Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Indie Writers Monthly Flash Fiction Challenge

October will arrive before we know it, and with it, the next issue of Indie Writers Monthly. The theme will be horror, and we are thinking of running a flash fiction challenge. Unfortunately, the important details, such as maximum word length and deadline, haven't been decided yet. I'm mentioning it now to let you start thinking about the story. I'll post an update as soon as I have one. The prize will be one (or more; again, this hasn't been determined) of our stories.

Speaking of stories, today's the last day to get Twinned Universes for $0.99. Don't miss the opportunity! You can get it here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Flashbacks

One of my beta readers recently suggested that I tell part of the story of Seasons' Beginnings in flashback. Right now, Part I of the story is an expanded version of a short story I had on my old website; Part II occurs a year later and deals with the aftermath of Part I, easing the way to the next book in this series. Originally, I did not put a sharp break between these sections, and I think it's confusing some readers, hence the suggestion.

I've been mulling over the flashback idea, debating if I want to use it. It fits with the magic system of this story and would ease the transition between Parts I and II (though if I don't use the flashbacks, I will label the two parts to warn the readers what to expect). However, it is a bit late to make such a major change to the story, and I fear the flashbacks, while helping some readers, may confuse others. I really haven't come up with a good place or places to put the flashback. Probably what I need to do instead is be clearer about the time break and explain how the world has changed between the two parts. I may use a flashback in later books of the series, though.

 As a reader, how do you feel about flashback in stories? Do you like them, hate them, judge them on an individual basis? What books do you think are good or bad examples of flashbacks?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Twinned Universes on Sale for $0.99 From 9/10/14--9/17/14

Quick update on the computer situation: the new hard drive arrived last night. I'm still not sure if I'll install it myself or have someone else do it. I may use PCMover to set up the new hard drive.

Nine years ago, Eugene and I got married. Happy Anniversary, sweetie! May all our days together be as sweet as our wedding cake--with far fewer calories, though.

To celebrate, I'm putting Twinned Universes on sale for one week. Normal price is $2.99, but from today through next Wednesday it'll be $0.99 on Amazon. If you haven't grabbed it yet, now's a good time to do so.

Paul Harrison always wanted to play Hamlet, but he never expected he’d live the role first.
In the aftermath of a family tragedy on 21st century Earth, Paul discovers he’s the clone of Sean Lyon, his great-great-grandfather and a famous TwenCen musician. Suspecting his mother’s death was no accident, Paul comes up with a plan to trick the answers out of the great-uncle who had him cloned. But in order to make his plan work, Paul needs help from Sean himself—and Sean’s time is running out in the TwenCen universe next door. Although Paul’s family lives on the spaceship that travels between the universes, he’s never been allowed on TwenCen Earth. Now, with the help of his friends, his disguise-creating holoprojectors, and a quantum quirk, Paul must make his way to Sean while evading other time travelers who fear he’ll change the history of the TwenCen universe. If Paul is to achieve justice, he must not only risk his own life, but the wormhole connecting the universes. “To be or not to be” was a simple question in comparison....


Monday, September 08, 2014

Preparing for Computer Failure

On Saturday, my laptop started giving me messages no one wants to read. It's telling me my hard drive is about to crash.

This may seem like a total disaster about to happen, but I already have some preparations in place. In addition to my laptop, I also have a netbook, so I won't be without a computer. (I bought the netbook earlier this year to make writing on the go even easier.) My most important files (at least, the files I'm currently working on) are on a flash drive so I can use them on either computer. I use Mozy to backup my computers twice a day, so I should be able to recover all my other files. I'm also going to back up my laptop to an external hard drive to see if that will help me with the operating system and e-mail. Another thing I will do is sort through my messages and organize them so I can back them up to Gmail.

When I realized my hard drive is dying, my first instinct was to shop around for a new laptop. After comparing specs and prices, I decided I'd rather just replace the hard drive. I ordered a new one from Amazon and should get it this week. Now I have to decide if I'm going to try to replace the hard drive myself or find someone to do it for me. There are YouTube videos that demonstrate how to replace the laptop, but if I can't find one that matches my computer exactly, it might be safer to find an expert.

As for what to do after I get the new hard drive installed, first I'll have to figure out if I can reinstall my old operating system or if I have to upgrade. I'm not sure if Mozy will allow me to reinstall programs, so that may be another issue. At least this unexpected purge may leave me with fewer programs taking up space on my computer.

Have any of you had to deal with a crashed hard drive? Do you have any other tips for me? Conversely, if you haven't had this issue before, are you backing up your data regularly?

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