Monday, July 30, 2007

A good Monday?!

       Yes, I had a good Monday. Hard to believe about a Monday when I had to work, but it's true. Oh, there were a few problems at work, but plenty of nice things happened to make the problems seem insignificant.
       First good thing: Plenty of friends and family called, mailed cards, and emailed to wish me a happy birthday. It was awesome that people would take the time to do so. I was touched.
       Second good thing: My friend Kevin took me to lunch today at a Mexican restaurant. We were joined by my roomie. A nice meal.
       Third good thing: My roomie grilled T-bone steaks for us tonight as my birthday meal. We had it with new potatoes, sugar snap peas, broccoli salad, tomatoes and a slice of cherry chip cake. Delicious.
       Fourth good thing: I received some good loot from various friends and family, including three cool shirts, some Murder by Dewey Decimal merchandise and a couple of gift cards. Very nice and very unexpected.
       Fifth good thing: I had ordered some MBDD buttons, journal, cards and T-shirts, and they all came into today. Other than the journal, I'm pleased with how everything looks. (The journal was damaged in transit.)
       Sixth good thing: MBDD was today the 76th entry on the weekly top 100 best selling list on Lulu. Is that cool or what? I don't know if the book will rise any higher, but since I didn't expect to make the list anyway, it was a nice boost. And hey, it made the list without me ordered any books. (I will eventually be ordering about 25 for the book signing in my hometown and in my current town, but haven't needed to do that yet because the book signings won't be until the book is available at the wholesalers, sometimes in August or early September.) I sure appreciate everyone who purchased one and thank you for supporting me. (Please tell your friends about it! Word of mouth is the best advertising ... unless, of course, I could get Harry Potter to make a guest appearance in my book!)
      And that was my Monday. I hope you had a good day. Apparently that is possible even on a Monday. Good night!
Order Murder by Dewey Decimal in paperback HERE!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal in hardcover HERE!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal merchandise HERE!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

First T-shirt sighting

       Yesterday I was invited to a housewarming for my roomie's son's family. I received a cool surprise. My roomie had ordered a Murder by Dewey Decimal T-shirt -- which I knew -- but I didn't know it had arrived. He wore it to the housewarming! This was my first time to see the t-shirt. (Mine hasn't arrived yet, but I expect it this week). It looked good. Nice quality and clear bold printing. I was delighted. And the T-shirt led to his mom and dad purchasing a copy of MBDD. Here's my roomie and his parents.

      It was a nice surprise in a very nice day. The house, by the way, is lovely. My roomie's son and daughter-in-law have a great home and wonderful children. Good food, good people, good conversation, and a book order! That's a good day.
       Tomorrow will be my birthday. I'm just telling you before Frenzied Feline does -- I let the cat out of bag on hers and expect her to do the same to me. I have to work, which isn't fun, but I should receive some phone calls from friends and family and those always are.
      Today I'm working on the family newsletter and finishing the patron drive for my local theater group. Next Sunday afternoon will complete my commitment to the theater group, and I promise you that if I allow myself to get talked into doing something else for them, you're may slap me. Hard. But I feel safe in saying that my involvement with the group is done for a while.
      And now I'm going to call some people to harass them for their newsletter article. Wish me luck and have a great day.

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal in paperback HERE!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal in hardcover HERE!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal merchandise HERE!

Friday, July 27, 2007

First chapter

       If you'd like a taste of Murder by Dewey Decimal, Lulu provides a preview of the complete first chapter HERE. If you've joined us late, Murder by Dewey Decimal is my mystery novel just published by Lulu.
      Last night, a friend and I were talking about the book and its launch, and he made an interesting statement that I think applies to a lot of authors. He said, "It would be hard for me to sell a book. I'd be embarrassed." On various authors' sites and on writing forums, I've often heard writers say that they enjoyed the writing, but they hated the selling. Perhaps I have an advantage in this. My jobs, for the most part, have always involved selling some product, be it advertising or financial. So I am less reluctant than most to ask people to buy my book.
      Yes, there is, for some reason, some embarrassment involved. Lately I've been feeling I should apologize to my regular readers for hawking MBDD so much. It's basically been all we've talked about. I'm trying to make it as interesting as I can, so if you're bored, sorry, but we're going to continue to discuss it for a while. I'm proud of my little book, and I want to share it with as many people who are willing. To this end, I'm asking my friends here with blogs if they would be willing to place a link to my book on their blog. I can also supply a pic of the book cover for your blogs. Gloria has already allowed me to post the entire Launch! posting on the blog I share with her (Wry Words). Thank you so much, Gloria. You're awesome.
       Speaking of awesome, Frenzied Feline certainly deserves that label. Not only did she purchase FIVE copies of MBDD yesterday, she also purchased MBDD merchandise: a MBDD button and a MBDD tote bag. I take back and swallow happily every bad thing I've ever said about blondes and Californians. FF is redeeming the entire state and hair color all by herself. Thank you, FF. My robot monkeys will spare California.
      I appreciate everyone who has purchased a book and those who say they're going to. I've actually sold less books than the number of people who have told me that they've purchased one, so I don't know if Lulu is reporting the numbers right, but so far, it's close enough that I'm not too concerned. Currently the number sold is at 16. My goal is to sell at least 100 books. Naturally I want to sell many, many, many more, but 100 is a magical number for self-published books. Apparently most SPBs never make it that far. We'll see how it goes. Selling a couple of thousand books would make a huge difference in my life, but we'll worry about the first 100 for now.
      And now I have to get to work. I'm so glad it's Friday. I am ready for the week to be over. You have a good day, and I'll talk to you tomorrow if not sooner. Adios!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal in paperback HERE!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal in hardcover HERE!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal merchandise HERE!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

In flight

      Of course, you know the launch of Murder by Dewey Decimal took place yesterday. Many friends called or emailed me, some after they purchased MBDD. I appreciate all the support! Awesome and exciting!
      Most everyone had a question or two so I thought I'd answer them as best I could.
      When will MBDD be available online at Barnes & Noble?
       In four to six weeks if it is, but it may not be. Let me explain. After the book is published on Lulu, it's offered to wholesalers who may list it in their catalogs. At that time, on-line services can choose to offer a book. According to Lulu, most of the time, they do, but it's strictly up to the online retailer. However, you could go into your local B&N and order the book; it just may not be available online. This applies, unfortunately, to all online retailers, including Amazon. But with the book at wholesalers, you can go into any brick and mortar bookstore and order it.
      How much do you make per book?
      Nosy, aren't you? After Lulu takes out the manufacturing cost, their commission and tax withholding, I "pocket" less than $2 a book. And I won't even have that for a while. Lulu pays royalties quarterly so the first time I'll actually see a check will be in November, and then only if I have sold enough books to go over the royalty threshold, which I haven't. So I'm not quitting my day job. Yet.
      Could you give me one of your author's copies?
      Lulu doesn't provide author's copies. I have to purchase the book and pay shipping just like you do, except they don't charge my commission on any books I buy.
      Will you mail me a book?
      If you send me a check for the book and shipping. Otherwise, no. And honestly I'd rather not do that. It doesn’t make sense for you because you'd be paying for the shipping from Lulu to me and then the shipping from me to you.
      Why does the hardcover not have an IBSN number? Won't we need that to order it from a bookstore?
       The hardcover will only be available on For it to be sold elsewhere, it would need another ISBN number, which I'd have to purchase. Don't have the money right now, but even if I did, I doubt I would. The retail markup would price the hardcover at $47. People might pay that for Harry Potter, but not for Bernard, Lisa and the chief. Furthermore, I've decided to discontinue the hardcover online and only sell it at my book signings. Several self-published authors on the Lulu forums said that they weren't able to sell their hardcovers online, but had been able to sell them at book signings. I won't remove the hardcover for a month or so because I've already had a couple of people say they want to order one so I'll give them a chance to do that first.
      If I mail a book to you, would you sign it and mail it back?
       Well, sure, if you include postage for me to mail it back. Once again, that doesn't make sense for you, because you would be paying for shipping three times: from Lulu to you, from you to me, and from me to you. That's the reason I came up with the autographed bookplates.
      What about that bookplate?
      I've designed a "deluxe" bookplate that I will sign and mail to anyone who's purchased the book while the supply lasts. The bookplates are numbered 1-100 and will be dated. They will be adhesive mounted so that they can be placed permanently in your book. I am only going to do 100 of the "deluxe" bookplates, although I hope I have cause to create a "standard" one later.
      How do I get a bookplate?
      Buy a book and then email your name and address to me. Simple as that.
      How soon will Murder by the Acre be out?
      I hope by October, but that really depends on how sales on this one. I'm not expecting a best-seller, but if I only sell 20, then perhaps I need to devote my energies to something more productive like running for president or conquering the world.
      How many did you sell on the launch day?
Seven. Oddly enough, all seven were purchased by men. No women have purchased a copy. Ladies, I forgot to mention that Bernard looks like Brad Pitt and spends much of the book without his shirt on. I didn't write that in the book, but you should imagine him or the man of your choice as you read it.
      And now it's time to get ready for work. Have a great day!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal in paperback HERE!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal in hardcover HERE!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal merchandise HERE!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lift-off! We have lift-off!

Murder by Dewey Decimal

A Measurements of Murder Mystery™ Novel

By Stephen B. Bagley

      When Assistant Librarian Bernard M. Worthington finds the body of the dreaded Agatha Ryton-Storer, he has no way of knowing her death will begin a series of murders that will stun his small town & reveal secrets hidden for thirty years. He, roving reporter Lisa Trent & Police Chief Chuck Donaldson must outwit a ruthless, determined murderer. What was stolen from the library safe? What happened to the missing janitor? Why is Lisa a target? Who stole the Ryton family jewels? Why did old Eliah Ryton will his hideous mansion to the city? What secrets does it hold & who is killing to hide them?
      Appealing characters, sly wit, clever plot & chilling suspense mark this first novel in the Measurements of Murder Mystery™ series.

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal in paperback HERE!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal in hardcover HERE!

Order Murder by Dewey Decimal merchandise HERE!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

T-minus 1 and counting ...

       We are close to the launch of Murder by Dewey Decimal. If I were cool -- and I'll tell you right now that I'm not and never will be; I'm quirky and dangerously so -- I'd be real casual about the whole thing, but instead I'm just about hopping up and down. It feels like Christmas when I was a kid, and that's a wonderful feeling that I don't get to feel very often these days. I highly recommend the feeling.
      One minute past midnight tonight, it will be available to order. Of course, I realize that most folks will have long since went to bed. There won't be a flood of orders, but just knowing it's there will be a good thing. I expect to be smiling a lot tomorrow.
      Tonight I uploaded a few corrections, but mostly I wandered around the Lulu site and looked at other people's books. There is a lot of good looking books there. I hope mine fits in.
      Oh, I mailed out a lot of postcards to my family and friends today. Let me know if you receive yours. (I mailed to them all the Harbor Street readers whose addresses I have.) I'm anxious about the USPS treated them.
      I went to the doctor today for my three month diabetes check-up. So far, so good. I don't have my liver or A1C tests back yet, of course, but otherwise it looks good. I have to go to another doctor next Tuesday for a diabetes wound problem, but that's minor and shouldn't be a problem.
      Well, I'm going to close now. Talk to you tomorrow. Thank you all for your support. Night!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Countdown to MBDD launch ...

       Would you believe I found two more misspellings in Murder by Dewey Decimal tonight? I have a character whose name is Veit, but I misspelled it as Viet. In only two places, but it makes me glad I did this final read-through. I've only found a handful of errors. My proofreaders did a good job. Thanks again, Crystal, ETC, Frenzied Feline and Jean. Y'all are awesome.
      Tomorrow night I intend to read the whole book again. One last time before it's approved. This is absolutely my last chance to catch anything. From Wednesday on, the book is out of my hands. And weirdly enough, while I'll be glad to see it published, I also find myself wanting to hold on to it a bit longer. It's my baby, and right now, it belongs only to me. Wednesday I'll be sharing it with -- I hope -- a lot of people. So I'm enjoying these last few hours of it belonging solely to me. I said it was weird, didn't I?
      Today was okay at work. A good thing. Too many days like last Wednesday, and I think I'd just walk off my job. And not look back. Hey, if you could walk away from your job right now, what would you do? What is your dream career? Mine is being a writer. To spend my days in words, that would be awesome.
      I think I'm going to read another chapter in MBDD and then call it a night. I hope your day went well. Talk to you tomorrow. Night!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Countdown to MBDD launch ...

       I had a good, quiet, busy weekend. I worked on a lot of projects, laundry, housework, errands, etc. I also rented The Astronaut Farmer, a very good movie. Heartwarming and uplifting.
      In case you didn't notice the garnish photo above, we are in the countdown for the launch of Murder by Dewey Decimal. It will lift-off Wednesday. You'll be able to purchase it at then. Naturally I'll provide a link as soon as it's there. I'm excited about it, and, I guess, anxious about it. I hope people are kind to my baby and give it a chance. But it's time for it to leave the nest.
      I hope I have a decent Monday tomorrow. They've been a bit of a drag lately. Seems to be the day customers choose to be mean, although that was Wednesday last week. Someday I'm going to lose it and start yelling at some hapless customer. It will go something like this: "I just work here! I have no control over company policies! Please call my manager/boss/company to complain! And now I'm going to kill you! BWWWWHHHAAAAAA!" Then there will be the sounds of laser shots, breaking bones, moans of pain, glass breaking, buildings blowing up, etc. Should be fun.
      Anyway, it's late, and I'm going to call it a night. I'm still working on the next diabetes article, but should post it this week. Talk care, and have a great week.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Symptoms of diabetes

      Diabetes has a multitude of symptoms. A diabetic may have all, some or none of these. As a result, many diabetics are often undiagnosed for long periods of time, particular if they have another chronic condition that can mask or mimic diabetic symptoms.
      As we talked last time, there are two types of diabetics: Type 1 and Type 2. In Type 1, the body makes little or no insulin on its own. These are the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes:
      ● Increased thirst or hunger
      ● Frequent urination
      ● Rapid weight loss (even though you eat normally)
      ● Blurred vision
      ● Dizziness
      ● Itchy or dry skin
      ● Fatigue.
      These symptoms can arise suddenly, but most experts believe Type 1 diabetes develops over a long period of time.
      In Type 2 diabetics, the insulin doesn’t work the way it should. (Type 2 diabetics can also have decreased insulin production.) These are the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes:
      ● Increased thirst
      ● Frequent urination
      ● Slow healing of cuts or sores
      ● Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
      ● Blurred vision
      ● Dizziness
      ● Itchy or dry skin
      ● Fatigue
      ● Frequent infection (urinary tract, vaginal infections, boils, etc.)
      These symptoms normally arise over a long period of time. Some Type 2 diabetics have mild or no symptoms.
      If you have any of these symptoms, visit your health care provider as soon as possible. To properly diagnose diabetes requires only simple blood tests. It's an easy way to protect your health. We’ll talk more about this next time.

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. For individual health care questions, consult your doctor. For more information about diabetes, visit the website for the American Diabetes Association.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What is diabetes?

      As most of you know by now, I was recently diagnosed as a diabetic. This has caused radical changes in my life beyond what I ever imagined. I also discovered that I knew next to nothing about diabetes and a lot of what I thought I knew was wrong. I thought I'd start a series of posts to share what I've learned about this dangerous disease that afflicts more than 21 million people in the United States today.
      Diabetes has plagued mankind for millennia. Our earliest known record of diabetes may be by physician Hesy-Ra in 1552 B.C. on Third Dynasty Egyptian papyrus who described a disease with similar symptoms to diabetes. The first known use of the word 'diabetes' was in the late 2nd Century B.C. by Demetrios of Apameia. Historical references to diabetes abound. It is not a new disease.
      But what is diabetes? When you have diabetes, either your body isn't making enough insulin or the insulin you have isn't working the way it should. If your body isn't making insulin, you are what they call a Type 1 diabetic (once known as juvenile-onset diabetes). If your insulin isn't working the way it should, you are a Type 2 diabetic. Type 2 diabetics can also not make enough insulin. (I am a Type 2 diabetic. My insulin doesn't work properly. I also have decreased production of insulin, but the levels haven't fallen to the point that I need to take insulin shots. More on this later in the series.)
      Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, a body organ that sits behind the stomach. Insulin works like this: Most food is broken down in your body into a form of sugar known as glucose. Glucose is the body's main source of energy. As glucose enters the bloodstream, the amount of sugar in the blood rises. Normally this rise in blood sugar signals your body to have the pancreas release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin helps the cells of your body absorb the sugar. The cells can use the sugar immediately or store it for use later on.
      In a diabetic, this system breaks down. Your body doesn't make any or enough insulin or your insulin doesn't work the way it should. Either way, sugar can't get into your body's cells. The sugar stays trapped in your bloodstream. Your sugar levels rise to abnormally high amounts. As your blood sugar level rises, your kidneys attempt to get rid of the excess sugar by increasing urination. However, your kidneys can't get rid of enough of it.
      Carried by your blood, the abnormally high sugar damages your entire body. Untreated diabetes can cause or contribute to: neuropathy (nerve damage), cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy, blindness, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, periodontal disease, liver disease, sexual dysfunction, bladder disease, and blood infections, as well as making the diabetic more susceptible to other illnesses, such as pneumonia and influenza. Also, untreated diabetics heal slowly, and due to neuropathy, they are often unaware they have suffered a minor wound until it becomes gangrenous. This can lead to amputation of limbs.
      It's no wonder that diabetes was a death sentence before the production of commercial insulin in the early 1920's. Even today, it's still among the six leading causes of death in the United States.
      Next time we'll discuss the symptoms of diabetes.

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. For individual health care questions, consult your doctor. For more information about diabetes, visit the website for the American Diabetes Association.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Small successes

      I know posts have been scarce around here. I'm sorry for that, but it's been a bad week. My job has been grueling, and my diabetes responded accordingly with high enough sugars to sap my energy and make me feel terrible. Let's not dwell on that. We'll talk about the successes of the week, of which there were some.
      First, I finished two family newsletters. I published and mailed both the April and May. And I have started the June, which I hope to finish this weekend.
      Second, I had a nice meal with some friends Tuesday night at a local Mexican restaurant. Good conversation and good food. I was limited to what I could eat, but the conversation was so good that I didn't feel deprived.
      Third, I created a bunch of merchandise for Murder by Dewey Decimal on Cafepress. It was a lot of fun. Buy your MBDD T-shirts, mugs, bags, cards, magnets, buttons, etc. here.
      Fourth, I reduced my monthly bills some and hope to be able to reduce them even more. I'm tired of being stressed about money. It's time to fix that.
      Fifth, I'm still here. Still functioning. Still plugging along. Still have hope. Still believe in love, American way, God's goodness. That's a victory this week.
      If you're wondering what's happening with MBDD, it will be published Friday, July 27. Oddly enough, the release of Harry Potter led to the postponement. Apparently almost all other book sales drop drastically week following its release. The Harry Potter juggernaut rolls over everyone else. So a lot of publishers hold off their releases until the initial HP rush is over. Makes sense to me.
      The weekend is almost here. I hope tomorrow goes well for you. Talk to you then.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bad day

Bad day. One of the worse ones I've ever had at work. I think I need a new job. One that's less stressful and more fulfilling. Don't know how to accomplish that or even if it's possible, but it's time to find out.

I'm worn out emotionally and physically. So I'm going to close now. Talk to you tomorrow.

Monday, July 16, 2007


      Why do biting insects consider me an all-you-can-eat buffet? Mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, horseflies, Congressmen, etc., you name the pest; they all want a big bite of me.
      I could be on a beach covered head-to-foot in a spacesuit that had been lathered in enough insect repellent to permanently alter my DNA and be surrounded by nearly naked people, but the insects would ignore all those easy targets to swarm me.
      I've actually stepped just outside my front door to get the mail and been attacked by so many mosquitoes that my tan faded. I'm the equivalent of a blood bank to them. Female mosquitoes have been known to fly vast continents and brave vicious hurricanes to get a pint from me. (Male mosquitoes don't drink blood. They eat pollen only. This is yet another example of the female being more vicious than the male. Remember that before you vote for Hillary.)
      And don't tell me about your home remedies. I've tried lotion, lotion with lemon juice, lotion with citronella sap, lotion with perfume, lotion with skunk oil, etc. I've spent entire summers slicker than a greased pig. My favorite was Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil. It didn't keep the mosquitoes away, but they appreciated how soft my skin felt to their little feet.
      Some Native American tribes used to smear their bodies with bear fat, buffalo manure and tobacco to keep insects away. It certainly kept away the other people.
      Other home remedies include rubbing your skin with oils from cedar, lavender, garlic, cinnamon or peppermint. The first two make the insects feel like they're back in their beloved forests while the last three add a pleasant taste.
      And don't expect those citronella candles to work. I think they were actually created by insect sympathizers who wanted to give the bugs a chance to dine by candlelight. We only need to play music to complete a romantic evening for Mr. and Mrs. Bug.
      Commercial insect repellents don't work, either. They're greasy, stinky and dangerous. Have you ever read the labels on the spray cans? Nuclear power plants don’t come with the warnings they do. (Most people don't know that Godzilla was actually created by an accident with insect repellent when a small, innocent reptile -- like that one in those car insurance commercials -- fell into a vat of chemicals meant to be used against Mothra.)
      But don't think that I function only as a landing strip for the flying pests. Chiggers and ticks also find me tasty. They sprint my direction with speed that quarter horses envy. You can actually hear them rushing toward me. It gives "the pitter-patter of little feet" a whole new ugly meaning.
      Of course, I've been told that other people actually get bit as much as I do, but because I develop large welts when an insect's shadow even falls on me, I notice the bites more. There is, unfortunately, some truth in that observation. Some truth, ha! I swell up so much that elephantiasis victims pity me. I've been mistaken for the Michelin man. (Okay, I've been mistaken for him when I haven't been bit, too. Shut up.) You could do worse with your money than to buy stock into companies who manufacture hydrocortisone cream. I have their toll-free ordering numbers on speed dial in my cell phone.
      So basically when spring and summer come around, I retreat back inside my house, away from the insects. I try to not be depressed about it. But when people say a black cloud hovers over me, they’re right. That cloud is composed of hungry bugs.

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A little crazy

      I went a little crazy on Cafepress. I made T-shirts, mouse pad, magnet, baseball caps, tile box, tote bag, button and journal for Murder by Dewey Decimal. Yes, I know probably few people will buy them, and I priced them close to what they cost to make so I won't make money on any that do sell, but I thought it was cool. And I had a good time making them. You can click here to see the merchandise.
      Here are some photos, one of the mouse pad, one of the coffee mug, and one of the red baseball Jersey. I like them, but then, I would.

      And now you know what I've done most of the day. What did you do today? Anything exciting? I'm going to call it a night now. Take care. Talk to you tomorrow. Pleasant dreams.

Friday, July 13, 2007

What I've been doing ...

      ... is working on my family newsletter and correcting and editing Murder by Dewey Decimal. Yes, you'd think that I'd be finished with that, but I'm not. Much of what I've been doing is making the formatting acceptable to the various retailers and wholesalers. If I had only sold the book on Lulu, I wouldn't have to be doing all this, which is something I'm going to look long and hard at for Murder by the Acre. The rest of it is fixing omission errors (I found several instances where I left out words), continuity errors (referring to Cameron Veit as John Veit), punctuation typos (two periods instead of one at the end of a sentence and a closing quote mark at the front of quote), typos in general (your car instead of you car), and dialogue sharpening. I've discovered nearly twenty errors of various types -- no reflection on my proofreaders who did a marvelous job in catching most of them.
      So this isn't me just being obsessive, although I'm certainly capable of that, particularly since I found out that I won't be able to correct any errors once the book is published without either putting out a lot of money or creating a new edition, which also requires a cash outlay. Yet another consequence of not having the book only available on Lulu.
      So what does this mean about the release date? Well, now it's July 22. I should be able to read the third proof and enter the corrections and receive the fourth proof by then. I hope. If not, then it will be as soon as I receive the fourth proof and give it a read. Look, it's going to be in July. Really it is. I promise sort of. No, no, no, it will be in July. Really ...
      What exciting things will you be up to this weekend? I'll be working on the May family newsletter, laundry, housework, shopping, errands, etc. The usual. I hope you're doing cool things. Although I appreciate a weekend when things can go slow every now and then.
      The postcards announcing the book are ready to go. (They give a release date of July so it will be July.) These are going to friends and family, people I hope will be interested in what I'm doing if not the the book itself. There's also a press release that will be going out, but it won't mail until August when the MBDD is available for order from the online retailers, etc. It will be going to various newspapers where I know the editor or where the "hook" might interest their readers. (The hook being either I lived in that town or know the editor or mention that town in the book.)
      I will also be updating the MBDD website with the corrected first chapter and ordering information. What else? The MBDD T-shirts are available now at should you like to be a walking billboard for the book. Click here to go there. Send a photo of yourself in the t-shirt to me, and I'll send you the first chapter of Murder by the Acre and another cool gift, yet to be decided. (Probably the first chapter of Dragons Gather or Darkness, Oklahoma or an essay from Floozy, my collection of humorous articles. Your choice.)
      Let's see. What else? I'd like to have reviews on Lulu and Amazon for MBDD. Jean graciously offered to review the book, which was very cool, although I'm not sure if she meant on her blog or at Lulu. Either way is cool and much appreciated from anyone who chooses to do so. Please let me know if you do.
      Oh, it's time for a Disclosure section. Many other bloggers have already done this after the government pressed charges against a few bloggers who gave good reviews to products and services without revealing they had received compensation to do so. I didn't think my little blog applied to this, but a friend of mine asked me the other day what Holly Lisle paid me to say such nice things about her books. Holly, of course, doesn't pay me. In fact, we've never met and only exchanged brief emails a few times. Anyway, here's my Disclosure: No one gives me money to say anything about anything, and I don't get paid to promote any products or services, except for my own. I also have no control over the ads that Google places on my blog and take no blame or credit and don't support or not support what is shown there. This blog is my opinion about life, and your mileage may vary. This will be added to my sidebar so that you can read it any time you want to, although I don't know why you'd want to.
      And now I'm going to close for the night. Have a great weekend. Talk to you later.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Beautiful sky

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

      I had a wonderful dinner at my friends' house tonight. The food and company were wonderful. I had a crappy day, but the evening redeemed it all. Thanks K&J. I really appreciated it!
      After I got home, I finished the April (!) family newsletter. Yeah, I'm a bit behind. I intend to finish the May newsletter this week. We'll see how it goes. And now I'm going to call it a night. Y'all have a great day tomorrow. Pleasant dreams.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

This is amazing!

      Rain posted this on her blog, and I had to post it here.

Cool clouds

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

And the winner ...

      ... of the July 2007 Giveaway is TL! TL wins the hardcover edition of Holly Lisle's stunning dark fantasy Talyn. TL, contact me to arrange delivery. Thanks to everyone who particpated. Be watching for the August 2007 Giveaway.
      Lulu has shipped the second proof copy of Murder by Dewey Decimal. This means the third proof should be shipped next week. We're still on schedule for a July 15th release. I think.
      I spent today collecting addresses of family and friends to mail announcement postcards to. I really enjoyed designing the postcard. I got to use my graphic designer experience finally to do a project for me. I rarely get the chance to do so.
      I also did some housework and some errands, but that was it besides working on Murder by the Acre, the sequel to MBDD. The first two-thirds of MOTA just needs some updating and editing. The last third is ... ouch. It's going to need a lot of editing and new material. The suspense dies away, and the pace lags. Too many static interviews of suspects. Too many suspects, too. It becomes a muddle of motives and lies. And how it's solved depends on a coincidence that I thought was clever at the time, but now it seems strained. So a couple of month's work on that is in store.
      I haven't got out Murder by the Mile yet. I hope it stands up better than MOTA. But if not, I will simply rewrite. Well, not simply, but I will get all three books out there. Then I will publish Floozy, my collection of humor pieces. After that, I'll evaluate this whole POD project and see if I think it's worth the effort.
      And now I'll close and do some things. Y'all have a good weekend. Night!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

July 2007 Giveaway update

      Right now I have eight entries to win the hardcover version of Holly Lisle's wonderful dark fantasy Talyn: Frenzied Feline, MerylF, Trixie, Rain, Michelle, TL, Gloria Williams and Slim. If you haven't entered, you still have until midnight Friday night to enter. To enter, read Saturday's post here and comment on that post. Don't miss out on a chance to win this exciting, sexy book.
      I hope you had a good holiday. I basically did nothing. A little housework, a little napping, a little TV, a little filing, it was a little holiday for me. My back kept me from doing too much of anything. It is better but not healed. If I continue to be careful -- and I plan to be -- maybe it will be better by the weekend.
      I'm hoping I'll receive the second proof of Murder by Dewey Decimal by Wednesday next week. Then I'll look it over -- again -- and make the copyright page change, then order a third proof. That change is so minor, however, that I won't wait for the third proof to arrive (Famous Last Words) and will put the book out to sell as soon as it's published. I think. Depends on how long it takes. I'd like the book to go on sale July 15. Although that's just a date I picked out. I could wait until July 22 if I needed to. Decisions, decisions.
      I had a chance to talk to my published author friend the other day about self-publishing. She was very curious about how it worked. I told her that it wasn't hard for the most part, but that the proofing and editing had been difficult. Of course, I thought she was spared a lot of that because I figured her publisher would have copy editors. She then proceeded to tell me several horror stories about her battles with copy editors.
      Many times, the editors have introduced errors into the books. Examples: She had one copy editor change the name of a character halfway through the book. When she questioned the editor, the editor realized that she had somehow got the character from my friend's book mixed up with the character from another person's book. Her bad. Another time, she had a different editor change several double quote marks to single quote marks and remove some serial commas. On the quote marks, he was simply wrong, and on the serial commas, he was inconsistent. When she questioned him, he said that his "gut" did his editing. She told him that, in the future, she'd like for his head to be involved, too.
      My published friend has been publishing mystery novels for more than 30 years now, and she's seen the industry change a lot. She doesn't think it's changed for the better. She has thought about self-publishing a few of her earlier books that are now out-of-print. Her agent doesn't want her to do that, but the agent has been unable or unwilling to sell her older books to anyone else. She said her agent is contemptuous toward self-publishing to the point that he won't represent anyone who has self-published anything. At least that's what he tells her.
      She was at a book fair a few months back and met several self-published authors. She was impressed about how good the books looked and purchased a couple. One was bad, and she could easily see why it couldn't go the traditional route. The other was quite good. In speaking with the author of the second book, she learned that author had tried the traditional route for nearly five years before giving up and self-publishing.
      Of course, the advances my friend receives on her books are many times what self-published authors receive from sales. (Supposedly the most self-published authors sell less than 50 books. I sure hope MBDD does better than that!) So she's not going to looking at self-publishing anything new, but she'd like to have her out-of-print books available to her fans.
      You might be wondering why my published friend hasn't helped me get published. For one thing, our friendship is emails and chat. I've never met her face to face. Second, I've not asked for her help. I think it would put a strain on our tenous relationship for me to ask. Naturally if she offered, I'd happily take the help, but she would have to offer. Otherwise, I'll make it on my own. Or not as the case may be.
      I know I said I wouldn't mention the theater group here again, but I'm receiving a lot of pressure from my friends. Not to stay, no, to walk away now. See, I told the group I'd help them launch the patron drive so that means I'll be at the August meeting. My friends are telling me to not do that. However, I said I would do it, and I'm not one to go back on my word, however much I'd like to. And trust me, I wish I'd kept my big mouth shut. But I didn't so there I am.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My baby book

      I had a wonderful time yesterday with the proof copy of Murder by Dewey Decimal. I had it at my office and showed it to several of my customers, I took it to lunch with me to show the people I had lunch with, I cradled it in my arms and generally behaved as if it were a newborn. If I had burped it, no one would have been surprised.
      I didn't hide the fact it was self-published; in fact, I mentioned it to everyone. No one seemed to care one way or another. I got hugs and congrats and pats on the back until I was beaming. It was ego nourishment that I haven't received in a long time and was greatly enjoyed and appreciated.
      But last night I made an error that brought me back down to earth quick enough. I sat down and read the book looking for any errors that might have slipped by. I found two small ones -- left out words. I knew I needed to correct an error on the copyright page, which was primarily important, but since I was doing that, I thought I might as well correct anything else I found. I also found a place to insert a paragraph to address an issue that Jean had raised and that I thought needed to be addressed but hadn't been able to figure out a place where I could. Then I had to correct the back cover because the layout had changed when Lulu added the ISBN bar code. I uploaded all the corrections -- and per their procedure -- ordered another proof copy. At two in the morning, I woke up with the realization that I hadn't fixed the copyright page! Grrrrrrr.
      This morning I tried to cancel the proof copy I had ordered last night, but it was too late. So now I'm going to have to order another proof copy. Sigh. (I should have made a list of corrections and checked them off. Won't make that mistake again.) This won't impart anything except my bank account. The book should still be available on Lulu on July 15. I'll make an official announcement when it is so that y'all can order several for your friends and neighbors 'cause it's not too early to be buying for Christmas ... ahem.
      The other annoying thing is discovering how much mark-up that Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Borders, etc., require. Yikes. I wanted to sell the book for around $13. Instead it's going to be $16.95, and that's squeezing my royalties down to a handful of change. If most people order from on this book, I might think about putting Murder by the Acre only on the Lulu marketplace. Then I could price the book lower and not worry about retail markup. Live and learn.
      Of course, I'd actually rather people ordered from Lulu. I'd like to make their best-selling list because then they give your book more exposure on their site (which helps sells and is free advertising). I have little hope of making Amazon's, of course, for this book. Maybe someday.
      My back is a little better, I think. I'm trying to take care of it. I'd like to start walking some again. That would be good for my back, losing weight, and controlling diabetes.
      Have you entered the July 2007 Giveaway yet? Read Saturday's post here, comment on that post, and be entered to win the hardcover edition of the exciting dark fantasy Talyn by Holly Lisle. Talyn is a top-notch book. You don't want to miss it.
      And now I have to go to work. Have a great day. Talk to you later.

Monday, July 02, 2007

All things ...

      Well, all things -- good or bad -- come to an end eventually. Yesterday, I resigned from the local community theater board. There were a multitude of reasons: I'm tired of doing the work and not being appreciated. I'm tired of the backbiting, sneaking around, and general childishness. But mostly I'm just tired. The fun was gone. The feeling of being part of something that was giving back to the community was gone.
      Naturally I'd like to think that they will suffer without me. Or fall apart. And come begging for my help. It's not going to happen. Other people will either step up or do better or do different than me, but things will get done. I'm not vain enough to think I'm irreplaceable. The group will continue. Probably even flourish.
      And I'll go on to other things. Murder by Dewey Decimal will come out this month, and I'm going to put some time into marketing it. I also want to format, edit, and rewrite Murder by the Acre so that it can be published in September or October. Then I'll participate in Novel Writing Month in November. After that, I'd like to publish Floozy, which is the collection of my humor columns. Amid all that activity, I want to catch up on my family newsletters and finish Darkness, Oklahoma and Dragons Gather. And naturally continue blogging. I also intend to lose more weight and continue to work on controlling my diabetes.
      I'm depressed, of course, and a little hurt. I put a lot of myself into the theater group, but I'm not defined by that group, I'm more than my activities with that group, and I'll flourish without that group. And now, enough about that group. They won't be mentioned here again.
      I hurt my back Saturday. I was hurrying around the house, doing laundry, filing, cleaning, and generally being fairly productive when I (stupidly) bent over to pick up a basket instead of kneeling. I felt my back pull and go numb. Sigh. Anyway, I immediately hit the painkillers and deep heating rub. I'm using my cane today, but I hope and think I won't progress to the walker if I'm really careful the next few days. And I intend to be.
      What else? Have you entered the July 2007 Giveaway yet? Read Saturday's post here, comment on that post, and be entered to win the hardcover edition of the exciting dark fantasy Talyn by Holly Lisle. Talyn is a top-notch book. You don't want to miss it.
      It was great to finally hold it in my hands. It's a book! A real honest-to-Guttenberg book! We're so close to it being published that I can almost taste it. (It tastes good.) Now I will read this copy and check for any errors that may have slipped by my fabulous proofreaders. Then I'll submit the changes to Lulu, and we'll have a book!
      This is very cool. It made my day. Talk you later.