Countdown to a prophecy

My first step to starting the year right was to send my book to my editor. After a nail-biting week I received the file back and to my relief she liked it. There weren’t major changes and the story was pretty solid. I accepted the grammar changes and fleshed out scenes she thought needed a little bit more. The file is back with her and my wait started again.

In the meantime I created a Facebook cover photo featuring the book. Also updated Twitter with a cover photo. Once it goes live I’ll post everywhere I can think of. I will be so happy once it’s out in the world, finally. It’s been a long time coming.

I first conceived the story in July 2015. Yes, almost three years ago. Why did it take so long to actually write it and get to a point where I can release the story? Fear. I’m releasing it under my name. If the story is horrible, if people hate it, they’ll know I wrote it. For my other stories it didn’t matter because they’re under pen names. No one will know it’s me if they don’t like them. I have twenty of those out there. But I vowed to stop hiding behind those names and release stories under my name. Start advertising them, tell family and friends, and hopefully at some point be able to do this writing thing full time.

The cover I posted before is now the old cover. I’ll keep it for something else perhaps. Maybe something that is more romance than science fiction. Or maybe I’ll add a spaceship to the cover and use it for a different scifi romance. I have a new cover! It’s below with the blurb again!

The Princess Prophecy

An ancient throne. An unknown prophecy. A reluctant princess controls the fate of the world…

Sophie thinks she’s a typical college freshman. She spends her days making friends and coping with classes, until her whole world changes forever. A group of strange men try to kidnap her, and the only thing that saves her is a long-lost friend who’s sworn to protect his princess…

Nathan tells Sophie that she’s not only half-alien, but she’s royalty on another planet. To make things more complicated, she’s forced to go to that planet to take the throne… or her entire kingdom will suffer.

As Nathan helps her train for her second life, she can’t help but fall for him. But when their ship comes under attack, she wonders if any of them will survive the journey.

Check out my website: http://www.cindycarroll.com
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Mission accomplished – Sort of

The key to having a successful year in 2018 meant I had to start the year off right. I hung out with my husband and our cat. It was low key. Partiers we are not. We watched TV, had a drink, and totally missed that it was the New Year until six minutes after the hour. For me it was perfect.

In the morning I got down to business. My first goal of the New Year was to get my science fiction romance, The Princess Prophecy, to my editor. Releasing it on target (January 18) hinges on me getting it to her on time. I still had revisions to key before sending it to her. I found some errors I missed during the first two passes. But, I finally got it sent! Now I wait nervously to get her edits back and hope she didn’t hate the story or find huge problems that will take me more than a week to fix.

I thought that would be the last thing I needed to do. After all, I had the cover done ages ago. Or did I? I love the cover I have for it but I think it screams romance and only whispers science fiction. I’ve been thinking about redoing the cover. Given the short description below and the current cover, what do you think? Go with this cover or get a new one? Keeping in mind future books in the series will still feature the same couple.

The Princess Prophecy

An ancient throne. An unknown prophecy. A reluctant princess controls the fate of the world…

Sophie thinks she’s a typical college freshman. She spends her days making friends and coping with classes, until her whole world changes forever. A group of strange men try to kidnap her, and the only thing that saves her is a long-lost friend who’s sworn to protect his princess…

Nathan tells Sophie that she’s not only half-alien, but she’s royalty on another planet. To make things more complicated, she’s forced to go to that planet to take the throne… or her entire kingdom will suffer.

As Nathan helps her train for her second life, she can’t help but fall for him. But when their ship comes under attack, she wonders if any of them will survive the journey.

Check out my website: http://www.cindycarroll.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CindyPCarroll
Like me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCindyCarroll
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Six Nights, Six Beds

Earlier this month my husband and I went to WorldCon75. The World Science Fiction convention happens every year, in a different city. This year it was in Helsinki. We’d planned it a year ahead of time because we were super excited to be finally going to Finland. Since my brother-in-law lives in England we decided to stop there first and stay for a few nights. We got married in Woodstock (the real one in England) in 2014 so our plan was to wake up there on our anniversary. When we finished the planning we realized we would be sleeping in six different beds over six nights.

Of course, I had to document them all with pictures! This post will be picture heavy, and mostly of beds.

Night One

Bed for night one!*

Our plane was leaving Friday, August 4th so our last night in our own bed for two weeks was Thursday. Nothing exciting about the night before the trip. We hadn’t even finished packing because we spent the evening visiting with family. Our flight the next day wasn’t leaving until almost 10 PM. Plenty of time to get everything sorted.

This picture is our bed*. It would feel like ages before we slept in it again.

Night Two

Bed for night two.

Due to circumstances, airline points, and lots of saving on our part we flew business class to England. I was excited about many of the perks including the use of the lounge at the airport. But the thing I was looking forward to the most was being able to sleep on the plane in an almost proper bed.

And here we have bed two! Using the controls on the side the seat reclines all the way down and the foot stool at the other end completes the “bed”. It wasn’t the most comfortable but it was better than having to sit up for six hours. Even though I thought I slept, my FitBit did not agree. It did not register sleep at all for me that night.

 

Night Three

Bed for night three.

Saturday morning we arrived at Heathrow relatively on time. My brother-in-law was there to pick us up. Instead of going to his place, we drove 3.5 hours to Bradford to take in a football match with a friend who attended our wedding. My husband’s team is Bradford City and it was their home opener. We got there half an hour late but there had been a delay in the game due to an injury. The seats were high up. It felt like we literally had a bird’s eye view of the football pitch. We won the game!

After the game we headed to our friend’s studio. He’s a musician. The long day was getting longer but there was an end in sight. After a quick tour of the studio we drove to our hotel in Bradford. Here is a picture of bed number three!

 

Night Four

Bed for night four.

Sunday was a whirlwind. We woke up and went to our friends’ place for breakfast. A full English that was delicious (and vegetarian). After we ate, we headed in the general direction of my brother-in-law’s but we stopped in Haworth, at the Oxenhope station so we could take a ride on a steam train. It was a chance to see a few stops, have a drink, see the scenery in a relaxing atmosphere.

On the platform before you leave there are musicians playing. There’s a stationary train car that serves up light meals. There’s a schedule of course and it’s mostly adhered to. The trip to the last stop and back didn’t take us very long. I want to say two hours but I could be remembering wrong. It feels like it was ages ago now.

After the train we hit the road again. Stopped at services to use the facilities but also pick up donuts! Then we continued onto my brother-in-law’s place. And there we had bed four!

Night Five

Bed for night five.

Monday started off as a lazy-ish day. We didn’t get up too early. Had coffee and leftover donuts for breakfast. August 7th was our trip back to the scene of the crime (wedding). Before going there we stopped at a mall to pick up a few things. I went overboard with the purchasing of Wonder Woman merchandise. There was a cute kiosk on the third floor where you could customize bottles of alcohol. We intended to go back there before coming home but didn’t get around to it.

When we were shopped out my brother-in-law left us his keys for the car and took a train home. My husband and I piled into the car and pointed it in the direction of Woodstock. I would not attempt to drive in England. Thankfully my husband is from there, learned how to drive there, so it was second nature for him to whisk us across the countryside.

Woodstock is a beautiful town. Small, with friendly people. Lots of pubs. And a hotel that has been around since the middle ages. That’s where we stayed. It was home base for the wedding and we wanted to wake up there on our anniversary.

This was the third time I’d stayed at the hotel, and the fourth room I’d been in. Here is bed number five!

Night Six

The adventure of getting to bed six is still fresh in my mind. England is famous for having a lot of rain. What they don’t talk about is the pressure that precipitation causes in people with sinus problems. My troubles probably started Monday night but I didn’t notice them. By Tuesday morning after breakfast my sinuses hated me. Due to circumstances I rescheduled our flight from Heathrow to Helsinki to be later in the day August 8th. That gave us time to find something to eat for lunch and hopefully some relief for me.

Bed for night six!

The pharmacy in Woodstock is small. And they actually care about the people they serve so when I was truthful about being on blood pressure medication they wouldn’t sell me sinus medication (it tends to raise the blood pressure). Instead they gave me allergy pills. They didn’t work.

 

It was a long and arduous day/evening. All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball on a bed until the pressure and pain went away. We had to trek through the airport and endure a three hour flight.

We finally landed in Helsinki. It was so late, and we were so tired, we didn’t get to appreciate the city at night. The taxi whisked us to our apartment hotel. I am not an apartment kind of person. We live in a house. I’ve always lived in a house. But I fell in love with our apartment. And bed number six!

In the end

After all the different beds we finally had the same bed for a week. It was super comfortable. The apartment made me want to move in for good. Too bad we don’t have the money to move to another continent. Maybe one of these days. We took in some of the sights in Helsinki while also attending WorldCon. The panels were packed and I ended up not being able to attend most of the ones I wanted to hear.

I took way too many pictures to post them here but here are a few from some of our adventures.

Woodstock Town Hall – Where the magic happened three years ago.

 

 

View of London from The Shard.

Have you been on a vacation recently? Where did you go?

Check out my website: http://www.cindycarroll.com
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I have a new story out in an anthology! The Newcomer has twelve science fiction short stories from authors across the globe.
From a young couple struggling to look after their baby to a new captain’s reluctance to take command of her ship, and from a sun-addled stranger’s appearance in town to the emergence of a sentient AI, the twelve tales presented here explore the central theme of an arrival by someone or something new. There’s even an alien puppy.

The stories are:

Tithe by Griffin Carmichael
Exodus by Alec Hutson
First Bonding by Tom Germann
Ice Dreamer by J J Green
The Nanny by Cindy Carroll
Right Hand by Jonathan C Gillespie
What Make is Your Cat? by Richard Crawford
Kaxian Duty by Cherise Kelley
Lessons Learned by J Naomi Ay
The Humra by Laura Greenwood
The Hawk of Destiny’s Fist by James S Aaron
Repulse by Alasdair Shaw

 

*Not really our bed because our room is a mess. This is a photo to represent our bed.

The Sims as Reward

CindyCarrollEI love video games but I’m mostly a loner when it comes to playing. I don’t go for the online multi player games where I have to deal with other people even if it’s only through their avatar or their character. I’m always afraid as a newbie to those types of games that I’ll make a mistake. And when someone tries to chat with me using the chat feature I don’t know what to say. I can’t multi task while playing. So I stick to games on my computer or the PS4 that don’t require others.

screenshot-1083My game of choice has been for a long time now The Sims. I loved the original Sims even though I came late to the party on that one. They’d already released The Sims 2 when I started playing. I bought all the expansion packs for the Original Sims. I loved the ability to send my Sims on vacation. I loved that they could practice magic. I downloaded hundreds of mods so they could do other things not possible with the base game like be vampires, go to an adoption agency, work other odd jobs that the original game didn’t have. I played it for a long time to the detriment of my writing. The thing about the Sims is that it’s real life, simulated. You create your Sims, have them learn skills, get jobs, pay bills, make up stories around them. I loved creating them and giving them back stories and something to accomplish in game.

Then The Sims 3 came along. I bypassed Sims 2 and went right for 3. It was cleaner, with a more polished look that the original. A lot more options when creating your Sims. They added a lot of expansion packs so your Sims could go on vacation, go to university, have pets, become vampires, fairies, ghosts, witches, werewolves. There’s even an expansion pack that let’s you have an invisible friend. I don’t have that one installed yet but it’s on my list.

screenshot-3411The problem is I can play The Sims 3 for literally the whole day. I get sucked into sending my Sim on quests to fulfill their aspirations and their lifetime wish and before I know it the whole day has zipped by and it’s time for bed. And no writing got done. I’ve tried convincing myself I’ll only play for an hour. But that never pans out. So now I must use playing the Sims 3 as reward for finishing my novels. Notice I wrote novels not novel. Once I have a few novels completed and at least one published I will reward myself with a Sims 3 marathon.

Do you play video games? Is there something that keeps you from your to-do list?

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Check out my website: http://www.cindycarroll.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CindyPCarroll
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newcomer-cover

I have a new story out in an anthology! The Newcomer has twelve science fiction short stories from authors across the globe.

From a young couple struggling to look after their baby to a new captain’s reluctance to take command of her ship, and from a sun-addled stranger’s appearance in town to the emergence of a sentient AI, the twelve tales presented here explore the central theme of an arrival by someone or something new. There’s even an alien puppy.

The stories are:

Tithe by Griffin Carmichael
Exodus by Alec Hutson
First Bonding by Tom Germann
Ice Dreamer by J J Green
The Nanny by Cindy Carroll
Right Hand by Jonathan C Gillespie
What Make is Your Cat? by Richard Crawford
Kaxian Duty by Cherise Kelley
Lessons Learned by J Naomi Ay
The Humra by Laura Greenwood
The Hawk of Destiny’s Fist by James S Aaron
Repulse by Alasdair Shaw

Keeping Austin, and the Universe, Weird

MOW BOOK LAUNCH 003 (3)

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posted by Kathy Waller

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When I met him at a Saturday morning writing practice group at Austin’s Mother’s Cafe, I thought David Davis was a great writer of the impromptu essay.

David Davis at 2015 Fantastic Fest. © MKW
David Davis at 2015 Fantastic Fest. © MKW

Give David ten minutes and he’ll create a masterpiece of eccentricity complete with–I don’t know how he does it–beginning, middle, and end. Thousand Island dressing, Monica Lewinsky, elephants that jump through burning hoops–his topics range from the ridiculous to the sublime and back again. When he reads his compositions aloud, people at nearby tables suspend forks and coffee cups in midair and stare at the group sitting at the table in the corner, shrieking with laughter.

Eighteen years later, David still amuses audiences, but he’s doing it in new ways.

Now David accompanies words with action. He makes short-short sci-fi videos and flings them out to the universe. And the universe answers.

rosewell street light img_1697His “Invisible Men Invade Earth” was screened at both the Boomtown Film & Music Festival (Beaumont, Texas) and Roswell, New Mexico’s CosmicCon in 2012. “Invisible Men” was a big hit thanks to the totally unscripted appearance of cats William and Ernest.

(The bagged-up books were leaning against the wall preparatory to being donated to the public library’s Recycled Reads bookstore. The flash drive William is batting around later turned up under the refrigerator.)

Last year, “Alike and Different” and “Reverse Effects” were screened in the Austin Fantastic Fest’s Shorts With Legs DSCN1273category.  According to Fantastic Fest’s website, Shorts with Leg were “the strangest and most compelling eccentric short films we’ve seen all year, from polished excursions into existential surrealism to enthusiastic reveries of outsider art madness.”

The iDigital Times called David’s videos “perhaps the strangest shorts in this very strange collection.”

(“Alike and Different” also aired at the Conway, Arkansas Film Festival. If the pink spaceship resembles a vegetable steamer, there’s a reason for that. I won’t go into it here.)

https://vimeo.com/118180921

 

David’s latest venture is Alien Resort, “a favorite vacation spot known throughout the universe.” Cartoons appear on Facebook  (under Travel/Leisure) and on the Alien Resort blog.

In December, one of his cartoons made it into the Austin American-Statesman. Humor columnist John Kelso wrote, “If keeping it weird is an Austin prerequisite, then David Davis’ Christmas card has to be the grand champ in this year’s Funny Christmas Card Contest.”

© David Davis
© David Davis

You’ve got two aliens with green faces, chatting up the holiday season. No manger, no reindeer and no stinkin’ elves. Just men from the Planet Zarcon or, perhaps, Manor. Who knows?

“On Earth, he goes by the name Santa Claus,” one alien says. “How much of that night does he spend on each planet?” the other alien asks.

The alien on the left is a Photoshopped version of Davis, a South Austin writer and videographer who created the card and is into all things spacey.

 

For the record, keeping it weird is Austin’s national pastime. And John Kelso is one of the pastime’s most popular and dedicated cheerleaders.

What’s next for David? In July, “Alike and Different” goes to the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase. Alien Resort continues to attract visitors. And David Davis keeps on keeping on as “The Eccentric Director Behind The Weirdest Festival Entries In Austin.”

And, as far as we know, everywhere else in the universe.

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MOW cover - amazon pix

Kathy Waller blogs at Kathy Waller: Telling the Truth, Mainly and at Austin Mystery Writers. Her short stories appear at Mysterical-E and in Austin Mystery Writers’ crime fiction anthology, Murder on Wheels (Wildside, 2015). AKA Mrs. David Davis, she gets to go to a lot of film festivals.

 

 

 

 

The Day After The Day of the Doctor

CindyCarrollEIf you’re a Whovian you were tuning in yesterday when they aired the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. I had been waiting for this special since the summer when I first saw some of the promo photos. Then there were the rumours about who would be in the special, what doctors they would bring back. From the beginning we knew David Tennant would return as the Tenth Doctor but that was pretty much all we knew. If you didn’t watch yesterday and want to avoid spoilers STOP HERE.

Then they started trickling out the teaser videos. We learned Rose would return but in what capacity? She seemed to be helping the John Hurt doctor. And through a teaser we found out how the John Hurt doctor came to be. Forged in war to end the war between the Time Lords and the Daleks. We knew this was the doctor the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh doctors wanted to forget. But we weren’t clear yet on exactly why. And it was a surprise that he even existed. The new series, when it came back in 2005, started with the Ninth Doctor. We had no idea how the previous doctor died. I was a little disappointed that “Rose” turned out to be the conscious of The Moment (a weapon of mass destruction) and not actually Rose. She didn’t interact with the Tenth Doctor at all. And to find out The Doctor was married more than once! That was a surprise.

There were so many great one liners in the episode. Lots of humour mixed in with the story about the last day of the time war. With the hashtag on Twitter of #SAVETHEDAY I guess that should have been a clue that the doctor would indeed save the day even though it was a message to use to save the day and tune in.  Now that he didn’t blow up the planet, didn’t kill all the people on Gallifrey what will the next doctor do? Search for his planet?

I’m going to miss Matt Smith. It took a while for him to grow on me as The Doctor. David Tennant was brilliant in the role and was (still is) my favourite doctor. But Matt Smith was good in the role. I cried when he lost Amy and Rory for good. I will keep an open mind for Peter Capaldi. The producers of Doctor Who know what they’re doing and it was nice to see him incorporated into the anniversary special.

So, did you watch? What did you think?

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ReflectionsFinal2

When a cursed inn replaces her friends with evil reflections a woman fights to get the genuine articles back before the doubles kill her.

Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1avH00L
Buy on Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/19Ti2ux
Buy on Kobo: http://bit.ly/13CBz9M
Buy on Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/15oFc4a

Revisiting the classics

CindyCarrollE

Since I’m a writer you could be thinking I’m going to be talking about classic novels. Those long and usually (at least for me) boring tomes we were forced to read in English class. Before you get angry and start spouting how great the classics are we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that point. I know they’re classics for a reason but today’s audience probably wouldn’t be able to get through many of them. We are a society of instant gratification. Fast reads. Fast movies. Instant information.

The only classic I could finish in high school was Frankenstein. I really enjoyed that book. I liked the second part of the novel more than the first because it was told from the creature’s point of view and you could really understand and feel sorry for him. Bram Stoker’s Dracula drove me crazy. I found it slow-moving and I don’t think I even got half way through that. But classic novels isn’t what I’m talking about.

V: The complete collectionI’m talking about classic TV shows. I’ve loved TV since I was old enough to watch Sesame Street. I had been buying DVDs of my favourite shows but now, with Netflix, find I hardly ever watch the DVDs anymore. Netflix is so much easier. There’s that instant gratification again. I wanted to watch the original V miniseries. The one from the 80s with the bad special effects but great characters and mostly good story lines. Sadly, Netflix does not have V. And we didn’t own the DVDs. All was not lost. I had a gift certificate for Amazon. I went online and found the original V miniseries, V: The Final Battle and V the complete series. I put them in my cart, checked out and waited for my treasures to arrive.

Say what you want about Amazon but they are fast. Without paying for speedy delivery I still had my package in a week. So this weekend we are watching V. The original series. The one that beats the remake hands down. Even though the series was short-lived (19 episodes) it will still take us a while to get through. We’ll be watching part two of the original miniseries today. Then maybe The Final Battle next weekend. No time during the week because new TV shows are on. New classics that I’m sure years from now I’ll be wanting to watch again and again.

Check out my website: http://www.cindycarroll.com
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ReflectionsFinal2When a cursed inn replaces her friends with evil reflections a woman fights to get the genuine articles back before the doubles kill her.

Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1avH00L
Buy on Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/19Ti2ux
Buy on Kobo: http://bit.ly/13CBz9M
Buy on Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/15oFc4a

 

NN cover13 Final 500I also have two stories in Nefarious North. It can be purchased at the following links:  Amazon.ca: http://amzn.to/1edPLwk or Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/1e9PQAY.