Writing up a storm

writing up a storm

Writing up a storm

For the last three weeks, I’ve been writing up a storm. One thing you don’t know is that I am back from a vacation in the sun, mild warm temperatures, and dips in the pool. It sure is nice to get away from the brutal snow and frigid temperatures.

I wrote while enjoying the blue skies in my shorts and t-shirt. Writing up a storm, I got a lot done. I’m working in the third book in the Consortium Series. I only have a few more chapters to write to finish the draft. It’s time to build up to the exciting climax, and of course the hook to bring you back for the next installment.

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Coffeegasm

Coffeegasm

Coffeegasm

Last week, my girlfriend gave me a refrigerator magnet with the definition for Coffeegasm written on it. I had never heard the word before, nor the meaning. Still, I loved the gift. Without a doubt, it’s me.

The definition reads.
Coffeegasm {noun}: that little rush you feel after the first sip of good, strong coffee.

CoffeegasmIt’s not a real word but so what. It’s an accurate depiction of what I feel when I take that first sip of coffee.

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I Feel Fortunate

Happiness is relative

I feel fortunate this is not meThat’s right; I feel fortunate. In fact, very fortunate. Why? Worldwide, this year’s flu season is a particularly nasty one and depending upon your authoritative source, with the flu shot being only 17% effective.

During the second half of January, I was laid up with a nasty upper respiratory virus infection. Commonly called a cold, I was very cautious, looking for signs that I can the flu, such as fever, nausea, and dizziness.

I took my temperature several times a day and didn’t once register an elevated temp. I did get my flu shot back in October, but frankly, I was worried I might be hospitalized.

I’m happy to say; I successfully steered clear of the flu. My cold did migrate to the early stages of bronchitis which I am still dealing with the aftereffects. My doctor fixed me up quite nicely. Thanks, Doc.

Research

U.S. Virologic Surveillance:Still, I am astounded by the volume of stories and news reports regarding flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. Some are quite tragic, such as a healthy mother going to the ER and sent home a short time later with a flu diagnosis and appropriate medicines only to die a few hours later at home. 63 children have died from the flu. WTF?

In researching this article, I visited the CDC.gov websites related to the flu. I didn’t know that there are so many varieties of the virus out there. I thought that there were relatively few but each had multiple strains due to mutation. Was I ever wrong. Oh, my heavens.

The following numbers relate only to the United States. World-wide, the numbers are even more staggering. To keep it simple though, let’s just look at the 2017-18 flu season, beginning Oct 1, 2017, to Feb 3, 2018. In the past week alone 16,641 confirmed tested cases were documented, bringing the seasonal total to 666,493 cases using samples tested by clinical laboratories. Among public health agencies, add 1453 new incidents for the week and 27,667 for the year. In the state where I live, each week we break a new record for the number of confirmed cases.

The long and the short, I feel fortunate?

I wonder when the virus might let up. I wonder more whether this is just the beginning for the human species. Are we in for a long stint dealing with out of control viruses? I’m happy that what I caught was just a cold. Actually, I feel fortunate to only have caught a bad cold. These influenza statistics are just too unreal. Maybe I should rewrite my ‘Taste of Honey’ books to use the Flu as the catastrophic event rather than my fictional protein purge plague.

Shocking but Happy Discoveries

The Trafficking Consortium

Discoveries

I discovered something fascinating the other day, discoveries that shocked me, and made me very happy. It has to do with sales of my books, specifically, my printed versions.

Amazon had sent me an email regarding the royalties for my sales for the past month. Usually, I just delete them as they do not contain any specific information that I am interested in, other than a payout is coming. However, the format of one of those emails was different than the rest. I was intrigued.

Upon opening it, I realized that it was different than the standard fare, and denoted sales from an unfamiliar source. Digging deeper, I logged into my Amazon account and checked. Nothing. Huh?

Investigations

Discoveries regarding paperback versions of 'The Trafficking Consortium'After following sales channel after sales channel, I was stymied. I couldn’t figure out who generated these sales. Amazon is good at identifying transactions. They just don’t offer the seller information on who the buyer is, that is without paying for it. They know how to make money.

After investigating all of the sales channels my books are available through, I checked one last source. A source where I don’t expect many sales, as it prices my books reasonably high, considering the costs of producing the book.

I realized that this email had to do with sales of my paperback versions. WhooHoo!

Findings

People are buying the hard copies of my books. What’s more, I dug deeper, finding that I had a spike in paperback sales back last January. I missed that.

What an honor. Sure, it’s easy to purchase and download an eBook and read it on your favorite eReader. But holding a book in your hand, smelling the paper and ink, and feeling its weight as you turn the pages, well that is entirely something else altogether. I know many a reader who prefers holding a real book as opposed to the electronic version.

Most sales were people buying the book ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ I suspected that. However, I noticed that someone bought every one of my books on the same day. I’m astounded, pleased, no, happy. This one person is not the only one. I noticed several sales of all of my books over the course of the month. To be honest, I’m shocked but very pleased.

Gratitude

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to read my books, including ‘The Taste of Honey,’ ‘Broken Steele,’ and ‘Her Client Trilogy.’ You don’t know how much that means to me. What can I say? You, my fans, are fantastic.

And, oh, by the way, thank you Amazon.com. None of this would be possible without you.

Followup to ‘How do I think of these things’

Thaumaturgy

Followup to ‘How do I think of these things’

In my last article, I wrote about how I come up with my ideas for my books. I received several comments from people who read my books. I found them interesting.

The Taste of HoneyThe first comment comes from a reader who read my first book, ‘The Taste of Honey.’ At the time, this reader wrote me and, if I recall correctly, told me she had a hard time with the story. She considered herself to be a traditional, conservative person and didn’t read all that much. However, a friend turned her onto the book and while struggling with the storyline, discovered an underlying unexpected love story that she loved. It turned her around, and she eventually wrote a compelling five-star review.

The following is what I received in response to the article.

“I found it insightful as well as a confirmation of what I already felt in my heart was the way you find your inspirations. I’ve always believed you to be intelligent and extremely creative. It’s nice to see you finding the right outlet for that creativity (of which you do so well!).” jb

Apparently, she knows me well, and yes, I am acquainted with this person.

Another reader sent me this comment.

“It’s hard to understand how you can write that in such detail and emotion. And, not wonder about you. […] After reading your statements and seeing that your girlfriend felt the same way, I think I feel much better. Maybe, lol.” gd

Her Client Trilogy StackedI am only just becoming acquainted with this reader, having recently received several comments and messages regarding my ‘Her Client’ trilogy. After reading the first book, she contacted with a note indicating how much she liked it. After reading the second book, I received a second comment expressing the need “… to think about this one?” implying that the story might have been a bit over the top for her. [No surprise. This book is intentionally horrific and deals with the real monsters among us.] Her followup to this comment to this book inspired me to write my previous article. The last I heard, the reader was just starting the third book, ‘Her Essentia.’ I have little doubt that she will send me an additional note.

Interestingly enough, the ‘Her Client’ books are my best sellers. I never expected that to happen. As a result, those are the kinds of books I will continue to focus on as I write.

The Trafficking ConsortiumI received many comments on the article. I hope it helps you understand where I am coming from and where I am going. My stories don’t come from personal experiences. Rather, they come from observation and wondering, “what if …”.

That’s how my latest book, ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ came to life. I was at my doctor’s office and as I sat in the waiting room, wondered “what if someone behind the counter and sent the medical history of a patient to someone who had no right to the file?” From there, the pieces just fell into place, and Avril’s story came to life.

The BreakupThen there’s ‘The Breakup’, a story about what a woman hopes will happen on a date of dinner and dancing. My ‘what if’ revolved around the word, dancing. “What was his definition of dancing?” Ginny is about to find out. The question is, will she be happy about it?

Overall, I don’t really know what to say. If you, my current and new followers, continue to read my books, what am I going to do but keep writing new ones that tickle your fancy and your emotions? I have notes on several ideas for future stories. Stay tuned.


maggicalExpressionsOh, and I almost forgot. I finally finished putting together my online art gallery. It’s called ‘maggicalExpressions.’ Links to it are on my book site.

Yes, that’s correct. I paint and draw when I need to disappear. Oh, yes, that’s what I do when I write. Well, it’s a different kind of medium, and I enjoy it. I hope you like them.


It’s a nice day today, blue sky, and lots of sun. I’m going to work on my book most of the day, and then I’m going to a party tonight. I can’t wait. It’s a themed party sponsored by a social club I belong to. It’s been way too long since I’ve attended one. I’m looking forward to it.


Have a great day and a better tomorrow.
Rich