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Friday, January 27, 2012

Busy as a Bee and Delusional

A wise friend once told me that everyone has the same number of hours in the day and it's up to us how to use them. I know he meant apportion the hours wisely and don't complain how busy we are because there are choices of how busy we are and what we spend our time on. I often think of his words when I'm apt to complain I have no time. As a result, I also spend time on fun and exercise such as karate and gym. A gym not far from me offers great karate classes. I break up my day and am fortunate to have the flexibility to do so.

Unfortunately, I fell last October and hurt my right ankle and knee, developed arthritis in them, and my doc was hesitant to recommend karate or any form of exercise I like including walking.

"You're not 17 anymore, my friend," he said famously. I am so, in my head I'm 17, and I love to do something I enjoy such as karate at Panther Gym. If we're lucky, we all eventually lurch with a 17-year-old mind on our old arthritic feet to the grave. I've suffered from delusions in the past but knowing we're all capable of much more, even past our years of wine and roses, keeps me interested and grounded -- seeking more fulfillment, more adventure, and finally, contentment.

I write books about giant bees or horror anthologies about time machines and the end of the world. Read my Kindle and become motivated. Wonder if I'm crazy to think the world is a giant sandbox for my entertainment. Don't sleep because there aren't enough hours in the day. Work at my home based medical transcription business during the day and write at night.

Does anyone else wonder if the world is here to entertain and educate us, and if we're delusional to think so?
Monday, January 23, 2012

Social Media and Forbes

Forbes posted an informative article on how to use social media. I'll certainly try to be more proactive and active with social media sites such as LinkedIn, FB, and Twitter, but the article mentioned that email is the most productive.

Used to be direct mail. I remember those days. Now it's email that's direct mail, and I think one has to be careful not to spam, but to provide good and useful content for one's members.

I note that I subscribe to a number of newsletters myself, and as a result have bought ebooks from these individuals. Newsletters require good content and good writing. I may start a newsletter this spring, and also try to optimize the search engine Google for my sites.

I want to approach the new year by letting go of the past.

Who else has good thoughts and innovative ideas for the new year? I'd love to hear  from you.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bees, Hornets, and Wasps

I took the following information from the Pest Control Canada site. Apparently Hornets and Wasps are not Bees, a fact not addressed in The Jive Hive, where the aliens are typically referred to as Bees although the Wasps are the soldiers and the General is a Wasp or Yellowjacket. Only the Queen, the workers and drones are truly honeybees in real life and in the context of my story.

Bald Faced Hornet Nest
Pest control doesn't have to be as difficult as sending a nuclear bomb against the foe. In fact, it shouldn't be! If in doubt, call a professional exterminator, but the following information is on the Pest Control Canada site for eradication of Wasp nests.

Control of Nests

The first step in wasp or bee control is to correctly identify the insect and locate its nesting site. An experienced pest control service may provide wasp or bee control service or you can use the following information to attempt to control them yourself.


The best time of the year to control wasps is in June after the queen has established her colony and while the colony is still small. But because nests are small, they are also harder to find. The best time of the day to control wasp nests is at night, when they are less active.

Exposed wasp nests

Wasp nests that are visible and near human activity can pose a potential problem. If there is a concern about stings, you should eradicate the nest.
Apply a ready-to-use aerosol "wasp and hornet spray" into the entrance of the nest during late evening according to label directions. To avoid pesticide falling down on yourself do not stand directly under the nest and spray up. Plan your escape route.  Be very careful if you must climb a ladder. If live wasps are still observed the next day, repeat the treatment.
Mechanical control without insecticides is possible for small, exposed nests. At night, cover the nest with a large, heavy, plastic bag and seal it shut. Cut the nest from the tree and freeze it.  Use caution: there is more risk involved in this procedure than in spraying the nest.

Ground wasp nests

When yellowjackets are found nesting in the ground, first try pouring a soap and water solution into the entrance. Many types of soap will work, including dish and laundry soap. (Do this at night)
If that doesn't work, apply an insecticide into the nest opening. Be sure you use a product that is registered for use in lawns or soil. After you are sure all the wasps have been exterminated, cover the nest entrance with soil.

Concealed wasp nests

The most challenging nests to control are those that are concealed in voids behind walls or in attics. Often, the only evidence of the nest is wasps flying back and forth through a crack or hole in the home.
It may be wise to hire someone experienced to exterminate a wasp nest. Contact a pest professional service.  Aerosol insecticides usually do not work very well on hidden nests.

 Old wasp nests

Old nests are not reused by wasps. Wasp nests found during winter or early spring are old nests from the previous summer. There are no live wasps in the nest; they have already left  or died inside it. The nest can be safely removed and disposed of if desired.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Paperbacks, Ebooks, Young Adults, and Bee Poetry

The Jive Hive is Young Adult science fiction and would be suitable for some adult readers as well. I met a fellow on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) who said he preferred to read young adult books and was interested when my book comes out. I think he'd prefer a print edition so that would be somewhat later than the ebook. Definitely adults who prefer a simpler SF read would be another market for this book.

I think it's very good advice for writers to read a LOT, particularly in their genre. As the three novellas I'm working on now are horror, I've ordered The Other by Thomas Tyron, which was recommended to me. I downloaded an ebook called The Undead: A Tale of the Biotech Revolution. The author of the latter was recommended, too. These are in addition to Highway to Hell.

I'm getting a lot of interesting ideas about how to go about crafting a good horror story. There's a collection of very short stories called Weird Tales or something like that, which have a twist at the ending and I could learn something from them: I've downloaded that for just a couple of dollars from amazon.

The Jive Hive could have been horror but is not. It's a very straightforward science fiction story written at a young adult level, and I didn't intend the story to go in the direction it did but the characters began to write themselves. I'm not sure whether it's character driven or plot driven. There aren't really any new plots, as Shakespeare would have told us. But the plot is exciting enough, I think, and the characters suitable to the plot.

The protagonist in the Jive Hive is a fourteen-year-old boy and his friend is just a few years older than he -- the adults in the story are mostly sympathetic, but more minor, characters. Thus I'd think it would be more appealing especially to boys in that age range, but girls as well enjoy SF and would I'm sure enjoy it. When I was twelve I was reading adult SF like Heinlein, Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke. There weren't a lot of young adult books available then as I recall.

Lots of choice now for readers, and the ebook market in particular is bigger than anyone would have predicted even a year ago.

The Jive Hive will be coming out in ebook before paperback format. As the cover is designed and the final editing done in March 2012, and the book trailer is made available, there'll be excitement building in this author for sure.

Later this week I'll write about a little known fact of bees. Watch for it! And remember the baking soda.

The Bee

  by: Andrew Downing


The music of the busy bee
Is drowsy, and it comforts me;
But, ah! 'tis quite another thing,
When that same bee concludes to sting!