Sunday, January 10, 2021

Brilliant idea, disaster, and-finally-success! Plus Mini Movie Reviews


Last weekend, I had what at the time seemed like a Brilliant Idea! I should not only have my sample chapters on the website but also make them into the main three file types readers like so you can download them and read them in whatever way/device makes you happy!

Like Patrick from Sponge Bob, things that seem like a great and easy idea can lead to DISASTER!  Dum dum dum! 

Okay, calling it a disaster might be a bit much (but sounds so much more dramatic!). Still, for a while there, it very much felt like one. DOH. 

What’s so hard about doing different file types? 

That’s what I thought! I was so wrong. Previously, my publishers took care of all the different files needed for the ebooks. My foray into self-publishing after a couple of my publishers closed their doors (so I put my two books  back out there myself) in 2019 wasn’t bad, as I used Amazon and Smashwords and they have conversion tools. 

Except, I can’t use those tools to make sample chapters with. So I dove into the internet to see what other people used. I had no idea the can of worms I was opening.

While there is a lot of advice out there, much will depend on how involved or how much pain you are willing to go through to get them to work. 

Five days later, many pounding headaches, no writing getting done, and trying different sets of software to see which would give me what I wanted, I finally hit on the right combinations! But what a pain!

Mind you, no lesson is ever lost, no endeavor (successful or not) is entirely wasted, I just wished it hadn’t been so $%#^. LOL. 

What combo led me to success?

I ended up using the free software called Magic and an online converter called Convertio. Several sites recommended Sigil, but unless you are a developer, I don’t think installing its pieces is for the normal person. Magic at least came with an .exe bundle. 

The biggest surprise was how epub is set up like html pages. It’s like a website of the book! A quirky, touchy website. Many people swear by Calibre, but Magic is the one that worked best for me.

I still had to massage things, go through some trial and error, and I added new end matter info to the files. My goal was to find something that would let me preserve the look and feel of the true ebook file so what you saw in the sample was what you could expect if you went out and bought the book.

I finally wrestled the beast to the ground! Bwahahahaha! Now in each of the webpages at my site for the first sample chapter, you’ll also see an option to download all three at one in your favorite format – epub, mobi (kindle), or pdf! Huzzah!

Just look for these three icons, click the one you want, and download the file. There’s even a snippet in a flip box to tell you how to get it into your device if you’ve not done that type of thing before. Woot!


Used by Calibre, Nook, Kobo, Freza, etc.


Used mainly on Kindle and MobiPocket


Adobe Acrobat and on the web.

Today’s Random Question!

Ninja’s vs. Pirates, Star Trek vs. Star Wars, cake vs. pie, Dean vs. Sam – why choose at all?

I’ve heard this kind of conversation a lot. People wanting to choose one thing over the other and arguing about it. Why restrict yourself? I choose both! Each of them have their pros and cons, but I enjoy them, so why limit myself to one or the other? Heck, in some cases, the two together make more than each would alone!

Someone, though, had a ton of fun with this topic at Uber Eats. Something only fans would get. Love these commercials!  Don’t you? (If the video doesn’t show up – you can see it here.)

Mini Movie Reviews

The Professor and the Madman

4.25 out of 5 stars

This is a 2019 film we ran across on Netflix. The film description does it no justice whatsoever. Lots of top UK and US stars. A super interesting story. Totally recommend it.

Hubby Rating: Great film.

Wonder Woman 1984

2.5 out of 5 stars

It was weird. The first hour was great! Then it took a turn and slid into “huh?”.

If you want to know what’s wrong with this film, there are lots of posts out there dissecting it.

Loved seeing Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) in this. I’ve seen him in a couple of things and he’s fab!

Too bad they hosed the second half of this one. 

Hubby’s Rating: Better on Cable.

Shockwave 2

4 out of 5 stars

You don’t need to see Shockwave, to see Shockwave 2 (We hadn’t). A really smart script, with several curves. They covered all the bases. Great action and special effects to boot!

Hubby Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission

Have a great week!


Sunday, December 20, 2020

Virtual Tourist - Assassin's Creed Origins 12/20/20


Insert picture description
Well, as of Friday, I am FREE! The job has ended. Now to see if we can make this retirement thing work. Health issues notwithstanding, I am excited to get writing full time! Booyah!
Lots of virtual pics uploaded, so if you want to see the ones I do not end up sharing, you can check them out here. (This time the link goes to the Assassin's Creed Origins folder, rather than the homepage. :P)

Assassin's Creed Origins - inside the sphinx
Inside the Sphinx - a cool map room showing where all the stone formations are that mirror the different constellations.
Assassin's Creed Origins - Pyramids
Pyramids! So much sand...

Assassin's Creed Origins - pyramid view
View from the top of the pyramids! You can see the ruins of the worker towns below as well. Sucker was hard to climb. :P
Assassin's Creed Origins - pyramid treasure
Inside the pyramid! Treasures and sarcophagi and more!
Assassin's Creed Origins - ancient secrets
Secret place inside one of the pyramids. Ancient objects with seeming magical properties. Recordings of those who have tampered with humanity.
Assassin's Creed Origins - ancient memories
Memories from an ancient devise. They became gods to the people.
Assassin's Creed Origins - desert sunrise
Dawn in the desert! Look at that gorgeous sky!
Assassin's Creed Origins - Memphis
The city of Memphis! Pyramids make for a cool backdrop. :)
Assassin's Creed Origins - Mummification
The preparation of the dead for their next life. They gave a lot of info and details here. To darn cool!

Mini Movie Reviews
Insert picture description
Monster Hunter
3.5 out of 5 Stars
I've not played the Capcom game the movie is based on, so can't say much about how faithful to the game it is. The CGI, landscape, and monsters are great. The world-building is sketchy - if you have thousands of spider things living in the middle of rocks in a desert, without any food (which there was none) they could not survive. But for action and weird beasts, it will do. :P
Hubby's Rating: See for Matinee.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Virtual Tourist - Assassin's Creed Origins 12/6/20


Good morning!

Let's see if I can pull this off. This will be the first time I am doing a virtual tourist right from the newsletter rather than the blog. Should be interesting! :P

Also, since I tend to take a LOT of pics, I'm uploading more than what you see each session and trying to pick the best ones to share. So if you want to see the ones I do not end up sharing, you can check them out here

A gorgeous view of the Nile and far off pyramids.

Pyramids! So much sand...

Crocodiles are huge! He looks dead, but nooooo.

All the varied landscapes of Egypt. Such great work.

The cultivated zone meets the desert. 

This is a cruel way to get rid of someone.  There will be payback. :P

The Letopolis - it's a huge compound. 

In the Aegean Coast - Mount Vesuvius! (Of Pompeii fame) - this ship battle is not with Bayek but from the perspective of his wife. (Taking pics mid-combat is hard! Lol)

This pic has a little bit of everything. I do so love all the details!

The Sphinx! They make fun here - Bayek telling himself he thought it would be bigger. :P 

Mini Movie Reviews
The Croods: A New Age

4.25 out of 5 Stars

The film was super cute! Loads of content for adults. The further the film went, the more fun I had. Banana Bros and Thunder Sisters had me rolling. At first, the film moves in a predictable direction but then takes a wild turn. Totally worth seeing. 

Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission

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