Cats and Dogs

You’ve heard the old saying “fighting like cats and dogs.” Well, what if you’re fighting about cats and dogs.

My husband and I argue very little. But one of those rare sources of conflict is about our pets.

We’re both animal-lovers, he and I. And we love cats and dogs more or less equally. But we brought different species into this marriage…and different histories.

I came with three cats. He brought one dog. My cats are better trained than his dog. Hence, my frustration and our latest argument.

I read a fascinating article the other day about training cats (I’d share the link, but it was in my Apple News feed and I don’t subscribe to National Geographic. However, you can Google the topic and find lots of similar articles, as it turns out.)

It’s different in some ways than training a dog. You can use treats, yes, but you also need to ignore negative behavior directly (negative attention is attention, after all) and correct it in a detached way (like leaving something on the counter that will make noise when the cat jumps up). If the cat knows it was you, though, they’ll hold a grudge. Cats think of us as big clumsy cats, so there’s no deferring to the human “alpha.”

Dogs, however, know we’re different. And they need to know who’s in charge. Well, the dog thinks my husband is the alpha. And this is where we run into trouble.

Grace is a sweet dog but we simply can’t undo all of the problems the ex-wife created. She was bought to be a purse poodle and then a housedog. She was even trained to poop in a box.

We’ve worked to train her to be a “dog,” but my husband will only go so far. He’d rather adjust our behavior instead of hers. He feels sorry for her, really. I do, too, but I’m not ready to accept that a dog is in control of my house.

So, conflict.

I want her to be better trained (or at least as well-trained as my cats for goodness sake). He just wants her happy.

And here’s the real source of my frustration: so do I. But, you know, not eat the cat litter and then puke up cat poop all over the house.

We’ll work it out, I’m sure. After all, he spoils all of us, so it’s hard to argue with the man’s motives.

I guess on this one topic, we’re just as different as cats and dogs.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Technology and change

I’m writing this blog on my older laptop because my newer laptop is in the shop, so to speak. I had stopped using the older laptop for everyday work (and got the newer, which was new when the company bought it less than a year ago) because it had gotten completely bogged down.

When you have more than 600 titles, you have a ton of files. And some of those files (like the photo and design files) are huge. And let’s not even consider the size of the video files.

As a result, the entire WMG digital inventory takes up more than a quarter terabyte. As in 275GB or 2,750MB or 2,750,000K.

Remember when 64 to 100MB storage seemed like a huge amount of storage space? I do. Now, I have individual files that big.

And that adds up. But that was only part of the problem.

Because all of my advanced computer programs need a lot of RAM to run. That combination of factors rendered my older laptop more or less useless.

It used to be that we housed our digital inventory on my computer (with several backup systems). But that became untenable. So now, we have moved everything to the cloud (with physical backups, of course). That helped with problem number one.

But problem number two remains.

Now, my newer laptop has more RAM but the same about of storage space—250GB. As I mentioned, we moved our inventory onto the cloud, and all of my computer programs are more or less on the cloud, but they still need to sync to the hard drive to be usable. This isn’t normally a problem. Until a syncing error causes a cascading effect of file downloads to fill up the hard drive and render the computer useless.

As happened to my newer laptop today. It’s fixable and I’ll lose nothing (thanks to cloud syncing and backups), but it’s still annoying. I need to access the cloud on or plug a backup into something, so I’m thankful for the backup laptop. Even if I’ve just spent the past three hours updating the damned thing. It still has RAM problems, which is why I’m writing this in Google docs instead of Word, but the point is I have options.

If this had happened a few years ago even, I would have at a minimum lost productivity until my computer was fixed or I bought a new one. Now, if necessary, I can use apps on my phone to edit and write documents, check my email, sign contracts, you name it. I’m still functioning almost at full capacity, and that’s just amazing to me.

In fact, I was shocked at my reaction to the crash. It has been a very stressful week, and I’m fried. Under similar circumstances in the past, I would have lost it when I realized that the crash was beyond my technical expertise and I’d need a professional. But today, the moment I realized I’d lost all function on it I also realized that I’d lost, effectively, nothing. Now that, my friends, is a wonderful feeling.

So, while change is hard, it can also be wonderful.

And that’s also how we feel about the next change I’m going to talk about: Moving the WMG Coast Workshops to Las Vegas.

The Oregon Coast, you see, is a bit like my old laptop. Not quite capable of keeping up with the latest technology. It’s a beautiful place for our workshop participants to visit, but we’re not super accessible (the last hour of the drive out here is on windy two-lane roads). And our technology infrastructure can be problematic. Plus, it’s a small town with limited amenities, including, and especially, conference space.

Now that the primary instructors for all of our workshops—Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith—have moved to (or are in the process of moving to) Las Vegas, we decided it was time for a change.

Starting with the 2018 Master Class, we’ll be at the Golden Nugget on Fremont. Details on that, and the whole slate of 2019 workshops, can be found here. We’ve even got a revival of the Kris and Dean show on the books!

I hope you enjoy the new opportunities this move offers. And as a reminder, if you can’t or won’t travel, we have a whole slate of online workshops available right on your computer.

Or your phone or tablet, if your computer is in the shop.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Free for All

Free books.

Ok, now that I have your attention, I want to reassure you that my blog opening was not a marketing trick to keep you reading. I really mean it.

We’ve made the first ebook in four of Dean Wesley Smith’s series free:

Thunder Mountain (Thunder Mountain Series)

Offered a free trip into a remote Idaho wilderness that she loves and studies, Professor Dawn Edwards can’t refuse. On the trip she meets Professor Madison Rogers, and they fall for each other before they even reach their destination.

But living in the Old West proves to be a brutal task. Somehow, Dawn must survive to rescue herself, her friends, and the man she loves.

A science fiction novel of new times in the old west.

Kill Game (Cold Poker Gang Mysteries)

USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith takes you into the world of his acclaimed novel Dead Money with a brand new series focused around a group of retired Las Vegas Police detectives playing poker and solving cold cases.

Retired Detective Bayard Lott hosts the weekly poker games at his home. The group calls themselves the Cold Poker Gang. And they have proven very successful in closing old cases.

Lott’s very first homicide case as a brand-new detective had gone cold more than twenty years earlier. But retired Reno detective Julia Rogers, new to the Cold Poker Gang, suggests they look at that case again for personal reasons.

From that simple suggestion spins one of the strangest and most complicated murder mystery puzzles the gang has ever seen.

The Poker Chip (Ghost of a Chance Series)

Starting into a brand new series, USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith asks a simple question: What happens if ghosts can fight crime and bad guys?

Just fifteen minutes after Dr. Jewel Kelly meets Deputy Sheriff Tommy Ralston, they both die. They simply become ghosts, hanging around their own death scene in the mountains of Montana, waiting for something to happen. But even as ghosts they find each other really attractive.

In life, they both worked to help people. It seems that in the afterlife, their job continues.
The strangest crime-fighting ghost duo ever. And the sexiest.

Against Time (Seeders Universe)

USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith introduces his galaxy-spanning Seeders Universe with a new novel.

Paleontologist Callie Sheridan spent a few days deep in the Oregon Caves on a dig with three students from the University of Oregon. When they emerged, they found almost everyone in the world dead. Survival became her only thought.
Mathematician and galactic explorer Vardis Fisher dropped into orbit over a planet where almost all of the human life had been recently killed for no obvious reason. Suddenly, hundreds of other ships, all human, appear in orbit and start working to save the planet’s remaining population.

Together, Callie and Fisher work to discover the secrets of a galaxy that has been hidden in plain sight, even from the powerful humans who rescued millions. And in the process, they just might change everything.

 

You can find out more information about each book and series by clicking on the links above.

So, if you haven’t tried these series, now is the time. You literally have nothing to lose.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

A Great Deal on Writing Business Tools

This week’s blog is specifically for you writers out there. The masterful Kristine Kathryn Rusch is the creative source behind two projects that launched last week to help writers improve their business and craft.

First up is Creating Your Author Brand, Kris’ latest entry in the WMG Writer’s Guide series.

Here’s the synopsis:

Getting a book into readers’ hands means achieving that modern marketing buzzword: discoverability. And the simplest way to gain that reader recognition? Branding.

Branding helps readers find an author’s work. But many authors fail to grasp the concept of creating an effective author brand. Now, New York Times bestselling author and renowned business blogger Kristine Kathryn Rusch expertly tackles the topic in this latest WMG Writer’s Guide.

In this guide, Rusch teaches the basic concepts of branding and helps authors convert those concepts into useful action to individually brand themselves to maximize reader recognition.

And I’ve got more good news: for a limited time you can get Creating Your Author Brand (plus nine other useful tools to improve your writing business) as part of The Write Stuff 2018 Bundle, curated by Kris herself.

WMG has two books and a lecture in this information-packed Storybundle.

The initial titles in The Write Stuff 2018 Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

Completing the Writer’s To-Do List by Tonya D. Price, MBA
Creating Your Author Brand by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Writing a Novel in Five Days While Traveling by Dean Wesley Smith
BFB Vol. 7: Three Act Structure for Professional Writers by Blaze Ward

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular titles, plus SIX more!

Secrets to Effective Author Marketing by Maggie McVay Lynch
Estate Planning for Authors by M.L. Buchman
BFB Vol. 5: Business Planning for Professional Publishers by Leah Cutter
How to Get Your Book Into Schools by David H. Hendrickson
WMG Publishing Presents: Heinlen’s Rules Writing Lecture by Dean Wesley Smith
The Ancient Child Thirty Day Program by Steven Barnes

This is a heckuva deal, but you’d better hurry—the Storybundle ends May 17!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

The Next Pulphouse is Almost Here

They say nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. Perhaps this is true. But you can also be fairly certain that the latest issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine will push the envelope of modern fiction.

Issue #2 of Pulphouse releases this Thursday, and we’ve got a great new lineup of stories.

Here’s the Table of Contents:
“Identical” by Robert Jeschonek
“The Session” by Stephanie Writt
“The Liar” by Annie Reed
“The Time Cop” by Patrick Alan Mammay
“With Due Honors” by Kate Pavelle
“Dog Steps” by Rob Vagle
“The Distant Baying of Hounds” by J. Steven York
“Heartbreaker: A Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Adventure” by Kevin J. Anderson
“Pot O’ Gold” by Dan C. Duval
“The Gorilla Murders” by O’Neil De Noux
“Thinking Inside the Box” by James Gotaas
“nanoturds” by Ray Vukcevich
“Catastrophe Baker and the Cold Equations” by Mike Resnick
“A Better Man Than You” by Kent Patterson and Jerry Oltion
“Rose in Dreamland” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

If you’re a subscriber, the books will be on their way to you automatically. If you’re not, click here on Thursday to buy Issue #2 or here to subscribe to the magazine.

What are you waiting for? Go get reading.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.