Digital Care Package

A while back, I came up with the idea for what I called a “digital care package.”

For those unfamiliar with the concept of a care package, it is this: “a parcel of food, money, or luxury items sent to a loved one who is away.” ( Often these are associated with the military, with families sending things to soldiers fighting overseas. Apparently, it gets its name from an organization known as CARE, Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere. I didn’t know that until I did a search to find an explanation of one. I’ve just always sort of known about them, probably from television.

Care packages are also sent to students off at school away from home and relatives that live far away.

When I came up with this concept, I used the idea of sending it to a sick person, and took as my basis a list I found here.

I didn’t use all of these prompts, but I did use several.

A digital care package is a great thing for a writer (especially a broke one, as I frequently am) because it’s a way of showing one’s care without spending money. It’s about time, about taking the time to think of each prompt for the right fic and characters and song and quote/picture for each one and the recipient.

When I did this, I compiled some unconnected short fics with the prompts, a song, and a picture/quote, but later I started a second one that was just one story and set of characters.

As an example, part of the second digital care package I did is this song and this fic and picture for blanket.

The idea of doing a digital care package with most of us in quarantine or under stay at home orders and unable to see people and even send some of these items in the care package seems rather apropos, so I decided to post the information again.

I can’t say as I had any success with it, not really, but maybe someone else will.

Things in the Works

So I have been rather quiet of late. It’s been hard sometimes even just to keep up with posting prompts, and I went through a rough patch writing wise.

I did manage my 50,000 words for NanoWrimo this past year. That story has, unfortunately, been shelved pending edits. It led me to a couple of others that are still in progress, though.

I’m cautiously optimistic about my progress on the sequel to Forgotten Legacy, currently titled In the Wreckage. Carson and Mackenna have a new car to work on, a new mystery, and have made a few new friends (Smith) and (Sennet) to help them with the mystery.

I’m going to post something with their new friends. They’re a fun addition to things, and I’m looking forward to when Carson’s brothers and these two interact.

I’ll also be trying again to catch up the lists for the prompts I’ve posted. I’m also hoping to get to where I’m posting a new serialized novel. I have one in mind. I just don’t know if it will be feasible. I’d also like to finish one of my album challenges. I’ll be looking at them again, too.

I have had a lot of health issues this past fall and winter. I’m still working my way back from that.

Yet Another State of the Kabobbles

I keep meaning to update the website, and then I get bogged down by health issues and the other logistics of the updates I want to do falling through. I’ve been meaning to release something else as a serial for a while now, but I’m missing a few things for that.

I’ve gone through several attempts at fixing the cover for Whim to release it in paperback, but it hasn’t worked yet. It looks fine until it comes back from the printer. When it does… there’s always some annoying flaw that I can’t stand, mostly owing to the spine not getting aligned right no matter how much space we give it according to their guidelines.

It’s been an ordeal, and I think I actually threw the last copy of the book across the room I was so mad.

I haven’t touched it in months as I don’t know that there’s any way to make what I want and what the printer gives me align at all.

In the meantime, my migraines have taken a turn for the worse and now come accompanied by painful earaches. This is especially bad in the cold and means I can’t go outside or even sit around the house at times without having them covered, they’re just too sensitive.

So I am working on managing that as best I can, but the ear pain can be debilitating enough to keep me from leaving the house or moving out of bed even more so than the migraines were before. I don’t drive with them, and sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and cry.

I have been working on writing when I can, but it’s been a few false starts and not much progress.

I’m still hoping to do a cover and get a serial running.

I’ve also been hard at work on a semi-self-improvement project… I’m trying to reshape the space I’m in to better help manage things, and I’ll probably talk more about that later.

I just figured it was about time for one of those “no, I’m not dead” messages, though if anyone’s been keeping up with the prompts I do on tumblr, they know I’m not. I just haven’t managed anything else lately, and for that, I apologize.

I will hopefully be up to more, especially if the weather gets nicer.

Things in the Works

I suppose it’s too soon to tell, but along with coming home from vacation with a cold and a migraine, I did come back with a renewed dedication to getting some stuff in order for publishing more stories and fixing other files.

I mean, I’ve been saying for years there’s an updated look for the site we were going to do.

We’ve changed at least two covers that need to be fixed, and at least one other is in progress.

Today some progress was made, and if things go well, there will be another book in print officially, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself in saying stuff.

Also, I am hoping or maybe just debating starting up a new serial.

And if the migraine ever lets up, maybe I can get back to the Kabobbles Sing Along Album Challenge.

Vacation Saga Day Six: In Which We Nearly Die

So Friday is the day of the driver’s meeting and tour around Green Lake. It starts off mildly enough, with me somewhat regretting my choice of outfit by the time I left the house as my red satin dress is a bit tight these days and it was super hot by the time we were in New London.

Still, we got the Maxwell out, took it to the Legion, and then there was the annual shopping. I went off to get a chai from the local coffee shop while people were eating (I do believe I’ve stressed many a time that I’m not a breakfast person) and the meeting was over rather quickly as there were no real changes to the route this year, amazingly enough.

John Eliot joked about hiring someone to sabotage Grandpa’s car so that he’d be the only one who’d done all the runs, but he said they were unsuccessful.

Unfortunately, someone else almost was.

While we were on the lake tour, we were on the final lap, which I actually have driven the last few years but somewhat auspiciously had not done this year. You see, as we were turning the corner where last year a car almost went off the road and into the lake, the Ford group had stopped for a photo opportunity, so first we almost hit them because the one in front of us was going slow. Then once they pulled out of the way, we continued down the hill and almost hit the guy in the other Ford who was turning around to park for the photo.

Yes, I almost died because someone wanted a picture. I am still NOT AMUSED. That was a dumb place to stop and take a picture with so many old cars behind you on a hill. Had I been behind the wheel and not Grandpa, we would have collided with that Ford for sure (I don’t stop well with the foot pedal brake. I pull up the lever for safety.)

Anyway, we survived that (barely,) and went to park for root beer floats. We end up staying in Spicer longer than intended because the spedometer died and we were trying to find a replacement battery. No such luck.

On to round two of us very nearly dying. So… Grandpa informs me that I am driving back to New London. I can’t remember doing it before. I ask him if he’s sure because I haven’t driven in a year. He says, “You have thirty seconds to remember how.”

And so we set off. We’re turning the corner out of the parking lot, Grandpa flips the lever on the steering wheel, and the Maxwell dies. It does not want to start again. Naturally, everyone thinks I killed the car. (I didn’t, it was fine until Grandpa touched the lever.) Fiddle with the battery clamps and suddenly it starts again. So we have to go, and people are waiting and they make me go first (such fun times, I love humiliating myself in front of a crowd) and so we start off.

I think I’m in first, but I’m in reverse and I almost hit Steve from the car club and owed him a radiator.

Then Grandpa tells me to cross the highway once we’re in New London. I swear it’s clear when I start, but then I must have looked down to change gears and um… there was an SUV, and it almost hit us… and I can only say that I swear it wasn’t there when I started. Still scary. Still not good.

I was booted from the driver’s seat not long after. So… the drive to the park for pictures was more or less without incident and we were done with that easily enough. The plan was to continue searching for the battery, but it got a little sidetracked.

And then Joe and Pat from the car club came while Mom and I were on our battery hunt, so when we got back before the parade line up time, they were wanting to know if we wanted to go see a big game hunter’s house and his animals and stuff. They said food was involved and an air show, so I went along.

I was a bit sad to see the poor animals, but they were beautiful, too. The house was very large and well decorated with a huge gun safe and even a minature golf course outside. I missed taking a video of the planes and I refused to get on the big gun the National Guard had there like Joe wanted, but I did go for the hot air balloon.

I mean, it was tethered to for trucks, but it was still a risk (and goodness, getting in with my skirt was interesting, though Pat had a rougher time.) They said it wasn’t a very far drop, but… It could have been bad. It wasn’t. It was super fun even if it was short, and I was glad I went despite getting too hot and sunburned and everything while waiting to go up. We got back to New London late (I’m sure those poor people closing A & W weren’t thrilled with us) but it was fun.

So I May Need to Write a Bonus Story

So we’re thinking that part of the reason why Just a Whim’s cover is not cooperating is the size of the spine and if the book were longer it might not be a problem, or maybe not in the same way.

So my thought was maybe including a little bonus story. I’m trying to figure out what to do, though, as I’ve had a hard time writing much, Whim and I have a complicated relationship, and I have a hard time writing short.

Any thoughts?

Feel free to leave them here or on facebook or twitter or even on the tumblr.

The Goal Here Is Writing

And admittedly, that’s been difficult of late. There’s a lot of stress, a lot of sickness, and considerable setbacks in the form of a disastrous Nano (yes, there is 50,000 words. No, they are not good) and some other hiccups that aren’t really things I want to discuss.

I have things I need to work on as a person, but as a writer, I’ve decided to try something… simpler. I have frequently bemoaned not knowing what to do, needing someone else to prompt me (and getting silence) and not knowing what else to do to get writing again.

Well, through some trial and error that was actually somewhat painful, I have almost made tumblr workable as a way to get constant daily prompts. I found quite a few people who have blogs with prompts, and there are a lot of them that are fascinating (others are quite scary) and it’s my hope to start posting little prompted bits to Kabobble’s Choice like I used to.

Today the sum total of my accomplishments was to fill out some OTP questionaires about a story I’m not sure I’m writing, so I didn’t get much done, but right now I have a plan. I was thinking about posting the questionaire and answering it for various stories, but that seemed a little silly, but I still might someday. Some of them I think are kind of fun and might interest some people, or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

And, of course, I am open to people passing along any prompts they might have or suggestions for questionaires and pairings to see for them. Or just stories or worlds people want me to talk about. I love talking stories.

It’s Nano Time

We haven’t done Nano in a while. For years there, it was our staple, and we did Camp Wrimo in April, too, but that has been some time as well.

With all the struggles we have had in getting things going again, it seemed like a good time to try it again.

For anyone unfamiliar with what Nano is, it is the National Novel Writing Month. Your goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. I did it from 2009 to 2012, and I did succeed each time. The second nano I did became Just a Whim. A few other novels not yet released are also nano projects.

This time I plan on doing what I did with the last nano, posting each day’s progress (or nearest complete scene) as I go along.

I admit, I have a bit of a wacky mashup in mind this time, but I enjoyed its inspiration so much I hope it will go well in this version.

Current State of the Kabobble

Where are we at?

Honestly, we’re not sure we know.

Back home now from vacation, working to take steps to increase production and distribution of the books. We have another one off in the proofing process, and more waiting in the wings, though that will take time.

For people who have been looking for a print version of past releases, it should be exciting to note that those are among the priority projects we’re working on these days (one of them is the proof I mentioned before) and they will be available as soon as they’re ready.

Some need more work than others, including some cover revisions, which are either started, completed, or yet to be agreed upon, but we are working toward fixing them all.

Other things that we want to do, as I may have mentioned before, include improving the website with a whole new look, the release of serials in both formats, updates to some current epubs, and new serial publication. Things are still settling down after the trip, so time will be needed, but progress is being made and we are doing all we can to get things back on track after the long absence.

And We’re Back

We cannot deny that we have been absent, nor can we say that it was always with good reason. Many things factored into a silence from us that has only now been able to be broken.

It is our hope that things will be more stable in the future and no long absences will occur again, but due to the unforeseen nature of life, we make no guarantees.

Still, now that we are back, things are in the works. One book has gotten to a printed proof, and once the formatting is perfected on it, it will be released both in print and as an ebook. This story was a serial on the site, though it now has an updated cover and a new title.

Past visitors may recall seeing us giving updates about the site being in testing and a new design. That is still coming, though it was delayed, and hopefully we will have that soon.

Also, we do plan on returning to posting serial fiction again. The last few slated serials were incomplete at the time of posting, and that did create some problems, leading to one never materializing and another being pulled. The next serial should be a completed work, but it’s not quite ready to go up yet.

The Facebook page has been resurrected again, and it should stay up this time, though with Facebook, it’s hard to be sure as they threatened to pull it due to activity mere hours after we posted to say it was back online.

Things are in the works, and while we do not have confirmed release dates yet, there will be new things to enjoy soon. Thank you for your patience, and we hope you enjoy your reading.