News, Announcements and cleaning house at Amazon

I can’t put the moment off any longer. The following fiction books are now live on Amazon [in both print and ebook format]:

  • Miira
  • The Godsend
  • Nabatea
  • The Vintage Egg

My first non-fiction title – ‘How to Print Your Novel with Createspace’ is also live on Amazon. It is in paperback format only as it’s full of colour screenshots that the Kindle doesn’t handle all that well as yet. I may experiment with a black and white ebook version, but not for a while.

And…the original Innerscape episodes will be coming down soon.

For those who have already read Innerscape, Episodes 1 – 5:

  • Miira = Innerscape Episode 1
  • The Godsend = Innerscape Episodes 2 & 3
  • Nabatea = Innerscape Episodes 4 & 5

So although there are a lot of cosmetic changes – print version, covers, titles etc – there is nothing new in the story so please don’t buy it again. No, seriously. If Amazon won’t let me transfer the Episode 1 reviews across to Miira I will beg you to repost your wonderful reviews, but you do not need to buy the books to do that. I’ll let everyone know what Amazon says about the reviews as soon as I hear back from them myself.

If you haven’t read the Innerscape saga yet, I’m proud to announce that the ebook trilogy is now available on Amazon:

You can go to my Amazon Author page by clicking the picture or by clicking the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/A.C.-Flory/e/B00B1M04JI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1510877046&sr=1-1

And while on the subject of Miira, I’m even more proud to announce that the ebook is also available for permafree [$0] from the retail outlets shown below:

I finally went ‘wide’ and joined Draft2Digital. The pic shown above is from their website, and there you can click those cute icons to see the name of the retailer. Here I’ll just have to explain that the green square thing is Inktera while the Blue ‘B’ is Angus & Robertson [online]. Click the image to be taken to the website. I’ll be uploading The Godsend, Nabatea and The Vintage Egg very soon.

Just as an aside, I wanted to get Miira onto Apple as well, but apparently Apple didn’t like the fact that I changed my author name to ‘acflory’ instead of A.C.Flory, or even a.c.flory. It’s a small thing, but the visual impact of ‘acflory’ sets me apart, I think, and I like it so…no Apple. Sorry.

And now a bit about ‘How to Print Your Novel with CreateSpace’. Click the image of the cover to go to the Amazon page:

The spine is a picture I took of an old book in my library. The background image is taken from a beautiful photo I commissioned from Reflect Photography [Sallyanne Hartnell is the photographer]. The original photo was going to be the background to my website, but then I realised how much I’d lose if I left WordPress.com so the website went onto the backburner. I’m thrilled that the photo will see the light of day after all.

For the moment, the ‘How to..’ is only available on Amazon, but I will work on that over the Christmas break. My big ambition is to make the book available to everyone who has ever wanted to publish their own novel but gave up because it was too complicated. Having gone through the process five times myself, I know how tricky all the bits and pieces can be. That’s why I pitched the instructions to those who need help the most – absolute beginners. The next ‘How-to…’ will be pitched for slightly more advanced authors who want to publish non-fiction with all the formatting that implies.

Thanks for wading through all this stuff.

cheers

Meeks

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A Proud Australian

Yesterday marked a special day in Australia. We voted ‘Yes’ to equality and a fair go. And we voted ‘no’ to bigotry.

As a nation, that’s cause for celebration, but the moment would have tasted even sweeter if it had marked the day marriage equality came into law.

Because it’s not there yet. This postal vote was not compulsory. It was also not binding. That means the politicians in Canberra can dick about forever and a day, delaying the inevitable just to pander to party factions. The result of the vote had barely been made public and already a Rabid Right politician was spruiking a marriage equality bill that would grant the right to marriage but would also water down anti-discrimination laws already in place!

I hope the Rabid Right enjoys its moment in the sun, because if they mess this up, none of the Liberals will stay in power for much longer. That is the one lesson none of our politicians seem to have learned. I guess they still think the political see-saw of the last few years is just an abberation. But it’s not. Parliament is full of Independents because we, the people, no longer trust the two major parties.

Malcolm Turnbull, our PM, has said he will make marriage equality a reality by Christmas. I hope that reality does not include the right for others to discriminate against gay couples, because reneging on the clear wishes of we, the people, will sound the death knell for his whole party.

cheers

Meeks

 


Competition and Giveaway

No, not from me! One of my favourite Indie authors, Laurie Boris, is part of a multi-author, print book promotion that includes:

  • A new Fire HD 10 tablet.
  • A new Kindle Paperwhite.
  • A new 9 watt Fire tablet / Kindle eReader charger (you never have enough).
  • A signed print edition of RP Dahlke’s A Dead Red Cadillac.
  • A signed print edition of Donna Fasono’s Following His Heart.
  • A signed print edition of Laurie Boris’s The Call.
  • A signed print edition of Melinda Clayton’s Return to Crutcher Mountain.
  • A signed print edition of Dianne Greenlay’s Quintspinner.
  • A signed print edition of Julie Frayn’s Mazie Baby.

I’ve read ‘The Call’ and even though I know nothing about baseball, I still loved it. I haven’t read Melinda Clayton’s ‘Return to Crutcher Mountain’ but I have read an earlier book of hers and it was brilliant too.

If those two authors are anything to go by, the rest of the books will be fantastic as well. And then there are those Kindle goodies as well…

You can find all the details here:

http://fkbt.com/2017/11/13/time-big-november-giveaway/

Go on…what’re you waiting for? -grin-

Meeks


My first payment!

I’m almost giddy with joy! After five years, I finally get a payment notification!

I have no idea how much it’s for but this is the best pre-Christmas present ever. 😀

In case anyone’s wondering, Amazon has a $100 threshold for payments that require a cheque, and as Australia is in the back of beyond, I’ve never managed to receive a cheque. I have made sales though! Just not enough. Now with my Australian account, I can receive payment through EFT so…I get paid.:D

No comments. Just picture me jigging with happiness as I mow the grass!

-hugs-

Meeks


Artic Apple & double stranded RNA risk

Watch this video to find out about the complete unexpected effect of double stranded RNA fed to bees via genetically modified food.

 

You might also be interested in how the FDA was infiltrated by Monsanto to ensure that GM food did not have to be tested properly. Or labelled.

Meeks


GM Apple going on sale in the US

Apples used to be a symbol of health, and healthy eating. Not any more. To give sliced apples a longer shelf life, the Artic Apple has had a gene removed so it doesn’t go brown…perhaps ever:

Is this a case of Nature getting it wrong and man getting it right?

Fruit that is cut or bruised goes brown through a process of oxidisation. According to the dictionary, this means:

‘To combine or cause an element or radical to combine with oxygen or to lose electrons.

Okay, so what’s the big deal?

To be honest, I don’t know. All I know is that most [? all ?] fruit and vegetables exposed to air – i.e. oxygen – do go brown thanks to millions of years worth of natural selection. Natural selection is not the survival of the strongest, it’s the survival of the fittest. So something about the browning of fruit and vegetables when exposed to oxygen is a good thing, because it’s lasted through countless mutations during which a better gene could have taken over. But didn’t. Because it wasn’t a better fit for the environment.

Of course, the browning of all fruit and vegetables when cut or bruised could, possibly, be one of those genes that are simply ‘neutral’ – i.e. it doesn’t have much of an effect either way so it just hangs around. That is a possibility, but then why has it hung around in all of these fruits and vegetables? Surely at least one of them would have done better without this gene?

I mean, think about it. The whole purpose of fruit is to be eaten…so the seeds inside can be carried somewhere else and pooped out. Then, those seeds have a chance of starting a new plant in a new place. That makes sense. So wouldn’t it also make sense to stop the bruised fruit from going brown? Wouldn’t fresh-looking fruit be more appetising to the fruit-eating poopers?

What I know about genetics could fit into a thimble, but commonsense tells me two things:

  1. the fact that natural selection didn’t get rid of the turn-fruit-brown gene means that there was no advantage to doing so,
  2. being able to sell sliced fruit is a terrible reason to genetically modify anything.

Who gains by being able to have apple slices sitting on a shelf for god knows how long?

And why would you even want to have sliced apples for sale?

I mean, seriously, the apple is the original convenience food. All you need to do is bite into it.

Have these Artic Apples been developed for people who have no teeth and have to gum their food?

Or has our obsession with convenience deprived us of all good sense?

Are we truly that lazy??

What’s next? Apple sauce that grows on trees? Don’t even need to chew….

This whole thing would be almost funny if it were not so real. I truly don’t like the future I’m starting to see.

Meeks

p.s. and to add insult to injury, guess who developed this ridiculous apple – our own, Australian C.S.I.R.O. I am so ashamed.


TORUK and beyond

The Offspring and I went to see the Cirque du Soleil production of TORUK last night and it was spectacular, but not quite as magical as the production I saw a great many years ago. Clearly, nostalgia played a part, and I do know that memory cheats, but some of the real differences are worth mentioning.

Venue

Back when I saw Cirque du Soleil for the first time, the performance was under a Big Top, and although huge, it made the experience much more intimate. Last night’s performance of TORUK took place in the Rod Laver Arena, and to me, the place is insanely big.

This is a photo I took before the performance began:

Apologies for the quality of the photo, but that hand on the right makes a perfect point – the other side of the arena is a looooong way off and the people there look like fly specks. The dark, purple area in the middle is the ‘stage’.

The Offspring made sure we had excellent seats very close to the stage, but I was still gobsmacked by the sheer size of the place. It felt more like a football oval than the venue for a performance.

Security

Another point of difference between then and now was the security. Every single person was checked – bags and bodies. The security guy didn’t wave the wand thingie over me – too grey and inoffensive looking? – but the Offspring was wanded, and the efficiency of the security people was both reassuring and rather scary. Way back then, there was no need for such stringent security, and I’m saddened by how much the world has changed.

Access

Melbourne has more public transport than most Australia cities. We have an excellent train network and the inner city area is well supplied with trams as well as buses. Nevertheless, we are also a city of cars, and never has that been more obvious than last night.

The Offspring and I left home at 6pm for an 8pm performance. We drove. We barely made it to the performance in time.

Part of the problem was that Friday night traffic is always bad, plus there were road works at a critical point on one of the feeder roads leading to the Rod Laver Arena. But most of the congestion was caused by the venue itself.

This is a map of the area:

You can see how close the venue is to the Melbourne CBD. The CBD is well supplied with public transport, but the area around the arena is for cars only, and the roads were ‘chockers’ [stop-start to you non-Aussies]. What’s worse, the Rod Laver Arena is not the only venue in that particular stretch of real estate. The area bounded by the purple line is full of public venues, and they all seemed to be in use last night.

In hindsight, we should have parked elsewhere and walked, or taken one of the cute little rickshaw-type vehicles that work that stretch of road. But we didn’t know what conditions would be like and had a terrible time getting there. At one stage we thought we might miss the performance altogether.:(

That kind of stress is not conducive to magic, so I was not in my happy place when the performance of TORUK began. Nevertheless, there was enough magic in the show to bring a huge smile to my face. You see, TORUK is like a modern day opera with circus elements.

Opera? Really? Yes…well, sort of. If you think of opera as a story told through music and acting then TORUK is not far off the mark. Cirque du Soleil has always been known for creating beautiful, evocative music, sung in a ‘language’ no one understands. In fact, like opera sung in Italian, the ‘no one understands’ bit is the true genius of the music because it does away with the language barrier completely.

And then there’s the story. TORUK takes the Avatar concept and subtracts anything overtly ‘human’ from it. The story is Na’vi-centric [the blue natives of Pandora] and follows three young heroes – two males and a female – as they overcome great obstacles to gather five sacred objects. These objects are needed to stop a volcanic eruption from destroying the Na’vi sacred tree.

Anyone familiar with gaming would immediately recognize the story as a ‘quest’ plot, and as with the Lord of the Rings, the quest is also a story of personal development. Told through mime, and action sequences that showcase the circus elements, the story is complex enough to need a ‘narrator’, and this is the one element I could have done without. Every time the narrator spoke in English, I fell out of the story.

The Offspring disagrees with me about the storytelling aspect of the performance, so I may be in a minority of one here. Nevertheless, I believe the English actually broke the magic that I’d come to expect from earlier productions. I have no idea whether the rest of the audience felt the same or, like the Offspring, appreciated knowing what the hell was going on.

Anyway, that was the only element that was a negative for me, and it was more than counter-balanced by some of the other, innovative elements of the show, such as the puppets. Controlled by performers in dark body suits, the ‘beasts’ of Pandora really made me smile, but then I’ve always loved puppets – Dark Crystal anyone? – and the Japanese art of Bunraku.

Couldn’t resist showing you some examples. First up is a scene from the Dark Crystal by the late Jim Henson:

And from the other side of the world, Bunraku from Japan:

The TORUK puppets were not quite as sophisticated as either of these two examples, but they were still amazing and totally unexpected in a ‘circus’ performance. But then, Cirque du Soleil has always been more than just a circus. Right from the start they refused to have live animals, and although they used to have clowns, the more death defying circus acts were always woven together into a theme that told a story of sorts.

Those innovative, non-standard circus elements are what made Cirque du Soleil such a ground-breaking company, but TORUK has taken that evolution to a new level. It is story-telling with music that uses circus elements instead of being defined by them. The result is a spectacular and beautiful performance.

And yet, if I’m honest, it was still the death-defying, gasp-inducing circus elements that really took my breath away, and two ‘acts’ really stood out. One featured a gymnast working on something like the ‘rings’, and the second featured a gymnast/contortionist.

My dad was a champion gymnast in his youth, and I learned to appreciate the skill through him. Especially the rings:

The rings are all about strength, control, skill. The young man who performed a version of the rings in TORUK used only straps. If Dad were still alive he would have applauded his strength and artistry.

The second element that blew me away was a contortionist who bent his? her? body into impossible positions while balancing on what amounted to a very large seesaw. The following Youtube video isn’t from TORUK but it does show how amazing the Cirque du Soleil performers can be:

I should also mention the performer who ‘juggled’ five boomerang type thingies. Simply amazing.

And did I mention the sets, props and light show? I’m not sure how they did it – laser projections perhaps – but they made it look as if water were flooding across the stage. Colour me gobsmacked.

Would I recommend TORUK to others? Oh god yes. Seeing TORUK was our big treat and Christmas present this year, and it was worth every penny. 🙂

cheers

Meeks

 

 


TORUK – Cirque du Soleil

We’re going to the Melbourne show tonight!

I saw the Cirque du Soleil live many years ago and I’m thrilled to be seeing them live again, especially with this Avatar theme [LOVE Avatar].

The tickets weren’t cheap, but this will be my big treat for the year so I’m refusing to count the pennies. 😀

More later,

Meeks


Cruel and Inhumane? — Filosofa’s Word

Rosa Maria Hernandez … you are likely to hear that name a lot in the coming days, for she is, at age ten, one of Donald Trump’s “bad hombres”. Rosa Maria came to the U.S. when she was three months old and her family settled in Laredo, Texas. She had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy […]

via Cruel and Inhumane? — Filosofa’s Word

There are two things in this world that I will fight to protect – children and animals – because neither can effectively fight for themselves. If you are a mother or a father, please, pass this post to those you know and love in the hope that the groundswell of outrage will be noticed, even by /him/.


Warrandyte – burning off in the rain

That pile of ash and charcoal is all that’s left of a huge pile of dead branches, windfall and prunings that I’ve been collecting all winter.

I know it doesn’t look like much now, but that pile was becoming a real danger so, it had to go. And what better time to burn it off than when everything’s nice and wet!

“But isn’t it too wet to burn?” you ask.

Nope. It rained quite heavily early this morning and at 7:00 am, everything was quite wet, including the outer layer of the pile. Inside, however, that pile was dry and ready to burn. I crumpled up a few sheets of scrap paper and shoved them underneath the pile. Then I put a couple of firelighters on top of the paper and set it alight. In an hour, the original pile and huge armfuls of very wet windfall were all gone.

I suspect most of you know where I’m going with this; branch and leaf litter burn extraordinarily well, so if you live in and around Warrandyte, clean up your property now, before everything dries out and the whole area turns into a tinderbox.

Okay, now I’m going to collapse and not move for a while. 🙂

cheers

Meeks

 

 


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