I FINISHED Left 4 Dead! Just tidying up now. Started on Risen from the Dead. Since it ties in with Sea Species, I've been looking at going back and rewriting it. As I read it, I have learned so much about writing. It could be a lot better. Still thinking about that.

I was wrong! I thought I was done with Left 4 Dead WRONG. As I tried to finish up, the characters took me along another avenue, adding 5 more chapters. What's interesting is that this book begins the tie-in to the Evolution River series. I already have a good start on the next book (yet untitled) which is a strong tie-in to ER series. Those of you who have read The Envoy know that I introduced a new prophet to the world. The next Dead book is the story of that prophet. Is this fun or what?

Great dreaming last night. Tidied up the ending for Left 4 Dead and sot the storyline figured out for the next book. It will tie into the Evolution River Series, specifically Sea Species and The Envoy. It will set up and explain one of the characters in The Envoy. So, the Dead characters continue on, saving the world.

I'm nearly finished with Left 4 Dead. At least I think I am. So far it is one of my shorter novels, on a par with Wings of the WASP. The ending (so far) leaves room for two parallel sequels. One is already in my head, the other a new line I wanted to start. The new line is YA along the lines of Hunger Games or Divergent. The other branch goes in a really different direction, one that may well offend some. That has rarely stopped me.

Well, my wife ran my phone through the washing machine. It didn't even have any smut on it. It's eerily quiet and I'm enjoying it. Maybe I really don't need to be in touch every minute of the day. I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It's an odd sensation. After doing some chores, I bet I can get some writing done.

I have just learned that the 500 pound gorilla in the self-publishing industry, Amazon has pulled my e-books from their listing. As I didn't publish my Kindle books through Amazon or their subsidiary Create Space, they have issues regarding rights and royalties, so we authors suffer. Amazon already dominates the self-publishing industry, but I consider this underhanded. We make so little per book anyway that this is like stealing from the poor. Please have patience. BookBaby (my e-book publisher) is working to resolve this, but I have no doubt we will take a beating. I wish this were an April Fool joke, but when I looked, the books were gone.

I am making good progress on Left 4 Dead. More than 50 chapters, 230 pages. The ending is starting to crystallize. As with previous stories, I'm living the characters now, thinking plots during the day, dreaming them at night. Now I need to kick up my editing. Tall Grass Editing Co Op just finished chapter 31 this week.

I'm getting inquiries about my children's book, Bernice the Barking Spider. I have no problem finishing the writing on it, it's the graphics. Those will cost. I'll have to talk to Steve. Probably need to include SmashWords. Illustrations present challenges in e-books. If I include them, it might get done.

Talked to a fellow author about my next terrorist thriller book. I knew I was on the right track when goosebumps rose on her arms as I related the plot. The fun I'm having with the terrorist thriller books precludes me from finishing Bernice.

I am seeing a lot more interest in my www.evolutionriver.com website. Let me hear from you on topics you'd like to discuss. I do love to pontificate about evolution. When I was writing the Evolution River Series, it became obvious that the path I laid out was a very realistic path forward. It was so logical. Sure, there could be a lot of details that would be different, but I saw only one endpoint, and I still maintain the one I presented or some variation is where the evolution of life is headed. The details of how life achieves this point can vary, and I only presented one way to get there. Logical it is. The problem for us in conceiving this is that our brains aren't large enough. Somehow we have to evolve past the limitation of brain size. My story is one such way to do that.

I'm giving consideration to several promotional programs. Ideas came from Smashwords president Mark Coker and from Ingram Sparks. I want to do something to get my books in more hands. Suggestions?

I got the opportunity to attend the authors and sponsors dinner for the Tucson Festival of Books. Caid Industries was kind enough to host a table, and we had the pleasure of Michael McGarrity's company at our table. He is the author of a number of crime drama books taking place in New Mexico. He told good stories and was quite entertaining. The dinner was exceptional, and the company better. Thanks to those who planned and did the dinner.

I also went to the Tucson Festival of Books and walked around, talked to authors, publishers, and all kinds of people. What a great venue it is. The TFOB is the 3rd largest book festival in the country and had 135000 visitors. Not working at a table gave me the chance to see so much. I didn't go to the lectures, though. It was too nice outside with a plethora of interesting people to watch.

Okay, here's the last installation of the Brown Thumb, adventures in plumbing. I wish I could say things are going swimmingly, but at least the toilets flush.
Be over there tomorrow.”
I get a call from Johnny. The truck he has won’t pull the excavator. We need to use mine. Okay, no problem.
I go out to start the truck. Completely dead. The batteries show zero voltage. They must have shorted out. I pull the batteries, wearing my old clothes. Despite what most people think, not all of my clothes are old thanks in large part to my wife. Battery acid and jeans don’t play well together. I’m off to Costco, where I got the batteries. Reach for my Costco card and realize my wallet is in my good jeans. Back to the house, back to Costco, stand in line. They no longer carry that style of battery. Off to Walmart. Not only did they have them, but at a lower price and better warranty. Yahoo! Progress. Without more incident, we bring the excavator back (Nerve wracking in itself, as it is REALLY heavy and without trailer brakes, the truck takes forever to stop. Means I have to plan my stops way ahead. Johnny is right behind me because the lights don’t work either.
We arrive at the site of destruction at four pm. Johnny digs the hole around the bad valve. The piping looks corroded. We decide to trench and install the new line at a new location. It really wouldn’t do to break the valve off the line by digging too near it. That would shut down the neighborhood. I call the neighborhood association. They come down to inspect. They’re visibly nervous, too. They call their plumbing contractor. They look, shake their heads but decide they can replace the valve. (Better them than me who gets blamed. Remember in the plumbing world, surprises are NEVER good) So the bottom line is that their plumbing company will be here Tuesday to replace the bad valve and I can make the final tie in. Of course, the hole will be filled with water from draining the mainline, and the neighbors will be without water. Hurray! Until then, I’m still on hose power, but I only had to repair the hose four times today.
But it’s not over! My brown thumb still has the ability to make caca out of cool aid. This morning I went out start my wife’s car, inserted the key and turned it. The key fell apart with the stub in the ignition. Luckily there was enough sticking out that I was able to start and drive the car. One might think having the stub would be sufficient, but NO. The alarm system on her car isn’t functioning properly. It requires that the alarm off button on the key (that piece is now somewhere on the floor hidden from view) be depressed TWICE or the alarm goes off. The only way to turn it off is start the car. With no button and only a stub of a key, the neighbors could get annoyed before I get it started. Talk about the brown thumb. I’m afraid to touch anything. Hmmm What about going to the bathroom? A danger? Hope not!

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Dead and Dead For Real

The Dead Series