Updates on What I’m Doing

On a personal note:

My eyes have been bugging me quite a bit lately, so I’ve been making myself stay off the computer, my phone, and other electronic devices. I’ve been dealing with dry eye for years, and while the natural remedies work, the fact that I’m growing older means that the situation will get worse as time progresses. I have no qualms with getting older and the things that come with it, but I also believe in doing what I can to preserve what I have while I have it. I don’t like medications of any kind. I’ve seen too many people get dependent on medications. It’s as if once they get on them, they can’t get off because of severe side effects. I want to avoid that for myself if possible. I understand there’s a time and a place for medicine. My dad had schizophrenia. He needed medication to live a normal life. But I’m fortunate in that I currently don’t need anything. I’ve been able to manage things with a change in diet, everyday habits, and exercise over the years. God willing, that will continue.

So why am I bringing all of this up? My time on the internet hasn’t been that much to begin with, but it will have to be even less now. My priority is writing more books. That’s what I will focus on. I will come in to do blog posts, too, because I enjoy doing them. Also, it helps me sort out things I need to do with my stories or publishing them when I write out what’s going on in this blog. But my time online with other things is going to be less. I’m not sure what that will look like yet, except that uploading books to Radish is going to take longer and I won’t be on MeWe a lot. Thankfully, I have half of my books already on Radish by this point. I already take a while to respond to emails, so that will stay the same. It’s not that I don’t care about these things. I do. It’s just that if I am going to spend time writing, I have to sacrifice the other things.

I have done dictation, but the amount of time spent editing made this a horrendous experience, and though I did manage to speak the books out, I had a hard time “connecting” with the characters like I do when I type the story out. Those books are pretty much a blur in my mind, which is a shame because I didn’t really enjoy “writing” them. I prefer to spend my writing time enjoying the process of creating the story, and dictation doesn’t allow that for me. I think (and feel) best when I type.

Now for the stuff related to my books:

1. I might have to swap the release month for Heiress of Misfortune with Daisy’s Prince Charming.

Heiress of Misfortune MBN 3 ebook cover  Daisy's Prince Charming ebook cover

At the moment, July is my target month to get one of these books out. I did have it set for Heiress of Misfortune since I’m farther along in this book, but the story line just keeps going. I do have an idea to shorten things, but the longer avenue is a lot more interesting to me, and if it’s more interesting to me, I’m guessing that will make it a better book. At the moment, I’m 56,000 words into this one. I’m not sure, but I think it’s going to need 70K+ words to complete it. I can’t do that and have it off to the editor by July, especially when I’m limited on how much time I can spend on the computer because of my eyes.

Daisy’s Prince Charming is turning into a shorter book than I expected. I’ll be hitting 42,000 in this one today, and there’s really only a couple more things that need to be done to wrap things up. This book doesn’t need to be over 50,000 words to be complete. Unless something pops up that requires me to be away from the computer for any length of time, I should be able to finish the first draft of this book well before the end of May, have the initial edits done, and send it to my editor by June 1.

I’ll keep you posted on how things play out with this situation.

2. I’m going to kill off a secondary character in the Marriage by Obligation Series.

(These books are not listed in any particular order except for Secret Admirer which is Book 1. I think this is what the order will be, but it could change. I’m not even sure if there will be a “The Duke’s Return” in the series. At the moment, I have a character I’m thinking will work here, but I need to write more to the series before I’m sure.)

Secret Admirer ebook cover Midnight Wedding ebook cover The Earl's Jilted Bride ebook cover Worth the Risk ebook cover TheDukesReturnWEB

Remember the trouble I’ve been having with knowing what to do with a certain duke who has been giving one of my poor characters grief? My original idea was to ship him off somewhere then bring him back. Then I thought I’d just kill him off because he serves no purpose as a main character. He’s turned out to be a character that isn’t all that interesting. I have no desire to work with him. But he serves a purpose to one of the heroines in this series, so I can’t just eliminate him from the series altogether. He has to show up in Secret Admirer.

I was thinking of going with a suicide, but that didn’t seem to fit. So I’m going to go with a murder. I know I’ve done a murder subplot before in other books, but there’s nothing else that works for what I want to happen in The Earl’s Jilted Bride. I’m not exactly sure how the murder subplot fits in with that book yet, but my instinct tells me it will fit. So this particular character will be murdered.

3. I’m looking into AI for audiobooks.

As it turns out Google Play has invited me (and some other authors) to give AI narration a try. Google Play also said I can use these audio files to upload to other places, and Kobo also happens to allow for AI narrated books. An author said Apple does, too, but I have to look into that to be sure it’s true.

For now, I’m looking into going with Google Play and get things started. This requires some time at the computer listening to the AI and adjusting the text to get things pronounced right. That’s more a time commitment than something difficult, but I am currently looking into someone who can go through these books and listen to AI for me. I have a couple of people in mind. I have to trust this person because this person will have access to my password over on Google Play. If I can’t find someone, then I will give a try myself, but it will slow down the process since my time on the computer is limited.

I think AI narration is going to help a lot of authors, and it will help readers who can’t read books due to eyesight issues. I know for me that I can’t read books anymore. I can’t read an ebook on my device or a paperback anymore. I have to listen to books. I’ve been using my Kindle for years to listen to books this way. Kindle has AI narration wrapped in with the text-to-speech feature on the device. You do get used to the AI voice. After a while, you don’t even notice it’s AI. I get that there are people who will “never” listen to AI narration because the human voice is way better. That’s fine. I’m not doing this for people like that. I’m doing this for people like me. And since it’s AI, it’s affordable, which means I can charge a better price. It’s a win for me, it’s a win for people on a budget, and it’s a win for people with eyesight problems.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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11 Responses to Updates on What I’m Doing

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your eyes, Ruth. How’s everything else right now?

  2. dorothypaula says:

    Dear Ruth, I’ve been in the same boat since my vertigo problem began years ago. And now with the added years comes osteoporosis and deteriorating eyesight. I can’t sustain prolonged reading and listen to my Kindle Fire with the automated voices. For regencies, the British/English accent voice is fantastic, full of of pauses and dips where needed and emotional nuances. The American voices aren’t bad either. Occasionally I buy audiobooks because of the musical and sound background. I’m curious about the Al you speak about. Can anyone apply or submit a book? One last thought I’ve been mulling over. Learning Braille, in case my eye sight worsens. Hope this message gets to you. My comments don’t always get through. Haven’t been able to figure out the reason yet. All the best and God’s Blessings. Keep those great books coming. (smile and a rose). Your friend and follower, Dorothy Paula Freda (also known as Paula Freda and Marianne Dora Rose).

    • Hi Dorothy!

      That’s weird because I don’t usually see comments from you. I wonder why.

      I remember you mentioning vertigo. That has to be rough. Does it make you feel dizzy when you stand up and walk? Is that something that gets easier to manage at all? I know the osteoporosis and deteriorating eyesight are awful. It’s always something, isn’t it?

      I haven’t thought about going in and adjusting the voice for the Regencies. I’m going to try that. I think I’ll try it for the AI book I’m working on, too, since it’s a Regency. Do you have books on Google Play? That’s the only place that is letting me give this thing a try. Google Play has reached out to authors who have published their books there to give the AI narration a try. Right now, they’re offering it for free, so I figured I should take advantage of it while I can. This was by invitation in an email from Google Play. If you’re not on Google Play, you can apply for an account there. Let me find the link. https://play.google.com/books/publish/u/0/

      At first, I didn’t like it that authors had to apply, but after finding out how many thieves are creating accounts and stealing authors’ books on various platforms, I’m glad Google Play makes authors do this. At least you know someone can’t easily go into the system and pretend to be you. Radish is the same way. Kobo doesn’t require you to apply to publish on their store, but they do a good job of making sure duplicate copies of a book don’t make it into their system. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple seem to have no system in place to protect authors. So while Google Play does have some hoops to jump through, I think it’s worth it.

      Braille isn’t a bad idea. Libraries have braille books, don’t they?

      Do you use some kind of program to read comments or blog posts from the internet? I can’t imagine that reading through all of this would be easy.

  3. Yeah! My comment went through. I tried something new by going through the wordpress (reader) link. Believe me, I’ve been sending a comment to several of your posts. But they didn’t get through. In any case to answer your questions, I ended up having to get therapy. The therapist gave me special exercises to do (just standing up). Head movements, leg movements, arm movements. I pinned the illustrated copy she gave me to my fridge and do them faithfully every morning. I’m not cured, but the exercises do help me manage the vertigo. I have to be careful how I move my head when I’m walking, sitting, etc. I also have a right eye stigma (the back of the eye is not evenly formed). I wear glasses with the stigma correction). And sadly in addition, a weak right inner ear. I’m a wreck! (LOL)
    If you’d like a copy of the exercises, I’ll be happy to send it to you. Email me your new address. I’m going to try Google play and the AI. I’ll let you know the results. As for Braille Books, there is an entire industry for Braille Books. And yes, I believe Libraries carry Braille Books. I use Text Aloud Software which has many voices and accents, and can be added to my computer files. I can also copy and paste into the Text Aloud and listen to the file. Here is the link: https://nextup.com. I did a search and there is also another link https://www.naturalreaders.com/online. I haven’t tried this latter one. Hope this message reaches you as well. Here goes. (heart and rose) (P.S.) I’m using my gmail wordpress. Maybe that’s the answer.

    • Wow. I had no idea you’ve been commenting all this time. 😦 Maybe the gmail wordpress is the trick.

      I’m glad the exercises help. If you can’t cure it, then the next best thing is to get to where you can minimize the symptoms. That’s been my goal. You got a double whammy on that right side, didn’t you? It sounds like you have a good attitude about it. I believe that our attitude plays a big role in how we cope when these things pop up. So few things seem to get better by complaining.

      Let me know how Google Play turns out. It took them three months to approve me. I don’t know if they got any faster or not.

      Thanks for the links! I’ll see if I can find your email.

      😀 It’s been great talking to you again!

  4. Kimberly Tydings says:

    Hi Ruth Ann, Check out plugs for your tear ducts. Also eye Eco. You’re in my prayers. Love Hugs Kim Tydings

  5. bgstufflebeam@windstream.net says:

    When will you have Daisy’s Prince Charming up for pre-order?

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