Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Matter of Taste

The pasta salad that came with my lunch today was seasoned with cilantro. I didn't know that until I started eating. Now, cilantro is one of those seasonings you either love or hate.
I despise cilantro, but I finished the pasta salad anyway, since I was hungry and besides I'd paid for it.

The incident kind of reminds me about books. I  find that if I've paid for a book or perhaps one of my friends wrote it, I'll give it a longer stretch to see if I really don't like it. Also, if I have nothing else to read, I'll keep reading. If I still don't care for it after a while, I'll put it aside and go on to another one or do something else. Library books or ones lent to me are more easily put aside or returned.

What about you? What do you do if you've bought a book and later discover it's not what you'd anticipated? Do keep reading a while, or just give up?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Kindle 3 Is Calling Me

I'm having a hard time resisting my Kindle 3. It's calling me to open it up again and read. I really shouldn't. The DH is gone for a few hours and it's a perfect time to concentrate on my WIP - also a perfect time to read.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Kindle 3 Arrived!

Much jubilation when I saw my Kindle 3 arrive at work today! And, it did have all the books on it that I'd ordered on Amazon while I was waiting for it to arrive. That seemed like a miracle to me. How could it do that?

I'm using this cool Collections feature where I can organize my books (strange for me to be actually organized about something, I know). Anyway, I've got some books in Romance, others in Mystery, Non-Fiction, and Amazon info. Makes it much neater and easier to just click on a collection and browse through that bunch, instead of getting a giant mishmash going.

I'm not sure how long this spirt of organization will last. I don't expect it to carry over too far into other aspects of my life. It's not exactly in my nature.

I think I'll read a little now. Just have to decide which book to read first.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Kindles are Coming! The Kindles Are Coming!

I've never had a Kindle, but I ordered the lastest, the Kindle 3, as soon as they were available. Today, I received the anxiously awaited message from Amazon - my Kindle has shipped! I'm very excited and have already ordered some kindle books, which Amazon says will magically appear on my Kindle when it arrives. That will be quite a phenomenon. I'm very amazed at such ingenuity.

I'm not the only one excited. The Kindle Korner e-group I belong to is all abuzz with messages about Kindle 3s being shipped. You might say our excitement is at a fever pitch - we're so close to having ours, but don't just yet!

What about you? Do you own a Kindle? Will you buy one?

Gotta go now and see what other kindle books are available, that is, other than my own - Killer Career, Two Wrongs and Girl of My Dreams.

Are you an alligator in the river?

See http://acmeauthorslink.blogspot.com/ to let us know if you're an alligator in the river.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Shining Light

I've got to figure out a way to make my light shine brighter. In church on Sunday morning, I noticed the sunlight shining through the stain glass window so brightly I couldn't tell whether one of the candles by the altar was lit or not.

I feel kind of like that candle with the bright light overpowering it. I either have to move my candle elsewhere or make myself shine brighter. I notice lots of writers are moving their candles over a bit to epublishing, which I also do and may do even more in the future. The problem is the shiny ones are moving over now, too. How do I get away from them, or find a way to shine brighter? Such a dilemma.

Are you experiencing something similar? Or, maybe you've found a solution.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Mane Event - 2009 Remembered

Here's what I wrote last year about the Mane Event - You can tell the weather was a lot cooler then than it is this year.

Another year gone by and here I am again at the Mane Event, the big block party in Arlington Heights the night before the Arlington Million. We sat on a ledge in back of the stage and could definitely hear the band.

In honor of the event, I wore my Arlington Race Track cap and an Arlington Million tee shirt under my jacket. It was a little chilly for August, but the weather has been strange lately.

The DH and I had a great time singing along with the music, even dancing some. On my menu was a pulled pork sandwich, a slice of cheese pizza, pop and a huge chocolate chip cookie.

What kind of doings are in your neighborhood lately?

PS - We'll see what's on my 2010 menu.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Youtube videos

If you've got nothing better to do, in case you don't know it, I have tons of videos up on Youtube. They include writing events and authors, as well as animals and local events.

Here's a link which should take you to any videos with my Youtube name, morganmandel, listed.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Urban Hot Weather Tips

You may think that the Midwest is cool. Well, maybe compared to somewhere like Arizona it is. Still, in the Summer it can get mighty hot, especially this Summer.

From my many years working in Chicago, specifically the Downtown Loop, I’ve devised a few tips for keeping cool. These are not scientific, but they kind of work for me.

Maybe you’ll want to try one or two.

Shade – Not too many trees in Downtown Chicago, so I seek other shade. When needs be, when waiting for a light to change, I’ll stand in the shade of a street light, another person, or a building.

Cut Throughs – Speaking of buildings, when you work in a metropolitan area, there are various buildings you can cut through, such as banks, drug stores, restaurants, or just office buildings. A knowledge of their entrances and exits comes in handy. Sometimes you can not only cool off, but also save time and steps by using a cut through.

Time – Allow yourself extra time if you can. Rushing in the heat can make you hotter than ever.

Water – Bring a small water bottle with, enough for you to chug when extra thirsty, but not so heavy you’ll wish you didn’t have it with you. I’ve got a fairly new stainless steel bottle I use now. Because of another health scare I use it instead of plastic. I fill it halfway up so it doesn’t weigh me down. When I get to the office, I refill it for the trip home. While at the office, I drink pretty much water also to stay hydrated. Speaking of water, putting your hands under the faucet is a great way to cool down at work where you really can’t be taking showers or baths, unless you work at a gym.(g)

Clothing – Wear layers. I usually put on something light, but carry a sweater with me since I never know what temperature the train air conditioning will be set at. Also, the workplace temperature variations are quite iffy. I sling it over one of my shoulders, which makes that area hotter, but wearing the sweater or carrying it are worse options. At times, I’ll even tie a sweater around my waist instead.

So, those are my tips for keeping cool. What are yours, urban or otherwise?

Or, maybe you'd like to share something about a book you've written or read where hot weather or trying to keep cool plays a part in the plot.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Smashwords - I'm On It!!! Hooray!!!

I did it!! I'm on Smashwords!!!
Lots of reading and checking to make sure I formatted everything exactly right, but it looks like I did. Killer Career is up on the site and ready for people to download in tons of ebook formats.

If you use ebooks, you'll most likely find a format there that works for you, all at $2.99.

I'm offering a 40% free sample of Killer Career at Smashwords, just in case you're not sure whether or not you want to spend the $2.99 for the entire book. Here are some links:

Morgan Mandel's Smashwords Author Profile: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/morganmandel

Book page to sample or purchase Killer Career: http://smashwords.com/b/21007

And, also, you'll notice to the left that I'm using a special Smashwords Edition cover, which converted nicely to black and white.

One more item off of my to-do list. This one took me a while to get around to doing it, but I'm so happy I got it done!!!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

How Much Is Too Much?

Since I got caught in the rainstorm on Wednesday, and my legs were feeling wet and clammy in my jeans, I thought I'd go on my lunch break to buy a new pair (of slacks, not legs). I found some that were really nice on a confusing rack, which on one side had a sale price sign. Not sure if the originally $40.00 slacks were on sale, I asked the cashier. Unfortunately, they were not being sold at sale price. I really liked them, but I forced myself to tell her, "I'm not buying them for that price."

As I walked away, I felt a twinge of regret. Still, I knew I had to stand my ground. Money's tight.

So, taking this to another level, I wonder -
How Much is Too Much for a Book?

To me, if I know the author, I'll purchase a mass market or trade paperback maybe up to about $14.00, but the author would have to be a very close friend for me to splurge on a hardcover.

As far as digital books, including those for kindle and others, I'm afraid I've gotten pretty much spoiled by Amazon's low prices. I've put Killer Career up on kindle at $2.99 and if I can do it, other authors can too. So, I won't be buying any bestsellers for higher amounts when I can get a good read for $2.99 or less.

What about you? How much is too much?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Busy, Busy, Buying, Blogging, Books

It's a busy time for me figuring out how to get Killer Career ready for Smashwords, which should have been done ages ago, I know.

Along the way, as many people already know, I pre-ordered a kindle 3 last week. I looked on the Amazon main page today and learned they're sold out, so I'm glad I got my order in when I did! It won't be coming until around August 27 or so, though. In the meantime, I ordered Marilyn Meredith's Lingering Spirit plus some other free books for my kindle when it arrives. I also ordered a pretty blue cover. And then today I decided it was a good excuse to buy a new purse, one a little larger, but light, where I plan to keep the kindle so I can read it on the train and on breaks.

Blogging - well Monday was my day at Make Mine Mystery, so of course I decided to blog about kindles. (g)

Tuesday is my post at The Blood-Red Pencil, where you get to answer questions and try to stump our Editors. Go on over and see what it's all about.

Books - I hope to finish my WIP one of these days. I've been fitting it into my busy schedule and working on it while commuting.

Anyone else out there busy, busy, buying, blogging and working on or maybe reading books?