Tag Archive | Amazon

Who stole my batteries? …

I’ve been hibernating the last couple of days. I’ve slept, and read, watched an hour of TV, then slept again. I did play our new board game on Saturday night. We are now dubious citizens of Ankh-Morpork – I’ve been Lord Vetinari and Commander Vimes. We got Ankh Morpork: A Discworld Boardgame,from iguk.co.uk, for our parent wedding anniversary. The shipping costs from Amazon were the same costs as the game itself!

Otherwise I have been taking a few days complete rest – mainly because I haven’t been able to stay our of bed long. I had 14 hours sleep yesterday in 6 chunks. It does get a bit tiring waking up after short sleeps and having to try to force yourself back to sleep. 3 hours is a nap not an overnight sleep.

I’ve also been having some very vivid dreams which can leave me a bit disorientated when I wake up. Last night was a post-apocolaptic type dream.  Hayden Panettiere (the cheerleader from Heroes) was in it (don’t ask!), dinosaurs (Spinosaurus), the setting up of distopian society where might is right, the wiping of the memories of all the survivors, when Hayden tries to escape she is sent to a brainwashing facility that involves learning to climb rope or drown. All in all a very strange dream. I shall have to write down the elements and see if I can’t make a new novel concept out of it!

Dinosaur of my dreams

Anyway after my very chilled weekend now I have to get on with some work! I still have 2 units and associated questions to answer to complete my assignment by 1st September so that I am ready for the tutorial relating to the assignment and exam.

Hours Sleep Today so far : – 11 hours in 5 sessions 😦
Headache intensity / pain level : 3.5 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 1 😀
Fatigue : 4 🙂
Brain Fog : 4.5 🙂

It’s raining, it’s pouring …

Marion’s the one who’s snoring !!

 

First off we had the most spectacular thunderstorm today. I was lying prostrate under an array of needles listening to the soothing sound of rain pounding down and for once it wasn’t a CD ! It made the journey home interesting as while there were blue skies by then there was a lot of standing water on the road. On really bad days that particular route is sometimes shut because of flooding so we took it easy and tried to avoid the lakes of water where we could.

 

After yesterday I would have much preferred not to have left the house today but ho, hum. I spent the car journey there staring at the back of my eyelids pretending I was going to do some story line planning but mostly just trying not to fall asleep. At least the treatment gave me some relief from my headache for a while. I had a good solid nap when I got back but I’m still feeling that in the bone tiredness that comes with the M.E.

 

Despite that I managed to get another 7 minutes done of my Mum’s transcription, only 17 minutes to go !! (on this recording 😦 ) I’ve also spent a couple of hours doing admin on my novel: writing descriptions for the scenes so that a synopsis can be automatically generated. I then decided to tackle that extra scene for Chapter 5. I’ve written an extra 1755 words which brings Chapter 5 up to 6205 words – about average for my chapters so far. I’m still working on how to end the chapter. I tend to like to have a cliff-hanger or at least some unresolved issue or question so that when I switch away from that character’s plot line the reader wants to keep reading to get back to them. Of course I hope they will want to get to the next character as well to find out what happened from the chapter before last! Well that’s the theory, whether it will work is another matter.

 

I did invest today in a Kindle copy of The NORTAV Method for Writers: The Secret to Constructing Prose Like the Pros by A. J. Abbiati. You can go here to see his site on the book. Terri Reid (author of  paranormal detective stories) is recommending it on Facebook and as I have taken a recent interesting in all things writing I thought I would give it a go. It is priced at £6.64 so it’s not an arm and leg and it certainly seems interesting from the analysis on his website. I’ll put it at the top of my to be read pile and get back to you about the contents. Hopefully it will be a very useful aid to my writing.

 

Hours Sleep – today so far : – 13 hours in 2 session 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 5 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 3 🙂
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 4.5 😦

Hail Christopher Anderson …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 8 hours in 1 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 5 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 4 😦
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

So while I wait for the library to gather in the books I want to read by J D Robb I have been devouring a new author. I’ve been reading the Alexander Galaxus series by Christopher Anderson. I liked the first book so much I even left a review on Amazon.co.uk which is very rare for me. I haven’t been reading scifi for a while now but reading the newest release in the Galaxy Unknown series by Thomas DePrima peaked my interest in the genre again. Christopher Anderson has certainly added himself to my list of must read scifi authors.

I’ve read the Alexander Galaxus series yesterday and today and now I’m considering whether to read the Space Cadets series. I really want to but am worried that as it is set 200 years after the Alexander Galaxus series that the author will reveal what he is planning for the ending of the Alexander Galaxus series simply as background info in the new series. Anyway as I debate that issue I have been trawling my Kindle to consider which of the 39 other unread scifi books and 17 samples I should read next. Of course I am pulled towards old favourites like Galaxy Unknown by Thomas DePrima or Miles Vorkosigan by Lois Bujold McMaster but I shall endeavour to reduce my to-be-read pile instead.

Well on that note I think I will go back to studying my Kindle. It’s a shame I can’t read several books simultaneously – I just can’t decide on only one to read first !!

Good news and bad news …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 8 hours in 2 sessions 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 5 😐

 

I must, absolutely must, stop buying Kindle books.

 

I got my bank statement through today and got a big shock. There were several outgoings to Amazon of £12 – £14 pounds. I never buy anything book over £5 except in extreme emergencies such as I’d die if I had to wait for the paperback price to go down before I could read the latest release. Anyway in general I don’t pay over £5 pounds for a book period and most of the stuff I buy is in the £3 and below category.

 

So to see a series of payments over £12 made my heart pitter patter in panic. This lead to yet another online chat with Amazon Customer Service. This lead to good news and bad news. No my account has not been hacked, Yes I did spend all that money myself. Apparently Amazon have started grouping Kindle books into more than one per order so the bank withdrawals are groups of items not a single book payment. This is great since it means there isn’t a problem with my account which is what I was worried about. However it looks like I ordered over 40 books on the 18th of May.

 

I obviously have serious control issues. I do now have a ‘pile’ of books to work through so I shall attempt to keep my buying in check for at least a week or so. I really am astonished at how poor my impulse control is when it comes to this issue. I shall have to take some more drastic actions to aid the withdrawal. I can’t really what right now though. Still I do seem to go through phases with this so maybe I’ll calm down again soon, right ?

 

Kindle oh beloved Kindle …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 5 hours in 1 session 😦
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

 

My Kindle arrived !!!

 

I spent a happy couple of hours transferring my content. Kindle has a good system whereby you can redownload items. However I was not prepared to download 750 items individually so I thought I could shortcut the process. I copied the content to my computer and then back onto the new Kindle. However this did not work as planned. Although all my own content downloaded fine most of the bought items have a Kindle protection which means I have to download them to the new Kindle from Amazon directly. So it looks like I’ll be downloading them individually after all.

 

However Amazon has made my life a lot easier by allowing me to sync the named collections from the old Kindle to the new Kindle. This means at least all the items are split into much smaller groups and I can just download them when I want to read them. Which at least splits the process down into smaller chunks.

 

Well all that’s left to do is delete all the content on the old Kindle and get it ready for return to it’s makers.  Of course I also have to christen the new Kindle, perhaps a few new books to celebrate it’s arrival in it’s new home ? No well I’m trying to keep my buying addiction under control so perhaps not !!

Enter my time warp …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 10 hours in 1 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

I can’t believe it’s been 3 days since my last post. I honestly feel like I’m asleep all the time at the moment even when I’m awake !! Due to a miscalculation of dates on my part I messed up my medication and ran out of the slow release beta blockers before my next prescription arrived. Entirely my fault for not keeping better track but going back onto the 10 mg tablets has led to a couple of days of really bad headaches and very poor sleep. Anyway hopefully now I’m back on my proper medication I will go back to being pain free at least.

 

Oh good news I don’t know if I told you about my TMA 01 for M363 but I got 82 out of 100. I am very, very pleased with that mark especially given how difficult I found it to get my brain to work for me as the deadline loomed. Now I’m counting down to the next deadline. Given that I haven’t managed to read any of my units for weeks now I’m not super hopeful of running to schedule !!

 

Right I’m off to crawl into bed to recover from my latest Amazon buying spree. I know I promised I wouldn’t. But in all fairness I had in fact read all the previous first book romances I’d bought and was just buying the rest of the books in the new authors’ series’. Still I know but I’m just not in the mood to read any of the fantasy and scfi going unread on my Kindle at the mo. I’m sure I’ll switch back into a more serious reading mood sometime. I always do eventually.

Keep your finger off the button …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 10 hours in 3 sessions 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 3 😀
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

 

Well a bit of slow day today. My sister has been very ill so she was home today. We watched TV together for a while. We both crawled off for afternoon naps and I managed to read for a while when I woke up before her. I’ve managed to finish Winds of Fate and move onto Winds of Change. Since then we have been watching the latest episodes of The Secret Circle and The Lying Game. I watched a very interesting program over dinner on BBC 2 called Modern Spies which was very interesting to me as a recent addict to Spooks. After dinner Dad came to join us to watch the semi-finals of University Challenge from a month ago still lurking on our Sky box.

 

The library is still holding out on shipping my reserved books in fast enough. I was hoping they would have some in by today but sadly not 😦 Never mind I still have a library of my own books to keep me company. I did spend last night trying not to break my book buying ban. I spent a couple of hours looking over the Amazon recommendations and found quite few new scifi and urban books to try out on Kindle.  So I spent this evening sending my Kindle the samples and then in a loss of will power bought several of the books that were under £3.00. Most of the books I bought were £0.72 which tempted me into buying them rather than just getting the sample. Of course then you get sucked into thinking a £1.00 book isn’t that much different, then a £1.50 book, then £2.50. It’s a very slippery slope !! But I finally got my will power back in operation and resisted the £4.00 book. Still it is on my list so I might well end up buying in the future.

 

Now that I have a huge pile of samples to read I will have to make an effort to read them to check whether I would enjoy reading the novels on holiday. Although now I think about it I think the Whispernet will work in America, I mean I don’t think I have to register it or anything for it to work. So that means I should be able to download any book I’m interested in while I’m on holiday. I often use holidays as a good time to sort through samples into buy, might buy and no. Since they are short they are convenient for when you are hanging around for shortish periods of time and don’t want to get to engrossed in any one book, or for when I simply can’t decide what I want to read like a kid surrounded by sweets who can’t pick which one to start with.

Fame, I’m gonna’ read forever

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 9 hours in 2 sessions 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 2 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 4 😀
Fatigue : 8 😦
Brain Fog : 7 😦

So I’m now experiencing my 15 seconds of fame. I’m a regular haunter of the Open University online community site Platform. Since they have a blogroll of blogs by OU students I emailed to add my blog to the list. The editor was kind enough to ask me whether I’d be interested in having an article done about my studies and having ME. So I now have an article published about me on the Platform site.

I was surprised to find it is actually very weird reading about someone else talking about you in the third person. I’ve written stuff about other people in the third person before and didn’t think much of it. But it turns out it is a very weird sensation to have a stranger talking about you as though he knows you. Of course he sort of does since I provided all the information but I still had an off balance sensation when reading the article.

Other than that I’ve been engaged in a reading marathon. I read Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu and Dark Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow yesterday. I have The Clone Republic by Steven L. Kent and Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks lined up to read next. I really enjoyed Tiger Eye so I’m planning to buy the Kindle versions and take them on holiday with me to read. They are easy reading in a genre I enjoy. The Watcher series is stocked at my library so I’ve reserved the rest of the series. They are quite short so I should get than all read in a couple of days. I’ve somewhat given up on the Mercedes Lackey series for now. I’ve been distracted by the Amazon package of new books but I’m sure I’ll be back soon to carry on though the series.

Intruder alert, Intruder alert …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 10 hours in 1 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 1 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 0 😀
Fatigue : 7.5 😦
Brain Fog : 8 😦

 

So after I spoke to you yesterday the most wonderous and magnificent postman arrived delivering his packages of joy. Amazon came through on their delivery 2 days early much to my delight. The latest Foreigner book by C. J. CherryhIntruder – arrived causing me to feel like I wanted to dance around the room in excitement. I absolutely adore the Foreigner series. It’s a series that I got to the end of the previous 12 books and then just started at the beginning again. I’ve read the first books more times than the last ones but I’ve re-read the entire series at least 8 or 9 times. Every time I read them I’m still looking to see whether I can guess what is going to happen just based on the clues that the main character is given. Bren Cameron is perhaps my favourite character of all time. He is smart, analytical and self-critical. He is very human in his doubts and fears. But he is also truly heroic. He rises to meet the crisis he encounters. He is willing to be self-sacrificing to save not only his people but the Atevi.

 

The latest book, Intruder, is the first book in the 5th trilogy of books set in the Atevi Universe. If you’re going to read this series you definitely have to start with the 1st book Foreigner and work your way through all of them. Personally I would recommend reading each book twice before moving on to the next book in the series. These books are a mixture of political thriller and action novel. The first book, especially, contains a great deal of hidden motives that only reading the rest of the 1st trilogy can really start to unpick.  The Atevi are genuinely mysterious and alien in their motives and it takes very careful reading to unpick the clues in their behaviour. What I find amazing is the clues are there and when you come back to read the first book, having read the rest of the series, you can see the hidden currents based on your expanded knowledge.

 

I was dubious at first as to whether I would like Foreigner. In general I’m not a fan of political fantasy books. All the court machinations tend to leave me confused and ambivalent. I think these books work so well because Bren captures your sympathy and friendship. You genuinely want to solve the puzzles alongside him. The outcomes of the puzzles feel important in that they directly affect the main characters survival. You feel a real sense of danger in misjudging the reaction of one of the Atevi characters.

 

C.J. Cherrh is perhaps the most outstanding author I have come across for creating truly alien aliens. In all her science fiction novels she manages to create a real sense of a completely different set of biological and social impulses. The Foreigner books are perhaps her best realization of aliens, both biologically and socially, since there are in fact several different alien mindsets in the book not least among the humans. I find her writing especially interesting where it deals with the effects of long term separation of human cultures – the idea that environment shapes human responses and culture.

 

I would highly recommend any of her science fiction series but in particular the Foreigner series. You won’t regret the time you spend with Bren and his ‘friends’.

 

Bookworm alert – no bug spray needed

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 12 hours in 1 session 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 1 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 0 😀
Fatigue : 7 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

 

I read a book today. This might not seem like much but it is a big brain fog milestone. I haven’t read a book in over 3 weeks. Given that I am a rapacious reader the fact that I haven’t been reading is a clear sign my brain has been on the fritz. I often have problems with my ability to read in the sense of being able to read sentences and actually process for meaning and retain that meaning. This means I find studying impossible. But most of the time I can read light fiction especially if I stick to books I’ve read before. But the last 3 weeks I haven’t wanted to read anything which shows a serious brain fog issue. Yesterday the breakthrough happened and I was finally able to start reading the latest Valdemar anthology, edited by Mercedes Lackey, “Under the Vale“. It’s a good way to get back into reading because of the short stories, apart from trying to remember who recurring characters are, at least I don’t have to sustain information over the entire length of a novel.

 

It has given me the Valdemar bug though so the next book I started on was Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey. I’m never very sure where to start reading the series, by publishing date or internal chronological date. Magic’s Pawn is the first book at the beginning of ‘current’ age so I tend to begin there now that I’m rereading but I always start my family members and friends off with Arrow’s of the Queen. The Arrow Trilogy were the first published novels in the series. They are the least polished of all the novels but they are a good way to get introduced into the world since the books published after but chronologically before in the world timeline often assume a certain level of familiarity with the world building concepts.

 

Once I’ve worn out my Valdemar craving I might try to move on to the autobiographies stacking up in my room. James Corden’s ‘May I have your attention, please?’ arrived at the library for pick-up so I now have a couple lining up to be read. Along with all the unread bought books lining my ‘unread’ shelf. I have about 20 books bought over a series of amazon shopping trips that I haven’t read yet. Mostly they are first books in series – buys to determine whether I like the author enough to consider buying the rest of a series. I have plenty of books on my Kindle that are as yet unread. I’ve declared a moratorium on all book, either paperback or ebook, buying until at least three quarters of the waiting books are read. Given my non-reading I thought I was going to be in withdrawal forever. Thankfully, hopefully I’ll start to make some progress on the backlog and will be able to get my ‘Buy Button’ fix again sooner than I feared.