Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Sometimes, a marriage is something of a love/hate relationship, even the good ones. Each half of the couple is bound to have habits and quirks that irritate the other.
For us, December has been somewhat rough this year, health-wise. Hubby had a knee problem that kept him home for a week. One of those days was so bad, he really needed crutches to hobble around the house, but we only had a cane. He needed help getting in and out of a chair, dressed and undressed, in and out of bed... Well, that’s part of being married; you take care of each other when things like this happen.
I’ve been fighting a sinus infection since sometime in November, and when the doc finally prescribed an antibiotic that tried, I had a day of fluctuating pressure in my ears that did awful things to my balance, made me think I was hearing somebody hammering (at 10 PM!) and really made me nervous and confused. But Hubby was an orderly, once upon a time, and isn’t fazed by things like that. I had a sturdy rock to cling to.
There are times when a couple shares a little too much. If you belong to any kind of family, families do this, too. It isn’t just couples.
The day after Christmas, Hubby came down with a cold. Now, if he can get around the house, he’s fairly self-sufficient, even sick. He heated his own soup, got his own drinks, and vegged in front of the tv. If he needed anything, he could holler, but he seldom did.
So what happened? You’ve probably guessed. Five days after he came down sick, I got a sore throat and dry cough. (He says he caught my sinus infection, but I don’t buy it. If he has my sinus infection, then what have I got now?)
Yes, Hubby, I know you think a good marriage means we share everything, but believe me, you really did NOT have to share your cold with me. I would have forgiven you.

What are your hopes and dreams for 2015? I’ve got lots of them! Including health, for both of us.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve!

Today is Christmas Eve. Or, rather, the day I post this will be Christmas Eve day. You’d think I’d write about Christmas, wouldn’t you? But I’ve already discussed holidays, several times during the life of this blog, and I don’t want to get too repetitive.
Besides, as I write this, I am nowhere near ready for that holiday; I still have gifts to purchase (not to mention wrap, NONE of them are wrapped yet), a grocery list to make, groceries to buy, and an entire house to clean. These things have been weighing on my mind since Thanksgiving, and I need a break from thinking about Christmas.
So, I’ve been reviewing some science stories I down-loaded during 2014 but never got around to incorporating into a blog, trying to figure out what to say in my next several blogs. (It’s called advanced planning, something I probably don’t do enough of.) There’s some good stuff here.
1.              The Willy Wonka elevator is not necessarily pure fiction.
2.              The Keppler telescope isn’t dead yet. In fact, they’ve fixed it... sort of.
3.              Everybody is talking about a trip to Mars, but Venus is much closer, so... Yeah, there’s plans for that!
4.              There’s a big geothermal project in western US.
5.              Lab-grown burgers.
6.              Rocks that mysteriously move by themselves when no one is looking.
7.              Roads made of solar panels.
8.              Wyoming cave has a treasure of Ice Age fossils.
9.              Cloning woolly mammoths. (Or have I already done that one?)
10.                    Robot farmers.
11.                    Blood test for suicide.
12.                    2-million-year-old pre-man, what was he like?
13.                    Ancient Caribou hunting.
14.                    Ancient lizard fish graveyard.
15.                    Ancient Chinese flying reptile.
16.                    Ancient squirrel.
17.                    Chatting with a Stone Age person.
18.                    Ancient Tsunamis.
19.                    Ichthyosaur fossil.
20.                    The first bird.
21.                    Pinocchio Rex.
22.                    The Scourge of Jurassic Europe.
23.                    Ancient footprints in UK.
24.                    6,000-year-old parasite egg.
25.                    Ancient men and their dog buddies.
26.                    Stonehenge skeleton.
27.                    Fossil eggs.
28.                    Do failed stars have planets?
29.                    Super Earth.
30.                    Orphan planets.
31.                    Twin planets.
Jeepers. That’s enough for half of next year, even if I don’t have enough info on some of them. Maybe I should keep this list and cross them off as I write that blog. After all, I wouldn’t want to repeat myself.
And that doesn’t count any subjects I come across in Archeology, Discovery and the other magazines that I read. Or any new stories I come across on the internet.

Well, my cup runneth over, I guess. The problem will be deciding which of these to write about when. Any suggestions what you’d like me to start with?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 Successes

Okay, here it is; that dreaded ‘Buy my book’ issue I warned you would happen.
Hubby hates when all the authors make a wall of books between them and the audience at science fiction convention panels. He sees it as a crass commercial. But these days, almost all marketing is left for the author to do; very little is done by the publisher, and that includes the ‘Big Boys’. Most authors - especially new ones - do not have lots of money for marketing, so they take every chance they can to let people know about their book. If you don’t know it exists, how can you buy it?
I made 3 sales in 2014. (So this won’t be that long.)
The Secret in Morris Valley - A paranormal gothic romance novella published by Alban Lake ( It is a trade paperback selling for $6.00. If you are in Omaha and want to see a copy, the Book Worm, currently on 90th Street just north of W Center Rd, has a few copies through the holidays. They only took 3, so I can’t guarantee they still have any. [Note: Since this a romance, I used my pen name, Linda Joy.]
Ondrea is sent by her favorite professor to gather information on the wolves in Morris Valley. But Barry Morris, her host, won’t allow her to do field work on the wolves, saying it’s too dangerous to go out without a well-armed pack of men and vicious dogs. Barry has plans for Ondrea. So do the wolves.
“Truck Driving Women” - This the first published story of Vamps and Cheyenne. It is in the middle of an anthology published by Sky Warrior Books ( called These Vampires Don’t Sparkle. You can get a paper copy from Amazon for $13.33, an e-book is $4.99. If you really like vampire stories, there is a second volume of this anthology called These Vampires Still Don’t Sparkle that is available as an e-book. No, I don’t have a story in Vol. 2, just letting you know about it.
When terrorists hijack Vamps and Cheyenne, they bite off more than they anticipated.
Cali: A Journey of Discovery - This is a lightly romantic fantasy novel that Alban Lake ( accepted and originally planned to publish in 2014, but its publication has been pushed to February 2015. It will be a trade paperback and e-book. I don’t have any more details, but if you’re interested, keep an eye on the left side bar of this blog; that’s where I’ll post more information when I have it.
Witches don’t drown when they have a thirst for revenge. Sidek had seen a lot of strange cultures, but when he rescued Cali from a flooding river, he made contact with the strangest one yet. Cali was an Atlan, hunting men who had tortured & killed 2 children. She didn’t need a man’s help. But she wasn’t well enough to keep Sidek from tagging along.
Okay, it’s done now, you can breathe again. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled blog. Eh. Not exactly, because this turned out to take up all of this week’s space. Soooooo... Tune in again next week!

PS. If you want to keep up to date on my sales and appearances, consider subscribing to the free monthly MoonPhaze Publishing e-newsletter. Just send a request to be enrolled at, and we’ll send you a sample copy. You can always unsubscribe at any time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What Does That Mean?

I’ve been doing research on marketing and promotion. The only thing I know about marketing and promotion is that I don’t know anything. So I picked up a book on how to do internet marketing by a so-called expert.
Have you ever read a book that became so ridiculous, you wanted to throw it against the wall? Yeah, I know, but what did the wall ever do to you?
I was almost making sense out of what the author was saying, it was kind of starting to gel:
* Think of my website as a billboard, rather than a tome. Okay, that means keep the copy short and to the point; use the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) Principal. Ok.
* Get on several social media sites and participate, long before you mention your book is for sale. Yeah, just what every introvert author wants to do; get on several social sites every date and relate to people. Have you seen my newest t-shirt? Probably not. I got it after I came home to hibernate hide write for the winter. All it says is, “You’ve read my t-shirt. That’s enough social interaction for one day.” Still, I do belong to 3 social sites, and I participate fairly regularly. So, okay.
* The next step is to have a blog. Hey, I’m ahead of the game; I’ve had a blog for... 4 years? But the book says I should use the blog to talk about what I’ve written, to show my blog readers that I’m an expert in my field, and to tease them into finding out more by buying my book.
Expert? I write fiction! I’ve made up characters, setting, circumstances... If I am not an expert on the culture, the biology, the geology, the religion, and everything else, then there isn’t an expert. Period.
And wouldn’t that get boring awfully fast? Can you imagine reading my blog every week to get one more tidbit of information about my Atlans, Mac and Bugalu, my vampire/werewolf team, or my paranormal debunker who has a ghost for a partner? I mean, I have touched on my writing from time to time in this blog, but week after week after week? Puhlease! I suspect you readers would be looking for fresher subjects within a month.
I also am of the opinion that the book’s blurb is supposed to whet your appetite to read the book. That’s why it’s there. That’s why I (frequently) labor over the blurb far more intensely than I did over the entire book, trying to get the essence boiled down to grab your attention. If it does, then you’ll read the book.
Anyway, if the book doesn’t make sense without me spelling everything out to potential readers, then I didn’t write it well enough.
So, I’ll be sticking to my type of blog, I think. But I do need to find a new source of science-type news articles. The source I had been using seems to have gone totally technology, which is fine, but not what I’m interested in. Maybe an occasional random subject, like this one. And also occasionally, something about what I’m writing, because some days, my characters just WILL NOT shut up!
Okay, where’s that book? Maybe I can skip the part about blogs and see what it says on other methods of marketing.

[WARNING Unless I forget, sometime between now and the end of the year, I will have a blog about my Successes in 2014. But only one.]

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Black and White

This last week, I’ve been reading about Black Holes. If you’ve seen the movie ‘Interstellar’, that involved a Black Hole that they were trying to avoid while skirting around the edges. Neil deGrasse Tyson applauded the science in that movie, so it’s educational as well as entertaining, right?
I’ve been reading science fiction for several decades, so I’m pretty well acquainted with what little is known about Black Holes. But theories grow and change, so I periodically read up on the subject, just to tweak my ‘knowledge’.
Most of what I read I already knew: Black Holes have so much gravity that nothing can escape once it’s entrapped, not even light, so they appear black. The gravity field of a Black Hole is so massive, that it even warps time, making it go slower. Black Holes are created when a star dies and collapses in on itself. And current theory is that there’s a super-Black Hole in the center of each galaxy.
But there were a couple things that made me pause and think. Such as the current theory that each Black Hole has a universe inside it. Therefore, this universe we live in must be inside a Black Hole. It makes me wonder what a Black Hole looks like from the other side. Where is the opening into our universe, and why haven’t we found it yet? How does that fit in with the theory of parallel universes? Are all the universes inside other Black Holes parallel universes to ours? Or am I trying to smash too much into one theory?
There was also the idea that since Black Holes exist, then there must be an opposite counterpart, a White Hole, where stuff would be spewing into our universe. Wow! And would a White Hole have negative gravity, the opposite of a Black Hole’s massive gravity? And would a White Hole spew lots of light and radiation, just like a Black Hole swallows up that stuff? Sounds like they’d be easy to spot. In fact, in my mind, a White Hole sounds like the other side of a Black Hole. So how come we haven’t found any? Well, just be patient. In 2006, an unusual burst of gamma radiation was detected, and currently being studied as a potential White Hole event.
And most of these facts and theories have been used in science fiction during the time I’ve been reading it. I can’t remember the name of the book(s), nor the author(s), but I can remember a scene or two that used each fact/theory. Except one. I don’t remember any books about Black Holes containing universes, but maybe I just didn’t get my hands on that one.

What about you? Read any good Black Hole books lately?