2023 WORK JOURNAL
2023 11 26
I did some work on Daughter of Shadows this weekend. Since I’m introducing a new set of bad guys and two new conspiracy groups as well as building up the one hinted at in Babylon Shattered, so I did quite a bit of research and I spent some time on their back story as it concerns Tracy. I also wrote two of the chapters about them; the first one is in the prologue where they kidnap Tracy and talk about the fate of the others. The second one is where they discover rumors of where the ‘weapons’ have been taken. They also talk a bit about rumors of what goes on in Laughing Mountain and what the PA thinks it knows about it. I haven’t dealt with that aspect since I wrote The Portal Lawman, so I needed to do a bit of back reading. Lots of fun.
2023 11 12
I’ve decided I need to re-read Babylon Shattered again when I’m writing Daughter of Shadows. Hopefully then I won’t need to keep looking up things I’ve already written to keep the two stories consistent. So far I’ve written the prologue and the first chapter. It’s going to be a little difficult to write as I’ve already given Tracy’s age in the first book. And I still need to come up with a male MC. Of course, I could still use Clemintine and Mason and also keep Tracy and the new male lead too. I’ve done it before. In fact I used that scenario for Heirs of Avalon. I need to give it some thought…
2023 11 11
Cloned Ambition will release on time on November 11. This is the first time in a while I’ve had one go out without having to postpone it release date. I’m already working on the next book daughter of Shadows. I’ve set it on Shangri-La and I’m using Tracy lucent who is a minor character in Babylon Shattered. Like Babylon this is going to be a cozy mystery. I’ve got the prologue done which I started with just a little brief story about Tracy‘s arrival for the first chapter. I’m going to skip ahead to the present day. Since I intend this to be able to be read without having read Babylon, I need to include in the description of the planet society and the indentured servant program. I wish Tracy was a part and I still haven’t decided what I’m going to use for a male love interest. I also need to figure out what the group back on earth is trying to do about having their perspective operatives snatched away. I also need to come up with a really good reason why the group back on earth would try to recapture Tracy lots of potential there. In the prologue, I included a little teaser about the toddlers and the babies adopted by the couple from Arcadia and from Saint Antoni. I may develop that later which would probably be two more books, one in the Saint Antoni series, and the other one on the colony of Arcadia. We’ll see.
2023 11 01
Today I have the After-book doldrums. Ambition is finished and I am in the throes of setting up my next book.( since I can’t decide whether I want to do city of deception or daughter shadows first I’ll probably end up setting up both and then writing them at the same time, which is always fun. The problem is I know where I want to go with both stories sort of, but I don’t have a jumping off place. Daughter has a nice premise. I swear I spit more time correcting this thing than I do dictating it. Oh yes Daughter well I have a Mysterious young woman with no idea where she came from or who she is before I can write the book and I have to figure out why she’s there and who she is and that’s a problem, because at the moment I don’t know. Terrible thing to admit I know, but there it is.
I also need to figure out the love interest for Tracy. I’m leaning toward making him work in an unpopular profession like maybe he’s an auger or some thing which everybody tries to cheat the system so that makes them automatically the enemy but how do I make him sympathetic maybe I can make him a Wilder one of the people who don’t join society but hide up in the hills, but how does Tracy meet him?
With Deception have a little different issue: I’m going to be regulating the four primary characters from the last book into secondary roles, so I have to come up with a really good personality, hook and stuff get the reader interested in the two new main characters which are going to be Judith‘s older sister and her boyfriend. Boyfriends a criminal lawyer so he has a chance to get mixed up into a lot of shady cases, I haven’t figured out an occupation for Ava yet; she had to be recalled back to the city with her father got arrested in the last book, so it needs to be something to take her out of town. I am considering making her a traveling artist, or something along that those lines. we’ll see.
2023 10 27
Sitting the art show today it’s a beautiful show. This will be our last together before next year. Ambition is finally an editing, thank you, Lord. Surprisingly, I’m not finding very many mistakes with it. I do see some rough spots that could do with some other with additional attention, so far, it reads, pretty smooth and coherent. And I do like the new cover, but I need to do some more work on some of the animals in Powderpuff gargle I just really don’t like what’s in there and I did find a puma that I can redo to make it to fit the description. I found a really cute a Chihuahua and I think I’ll use as a basis for the Powderpuff gargoyle .
I tried out my marker pens that I got. OK but not as good as a paintbrush. So I guess I’m gonna have to try and use learn the paint brush using it with my disabilities. Going to be lots of fun.
I downloaded some weird westerns from Amazon They were fun, but I was about decided that my St. Antoni stuff just doesn’t quite fit in with that genre. One thing is there a little comicbooky and my stuff isn’t. Actually, a little closer to—well I don’t know what it’s close to. I’ve also noticed the weird western genre seems to go for illustrated covers and I’m using real people on mine. I can convert them to drawing type stuff but I’m not sure I want to.
Only two chapters to go on Ambition, and then I can send it to Editing. Yay! Waiting for the computer to load Photoshop. For some stupid reason it has decided that program has to be ‘verified’. I hate it when it decides to verify a program because it takes so long. Really annoying!
My earache still isn’t going away. Last night the entire right side of my jaw right under the ear was so sore I couldn’t chew anything because it hurt to work my jaw. I’ve used up all the antibiotics, so I’ll have to ask my doctor to refill it or proscribe something else. Not looking forward to that…
I worked a little on the last recruitment chapter of ambition today. Nowhere near finished of course. I also did a new final (I hope 🤣) cover for it. The one here has been my working cover for the last year. I wasn’t happy with it even after tweaking it several times. I like the new one better. So, I’ll be able to start some cover reveals at the end of October. I originally intended to release this one at the end of this month, but I want to give myself time to do a good edit on it. Yes, that means the book won’t come out until Nov 30th. If I hadn’t run into heath issues, I probably could’ve made the original deadline. Unfortunately, having the use of only three fingers on each hand makes me a lot slower typist. I fear the days of 90 wpm are gone forever.
Vernon has another procedure tomorrow to blast more kidney stones. He hates them and has been like a bear with a sore tooth all week. The surgery center still has pandemic protocols in place so I can’t go in and wait with him. Not that I could do more than they can, but I could provide support at least.
Its’s been an interesting sort of day. I had entered all 3 Magi books in a Black Friday promotion on Book Funnel and got one of them (Paladin) kicked back because the promotor said it showed too much skin (actually what was said was the promotion didn’t allow naked people on the cover! While I admit the clothes are a bit skimpy, she isn’t naked. But oh, well. It won’t get sent out with the general promotion, but it can go out on my newsletter. Yesterday, I discovered Amazon has blocked updates for the Magi Storm paperback. Not sure why. I can see I need to do some investigating. I wanted to have the entire day when I mess with Amazon’s KDP.
However, I discovered the Word app for my iPad has a dictation feature, so I tried it out. It was interesting because some improvements have been made. There’s no spell/grammar check icon, but it does underline items it wants fixed, and it does have a learn+ feature That allows you to add new words. Today I wrote part of a chapter on Scarlet’s recruiting techniques when she goes to her first rodeo. (They need people who know how to capture and train riding animals to catch the Porcina herds). What are Porcina, you ask? Like all the colonies without an industrial base, Halcyon needs a self-sustaining form of transportation. Porcina are related to earth’s Suidae family. Unlike the ones found on Earth, these are herbivores, with exceptionally long legs to enable them to run fast. Like earthly elephants, the males (puecro) usually form separate herds and only get close to the females (puecra) with young (cobs) during mating season.
Today is a book chore day, chore day for my books—the eBooks for the St. Antoni series have new covers, but I still need to make them for the paperback versions. Two of the books already have HB versions on Amazon, but I intend to put the other 4 on Ingram Spark. Unless that company’s formatting turns out to be more or as difficult as Amazon’s is, then I might re-think that thought. But I might use them anyways as they offer dust jackets for the books and Amazon doesn’t. I just think hardbacks look classier with a dust cover. The new style of hardbacks with the laminated covers looks a little tacky to me. I sure wish D2D did hardbacks…
2023 09 21
I made a book trailer today for Spell of the Magi. Of course, it took me nearly 2 hours to do it. and then another half hour to get it loaded onto YouTube, and then put it on my website! so now it has a new cover and book trailer!
Spell of the Magi
Book 1 The Magi of Rulari
“An intriguing mixture of Fantasy and Science Fiction.” Nominated in the Sword & Sorcery Category in the 2019 EFFYs!
In a world where Magic and Technology collide, an Amnesiac Merc and a sorceress hiding deadly secrets must team up to defy the most powerful wizards of Rulari. When Rebecca, a Magi born into a land where her talents mean slavery or death, meets Andre, an innocent man on the run, the two form a forbidden bond that will prove to be their greatest weapon in their fight for freedom. Will they be able to overcome the forces of evil that threaten their love and their lives? Find out in this gripping fantasy adventure, "Spell of the Magi"! This book will take you on an unforgettable journey to a distant world where two powerful civilizations, Terrans and Sekhmet, have fled to the planet Rulari to escape a war-torn universe. although the laws of science still work here, more powerful forces govern Rulari: the power of Magic. If you enjoyed the classic sci-fi and fantasy mashup of Steven Erikson's Malazan, Book of the Fallen series, then you'll love this book!
Learn More: https://www.books2read.com/GailDaleywriter-Spell-of-the-Magi YouTube: https://youtu.be/AQyFChnt3Tk?si=G_bAJk8FQ06D72SQ Embed:
October is fast approaching and with it comes spooky movies, shorter days and cooler weather. I’m looking forward to the cooler weather—spooky movies not so much. My wonder-working chiropractor has put me on maintenance, the constant headaches are gone (well except for the occasional migraine but that’s a per usual). I’m still getting around using one of Andrew’s walking sticks, and that will probably be the norm for me from now on. I don’t know how much painting I will be able to do as the last two fingers on both of my hands are pretty useless, which makes typing difficult as well. But to paraphrase that old Doris Day song. What will be, will be…
I took a good look at Ambition today. I thought I was almost finished. However, I think I’m going to need to add at least three more chapters. I need to cover Scarlet’s recruiting in more detail. I also need to cover Eyja contacting the other Clone Familia members to get ready to escape to Halcyon if they need to. And then I also need to cover the first Porcina round up. Then the shepherds need find some hooting dog pups while they are looking for some unicorn goats—that should be fun. The following is a sample of the kind of research writers do to write a novel!
How To Tame A Goat
Many years ago, when we started to have a few too many kids and didn’t give them enough attention, we got a crash course in taming wild kids. We learned very quickly that you can’t just leave baby goats out in the pasture and expect them to be as friendly as the family dog. Even friendly goats tend to run more when they’re in a big pasture, so start by putting an unfriendly goat in the smallest space you have in your barn. Our smallest stalls back then were 10 x 10, so I put two Does in there, and I started by simply going in there and just sitting with them. Goats are curious creatures and will want to check you out at some point. You could just take your phone and check email or something like that. Just hangout for at least 15 minutes a couple of times a day. After a couple of days, I go in there with a pan of grain or alfalfa pellets, although the grain might be more tempting to them. Set it on the ground about a foot in front of me. When they start eating it, reach out very slowly and pull it towards me very slowly. Then over the course of a few days — or faster if they’ll go for it — pull the pan of grain into your lap. When they are willing to eat from the grain in your lap, after a day or two, put your hand on their shoulder while they’re eating, then start petting them. It may feel like you’re taking two steps forward and one step back every day. Just remember that they’re prey animals, so the first thing on their mind is that you are going to eat them. They just have to get over that idea. The bottom line is that they don’t trust you. If these are does that you’ll be breeding, the other thing to remember is that once they kid, they tend to get friendlier when the oxytocin is initially flowing right after birth. So, that’s a great time to spend more time with them and also start to handle their udder.
Wow, I haven’t had a chance yet to go in and redo the other two magi and books at Ingram spark. I did manage to make it to the Clovis Art Guild board meeting last night. Got to meet our new newsletter editor. He seems like a nice guy, and I think he’s going to do well In that position. I am getting better I just have to take it one step at a time.
I got new cover’s designed for 4 of the St. Antoni series (the 4 that take place mostly on St. Antoni). Although I may see about adding more color to the Enforcers and Gaslight, because I think they look too similar. I left the two Dystopian books set on earth alone, because they look like they fit the Dystopian genre.
WOW! Who would ever have thought I would write dystopian books? I certainly didn’t. Most novels written for that genre seem to be full of angst, and typify what I consider the “gloom, despair, and agony on me” syndrome. Frankly, a little bit of that goes a lo-o-ng way with me. Yes, I do think there is room in that genre for stories with a more positive outlook. I’m a HEA writer (happily ever after). We’ll see. I’ve just started exploring that particular sub-genre of sci-fi, so it’s yet to be decided if readers agree with me. As of this moment, I actually have two books in this sub-genre published, and I'm working on a third.
I’m considering moving any books I plan to issue in hardback over to IngramSpark.com because they offer something I’ve been wanting for a while—dust jacket covers for their hardbacks! They do charge a setup fee, but they also distribute wide—something Amazon doesn’t do… I’ve also heard their setup is easy, which Amazon’s isn’t.
Since Vernon is through playing with the electrical (we had to replace the bathroom light switch as it’s little on-off toggle lever simply broke off). Since I can power the computer back up now, I may go ahead and get the other two magi books formatted for a hard cover… Formatting them for hard cover turned out to be more of a chore than I anticipated. And I worked all morning. I haven’t even gotten to the corrections that need done back then I wasn’t doing both books separately I was trying to keep it all in one book and then make another copy. It’s so much easier just to do them both at once with the e-book and the paperback book right up there in front of me and making the corrections on both of them at the same time. This has been working out very well, (especially since they need to be formatted differently), but as I say, I’ve not had time to do that yet. I’m going to need to go in and adjust the margins a little too so there will be less pages. Before I removed the excerpt from Spell of the Magi, the book was almost up to 700 pages; I’m not sure if I’m remembering it right but I do believe they have a page limit on the print books.
DEFINING DYSTOPIAN & POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION—A SUB GENRE OF SCIENCE FICTION
Dystopian/Utopian: utopia and its derivative, dystopia, are genres exploring social and political structures. Utopian fiction shows a setting agreeing with the author's ideology (Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek) and has attributes of different reality to appeal to readers. Dystopian (or dystopic) fiction (sometimes combined with, but distinct from apocalyptic literature) is the opposite. It shows a setting that completely disagrees with the author's ideology. Many novels combine both, often as a metaphor for the different directions’ humanity can take, depending on its choices. Both utopias and dystopias are commonly found in science fiction and other speculative fiction genres and arguably are a type of speculative fiction.
Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic are two sub-genres of Science Fiction although you will often find them mixed into the same stories. Dystopia is the opposite of Utopia. If Utopia is an ideal society, then dystopia is the opposite, or a flawed utopia depending on semantics. Of course, this depends on what the writer’s concept of the ideal society. I agree the description is vague. This is what makes the genre so much fun to write and read. As a genre, dystopian crosses a lot of other sub-science fiction genres as well. The Hunger Games (2008) brought the genre to THE fore again, but contrary to popular belief the genre has been around a long time.1 Dystopian novels often focus on societies and cultures that appear stable and well established. The post-apocalyptic genre with which it is often mixed, usually depicts an imbalanced or volatile cultures (Mad Max). Common Themes in Dystopian Fiction: Poverty, Technology being abused, Oppressive social institutions, abuse of power by governments, etc. Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction is a sub-genre of Dystopian Science Fiction covering the end of civilization, through nuclear war, plague, or some other general disaster. Post-apocalyptic stories are most often set in the aftermath of the collapse of civilization or society as we know it. Man’s attempt to regain control of his environment after an apocalypse is fertile ground for creating a totalitarian/dystopian society. Common themes in post-apocalyptic literature are loss of resources, global natural disasters including storms, earthquakes, rising oceans, pandemics, loss of technology, widespread radiation, etc. This sub-genre has been around a long time as well. In 1826 Mary W. Shelley (Frankenstein’s Monster) wrote The Last Man (a plague kills off most of the population). The time frame may be immediately after the catastrophe, focusing on the travails or psychology of survivors, or considerably later, often including the theme that the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten or mythologized. Post-apocalyptic stories often take place in an agrarian, non-technological future world, or a world where only scattered elements of technology remain. FYI there is a third genre associated with these two: An apocalyptic novel tells the story of the end of the world, which occurs during the timeline of the story.
I had the blurbs re-written on some of my older books, (the Magi of Rulari series), along with some new cover designs for them. When I posted them on Draft2digital, to my surprise, I got back in an error code on one of them. When I asked for specifics, I got back to kind of gobbledygook answer, I usually get from Facebook when I ask for something specific answer whatever they squawked. to say the least, I was disappointed because D2D has always had fabulous customer service and this wasn’t it. Instead of answering directly, the way they usually do, whoever answered this question sent back a lot of information about something I already knew how to do because I do it all the time and said they already explained what was wrong which they HAD NOT. I have concluded therefore that D2D must have picked up some of Facebook‘s nonexistent customer service reps. They really need to use so they really need to be retraining them, To be more responsive. Anyway, that’s my vent for the day. Thanks for listening.
I got the e-book & paperback back covers up-dated with the new blurb information this morning. Then I came down with a migraine and slept the rest of the day
I decided I needed to push myself more, so I’ve been steadily increasing my activity over the past week. Tuesday, I sat on the bed and helped Andrew sort our clean clothes. I was very tired afterwards, and my neck hurt, but I did manage. Thursday, I went with Andrew to do grocery shopping. Very tired then too, but it’s working. I did manage a little bit of work on my books. I just need to get the new descriptions into D2D and book funnel. One of Vernon’s buddies is taking us out to dinner at Cool Hand Luke’s tonight, and I’m looking forward to that.
I need to get off my duff and get Vernon’s invoices made. If I want my life back, I need to push myself more. I’m beginning to think more was going on than just a few simple falls. The headaches have been constant. Dr. Radke manages to relieve the pain for a while, but it keeps coming back, and I’m too easily exhausted. I don’t like it.
When My son, Andrew was a baby, he was very Ill until his liver transplant at the age of two and a half, I remember a doctor telling us that we had to measure milestones in smaller increments instead of a foot do an inch. I used to take things like basic hygiene for granted. Well today, when I managed to take a shower and wash my own hair without someone hovering over me, make sure I didn’t fall in the shower or come out of it so exhausted, I had to sleep for an hour it felt like a major accomplishment. I still hope to accomplish a little on my books today—I need to update the covers with the re-worked blurbs. I also have to put in there. I did update all the all the e-books with the corrections you know misspelled words or dropped quotation marks, things like that. I also intend to update the changes on the PDF books for the paperback books, but I have to wait on that because those revisions cost $25 apiece so that won’t happen until after the 15th of the month, I figure I can budget in for a PDF changes a month that’s 100 bucks, that’s what I get for being such a prolific writer. It won’t do all of them, but it will do some of them. I just have to decide which ones are going to get its first update.
I’m quite happy with my recovery progress today—I actually managed to take a shower without becoming so totally exhausted I had to take a nap afterwards! I also wrote a little more on Ambition, and I pushed the release dates for the rest of the series forward. Ambition will be the next release, and I pushed the release date to Halloween. Hopefully that will give me time to finish it and do the editing and any rewrites
Two of the authors I follow (Donna Andrew’s and Amanda M Lee) released new books yesterday, so I took a break from my own writing to read them. Sometimes you just need to recharge you own batteries. I do it by indulging in reading books by my favorite authors.
I priced one of those auxiliary drives on Amazon yesterday. The least expensive one with sufficient storage is around $175.00. Ouch! 😖 but I don’t want to put it off too long, so I guess I’ll just bite the bullet and order one…
I did a little more work on Ambition today. I filled out the chapter where they first go to Halcyon. I realized I hadn’t been clear about the first group leaving from Laughing Mountain instead of the Phoenix Spa, so I covered that. I had to account for Tash going with them too, since in the timeline Devon hadn’t hired her as an assistant yet. I spent the morning yesterday on the chat line with Apple help trying to find out what had happened to my Notes folders on the desktop—they were still there on the i-Pad, so all isn’t lost. The tech did a recovery to try and get them back, but I haven’t checked them yet. 🐥 I do have one of those auxiliary drives somewhere. I need to do a backup on a lot of my files from both the desktop and the i-Pad.
I’ve been working some on Ambition this week. Mostly chapters I skipped over because other chapters were screaming at me “write me!” I moved the release date to the end of September because with the multiple falls and doctor visits I fell behind on my timeline. I like to have at least a month after I finish a book to do multiple edits and stuff… I’ve also discovered that the Notes app on the desktop isn’t including my folders now which makes searching for something incredibly difficult.
discovered Dragon Anywhere has a few flaws. For one thing, it’s very difficult to get the documents over to my desktop MAC. I finally ended up copying it to my notes app, and then emailing it to myself. Apparently, the program only works with Windows now as the app quit supporting Apple products. The desktop version also costs about $99.00 a month, and as I said, the program doesn’t support Apple products. I did manage to get another chapter done on Ambition. What with the falls and medical tests, I’m way behind on my publishing deadline for Ambition. I had to push the release date to September 30th. That means the other sequels to the first books had to be moved as well.
2023 07 26
Spent most of the day with kindlepreneur’s free blurb A. I. Rewriting blurbs on my books, including the back list ones. It isn’t perfect—but the program will give you 4 different samples for the same book. What I do is take bits and pieces of each blurb and put them together to get the best one…
2023 07 25
Spent most of the day with kindlepreneur’s free blurb A. I. Rewriting blurbs on my books, including the back list ones. It isn’t perfect—but the program will give you 4 different samples for the same book. What I do is take bits and pieces of each blurb and put them together to get the best one…
I’ve been experimenting with dragon software for dictation and I’m I am actually quite pleased with lt. All the things that I have issues with regular dictation on the iPad. They seem to have may have made provisions for it. There is a learning curve, but as it as they do seem to cover all the things that I was worried about, I’m going to have and take steps to learn it. Especially since my hands, don’t seem to be getting better. This morning when I woke up and took almost 5 minutes, my left hand, which was my good hand to un-numb. And I’ve noticed it’s got the shakes to so since it appears, I am going to be losing dexterity in my hands. If I want to keep writing , I need to learn it.
I did use dragon and wrote several pages yesterday. It was OK. I did need to go in and put all of my characters in ambition in the special words part. It’s amazing how much stuff apparently my speaking is not as clear as I thought it was. Anyway, I have great hopes for it. But I do need find out how to put it on the main on the main computer too.
I confess I’ve been trying out the dictation app on my iPad. What with the trouble I’ve been having with my hands, if I want to keep writing I might have to try something different from typing a story into word. So far, I haven’t been much impressed. The app is too helpful—it keeps attempting to second guess me and getting it wrong. When you factor in it not always hearing what I’m saying accurately, that makes for quite a few corrections that need made.
3rd fall—although strictly speaking, it was more of a slide than an actual fall. I caught my house Slipper on the edge of a broken tile in the hall and then stepped on the other one trying to catch myself, bounced off the linen cupboard and slid down the bathroom door. We threw the slippers away and Vernon brought me home a pair of Sketchers Slip Ins. It’s a real pain trying to type because the last two fingers on my right hand aren’t working well. Not sure what caused it.
Well, I’m nowhere near as stiff and sore as I expected to be today, after my second fall in two weeks. Is it classified as a fall when you roll off the bed in the middle of the night? Banged the top of my head on the nightstand on the way down. I. Can’t recommend it as a way to wake up.
What a fun way to wake up in the middle of the night. I rolled off the bed and landed on the floor. Since I’m still working on recovering from last weeks fall—landing in cat litter and banging my head against the DVD bookcases, another fall didn’t make me a happy camper.
Well, I’m nowhere near as stiff and sore as I expected to be today, after my second fall in two weeks. Is it classified as a fall when you roll off the bed in the middle of the night? Banged the top of my head on the nightstand on the way down. I Can’t recommend it as a way to wake up.
In case you hadn’t heard, the klutz queen of Fresno (me) took another fall Saturday. On the way down I managed to break the glass in one of our DVD Bookcases…
2023 04 27
I didn’t get much writing done this month. I’ve picked up some type of chest inflammation (very painful to breathe). The doctor is running a bunch of tests. So far, they’ve ruled out cancer (thank you God!), heart failure, and apparently walking pneumonia. The cardiologist did say my blood pressure was out of sight, so he added two BP meds and doubled the one I’m on. Next step is the pulmonologist. Also, a handicap thingy to hang from the mirror of whatever vehicle I’m riding in. I had to borrow a wheelchair at the cardiologists office.
books in my Outlawed Colonies series will be out by the end of April. I plan to write at least 3 books set on each colony. Book 5 is Arcadia II. I’m still working on book 6 Cloned Ambition. It was supposed to be no 5, but it’s difficult deciding how much to include in Ambition and how much to save for book II…
Well, I finished the chapter in Cloned Ambition where Scarlet, Dagmar and the others first set foot on Halcyon. They also get their first site of a herd of Porcina, the animals they’ll be using for transportation and as draft animals. I ended the chapter with Hogun, Killian and Dagmar trying to learn how to rope.
2023 03 25
Up all night with another migraine. I wonder if its those new antibiotics they gave me for the bronchitis. I remember the Cipro did that to me. Well, I’ve finished them so hopefully it won’t reoccur. Still too droopy to write on Ambition though. My next chapter is on Napoleon’s relationship with Jason and his growing fascination with Scarlet. Going to shift the locale to Laughing Mountain because the next two chapters are where they discover Halcyon. Dagmar and the others are sent to explore it. Napoleon keeps Scarlet in Phoenix by saying her classes to teach the clones to blend into Normal society are too important to interrupt. The exploratory crew discover the Porcina herds and Dagmar, Hogun, Yael and Killian discuss adapting native animals for transportation and riding.
are Herd animals found on Halcyon and domesticated for transportation and for uses horses and donkeys were used for on earth. There are three main varieties: All have large heads and short necks, with relatively small eyes and prominent ears. Their heads have a distinctive snout, ending in a disc-shaped nose. Porcina typically have a bristly coat, and a short tail ending in a tassel. Legs are long to allow for fast running. The body is typically thick and round. A Porcina Equine can run about 30 miles an hour for short stretches. Porcina have a well-developed sense of hearing, and are vocal animals, communicating with a series of grunts, squeals, and similar sounds. They also have an acute sense of smell. Porcina are omnivorous, eating grass, leaves, roots, insects, worms, and even frogs or mice. The canine teeth are enlarged to form tusks, used for rooting in moist earth or undergrowth, and in fighting. Porcina are intelligent and adaptable animals. Adult females (sows) and their young travel in a group while adult males (boars) are either solitary, or travel in small bachelor groups. Males generally are not territorial and come into conflict only during the mating season. Litter size varies between one and four, depending on the variety. The mother prepares a grass nest or similar den, which the young leave after about ten days. Porcina are weaned at around three months and become sexually mature at 18 months. In practice, however, male Porcina are unlikely to gain access to sows in the wild until they have reached their full physical size, at around four years of age. In all varieties, the male is significantly larger than the female, and possesses more prominent tusks.
– About the size of a Clydesdale. They are Used primarily as a draft animal for plowing and pulling large loads.
are about the size of a quarter horse. They are used Primarily as a riding or carriage animal
PORCINA PALAWAN are primarily used as either children’s mounts or to pull small carts.
The smallest of the three varieties, are primarily used as either children’s mounts or to pull small carts.
Here it is the 24th and I haven’t posted anything this month! Well I do have some excuse; my guys shared their crud with me and naturally it turned into bronchitis. Vernon is working a Pool Association show this week, so Andrew and I are by ourselves. Unfortunately, Andrew still has it too… Hopefully I’ll get more done on my blog this week. The Arcadian web is due to be released on April 30, and I think it’s ready (Knock on wood—as soon as I say that I’ll find more errors that need to be corrected…) Anyway if you are interested in doing a review of this book: The genre is science fiction mixed with a cozy mystery and a little romance. I’ve included a copy of the cover. Here is the link to download the book: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/k30czrr2ah Goodreads Link to post a preview review: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/123240684-the-arcadian-web If you do a review, please notify me of where and when it will be posted. Thank you for your consideration. I appreciate your time.
UPDATE: I’ve revised the release dates and sequence of my Outlawed Colonies series. Since I’m still struggling with Cloned Ambition, I’ve decided to release The Arcadian Web as book no 5, (Its already finished), and Cloned Ambition is now book 6. New Schedule is below:
UPDATED RELEASE DATES FOR THE OUTLAWED COLONIES SERIES:
BOOK TITLE SERIES NO RELEASE DATE
- Arcadian Web – Arcadia II 5 6/30/2023
- Cloned Ambition 6 7/31/2023
- City of Deception – Barsoom II 7 9/30/2023
- Daughter of Shadows Shangri-La II 8 11/30/2023
- Riddle of the Halivaara Wheel Lemuria II 9 1/31/2024
- Day of the Clone Halcyon II 10 3/31/2024
I lost my phone in my new purse today. Brand new purse with these lovely 3 deep pockets in front so naturally I chose one of them for carrying my phone. It’s about 12”. Well, when I tried to take the phone out to charge it, it wasn’t there, so I asked my son to call it. I could hear it ringing and it was coming from my purse! So, we unloaded the purse, and I could see the shape, but couldn’t reach it. It turns out that lovely pocket has a hole in the bottom! The phone had slipped out the hole and was between the lining and the outer skin of the purse! You can be sure I checked the other pockets for holes!
WOW! Antheraea Polyphemus... basically a tarantula with wings. Big surprise: this insect can be found everywhere in the continental United States except Arizona and Nevada, and in every Canadian province except Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. Unlike my Marabunta who are carnivorous, these insects are herbivores,
This goes to show that there is never anything new under the sun! I made up the Marabunta, and, lo and behold, there actually is an insect which looks like it! Much smaller of course. All it needs is a stinger and it could be one of the Marabunta in my latest Outlawed Colonies book The Arcadian Web. Of course, it would need to be a lot larger: about 18” tall and about 24” long…
Release date for the Arcadian Web is set for 4/30/23.
I got another chapter done on Ambition today. It’s the one where Scarlet and the others arrive at Phoenix. Doing more development on how the clone society actually works, as well as more character building on Yael and Napoleon…
I need to get started on the dishes, but I’m being lazy this morning. My new glass teapot arrived yesterday—I can just put it in the microwave, which will save getting two things dirty whenever I want a pot of tea in the evenings. It also came with 4 thimble sized cups. They’re cute but they don’t hold enough for more than a swallow or two of tea. Not sure what I’m going to do with them—like the pot they are glass so easily broken. Guess I’ll either give them away or find a place to store them. Vernon and I are attempting to declutter the house, so saving then really isn’t a good option…
I tried to do a little more work on Ambition yesterday, all I succeeded in doing was rearranging some of the chapters through once I realized I needed more development in some places. This book is going to end with the clones arriving on Halcyon and starting to colonize it. I think. For the story to move the way I envision, I’ll need to do something drastic to Napoleon so Yael can take over, which means more character development on him…
Today was a less than productive morning: thanks to my lovely Apple desktop, I lost a bunch of work. My computer ate my excel spreadsheet I use to keep track of the promotions I do for my books, so I spent the morning partly restoring my list of links to them and to each individual book. The links for the entire Outlawed Colony series was gone. I retrieved the major ones from D2D, but I still need the others from BookBub, Book Funnel, Goodreads, and a slew of others. I’m considering adding a copy of the links to my book info sheets. At least that way I’ll have an extra copy of them. Thanks for listening to me rant. It does feel good to have a place to vent without someone thinking they need to “fix” things! 😂😂
I haven’t done any writing today. One of my favorite authors (Amanda M Lee) released two new books in two of her series this week, so Instead of writing I’ve been binge reading them. E. M. Foner also had a new book out. Occasionally, it doesn’t hurt to relax and not work. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing my new books, but sometimes I do run out of plot and need to recharge my creativity battery.
Finished another chapter on Ambition today. I’m about to start the chapter on the fight at Uncle Bobs house. The more I look at it the more I think I might be splitting the book up. I’m also considering killing Napoleon off so I can slot Yael in as the leader of the clones on earth…somehow this always happens. I write a killer outline and about halfway through the book it starts running away with the story.
Well, I got the chapter about Scarlet’s time at the Clone Farm done. I had to pull out that chapter of Clone Initiative to refer to it since I didn’t want to make any mistakes in it. I suppose I could have copied and pasted it and just added in the new POV, but I didn’t want to do that as I think it would have been cheating. I think I did okay with it. The next chapters involve settling in at the Phoenix Spa, and helping Tally, Liam and company foil Hatchers attempt to recover the infant and toddler clones. I also need to add in Scarlet’s trip through the portal to speak to Dagmar about Napoleon’s attentions.
I got the proof copy of Arcadian Web yesterday. It’s way too rough to let it stand. Fortunately, I have a couple of months for expansion and rewriting before its release date in July.
The internet is incredibly slow this morning. I have things I need to do, but I left the office before I got frustrated enough to take a blunt instrument to my desktop. This is probably because Apple just did another software upgrade. I wish they would quit trying to fix stuff that isn’t broken!
I’ve been working on Ambition in bits and pieces. I need to write the chapter where Dagmar and the others (and readers) are introduced to the Clone Familia Doctrine. I just had them meet a wounded Abraham (the clone who wrote it). He had been approaching the PGA clone farms and making contact through the fences with clones trapped inside to tell them about the doctrine. He was wounded because some of Napoleon’s raiders mistook him for a normal and shot him.
I also need to write the chapters covering Scarlet’s escape and the abortive raid on Liam’s house. I think it would also be a good time to cover how the Phoenix cult works from the inside.
I recently posted a question in one of my Facebook groups about artificial intelligence created book covers, and I was astonished at the amount of vitriol it generated. You would think I had advocated selling their first born into slavery! The admin locked the post and I don’t blame them!
Mostly I was curious what all the fuss was about. I received a bunch of replies about how AI creations steal artists work, etc. none of which applies to me as I make my own covers for my own books and always pay royalties when I use parts of photos from reputable sites like Shutterstock, pixaby, and BookBrush.
I wrote more on Cloned Ambition today. I got a couple of chapters done. Hopefully, I’ll get more done tomorrow.
It’s a rainy Saturday morning. I remember those from when I was a child. It meant Daddy stayed home instead of going out to work, Momma didn’t do any housekeeping chores because she didn’t want to make him feel as he was in her way, and after cartoons went off I went to my room and read since I didn’t want to watch whatever football game was showing…
Today I tried to work some on Cloned Ambition. I say tried because since it was raining, my son decided to organize the medicine cupboard and get rid of outdated stuff and put extras in the office shelves so we could actually find the current meds. Don’t get me wrong, it’s needed done for months, but he wanted my input so he interrupted me like every 5 minutes or so to make a decision on what to throw out. It’s this kind of stuff that makes writers lock their doors when the creative muse strikes! I could have done that, but then either Andrew or Vernon would have been pounding on it to see if I was okay…and then pouted because I locked them out.
I’m three chapters (And a lot of bits and pieces) in and I realize this is going to be a longer book than some of the others. But I’m regaining my enthusiasm for it, now that I’ve gotten The Arcadian Web down in rough. I’ll be able to let that one cook a while and work on Ambition without it intruding.
Such a lovely surprise: when I tried to open one of my books, I was told Word couldn’t be opened. I’m doing a hard reboot, so we’ll see if that restores the app to functioning.
I’m in here on Facebook so I won’t take a blunt instrument to my desktop.
I considered just opening the damn thing in Pages or Google Docs (which I might have to do), but neither of them have such excellent editing capabilities—when the bloody program works that is!
I just got one of those basawakward compliments from my son (at least I’m hoping it was a compliment and not a subtle insult). I think I’m safe tho’ as he doesn’t do subtle. He said I was the kind who would go along on the quest to rescue the princess and then slap her for being an idiot.
I realized when he said it that I probably write my heroines like that too...
I just had a horrifying thought: They say that girls marry a man like their daddy and men a woman like their mother…
It’s too late in the afternoon for coffee so I made a cup of Oolong tea. I couldn’t concentrate on my WIP (either one of them) so worked on the free reader magnet I’m doing: a workup of Confederation Planets and people in my Space Colony Journals Universe. I still need a cover for it. It’s short only about 90 pages. I’d like to get the maps redone by someone who is really good at making them. I did them using graphic tools from Word because I can’t seem to get the mapmaker software to work the way I want it to…
Eventually I plan to create one for Rulari, St. Antoni, and the Outlawed colonies too.
I’ve been having a lot of trouble lately with the Microsoft programs for MAC. I am considering switching to Google Docs. I’ve never used it so I expect there will be a learning curve, but I’m tired of excel either going bad or refusing to save my changes. I haven’t yet had too many issues like that with Word, but I’d like to have a backup on tap. Google docs also has a newsletter template (it would be nice to use a regular publisher program again for the local art events newsletter I publish. It can be done in either word or pages, but neither of them is really designed for desktop publishing. We’ll see.
I also saw an e-book template. I might try it too…
WELCOME TO 2023!
Well, here we are again. I hope 2022 was productive and safe for everyone. I had a few challenges: My husband had to undergo open-heart surgery (he had a triple by-pass). I had to learn to cook without salt (his new diet). Our two Ford trucks bit the dust and we had to buy a new one for the pool service. My computer kept eating my tax documents…
However, I was blessed also: Vernon survived the surgery and he is now doing well. (sadly, one of our pool service customers who was also a member of my local art guild, did not). Vernon is now keeping track of his own medicine, and in consequence doing a much better job of it. He is also learning to cook (although he is frustrated because he expected to immediately become a good cook). I finished the first three books of my new series, and they are now out and selling well, although I wish sales were higher.
My goals in 2023 are to learn how to record my books into audible format without it costing me an arm and a leg, to learn how to make video trailers that includes both voice overs and music for my books, create dust jackets for hardback books, and make each of my books into a hardback.
I’m looking forward to completing the Outlawed Colony Series and publishing the last three volumes of it. I am planning to do at least one more book each on the new five colonies. Web of Arcadia is coming along excellently. Book 7 will be on Barsoom (City of Deception). I don’t yet plots for the other colony books (Lemuria, Shangri-La and Halcyon), but I expect those will come to me.
NEW SERIES RELEASE DATES:
BOOK TITLE SERIES NAME SERIES NO RELEASE DATE
Babylon Shattered Outlawed Colonies 4 2/1/2023
Cloned Ambition Outlawed Colonies 5 6/30/2023
Arcadian Web – Arcadia II Outlawed Colonies 6 7/31/2023
City of Deception – Barsoom II Outlawed Colonies 7 9/30/2023
Daughter of Shadows Shangri-La II Outlawed Colonies 8 11/30/2023
Halivaara Wheel Lemuria II Outlawed Colonies 9 1/31/2024
Dawn of the Clones Halcyon II Outlawed Colonies 10 3/31/2024
2022 WORK JOURNAL
The stuff I wrote on 12/24 was supposed to be my last blog for the year. Oh, well…
I had intended to do some VPS repair invoices but I couldn’t get on the Keller site for some of the prices, so I wrote instead. I got a little more done on both Ambition and Web today—my guys went to see the new Avatar movie, so I had some uninterrupted time once they left.
I’ve been struggling with Ambition; I need to do a scene at the movie set and I wasn’t sure exactly how to describe it. I finally decided that since I previously established that much of California’s coastal area had been destroyed, LA would have been a part of that, so studios would have needed to find other places to film. How they made vids would have really changed too, with a lot of stuff being done with CGI. This vid was being made using clone labor so there wouldn’t be as much oversight from state safety departments. On my version of post-apocalyptic earth, industries of all kinds use clones (even though creating fully human clones is against the law), law enforcement doesn’t really know what to do about this since no one can decide which law is being broken; no one has decided if the clones are property like robots or human beings with rights. But I digress.
When I realized describing the vid studio was what was actually holding me back, sat down and wrote out what conditions the studio would be working under and it finally came together more. I also had to start with Scarlet’s life at a younger age than I usually introduce my characters and I think I’ll need to do that with Dagmar and the others too…
With Arcadian Web I’ve been doing my usual scene jumping in my writing so it’s a little disorganized. This time I wrote Abby’s final battle with Stella (my bad girl villainess). I really need to do some character development there, as I’ve mostly been concentrating on Abby and Cosimo and neglecting my bad guys.
Christmas Eve! This is going to be my last blog for 2022, so I hope all of you are having a great Christmas (Hannukah, Kwanza, winter Solstice, etc.). Please remember to use a designated drive when celebrating the advent of 2023.
WOW! Really socked in here today. My guys declared a foggy day schedule and didn’t leave the house until noon. Guess this means we’re going to enjoy a traditional San Joaquin Valley foggy Christmas. Sure hope Santa has Rudolph with him!
Rereading Babylon Shattered for editing. It doesn’t release until Feb 1, 2023, So I have plenty of time. If you’re interested, I’m developing an ARC team for it. Just Click here: https://gaildaley.com/Become-an-ARC-reader-on-Gail's-Team.php The books will be sent out on January 15th.
I’ve redone the cover on Babylon too. Same image but I decided I needed the lettering to pop a little more so I changed it to red. We’ll see.
I admit I’m struggling a little with getting motivated enough to write—my trouble is I have bits and pieces written out in my head, but it’s a matter of putting them all in coherent form. I find myself simply jotting down these bits and pieces (a scrap of dialog, a scenery description, little minor details that are easy to skip over in favor of getting the main points in a scene typed out…
I did manage a short chapter in Web this morning in between putting a load in the washer. I still have to sort and put away the clean clothes in the laundry baskets, which isn’t my favorite chore…
I wrote another chapter of Arcadian Web today. If this keeps up, I’ll have the rough draft done in two weeks. I haven’t even written the blurb for it! Of course, with the other books, I kept needing to change it as the book evolved, so I suppose that’s not a big deal…
The Marabunta were an inspiration. Since they are both spider and wasp, I made their bites an aphrodisiac (sort of like a vampire’s bite) so the prey will hold still and be eaten, and the sting on the other end causes brain damage like Alzheimer's Disease. (A type of brain disorder that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.) This is a gradually progressive condition so eventually the poison in the sting kills you, even if you live over the initial attack.
This made the plot just roll right along. I’ve even figured out a way to reconcile the differences between the two brothers! and Ivette and Cosimo. The kids are about 8 now, and I’ve been able to show how much they’ve progressed.
TGIF! Yes it’s the weekend. Andrew and I had to make a trip to Walmart yesterday and it was already packed like a can of tuna. So glad I’m doing most of my shopping online now!
Still working on plot angles for the Arcadian web. I’ve got most of them ironed out. I ran a couple of them by my best beta reader (Andrew) and he started talking about horror genres. But he hates any kind of spider the way I hate snakes…
Since I intend to cover the Declaration and Investure Ceremony, Cosimo’s family will attend, so I can do a few updates about the children, Ivette and Mathias. In this book the children will be about 8 (they were 3 in the first one). It’s a good way to clear up a few plot lines left over from the other books (about Ivette’s friend who died and why she blamed Cosimo for it, etc.).
2022 12 07
Isn’t that the way it always is? As soon as I quit fighting it and concentrated on The Arcadian Web instead of Cloned Ambition, the entire plot and ending of Web slipped into place. I haven’t got it written yet, but I do have it all plotted out.
I’m also late getting the December issue of the Art Event Calendar out. It should have gone out by Dec 1. I think I will start a new tradition with it: In the future I’m going to close it down for the holidays—by this time almost all of us (myself included) are really busy trying to get our holiday sales online and still squeeze in a little family time. I plan to apologize to the subscribers and explain that the newsletter will be back in January of 2023.
2022 11 21
The best laid plans. I had intended to spend time on Ambition this month, but instead the 2nd OL book set on Arcadia grabbed my attention and insists on being written. So, I’ll probably spend a few days on it. I’ve chosen Mathias’s older brother Cosimo as the hero (yes, I know but sometimes it’s fun to work with a flawed hero). HIs opposite MC is a woman named Abigail Trelawny who raises giant wasp-spiders called Marabunta. The silk from the webs they make is used in Arcadia’s top of the line body armor.
I’m moving the scene for this one out of the area around the capital to the southern Islands (a little like Florida’s keys). Lots of fun and new stuff to create!
And I haven’t even done the cover!
2022 11 04
Today I started working on developing Cloned Ambition. It’s a completely new planet, so I have to start from scratch developing the planetary description, the animals, history and other things for creating an entirely new world. I decided to make the planet similar to St. Antoni as far as plants go. When I created Lemuria, I spent most of my world building time creating the plants and animals as I intended to use them as obstacles for my characters. On Halcyon, I will be spending the majority of my world building time on creating the two clone societies. When I created the other worlds, most of the things the colonists did to develop the infrastructure of each colony was history. Here, the clones are basically tabula rasa. They were kept ignorant and uneducated with a few exceptions (Scarlet, Dagmar, Napoleon and Yael), so most of them only know how to perform in the specialized areas they were created to serve in. Although an underground education movement exists on some of the clone farms it was only after they arrived at Phoenix that many of the clones received even a basic education. On Halcyon, they must learn to grow food, harvest and preserve it, make their own clothing, learn basic health care, all the things normal humans take for granted.
I plan for the new colony to provide unskilled labor to some of the other Outlawed Colonies in return for teaching them skills and helping educate them. When they return to the Settlement, they will be able to pass on their knowledge to the others.
Basically, I’ve got about four to five weeks of intense world building to do in between creating a plot for the book. So Much fun!
2022 10 25
Well, I got the chapter on the villain done on Babylon. I already had the courtroom scene, but I just need the final chapter and then the first draft will be finished. Can't say how much I'm looking forward to that! I'm hoping with all the other things going on this will be an easy edit.
Doing quite a bit rewriting and editing on Babylon this week. It’s not anywhere near finished, but in order for the final chapters to work I needed to revise some of the earlier chapters and lay the groundwork for them. I even wrote a couple of background scenes I’m not sure will fit into the actual book just so I can get one of the murders down in my head. This is a kind of Cozy, so I’m trying to keep the actual murder off stage (it’s done with a knife so it could be gory if I let it).
The funny thing is us I wrote a knife fight into Avalon as a part of Devon’s duel with the guy who fed Tash a date rape drug—turns out she was allergic to it and proceeded to barf all over the guy anyway, but Devon was angry enough to fight him…
2022 10 05
I see I haven’t posted a blog all of all of August or September. Well, to be fair, I’ve been a little busy. What with Vernon going into the hospital and all the tests they are running. On Friday, he goes in for open heart surgery (triple by-pass). so much fun. Between taking care of him and other stuff, I haven’t had time to write, much less blog.
Today though, was a good day. While he went in for pre-op tests, I had about 4 hours, so I spent it re-reading what I had written on Babylon and making a few changes. Surprisingly, I only have about four chapters left to finish it.
2022 10 1
So proud of my hubby today—he actually made a very tasty stew! All I did was watch and walk him through the steps.
2022 09 30
Heirs of Avalon
Book 2 of The Outlawed Colonies
A Futuristic Science Fiction Thriller About Stolen Technology and Murder
The theft Top Secret technology is the catalyst for a lab tech's murder and plunges two couples into a web of criminal activity
Returning home to Barsoom after a successful mission to earth, Randal brings an unexpected dividend with him: A data crystal with the formula for finding earth-type planets. When the data crystal is stolen and a lab tech murdered during the break-in, his father and his fiancée’s father come under suspicion. It’s up to him, his fiancée Judith, and some new friends to clear their fathers of murder and find and retrieve the stolen crystal before it falls into the wrong
2022 09 29
Vernon Daley’s bypass surgery is scheduled for October 10th, so I’ll be spending my birthday in the waiting room at the heart hospital. I’m just praying he’ll come through this safely and that life can get back to normal.
I’ve been playing around with writing a second Arcadia novel, this time using Mathias’ brother Cosimo as the hero. Using a flawed hero is a challenge so he will have to do a lot of growing and changing. I’m also trying to finish (at least the rough draft) of Babylon, finish editing Predator, and get the outline done for Cloned Ambition. Work keeps the worrying at bay.
2022 09 28
I have a new pet peeve. We bought a new pan with a lid at Smart & Final so Vernon can pop unsalted popcorn (popcorn is one of his favorite snacks). The blasted thing came with stickers and tags which will have to be soaked to remove them. So frustrating.
Only two more days until Heirs of Avalon is released! I’m excited! Unfortunately while Amazon is willing to do preorders for the paperback, they won’t allow eBook preorders unless you publish through them. I don’t like being pushed around so I’m considering a couple of solutions for this, including handling eBook preorders that ordinarily would have gone through Amazon privately through my own website.
2022 09 26
I dug out an old favorite—Lions Pride by Anne McCaffery to read. It’s been a while, but it’s still good. It’s a part of her Talent series.
We did our own BBQ yesterday—chicken breasts corn on the cob and vegetable skewers. It tasted great, but I was wiped yesterday evening and I’m still dragging today. Not sure why.
I am looking forward to The Heirs of Avalon’s debut on the 30th. Two of my ARC readers posted some 5star reviews on Goodreads so I’m pretty happy about that. With any luck Amazon will pick them up after the 30th.
Jackie’s Reviews on Goodreads
Sep 25, 2022
it was amazing Murder and Intrigue once again will keep you gripped. Well written with strong characters that keep you wanting to learn what could possibly happen next. A binge worthy read. Don’t miss out once it’s released.
Another great Science Fiction thriller from Gail Daley
A data crystal essential to the Outlawed Colonies is stolen leading to murder. Families are embroiled in the resulting fallout. But what of the crystal?
Gail Daley again weaves a wonderful futuristic story with strong characters and an intriguing storyline that leaves you wanting more.
Highly recommended if you enjoy this genre
Once more Gail Daley has given readers a fascinating view of the future in worlds similar, but differing in many ways, from Earth society and development. Action is a constant in her writing and this book does not disappoint. The characters are well-drawn, with some familiar to readers of past books in this series. However, it us a novel that stands alone as well. I highly recommend it to adults and young adults. I received an ARC, and this is my honest review of this novel.
2022 09 24
6 more days! Heirs of Avalon
Book 2 of The Outlawed Colonies
A Futuristic Science Fiction Thriller About Stolen Technology and Murder
The theft Top Secret technology is the catalyst for a lab tech's murder and plunges two couples into a web of criminal activity
Two couples from different worlds search for stolen technology while working to uncover a murderer.
Returning home to Barsoom after a successful mission to earth, Randal brings an unexpected dividend with him: A data crystal with the formula for finding earth-type planets. When the data crystal is stolen and a lab tech murdered during the break-in, his father and his fiancée’s father come under suspicion. It’s up to him, his fiancée Judith, and some new friends to clear their fathers of murder and find and retrieve the stolen crystal before it falls into the wrong hands
2022 09 18
Woke up about 2 AM this morning with a migraine and it’s hung around all day. I had forgotten what it was like. Those 5 years taking that hormone suppression after the cancer spoiled me (one of my triggers is hormone shifts). So much fun.
I actually did manage to get some of the pool invoices ready to go. Not the ones for the customers who have overdues—didn’t trust myself with those. Hopefully tomorrow the migraine will be gone, and I’ll be back to normal…
2022 09 16
I haven’t done a lick Of work on BABYLON this week— too much else going on. Selling the 2004 truck, going with Andrew to the DMV to get his DL renewed (new photo so we had to actually go down there).
I did get what I thought would be the final draft of Heirs of Avalon uploaded, then I found a stray quotation mark smack dab in the middle of a sentence.
so I’ll have to fix it. Aargh!
Finished the chapter on Clementine’s preliminary hearing in the trial of Trapps murder done. The next chapter is supposed to introduce Devon, Tash, and Fidget to Shanghai-La. I haven’t done a Portal scene for any of the colonies from the POV of the colonists before although I’ve done plenty of arrivals from earth, so I need to do a little thinking about it. I’m considering doing it as a carnival type event for the colonists. After all, it’s a pretty big deal; Laughing Mountain always has an event every three months enabling the colonists to come across to market their specialties for the weekend event. Barsoom’s weekend coincides with a Renaissance Faire and Shanghai-La’s with the Psychical/paranormal fair, which attracts fortune tellers, card readers, aura readers, and Wicca practioners, from all over the State so the Shanghai-La people fit right in. It also attracts a couple of would-be Vampire and Were groups…
Another hot day. Andrew and I left the house after I took a breathing treatment. For some reason it’s always worse in hot weather. Stopped at Lowes for new filters for the Frig and the air conditioner before going on to Walmart where we bought a few things for the bathroom and the laundry and a few groceries. Got home around 11:30 and it’s already too hot to be outside 🥵🥵
I drew up the animals I intend to use for Halcyon. I decided to use suidae this time. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, Suidae is a family of artiodactyl mammals which are commonly called pigs, hogs, or swine. In addition to numerous fossil species, 18 extant species are currently recognized (or 19 counting domestic pigs and wild boars separately), classified into between four and eight genera. Within this family, the genus Sus includes the domestic pig, Sus scrofa domesticus or Sus domesticus, and many species of wild pig from Europe to the Pacific. Other genera include babirusas and warthogs. All suids, or swine, are native to the Old World, ranging from Asia to Europe and Africa. I again went for 3 varieties large for draft animals (Porcina Maximus) horse size for riding (Porcina Equine) and pony size (Porcina Palawin) for pulling small carts or wagons or maybe a child’s riding animal. Not that the Clones have any children yet…
After that, I Worked a little on Babylon. This chapter is about Clementine’s preliminary hearing, so I’m watching a lot of old Perry Mason shows to get in the mood. Maybe I’ll even work in a way to use that famous phrase “irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial” 😂
Won’t that be fun?
Apple downloaded an update last night. I wish they hadn’t, because every time they “improve” a program, the other programs I use start acting up. I’ll probably need to re-install office 365 again. I was going to do that anyway because of ongoing issues with excel for MAC, but I was kind of hoping to be able to do that on my timetable not Apples. 🥸
On a better note, I decided what type of riding/draft animals I needed for Shanghai-La. Most of my colonies in this series need some kind of native animals the colonists can adapt for transportation and cultivation because none of them can tap into Earths manufacturing base.
Shangri-La is a relatively poor colony as far as the average citizen goes. Their socialist economy means there are always shortages of essential items, so the average family can’t afford air sleds, etc. (although the technology is available) so an inexpensive way to get around was needed.
This time I’m going to go with the Camelid family as I haven’t used them in any of the other books. On St. Antoni I went with tricorns (an animal with equine DNA although more closely related to zebras and donkeys).
On Lemuria I went to Africa for inspiration using giraffe (Raffes) for riding and elephants (Elf’s) for draft animals. Barsoom didn’t need any animals for transportation as the colonists use robots extensively, disguising their single sleds as birds of prey and their larger transports as old-fashioned carriages or wagons. The same for Arcadia as that colony was at pains to develop an industrial base. Unlike Barsoom the Arcadians didn’t feel the need to disguise their technology though.
The Llama/Alpaca/Varuna line is what I’m using for a base on Shangri-La. (With suitable changes of course). I needed three because I wanted one the size of Welsh ponies for riding and pulling carriages, one about the size of a Clydesdale for draft work, and one the size of miniature horses for pulling small carts (groceries, etc.).
Still trying to decide what to use for Halcyon. Since the story line requires the colonists split off (one faction following the Clone Familia Manifesto and the other showing allegiance to Napoleons dictatorship) some type of riding/draft animals is going to be needed.
2022 08 07
I worked more on Babylon this weekend. I have to do more world building, so I worked in a shadow government in opposition to the socialist regime and talked about food shortages and other things to explain why everyone cheated on reporting how much they make. I also threw in a little excitement when Clementine helped Old Timothy at the Market. and then I had an attempt to take her and an older lady prisoner because the captors wanted to find out where Trapp hid his blackmail list...fun times.
2022 07 29
I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to talk about promoting books. As a writer who is constantly searching for new places to promote my work, I get my name on a lot of sites’ email lists. In consequence I get lots and lots of e-mails claiming they can boost my book sales by advertising on different social media sites. Most of them want between $50--$100 to promote your book. Whenever I try out a new site, I always follow them on Twitter or whatever social media site they claim to advertise on. So far, most of the tweets have been duds; by that I mean there is no evidence they’ve promoted my books. However, I was very pleased with a site called BookPings (https://bookpings.com). They have done as they promised. I’ve had lots of tweets about my two latest releases Game Theory and Paladin, and both of those garnered a review each. (Which is pure Gold to Indie writers like me!)
This is especially helpful, as I’m not getting as many responses from my ARC reviewers as I need. If you like science fiction and would like to get free copies of some of my books please click on this link and sign up. Thanks https://gaildaley.com/Become-an-ARC-reader-on-Gail's-Team.php
I finally finished a chapter in Babylon that I’ve been working on for almost two weeks. One of my supporting characters does a Tarot card reading for the MCs mother. It required a lot of research among other stuff. Back in my salad days I read the cards as a hobby. I had forgotten how involved it is. I wanted a certain outcome for the plot, so I had to figure out which cards I wanted (they can mean different things depending on their position—upright or reversed and also where they are in the layout). Also, which layout is used can have a different meaning. I used the Celtic Cross layout as it’s the one I’m most familiar with.
Anyway, I got it done. I Also need to do some plot work on the love interest...
Spent all day on our truck insurance. FYI never pay the insurance the day before it expires—our trucks were sidelined until we got the email with the updated insurance cards 😬 So much fun.
Needless to say, I DID NOT get any writing done today either. 🤨 I’m thinking of revising the cover and blurb for Alien Trails. I recently did a group promo for “Lost Places”. Since the 1st half of the book is about finding an abandoned city left by the forerunners I thought it would be a good fit. Sadly, it didn’t get very many clicks, so I’m wondering if it’s the cover or the blurb. I’ve noticed a new trend in sci-fi covers without figures. I might just remove Juliette and the Dactyl and leave the ancient city. Maybe add a spaceship… (old cover here—still working on a new one)
Took another fall 🤯 today. Vernon and I were at Jim Manning Dodge in Dinuba. I got up from the table in their waiting room and tripped over my own feet. Did a pratfall there in front of God and everyone. I’m okay except for some bruising and I barked up my knee. So embarrassing. I know tomorrow will be worse because I’ll be stiff and sore…
I left a copy of The Clone Initiative on the table. One of the inexpensive promotional thing’s writers can do is leave a copy of a book in a place you do business with in the hopes the staff will read it and talk about it to their friends…
Needless to say, I didn’t get any writing done today.
Another hot day. Andrew just told me now he knows how the ant under the magnifying glass feels…horrible analogy.
I finished another chapter of Babylon this morning. It’s inching along. I’ve decided that two of Mason’s cold case files are going to be connected. Much simpler that way. I think I’ll also tie that into why Clementine is being framed for Baxter Trapp’s murder. Still deciding if I want the cop investigating his murder to be part of the conspiracy or just a willing dupe who goes along with the frame up because she hates Clemintine so much…
Got another chapter of Babylon done today. This one I wrote in my sleep, sort of. To make sure I don’t have nightmares, I use a method of directed dreaming. Basically, I start a scenario during REM sleep and it keeps me focused on good things.
This one was about Clementine’s mother reacting to being told her daughter was arrested for murder, by one of Clementine’s enemies, who unfortunately also happens to be the police officer investigating the Murder. I have a lot of character development to do on the two MCs as well as all the secondary characters. A lot of world building as well as this is a completely different type of community. I understand the basic concept of a socialist society, but that is an economic system, more than it is a culture. Since I already decided there was going to be a Shadow culture designed to circumvent the socialist precept of the one designed by the founders, it’s taking a lot of time to design.
The other colonies are all different too but were fairly easy to create a culture for; Arcadia in book 1 is pretty much like Laughing Mountain with a few differences that didn’t require too much thought (ultra-modern and futuristic).
Barsoom in book 2 was the same tech wise except they disguise the modern stuff to fit into a renaissance theme. Culturally, there was quite a bit of throwback to the renaissance, concerning honor, secret societies, plotting and spying on each other, etc.
Lemuria in Book 3 was very similar to the American West with modern weapons and more dangerous animals and plants (especially the plants).
Halcyon (book 5) is going to be hard too; I’ve got a society that’s creating itself from scratch so to speak, with two competing sets of values fighting for supremacy, a leader who’s a sleaze with women, and husband/wife leaders who oppose him…
The proof copy of Heirs of Avalon came today. So far I’ve only found 3 mistakes I thought I’d fixed. I might not have updated the PDF version for the paperback tho’. That’s the trouble with needing so many different types of manuscripts, sometimes one of them gets lost in the crowd.
I have a lot of special graphics I add to the printed books to make then look better. I have to delete those off the eBook because they don’t look the same due to the different formatting, hence the different formatting for e-books and print issues.
I now have 3 books in the new series ready. Game Theory will release June 30th. Still undecided if I want to hold Avalon back until November. I might move it up to October.
Wow. Invoices due to go out today. Waiting for Vernon to go through them before I seal them for mailing.
Worked on Babylon today. Mostly I rewrote the opening chapter. I was going to start it with the Clementine in jail for murder, but That involved too much backstory (ruined the pacing), so I moved that chapter to no 3–with suitable revisions.
I Also created a few more characters (including Clementine’s pet Ismelda—she's about the size of a Guinea Pig and smells like cinnamon).
Well, I fumbled through Avalon’s rough draft and decided it seems coherent. Sometimes when I write, I will write some scenes out of order and it’s a bear to get them to mesh. This time it all fit together, despite writing the duel sequence several months ago. I always find lots of skipped words or words out of order when editing one of my rough drafts, so I’ve got a lot of work to do.
I also need to get into a good mindset for Babylon. It will have a lot more paranormal stuff (the colony WAS founded by a group of psychics, fortune tellers, etc. after all). I still have all the preliminary research I did on different types of psychic talents (a whale of a lot of material!). So, I need to go back through that. My heroine is a psychometrist (she reads objects and crime scenes), she is also a burglar, creates false IDs, and she can fake a great palm reading, among other things.
Finished the final chapter of Heirs of Avalon last night. It’s now in the first draft editing stage. I’m amazed at how quickly it went. I’m not wholly satisfied with the ending chapter, so I might add more to it. Depends on how the first read through goes. I just hope the final two books flow as smoothly.
I think I finally have the covers for the new series completed. I revised the one for Cloned Ambition as the previous 3 just didn’t seem a good fit for Science Fiction.
2022 05 25
It's coming down to the wire for the release of my first book in the Outlawed Colonies series. Upon re-reading what I've written, I discovered I had posted the books out of order; Series Order should be Game Theory 1, Heirs of Avalon 2, Apex Predator 3, Babylon Shattered 4, and Cloned Ambition 5.
I also redesigned the covers somewhat. Game Theory, Apex Predator and Cloned Ambition, I only tweaked a little. For Babylon Shattered, I threw out the entire cover and re-did it. On Heirs of Avalon, I went for a completely Sci-Fi Cover, getting rid of the woman and leaving the background.
The release Schedule now stands as follows:
GAME THEORY Book 1 06/30/22 Pre order link: https://books2read.com/u/mlLEkW
HEIRS OF AVALON Book 2 11/30/22 Pre order link: https://books2read.com/u/3y1MYV
APEX PREDATOR Book 3 12/20/22 Pre Order link: https://books2read.com/u/4ELPxY
BABYLON SHATTERED Book 4 03/30/23
CLONED AMBITION Book 5 06/30/23
Early this morning (like about 2AM) I pulled out the outline and what I had written on Babylon and scrolled through it. Not much there, just a couple of chapters. Writing up background on both MCs as well. I’m never sure how much is going to make it into the actual story at this stage, but it sparks plot and scene ideas, so it’s good.
I also wrote a few more chapters on Avalon. These are all lead in chapters. The 1st attempted kidnapping of Judith and Tash, and the detective's daughter. I need to do a little more development on the crime mob and the victim's involvement with it to justify her murder and the kidnapping of relatives and friends of investigating officers and potential witnesses to keep them in line…for that I’m going to want a good plot hook. Still thinking about that.
It’s time to let Game and Apex cook awhile. Games release date is June 30, so I’ll still have time to tweak it if I need to. I bumped Apex out to Nov 30; so it’s cooking too. I figure to have all three books as a set ready for Christmas. In my spare time I need to work up a couple of ads for that.
Got the proof copies back on Ape Predator and Game theory this week. It was pointed out by my favorite beta reader that all the text on the front was really distracting. He didn’t like the guy either, but after reading the blurb he said he did fit the story. While I was looking at covers I decided the girl on the front of Avalon looked too much like she belonged on a historical romance so I just got rid of her and decided the cover looked better that way. I changed the tag line on Game Theory so it didn’t repeat what was on the back.
Game Theory is up for Pre-Order. I’m excited it will be out the end of June.
I had to rearrange the titles in my Outlawed Colony series. If you’re reading the books the sequence should be Game Theory, Heirs of Avalon, then Apex Predator. It just makes more sense.
Not all authors are this picky about the sequences of their tales they’ve tied together…but I know how aggravated it makes me because one of my favorite authors has a bunch of book trilogies set in different 3 time periods and she starts in the middle, bounces back to the Victorian era and then to the future.
It did mean I had to re-do the covers to show the correct series numbers and release dates. Fortunately, Game Theory is finished so the release date for book 1 of June 30th works fine. I might move Avalon’s release date from Sept 30th to Nov 30th, with Apex set to release just in time for Christmas. It makes it so much easier when I have lots of time for re-writes and editing
Wow! Worked some more on Avalon last night after I tweaked the cover. I think the tag lines are much more readable. I changed the font an added a little bit of color as well. Still not completely satisfied with the wording, but I do have lots of time to work on that. Those of you who read Clone Initiative, will remember that Randal was sent to earth to implant a virus in the Portal Authority programming to prevent its search engines from discovering the colonies who use the Laughing Mountain portal. In this book we discover why he chosen for the mission was not left to chance. Like Mathias Bedingfeld of Arcadia (Game Theory) he works for a secret government agency.
FYI Game Theory as well as Apex Predator are both available for ARC reviewers and for Pre-orders.
Wrote another couple of chapters on Avalon today. I’m really happy with the way it’s coming along. I did some more development on Judith and Randal’s relationship. I decided to make it a little rocky—he’s been gone nearly a year. They’ve been engaged since they were children, so it wouldn’t be unheard of for him to take her for granted, and for her to feel neglected… I got the murder chapter done, and next up is the arrest of both fathers.
I’m not happy with the fonts on the description. The title is okay, but I think the description is a little hard to read, so I might change it…
Today I uploaded book 2 (Game Theory) of the Outlawed Colonies to D2D. It doesn’t release until Sept 30, so I’ll have time to proof the paperback copy. My proof copy of book 1 (Apex Predator) should arrive any day.
Time to start work on Heirs of Avalon (book 3). I actually have the opening chapter and several others completed, as well as the outline so I’m doing ok with it (doesn’t come out until Dec). Babylon and Ambition are a different story. Babylon is supposed to be a type of cozy mystery but I barely have the 2 MCs on the drawing board. For Ambition I’m going to try something a little different. It’s sort of a David and Bathsheba retelling (hero is NOT the David character) and the wife is a lot tougher and smarter…we’ll see how it goes
Uploaded the final drafts of Apex Predator this morning. My author copy should get here in about two days. I re-read Game Theory And did some expansion (mostly character building and a little more work on Cosmo’s and Alexandre Marconi’s relationship). Marconi is my main villain. Cosimo, Mathias’s half-brother isn’t really a bad guy, but between trying to keep his drunk, gambler father out of trouble, he’s managed to get himself in the trap he was trying to keep his father out of.
I see I don’t have the finalized covers for Apex and Game on my iPad yet.
Worked some today expanding some chapters on Apex and a little bit on Avalon. Somehow I always end up working on more than one book at a time. Apex is in the 2nd draft stage. Time to sit down and read it in entirety to make sure it’s coherent. I think I will also run it through that developmental editing program recommended in one of my groups. Editing site $20/month
It’s got a free tryout. If I’m happy with it I’ll subscribe.
Avalon on the other hand needs lots of work. I’ve got chapters 3, 4, and 5 done, (yes I know—it’s out of sync, but I roll that way sometimes). It’s a mystery about stolen technology, and I have 2 pair of amateur sleuths trying to clear two innocent men of the crime.
I finished a new painting for the art show tomorrow. I just varnished it so it will need time for the varnish to dry and harden before I can frame it. It’s a seascape. The one I was working on for the old west category isn’t going to happen. It was so awful I gessoed over it. Also, the little 5x7 I was working on. Looked like a value study not a finished painting! Oh well, that’s life I guess.
Worked on both Game Theory and Apex Predator some this afternoon. Both are about 2/3 finished. Apex needs the final battles and the conclusion. I wrote the final chapters for Game 4 months ago, but it really needs some work in the middle. I want a little more development of the bad guys and their plot to overthrow the government.
I found a new site on the net for developmental editing. I think I’ll give it a try. Editing site $20/month
It’s got a free tryout. If I’m happy with it I’ll subscribe.
I pushed the release dates on my new series forward two months. I realized I had intended to finish Apex Predator in the middle of tax season. Since I’m the one who has to prepare the taxes, I didn’t feel I could do either projects justice if I split my focus.
I did rework the series covers, completely changing all of them except Game Theory. For that one, I just rearranged the title and author placement.
I also did a little work on a small painting for the Old West and Rodeo Art Show. I’m calling it Follow Me.
Big lightning storm here. I had to shut down the desktop and my local barometer (son Andrew) came down with a migraine. I was just getting into Apex again too. The plot, which had been a little fuzzy, was finally coming together. I’ve decided to use Devon and Tash to tie the books together. In Clone Initiative, I already set him up as a Portal expert so I can legitimately have them appear in this series books.
I also spent some time reworking the covers for books 3 and 4. I’m not totally happy with the Apex cover either, but so far I haven’t found one I like better. I really would like one with Zach fighting the bear (Ursa Magnum which is supposed to be about 4 times the size of a grizzly). I could draw and paint it, but it wouldn’t fit with the other series covers…
Well, the oncologist said everything looked great, and it’s coming up on 5 years clear in April. He released me until next year. If the mammogram comes up clear too, I’ll be all set for another year.
I didn’t get any writing done today. Somehow the day just slipped away.
I did a couple of ads for Cradle and Paladin with awesomegang.com we’ll see how it does with sales…
Worked a little more on Apex today—mostly beefing out chapters I’d already written. Sometimes when I write I am in such a hurry to get a scene down I skip important details, I’m aware of these when I write, but a reader isn’t because I haven’t told them yet.
Still working on two books at once. I was kind of stuck on Apex, so I jumped ahead a couple of chapters. I also worked some on Game Theory, mostly on character development.
Moonstone just gave me a coffee bath—fortunately it had gone cold—but it sure made a mess. I had to stop and rinse out my new shirt. I hope the coffee comes out. Now she’s sitting here gripping at me, because her tail got wet…
2022 03 08
Good News on the home front—The doctor was pleased with how the wound from Vernon’s surgery is healing. For which I give a big thanks to God—I just wish that first Doctor had gotten all the bad stuff out so we wouldn’t have needed to live with this for a year!
Facebook frustrates me. I actually have two (2) author pages—one of which is apparently a business account (Gail Daley writer) and the other a fan group (Gail Daley author) and Facebook won’t allow me to connect the two. I have followers on both pages too. On the Group site I can actually add events and files. On the business site Facebook has restricted me (who knows why!)
Apparently I’ve been posting to each of them without paying attention to which is which.
Group Page Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GailDaleyWriter
Business link: https://www.facebook.com/gaildaleywriter
The only difference in the url is one of them has the word ‘group’ in it!
When we got back from the laundromat, I Wrote some on both Apex and Game. I’m introducing two characters (Devon Morton and Tash Higgens) who will appear in 4 of the 5 books to tie the plot about an attempt to attack earth, together. Each book will be an independent story, but the theme of colonists being unhappy with functioning in secrecy will tie them together. Most of these plotters will be 2nd and 3rd generation colonists who, never having been to earth have no real idea of how much power earths combined governments and industrial giants can muster and think beating them will be a simple matter.
Each story will deal with its unhappy citizens in its own way. And all the plots are different. Apex is a safari/archeological expedition/thriller. Game Theory is about foiling an attempted revolution. Heirs of Avalon is a murder mystery about a piece of stolen technology. It also has a nice knife duel I went to a lot of trouble researching to make it accurate. Shattered Babylon is a cozy mystery about a woman who is framed for murder trying to clear herself. Babylon takes place on a colony of psychics which has a socialist government and whose citizens employ indentured servants (if you’re unsure how indentured servitude works, click on this link
I finished two chapters of Apex Predator this weekend and sent off the local Art Events magazine. It feels good to be back on track finally. Since I’ve been promoting how dangerous Apex's planet is, I’ve got 3 obstacles to overcome in the next 3 chapters. First up, I’ll be starting off with a bang—I call these flying predators a Glitter Swarm. Basically, they are like meat bees, only they travel in huge swarms. When they find prey, they cover it, each taking bites out of it, virtually eating it alive. The colonists call them Glitter Swarms because of the way their iridescent wings glitter when the sun hits them.
The next deadly critter is actually a plant. The Lotus Field covers about 20 acres. It exudes (farts) an enticing perfume to attract its prey. When the prey enters the field, another type of gas fume arises, this time a soporific, which puts the prey to sleep. Once the prey is lying helpless, digestive acid rises and the body slowly dissolves. Lots of fun.
I haven’t quite finished creating the next Predator species—I’ve done insects, and plants, so rightfully the next Predator needs to be animal. I’m leaning toward a velociraptor type, but I haven’t quite made up my mind yet…
Well, I thought I had successfully attached a link to a photo. The link seems to be there, but it did not go to the link site when I posted it on Facebook. It pulled up a nice copy of the ad, but it didn’t go to the site, unless it was double clicked. Obviously I’m still doing something wrong…
I’ve been experiencing some interesting times—trying to learn how to add music to videos to show off my book series. Since I already have adobe, I thought I would try it first, so I clicked on the search engine link and signed in. Frankly I was a little disappointed. There were NO instructions on the site. I had to do a live chat to get instructions, and the agent wasn’t very helpful. She finally sent me a link and I added one of the videos I made on BookBrush. Unfortunately, it needed re-sizing to fit the format (edges on both sides were cut off). And guess what—none of the size formatting options worked. When I tried the direct app, I discovered it wanted another $20.00/month for the video option (probably why the link the chat agent didn’t work right) now the agent knew I was signed in so presumably she could see what was available on my plan, so why did she let me waste my time trying to make it work? Two other options Movai and Upbeat are both cheaper and claim to do the same thing, so I’ll probably try them next. On the bright side, I finally found out how to attach a link to a photo in photoshop. FYI the Photoshop tutorial was lousy—it made the whole thing seem terribly complicated. However, wickihow (https://www.wikihow.com/Add-a-Hyperlink-to-a-Jpeg-in-Photoshop ) had a step-by-step explanation that was SO easy to follow. Photoshop should get them to write all their tutorials!
This was in answer to a question posted on the Facebook Group Indie Authors about why books published by Indie authors vary so much in size. The standard sizes for trade paperbacks are 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 or 6 x 9. Choosing the size generally depends on how many pages will be in the finished book. A very thick book may intimidate some readers, so changing the size from 5 1/2. X 8 1/2 to 6 x 9 will make a book appear thinner. Conversely, a book that seems too thin may make a reader think it’s overpriced, so decreasing the height and width may give a reader the impression they are getting good value for their money. Crazy, huh? But it’s all about marketing individual books. When writing, I try to keep my page numbers between 350 and 400 pages for a 6 x 9 trade paperback.
Anybody miss me? Our internet went down Friday. We didn’t realize how dependent we are on it for entertainment; I couldn’t do my painting app, my kindle couldn’t download a book from the cloud because it was too slow and it would time out, Netflix runs through our home modem, so it was down. Vern usually entertains himself reading articles off the internet, so he was bored. I tried to do some writing but I’ve been storing my current novels on the cloud too so I couldn’t get to them. The tech brought out a new router when he came today. He checked out the outside connections too and discovered squirrels had chewed through the wiring on the pole. 😂 That was almost as funny as the time our garage flooded and we discovered mice had eaten all the rubber fittings out of the washer! Critters—gotta love ‘em!
I watched one of Book Brushes webinars this morning. It was all about a new thing they’re bringing out called elements. It was interesting, but I’m betting by the time it shows up where I can use it, I’ll have forgotten what I learned about it. I DID learn how to use the animation feature and I went back to a couple of ads I’d made earlier and animated them. It worked! Now I just need to learn to add music and clickable links. The gal doing the webinar said it can’t be done, but I know there MUST be a way because I’ve clicked on other people's ads and been taken to places like Amazon or Nook. A link can be added to a photo in excel so it must be possible in other programs! I also worked a little more on Apex, mostly world building research. I’ve about decided to use what I think North America would have looked like when the bigger mammals were around (the big Sabretooth tiger, the cave bears, Wooly mammoths, etc.). Lots of fun.
Started rewrites on Paladin and I am of course I am finding the usual ton of bloopers. But at least it seems to be coherent, which is a blessing. I also started a little writing on Apex Predator. I Finally decided on the object I intend to have Zach accused of stealing. Since I already dropped a few hints about an attempted takeover of the Portal, I decided to have the bad guys try to build a second gate to bypass the original leading into Laughing Mountain. What Zach is accused of stealing is blueprints for this second gate.
I’m reconsidering the cover for Paladin. I’m beginning to think the books have too much of a sci-fi vibe (I gave the A.I.s a secondary role in the first two books), and they definitely play a larger part in book 3. So I’ll be aiming at the sci-market for the 3rd book. Unfortunately, changing my target audience means redesigning the covers on the first two books (and I just redid the one on Spell for fantasy market😬!). I’ve been doing Makee-Learnee on marketing for more years than I can count—the only way I could afford a good advertising firm would be by winning the lottery 🤣 The good news, is I got my 1099 from D2D (not including Amazon sales—they do their own) today and the amount is larger than last years.
Worked a little more on Paladin today. Mostly fleshing out the citadel battle chapter. I only need the wrap up chapter and then I’ll have the book ready for editing and rewriting. It will make it tight to meet the Jan 31 deadline, but I’ve already pushed it out once, so I hate to do it again. I’ve also been considering redoing the cover. The present one works great as an e-book, but I need to think long term, and it’s too short to wrap around the hardback cover. D2D supplies a complimentary spine and back cover on the paperback, but I can’t take it that page along for the hardback, which I have to do on Amazon, as D2D doesn't offer a hardback format yet.
Welcome To 2022! This is a brand-new year. While I hope the challenges of 2020 and 2021 are behind us, I know that is unlikely (the next round of the covid viruses Delta and Omicron) started back in November, and if they run true to form, another new one will take their place soon if it hasn't already. It’s almost scary how science fiction predicts life. In 2017 when I wrote Warriors of St. Antoni, I used an apocalyptic series of events (including worldwide pandemics) as a basis for my dystopian earth society the St. Antonians fled from. When Covid 19 came out of China in 2020, I felt like Dr. Frankenstein. Just so you know, I DID NOT have advance notice of the pandemic! I made it up out of my twisted imagination! But enough about the past. I am looking forward to starting my next sci-fi series, The Outlaw Colonies. It’s a spin-off from my St. Antoni Series and concerns a few of the other illegal colonies serviced by Laughing Mountain: Lemuria (Apex Predator), Game Theory (Arcadia), Heirs of Avalon (Barsoom*), Babylon Shattered (Shangri-La) and Cloned Ambition (Halcyon). *BARSOOM(R) is a registered Trademark, of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. And Used by Permission
Irrelavant & Immaterial comments
Click HereArchived-Prior-Years-blogs.php?temp-new-window-replacement=truee for Past Year Blogs
© Copyright Gail Daley Writer