It’s Possible I’ve Gone Crazy!

It's Possible I've Gone CrazyIt’s true, there is a chance that I might have gone completely crazy!

There are a number of people who believe that this already happened, and many of them work with me in my retail job.

So, that’s actually the crux of the matter. I’m working semi-full time, and taking on a number very interesting projects.

1) Organizing the Fantasy Genre events for the Brain to Books Cyber Convention

2) A complete overhaul of my website design

3) Designing a chatbot for Messenger

4) Editing “Evaline Transcendent” based on reader feedback

5) Working on the second draft of my first full novel

6) Helping promote and test a potential social media site for authors & readers

Blog Header - Readers & Authors, Join Me At The 4th Annual Brain To Books Cyber Convention

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll already have seen my recent post about this amazing event.

In short, it’s a full weekend of online events centered around books.

The event will be coming to you from April 6th-8th, and I’m heading up the Fantasy Genre events.

There will be more information on what we have planned, as myself and the other authors get everything organized.

Blog Header - Website Overhaul

As an author, I’m not one of the most organized people at times.

I was recently going through existing my author website, and planning to update some of the pages, with the most recent information.

Unfortunately, I rapidly came to the conclusion that the site needed a complete overhaul.

  • A lot of the key information about me and my books was hard to locate
  • Some of the pages were seriously out-of-date
  • But most importantly, I really wasn’t happy with how inconsistent the page designs were.

Enter my test site, where I’m trying out some new page layout ideas, along with a cleaner look to the page design.

Enter you, my readers. I’d love to get some feedback on what you like or dislike about both sites.

So, it’s Existing Site vs Test Site – Let me know what you think

Blog Header - Designing a Chatbot for Messenger

Back in December, I wrote a blog post looking at Messenger bots, which are basically an extension of the chat service.

These bots are built to provide a combination of live chat, and “pre-recorded” information. I’m in the process of creating an introduction series that will:

  • Help potential readers learn a little more about me
  • Introduce me to bloggers who might be interested in doing/hosting guest posts
  • Allow fellow authors to learn about my blog, and the services I offer

Check out the chatbot here (Under Development)

Blog Header - Editing _Evaline Transcendent_

A few months ago, I started getting feedback from people about my science fiction short story, “Evaline Transcendent”. There were some interesting questions raised, and a few suggestions for things that could be made a little clearer.

So, with that in mind, I’ve set about going through the entire story with those notes in hand, and making a few edits.

Thankfully, there is nothing in the feedback that I’ve received that requires major changes to the story itself. But, there will be a couple of changes to how I present aspects of the story.

Primarily, I’ll be re-writing the opening of the story, to better present some of the backstory behind the Miranda Two’s mission.

Blog Header - Writing The 2nd Draft of _Of Wolves & Men_

I’ve recently finished reading through the first draft of “Of Wolves & Men (Shadows Over Seattle #1)”, my first attempt at writing a full novel. Along the way I made a lot of notes about things that needed changing, didn’t make sense, or just had to go.

So, I’m now working on the opening scenes of the book, while going through my notes and trying to plot ahead. It’s my aim to have this second draft completed before the end of the summer. Hopefully at that point, I’ll have a solid enough plot that I can go back through and work on editing.

Blog Header - Helping Promote & Test The _Author Bitz_ Social Media Site

A couple of weeks back, I posts about an author who was in the process of raising money to build a new social media site for authors and readers to connect.

So, if you find GoodReads too difficult to navigate, and find Facebook too full of spam posts and fake news, go check out my article about the site. And if it’s something you think is a great idea, consider heading over to the GoFundMe campaign and dropping a few dollars toward hosting and development costs.

Blog Header - What Does That All Mean At The Moment_

Honestly? It means that I’m going to be very busy over the coming weeks.

But there is nothing more important to me than my readers, so please drop me a line, and let me know:

  • Which of these projects are you excited about?
  • Have you checked out my chatbot? If so, what did you think?
  • Have you read “Evaline Transcendent”? Is there anything you’d want to know more about from a revised edition?
  • Are you going to attend the 4th Annual Brain to Books Cyber Convention, either as a reader, or writer?
  • How do you like the potential changes to my website design, based on comparing the old and new sites?
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4th Annual Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo

I can’t believe how fast these events keeping coming around, or that I’ve been part of this amazing event since the very start.

I’m very excited to announce that I’m helping to setup this year’s Fantasy events for the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo (aka B2BCyCon). I’ll be helping the fantasy genre authors setup their blog tours, discussions, competitions, giveaways, and anything else they can come up with.

You see, that’s the exciting thing about the B2BCyCon; it’s all about connecting readers and writers online.

Blog Header - What is the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo_

Angela B. Chrysler first started the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo back in 2015 over on Goodreads. Since then it’s team of volunteers have grown it into one of the biggest and most diverse online book events that I know of.

But don’t take my word for it. Testimonials of participating authors and readers can be found here.

Basically it’s an entire weekend of books, writing, discussion, competitions and giveaways.

To quote the Brain to Books website:

CyCon is a virtual version of the San Diego Comic Con, but our theme is books. We organize a number of events, celebrating every genre, reader, and undiscovered author out there, and we host dozens of events all crammed into three days. To experience CyCon is a lot like attending a State Fair, only CyCon is 100% online. There is simply so much to do that it’s impossible to do it all in one day and there is something for everyone.

The aim of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo is described by Angela as follows:

For three days, Brain to Books shines the spotlight on authors not seen in bookstores as a means to welcome in the new season of book releases. Working to increase reader awareness of these hidden treasures, authors, publishers, and retailers are coming together world wide for the largest book event designed just for you, the book lover! We’re giving away books, presenting readers with never-seen-before content, and featuring the world’s largest collection of undiscovered talent available today. We have blog hops, panels, discussions, contests, games, prizes, story time, book readings, sales, and exclusive content only available for these three days. This is content you won’t find anywhere else!

This is Where You Come In

Reader Links Author Links Volunteer Links
Upcoming Events (updated as events are confirmed)

Events By Genre

Sign Up For Reminders (scroll to the bottom of the page)

Watch Out For Updates on the “Book Dreams #2” Anthology

About The B2BCyCon

Author Registration

Learn About Being A Volunteer

Sign Up To Help

Sign Up As A Sponsor

 

 

Weather is a fact of life… So is getting hit by flying debris

Weather services say that Alaska does not experience hurricanes, and that’s true, for the most part. But sometimes for those of us living in certain areas, it can seem like it. You see, I live in a valley between two glaciers, and winds tend to get funneled straight through my local area.

As you can see from the image above, we’re currently experiencing winds of 35 mph, with forecasts of gusts up to 54 mph. And this is the third day we’ve had conditions like this, with it expected to taper off by Friday.

Let’s put those wind speeds into perspective, with some information about how they’re classified…

So 35 mph is a moderate gale, and that’s pretty normal here year round, especially during winter high winds. After 13 years living here, I’ve come to expect trees to sway, and prepare to push against the wind when walking against it. But then, these winds are still more than strong enough to pick up trash, dust and has the potential to cause minor injuries if you aren’t careful.

Then we run up the scale two whole categories, with 54 mph winds. Now we’re talking about a strong gale, and real damage and potential for injuries to happen. At this point, expect shopping carts to roll across parking lots whenever they’re left loose. Watch out for cross-winds while driving, flying twigs and small branches. Keep hold of your car doors when opening and closing them, and check your roofs for missing slates.

I went out earlier today, and almost got blown over three times, and had a car door slam shut because I didn’t hold it with one hand while trying to load my shopping. Thankfully, I’d finished loading, had stepped aside, and was about to close the door anyway.

Also in the process of writing this post, I’ve lost power twice. Admittedly, only briefly in both cases, but for long enough to reboot my router, cable modem, and drop me into pitch blackness.

[update: I lost power again 20 minutes after scheduling this post. This time for almost 80 minutes. And since I rent, I don’t have the account information for the power company to log my outage. Spent the time reading a book, on my phone, in bed, while trying to stop the screen rotating every time I moved…]

Q: Who calls 18F temperatures, with 54 mph winds “Fair and Windy”?

A: The National Weather Service, that’s who!

I beg to differ. Personally, I’d say it’s cold and extremely windy. But then, I guess if I wrote the weather reports, I’d probably end up scaring people more than the NWS.

But I’ll tell you one thing. Experiences like this definitely make me take weather into account when I’m writing scenes. After all, the weather is as much a character as any of the people I create.

Disclaimer: No Debris Was Harmed In The Writing Of This Blog Post!

English Rules Broken – Phonetics

Broken Phonetics - GHOTI=FISH

No, A GHOTI is Not A Type of Beard!

So, have you figured out what a ghoti is after reading the image above? And that last sentence is a huge clue.

If you need another clue, just remember, I love my ghoti deep fried in beer batter, slapped on a plate with a nice side order of chips (or steak cut fries), and smothered in salt and dripping with malt vinegar. Anyone suggesting I might want to dip my ghoti in tartar sauce with probably get a funny look, as I sprinkle on more vinegar.

Ghoti=fish.

By now, it should be obvious that I’m talking about fish in the paragraph above. But why do I keep calling it ghoti?

Simply put, phonetics are the building blocks of the spoken word. There are approximately 44 phonemes in the English language, based on the 26 individual letters, and some letter combinations. Unfortunately, there are way more ways to represent those sounds when written down (called graphemes).

This PDF file from Dyslexia Reading Well shows just how complicated spelling can be when we account for possible grapheme variations of the same phoneme.

Breaking It Down

Gh as in couGH (F)

O as in wOmen (i)

ti as in naTIon (sh)

Fish!

I’m X-Ray’ing My Books – But What Does That Mean?

What is X-Ray for Kindle eBooks?

To quote Amazon:

X-Ray is a unique Kindle eBook feature that allows readers to learn more about a character, topic, event, place, or any other term, simply by pressing and holding on the word or phrase that interests them.

In short, it’s a feature that allows authors to add extra information to their work, that might not relate directly to the story, but give readers an expanded experience.

What Does This Mean For You?

When an eBook has the X-Ray feature enabled, you will see some words or terms highlighted. If you click and hold down on that word, a pop-up will appear with some extra information.

You might have already seen this happening with some books, where articles from Wikipedia pop-up. This is the X-Ray feature working to provide some additional information on the term or word in question.

So Why Am I Talking About This Now?

Well, I just discovered that the feature is available more widely than I thought. While checking my existing releases, in preparation for some possible updates (and maybe new covers), I discovered an ‘Activate X-Ray’ option and went looking for more information.

When I read the description (above), I realized there was a lot of information stored in my head that I could share with my readers.

This is Where You Come In

If you have a copy of “Under A Hunter’s Moon” you’re going to find some new information buried inside.

I’ve added:

  • character background information
  • links to some relevant Wikipedia pages
  • background information on the story’s origins and locations

If you don’t have a copy of “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, it’s not too late to grab a copy…

Not sure about grabbing a copy? Check out the preview below.

After Reading The Story, Let Me Know If There Is Anything Else You Want To Know More About! (Comment Below)

 

A 2017 Round-up 3 of 3 – A Year In The Spotlights

 

In This Post:

  • Books featured in “Book Spotlights” during 2017
  • Authors featured in “Author Spotlights” during 2017
  • Update on the reader survey

I know that this series started as a round-up of 2017 in two parts, but I realized there was so much that happened in 2017, that I really needed more posts…

(And yes, it might even go to 4 posts if individual posts get too long).

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books and authors that have featured on “Ramblings of an Author” over the last twelve months.

Want Your Book Spotlighted?

Click Here To Fill Out The Form

J.N. Sheats

Heidi Angell 

Andy Peloquin

Connie Cockrell

Claire Plaisted

Rosemary Cawkwell

Stephanie Ayers

Renee Scattergood

Toi Thomas

A.L. Mabry

Patricia Josephine

Cassidy Taylor

Interested In Being In The Author Spotlight?

Click Here To Fill Out The Form

 

I’m Still Taking Views From Blog Readers

A 2017 Round-up 2 of 3 – The Year In Books

 

In This Post:

  • Statistics About My Reading Habits in 2017
  • Fiction Books I Read (and links to my reviews)
  • Non-Fiction Books I Read (and links to my reviews)
  • My Personal Book Releases, and feedback from readers

I know that this series started as a round-up of 2017 in two parts, but I realized there was so much that happened in 2017, that I really needed more posts…

(And yes, it might even go to 4 posts if individual posts get too long).

Target Number Of Books To Read: 25

Number Of Books Actually Read: 37 (28 Fiction, 9 Non-Fiction)

Number Of Pages Read: 7,982

Comment below – let’s see how we all did on our reading targets

5-Star Reviews

4-Star Reviews

3-Star Reviews

Comment Below With Any Fiction Recommendations

5-Star Reviews

4-Star Reviews

3-Star Reviews

Comment Below With Any Non-Fiction Recommendations

Evaline Transcendent

Format: Kindle E-Book

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073G9FPZ8

Released: July 26, 2017

Blurb: Evaline is the shipboard computer on the Miranda Two, a colony ship destined for the planet Karman-III-Delta. She is possibly Earth’s last hope of establishing a working off-world colony. However, her predecessor stopped reporting home, so now she and the colonists must establish what happened to the previous colony.
The Miranda Two has been traveling for twenty years, and now it’s time for Evaline to wake the crew and colonists in preparation or arrival at their destination. Can Evaline and the crew figure out what happened to the Miranda One expedition, and what price will they have to pay for the answers?

Note From the Author: This is the second release of “Evaline Transcendent”, which originally appeared in the “Across the Karman Line” anthology. Since that release, I have revisited the story and expanded on some aspects, and rewritten others. At its core, this is exactly the same story but reimagined for a wide audience.

Originally standing at around 8,500 words, this new release boasts a word count of closer to 14,000. I hope that those of you who have read the original story will discover new aspects to it when reading this version. For those coming to it for the first time, enjoy!

Reviews: 

Love reading! Love reading many things but not science fiction… So it’s strange that I LOVED reading this!!! A short and wonderfully captivating story which REALLY should be made into a movie!!! You’ll see why yourselves – no spoilers here 😉 I’ve just downloaded his other book too YAY 😀

Book Dreams Volume #1 (Brain to Books Anthology)

Format: Kindle E-Book

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VDXD64

Released: April, 2017

Blurb: Here, we present the talents of assorted artists. In this collection, you will find short stories, continuations, and poems that encompass the hidden treasures of today’s uprising authors. May their words influence you as much as they have influenced mine.

Authors Include: Ani H. Manjikian, Adam Dreece, W.J. Howard, Toi Thomas, Timothy Bateson, Laura McHale Holland, Ash Krafton, Sanzaki Kojika, Tyrean Martinson, C.T. Callahan, Natash Jackson, Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra, Jeanne Richards, Charlene Jones, Angela B. Chrysler