I Smashed the Meatgrinder

I spent most of yesterday (17th)  formatting the new and improved ‘Prelude’ in accordance with Smashwords Style Guide.

It wasn’t as bad as I feared. I think a great deal of the ‘shock and horror’ about ‘the meatgrinder’ is based on fear of a steep learning curve, and a certain amount of preciousness about one’s own formatting.

The steep learning curve is indeed steep if you’ve never formatted using ‘styles’, (in Microsoft Word) which I never have, but now that I know about ’em, they’re my new best friends!

And the formatting – well, us writerly types do tend to cling to what we’re familiar with and like to use, with a grip of Adamantium. (think Wolverine’s claws) Smashwords formatting is basically my-way-or-the-highway, and the good news is, I was able to duplicate all the formatting quirks I’d evolved as I wrote, using Scrivener, on the Word Doc, which is the software Smashwords requires.

In fact it was the ‘compile’ function on Scrivener, that gave me the greatest headache. (but only because I had no idea, and still don’t, about how it worked)

So, I am very pleased to announce that Prelude is now available as an eBook. Click on the cover, over there on the right and have a peek at the first bunch of pages. (I haven’t got to Amazon yet, but it is available in mobi format so you can side-load it onto a Kindle reader)

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a bit of a blurb …

… Shamans come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, from all the continents of the Earth. We’ve been around since the human race realized there was more to existence than just the physical, and we’ll be around long after the last star has died, when the Wheel turns to renew All.

Becoming a Shaman is not for the faint-of-heart, or the timid-of Spirit. It is not an easy Path, nor should it be. The responsibilities are great and require harsh testing before one is judged capable of shouldering them.

There are many Pathways to becoming a Shaman, and I came to understand mine through my Earth-based, Goddess Spirituality, She who is the First Mother of Us All, in all Her forms.

‘Prelude’  is the story of my very first steps along that Path. It is part memoir, part Shamanic adventure, and part guidebook, with a dash of dire warning on the side.

From the moment I came across a giant statue of Bast, I knew my life would never be the same. There were times I froze, bled, burned, raged, and cried.  My life, my past, the shadows, and the shining moments, all the things I believed defined me, were challenged, until nothing but a truth, my Truth, remained.

Join me as I confront my monsters, discover my true Name, and come to understand that the Physical world I grew up with was just a tiny corner of a much vaster Cosmos.

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One Hundred And Sixty-Five Days Later

Way back in May I posted this … Wimpy Sunshine and 165 Days To Go(I certainly got more ‘sunshine’ than I bargained for) … and, voilá, here we are!

Smashwords Is Having A Sale

I’m coming to the end (hopefully) of a very nasty joust with some migraine clusters. I’m currently 7-6 in the lead. My last ‘Prelude’ episode is a tad shy of being completed, so I expect to get it up here poste haste.

In the meantime … free books: Smashwords July Sale … and

A little classical piano to chase the blues away … (you might have to ‘rewind’ the video. I don’t know why it’s doing that)

New Privacy Stuff

Has the GDPR – confusticated you yet?

Has the GDPR – confusticated you yet?

The GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – comes into effect in the EU on the 25th May.

You might think the EU doesn’t affect you (if you’re not in the EU that is) but our readers are scattered all over the globe, and that’s just the ones we know about. Blogging really is a global activity. So yeah, is affects us all, or it will at some point in the future.

WordPress is updating their privacy policies ‘soon’ so we should see some notification about that ‘soon’-ish, if we’re using WordPress. I can only presume other blogging platforms are doing something similar.

This is the latest from WP … ‘New privacy features and updated policies.’ 

I highly recommend a good read of Nicholas Rossis’ post on the subject. He explains the nuts-n-bolts of the current state of affairs. Go, Nicholas!

With his permission I’ve included these two paragraphs that he’s using on his own blog, which I’m going to add to my ‘About Me’ page. They’ll stay there until WordPress comes through with the goods. (or not) Or I find any updated information around the interwebz. (which I’ll then post here)

‘Any cookies on my website are used to ensure normal website functions (for instance, Youtube videos won’t work without their own identifiers). These cookies cannot be switched off because the website wouldn’t work properly anymore. However, these identifiers do not store any personal data.’

… and …

‘When you leave a comment, WordPress stores your Gravatar name, IP address, comment, and email address. Therefore, leaving a comment is considered a clear affirmative, specific, and unambiguous action as defined by the GDPR, giving me consent to store this information, and permission to contact you in the future by email.

Your personal information will not be sold or shared with any third parties under any circumstances. Your information shall be retained until you unsubscribe or ask me to remove your data. If you do not consent to the above, please don’t leave a comment.

The truth of the matter is that for most of us it’ll be business as usual once the smoke clears.

It will be interesting however, to see what effect this will have on how non-EU countries and entities adapt their own policies and procedures.

The Peanut Has Landed

Last time I saw a picture of her she was just an ultrasound.

Now she’s a fully formed human being.

P.S. – just to clarify, she’s our great granddaughter, but her great-great grandma is still alive

Welcome to the world, great-great-granddaughter!

Welcome to the world, great-great-granddaughter!

A whole lot of people are grinning, just like this!

A whole lot of people are grinning, just like this!

Lineage

This is a picture of someone taking a picture of a picture of an embryo.

Really, really, really, small human being

When this little peanut hatches in the not-too-distant future she will be our GREAT-grand-daughter.

And, there will be five generations of her lineage alive on the planet at the same time.

I think that’s some kind of wonderful!

Patreon Screws The Pooch … (and Some Alternatives)

… and  it ain’t pretty.

This is from The Verge

This Gizmodo’s take on it.

Do an interwebz search on ‘Patreon’ and you’ll see what I mean.

This will have varying effects, which I’m not going to get into, for content creators and the people who support them, suffice it to say that if you’re using this model as an income stream it might be time to investigate other possibilities.

In my sojourn I came across a few of those alternatives. I want to be clear here though, I haven’t gone into any depth with any of them, but have provided links in case you want to. Just click on the name and the link should take you to their home pages.

Ko-fi

Flattr

Wildspark

Tipeee