Saturday, July 28, 2012

“Unpacking—Or Moving is Such a Pain” from Rock Bound

This time it isn’t my political prisoners who have moved; it’s me.  When my daughter got engaged last winter, she and her fiancé looked at their families and decided our house was the logical place for everyone to live, as his house was too small for four generations.  So, he, his daughter and baby granddaughter moved in with my daughter, granddaughter and me.  Needless to say, the only one who got along with everybody was the baby.  No wait, Marshall’s dog, Amonte, was jealous of Sydney.  He was used to being the baby of their family.

The living room became my bedroom and things clearly needed to change the day the priest came to call.  Our house was in front of the Volo Auto Museum, across the street from a Catholic church.  Marshall got married in the Catholic Church and that’s where the kids want to have their wedding.  My ex-hubby was Catholic and I turned Catholic when I married him because I believed families should go to church together, so my kids were raised Catholic.  My girls turned away from Catholicism for many years and Elizabeth’s first two marriages took place under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church.  But in recent years she’s grown closer to her paternal grandmother and gone back to the Catholic Church.  Anyway, since we live right there, when some paperwork came in for Marshall’s annulment, Father Anthony figured he’d walk it over.  He woke me so I rolled out of bed and answered the door.  Fortunately, living in such a crowded house, I got in the habit of sleeping fully clothed so I was dressed when I opened the door and invited him in.  I swear, the poor man almost fainted when he saw my bed taking up half the room—although, he was standing by my recliner, so technically he was in my living room.  One step to his left and he would have been in my office.  ;-)  Yes, it was a small room.

At any rate, it was obvious we were overcrowded.  The house was a pressure cooker and tempers were getting shorter by the day, so I put my name on the list for government senior housing.  I expected it to take months, if not years to get an apartment.  Imagine my surprise when I got a phone call two days later.  They had not one, but two apartments available for me and one of them was in the only building in Lake County, Illinois that includes heat.  So, I’ve moved. 

I’m mostly unpacked.  My new place is tiny and I’ve decided I need to rearrange my living room so I’ve not yet unpacked my china cabinet.  I’ll wait until the kids come back over and move it into the corner before I unpack my china and crystal.  At least the boxes are on my pantry shelves.  The worst part of this move, however, is that I don’t have room for all of my books.  I guess I’m finally going to have to give away most of them.  I suppose a lot of people think, “They’re just books.  Big deal.”

I’m an author and a reader.  Giving away my books is a big deal.  One of the times I moved, someone asked if I’d ever heard of a library.  My response?  “Of course I have.  I’m building one!”  Needless to say, my dream house includes at least one room lined with books.  And nowadays, most of them would be written by friends of mine.  Wow!  Is that a great thought or what?  It didn’t help when it came time to move, though, that most of my friends were writers who live out of state or even out of the country.  It’s not like my author friends from Down Under could come over and carry a few boxes for pizza and beer.

Otherwise, I’m settled.  Hopefully this will be the last one, unless I manage to make a major splash, make all the best-seller lists, and buy that dream house with the library, indoor pool/hot tub, etc.  Well…  A girl can dream, can’t she?

Speaking of Rock Bound, here’s an excerpt.

October, 2051
Moon Base Alpha

Annie slowly climbed back to consciousness. She noticed the guards were sort of sliding along the aisles, and then realized she was on the Moon and they were trying to walk in the much-lower lunar gravity. As she exited the shuttle, Annie, too, was awestruck by the stark beauty of the lunar surface and the star-studded velvet vault above her.

Mount Aragaeus towered close by. Like Jake, Annie had half expected to see snow on such a tall mountain and had expected it to be jagged rather than rounded, but it was bare rock, like the rest of the surface. She turned, saw the Earth hanging in blue, green, brown and white splendor above the shuttle and glanced quickly away from the blinding ice of the polar caps. There was a storm brewing over parts of Canada and the United States and it looked just like the satellite photos they showed on the weather each evening, although the effect was breathtaking when viewed on the huge globe hanging before them. The women lined up next to the shuttle, noticing figures coming through the airlock toward them.

A guard prodded Annie and she moved toward the airlock with Crystal and Vivian, all stumbling, looking over their shoulders at the Earth, as they learned to keep up with the long, loping strides of the guards.

The large airlock was the size of a freight elevator and they cycled into the dome all together.

“Remove your p-suits, ladies,” a female voice instructed over their helmet radios. The women removed their suits and faced the guard. “I’m Chief Kazinski,” she said. “You’ll help the men put away the supplies.” Her blonde hair was cropped short, and her green eyes looked serious as she concentrated on her chart. “Anything marked “Rec” stays in here. We’ll set up the galley at that end.” She gestured at the wall farthest from the door. “Your bedding and clothes are in the crates marked ‘Women.’ Your barracks is Compartment One, down that…tunnel.” She consulted the chart again and pointed to an airlock to the left of the one through which they had entered.

Each tunnel was accessed by an airlock at each end, a safety measure to prevent widespread damage in case of any breaches. A large enough hole could create an explosive decompression and kill everyone. Sealing each dome separately with airlocks at the entrances and exits would serve to minimize loss of life.


A detail sorted the crates while other prisoners delivered them to their designated sites. Prisoners in each barracks opened long, thin crates about a foot deep which became bunks that attached to the walls in tiers of four. Furthermore, each bunk was also a locker already filled with their clothing. Their names were stenciled on the sides of their bunks. The bedding had been packed in crates and had to be sorted and distributed among the bunks.

There was a head compartment inside each wedge-shaped barracks room. They had been instructed on the use of the heads before they left Earth. There were sonic showers and sinks, and waste was removed from the toilets by a pressure evacuation system that in some way separated the liquid from solid so the liquid could be sterilized and recycled, and the solid waste was used as fertilizer in the hydroponic farms. Annie didn’t want to think about what the liquid was used for after it was sterilized and distilled. Clean though it was, she didn’t want to think she was in any way drinking it.

The prisoners surveyed their bedding, which consisted of a very thin foam mattress, a small pillow, one pillowcase, two sheets and a thin blanket. When Annie saw the mattress, she wondered how she would ever get any sleep on such a thin cushion, or how that little blanket could possibly keep her warm, but her fears were allayed the first night. In the low gravity of the Moon, the one inch-thick mattress provided plenty of padding, and the temperature in the barracks was constant and comfortable.

Finally the prisoners lined up in the rec area.
Length:  270 Pages
Price Paperback:  $11.99
Price E-Book:  $5.99
Buy Link Paperback: Createspace
Buy Link E-Book:  Smashwords

You’ll notice I always include the publisher’s buy link.  That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price from the publisher.  Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%.  When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left.  So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40.  If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.

Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive.  Plug the USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory.  I actually download my books using “Save As” to a “Books” file on my computer that’s sorted by my publisher, friends, and books “to review,” and then transfer them to my Kindle from there.  That way, if there’s a glitch with my Kindle, the books are on my computer.  Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.


  1. Soooo after reading this do I call you Saint Rochelle? I would have killed my family - LOL. Great post and you have a wonderful site!

    Funny, when I make my first million I want a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean!!!

  2. Since I moved into my daughter's house two years ago and was living there rent-free, of course she and her fiance deserved the large bedroom with the private entrance. And it made sense for his daughter and her baby to be upstairs together. Besides, there wasn't a bedroom big enough for my bed,desk and bookcases. I'd moved from a one-bedroom apartment into my daughter's house and was still holding onto all my books hoping to acquire enough bookcases to unpack all of my books and fill the house with them. That never quite happened.

    As for a house overlooking the Pacific--I described the interior, not where I'd put it. I'd love to overlook the Pacific! I just can't decide between Stinson Beach up in Marin County, a cliff above Malibu, or somewhere around La Jolla.

  3. Wow! Sounds like you got out just in time! It's always better for Granny to have her own place, though. The kids will love to come visit and take a break from their normal routine (discipline!).