Tag Archives: book reviews

Easter Eggs and the saga of Wednesday

I really wanted to do a facelift on my blog. My regulars will remember me asking if I should go even deeper down the wormhole I've created using Lisa Burton as my spokesmodel. Popular consensus was not to do that, and keep a piece of it for myself.

One of the things I really wanted to do from my very first blog post was to include Easter eggs here somewhere. Not the kind you get at Easter, but the kind that show up in video games and such. Fun little things that will change from time to time.

My thought process went like this. Easter eggs, Easter, Easter Island… How do I keep a bit of myself in this and make it about me?

Dear Sean Harrington, I need a new banner. Here's what I have in mind… It involves leaving an open area where I can place whatever I like.

I got my new banner yesterday and assumed I'd be working on it today. That was before the disaster of italicized words showed up.

I woke up at 7:00 this morning. That's sleeping in for three hours by my work schedule. I ran out and checked my email first thing. Nothing from Amazon, lots of blog comments. Then I heated up some coffee and got some breakfast. This should give you an idea of my mindset over the italics fiasco.

Sat down with my coffee, and responded to blog comments. All combined, an idea was starting to form in my brain. Mae Clair was the one who pushed it over the top. Something had to be wrong with the way my word processor was closing the HTML command to close the italics out.

Apple Pages won't let me look at the HTML code. If it does, I haven't been able to figure it out.

Checked email. Nothing from Amazon.

Decided to get all artsy while waiting for Amazon. (Patiently, because that's how I am.) Used my Apple Pencil to modify my groovy new banner and include the Easter Egg. Right now it's Clovis' car and the dog from The Playground. This also comes with a bit of a learning curve, and some trial and error. It involves using something called masques, then layers, then making the background of the Easter Egg opaque. Turns out there is a vocabulary to this stuff too.

I'm 55 years old, I shouldn't have to learn new things. Why do I have to learn new things?

Check email. Nothing from Amazon. Look at that, Apple released a standard sized iPad Pro, and it has its own keyboard available and supports the Apple Pencil. Should I be mad? Am I mad? No, I like the larger amount of real estate, and the larger keyboard.

Delve deep into the inner workings of WordPress to change my banner. Stop, check email, nothing from Amazon.

Load my groovy new banner. Admire my handiwork.

Check email, nothing from Amazon. (I am so proud of how patient I'm being.)

Decide to change my Gravitar. Delve back into the inner workings of WordPress. Make appropriate changes. Like one of my own posts. It didn't work. Unlike that post.

Check email, nothing from Amazon.

Click on unchanged Gravitar, and attempt modifications through that system. Test by liking one of my own posts. It works.

Check email, nothing from Amazon.

We're burning daylight here people. I have Wednesday off, but I don't have Thursday off. I have to get up at 4:00 tomorrow.

Decided that it had to be something with the HTML code. Maybe if I typed and changed the font to italics when I typed, then changed back, the coding would be correct. The important part is manually changing it back.

Checked email, nothing from Amazon.

Made changes to a future Lisa Burton Radio episode. Emailed the author back. Check email… You know the drill by now.

Worked up the initial shtick for an even more future episode of Lisa Burton Radio, forwarded it to the author. Check email etc.

Open up The Playground in Apple Pages. Modify the italics sections line by line. As an example, if I write, “But you are stupid,” I deleted 'you' 'are' and 'stupid.' Then I retyped those words using “Courier – Courier italics – Courier.”

Checked email, etc. Fill in the blank.

Checked Facebook, accepted a friend request.

Checked email, (all together now) still nothing from Amazon.

Created an ePub version of The Playground.

Maybe I should check email one more time. Nothing.

Upload the new and improved version of The Playground to Amazon and wait for the document to process.

While I'm waiting, I can check email using my phone. Nothing.

Check The Playground using Amazon's previewer Kindle thingie. Everything looks great now. Am I good at this? I could be good at this.

Tap fingers, tug at beard.

Upload a new version of The Playground. Begin waiting 24 hours to see it go live. Then I can grab a review copy and check it line by line. (Looks like someone is going to be up past bedtime tomorrow.)

What the heck, check email. Amazon has answered. The guy was a total professional, and asked for more information including screen captures. I thanked him for his efforts, told him what I'm trying, and promised to get back with him either way.

Checked other forms of social media. John Howell left me an awesome 5 star review on Goodreads. I liked that puppy to get it into my timeline for my friends to see. Ran to Amazon and saw it was there too. Feel like a million bucks now. Probably ought to figure out how to share that on Facebook. New things, I swear I shouldn't have to learn new things.

I'm still uptight about things not working like they should, but I feel much better about it now.

If this all works, I have a dozen short stories to go through using the same process, and then there's the 35000 or so words in The Yak Guy Project. My attempt at an epistolary style short story is going to be a mother with the italics issue. Will that stop me? Noooo, but it may require some complaining.

Here are the takeaways. I have a cool new banner, and the ability to include Easter eggs. I have a new Gravitar image coming soon to a blog near you.

If you already bought The Playground, there may be a decent repair job available tomorrow for you to get. If you haven't, what are you waiting for. Read John's review and let him convince you.

I confess that I didn't get to read all the blogs today. I usually browse the 1000 or so that I follow and read the ones when something catches my eye. I finally made a list of must read blogs and put everyone who interacts with me in there. Today, I managed my list but that's about all. (Bonus takeaway: Those who interact are more likely to get read.)

I have a full growler of Old Chub Scotch Ale by Oskar Brewing, in Colorado. This is one of my favorite beers. I may start early today. I missed my nap, but beer is its own reward.

I hope it all works now. I won't have another chance to pull my beard and work in panic mode until Saturday.

By the way, Lisa Burton Radio is going to be fun tomorrow.

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Now with even more productivity!

I didn't even try to dedicate time to new fiction today. I did a bit of work in other areas though. I finished all of my critique work, and am ready for the group on Tuesday.

I did a bunch of work on my super secret project, and it's starting to shape up very well. This involved exchanging multiple emails with several friends, and waiting patiently. Lots of progress here though. I could claim a lot of new words here, but who's keeping score anyway.

I have several more short stories chomping at the bit, but they can wait. I'm not going to jump into them until it's time. I have a great opportunity tomorrow to write, and I'm going to. In fact, I'm going to saddle my yak and get back to the novel. I still don't have my conundrum all figured out, but it's because there are too many options. If I build a few fences it will be easier to get right. I'll write those fences tomorrow. They're only words, right? I can trash them if I have to.

I changed my wallpaper too, and I'm kind of dubious about it. It looks like crap on my iPad. I checked it out on the Mac and it looks great. How does it look at your end?

On top of that, I finished the ARC I was reading. I hurried up and wrote a review PDQ so it was still fresh in my mind. (I could count words here too, but they aren't fiction. It's all true.) I won't say any more just yet, because the book hasn't dropped. It's a fantastic story though.

I added two new guest posts about The Playground to my portfolio. I still need more, but if I keep pecking away, there will be enough when it comes time to promote. (New words here too.)

I've been writing about how new words aren't the only work when it comes to writing. Today is an example of what I'm talking about. I still need to tour through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and whatnot. Promotion is part of the gig too, and I need to throw something out there to pique reader interest.

Sales are still dead, but pages through Amazon Prime are still going strong. I don't know what the deal is, but I'm grateful for any readers I can get. Keep on borrowing, or whatever it's officially called.

I hope your weekend was awesome, and please let me know if my background looks horrible at your end.

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Workhorse kind of day

I wrote yesterday about how my day was kind of blah. I decided today would not be a repeat of that.

I managed it by taking the reins myself. I didn't count on Hollywood or any actors to entertain me. We made turkey soup instead of counting on a restaurant to please us.

Here's a bit of what I accomplished today.

I finished my first editing pass on The Playground. I have other passes to go, but they each get a specific focus. Still, I get to check something off my list.

I sent out a requested review copy of Will O' the Wisp. This might not seem like much, but dealing with multiple formats and large attachments can be tricky. A confirmation email proved it all worked.

A writer friend encouraged me to enter a micro-fiction contest. It has to be unpublished, including blogs, and it has to be under 500 words. I write what I write, and don't usually worry about the word count. The Muse was with me, and I sent off my submission today. Part of the prize is a case of beer. I can get behind a contest like that. I've no idea how tough the competition will be, but I did it anyway.

I spent some time prepping for a fun guest post. Watch this space tomorrow for news about a wonderful new book. I peppered my own comments into the post, and had to create a few links. It seems like there's always one when someone sends over materials. I'm not complaining, it's a fact of life. The links work in the submitted material, but some of them break during copy and paste.

I got an email that Zite Magazine is going dark, and I have to convert to Flipboard. Zite was the source for much of my Idea Mill material. I converted a month ago, and haven't been overly impressed. I learned today that I can have my own magazine under this format. I started one, and pasted a few of my blog posts there. I included some reviews, and the debate with Charles Yallowitz too. I have no idea if this has value to me, but copy and paste doesn't take too much effort.

Speaking of my Idea Mill posts, this next one took a round about path to the internet. Victo Dolore and I joked about her creepy facial cream some time ago. Our conversation came back to life during my last Idea Mill post. Today she posted this delightfully creepy bit of micro-fiction, and credited me with the inspiration. I may have provided a fleck or two, but she built it into a story and executed it beautifully. Go read about facial cream at her site. While you're there consider following her, and sharing her story across social media.

I shared the voting portal at Rosie's Book Review Team across social media today. In case you missed my last post, Will O' the Wisp is nominated. It's up against some tough competitors, and I would appreciate your support. You can vote here.

On the topic of awards, I was hoping to see one of my covers get nominated for a Rave Award. I think Will O' the Wisp and The Experimental Notebook have phenomenal covers. The nominations were revealed, and I didn't make the cut. This does not mean I wasn't nominated in other categories, but there are no nominations in the public categories. Bummer.

I see today that some wonderful person started reading my Experimental Notebook via Kindle Unlimited. It amounts to about a half cent per page, but I need fans, and that's my positive point here.

I posted a couple of book reviews this week, but they didn't work out too well. I always use the mechanism at the end of every book. One only posted to Goodreads, and the other one didn't post to Goodreads or Amazon. I don't know if I need to try a different way to post, or if Amazon has teamed up with NSA and has me on a watchlist of some kind.

I got a notification that said Amazon would tell me when they went live. They must be aware of my attempt. I wrote a new review for the one that never made it to Goodreads. I'll hold off on Amazon for a few more days. If they still don't come through, I'll copy and paste from Goodreads and try again.

All in all, it was a productive day. Back to the paycheck job tomorrow.

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Will O’ the Wisp reviews

My blog tour stops at Joy Lo- Bamijoko’s place today. This one is all about the reviews. Stop by to see what your peers are saying about my story. While you’re there, surf around Joy’s site. She is an uber supporter of indie authors.

This book has been out for a few months now. It’s a perfect Halloween book, and this is the perfect time to cruise through some of the reviews. Remember, Halloween is coming.

Will O’ the Wisp seems to have three facets the readers are enjoying.

It’s a coming of age story.
It’s a paranormal mystery.
It’s a walk down memory lane.

The reviews are all suggesting this as well. Let’s look at the reviews: Read more at Joy’s site.

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