Tag Archives: technology

Break’s Over

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year to one and all!

So … I’ve been otherwise occupied. Life and all that. But as we close out 2019 and head into a New Year, I’m getting busy.

Namely, I’m definitely writing again and because I’m writing again, and intend to publish more books, I’m looking to do things a little differently this go ’round. Everything is changing and it’s hard to keep up with it all (no matter what ‘it’ is), so this is a ‘back to basics’ attempt.

Why, what’s that? you may ask. Well, just this. Email. Ummm, huh?

Here’s the thing. I have all these different platforms: this website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest … the list is almost endless. (I might even have a MySpace page, but that’s been so long ago now and I don’t know if they even exist anymore). I almost forgot Goodreads. I have a page there too. As you can see, that’s a lot of social media. So much, in fact, that I end up with a major case of scatter-brain.

I’m simplifying. With email!

I’m starting a new email newsletter that you’ll get once or twice a month. If you to sign up, you’ll get this shiny new prequel short story to Chosen, Book 1 of The Broken Seal (formerly title Guardians of the Word). Take a look!

BROKEN SEAL PREQUEL-flattened-1

 

***

Seeing the future, the past, and the present isn’t enough to stop destiny.

Carryn Adaeryn and her brother, Maralt are orphans and telepaths. Young and eager, each has talents as unique as their personalities. Their skills are needed to secure the future. Their own and the two boys they are charged with protecting.

Except they can’t be seen. They can’t be heard. They can’t be discovered.

The Broken Seal: Prophecy is a short story prequel to the first book of the series, Chosen.

***

Also included is a little misadventure called The Pod Crash. 

Here’s the email sign up link (to Book Funnel – who will give you the book download once you’re confirmed): Book Funnel & email signup

For those of you who’ve read Chosen, I think you’ll enjoy the added backstory. For those you who haven’t started The Broken Seal series, this prequel gives a short taste of the whole. The series is a bit Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings. If Dark Fantasy is something you enjoy, this story is right up your alley. (There’s a sprinkling of sci-fi tech, along with a touch of paranormal, and well – a demon, so a wee bit of horror like a cherry on top of your ice cream sundae).

Anywho – please go sign up for my email list and get The Broken Seal: Prophecy. Also, please, please let me know if you have any difficulties. Setting all this stuff up so you get a book with a few clicks is right up against the limits of my mental capacity. I think it’s going to work, but if it doesn’t – give a yell right here.

PS: Some of you are signed up via this website to get an email when there’s a new post here. This is not that. You don’t have to unsub if you don’t want to, or you can if you like. One email subscription is enough in my book. I won’t be inundating your inbox in either case.

So simple!

Peace,

JMH

4 Comments

Filed under new books, New Year, Publishing, Young Adult Books

For the Tech challenged

Today I took a 3 hour foray into the (mere) attempt to change my blog over to a hosted site. What you are looking at right now is the WordPress free site and while I love it and I can do most things with it, there are some functions and features the free site won’t let me put on my blog.

For instance, I want one of those cool carousel things for my books.

Carousel in Plaza Mayor 01flickr.com

Carousel in Plaza Mayor 01
flickr.com

Ok – not that kind, but it goes round and round. By the time I’ve got all the books published there will be 8 of them, and having that many covers takes up a bit of room on the sides here. A carousel would put the books in a single spot that revolves or is moved by a mouse hover so they all revolve around and around. I want one. Caaaaan’t have one. Free WordPress doesn’t allow that sort of ‘language’ (I don’t know what it’s called) for whatever reason they won’t allow it.

I also want to be able to put up the option to buy these books right here so you don’t have to go to Amazon, which granted, isn’t all that hard, but still. Can’t do that either. (At least, I don’t think so). And if it is allowed, I’m not having the best time figuring out how.

Trying to figure out what is and isn’t allowed on a website leads me to take a look at all the new technology we have out there that we all have to figure out. All the time. A new computer these days comes with all the new bells and whistles that have to be learned and the curve seems to be getting steeper.

Even pumping gas into the car is more complicated. I was out looking at stoves yesterday – wow, you’d feel like Data, from Star Trek driving the Enterprise through armildrin  gas turning one on. Thing had a bridge console quality to it – flat, no buttons – shoot, there weren’t even any visible burners! It would probably take an engineering degree to figure out how to turn it on.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a techie geek child. I love my gadgets and the fact that I use a Star Trek inspired communicator every day tickles me no end. If I could launch into space tomorrow, I’d do it. I like learning how to use new things, no matter how technologically advanced they may seem when you first set eyes on them. That’s not the problem. Not at all.

The way we all learn how to do new things is through instruction, be it a new phone, a new tv or a new website. I read the instructions before I try to put something together, especially when there’s wiring involved. I have a stack of user manuals in a cabinet over my desk. If I need to change the belt on my vacuum cleaner, I can grab the brain interface and find out how to make it happen.

So switching over from the free website to one I pay for shouldn’t be such a complicated process. I should be able to read the instruction blogs and figure it  out. Four clicks into the help desk later, I discovered that no, technology isn’t all up to where it needs to be where I can avoid downloading the entire contents of this webpage (a few gigabytes at least) to my computer and then uploading to the new server. Surely, I thought,  wouldn’t it be simpler to just go across. You hostee people are hosting thing thing, so why not? But no. Cloud computing isn’t quite there yet if I have to use my computer as a data way station on its path to a new home.

anselm, Flickr/Creative Commons

anselm, Flickr/Creative Commons

You see – I have restricted data usage living out here on the edge of the boonies, which means, I have to monitor my gigabytes quite carefully. This would be a technological problem solved if cloud computing was more robust and more people/companies figured out how to use it. It would surely have made my life simpler, but that as they say is that.

I’ll update in a couple more months when I may or may not have high speed internet access in my 200-year-old homestead. Wonder how that new technology will mesh with this very old, old place? And me with it.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Life as a writer, Living

The Search for ET continues

Really? They operate in the background, quietly searching the skies for radio signals that might come from a place like Earth, from people maybe like us, or maybe not. They are SETI, and they keep on, keeping on.

Many, many years ago when I first moved back to Virginia – this was about 1998 – I started hearing about this organization called the SETI Institute. I was interested, of course, because SETI are the people looking for life beyond our own inhabitants on Earth – the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. I signed up my computer to their computer, letting them use my meager bandwidth to help in the search. It was a fun screen saver to watch, but unfortunately, I had to end my efforts due to lousy internet connectivity – namely the usage restrictions my satellite provider placed on my account. SETI used up too many megabytes.

I miss having that connection to real scientists doing something I think is extraordinarily important. I believe there is life out there, intelligent, civilized and maybe looking for us at the same time that we look for them. I can’t find on the website where they have this group computer link in effect anymore. They have other programs now that involve regular people and I encourage you to check them out. 

The SETI Institute

They’re going to have a SETIcon again this summer and I’d give an arm to be able to attend! Artists, computer geeks, a guy from Pixar and even a NASA astronaut will be there. Bill Nye is going to be there.. I’d be is space heaven. You can get more info about SETIcon II here – SETIcon II

I remember when I first heard of SETI and read about the mission. Carl Sagan was a believer. He co-founded the Institute and spoke in its name. He believed in the search. And you know, yes,  it’s a “big-ass sky”, but I think he’s right. One day, we’ll find them, alike to us or not – intelligent life. I will be one of the first to step up and say hello.

Anybody out there? 

2 Comments

Filed under NASA, Science