We went to a local AKC dog show last Sunday, and I have to admit, it was a little disappointing. Of course, I found out from a friend last night that we went the day after the main events had already taken place. He said the big show and awards were on Saturday, and that his favorite breed (he raises dobies) had taken third in show. Maybe we’ll go on Saturday, next year.
New Tech! We recently switched our data plan. Living out in the boonies means our internet options are limited to satellite, and… well, that’s pretty much it. And for those of you who have had to deal with satellite internet limitations, it comes as no surprise that satellite internet means that you have what’s known as “metered” internet. For us, it meant that we had a limit of 10GB of data available per month. Not only that, but at 5mb/s, it was pretty slow compared to what we were used to in Houston. The only up side was that we had what was called a “Free Zone” of unlimited data transfers between the hours of midnight and 5AM. That allowed me to schedule some of my data downloads (like podcasts, iTunes, or other regular downloads) for when they wouldn’t count against my data limit.
Recently, we changed plans to a newly available 12GB plan that gives us 12GB per month at twice the speed (10mb/s). Not only that, but when/if we go through that initial 12GB, we are then only throttled back to the previous 5mb/s speeds. So in essence, we now have unlimited data, albeit at still relatively slow speeds.
And since we now have a decent data plan, we decided to try again with a new wireless router. Doing a little research, I found a nice little (affordable) router by a company called Securifi, called the Almond. It’s a compact touchscreen router that sets up in just a few minutes. It has allowed us to hook our Kindles back up to local wireless without having to tether them to our phones anytime we want to download something. It will also allow me to move about the house with my laptop, and still remain connected. I’m not really sure if that’s a good thing, yet.
But the biggest change has been that I have now been able to hook up the Echo that I bought over two years ago! Yes, I was one of those who was in the pilot program for the Echo back in March of 2015, and got it at half price. And when I realized it was going to very quickly chew through my 10GB data limit, I decided we would be better off leaving it in the box. With the arrival of the new wireless and data plan, I just hooked up the Echo, and Alexa has been entertaining us for the last few days. It’s really been nice.
Writing news –
EPP – End Point Pangaea is beginning to wind up. I haven’t gotten to do much writing this week, and I can’t talk about why just yet. But once I get back on it, I anticipate less than a week before I finish the first draft. After that, I’ll begin my self-edits, and depending on how they go, I may be putting out a call for beta readers around the end of this month. So if you’re interested in reading my latest in its “warts and all” form, then watch for my call for betas. If you follow me on Facebook, that’s likely to be where you’ll see it first. EPP promises to be a bit of a departure from my normal writing.
Y12 -Speaking of my normal writing, (how’s that for a segue? ) I finally got around to buying some of the trade paperbacks of Year 12, so I can now send autographed copies out to those of you who have asked. I bought ten, and am down to seven at the moment. If you want one, let me know and I’ll try to make sure it happens. Either PM me on Facebook, or email me at “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Cost is $12, plus shipping.
Hmmm… I suppose I should put that as an option on the “My Books” page of this site, shouldn’t I?
One other note regarding Y12 – I was contacted by a very nice gentleman the other day regarding putting the book out in audio. He is a voice actor, and while his plate is pretty full for the next few months, he encouraged me to pursue the option of publishing the book in audio format. I explained that it had been out for audition for almost two months now, and wasn’t getting much traction. I think I’ve managed to scare off most of the actors by placing the most difficult dialogue in my audition file. For those of you who have read the book , you remember the section where there is a short conversation in Cherokee? It’s ten phrases, and it’s in the audition file I uploaded. So far, only one person has tried to tackle it.
When I explained this to the gentleman who contacted me, he didn’t seem very concerned. I found out that he is practically a neighbor, lives here in Oklahoma, and said he should be able to find the proper pronunciations and inflections pretty easily. In other books, he’s had to learn to pronounce Greek phrases. So who knows? Maybe the Year 12 audiobook will happen after all.
Here’s a confession. This week’s “Random Picture of the Week” isn’t all that random. Think of it as a clue as to why I’m not getting much writing done this week. For those of you who know me, you’ll probably know immediately what’s going on. You’ll also now probably know why I won’t talk about it just yet. But rest assured, next week all will be explained.
For now, though, let’s end this post. You fine folks stay safe, and I’ll talk to you next time.