Tag Archives: Kindle

I broke my own rule.

My Kindle rule, that I never buy a book any more unless I have downloaded the free sample and read it, and want to keep reading that very minute.  It has allowed me to save lots of money by indulging my desire to impulse buy (by snagging many, many free samples) without A) spending money and B) having mountains of TBR books around me.

Until now.

I read Soulless and loved it. I then read Changeless and OMG wanted the next book now this very minute now.

I pre-ordered.

Blameless was on my Kindle when I woke up this morning.

Now this very minute now is finally here.

Will I regret breaking my rule?

Will it be as wonderful as I want it to be?

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, watch this again:


Filed under amazon, Book Covers, Books, Kindle, Reading, Steampunk

This is not the new post I promised.

Not exactly. That will require the finding of the camera.

But as an experiment, I attempted to recreate the photo here using the camera on my MacBook.

Erm, not so successful.

But, anyway, a few notes and a picture to hold this space until I put the real post together.

Blood? Check. Fountain pen? Check. Novel-in-progress on Kindle? Check. Notes in Moleskine? Check.

Picture backwards… Okay, that?  I have no clue.

[Note: And don’t think I’m not going to blog the Dallas Cowboys being the best, and Hollywood proves it, anyway. Ahem.]


Filed under Dallas Cowboys, Fountain Pens, Kindle, Moleskine, Office gear, Writers, Writing

Stupid writer tricks.

No, I don’t really think these are stupid. But I called them that because, well, whatev.  I just did.

The first time I sold a novel, I wrote it with a certain voice in my head, a voice that ran on and on in endless sentences.  (Well, okay, that voice is still there.)  Sometimes I’m not even sure the sentences had verbs. Somehow that book sold.  It was a pretty good story.  The story, adapted, won me my Nicholl.  (I make that point because talking about my endless sentences-maybe-without-verbs might make you wonder.)

And when I got the galleys–the page proofs that look like the book will look, because it has been typeset and now all we’re looking for are typos and such–I suddenly heard the book in a different voice.  It was no longer the voice that crooned the story into my ear with dulcet siren tones.  It was a crisp, professional voice that made every little odd quirk stand out and scream “unprofessional” to my ears. It was a wakeup call and a learning experience. (I hope.)

From that point forward I played games with myself, trying to trick the voice in my ear.  I have printed out my completed manuscripts on colored paper (pretty purple, guess what color I’m buying next!) and using a different font so that it looks totally different, and that really helps.  It rattles the voice a little, and makes it easier to spot problems. When I first started writing the current novel, I printed the opening chapters in a pretty copperplate, just to get a historical voice in my head when I was reading. And these stupid writer tricks help me, help me a lot.

But my Kindle.

Oh, my Kindle.

My Kindle has opened up new avenues of voice-trickery.

I routinely convert documents to pdf files, then import them into calibre (a free conversion program) which in turn, converts them to mobi and loads them onto my Kindle.

And… wow.  This is like getting galleys for myself.  Seeing the book all looking book-like on my Kindle screen. It’s like holding the published book in my hands.

The voice, she is different when I read this way.

Oddly, I’ve gotten so hard on myself, the book sometimes looks better on the Kindle, reassures me that it actually is working.  Other times it makes problems stick out. I can highlight and make notes with the Kindle if I want, or just keep a moleskine handy to scribble on. (And by the way, that moleskine? The large with lines? Is impossible to find any more. I looked in various local stores and finally had to order from Amazon.)

But today.

Today I learned a new Kindle trick.  I mean, I already knew it. Text-to-speech. Yes, it’s a computer voice, but the male voice isn’t awful. (The female is.)

It has taken me a while to write the last 25,000-ish words, and somehow going back to reread felt like scraping my fingernails on a chalkboard. So I loaded them into the Kindle, and let the Kindle read to me.

It was astounding. Computer voice, yes, but that meant it didn’t rise and swell and dip and whisper with emotion or rhythm, just spit out the words. And listening to the words… helped.  Helped in new ways.

I know people who read their work aloud and swear by it. That doesn’t help me. I hate my voice, and when I read aloud I hate that words that are being spoken by an English girl in 1811 sound ridiculous when spoken by a middle-aged Texan. Stilted and awkward in a way they don’t when read silently. Somehow, listening to the computer voice doesn’t bother me as much. Don’t ask me why. I can’t explain.

But more to the point, when I read, I see individual words and remember the struggle to find the right word, and does this one really work, and I get caught up in word-by-word reading.

When the Kindle reads to me, the words simply flow. The story flows. I hear the big picture flowing over me, without pausing to ponder, worry, re-edit.

Tell me a story…

My Kindle was telling me a story, and to my wondrous ears I realized… I love it. I love this story as much now as when I started it. And more importantly, things that I struggled for weeks to get right with all sorts of tweaking and massaging and slicing and dicing and suddenly thinking of a description that might improve things and sticking it into a scene I wrote last month and–

Yeah. I did mention the runon sentences, didn’t I?

Instead of seeing all that on the page, I simply hear a story read into my ears.

It’s magic.

I love my Kindle.

I love my story.

And right now? I love writing.

Ask me again tomorrow.


Filed under amazon, Kindle, Moleskine, Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, Writing

Carriger returns (and will return again)!

I did tell you how much I loved Soulless.

Well, book two, Changeless , has arrived (on my Kindle, on April 8, like magic–because I’d pre-ordered so saw it appear before my very eyes when turned on the “library” and went squee!).

But they are already promoting book three, Blameless (September 1, 2010),and whether or not you intend to read the books, you will probably find this fascinating.

This is a fun romp of a steampunk series.  Everything is so veddy, veddy Victorian, with vampires who would never, ever suck your blood without a proper introduction and permission.  No, really! And werewolves who tend to be a little rougher around the edges, but are charming, for all that.

I’m enjoying the proper heck out if it.

I haven’t finished Changeless.  But the first chapter reassured me that yes, there is still some hunt in this dog, with a new character introduced (and what an introduction) who promises many more hours of story fun, continued banter and politely expressed sexual innuendo (you read these books for the wit, not the sex), still the same strong characters.

It was worth the wait (which really wasn’t all that long).

And here is my review of Blameless!


Filed under Book Covers, Books, Reading, Steampunk

Dancing the happy dance of happy!

One thing has annoyed me about my Kindle. That is that to download books, it has to be hooked up to a credit card.  I can make other purchases from my bank account, but not with 1-click purchases, which is the way Kindle is set up.

But today I discovered something.

According to a discussion I just read, you can purchase yourself an Amazon Gift Card and then give it to yourself. Once the credit shows on your account, any 1-click/Kindle purchases you make will come out of your credit before rolling over to your credit card.

This is made of win.

Oh, for the record, what I’m reading now. The sequel to Flesh and Fire: Book One of The Vineart War, which you can’t read yet, because it’s not out yet.

Sometimes knowing authors rocks.

And so does this book.

ETA: I am informed that you can also avoid the credit card by linking your Amazon account to a debit card. D’oh! However, some people use the gift cards to budget themselves. Put a certain amount on, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

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Filed under amazon, Books, Fantasy, Kindle

Hello, stranger?

Who How are you?

I am experiencing that right now, because I started rereading the Ridiculously Long Work in Progress a.k.a. my novel.  I’m not finished writing the first draft yet, but am on top of the Big Finish, was having trouble working out the details, and decided now was as good a time as any to reread.

This has been a time of, “Wow, did I write that?” And, “Whew, I made that work better than I thought I did.”  And, “Eeeeeek!!!1! I forgot this? How did I forget this?!? This means what I just wrote doesn’t work!!!”

Yeah, hello stranger, who are you? My book?  Really?  I guess when I write 180,000+ words in nine months or so, maybe it’s not surprising that I have lost a lot of details.

I converted it to a Kindle-ready format using a free software program, calibre. It’s amazing how different it looks when it looks like a real book as opposed to a manuscript.  Things are jumping out of me that didn’t before. I love this. I highly recommend this as a way of reading a work in progress. It gives “fresh eyes” by making it look very different from the words on your screen when you’re writing them.

But mainly I’m happy.  Mainly I love what I’m reading. Mainly it’s working out well.

And the end pieces were beginning to click into place when–

My mom ended up in the hospital.  She’s fine, just one of those long, tedious, uninteresting stories that resulted in me spending most of every day there, not writing.  So now that (fingers crossed) it looks like life is about to ease into a more normal mode, I’m in the same place again.

Thinking, “Wow, I’m at home, I can write!”

Followed by, “Wait, where was I? What was I going to write next? I don’t remember!”

Yeah, this is where I came in.

Hello, stranger. What did you say your name is again?

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Filed under Kindle, Writers, Writing

More Kindle

On a writer’s yahoo list recently we discussed the idea of naming inanimate devices. My Honda Element is Punkin but I don’t usually refer to her as anything but “the Element.” I guess I’m not inclined to name things much, though I always think it’s a cool idea. My first Mac was creatively named “Mac” and they all have been since.

In high school my friend had a green Rambler station wagon that her family called the Green Demon:

[photo source: wikimedia commons]

Erm, I’m rambling. Rambling. Get it? Oh, never mind.  (My first car was a Rambler, too. Neither my friend nor I had cool parents, it’s clear.)

So, anyway, I’m on my way to get my driver’s license renewed and will be standing in line for a long time, I fear, and am having another one of those moments when I just want to grin like an idiot. I’ll be standing in line reading my Kindle and if I finish the book I’m reading right now (The Queen’s Bastard (The Inheritors’ Cycle, Book 1)) I don’t have to have another book in my shoulder bag ready to go, because having a Kindle is like having a freaking library that weighs next to nothing. I don’t even have to have the next book I want to read chosen and downloaded.

I can stand there in line and either browse through the sample chapters I’ve already downloaded, or surf through Amazon’s Kindle store, and “click” and buy another book.

Standing there in line at the DPS.

And in seconds, it will be waiting for me to read.

I thought about calling my Kindle “Carnegie,” after the gorgeous old Carnegie Libraries, because it is a library in my hands.

I have a feeling, though, I should call her “My Dealer.”

This book habit could get expensive.

Have a good Wednesday.

Send aid to Haiti.

Go Cowboys!


Filed under amazon, Books, Kindle, Names