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Oh yeah, I just got the first copy of my new novel!!!!!

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You give them life, you pour yourself into them, but it doesn’t really feel real until you hold the actual paperback copy in your hands.

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I think the cover came out pretty good. Thanks again to all of you who gave me input on the design.

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Even though I have done two children’s books full of illustrations that I did, this is the first novel that I put a map into. So far, in my first read through, I have only found two small typos in the first third of the book. I can fix those. All the margins and page numbers and indents look good. I will put a link on the blog soon.

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These are the very last pictures of our Christmas trip to the Bay Area…

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I know, it seems like I have been sharing these sunset pictures forever… but I took a lot of them.

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You might recall that the rest of my family was back in San Diego, and I was spending some quality time with my 95-year-old mother.

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We drove up into the Berkeley hills, and it was one hell of a sunset.

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I do have a few random pictures of the city, from various elevations.

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With my new job, I don’t feel like I can ask for time off for a while.

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So, I will be missing the Bay Area, and my mom. She likes to sit in the car and enjoy the sunset.

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And who wouldn’t enjoy that view?

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It was amazing.

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Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate.

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San Francisco.

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Man, I want to go back. My family is going up there this weekend, and I am stuck here working the swing shift.

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Oh, and my mom won’t be there, she is going to Italy with two of my brothers.

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Yeah, you heard me.

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She is going with a choir group to sing in the Vatican.

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Then, she and my brothers are going a few places, and ending up in Venice.

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She is one tough old gal.

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How I make myself feel better after watching the news…

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Art can be such a catharsis…

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What… another anniversary already?

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Okay, obviously my wife does not look like that. She just has no interest in being in, on or near my blog. But she really is taller than me.

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So, me and the kids got her some stuff… you know… like you do.

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And I made reservations at a fancy eatin’ place.

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And that place was down by the water near downtown San Diego.

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I made the reservation, after checking exactly when the sun set, for one hour after sunset.

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So we could walk around and enjoy the sunset.

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Did you spot the seagull?

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Then, we did some fancy eatin’…

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In that there fancy eatin’ place.

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And it was pretty darn good.

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And then we walked around some more, to do some fancy digestin’.

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Now, I know it isn’t as exciting as our 25th anniversary, where we went to Maui and did all kinds of crazy stuff. But we are busy people, and we did what we could. Besides, I shared that anniversary with you too, as you might recall. If not, scroll down and look at the pictures. We will wait for you.

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Well, I just ordered the first copy of my new novel…

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I will see how the cover lined up, and look for glitches and technical errors. Then I will put the link on my blog with the other books that nobody is buying. HA!

And don’t panic. I already started two more novels… so… uh… yeah!

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Okay, so here is the finished cover for my new novel…

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That is the full, wrap-around version, with the text for the cover, spine, and back cover. I know, some of you liked the title to be one line instead of stacked. But I did stick to two ships… on the front… and I thought they framed it better this way.

Here is just the front…

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I took your advice for the most part. The flowers were too red, and vied with the patches on our princess’s uniform and the title. I made them more black and deep-purple. There were too many ships. The book is already at the self-publishing place, so sooner or later, I had to call this done, so I can order a first copy and start looking for issues both inside and out.

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback!!!

Oh, and for a while, you can still read most of the novel for free, by clicking the words: The Seven Kingdoms… (which is what I was going to call it, until I remembered that that is a ‘Game Of Thrones’ thing)… up in my blog header. It is completely unedited, and you don’t get to read the ending. Ha!

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