August MacGregor

Celebrating Sensuality. Intended for mature audiences, 18 and over


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Singing Pebbles

pebbles on beach by Ballacorkish (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Ballacorkish (Flickr, Creative Commons)

At first, we were disappointed the beach
didn’t have sand, instead having pebbles
which we worried would hurt our bare feet.
And truly, walking on the pebbles was not as
comfortable as sand.

But our feet grew accustomed to the pebbles
and we discovered how the pebbles sung
at high tide, after a wave was finished crashing,
impatient water slid back to the ocean
taking a moment to course over the small stones
and play a little melody in its race returning sea-ward.

She put a few pebbles on the balcony railing
perhaps to give them a grander view of the ocean
and perhaps to see if the wind — like the waves —
would make them sing. It didn’t, but the
little stones looked bright in the sun, warmed
and no longer made wet over and over again
by the continuous washing of the sea.

We lay in bed at night, waiting for high tide to arrive,
then listening to that beat of the ocean
and the pebbles singing along with it.
A wondrous soothing lullaby —
repeated then at dawn, as if
the waves and stones could not
wait to greet us with the new day.

*****

The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.


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Readers: Here is a list of great authors to read by genre!

augustmacgregor:

Brittney Sahin has generously put together a list of indie authors. Several genres are shown, so there’s a wide range for different interests.

Originally posted on brittneysahin:

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Authors by Genre

READERS: Please check out the amazing and talented authors listed below. I have categorized alphabetically by genre and first name. I will update and post this list regularly. *Sci Fi & Fantasy are grouped together

AUTHORS: If I made an error with your genre, or you would like to add something else, please let me know via email: brittneysahin@gmail.com (or in the comments) & I will correct it. *I will rotate book covers each month :-)

*I would like to add additional info for the readers &/or links to blogs/websites, etc. – hopefully next time! Any feedback for improvement is welcome!

Children’s (but fun for all ages):

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Amazon’s New Payments Per KU Pages Read

Last week, Blondewritemore’s post That magical moment when you decide NOT to quit writing was a great description of those times when a writer — and other artists, I would imagine — has a build-up of doubts that lead to wonderings whether he or she should continue writing. And when you decide not to quit, that moment is indeed magical — as you rediscover the magic that made you fall into love with writing in the first place.

It happens to me lots of times. I wrote about self-doubt back in November, after I ran across a quote from Neil Gaiman in which he describes doubts rising as he was working on a novel. He called his agent to share these doubts, and she illuminated him with the fact that he had called her with doubts after every novel — as all her other clients did.

That quote helps me in times when doubts start creeping into my writer’s house, like an invasion of little robbers. The quote is one of those helpful things to get me back on my feet. Or, rather, back on my butt — and my fingers back to tapping on my laptop’s keys.

Amazon recently changed the way it pays authors who have books in their Kindle Unlimited (KU) program. KU is a subscription service where customers pay a monthly fee ($10, I believe), and they can dive into an orgy of reading, to inhale as many KU books as they like. Authors who include their books in the KU program give their solemn oath that the books are not available in electronic form anywhere else.

Yes, this is a monopoly on ebooks for Amazon. You’ll find advice out there giving benefits and drawbacks of including your book in KU. The piece of advice I found valuable was that having a book in KU is good for beginning authors, since a customer doesn’t have to risk money on an author they’re not familiar with, since the monthly fee covers all the KU books the customer wants to try.

I have several books in KU, and I’ve found that it has led to more books being read. The KU borrows have added to sales. And that’s good stuff to an author who hopes to eventually make writing a career.

So back to Amazon’s change in its payments for KU books … Used to be that authors were paid a portion of the monthly KU fund based on how many of your KU books were borrowed.

As of July 1, authors are now paid by pages read. The proper, initial-capped term is Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) Read.

At first, I didn’t know what to make of this. But now, I like it. Because of the chart showing me, each day, how many pages of my KU books have been read. And that’s sweet stuff. Previously, I never knew if a KU book was being read. Just because a customer borrowed a book didn’t mean they actually read it. Now the data tell me that, yes, pages are being read. And how many.

It’s a boost to an author’s confidence to see the chart and say, Hey, 5,000 pages of my books were read yesterday! Sure, the numbers go up and down daily. But they provide feedback of being read. Similar to receiving comments on a blog post and reviews on a book.

I don’t know how the payment change will turn out financially for authors. If an author has mostly short stories on KU, I can see the change lowering their payments. For me, though, it wasn’t as if a hundred of my books were being borrowed every day — so the financial change won’t be significant. However, the change in feedback certainly is.


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Grace and Blood free on Smashwords – and a CONTEST!

augustmacgregor:

Wanted to help spread the word about Eric Keys’s contest…

Originally posted on The Blood, The Glory and the Grace:

Grace and Blood free on Smashwords? Yes, you heard right! My chilling little Southern charmer is running rampant on a new site. And… I have a contest! I’ve really enjoyed recoding audio clips from my stories and I’m working on one with a wonderful actress for my new WIP and I just want to share the fun. So I’m opening up a contest. I want to hear you do a reading from Grace & Blood. Pick any section of the book you like and send me a recording of you reading it. It doesn’t have to be high-tech. I record mine on my phone in my car, so my technical expectations are pretty low. It does need to be listenable, though.

Bonus points for picking a really good scene and even more bonus points if you can do a sexy Appalachian accent. (Not that an accent is required. It’s…

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That magical moment when you decide NOT to quit writing #writing #writers

augustmacgregor:

Great post describing the regular times when thinking of quitting writing and coming back to it. Ah, the ups and downs…

Originally posted on Blondewritemore:

This is such a magical moment in the life of a writer and it warrants a blog post.

Being a writer means that you will probably experience quite a few of these special moments during your career.

Some of us writers are lucky enough to endure what I call the ‘I quit / I’m not quitting’ revolving door which basically means on a regular basis (monthly / weekly / every couple of days) we go through the ‘I’m giving up / no I am not giving up’ motions. This is BAU (business as usual) to some of us.

Events leading up to the magical moment where you decide NOT to quit may include:

  • Some writer suffering – general insecurities, nagging doubts about whether your writing is any good, asking yourself whether it’s worth it, a lack of confidence and painful bouts of writer’s block.
  • An emotional outpouring – tears, snotty…

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Revenge Excerpt: Changes

Another month has got away from me since I last posted. I thought summer was supposed to have lazy days? But then, lazy would mean not writing — and that’s not good.

Writing has been going slow, but steady. Picture the tortoise rather than the hare (who got a bit too lazy, didn’t he?). And I imagine winning the race to mean finishing each book. I’m still writing the novel with the working title of Revenge, from which I posted an excerpt back in May.

I’m posting another excerpt below. It’s about how sudden changes can come to your life. How something can upset the house of cards that you’ve carefully built.

I feel good about the progress of the novel, since it gives me the sense of growing as a writer. With my MacGregor books, much of the action was erotic. I’ve tried to come up with interesting characters and situations, but the end result was predictable: Oh, these characters are going to have sex. But as I’ve been writing more — and longer works — the stories have expanded from just sex.

That’s been wonderful. I’ve also been working on vanilla stories, eventually to be published under my own name. And those have been good for me, too, in crafting stories where characters are placed in different situations.

But enough navel gazing :). Let’s get to the excerpt…

*****
Excerpt from work in progress, Revenge

“Strange, isn’t it?” Julie asked. “How things can turn out. I never thought I’d be here, thinking the things I’m thinking.”

Michelle had to laugh. “I never thought I’d be here period. I thought I was going to stay with Joe for my whole life. And stay in that house until we retired and moved somewhere else. But here I am.” She looked about the living room, and out the window at the view of Philadelphia’s buildings lit up at night.

“Yeah,” Julie said. She wasn’t all smiles and giggles now. “Here we are. And part of me so wishes we could do something. Do something without consequences. I didn’t expect to be turned on like this. And I’m not the one who’s gone months without getting any.”

“Rub it in, why don’t you.”

“Sorry. And sorry nothing’s going to happen.”


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Too Many Good Books

bookshelves, by Sue Langford (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Sue Langford (Flickr, Creative Commons)

“Life isn’t really short. There are just too many good books to read in one lifetime.”

― Mokokoma Mokhonoana, The Confessions of a Misfit

*****

Source: Goodreads. The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.

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