Katy's Blog

PC Setup, Writing

I love my Ducky! Or, some interesting insights into my new writing setup.

A recent battle with eyesight problems, which played havoc with my usually prolific writing schedule, prompted some changes to my hardware and software setup. I thought I might share these changes should they be of any use to any fellow writers out there.

I won’t go into the details of my eyesight problems. Suffice to say that deteriorating focus, headaches, and warped imagery were all involved. Whilst medical treatment has helped dramatically, I also made the following changes – and I love my Ducky!

1: A new PC Monitor: For my main monitor, I replaced my trusty, though ageing, Philips monitor with a new 28” BenQ monitor. The Philips is now my 2nd monitor and my even older 19” Acer has now ascended to Monitor Heaven (some dark place in the attic known only to my hubby). Not only does the increased screen size of the BenQ mean I’m not squinting as much at small details, but it also has ‘flicker free’ eyecare technology, which is much easier on the eyes and less likely to induce headaches. It also has built-in blue filter settings for late night typing, but I use software for this, so have not used this feature. It also has a great picture, and wasn’t expensive, which is always nice.

2: Ease of Access Settings: My eldest son, who is tech savvy, introduced me to the Ease of Access settings in Windows 10. These can be found by clicking the Settings icon in the Start Menu, and then selecting Ease of Access. In Ease of Access/Display, you can increase the size of text (I use 125%) and also ‘Make Everything Bigger’ (I use 150%). In Ease of Access/Curser & Pointer, you can increase the size of your curser (I use 2 or 3) and also ‘Make the Curser Easier to See When Typing’ (the icon that changes the curser from white to black depending on the background colour is interesting). Experiment with these settings to find what suits you. You can of course use the zoom feature in your word processing software, but with these settings you may not have to.

3: ClearType: This is a Windows feature that can improve the readability of text and is very easy to set up. Just type Cleartype in the Windows search bar and click on ‘Adjust ClearType text’ in the list. Then, you simply follow the instructions and choose the text that looks best to you. If you have more than one monitor then you can set it up for both.

4: My lovely Ducky! Another change, though not as directly related to my eyesight problems, is the acquisition of a mechanical keyboard. For those that don’t know, a mechanical keyboard has a sturdy switch for each key, rather than a mushy membrane. This is more like the computer keyboards from the 1980’s and can give the typist both audible and tactile feedback.

Ducky, a respected Taiwanese brand, produce clean design mechanical keyboards for both typists and gamers and my son had one spare, which he gave to me to try (keep). The Ducky uses Cherry MX switches, which are good quality. My one has brown switches, which have a tactile ‘bump’ as you press, but not a loud click. Red’s, mainly for gamers, have no bump or click, and blues have both a bump and a click. As a touch-typist, having tactile feedback has transformed my typing. I make far fewer mistakes, especially missed keystrokes. In time, I intend to upgrade to a new Ducky with adjustable backlight illumination. I may get a blue switch version, with a louder click for increased touch-typing goodness (obviously not a good choice if there are other people around when you’re typing).

The combination of these changes has really helped my writing and my eyesight. It is important to remember however, that there is no substitute for simply giving your eyes a rest from the PC screen. It is all too easy to take a break from writing your next bestseller and switch to browsing for a while. You really need to regularly look/get away from your monitor and treat your eyes to some longer distance focus; even if it means just gazing out of the window and watching the world go by.

Love,
Katy

Katy Walters Website and Blog

fiction books, romance

Doctors in Love 2 – Sexy and Determined

They are doctors and healers providing cure and help to patients, and yet sexy and determined in their pursuit of love.
2020-02-21T00:00:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

Release Date! Pre-Order Now!

AMAZON USAMAZON UK

Are You Ready For Your ‘Sexy And Determined’ Diagnosis?

Also, please visit my Boxed Sets page, where you find information about this boxed set and many others. With love, Katy.

New Content

Some of my Paintings – added to Gallery

I decided to add some of my paintings to My Gallery. Over the years, I have painted in a number of styles, including Pop-Art, which was extremely popular a few years ago. Though I have sold most of my paintings, I always take a photo of each one before it goes to it’s new home. I shall fetch my backup drive from the attic and soon add more paintings to the slideshow. Please visit My Gallery to view.

New Content

Day Trip to Bath

Katy Walters in Regency Clothing: Bath

I thought I would share some photos from my day trip to the city of Bath on my new Gallery page – they were taken some time ago.
The city of Bath has a Regency heart, with some truly evocative buildings, and interesting places, such the Roman Baths,The Royal Crescent, and a museum in the old Assembly Rooms displaying a wonderful collection of Regency clothing. I’m not usually one for cos-play but my hubby convinced me to try on a huge puffy dress. Alas, no bare-chested six-pack hunk appeared for that perfect cover pose, but I got a nice kiss from hubby. Absolutely lovely day, and a great start for my Gallery page.

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Return to Rhonan

Hello dear Readers. I do hope to start the new year with interesting articles, excerpts, videos and the occasional visit from a fellow author or artist. I actually love both both creative writitng and the occasional non-fiction book. I also have an equal passion for art. I look forward to showing some of the art work here in coming months. I do hope you enjoy the video. This is my first attempt at including a video, fingers crossed it works. I have also included an excerpt from the first chapter of the trilogy Return to Rhonan. . you enjoy them.

It was Jessica’s late stepmother’s wish to travel to Scotland to discover whether the myth of the family’s Scottish origin was true.  Grieving, Jessica decides to go to Scotland to find the truth.

Drawn by chance to a hotel, formerly a castle, in the wilds of Scotland, Jess is shocked when she recognizes the owner, Lord Douglas Mavebury of Rhonan. He is the double of the brooding Lord Duncan of her dreams. Jess is stunned when she visits the family gallery and is faced with a portrait of a woman named Muriall, the woman of her dreams.

Danger stalks the rooms of the remote hotel.

EXCERPT CHAPTER 1. Return to Rhonan

Jessie knelt by the side of the bed, her hot tears falling on the still hand. ‘I’m sorry, so sorry.’

She raised her head to the squeak of the bedroom door opening. ‘Uncle Tom?  Oh God.’ An older man strode across to the four-poster bed.  ‘Jessie, my dear child.  It’s an awful shock …’ 

‘I wish I hadn’t hurt her. Why couldn’t she understand?’

‘Prissy loved you, Jess. You were her main reason for living.’

‘How can I go on without her?’

Taking her hand, he said, ‘you have to be strong, my darling.  You made the right choice for you. We all have the right to choose our own lives. You can—’ He broke off as he sniffed the air. ‘Seaweed?  Now, where is that coming from?’

Jessie smelt it too. ‘We’re not far from the docks.’

 Neither were aware of the wraithlike figure beside her.    

Gently, her uncle handed Jessie a tissue, as he led her to a carved mahogany chair. ‘Come, come and sit down.’ 

Jessie took the tissue, her voice still choking. 

He guided her to a sofa, unaware of the wraith gliding behind them.

***

 St. Brigid’s thronged with mourners and parishioners paying their respects to Priscilla Elizabeth McGregor. Jessie fingered the locket handed down through the generations from Grandma Morag.  Prissy always kept it locked away in her safe. Yet, as if having a premonition of her death, she had given it to Jess admonishing her to keep it safe.  Jess could almost sense her stepmother’s fingers on the old gold; hear her voice. ‘This is for you now, Jess. Keep it safe.’

Feeling Peter press her hand, she turned her head to him, the intensity of his eyes searing through the grief.  She saw the smile full of compassion, the cut of his jaw, the muscled arms that held her to his heart as she wept through the night hours. They’d been together for three years, in a relationship without ties. Gently, he turned the page of the hymnbook for her, although her voice choked over the words, ‘Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.’  

 Where did Prissy abide now?  Was her spirit now with her Scottish ancestors? Or, was she standing beside her coffin willing Jessie to see her spirit form?  She prayed her stepmother was in her heaven, wherever that might be.  She had helped so many people achieve their dreams.  McGregor Hotels served the community and individuals in so many ways.  

 Guilt crept in, as she remembered her aunt’s words. ‘Your future lies with the business, how could you forsake it – me? This isn’t about hotels, bricks, and mortar.  It’s about life, helping, reaching out to the thousands of the desolate and homeless, and all you can think about is your damn psychology.’

Uncle Tom’s words drifted into her mind. ‘You were never meant to enter the business. You are a healer Jess. The one is as important as the many.  Heal one heart, and you heal whole families.  It stretches out like ripples in a pond.  Remember that.’

 She glanced up at the coffin, to the wreaths of roses and lilies, the flowers, a beautiful place reflecting her stepmother’s soul. 

Keeping close to Peter’s side with her Uncle and cousin Grant near, she watched her stepmother interred in the family mausoleum; her name engraved under that of Jessie’s mother, Miriam, a young mother who took her life. 

Later at the reception, mingling among the guests, Jessie glanced at the maids in black dresses with frilled white aprons serving canapés, as young male waiters offered drinks or champagne from sterling silver trays.  Struggling to keep her face composed, she looked over to her cousin Dinah, helping to carry the load of greeting and listening to the mourners who flocked to the wake. They’d been friends for years, sharing a room at University until she’d met Peter. Now they had a therapy practice together.  Today, Dinah looked sophisticated with her pale white skin and dark brown hair swept up into a sleek chignon, her ample curves snugly fitting a black dress. 

The afternoon dragged on interminably.  Jessie just wanted to be alone, to sit with a glass of wine and reflect.  Pete took her hand, ‘How about you and I get out for a while later. ‘Go to the Park, take a ride – take a hamper.’

‘I couldn’t – I just want to go to bed and get over today.’

Fresh air would help you sleep. Come on, let’s do it.’

She knew if she went to bed early, she would follow the usual pattern of tossing and turning, with a kaleidoscope of fragmented memories flowing before her tortured eyes.   A quiet ride in the park, followed by a picnic by the waters of the reservoir glimmering in moonlight, might lift her from the grief that gave her no respite.

Silently, she apologized to her stepmother as she nodded. ‘Later then.’

Note from Katy. I’ll be back soon. Have a fulfilling and lovely week. Kind regards, Katy.

The haunting beautiful music is composed by Serge Pavkin https://amzn.to/35Wm2tS
Music ‘Dawn’ on SoundCloud.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

As Christmas approached I thought to reminisce by offering uplifting cheerful poetry drawn from the Georgian or Victorian eras. On searching through my books on ancient poetry and also the Internet, I realized with the exception of Xmas carols it was difficult to find one that was lighthearted. Most of the Victorian poems would break your heart by the second verse. So I spent hours searching for happy poetry of years ago. In the end, I found two that echo the spirit of a merry Xmas both in modern times and those of the Georgian early Victorian era.

So I do hope you enjoy these offerings with my warmest greetings for a wonderful Christmas to you all.

Little Tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see I will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
I will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and I’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy…

Little tree by e.e… cummings 1894 to 1962. This poet liked to used small letters for his signature name.



Ten Beautiful Christmas Poems website Leah Dobrinska

Fairly Modern Christmas poem



Excerpt from:

A Winter Song by Clement W. Scott 1841 – 1904

Found in The Victorianist’s website

The Mistletoe Kiss

Berries on holly proclaim ‘tis cold!

Cousin Annette, I am warmer thus;

A hand and a waist if my arms enfold,

The hand and waist will be cozy, puss!

For here we can sit and defy the wind,

Though panes are rattled with blinding sleet,

And happily one of us thus may find

That winter is best for us both, my sweet!

Mistletoe grows on the oak they say!

Cousin Annette! – she is fast asleep,

But this is a dangerous game to play,

For wandering rogues may on tiptoe creep.

The mistletoe’s beckoning over her head,

My fluttering heart, you must cease to beat;

Sleep soft! While over the floor I tread –

And wake at the touch of my lips, my sweet!

Winter is bringing the travellers home!

Cousin Annette, have I cause to fear

Lest one loved better than I may come

To claim the hand that is resting here?

The falsest women are fair as you,

And lips as pretty have sworn deceit;

But on my honour I’d swear you true –

As true as the rose at your breast, my sweet!

Winter is long! Ay, winter’s long!

Cousin Annette, is it time to go?

Perchance the lover and love-sick song

May melt forever with winter’s snow?

The dearest thoughts in the heart lie deep

Through snows of winter and rose-time heat,

But if your memory tries to sleep,

Remember the mistletoe kiss, my sweet!

Excerpt from ‘The Mistletoe Kiss’ from London Society Christmas edition 1868.

                  CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR.

              HAVE A  WONDERFUL   AND HAPPY  

From Katy. xxxx

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PARTY ON NOW.

There is a great party going on thrown by the Authors of Authors Billboard. There are so many fantastic prizes, giveaways, and exciting authors to chat to. So do come and join us. I won’t be doing a chat slot because of my eyes, as you know I have Acute Angle Glaucoma so I wouldn’t be able to keep type out messages to the huge number of visitors to chat to. But I’m here telling you all about this incredible party. Just click on the link in the first image.

NEW BOOK ON THE WAY.

I have been working on a new novel and have decided to explore a new genre – Psychology. It includes clinical and humanistic methods of treatment, a budding romance, and the symptoms of a popular and brilliant psychotherapist, It is chilling, yet touches the heart, surprising and traumatic. I do not have an ending yet, that is to come as the therapist and the clients tell their stories.

Here is an excerpt from the first chapter:

Diary of a Therapist

SOPHIE.

‘I can’t sleep Rache. Last night I lay there, tossing – sweating. I was soaking wet, so were the sheets.  I had to get up and change my nightdress. Then to top it all, the duvet was wet. I just didn’t have the energy to change it.’ 

‘Come on, you’re doing well. You were more probably churning up about coming today, but you’ve done it. You’re sitting here, for the first time since Tom…look, just stay a little longer.  Next time it will—’

‘There won’t be a next time Rache, my head’s exploding.  What’s here for me without him?’ I feel my throat dry up. ‘I’m sorry, Rache, I’ve got to leave –  I’m no good to the patients like this. ’ Scooping up the remnants of the foam, I let them drop back into the cup. ‘He’s in my dreams every night.’

So now to get to work. :))

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My Beloved Valley.

Poetry is beloved by authors throughout the ages. Way back in the mists of time, the poem began in the form of a story told by a traveling poet or shaman. Of an evening, the villagers would gather on the village green and warmed by an open fire enjoyed the magic of ancient verse. Throughout the centuries, the simple verses developed into lengthy historical accounts,  fables, sagas, and the fairy tale.

I cherish the memory of my great uncle, a man of the welsh valleys. He was both a coal miner and a scholar, as called in those days. Uncle Will spent many years down ‘the pit’ primarily at the coal face, as did my other great uncles and aunts. Often the men worked in waist-high water.

 In his spare hours, Uncle Will was a schoolmaster to the village children.

The image above relates to the children that would have worked in the mines at the time the poetry shown below was written.

In his later years, suffering from silicosis and wearing the blue scars of the coal miner, my uncle worked solely as the village tutor. I can still picture his small study where, in a hand-carved wooden bookcase, he stored fine literature ranging from Shakespeare to Charles Dickens and to the poets whose work survived the centuries.  

It was as you can imagine a hard life for the mining families of the  ‘valleys,’ but for me, as a small child, it was a time of joy and wonder, Even the name of the family’s humble cottage, Fairy Glen held enchantment.  In the twilight of the evenings, I would await the sounds of the miners, covered in coal dust blackening their faces, singing in full voice as they marched home from the mine, their way lit by small candles in tin helmets. I was one of the children who would rush out to be hefted upon coal dust shoulders to join in the songs.

I would wait while the men bathed in the two tin baths by an open coal fire. After the family evening meal, Uncle Will would lift me on his knee and read from the treasured book. 

I often think on those evenings, where beautiful baritone or tenor voices filled the living room accompanied by the robust mezzo or soprano voices of my aunts singing beloved hymns or operatic arias. Sometimes they would include popular songs or carols. But my most cherished memory was of Uncle Will reciting the works of the great poets. Some of the poetry dwelt on the beauty of nature and some to the poverty of the day, the pathos of children dying from starvation or women begging for a crust of bread.  For a child, it was a mixture of infectious joy, magic, and heartrending sadness revealed in the golden leafed pages of the family book of poetry.

So my love of poetry and writing was born. 

When uncle Will passed away, he left me his beloved book.  With yellowed pages and battered cover, it was a family heirloom that I treasure. The title is ‘The Thousand Best Poems in the World.’ The Dedication reads, This series of books is hopefully and lovingly dedicated to the Unity of Man.

The Preface is beautiful and echoes the voice of the day given hereunder.

This little book of poetry contains fully half of the poetic gems of the world collected together for the first time. Campbell defines poetry as ‘The Eloquence of Truth.’ Shelley defines it as ‘Man’s best Thoughts expressed in their best language. In their happiest moments.’ And indeed, poetry contains the noblest of human thought expressed in the most telling, the most pleasant and the most easily remembered form……’

The Preface ends with the words, portraying the effects of poetry on the reader.

 ‘….poetry has been appreciated by millions in the past, and I believe that hundreds of millions in the future will more frequently take up their favourite (English spelling) book of poetry to read themselves, or say to some dear friend in the spirit, if not in the words of the best poets of humanity:-’

‘Come, read to me some poem,

Some simple and heartfelt lay,

That shall soothe this restless feeling and banish the thoughts of the day.

Come, read from the treasured volume

The poem of thy choice,

And lend to the rhyme of the poet

The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,

And the cares that infest the day,

…. Shall silently steal away.

I would so love to include a couple of incredible poems from this treasured book, but I have only so much space for this article. So I hope you will enjoy those I will put in the post for next month.

 There is no date on this editIon. I have searched the Internet and can only find one with the same cover with a  ‘circa 1900.’

First page entitled:  ‘THE LIBRARY OF THE FUTURE.

LONDON: HUTCHINSON & CO. (Publishers) LTD.

A woman of the mine.

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THE SOUL OF AN AUTHOR

                     

                             A Hidden Treasure.

Last time I wrote for the Newsletter, it was about the source of a language spoken and written. I still intend to do more on that subject, but for the time being,   I would like to share some thoughts on the promotion of books old and new. 

In the very beginning, I had a publisher, but that was quite short-lived. I switched to Indie and have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of choosing when and what I would like to write. I also have this urge to write across the genres, so it doesn’t help my being discovered by some publisher who is going to offer me a six-figure income,  fame, and the number I in Kindle Amazon.  No, I don’t think that’s going to happen. So I shall stick to saying tongue in cheek, I am pleased to be writing for myself.

 So onwards and upwards. I see Amazon now has a genre named Mashup, which suits me. At present, I am writing an erotic comedy and also a semi-serious medical book, following that is a historic trilogy weaving away in the back of my mind. They are all so different in genre though. I didn’t mean to write erotica, and maybe it isn’t. Instead, it could be sweet erotica!!  Nothing (cough – cough) ever happens if you know what I mean. But there are some humorous, side-splitting expressions.

These thoughts lead to the visibility of an author’s works. For a few years, I relied on Facebook, Twitter, and the occasional Google Ad but now I find the latter can be pricey and often ineffective. Especially as Facebook has insisted on Author pages, therefore keeping the main news thoroughfare free of authors promoting their books or readers searching for them. The author pages are a good idea, as authors can freely interact, concentrating solely on our books, but where does that leave our pool of would-be readers? I notice there is one author page that centres on readers and writers and, that is great, but so far, it seems to be the only one! But, still I feel especially with FB, we authors are not allowed to engage with the general public for would-be readers and buyers. I have found that putting my novels on the Authors Billboard website does engage with the public.

Through ill-health, I have been off the scene really for some time, but before this period and now on recovering, I’ve just had a couple from India asking for two of my books that formed part of a trilogy. I had unpublished them while I renewed the covers. I feel sure the people read the first book of the trilogy in a box-set.

Now, to come to the subject of visibility, there are some brilliant authors out there who are most probably feeling disheartened as the usual outlets of FB, Google, and Twitter fail to bring a response from would-be buyers of their new books.  I was too, as I put on a new comedy, having never written in that genre before only to find it was to put it politely a ‘bummer’ I’d tried FB and Twitter to no avail and then I got caught by those ‘TWEET ‘sites where they happily promise to get the book viewed by thousands upon thousands of readers, only to see my happy comedy die and sink like a brick to the ocean’s bottom.

Feeling a little low and vowing never to write comedy again, a friend, a fellow author, kindly showed me the way – promotion sites – yes, I know they’ve been around forever, but these are different, they do promote and effectively.  I am stunned at the response from using just two of these sites. My book shot up into the stratosphere in the Amazon Satire genre. So a big thank you to my friend. I realize now promotion means visibility through authentic promotion sites to the general reading public – no promises of thousands of tweets, no assurances of honest reviews, just pure advertising.  So I shall stick like glue to them.

I hope this helps some authors out there. Don’t feel disheartened; you know you can write. You have created something precious; something never read before, an original work – a creation. It’s like a new tree never seen before, yes it might have a trunk, branches, and leaves, but it is an individual. You’re good, even maybe a genius, your book can be the next high flyer; the next no. 1. It’s not the book that is failing; it’s the visibility that is lacking. It’s rather like the fairy-tale, the princess imprisoned in the tower or another hidden away sleeping for a hundred years. The prince searches for them bringing them awake with a kiss. However,  the author does not have a prince or a kiss. Neither do they want their book to languish for a hundred years? The Indie becomes a one-man band, a writer, a cover artist, and a banner-waving promotor of their precious book. It is here that the trustworthy promotion sites come into play saving the sleeping novel with the kiss of trustworthy promotors. So nurture your creation, nurture it with authentic promotion sites – google them. I wish you every success. Visibility on the promotion sites is the way.

Just a little addendum, my book soared, but now it needs a cannon to shoot it back up into the dizzy heights of the paid lists. I realize you have to keep it up.  One promotion is not enough, and you have to promote and promote. So good luck dear authors, I am glad to be with you all again and wish you every success.  

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New – description for LISTEN TO THE CHICKEN now on amazon.

amzn.to/2JEV7th

amzn.to/2XPu8Eb

Zach’s dream of opening his own veterinary practice seemed out of reach.  He could just about afford the rent on his one bed flat above the Co-op. Then he received a phone call from the local solicitor.

He’d inherited a decrepit manor. There were holes in the roof, some walls had caved in and there were only a couple of habitable rooms. That was enough for him after his tiny flat. He was delighted to learn he’d also inherited a small fortune, but only enough to renovate some of the manor. That was fine by Zach; he had time to restore the place, room by room. He could even hope to open a small practice.

But, the solicitor did not warn him about the complications – the strange inhabitants and the strange importance of the chickens  – lots of chickens. 

Only a week or so after moving in, there was a car crash just outside the manor. Zach became a hero, saving a young woman’s life.  He promptly fell in love with her. But how could he win her heart? Her infant son was in danger – how could he save him? Then there were the chickens….

Laughs and Romance and I hope you enjoy this.

Second Book ‘Folow the Cockapoo. Coming Soon.