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More, please.

I still believe this!

Welcome to the Mountain Women Series

Though I’m always hesitant to give literary advice, I would like to make a modest request to authors of fiction. Please, give us something that’s more.

A lot of fiction is like stale cookies or mediocre pizza, satisfying to people who’ll take sugar, cheese and pepperoni in any form.  I can never understand why, when it’s not required, some will read a book all the way through, then acknowledge it was terrible. Like, “That pizza was really bad.” Belch. I guess they’re hungry.

People read fiction to have an experience–thrilling or horrifying or romantic, and hopefully satisfactory. Guess what, some also read fiction to be enlightened. When I read fiction, I like to learn something.

I’m told more people read non-fiction than fiction. To them, fiction may seem frivolous, unconnected to real life ambitions and concerns.

In truth, the best fiction offers an entertaining experience along with insight, so it’s possible to learn more about ourselves and others, about events, cultures…

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Digital Beneficiary, Digital Estate, Digital Executor, NONI, Online Assets

Are you good to go?

Does anybody know the important stuff you keep in your head?

Let’s say you do a lot of business online, and you keep a lot of the ways and means in your head. What happens to all of that (and the people who depend on it) if suddenly you can’t manage it?

Who is prepared to step in and carry on for you?

An hour’s planning now can save months of difficulty for those who may have to take over. 

At the minimum, you should leave instructions for one or more people (your “digital executors”), telling how to access your phone, your computer, and your email accounts.

You can create a spreadsheet with all those instructions, but it won’t be legal unless you create a codicil to your will and have it notarized. 

There’s a better way. 

NONI is a neat application (permanently free to first subscribers) that lets you specify how your online life will be continued or concluded, and it provides a legal codicil. You can update everything at any time.

Using NONI, you can identify all your devices and online assets and specify “digital executors” and beneficiaries. Best of all, you can leave detailed instructions for managing your online life if it needs to continue—for example, if you have an online business. In NONI, all passwords are securely encrypted, but you’re not required to add them.

The application prompts you to add beneficiaries and executors for each “digital asset,” including their contact information so NONI can send your instructions once officially notified that something has happened to you. 

I just completed my digital estate on NONI and downloaded the codicil. 

I’m good to go!

P.S. I’ve been given permission to give you this free link for the developer’s friends and family, which means I can give it to you. Check it out! You’ll never be asked to pay.  https://noni.digital/friends-family/

Books by Carol Ervin, ebook series, historical fiction, Historical Fiction Series, Kindle, main characters, writing fiction

The People in my Stories

Charlie’s eyes shifted to his brother. “Will spits ’bacca juice at me.”

“Charlie lies,” Will said.

These are the first words we hear from two young brothers in The Girl on the Mountain, the first book in my Mountain Women series. When I introduced these boys, I had no idea how they would impact the story and no intention of writing a series. In their first appearance, Will and Charlie are eleven and nine and are learning how to survive in a poor family with an abusive father and no mother. The main character, May Rose, has been charged with taking care of the family, which includes the boys’ baby sister, neglected to the point of abuse. Throughout the series, these three children grow up to be important to Winkler, the fictional town that’s the setting for each novel, but they remain secondary characters.

This, I think, is what life is like. We are the main characters of our own stories, but our lives are affected by the secondary and minor characters who make up our world. The thirteen novels in the Mountain Women Series present the lives of people in difficult circumstances who manage to carry on, driven by their own determination but also helped by the characters around them.

The main character (May Rose) is most revealed as she becomes attached to destitute children. First there’s thirteen-year-old Wanda, whom May Rose meets after being abandoned by her husband. May Rose is only a few years older than Wanda and doesn’t know how she’s going to take care of herself. Wanda is essentially homeless, the daughter of an alcoholic prostitute, but she has the confidence May Rose lacks. Throughout the series, Wanda becomes the most important secondary character (and a favorite of readers). She is also the main character of book two in the series, Cold Comfort.

I find writing a series to be easier than writing stand-alone stories because I do not have to invent many new characters and settings. Each of my stories introduces one or more new people who in some way affect the plot. Currently I’ve been reading about the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program in Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal during the great depression. I expect to fit the CCC into the lives of my characters in the next story.

Currently the time period of the series is 1897 to 1934. I’ve written a draft of the final book in the series, set in 1976, in which May Rose is ninety-two. That book won’t be released until I’ve filled in the years with a few others. 

Writing has been a great retirement pursuit. I enjoy the people in my stories, and it’s been gratifying to hear from readers who say they like them too. Thanks for reading!

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