Blackbirds First Flights, Published

While it’s been available on Pre-release sales for a couple of weeks, today is the formal release date for Blackbirds First Flight, published by Many Rivers Harbor. Go to the website for stories, biographies of the six anthology authors, games, tidbits, and more.

Currently available on Lulu.com, but coming soon to Amazon and other on-line retailers.

What is Blackbirds First Flight? It’s a dark fantasy anthology along the lines of The Twilight Zone.  We have a range of authorial experience from first time publication to several multi-pubbed authors, including Bantam and Samhain author, Tamara Siler Jones.

If you’re in or near the Ada, Oklahoma, area on October 30th, please join us at the Ada Public Library from 4:30 – 6:30 pm for our book signing party. This is a tremendous opportunity to meet most of our authors, talk with them, and get a personally signed book.  If you already have a copy, bring it with you, but if you don’t, you can buy one at the signing.  I’ve heard strong rumors there will be treats and prizes!

Photo: A Third Outside Cat

It turns out we have a third cat eating from our feeder.

third catHow did we discover this?  Mr. L thought he saw Sneaky under the trailer in the driveway, but she was on the back porch.  Oh, that must be Walter.  No.  Walter is on the side porch steps.  There’s a THIRD cat! (pictured above)

Now, I’m studying game camera photos to try to discern the difference.  There have been times when Walter’s head seemed larger.  Now, I have to wonder if those are the times I was seeing the third cat.  Walter’s “bib” is lighter and more silvery in color.  The third cat’s “bib” is more tan.  Walter has a distinctively ringed tail with a larger dark tip.  This cat’s tail tip isn’t as large, and his rings are slightly less distinct.  Walter has a silvery patch at the base of his tail on the right side.  In different camera lighting, Walter doesn’t look as silvery, so the greater difference appears to be the two kitty’s undercoats.

Is the third cat the neighbor’s cat, Henry?  I’ve been introduced to Henry, but I can’t remember if this cat could be him or not. It isn’t the cat I call Daddy Cat who lives kitty corner across the street behind us.  Mysteries, mysteries.

 

 

 

 

Just a Quiet Day in the Cat House

I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have Sneaky back with us after her nearly week-long absence.  She’s been getting extra pets and extra Fancy Feast to let her know how happy we are that she’s back.

She and Walter spend about equal time checking out the food tower, but they alternate.  Unlike when Moose was eating here and he would wait for Sneaky to eat before eating his food, Walter feels no need to do that. I don’t think Sneaky and Walter fight, but I don’t think they are buddies, either.

Lady has been a model kitty this week.  We took her, Floyd, and Natasha with us to San Antonio for a couple of days, and the rest of the cats held down the fort here.  The house was mostly standing when we returned.

Tech Stuff: Tap Forms and Timesheeter

Today, we’re going to look at two applications you might find useful: Timesheeter and Tap Forms.  Both are technically databases, but one, Timesheeter, is a specific database application for IOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) use.  The free version gives you a chance to play with the app to make sure it meets your needs.  It has limited use, but you’ll know pretty quickly if it meets your needs or not.  What do you use Timesheeter for?

I use it for tracking my writing work (unless I forget…but I’m getting better). I create projects as well as the type of work being completed on each project — research, writing, revision, etc.  I can even enter an hourly rate (I calculated my total net income each month and divided it by 720 (an average number of hours in a month for a 24 hour day) to come up with how much my time is worth. Sleeping is worth money to me.  Grin. It’s an approximate way to determine the “cost” of writing. You could use it for anything you want to track in a similar manner.

Where does Tap Forms come into play?  I had attempted to learn to use Bento, a flat file database application for Mac, but it never worked for me.  I needed something intuitive, easy to use, and compatible with the Mac and the IOS environment.  Tap Forms came to my attention. I downloaded the Mac Demo, and I had it doing exactly what I needed in no time at all.  No hassle.  It just worked. I can import Bento databases.  I had one that worked, and I imported that one. It comes with a Movie Library database already created and ready for you to input your movies. It has over a dozen databases for you to begin using — credit cards, bank accounts, health information, website logins (I use mSecure for this, and a lot of other people recommend 1Password), homework assignments, and more.  Out of the box (or freshly downloaded), this app is functional.  But we wanted to create a lodging database to track specific features of places we stay when traveling. My husband and I had brainstormed the information we wanted to keep track of, and it wasn’t things typically found on most pre-made databases.  Bed comfort, number of outlets, toilet height, quality of breakfast (if available), laundry facilities, lighting, etc. I created this easily and was able to modify on the fly when necessary.

And guess what? This is where the relationship between Timesheeter and Tap Forms comes into play.  Timesheeter can export (or import) to a CSV file.  Tap Forms can import from a CSV file.  I imported my Timesheeter file, and will a couple of tries to figure out which settings to accept, it created just the form I needed.  I did this back in April.  Today, I updated the file from Timesheeter with new information entered since April by exporting the dates in between and importing to Tap Forms.

If either of these applications offer features you’ve been looking for, I can highly recommend either or both.

Looking For…

I want to add a regular post on Wednesday’s but I’m not sure what to post about.  Here’s what I’ve been thinking about:

  1. A list post of some type.  You know, “7 Things I Did This Week” or “Three Whatevers….”  Clearly, I don’t know what I want to list if I do that.  Suggestions?
  2. A book review
  3. Something for readers — what do you want to hear about?
  4. A character sketch
  5. A short story draft based upon a random writing prompt.
  6. A combination of the above items — maybe one for each Wednesday of the month on a rotating basis?

How many of you read both my blogs? If so, I’m thinking of replacing Tuesday’s Current Focus with a, well, Looking For… post.  That post would summarize some or all of the things I’ve searched for over the past week, either for myself or someone else.  I’m surprised by how often someone will ask something and a quick web search has the answer in the top one or two posts when the search completes.  I can post the answer for them quicker than I can tell them to “just look it up.” If they are wondering, other people probably are too. Maybe that collection would be an interesting post.  If I don’t have a lot of reader overlap, I could cross post.

I need to hear from you.  What do you think?