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I had someone over last night who mentioned a business called lease busters. I had never heard of it before and have never searched for any services like that. For the first time, an ad for lease busters showed up on my Facebook page. My laptop was in the room but turned off. Should I be worried?


Feb. 7th, 2017 01:00 pm
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I'm doing a project that involves checking out every lawyer in the city, mostly to determine what areas of law they practise in. This is made more difficult by the fact that a surprising number of lawyers around here don't have websites. Time to join the 21st century, guys. It's just a good thing that I live in a relatively small city.

When there's no website, I google the name to see what I can find online about them. So I search one particular guy. The first link goes to another kind of list of lawyers, with his picture. The third link leads to an article about a lawyer with this guy's name being the first lawyer from this city to be disbarred for sexual assault. He assaulted a client. And the picture for that article is the same picture that's on the other list.

Just to make sure, I confirmed that, yes, he's still practising. I went to the law society website. It states that his licence was revoked.

Holy cow.

I reported him, of course. It takes some serious brass to continue to work after being disbarred in such a way that it was reported in a regular newspaper, without even moving to another city. What's up with all of the other lawyers in this city? Did every single one fail to see the case about this guy?

So this is a lesson to google any professional before hiring them. You never know what might turn up.
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I hate motivational posters and inspirational quotes, because a lot of them are sanctimonious crap. They often involve shaming people with mental illnesses for taking medication to treat their medical conditions, claim all you need to do to be happy is to choose to be happy (even typing that made me roll my eyes), scold employees for failing to give their all for a job in which they will be treated like crap by the employers, or are stupid opinions given respect simply because they came from famous people.

The only place of work I endured which sported motivational postures was one of the worst jobs I ever had. It was a bookstore, and the owners were vicious people who violated employment law. Seriously, they called one employee a week before Christmas and told them not to bother coming in again. No warning, no notice. Illegal, but what was a minimum wage worker going to do? They thought I was stupid enough to agree to be transferred to one of the locations that was far out of my way, demanding an hour commute each way, in which I would get no breaks because I would be working alone with no one to relieve me, with no raise in pay. I think I was supposed to think it was some kind of compliment. I said no.

One of the most ridiculous quotes given respect simply because of who said it was the following:

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." - Theodore Roosevelt

I have mentioned this quote before. I think it's ridiculous to claim the wrong thing is better than doing thing. The wrong thing is, by it's very nature, going to do damage. That's why it's the wrong thing. Damage may result from doing nothing, but at least it's not a certainty. It's kind of like talking. If what you're going to say is a valid contribution, say it. If all you've got to say is a lie or needlessly destructive, don't say it. Say nothing. You won't look like an idiot or a jerk, and you won't damage anyone else.

Anyway, I can't be the only one to feel this way. So the book would have a list of these "inspirational" nonsense and a rant about why they are, at best, useless, and, at worst, destructive.
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The other day I was talking to someone who is writing a novel. She told me about some advice she'd gotten from the spouse of a published writer. So, someone who wasn't actually a writer but felt qualified to give advice about writing because her husband was.

I can't remember all of the horrible advice this totally-not-qualified person gave my friend, because there was so much of it, but two things leaped out. The first, to strive to have as little dialogue as possible. Why? Because, she said, dialogue did nothing to develop the characters or move the plot. The second, never have any of your characters swear. Ever.

Did I mention my friend's novel takes place in the military, and she served in Afghanistan?

I was horrified and told my friend to dismiss anything the other woman told her, because it sounded more like a description of her personal tastes than an objective view of good writing.

Fortunately, my friend is reading a bunch of novels that use military characters and has seen that not only is there a lot of dialogue, but there is a lot of swearing. That's why people need to read books and not just rely on advice. There's a lot of BS out there and reading will tell new writers how to recognise bad advice.
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I haven't felt inclined to write. I've been doing stuff, but have been feeling kind of blah about everything.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I have very recently started volunteering for the Victorian Order of Nurses, a non-profit organization that provides a lot of services for senior citizens. I prefer doing office stuff, because I'm a bit of a geek who enjoys organizing information, and they like that because apparently few volunteers like working in the office. So it works for everyone. What I'm doing now is typing out interviews that were taped. It's taking longer than I expected. The first interview was particularly challenging as the interviewee didn't speak very well. I had to listen again and again and again to try to decipher what she was saying, and in some places I just couldn't. A 24 minute interview took me days to type.

Before yesterday, I hadn't worked on my book for about two weeks or so. I was stuck and, again, not inclined to work on it. But I got an idea while walking and wrote about a thousand words yesterday. I came up with a really silly idea that I'm keeping unless, at some point in the future, and editor says I MUST take it out. I have a new idea for a subplot. I was worried that because I won't be self-publishing this one, and it is highly unlikely a traditional publisher would take it, I might have lost interest in writing altogether. I am happy to be able to say that this is not so.

Speaking of self vs. traditional publishers, I looked up Canadian publishing companies to see if the industry had become less snobbish. Because the book takes place in Ottawa, a Canadian company might be interested in it despite the fact that it's not literature. What I found was a confusing list that included traditional and self-publishing companies in a confusing manner. Obviously, I have nothing against self-publishing companies as long as they're not trying to rip off the writers, but on this list, some self-publishing companies looked as though they are traditional. Someone with experience can spot the nature of those companies, but a writer without experience could easily be misled. Scummy.

And speaking of scummy, one of the traditional companies on the list is. They want all rights, including movie and audio and other rights usually left to the author. They also wanted world rights, not just North America or whatever. Advance royalties to be negotiated. It's appalling.

Books Entry

Jan. 2nd, 2017 02:05 pm
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November 23, 2016

Warning, this book came from rage, so anvilicious you should probably wear a hard hat. Please take advantage of the ability to read the first few chapters before buying.

The war between Aldance and Amnisa has been dragging on for three years, and it is past time Aldance put a stop to it. The Aldench have their chance when they learn that the secret to the Amnisans' endurance is their bokra grounds, a rare soil that enhances the health of soldiers, crops, and livestock. Knowing that stealing these grounds will crush the will of the enemy, the military picks a team to perform that task. Edana Carver, charismatic and brash, has never led an expedition before, but such a simple assignment is the perfect opportunity for her to gain some experience. Manis il Havoc, with the ability to crack locks and get into places she shouldn’t be, is bitter over her recent demotion, but no one doubts her intelligence. Damohn Niles, young and pretty, is a talented medic with something to prove. Frayne, the foreigner, is a wonder on the battlefield and a little too secretive. Together, they were more than capable of striking deep into the heart of Amnisa, taking what they wanted, and destroying anything that got in their way.

Available through all amazons, Barnes&Noble, ibooks, Kobo, and other e-reading companies. Also available at smashwords through all e-readers:

October 20, 2015

no title

Alcina Noatak had grown up knowing she would one day be the High Scribe of Gydnerth, but that day was not supposed to arrive so soon. Responsible for drafting the laws that rule her country, Alcina must navigate intrigue and danger no one could have expected her to anticipate, and one wrong move could blow apart not just her life, but the lives of everyone around her.

Available through smashwords, which can accommodate any e-reader and provide pdf downloads, here and through amazon. I'm providing the US link, but you can get it at any Amazon.

Chapter One online:

Chapter Two online:


Catherine is a happy novelist, but a little strapped for cash, so the six-week job at computer software company Create and Conquer is a welcome chance to make some extra money. She meets the CEO, Lance MacCallan, on her very first day. He’s gorgeous, rich, admired by all around him, and a total bully.

But it’s not the attacks on her competence or the threats to fire her that have Catherine rattled. No, it’s when the CEO starts trying to convince her to go out with him that things get really unpleasant.

Available through Smashwords. The book can be downloaded to a variety of e-readers, including kindle, and can be downloaded as a pdf to your computer. $2.99 US.

Available through Amazon here:

A portion of the author’s royalties is donated to organisations working with survivors of abuse. Currently, the organisation is the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres. Please follow the link to see the kind of work they do.

Shield Dunleavy Mallorough and Source Shintaro Karish have lived in Flown Raven for five years, protecting its residents from natural disasters and enjoying the lack of interference from both the council of the Triple S and the Emperor. When they are unexpectedly summoned to Shidonee’s Gap by the council, Lee and Taro learn that while they have been living at their isolated post, there have been a lot of changes in the world, changes that will drag them into unimaginable duties and unprecedented danger.

E-versions are available through Smashwords and can be downloaded to a variety of e-readers, including kindle, apple i-pad, personal computers, i-phone, sony, kobo, android, and others. If you don't have an e-reader, you can download it as a pdf file. You have the option of getting it for free or paying if you want. If you choose to pay, you can pick any amount you want. It's here:

You can get it on Amazon for anywhere from 80 cents to 99 cents, depending on the day and time. This is the amazon link:

The list of short stories in the Triple S world is here:
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One of my Facebook friends commented on a thread that was one of their friends', not one of mine. I usually don't comment on strangers' threads, but I felt compelled to this time. The stranger had posted that he needed $2,000 to self-publish his book, and from his other comments I gathered that he was not talking about hiring a freelance editor/cover artist/formatter, but paying a vanity press for a "publishing" package. I hesitated before commenting, because he was a stranger, but I had to at least warn him that he might be falling for a scam. Once, I was told by a friend of my mother that her niece - the friend's niece, not my mother's - had decided to write her book, quit her job to do so, spent a couple thousand on a marketing package, and was then convinced by the company to buy one thousand copies of the book to sell herself. I spent the whole time thinking, "Why didn't they ask me?" Every person my mother knows has been informed I've published books. Since then, I have felt compelled to warn someone when I see them approaching that trap.

I don't know whether I convinced him not to take this route, but he did give me the name of the company he was contemplating using, Tellwell, and yeah, it's one of the bottom feeders.

The cheapest publishing package is $1,499. For that, you get a front and back cover and interior formatting, stuff you can get for far cheaper, and a "comprehensive paperback distribution to 39,000 booksellers worldwide," which just means it's available to 39,000 booksellers, and bookseller isn't defined. You get 100% of the royalties, because once the book is created the company has made it's money from you and doesn't care about sales, and you retain the copyright, as you would with a traditional publishing company. You get ISBNs, which are free in Canada, and this is a Canadian company. Bunch of other stuff that is either meaningless or stuff that can be more cheaply gotten elsewhere.

I like this bit from the next cheapest publishing package, at $2,999: "We’ll also write a press release and provide a targeted media list to help you get started!" That means the writer has to contact/annoy those media resources. The next package is $4,999, and includes some editing and an author website. All of this can be bought by the writer from freelancers at a significantly lower price. The highest priced package is $8,999 and includes: "Our full marketing support includes an author website, press release and media outreach. We get your name in the press, and work to get it on bookshelves." They write the release, "media outreach" is a meaningless term, "press" isn't defined, and "work to get it on bookshelves" is not any guarantee that the book will actually end up on bookshelves. From what I understand, most bookstores aren't interested in carrying self-published books. I've seen some independent bookstores willing to carry self-published books but demand a monthly amount simply to display the books and a share of the royalties. Unless you put your book at an incredibly high price, you actually lose money even if the books sell.

I suspect the stranger isn't going to take my advice. In my limited experience, people don't want to be told that the path they're getting so excited about is a bad one.

ETA There is a very polite response from a Tellwell representative in the comments. It doesn't change my mind, but it is an interesting read.
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Since I've posted. Probably because nothing has really happened, except I've gotten a cold and I could probably provide the voice for Darth Vader. This means I can't go to the gym, something I started doing regularly about 8 weeks ago, because I'm not going to be contagious in a place where people share equipment. I don't want to fall out of a habit it took a lot of effort to start, especially as it really cuts down on my headaches.

I'm about half-way through the first draft of Ottawa 2027. It's the first time I've written a book without a firm outline since Heroes Adrift. Well, really the CEO, but I don't really count that one. CEO was such a short book with such a simple plot that it didn't demand an outline. After the third or so draft of 2027, I'll have to go to downtown Ottawa to get the descriptions of various sites and streets down. Right now I just have (GO TO PLACE) written everywhere. I've moved farther away from Ottawa, unfortunately, and the downtown core has turned into a nightmare of construction. Some Sunday I'll drive in and spend the day checking out all of the sites at once. A big part of the job will be going over the grounds of Parliament Hill, where an important scene will take place. It's got a lot of statues.

Yesterday, a young man I haven't had any real contact with messaged me through Facebook out of the blue. Throughout the exchange, I was wondering if he wanted something, but it was all very banal. Maybe he was really bored?


Nov. 29th, 2016 08:01 pm
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I'm keeping an eye on job sites because, hey, you never know. This one site has a wide range of possible jobs, from working at the university to working at a store. One entry, involving working at a warehouse, jumped out at me because of the annual salary. I used a calculator just to make sure that, yes, the salary was lower than the minimum wage by over $4. In the part of the application where one could, if they wanted, copy and paste their resume, I wrote that I wasn't applying and asked if they were aware that the minimum wage in Ontario was $11.40 an hour. I didn't expect a response, but I got one. They want me to come in for an interview. Clearly, this is a well-run operation.

Trudeau has approved three oil pipes so far. All that rhetoric about cleaning up the environment was garbage. Scribe in Shadows was influenced by Harper's evil. I started the sequel last year but kind of lost steam after Harper got kicked out. Now, here I am, with Trudeau giving me all sorts of motivation. And wouldn't you know it, the sequel I started over a year ago focused on the destruction of the environment. But I won't start it until after I'm done the detective/sci-fi/ubran fantasy thing, which I'll be calling Ottawa 2027.

I have been suffering from poor sleep since I was a teenager, and I have been taking sleeping pills for years. Recently, I had to increase the dose because the former wasn't working, but this alarmed me, and it's definitely not good for the brain. My doctor, who is always continuing her education, gave me a few recommendations. I am passing this along only because it's harmless and I am amazed how well it works for me. After two weeks, I've cut the dose down to a third and I'm optimistic about being able to kick the drug entirely. Believe it or not, it involves listening to Sacral Chakra Tibetan Singing Bowl in D#. Yes, the note is important. It's an hour long, so you must have an hour to dedicate to it as part of your evening schedule. It doesn't put you to sleep so much as prepare your mind and body for sleep, but since the first night, I've fallen asleep minutes within turning it off. And you have to listen with earphones, because there are different sounds for each ear.

I've been telling everyone because this is the best I've been sleeping since I was a kid.

Don't change your doses without your doctor's supervision.

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The Easy Expedition is available through all amazons, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, ibooks, and so on. It is also available through

Warning, this book came from rage, so anvilicious you should probably wear a hard hat. Please take advantage of the ability to read the first few chapters before buying.

The war between Aldance and Amnisa has been dragging on for three years, and it is past time Aldance put a stop to it. The Aldench have their chance when they learn that the secret to the Amnisans' endurance is their bokra grounds, a rare soil that enhances the health of soldiers, crops, and livestock. Knowing that stealing these grounds will crush the will of the enemy, the military picks a team to perform that task. Edana Carver, charismatic and brash, has never led an expedition before, but such a simple assignment is the perfect opportunity for her to gain some experience. Manis il Havoc, with the ability to crack locks and get into places she shouldn’t be, is bitter over her recent demotion, but no one doubts her intelligence. Damohn Niles, young and pretty, is a talented medic with something to prove. Frayne, the foreigner, is a wonder on the battlefield and a little too secretive. Together, they were more than capable of striking deep into the heart of Amnisa, taking what they wanted, and destroying anything that got in their way.
moira_j_moore1: (Default)
So I've done some number crunching.

I have said in the past that I wouldn't again seek to be published by a traditional publishing company because authors get a really raw deal, and my editors demanded changes that forced me to have characters behaving in a manner that contradicted the nature I have given them, or screwed up parts of the plot. However, I am starting a new business, and I can't justify the cost of self-publishing another novel right now, especially as I haven't made back what I spent on my last two books.

But I will not sign a contract with a litigation clause that puts all of the cost of any court action on me while depriving me of any control over how the defense is conducted. That is not negotiable. If I can't get a contract without that clause removed, then I simply won't publish the book at all until I'm in a position to pay the costs. Nor will I sign anything with a non-competition clause, because they have no right to keep me from writing whatever I want whenever I want. I wonder if I can get a clause that gives me some influence over the cover, or that says, "Covers can't be ugly."

I'll keep writing, though, whether I can publish this book or not. Maybe some year I'll publish multiple books, having created a backlog.

I think I have a better chance of getting this book published through a traditional publisher than I had with earlier books. The subject matter might be more appealing to more readers.

Writing for an American company means having to use American spelling again. It had been so nice, in the last few books, to write naturally. Now I have to omit all the u's and the double consonants and whatnot.


Nov. 13th, 2016 01:06 pm
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About a week ago, I wrote about how much I was enjoying reading what I had wrote, to date, of my detective/sci-fi/urban fantasy thing, and I was, but upon getting to the end of it, I was left thinking, "Uh, now what?" For some reason, I hadn't written the entire outline, which I usually do as part of my process. And I had only a vague idea about where to go next.

And for a week, no ideas came to me, even on my walks, which usually brings ideas to me. I was getting worried, because I've never been blocked for so long. To my relief, once I sat down at my favourite cafe with a big mug of cafe mocha, ideas started flowing, and some of them connected wonderfully with stuff I'd introduced in the beginning with the idea of those characters and concepts being one shot situations.

There is a subplot I may have to ditch, though. If I do, I'll have to figure out how to weave in the important parts while doing without the subplot that introduced those parts.



Nov. 5th, 2016 12:00 pm
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This morning I started reading what I've so far written on the detective/urban fantasy/sci-fi book, and I am really liking it. It's great to feel really enthusiastic about something again. It looks like it's going to be significantly shorter than my other books, about 80,000 words, and I've already got nearly half that.


Nov. 3rd, 2016 07:25 pm
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My final typo check for the Easy Expedition is done. Finally. Ugh. I have contacted the woman I have hired to format my books in the past, and am waiting to hear back. I hope she is still doing this work. I haven't contacted her in two years.

I am now left with a choice about what project to do next. I could do the sequel to Expedition, but I feel like I need a rest from that world. I could do the Scribe sequel, I have a good chunk of the first draft done as well as an outline, but given how long it's been since I worked on it, I have to reread the first one, and I don't feel like doing that, either.

So that leaves the detective/urban fantasy/sci-fi like story, which I've also done a lot of work on and have an outline for.


Nov. 1st, 2016 06:02 pm
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Turns out that my problems with Windows 10 were actually a result of the computer hard drive dying. The computer is eight months old. I took it back to the store and they told me it had to be sent to the manufacturer. I specifically asked when I bought it whether it was serviced in the store, and I was told it was. So I was ticked, both by the defective product and by the lie. The service guy said it could take up to twenty-five days, which I rounded up to 30, but I actually got it within the week. They stripped out software programs which meant I had to download stuff, unless I wanted to pay them to do it. Also, it's extremely slow. I really wish the guy from whom I bought my last computer hadn't retired. He was great.

The pest control people have been here twice and I still have a rat in the ceiling. The first time the guy came, he put bait in a bait box that was already there, so this place obviously has rat issues, though there weren't any there last autumn. When he came back, he found that the rat had pretty much eaten not just the bait but the box, which he said he'd never seen before. Usually I only get "I've never seen that before" when dealing with technology. Anyway, last Friday he put in another box with more bait and the rat is still there. I asked him about the noisemaker that is supposed to drive off rats and he said those tend to drive people crazy. I may get one anyway if this goes on too long.

I'm still watching the Ark Encounter sage - boat-shaped building in Kentucky described as a replica of Noah's Ark - because it's just so sad. The guy who built it keeps making up numbers of visitors - 400,000 in less than three months, for example - while even the people who like it post photos with almost no people in them, and the guy keeps reusing old photos to support his new numbers.

The Court of Appeal of British Columbia has upheld an earlier decision stating that the law society of British Columbia couldn't refuse to accredit Trinity Western University's law school despite that university's discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community. Bah, I'm disheartened by this.
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Reminder of draw for last three books in the Heroes series. Ends October 31 and restricted to Canada and the US. Email at
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This weekend, my dad told me he was going to read The CEO Can Drop Dead. I told him years ago that he shouldn't read any of my books, because he wouldn't care for any of it, style, content, genre. And he didn't. But he decided to read this one. I complained that of all of my books it's the outlier, but he said he wanted to read the one set in the real modern world. There is one scene that I definitely don't want him to read, and I'm hoping he'll get bored before he gets to that scene. He doesn't enjoy reading fiction.

I think I have my mom to blame for this. She's always raving about it.
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There is a stand-up comedian called Jim Jefferies. I've seen parts of his show on youtube and he struck me as pretty funny, so I was happy to find the whole show on Netflix and started to watch.

And he begins with rape jokes. Several minutes of rape jokes. Then he complains about a reviewer who criticized him for telling rape jokes. She had reproduced some of his exact words. He says, yeah, if you read it, it looks terrible. But it needs to be taken in context.

The context was a huge audience in which you have a good chance of finding about thirty percent have endured sexual assault.

Then he says, "They're just jokes."

Yeah, so are the racists jokes. And the homophobic jokes. All those jokes that kick down at vulnerable people. From all those people who think refusing to treat others with common decency are taking a strong and brave political stance against political correctness, and everyone else is too easily offended.

If he wants to use a bunch of rape jokes, fine, he has that right, but to then try to shield himself from negative responses with "It's just a joke" is like a writer who sprinkles his novels with rape scenes and tries to deny responsibility by claiming "historical accuracy." It's spineless and disgusting, and I'm so sick of it. If you're going to go out of the way to produce material you know is horribly offensive and potentially traumatizing, then take responsibility for it. Admit you enjoy telling rape jokes or writing rape scenes. To do otherwise makes you a coward as well as a jerk.

I didn't watch the rest of the show and won't watch anything he ever creates again.
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My computer is now asking for a password. I never set that up, and I panicked the first time.

I can no longer back my documents on to the external hard drives I currently own.

I am kicked off the internet several times a day, and it's getting worse as time goes by. Not a problem with my provider.

I never wanted Windows 10.


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