The Alien Visitation Chronicle

About the Book

This book is really more of a novelette. It will probably be fewer than 100 pages. And yes, it’s the word count that determines whether a book is a novel (40,000+), novella (17,500 – 40,000), or a novelette (7,500 – 17,500). I looked it up, and the Internet never lies. Right? (It’s starting to look like it might make it into the novella range. Hope that’s a good thing.)

It began as a couple of short stories. The first one, Weird and Weirder, just sort of popped into my head and practically wrote itself. A second one followed quite quickly and I had a theme for them to continue.

So what I have going is more or less an anthology (I do not personally care all that much for anthologies), but is a little different in that all the stories relate to each other and build on the previous. Hence the “chronicle” in the title.

I am tentatively sub-titling it: A Humorous Look at the Possibilities. But “amusing” might be a better word than “humorous.” My sense of humor, while fairly well-developed, is a bit off the beaten track. Or so I’ve been told. More than once.

Because I always seem to underestimate the time it will take me to accomplish something even though I have a rule that everything will take three times longer than I think it will, this book will probably not be published until some time early 2020.

That’s all for now. Check in later for more.

Posted April 1, 2020

This is not an April Fool’s Day prank. It’s really true.

It’s almost ready and it’s making me nervous. Did I catch all the errors? Probably not. According to a reader of my first novel, “Millie’s Adventures in Time,” there were a lot of errors in it. Of course, “a lot” is a very relative term. I asked her if she made note of them. No. How many were there. Not a clue. It makes me nervous for this next novel.

I proof read this one forward. Then I proof read it backward. I found a few errors both times.

I was advised not to edit at the same time as proof reading. That proved to be more difficult than I had imagined it might. But it’s good advice.

So. I’ve uploaded the manuscript to Kindle Direct Publishing. It loaded successfully and it has been processed by their programming. I am in the process of proofing this new copy of it. I found some formatting errors and have fixed them, hopefully. I re-uploaded it and called it a day.

Today, I will go over the copy to be published again. Hopefully I won’t find any more formatting errors. But you never know. Then there is their version of spell check.

Unfortunately, I used a lot of made-up words in the telling of this story. Plus there is one chapter where a character has such odd speech that the words I created to depict it will most likely all set off the KDP spell checking program. It will be a lot of work to get it all straightened out. I know this from previous experience with my first novel. But it all helps in producing a final work that I can be proud of.

Oddly enough, I don’t worry that the story is any good (I did worry about that a lot with the first novel though). Or if it is engaging and entertaining. I figure it won’t be to the taste of everyone. Nothing is. So that’s not really an issue for me. I like it. My husband likes it. That’s good enough. But I want it to be clean and easy to read and that’s where a lot of my anxiety lies. Well, that and wondering what people will think of the Dianne Lehmann who wrote this story. That’s largely only a problem for me with the people I know. I’ll probably never get over that kind of anxiety. Shyness and performance anxiety have plagued me all of my life.

I mentioned to my sister how close I was to publishing and how I was becoming more nervous (excited too, to be honest) and wondered if I would be able to press the “Publish” button when the time came to do that. She kindly reminded me that I had done that once already and survived it. I’ll survive it this time too.

Thanks, Sis, for always helping to keep me firmly grounded.

Posted March 6, 2020

I finished the first draft probably a couple of weeks ago. I did a quick and dirty edit/proofread of the whole thing. My husband also read it, pronounced it a lot of fun, and found a couple of errors.

Then I wondered how I could do a better job of proofreading it. A friend who read my first novel said that she found a lot of errors in it. She didn’t say how many. Her idea of a lot could be two or four. Who knows. And she didn’t make note of them so that I could fix them. Dang. Anyway, it kind of scared me a little because I had read that first novel more times than I could keep track of and thought I’d done a good job of proofreading it.

So, in the middle of the night while agonizing over the whole issue, I came up with a plan: I’d read it backwards. I started doing that just recently. It’s a pain, but I can see how it would help me to find errors.

Then my husband asked the question: How do professional proofreaders do it? Guess what my search turned up? They read it backwards. That’s the number one tip for doing a good job of proofreading. How about that?

The next tip was to do only that. Don’t try to edit at the same time. Figured that one out on my own too. But it’s hard to do. Although, reading the manuscript backwards does tend to make me less aware of the editing aspect of it.

Another tip was to print it out. They say the best way to spot errors is from the printed page. Also, with a printout, you can put a ruler under each line and thereby increase your focus on it. All good tips, but I don’t think I have enough toner and paper to print this out. So I’ll make do with reading it on the computer monitor.

I hope that this next novel will be released without errors, but maybe it’s not humanly possible to catch them all. I find typos in traditionally published novels all the time.

After I finish with this, I plan to read my paperback copy of my first novel and make note of all the errors and then fix them. That’s the beauty of print on demand with Kindle Direct Publishing. You can actually fix the thing so subsequent copies are better.

Posted February 11, 2020

I am so close to finishing the first draft. It’s just that every time I write a new chapter, something happens in it to extend the novel ever further. But I hope to have it finished in one or two more chapters. Wendy and Darren are finally starting to get some enjoyment out of their situation (well maybe not Darren as much as Wendy) and I’d hate to shut them down just when they are starting to have a little fun.

Even so, I do need to finish it so that I can get back to work on the sequel to Millie’s Adventures in Time.

Oh. That tentative end of February deadline for publication that I set for myself … well I might not make it. But it’s better to turn out a well-finished product than something that is slap dash.

Posted February 5, 2020

I have just about finished writing “The Alien Visitation Chronicle.” I can’t believe it. Mainly because it grew to be much larger than I originally thought that it would.

I probably have only two or so chapters to go. One of them will be more of an epilogue.

But of course, after the writing is finished there is the proof reading and editing still to be done. And getting my husband to read it. Actually, he liked Part One so well that he’s anticipating reading the finished draft. He’ll help with the proofing.

I’ve already set up the cover, trim size for the paperback and font, etc. on KDP. But I still have to work up a smoking hot book description. For my previously published novel, “Millie’s Adventures in Time,” writing the description probably took me several months of tweaking before I was happy with it. I did that in conjunction with formatting the novel for publication.

I started work on the description for Chronicle a while ago and came up with something I thought was good enough for the back cover of the book, but maybe not great enough for the book’s page on Amazon. So I will continue to work on that.

Anyway, my hope is to have it available for purchase before the end of February.

Posted January 20, 2020

Wow! I am having so much fun working on this novel. I found my inspiration again and the words have just been tumbling out of me.

My initial estimate of its length is now way off. It might actually reach 200 pages when its finished.

I’ve dropped the subtitle. It was my husband’s idea to change it. I couldn’t think of a good way to change it so I dropped it altogether. His thought was that most people who read science fiction are not really looking for humor. And it is humorous in a wry sort of fashion which seems to be the only way I know to do it. But he thought that might not play well from an advertising point of view.

Wendy and Darren, the protagonists, are finally getting a handle on their predicament, which is nice. One always wants things to turn out positively. I can’t say for absolute certain that it will. But I have hopes.

Posted January 2, 2020

I didn’t do much writing over the recent holidays. My husband, Bernd, had a lot of extra days off and I reveled in his greater presence. He still works a 9 to 5 Monday through Friday and we don’t always get to see a lot of each other.

And also, I was stymied for exactly where to go next with the Chronicle. But yesterday I sat down to flesh out a small idea I’d had in the middle of the night while I was sitting up with a bad attack of acid reflux. I blame the antibiotic I was taking for the tooth that was pulled for the attack of GERD. Stress is the usual blame and I haven’t been feeling stressed lately. At least I don’t think so. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell.

At any rate, I’ve found my direction again and hope to have more words appear on the monitor soon.

Posted December 18, 2019

So … Looks like the book will be more than 100 pages after all. Though it’s final length cannot be predicted. It will end when it ends. Sometimes I think I have no real control over these things. Sometimes, it seems that the book writes itself. I often wonder if it is like that for a lot of authors.

In any event, I have put off working on the sequel to “Millie’s Adventures in Time” in favor of working on this. I find it, at this time, to be more full-filling, less stressful and just a lot of fun.

But … It will not get published as soon as I thought it might. I hope it will be worth waiting for.

Posted December 4, 2019

My biggest fan and most ardent supporter has read the first draft of The Alien Visitation Chronicle. Yes. It is my husband, Bernd. He pronounced it amusing and entertaining. He also said it was too short. He wanted more. One of my worries was that it is too short and might leave readers unsatisfied.

So I am considering making what I have so far into Part One and then writing some stories to put into a Part Two. Bernd provided me with the perfect idea for how to continue with the chronicle.

Now I just have to figure out how to implement it. And, at the same time, continue to work on the sequel to Millie’s Adventures in Time. Keeps me busy. That’s for sure.

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