I made some updates to my short story “The Lady Next Door” which is available for purchase as an ebook on Amazon. The cost is 99 cents. You can buy it here. You do not need to own a Kindle to read it. You can also read it by using the Kindle app for smartphones and tablets (ANDROID, iPHONE / iPAD). If you enjoy the story, consider sharing the link with your friends and family.

the_lady_next_door_a_short_story_by_jeffrey_pillow
The Lady Next Door: A Short Story, by Jeffrey Pillow. Photo by Chalmers Butterfield CC-BY-SA-3.0

A description of the “The Lady Next Door”

They were just ordinary rocks found in a driveway to most people, but not to the lady next door. They were the most beautiful rocks you would ever see.

Background

Mrs. Hartness was indeed my neighbor and I am indeed the little boy in the story. “The Lady Next Door” was originally written in 2003, and came to me as I was writing When the Lights Go Out at 10:16 (formerly The Court: Jeremiah’s Story). All this time later, it’s still one of my favorite stories because it’s a snapshot into a great love I had at a young age—a child’s love. One of warmth and innocence. My children are now beginning to display this type of love, and in return receiving this type of love, from one of our neighbors named Rosemary.

Even though I placed “The Lady Next Door” in the Fiction: Short Stories section on Amazon, it’s not actually fiction. Unfortunately, there is no Memoir: Short Story or Nonfiction: Short Story section on Amazon. There’s not a big enough market for it. I chose not to place it under the broad category of Memoir because I didn’t want anyone to buy it thinking it was a full length memoir when it’s only a 15-page short story.

What updates were made

A new cover

This was long overdue. The previous image was only meant as a placeholder and was such for far too long. While the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” may be a great saying, the reality is, people do judge a book by its cover. I am very happy with the new look.

Formatting and grammar

There was some punctuation that bothered me and a few words changed. Nothing that changed the storyline.

Updated author bio

Again, nothing major, and nothing anyone, other than me, likely cares about. I just cleaned it up a bit.

If you previously purchased the short story

I realize some of you reading this previously purchased “The Lady Next Door” and are wondering if you’ll see the updates. That, I’m not sure. Amazon has a bit of a strange policy with regards to this and it appears hit or miss. Apparently there’s a feature on Amazon that will update a book if an update is available and they think it warrants letting a reader know. Notice I said “they,” not “me.” So far, I have not had any luck seeing this take effect on my Kindle e-reader or Kindle app for my iPhone. It still shows the original story (book cover, interior, everything). Perhaps it is delayed; so, first, I would say, give it a week. If it’s still not showing up, try these steps:

  1. Go to Manage Your Content and Devices (direct link)
  2. Click on “Settings”
  3. Select Automatic Book Update. Click “On” to receive automatic updates for your book
  4. Return to the previous page and select “Your Content”
  5. Choose the book you’d like and click “Update”

Important: To retain your bookmarks, notes, highlights, and latest reading location, make sure your device or app has “Annotation Back Up” or the “Whispersync” setting turned on.

If you are buying this short story for the first time, disregard this message. You will receive the new look and updates upon delivery.

With that said, none of the changes I mention above alter the storyline. The biggest change, outside of the cover and punctuation, was replacing a reference to “Zip-loc bags” with “plastic sandwich bags.” I kid you not. That’s the biggest alteration I made. The beginning is still the same. The middle is the same. The ending is the same.

If your book did not update and you can’t live without the updated version, the best I can do is send you a PDF. The PDF won’t replace the Kindle version, but it’ll have the new cover and new content if you so desire to have that. Contact me using this form and start your comment with “Request: The Lady Next Door.” If you did not previously buy the story, please do not contact me to request the PDF.

Lastly, while I would still write even if I had no readers, if you find value in this blog or in my stories, contemplations, or reflections, send your friends or family members the link. Most of what I write is less about what I write, and more about what it may trigger in you, in your own memory. Perhaps, you, too, once had a lady next door.

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