Monday, August 27, 2012

Singing the Proofreading Blues

Well, I finally got Merriweather in Search of the Fairies (my MIL's fairy tale adventure for kids) uploaded to Amazon's CreateSpace. It's been a huge learning experience and I'm lucky to have a super-duper computer tech on hand who has tons of software program experience or I'm sure I'd have a different story to tell. All in all, it's been one thing after another. My biggest problem was getting the illustrations where I wanted them and finalizing the format so it all looks pretty AND THEN converting it to print-ready PDF format. Anyway, the ball is in Amazon's court, at least for now.

So...there I was figuring I should update the Kindle version of the book. Eventually, I hope to get it uploaded for Kindle with the illustrations but I think that's going to be a BIG job. Seems I remember something about zip files and who knows what all else - basically, it goes over my head. But I did make a few changes to the manuscript when preparing it for print and also caught some errors (like corn stock instead of stalk) so I wanted to update the Kindle file.

Word file comparison to the rescue! computer software expert guy had told me that Word has a cool comparison feature so I thought I'd give it a try. And yes, it is VERY cool! I just clicked on 'Compare' and selected the files for the Kindle and hardcopy versions, chose for it to show me the changes in a new document, and hit the go button. All was going well. It was showing the differences beautifully and I was making changes to the original Kindle version. Then, all of a sudden, what did I find? Merriweather with just one 'r'! Are you kidding me? How did that slip through? And yes, it's in the hardcopy version that way, as well. That's right, the hardcopy version that has already been submitted to CreateSpace for review.

What to do?

Now I'm not sure what to do. Obviously this is NOT an error that will go to print. After the file is reviewed on Amazon's end, I then have to do a final proof on the book. What I'm not sure about is whether I can make this extremely minor change (we're talking about adding just one 'r' here) without going through the whole upload and file review process again. Hmm. Well, I guess I'll find out soon enough. The file review is supposed to take 24-48 hours so it could be done as early as tomorrow morning. I guess the good news is that even if I have to re-upload the file and wait for the review again, it only sets us back a day or two.

Authors, Share Your Book with Millions of Readers

Friday, August 24, 2012

3 Ideas for Surplus Blackberries

Delicious blackberry crisp - yum!
Hubby has been bringing me a gallon of blackberries every morning for the past week. Beings we have a sizable patch growing wild practically right outside our door, this will likely continue for another week or so.

What I like about this daily 'gift' is that it's a manageable amount. I usually just wash and freeze them for later use, especially when I've had to deal with gallons and gallons all at once. Having fresh berries every day, however, has led me to look for more ways to use fresh berries. Here are my favorites thus far:

Blackberry Crisp - Just use your favorite apple crisp recipe but substitute fresh blackberries for the sliced apples. As you can see by my photo, it turns out great!

Blackberry Pulled Pork - Throw a big hunk of pork in your crock pot and toss in a chopped onion. Smash a couple cups of blackberries through a sieve to remove the seeds and add about a teaspoon each of salt, granulated garlic and apple cider vinegar along with 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Stir it up good and pour over your pork and onion. Pop the lid on and walk away for 8 or 9 hours if you've set it on low and about half that time if you've set it on high. Once it's done, shred it and serve!

Blackberry BBQ Sauce - After making the pulled pork, I realized the leftover juice would make a great base for BBQ sauce. But I'm sure I could make a yummy BBQ sauce from fresh berries, as well - it would just require some time on the stovetop.

Well, here he comes with the berries for today so I guess I'd better go...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Free DIY Book Publishing on CreateSpace

We're about ready to publish our first hardcopy book through Amazon's CreateSpace and are working on getting the illustrations in place and finalizing the format. All I can say is WOW!!! Amazon really makes this easy - and it's FREE if you do it yourself.

The website tells you everything you need to know but you can also choose to pay for professional help, if you want. After working on the formatting, I can see that the cost may be totally worth it to some folks, especially those who only plan to publish one book. But we're planning to do this several more times so are dedicated to learning the ropes.

Do you have a book you'd like to publish? Well, now is the time! Publish your book with CreateSpace: get high royalties, low book prices, and expanded distribution. What are you waiting for?

Authors, Share Your Book with Millions of Readers

(FYI - links are affiliate.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Are You Ever Too Old for Confidence and Hope?

"While it is wise to accept what we cannot change about ourselves, it is also good to remember that we are never too old to replace discouragement with bits and pieces of confidence and hope."     
  ~ Elaine N. Aron

Friday, August 10, 2012

Virtual Blog Book Tour for Memories by Deanna Lynn Sletten

Today starts a virtual blog book tour for Memories by Deanna Lynn Sletten, so head on over to her blog and join in on the fun! There you'll find links to two stops on the tour to kick off the first day. Deanna is also hosting a giveaway to celebrate the Memories Blog Book Tour and you could win an Amazon gift card - are you over there yet?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Are You Putting Off Living?

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today."     
~ Dale Carnegie

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Easy Sweet and Sour Pork

I love sweet and sour pork, don't you? But I'm an uninspired cook. If I'm going to make something, I'm into quick and easy - it can't take too much time or work or dirty too many dishes (just one pan is best!). If you're like me and want to make easy sweet and sour pork recipe, here's all you have to do:

In a large skillet, brown 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.

Mix together and pour over the pork:
  • the juice only from 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks (save the chunks for later)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
Cover and simmer about 15 minutes.

  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 5 or 6 carrots, sliced
 Cover and simmer about another 10 minutes.

Mix together until smooth:
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. water
Stir into pork/vegetable mixture and cook until it thickens up nicely.

  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • the pineapple chunks you set aside earlier
Simmer about 5 minutes.

Serve over hot cooked rice. Yum!!!