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April 18th, 2014
08:32 am
andrewducker
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This is what sound looks like


Via JWZ



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09:18 am
nwhyte
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Conrad's story. And Tanya's. And Liam's.
Read this.

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06:34 am
nwhyte
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The Farewell Letter of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
From http://www.prrb.ca/articles/issue08-marquez.html

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(Thanks to Leah Moore for linking to this.)

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April 17th, 2014
10:20 pm
lnr
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Stair gates and plaster

Deliberately bought a stair gate for upstairs which the manufacturer claims can be used by just attaching the wall cups to the wall with the supplied stickers, rather than having to drill and use screws. Went up ok last weekend, though the wall cups on the bannister side seemed to slip a few mm as I tightened the pressure fittings. Trouble is over the rest of the week they slipped more and more and last night one of them slipped off entirely!

Took the gate down this morning, but when I turned my attention to the wall cups on the other side it seems they were rather better stuck to the stickers, and the stickers were well suck to the wall. However it seems the plaster was rather less well stuck! This is the result:

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I'd been meaning to get round to doing something about that crack!

Amusingly as the other gate at the bottom of the stairs had to be fitted on the second step up Matthew has now managed to fall off the second step a few times, making it feel slightly less safe than when the gate wasn't there :)

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09:16 pm
marnanel
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I was just at Tesco
I was just at Tesco. I did not previously know the checkout person.

CHECKOUT PERSON: So, that'll be £16.48.
MARN: (long pause) What happened in 1648? I thought it was the Spanish Armada. But that sounds like it should have been in 1548.
CHECKOUT PERSON: Yeah, that's definitely the Tudors. It was under Henry, wasn't it? The Mary Rose and all that.
MARN: I thought it was Elizabeth. Didn't Philip of Spain send the Armada because he wanted her to marry him?
CHECKOUT PERSON: Well, what you've gotta remember is, Spain as such didn't exist at the time. There were, like, two or three different states there, and then you've got the Holy Roman Empire making things more complicated...

(discussion continues for a while)

More of this, please.

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11:09 am
ravingglory
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Seder
I really should write about my seder. I doubt that this will be a long a detailed post like the one I wrote about the tea party.

Anyways I spent the afternoon cooking, except for going to get my blood drawn. Where because I wasn't thinking very clearly I decided to go to the slowest lab possible. (There were multiple labs I could have gone to.) I had to wait an hour and a half. So I came back in a foul mood and dashed about trying to get everything ready. Which I manged, but my mood was still grim when the seder started.

Anyways the seder went ok. Out of 16 people expected 12 showed, up so there was even more extra food that expected. It was bit disorganized, I didn't have as much time to play with the Hagadah as I wanted, and most of the people there were not familiar with seders. Also while in theory I'd like my seders to be full of deep meaningful conversion about justice and freedom, I was pretty tried, and didn't really encourage conversation.

The last few days since then have been fairly low key, I took Tuesday to do nothing. Yesterday I worked on my thesis a bit, and went cheese and fabric shopping with my mom. This morning I finished my novel before starting to work on the thesis.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/142044.html

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05:07 pm
cartesiandaemon
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The Dark Playground of Procrastination
http://www.quora.com/Procrastination/How-do-I-get-over-my-bad-habit-of-procrastinating/answer/Oliver-Emberton

For a while, my favourite cartoon article on procrastination was this quora answer by Oliver Emberton, describing the einstein-rational part of your brain and the impulsive-lizard part of your brain.

http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procrastinators-procrastinate.html

But it was displaced by the wait-but-why article and sequel.

All the wait-but-why articles were funny, but seemed to be trying to be a bit too clever, so I had to come back to them to decide if I liked them or not. I wasn't sure how much this article added over what I already knew. But when I came back to it, I decided it was actually really good.

I think the most valuable thing is having a name for the "dark playground" -- the metaphorical place where you know you need to get something important done, but put it off, but you can't do anything *really* fun while you wait, because you'd feel guilty and because you can't really concentrate, so you do lots of things that used to be a bit fun, but now are just a mess of bad habits and impulsive reward-seeking like checking email again and again and reading websites you don't really like.

I was always aware of that phenomenon, but I didn't realise how fuzzy my concept was until having a name for it brought it into sharp focus. Having a name for it meant firstly that it was immediately easy to describe to anyone else familiar with procrastination -- even if they knew I was wrong, they knew what I was experiencing and what might help a little and what wasn't. And that I could tell other people and myself that I wasn't really enjoying what I was doing -- the problem was literally "putting things off", not "wanting to do something else more".

And secondly, recognising easily that was what I was doing helped me eliminate the lies I told myself. No, I'm not going to check my email "one more time", each time I do that I get more exhausted and get less willpower. Instead, I have to choose between (a) reducing the fear of starting to the point where I can do SOMETHING right now or (b) taking a real break or (c) checking my email HARDER and HARDER until I suddenly snap in panic and force myself to work as hard as I can for about three seconds before I collapse (this doesn't help).

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05:00 pm
bofhcam
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Spent most of morning the strugging to get something to kickstart before working out what it was that was the issue. That took a while and I'm still not sure why things worked out as they did.

The early morning was spent rowing. It was a reasonably good outing, which was helpful as I was feeling pretty shattered when I got up. I'm off to do some UT2 6km ergs this evening. Rachel's due tomorrow and then we're doing various fun things between then and Tuesday morning. There'll also be some rowing, and maybe even some lawn strimmering (not double entendre). Have a nice Easter and I'll see you in a few days.

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07:36 am
twirlynoodle
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Our Daily Bill: An item in the results
When Scott was planning his second trip to Antarctica, and had secured the help of Wilson as head of the scientific aspect, Wilson described his plans thus:
No one can say that it will only have been a Pole-hunt, though of course that is a sine qua non. We must get to the Pole; but we shall get more too ... We want the Scientific work to make the bagging of the Pole merely an item in the results.

(Seaver, 182)

So when the final Pole party discovered they were not the first human beings to set foot at the nadir of the planet, he did not seem to have been particularly badly affected:
... in any case [we] are all agreed that he can claim prior right to the Pole itself. He has beaten us in so far as he has made a race of it. We have done what we came for all the same and as our programme was made out.

(Seaver, 279)

In fact, in one of the less famous 'outtakes' of the photos taken at the Pole, Wilson appears downright jovial:


That's Wilson, standing left; Scott seems to be laughing too. In the full photo (which you can find in Race to the End, the companion book to the AMNH exhibit) Birdie's armpit frames the shot, so one can only assume he was adjusting the camera or something and accidentally took an exposure. It's probably my favourite of the Pole pictures because it so captures a moment ...

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09:31 am
theferrett
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The Myth Of “Nobody Can Make You Feel Bad Without Your Permission”

There’s a common sentiment that goes, “Nobody can make you feel bad without your permission” – generally trotted out when someone’s been hurt by a mean thing that someone said.

The idea, I believe, is that we are all rational, robot-like beings who can control our emotions – and thus if we get upset by someone’s assholic statements, we have chosen to be upset. We could have shrugged it off instead.

Problem is, people don’t work that way.

Now, first off, “shrugging off other people’s insults and accusations” is a learned skill. If you’ve ever raised a kid, you know most of them don’t come pre-baked with the “Eh, whatever” switch – if you yell at them, they cry. If other kids make fun of them, they get upset. Actually placing the “Okay, they’re mocking you, but do you respect their opinion?” switch in place is a process that takes years, requires a healthy ego on the kid’s part, and isn’t 100% successful.

So expecting everyone to have that skill is kinda jerky. Admittedly, it’s a vital skill that everyone should actively cultivate – without it, abusers can emotionally manipulate you into the most awful of situations by pressing your “guilt” button whenever you complain about valid stuff.

But not everyone had nice parents. Not everyone’s discovered how to interrupt their emotions with logic. And as such, sneering, “Well, you chose to feel bad”isn’t actually true. They have yet to develop a barrier between the onrush of primal feelings and the rationality to say, “Wait, no, that’s actually something I shouldn’t feel.”

You might want to start that long discussion of how to get to the point where they can shove off that tidal wave of sadness with a cold freeze of logic… but that’s not how this is used. Instead, the “Nobody can make you feel bad…” argument is generally wielded as a club to make it the victim’s fault when someone decided to be an asshole at them.

Yet hey! What about me? I’ve been on the Internets for years. I’ve received death threats. I’ve had hundreds of blog-entries devoted to what a jerk I am, entire forum-threads of vitriol. Some people loathe me personally, and they’ve never met me – and yet I’m still posting my opinions daily.

So as one of the most thick-skinned people I know, I clearly understand how nobody can make me feel bad without my permission, right? Otherwise I’d just be shivering in a closet.

Wrong.

What I know is that I can shut down those bad feelings that come when someone chucks a nastygram in my direction - but it takes me effort to do so.

I think of it as walking to the store. Under normal circumstances, I’ll get to where I’m going. But with the right insult, some asshole can drop a fifty-pound weight in my backpack. I’ll still get to the store, but thanks to their jerktasticness, it’s a fuck of a lot more effort.

And if I was low on energy that day? Or in a rush to get somewhere?

Lord, those insults can fuck up my day, whether I wanted them to or not.

And that’s not me saying that human interaction should be scrubbed of all potentially harmful content. Some people do get butthurt incredibly easily, and I think there’s a point at which you have to make the decision that this person’s rigid boundaries are going to hem in your speech to unacceptable levels, and blow them off.

(Some people don’t read me because they’re offended by my swearing. I support their right to unfriend me in order to protect their sanity, but stopping? Fuck that noise.)

But when you say, “Well, nobody can make you feel bad without your permission!”, that sets up a world where you have no responsibility for your speech. Were you digging for weak spots, mocking to make a point? Oh, hey, well, you were trying your damndest to make them feel bad, but if it worked it’s their fault for not having sufficient defenses. It’s not 100% correlation, but when I see “Nobody can make you feel bad!” I usually find a taunting dillweed nearby, taking potshots from the brush and then claiming no responsibility.

No. You may not be able to make someone feel bad, but you sure as fuck can make them burn strength they were planning to use for other projects that day. So speak carefully. Try to be kind. And don’t be a dick unless it’s your last choice.

It won’t hurt to be a little nicer, man. I promise.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/395567.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.

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01:21 pm
pw201
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Link blogs: normal service will be resumed shortly

The link posting script (which copies my bookmarks from Delicious to occasional blog posts here) has gone awry and posted the same link three times, so I’ve turned it off until I can fix it.

Last time this happened, it was because Delicious was feeding it the same link with different Globally Unique Identifiers, so maybe they’ve done that again. The obvious fix is just to use the link’s URL rather than the GUID from Delicious, so I’ll do that when I get a moment.

Apologies for spamming your feeds/friends lists/newsfeed/wherever else you’ve been reading the blog.


Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.

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02:00 pm
bugshaw
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Cloudy with a chance of meatballs in cheese sauce beset with croutons
I started noting down where I've eaten out this year, as well as books and gigs and films and stuff. This has the side effect of being a log of how many times they fail to follow through on a proclaimed understanding that I cannot eat gluten or dairy.

So far this year: 15 meals out, -1 creamy risotto, -1 salad with croutons, -1 sorbet on a bed of biscuit crumbs, -1 stealth ingredient (the other three I detected in time to not eat them) = 27% failure rate which is pretty fucking appalling.

I feel bad about making such a fuss every time I eat out, peering suspiciously and double checking everything instead of trusting them to have given me safe food, but with a hit rate like that I'm not going to stop any time soon.

NB Not currently broken from food, despite the userpic, and I have a lovely dairy free Easter egg to look forward to :-)

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01:00 pm
andrewducker
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Anyone here know anything about transport?
Chatting Nick about transport usage over bank holidays.

On the one hand, railways maintenance happens over bank holidays, because that's apparently when railways are quietest.

On the other hand, the roads are apparently busier than any other day of the year.

Nick says that his experience of long-distance train travel over Easter is "Argh so many kids. Argh everyone has ALL their stuff with them!" - which leads me to believe they aren't empty.

Do people use the long-distance trains more over bank holidays, but use local ones less because they aren't commuting? Or is something else going on?



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12:00 pm
andrewducker
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Interesting Links for 17-04-2014

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10:25 am
arda_unmarred
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The Bear
Someone should do (maybe someone already has?) a proper academic study of the different historical anti-Russian discourses being mobilised at present.  The 'new Cold War' is the one you hear about most often, but actually, a really strong contender is the purely 19th-century discourse about the Russian Bear, with its anti-Liberal values and Pan-Slavism.  Yes, I know that the Bear was much in use in anti-Soviet propaganda as well, but it's all the talk of irredentism, conservative values (remember Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality?), and Great Game-style maneouvres that make the nineteenth century analogy so irresistible.  I wonder if the ideologues in Russia are conscious of the parallels as well?  Are they perhaps trying to revamp Православие, Самодержавие, Народность for the twenty-first century? [Rhetorical questions!]

Current Location: Edinburgh
Current Mood: blahblah

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09:53 am
liseuse
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(Inter)National Poetry Month: Day Seventeen
Wistful sounds like a brand of air freshener
- Bob Hicok

I will go to Belfast, Maine, and read my poetry to crabs.
I’ll stand on a platform of some kind in the company of wind
and look at pennants waving and think of the claws
of crabs waving in the wind of the Atlantic and be sad.
It’s not that I don’t have enough sadness, but I’m always looking
for better, more aquatic or tastier sadness, for the kind
of light that comes when the sky tilts its head at dusk
and wonders, in colors we understand as language, why this all
has to end. I could doff a Bogart hat and wag a tough cigarette
between my lips, smoke muscling up from my mouth as I say, it just does,
sweetheart, it just does, but the psychology of the fedora
escapes me. There’s bread and calisthenics and lice and radar
and jars of blue stuff in stores, and maybe what I’m doing
when I cry to certain songs at seventy miles an hour, is proving
I’ve noticed that out of the nothing that could be here,
everything is. So I will go to Belfast, Maine, and wonder
what it’s like to stand beside Main Street in the winter,
I’ll put my head against the brick buildings I’m betting
live there year-round and describe the tropics to them
by having warm thoughts, and if you’d like to meet me there,
I’ll be the man in the t-shirt that has an extra sleeve
in case the third arm I need shows up, because so far,
I’ve dropped almost everything I’m desperate to hold.

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08:39 am
andrewducker
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1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + ... = -1/12


My brain feels broken.

Particularly because the comments link to a good discussion of it that instantly goes beyond my abilities.



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12:13 am
pw201
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Link blog: funny, misogyny, privacy, tube
Men who post on “Women who eat on tubes”
The lackwits who post on “Women Who Eat on Tubes” now have their own group dedicated to them, “Men Who Post on Women Who Eat on Tubes”. Sauce for the goose, and all that. The best thread on it is this one, where they take it in turns to pretend to be one of the WWEOT posters: “Misandry privacy too seriously chill lad women only joke reverse, ironic turned silly time sport lift even do you. 2.2 Southampton beer banter opinonated BA Sports Science & Geography. Women rotten upturned collar hate women but Justin Beiber haircut and posh holiday photo. Hat look at my hat look in my photo I am wearing a hat probably. LAD” Indeed.
(tags: funny satire sexism tube london underground misogyny privacy photography)

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April 16th, 2014
11:02 pm
marnanel
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Aubergine song
Most of my set last night wasn't quite this lewd, but this was the only song that got recorded!



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08:34 pm
andrewducker
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Marvel Thoughts (spoiler for Winter Soldier post-credits and most recent X-Men:DOFP trailer)
So, there's a new trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past:

and...splrs, obvsCollapse )



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07:58 pm
nwhyte
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Wednesday reading
Current
Assassin's Quest, by Robin Hobb

Last books finished
[Doctor Who] A Handful of Stardust, by Jake Arnott
Aldébaran #5: La Créature, by Leo
Anglicising the Government of Ireland, by Jon Crawford
Revelation, by C. J. Sansom

Last week's audios
[Doctor Who] The Acheron Pulse, by Rick Briggs
[Doctor Who] The Shadow Heart, by Jonathan Morris
[Doctor Who] The Evil One, by Nicholas Briggs

Next books
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, by Alexander McCall Smith
Deathless, by Cat Valente
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, by Neil Gaiman

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10:49 am
grrm
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Aegon Is Coming...
 ... tomorrow morning.

 We're putting up a sample from THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE on my website, to join the samples from the next Wild Cards book (LOWBALL) and of course from WINDS OF WINTER (Mercy).  It's a short excerpt from the section of Aegon's Conquest, complete with some kickass art.

And by the way, those of you who read only this Live Journal  -- and there are a lot of you -- should check out my actual website some time.  There's loads of interesting material there, from news stories to biography and bibliography and sections on my toy knights.

Anyway, do hope you all enjoy the Aegon piece.  It will be up on the morrow.

Current Location: Santa Fe
Current Mood: busybusy
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03:35 pm
bofhcam
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Last night's AT erg was hard. And a little embarrassing that the guy everyone's always thought would always be the weakest of us in the 'top crew' was very close to beating my distance for 30 minutes. Not my PB, but last night's attempt. I'd like to think that once I start getting back into a rowing frame of mind (and body) I'll be a lot better than him. We'll see. Anyway.

Up early this morning to help move one of our core switches from one side of a wall to another (thus clearing another piece of active kit from what used to be a server/comms room and is now going to simply be a secure store room. Once we got the polarities of the fibres right everything went pretty swimmingly, thankfully.

At work nothing much is happening. In fact I was able to get one of my huge email replies done, and even some of the smaller ones, as well as the majority of today's work. I may spend a chunk of tomorrow over at the new server room finally preparing the server which is going to run our Nessus client and switch monitoring software. That would be good.

Tonight is weights at the boat house, then I may be doing some coaching of the women's squad, or simply going home to do some housework. I tell you what desperately needs doing, and that's putting away all of my clean and neatly folded clothes, and mowing the front lawn. Or at this point strimmering it, as I don't think the lawnmower's going to cut it. Literally. But for now, I think it's time to head off as starting work at 07:00 means I can do that kind of thing. Hurrah!

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10:14 am
ursulav
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Why, 2K!
That's right, as of...well, sometime last week, probably, I haven't been checking that closely...we cracked 2000 copies of Nine Goblins sold! How cool izzat?

Thank you, everybody who ordered a copy! You're awesome, and I hope you enjoyed it!

The following bits are probably only of interest to self publishers, but I wanna contribute what smidgeon I can to an often opaque set of numbers, so read on if you like that sort of thing!

In terms of numeric breakdowns, after expenses (mostly editing services and coffee) we're looking at around $5.5K. For self-pub, that's not the extreme end of the bell curve, but definitely a very respectable success. If you figure it took about 100 hours to write, that's a very good wage (although if you figure that it took since 2006 to write, the numbers look...um...less good. And it's not like you can just sit down and put in a 100 hour work week and have another book. Well, I can't, anyhow. You know, trying to work this out like this is probably a fruitless exercise...)

Anyhow, as far as I can tell--and I am extrapolating from VERY little data here, so I could be very wrong, anyone with more experience, feel free to chip it!--the initial sales burst comes in the first month or two, then it begins to taper off. I'd guess there's a spike in sales when you put out a new book (or at least, so I am told!) but as the next Goblins book may take another couple years at this rate, we'll find out if it applies to other releases by the same author.

Around 90% of sales were via Amazon Kindle. Smashwords is definitely worth it, though, as there's a lot of readers who, for whatever reasons, will not use Amazon and it sucks to leave them in the lurch. I've heard from friends that direct sales from their website do very well, and that's something to consider, although I dread the tech support aspect there. Suspect that may be the wave of the future, though, as Amazon eventually will start to squeeze.

The nice thing about slow taper, though, is that while it's not paying my rent as it did for the first two months, it's still solidly buying groceries, and even as we slither downward, I can probably expect it to keep me in hard cider money for awhile.

That is due entirely to the readers, let me hasten to add--I'm not promoting it beyond posts like this one and links on the website, and it's the plethora of good reviews and (gasp! the legendary!) word-of-mouth that's moving copies. I am super grateful for that--I even had a fan tell me the other day that they bought a copy and loved it and didn't know it was by me. Which, I mean, pen-name and all, but that means the book has a life of its own beyond just yours truly, and that bodes very well for it.

So all in all, my first self-pub adventure has been a rousing success, despite all the weeping and bloodshed that it took to bring it into the world. (Come to think of it, there's a few more typos found...need to get that deal with in my copious spare time...) Thank you, everybody!

And yes! Promotion! I can do this! If you want to buy a copy:

Smashwords

Amazon

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02:43 pm
damerell
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Recommend me a book
( You are about to view content that may only be appropriate for adults. )

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