Monday, 28 December 2015

Had a Blue Screen?

Last Tuesday, I had a big shock. In the morning as usual, I turned on my laptop. It opened fine, but then suddenly died and went to blue screen. My laptop was at least five years old so I knew this could happen at any time. Of course, I immediately drove over to my computer guy. My hard drive was badly corrupted and he wasn't sure what he could save. I had started two new books and hadn't as yet backed them up so I was worried.

John at the Computer Trade In was truly amazing. He was able to download most of my stuff which he transferred it into a new/used computer. Luckily, I didn't lose any documents or my emails. It would have killed me to lose those. In the end, I only lost my calendar so I have no past. If I had to lose something, I'm glad that's it.

I rely on my laptop the same way most people feel about their cell phones. My whole life is on here. Everything important to me is on the computer. Sure I back-up everything on USB sticks but I don't do it every day and something new consistently occurs. I honestly don't know what I'd do if I lost everything. That would be a terrible disaster. So I'm so relieved all is good.

 For a complete change of topic, I would like to discuss 50 Shades of Grey. I haven't read the books though a couple of friends did. They both agreed the writing was poor so I didn't bother. The movie finally made it to the movie channels so I was able to watch it for free. Wasn't going to pay to see it.

Was really surprised at the movie. It was terrible. It's basically about sex between two beautiful people. All the other characters had no substance, interest and were poorly described. They added nothing to the plot. And the dialogue was horrible. I couldn't believe how bad the movie was. It deals with dominant/submissive sex of which I have no interest. If a man ever touched me like that, I'd call the police.

He did terrible things to her. I can't believe this was actually filmed. The sex scenes are just soft porn. Don't see any private parts but otherwise there's a lot of nudity. I didn't find it a turn-on in any way, shape or form. If you like that stuff, the more power to you. I have no intention of reading those books or seeing any future films.

have fun,

Monday, 21 December 2015

Are You an Author?

What does it mean to be an author? It used to mean you spent years writing that perfect novel, printed off a copy, boxed it up, then send
it to a publisher. Perhaps you’d then become one of the lucky few who they’d agree to publish. If one publishing company didn’t accept it, you sent it to another firm then another until your great manuscript got published. Either you realized the dream, or your dream was dead.

Nowadays, most publishing companies won’t look at an unsolicited manuscript. You need an agent and most agents require writing samples in the form of a query letters and proposals. You can write to any number of agents, and they either may not respond or they may send a format email advising that you’ll only hear from them if they express an interest.

You can take that avenue and spend months or years trying to find someone to represent you, or you can self-publish. There are a number of available options these days. You can self-publish through a publishing company that specializes in that, but then you pay them a lot of money for a sub-standard product. These companies are out to make money from you not your books.

On the other hand, you have Createspace or Lulu, where you can self-publish your books for free. It’s easy and straight-forward. Also, you can publish within days rather than waiting two years as you would with a traditional publisher. You don’t pay much to buy your books so you can make a good profit when you sell them unlike the situation with those publishing firms. They require almost the book price if you want to buy a copy. You lose money on every book you sell unless you charge a higher price.

Okay so now your book is published and you expect it to sell, but it doesn’t. No one knows about it. Millions are self-publishing and setting themselves up on Amazon. You have to stand out and build an audience, which means marketing.

Marketing is the biggest job for the aspiring writer, and there’s so much to do. You have set up accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked-in, Google +, Goodreads, just to name a few. You have to be active and get yourself out there. But that’s a lot of work.

So what does it mean to be an author these days? It means a lot of work, which most authors wish they didn’t have to do. We just want to write, but it doesn’t work that way now.

have fun,

Sunday, 13 December 2015



Sorry about last week. I totally forgot to write a blog. I remembered on Wednesday. Decided to wait until Monday since I'm trying to keep it regular.

I've just been busy with my books. Finally finished Devouring Time, a mystery, about an historic Canadian family, embroiled in the art world, await the delivery of a mysterious package from their ancestor in England. It has now gone to Nate, my proofreading editor. It will be returned edited in approximately six weeks.

My other novel, The Perfect Hand, a thriller about five poker buddies who uncover a conspiracy, is complete. I just finished correcting Nate's edits and suggestions. I have sent it out to a couple of friends to read it over now to check for any typo or mistake we missed. It's amazing how many fresh eyes you need to read a book before its as perfect as you can get.

I wanted to write a lighter blog this week since the last one was pretty heavy. I just have those thoughts now and then, and felt like sharing them. Today, I thought we could talk about koalas. I have a photographer friend in Perth, Australia, who is constantly informing me how many koalas are in the trees around his house. One day he had 12!!

The other day, he noticed one fall out of a tree. He was chatting with me at that time. He went outside to see what was the matter. He picked up the sick koala and brought it into his house. He gave it water and placed it on his bed. Within minutes, it was sound asleep and snoring loudly. My friend called the local Koala rescue centre. They came and picked up the poor thing. They were able to restore it to health and it was set free.

When I was in Australia in 1993, I visited many zoos where I saw lots of koalas. I never saw them in the wild. At one zoo, I had myself photographed with one. I wanted to hold it but the woman in charge said that would not be possible because koalas could scratch you badly with their long nails or pee on you. But when talking to my Perth friend, they seem gentle and sweet.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Have fun,