Would the FBI talk to you about this book?

Hangar 18: LegacyThe other day, I had a really funny dream. I dreamed that the FBI kept calling me, stopping by my house, wanting to know how I found out about the aliens stashed away at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and what more did I know. Being in a dream, I was a bit slow on the uptake, but I finally figured out that they were referring to my book Hangar 18: Legacy.

“It’s fiction!” I told them. “I don’t know about any aliens on the base. I made this stuff up!” I had to be very insistent about the fact that, while I’m a software developer like the heroine in the book, the projects I work on are nowhere near as interesting as those she deals with, and even if there were aliens on the base, I’d never know. It took several more pestering phone calls, but the FBI people finally got the message. Later, they sent me cookies to apologize for bothering me. ūüėÄ I woke up smiling.

My ROW80 goals are a sort-of smile, sort of not, as they were rather hit-and-miss. Actually, they were mostly miss, as the only one I hit was the writing, and that wasn’t until about one AM this morning. I count it as yesterday, and therefore being made, because I didn’t go to bed until after I hit the wordcount goal. Here’s the nitty-gritty:

  • ROW80Logo1754000 words on new ms – Yes!
  • 4 workouts – partial – got three in.
  • One chapter in estate planning book – no
  • Spend 15 minutes decluttering – no

The novel’s now over 12,000 words, so I’m making good progress toward my overall ROW goal of 20k on the book. I’m going to keep the weekly goals the same for this week. I already got 300 words written today, so that’s a good start. I might just jump in on the estate planning book and the decluttering tomorrow, since it’s a holiday. We’ll see how that goes – plans have a tendency to change. My daughter decided to come home for the long weekend (I think mostly for the AC, LOL, which her dorm doesn’t have). I’ve enjoyed (and spent a lot of time) talking to her, catching up, and vicariously reliving the college experience. That has impacted my goals a little, but is well worth it.

What about you – I know a lot of authors get story ideas from dreams, but have you ever dreamed about a book you’ve already written (or read, if you’re not a writer)? Whether or not you’re doing ROW80, how are you doing on whatever goals you might have had this week? Please share – I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

The Best Medicine – In a Surprising Place

Everyone knows that laughter is the best medicine for whatever ails you, and I’m no exception. And the other night, I found it in a surprising place.

I’d been hormonal and cranky that day, and wasn’t really looking for anything other than an excuse to avoid doing work (this was at home, in the evening, so no, not shirking the day job!). I had won a kids’ book in a contest a few weeks earlier, and wanted to read it before I gave it away, mainly because the author is one of my WANA* friends. Curse of the Double Digits is a middle-grade chapter book, targeted toward kids ages 7-11. I’d planned to give it to some friends from high school who have a 7-year old son who likes to read, but that day, I’d learned one of my coworkers’ daughter was turning 10 this weekend – and the book is about a girl celebrating her tenth birthday, when everything that could possibly go wrong, does.

So I sat down to read.¬†I knew the author, Lynn Kelley, is one funny lady, and the book looked cute.¬†I figured it would be amusing and would make me smile. But holy smokes, I was literally laughing out loud from Chapter One! Curse of the Double Digits is about a girl who turns ten on the tenth day of the tenth month. Becky expects it to be magical, and her family has planned what Becky’s sure will be the Best. Birthday party. Ever. for a couple days later. Her whole class is coming, including a boy she really likes. But on her birthday, she realizes her bangs are too long. She doesn’t want her mom to cut them, because Mom always cuts them too short. So she enlists her best friend to help.

Becky’s scissors are too dull to cut hair, so they find her dad’s electric razor. At this point, I could just imagine what would happen, and was already laughing. What did happen was even worse (for Becky) and funnier than what I imagined, and I ended up laughing through the whole thing as poor Becky suffered one mishap after another. But all ended up well, and I was no longer grumpy, that’s for sure!

My daughter is seventeen. I haven’t read a middle-grade children’s book since she was young enough to still want to be read to, so it’s been a while since I read a kids’ book. Boy, am I glad I did!

So next time you’re down in the dumps, consider picking up Curse of the Double Digits, or another kids’ book. Because really, your bad day couldn’t be as bad as Becky’s–and you just might laugh yourself right out of the dumps!


Quick ROW80 Update: Hangar 18: Legacy is now with my editor. While she has it, I’m working on front and back matter. Acknowledgements page is done – so far, so good!

* What is WANA? It stands for¬†We Are Not Alone, a guide to blogging, social media and networking for authors by¬†Kristen Lamb. It’s writers helping writers, whether or not we’ve taken the course, and proving that we really are not alone!

How long has it been since you’ve read a kids’ book? I know a lot of adults enjoy teen books (me too). But what about books for younger kids? Got any good ones to recommend?

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

You too can be radioactive for just $34.95!

Sometimes, if I am really bored at work, I read Amazon reviews. OK, I also read blogs. But at my primary workplace, blogs are blocked, and I get tired of reading on my smartphone. Luckily, Amazon is not blocked, and a few weeks ago, while waiting for a slow database export, I stumbled across this gem:

Uranium Ore

That’s right, real uranium ore! I found the Product Details very interesting:

Product Features

  • Radioactive Ore Sample
  • License Exempt – low radioactivity
  • Useful for testing geiger counters
  • Shipping compiles to NRC and postal regulations
  • Radioactive minerals are for educational and scientific use only.

 

The product had an average 3.8 stars out of five. Here’s what some users had to say. Surprisingly (or not), none were an “Amazon Verified Purchase.” Hmm….

2,640 of 2,754 people found the following review helpful

I bought this to power a home-made submarine that I use to look for prehistoric-era life forms in land-locked lakes around my home town in Alaska. At first I wasn’t sure if this item would (or could) arrive via mail, but I was glad to see it showed up with no problems. Well, almost no problems.

Unfortuantly my mom opened my mail, because she does not respect people’s privacy. She was pretty upset to see Uranium Ore. After a long argument and me running away from home again, she finaly stopped being such an idiot and I was able to get back to work.

The quality of this Uranium is on par with the stuff I was bying from the Libyans over at the mall parking lot, but at half the price! I just hope the seller does not run out, because I have many projects on my list including a night vision sasquatch radar, an electromagnetic chupakabra cage, a high velocity, aerial, weighted Mothman net and super heated, instant grill cheese sandwhich maker.

Here’s the “most helpful critical review”:

7,800 of 7,937 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, Poor Packaging, May 14, 2009
By¬†Patrick J. McGovern “Procrastinating Evil Sci…¬†(Hollowed Out Volcano Lair) –¬†See all my reviews¬†(REAL NAME)¬† ¬†
This review is from: Uranium Ore

I purchased this product 4.47 Billion Years ago and when I opened it today, it was half empty.

 It might even be the start of the Zombie Apocalypse:

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for creating a zombie apocalypse =), November 20, 2010
This review is from: Uranium Ore

This item works great when trying to create a zombie apocalypse. I tried some on my friend (smeared a little on his big mac when he went to the bathroom) and boom! Instant zombification! Just be careful not to get any in an open cut or in your eyes, because it will turn you into a zombie really fast. My plan is to start a zombie apocalypse so that everyone will get sick and eat each others brains, leaving me the only healthy person and thus leader of the new free world! I wish amazon would ship this product in larger quantities because it would make my plan go so much faster! But at least I was eligible for free amazon prime super savings shipping!

 

But my favorite review of the product had been removed between the time I read it and now! Luckily, we have Google Cache!

Top Reviewer Ranking: 883,002 (Learn More) РTotal Helpful Votes: 5 of 5
Uranium Ore by Images SI Inc.

Uranium Ore by Images SI Inc.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not as advertised, by Osama Bin Laden, April 12, 2012
It’s a trap! I wanted to, uh, liberate the Americans so i bought 800 cans of this and attempted to ship it to my secret fortress in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The delivery guys showed up in a black helicopter and instead of my uranium they brought guns! Please nobody fall for the same trap i did I am stuck in my house now i can hear them shooting downstairs i am hiding here with my wife please don’t kill m-

 

Many reviews mentioned Back to the Future and time travel. Obviously they haven’t read my Saturn Society books! Emmett Brown wrote several reviews. I wonder how?

There actually were a few reviews that said it was good for testing one’s Geiger counter. Although I find it amusing that the shipping “compiles” instead of “complies”… must be the programmer in me.¬†What are some of the most entertaining Amazon product reviews you’ve seen? Would you buy Uranium Ore from Amazon? Oh, and what about some of the products under “Customers who bought this also bought…” LOL!