Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thank You, Apple!

Since the release of Zegin's Adventures in Epsilon (three weeks ago) most of my free time has been taken up with promotions, set up of my Square card reader account, getting my financial tracking spreadsheet configured, and a book reading. Unfortunately, very little writing on Air Born has happened in the past couple months. And for that I apologize to my beta readers and to myself. I feel that the characters in Air Born have been standing around, tapping their feet, with their arms crossed, and giving me "the stare".

Last Sunday I had grand plans of squeezing in some writing time. I sat down at my desk, turned on my MacBook (without looking at it), turned on my PC, and waited for the boots to finish. What? No Wall-E noise from the mac? When I turned to look I was devastated by what I saw. The screen had vertical tracks from water down the middle and a puddle sat on the top of my keyboard. I quickly disconnected the power and called for my wife to bring me a towel for dabbing up the water. After the dabbling with the towel I closed the lid and held the laptop at an angle. I came to tears as I watched the water pour out the USB ports. Knowing that time was critical, I located my micro screwdrivers and removed the bottom panel. I wanted to remove the battery but I didn't have the special 3-nib screwdriver for it. Fortunately, I had a unused can of of cleaning duster which I used for pushing any remaining droplets off the motherboard and various components. My wife and daughter-in-law rushed to grab a trash bag and a large bag of rice. We poured rice into the trash bag and I laid the base cover and the closed laptop on about an inch of rice. I then covered up the laptop with the rest of the rice, tied up the bag tight, and then backed away from the disaster scene. Needless to say, I felt like I had lost an arm the next 31 hours.

After getting home from work on Monday, I carefully removed the mac from the trash bag and examined the motherboard and components. Everything looked dry and there were no scorch marks. I blew out rice kernels and re-attached the base plate. I carefully opened up the lid and attached the power cord. A nice green glow from the plug appeared, as if to console me and say, "It'll be alright." I pressed the power button and held my breath. Two seconds seemed like eternity until the re-assuring Wall-E boot tune sounded. I continued to hold my breath while the white apple appeared and the progress bar slowly danced across the screen. I had to start breathing before I passed out, while waiting for the desktop to appear. Once booted, I ran it through loading various apps, tried printing, and made sure I had internet connectivity. Not a single glitch, scar, or burp occurred any differently than the usual, normal, functioning. I sat there in dis-belief and then got up to do a happy dance, while proclaiming to my family, "It's alive!"

Whew! If this isn't a testimony to the tight manufacturing standards of Apple equipment, then I don't know what is. I'm certain that if this had happened to my wife's Toshiba laptop, there would be no recovery. I'm still blown away that my heavily used MacBook has plodded along the past 5 days without a single hiccup. Apple, if you're listening - Thank You!

(Why do I now think of having sushi when I power up the Mac?)

Autographed Copies
BTW: Thanks to my functioning MacBook, I now have a Square account and I'm taking orders for Autographed copies of Zegin's Adventures in Epsilon. Unfortunately, the link I enabled on this site is not working correctly (I've provided feedback to Google). So, if you're interested in a signed copy, feel free to go to and place your order. Be sure to include who you want me to autograph it to and any special note you would like me to include.   

Future Readings
Once we get into the new year, I'll be scheduling some book readings in the local area. I'm hoping the next will be at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. I'll be sure to announce via my normal channels and will post it here once it's scheduled.

Keep on reading and writing, and keep the MacBooks dry.

Monday, December 8, 2014


I am excited to finally announce the release of my first science fiction book in print, Zegin's Adventures in Epsilon. It is now available via the Createspace site here. This is a compilation of Zegin's Infection and Zegin's Abduction, with a bonus addition of Zegin's Universe Glossary. I've also added Jezi's Dilemma and a sneak peek of the first chapter from Air Born. It's still a fairly short read at 110 pages, but it's a major accomplishment for me.

Don't be fooled by all those books and adverts which say you can become a writer and publish a book in three easy steps. It's not as easy as it sounds. This was a major learning curve for me. I've mentioned before the importance of having a professional editor and a artist for the cover. Throw in the need for patience and be ready for some frustration while trying to get the printed version of the book to show correctly. After months (yes months) of editing, and then five passes at the cover art, we (my editor/artist and I) are finally happy with the outcome.

Why go with the printed version when I already have these as ebooks on Amazon? There's something about being able to touch and physically hold a printed book in your hands. And I've noticed that when I show people my book on an computer tablet or ereader, they're just not much impressed. Show them a physical book with your name on the cover and their eyelids get raised. It's interesting that the industry is making such a major transition to ebooks when readers still like the look and feel of real paper.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not doing this for the purpose of trying to impress people. Okay, maybe just a little itty, teeny, tiny bit. ;) But, I know I won't be taken seriously as a writer until I have something on paper. And having physical books sure makes it easier to schedule a book reading that people are willing to come and listen to, and possibly purchase signed copies. Sorry, but it's pretty hard to autograph a ebook tablet. People get mad when you scrawl your name with a sharpie on their device.

This is also a tool for building my market. I have a lot of plans for having a significant market by the time my full length YA novel "Air Born" is completed. Zegin's Adventures helps me to grow that market. And after Air Born is done the next in the series of Zegin's Adventures will be started on. Yes, I have a ton of storylines already in my mind. Oh, and did I mention my intention for a book called "The Facility", and then there's "Eloquence", and "Love Letters from Mars". Whew. If only I had more time for writing. (Any sponsors out there?)


My first book reading is coming up this Sunday. I'll be reading from Zegin's Adventures at the Cafe Lovure in Edmonds, Washington on 12/14. The readings begin at 3pm. Feel free to stop by and say hello. Hopefully, I'll have some books available for signing as well.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Night Writer in Seattle

Being a night writer, while working a full-time job, volunteering for local community services, and making sure that I don't alienate my better half, is - needless to say - a major challenge. However, it's not impossible to make progress. And thus, I'm proud to announce the release of my new book, "Zegin's Abduction" onto Amazon. Proof again, that it can be done.

It was a little frustrating. Originally, I wanted to release it last February. Then my editor got it. There was the first pass - plot issues. Then the second pass - just didn't flow well. Third pass - terminology, phrasing, and punctuation. Fourth pass - in-line edits. Whew! Now it's October and it's finally out. All this for a story that barely fits into the 'Novella' category.

Worth it? Yes, totally! Just the initial reviews and comments I've received so far have been that it's a solid piece of work compared to the first story. Not only is it more polished, but I have learned so much from my editor. Especially - trust!

And I have found that my taste in quality has gone through changes as well. I've actually tossed around a half dozen books off my Kindle device due to poor writing. I get through one or two chapters and I realize how sloppy the story, plot lines, and writing is. While it's a blessing for writers, because it's so easy to publish work as an eBook, it's also a curse. The reading audience will not tolerate a sloppy book and if a writer releases poor work, it's going to be difficult to re-gain the trust of the readers when the next release is posted.

Did I pay for the editing? Yes. Did I pay for the cover art? Yes. Am I in the hole financially on this one? Yes. But, I AM a writer. I have to write. I want to be good at it, I want the readers to enjoy what I write, and I want to be known as a writer. It might take two stories or it might take nine. Regardless, it is my goal, and I know I'll eventually get to a point where my primary source of income is from writing. Although, that might be when I'm on SSI, and too old to be employable. ;)

I'm going to back off on the stats for now, except for saying that my twitter audience has really taken off. I'm currently at 3475 followers. I'm amazed that so many are interested in seeing what I have to say while I live this life of a night writer. No where near as many as our local, indie writer Ksenia Anske, and her 59K followers - Wow! But then, I'm a geek, and she dances around in a tutu. ;)

Up and Coming?
I'm combining Zegin's Infection and Zegin's Abduction into a print-on-demand book via Amazon's Create Space service. I'm hoping to release within the next few weeks. This will allow me to have something physical to hand out to folks, and to do local book readings.

What I'm really excited about is the Young Adult Urban Fantasy novel that I'm working on. I'm through the first eight of eighteen chapters. I have around a dozen beta readers and they're all giving me good feedback. Now that Zegin is out, I'll have more time for Air Born. (And maybe a few more blog postings.)

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Plethora of Networks

Yep. The blog has suffered a severe bout of neglect. Mostly due to my not wanting to take the amount of time necessary to write and create a new post for it.  With the abundance of my postings to Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook, I've been relying on my ongoing postings there to make up for what I would normally post on the blog.  Which would usually be my progress with the writing, promotions, and marketing.

As a quick catch up:
  • Sales of Zegin's Infection have dropped of. Which is to be expected. It was over a year ago when I posted it to Amazon. Aside from my promotions on Twitter and G+, I've not been pushing it.  It's mainly a tidbit as an introduction to more in the series, and to me as a writer.
  • The draft of Zegin's Abduction has been completed and is in the hands of my Editor, Azi Parker. She did a draft edit of the first half the story and was instrumental in directing major improvements in my plot line. As a result I feel that it's a much stronger story. She now has my last full draft and I'm hoping to have it on Amazon this quarter.  
  • I wrote a short story called "Love Is In the Air" for last year's Write On the Sound writers conference in Edmonds. Everyone that I shared the story with had the same response - "You've got to do a novel on this!" So, that has been my primary focus since finishing the draft of ZA. I've mapped out the entire story as an outline, created all the characters and the background story, and I'm now in struggling while working writer mode while trying to crank out a chapter each week. I currently have 5 beta readers who are receiving each chapter when it's completed and are giving me great feedback. 

My latest social media stats are:

  • Klout Score: 55 and holding pretty steady
  • Page Loads for the past month: 89 Way, way down. 
  • Twitter Followers: 2286 and slowing rising
  • G+ Peeps Following: 1763 - This is a huge jump and an indication that G+ is becoming the new FB.
  • Zegin's Infection Sales/Downloads: 50/582

I'm sure that once Azi is done with the edits on ZA that I'll be diving into getting it updated and ready for publication. My plan is to do a single eBook release on Amazon, a combined eBook release on Amazon, and a printed combined release on Amazon (CreateSpace). I'll also do a free promotion on ZI with a link for ZA. And I'll be doing a very short free promotion on the ZA eBook. 
While I can't guarantee that I'll be updating the blog any time soon, I can guarantee that you can watch my progress and postings via the other media networks.  You can find me at:

When I post to Google Plus, it will usually also go to Twitter and Facebook, with a link back to the GooglePlus posting. 

If you're really interested in seeing more Blog postings, let me know how you feel. I do enjoy writing the postings and letting everyone know how it's going. It's just the process of taking a precious hour away from actually doing some story writing that I have a difficult time with. If more folks poke me with a blog stick I might be more prone to post here.

Well, enjoy the stories. 

Keep on writing.