Monday, May 30, 2016

Honor, Service, and Sacrifice

Memorial Day

It isn't about barbecues, mattress sales, and beer. 

To all who serve their country, we honor their contribution and sacrifice.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Catalyst, Cover Reveal by Kristin Smith

I'm super duper pleased to announce the cover reveal of my friend and fellow moderator on Unicorn Bell, Kristin Smith. Have a look and see why I'm so proud of her. She is a true talent.


Clean Teen Publishing is proud to present the official cover reveal for CATALYST by Kristin Smith.  
This is the first book in the thrilling new Deception Games series coming November 21, 2016!

Title: Catalyst (The Deception Game, Book One)
Author: Kristin Smith
Release Date: November 21, 2016
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YA near-future thriller

Book Synopsis:

Too pretty.

Too smart.

Too perfect.

In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teens, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she's ever known and loved changes in an instant.

With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait.

In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.


Enter to WIN a $25 AMAZON Gift Card! 

About the Author:

Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels with enough kissing to make her mother blush. She's a beach lover and a Just Dance guru who enjoys belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). As a self-professed chocoholic, Kristin is a firm believer that if a dessert doesn't have chocolate in it, then it's not considered a dessert. (Except for crème brûlée. She can always make an exception for crème brûlée.) Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to scarves, you can connect with her at the links below.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG - Routines. HTML and A to Z

These are the continuing voyages of the Ninja Captain, AJC. His mission, to explore all new writing venues, to seek out new authors and new blogs. 
To boldly go where no blogateer has gone before.
Coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back. 

Routines are about the hardest chore. I try, I really try but sometimes stuff gets in the way.

My daily goal is to get all my stuff done by 9 am then spend two hours plus writing. After noon, I start in again about 1 – 1:30 and continue until 4-ish.

But Life doesn’t work that way and interference results. Cows have calves, toilets overflow, and cats need a trip to the vet. Grownup kid calls and spouses want a hand fixing the tractor. Weather interferes. Computer goes loony tunes.

But more likely the interference begins with shiny objects, the proverbial Squirrel! Oh well.

B.I.C. is still the best advice. Avoiding Facebook is the other.

Spouses though...What can you do when he says, “Hey honey. Did you know its national Pillow Fight day?” *sigh*

HTML and other strange letters. Do you know how to leave a comment with a link to your blog? It is an efficient way to tie your name to your site. 

I’ve clicked on names that takes me to multiple blogs or Google+. If you sign off with a link, it directs people to your blog. Way easier.

Go to this site for the recipe.

A to Z. My blog—Spirit Called—is not participating this year, but Unicorn Bell is. Wander over there for our posts.

Do you have a writing routine? Can you keep it in any semblance of order? Do you have a sign off for blogs? Crazy enough to participate in the 2016 A to Z Challenge?

Monday, March 28, 2016

A to Z Challenge, Unicorn Bell, Backing up Data...

...Updates, Conspiracies,, and the descent into Madness.

A to Z Challenge blogfest is huge, a monster. I participated in 2011 and a two more years after that. Don’t think the word challenge is there for looks because it is most definitely hard. Not only posting every day except Sundays, but commenting on other posts every day as well. But when it’s done, you’ve made new friends and experienced new outlooks on life. Plus instilled a discipline in your writing. Good stuff all around.

Over at Unicorn Bell—our writer’s blog—we are participating in this year’s Challenge. The eight moderators are taking turns posting each day, commenting on blogs, and bringing new perspectives to the game. Check in and see how we do.

Backing up info. My OCD comes out when backing up my documents, files, financial records, photos, and emails. I am
nothing if not redundant. Since I have Amazon Prime, I let it back up photos and docs. Google catches docs also. Norton makes my system image and backs up all of the above as well.

I have a Seagate 2 terabyte external drive for most stuff and use Google Cloud, Amazon Cloud drive, ICloud as backups for the backups of the backups.

Can’t be too safe with your important records.

HealthcareDotGov. The cost of our individual health insurance became unsustainable when it went from $500 a month to $1200 in four years, forcing us into the Obamacare marketplace.

If you’ve heard about the horrors of working through the bureaucratic morass of signing up, believe me it’s all true. I’m still fighting the paperwork.

Win 10. I became a conspiracy theorist—looking over my shoulder—right after I upgraded to Windows 10 and the
subsequent battle to clean it out again.

Rather than allow automatic updates to my computer, I check once a week for anything labeled “Security”. An Important or Optional update always rates another look and research.

One of the updates, KB3035583 is labeled important. Lookee here what it actually is, a way for Microsoft to worm its way back into my ‘puter.

Since I cleaned out the folder containing the mutant Win 10, I discovered it is still knocking on the door wanting in.

Are you an A to Z Challenge Crazy Person? Overindulge in backing up? Have skyrocketing insurance costs? Wonder who is peeking in your computer?Descending into Madness like me? 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Win 10. Do you really want it?

I’m a geek freak. I love new programs and technologies. So I was interested when Microsoft offered the Windows 10 upgrade. Since my computer was six months old with Win 7 OS I was sure it would work.

I hesitated for a while since reports of the horrors of Win 8 are legion. But there was the “free” button, upgrade now and if you don’t like it, well boy howdy, you can go back.

I listened. I upgraded and all was good...for a while. Then stuff began happening. See my progress, from Hey this is cool to What did I do and Baseball Bat 

I said no thanks and went back to good old Win 7. ‘Cuz that’s what they say you can do, right? If you don’t want it, just go back to your old OS. Easy as pie.

Not so fast. The registry of some programs didn’t go back to the restore point. Win 10 stuff stayed. The automatic backup went looney tunes requiring a fix to clean it up.

And there's that darned Window thingy insisting I needed to upgrade to 10, over and over and over again.

It seems Microsoft has tentacles that reach down the throat
of your computer like the thing in Alien and lays its eggs in the body of your ‘puter without you knowing.

Do you see the little box that keeps popping up saying your upgrade is waiting on you? Uh oh, someone’s watching you. Check the updates. If the optional update has a checked box by the Windows 10 upgrade, be careful. You might accidentally download the horror again.

And there is an interesting folder on your computer: $Windows.~BT with a 5 gb stored there. That is your alien growing in your chest. It is waiting for a signal.

“Oh no, not again." - Spaceballs

If you don’t want Microsoft and its minions to be a backseat driver, here are a few sites for more information.

Information on Win 10
How to clean it up

Check out both of these sites before attempting to sort stuff out or delete. I took their advice and turned off the Automatic Updates. If I need to download a security patch, I will do it myself. But no more optional downloads if I don't see the need. 

And ask yourself how much you want that spiny alien watching over your shoulder.

Win 10: Good or bad. 

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