Category Archives: General Thoughts

General thoughts and random ramblings

If We Were Having Coffee on the 14th of July, 2018

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a nice mug of very strong Sumatra Roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage.  Actually, since it is about noon and warmish, you may want something cooler than coffee…  It is a beautiful day.  Warm, but not hot.  Clear blue sky.  Pleasant breeze.  And were is this perfect weather?  Some of you may recognize the mugs at the top of the page as being at my cottage on Cape Cod.  Did you know there were hydrangea around my cottage?

I came down late on Wednesday.  I had to work on Thursday and Friday, so not a lot of holiday making…  Today I got up, took puppies for a walk, ate, took puppies outside to play, took a long walk on the beach, did another puppy walk and ten went kayaking.  I just had lunch and am going to relax for a half an hour before I go out and do some more!  I think I will swim, walk in the woods with puppies and other such things.  I’m sure there will be anopther beautiful sunset tonight… Continue reading

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Does Size Matter?

fireborn-book-in-hand

They say size doesn’t matter, but I do have questions.  I want your opinion about the size of books.  What?  Hey!  Get your mind out of the gutter! ;)

Both The Fireborn and Seasons of Imagination are printed at 5 1/2″ by 8 1/2″ (see photo at top of page for how big that is).  It seems to be a great compromise.  But then, I do see a lot of books at 6″ by 9″.  In fact, 6″ x 9″ seems to be the most popular size in self-publishing, though I do have a few tradition published books in that size.  And it isn’t a huge difference.  The smaller size seems to be easier to take with you when going to the beach or whatever, but reading them, I don’t see a lot of difference.  Well, you do get more text per page with the larger, so less page-turning.  But I don’t really notice while reading.

There are actually a lot of smaller sizes.  I have a whole shelf full of traditionally published books that are 5 1/4″ by 8″.  And the old-fashioned paper back is even smaller – 90% of the paperbacks I have that are more than 10 years old are 4 1/4″ by 7″.  That, to me, is too small, but it was a very popular size for a long time.  On the bigger side almost every computer book I have (30 or more) are 7 1/4″ by 9 1/4″.

What are your opinions about the size of books?  Does it make a difference to you?

If We Were Having Coffee on the 8th of July, 2018

Coffee in NH with Moog

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you nice large mug of very strong Sumatra roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage.  Actually, I’m very late with this, so maybe something cool would be better.  It is warm out, but not hot.  It feels great!  We’ll sit on the back patio and look off into the woods.  And where are we?  By the picture at the top you may know that we are in New Hampshire this weekend.

This was a strange week.  It was hot for most of the week, 90+ for 7 or 8 days in a row.  Unusual for this part of the world, particularly at the end of June/early July.  I did better than I sometimes do in the heat, but still, with no AC the house does get a little warm (I saw the upstairs at 89 once).  OK, truthfully, I did better managing the heat than almost any other heat wave.  It comes from teleworking and so being able to manipulate the windows and shades. Continue reading

The Halley Branch – Launch Date!

The Halley Branch Cover

I am pleased to announce a launch date for The Halley Branch!  Unless something changes, it will be published on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.  That is exactly three weeks from today!

An evil 300 years in the making.  A trap set 150 years in the past.

The day should have been a normal “family day” at the Hawkins’ Mausoleum, but a premonition followed Trevor into the crypt. To make matters worse, he couldn’t shake his morning vision of a dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.

After rescuing a girl trapped in the tomb, repressed memories forced him to reevaluate everything. Was his extended family a cult with roots going back to America’s colonial past?  Was the evil Benjamin Halley still stalking his tomb after 150 years? Was there any truth to the Power described by the family’s patriarch, Miles Hawkins?

Trevor realized that he was being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and feared that everyone around him had already been ensnared.  Who could he trust?  The members of his own family’s Branch, The Bradford’s, like his cousins Bill or Stan?  Perhaps members of the Hawkins Branch, such as the beautiful but jaded Amelie?  The one Branch he knew not to trust was the extinct Halley Branch.

But the Halley’s were the ones who were welcoming him with open, if dead, arms.

 

If We Were Having Coffee on the Last Day of June, 2018

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a large mug of a very strong Sumatra Roast or a cuppa tea.  Actually, I just finished lunch, so maybe something cool.  It is hot and humid today, so something refreshing might be in order.  And where are we?  Some of you may recognize that Edward Gorey mug (the one with the bat) as being on Cape Cod.

This was my June Vacation.  In ways it was a stay-cation as it was at my cottage on Cape Cod, someplace i spend maybe a quarter of my time anyway.  And what is there to tell?  Long walks on the beach, swimming, kayaking, taking photographs, walking, walking/playing with dogs, eating out (twice), watching movies (twice), etc.  The same old, same old.  i do most of those things when it’s not vacation. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee on the 23rd of June, 2018

Hello and Welcome!  Come in out of the rain and I’ll get you a large mug of a strong Sumatra Roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage.  It is cool here today.  Actually, it has been cool here lately and will continue to be so for a while, which is why I like it here – the winters and summers aren’t as extreme as just a few miles away.  And where is this magical land of which I speak?  Looking at the mugs at the top of the page sum may guess “Pepperland”, but no, I am in Dennis Port on Cape Cod this weekend.

Overall it has been a good week.  Work has been busy and there have been a a few setbacks, though hopefully everything has been taken care of.  It was hot at the beginning of the week, hot and humid, but I am a little more acclimated to it than I usually am this early in the summer. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee on the 17th of June, 2018

Coffee in NH with Moog

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a nice large mug of very strong Sumatra Roast, a cuppa tea or some other beverage.  We’ll take them out back onto the patio and sit and admire my new grill ;)  The house is relatively cool, but it is perfect outside.  Fr now.  It will get hot this afternoon, though not terrible.  Tomorrow… well, they are saying 97 F/36 C.  If it is humid, it will be bad.  And were are we?  Some of you may recognize that photo as coming from my place in New Hampshire.

backyard

The photo is of my backyard this morning.  the view from the patio looks up into the woods.  It looks like we are a million miles from anybody instead of in the middle of town.

I usually post my coffee share on Saturday.  OK, Saturday I woke at 6:15, fed cats and dog and then took the dogs out for a long walk.  I got back had breakfast and then took the dogs outside so they could play.  Then I went running.  After my shower, I had to go pick up a few things, including the new grill.  I had car issues.  Maybe more about that later..  I had a late lunch and then did a few things with the car.  When the car was, I hope, healed, I started playing with the grill.  I recently put together a grill, but this one seemed to have a lot more pieces.  I don’t remember doing the wiring before…  It wasn’t hard, just time consuming.  I let the dogs out to play once.  After it was done, I cleaned up and did a few things inside for 15 minutes.  I then fed the animals, picked up a few things and then another long walk with the dogs.  When I got back it was time to make dinner.  And then I turned on my computer and did some editing for the rest of the evening.  Yesterday was my least busy day of the week… Continue reading

The Halley Branch – Tweaked Cover

The Halley Branch Cover

When I did my cover reveal for The Halley Branch, I had one person ask me if it was an alien.  What?  “The skull just seems flat to me, but what do I know?”  I checked by putting a photo of a skull in the same position over it as a layer in Photoshop.  Actually it was pretty close, but yeah, slightly too flat.  I wasn’t going to do anything about it, but then, you know, there will always be someone out there who will say, “I bought your book thinking it was about aliens!  That skull is so misleading!!”   It took me about 5 minutes in Photoshop to get a little closer to the photo of a human skull I had imported.  Not exact, but closer.

What do you think?  A little less like an alien?

An evil 300 years in the making.  A trap set 150 years in the past.

The day should have been a normal “family day” at the Hawkins’ Mausoleum, but a premonition followed Trevor into the crypt. To make matters worse, he couldn’t shake his morning vision of a dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.

After rescuing a girl trapped in the tomb, repressed memories forced him to reevaluate everything. Was his extended family a cult with roots going back to America’s colonial past?  Was the evil Benjamin Halley still stalking his tomb after 150 years? Was there any truth to the Power described by the family’s patriarch, Miles Hawkins?

Trevor realized that he was being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and feared that everyone around him had already been ensnared.  Who could he trust?  The members of his own family’s Branch, The Bradford’s, like his cousins Bill or Stan?  Perhaps members of the Hawkins Branch, such as the beautiful but jaded Amelie?  The one Branch he knew not to trust was the extinct Halley Branch.

But the Halley’s were the ones who were welcoming him with open, if dead, arms.

If We Were Having Coffee on the 9th of June, 2018

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a large mug of a very strong French Roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage.  Actually, it is now after lunch and warm (not hot), so how about something cool and we’ll go sit out back or perhaps walk to the landing (about 100 yards/meters away)?  It is a beautiful day.  Some clouds have recently moved in,but it is partially sunny.  As I said, pleasant warm, but not hot.  And were are we?  Some of you may recognize that stack of Beatles mugs as being on Cape Cod.

The important thing this week is that I drove down here Wednesday night and worked fom here on Thursday and Friday.  Thursday was a long work day, but Friday was short.  Both days were beautiful.  Thursday was a little cool, but I loved it.  I was able to kayak on Friday and I did a long walk in the woods.  I got up early today, did a long walk on the beach, mowed my lawn (first time this year,so it was almost knee deep!), ran 4 miles, took and outside shower (one reason I love The Cape), ate lunch and read.  When I finish this post I will kayak for a couple of hours and then take a long walk in the woods.  Yeah, I enjoy it here ;) Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee on the 20th of June, 2018

Coffee in NH with Moog

Welcome and Come on in!  Actually, let’s sit outside.  It is warm, even though only 8 AM, and the house is stuffy.  I can get you a nice mug of very strong French Roast, a cuppa tea or a cold beverage if you prefer (remember, it is 8 AM, so nothing carbonated or alcoholic).  Yeah, my computer is in the hottest, stuffiest room in the house, so I am sitting here in shorts only and still just borderline comfortable.  Ugh, I hate hot weather, which is why I live in New Hampshire and not Texas!  And if you didn’t recognize the photo, I just gave it away that I am in new Hampshire this weekend.

You may have noticed that I missed the coffee share last weekend.  I spent several days in Ohio visiting family and friends.  It was a very nice get away.  It was quite and actually a little warm there as well.  We didn’t really do a whole lot that was exciting, but it is always nice to visit.  I may do an Ohio post later, but, as i said, it is one of those things that it is nice to visit, but there’s not a lot to say.

Traveling on the way home was a bit of a nightmare, but I survived.  And the flights were actually nice and smooth. Continue reading