I enjoy reading, pondering and reviewing.
Also, off and on attempts at creative writing using various editors, then self-publish as books, audiobooks, and webpages.
click to read my books


First and foremost, it is all about uploading and filling out forms. You know, that chore where you cross your fingers and wait. Your choice of "beasts to feed your words to" has really increased over the years, but one is larger than the others. Amazon! They hide behind monikers like KDP—Kindle Direct Publishing, Audible, and Vella. Cute that word, Kindle, huh? But there are other ways to publish, such as Kobo, Nook, Google Play, Apple, etc. More cute words.

Suppose you do not enjoy uploading and wasting time as you nibble. In that case, there are aggregators like Draft2Digital, FindawayVoices, and more. They upload for you; they call it distribution—they probably nibble, too, so watch your fingers and wallet. While I have not tried every publisher, I have used KDP, Audible, Kobo, Draft2Digital, and FindawayVoices without too many problems—they are all a bit different to figure out, so don't forget your tin foil hat.

Well, that opinion has changed.

It turns out that you lose all control of your distribution when using an aggregator like Draft2Digital and FindawayVoices. As in, your books end up in places you don't want, and their support is all but nonexistent; they don't respond to emails.

So I went all in. I manually set up: KDP, Apple, B&N nook, Kobo, Google Play, Smashwords ... the big 6 book sellers. Each one of them is different and overly complicated. C'mon folks, it's an ebook and should be easy; upload and go! Also, I spent some time setting up the smaller sellers: DriveThruFiction, Payhip, Gumroad, and itch.io (i like them, pay-what-you-want = free). Futhermore, I finally finished my own book publishing website: where my ebooks are just a simple webpage, well, with images and audio, and the words are encrypted too. Plus it's a static website so no pricey web server is needed. Cool!


Currently, I am learning and trying to write fiction. Of course, there is no how-to, not really, instead it's only a try-to-do-it kind of thing -- as in write every day. Yep, I have read many creative writing help books and blogs, but all of that, and there is a lot of that stuff about becoming a writer seems to boil down to a single thought. And that thought is to start writing already and make it a habit. Good, bad, or otherwise! If you find that it is not enjoyable, then stop writing. Simple!

On the editor front, by that, I mean some app (software) similar to Sublime Text, Word (no way!), iA Writer, etc. In other words, you need an app to type those words rattling around in your noggin. For example, I have become fond of Google Docs. Yes, Google is right up there with the other mega-monopolies like Amazon and that crowd. Still, Docs has become reliable, and if you need to jot down some words, well, the darn thing is accessible from everywhere on this planet (I think). And none of that sync nonsense.

Of course, any editor will be good enough to capture your words. I say that confidently because if you have access to Vellum, the dreaded knot of formatting a manuscript vanishes away to become a bad dream of the past. Also, you can use the editor inside Vellum. Either way, you just put your precious words into Vellum and add a dollop of front and back matter (as they say in the biz), then press the oh-so-magical and super-fast Generate button. Voila! A folder of publishing goodies appears filled with ePubs and PDFs to be uploaded and fed to the beast. Of course, the beast refers to all of those insatiable publishers, traditional and self, who will gobble up your words and take their pretty share—mind you, to ensure that eyeballs and ears worldwide can partake of your offerings. Well, that's not the whole truth, as now you have to market and promote your offerings like a berserker banshee. The burdens never seem to end when it comes to writing; well, as an author who sells—one can just write in their journals and let future folk discover your words in the detritus of history.


While I am sure there was reading during school, like homework and reading aloud in the classroom, the first book I recall reading from cover to cover and enjoying was titled Dove by Robin Lee Graham, circa 1972. And compared to comic books, if they count as reading, Dove seemed like a whole lifetime between covers. At about 200 pages, that was the most pages I had ever read. Still, I would go on to devour much larger Computer Science books before the interweb hoovered up everything -- nowadays, we search and then read, right? I remember being immersed in Dove as if I circumnavigated the world on a sailboat with a cat(s). Yes, cats plural; poor things fell overboard. That could be the origin of that Save the Cat book. Dove is still in print and on Kindle, so the book must appeal to more than teenage angst. How would a reread go? I suspect I would not enjoy it as much now, probably because I am no longer seventeen, not to mention those poor cats.

Because if it’s told well enough, for as long as the story lasts, you get to slip the trap.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (2021)