The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Spiritual

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Moving on to the spiritual aspect of why I wrote these books…

In the fall of 1993, at night with the myriad of star-shine visions outside the house at night in the mountains, a view of the heavens, thinking some divine entity was hovering above, a thought came into my head, in my own voice, telling me that now was the time to begin to compile all the character and theme and setting and story and all the stuff I had carried in my head since the mid-60s. The time to write the novel was nigh.

The rough-rough-rough draft was written using an ancient Atari computer that used a very large floppy disk inserted into the hard drive to set up the system and then insert another floppy disk to write whatever. Don’t ask me the model of this Atari, I don’t remember. But computers in the old days didn’t have operating systems as we know them today…you had to insert a master floppy disk to get the computer to work, then insert another floppy disk for whatever you were typing on the keyboard, then copy the new work to the disk, which only had 48 KB in its “memory bank.”

Imagine! A floppy–and I mean floppy! These disks weren’t the plastic kind with metal parts that were 3.5 inches square, but 5 inch floppies without metal parts–could hold only one chapter at a time!

Since I was raising a toddler daughter at the time, I had limited time to do this work, but I managed to get the rough draft manuscript done by the summer of 1994 only to have to go back to work teaching secondary math–in El Paso, in what was then a ‘gang land high school’ and put up with not only gangster students but a principal that couldn’t handle gangster students (the ONLY time I noticed serious discipline in the hallways was the one week this so-called principal was at a conference in Washington, DC! During that week, the assistant principals and security guards were actually able to do their jobs, and not one student of mine tried sneaking out of class or wanted to roam the halls…the only time this happened!) After the kids went to bed at night, when I wasn’t grading tests or whatever, I edited the rough-rough-rough draft. I quit the teaching job in June, 1995.

That summer I began the actual rough draft on someone else’s Macintosh computer, from 6 am until 8 am, when I had to go back home to home school my kids. In fall of 1995 I bought my own Mac computer with System 7.5. When I had time, I finalized the first novel, Battle of the Band, which was completed in 1996–after a writer/retired teacher friend of mine Beta Edited the novel twice.

And what she told me through her proof-reading/editing caused me to think maybe divine intervention WAS at work in this first book:

  1. I did not know, first of all, that there was a direct shipping lane from Stavanger, Norway,  to the Tyne River in northeast England, where the band is from. The mother of the singer-character just happened to be from Stavanger, Norway! Coincidence?
  2. I did not know when I wrote the book that a “Laird McLeod” owned a castle on the Isle of Skye in northeast Scotland, so it seemed very strange to both of us that a “Laird McLeod” (correct spelling) in my book just happened to own a castle on that island! Coincidence?
  3. The fictitious city my band is from, Walltown, on that Tyne river, has an angelic statue of winged trumpeters, angels. I did not know in fact that a city across from my fictitious Walltown, called Gateshead, had as it’s main tourist feature an angelic statue! (but only one angel, not three angels, plus one could say it almost looks bird-like, but is definitely an angel.) Coincidence?
  4. The most important song in the book speaks of “…for my sweet love, to wear a golden crown.” This song came into my head in the early 70s. In the early 70s, tired of all the arguing by my parents over various Christian doctrines (my dad grew up Episcopalian; my mom grew up Catholic–they argued about the Pope’s ‘infallibility’ ad infinitum, among other things), I became agnostic. So I had no idea what that line in the song meant. When I became a committed Christian in the mid-90s, I finally figured the line out. That was when I knew that the ‘mission’ I was given had to be completed. Coincidence?
  5. In that same song is a part about Pleiades, a star system, Orion, another star system, and the Dragon, a constellation–which, by the way–coincidence?–contains not only Orion, whose belt ‘flays the fire’ of the dragon, but Pleiades as well! These three heavenly entities co-exist, which I had no idea about! The ‘dragon,’ of course, is mentioned in the biblical Book of Revelation as another name for Satan.  Pleiades, named for an ancient Greek warrior, ‘brandishes’ Orion’s belt to ‘flay the fire.’ How else could this happen unless all three heavenly entities were in the same constellation–and I had no idea of this when I wrote the words to the song–in the early 70s?

So let me sum this up:  I wrote a song about the ‘second coming’ of Christ as well as the coming so-called ‘great tribulation’ by Satan (and the ‘beast’ and the ‘false prophet’) prior to Christ’s second coming BEFORE I had any idea about such a Biblical event in the Book of Revelation I had NEVER read before writing the song! The same song which is the centerpiece of all three novels in The Prodigal Band Trilogy! Add to that the other ‘coincidental’ facts I had no clue about when writing the first book in the trilogy before my friend just happened to tell me were true fact I thought I had simply made up.

These things are just one reason why I believe a divine authority put it into me to write these novels. If it worked for the Blues Brothers

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 5

In Part 1, I stated why I became a writer-story-teller. In Part 2, I stated why the characters I made up were a gang and then a rock band. In Part 3, I stated why the rock band morphed into one from England, and in Part 4, why they were from northeast England, where the initial setting would occur. Now is Part 5, discussing the various changes I made over the next twenty or so years from 1970 until the final version of the first novel in the series, Battle of the Band, was published, that set the stage for the next two books, including the FREE PDF of The Prodigal Band.

In the early 1970s I had planned to write the story of a 60s band, but that made no sense since no prime plot was set, and why write a story about a 60s band when the 60s were over with and in the mid-70s the music genre was changing? And, oh yeah, the mainline pop music at the time was a genre I hated—Disco! And then in 1975 another rocker I had no regard for, Peter Frampton—remember him?—was suddenly foisted on us rock fans at the same time the early 70s wonder-kind, Led Zeppelin, was stagnating? Just as with today and my feeling that rock is dying or died with Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell resting in peace, I felt that by the latter 70s rock was dying as well. What was around was milquetoast at best (with a few exceptions like the Eagles and one or two others). Thank God for punk—the Ramones, the Cars, the Police and others. As I said, a 60s or a 70s band made no sense to me, and again, what was the over-riding plot?

And, oh yeah, I was in my mid-20s and had to support myself and figure out my life, right? That meant working full time, and then later, attending college, which I thought would help me figure out just what I was going to do with my life. So, from 1972 or so until about 1981 I stopped writing (except for college term and research papers).

In 1981 I graduated from a state university in New York. I had been accepted for a master’s degree/PhD at the New School for Social Research in the midst of New York City, a very expensive college, with the goal of getting a PhD in Psychology. Well, President Reagan screwed that one up by signing into law a provision whereby graduate students could no longer apply for Pell Grants or other grants, which was how I was planning to pay for college (and then there was the issue of getting room and board in New York City besides). I was NOT going to force my parents to pay for all this; they had just retired and moved to snowbird central, the Tampa-St. Pete area of Florida (where my mother’s folks lived). So, thanks to Mr. President, I had to put off my college plans, so I moved in with my parents in a nice retirement HOA home in a very nice subdivision with swimming pool, golf course, etc. But in 1982 I was hoping to head back to New School after having worked a several jobs. In the meantime, I began working on the band story again for a month or two. Then, in early fall, an event happened that would put the story off for years—I met my future husband, who lived in far west Texas, a beekeeper and lifeguard near the Oasis of far west Texas, mostly mountain and desert country. We married in a small Catholic church in a town of 600 people, then a couple of years later bought property in a local POA, then built a house there. In the meantime, I returned to college, Sul Ross State U, and got a teaching certificate in secondary math and English, then taught math in local high schools. In 1993 after having two kids, I got a Master’s Degree in Counseling, but never got a counseling job—my Spanish wasn’t good enough! (Note: I lived within a hundred miles of Mexico…).

So there I was…being a wife and mother and beginning to home school my kids and such in the middle of nowhere in the mountains in the early 90s and was no longer teaching (getting the Counseling degree in the meantime, then teaching a year in El Paso since we badly needed the income for various reasons I’m not going to get into here…but might be explained later in a non-fiction book I plan to write about an event that really happened in my neck of the woods in the mid-90s). One night in the early 90s—I can’t remember the year, but it was in the middle of autumn—I prayed and prayed for Divine intervention because I was feeling as if I must get these characters out of my head if I was to be a proper mother/teacher/wife, as if these characters haunted me. And that is why over the next couple of years the stories I had in my head became my first book, written on someone else’s Mac computer and then finalized on my own Mac computer in early 1996. Because of praying for Divine intervention, this book morphed into the spiritual genre.

Of course, that was the plan all along. Up next is the “how” of all this.

***

Download the FREE PDF The Prodigal Band here.

 

The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 4

The four of us—my friend and I and two college students—parked the van we rented in the overnight parking lot next to the ferry dock for the Isle of Wight to head for the Isle of Wight Rock Festival the following morning. Next to our van was another van, and next to us in front of that van were three men likely in their twenties that really only I spoke with, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Of the three, I could only really understand one of them; the other two had much thicker Geordie accents. No matter, the accent was fascinating (and, in fact, most English accents are somewhat fascinating). According to this Northeast England website,   this accent/dialect is derived from the Angles (not the Saxons) and is related to Celtic tribes that border Scotland. (In fact, all northern England accents/dialects derive from the Angles instead of the Saxons). Nor was this dialect affected by the Viking invasions and subsequent Danelaw kingdoms that were later conquered by the Normans. In fact, from the time of Robert the Bruce’s successful take-back of most of Northumria (above the Tyne, at the site of Hadrian’s Wall above the city of Wallsend) until England took it back in the 1740s, that area was part of Scotland. If you hear the Geordie accent, it almost sounds Scottish.

A couple of things note this accent/dialect: one, instead of “ow” or “ou,” they say “oo,” and instead of the long A sound, it sounds like the long E sound, a sharper long I sound and long O sound, the short “a” sounds like “aaa” or “ah,” and the short u sounds (as with other northern accents) like a cross between “u” and “oo” (for instance, take the “u” in “push”, but not quite the “oop” for “up.” And other different sounds. And more, such as the expression “to hell with it,” they’d say “to hell wi’t.”

And that, folks, is why my band fictional characters are from this area. The accent.

And the history as well. I mentioned Hadrian’s Wall before. Then, in the latter 700s (as seen on the History Channel TV series “Vikings”) Norsemen raiders from mainly Norway sailed, among other places, up the Tyne River and nearly took over the Kingdom of Northumbria. Later the area was Christianized and today there is a famous monastery in the city of Jarrow, also made famous by the “Jarrow March” of striking coal miners and ship-yard workers in 1926. Across from Newcastle is the city of Gateshead that features an angelic-like or winged-bird-like statue, near the entrance point to the world’s first suspension bridge. The point about the ‘angelic statue’ plays a role in my novels. One has likely heard the term “coals to Newcastle,” and of course this river is a major shipping artery for more than just coal. In fact, and I didn’t even know this until after my first novel was published, there is a direct shipping lane from the city of Stavanger, Norway, to Newcastle. This also plays a role in my novels.

So I kept all this in mind when I seriously started writing the Prodigal Band Trilogy.

***

For the whole story, download the FREE PDF The Prodigal Band here.

The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 3

Continued from Part 2, I said my ‘boy diary’ characters became a gang, but not a drug gang or a violent gang. Just a close knit group of boys, and all these teen boys had girlfriends. Remember, this was fantasy stuff in my fake persona diary that I kept, basically, because I loved writing and writing about a persona that was very popular among boys literally kept me sane (even if it seems as though making up fantasy personas seems insane! I will say this: I am sure any friends I had did think I was a bit on the weird side because I was such a non-conformist. And love of rock music was almost the only way I knew I could fit in with ‘the crowd’).

But, as rock music went psychedelic beginning with the 1967 ‘summer of love’ in San Fran’s Haight-Ashbury district, hippie central, and the release of the landmark Beatles’ album, Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—you know, the one with Aleister Crowley on the cover—I suddenly found myself absorbed in this music and decided I wanted to learn guitar. For Christmas in 1967 I got an acoustic guitar and a chord chart and a lesson book. Then in 1968 I got lessons from a teen around my age (16) who had his band, a neighbor. It turned out I could play an electric guitar much better than an acoustic one—the frets were narrower and the strings were closer together, a benefit to one with shorter fingers and a wee bit spastic in the ring finger who had trouble with chords that required outstretched fingers such as B, B flat, A flat, etc. So that I got good enough to play in this band as well as sing. Well, this got my ‘boy diary’ characters out of ‘just a gang mode’ and into ‘gang and rock musician mode.’ While the band I played with some broke up shortly, at least I got a taste of what being in a rock band was all about. By 1969, I had my fantasy boy rock band made up, and I wrote ‘stories’ about how they made records and toured and stuff.

And then came 1970 when a boy—he was pimply as all get up and curly blond hair and not exactly ‘A-list’ either—asked me out on dates, and even the senior prom. I turned down the prom offer, but at least I got to ‘make out’ so-to-speak. By then, I was ‘B-list,’ and working at an afternoon job at a local supermarket. Near graduation time from high school my best friend showed me an ad in the New York Times about a ‘university lecture program’ for students interested in European affairs from a British point of view at Sussex University near Brighton, which is on the English Channel and a seaside resort of sorts, with the added bonus of ‘living’ with a local family, as part of what was called ‘Inter-Teach.’ My folks knew I was somewhat an ‘Anglophile’ (thanks to Brit rock bands mostly along with a fascination for British accents…heck even American accents are fascinating to a degree), so they decided to put up the money for me to partake in this program as a graduation gift.

The program began in mid-July, 1970 and my friend (who had just turned 16 and I was nearly 18) and I and three college students and one HS freshman (we almost never saw…he was there solely for the education) lived in houses of program patrons in a Brighton suburb and attended daily lectures at the university given by three professors, one of whom was Welsh. In addition to  lectures we all did the following: saw a Shakespeare play in his home-town of Stratford-on-Avon, got coffee at Oxford University, saw several museums in London including one honoring one of my fave authors, Charles Dickens, some folk music festival near Guilford in Surrey, and various trips to pubs (without the freshman…while my friend and I weren’t quite 18 yet and thus weren’t old enough to consume alcohol, no one noticed that and for the first time in my life I drank warm beer. My friend and I also made a special trip to the northern London Hackney district so she could see her aunt, her mother’s sister, and her cousin for the first time (they lived in a tower block…at the time, Hackney seemed okay; now, it is supposedly an ‘Asian’ (read Muslim) district and there were riots there several years ago!). And various car trips with the family I stayed with.

We were supposed to leave England around the 25th of August, but my friend and I and two college students stayed an extra week or so. To attend the second Isle of Wight Rock Festival, Britain’s Woodstock (the other two on this trip returned without us) we learned about when we met some young men at some youth hostel or something. And no way was I going to miss a chance to see the Who, Pink Floyd, Traffic, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and many others. (Note: the final day, Sunday, featured Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, but we had to leave during that day, or else we never would have been able to return to the States in time—it took days for everyone to leave Woodstock in August, 1969, and this was on an island!)

The festival was wonderful and interesting, but that really wasn’t the best part of this extra-week stay. The best part was a trip by van (driven by a male college student who quickly learned how to drive on the left side of the road in the right side of a vehicle!) into and around Wales, including the Cambrian Mountain area (spending a night at a bed and breakfast in said mountain area), then onto Bristol and Bath—named for ancient Roman hot baths—then onto Stonehenge, then onto South Hampton (or was it Portsmouth?) for the night to take the ferry to the Isle of Wight the following morning. So we spent the night ‘camping’ by the van, but before I went to sleep in the front seat of the van I had a very interesting conversation with three men in their twenties that spoke with that very strange accent I mentioned in my last post.

 

Ready to read the FREE PDF The Prodigal Band? Download it here at the download link.

 

 

 

 

 

The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, here, no boy would dance with me in the public school gym on rainy days, so I pretended they would using a fictional diary character, a “new persona” so to speak, just to make myself feel like I was okay and not the ‘D-lister’ I imagined everyone else thought I was. I didn’t even think my neighborhood friends thought I was up to snuff (and I don’t mean “snuff film snuff” either! If this happened to day I’d have been called a “geek” or “emo”). Four of the fictional diary boys later became four of my Prodigal Band fictional characters.

But in late December, 1963, before school was let out for Christmas vacation, I noticed a magazine picture on a shelf along the blackboard wall headed out the door. On the picture were four young men dressed in dark-colored suits and long-ish hair…back in those days boys or men generally had either crew cuts or short hair not below the neck line. These four men had much longer hair than I was used to seeing! The name or title above the men was written as “The Beatles.” Well, that was it, no other mention by any other student that I’d heard. And I had no idea who put this picture on the shelf, or why. The teacher was in her 50s–certainly she wouldn’t have put it there!

Then Christmas came and wouldn’t you know it but my  older brother got two Beatles albums as a gift! (Did he put the picture there? Likely not, he was already in High School. But clearly he’d heard of the Beatles or else why would he request Beatles albums, LPs back then, for Christmas?) So he let me listen to both; one was Introducing the Beatles featuring ‘And I Love Her’ and several others I can’t remember, and the other was Meet the Beatles featuring ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ and “She Loves You.’  Well, that Meet the Beatles LP just blew me away, especially ‘She Love You’ (Yeh, yeh, yeh…) Now THAT was rock and roll! So, I became an instant Beatles fan, and nearly went crazy when I watched them on the Ed Sullivan Show in February, 1964. And then went even more nearly crazy when I saw the movie, A Hard Day’s Night, that summer in a nearby movie theater.

But it wasn’t just the Beatles. By summer, 1964, the so-called ‘British Invasion’ was in full swing and pretty much took over the airwaves from American acts by then. After the Beatles came, in spring, the Dave Clark Five (who I actually got to see live in early 1965), and other Liverpool groups like the Searchers and Gerry and the Pacemakers; then in summer, the Rolling Stones and the Animals; then in fall, Herman’s Hermits and the Kinks. Then in 1965, the Hollies and the Yardbirds (both of which would lead to even greater things with Crosby, Stills and Nash and Cream and Led Zeppelin).

Note about the Animals: ‘House of the Rising Sun’ originally by Bob Dylan was one of my fave songs back then, and, when I saw them on the Ed Sullivan show, he interviewed them after they performed and what got me was that while I could understand what the Beatles were saying (they of course are from Liverpool and speak ‘Scouse’), I could barely understand what any of the Animals were saying! They were from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and had a very strange accent! And, in a later post, I will explain how I became fascinated with this strange accent, called ‘Geordie’.

But as for my fictional diary characters, since I didn’t know squat about how rock and roll bands did things and couldn’t play guitar then anyway, I didn’t yet have them form some fictional band–they became a gang. American, of course. Didn’t know squat about England–yet.

The Prodigal Band Trilogy: the Why, Part 1

As I have said in previous posts both here and the main OmegaBooks site I began my journey as a writer of fiction around the age of 8 or 9. I was returning home, on Long Island, New York, with my parents and older brother in a car from a visit to my grandparents (mother’s side) who lived in Mount Dora, Florida (about 20 miles from what was then Orlando). It was the summer of 1962; thus, I was 9 at the time. And I just happened to bring some non-lined notebook-sized paper and pencil with me. The paper was folded in half, width-wise, and looked like a “paper back book.”

Glad I brought the paper and pencil, because I was bored. I do not remember what my brother, in the back seat with me, was doing–he was 14 and likely listening to transistor radio up to near his ears (and folks, before the Beatles came along, pop music was very very boring, cutesy-wootsey “love songs” and other meaningless tripe about teenagers falling in love. From the time of the plane crash of Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly in 1958 until the Beatles in 1964, “rock” music, if you could call it that, was IMHO, tripe. Dion and the Belmonts and Del Shannon and perhaps the Four Seasons were about as good as it got, and who the heck was Elvis? But anyway…) I had no idea what my parents were doing.

This was my first journey into the “deep south.” And the only thing I knew about the “deep south” related to the Civil War and the abominable institution known as slavery back then. There were times along Route 301 or even what was then I-95 when I would see what were called “negro shacks” along the way, plus we all visited some Civil War Confederacy monument somewhere, can’t remember. Now I was a “buff” so to speak of Civil War history. So I decided I was going to make up some story about this kid in the South during the Civil War who, along with his friend, a black kid who had been freed from slavery somehow and lived with the kid and his family, hated the south and slavery! So what he and his friend did was help the Union Army blow up a Confederate “ammunition dump.” And they did. I did not mention the state the kid lived in, or even the kid’s family name, but I called him “Johnny Reb” and the black kid was named Sammy. So, I named a kid who would blow up a Confederate ammo dump Johnny Reb? When my dad actually read the “book” (named “Johnny Reb” and was about 20 pages long in pencil) he brought up this irony! After all, weren’t the Confederates called “Rebels”?

Around that time I also had a diary–didn’t all young girls have diaries then? So, there I was in late 1963 just starting to have any interest in the watered-down “rock and roll” back then. When it rained outside, and in the Northeast US, home of “Nor’easters,” it almost always rained some in the fall and early winter, the public elementary school kept all the students in the gym after lunch, too wet to play outside. I was in sixth grade at the time and, not being popular so-to-speak, no boy wanted to dance with me. So all I did then was listen to whatever 45 RPM record discs were put onto the record player. Not being a ‘A-list’ or even ‘B-list’ (more like ‘D-list!’) that’s all I could do as most of my friends were dancing on the gym floor with boys whom had asked them to dance. Well, I had to try to ‘fit-in’ somehow so, even though I thought the music was boring tripe, I pretended to like it anyway. Thus, in my diary I would make up stuff about myself–in terms of a fiction character I can’t even remember the name–being popular and folks like Chubby Checker or Frankie Valli (spelling?) wanting to ‘dance’ with me (not knowing the actual hidden meaning of ‘dance’ at the time…’dance’ was code for a certain ‘f’ word if you know what I mean!) And of course I made up the boy characters as well. And named them the same names I have used for the original rock band characters in my books! (Note: the band concept came about in the latter 70s, and then I added two more band members, then deleted one of the originals in the 80s only to put him back in during the 90s). The reader is going to have to wait to find out the names of the characters for a bit.

Or, you can find out now by downloading the FREE PDF e-book, The Prodigal Band.

This site is now the OmegaBooks WordPress Blog site

After about a month of trying to get BlueHost to give me back my domain “omegabooks.com” and (using ICANN and Whois as excuses for not doing so!) failing to get the domain “omegabooks.com” back, WordPress handed me a “reprieve” of sorts by letting me set up a new domain, omegabooksnet.com from where one can download the FREE PDF e-book, The Prodigal Band, as well as (soon) purchase the printed books published in the 1990s, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band. For the last three weeks I have been getting the site prepared for this adventure in Independent Publishing and marketing. Today, April 30, 2018, I was able to get the site presentable, and also get The Prodigal Band registered with the Library of Congress ($55 fee).

Since omegabooksnet.com is now the official OmegaBooks site, this WordPress blog site will be the BLOG for omegabooksnet.com where I will discuss how and why I began the book series in the 90s, the creation of the characters and scenarios and such. Since I have deleted the “blog” and “book” pages previously at the top of the page in the “menu,” I am re-posting the original “blog” article, below.

Chapters of Three Books will be added soon.

UPDATE: The “chapters” will be added to the Battle of the Band page on omegabooksnet.com, The Prophesied Band page on omegabooksnet.com, and the The Prodigal Band FREE PDF page of omegabooksnet.com, and in fact, the Prologue has already been added to that page!

Chapters, or rather, parts or sections of chapters, will be posted in the “Book” menu section soon, and here at the “Blog” I will discuss what was posted and why I posted what I posted. If one is a certain spiritual bent some of the words posted might offend. Sorry. But anyone who believes a writer can’t develop a character’s way of speaking or way of living in order to prove a point later has likely never tried writing a book let alone develop book characters.

Notice (if you have read the home front page) the use of the word “Band.” Gee, guess what kind of “band” I am talking about? Growing up in the 1960s? Now, what kind of bands predominated in the 1960s…and the 70s and the 80s and the 90s and the 2000s?

Rock and roll bands? Yep. (Note–I am white. If I was black they might be rap groups or “soul” groups or Michael Jackson-types)

Meaning, guess what the main characters are? Rock stars. Yep, sex, drugs and rock and roll, with some cussing thrown in (BTW, I almost never cuss, and do not use the “f” word…my characters do. Sorry.) But when I was growing up, the one thing I had in common with boys and girls of my generation–I grew up on Long Island, not some far west Texas ranch run by a fundamentalist Christian family where girls always wore dresses or skirts and boys always wore button-down long sleeve shirts and jeans or nicer pants for church led by a fundamentalist preacher–well, the one thing I had in common was love of rock bands and music (really, that was the one thing that kept me from being “D-list” in high school…I actually made it to “B-list” by my junior year! And I even tried out for a couple of local rock bands–they were all over the place! I will discuss that at some point). So, about the only way I “conformed” to kids my age was listening to rock music and discussing or seeing various rock groups (I never did see the Beatles except on TV. Oh well.) So, there I was a writer of fiction from the time I was 8 or 9…seriously.

Now I could have written about just average teenagers. But I wanted characters a bit more exciting and “push the envelope” than just young folks like me. So I developed the characters I developed and, over time, they became rock stars. (Keep in mind, I was pretty good at electric guitar and could sing at the time. Meaning, I wanted to be a rock star though I am female and there weren’t very many female rock stars then.) Since I never did become one, I figured, well, if I didn’t become one, maybe I could write about one? Or a band that (fictionally) made it big?

So, there I was in the mid-1990s when an extraordinary experience happened to me in the mountains and deserts of far west Texas, where I am now.

More later.

Fun With Words–Six (or more?) Nations With English Word Names–Can You Name The Other Five? Hint: Greece is one of them.

As far as I can tell looking at all the names of nation on Earth, only six nations have words common (or not so common) in the English language for things or items. Such as Greece, which sounds like the English word “grease.” Two nearby nations (to Greece) also fit the narrative. The other three are not so near to Greece and two of them are not common words, but they are words in the English language.

No people names (such as Israel, Jordan, Georgia), no two word nation names (such as Czech Republic), no nation names made up of two English words (such as Denmark or Iceland) and no colonies, commonwealth, overseas territories or island groups such as Micronesia are allowed. And while Greece is officially called the Hellenic Republic, the name “Greece” is what it is known as.

Can you name the other five? Have at it in the comment box below.

Unable to Transfer Domain from BlueHost–Head on Over to OmegaBooksNet on WordPress–soon to be my Book Selling Site!

Well, BlueHost is “unable” to transfer my omegabooks.net site over to WordPress either because they screwed up or I did (and I think we both did, but here’s the thing: I am 65 years old and no techie…web hosting has gone from the old days on BlueHost with html code and c-panels to today hosting with thousands of gadgets I have no idea about…fortunately I do know something about ‘JetPack’!) I have explained all about the ten hours or so I wasted yesterday, Thursday, April 12, talking to BlueHost techies on the phone or WordPress techies through online chat. And I will say this, the WordPress techies are better than the BlueHost ones! Since BlueHost DELETED my domain after I unlocked it and got the EPP code…well, read the rest of the story here

Since this will become a Premium plan domain site in the next couple of days—folks the weekend is coming and sometimes things you do on websites don’t work too well on weekends (I mean these online chat folks need time off too you know!)–the site ‘omegabooksnet.wordpress.com’ will some become (I hope, unless ‘trouble’ happens again!)  THE site where one can access my FREE PDF novel The Prodigal Band as well as access buying my other printed novels, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band.

Cheers to all followers, comment posters, and likers of posts on both websites.

Domain Transfer in the Process…What a frustration!

First off Bluehost, the previous web host, would not unlock my domain automatically and it took talking to a customer rep on phone to unlock it, and then I had to get something called an EPP code which would expire in fifteen minutes from the time I received it, and I was about to cancel the whole deal on my credit card (but since the charge is “pending” they wouldn’t cancel it until about a week from now….) so since WordPress doesn’t have customer reps by phone I had to use the “help” deal which usually didn’t answer right way, but this time it did!

Talk about screeds!

But anyway, I got a hold of a very very good customer rep who actually walked me through the whole process (and I could use the EPP code I was given an hour before). So now all I have to do is wait for WHOIS to verify that I want to send the domain to WordPress! Gee I hope I don’t get error messages like I got from BlueHost!

Word to the wise: if you want a WordPress domain, register it through WordPress!

Researching Merchandise Payment Options for My Small Indy Publishing Outfit

In preparation for transferring the domain ‘omegabooks.net’ to WordPress from BlueHost, there has to be a way for OmegaBooks to also sell the printed books on hand so as to have the money to keep this business going and print the next book which will conclude the Prodigal Band Trilogy and will be called Band of Glory (to be published and printed in 2019 after I finalize it).

Right now I have two-thousand plus dollars set aside for OmegaBooks. (The rest is for possible medical emergency expense and ‘needful things’ if you know what I mean, like my headache med or a new pair of sneakers–I love to hike where I live in the rural remote.) Since it costs roughly one thousand to print a book (because while offset is cheap, covers are not!), and WordPress charges either four dollars or eight dollars a month for the site plus domain fee per year–and I know there will be other costs down the road, that only leaves about a thousand for whatever. Meaning, if I am going to see my other two printed novels online, I must have rather inexpensive options.

In doing the research I found what are called merchant accounts and eCommerce Platforms. While WordPress does have a monthly site plan of $25 which includes an eCommerce Platform with easy merchant account set up for credit and debit cards as well as ACH e-checks that go directly into a bank account…well, folks, that $25 a month right now is a bit much when, at the beginning at least, I figure I’m likely to sell just a few books per month at first. Marketing and advertising takes time (and money), right?

I looked at Free Web Store and yes, their services are free with no catch. Oh, wait. If you are going to accept credit cards (and I have no way to accept credit cards since OmegaBooks does not have a business bank account (since I’m not going to do the DBA thing), fine, but you still need an ‘eCommerce Platform’ such as Big Commerce or Shopify (with, guess what? $25 a month fees! Shoot I might as well buy the WordPress package!) to process the credit card payments (all that necessary security and all, and it’s ‘the law’ and all…it’s all about the money, right?). So that while the ‘merchant’ set up is free, the processing set up is not. And what if you want to do ACH e-check automatic deposits into your own bank account? Well, guess what, folks, you need their ‘premium’ package. when I see the word ‘premium’ attached to anything I think ‘not cost effective’!

So then while you can have a ‘free’ merchant account you still need a platform, and I investigated several of those as well. Authorize.net was the cheapest that I found. Woo Commerce was the platform used for BlueHost and was one reason I dropped BlueHost–I could NOT set the platform up properly, as if the site would not take my information! Two others, Shopify and  Big Commerce    are really for businesses that tend to sell out–the two platforms are too expensive at this time, seemingly over one hundred dollars a month!

So, if I figure I am only (at this time anyway) going to sell a few printed books per month, why not EBay and its payment platform, PayPal? Now believe it or not, I have actually–many years ago!–sold some of my books on EBay using PayPal . Since at this time I figure I will only sell (using the ‘Buy it Now’ meme) a few books per month in random fashion, then EBay–where I can set up just a regular individual account–is perfect, and, since I have already used PayPal payments which went directly into my bank account without all the merchant-eCommerce platform stuff, then PayPal is also perfect (just watch out for phishing scams!)

And it is just as easy with Amazon , and I don’t mean Kindle. All I have to do is send cases of my printed books to the nearest Amazon distribution center (for a goodly cost no doubt) and get with their AmazonPay system, which is about as inexpensive as Ebay’s or PayPal’s. They do get their ‘cut’ so to speak but it is a small percentage and a small processing fee.

So that, over the course of the next couple of months I will be setting up a system to sell my printed books, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band using both Amazon and Ebay. We’ll see how that all works out. Plus, if you don’t want to deal with Amazon (and I wouldn’t blame you the way Amazon treats its warehouse workers!) or Ebay, I will sell you books from my house as long as payment by check or money order is made AND cleared by the bank–once the check clears, I will send you the book or books with a five dollar shipping charge added (I will NOT ship overseas or outside the US. Shipping to Alaska or Hawaii will cost the buyer ten dollars instead of five dollars).

As for the FREE PDF of The Prodigal Band, that can be either e-mailed or downloaded from the Adobe Cloud when I upload it. I’ll let you know when that happens. Plus I will be putting samples of the ALL the books (print and PDF) on the site under the home page and ‘book’ link above.

 

Domain ‘omegabooks.net’ Will Be Transferred on April 12, 2018

That’s the WordPress rule, folks. I could “map” the domain earlier but the rules for this are too complicated and I have no idea what they are talking about. Gee if Bluehost was like it was 15 years ago when I had a domain there and not all this gadgety nonsense, I wouldn’t have this problem!

In the meantime, since ‘omegabooks661683099’ will just be transformed into ‘omegabooks.net’ I might as well get the ball rolling anyway by putting up more info about my books. Starting tomorrow or the next day.

Hope you had a ‘happy’ Resurrection Day, aka ‘Easter.’

Omegabooks.net coming soon–Parked Bluehost site moving to WordPress very soon.

Just go toff the phone with Bluehost, the previous web host for omegabooks.net, and the domain is being transferred in the next few days.

Sorry for the lack of posting but I am finalizing the FREE PDF of “The Prodigal Band” for downloading and advertising using WordPress. It may take a while to get everything set up but for now let me just say that “omegabooks.net” should be active in a few days.

Thanks for your patience.