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Ye Madness Continueth

Here in PA life continues to be nuts. Supermarkets are… interesting. Items just drop out of stock seemingly at random – with the exception of toilet paper, which I’ve yet to see in stock. Thankfully we at Casa Paulk are well stocked right now.

The Husband is back at work, although we don’t know how long it will last. Shipping management isn’t exactly amenable to working from home, so obviously he doesn’t.

Meanwhile, the numbers being reported continue to resemble “flu season” rather more than “black death” (you can tell I’m surprised by this, right? (Yes, that is sarcasm)). Honestly, if I were an evil ruler, something like this would be an absolute delight.

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A Last-Second Post

I thought I had a post on historical house construction all ready to go for you guys, then I read through it and realized that it’s at least three posts, and I don’t have enough time to do justice to the subject, in between the zillion other errands I need to do today. I had rolled room layout, windows and glassmaking, and lighting technology all into one little article. Entire books have been written about each subject, and I wasn’t writing concisely; I was leaving out half the information. So that’ll be a series for another day.

But all is not lost; I do have something for you. Read more

How To Work At Home


*Why, yes, I’m ignoring April 1st. I figure we’ve all had about enough of pranks right now. It’s time for 2020 to go home. It’s drunk. – SAH*

Working from home isn’t hard. You roll out of bed, take a shower, put on comfy clothes and commute to your shower. It beats the multitudes on the highway and people driving you nuts at the office, right?

And that’s true. Working from home is easy. It’s working from home productively that challenges most of us.

A friend of mine tells the story of another friend, who had a moderately successful first book. Impressed by this, his wife got a better job, and they moved across country, so the writer could stay at home and write more books, in what was certain to be a very lucrative career.

They got a perfect house and arranged his office just so. And in twenty years he hasn’t finished another book. Read more

One Foot in Front of the Other

All is chaos. The Wee Horde rampages. Wee Dave has discovered an arcane and eldritch tongue, and casts incantations from grimoire for the amusement of Wee-er Dave, who delights at the mind-warping illusions created therefrom. Plants grow with no soil, and flesh is devoured uncooked. The natural laws are in abeyance for the duration. Water flows uphill, and burns. All is chaos, and there is no time. No time. No time. Read more

Welcome to Interesting Times

I hope everyone is coping all right with all the “changes” we’re seeing right now. Yes, the world has gone insane. There are those overreacting and thinking Covid-19 is going to lead to the end of the world as we know it. Others are overreacting and seeing conspiracies behind every statement and action. For this introvert, I spend an awful lot of my day simply shaking my head as I watch too many folks running around with their heads on fire. I’ll even admit to being a bit miffed (okay, it’s more than a bit and certainly more than miffed) that some folks I thought of as friends haven’t reached out to check on us after learning Mom may have been exposed to Covid-19 at church. Fortunately, so far, she is symptom free and we only have a couple more days until she’s in the clear (me too, since we live together).

I can’t speak for every blogger here or every writer out there, but I am seeing a positive trend from Covid-19. With more people home, they are looking for things to do. That means a number of them are looking for books to read. A number of authors, and even a few traditional publishers, have put their works on sale or listed them as part of Kindle Unlimited.

This is the first time I’ve dropped the price of pretty much my entire library. When I’ve done sales before, I have seen a day or two and then it flattened out. For the week or so my novels have been on sale, the numbers have continued to be fairly steady. While it would be nice to have these sales at full price, it is giving me some state points to look at and consider before pricing the next novel out.

So here’s the first set of questions for you. As a writer, have you put your work on sale to help readers fight boredom and not worry about their pocketbook at a time when they might be out of work?

Second question, as a reader stuck at home, are you looking for new books or new authors? How much are you willing to pay for someone you haven’t read before to get that first “taste”?

Now for a quick announcement. I have a new short story out today. Nocturnal Prey takes place after Nocturnal Revelations and will be one of several stories bridging the books already out in the series and the next story arc. I’m still working on the nuts and bolts of the background for the next arc. I hadn’t actually planned on writing Nocturnal Prey, but you know what my muse is like. She’s called Myrtle the Evil Muse for a reason.

This story is a bit different in that it is told from Mac’s first person point of view. I hope you give it a try and that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Here’s the blurb:

Three years ago, Mackenzie Santos’ nightmare became reality. The world learned shapeshifters really do exist. Since then, Mac has worked hard to do her duty as a cop, as an alpha and as a mother. Now those duties all come spiraling together as she becomes the hunted. If she isn’t careful, not only will her life be forfeit but so will the lives of her daughter and all those she cares for.

Until later!

We also serve Martians (boiled, fried or wrapped in duct-tape and barbecued)

We also serve Martians!

We welcome free-spending apocalyptical looters and overlords with green skins. Come in and get a little something for the lovely tentacle-haired one in your life and your little bloodthirsty spawnlings, so you can go next time again!  Tasteful multi-armed T shirts in many charming garish colors inscribed with ‘Martian, go home’ in several now-extinct earth languages. Well-tuned decorative nose-flutes, with a full range of delightful nails-on-blackboard shriek tones. The spawnlings will love them.  Models of artistically dismembered of earth-native life-forms, commemorative ray guns and other humorous nick-nacks like the ever-popular exploding Sydney Opera House.

Please leave your war-machine outside. Anything you incinerate or vaporize, consider it bought by you. Read more

Story From The Start 4: Conflicts and Antagonists

All stories have a conflict in them. Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs Himself . . . there are lots of possibilities. Some conflicts are universe-shaking, others are far quieter. The English have a sub-genre of domestic dramas nicknamed “Aga Sagas” after the Aga stoves found in many homes, which gives you a sense that the stories are not about saving the planet from invading alien hordes.

Which leads to a question about your conflict? Do you have an antagonist or a villain? The two are not mutually exclusive, but you do not have to have a villain in every story. Some don’t call for it. Read more