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Monday, January 27, 2014

Medical Mondays: Lasik and the 20/20 vision

Since I did a project in high school about laser eye surgery aka Lasik, I have wanted to perfect my own vision. There are only a few things I wish I could change about myself and unlike my current height, it is relatively safe and relatively easy to perfect my vision. I decided to go for it while I still have the cash availability. Your welcome 5, 10, 20, 30 years from now me.

More information on the procedure and how it went to come in future bloggings...

Does this mean I have to update my license?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Foodie Fridays: What is it like to live without sugar?

Check out my project blog:

Let me tell you it was delicious!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Author Thursdays: Live from the Black Dog... It's Thursday Night!

An Evening of Stories – Live at The Black Dog

FreeValley Publishing’s authors will be at The Black Dog in Snoqualmie, WA on January 23, 2014 6-7:30pm for a Meet the Author’s event. Our authors will read excerpts from their published works and give short commentary on different aspects of self-publishing. We will then be available to chat and sign books for you.
This is in league with local chap book makers who will also have works available that evening. Paul Green will play Jazz at 7:30 onward, so you can make it a complete entertainment outing. Come an see us!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Author Tuesdays: Clarification

Toiling Tuesdays is becoming Author Tuesdays. I will be writing about author related things on both Tuesdays and Thursdays as writing (and reading) are such important parts of my life.

Don't forget:

Miscellaneous or Medical Mondays
Author Tuesdays
Wildlife Wednesdays
Author Thursdays
Foodie Fridays
Seattle Saturdays
Socializing Sundays (for friendships, relationship, and hanging out)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Miscellaneous Mondays: Amazing Amazon idea

Take note Amazon. Here is an amazing idea that I wish was already in place to make my buying experience even better:

First you take a questionnaire that works to pair you up with a personality (or real person) who will be your authoritative on purchasing. This person will have similar tastes as you and will have bought many of the products you are looking for. They will be able to pick which one they liked best and why. They are like the Costco of Amazon, bringing down your choices to one or two so that you know they are the best products for YOU!

Your authoritative personality can even suggest items you might like based on their own interest, as it is similar to your own. Not just "because you bought this" -> "you might like this" or "other people who bought this item" -> "also bought these items" but "because your persona says this product is awesome, you might like it."

What do you think? Could it work? Would you use this service or would it bug you?

There are so many different products out there and sometimes too many reviews of any one product (good and bad reviews) to be able to make a knowledgeable decision. This service would break through this issue and give you a person to follow in their decisions. For example, you are looking for a bread machine. They range from the $70 cheap one to the $300 Zojirushi. What does your authoritative figure have to say? There aren't any "top 500 Amazon reviewer" reviews on this product. Without this service, I figured out my purchasing decision by going to Google, finding reviews on blogs, and reviews on Amazon. The clincher for how I bought the bread machine that I did was the multiple reviews on Amazon for one bread machine that told me to buy another specific machine, so I did.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Author Thursdays: The Art of Book Covers

I have hemmed and hawed over book covers, specifically pre-made. It sounds so easy. Just a few dollars and wham bam I've got a cover! Or if you use Createspace's cover creator it's free. However, many people say that the cover creator pumps out boring covers that are easily attributed to the creator bot. What says you? I used their creator for my poetry book, as it doesn't require anything super fancy:

The cover creator is customizable in certain regards, such as changing any of the text and some of the placement but not entirely changeable, so what you see will be what you get basically. You have to be happy with their offerings to go with the cover creator.

Back to pre-mades. There are tons of sites devoted to pre-made and custom-made covers. Even Amazon will devote their design team to making you a unique cover, for a hefty fee of course. If you go with a pre-made, all you get to do is add your name and title and barcode. The image is as is, no changing. What if you want more shadows? Nope. What if you want less blue? Nope. Perhaps some of the artists will work with you on their pre-mades but then there definitely will be a customizing fee added on.

There is also literature out there that warns about the cons of pre-made covers. Are they used more than once? Sometimes. I've seen elements used more than once in multiple pre-mades as well. Here's an article that breaks down the everything that can go wrong will scenarios when considering a pre-made cover for your next novel:

So what to do? Well, if you can and your budget is drop dead nothing, do it yourself! Here is a website with a list of other websites where you can find images to use in your cover creation.

Making a book cover -

You can also commission someone with photoshopping skills to help you out. Or find one of those random artists online to make you a custom cover, but beware the internet my friends!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Toiling Tuesdays: Amazon Cost Calculator

Wonder what your book will cost before you're even finished with it? Createspace (Amazon affiliate) has a handy Cost calculator so you can determine how much your book will cost to help you make decisions such as, should my page count be shorter? Should I use a smaller trim size? Or is it at all cost-effective to make it a hardcover?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Medical Mondays: Continuation of the Finger

3rd Surgery 12/04/13

Putting on the Digit Widget 12/09/13

Added therapy 12/17/13 1/3






Friday, January 3, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Rachel Barnard Without Sugar Blog

I started a new challenge and a new blog to document the challenge. Until my birthday I will eat nothing with processed sugars. You can read about it here:

Find out what the parameters of the challenge are, how difficult I think it will be, the challenges I face along the way, and healthy alternative substitutes for foods rich with processed sugars. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Author Thursdays: AUTHOR WORKSHOP Round table on Self-Publishing Ins and Outs of Self Publishing from Those Who have Been There Done That?

Tuesday January 28, 2014 1:10 PM - 9:30 PM 
101 W North Bend Way, North Bend, WA 98045

The Authors of FreeValley Publishing tell all from their Choice of Publishing Sites, Services and Formats to Negotiating the World of Sales and Promotions. Discuss options and Learn from the experience of those who have gone before you!

Don’t miss your chance to attend this Information-packed session.

>Choices of Publishing
sites and Marketers
> Selecting binding options
> Price points pros & cons
> Formatting Variations
> When to Employ Services
vs. Do It Yourself
> ISBNs and eBooks
> Marketing Options