So i thought Mr Whatsit’s recovery would be further along by now – so did he, for that matter – but thanks to rough treatment during the op (he couldn’t put his foot on the ground, despite the area operated on being his knee) then a bad reaction to a mock-morphine patch, he’s been a gibbering wreck, which has turned me into a gibbering wreck. The fine work of adding paper corrections into Word files has been beyond me.

I’ve been trying to ignore the world, but i can’t help going on Twitter for some human (ok, so technically it’s cybernetic or machine-based) contact and then i find out what that crazed orange loon’s done today.

He certainly knows how to keep the news-cycle’s attention. From refusing to badmouth his white supremacist power-base to claiming flower-power-ish antifa(scist) protesters were bashing the poor widdle nazis, (even to the point of putting up a fake pic of one beating up on a cop, which turned out to be a Greek protester back in 2009, in Greece), Trump’s madness has been riveting the world.

Of course, he keeps saying everything except Breitbart and InfoWars is fakenews (though as i write this, Breitbart may no longer be his friend, after the firing of that nazi Bannon), but frankly, the only people who still believe that are the truly lobotomised and his mates the Nazis, who always believed Trump and took his every action as confirmation their time in the sun (sans hoods) had come.

I can honestly say i never saw this coming – that the swastika would be worn openly by supposed fellow-humans again. The far right and other white supremacist organisations seemed irrelevant, a harbour for drunks lost in bitter misogyny and racism, something that would only ever be a tiny minority. Boy, was i wrong.

It began to be noticeable in the first decade of the new century. Suddenly quite young men were being openly sexist, ignoring me at the counter and talking only to the man i’d walked in with, despite me being the owner of the car that needed a battery and the one paying for it. I also knew which battery was needed. They looked at him as i answered, and it was as if i was invisible. I put it down to a pair of morons with no people skills, then began to notice it more and more.

Others were noticing too. Researchers had tried labelling job applications with obviously female names, and discovered those names didn’t get picked for interviews. Male (sounding) ones did. Male-sounding names got better marks on (the same) essays. Male authors got better sales, and in certain oeuvres it was better to pretend to be male if you wanted any sales at all. (Yes, i’m looking at you, sci fi and fantasy.)

The Gender Pay Gap was shown to be a crazy difference in wages just for the sake of a cock and balls, for the same job. As a woman, it didn’t matter how good you were. The old adage that you had to be twice as good as a man (ask any female cop) seemed to no longer hold true, instead there was NOTHING you could do. You were inferior and your pay reflected that.

Of course, if you were any colour except white, you copped the same snivelling bias. Snivelling because it hid behind cowardice that pretended to be anything but racist/sexist and instead tried to play the victim.

All those poor white men, they were the real victims. Forced to pay a pittance to their ex-wives for the children they fathered then neglected, forced to (occasionally) do gaol time for the women they bashed. Sometimes, they even had to have a black/brown/yellow/female boss, and omigod, didn’t they whine about it.

The only way that female or person of colour made it there was of course through bias against white men! (Not the gay ones. Gay men don’t count, except as objects of violence for white men. If a white man broke a nail bashing a gay man, that might count. Come to think of it, pretty much anyone is fair game for white men – bashingwise.)

Despite US universities and colleges being forbidden to apply that kind of bias, the current president has pressed for an inquiry into how poor white blokes are being stopped from having a higher education (unless, like the president or the president’s son-in-law, they have rich daddies who can pay their way into and through a degree).

Anyhoo, all this bullshit being sprayed around by the President’s fakenews flunkies is getting wearying. I have enough problems with morons trying to tell me Hitler was a socialist. I’ve got to the point where just posting all the citations that rebut the idiocy was taking most of the day. Because if he was a socialist, (their logic goes) then them being right wing loons means they’re the good guys.

Then a history professor got annoyed, and earned my undying gratitude. This article explains it, and the twitter thread starts here….

There’s lots of good stuff in that thread, but i’ll end it with Mike Stuchbery’s final tweet…

So i am able to settle down with a glass of cheap wine (Mr’s in bed sleeping off the morphine) and watch a documentary on The Eagles instead.

Life’s sweet.

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com

Continue reading

In Defence of the Indefensible

I’ve done nothing on transcribing the edits for the last two weeks. Mr Whatsit went into hospital then (thankfully) came out again, but is on crutches, so i’ve been busy carrying everything for him. Coffee, pills, and icepacks being the main requirements. (Two big bags of supermarket own-brand frozen peas wrapped in a towel – recommended by the physio – working very well so far.)

Thanks to the pills Mr Whatsit’s been in a bad way, not quite hallucinating but only ‘not quite’, so sleep here at Casa Cripple’s been in short supply.

Before he went into hospital i was managing to keep up the edits despite the chaos involved when they changed his painkilling meds three times in as many weeks, resulting in over- and under-doses so severe it nearly killed him, and in 3 visits by paramedics and 2 trips to hospital for the day.

Since, a combo of exhaustion on my part and the need to sleep with one eye open in case he comes to grief staggering about the house in the middle of the night, has meant i’m not fit for much.

Though i’ve managed to go in and shout on Twitter enough to lose some steam, then i’ve pretty much zombied out in front of the tv, thankful i don’t have to watch terrestrial (free-to-air) tv because if that was all i had, i would have been staring at the walls.

I’ve had a few people (on Twitter) lately say they’re giving up Murdoch television by dumping their pay-tv or shouting that everyone should stop their pay TV because it’s funding the Antichrist.

Now, i get that. But. They don’t realise that Endemol Shine (to name just one) is a Murdoch company. There’re variations on the name – Endemol Shine North America, Endemol, Endemol Shine Australia, and so on.

The name may not mean much to you, but if you list their programs you soon realise, to avoid Murdoch, you need to stop watching TV. Free TV’s biggest shows are all theirs.

Shows like Home and Away, Big Brother, The Biggest Loser, Deal or No Deal, The Face, One Born Every Minute, The Office, Ugly Betty, and The Tudors. Like The Fall, Peaky Blinders, Hell on Wheels, Benidorm, Ripper Street, Black Mirror, Bad Education, My Mad Fat Diary, Hot in Cleveland, Kirstie, Leverage, Death Comes to Pemberley and The Crimson Field. Yes, there’s unmitigated crap there, but many of the dramas/comedies are ones i watched and thought were excellent.

Perhaps you watched the Masterchef, Gladiator, Wifeswap or Dancing with the Stars franchises, ‘Australian’ shows like Masterchef Australia, The Voice Australia, The Biggest Loser Australia, and yes, even that much-loved Australian hit, Kath and Kim – all Murdoch at the core. Even Little Britain USA! Some of the shows were originally not Murdoch – but then their company or parent company was sold, and they were.

In fact, without Murdoch-owned companies’ productions, we wouldn’t have much to watch on television at all. There’s a lot of good drama, along with the crappy (and sometimes fun) ‘game’ and ‘reality’ shows.

Now don’t get me wrong. I detest Rupert Murdoch with a passion. I don’t like that just by watching television i’m contributing to his global dominance of the media. However, maybe you can live without television. I don’t want to. I did for a few years about a decade ago, when i moved into a house with no outside tv aerial, with reception so bad i couldn’t get any channels well, and most not at all. I’d never had pay tv and didn’t even consider it. At first.

I got by with lots of library books, and online interests. Then after the landlord again refused to even half-pay for an aerial, I decided to treat myself to television with pay-tv. Being able to watch drama series in order was a revelation after years of terrestrial television stations showing them out of sequence or even taking them off for a month while they run some stupid sports event. And so few ads! Though this has got less wonderful – the ads are more and thicker, but still don’t come NEAR to ‘free’ Tv’s saturation.

Murdoch’s a prick, yep, no argument. But have you seen the twats running terrestrial tv? Pretty soon, Murdoch will own his own terrestrial Australian station. Thanks to the current government, who changed the law to help him out. Am looking forward to seeing what the “dump Foxtel” people do. For the record, I don’t watch Fox or Sky News. I do watch BBC World News, Al Jazeera, and various Asian channels which you don’t even get a hint of on terrrestrial tv. (I’m not including SBS or the ABC in this, though even they show Murdoch companies’ products at times.)

Funnily, i can find more non-Murdoch content to watch on Murdoch’s Foxtel than i can on free TV. And let’s remember, ads on Foxtel are fewer and more widely spaced than on free TV, and on some channels (movies and the ones that have Game of Thrones) there are no ads during programs or movies.

You also get the option to record, which works flawlessly as a rule, because series are shown at the same time every week AND IN SEQUENCE, something terrestrial television can’t manage. Terrestrial telly is usually running over 20 minutes behind just on a normal night.

I don’t watch sport, so the notion that people who want to are ‘forced’ to buy Foxtel doesn’t really bother me. And when it comes down to it  – who sold Rupert the sports rights? The sports industry is a money-grubbing bunch. When the same sports are shown on terrestrial channels, they’re stuffed full of ads, and the commentators are busy promoting betting DURING their to-camera moments.

If you don’t want to watch TV, sure, ditch your Foxtel/pay TV. In fact, wtf were you doing with it? Running on autopilot?

If you, like me, actually enjoy good drama, interesting architecture/archaeology/reno shows, or (shamefully) stuff like Botched (plastic surgery) and even occasional storage auction binges, then you’re not well-served by terrestrial television. In fact, i can’t understand why anyone would settle for what makes up most of the pap served by terrestrial tv.

After spending a large part of my adult life in the UK, where general programming was pretty good thanks to the BBC and Channel Four (this was pre-2002), coming back to Australia and the awfulness of ‘free to air’ was sobering. I used to watch television maybe twice a week. For thirty/sixty minutes at a time.

Keeping myself in books was a problem at the best of times (i read too fast), and there’s times i don’t want to read. Or i want something non-intrusive while i read? Hmm, i’ve never listened to opera, maybe i’ll try some on the Foxtel Arts Channel?  I get a lot of music channels as part of my package. Let’s see, how much arts programming does terrestrial television show? (Not counting SBS and ABC, remember?)

Finally – if you really want to avoid Murdoch? You can’t read anything by Harper-Collins – also Murdoch owned. Local papers are usually out.

Me, i look at it differently – it was suggested I stop shopping at supermarkets to show my contempt for them. I figured better to harass them as a customer, rather than someone who proudly says ‘i won’t buy from you’. (I also can’t afford to pay tiny company prices – i do shop at a local butcher, because that IS cheaper, along with the meat being better quality.)

Big companies don’t give a stuff about people who aren’t their customers (yeah, i know, debatable they give a stuff about anything, but it’s levels of influence).

I’ve looked at the other options (Netflix et al) and frankly, it’s fine if you don’t watch tv much, or only when you have something special you want to see, or only via your phone. Because i pay half the monthly sub in a shared house, it’s affordable, and i get a really amazing range of programs, movies, and series for no extra charge.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy ‘supporting’ Murdoch. But for now at least, i’m going to live with it.

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 


To Insanity and Beyond

I’m getting there – with there in this case being defined as ‘losing my mind’ or ‘ready for publication’ – Books 1-4 paper edits all done. The edits get transcribed (sounds like someone else is going to, but nah, it’s just me), then i print out paper copy for the Delta Reader (he’s ahead of the Beta Readers, and Alpha is ‘book as published’, so Delta he is) who gets to read it and give the nod.

The nod will lead to uploads and a divergence – as paper publication will have accents and squiggly bits – like in the words façade, fiancée and déjà vu. You can’t leave squiggles and accents in ebooks because ereaders have hysterics over them. Ampersands (&) likewise.

So i will be running versions for publication (paper) and on for ebook. Then i can publish, once they’re ready. I think. Have i forgotten something? Oh fk, the covers. And covers is the operative word. 4 different ebooks, and then 4 DIFFERENT covers for 4 paper books. Argh is the word i’m looking for.

I just keep telling myself, it’s going to be ok, i can do this. Though i’m not at all sure. Which reminds me, i haven’t figured out pricing yet (for either version). I said Argh in the last para, so let’s add an Aiee! Cos it’s all doing my head in.

The sound you can hear is just me gibbering. Does anyone have a spare strait-jacket?

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com

 


Damn Blog, W8-BEN news…

Why doesn’t it look after itself? I’m frazzled, trying to edit #TheThing (up to end of Book 1, only 3 more to go), keep up on Twitter (dropping in a few days a week to shout at the world) and keep myself fed/exercised. No, that’s not a pony-ness allusion – the pony thing had to go by the wayside, because i found a loophole. Possibly a pony-hole?

Anyhoo, I talked to the Australian Tax Office – who as i’ve said before are nice people and you shouldn’t be afraid to call them and say um, i haven’t paid tax for some time. Because if you do turn yourself in, they’ll be nice back to you. A friend did pretty much that, and even got a refund for several years.

I found out the dude who told me not to give my Tax File Number (aka in US-tax-speak as TIN) to ANYONE was being a trifle over-protective. And also, i found a page on Smashwords (if you’re not logged in to Smashwords AND have an Author account there, that link won’t be much use) where the W8-BEN form is basically filled in, i just had to add my TFN. (And then i went back, found it was showing as incorrect. I filled it in again, this time adding on Line 10 that i was a non-US resident and a citizen of another country where i was resident, and it seems to have gone through. Here’s hoping.)

So, if like me you’d despaired of ever figuring out the horrifying web of overseas tax forms (and what to do about a 40% tax rate on 60% of a $2.99 book!) then despair no more. Or even despayah no moah! Sorry, felt the need to do a US accent for that, and like most people, my view of the USA is rather coloured by Southern reality TV shows.

I did visit the US once – across Wisconsin (the Oshkosh Fly In) and Minnesota, down the New Jersey Turnpike, and into the Bronx. And a little bit of Pennsylvania. If you’re reading this from Frenchman’s Creek or Phoenixville – omg, i’ve been there!

And then i burned the chickpeas! No, not during my visit to the US, many years ago, but right here in real life. *sigh* Was trying to save money by soaking overnight then cooking from scratch, and did something i haven’t done for literally years. Let the pot boil dry while distracted by the internet.

I forgot to mention in the last post, where i was distracted by something else (possibly also food-related), that the first two ebooks will be free, (to say thanks to the people who bought the original Book 1, The Birthday Dragon, as they’ll get more of the story they’ve been waiting 6 years for *blushes*).

The second two won’t be free. I need to get a little income so i can print some copies, for myself to proof and to give away in competitions.

A maybe is an omnibus edition (ebook only at this point) of the 4 books in one download. That will cost, but again, i’ll be doing competitions come the time.

Of course, i went back on Smashwords to see how my book was going (number 4 on Fantasy books over 100k, 9 on any length Fantasy, No 7  on Sci Fi Any length, No2 over 100k).

There was someone who seemed to be doing very well. Lots of laudatory reviews. And then i realised the same people were reviewing the author’s (and only the author’s) books. Yeah, another author giving in to fake review syndrome. Very organised, give them that. 140 or so different reviewers, carefully cycling through all the books and giving good reviews. I looked at samples of the books, and they were so bad I wondered how the writer could be so deluded. But then delusion is apparently what creative wannabe’s do very well. (No, we’re not going to talk about my ex’s. Though that could be a cue.)

Still waiting for Smashwords to do something (i did give them enough evidence to act) but the last time they literally took nearly 18 months, so i’m not holding my breath. Does show though – if you just rely on Smashwords, you don’t get any sales (and you may be driven to make a few of your own). Well, you may get some if you shout real loud on Twitter. That’s my plan.

Once again, a warning. Always read a bit of the book first, before purchase. Because good reviews might mean the Writer is quite good at juggling Fake Reviewers on a spreadsheet. Yeah i know, i have quite a few good reviews. Mine are all legit and the writers can be found on Twitter or elsewhere, having lives. None are even from family, because my family doesn’t support my writing at all. (And no, that’s not a cue for a piece on the perfidy of families. Though i admit, it sounds like one.)

However, i might be lying. So what will you do? Yep, when i release the books, you can look at the first 20% and decide whether to buy or download.

Meanwhile, i have a pot to scrub. And chickpeas to soak. And yeah, 3 books where i need to get on with the paper edits.

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com

 

 


Crowdfunding or Not…

Oh don’t ask me – just don’t. I put stuff on my blog, and almost before i’ve had a chance to post it twice on Twitter, it gets superseded.

So i was posting about turning into a pony – that’s still on the cards. The superseded one is about possibly crowdfunding and stuff. I decided i don’t need to. Yep. Advances in printing technology mean printing one book at a time is almost as cheap as printing 100. Though true, once you get into thousands, traditional printing becomes cheaper.

Of course, it means i won’t have a budget for marketing. So consider yourself “the marketing department” because if the people who follow this blog and me on Twitter don’t help, there’s not going to be any promotion, bar what i shout about myself.

This is a very short blog, but during it i’ve baked bread, including waited for 2 rises, i prepped roast chook (chicken) and peeled veg. Now i’m about to be summoned by the kitchen timer. And i still have shouting to do on Twitter.

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com

 


Deeply Unpopular & Flawed

This arrived in my emails, and as the sender said they don’t have a web presence, thought it needed to be somewhere. As they predicted the government is indeed trying to bring in the Cashless Debit Card, because it’s not enough to be poor, you have to be poor AND miserable “four of every five participants report none of the positive changes the cashless card is meant to encourage.” From here on, not my words…

Big Brother Welfare Threat to 2.3 Million Australians in 2017 Federal Budget

The Federal government appears likely to extend an income support model known as the Cashless Debit Card to new areas and new recipients despite very high administrative costs, and little valid evidence that it works.  Despite a negative thorough evaluation of the 10 years of trialling Income Management in the NT and elsewhere, and initial questionable trials of the Cashless Debit Card, the Social Security Minister continues to signal his intentions to expand the program. Expenditure of $18.9M for this trial of 1850 recipients in SA and WA indicate the costs are high for questionable outcomes.

A network of community organisations, activists and academics is warning of a seismic change in the way income support payments may be administered following the 2017 Federal Budget and ask why , in a time when cuts are imposed to save money, this type of costly change is being promoted

After trialling the cashless debit card in Ceduna and the East Kimberley over the past 12 months there are signs that Commonwealth Government is considering extending this social experiment across other communities, perhaps implementing it as a nationwide program. The cashless debit card forces those receiving income support payments to have 80% of their payments quarantined to a card that cannot be used to purchase alcohol or gambling or to withdraw cash.

The Accountable Income Management Network (AIMN) has been monitoring the implementation of various compulsory income management measures across Australia over the past 3 years.  Network spokesperson (Mr Simon Schrapel) said “Evidence gathered through the government’s own research shows that over half of the cashless debit card trial participants said it had made their lives worse.  The government seems to be ignoring this alarming feedback, and is intent on extending the card’s application”.

The Network has been examining the impacts of the card on those in the trial sites together with the research reports commissioned by the government.  Mr Schrapel said “despite significant government promotion and investment, this social experiment suffers from a number of significant flaws including:

  • Removal or reduction of basic legal and consumer rights of participants.
  • Throwing into disarray existing financial services arrangements, for example loan repayments.
  • Polarisation of community views, with participants subject to criticism and in some cases personal ridicule for expressing their views and experiences.
  • At a cost of $10,000 to administer per participant the cashless debit card has proven to be one of the most expensive and inefficient experiments at a time the government is calling on greater financial restraint.
  • Most damning of all, four of every five participants report none of the positive changes the cashless card is meant to encourage.

It defies logic that government is now considering imposing this compulsory financial management system on more Australians.”

The Network warns that all Australians should be deeply concerned by this development.  Up to 2.3 million people are at risk of losing the right to spend their income in the way that they choose – a basic human right we have traditionally taken for granted in our nation.

The government must come clean with its intentions and justify why it would consider the further roll out of a system to control peoples’ use and management of their own money.  The system has proven to be deeply unpopular with those who have been subjected to the experiment to date.

For comment, contact:

Mr Simon Schrapel AM

 Dr Shelley Bielefeld  

Eva Cox 

****

I redacted their contact details – if you’d like them, just say.


Mostly human, probably NSFW

The blog’s Not Safe For Work. I, I will be partly pony. Yep, I’ve decided i’m not a real girl. Not a sex pony, you know, that’s not me. The ones you see on those bizarro reality TV documentaries acting out their childhood or teen angst by dragging leather/lycra-clad people around in carts.

“Of course,” they say to camera, while ‘owner’ cinches them into a corset, cos sure, that’s what ponies wear, “it’s a secret, my adult pony playing. That’s why i’m appearing on a sensationalist show that will be shown all around the world for the next 100 years.”

*Pony-play person neighs and tries to get lycra pony-suit out of her butt-crack with one of her plastic hooves. Eventually ‘owner’ takes pity on her and undoes the velcro holding the hoof on.*

Nope, that is so not me. I’m the bolshy kind of pony. The pony who crushes you against the fence, who stands on your foot, the one who bites you as you try to get into the saddle. Who, when you finally make it into the saddle, takes off at a gallop before suddenly dropping my head between my fetlocks and kicking up my back hooves. And smirks as you fly off into the nearest tree/mud/water/fence/brick wall.

And seriously – saddles are for the tamed. I won’t wear that kind of thing. I would like a new leather coat if someone’s offering, mine was eaten by mould when i lived in New South Wales.

Why am i a pony? Or Part-Pony? Being human’s not working for me. I’d be better off with hooves. Fully opposable ones, of course. My hair’s in my eyes, let’s call it a forelock and be done with it. I don’t have a tail, but we could put that down to a Terrible Accident. The alternative is one of these, and i am SO not going there.

Tasha-Reignbow-Pony-Tail-Plug-4-colors-326x326

Of course someone has made girly pony tails as sex toys. Everything else is also available, why not pony tails? And yes, that link is so NSFW you probably shouldn’t click it.
Some things you can’t unsee.

I’m not really a My Little Pony kind of pony. I will roll in mud, get brambles in my mane, and children will find me scary.

“Mummy! The pony’s looking at me funny!”
“Don’t be silly, darling, ponies don’t do that.”
“Mummy? The pony just said if i tell tales someone will cut my tongue out.”
“Jacinta!” Mummy tries not to shout. “We’ve had this discussion before, darling, we don’t pretend animals talk, do we?”

*Mummy decides it’s way past time for an afternoon white wine. Just out of her sightline, pony mimes cutting motion with one hoof across its throat.

Jacinta begins to hyperventilate.*

Why a pony? As i said, human’s getting harder. If i could survive on grass, lucerne, pony nuts, and the occasional apple i’d be much better off.

I’d be hyper-cute and Social Security wouldn’t be something to be afraid of any more.

631aa51827bbc2e94f128bcdbd1f99c8

My Little Ponies aren’t as nice as they pretend to be…

So, if i shift species i’ll be free of worry. All i have to do is keep Jacinta in line. How hard can that be?

Compared to dealing with government departments, coping with hate from idiots who think disabled people are all bludging fakes because MSM (Mainstream Media) and their own government tell them so?

I reckon ponyness poniness pony-ness will be a doddle in comparison.

devilpony

Do you feel lucky, Jacinta?
Well do ya?

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


The Best Things in Life

The next bit of that quote is “are free”. Which is where i’m about to head with my books. That’s right  – the ebooks will be free. Not yet, so don’t go buying one. I don’t get the money anyway. I put a stop on any payments while i got myself sorted out, and (as i explained in the last blog) there’s never been enough sales to warrant taking the stop off.

[EDIT So much has changed since i wrote this, that as of 28 May 2017 i’m doing a whole new blog post which will be pretty much contradicting everything below. So yeah, everything below this point is possibly no longer current. I’m not even sure i’ll try crowdfunding. The e-reader stuff is useful and current.]

So, the ebooks will be free. I’m tired of struggling with online US-based publishing, and with trying to explain  my tax situation to the US tax office at a distance of tens of thousands of miles. Every time i’ve figured out which form to send in, they change the rules! All for the sake of literally cents.

Most of all, i’m going nuts with my books not being read. Book 1 came out in 2011. It’s been SIX years.

So when i finish this edit (of three books into four) the quartet will go up on Smashwords. EDIT After some thought, the first 2 will go up – the other two will be available (with 1 & 2) as free ebook gifts for people who support the crowdfunding.

For all my frustration with e-publishing, I do like having my Smashwords books available in any format, not just for Kindle. You may not be aware, but Amazon’s MOBI format is exclusive to them. Most other e-readers use EPUB format.

Amazon (& other formats) also lock the book (via Digital Rights Management or DRM) so you can’t move the book you own from your ereader to your laptop. I’ve always been against that so Smashwords suits me. I  like people to be able to read my book when they want, on whatever platform they want. If you accidentally delete a book from Smashwords, you can just go back to the site and re-download it.

If you don’t have a Kindle or other e-reader, you can download various free e-readers for smartphones, tablets, desktops or laptops. Kindle’s one is good (and free) available here.

If you’d rather go with a non-Amazon reader (Kindle can’t read anything except Amazon MOBI format books, and it’s better on very small screens because of its display limitations), there are more. I have a desktop and have used the Kindle one, but i tried others, as i have to make sure my books look okay whatever format they’re in.

Here’s an article on TechRadar explaining the current top free e-readers and with links to get them. They also have a link to a converter for when your e-reader can’t deal with a downloaded file type. There are a lots of free books online. Many, admittedly, are free for a reason. But there are gems – Project Gutenberg, for free e-books now out of copyright, is fantastic. There is now an Australian Gutenberg, for books pre-1955 – scroll down that page for links to wonderful Australian publications.

However, for me, giving away the e-books is a taster (EDIT and a reward) for raising money via crowdfunding. Many e-reader users still love books and will buy a paper book, and those who won’t buy e-books will buy paper.

So many would-be readers have asked me over the years, when is the print version coming out? When i said so far it wasn’t, they explained they don’t like reading anything long off a screen. Two of my sisters haven’t read Book 1 (they even got it free!) for just that reason.

So that’s where i’m at. Doing a quick edit to check balance, arc, strange spelling mistakes that have crept in, then it’s a quick paper edit. (Well, as quick as paper can be. Because once you’ve red pencilled your way through all that paper, you then have to transfer the edits into the computer.)

During that time, i have to sort out the crowdfunding page. I haven’t decided which site to use, other than having learned from my mistakes, i will be using an Aussie-friendly one. I’ll also be figuring out my legal standing on crowdfunding as income, who it needs to be declared to and how soon, because i want to make sure i don’t do anything wrong as far as the Authorities are concerned. (EDIT making progress, but omigod it’s so complicated! Not the crowdfunding, but how i have to organise everything before i go live)

Not much work, lol. And Mr Whatsit will be in hospital soon, then out with a 6+ week recovery period, so it’s not like i have anything else to do, like caring for someone. Yep, in a matter of weeks i should be getting all this on the road. When i say weeks, I mean 12. And when i say 12, i probably mean 16. Or maybe more. Especially as i don’t know yet if i have to move house this year.

Yes, if you care about me at all, pray to your deity of choice (or Siamese Cat of choice) that i get a lease renewal, cos if i don’t, everything is going to be extremely stuffed. And when i say stuffed, i mean fkd.

Because Mr won’t be able to walk, i have my physical limits, and moving at short notice is never fun, even for the able-bodied. On the bright side, i still haven’t unpacked everything from last year’s aborted move, so most of the knick-knack’s and a lot of the crockery is still boxed up.

I thought i’d leave you with some recent witticism from Twitter, but instead figured this was probably what you need to hear…

 

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


I Was Thinking…

The thinking took some time. Basically i had three books. They were somehow unbalanced. The more i tried to balance them, the longer they got. And the more out of balance.

I took some time out. Some more time out. I spent a lot of time on twitter. Getting retweeted is affirming, no doubt about it, and i enjoyed catching up with people i adore and had forgotten existed.

My head’s like that. Involved in a book, i can forget my own family. Even myself. Reading a good book should be like that, writing them possibly more so.

I did quite a lot of research while i tweeted, figuring out the intricacies of crowd-funding, on demand publishing, and deciding whether the previously only e-publishing model was worth sticking to. Quite simply, it wasn’t.

When i first published The Birthday Dragon, i accidentally took it off public display, not realising Adult (it was adult fiction, not ‘young adult’ or ‘children’s’) meant the same as X rated on the prim US site i was on, and my book was literally only available to those looking for porn. So sales were, to put it mildly, minimal.

It took me nearly 3 months to realise what was going on, and by then it was too late. I’d missed what booksellers call the golden window for sales. The book never sold. People agreed it was wonderful, reviewed it glowingly. Still no sales.

Even today, it’s one of the highest rated books on Smashwords. Out of all books on the site over 100,000 words, it’s still on the front page, admittedly at No 20, but it was published back in 2011. Put in ‘under $2.99’ and it’s number 8.

Currently, if you look at Sci Fi over 100,000 words, it’s number 1. Fantasy over 100k it rates highly, but if ‘under $2.99’ it’s number 1 again. But it isn’t selling. At all. It’s one of those questions – is it me? Or is it Smashwords?

I tried competitions, blogs, tweeting, sacrificing small geeks, edits, and still, no sales. So i gave up. It would be alright when i did Book 2.

Right before publication of Book 2, the person doing the cover art decided not to. Two weeks before publication. It rocked me more than a little. Doing it for free doesn’t mean to me that it’s ok to be unprofessional. I didn’t pillory him on Twitter, which shows control i didn’t think i had. I tried to do some artwork myself, and my graphics tablet blew up.

Mr Whatsit (and some articles i read confirmed the notion) suggested i leave Book 2, do Book 3, and put them both out at once. Maximise sales, give me time to do some artwork myself. Then my landlord at the time served notice.

A new graphics tablet dropped into my lap (via the post, a friend upgraded and sent me theirs), i completed the books, the interstate move (2013) plus three more (1 more in 2013, 2 in 2014) .

Finally settled, i finished off Book 3 and organised the artwork. I did take the nutso artist’s cover off Book 1. For all i knew he was about to demand i did and the cover didn’t match the book, so what the hell.

I had other real life problems. Mr couldn’t manage even the few stairs here. We were supposed to move. Again. Scheduling a book release when i couldn’t promote it seemed nuts, so i put it off. Again.

The move, late 2015, didn’t happen. My car needed a sudden injection of funds, all the moving money, and fortunately the landlord didn’t mind us begging to stay. Never mind, we’ll move in 2016.

Cancer clawed at me, thankfully caught by signs my doctor paid attention to. Not just one cancer scare, but possible tumours in breasts, back, uterus, and brain had my whole attention.

Not just moving was cancelled. My life was. Then it wasn’t. Thankfully they caught everything early, or it was benign, or it wasn’t cancer. I did go through major abdominal surgery, and ended up minus womb and ovaries, which seems a small price to pay for life, but did put paid to moving.

I was off Twitter. It seemed i had nothing to say, or at least nothing i felt like sharing. “My life is fucked, how’s yours?” I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like discussing depression with others. My depression that is, i’ll happily discuss other people’s. (I will go to a psyche, and endure the tears and laughter that make up a talking cure.)

I hit Twitter again. It was lovely, and i cursed myself for a fool for not enjoying my friends. Or for not giving them credit for being whole humans who might actually care about other people. I carefully avoided thinking about the books.

Suddenly, it came to me. The books needed to be a … wtf do you call a four book set? I pretended not to hear the thought for weeks. I did surreptitiously do that research on crowdfunding and print on demand. Under my own radar, while shouting about goddamn fascists on Twitter.

After some Googling and more thought, i decided a quartet was the right name. We were supposed to be moving mid year, so i was thinking seriously about how to schedule moving and books. Then Mr got some good news, the operation he’s been waiting years for is happening this year. So we’re not moving. Again.

And i have no more excuses. Unless the landlord springs the kind of unpleasant surprise every tenant dreads (Guess what? I’ve decided to double the rent/knock down the house and build an apartment block/evict you cos it’s a Leap Year) and i have to move.

My health isn’t good, but it never is. I wrote the books despite that.

So i’ve started splitting them into 4. Gives me 4 books of about 100,000 words. I’m hammering out the chapter summaries, which as the books changed, stupid me had not kept up. Without them, editing the books further is tricky, i can’t see the flow.

Looking at the price of self-publishing books this size, i may have to cut them further, either with editing or cutting them into more books. I’m not sure. Depends on what i want to crowd-fund. My education in that and Print on Demand is cursory, and to be honest, it’s more than a little scary.

Not as scary as real life with the continued demonisation of anyone on welfare – what we in Australia called ‘benefit’ up until the current right wing government decided we were all probably criminals and as ‘welfare’  was already a dirty word thanks to US hatespeech, it worked for them.

Freedom of speech as the USA calls it, and now our government’s borrowing that notion too – they want the right to call anyone non-pinkish coloured a n________. The right to discriminate against brown or black people, against non-Christians and anyone who dares dissent.

Yes, the same LNP government that when Trump declared his ‘Muslim Ban’, crowed, delighted that in their words, someone was copying their policies.

You know the disabled people of Germany were the first to the gas chambers? As the sick, disabled, and aged are called non-profit-making drains on society, as the government (of rich white men and their sycophant women) say they’re going to cut ‘welfare’ to ‘bludgers’, well, real life is a place i really don’t want to be.

As i said on Twitter….

 Time’s a wasting.

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com

 


Narrabri CSG Light Pollution

There’s air pollution too, and water pollution, but Australia’s world class astronomers won’t see the stars if Santos gets their 850 new wells covering 1,000 hectares .

CSG all over the world has polluted farmlands, and (even made flammable)  the water. For some reason, despite Victoria’s banning, the rest of Australia hasn’t caught up. The Wilderness Society is beyond worried and ready to fight.

This is what the light pollution looks like in Queensland.

 

So, via @AustralisTerry, here’s a form letter you can send.

Secretary Planning & Environment,
Level 22 320 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000, GPO
Box 39 Sydney NSW 2001

Dear Sir/Madam

I OPPOSE THE NARRABRI GAS PROJECT ON THE FOLLOWING GROUNDS:

FAILURE TO MITIGATE HAZARDS TO ASTRONOMY
Ref: EIS Appendix Q (GHD) and section 5.3.3; SSD 14_6456

Santos has failed to ensure that vital astronomical assets of the Commonwealth of Australia, and 50 other international research institutions, are not detrimentally impacted by the operation of a large gas field and gas processing equipment to the north of Siding Spring.

Over the years, major public funds have been invested in these world class facilities for astronomy. Australian taxpayers and science institutions are rightly deserving of protection of this asset. There is no recognition of the cumulative impact of future expansion from PEL238 to other gas licence areas much closer to the observatory.

Santos has not proposed adequate mitigation measures to protect the observatory operations, particularly in not ensuring the clarity of the night sky from light pollution impacting negatively on visible light telescopy, and from not preventing an increase in chemical air pollution impacts on delicate instrumentation and mirror surfaces. It has also not recognised or mitigated chemical air pollution impacts on the Narrabri radio telescope facilities.

There is no recognition in the Santos EIS that air pollution (Chapter 18) at times will concentrate in certain weather conditions, such as during temperature inversions or cloudy, still nights and drift southward towards the observatory. Air pollution from gas fields is well-documented but has not been correctly identified in Chapter 18. It comprises methane, ethane, butane, and some higher hydrocarbons that can form ozone smog in sunlight, especially mixed with flaring combustion products like nitrous oxide. There is also hydrogen sulphide.

This air pollution is not documented in the EIS by Santos. Gas field smog is highly corrosive on delicate instrumentation and can cause smog haze. Santos have failed to propose adequate mitigation measures to minimise the impact of light pollution from flaring operations – in fact, no flare shielding is proposed. Two major flare stacks will likely operate continuously at Bibblewind and Leewood.

Santos has under-estimated the likely continuous operation of these stacks and not proposed adequate shielding. Santos has under-estimated the amount of light pollution and has contradictory statements in the EIS about the number of flares – at one point it is stated that there will be ‘up to 6’ (5.3.3) pilot well flares, but in other parts of the EIS it is estimated over 25 pilot flares (Greenhouse Gas Chapter 24) will be operational at any time.

The NSW EPA recommends that flare stacks be shielded. Chapter Q mentions the potential high light pollution impact of major flare events but ‘talks down’ the frequency of such events.

This is NOT the experience in the QLD coal seam gas fields.

The Santos EIS does not reflect practical on the ground experience of coal seam gas field operations. The reality of gas fields is that gas supply restrictions mean that gas flaring can occur whenever the market is not drawing gas from the Project. This means that flaring can be a constant feature of an operational gas field.

Claims by Santos that flaring will be minimal are simply not supportable. It is inconceivable that the negative impacts of the Project on Siding Spring would be acceptable to Australian and international astronomers nor to the Australian public who have heavily invested in these world class facilities.

I do not consider light and air pollution that will be caused by the Project has been effectively mitigated by Santos’s proposed mitigation measures.

Yours sincerely

Email is narrabrigas@planning.nsw.gov.au

It’s being assessed soon, the 7,000 page document (Condensed Explainer here!) they put out will have had 60 days of public consultation, (started Feb 20th, not enough, and closing SOON!) then the area will have decades of destruction.

Write your own if you like, but get it in. Now.

That’s all.

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com