Thursday, August 30, 2007

Approval & other things

      The distribution version of Murder by Dewey Decimal will be approved tomorrow. Sometime in October, MBDD will be available for ordering (I hope) at Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, and your local bookstore.
      I admit that I've held off approving the distribution copy. I kept being paralyzed by the fact that I wouldn't be able to make corrections after the approval. I kept rereading a chapter or two. One more time, I'd tell myself. But today I sat myself in front of the computer, entered the seven corrections, and started the process of revision on Lulu. Tomorrow I will finish. (If you have any corrections, please let me know today or tomorrow, because by Saturday, it will be too late.)
      Of course, not all the holdup has been me. Lulu required a couple more changes, and then they missed the first and second feed for their distribution channels (whatever that means), but it's poised for the third feed. But the major holdup has been lack of confidence on my part.
      What finally kicked me out of my stalled stated was the realization that it won't be perfect no matter how long I wait. Even books put out by the big houses have mistakes in them (typically left out words or misplaced names). Nothing's perfect on earth. My book is as good as I can make it. That will be enough.
      Besides, worrying about it has kept me from working on Murder by the Acre and Floozy. And trust me, they both need work. MBTA has several problems, some of which can be fixed easily, some of which are requiring more rewriting than I had hoped. Floozy, the collection of my humorous writing, mostly requires organization, formatting, and copyright clearance. Some of my humor has been for publications that still hold the copyright. I need to get permission to reprint the articles or get the rights assigned back to me. I've been calling and sending out letters to that effect. It will take months to get all the rights back, if I even can. Even without those articles, though, I have enough for a book. It just has to be arranged, edited, formatted, etc. And I need a good cover, too.
      So I have plenty to keep my busy. I can't remain stalled on one book. My future –- at least the one I'm working for –- requires that I keep moving forward. Gotta remember that.
*
      Of course, as you know, I've been on vacation this week. I've slept late, ran errands when I wanted, went out to eat several times, watched a couple of movies, puttered around the Internet, etc. It’s been grand. I don't want it to end.
       What have I done? Let's see ... in no particular order of importance ... went to Little Niagara for a cookout where I got to see Mikey and his little brother Jay; went to the library to discuss my book signing on September 13; went to an used bookstore and found three Tom Swift Jr. books that I didn't own; went to Staples for supplies; worked on the distribution copy of MBDD; worked on the family newsletter (still need my brother's article, sigh); watched the extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; read The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald, the three Tom Swift Jr books, The Sharing Knife: Beguilement and The Sharing Knife: Legacy by Lois McMaster Bujold, and Holly Lisle's Create A Plot Clinic by Holly Lisle (one of the best writing books I've read lately and will review soon here); currently reading The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, The Mobius Strip by Clifford Pickover and What's Science Ever Done For Us? by Paul Halpern; doing housework, including laundry and dusting (I hate dusting; and so on. Lots of errands in there, too. This afternoon, I have to work on my bills and get them ready to mail and do more filing. But it's still vacation because I get to choose what I do! That's the difference between work and vacation. On vacation, I get to choose.
*
      By the way, Scribblenut! has disabled comment moderation -- he didn't realize it was on -- so go by and comment now if that was holding you back.
*
      And now I'll close with a couple of photos from the trip to Little Niagara. The first is Mikey's little brother Jay. The second is Mikey and his Papa at the Nature Center.





      I hope y'all are doing okay. You have a good day. I'll talk to you later. Adios.
 
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Photos from Sweden

      Some friends of mine traveled to Sweden in June. Here are some photos from their trip. It's a beautiful country, and someday I'd like to go there and visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday Songs

Despite the controversy that has surrounded Sandi Patty over the past years, no one can deny her voice is amazing. Here she is, singing "I've Just Seen Jesus" in a duet with the incredible Larnelle Harris.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Blood tests & diabetics

       Because diabetes has many symptoms, it can sometimes be confused with other diseases and conditions. In fact, some people have no symptoms until the disease has caused a lot of damage to their bodies. Fortunately simple blood tests reveal diabetes.
       The most common test is a blood glucose test. It shows your blood sugar at the time it is taken. In this test, blood is drawn and tested before or after a meal. (Usually this test is a fasting glucose test, where you fast for six hours or overnight before your blood is drawn.) Since your blood sugar can vary a lot over the course of the day, this is not a definitive test for diabetes. But it alerts the doctor that diabetes may exist, and further testing is needed.
       If your blood glucose showed an abnormally high or low blood sugar level, a second test is needed. This test is called a A1C. An A1C (also known as glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c) test gives a picture of your average blood glucose for the past two to three months. In some ways, the A1C test is like a baseball player’s season batting average. Both A1C and the batting average tell you about a person’s overall success. Neither a single day’s blood test results nor a single game’s batting record gives the same big picture.
       An A1C test works like this: Hemoglobin is found inside red blood cells. Its job is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body. Hemoglobin, like all proteins, links up with sugars such as glucose.
       When you have uncontrolled diabetes, you have too much sugar in your bloodstream. This extra glucose enters your red blood cells and links up (or glycates) with molecules of hemoglobin. The more excess glucose in your blood, the more hemoglobin gets glycated. It is possible to measure the percentage of A1C or glycated hemoglobin in your blood.
       Let’s suppose your blood sugar was high last week so more glucose linked (glycated) with your hemoglobin. This week, your blood sugar is back down. Still, your red blood cells carry the “memory” of last week’s high blood glucose in the form of more A1C.
       Your level of A1C changes as old red blood cells in your body die and new red blood cells (with fresh non-glycated hemoglobin) replace them. The amount of A1C in your blood reflects blood sugar amounts for the past 120 days, or the average lifespan of a red blood cell.
       In a person who does not have diabetes, about five percent of all hemoglobin is glycated. For someone with uncontrolled diabetes, the A1C level is higher than normal. How high the A1C level rises depends on what the average blood glucose level was during the past weeks and months.
       For someone who is not a diabetic, the level of A1C (glycated hemoglobin) is normally between four and six percent. When a person is a diabetic, the A1C may be eight percent or higher. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics are considered to have their diabetes under control when their A1C is seven percent or below.
       My last A1C result was 7.2%, which is a drop from my first test when my A1C was a whopping and deadly 8.4%. This means I’m slowly getting my diabetes under control. We’ll talk about how I’m doing it and what treatments exist for diabetics in the next article.

Read previous articles on the Symptoms of Diabetes and What is Diabetes.

For individual health care questions, consult your doctor. For more information about diabetes, visit the website for the American Diabetes Association.
 
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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New blog

      Just a quick note to tell you about a new blog that I've added to my Blogs of Interest. Scribblenut! is just starting out, but it's interesting so far. Give it a look. I particularly find the 101 in 1001 interesting. See what you think.
      And yes, I will be blogging on my vacation. Nagging does work, Crystal, FF and Trixie, but y'all knew that, didn't you?
      And I'm worn out -- hard, busy day to work and lots of reading, editing, typing tonight -- so I'm going to close. Have a great day tomorrow. Talk to you then.
 
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tuesday night bits

      If you're wondering why I haven't mentioned the national launch of Murder by Dewey Decimal, it's because I haven't approved the book for distribution. Yes, I know that I was supposed to do that last Friday, but during a last minute read of the book, I found a continuity error that concerned me. It wasn't large -- obviously since none of my excellent proofreaders caught it -- but it made me want to give the book another close read. And that's what I've been doing. (The error was that, on one page, I had a character put an object away in a new location, then on the next page, he picked the same object up from where it had been. Easy to fix, hard to notice.) Remember that once the book's approved, I won't be able to change anything. So what's the plan? you ask, apparently loud enough that I can hear you. Well, I should be finished with the final read -- which so far has netted me only that continuity error and one place where a period should have been a comma -- by Sunday. Then God willing, I'm going to approve the MBDD and start working full-time on Murder by the Acre.
      What is that contest I'm working on? you ask. You're just full of questions tonight. I'm going to use the first chapter of MBDD in a game. Naturally if you've already bought the book, the first chapter is available to you. If you haven't -- do so -- but if you can't because you've given all your money to the poor -- you can go here and read the first chapter preview. Well, read it and use it. Because I'm going to use a code based on the first chapter of MBDD. And what will be the prizes for this most excellent contest? you ask. Many books, including a hardcover of Murder by Dewey Decimal as well as other items. I'll start listing the prizes next week. Each week that we go without anyone solving the puzzle, I'll add another prize to the list. We'll see how long this contest can go before someone wins.
      Vacation next week. Have I mentioned that? I've decided that on Monday next week, I will sleep in and do absolutely nothing all day. That's probably all the nothing I can stand, but I'm looking forward to it. Then I'll be busy the rest of the week with this and that, but with nothing NOTHING NOTHING that has to do with my job.
      Although it's hot here, I am not ready for summer to be over. I'd like fall, except for the fact winter follows. And I'm not a fan of winter. I don't like cold weather. And hey, with global warming, God help us, I might have not have to worry about it much longer.
      The space shuttle Endeavour landed safely today. Have I mentioned that I think our space program is noble and hopeful? It's nice to know that people still think that we have a future out there.
      It's nearly midnight now so I'll close. You have a good day tomorrow, okay? Okay. Good night!
 
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Monday, August 20, 2007

A few items

      Crystal has started another blog. Stop by Remnant and visit her and leave a few comments.
      I've sold seven books at my office. I have a small display set up. I don't mention it to my customers, but if they ask, I tell them about the book. Everyone has been supportive, even if they haven't bought a copy.
      I published the June family newsletter finally and am now working on the July newsletter. I hope to finish it this week. Then I'll start and finish the August newsletter next week. I hope. Then I'll be caught up and actually do the September issue in the month it's supposed to come out. That would very cool.
      I go on vacation next week for a whole week. I can't remember when I've taken a week off. Except when I was sick, of course. It's been at least a couple of years. I'm really looking forward to it. I have a huge list of things I intend to do and enjoy. It should be fun.
      I'm planning a cool Giveaway for September. It will involve Murder by Dewey Decimal and a code and a riddle. I'm going to make you work for the prize. And I hope you will find it fun.
      Finally, I have three book signings planned for September. I hope to have more. We'll see how that goes.
      Have a good night. Talk to you tomorrow.
 
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Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Potter's Hand

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Saturday in August

      Meant to post yesterday, but I didn't account for that fact that Mikey has discovered computer games in a major way. He's been playing on the computer almost all weekend. Except when we're painting or playing with his ninja turtle figures or his pirate board game or his load-n-soak water guns or his double maze book or his Spiderman sticker book. Whew. It's been a while since he's been here, and he needs my attention constantly.
      He sure has grown. It seems like just a few months ago that he had to have a step stool to reach the sink in the bathroom to wash his hands. Now he can reach it by himself. Admittedly he has to strain to reach the faucets, but he can turn them on and off now.
      Right now he and his papa have gone to Walmart to pick up a few things -- and buy him a toy, of course. A young man of six can never have enough toys. Just ask Mikey if you don't believe me.
      He starts school week after next. He got some school supplies, and he's very excited about them. Glue and safety scissors, crayons and colored pencils, notebooks and paper. My little man will be cool kid on campus soon. He's growing up. I can't describe how happy I am to see that he is happy and embracing life eagerly. I can't describe how sad I am that he's growing up. Wow, it goes so fast. People say that it does, but until you experience it, you don't realize how time can speed up until the days blur. I wouldn't hold him back for nothing in the world, but how I wish I had more time with him. But this is how it is, and I'm not going to let mourning for the time unshared mar the time shared.
      The only thing that has marred this weekend is that my IBD has flared. I've been having problems for most of the week, but I had hoped that I had avoided a major flare. So far, it's just a minor one. I hope it stays at that level. I've had several flare-free months, so I guess it was about time for one. And the situation at work hasn't helped much; it's been particularly tense down there.
      I've been wondering how one creates the life they want. I have this vision of how I'd like to live -- nothing too fancy, but better than what I have now -- and I can't see how to get there. I can't build a bridge to my castle in the air. And the sad part is that it's not a particularly outlandish castle. I don't think I'd enjoy being rich and famous. It seems to bring a lot of misery with it. But I would like a larger home -- a second bathroom and a study and a backyard large enough to accommodate a pool, be it inground or one of those Walmart specials. I'd like to own a car, once again nothing too fancy, but reliable. I'd like health insurance and some retirement funds although I've adjusted to the fact I'm going to be one of those Walmart greeters when I'm in my 70's. Truthfully I don't want more than most of the people I know who are trying to make ends meet and discovering that the ends are getting further away.
      Not that I'm sitting still waiting for that better life to just happen. Murder by Dewey Decimal is part of that dream. No, it's not making me any money, but I have this plan of it building an audience for Murder by the Acre and both MBDD and MBTA building an decent audience for the third one, be it Murder by the Mile or Murder by Intermission. And maybe the third or the fourth will accomplish my goal of attracting an agent or a publisher. Or maybe Darkness, Oklahoma or Dragons Gather will.
      A lot of maybes there. Sometimes the maybes threaten to smother me. Does anyone else feel this way? I turn my face away from them and keep moving. The trick is to keep breathing.
      Over on her site, Holly Lisle has been considering starting her own publishing company. An exciting idea and lots of people have been giving their support. I've mostly been silent. Not because I don't think it's great idea or that she wouldn't be a good publisher -- because it is a good idea and she would be a good publisher -- but because she'd be gambling with her money, her time, her life. No matter how well someone plans, things happen. Through no fault of her own, the publishing venture could go down and take her finances with it. She has to choose it freely without being pressured or misled by overly-enthusiastic supporters. If it's her dream and she wants it, then it's worth pursuing even if it fails, but if it's not truly her dream, then she needs to choose something else. We have everything but time in this world. The time she would give to publishing would be taken from something else. That's the devil's bargain.
      And how we spend our time is how our life will be. Every decision is a choice to not do something else. And since we can't see the future, each choice brings unintended consequences, good or ill. We blunder around, making choices as best we can, but never knowing if the choice was good until too late to change.
      Some people live charmed lives, I've noticed. They're born into moneyed families and marry the right people and have the good children and live long and happy. Other people with the same advantages seeming make the same decisions, but their lives end in terrible ruins. What's the difference between the two?
      I don't know. I'm just wondering and wandering around, waiting for the fireball to return. I do know this: Mikey is a blessing, and I'm grateful he's in my life. And even if my plans for Bernard, Lisa, and the chief never come together as I hope, I have still enjoyed writing about them. To enjoy the journey is as important as reaching the destination. It has to be.
      Enough profundity if it is even that. I hope you had a good day today and have a good day tomorrow. Good night.
 
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
 
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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The topic of discussion

       "Murder by Dewey Decimal is all you talk about these days," Lori said as I sat down at the table with my lunch group.
      "Utter nonsense," I said. "You're talking like a Republican."
      "Really she's not," Kevin said. "For instance, she hasn't been involved in a scandal all week. But you do talk about your book all the time."
      Dolores nodded. "It's true. It's Murder by Dewey Decimal this, Murder by Dewey Decimal that. You work Murder by Dewey Decimal into every conversation. You repeat the title over and over and over. Murder by Dewey Decimal here, Murder by Dewey Decimal there, Murder by Dewey Decimal everywhere."
      "Everyone is proud of your book," Kevin said. "Just maybe you should sometimes let us talk about something else." I looked at him. He raised his hands. "Don't hurt me," he said. "Or my family."
      "Review the past few days,” Dolores said. "And don't hurt Kevin or his family. You'd feel bad about it later." I looked at her. "But rather him than me," she said. "I never liked his wife."
      "But I don't talk about it all the time," I protested. "Sometimes I let you talk about it. For instance, you could share that it can be purchased right now at www.lulu.com/content/881558. Don't try to sneak off, Kevin. I know where you live." He got up off his knees.
      "You don't let us talk about anything else," Lori insisted. "Like yesterday I was talking about my mother, and you said she was just like Agatha in your book."
      "Didn't you agree?" I asked. "Which, when she reads the book, is not going to make your mom very happy. I sure hope I don't let it slip that you thought so, too."
      "Eek!" Lori squealed. "You wouldn't."
      "Wouldn't I?" I said with an evil glint in my eyes.
      "Evil glints can be removed with Visine®," Dolores said. "Notice how I used the registered trademark symbol in my comment."
      "You don't have to stop talking about the book," Kevin said. "Just let us talk about something else sometimes."
      "Don't get us wrong," Dolores said. "We all think your book is the greatest thing since sliced bread."
      "Even greater," Lori said. "As great or greater than chocolate."
      "Chocolate?" Dolores said doubtfully. I looked at her. "Greater than chocolate could ever be, I meant to say," she said. "Stop looking at me like that!"
      "I was fixing your face in my memory," I said. "I don't know why you think I'm picturing you strapped to giant stereo speakers as Barry Manilow sings the rap version of 'Mandy.'"
      "Manilow?" Kevin said, aghast. "Rap? 'Mandy?!' What kind of fiend are you? Someone has to stop you!"
      "Are you crazy?" Delores hissed at Kevin. "Don't make him mad. Remember what happened to his neighbor? I don't care that the police say it was an accident. Rockets don't go that far off course! And what happened to all the witnesses? They were never found!"
      "Later we will all look back on this and laugh," I said. "At least I will. As for talking about something else, you can read the first letter of each paragraph of this post and get your answer." I walked away from the table as my robot monkeys descended on them.

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
 
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

MBDD doings & MBTA news

      If you found any errors in Murder by Dewey Decimal, please let me know before Friday. I have to approve MBDD for retail distribution then. This is the last chance I'll have to correct anything like misspellings or left out words. Once it's approved for distribution, it's out of my hands. So far, Kent has submitted the only error in the Lulu editions. (I left out one word.) I'm hoping you haven't found anything, but if you have, let me know before Friday. Please note this final correction is for copy editing errors only. Major plot flaws (!) I'll just have to live with.
      Four to six weeks after Friday, MBDD should be available through wholesalers, which should mean that it will be available through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other online retailers as well as ordering through local bookstores. I hope it works out like that.
      I have my first book signings scheduled! That's exciting. And a bit scary, too. What if no one shows up? Or what if hundreds do? Okay, the last one isn't scary. More of a dream. Anyway, I'll be adding a schedule on the sidebar that will list my book signings should any of my blogging buddies (who live near them) want to attend.
      The book plates are ready to go. If you've purchased a book, you can receive a free autographed book plate by emailing your mailing address. The deluxe bookplates are numbered 1-100. After the first hundred, there won't be any more of the deluxe plates. 10 are already gone. So email me fast! The email address is issacskye AT gmail dot com. I'll try to post a picture of the bookplates today or tomorrow.
      Woohoo! The books just arrived. I had ordered some books for the book signings and the UPS lady delivered them. I've opened the boxes to inspect them, and they look good. Packed nicely and neatly. I'm supposed t take one by the local library tomorrow as well as the bookmarks for the book signings. I only made 250 bookmarks. Yes, I made them. They were too expensive online, and they didn't look as good as what I could produce. The library told me that they could easily give away a hundred or so. Every bit of adverting helps.
      I contacted a local shopper that publishes community events and told them about the book signing here. They said they would publish it in their September issue. Very cool.
      What else? The air conditioner on my house is trying to die. Fortunately I have a window unit for my bedroom so I'm doing okay. My roomie says he's doing okay, but I'm trying to convince him to buy a unit for his bedroom. Our house isn't that large, and two window units would mostly cool it, except for the living room, which unfortunately doesn't have any windows (just a sliding glass door) so I don't know what to do about that. The heat and air guys are supposed to come out this afternoon or tomorrow and work on in the central air unit. I hope it's repairable. It's over 30 years old, though, and probably needs to be replaced. There's everything in the world but enough money, ya know.
      This Friday, I plan on having the first excerpt from Murder by the Acre, the sequel to Murder by Dewey Decimal. More bodies, more bloodshed, more mayhem. Fun, eh? And now I'll have to go back to work. Talk to you later.
 
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Monday, August 13, 2007

Love is a many hardcovered thing

       I've fallen in love. The day was a typical Monday: angry customers, rude salesmen, pushy telemarketers, but then ... then the mail came. And in the mail was a hardcover of Murder by Dewey Decimal. I liked the softcover version, but the hardcover ... well, that's something else entirely.
       As it turns out, Lulu farms the hardcovers out to another company to produce, and let me tell you that this other company -- whoever it is and Lulu won't tell me -- did a fantastic job. The paper is whiter and more substantial, the cover clean and crisp. It feels more like a book than the softcover did. It's ... beautiful.
       I took it to dinner, then we came home and cuddled as we watched a little TV. We didn't talk much, but it was a good silence, a companionable silence. Finally I've found my soulmate.
      Now it's late, and I'm going to curl up with a good book -- mine -- and go to bed. You can have true love, too, in hardcover or softcover. Just click on one of the links below. Your soulmate awaits. Don't keep it waiting.
 
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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Lazy Saturday

      Not much to tell you. A lazy Saturday in which I did almost nothing except read, nap and watch TV, but mostly I read. I finished the first two books in Tad Williams' Shadowmarch series. I hate that it will be a year or two until the next one comes out. Williams is a terribly slow writer. That's my only complaint about him. Otherwise, he's one of best fantasy/science fiction writers.
      My roomie and I did go out and eat at Mexican restaurant this evening, but that's pretty much sums up everything of note. Not complaining. I needed the downtime.
      Friday night I, my roomie, my friend Kyra and TL and Mel had dinner at Applebee's. My friend Crystal had sent me an Applebee's gift card for my birthday, and I used it to purchase a delicious steak dinner. Thanks, Crystal.
      And that's about it. I hope you had a good Saturday. Talk to you tomorrow.
 
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Thursday, August 09, 2007

First reviews

      These are the first reviews of Murder by Dewey Decimal. The first one was posted on Erudite Redneck and reposted here and at Lulu by permission of ER.

Murder by Dewey Decimal 8 Aug 2007
by Erudite Redneck
      My bloggy buddy and friend Tech (51313 Harbor Street), who is from the same one-horse, two-dog town I'm from in eastern Oklahoma, has done wrote hisself a book, "Murder by Dewey Decimal."
      It's good. I don't read much fiction for the same reason most people don't like history: The first history they read bored them. Well, most of the fiction I read early on bored me.
      "Murder by Dewey Decimal" is not boring. Danged if Tech didn't get me caring about the characters right off the bat. I've laughed out loud more than a few times, and moaned once or twice, at Tech's turns of phrase, and the words he puts in his characters' mouths.
      Interesting to me personally is that I can hear small-town voices and world views in this book, which, of course, is set in a small town in Oklahoma. He mentions our hometown, and mentions the suburb I live in now, which are just fun bonuses.
      "Murder by Dewey Decimal" came in Monday's mail and I've almost finished it. Now, I would never say anything negative about it, Tech being my friend, if I thought it -- I'd just be quiet.
      The fact that 1., I don't care for much fiction; 2., I am giving his book a positive report; and 3., I think I got my money's worth from buying it -- all that should count for something.
      Check it out -- ha ha, a little library humor there!
      What I mean is: Buy it.

Murder by Dewey Decimal 26 Jul 2007 (updated 26 Jul 2007)
by Mark
      An incredible tale that is made even better by being so believable. Great characters, lots of suspense, terrific plot what more could you ask from a book. I loved it!

Murder by Dewey Decimal 25 Jul 2007
by Jolene
      Murder by Dewey Decimal will keep you up late because you won't want to put it down--it keeps you guessing. It's the first in a series, and I can't wait for the next one!

Murder By Dewey Decimal 24 Jul 2007 (updated 24 Jul 2007)
by E.T.C.
      I found this book to be an excellent read. It is very well written and the characters really come to life as the story advances. It develops real suspense as you come to relate with and root for Barnard and Lisa. I like the setting in a smaller, more rural environment where a murder like this would rock the town to its foundation. Things like this do happen and the story is very believable and is also logical. I enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery before it is finally revealed in the end. I can't wait for the next one in the series!

 
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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Issues

      Hey, you still have time to win a lot of books if you register today at Rantings and Ravings. Jean is giving away several great books and even a DVD. Her August Bookpack Giveaway is open to everyone and is a great way for you get acquainted with authors you may not know yet. Go there now and win free stuff!
      A less than enjoyable time last night. I guess the doctor hit a nerve or something when he was digging on my flesh yesterday because my foot throbbed painfully all through the night. Not much sleep. The pain finally diminished about four this morning. At least I don't have to go to my hellish job this morning, not that I could. I hope that the swelling goes down by tomorrow so that I can wear a shoe on that foot. I rather not be at work in my socks.
      My blood sugar was at 124 this morning. That’s annoying. Probably the stress of the surgery and my lack of activity. It's hard to exercise when your foot hurts. The doctor told me to stay off it and not overtax it until the infection heals. I need a swimming pool that I could walk/swim laps in. Wish I had some generous friend that would allow me the use of theirs every evening, but I don't. There is a fitness center here that has a pool, but they only allow swimming during the times I'm at work. I've simply got to lose weight and need to exercise to do that. Somehow I'm going to work this out. Don't know how yet, but there is a solution of some sort out there.
      While at the doctor's office yesterday, I wrote the following:
And now I'm at the doctor waiting for him or the nurse or whoever will be cutting on me. This is a very busy place with lots of limping people wandering around. Not a place to attempt to put together a cross-country team, I think. The nurse acted strange when I asked to use one of the empty desks to set up my roommate's laptop. She said, "We don't have Internet here." I said, "That's fine. I'm going to write." "Oh," she said, clearly unconvinced that anyone would want to do anything with a computer other than surf the Net. Anyway, I'm in an examination room, using the small desk in here to type. The aide left the door ajar so I'm able to see into the hall and watch the people mill around. Apparently this is surgery day as I'm seeing a lot of pale people limp past the door, their faces white with pain or maybe they've just seen their bill. Either way, it's not encouraging.

I'm off work tomorrow. At least that's the plan right now as they told me that I would need to elevate the foot for 24 hours. Which means I'm stuck watching TV or reading or talking on the phone, enjoyable activities in small measure but not for a whole day. Oh well, it could be worse. Years ago I had a plantar growth cut off a toe and spend three days sick from the pain pills. That's when I discovered that certain pain medications and I don't go together.

Truthfully, I don't much like doctors. For every good one, there seems to be four others who care only for money. And they all have an exaggerated sense of their own importance and the worth of their time. Although I must be honest and point out that no one had even paid me $80 an hour so maybe they have a point.

The nurse came in and moved me to an examination table. Once again, the laptop seemed to bother her. I guess I'm just supposed to wait here quietly reading a magazine while they drink coffee and party in their secret party room while their patients bleed to death ... Yes, I am a little irritated. Mostly by the cost. And the fact that I can't seem to get ahead of my bills or even come close without something like my foot happening. Something I can't ignore because A) the problem won't go away B) the problem will become worse and C) it could spread and I end up in the hospital, which is in a whole new range of costs.

Basically our health care system is killing us. The United States -– with its proud stance of no "socialized medicine" -- has one of the highest infant mortality of the developed world. What's up with that? We also have one of the lowest lifespans of the developed world. Once again, what's up with that? If our health care system is so wonderful, why do our doctors treat more and more people with advanced cases of cancers that should have been caught earlier, but aren't? Could it be that the costs of tests and unwillingness of insurance companies and the government health agencies to pay for those tests keep people from having them?

Whenever I mention England or France or Canada, people always mention that their sister, their cousin, their brother or themselves had a terrible, TERRIBLE experience in the aforementioned health care and the U.S. is better. If so, you'd think the stats would support that, but they don't. I know people who have died due to errors in the U.S. heath care system. My good friend Marsha had to struggle to get treatment for her breast cancer. She realized early on that her insurance company wasn't trying to aid her; in fact, they kept looking for ways to deny her coverage and treatment. Her doctor plainly told her the best treatment for her wasn't going to be paid for by insurance and since she had no money herself, he'd have to recommend another treatment that didn't have as good success rate. Only her determination got her treatment in time, treatment that she will continue to have to pay for her whole life unless, she says, she woos a rich man. I think it's wrong that she has had to sacrifice her future just to stay alive, and I hope she finds that rich man soon.

American's health care system is broken, but I don't know if it will ever be fixed. Too many people are invested in it continuing the way it is. Doctors in U.K. and Canada speak enviously of the salaries of their American counterparts. It's interesting to note that they don't long for better equipment or facilities, but just that money. Our land of plenty is a land of want when you look at our health care system. It frankly discourages me.

The few times before when I've mentioned health care here, I get a few comments from people who want to share why our system is better than our countries. I'm not going to listen to you. You don't know what you're talking about. When you do research, and you won't because you won't let a few facts stand in the way of your beliefs, you will find no statistics that support what you say. Don't get me wrong. Those systems overseas are not perfect and also allow people to fall through the cracks, and there are thousands of individuals who die because they didn't get adequate care, but overall, they're doing better. Why is that? Why can't we do better? Doctor's here.
      And now I need to soak my foot again and take some pain meds. My foot's unhappy. Me, too.
 
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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tuesday morn

      Blogger's being all wocky today. I can't look at my page, although apparently I am able to post. We'll see how it goes.
     I wanted to thank Gloria (Wry Words), Frenzied Feline (Life Happens) and Michelle (Soul Patches) for posting a link to Murder by Dewey Decimal on their blogs. They are awesome ladies, and I appreciate their support.
      I have another minor surgery on my foot this afternoon. I'm not looking forward to this, although who would? I'm hoping this will be the last. There will probably be another follow-up visit, but maybe that will be it. I hope so. Not having health insurance ... is truly bad. Maybe someday our country will have affordable universal health care. If insurance companies and doctors didn't worship the all-mighty dollar, we might already.
      I've found that I've been thinking of money spent in terms of books I need to sell. For instance, my first foot surgery cost me 42 books. My diabetes testing strips cost me 25 books. I wonder if non-self-published authors do that. When they buy a McDonalds burger, do they automatically think, 'Well, there goes a hardcover'?
      I'm running late today. I overslept so I'm going to have to cut this short. Have a good day.
 
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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Weekend happenings

EDITED A SECOND TIME TO ADD: Apparently when I checked Murder by Dewey Decimal on the weekly best selling ranking, they hadn't finished tallying my sales. MBDD is at 45th on the weekly best selling list! Woohoo! (My all time sales rank is 2,405.) I appreciate everyone who has purchased it. I almost don't dare to hope it will climb further ... but I do.

EDITED TO ADD: Jean at Rantings and Ravings is having a fantastic August BookPack Giveaway, loaded with prizes, INCLUDING a copy of Murder by Dewey Decimal. I'm so excited to see MBDD there. Go enter. She's giving away a lot of books!

      So I had my last meeting on the theater board today. It went okay. There were some awkward moments, but it went well for the most part. I have some regrets about leaving, but not enough to rethink staying on the board. I wish them luck and much success, and that is that.
      Murder by Dewey Decimal moved one step up the weekly best selling list at Lulu.com, from 76 to 75. In the all time sales rank, it moved from 8,143 to 2,503. Got a bit to go, I think, but least we're moving up still. I appreciate everyone's support.
      Had a good weekend. I went to several garage sales Saturday morning. Didn't find much to buy, but I do enjoy looking at other people's junk. I did find one large poster frame. It was just a dollar. I found one on Amazon like it, and it was $27. So that was a good buy.
      I spent the rest of Saturday working on producing some publicity materials for MBDD. Gotta keep selling those books. The more I sell, the closer my dreams come. I'm not really comfortable with this sell, sell, sell attitude I've had to adopt, but who enjoys that? Marketing is just part of publishing these days.
      This week I intend to finish the June family newsletter, publish it, and get it mailed. Then work on the July and August. I'd like to catch up this month. That's the plan, anyway. We'll see how it goes.
      Tuesday I have minor surgery on my foot again, but I expect that will be the end of it. Or at least I hope so. I also hope to have some good news to share with you tomorrow. I'll tell you about it then if it happens.
      And now it's time to go to bed. Talk to you tomorrow.
 
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Friday, August 03, 2007

Grand things

      Apparently my pain meds make me nauseous. So either my foot can hurt or I can feel like I'm going to throw up all the time. Whee. Isn't life grand.
      Speaking of grand -- without sarcasm this time -- visit Frenzied Feline's blog Life Happens to see a photo of the Murder by Dewey Decimal tote bag and a MBDD button. Very cool.
      Another grand thing is people are starting to receive their copies of MBDD. I've had several people call me to let me know they have arrived. The book looks good! I'm pleased.
      A third grand thing is that I went to dinner last night with TL and his lovely wife Mel. I met them when I cast them in The Vigil. They're smart, funny, enthusiastic and young, with lots of plans for their future. I always feel energized after spending time with them. Whatever else I can say about the local theater group -- and trust me, I could say plenty -- it did allow me to meet people that I might never have met otherwise. Admittedly a handful weren't people I ever wanted to meet, but for the most part, I've met wonderful people. I am grateful to the theater group for that if nothing else. (This Sunday marks my last theater group meeting.)
      In the non-so-grand category, Cafepress.com has decided to increase the cost of most of their T-shirts by $3 and the Tile Box by $4. The increase won't take place until later in August, although they haven't given a date yet. If you were going to buy any MBDD T-shirts or the Tile Box, you should do it soon to avoid their price increase. According to their press release about the shirt increase: "We are adding a charge to cover the additional cost of materials and labor required when printing in multiple areas on garments. We held off on implementing this charge as long as possible, but we have found that our volume has reached a point where it is necessary to offset the costs associated with multiple prints." Well, whatever. I think I can remove the printing on the back of the shirts and avoid the cost increase, but I will have to find out. Anyway, if you want any shirts or the Tile Box, now is the time. I'm going to buy a couple more now so that I can get the printing on the back at the current price.
      Also in the not-so-grand category, I got an email from Lulu that said my book probably won't be at the wholesalers until October. This is a major upset in my publicity plans. Of course, people can buy it at Lulu, but there are plenty of people who prefer to use their local bookstores and online retailers like Amazon, not to mention libraries won't buy it until it's from a wholesaler. Major bummer.
      Speaking of major bummers, it's time to get ready for work. Talk to you later. Have a good day.
 
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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tuesday not so good & today ... sigh

       Tuesday wasn't so good. Nowhere close to Monday. A couple of angry and rude customers followed by some minor surgery on my foot made for a painful day.
       The thing about the foot is that when I went into the doctor, I wasn't feeling any pain. Now it throbs. I'm supposed to have it elevated, but that's impossible at work. I had intended to take the afternoon off and take care of it, but my secretary went ahead and quit today. (She had given her notice a couple of weeks ago, but was going to stay until next week. Her plans changed.) My boss is on vacation, and with her gone, that leaves just me to man the office. Oh happy day. And to make it worse, I have to go back next Tuesday to have more done, but at least that should be the end of it.
       I did receive good news about my diabetes, though. My blood tests from last week came back, and the results are good. I don't have my diabetes under control yet, but my blood sugar counts all dropped, and I'm very close to achieving control. Liver and kidney functions came back good. So all this dieting and the lifestyle changes are really working. I'm very pleased.
       Sales have slowed on Murder by Dewey Decimal, but I'm still getting some. So far, each publicity "wave" has generated a few more sales. The best result, so far, has been from the postcards that I mailed to friends and family. Second best, the email I sent out. And then I've got a handful of sales from the posters and buttons. Next up is the press release for various newspapers. And also the postcards to Oklahoma libraries. And then book signings.
       Last night I sat down and did some plotting on Murder by the Acre, the sequel to MBDD. I realized what was wrong with the final third of the book. I can fix it without having to throw the whole section out. The fixing will reach back into the first third, but it's going to be a much stronger and funnier book as a result. The books aren't laugh-a-minute, but I do like there to be humor in them. I'm going to get working on it. I have a target date to release it sometime in October or early November. Christmas shopping, ya know.
       Hey, a BIG THANK YOU goes out to Frenzied Feline. She posted a link to MBDD on her sidebar. She's the first of my blogging friends to do so. (Hint, hint!) I appreciate her support. If I ever have a fan club, I want her to be in charge of it!
      Well, it's time to go back to work. I've been posting during lunch. Hope the rest of your day goes well. Talk to you tomorrow.
 
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