Changing a Battery is easy, isn’t it?

 

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image by pixabay

 

Last year, when my old PC kept breaking down, I invested in a laptop so I could continue blogging/writing.

It was a good plan I thought at the time, despite the fact that said laptop came with Windows 8 installed on it. Learning that was a nightmare, but I stubbornly persevered and business continued more or less as normal.

When the main PC finally shuffled off, I replaced it and stopped using the laptop as much, just in the evenings when I was curled up on the couch.

Two weeks ago, the laptop refused to charge and after investigation, it would seem the battery had died. All I had to do was change it.

I couldn’t really afford to have a professional do it, and had heard that it was possible to do it yourself, even though my laptop was one of the harder ones to handle.

I made sure to order the right battery and even found a site online with illustrated step-by-step instructions, so I was confident I could do it. Secretly, I was scared stiff, I mean, anything could go wrong. It usually did.

When the battery arrived, my stomach turned over and I didn’t want to open the box. The thought of what I intended to do was making me feel sick, but it was time to put my courage to the test.

First, I had to remove eleven screws from the base of the laptop. Then I had to carefully lever the laptop apart, being careful not to yank the connecting cable, but to pull it gently out of its connection.

Four more screws held the battery in place, and there were two more connecting cables. My confidence was building. I was actually doing it!

 

 

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image by pixabay

 

All I had to do now, was reverse the process. Sounded simple, didn’t it?

But it wasn’t plain sailing. The screws were all different sizes and the instructions hadn’t indicated which ones went where. I hadn’t thought to make a note of it either. But the hardest part was joining the new connectors, stupid strips of plastic with a set of metal teeth on one side that you had to shove into even weirder looking places.

After ten agonising minutes, when I thought I would have to give up, I managed to do it and the laptop looked the same as before. Nothing left over or sticking out so I took a very deep breath and plugged in the charger.

I didn’t have a clue how long it would need. So gave it an hour and then I switched the laptop on. Hard to do with all my fingers crossed by the way, but as I watched, the screen flickered into life and my screensaver appeared.

I couldn’t believe it, I had successfully managed to do one of the most complicated procedures I have ever come across. My ego doubled in size, and I was unbearably boring for the rest of the day, patting myself on the back.

Now it Begins!

When we made the decision the other week to re-edit and re-cover ALL of our books, we must have been out of our tiny minds. I double checked, and it would seem that we were super serious about all of it.  Six of Anita’s books, three of mine, and two that we wrote together.

I was quick to realise that this was a major job, and might take me a while. I would also have to do it one book at a time, for the involvement alone could make a grown man weep!

The first time I changed something we had written, I was optimistic. Changing a cover image was pretty easy, and changing the text wasn’t difficult either, but by the time I had ploughed my way through WordPress, Amazon, and Goodreads, my head was spinning.

Then there were all the promotional sites and Pinterest to see to. And just when I thought I had covered everything, I realised I had to create totally new posters for the books too and at this point the cracks were beginning to show!

I have no idea why I chose this book to start with, for my head was swimming with dozens of possible new covers, taglines, keywords. I just picked one out of the hat…

And this is what happened…

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The First Story…

A Midnight Clear

It was freezing cold on the Embankment, the river Thames flowing past with an insidious slithering oily sound in the darkness. Big Ben loomed out of the darkness behind her. It was nearly midnight and the air was crisp and pure, slightly uncomfortable to breathe. The clouds of her breath wafted away on a gentle but persistent breeze.

She thought back through the evening, remembering how she had decided not to dress up for the occasion, choosing warmth over style, grateful for the fur-lined hood of her jacket. She hadn’t wanted to roam around London with her friends, visiting pubs and bars looking for fun and the minute she had a chance to escape, she took it.

She wasn’t ready for fun, not yet. The scars of her broken marriage were still sore and she lived in fear that they would break open again at any provocation and she would weep uncontrollably. She could nearly go a whole day without thinking of the pain she had caused, leaving him wounded and helpless on the floor, begging her not to leave him. But she hadn’t hesitated or listened, it was far too late for any of that. If she hadn’t left when she did, she may have drowned in her misery and sunk without trace.

She didn’t hate him, only what they had become. Two lonely people, each trying to outdo the others suffering.

Their romance had been a fairy tale in the beginning. James, a fellow student at Art College, every young girl’s dream of a Prince Charming. Tall and slender, with dark wounded eyes, he almost demanded to be loved, all without saying a word.

The warning signs were there almost from the beginning. From the moody silences to the almost violent fervour that obsessed him when he painted. It was like living with so many different people, the one she fell in love with hiding somewhere among them.

If she was honest, she knew their relationship was doomed from the start, but had been unable to walk away. She imagined he needed her; such was his effect on her. The thought of causing him even a minute’s pain was unbearable, even when it became clear, he had no idea how much he hurt her with his self- contained attitude.

She began to feel like his mother, tolerating his moods and temper, desperate for any crumb of affection she may receive.

Their relationship continued to decay until it was almost gone. She had become invisible. He barely acknowledged her presence, and when pushed, would become violent. The day he actually hit her in the face, something inside her finally snapped and she stepped away from him. Something in her eyes must have told him he had gone too far, that this time she would leave him.

He was instantly contrite, and the small, ill- treated child made its appearance. He begged and pleaded for forgiveness, but his words never reached her heart. She pushed him away and walked out of his life, leaving him broken on the floor. Part of her would have rushed back to him, prop him up and get him back on his feet, but it was a part of her she would have to kill to save her own soul.

In the distance, the sound of revelry echoed around the streets of London, but it was almost eerily quiet where she was stood, looking down at the black water that was catching the glint of the Embankment lights. Here and there, the coloured lights on the bridge shone down on the water, making a magical picture in the dark.

She took a deep breath and the cold air felt almost solid in her lungs. The peace she felt at that moment was total, no regrets at all. She was free and it felt amazing. The overwhelming joy lifted her heart and her eyes began to water, distorting her vision.

Several yards behind her and without warning, Big Ben began to chime. Being this close, the sound was deep and resonated through the air. As it struck the hour, each strike seemed to build on the one before, and by the time it reached twelve her ears felt muffled somehow. The ground beneath her feet had gently shaken and she had felt the vibrations in the cement she was leaning against.

As the sounds faded away, the old year died, taking away the past and promising a better future.

Just a quick word about editing and a wonderful tool called Grammarly.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should, for it found over 80 misused commas in this first book. Apparently, I sprinkle them around like they’re going out of fashion!

Just to convince you that I am totally insane, I am also working on my latest WIP… It seems my brain needs to keep busy… and I’m not about to argue with it!

This Amazon Link may not work… for I forgot to check!  myBook.to/Shstories

Not One of the Best Weeks!

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This was one of those weeks you try to forget. It was several years ago now and I’m not sure if it’s reassuring or not, to discover nothing much has changed around here…

 

Sunday

Of all the days for the cooker to decide to die, it had to pick a Sunday. There I was, doing my ‘master chef’ impersonation and everything on the hob was cooking nicely. Then I opened the oven door to check on the roast potatoes. The oven light and fan were working, but the potatoes were cold and raw.

Not to be deterred, for I try never to panic in the kitchen, I sliced and sautéed them and we ended up with a reasonable rendition of Sunday lunch.

Monday started just as brilliantly with bad news.  The cooker cannot be fixed until next week. Apparently, if you can believe it, every repairman in Hampshire is on holiday at the moment.  So great fun will be had by all, as we try to come up with alternative meals that do not involve the oven while praying the hob doesn’t decide to die too!

Tuesday  

This is not turning out to be my week at all. Climbed out of the shower, turning it off as I passed the taps, and nothing happened. Well, I say nothing happened, but the water did stop. The shower pump did not, however, and sounded as though it would blow up any minute.

There followed what could be a scene from a Monty Python film. Me, almost wrapped in an inadequate towel, tearing about the house, looking for something that looked like a fuse switch, or anything that would shut it off.

I couldn’t find one, but after a frantic telephone call, someone turned up who knew what to do and I could stop panicking.

Makes me wonder what tomorrow will bring…

Wednesday

Just as I thought, today brought more of the same when I tried to renew my driving licence. Anita’s was easy, so I thought mine would be too. Wrong! I have to be certified as fit, and only for 3 years at a time. Well, I wasn’t about to go down that route. I only wanted it for identification purposes anyway. Maybe it would be easier to renew my passport?

This turned out it to be very easy, so I could be jetting off to somewhere interesting any day now.

Thursday

I was so determined that nothing would go wrong today, I played safe and concentrated on routine tasks and things that could not possibly go pear-shaped. Pretty boring really, and by the afternoon I was more than ready for something a little more interesting, but the only thing I could think of was organising my image folders. It needed doing, but didn’t make for a fun afternoon!

Friday

Thought I would try to come up with some ideas for a short story competition. All I need is 4.000 interesting words in the form of a story. Anita has already entered, so I thought I would too. There is a risk, I suppose, that our writing partnership could turn into quite a competition of its own, but that can only be food for our ambition, don’t you think?

I hope everyone has a much better week…

 

A Writer’s Bucket List

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Like an ancient building, parts of me are wearing away, falling down or missing. My joints ache unbearably, and my head doesn’t work the way it used to. The eyesight is appalling and the memory almost non-existant.

I have been ignoring the signs for a while now, adopting the attitude of just ignore it, and it will go away… but try as I might, I cannot deny that I am getting old. Too old for so many things these days, but nothing I will ever admit to, not yet. If I want to do something, I will, even if it costs me later, as I can’t believe that my time is beginning to run out.

Already, certain members of my family are treating me like an ancient relic, constantly reminding me that ‘I have to be careful at my age…’  And that going up ladders or even walking into town on my own is just not on. In case something happens…

I catch them looking at me and know what they are thinking. I know I forget things and I’m not as steady on my feet these days, but seriously, I think I am fitter than most of them, even if it does take me longer to do things.

Secretly though, I quite like the slower pace, and the ready excuse (should I decide to use it) for not doing so much. In fact, I don’t remember saying no to so many things before, and I quite like it.

But before anything else gives up the ghost, I thought I would give some thought to some of the things I haven’t yet achieved. Not a proper bucket list, you understand, as riding a wild horse along the edge of the sea, or getting really close to Niagara Falls and getting soaked to the skin, is beyond even my dreams, this is purely connected to my writing and blogging endeavours.

My Writing Bucket List

Book trailers    Should do more of these, and/or improve the ones already done

Paperback copies of our books   Some of the covers/editing could be better?

My own blog tour   Could do another one?

Character Interviews   Could do more of these too

Guest posts   Always need more of these

Box set of my crime thriller series

Our own newsletter    A work-in-progress

A well-known author endorsement    Wishful thinking?

Write a best seller   More wishful thinking

Start a writing team    A work-in-progress

 

My memory lets me down again, as I’m sure there are more things I want to do, but you get the picture. And another thing… Anita is just two years younger than me, but not suffering from old age at all! Well, nothing she will admit to, anyway…

Oh well, I’m off to do some work on current WIP, that’s if I can remember where I was up to!

The Perfect Review

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Although I have only recently joined Rosie Amber’s review team, I have been reviewing the books I have enjoyed reading for a while now.

Reviewing is easy enough to do and it makes sense to tell the world (and the author) what you thought of it. Something we wish more readers would do, but that’s another post!

Most of our reviews have been well received, which was one of the reasons I applied to be an official reviewer for Rosie Amber to help other authors by spreading the word.

I had read all the guidelines for successful reviewing, but this week I slipped up, and badly. In my enthusiastic response after reading Suzanne Rogerson’s The Lost Sentinel, I included not one but two spoilers in my review! In my defense, when a book is as brilliant as Suzanne’s, you want to share the good stuff with everyone, just not key moments and I will admit, I got carried away…  Luckily, this was not one of Rosie’s recomendations,  or I would be out of a job…

Spoilers, you see, tell any prospective reader what happens at key moments in the book, and can ruin any desire to read the book. So what I did was bad…

After much red-faced embarrassment and a lot of humble apologies, I have amended the review and pray that I don’t do it again.

Not the first time my enthusiasm has landed me in trouble, but hopefully it will be the last!

Rosie Amber supplies these helpful guidelines, and I must remember them!

Book Title and Author Name

Genre

Book Setting – time and place

Introduce the main characters

Describe the storyline in general terms (avoid spoilers that give too much away)

How was the book set out? (If this was obvious) For instance alternating chapters from different characters, or chapters from different time periods.

What did you like about the book?

What would have made it better?

What didn’t you enjoy in the book?

Would you read another book by this author?

Your star rating.

And finally, add links (I’m always forgetting to do this!)

 

 

 

Not the Best Week…

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On Monday my new Android Tablet arrived. Plugged it in to charge, and instantly the screen was full of Chinese writing! Don’t say I had made yet another mistake!  I’m still reeling from trying to master Windows 10 on that other tablet.

Finished reading and editing the book review for Rosie Amber and emailed it.

Gardening is out, as a storm is forecast, and as much as I love a good storm, I draw the line at gardening in the pouring rain…

The weather was horrible on Tuesday, gales and lashing rain, so guess where I was all day!

I had a brave moment and switched on the new tablet for the first time. The Chinese characters had gone, and within minutes, I was up and running, connecting to everything with one HUGE smile on my face. There are just a few wrinkles to sort out, but so far, so good! For me, that is…

The weather couldn’t be more different by the middle of the week, beautiful blue skies and sunshine. The garden beckons!

Still cannot believe my luck with the new Tablet, it’s so easy to use! The technology demons must be having a day off!

Thursday was freezing cold today, so guess what I had decided to do today? Defrost the freezer!

But it had to be done, or I won’t be able to close the door soon, due to the ice buildup.

The new broadband hub arrived on Friday. They say all I have to do, is unplug the old one and then plug in the new. But there has to be more to it than that…

I have been putting this upgrade off for ages, for all hell usually breaks loose whenever I touch it, so I am expecting trouble.

I want to try and install the new Hub on Saturday. But before I do this, ever pessimistic, I am scheduling several days work, just in case everything crashes around my ears. But if you hear screams …

There were no screams, just an all-pervading sense of doom when I had to use a wi-fi hotspot as the hub refused to connect. Mind you, they did say something about an activation date. I seem to recall that was tomorrow…

What am I like?  (don’t all rush to answer…)