Sunday, May 6, 2012

SM Johnson ~Bloody Monday~ just stuff

Hello, darlings! This week's Bloody Monday is like Thursday Morning Coffee. Except on Monday.

Because really, I just want to ramble.

I'm still waiting for people to tell me what they thought of Fifty Shades of Grey, though, so if you're dying to talk dark fiction, please, feel free!

It's been a way-too-freaking-exciting weekend around here. Positive and negative. Good and bad. Productive, and yet soooooo not productive - all at the same time.

It had been my plan, upon realizing that Above the Dungeon was, yes, in fact, actually out of print - to get it uploaded to Amazon and Smashwords in double-quick time.

And then Life said, and I quote, "Bwahahahahahahahaha-bwahahahaha-haha!" As it so often does.

Oh yes. I was doing a kind of final edit on Above the Dungeon - making some changes to things that reviewers consistently mentioned. Nothing major - I let Dare get aroused more easily during the scenes he was ambivalent about, and added a tiny bit to the ending so it wasn't quite so abrupt. So if you read the original Above the Dungeon, wherein the book ends during a flogging scene, click HERE to read a short addition.

So it was my plan to finish checking over the draft Thursday night and upload the files Friday morning. II knew my contract with Torquere Press was coming to an end, and since I didn't plan to renew the contract, I'd already created the new cover, which tends to be the most time consuming part of self-publishing, for me, at least.

But overall, once an MS Word draft is ready, creating ebooks for Amazon and Smashwords is relatively easy.

Trouble was my draft had block paragraphing. And not block paragraphing of the sort that can be fixed by manipulating paragraph formatting. Oh, no, nothing that quick. I had HARD PARAGRAPH RETURNS throughout the document.

When I published Out of the Dungeon, I used indented paragraph styling. I certainly didn't want Above the Dungeon to be different. Dang it.

I planned to take a couple of hours to remove the hard paragraph returns.

How to wash stuffed animals
This, of course, did not take into account the fact that Sprite would be vomiting every 1/2 an hour from 11:30 pm Thursday night to 8:30 am Friday morning. Or that I would stay up all night deleting hard paragraph returns and washing blankets, and sheets, and more blankets, and a comforter, and several towels, and a few stuffed animals. (I followed the instructions, except for the "no dryer" part - I dried the babies for a couple of hours on the fluff setting. "Fluff" on my dryer means "without heat."

Did I mention Sprite has a loft bed and a zoo's worth of "stuffties" that she sleeps with?

Friday I was a zombie. I finally got to go to sleep at about 4:30 pm, only to have my phone blow up with all the people in my life who all me. "I'll get you, my pretty, and your glowing blue screen, too!"

But - after a good night's sleep, I did get the files uploaded on Saturday, and I am  pleased to announce that Above the Dungeon is now available at Smashwords and Amazon at an all-time low price of $2.99.

Believe me, if you paid $9.99 for a 3rd book in an erotic trilogy recently popular with the mainstream - (and if you're a straight woman or a gay man, or a person who likes reading gay erotica) - then Above the Dungeon for $2.99 is a total steal.

So... Saturday was good. Watched lots of Disney, and then the movie Twister. I created ebooks. Sprite was feeling better and begged to spend the night at a friend's house, which meant Hubby and I got to have a date night.

5:11 am on Sunday morning - Sprite calls. She threw up and needs to be picked up.

We watched AFV (America's Funniest Videos) on Netflix, and that cheered me up a lot. Laughter really is great medicine. And when the video store opened, I zipped over there and rented Titanic.

Sprite's been begging to see the movie since they talked about the Titanic in school around the 100th anniversary of the doomed voyage. I thought I could happily live the rest of my life without seeing it ever again (TV is not really my thing) - but I actually enjoyed it. And even cried towards the end.

Lovely, hmm?

Well, this is where things start to get dark for Bloody Monday. Only this is super extra WAY dark because it isn't fiction.

I looked up some footage of the Titanic on the bottom of the ocean. Which reminded me of the Costa Concordia, off the coast of Italy. Which lead me to video footage of the sinking of the Oceanos, and the fascinating story about how the Captain and crew abandoned ship, and the entertainment staff ended up coordinating the rescue of 100% of the passengers. Talk about whoa!

And THIS led me to watching videos of the 2004 Tsunami. And that led me to a series of 7 videos in which survivors of this horrific event (mostly tourists) share video footage and talk about living through such trauma. It starts here with part 1 (P1) and each subsequent part through 7 is suggested when the previous video ends.

Heavy, heavy stuff. If you need a reminder of your mortality, and of how lucky you are to be living and breathing each miraculous day - watch all 7 parts. But be prepared - sometimes there is blood, often you will see people being swept away to their deaths, and in the last couple of segments are a lot of dead bodies. The enormity of the terror and loss these folks faced - well, I cannot even imagine.

I remember that I'd bought something on Ebay a couple weeks prior to Dec 26, 2004 and it was coming to me from an area near the Indian Ocean. And  after hearing about the Tsunami, and something like 283,000 people dying - I knew I would never receive the item, nor would I ever give it another thought.

Waiting for a package is as close as I have been to a natural disaster, and as close as I ever want to be.

Needless to say, I did a little crying today, but it's okay. It's good to spend some time affirming the worth of our lives.

And - my day was, ultimately, capped off with brilliance.

Of course, there's always a silver lining, right? JC Andrijeski, one of my favorite writers in the whole wide world, sent me Knight: Allie's War book five (to beta read). So yay for sneak peek from favorite authors. There shall be redemption. And I was just trying to figure out what to read now that I've finished Fifty Shades, so it was perfect timing.

Haven't read any of Allie's War? Well, check out book one, Rook. I, personally, guarantee you'll find yourself hooked. If you don't get hooked, leave me a comment on this post, and I'll give you one of my books for free, your choice.

So, now... tell me something, darlings...

When is the moment you felt the most grateful to be alive?

Myself, I can think of a car accident or two - one in particular when I was driving across a long bridge in a snowstorm when I hit a patch of ice and my car spun 180 degrees. When I came to a stop I was facing a slew of other cars driving on snow and ice - and the people driving them were expecting to see taillights, not headlights.

Talk about terrifying.

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