Archive for September 2013

I was hoping to get the new story out this week, but it’s nearing novella size and by the time I’ve finished the final chapter and copy-edited the story it won’t be ready in time to make free this weekend. So looks like it will be out next week instead.

Astronaut gone fishing

New, Improved Cover

The One That Got Away is going to temporarily disappear soon. I’ve wanted to revamp it for some time, and I’m going to delete the old version and release another that’s about a thousand words longer, with a new cover and other improvements.

There’ll also be a Createspace version, which the existing story was just too short to justify.

In addition, I plan to rationalise my pen names, and move their books over to this name. I originally tried to split story types by different names, but they’ve ended up similar enough that I see little point to keeping them separate and lots of benefits to bringing them back together.

Here’s an interesting site. Enter an Amazon ASIN book ID, and it shows which books are linked to that book. For example:

Petrina
Final Contact
Welcome To The Future

As you can see, currently those books are linked to a bunch of others, but none of them are linked back to mine. The interesting part is that some of the same books appear in each.

Spider bot and derelict city

Cover

Got a first pass at a cover for the next short in The Future universe, now I just need to finish the story. It’s been rolling around on my hard drive (ok, SSD) for the best part of a year, so hopefully this will be an incentive to get it done.

Currently just over 7,000 words and probably another 5,000 to go.

Edit: now 8,000 words.

This actually came about because of a 90% off deal on credits at depositphotos.com. 100 pictures for $99, and a further 10% discount if you use a WPEXPLORER coupon. So about $0.90 per image instead of the usual price.

Depositphotos deal

The link is still valid for a couple of days, so get it while you can.

What is it with these companies? Android apparently has a feature that will gleefully ‘back up’ your passwords to Google’s servers, which is precisely where I don’t want them:

Google knows nearly every Wi-Fi password in the world

Fortunately, being paranoid about security, I’d already turned off that ‘helpful’ feature. But most others probably have it on and have no idea what they’re handing to Google.

I’m sick of this crap. Clearly we can no longer trust any technology company, particularly those in America. Android devices should never be allowed to connect to anything other than known insecure networks.

The sutures fell out while I was brushing my teeth this morning, and, while my jaw still feels a bit odd, the remaining pain has pretty much gone. I have a suspicion they wrapped the end around the remaining two molars on that side to hold it in place, and having the suture in the gap between them seems to have been irritating the gum. That’s the only place I’ve seen blood come from after the initial extraction dried up.

The remaining problems are exhaustion, probably from not getting enough sleep due to the crazy dreams, and a desperate desire to eat something more solid than soup, yoghurt, scrambled egg and pasta. I want to give the gums at least another day or two to heal up before I risk that.

Still healing, the only problem I’ve noticed so far is a piece of the dissolving sutures trapped between two of my other teeth.

But I’ve been loaded up on ibuprofen prescribed by the dental surgeon, and having crazy and vivid dreams; from a web search, that doesn’t seem like an uncommon side effect, though it’s not listed in the official ones. If only I could remember them in detail, and write them down…

Fortunately I’m off it now, so hopefully I’ll get some uninterrupted sleep tonight.

Houdini and Cake

Houdini made 2

Houdini the hamster reached two years old; none of the others we’ve had ever quite made it to that age, but so far he still seems to be going strong.

And no, we only let him lick the cake, not eat it :). He’s probably at least half-way to being diabetic just from being a two year old hamster.

He’s definitely more sleepy than he was a year ago, but he’s still running around the house in his ball and running in his wheel at night when we put him back. He’s also learned to knock the webcam off his cage if we put it there to spy on him.

So, I had to have one of my wisdom teeth removed, about twenty years later than most people do. Growing up in the UK with socialised medicine, about the only thing the NHS dentists wanted to do was fill or pull a decaying tooth, and preventative dentistry was way too expensive for them. Hence I still have all four, and one had grown partially out of the gum, where it was just itching to get infected.

The actual experience of tooth extraction with IV sedation was pretty easy. I remember them asking me how I was feeling, the answer to which was ‘a bit dopey, I presume I’m meant to be feeling that way’, then it was done and they were asking me to move to another room to recover. At that time I’m sure I still remembered some of the other things that had gone on, but they’d vanished into the memory hole before I left the surgery.

So far, the worst pain was when they pulled off the tape holding the IV line in place. Hopefully that will continue, but I gather that dry socket or infection pain mostly shows up after 48 hours or so.

I keep getting posts from spammers who are too stupid to even configure their auto-spam software policy. Things like this:

{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more
than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

It’s clearly supposed to pick random words to produce something with slight variations that still looks vaguely like a post a human might make, but their message generator is broken.

Once the giant of the cell phone business, Nokia sank into obscurity when they brought in a CEO from Microsoft and became the biggest and best manufacturer of Windows phones. So I guess it’s only fitting that Microsoft is now buying the failing phone business, as was widely predicted, presumably to provide a companion to its failing tablet business:

Microsoft to buy Nokia phones unit

Cover

Cover

My entry in Konrath’s challenge to write, format and upload an e-book in eight hours is available now, even though it didn’t get onto his blog post for some reason; I suspect my emails hit a spam filter somewhere. It’s free for this weekend, and has had a few hundred downloads already; I even broke into the French market, where I’ve never been able to give away a book before, let alone sell one.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EV43KH6

It’s another story in the same universe as Final Contact, and now I’m expanding that I think I’m going to be writing quite a few. I already have the first scene of the next story written, though it’s likely to be a novella rather than a short.

Peru is in a state of emergency due to unusually low temperatures and heavy snow:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23916217

Fortunately, unlike unusually warm periods, this is only weather and not climate. Because if the planet’s temperature was to drop a few degrees, that would really, really suck.