Peggy Lea Baker

PUBLISHED: Unwitting Alliances – Book #1 in the Hunter Blake Series

Posted in Sharing by Peggy Lea Baker on October 3, 2014

The first book in the Hunter Blake Series, Unwitting Alliances hit electronic bookstores September 27, 2014 via Smashwords!

If you are intrigued with private planes, helicopters, suspense, action, and a touch of romance, get acquainted with Hunter Blake, a successful actor and private pilot, who has suddenly become the target of an unknown organization seemingly intent on capturing or killing him.  Now forced to take desperate steps to elude his pursuers and find answers to disturbing questions, he initially teams up with Janet Feldman (of Desperate Rescue) in an attempt to thwart his assailants’ sudden relentless and destructive measures.

Unwitting Alliances reveals how seemingly trusted friendships and relationships can at times be manipulated to support another’s ulterior motive.  It isn’t until the intent of some of those affiliations begins to unravel that the shocking truth becomes apparent.  Deceit and corruption form the foundation of an organization with far-reaching implications, including the murder of some key players.

Hunter, his dog Buster, and a handful of old and new-found friends must pull together, develop trust, and forge a new alliance to overcome the devious and corrupted plans of once trusted associates.  Mix that with an unexpected reunion with someone from his past, Hunter comes to the realization that you may not always know a person’s true character – good or bad.  Whatever the outcome he knows his life will never be the same.

Other publications at Smashwords:

Writing Update: Publishing Countdown…

Posted in Sharing by Peggy Lea Baker on June 21, 2014

Unwitting Alliances

The book draft is back from Margaret, my editor, and I am so excited… in part because she is so excited with this draft!  So the next two to three weeks are dedicated to working on edits before one last read then we publish at Smashwords!  Aiming for the middle to the end of July to make that happen!

In the meantime…

Relentless Pursuit has been re-titled to Relentless Obsession and has an entirely new focus.  Eager to get started on it, I discovered the NaNoWriMo website and became aware of their November challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  Okay… I decided to challenge myself ahead of time to see how doable that would be and I did it!  I wrote 50,000 words in just two weeks.

Here’s how it breaks down… if you average writing about 2,000 a day, you can make it happen!  Even if you only type at 40 w.p.m, that would take  just under one hour a day for only 25 days!

When I hit that 50,000 word mark, I was stoked!  Wow!  To create a rough draft that quickly.  It does help to have an idea to work with, of course, but after that, it’s just a matter of taking the necessary time to go back in and flesh it out.  Granted that will definitely take more than two weeks but at least I have something constructive to work with.

Building those writing skills…

As I continue to hone my craft, I spend a great deal of time collecting and studying various aspects of writing, in particular all the nuances of grammar.  Margaret pointed me to yet another great website, Grammar-worksheets, which I have devoured and will add to my arsenal of writing tools and resources.  I would encourage you to check it out.

How my current eBooks are doing…

Alright so I’ve been tracking the daily downloads of my eBooks at Smashwords and was tickled to see a really nice running total for the two books I haven’t seriously marketed.  Out of the over 300,000 published works at Smashwords, people just find them, which I think is pretty cool.  Granted, I don’t have any best sellers… yet… but I am grateful for each and every one of those downloads.

But when I recently took some time to check on a recent quarterly report, I was surprised at how well they are doing via the numerous retailers Smashwords has partnered with.  Names such as Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Scribd, and Oyster to name a few, posted an additional 90% more downloads (over and above Smashwords) that same quarter and from 28 different countries (to date)… AND… I’m still not heavily marketing them!  That added up to many, many thousands of downloads all totaled.

Yikes!  Seriously?  Yes!

Like I said, they may not be best sellers, but these numbers are exciting and very encouraging.  So, June marks the end of another quarter and I am very anxious to see what the numbers will look like when that report comes out.

Are you an Indy writer?  

If so, share your writing and publishing experiences with us!

 

At Smashwords, find:

Writing Update: “Unwitting Alliances”

Posted in Sharing by Peggy Lea Baker on April 30, 2014

It’s for certain…

…my blogs are not overwhelming my readers!  I laugh at myself sometimes, especially when I keep thinking I need to produce more blog commentary.  If I didn’t need sleep…well then maybe.  Unfortunately there are only so many minutes in a day.  I still have a ‘day job’ (helps with the bills and such for now), in addition to being a novelist.  Blogging is important, but finding time to squeeze regular posts into my already hectic schedule is challenging.  Even so, I am currently on a six-week hiatus from work and making use of every moment to write! I finished my final draft of Unwitting Alliances and it’s in the hands of one last test reader.  Then it’s off to my editor!  Once I get it back from her, I’ll polish it up and submit to Smashwords for publication…hopefully in June 2014!  I still need to finish the cover art and write a ‘dust cover’ synopsis, but beyond that…I’m very excited!

This novel finds our hero, Hunter Blake, a successful and award-winning actor, facing a series of mysterious, unexplained, and in some cases, life-threatening events.  Couple that with an unexpected moment of truth from a close friend and the return of someone from his past,  add to the suspenseful flavor of this novel and forces Hunter to come to grips with unscripted life outside of Hollywood.

So with this extended time off…

…I’ve made it a priority to develop the framework for two more novels.  Each will be a sequel.

1.  Relentless Pursuit finds Janet Feldman, of Desperate Rescue, getting adjusted to a new life in San Francisco.  Unfortunately, she is going to have her hands full attempting to discourage a very determined, albeit unwelcome and mysterious, suitor.  So how do you fend off a mysterious suitor?  One who calls at work and sends cards, flowers, and even arranges deliveries of your favorite Chinese take-out to your desk?  I guess we’ll find out.

2.  Justified Betrayal picks up where  soon-to-be-published Unwitting Alliances  leaves off.  Hunter Blake is thrown into further mysterious events and situations.  But this time he also has two women in his life that he promised to look after.  Heart strings are tugged in different directions as he struggles to maintain a balance, not only in his personal relationships, but also in an effort to keep everyone safe.  Although things wrap up pretty well as Unwitting Alliances concludes, as with any story, there’s usually some loose ends that never quite get cinched up completely.  We’ll find out more in the sequel.

Here’s another little tidbit…

Janet Feldman is in the Hunter Blake series as well.  She’s more grown up but with the same spunk and determination she pulled together to rescue her best friend in Desperate Rescue.  Because I’ve received a lot of requests to build a series around Janet I decided to go ahead and do that, continuing with Relentless Pursuit.  In the meantime, since I already had her written into Unwitting Alliances, she has now grown into a more mature woman in her later twenties and now has the opportunity to explore new horizons and continued adventures with Hunter Blake.  Eventually the Janet Feldman series will tie in nicely with Hunter Blake’s.  And who knows… I may even find some other interesting spin-offs to play with later on.

More…

I do have some other items of interest to share, regarding writing in general, how my currently published eBooks are doing, and the continuing excitement developing with ePublishing!  With my extended time off, I should be able to push out one more blog post before heading back to work in a few weeks.

In the meantime…thanks for dropping by!

At Smashwords, find:

 

Taking Things to the Next Level

Posted in Basic Thoughts, Encouragement, Insights, Personal opinion, Sharing by Peggy Lea Baker on June 17, 2013

We live in exciting times!  And as I continue to transition to a more aggressive level of writing and publishing,  I recently decided to take down another website (bearing my name).  Maintaining it and this site was time consuming (so I wasn’t doing a good job at keeping up with either site) and at times, redundant.  Besides, time is precious.  I chose to keep this website/blog, since I’ve had it longer, and  I chose to rename it, Peggy Lea Baker, with the tagline, and my personal motto, “Pursue Your Dreams…Whatever They Are…Just Never Give Up!”  This is my passion and I consistently strive to instill it in others.  Too often our hopes and dreams are scoffed at or downright shattered by others…those who generally don’t seem to have any aspirations at all other than to wander through a routine day and wrap it up sitting in front of the TV for hours on end.

For me, like so many of you, a monotonous daily ritual isn’t part of our game plan.  We want more.  We hope for more.  We dream of more.  A familiar phrase, popularized by a movie a few years back, is “bucket list.”  Although not exactly a glamorous term, it does serve an important purpose.  What is on your bucket list?

I have a few things on mine, such as being a successful novelist, getting a private pilot’s license, setting my own schedule, sleeping in when I feel like it, and having the freedom to take a few days to go visit my mom or a distant friend on the spur of the moment.

I want to travel to parts of the United States I’ve never seen before.  I want to talk to people, hear their stories, find out what they hope to achieve in life.  It  can be anything!  Doesn’t matter what…just as long as they look forward to something.  I love to create interesting characters for my books, based on people I’ve met.  Whenever I’ve asked someone if I can use either their first or last name, or simply the essence of who they are as a character in one of my stories, everyone, so far, has said yes!  In fact, some have even asked to be a villain, believe it or not!

To achieve success as a writer (or anything for that matter), requires a plan.  Part of my strategy is to begin a more routine program of blogging.  I want to strengthen that discipline for a number of good reasons, but specifically to keep me more accountable to my writing, as a whole, and making the absolute best use of my time.  Although I do have a regimine I currently follow when working on a book, I want to connect with more people who love to explore life in a variety of ways.  You don’t have to travel the world to discover fascinating people, places, and things of interest…at the very least, connect with all kinds of people via the power of the internet.  Life is all around us.  So, as I continue to blog more, finding new friends and fellow creators as I go, I look forward to learning, growing, and sharing.   I promise, however, to continue to keep my posts infrequent, just more frequently…infrequent.

As my writing career continues to develop and grow, the dream of becoming a private pilot also gets closer to reality, and then so does increased opportunities to actually travel beyond Google Maps and my task chair.  Even if everything on my bucket list does not come to fruition, I can at least feel good that I didn’t just try… I did all I could.  Remember Yoda?  I like to remind others to adhere to, what I call, the Yoda Motto:  “Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.”  So stop trying to do something and just make up your mind to do it!

I recently enjoyed a post written by Marya Jan, author of the blog, Writing Happiness, which I follow.   The post was entitled, “Why You Don’t Need to Become a Popular Blogger.”   She pointed out quite well that blogging, as a hobby, is very much different than blogging for business purposes.  I love to write, and fully expect my passion…which is to create interesting stories for others to enjoy…to eventually become my business…my livelihood.

Over the next weeks, months…years…one part of my plan is to maintain and track my writing journey with more diligence.  It should be interesting, even fun in most instances, to see the progress, the achievements, and milestones, as well as deal with the glitches, the setbacks…and the ongoing learning curve.  I look forward to experiencing more and more satisfying moments where that creative essence culminates into something wonderful and exciting.

I want to continue to connect with others who, like you, either have or continue to, travel a similar journey.  I want to hear your wonderful and exciting experiences.  I want to embrace our shared, and varied, passions.  I want to provide encouragement and share ideas, as well as glean wisdom from you.  I want to help teach others the value of believing in dreams…those ambitious desires…and help cheer you on to achieve the things that inspire and excite you!

So, to all those who have one or more dreams, excellent!  Keep dreaming!  And again, to repeat my personal motto, which you are welcome to embrace and share…

“Pursue your dreams, whatever they are…just never give up!”

Connect at LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/peggyleabaker

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Thoughts from the Infrequent Blogger

Posted in Basic Thoughts by Peggy Lea Baker on May 27, 2013

I’ve spent so much time the past few months getting my next novel ready to publish, that I never seemed to find the time here and there to ‘blog.’  Good?  Bad?  I don’t know.  I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules regarding blogging frequency.  Although I am a subscriber to several other blogs, on occasion I will just skim them for content.  The good thing is that many of them offer valuable information I can use, so I appreciate getting them.  At the same time, it can be time-consuming trying to keep up.

Blogging.  It’s not that I don’t have information to share, or an opinion about things…I do…about lot of things, actually, but I’m not so sure I need to blog about all of them.  For instance, I’m not ready (probably never will be) to plaster every detail of my whole life all over the internet.  I’d like to keep most of my personal stuff…personal…you know.  Seriously, does anyone really care what I ate for dinner last night?  I doubt it.  So, as I reviewed some of my previous blogs, I noticed that my last post was waaaaaay back in August 2012 (Really?  It’s been that long ago?).  At that time I was lamenting about being without the internet for a short period of time.  As of this writing, however I’ve not re-experienced that challenge.  Good thing, since I do so much research online when I’m working on a manuscript.

Writing.  Now that’s something to chat about.  I love to write, in spite of my lackluster blogging, but I’m a story-teller and excited that my next novel is nearing its publishing date.  I love the story, and so do my test readers, as well as my editor.  It’s always a good thing when your editor, in particular, likes your work!  As such, Hunter Blake will be making his debut and the intrigue will begin.  So, if mystery, suspense, and intrigue – with a splash of romance thrown in for added interest – happens to be among some of your favorite reading genres, stay tuned.  As with my other publications, this next novel will be available at www.smashwords.com.

Website Hosting.  I recently switched hosts (for my book writing website – not this blog site) but I think I’m going to switch again.  I need more behind-the-scenes access to my site, which my previous host let me do.  I would have stayed with them, but unfortunately they were making some changes that necessitated I make a switch.  My current hosting company doesn’t provide me that kind of access.  In fact, they only allow me 60 minutes a month to add stuff or make changes.  One hour a month isn’t much time to dink around, and besides, they’re expensive.  I have no idea what possessed me to sign up with them.  Well, maybe it was the pitch that they would design a website for me for free.  Yeah, okay, but in the meantime, I think I’ve found a much better hosting company so we’ll see how that goes.

Politics.  I could offer my opinion on the current state of affairs, politically speaking, like how I think We the People should have the power to orchestrate an immediate election, fire all our elected officials and start over without going through the mess of months (even years) of traditional campaigning, empty promises, and media-controlled elections.  Maybe I’ve missed something somewhere, but I thought they (the elected officials) were supposed to be working for us, not the other way around.  Public servants, right?  Or wait!  Maybe that was a typo and it’s supposed be ‘self-serving.’

Airlines.  I recently flew out of San Francisco to the middle of Texas to visit with my oldest son and his family.  I was so danged excited!  I love to fly…usually…but not this time.  It was the first time I had a chance to fly anywhere, since they introduced those confounded body scanners.  So I stepped inside the thing, raised my hands up high in that ‘stick ‘em up!’ position while this contraption whirled around me.  I stepped out and they pulled me aside.  There was something suspicious about my right knee, I was told.  My knee?  Seriously? Yeah, so a female TSA person felt my knee and finally announced to a fellow TSA person, “Nope.  It’s her knee.”  And I said, “Yup, it’s the same one I’ve had all my life.”  They let me move along.

That wouldn’t have been so bad if it were the only inconvenience of my trip.  Turns out (I found out later that day) that the air traffic controllers were short-handed due to a bunch of lay-offs that had just occurred, or something like that.  So, as a result, hundreds of thousands of happy travelers, such as myself, were suddenly affected while in transit to our vast and varied locations.  Well, there’s nothing like hanging around an airport waiting for your delayed flight to finally take off.  You get to meet other equally frustrated and tired travelers, watch cable network news sites on giant monitors, and worry about your next meal.   Have you noticed how much the vendors charge for food in airports?!  We’re at their mercy…except there is no mercy!  Pay or go hungry.  Glad I took snacks.

I had to make a connection going and coming, but coming home was more of an adventure.  My first flight was delayed twice, which meant I missed my connection (and prized window seat) back to San Francisco.  I was re-booked, but once I touched down in SF, I nearly missed the last airport shuttle bus back home.  At that time of night, and as tired and frustrated as I was, spending the night in the airport wasn’t on my top ten list of things to do before I die.

Okay, I’ve taken up enough of your time.  Besides, I need to get back to work on the final edits of my novel.  The plan is to start posting updates regarding Hunter Blake in the first book of a series.  It all begins with Unwitting Alliances.  If this one generates the volume of downloads as my other two at Smashwords, I will be ecstatic!  Oh, and did I mention that the first books of any of my series are free?  Yes, it’s a marketing strategy, but if you like the book, you’ll be happy to pay for the next ones.  On the other hand, if you don’t like it…no loss…just delete it.

Okay.  I think I’m done for now.  Happy reading, everyone!

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End of Smartphones…Already?

Posted in Basic Thoughts by Peggy Lea Baker on November 26, 2012

Just this afternoon, while sipping apple cinnamon tea to sooth an otherwise irritated throat (’tis the season), I happened upon an article at Business Insider online, by Nicholas Carlson.  He shared some interesting insights regarding Smartphones and the future of communication and computer technology.  In fact, he is predicting that the “era” of the Smartphone is already on the way out as new technology continues to roll forth.

According to his article, both Google and Microsoft have developed and patented some pretty sophisticated computer designs that you actually wear like a pair of glasses.  Expect Apple and others to do likewise (probably already are…).  Anyway, you can read the article at http://www.businessinsider.com, until it is replaced with something more current (since links of this type are often temporary).

I was intrigued with the article and had to agree with the author that we have, indeed, come a long way in the development of computer technology.  Mr. Carlson pointed out how we’ve gone from room-sized computers to hand-held Smartphones in a relatively short period of time, historically speaking.  Now with the new technology he described, we’ve progressed yet one step further.  He also predicts that we might also expect to eventually end up with computers as part of our brains (I thought our brain was a computer).

Okay…hello Borg!  With an additional “computer” somehow attached to our brain, would we be setting ourselves up to become part of a “collective”?  Do I really want to be identified as number 5 of something?  Anybody else out there former (or maybe still current) Star Trek fans?

Let me back up a bit and take a look at the “glasses” aspect of this latest advent of computer technology first.  Again, let’s take a look at Star Trek.  On November 10, 1991, Season Five of Star Trek: The Next Generation aired episode 106, entitled “The Game”.  As the episode begins, First Officer, Riker, has just returned from vacationing on the planet Risa, bringing with him an intriguing game.  It is a small headset with protruding eye pieces aimed at the wearer’s eyes.  Completely hands-free, anyone could wear the contraption, play the game (as a stress reliever), and presumably stick to their normal tasks and assigned duties.  With the convenient ability to replicate just about anything on board the Enterprise, it wasn’t long before this so called game was strapped to the heads of just about everyone on the ship.  Unfortunately the game was highly addictive to the point of effectively disabling the entire crew.

Turns out, the game was designed by the Kitarian’s as a cleverly disguised weapon intended to effectively render the entire crew incapable of performing their critical duties.  Being thus disarmed, the Kitraian’s plan was to overtake and commandeer the Enterprise along with all hands, with the ultimate goal to distribute the game everywhere in a galactic move to overtake the entire United Federation of Planets!  Fortunately young Wesley Crusher and Commander Data (yes, I know…he is a computerized android, but that’s not the same as a flesh and bone human with a computer implant) together save the day.

Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, was quite a visionary man.  Cell phones, alone, are representative of his impressively imagined communication and technological advances anticipated for the 23rd century (‘beam me up Scotty’).  I do applaud his vision and creativity.  No complaints about that.  I enjoy using my computer to explore the internet.  That much I admitted to in my previous post, “Life Without the Internet”.   But I don’t want the computer stuck in my head.

We already ‘wear’ our phones via Blue Tooth and similar gadgets.  We’re addicted to the internet via computers of all sizes and shapes including Smartphones.  So the idea and simplicity of wearing a computer via glasses is most certainly intriguing, besides many of us already wear glasses just so we can see what we’re doing!  And with the aid of computer glasses how much easier it would be to continue to feed our already addictive inclinations toward the internet!   Then just think of all the classy and unique optical eye-wear the fashion guru’s of the day could design!

My greatest concern, however, was Mr Carlson’s prediction of potential computer implants.  A Blue Tooth gadget is removable.  But computer implants in our brains?  Sounds rather permanent to me.  How else, other than some type of implant, would they become a part of our brains?  Unless…we’d have a USB port implanted behind an ear capable of hooking us up to something we’d wear clipped to a belt.  Heck, I don’t know.

But if it were truly an implant, how would you turn the thing off?  Could you turn it off?  Would it interfere with sleep?  How about  normal conversations, or day-to-day essential activity?  Would it be able to record everything you do and say and then pass that information on to others?  What kinds of devious crimes could be executed via a computer brain implant (need blueprints to a sophisticated bank vault?  Sure thing, I’ll just stick my finger into a specially designed socket and download them!  But wait!  Who needs bank vault blueprints?  Everything is electronic!  People are already hacking into personal bank accounts.  Just siphon accounts electronically via our brain computers!).

I am not opposed to technology, not really.  Lots of marvelous things have occurred due to technological advances,  but shouldn’t we draw the line somewhere?  Years ago, I can remember a story about a person hearing a radio station playing in their head and come to find out, that person had undergone some recent dental work.  Somehow all that metal turned them into a walking radio receiver.  Talk about portable!  Yeah, well, I don’t want to be a walking, talking, programmable, portable computer.

Like I said at the beginning, we already have computers in our heads.  They are called brains!  They are the most sophisticated biological ‘devices’ ever created.  They can be programmed through education, reading, mingling with other people…all kinds of ways.  Why mess them up with some kind of deviant man-made implant, similar to add-on software that invariably has a glitch or two…or more?  Would these implants be subject to computer viruses and “infect” our body’s ability to function properly?   Would they (or could they) be electronically programmed (by someone else unknown to us) to affect how we think and behave?  Can’t we do this already with the brain we have?  People are persuaded by others all the time to think and act and do…whatever and whenever…or not.  With the computers we already have (brains) we can choose NOT to do something someone else tries to persuade us to do.  We think and act for ourselves.

But with computer implants, would there be some central control complex capable of feeding us information whether or not it’s good for us or even true?  Who would be in charge of that control center?  The government?  Would someone have the ability to ‘shut down’ our organic systems (a cyber way of ‘unplugging’ someone)?  How would you protect people from either being cyber-hacked, or remotely cyber-hacking the computer brain of someone else?  Would you ever be able to believe if a person were lying or telling the truth (maybe they’ve been successfully programmed to lie about something and how would we know)?   “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, provided you’ve not been electronically compromised?”  There has to be some kind of a moral or ethical issue at stake here.

Okay, this is getting a little creepy.  For some, the idea of this type of technology may be exciting, but personally, I’m not so sure.   I think that mankind is getting just a little to smart for its own good sometimes.   I don’t know…maybe I’ll tackle this whole concept in my own way in one of my Hunter Blake novels.  I’m delving into some intriguing things to use as I develop that series, so we’ll see.  But in the meantime, once I’m done for the day at my desktop computer, I just shut everything down.  It gets to rest undisturbed…and so do I.

Peggy Lea Baker is a writer, artist, and entrepreneur whose ongoing literary work can be found at www.smashwords.com with periodic updates at www.peggyleabaker.com.  Her artistic endeavors can be found at www.zazzle.com/artambiance and www.flickr.com/photos/peggyleabaker.  Connect with her at www.linkedin.com/in/peggyleabaker.

Life Without the Internet…

Posted in Basic Thoughts by Peggy Lea Baker on August 28, 2012

My husband and I recently relocated back home…which for us is Napa Valley, California.  We’ve enjoyed a wonderful journey living in and exploring several other places in the western United States the past nearly fourteen years, but it’s good to be home again!

With that said, we have been trying to get connected to the internet for the past two or three weeks, which ordinarily shouldn’t be a problem but we’re living in a very unique environment on a picturesque campus of a state veteran’s  facility in the heart of Napa Valley.  The architecture is fabulous, probably of the 1930′s or 1940′s era…with some additional unique characteristics which has posed some challenges.  As a result, getting reconnected to the internet has been  frustrating.

Who’d have ever thought that we, as a society, would become so derned dependent on this global network of electronic, wireless, and orbitally essential utility?  Beam me up Scotty?  Almost!

As we have fidgeted and fumed and fussed and fretted over the lack of a connection, my attempts to access familiar networking sites from work (email in particular) have been summarily thwarted by the agency I currently work for.  So although I can access back accounts, news sites, and current weather conditions, not being able to jump into email and occasionally Facebook, not to mention online television programs have been a killer!

We were on the verge of driving a distance to a public library, getting new library cards, and signing up for an hour’s worth of time just to see what we’ve been missing!  My beloved Aunt Nell, for instance, is a trooper when it comes to keeping me up-to-date with all the latest and greatest political stuff!  And Sue…sweet Sue with her myriad of forwarded jokes, pictures, and funny stories…

Well, today was a day of celebration!  After various attempts by the agency’s onsite technical guys and gals, in addition to the local phone service carrier’s awesome dude (who suffered an attack by a yellow jacket, unfortunately! Ouch!), we now have the internet once again!  I have been relishing every one of Aunt Nell’s emails, have double checked various “can’t be missed” offers from a variety of businesses (realizing that several of them had already expired!  NO!); was reminded of a few people I need to respond to, including a few very important forwarded messages from my sweetie who loves to email me about interesting things he sees…he is adorable…  It’s not that we don’t talk to each other, we definitely do, but as he peruses his various emails, he likes to pass some along to me as well.

Ah, yes…the internet…

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering why we didn’t simply access our accounts via cell phones…we haven’t exactly stepped into that era yet.  We’re a little concerned that those phones are actually smarter than we are, although my husband’s laptop operates wirelessly…I guess that’s kind of smart.  Well, we will get there…eventually!  In the meantime, I’m in my office pounding out this blog and getting ready to get back to work on my current novel, while he’s in the living room looking at vintage cars, new cars, and previously owned cars (he likes cars).

I guess you could say we’re both pretty content catching up on everything we’ve managed to live without for the past little while.  How did we manage?

The Beautiful Dead Movie and more

Posted in Basic Thoughts by Peggy Lea Baker on July 21, 2012

Kyle Rynicki is well on his way to Hollywood, with the his recent successful The Beautiful Dead campaign at Kickstarter.com.  Now, along with the talent of some very key people, expect to hear about Kyle and see the results of his passion for film-making in the not-so-distant future.

First to line up on Kyle teams is Michael May, of Visual FX, Los Angeles.  His most recent credits as a film stereo coordinator include “The Avengers” (2012) completing 2,832 stereo shots, and  “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011), completing 2,270 stereo shots.  He has worked for Marvel Studios, Creative Cartel, Walt Disney Feature Animation, and Sony Pictures Imageworks, to name a few.

Next is Eric Fox’s team from MORB-X of Orange County, CA.  “MORB-X is a special effects and make-up studio specializing in providing high quality practical effects” for the film industry…or anyone else who wants it.  When you visit Kyle’s website, he explains in one of his blogs the need for this guy and his team of craftsmen! Check it out!

Finally, Robert Allaire, of Los Angeles, who is orchestrating an original musical score for the project.  Robert is “a composer of acoustic and electronic music for the concert hall, film, and interactive media…His film scores have garnered accolades from LA Weekly, New York Times, and Animation Magazine.”

If you love a good thriller, bookmark Kyle’s site and stay tuned!

“The Beautiful Dead” – a film project from Rhino Productions

Posted in Promoting by Peggy Lea Baker on April 23, 2012

 

Okay…I’m putting the important stuff right up front to start with:  Kyle Rynicki, his thriller/suspense Rhino Productions film project “The Beautiful Dead,” and a website to find out more: http://kck.st/HEJfRw.

 

Now for my pitch!  I love helping people.  I love doing what I can to encourage and “cheer on” anyone who has a dream and a desire to achieve something they are passionate about.  Kyle Rynicki is one of those people.

 

Kyle and I formed an acquaintanceship a couple of years ago.  Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time sharing what we’re doing with our own particular projects…his being film making, and mine, of course, writing.  As I’ve listened to him and felt his passion and excitement for film and photography, I’ve had the opportunity to see the development of some of his other film projects.  Impressive.  I know I am watching a future film writer/director/producer in the making!  He has the vision, the skills, the drive and ambition…and yes, the gift to make it all happen.  I believe that with all my heart!

 

I really want to help and now that Kyle has made the decision to put his skills to the test in a huge way, and I’m asking friends and fellow entrepreneurs to help as well.  He has chosen to use www.Kickstarter.com, a website specifically designed to assist individuals and groups raise much needed funding for their individual projects, whatever they are.  Up to now, Kyle has been paying out-of-pocket for his project’s expenses, but with his personal resources nearly depleted, he now needs financial support from others.  In order to have a viable product ready to pitch and get the attention of the movie industry moguls he needs to complete his film trailer.  He has already gotten outstanding feedback from companies who professionally review this type of work…and that was based just on the script alone!

 

So, sure, I want you to go take a peek, and possibly make a donation, but beyond that, he is an amazing and extremely talented young man which is evident just with the photography he’s posted!  Kyle has also included a short video where he makes his impassioned pitch to potential donors, including clips of the film, a glimpse at some of the storyboards, shots of the crew at work, and so forth.  Not only that, everyone involved in this film project was a volunteer!  Yup, even the actors!  The expense has been the acquisition of high quality, professional equipment, necessary supplies, transportation costs, and a myriad of other expenses all associated with the entire film making process.

 

What I am asking is for you, and anyone else you feel inclined to share this with, to simply visit the site.  I’ve been impressed with the response so far – and in just a short time from its launch at Kickstarter, (as of this posting) Kyle had already received pledges for over 30% of the total he needs, and that was without any serious intentional advertising on his part other than an email blast to his contacts.  Most of these pledges are from people he’s never met!  He was just tickled to get his promo up and running!  But 30% of his goal isn’t enough and the days are ticking down to the deadline of June 11, 2012.

 

Yes, of course it would be cool if everyone and his cousin would make a pledge…even a dollar…but at the very least, please share this information with people you know who appreciates the time and effort an entrepreneur puts into their work, but especially folks you know who love great thriller/suspense films!

 

He has until June 11, 2012, 9:25 pm EDT to meet his goal and to be eligible to receive the pledged funding.  Help make it happen by visiting http://kck.st/HEJfRw.  View his photography and “The Beautiful Dead” video clip to see for yourself what Kyle Rynicki has to offer.

My Very Best Friend in the Whole Wide World

Posted in Basic Thoughts by Peggy Lea Baker on March 12, 2012

My very best friend.  That would be Betty.  We’ve known each other for so long we might as well be sisters…so we made the decision years ago just to tell everyone we are…so we are. We’re sisters.  Some people have, on occasion, said we look alike, kinda, so that makes our friendship even more special.

My very-best-friend-in-the-whole-wide-world is good to me.  Always good to me.  I cannot think of one time …in the forty-plus years that Betty and I have known each other, that she hasn’t been there for me.  Not once.  That’s a rare quality, I think.  In fact, we visited last night, shared a few personal challenges, laughed over silly stupid stuff, cried a little, but mostly just enjoyed the couple of hours we were able to pull together, before calling it a night.

I value good friendships.  I enjoy maintaining relationships with people I’ve met in the various places I’ve lived over the years.  For those who choose to stay in touch, even if only a few times a year…thank you!  Sure, we can Facebook…but the phone calls, emails (not just forwards, but personal messages), and visits mean so much more to me.

I suppose that’s why I like to create characters that are good friends and best friends in the novels I write like the one who risks her own life to rescue her best friend!  I know Betty would do the same for me.  In fact, I created a supporting character named Betty for my new series.  What better way for me to honor my very-best-friend-in-the-whole-wide-world!  So that’s what I did.

Best friends are important…not just having one, but being one as well.  I hope I treat Betty as well as she treats me.  I hope her estimation of me is nearly as tender and heartfelt as is the way I feel about her…my best friend…my sister.  It’s important to be a good friend…and not just to one or two people, but to lots of people.

I won’t be best friends with everyone I meet, because being a best friend is a unique honor earned over time and through many shared trials and triumphs, but I can be a good friend to others.  I work at it.  Kindness, in any form, needs to be sincerely developed, practiced, and nurtured in order to sustain true friendships.

So, here’s to good people everywhere, but especially to very-best-friends-in-the-whole-wide-world!  Thank you for being there.  Thank you for caring.  Thank you for those unexpected cards and phone calls.  Thank you for listening tirelessly.  Thank you for hugs and words of encouragement. Thank you for saying I love you.  But most of all, thank you…for simply being you.

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