Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Change in Cover

The cover for Betrovia that I uploaded a few days ago is too "cartoony" for a novel as "serious" as Betrovia.

So here's the new, more serious, cover:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Marketing Betrovia

The last time I worked on the sequel to Betrovia was nearly a week ago! But I don't feel too bad since I've created a few "book trailers" and a new cover for the Kindle version of the book.

The first book trailer started as a Powerpoint that ultimately had to be converted into a video file. For some reason, I thought I could convert this within LibreOffice Impress, the program I used to create the PowerPoint file. To make a frustrating story short, PowerPoint is not the way to go to make a book trailer.

I use Ubuntu Linux here at home to write, etc. And Openshot is the program for Linux that is fun to use to use pictures, video clips and music files to create book trailers, etc. I'm nowhere near being even proficient in the program, but I'm willing to continue to practice!

Here's a link to the most-recent "practice piece":

Betrovia: pursuing peace

Now, to create a different ebook cover, I've been using GIMP and Inkscape. Both are available for Windows as well as for Linux. Inkscape is fantastic for doing fancy things with text while I'm using GIMP to finalize the images before I send them to Amazon or to use them in my Openshot sessions. I have to continue to remember to "export" whatever I've created in Inkscape in order for it to be used in GIMP. And the lessons have been frustrating whenever I close out of Inkscape thinking that the image was properly saved for it be opened in GIMP.

Here's the new Kindle cover:

Tomorrow after cleaning a few business windows, I will dive back into working on chp. 5 of the sequel. That is, if I can resist firing up Openshot!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Idea for new Betrovia cover

This is a big leap from the first two covers of the novel. But it definitely presents a different aura than the first two!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Whitney Houston and Jeremy Lin

Here it is! The day after Valentine's Day and the snow from Monday's "winter weather advisory" is nearly gone. Even though the skies today were cloudy and maybe a 1/4 inch of rain fell, the temperature reached 50 by mid-afternoon. The forecast for tomorrow and the following three days? Sunny, dry and above-average temperatures! It appears that window-cleaning will happen!

Last weekend, the star of A Preacher's Wife, one of Ryan's favorite movies, died. Whitney Houston's lifeless body was found in her apartment and the cause of death appears to be overdose of alcohol and prescription medications. Yes, Whitney's voice was one in a million, and her talent will be missed. But what's the problem? The MSM is already doing with this "news" what they did with Michael Jackson's death. Sure, Houston and Jackson were mega-stars, but they were also mega-flakes. Both too-often demonstrated behaviors that would have placed more-normal folk in the funny farm. Their fans ignored, applauded and even emulated those outlandish behaviors. And their agents and handlers continued to rake in the dough. It is a sad day in Motown but will continue to be a happy day in Manhattan and Hollywood as the MSM drums up more "information" about her death, etc.

On a more cheerful note, there's this young professional basketball player named Jeremy Lin. It seems that the NY Knicks needed a point guard and so they signed this relatively unknown graduate of Harvard for less than $800K (a mere drop in the pro-roundball salary bucket). And what has Mr, Lin accomplished? Because of his leadership and shooting skills, the Knicks have nearly won more games this month than they won the first two months of the season. I skimmed an article today in which Jeremy says he likes Tim Tebow.And there's nothing ironic about that since both Mr, Lin and the Broncos' starting QB are stalwart Christians! Will the name "Lin" soon become a verb like "Tebow"? And what might that action named "Lin" be?

To wrap this up: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Tim Tebow AND Jeremy Lin all professed faith in Jesus Christ in their youth. Two of these celebrities are now dead after succumbing to the atrocities that too-often follow a meteoric rise to greatness. Here's one person who hopes that the remaining two "keep the faith."

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Purpose for Writing

What another gorgeous Winter's day! It started off a bit foggy with ice on the windshield, but before 9AM, the fog, and the ice, was long gone and the sun was out in force!

I "gave" one of my short stories to a co-worker and asked that she let me know what she thought of it. It was interesting to say the least that she said that it was an okay story, but that she definitely prefers to read novels over short stories since there is so much more happening in a novel compared to a story that may only consist of a few thousand words.

And that got me thinking...

How to write a short story that is less than 10000 words (10000 being the "magic number" where a short story ends and a novella begins) that would appeal to die-hard novel-readers?

Uhm... that is something to work on...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Betrovia and Shorts

It's Super Bowl weekend and I'm writing and publishing. What a great combination! Oh, and the Jayhawks are in Columbia tonight to take on the Tigers for the last time since MU is moving to the SEC next year. Who do I think will win?

Giants 21
Patriots 28

KU 78
MU 76

As for Betrovia news:

Chapter three of the second of the series should be done by tomorrow. The plan is to still finish and publish part two by this Fall. But I've been working on other things besides The Land of Betrovia series...

Short Stories!

I didn't notice until last month that many novel writers have also published their short stories via Amazon. As of today, I will have 4 shorts available on Amazon,com.

Here are the titles:

A Rusty Nail
A Game of H.O.R,S,E.
The Bridge: A Parable
Pizza Surprise

Three of the stories have been gleaned from the novel I started in 1984. Instead of trying to finish it along with getting the other two books of The Land of Betrovia series done, I decided to glean plotlines from that book and publish them as short stories. "The Bridge" is a short-short story that I think I wrote while I was working on my teaching degree in 1983. But I'm really not sure when I put that on paper.

I "created" the covers for the shorts using free photos from the WWW and have given the photog's credit where credit is due. I use GIMP and Inkscape, two very fine free programs available for Ubuntu Linux, to assemble the covers Oh, since last Spring, our household has been Windows-free: all of the PCs and the lappy run Ubuntu.

Besides putting the shorts on Amazon, I've also been reading ebooks and reviewing them.
I might start a new blog where I post those reviews with additional commentary that doesn't end up in the Amazon version. For now, here's the link to my Reviews page: