From Rebecca: Four’s a Crowd is published!

Joe hit the button at CreateSpace.com at noon today and published Four’s a Crowd! The novel that Darren adapted from Joe’s play Kimberly will be on sale on Amazon in 3-5 business days. Joe was a little disappointed that Four’s a Crowd wasn’t available right away, but I guess Amazon needs a few days to get the product page set up.

If you are interested in what the book is about, here is the description we have on the back cover:

Lyle and Kimberly Detmore are a young married couple who have settled into a quiet life together. Henry and Alice Detmore are an older married couple who were having a good life before their health issues forced them to sell their home. They moved in with their son, Lyle, and the daughter-in-law that Alice has never liked.

It doesn’t take long after they move in for the two women to begin exchanging sharp words and the men to take cover. Battle lines are drawn. The house is filled with yelling, tears, slamming doors, misunderstandings, fears, secrets, and unexpected news.

Underlying it all is the love between husband and wife, child and parent. Can these four people figure out how to solve their problems and live in peace as a family before it is too late?

It took us all more than four years to get to this point, and here it is, even if there is another slight delay. Thanks for joining in our celebration. I am so proud of Darren and Joe for writings these characters and their stories. Hooray!

Joe will be back on Wednesday. Have a great week, take care, and happy reading.

Advertisements

From Rebecca: Joe just left our place

Darren and Joe had a good proof-editing session for their novel Four’s a Crowd. They didn’t change much, just a few words here and there. Joe came to our place with his laptop, and Darren was on our laptop. They each had a copy of the working file open on the computer and called out page numbers for the other to go over; mostly just the parts that were changed the most since the last ordered proof. They worked well together and agreed on a final version to publish.

We went to CreateSpace.com and uploaded the file for review. The self-publishing site will get back to us in 24 hours with their approval of the format. We expect the book to be published tomorrow, and then immediately available to buy on Amazon. Booksellers and libraries should also be able to order it by tomorrow afternoon. Whoo-hoot! Joe worked so hard on the play, Darren worked so hard on adapting it to a novel, and we have all worked hard editing the book, so this a very sweet moment. One more step!

After that, we will look into getting the book on Kindle. We know from putting two of Joe’s previous books on that service that we will need it re-formatted for the e-book structure, and that will take time and/or money to arrange. We will keep you updated.

Joe will be back next Wednesday with an entry, and one of us may possibly write a brief announcement here over the weekend after Four’s a Crowd is published and on sale. Until then, have a great week, take care, and happy reading.

My new kitten has developed a mind of her own

Greetings, readers. Over the past couple of weeks, her royal highness Princess Josie has been spending more time in her penalty box, AKA the dog crate, than usual. Just like a human child of two or three, she is pushing the envelope to see how much she can get away with before I get upset enough to put her in time out. Let me give you a few examples of how frustrating this last week has been.

The last several mornings as I do my morning routine on my computer, she hops up on the table, lies down, and her paws push my speaker further and further to the edge of the table. I have to stop what I am doing, put the speaker back where it belongs, only to see her gleefully push it again. She thinks it is her new ball or something. Then she spies my eyeglasses cord and begins to nibble on it. I again have to stop what I am doing and say no, no, no. Josie gets three strikes and she gets put in her penalty box. I want it understood that I do not abuse my animal by making her sit in there all day long, she is there for short periods of time. I am just trying to prove a point that when Daddy says no, there are consequences for not listening. So far not getting on the work table has not worked out too well.

Now I’ll give you an example of a success. Every day I must take my daily medication, and I don’t want her to accidentally eat one if I drop a pill on the floor. A few weeks ago I was joking around with her and said it was time for me to take my pills and powders and I started to point to the entrance of her crate with a treat in hand. Wouldn’t you know, the last two mornings, she has gone in before the treat. A major success. I obviously rewarded that behavior with a treat.

Her latest thing is to jump up on Daddy’s work chair and claw the crap out of it. It is a game to her. Her eyes get wide, her ears prick back and when I approach her I run the risk of getting playfully clawed. After patting her on the head, she quickly calms down and I can remove her from my chair, sometimes to have her jump right back up as I go to sit down. I am horrified at the thought that one of these days she will jump up at the wrong time and I will sit on her with full weight. That would be a bad thing. For her that would be a me-ouch. Lol.

Obviously, I had forgotten how difficult it was to train a kitten. I think Keekee was a little bit older when I got her. Maybe one or one and a half years old. Readers, I want this perfectly understood. I am not really complaining, I’m loving every minute of this. She’s not really a “bad girl” or a “naughty kitty,” she is just a kitten that needs to learn what is acceptable and what is not. Hopefully one day in the very near future she will do so.

Just for a moment on a different topic: I will be going on a working road trip tomorrow to Rebecca and Darren’s office (AKA their apartment) to go over the final changes for Four’s a Crowd. It could be ready to click live for sale by next Wednesday. Yay, team! Readers, keep your fingers crossed, please. I will keep you updated.

Well, there you have it, today’s happenings. Rebecca will put up the blog tomorrow afternoon, after I leave their place, then we will be back here next Wednesday. So as always, do take care, enjoy, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: It is Thursday again

Joe is taking care of personal business today, so here is another Thursday blog entry from me. It is a gorgeous day outside with a lot of sunshine and a hint of coolness. Perfect.

We are so close to publication day for Four’s a Crowd and I am so excited. Darren has finished his final edits and put them into the manuscript file, and Joe is doing his final editing in the next few days. Next Thursday we will all get together, put in Joe’s changes, I will update the chapter of contents, and then we will submit the file to our self-publishing site, CreateSpace. Once they approve it, we will push the publish button. Four’s a Crowd could be on sale within two weeks! We will keep you updated.

I wrote last month about the construction noise next door driving Darren and me crazy. Well, it is still going on but a few weeks back the majority of the work moved down the road a ways, and we got a bit of a break from some of the beeps, scraps, bangs, and rumbles. We can still hear it, but it is easier to live with at the moment.

I’m just beginning to read the second book in a series I like. I read Binti, by the author Nnedi Okorafor, earlier this year, and was touched by it. It is the science fiction/fantasy story of a young woman from Africa who goes to another planet to study, and on her journey a tragic event leads her to be an instrument of peace between two species. Heartbreaking, but also full of hope. I look forward to diving into Binti: Home later today.

Joe will be back on Wednesday, and one of us will have an entry on Thursday. As Joe would say, have a great week, take care, and happy reading.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a hit, despite the boycotts

Greetings, readers. Last night I went with friends to see the latest Star Wars flick. I had heard mixed reviews and quite frankly was expecting to be disappointed. I was not! As the first film in a possible trilogy, I liked Solo: A Star Wars Story as much as Rogue One, if not better. I do have a few light spoilers below.

Alden Ehrenreich did a wonderful job in my opinion of making the viewer believe that he was the younger version of the character Han Solo. He had all the mannerisms down correctly, and even looked like he could be Harrison Ford’s son. The only problem I had with him is he also looked like, in certain scenes, Chris Pine from the new Star Trek film series. But I easily gave that a hand wave.

Another major player was the younger version of Lando Calrissian played by Donald Glover. He also looked and sounded even more like his character than Alden Ehrenreich sounded like Han Solo. Of course for all Star Wars fans, we were introduced to Chewbacca who was not, unfortunately played by Peter Mayhew. His health would not allow all the walking around and physical things for the part. The growling voice, however, sounded identical. It could be that Peter did the voice acting for Chewbacca. When we were introduced to our furry friend, played by Joonas Suotamo, he was the bad guy’s pet, kept in a dungeon filled with mud on the floor. Han Solo was thrown into said pit to see how long he would survive against “the beast”.

Hon’s love interest, Qu’ra played by a marvelous British actress named Emilia Clarke was in the first part of the movie and then reappeared a while later to be happily reacquainted with her love, but she had secrets to hide.

The movie came out a couple of weeks ago, and unfortunately in its third week the box office sales have fallen off the table. My good friend’s brother told me that this was because many people were very upset with the previous Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, and many people boycotted the Solo film; it is a shame. I give it a solid 8 out of 10, with good acting, a reasonable storyline, and plenty of action.

Well, after reading this you may or may not want to see the film. For those of you who are die-hard Star Wars fans, trust me, you will love it. Don’t boycott it. Go treat yourself.

I’m taking a personal day tomorrow, so Rebecca will have the blog entry up. Until next Wednesday, have a great week, take care, and happy reading.

I am a genius – Lol

Greetings, readers. I told Rebecca yesterday that I had completely lost one of my gaming files, and an entire baseball league on Out of the Park Baseball 19 was gone forever. Then I remembered, I still have the link to last year’s version. Could it still be there? What do you know, it was. So I re-imported it. Everything is as it was.

I just love it when I do things like that because usually my gaffes are permanent. For example, if I had taken my time and made a thorough of list of everything I wanted to take from Mom and Dad’s house before it was sold, I would have taken a few more things, such as Grandma’s tea service. Obviously I couldn’t have taken everything, but I did not get everything I wanted. I did take some paintings that mean a lot to me.

This morning I tried to see if I could get my dead PS3 to work, with no such luck. The verdict is in, it is officially dead-dead. The Zipcars are finally back in town and I’m soon going to have to go to the gaming store and check on prices for a refurbished PS4. My only issue with setting it up is getting the log-in page filled in again, to give me access to games and other sites such as Netflix and YouTube. It was on auto-fill with a very old and now unused email account. I remember the email account address because I would see it every time I logged in, but the password … that is another story. Hopefully it is the one I used for other sites at that time.

I finally decided on what writing project I am going to do for the summer. I am going to work on a Charlie’s Angels fanfic film script, based on the original series. I know the characters very well and that will help. I just need to open the flood gates and get the creativity flowing. It is going to be tons of fun. Will it make money? Probably not. But who knows?

We’re down under 70 days before camp and all preparations are made except the rental car. I hope to rectify that tomorrow. I am going down to the office and speak to the gentleman directly. I am even going so far as to make an appointment for a specific time.

Lastly, my heart goes out to all the folks in Hawaii who are having their lives ruined by the volcano that continues to spew lava and ash everywhere. A neighbor of mine told me yesterday a good friend of his watched his lush mansion get totally destroyed in a very short time. I can’t even imagine that kind of devastation. Many prayers and good thoughts to you.

That’s the news for today. Rebecca and I will be back next week on Wednesday with another fun and exciting entry. So until then, enjoy your weekend, take care, and as always happy reading.

God, I hate wasted mornings

Greetings, readers. Yes, I know I sound cranky again. I met Rebecca for breakfast at Panera before going to a car rental agency to get information about renting a car in August. When we got there, the office was closed with a note on the door stating the agent was making a run to the airport; neither one of us felt like waiting there for almost 30 minutes. One gigantic waste of time as we walked through tons of pollen, which is now falling off the trees and about to make me sneeze.

My accountant will be expecting this information today and I will again have to tell him that I don’t have it. I suppose that is what makes me the most angry. I have one business meeting a week and today I will not be fully prepared for it. As they say, that’s life.

Well, let us see what else is going on. For those of you who like the new Roseanne series, I am sure you know that it was cancelled. I was never a big Roseanne fan, and after learning about all of her racist tweets, I am less of one. I congratulate ABC for having the courage to cancel their top hit. I will admit, I used to watch the re-runs of the original series where the kids were young … and yes, I did laugh. It was funny.

I am now able to share news with my readers, some of whom are family. This past weekend I took a trip down to New Jersey and attended my Goddaughter’s gender reveal party. Ashley is going to have a baby boy. Her husband Derek was elated. He so wanted a boy to carry on the family name. I am super excited and cannot wait until their little bundle of joy is born.  I wonder how their daughter Riven will react. She’s probably too young to have a preference of sibling gender, she’s only 16 months old.

Lastly, if any of my readers could leave me a comment here or on Facebook about what I am about to share, I will be grateful. On said trip to New Jersey, I took a Megabus. I think it is a wonderful service. For one dollar you can even choose the seat you want. But I am wondering why they still claim on the side of their buses that you can go somewhere for a dollar. My round trip was significantly more than that. Perhaps you have to book months in advance. I’ll go on the website and tinker around with it. Again, if anyone knows the answer, please share.

That’s all the news for today. Both Rebecca and I bid you a great day, take care and until tomorrow, happy reading.

From Rebecca: Getting Four’s a Crowd ready for publication

As Joe wrote yesterday, he is using a personal day today, and I am doing the blog post. Regular readers know that my husband Darren adapted Joe’s play Kimberly into a novel, Four’s a Crowd. They have been working on it for over four years now, and it is finally close to being published.

Darren and Joe are going through the second proof now, making the final changes. When they are done, probably in the next week or two, we will submit the updated file to CreateSpace and then the book will be available to the public. It is so exciting to be this close.

We have all three put so much work into this book. Joe created four unique characters in his play, and with his feedback Darren expanded them and their world in a novel. I gave advice and edited as best I could, and, plugged everything into CreateSpace’s formatted template. My main correction for the second proof has been to fix indent markers on two chapters that didn’t get done the first time I tackled that problem. Technology grrr. It looks like I got that problem fixed now.

CreateSpace will automatically put the published book on Amazon for us, and we have high hopes for selling it, but we aren’t sure yet how to reach people other than our friends and family to see and buy the novel. Joe and Darren have worked so hard on it, and written a great story of a family overcoming personality conflicts and challenges from aging to find unity. It would be so disappointing if it didn’t sell. I guess the only way to find out is to go forward, do our best, and hope.

Watch this space for updates, and our big announcement once we do publish Four’s a Crowd. I can hardly wait.

The Secret House, part 2, a continuation of a short story

Greetings, readers. A number of you suggested that I continue the short story I wrote and posted a couple of weeks ago and I thought that would be a good idea. It’s not exactly my four paragraph blog entry, so be prepared. Here it is and enjoy.

The Secret House – part 2

It was 9:30 in the evening again, and Toby, and his sister, Angela were sent upstairs to bed by their parents. The children pretended to look disappointed, but had secretly been planning to explore the secret house above the attic once more. Toby had shared with his sister his marvelous discovery. It was no surprise that she did not believe him.

After changing into their night clothes in their respective bedrooms, the children quietly convened near Angela’s bedroom door.

“Just wait till you see it,” Toby remarked. “You won’t believe your eyes.”

Nine-year-old Angela loved to play devil’s advocate. If her older brother said one thing, she would believe the exact opposite. When first told of the secret house above the attic, Angela thought Toby was crazy. They were about to find out who was correct.

“Switch on the lamp over there,” Toby commanded.

“Don’t boss me around,” Angela snarled. “You’re not the boss of me.”

Toby shushed his sister, deathly afraid that voices from upstairs would get an inquiry from mom or dad; the last thing Toby wanted. After Angela had switched on the light, Toby quietly slid open the closet door and moved the stepstool underneath the attic hatch door. He clicked on the closet light and told his sister that he would go up first so that he could offer her a lift if she needed it.

Toby hoisted himself up into the attic and to his joy and relief, his secret house was still there. He beamed a great smile down at his sister.

“Okay, now you got me curious,” Angela replied, as she smiled back.

The young girl heaved her way up and found herself on the lush carpeting in that lavish bedroom. “Oh my gosh.”

“See, I told you. It’s all here,” said Toby, pleased with himself that he was right and his sister was wrong. By the look on Angela’s face, her brother concluded that she wasn’t all that upset with being wrong.

“Is it okay if I have a look around?” Angela asked.

“Yeah,” Toby replied. “Just try to be quiet. We don’t want to get caught, do we?”

Angela quietly explored the bedroom for a solid five minutes. She laid on the bed, brushed her brunette hair with a hairbrush while looking into the full-length mirror, quietly opened the empty drawers, and then set back down on the bed. “What is this place?”

The two children explored every room in the house, thoroughly but quietly. Angela was amazed and delighted with everything that greeted her brown eyes. Her favorite room was the living room, where the big screen TV and air hockey table were located. “Toby, I’m dreaming, right?”

“Not unless I am too,” Toby answered. “You should’ve seen my face the first time I saw this place. My chin about hit the floor!”

With a smile, Angela quietly shushed her brother, for now he was getting excited and a bit loud. Who knows, perhaps their parents can’t hear them up here in their secret room. After the children explored every room, Angela was drawn to the front door. It still looked foggy and ominous outside. “You want to go out?” Toby asked, extending his hand.

“I don’t know,” Angela replied, with some trepidation in her voice.

Angela took Toby’s right hand and he opened the front door with his left. The two explorers walked out of the house and instantly a beautiful front yard with a white picket fence replaced the fog and mist. Angela squeezed Toby’s hand, both in fear and delight.

“Toby?” Angela began. “Tell me what you see.”

“I see a front yard with the fence, some other people in their yards, and a few cars passing by,” said Toby. “What do you see?”

“The same thing,” said Angela.

What appeared strange to the children was that the other people in their yards didn’t seem to notice the youngsters in their night clothes. One neighbor was gardening, another was mowing the lawn. There wasn’t much traffic; just the occasional vehicle pulling into a driveway.

“Toby, where in the heck are we?” Angela asked.

“I’m not sure,” Toby began. “But I’m getting freaked out. These people don’t even seem to see or hear us. It’s like we’re not even here.”

Toby clutched his sister’s hand and pulled her toward the front door of the house. Toby, one usually not to be afraid, was having difficulty wrapping his head around why the onlookers didn’t seem to see them. He decided it was time for them to go back inside. Once back inside the secret house, he closed the door. Once again, the fog outside instantly returned. Angela gasped, and took a step backwards

“Oh, that’s so creepy,” she whispered.

Making quite certain that the door was locked, Toby and his sister walked back towards the attic hatch. After sliding down back into the guest room, Toby noticed on the wall clock that again only a few minutes and gone by. “Awesome!”

The children quietly walked back to their bedrooms, gently closed their doors, hopped into bed and went to sleep. Before getting into bed though, Toby wandered should he tell his parents. He knew they would never believe him. That … is for another day.

 

I certainly hope you enjoyed part 2. As you can deduce, there will be at least one more part. Rebecca will do the blog entry tomorrow for I am taking a personal day to get ready for a weekend trip. So until I am back next Wednesday, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Arg!! Oh what a terrible morning

Greetings, readers. What a morning Rebecca and I are having. If it was not dealing with a serious matter to me, I could have seen Tim Conway doing this in a comedy sketch. It would have been hilarious. Here’s what happened.

I had one simple phone call to make. All I had to do is tell a human being on the other end of the line that I wanted to verify a piece of medical information for my insurance. In 45 minutes, readers, and after calls to three different phone numbers, do you think we actually got a human being? No. I don’t count the person who told me that I did not call the right number. I can see Tim Conway on a speaker phone – push 1 for English, 2 for Portuguese, 3 for Spanish, etc. Fifteen different languages all the way to Scandinavian. Meanwhile, Harvey Korman would be laughing at the faces Tim Conway would make in exasperation. Yes, folks, on TV it is funny. In real life, not so much. Rebecca suggested that we take a break and write the blog entry while my phone charges a bit. I think it was an excellent idea. I feel better already.

I already have in mind the idea for the next short story blog entry. As one of my readers requested, it is going to be a continuation of Toby’s adventures in the attic. I’m going to let my creative juices flow and push the envelope, as people say.

As I may or may not have mentioned in a previous post, my speech recognition program, for lack of another term, got set back to factory specs and I am in the process of re-teaching it my speech patterns. It should not take too long. The more I use it the more it will work. I have two appointments this afternoon, but I am going to write this evening and much of tomorrow. By then I should have the speech recognition program back to the way it was. It had actually learned my voice quite well, I was most pleased, but then it re-set. Sometimes, though, I still want to be that Tom Hanks character on Cast Away, who was all by himself; on an island or in a cabin in the mountains, and just write, write, write. However, this is something called the real world and I do have a plethora of appointments to go to.

Okay, I have sufficiently ranted and raved, and I feel better. When Rebecca and I wrap up this blog entry we will try again to contact the agency I need to talk to.

I bid you all a great weekend and that short story will be ready for Rebecca to cut and paste into the blog on Wednesday. Until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.