Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Twas the Day After the Night Before Christmas


Merry Christmas

Normally I read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to my kids on Christmas Eve. However, I was exhausted last night and went to bed before doing so. I woke up Christmas morning, realized my error and felt terrible. Now the good news is that I'm a writer, so why not make use of my talent (I use that word loosely) and create something special to make up for it.  So . . . here goes . . . 

Twas the Day After the Night Before Christmas
Copyright 2019 John H. Carroll
All Rights Reserved



'Twas the day after the night before Christmas, when all through the apartment
Most of the creatures were stirring, except the elephant; (I couldn’t afford one of those)
The stockings were hung on the wall before the kids awoke,
Knowing that their dad was totally broke;

The children struggled to get out of their beds,
Forgetting that visions of sugar-plums had danced in their heads;
And mamma isn’t here anymore, and I’m just their pap,
Who’s ready for another long winter's nap, (jeez I’m tired)

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I struggled up from the couch to see what was the matter,
Away to the window I bumbled, unlike flash,
Accidentally tore off a blind and slid open the sash. (I looked up what a sash was and our window has one)

The sun on the breast of the days-old snow, (this always sounds so dirty)
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, (because it is midday)
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a dude walking his dog dressed up like a reindeer, (I’m not telling whether the dude or the dog was dressed up)

When an idiot driver, so lively and quick,
Sped down our residential road like a total prick.
More rapid than eagles his street racer came,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called him by name;

"Now, Cretin! now Dumbass! now Wanker! and Dipstick!
You Ninny! You Dotard! You Fopdoodle and bootlick!
To the end of the street! Right into a wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
I heaved a great gusty sigh,
So back to the couch I stumbled with much ballyhoo,
Tripping over toys, and St. Nicholas too. (Why in the world is he asleep under my tree? There wasn’t that much whisky in the eggnog I left for him)

And then in a twinkling, I heard from the apartment above,
The prancing and dancing of children and animals and the elephant they could afford  . . . and a dove. (Apparently this poem has to rhyme, so whatevs)
As I rose my hand, flipped them off, and was turning around,
Up popped St. Nicholas right off the ground.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with cookie crumbs and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
Wait, is that my PS4 in his sack?

His bloodshot eyes -- how they twinkled! his meth scars how merry!
His diseased cheeks were like roses, his twisted nose like a cherry!
His droll little lips were cracked and most his teeth were gone,
And the beard on his chin was scraggly as a leprechaun; (rhymes are hard)

The stump of a joint he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; (Hey! This is a no-smoking apartment!)
He had a sunken face and an emaciated belly,
That rumbled, needing a sandwich of peanut butter and jelly.

He wasn’t Saint Nick, not a right jolly old elf,
And I growled when I saw him, quite beside myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had everything to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his escape,
Stole all the stockings; then turned like an ape,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And flipping the bird, out the window he chose;

He sprang to his car, to his crew gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But ere he drove out of sight, I heard him drawl,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ME, AND TO ME A GOOD HAUL!




Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

All my best,
John H. Carroll

Sunday, November 24, 2019

9 Years Published.

Rojuun, My first Book



Book 1 of the Willden Trilogy
Book 4 of the Ryallon Series
FREE!

9 years of writing

9 years ago today, I published my first book, Rojuun. I was 40 and decided it was time I got off my behind to accomplish one of my life's goals.  It's been a long, enjoyable journey.  Having accomplished as much as I have has given me a sense of satisfaction.

In the last 9 years, I've:
Published 28 original stories and 2 compilations.
Sold over 18,000 copies of my books.
Given away over 435,000 copies of books.
Distributed books to 39 countries.
Written more than 1.5 million words.

Bibliography


Stories for Demented Children:
Odd tales of anti-heroes doing their best to survive odd circumstances.





Novels of Ryallon:

My full-length novels are set in the world of Ryallon.  They are high fantasy with magic, rogues, knights, dragons and flower children.

Dralin Series (Set before the Willden trilogy)

The Wyvern Series (Parallel to the Willden Trilogy, set in time after the Dralin Trilogy)

Willden Trilogy (Written first)

The Crazed Series (All previous series merge here)
Augury (Coming 2020)
To be Determined (Coming 2020)

Stand-alone Novella

Other Stories:

Short stories and a novella that came to me along the way.

Novella
Alien Coffee (Sci-fi)

Short Stories
Test Pilot (Sci-fi)

What the future holds

I've written the 29th book and am on my 30th book, respectively the 13th and 14th of the Ryallon Series.  I need to get further on the 30th to establish consistency between the two.

Lately, the words haven't been there.  Real life has required far more attention than I'd like.  In addition, I mentioned above that I've written 1.5 million words.  I'm a little worn out on writing, and the last couple of years, it's felt like a chore rather than a passion.  I believe it's harmed the quality of my writing.  I'm taking the time to find my passion and motivation and will eventually pick it back up.

That said, I'm looking forward to continuing this journey for many years to come.  I have a million stories left to write.

All my best,

John H. Carroll



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Bounty, Book 2 of the Crazed Series

“Bounty” is finally available!

Book 2 of the Crazed Series and the 12th book set in the world of Ryallon.  This is a continuation of Tathan's story from the Willden Trilogy.

Smashwords
Apple
Kobo
Amazon
Amazon UK
B&N
Print

Bounty, Crazed Trilogy Book 2
I want to give everyone a heads up that this ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, so you may want to wait until I have the next book out later in the year. 

Description

Circumstances force Tathan of the Shadows out of his comfortable lifestyle in the palace of Mayncal. With no other plans, he accepts a job from an old friend that sends him into the Western Kingdoms where bounties on his head make travel a dangerous game.

Obsession of Tathan’s habits and deeds has made one bounty hunter an expert on the infamous rogue. Using deadly magic and an unusual companion, the bounty hunter has set a trap for Tathan that even he will have a difficult time overcoming. But can the bounty hunter survive their own insanity long enough to accomplish the mission?

The cursed fortress town of Coomican was one of the most disturbing places Tathan had ever visited. The Zombie Duke Yabert Matho controls an army of necromancers and undead who keep the corrupt city free from the control of any country. Dangerous and powerful individuals have gathered there to collect on the one who caused them trouble.

Cows once spent their lives chewing cud and mooing casually about things no one cared about. All that has changed. Their greatest hatred in all of Ryallon is the one called Tathan of the Shadows. Will they ruin everyone’s plans?

And what of the flowers?

Join Tathan and enemies in their quest to survive in a world of magic, zombies, cows, a big squirrel and other dangers.

The Crazed Series is the continuation of the Willden and Wyvern Trilogies. Beings of great power manipulate the world, sometimes to the benefit of mere mortals, but more often to their detriment. Join the odd and often unwilling heroes of Ryallon as they face threats to humanity.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Microsoft Word formatting - Next paragraph changes style

Word formatting

I occasionally format books for others so they can publish to Amazon, Smashwords, in print, and to others.  It's rare that anyone sets up their documents to be automatically formatted while they write like I do, so I get a lot of weird formatting issues, none of which relate to the quality of writing, just the way it looks on your eReader.

I had an issue where every time I hit enter on a document I was formatting, it would indent the entire next paragraph instead of the first line.  It changed styles from "Normal".  It took me a couple of hours to figure it out and fix it.  Googling led me to a bunny-load of solutions for other problems, mostly to do with indentation.

The document I'm formatting in this case is "Vanx Malic: The Tome and the Lens" for M.R. Mathias.  You can read the beginning of the series here: The Legend of Vanx Malic: To Kill a Witch  The series is excellent and I highly recommend it.

The problem

You'll see in fig 1 that the new paragraph that I tried to create moves over instead of lining up with the others.  I'm using the "Normal" style edited to fit my book.  However, when I hit enter, it stops using the "Normal" style.  It didn't show me which style it switched to, so I spent a lot of time experimenting how to change it.

fig 1

The highlighted section shows that the entire paragraph was indented 5 spaces to the left.  If you look at the arrows in the ruler at the top, you'll see that the bottom indent is moved to the left of the shaded area instead of lined up with it.

The solution.

To fix this, you need to modify the style you're currently working in. (fig 2)  In this case, we're working in the normal style.  Right click on it and select "Modify"

fig 2

It was here that I discovered the issue in "Style for following paragraph" (fig 3 (I have a sudden craving for figs . . . ))  The style in this case was "Normal Indent", which indents the entire paragraph.

fig 3

I changed that to "Normal" instead of "Normal Indent" and from then on, everything worked the way it was supposed to.

Conclusion

The chances of the average user ever having a problem like this is minuscule.  However, if you do, here's the solution.  This can apply to any style that you may be using in Word, whether it be normal or a heading style.

All my best,

John H. Carroll