Journal Entry: Day 125

Day 125

It has taken some time, but I can finally write with my left hand again. I would not call my writing legible yet, but it would pass for a kindergartener.  I came home five days ago.  It was so embarrassing to be wheelchair from the medical facility back to our cabin. I was still getting a little light headed at times, so no long walks for me.  At least Mom let Beth and Courtney push me around.  It was the same wheelchair Lily had been using.  Lily started walking around again with the help of a cane Mr.Miller made for her.  I knew I was almost done with my road to recovery when Mom started giving me chores again two days ago.  Courtney has been helping me with that and it is nice to be back to somewhat normal.  She keeps telling me I still owe her for the goat. I had no idea what she was talking about until she gave me back my journal.  To be honest I had forgotten about it the last couple of days.  Almost dying to an infection, and losing two fingers hasn’t sparked the writer in me.  My eyesight in my left eye has returned which is great! Everything is healing nicely I even got some of the big stitches removed. Some of those stitches were driving me crazy.  I had a nice size gash in the middle of my back. Oh how it itched so bad at times.  I could not reach it without the help of door frames or trees. Mom would yell at me every time I did the bear dance.  You know the bear dance where put your back to a tree and rub up and down on it.

 

Later in the day Dad took me with him to do help complete the set up on some sensors he had set up around the camp.  Nothing to hard just hand him the screwdriver or hold the flashlight.  Near the end of the rounds we made it to the security/comms room. Only to find it was packed with people.  At some point today the Radios came back online and not the short range one, but the long range.  Mr.Jack had made contact with a military base!  It didn’t take long before almost everyone in the compound was huddled in the room or close to the building. It was just great to hear that there was other pockets of humanity still around. The man that Mr.Jack was talking to was Colonel Mike Rives from the 101 Airborne. Dad and I stayed quite and tried to be flys on the wall, but soon everyone that wasn’t security, Dad or Fremont got kicked out of the room.  Dad had me go back to our cabin and wait for him there. My hand was starting to hurt, so it was time for my medicine.  I hate taking pain medicine, but I am in too much pain without it.  

 

Beth was at the Cabin when I got there.  She was on Brooke babysitting duty today. Brooke was finger painting with Beth in the kitchen.  Kids toys are hard to come by let alone finger paint.  When you are in survival situation fingers paints are not on the top of list. Which is a shame for Brooke.  Coloring, and painting are her favorite things to do. Brooke had know that this was a treat.  It  was the cleanest I have ever seen her Paint not a drop was wasted. Which is amazing on top of where Beth got her hands on the paint in the first place.  I had to know where Beth got it.  Turns out that this old summer camp we are at used to have a art room. Beth found it was still full of art supplies. I had to promise to keep it a secret though.  If more people ever show up with kids art supplies will alway be worth a trade.  Once Brooke was done with her purple tiger with yellow spots it was time for a nap.  I also joined in the nap this pain medicine just knocks me out.  I woke up later tonight just in time for a home meeting with Mom and Dad.

 

Dad rounded the whole family up and even had the Robinson join us tonight.  Which means Will and Beth were there.  Beth showed up in a nice knee length dress with her auburn hair done in a single braid down her back. Her dress made her bright green eye stand out.  Had Dad not brought up happened with the radio call today she would have been the only thing I would have noticed.  We have been secretly dating for a little while.  Thank you for the help with that Courtney I sure do owe for that one.  Back to the Radio though.  Did I mention Beth smelled of lavenders I am so lucky she would date me.  Sorry again.  Dad said that in a few days the military will make face to face contact with us. Colonel Rives will be sending his first lieutenant Maxfield to make the meeting.  They will be coming here by helicopter, so we needed to clear a landing site for them.  Which mean Mom is going to go into max chore mode to get that done.  We discussed some more of the plans, but as you can tell I was distracted with other things.  Then the Robinson headed back to their cabin for the night.  I went with Beth to walk her home and got to hold her hand the whole time.  I even got a hug before she went inside. Then it was back our cabin to go to bed Mom is sure to crack the whip starting tomorrow.      

 

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Journal Entry: Day 111

 

Day 111

Since Cody has been recovering at the medical facility someone had to pick up his chore list.  That someone was you guessed it me. You owe me ,so much once you get better Cody. Mom made me muck out the stalls at the farm. Then I had to do the rounds with Mom to check on the animals.   One of the goats had an abcess that  needed to be drained.  A simple scalpel cut then flush out the wound.  Nothing too bad I helped Mom do this before. Most of the time  abscess will clear up on their own. This was not one of those time.  Mr.Meza was there to help out. Mostly to keep the Goat clam while Mom lanced and cleaned out the wound.  The abscess was near the goats shoulder and right when we got there was no doubt it needed to be fixed. The thing was the size of a softball.  All the hair had fallen out from around the site. Only small tufts of the white hair were stuck to the little bit of puss leaking from the site.  Mom had me prep with iodine then help Mr.Meza hold the goat still while she made the first cut. The second mom cut into the site it exploded in foul smelling pus. There was just so much of it.  I woke up to Mom and Mr.Meza both laughing about their first time. I guess it was a little too much for my brain to taken in and hit the shutdown button. Mom called it a vasovagal syncope. Said it happened to Dad every time in the delivery room with us.

 

You would think having just passed out I will get the rest of the day off. With any normal parent I would have, but not with Mom. Dad would have made me hot chocolate and my favorite snack. Never Mom though she believes if you can stand you can work. That is grandpa doing until the day he died was out working the fields on his farm. Mom said they found him on the tracker when he passed. When they tried to get him off of it his body came back to life to finished plowing it. After mom finished flushing out the Goat wound she had me collect a sample of the pus then take it back to her small lab for culturing to make sure it wasn’t Caseous lymphadenitis. After all the fun I finally got the work done then had enough time to shower and go to bed. Tomorrow  I get to work with Dad, so it should be a lot easier. How hard can putting in a couple new row of sprinkler lines be?

 

Journal Entry: Day 99

Day 99

It was late when the alarms when off.  Mom did a surprise Emergency Disaster Drill or E.D.D. No one played around this time.  I think we set a new all time record for quickest entry into the cabins underground shelter.  We beat Mom into the shelter and almost locked her out. The best part was when Will and Lily came out of Lily’s bedroom together.  Mom didn’t see that part but the rest sure did. You could see from a mile away that Lily and Will were trying to hide something. After the drill was over we got to go back to bed.  Mom was happy with the results. Though she did stop Will as everyone was heading back to their rooms for the night. She wanted to take a closer look at the large purple bruise on his neck. Will told mom that he tripped and hit the door knob during the drill.  I covered for Lily and told Mom that is what happened. Pretty sure Mom didn’t believe it. Also to prevent another door knob related injury she took my door away! You know the room Will is supposed to be staying in. This almost puts the debt I owe Lily to even in my books.

 

Mom is merciless when it comes to sleep.  You would think after waking us all up for a E.D.D we would get to sleep in.  Nope she just got us up even earlier. The sun wasn’t even up yet why should I!  She sent us to the farm to go tend to the animals. Milk the few cows, feed the chickens and clean out the stalls.  Yeah she knew where that bruise on Wills neck came from. Mr.Meza came by a little later to tell us another round of those bugs attacked during the night.  He chased them down and followed them to their hive by himself. Have to make a note of never getting on this guys bad side. Then Courtney and I went got the task of fixing the chicken coop.  While in the tool shed a shadowy figure jumped out at us. Courtney screamed and ran away while it had me dead to rights. Thankfully It was just a ranch cat that was sleeping. We woke it up and it had to take some sort of revenge. The guards on duty had a good laugh about that. It seems like this cat does this to people on a regular basis. Courtney did not think that was funny. The coop was easy to fix and Mom gave Courtney, Beth and I the rest of the day off. Will and Lily on the other hand had a special work detail with Mom inside the Medical station.

Courtney, Beth and I had already started making dinner for everyone when Lily and Will came home. Mom made them watch a old navy film about the horrors of STDs. Lily watched it before, but it was new for Will. He was as white as a ghost and looked like he just got done throwing up his lunch. Yep Mom did know how he got that bruise. Which mean if I ever get the courage to ask Beth out Mom might make me watch that video to. Before everyone went to bed Mom tried to reach Dad on the radio again. He still has not checked in. This is two days in a row. What is going to happen if the rescue party needs to be rescued? Tomorrow is the earliest they should be back from their trip to save the Gonzales. Maybe the radio got busted or they are in stealth mode trying to be as quiet as possible. What I find strange is all the other radio channels are quiet to.

 

Journal Entry: Day 96

96

Chopping wood is the worst thing ever! It wouldn’t have been so bad, but the wood splitter broke down. That is when mom pulled out  the mauls and we had to do it the real way. Dad, David and I had to this back at home, but doesn’t mean I liked it then. Mom, Lily and Courtney got the easy job of stacking wood in the shed. Will was here to help out while Dad is gone. He is in great shape so I thought it would go a lot better, but no. This was the first time he has ever chopped wood. Again another thing he has never done! I am so jealous of gridey life. Then again he lost almost everything when this disaster happened. The best part of today was when the girls were stacking the wood and found a snake. Courtney and Lily  both ran out of the woodshed screaming. Courtney I expected it from, but Lily was a surprise. Lily has chased down the charred, but was scared of a little old gopher snake. Mom chased the snake out so the work could finish. I was so sore I could barely move. At least that was all the chores for today.

 

Everyone was too sore and tried to play some DnD tonight. We got to watch some old movie in the mess hall with the other families here.  Mr. Mills put on the movie spaceballs. It was like a knock off of star wars, but boy was it funny. Mom checked in with Dad during the movie. I snuck away to listen in. They ran into a large group of the charred and Fremont was injured. Dad said that after that they made camp for the night to tend to him.. Tomorrow night they should be in the area of the last location the Gonzales. There is a chance they might find other survivors to. Which bring back more people than planned would be  like a present in this new world we live in.

Journal Entry: Day 95

95

It was raining when Dad left to go find the Gonzales.  I think it was the first time I have seen rain since this whole ordeal started.  Courtney was all tears watching him leave. Once you could no longer see them in the distance Courtney latched on to me and did not let go.  She crushed all the air out of my lungs with inhuman strength. Lily had to step in to break it up. Once she saw me go from bright red to blue.  Pretty sure Courtney bruised one of my ribs. Lily lead Courtney back inside the cabin. Mom had to go inside once Dad got into the Beast Brooke was a mess too.  I even saw a few tear from Lily. Going to be a lot of emotions in the cabin. I wanted to warn Will a head of time before he came over. Sure he has a sister, but only one sister.  He has never witnessed the storm emotion from three at once.

 

Jobs still needed to be done even though Dad was leaving and it was raining.  I managed to save Will from the estrogen onslaught once he arrived. Each person deals with stress in their own way.  Crying and a lot of hugging was not how I handled it, but it worked for my sisters. Today’s job would have been to cut some firewood, but I talked mom into letting us clean the kitchen in the mess hall. Little did Mom know is that I cleaned most of it already. Giving Will and I some free time after we finished what was left.  The mess hall has a large screen tv and a few arcade games cabinets in it. We got a few hours of goofing off in and none was the wiser.

 

Will and I headed  back to our cabin in the early afternoon.  Mom and Lily cooked dinner which was fantastic.  Courtney, Brooke and Beth baked a large cake for dessert.  Everyone seem to be over this mornings ordeal. While we ate Courtney went of the basics on how to play DnD with Will and Beth.  Then later in the evening Olivia and Megan came over. Will got strong armed into playing a fighter while Beth the cleric. We played long into the night until Mom broke up the fun. Tomorrow was still a school day and that stack of firewood still needed to be chopped.  Mom checked in with Dad once everyone left. It seems everything is going to plan on their end. The rescue party should reach the spot where the Gonzales last checked in sooner than expected. I still have a bad feeling about them being out with all those charred. Who knows how bad things have gotten close to the main city.

 

 

Journal Entry: Day 94

Day 94

I guess  getting back to a normal life will have to wait again.  The charred attack a last night. They injured two people bad enough that surgery was needed.  I don’t know the people that were attacked, but Dad seems upset about it. Where do these things keep coming from?  To make things worse the Gonzales have still not checked in and a search party is being formed to go look for them. The beast is back to running shape again and Dad volunteered to drive.  Mom was not happy with that. I didn’t think a person face could turn that color when she found out. In total six people will be leaving to try and track them down. Dad, Mr and Mr.s Robinson, Fremont, Miller and Mr.Jack.  Miller is a retired US marine and one of the nicest people in the world. Mr.jack is the second in command of security and is not a fan of kids.

 

The plan is to go where the Gonzalez last checked in and try to track them down.    Their route was the back road that I am really really thankful we didn’t take. It is way to windy for my stomach.  The trip there and back should only take a week, so Mom will be incharge while Dad is gone. Which isn’t she always incharges anyways?  Cars have been know to break down on that route, so I hope that is all that happened. Though that was before the charred. When we broke down the longer we stay put the more we were attacked.  Will and Beth will be staying with us while the Robinsons are gone. At least there was that good news. Though having Beth stay the night might be a bit challenging. I still don’t know who read my journal, but I am sure my crush on her will be brought up sometime this week.  Courtney is going to start a D&D campaign tomorrow night. Can you believe both Will and Beth have never played before. Megan and Olivia are going to join us to! At least there will be something to take my mind off Dad being gone. For their first campaign Courtney is going to run Ravenloft.  Will and Beth are in for a treat! Now to get some rest. Because even though Dad is leaving doesn’t mean I will get to sleep in tomorrow.

Journal Entry: Day 93

Journal Entry Day 93

The last two weeks  have been normal. Other than the purple colored sky and having to live in a old summer camp. Will and Beth started to join us on our home schooling. The Robinson’s are needed elsewhere, so Mom took over their training. I was surprising what they didn’t know. Like how to splint a broken arm or how to filter water. To be fair everyone struggles their first time trying to make a fire with just sticks and no matches. Mom definitely kept us busy. We learned  to make soap, aspirin from willow bark and how to make a bow. Also the boring stuff like math, book reports, learning latin and some PE. mens sana in corpore sano!

On the job training has gotten a little better. I  followed Dad for a few days, learning on how to repair the solar panels. It was a lot of setup, but these things need to run for a long time. Dad was strict on me, but it was to make me understand the importance of the job. On the last day of following Dad we had to repair main refrigerator for the cafeteria. A rat got inside the wiring and shorted it out. While it was down Dad decided it was a good time to do the yearly maintenance. I didn’t get back to our cabin until almost morning. Then they made me get up early for school the next day to! At least it has been quiet around the cabin. The charred have not attack in days. Only one more family has shown up and the Gonzales are overdue to check in. Though with the way the roads are they should be here eventually. Them not checking in the last couple of days has not sat well with Mom and Dad though. There are talks of sending a rescue party to go find them. Using the route they last check in on. I hope I don’t get volunteered for that.

 

State of the book day 91

State of the book

It has been over 91 days since my book the Wanderer’s Curse has been released. I have sold over 150 copies in that time. That is 1.6 books a day which is fantastic. Adjusting for all the debt to profits I have made $115. That is accounting for a new suit,  a 10X20 poster, event cost, hosting and domain for the website. Though it has been a long time since I have actually sold a book as of late. Here are a few things I have been up to since the launch of the book.

Wonders symble

 

Book blurb nightmare

I had to rewrite the blurb a lot. It took a total of 10 rewrites to finally get it where it needed to be. That is not just rewriting the same paragraph over and over again it was 10 new and unique blurbs every time. These are some of the ones that didn’t make the final cut. My coauthor Sarah finally came through with the best one.

Blurb rejects

Maazer Basilisk is the trusted leader of the wanderers of Helix, a settlement fighting to survive in a toxic world gone mad. But civilization comes at a cost, and to ensure humanity’s survival behind the walls of Helix, someone has to travel beyond. It’s a dangerous job, something Maazer becomes all too aware of when his partner is killed and he’s left alone for the first time in living memory.
Now he has been tasked with finding two new recruits, and the most obvious candidates are best friends Jennifer Lacewing and Collins Foss. Observed for years by the powers that be, both yearn to serve their settlement, but is becoming a wanderer what they truly want? Even being in contact with Maazer is perilous, and if they are chosen, it means becoming Outcasts…and leaving any chance at a normal life behind.

Since the fall of the last great city, Granite Heart, the settlement of Helix has been struggling to survive in a dangerous and toxic land. How does humanity continue? Sheer will? Partly. A stubborn unwillingness to die? Definitely.

Jennifer and her best friend Collins, teenagers that have been observed for years, are about to be given the worst job placement ever: Wanderer. Wanderers brave the wastes to protect the colony from beasts, bugs & bandits. If life wasn’t already hard enough, Jennifer and Collins are sent outside the colony’s limits on a simple mission that quickly becomes rife with murder, blackmail, and peril. What is at stake?-father’s life/exile, friendship, Kara’s life, the town under attack, frenemy Kara

Fixed Blurb

Jennifer Lacewing is a lonely teenager whose father is too important to be around. Surviving in Helix, a last bastion to the small human existence on a decaying Earth, she longs to be a peaceful farmer. But things never go as planned. When Jennifer and Collins, her best friend, are forced to join the Wanderers, a small group that can mysteriously survive outside the safety of Helix’s fences, she is devastated.

And something else is amiss. Was it a coincidence that she became a Wanderer at the same time her father has been falsely accused of murder?” In a rush against time, Jennifer must complete her Wanderer training and clear her father’s name…or lose him forever.

Here are the resources that I used to fix the blurb

Starla Huchton was a big help in reworking the Blurb. Her site has one of the best run downs on how to write a better blurb.
https://www.starlahuchton.com/crafting-the-dreaded-blurb/

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Dave Chesson over at Kindlepreneur has a huge wealth of knowledge that is free on how to become better at being a author. Dave does care about you being successful. He took the time out of his busy schedule to give me advice and looked over my many many blurbs revisions. He also has a great podcast and created KDP rocket which is useful for making amazon adword campaigns.

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Lastley under the recommendation of Dave Chesson I read the book How to write a sizzling synopsis by Bryan Cohen. It was an easy read, but gave important insights on what to do. I read the book in under 3 hours and I am not the fastest of readers. His basic rundown on how to write a blurb looks like this
1:Introduce the main character
2: Establish the Beginning stakes for the character
3:Escalate the tension for the character
4:Repeat steps 1-3 for additional main characters
5:Bring the characters together
6: Raise the stakes even higher for the characters
7: Put the characters in the ultimae danger of failing,dying ETC

Once you have the beta Blurb trim it down more
1: simplify as much as possible
2: Trade down words
3: Remove ant phrases that will slow the reader down
4:Read out loud and for areas that need additional emotional Impact
5: Ensure that you end with a Bang
6:Get feedback
7: Read it out aloud one more time
Bonus try to keep it under 300 words
But you should read the book as well!

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For those that like twitter @Jac_Onue enjoys helping people with thier blurbs to. He helped me with mine and gave constructive feedback.

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What I am working on now

I am trying to network more, so much more than what I have been doing. Also reaching out to different book bloggers and podcaster. Next week I will going to be on Central Valley Talk.com, working on getting on to a local tv news station, and hosting a small event here in town. Finally getting in touch with artist for reworking the book cover and hydra logo, but I really like my cover right now.