Tag Archives: kimberly

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.

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My summer off is busier than expected so far

Greetings, readers. So far, in this early summer off, about the only thing that has kept to plan is me resting my feet. I wanted to have about 100 pages written by now. Lol, there’s a chuckle for ya. Between appointments and daily errands, my first two weeks off have flown right by with not much getting done.

It’s making me angry. I so wanted to have a schedule in place to write, write, write. It seems though that every time I get ready, I either receive a phone call, text, or am reminded of an upcoming appointment that day. There is a small part of me that wants to hang a sign on the apartment door reading Don’t Bother Me Until September. Of course, I can’t do that; I can’t be that anti-social.

This morning as I was trying to wake up, I checked my Facebook, email, and Twitter and then discovered the computer was running slowly. A page popped up in big red letters claiming I had a virus. It was probably a scam, but I stopped what I was doing and ran my virus checker anyway. There went 20 minutes. Luckily, all seems to be fine.

Today is kind of an odd day. After work hours with Rebecca, my accountant and I have a meeting to go to, which could take the better part of the afternoon. Do you see my problem with productivity, readers?

On to other news, I heard that the Hawaii volcano is erupting again. I don’t know how serious it is but hopefully everyone will be alright. I saw pictures last week of the devastation with homes and cars ablaze. Let’s face it, when you live on an island, you really don’t have anywhere to run. Also this morning I saw a blurb about a minor earthquake during a major league baseball game. It didn’t mention anything about deaths, so it was probably a minor quake. Again, hopefully everyone is okay.

An R.I.P. goes out to a great actress, Margot Kidder, who passed away at age 69. She was far too young, if you ask me. She played Lois Lane in the movies with Christopher Reeve as Superman.

Lastly, Rebecca’s husband Darren’s book, Four’s a Crowd, which is based on my play Kimberly, is almost ready to publish. We will go live for sale in a week or two on CreateSpace.com, and then it will be available on Amazon. Darren has worked hard on it, and I worked hard on the play. We are both very proud of the final outcome and we think it is going to be a winner. Hopefully it puts us on the writing map. Keep your fingers crossed.

There is our entry for today. Rebecca and I will be back tomorrow with a new blog entry, possibly another short story. I won’t say for certain. I’m trying to get out of the habit of promising things I don’t deliver. So until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Hi, having a quiet day

Greetings, Joe’s readers. I am having a low-key day, hanging around with my husband Darren, doing some apartment cleaning later, some book work, an hour or so of playing a board game later with Darren, and waiting to hear an update from Joe. He has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon about his heart, and hopefully he will find out what is going on with it soon, without needing more tests first. If I may speak on his behalf, knowing Joe, he will probably let you know any definite news the week after he gets it. Good luck, Joe.

Darren, Joe, and I have been working on Darren’s novel Four’s a Crowd based on Joe’s play Kimberly for the last half decade. We’ll make progress on it for a while, then it will stall, then we will pick it up again, and so on. Right now I am doing work on it before we send it for the second proof. We all wanted the book to be ready to publish by now, but it stalled on my watch. I picked it up again, then ran into problems that took a bit to figure out. The other day, I was sitting here frustrated because the formatted software I was working with did something that I needed to undo and didn’t know how yet. UGH! Darren listened to me groan and moan for a while and then said it wasn’t worth it, maybe bag the whole thing. No, I can get this, don’t give up on it when we are so close. I think I have everything figured out for the moment. I need to change a bunch of tabs by moving the margin line, update the chapter page number index, and add the front cover attribution, then it should be ready for the second and hopefully last proof. So close to publishing it!

In other news, I need a new coffee maker. My late mother gave me the one I have now, almost fourteen years ago when Darren and I moved into our apartment. I use it once a day, don’t let it stay on past half an hour, and vinegar is regularly, so it has held up a long time. But it needs to be cleaned with vinegar every month now instead of every six months, steams a lot more when brewing, and it takes twenty minutes to make four cups. I don’t like change and I don’t want to lose something my mother gave me, but every time it makes a series of loud hissing sounds like it is demonic or a giant angry cat, I know the coffee maker is on its last legs and I need to replace it. I’m bummed, but I know that I will get used to the new coffee maker. I usually come around in the end when things change.

Not much else to say today. I had a few topics I thought about writing about, but I couldn’t get any to gel and develop enough for a blog entry. I will say I was really impressed by last Saturday’s (3/24/18) March for Our Lives, the rally in Washington D.C. for gun reform laws, and the other rallies across the country that joined in. There is a lot to despair in the world these days, but seeing the youngest generation be so strong, focused, and vocal about a shared goal gave me a lot of hope for the future.

Joe will be back next Wednesday, and probably Thursday as well. Until then, as he would say, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Getting into someone else’s head is difficult

Greetings, readers. The last couple of mornings I have been working on my writing projects and I can’t tell you how good it feels to be writing again. One of my projects is based on a TV series from the 1970s. Those characters I know quite well; what they would say, what they wouldn’t say, how they would act, etc.

My main project, however, has characters that are pretty much blank slates. The female lead character is based on someone I met in a chat room many room many many years ago. She sent me her picture but that is literally all I have to go on, the rest of her character will be constructed by me. I’ve never tried to get into a female character’s head before. You might say I wrote my play Kimberly, and this is true. But I knew the person I based her on. The whole first draft was basically a carbon copy of a friend from high school. This new project’s female lead has a name and a face. That’s it. I get to decide how tall she is, whether or not she smokes, what her habits are, and how provocative she is. In a way, I have to become this character during writing hours. I was working with this project this morning and I could feel myself begin to think like her and thought to myself, now we are in business. I know I am going to have fun with it.

It’s been years since I have put signs on my front door saying Do not disturb, I’m writing, and I even get angry if I am writing and it is time to go to work. To me those are good signs. If I can go to some cabin near a lake … magically with internet included for research … I would do it and I could probably pump out a great play or film script. I just need to be left alone for a few months. Unfortunately I am not independently wealthy, and besides that is not how the real world works. Moreover, I like my real world job.

I got a sobering dash of reality a few moments ago. Rebecca and I were on the CreateSpace website trying to send an email to get a question answered. As we were going through the automated set-up system, a huge list dropped down with not only my three books for sale but all the stalled, dead, abandoned projects I’ve tried to do since latching on to CreateSpace. Seeing that list made me feel like a failure for a moment. Don’t worry, I’ll bounce back soon. As a matter of fact, now that I know where that list is, I might even go back, choose one of those dead projects, and resurrect it. You never know.

The idea I had for tomorrow’s blog has been put on the back burner, for it requires research and development. It deals with this past Super Bowl. I think you will find it most interesting. I just found out moments ago that I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. So yet again, Rebecca will get the day off and post the entry from home. We will see you right here next Wednesday. Keep those comments coming, enjoy, take care, and as always, happy reading.

I am sick and tired of life

Greetings, readers. I have felt very strange over the last couple of months and until recently I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what was bothering me. Well, the picture is becoming a little bit clearer now that the fog has lifted, and I don’t like what I see.

My desire to write is at its highest point in two years. When I say to write, I obviously mean work other than the blog. My problem now is that I have no time or energy from working at the fast food job to do said writing. I am 52 years old and I feel like my life is a waste.

On the positive side of the job,  I am an extremely outgoing person at my cash register, and my regulars love me. I do get a lot of enjoyment and self-esteem from this work. I feel, however, that I must give serious contemplation to either quitting or, at the very least, taking a few months off.

This winter has been brutally cold and walking to and from busses to go to work has already become a hated chore.  I get up at 4:00 in the morning to check Facebook, have some coffee, and listen to music before I have to get ready to go. I blink twice, and it’s 8:10. There goes that morning. I come home from work, dreadfully tired, with feet aching, I put a little food in me, watch an episode or two of something, and usually have lights out by 9:30.

On my three days off from my fast food job, I write with Rebecca for roughly three hours, and I must also do all the chores that need to get done and I had no other time to do, such as appointments, laundry, shopping, etc. When in the hell do I have time to sit down and write? Some might say at 4:00 in the morning. Ah, no, my functioning brain is barely active at that time. In the evening? I’ve actually caught myself falling asleep during my TV shows. Again, the brain is not in creative mode. You can see why I’m depressed.

Do my therapy sessions help? Yes they do, for a short time, but then I begin to look at my life in general and I come to the conclusion that I have wasted most of it. Three quarters gone and only a quarter to go. I have three books to my name, which if you put all three together, don’t equal the pages of Darren’s novel adapted from my play. I would have to say, Dear Readers, that my biggest accomplishment has been this blog, and that is primarily thanks to the help of Rebecca’s typing and editing skills.

Now, don’t worry folks, even though this entry is full of red flags, I am a fighter and a survivor and will do whatever I need to do to get this situation under control. Tomorrow, I’ve cleared the docket to read and edit Four’s a Crowd, either in the morning or, if I have Rebecca come in, after she leaves. I always try to leave each entry on a bright note, and here it is. I ordered speech recognition software for the computer. Once it comes in and I master that, I won’t have to type anymore. That could solve many problems quickly. Cross thy fingers.

Until next time, stay warm, have a great day, have a cup of coffee or hot cocoa for me, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Editing Four’s a Crowd from proofs

Greetings, Joe’s readers. Joe, my husband Darren, and I are doing the unusual practice of doing heavy edits in the proof copies of Four’s a Crowd. Usually this would be done before the proofreading work, but we got blocked and needed a way to push forward. As regular readers know, Joe wrote a play, Kimberly, which four years ago Darren began adapting into the novel Four’s a Crowd. Darren and Joe would get together every few months and touch base with what Darren was doing with Joe’s characters and plotlines to expand them, and make notes on moving forward.

Darren finished writing the first couple of drafts, then we printed off copies so that the three of us could do edits. We did a couple of rounds of that, in starts and stops, and then sometime in the last year the progress just got stuck. As the three of us worked at different stages, we would think that one of us was doing something with the book, only to find out that the person thought that someone else was doing something, so all three of us would be in waiting patterns. And then nothing moved forward on the project for many months and Darren gave up.

Someone, I think it was me, suggested we just jump to the next step, which was getting proofs, and edit from there. Which we did, and the project is moving rapidly now. We are using the print-on-demand publisher CreateSpace for the novel. Joe had a good experience with them when he published his three books, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories, Beyond North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, and Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger. I downloaded the CreateSpace formatted templet, and started plugging in the content. We had to wait a couple of days for the review, but then we were ready to order proof copies.

For Darren, this was the first time he held a bound book with his name on it as author, and he was pleased. The book is thicker than we imagined, and has a heft to it. We are all really proud of it. We will be changing the front cover photo, we still need to put in author photos, and make a few more cosmetic changes, but it is already an impressive achievement.

We got four of copies for editing, one for Darren, one for Joe, one for me, and one for Darren’s mother who agreed to read it and give us feedback. Darren’s mom read the book in two days and loved it. She pointed out a few things to change that helped a lot. I was going to say that Darren finished his editing yesterday, except he is sitting on the sofa right now with a pencil in his teeth and the book in his hands making more changes. Joe plans to do some editing with his copy today, while he also rests from a very busy week. I am on page number 232 out of 300 in my copy, so I don’t have much left.

Except for Joe who is using a sheet of paper, we are making our changes and suggestions right in the book with pencils. I am not sure why, but it is so satisfying to write directly in the book. The novel feels so much different in bound form than in loose sheets of typing paper, and editing in that form feels different too. Darren has already put his mother’s changes in his copy, then when I am done he will put my edits in his book too. In early January, Darren and Joe will have a meeting to go over Joe’s changes and put those in Darren’s copy too.

Then we put the edits in the manuscript computer file, upload the book to CreateSpace again, get another proof (which should read a lot smoother and faster), edit and change and upload again, and when we are ready, we will hit the publish button. And then Darren and Joe’s book will be out in the world ready to buy, hopefully by the end of March 2018. We will keep you posted.

Joe will be back next week with a new blog entry. Until then, as he would write, take care, have a great week, and happy reading

Things in my world today, November 30, 2017

Greetings, readers. A bizarre thing happened last afternoon and evening that I wish to share with you in case any of you know what it might be and can give me advice in the comment section. I woke up from a nap to find both my hips and lower back stiff as a board. Occasionally I would have a sharp pain on one or both sides. It did not keep me from walking down to my appointment, though I was uncomfortable. Later, when I was watching television, I got a knife jab in my right side that made me consider going to the E.R.

I woke up in the middle of the night to find that the pain was almost gone, much to my relief. I don’t remember making a false move or lifting anything heavy, but obviously I strained something. Thank goodness this morning the pain is gone. I still wish I knew what it was and will it come back. Now on to other news.

Rebecca, Darren, and I are proofreading our copies of Four’s a Crowd. I’ve already found one scene that there is going to be head-butting about. It involves the female lead character saying a word I’m not comfortable with. The question is, with Darren the author of the novel, and me the author of the play it is based on, who should get the final say? Hopefully we can compromise.

More news. My Beatles sing along show is tomorrow, but at 3:30pm, not 1:00. There was a slight mix-up in the entertainment schedule and my show will start after the country line dancers are finished. It should make for a wonderful day’s entertainment. I will be singing along to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl CD, and my friend Mike Weaver will be singing a few Christmas carols while I take a break between my two sets. I’m a tad worried that Mike and I have not had a practice session yet, but we’re not professions and if a clunker is made, it is okay. I’m sure folks will love the show.

It will be very odd not to go to my other job tomorrow and I do thank my manager Savannah for giving me the day off to do the show. I will work at my fast food job on Saturday, probably have off Sunday, and return to my regular schedule next week.

After Rebecca and I are finished with this blog entry, I am going to go on the Zipcar website and reserve a vehicle for the my Christmas Eve Light Ride. This year I want to book early to make sure I get a vehicle. I believe my other job will be closed that evening, so a work shift should not get in the way.

On a sadder note, I was in a bit of a funk yesterday when I learned about NBC’s Matt Lauer being fired for sexual misconduct. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade has lost its shine for me now. He was the co-host of it for many years and that team was part of my special day. I watched part of it at David’s this year and have it set in my YouTube queue to watch anytime, but will probably not watch it after this. Next year it will be Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and ?. If the allegations are true, Matt Lauer deserves to be locked up. I guess you never know about people. It is getting harder and harder to trust anyone in this world, but with my jolly personality, I shall try.

Lastly, I’ll be doing my show tomorrow and most likely be doing my own write-up about it for a blog post. Rebecca is unable to attend and if memory serves this will be the first show she has missed since we began working together. I just know that I am going to criticize my every mistake as most artists do. I promise I won’t be too hard on myself and cut myself some slack.

Until next week, which should be a two-day work week for us, have a wonderful weekend, take care, wish me luck on my show, and, as always, happy reading.

Making plans for a Thanksgiving visit

Greetings, readers. The bus tickets have been purchased and I am going to be on my way. Dave and family invited me to New Jersey for Thanksgiving weekend and I gleefully accepted. After checking out Zipcar and Hertz I figured out that Megabus was the way to go. For a modest price, I will be able to enjoy a five-day mini-vacation.

I am able to go because of generous friends who offered to take my work shifts on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Two people offered and I hope my manager doesn’t schedule them both because one will be angry at me. If either one of you is a regular reader, you have just saved my weekend and I owe you a favor.

I’m going to have to look at the Megabus website again to see if I can bring a suitcase and a carry-on. If it is one or the other, the computer will be staying home. In the late evenings at David’s, after our brotherly chats are over, I like to go upstairs to my guest room, crawl under the blankets, and check my email or listen to music. The one thing I am worried about is that my body is programmed to wake up at 4:00am; that will not be happening at David’s house. I will be sleeping in.

I can’t wait to get there and enjoy the family’s hospitality. The Thanksgiving meal itself will be in the dining hall at Geri’s church and it is big enough for the entire family. I will probably ask David if I can say Grace or make a speech, as I always tend to do. I’m looking forward not only to the feast but also to be with family once again. I shall treasure every moment.

What are the things I am thankful for this year? With my life looking up at the moment, here is my brief list: I am thankful for my kitty-cat Keekee, who is in good health, besides perhaps a slight eye issue; she’s doing great for being almost 13 years old. I am thankful for my family and friends and the possibility to travel and see them. I’m also grateful and thankful that my job has worked out and that most managers think I am doing an excellent job … and making a little extra scratch doesn’t hurt either. Lol. Last but not least, I am thankful for Rebecca and Darren for their years of not only friendship but of hard work to help me put these various writing projects together. As I told my friend this morning, I don’t care if Darren’s book doesn’t put me on the map, I’m hoping it will put him on the map. Kimberly was a cute play. Was it polished? Not by any means. Darren took a good solid skeleton with some meat on the bones and turned it into a literary breathing human being.

I wish to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and readers. Your support over the last year has meant so much to me and has kept us going. The recent upswing in view numbers is continuing and we like it.

I said yesterday that this entry would be a top ten list, but other work earlier this morning took time away from our working hours here at the office, so the promised top ten list will come as soon as I come back from vacation. My mistake.

Next week Rebecca will post two blog entries, most likely re-posts of her choosing, as I will be on the bus and in New Jersey, cramming myself with turkey and trimmings.

So until next time, have a wonderful holiday, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe is relaxing and resting today

Joe has worked a lot at his other job this last month and he will work from tomorrow through next Tuesday, before working with me again next Wednesday and Thursday, so he took today for a personal downtime day. And I have to confess, I worked an extra shift for my other job last Saturday, and at the time it didn’t seem to tire me out, but now I am enjoying having an unexpected extra day at home. So far, it has been nice.

After I publish this blog post, my husband Darren and I are going to play a section of a board game called Descent. It is a game he had for a while and we started playing it off and on a few months ago. Darren likes strategy games that are complicated and take many hours to play all the way through, like Axis & Allies, while I like simple games that can be played in less than two hours. It is therefore difficult for us to find games that work for both of us. Descent seems to be a good in-between game. It has sections that can be played in a few hours, and while there is a whole booklet of rules and takes a bit of strategy, playing it was easy for me to learn and is as simple as I need it to be. I play the easier side, the overlord, which helps. Darren plays the two hero adventurers who use weapons and powers to fight my monsters and gather loot. Enough complication for him, while I have enough simplicity with my monsters and their spelled out powers. A nice way to spend the afternoon.

Four’s a Crowd, the novel that Darren adapted from Joe’s play Kimberly, is one step closer to being published. Yesterday I uploaded the file to the CreateSpace site, and later today Joe will look at the interior review page, then click save and continue. He will fill out a few more boxes, then send it to be reviewed by the site, then we can order proofs. We will edit the proofs, make corrections, then do the process again. We expect to have the finished book ready to sell early next year, hopefully by the first of March.

Well, that is my day. I hope you are all having a good time, and that soon you have a chance to step out of routine and refresh too.

Until next week, take care, have a great week, and happy reading.

A welcome to new readers and it’s chore day for me

Greetings, readers. Before I begin today’s blog entry, both Rebecca and I highly suspect that we have some new readers on board. A hardy welcome goes out to each and every one of you. The last few weeks we have seen a lot of ones next to a variety of entry titles, suggesting that people are exploring the site, which adds up to a lot of views in a day. In almost six full years we are finally seeing our daily view numbers go from the twenty range to the thirty to fifty view range. These are the numbers I’ve been dreaming about. I realize that some of my views might be bots, especially one day last week when one entry got a large spike out of nowhere, but to me a view is a view. We love our numbers. Rebecca and I check them every work day.

With this being my second of two days off from the fast food job, it is do-everything-I-need-to-do-at-home day. Such tasks include laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and probably some more paper shredding. I don’t want to wear myself out too much, before going back to the job tomorrow.

Switching topics, Rebecca showed me the title page that she has done in the CreateSpace formatted blank for Four’s a Crowd. I must say it looks great. I think this novel is going to be a hit. I can remember working on the play it is based on for years and years, on and off. I’ve often tried to pin down the date of which I began the project or even the year, but it is difficult. I’m going to say that the play Kimberly was at least six years in the making through its four complete drafts. Then after that, Darren took almost four years adapting it into a novel. I am most proud of not only my work, but his work too, and Rebecca’s. This project is truly a team effort.

As my readers from yesterday may remember, we had an R.I.P. to Robert Guillaume, but I also learned that Fats Domino also passed away, yesterday or the day before. I’ve been told by many people that famous folks seem to pass away in threes. It is odd how that usually comes to pass. We’ll see in another day or so if another famous singer or actor dies.

This Saturday the Penn State Nittany Lions will play the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio State in what I expect they are calling the revenge game. Ohio was number two last year when we beat them here at home; now we are the second ranked team in the nation and Ohio State would love nothing more than to ruin our dream of a national championship. This is the only game I am truly worried about. It is funny that Penn State plays better when I don’t watch them, so I think I will let the bar crowds let me know who is winning. The fact that I live downtown, makes that easy; if I hear loud cheers, whoops, and screams, I know that Penn State just did something good. If it is eerily quiet, I can deduce that we are probably losing by three touchdowns.

On that day, Saturday, my work shift ends at 3:00 and I will probably be home around 4:00. With a 3:30 kick off, I should be able to enjoy most of the game, but as soon as I see Ohio State winning, off it goes. LOL.

As far as I know, next week will be a normal work week for Rebecca and me. It will all depend on if they need me to come in to work on Thursday. So until next week, I bid all of you a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

P.S. I’m going to do a little research for Wednesday’s blog topic about a YouTube video I was told about. I don’t want to give my opinion on it until we have both seen it and know exactly what it was all about; but it better not be what I think it is … [Update: 10/26/17 After doing some research today, I found out that the incident in question happened in 2009. Since it is so old, I decided that I will chose another topic next Wednesday.]