Tag Archives: Amazon

Gratitude

Pumpkin-Pie-Whole-SliceTomorrow, here in the US, is a national holiday, a day of Thanksgiving. We gather at the homes of relatives, overeat, and then some of us embark on  the 30 days of Christmas shopping.

I don’t.

Oh, I will go to my daughter’s house and overeat, and I will give sincere and heartfelt thanks for all the many blessings I have been given in this life. And I have been blessed, far more than I deserve. I am comfortable, and I have the luxury of being able to write full-time, because my husband has a good, fairly stable job.

But grandma does not shop. Grandma does not go to the midnight sales, the door-busters, the Black Friday events that seem to be a national sport here.

Grandma does the internet for all her shopping these days. Amazon, Zulily, Overstock.com–these are the stores grandma shops in.

christmas-gift-bagsAnd it’s nearly all done already. All I have to do is get a few little thing-a-ma-jigs for you-know-who, and then we’re set!

Shopping for loved ones is so darned difficult. I can’t tell you how much I hate it. No matter how hard I sweat, no matter how pretty I wrap them, the gifts I think are awesome for so-and-so never seem to live up to their potential.

Thus I have become the queen of gift-cards.

Starbucks, Amazon, Barnes&Noble–gift cards are the way to go. The recipient can get what they want, and I am off the hook for another year.

But if you are looking for the awesomest gift ever, may I recommend a book?  Books are small vacations, little diversions into foreign lands and cultures, windows into other people’s lives.

Books can also change the world.

The company that publishes my books, Myrddin Publishing, just announced the successful campaign to raise funds for the international charity, Water is Life, via sales of their Christmas anthology, Christmas O’Clock.

christmas oclock coverChristmas O’Clock is a collection of holiday-themed stories including magic, space travel, and Rudolph. With two complete chapter books, lots of stories, and plenty of spirit, this anthology is great for kids of all ages. Two of the stories in this collection are mine!

In 2014 the publishing group donated all the revenue generated from sales of this book, totaling over $200.00 in royalties. This purchased three bucket systems and eight drinking straws, providing fresh water to three families, and eight individuals. Their goal is to double that in 2015.

It may not seem like a lot, but for those families who now have clean water, it was huge.  We can do better, and this year we intend to.

All proceeds from this wonderful book go to Water Is Life to help children and families in an international effort.

Christmas O’Clock  can be purchased at www.amazon.com

Paperback via this link: http://bit.ly/CoCpaperback  $9.51

And for the Kindle via this link http://bit.ly/CoCusE  $2.99

a medieval tablesetup 1I live in a soft, easy world of plenty with clean, clear water and plenty of food. I have a warm, dry place to live that is safe and pestilence-free. Not every family has such luxury. My husband and I believe it is our duty to help those who don’t and we do this through actively volunteering in our community. You know that I am involved  as a municipal liaison for National Novel Writing Month and I contribute time and energy to literacy programs here locally, but my husband is far more active on a grassroots level, and what he does has a direct effect within our community.

MH900438718My husband, Greg,  is on the board of the Community Action Council, and has been for more than twenty years. Community Action Council is a private, non-profit 501c(3) agency governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.  Their multipurpose organization focuses on meeting the needs of low-income individuals and families through a variety of programs designed to help them become independent and more self-sufficient. They work collaboratively to develop strategies that address poverty in our local communities,  providing essential human services in Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties since 1966.

I am Grateful, with a capital ‘G’, for all my many blessings, for my husband who works tirelessly in the service of our community and for the opportunities I’ve been given to help make a difference in this sometimes terrible world.

 

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Telling the Tale

tales from teh dreamtime - proofsI am so excited–Tales from the Dreamtime has made it into print, and is halfway through the process for being made into an Audible Book through Amazon’s ACX services.  We should have a finished product before the end of February. The narrator is a wonderful reader, Craig Allen, and the way he reads my work is perfect–he instinctively understood what I was thinking when I wrote it.

There is a sense of having “made the grade” in hearing your work read as an Audible book, and a feeling of wonder. Did I really write that? Wow! It’s actually kind of good! 

James_Jefferys_-_Self-Portrait_-_Google_Art_Project Public DomainI’m quite pleased with how well the novella translates to being read aloud. My reader has had very few questions, and that is entirely due to it’s having been professionally edited. Irene Roth Luvaul was the editor on that book, and she is awesome, as are all the gals at Eagle Eye Editors. I actually have three manuscripts in editing with them right now–Tower of Bones is finally getting the Eagle Eye Treatment, which it should have had in the beginning. This is how you learn.

The original editing on Tower of Bones was a labor of love by my friends. It is a great example of a typical indie production, and while it’s not unreadable in its current state, it has too many words. The story has potential for greatness, and Maria Johnson at Eagle Eye is bringing that out. I have developed a leaner style of writing since that book was written, and Maria is cutting the fluff.

Also at Eagle Eye, Huw the Bard has been under the knife–the fabulous Carlie Cullen, who edited Forbidden Road is putting the polish on Huw. With this kind of continuity, I will be able to develop my author name into real brand, with as good a product as I can possibly offer.

Found on FaceBookWhen the good ladies at Eagle Eye are done with me, all my books will be as high quality as any published by a large publisher. This is what I have been working toward, getting my work as professional as is possible. Sometime being an indie means you were flung into the deep end of the pool, but eventually you do learn a few things.

My raw manuscripts are not really very literate.  Oh, I do the best I can, but like all authors I tend to use certain phrases too often, adore clichés, and of course, there are those pesky typos that require correction. Also, in the course of my writing frenzy I stick a comma in anywhere I pause, apparently. (snorfle.)

150px-250px-FFX-2_boxBUT the real story today–grandma is gonna kick back and play her game, all day, and no, I don’t need any fresh air , thank you. The most awesome thing ever–Square Enix  re-released Final Fantasy X, this time for the PS3, and it has been remastered. Not only that, they have created a sequel to it, Final Fantasy X-2, and released them together in a package that has been getting rave reviews.The direct sequel to Final Fantasy X, the game’s story follows the character Yuna from Final Fantasy X as she seeks to resolve political conflicts in the fictional world of Spira before it leads to war. This will be the next purchase from Amazon, since Grandma LOVES gaming as much as she loves reading.

But right now, Grandma is replaying Final Fantasy XII, so she has to go now. I will never stop playing this game–I love the characters so much. The story line is deep and rich, and the personalities of the characters are multidimensional.

Don’t touch that controller, that’s mine.

225px-Ff12cast

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