Death is a part of life. It is the big unknown and not fun to think about. My sister-in-law sent me an obituary that had been written by the deceased person, a man who had been suffering from ALS for years. It was a joyful tome to his anticipation of experiencing what comes next. His joy was in his surety that his experience would be the most wondrous. Oh that we could face death with that wonder and happiness. It was truly a gift for him and I hope his dreams of the afterlife have been fulfilled.  This year, there have been many celebrities who have past. A banner year for travel to that plane. And so I think about my own mortality.

I live in a 55 and older community and Sunday as I swam in the pool, I looked around. All of us die. All of us in the pool will die and soon. The human condition is to know of our own mortality and still take pleasure in the gift of life. The lucky ones, the ones who do not suffer from an illness, live in extreme poverty, spend their lives in a war zone, or who were born without one of five senses have truly won the lottery of life. I am one of those people and I acknowledge my gratefulness for it everyday, or at least, most days. To have been a traveler on the journey of life is not without its heartbreaks and loss, of which I had my share, but the crapshoot of your birth governs how you will spend your days. I also have chosen to let love into my life and to give love whenever I can. Each day that I wake, I bless my life, the environment of my life and the people who have given me so much love, Mother ‘s day and everyday.

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Focus on what’s important

In these troubling times of name calling, swearing, lying, and cheating, embracing dictators, murderous regimes, and foreign adversaries by our president, it’s important to take a step back and realize that life is not about politics. Life is about pursuing  contentment, knowledge, and love. Gaze into the heavens and see the plethora of stars and feel humbled. In that mass of stars, earth is but one planet among billions. How fortunate that life emerged here and evolved to such a point that we humans have created art, music, culture, languages, and writing it all down for future generations.

Literature, whether fiction of nonfiction creates a world view. Imparts a slice of life to remain forever in the annals of history. Fiction can give us insights into the past, like Gone with the Wind, or what the future will be in the minds of those living the current era like Blade Runner.  Sometimes fiction is prescient like the works of Orson Wells, or Jules Verne. Sometimes just flights of fancy for amusement like The World According to Garp or with political overtones like Alice in Wonderland or like my latest book When a Stranger allegory on how greed has corrupted all aspects of modern society.

We should all take joy and comfort in how we humans have had great thoughts that have lasted through the millennium, great discoveries in science and medicine. We can read about the ideas of Plato because he wrote them down, we can see the miracle of science by watching our TVs, working on our computers, carrying computer/phones in our pockets. In just my life time, I have seen all these modern wonders come to pass. When I wrote my master’s thesis it was on a typewriter, data keypunched into a mainframe. As a young girl, I had no cell phone to call for help when my car broke down.

Right now, I can look out my window and see beautiful trees and grass, blue sky, and breathe fresh air. For now, nature seems to be enduring, eternal, and brings us peace. A walk in the woods cheers our souls. A sighting of a deer brings joy. We must cherish this amazing evolution of self-aware life on this lonely planet. We are the keepers of this gift. We must not take it lightly. But we are seeing it start to slip away in our lifetime.

I am confident that when this evil government is brought to an end and we are able to once again trust our leaders, then Americans will focus on what’s necessary. Protecting our earth and all of its species, including us, from extinction. So that future generations can read all about the marvelous history of humanity, warts and all.

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BookBub promotion disappointment

When I finally was accepted for a BookBub promotion, I was psyched. Right off the bat it was a letdown because it only was accepted to the international market but with the caveat that I could request the US-only market in the future. Also, it was much cheaper than paying for both markets, the US market being costly. Okay, I figured this acceptance was still good. The estimated sales average for one day was 750 books–wow. A giant amount for one day but also far less than thousands averaged for both US and international. But it was a first step. The competitiveness of BookBub is legendary. I had been trying for years with all my books. No luck.

Tales of bestsellers being born from a BookBub promotion have swirled around the internet. I thought I was set and waited in a spell of excitement for the day to arrive. Needless to say (as this headline suggests), my results were extremely poor. On the day  the promotion went out, I had  less than 100 sales. After one week about 120 in sales. In a positive note, I picked up over 3000 KU page reads. The most in a month I’ve ever had. But the ROI is extremely poor since I had to price my book at 99 cents in order to get the $200 cost of the promotion.

Now I hesitate to pay $600 to try a promotion in the US.  I realize the market is different for different genres, but BookBub takes that into consideration in their estimates. If one goes out to the internet and sees the deluge of books and promotion sites, it’s amazing that an unknown like me sells any books, even with hard won reviews that are pretty good. I have to take pleasure in the thought that some folks in the UK, Canada, Australia, and one in India are reading my book.

Alas, my work as a self-published author will never attract a large following, no matter how I try and how much money spent to promote. It is what it is. But, I don’t think I’ll try BookBub again. It is too expensive and not worth it when it bombs, and unfortunately, the promotion can bomb.

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hello subscribers

For about a week, I will be running a special for When a Stranger Comes…. It will be 99c here and abroad. Finally BookBub picked it for a promotion but just internationally. That’s a start! I’ve been trying to get BookBub to select it but they are very picky. At last, they chose it, but like I said, just internationally. However, they told me I can try for a US only promo in a month. This is huge for me. So I invite all of you to take advantage of the reduced price in the United States as I’m running another promo here with e-Reader News Today and e-Book Discovery. And, as always, I would love feedback in the form of a review. Where else can you be entertained for a few days for about a buck?

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Troubling times

It’s been very hard for me to concentrate lately on being creative because it seems everyday our democracy is under attack. I took for granted that the USA would always be a free country, a democracy, and have an elected president. Lately, I’m not so sure. I worry because there seems to be members of our government that have taken bribes from a foreign adversary, Russia, and will not control a president who seems unhinged and moving toward being an authoritarian. I grew up in NYC where Donald Trump was a tabloid headline grabber and not respected. He was known as an immoral greedy bigot. It was shocking that he got elected. I can only assume it was because of fans of the Apprentice who bought the mystique that he was a very successful businessman and someone to be admired. He is not that man. He is an entitled spoiled child whose father bankrolled his fortune and bailed him out whenever he bankrupted a business. He also fleeced the government by using tactics to never pay taxes.

These facts about him can be verified. Nobody really knew this about him when he ran. The unsettling part is his excessive greed. I believe that his insatiable desire to become as wealthy as a Russian oligarch propelled him to try and seal the trump tower deal. Everything  he’s done since becoming president is with that in mind. He is subservient to Putin because Putin can make or break that deal. If he appeases the desires of Putin while president the tower will make him richer than he ever imagined. As rich as he’s always dreamed of being. Because with some soulless individuals their greed is a bottomless pit.

Putin wants to destroy our democracy. He is another bottomless greedy man. He wants to rule the world. Trump can facilitate that and we can see how he’s tried to sabotage what we stand for as America and Americans. The complicit GOP is letting Putin take over our country by enabling this president to have overreach, to increase income inequality, put us in great debt, divide the citizens into warring political factions, and create a scapegoat out of the free press calling it the enemy of the people. These tactics were used by Hitler. When will this horror end?

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