Toast, Jam, Baseball, and Books!


I spent a good part of last week’s “working hours” churning out blurbs for short stories, tweaking covers for upcoming releases, and *finally, finally* getting the hang of InDesign.


I hope.


We shall see when my proof copies start sneaking into my mailbox.


Hand-held evidence of my efforts—both a year’s-worth of writing a short story a week and the learning curve of publishing in general. More than likely, though, these little paperbacks will show me what I’ve not yet learned, let alone mastered.


New titles include Mystery Minutes, Spunk and Spice, Out There, All the Feels, and Just a Tick of Whimsy. All are collections of six short stories… What a project!

I also spent a good deal of last week’s “working hours” watching that little gray loading circle twirl and spin and jiggle as it toiled with my uploads—both the manuscripts and the cover designs.


More than once, Amazon’s platform told me to go get a cup of coffee. That it could take a minute. Or longer.


Twice it told me to just leave and get a sandwich.


Not kidding.


A sandwich.


It was kind about it. Not in a huffing, eye-rolling sort of way. Not like, “Quit hovering, you moron. I’m working here.”


More like. “Perhaps you should consider some strawberry jam with your toast…”


To amuse myself, I imagined that coffee/sandwich notification box reading aloud to me in a British accent. Hence the toast and jam.


A couple of times, I had to shut down the browser and reload everything… My errors clogged up the works good and proper. I could’ve baked bread from scratch and smashed great vats of strawberries into gallons and gallons of jelly BY FOOT before the issues were sorted out…


But the last time the platform’s little gray circle spun and twisted and told me it was checking margins and bleed lines, and that I should take a hike, I did. I hiked to the living room and watched three innings of baseball.


Yup.


Real, live baseball.


Now, I’m not a sports person, but I don’t mind having a game on in the background. I don’t mind attending a Major League game once every three years or so if the weather isn’t sweltering and someone gives us free tickets. But I flat don’t care who wins. I can enjoy the experience for a moment, then I’m on to the next thing.


But today? Watching the game today was just odd. As odd as if a thick-accented Brit spoke directly to me through my computer screen about jam and toast. That kind of odd.


And, I had toast and jam instead of popcorn. So…


With no fans in the stands, you’d have thought it was a televised warmup/training session. And when the ball snapped into the catcher’s glove or cracked off the end of the hitter’s bat — you know? You remember? How balls snap and crack when there are fans in the stands? With the appropriate cheering crescendo and explosions of excitement from the crowd?


Well… those snaps and cracks sounded much like when I drop cookie sheets in the kitchen. Smashes and clangs. Because the echo…echo…echo…


And the piped-in-through-the-loudspeakers cheering didn’t do the job of warm-blooded bodies, absorbing the sound waves... I guess I miss those snaps and cracks. I bet the players do too. I bet they dearly miss the sound of a well-hit ball in a too-full stadium.


The league tried to mimic that sound, best as it could. But that piped-in stuff was very well timed. Too well timed. Gone are the days (at least this season) of the seemingly random massive cheering starting with four drunk dudes at one end of the stadium grew and swallowed section after section. Rising and falling back and forth, round and round.


Spinning and cheering from one section to the next until some bat made contact with that little round orb and… magic. And real cheers and moans and boos and whatever else the crowd felt like throwing out. Magic.


Magic. Like that amazon circle…loading. Round and round. Waiting until something happens in cyberspace with 1s and 0s and code...


Waving and spinning…


And the announcers. Oh my. I think they were bored. The last comment I heard before I ended my three-inning stretch:


“You know. If they want to keep the ball in the park, they have to pitch so that the batter doesn’t make contact with the ball.”


Oh my.


And, lest my blog post devolve into meaningless fluff (because I would NEVER do that) … Back to the point.


While I wait for the mail truck to deliver my first-try paperbacks, you can check out the links to the electronic copies. A sneak peek, of sorts, for hanging with me on the blog.


A more formal “Yippee!” dance-and-jig Facebook announcement post will be forthcoming once I’m happy with the paperbacks and once the blog page has been updated with the links.


Happy reading.


Happy baseball watching, for what it’s worth. What a year.


Maybe grab some toast and jam while you watch the game. Yours doesn’t have to be strawberry. Peach preserves are nice this time of year, too.


Thank you for hanging out for a bit. Check back on Mondays for a new blog or revisit older post on my Archive page. Don't forget to come back on the first Monday of every month for a free fictional short, and be sure to visit my Amazon page.