The summer was overlong and miserably hot. I wished a hundred times
that I could magically transport myself to the Scottish Highlands
for the duration, where the temperature does not get much above
68-degrees F. Needless to say, I'm so ready for autumn. Truth be
told, I was ready for it as far back as June.
A friend sent me a note near the end of August, which concluded
with "Hope your summer is going well." My response was quick but
rather testy, sorry to say:
Summer overstayed its welcome long ago. Glaring sunshine,
suffocating heat - same thing, day after day after miserable day. I
may as well drop dead to the sun-baked pavement now and be done with
it. On the bright side, you won't hear me complain one iota when it
turns cold (if it ever does). At this point, I'm convinced my
current place of residence has replaced that hellish entity known as
the pit of Hades.
My friend is accustomed to my heat-induced tirades, and
knows I always feel better after venting.
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The remaining six books in the saga are also
scheduled for paperback release between now and the early part of
next year. New covers are being designed for some of the books as we
speak. I'm perhaps most anxious to see the new cover for book #3
The Twain Shall Meet, for which I gave
quite a bit of suggestive input. The physical appearance of the main
male character is based on a real person (but my lips remain forever
sealed as to his true identity). Hopefully, he will be as near as
can get for the paperback cover. He inspired many of the new "bonus"
scenes I wrote back in February for the book's reissue.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it all comes to
pass without a hitch.
As part of their 8th annual summer sale, Smashwords offered
discounts on books in their catalog during the month of July 2016.
I spent most of the summer focused on The Crypt Artist.
I'm making good progress with the story (knock on wood), and hope to
finish it before the year is over. I haven't written a blurb or even
a synopsis for the book yet. Perhaps this one sentence will give
over a hint: "A struggling artist is encouraged by a group of
restless ghosts to achieve his dream." It doesn't really sum up the
story, but it's the best I can do for the moment.
(Above): Inputting handwritten notes (08/01/2016).
Click on image to view larger size in a new window.
My writing habits for The Crypt Artist
have taken on a familiar pattern. I write by longhand at night,
mainly to get away from my computer screen, and then input my notes
the next day. It has worked splendidly so far. I usually don't
tamper with a routine that keeps the writing flow moving along, so
I'm sure my age-old habit will continue until I finish the book.
Next in the line of writing priorities is Glinhaven, which I hope to
complete by early next year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it
shall be so!
As per my usual notation, storylines, estimated release dates and
book cover designs may be subject to change.
New Web Links
My web host Tripod had a major meltdown back in June (which I
describe in detail on my blog entry
Tech Anguish), forcing me to
find a new host tout de suite. I found one quickly, thankfully. It
is reputable and a damn sight more reliable than Tripod. Links to my
web site, blog and all the book sites have since changed. In
essence, anything with the word "tripod" in the web address is no
The only site I left behind at Tripod was
Food Fare, which has more
than 1,000 pages. There was no way I could reassemble all of it in a
timely fashion, so complete migration has been saved for a future
Just for Amusement
How did I beat the summer heat? I stayed indoors for the most part,
frankly. However, aside from reading and writing, I did manage to
find a few other ways to amuse myself.
Me & Rainee in Shades
I have quite a few pictures of me and
together when he was alive, and I've always wanted the same thing
for Rainee. It was my intention to take a decent picture of Rainee
and I together near the end of July, but she became rather
disobliging the second I put Foofer's old
Doggles on her head.
Doggles are canine sunglasses, which I ordered specially for Foofer
long before Rainee came along in 2004. The shades were made to fit
Foofer's large head size, so they were a tad loose on Rainee.
(Above): Me and Rainee (07/31/2016).
Click on image to view larger size in a new window.
She fought me nearly every inch of the way. I tried to get her to
sit with me on the couch - she flopped down on her side on the floor
instead. I finally managed to get her onto the couch, but she jerked
her head away from me when I held her and snapped a picture. The end
result was all the images came out blurry. However, it was the best
I could do with a camera in one hand and a squirming dog in the
other. When I finally gave up, Rainee flew off the couch and ran as
if the hounds from hell were at her heels. I'll try again some other
Over the summer, I discovered the
comedy trio known as
Foil, Arms & Hog. The three guys are a scream. According to their website: "We are Sean Finegan,
Conor McKenna and Sean Flanagan (aka Foil Arms & Hog), an Irish
sketch group who perform on TV, radio, the stage and
work out of an office in Dublin where we write, film and edit our
own sketches for our
YouTube channel. We do a new video every
Thursday, sometimes topical, but mostly completely random."
humor brightens my days considerably. Give them a whirl for a good
"One Foot in the Grave" features the exploits and
mishaps of irascible pensioner Victor Meldrew (played by Richard
Wilson), who after being
forced to retire from his job as a security guard, finds himself at
war with the world and everything in it. Meldrew, cursed with
misfortune and always complaining, is married to long-suffering wife
Margaret (played by Annette Crosbie), who is often left exasperated by his many misfortunes.
Despite its traditional production, the series subverts its domestic
sitcom setting with elements of black humor and surrealism.
Near the end of August, I took new videos of my "kids." Neither one
of them was pleased, to say the least.
On the day I took her video,
Kiki was rambunctious
(running around and knocking things over; flipping an apple and a
lime off the kitchen table for starters), and opening cupboards with
her head and right paw. The second I turned on the video camera,
this is what she gave me.
Rainee wasn't in the mood to cooperate with the
Pardon the darkness of the films. My only excuse is
I haven't used my video camera in ages and forgot some of the
basic functions (focus, lighting, etc.). I'll do better on the next
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