Monday, June 27, 2011

The End

Cover is of my own design

That's right! I finally made it to the end of my first draft of my first book! Yay! It's been sent to my mom for approval before I send it to my betas. At the moment I am printing out a full copy to edit, but not for at least a month or so. So what's next for me? I finally get the chance to play with one of my other shinnies! The one that has held my imagination's attention so tightly the past couple of months that it has been really hard to finish WF. I plan to start working the outline for my YA mermaid guardian story this week. I'm going to be using a new writing technique and will be putting in no less than two hours of writing a day. I'm in hopes of finishing this new draft much sooner than what it took me to write WF. A title is still in the works for the new story of course, so for the time I will just call it Mermaid Guardian, MG for short.

A huge thank you to the TPR crew! You guys kept me going when I wanted to give up. I've learned tons from you guys, and continue to learn more every week.

To the ninjas, I'm going to try and participate more that life seems to be calming down. The last two months were busy, but I'm buckling back down on my writing and could really use the moral boost you all provide.

Mom, thanks for being my Alpha and supporting me in this adventure. You're not only the best mom ever, you're my best friend!

I can't wait to start my next adventure, so off I go to create something new!

Ta!

A.McBay

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kindle tips and tricks

Now that I have gotten my fresh unbroken kindle 3 in, loaded with all my books, and organized into collections, I have been testing out the features I have waited so long to tinker with. Like reviews and twitter after you have finished a book, or my favorite the RSS feeds. That's right, I be reading yo bloggin on my kindle! (ahem, sorry for the pirate talk…)If you're looking to read your RSS feeds on your latest generation Kindle here is a quick quote how-to I found.

"First, log into your Google Reader account and use the awkward cursor control to navigate your feed list. Then hit the "right" cursor to enter the news articles themselves. Then comes the trick: just press "f" to enter full-screen mode, instantly turning your Kindle into a custom newspaper. You can scroll through the article with the Kindle's page-turn buttons, and – using Google Reader's keyboard commands – press "j" and "k" to page through articles."

And if that's not easy enough for you, just point your kindle browser at nowsci.com. They have simplified the reader so that it is easier for you to read and navigate. I bookmarked it along with the google reader and am currently testing the pros and cons of each site.
Then there is the picture viewer you can access:
  • Plug your Kindle 3 into the computer with the USB.
  • Open the Kindle drive that is now in your displayed with your removable drives, in the root (i.e. not in another folder) create a folder called "pictures" within that folder you can create a number of other folders, then add your images/pictures to this (or these) folders. I've only tried Jpegs and they work fine.
  • Once finished safely unplug the Kindle and then press "alt" and "z" on the home screen, this will refresh the screen and add your new folders.
  • Click on the folder/collection and Image Viewer should launch.
  • Once in the viewer the following control options are available:
    • f = full-screen
    • q = zoom in
    • w= zoom out
    • e = reset zoom
    • c = actual size
    • r = rotate
    • nav controller = pan
Finally there's a few hotkeys everyone should know about:
  • alt + shift + G = screenshot
  • alt + G = screen refresh
  • alt + home = Kindle Store
  • alt + top row of letters on keyboard = numbers 1-9
and while reading a book:
  • alt + B = add and remove bookmarks
  • shift + Sym = Turn text to speech on and off
  • set cursor down the page to start text to speech from there
  • right arrow on nav controller = skip to next chapter
  • left arrow on nav controller = skip to previous chapter

 
Omigosh, I love this device! I still use Mobipocket Creator to convert my word files into readable e-book format. This helps a ton when working on my WIP. There is another converter called Calibre, but I've not tinkered with that program enough to give much advise.
 
How bad is kindle love in this family? Well the other night after telling my daughter I loved her, she tells me she loves me more than I love kindle. Yeah, it's that bad.

I hope this post helps rekindle a kindle lover's heart, or inspires a non-kindle owner to go out and get one.

Off to go read some blogs on my awesome kindle!
Ta!
A.McBay

Saturday, June 18, 2011

1,000 views


This week I have worked on getting back into my writing by blogging more. Sure, it's mostly just me rambling on, but its writing. As a result, I've hit my first 1k views here on Wild@Heart! Yay! So, I wanted to thank all of those who visit. I know for most bloggers a thousand views is nothing, but to me it's huge! I can't believe so many have read my words. It gives me hope that someday you will be reading WF.


Speaking of, WF is nearly complete! I know I've been saying this for a while, but I now have my mother-in-law spurring me to finish it before she leaves. Nothing says motivation like a MIL! Mine is fab! I'm so lucky to have married into her family. What is one of your best motivations?


Once more, a huge thank you to those who visit!


Ta!

A.McBay


 

Friday, June 17, 2011

TGIF: What a week!


What a busy week this has been! Early in the week I finally got into the garage and unpacked the rest of the boxes that were piled along one whole side. We haven't had use of the garage since we moved here. It's so nice to be able to pull our trucks in if we want, and in the evenings we have gotten into a habit of sitting out in the garage and watching the neighbors come and go.

As I have mentioned before, my little brother is staying with us while my husband deploys, so he has been trying to earn his sister's fabulous cooking, and the room he will rent out when he finds a job. I've wanted to paint my office since moving here, I picked up the paint and supplies, and put him to work. Of course I helped when I could, but the kids held most of my attention. Especially after my lil' ninja boy snuck into the office and painted the sliding glass window. Luckily, it wiped away with a little tide with bleach. My brother finished the red, to die for red is its name, and is waiting for me to make up my mind what color I want the trim. I'm thinking a chocolate or a light tan, but will have to research a bit more.


Lastly, my Kindle 3 broke *cries* Yep, the hinges that hold it to the cover snapped right off. So, be careful if you have the Amazon leather covers. The hinge is stuck in the Kindle warping the frame. Thankfully, I have a two year warranty, and Amazon has the best customer service ever! After a few minutes on the phone, they were shipping me a new Kindle, e-mailed me a paid shipping label for the broken Kindle, and credited my account to get another cover (although it had to be the same hinged one…) I should get my new Kindle tomorrow, but until then I just bump it out with the warped one.


I am getting back to my writing, and TPR. Tina was about to come after me if I missed anymore sessions. I think I had to work out a few personal things before I could get into my characters head. I'm back now though, and feeling great!


Speaking of writing, I have a lot to do!

Ta!

A.McBay

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This and That

First off, I want to start this post out with a prayer chain. We woke this morning to a call from my sister-in-law who was upset because her little Pomchi puppy had gotten hit by a semi- truck this morning. Sophi, the pomchi, got clipped by the back wheel and is injured pretty badly. Thankfully my SIL's work place cares so much, they gave her a day off with pay to take her puppy to the vet and she and Sophi are on the way as I type. I only ask that you keep them in your prayers today. I'll keep you up to date on her condition in the comments area.

An update on my cold, it's finally getting better. For the first time in weeks I can breathe! Unfortunately, I shared with the kids and my brother who is staying with us for a little while.

Did you notice the little bar at the bottom of my blog? It has twitter, facebook, chat, and IM. Check it out and let me know what you think. It's a trial and may be gone in a week or so.

Yeah, so that's about it. Other than me dragging my heels on my writing, but to be honest, it's hard to do with colds and company. I'm gonna have to kick myself in the booty and get back to it pronto! This would be a great way to test out that nifty little bar down there. Send me a chat or IM or virtual kick.

Ta!

A.McBay

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another one bites the dust


Another year of my life, pfft, gone! Now I get to go through all of my social sites and change my age to 28. Only a couple more years before the big three zero. Yippee…

For those who wished me a happy birthday yesterday via phone or facebook, thank you! I was so surprised by all the attention yesterday.

My wonderful Hubz fixed steak (Yum) and bought me a cake (which is gone… again yum), and he and the kids gave me three wonderful cards along with my present, the new Kindle 3 *extreme squeals of happiness*. What is so great about the Kindle 3? Let's see, faster page turns, more space, crisper screen, more font choices, lighter weight, comes in graphite, more social networking options, ect. Ect. Ect…. 
Yeah, you really gotta get one of these bad boys <3 I've enjoyed getting to read Possession on it (great book. Go buy it. NOW.) My mom, knowing me so well, gave me money to buy books, and my best bud Q gave me in game money for my character on FFXI.

After picking up the house in the A.M., I got to kick back and relax the rest of the day. What did I do? I played video games and read. It was FANTABULOUS!

If it weren't for the head cold that came back with a vengeance, my day would have been perfect. Unfortunately, the kids and I have had to suffer extreme stuffiness this weekend and are still on the mend. So no, I have not finished that last chapter… Kinda hard when doped up on cold meds 24/7. Hopefully, I will get some work on it done today, as I am not as stuffy and I will try to lessen my med dosage.

If not, I have a book to finish reading :P

Again, thank you all for the birthday wishes!

Ta!

A.McBay

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Invasion of the Hobbit


Remember that fabulous office I got when we moved into our new home with a perfect view of the back yard? Yeah, it's been invaded. By a hobbit!
Check out the hobbit feet!
Actually, it's just my brother, but we call him a hobbit because of his feet. So my office equipment got moved to my bedroom until my Mother-in-Law and nephew leave at the end of the month, and I can move my brother's crap into a room. My house is full, and will only get fuller this month, but it's been so nice having family stay that the temporary relocation of my office is a small sacrifice.

How does this affect my writing? Well, I can't write and watch the kids play outside, but I do have a quiet undisturbed place to work where I can shut the door (especially since the kids have others to watch them), and not have anyone looking over my shoulder. Unfortunately, I have been trying so hard to keep up house and entertain that it is taking me a while to write that last little chapter I need for the first draft of WF. That's right, I'm almost done! I want to finish this week, but it's been really hard with all that's going on.

Lastly, if you haven't read Elana Johnson's Possession, get your butt to the book store and get you a copy. It's flippin awesome!

Ta!

A.McBay

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Possession and My Big Uh Oh!


Today we celebrate the birth of a new book titled Possession by an amazing woman, Elana Johnson. I was so excited about this debut I preordered the book on my kindle last night so it would be waiting for me when I woke this morning. Omigosh, wow…

To help celebrate this wondrous occasion, I'm participating in the bloggy fun and will reveal to you a rule I have broken. *gasp!*

Anyone who knows me knows I am a rule follower. I was probably one of the best teenagers a parent could ever ask for. Heck, I was so good that when I went through basic training, my T.I. could hardly remember I was in her squadron let alone my name. That doesn't mean I haven't broken a few rules in my day however. Everyone does. My biggest would probably be the dorm party I got caught up in when I first got to my first base in Hawaii. I mean… its Hawaii! Of course I partied.

It started with just a few friends grilling that afternoon, but as night fell we noticed people gathering in the common room and of course we joined in. Before long, music was blaring, and soon after so were the military police sirens. Everyone scattered in seconds, leaving three of us to take the blame and a few others the MP caught nearly five blocks away. I refused to give up the names of my friends and suffered a night of cleaning the entire dorm. Thankfully, that was the only trouble I got into and steered clear of any wild dorm parties after that, keeping to the beaches and campouts instead.

What rules have you broken?

In other news, I am down to the last chapter of Wild Fire. Hooray! About dang time, I know. I finally had a breakthrough while doped up on cold meds this weekend and scribbled down notes so I wouldn't forget. As soon as I started to feel better, I got back to work. I expect to be finished this week and will be sending copies off to my betas for a first read through.

Now, I have a rough draft to finish and a fabulous book to devour!

Ta!

A.McBay

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blogfest for gamers

Finally! A blogfest I feel comfortable participating in. This one is called It's All Fun & Games Blogfest hosted by Alex J Cavanaugh and I am to list three of my favorite games and why.
So let's get this nerdy party started!
When I was a little girl a friend of my dad's gave me a Nintendo (the old ones that you had to blow in the cartridge when it wouldn’t work) and some games. My favorite of course was Mario. I played the game for hours until I got frustrated at dying and went outside to go about my tomboy ways.

When I got older I got my first gameboy (the brick that ate batteries for breakfast.)  Again I started with Mario, but soon became obssessed with Pokemon. Yes, I said it. I'm a poke geek. I still am. I don't know what it is about those cute little pets, but I have played nearly every version that has come out. 


Saving the best for last, Final Fantasy XI, an MMORPG, is my absolute favorite. You're probably wondering what gibberish I'm talking. FFXI is an online game. You have a character that you level, and can have several jobs on this character. When leveling you party with other players to beat monsters. As you level you can do missions, and quests, or you can acquire better equipment. I've played off and on for the past nine years, and find that every time I leave the game grows. They are always adding content, so you are never really done. I love this game the most because of my friends.
The three amigos. My best friends and me.
When I was in the military, my friends and I would play daily. Now I play only to unwind. It helps me to think, to relax, and even helps my writing.
So there ya go. My three favorite games.What are some of your favorite games?