Friday, May 26, 2017

Poopwa Foley's Series of Unfortunate Hangry Injuries

I blame the enormous bruise on my arm on a coworker.
I listened to him when he suggested getting a full body examination at the dermatologist. There are three good reasons I should. One, I had never had one in the past. Two, I have extremely fair Irish skin. Three, I have had a mole on my back for years that needs to be checked, and a pink dot on my temple that had been burned off in the past.
I called to make the appointment for the full body scan but they had nothing available because they were booked for the next six months for the full body scan. I start to make the appointment for just checking the one, then, when she interrupted, “Hey, wait a minute! Here’s a full body scan appointment for two days from now because someone cancelled. Do you want that?”
It’s a sign. I took the appointment.
At the dermatologists, she thoroughly looked all over my body, up and down unshaven legs and pale arms. She looked like a giant bug with her lit up magnifying monocle.
who doesn't love snapchat?
I have moles of every shape, size, and color on my back, and I’m concerned about every one of them. She looked at them carefully but pronounced them all ok. However, that pink dot on my temple? She numbed it for a biopsy. “I don’t like this one. Don’t get worried, I’m not saying it’s basal cell carcinoma…,” she trails off. She and the assistant then took turns explaining to me that if caught quick enough basal cell carcinoma is not deadly.
Long story not made shorter, it was basal cell carcinoma. A week later, I found myself flat on a table getting that sucker cut out. (editor’s note: there are clear margins and it’s ok now.)
I stayed at work even though I looked like this and no one even said anything.
At home that night, I have a ton of groceries in the house but plan on milking the painful stitches in my face for every bit of non-cooking pity I can get. Joe fell neatly into my trap and agreed, then said the words every woman longs to hear. “Why don’t you call Portillo’s?”
Why don’t I indeed? I couldn’t call fast enough and Joe left to pick it up.
Question: If you’re picking up an order to bring home, don’t you normally look in the bag prior to leaving the restaurant? Answer: Yes, you do. Every time. Apparently my romper wearing husband didn’t get that memo.
he's all mine.
Through my pain, I managed to athletically leap off the chair and open the bag when he gets home. At the bottom of the bag, there are two beef sandwiches and two tiny fries. Not bags of fries. Not orders of fries. Just two short individual fries.
I looked at Joe. “This is not what I meant when I ordered two small fries.”
He looked in the bag too, and says, “Well, that’s okay. We don’t really need them, do we?”
We’ve been married for ten years and he doesn’t even know me.
“Well, no, we don’t need them,” I said. “But I want them. We paid for them.” I NEED them. I seethed internally. I just had surgery for crying out loud and deserve some poor poor baby fries.
“But we had a $5 coupon,” he said. “It’s not like we paid for them, not really.” There’s no fight in his eyes, though.
The voice that issued from my throat sounds only vaguely like mine. “I’m calling the manager and going back to get the fries.” Joe knows he has been beaten. He’s crestfallen because he’s not going to get to eat that sandwich until we have the complete meal we paid for.
I spoke to a lovely manager who was suitably upset that we didn’t get our order and if we came back she’d have the fries ready. 
Joe offered to go back, but I told him I’d go. I didn’t want to admit I didn’t want him to go because what if he didn’t check the bag AGAIN and I end up with no post-surgery fries? Again?
A guy at Portillo’s opened the door for me, then a second door, and I thanked him and rushed through. Fries, I think. Fries.
It was then I cracked my left arm on the handle of the second door.
In my rush to get my promised fries, it did not really register how bad I hit my arm. I was so excited about the fact that the manager threw in two free pieces of chocolate cake that the pain barely registered. 
I got home and we wolfed down every morsel.
Although my arm had a little lump on it, it wasn’t really red. A few minutes later, though, my arm started throbbing. The tempo matched the throbbing in the stitches in my left temple and the toothache on the right. (whole separate story.)
The next day, and several subsequent days, the bruise started to look like a paint sample card from Menards.
ow. ow. ow. this pic doesn't do it justice.
It reminded me of last October, when I submitted an order for pizza at a local pizza place and when I got there, they didn’t have my order and claimed I submitted it to our Janesville location. “But if you want to wait for twenty minutes, I’ll get a new order ready for you.” *
I was hungry, and I was angry, and when I got into the car, I slammed my fingers in the car door. The fingers on my left hand. I’m still not sure how I did that, because if I am driving, I shut the door with my left hand.
ow. part 2.
So twice now, this is what happened when I was hungry, in a hurry, and our food order was messed up. This is what happens when you’re hangry. **
Angry plus hungry. Hangry. As far as I’m concerned, hangry equals injury. My left arm and fingers told me so.

my little scar. it looks much better now.
*the manager called me back and said that the kid behind the counter lied. He comped me the entire meal.
**I'm aware this might be a symptom of a weight problem.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

What is Kindle Worlds, anyway?

My writing group, the In Print Professional Writer’s Group, had a guest speaker named Terri Reid in the Spring of 2011.
She spoke to our group about her foray into self-publishing with the release of her first e-book, Loose Ends, a Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery. When we had secured her as a guest speaker, her book had been downloaded over 40,000 times. By the time she came to speak to our group, it had been downloaded 80,000 times.
Six years later, Terri is a best-selling author and not only has finished Book 19 of that series; she’s also written several other series and has fans around the world.
Because her books were selling so well, Amazon approached Terri with the idea to create a Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery World. She needed to assemble several authors for her end of June 2016 launch.
Here’s her email to me, in part: “I’ve been approached by Amazon to create a Mary O’Reilly Kindle Worlds – it’s like an Amazon fanfiction arena, but writers actually get paid for what they write. You write a story within the Mary O’Reilly World using the Mary characters and any other characters you want to create. You can write in any genre you want – as long as you use the main idea of the Mary O’Reilly World. 
“The other cool thing about this is that if an author has an established character in their own series – they can “visit” the Mary O’Reilly World and interact with Mary – but get publicity for their own character and book.”
To be honest with you, I could not say yes FAST ENOUGH.
Kindle Worlds is Amazon’s answer to fan fiction.  Directly from their website: 
“Welcome to Kindle Worlds, a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games. With Kindle Worlds, you can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers, and earn royalties.”
Before we started on our books, Terri sent us a character bible, describing the characters in her books that we could use. We were also told that if we wanted to, we could bring a character or two from one of our own books into the Mary O’Reilly Kindle World book that we were writing.
The nuts and bolts of it? Write a book over 10,000 words set in the Mary O’Reilly world. Add much or as little of Terri’s character (s) as you wish. Your book should be properly edited, proofread, and formatted. You will also need a cover for your book using the Kindle Worlds template found on their website. Kindle Worlds also puts a copyright page in for you, and prices your book, generally $1.99. Then writers use the self-publishing tool on Kindle World’s website and upload it. It’s extremely user friendly.
For the launch of the Mary O’Reilly Kindle Worlds, we all had to have our books ready and submitted to Kindle Worlds so they could go live on June 30 of 2016.
The day for the launch came. It was so thrilling. Six authors had brand new Mary O’Reilly World books to bring forth—a world where fans of the series were practically salivating to get their hands on books that featured her characters.
The following are links to the Mary O’Reilly Kindle Worlds books. Click on the name to be taken to their Amazon author page!
I get a picture because it's my blog. lol
Chris Cacciatore wrote Trouble Lake in 2016 and Grave Injury in 2017, released this past month. I believe that writing for the Mary O’Reilly Kindle World has been a boon for my writing career. For instance, in Trouble Lake I brought in two of my characters, Baylyn and Cat, from Baylyn, Bewitched. In Grave Injury, I wrote bought in a character from Knew You’d Come.
Vicky Holt wrote Safety Measures in 2016 and Missing Links in 2017, last month. Vicky says, “For the process of writing for it, that part is easy. Simple to upload and quick review process. It's nice to see my work getting more exposure than it would, thanks to Terri's awesome success. That's probably the biggest perk.” Vicky also points out, “As far as I can tell, no extra marketing going on. I even find it difficult to find Kindle Worlds in a basic search. “
Jan Hinds wrote Widow Maker, (Otherwise Engaged Book 3) in 2016. Jan writes, “It was a wonderful experience and I took the opportunity to overlap some of my characters with Terri's. I have gained several new readers in the process and am thrilled to meet all of you. Having been a fan of the Mary O'Reilly series I thoroughly enjoyed working with her characters. I can't say enough about how grateful I am to Terri for enabling me to join this group and let my imagination mingle with Mary and her friends.”
Ophelia Julien wrote A Scattering of Bones in 2016. Ophelia writes, “Writing a story based on Terri's characters and then having it go up for sale was an amazing experience. I loved being a part of it, and also meeting all of you in the process!  I think there needs to be a lot of clarification on exactly what KW is. I have a review on mine that complains about me writing a story using someone else's characters, and notes that if I have a story to tell, I should just write my own work and stop using someone else's. Terri very nicely got on and addressed this, explaining in detail exactly what KW was and why all these people were suddenly writing Mary O'Reilly stories, and with her permission. But there are still folks who seem to have a problem with the concept and don't quite seem to grasp the underlying intent of a KW story.”
Donnie Light wrote Tangled Trail in 2016 and True Song in December 2016. Donnie’s books are doing very well, and although I did reach out to him for a comment, I don’t think he’s on Facebook a great deal—probably busy writing!
Maureen Tan wrote Hair of the Dog in 2016. Maureen says, “I'd say my overall experience was good...fairly straightforward paperwork, publishing interface, and prompt payment of royalties.  Oh, and I got to meet all of you, which was FABULOUS! Zero support, as far as I can tell, from Amazon on publicizing the books, so that was a little disappointing, mostly because it seemed like they were going to be more aggressive about it.  I guess my biggest frustration with it was readers who didn't understand the concept of Worlds--back to Amazon/Kindle Worlds maybe needing to do a better job promoting/explaining the concept.”
Mary Lamphere released Kinder Garden last month. She is one of the newest writers of a Mary O’Reilly Kindle World story. Mary says, “I find a lot of people I talk to want to dismiss it as "fanfic". There's a lot of terrific fan fiction out there, but the ONE people know is 50 Shades and that seems to be what they want to compare my work to. I figure those people will be disappointed either way, right?! My experience with KW has been fine. It's still early for me, so not much to report. I definitely plan on writing more in the Kindle Worlds!”
So, what does a Kindle Worlds writer make as a result of writing a KW book? That $1.99 is divided into three parts—a third for the author, a third for Amazon, and a third for the owner of the World you’re writing in.
Terri’s fans are some of the most loyal in existence, and the sales for the first few months our books were out in KW were astounding. Fans of our own writing were buying our books, and fans of Terri Reid’s Mary O’Reilly series were thrilled to have books about her character to hold them over until Terri’s next book came out.
That’s the special thing about Terri’s fans—they are absolutely in love with Mary O’Reilly and her now husband, Bradley Alden. They can’t get enough of Mary’s close friends, Stanley and Rosie, and the ghost named Mike, who is their daughter Clarissa’s guardian angel. Her fans read them voraciously the day they are live on Amazon.
My advice to you if you’re a writer looking to gain readership? Go to Kindle Worlds, browse through all the worlds they have to offer, and pick one that interests you. Then get to writing! You have nothing to lose, and only readers to gain.
If you’re a reader? Click on this Kindle Worlds link and immerse yourselves in quality writing in worlds you love. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll meet some superb new authors!