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message 1: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Some of the other groups I belong to have a thread for off-topic comments, and general getting acquainted, if people want to converse (beyond initial introductions), or just share things going on in their lives that might be of interest to others in the group. So, I thought I'd start one here.

I'll be the first to post, with the observation that I'll be gone on vacation all of next week (starting on Monday) and won't have much access to the Internet. So, I'll be offline for the duration --but looking forward to getting back a week from tomorrow!

message 2: by C.C. (new)

C.C. Cole (authorcccole) | 25 comments Have a nice vacation, Werner! I'll be working on my second book since I got it back today from the editor...

message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Have fun, Werner.

message 4: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Thanks, C. and Jim. And C., good luck with the new book!

message 5: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 67 comments Have a nice vacation Werner.

message 6: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Thanks, Mohammed!

message 7: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Just wanted to let everybody know that I'll probably be offline from this evening until Sunday evening. And just when we've gotten a stimulating discussion going in this group, too! But one of the few things I like better than Goodreads discussion is spending time with family; and my daughter Rachel is driving up from North Carolina for the weekend. So Barb and I will be spending our time mostly with her in the next couple of days. So, my silence won't be because I'm offended or mad! (I'm not mad --just eccentric. :-) )

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 360 comments Have a good time with your family, Werner.

message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Have fun, Werner. I know you're not mad. You'd tell me so.

It's nice visiting with kids. We've had our daughter here since before Xmas. She leaves tomorrow morning to go back to college.

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 326 comments Enjoy.

message 11: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Thanks, Danielle, Jim, and Mike! We did have a great visit with Rachel (who's now homeward bound); and Jim, glad Erin got to spend so much time with you guys. (Mike, it's good to have you as a group member; welcome!)

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 326 comments Thanks, I'll probably slow down and say hi in intro later.. Glad you had a good visit.

message 13: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments It's good to see that we're having quite an activity spurt in our group! I'd love to be keeping up with all the posts, but I'll have to let that slide for a couple of days, regrettably. My online time (and most other free time) is going to be taken up with another matter that's arisen.

Some of you know that I'm the author of a vampire novel, Lifeblood, which was supposedly reprinted earlier this month by a "press" called Inked in Blood. Last night, another Goodreader sent me massive evidence that this operation is a scam, run by a many-aliased con artist who preys on writers. (Fortunately, he signed his "contract" with me under a bogus name, so it has no legal force.) I'm going to be occupied for the next little while in removing my book from his website, and minimizing the damage done to me and to others by this fiasco. So, if I'm otherwise silent for awhile, don't worry about me --I'm still here, and still avidly interested!

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 360 comments Oh, Werner. I am so sorry to hear that!

message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) What a drag, Werner. Sheesh! Good luck squaring it away.

message 16: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Thanks, guys! (Or I should say, guy and gal! :-) )

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 360 comments Either way is fine for me. I'm not sure if Jim would like you saying girls, though. :)

message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) My wife says, "yes, ma'am" to me occasionally. I have no problems with gender issues, though.

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 360 comments Good to hear, Jim. :)

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 326 comments Werner, sorry man. I've been out of the "search" for a few years as I stopped looking for representation or a publisher when my wife began to need all my time, but I know how involving it can be, to be scammed on it... Good luck man.

message 21: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Thanks, Mike!

message 22: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments By way of update, I contacted the "publisher" at Inked in Blood around an hour and a half ago, letting him know the jig was up. When I checked his reply a short while ago, he didn't attempt to argue much, and reported that his site has been taken down, which I confirmed is the case. (He claims it was done by the web administrators, though I suspect he might have deemed it wise to beat a quick retreat.) So I'd say all that needs to be done on that front for today has been done, and I'm pleased by the turn of events. :-)

message 23: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Not all readers are automatically customers or fans of traditional bookstores, especially nowadays when there are so many venues for acquiring the books we want to read; and of course, not all modern readers hold any particular brief for paper books. But some of us are fond of the latter, to one degree or another, and some of us feel that bookstores are an important part of the book trade, which will have lost something valuable if they all go under in the grim economic times they're currently facing. Early this year, a lady in another Goodreads group I'm part of suggested that it would help keep bookstores open if all of us who feel this way, and who can afford to back our feelings with action, would each commit to buy at least two brand-new books (for ourselves, or for someone else) this year from a bookstore. I made that commitment myself, but I've only recently begun spreading that challenge around in some of my other groups. (If you're in more than one group with me, excuse the cross-posting! And sorry I waited until 2011 is about half gone; if you want to, you can take it as a challenge for 2012. Personally, I hope to do this every year, if I can.) So, I'd encourage all of you who share my supportive feelings for bookstores (especially the small home-owned ones!) to give some thought to this idea.

message 24: by Mark (new)

Mark Cooper | 18 comments The only real drawback to that suggestion here in the UK is the dearth of small book stores that are outside of the big chains. Literally I can think of only one which is about 35 miles I guess I'll have to keep getting my books from Waterstones/WH Smiths...or the Forbidden Planet! LOL

message 25: by Mark (new)

Mark Cooper | 18 comments Oooh - I've just discovered that you can actually post things you've written here on the site! Cool - might have to have a look through my backlog of short stories and see what freebies I can offer up!!! :)

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 326 comments There are few independent book stores left here except for used book stores. I go to books-a-million, buy from Amazon or whatever, but we have a couple of good used book stores. One is also a chain (McKay's) the other is my favorite and I've been going there for more than 25 years (Book Attic in Madison TN [that's part of Nashville]).

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 326 comments By the way...there are more than 2 used book stores here, I just listed my favorites. LOL

message 28: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Yes, as Mark noted, not everybody has access to a small independent bookstore that carries new books. (Around here, there's only one, but I count myself lucky that there is one.) For purposes of the original challenge, large chain bookstores count, too.

Mark, on posting things you've written, Goodreads does let you do that, but there are a couple of catches. First, you can't just attach a saved electronic document that you have to the window on the Goodreads site that opens up when you want to post a writing; instead, you have to re-type the whole thing into the window, and then "post" it. Second, there's a space limit, expressed in number of allowed characters. I know a lot of writers who count their page numbers on stories, and most computer programs will count words; I don't know anybody or anything, outside of Goodreads (and Twitter :-) ) that actually counts characters. So you never know if Goodreads will post a whole story --I suspect in most cases it won't, unless you break it into small component parts, or write "flash" fiction.

message 29: by Mark (new)

Mark Cooper | 18 comments I noticed that it counts characters - how quirkly! Ha ha ha! At last count I have something like 408 short stories floating around various external hard drives so I'm sure I can find something to post up...the only other site that counts characters that I can think of other than twitter and this one is runboard...

There used to be a small bookshop called Redshaws in Lichfield but they ended up closing down - in an interesting and bizarre twist of fate I ended up taking over their lease for my own shop in the mid-2000s. High strangeness indeed!

message 30: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Wow! 408 short stories? Mark, you're one of the most prolific writers I've ever run across! I wish you all the best in getting those published, and widely read.

message 31: by Mark (new)

Mark Cooper | 18 comments Oh no - the vast majority of those would never see the light of day! There's probably about 60 that are serviceable...and even then there's probably only about 10 that would really be worthy of publication. Most of the stuff I've written over the years has been recycled into other things - however the time available to write now is getting ever more compressed...

message 32: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) Werner was a darling and pointed me here, in the right direction, when I started to ramble off on another thread :)

So I'll keep rambling...

What's everyone up to?

I'm up to my neck in deadlines and fighting an uncooperative muse and a whole slew of self-doubt.

Please, please, please, cheer me up! *grin*


message 33: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Just normal life here. Ordered a new HP ink jet printer & it arrived with the ink out of date already. I hate HP.

message 34: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Jim, sorry to hear about your printer woes! :-(

Zee, on the bright side, even though deadlines are a pain, the reason you have a deadline is that you also actually have a publisher who's signed a contract! Believe me, a lot of less successful authors wish they were in that situation, deadline and all. :-) I can't help you out with an uncooperative muse, though I wish I could. (Muses originated in ancient Greece; my theory is that the muse of "tough gal" fiction must look a lot like Xena. :-) ) But on the subject of self-doubt, let me just point out that, out of 46 reviews for your first novel in the Corpus Brides series, every one of them rated it four or five stars! That should tell you something encouraging about your abilities. :-)

By way of update on the challenge I reported on above in message 23 (back in June of last year) to buy two brand-new books a year from physical bookstores, I did meet that goal in 2011. I'm on the way to doing the same in 2012, having bought my wife a hardcover copy of Inheritance for Mother's Day. (That series has a male protagonist, but it does offer an action heroine, too, in the person of Arya the elf --whom you don't want to challenge to a sword fight.) Hope some of you will join me in this!

Next month, I'll be off to Florida (Palm Beach Atlantic Univ.) during the week of June 10, for a college library conference. And in June and July, Barb and I hope to be visiting her side of the family for one or two weeks, though plans are still in flux. While I'm off on these jaunts, I'll have limited access to the Internet, so won't expect to be on Goodreads much. So if there are times this summer when I seem to have dropped off the face of the earth, that's where I'll be. :-)

message 35: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Have fun, Werner. The printer woes are nothing new. HP has been shortening the life of their ink cartridges for years, although the party line is still that they're good for 3 years. Garbage. If they are, they must not hit the store shelves for 2.5 years.

I just finished reading a 6 book series that starts with The Crown Conspiracy. I ARC read 4 of the 6 books, which was fun & enlightening. Anyway, it has a few very cool heroines in there. Two start off rather slow & while they never turn into Xena, they are quite kick-ass in their own ways. One does have quite a Xena moment. Since the setting was Medieval, I thought it was very well done, almost realistic.

message 36: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments I've been enjoying your reviews of Sullivan's series, Jim!

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 326 comments My printer has taken an apparent death dive to... I'm hoping I don't have to buy another. I get your problem.

message 38: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Mike, last time my inkjet at home died, I bought an all-in-one laser printer. It doesn't do color, but we don't print all that often & usually only need color for pictures, which are easily done at Walmart. We love having the scanner/copier. It's very handy. If I do need to print color, I can do it here at work.

Inkjets just dry up or expire too fast for our usage now & they're too expensive. Many cost over $100 to replace the ink cartridges on & they typically have to be replaced yearly or they go bad. Several people here at work have come to the conclusion that it is cheaper to buy a new printer than replace ink cartridges in their old one! That seems crazy, but it's true.

Laser's have come down a lot in price, so it's made them worthwhile. Color all-in-ones are expensive, about $700 for a decent one, but a decent color laser is only $250, about what I paid for a B&W all-in-one. If you look around for specials, you can often find a B&W laser for under $100, as cheap as an inkjet.

message 39: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) Ack on the HP printer woes, Jim! I had a Canon printer and the cartridge would go dry very quickly on it. I don't know which brand is the less evil...

Werner, enjoy your summer! Sounds like you got a packed itinerary.

And thanks for your lovely words about the ratings. And lol, yup, I know a deadline means the book is nearly through the door. I just wish life would cooperate better. It's winter where I live and I'm already down to the second cold this month. Not conducive to having a functioning brain, sadly...

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! What's everyone up to? We're taking our boys to the movies to see Battleship


message 40: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments Zee, sorry to hear about your cold; those are no fun! Rest, keep warm, and drink a lot of fluids, and we'll hope you feel well enough to enjoy your weekend. (I've seen some commercials for Battleship; it looks good. :-) )

message 41: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) Battleship was okay. Not brilliant or major, but the special effects and the battles were okay.

Still not out of the woods but getting there. :)

Hope everyone's doing great, though!

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 326 comments Colds are cruel. I grab Zicam if my throat even gets scratchy. Hang in there.

message 43: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) Thanks Mike!

message 44: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the sexism thing. My role model was Mom & there have never been many that were stupid enough to tell any of my gals they weren't as good as any man. Women who can get kicked or bit by a 1/2 ton beast & then beat them up aren't the sort you mess with, you know?

But Amazon managed to upset me today. They sent me an email of books for Xmas presents. Cool! I open it up.

Thomas Jefferson The Art of Power by Jon Meacham
For Him

Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum, #19) by Janet Evanovich
For Her

Seriously? I hope that becomes a public relations nightmare for them.

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 326 comments LOL...hopefully computer generated based on sales not someone making a decision.

message 46: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments I got the same e-mail, but deleted it unread as spam. If I'd bothered to read it, Jim, I'd have been as upset as you were! Ah, well... as Mrs. Gump used to say, "Stupid is as stupid does." (And stupidity is alive and well at Amazon headquarters.)

Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 326 comments As John Wayne said (is there irony in quoting the Duke here?) "Life's hard, it's harder if you're stupid."

message 48: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I have to say, I like the Duke's quote the best. I always chuckle over it.

What amazes me is how few younger people seem to think it's a big deal. Is sexism such a thing of the past that they're no longer as sensitive to it? Was it such a big deal that we're over sensitive to it?

message 49: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1541 comments I like the Wayne quote, too. :-)

If sexism was completely a thing of the past, it wouldn't show up in promotions like this one from Amazon. It's alive and well, though more underground than it used to be. But because it's underground, and young people today pretty much assume it's in the past, they're not as apt to connect the dots or read between the lines to recognize it. If Amazon had said in its e-mail, "We know women are too dumb to be interested in books about Jefferson," most young people would be outraged; but they miss the unstated implication, because they can't imagine that it could be there, in "enlightened" 2012.

message 50: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I never even thought they could miss the implication. Wow. It seemed so obvious. What does that say about their reading comprehension? Maybe that's why people like so many books I find repetitive & obvious.

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