The Missing Button
First, for other WordPress bloggers out there. There used to be a button in the top right that was a link to all the podcasts I subscribe to. Now I can’t find it. Has it been deleted? Has it been moved? Let me know.
A Day at the Beach
We finally did it! After weeks of promising ourselves we’d go down to the beach for a day, we did it this weekend. Saying we went for a day, however, is hardly accurate.
Both Maurice and I had stressful weeks so we wound up sleeping til around noon. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then loaded up our tent and our beach chairs. We had plans for the evening, so we could only stay a short time, but what a time it was.
We let the world melt away. Each of us kicked back and enjoyed a book and thought of little else other than the sound of the ocean waves.
About ten or more years ago, when my bipolar disorder was untreated, everything was terrifying. It took every ounce of energy I had to go to the mailbox, if I could do it at all. Occasionally I would go with Maurice to the supermarket. It wouldn’t be long before all the noise and the colors and the people blurred together into once giant mass coming at me, forcing me to run outside the store to stop hyperventilating and catch my breath. Even during the worst of times, the one place I could go was to the beach.
Maurice and I would spend hours watching pelicans skim across the water and make bets on which one was going to be next to dive head first into the water to catch a fish.
It was the one place I felt safe, and we could comfortably enjoy each other’s company and simply talk.
This Saturday was like that all over again and to say it was exhilarating would be an understatement.
After the beach, we had a socially distant backyard dinner with friends. It’s those little things we cherish nowadays. Being outside having casual conversation with friends was a much needed break from the pandemic. Fortunately, we’re all on the same page politically, so that didn’t hamper our event in any way.
We all agreed the most difficult part was not being able to hug. I brought up that most mammals like that sense of touch. It’s why so many curl up together when they relax or sleep. It’s a natural part of our being and we’re missing out on that. It will be wonderful when we can hug again.
The Facebook Alternative
Have you ever heard of MeWe? It’s a great social media website that promises to never sell your data. It looks better than Facebook. I like its chat feature. The groups are easier to follow. There are many reasons to like MeWe except for one thing – No one is there.
They are free like Facebook. There is a paid version that offers more emojis and stuff like that, but nothing I feel compelled to pay for.
Facebook has its hooks planted in people around the world, so I doubt MeWe will ever become much of a contender. It’s really a shame.
Which Way Do I Go?
There have been quite a few comments from readers regarding where they want my series to go in the later novels. Some are adamant (not mean) that it should be their way. I had planned on going a different direction.
It’s been a dilemma because I have to enjoy, and believe, in what I’m writing, but lets be honest, I want to sell books too.
I’ve pondered over this many times and felt it was best to go in my direction, but there was that piece in my brain that maybe these folks were right.
Fortunately, because of my podcast, I’ve become friends with many experienced and outstanding authors. I brought my dilemma up with several of them and the answers were all the same: “Do what you feel is right.” I know many writers who wouldn’t follow that advice. They earn good money writing what their reader’s want, yet still remain good writers. I don’t think I can go that way. I’ve decided to go the route I planned. If somewhere down the road the story takes me in a different direction, well that’s part of being an author. My goal is to point at the target I’m aiming for and being true to myself.
I feel better having made that decision.
I’ve complained here many times that I am too slow as a writer. “The best way to sell books is to write more books,” is what I’ve frequently been told. I learned this to be true when my second book came out. The sales of my first book skyrocketed. Apparently people see a new book in a series that interests them, yet they want to start from the beginning. That seems to be the general consensus, and it makes sense to me.
Yes, I’m going to go easy on myself, but I’m going to focus on my speed, as well as writing a good story. The second series I want to write takes place in the early 1920s and the sleuth’s name is Jonas Beck, and he is gay. Maybe I should say he’s a homosexual since gay wasn’t a term used back then. I certainly won’t use “gay” in the novel. Jonas has a secretary who I’ll likely name Daisy King. I knew I wanted her name to be a flower and was happy when I researched and found Daisy was a popular, but not too popular, girls names for those born in 1895. I didn’t have a last name for her until I heard about a woman named Daisy King on one of those true crime podcasts. If I remember correctly, Daisy King was the name of a woman who killed several people. My Daisy is hardly a killer so I found that funny.
As I write this, it’s dawned on me that Daisy is the first name of Jay Gatsby’s former lover in The Great Gatsby. Oh well, I still like it and will probably stick with it anyway. For those interested, Mary was the most popular girls name in 1895. This should come as no surprise.
That’s all I plan to tell you about the Jonas Beck series. One, because it’s not a story I’m ready to tell. Two, you never know how it’s going to change once I begin writing the story.
For now, I’ll stick with my Mitch O’Reilly series. I like Mitch and have plenty more of his story to tell. Plus, I love the concept and setting of the novel I’m writing. Despite not getting on with it as much as I’d like, I’m having great fun with it.
I think one of my goals for 2021 will be to write one story for each of the series. It’s a little bit of a push for me, but not too bad.
The Novella Dilemma
Awhile back a great idea for novella came to me. I’m not great at short stories or novellas. I find full length novels easier to write, but I want something to give away to my readers and then possibly sell it on Amazon for 99 cents or something like that.
I’ve got the characters in place, the setting, the clues and much of the story going. Hell, I even have an excellent cover for it. There’s one big problem.
The novel I’m working on occurs at the same place as the novella. It would throw the timeline and worldview of Mitch’s series totally out of whack. Sure, I could move it somewhere else, but the location is important to both stories. I’m not sure what to do.
For now, of course, the novel takes priority over the novella. I’ll write the novella sometime in the not too distant future. I’ll figure out some way around my dilemma. The cover is still an issue. I don’t want to waste it. I refuse to. I think my cover designer can work a little magic and make it more fitting for the novel. At least I hope so. We’ll see.
My weight loss has slowed down. Almost plateaued. I’m not concerned. They say this is normal. I simply need to continue what I’m doing and it will start coming off again.
My biggest challenge is exercise. I was walking 4 – 6 miles every morning and then worked out with dumbbells. I haven’t done that for awhile. I’m sure if I kick that back into gear I’ll start seeing the weight drop quicker again. It’s just that I haven’t been able to get up as early as I used to.
I can’t complain.
Since I started seeing my surgeon, I’ve lost 86 lbs. 58 of that has been since the surgery. No excuse for me to whine.
I’m in good spirits, clear headed, and full of energy this morning. You know what that means? Time to type some words.