Author Archives: acflory

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes...

Innerscape Omnibus for Kobo

As I explained in the post ‘The Omnibus hits a pot hole‘, I can’t make Innerscape directly available on the Kobo ereader because Rakuten won’t allow me to use ‘acflory’ as my name. -rolls eyes- But where there’s a will, and a lot of help from a friend… ta dah, a workaround!

The friend in question is Dawn from DawnGillDesigns. You may also know her as the Silversmith. Anyway, I knew Dawn used the Kobo ereader so I contacted her and asked her to see if she could download the epub version of the Omnibus from sync.com, and read it on her Kobo. These are the pics she sent me:

This was straight out of the box, so to speak. The next one is after she adjusted both the font and the margins:

Proof positive that the epub can be sideloaded onto the Kobo! But how did Dawn do it? And was it hard to do?

When I quizzed Dawn about her method, this is what she wrote back:

‘It was super basic. I clicked on the link you sent me. My virus scanner scanned it, and then I plugged in my kobo. This automatically brought up a pane within file explorer, so I was able to drag the download icon at the footer of my browser window across. Then I ejected my kobo, by right clicking on the USB icon, and let it do it’s thing. Even easier than a library book, because all I had to do was drag and drop.’

So me lovelies, you too can download the Innerscape Omnibus onto your Kobo ereaders, and here’s the link to do it:

https://ln2.sync.com/dl/0dcbc6560/gbe6mitp-g88uxh6b-mxu4rt4g-6yuib2je

The ‘for Kobo’ link on the sidebar to the right will also take you to the same download link.

The Omnibus is free for everyone stuck at home during this global lockdown, and you won’t need to sign up or register or do anything at all. As with the PDF version, simply click the link and follow the onscreen instructions. Then follow Dawn’s instructions to sideload the epub file onto your Kobo ereader.

All I ask is that you don’t try to get some kind of commercial gain out of it. This is my gift to you. Read, share, enjoy, and #StayHome .

-hugs-

Meeks


Portrait of the Writer

I love graphics and design, but I couldn’t do a drawing of a person to save my life. That’s why I am so impressed with this drawing created by my friend, YorgosKC :

He worries that it’s not good enough. I say it’s amazing! I see myself in every line.

Thank you my friend. Thank you.

Meeks


Covid-19 – if the worst should happen…

I found this video of Dr John Campbell’s incredibly informative and just had to share:

The info. is focused on how a partner or relative should care for someone with Covid-19, but some of the info. could easily apply to someone at home alone. If you know what to look for and when to call for help, the life you save could be your own.

cheers

Meeks

p.s. I recently found out why it’s recommended that you wash your hands for 20 seconds. Apparently the Covid-19 virus is protected by an outer fatty? membrane, and 20 is how long it takes the soap to destroy that membrane and thus, kill the virus.


The Omnibus hits a pot hole

I uploaded the epub file of the Innerscape Omnibus to Draft-2-Digital last night and expected to be able to provide links to the various e-readers today. Not going to happen, at least not the way I thought it would. 😦

This is the email I received this morning:

The metadata problem is this:

‘Current vendor formatting guidelines require standard author name spelling (First Last name format). Please supply author name in First Last name format in the metadata Contributor field, within book manuscript file, and on cover image to proceed with publication at the stores you selected.’

My author name is ‘acflory’ – all smooshed together and in lower case. It’s been my author name since 2013. It’s my brand. It’s how I, as an author, am known on social media…

This was my reply:

I have been aware that Apple would not accept my books because of how I write my pseudonym, but having ALL ebook distributors playing this game is ridiculous. ‘acflory’ is my /brand/. I cannot just ‘change’ it without losing years worth of work, not to mention marketing.

I was going to publish my omnibus with D2D before Amazon because I wanted non-Kindle readers to get a free copy before Amazon’s exclusive 90 day period could begin. Now I won’t bother. I’ll simply make the epub available to readers directly.

Please advise how or if I have to withdraw my books from D2D.

acflory

By ‘make the epub available to readers directly’ I mean like the PDF version, via sync.com. Unlike Kindle ebooks, epubs are the same regardless of which e-reader – e.g. Kobo, Nook etc – is used. But…people wanting to read the epub on their e-readers will have to download the Omnibus file to their computers and sideload onto the e-reader from there.

As sideloading is not as easy or convenient as downloading the book directly to the e-reader, I’m hoping D2D will find a better solution. If they don’t, I’ll have to ask those of you with different e-readers to test the process, and perhaps write a how-to for others? I’d do it myself but I only have the Kindle and Kindle Fire e-readers.

Anyway, that’s it for today. I’ll keep you all posted on the outcome.

-hugs-

Meeks

 


Lost in Spam – a wonderful review of Vokhtah!

I was checking my emails after dinner when something made me open my spam folder. The first few items were genuine spam, but then I found an email from Chris Graham [aka The Story Reading Ape] alerting me to a brilliant review of Vokhtah. If this were fiction, you wouldn’t believe it!

“They were now just two frail iVokh pitting themselves against the might of the wild.”

Vokhtah is a difficult but rewarding book. If you like unusual conceptions of extraterrestrials, this is for you. Once you’ve read about half of it, the complexities begin to clarify themselves, but two readings are needed for complete understanding. For example, it took me quite a while to grasp that the Blue and the Messenger were the same individual, and I also didn’t realize that there were two traders’ caravans wending their way to Needlepoint – I thought the Junior and the Messenger were in the same caravan and I got confused. Part of the problem is that the characters don’t have names, only titles. In her end matter, the author addresses this – it seems there is a taboo in this culture about enunciating your real name.

Vokhtah is a grim and forbidding planet; it has two suns, one a hot white star and the other a red dwarf. Sometimes they both shine at once, creating a climate of extremes. The planet is populated with an assortment of mostly vicious and predatory lifeforms and that includes the intelligent ones, who prefer to consume their food animals live. It’s a tribute to the author that she can take these basically repulsive intelligent lifeforms and make them sympathetic. And I would recommend that any human ship of exploration steer clear of the planet Vokhtah – humans would probably be seen as prey animals!

My guess would be that the Vokh evolved from bat-like creatures – their ability to echo-locate is mentioned briefly. They have wings (which contain their lungs), so most of them can fly. They have two hearts. And they are telepathic hermaphrodites with seemingly magical inner powers, like mind-healing and also mind-killing (their Healers are also trained as assassins). There are two variant species – the Vokh (large and dominant) and the iVokh (meaning literally “small Vokh”). The Vokh have a serious flaw – breeding is consummated by means of violent rape; nobody wants to bear an offspring because the “female” always dies in childbirth (this doesn’t occur with the iVokh).

However, the people have a strong sense of honor and obligation – if you accept help from someone, you incur an obligation and if you don’t fulfill it, you are ostracized. In the second half of the book, after the episode at the Little Blue River, the main characters – the Messenger and the Apprentice – are shown developing a sense rare in these people – empathy, an ability to relate to and care about others with whom one has a relationship, beyond the obligations of the code of honor.

All this just scratches the surface of the author’s astonishing creation. I should also mention that the book is a cliff hanger, and no second volume has yet appeared.
I must say a few words about the language. Unfortunately, the Kindle version has no Table of Contents and so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the author provided a brief treatment of the language in the end matter. It seems to have no pronouns, and verbs are consistently rendered only with the present participle form, all of which helps to create the alien language effect. Certain words used in the text are self-explanatory, like “ki” for “no” and “s’so” for “yes.”

There is one etymological gaffe that I can’t help commenting on – the explanation of the word “boot” (a foot-covering). The character doesn’t know what the word “boot” means and it’s explained as a contraction of “bucket for foot.” And yet that derivation would be impossible since the iVokh aren’t speaking English. You have to assume that the Vokhtah words reflect a similar construction, which the author could have fabricated.

But that’s only a quibble – don’t be deterred! This really is an amazing book and while the culture may not be palatable to everyone (you need a strong stomach sometimes), I definitely recommend it to any serious reader of science fiction.

The review was written by Lorinda Taylor, also known as The Termite Writer. Some days just get better and better.

-hugs-

Meeks

 


Help with testing please!

At some point during the weekend, I suddenly realised that if I published the Innerscape Omnibus to Amazon first, people without Kindles wouldn’t be able to download it at all, for three months. -sigh- I know, I’m fast like that. So this is the revised plan:

  1. I publish the Omnibus as a free PDF first,
  2. Then I publish the epub for free with non Amazon distributors, for 2 weeks?
  3. Then I unpublish both the PDF and the epub so I can offer the Omnibus on Amazon for free.

-rolls eyes-

So here’s where I need some help. I’ve created the PDF, I’ve uploaded it to sync.com, and I have a link for downloading it from sync.com, but I’d kill for some volunteers to test the process. According to sync.com, you don’t need to register or do anything except click on the link and then ‘download’, but the file is over 4 MG, and I’ve grown distrustful in my old age.

So, how about it? Pretty please with sprinkles? 🙂

If you would like to test the process out for me, click the following link and …follow instructions!

https://ln2.sync.com/dl/49da33430/dpgjq745-ptjpuwt9-wh5i63er-8cgq8urq

And please let me know if I need to do anything to make the process easier. Oh! And remember, you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to actually read the PDF version of the books.

Thank you in advance!

Meeks


Can you pick the difference?

Back in this post, I asked for your feedback on the cover for the new Innerscape Omnibus. To my huge surprise, almost all of you chose version 3:

Of the three, this one was the one I liked least, from a purely aesthetic point of view. Plus it was obvious that the less nerdy amongst you didn’t know that the big square lump in the middle was meant to be the chip on the circuit board. So…

First I came up with this:

I really liked the new parts of the new design, but now some of the older parts of the circuit board looked messy. And that lump was still too big. So…

The differences are subtle, but to me they make the whole thing more aesthetically pleasing. Yes? No? Maybe?

Would love to get your reaction, and please don’t hesitate to point out things that don’t work. You guys really, really surprised me last time, but I had to admit that you were absolutely right. So… what do you think?

-on tenterhooks-

Meeks

 


Covid-19 Dr John Campbell update

The first frame of Dr John’s video is a photo of a bus in Sweden. It’s chock-a-block full, with everyone jammed up against everyone else. And no face masks either. Apparently the messaging about the virus is…laidback.

Bizarre and rather frightening. 😦

By contrast, I found the news from my state, Victoria, very heartening. It comes in a video from an Australian nurse that Dr John included in its entirety. The nurse is here in Melbourne, and she began with the news that our Premier, Daniel Andrews, is putting his foot down. Can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

You can also find the latest news about Victorian restrictions on the VicEmergency app. The app provides real time info on all threats from bushfires to storms etc. The virus info is under ‘Warnings’. If you don’t have the app. you can download it for free from the Google Playstore. Oh, and the Australian video is spliced in at around minute 11:45 of Dr John’s update:

The Offspring and I are well. In fact, we’ve been eating very well because of the need not to waste anything! The Offspring is making fruit deserts, and I’m making ‘No Knead Bread’ to reduce our dependence on outside sources. Friends and family seem to be doing much the same so I’m sure we’ll come out of this okay. I do fear for those who aren’t taking the threat seriously though. All I can say is #StayHome .

I hope all my online friends are safe and well. That means you. -hugs-

Meeks

 


Covid-19 – update 26/3/20

By now, just about everybody should know about Covid-19, and the danger we all face, but sometimes small, important things get lost in the overwhelming negativity. These are the points I took from Dr John Campbell’s video this morning:

  • At minute 6:56 – if you have pneumonia – don’t lie flat – try to stay sitting up in bed.
  • At minute 7:19 – drink lots of fluids because when the body becomes dehydrated, the mucous in the lungs becomes ‘thicker’, making it harder for the cilia to waft it out. Cilia are hair-like things that help clear the lungs.
  • At minute 8:03 – stop smoking because smoking can slow or even paralyse the cilia in the lungs.

Please watch the entire video as these are simply the points that caught my attention.

Two more things:

Apparently Prince Charles has tested positive for Covid-19. I’m not a monarchist, but I have huge respect for the humanitarian principles that have guided the Prince’s actions for decades. I wish him a speedy recovery.

And finally, a huge THANK YOU! to the wonderful people who work for Woolworths. The drivers who home deliver my shopping, and the people who pack it, have made it possible for me to self-isolate properly. And that has meant that I won’t be bringing this bloody virus home to the Offspring.

I don’t like sharing personal, family information on this blog because I don’t believe I have the right to talk about other people’s problems. This once, however, I’m going to break my unbreakable rule and tell you about the medication the Offspring takes to control ulcerative colitis. There are two kinds. One is in tablet form and has to be taken all the time. The second is an infusion – i.e. a chemical pumped straight into the bloodstream – that has to be administered in a hospital once every eight weeks. BOTH of these medications suppress the immune system because ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease.

So is Crohns. Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis are both Inflammatory bowel disease s, and require much the same medication.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is an autoimmune condition as well.

And lupus

And Rheumatoid arthritis

And Multiple sclerosis

And Guillain-Barre syndrome

And CIDP or Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.

And Psoriasis.

And Graves’ disease

And Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

And Myasthenia gravis.

And Vasculitis.

In all of these diseases, the immune system is either not working well enough, or working against the body’s own cells. Often the medication used to treat the condition suppresses the over-activity of the immune system.

But what about Asthma?

Asthma doesn’t attack the immune system the way the autoimmune diseases do, but it’s in the extended ‘family’, and similar medications are often prescribed to treat it [e.g. Prednisolone]. As such, Asthma sufferers are in as much danger from Covid-19 as any of the above.

All of these people have next to no defence against Covid-19.

And that’s not counting people with MCS. Or cancer. Or cystic fibrosis. Or COPD. Or Emphysema. All vulnerable. All at risk.

So when politicians reassure voters that most of them will only experience a mild disease and ‘only’ a percent of vulnerable people will suffer complications, they are misrepresenting the figures. There are a lot of people with immune related conditions or other vulnerabilities that make them sitting ducks. And these people come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny kids and strong young plumbers through to Boomers and the elderly.

Every time you break isolation because you’re bored, because you’re going stir crazy, because you’re just plain stupid, you risk getting and passing the Covid-19 virus on to someone who will end up dead.

And then there are the health professionals who are fighting Covid-19 without adequate protections. They are risking their lives every single day, and many are starting to fall prey to this virus themselves. These quiet heroes are dying because of selfish people who don’t care about anyone but themselves.

Don’t be a waste of oxygen. Stay-the-fuck-at-home.

Meeks

 


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