Attempted murder by phone

Oh dear, it seems I’m back.

So what will I talk about this week? How about phone troubles.

So a little over two years ago I replaced my phone, as it was failing. The microphone wasn’t working, so I couldn’t talk on calls. The screen had dead spots, so texting was a huge hassle. And the speakers were extremely quiet. So of course it was time to find something new.

I did some research, and looking at my finances decided on getting the Samsung Note 4. When it worked it was a great phone. However when it arrived the battery it came with wouldn’t charge, nor would it allow the phone to boot all the way. That should have been my first clue.

So I purchased a new battery. It worked after that, until the phone eventually started acting funny a few months later. Random reboots, some apps not working, and of course the GPS just failing altogether. After removing the case to see if something had come loose inside, I noticed the back of the phone bulging.

Thinking that couldn’t be good, I took off the back cover and noted the swollen battery inside. Oh dear, I nearly let this phone kill me, or at least burn me. So another battery was purchased, and that seemed to resolve most issues. The GPS was still flaky, but I wasn’t using it most of the time anyway.

A little while later a bulge appeared, and another battery purchased. Even after that the phone still would crash randomly, but for the most part it was working. But yet again the bulge appeared, and those batteries that didn’t, as I was given a few batteries from friends and co-workers from their old phones, wouldn’t hold a charge anymore. And even when they did it was only a fraction of what they should. And even more apps started failing. Email no longer would work half the time, and texting would crash. Even opening the kindle app now slowed the phone to a crawl.

So what to do?

Well for now I’m back to that old phone whose microphone doesn’t work, and texting is a hassle. However it runs well otherwise. But this is only a stop-gap, simply so I don’t have a little explosion in my pocket waiting to happen.

It’s weird to go back to such a small phone though. All the icons seem to take up way more real-estate than they should, and since the dead spots on the screen react strangely any press of a finger could send a text or email, or delete everything I’ve written.

So looking at my finances once more, I ordered something from China. It’ll take a long time to get here, as anyone who has ordered from that country can attest. So until then, I’m on a phone that I can’t take calls on, and whose texting abilities are difficult at best. But at least I can read books on it, and listen to podcasts. Well, listen is a bit of a stretch, but at least it has blue tooth that works in the car and a headphone jack that seems to still work!

Otherwise I’m still editing. And the co-author has been able to do some editing as well. They’re fleshing out the story as they go too, so there will be new things for me to look at when I get back to the spot they’ve gone over.

So with that, I’m off again. I do hope you have a good week, and may your phones not attempt to kill you.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 68% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Reading More

Howdy folks. I’m back once more.

Well, because I was curious, I took a look back at Goodreads to see how many books I’ve read recently. Since February I’ve read around 27 books.

Now you may ask why such an arbitrary date. Simply put that’s when I got back on the bandwagon of reading every week. With a new job/position I felt invigorated to read again. Admittedly before then I was still reading things, articles and even manga, but only once in a while would I pick up a book.

The two years before this February I only read around 16 books in total. A huge slow down for me. Though it had been that way for a while. Once I sold my house and moved into an apartment, I wasn’t buying books often. I still longed for the touch of a physical book, so I didn’t go out of my way to read a purely digital version. But now that’s over.

Even without the Kindle Unlimited offer I took I’d still be consuming the written word. I can’t get enough, and I’m excited to find interesting stories I’ve never read before. Of course now and again I’ll peruse some old favorite, but right now I want something new and exciting.

Luckily I’ve been able to find quite a number of lovely books. Some are well written and interesting, others are simply interesting. I may not agree with the messages some are obviously fronting, but still it’s always fascinating to see how some people justify, or reason their way into believing such things. So I’ll keep reading.

A book, at least to me, is a glimpse into another persons mind. It may not be what they think about our world, but it does show how they think. Or at least how they think other people think given the stimuli they write into a story.

This is very valuable. It helps me write, and it helps me try to understand everyone I talk to. There are so many ways we can think, and if we can all see those paths we have a greater chance of understanding one another.

It’s my wish that all problems can be solved with conversations, but that of course depends on the disagreement. Living in a world of resource scarcity can lead to violent outcomes when things can’t be shared in a way that both sides can survive, but anything else should be handled via dialogue. But unfortunately most strife is due to the limited nature of our production, if not simply resources. If that could be solved we’d have a greater chance at a utopia. Though I’m doubtful of that, since at least in my opinion, we are a people who grow in strife.

But all that aside, the book is going well. I’m nearly done with my third run through of edits. At the end of this run I may start work on another book, while I let the co-author have a go. I’ve a few books I want to get back to, and a few more that I want to start. We’ll just see which one strikes my fancy at the time.

With that I leave you once more. Have a great week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 64% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Formating

Hello all. I’m back once more. Here we go.

So as you may know, if you’ve been following this blog, I’m editing the latest book. As I do so I’m also working on formating it for readability, and attempting to match it to other books. Not so much because I’m trying to conform, though I am, but more to make it match up with other books in the genre I’m writing in for readability purposes.

I’ve only noticed that it’s not always such with other genre’s of writing because a friend of mine wrote a book as well. When I was reading it I noted how it did not follow the rules that I had been using, and wasn’t like anything else I’ve read. Now this could be because I’m used to a certain style, or it could be that I’m unfamiliar with other was of writing a story. But to each their own.

I bring this up simply because I happen to find the formating that I’m used to more readable. Hence why I tend to use said formating in my own books. Of course I’m not infallible, but I do my best to make sure the audience can understand who is speaking, and what is going on around said character(s).

But of course there are times when the intent is to mislead the audience. Doing so to give them more of a sense of tension, or to confuse them because of narrative necessities. It also matters what tense or perspective you are using.

As is the case in the genre I write in the most common perspective is 3rd person, with 1st person being a close second contender. Those often times are the easiest to write for, as you know who is telling the story, or you are given an all-seeing eye that can talk about multiple perspectives. Not often are they mixed, nor is any other style usually employed. But of course all things are left up to the writer.

I’ve seen such mixings used to share information, but not as often. Mostly when a story is being told inside a story. Flashbacks can, and often do use this type of shifting narrative. But if it is not outlined to the reader, it can lead to confusion.

But back to formating, mostly I’m referring to breaking the story apart into readable paragraphs. If they go on too long the reader may lose interest, even if they easily read the same number of words if they were broken apart. I’ve noticed this in myself, and have noted how my eyes only want to scan a few lines at a time. Though, amusingly enough there are books composed of a single run-on sentences. Though I wouldn’t recommend. I assume you’d have to do so with the first person perspective if you were to do so, but as usual, it’s up to the writer. You’d certainly increase your words per page if you were to only write using a single sentence.

However, the best piece of advice that I’ve ever received, and still work on today, is breaking my paragraphs up. Early on in this blog I would write perhaps a paragraph or two. The post would be something around 1,000 words, and would look like a huge chunk of text. A friend took a look at them, and complained that it wasn’t readable, and explained that there was no need to keep them in such large chunks.

Taking note of his complaint, I scoured the Internet, and reviewed in my head many things I had read up to that point. And he was correct, I too didn’t want to sit down and read a paragraph that went on for pages. And from then on I did my best to break things up. Finding spots where my subject changed, or where I had changed from one side of an argument to another.

And this is where you find me today. Still remembering that lesson, and still attempting to make what I write into readable chunks instead of large run-on paragraphs. I thank them for that lesson, it has made a world of difference.

And with that, I shall leave you until next time. I hope you all have a good week, and may your stories be readable.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 60% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Kindle Unlimited

Greetings friends and readers, those not being mutually exclusive. I’m back once more.

So it’s been yet another week, and I’ve finally made the jump into the monthly all you can read option on Amazon. They had a sale, and I couldn’t see a downside considering how much I’m currently reading.

I’d been spending entirely too much of my paycheck every week on yet more books, but now I have an all you can eat option. So far I’ve only grabbed a couple of books, but it will certainly pay for itself by comparison. It’s nice to “own” a digital copy that I can pull up anytime I want, but mostly I’m just here to consume and add to my metal collection.

Previously I’d want to go out and buy a physical copy, but since space is limited now, and I’d already had to pare down the several hundred books I owned, it would be silly to continue that practice. And while I enjoy the reading experience from the Google Play store more, there are benefits to Amazon. One being of course the all you can read option. The other being that it is connected with Goodreads.

When you finish a book it automatically comes up with the option to score what you’ve read. Yes it does so on Amazon, but it also feeds back into Goodreads, which I’ve been using longer than I’ve been downloading digital books. While I may not have every book listed there that I’ve read, it does have a fair amount. More so things I started with and more recent titles. Those that I read in my early 20’s may be lacking, as I don’t think I’ve recalled them all, but there are still a number that I had, and have scored.

I think it makes for an interesting list of data. To me to look back upon, and for anyone interested in knowing my likes and dislikes. Though I don’t think I’ve scored anything I’ve fiercely hated, as I generally stop reading those. I can only recall a couple of books like that though, others I’ve put on my to finish list. Who knows if I’ll go back now as I’m ready to be a glutton with all the books that Amazon can give me now.

Also this will give me an incentive to read new authors. Before I’d only read books from people I knew, and had enjoyed previously. This of course in an attempt to waste money purchasing a book I didn’t like. But now I can grab something new without fear of wasting money. If I don’t like it, it’s not a huge deal, and I can move on to something different.

I’ve been relatively lucky in picking books, and only recently found something I didn’t particularly like. Too late had I spent money on it, but it resides mostly unread. Otherwise, every book I’ve read has been at least decent.

Of course my scoring is from my perspective. It’s a mix of how well written something is, usually how the use of language is utilized. Then how interesting the story is, and lastly how much I enjoyed it overall. Some books can hit the language and interesting elements and get good scores, even if I didn’t enjoy them over much. But if you hit the enjoyment button, well you’re gonna get a good score usually no matter what. But if you hit all three, well you’re going to get a perfect score, aren’t you?

That all being said, I’m feeling good, and this book is getting edited at a steady pace. I hope you have an enjoyable week, and I’ll talk to you next time.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 55% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Just a short post

Hello all. I’m back again.

I’m at a loss about what to talk about today. Sure I’ve done some editing, but there’s nothing much to mention about it. Mostly it was me moving around commas and deleting extra spaces here and there. Other than that and me working additional hours over the weekend there isn’t much to say.

I mean I could say that I had to change my sleep schedule, and I’m still in the process of getting back to my normal night shift mentality because of it. Perhaps that’s another reason I can’t think of much to talk about. It can take me weeks to feel normal again after such a shift, but hopefully I’ll be alright after I take a nap after I finish writing this blog post.

I’ve read a couple of books, watch a bit of Star Trek TOS, continued watching whatever random anime I’m following this season, and watched The Last Action Hero again. All of them good. Strangely good really. I hadn’t seen LAH in a couple of decades, not since I caught it on Satellite at my grandparents house one summer in the 90’s. But I think I liked it better this time around.

Back then I found it amusing, but now I just found it so meta. All the strange amalgamations of other action tropes, and then smashing them all together in humorous ways. The police station stands out, as that place was filled with random characters from other movies and franchises. Heck, later in the movie Ian McKellen makes an appearance as Death. All in all an enjoyable film, as long as you realize that you shouldn’t take anything serious, not even the parts that take place in the “real world”.

But sadly that’s about all I have for you this week. Just know that I’m still working on the book, and it’s getting there. Have a good week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 53% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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