Darrell Bain's Blog - October 2014
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Bainstorming: Darrell's Bain's Blog.
Responses to subjects brought up by this blog are welcome. I can be contacted by e-mailing me from my website.
Subjects this issue: New book: Samantha’s Talent, My Best Books, Eye infection & Jungle Fever, Publishing Doldrums, Home and vehicle financing, Betty’s terrible fall, Contest for the two best reviews of Samantha’s Talent, Acute Chelitis, Another War,
It has been a while since the last edition of my Bainstorming blog appeared. This is something in the way of a catch-up and doesn’t cover nearly as much as usual but illnesses and other factors such as (and I hate to say it) advancing age have slowed me down. Writing fiction and occasional non-ficition books and/or short stories remains my primary objective and any remaining energy goes for other projects, such as helping Betty with the house, running our errands and occasionally managing to produce another edition of Bainstorming. With that said, let’s go.
I am announcing a contest for the best two reviews of Samantha’s Talent, posted on Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble. Reviews may be from the print or ebook editions.
Samantha’s Talent is available either as an ebook or in print.
The top two reviews, regardless of content (so long as I judge it to be honest) will each receive a signed, print copy of Samantha’s Talent.
The contest ends 15th of November.
Winners are confined to the United States and/or Canada.
Thank you and good luck. Whether you win or not I sincerely believe you will enjoy this book. Description of the book below:
Jungle Fever and Eye Problem
For the last two or three years I’ve had recurrent bouts of extreme chills, very high fever and severe muscle aches. Each bout of this undiagnosed illness lasts from a couple of days to a week or so, then it takes another two or three weeks to recover my energy. No respiratory symptoms are involved. I’ve had it numerous times since the first episode. My doctor still has no idea of what is causing the symptoms but the next time it happens I will be sent to an Infectious Disease Specialist to see if that kind of doctor can help.
Also, over the last few months I’ve developed another undiagnosed illness, this time involving my right eye. The first time I noticed, it looked as if someone had taken a magic marker with white ink and drawn a well-defined white line across the side of my cornea, wider at one end than the other, shaped like a comma. Amazingly, it didn’t bother me a bit, nor did it affect my vision. The opthalmologist told me he thought it was a bacterial infection and gave me antibiotic eye drops. Two weeks later he was able to simply peel off that white deposit. He and I both thought I was cured--but it came back again. And again. And again. This last time it came back, he removed the white deposit, scraped my cornea in the area and deposited a clear contact lens saturated with antibiotic solution over the area and sent me home with pain killers. I returned in two days to have the contact lens removed and so far, the treatment appears to have worked. Between the two of us, Betty and I sure come up with some weird diseases and injuries. If you’re curious, you can use the search function of Bainstorming on my web site to look up Betty’s fight with a spider and the unremitting pain and discomfort it continues to cause more than three years later.
And another aggravating illness
Have you ever heard of Chelitis, especially Acute Chelitis? It is an inflammation that begins at the corner of the mouth, much like a cold sore does, but then progresses across both lips and meets in the middle, leaving blisters and inflammation behind. It is painful to eat with it, drink with it and kissing my sweetie is something to avoid, damn it. Nevetheless, Betty and I are so used to beginning the day and ending the day with a big long kiss and other kisses during the day. I guess we forgot a few times or kissed while it was in remission occasionally because damned if Betty didn’t come down with it! Hers has cleared up but mine hasn’t. My family doctor and my dentist neither have been able to come up with a cure. Betty and I saw a Dermatologist today and he gave us a prescription. I hope to hell it works. This is not fun at all, for either one of us!!!!
Betty’s bad fall
Betty got up one morning about six weeks ago and headed for the bathroom. She suddenly became dizzy and fell. She hit the immovable base of the gun cabinet with her head and then hit the floor with both her head and her behind. I was way at the other end of the house in the office having my morning coffee when I heard the crash of her hitting the floor and then her screaming for me to come help her. She had two knots on her head, one about the size of a goose egg (really!) and the other nearly that large. She was in terrible pain and couldn’t move at all. Naturally I called an ambulance and we got her to the Emergency room about 40 miles away. There she was kept for five or six hours and finally released but she had lingering effects. The worst was not being able to sit and a constant nausea and dizzyness. Naturally, she wasn’t allowed to drive so I had to drive her everywhere in addition to all the usual errands I run. The effects stayed with her for about four weeks before gradually tapering off. Then two weeks later she saw the Neurologist again and is now allowed to drive again. She is still having problems sitting but not as bad, but remember, she already had that improperly healed hamstring injury that has had her taking pain pills for the last three years. Anyway, she’s had a hard time but I’m glad to say she is well on the way to recovery. Alas, we now believe she tore some more muscle attachments besides the hamstring and will have even more problems sitting for long periods and will be in even more pain the rest of her life. See the next Segment!
Our ever-loving nanny government, making a bad situation worse!
Anyone who has been taking Tramadol or any other narcotic now knows that the FDA had moved Tramadol over to the controlled substances department and has ruled that NO controlled substance can be prescribed for more than a month supply at one time. What that means is that Betty and anyone else who has to take Tramadol or any other Narcotic now has to visit the doctor each and every month for a refill.
The ostensible reason the FDA took this action was because of the increasing number of overdose deaths. But guess what? Many people who could no longer get pain meds refilled moved to Heroin, and now overdose deaths from heroin have increased drastically, not to mention the number of normally law-abiding citizens who suddenly became crooks. This is called the Law of unintended consequences. Our government bureaucrats never seem to think out the consequences of their actions, do they?
E-cigarettes and Nicotrol Inhalers.
I’ve mentioned this before, but with the rise of the e-cigarette, it irritates me all over again. I was a heavy smoker for many, many years and the only way I finally managed to kick the habit was by using Nicotrol Inhalers. The inhaler is essentially a little two inch long container, including mouthpiece, for a cartridge of nothing more than nicotine vapor. One cartridge is the equivalent of about one cigarette. I use one cartridge every 4 or 5 days and I get nothing but a bit of nicotine vapor in my lungs, no tars or carcinogens at all. The problem is that even though it is sold over the counter in Europe and just about all over the world, our nanny state insists that it be a prescription item. Okay, but why then allow e-cigarettes to be sold over the counter when they are essentially the same thing other, than the nicotine vapor is flavored with who knows what kind of junk? It doesn’t make a bit of sense, but then we all know our government ceased making much sense years ago.
Over the last two or three years the publishing industry has undergone some significant changes. The biggest one, and the most detrimental in my opinion, is allowing anyone to publish whatever they wish for free at Amazon and B&N. I have no objection to self-publishing, per se. What I object to is the two biggest ebook publishers not signifying which material has been published by a regular publisher and which is self-published. The customers have no way of telling the difference and often buy material that is close to unreadable or so lacking in editing that it hurts whatever merit the manuscript might have had in the first place. This is not to say that many mid-list and small publishers don’t have problems with their own editing. I’ve been victim of it myself a number of times when I don’t see the results of an “editor” before my book comes out, but at least you can imagine they have tried.
The end result of the anybody-can-self-publish-anything is that the self-published manuscripts have flooded the market and sell at prices the regular publishers can’t compete with. My main publisher has seen business fall dramatically (and my sales have fallen right along with theirs).
This isn’t a blanket condemnation. You can find some real gems among self-published manuscripts but personally, before I buy something, I’d like to know that it has at least been sifted through an acquisition editor and at least copy-edited.
I don’t know where it will end. It may even be a good thing in the long run. I really don’t know. Probably the industry will change again in ways not yet foreseen to reflect the amount of sub-par material inundating the market right now.
In the meantime, what all this means for me personally is that it is no longer worth the work to produce a good story only to see it languish, buried among all the “independent” publishers’ material. Any writing I do from now on will be strictly for my own pleasure, simply because I like to write and tell stories for anyone who enjoys them, and of course I will continue to send them to my publishers and you’ll find them in the same places as always, including Amazon and B&N. The 63 books I have in print will remain available at Amazon, B&N, and other outlets, most of them available in both ebook and print editions.
I will also be doing a number of things to try to get my head above the pack, or at least up to the level of my ears so I can see what‘s going on. You, my readers and fans can help me continue writing in a couple of ways: If you’ve read a book of mine, I would greatly appreciate an honest review posted at Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble. I really mean it when I say “an honest review”. Whatever you feel about the book, that’s what I want to see, whether it is good or bad. Another way you can help is if you like a particular book of mine you’ve read, please recommend or mention it to your friends. Thanks. I really mean it: Thanks for your support. If you’d like to write me personally, you can do so through my web site, www.darrellbain.com . I do my best to answer all mail.
My Very Best Books
Following are what I believe are my best books, the ones that I like to re-read myself. I thought my readers might appreciate knowing which ones I consider my best work, so here they are, in no particular order:
1. Samantha’s Talent
2. The Apertures Trilogy (In order: Apertures, Apertures: Allies and Enemies and Apertures: A world Lost, A World Gained).
3. The Frontier Rebellion
4. Medics Wild
5. The Williard Brothers series ( In order, Postwar Dinosaur Blues, Bigfoot Crazy, Three For The Money and Space For Sale).
6. Space Trails
The most original method of star travel to be found in all of science fiction. High adventure, love, death and conspiracy on the Space Trails. A unique coming of age story.
7. The original Sex Gates
8. The Long Way Home
9. Starship Down
10. Galactic Frontiers
12. Strange Valley and the sequel, Prion Promises
13. Circles of Displacement
14. No Heaven, No Hell
15. Alien Infection
16. Savage Survival
17. Rogue Program
18. The Melanin Apocalypse
19. Alien Seeds
20. The Pet Plague Trilogy
21. Doggie Biscuit!
22. Life On Santa Claus Lane
24. Toppers Complete
Vehicle and Home financing
After a home, the purchase of a vehicle for transportation is usually the second most expensive item a family will ever buy. Unfortunately, a car or truck, unlike a home, depreciates at atrocious rates, as much as 40% the first year. I’ve never understood the logic of buying a new car every three or four years. We buy one and make certain it is maintained properly and drive it until it will drive no more or until repair bills become more than a monthly car payment.
Places to find my books
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