What would you take?

I have spent countless hours prior to writing, looking at conspiracy theories, which usually led me into other research. One of those topics is going to come in handy in my next book. I have compiled a list, which is below, of items that the average ‘farm/country/redneck’ family may need to buy to supplement their current stock piles. This particular family has already started “prepping” for a crisis situation so the list included is not as long as it could be.

However, I wanted to put it to the readers. Here is the situation.

The President of the United States has declare a state of emergency, not only for the United State but the entire North American continent. A group working within The Covenant Cove Church and Community has developed technology to directly affect weather patterns. A winter storm is coming. A storm which will virtually lay waste to everything in its path.

You have less than twelve hours to supplement your supplies and get your family to a safe and secure location.

Before you ask, I not only love conspiracy theories but end of the world movies too!

I want to know, if you were in this situation, what are the top five things on your list of survival items? Leave them in the comments below.

 

Here is my working list

Holly reads over her list. At the very top in her husband’s handwriting it says: Even if we have it, buy it anyway. We can always use it later.

  • Laundry Isle
    • 4 gallons bleach
    • 5-gallon bucket of laundry detergent
    • Clothesline
    • Clothespins
  • Paper and cleaning supplies
    • Family sized toilet paper, paper towels
    • Ziplock baggies: snack size, pint, quart, gallon, and two gallons
    • Trash bags
  • Grocery Isle
    • Crackers
    • Dry cereal
    • Non-fat dry milk
    • Dry pasta
    • 20 mac n cheese
    • Beef base
    • Chicken base
    • 25# bag of sugar
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Flour
    • Honey
    • Rice
    • Family size peanut butter
    • Case of canned carrots, green beans, potatoes, corn, mixed veggies, chicken noodle soup, veggie beef soup, creamy potato soup Cases of Cans of ravioli, chicken, tuna, beef, chili
    • Four instant coffee
    • Four instant tea
    • 40 Kool aide
  • Hunting and mechanical
    • Duct tape
    • Box of matches
    • 2 boxes of .22 ammunition
    • 2 boxes of shot gun shells
    • Roll of thickest plastic sheeting
    • Candles
    • A portable, fire proof, lock box
    • Four gallons of kerosene lamp fuel
    • A case of firer starter bricks
  • Clothing
    • Ear muffs, gloves, stocking caps, scarfs for everyone
    • 2 pair for each New wool socks for family
    • Sweat pants and hoodies for family
    • Flannel PJ’s for family
  • Housewares
    • Four small totes, one for each child, flashlight for each, colors, colored pencils, pencils, sharpener, drawing tablet each (each will have a deck of cards)
    • 6 large totes
    • 4 medium totes
    • 4 small totes
    • Wash clothes
    • Storage containers

 

  • Games
    • Four board games: connect four, monopoly, Yahtzee, scrabble
    • Cards: regular, go fish, slack jack
  • Batteries: extra-large packs aaa, aa, c, d
  • Health and beauty
    • Deodorant, powder, no rinse shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, new toothbrushes for everyone
    • Tylenol for everyone, chewable and adult
    • Vicks
    • Alka-Seltzer
    • Six totes. One for each child’s favorite items, 3 for groceries and supplies from the house
    • Four months supply sanitary products for her and her daughter
    • Mouthwash
    • Hydrogen peroxide
    • Band aide
    • Triple antibiotic ointment
    • Burn gel
    • Temporal thermometer
    • Benadryl

 

Hello November!

 

October was an absolute madhouse in my little corner of the world. “Hello, November. Please be nice.”

I am currently working on the first full-length novel of The Cove series. If you haven’t read the first two novelettes, don’t fret, you still have time. While you don’t have to read them first, it would most definitely help to have some backstory on a few of the characters ahead of time.

This morning as I worked on the storyline of the chapters I previously wrote, I was laughing and crying. Not because of the storyline, but because of the writing itself. Let me explain. When I first started this gig, I was pretty positive I would join the ranks of standard romance authors. When I released All I Will Ever Need, I had three other stories going on my computer, two of which were for a pen name. My plan was to write ‘clean’ novels under my real name and edgier stuff under a pen name.

Plans changed! All I Will Ever Need, was well received, and I felt it was easier to write ‘clean’ than to write edgy. I had been working on edits for Soul Bound to Scotland and another book for the pen name but somewhere in there, I decided to write a short story I could sell for.99¢. A little something to get my name out there.

Escape from Covenant Cove was supposed to be a story of two people who lost each other and found each other again. Which, it is but somewhere in the two days I was writing; the story took on a sci-fi twist with some minor religious insertions. I liked it and twisting this story. Unfortunately, if you have read All I Will Ever Need, you will know, that Escape from Covenant Cove is in no way similar.

After Escape went up, I went back to Soul Bound to Scotland, with a new vision, a new purpose. I didn’t want to be a romance writer at all. I want to write stories that twist religion and science. Where characters have an emotional dilemma where they need to find their ingrained faith to solve their problems. “HOLY COW!” That was a mouthful.

Soul Bound received a facelift and a twist.  The only problem adding a major plot twist in the middle of a story… it is hard to tell someone what the story is about without giving away the spoiler. If you can’t tell the readers ‘why’ they should buy this book, it won’t sell. (I am still working on that)

So back to my work in progress. Soul Bound went out, and this story was calling me. I had twenty-two chapter written, but again, it was not R.L. Dubbert material. Then the lights came on. I could twist this storyline into the Major storyline for Escape from Covenant Cove. Then my husband’s auction business got busy, and I had to take a break from writing. However, in the middle of helping him out another storyline jumped into my head. As soon as I got home, I jotted down notes. The plot of this new story fell in line with what I was trying to write. So, I did something I hadn’t done before. I outlined the story, incorporating the twenty-two chapters I already had written. Thirteen pages and seventy-two chapters later, I had an epic-story.

The story is so long I pulled some minor information from it to write Betrayed by Covenant Cove. So now I have two teasers to a major battle that will play out between the forces of good and evil.

Back to my ‘laughing and crying’   I have learned a lot about writing since April 2018, when I first began. If you are a writer, you will understand. If you are considering writing, research. Dialog has to be formatted a certain way, passive voice indicators need to be eliminated, and there are certain words you need to remove from your vocabulary, such as, just and that, which I overly use. There is a bunch of other stuff I won’t go into but going back over my previously written chapters, it appalled me. However, I was glad to know I had learned and could see the problems now. Second, as I previously stated, originally this book was slated to be a romance, a little edgier, with a shade of science fiction. Yeah, it will not be that at all now. I had to delete several paragraphs because they wouldn’t be suitable for all audiences. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t “EXPLICT”, but they definitely limited my audience.

My goal for The Cove series is to make it clean and suitable for fifteen to ninety-five and I want this work to be appealing to both genders. When I was much younger two series came out, Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins and The Mega Millennium series by Paul D. Meier and Robert Wise. I liked the books so much I have read them multiple times. That is my goal for The Cove series, not that I in any way compare myself to these authors, but that is what I envision the style to be, coupled with some influence of Stephen King’s The Stand.

I hope you enjoy it!!

Again, if you haven’t read the first two, click the links in this post to find the two novelettes and be sure to follow me to keep up to date on what is going on. Send me an email request to be added to my mailing list for exclusive offers or follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Amazon Author Central, Goodreads, or my website.

As always, Happy Reading!!

R.L. Dubbert

P.S. Please, leave reviews for all the books you read and share with your followers!

 

 

 

 

Playing catch up!!

The month of October has been nonstop. My husband scheduled several back to back auctions, which sadly meant I had to switch gears. I pushed out 3000 postcard mailers, 6 sale bills, 4-4 ft. vinyl signs and 25-18″ vinyl signs. We have it done, with only two more auctions to go.

In the middle of the auction stuff, we celebrated a 6th birthday and then the next day took the three-year-old to the ER. It is time to get ready for fall harvest and we just loaded out our chickens. Once I get Halloween out of the way, I plan to buckle down and start pushing out the pages of my next three books.

Yes, three!!! Since Soul Bound to Scotland was released, I began working on a second short story, Betrayed by Covenant Cove. It is the second novelette to Escape from Covenant Cove. Both are giving you some back story to a much larger project I have been working on for a few months now. I have not fully decided if it will be one big novel or if it will be broken into two or three parts at this point.

I have also been jotting down notes on a non-fiction book I would like to release next year. Everyone thinks being a stay at mom is great, but those people don’t see the chaos that goes on behind closed doors. This book will be a humorous telling of my crazy life.

Of course, I will also be working on the second book in the Datzen series. Many people have asked about it and I have some of it done. As I try to explain, I have to work on what is calling me. If I am not in the mindset for those characters, it is very difficult to write their story.

I look forward to getting back to writing. I ask if you have read my books to please leave me a review on Amazon or on my Goodreads page to help me become the best writer I can be or click here to send me an email and tell me your thoughts, good, bad, or otherwise.

As always, Happy Reading!!!

I won’t give up

When I began this journey, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing or how to go about doing it. As a matter of fact I am still learning. When I finished my first book I had a $0.00 budget, so I asked some to help me with the editing. A few weeks later I released my first novel and was over the moon excited. I though, “Wow! That was easy. I think I’ll write another book.

About thirty copies, digital and print, went out of my first novel. Several people told me they LOVED my book. Overwhelmed with the support, I continued to write. Then I received a phone call. “Your book is great. But it is full of mistakes.” So that person and the original editor went back through my book and corrected all the mistakes they found. In the mean time, I was invited to a book signing. I attended that book signing, knowing my book held mistakes and tried to be as honest as I could about it.

I was preparing the release of another book, with the same editing team and already had plans to come back to my first book and go over it again. The day my new book arrived at my house, I was given devastating news. A reader found my book to be a ‘botched mess.’ The story line was good, but all those mistakes took away from the story. I was okay with a negative review, but couldn’t imagine that the book was ‘botched.’

I opened the file to begin my editing of this book and cried. This book had not only been edited once, but twice. The new programs I downloaded to edit my second book lit up 947 critical mistakes. I released a book into the world that wasn’t filled with a handful of mistakes, every chapter was littered with them.

So, I am pulling up my big girl pants, re-edit and re-releasing All I Will Ever Need. I won’t be able to replace every bad copy, but I damn sure am going to try. The general consensus is I should keep writing, so I will. But I will definitely look into hiring a certified editor.

And a book was born…

Let me start off by thanking everyone who attended the book signing on Wednesday. It was my first and I hope it won’t be my last. I sold some books and had the opportunity to watch other authors in action. Definitely a wonderful experience. However, it trying to prep myself for that, I slacked off on my daily editing goals for Soul Bound to Scotland and had every intention of buckling down this weekend. However, life always seems to get in my way.

As I mentioned before, my husband has a couple of his own businesses that I assist with. He placed an order for Sale bills, mailers, and signboards, not only for upcoming auctions but mailers for the livestock market as well. I also received an order for county road signs (If I didn’t mention that before, yes, I do that too.) So, I had to switch focus to a new task, because in his world, established businesses come before my books. But, don’t give up on me yet. I was ahead of schedule to begin with, so this little set back shouldn’t cause too many problems.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What should I tell you about today in regards to my writing? One question I have been asked, where did you come up with your story? So, let me tell you the story of how All I Will Ever Need came to be.

 

I started writing All I Will Ever Need on June 3,, 2018. The idea was born while using my wringer washer. Yes, you read that correctly. I have a wringer washer, circa 1930, sitting on my back porch. Don’t panic, I have a brand new Speed Queen washer and dryer in my laundry room that I use regularly. The wringer washer is one of those quirky things I like to do. A few summers ago, my front load washer started acting up. I fixed it and fixed it and fixed it. Literally, I watched a YouTube video, figured out the problem and was able to do it myself. Anywho, it was hot outside and I had picked up a washboard and tub from an auction. I told the kids, “We’ll just do it the old fashion way.” It was a lot of work, but the kids had fun. The joke was made that I needed a wringer washer, so I set out on a mission. It just so happened our neighbor, a man in his late 70’s, had just what I was looking for in his barn.

I drove up there in my truck, loaded it up, and brought it home. It was in really good condition, so I was hopeful. I held my breath as I plugged in the cord, in anticipation of sparks to shoot out from under it. But, nothing happened. I have a knack for a lot of things, but electrical isn’t one of them. I called up my Dad, who came right over. New cord in place, still nothing. The motor was no good. I called a Mennonite gentleman in our area who works on wringer washers, however, he only does Maytag’s and mine was a Speed Queen. I called auto parts stores and googled, but couldn’t find the motor I needed. My Dad, the man that he is, went out on a mission to find me a motor. (We don’t give up easily) Driving down the road, he spotted a washer in someone’s front yard. It had flowers in it. He stopped and talked to the people, who let him reach under their machine to check the motor. The brackets were so rusted, a few little shakes and it fell off.

Now, you are probably thinking, that motor couldn’t possibly be good. That is what I thought. But dad, took that motor home, did his magic on it and low and behold, we had a working motor. Dad came over, took my machine home to do the repair. This should have sparked a red flag, but it didn’t. I believe it was two weeks later my Dad returned with my working wringer washer, with a new belt, new cord, a new drain hose, and a fresh paint job. I laughed because this was just to appease my need to know how something worked. (see picture below)

Flash forward a year, the weather was warming and I decided to fill that old wringer washer. (Which is a little relaxing to use. I know, I am crazy.) Filling the tub, spaced out in my own little world, I have no idea why, but a story formed in my mind. I immediately sent a text to my Mom, who is an avid reader. She liked my idea and a story was born. Three weeks later, I had a 48,000-word manuscript. A few more weeks and it turned into 58,000 words.

I found out that Amazon and Kindle had a place to publish your books, for free, so that is what I did. Completely clueless. I released my book on July 7, 2018, and within the first month sold 25 copies total (eBooks, paperback orders, and direct sales.) My first thought, that was easy!!! I had another book that I had 20,000 words already completed and thought, hey, I’m going to finish that one next (another story for another time.) I did my research and realized, there is a whole lot more than just writing it and throwing it out to the world. But I am learning.

I keep waiting for the day someone drops me a one-star review or sends me a nasty message about my book(s), but so far the reception has been good, great even. Yes, it is filled with mistakes of a new unknowing writer and I am aware of that. Will I edit it? Yes. It is on my list of stuff to do, but for now, I shall let the world enjoy it and get to know me. So to the writing world and readers: I am quirky, crazy, and not without my own flaws, but I do believe, I am here to stay.

 

Happy Reading!!!

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Dear followers…

First, I would like to apologize for my lack of activity last month. I started this adventure with the intention of blogging once a week. However, one can only write so much about writing, editing, and the like without it becoming mind-numbingly boring.

Secondly, an update on progress. I have a book signing scheduled for September 12th at the Price James Memorial Library in Tipton. Very exciting for a newbie! I have spent hours looking at what other authors have done in an attempt to replicate success. However, I am learning very quickly, the price tag on their success (Promotion) is much more than I am willing to spend at this point in the game. Fortunately, I have been known to dabble in graphic design for my husband’s auction business. I put the tools I have in my bank of knowledge, some scraps of vinyl, poly-board, postcards, and a few other trinkets to good use. So I spent a day designing, printing, and cutting.

I am still working toward a release of October 1st for Soul Bound to Scotland. I have used three different editing programs, an audio tool, and beta readers to find all the mistakes. A process I wish I would have used on my first release, but as I am quickly finding, this author business is a process of learning. The first twelve chapters of forty-seven are complete and available to my Alpha reader. I have been focusing on removing passive voice with this book, which is fairly easy, most of the time it is, but it is a daunting task.

I have also begun the process of putting together a book I plan on releasing in late spring early summer of 2019. At current projection, it is looking to be sixty-five to seventy chapters and approximately 120,000 words. Very exciting! If you are following my Amazon page, you will have noticed I released a novelette, which gives a little of the back storyline to this project.

Outside of my writing, I have been busy. For those who don’t know, my husband and I raise chickens. When  I say that, I don’t mean backyard birds. I mean 100,000 future chicken nuggets. That took a few days away from my projects, as a lot goes into getting ready for them to arrive and getting them in safely. Yesterday, I took the day off to clean my house. As a stay at home mom of four, you would think my house would be spic and span, but it isn’t. Sending the two older of the four off to school this year has helped immensely, other than I don’t want to work, I just want to write all day. (Go ahead sing the beat on the drum song. If you are at a loss as to what I am talking about, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZclddLcOYYA ) ~Muscial Break~

School is in session, chickens are in,  and the house is halfway back in order, my chaotic life is starting to slow back down so I will be able to focus again on my editing task and writing.

Happy Reading!!!