Can You Hear Me Now?

My monthly newsletter hit email inboxes Wednesday afternoon. At the same time, an emergency alert sounded across the United States to all cellphones and TV and radio stations. I couldn’t ignore such a golden coincidence, so asked my newsletter subscribers if they received the alert. A whopping 93% responded yes. I would say that was a fairly successful test.

We had just come back inside the house after walking the dogs, so I was standing in my study when the alert sounded. A computer, iPad, and our iPhones all sounded together—an electronic cacophony that sure got our attention.

I had a little fun with MidJourney and imagined the scene looking something like this in offices around the country:

By the way, a few of those who didn’t hear the alarm had U.S. based phones, but were outside the country at the time. They didn’t know if they would hear the alert or not. I did my best to research how it worked and I think it had more to do with the transmission tower than the phone itself.

That makes me wonder if someone with a non-US phone who happened to be in the states would have received the alert. If so, that probably confused some visitors. If anyone knows, post a comment below.

And now for the best part—the comments! I read them all and here are my favorites:

The pets

My cat was not amused.

I had forgotten about the alert and was waiting for the vet to come in when it went off.

Group action

At the library and alerts were sounding from everyone’s cell phones.

Tried to avoid it

I didn’t hear it because my phone was in silent but I did have a popup.

Phone (muted) sounded the alert, however, tv (muted) showed alert message, soundlessly. No radio was on or harmed in the retelling of this tale.

They found us- even way out here. Maybe I should move more rural. Cell phone service is becoming too reliable.

The Zombie Apocalypse (or the Internet is crazy)

There were many videos out there about the alert causing people that were vaccinated against Covid to become zombies or have something happen to them.

We Pause for this Commercial Break

I have read some of your books and like them. Does Barnes and Nobles sell most of them. Do you have anything that might be televised as a movie?

I promise this was one of the comments. No way I’m passing up an opportunity to promote books.

Yes, Barnes and Nobles carries all my books, though not many stores keep them on the shelves. Bookstores simply can’t afford to stock every available title. Fortunately, they can easily order it for you if you ask their customer service team. You can also order them from their website.

By the way, that same ordering ability is available to any bookstore, including indie bookstores. To order through an indie bookstore, you can order online at A portion of their sales goes to support indie bookstores.

As for a movie deal, I’m waiting for that phone call. That would be fun.

New surveys every month

Thanks for participating in the quickie poll. Of course, you can take the main monthly survey by going here.

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Reader Surveys

Each month, I survey readers on a random topic. I might ask about books, reading, and authors, as this is my primary focus. Some months, the survey focuses on the mountain region that has been my home. Other months, the query will be something completely random. The debate over mayonnaise might be the most contested ever.

In time for the monthly newsletter, I summarize and share the overall results and some of the highlights I learned. To protect privacy, I don't attempt connect the data in anyway to individuals and then delete the responses.

The following is the result of one of those surveys. And if you want to participate in this month's survey, just click the button.