Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Am I well? (Maybe)

After two weeks, I might finally be over my sinus infection.  Man, I hate being sick.  I hate even being a little bit sick.  I'm a naturally low-energy person as it is, and any setback just renders me practically catatonic.

I've got about 6500 words written in the new draft.  I've nearly worked all the way through the first page of my 12-page outline.

Free downloads of Clouds of Venus have declined considerably over the past few weeks, but the rate is still above pre-Bookbub levels.  As I've said before, I'm thoroughly pleased with how that went.

I think I've decided on a title for book 4, which means the cover is finalized.  I've still got some work to do on the cover for book 5.

That's all for now.  Take care, everyone.  :)

Friday, March 15, 2019

A new draft is born

I've started the first draft of book 4 of Wheel of Fire.  I'm not completely satisfied with where my outline is, but I've decided it's good enough to get started on the draft.  Word count currently stands at 787 words.

I'm still trying to decide on a title.  I've got a working title, but I don't plan on using that one when I publish.  I've got a couple of ideas.  We'll see.

I'm still not completely over my sinus infection.  It's a lot better than it was, but I can tell some remnant of it lingers.  I really hope this thing disappears completely soon, because I'm tired of it.  At least I can think well enough to write.  That's the important thing.

My goal now is to finish this first draft before the end of April.  As usual, I expect to fail at my goal.  Life always finds a way to ruin my plans.  But it's something to shoot for, and having a goal is better than not having one.

That's all for now.  More updates in the days to come.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Happy Pi Day!

For those who don't know, today is March 14, or "3.14," which is an approximation of π.  Hence Pi Day.  I know... real nerdy stuff.  But it's harmless fun, so here we are.

What are we supposed to do on Pi Day?  Good question.  Some people eat pies, or bake pies, or do other things with pies.  I don't have any pies on hand, so I won't be doing any of that.  I can do some math, though.  That'll be fun, right?  Well, no, probably not.  But we'll do it anyway.

The volume of a sphere is ​43 πr3.  (Like those fancy subscripts and superscripts?  Heh.  I had to copy and paste that stuff.  I have no idea how to properly format it in Blogger.)  Now let's take the derivative of that formula.  :o  I know, I know... Calculus!  Be still my beating heart!

First you multiply the exponent by the coefficient to get your new coefficient.  Three times four-thirds gives you four.  Then you reduce the exponent by one to get your new exponent, so it goes from three to two.  Your derivative is this:


 And that just happens to be the equation that describes the surface area of a sphere.  :o 

"Wait a minute, Uncle Jeff... you're telling us that the derivative of the volume of a sphere is equal to the surface area of a sphere?"

Yes, that's what I'm telling you.  Pretty neat, huh?

"Wow.  Calculus is like sorcery."

Yep.  It's like sorcery.  Congratulations.  You're a wizard now.  :D

So that's our use of π for today.  Happy Pi Day, folks!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Titles and outlines

I'm still sick, but I felt better today than I have in a while, so maybe I'm getting over this thing.  In the meantime, I've been doing some thinking about titles and working on the book 4 outline.

I've also had some new ideas about how I want the series to progress.  No major changes, but some important minor ones.

When the series is done, I'll still have lots of fertile ground for side stories if I'm inclined to write them.  Depends on how successful the series ends up being.

I'm still not sure how PublishDrive's reporting works.  It seems to be a little haphazard.  But I'm getting steady downloads of Clouds of Venus on Google Play, so I'm pleased with that whole experience.  PD's customer service rocks, and GP's readers are downloading my freebie and occasionally putting a few bucks in my pocket.

That's all for now.  I'm going to finish my drink and then suck on another cough drop.  Later, folks.

Friday, March 8, 2019


Well, I still have a sinus infection.  It's not any worse than it was on Monday, but it's not any better, either.  Hopefully my antibodies will get their act together soon and knock this thing out.

Sometimes my eyes get watery as a result of being sick, and when that happens, I can't use the computer.  That's in addition to the fact that my brain isn't running in top gear.  So my writerly progress is still mostly stalled.  I hate it--I'm itching to start the next draft, dadgummit--but it's sort of out of my hands.  I'm at the mercy of my own biochemistry.

Clouds of Venus is once again permafree on Kobo.  I know it seems like I'm being kind of scatter-brained as far as my pricing strategy on this retailer is concerned, but I simply can't figure out how to get steady sales there.  I've got momentum going on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and perhaps Google Play, but Kobo is still an enigma to me.

I've picked up a bunch of followers on Bookbub in the days since the Featured Deal.  A number of Bookbub members have also recommended Clouds of Venus, and that's pretty awesome.  I'm getting new notifications of this sort every day.  I appreciate all you guys, and thanks for supporting my work.  :)

In spite of my illness and my brain and body working at reduced capacity, I've managed to give some thought to book titles for the rest of the Wheel of Fire series.  I've had working titles for all eight books since the beginning, but a working title isn't necessarily the one you want to go with when it's time to publish.  That's why I've been careful to not mention those titles publicly until after the book is available.  I won't know for sure about any of the new titles I've thought up until I can play around with book covers in Photoshop and see how they look.

Last year, the winter months were the most dismal part of the year as far as sales and free downloads went.  The action picked up in late April and was fairly good through the summer and early fall.  I'm curious to see if a similar pattern will play out this spring.

That's all for now.  Thanks for reading, folks.  :)

Monday, March 4, 2019

I'm sick

Sinus infection this time, not a fever like I had during the summer.  Still sucks, though.

Send me some good vibes, folks.  :(

Sunday, March 3, 2019


You may have heard about the tornadoes that hit Georgia and Alabama, but don't worry about me.  I'm alive and well and wasn't affected by the weather.

For those who were affected, though, you have my sympathy and best wishes.

I've been out of the state for a few days, and I haven't gotten anything productive done.  I've also got a sore throat.  I hope I'm not getting sick, but we'll see, I guess.

Since the Bookbub Featured Deal, I've picked up a number of new followers on Bookbub.  Also, several Bookbub members have recommended Clouds of Venus.  Thanks, y'all!  Glad you liked it.  :)

I better stop there.  I'm exhausted and can barely type.  Later, folks.