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Gender: Male
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Joined: April 2006
Phred has been a writer for many years, but has not published anything yet. Having grown fed up with being rejected by magazine editors and publishing houses, Phred is putting his work where individual readers can see it and judge for themselves.
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L.L. Mccue
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phred: It's official now. Got an email from the anthology editors a couple days ago: "It is a pleasure to inform you of our official acceptance of your story, Mission to Bellatrix, to be included in Irksome Rebel Press's Lucky Stars Box Set."

They only requested one more edit, which was to replace a somewhat repetitive word with a different one. I also fixed a few mistakes I made during previous rewrites and sent the corrected draft back along with the author info. So now I'm just waiting for the galley proof....
February 17, 2015 at 3:08PM

phred: Finally have some good news on a couple of publication attempts. Looks like "Mission to Bellatrix" has been accepted and is pretty much a done deal. Waiting to find out if there are any final edits requested, probably sometime in the next couple of days (there's already been a lot of editing done, and the final draft is very different from the rough draft posted here). But other than that, it appears to be a done deal, and will be one of the stories in a paranormal/sci-fi romance anthology titled Lucky Stars. Publication date is set on March 17, if I remember correctly.

Also, a couple weeks ago I submitted the final draft of "Game Over" to Vook, and they accepted it. They sent me the converted ebook formats this afternoon, and everything looked good, assuming I didn't miss anything. I've re-read that manuscript so many times, it all kind of blurs together. :P But anyway, they should start sending it out to the various distributors sometime next week, and it'll start going live on different sites shortly after that. So, maybe a few things are finally starting to pick up steam, after 25 years of trying.

And finally, tomorrow I go back to work after recovering from hernia surgery. Back to making $5/hour, whee. But at least there'll be some money coming in, now....
February 13, 2015 at 9:37PM
    LeannaP: Congrats on the publication pending.Keep the great writing going!
    February 13, 2015 at 10:07PM
    phred: Thanks, Leanna! It's great to finally have a few things falling into place. :D
    February 13, 2015 at 11:04PM
    Tatarka2: CONGRATULATIONS on the pending publication! Keep on writing!
    February 14, 2015 at 1:58PM
    phred: Thanks, Tatarka! :D
    February 15, 2015 at 2:18AM

phred: Just a quick update. I rewrote "Reactivated" and submitted it to Kindle Worlds, and they emailed me a few minutes ago to tell me that the story has to be exclusive to KW. So if anyone who was following that story wonders why it disappeared here, this will explain it.
December 4, 2014 at 1:38PM

phred: And now my computer's dead again. :( I'm posting this from a crappy netbook I bought about five years ago, which is even slower than the first computer I ever bought, way back in 1996. I also picked up a cheap tablet a couple weeks ago, just so I could have a couple of backups just in case, but I've been having some problems with the tablet's browser, too. So, I'm getting by, but hope to have the desktop fixed within the next day or two.

A few days ago it started its overheating-and-shutting-down thing again. After work last night, I opened it up and blew the dust out, but when I turned it back on, the CPU fan sounded like a buzzsaw. People out in the parking lot could probably hear it. Then the computer shut down again before it even finished booting.

I managed to order a new fan from the tablet, even though I really can't spare the money right now. But while I can get by with the tablet for basic things like emails and writing, they're no substitute for my PC, which I use for almost everything I do.

Anyway. In the meantime, thanks to Dropbox, I still have access to my books, stories, and whatnot, and plan to keep writing. And, if I manage to finish a chapter before the PC is fixed, I'll see if I can upload it from the tablet or netbook...though I had some problems posting stuff from both of them last night, so who knows if it'll work or not....
May 19, 2014 at 7:33PM

phred: You know you're in for a fucked-up weekend when you head out to the laundry room to take your clothes out of the dryer and one of the neighbors is there, and he tells you that a week ago he caught a kid pissing into one of the dryers. Yes, I find out about that a week after it happened. That's how my Saturday started, and it pretty much set the tone for the next couple of days. D:
May 13, 2014 at 3:26PM
    Julia.: If it makes you feel any better, urine is essentially sterile. No nasty germs or anything.
    May 13, 2014 at 3:27PM
    phred: True. It just freaked me out a little...the idea of a fluid that was inside someone's body being deliberately placed in a device intended for drying recently-washed clothes. :P
    May 14, 2014 at 4:56PM

phred: Ugh. Way past time to post a quick update here. There are so many things I should've been doing lately, but haven't due to life getting in the way. Not going into a whole lot of detail here, but things have not been going well. I've been on the brink of seeing my whole life implode for nearly six months, now.

Basically, after being unemployed for eight months, the only job I finally managed to land was a pizza delivery gig, which I have to use my car for. Pays minimum wage while I'm in the store, but when I'm sent out on a delivery, the pay drops to $5.00/hour. With the tips I'm able to get, I'm barely able to scrape by each month. Still putting in job applications everywhere, but none of the employers ever contact me. Just makes me feel like sub-minimum wage is the best I'll ever be able to get.

Two weeks after I got hired, my car completely fell apart and I had to get another one. That turned into a long ordeal that's still going on...until just recently, I had to worry constantly about the new car being taken away, which means I would've lost my job also, and then ended up homeless. And now that I've finally gotten the bank to finance the car, I have to worry about making the payments in addition to the rent and everything else.

Every time I start thinking the worst is over, something else comes out of nowhere and turns everything all pear-shaped. Just a couple weeks ago, I had to borrow $500 to avoid losing everything. With all the crap going on, I've pretty much forgotten what it's like to sleep more than a couple hours each night.

Anyway. I've given up thinking things might get better. I'm just taking each day on its own and trying to get through it. Been trying other things here and there to make a little extra money, but none of them have worked out.

As far as writing's been really difficult to concentrate on any of my books, but at the same time, I have to keep at it just to hold on to my sanity. I've always been that way...if I don't keep writing, my cheese starts to slide off my cracker. (Besides, I've been paying the monthly fee without actually posting anything. If I'm going to keep spending money on this, I need to actually use it.) I've managed to finished a couple chapters over the last few months, but haven't posted them here yet. Going to correct that, starting later tonight. Going to keep it up as frequently as I can, but it'll probably remain sporadic for the foreseeable future, unless something changes unexpectedly.

Anyway. Just thought I should finally break my long silence, in case anyone who reads my stuff was wondering if I'm still around....
March 26, 2014 at 10:16PM

phred: So...I recently started recording audio blogs and putting them on YouTube to monetize them and hopefully bring in a few dollars so I might actually be able to pay one of my bills. The second one, which I did last week, was all about my novel which was recently accepted by a publisher. The one I'm planning now will be about my Freelancers story, Mass Effect in general, and...ugh, Mass Effect 3.

Well, I've just finished my notes/outline for the podcast...and it's four pages long. Single-spaced. O_o

This is gonna be a big one....
September 24, 2013 at 4:20PM

phred: I found out a couple days ago that my first novel, "Load," now has a page on Goodreads, with a five-star review. :D
August 3, 2013 at 2:40PM

phred: Yesterday I saw the official trailer for the new "Cosmos" series coming next year, and it was jaw-droppingly awesome. I saw the original series when I was a kid, and it's one of the things that got me interested in science, especially astronomy, and made Carl Sagan one of my personal heroes. We've learned so much more since 1980, and the new one is hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is awesome.

I hope it runs on Hulu or the network's website so I can see it. If not, I might have to get cable just so I can watch it. @_@
July 23, 2013 at 12:27AM
    redrider6612: Evolutionist propaganda.
    July 23, 2013 at 9:06AM
    DIS-illusioned: Jesus would watch it too, if he could.
    July 23, 2013 at 12:18PM
    phred: Redrider--yeah, because facts are "propaganda." Sigh. I really hope you were just joking.
    July 23, 2013 at 2:29PM

phred: Looks like I got my main computer fixed just in time. The laptop has suddenly developed a problem connecting with my home network. If I didn't have a functioning desktop, I'd be in serious trouble.... D:
July 21, 2013 at 2:11AM

phred: Another computer update here. Yesterday I was looking at the still-mostly-dead computer, and suddenly remembered what happened the last time it powered on but wouldn't boot. That time, I'd put the RAM into the wrong slots (I've got two modules, and the motherboard has four slots). So just to rule it out, I switched them over to the other two slots, put everything back together, plugged the cables in, and pushed the power button. And the computer actually booted and ran normally.

So I spent the afternoon updating Windows and a bunch of other software, since the last time I was able to run the computer was three months ago. Then I had to spend three hours just to get the headphones to work, because of a weird error with the BD drive which prevented me from installing the headphone drivers. Anyway, long story short, I finally got that bit working.

One of the internal fans makes a hell of a lot of noise, which is what happened before the old power supply blew up. I just hoped it was because of the temperature here--for the last few weeks, it's been getting up to 105, 106 degrees. Several days it's hit 107. Since I'd worked up a nice, intense little rage after hours of computer-induced frustration, I decided to play Saints Row: The Third and blow off some steam.

It was fantastic. I hadn't been able to play that game in three months. Wonderful.

Then, twenty minutes in, the computer shut down without warning. Last time that happened was a warning sign for a power supply that's about to explode. So I did some investigating just to double check, and yes, everything I found pointed to a power supply unit that needs to be replaced immediately. Brand new power supply, too--but I couldn't find out it was a dud before yesterday, and it's past the time limit for returns.

So, no more games on this thing until I can replace the PSU. The computer seems to run okay otherwise, though after a few hours the fan gets so loud that it sounds like one of the F-18's taking off from Davis-Monthan. So I can run it for a few hours, then shut it down and use the laptop for a few hours. But the laptop has been acting glitchy, so I turn the desktop back on for a few hours....

I'm hoping I'll be able to order the part tomorrow of Friday. I feel like I shouldn't spend extra money now, but the way the laptop's been acting, I'm worried that if I don't, I'll end up losing both computers, and that's all I've got....
June 20, 2013 at 1:30AM

phred: Quick computer update. I was able to buy a new motherboard, which I installed yesterday. The computer still won't boot, but at least now it powers on (the LEDs light up and the fans spin). The old mobo was fried, but there's at least one more part that needs to be replaced. Could be the RAM or processor, or the power supply could be a dud. I'm getting a power supply tester so I can at least narrow down what needs to be fixed.

Sucks, but at least I'm one step closer to getting it running again.
June 8, 2013 at 8:44PM

phred: Past time for another update, though not much has changed. Still unemployed despite all my efforts. And now my laptop has been acting increasingly erratic over the last few weeks. Since my desktop computer still hasn't been fixed, that really has me worried.

One positive development has come about, though. On another site where I've been posting my writing, one of my readers has commissioned a pair of stories written to his specifications, which I'm hard at work on right now. He paid in advance, so that's where my focus has to be until both stories are finished. Anyway, I'm putting that money toward getting the parts I need to fix my main computer, and hoping I can pull it off before the laptop goes completely HAL-9000 on me. If I can land a few more of these commissions, I might have a chance of hanging in there until I can land a job.

Another bit of good news is the prices of the parts. The motherboard has dropped to a little over $200, and I'm hoping that's all I'll have to replace. If I have to do the processor as well, it's down to $149. So, both combined are just a little over half what they used to cost.

The only downside is that this means they probably won't be produced much longer, and the new models will probably cost a lot more. So very soon I might be facing another "now or never" situation.

I'm thinking I'll also need to get a new case for all the parts to go into. Something that, I think, caused a lot of problems is that the current case doesn't have enough room for all the parts, wires, and cables, and there's hardly any airflow going through it. The case I've got my eye on is inexpensive and is much roomier and has far better airflow. That's a concern because Tucson gets pretty hot. Today the temp hit 104 degrees. It didn't feel nearly that hot to me, and I didn't even have the air conditioning running. But yeah, I don't want to replace those parts and then have something overheat and fry mere days after I've replaced it. O_o

Anyway, after the commissioned stories, there's one more chapter of Enemy of my Enemy, plus an email that I'm way overdue replying to. I'm planning to do the email first, since I should've replied a week and a half ago, then the last chapter of Enemy. After that, I'll do my best to stay focused on Project: Phoenix, because I'll never get it finished if I only write one chapter every six months. I've been working on the book since early 2011. Should've had it finished at least a year ago. I'm not pleased with myself because of that....
June 2, 2013 at 1:18AM

phred: Quick update on the computer. The power supply arrived and I installed it, and the computer still won't power on. So, it looks like something else burned out when the power supply exploded. Could just be a short in the power button switch, but I don't have the equipment to test for it. Or it could be the motherboard, in which case the computer is pretty much dead. The processor and motherboard cost $600, and there's no way I'll be replacing that any time soon even if I manage to land a job. It'll be a while before I can even have a technician check it out and find exactly what the problem is.

I'm getting by on my laptop (good thing I picked one up about a year ago, just so I'd have a backup PC), but it's nowhere near as powerful. Also, I do my banking and bill-paying and stuff like that on the desktop, never on the laptop or phone. Never anything that's easily lost or stolen. But now I'll have to do it anyway, at least for the next few months.

Anyway, thanks to the laptop and Dropbox, I can still access all my writing, and can still look for jobs, and so on. But I built that desktop myself. Put a lot of time and money into it. It's my baby. So I'm a little bummed out over the whole thing....
March 26, 2013 at 10:57PM
    krprice: Sorry to hear about your computer. I hope you have everything backed up elsewhere or you're dead in the water.
    Please contact me at I need help writing a fight scene in a fantasy novel.
    April 1, 2013 at 10:32AM

phred: Ah, the fun never ends. The latest thing to go all pear-shaped: a few nights ago, around midnight, my computer blew up. No exaggeration here, it sounded like someone fired a shotgun right beside me. Of course, the computer shut down instantly and wouldn't turn back on. And then I noticed the distinct odor of smoke.

I did some investigating and learned that it was most likely the power supply unit. Every article I found mentioned the same things that happened to mine. So I ordered a new one, even though I probably shouldn't spend any extra money right now. But then, if I don't do it while I have some money, it might be months or even a year or more before I'm able to fix this.

Luckily, I found one for a really good price, and I know it's a good one. It's the same PSU I used when I built a computer for one of my friends a year ago, and she's had no problems with it at all.

Today I decided to open the computer and take a closer look to see if anything else had been damaged. Fortunately, I didn't see anything obvious--no burst capacitors or burn marks or anything of that nature. So unless there's something hidden behind something else, it's looking pretty good for the motherboard and processor.

I removed the PSU and looked through the grille in the back, and found at least two things that had burst and spewed yellow goop all over the circuit board. So my guess was right.

Now, I just have to hope the PSU didn't ruin anything else when it blew.
March 23, 2013 at 10:56PM


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