the time.

And our opinions are not a qualification that something is bad.  It’s just our current opinion.