Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hiatus

It seems as if blogging on a daily basis never works out for me. Perhaps that’s because each time I start, it’s because I’m trying to motivate myself to work harder. But it’s also possible that I feel like I’m not working hard enough because I can’t due to circumstances.

In this case, it’s my vision. For months, I’ve had problems seeing clearly. Using my eyes for any extended period of time is difficult. That includes working on the computer, reading, and even watching television, although that presents the least stress. Reading street signs while driving had become impossible. And I avoid driving at night because I can’t see clearly enough.

I thought it was time to get that cataract surgery my optometrist has been talking about for three years. When it came time for my regular appointment, she agreed with me and recommended an ophthalmologist. It took a month to get that appointment, so more time with bad vision.

When I saw the ophthalmologist, she wasn’t very encouraging. She told me my vision was worse than could be accounted for by the cataracts I have, but she couldn’t find anything wrong with my vision otherwise. No macular degeneration, no glaucoma, nothing. She couldn’t guarantee my vision would be better after cataract surgery. In fact, she couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t be worse, although I had the feeling that was the usual doctor-being-cautious routine, because they can’t guarantee much of anything and don’t want to give you cause for a malpractice suit.

Needless to say, I wasn’t getting warm fuzzies from this situation, which she could tell, so she recommended I get a second opinion so I could feel more comfortable about my options. I asked her if she could recommend someone and she did. Another month’s wait for an appointment.

Meanwhile, the eye irritation I usually get this time of year from tree pollen and the dry, hot desert air got progressively worse. I added artificial tears to my daily routine.

The second ophthalmologist appointment happened this week. The good news is that this doctor was a lot more confident about the benefits of having cataract surgery and thought it would clear up my vision, although I’ll have to wear glasses at least part of the time afterwards. She had a plan, as opposed to an I-don’t-know-what's-going-on attitude. So I decided to schedule the surgery with her.

That will take place in two weeks. Between pre-op and post-op appointments and time for healing, followed by getting suitable glasses afterwards, I don’t see reading and writing getting any easier for a while. So I’m going to not put pressure on myself to accomplish a whole lot until August, which means there’s not much point in doing a daily progress blog.

As Gilda Radner used to say, it’s always something. See you in August.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Double Pink Murder is Now Live!

Wow, that was quick! It can take up to 72 hours from the time an author clicks "Publish" on Amazon until it's available for sale. Usually, it takes less than 24, but today it only took about an hour before I got the confirmation email.

Get your copy at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072VQW52S/

I'll post what I've done so far today now, but I'll update this if I do anything later.

As expected, I spent a good deal of time researching material for the science fiction novel I have in my head. Fascinating stuff. I've always been intrigued by space and boldly going where no man has gone before, so I can spend hours and hours reading about habitable planets and red dwarf stars and such.

My cover designer, Susan Coils, is fantastic! When I sent her the specs for the paperback cover last week, she said she probably wouldn't get to it until "next week." Last night, the cover showed up in my mailbox. It looked perfect, so the print version of Double Pink Murder won't be too far behind the ebook version.

I also emailed a fellow mystery writer with what I keep in my series bible. Hmmm... that sounds like another blog post. If anyone's interested, let me know in the comments.

Post Days 3

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday, a scheduled day off.

I'm starting to feel the itch to start a new novel. I can't go very many days without writing. It feels like a very long time since I wrote something new, even though it wasn't too long ago that I finished Double Pink Murder. Today I found myself daydreaming about what I will write next. I believe I'll break out the pen and notebook tomorrow morning and start brainstorming in earnest.

Posting Days: 2

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Briefest Streak Ever

My idea when I started this was to post a new entry on every writing day. Yesterday, I was very tired. I even went to bed early the night before and didn't get out of bed until 6:00 AM. That might seem early to you, but my cats think breakfast time is closer to five.

I put in a couple of hours working on my keyword list for some new Amazon ads. That certainly took a lot longer than I expected! There were many authors and book titles that KDP Rocket had found that were unfamiliar to me. Now, Dave Chesson says to review your keywords to make sure they're relevant to your book, because some publishers put books in categories where they think they'll rank high rather than ones that match their book. I've seen that myself, so I decided to check out the unfamiliar titles and authors.

It's a good thing I did! Somehow the search routine thought gay romance novels were a match for my African Violet Club Mysteries. Now, I think people should be able to choose whatever sexual partner they like. I live in a world where I see and talk to gay people every day. I even included a gay character in one of my Community of Faith mysteries. (That's a whole other blog post.) But I don't think readers of gay romance novels are a good match to my cozy mysteries, where having people do more than chaste kisses can be distasteful to some readers. (Another blog post.)

Weeding out the inappropriate keywords is a tedious task, to say the least. It requires searching Amazon for each one I didn't recognize to see if it should stay or go. I guess that's part of what tired me out. So I never made it back to my computer to write an entry here.

Today was the monthly Tucson Sisters in Crime meeting. This counts as working as well as socializing. Today was a particularly good meeting. The morning speaker was the head of the Tucson Police Department's Hostage Negotiating Team. Great information about how this is done, including an audio playback of part of an actual hostage situation. I kept wondering how I could work this into one of my mysteries. Don't be surprised if Lilliana is taken hostage in a future book!

The afternoon speakers were an investigator from the Tucson Fire Department and a sergeant from the Tucson Police Department who are responsible for the investigation of questionable fires. In other words, arson investigations, although you can't determine if it's arson until after you investigate, which is why the odd terminology. The fire department investigator determines the cause of the fire and how it started, the physical evidence as to pattern and whether an accelerant was used, that kind of thing. The police department investigator questions people and follows any leads provided by what the fire department investigator turned up. Another fascinating topic.

And now, since I just got home shortly before starting this, I know I'm probably done for the day. If I do more later, I might update this post. But I want to start a new streak of blog postings and it's hard to start without doing one.

Posting days: 1

Friday, June 16, 2017

Double Pink Murder Cover Reveal!


I'm thrilled to show you the cover for Double Pink Murder. Yes, this time Lilliana visits an observatory outside the village of Rainbow Ranch. As you might be able to guess, the release of the fourth book in the African Violet Club series is getting closer.

What the Story is About

A prophecy. A discovery. A murder.

Persuaded by a somewhat ditzy friend to attend a local psychic fair, retired librarian Lilliana Wentworth doesn’t really believe in fortunetelling. But her romance with a handsome and mysterious Scotsman has thrown her off-balance, disrupted her equilibrium, and she’s looking for guidance wherever she might find it.

When she overhears a tarot reader predict death to the young woman seated at her table, she’s not so sure consulting a psychic is a good idea. Certainly it wasn’t for the woman the reading was meant for, who flees from the room in panic.

As Lilliana attempts to comfort the distraught stranger, she feels a touch of premonition herself. She has no idea what her romantic future might be, but she’s fairly certain she’ll soon be solving another murder.

Be sure to read this latest adventure in the African Violet Club Mysteries.

More Coming Soon!

Make sure to check back for more news about Double Pink Murder.