Sunday, February 11, 2024

updates - books, indoor garden, and cats

I don't have much of a writing update today. I'm still working on edits of Book 16. It's going more slowly than I hoped, which is why I've at least temporarily deactivated my X account (and maybe permanently). So, I thought I'd add something different about what's been happening lately.

First, I've just uploaded a revision of A NEW BEGINNING. It now includes a note about the [ ] and { } indicators of alien languages. That was the only update to the file. I wanted to make sure new readers understand. Most SFF readers should have some familiarity with using such devices for dialogue translations of fictional other languages, if they've read anything from around the 80's. I saw this in books growing up, which is what gave me the idea to use those to encapsulate translations of fictional languages being spoken by characters where I want the reader to understand it.

Second, I have updated the series description on Amazon. I've tweaked it a couple of times now. It had defaulted to the description of the first book and I left that for a long time. Now, I've given it a brief overview of the series, as well as a note about... Well, why not just let you read it. Here's what it now says:

The truth behind the warrior disciples of an ancient religion is no myth. To stop the ancient evil from being released to destroy the universe, a group of strangers joins together to find the scattered Starfire shards, the only weapon known to defeat the creature. 
Take off with Nya and the strangers who will become her friends on a quest across a galaxy of forgotten worlds where the Starfire shards have been hidden for such a time as this. In the course of their adventures, they will discover secrets that her ancestors left behind and revelations that could shatter the lives of many. 
These books are short novels intended to be read in order. Each book is a complete story but leads into the next. Like chapters in an individual book, each book of this series is a "chapter" in the larger series arc of 25 books.

Note: Although there is some romance in the series, there are no sex scenes. Also, no foul language is used.

I wanted those looking for hard science fiction to realize that this probably isn't what they want. It isn't a porno/swearing fest like so much fiction is these days. It's also not all shoot 'em up war/fighting, and it's not full of broken characters. Sure, each character has their traumas, but they don't dwell on them all the time. I like likable characters and action that's balanced between drama and fighting (or pew pew! as some call it 🙃).

idoo hydroponic garden,
available from Amazon
The series was always written with the intent of going back to the 80's and 90's style SF series, when entertainment didn't punch one in the face with an agenda or sex but, rather, focused on telling stories and the sex was fade-to-black or mentioned in passing so that you knew it was there but not front and center. I've learned there's a name coined for stories without an agenda other than telling a good yarn--ironage. It's not because it's medieval or anything but because of the ironage of storytelling, before the woke agenda ruined entertainment by focusing on pushing a narrative instead of focusing on telling a good story.

(Also, in this description, I'm hinting the title of the final book in the series, Book 25 - FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS. I already know that works for what I have outlined. 😉)

Third, I've had to do some pulling of old lettuce and reseeding in my indoor hydroponics garden. I started the lettuce but haven't had an interest in eating many salads, although it is nice to have our own lettuce instead of store-bought with who knows how many chemicals sprayed on it.

I pulled up two of my larger plants that were looking pretty shredded and not fitting under the light anymore and have new sprouts growing. I'll pull up those last two large plants once the new sprouts take off with enough leaves to start using for salads.

The picture is blurry because it was before the sun rose
and zoomed in from a ways back from the glass deck door
so as not to frighten her. She's pretty skittish.
Fourth, we feed feral cats that come around. Last winter, we had Lenny, but he disappeared come summer. We like to keep outdoor cats around as hunters to keep the mice, gophers, and volls under control. Hubby had made a suitable shelter out of a Rubbermaid container, but I think the latest feral, Remy, felt entrapped in it, so I bought this off Etsy for her. It may not be as cozy warm, but she can eat while sheltered on windy, snowy, or rainy days. While she was reluctant to use hubby's shelter, she was in this within two days of us putting it out for her.

It's a small shelter and the roof is hinged like a lid. If you're interested, here's the link:

Fifth, pay attention to your health. My eyes were giving me problems lately and I hadn't thought to connect it to headaches and tiredness. I made an appointment and, just over a year since my last pair of glasses, ended up needing new glasses again. My eyes are healthy, although the psoriasis around them causes minor issues (easily kept under control with Aquaphor); but my vision has changed dramatically. I wear bifocals, and my old close-up prescription is better for distances now. That's how much my vision has changed. I can't wait to get the new glasses, but that's going to be a big adjustment!

Last, Wednesday, February 14th (Valentine's Day), is Ash Wednesday. For those who honor Our Lord during this season with extra mortification, I pray you achieve the change this season is intended to inspire. I've also been adding to my faith resources page and hope you can find some support there for your faith journey. God bless!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Why discipline in life is important

Fr. Ripperger always has good lectures, and you don't have to be Catholic to appreciate many of them. This is one that applies to everyone. He offers great insights into bettering your life.

What is Laziness, Sloth, & Workaholicism & Their Dangers ~ Fr. Ripperger