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Sun, Apr. 13th, 2014, 10:12 am
Another Excerpt: From Sailing Dangerous Waters

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a short excerpt from Beyond the Ocean's Edge:  A Stone Island Sea Story.  Today I'm posting a bit from the sequel, Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story.  This is from near the end of the book, from Chapter Nineteen of Twenty-Six.  And yet, this is one of the very first scenes I remember writing for this story.  After working ahead from this point for a few chapters, I decided to go back and add material between the end of the first book and this point in the second.  This early material kept getting pushed farther and farther towards the end of the book.  I hope you enjoy this.

The Island Expedition coasted along under minimum sail, riding easily over the white flecked waters of the southern Pacific.  Until today, that largest of oceans had not matched its benevolent and calm name.  Under reefed mainsail, reefed topsails and jib, the schooner carried more sail than she had in three weeks.  Storm after storm had thrown their fury against her, winds shrieking and seas building into veritable fluid mountains.  Sail had been taken in, a little at first, and then nearly all, and at one point they had thought to heave to and ride out nature’s fury.  But she had been put before the wind, racing with it, staying one step ahead of the giant seas that threatened to crash unrestrained upon the tossed about craft.  Such sailing had been an exercise in diligence and precision.  The smallest error could have put the vessel beam-on to the giant swells or caused her to have been pooped by a following sea.  As one storm had weakened and blown itself out, another had taken its place.  There had been no respite for the bone tired crew, the weary captain, nor the battered vessel.
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Sun, Apr. 6th, 2014, 06:18 pm
Sunday Fun!

While I'm not as involved in the local Corvair club as I used to be, I still manage to get together with the group now and then.  Today we had our usual spring "Tech-n-Tune" at one of our member's place in Idaho.  A lot of visiting, catching up, and even a bit of work done on a few of the cars.  After that we drove as a group to a local burger place and had lunch.  The country fried steak I ordered was enough to fill me up, and at a most reasonable price.  Here are some pics.enjoy the picturesCollapse )
Hoping everyone had a great weekend.

Sun, Mar. 30th, 2014, 10:38 am
Beyond the Ocean's excerpt

Hey, I thought I'd start posting some brief excerpts from the Stone Island Sea Stories.  This short episode occurs near the beginnings of the story when Pierce is ashore on half-pay, due to the Peace of Amiens.

He had no need for employment, due to his share of prize money, and Pierce soon found that he was bored.  While he attempted to stay busy, helping his father clean and polish the squire’s coach, Pierce found the idea of free time to be foreign to him.  As a result, he also groomed and tended the horses.   Living what would appear to be an idyllic life, he and Isaac spent many evenings deep in conversation with friends, acquaintances, and strangers at the Crooked Oak Inn.  There was always food on the table and drink to be had.  The next morning they often awoke with aching heads, churning stomachs, and blurred memories.
            Once a month they journeyed to Portsmouth, visited the Dockyard, and drew their half pay from the Clerk of the Cheque.  They also checked for possible employment in His Majesty’s Ships and Vessels.  Neither sought active duty because of the hardships of half pay.  Both had done well with prize money, and both had families not in need of their support.  Still, Pierce and Hotchkiss felt a need to be back at sea and active in naval service once again.  Once they had collected their half pay and made their standard queries for employment, they spent a day or two and a portion of their pay enjoying the sometimes notorious wild life of Portsmouth.
            There was a house with rooms to let on Broad Street. The price was reasonable, the rooms comfortable, snug, and clean, and could be had for a day or two.  While they could have afforded more luxurious accommodations, they found these convenient and the proprietor hospitable.  Each month, they arrived, arranged for lodging, went to the Dockyard, and took in the town.  While they had favorite places that they returned to each time, they also endeavored to visit new and different establishments.

            During their February 1802 visit, they stopped to eat just up the street from their room.  Finished, Pierce and Hotchkiss sat at the table, each nursing a pint, when another Royal Navy lieutenant entered.  He was half a head shorter than Pierce, and wore a threadbare greatcoat to fend off the winter’s chill.  Shrugging out of his outer garments, he tossed them and his hat into a vacant chair.  After stamping a bit of warm into his feet, he sat down at a small table.
            “An’ ’ow are ye t’day, Mr. Rowley?” asked the owner. “What can I get ye?”
            “I’m well enough, thank you,” replied the lieutenant, rubbing his hands briskly.  “A pint of your best and a plate of anything warming would do nicely.”
            “Mutton stew?”
            “Yes, thank you.”
            Rowley?  Isaac had mentioned a Rowley in Atlas, where last word placed his brothers amongst the crew.  He looked at Hotchkiss. “Do you think?”
            “You could ask,” his friend answered.
            “I could, yes.  We’ll have another pint and one for him as well.  Let him join us if he chooses, and I’ll ask him.”
            Pierce ordered each of them another pint. He quietly ordered one for the lieutenant who sat a couple of tables away.  When his beer was served, the lieutenant protested that he hadn’t ordered it.  The girl nodded toward Pierce, indicating that he had bought it.  The stocky lieutenant acknowledged the generosity with a grin and a nod.  His mouth was full and he could not politely reply any other way.
            Pierce rose and approached the other’s table.  “I beg pardon, sir, but would you care to join us?  I am Edward Pierce and this is Isaac Hotchkiss.”
            “Unemployed lieutenants, as am I, I’ll wager.  Misery and company, you know.  Delighted at the invitation and naturally I’ll accept.  By the way,” he added, rising from his seat, “my name is Leonard Rowley.”
            “I couldn’t help but hear it when you entered,” said Pierce.  “I am wondering if you might be the Lieutenant Rowley who was in Atlas.”
            “I was in Atlas, yes,” answered Rowley. “May I ask as to your interest?”
            “I do not mean to be abrupt, but I seek information of my two brothers, believed to have been in Atlas during her last commission.”
            “You needn’t apologize, sir.  As Nelson suggested, one should not waste time with maneuver, but rather go straight at them.  I was fourth for some time and don’t recall that a Pierce ever messed in the wardroom or gunroom.”
            “My pardon, but they were pressed years ago. They would have been amongst the crew, no doubt experienced hands by the time you may have known them.”
            “That sets a different light on it.  As I recollect, there was a gunner’s mate, name of Pierce onboard.  A topman as well.  Good hands, if memory serves.  I realized they were brothers, but never guessed a third would be in the service with a commission.”
            “We gained appointments as midshipmen to find them.  Three other friends were pressed as well.”
            “I am sorry I cannot give you any recent news.  I was promoted commander in Tickler, a French prize and returned last autumn.  As to Atlas since my departure, I know very little, except that she has recently returned to Sheerness.  If luck is with you, Lieutenant, you may soon be reunited with your brothers.”
            Rowley momentarily turned his attention to his dinner, but soon he looked up.  “I understand a Lieutenant Pierce’s actions helped convince the Frogs to sue for peace.  Would that be you?”
            Hotchkiss added.  “My friend was instrumental in capturing of Perpignan a year ago.  With her taken, the French were quite ready to ask for peace.”
            “My congratulations, sir,” said Rowley.  “Now if you will excuse me, my stew grows cold, and I must soon take my leave.  A good day to you both!”
            “A good day to you, sir!” replied Pierce.
Hope you enjoyed it.

Sun, Mar. 30th, 2014, 09:50 am

As a self-published author, I'm aware that many readers are turned off by self-published books and the fact that quite often these volumes contain an inordinate amount of typos, grammatical, and spelling errors.  This has become so common that Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers is embarking on a series of little projects at our monthly meetings to help our members produce cleaner works.  (In my own defense, I've tried my best, including spending extra to have both of my works professionally edited, to provide the reader with books that are as error free as possible.  I did find a handful of mistakes in the first and a couple in the second, but I can honestly say they are pristine compared to what they could have been, had I not made the effort.)

Yesterday in compiling and sending out the latest SASP NEWS, I may have inadvertently served up a great example of the need for proofreading, or at least a final check of something before sending it out.  I had completed the April Issue, posted it to the web-site, and had e-mailed it to SASP members and others.  I was in the process of printing the few copies that must be sent via USPS when I noticed that I had not changed or updated the date for our next meeting.  Instead of stating that we would gather on Thursday the 3rd of April, it still said Thursday the 6th of March.  After making the correction to the computer file I had to re-send it to all those who had just received it, and as well re-post it to the web-site.  That turned out to be a bit of an adventure as I goofed and took down the newsletter for last month... possibly because this is still March and the new SASP NEWS is dated for April.  Rather than reprint the hard copies, I went ahead and made pen and ink changes to the small number of copies involved.  I figured it would help illustrate the need for proofreading.  (If you are interested in seeing the newsletter, go to the SASP web-site (linked above) click on newsletters and select the one for April 2014.)

Book signing went fairly well yesterday.  Sold a couple and discovered that evidently the store had sold one in the days prior.  Also had my usual fun of watching people come in the double door entrance.  The outer doors open out, so one pulls to get in.  The inner doors open inward, so one must push to gain entry.  About one in three individuals pulls the first door open and then tries to pull the second one open as well.  They'll tug a time or two, and sometimes even try the door on the other side before deciding to push.

Last week I finished reading Sue Eller's Return from Armageddon.  It's a very short book, perhaps a novella, and I found it refreshing to read something so brief.  I liked the story and thought it was very well done.  I could even say that it was thought-provoking on several levels.  In reference to what I've mentioned earlier in this post, I don't recall finding any actual errors in it.  (I personally would have italicized) names of ships, but that may have been an editorial choice on the part of the author.)  Perhaps I'm fixated on Armageddon, but now I'm reading C. C. Humphrey's A Place Called Amageddon.  This is a much longer book and I expect it will accompany my lunch time for a couple of weeks or more. 

Sun, Mar. 23rd, 2014, 06:20 pm
Another Weekend Coming to a Close

I'm glad spring has arrived, both via the date on the calendar and the greatly improved weather.  Last weekend I got out and washed my car.  It was filthy from all the slush on the winter roads, and took a bit to reveal the true color.  Looked a lot better than it did, however.  In fact, it still looks much better, although up close one can see a fine layer of dust.  Yesterday I did the the glass, inside and out and put an application of "RAIN-X" on the exterior.  I like the stuff as I don't have to use the wipers nearly as much when it rains.  It all beads up and with a little wind from the vehicles velocity, rolls right off.  Today I spent a little time wiping down the smooth surfaced interior portions.  Looks a lot better.  Next time I get a shot at it I'll probably do more around the door jambs and the like... they get totally covered, but are usually a place everyone seems to forget.  After that it'll probably need a good wash again and then maybe even some wax.

Spent a bit of yesterday morning getting stuff organized for filing Taxes.  Mainly I was going through my writing and publishing stuff.  I did figure out that already this year I've made more than I did in all of last year.  Thanks to all who have bought copies in any form of either book.  It does look like I'll take a pretty good loss for the past year, but that isn't always a bad thing.

Friday afternoon's book signing went okay or better than the one I had a few weeks ago.  I actually sold something this time!  Fridays may not be the best, as it seems nearly everyone comes into the store to buy or rent videos.  I've got another signing coming up next Saturday so hopefully the change in day will prove to be worth it.  I'm also scheduled for a couple hours later in the day and that could also make a difference.  Regardless of how well a signing goes, I have to keep scheduling and getting out there.  Just because one flops a bit doesn't mean the next one will.

If anyone is visiting here for the first time and would like to know more about my writing, please visit my web-site.

Hope the work week goes well for all.

PS  Finished reading Patrick O'Brian's Fortune of War late last week.  Now I'm reading Return to Armageddon by a local author named Sue Eller.  It's a short little Science Fiction piece that I should be through with in just a few days.  I'm already nearly half way through it and it's getting really good.

Tue, Mar. 18th, 2014, 05:02 pm
Another Book Review

Yesterday I noticed that there is another review (link will take you direct to the reviewer's site) for Sailing Dangerous Waters posted on the Amazon site. 4 stars, and a really good write up.  For me, the write ups mean more than the number of stars.  There is a three star review up for Beyond the Ocean's Edge, but because it was by a published author or fiction and non-fiction that I do not know, and because he had some really nice things to say about the book, I value his review.

Hopefully more reviews will be showing up in the near future for my second book.  I signed up for a review submission service with Outskirts Press and also am doing a Virtual Book Tour with them.  The reviews up so far are a result of the VBT.  I received requests for review copies from several reviewers and bloggers via the VBT.

While these and more might be considered "professional" reviews, I'd welcome any by family, friends, casual acquaintances, etc. 4 or 5 star reviews are highly prized, but if in your honest opinion you cannot rate either book with that high a mark, provide what you think they deserve.  Great to find reviews posted on Amazon, but you can also post on Barnes & Noble, or send it to me and I'll post on my web-site.  You can find contact info in the web-site.

Sun, Mar. 16th, 2014, 09:20 am
Catching Up

Just realized that I've been away from here for a spell.  Nothing out of the ordinary to keep me from posting... other than the usual events of life.

A week or so ago I sent out copies of books for those who had entered/won my giveaway contest.  I mailed three copies of Beyond the Ocean's Edge: A Stone Island Sea Story, because that is what the folks had requested.  (I would have mailed two, but after I'd closed the event I was contacted by an individual who'd had trouble commenting in time, so I decided there would be another winner.)  From the view of my pocketbook it was fortunate that all winners were here in the US.  Shipping via media mail was not that bad.  Oh yes, had anyone overseas won, I would have gladly paid to ship him or her a copy.  Yesterday I met with a local acquaintance to deliver the final winning book.  This individual chose a copy of the second, Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story, and as well bought a second copy to give to someone else.

I have another book signing scheduled for next Friday at the Hastings store in Veradale.  Hopefully this one will do better than the last one I had there.  I did manage to get it listed in the Sunday paper's "Literary Calendar," and it should be in Thursday's Inlander, a local weekly free press.  Maybe if more are aware of it...

Later today, and probably through the week I'll be busy getting my stuff together so we can go get out taxes done next Saturday.  We have all of our stuff set to go, but I need to go through and organize the stuff connected with self-publishing, selling books, etc.  Also have a dentist's appointment midweek.  I get to get out of work for a while for that.  Appointment was originally set for a couple weeks ago, but I wasn't feeling well, called and got it rescheduled.  It's a simple cleaning, so I'm not dreading it.  Normally I don't mind those events at all, and because they are usually after work, I tend to nearly fall asleep while the process goes on.


Sun, Mar. 2nd, 2014, 02:52 pm
Sales Totals

Saw something on Twitter a while ago, aimed at not always saying, "buy my book(s)!" when tweeting or posting.  One suggestion was to post about sales milestones.  So I went through all my records and came up with the fact that I've sold, given away, or have copies for sale by consignment, a total of 274.  That includes ones sold on Kindle, Nook, on Amazon, by way of Outskirts Press's bookstore, etc.  So I guess I missed posting for the 100 and 200 copy milestones.  Hoping for a steady increase.

Sun, Mar. 2nd, 2014, 02:17 pm
Looking back on the weekend

Snowing again here in Spokane.  Fairly cold so it's a light powdery snow, easy to shovel.  With the way it's falling, it'll be time to shovel again before long.

Yesterday I declared winners in the giveaway I had going for copies of my books.  I was a little disappointed to not get that many entries, but it is always nice to find even a handful of folks interested.  I added Andrea to the list as she had tried to enter but had been defeated by some of LJ's protocols relating to new accounts.  And, as I told her, I'd rather have my books in the hands of those that are interested and want them, than to hoard them waiting for payment.  Much better to give a few away with the hope that those readers will enjoy and tell others about them.

One winner is local and we are going to meet in a couple of weeks so I can pass along a copy and sign it for her.  Books for the other winners have been signed and packaged up.  I'll take them to the Post Office and get them in the mail tomorrow.  As it turns out, all are going somewhere here in the US, so shipping costs won't be excessive.

Sat, Mar. 1st, 2014, 10:47 am

Today being March 1st, it's time to announce the winners of the Giveaway for copies of Beyond the Ocean's Edge and Sailing Dangerous Waters.

There weren't that many entries, so, everybody wins. Scott, MJ, and sassysailorgirl each have a choice of a copy of either book.  I believe I have contact info for some, but if I don't, please e-mail me at daveeva(at)comcast(dot)net.  Pass along a mailing address and info on which book you want and who I should sign it to.  OK?

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