Wednesday, March 28, 2007

update on freaky occurrence

Karen has informed Jane that the tech guys couldn't find anything wrong and short of her redoing her web store page, they didn't know how to fix the problem.

Sorry, but I still don't think they are producing the same problem because they haven't a clue what they are doing. There is obviously something going on - so my advice to anyone who has an account on Echelon (and no I'm not saying don't ever use the site) that when you do log in to make a purchase or post a review to please make sure you click log off when you are finished with your transaction or posting so that the next person that comes to the site won't be logged in as you. We definitely want you all to still make purchases and post reviews just be safe - see you all in the postings - E :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

March Madness and Spring Cleaning

What's that saying - March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb? I believe that has been true for this month. March definitely came in like a lion and is leaving like a lamb. Not only does "March Madness" apply to basketball season but it also applies to my life at the moment. This month has been crazy in my household. What with all the doctors' appointments, lab stuff and field trips going on, it's no small miracle I've actually made it through the month.

I've been poked, prodded, and squashed with a pending sleep study and dietician's appointment still on the agenda. I don't like going for physicals but they are a necessity we can't go without, especially as we get older. This year's physical was not an enjoyable one at all. I've gained way too much weight in a year (all because I lead such a sedentary lifestyle), my blood pressure is elevated, I'm spilling protein in my urine, my cholesterol is good but my HDL (the good stuff) is too low, my LDL (the bad stuff) is high in the normal range, and my triglycerides were up slightly (nothing that a good diet and some exercise won't fix - so no need for pills for that right yet); and you guessed it - my fasting blood sugar is elevated.

So now that spring has sprung and the weather is getting warmer and my body is falling down, it's time to join curves and take my girl along with me so that we can both work on losing weight and getting in shape. (Yes this was a new year's resolution and it is still early in the year, so that really hasn't been a broken goal yet - It's taken a physical and string of blood tests to be the wake up call that I need to do this and the fact that the Curves lady was at the health fair last weekend and is still doing her canned good special (saves $149 registration fee, which I don't have) and then Hailie gets to come with me for $10 a month fee and mine is only $34. - so we are going to join Curves, although the first week, Hailie will be gone on Spring break, we will start doing these work outs together - so be on the lookout for some whining and trying to give up but with my friends' encouragement and all, I shall make it.

I can't wait for the contest to be posted on Echelon (yeah, I told Karen I was contest junkie - lol - I can't help it), but she has posted on her site that she is taking submissions for YA mysteries and fantasy (for both print and ebook publication) and she is taking all genres for ebook publication - so if any of you have finished novels and don't mind ebook publication, you might want to pop over to the website, and check out the submissions page to see if you are interested in submitting your story and possibly getting published (of course the down side of her taking submissions is that she doesn't take unsolicited submissions - you have to know an author or have met an editor or Karen or an author at lecture or festival or some sort of event) - so if you know someone already there and have a story, you can name drop - lol - but be honest about it - if I don't know you, please don't use my name -

Okay - so we've come in like a lion, are leaving like a lamb and doing some spring cleaning - see you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Reviews, Jane's story and freaky computer thing

Jane's story is officially up - see the cover -

Can't wait to see how she does.

Remember folks that if you purchase a book to please do a quick review on the Echelon site. That so much helps the sales of the stories. And, they can't hurt either. I'm hoping to use some prepublished reviews on my next story "Butterfly Halves" (because the reviews are so good and really make me believe that I have written a pretty good story).

Jane and I had a freaky computer experience last night while we were chatting and checking out echelon's site. We had both read Yvonne's story (February's winner) and were going to do a review for her. I was logged in on my account and when Jane opened the Echelon site and clicked on the webstore, it said "Welcome Elysabeth! ..." - and that was freaking us both out. So I logged off and told Jane to log off and to sign in as herself. Naturally, after being informed that she was in as her, I opened a browser and clicked on the web store link and my greeting was "Welcome Janelle! ..." - now we both were freaking out. Humm, what do we do. Jane scans her computer for viruses and goes to another (a desktop as opposed to the laptop). Same thing happens several more times. Finally, we decided to delete cookies and temp files and see if that rectified the problem. Seems it worked. After deleting all the junk, we were able to open the browser and Echelon's site and the webstore page with a greeting that said Welcome guest!... - and then when one was logged in, we were still geting the guest page until we logged ourselves in. We are unsure what caused that problem but it was very freaky. We decided it would be a good story to write - so who knows you may see a combined story about the computer mishap on the ides of March (considering this was taking place between 2 and 3:30 a.m. it was really the 16th of March, not the 15th. But who knows - will wait to see what Jane comes up with idea wise on the story - and go from there.

For now - hope to see you all in the postings - E :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Story update and other things going on here

Karen finally emailed me and said that my story would be published in May - that seems so far away. I realize she is busy and all - so I guess I just need to be patient. I hope when she returns from being out of town that she will have time to work on the cover art - that I can't wait to see - I've an idea what I'd like to see but I'm going to leave it to her to design the cover art.

I've been judging some mid length short stories for the Derringer awards and have run across quite a few that seem to be not related to mystery at all. Makes me wonder if people are just submitting stories for the prestige of saying they were a Derringer Nominee.

I've edited one of the stories for the magazine and sent it back and now need to work on another and read two more submissions. Still awaiting B's submission due to the fact that she is working on a sort of ending story - solving Dylan's murder - The first issue of the magazine is available for purchase - see for order forms - and so far presales have been pretty good.

For sneak peeks at the stories (well the first page of each) - check out the website. We've added a true crime section - which I don't know all the details of and we've brought aboard an editor for the anthology being planned. We are also taking submissions for novels and the editors are in the process of being asked if they would like to edit some after Andrei goes through his process. So be on the lookout for some novels coming from Qull-Pen Press in 2008.

Okay - not much else to report here - hope to see you all in the posts - E :)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Time change and body adjusting

Okay, so I was sitting at my computer on Saturday March 10 chatting with Jane and it got to be after 1 a.m. (really Sunday March 11) and then it got to be 1:40 a.m. and the next thing I know my computer clock said it was 3:06 a.m. - how cool is that - to actually be awake during a time change. Well, it was cool but then my body decided it didn't like that. So when I finally crawled in bed, and adjusted my clock there, it was 3:30 something - and I had set my alarm to get up about 9 or so this morning to start working. I drug myself out of bed closer to 10 than 9 and I was still very sleepy. So I worked this morning, and some this afternoon, then I decided to take a nap (about an hour and a half). Now, it is 2:29 a.m. and I'm not sleepy, but I'm sure I will pay for it tomorrow. I know I should be in bed right now but I can't go to sleep. Guess I should read or write or do something until I feel sleepy.

Instead, I've been killing time doing not much of anything. Watched a really good movie on Lifetime Real Women channel (LRW) called Mockingbird Don't Sing - apparently based on a true story of a girl who had been abused all her life and hadn't developed language skills but she did with the help of some people only to have it taken away from her by her mother and some strange woman who was her teacher for a brief period of time. It was very sad at the end. This story apparently made headline news back in the 1970s, when Walter Cronkite reported the case on the evening news. In the early 1970s I was in Germany, then in Kentucky, and by the mid 1970s, we had moved to West Point. I don't remember the story because I was between the ages of 8 (1970 - living in Germany at the time) and 16 (1978) when this occurred and I wasn't into being informed by news at that time in my life. I'm going to see about getting the video and watching it again because I'm sure with it being put on this channel there were parts they had to cut out for the commercials - It was very good.

Anyway, I am going to head to bed and try to sleep. No more naps during the day in order to get to bed and try to sleep some. Good night and see you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Contest, contract and fun news

Have I told you that Echelon Press is running monthly contests, themed for each month? Yes, I must have since I won the January contest, Fast and Frigid, with The Tulip Kiss. Have I also told you that Karen is a pretty cool publisher to work with (although there are some times I can be a pest and probably get on her nerves - lol). Well, this month's theme was fast and fanciful. Basically things to do with magic had to be involved in the story. I encouraged Jane and B. (shall not reveal her identity out of respect to her) to write and enter with me. We had fun writing - doing 30 minute word wars, and then sharing the pieces of each story with the other two. Every time Jane's and B's parts would show up - I would anxiously read and want more - I couldn't get enough of either of their story; Jane said the same thing about B's and mine and B would say that she really wanted more of Jane's story - and that she wanted to know what happened at the murder scene of mine.

We all have different styles of writing - Jane edits as she writes. She will work on one scene until she is satisfied it is what she wants before moving on to write the next section. This kind of scared me with a deadline looming as I was afraid she wouldn't have the story completed before it needed to be submitted. Well, she actually finished before I did. B did too. I was the last to submit my story but I needed B's help with the editing before submitting.

The fast part of the contest is that you have about week or so to write and submit the story. Then Karen choses a winner the very next day; she sends contract via email and then after the contract is signed and sent back, you have 5 days to edit the proof. She publishes the story the week following her decision.

We all submitted our stories Tuesday like we were supposed to. So Wednesday morning I was looking at the website and something bothered me about the "Book of the Month" box. It said February's book of the month and it just came out either the end of February or the first part of March - so I emailed Karen asking her if it shouldn't have been March's book of the month instead of February. She emailed me back thanking me for catching that; then she tells me she had made her selection of the stories and lo and behold, she picked Jane Roberts story - I am very excited now because this is my friend Jane with whom B and I wrote our stories and submitted. The next sentence in the email really blew my mind.

I did however truly enjoy your story, Butterfly Halves, and would like to publish it in our regular download line (Young Adult category). It is a pretty neat story.
Now if that isn't praise, I don't know what it is. I have to tell you, I really believe Karen is about promoting the authors and she does what she can to get the authors out there, even if it is a downloadable story. I didn't win the contest, but a contract on the story is just as good as winning.
I'm glad Jane won, wish B had been offered a contract as well but am excited also that I was offered one.
Official reviews of the story from a couple of people who have read it, including my daughter who is for all practical purposes a nonreader. I had printed out a copy Wednesday for her to read; when I picked her up from school, I just went on to the post office and put my contract in the mail. We live in a small town so the time between actually picking her up at the school and going to the post office, weighing the envelope, and putting in mail, checking the boxes, and arriving home, was probably about 20 minutes total. Since she doesn't really like to read, she reads slow. She may advance a page or two in that length of time. When we got home, she stayed in the car and finished the story. She came inside and gushed, "I loved it. It was so full of imagery. I was pulled into the story. I wanted to know what was going to happen. I could just see the wall and the light and felt like I was right there. Great story." Now if that isn't very high praise, I don't know what is.
From another reader, one of the ladies at the church my daughter attends, she had the same copy Hailie had read earlier and read it that night and sent me an email this morning with this praise - "I agree with Hailie. It was great!!!!!!! I read it as soon as I left church, sitting at BHP waiting on Anna. They were right to offer you a contract! Have a good week, and keep on writing!"
Again, two high praises and the story isn't out yet.
Congrats to Jane - and everyone be on the lookout for "Hear the Wind Blow" next Wednesday (Jane's story) and be on the lookout some time soon for "Butterfly Halves" - I can't wait to see the cover design on these two stories -
Now, I've shared my good news and Jane's - see you all in the postings - E :)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Matchmaker, matchmaker - not intentionally

My brother and his family moved to the area from North Carolina last weekend. I invited them out to dinner and to take the kids skating. So when I get out of the shower before leaving, Hailie asks if her friend can go with us. I said no problem. Before leaving for the post office, Benjamin's friend shows up to spend the night. Now, I have my two and their friends and my three nephew/nieces, plus my brother and his wife - yay for me - the more the merrier.
So after skating, I get home and add my nephew to my yahoo and we are chatting because of some of the things I had heard in the car. Anyway - turns out he and Casey hit it off. So my 16 year old nephew and Hailie's 13 almost 14 year old friend are talking online for now.
Today was the band's fish fry so the kids and I worked pretty much all day - I get home and chat online a short bit and then go take a nap. When I get up and get back online, my nephew calls me and says "guess what, mom and dad are going to let me date Casey" after telling me last night online that his parents said he was too young to date. So now a supposed bowling date is being scheduled for next Friday. Hailie is now beside herself because she set up her friend and her cousin in a round about sort of way - lol - this was not an intentional set up but I guess it was bound to happen with the younguns today.
Picture of nephew, nieces, and my kids and their friends -

Best I can do for son and his friend - and that's my backside in the blue color - waiting for my brother and his family - okay - so enough for now - see you all in the postings - E :)