Victoria Zigler's Blog: Zigler News

August 3, 2015

At the start of last week, I made sure there were blog posts set up for the rest of that week, and for this week, because I had my dentist appointment at the hospital to get the other wisdom tooth removed.

Or, I thought I did.

However, when I got there, I was informed that it had been cancelled and rescheduled for August 12th. According to their system, they spoke to me on the phone about it.

I had no such phone conversation. I mean, I had one in June about the June appointment I cancelled because I had that Summer cold – which was when I made the one that should have happened on July 29th – but that was the last time I knew of any changes being made to the time and date of my appointment. Besides, if I had changed it, I wouldn’t have made it for the 12th of August, because I have somewhere I have to be on August 13th in the morning, so I’m not exactly going to book an appointment that may potentially result in my ending up in hospital for a few days, and then arrange to be somewhere else the very next morning. And, no, I can’t reschedule that other appointment; it’s very important that I go to it.

Yes, I pointed all this out to the receptionist.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, my appointment with the hospital dentist is now on September 2nd 2015 at 2:15pm, because it’s the first available one they have after the one I can’t make it to on August 12th.

Of course, even though being blind means I’m entitled to free hospital transport to and from the hospital (and allowed someone with me to assist me if I choose, though they’ll assist me if I’m alone) they were reluctant to give me the hospital transport, because I can’t give them a straight answer as to whether I’ll be coming home after my appointment or not, so we ended up paying for a taxi to and from the hospital. Meaning, I wasted all that money on a trip I could have avoided taking.

Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy about it all.

If that wasn’t enough...

While in the taxi on the way to the hospital last Wednesday, I happened to catch the news on the radio.

That was how I learned that we currently don’t have a general doctor, because the doctor surgery we use is currently closed. I’m not sure if it will be open again in the future with different doctors, but I can tell you for sure it won’t be any time soon, since it’s closed because the doctors were idiots.

No, really... I’m being serious! It’s closed because the doctors weren’t doing their jobs properly, and there have been enough complaints about patients not receiving proper care to make someone do a proper investigation in to it.

I guess my claims that my doctor was an idiot weren’t as much of an exaggeration as I thought... *frowns*

Anyway, I’m not sure if nobody thought to tell the patients, or if they did tell the patients, but for some reason sent our letters to our old address. Either way, I guess I need to find us a new doctor.

You know you’ve had a bad day when you wish you’d had your tooth pulled instead... LOL!

Actually, the whole week was one of those where you want to just go back to the beginning and start again. Nothing really bad happened as such... Just lots of little things that all add up, you know?

Oh, and... If you’re wondering... The post I had scheduled for today has been rescheduled for use at the start of September when I “hopefully” will actually get this other wisdom tooth out.
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Published on August 03, 2015 02:51

July 31, 2015

Hi humans, rats, and other rodent types.

This is Star the rat.

A strange human with lots of head fur, who the humans called Carl, came to see our humans a few days ago, and we got to come out of our cage to say "hi" to him. I loved it, but my ratty sister, Skye, was a bit scared of him; she's always a bit scared of anything new, or anything that differs from her normal routine.

Here's a picture of the Carl human holding me:


Skye had a cuddle with him too, but she was nervous, as I mentioned, so wouldn't stay still long enough for a photo to be taken. I think the Carl human was a bit disappointed, because he'd been hoping for some of the kisses Skye gives to people she likes. She gave lots to the Mummy human, and later to the Daddy human, but she was too scared of the Carl human to be affectionate. He seemed to enjoy cuddling me though, and I loved the attention; it's not often we get cuddles from the visiting humans.

My degu brothers got up to see what all the fuss was about. Here's Jacob trying to see what's going on:


But, when the Daddy human went to get one of the boys for the Carl human to cuddle, Jacob wouldn't come out to see him. Joshua was happy to go and meet him though, so the Carl human got to cuddle him for a bit. Here's a photo of them:


Even the other female human - my degu brothers tell me the Kero dog who they used to know said she was called "Mamgu" or something like that - came quite close to us this time; she wouldn't go anywhere near us last time she came for a visit. She wouldn't pet us, and when I turned to look at her while sat on the Mummy human's shoulder she got scared and backed away. But the Mummy human and the Carl human seemed impressed she'd even got that close. She also went over to the cages of my degu brothers and my gerbil brothers, and talked to them a bit. The Mamgu human then came close again to bring the box over for the Carl human to give me and skye some Cheerios. Both times she was so close I could have easily jumped from the Mummy human's shoulder to hers. But I'm pretty sure she'd have made more fuss if I did that than Jasper makes when a storm is coming... Which, if you know my degu brother, Jasper, you'll know is a lot; you should have heard the fuss he made when we had the big storm last Friday night... It's no wonder the humans didn't sleep much that night!

That's all for today.

Squeak soon,
Star
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Published on July 31, 2015 02:56

July 29, 2015

There are just a few more days to take advantage of the Smashwords 2015 Summer/Winter sale!

As I mentioned before, you can see which of my books are enrolled in it by reading this post.

Don’t forget that plenty of other authors have their books enrolled too, which you can see here. Authors like Jackie Small, for example, who has her children's books at half price as part of the sale; children's books that are excellent reads, I might add.

And, remember: Smashwords provides books in multiple eBook formats, so you can get your eBooks from them whether you use a Kindle, a Nook, an iPad, or some other sort of eReader to read your books. They even have formats that work on your average PC (either with a word processor, or by using your internet browser to read them).

Like I said, there’s just a few more days left... The Sale ends on July 31st... So hurry!
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Published on July 29, 2015 02:34

July 27, 2015

My Mam, and my brother, Carl, came for a visit this past weekend.

We’d planned to go to Battle for the day Saturday, and have a picnic on the beach on Sunday, before going in to town to see what we could catch of this year's Pirate Day events (which was the original purpose of their visit being planned for this particular weekend). But the weather didn’t co-operate with us. There was a pretty good storm Friday night in to Saturday morrning, so we had to change our plans, since what we'd planned to do wasn't really advisable in slippery mud. Plus, it looked like it would rain again any moment, so we didn't want to be in the middle of things where we couldn't get in the dry again quickly if it did rain more. It didn't until Sunday, as it turned out, but everything was damp and muddy, and the black storm clouds were an ever-present threat. These things happen though, and we made the best of things, and had a pretty good weekend regardless.

On Saturday, the first thing we did was go for breakfast together. Carl and Mam had cooked breakfasts (egg, sausage, toast, mushrooms, bacon, hash browns, and a choice of beans or tomatoes; I never asked which they chose), I had an egg baguette, and Kelly had chicken pie with fries and peas. Yeah, I know Kelly’s wasn’t what you’d usually consider breakfast food, but it was available on the menu and he wanted it, so... *Shrugs*

Anyway, after breakfast we went to a few stores in the old part of town, as well as to a cute little coffee place that’s in that part of town; for a drink and a sit down. I think Kelly and I got bored of the stores before they did, but we get bored with shopping quickly anyway, and - though they do sell some unusual things - since we live around here, they aren't really a novelty to us, so it's hardly surprising. I did get some pirate treasure and some anseed balls though, so I was happy. Plus, the little coffee place was nice.

While in town, Carl and I made friends with a metal serpent...


I have no idea why there was a metal serpent there, but it was there, so we went to see it. Mam thought it was a snake, but I'm calling it a serpent, because it looks more like the sea serpents from old stories and legends than a snake to me... Or, perhaps, one of the versions of the dragons from old myths and legends; I've seen Chinese dragons that look sort of similar. Although, the head doesn't seem right for a dragon, which is why I'm more inclined to think sea serpent.

We also checked out a chess set that was set up there for some reason, which had plastic chess pieces that were a little over a foot high. Mam did get a few photos of that too, but I didn't bother getting Kelly to help me grab those off her Facebook.

Anyway, after that we went our own ways for a while, since Mam and Carl wanted to look in a couple of places really close to our apartment, so we decided to leave them to it and go check on the rodent gang (who appeared to be behaving themselves, and not too bothered by our disappearance). The other reason we seporated for a while is that none of us had slept well the night before, so everyone needed a bit of a nap.

We met up again in the evening and went for dinner at the cafe that’s at the hotel Mam and Carl were staying at. The food was really good. Carl had a beef and ale pie with mashed potatoes and peas, Mam had gammon and eggs with fries and peas, I had a red pepper and red onion quiche with fries and salad, and Kelly had smothered chicken with fries, coleslaw and salad. Kelly’s dinner also had a piece of garlic bread with it, but he gave it to me; he does like garlic bread, but he knows I love the stuff, and since they hadn’t put it anywhere near his chicken on his plate, I was quite happy to eat it for him. Dessert was oreo cream pie for Kelly, and cherry and apple crumble for the rest of us; with custard for me, and with ice-cream for Mam and Carl.

None of us slept all that well Saturday night either - most likely because we all had those afternoon naps - so Mam and Carl ended up getting bored and going to the beach in the early hours of Sunday morning, while it was dry enough to do so, and stopped in to say "hi" while they were nearby, since they saw we were up. This was Carl's first visit to our new place, and I know he's jealous of us being able to hear the ocean so well from our apartment; even with the windows closed.

Carl made friends with some of the rodent gang while they were here, and even Mam got brave enough to be within leaping distance for the rats while they were out of their cage. More on that in Friday's post.

We were going to have the picnic that was planned for Sunday at our place, but Mam and Carl decided to just pay us a quick visit, and bring me the jazz drops they'd fetched for me from one of the old style sweet shops that's near here, which they went to before coming to us, before heading back to Norwich (where Carl lives) since the bad weather that had been threatening to return had done so. Plus, I think they wanted to get back there before my Mam got too tired to do the drive.

So, that was my weekend, and - since nothing else worth mentioning happened recently - that's all I've got to say today, really.
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Published on July 27, 2015 02:41

July 24, 2015

Hi humans, rodent types, and anyone of any other species who reads this.

This is Jacob the degu.

Sorry to be so late with today's bloggy post thing. The humans didn't have this computery thing turned on earlier, and we rodents didn't know the password to make it work.

Besides, Joshua and I were sorting out a problem with our wheel, which turned out to just be that one of our degu brothers - I'm pretty sure it was Jenks - had lodged our log roll thing under it to stop it going. It took the humans a while to figure out what we were making such a fuss about though, so they were slow coming to help us. But they got it pulled out in the end, and our wheel works again... YAY!

Anyway...

My degu brothers are recovered from their big fight that happened a few weeks ago - though I think they might have scars from it for the rest of their lives - but apparently they didn't learn from it, since they haven't stopped fighting. They haven't had any fights as nasty as the one that left all three of them with cuts though, thankfully. The humans and I hope they never have a bad fight like that again. No. They're just back to shoving each other, stealing from each other, etc. This is better than the nasty fighting, but still not a good thing, really.

I hate when they fight, and most of the time I go over to talk to my gerbil brothers when they start up. Their cage is right beside ours, and one of our ledges puts me at just the right height to be on a level with them if they go on the top level of their own cage, so it's perfect. I especially enjoy talking to Bilbo, who's always ready to lend a sympathetic ear when I want to talk. I do like Baggins too, but he's not so good at sitting still long enough for a decent chat; Baggins is an energetic little gerbil, and only stays still when he's eating or sleeping.

My gerbil brothers don't fight like my degu brothers do, that's why I like them so much; I'm a lover, not a fighter. My ratty sisters don't fight as much as my degu brothers either, though they fight more than my gerbil brothers do. So, why do my degu brothers like to fight so much? I don't get it!

I mean, it's obvious they love each other as much as I love them, since they're concerned about each other if they realize afterwards they hurt the other, and they get upset like I do if one of us is out of the cage without the others. They're even as eager as me for us to all sleep together every nap time.

This is why the humans don't seporate us; because between times we make it very obvious we're all very close, and would suffer terribly if we had to be parted. They've come close, but they can see my brothers and I love each other... Despite my brothers fighting so often over every single little thing.

The humans don't understand why my brothers fight so much either, and I guess if I can't figure it out then they have no chance of doing so. I really don't know why it is though... Sometimes it's just as hard to understand the behaviour of my own species as it is to understand humans. In other words, it's impossible!

Squeak soon,
Jacob
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Published on July 24, 2015 08:42 • 1 view

July 22, 2015

The second "Zeena Dragon Fae" book is coming along nicely, but isn't as far along as it should be, because I got distracted by other writing projects during my writing time. It is coming along though,, and that's what really matters at the end of the day. Hopefully I'll be able to say more about its progress soon, and give you an idea of when I think it will be ready. But not just yet.

The only other thing I have to say with regards my own books right now is a reminder that the Smashwords 2015 Summer/Winter sale is still on, and those books of mine are still on sale. If you've forgotten which ones, read this post.

Since I don't have anything more exciting to say right now, let's move on to those writer links...

To hyphenate or not to hyphenate, that is the question; if it's a question you find yourself asking a lot when you're writing, read this post for some tips on how to figure out whether you should hyphenate or not. Also, here are some tips on editing for consistancy.

Hey, how about learning how to write a bestseller like the ancient bards? Hmmm... Maybe not... Though it would be nice if writers had the same status the ancient bards had.

I recently read this article on writing for the ages, and happen to agree with it. Yes, it's good to get your facts straight and be as accurate as possible. However, it's impossible to predict whether your facts will be accurate 20 years from now. So, at the end of the day, what really matters is that you write the best story you can.

Wondering what the secret art of reaching "the end" is? Well, it's not exactly a huge secret really, and if it was, it isn't now. Read the article if you want to see what it is anyway.
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Published on July 22, 2015 03:12 • 1 view

July 20, 2015

Today I thought I'd share a few photos of the apartment with you. After all, we've been here several months, and I did say I'd sort some photos when we'd had a bit more time to settle in.

I warn you, things are still sort of chaotic here, with boxes still packed, or only half unpacked, etc. Not to mention we still haven't replaced our computer chairs, sorted the rail for the curtains in the computer room, or done a few other similar things.

I think Kelly tried to avoid getting the chaos in the photos, plus these are just quick snaps, so they don't show every feature, and may not be great quality shots. But I figured a few snapsshots would be better than nothing to those of you who are dying to see the inside of where I live now, rather than just getting to see the view from our windows.

Anyway...

This is the living room:


(Which, as you can no doubt see from the photos, is also where the rodent gang lives).

And here's the little kitchen area that leads off of it:


(The sink is to your left, but since it's just the sink and the bins for garbage and recycling over there, we didn't bother to get a shot; I don't think you can see the fridge to the far right either).

This is the computer room, and the Disney Princess wallpaper that's on one of its walls:


I expect you can easily figure out which computer is mine, and which is Kelly's?

This is me in the hallway that seporates the bedroom, bathroom, and utility area from the other rooms:


The utility area where the washing machine lives is sort of behind me, and so is the door to the bathroom.

And this is our bedroom:


So, there you go. A quick peek in to the apartment we moved in to at the end of February.

Maybe you'll get better shots at some point in the future. But, for now, at least you can say you know what our place looks like.

Well, sort of...
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Published on July 20, 2015 02:47 • 1 view

July 17, 2015

Hi humans, rodent types, and anyone else reading this.

This is Jasper the degu.

Mine and Joshua's cuts have healed enough that they don't bother us now, so we're back to our old selves, and are playing, climbing, jumping, and wrestling as much as we always have; ignoring the humans repeated requests that we don't play so rough.

The constant changing of the weather from hot to stormy has us a bit upset. Especially me, because I hate storms. But other than that, we're all happy little critters, and doing just fine.

Well, my ratty sister, Star, got a little bit of what the humans called "the sniffles" at the start of the week. It only lasted a couple of days though, and she seems to be over it now. None of the rest of us caught it.

Squeak soon,
Jasper
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Published on July 17, 2015 02:44 • 2 views

July 15, 2015

Don't forget: some of my eBooks are still available at discounted prices as part of the 2015 Smashwords Summer/Winter sale!

Thanks to Chris The Story Reading Ape, Amber Fox, Kevin Morris, and Alex Butcher, for helping to spread the word.

Alex Butcher has some of her books in the Smashwords Summer/Winter sale too, as do several other Smashwords authors. So, don't forget to go check Smashwords for some great eBook deals before the end of this month.

***

This is a great explanation of a story arc, which you should read if you're a writer who needs some help with story structure.

So, you have your main character figured out, and now he or she needs a supporting cast. Well... Here's a 5 step recipe to create your protagonist's inner circle; follow this recipe, and you'll have a great cast of characters in no time.

Speaking of characters... Here are some tips on how to survive your fictional characters' all night bickering in six easy ways; for those nights when your characters refuse to shut up, and you have to get up early the next morning. This one's not a problem for me, because if my characters keep me up all night, I just sleep in the day. Ha! Take that imaginary voices in my head!

Anyway... Your book is written, now it's time to get it sold. Of course, the first thing you probably did was tell all your friends and family, and then post about it on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. But if you'd like to do a bit more, here are 5 ways to market your book without social media.
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Published on July 15, 2015 02:20

July 13, 2015

I finally got to spend some time down near the ocean on Tuesday.

The weather wasn't as beautiful as it has been, but it was nice enough to be out (despite the storm that was threatening) and, in some ways, the weather not being fantastic was better, because the beach wasn't so packed with people. Well, it being the middle of a weekday would have helped with that a little too, but on really nice days it seems everyone who doesn't have to be in work or school is on the beach, and it can get quite noisy and crowded. I prefer to have room to breathe, if you know what I mean, so I was glad to have an almost deserted stretch of beach to enjoy in peace. Besides, the weather wasn't too bad. I mean, it was obvious that storm was on the way; we could feel it and smell it in the air. But it was warm and dry enough that we didn't need jackets, and not too windy either.

Anyway, I sat down there by myself for a bit... Just enjoying feeling the breeze from the ocean, while listening to the waves crash against the shore, and the sea birds calling... While Kelly went to fetch lunch.

Kelly had chicken, I had an egg baguette, and we shared some fries. We gave the birds some of the fries too... The pigeons and gulls love when you throw them fries. Well, actually, they love when you throw them any food.

After lunch, we took a leisurely walk along the promonade for a while before heading home, and some of the birds followed us until we went up to the street. I think they hoped we had more lunch to share with them, but obviously gave up on us when they saw we were leaving.

We also saw a bird that may have been a
Oh, and.. In case you're wondering... We made it home in plenty of time before the storm showed up. We'd been home about an hour when the wind picked up, and the storm happened some time later.

***

I've started roleplaying with my brother, Carl, my Dad, and a family friend named Gareth.

Since Dad and Gareth are the only two anywhere near each other, we're doing it via TeamSpeak, because it's a bit easier to use than Skype (especially for Carl and I, who are using screen readers). I mean, Jaws does work with Skype, but it works better with TeamSpeak. Besides, I think Dad likes TeamSpeak better.

We're playing the 7th edition of Call of Cthulhu at the moment. The guys had already had a couple of sessions when I joined in, but there wasn't all that much for me to catch up on, really. Just about two sessions, I think.

There's supposed to be a game about twice a month. This first session was last Monday afternoon, and the next will be on a Monday too (a week today). The day's meant to be changing after that though, since Monday afternoons are no longer good for Carl. So, I think we're changing to a Thursday afternoon instead.

Anyway, I'm playing a nurse named Roisin. It's set in the 1920s, so I'm playing a nurse of Irish descent (her name is the Irish for rose) who was a nurse in the 1st World War, because she wanted to be one so she could follow her fiance when he had to go to war. Although, if her luck continues like it did last week, I won't be playing her for long, since she's already quite beaten up... Apparently the luck of the Irish wasn't with her last Monday.

But, despite that, I did enjoy my first session of Call of Cthulhu. In fact, as I said on Facebook just after the session ended... It's probably the only time I'm ever going to be saying I had fun while having my arm torn open by the lethal claw of a flying monster thing, and then hitting my head on a stone grave marker so hard I almost passed out.

See... I said she was quite beaten up.

Still, it could have been worse... Those things could have been happening to me, rather than just to my character!
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Published on July 13, 2015 02:15

Zigler News

Victoria Zigler
Author and book news for children's author and poet, Victoria Zigler, as well as general news from the life of the Zigler family; furry and otherwise!
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