Stacey Blog

Indianapolis, born, bred and raised thriller author, Stacey Carroll is known for her unique perspectives on life and fiction. Influenced by Anne Rice, Stephen King and the Grimms Brothers, combined with the pure hatred of Disney endings, her novels are equally gritty and sexy with well-developed, realistic characters.

Additional influences on writing are her degrees. She has a Masters in HRD, a Bachelors in Aviation and a Computer science minor. All of these factors and her experience in flying Cessna 152s, 172s, King Airs and Piper Senecas have resulted in fiction novels that feature satisfying mature content emphasizing the characters.

 

If you would like to know more about blogging or how to blog, check out these books from Amazon:

 

 

 In the past, there were numerous writers who wrote essays about their hardships. They explained daily life, how they felt and what was going on around them? I haven’t felt the need to do so, and I’m not sure I feel the need today. I just have nothing better to do. After being slammed with articles related to COVID-19 for the last two weeks, I’m now out of paid work. I still have plenty of work on my website though.

How Has Life Changed Since March 16, 2020?

My daily life hasn’t changed. Apparently, I’ve been in quarantine or self-isolation since 2010 and didn’t know it. Many other work at home people are stating the same thing. Nothing’s really changed on a day to day basis. You only notice the changes when you watch the news. There are travel bans and stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines and personal space guidelines and handwashing guidelines. This means there’s much less traffic on the roads than would be normally. If you take a look at the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus map, you’ll see that it’s April 9, 2020, and there have been a total of 1,536,979 coronavirus cases to date with 93,425 deaths across the global. Locally, in the United states, there are an estimated 451,491 confirmed cases. The WHO has slightly different numbers. They confirm 1,356,780 cases with 395,030 cases in the United States if you look at your search engine. When going into the actual WHO map, you get, again, different results.

  • 1,439,516 total world cases

  • 82,837 new cases

  • 85,711 deaths

The US Supply Chain Is Fundamentally Defunct

Does anyone remember the Buy American push in the 1980s? Apparently, we all should have taken that a lot more seriously. Our manufacturing and basic supplies are manufactured overseas. This includes paper products, medicines and medical equipment. The NY governor, Andrew Cuomo, complain about this on a daily basis. Where are the ventilators, latex gloves, face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, medicines, toilet paper and other PPE? China. Where did this virus start? CHINA!!!! Does that make sense to you? It sure as hell doesn’t make sense to me. Its’ time to pull things back into our borders. What is happening right now is absolutely ludicrous.

Our Manufacturing Facilities that We Do Have, Can’t RAMP IT UP!

Now, here’s where daily life is affected. There’s nothing to buy. It very much feels like our manufacturers are not taking this seriously. Things that can’t be bought or are very difficult to find.

  • Toilet paper

  • Paper towels

  • Canned goods

  • Facial tissues

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Disinfectants (lysol, bleach, all purpose cleaners)

  • Fresh meat

  • Fresh Vegetables

  • OTC medications (Antacids, anti-diarrheal) – Let me just point out that COVID-19 does not cause intestinal issues (only in rare cases). What might be happening though is that people’s diets have dramatically changed. They may very well be eating foods they do not normally eat, and I can tell you that if you only eat out and all of a sudden, you have to eat homecooked food, you will be sick. This is because the body does not have what it takes to process real food. It takes about a month to be able to process real food without getting sick once you go off a high fast food diet.

I will say that not being able to find the things I want to purchase as reasonable prices is pissing me off. It’s been almost a month since the pandemic was declared, and we are still out of basic cleaning supplies and paper products. That is absolutely, 100 percent UNACCEPTABLE! And I will go so far as to state that these manufactures that are not taking this seriously need to be SEVERELY PUNISHED once this is over. I have very much had ENOUGH of this no product bullshit, and I am not afraid to say it.

To make this even worse, many retailers have stopped online ordering and delivery. Yeah, that’s right. It’s available IN STORE so you can get infected. Did anyone bother to tell these dumbshits that coronavirus hangs in the air for up to 3 hours, which means you can walk into it? The stupidity of that move is just beyond comprehension. If you don’t believe me, try and order something from Target or Walmart or Dollar General. Even CVS. These guys need a fucking clue-by-four. 

So there’s my COVID-19 rant. It’s been 29 days since the pandemic was declared.

If you're having trouble concentrating and focusing on your tasks during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. The American Psychiatric Association reports that 24 percent of Americans are having trouble concentrating. The pessimist in me says that the other 76 percent of survey takers didn’t make it to the question.

Mental Health COVID-19 Statistics

  • 48 percent of Americans are extremely concerned about contracting COVID-19

  • 40 percent are extremely concerned about becoming seriously ill and/or dying from the virus

  • 62 percent of Americans are concerned about a family member or loved one contracting the virus

  • 36 percent of Americans are experiencing mental health issues due to COVID-19

  • 57 percent are worried about their financial viability

  • 68 percent are worried about the long-lasting effects to the economy

  • 68 percent of Americans feel like they are well-informed about protecting themselves against the spread of the virus

  • 39 percent feel like people are overreacting to the virus

  • 39 percent also feel like people are not overreacting to the virus

  • 33 percent of Americans are worried about a lack of testing and the availability of medical treatments if they become sick

Anxiety Is the Driving Cause of Mental Issues in Most Age Brackets for COVID-19

It’s important to understand that few alive today remember a situation like COVID-19. There was the 1918 Spanish Flu, and the 1957 Asian Flu. While there are more pandemics throughout history, those two are the most recent and the most widespread. Now, we have COVID-19, and there are few coping skills for this. The major problem aside from the fear of catching this highly contagious virus is that it’s impacted our daily lives. Many of us are no longer going to work. We can’t go to the gym. We can’t sit down in a restaurant and eat. The public venues are closed. Travel has been restricted to essential only, meaning you can go to purchase food and medicine, and you can visit a doctor if needed. If you are employed at an essential job, you can go to work, but you probably don’t want to due to fear of catching the virus.

Secondary is that fact that the supply chain has been severely impacted. If you attempt to order items or go to the store, many items on your shopping list aren’t available. This primarily affects paper products, cleaning chemicals and sanitizers. However, food is also affected. When I placed an order about a week ago, I ordered 6 kleenex. I received 2. There was no toilet paper available. The canned goods were virtually sold out. The frozen pulled chicken that I normally order was not available, and most of the frozen pizzas were gone. This pandemic diet has caused me to lose 12 pounds in 3 weeks. While I need to lose a few pounds, weight loss at that rate is not medically recommended, and if this lasts long enough, I could find myself underweight on the back end of this. While having to gain weight is not heavy on my mind, it does add to my concern.

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What Can You Do to Help Alleviate Your Anxiety

If you have a mental health professional, you can talk to them over the phone and via video chat. If you don’t have a mental health professional, you can make an effort to find one. They may be able to help. In addition to utilizing professionals, you can also:

  • Find a new daily routine

  • Remember to eat

  • Turn off the news and stop obsessively looking at Cornavirus articles and statistics (Yes, I know how hard this is.)

  • Exercise. Pace your house. Use canned food as weights. Walk your neighborhood. Order that gym equipment from Amazon

  • Find a hobby or rediscover your old hobbies. I broke out the yarn the other day.

  • Get into gaming. Maybe you played Mario Brothers for 14 hours a day as a kid. It may be time to rediscover that habit.

  • Read fiction and get lost in a world someone else created.

  • Read non-fiction and learn something

  • Find an online class or two. Many colleges have put certain classes online for free

 

No matter how you feel today, this shall pass eventually. The goal right now is to manage yourself, manage your risk and keep your mind occupied.

 

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The First Five Drafts: Prevent Over-Editing and Get Your Novel Done Faster with the Five Draft Method (SC Writing Book 1) Kindle Edition

This is the no-fluff, serious writer's guide to getting your novel started, edited and finished.

The five draft method is designed to help you reduce your chances of over-editing, which can stall your writing process and cause you to either never deem your novel finished or ruin it in any number of ways, including inputting too many slow sections, taking out all the interesting details and doing too much ‘showing’ versus ‘telling’.

In this writer's self-help book, you will learn how to write your first draft and revise your manuscript to the point where it's ready for self-publication or submission to agents and/or publishers.


The Five Draft Method

Draft 1: The Junk Draft 
Draft 2: The Structuring Draft 
Draft 3: The Rough Draft 
Draft 4: The Analytical Draft
Draft 5: Final Draft 

Plus! Proofreading for Publication

 

Write Your Novel Notebook (SC Writing)

Are you ready to write your novel? Are you looking for a journal or notebook that can help you get it done? If you answered yes, the Write Your Novel Notebook may be the notebook you've been waiting for.

Notebook Highlights

20 Chapters

20 pages per chapter

Add notes and other information at the end of each chapter

Pages to add additional notes at the end of this notebook

400+ lined pages for all your fiction writing fun

This notebook starts by allowing you to write down the date you started and the date you finished your manuscript, the title of your work in progress, the subtitle and your name. Next, answer a few basic questions, including:Why are you writing this novel?Why will this novel appeal to readers?What genre is this novel?What is your estimate of the finished word count?Add any additional notes!!!

 If you’ve suddenly found yourself unemployed, laid off, furloughed, fired or partially unemployed from your traditional job, you can apply for unemployment in your state. If you are a gig worker, you will eventually be covered by unemployment. I am currently checking every day in Indiana to see if they’ve implemented the parameters for gig workers. They have not, and according to last count, no other state has input the parameters for gig workers and the self-employed yet. If your state has, feel free to leave a comment. However, regardless of your current employment status, you’ve probably found yourself in a money crunch. While you will need to judge your own financial situation yourself, here’s a good idea of the order of things when working with limited money.

1. Buy Your Food, Essentials and Medicine

You’re not going to be able to do much if you’re starving or out of your medications. Not to mention, not eating weakens your immune system, and starving to death is pretty misreable. If you have money whether saved or received from your job, the first thing you need to do is buy your food, essentials and toilet paper. Not to mention, you’re going to mentally feel a lot better if your home is stocked.

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2. Pay Your Car Insurance

If you have a car, pay your car insurance. I have yet to hear of one car insurance company that is waiving or delaying the need to pay. If you do not have your car insurance money, call your agent. They may have a plan they aren’t advertising for individuals who have been severely economically impacted by COVID-19. If you let your car insurance lapse, you could be considered a high risk driver, and not having car insurance is against the law. If you have full coverage car insurance and don’t owe any money on your car, you may consider changing to state minimum in order to save money, especially since you’re probably not driving much right now anyway.

3. Pay Your Rent or Mortgage or Call Your Bank or Landlord

If you have no money or are severely limited in funds, you will need to call your landlord or your bank or mortgage company and work something out. Many landlords are willing to take partial payments, and laws have been enacted about evicting tenants and pursuing foreclosures for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some mortgage companies are willing to stick your most recent payments on the back end of your mortgage, meaning you don’t have to pay today, but you do have to pay eventually. 

If you have money to pay your rent or mortgage, I’d suggest paying it or paying as much as you can. Just because there are no evictions or foreclosures going on right now, doesn’t mean that you cannot eventually be evicted or foreclosed upon. You will still owe the money, and you will have to pay it eventually.

4. Pay Your Internet Bill

Mot people get their news and entertainment via the Internet. I would recommend paying this bill. While it’s unlikely that your Internet would be canceled for non-payment right now, you don’t want to owe thousands at the end of this. If you have cable, cancel all services except your Internet. You can always bring them back later.

5. Pay Your Gas and/or Electric

Most gas and electric companies won’t turn off your services right now. If you are unsure, you can call your utility companies to confirm this. If you can’t pay the entire bills, you can pay part of what is owed. If you have no money whatsoever, you can skip it. Unfortunately, like everything else, not paying means this bill is just going to get larger and larger. Once things return to normal, you’ll probably have to work out a payment plan in order to catch-up.

6. Pay Your Water

No one is going to turn off your water right now. If the water company does shut off your water, you can call your state and report them. You will eventually have to pay all your back water bills, but if you’re out of money, you can skip this one.

7. Pay Your Subscription Services

The only subscription services I’d keep right now are the ones that offer delivery. This would be things like Amazon Prime and Shipt. Everything else, I’d cancel. Since I haven’t heard of anyone waiving these fees, you’ll still have to pay if you want to keep your subscription services.

8. Pay Your Credit Cards or Call Your Credit Card Company

To be quite honest, I wouldn’t worry about making credit card payments, unless you’re using these to buy groceries and essentials. You can also call your credit card company to see if you can work something out with them, but paying credit cards is pretty low on the necessary payment totem pole.

9. Call the Lender for Your Car Payment

If you can’t afford to pay your car payment, you may be able to work something out with your lender, like extending your loan by a few months or getting your current payments tacked onto the back end of your car loan. The thing to remember here is that you need to call your lender if you cannot make your car payment.

By prioritizing your bills, you’ll be able to make your money stretch farther right now. However, it’s important to note that this is only a blueprint. You will need to take a look at your bills and prioritize according to your own needs and your own finances.

 

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Read More from Stacey Carroll

 

AVIA1BookadfullcoverThunderstorms and .45s: 2018 Avia Version Kindle Edition

 

Avia might be able to con a rich woman out of 50 million dollars before her vacation to Hawaii, but she's going to need some help to do it. She has to call in people she terms her "cousins," and she has to deal with the fact that she is still an alcoholic and heroin addict. With the help of Benton, can Avia actually pull off this heist and get out of town before it is too late?

 

 

If you're thinking about shipping a package or getting a package of supplies shipped to you, you may want to think twice before shipping with UPS.  They have suspended all shipping garantees. This is an email I just recieved.

 

The UPS No Shipping Guarantees

 

UPS® is committed to operating globally, except where constrained by government restrictions. The Novel Coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented complexities, which have required us to constantly reassess our operations. Our highest priority is to help ensure the health and safety of our employees, customers, and suppliers.

Suspension of Small Package Service Guarantee

Effective March 26, 2020 and until further notice, we have suspended the UPS Service Guarantee for all shipments to any destination, at all service levels.  As the effects of the Coronavirus impact our infrastructure, we will continue to seek guidance from local and national government entities regarding applicable regulations.  

Prior to shipping Small Package, please check to see if your recipient’s location is open, since business hours may have changed due to local restrictions. If the location is closed, we will hold your Small Package shipment and attempt to complete the delivery at a later date if the receiving location has indicated to UPS that it will reopen within 9 days.  However, if the location is closed indefinitely, UPS will return the package to the sender.

For your convenience with Small Package services, The UPS Store® and UPS Access Point®locations can provide access to your vital deliveries.  Also, you can sign up for free UPS My Choice®service which enables you to provide more specific delivery instructions such as where to leave deliveries, or redirect deliveries to another location, and also provides you with the ability to receive delivery notifications.

Suspension of UPS Freight® Service Guarantee

In addition, effective March 27, 2020 and until further notice, UPS Freight’s Service Guarantee for all Less Than Truckload services from and to all locations is suspended, with the exception of UPS Freight Urgent Services. Please continue to visit the UPS Freight website for the most up-to-date information regarding the impact of Coronavirus on UPS Freight services. 

Suspension of North American Air Freight Service Guarantee

Finally, effective March 25, 2020, and until further notice, the UPS Service Guarantee is suspended for all North American Air Freight services. Please continue to visit the UPS Supply Chain Solutions®website for the most up-to-date information regarding the impact of Coronavirus on UPS Air Freight services. Service guarantees are subject to change. 

If you’ve never worked from home or never spent any time at home aside from your yearly vacation, you may be in for a shock. When you stay at home 24/7, certain expenses will increase. These include all your utility bills, your food bills and even your personal hygiene bills.

1. Your Utility Bills

When you leave for work, you probably have your thermostat set lower than you can personally tolerate. This is because you aren’t home and you want to save money. All you have to do is make sure your thermostat is set to a temperature that prevents your pipes from freezing and keeps your pets comfortable. If you want your pets comfortable 65 is a good temperature in the winter. If your only goal is to prevent your pipes from freezing, you may have your thermostat set for as low at 55 degrees in the winter. In the summer, you may have your thermostat set as high as 80 when you aren’t home. 

If you don’t want to see a dramatic increase in your electric or gas bills, leave that thermostat alone and put on some more clothes. As it warms up, take off some clothes. Otherwise, you are going to be in for a shock when you get your next utility bill. The other thing to do is open your windows and leave your lights off. The only light I have on during the day is my office light. The rest of them I leave off until it’s so dark in my house that I can no longer see anything. You should consider doing the same. Yes, you will be walking around in the dark to some extent. You’ll get used to it. The goal here is to prevent astronomical utility bills. If you have to put tape over the switches during the say to remind yourself to leave them alone, do it.

2. Your Grocery Bills

I bet you thought you went through a lot of food while you worked. Depending on how many people are in your house, you’re going to experience a dramatic food increase. This is because restaurants and fast food places are closing, and quite honestly, you no longer have to eat out for lunch. Instead of eating seven meals at home a week, you’re now eating 21 meals plus snacks. Your food bill is going to get out of control quickly. Consider bulk items of rice pasta and beans. These make good fillers and can stretch meat supplies. If you’re used to eating a lot of steak, consider pork or cheaper cuts of beef. You can also try to clip coupons and take advantage of weekly sales. However, sale items may be hard to come by for the next few weeks.

3. Personal Hygiene Bills

I bet you used a lot of toilet paper at your workplace and paper towels and other personal hygiene products that were made available in the bathrooms. This greatly reduced what you needed at home. Once you start living at home fulltime, these expenses increase. While there’s not much you can do here to save money, you do need to be aware of it. Plan for 1 roll of toilet paper per female in your home and half a roll per male per day.

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Other Places You Can Cut Expenses

  • Your Gym Membership – Your gym is closed, cancel it. Whether it’s $10 a month or $45, as your income decreases, you’ll need those few dollars.

  • Your Car Insurance – If your car is paid off, call your insurance agent and go down to state minimum. You’ll save hundreds of dollars over the next few months. If you are still making payments, talk to your agent about lowing the limits and raising your deductible. (Where are you going to drive?) Once you get back on the road, you can increase your car insurance.

  • Subscription Services – If you have a ton of these, it ads up. You n\will need every saved dime to pay for your toilet paper and food. Do you really need subscriptions to Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu? Pick your favorites, cut the rest

By taking steps now, you will make your current cash last longer and ensure you can eat. Once you go back to work, you can bring all these things back into your daily life.

 If you were hoping the corona virus only affected Corona beer, you’d be sadly mistaken. In fact, it has nothing to due with the beer and everything to do with a new viral strain of cold or flu, depending on your assessment of the situation. The new coronavirus (COVID-19) is running rampant across the globe. It’s caused various countries to implement strict control measures, including banning travel, even within cities, except for food and medicine. In the USA, school and colleges have closed and many events and conventions have been canceled, including sporting events. Locally, you’ve probably noticed that grocery stores, big box retailers and pharmacies are running out of or are completely out of basic necessities, like toilet paper, soaps and hand sanitizers. As of late last night, many stores were starting to run out of food, including Meijer, Target, Costco and Kroger. Amazon is also nearly out of toilet paper and hand sanitizers and soaps. The panic started when the WHO declared COVID a pandemic on March 11, 2020, and Europe is now considered the epicenter of the outbreak.

 

Update: National Emergency Declared

  • Testing becoming available in Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens Parking lots
  • Restrcitions removed for hospitals and doctors inorder to increase patient access
  • Student loan interest discontinued (for federal held loans)
  • Large quantities of oil being purchased (LOL Okay. I don't know why....)
  • 100,000+ tests available in a few days
  • Future regulations for these types of things being reworked
  • No progress on coronavirus bill yet

 

At 3:00 PM March 13, 2020 President Trump Is Rumored to Declare a National Emergency

In 1976, Congress passed a law called the National Emergencies Act (HR 3884). It defines the powers of the President of the United States of America during emergencies. It is intended to only be used in situations where immediate responses are needed and the country has experienced a significant threat. In this instance, the immediate threat is a virus for which no one has an inherent immunity against. It threatened to sicken between 1/3rd and 1/2 of the people in the United States and kill between 500,000 and 1.5 million people. The exact numbers are impossible to determine, and these are considered worst-case scenarios.

In addition to declaring a national emergency, he is expected to invoke the Stafford Act for emergency disaster relief and assistance. This would free an estimated $42 billion for states for disaster relief, which is expected to be used for testing, medical supplies and vaccines.

Stocking for COVID 19

It is recommended that you stock your home with food and supplies for at least two weeks.  This includes, food, sanitary items, medications, pet food and other items that you deem essential for your daily life. I, personally, stocked for 30 days.

Being that I am self-employed with no health insurance or sick days, I have been staying up-to-date on the potential coronavirus epidemic that started in Wuhan, China in December. It’s important to understand that coronaviruses are responsible for the common cold. COVID-19, however, is a super-cold, so to speak. To date, the new COVID-19 has spread to most countries, including the United States. My concern increased on March 6 with the first reported case in Indiana. To be quite honest, this initial Indiana case infuriates me, and in my opinion, the male quite deliberately caused his exposure by traveling to Boston for a convention where numerous people have also developed the illness. You couldn’t pay me enough to get on an airplane and go to a convention right now, so this guy’s logic completely eludes me. However, this guy isn’t the only person to blow-off this illness. I know many others, including members of my own family, who are not taking this seriously.

Logistics, Shipping and the Coronavirus

Let’s assume you are taking proper precautions to limit your exposure to the coronavirus, like washing your hands often and not going to crowded places. Even if you manage to avoid this super-bug, it’s still likely to impact you in the form of reduced availability of goods. If you’ve looked on Amazon lately, you’ll see the price of hand sanitizer is through the roof. I’ve seen hand sanitizer listed for as much as $150 and sometimes higher. That’s called price-gouging. What I’ve heard in the circles where I roam is that hand sanitizer as well as other types of antibacterial soaps are selling out. When I tried to order items from Target the other day for delivery, I found them out of 1000 sheet toilet paper (I won’t use anything else), antacids, Anti-Diarrheals and allergy medicine, at least as far as what I buy on a regular basis.

MarketWatch predicts that Target and Walmart will be the first to start selling out of certain goods. They are the two retailers that most heavily rely on Just-in-Time deliveries. These are deliveries that are only placed when stocks are reduced to X level. Then, just enough product is shipped to fulfill demand for three to seven days. Most grocery stores only keep about three days worth of supplies on hand. Severe out of stocks of certain items are predicted to start by Mid-April. Though, depending on where you live, you may already be seeing the impact. Costo is one chain that is seeing severe out-of-stocks due to a run on supplies.

What’s Being Purchased

  • Anti-bacterial Wipes

  • Hand Sanitizers

  • Water (Bottled and Jugged)

  • Toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissues and other paper products

  • Masks (Sugical, construction, Respirator)

  • Long Shelf-Life Items (Rice, Pasta Canned Goods)

  • Additional Types of Cleaning Supplies

  • Medication (both prescription and over-the-counter)

  • Some stores are also experiencing a rush on fresh meat

Can Supply Keep Up With Demand?

Not currently. Depending on what you read, the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) by the masses as well as cleaning supplies has outpaced the supply in some markets. Hawaii has been quite affected due to the fact that they import most of their items. Of course, this is dependent on the market. Washington state, Minnesota, Hawaii and New York are experiencing the worst shortages, according to Newsweek.

Should You Stock Up?

It depends on your perspective and whether or not you believe the hype about the coronavirus is legitimate. If you believe this will blow over, you probably don’t want to stock up beyond what you normally would for the week or the month. If you somewhat believe the hype, perhaps you’d like to stock up for two or three weeks versus one week in order to limit your exposure to large crowds of people. If you believe the coronavirus is coming to your neighborhood or if it already has, you may be tempted to stock up for longer than 30 days.

When Will the Coronavirus Slow Down?

No one knows. In order for the virus to stop spreading in significant numbers, each infected individual needs to infect less than 1 person. That isn’t happening yet, according to Business Insider. Currently, there are 102,000 people that have been infected with the virus and 3500 have died. It’s currently present in 93 countries. There have been a total of 17 deaths in the United States.

I can’t tell you whether to buy extra supplies or not, you will have to make that decision, according to your needs and the needs of your family. What’s important it to be aware of the spread and take certain precautions in order to reduce your risk of exposure.

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(Sponsored by Amazon)

 

Writing and Editing Books on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee Mugs for Writers on Amazon

 

 

Journals for Writers on Amazon

 

 

    

  

 

 



 

Tablets for Writers on Amazon

 

 

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